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Political law defined.

– the branch of public law which deals with the organization, and operations of the
governmental organs of the State and defines the relations of the State with the inhabitants of its

Administrative law – that branch of public law which fixes the organization of government, determines
the competence of the administrative authorities who execute the law, and indicates to the individual
remedies for the violation of his rights.

Constitution – that body of rules and maxims in accordance with which the powers of sovereignty are
habitually exercised.

- The written instrument enacted by direct action of the people by which the fundamental
powers of the government are established, limited and defined, and by which those powers are
distributed among the several departments for their safe and useful exercise for the benefit of
the body politic.
- The study of the maintenance of the proper balance between authority as represented by the
three inherent powers of the State and liberty as guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.


- The purpose of the Constitution is to prescribe the permanent framework of a system of

government, to as sign to the several departments their respective powers and duties, and to
establish certain first fixed principles on which government is founded.

Supremacy of the Constitution

- Is the basic and paramount law to which all other laws must conform and to which all persons,
including the highest officials of the land, must defer.
- No acts shall be valid, however noble its intentions, if it conflicts with the Constitution.


- Written or unwritten, evolved or enacted, and rigid or flexible

o Written constitution – is one whose precepts are embodied in one document or set of
o Unwritten constitution – consists of rules which have not been integrated into a single,
concrete form but are scattered in various sources, such as statutes of a fundamental
character, judicial decisions, commentaries of publicists, customs and traditions, and
certain common law principles.
o (enacted)Conventional constitution is an enacted constitution, formally “struck off” at a
definite time and place following a conscious or deliberate effort taken by a constituent
body or ruler.
o (evolved)Cumulative constitution – is the result of political evolution, “not inaugurated
at any specific time but changing by accretion rather than by any systematic method”
o Rigid constitution – is one that can be amended only by a formal and usually difficult
o Flexible constitution – is one that can be change by ordinary legislation.
- The constitution of the Philippines s written, conventional and rigid.

Qualities of a good written constitution

a. Broad. Not just because it provides for the organization of the entire government and covers all
persons and things within the territory of the State but because it must be comprehensive
enough to provide for every contingency
b. Brief. It must confine itself to basic principles to the implemented with legislative detain more
adjustable to change and easier to amend.
c. Definite. To prevent ambiguity in its provisions which could result in confusion and divisiveness
among the people.

Essential qualities of the written constitution

- A good written constitution must be broad, brief and definite.

- It is supposed to embody the past, to reflect the present and to anticipate the future.
- Must be comprehensive enough to provide for every contingency.

Essential parts of written constitution

1. Constitution of liberty – consist of a series of prescriptions setting forth the fundamental civil
and political rights of the citizens and imposing limitation of the powers of governments as a
means of securing the enjoyment of those rights. Found principally in article III, II, IV, V, and XII.
2. Constitution of government – consist of series of provisions outlining the organization of the
government, enumerating its powers, laying down certain rules relative to its administration,
and defining the electorate. Found in articles VI to XI
3. Constitution of sovereignty – consist of the provisions pointing out the mode or procedure in
accordance with which formal changes in the fundamental law may be brought about. Found in
article XVII


- Verba leais, ratio legis et anima, ut maais valeat auam pereat

- Of particular importance also is the rule that, in case of doubt, the constitution should be
considered self-executing rather than non-self-executing; mandatory rather than directory; and
prospective rather than retrospective.
- A self-executing provision is a rule that by itself is directly or indirectly applicable without need
of statutory implementation. Examples are in the Bill of rights, which may be invoked by proper
parties independently of or even against legislative enactment.
- A non-self-executing provision is one that remains dormant unless it is activated by legislative
implementation. Example is article II, section 4, which provide that in the fulfillment of the
prime duty of defending the State “all citizen may be required under conditions provided by law
to render personal military or civil service”.
- Unless the contrary is clearly intended, the provisions of the constitution should be considered
self-executing, as a contrary rule would give the legislature discretion to determine when, or
whether, they shall be effective.
- Implementation may, however, be imposed as a duty upon the legislature by mandatory
language of the constitution.
- Again in the absence of a clear showing of a contrary intention, the provisions of the
constitution should be regarded as mandatory.
- Finally, it should be observed that the provisions of the constitution should be given only a
prospective application unless the contrary is clearly intended.

