2013 Political Law Exam MCQs
[Below are the Multiple Choice Questions asked in the 2013 Bar Exams in Political Law. Answers are highlighted.]
1. The equal protection clause is violated by __________. (1%)
(A) a law prohibiting motorcycles from plying on limited access highways.
(B) a law granting Value Added Tax exemption to electric cooperatives that sells electricity to the “homeless poor.”
(C) a law providing that a policeman shall be preventively suspended until the termination of a criminal case against him.
(D) a law providing higher salaries to teachers in public schools who are “foreign hires.”
(E) a law that grants rights to local Filipino workers but denies the same rights to overseas Filipino workers.
2. Offended by the President’s remarks that the Bureau of Customs is a pit of misfits and the corrupt, the Bureau of Customs Employees Association composed of 3,000 workers seeks your legal advice on how best to protest what it views to be the President’s baseless remarks.
A prudent legal advice is that __________. (1%)
(A) employees can go on mass leave of absence for one week
(B) employees can march and rally at Mendiola every Monday
(C) employees can barricade the gates of the Port of Manila at South Harbor and call for the resignation of the incumbent Commissioner of Customs
(D) employees can wear black arm bands and pins with the word “UNFAIR” inscribed
(E) None of the above can legally be done.
3. Congress enacted Republic Act No. 1234 requiring all candidates for public offices to post an election bond equivalent to the one (1) year salary for the position for which they are candidates. The bond shall be forfeited if the candidates fail to obtain at least 10% of the votes cast.
Is Republic Act No. 1234 valid? (1%)
(A) It is valid as the bond is a means of ensuring fair, honest, peaceful and orderly elections.
(B) It is valid as the bond requirement ensures that only candidates with sufficient means and who cannot be corrupted, can runfor public office.
(C) It is invalid as the requirement effectively imposes a property qualification to run for public office.
(D) It is invalid as the amount of the surety bond is excessive and unconscionable.
(E) It is valid because it is a reasonable requirement; the Constitution itself expressly supports the accountability of public officers.
4. What is the legal effect of decisions of the International Court of Justice in cases submitted to it for resolution? (1%)
(A) The decision is binding on other countries in similar situations.
(B) The decision is not binding on any country, even the countries that are parties to the case.
(C) The decision is binding only on the parties but only with respect to that particular case.
(D) The decision is not binding on the parties and is only advisory.
(E) The binding effect on the parties depends on their submission agreement.
5. Under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, the exclusive economic zone refers to an area. (1%)
(A) that is at least 100 miles from the baselines from which the outer limit of the territorial sea is measured
(B) that is at least 200 miles but not to exceed 300 miles from the baselines from which the outer limit of the territorial sea is measured
(C) beyond and adjacent to a country’s territorial sea which cannot go beyond 200 nautical miles from the baselines from which the outer limit of the territorial sea is measured
(D) that can go beyond 3 nautical miles but cannot extend 300 nautical miles from the baselines from which the outer limit of the territorial sea is measured
(E) None of the above.
6. A child born under either the 1973 or the 1987 Constitution, whose father or mother is a Filipino citizen at the time of his birth, is __________. (1%)
(A) not a Filipino citizen as his father and mother must both be Filipino citizens at the time of his birth
(B) not a Filipino citizen if his mother is a Filipino citizen but his father is not, at the time of his birth
(C) a Filipino citizen no matter where he or she may be born
(D) a Filipino citizen provided the child is born in the Philippines
(E) a Filipino citizen if he or she so elects upon reaching the age of 21
7. Who has control of the expenditure of public funds? (1%)
(A) The Office of the President through the Department of Budget and Management.
(B) The House of Representatives from where all appropriation bills emanate.
(C) The Senate through its Committee on Finance.
(D) The Congress of the Republic of the Philippines.
(E) Both the members of Congress and the President acting jointly, if so provided by the General Appropriations Act.
8. May the power of cities to raise revenues be limited by an executive order of the President? (1%)
(A) Yes, because local government units are under the administrative control of the President through the Department of Interior and Local Government.
