INTRODUCTION TO PHILIPPINE

CONSTITUTION

Definition of a Constitution – A written
instrument enacted by direct action of the
people by which the fundamental powers of the
government are established, limited and
defined.

. A constitution is the supreme or fundamental law creating the government having been enacted by the people themselves.Nature and Purpose of Constitution The People exercised control of their government primarily through the Constitution which protects from unjust exercises of governmental power and through periodic elections by means of which choose the officers to represent them. The purpose of the constitution is to draw framework or general outline of the system of the government and to specific the respective powers and functions of the various branches of government comprising this frame work.

The Preamble reads: . This Constitution establishes the Fifth Philippine Republic and restores the presidential form of government. Features of the 1987 Constitution Preamble The Preamble introduces the Constitution. identifies the author and the purposes of the fundamental law and aids the authorities in the interpretation of the Constitution since it lays down the visions of the government.1987 Constitution The 1987 Constitution is the present constitution of the Republic of the Philippines. which is composed of a preamble and eighteen (18) articles.

love. imploring the aid of the Almighty God. conserve and develop our patrimony. . the blessings of independence and democracy under the rule of law and a regime of truth.” The Constitution is divided into 18 parts (excluding the Preamble) which are called Articles. the sovereign Filipino people. and secure to ourselves and our posterity. equality. justice. in order to build a just and humane society. and establish a Government that shall embody our ideals and aspirations. do ordain and promulgate this Constitution. freedom.Preamble We. promote the common good. and peace.

. the seabed. all other territories which the Philippines has sovereignty or jurisdiction. the subsoil.Article I . and the terrestrial.National Territory Specifies that the Philippines is an archipelago. the insular shelves and other submarine areas. the Philippines territory consist of the islands and waters embraced therein. fluvial and aerial domains including the territorial sea.

Article II . Some of its provisions are: •Philippines is a Democratic and Republican State (Section 1) •Renunciation of War (Section 2) •Supremacy of Civilian Authority (Section 3) •Services to be rendered by the Citizens (Section 4) •Separation of Church and State (Section 6) •Independent Philippine Foreign Policy (Section 7) •Freedom from Nuclear Weapon (Section 8) •Just and Dynamic Social order and Social Justice (Section 9 and 10) •Family as the Basic Autonomous Unit (Section 12) •Role of the Youth and Women in Nation-Building (Section 13 and 14) •The affirmation of labor "as a primary social economic force" (Section 14) .Declaration of Principles and State Policies Sets down basic social and political creed of the country. particularly the implementation of the constitution. provide the interpretation of specific provisions of the fundamental law and help court in its decisions. Set forth the objectives of the government.

. including the: • due process and equal protection clause • The right against unwarranted searches and seizures • The right to free speech and the free exercise of religion. • The scope and limitations to these rights have largely been determined by Philippine Supreme Court decisions. • The right against self-incrimination • The right to habeas corpus. Many of these guarantees are similar to those provided in the American constitution and other democratic constitutions.Bill of Rights • Enumerates the specific protections against State power.Article III .

procedure. . 7160. election and leadership of officials and process of making law. The Local Government Code of 1991. It also specifies the organization.Article VI. and power of eminent domain (Section 9) • gress duly enacted Republic Act No. Power of taxation (Section 28). qualification and term of office and function of the Senators and representatives.The Legislative Department Enumerates the composition. Some of the power of Congress includes: • • • • Power of investigation or inquiry in aid of legislation (Section 21) Power to declare the existence of a State of war (Section 26) Fiscal power (Section 25) Inherent power: Police power (Section 1).

. and the promotion of the general welfare are essential for the enjoyment by all the people of the blessings of democracy. under conditions provided by law. Sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them. The Armed Forces of the Philippines is the protector of the people and state. at all times. supreme over the military. the protection of life. The Government may call upon the people to depend the state and. Section 2 – the Philippines renounces war as an instrument of national policy.  The Basic Principles Underlying the Constitution PRINCIPLES Section 1 – the Philippines is a democratic and republican state. in the fulfillment thereof. all citizens may be required. equality. and amity with all nations. Section 3 – Civilian authority is. to render personal. liberty. adopts the generally accepted principles of international law of the land and adheres to the police of peace. Section 4 – The prime duty of the Government is to serve and protect the people. freedom. Section 6 – The separation of Church and State shall be inviolable. and property. military or civil service. It’s the goal to secure the sovereign of the State and the integrity of the national territory. Section 5 – The maintenance of peace and order. justice. cooperation.

Section 17.Give priority to education.Recognizes the sanctity of family life. national interest.Values the dignity of human person and guarantees full respect for human rights.Values the dignity of human person and guarantees full respect for human rights. Section 11. *National sovereignty. Section 10. science and technology. etc. territorial integrity. arts. free the people from poverty.STATE POLICIES Section 7 – Independent foreign policy. patriotism. protect and strengthen the family as the basic social institution.Recognizes the role of the youth in nation building (nationalism. Section 16. *Equally protect the life of the mother and the unborn from conception. Section 8 – Freedom from nuclear weapons in its territory. Section 12. Section 13.Protect and advance the right of the people to a balance and healthful ecology. public and civic affairs) Section 14. Section 9 – Promotion of a just and dynamic social order. and the right to self-determination. culture and sports.Recognizes the role of the women in nation-building (equality before the law) Section 15.Protect and promote the right to health of the people. .

