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There are two primary sources of the law:

Statutes or statutory law Statutes are defined as the written enactment of the will of the legislative
branch of the government rendered authentic by certain prescribed forms or solemnities are more also
known as enactment of congress. Generally they consist of two types, the Constitution and legislative
enactments. In the Philippines, statutory law includes constitutions, treaties, statutes proper or legislative
enactments, municipal charters, municipal legislation, court rules, administrative rules and orders,
legislative rules and presidential issuance.
Jurisprudence or case law is cases decided or written opinion by courts and by persons performing
judicial functions. Also included are all rulings in administrative and legislative tribunals such as decisions
made by the Presidential or Senate or House Electoral Tribunals. Only decisions of the House of
Representatives Electoral Tribunal are available in print as House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal
Reports, volume 1 (January 28, 1988-October 3, 1990) to present. They will be available electronically at
the Supreme Court E-Library and as a separate CD.
For Muslim law, the primary sources of Shariah are Quran, Sunnaqh, Ijma and Qiyas. Jainal D. Razul in
his book Commentaries and Jurisprudence on the Muslin Law of the Philippines (1984) further stated
there are new sources of muslim law, which some jurists rejected such as Istihsan or juristic preference;
Al-Masalih, Al Mursalah or public interest; Istidlal (custom) and Istishab. (deduction based on continuity or
permanence).
Classification of Legal Sources
Primary Authority is the only authority that is binding on the courts.
Classification by Authority
Authority is that which may be cited in support of an action, theory or hypothesis. Legal of materials
primary authority are those that contain actual law or those that contain law created by government. Each
of the three branches of government: Legislative, Executive and Judiciary, promulgates laws.
The legislature promulgates statutes, namely: Act, Commonwealth Act, Republic Act, Batas Pambansa.
Executive promulgates presidential issuances (Presidential Decrees, Executive Orders, Memorandum
Circular, Administrative Orders, Proclamations, etc.), rules and regulations through its various
departments, bureaus and agencies. The Judiciary promulgates judicial doctrines embodied in decisions.
We however need to clarify that the Presidential Decrees or law issued by President Ferdinand E. Marcos
during Martial Law and Executive Orders issued by Aquino President Corazon C. Aquino before the
opening Congress in July 1987 can be classified as legislative acts, there being no legislature during
these two periods.
Primary Authority or sources may be further subdivided into the following:
Mandatory primary authority is law created by the jurisdiction in which the law operates like the
Philippines;
Persuasive mandatory authority is law created by other jurisdictions but which have persuasive value to
our courts e.g. Spanish and American laws and jurisprudence. These sources as used specially when
there are no Philippine authorities available or when the Philippine statute or jurisprudence under
interpretation is based on either the Spanish or American law;
It is in this regard that the collections of law libraries in the Philippines include United States court reports,
Wests national reporter system, court reports of England and international tribunal, important reference
materials such as the American Jurisprudence, Corpus Juris Secundum, Words and Phrases and
different law dictionaries. Some of these law libraries subscribe to the Westlaw and/or LexisNexis. The
Supreme Court , University of the Philippines, University of Santo Tomas and a number of prominent law
libraries also have a Spanish collection where a great number of our laws originated.
Secondary authority or sources are commentaries or books, treatise, writings, journal articles that explain,
discuss or comment on primary authorities. Also included in this category are the opinions of the
Department of Justice, Securities and Exchange Commission or circulars of the Bangko Sentral ng
Pilipinas. These materials are not binding on courts but they have persuasive effect and/or the degree of
persuasiveness. With regards to commentaries or books, treatise, writings, journal articles, the reputation
or expertise of the author is a consideration. Some of the authors of good reputation and considered
experts in the field are Chief Justice Ramon C. Aquino and Justice Carolina Grino Aquino on Revised
Penal Code or Criminal Law, Senator Arturo M. Tolentino on Civil law, Chief Justice Enrique M. Fernando
and Fr. Joaquin Bernas on Constititional Law, Prof. Perfecto Fernandez on Labor Law, Vicente Francisco,
Chief Justice Manuel Moran on Remedial Law, and Justice Vicente Abad Santos and Senator Jovito
Salonga on International Law, etc.
Classification by Source
It is important for legal research experts to know the source where the materials were taken from. One
has to determine whether they came from primary (official) sources or secondary (unofficial sources).
Primary and secondary sources for the sources of law are found in the Philippine Legal Information
Resources and Citations section part II of the 2009 Update.
Primary sources are those published by the issuing agency itself or the official repository, the Official
Gazette. Thus, for Republic Acts and other legislative enactments or statutes, the primary sources are the
Official Gazette published by the National Printing Office and the Laws and Resolutions published by
Congress. For Supreme Court decisions, the primary sources are the Philippine Reports, the individually
mimeographed Advance Supreme Court decisions (discontinued by the Supreme Court effective January
2009) and the Official Gazette. Publication of Supreme Court decisions in the Official Gazette is selective.
Complete court reports for Supreme Court decisions from 1901 to the present can be found in the
Philippine Reports.