(B) No, because local government units now enjoy full local fiscal autonomy.
(C) No, because only limitations established by Congress can define and limit the powers of local governments.
(D) Yes, because the President has the power and authority to impose reasonable restrictions on the power of cities to raise revenues.
(E) Yes, if so provided in a city’s charter.
9. The provision under the Constitution -that any member who took no part, dissented, or inhibited from a decision or resolution must state the reason for his dissent or non-participation – applies __________. (1%)
(A) only to the Supreme Court
(B) to both the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals
(C) to the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals and the Sandiganbayan
(D) to the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, the Sandiganbayan and the Court of Tax Appeals
(E) to all collegial judicial and quasi-judicial adjudicatory bodies
10. Choose the least accurate statement about the independence guaranteed by the 1987 Constitution to the following constitutional bodies: (1%)
(A) The Constitution guarantees the COMELEC decisional and institutional independence similar to that granted to theJudiciary.
(B) All bodies labeled as “independent” by the Constitution enjoyfiscal autonomy as an attribute of their independence.
(C) Not all bodies labeled as “independent” by the Constitution were intended to be independent from the Executive branch of government.
(D) The Constitution guarantees various degrees of independence from the other branches of government when it labels bodies as “independent”.
(E) The COMELEC, the COA, and the CSC enjoy the same degree of independence.
11. At the Senate impeachment trial of Justice Pablo P. San Quintin, Hon. Emilio A. Tan, Congressman and Impeachment Panel Manager, wrote the Supreme Court requesting that the prosecutors be allowed to examine thecourt records of Stewards Association of the Philippines, Inc. (SAP!) v. Filipinas Air, et al., G.R. No. 987654, a case that is still pending. The High Court __________. (1%)
(A) may grant the request by reason of inter-departmental courtesy
(B) may grant the request as the records of the Filipinas Air case are public records
(C) should deny the request since records of cases that are pending for decision are privileged except only for pleadings, orders and resolutions that are available to the public
(D) should deny the request because it violates the Court’s independence and the doctrine of separation of powers
(E) should grant the request because of the sui generis nature of the power of impeachment, provided that the Bill of Rights is not violated
12. Mr. Sinco sued the government for damages. After trial, the court ruled in his favor and awarded damages amounting to P50 million against the government. To satisfy the judgment against the government, which valid option is available to Mr. Sinco? ( 1%)
(A) Garnish the government funds deposited at the Land Bank.
(B) File a claim with the Commission on Audit (COA) pursuant to Commonwealth Act 327, as amended by Presidential Decree1445.
(C) Make representations with the Congress to appropriate the amount to satisfy the judgment.
(D) File a petition for mandamus in court to compel Congress to appropriate P50 million to satisfy the judgment.
(E) Proceed to execute the judgment as provided by the Rules of Court because the State allowed itself to be sued.
13. Which of the following provisions of the Constitution does not confer rights that can be enforced in the courts but only provides guidelines for legislative or executive action? (l%)
(A) The maintenance of peace and order, the protection of life, liberty, and property, and promotion of the general welfare are essential for the enjoyment by all the people of the blessings of democracy.
(B) The State shall give priority to education, science and technology, arts, culture, and sports to foster patriotism and nationalism, accelerate social progress, and promote total human liberation and development.
(C) The natural and primary right and duty of parents in the rearing of the youth for civic efficiency and the development of moral character shall receive the support of the Government.
(D) The right of the people to information on matters. of public concern shall be recognized. Access to official records, and to documents and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions, or decisions, as well as to government research data used as basis for policy development, shall be afforded the citizen, subject to such limitations as may be provided by law.
(E) All the above only provide guidelines and are not self-executing.
14. The President entered into an executive agreement with Vietnam for the supply to the Philippines of animal feeds not to exceed 40,000 tons in any one year. The Association of Animal Feed Sellers of the Philippines questioned the executive agreement for being contrary to R.A. 462 which prohibits the importation of animal feeds from Asian countries. Is the challenge correct? (1%)
(A) Yes, the executive agreement is contrary to an existing domestic law.
