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Constitutional Law 1

Political Law is that 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 territory.
Constitution is a written instrument by which the fundamental powers of government are established, limited
and defined, and by which these powers are distributed among several departments for their more safe and
useful exercise for the benefit of the people.
Constitutional Law the body of rules resulting from the Supreme Courts interpretation of the Constitution in
the course of deciding cases
State a community of persons, more or less numerous, permanently occupying a fixed territory, and
possessed of an independent government organized for political ends to which the great body of inhabitants
render habitual obedience
State distinguished from Government:
1. The government is only an element of the State.
2. The State is the principal, the government its agent.
3. The State itself is an abstraction, it is the government that externalizes the State and articulates its will.
Elements of the State:
1. People refers to the inhabitants of the State
2. Territory the fixed portion of the surface of the earth inhabited by the people of the State
3. Government the agency or instrumentality through which the will of the State is formulated, expressed
and realized
4. Sovereignty the supreme and uncontrollable power inherent in a State by which that State is
Article 1. The national territory comprises the Philippine archipelago, with all the islands and waters embraced
therein, and all other territories over which the Philippines has sovereignty or jurisdiction, consisting of its
terrestrial, fluvial, and aerial domains, including its territorial sea, the seabed, the subsoil, the insular shelves,
and other submarine areas. The waters around, between and connecting the islands of the archipelago,
regardless of their breath and dimensions, form part of the internal waters of the Philippines.
Internal waters pertains to the waters around, between, and connecting the islands of the archipelago
(foreign ships cannot navigate without consent, except if right of innocent passage previously existed)
Territorial sea the waters within 12 miles from the baseline; full sovereignty and jurisdiction is exercised
Contiguous zone the water not exceeding 24 miles from the baseline; customs, immigration, and sanitary
laws are the only laws enforceable
Exclusive economic zone (EEZ) the waters not beyond the 200 miles from the baseline; we only have the
right to exclusively exploit and manage living and non-living resources here
Continental shelf pertains to the sea bed and sub-soil which extends throughout its natural prolongation to
the extent of 350 miles or to within 200 miles if the natural prolongation does not go beyond

Two kinds of Government functions:
1. Constituent functions constitute the very bonds of society and are therefore compulsory
2. Ministrant functions those undertaken to advance the general interests of society, such as public
works, public charity, and regulation of trade and industry; these functions are merely optional
De Jure and De Facto Governments:
A de jure government has rightful title but no power or control, either because this has been withdrawn from it
or because it has not yet actually entered into the exercise thereof. A de facto government, on the other hand,
is a government of fact, that is, it actually exercises power or control but without legal title.
Parens patriae the duty of the government to act as the guardian of the rights of the people
Administration the group of persons in whose hands the reins of government are for the time being
Self-executing and non self-executing provisions:
1. Self-executing provisions are considered to be sources of rights, while non self-executing are not
sources of rights for the citizens.
2. Self-executing means that you can go to court to have it enforced. On the other hand, since non self-
executing provisions are not sources of rights, you cannot go to court to have them enforced.
Democratic rule of the majority
Republic government chosen by the people

Article IV: Citizenship
Section 1. The following are the citizens 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; and
4. Those who are naturalized in accordance with law.
Natural-born citizens (Section 2):
1. Those who are citizens of the Philippines from birth without having to perform any act to acquire or
perfect their Philippine citizenship;
2. Those who elect Philippine citizenship in accordance with paragraph 3, Section 1, Article IV of the
Under the present Constitution, the child is considered a natural-born Filipino citizen provided either of his
parents is a Filipino.
The rule is that the right of election may be exercised ordinarily only within three years from attainment of the
majority age of 18.

Who can elect?
1. Must be a legitimate child
2. Mother is a Filipino and father is an alien
3. Born prior to January 17, 1973
(See case of Lim v. Republic)
How do you elect? (Ma vs. Commissioner)
1. Statement of election under oath
2. Oath of allegiance to the Constitution/Government
3. Registration of copy 1 and copy 2 with the Civil registrar (if residing abroad, with the Philippine
Diplomatic or Consular Office)
There is no such thing as implied election of Philippine Citizenship. The principle is that election of Philippine
citizenship has to be done expressly by means of a sworn statement.
