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POLITICAL LAW REVIEW ◦ ATTY.

BONG LOPEZ

new President can run for re-election if he has not


served for more than 4 years.

NB: A special election may not be called on the basis of


a conditional resignation by the incumbent President.
EXECUTIVE POWER
 The power to enforce and administer the laws. It is CANVASSING OF ELECTION RETURNS
vested only in the President of the Philippines.  Election Returns are certified by the board of
 The President of the Philippines is directly elected canvassers of each province or city
by the people at large.  Such returns shall be transmitted to the Congress,
directed to the President of the Senate.
QUALIFICATIONS  Not later than 30 days after the day of the election,
1. Natural-born Citizen of the Philippines the Senate President, shall open all the certificates
2. Registered Voter in the Presence of the Senate and the HOR in a joint
3. Able to read and write public session, and after the Congress determines
4. 40 years of age on the day of the election the authenticity and due execution of the certificate
5. Resident of the Philippines for at least 10 years in the manner provided for by the law, canvass the
immediately preceding the election. votes.
 In case of a tie, one of them shall be chosen by the
REGULAR ELECTION AND TERM vote of a majority of all the Members of both
 Term: 6 years Houses of the Congress.
As for the President: he is not entitled for re-
election PRESIDENTIAL ELECTORAL TRIBUNAL
As for the VP: he is limited to two successive terms  Supreme Court – sitting en banc, shall be the sole
judge of all contests relating to the election,
Voluntary renunciation of the office for any returns, and qualifications of the President and VP.
length of time shall not be considered as an
interruption in the continuity of the service for OATH OF OFFICE
the full term for which he was elected.  Oath Taking – marks the formal induction of the
No person who has succeeded the President President into office.
and has served as such for more than 4 years
shall be qualified for election to the same office NB: Even if the oath were not takes, the President like
at any time. any other officials would be equally liable for
misfeasance or nonfeasance of duty.
 Beginning of the Term: noon of June 30 next
following the day of the election. SUCCESSION
a. Vacancy in the Presidency before the beginning
SPECIAL ELECTIONS of the Term
 If the vacancy occurs in the office of the President  The president may not be able to assume his post
and the VP more than 18 months before the date of because:
the next regular presidential election, a special (a) He has not yet qualified; or
election to elect the President and VP shall be called (b) He has not been chosen and has not yet
by the Congress. qualified
 The Congress shall, at 10 am in the morning of the  Under these circumstances, the VP shall act as the
3rd day after the vacancy, convene in accordance President until the President-elect shall have
with the rules w/o the need of a call and w/n 7 qualified, or shall have been chosen and qualified
days, enact a law calling for a special election to be  If the President-elect dies, or becomes permanently
held not earlier than 45 days nor later than 60 days disabled at/or before the beginning of the term,
from the time of such call. the VP-elect becomes the President.
 The Constitution is silent as to whether the persons  If both the President and the VP are not able to
so elected in the special election shall serve only for assume their posts because of the same reasons,
the unexpired portion of the term, and whether the the SENATE PRESIDENT, or in case of his inability,
THE HOUSE SPEAKER, shall act as the President

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POLITICAL LAW REVIEW ◦ ATTY. BONG LOPEZ

