Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila

EN BANC

G.R. No. 22041           September 11, 1924

JOSE ALEJANDRINO, petitioner,
vs.
MANUEL L. QUEZON, ET AL., respondents.

Araneta & Zaragoza for petitioner.
Attorney-General Villa-Real for respondents.

MALCOLM, J.:

The petitioner in this original proceeding in mandamus and injunction is Jose Alejandrino, a Senator appointed by the Governor-General to represent the Twelfth Senatorial District. The respondents are Manuel L. Quezon, President of the Philippine Senate; Isabelo de los Reyes, Santiago Fonacier, Alejo Mabanag, Bernabe de Guzman, Ramon Fernandez, Emiliano T. Tirona, Antero Soriano, Juan B. Alegre, Vicente de Vera, Jose Ma. Arroyo, Francisco Enage, Tomas Gomez, Sergio Osmeña, Celestino Rodriguez, Francisco Soriano, Jose A. Clarin, Hadji Butu, Espiridion Guanco, Hermenegildo Villanueva, Jose Hontiveros, Teodoro Sandiko, and Santiago Lucero, all members of the Philippine Senate; Faustino Aguilar, Secretary of the Philippine Senate; Bernabe Bustamante, Sergeant-at-arms of the Philippine Senate, and Francisco Dayaw, Paymaster of the Philippine Senate.

The casus belli is a resolution adopted by the Philippine Senate composed of the respondent Senators, on February 5, 1924, depriving Senator Alejandrino of all the prerogatives, privileges, and emoluments of his office for the period of one year from the first of January, 1924. The resolution reads as follows:

Resolved: That the Honorable Jose Alejandrino, Senator for the Twelfth District, be, as he is hereby declared guilty of disorderly conduct and flagrant violation of the privileges of the Senate for having treacherously assaulted the Honorable Vicente de Vera, Senator for the Sixth District on the occasion of the debate regarding the credentials of said Mr. Alejandrino;

Resolved, further: That the Honorable Jose Alejandrino be, as he is hereby, deprived of all of his prerogatives, privileges and emoluments as such Senator during one year from the first of January, nineteen hundred and twenty-four;

And, resolved, lastly: That the said Honorable Jose Alejandrino, being a Senator appointed by the Governor-General of these Islands, a copy of this resolution be furnished said Governor-General for his information.

The burden of petitioner's complaint is that the resolution above quoted is unconstitutional and entirely of no effect, for five reasons. He prays the court: (1) To issue a preliminary injunction against the respondents enjoining them from executing the resolution; (2) to declare the aforesaid resolution of the Senate null and void; and (3) as a consequence of the foregoing, to issue a final writ of mandamus and injunction against the respondents ordering them to recognize the rights of the petitioner to exercise his office as Senator and that he enjoy all of his prerogatives, privileges, and emoluments, and prohibiting them from preventing the petitioner from exercising the rights of his office, and from carrying the order of suspension, into effect. By special appearance, the Attorney-General, in representation of the respondents, has objected to the jurisdiction of the court, and later, by demurrer, has pressed the same point.

In order that an obvious angle to the case may not subsequently embarrass us, we desire first of all to say that looking through the form of the action to the substance, this is, in effect, a suit instituted by one member of the Philippine Senate against the Philippine Senate and certain of its official employees. May the Supreme Court of the Philippines Islands by mandamus and injunction annul the suspension of Senator Alejandrino and compel the Philippine Senate to reinstate him in his official position? Without, therefore, at this time discussing any of the other interesting questions which have been raised and argued, we proceed at once to resolve the issue here suggested.

There are certain basic principles which lie at the foundation of the Government of the Philippine Islands, which are familiar to students of public law. It is here only necessary to recall that under our system of government, each of the three departments is distinct and not directly subject to the control of another department. The power to control is the power to abrogate and the power to abrogate is the power to usurp. Each department may, nevertheless, indirectly restrain the others.

It is peculiarly the duty of the judiciary to say what the law is, to enforce the Constitution, and to decide whether the proper constitutional sphere of a department has been transcended. The courts must determine the validity of legislative enactments as well as the legality of all private and official acts. To this extent, do the courts restrain the other departments.

With these sound premises in mind, we are not at all surprised to find the general rule of mandamus to be, that the writ will not lie from one branch of the government to a coordinate branch, for the very obvious reason that neither is inferior to the other. Mandamus will not lie against the legislative body, its members, or its officers, to compel the performance of duties purely legislative in their character which therefore pertain to their legislative, functions and over which they have exclusive control. The courts cannot dictate action in this respect without a gross usurpation of power. So it has been held that there where a member has been expelled by the legislative body, the courts have no power, irrespective of whether the expulsion was right or wrong, to issue a mandate to compel his reinstatement. (Code of Civil Procedure, secs. 222, 515; 18 R. C. L., 186, 187; Cooley, Constitutional Limitations, 190; French vs. Senate [1905], 146 Cal., 604; Hiss vs. Bartlett [1855], 69 Mass., 468; Ex parte Echols [1886], 39 Ala., 698; State vs. Bolte [1889], 151 Mo., 362; De Diego vs. House of Delegates [1904], 5 Porto Rico, 235; Greenwood Cemetery Land Co. vs. Routt [1892], 17 Colo., 156; State ex rel. Cranmer vs. Thorson [1896], 33 L. R. A., 582; People ex rel. Billings vs. Bissell [1857], 19 Ill., 229; People ex rel. Bruce vs. Dunne [1913], 258 Ill., 441; People ex rel. La Chicote vs. Best [1907], 187 N. Y., 1; Abueva vs. Wood [1924], 45 Phil., 612.)

The authorities which support the doctrines above announced are numerous and instructive. They are found among the decisions of our own court, of the United States Supreme Court, and of other jurisdictions. If some of these cases relate to the chief executive rather than to the legislature, it is only necessary to explain that the same rules which govern the relations of the court to the chief executive likewise govern the relations of the courts to the legislature.

The controlling case in this jurisdiction on the subject is Severino vs. Governor-General and Provincial Board of Occidental Negros ([1910], 16 Phil., 366). This was an original application made in this court praying for a writ of mandamus to the Governor-General to compel him to call a special election as provided by law. The Attorney-General demurred to the petition on the ground of lack of jurisdiction, and the court, after an elaborate discussion, reached the conclusion that "we have no jurisdiction to interfere with the Governor-General of these Islands, as the head of the executive department, in the performance of any of his official acts." The demurrer was accordingly sustained and the complaint dismissed. It is noted that in this decision reliance was placed on the cases of Mississippi vs. Johnson and Ord ([1867], 4 Wall., 475, and Sutherland vs. Governor ([1874], 29 Mich., 320), which we will now proceed to notice.

State of Mississippi vs. Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, supra, concerned a bill praying the United States, Supreme Court to enjoin and restrain Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, and E. O. C. Ord, General Commanding in the District of Mississippi and Arkansas from executing certain Acts of Congress. Mr. Chief Justice Chase delivering the opinion of the court said the single point which required consideration was this: Can the President be restrained by injunction from carrying into effect an Act of Congress alleged to be unconstitutional? He continued:

The Congress is the Legislative Department of the Government; the President is the Executive Department. Neither can be restrained in its action by the Judicial Department; though the acts of both, when performed, are, in proper cases, subject to its cognizance.

The impropriety of such interference will be clearly seen upon consideration of its possible consequences.

Suppose the bill filed and the injunction prayed for allowed. If the President refuse obedience, it is needless to observe that the court is without power to enforce its process. If, on the other hand, the President complies with the order of the court and refuses to execute the Acts of Congress, is it not clear that a collision may occur between the Executive and Legislative Departments of the Government? May not the House of Representatives impeach the President for such refusal? And in that case could this court interfere in behalf of the President, thus endangered by compliance with its mandate, and restrain by injunction the Senate of the United States from sitting as a court of impeachment? Would the strange spectacle be offered to the public wonder of an attempt by this court to arrest proceedings in that court?

These questions answer themselves.

xxx           xxx           xxx

We are fully satisfied that this court has no jurisdiction of a bill to enjoin the President in the performance of his official duties; and that no such bill ought to be received by us.

It has been suggested that the bill contains a prayer that, if the relief sought cannot be had against Andrew Johnson, as President, it may be granted against Andrew Johnson, as a citizen of Tennessee. But it is plain that relief as against the execution of an Act of Congress by Andrew Johnson, is relief against its execution by the President. . . .

Sutherland vs. Governor of Michigan, supra, well known to the legal fraternity on account of being written by Judge Cooley, related to an application for mandamus to the Governor to compel him to perform a duty imposed upon him by statute. Judge Cooley, in part, said:

. . . Our government is on whose powers have been carefully apportioned between three distinct departments, which emanate alike from the people, have their powers alike limited and defined by the constitution, are of equal dignity, and within their respective spheres of action equally independent.

xxx           xxx           xxx

It is true that neither of the departments can operate in all respects independently of the others, and that what are called the checks and balances of government constitute each a restraint upon the rest. . . . But in each of these cases the action of the department which controls, modifies, or in any manner influences that of another, is had strictly within its own sphere, and for that reason gives no occasion for conflict, controversy or jealousy. The Legislature in prescribing rules for the courts, is acting within its proper province in making laws, while the courts, in declining to enforce an unconstitutional law, are in like manner acting within their proper province, because they are only applying that which is law to the controversies in which they are called upon to give judgment. It is mainly by means of these checks and balances that the officers of the several departments are kept within their jurisdiction, and if they are disregarded in any case, and power is usurped or abused, the remedy is by impeachment, and not by another department of the government attempting to correct the wrong by asserting a superior authority over that which by the constitution is its equal.

It has long been a maxim in this country that the Legislature cannot dictate to the courts what their judgments shall be, or set aside or alter such judgments after they have been rendered. If it could, constitutional liberty would cease to exist; and if the Legislature could in like manner override executive action also, the government would become only a despotism under popular forms. On the other hand it would be readily cancelled that no court can compel the Legislature to make or to refrain from making laws, or to meet or adjourn at its command, or to take any action whatsoever, though the duty to take it be made ever so clear by the constitution or the laws. In these cases the exemption of the one department from the control of the other is not only implied in the framework of government, but is indispensably necessary if any useful apportionment of power is to exist.

xxx           xxx           xxx

It is not attempted to be disguised on the part of the relators that any other course than that which leaves the head of the executive department to act independently in the discharge of his duties might possibly lead to unseemly conflicts, if not to something worse, should the courts undertake to enforce their mandates and the executive refuse to obey. . . . And while we should concede, if jurisdiction was plainly vested in us, the inability to enforce our judgment would be no sufficient reason for failing to pronounce it, especially against an officer who would be presumed ready and anxious in all cases to render obedience to the law, yet in a case where jurisdiction is involved in doubt it is not consistent with the dignity of the court to pronounce judgments which may be disregarded with impunity, nor with that of the executive to place him in position where, in a matter within his own province, he must act contrary to his judgment, or strand convicted of a disregard of the laws.

