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1.1.10 The Bill of Rights
1.1.11The Structure of Government
1.1.12 Political Behavior
1.1.13 Local Government
1.1.14 Philippine Political System
1.1.15 Constitutional Commissions
Part 3:
Final Period:
Philippine History with Politics,
Governance, and Constitution
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Chapter 3: Philippine History with Politics, Governance, and Constitution.
1.1.0 The Bill Of Rights
A bill of rights may be defined as a declaration and enumeration of a persons
rights and privileges which the Constitution is designed to protect against
violations by the government, by an individual or groups of individuals. It is a
charter of liberties for the individual and a limitation upon the power of the state.
Its basis is the social importance accorded to the individual in a democratic or
republican state, the belief that every human being has intrinsic dignity and worth
which must be respected and safeguarded.
The new Constitution incorporates in Article III all the basic rights in the former
Charter. It also awards new rights to the individual.
Every constitution contains a bill of rights. The inclusion of the article of bill of
rights in the constitution suggests that the state practices republicanism and that
the relationship between the state and the people is founded on the principle of
equality and respect. A state that does not have a set of list of the rights of the
citizens and does not guarantee the protection of individuals will always
experience instability and chaos.
It is in the article of bill of rights that citizens are assured of their participation in
the political organization through the articulated protection and the limit to which
the power of the state ends.
It is said that the bill of rights is the most important article in the constitution and
that the constitution is all about the bill of rights. The Philippine constitution is
created under the principle of equality and respect between the state and the
citizens. Though sometimes it is violated, its power cannot be ignored by the state
and its leaders because they themselves invoke the rights articulated in the bill of
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Since the state has tremendous power over its citizens, the existence of the bill
of rights guarantees the individuals to some sort of protection in areas of their
lives that may not be touched by the state. This section will discuss the important
sections embodied under the constitution.
At the end of the lesson, you are expected to:
1. Illustrate the importance of the bill of rights by giving examples.
2. Relate the provisions of bill of rights to your day to day activities.
Bill Of Rights Refined:
It is a set of rights and privileges of the citizens articulated in the constitution. It is
a protection of the people against the infringement of the government.
Importance Of Bill Of Rights:
o It protects citizens against the power of the government.
o It outlines what the citizens can do and cannot do.
o It is a boundary between the government and the people.
o It is where the rights and privileges of the individuals are defined.
Classes Of Rights:
The rights that a citizen of a democratic state enjoys may be classified into:
1) Natural Rights They are those rights possessed by every citizen without being
granted by the State for they given to man by God as a human being created to his
image so that he may live a happy life and a right inherent to human being and
possessed by every citizen without being granted by the state. Example are the
right to life and the right to love;
2) Constitutional Rights They are those rights which are conferred, protected by the
Constitution. Since they are part of the fundamental law, they cannot be modified
or taken away by the law making body, and defined in the bill of rights but
stipulated in a separate law made by the law-making body like the legislature. This
law can be abolished by the same body.
3) Statutory Rights They are those rights which are provided by laws promulgated
by the law making body consequently may be abolished by the same body, and
rights conferred and protected by the constitution. Examples are the right to
receive a minimum wage and the right to adopt a child by an unrelated person.
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Classification Of Constitutional Rights:
The human rights secured by the Constitution include social and economic rights
and not just political and civil rights. They are as follows:
1) Political Rights They are such rights of the Citizens which gave them the power to
participate directly or indirectly, in the establishment administration of the
Government, and right of the citizen to participate in the political process and
procedural fairness such as the rights of the accused and to legal remedy. Among
these rights are the rights of Citizenship (Article IV). The right to information on
matters of the public concern (Section 7).
2) Civil Rights They are those right which the law will enforce at the instance of
private individuals for the purpose of securing to them the enjoyment of their
means of happiness, they include the rights to due process equal protection of the
laws (Section 1), the rights against involuntary servitude (Section 18[2]),
imprisonment for non payment of debt of a poll tax (Section 20), the
constitutional rights of the accused (Section 11 to 22), the social economic rights
(infra), rights and freedom that protect individuals from the infringement of the
government and private organizations, religious freedom (Section 5), liberty of
abode changing the same (Section 6), and the right against impairment of
obligation of a contract (Section 10). Freedom of speech, expression, the press,
the right of assembly and petition. The right to form associations (Sections 4 and
8) are likewise civil rights. However, they partake of the nature of political rights
when they are utilized as a means to participate in the government.
3) Social and Economic Rights They include those rights which are intended to
insure the well being, economic security of the individual. rights that are
intended to ensure the well-being and economic freedom of individual, the right to
property (Section 1), the right to just compensation for private property taken for
public use (Section 9) belong more appropriately under this third category of
rights. They are also provided in the articles dealing with the promotion of social
justice (Article XIII), the conservation and utilization of natural resources (Article XII,
Section 2), and the promotion of education (Article XIV, Sections 1,2,3,[4,5]),
science and technology (Ibid., Sections 10-13), arts and culture. (Ibid. Sections 17,
18). Political and civil rights can have meaning only if concrete measures are
taken to breathe life and substance to social. Economic rights which include
cultural rights.
4) Rights Of The Accused - They are the (Civil) rights intended for the protection of a
person accused of any crime, like the right against which unreasonable search and
seizure, the right to presumption of innocence, the right to a speedy, impartial
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public trial, and the right against cruel, degrading, or inhuman punishment. The
provisions (Sections 11 to 12) particularly and directly dealing with these rights are
discussed subsequently.
Rights Of The Accused:
Rights intended for the protection of the person accused of the crime. The rights
of the accused belong to the political rights classified in the constitution. The
accused is deemed innocent until proven guilty. The accused must be informed of
his rights and the crime lodged against him and shall enjoy the benefits of legal
Due Process Of Law:
The due of process of law must be followed by all parties involved. A mere
violation of the due process of law will affect both parties and might affect the
outcome of the case.
The due process is a step by step procedure followed by the court in order to
establish the guilt or innocence of the accused.
Aspects Of Due Process:
Refers to the method or manner by which the law is enforced. Aspects of due
process determine the steps to which the case is built and brought to court.
Aspects of due process can be presented in the following manners:
o Did the authorities or the police coerce the suspect/s to admit the crime?
o Did the authorities inform the suspect/s of his/her Miranda rights?
o Does the confession or statement of the suspect obtained in the presence of a
lawyer? Or the suspect/s waived his/her Miranda rights?
o Does the case supported by evidence?
o Does the custody of the accused supported by warrant of arrest?
The Difference Between Judicial Proceedings And Administrative Proceedings:
Judicial Proceedings Conducted Before Courts Of Justice
Example: Criminal Trials
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Administrative Proceedings those heard by bodies, government agencies or
Example: Hearings Conducted By The Senate In Aid Of Legislation
Search Warrant/Warrant Of Arrest:
Search Warrant is orders in writing issued by a judge directed to a police officer
authorizing him to conduct a search stipulated in the search warrant a property or
anything that is of value to the case and bring it before the court.
Warrant Of Arrest - it is an order signed by a judge to an officer authorizing him/her
to arrest the person.
Requisites For Valid Search Warrant Or Warrant Of Arrest:
o Issued upon probable cause.
o The probable cause must be determined personally by the judge.
o Probable cause must be made after the examination of the evidence and or
o The warrant must particularly describe the place to be searched and the persons
or things to be seized.
Probable Cause:
The case is built upon the probable cause. If there is no probable cause, the
case cannot be elevated into the court. The existence of probable cause is
determined by the judge. Probable cause is built on facts and circumstances
presented by the authorities and reviewed by the judge which serve as the basis of
the case.
When Search And Seizure May Be Made Without Warrant?
o Where there is consent or waiver.
o Where search is an incident to a lawful arrest.
o Contraband or forfeited goods being transported.
o The possession of articles prohibited by laws is exposed to plain view.
o As incident of inspection, supervision, and regulation in the exercise of police
o Routinary searches usually made at the border or at ports of entry.