Naturalization a process by which a foreigner acquires, voluntarily or by operation of law, the citizenship of
another state; may be direct or derivative.
Derivative naturalization is conferred:
1. On the wife the naturalized husband;
2. On the minor children of the naturalized parent; and
3. On the alien woman upon marriage to a national.
Three ways by which an alien can get naturalized as a Filipino:
1. Judicial naturalization
2. Administrative naturalization
3. Legislative naturalization
Steps in Judicial naturalization:
1. Declaration of intention with the Office of the Solicitor General
2. Filing of a petition for naturalization with the Regional Trial Court
3. Publication of the petition in the Official Gazette and in one newspaper of general circulation, posting
notices thereof and of the hearing
4. If granted, there be a rehearing after two years
5. Oath of allegiance
Qualifications for naturalization:
1. He must be not less than twenty-one years of age on the date of the hearing of the petition;
2. He must have resided in the Philippines for a continuous period of not less than ten years;
3. He must have good moral character and believe in the principles underlying the Philippine Constitution,
and must have conducted himself in a proper and irreproachable manner;
4. He must own a real estate in the Philippines worth not less that P5,000, Philippine Currency, or must
have some known lucrative trade, profession or lawful occupation;
5. He must be able to speak and write English or Spanish and any of the principal Philippine languages;
6. He must have enrolled his minor children of school age in any of the public schools recognized by the
Office of Private Education in the Philippines, where Philippine history, government and civics are
taught or prescribed
Disqualifications for naturalization:
1. Persons opposed to organized government or affiliated with any association or group of persons who
uphold and teach doctrines opposing all organized governments;
2. Persons defending or teaching the necessity or propriety of violence, personal assault, or assassination
for the success and predominance of their ideas;
3. Polygamists or believers in the practice of polygamy;
4. Persons convicted of crimes involving moral turpitude;
5. Persons suffering from mental alienation or incurable diseases.
Naturalization shall confer upon the petitioner all the rights of a Philippine citizen except only those reserved by
the Constitution to natural-born citizens of the Philippines.
Section 3, Article IV. Philippine citizenship may be lost or reacquired in the manner provided by law.
Under C.A. No. 63, Philippine citizenship is lost:
1. By naturalization in a foreign country;
2. By express renunciation of citizenship;
3. By subscribing to an oath of allegiance to support the Constitution or laws of a foreign country upon
attaining 21 years of age or more;
4. By rendering service to or accepting commission in the armed forces of a foreign country;
5. By cancellation of the certificate of naturalization;
6. By having been declared by competent authority, a deserter of the Philippine armed forces in time of
Philippine citizenship may be reacquired by:
1. Naturalization;
2. Repatriation;
3. Direct act of Congress;
4. Taking an oath of allegiance RA 9225.
Repatriation results in the recovery of the original nationality. This means that a naturalized Filipino who lost
his citizenship will be restored to his prior status as a naturalized Filipino citizen. On the other hand, if he was
originally a natural-born citizen before he lost his Philippine citizenship, he will be restored to his former status
a natural-born Filipino.
Section 4, Article IV. Citizens of the Philippines who marry aliens shall retain their Philippine citizenship,
unless by their act or omission they are deemed, under the law to have renounced it.
Section 5, Article IV. Dual allegiance of citizens is inimical to the national interest and shall be dealt with by
Section 5(2) of RA 9225 specifically provides that natural-born Filipinos, who have been naturalized as citizens
of a foreign country, but reacquired or retained their Philippine citizenship by taking the oath of allegiance
under Section 3 of RA 9225, and is seeking elective public offices in the Philippines, shall additionally execute
a personal and sworn renunciation of any and all foreign citizenship before an authorized public officer prior or
simultaneous to the filing of their certificate of candidacy to qualify as candidates in Philippine elections.
Article V: Suffrage
Qualifications for suffrage (Section 1):
1. Not otherwise disqualified by law;
2. At least 18 years of age;
3. 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.