Amendment or revision

- Change in the constitution may be effected by a mere modification in its interpretation by the
court of justice. Where the provisions of the constitution are ambiguously worded- perhaps
deliberately so- judges may read out of them, in the light of altered conditions, meaning that at
an earlier time were considered heretical like people vs pomar decided in 1924 wherein the
Supreme Court declared unconstitutional a law granting maternity leave privileges to female
employees unlike at the present, although the impairment clause has not undergone any change
in language since then, such privileges are a commonplace.
- There are provisions of the constitution, though, which are not as malleable to judicial
interpretation, iron rules, because they cannot be altered except by formal amendment.
Examples are the provisions for the age qualifications of certain officers or for their term of
- Modification of such provisions may be effected either by amendment or revision as provided in
article XVII
o Amendment – means isolated or piecemeal change only
o Revision is a revamp or rewriting of the whole instrument.

Constituent v. legislative power.

- In imbong v. Comelec, the Supreme Court states that the congress has authory to call a
constitutional convention and enact implementing detail as the constituent assembly. The
provisions stated in the case is constitutional since they are merely applying Sec. 2 of Art xii of
the constitution and does not constitute a denial of due process or equal protection of the law.
The challenged disqualification of the elected delegate from running for any public office in Sec.
5 is a valid limitation as it is reasonable and not arbitrary. They merely provided details for the
implementation of resolution of both houses Nos. 2 and 4.
o Congress, by a vote of % of all its members. Majority of authorities opine that this is to
be understood as ¾ of the Senate and ¾ of the House of Representatives.
 See occena v. Comelec, which may be called into existence either by a 2/3 vote
of all the members of Congress, or (if such vote is not obtained) by a majority
vote of all the members of Congress with the question of whether or not to call
a Convention to be resolved by the people in a plebiscite.
o Constitutional convention, which may be called into existence either by a 2/3 vote of all
the members of congress, or (if such vote is not obtained) by a majority vote of all the
members of Congress with the question of whether or not to call a Convention to be
resolved by the people in a plebiscite.
o People, through the power of initiative (sec. 2, art XVII). Requisite: 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 voters therein.
 Limitation: no amendment in this manner shall be authorized within five years
following the ratification of this Constitution nor more often than once every
five years thereafter.


- Two steps in the amendment or revision of our constitution

o Proposal – generally made either directly by the Congress or by a constitutional
o Ratification – the constitution provides that any amendment to or revision shall be valid
when ratified by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite held not earlier than sixty
days nor later than ninety days after the approval of such change by the congress or the
constitutional convention or after the certification by the commission of election of the
sufficiency of the petition under section 2.

Judicial review of amendments

- From what has already been observed, it is clear that the question of the validity of the adoption
of amendments to the constitution is regarded now as subject to judicial review. The present
doctrine allows the court to inquire into whether or not the prescribed procedure for
amendment has been observed.
- Thus, the judiciary may declare invalid a proposal adopted by less than three-fourths of the
members of the Congress, or a call for a constitutional convention by less than a majority of
votes cast, or a plebiscite irregularly held.

Chapter 3

The constitution and the courts

- Judiciary is the ultimate guardian of the Constitution. The judiciary is expected to rectify the
wrong and affirm its “sacred and solemn duty” to uphold the Constitution and the laws of the

Requisites of a judicial inquiry

1. There must be an actual case or controversy

2. The question of constitutionality must be raised by the proper party;
3. The constitutional question must be raised at the earliest possible opportunity; and
4. The decision of the constitutional question must be necessary to the determination of the case

- An actual case or controversy involves a conflict of legal rights, an assertion of opposite legal
claims susceptible of judicial adjudication. There must be a contratriety of legal rights that can
be interpreted and enforced on the basis of existing law and jurisprudence.
- Proper party – is one who has sustained or is in immediate danger of sustaining an injury as a
result of the act complained of.
- Earliest opportunity – the rule is that the constitutional question must be raised at the earliest
possible opportunity, such that if it is not raised in the pleadings, it cannot be considered at the
trial, and, if not considered at the trial, it cannot be considered on appeal.

