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Course Notes in CONSTITUTION LAW 2 : PRELIMINARY MATTERS

I.

Atty Karen Canulas- Armada

PRELIMINARY MATTERS
A. Concept and Origin of the Bill of Rights1
The Bill of Rights is
1. Set of prescriptions setting forth the fundamental civil and political rights of the
individual, and imposing the limitations on powers of the government as means of
securing the enjoyment of those rights.
2. Designed to preserve ideals of liberty, equality, and security against the assaults of
opportunism, the expediency (the quality of being convenient and practical despite
possibly being improper or immoral; convenience.) of the passing hour, the erosion of
small encroachments, and the scorn and derision of those who have no patience
with general principles[quoted in PBM Employees Organization V. Philippine
Blooming Mills, 51 SCRA 189]
3. In the absence of governmental interference, the liberties guaranteed by the
Constitution cannot be invoked against the State. The Bill of Rights guarantee
governs the relationship between the individual and the state. Its concern is not the
relation between private individuals. What it does is to declare some forbidden
zones in the private sphere inaccessible to any power holder.
*Generally, any governmental action in violation of Bill of Rights is void. These provisions
are also generally self-executing.
* In the absence of governmental interference, the liberties guaranteed by the
Constitution cannot be invoked. Put differently, the Bill of Rights is not meant to be
invoked against acts of private individuals. (Yrasegui vs. PAL, G.R. No. 168081, Oct. 17,
2008) However, the Supreme Court in Zulueta v. CA, G.R. No. 107383, Feb. 20 1996,
where the husband invoked his right to privacy of communication and correspondence
against a private individual, his wife, who had forcibly taken from his cabinet and
presented as evidence against him documents and private correspondence, held
these papers inadmissible in evidence, upholding the husbands right to privacy.
B. Classification of Rights
1. Civil Rights
a. rights that belong to every citizen of the state or country, or, in a wider sense, to
all its inhabitants, and are not connected with the organization or administration
of government
b. include the rights to property, marriage, equal protection of the laws, freedom
of contract
c. rights appertaining to a person by virtue of his citizenship in a state of being
enforced or redressed in a civil action
2. Political Rights
a. the right to participate directly or indirectly, in the establishment or administration
of government, e.g., the right of suffrage, the right to hold office, the right to
petition and, in general the rights appurtenant to vis--vis the management of
government

NACHURA, BERNAS, CRUZ NOTES

AI VALERIANO

Course Notes in CONSTITUTION LAW 2 : PRELIMINARY MATTERS

Atty Karen Canulas- Armada

3. Social and Economic Rights


http://www.nesri.org/human-rights/economic-and-social-rights

a. Human rights are based on principles of dignity and freedom. Both are severely
compromised when human beings cannot meet their fundamental needs. Economic and
social rights guarantee that every person be afforded conditions under which they are
able to meet their needs. In particular, economic and social rights include:
a.1. the right to education enabling all persons to participate effectively in a free
society and is directed to the full development of the human personality
a.2. the right to food guaranteeing freedom from hunger and access to safe
and nutritious food
a.3. the right to health ensuring the highest attainable standard of physical and
mental health including access to care, nutrition, and clear water and air
a.4. the right to housing ensuring access to a safe, secure, habitable and
affordable home with freedom from forced eviction
a.5. the right to social security guaranteeing that everyone regardless of age or
ability to work has means necessary to procure basic needs and services
a.6. the right to work guaranteeing the opportunity to have fulfilling and
dignified work under safe and healthy conditions with fair wages affording a
decent living for oneself and ones family. It also provides for freedom from
unemployment and the right to organized
C. Doctrine of Preferred Freedom (Hierarchy of Rights)
1. It is an erroneous impression that the Constitution gives the same degree and quality
of protection that it gives to life and liberty. (US vs Carolene Products 1938)
2. This is not to say, however, that the right to property is not a basic right. Property has
an intimate relation with life and liberty (ex. for the poor, regard property the same
way as life and liberty).
3. Property is more closely regulated not in order to oppress the owner but in order to
impress upon him the social character of what he holds; Thus we can say that
property must also enjoy the protection of the due process clause.

NACHURA, BERNAS, CRUZ NOTES

AI VALERIANO

Course Notes in CONSTITUTION LAW 2 : PRELIMINARY MATTERS

Atty Karen Canulas- Armada

PBM Employees Org v. PBM Co., Inc., 51 SCRA 189 (1973)


http://talkaboutphilippinelaw.weebly.com/1/post/2011/02/pbm-employees-asso-v-pbm-51-scra-189-1973.html

Facts: Petitioners informed the respondent employers of their schedule for a mass
demonstration in protest for the alleged abuses of the Pasig police. Respondent invoke
that the demonstration is a violation of their CBA agreement however petitioners
contend it is an exercise of their freedom to peaceable assembly to seek redress of
their grievances against the abusive Pasig police and not a strike against their
employer. Respondent dismissed the petitioners and the court sustained their
demonstration is one of bargaining in bad faith.
Issue: Whether or not there was a restraint in the exercise of the right to peaceable
assembly of the petitioners.
Held: The court held that the primacy of human rights such as freedom of expression, of
peaceful assembly and of petition for redress of grievances over property rights has
been sustained. The obvious purpose of the mass demonstration staged by the workers
of the respondent firm was for their mutual aid and protection against alleged police
abuses, denial of which was interference with or restraint on the right of the employees
to engage in such common action to better shield themselves against such alleged
police indignities. Apart from violating the constitutional guarantees of free speech and
assembly as well as the right to petition for redress of grievances of the employees, the
dismissal of the eight (8) leaders of the workers for proceeding with the demonstration
and consequently being absent from work, constitutes a denial of social justice likewise
assured by the fundamental law to these lowly employees.

NACHURA, BERNAS, CRUZ NOTES

AI VALERIANO