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When Arrest May Be Made Without Warrant?
o When the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing or is
attempting to commit a crime.
o An offense has just been committed.
o The person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped from a penal
Constitutional Rights Of The Accused In Criminal Cases:
o The right to legal remedy.
o The right to be informed of his right to remain silent and to have counsel.
o The right against the use of torture, violence, threat and intimidation.
o The rights against being held in secret, incommunicado or similar forms solitary
o The right to bail and against excessive bail.
o The right of presumption of innocence.
o The right against detention by reason of political beliefs and aspirations.
o The right against self-incrimination.
o The right against double jeopardy.
Arraignment is the first step taken before the case is brought to trial. It is in the
process of arraignment that the accused can invoke his innocence or guilt by
making the plea of guilty or not guilty. It is also consists in furnishing the accused a
copy of the complaint or information with the list of witnesses.
Writ Of Habeas Corpus:
The writ of habeas corpus is an order issued by the court commanding an officer
or an agency of the government who has custody of the person to produce the
body of the prisoner at a particular time and place and to show sufficient evidence
of his/her detention. The writ of habeas corpus is very important. That is why it can
only be suspended under the circumstances articulated in the constitution. The
writ of habeas corpus is a shield against unwarranted use of force of the
government or authorities.
Suspension Of The Privilege Of The Writ:
Only the president has the power to suspend the writ of habeas corpus and it can
only be suspended in case of invasion or rebellion.
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Double Jeopardy:
o Double jeopardy means that the person cannot be tried with the same offense if
the case has already been decided by the court.
Requisites For The Existence Of Double Jeopardy:
o The person has been brought to trial in a court of competent jurisdiction under a
valid complaint or information.
o He has been arraigned.
o The person has been convicted or acquitted or the case against him/her has been
o He is being charged again of the same offense.
No Ex Post Facto Law Or Bill Of Attainder Shall Be Enacted:
The idea that no ex post facto law shall be enacted was conceptualized to
protect the rights of the accused or those prisoners who already received their
sentences prior to the enactment of the law. Ex post facto law changes the legal
consequences of acts committed or the legal status of facts.
Characteristics Of Ex Post Facto Law:
o Relate to penal or criminal matters only.
o They are retroactive in their operation.
o They deprive persons accused of crime of some protection or defense previously
Bill Of Attainder:
It is a legislative act which inflicts punishment without the benefit of a trial, (De
Leon, Hector, 1995). The reason why congress is prohibited to enact a bill of
attainder is because it is considered an excess or abuse of the power of the
legislative body or the government to punish individuals without the benefit of a
fair trial. Even in the US Constitution, bill of attainder is prohibited. Bill of attainder
is common only in an absolute monarchy where the king rules with absolute power
without the interference of the legislative or the judicial branch of government.
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1.1.11 The Structure Of Government
While some countries in Asia are struggling to free from the sovereignty of
colonial powers, the Philippines under the tutelage of the US has already been
trained to run a democratic country that is closely patterned to the American
government. While election has not yet introduced in other parts of Asia, the
Filipinos are already participating in the political process that was never heard of
before. But in spite of our being ahead in the democratic process, our government
is always threatened with military adventurism and political setbacks.
Some political thinkers believed that republican form of government is a stable
government because it has the doctrine of separation of powers and the principle
of checks and balances plus it guarantees complete participation of people in the
affairs of the government. However, the success of every government depends not
on its form but on how it is managed and executed.
The political ideals of a state and the nation are reflected in the type of
government they have adopted. In the Philippines, the structure of government is
based on the principles of republicanism which is primarily influenced by the
American colonial regime. This system of government offers independence and
interdependence of the three branches of government which the Filipinos believed
ideal for good governance. Republicanism gives and provides the Filipinos political
participation and freedom to choose and scrutinize their leaders through direct
representation and at the same time held each branch of government accountable
to whatever actions they might commit.
This section of the module will discuss the three branches of government, its
powers and how it checks and balances each other.
At the end of the lesson, you are expected to:
1) Identify the branches of governments and their functions.
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2) Outline the strengths and weaknesses of each branch.
3) Relate the functions of the three branches of government as practiced by the
The structure of Philippine government is patterned to that of the United States.
It was the most evident influence of American colonial rule in the Philippines. For
almost thirty years, the republican form of government and its principles and
doctrines seemed to fit well to the Filipinos style of governance until Marcos
imposed martial law, ruled by decree and introduced a new set up for his dream of
new society. However, the system did not last long, and the Filipinos adopted
again a system that has dominated Philippine style of governance.
The republican form of government is divided into three branches of government
that are independent but are interdependent. This defined independence and
interdependence balances the powers and accountability of the three branches of
government. The equality of each branch serves to maintain the balance of power
and safeguard possible abuse of power.
The Four Branches Of Government:
1) The Legislative Branch.
2) The Executive Branch.
3) The Legislative Branch
4) The Judicial Branch
The Legislative Power of Philippine Government is vested in a bicameral set-up of
congress which is composed of the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Though the members of the two houses are elected differently and their term of
office is not the same, they maintain a co-equal status but independent
jurisdiction of legislative powers. The legislative branch has tremendous powers at
its disposal; the power to legislate laws which govern the state and all the citizens.
It is the only branch of government possessed with the inherent power of the state;
police power and power of taxation. The power of the purse or the power to tax and
appropriate makes this branch very powerful. However, though the legislative
branch gives laws to another and the state in general, it is not supreme against
the two departments; the three branches of government maintain a co-equal
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Legislative Power- is the power of the legislative branch to make laws defined in
the constitution. It has also the power to alter or repeal them.
Classification Of Powers Of Congress:
1. General Legislative Power the power to enact laws which govern the conduct of
the state and the individuals as well as the relations between the state and
2. Specific Powers powers which are articulated in the constitution and directly
authorize Congress to exercise.
o The power to choose the president in case there is a tie among the presidential
o To confirm or reject appointments made by the president through the Commission
on Appointments.
o Declare the existence of war.
o Impose taxes.
o Appropriate money.
o To act as jurors in the impeachment trial of the president.
o To act as constituent assembly.
3. Implied Powers- a power which allows Congress to exercise authority that is
necessary and effective for the conduct of their duty.
o To conduct inquiry and investigation in aid of legislation.
o To punish for contempt.
o To determine the rules of its proceedings.
4. Inherent Powers a power possessed and exercised by every government for its
existence and development.
o Eminent Domain.
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o Police Power.
o Power Of Taxation.
Principle Of Separation Of Powers:
The principle of separation of powers is one of the distinguished characteristics
of democracy. Under this principle, the three branches of government exercise
distinct independent powers which are specifically articulated in the constitution.
Each department maintains independence from the other which prohibits them to
encroach upon the powers given to the others. The idea of separation of powers is
not to pit the three branches against the other but to clearly define the powers,
responsibilities and accountability of each department.
Separation Of Powers In The Following Systems Of Government:
1) Presidential System in this type of system, the powers of government are vested
and divided in the three branches of government; the legislative, executive and the
judiciary. Each branch exercises powers and authority defined in the constitution
and is considered co-equal.
2) Parliamentary System the separation of powers between the legislative and
executive practiced in the presidential system is not practiced in this type of set-
up, rather than separating the powers, parliamentary system fused together the
powers of the executive and legislative branch and exercises the functions of
legislating laws and executing them under the power of one body.
3) French Presidential-Parliamentary System - the powers established by this system
are remarkably divided between the two prominent political figures; the president
who is considered the head of state and the prime minister who is considered the
head of government. The two heads have a distinct political powers but in this set-
up, the president commands tremendous power over the prime minister. The
president is elected though national election and has a fixed term of office while
the prime minister is elected by the MPs or Members of the Parliament and has
no fixed term of office.
Principle Of Checks And Balances:
The principle of separation of powers is an idea practiced under the presidential
system of government like in the Philippines; however the principle of checks and
balances also adopted by this system makes it difficult for each department to be
totally independent without encroachment from the other branch. This principle
makes the presidential set-up trustable and is ideal safeguard for preventing
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abuse of power of those who are in the position. In addition, the principle gives
each department authority granted in the constitutional provisions to check and
balance each department.