(B) No, the President is solely in charge of foreign relations and all his actions in this role form part of the law of the land.
(C) No, international agreements are sui generis and stand independently of our domestic laws.
(D) Yes, the executive agreement is actually a treaty which does not take effect without ratification by the Senate.
(E) Yes, the challenge is correct because there is no law empowering the President to undertake the importation.
15. The separation of Church and State is most clearly violated when __________. (1%)
(A) the State funds a road project whose effect is to make a church more accessible to its adherents
(B) the State declares the birthplace of a founder of a religious sect as a national historical site
(C) the State expropriates church property in order to construct an expressway that, among others, provides easy access to the Church’s main cathedral
(D) the State gives vehicles to bishops to assist them in church-related charitable projects
(E) the State allows prayers in schools for minor children without securing the prior consent of their parents
16. Patricio was elected member of the House of Representative in the May 2010 Elections. His opponent Jose questioned Patricio’s victory before the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal and later with the Supreme Court.
In a decision promulgated in November 2011, the Court ruled in Jose’s favor; thus, Patricio was ousted from his seat in Congress. Within a year from that decision, the President can appoint Patricio __________. (1%)
(A) only as a member of the board of directors of any government owned and controlled corporation
(B) only as a deputy Ombudsman
(C) only as a Commissioner of the Civil Service Commission
(D) only as Chairman of the Commission on Elections
(E) to any position as no prohibition applies to Patricio
17. Senator GSC proposed a bill increasing excise taxes on tobacco and alcohol products. The generated incremental revenues shall be used for the universal health care program for all Filipinos and for tobacco farmers’ livelihood. After the Senate passed the bill on third reading, it was transmitted to the House of Representatives which approved the bill in toto. The President eventually signed it into law. Atty. JFC filed a petition before the Supreme Court, questioning the constitutionality of the new law.
Is the law constitutional? (1%)
(A) The law is constitutional because it is for a public purpose and has duly satisfied the three-readings-on-separate-days rule in both Houses.
(B) The law is unconstitutional because it violates the equal protection clause of the Constitution; it is limited only to alcohol and liquor products.
(C) It is constitutional because of the Enrolled Bill Theory.
(D) It is constitutional because it is valid in form and substance and complied with the required lawmaking procedures.(E) None of the above is correct.
18. Which of the following statements is correct? (1%)
(A) The President, with the concurrence of the Monetary Board, can guarantee a foreign loan on behalf of the Republic of the Philippines.
(B) Congress may, by law, provide limitations on the President’s power to contract or guarantee foreign loans on behalf of the Republic of the Philippines.
(C) In order to be valid and effective, treaties and executive agreements must be concurred in by at least two-thirds of all the Members of the Senate.
(D) The President shall, at the end of every quarter of the calendar year, submit to Congress a complete report of the loans contracted or guaranteed by the Government or government-owned and controlled corporations.
(E) All the above choices are defective in some respects.
19. Candida has been administratively charged of immorality for openly living with Manuel, a married man. Candida argues that her conjugal arrangement with Manuel fully conforms with their religious beliefs and with the teachings of their church.
In resolving whether Candida should be administratively penalized, which is the best test to apply? (1%)
(A) Clear and Present Danger Test
(B) Compelling State Interest Test
(C) Balancing of interests Test
(D) Conscientious Objector Test
(E) Dangerous Tendency Test
20. Rafael questioned the qualifications of Carlos as congressman of the Third District of Manila on the ground that Carlos is a citizen of the USA. The decision disqualifying Carlos for being a US citizen came only in March 2010, i.e., after the adjournment of the session of Congress on the 3’d year of the position’s three-year term.
What was Carlos’ status during his incumbency as congressman? (1%)
(A) He was a de jure officer, having been duly elected and proclaimed.
(B) He was not a public officer because he effectively was not entitled to be a congressman.
(C) He was a de jure officer since he completed the service of his term before he was disqualified.
(D) He was a de facto officer since he had served and was only disqualified later.
(E) He neither possesses de jure nor de facto status as such determination is pointless.
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