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AMENDMENT & REVISION ...

+ What are the requisites for the exercise of “people’s initiative” to amend the Constitution?

It is provided under Section 2, Art. XVII of the Constitution which provides that “Amendments to this
Constitution may likewise be directly proposed by the people through initiative upon a petition of at
least 12% of the total number of registered voters, of which every legislative district must be
represented by at least 3% of the registered voter therein.” The Congress shall provide for the
implementation of the exercise of this right---which means that there must be complete and adequate
law for the said purpose..

+ Is there a law which would provide for the mechanism for the people to propose amendments to the
Constitution by people’s initiative?

While Congress had enacted RA 6735 purportedly to provide the mechanisms for the people’s exercise
the power to amend the Constitution by people’s initiative, the Supreme Court in MIRIAM DEFENSOR-
SANTIAGO, et al. Vs. COMELEC, G.R. No. 127325, March 19, 1997 & June 10, 1997, the Supreme Court
held that RA 6735 is incomplete, inadequate or wanting in essential terms and conditions insofar as
initiative on amendments to the Constitution is concerned. Its lacunae on this substantive matter are
fatal and cannot be cured by “empowering” the COMELEC to promulgate such rules and regulations as
may be necessary to carry the purposes of this act.

In LAMBINO VS. COMELEC, however, the Supreme Court on November 21, 2006, in the Minute
Resolution of the petitioner’s Motion for Reconsideration held that RA No. 6735 is adequate and
complete for the purpose of proposing amendments to the Constitution through people’s initiative by a
vote of 10 members as per Certification of the En Banc’s Clerk of Court.

5-a. May the question “Do you approve the amendment of Articles VI and VII of the 1987 Philippine
Constitution changing the form of government from Presidential-Bicameral to Parliamentary-
Unicameral” be allowed to be submitted to the people for their ratification or rejection as a means of
amending the Constitution by people’s initiative if the requisite number of signatories (12% nationwide
and at least 3% for every legislative district) are met?

No, for two (2) reasons.

1. The said “proposal” did not indicate which provisions of Articles VI and VII are actually being amended
which is a must under Section 2, Art. XVII. Otherwise, who shall make the amendments if the people in a
plebiscite approve the same;

2. Changing the form of government from presidential to parliamentary is an act of REVISING the
Constitution which is not allowed under Art. XVII, Section 2. People’s initiative may only be allowed to
propose amendments to the Constitution, not revision.

6. What are the requisites before an amendment to the Constitution by “people’s initiative” is sufficient
in form and in substance?

on the other hand. “Revision” is the alterations of the different portions of the entire document [Constitution]. or the greater portion of it. The word “or” in the provision “…Congress. But whatever results the revision may produce. That intention and plan must contemplate a consideration of all the provisions of the Constitution to determine which one should be altered or suppressed or whether the whole document should be replaced with an entirely new one. XVII also means “AND”. The people must author and must sign the entire proposal.952 registered voters vs. Vicente. or perhaps some of its important provisions. Thus. together with 6.In the case of RAUL L. envisages a change or only a few specific provisions. THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. Art. PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW) + May Congress propose amendments to the Constitution while at the same time calling for a Constitutional Convention to amend the Constitution? Yes. an amendment is “DIRECTLY PROPOSED BY THE PEOPLE THROUGH INITIATIVE UPON A PETIITON “ ONLY IF THE PEOPLE SIGN ON A PETITION THAT OCNTAINS THE FULL TEXT OF THE PROPOSED AMENDMENTS. 505 SCRA 160. LAMBINO and ERICO B. No. The intention of an act to amend is not to consider the advisability of changing the entire constitution or of considering that possibility. upon a vote of ¾ of all its members. not piecemeal.327. G. + Distinguish “Revision” from “amendment” of the Constitution. It may result in the rewriting whether the whole constitution. October 25.R. AUMENTADO . The intention rather is to improve specific parts of the existing constitution or to add to it provisions deemed essential on account of changed conditions or to suppress portions of it that seem obsolete. COMELEC. the factor that characterizes it as an act of revision is the original intention and plan authorized to be carried out. “Amendment” of the Constitution. the following requisites must be present: 1. (TOLENTINO VS. 2006. As an initiative upon a petition. there is no prohibition for Congress to propose amendments to the Constitution and at the same time call for the convening of a Constitutional Convention to amend the Constitution. OR [2] A constitutional Convention” under Section 1. COMELEC. These essential elements are present only if the full text of the proposed amendments is first shown to the people who will express their assent by signing such complete proposal in a petition. THE PROPOSAL MUST BE EMBODIED IN A PETITION. 174153. 41 SCRA 702) . 2. (SINCO. No agent or representative can sign for and on their behalf. 21 SCRA 774) + What is the “Doctrine of Proper Submission” in connection with proposed amendments to the Constitution? “Doctrine of Proper Submission” means all the proposed amendments to the Constitution shall be presented to the people for the ratification or rejection at the same time. (GONZALES VS. or dangerous. or misleading in their effect.