The Secondary Sources are the unofficial sources and generally referred to as those commercially
published or those that are not published by government agencies or instrumentalities.
Some of the Secondary sources of statutes are the Vital Legal Documents, published by the Central Book
Supply, contains a compilation of Presidential Decrees (1973). The second edition contains Republic
Acts. Prof. Sulpicio Guevara published three books which contain s the full text of legislative enactments
or laws namely: a). Public Laws Annotated (7 vols.) , compilation of all laws from 1901 to 1935, b).
Commonwealth Acts Annotated (3vos.). compilation of laws from 1935-1945 c). The Laws of the First
Philippine Republic (The Laws of Malolos) 1898-1899. For the Supreme Court decisions, Supreme Court
Reports Annotated (SCRA), a secondary source, published by the Central Book Supply is more updated
and popular in the legal community than the Philippine Reports, the primary and official source. Citations
in commentaries or books, treatise, writings, journal articles, pleading and even court decisions show
SCRAs popular acceptance. The general rule is that in the absence of a primary source, the secondary
source may be cited. This was the primary rationale for the SCRAs popularity. There was no primary
source for complete compilation of Supreme Court decisions for more than twenty (20) years. The
publication of the Philippine Reports by the National Printing Office ceased in 1960s. It was only in 1982
when the publication of the Philippine Reports was revived by then Chief Justice Enrique M. Fernando
who requested then President Ferdinand E. Marcos to take charge of its publication with special
appropriation in the Judiciarys annual budget.
With the advent of the new information technology, electronic or digitized sources are popular sources of
legal information for the following reasons: a) updated legal information is readily available and b) the
search engines used facilitate research, and c) no complete and update manually published search tools
for statute and case law. These electronic sources are in the forms of CD ROMS, online or virtual libraries
of the issuing government agency or instrumentality and the now growing websites of law offices such as
Chan Robles Law Firm Library and Jaromay, Laurente Law Office On Line Library, or law schools such as
the Arellano Law Foundation Lawphil. Net. In case of conflict between the printed and electronic sources,
the printed version coming from the issuing government agency prevails. This policy prevails even for the
Supreme Court E-Library, where it is explicitly provided in its website.
Legal research for statute law in the Philippines benefited remarkably from the use of the latest
technology due to two major problems: a) no complete and updated published or printed search tools or
law finders for statute law and b) no complete compilation of statute law from 1901-present were
available. Problems of the publication of compilations of statute law or the existence of the full-text of
Presidential Decrees was even brought to the Supreme Court in the Tanada v. Tuvera, G.R. No. 63915,
April 24, 1985 (220 Phil 422), December 29, 1986 (146 SCRA 446) case. This case which was first
decided before the bloodless revolution popularly known as People Power or the EDSA Revolution was
modified in the December 29, 1986 or after the People Power or the EDSA Revolution.
Still, with regards to Statute Law in the Philippines, the other problem is how to classify sources published
in the newspapers. Since 1987, based on the definition of primary and secondary source, they may be
considered as primary sources pursuant to Executive Order No. 200, s. 1987 which provides that laws
become effective fifteen (15) days after publication in the Official Gazette or in two newspapers of general
circulation. In case of conflict between the two versions, the version of the Official Gazette holds.
In finding the law, our ultimate goal is to locate mandatory primary authorities which have bearing on the
legal problem at hand. If these authorities are scarce or nonexistent, our next alternative is to find any
relevant persuasive mandatory authority. If our search is still negative, the next alternative might be
secondary authorities. There are however instances where the secondary authorities, more particularly
the commentaries made by experts of the field, take precedence over the persuasive mandatory
authorities. With the availability of both, using both sources is highly recommended.
Classification by Character
This refers to the nature of the subject treated in books. This classification categorizes books as : a)
Statute Law Books, b) Case Law Books or Law Reports, c) a combination of both and d) Law Finders.
Law Finders refer to indexes, citators, encyclopedias, legal dictionaries, thesauri or digests. A major
problem in the Philippines is that there are no up-to-date Law Finders. Federico Morenos Philippine Law
Dictionary, the only available Philippine law dictionary was last published in 1988, and, Jose Agaton
Sibals Philippine Legal Thesaurus which is likewise considered a dictionary was published in 1986.
Foreign law dictionaries like Blacks Law Dictionary, Words and Phrases are used as alternate. To search
for legal information, legal researchers go online virtual libraries such as the Supreme Court E-Library
(http://elibrary.judiciary.gov.ph), Chan Robles Virtual Law Library, and the different databases in CD-ROM
format from CD Asia Technologies Asia Inc. The databases developed by CD Asia include not only the
compilation of Laws (statutes) and Jurisprudence, but also include a compilation of legal information that
are not available in printed form such as Opinions of the Department of Justice, Securities and Exchange
Commission and Bangko Sentral (Central Bank) rules and regulations. Search engines used in these
databases answer for the lack of complete and updated indexes of legal information. In this regard,
effective legal research can be conducted with one cardinal rule in mind: ALWAYS START FROM THE
LATEST. The exception to this is when the research has defined or has provided a SPECIFIC period.