In order for each department to check and balance each other, the constitution
specifically articulated how each branch can encroach on the affairs of the other
without fear of constitutional violations.
Principle of checks and balances as practiced by each branch
1. Checks By The Executive (President)
o The veto power of the president: the president may approve or disapprove the bills
enacted by Congress
o The pardoning power of the president, the power to grant amnesty, or modify or
set aside the judgments of the court
2. Checks by Congress
o May override the veto of the president
o Reject appointments
o Revoke the proclamation of martial law or suspension of the privilege of the writ of
habeas corpus
o The power to impeach the president and members of the Supreme Court
o Power to revise the budget prepared by the executive branch
o Amend or revoke decisions made by the courts
o Power to define, prescribe and apportion the jurisdiction of the various courts
o Determine the salaries of the president and the vice-president, members of the
Supreme Courts and lower courts
3. Checks By The Judiciary
o May declare legislative measures or executive acts unconstitutional
Functions Of Legislative Branches:
1) Legislative Function the power to legislate laws which are called legislative acts
or statutes.
2) Executive Function - the power to confirm appointments made by the president.
3) Judicial Function inquiry or investigation conducted in aid of legislation, during
impeachment proceedings against public official.
4) Constitutional Function power to propose amendments to the constitution
5) Electoral Function the Congress serves as a canvassing board to determine the
validity of electoral returns for president and vice-president.
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6) Financial Function- approves, alters, or revises the budget presented by the
executive branch.
7) Investigatory Function the legislative conducts hearings or investigations.
The primary function of the legislative department is to make laws. This function
could not be delegated to other branch of government unless otherwise provided
for by the constitution. Under the power to legislate, the following steps must be
followed in the passage of a bill.
Steps In The Passage Of A Bill:
Steps Description
1. First Reading Any member of either house may present a
bill. The bill is filed with the Office of the
2. Referral To Appropriate Committee The bill is referred to committee or
committees for study and consideration.
3. Second Reading If the committee favors the bill, it is
forwarded to the Committee on Rules to be
calendared for deliberation on second
4. Debates Members of the house will deliberate on the
importance of the bill. Amendments may be
proposed. The house may either reject or
pass the bill.
5. Printing And Distribution After approval, copies of the bill are printed
and distributed among members of the
house three days before its passage.
6. Third Reading Only the title of the bill is read and members
of the house will decide on the approval of
the bill.
7. Referral To The Other House If the bill is approved, the Senate president
and Speaker of the house will sign the bill.
8. Submission To Joint Bicameral Committee The bill is submitted to conference
committee of both houses for compromise
or to reconcile conflicting provisions.
9. Submission To The President A bill is transmitted to the president for
his/her action.
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When Does A Bill Become A Law?
There are three ways for a bill to become a law.
1) When the president affix his/her signature.
2) When the President vetoes the bill, it will automatically go back to the house where
it originated and it will be decided upon by the house through a two-thirds vote of
all the members of both houses.
3) If the President allows the bill to be on his/her desk for thirty days without
communicating to the congress his veto.
Veto Power Of The President
Veto is the Latin word for I forbid or deny. Veto power is one of the powers
given to the executive branch i.e. the President to check and balance the
legislative department. Veto is part of the principle of checks and balances.
Purpose Of Veto
o To check and balance the legislative department of the co-equal branch which is
the executive.
o To maintain equilibrium in the government.
o To maintain the interdependence of the branches of government.
o For the executive branch to have a direct check on the passage of legislative.
o Measures that could be of help to the development of the state.
The Executive Branch
In the presidential set-up, the President is considered both the head of state and
the government and all executive powers are vested on the President. In all
presidential governments, the president is considered the most powerful man of
the land, but the powers granted to the president can be limited by the provisions
in the constitution. In the 1935 constitution, President Marcos saw the weakness
of the constitution but noted the strength of power of the president and used it for
his advantage. Under the 1987 constitution, the framers did not want to repeat
the same mistakes provided for by the 1935 constitution. Although the president
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still commands tremendous power, but its a power that could be checked and
balanced by the legislative branch.
Executive Power:
Executive Power is defined as the power granted to the executive branch to
execute or enforce the laws through the inherent powers of the state.
Term Of Office Of The President
The 1987 constitution, the president is not eligible for re-election. The president
serves a six-year term of office.
When Vice-President Shall Become President:
o Death
o Permanent disability
o Removal from office
Resignation Of The President
o The hierarchy of government officials who will take over the presidency if there are
no president and vice-president
o The Senate president
o The Speaker of the House
o The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court
Vacancy In The Office Of The Vice-President
The president will nominate from among the members of the Senate and the
House of Representatives. The nomination is subject to the confirmation of both
houses voting separately.
Appointments Extended By An Acting President
The appointments made by the acting president will remain effective unless
revoked by the elected president within ninety days from his assumption.
Appointments Preceding A Presidential Election
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The president is prohibited under the 1987 constitution to appoint any position in
the executive level two months before the next election. This provision in the
constitution which bars the president to appoint is said to be limited only to
executive positions. The prohibition does not extend to vacancy in other
departments like the judicial branch. The ruling of the Supreme Court allowing
president Arroyo to appoint the next chief justice of the Supreme Court has clearly
articulated the power of the sitting president to appoint in other departments.
Public And Career Officials That Can Be Appointed By The President:
1. Heads of executive departments
2. Ambassadors, public ministers and consuls
3. Officers of the AFP from the rank of colonel to naval captain
4. Heads of government owned and controlled corporations
5. Justices of the Supreme Court and judges of the lower courts
6. Regular members of the Judicial and Bar Council
7. Chairman and Commissioners of Constitutional Commissions
Kinds Of Presidential Appointments:
1. Regular Appointment those made while the congress is in session
2. Ad Interim Appointment appointments made by the president while the congress
is not in session.
Removal Power Of The President:
The power of the president to remove is not absolute. There are some positions in
the government where the power of appointment is vested on the president but
the power to remove is not exercised by the president. The power of removal
depends on the specific positions articulated in the constitution. A career service
official with a fixed term cannot be removed by the president.
Power Of Control Over All Executive Departments:
Every department or bureaus in the executive branch is under the command of
the president. The president oversees the effectiveness, transparency and control
of his/her appointees. For the chief executive to manage and control the
departments under his/her power, the president executes two duties:
1. The Power Of Appointment.
2. The Power Of Removal.
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Functions And Powers Of The Chief Executive:
1. Executive Function/Power
o Appointment and removal of cabinet secretaries
o Implementation of laws passed by Congress
o Representing the Philippines in the international community and foreign affairs
o Command of the armed forces
2. Pardoning Power
o Executes the spending authorized by Congress
o Executes the instructions of Congress when it declares war or make rules for the
3. Veto Power
o Executive agreements
o Creates treaties (must be ratified by the Senate)
o Executive orders
o Proclamations
o Presidential decrees
o Administrative function
o Preserves, protects and defends the Constitution
o Oversees the effectiveness of all departments under the executive
o Administers the budget appropriated by Congress
4. Diplomatic Power
o Executive agreements
o Represents the state in the international community and foreign affairs
o Authority to contract and guarantee foreign loans
o Power to appoint diplomats
o Powers as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces
o Has absolute control of the armed forces
o Has the power to call out the armed forces to prevent or suppress lawless violence
o Empowered to created military tribunals
5. Military Power
o To call out the Armed Forces
o To meet emergency situations
o To declare martial law
o To suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus
6. Budgetary Power
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o Prepares the budget
o Executes the spending authorized by Congress
7. Pardoning Power
o The president may grant reprieves, commutations, and pardons
o The president may also grant amnesty (with the concurrence of all the members of
The Judicial Branch
The Judicial Branch Of Government is considered the least political among the
three branches of government and this is based on the nature of their accession in
the position. The judicial branch does not decide on political issues that are
usually common in the two branches of government rather acts on the basis of the
law and moral integrity of the state. Though in the Philippines, the judiciary has
been dragged and involved in political controversies, it is still considered the most
trusted branch of government.
