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[In addition to this, read Articles I, II, IV, V and VI of the 1987
Constitution and review the requisites of judicial review. Take
note of the principles/doctrines laid down in the cases
mentioned here as the same principles/doctrines may be asked
in the case scenarios. The exam will consist of 20 questions
which will be both in the essay and objective type just like the
Prelims. Study hard and good luck!! You may use Philippine
Political Law of Cruz, 2014 Edition, Philippine Constitution
Reviewer Primer of Bernas and Outline Reviewer in Political
Law of Nachura.]

Doctrine of Separation of Powers

Under this principle, neither Congress, the President, nor the
Judiciary may encroach on the fields allocated to the other branches of
the government. Each of the three branches of government has
exclusive cognizance of and is supreme in matters falling within its own
constitutionally allocated sphere. The legislature is generally limited to
the enactment of laws and may not enforce or apply them; the executive
to the enforcement of law and may not enact or apply them; and the
judiciary to the application of laws and may not enact or enforce them.

Blending of Powers
These are instances under the Constitution when powers are not
confined exclusively within one department but are in fact assigned to
or shared by several departments. (Ex. grant of amnesty by the
President which needs the concurrence of a majority of all members of
the Congress; declaration of Martial law by the President which may be
revoke by the Congress)

Checks and Balances

This is where one department is allowed to resist encroachments
upon its prerogatives or to rectify mistakes or excuses committed by
other departments. The theory behind is that the ends of the
government are better achieved through the exercise by its agencies of
only the powers assigned to them, subject to reversal in proper cases by
those constitutionally authorized. (Ex. lawmaking power of Congress is
checked by the President through his veto power which may be
overridden by the legislature; the pardoning power of the President; the
judiciary has the power to declare an act done by Congress, the
President and his subordinates as invalid.)

Purpose of this Doctrine

It is intended to prevent a concentration of authority in one
person or group of persons that might lead to an irreversible error or
abuse in its exercise to the detriment of our republican institutions.

The Role of the Judiciary

When the Supreme Court mediates to allocate constitutional
boundaries or invalidates the acts of the legislative or the executive
department, it does not assert its supremacy but upholds the
supremacy of the Constitution. In determining whether a given power
has been validly exercised by a particular department, the test applied is
whether or not the power in question, regardless of its nature, has been
constitutionally conferred upon the department claiming its exercise.
However, there may be instances that even in the absence of express
conferment, the exercise of a given power may be justified under the
doctrine of implication, which is based on the theory that the grant of
an express power carries with it all other powers that may be
reasonably inferred from it. (Ex. the power of contempt which is
essentially judicial but is being exercised by the legislature as it is
reasonably included in its power to conduct investigations in aid of
legislation; the President, as head of government, may deport
undesirable aliens as head of the State)

Doctrine of State Immunity or Doctrine of Non-Suability

-there can be no legal right against the authority which makes the
law on which the right depends
-the demands and inconveniences of litigation will divert the time
and resources of the State from more pressing matters demanding its

Is it available to foreign states in case of suits by the local state?
As a rule, YES because of principle of the sovereign equality of

1. if regularly engaged in business in the host or local state; or
2. even if not so engaged, on the basis of its contracts in the host
state which may be considered as purely commercial, private and
proprietary acts but not sovereign acts.

Limitation of the doctrine of state immunity:

The application of doctrine of state immunity is from suit is restricted to
sovereign or governmental activities (jure imperii). It cannot be
extended to commercial, private and proprietary acts.

Exception to restriction of application of doctrine to sovereign or

governmental acts:
- the States exercise of its power of eminent domain when done
without payment of just compensation.

Practice of filing the claim against the officer of the government who is
supposed to discharge the responsibility or grant the redress demanded
rather than against the Republic to avoid resort to doctrine of State
immunity. (Garcia vs. Chief of Staff, 16 SCRA 120 where a claim for
damages for injuries sustained during the military training required by
law against the Chief of Staff of AFP in his official capacity is actually a
suit against the State since it would need the appropriation of public

Test of determining if suit is against the State

If the enforcement of the decision rendered against the government
officer will require an affirmative act from the State, such as the
appropriation of the needed amount to satisfy the judgment. If it does,
the suit is one against the State and its inclusion as party is necessary.

Where the public officer's acts without or in excess of jurisdiction, any

injury caused by him is his own personal liability and cannot be imputed
to the State.

Waiver of Immunity
The State may be sued if it gives its consent

Forms of consent:
Express - manifested either through general law or a special law.
(Ex. Under CA No. 327 as amended by PD 1445, a claim against the
government must first be filed with COA, which must act upon it within
60 days. Rejection of claim will authorize claimant to elevate matter to
SC on certiorari and in effect sue the State with its consent.)
Implied-manifested when the State itself commences litigation or
when it enters into a contract

The doctrine of state immunity should not be used to perpetrate

any injustice to its citizen.

Suits Against Government Agencies

It is necessary to determine first whether the government agency
impleaded is incorporated or unincorporated.

If incorporated, it has a charter of its own that vests in it a

separate juridical personality. The test of its suability is found in its
charter, regardless of the functions it is performing. Ex. Social Security
System, University of the Philippines. (Case: Bermoy vs. Philippine
Normal College, G.R. NO.L-8670, May 18, 1956) where a suit filed by
personnel of PNC for recovery of salary differentials and overtime pay
and the Supreme Court held that since it has its own charter that
provides that it can sue and be sued, the State has thereby waived its
If unincorporated, it has no separate juridical personality but is
merged in the general machinery of the government the DOJ, DOTC.
Any suit filed against it is necessarily an action against the
government of the Philippines of which it is a part. It is then
necessary to determine the nature of the functions in which the agency
is engaged, so as to hold it suable if they are proprietary and not suable
if they are governmental.

Suability vs. Liability

The mere fact that the State is suable does not mean that it is
liable; waiver of immunity by the State does not mean concession of its

Suability is the result of the express or implied consent of the

State to be sued. Liability, on the other hand, is determined after hearing
on the basis of the relevant laws and established facts.

When the State waives its sovereign immunity, it is only giving the
plaintiff the chance to prove, if it can, that defendant State is liable.
(Case: Palafox vs. Province of Ilocos Norte, G.R. No. L-10659,
January 31, 1958, a claim for recovery of damages against a provincial
government failed when it was shown that the injury complained of
occurred in connection with the repair of streets then being undertaken
by the defendant through its regular agents.) (Case: Torio vs.
Fontanilla, 85 SCRA 599, the Supreme Court held a municipality liable
for a tort committed in connection with the celebration of a town fiesta,
which was considered a proprietary function.)