Tasks given by the Constitution to the Congress regarding suffrage:
1. Provide for securing the secrecy and sanctity of the ballot;
2. Provide a system for absentee voting by qualified Filipinos abroad (R.A. No. 9189);
3. Design a procedure for the disabled and the illiterates to vote without assistance of other persons.
Under RA 9189, the right of absentee voters pertains only to the election of national officers, i.e., the president,
the vice-president, the senators, and party-list representatives.
In the case of Nicolas-Lewis v. COMELEC, the Supreme Court held that those with dual citizenship status
have the right to vote in Philippine Elections through the absentee voting scheme under RA 9189.
It was ruled in the case of Macalintal v. COMELEC that absentee voters are exempted from the constitutional
residency requirement for regular Philippine voters.
The affidavit required in Section 5(d) of RA 9189 is not only proof of the intention of the immigrant or
permanent resident to go back and resume residency in the Philippines, but more significantly, it serves as an
explicit expression that he had not in fact abandoned his domicile of origin.(Macalintal v. COMELEC)
Article VI: The Legislative Department
What has been delegated cannot be further delegated.
Delegation of legislative powers is permitted in the following cases:
1. Delegation of tariff powers to the President;
2. Delegation of emergency powers to the President;
3. Delegation to the people at large;
4. Delegation to local government;
5. Delegation to administrative bodies.
The general rule is that an act of Legislature is incomplete and, hence, invalid if it does not lay down any rule
or definite standard by which the administrative board may be guided in the exercise of the discretionary
powers delegated to it.
Non-legislative powers of the Congress:
1. The canvass of the presidential elections;
2. The declaration of the existence of a state of war;
3. The confirmation of amnesties;
4. Presidential appointments through the Commission on Appointments;
5. The decision of election protests through the Electoral Tribunals;
6. The amendment or revision of the Constitution;
7. Impeachment.
Qualifications for membership in the Senate (Section 3):
1. Natural-born citizen of the Philippines
2. At least 35 years of age on the day of the election
3. Able to read and write
4. A registered voter
5. A resident of the Philippines for not less than two years immediately preceding the day of the election
Residence the place where one habitually resides and to which, when he is absent, he has the intention of
The qualifications prescribed in Section 3 are continuing requirements, that is, they must be possessed for the
entire duration of the members incumbency.
The qualifications prescribed in Section 3 are exclusive with the result that it is not competent for the Congress
to provide by mere legislation for additional qualifications no matter how relevant they may be.
Voluntary renunciation of the office for any length of time shall not be considered as an interruption in the
continuality of his service for the full term for which he was elected. (Section 4)
District and Party-list Representatives:
A District representative is elected directly and personally, from the territorial unit he is seeking to represent. A
Party-list representative, on the other hand, is chosen indirectly, through the party he represents, which he is
the one voted for by the electorate.
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 and through a party-list system.
Unless otherwise provided by law, there shall be not more than two hundred members in the House of
Representatives who shall be directly elected from the various legislative districts created by the Ordinance
appended to the 1987 Constitution.
Gerrymandering the arrangement of districts in such a way as to favour the election of preferred candidates
through the inclusion therein only of those areas where they expect to win, regardless of the resultant shape of
such districts
Section 5 (2). The party-list representatives shall constitute 20% of the total membership of the House of
Qualifications for membership in the House of Representatives (Section 6):
1. A natural-born citizen of the Philippines
2. At least 25 years of age on the day of the election
3. Able to read and write
4. Except the party-list representatives, a registered voter in the district in which he shall be elected
5. A resident thereof for a period of not less than one year immediately preceding the day of the election
Section 8. Unless otherwise provided by law, the regular election of the Senators and the Members of the
House of Representatives shall be held on the second Monday of May.
Section 10. No increase in the salaries shall take effect until after the expiration of the full term of all the
Members of the Senate and the House of Representatives approving such increase. (PHILCONSA v. Mathay)
Section 11. A Senator or Member of the House of Representatives shall, in all offenses punishable by not
more than six years imprisonment, be privileged from arrest while the Congress is in session. No member shall
be questioned nor be held liable in any other place for any speech or debate in the Congress or in any other
committee thereof.