FIVE PILLARS OF THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM
There are actually five (5) pillars of criminal justice system, as follows; (1.) Community,(2.) The Law
Enforcement, (3.) The Prosecution Service, (4.) The Courts, (5.) TheCorrectional Institution.If one of these
pillars is dysfunctional, wala tayong maasahan na hustisya!The five (5) pillars of the Philippine Criminal
Justice System have important roles to play in the investigation, prosecution and dispensation of justice of
the alleged offenders or felons.The first pillar is the COMMUNITY ( e.g., People & Peoples
Organizations). It refers to institutions, government, and non-government agencies and peoples
organizations that provide care and assistance to the victims or offended party, during and after the onset
of a victims rights case. The community has a significant role to assume in all the phases of judicial
involvement of offender as well as the protection process: the prevention of abuse, cruelty, discrimination
and exploitation, assistance of offenders who enter the criminal justice system and the acceptance of the
offenders upon his reintegration into the community,,, after he goes out of Correctional.The second pillar
is LAW ENFORCEMENT (e.g. PNP, NBI, PDEA, etc.) It involves government agencies charged with the
enforcement of penal laws. It is primarily responsible for the investigation and determination whether an
offense has been committed, and where needed, the apprehension of alleged offenders for
further investigation of the third pillar,,, Prosecution Service.The PROSECUTION SERVICE (Public
Prosecutor or Fiscal) refers to the National Prosecution Service (NPS). The NPS is mandated to
investigate and prosecute penal violations. It collates, evaluates evidence in the preliminary inquest
investigation and dismisses or files the case in court as indicated.The Public Attorneys Office or private
defense counsel, on the other hand, serves as the defender of offender who is charged before the court
and unable to hire the service of the retained lawyer.The fourth pillar is the COURT (MTC, RTC) )which
refers to the MTC and Regional Trial Courts designated to handle and try the case and issue judgment
after trial.The fifth pillar is the CORRECTIONAL SYSTEM (NBP, CIW, BJMP) . It refers to institutions
mandated to administer both correctional and rehabilitation programs for the offenders. These programs
develop the offenders or convicts abilities and potentials and facilitate their re-integration into the
community and normal family life.The rehabilitation and recovery process involves the support of
government agencies,non-government organizations and most importantly the family and community so
that the offender as well as the offended can heal and recover in order to be able to cope and rebuild their
lives
Philippine Government Agencies
The government of the Republic of the Philippines is composed primarily of the Executive, Judicial and
Legislative branches.

