Question 5, 2018 Political Law Bar Exam

V

(Question V, Political Law, 2018 Bar Exam)

State whether or not the following acts are constitutional: (2% each)

(a) A law prescribing as qualifications for appointment to any court lower than the Supreme Court, Philippine citizenship, whether natural-born or naturalized, 35 years of age on the date of appointment, and at least eight years as a member of the Philippine Bar;

(b) A law requiring all candidates for national or local elective offices to be college degree holders;

(c) The designation by the President of an acting Associate Commissioner of the Civil Service Commission;

(d) The appointment by the President as Deputy Ombudsman of a lawyer who has been engaged in the practice of law for five years; and

(e) The nomination by a national party-list of a person who is not one of its bona fide members.

Suggested Answer:

(a) The law is unconstitutional. Such a law is inconsistent with the 1987 Constitution which requires that justices and/or judges of should be natural-born citizens.

(b) The law is unconstitutional with respect to national elective offices. Such a law is inconsistent with the 1987 Constitution which does not require a college degree as a qualification to run for national elective offices.

However, for local elective offices, such law is constitutional as qualifications for these positions are provided for by Statute via the Local Government Code. Accordingly, the Legislature may pass such a law to require such additional qualification.

(c) It is unconstitutional. The 1987 Constitution prohibits appointment or designation of a Commissioner of the Civil Service Commission in a temporary or acting capacity.

(d) It is constitutional. Under the 1987 Constitution, there is no requirement for a minimum number of years for the appointment of a Deputy Ombudsman unlike the Ombudsman which must have been in the practice of law for at least ten (10) years.

(e) It is constitutional. Under jurisprudence, a national party-list may only nominate a nominee who is a bona fide member of the said party.

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(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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