We only take space to notice on more case, which concerns specifically the right of the judiciary to control by mandamus the action of the legislature. French vs. Senate of the State of California, supra, was an original proceeding in mandamus brought by the petitioners who were duly elected senators of the state to compel the Senate of California to admit them as members thereof. It was alleged that the petitioners had been expelled without hearing or opportunity for defense. The writ was denied, Mr. Justice Shaw delivering the opinion of the court, saying:

Even if we should give these allegations their fullest force in favor of the pleader, they do not make a case justifying the interposition of this court. Under our form of government the judicial department has no power to revise even the most arbitrary and unfair action of the legislative department, or of their house thereof, taken in pursuance of the power committed exclusively to that department by the constitution. . . .

There can be noted as specific corroborative authority, State vs. Bolte, supra, Abueva vs. Wood, supra, and Commonwealth of Massachusetts vs. Mellon, Secretary of the Treasury ([1923], 262 U. S., 447), the latest expression of opinion by the United States Supreme Court. The record discloses that it was the firm opinion of the late Chief Justice that the court should not assume jurisdiction of the proceedings.

So as to be perfectly fair to the petitioner, it is but proper to state that the principles laid down in some of the preceding authorities have been the subject of adverse criticism. It is said that the fallacy of the argument lies in the statement that the three departments of the government are independent of each other. "They are independent in so far as they proceed within their legitimate province and perform the duties that the law requires; yet it has never been held that the executive was the sole judge of what duties the law imposes upon him, or the manner in which duties shall be exercised. The final arbiter in cases of dispute is the judiciary, and to this extent at least the executive department may be said to be dependent upon and subordinate to the judiciary. . . . It is not the office of the person to whom the writ of mandamus is directed, but the nature of the thing to be done, by which the propriety of issuing a mandamus is to be determined." (2 Bailey on Mandamus, pp. 926-927.) But these were arguments which should have been presented years ago in this court, and which when recently presented by counsel in his argument for the petitioner in the case of Perfecto vs. Wood, R. G. No. 20867, 1 met with no favorable response from the court. It is now too late to go back and revise previous decisions and overturn them; in fact this would be not only impracticable but impossible since at least two decision of the United States Supreme Court seem to us to be controlling.

No court has ever held and we apprehend no court will ever hold that it possesses the power to direct the Chief Executive or the Legislature or a branch thereof to take any particular action. If a court should ever be so rash as to thus trench on the domain of either of the other departments, it will be the end of popular government as we know it in democracies.

It is intimated rather faintly that, conceding all that is said with reference to the right of the Supreme Court to issue mandamus directed to the Philippine Senate, yet we would be justified in having our mandate run not against the Philippine Senate or against the President of the Philippine Senate and his fellow Senators but against the secretary, the sergeant-at-arms, and the disbursing officer of the Senate. But this begs the question. If we have no authority to control the Philippine Senate, we have no authority to control the actions of subordinate employees acting under the direction of the Senate. The secretary, sergeant-at-arms, and disbursing officer of the Senate are mere agents of the Senate who cannot act independently of the will of that body. Should the Court do as requested, we might have the spectable presented of the court ordering the secretary, the sergeant-at-arms, and the disbursing officer of the Philippine Senate to do one thing, and the Philippine Senate ordering them to do another thing. The writ of mandamus should not be granted unless it clearly appears that the person to whom it is directed has the absolute power to execute it. (Turnbull vs. Giddings [1893], 95 Mich., 314; Abueva vs. Wood, supra.)

The question of jurisdiction is invariably one of perplexing difficulty. On the one hand, no consideration of policy or convenience should induce this court to exercise a power that does not belong to it. On the other hand, no consideration of policy or convenience should induce this court to surrender a power which it is its duty to exercise. But certainly mandamus should never issue from this court where it will not prove to be effectual and beneficial. It should not be awarded where it will create discord and confusion. It should not be awarded where mischievous consequences are likely to follow. Judgment should not be pronounced which might possibly lead to unseemly conflicts or which might be disregarded with impunity. This court should offer no means by a decision for any possible collision between it as the highest court in the Philippines and the Philippine Senate as a branch of a coordinate department, or between the Court and the Chief Executive or the Chief Executive and the Legislature.

On the merits of the controversy, we will only say this: The Organic Act authorizes the Governor-General of the Philippine Islands to appoint two senators and nine representatives to represent the non-Christian regions in the Philippine Legislature. These senators and representatives "hold office until removed by the Governor-General." (Organic Act, secs. 16, 17.) They may not be removed by the Philippine Legislature. However, to the Senate and the House of Representatives, respectively, is granted the power to "punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel an elective member." (Organic Act, sec. 18.) Either House may thus punish an appointive member for disorderly behavior. Neither House may expel an appointive member for any reason. As to whether the power to "suspend" is then included in the power to "punish," a power granted to the two Houses of the Legislature by the Constitution, or in the power to "remove," a power granted to the Governor-General by the Constitution, it would appear that neither is the correct hypothesis. The Constitution has purposely withheld from the two Houses of the Legislature and the Governor-General alike the power to suspend an appointive member of the Legislature.

It is noteworthy that the Congress of the United States has not in all its long history suspended a member. And the reason is obvious. Punishment by way of reprimand or fine vindicates the outraged dignity of the House without depriving the constituency of representation; expulsion, when permissible, likewise vindicates the honor of the legislative body while giving to the constituency an opportunity to elect anew; but suspension deprives the electoral district of representation without that district being afforded any means by which to fill the vacancy. By suspension, the seat remains filed but the occupant is silenced. Suspension for one year is equivalent to qualified expulsion or removal.

It is beyond the power of any branch of the Government of the Philippine Islands to exercise its functions in any other way than that prescribed by the Organic Law or by local laws which conform to the Organic Law. This was, in effect, our holding in the comparatively recent case of Concepcion vs. Paredes ([1921], 42 Phil., 599), when we had under particular consideration a legislative attempt to deprive the Chief Executive of his constitutional power of appointment. What was there announced is equally applicable to the instant proceedings.

While what has just been said may be unnecessary for a correct decision, it is inserted so that the vital question argued with so much ability may not pass entirely unnoticed, and so that there may be at least an indication of the attitude of the court as a restraining force, with respect to the checks and balances of government. The Supreme Court, out of respect for the Upper House of a coordinate branch of the government, takes no affirmative action. But the perfection of the entire system suggests the thought that no action should be taken elsewhere which would constitute, or even seem to constitute, disregard for the Constitution.

Conceding therefore that the power of the Senate to punish its members for disorderly behavior does not authorize it to suspend on appointive member from the exercise of his office for one year, conceding what has been so well stated by the learned counsel for the petitioner, conceding all this and more, yet the writ prayed for cannot issue, for the all-conclusive reason that the Supreme Court does not possess the power of coercion to make the Philippine Senate take any particular action. If it be said that this conclusion leaves the petitioner without a remedy, the answer is that the judiciary is not the repository of all wisdom and all power. It would hardly be becoming for the judiciary to assume the role of either a credulous inquisitor, a querulous censor, or a jaunty knight, who passes down the halls of legislation and of administration giving heed to those who have grievances against the Legislature and the Chief Executive.

We rule that neither the Philippine Legislature nor a branch thereof can be directly controlled in the exercise of their legislative powers by any judicial process. The court accordingly lacks jurisdiction to consider the petition and the demurrer must be sustained. As it is unlikely that the petition could be amended to state a cause of action, it must be dismissed without costs. Such is the judgment of the court. So ordered.

Street, Villamor and Romualdez, JJ., concur.


Separate Opinions

AVANCEÑA, J., concurring:

I agree with the dispositive part and the grounds and considerations set forth in the decision about the want of jurisdiction of this court to review the proceeding of the Senate. But this court having no jurisdiction, the insinuation contained in the decision that proceeding of the Senate was illegal seems to me unnecessary and improper.

JOHNSON, J., dissenting:

Among the important questions presented by the petition and demurrer in the present case, three may be mentioned:

First. Is the resolution in question legal or illegal?

Second. Has the Supreme Court jurisdiction even to consider its legality?

Third. Can the Supreme Court grant the remedy prayed for?

FIRST. Legality of the resolution

The Supreme Court is unanimous in its opinion that the resolution, by which Jose Alejandrino was deprived of "all his prerogatives, privileges, and emoluments for the period of one year" as an appointed senator, is an expulsion or removal of him as such senator and therefore illegal and ultra vires for the reason that the power of expulsion or removal of an appointed senator is vested exclusively in the Governor-General of the Philippine Islands. (Section 17 of the Jones Law Act of Congress of August 29, 1916 Public Laws, vol. 12 p. 243.)

By reason of the unanimous opinion upon that question, it becomes unnecessary further to discuss it except to give the particular reasons which induced my opinion. Said section 17 provides that: "Senators and representatives appointed by the Governor-General shall hold office until removed by the Governor-General." Section 18 provides, among other things, that "each house may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel an elective member." The petitioner is an appointive member of the Senate.

It will be noted from the two quotations just given, that the power to expel a member of either branch of the Legislature, by the Legislature, is limited to "elective members," while the power "to punish members for disorderly behavior" applies to all members whether elective or appointive. In view of the fact that neither branch of the Legislature can expel an appointive member, can either branch deprive such a member of all his "prerogatives, privileges, and emoluments for the period of one year" under the power "to punish for disorderly behavior"? It will be noted that the law contains no definition of the "punishment" which may be imposed for disorderly behavior. Considering, however, that neither branch has the right to expel an appointive member, certainly no one will contend that the punishment imposed for disorderly behavior may amount to an expulsion. If the punishment amounts to an expulsion then certainly the Legislature has exceeded its authority and has encroached upon the power of the executive, for the reason that the power to expel belongs to the Governor-General.

We have, then, the question squarely presented, whether or not a resolution of the Senate of the Philippine Islands which deprives an appointed senator of all his "prerogatives, privileges, and emoluments for the period of one year" amounts to an expulsion. If it does, then the resolution is illegal, null, and void, and beyond the powers of the legislative department of the Government and an unwarranted exercise of the powers which belong to the Governor-General.

The said resolution not only deprives the petitioner of all his "prerogatives, privileges, and emoluments for the period of one year" but also deprives the people of his district, composed of about one million persons, of any representation or participation in the legislative, affairs of the government for a period of one year, a right which is guaranteed to them under the constitution. Such a result was certainly not contemplated by the provisions of the Jones Law. Certainly the framers of the constitution of the Philippine Islands never dreamed that when the Legislature of the Philippine Islands was given the power to "punish" its members for misbehavior, that such a power would ever be used as a guise for "expelling" an appointive member.

The power to punish for misbehavior was intended purely as a disciplinary measure. When a member of the Legislature is removed either by the Governor-General or by the Legislature, a vacancy exists, and the law gives the Governor-General the right to appoint, and the people of the district the right to fill the vacancy by election, so that the people may again, under either case, be represented. A "suspension" of a member, however, does not create a vacancy, and the people of the district are without a representative and the Governor-General cannot appoint one and the people cannot elect one during the period of suspension. They are without representation during that period. They are, for the period of suspension, taxed without representation. If a member, under the power to punish, can be suspended for one year, for the same reason he may be suspended for ten or more years, thus depriving the Governor-General of his right under the law, and the people of the district, of a representative, and without a remedy in the premises.