Judiciary Or Judicial System
Is the system of courts which administer justice in the name of the sovereign or
state? It gives resolution in the settling of disputes. Fast, good and effective
judicial system is a measurement of a civilized and developed society. Effective
judicial system is also the result of good legislative measures and efficient
executive function.
Judicial Power
Judicial Power is the power vested on the judiciary to interpret and apply laws to
cases involving individuals, among individuals or between individuals and the
state. Legislative measures and the operation of the executive branch are subject
to judicial power.
The Purposes Of The Judicial Branch
o To check the power of the other branches of government
o To provide legitimacy for legislation and executive orders
o To provide legitimacy for the criminal-justice system
o To provide a place for the settlement of disputes
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o To provide a last resort for those who might be ground up by the system
(Introduction to Political Science by Barry D. Friedman)
Scope Of Judicial Power
1. Adjudicatory Power includes the duty of the courts of justice to:
o settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and
o to determine whether there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to
lack or excess of jurisdiction.
2. Power Of Judicial Review this power is vested on the judicial branch and includes
the following:
o to check the validity or constitutionality of the laws of the state and acts of other
departments of government
o to interpret these laws
o to resolve the issues through decisions or judgments decided by the court/s
3. Incidental Powers powers necessary for effective discharge of judicial functions.
Judicial Review
Judicial Review involves the power of the courts ultimately the Supreme Court to
interpret the constitution and review whether legislative or executive acts are in
conflict with the fundamental law.
Limitations On Exercise Of Power Of Judicial Review
o The concurrence of the majority of the justices who took part in the review.
o When there are conflicting interpretations of the law and that the validity is in
question, the court will decide on the matter to be adopted.
o Questions that are outside of the jurisdiction of the courts or matters that need the
opinion of the judiciary but are not judicial in nature.
o Political questions that should be addressed by the two departments.
Justiciable Question Distinguished From Political Question
Justiciable Question is a matter which involves the jurisdiction of the court to
settle or resolved a dispute or conflict involving the safety of individuals and their
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property which requires immediate decision and resolution. While political
question does not involve validity or legality of the law but involves decisions
concerning the duty of the legislative or the executive.
Cases Under The Jurisdiction Of The Supreme Court:
o Constitutionality of a treaty
o International or executive agreement
o Constitutionality, application or operation of presidential decrees, proclamations,
orders, instructions, ordinances and other regulations
o Cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls and over
petitions for certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, quo warranto and habeas corpus
o Review, reverse, modify or affirm on appeal or certiorari as the law or the Rules of
Court may provide, final judgments and orders of lower courts
o Case involving the legality of any tax, impost, assessment, or toll, or any penalty
imposed in relation thereto
o All criminal cases in which the penalty is reclusion perpetua or higher
o Cases where error or question of the law is involved
o Assign temporarily judges of lower courts
o Order a change of venue or place of trial
o Promulgate rules concerning the protection and enforcement of constitutional
rights and admission to the practice of law
Jurisdiction Of Courts
1. General it has jurisdiction to decide all disputes that come before the court
except cases already assigned to other courts
2. Limited the authority of the court to hear specified cases
3. Original when it can try the case presented for the first time
4. Appellate a court that can take a case that is already heard and decided by a
lower court
5. Exclusive when it can try and decide a case which cannot be presented before
any court
6. Concurrent when any one of two or more courts may take cognizance of a case
7. Criminal exists for the punishment of crime
8. Civil when the subject matter is not of a criminal nature
9. Appointment, term of office and removal of the lower court judges and Supreme
Court justices
The power to appoint the lower court judges and justices of the Supreme Court is
vested on the president. They are appointed from the list of at least three
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nominees prepared by the judicial and bar council. The retirement age is seventy
years old. The Supreme Court en banc has the power to discipline and remove
lower court judges by a vote of the majority of all the members. However, Supreme
Court justices can only be removed through impeachment.
1.1.12 Political Behavior
Every nation exhibits different political behavior. Political behavior depends on
the political system adopted by the state and it is through this system that citizens
develop political culture and political socialization. Some governments dictate the
political culture and socialization of their citizens so that programs and political
ideologies can be implemented and structured properly with total support from the
people. These types of government usually resort to violence in enforcing reforms
and do not tolerate dissent among its people.
Though political cultures are dependent on the political system, these are not
static. They do change overtime as people acquire new political perspectives
based on the experience they developed inside their own political organization or
through the political issues encountered by other people in other parts of the
In the Philippines, political behavior is influenced by many factors and one of the
dominant factors is our colonial history. The strong cooperation between the state
and the church during the Spanish era left a remarkable deep seated belief to
Catholicism that affects our political culture and socialization. Even our political
perspectives are attached to the doctrine of Catholicism. The political arena is
combined with religious affiliation and political affiliation.
The other influence of political behavior which shaped our political culture and
socialization is the system introduced by the American government. The republican
ideology adopted by the Philippines during the American regime help developed
our concepts of what a government should be, its political process and the political
participation of people. After the independence, we struggled to keep the ideals of
American political behavior but the successions of political leaders have changed
or altered our acquired political values. This module will discuss political culture
and socialization, its levels and classifications and agents of political socialization.
At the end of the lesson, you are expected to:
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1) Describe the strengths and weaknesses of political culture, behavior and
socialization of the Filipinos.
2) Relate it to the present political practices of the Filipinos.
Political Behavior
Political Behavior explains the influences that define the political participation,
political views and ideology of a person or group of people in a society. Political
behavior is heavily dependent on the political system which in return shapes the
political culture and socialization.
Political Culture
Political Culture can be defined as the orientation of the citizens of a nation
toward politics, and their perceptions of political legitimacy and the traditions of
political practice. In addition, political culture is a public attitude which defines the
level of role of the individual within the political system. How the people recognize
the importance of participation in the political process will greatly affect the
political system.
Three Levels Of Political Culture:
1. System Level - Attitudes towards the organization of the system.
o National Pride.
o National Identity.
o Legitimacy Of Government.
2. Process Level - What the public expects from the political process.
o Principles Of Government.
o Role Of Citizens.
o Perceptions Of Political Rights.
The level of involvement of the citizens in the political process. How citizens view
their political roles.
Types Of Political Culture:
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1. Participant - citizens are involved in the actual political process and because of
their active participation they are able to influence the government in various
2. Subject - citizens are passively involved in the operation of government and
because of passive involvement there is little scope for dissent.
3. Parochial - citizens are not aware or hardly aware of government and its policies
and live regardless of the decisions taken by the state.
3. Policy Level - Attitudes and expectations towards policy and implementation.
Role Of Government And Government Policy Priorities:
1. Cultural Congruence - it rests on the idea that political system depends on the
culture of a nation and that some political structure may not be acceptable to
other nations. Cultural congruence may be possible if leaders and citizens alike
respect the diversity of culture and political ideologies.
2. Consensual Political Culture citizens tend to agree on the appropriate means of
making political decisions and on how to solve problems that may arise out of the
3. Conflictual Political Culture citizens are sharply divided on both the legitimacy of
the regime and the solutions to major problem.
4. Political Subcultures often emerge when deeply divided political conflict persists
over time.
Classifying Political Cultures :
1) Democratic Political Culture.
o Tolerate diverse points of view including unpopular or dissenting opinions.
o Respects political rights of the citizens.
o Backs up moderation, accommodation, restrained partisanship system loyalty and
2) Consensual Culture
o Citizens tend to agree on basic political procedures.
o Citizens support government policies and how to solve them.
3) Conflictual Culture.
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o Highly polarized by fundamental differences
o Deep ideological divisions
Other Cultural Classifications:
o Revolutionary or Marxist political culture
o Confucian political culture
o Hindu culture
o Islamic culture
Philippine Political Culture
For decades Philippine political culture has not improved in a level that other
Asian nations have improved. Though we prided ourselves as having a highest
literacy rate in Asia, Filipinos displayed illiteracy level when it comes to their
expression of political participation and selection. The manner to which they
exercise their political rights is uncivilized as evident of the electoral fraud and
other political killings. Political leaders are elected on the basis of family name,
popularity and social status and political institutions are dealt with by political
leaders and the elites as if they owned it or part of their business empire.