Three Theories on Position of Constitutional Convention:

Theory of Constitutional Sovereignty exercises sovereign
Theory of Inferiority mere creation of legislature
Theory of Independence and Co-Equality co-equal body

Two Kinds of Judicial Review:

Ordinary Constitutional Review
Expanded -Extraordinary Certiorari

Functions of Judicial Review:

Checking, Legitimating and Symbolic

Requisites for Locus Standi:

a. must involve constitutional issue
b. for taxpayers involve disbursement of public funds
(Gonzales vs. Narvasa no disbursement of funds involved;
Demetria vs. Alba - taxpayers have interest in illegal expenditure of
public money; Tan vs. Macapagal no locus standi; no disbursement of
public funds; Kilosbayan vs. Guingona no locus standi but rules were
relaxed due to importance of issues)
c. for concerned citizens and voters issues of
transcendental importance and must be settled early (Oposa vs.
Factoran intergenerational responsibility; right to a balanced and
healthful ecology)
d. legislators infringement on legislators prerogative

Considerations in Doctrine of Transcendental Importance

a. character of funds/assets involved of major importance
b. clear case of disregard of constitutional or statutory
c. lack of third party with interest
d. wide range of impact of act assailed

Void for Vagueness Doctrine

A statute which either forbids or requires the doing of an act in
terms so vague that men of common intelligence must necessarily
guess at its meaning and differ as to its application. Repugnant to
Constitution because it violates due process and susceptible to arbitrary
application unbridled discretion in implementation/execution. (Case:
Estrada vs. Sandiganbayan Plunder Case)

Facial Challenge
Also known as First Amendment Challenge to assail statutes
concerning freedom of speech and other rights under the First
Amendment (exercise of religion; press freedom; peaceably assemble;
petition for redress of grievances) (Romualdez vs. COMELEC - The
Court has declared that facial invalidation or an on its face
invalidation of criminal statutes is not appropriate. Invalidation of
statutes would result in a mass acquittal of parties whose cases may
not have even reached the courts. Such invalidation would constitute
a departure from the usual requirement of actual case controversy.
Only statutes on free speech, religious freedom and other
fundamental rights may be facially challenged. Under no case may
ordinary penal statues be subjected to facial challenge.

Doctrine of Operative Fact (Hacienda Luisita vs. PARC; Araullo vs.

- nullifies the effects of an unconstitutional law by recognizing that the
existence of a statute prior to a determination of unconstitutionality is
an operative fact and may have consequences, which cannot always be
-is applicable when a declaration of unconstitutionality will impose an
undue burden on those who have relied on the invalid law
- the declaration of unconstitutionality of a law, treaty, etc., is
prospective. As such, all acts done in connection with the said law
before its declaration of unconstitutionality shall be considered
legal, valid and binding. It is only the declaration of
unconstitutionality which is the operative fact which would stop the
people from complying with its provisions.

Two Views on Effects of Declaration of Unconstitutionality:

a. Orthodox unconstitutional law is not a law; confers no rights;
imposes no duties; affords no protection; creates no office; as if
never passed.
b. Modern does not annul or repeal the law that is found
unconstitutional; it simply refuses to recognize it as if the statute has no

Requisites of Partial Unconstitutionality

a. Legislature must be willing to retain valid portions;
separability clause
b. Valid portions can stand independently

Must be Raised at the Earliest Possible Opportunity

(Tijam vs. Sibonghanoy - barred by laches from invoking this
plea after almost 15 years; Ballesteros vs. Abion - a partys active
participation in the proceeding before a court without jurisdiction will
estop such party from assailing such lack of jurisdiction)
Estoppel by deed; estoppel in pais; estoppel by laches;
Estoppel principle that precludes a person from asserting
something contrary to what is implied by a previous action or
statement of that person or by a previous pertinent.

The Preamble is not considered a source of substantive right
nor obligation since its purpose is only to introduce, to enumerate the
primary aims and express the aspirations of the framers in drafting the
Constitution and useful as an aid in the construction and interpretation
of the text of the Constitution.

Is the fixed portion of the surface of the earth inhabited by the
people of the State, which includes land, maritime areas, airspace, and
outer space.

Different areas beyond land territory

Territorial Seas 12 nautical miles (N.mi) from baseline;
Contiguous zone 24 N.mi from baseline;
Exclusive Economic Zone/Patrimonial Sea 200 N.mi
from baseline;
High Seas waters beyond territorial seas

N.B. A nautical mile is a unit used in measuring distances at sea, equal

to approximately 2,025 yards (1,852 meters)

Significance of Territory
Control over territory is the essence of a state

1. It is where the State exercises its sovereignty - over its land

territory, internal waters, archipelagic waters and territorial sea.

2. The coastal state has a right against innocent passage

(passage that is not prejudicial to the peace, food order or security
of the coastal state) in its internal waters.

3. The coastal state exercises authority over the area

(contiguous zone) to the extent necessary to prevent infringement of
customs, fiscal, immigration or sanitation authority over its
territorial waters or territory and to punish such infringement.

4. The coastal state has rights over the economic resources

of the sea, seabed and subsoil.

What is the Scope of Philippine national territory?

1. The Philippine archipelago;
2. All other territories over which the Philippines has sovereignty
or jurisdiction; (Ex. Treaty of Paris)
3. The territorial sea, seabed, subsoil, insular shelves and other
submarine areas corresponding to (1) and (2) which consist of
terrestrial, fluvial and aerial domains.

Is a body of water studded with islands.

Archipelagic Doctrine
It is the principle whereby the body of water studded with
islands, or the islands surrounded with water, is viewed as a unity
of islands and waters together forming one integrated unit.

CASE: Magallona vs. Ermita, G.R. No. 187167, August 16, 2011)
assailed RA 3046 demarcating the maritime baselines of the Philippines
as an Archipelagic State pursuant to UNCLOS on the ground that it
reduces the Philippine maritime territory under Article 1 and
undermines our sovereignty and security. The Supreme Court held that
UNCLOS III has nothing to do with acquisition or loss of territory. It
is just a codified norm that regulates the conduct of states.

Purposes of Archipelagic Doctrine

Territorial Integrity, National Security and Economic Reasons

Contiguous Zone vs. Exclusive Economic Zone

Contiguous zone is a zone contiguous to the territorial sea and
extends up to 12 nautical miles from the territorial sea and over
which the coastal state may exercise control necessary to prevent
infringement of its customs, fiscal, immigration or sanitary laws and
regulations within its territory or territorial sea. (Article 33 of the
Convention of the Law of the Sea)

The Exclusive Economic Zone extends 200 nautical miles

from the baseline. The EEZ is recognized in the UN Convention on the
Law of the Sea. Although it is not part of the national territory,
exclusive economic benefit is reserved for the country within the
U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea, April 30, 1982 -
establishing rules governing all uses of the oceans and their resources.


State is a community of persons, more or less numerous,

permanently occupying a definite portion of territory, independent
of external control and possessing an organized government to
which a great body of inhabitants render habitual obedience.

Elements of a State
People, Territory, Sovereignty and Government

People - is community of persons sufficient in number and

capable of maintaining the continued existence of the community and
held together by a common bond of law.

Territory - is a fixed portion of the surface of the earth

inhabited by the people of the state and over which area a state has
effective control.

Sovereignty - The supreme and uncontrollable power

inherent in a State by which that State is governed.

Government - That institution or aggregate of institutions by

which an independent society makes and carries out those rules of
action which are necessary to enable men to live in a social state, or
which are impose upon the people forming that society by those who
possess the power or authority of prescribing them.
[Case: Province of North Cotabato vs. Government of the
Republic of the Philippines, G.R. No. 183591, 568 SCRA 402,
October 14, 2008]
Petitions filed to enjoin the signing of the MOA-AD which granted the
Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (BJE) the authority and jurisdiction over
the ancestral domain and ancestral lands of the Bangsamoro. The
Supreme Court held that the MOA-AD is unconstitutional as it is
inconsistent with the Constitution and laws. The concept of association
is not recognized under the present Constitution. The BJE is more of a
state than an autonomous region as provided in Art. X, Section 18 of the
Constitution. The provisions of the 1987 Constitution must be amended
if the scheme envisioned in the MOA-AD is to be effected.