If the power "to punish for disorderly behavior" includes the power to suspend or to deprive a member of all his rights, and if the suspension is in effect a removal, then an appointed member may be removed, under the power to punish, by a mere majority, while the law requires a two-thirds majority to remove an elective member. In other words, if under the power to "punish," any member of the Legislature, including an appointive member, may be in effect removed, then an elective member may be removed by a majority vote only thus encroaching upon the power of the executive department of the government, as well as violating the powers conferred upon the Legislature, because the Legislature cannot remove an elective member except by two-thirds majority.

It is strenuously argued by the respondent that the resolution depriving the petitioner "of all his prerogatives, privileges, and emoluments for the period of one year" is not a removal from his office but a mere suspension. The resolution does not use the word "suspend" but does use the word "deprive." It provides that the petitioner is "deprived" of all his prerogatives, etc., for a period of one year. If that word means anything it means that all of the prerogatives, privileges, and emoluments of the petitioner and the citizens whom he represents have been taken from him and them. His prerogatives, privileges, and emoluments constitute his right to be a member of the Senate under his appointment, his right to represent the people of his district, and his right to exercise all the duties and to assume all the responsibilities pertaining to his office. His emoluments constitute his right to receive his salary and the benefits pertaining to his office as a senator. If a value can be placed upon his prerogatives, privileges, and emoluments, and if he has been deprived of them, then it must follow that they have been removed from him, or that he has been removed from them. At any rate, the resolution has separated the petitioner and the people whom he represents and deprived them of all of their prerogatives, privileges, and emoluments for the period of one year; and, for all intents and purposes, he and the people whom he represents, have been deprived of their prerogatives, privileges, and emoluments, and in effect, have been removed from any participation in the legislative affairs of the government.

A great many cases have been studied on the question of removal and suspension, and we are confident in the assertion that the power to punish does not include the power to remove or suspend. A suspension from an office or a deprivation of the rights of an officer of all his prerogatives, privileges, and emoluments, is in effect a deprivation or a removal from office for the time mentioned in the order of suspension. It has been held that a suspension from office for an indefinite time and lasting for a period of six months, lost its temporary character, ceased to be a suspension, and in effect became a removal from such office. It was held, in the case of State vs. Chamber of Commerce, that the suspension of a member was a qualified expulsion, and that whether it was called a suspension or expulsion or removal, it in effect disfranchised the person suspended. In the case of Metsker vs. Nelly, it was held that a suspension or a deprivation for either a definite or indefinite period is in effect a removal. In the case of Gregory vs. New York, it was held that the power to remove an officer or punish him does not include the power to suspend him temporarily from his office. A mere suspension would not create a vacancy, and the anomalous and unfortunate condition would exist of an office, an officer, but no vacancy, and of no one whose right and duty it was to execute the office. In the case of Commonwealth vs. Barry, it was decided that to punish an officer for "disorderly behavior" such misbehavior must be such as affects the performance of his duties or the legal or ordinary procedure of the body of which he is a member, and not disorderly behavior which affects his character as a private individual.

In this connection it may be noted that the alleged "misbehavior" on the part of the petitioner was committed outside of the legislative halls and at a time when there was no session of the Senate; that said alleged "misbehavior" did not take place in or near the Senate chamber, nor cause any disorder, disturbance, annoyance, or impediment whatever to the orderly and dignified procedure of any session of the Senate; that said "misbehavior" did not interfere in any manner whatever with the honor, dignity, and efficiency, nor with the orderly proceedings of the Senate; that the petitioner did not know, at the time of the alleged "misbehavior," that he had been admitted as a member of the Philippine Senate. The question of his admission as a senator had been under discussion for weeks theretofore.

Paragraph 2 of section 5 of the Constitution of the United States provides that "each house may determined the rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel a member." That provision of the Constitution of the United States is exactly the language used in section 18 of the Jones Law, with the only difference that the phrase "expel a member" in the Constitution is changed in the Jones Law to "expel and elective member." That provision of the Constitution of the United States has been enforced for a period of about one hundred forty years. It will be noted that said provision of the Constitution of the United States contains two provisions: (a) to punish and (b) to expel.

An examination of the long history of the Congress of the United States has been made for the purpose of ascertaining how that august body has interpreted its powers under said provisions. First, it may be said that the Congress of the United States is perhaps as dignified a legislative body as that of any of the states or territories of the United States. Its records have been searched upon the question of its power to punish and remove its members, and no case has been found and it is believed there are none where Congress, under its power to punish, has attempted to deprive a member of all his rights, prerogatives, privileges, and emoluments for anytime whatever, although many cases of removal have been found under that power to remove. The power to punish for disorderly behavior has never been exercised further than to impose a mere reprimand. We regard the fact that the Congress of the United States has never exercised its power, to punish for disorderly behavior, by depriving a member of all of his rights, prerogatives, privileges, and emoluments, as strong proof that it did not believe that its power to punish justified an order or resolution depriving a member of all of his rights, prerogatives, privileges, and emoluments. Many cases might be cited showing misbehavior of much more serious character than that charged against the petitioner and where a reprimand only was imposed.

SECOND. Jurisdiction to consider question.

Whether or not the courts will take jurisdiction of any action whatever to interfere with, direct or control the action of either the executive or legislative departments of the government, is a question which has been presented to the courts many times since the leading case of Marbury vs. Madison was decided ([1803], 1 Cranch, [U. S.]., 137). In hundreds of cases which have come before the courts since that time, the decisions have been about equally divided. One line of decisions indicates that the courts will never take jurisdiction to control, order, or direct either the executive or legislative departments of the government to perform or not to perform any particular act expressly imposed upon or confined to them either by the organic act or by statute. (Mississippi vs. Johnson and Ord, 4 Wall. [U. S.], 475; Sutherland vs. Governor, 29 Mich., 320; Hawkins vs. Governor, 1 Ark., 570; People vs. Bissell, 19 Ill., 229; State vs. Governor, 22 La. Ann., 1; Rice vs. Governor, 27 Minn., 1; Vicksburg & Co. vs. Governor, 61 Miss., 102.)

The other line of decisions hold that the courts will take jurisdiction to control, order and direct both the executive and legislative departments of the government to do and to perform what are generally termed purely ministerial duties imposed by either the organic act or by statute. (Tennessee & Railway Co. vs. Governor, 36 Ala., 371; Middleton vs. Governor, 30 Cal., 596; State vs. Governor, 72 Ind., 567; State vs. Governor, 5 Ohio State, 528.)

It is here confidently asserted that a careful study of the first line of decisions will show, that each case might have been decided upon the ground that the duty, the performance of which was sought to be coerced, was one which was either a discretionary or official duty of the respondent, and that the doctrine relied upon, as announced in said cases, was purely obiter dicta; that each of the first line of cases might have been decided upon the ground that the performance of the particular acts was entirely within the discretion or official duty of the respondent and a question confided solely to them.

From an examination of all of the cases upon the question before us, the following rule of law is accepted as the general rule:

"That the executive, legislative, and judicial departments of the government are distinct and independent, and neither is responsible to the other for the performance of its duties, and neither can enforce the performance of the duties of the other." Exceptions or modifications of this general rule will be noted later.

After a careful study of all the cases on the subject, we are of the opinion that a fair summary of the power of the courts in the premises may be stated under two heads as follows:

First. That the courts have jurisdiction to examine acts "actually" taken by the executive or legislative departments of the government when such acts affect the rights, privileges, property, or lives of individuals.

Second. That the courts will not take jurisdiction to order, coerce, or enjoin any act or acts of either the executive or legislative departments of the government upon any question or questions, the performance of which is confided by law to said departments. The courts will not take jurisdiction until some positive "action" is taken by the other coordinate departments of the government.

With reference to the first proposition, we desire to say that, while the courts hesitate, and rightfully so, to inquire into the legality of the acts of the executive or legislative departments of government, yet they are without discretion in the premises in cases where it is alleged that a person is illegally deprived of his life, liberty, or property by said departments. The law makes no distinction with reference to the person or persons, or departments or bureaus who are responsible for the illegal and unlawful deprivation of the right of individuals in the state. The mere fact that such alleged illegal deprivation of life, liberty or property is caused by the chief executive or the legislative department of the government, in the face of mandatory provisions of the law, is no sufficient excuse or justification for a refusal on the part of the courts to take jurisdiction for the purpose of inquiring into such alleged illegal deprivation and to make pronouncement thereon. Under the system of checks and balances, by virtue of the existence of the different departments of the government, in the Government of the United States and its territories, it becomes the legal and bounded duty of the courts to inquire into the legality, when called upon so to do, of the acts of either of the other departments of the government and to make pronouncements thereon. (Barcelon vs. Baker and Thompson, 5 Phil., 87; Forbes vs. Chuoco Tiaco and Crossfield, 16 Phil., 534 [228 U. S., 549]; In re McCulloch Dick, 38 Phil., 41, 211 224; Borromeo vs. Mariano, 41 Phil., 322; U. S. vs. Joson, 26 Phil., 1, 65; U. S. vs. Ten Yu, 24 Phil., 1, 10; Case vs. Board of Health and Heiser, 24 Phil., 250, 276; U. S. vs. Gomez Jesus, 31 Phil., 218.)

There is no more sacred duty of the courts, when a case is presented to them in which the life, liberty, or property of the citizens of the state are involved, than that of maintaining, unimpaired, those securities for the personal rights of the individuals of the state which have been guaranteed to them by the organic law of the land and which have received for ages the sanction of the jurists and the statesmen of the civilized nations of the world. In such cases no narrow or illiberal construction should be given to the language of the fundamental law of the state. (Ex parte Lang, 85 U. S., 163.)

Since the Constitution of the Philippine Islands is intended for the observance of the judiciary as well as the other departments of the government, and the judges are sworn to support its provisions, they are not liberty to overlook or disregard its command, and therefore when it is clear that a statute or resolution of the Legislature transgresses the authority vested by the Constitution in the Legislature, it is the duty of the courts to declare the acts or resolutions unconstitutional, and from that duty the courts cannot shrink without violating their oath of office. (United States vs. Fisher, 2 Cranch [U. S.], 396; Darmouth College vs. Woodward, 4 Wheaton [U. S.], 518; Green vs. Biddle, 8 Wheaton [U. S.], 1.)

The duty of the courts to declare a law or resolution unconstitutional, in a proper case, cannot be declined and must be performed in accordance with the deliberate judgment of the court. (Pollock vs. Farmer's Loan & Trust Co., 157 U. S., 429.) Since the question as to the constitutionality of a statute or resolution of the legislature is a judicial matter, the courts will not decline to exercise jurisdiction upon the mere suggestion that some action might be taken by the political agencies of the government in disregard of the judgment of the court. (McPherson vs. Blacker, 146 U. S., 869.)

