You are on page 1of 28

I GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS

A. Political Law defined


Macariola v Asuncion

Political Law - a branch of public law which deals with the


organization and operation of the governmental organs of the
State and define the relations of the state with the inhabitants
of its territory.
the Code of Commerce partakes more of the nature of an
administrative law because it regulates the conduct of certain
public officers and employees with respect to engaging in
business: hence, political in essence.
Political Law embraces :

1. constitutional law;
2. law of public corporations;
3. administrative law;
4. law on public officers; and
5. elections
Note : where there is change of sovereignty, the political laws
of the former sovereign, whether compatible or not with those of
the new sovereign, are automatically abrogated, unless they are
expressly re-enacted by affirmative act of the new sovereign.
B. Constitutional Law defined
The true role of Constitutional Law is to effect an equilibrium
between authority and liberty so that rights are exercised within the
framework of the law and the laws are enacted with due deference to
rights.( MMDA v Viron)
A due deference to the rights of the individual thus requires a more
careful formulation of solutions to societal problems.( MMDA v Viron )

A constitution is a system of fundamental laws for the governance


and administration of a nation. It is supreme, imperious,
absolute and unalterable except by the authority from which it
emanates.

It has been defined as the fundamental and paramount law of the


nation.[10] It prescribes the permanent framework of a system of
government, assigns to the different departments their respective
powers and duties, and establishes certain fixed principles on
which government is founded.(Manila Prince v GSIS)

C. Constitution Defined Types/Kinds


See reviewer

II BACKGROUND OF THE 1987 CONSTITUTION


A. 1986 Edsa Rev/ 1986 Provisionary Constitution
Proclamation no. 1 Feb.25, 1986 (Provisional Government)
- On the basis of the peoples mandate clearly manifested last
February 7, I and Salvador H. Laurel are taking power in the name
and by the will of the Filipino people as President and Vice
President, respectively.
-The people expect a reorganization of government. Merit will be
rewarded. As a first step to restore public confidence I expect
all appointed public officials to submit their courtesy
resignations beginning with the members of the Supreme Court.
- To help me run the government, I have issued Executive Order
No. 1 dated February 25, 1986 appointing key cabinet ministers
and creating certain task forces.
Proclamation No. 3 March 25, 1986 (Provisional Constitution)
-DECLARING A NATIONAL POLICY TO IMPLEMENT REFORMS MANDATED BY THE PEOPLE

PROTECTING THEIR BASIC RIGHTS, ADOPTING A PROVISIONAL CONSTITUTION, AND


PROVIDING FOR AN ORDERLY TRANSITION TO A GOVERNMENT UNDER A NEW CONSTITUTION.

- Adopts certain provisions of the 1973 Constitution


- Art. V SECTION 1. Within sixty (60) days from date of this
Proclamation, a Commission shall be appointed by the President
to draft a New Constitution. The Commission shall be composed
of not less than thirty (30) nor more than fifty (50) natural
born citizens of the Philippines, of recognized probity, known
for their independence, nationalism and patriotism. They shall

be chosen by the President after consultation with various


sectors of society

Lawyer League v Aquino Re: Bermudez


the legitimacy of the Aquino government is not a justiciable
matter. It belongs to the realm of politics where only the
people of the Philippines are the judge. And the people have
made the judgment; they have accepted the government of
President Corazon C. Aquino which is in effective control of
the entire country so that it is not merely a de facto
government but in fact and law a de jure government. Moreover,
the community of nations has recognized the legitimacy of tlie
present government. All the eleven members of this Court, as
reorganized, have sworn to uphold the fundamental law of the
Republic under her government.

B. ADOPTION AND EFFECTIVITY OF THE 1987 CONSTITUTION


-Provisional Constitution ART V SECTION 5. The New Constitution
shall be presented by the Commission to the President who shall
fix the date for the holding of a plebiscite. It shall become
valid and effective upon ratification by a majority of the votes
cast in such plebiscite which shall be held within a period of
sixty (60) days following its submission to the President.
1987 Constitution ART. XVIII Sec 27 This constitution shall take
effect immediately upon its ratification by a majority of the
votes cast in a plebiscite held for the purpose and shall
supersede all previous Constitutions.
Proclamation no. 58
RATIFICATION OF THE
PHILIPPINES ADOPTED BY
INCLUDING THE ORDINANCE

Feb. 11, 1987 - PROCLAIMING THE


CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE
THE CONSTITUTIONAL COMMISSION OF 1986,
APPENDED THERETO.

De Leon v Esguerra

The 1987 Constitution was ratified in a plebiscite on February 2,


1987. By that date, therefore, the Provisional Constitution must
be deemed to have been superseded. Having become inoperative,
respondent OIC Governor could no longer rely on Section 2,
Article III, thereof to designate respondents to the elective
positions occupied by petitioners.