Kinds of Sovereignty
Legal, Political, Internal and External Sovereignty

Legal Sovereignty the power to issue final commands.

The Congress is the legal sovereign. The supreme power to affect legal
interests either by legislative, executive or judicial action. This is lodged
in the people but is normally exercised by state agencies.

Political Sovereignty sum total of all the influences of

a State, legal and non-legal which determine the course of the law.

Internal Sovereignty refers to the power of the State to

control its domestic affairs. It is the supreme power over everything
within its territory.

External Sovereignty also known as independence,

which is freedom from external control. It is the power of the state to
direct its relations with other States.

Characteristics of Sovereignty
-permanent, exclusive, comprehensive, absolute, indivisible,
inalienable and imprescriptible.

N.B. In Taada vs. Angara, it was held that sovereignty of state cannot
be absolute as it is subject to limitations imposed by membership in
the family of nations and limitations imposed by treaties.

Effects of Belligerent Occupation (as to political laws, non-

political laws and judicial decisions)

As to Political Laws no change of sovereignty during a

belligerent occupation, the political laws of the occupied territory are
merely suspended subject to revival upon the end of the occupation.

As to Non-Political Laws are deemed continued unless

changed by the belligerent occupant since they are intended to govern
the relations of individuals as among themselves and are not generally
affected by changes in regimes of rulers.

As for Judicial Decisions the same are valid during the

occupation and even beyond except those of a political complexion,
which are automatically annulled upon the restoration of the legitimate

(Case: People vs. Perfecto, G.R. NO. L-18463, October 4, 1922)

Perfecto published an article against the Philippine Senate and was
charged under the Spanish Penal Code. The Court held that with the
change of sovereignty over the Philippines from Spanish to American,
the invoked provision had been automatically abrogated. The
provision is political in nature for it is about the relation of the State to
its inhabitants.

Effects of Change in Sovereignty (as to political laws and non-

political laws)

As to Political Laws when there is change in sovereignty,

the political laws of the former sovereign are not merely suspended but
abrogated unless they are retained or re-enacted by positive act of the
new sovereign.

As to Non-Political Laws continue in operation.

Imperium v. Dominium

Imperium is the States authority to govern, e.g., passing

laws, governing territory, maintaining peace and order over it and
defending against foreign invasion. This is the authority possessed by
the State embraced in the concept of sovereignty.

Dominium capacity of the State to own property.

Covers such rights as title to land, exploitation and use of it and
disposition or sale of the same.
Is the manifestation of sovereignty. The jurisdiction of the
state is understood as both its authority and the sphere of the exercise
of that authority.

Kinds of Jurisdiction (Territorial, Personal and Extra-


1. Territorial authority of the state to have all persons

and things within its territorial limits to be completely subject to its
control and protection.
2. Personal authority of the state over its nationals,
their persons, property and acts whether within or outside its
territory. (Ex. jurisdiction over States nationals outside the country)
3. Extra-territorial authority of the State over persons,
or things, or acts outside of its territorial limits by reason of their
effect to its territory. (Ex. immunities of heads of state in a foreign
country; jurisdiction of State over its vessels in high seas)

Government of the Republic of the Philippines (Section 2,

Revised Administrative Code) - refers to the corporate governmental
entity through which the functions of government are exercised
throughout the Philippines.

Functions of Government
(Governmental or Constituent and Proprietary or Ministrant)

1. Governmental (Constituent) are the compulsory

functions, which constitute the very bonds of society. (Ex. housing, land
reform, taxation, airport operations)

2. Proprietary (Ministrant) optional functions of the

government for achieving a better life for the community
(administration of MIA by the Civil Aeronautics Administration).

Doctrine of Parens Patriae

-parent of the people; one of the important tasks of the government is
to act for the State as parens patriae, or guardian of the rights of the

(Cases: Soriano vs. Laguardia, G.R. No. 164785, April 29, 2009
-Petitioner Soriano uttered obscene remarks against INC in his show.
The Supreme Court held that etitioners offensive and obscene language
uttered in a television broadcast, without doubt, was easily accessible to
the children. His statements could have exposed children to a language
that is unacceptable in every day use. As such, the welfare of children
and the State mandate to protect and care for them as parens patriae,
constitute a substantial and compelling government interest in
regulating petitioners utterances in TV broadcast.

(San Juan Dela Cruz vs. Gracia, G.R. No. 177728, July 31, 2009
The unsigned handwritten instrument of the deceased father of minor
can be considered as recognition of paternity. It is the policy of the
Family Code to liberalize the rule on the investigation of the paternity
and filiation of children, especially of illegitimate children. Too, the
State as parens patriae affords special protection to children form
abuse, exploitation and other conditions prejudicial to their

Classification of Government Based on Legitimacy

1. De Jure Government - one established by authority of
the legitimate sovereign;
2. De Facto Government - one established in defiance of
the legitimate sovereign. It actually exercises power or control
without legal title.

De Jure (Case: Lawyers League for a Better Philippines vs.

Corazon Aquino, G.R. No. 73748, May 22, 1986)
This a petition assailing the legitimacy of the Cory government
established during the Peoples Power Revolution. The Supreme Court
held that the legitimacy of the Aquino government is not a justiciable
matter but belongs to the realm of politics where only the people are the
judge. The Court further held that the people have accepted the Aquino
government which is in effective control of the entire county; it is not
merely a de facto government but in fact and law a de jure government
and the community of nations has recognized the legitimacy of the new

3 Kinds of De Facto Government

1. The government that gets possession and control or, or

usurps, by force or by the voice of majority.
2. Established and maintained by invading military
forces. That established as an independent government by the
inhabitants of a country who rise in insurrection against the parent
3. Government of paramount force that which is
established and maintained by military forces which invade and
occupy a territory of enemy in the course of war.

N.B. The government under Cory Aquino and the Freedom Constitution
is a de jure government. It was established by authority of the
legitimate sovereign, the people. It was a revolutionary government
established in defiance of the 1973 Constitution. (In Re Letter of
Associate Justice Puno, 210 SCRA 589 (1992)

Republican Form of Government

Republic is a representative government run by the people and
for the people.

Republican State
-is a state wherein all government authority emanates from the
people and is exercised by representative chosen by the people.

Essential Features of Republicanism

The essence of republicanism is representation and renovation.
The citizenry selects a corps of public functionaries who derive their
mandate from the people and act on their behalf, serving for a limited
period only, after which they are replaced or retained at the option of
their principal.

Manifestations of Republicanism
1. a government of laws and not of men.
2. Rule of majority (plurality in election)
3. Accountability of public officials
4. Bill of rights
5. Legislature cannot pass irrepealable laws
6. Separation of powers

The Philippines only renounces aggressive war as an

instrument of national policy and not defensive war.

Incorporation clause
The Philippines adopts the generally accepted principles of
international law as part of law of the land.

Dualist view:
That domestic law is distinct from international law. Since
dualism holds that international law and municipal law belong to
different spheres, international law becomes part of municipal law
only if it is incorporated in to municipal law.