Read pa an chapter 3

Chapter 4

The fundamental powers of the estate

- Similarities
o They are inherent in the State and may be exercised by it without need of express
constitutional grant.
o They are not only necessary but indispensable. The State cannot continue or be
effective unless it is able to exercise them.
o They are methods by which the State interferes with private rights.
o They all are presuppose an equivalent compensation for the private rights interfered
o They are exercised primarily by the legislature.
- Differences
o The police power regulates both liberty and property. The power of taxation and
eminent domain affect only property rights.
o Police power and power of taxation may be exercised only by the government while the
power of eminent domain may be exercised by some private entities.
o The property taken in the exercise of police power is destroyed because it is noxious or
intended for a noxious purpose. The property taken in taxation and eminent domain is
intended for public use or purpose and is therefore wholesome.
o The compensation of the person subjected to the police power in the intangible
altruistic feeling that he has contributed to the general welfare while in taxation and
eminent domain, a full and fair equivalent of the property expropriated or protection
and public improvements for the taxes paid.
- Limitation – limited has to not to the prejudice of the Bill of Rights.

Police power

- The power of promoting public welfare by restraining and regulating the use and enjoyment of
liberty and property.
- Test of the police power
o The interest of the public generally, as distinguished from those of a particular class,
require the exercise of the police power.
 The activity or property sought to be regulated affects public welfare.
o The means employed are reasonably necessary for the accomplishment of the purpose
and not unduly oppressive upon individuals.
 Must be pursued through a lawful method; that is, both the end and the means
must be legitimate. Lacking such concurrence, the police measure shall be
struck down as an arbitrary intrusion into private rights.
Eminent domain

- Who may exercise – is lodged primarily in the national legislature, but its exercise may be validly
delegated to other governmental entities and, in fact, even to private corporations, like the so-
called quasi-public corporation serving essential public needs or operating public utilities.
- Taking – imports a physical dispossession of the owner, as when he is ousted from his land or
relieved of his watch or his car and is thus deprived of all beneficial use and enjoyment of his


- We, the sovereign Filipino people, imploring the aid of Almighty God, in order to build a just and
humane society, and establish a Government that shall embody our ideals and aspirations,
promote the common good, conserve and develop our patrimony, and secure to ourselves and
our posterity, the blessing of independence and democracy under the rule of law and a regime
of truth, justice, freedom, love, equality, and peace, do ordain and promulgate this Constitution.

Articles II

Declaration of principles and state policies


Section 1. the Philippines is a democratic and republican State. Sovereignty resides in the people and all
government authority emanates from them.

Section 2. 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.

Section 3. civilian authority is, at all times, supreme over the military. The Armed forces of the
Philippines is the protector of the people and the State. Its goal is to secure the sovereignty of the State
and the integrity of the national territory.

Section 4. the prime duty of the Government is to serve and protect the people. The government may
call upon the people to defend the State and, in the fulfillment thereof, all citizens may be required,
under conditions provided by law, to render personal, military, or civil service.

Section 5. the maintenance of peace and order, the protection of life, liberty, and property, and the
promotion of the general welfare are essential for the enjoyment by all the people of the blessings of

Section 6. the separation of Church and State shall be inviolable.

State policies
Section 7. the State shall pursue an independent foreign policy. In its relations with other states, the
paramount consideration shall be national sovereignty, territorial integrity, national interest, and the
right to self-determination.

Section 8. the Philippines, consistent with the national interest, adopts and pursues a policy of freedom
from nuclear weapons in its territory

Section 9. the state shall promote a just and dynamic social order that will ensure the prosperity and
independence of the nation and free the people from poverty through policies that provide adequate
social services, promote full employment, a rising standard of living, and an improved quality of life for

Section 10. the State shall promote social justice in all phases of national development.

Section 11. the State values the dignity of every human person and guarantees full respect for human

Section 12. the State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as
a basic autonomous social institution. It shall equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the
unborn from conception. The natural and primary right and duty of parents in the rearing of the youth
for civic efficiency and the development of moral character shall receive the support of the Government.

Section 13. the State recognizes the vital role of the youth in nation-building and shall promote and
protect their physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual, and social well-being. It shall inculcate in the youth
patriotism and nationalism, and encourage their involvement in public and civic affairs.

Section 14. the State recognizes the role of women in nation-building, and shall ensure the fundamental
equality before the law of women and men.

Section 15. the state shall protect and promote the right to health of the people and instill health
consciousness among them.

Section 16. the state shall protect and advance the right of the people to a balance and healthful
ecology in accordance with the rhythm and harmony of nature.

Section 17.the state shall give priority to education, science and technology, arts, culture, and sports to
foster patriotism and nationalism, accelerate social progress, and promote total human liberation and

Section 18. the state affirms labor as a primary social economic force. It shall protect the rights of
workers and promote their welfare.

