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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW I

(Assignment: 7/8/15)
I.

General Principles
a. Political Law – A branch of public law that deals with the organization and
operation of the Governmental organs of the State and defines the relations of the
State with the inhabitants of its territory.
b. Scope of Political Law:
i. Constitutional Law – the study of the maintenance of the proper balance
between authority, as represented by the three (3) inherent powers of the
State, and liberty, as guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.
ii. Administrative Law – the branch of public law which fixes the
organization of the Government, determines the competence of
administrative authorities who executes the law, and indicates to the
individual, remedies for the violation of his rights.
iii. Law on Municipal Corporations
iv. Law of Public Officers
v. Election Laws
c. Constitutional Law – that branch of public law which treats of constitutions, their
nature, formation, amendment, and interpretation.
d. Basis of Study:
i. “To have knowledge and understanding of the State and of the principles
and ideals which underlie its organization and activities.”
e. Philippine Constitutional History:
i. Biak na Bato Constitution* – enacted in 1897.
ii. Malolos Constitution* – enacted in 1899.
1. A new central government was setup with executive, legislative,
and judiciary branches.
2. It governed the 1st Philippines Republic proclaimed in the
Barasoain Church in the same year.
iii. 1935 Constitution – enforced from 1935-1943; reinforced from 1946-1973
1. Considered to be the first Philippine Constitution to be fully
enforced.
2. Drafted by the virtue of the Tydings-McDuffie Law in 1934 during
the Commonwealth Period.
iv. 1943 Constitution* (short-lived) – sponsored by the Japanese invaders
v.

within their own program of Japanization.
1973 Constitution – imposed during Martial Law.

Characteristics: . 2. Cumulative or evolved – one which is a product of growth or a long period of development originating in customs. ii. Unwritten – one which is entirely the product of political evolution.” b. usage and judicial decisions together with smaller body of statutory enactments of a fundamental character. 1987 Constitution – imposed from 1986 to present 1. Introduced the parliamentary-style of government. usually bearing different dates. b.. As to the manner of amending them: a. Kinds: 1.II. 3. judicial decisions. As to their form: a. As to their origin or history: a. Rigid or inelastic – one regarded as a document of special sanctity which cannot be amended or altered except by some special machinery more cumbrous than the ordinary legislative process. iii. Written – one which has been given definite written form at a particular time. Known as the Freedom Constitution. That body of rules and principles in accordance with which the powers of sovereignty are regularly exercised. Constitution: i. The Philippine Constitution a. Conventional or enacted – one which is enacted by a constituent assembly or granted by a monarch to his subjects. etc. Restored the presidential form of Government. traditions. Flexible or elastic – one which possesses no higher legal authority than ordinary laws and which may be altered in the same way as other laws. 2. rather than from a deliberate and formal enactment. b. Concept: 1. consisting largely of a mass of customs. 1. usually by a specially constituted authority called a “constitutional convention. vi.

lays down certain rules relative to its administration and defines the electorate (those who are entitled to vote) (eg. Constitution of Sovereignty – the provisions pointing out the mode or procedure in accordance with which formal changes in the fundamental law may be brought about. (eg. Any vagueness which may lead to opposing interpretations of essential features may cause incalculable harm. enumerates its powers. It would probably never be understood by the public. 2. Furthermore. Legislative. . Amendments – are changes effected in some parts or specific provisions of the Constitution without considering the whole document. Essential Parts: 1. Constitution of Liberty – sets forth the fundamental civil and political rights of the citizens and imposes limitations on the powers of the government as a means of securing the enjoyment of those rights. Art. Broad – because a statement of the powers and functions of the government. iv. it would lose the advantage of a fundamental law which in a few provisions outlines the structure of the government of the whole state and the rights of the citizens. Bill of Rights) 2. Brief – because if a Constitution is too detailed. Civil war and the disruption of the state may conceivably follow from ambiguous expressions in a Constitution. Constitution of Government – outlines the organization of the government. Revisions – is the rewriting or substantial changing of the Constitution viewed in its entirety. and of the relations between the governing body and the governed. it would then be necessary to amend it every once in a while to cover future contingencies. and Judiciary Departments) 3. 3. Amendments or Revisions: i.1. XVII: Amendments or Revisions) b. (eg. requires that it be as comprehensive as possible. Executive. Definite – because otherwise the application of its provisions to concrete situations may prove unduly difficult if not impossible. ii.

A petition of at least 12% of the total number of registered voters. Constitutional convention 3. People’s initiative c. Ways to bring forth amendments or revisions: 1. People’s Initiative . wherein each legislative district must be represented by at least 3% of the registered voters therein.iii. Vote of Congress consisting of ¾ of all its members. 2. .