Doctrine of incorporation
Every state is, by reason of its membership in the family of
nations, bound by the generally accepted principles of international
law, which are considered to be automatically part of its own laws.

International laws
It is a body of rules and principles of action which are binding
upon civilized states in their relation to one another. The law which
deals with the conduct of states and of international organizations and
with their relations inter se, as well as with some other relations with
persons, natural or juridical.

Effect of incorporation clause on international laws

It can be used by Philippine courts to settle domestic disputes in

much the same way that they would the Civil Code or the Penal Code
and other laws passed by Congress.

The civilian authority is at all times supreme over the

military is implicit in a republican system. This provision expressly
affirms this principle in the Constitution to allay all fears of a military
take over of our civilian government.

Insulation of the AFP from partisan politics. (Article XVI,

Section 5)
The AFP shall be insulated from partisan politics. No member of
the military shall engage directly or indirectly in any partisan political
activity except to vote. (Article XVI, Section 5)

(Case: Manalo vs. Sistoza, G.R. No. 107369, August 11, 1999)
Assails the legality of the permanent appointments by President Cory
Aquino to senior officers of PNP who were promoted to the ranks of
Chief Superintendent and Director without appointments submitted to
the Commission on Appointments for confirmation. It was held that
their appointment does not need confirmation under Sec. 16, Art. VII of
the Constitution. The PNP is separate and distinct form the AFP. The
Constitution, no less sets forth the distinction. (Section 4, Article XVI
and Section 6)

On Defense of State
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.

Right to bear arms as a constitutional right

The right to bear arms is a statutory right, not a constitutional

right. The license to carry a firearm is neither a property nor a
property right. Neither does it create a vested right. Even if it were a
property right, it cannot be considered absolute as to be placed beyond
the reach of police power.

(Chavez vs. Romulo, G.R. No. 157036, June 9, 2004)

Petitioner questions the ban on carrying firearms as a violation of his
right to property. It was held that a license authorizing a person to enjoy
a certain privilege is neither a property nor property right. It is not a
contract, property or property right protected by the due process
clause of the Constitution.

On Separation of Church and State

Strong fences make good neighbors. The idea is to delineate
boundaries between the two institutions and thus avoid encroachments
by one against the other because of a misunderstanding of the limits of
their respective exclusive jurisdictions.


The Philippines has exclusive sovereign rights over the West

Philippine Sea (in the South China Sea) and that Chinas 9-dash line is
invalid according to UN Arbitral Tribunal. China has violated Philippine
sovereign rights in its exclusive economic zone by interfering with
Philippine fishing and petroleum exploration and constructing artificial
islands and failing to prevent Chinese fishermen from fishing in the
zone. There was no legal basis to Chinas claim of historic rights to
resources within the sea areas falling within the 9-dash line.

Principles that guide the government in the conduct of the
States foreign relations

As a member of the family of nations, the Philippines agrees to be

bound by generally accepted rules for the conduct of its international
relations. The State is responsible to assure that the government,
Constitution and laws will carry out its international obligation.
Hence, we cannot readily plead the Constitution as a convenient excuse
for non-compliance with out obligations, duties and responsibilities
under international law.

(CASE: Bayan vs. Executive Secretary, G.R. No. 138570,

Assails the Visiting Forces Agreement entered by Philippine
government with the United States for alleged violation of Section 25 of
Art. XVIII of the 1987 Constitution specifically foreign military bases,
troops or facilities shall not be allowed in the Philippines except under a
treaty duly concurred in by the Senate. The VFA is not
unconstitutional. Sec. 25 of Article XVIII of the Constitution disallows
foreign military bases, troops or facilities in the country, unless the
following conditions are sufficiently met: (a) it must be under a treaty;
(b) duly concurred in by the Senate and when so required by
congress, ratified by a majority of the votes cast by the people in a
national referendum; and (c) recognized as a treaty by the other
contracting party.

Social justice means the equalization of economic, political and

social opportunities with special emphasis on the duty of the state to
tilt the balance of social forces by favoring the disadvantaged in life
on all aspects of national development.

(CASE: Calalang vs. Williams, 70 Phil. 276)

Assails the regulation prohibiting all animal-drawn vehicles from
passing and picking up passengers in certain places to the detriment not
only of their owners but of the riding public as well, for violation of the
principle on promotion of social justice to insure well-being and
economic security of all the people. It was held that this does not violate
the principle of social justice as this is an exercise of power of the
government pursuant to the time-honored principle of salus populi est
suprema lex (the welfare of an individual yields to that of the
community.) This is consistent with the fundamental and paramount
objective of the state of promoting health, comfort and quiet of all
persons, and of bringing about the greatest good to the greatest
number. The assailed rules and regulations aim to promote safe transit
upon and avoid obstructions on national roads, in the interest and
convenience of the public.

Respect for Human Dignity

(CASE: Basco vs. PAGCOR, 197 SCRA 52)

This assails the law creating PAGCOR which regulates and centralizes all
games of chance authorized by existing franchise permitted by law.
Allegedly, it is contrary to morals, public policy and public order, among
others under Art. II. It was held that gambling is generally prohibited
unless allowed by law. The government can allow and regulate it in
the exercise of its police power. Also, the alleged provisions violated
are basically not self-executing, meaning a law should be passed by
Congress to clearly define and effectuate such principles.

The State recognizes the sanctity of family life and protection

and strengthening of the family as a basic autonomous social
institution. It protects the life of the mother and the unborn from

Family means a stable heterosexual relationship.

The purpose of the assertion that the protection begins from the
time of conception is to prevent the State from adopting the doctrine in
Roe vs. Wade which liberalized abortion laws up to the sixth month of
pregnancy by allowing abortion any time during the first six months of
pregnancy provided it can be done without danger to the mother.

The legal meaning and purpose of the protection of the


1. This is not an assertion that the unborn is a legal person.

2. This is not an assertion that the life of the unborn is placed
exactly on the level of the life of the mother. The life of the
unborn may be sacrificed if there is danger to the life of the

RH Law does not violate the right to life of the unborn under the
(CASE: Imbong vs. Ochoa, G.R. No. 204819, April 8, 2014)
Assails the RH Law (RA 10354) which prescribes the use of
contraceptives, among others, for allegedly violating the right to life of
the unborn guaranteed under the Constitution. The Court ruled that
contraceptives that actually prevent the union of the male sperm and
female ovum, and those that similarly take action before fertilization
should be deemed non-abortive, and thus constitutionally
permissible, this is based on the theory that conception starts from
Rights of parents and of the State in the education of the
The primary and natural right belongs to the parents.

The States intervention in the relation of the parent and

Under the principle of parens patriae the State has the authority
and duty to step in where parents fail to or are unable to cope with
their duties to their children.

Role of Women and Fundamental Equality of Men and Women

(CASE: Garcia vs. Drilon, G.R. No. 179267, 6/25/13)
Petitioner questions the constitutionality of the RA 9262 (Anti-Violence
Against Women and their Children Act of 2004) for violating the due
process and equal protection clauses and for being discriminatory. The
Supreme Court held that R.A. 9262 does not violate the guaranty of
equal protection of the laws. Equal protection simply requires that all
persons or things similarly situated should be treated alike, both as to
rights conferred and responsibilities imposed. All that is required is that
there is valid classification that is reasonable, which means that the
classification should be based on substantial distinctions which make
for real differences; that it must be germane to the purpose of the
law; not limited to existing conditions only; and apply equally to
each member of the class.