EFFECTIVITY OF LAWS

Article 2 of the Civil Code Laws shall take Effect after 15


days following the completion of their publication in the
Official Gazette , unless otherwise provided. This code(civil
code) shall take effect one year after publication.
Civil Code (RA NO. 386 signed June 18 1949, shall take effect
after 1 year) took effect on August 30, 1950
Expressly amended by EO no. 200 (signed June 18, 1987 effective
immediately) Providing for the publication of Laws either in
the Official Gazzetee or in the News Paper Of General Circulation
in the Philippines as a requirement for their Effectivity.
When the statute does not explicitly provide for its effectivity,
it shall have effect only after the expiration of the fifteen day
period following the completion of the publication either in the
Official Gazette or in a newspaper of General Circulation.
After the accomplishment of this requirement, the are deemed to
have conclusively been notified of the law even if actually the
people or some of the same have not read them.
Requires Publication
1. Legislative Acts of Congress of a public nature or of general
applicability.
2. Presidential Decrees (including those naming public place
after a favored individual, or exempting someone from certain
prohibition or requirements)
3. Executive Orders and proclamations of general applicability.
4. Administrative rules and regulations - must also be published
if their purpose is to enforce or implement existing law.
5. Decisions or abstract of decisions of the Supreme Court and
the Court of Appeals as may be deemed by said courts of
sufficient importance to be so published;
6. Documents or classes of documents as the President of the
Philippies shall determine from time to time to have general
applicability and legal effect;
7. Charter of a city;

8. Circulars issued by the Monetary Board they are meant to


fill in the details of the Central Bank Act which that body is
supposed to enforce.

Need not be published : (but, should be submitted to the U.P.


Law Center)

1. presidential issuances which apply only to particular


persons or class of persons such as administrative and
executive orders need not be published on the assumption
that they have been circularized to all concerned.

2. Interpretative regulations and those merely internal in


nature, that is, regulating only the personnel of the
Administrative agency and not the public.

3. Letters of Instruction issued by the administrative


superiors concerning rule or guidelines to be followed by
their subordinates in the performance of their duties.

4. Local ordinances

If the law provides a period longer or shorter than the 15 days,


then such longer or shorter period, as the case maybe, shall
prevail.
If the law says provides that it will take effect immediately, it
means that it shall take effect immediately after publication
with the 15 day period being dispensed with.

The clear object of the above-quoted provision is to give the


general public adequate notice of the various laws which are to
regulate their actions and conduct as citizens. Without such
notice and publication, there would be no basis for the
application of the maxim "ignorantia legis non excusat." It would
be the height of injustice to punish or otherwise burden a
citizen for the transgression of a law of which he had no notice
whatsoever, not even a constructive one. (Tanada v Tuvera)

II JUDICIAL ELABORATION OF THE CONSTITUTION


A. Construction on Supremacy
A constitution is a system of fundamental laws for the governance
and administration of a nation. It is supreme, imperious,
absolute and unalterable except by the authority from which it
emanates.
It has been defined as the fundamental and paramount law of the
nation.[10] It prescribes the permanent framework of a system of
government, assigns to the different departments their respective
powers and duties, and establishes certain fixed principles on
which government is founded. (Manila Prince v GSIS)
The fundamental conception in other words is that it is a supreme
law to which all other laws must conform and in accordance with
which all private rights must be determined and all public
authority administered.[11]
Under the doctrine of constitutional supremacy, if a law or
contract violates any norm of the constitution that law or
contract whether promulgated by the legislative or by the
executive branch or entered into by private persons for private
purposes
is
null
and
void
and
without
any
force
and
effect. Thus, since
the
Constitution
is
the
fundamental,
paramount and supreme law of the nation, it is deemed written in
every statute and contract.( Manila Prince v GSIS)
in case of doubt, the Constitution should be considered selfexecuting rather than non-self-executing

Unless the contrary is clearly intended, the provisions of the


Constitution should be considered self-executing, as a contrary
rule would give the legislature discretion to determine when, or
whether, they shall be effective. These provisions would be
subordinated to the will of the lawmaking body, which could make
them entirely meaningless by simply refusing to pass the needed
implementing statute.[15]
In self-executing constitutional provisions, the legislature may
still enact legislation to facilitate the exercise of powers
directly granted by the constitution. (Manila Prince v GSIS)

Declaration of Principles Not Self-executing


By its very title, Article II of the Constitution is a
declaration of principles and state policies. The counterpart
of this article in the 1935 Constitution[21] is called the basic
political creed of the nation by Dean Vicente Sinco.[22]These
principles in Article II are not intended to be self-executing
principles ready for enforcement through the courts. [23] They are
used by the judiciary as aids or as guides in the exercise of its
power of judicial review, and by the legislature in its enactment
of laws. (Tanada v Angara)
As merely statements of principles and policies, they are
basically not self-executing, meaning a law should be passed by
Congress to clearly define and effectuate such principles.
(Tanada v Angara)