Section 23.Affirms labor as a primary social economic force. Section 28.Vital role of communication and information in nation building Section 25.Recognizes the indispensable role of the private sectors.Promote comprehensive rural development and agrarian reform.Subject to reasonable conditions prescribed by law.Encourage NGOs and community based/sectoral organization to promote the welfare of the nation. Section 21.Guarantee equal access to opportunities for public service (prohibits political dynasties as may be defined by law).Develop a self-reliant and independent national economy effectively controlled by Filipinos.Section 18. Section 19. .Ensure the autonomy of local government Section 26. Section 20. the State adopts and implements a policy of full public disclosure of all its transactions involving public interest. (Rights of workers).Rights of indigenous cultural communities within the framework of national unity and development. Section 22. Section 27.Honesty and integrity in the public service. Section 24.

sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them (Constitution. Sec. and the Judiciary .each branch being supreme in its own sphere but with constitutional limits and firm tripod of checks and balances. “A Republican form of government rests on the conviction that sovereignty should reside in the people and that all government authority must emanate from them.Branches of the Philippine Government: Separation of Powers The Philippines is a democratic and republican state. Our people have accepted this notice and decided to delegate the basic state authority to principally three branches of the government – the Executive. but is also shuns a direct and unbridled rule by the people. when absolute. can lead to abuse. III.” . Art. a veritable kindling to the passionate fires of anarchy. 1). As a republican state. cognizant that power. It abhors the concentration of power on one or a few. the Legislative.

The power to appropriate carries with it the power to specify the amount that may be spent and the purpose for which it may be spent.The Legislative Branch The legislative branch. on the other hand.” is three (3) years. is composed of not more than two hundred and fifty (250) members. unless otherwise fixed by law.’ It comprehends both the power to generate money by taxation (the power to tax) and the power to spend it (the power to appropriate). . which has the authority to make. The Senate is composed of twenty-four (24) Senators. cities and the Metropolitan Manila area. the Congress is composed of the Senate and the House of Representatives. regional and sectoral parties or organization. traditionally recognized in the constitutional provision that ‘no money shall be paid out of the Treasury except in pursuance of an appropriation made by law. who are elected from legislative districts apportioned among the provinces. and those who are elected through a party-list system of registered national. The term of office of members of the House of Representatives. who are elected at large by the qualified voters of the Philippines. The term of office of the Senators is six (6) years. “Congress is vested with the tremendous power of the purse. alter or repeal laws (see also the definition of “legislative power”). The House of Representatives. is the Congress. Under a bicameral system. also called “Congressmen.

he is granted administrative power over bureaus and offices under his control to enable him to discharge his duties effectively. The term of office of the President. the President is the Chief Executive. Thus. bureau and office or interfere with the discretion of its officials. This means that he has the authority to assume directly the functions of the executive department. Corollary to the power of control.The Executive Branch The Executive branch is headed by the President. . is six (6) years. the President also has the duty of supervising the enforcement of laws for the maintenance of general peace and public order. He represents the government as a whole and sees to it that all laws are enforced by the officials and employees of his department. who is elected by a direct bote of the people. bureaus and offices. He has control over the executive department. as well as the Vice President. As head of the Executive Department.

. COMELEC. but these moves were struck down by the Supreme Court. the executive and legislative branches are entirely separate.`The President exercises general supervision over all local government units and is also the Commanderin-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. There were attempts to amend the Constitution in order to shift to a parliamentary system. Under the existing Presidential form of government. subject only to the mechanisms of check and balance. The most recent petition that reached the Supreme Court is Lambino vs.

*Veto power .Administers the functions of the government: *Power to make appointments during the recess of the Congress. *Shall have control of all executive departments. *May contract and guarantee foreign loans on behalf of the Republic of the Philippines (Monetary Boar *Shall address the Congress at the opening of its regular session. bureaus and officers *Commander-in-Chief of the AFP *Suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus *May grand reprieves. after conviction by final judgment *Power to grant Amnesty with concurrence of a majority of all members of the Congress. commutation and pardons. and remit fines and forfeitures.

The Judiciary Judicial power is vested in the Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be established by law. Puno: The Judiciary may not have the power of the sword. but only asserts the solemn and sacred obligation assigned to it by the Constitution to determine conflicting claims of authority under the Constitution and to establish for the parties in an actual controversy the rights which that instrument secures and guarantees to them. “In the words of Chief Justice Reynato S. the power can make a difference for good. and the unerring lessons of history tell us that rightly wielded. it does not assert any superiority over the other departments. it does not in reality nullify or invalidate an act of the legislature. The judiciary has the moderating power to determine the proper allocation of power between the branches of government When the “judiciary mediates to allocate constitutional boundaries. . but it has the power to interpret the Constitution. may not have the power of the purse.

