Philippine Constitution

The second chapter dealt on the entirety of the state which is considered to be a very important concept in the field of political science as it is branded as the basic unit of the international community and the ultimate expression of political activity among men. The third chapter was aimed at discovering the historical roots and progression of Philippine government in order to understand the complexities and changes within the bounds of local governance. This chapter will be dedicated to the discussion of the fundamentals of the so called “fundamental law of the land” which is the guiding light of the affairs of both state and government.
In addition, this will e an opening salvo to the critical study of the document as we enter the portals leading to the first two fragments of the 1987 Philippine Constitution?the Preamble and the National Territory. CONCEPT OF CONSTITUTION Creating an Equilibrium Before we delve deeper into the concept of the organic law, let us first turn our attentions to the specific field of political law that is germane to the study of the constitution itself?constitutional Law.
Constitutional Law is the study of the maintenance of the proper balance between authority as represented by the three Inherent powers of the State and liberty as guaranteed by the Bill of Relights. L Genuine liberty entails exercising It without causing any harm or Interception on the freedom of others. This Is the Ideal arrangement since by practice, people unavoidably uses liberty beyond normal control.

Hence, the state has been endowed from Its birth with the three Inherent powers namely police power, eminent domain, and taxation in order to regulate the usage of individual rights. But this does not mean that the state always has the authority to intrude on an individual’s freedom because in the context of Constitutional Law, what is being advanced is not primacy of one of the two factions but the promotion of the “co-existence” Constitution Defined Cooley describes it as the “body of rules and maxims in accordance with which the powers of sovereignty are habitually exercised. 2 It also refers to “a written instrument by which the fundamental powers of the government are established, limited, defined, and by which these powers are distributed among several departments, for their more safe and useful exercise, for the benefit of the body politic. “3 The first definition is much more extensive compared to the second one nice it covers even the unwritten constitutions like customs and traditions.
Furthermore, Cooley’s definition relates on the founding principles reflecting the aspirations of the sovereign while Miller’s include in its scope the structuring of the government wherein the several powers are distributed for the promotion of the common good. In layman’s terms, it is simply defined as the organic or supreme law of the state. Constitution vs.. Statute Constitution and statute are two terms belonging to the same world of legalities but differ in their scope and intrinsic meaning.
The disparity is demonstrated in the allowing instances: 1 . The former elaborates on general items such as policies and principles while the latter deals on more specific topics. Statutes always follow the basic rule of legislation known as “singularity of subject. ” 2. In addition, in the context of being “open to change,” the constitution (for the cases of the written, enacted and rigid) cannot be easily amended while statute is more open to change and can even be repealed easily with regards to its constitutionality. 3.
The constitution is the product of the people’s integral sovereign power in society while statute is a result of he process of legislation or law-making as practiced by the legislature. 4. Lastly, in most cases, there is only one constitution in operation but there can be several statutes that would be enforced within the bounds of the state. Discerning the Purpose The purpose of the constitution is “to prescribe the permanent framework of a system of government, to assign to the several departments their respective powers and duties, and to establish certain first principles on which the government is founded. 4 Dissecting this statement originating from American Jurisprudence, three government administering the state; 2. Next is the apportionment of the different governmental powers to the branch or department that must exercise it so as to avoid concentration of powers; and 3. Finally, to provide for the guiding principles which aid the daily affairs of the entire governmental order. Supremacy without a Doubt The constitution is the supreme law of the land.
Neither legislation nor even the highest government official exercising immense powers inside the state can question the ultimate position occupied by the organic law in the hierarchy of the political system. The legislature can make laws but such laws are limited because they must inform to the tenets and principles anchored on the constitution. In fact, the judiciary checks both legislative and executive departments by interpreting their actions as “constitutional” or “unconstitutional. ” The people, its creator, in the exercise of sovereign power may not disregard the constitutions as well.