Under the Executive Branch are the offices of the President and the Vice President of the
Philippines. The different departments under the Executive Branch include:
Department of Land Reform
Department of Agriculture
Department of Agrarian Reform
Department of Budget and Management
Department of Education
Department of Energy
Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Department of Finance
Department of Foreign Affairs
Department of the Interior and Local Government
Department of Health
Department of Justice

Department of Labor and Employment
Department of National Defense
National Economic and Development Authority
Office of the Press Secretary
Department of Public Works and Highways
Department of Science and Technology
Department of Social Welfare and Development
Department of Tourism
Department of Trade & Industry
Department of Transportation & Communications

Under the Judicial Branch are the following:

Supreme Court of the Philippines
Court of Appeals
Sandiganbayan

The Philippine Senate and the House of Representatives all fall under the Legislative Branch.

As national agencies, the departments have head offices in the capital. In direct contact with the
constituents of the republic are the local government units who are responsible to render direct service to
its citizens. Both national and local agencies work as a team to promote the development of the whole
country.

In addition to the list of Philippine Government agencies, the Philippine government also operates a
nationwide institution, the Philippine Information Agency, to respond the information needs of its citizens.
The Philippine Information Agency (PIA) has an online site which provides links to the different Philippine
government agencies. It also provides news feed about the Philippines and from around the world.
Executive Branch of Government
The President
The Vice President
The Cabinet
Local Government
_____________________
Article VII, Section 1, of the 1987 Constitution vests executive power to the President of the Philippines,
who functions as the Head of State, Head of Government, and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces
of the Philippines. As Chief Executive, the President of the Philippines exercises control over all the
executive departments, bureaus, and offices.
President of the Philippines
The President of the Philippines is elected by direct vote by the people for a term of six years. He may
only serve for one term and is ineligible for reelection. The term of the President of the Philippines starts
at noon of the 30th day of June after an election is held.
Qualifications
The qualifications for an individual to aspire for the Presidency of the Philippines are outlined in Article
VII, Section 2 of the Constitution. According to the Constitution, an individual may become President
provided he meets the following criteria:
1. Natural born Filipino
2. A registered voter
3. Must be able to read and write
4. 40 years of age at the day of the election
5. Must have resided in the Philippines ten years before the election is held
History
The President of the Philippines is elected by direct vote of the people and has a term of six (6) years with
no provision for reelection.
There have been 15 presidents of the Philippines from the establishment of the office on January 23,
1899 in the Malolos Republic. President Emilio Aguinaldo was the inaugural holder of the office and held
the position until March 23, 1901, when he was captured by the Americans during the Philippine-
American War.
The Office of the President of the Philippines was abolished after the capture of Aguinaldo and ceased to
exist until the inauguration of the Philippine Commonwealth in 1935.
Powers of the President
Besides the Constitution, the powers of the President of the Philippines are specifically outlined
in Executive Order no. 292 s. 1987, otherwise known as the Administrative Code of 1987. The following
powers are:
1. Power of control over the Executive Branch
The President of the Philippines has the mandate of control over all the executive departments, bureaus,
and offices. This includes restructuring, reconfiguring, and appointments of their respective officials. The
Administrative Code also provides for the President to be responsible for the above mentioned offices
strict implementation of laws.
2. Power Ordinance Power
The President of the Philippines has the power give executive issuances. Executive Issuance are means
to streamline the policy and programs of an administration. There are six issuances that the President
may issue. They are the following as defined in the Administrative Code of 1987:
Executive Orders. Acts of the President providing for rules of a general or permanent character in
implementation or execution of constitutional or statutory powers shall be promulgated in executive
orders.
Administrative Orders. Acts of the President which relate to particular aspects of governmental
operations in pursuance of his duties as administrative head shall be promulgated in administrative
orders.
Proclamations. Acts of the President fixing a date or declaring a status or condition of public moment
or interest, upon the existence of which the operation of a specific law or regulation is made to depend,
shall be promulgated in proclamations which shall have the force of an executive order.
Memorandum Orders. Acts of the President on matters of administrative detail or of subordinate or
temporary interest which only concern a particular officer or office of the Government shall be embodied
in memorandum orders.
Memorandum Circulars. Acts of the President on matters relating to internal administration, which the
President desires to bring to the attention of all or some of the departments, agencies, bureaus or offices
of the Government, for information or compliance, shall be embodied in memorandum circulars.
General or Special Orders. Acts and commands of the President in his capacity as Commander-in-
Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines shall be issued as general or special orders.
It is important to note that during the term of President Ferdinand E. Marcos, he used Executive
Issuances known as Presidential Decrees as a form of legislation. These Presidential Decrees have the
full force and effect of laws because at the time the legislature did not exist and, when the 1973
Constitution was put into full force and effect, it gave the power to the President to as such. This
