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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 1

Answers to Assignments

The Preamble and Article I

o Why is the Constitution considered a social contract?


Marcos v. Manglapus, GR 88211, 15 September 1989

Under the social contract principle, the people have surrendered their sovereign powers to the State for the common good upon ratification of
the 1987 Constitution. The 1987 Constitution reminds everyone that "sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates
from them."

o What is the force and effect of law or contract which violates any norm of the Constitution?
Manila Prince Hotel v. GSIS, GR 122156, 3 February 1987
What is the doctrine of constitutional supremacy?
Tawang Multi-Purpose v. La Trinidad Water District, GR 166471, 22 March 2011

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.

Section 5 (2) (A), Article VIII authorizes the nullification of a treaty when it conflicts with the Constitution.

o Is the Preamble of the 1987 Constitution, theistic or theocratic?


Epilogue of Justice Panganiban, People v. Echegaray, GR 132601, 12 October 1999

The preamble of the Constitution is theistic. It declares the sovereign Filipino people's imploration of the aid of Almighty God.

o Who has the title and sovereignty over Pulau Ligitan and Pulau Sipadan?
Indonesia v. Malaysia, 2002 ICJ 575

Sovereignty belongs to Malaysia on the basis of effectiveness of activities it maintained, and Indonesias unexpressed protest or objections against
it.

o Is there a positive international law of terra firma, or title based on contiguity, where the nearest continent or island
of considerable size gives title to the land in dispute?
US v. The Netherlands, Permanent Court of Arbitration, 4 April 1928

The title of contiguity, as a basis of international sovereignty, has no foundation in international law. The Netherlands was able to prove its
peaceful display of sovereignty in the period from 1700 to 1906, and which adequately attested the existence of Netherlands sovereignty.

o Is there a positive international law of acquisitive prescription over neighboring territories?


Malaysia v. Singapore, ICJ, 23 May 2008

Acquisitive Prescription is when a State acquires sovereignty over a territory that did not originally belong to it and without the express consent of
the original sovereign.

o Magalona v. Ermita, GR 187167, 16 August 2011


W/N RA 9522 dismembers a large portion of the national territory because it discards the pre-UNCLOS III
demarcation of Philippine territory under the Treaty of Paris and related treaties?

UNCLOS III has nothing to do with the acquisition (or loss) of territory. It is a multilateral treaty regulating sea-use rights over maritime zones
(i.e., the territorial waters [12 nautical miles from the baselines], contiguous zone [24 nautical miles from the baselines], exclusive economic zone
[200 nautical miles from the baselines]), and continental shelves that UNCLOS III delimits. Thus, baselines laws are nothing but statutory
mechanisms for UNCLOS III States parties to delimit with precision the extent of their maritime zones and continental shelves. Under
traditional international law typology, States acquire (or conversely, lose) territory through occupation, accretion, cession and prescription,25 not
by executing multilateral treaties on the regulations of sea-use rights or enacting statutes to comply with the treatys terms to delimit maritime
zones and continental shelves. Territorial claims to land features are outside UNCLOS III, and are instead governed by the rules on general
international law

W/N RA 9522s use of UNCLOS IIIs regime of islands framework to draw the baselines, and to measure the breadth
of the applicable maritime zones of the KIG, weakens our territorial claim over that area?

Under RA 3046, as under RA 9522, the KIG and the Scarborough Shoal lie outside of the baselines drawn around the Philippine archipelago. RA
9522, by optimizing the location of basepoints, increased the Philippines total maritime space (covering its internal waters, territorial sea and
exclusive economic zone) by 145,216 square nautical miles. Thus, the reach of the exclusive economic zone drawn under RA 9522 even extends
way beyond the waters covered by the rectangular demarcation under the Treaty of Paris. Of course, where there are overlapping exclusive
economic zones of opposite or adjacent States, there will have to be a delineation of maritime boundaries in accordance with UNCLOS III.
W/N RA 9522 failed to textualize the Philippines claim over Sabah in North Borneo?

Section 2 of RA 5446, which RA 9522 did not repeal, keeps open the door for drawing the baselines of Sabah: The definition of the baselines of
the territorial sea of the Philippine Archipelago as provided in this Act is without prejudice to the delineation of the baselines of the
territorial sea around the territory of Sabah, situated in North Borneo, over which the Republic of the Philippines has acquired
dominion and sovereignty.

W/N RA 9522 unconstitutionally converts internal waters into archipelagic waters?

Whether referred to as Philippine internal waters under Article I of the Constitution or as archipelagic waters under UNCLOS III (Article 49
[1]), the Philippines exercises sovereignty over the body of water lying landward of the baselines, including the air space over it and the submarine
areas underneath. UNCLOS III affirms this:

Article 49. Legal status of archipelagic waters, of the air space over archipelagic waters and of their bed and subsoil.