Leon Ma. Guerrero Expressed His Analysis Of Philippine Political Culture:
The experience of the Filipinoshad been of parties that were not parties but
unprincipled coalitions of the rich, the powerful and the unscrupulous; of elections
that were essentially meaningless exercises in fraud, terrorism, bribery and
demagoguery; of politicians who represented no one but themselves. The peoples
capacity for self-government had been trapped in a political mechanism they had
not learned to work or control, and their capacity for indignation and generosity,
sacrifice and service to the country, left to wither and decay.
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Lewis Gleecks View
The Philippine political culture ispersonalistic but violent, religious but
superstitious, corrupt but tolerant, hierarchical but distributionist, solicitous of
form but not of content, legalistic but careless of equity, media obsessed and
nationalistically vociferous with respect to rights but negligent to obligations.
American author David Timberman (1991; 22) also explained his observation of
Filipino political culture:
The exclusiveness of the Filipino family, the importance of patron-client ties, and
the strength of regional and linguistic affinities cause Filipino politics to be highly
personalistic and particularisticMost Filipinos believe that the decisions and
events that shape their lives are determined more by particular individuals that by
impersonal systems and institutions. Consequently, the maintenance of good
personal relations with those in powers is critical. As a result of the personalization
of public life there has been relatively little concern with institutions or ideologies
on the part of leaders or the public.
Political Socialization
It is the process whereby individuals become aware of tenets of political culture,
political facts and political values. Active and direct political socialization of
individuals must be properly supported by the state because it is the state that is
responsible for teaching, and shaping the political attitudes of the citizens.
When Unification Of A Divisive Group Possible?
o If there is an international conflict
o If there is natural disaster
o If the country is at war
Agents Of Political Socialization:
o Family
o School
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o Religious organizations
o Peer groups
o Interest groups
o Media
Political Parties
Sometimes governments are involved in a political re-socialization particularly
after the collapse of a political ideology like in the case Russia and Germany.
Some states have aggressively controlled the process of political socialization in
order to fully structure the political institutions. Some have strict indoctrination of
the political ideologies like in the case of the Nazi Germany. In the Philippines,
Marcos had tried to introduce a system of political process whereby leadership is
based on constitutionalism and Filipinos were forced to accept a new way of
establishing a new society.
1.1.13 Local Government
During the era of Spain, territorial and political subdivisions were created,
however all the powers were concentrated and enforced by the national
government. So as a result, local officials were not empowered to solve the
problems and needs of people, and the national government having no idea of the
problems was so nave as to what programs that can be implemented. The idea of
decentralizing the powers of the national government to the local government was
influenced by the American system of governance.
In the 1987 Constitution, the powers, autonomy and status of local governments
are strictly defined in the constitutional provisions. Thus, local governments
enjoyed a status of autonomy that has not been enjoyed by local governments
before. Today, the national government has delegated a lot of powers to the local
The local government acts as national governments institutional framework and
first line of defense when it comes to settling social issues and problems. Because
of the broad scope of powers of the national government, some issues and
problems may not automatically get the attention of national leaders or cannot be
settled immediately, so local government is an effective political mechanism to
bring the programs and affairs of the national government. In addition, local
government officials are more equipped to respond to the needs of their
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community because they have a firsthand knowledge of the people and the place.
Their easy access and familiarity to the community makes them more reliable.
This part of the module will discuss the autonomy granted to local government,
the taxing power, composition, status, and some additional powers.
At the end of the lesson, you are expected to:
1. Identify the importance, scope and powers of local government
2. Give examples on the powers and scope of local government
3. Evaluate the functions of decentralization and autonomy given to the local
government units
Local Government Defined
The term local government refers to a political subdivision of a nation or state
which is constituted by law and has substantial control of local affairs, with
officials elected or otherwise selected, (De Leon, Hector, 2005).
The broad scope of powers and tremendous obligations of the national
government to the people has made it impossible for the national government to
fully implement and enforce the law and solve the problems of the state. The
creation of local governments has eased the load of responsibilities that are within
the jurisdiction of the central government. According to Alexis De Tocqueville, a
nation may establish a system of government but without the spirit of municipal
institutions, it cannot have the spirit of liberty. This statement exemplifies the
importance of local government. Through local government, people can easily
participate in the political process, and it is also a training ground for leadership.
Importance Of Local Government:
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o Viable organs for the performance of local functions
o Extension of the national government
o Easy access of people in the affairs of the state
o Status of local government
Local Governments Are Political Bodies
Agents Of The State
Territorial And Political Subdivisions Of The Philippines:
o Provinces
o Cities
o Municipalities
o Barangays
o Autonomous Regions for Muslim Mindanao and for the Cordilleras
Dual Status Of Local Governments:
1. As Political Bodies Corporate local government is considered a chartered entity
and contracted partnership of the state. They possess dual character:
o In their public or governmental aspect - they are agents of the state and have
delegated the power to impose and collect taxes, preservation of peace and order
and establishments of social services such as schools.
o In their private or corporate aspect they are mere legal entities similar to a
business corporation performing functions not strictly governmental.
2. Underlying Test - the underlying test is whether the act of the local government is
done for the common good or for the special benefit or profit of the corporate
entity. If the act is for the common good, it cannot be sued, for the second it can
be sued.
Corporate Powers Of Local Government:
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Local Government Units Shall Have The Following Powers:
1) To have continuous succession in its corporate name
2) To sue and be sued
3) To have and use corporate seal
4) To acquire and convey real or personal property
5) To enter into contracts
Meaning Of Local Autonomy
Under statutory provisions of their creation, local governments are allowed to
exercise certain basic powers i.e. police power, power of eminent domain, and
taxing power.
Decentralization Defined
Some of the powers possessed by the national government are transferred to
the local government. Local governments can be effective in their operation when
vested with some powers for the necessity of their operation. Decentralization is
act of the central government to transfer basic powers to local government units.
Why Is Autonomy Important For Local Government Units?
A political entity that does not have control of the operation within the political
jurisdiction cannot function well, so autonomy is a necessity for local government
units to ensure their fullest development.
o Importance of local solutions to local problems
o Need for orderly management of local affairs
o Desirability of self-reliance
o Need for fullest development of local governments
o Innate desire for self-government
o Mechanisms of recall, initiative and referendum
People who comprised the local government are granted some legal mechanisms
to remove erring local government officials, to question an ordinance or law that
may not be beneficial for the interest of the populace and may be directly involved
in a legal process as far as their safety or well-being is concerned.
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The Following Are Legal Processes To Which The People May Participate:
1. Recall Of Officers is the legal process by which the registered voters of a local
government unit remove, for loss of confidence elective local officials.
2. Initiative is the legal process whereby registered voters of a local government
may directly propose, enact, or amend any law or ordinance.
3. Referendum is the legal process whereby the registered voters may approve,
amend or reject an ordinance.
Taxing Power Of Local Governments Constitutionally Granted:
o Exists Independently Of Legislation local government units can create sources of
o Not Absolute the taxing power of the local government is constitutionally
restricted; however it does not mean that their autonomy is usurped by the
national government.
Creation, Division, Merger, Of Any Local Government Unit:
1. Barangay - A barangay may be created, divided, merged, abolished or its boundary
substantially altered by law or by an ordinance of the sangguniang panlalawigan or
sangguniang panlungsod subject to the approval of the majority of the votes cast
in a plebiscite to be conducted by the Comelec in the local government unit or
units directly affected within such period of time as may be determined by the law
or ordinance creating said barangay.
2. Municipality - A municipality may be created, divided, merged, abolished, or its
boundary substantially altered only by an Act of Congress and subject to the
approval by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite to be conducted by the
Comelec in the local government unit or units directly affected. Except as may
otherwise be provided in the said Act, the plebiscite shall be held within one
hundred twenty (120) days from the date of its effectivity.
3. City - City may be created, divided, merged, abolished, or its boundary substantially
altered, only by an Act of Congress, and subject to approval by a majority of the
votes cast in a plebiscite to be conducted by the Comelec in the local government
unit or units directly affected. Except as may otherwise be provided in such Act,
the plebiscite shall be held within one hundred twenty (120) days from the date of
its effectivity.