In general, therefore, the 1935 provisions were not intended to


be self-executing principles ready for enforcement through the
courts. They were rather directives addressed to the executive
and to the legislature. If the executive and the legislature
failed to heed the directives of the article, the available
remedy was not judicial but political. The electorate could
express their displeasure with the failure of the executive and
the legislature through the language of the ballot. (Tanada v
Angara)
Unquestionably, the Constitution did not envision a hermit-type
isolation of the country from the rest of the world. In its
Declaration of Principles and State Policies, the Constitution
adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as

part of the law of the land, and adheres to the policy of peace,
equality, justice, freedom, cooperation and amity, with all
nations."[43] By the doctrine of incorporation, the country is
bound by generally accepted principles of international law,
which are considered to be automatically part of our own laws.
[44]
One of the oldest and most fundamental rules in international
law is pacta sunt servanda -- international agreements must be
performed in good faith. A treaty engagement is not a mere
moral obligation but creates a legally binding obligation on the
parties. (Tanada v Angara.. WTO)
No one is above the law or the Constitution. This is a basic
precept in any legal system which recognizes equality of all men
before the law as essential to the laws moral authority and that
of its agents to secure respect for and obedience to its
commands. Perhaps, there is no other government branch or
instrumentality that is most zealous in protecting that principle
of legal equality other than the Supreme Court which has
discerned its real meaning and ramifications through its
application to numerous cases especially of the high-profile kind
in the annals of jurisprudence. (Francisco v House Impeachment
about Davide)
The "equal access" provision is a subsumed part of Article II of
the Constitution, entitled "Declaration of Principles and State
Policies." The provisions under the Article are generally
considered not self-executing,2 and there is no plausible reason
for according a different treatment to the "equal access"
provision. Like the rest of the policies enumerated in Article
II, the provision does not contain any judicially enforceable
constitutional right but merely specifies a guideline for
legislative or executive action.3 The disregard of the provision
does not give rise to any cause of action before the courts.
(Pamatong v COMELEC)
As long as the limitations apply to everybody equally without
discrimination, however, the equal access clause is not violated.
Equality is not sacrificed as long as the burdens engendered by
the limitations are meant to be borne by any one who is minded to
file a certificate of candidacy. In the case at bar, there is no
showing that any person is exempt from the limitations or the
burdens which they create. (Pamatong v COMELEC)
The Omnibus Election Code and COMELEC Resolution No. 6452 are
cognizant of the compelling State interest to ensure orderly and
credible elections by excising impediments thereto, such as
nuisance candidacies that distract and detract from the larger

purpose. The COMELEC is mandated by the Constitution with the


administration of elections16 and endowed with considerable
latitude in adopting means and methods that will ensure the
promotion of free, orderly and honest elections.17 Moreover, the
Constitution guarantees that only bona fide candidates for public
office shall be free from any form of harassment and
discrimination.18 The determination of bonafide candidates is
governed by the statutes, and the concept, to our mind is,
satisfactorily defined in the Omnibus Election Code. (Pamatong v
COMELEC)
(What is recognized in Section 26, Article II of the Constitution
is merely a privilege subject to limitations imposed by law. It
neither bestows such a right nor elevates the privilege to the
level of an enforceable right. There is nothing in the plain
language of the provision which suggests such a thrust or
justifies an interpretation of the sort.)
As a general rule, the provisions of the Constitution are
considered self-executing, and do not require future legislation
for their enforcement. For if they are not treated as selfexecuting, the mandate of the fundamental law can be easily
nullified
by
the
inaction
of
Congress. [18] However,
some
provisions have already been categorically declared by this Court
as non self-executing. (Tondo v CA)
These provisions, which merely lay down a general principle, are
distinguished from other constitutional provisions as non selfexecuting and, therefore, cannot give rise to a cause of action
in the courts; they do not embody judicially enforceable
constitutional rights.[22](Tondo v CA)
they are mere statements of principles and policies. As such,
they are mere directives addressed to the executive and the
legislative departments. If unheeded, the remedy will not lie
with the courts; but rather, the electorates displeasure may be
manifested in their votes.(Tondo v CA)
note : (1) You cant bring a case base on non self-executing
provisions of the constitution. (2) You must look for a
provisions of the constitution which is self-executing or a law
that interprets or implements it.

B.THE DOCTRINE OF SEPARATION OF POWERS AND THE


THEORY OF JUDICIAL REVIEW

It is a fundamental principle flowing from the doctrine of


separation of powers that Congress may not delegate its
legislative power to the two other branches of the government,
subject to the exception that local governments may over local
affairs participate in its exercise. What cannot be delegated is
the authority under the Constitution to make laws and to alter
and repeal them; the test is the completeness of the statute in
all its term and provisions when it leaves the hands of the
legislature.
To determine whether or not there is an undue delegation of
legislative power, the inquiry must be directed to the scope and
definiteness of the measure enacted. The legislature does not
abdicate its functions when it describes what job must be done,
who is to do it, and what is the scope of his authority.
(Soriano v Laguardia mtrcb)
The lawmaking body cannot possibly provide for all the details in
the enforcement of a particular statute.[69]
The grant of the
rule-making power to administrative agencies is a relaxation of
the principle of separation of powers and is an exception to the
non-delegation
of
legislative
powers.[70] Administrative
regulations or subordinate legislation calculated to promote
the public interest are necessary because of the growing
complexity of modern life, the multiplication of the subjects of
governmental regulations, and the increased difficulty of
administering the law.
The Constitution is a definition of the powers of government. Who
is to determine the nature, scope and extent of such powers? The
Constitution itself has provided for the instrumentality of the
judiciary as the rational way. And when the judiciary mediates to
allocate constitutional boundaries, it does not assert any
superiority over the other departments; it does not in reality
nullify or invalidate an act of the legislature, but only asserts
the solemn and sacred obligation assigned to it by the
Constitution to determine conflicting claims of authority under
the Constitution and to establish for the parties in an actual
controversy the rights which that instrument secures and
guarantees to them. (angara v electoral tribunal)
All the agencies of the government were designed by the
Constitution
to
achieve
specific
purposes,
and
each
constitutional organ working within its own particular sphere of
discretionary action must be deemed to be animated with the same
zeal and honesty in accomplishing the great ends for which they
were created by the sovereign will. That the actuations of these