The doctrine of the all omnipotent power of the legislature as recognized by the Government of England, does not prevail in the United States, and every law or resolution adopted by the legislative department of the government must conform to the constitution. When a statute or a resolution of the legislative department exceeds the jurisdiction and powers of the legislature, it is null and void.

The principle which permits courts to pronounce an act or resolution of the legislature null and void, because it conflicts with the provisions of the constitution, is a doctrine so well established under constitutional governments that it seems really unnecessary to discuss it here. It has been declared in many cases that the power of the court to make pronouncements upon the legality of acts or resolutions of the legislative department, is the strongest barrier ever devised against the tyrannies of political assemblies. The right to construe the constitution and to apply it to particular laws or resolution of the legislature must necessarily be lodged in some department of the government to insure that practical sanction to its mandates which are essential for the preservation of their validity and force and the perpetuation of stable and orderly government. The duty of the court to maintain the constitution as the fundamental law of the state and to permit no one to transgress its provisions, is imperative. Whenever a statute is in violation of the fundamental law, it is the sworn duty of the courts so to adjudge. Any other course would lead to the destruction of the fundamental law of the state. It has been said by eminent jurists and authorities that the judiciary should protect the rights of the people with great care and jealousy, not only because it is its sworn duty, but also because in times of great popular excitement the courts are the last resort. (Gardner vs. Stephens, 2 Am. Rep., 700; State vs. Peel Splint Co., 17 L. R. A., 385; Rathbone vs. Wirth, 34 L. R. A., 408; Wells vs. Mo. Railway Co., 15 L. R. A., 847; State vs. Butler, 24 L. R. A., [N. S.], 744; Sanders vs. Commonwealth, 111 Am. State Rep., 219; State vs. Miller, 87 Ohio State, 12; Miller vs. Johnson, 15 L. R. A., 524.)

The right and power of the courts to declare whether enactments of the legislature exceed the constitutional limitations and are invalid, has always been considered a grave responsibility as well as a solemn duty, and its exercise is, at all times, a matter of much delicacy, for, apart from the necessity of avoiding conflicts between coordinate branches of the government, it is often difficult to determine whether such enactments are within the powers granted to or possessed by the legislature. It has also been said that the power of the courts to nullify acts of the legislature, as being in violation of the constitution, is one of the highest functions and authorities of the courts. (Nichol vs. Ames, 173 U. S., 509; People vs. Henning Co., 260 Ill., 554; Edwards vs. Lesueur, 31 L. R. A., 815.)

The courts have no jurisdiction in matters of a purely political nature which have been confided to the executive or legislative department of the government, nor the power to interfere with the duties of either of said departments, unless under special circumstances and when it becomes necessary for the protection of the rights, the life and the property of the individuals of the state. (In re Sawyer, 124 U. S., 200; Luther vs. Borden, 7 Howard [U. S.], 1; Mississippi vs. Johnson and Ord, 4 Wall. [U. S.], 475.)

The jurisdiction of the courts over the acts of either of the other departments is limited to cases where the acts of such departments tend to deprive the citizens of their rights, liberties, and property. To assume jurisdiction to control the exercise of purely political rights, would be to invade the domain of the other departments of the government. (Fletcher vs. Tutle, 151 Ill., 41.)

We do not desire to be understood, however, as holding that even political rights are not a matter of judicial solicitude and protection and that the appropriate judicial tribunal will not, in a proper case, give a prompt and efficient protection to citizens. (Muskrat vs. United States, 219 U. S., 346.)

In the case of Burnham vs. Morrissey (14 Gray [Mass.], 226), Mr. Justice Hoar, later a United States Senator, said: "The house of representatives is not the final judge of its own powers and privileges in cases in which the rights and liberties of the subject are concerned; but the legality of its action may be examined and determined by this court. . . . Especially is it competent and proper for this court to consider whether its (legislature's) proceedings are in conformity with the constitution and laws, because, living under a written constitution no branch or department of the department is supreme; and it is the province and duty of the judicial department to determine, in cases regularly brought before them, whether the powers of any branch of the government and even those of the legislature in the enactment of laws (or resolutions), have been exercised in conformity with the constitution; and if they have not been, to treat their acts as null and void.

The house of representatives has the power, under the constitution, to imprison for contempt; but this power is limited to cases expressly provided for by the constitution, or to cases where the power is necessarily implied from those constitutional functions and duties, to the proper performance of which it is essential. . . .

The doctrine of the omnipotence of either the executive or legislative department of government has long since been denied, and has no place under the American flag.

Of course, when a discretionary power is conferred, with the right to act or not to act, and when the discretion is honestly exercised and not abused, then the official or department is relieved from personal responsibility; but when action is taken, and an individual of the state is thereby deprived, illegally, of his life, liberty or property, his remedy to be restored to his rights is properly submitted to the courts. In every case where the courts are called upon to exercise their original jurisdiction to question the illegality of action already taken by the legislative or executive department of the government, they will not do so upon a mere formal or colorable showing either as to the parties or subject-matter. The courts will look through the form to the real character or substance of the alleged illegal act. (Wisconsin vs. Insurance Co., 127 U. S., 265; Louisiana vs. Texas, 176 U. S., 1; Oklahoma vs. Railway Co., 220 U. S., 277.)

A statute or a resolution of the legislative department of the government which deprives a citizen of the rights guaranteed to him by the Organic Law of the land is null and void. (Harrison vs. Railway Co., 232 U. S., 318; Terral vs. Burke & Co., 257 U. S., 529.)

Decision of the highest courts, without number, may be cited in support of the rule "that all governmental officers, departments or agencies are subject to judicial restraint when they act in excess of their authority either statutory or constitutional, by virtue of which citizens are deprived of their rights." (Osborn vs. U. S. Bank, 9 Wheaton [U. S.], 739; Board of Liquidation vs. McComb, 92 U. S., 531; United States vs. Lee, 106 U. S., 196; Virginia Cases, 114 U. S., 311; Regan vs. Farmers & Co., 154 U. S., 362; Smith vs. Ames, 169 U. S., 466; Ex parte Young, 209 U. S., 123; Philadelphia Co. vs. Stimson, 223 U. S., 605.)

CHECKS AND BALANCES

The three great departments of the government the executive, legislative, and judicial were created for the purpose of "checks and balances." Under the Organic Law of the Philippine Islands the executive power of the states is conferred upon the Governor-General. The legislative power is vested in the Senate and House of Representatives. The judicial power is vested in the courts. The three great branches of the government are separate and distinct, but are coequal and coordinate. Their powers have been carefully apportioned. The legislature makes the laws, the courts construe them and adjudge as to the rights of persons to life, liberty, and property thereunder, while the executive department executes the laws and the judgments of the courts. Each department, in its own sphere, is in a sense independent. Each operates as a check or restraint upon the other. The Acts of the legislative department have to be presented to the executive department for its approval. The executive department may disapprove the Acts of the legislature if in its judgment they are not in conformity with the organic law of the state or if in their enforcement they might work a hardship upon the people. The judicial department is authorized to construe and interpret the Acts of the legislature. The judicial department is authorized to determine the validity of the Acts of the legislature under the constitution. The executive department may also set aside the judgments of the judicial department and modify the action of the courts by the interposition of its pardoning power. The legislative department may also recall, modify, or annul decisions of the courts if in its judgment the interpretation given to a law by the courts is not in harmony with the general policy of the state, by the enactment of a new law or by an amendment of the old, giving its such a nondisputed meaning and interpretation as to clearly wipe out the decisions of the judicial department.

Thus, we have the checks and balances known under the American form of government. But in every case in which one department controls, modifies, or influences the action of another, it acts strictly within its own sphere, thus giving no occasion for conflict and thus preserving the purpose of the original scheme of a division of powers among the three great coordinate branches of government, each operating as a restraint upon the other, but still in harmony.

By the use of the power of veto and or pardoning, the executive department may annul and set aside absolutely the action of both the legislative and judicial departments. The legislative department may, by adopting a new law or by amendment or by passing a law over the veto of the executive department, annul, recall, and set aside the action of both the executive and judicial departments. But it must be observed that when the judicial department inquires into an act of either the executive or legislative departments for the purpose or determining the legality of such acts, it is not because it desires to impose its own opinions upon such departments nor to examine into the wisdom or advisability of a particular act or statute, but simply because said departments have acted in a way which is forbidden by the fundamental law of the land and because the will of the people, as declared in such fundamental law, is paramount and must be obeyed even by the legislative and executive departments. In pronouncing a statute of the legislature illegal or an act of the executive department beyond its powers, the courts are simply interpreting the meaning, force and application o the fundamental law of the state.

If the doctrine that the different departments executive, legislative and judicial are absolutely independent and one can never interfere to control or restrain, modify or annul, the action of the other, then the very purpose of the organization of the three departments for "checks and balances" would be defeated. (Case vs. Board of Health and Heiser, 24 Phil., 250; U. S. vs. Joson, 26 Phil., 1, 64; U. S. vs. Gomez Jesus, 31 Phil., 218, 225, 228; Tajanlangit vs. Peñaranda, 37 Phil., 155; Central Capiz vs. Ramirez, 40 Phil., 883, 899; Severino vs. Governor-General and Provincial Board of Occidental Negros, 16 Phil., 366; U. S. vs. Bull., 15 Phil., 7; Borromeo vs. Mariano, 41 Phil., 322; Concepcion vs. Paredes, 42 Phil., 599; Marbury vs. Madison, 1 Cranch [U. S.], 137, 152, 170, 172.)

The following are among the leading cases in which the courts have taken jurisdiction for the purpose of determining the legality or illegality of acts, or orders or resolutions of the executive and legislative departments:

First. Acts of the Executive Department of the Government

(a) Barcelon vs. Baker and Thompson (5 Phil., 87), where the action of the Governor-General was pronounced legal;

(b) Forbes vs. Chuoco Tiaco and Crossfield (16 Phil., 534; 228 U. S., 549) where the action of the Governor-General was pronounced legal;

(c) In re McCulloch Dick (38 Phil., 41, 62, 63, 109, 211, 244), where the action of the Governor-General was pronounced legal;

(d) Borromeo vs. Mariano (41 Phil., 322), where the action of the Governor-General was pronounced illegal.

Second. Acts of the Legislative Department of the Government

(a) Concepcion vs. Paredes (42 Phil., 599), where the act of the legislative department was pronounced illegal;

(b) Kilbourn vs. Thompson (103 U. S., 168, 181, 199), where the act of the one branch of the Congress of the United States was held illegal.

Referring to the second "Summary of the Powers of the Courts" above, it may be said that in this jurisdiction the doctrine is now well established, that, until the executive or legislative department has taken some steps or has acted upon some question, the courts will neither undertake to compel action nor to restrain action in said departments. It is only when said departments have acted and their acts detrimentally affect the interest of the citizen, that the courts will inquire into the legality or constitutionality of such acts. (Barcelon vs. Baker and Thompson, 5 Phil., 87; Forbes vs. Chuoco Tiaco and Crossfield, 16 Phil., 534; Borromeo vs. Mariano, 41 Phil., 322; Perfecto vs. Wood, R. G. No. 208671; Abueva vs. Wood, 45 Phil., 612.)