4. Province - A province may be created, divided, merged, abolished, or its boundary
substantially altered, only by an Act of Congress and subject to approval by a
majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite to be conducted by the Comelec in the
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local government unit or units directly affected. The plebiscite shall be held within
one hundred twenty (120) days from the date of effectivity of said Act, unless
otherwise provided therein.
Verifiable Indicators In The Creation And Conversion Of Local Government Unit:
a. Income.
b. Population.
c. Land Area.
Component Cities And Highly Urbanized Cities:
1) Component Cities - form part of the province, voters of component cities which are
under a province have the right to vote for elective provincial officials.
2) Highly Urbanized Cities are independent of the province, they are not subject to
the supervisory powers of the province.
Autonomous Regions:
ARMM or Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao was created as a result of a
long clamor of the Muslims to be granted autonomy in running their so called
ancestral domain and have control and allocation of natural resources. Muslim
Mindanao does not mean that all provinces of Mindanao exercise autonomy or
part of the ARMM, only those provinces that voted to be autonomous were
members of the ARMM.
Provinces That Are Part Of ARMM:
1. Maguindanao
2. Lanao Del Sur
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3. Tawi-Tawi
4. Sulo
5. Basilan
6. Marawi City
Another act that would have created the Cordillera Autonomous Region was
rejected by the Cordillera voters, only the province of Ifugao had voted for the
autonomous region. The Cordillera Region is composed of Benguet, Mountain
Province, Baguio City, Ifugao, Kalinga, Apayao and Abra.
Residual Powers Vested In The National Government
An autonomous region like the ARMM may exercise power/s specifically defined
in the provision to which it was created, however the constitution retains powers
that may not be delegated or exercised by an autonomous region. Residual powers
are powers not given by the constitution or by law to the autonomous regions but
to the national government.
Legislative Powers Of Autonomous Regions:
1) Administrative organization
2) Creation of sources of revenue
3) Ancestral domain and natural resources
4) Personal, family, and property relations
5) Regional urban and rural planning development
6) Economic, social, and tourism development
7) Educational policies
8) Preservation and development of the cultural heritage
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1.1.14 Philippine Political Systems
The Philippine political system is founded on the ideals of republicanism,
presidential and democratic framework whereby mandate of government officials
to govern are delegated to them by the people who remain as the ultimate source
of political power, authority and sovereignty. The consent of the people to be
governed by their representatives is manifested in the established government
where the system revolves around the three branches of government functioning
and acting independently but is co-equal, coordinate and co-existent. This principle
of governance with its adherence to the principle of separation of powers and
checks and balances protects the people and their resources from total absolute
control of the government and lessens the possibility of total concentration of
power to a few people or group of men.
One of the major structural features of Philippine political system is the specific
composition in the constitution of the three branches of government namely: the
legislative, the executive and the judiciary. Though the structure revolves around
the three branches of government with a seal of independence and powers, the
president who represents the executive branch is the head of the state and the
head of government and with this commands tremendous power and influence in
the political arena.
The highly centralized framework of the government has made it possible for the
president to have a strong influence in the political process to which the members
and officials of the three branches are elected and appointed. It is through this
power that those who are willing to work in the government either as a career or
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elective official have to pay respect to the president or must be politically
affiliated to the appointing power in order to gain position or power in the
government. The power of the president to control the disbursement of funds
appropriated by Congress has added to the importance of being close ally of the
This section of the module will discuss the electoral system, presidential politics,
party system, party-list system, interest groups.
At the end of the lesson, you are expected to:
1. Identify the set-up of Philippine political party system
2. Point out the strengths and weaknesses of political party system in the Philippines
3. Describe the party system in the Philippines
The Study Of Political Science
Meaning Of Political Science
Reduced to its simplest terms, political science is a systematic study of the state
and government. The word political is derived from the Greek word polis, a
meaning a city, or what today would be the equivalent of sovereign state; the word
science comes from to know.
1) The Science Of Politics therefore has its formal object, a basic knowledge and
understanding of the state, the principles and ideals which underlie its
organization and activities.
2) It is Primarily Concerned with the association of human beings into a body politics
or a political community (one organized under government and law).
3) As such, it deals with those relations among men and groups which are subject to
control by the state, with the relations of men and groups to the state itself, and
with the relations of the state to other states.
Scope Of Political Science
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Political Science is a very comprehensive field. Its curriculum is almost certain to
include courses in political theory, public law, and public administration as well as
in various more specialized subjects.
1) Political Theory The entire body of doctrines relating to the origin, form, behavior,
and purposes of the state are dealt with the study of political theory.
2) Public Law The organization of governments, the limitations upon the
government authority, the powers and duties of governmental offices and officer,
and the obligations of one state to another are handled in the study of public law.
In contradistinction to the rules of private law, which govern the relations among
individuals, public laws is so specialized that separate courses offered in each of
its subdivisions Constitutional Law (The organization of governments and The
limitations upon the government authority, Administrative Law (The powers and
duties of governmental offices and officers, and International Law (The obligations
of one state to another are handled in the study of public law).
3) Publication Administration In the study of public administration, attention is
focused upon the methods and techniques used in the actual management of
state affairs by the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government. As
the complexity of government activities grows, the traditional distinctions among
the powers of these branches become even less clear cut. Today, legislative
bodies have been forced to delegate greater discretion to executive officers
responsible for the conduct of government policies and powers. Thus, we find may
administrative agencies exercising quasi-legislative powers, i. e. powers which are
legislative and judicaial in nature.
Administrative Law already referred to also falls within the scope of any broad
study of public administration.
The Idiosyncrasies Of Presidential System And Its Impact On Parties:
The Philippines has adopted a presidential form of government where the
principles of separation of powers and checks and balances are supposed to
equalize and maintain the independence and separate functions of the three
branches of government namely: the legislative, the executive and the judiciary.
Though the adoption of the system was aimed to protect the government from
whatever political desire leader/s might have, this set-up has created a president
who exercises enormous power as head of the state and head of the government.
The power of appointment vested on the president is enough to sway political
affiliations. In addition, the presidents control in the disbursement of funds is also
enough to shake up the alignment of political parties and its members. Those who
are not politically aligned to the president will switch or sign up to his/her party in
order to get the most revered pork barrel, thus affecting and shaking the political
map. The presidential prerogative on impoundment or the prerogative of the
president not to release funds appropriated by Congress is a powerful tool for the
president to form parties instead of the parties forming a government.
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The power over the purse of the presidency explains the phenomenon of party
switching, (Montinola, 1999). Combined with other powers, the president has a
formidable force to control the legislative branch, thus influencing the legislative
agenda, the partys ideological platform or even the entire government.
The presidential set-up is not good in a country that adheres to a multi-party
system or vice versa because parties will not thrive if it can be controlled by the
president or the president has the power to create party instead of the party
creating and making a representation in the government or form a government.
The Following Are Observed As Idiosyncrasies Of Presidential Set-Up :
o Presidential prerogative on impoundment
o Power of appointment
o Power to declare martial law
o Presidential with a multi-party system
o Dual legitimacy (Linz, 1994)
o Rigidity (Linz, 1994)
o Winner take all
o Problem of accountability
o Plebiscitary leadership (Linz, 1994)
o Interbranch conflict
Electoral System
Electoral System depends on the political culture of a nation and it varies
depending on the form of government, however, not all presidential government
has the same electoral system. The electoral framework is highly important in the
shaping and developing of political parties which in turn will select the candidates
who will be chosen by the people to handle key positions in the government.
Philippine Electoral System has adopted a plurality or first-past-the-post method.
Candidates in all positions who got the highest number of votes are declared
winners. This method of election has been practiced since the independence from
the United States; however, there are questions and issues as to whether this type
of system reflects the choice of the people as the principle of majority is ruled out
in this kind of electoral system; a candidate does not have a majority vote on this
method. In the past or recent elections, no candidate has ever achieved a majority
vote and support from the people.
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This Electoral System has created a lot of problems in the Philippines. It resulted
into minority leadership which in turn can be easily challenged by people who did
not support or vote for a particular government official.
