Bar Question, Political Law - 2010

Bar Exam Questions in
Political and International Law

The dictatorial regime of President A of the Republic of
Gordon was toppled by a combined force led by Gen. Abe, former
royal guards and the secessionist Gordon People’s Army. The new
government constituted a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to
look into the serious crimes committed under President A’s
regime. After the hearings, the Commission recommended that an
amnesty law be passed to cover even those involved in mass
killings of members of indigenous groups who opposed President
A. International human rights groups argued that the proposed
amnesty law is contrary to international law. Decide with reasons.
Compare and contrast the jurisdiction of the International
Criminal Court and International Court of Justice. (3%)
A, a British photojournalist, was covering the violent protests
of the Thai Red-Shirts Movement in Bangkok. Despite warnings
given by the Thai Prime Minister to foreigners, specially
journalists, A moved around the Thai capital. In the course of his
coverage, he was killed with a stray bullet which was later
identified as having come from the ranks of the Red-Shirts. The
wife of A sought relief from Thai authorities but was refused
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A. Is there state responsibility on the part of Thailand? (2%)
B. What is the appropriate remedy available to the victim’s
family under international law? (3%)
Choose the statement which appropriately completes the
opening phrase:
“A State which resorts to retorsion in international law
A. must ensure that all states consent to its act.
B. cannot curtail migration from the offending state.
C. can expel the nationals of the offending state.
D. should apply proportionate response within appreciable limit.
E. None of the above.
Explain your answer. (2%)
Congresswoman A is a co-owner of an industrial estate in
Sta. Rosa, Laguna which she had declared in her Statement of
Assets and Liabilities. A member of her political party authored a
bill which would provide a 5-year development plan for all
industrial estates in the Southern Tagalog Region to attract
investors. The plan included an appropriation of 2 billion pesos for
construction of roads around the estates. When the bill finally
became law, a civil society watchdog questioned the
constitutionality of the law as it obviously benefitted
Congresswoman A’s industrial estate. Decide with reasons. (3%)
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The “Poverty Alleviation and Assistance Act” was passed to
enhance the capacity of the most marginalized families nationwide.
A financial assistance scheme called “conditional cash transfers”
was initially funded 500 million pesos by Congress. One of the
provisions of the law gave the Joint-Congressional Oversight
Committee authority to screen the list of beneficiary families
initially determined by the Secretary of Department of Social
Welfare and Development pursuant to the Department
implementing rules. Mang Pandoy, a resident of Smokey
Mountain in Tondo, questioned the authority of the Committee.
A. Does Mang Pandoy have legal standing to question the law?
B. Is the grant of authority to the Oversight Committee to screen
beneficiaries constitutional? (3%)
Decide with reasons.
True or False.
A. A proclamation of a state of emergency is sufficient to allow
the President to take over any public utility. (0.5%)
B. A treaty which provides tax exemption needs no concurrence
by a majority of all the Members of the Congress. (0.5%)
Distinguish “presidential communications privilege” from
“deliberative process privilege.” (3%)
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The League of Filipino Political Scientists (LFPS) organized
an international conference on the human rights situation in
Myanmar at the Central Luzon State University (CLSU). An
exiled Myanmar professor Sung Kui, critical of the military
government in Myanmar, was invited as keynote speaker. The
Secretary of Foreign Affairs informed the President of the regional
and national security implications of having Prof. Kui address the
conference. The President thereupon instructed the immigration
authorities to prevent the entry of Prof. Kui into Philippine
territory. The chancellor of CLSU argued that the instruction
violates the Constitution. Decide with reasons. (4%)
A, the wife of an alleged victim of enforced disappearance,
applied for the issuance of a Writ of Amparo before a Regional
Trial Court in Tarlac. Upon motion of A, the court issued
inspection and production orders addressed to the AFP Chief of
Staff to allow entry at Camp Aquino and permit the copying of
relevant documents, including the list of detainees, if any.
Accompanied by court-designated Commission on Human Rights
(CHR) lawyers, A took photographs of a suspected isolation cell
where her husband was allegedly seen being held for three days
and tortured before he finally disappeared. The CHR lawyers
requested one Lt. Valdez for a photocopy of the master plan of
Camp Aquino and to confirm in writing that he had custody of the
master plan. Lt. Valdez objected on the ground that it may violate
his right against self-incrimination. Decide with reasons. (4%)
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Which statement best completes the following phrase: (1%)
“Freedom from torture is a right
A. subject to derogation when national security is threatened.”
B. confined only during custodial investigation.”
C. which is non-derogable both during peacetime and in a
situation of armed conflict.”
D. both (a) and (b)
E. none of the above.
A witnessed two hooded men with baseball bats enter the
house of their next door neighbor B. After a few seconds, he heard
B shouting, “Huwag Pilo babayaran kita agad.” Then A saw the
two hooded men hitting B until the latter fell lifeless. The
assailants escaped using a yellow motorcycle with a fireball sticker
on it toward the direction of an exclusive village nearby. A
reported the incident to PO1 Nuval. The following day, PO1
Nuval saw the motorcycle parked in the garage of a house at Sta.
Ines Street inside the exclusive village. He inquired with the
caretaker as to who owned the motorcycle. The caretaker named
the brothers Pilo and Ramon Maradona who were then outside the
country. PO1 Nuval insisted on getting inside the garage. Out of
fear, the caretaker allowed him. PO1 Nuval took 2 ski masks and