The judicial department of the government will not attempt to intervene or control or direct or command any action whatever upon any subject which has been specifically confided by law to the other departments, until they have taken some action which tends to and does establish some theory or policy contrary to the organic law of the land, or has deprived some citizen of his life, liberty, property, or privilege granted to him by the organic law. Under such facts, the judicial department is, under the law, bound to take jurisdiction and to make pronouncements thereon. In such cases it becomes the legal and bounden duty of the courts to inquire into the legality or illegality of the acts of the other departments of the government and to declare what the law is and what the rights of the parties are. When such a case is presented to the courts, its responsibility to the people of the state, under the law, demands that a thorough investigation of the facts be made and of the rights of the parties under the law, and to make a pronouncement, without reference to the fact whether or not the court have the proper machinery for the purpose of enforcing their conclusions and judgments.

The following are among the cases holding that the courts will not intervene for the purpose of compelling or directing any action on the part of the executive or legislative departments of the government with reference to any duty or obligation specifically confided to said departments:

First. Acts of the Executive Department of the Government

(a) Severino vs. Governor-General and Provincial Board of Occidental Negros, 16 Phil., 366;

(b) Abueva vs. Wood, 45 Phil., 612;

(c) Sutherland vs. Governor, 29 Mich., 320;

(d) Hawkins vs. Governor, 1 Ark., 570;

(e) People vs. Bissell, 19 Ill., 229.

Second. Acts of the Legislative Department of the Government

Abueva vs. Wood, 45 Phil., 612.

In view of the foregoing arguments and citation of authorities and inasmuch as the petitioner alleges that by an act or resolution of the Senate of the Philippine Islands he has been deprived of his prerogatives, privileges, and emoluments for a period of one year, which have been granted to him by the organic law of the land, through the officers and employees of the Senate, we are of the opinion, and so decide, that under such allegations the court is not only justified, but authorized and compelled under the duties and powers conferred upon it, to take jurisdiction of the petition for the purpose of examining into the question whether or not the petitioner has been deprived of any rights granted to him under the Constitution of the Philippine Islands.

Are the facts stated in the petition and admitted by the demurrer sufficient to constitute a cause of action, and do they justify the court in taking jurisdiction of the case?

The petitioner alleges that he is a Senator of the Philippine Islands legally appointed by the Governor-General under the provisions of section 16 of the Jones Law; that by virtue of said appointment he is given all the rights of a senator, with all the prerogatives, privileges, and emoluments thereunto belonging; that he has, as such senator, the right to continue to serve the people of his district; that he has the right to be and act as a member of the Senate until removed by the Governor-General; that he has been deprived of the right to act as a senator and has been removed as such senator by the respondents and thereby deprived of a right conferred upon him by law and of all of the rights, prerogatives, privileges, and emoluments belonging to him as a citizen of the Philippine Islands and as a member of the Senate; that the citizens of his district have been deprived of their right to be represented and to participate in the affairs of their government; that unless the said resolution of the Senate be pronounced illegal, null, and void, he will be unable to exercise the rights of a citizen and a senator and to enjoy the prerogatives, privileges, and emoluments to him rightfully belonging; that by becoming a member of the Senate he has not lost his rights as a citizen; that he is still entitled to be protected in all of his rights and privileges as a citizen under the law; that the punishment imposed by said resolution is one created after the alleged grounds for suspension had occurred; that the punishment imposed is quasi-criminal; that no punishment for his acts had been prescribed as is expressly provided under the substantive law of the Philippine Islands; that the punishment provided for in said resolution of the 5th day of February, 1924, was ex post facto and is illegal and void under section 3 of the Organic Law, in that his acts were pronounced to be illegal by said resolution long after they had been committed; that the respondents were without authority of law to remove him as a member of the Senate; that the Governor-General only has the authority to remove him; that the alleged acts for which he has been suspended were not committed in or near the Senate chamber; that they in no way tended to or did interfere with the orderly procedure of the Senate and therefore cannot be regarded as "disorderly behavior;" that the Senate has no right or authority to suspend or remove one of its members for disorderly behavior unless and until such disorderly behavior tends to and does interfere with, hamper or impede the legal and orderly procedure of the body; that while it requires a two-thirds vote of the Senate to expel its elective members, he has been removed, contrary to law, by the Senate, when the Governor-General is the only authority who can remove him; that if the Senate can remove him under the power to punish, then an appointive member can be removed by a majority vote, while it requires a two-thirds majority vote to remove an elective member; and, for all of the foregoing reasons, the petitioner and the people of his district have been deprived of their rights, privileges, prerogatives, and emoluments by an actual act or resolution of the Senate, which is contrary to law, and that he is entitled to have a pronouncement of his rights made by the courts and to be restored to his rights, prerogatives, privileges, and emoluments of which he has been so illegally deprived.

The Constitution of the Philippine Islands, the Organic Act (Jones Law) provides: "That no law shall be enacted which deprives any person of life, liberty or property without due process of law, or deny to person therein the equal protection of the laws." That provision of law is equally binding upon each department of government. "Due process of law" cannot be used as a cloak for depriving a citizen of his rights when the procedure is based upon a illegal or unconstitutional act or resolution.

Under the American form of government, the executive, legislative, and judicial departments are coequal and co-important. But it does not follow that the judiciary, the constitutional duty of which is to declare and interpret the supreme law of the land, has not the power to declare a law or a resolution, passed by the legislature or either of its branches, unconstitutional. The will of the people, as expressed in their constitution, is the paramount law and controls every and each department of the government. The judiciary, under its powers to interpret the constitution and the laws, has the duty and the right to declare what the will of the people is, as expressed in the fundamental law of the land. Hence, where the acts of the executive or legislative departments violate the will of the people as expressed in the organic law of the land, it is the sworn duty of the judiciary to interpret and to declare that the will of the people and the right of a citizen has been violated and transgressed.

While the imposition of a disciplinary measure by the legislature or either branch thereof upon one of its members for an offense committed against its dignity may be regarded as a matter of internal concern only of that body, over which the other departments may not exercise jurisdiction by virtue of the separation established by the fundamental law, it does not follow that the legislature, in imposing disciplinary measure, has not or may not overstep its own powers as limited or defined by the Organic Law. The legislative department of the government cannot, under the guise of a resolution imposing disciplinary measure, transgress the constitution, and when it does, its acts cease to be a mere internal concern. Even the members of the legislature have their rights under the constitution. They have not lost the fundamental rights to their life, liberty, and privileges as citizens by becoming members of the legislative department of the government.

The argument of the respondents leads to the conclusion that under their power to punish they may impose any punishment which their wish, whim, prejudice, or caprice may dictate. That contention will hardly withstand the scrutiny of modern civilization.

The respondents defend upon the ground that they are absolutely immune from judicial inquiry; that the courts have no power or authority to inquire into the acts of the executive or legislative branches of the government, however clear it may be made to appear that such departments do not possess the power or authority exercised. The fact is evidently overlooked by them that the provision of the Jones Law above quoted is as binding upon them as it is upon any department, bureau, or person in the government. The provisions of the Jones Law, for the security of the rights of the citizen, stand in the same connection and upon the same ground as they do in regard to his liberty and his property. It cannot be denied that both were intended to be enforced by the judicial department of the government. As has been said, the writ of habeas corpus has been often used to defend the liberty of the citizen, and even his life, against the exercise of unlawful authority on the part of the executive and legislative branches of the government.

No man, individual, department, bureau, or officer in the Philippine Islands, under the Jones Law, is so high that he is above the law. No officer of the law may set that law at defiance with impunity. All officers of the government, from the highest to the lowest, are creatures of the law, and are bound to obey it. The Philippine Government is a government by law and not a government by the whim or caprice of any individual or department. It (the law) is the only supreme power in our system of government; and every man who, by accepting an office by appointment or election, participates in its function, is only the more strongly bound to that supremacy (the law) and to observe the limitations which it imposes upon the exercise of the authority which it (the law) gives. Courts of justice are established, not only to decide upon the controverted rights of the citizens as against each other, but also upon rights and controversies between them and the government, and the dockets of the courts are not without cases containing controversies of the latter class.

Shall it be said, in the face of the provisions of the Jones Law, and of the acknowledged right of the judicial department of the government to decide in proper cases, that statutes which have been passed by both branches of the Legislature and approved by the Governor-General are illegal and unconstitutional, and that said department cannot give a remedy when the citizen has been deprived of his life or property without lawful authority and without due compensation, simply because the executive or legislative department has ordered it? If that is the law in the Philippines it sanctions a tyranny which has no existence in the monarchies of Europe nor in any other government which has a just claim to a well-regulated liberty and the protection of the personal rights, privileges, life, and property of the individual.

Can it be said that the judicial department of the government can intervene in a petition for the writ of habeas corpus to relieve a citizen who has been imprisoned, illegally, and cannot take jurisdiction in proper proceedings to consider the question whether or not he has been deprived of his property even though such deprivation has been brought about by an illegal act or resolution of the Legislature, or by an order of the executive department of the government? Here again we are of the opinion that the question contains its own answer to the average citizen.

We cannot give our assent to the doctrine that the Senate or House of Representatives is the final judge of its own powers and privileges, without restraint, especially in cases in which the rights, privileges, emoluments, property, and liberties of a citizen are concerned. The legality of their action may always be examined and determined by the courts. Especially are the courts competent, and it is proper for them to consider whether the proceedings of the legislative department of the government are in conformity with the laws and the constitution of the land, because, living under a written constitution, no branch or department of the government is supreme; and it is not only the province, but the sworn duty, of the judicial department, to determine in cases regularly brought before it, whether the powers of any branch of the government, even those of the legislature in the enactment of laws or resolutions, have been exercised in conformity with the organic law of the land, if they have not, to treat such acts or resolutions as null and void.

All of the foregoing arguments are intended to apply only to cases in which some action has been taken, which illegally deprives a citizen of his rights, privileges, prerogatives, and emoluments. Nothing herein is intended to modify in the slightest degree the decisions heretofore announced in the cases of Severino vs. Governor-General and Provincial Board of Occidental Negros, Perfecto vs. Wood, and Abueva vs. Wood, above cited. In those cases the courts were called upon to require one or both of the other two coordinate departments to act in a particular way upon questions which were specially confided to those departments, while in the present case the courts are called upon to decide whether or not the action which the legislative department of the government has taken is legal and in conformity with the powers conferred by the organic law of the land. A wide distinction must be made between requiring a particular act to be done and a pronouncement upon the legality of that act after it is performed. The courts will not require the legislative department of the government to adopt a particular law, but they are authorized and empowered, and it is their sworn duty to pronounce a statute null and void after adoption if the same is found to be contrary to the provisions of the organic law of the land and beyond the powers of the legislative department. This doctrine is amply exemplified in the thousands of cases which have been brought before the courts in petitions for habeas corpus where the petitioner alleged that he has been imprisoned under an unconstitutional law and in many, many cases where men have been deprived of their rights and property by an illegal and unconstitutional act adopted by the legislature. In the first class of cases mentioned, the courts will never interfere in this jurisdiction to direct or coerce action, while in the second class of cases the courts should always take jurisdiction for the purpose of determining and making pronouncements upon the legality and constitutionality of acts actually taken.

