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Philippine Government and the New Constitution

Introduction to Philippine Government

What is Political Science? - derived from the Greek words polis or city which today would mean a sovereign state; and scire meaning science - a branch of social science, that deals with the theory, organization, government, and practice of the state. (Rodee, 1980)

Political science also deals with those relations among men and groups, which are subject to control by the state, and with the relations of the state to other states. Montesquieu (1687-1755) posited that all functions of government could be encompassed within the categories of legislation, execution, and adjudication (the legislative, the executive department and the judiciary or courts of law)

Aristotle (324-322 B.C.) a Greek philosopher is credited with the observation that man is by nature a political animal.

What is Politics and Why do we have to study Politics?

Politics is the science of government and the art on practice of administering public affairs. (Blacks Law dictionary, 1990) Politics is the process of making government policies. Man is involved or will be involved in some kind of politics (Dahl, 1991)

Methods of Political Science

Deductive Method. This method employs the drawing up of specific conclusions from premises presumed to be infallible. Inductive Method. This method proceeds to establish general truths upon the basis of known facts before such truths are to be used as premises for specific application. Observation Method. This method allows the political scientist to observe the workings of political systems and political processes.

Methods of Political Science

Historical method. Present and probable political phenomena are interpreted by the political scientist based on his/her knowledge and observation of the past. Comparative method. This method allows the political scientist to correlate economic, geographical, psychological, sociological data, and other scientific phenomena.

What are the goals in the study of Political Science?

1. The prime objective of the study of Political Science is education of citizens. 2. The study of Political Science is an essential part of liberal education. 3. The study of Political Science seeks to gather knowledge and understanding of government, how it operates, the conduct of elections, who are his representatives, among others.

What are the goals in the study of Political Science?

4. It enables every Filipino to discharge and exercise more intelligently and more efficiently his duties as a citizen. 5. A knowledge of Political Science, local and comparative with other states, constitutes a particularly useful equipment for Filipinos who desires to participate effectively and usefully in our political growth and development.

What is a 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 the great body of its inhabitants render habitual obedience. (De Leon, 2000)

4 Inherent Elements of State

1. People refers to the number of people living within a state. There is no law requiring a number of people a state must have but it should neither be too small nor too large. It must be small enough to be governed and large enough to be selfsufficing. 2. Government - Refers to aggregates of persons or institutions which rule the society. 3. Territory This where the people of the State live. This refers to the aerial, terrestrial, fluvial, and maritime domains of the state. (The smallest state in terms of territory is the Vatican, which is only 0.43 sq. km., while the largest is that of USSR. The Philippines total land area is about 114, 830 square miles with a total coastline of 10, 850 miles.

4. Sovereignty - The power of the state to command and enforce obedience of its will from the people. It means power over the people of an area unrestrained by laws originating outside the area, or independence completely of direct external control. (Glassner, 1993). Two aspects of sovereignty: a. Internal sovereignty which is the absolute power of the state to rule its people. b. External sovereignty which is the freedom or independence of the state from foreign or external control.

Manifestations of Sovereignty:
a. Legal Sovereignty is the power of the state to make and implement laws within its jurisdiction. In the case of the Philippines, the power to make a law or amend them is vested in the Congress, which is composed of two chambers the House of Representatives and the House of the Senate. b. Political Sovereignty is the authority of the people (electorate) to choose who will be the leaders or officials of the state. The final source of power are the people.

What are the Characteristics of Sovereignty?

1. Permanence or Perpetuity. Governments may succeed one another, heads of state may go, but sovereignty continues. Sovereignty continues uninterruptedly as long as the state exists. 2. Exclusiveness. Sovereignty is exclusive and it is not divisible. To say that sovereignty is divisible is to admit the fact that it is not supreme. 3. Comprehensiveness. Sovereignty extends to every person, citizen or alien and association within the extent of the territory of the state. The immunity of the diplomatic corps (diplomatic agents and representatives of a state in foreign states) and officials of other states from the application of the laws of the state is merely a form of international courtesy growing from international comity and practice. (Jacobsen, 1998)

5. Absoluteness. Sovereignty is unrestricted although it is generally admitted that sovereign power is subject to the Divine Law, the law of nature, and the law of state. Morality, prudence, international practices and policy considerations may cause the sovereign power to desist from performing certain kinds of act legally; however, the power of a sovereign is unlimited. 6. Indivisibility. Sovereignty cannot be divided; there could only be one supreme power in a state.

How the State differ from a Nation?

Etymologically, Nation comes from the Latin word nasci, which means to be born. It indicates a relation of birth or origin and implies a common race, usually characterized by community of language and customs Nation is an ethic concept while a State is a legal concept

A nation may comprise several states, for example, Egypt, Iraq, Arabia, Lebanon, Jordan, and Algeria belong to the Arab nation. It is also possible for a single state to be made up of more than one nation. As in the case of the United States, which is a melting pot of many nations whose population consists of Malays and Chinese, or the United Kingdom, which was composed of England, Scotland, Wales and Northen Ireland.

What is the Distinction between Sovereignty and Independence?

Sovereignty and independence can be used interchangeably for a state cannot be sovereign if it is not independent. However, the term sovereignty has an exclusive meaning, that is, the power to enforce its will to the inhabitants of the state, while independence have different connotative meaning like freedom of external control, autonomy, or liberty.