constitutional agencies might leave much to be desired in given


instances, is inherent in the perfection of human institutions.
(angara v electoral tribunal)
(a) That the government established by the Constitution follows
fundamentally the theory of separation of power into the
legislative, the executive and the judicial.
(b) That the system of checks and balances and the overlapping of
functions and duties often makes difficult the delimitation of
the powers granted.
(c) That in cases of conflict between the several departments and
among the agencies thereof, the judiciary, with the Supreme Court
as the final arbiter, is the only constitutional mechanism
devised finally to resolve the conflict and allocate
constitutional boundaries.
(d) That judicial supremacy is but the power of judicial review
in actual and appropriate cases and controversies, and is the
power and duty to see that no one branch or agency of the
government transcends the Constitution, which is the source of
all authority. (angara v electoral tribunal)

PRESUMPTION OF CONSTITUTIONALITY
Before a statute or its provisions duly challenged are voided, an
unequivocal breach of, or a clear conflict with the Constitution,
not merely a doubtful or argumentative one, must be demonstrated
in such a manner as to leave no doubt in the mind of the Court.
In other words, the grounds for nullity must be beyond reasonable
doubt. (Garcia v Drilon)
courts must assume that the legislature is ever conscious of the
borders and edges of its plenary powers, and passed laws with
full knowledge of the facts and for the purpose of promoting what
is right and advancing the welfare of the majority.(Garcia v
Drilon)

CONDITIONS FOR THE EXERCISE OF JUDICIAL REVIEW


It is hornbook doctrine that the exercise of the power of
judicial review requires the concurrence of the following
requisites, namely:

(1) the existence of an appropriate case;


(2) an interest personal and substantial by the party raising the
constitutional question;
(3) the plea that the function be exercised at the earliest
opportunity; and
(4) the necessity that the constitutional question be passed upon
in order to decide the case (auto v romulo)
Even with the presence of an actual case or controversy, the
Court may refuse to exercise judicial review unless the
constitutional question is brought before it by a party having
the requisite standing to challenge it. Legal standing or locus
standi
LOCUS STANDI - is defined as a personal and substantial interest
in the case such that the party has sustained or will sustain
direct injury as a result of the governmental act that is being
challenged. For a citizen to have standing, he must establish
that he has suffered some actual or threatened injury as a result
of the allegedly illegal conduct of the government; the injury is
fairly traceable to the challenged action; and the injury is
likely to be redressed by a favorable action. (AUTO V ROMULO)
Legal standing or locus standi has been defined as a personal and
substantial interest in the case, such that the party has
sustained or will sustain direct injury as a result of the
challenged act.[37] Interest means a material interest in issue
that is affected by the questioned act or instrument, as
distinguished from a mere incidental interest in the question
involved.[38]

The rule on standing, however, is a matter of procedure, hence,


can be relaxed for nontraditional plaintiffs like:
1. As ordinary citizens
2. As taxpayers; and
3. legislators ,
when the public interest so requires, such as
when the matter is of a)transcendental importance, b)of
overarching significance to society, or c)of paramount public
interest.

requirements before a litigant can challenge the


constitutionality of a law :
(1) The existence of an actual and appropriate case; A
justiciable controversy refers to an existing case or controversy
that is appropriate or ripe for judicial determination, not one
that is conjectural or merely anticipatory.[18]
(2) A personal and substantial interest of the party raising the
constitutional question; (locus standi)
(3) The exercise of judicial review is pleaded at the earliest
opportunity; and
(4) The constitutional question is the lis mota of the case. (sta
rosa v amante)
Belgica Vs Ochoa

actual case or controversy is one which "involves a


conflict of legal rights, an assertion of opposite
legal claims, susceptible of judicial resolution as
distinguished
from
a
hypothetical
or
abstract
121
difference or dispute.
In other words, "there must be
a contrariety of legal rights that can be interpreted
and enforced on the basis of existing law and
jurisprudence."122 Related to the requirement of an
actual case or controversy is the requirement of
"ripeness," meaning that the questions raised for
constitutional
scrutiny
are
already
ripe
for
adjudication. "A question is ripe for adjudication when
the act being challenged has had a direct adverse
effect on the individual challenging it. It is a
prerequisite that something had then been accomplished
or performed by either branch before a court may come
into the picture, and the petitioner must allege the
existence of an immediate or threatened injury to
itself
as
a
result
of
the
challenged
123
action."
"Withal, courts will decline to pass upon
constitutional issues through advisory opinions, bereft
as they are of authority to resolve hypothetical or
moot questions." ."
exemptions mootnes

