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Angeles vs.

Gaite
Facts
1. Petitioner was given custody of her grand niece, Maria
Mercedes Vistan, to take care and provide for as she grew up.
Petitioner becae attached to such child and took care of her
as her own. Petitioner also gave the sae attention to the half!
brother of the grand niece. "he latter would seek petitioner#s
$nancial support ranging fro daily subsistence to
hospitali%ation e&penses.
'. After one incident wherein the half!brother of the grand niece,
Michael Vistan, failed to do an iportant task, the petitioner
and the Michael Vistan had a falling out. (ince no ore support
was given to the latter, he took his half!sister away. )e brought
her to di*erent provinces while asked the help of certain
individuals to islead the petitioner and the police.
+. "he police was able to apprehend Michael Vistan through a
dragnet operation.
,. "he petitioner $led a coplaint against Michael Vistan before
the -.ce of the Provincial Prosecutor in Malolos, /ulacan for
$ve counts of Violation of (ection 10 1a2, Article V3 of 4A 5610,
otherwise known as the 7hild Abuse Act, and for four counts of
Violation of (ec. 1 1e2 of P8 19':. (he likewise $led a
coplaint for ;ibel against Maria 7ristina Vistan, aunt of
Michael and Maria Mercedes.
<. "he 3nvestigating prosecutor issued a resolution to continue
with the $ling of the case. "his was however denied by the
provincial prosecutor who also issued a decision to disiss the
case. Petitioner $led a petition for review with =(>7.
"eehankee but was denied. Petitioner then $led a petition for
review with (>7 Pere% and was also denied
6. (he tried appealing to the -.ce of the President but was
disissed by such on the ground of Meorandu 7ircular ?o.
<9 which bars an appeal or a petition for review of
decisions@orders@resolutions of the (ecretary of Austice e&cept
those involving o*enses punishable by reclusion perpetua or
death
5. Petitioner went to the 7A which sustained the disissal
9. Petitioner contends that such Meo 7ircular was
unconstitutional since t diinishes the power of control of the
President and bestows upon the (ecretary of Austice, a
subordinate o.cer, alost unfettered power.
3ssue
B@? Meorandu 7ircular ?o. <9 is unconstitutional since it
diinishes the power of the PresidentC
4uling
NO, it does not diminish the power of the President
"he PresidentDs act of delegating authority to the (ecretary of
Austice by virtue of said Meorandu 7ircular is well within the purview of
the doctrine of Euali$ed political agency, long been established in our
Furisdiction.
=nder this doctrine, which priarily recogni%es the establishent of a
single e&ecutive, Gall e&ecutive and adinistrative organi%ations are
adFuncts of the >&ecutive 8epartentH the heads of the various e&ecutive
departents are assistants and agents of the 7hief >&ecutiveH and, e&cept
in cases where the 7hief >&ecutive is reEuired by the 7onstitution or law to
act in person or the e&igencies of the situation deand that he act
personally, the ultifarious e&ecutive and adinistrative functions of the
7hief >&ecutive are perfored by and through the e&ecutive departents,
and the acts of the secretaries of such departents, perfored and
proulgated in the regular course of business, are, unless disapproved or
reprobated by the 7hief >&ecutive, presuptively the acts of the 7hief
>&ecutive.G"he 7A cannot be deeed to have coitted any error in
upholding the -.ce of the PresidentDs reliance on the Meorandu
7ircular as it erely interpreted and applied the law as it should be.
Memorandum Circular No. 58, proulgated by the -.ce of the
President on Aune +0, 1::+ readsI
3n the interest of the speedy adinistration of Fustice, the
guidelines enunciated in Meorandu 7ircular ?o. 1'66 1,
?oveber 1:9+2 on the review by the -.ce of the
President of resolutions@orders@decisions issued by the
(ecretary of Austice concerning preliinary investigations
of criinal cases are reiterated and clari$ed.
No appeal from or petition for review of
decisions/orders/resolutions of the Secretary of
ustice on preliminary investi!ations of criminal
cases shall "e entertained "y the O#ce of the
President, e$cept those involvin! o%enses
punisha"le "y reclusion perpetua to death & & &.
)enceforth, if an appeal or petition for review does not
clearly fall within the Furisdiction of the -.ce of the
President, as set forth in the iediately preceding
paragraph, it shall be disissed outright & & &.
3t is Euite evident fro the foregoing that the President hiself set the
liits of his power to review decisions@orders@resolutions of the (ecretary
of Austice in order to e&pedite the disposition of cases. PetitionerDs
arguent that the Meorandu 7ircular unduly e&pands the power of the
(ecretary of Austice to the e&tent of rendering even the 7hief >&ecutive
helpless to rectify whatever errors or abuses the forer ay coit in the
e&ercise of his discretion is purely speculative to say the least. Petitioner
cannot second! guess the PresidentDs power and the PresidentDs own
Fudgent to delegate whatever it is he dees necessary to delegate in
order to achieve proper and speedy adinistration of Fustice, especially
that such delegation is upon a cabinet secretary J his own alter ego.
&'( ()*+* ,+* -.M.(,(.ONS/
Austice Aose P. ;aurel, in his ponencia in Villena, akes this clear
that
K"here are certain constitutional powers and
prerogatives of the 7hief >&ecutive of the ?ation which
ust be e&ercised by hi in person and no aount of
approval or rati$cation will validate the e&ercise of any of
those powers by any other person. (uch, for instance, is his
power to suspend the writ of habeas corpus and proclai
artial law 1par. +, sec. 11, Art. V332 and the e&ercise by
hi of the benign prerogative of ercy 1par. 6, sec. 11,
ide2.L
"hese restrictions hold true to this day as they reain ebodied in
our fundaental law. "here are certain presidential powers which arise out
of e&ceptional circustances, and if e&ercised, would involve the
suspension of fundaental freedos, or at least call for the supersedence
of e&ecutive prerogatives over those e&ercised by co!eEual branches of
governent. "he declaration of artial law, the suspension of the writ of
habeas corpus, and the e&ercise of the pardoning power, notwithstanding
the Fudicial deterination of guilt of the accused, all fall within this special
class that deands the e&clusive e&ercise by the President of the
constitutionally vested power. "he list is by no eans e&clusive, but there
ust be a showing that the e&ecutive power in Euestion is of siilar
gravitas and e&ceptional iport.
3n the case at bar, the power of the President to review the
8ecision of the (ecretary of Austice dealing with the preliinary
investigation of cases cannot be considered as falling within the sae
e&ceptional class which cannot be delegated. /esides, the President has
not fully abdicated his power of control as Meorandu 7ircular ?o. <9
allows an appeal if the iposable penalty is reclusion perpetua or higher.
7ertainly, it would be unreasonable to ipose upon the President the task
of reviewing all preliinary investigations decided by the (ecretary of
Austice. "o do so will unduly haper the other iportant duties of the
President by having to scrutini%e each and every decision of the (ecretary
of Austice notwithstanding the latter#s e&pertise in said atter.
"he 7onstitutional interpretation of the petitioner would ne!ate
the very e$istence of ca"inet positions and the respective
e$pertise which the holders thereof are accorded and would
unduly hamper the President0s e%ectivity in runnin! the
!overnment.