continued until the first year of President Corazon C. Aquinos term. However, President C. Aquino opted
to used Executive Orders instead of Presidential Decrees. These Executive Orders of President C.
Aquino, however, still had the full force and effect of laws until the ratification of the 1987 Constitution.
3. Power over Aliens
The President of the Philippines has the power over non-Filipinos in the Philippines. The powers he may
exercise over foreigners in the country are as follows:
The Chief Executive may have an alien in the Philippines deported from the country after due process.
The President may change the status of a foreigner, as prescribed by law, from a non-immigrant status to
a permanent resident status without necessity of visa.
The President may choose to overrule the Board of Commissioners of the Bureau of Immigration before
their decision becomes final and executory (after 30 days of the issuance of the decision). The Board of
Commissioners of the Bureau of Immigration jurisdiction over all deportation cases.
The President is also mandated by the Administrative Code of 1987 to exercise powers as recognized by
the generally accepted principles of international law.
4. Powers of Eminent Domain, Escheat, Land Reservation and Recovery of Ill-gotten Wealth
The President of the Philippines has the authority to exercise the power of eminent domain. The power of
eminent domains means the state has the power to seize or authorize the seizure of private property for
public use with just compensation. There are two constitutional provisions, however, that limit the
exercise of such power. Article III, Section 9 (1) of the Constitution provides that no person shall be
deprived of his/her life, liberty, or property without due process of law. Furthermore, Article III, Section 9
(2), provides that private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation.
Once the aforementioned conditions are met, the President may exercise the power of eminent domain
which are as follows:
Power of Eminent Domain. The President shall determine when it is necessary or advantageous to
exercise the power of eminent domain in behalf of the National Government, and direct the Solicitor
General, whenever he deems the action advisable, to institute expropriation proceedings in the proper
court.
Power to Direct Escheat or Reversion Proceedings. The President shall direct the Solicitor General to
institute escheat or reversion proceedings over all lands transferred or assigned to persons disqualified
under the Constitution to acquire land.
Power to Reserve Lands of the Public and Private Domain of the Government.
(1) The President shall have the power to reserve for settlement or public use, and for specific public
purposes, any of the lands of the public domain, the use of which is not otherwise directed by law. The
reserved land shall thereafter remain subject to the specific public purpose indicated until otherwise
provided by law or proclamation.
(2) He shall also have the power to reserve from sale or other disposition and for specific public uses or
purposes, any land belonging to the private domain of the Government, or any of the Friar lands, the use
of which is not otherwise directed by law, and thereafter such land shall be used for the purposes
specified by such proclamation until otherwise provided by law.
Power over Ill-gotten Wealth. The President shall direct the Solicitor General to institute proceedings to
recover properties unlawfully acquired by public officials or employees, from them or from their nominees
or transferees.
Within the period fixed in, or any extension thereof authorized by, the Constitution, the President shall
have the authority to recover ill-gotten properties amassed by the leaders and supporters of the previous
regime and protect the interest of the people through orders of sequestration or freezing of assets or
accounts.
5. Power of Appointment
The President may appoint officials of the Philippine Government as provided by the Constitution and
laws of the Philippines. Some of these appointments, however, may need the approval of the Committee
on Appointments. (A committee composed of members from the House of Representatives and the
Senate of the Philippines)
6. Power of General Supervision Over Local Governments
The President of the Philippines, as Chief Executive, has the mandate to supervise local governments in
the Philippines, despite their autonomous status as provided by RA 7160 otherwise known as the Local
Government Code of 1991.
Traditionally, this is done by the Department of the Interior and Local Government, headed by a Cabinet
Secretary; an alterego of the President.
7. Other Powers
Aside from the aforementioned powers of the President of the Philippines, he can also exercise powers
enumerated in the Constitution and powers given to him by law.
Line of Succession
The Constitution provides for a line of succession in the event that the elected President of the Philippines
is not able to discharge the duties of his office due to death, disability, or resignation. The following is the
line of succession:
1. Vice President in cases of the death, disability, or resignation of the President
2. Senate President in cases of the death, disability, or resignation of the President and Vice President
3. Speaker of the House of Representatives in cases of the death, disability, or resignation of the
President, Vice President, and Senate President
The Congress of the Philippines is mandated enact a law calling for a special election three days after the
vacancy in the Office of the President and Vice President. The special election should occur 40 days after
the enactment of the law but not later than 60 days after the enactment of the law.
Vice President of the Philippines
The Vice President of the Philippines is elected by direct vote by the people for a term of six years and
may run for reelection once. The term of the Vice President of the Philippines starts at noon of the 30th
day of June after an election is held.
Qualifications
The qualifications for aspirants to the Office of the Vice President is outlined in Article VII, Section 3.
According to the Constitution, the qualifications for the President is the same for the Vice President.
History
The Vice President of the Philippines is elected via a direct vote of the people for a term of 6 years with a