The Court will decide cases, otherwise moot, if: first, there is a grave violation of the
Constitution; second, the exceptional character of the situation and the paramount
public interest is involved; third, when the constitutional issue raised requires
formulation of controlling principles to guide the bench, the bar, and the public; and
fourth, the case is capable of repetition yet evading review.129
"The gist of the question of standing is whether a party alleges such personal stake in
the outcome of the controversy as to assure that concrete adverseness which sharpens
the presentation of issues upon which the court depends for illumination of difficult
constitutional questions. Unless a person is injuriously affected in any of his
constitutional rights by the operation of statute or ordinance, he has no standing." 145
Petitioners have come before the Court in their respective capacities as citizentaxpayers and accordingly, assert that they "dutifully contribute to the coffers of the
National Treasury."146 Clearly, as taxpayers, they possess the requisite standing to
question the validity of the existing "Pork Barrel System" under which the taxes they pay
have been and continue to be utilized. It is undeniable that petitioners, as taxpayers, are
bound to suffer from the unconstitutional usage of public funds, if the Court so rules.
Invariably, taxpayers have been allowed to sue where there is a claim that public funds
are illegally disbursed or that public money is being deflected to any improper purpose,
or that public funds are wasted through the enforcement of an invalid or unconstitutional
law,147 as in these cases.
Moreover, as citizens, petitioners have equally fulfilled the standing requirement given
that the issues they have raised may be classified as matters "of transcendental
importance, of overreaching significance to society, or of paramount public
interest."148 The CoA Chairpersons statement during the Oral Arguments that the
present controversy involves "not merely a systems failure" but a "complete breakdown
of controls"149 amplifies, in addition to the matters above-discussed, the seriousness of
the issues involved herein. Indeed, of greater import than the damage caused by the
illegal expenditure of public funds is the mortal wound inflicted upon the fundamental
law by the enforcement of an invalid statute. 150 All told, petitioners have sufficient locus
standi to file the instant cases.
FUNA VS CSS
Exemptions locus standi
the Court has time and again acted liberally on the locus standi requirements
and has accorded certain individuals, not otherwise directly injured, or with
material interest affected, by a Government act, standing to sue provided a
constitutional issue of critical significance is at stake. The rule
onlocus standi is after all a mere procedural technicality in relation to which
the Court, in a catena of cases involving a subject of transcendental
import, has waived, or relaxed, thus allowing non-traditional plaintiffs, such
as concerned citizens, taxpayers, voters or legislators, to sue in the public
interest, albeit they may not have been personally injured by the operation

of a law or any other government act. In David, the Court laid out the bare
minimum norm before the so-called non-traditional suitors may be
extended standing to sue
exemptions mootness

Nonetheless, this Court has exercised its power of judicial review in cases otherwise
rendered moot and academic by supervening events on the basis of certain
recognized exceptions, namely: (1) there is a grave violation of the Constitution; (2)
the case involves a situation of exceptional character and is of paramount public
interest; (3) the constitutional issue raised requires the formulation of controlling
principles to guide the Bench, the Bar and the public; and (4) the case is capable of
repetition yet evading review.28

ANAKMIN VS EXEC

Grounds for Transcedental importance

(1) the public character of the funds or other assets involved in the case,
(2) the presence of a clear case of disregard of a constitutional or
statutory prohibition by the public respondent agency or instrumentality
of government, and
(3) the lack of any other party with a more direct and specific interest in
raising the questions being raised.
AKBAYAN VS AQUINO
Locus standi
In a petition anchored upon the right of the people to information on matters
of public concern, which is a public right by its very nature, petitioners need
not show that they have any legal or special interest in the result, it being
sufficient to show that they are citizens and, therefore, part of the general
public which possesses the right.1[
Public concern or public interest

it is for the courts to determine on a case by case basis whether the matter at issue
is of interest or importance, as it relates to or affects the public.2[16]

Estarija vs Ranada
Govenciong vs Ca
Should be raised in the earliest opportunity

1[9] Supra note 7 at 536.


2[16] Supra note 7 at 541.

we held that the earliest opportunity to raise a constitutional issue is to raise it in


the pleadings before a competent court that can resolve the same, such that, if it
was not raised in the pleadings before a competent court, it cannot be considered at
the trial, and, if not considered in the trial, it cannot be considered on appeal.

FUNCTIONS OF JUDICIAL REVIEW


1. for the guidance of and as a restraint upon the future.(To
educate). (Javier v Comelec)
2. to

determine and declare the constitutionality of the law .

3. Under the doctrine of check and balance ,to determine whether


another branch of the government has kept within
constitutional limits.

All courts can exercise the Power of Judicial


Review
while lower courts should observe a becoming modesty in examining
constitutional questions, they are nonetheless not prevented from
resolving the same whenever warranted, subject only to review by
the highest tribunal.We have jurisdiction under the Constitution
to "review, revise, reverse, modify or affirm on appeal or
certiorari, as the law or rules of court may provide," final
judgments and orders of lower courts in, among others, all cases
involving the constitutionality of certain measures. This simply
means that the resolution of such cases may be made in the first
instance by these lower courts.