(CASE: Philippine Telegraph and Telephone Co. vs. NLRC, G.R. No.
118978, 5/23/97)
This pertains to the dismissal of a female employee for allegedly
misrepresenting herself as single when in fact she is already married.
The Supreme Court held that the companys policy of not accepting or
disqualifying from work any woman worker who contracts
marriage is afoul of the right against discrimination provided to all
women workers by our labor laws and by our Constitution.

Writ of Kalikasan is a remedy available to a natural or juridical

person, entity authorized by law, peoples organization, non-
governmental organization, or any public interest group accredited by
or registered with any government agency, on behalf of persons
whose constitutional right to a balanced and healthful ecology is
violated, or threatened with violation by an unlawful act or omission of
a public official or employee, or private individual or entity, involving
environmental damage of such magnitude as to prejudice the life,
health or property of inhabitants in two or more cities or

An Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) can be challenged

by a Writ of Kalikasan

(CASE: Hon Ramon Jesus Paje vs. Casino, G.R. No. 207267, 2/3/15)
An ECC can be challenged by a Writ of Kalikasan but subject to
certain qualifications. A party who invokes the writ based on alleged
defects or irregularities in the issuance of an ECC must not only allege
and prove such defects or irregularities, but must also provide a causal
link or, at least, a reasonable connection between the defects or
irregularities in the issuance of an ECC and the actual or
threatened violation of the constitutional right to a balanced and
healthful ecology of the magnitude contemplated under the Rules. An
example of a defect or an irregularity in the issuance of an ECC, which
could conceivably warrant the granting of the extraordinary remedy of
the writ of kalikasan is where there are serious and substantial
misrepresentations or fraud in the application for the ECC, which if
not immediately nullified, would cause actual negative
environmental impacts.

The right to select a profession or course can be regulated

pursuant to police power of the State
(CASE: Professional Regulation Commission vs. De Guzman, G.R. No.
144681, 6/21/04)
This assails the Medical Act of 1959 which did not issue certificates of
registration to graduates of Fatima College of Medicine who passed the
medical board and obtained high grades due to apparent leakage and
access to the test questions. While it is true that the Court has upheld
the constitutional right of every citizen to select a profession or course
of study subject to a fair, reasonable, and equitable admission and
academic requirements. But like all rights and freedoms guaranteed by
the Charter, their exercise may be so regulated pursuant to the
police power of the State to safeguard health, morals, peace,
education, order, safety, and general welfare of the people. Thus,
persons who desire to engage in the learned professions requiring
scientific or technical knowledge may be required to take an
examination as a prerequisite to engaging in their chosen careers.

Protection to labor does not refer to promotion of employment

(CASE: JMM Promotion and Management vs. Court of Appeals, G.R.
No. 120095, 8/5/96)
This assails the POEA regulation which required the acquisition of
Artists Record Book which a performing artist must acquire prior to
being deployed abroad. Allegedly, it violated the right to travel, abridge
existing contracts and rights and deprives artists of their individual
rights. It was held that the regulation is a valid exercise of police power.
Police power concerns government enactments, which precisely
interfere with personal liberty or property in order to promote the
general welfare or the common good. The welfare of Filipino
performing artists, particularly the women, was paramount in the
issuance of the regulation on the ARB requirement. This scheme
lessens the room for exploitation by unscrupulous individuals and

(CASE: Marine Radio Communications Association vs. Reyes, G.R.

86953, 11/6/90)
This assails the project of DOTC designed to ensure safety of lives at sea
(SOLAS) through the establishment of efficient communication facilities
between coast stations and ship station and shore to ship public
corresponding for free. Allegedly, this is a threat to the entire marine
radio communications industry and in contravention of the mandate on
recognition of the indispensable role of the private sector. It was held
that this is in line with the duty of the State to serve the people, and
promote a just and dynamic social order through policies that proved
adequate social services. This mandate is no more than an
acknowledgment of the importance of the private sector.

(CASE: PLDT vs. NTC, G.R. No. 88404, 10/18/90)

This refers to the opposition of PLDT on the application of a
communications company telephone company for construct, install,
establish, operate and maintain a cellular mobile telephone and paging
system similar to the services for which PLDT has a pending application.
It was held that there was no grave abuse of discretion on the part of the
National Telecommunications Commission. The decisive
considerations are public need, public interest, and the common
good. Additionally, the State is empowered to decide whether public
interest demands that monopolies be regulated or prohibited.

The exercise of local autonomy is subject to power of control of

Congress and power of general supervision by the President
(CASE: Judge Dadole vs. Commission on Audit, G.R. No. 125350,
This assails the budget circular issued by the LGU on notice of
disallowances to judges. It was held that lthough the Constitution
guarantees autonomy to local government units, the exercise of local
autonomy remains subject to the power of control by Congress and
the power of supervision by the President. The members of the
Cabinet and other executive officials are merely alter egos of the
President and are subject to the power of control of the President;
They are subject to the President's supervision only, not control, so
long as their acts are exercised within the sphere of their
legitimate powers. The President can only interfere in the affairs
and activities of a LGU if he or she finds that the latter has acted
contrary to law. This is the scope of the President's supervisory
powers over LGUs.

The right to information or policy of full disclosure is not absolute

(CASE: Akbayan vs. Aquino)
This pertains to petition for mandamus requesting respondents to
submit the full text of the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership
Agreement (JPEPA). Allegedly, the refusal of the government to disclose
the said agreement violates their right to information on matters of
public concern and of public interest. It was held that diplomatic
negotiations are covered by the doctrine of executive privilege.
However, this is not absolute as this may be invoked if there is a public
interest that calls for the disclosure of the desired information,
strong enough to overcome its traditionally privileged status.

Article 4 Citizenship
Citizenship is a personal and more or less permanent
membership in a political community. It imposes the duty of allegiance
to the political community.

Modes of acquiring citizenship

1. Jus Sanguinis-basis of blood relationship
2. Jus Soli basis of place of birth
3. Naturalization legal act of adopting an alien and clothing him
with the privilege of a native-born citizen.

N.B. The Philippine law follows jus sanguinis and provides for

The following are citizens of the Philippines: (Section 1,

1. Those who are citizens of the Philippines at the time of the
adoption of the 1987 Constitution;
2. Those whose fathers or mother 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 naturalized in accordance with law.

Who are citizens of the Philippines at the time of the adoption

of the 1987 Constitution?
Those who were citizens under the 1973 Constitution
a. Those who were citizens of the Philippines under Article
IV, Section 1 of the at the time of the 1935 Constitution, namely:
(i) Those who are citizens of the Philippines at the
time of the adoption of the 1935 Constitution;
(ii) Those born in the Philippines of foreign parents
who, before the adoption of the 1935 Constitution, had been elected to
public office in the Philippines;
(iii) Those whose fathers are citizens of the
(iv) Those whose mothers are citizens of the
Philippines and, upon reaching the age of majority, elect Philippine
(v) Those who are naturalized in accordance with
Naturalization is the legal act of adopting a foreigner and
clothing him with the privileges of a natural-born citizen. A person may
be naturalized either by complying with both the substantive and
procedural requirements of a general naturalization law or he may be
naturalized by a special act of the legislature.