In view of the facts and the law, we are compelled to decide that we are justified, authorized, and, under our oath of office, compelled to take jurisdiction of the petition for the purpose of ascertaining whether or not the petitioner has been deprived, illegally, of a right guaranteed to him under the Constitution and laws of the Philippine Islands. In exercising the high authority conferred upon us to pronounce valid or invalid a particular resolution or statute of the legislature, we are only the administrators of the public will as expressed in the fundamental law of the land. If an act of the legislature is to be held illegal by the courts, it is not because the judges have any control over the legislature, but because the particular statute or resolution is forbidden by the fundamental law of the land, and because the will of the people, as declared in such fundamental law, is paramount and must be obeyed by every citizen, even the Legislature. In pronouncing a statute or resolution illegal, we are simply interpreting the meaning, force, and application of the fundamental law of the state. If a particular resolution or statute of the legislature is within its constitutional power, it will be sustained, whether the courts agree or not in the wisdom of its enactment. If the resolution or statute covers a subject not authorized by the fundamental law of the land, then the courts are not only authorized but are compelled and justified in pronouncing the same illegal and void, no matter how wise or beneficient such resolution or statute may seem to be. The courts will not measure their opinion with the opinion of the legislative department, as expressed in the resolution or statute, upon the question of the wisdom, justice, and advisability of a particular law, but the wisdom, justice, and advisability of a particular law must be tested by the provisions of the fundamental law of the state. It is the sworn duty of the judicial department of the government to determine the limits, under the law and the constitution, of the authority of both the executive and legislative departments.

THIRD. May the Supreme Court grant the remedy prayed for?

In the Government of the Philippine Islands no man is so high that he is above the law. All the officers of the government, from the highest to the lowest, are creatures of the law and are bound to obey it. It cannot be said, in view of the acknowledge right of the judicial department of the government to pass upon the constitutionality of statutes or resolutions of the legislative department, that the courts cannot give a remedy to a citizen of the state when he has been illegally deprived of his life, his property, or his liberty by force, or by virtue of an unconstitutional act or resolution of the legislative department. A contrary conclusion would sanction a tyranny under the American flag, which has no existence even in the monarchies nor in any other government which has a just claim to a stable government, a well-regulated liberty, and the protection of the personal rights of individuals. Every department, every officer of the government, and every individual, are equally bound by the mandatory provisions of the fundamental law. When a citizen under the American flag has been deprived of his life, his liberty, or his property by an illegal statute or resolution, the official or department so depriving him cannot say to the courts: "Stop here, for the reason that I (we) have acted as a representative of a different department of the government."

A pronouncement, by the highest tribunal of justice in the Philippine Islands, that the resolution is ultra vires, illegal, and void, we confidently believe, will be sufficient to cause an immediate revocation of the same, and the adoption of a further order to the effect that all persons affected by it will be restored to their rights. We are confident in that belief, because we cannot believe that the resolution was adopted out of a spirit of malice, hatred, or revenge, but in the full belief that the law permitted it as a disciplinary measure. We cannot believe that the honorable senators who took part in its adoption intended to deprive any of the citizens of their county of the constitutional right. We are confident that the honorable senators recognize, as fully as the courts do, that the constitution is the supreme law of the land and is equally binding upon them as it is upon every citizen, high or low, and upon every branch, bureau, or department of the government. We are sure that the respondents will be among the very first to openly criticize and vigorously denounce any person, entity, or department within the Philippine Islands, who should be guilty of the slightest disregard or disobedience to the mandates of the constitution the law of the people.

The majority opinion decides that the petitioner and the people whom he represents have been illegally deprived of their rights, but that he and they are without a remedy damnum absque injuria. To that doctrine we cannot give our assent.

The nightmare which runs through the majority opinion concerning the impossibility of the execution of a judgment, is hardly justified in a stable and well-organized government, among a people who love peace and good order, who despise disobedience to law and disloyalty to the constituted authorities. The history of the Filipino people shows that they love peace, good order, and will, with a spirit of alacrity, obey the law when they once understand what the law is. We rest in the confident faith that spirit still controls in the Philippine Islands. The remedy prayed for should be granted in a modified form.

RESUME

1. The Organic Law (Jones Law) prohibits the removal of an appointive senator by the Legislature.

2. The said resolution has the effect of a removal of an appointive senator.

3. The resolution, therefore, is invalid, illegal, and void, according to the unanimous opinion of the court.

4. The legislative power and procedure of the Senate must be exercised in conformity with the Organic Law.

5. The courts have jurisdiction to inquire into the legality or constitutionality of a law or resolution of the legislative department, whenever a citizen alleges that he has been deprived of his rights under such law or resolution.

6. The courts of the Philippine Islands have jurisdiction to determine the constitutionality of acts or resolutions or procedure of the Senate.

7. The petition and demurrer present the question of the constitutionality of said resolution, as well as the constitutional power of the Senate to adopt it.

8. The Supreme Court of the Philippine Islands, having jurisdiction, its decree or order should afford relief from the effect of said illegal resolution.

Therefore, the enforcement of the said illegal and void resolution should be enjoined.

OSTRAND, J., dissenting:

With much of what is said in the majority opinion I am in entire accord. I agree that the Senate in suspending the petitioner, declaring his pay forfeited and depriving his senatorial district of the representation granted by the Organic Act, exceeds its powers and jurisdiction. I also concede that the courts will not, by mandamus or other writs, attempt to control the exercise by the other departments of the government of discretional or executive powers or duties conferred upon them by the constitution or by constitutional statutes. I further concede that the courts will not interfere with acts of another department when such acts are of a purely political and non-justiciable character.

But when the court holds, as it in effects does in this case, that because the respondents are members of officers of another department the courts have no power to restrain or prohibit them from carrying into effect an unconstitutional and therefore void act of that department, an act wholly outside of its province, and which deprives a citizen of rights and privileges to which he, by law, is entitled, I find myself unable to follow its reasoning or to yield my assent to its conclusions.

Before entering upon a more extended discussion of the issues in the case, it may be well to emphasize that there is here no question as to the power of the Philippine Senate to punish its members for disorderly behavior. That is conceded. But I contend that the court may intervene to prevent the execution of the penalty imposed if such penalty transcends the domain of the Legislature and encroaches upon that of the Chief Executive in direct violation of the Organic Act. I shall also maintain that the assertion in the majority opinion to the effect that this, in substance, is an action against the Senate as a body, is erroneous.

The fundamental error into which the court has fallen is that it has failed to note the distinction between acts within the province of a department and those outside thereof; it confuses entire absence of power with the alleged improper exercise of legitimate powers. This distinction is obvious and very important. Where a power or duty has been entrusted to the Chief Executive by the Organic Act, this court will not, under the rule laid down in the case of Severino vs. Governor-General and Provincial Board of Occidental Negros (16 Phil., 366), attempt to control or direct the exercise by him of that power or duty; he is presumed to be the best judge of the time and the manner of its exercise. For the same reason, the court will not undertake to direct the exercise of the discretional powers of the legislative department within its legitimate sphere. But it must necessarily be otherwise where either department steps outside of its province and arrogates to itself any of the constitutional powers of the other. The doctrine of non-interference by the judiciary with the other departments of the government rests primarily on the ground that each department is presumed to possess special qualifications and opportunities for the exercise of the powers entrusted to it by the constitution. It follows that the doctrine does not apply to cases where a department goes beyond its legitimate sphere. This is, indeed, the first time any court has ever held that in such cases there may be no judicial interference. (Bailey on Mandamus, p. 926.)

That the court has overlooked this distinction is very apparent from the fact that in all of the cases cited in support of its conclusion, the acts complained of were within the province of the respondents and that in none of them is there any question of the encroachment by one department upon the domain of another. It is very true that in some of the cases dicta are to be found which, taken by themselves alone and without reference to the context, may, at first sight, lead to the inference that the separation of the various departments of the government is so complete that the courts, under no circumstances, will review any act of the Legislature or the Executive, irrespective of its character, but when the cases where such dicta occur are closely examined, this impression disappears and it becomes obvious that the dicta have no reference to acts of clear usurpation of powers.

Five of the cases cited relate to judicial review of the exercise of the legislative powers. In the first of these cases, Hiss vs. Bartlett ([1853], 69 Mass., 468), a habeas corpus proceeding, it was held that the House of Representatives of Massachusetts had the implied power to expel a member and that the reasons for the expulsion, and the question whether a member was duly heard before being expelled, could not be inquired into by the courts.

French vs. Senate ([1905], 146 Cal., 604), was a proceeding in mandamus. The Constitution of the State of California expressly gives either house of the Legislature authority to expel members by a two-thirds majority vote. The petitioners had been so expelled from the Senate but alleged that it had been done without due process of law and therefore asked that the Senate be compelled to again admit them as members. The court denied the writ holding that the judicial department had no power "to revise even the most arbitrary and unfair action of the legislative department, or of either house thereof, taken in pursuance of the power committed exclusively to that department by the Constitution."

State vs. Bolte ([1899], 151 Mo., 362), was a suit for a writ of mandamus to compel the presiding officer and the secretary of the State Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives and its chief clerk, to take the necessary steps to complete the enactment of a certain bill, it being alleged that it had already passed both houses by a majority vote. The petition was resisted on the ground that the presiding officer of the Senate had ruled that the bill did not pass the Senate and that the court had no jurisdiction to review the ruling. The court held that the duty the performance of which it was sought to enforce was one strictly within the line of the duties of the presiding officer of the Senate and was not merely ministerial. The writ was therefore denied.

The case of Ex-parte Echols ({[1886], 89 Ala., 698), was a petition by one of the members of the State Legislature for a writ of mandamus to the Speaker of the House of Representatives to compel him to send a certain bill to the Senate. The Speaker ruled that the bill had not passed the house with the requisite majority of votes and therefore refused to certify it to the Senate. The petition was denied, the court stating that it would not "interfere with either of the coordinate departments of the government in the legitimate exercise of their jurisdiction and powers."

There is, as far as I can see, absolutely nothing in these cases which can have any direct bearing on the present case. In two of them the question before the court was the alleged abuse of constitutional powers resting in the Legislature; the other three were actions to compel the performance of duties entrusted by law to the Legislature or its officers and which were not merely ministerial. In all of them the Legislature operated within its own domain.