COLLATERAL ATTACK ON CONSTITUTIONALITY


Nothing is more settled than the rule that the constitutionality
of a statute cannot be collaterally attacked as constitutionality
issues must be pleaded directly and not collaterally.41 A
collateral attack on a presumably valid law is not permissible.
Unless a law or rule is annulled in a direct proceeding, the
legal presumption of its validity stands.42(vivas v monetary)

Effects of Declaration of Unconstitutionality


It is now accepted as a doctrine that prior to its being
nullified, its existence as a fact must be reckoned with. This is
merely to reflect awareness that precisely because the judiciary
is the governmental organ which has the final say on whether or
not a legislative or executive measure is valid, a period of time
may have elapsed before it can exercise the power of judicial
review that may lead to a declaration of nullity. It would be to
deprive the law of its quality of fairness and justice then, if
there be no recognition of what had transpired prior to such
adjudication.
An unconstitutional act is not a law; it confers no rights; it
imposes no duties; it affords no protection; it creates no
office; it is, in legal contemplation, inoperative, as if it had
not been passed. It is therefore stricken from the statute books
and considered never to have existed at all. Not only the parties
but
all
persons
are
bound
by
the
declaration
of
unconstitutionality which means that no one may thereafter invoke
it nor may the courts be permitted to apply it in subsequent
cases. It is, in other words, a total nullity. 16 Plainly, it was
as if petitioners and intervenors were never served their
termination orders and, consequently, were never separated from
the service.

Political Question vs Justiciable Question


Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to
settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally
demandable and enforceable, and to determine whether or not there
has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess
of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of
the Government.
We cannot encroach on the policy functions of the two other great
departments of Government. But neither can we ignore any
overstepping of constitutional limitations. Locating the correct
balance between legality and policy, constitutional boundaries
and freedom of action, and validity and expedition is this Courts
dilemma as it resolves the legitimacy of a Government program
aimed at giving every Filipino a more secure, fulfilling and
abundant life.
(I)t is well to remember that this Court, in the language of
Justice Laurel, does not pass upon question or wisdom, justice or

expediency of legislation. As expressed by Justice Tuason: It is


not the province of the courts to supervise legislation and keep
it within the bounds of propriety and common sense. That is
primarily and exclusively a legislative concern. There can be no
possible
objection
then
to
the
observation
of
Justice
Montemayor: As long as laws do not violate any Constitutional
provision, the Courts merely interpret and apply them regardless
of whether or not they are wise or salutary. For they, according
to Justice Labrador, are not supposed to override legitimate
policy and x x x never inquire into the wisdom of the law.
A cause of action is an act or an omission of one party in
violation of the legal right or rights of another, causing injury
to the latter.[28] Its essential elements are the following: (1) a
right in favor of the plaintiff; (2) an obligation on the part of
the named defendant to respect or not to violate such right; and
(3) such defendants act or omission that is violative of the
right of the plaintiff or constituting a breach of the obligation
of the former to the latter.[29]

Oposa v Factoran
What is principally involved is the enforcement of a right vis-a-vis policies
already formulated and expressed in legislation. It must, nonetheless, be
emphasized that the political question doctrine is no longer, the
insurmountable obstacle to the exercise of judicial power or the impenetrable
shield that protects executive and legislative actions from judicial inquiry or
review. The second paragraph of section 1, Article VIII of the Constitution
states that:
Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual
controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable,
and to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or
instrumentality of the Government.

Garcia v Corona
We cannot encroach on the policy functions of the two other great
departments of Government. But neither can we ignore any overstepping of
constitutional limitations. Locating the correct balance between legality and
policy, constitutional boundaries and freedom of action, and validity and

expedition is this Courts dilemma as it resolves the legitimacy of a


Government program aimed at giving every Filipino a more secure, fulfilling
and abundant life.
The Court, in the language of Justice Laurel, does not pass upon question or
wisdom, justice or expediency of legislation. As expressed by Justice
Tuason: It is not the province of the courts to supervise legislation and keep it
within the bounds of propriety and common sense. That is primarily and
exclusively a legislative concern. There can be no possible objection then to
the observation of Justice Montemayor: As long as laws do not violate any
Constitutional provision, the Courts merely interpret and apply them
regardless of whether or not they are wise or salutary. For they, according to
Justice Labrador, are not supposed to override legitimate policy
and x x x never inquire into the wisdom of the law.
That only congressional power or competence, not the wisdom of the action
taken, may be the basis for declaring a statute invalid.
Velarde v SJS
A justiciable controversy refers to an existing case or controversy that is
appropriate or ripe for judicial determination, not one that is conjectural or
merely anticipatory.[18]
The judicial power and duty of the courts to settle actual controversies
involving rights that are legally demandable and enforceable [23] cannot be
exercised when there is no actual or threatened violation of a legal right
A cause of action is an act or an omission of one party in violation of the
legal right or rights of another, causing injury to the latter. [28] Its essential
elements are the following:
(1) a right in favor of the plaintiff;
(2) an obligation on the part of the named defendant to respect or not to
violate such right; and
(3) such defendants act or omission that is violative of the right of the
plaintiff or constituting a breach of the obligation of the former to the latter.
[29]

VINUYA v ROMULO
Prominent on the surface of any case held to involve a political
question is found a textually demonstrable constitutional
commitment of the issue to a coordinate political department or a
lack of judicially discoverable and manageable standards for resolving

it, or the impossibility of deciding without an initial policy


determination of a kind clearly for non-judicial discretion; or the
impossibility of a court's undertaking independent resolution without
expressing lack of the respect due coordinate branches of
government; or an unusual need for unquestioning adherence to a
political decision already made; or the potentiality of embarrassment
from multifarious pronouncements by various departments on
question.