But it must be remembered that they can institute changes if ever it is proven that the constitution does not serve or address the needs of the current situation. The supremacy scenario can also be observed in the landscape of the international community due to the fact that in cases of conflict between international law and municipal (local) law, the latter usually prevails based on the principle of par in paper non habit emporium. But there are exceptional cases wherein constitutional inferiority is demonstrated in upholding the general interests of the people. Variety Exists Constitutions around the globe are not exempted to the phenomenon dubbed as “variety. ” Gradations exist and these are categorized into three major segments: 1 . There are two kinds of constitution according to form namely written and unwritten. The differentiation does not rest on the aspect of being “written” or not because mom examples of the unwritten constitution are in fact written documents. The major distinction is based on the “organization” of the scattered pieces into one, single collection.
The written constitution is usually the organized one while the unwritten “consists of rules which have not been integrated into a single, concrete from but are scattered in various sources. “7 The 1987 Philippine Constitution is a written one while the English Constitution is an unwritten type. 2. The next one is constitution according to origin which also has two types: enacted (conventional) and evolved (cumulative). Enacted is a result of a thorough document construction normally done through a constitutional convention and is normally instituted at a definite time and place.
On the other hand, evolved is a product of continuous process of accretion or adding up as it operates from one generation to another. The present Philippine Constitution is enacted while customs and traditions would be the best example for an evolved constitution. 3. According to manner of amendment is the last category that comprises both flexible and rigid constitutions. Flexible constitutions are characterized by flexibility which implies that it can be changed by he sense that it can only be amended by a specific body and the procedure itself is quite complex and difficult.
The 1987 Philippine Constitution is rigid while the constitution of the Scandinavian state of Sweden is considered as flexible. Written Constitution: Essential Qualities Since the 1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines is a written one, it is more sensible to tackle the essential qualities of a constitution in the lexicon of the written type. 1 . Broadness refers the extensiveness of the constitution in terms of its scope and reach. Furthermore, broadness relates to the fact that the constitution “is opposed to embody the past, reflect the present and to anticipate the future. Accordingly, it must have the capability to provide answers or solutions for every contingency. 2. Brevity implies that a good written constitution must stick to the basics. It is limited in the sense that it should not be a venue for staging the details which must be addressed and expressed by reinforcing legislation. Thus, the nature of the document is to prevent the situation wherein it becomes too “chatty’ or wordy. 3. A written constitution must also be definite. This quality relates to the condition hat its provisions must be construed in a clear manner to avoid vagueness in the interpretation.
Such ambiguity may lead to “confusion and divisiveness among the people, and perhaps even physical conflict. “8 Written Constitution: Essential Parts Almost all texts dealing on the topics of constitution, law and Political Science are in agreement that there are three essential parts of a good written constitution. These are the following: 1 . The constitution of liberty which is symbolized by the presence of a Bill of Rights, elaborates the citizens’ civil and political rights as well as the imitation imposed on the side of the government in the regulation of the same.
It is found in Article Ill (Bill of Rights) of our constitution. 2. Reflected in Article VI (Legislative), VII (Executive), VIII Adjudicatory), and IX (Local Government) is the second essential part known as the constitution of government whose main feature is the outlining of the governmental structure and the respective powers that they must utilize in the conduct of administration. 3. The provisions relating to the procedures on how to institute changes in the constitution is referred to as the constitution of sovereignty. Article XVII (Amendments or Revisions) is an exemplary of this part.
Beginnings of the 1987 Philippine Constitution September 21, 1972 is the dreaded day of the proclamation of Martial Law courtesy of one of the most infamous head of state in the Philippines?Ferdinand Adrenalin Marco’s. Such declaration was fueled by the various political upheavals in the Philippine political scene at that time including insurgency movements of militant groups and the fear of a communist seizure of the duly constituted government. The Martial Law lasted for about 8 years and was only lifted in 1981. The growing year 1983; Seen. Benign “Ninny’ Aquinas, Jar. Turned from his exile in the United States and was assassinated at the Manila International Airport. Three years after such heart-breaking murder, Marco’s called for a special snap election which was centered between him and the widow of Ninny?Carbon “Core’ Aquinas. Massive cheating and electoral fraud characterized the election process in which the final tally of votes expressed the victory of the administration. Yet, even though triumph was at hand, the snap election was one of the major reasons that catapulted the People Power Revolution of 1986.