until a President or a VP shall have been chosen 2. By a written declaration by the Cabinet that the
and qualified. President is unable to discharge the functions of his
 In case the Senate President or House Speaker are office;
both unable to act as President, then the Congress 3. In the event of disagreement between the President
shall by law, provide for the manner of selecting and the Cabinet, by a finding of Congress by 2/3
one who will act as the President until a President vote that the President is unable to discharge the
shall have been either chosen or elected pursuant functions of his office.
to a special election and shall have qualified.
NB: In all cases, the President takes a “leave of
b. Permanent Vacancy in the Presidency during the absence” and the VP temporarily acts as the President.
Term
 In the event of the President’s death, permanent SERIOUS ILLNESS OF THE PRESIDENT
disability, removal from office, or resignation, the  The public shall be informed of the state of his
VP shall become the President for the unexpired health.
portion of the term.  The (1) Secretary of National Defense, (2) Secretary
 In case of death, permanent disability, removal of Foreign Affairs, (3) Chief of Staff, shall not be
from office, or resignation of both the President and denied access to the President during such illness.
VP, the Senate President or, in case of his inability,
the Speaker of the House, shall act as the President VACANCY IN THE VICE-PRESIDENCY
until the President or VP shall have been elected  The successor is elected no more, but merely
pursuant to a special election and shall have chosen from the Congress by the President.
qualified.  The nominee shall become the VP upon
 When the Acting President (Senate President or confirmation by a majority vote of all the Members
House Speaker) dies, becomes permanently of both Houses, voting jointly.
disabled, or resigns, the Congress shall by law,
provide who shall be the Acting President until a REMOVAL BY IMPEACHMENT
President or VP shall have been either chosen or 1. Initiation Stage
elected pursuant to a special election, and shall  A verified complaint for the impeachment of the
have qualified. President or VP is filed with the HOR on the
ground of either: (1) culpable violation of the
Comparison of the rules on Vacancies Constitution; (2) treason; (3) bribery; (4) graft and
1. When vacancy occurs before the term, the corruption; (5) other high crimes; or (6) betrayal
Constitution talks of the successor acting as of public trust.
President until a President has been chosen and  The complaint is included in the Order of Business
qualified. If it occurs during the term, it talks of w/n 10 session days and referred to the
elected and qualified. appropriate committee w/n 3 session days from
2. During the term, the only way to fill up the vacancy its inclusion.
is by special election. Unlike when it is before the  The committee hears and votes on the matter
term, it may be filled up by the vote of the Congress and submits a report w/n 60 days from referral.
in case of a tie.  The report or resolution of the committee is place
3. If the vacancy occurs before the term, the grounds on the calendar of the plenary body w/n 10 days
are limited to: (1) death and (2) permanent from submission.
disability and the vacancy may be permanent or  A vote of 1/3 is needed to affirm a favorable
temporary. If the vacancy occurs during the term, resolution or override a contrary resolution.
additional grounds are added: (3) removal from  The Articles of Impeachment will then be
office and (4) resignation and the vacancy is forwarded to the Senate for trial.
permanent. 2. Trial Stage
 The Senators take an oath or affirmation.
TEMPORARY INABILITY OF THE PRESIDENT DURING  The Chief Justice presides over the trial (only if
THE TERM – WAYS BY WHICH THE INABILITY MAY BE the President is the one under trial; if it is the VP
MADE KNOWN OR DETERMINED or any other impeachable officers, the Senate
1. By a written declaration made by the president President sits), but does not vote.
himself as to his inability;

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POLITICAL LAW REVIEW ◦ ATTY. BONG LOPEZ

 A vote of 16 (2/3 of all the members) is required recognized by the Constitution in several Articles
to convict the President or VP. (i.e. The VP may be appointed as a member of the
3. Post-Trial Stage Cabinet)
 If the Senate acquits the President, he shall  The Cabinet holds a weekly regular meeting and
continue in office. No impeachment proceedings such special meetings as may be called by the
can again be initiated against him w/n a period of President.
1 year.  Being a mere creating of the President, the Cabinet
 If the President is impeached, he shall be acts under the discretion of the President in the
removed from office at once, and shall be latter’s exercise of his constitutional power of
disqualified to hold any office in the Republic. control.
 Criminal Charges may be filed against him for the
offenses for which he was impeached. INSTANCES WHEN A CABINET MEMBER MAY HOLD
ANOTHER OFFICE
PRIVILEGES AND COMPENSATION 1. A specific provision in the constitution sanctions it.
 The President shall have an official residence i.e.
 The President and VP shall receive compensation - The VP as member of the Cabinet
fixed by law - The Secretary of Justice as an ex-officio member of
 No increase or decrease in their compensation shall the JBC.
take effect until the expiration of the their term 2. Such other office is necessitated by the primary
during which the increase was approved functions of his position.
i.e.
NB: The President and VP shall not receive during their - Secretary of DTI is also the Chairman of the NDC
tenure any other emolument from the Government or - Secretary of DAR is the Chairman of Land Bank
any other source. 3. If it is allowed by law.

