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POLITICAL LAW (CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 1)


Chapter 1 General Considerations
Scope of Study
- Political law is that branch of public law which deals with the organization
and operations of the governmental organs of the State and defines the
relations of the State with the inhabitants of its territory
- Constitutional Law 1 is a study of the structure and powers of the
Government of the Republic of the Philippines.

Necessity for the Study
- Sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority
emanates from them.
- Active involvement in public affairs of every Filipino that the success of
the RP will depend.

Basis of Study
- Principal basis of the study of Constitutional Law 1 is the present
Constitution as adopted on February 2, 1987.
- Imported provisions of law are interpreted in the light of their
understanding in the country of origin.

Background of Study
- June 12, 1898, the First Philippine Republic was established with
Aguinaldo as the President.
- Malolos Constitution was the first democratic constitution ever to be
promulgated in the whole Asia.
- The first RP was to be short-lived for even the Philippines as State was
being erected.
- The Americans first organized a military government but consolidation of
executive, legislative and judicial authority in the military governor
provoked protests from American libertarians concerned over the non-
observation of the doctrine of separation of powers.
- By virtue of Philippine Bill of 1902, the Philippine Assembly was created in
1907 to sit with the Philippine Commission in a bicameral legislature.
- Sergio Osmea was initially and successively elected Speaker of the
Philippine Assembly until its dissolution in 1916.
- Same year was promulgated the Philippine Autonomy Act (Jones Law)
which established a Philippine Legislature consisting of a Senate and
House of Representatives, Manuel L. Quezon and Sergio Osmea were
elected as Senate President and Speaker.
- Jones Law continued until 1935, when the Tydings-McDuffie Act, which
authorizes the establishment of the Commonwealth of the Philippines,
supplanted it.
- July 4, 1946, US formally withdrew it sovereignty over the Philippines.
Manuel Roxas asserted the freedom of the Filipino people and
proclaimed the RP.
- September 21, 1972, President Marcos issued Proclamation No. 1081
placing the entire country under Martial Law. November 30, 1972, the
draft of the 1973 Constitution was formally approved by the
Constitutional Convention and during series of meeting held on January
10-15, 1973 was submitted to the Citizens Assemblies for Ratification.
- January 17, 1973, President Marcos issued Proclamation No. 1102 in
which he announced that the Constitution of 1973 had been ratified by
an overwhelming majority of the people and effective.
- January 17, 1981, President Marcos issued Proclamation No. 2045 lifting
martial law, but he retained his standby legislative powers.
- 1985 President Marcos submitted a questionable resignation that was to
be effective on the 10
th
day following the proclamation of the winners in
snap election. However, Marcos and his running mate Tolentino were
declared President and Vice-President elect.
- February 22, 1986, Defense-Minister Enrile and General Ramos began,
what later came to be known as the people power revolution that led
to the ouster of President Marcos and his replacement by President Cory
Aquino with Vice-President Laurel were inducted on February 25, 1986.
- The first acts of the new President was the promulgation of a provisional
or FREEDOM CONSTITUTION which was to be in force pending the
adoption of a new Constitution to be drafted by a Constitutional
Commission which she also created.
- Elections for the revived Congress of the Philippines were held on May
11, 1988 and those for the local offices were scheduled later that year.
- May 11, 1992, general elections were held for the President and Vice-
President of the Philippines, 24 Senators all elective members of the
House of Representative.


Chapter 2 The Constitution of the Philippines
- The Constitution of 1987 is the fourth fundamental law to govern the
Philippines since it became independent on July 4, 1946. The first was the
Commonwealth adopted in 1935, which continued its provisions to be
operative after the proclamation of RP. The 2
nd
was the Constitution of
1973, which was enforced during the Marcos regime following its dubious
approval and ratification at a time when the country was under the
martial law. On February 25, 1986, the new President proclaimed a
Freedom Constitution to be effective pending the adoption of a
permanent constitution aimed at correcting the shortcomings of previous
constitutions.

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Outstanding Features
- The new constitution consists of 18 articles and is excessively long
compared to the constitutions of 1935 and 1973.
- Many of the provisions of 1935 have been restored because of the revival
of the bicameral Congress of the Philippines and the strictly presidential
system.
- The independence of the Judiciary has been strengthened, which covers
now even political questions formerly beyond the jurisdiction.
- The new Constitution sounds like a political speech rather than a formal
document stating only the basic precepts.

The Supremacy of the Constitution
- The constitution is the basic and paramount law to which all other laws
must conform and to which all persons, including the highest officials of
the land.
- No act shall be valid, however noble its intentions is, if it conflicts with
the constitution.
- Constitution must remain supreme. Right or wrong, constitution must be
upheld as long as the sovereign people have not changed it lest its
disregard result in the usurpation of the majesty of law.

Prospects of the Constitution
- The constitution must be quintessential rather than superficial.