possibility of reelection. According to the Constitution the Vice President may take on a cabinet portfolio in
concurrent capacity.
The first constitution of the Philippines, the Malolos Constitution, did not provide for a Vice President of
the Philippines. It only had provisions for a President and a Prime Minister. The first legal basis for the
existence of the Office came in 1935 upon the inauguration of the Commonwealth Government.
There have been 12 people who have held the Office of the Vice President from its establishment in
1935. Vice President Sergio Osmea was the inaugural holder of the position and served for 3 terms of
office. He first took his oath after the 1935 elections under the Philippine Commonwealth and once again
in 1941 before the Philippine government went into exile. His third Oath taking happened in the United
States when the terms the officials of the Philippine Government-in-exile are up.
The Philippines second Vice President was elected in 1946 under the Commonwealth of the Philippines.
Vice President Elpidio Quirino was elected under the Commonwealth Government but transitioned into
the Third Republic on July 4, 1946. Quirino was followed by Fernando Lopez, Carlos P. Garcia, and
Emmanuel Pelaez. Fernando Lopez would once again be elected in 1965 when he ran with Ferdinand
Marcos. Lopez was elected for 2 terms until the abolition of the Office of the Vice President on September
23, 1972, when martial law was declared.
The original 1973 Constitution did not provide of a Vice President of the Philippines. The position
remained abolished until the Constitutional Amendments were made in 1978. It was only in 1986,
however, when the position was filled. Arturo Tolentino took his oath in secret in Malacaan Palace. His
term, however, only lasted for days when the EDSA Revolution installed new leadership in the country.
When the 1987 Constitution was ratified, the position of Vice President of the Philippines would remain
with Salvador Laurel Jr. as its inaugural holder. Since the institution of the 1987 Constitution the Fifth
Republic has had six Vice Presidents with five being elected and one being appointed.
Duties of the Vice President
According to the Constitution, the Vice President may concurrently assume a cabinet position should the
President of the Philippines offer him one. The Vice President will become a Secretary concurrent to his
position of Vice President.
Aside from the Cabinet post, the Vice President is mandated to assume the Presidency in case of the
death, disability, or resignation of the incumbent President.
Line of Succession
Should there be a vacancy of the Office of the Vice President, the President of the Philippines is required
by the Constitution to nominate a replacement with the concurrence of Committee on Appointments.
Cabinet Secretaries
Functions of a Cabinet Secretary
Cabinet Secretaries act as the alter ego of the President executing, with his authority, the power of the
Office of the President in their respective departments.
The number of Cabinet Secretaries varies from time to time depending on the need of an Administration.
According to the Administrative Code of 1987, the President of the Philippines may create or dissolve any
department as he sees fit.
Appointment of Cabinet Secretaries
According to the Article 7, Section 16, the President may appoint anyone to executive departments with
the consent of the Commission on Appointments. Names of individuals nominated to cabinet posts are
submitted to the Commission on Appointments for their consideration.
An individual may not assume his post in a given department unless confirmed by the Commission on
Appointments. However, the Constitution provides for individual becoming Cabinet Secretaries in an
Acting Capacity before they are confirmed. According to Article VII, Section 16 of the Constitution, the
President may appoint anyone to cabinet posts even if Congress is in recess. These appointments are
valid until the Commission on Appointments disapproves them or at the end of the next session of
Congress.
Not all Cabinet members, however, are subject to confirmation of the Commission on Appointments.
According to the Commission of Appointments website, the following need confirmation in order to
assume their posts:
1. Executive Secretary
2. Secretary of Agrarian Reform
3. Secretary of Agriculture
4. Secretary of Budget and Management
5. Secretary of Education
6. Secretary of Energy
7. Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources
8. Secretary of Finance
9. Secretary of Foreign Affairs
10. Secretary of Health
11. Secretary of Justice
12. Secretary of Labor and Employment
13. Secretary of National Defense
14. Secretary of Public Works and Highways
15. Secretary of Science and Technology
16. Secretary of Social Welfare and Development
17. Secretary of the Interior and Local Government
18. Secretary of Trade and Industry
19. Secretary of Transportation and Communications
20. Secretary of Tourism
21. Commission on Higher Education
21. Director General of the National Economic and Development Authority
Powers of a Cabinet Secretary
As stated above, a Cabinet Secretary is the alter ego of the President in their respective Departments.
Thus, they posses the power to issue directives relative to their departments, such as department orders.
These orders only apply to offices under a specific department under the Cabinet Secretarys jurisdiction.
Cabinet Secretaries also act as advisors to the President of the Philippines for their areas.
Local Governments
The Executive Branch extends beyond the National Government. According to Article 10, Section 4 of the
Constitution the President of the Philippines is mandated to supervise local government all over the
country. However, because of Republic Act No. 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code of
1991, local governments enjoy relative autonomy from the National Government.
Each Local Government has its own Chief Executive. The following is the list of local Chief Executives:
1. Provinces = Governors
2. Cities = Mayor
3. Municipalities = Mayor
4. Barangay = Barangay Captains
The local Chief Executives have the power to approve or veto local ordinances recommended by the local
legislators.
Term Limits
The Offices of the above mentioned local Chief Executives are limited to three consecutive three-year
terms. Once they end their third term, they may not run for reelection but may run again once they let one
term pass.