INHIBITIONS POWERS AND FUCNTIONS


 The President, VP, Members of the Cabinet and
their deputies and assistants are prohibited, during A. EXECUTION OF LAWS
their tenure, from holding any other office or
employment, practicing any profession, Executive Function – is the duty to implement the laws
participating, directly or indirectly, in any business within the standard imposed by the legislature.
and being financially interested, directly or
indirectly in any contract with, or in any franchise, NB: The President is not just the Chief Executive but
or special privilege granted by the Government or also the administrative head of the government. As
any subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof, such, it is his duty to see that every government office is
including GOCCs or their subsidiaries. managed and maintained properly by the persons in
 The President can, however, assume a Cabinet post charge of it, in accordance with pertinent laws and
because the departments are mere extensions of regulations.
his personality. (i.e. The President is the Chairman
of NEDA) B. CONTROL OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS
NB: The VP may be appointed to the Cabinet
w/o need of confirmation from the Commission  The President shall have control of all the executive
on Appointments. departments, bureaus and offices. (Art. VII, Sec. 17)
 The President is prohibited from appointing his  The Control and Supervision of each department are
spouse and relatives by consanguinity or affinity within their respective secretaries.
w/n the 4th civil degree as members of the  Control – is the power to substitute one’s own
ConComs, Office of the Ombudsman, Secretaries or judgment for that of a subordinate.
Usec. or Chairmen of heads of bureaus or offices,  Doctrine of Qualified Political Agency – the different
including GOCCs. executive departments are mere adjuncts of the
President. The secretaries are the alter-ego of the
THE CABINET President, men of his bosom confidence whom he has
 This is not a constitutional body. It is a mere designated to assist him in his otherwise physically
creation of the President although its existence is impossible multifarious functions.

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POLITICAL LAW REVIEW ◦ ATTY. BONG LOPEZ

 The acts of the secretaries are presumptively the acts The Appointing Process
of the President, until countermanded or reprobated  Nomination – the sole and voluntary act of the
by him. The President may substitute his own will President for you cannot compel him to make an
over those of the secretaries, and they cannot appointment or to appoint a particular person.
complain.  Confirmation – the nomination is submitted to the
Commission on Appointments which meets only
C. GENERAL SUPERVISION OF LOCAL GOVERNMENTS when the Congress is in session.
AND AUTONOMOUS REGIONS  Commission – the issuance of the Commission is
done by the President alone. It is necessarily part
General Supervision – is the overseeing of subordinates and parcel of the exercise of the appointing power
to make sure that they do their duties under the law. and serves as a conclusive evidence of the
This does not include the power to overrule their acts, if appointment.
these acts are within their discretion  Acceptance – for the appointee to have full
possession, enjoyment, and responsibility of an
Reason: autonomy of LGUs – there can be no real office, it is necessary that the appointment be
autonomy while the national government controls the accepted. (i.e. Taking the Oath of Office and
local governments. entering upon the exercise of the duties of the
office)
D. POWER OF APPOINTMENT
Presidential Appointments requiring nomination by
Appointment – is the act of designation by the the JBC
executive officer, board or body to whom that power 1. Members of the SC and judges of all lower courts
has been delegated, of the individual who is to exercise  The President shall make an appointment w/n 90
the functions of a given office. days from the date of vacancy in the case of SC
 For judges of the lower courts, the appointment
Presidential Appointments subject to the confirmation must be made w/n 90 days from the date of the
by the Commission on Appointments: receipt of the nominees
1. Heads of Executive Departments 2. Ombudsman and his 5 deputies (Luzon, Visayas,
2. Ambassadors, other Public Ministers, and Consuls Mindanao, Over-All and Military)
3. Officers of the AFP with the rank of colonel or  For the Ombudsman and his deputies, the
naval captain vacancies must be filled w/n 3 months after they
4. Other officers whose appointments are vested in occur.
the President under the Constitution. This
includes: NB: The President shall appoint from a list of at least 3
a. Chairman and Members of the ConCom nominees prepared by the JBC for every vacancy. Such
b. Regular Members of the JBC: (1) IBP appointees need no confirmation.
representative; (2) a professor of law; (3) a
retired SC Justice; (4) a representative of the Presidential Appointments made alone by the
private sector President
1. Those vested by the Constitution in the President
Regular and Ad-Interim Appointments alone like the appointment of the VP to the Cabinet
 Regular Appointments – this is made while the 2. Those whose appointments are not otherwise
Congress is in session. It is not complete unless provided by law
confirmed by the Commission on Appointments. 3. Those whom he may be authorized by for law to
Confirmation is needed before the appointee can appoint
take his post. 4. Those other officers lower in rank whose
 Ad-Interim or Recess Appointments – made during appointment is vested by law in the President
the recess of the Congress. The appointee can take
his post right away. It is a complete and permanent Limitations on the appointing power of the President
appointment that lasts until it is disapproved by the 1. Nepotism. The spouse and relatives by
Commission on Appointments, or until the next consanguinity and affinity w/n the 4th civil degree of
adjournment of Congress, unless in the meantime the President shall not, during his tenure, be
the Commission confirms it. appointed as members of the ConCom, the Office of