In Taada v. Cuenco,[40] we held that political questions refer "to those questions
which, under the Constitution, are to be decided by the people in their sovereign
capacity, or in regard to which full discretionary authority has been delegated to
the legislative or executive branch of the government. It is concerned with issues
dependent upon the wisdom, notlegality of a particular measure."

III PHILIPPINE STATE


State Defined / elements
Requisites of the State
(1)politically organized sovereign community independent
outside control bound by penalties of nationhood,
(2) legally supreme within its territory, acting
government functioning under a regime of law. 9

through

of
a

(3) it is thus a sovereign person with the people composing it


viewed as an organized corporate society under a government with
the legal competence to exact obedience to its commands. 10
(4) It has been referred to as a body-politic organized by common
consent for mutual defense and mutual safety and to promote the
general welfare. 11 / Correctly has it been described by Esmein
as "the juridical personification of the nation." 12 This is to
view it in the light of its historical development. The stress is
on its being a nation,
(5) its people occupying a definite territory, politically
organized, exercising by means of its government its sovereign
will over the individuals within it and maintaining its separate
international personality. Laski could speak of it then as a
(6) territorial society divided into government and subjects,
claiming within its allotted area a supremacy over all other
institutions. 13 McIver similarly would point to

(7) the power


territory the
international
international
statehood.

entrusted to its government to maintain within its


conditions of a legal order and to enter into
relations. 14 With the latter requisite satisfied,
law do not exact independence as a condition of

TERRITORY
ARTICLE I
NATIONAL TERRITORY
The national territory comprises the Philippine archipelago, with all the
islands and waters embraced therein, and all other territories over which the
Philippines has sovereignty or jurisdiction, consisting of its terrestrial, fluvial
and aerial domains, including its territorial sea, the seabed, the subsoil, the
insular shelves, and other submarine areas. The waters around, between,
and connecting the islands of the archipelago, regardless of their breadth
and dimensions, form part of the internal waters of the Philippines.
The

jurisdiction

necessarily
limitation
deriving

of

exclusive
not

the
and

imposed

validity

nation

from

within

absolute.

It

itself.

Any

by
an

external

its
is

own

territory

susceptible

restriction

source,

would

of

upon
imply

is
no
it,
a

diminution of its sovereignty to the extent of the restriction,


and an investment of that sovereignty to the same extent in that
power which could impose such restriction." After which came this
paragraph: "All exceptions, therefore, to the full and complete
power of a nation within its own territories, must be traced up
to the consent of the nation itself. They can flow from no other
legitimate source."

Treaty Limits / Shape Philippine territory


Treaty of Paris (art. 3)

December 10, 1898

Treaty between Spain and the United States Nov. 7, 1900


Treaty between US and Great Britain January 2, 1930

Methods of Determining Baseline

RA NO. 3046 June 17, 1961


RA NO. 5446 September 8, 1968
RA NO. 9522 March 10, 2009
PD NO. 1596 JUNE 11, 1978 unilateral declaration that
Kalayaan Island Group is part of Philippine Territory.

THE PHILIPPINE TERRITORY

photo courtesy of jibrael_2007


The scope of the Philippine territory is found in Article I of the 1987
Philippine Constitution. It provides:
"The national territory comprises the Philippine archipelago, with all the
islands and waters embraced therein, and all other territories over which
the Philippines has sovereignty or jurisdiction, consisting of its terrestrial,
fluvial, and aerial domains, including its territorial sea, the seabed, the

subsoil, the insular shelves, and other submarine areas. The waters
around, between, and connecting the islands of the archipelago,
regardless of their breadth and dimensions, form part of the internal
waters of the Philippines."

For purposes of analysis, Philippine national territory includes the


following:
(a) the Philippine archipelago, with all the islands and waters embraced
therein;
(b) all other territories over which the Philippines has sovereignty or
jurisdiction consisting of territorial, fluvial and aerial domains;
(c) the territorial sea, the seabed, the subsoil, and insular shelves and other
submarine areas; and
(d) the waters around, between, and connecting the islands of the
archipelago, regardless of their breadth and dimensions.

photo courtesy of http://madeandi.staff.ugm.ac.id/images/mz.JPG


Territorial sea is that part of the sea extending 12 nautical miles (19 kms)
from the low-water mark. It is also called the marginal sea, the marginal
belt or the marine belt.
Seabed is the land that holds the sea, lying beyond the seashore, including
mineral and natural resources. It is at the top portion of the submarine
area.
The subsoil is everything beneath the surface soil and the seabed including
mineral and natural resources.
Insural shelves are the submerged portions of a continent or offshore
island, which slope gently seaward from the low waterline to a point where
a substantial break in grade occurs, at which point the bottom slopes
seaward at a considerable increase in slope until the great ocean depths are
reached; and
Other submarine areas refers to those which are under the territorial sea.
They are ottherwise referred to as seamount, trough, trench, deep, bank,
shoal, and reef.

