2014 (Political Law) Bar Exam Questions: Question 3

[Answer/discuss the question below. Or see 2014 bar exam Political Law Instructions; 2014 Political Law Questions: 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30; See also 2014 Bar Exam: Information, Discussions, Tips, Questions and Results]

III.

In Serrano v. Gallant Maritime Services, Inc., 582 SCRA 254 (2009), the Supreme Court declared as violative of the Equal Protection Clause the 5th paragraph of §10 R.A. No. 8042 (Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995) for discriminating against illegally dismissed OFWs who still had more than a year to their contract compared to those who only had less than a year remaining. The next year, Congress enacted R.A. No 10222, an amendment to the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act, which practically reinstated the provision struck down in Serrano.

Seamacho, an overseas seafarer who still had two years remaining on his contract when he was illegally terminated, and who would only be entitled to a maximum of six-month’s pay under the reinstated provision, engages you as his counsel. How are you to argue that the new law is invalid insofar as it brings back to the statute books a provision that has already been struck down by the Court? (5%)

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  2. The law is invalid.
    Under the Doctrine of Supremacy of the Constitution, any act which is in violation of any of the Constitutional provisions is void and does not have any legal effect.
    Since the amendment brought about by R.A. No 10222 reinstates an unconstitutional provision, it shall be deemed void.
    therefore, following the Doctrine of Supremacy of the Constitution the law shall be invalid and have no legal effect.

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