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Study Guide


a. Are Filipinos entitled to less human rights than Americans or Europeans?

b. Human rights are enumerated in:

1. Five (5) great international documents

a. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Dec. 10,1948)

b. Two Implementing covenants:
1. International Covenant on Economic, Social and
Cultural Rights (ICESCR);
2. International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
c. The Declaration and Action Programme on the
Establishment of a New International Economic Order
d. Economic Rights and Duties of States;

2. Two (2) great national documents

a. the Malolos Constitution 1989

b. the 1935 Constitution

First. None of us asked to be born.

Each of us have an equal right to life and the same inherent human dignity.

The rights of man:

a. the right to life,
b. the right to dignity,
c. the right to develop ourselves

Second. Even if we may not know who our parents are, we are never born without
parents, and never live outside society, a society with its own peculiar culture,
history and resources.
a. Right to survive
b. Right to self-determination
c. to develop as a people

Third. Once a society reaches a certain degree of complexity, society can act only
through government.
Government is an agent of society, it never becomes society itself, it never
becomes the people themselves. It is an instrument of the people.

1. When we speak of national security – we speak about the security of the
people, not of the governors
When we speak of economic development – we talk about the
improvement of the standard of living of all the people, not the enrichment of the
2. Since govt is an agent of the people, people have the right to change both
the men who run the government and the structure and system of government itself
When the people cannot do so peacefully, they have the right to rebellion against
tyranny and oppression.

1. Right to Life

a. right to health
b. to own property
c. to work
d. to form trade unions and to strike
e. to social security
f. to rest and leisure
g. to move about freely within our country and freely to leave and return to it
h. to marry
i. to establish a family
j. to exercise the rights of parents

Analogous - Right of the People to Survive

a. right to peace
b. to non-aggression
c. to share in international trade
d. to receive the just price of our products
e. paying no more than is fair for the products of other countries

2. Right to Human Dignity

a. to honor and reputation
b. freedom of thought
c. of conscience
d. religion
e. opinion and expression
f. to seek, receive and impart information
g. to peaceful assembly
h. to equal treatment before the law
i. to privacy of family, home and correspondence
j. freedom from slavery, torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading
k. from arbitrary arrest, detention or exile
l. presumed innocent of crime
m. fair trial


Analogous – self-determination
a. sovereign equality in international affairs and intl organizations
b. freedom from racial discrimination
c. to political independence
d. freedom from colonialism
e. neo-colonialism
f. alien domination and intervention in national affairs
g. sovereignty over natural resources
h. all economic activity
i. control activities of foreign investors and transnational corporations
j. nationalize and expropriate their assets
k. freedom to choose and change our political, social, cultural and economic

3. Right to Develop
To share in the cultural life of our community, form associations and live in an
international order

a. right to freely choose the goals and means of development

b. to industrialize the economy
c. to implement social and economic reforms to ensure participation of the
people in the process and benefits of development
d. to share in scientific and technological advances
e. to reparation and retribution for our exploitation as a colony

Which should be given priority? Economic, social and cultural rights or civil
and political rights?

Some rights are ABSOLUTE

Others are NOT

Some rights are ABSOLUTE (cannot be limited even in times of emergency):

a. freedom of thought
b. of conscience
c. of religion
d. to be recognized as a person
e. from torture and cruel and degrading and inhuman treatment
f. the right not to be deprived of life arbitrarily

Some rights may be limited to preserve social life:

a. freedom of expression
b. freedom of assembly
c. freedom of association
limitations are valid if:

1. they are provided by law not by executive whim
2. they are necessary to preserve society or protect public
health, public morals, or similar rights of others
3. they must not exceed what is strictly necessary to achieve
their purpose

Some rights may even be DENIED in times of grave emergency

1. right to be free from arbitrary detention and arrest
2. right to a remedy for every violation of fundamental rights

But the emergency must be:

1. So grave as to threaten the life of the nation
2. Publicly proclaimed
3. denial must go no further than is strictly required by the
exigencies of the situation