1. The sovereignty of an archipelagic State extends to the waters enclosed by the archipelagic baselines drawn in accordance with article 47,
described as archipelagic waters, regardless of their depth or distance from the coast.
2. This sovereignty extends to the air space over the archipelagic waters, as well as to their bed and subsoil, and the resources contained therein.
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4. The regime of archipelagic sea lanes passage established in this Part shall not in other respects affect the status of the archipelagic waters,
including the sea lanes, or the exercise by the archipelagic State of its sovereignty over such waters and their air space, bed and subsoil, and the
resources contained therein.

BAR ANSWERS

Constitution is defined by Cooley as a body of rules and maxims in accordance with which the powers of sovereignty
are habitually exercised.
The three (3) essential parts of a Constitution are the bill of rights, governmental organization and functions, and
method of amendment.
What is the basis of Philippines claim to a part of the Spratly Islands? Discuss briefly.
The basis of the Philippine claim is effective occupation of a territory not subject to the sovereignty of another state.
The Japanese forces occupied the Spratly Island group during the Second World War. However, under the San Francisco Peace
Treaty of 1951 Japan formally renounced all right and claim to the Spratlys. The San Francisco Treaty or any other International
agreement however, did not designate any beneficiary state following the Japanese renunciation of right. Subsequently, the
Spratlys became terra nullius and was occupied by the Philippines in the title of sovereignty. Philippine sovereignty was
displayed by open and public occupation of a number of islands by stationing of military forces, by organizing a local
government unit, and by awarding petroleum drilling rights, among other political and administrative acts. In 1978, it
confirmed its sovereign title by the promulgation of Presidential Decree No. 1596, which declared the Kalayaan Island Group
part of Philippine territory.
What is the concept of exclusive economic zone under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea?
The exclusive economic zone under the Convention on the Law of the Sea is an area beyond and adjacent to the territorial sea,
which shall not extend beyond 200 nautical miles from the baselines from which the territorial sea is measured.
What is outer space? Who or which can exercise jurisdiction over astronauts while in outer space?
Explain.
Outer space is the space beyond the airspace surrounding the Earth or beyond the national airspace. In law, the boundary
between outer space and airspace has remained undetermined. But in theory, this has been estimated to be between 80 to 90
kilometers. Outer space in this estimate begins from the lowest altitude an artificial satellite can remain in orbit. Under the
Moon Treaty of 1979 the moon and the other celestial bodies form part of outer space. In outer space, the space satellites or
objects are under the jurisdiction of States of registry which covers astronauts and cosmonauts. This matter is covered by the
Registration of Objects in Space Convention of 1974 and the Liability for Damage Caused by Spaced Objects Convention of
1972.
Distinguish briefly but clearly between
(a) The territorial sea and internal waters of the Philippines.
TERRITORIAL SEA is an adjacent belt of sea with a breadth of 12 nautical miles measured from the baselines of a state
and over which the state has sovereignty. (Article 2-3, UNCLOS III) Ship of all states enjoy the right of innocent passage
through the territorial sea. (Article 14, UNCLOS III). Under Section 1, Article I of the 1987 Constitution, the INTERNAL
WATERS of the Philippines consist of the waters around, between and connecting the islands of the Philippine
Archipelago, regardless of their breadth and dimensions, including the waters in bays, rivers and lakes. No right of
innocent passage for foreign vessels exists in the case of internal waters. (Harris, Cases and Materials on International
Law, 5th ed., 1998, p. 407.) Internal waters are the waters on the landward side of baselines from which the breadth of the
territorial sea is calculated. (Brownlie, Principles of Public International Law, 4th ed., 1990, p. 120.)
(b) The contiguous zone and the exclusive economic zone.
CONTIGUOUS ZONE is a zone contiguous to the territorial sea and extends up to 12 nautical miles from the territorial
sea and over which the coastal state may exercise control necessary to prevent infringement of its customs, fiscal,
immigration or sanitary laws and regulations within its territory or territorial sea. (Article 33 of the Convention on the
Law of the Sea.) The EXCLUSIVE ECONOMIC ZONE is a zone extending up to 200 nautical miles from the baselines of a
state over which the coastal state has sovereign rights for the purpose of exploring and exploiting, conserving and
managing the natural resources, whether living or nonliving, of the waters superjacent to the seabed and of the seabed
and subsoil, and with regard to other activities for the economic exploitation and exploration of the zone. (Articles 56
and 57 of the Convention on the Law of the Sea.)
Enumerate the rights of the coastal state in the exclusive economic zone.
In the EXCLUSIVE ECONOMIC ZONE, the coastal State has sovereign rights for the purpose of exploring and exploiting,
conserving and managing the natural resources, whether living or non-living, of the waters superjacent to the seabed and of
the seabed and its subsoil, and with regard to other activities for the economic exploitation and exploration of the zone, such
as the production of energy from the water, currents and winds in an area not extending more than 200 nautical miles beyond
the baseline from which the territorial sea is measured. Other rights include the production of energy from the water, currents
and winds, the establishment and use of artificial islands, installations and structures, marine scientific research and the
protection and preservation of the marine environment. (Art. 56, U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea)
TRUE or FALSE. Under the archipelago doctrine, the waters around, between, and connecting the
islands of the archipelago form part of the territorial sea of the archipelagic state.
TRUE. The ARCHIPELAGIC DOCTRINE emphasizes the unity of land and waters by defining an archipelago either as a group
of islands surrounded by waters or a body of waters studded with islands. For this purpose, it requires that baselines be drawn
by connecting the appropriate points of the "outermost islands to encircle the islands within the archipelago. The waters on
the landward side of the baselines regardless of breadth or dimensions are merely internal waters.
Under the United Nations Conference of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the extent of the contiguous
zone is 12 miles from the outer limits.
It is a line from which the breadth of the territorial sea and other maritime zones is measured. Baseline.
It is a maritime zone adjacent to the territorial seas where the coastal state may exercise certain
protective jurisdiction. Contiguous zone.

