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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 1
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 1PRELIMINARY CONCEPTS
I. INTRODUCTION: THE CONSTITUTION,CONSTITUTIONALISM AND CONSTITUTIONALLAW
A. Political Law
1. Definition:branch of public law which deals with the organization andoperation of the government organs of the state and definesthe relations of the state with the inhabitants of its territory.(Sinco, Phil Political Law 1, 11th ed., 1962)2. Scope of Political Law (Sinco)law of public administration - deals with the organization andmanagement of the different branches of the government,constitutional law – deals with the guaranties of the constitutionto individual rights and the limitations on governmentalactionadministrative law – deals with the exercise of executive powerin the making of rules and the decision of questionsaffecting private rights andthe law of public corporations – deals with governmentalagencies for local government or for other special purposes.
B. Constitutional Law
1. Definition* As understood in American and Philippine Jurisprudence, aterm used to designate the law embodied in the constitutionand the legal principles growing out of the interpretation andapplication made by courts of the provisions of theconstitution in specific cases. xxx* A distinct branch of jurisprudence dealing w/ the legalprinciples affecting the nature, adoption, amendment, andoperation of the constitution. (Sinco 67.)
C. Constitution1. Definition
* Tanada and Fernando: "a written instrument organizing thegovernment, distributing its powers and safeguarding therights of the People."* Malcolm and Laurel: "the written instrument by which thefundamental powers of government are established, limitedand defined, and by which those powers are distributedamong the several departments for their safe and usefulexercise for the benefit of the body politic."
II. THE 1987 CONSTITUTION
A. Basis of Aquino Government1. Proclamation No. 1, 25 February 1986.
* announced the Provisional Constitution* seemed to suggest that it was a revolutionary government,since it announced that the "new government was installed,through a direct exercise of the power of the Filipino peopleassisted by units of the New Armed Forces," referring to theEDSA revolution.
2. Proclamation No. 3, March 25, 1986
* adopted the Provisional Constitution or Freedom Consti-tution* abrogated the legislative provisions of the 1973 Constitution,modified the provisions regarding the executive department,and totally reorganized the government.* provided for the calling of a Constitutional Commission,composed of 30 to 50 members appointed by the Presidentwithin 60 days.* Contents of Provisional Constitution:
Art I – Adoption of certain provision of the 1973Constitution as amended
Art II – on the President, Vice President and Cabinet
Government reorganization promoting economy,efficiency and the eradication of graft and corruption
Existing laws, treaties and contracts shall remainoperative until amended, modified or repealed
Art V – Adoption of a new Constitution (ConstitutionalCommission)
Art VI – Holding of Elections
Art VII – Effective Date
3. Adoption and Effectivitya. Art. V., Provisional Constitution
ADOPTION OF A NEW CONSTITUTIONProcessA Commission shall be appointed by the Presidentto draft a new Constitution within 60 daysfrom the date of this proclamation (Sec 1,Proclamation No. 3)New Constitution shall be presented by theCommission to the President (Sec 5,Proclamation No. 3)The President shall fix the date for the holding of aplebiscite within 60 days following itssubmission to the President (Sec 5,Proclamation No. 3)New Constitution shall become valid and effectiveupon ratification by a majority of the votes castin such plebiscite (Sec 5, Proclamation No. 3)Composition of CommissionNumber: 30-50 membersRequirements (Sec 1, Proclamation No 3)Natural-born citizenOf recognized probity, known for theirindependence, nationalism andpatriotismChosen by the President after consultationwith various sectors
b. 1987 Constitution, Art. XVIII, sec. 27.
EFFECTIVITY* This Constitution shall take effect immediately upon itsratification by a majority of the votes cast in aplebiscite held for the purpose and shall supersede allprevious Constitutions.* Approved by the Constitutional Commission of 1986on the twelfth day of October 1986* Accordingly signed on the fifteenth day of October1986 at the Plenary Hall, National Government Center,Quezon City, by the Commissioners whose signaturesare hereunder affixed.c.
Proclamation No. 58, February 11, 1987
* Proclaimed the ratification of the 1987 Constitution
B. CASE LAW:Lawyer’s League vs. Aquino
The legitimacy of the Aquino government was being contestedThe Court ruled that the legitimacy of this government is anon-justiciable matter. “It is only the people of thePhilippines who may be the judge of its legitimacy. Sincesuch government is accepted by the people, it is notmerely a de facto government but also a de juregovernment. Moreover, the community of nations hasrecognized its legitimacy”
In re: Saturnino Bermudez
The petitioner is asking for a declaratory relief and to explainthe ‘ambiguity’ in the proposed 1986 Constitution as towho was being referred to as President and Vice-President in Art XVIII Sec 7.The Court ruled that they do not have original jurisdiction overdeclaratory reliefs“There is lack of personality to sue and such petition amountsin effect to a suit against the incumbent President… it isequally elementary that incumbent Presidents areimmune from suit or being brought to court during theperiod of their incumbency and tenure.”