Session does not refer to the day-to-day meetings of the legislature but the entire period from its initial
convening until its final adjournment (see Section 15, Article VI)
Two parliamentary immunities:
1. Privilege from arrest
2. Privilege of speech and debate
Two requirements that must concur in order that the privilege of speech and debate can be availed of
by the member of the Congress:
1. The remark must be made while the legislature or the legislative committee is functioning, that is, in
2. They must be made in connection with the discharge of official duties.
The rule provides that the legislator may not be questioned in any other place, which means that he may be
called to account for his remarks by his own colleagues in the Congress itself and, when warranted, punished
for disorderly behaviour.
Under Section 12, all Members of the Congress, upon assumption of office, are required to:
1. Make a full disclosure of their financial and business interests; and
2. Notify the House concerned of potential conflict of interest that may arise from the filing of a proposed
legislation of which they are authors.
Section 13. No Senator or Member of the House of Representatives may hold any other office or employment
in the Government, or any subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof, including government-owned or
controlled corporations or their subsidiaries, during his term without forfeiting his seat. Neither shall he be
appointed to any office which may have been created or the emoluments thereof increased during the term for
which he was elected.
(The second sentence of the above provision does not apply to elective offices, which are filled by the voters
themselves. The appointment of the member of the Congress to forbidden office is not allowed only during the
term for which he was elected when such office was created or its emoluments were increased. After such
term, and even if the legislator is re-elected, the disqualification no longer applies and he may therefore be
appointed to the office.)
Parliamentary Inhibitions and Disqualifications (Section 14):
1. No Senator or Member of the House of Representatives may personally appear as counsel before any
court of justice or before the Electoral Tribunals, or quasi-judicial and other administrative bodies.
2. Neither shall he, directly or indirectly, be interested financially in any contract with, or in any franchise or
special privilege granted by the Government, or any subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof,
including any government-owned or controlled corporation, or its subsidiary, during his term of office.
The contracts referred to in Section 14, Article VI are those involving financial interests, that is, contracts from
which the legislator expects to derive some profit at the expense of the government.
Quorum any number sufficient to transact business; in our Constitution, we require that it constitute a
majority of all members of each House
The rules formulated and interpreted (Section 16 (3), Article VI) by each House are within their exclusive
discretion and may not be judicially reversed unless such rules violate fundamental or individual rights.
Journals and Records:
The journal is only a resume of minutes of what transpired during a legislative session. The record is the word-
for-word transcript of the proceedings taken during the session.
Importance of Journals:
1. They are useful for authenticating proceedings;
2. For interpretation of laws.
In the case of U.S. v. Pons, the Supreme Court held that to inquire into the veracity of the journals of the
Philippine Legislature when they are clear and explicit would be to violate both the letter and spirit of the
organic laws by which the Philippine Government was brought into existence, to invade a coordinate and
interfere with the legitimate powers and functions of the Legislature.
Except only where the matters are required to be entered in the journals, the contents of the enrolled bill shall
prevail over those of the journal in case of conflict.
Section 16 (5). Neither House during the sessions of the Congress shall, without the consent of the other,
adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting.
(The place refers not to the building but to the political unit where the two Houses may be sitting.)
Section 17. The Senate and the House of Representatives shall each have an Electoral Tribunal which shall
be the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns and qualifications of their respective Members.
The Electoral Tribunals, in the discharge of their constitutional duties, are independent of the legislature, and
also of the other departments for that matter.
In the case of Suanes v. Disbursing Officer of the Senate, the Supreme Court held that the employees of the
Electoral Tribunals are its own, and not of the Senate nor the House of Representatives nor any other entity,
and it stands to reason that the appointment, the supervision, and control over the said employees are wholly
within the Tribunal itself.
Decisions rendered ny the Electoral Tribunals are not appealable to the Supreme Court except in cases where
there is a clear showing of a grave abuse of discretion.