You are on page 1of 1

such functions by the legislature.

Putting aside for the moment the question whether

the duties devolved upon these members are vested by the Organic Act in the GovernorGeneral, it is clear that they are not legislative in character, and still more clear that they are
not judicial. The fact that they do not fall within the authority of either of these two
constitutes logical ground for concluding that they do fall within that of the remaining one
among which the powers of government are divided . . . [At 202-203; emphasis supplied.]
We are not unmindful of Justice Holmes' strong dissent. But in his enduring words of
dissent we find reinforcement for the view that it would indeed be a folly to construe the
powers of a branch of government to embrace only what are specifically mentioned in the
The great ordinances of the Constitution do not establish and divide fields of black
and white. Even the more specific of them are found to terminate in penumbra shading
gradually from one extreme to the other. . . .
It does not seem to need argument to show that however we may disguise it by
veiling words we do not and cannot carry out the distinction between legislative and
executive action with mathematical precision and divide the branches into watertight
compartments, were it ever so desirable to do so, which I am far from believing that it is, or
that the Constitution requires.[At 210-211.]
The Power Involved
The Constitution declares among the guiding principles that "[t]he prime duty of the
Government is to serve and protect the people" and that "[t]he maintenance of peace and
order, the protection of life, liberty, and property, and the promotion of the general welfare
are essential for the enjoyment by all the people of the blessings of democracy." [Art. II,
Secs. 4 and 5.]
Admittedly, service and protection of the people, the maintenance of peace and
order, the protection of life, liberty and property, and the promotion of the general welfare
are essentially ideals to guide governmental action. But such does not mean that they are
empty words. Thus, in the exercise of presidential functions, in drawing a plan of
government, and in directing implementing action for these plans, or from another point of
view, in making any decision as President of the Republic, the President has to consider
these principles, among other things, and adhere to them. prcd
Faced with the problem of whether or not the time is right to allow the Marcoses to
return to the Philippines, the President is, under the Constitution, constrained to consider
these basic principles in arriving at a decision. More than that, having sworn to defend and
uphold the Constitution, the President has the obligation under the Constitution to protect
the people, promote their welfare and advance the national interest. It must be borne in
mind that the Constitution, aside from being an allocation of power is also a social contract
whereby the people have surrendered their sovereign powers to the State for the common
good. Hence, lest the officers of the Government exercising the powers delegated by the
people forget and the servants of the people become rulers, the Constitution reminds
everyone that "[s]overeignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates
from them." [Art. II, Sec. 1.]