The other cases cited to the same point in the majority opinion are actions directed against chief executives. The two most favorable to the majority of the court are Mississippi vs. Johnson and Ord (4 Wall., 475) and Sutherland vs. Governor (29 Mich., 320). The facts of the first case are stated in the majority opinion and need not be restated here. But the portions quoted from the decision in that case should be read in connection with the following quotation from the same decision, which I think forms its real basis:

The single point which requires consideration is this: Can the President be restrained by injunction from carrying into effect an Act of Congress alleged to be unconstitutional?

It is assumed by the counsel of the State of Mississippi, that the President, in the execution of the Reconstruction Acts, is required to perform a mere ministerial duty. In this assumption there is, we think, a confounding of the terms `ministerial' and `executive,' which are by no means equivalent in import.

A ministerial duty, the performance of which may, in proper cases, be required of the head of the department, by judicial process, is one in respect to which nothing is left to discretion. It is a simple, definite duty, arising under conditions admitted or proved to exist, and imposed by law.

xxx           xxx           xxx

Very different is the duty of the President in the exercise of the power to see that the laws are faithfully executed, and among these laws the Acts named in the bill. By the first of these Acts he is required to assign generals to command in the several military districts, and to detail sufficient military force to enable such officers to discharge their duties under the law. By the supplementary Act, other duties are imposed on the several commanding generals, and these duties must necessarily be performed under the supervision of the President as Commander-in-Chief. The duty thus imposed on the President is in no just sense ministerial. It is purely executive and political.

Considering the language here quoted, it is difficult to regard the first paragraph of the quotation from the same decision in the majority opinion as anything but dictum. In any event, if it is to be taken as authority for the proposition that the United States Supreme Court may prevent officers or members of Congress from carrying into effect an unconstitutional resolution, it is definitely overruled by the decision in the case of Kilbourn vs. Thompson (103 U. S., 168), in which the court held that an action would lie against the Speaker and other officers of the House of Representatives of Congress for attempting to carry into effect an unconstitutional resolution of the house committing Kilbourn to prison for contempt. The court further held that "the House of Representatives (of Congress) is not the final judge of its own power and privileges in cases in which the rights and liberties of the subject are concerned, but the legality of its action may be examined and determined by this court."

The case of Sutherland vs. Governor, supra, is the leading case in favor of the view that all official acts of the chief executive of a State are executive as distinguished from ministerial and therefore not subject to judicial review. The case represents the extreme limit to which courts have gone in that direction and its soundness has been questioned by most authorities on the subject, but because of the high reputation of the writer of the decision, Judge Cooley, it is, nevertheless, entitled to consideration.

The case was a petition for a writ of mandamus to compel the Governor of Michigan to issue a certificate of the completion of the construction of the Portage Lake and Lake Superior Ship Canal. The statutes required the governor to issue the certificate when he should be satisfied that the work had been done in conformity with the law. The duty devolving upon the governor was therefore clearly discretional and this was recognized by the court, but Judge Cooley preferred to plant the decision on additional and broader grounds, which may best be stated in the language of the court:

. . . There is no very clear and palpable line of distinction between those duties of the governor which are political and those which are to be considered ministerial merely; and if we should undertake to draw one, and to declare that in all cases falling on one side the line the governor was subject to judicial process, and in all falling on the other he was independent of it, we should open the doors to an endless train of litigation, and the cases would be numerous in which neither the governor nor the parties would be able to determine whether his conclusion was, under the law, to be final, and the courts would be appealed to by every dissatisfied party to subject a coordinate department of the government to their jurisdiction. However desirable a power in the judiciary to interfere in such cases might seem from the standpoint of interested parties, it is manifest that harmony of action between the executive and judicial departments would be directly threatened, and that the exercise of such power could only be justified on most imperative reasons. Moreover, it is not customary in our republican government to confer upon the governor duties merely ministerial, and in the performance of which he is to be left to no discretion whatever; and the presumption in all cases must be, where a duty is devolved upon the chief executive of the State rather than upon an inferior officer, that it is so because this superior judgment, discretion, and sense of responsibility were confided in for a more accurate, faithful, and discreet performance than could be relied upon if the duty were devolved upon an officer chosen for inferior duties. And if we concede that cases may be pointed out in which it is manifest that the governor is left to no discretion, the present is certainly not among them, for here, by law, he is required to judge, on a personal inspection of the work, and must give his certificate on his own judgment, and not on that of any other person, officer, or department.

We are not disposed, however, in the present case, to attempt on any grounds to distinguish it from other cases of executive duty with a view to lay down a narrow rule which, while disposing of this motion, may leave the grave question it presents to be presented again and again in other cases which the ingenuity of counsel may be able to distinguish in some minor particulars from the one before us. If a broad general principle underlies all these cases, and requires the same decision in all, it would scarcely be respectful to the governor, or consistent with our own sense of duty, that we should seek to avoid its application and strive to decide each in succession upon some narrow and perhaps technical point peculiar to the special case, if such might be discovered.

And that there is such a broad general principle seems to us very plain. Our government is one whose powers have been carefully apportioned among three distinct departments, which emanate alike from the people, have their powers alike limited and defined by the constitution, are of equal dignity, and within their respective spheres of action equally independent. One makes the laws, another applies the laws in contested cases, while the other must see that the laws are executed. This division is accepted as a necessity in all free governments, and the very apportionment of power to one department is understood to be a prohibition of its exercise by either of the others. The executive is forbidden to exercise judicial power by the same implication which forbids the courts to take upon themselves his duties.

It is true that neither of the departments can operate in all respects independently of the others, and that what are called the checks and balances of government constitute each a restraint upon the rest. The legislature prescribes rules of action for the courts, and in many particulars may increase or diminish their jurisdiction; it also, in many cases, may prescribe rules for executive action, and impose duties upon, or take powers from the governor; while in turn the governor may veto legislative acts, and the courts may declare them void where they conflict with the constitution, notwithstanding, after having been passed by the legislature, they have received the governor's approval. But in each of these cases the action of the department which controls, modifies, or in any manner influences that of another, is had strictly within its own sphere, and for that reason gives no occasion for conflict, controversy, or jealousy. The legislature in prescribing rules for the courts, is acting within its proper province in making laws, while the courts, in declining to enforce an unconstitutional law, are in like manner acting within their proper province, because they are only applying that which is law to the controversies in which they are called upon to give judgment. It is mainly by means of these checks and balances that the officers of the several departments are kept within their jurisdiction, and if they are disregarded in any case, and power is usurped or abused, the remedy is by impeachment, and not by another department of the government attempting to correct the wrong by asserting a superior authority over that which by the constitution is its equal.

It has long been a maxim in this country that the legislature cannot dictate to the courts what their judgments shall be, or set aside or alter such judgments after they have been rendered. If it could, constitutional liberty would cease to exist; and if the legislature could in like manner override executive action also, the government would become only a despotism under popular forms. On the other hand it would be readily conceded that no court can compel the legislature to make or to refrain from making laws, or to meet or adjourn at its command, or to take any action whatsoever, though the duty to take it be made ever so clear by the constitution or the laws. In these cases the exemption of the one department from the control of the other is not only implied in the framework of government, but is indispensably necessary in any useful apportionment of power is to exist.

In view of the fact that the duty to be performed was discretional and therefore, by the concensus of judicial opinion, not subject to judicial review, the extensive discussion of other grounds for the decision lays it open to the same criticism as that frequently voiced in regard to Chief Justice Marshall's dissertation in the case of Murbury vs. Madison (1 Cranch, 137); namely, that it was unnecessary to the decision of the case and therefore in the nature of obiter dicta. It may also be noted that the courts of last resort in the States of Alabama, California, Colorado, Kansas, Maryland, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio and Wyoming have allowed writs of mandamus to the governors of their States for the performance of ministerial duties, without bringing about any of the serious consequences predicted in Sutherland vs. Governor, supra. These States seem to have fared fully as well as the States of Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesotta, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Tennessee, and Texas which, together with the Philippine Islands, have adopted the opposite view.

But taking the decision in Sutherland vs. Governor, supra, at its full face value, I am unable to see that it is determinative of the present case. I readily concede that under the decisions of this court all acts of the chief executive within the limits of his jurisdiction are executive acts involving a measure of discretion and may not be reviewed by the courts. It may also be conceded that no court can compel the legislature as such to make or refrain from making laws, or to meet or adjourn at its command, or "to take any action whatsoever though the duty to take it be made ever so clear by the constitution or the laws." But that does not mean that the courts may not restrain officers and individual members of the legislature from carrying into effect an unconstitutional resolution transcending the limits of the legislative department and encroaching upon another. If that is beyond the power of the courts, what will then become of the checks and balances of which Judge Cooley speaks and which are regarded fully as essential a feature of our system of government as that of departmental distribution of powers?

Time forbids a full discussion of other decisions of courts in the United States which adhere to the doctrine that the judiciary will not interfere with the acts of the chief executive within the limits of his jurisdiction. It is sufficient to say that they all relate to acts within the domain of the executive and that none of them has any direct application to the present case.

But we are given to understand that by reason of its own previous decisions this court stands committed to the doctrine that it has no power to interfere with any act of the other coordinate departments of the government whether they transcend the limits of their jurisdiction or not.

A brief analysis of the decisions of this court upon the subject will show that this is a misapprehension.

The first of these decisions is that in the case of Barcelon vs. Baker and Thompson (5 Phil., 87), a petition for a writ of habeas corpus. Section 5 of the Act of Congress of July 1, 1902, conferred on the Governor-General the power to suspend the writ whenever the public safety might require it in cases of rebellion, insurrection, or invasion, and the case involved the question as to whether the courts may inquire into the legality of an order of the Governor-General suspending the privilege of the writ. The court held that "whenever a statute gives discretionary power to a person to be exercised by him upon his own opinion on certain facts, such statute constitutes him the sole and exclusive judge of the existence of those facts;" and that when the Governor-General, "with the approval of the Philippine Commission declares that a state of rebellion, insurrection, or invasion exists, this declaration or conclusion is conclusive against the judicial department of the government." The writ was therefore denied.

The leading case of Severino vs. Governor-General and Provincial Board of Occidental Negros (16 Phil., 366), was a petition for a writ of mandamus to compel the Governor-General to call a special election for the purpose of electing a municipal president of the town of Silay, Occidental Negros, and to restrain the provincial board of Occidental Negros from appointing a municipal president during the pendency of the action. By statute, the duty of calling a special election devolves upon the Governor-General and the principal question presented for consideration was whether the court had power to compel the Governor-General to immediately perform such duty. The court denied the writ holding that "where a duty is devolved upon the Governor-General of the Philippine Islands, rather that upon an inferior officer, it will be presumed to have been done because his superior judgment, discretion, and sense of responsibility were confined in for a more accurate, faithful, and discreet performance than could be relied upon if the duty were put upon an officer chosen for inferior duties," and that the court would not undertake to direct or control the exercise of such duty. Incidentally, the court also stated that "the powers, duties, and responsibilities of the Governor-General of the Philippine Islands are far more comprehensive than those of State governors of the United States;" and laid down the rule that "the courts of the Philippine Islands have no jurisdiction to interfere, by means of a writ of mandamus or injunction, with the Governor-General as the head of the executive department in the performance of any of his official acts."

