ISSUE: Whether or not, in the exercise of executive power, the President may prohibit the Marcoses from returning to the Philippines.
FACTS: Former President Ferdinand E. Marcos was deposed from the presidency via the non-violent “people power” revolution and was forced into exile. Marcos, in his deathbed, has signified his wish to return to the Philippines to die. But President Corazon Aquino, considering the dire consequences to the nation of his return at a time when the stability of government is threatened from various directions and the economy is just beginning to rise and move forward, has stood firmly on the decision to bar the return of Marcos and his family. Marcos filed for a petition of mandamus and prohibition to order the respondents to issue them their travel documents and prevent the implementation of President Aquino’s decision to bar Marcos from returning in the Philippines. Petitioner questions Aquino’s power to bar his return in the country. According to the Marcoses, such act deprives them of their right to life, liberty, property without due process and equal protection of the laws. They also said that it deprives them of their right to travel which according to Section 6, Article 3 of the constitution, may only be impaired by a court order.
RATIO DECIDENDI: Separation of power dictates that each department has exclusive powers. According to Section 1, Article VII of the 1987 Philippine Constitution, “the executive power shall be vested in the President of the Philippines.” However, it does not define what is meant by “executive power” although in the same article it touches on exercise of certain powers by the President, i.e., the power of control over all executive departments, bureaus and offices, the power to execute the laws, the appointing power to grant reprieves, commutations and pardons… (art VII secfs. 14-23). Although the constitution outlines tasks of the president, this list is not defined & exclusive. She has residual & discretionary powers not stated in the Constitution which include the power to protect the general welfare of the people. She is obliged to protect the people, promote their welfare & advance national interest. (Art. II, Sec. 4-5 of the Constitution). Residual powers, according to Theodore Roosevelt, dictate that the President can do anything which is not forbidden in the Constitution (Corwin, supra at 153), inevitable to vest discretionary powers on the President (Hyman, American President) and that the president has to maintain peace during times of emergency but also on the day-to-day operation of the State.