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POLITICAL LAW REVIEW ◦ ATTY. BONG LOPEZ

the Ombudsman, or as Secretaries, Pardon: is an act of grace, proceeding from the power
Undersecretaries, chairmen or heads of bureaus entrusted with the execution of the laws which exempts
and offices including GOCCs and their subsidiaries. the individual on whom it is bestowed from the
2. Midnight Appointments. 2 months immediately punishment the law inflicts for a crime he has
before the next presidential elections, and up to the committed; it is a remission of guilt.
end of his term, a President shall not make
appointments, except (1) temporary appointments Commutation: it is the substitution of a less for a
to the executive positions, (2) when continued greater punishment, by authority of law, and may be
vacancies therein will prejudice public service or imposed on the convict w/o his acceptance and against
endanger public safety. his consent. It is a remission of a part of the
punishment; substitutions of a less penalty for the one
Limitations on the appointing power of the Acting originally imposed.
President
1. Appointments extended by the acting president Reprieve (aka Respite): is the withholding of a sentence
shall remain effective unless revoked by the elected for an interval of time, a postponement of execution, a
president w/n 90 days from is assumption or re- temporary suspension of execution. It does no more
assumption of office than stay the execution of a sentence extended to a
2. Midnight Appointments prisoner to afford him an opportunity to procure some
amelioration of the sentence imposed.
E. THE REMOVAL POWER
Amnesty: is the sovereign act of granting oblivion or
 There is no express provision in the Constitution general pardon for past acts, granted by the
granting the President of the Philippines the power government generally to a class of persons who are
to remove executive offices from their posts. subject to trial and have not been convicted, usually of
However, he possesses it by implication from the political offenses (treason, sedition, rebellion).
following:
(1) His power to appoint Probation: it involves a disposition under which a
(2) The Constitutional provision vesting the defendant, after conviction and before serving
executive power in the President sentence, is released subject to conditions imposed by
(3) His function to take care that the laws be the court and to the supervision of a probation officer.
faithfully executed
(4) The President’s control over the administrative Parole: the suspension of the sentence of a convict
departments, bureaus, and offices of the granted after serving the minimum term of the
government. Without the power to remove, it indeterminate sentence penalty, w/o granting pardon,
would not be always possible for the President prescribing the terms upon which the sentence shall be
to exercise his power of control. suspended and the convict temporarily released.
 Not all officials appointed by the President may be
removed by him, namely: Limitations of the Pardoning Power:
(1) Members of the SC, the Ombudsman and his 1. A person who has been removed from office by way
deputies, and the members of the ConCom – of impeachment cannot be granted pardon.
they have fixed tenure and are removed only by However, after the officer impeached is subjected
impeachment. to prosecution and convicted in an ordinary criminal
(2) Judges of the Lower Courts – subject to the action, he can still be given a pardon for that
disciplinary authority of the SC conviction.
2. No pardon, amnesty, parole, or suspension of
F. THE PARDONING POWER sentence for violation of election laws, rules, and
regulations shall be granted by the President w/o
Object of Pardon: to afford relief from undue harshness favorable recommendation of the COMELEC.
or evident mistake in the operation and enforcement of 3. The President shall also have the power to grant
the criminal law. The administration of justice by the amnesty with the concurrence of a majority of all
courts is not necessarily always wise or certainly the members of the Congress.
considered of circumstances which may properly 4. The pardoning power can only be exercised after
mitigate guilt. conviction by final judgment.

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POLITICAL LAW REVIEW ◦ ATTY. BONG LOPEZ

5. A person convicted of legislative contempt cannot


be granted pardon as this would violate the
separation of powers doctrine. However, is a person
is convicted under the RPC for disturbing a
parliamentary proceedings, he may be pardoned by
the President.
6. The civil liability of the convicted person may not be
the subject of pardon or remission since the same
pertains to the private offended party and does not
belong to the State.

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