In the case of Forbes vs. Chuoco Tiaco and Crossfield (16 Phil., 534), the facts may be briefly stated as follows:

The Governor-General deported certain Chinese persons from Manila to Amoy, China. The deportees subsequently returned to Manila and brought an action in the Court of First Instance against the Governor-General and certain police officials for damages, alleging that the deportation was unlawful. The defendants thereupon filed a petition in this court for a writ of prohibition commanding the Judge of the Court of First Instance to refrain from assuming jurisdiction in the case brought by the deportees, the petitioners alleging that "the power to deport foreign subjects of the Chinese Empire is a privative one of the Governor-General and is not subject to judicial review." This court granted the writ holding that "the Governor-General, acting in his political and executive capacity, is invested with plenary power to deport obnoxious aliens whose continued presence in the territory is found by him to be injurious to the public interest, and in the absence of express or prescribed rules as to the method of deporting or expelling them, he may use such methods as his official judgment and good conscience may dictate;" that he could not be held liable in damages for the exercise of such power and that the courts would not interfere.

Case R. G. No. 20867, Perfecto vs. Wood (not published in the reports) involved exactly the same principles as Severino vs. Governor-General and Provincial Board of Occidental Negros, supra, except that the special election was to be called for the purpose of filing a vacancy in the Senate. The majority decision, signed by four justices, denied the petition on the same grounds as those stated in the Severino case. Three justices concurred in the result on the ground that the case had then become a moot case.

The doctrine laid down in Forbes vs. Chuoco Tiaco and Crossfield, supra, was followed in the case of In re McCulloch Dick.

The case of Abueva vs. Wood (45 Phil., 612), was a petition for a writ of mandamus to compel the Governor-General, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Insular Auditor, the Executive Secretary of the Independence Committee and the Secretary of the same Committee to permit the petitioners to examine all vouchers and documents in connection with disbursements and payments made from the fund of the Independent Commission. The petition was denied, the court stating:

. . . It may be asserted as a principle founded upon the clearest legal reasoning that the legislature or legislative officers, in so far as concerns their purely legislative functions, are beyond the control of the courts by the writ of mandamus. The legislative department, being a coordinate and independent branch of the government, its action within its own sphere cannot be revised or controlled by mandamus by the judicial department, without a gross usurpation of power upon the part of the latter. When the legislative department of the government imposes upon its officers the performance of certain duties which are not prohibited by the organic law of the land, the performance, the nonperformance, or the manner of the performance is under the direct control of the legislature, and such officers are not subject to the direction of the courts. . . .

The case of Concepcion vs. Paredes (42 Phil., 599), was a petition for a writ of prohibition commanding the respondent Secretary of Justice to desist from carrying into effect the provisions of Act No. 2941 requiring the Judges of the Courts of First Instance to draw lots every five years for exchange of districts. The court held that the Act constituted an encroachment by the Legislature upon the Governor-General's power of appointment and was therefore unconstitutional. The writ was granted.

What is there in these cases which can serve as authority for the theory that the courts may not interfere with the execution of acts beyond the jurisdiction of the department sought to be restrained? Absolutely nothing. The rather broad dictum in the case of Severino vs. Governor-General and Provincial Board of Occidental Negros, supra, that the courts of the Philippine Islands have no jurisdiction to interfere with the head of the executive department in the performance of any of his official acts, must be considered in connection with the context and is clearly limited to acts within the limits of his jurisdiction.

In Abueva vs. Wood, supra, the doctrine of noninterference with the Legislature is carefully limited to "actions within its own sphere" and "duties not prohibited by the organic law of the land."

In the present case we are not dealing with an act of political and nonjusticiable character, nor is there a question of interference with the exercise of discretionary powers of duties resting in the Legislature under the Organic Act. We are simply called upon to prevent the carrying into effect of unconstitutional and therefore, in a legal sense, nonexistent parts of a resolution of one of the branches of the Legislature which, if executed, will result in an encroachment upon the domain of another department and deprive the petitioner of rights and privileges to which he is by law entitled. There is no question as to the power of the Senate to punish its members for disorderly behavior, but it must be insisted that the penalty shall not constitute a usurpation of the powers of another department of the government in violation of the Organic Act. It is agreed that as long as the penalty does not expressly or impliedly violate that Act, the courts will not interfere.

That the resolution is unconstitutional and void cannot be seriously questioned and is conceded in the majority opinion, but in order to bring the issue into clear relief, it may be well to briefly state the reasons why it must be so held:

The Senate exercises delegated powers, all of which are derived from the Organic Act. That Act provides for twenty-two senators to be elected by the people and for two other senators to be appointed by the Governor-General. In the language of the Act, the appointive senators "shall hold office until removed by the Governor-General." The Act further provides that "The Senate and House of Representatives, respectively, shall be the sole judges of the elections, returns and qualifications of their elective member." It will be observed that no power to expel or remove appointive members is conferred on the houses of the Legislature, nor can such power be inferred or implied from the statute, in view of the fact that it is expressly placed in the hands of the Governor-General. The Act does not limit or qualify the term "remove" and it therefore includes both temporary and permanent removals.

An examination of the Senate resolution in question shows that in effect it provides for a complete temporary removal of the petitioner. It does not merely exclude him from the floor of the Senate Chamber, but he is also "deprived of all his prerogatives, privileges, and emoluments as such senator," for the period of one year. As far as he is concerned, his removal from office for that period could not be made more complete. In attempting to exercise the power of such removal, the Senate clearly arrogated to itself powers which it does not possess and which, under the Organic Act, rest in the Chief Executive. Its resolution to that effect is consequent unconstitutional and void. As is the case with an unconstitutional statute, it has, in the eyes of the law, never existed.

We are therefore confronted with the facts that the petitioner is a duly appointed senate; that he, as a matter of law, is not and never has been removed or suspended from office; that he, therefore, as such senate always has been, and still is, entitled to all the prerogative, privileges, and emoluments of his office; and that, nevertheless, certain officers and members of the Senate, without any legal authority whatever, deprive him of such prerogatives, privileges, and emoluments, including his salary. The Senate has nothing to do with the appointment of an appointive senator and is not, as in the case of elective members, the judge of his qualifications; when duly appointed, the officers of the Senate are legally bound to recognize him as a senator; they have no discretion in the matter and their duties in regard thereto are purely ministerial.

In the circumstances, upon what legal principles is this court precluded from granting the petitioner the relief he demands? Why cannot, for instance, members of the Committee on Accounts and the Paymaster of the Senate be directed to cause to be paid to the petitioner the salary fixed by law?

Other courts have not hesitated to use the writ of mandamus to compel performance of similar duties by officers of the legislature. In Ex parte Pickett (24 Ala., 91), the writ was issued to the Speaker of the House of Representatives to compel him to certify to the Comptroller of Public Accounts the amount to which the petitioner was entitled as a member of the House for mileage and per diem compensation. In State vs. Elder (31 Neb., 169), the writ was issued to compel the Speaker to open and publish returns of the general election. In State vs. Moffitt (5 Ohio, 350), mandamus was held to lie to the Speaker of the House to compel him to certify the election and appointment of officers. In Wolfe vs. McCaull (76 Va., 87), the writ was issued to compel the Keeper of the Rolls of the House of Delegates to print and publish a bill passed by the Legislature and upon request to furnish a copy thereof properly certified. (See also Kilbourn vs. Thompson, 103 U. S., 168; State vs. Gilchrist, 64 Fla., 41; People vs. Marton, 156 N. Y., 136.) As stated as the outset, it is erroneously asserted in the majority opinion that this action is, in substance, a suit against the Senate as a body. This might be true if the act complained of was an act within the jurisdiction of the Senate, but such is not the case here. A practical illustration may, perhaps, make the point clear. Let us suppose that a majority of the members of the Senate should agree to commit a crime against another member and should pass a senatorial resolution to that effect. Would that, in anything but form, constitute a senatorial act? And suppose the same members should proceed to carry the resolution into effect, would not an action lie against such members and could that, in substance, be regarded as an action against the Senate? The questions answer themselves, and though in the present case the illegal act does not constitute a crime, the analogy is, nevertheless obvious; the distinction is one without a difference. As has already been pointed out, the United States Supreme Court has held that an action may, at the instances of the injured party, be maintained against the presiding officer, as well as other officers, of one of the houses of Congress for the execution of an unconstitutional resolution. In the same case it is also intimated that the action will lie against all members who take direct part in the execution of such a resolution. (Kilbourn vs. Thompson, supra.)

It may further be noted that though the prayer in the petition in this case does not expressly so state, the body of the petition shows sufficiently that the remedy to be applied may not be the same in regard to all of the defendants. The allegations seem broad enough to cover both mandamus and prohibition and the petition is not demurred to on that ground. It is also possible that if evidence were permitted some of the defendants might be absolved from the complaint.

It has been suggested that to entertain an action against a coordinate department of the government would be an unwarranted assertion of superiority on our part. I fail to see the validity of this observation. This is not a question of departmental superiority or inferiority. This court asserts no superiority for itself; it only maintains the superiority of the law to which all of us must yield obedience. The pronouncements of the court are simply the voice of the law as understood by the court and are not personal matters. Even if this action were brought against a coordinate department as a body which it is not the court would still be in duty bound to apply the law of the land to the case and do its best to enforce that law irrespective of the rank or importance of the parties.

In the course of the argument of the case it was intimated that if the writ prayed for were issued its enforcement might be the cause of disturbance and strife. The suggestion is almost an insult to the intelligence and patriotism of the defendants and I feel sure that the fear thus expressed is entirely without foundation. At least there has been no trouble of that kind in other jurisdictions where writs have issued to officers or members of the legislature. If courts perform their duties with firmless, rectitude and moderation, regardless of personal or political considerations, their decisions will be respected and their orders and writs generally obeyed. It is usually when courts fail in these respects, and thus prove unfaithful to their trust, that their orders are disregarded and trouble ensues.

The decision of the court in the present case enjoys the distinction of being without a precedent and of resting on no sound legal prejudice of which I am aware. The arguments advanced in its support are excuses and not reasons. If carried to its logical conclusion, it may have far-reaching and serious consequences. If one branch of the government may with impunity, and with freedom from judicial intervention, freely usurp the powers of another branch, it may eventually lead either to anarchy or to tyranny. A wrong has been committed for which there is no other remedy but that there sought by the petitioner, yet the court refuses to take jurisdiction on the strength of alleged precedents which, as we have seen, in reality have no bearing whatever upon the issues of the case. It is hardly necessary to say that when men are deliberately denied redress for wrongs, the temptation is strong for them to take the law into their own hands and there is perhaps no more fruitful source of popular unrest and disturbance.

I regret to see the decision find a place in our jurisprudence and can only hope that it will not be followed by this court in the future.

The demurrer to the petition should be overruled.


Footnotes

1 Promulgated January 25, 1924, not reported.


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