Introduction
Judicial power rests with the Supreme Court and the lower courts, as established by law (Art. VIII, sec. 1
of the 1987 Constitution). Its duty is to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally
demandable and enforceable (Art. VIII Sec. 1 (2)).
The judiciary enjoys fiscal autonomy. Its appropriation may not be reduced by the Legislature below the
appropriated amount the previous year (Art. VIII, sec. 2).
Rules and Procedures
The Rules of Court of the Philippines, as amended and the rules and regulations issued by the Supreme
Court, define the rules and procedures of the Judiciary. These rules and regulations are in the form of
Administrative Matters, Administrative Orders, Circulars, Memorandum Circulars, Memorandum Orders
and OCA Circulars. To inform the members of the Judiciary, legal profession and the public of these
rules and regulations, the Supreme Court disseminates these rules and regulations to all courts,
publishes important ones in newspapers of general circulation, prints them in book or pamphlet form and
now uploads them to the Supreme Court website and the Supreme Court E-Library website.
On June 21, 1988, The Supreme Court promulgated the Code of Professional Responsibility for the legal
profession. The draft was prepared by the Committee on Responsibility, Discipline and Disbarment of the
Integrated Bar of the Philippines.
Appointments to the J udiciary
Under the present Constitution, appointments to the judiciary are made by the President of the Philippines
on the basis of a list submitted by the Judicial and Bar Council (by virtue of Art. VIII, Sec. 8). The JBC is
under the supervision of the Supreme Court. Its principal function is to screen prospective appointees to
any judicial post. The Judicial and Bar Council promulgated its Rules (JBC-009) on October 31, 2000. It is
composed of the Chief Justice as ex-officio Chairman, the Secretary of Justice and representatives of
Congress as ex-officio members, a representative of the Integrated Bar, a professor of law, a retired
member of the Supreme Court and a representative of the private sector as members.
Philippine J udicial Academy
The Philippine Judicial Academy (PHILJA) is the training school for justices, judge, court personnel,
lawyers and aspirants to judicial posts. It was originally created by the Supreme Court on March 16,
1996 by virtue of Administrative Order No. 35-96 and was institutionalized on February 26, 1998 by virtue
of Republic 8557. It is an important component of the Supreme Court for its important mission on judicial
education. No appointee to the Bench may commence the discharge his adjudicative function without
completing the prescribed court training in the Academy. Its organizational structure and administrative
setup are provided for by the Supreme Court in its En Banc resolution (Revised A.M. No. 01-1-04-sc-
PHILJA).
Philippine Mediation Center
The Philippine Mediation Center was organized pursuant to Supreme Court en banc Resolution A.M. No.
01-10-5-SC-PHILJA, dated October 16, 2001, and in line with the objectives of the Action Program for
Judicial Reforms (APJR) to decongest court dockets, among others, the Court prescribed guidelines in
institutionalizing and implementing the mediation program in the Philippines. The same resolution
designated the Philippine Judicial Academy as the component unit of the Supreme Court for Court-
Annexed Mediation and other Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Mechanisms, and established the
Philippine Mediation Center (PMC).
Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Office was organized to implement the rules on Mandatory
Continuing Legal Education for members of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (B.M. No. 850
Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE)). It holds office in the Integrated Bar of the Philippines
main office.
Katarungang Pambarangay
Presidential Decree No. 1508, or the Katarungang Pambarangay Law, took effect on December 11, 1978,
and established a system of amicably settling disputes at the barangay level. This decree and the Local
Government Code provided Rules and procedures, Title I, Chapter 7, sec. 339-422). This system of
amicable settlement of dispute aims to promote the speedy administration of justice by easing the
congestion of court dockets. The Court does not take cognizance of cases filed if they are not filed first
with the Katarungang Pambarangay.
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) System
Republic Act No. 9285 institutionalized the use of an alternative dispute resolution system, which serves
to promote the speedy and impartial administration of justice and unclog the court dockets. This act shall
be without prejudice to the adoption of the Supreme Court of any ADR system such as mediation,
conciliation, arbitration or any combination thereof.

