Bengzon vs Drilon

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Political Law – Veto Power of the President

On 15 Jan 1992, some provisions of the Special Provision for the Supreme Court and the Lower Court’s General Appropriations were vetoed by the President because a resolution by the Court providing for appropriations for retired justices has been enacted. The vetoed bill provided for the increase of the pensions of the retired justices of the Supreme Court, and the Court of Appeals as well as members of the Constitutional Commission.

ISSUE: Whether or not the veto of the President on that portion of the General Appropriations bill is constitutional.

HELD: The Justices of the Court have vested rights to the accrued pension that is due to them in accordance to Republic Act 1797. The president has no power to set aside and override the decision of the Supreme Court neither does the president have the power to enact or amend statutes promulgated by her predecessors much less to the repeal of existing laws. The veto is unconstitutional since the power of the president to disapprove any item or items in the appropriations bill does not grant the authority to veto part of an item and to approve the remaining portion of said item.

 

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