Aceron, (2009) has stated that a plurality electoral system when combined with
multi-party system is problematic. Aceron further conclude that a plurality system
works best in a two-party system just like in the United States. If it is applied in a
multi-party system just like in the Philippines its result does not guarantee a solid
majority and a unified populace. Aceron (2009) further added that there are
preconditions that govern a successful application of the plurality/ majority
formula that arguably does not exist in the Philippines, these are:
o Homogenous society
o Fundamental political consensus among population in regards to the majority
o The probability that the minority can become a majority
The Following Are The Effects Of Philippine Electoral System:
o Minority leadership
o Leaders are susceptible to opposition
o Leaders do not show allegiance to the party
o Coalitions are not common or lack of coalition building
o Proportional representation does not exist
o The link between the results of the elections and the configuration of leadership in
government is diluted (Aceron, 2009)
Interrelationship With Other Branches Of Learning:
No precise and definitive boundaries can be placed around a subject as
comprehensive as political science. It shares many points of common interest with
other social disciplines.
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1. History The bond between the political scientist and the historian is obvious in
the observation that history is past politics and politics present history. The
political scientist frequently adopts a historical approach and employs
knowledge of the past when he seeks to interpret present and probable
development in political phenomena.
2. Economics Until late in the 19
century, political science and economics (the
study of the production, distribution, conservation, and consumption of wealth)
were coupled under the name of political economy. Today, these fields are jointly
concerned with the fact that economic conditions affect the organization,
development, and activities of states. Which in turn modify or even prescribe
economic conditions? The political scientist regularly adopts an economic
approach when seeking to interpret such matters as public financial policies
and government regulation of businessmen.
3. Geography Geopolitics (a science concerned with the study of the influences of
physical factors such as population pressures, sources of the raw materials,
geography, upon domestic and foreign politics) indicates one approach which a
political scientist frequently must adopt to help explain phenomena as the early
growth of democracy in Great Britain and the United States its retarded growth in
certain Continental Europe, and the rise of authoritarian governments in
developing countries.
4. Sociology and Anthropology - The political scientist, the sociologist (who specializes
in the study of the society as a whole), and the anthropologist (who studies
mankind in relation to physical, social and cultural development) are all deeply
concerned with the origins and nature of social control and governmental
authority, with the abiding influences of race and culture upon society, and with
the patterns of collective human behavior.
5. Psychology The political scientist as well as the psychologist promotes studies of
the mental and emotional processes motivating the political behavior of the
individuals and groups. One of the many topics which the political scientist
handles from a psychological propaganda is that of public opinion pressure
groups, and proganda.
6. Philosophy The concepts and doctrines of Plato, Aristotle, and Locke (and other
universal thinkers about the state) are important to the concepts are the
underlying forces in the framing of constitutions and laws. The political scientist
considers the branch of philosophy called ethics, too, when he contemplates the
moral background of proposed changes in social legislation.
7. Statistics and Logic The political theorist must possess a broad scientific
background and knowledge of current political problems, he must employ
scientific methods in gathering or evaluating data, and drawing conclusions. These
involve a proper application of statistical procedures for the quantitative
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measurement of social phenomena and logical procedures for analysis of
8. Jurisprudence Is the study and theory of law. Scholars of jurisprudence, or legal
theorists (including legal philosophers and social theorists of law), hope to obtain a
deeper understanding of the nature of law, of legal reasoning, legal systems and
of legal institutions. Modern jurisprudence began in the 18th century and was
focused on the first principles of the natural law, civil law, and the law of nations.
General jurisprudence can be broken into categories both by the type of question
scholars seek to answer and by the theories of jurisprudence, or schools of
thought, regarding how those questions are best answered. Contemporary
philosophy of law, which deals with general jurisprudence, addresses problems in
two rough groups:
Law and State are inseparable. All states proclaim law, effective within their
jurisdictions, and enforce them through a system of penalties or sanctions. To
maintain a full understanding of the facts of political life, the political scientist has
to combine the legal with the extra-legal viewpoints.
Party System
Every political leader in the world is associated with a political party. Political
parties are considered the training and breeding ground of future leaders. Political
parties are tasked to screen candidate selection, formation of political alliances,
political objectives and vision in response to problems faced by the nation and
interest confluence.
In the Philippines, political parties do not have a strong political alliance that is
maintained even after or before elections. Alliances of members are temporary
and usually based on financial support that a party member could get from his/her
membership rather than ideological interest. Membership in the political party is
like membership in a sports team in which the player can be pirated or transferred
to another team depending on financial offer. The life expectancy of membership
and the political party itself is very short.
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This type of political party system can be blamed on the political culture of
politicians and political leaders as well as the voters; Filipino voters do not vote
candidates based on party affiliation or party political platforms, their choice of
candidate is based on family name, popularity, and financial offer of candidates.
Politicians do not even use in their campaign slogan the platform of the party but
craft their own motto that can be easily recalled and remembered by voters.
The Nature And Practice Of Parties
What defines a party? It is a party if its representatives represent the true platform
of the party and it has well-maintained machinery in selecting political candidates
not just for a particular election season but in every electoral process. It has
permanent membership and has capable of financial support to the members. In
addition, Lawson, (1989) has stated that it nominates candidates to stand for its
name; and it exercises power on behalf of the general public. However, Meyer,
(2007) strictly defined political party as large organizations with a certain amount
of centralization and presence across the country.
Heywood, (2002) Also Provides The Following List Of Functions That Political
Parties Must Perform:
1) Representation the capacity to respond and articulate the views of both
members and voters.
2) Elite Formation And Recruitment the ability to mold the political elite tasked to
govern the body politic.
3) Goal Formulation the development of programs of government with a view of
attracting popular support.
4) Interest Articulation And Aggregation the task of combining and harmonizing
different demands and expressing them into coherent policy formulation.
5) Socialization And Mobilization the formation of a national agenda and the
creation of a public discourse to raise political awareness and build the necessary
values and attitudes that would constitute a larger political culture.
6) Organization Of Government the power given to a political party that gains the
necessary votes to constitute the governmental elite, filling governmental posts
with elements from the party ranks.
Party List System
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Party List System was conceived under the 1987 Constitution and was part of the
adoption of multi-party system. The idea of party list system is to allow
marginalized group or sector of society that is not represented by the political
parties or parties that filled candidates in the elections. Party list system is also a
form of proportional representation in the government through the lower house.
Unlike political parties where the name of the candidates were the ones
dominating the campaign, party list groups do not campaign on the basis of the
name of their candidates rather based on the organization or sector they are
representing. In voting for the party list, voters do not write the name of the party
representative but the name of the party itself.
The declaration stressed in the 1987 Constitution was that party list system will
give underrepresented or marginalized sector of society a chance to obtain
representation in the House of Representatives so that they could be able to
participate in the formulation of laws that could be of value to the sector they are
representing and the nation as a whole.
Problems Of The Party List System
o Representatives did not come from the sector they were representing
o Party list groups continue to split in an effort to gain more seats in the lower house
o Party list groups lack financial support from the sector or organizations they were
o Party list is often used as a backdoor to enter politics or to maintain seat in the
lower house
o Party list is used by politicians to gain more support in the house
o Party list groups do not constitute the marginalized sector
o Party list groups lack a well-defined constituencies
Interest Groups
Interest Group is an organized body of individuals or groups formed to represent,
promote, influence, defend, and express the interests of the people they
represent. There are many types of interest group, and their representation varies
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according to the interest they represent. In the Philippines, an interest group that
is critical to the policies and programs of the government is called political interest
group or pressure group. But according to Remegio Agpalo the distinction is not
essential since all interest groups are normally formed to influence, fight or attack
the government policies, regulations or programs, and because of this, they
become the center of governments restrictions and control.
According to Robert Stauffer who pioneered a study of interest groups in the
Philippines, interest groups in the Philippines were already established and played
significant function in the government in preparation for the political transition
during the colonial era. Today, in every sector of government institutions, interest
groups are active and a moderating force to reckon with.