JUDICIARY is composed of:
SUPREME COURT highest court of final resolution of cases.
Sandiganbayan anti-graft court.
Court of Tax Appeals cases concerning taxes.
Court of Appeals consist of two appellate courts:
Regional Trial Courts includes:
-Metropolitan Trial Courts
-Municipal Trial Courts in Cities
-Municipal Trial Courts
-Municipal Circuit Trial Courts
Sharia District Courts include:
-Sharia Circuit Courts

There are two primary sources of the law:

Statutes or Statutory Law
Statutes are defined as the written enactment of the will of the legislative branch of the government
rendered authentic by certain prescribed forms or solemnities are more also known as enactment of
congress. Generally they consist of two types, the Constitution and legislative enactments.

In the Philippines, statutory law includes constitutions, treaties, statutes proper or legislative enactments,
municipal charters, municipal legislation, court rules, administrative rules and orders, legislative rules and
presidential issuance.

Jurisprudence or Case Law
Jurisprudence or Case Law is cases decided or written opinion by courts and by persons performing
judicial functions. Also included are all rulings in administrative and legislative tribunals such as decisions
made by the Presidential or Senate or House Electoral Tribunals. Only decisions of the House of
Representatives Electoral Tribunal are printed as House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal Reports,
volume 1 (January 28, 1988-October 3, 1990) to present. They will be available electronically at the
Supreme Court E-Library.

Classification by Authority
"Authority is that which may be cited in support of an action, theory or hypothesis." Each of the three
branches of government, Legislature, Executive and Judiciary, promulgates laws.

The legislature promulgates statutes, namely: Act, Commonwealth Act, Republic Acts, Batas
Pambansa. Executive promulgates presidential issuances (Presidential Decrees, Executive Orders,
Memorandum Circular, Administrative Orders, Proclamations, etc.), rules and regulations through its
various departments, bureaus and agencies. The Judiciary promulgates judicial doctrines embodied in
decisions.

Classification by Source
It is important for legal research experts to know the source where the materials were taken. One has to
determine whether they came from primary (official) sources or secondary (unofficial sources).

Primary sources are those published by the issuing agency itself or the official repository, the Official
Gazette. Thus for Republic Acts and other "laws" or statutes, the primary sources are the Official Gazette
published by the National Printing Office and the Laws and Resolutions published by Congress. For
Supreme Court decisions, the primary sources are the Philippines Reports, the individually
mimeographed Advance Supreme Court decisions and the Official Gazette. Publication of Supreme
Court decisions in the Official Gazette is selective. Complete court reports for Supreme Court decisions is
the Philippines Reports.

The Secondary Sources are the unofficial sources and generally refer to those commercially published or
those that are not published by government agencies or instrumentalities. Vital Legal Documents contains
a compilation of Presidential Decrees (1973) to the present Republic Acts, published by Central Book
Supply.