The withdrawal of the military support for the overspent through the acts of high military officials Fidel V. Ramose and Juan Pence Enrich led to the downfall of the Marco’s Administration. The world’s attention was gravitated to the Philippines in the year 1986 when “the cheapest revolution”9 in history was launched in order to overthrow the infamous regime of Ferdinand Adrenalin Marco’s. The latter was forced to go to an exile in Hawaii, United States. When Core was inaugurated as President, her administration reorganized the entire governmental order and promulgated the Freedom Constitution that abrogated the operation of the 1973 Constitution.
The “Freedom Constitution” was the precursor of the 1987 organic law. In the latter part of the same year, she ordered the formation of a Constitutional Commission through Proclamation no. 9 to draft a new constitution to legalize the new government. The regular session of the said commission was held from June 2 – October 15, 1986. It was headed by Cecilia Munson Palm, the first woman to be appointed to the Supreme Court of the Philippines, as chairman, together with Ambrosia B. Patella as vice- chairman. Napoleon G. Ram served as floor leader with Jose D.
Cauldron and Madam Domain Alonso, a Muslim legislator, as assistant floor leaders. Members of the commission came from different walks of life which encompass such prominent names as former COMELY Commissioner Rene Sacramento, former Associate Justice Florien Regarded, former Chief Justice Hilarious Divide, Jar. , Dean Emeritus of Atone Law School FRR. Joaquin G. Barnes, S. J. , award-winningly director Lion Brocks, and notable lawyer Christian Monsoon. After drafting the newly structured and designed fundamental law, the commission recommended to President Aquinas the scheduling of the plebiscite for the ratification of the proposed code.
A three-month period was given for the people to carefully study and scrutinize such. The plebiscite was scheduled on the 2nd February, 1987. During the campaign period for the ratification, Filipinos were quite apprehensiveness eventually, they approved the plebiscite. The process was a huge success with 76. 29% affirming the ratification while 22. 74% were on the contrary. The 1987 text is pretty lengthy and wordy which is composed of eighteen articles. Historical experiences have molded it into its present form and substance particularly the enormous impact of the Martial Law Era.
THE PREAMBLE A Grand Introduction A book has a preface, a thesis has an abstract, and for the case of the constitution, here is a preamble. From the Latin word “presumably” meaning “going in front”, achieved through its expression of the authors of the document and their corresponding ideals and aspirations. It must be noted that the Preamble is not a source of rights, obligations and powers for both citizenry and government side. But because it sets down the origin, scope, and purpose of the Constitution, it is useful as an aid in ascertaining the meaning of ambiguous provisions of the Constitution. 0 For a better understanding of the messages imparted by the Preamble, several distinct partitions will be created and analyzed. We, the Sovereign Filipino People. This opening phrase indicates the main authors of the Constitution. What is unique in this construction is that the first person point of view was employed through the usage of the word “we. ” This is very different form the case of the 1935 Constitution wherein the third person point of view was reflected by the less captivating description “The Filipino people. ” FRR.
Joaquin Barnes, one of the framers of the current organic document, explained that the “third person approach (1935) suggests that another power (the United States) was merely announcing that the Filipinos were anally allowed to promulgate a Constitution. “11 Hence, “The Filipino people” in the 1935 text clearly conjures the situation of the Philippines at that time being under the hands of another sovereign power and has not achieved true independence. During the euphoria of imperialism, the term “Filipino’ does not apply to the natives of the Philippines.
The Spanish colonization has founded a social stratification where natives were placed at the bottom of the social ladder while pure-blooded Spaniards (peninsular and insulates) and messiest are situated in a much higher position. These groups were regarded as Filipinos while the natives were branded as “indigos”?a moniker that signified racial discrimination. It is incredible to know that the framers of the 1973 and 1987 Constitution visualized the commonality among us; that we are one homogeneous body and truly Filipinos by heart.
Imploring the Aid of Almighty God. Len both 1935 and 1973 texts, this phrase is worded as “Imploring the guidance of the Divine Providence” as a form of respect to the the religious freedom of every person situated in the Philippine archipelago including non-believers. During the deliberations of the 1986 Constitutional Commission, it was decided that “guidance” would be replaced by “aid” since the latter is a “more all-embracing term”12 compared to the former. Divine Providence” also yielded to “Almighty God” due to the realization that the latter implies greater intimacy regarding our relationship with the Divine and is considered as “more consonant with Filipino religiosity. “13 Basically, this part of the preamble creates a remarkable picture on how we value the role of the Omnipotent as the rudder leading us to our outstanding lories and destinies in life. Build a Just and Humane Society. The state and the government being created by the people themselves must uphold and create a social order that ensures fairness and greatly values human rights and dignity.
