Uploaded by Angela Alfonso


GR NO 103524
April 15, 1992
On 1953 June 20, the Justices of the Supreme Court and Court of
Appeals who have served at least 20 years having attained 70 years of
age or resign by reason of incapacity to fulfill duties shall receive
retirement pensions pursuant to Republic Act 910. The same benefits
were also provided to the members of the Constitutional Commission
under RA 1568, as amended by RA 3595.
However, President Marcos, on 1975 January 25 issued PD 644
repealing 3-A of RA 1797 and RA 3595 which authorized the
adjustment of the pension of retired Justices and Officers and enlisted
members of the AFP. Automatic readjustment of pensions for retired
AFP officers was restored through the PD 1638 and 1909.
Finding that the adjustment of the retirement pensions for the officers
and enlisted men favored them while that of the retired Justices of the
SC and CA have not, Congress approved a bill for reenactment of the
repealed provisions of RA 1797 by the HB 16297 in 1990. Congress was
under the impression that PD 644 became a law after it was published in
the OG on 1977 April 7. President Aquino vetoed the House Bill 16297.
Included in the General Appropriations Bill for Fiscal Year 1992 (House
Bill 16297) are appropriations for the Judiciary intended for the payment
of the adjusted pensions rates to be received by the retired Justices of the
SC and CA. The President vetoed the provisions relevant on the grounds
that “they would erode the very foundation of our collective effort to
adhere faithfully to and enforce strictly the policy and standardization of
compensation.” Hence, the retired Justices of the SC and the CA
petitioned the constitutionality of the said veto by the President with the
assertions that the subject veto is not an item veto, the veto by the
President is a violation of the Doctrine of Separation of Powers, it
deprives the rights of the Justices to be pensioned, and it impairs the
Fiscal Autonomy guaranteed by the Constitution.
Issue: W/n the veto exercised by the President on selected provisions in
the General Appropriations Act for the Fiscal Year 1992 concerning the
adjusted pensions for retired Justices in the SC and CA is constitutional
The SC, speaking through Justice Guiterrez Jr., declared the veto
Following the Doctrine of Separation of Powers, each branch of the
government has exclusive cognizance of matters within its jurisdiction,
and is supreme within its own sphere. Included in the Executive’s
constitutionally vested power is the power to veto, which is not absolute
for the President must do so in its entirety or not at all. In the case at bar,
when the President vetoed some provisions of the 1992 General
Appropriations Act, she was actually vetoing Republic Act 1797 which
is beyond her power to accomplish since P.D. 644 never became a valid
law, placing the former effective up to the present.
Sec. 3, Art. VIII provides the fiscal autonomy provided for the Judiciary
which means freedom from outside control. It is a guarantee given by
the Constitution to the Judiciary, the Civil Service Commission, the
Commission on Audit, Commission on Elections, and the Office of the
Ombudsman in allocating and utilizing resources. To impose restrictions
similar to the veto on certain provisions is equivalent to dictating how
the Judiciary should utilize its funds would construe a conflict with the
Fiscal Autonomy.
The retired Justices, pursuant to RA 1797, are entitled to be pensioned.
The purpose of the retirement laws is to encourage competent men and
women to enter the government service. There should be no favored
misimpression specially on the fact that the Armed Forces officers and
enlisted men are tens of thousands in number compared to the Justices.
Where a judge has complied with the statutory requisite for retirement
with pay, his rights to retire and draw salary becomes vested and may
not thereafter be revoked or impaired.