Modes of naturalization.
(a) Direct citizenship is acquired by: (i) individual through
judicial (Commonwealth Act No. 473) or administrative
proceedings (R.A. No.9139); (ii) Special act of legislature;
(iii) collective change of nationality, as a result of cession or
subjugation; or (iv) in some cases, by adoption of orphan
minors as nationals of the State where they are born.
(b) Derivative citizenship conferred on: (i) wife of
naturalized husband; (ii) minor children of naturalized
person; or (iii) alien woman upon marriage to a national.

In a Petition for judicial declaration of Philippine citizenship, the

petitioner believes that he is a Filipino citizen and asks a court to
declare or confirm his status as a Philippine citizen.

In a Judicial naturalization under C.A. 473, as amended, the

petitioner acknowledges that he is an alien, and seeks judicial approval
to acquire the privilege of becoming a Philippine citizen based on
requirements under C.A. 473.]

Effects of Naturalization
1. Vests citizenship on wife if she herself may be lawfully
2. Minor children born in the Philippines before the naturalization
shall be considered citizens of the Philippines;
3. Minor child born outside the Philippines before the naturalization
shall be considered citizens of the Philippines;
4. Minor child born outside the Philippines before parents
naturalization shall be considered Filipino citizens only during
minority, unless he begins to permanently reside in the
5. Child born outside of the Philippines after parents naturalization
shall be considered a Filipino, provided that he registers as
such before any Philippine consulate within one year after
attaining majority age, and takes his oath of allegiance.

N.B. The opportunity given to a foreigner to become a citizen is a mere

privilege, and the absence of one requirement is fatal to the

Grounds for Denaturalization

1. naturalization certificate is obtained fraudulently or illegally.
2. If, within 5 years, he returns to his native country or to some
foreign country and establishes residence there; provided that 1-
year say in native country, or 2-year stay in a foreign country shall
be prima facie evidence of intent to take up residence in the same.
3. Petition was made on an invalid declaration of intention;
4. Minor children failed to graduate through the fault of the parents
either by neglecting to support them or by transferring them to
another school;
5. Allowed himself to be used as a dummy.

Effects of denaturalization
If the ground for denaturalization affects the intrinsic validity of
proceedings, the denaturalization shall divest the wife and children of
their derivative naturalization. But if the ground was personal to the
denaturalized Filipino, his wife and children shall retain their
Philippine citizenship.

Naturalization by direct legislative action this is

discretionary on Congress; usually conferred on an alien who has made
outstanding contributions to the country. (Naturalization conferred on
alien basketball players, artists, etc)

Administrative Naturalization (R.A. 9139). The Administrative

Naturalization Law of 2000 would grant Philippine citizenship by
administrative proceedings to aliens born and residing in the
Philippines. CA 473 and RA 9139 are separate and distinct laws.
The former covers aliens regardless of class, while the latter covers
native-born aliens who lived all their lives, who never saw any other
country and all along thought that they were Filipinos, who have
demonstrated love and loyalty to the Philippines and affinity to Filipino
customs and traditions.

Special Committee on Naturalization Solicitor General as

Chairman, Secretary of Foreign Affairs or his representative and the
National Security Adviser, as members, this Committee has the power to
approve, deny or reject applications for naturalization under this Act.]

Natural born citizens are those who are citizens of the

Philippines from birth without having to perform any act to acquire or
perfect their Philippine citizenship. Those who elect Philippine
citizenship in accordance with par. 3, Section 1 (Those born before
1/17/93, of Filipino mothers who elect Philippine citizenship upon
reaching the age of majority) hereof shall be deemed natural-born

Is a Filipino citizen by election a natural-born citizen? YES.

Foundling - is an infant who was abandoned by the parents and

who was discovered and cared for by others.

Are foundlings considered natural-born citizens? YES.

(CASE: Grace Poe vs. COMELEC, G.R. No. 221697, March 8, 2016)
Petitions were filed before the COMELEC against presidential candidate
Grace Poe to deny or cancel her candidacy on the ground particularly,
among others, that she cannot be considered a natural-born Filipino
citizen since she cannot prove that her biological parents or either of
them were Filipinos. The COMELEC en banc cancelled her candidacy on
the ground that she is in want of citizenship and residence
requirements, and that she committed material misrepresentations in
her COC. The Supreme Court held that the COMELEC has no jurisdiction
to rule on the issue of qualifications of candidates as it is only the
Supreme Court En Banc has sole jurisdiction.

It was likewise held that Grace Poe is considerably a natural-born

Filipino, which qualifies her to run for Presidency. First, there is a high
probability that Grace Poes parents are Filipinos. Her physical features
are typical of Filipinos. The SC pronounced that foundlings are as a
class, natural-born citizens. Further, that foundlings are
automatically conferred with natural-born citizenship is supported by
treaties and the general principles of international law. Although the
Philippines is not a signatory to some of these treaties, it adheres to the
customary rule to presume foundlings as having born of the country in
which the foundling is found.

Grace Poe satisfied the 10-year residency requirement. She has

satisfied the requirements of animus manendi coupled with animus
revertendi in acquiring a new domicile. Grace Poes domicile had been
timely changed as of May 24, 2005, and not on July 18, 2006 when her
application under RA 9225 was approved by the BI. Grace Poe
presented an overwhelming evidence of her actual stay and intent to
abandon permanently her domicile in the US. Coupled with her
eventual application to reacquire Philippine citizenship and her familys
actual continuous stay in the Philippines over the years, it is clear that
when Grace Poe returned on May 24, 2005, it was for good.

Section 3 Loss and Reacquisition of Citizenship

How may citizenship be 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 the age
of 21 years of age.
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 war, unless
subsequently, a plenary pardon or amnesty has been granted.

(CASE: Frivaldo vs. Comelec, 174 SCRA 245)

A petition for the annulment of Frivaldos election and proclamation
was filed on the ground that he was not a Filipino having been
naturalized in the States. Frivaldo admitted that he was naturalized in
the U.S. and that he had sought American citizenship only to protect
himself against President Marcos. The Court held that Frivaldo was not
a Filipino citizen of the Philippines at the time of is election. The Court
will not permit the anomaly of a person sitting as provincial governor in
this country while owning exclusive allegiance to another country. The
qualifications prescribed for elective office cannot be erased by the
electorate alone.

Reacquisition of Citizenship
a. Under RA 9225, by taking oath of allegiance required of former
natural-born Philippine citizens who may have lost their
Philippine citizenship by reason of their acquisition of the
citizenship of a foreign country.
b. By naturalization, provided that the applicant possesses none of
the disqualifications prescribed for naturalization.
c. By repatriation of deserters of the Army, Navy or Air Corps,
provided that a woman who lost her citizenship by reason of her
marriage to an alien may be repatriated in accordance with the
provisions of this Act after the termination of the marital status.
d. By direct act of Congress.

Filipino citizens who marry aliens

What was the Philippine law on citizenship of a Filipina married
to an alien before the 1973 Constitution? A Filipino woman loses here
Philippine citizenship upon her marriage to a foreigner if, by virtue of
the laws in force in her husbands country she acquires his nationality.
The 1973 Constitution repeals this rule and the 1987 Constitution made
it applicable not just to female citizens.