Article II: Declaration of Principles and State Policies

o Which of the provisions under Article II of the 1987 Constitution are self-executing? Which are enabling?
BCDA v. COA, GR 178160, 26 February 2009

Article II of the Constitution, by its very title, is a statement of general ideological principles and policies. It is not a source of enforceable rights.
Sections 5 and 18 of Article II are not self-executing provisions.

o Are the provisions of the MOA-AD which aimed to vest in the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity the status of an
associated state, valid and constitutional?
North Cotabato v. GRP Peace Panel, GR 183591, 14 October 2008

The MOA-AD contains many provisions which are consistent with the international legal concept of association, specifically the
following: the BJEs capacity to enter into economic and trade relations with foreign countries, the commitment of the Central
Government to ensure the BJEs participation in meetings and events in the ASEAN and the specialized UN agencies, and the
continuing responsibility of the Central Government over external defense. Moreover, the BJEs right to participate in Philippine
official missions bearing on negotiation of border agreements, environmental protection, and sharing of revenues pertaining to
the bodies of water adjacent to or between the islands forming part of the ancestral domain, resembles the right of the
governments of FSM and the Marshall Islands to be consulted by the U.S. government on any foreign affairs matter affecting them.
These provisions of the MOA indicate, among other things, that the Parties aimed to vest in the BJE the status of an associated
state or, at any rate, a status closely approximating it.

The concept of association is not recognized under the present Constitution. No province, city, or municipality, not even the
ARMM, is recognized under our laws as having an associative relationship with the national government . Indeed, the concept
implies powers that go beyond anything ever granted by the Constitution to any local or regional government. It also implies the
recognition of the associated entity as a state. The Constitution, however, does not contemplate any state in this jurisdiction other
than the Philippine State, much less does it provide for a transitory status that aims to prepare any part of Philippine territory for
independence.

o Is the RP-US Non-Surrender Agreement violative of the Rome Statute and Philippine sovereignty?
Bayan Muna v. Romulo, GR 159618, 1 February 2011

The non-surrender agreement, as aptly described by the Solicitor General, is an assertion by the Philippines of its desire to try and
punish crimes under its national law. x x x The agreement is a recognition of the primacy and competence of the countrys judiciary
to try offenses under its national criminal laws and dispense justice fairly and judiciously. Persons who may have committed acts
penalized under the Rome Statute can be prosecuted and punished in the Philippines or in the US; or with the consent of the RP or
the US, before the ICC, assuming, that all the formalities necessary to bind both countries to the Rome Statute have been met. For
perspective, what the Agreement contextually prohibits is the surrender by either party of individuals to international tribunals,
like the ICC, without the consent of the other party, which may desire to prosecute the crime under its existing laws. With the view
we take of things, there is nothing immoral or violative of international law concepts in the act of the Philippines of assuming
criminal jurisdiction pursuant to the non-surrender agreement over an offense considered criminal by both Philippine laws and
the Rome Statute.

o Are customary international laws deemed incorporated in our domestic system?