The phrase added the notion that a constitution not merely sets up a government but is also an instrument for building the larger society of which government is merely a part. 14 Establish a Government. This phrase was carried on by both 1935 and 1973 constitutions in their respective preambles. One of the major intentions in drafting a institution is to establish a government that would regulate both internal and external affairs of the state and has complete autonomy in the eyes of the establishment of this structure: 1. Embody our Ideals and Aspirations.
This refers to the primary responsibility of the government in advancing people’s interests and not its own selfish political agendas because the powers of the same emanates from the governed per SE. 2. Promote the Common Good. “General welfare” was used in both 1935 and 1973 texts but it was agreed by the 1986 Constitutional Commission that “common good” would supplant it in the new constitution. The rationale is found in the implication of the former phrase as the greater good of the majority and not the greater good of all components of society. Thus, “good” must be common to all. 3.
Conserve and Develop Our Patrimony. “Patrimony’ is so extensive when we speak of its scope since it includes everything that is rightfully owned by the people both material (resources) and immaterial (customs and traditions) ones. The government must see to it that these valued belongings of the nation must be preserved, conserved and developed. 4. Securing the Blessings of Independence and Democracy. This particular segment is not totally similar to the 1935 Constitution because the previous organic laws preamble only mentioned “the blessing of independence” in the third person point of view.
This scenario suggests the Philippines’ status during the American occupation which is still preparing to accomplish the colossal goal of self-rule. As seen in the current version, “democracy was already inserted in order to mirror the fact that the country is already a separate and independent state observing the principles of Republicanism and Democracy. In addition, this phrase is accompanied by the word “posterity’ to stress out that the securing of the blessings of independence and democracy’ extends even up to the eras of the next generations.
Dating and Campanile also emphasized that the government established must also operate under the following conditions: 1. Under the Rule of Law. The created “medium of the state” must follow and be guided by the laws of the land. It bolsters the principle that “ours is a government of laws and not of men” which means that no person or institution is above the law. 2. Under the Regime of Truth, Justice, Freedom, Love, Equality and Peace. “Justice” and “liberty’ were enshrined in the 1935 text while peace” and “equality’ were added in the 1973 Constitution. What is new in the 1987 document is the inclusion of the words “truth” and “love. Truth was incorporated in order to impart to the readers of the Constitution how dismaying and hateful the acts committed by the previous administration (Marco’s) in plunging the public into the pool of myriad lies. On the other hand, love symbolized the successful staging of the bloodless revolution against the iron rule of a dictator. THE NATIONAL TERRITORY Territorial Jurisdiction of the Philippines Territory is one of the four elements of the state and Just like the effect of the cinematic of people, destruction of the government, and loss of sovereignty, without it, the existence of the state would be in huge peril.
Thus, it is important for a state integrity. As expounded by Article 1, the general scope of the national territory of the Republic of the Philippines includes: 1. The Philippine Archipelago. It is generally understood that the Philippine archipelago is the aggregate of the major island groupings namely Luzon, Visas, and Mindanao. An archipelago whose etymology originates from the Greek word appeals(meaning composed of several islands or groups of islands surrounded by water. Tracing the national territory provisions of the 1935 Constitution, the “Philippine archipelago’ also covers: a.
The whole Philippine territory ceded by Spain to the United States of America via the Treaty of Paris which was contracted between the two parties on the 10th of December, 1898. B. Subunit Islands and Canaan De Sulk which were clarified by the Treaty of Washington that was signed on November 7, 1900. C. Turtle and Manages Islands through the Convention between the United States of America and Great Britain whose purpose was to delimit the boundary between the Philippine archipelago and North Borneo. The said convention was signed on January 2, 1930. . Philippine Waters. “Waters” in this sense applies to all the water forms found in the entirety of the territory. Due to the nature of the Philippines as an archipelago state, the waters embracing its islands (internal waters) are also considered as vital parts of its territorial control. Moreover, the term includes the territorial sea, contiguous zone, and Exclusive Economic Zones (ZEE). 3. Other Territories. These “other territories over which the Philippines exercises sovereignty or Jurisdiction” entail the inclusion of the allowing: a.