Does Section 5, Article IV dual allegiance of citizens is

inimical to the national interest and shall be dealt with by law
allow dual citizenship?

The Constitution allows dual citizenship because Philippine law

has no control over citizenship laws of other countries, dual citizenship
can be unavoidable under the present Constitution. A child of a Filipina
mother is a Filipino (Section 1(2) and might also have his alien fathers
citizenship. A Filipina married to an alien remains a Philippine citizen
(Section 2) but might also acquire her alien husbands citizenship.
It is dual allegiance and not dual citizenship that is found inimical
to national interest. This arises from mixed marriages or birth in foreign
soul. While a person may have dual citizenship, he should only pledge
allegiance to one.

Dual allegiance vs. Dual Citizenship

Dual allegiance refers to the situation in which a person
simultaneously owes, by some positive act, loyalty to two or more
states. Dual citizenship is citizenship in two countries. While dual
citizenship is involuntary, dual allegiance is the result of an individuals

(CASE: Casan Macode Maquiling vs. COMELEC, G.R. No. 195649,

This is a disqualification case filed against Rommel, a natural born
Filipino citizen who list his citizenship when he was naturalized as a US
citizen. It was held that Arnado was both a Filipino and an American
citizen when he filed his certificate of candidacy. He was a dual citizen
disqualified to run for public office based on Section 40(d) of the
Local Government Code. Petitioner, the candidate who got the next
highest vote was declared the winner. The ballot cannot override the
constitutional and statutory requirements for qualifications and
disqualifications of candidates. When the law requires certain
qualifications to be possessed or that certain disqualifications be not
possessed by persons desiring to serve as elective public officials, those
qualifications must be met before one even becomes a candidate. When
a person who is not qualified is voted for and eventually garners the
highest number of votes, even the will of the electorate expressed
through the ballot cannot cure the defect in the qualifications of the
candidate. To rule otherwise is to trample upon and rent asunder the
very law that sets forth the qualifications and disqualifications of
candidates. Maquiling is not a second-placer as he obtained the
highest number of votes from among the qualified candidates. With
Arnados disqualification, Maquiling then becomes the winner in the
election as he obtained the highest number of votes from among the
qualified candidates.

Article 5 Suffrage
Suffrage - is the right to vote in elections; obligation to vote. It
may be exercised by all citizens of the Philippines not otherwise
disqualified by law, at least 18 years of age, have resided in the
Philippines for at least one year and in the place wherein they
propose to vote for at least 6 months immediately preceding the

Two meanings of residence.

In the requirement of residence in the Philippines, residence is
synonymous with domicile which imports not only intention to
reside in a fixed place but also personal presence in that place,
coupled with conduct indicative of such intention.
In order to acquire a domicile by choice, there must concur (1)
residence or bodily presence in the new locality, (2) an intention to
remain there, and (3) an intention to abandon the old domicile.

With respect to requirement of residence in the place where one

is to vote, residence can mean either domicile, as described above or
temporary residence.

The Congress is given the discretion to create

disqualifications in the exercise of right of suffrage
The Congress has been given the discretion to create
disqualifications. However, the Congress is prohibited from
prescribing any literacy, property, or other substantive

Who are not qualified to vote under the Election Code?

(a) Any person who has been sentenced by final judgment to
suffer an imprisonment of not less than one year, such
disability not having been removed by plenary pardon;
Provided, however, that any person disqualified to vote under
this photograph shall automatically reacquire the right to vote
upon expiration of five years after service of sentence;
(b) Any person who has been adjudged by final judgment by
competent court of having violated his allegiance to the
Republic of the Philippines;
(c) Insane or feeble-minded persons.
Article 6 Legislative Department
Legislative Power-the authority to make laws and to alter or
repeal them which is vested in Congress.

Classification/Kinds of legislative power

In Republican System:
Original possessed by the sovereign people
Derivative that which has been delegated by the sovereign
people to legislative bodies and is subordinate to the original power of
the people.

Constituent which is the power to amend or revise the

Constitution and
Ordinary which is the power to pass ordinary laws.
Limitations on Legislative Power
Substantive limits curtail the contents of a law. Ex. No law may be
passed which impairs freedom of speech.
Procedural limits curtail the manner of passing laws. For
example, a bill must generally be approved by the President before it
becomes a law.

Doctrine of Non-delegability of legislative powers and its

Legislative powers must remain where the people have lodged it.
However, there are two exceptions to this rule: (1) by immemorial
practice legislative power may be delegated to local governments; (2)
the Constitution itself might in specific instances allow delegation of
legislative power, e.g. in times of war or other national emergency, the
Congress may authorize the President for a limited period and subject
to restrictions to exercise powers necessary and proper to carry out a
declared national policy.

Principle of Delegation of Powers

The rule is what has been delegated cannot be delegated of
potestas delegate non delegari potest. This principle is applicable in
all three major powers of the Government but most especially to the
legislative power because of many instances when delegation is
permitted. Such that it has become the rule and its non-delegation the

Permissible Delegation of Legislative Powers

1. Tariff powers to the President- due to necessity and expediency
2. Emergency powers to the President time is of the essence;
problems to be solved within the shortest possible time
3. To the people at large through referendum
4. To Local Governments authority to prescribe local legislations
5. To Administrative Bodies the power of subordinate legislation;
the administrative agency may gill in the details which Congress
might not have the opportunity or competence to provide.

Tests of Valid Delegation

1. The Completeness Test the law must be complete in all its
essential terms and conditions; it sets forth therein the policy to
be executed, carried out or implemented by the delegate;
2. The Sufficient Standard Test one which defines legislative
policy, marks its limits, maps out its boundaries and specifies the
public agency to apply it.

(CASE: Emmanuel Pelaez vs. Auditor General, 36 Phil 547)

Assailing the validity of Sec. 68 of the Revised Administrative Code
empowering the President of the Philippines to create, merge, divide,
abolish or otherwise alter the boundaries of municipal corporations. It
was held that there is invalid delegation of legislative power. This law
failed to meet the two tests it does not enunciate any policy to be
carried out or implemented by the President and neither does it give a
standard sufficiently precise to avoid the evil effects referred to.

Difference between a referendum and a plebiscite

A referendum is a method of submitting an important legislative
measure to a direct vote of the people while plebiscite is a method of
submitting questions that are intended to work more permanent
changes in the political structure, like a proposal to amend the

A referendum is the power of the electorate to approve or reject a

legislation through an election called for the purpose while a plebiscite
is the electoral process by which an initiative on the Constitution is
approved or rejected by the people.

The Congress

What is the composition of Congress? (Bicameral two legislative

The Congress of the Philippines shall consist of a Senate and a
House of Representatives.

Bicameralism vs. Unicameralism (Advantages of Each)

Bicameralism allows for a body with a national perspective to
check the parochial tendency of representatives elected by district;
allows for more careful study of legislation; makes the legislature less
susceptible to control by the Executive and serves as training ground for
national leaders. The advantages of unicameralism on the other hand
are simplicity of organization resulting in economy and efficiency,
facility in pinpointing responsibility for legislation, and avoidance of

The Senate
It is composed of 24 senators elected at large by qualified voters
of the Philippines.