Chapter 3 The Concept of the State
Definition
- The State is a community of persons, more or less numerous,
permanently occupying a fixed territory and possessed of an independent
government organized for political ends to which the great body of
inhabitants render habitual obedience.
o State is a legal concept; Nation is only racial or ethnic concept.
- The State must also be distinguished from government. The Government
is an element of the State; State is the principal, the government is an
agent. State is an abstraction; it is the government that externalizes the
State and articulates its will.

Elements
1. People refer to inhabitant of the State.
- There is no legal requirement as to their number, it is generally agreed
that they must be numerous enough to be self-sufficing and to defend
themselves and small enough to be easily administered and sustained.
- The people are more comprehensive and less cohesive than the nation.
2. Territory is the fixed portion of the surface of the earth inhabited by the
people of the State.
- As a practical requirement, it must be neither too big as to be difficult to
administer and defend nor too small as to be unable to provide for the
needs of the population. Legally, territory can extend over a vast
expanse.
- The components of territory are the land mass known as terrestrial
domain, the inland and external waters, which make up the maritime and
fluvial domain and the air space above land and waters known as aerial
domain.
- Archipelago Doctrine, under which we connect the outermost points of
our archipelago with straight baselines and considers all the waters,
enclosed thereby as internal waters.
3. Government is the agency or instrumentality through which the will of
the State is formulated, expressed and realized.
- No particular form of government is prescribed, provided only that the
government is able to represent the State in its dealings with other
States.
o A Republican State is wherein all government authority
emanates from the people and is exercised by representatives
chosen by the people. However, our country is also called
democratic country because it shares some aspects of direct
democracy such as initiative and referendum and the word
democratic is also a monument to the February Revolution
which re-won freedom through direct action of the people.
- The functions of the government are classified into constituent and
ministrant.
a. Constituent functions constitute the very bonds of society and
are therefore compulsory such as:
i. Keeping of order and providing for the protection of
persons and property from violence and robbery;
ii. Fixing of legal relations between husband and wife;
iii. Regulation of the holding, transmission and interchange
of property and the determination of its liabilities for
debt or fro crime;
iv. Determination of contractual rights between
individuals;
v. Definition and punishment of crimes;
vi. Administration of justice in civil case;
vii. Administration of political duties, privileges and
relations of citizens;
viii. Dealings of the state with foreign powers; the
preservation of state from external danger and
encroachment and the advancement of its international
interest.
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b. Ministrant functions are those undertaken to advance general
interests of society.
c. Doctrine of Parens Patriae is one of the important tasks of the
government or what is so-called guardian of the rights of people.
d. A de jure government has a rightful title but no power or control
because this has been withdrawn from it or because it has not
yet actually entered into the exercise; a de facto government is a
government of fact, it actually exercises power or control but
without a legal tie.
i. It has been held in number of cases that the 2
nd

Republic was a de facto government by the Japanese
belligerent during the occupation of the Philippines in
WWII. The characteristics are the following:
1. Existence is maintained by active military
power within the territories and against the
rightful authority of an established and lawful
government;
2. It must necessarily be obeyed in civil matters
by private citizens, by acts of obedience
rendered in submission to such force, do not
become responsible.
e. Government of the Philippines is defined as the corporate
governmental entity through which the functions of government
are exercised throughout the Philippines.
f. Administration is transitional whereas the government is
permanent. Also the group of persons in whose hands the reins
of government are for the time being.
g. Sovereignty is the supreme and uncontrollable power inherent
in a State by which that State is governed. Legal sovereignty is
the authority, which has the power to issue final commands
whereas political sovereignty is the power behind legal
sovereign. Internal Sovereign refers to the power of the State to
control its domestic affairs while external sovereignty, which is
the power of the State to direct its relations with other states.
h. Act of State is an act done by the sovereign power of a country.
It cannot be questioned or made the subject of legal proceedings
in a court of laws.

Chapter 4 Doctrine of State Immunity
- The State may not be sued without consent.
- Merely recognition of the sovereign character of the State and an express
affirmation of the unwritten rule insulating it from the jurisdiction of the
courts of justice.

Basis
- Suits against the State will result in the impairment of its dignity, besides
being challenge to its supposed infallibility.
- Doctrine of non-suability is based not on any formal conception or
obsolete theory but on the logical and practical ground that there can be
no legal right against the authority, which makes the law on which the
right depends.
- The added basis in this case is principle of the sovereign equality of
States, under which one State cannot assert jurisdiction over another in
violation of the maxim par in parem habet imperium.

Application
- Actions rarely instituted against RP because it will provoke resort to the
doctrine of State Immunity and possible dismissal of the complaint for
lack of jurisdiction.
- The action can be dismissed as a suit against the State unless its immunity
had been previously waived.
- A public officer may be impleaded to require him to do a duty required by
law or to restrain him from doing an act alleged to be unconstitutional or
illegal or to recover from him taxes unlawfully assessed or collected.
- A public officer acts without or in excess of jurisdiction, any injury caused
by him is his own personal liability and cannot be imputed to the State.
- The plea of immunity is recognized and affirmed by the executive branch,
it is the duty of the courts to accept this claim so as not to embarrass the
executive arm of the government in conducting the countrys foreign
relations.
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