A member of the Supreme Court must be a natural-born citizen of the Philippines.While Congress has the power to define. five or seven members. No law shall also be passed reorganizing the judiciary when it undermines the security of tenure of its members. Justices hold office during good behavior until they reach the age of seventy (70) years or become incapacitated to discharge the duties of their office. in divisions of three. . The Supreme Court also has administrative supervision over all courts and the personnel thereof. It may sit en banc or. having the power to discipline or dismiss judges of lower courts. on its discretion. prescribe and apportion the jurisdiction provided in the Constitution. The Supreme Court is composed of a Chief Justice and fourteen Associate Justices. at least forty (40) years of age and must have been for fifteen (15) years or more a judge of a lower court or engaged in the practice of law in the Philippines.

and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce. papers. or property without due process of law. nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws. and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized. • Section 2. .BILL OF RIGHTS • Section 1. The right of the people to be secure in their persons. houses. No person shall be deprived of life. liberty.ARTICLE III . and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable.

or of the press.• Section 3. • Section 4. No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech. of expression. (1) The privacy of communication and correspondence shall be inviolable except upon lawful order of the court. (2) Any evidence obtained in violation of this or the preceding section shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding. or when public safety or order requires otherwise. or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances. . as prescribed by law.

No religious test shall be required for the exercise of civil or political rights.• Section 5. No law shall be made respecting an establishment of religion. or public health. without discrimination or preference. public safety. The liberty of abode and of changing the same within the limits prescribed by law shall not be impaired except upon lawful order of the court. Neither shall the right to travel be impaired except in the interest of national security. as may be provided by law. The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship. . or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. shall forever be allowed. • Section 6.

associations. • Section 9. shall be afforded the citizen. and to documents and papers pertaining to official acts. • Section 11. transactions. subject to such limitations as may be provided by law. as well as to government research data used as basis for policy development. to form unions.• Section 7. . including those employed in the public and private sectors. The right of the people. • Section 10. Free access to the courts and quasi-judicial bodies and adequate legal assistance shall not be denied to any person by reason of poverty. • Section 8. or societies for purposes not contrary to law shall not be abridged. Access to official records. No law impairing the obligation of contracts shall be passed. or decisions. The right of the people to information on matters of public concern shall be recognized. Private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation.

• Section 12. and their families. (3) Any confession or admission obtained in violation of this or Section 17 hereof shall be inadmissible in evidence against him. If the person cannot afford the services of counsel. (4) The law shall provide for penal and civil sanctions for violations of this section as well as compensation to and rehabilitation of victims of torture or similar practices. or other similar forms of detention are prohibited. or any other means which vitiate the free will shall be used against him. incommunicado. . Secret detention places. he must be provided with one. threat. (2) No torture. These rights cannot be waived except in writing and in the presence of counsel. force. intimidation. solitary. (1) Any person under investigation for the commission of an offense shall have the right to be informed of his right to remain silent and to have competent and independent counsel preferably of his own choice. violence.

shall. be bailable by sufficient sureties. except those charged with offenses punishable by reclusion perpetua when evidence of guilt is strong.• Section 13. The right to bail shall not be impaired even when the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is suspended. Excessive bail shall not be required. . All persons. or be released on recognizance as may be provided by law. before conviction.

and public trial. trial may proceed notwithstanding the absence of the accused provided that he has been duly notified and his failure to appear is unjustifiable. (2) In all criminal prosecutions. However. after arraignment. to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him. . and shall enjoy the right to be heard by himself and counsel.• Section 14. to meet the witnesses face to face. impartial. (1) No person shall be held to answer for a criminal offense without due process of law. and to have compulsory process to secure the attendance of witnesses and the production of evidence in his behalf. to have a speedy. the accused shall be presumed innocent until the contrary is proved.

or administrative bodies.• Section 15. (1) No person shall be detained solely by reason of his political beliefs and aspirations. No person shall be compelled to be a witness against himself. • (2) No involuntary servitude in any form shall exist except as a punishment for a crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted. • Section 16. • Section 18. All persons shall have the right to a speedy disposition of their cases before all judicial. • Section 17. The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended except in cases of invasion or rebellion when the public safety requires it. quasi-judicial. .

• Section 20. Any death penalty already imposed shall be reduced to reclusion perpetua. conviction or acquittal under either shall constitute a bar to another prosecution for the same act. unless. • Section 22. Neither shall the death penalty be imposed. for compelling reasons involving heinous crimes. psychological. or degrading punishment against any prisoner or detainee or the use of substandard or inadequate penal facilities under subhuman conditions shall be dealt with by law. the Congress hereafter provides for it. (1) Excessive fines shall not be imposed.• Section 19. No person shall be twice put in jeopardy of punishment for the same offense. If an act is punished by a law and an ordinance. No ex post facto law or bill of attainder shall be enacted. . degrading or inhuman punishment inflicted. No person shall be imprisoned for debt or non-payment of a poll tax. • Section 21. nor cruel. (2) The employment of physical.