2 bats beside the motorcycle. Was the search valid? What about
the seizure? Decide with reasons. (4%)
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True or False.
A. A valid and definite offer to buy a property is a pre-requisite
to expropriation initiated by a local government unit. (0.5%)
B. Re-classification of land by a local government unit may be
done through a resolution. (0.5%)
C. Boundary disputes between and among municipalities in the
same province may be filed immediately with the Regional
Trial Court. (0.5%)
D. The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority is
authorized to confiscate a driver’s license in the enforcement
of traffic regulations. (0.5%)
ABC operates an industrial waste processing plant within
Laoag City. Occasionally, whenever fluid substances are released
through a nearby creek, obnoxious odor is emitted causing
dizziness among residents in Barangay La Paz. On complaint of
the Punong Barangay, the City Mayor wrote ABC demanding that
it abate the nuisance. This was ignored. An invitation to attend a
hearing called by the Sangguniang Panlungsod was also declined
by the president of ABC. The city government thereupon issued a
cease and desist order to stop the operations of the plant,
prompting ABC to file a petition for injunction before the Regional
Trial Court, arguing that the city government did not have any
power to abate the alleged nuisance. Decide with reasons. (3%)
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True or False.
A. A person who occupies an office that is defectively created
is a de facto officer. (0.5%)
B. The rule on nepotism does not apply to designations made in
favor of a relative of the authority making a designation.
C. A discretionary duty of a public officer is never delegable.
D. Acquisition of civil service eligibility during tenure of a
temporary appointee does not automatically translate to a
permanent appointment. (0.5%)
Rudy Domingo, 38 years old, natural-born Filipino and a
resident of the Philippines since birth, is a Manila-based
entrepreneur who runs KABAKA, a coalition of peoples’
organizations from fisherfolk communities. KABAKA’s
operations consist of empowering fisherfolk leaders through
livelihood projects and trainings on good governance. The Dutch
Foundation for Global Initiatives, a private organization registered
in The Netherlands, receives a huge subsidy from the Dutch
Foreign Ministry, which, in turn is allocated worldwide to the
Foundation’s partners like KABAKA. Rudy seeks to register
KABAKA as a party-list with himself as a nominee of the
coalition. Will KABAKA and Rudy be qualified as a party-list and
a nominee, respectively? Decide with reasons. (4%)
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During his campaign sortie in Barangay Salamanca, Mayor
Galicia was arrested at a PNP checkpoint for carrying highpowered
firearms in his car. He was charged and convicted for
violation of the COMELEC gun ban. He did not appeal his
conviction and instead applied for executive clemency. Acting on
the favorable recommendation of the Board of Pardons and Parole,
the President granted him pardon. Is he eligible to run again for an
elective position? Explain briefly. (5%)
The House Committee on Appropriations conducted an
inquiry in aid of legislation into alleged irregular and anomalous
disbursements of the Countrywide Development Fund (CDF) and
Congressional Initiative Allocation (CIA) of Congressmen as
exposed by X, a Division Chief of the Department of Budget
and Management (DBM). Implicated in the questionable
disbursements are high officials of the Palace. The House
Committee summoned X and the DBM Secretary to appear and
testify. X refused to appear, while the Secretary appeared but
refused to testify invoking executive privilege.
A. May X be compelled to appear and testify? If yes, what
sanction may be imposed on him? (2%)
B. Is the Budget Secretary shielded by executive privilege from
responding to the inquiries of the House Committee?
Explain briefly. If the answer is no, is there any sanction that
may be imposed upon him? (3%)
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To instill religious awareness in the students of Doña
Trinidad High School, a public school in Bulacan, the Parent-
Teacher’s Association of the school contributed funds for the
construction of a grotto and a chapel where ecumenical religious
services and seminars are being held after school hours. The use
of the school grounds for these purposes was questioned by a
parent who does not belong to any religious group. As his
complaint was not addressed by the school officials, he filed an
administrative complaint against the principal before the DECS. Is
the principal liable? Explain briefly. (5%)
Define/explain the following:
A. Doctrine of operative facts (1%)
B. De facto municipal corporation (1%)
C. Municipal corporation by estoppel (1%)
D. Doctrine of necessary implication (1%)
E. Principle of holdover (1%)
The Sangguniang Panlungsod of Pasay City passed an
ordinance requiring all disco pub owners to have all their
hospitality girls tested for the AIDS virus. Both disco pub owners
and the hospitality girls assailed the validity of the ordinance for
being violative of their constitutional rights to privacy and to freely
choose a calling or business. Is the ordinance valid? Explain.
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Governor Diy was serving his third term when he lost his
governorship in a recall election.
A. Who shall succeed Governor Diy in his office as Governor?
B. Can Governor Diy run again as governor in the next election?
C. Can Governor Diy refuse to run in the recall election and
instead resign from his position as governor? (2%)
A was a career Ambassador when he accepted an ad interim
appointment as Cabinet Member. The Commission on
Appointments bypassed his ad interim appointment, however, and
he was not re-appointed. Can he re-assume his position as career
Ambassador? (5%)
Compare and contrast “overbreadth doctrine” from “void-forvagueness”
doctrine. (5%)
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A. What is the rotational scheme of appointments in the
B. What are the two conditions for its workability? (2%)
C. To what other constitutional offices does the rotational
scheme of appointments apply? (2%)
Distinguish between “pocket veto” and “item veto.” (2%)
What is the concept of association under international law?

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