The islands of Battles as reflected by the clause “all territory over which the present government of the Philippine Islands exercises Jurisdiction”16 in the 1935 Constitution. B. Those realms belonging to the Philippines based on historical right or legal title, such as Saba in Northern Borneo, enshrined in Article 1 of the 1973 fundamental law. On a more specific perspective, the territorial Jurisdiction of the Philippines is comprised of three kinds of domain namely: 1 .
The terrestrial domain corresponds to the Philippine landmass and land forms making up the whole archipelago such as mountains, hills, valleys, volcanoes, islands and islets, etc. Furthermore, this domain embraces the natural and mineral resources found in (floras and faunas) and below (subsoil) the land surface. 2. On the other side, fluvial domain relates to the national waters enclosed by the archipelago baseline and the expanse of water located outside of the same marker. It also incorporates the seabed, the insular shelves, and other submarine areas. A.
National waters include the water forms situated within the Philippine landmass like lakes, falls, rivers, canals, bays and treats as well as the internal waters identified by the archipelago doctrine. I. Archipelago Doctrine is a generally accepted principle in International Law that is being incorporated and can be found in the last part of the National Territory provision. It states that “the waters around, between, and connecting the islands of the archipelago, regardless of their breadth and dimensions, form part of the internal waters of the Philippines. This doctrine is usually applicable to those states whose territory is archipelago in nature such as the Philippines, Indonesia, and Japan. It solidifies the fact that in the case of archipelago states, the islands, even though separated by bodies of water, will still be treated as a “single integral geographical and political unit. “17 ii. Straight Baseline Method is the most commonly baseline method which follows the contours of the landmass, it is done by determining the outermost points of the archipelago and connecting such points with straight lines producing an irregular polygon.
The waters within the baselines shall be considered as internal waters; while the breadth of the territorial sea shall then be measured from the baselines. 18 iii. The Constitution treats the waters inside the baseline as internal waters but International Law through the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOGS) considers it as archipelago waters. In the eyes of the municipal law, no foreign vessels can enter the internal waters without the state’s consent. On the other side of the scale, International Law recognizes that foreign vessels may navigate the archipelago waters in the exercise of involuntary entrance only.
Passage is innocent as long as a ship refrains from engaging in certain prohibited activities which includes but not limited to weapons jesting, spying, smuggling, serious pollution, fishing, or scientific research. 19 Involuntary Entrance refers to emergency scenarios wherein a foreign vessel enters territorial waters by reason of lack of provisions, ship is incapable of continuing the voyage, weather disturbances, etc. B. Outside the baseline, one can find the territorial sea, the contiguous zone, the Exclusive Economic Zone (ZEE), maritime areas, and the open sea. I.
The dimensions and measurements of the first three are also determined by the UNCLOGS, an international agreement which was partaken by the Philippines as one of the signatory states. It. The territorial sea or waters is about 12 nautical miles from the baseline. The coastal state exercises full sovereignty and Jurisdiction over this area; yet foreign ships can enter it on account of the right of innocent passage and involuntary entrance. Iii. Another 12 nautical miles from the baseline of the territorial sea is the contiguous zone where territorial Jurisdiction of the coastal state is not absolute.
Even though control is limited in this area, the coastal state is still entitled to “prevent infringement of its customs, fiscal, immigration or sanitary laws and regulations within its territory or territorial sea. 20 In addition, hot pursuit can still be conducted in this zone. ‘v. Just like the previous zone, the Exclusive Economic Zone or ZEE (about 200 nautical miles from the archipelago baseline) is also not a solid component of the national territory of the Philippines.
What is significant about this area is that the coastal state has the right to explore, exploit, conserve, and manage the natural and mineral reserves as well as install structures and conduct marine scientific research within its maritime dominion. V. Maritime areas include the seabed, the subsoil beneath the seabed, and the insular shelves which are redundantly found within the areas of the territorial seas, contiguous zones and the ZEE. V’. The high seas also known as international waters or open seas are definitely beyond the Jurisdiction of the coastal state.

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