Two hundred Mile Excusive Economic Zone


PD NO. 1599 June 11, 1978
UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) April 30, 1982

PEOPLE
Inhabitants all persons who live or sojourn in Philippine
Territory, regardless of their nationality.
Under our Constitution, the same is declared a popular right of
the people and, of course, indisputably it equally applies to
both citizens and foreigners in this country.
Electors Qualified voters

CITIZENSHIP
Importance

the constitutional prohibition against aliens acquiring ownership


of private agricultural land, including residential, commercial
or industrial land.
The constitutional proscription on alien ownership of lands of the public or private
domain was intended to protect lands from falling in the hands of non-Filipinos.

WHO ARE PHILIPPINE CITIZENS


1987 Constitution February 2, 1987
Who are the Citizens of the Phil
Article IV
Section 1. The following are citizens of the Philippines:
[1] Those who are citizens of the Philippines at the time of the
adoption of this Constitution;
[2] Those whose fathers or mothers are citizens of the
Philippines;
[3] Those born before January 17, 1973, of Filipino mothers, who
elect Philippine citizenship upon reaching the age of majority;
and
[4] Those who are naturalized in accordance with law.

Jus sanguinis is the right of blood. The nationality of the


parents as determinative as the determinative of the citizenship
of the child irrespective of the place of birth of the later.

Jus soli takes into account the Place of Birth as the


determinative of ones citizenship.

Philippine Bill of 1902 July 1, 1902


Sec.
4. That all inhabitants of the Philippine Islands
continuing to reside therein who were Spanish subjects on the
eleventh day of April, eighteen hundred and ninety-nine, and then

resided in the Philippine Islands, and their children born


subsequent thereto, shall be deemed and held to be citizens of
the Philippine Islands and as such entitled to the protection of
the United States, except such as shall have elected to preserve
their allegiance to the Crown of Spain in accordance with the
provisions of the treaty of peace between the United States and
Spain signed at Paris December tenth, eighteen hundred and
ninety-eight.

Citizenship was seen to deal with rights and entitlements, on the one hand, and with
concomitant obligations, on the other. [8] In its ideal setting, a citizen was active in public
life and fundamentally willing to submit his private interests to the general interest of
society.

to civil citizenship, which established the rights necessary for


individual freedom, such as rights to property, personal liberty
and justice.[9] Its meaning expanded during the 19th century to
include political citizenship, which encompassed the right to
participate in the exercise of political power. [10] The 20th
century saw the next stage of the development of social
citizenship, which laid emphasis on the right of the citizen to
economic
well-being
and
social
security.[11] The
idea
of
citizenship has gained expression in the modern welfare state as
it so developed in Western Europe. An ongoing and final stage of
development, in keeping with the rapidly shrinking global
village, might well be the internationalization of citizenship

Philippine Bill of 1902, as so amended by the Act of Congress


in 1912 That all inhabitants of the Philippine Islands who were Spanish
subjects on the 11th day of April, 1889, and then resided in said
Islands, and their children born subsequently thereto, shall be
deemed and held to be citizens of the Philippine Islands, except
such as shall have elected to preserve their allegiance to the
Crown of Spain in accordance with the provisions of the treaty of
peace between the United States and Spain, signed at Paris
December tenth, eighteen hundred and ninety-eight and except such
others as have since become citizens of some other country;
Provided, That the Philippine Legislature, herein provided for,
is hereby authorized to provide for the acquisition of Philippine

citizenship by those natives of the Philippine Islands who do not


come within the foregoing provisions, the natives of the insular
possessions of the United States, and such other persons residing
in the Philippine Islands who are citizens of the United States,
or who could become citizens of the United States under the laws
of the United States, if residing therein."
Under the Jones Law, a native-born inhabitant of the
Philippines was deemed to be a citizen of the Philippines as of
11 April 1899 if he was 1) a subject of Spain on 11 April 1899,
2) residing in the Philippines on said date, and, 3) since that
date, not a citizen of some other country.

APRIL 11 1899- JULY 01, 1902 Jus soli


1935 Constitution ratified on May 14, 1935 brought to
an end to any such link with common law, by adopting, once and
for all, jus sanguinis or blood relationship as being the basis
of Filipino citizenship Section 1, Article III, 1935 Constitution. The following are
citizens of the Philippines (1) Those who are citizens of the Philippine Islands at the time
of the adoption of this Constitution
(2) Those born in the Philippines Islands of foreign parents who,
before the adoption of this Constitution, had been elected to
public office in the Philippine Islands.
(3) Those whose fathers are citizens of the Philippines.
(4) Those whose mothers are citizens of the Philippines and upon
reaching the age of majority, elect Philippine citizenship.
(5) Those who are naturalized in accordance with law.