Interest groups thrive in a democratic society. The democratic ideals adhered into
by the Filipinos have encouraged the formation of interest groups who served as
the check and balance of the society against the abuse of power of the state.
However, there are interest groups that could destabilize the government in an
effort to get immediately the reform they wanted.
Types Of Interest Group
1) Sectional sectional groups represent the interest of their members.
Examples: Association of public school teachers, Philippine Medical Association,
Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster sa Pilipinas, Reform the Armed Forces Movement
2) Promotional promotional groups seek to influence government policy in a
particular area.
Examples: Greenpeace, Trade Union Congress of the Philippines, Kilusang Mayo
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3) Fire Brigade groups that are formed to lobby a specific issue but automatically
dismantled once the issue is resolved.
Examples: a group seeking the repeal of death penalty, a group seeking not to
pass the R.H. bill
Functions Of Interest Groups
o They provide information to the people, public officials or the government
o They serve as a link between the people they represent and the institution they
want to be heard
o They influence government policy making or decision making
o Three types of information acquired by interest group/s in the legislative agenda
o Status and prospect of bills under active consideration
o The electoral implications of legislators support or opposition to potential
o The political, economic, social and environmental consequences of policies
1.1.15 Constitutional Commission
Constitutional Commissions under the 1987 constitution are created independent
and are considered co-equal of the three branches of government. Their powers
are specifically articulated in the constitution, thus they are supreme within their
own sphere and may not be influenced or pressured by political issues and
political leaders. Their independence from the intrusion and interference of the
three branches of government is a necessity borne out of the specific functions
that might affect the operation of government and its legitimacy.
Constitutional commissions have a broad scope of functions and responsibilities
essential for the promotion of good governance as they are involved in legitimizing
public position, reviewing and checking accountability of government officials in
the appropriated budget and maintaining the integrity and transparency of career
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Constitutional commissions function in a confluence manner. Though they
maintain a seal of independence their powers and functions are directed toward
political issues and problems arising from the conduct and operation of the
government and its leaders. Thus, in order to guard the commissions from political
maneuvering, they were created in a manner that no branches of government can
abolish or repeal them.
This part of the module will discuss the constitutional commissions under the
1987 constitution. These are the civil service commission, the commission on
elections and the commission on audit.
At the end of the lesson, you are expected to:
1. Identify the powers and functions of the constitutional commissions
2. Compare and contrast the three constitutional commissions
3. Explain its importance as independent bodies
The Following Are The Constitutional Commissions:
o The Civil Service Commission
o The Commission on Elections
o The Commission on Audit
In order to protect the exercise of their powers, constitutional commissions were
granted the following features to ensure their independence. These are the
common features of the constitutional commissions:
1. They are multi-headed bodies
2. They are categorized as independent by the constitution
3. Their powers and functions are defined in the constitution
4. The commissioners are required to be citizens of the Philippines
5. Their terms of office are staggered with a two-year interval
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6. The commissioners appointed are ineligible for re-appointment for a period beyond
the maximum tenure of seven years
7. Appointment to any vacancy is only for the unexpired portion of the term of the
8. The commissioners cannot be appointed or designated in a temporary or acting
9. The commissioners are removable only by impeachment
Rendition Of Decision And Judicial Review
o Any case or matter brought before the commission requires a majority vote of all
its members within sixty days from the date of its submission for decision or
o The decision rendered by the commission may be brought to the Supreme Court
on certiorari
The Civil Service Commission
The civil service commission is created to ensure the merit, fitness and
professional capability of the people who render service/s to the public and to the
interest of the public.
Reasons For Its Creation:
o To have an agency that controls and directs the civil service system
o To have an agency that enforces civil service legislation
o A safeguard for the implementation of the merit system
o Protection of professionals in the exercise of their respective professions
Meaning Of Civil Service:
Civil service means professional body of men and women who render their
professional expertise in the government service and made it a lifetime career.
Civil service is also used to refer to the system of admission and selection in the
government positions that may only be given to those who have the intellectual
expertise to carry on the task of their position.
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Scope Of The Civil Service:
o Branch of government
o Agency of the government
o Subdivision of the government
o Government owned and controlled corporation with original charter
The Merit System
The Merit System in contrast to the spoils system is the process of promoting or
hiring government employees based on their capability to perform the job not on
the basis of political affiliation or connection. The principle of merit system
protects those people who are highly competent enough to get the position or to
be promoted against the spoils system that is usually common in the government.
In the government, there are two practices of merit system:
o Merit determined through competitive examination
o Other methods of determining merit
o Benefits from system
Non-Competitive Positions
1. Policy Determining the occupant in the position makes or formulates policies
2. Primarily Confidential the occupant of the position enjoys a higher degree of
trust of the appointing power.
3. Highly Technical the occupant must possess technical skills
4. Meaning Of For Cause Provided By Law
5. Substantive Requirement the dismissal or suspension is based on the sufficient
grounds provided by law
6. Procedural Requirement the guarantee of an employee to heard before a proper
administrative process can proceed
Abolition Of Position
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Only Congress can abolish any civil service office if it is not a constitutional office.
Abolition of the office does not mean removal from office; the officer is protected
under the constitution as long as the position remains.
Prohibition Against Electioneering And Other Partisan Political Campaign
o Safeguard against the spoils system
o Extent of participation in elections
o Officers and employees covered
o Basic requisites of a civil service system
o Merit system and security of tenure
o Political neutrality
o Ineligibility for appointment of defeated candidate in an election
A Defeated Candidate is not allowed for appointment or re-appointment to any
position in the government or government-owned or controlled corporation within
one year of the election to which he/she participated.
Prohibition Against Holding More Than One Position By Appointive Officials
Multiple or dual holding of position in the government is not allowed because of
the idea that conflict of interest may arise in having two or more positions in the
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The Commission On Elections
In the recent automated elections in the Philippines, the Commission on elections
has made headlines because of fear of electoral sabotage and other issues that
might affect the credibility of the results. These issues were always attached to
this commission that has lost integrity and credibility because of the electoral
fraud involving some people within the commission. Nevertheless, the function of
the commission on elections is to ensure the cleanliness of the process for the
people to accept the credibility of the results and the legitimacy of the positions of
elective officials.
Composition Of The Commissions On Elections
o Chairman
o Six commissioners
o Appointment and terms of office
Heads of the constitutional commissions are appointed by the president, the
chairman and commissioners of the commission on elections are appointed by the
president for a term of seven years.
Powers And Functions Of The Commission
o To enforce laws relative to the conduct of elections
o To decide election contests
o To decide all questions affecting elections
o To deputize law enforcement agencies
o To register political parties and accredit its citizens arms
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o To file petitions, investigate and prosecute
o To recommend measures
o To recommend removal or disciplinary action
o To submit report
o To perform other functions
Finality Of Decisions
Electoral Cases once decided by the commission are final, executory and not
appealable. However, positions involving regional, provincial and city officials may
be appealed to the Supreme Court.
The Commission On Audit
The commission on audit serves as the auditing firm of the government. It checks
and examines the expenditures of the government and government officials in the
conduct of their duty. It is the commission that is in charge of checking whether all
budgets have been appropriated properly.
Purpose Of The Commission
o To see whether government revenues and expenditures are dully accounted for
o Proper disposal of public funds
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o To ensure the accountability of public officers entrusted with receipt, custody, or
disposal of public funds
o Powers and functions of the Commission
o To examine, audit, and settle accounts
o To act as central accounting office of the government
o To define the scope of its audit and examination
o To promulgate accounting and audition rules and regulations
o To submit an annual financial report and recommend measures
o To perform other duties and functions
We, the sovereign Filipino people, imploring the aid of Almighty God, in order to
build a just and humane society and establish a Government that shall embody
our ideals and aspirations, promote the common good, conserve and develop our
patrimony, and secure to ourselves and our posterity the blessings of
independence and democracy under the rule of law and a regime of truth, justice,
freedom, love, equality, and peace, do ordain and promulgate this Constitution.
Meaning Of Preamble
The term preamble is derived from the Latin Word preambulare which means to
walk before. It is an introduction to the main subject. It is the prologue
of the Constitution.