(Question X-A, Political Law, 2017 Bar Exam)
Under the enrolled bill doctrine, the signing of a bill by both the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate and the certification by the secretaries of both Houses of Congress that the bill was passed on a certain date are conclusive on the bill’s due enactment. Assuming there is a conflict between the enrolled bill and the legislative journal, to the effect that the enrolled bill signed by the Senate President and eventually approved by the President turned out to be different from what the Senate actually passed as reflected in the legislative journal.
(a) May the Senate President disregard the enrolled bill doctrine and consider his signature as invalid and of no effect? (2.5%)
(b) May the President thereafter withdraw his signature? Explain your answer. (2.5%)
(a) Yes. Under jurisprudence, in one case involving the withdrawal of the signature of the Senate President in an enrolled bill which then passed into law after signing by the President, it was held to be valid resulting in the bill being not duly enacted and therefore did not become law.
(b) Yes. Under the same jurisprudence earlier mentioned, the withdrawal of the signature of the President on a bill which became a law was held to be valid resulting in the same not having passed and thus did not become a law. It was stated therein that perpetuating the error would be to sacrifice truth to fiction and bring about mischievous consequences not intended by the law-making body.
(Question X-B, Political Law, 2017 Bar Exam)
Sec. 26(2), Art. VI of the Constitution provides that no bill passed by either House of Congress shall become a law unless it has passed three readings on separate days and printed copies of it in its final form have been distributed to the Members of the House three days before its passage.
Is there an exception to the provision? Explain your answer. (3%)
Yes. Under the 1988 Constitution, the exception the three-reading rule is when the President certifies to the necessity of its immediate enactment to meet a public calamity or emergency.
(Notice: The suggested answers simulate those that a bar examinee may provide, and thus specific citations are not provided. Notwithstanding, in the reviewers, the bar exam question is answered under the appropriate topic which discusses the concepts and principles, as well as provide for specific citations. Accordingly, please refer to it on the reviewer or in the Library.)
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