Section 19. the state shall develop a self-reliant and independent national economy effectively
controlled by Filipinos.

Section 20. the State recognizes the indispensable role of the private sector, encourages private
enterprise and provides incentives to needed investments.

Section 21. the state shall promote comprehensive rural development and agrarian reform.
Section 22. the state recognizes and promotes the rights of indigenous cultural communities within the
framework of national unity and development.

Section 23. the state shall encourage non-governmental, community-based, or sectoral organizations
that promote the welfare of the nation.

Section 24. the state recognizes the vital role of communication and information in nation-building.

Section 25. the state shall ensure the autonomy of local governments.

Section 26. the state shall guarantee equal access opportunities for public service and prohibit political
dynasties as may be defined by law.

Section 27. the state shall maintain honesty and integrity in the public service and take positive and
effective measures against graft and corruption.

Section 28. subject to reasonable conditions prescribed by law, the state adopts and implements a
policy of full public disclosure of all its transaction involving public interest.

Article IV


Section 1. the following are citizen of the Philippines:

1. Those who are citizens of the Philippines at the time of the adoption of this Constitution;
2. Those whose fathers or mothers are citizens of the Philippines
3. Those born before January 17, 1973, of Filipino mothers, who elect Philippine citizenship upon
reaching the age of majority
4. Those who are nationalized in accordance with law.

Section 2. natural-born citizens are those who are citizens of the Philippines from birth without giving to
perform any act to acquire or perfect their Philippine citizenship. Those who elect Philippine citizenship
in accordance with paragraph (3), section 1 hereof shall be deemed natural-born citizens.

Section 3. Philippine citizenship may be lost or reacquired in the manner provided by law.

Section 4. citizenship of the Philippines who marry aliens shall retain their citizenship, unless by their act
or omission, they are deemed, under the law, to have renounced it.

Section 5. dual allegiance of citizens is inimical to the national interest and shall be dealt with by law.

Article V


Section 1. suffrage may be exercised by all citizens of the Philippines not otherwise disqualified by law,
who are at least eighteen years of age, and who shall have resided in the Philippines for at least one
year, and in the place wherein they propose to vote, for at least six months immediately preceding the
election. No literacy, property, or other substantive requirement shall be imposed on the exercise of

Section 2. the congress shall provide a system for securing the secrecy and sanctity of the ballot as well
as a system for absentee voting by qualified Filipinos abroad.

The congress shall also design a procedure for the disabled and the illiterates to vote without
the assistance of other persons. Until then, they shall be allowed to vote under existing laws and such
rules as the Commission on Elections may promulgate to protect the secrecy of the ballot.

Article VI

The legislative department

Section 1. the legislative power shall be vested in the Congress of the Philippines which shall consist of a
Senate and a House of Representatives, except to the extent reserved to the people by the provision on
initiative and referendum.

Section 2. the Senate shall be composed of twenty-four Senators who shall be elected at large by the
qualified voters of the Philippines, as may be provided by law.

Section 3. no person shall be a Senator unless he is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines and, on the
day of the election, is at least 35 years of age, able to read and write, a registered voter, and a resident
of the Philippines for not less than two years immediately preceding the day of the election.

Section 4. the term of office of the Senators shall be six years and shall commence, unless otherwise
provided by law, at noon on the 13th day of June next following election. No senator shall serve for more
than two consecutive terms. Voluntary renunciation of the office for any length of time shall not be
considered as an interruption in the continuity of his service for the full term of which he was elected.

Section 5. (1) the house of representatives shall be composed of not more than 250 members, unless
otherwise fixed by law, who shall be elected from legislative districts apportioned among the provinces,
cities, and the Metropolitan Manila area in accordance with the number of their respective inhabitants,
and on the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio, and those who, as provided by law, shall be elected
through a party-list system of registered national, regional, and sectoral parties or organizations

(2) the party-list representatives shall constitute twenty per centum of the total number of
representatives including those under the party list. For three consecutive terms after the ratification of
this Constitution, ½ of the seats allocated to party-list representatives shall be filled, as provided by law,
by selection or election from the labor, peasant, urban poor, indigenous cultural communities, women,
youth, and such other sectors as may be provided by law, except the religious sector.

(3) each legislative district shall comprise, as far as practicable, contiguous, compact, and
adjacent territory. Each city with a population of at least 250