Qualifications of a Senator
Natural born citizen, and on the day of the election 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.

Term of office and commencement of office

Six years commencing at noon on June 30 next following their

Limitation and Effect of Voluntary Renunciation

Cannot serve for more than two consecutive terms. Voluntary
renunciation of office for any length of time shall not be considered as
an interruption in the continuity of his service for the full term for
which elected.
The House of Representatives
Composition of House of Representatives
Not more than 250 members unless otherwise provided by law,
consisting of:
(a) District representatives elected from legislative districts
apportioned among the provinces, cities and the
Metropolitan Manila area.
(b) Party-list representatives who shall constitute 20% of
the total number of representatives, elected through a
party-list system of registered national, regional, and
sectoral parties or organizations.

The purpose of Party-List System

It is intended to democratize political power by giving political
parties that cannot win in legislative district elections a chance to win
seats in the Hose of Representatives. It is also for the promotion of
proportional representation in the election of representatives to the
House of Representatives which will enable Filipino citizens belonging
to the marginalized and underrepresented sectors, organizations and
parties, and who lack well-defined political constituencies but who
could contribute to the formulation and enactment of appropriate
legislation that will benefit the nation as a whole, to become the
members of the House of Representatives. The party list representative
must be a bona fide member of the party he seeks to represent at least
90 days before the election day.

What parties are disqualified for a Party-List?

Among those disqualified are religious sects; those which
advocate violence or unlawful means to seek their goal; foreign parties;
parties which receive support from any foreign government or foreign
political party; those which violate of fail to comply with laws, rules or
regulations relating to election laws; those which declare untruthful
statements in their petitions; those which have ceased to exist for at
least one year; and those who failed to participate in the last two
preceding elections.
Each party, organization or coalition shall be entitled to not more
than three seats.

(CASE: Banat vs. COMELEC, G.R. No. 179295, 4/21/09)

This assails the rules considered and the formula used by the COMELEC
in proclaiming the winners and apportioning their seats to the House of
Representatives. Among the many issues raised, one party questioned
the validity of the three-seat limit rule. The Supreme Court ruled on the
validity of the 3- seat rule ratiocinating that it is one way to ensure that
no one party shall dominate the party-list system.

(CASE: Ang Ladlad vs. COMELEC, 4/8/10)

This pertains to COMELECs refusal to recognize Ang Ladlad LGBT Party,
an organization composed of men and women who identify themselves
as lesbians, gays, bisexuals, or trans-gendered individuals (LGBTs), as a
party list based on moral grounds. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of
the LGBT. It held that the Comelec failed to substantiate their allegation
that allowing registration to LGBT would be detrimental to society. The
LGBT community is not exempted from the exercise of its
constitutionally vested rights on the basis of their sexual orientation.
Laws of general application should apply with equal force to LGBTs, and
they deserve to participate in the party-list system on the same basis as
other marginalized and under-represented sectors. Discrimination
based on sexual orientation is not tolerated ---not by our own laws nor
by any international laws to which we adhere.

Legislative Districts
Apportionment shall be made in accordance with the number
of respective inhabitants (among provinces, cities and Metro Manila
area) on basis of a uniform and progressive ratio. But each city with
not less than 250,000 inhabitants shall be entitled to at least one
representative and each province, irrespective of number of
inhabitants, is entitled to at least one representative.

Reason for the Rule

This is intended to prevent gerrymandering.
Gerrymandering is the arrangement of districts in such a war
as to favor 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. The Constitution says that each district
shall comprise, as far as practicable contiguous, compact and
adjacent territory.

Qualifications of District Representatives

Natural born Filipino citizen, and on the day of the election at
least 25 years of age, able to read and write, and, except the party-list
representatives, a registered voter in the district in which he shall be
elected, and a resident thereof for not less than one year immediately
preceding the day of the election.

N.B. Residence as a qualification for the district representative, must be

in the district, not in the province comprising the district, and is only for
one year immediately before the election, unlike in the case of the
Senate, where it must be for two years before the election, and
anywhere in the Philippines.

R.A. No. 9225 or the Citizenship Retention and Reacquisition

Act of 2003
- natural-born Filipino citizens who have been, or intend to be,
naturalized in a foreign country, shall, upon taking the oath of allegiance
to the Philippines, be deemed to have re-acquired, or shall retain, their
Philippine citizenship. They shall be deemed not to have lost their
Philippine citizenship.

Term of Office of members of House of Representatives

Three years which shall begin, unless otherwise provided by law,
at noon on the 30th day of June next following their election. Cannot
serve for more than three 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 for which
he was elected.

Parliamentary Immunities

1. Privilege from Arrest

A Senator or member of the House of Representatives
cannot be arrested for criminal offense punishable by not more than six
years and only while the Congress is in session.

2. Privilege of Speech and Debate

Two requirements: (a) the remarks must be made while
the legislature or the legislative committee is functions, that is, in
session; and (b) they must be made in connection with the discharge of
official duties.

Incompatible and Forbidden Offices

This prohibition against the holding of an incompatible office is
not absolute; what is not allowed is the simultaneous holding of that
office and the seat in the Congress. Any legislator may hold another
office or employment in the government provided he forfeits, as a
result his position in the Congress. (Ex. case of newly-elected
Congressman Villar and who forfeited his seat in the House upon his
appointment as Secretary of Department of Public Works and Highways
by President Duterte)

Inhibitions and Disqualifications

Legislators are barred from appearing as counsel before ALL
court of justice, regardless of rank, composition or jurisdiction. The
disqualification also applies to the electoral tribunals and to all
administrative bodies like the Securities and Exchange Commission, the
National Labor Relations Commissions. Also included are courts martial
and military tribunals. This is to prevent the legislator from exerting
undue influence, deliberately or not, upon the body where he is

Legislators are prohibited from being financially interested in

any contract with the government or any subdivision, agency or
instrumentality thereof, including government-owned or controlled
corporations, or in any franchise or special privilege granted by any of
these during their term of office.
Journals vs. Enrolled Bill
Journals are a record of what is done and past in a
legislative assembly. They are useful not only for authenticating the
proceedings but also for the interpretation of laws through a study of
the debates held thereon and for informing the people of the official
conduct of their respective legislators.

An enrolled bill is one which has been duly introduced,

finally passed by both houses, signed by the proper officers of each,
approved by the governor (or president) and filed by the secretary of

The contents of the enrolled bill shall prevail over those of

the journal in case of conflict.

(CASE: Ocampo vs. HRET, G.R. No. 158466, 6/15/04)
After his declaration as Congressman, Crespo, a.k.a. Mark Jimenez, was
found ineligible for office for lack of residence after he was declared a
winner in the Congressional election. Ocampo, the candidate who got
the second highest votes requested the electoral tribunal to declare him
the winner claiming that the votes garnered by Crespo are strayed
votes. It was held that a second placer cannot be proclaimed the first
among the remaining qualified candidates in the event that the highest
earner of votes is disqualified. The fact that the candidate who
obtained the highest number of votes is later declared to be disqualified
does not necessarily give the candidate who obtained the second
highest number of votes the right to be declared the winner of the
elective office. The votes cast in his favor cannot be declared stray as to
do so would amount to disenfranchising the electorate in whom
sovereignty resides.