Pharma Health Care v. DOTC, GR 173034, 9 October 2007

Customary international laws are deemed incorporated in our domestic system. This is embodied in Section 2, Article II of the 1987 Constitution,
to wit: The Philippines renounces war as an instrument of national policy, 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. Generally accepted principles of international law, by virtue of the incorporation clause of the
Constitution, form part of the laws of the land even if they do not derive from treaty obligations. The classical formulation in
international law sees those customary rules accepted as binding result from the combination [of ] two elements: the established,
widespread, and consistent practice on the part of States; and a psychological element known as the opinion juris sive necessitates
(opinion as to law or necessity). Implicit in the latter element is a belief that the practice in question is rendered obligatory by the
existence of a rule of law requiring it.

o Vinuya, et. Al. v. Executive Secretary, GR 162230, 28 April 2010


Is the general waiver of claims [including claims of Filipina comfort women] made by the Philippine government in
the Treaty of Peace with Japan, valid?

The official record of treaty negotiations establishes that a fundamental goal of the agreement was to settle the reparations issue once and for all.
As the statement of the chief United States negotiator, John Foster Dulles, makes clear, it was well understood that leaving open the possibility of
future claims would be an unacceptable impediment to a lasting peace:

What is jus cogens? Is the Philippines under a non-derogable obligation to prosecute international crimes?

In international law, the term jus cogens (literally, compelling law) refers to norms that command peremptory authority,
superseding conflicting treaties and custom. Jus cogens norms are considered peremptory in the sense that they are mandatory,
do not admit derogation, and can be modified only by general international norms of equivalent authority.

Absent the consent of states, an applicable treaty regime, or a directive by the Security Council, there is no non-derogable duty to
institute proceedings against Japan. Indeed, precisely because of states reluctance to directly prosecute claims against another
state, recent developments support the modern trend to empower individuals to directly participate in suits against perpetrators of
international crimes.

o Are those who retired from military service exempted from rendering personal and military service?
Parreno v. COA,

The constitutional right of the state (Section 4, Article II) to require all citizens to render personal and military service necessarily
includes not only private citizens but also citizens who have retired from military service. A retiree who had lost his Filipino
citizenship already renounced his allegiance to the state. Thus, he may no longer be compelled by the state to render compulsory
military service when the need arises.

o Is the excommunication of members of a religious institution a justiciable cause?


Taruc v. Bishop dela Cruz, GR 144801, 10 March 2005

No. Excommunication is not a justiciable issue as there is no violation of a civil or property rights. Therefore, to the absence of a
violated civil or property rights, the courts do not have jurisdiction over such matters.

o Are the Visiting Forces and Romulo-Kenney Agreements, valid and constitutional?
Nicolas v. Sec. Romulo, GR 175888, 11 February 2009

The VFA is valid and constitutional, for it was duly concurred by the Philippine Senate and has been recognized as a treaty by the
US through their representatives. The VFA was deemed such, in relation it being the implementing arm of the RP-US Mutual
Defense Treaty of 1951, ratified by the Philippines and the US Senate.

The RKA, specifically on the provision for the detention of convicted offender under US custody, such is considered invalid and
unconstitutional as such contravenes with the provisions of the VFA.

o ICJ Advisory Opinion of 8 July 1996


Is there a customary or conventional international law specifically authorizing the threat or use of nuclear weapons?

No such law authorizes or prohibits the threat or use of nuclear weapons for it is against international laws of armed conflicts.

Can nuclear arms be resorted to for self-defense?

The submission of the exercise of the right of self-defense to the conditions of necessity and proportionality is a rule of customary
international law. But at the same time, a use of force that is proportionate under the law of self-defence, must, in order to be
lawful, also meet the requirements of the law applicable in armed conflict which comprise in particular the principles and rules of
humanitarian law. Furthermore, the Court cannot lose sight of the fundamental right of every State to survival, and thus its right
to resort to self-defence, in accordance with Article 51 of the Charter when its survival is at stake.

o What is the policy of social justice over the working class?


St. Marys Academy v. Palacio, GR 164913, 8 September 2010

It is incumbent upon this Court to afford full protection to labor. Thus, while we take cognizance of the employers right to protect
its interest, the same should be exercised in a manner which does not infringe on the workers right to security of tenure. Under
the policy of social justice, the law bends over backward to accommodate the interests of the working class on the humane
justification that those with less privilege in life should have more in law.

o Does the free-enterprise policy prevent the government from intervening in private business and enterprises?
PMAP v. FPA,

The assailed provisions, which removed the coco-levy funds from the general funds of the government and declared them private
properties of coconut farmers, do not appear to have a color of social justice for their purpose. The levy on copra that farmers
produce appears, in the first place, to be a business tax judging by its tax base. The concept of farmers-businessmen is
incompatible with the idea that coconut farmers are victims of social injustice and so should be beneficiaries of the taxes raised
from their earnings.

o Is an employees passive acquiescence to the early retirement age option, sufficient?


Nicolas v. Sec. Romulo, GR 175888, 11 February 2009

The VFA