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Constitutional Law 1 ERNESTINE EUSEBIO [ ]

I. GENERAL PRINCIPLES
A. POLITICAL LAW
- Branch of public law which deals with the
organization and operations of the
governmental organs of the State and defines
the relation of the State with the inhabitants
of the territory.

*PEOPLE v PERFECTO, 43 Phil 887, 1992

FACTS:
About August 20, 1920, the Secretary of the
Philippine Senate, Fernando M. Guerrero,
discovered that certain documents which
constituted the records of testimony given by
witnesses in the investigation of oil companies;
had disappeared from his office. Shortly
thereafter, the Philippine Senate, having been
called into special session by the Governor-
General, the Secretary of the Senate informed
that body of the loss of the documents and of
the steps taken by him to discover the guilty
party.

Gregorio Perfecto in La Nacion published an
article containing issues about the credibility of
the Senate and was charged libel by the House of
Senate for publishing an article that contains
defamatory words against them.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the article 256 of the
Spanish Penal Code, punishing "Any person who,
by * * * writing, shall defame, abuse, or insult
any Minister of the Crown or other person in
authority * * *," is still in force.

HELD:
On the municipal trial court and court of
first issuance, Gregorio Perfecto was found guilty
of libel based on the Art. 256 of the Spanish
Penal code. Perfecto then raised the suit to the
Supreme Court. After the process of questioning
about the article 256 of the Spanish Penal Code
was still in force or not; the Supreme Court
decided that the said article was no longer
enforced. It was deemed that because the
Philippines already was under the American
regime, and the Spanish government was not the
rulers of the country, the past laws produced by
the latter were already not valid. It is a general
principle of the public law that on acquisition of
territory, the previous political relations of the
region are totally abrogated. In this sense, the
said article was no longer effective, so the
Supreme Court decide that Perfecto be
acquitted.

*MACARIOLA v ASUNCION

FACTS:
Bernardita R. Macariola charged Judge
Elias B. Asuncion with acts unbecoming a judge
on August 6, 1986.

ISSUE:
(1) Whether Judge Asuncion violated
the Article 1491, par. 5, of the New
Civil Code when he purchased a lot
that was involved in Civil Case No.
3010 decide by him.
(2) Whether he violated Article 14, par 1
and 5 of Code of Commerce, Sec 3,
par H of RA 3019; Act. Sec 12, Rule
18 of the Civil Service Rules, and
Canon 25 of Judicial Ethics; by
associating himself with TRADERS
Manufacturing and Fishing Industries
Inc., as a stockholder and as a
ranking officer while he is a judge
(3) That the respondent acted in
disregard of judicial decorum
(4) Culpable defiance of the law
HELD:
For the first cause of action, Judge Asuncion
must be warned while for the second cause of action,
Asuncion must also be warned because he is
prohibited under the law to engage in business. On
third and fourth, the Judge was forgiven.
Macariola pays the judge for damages.
Constitutional Law 1 ERNESTINE EUSEBIO [ ]

B. CONSTITUTIONAL LAW
- Designates the law embodied in the
constitution and the legal principles growing
out of the interpretation and application of its
provisions by the courts in specific cases.
- The study of the maintenance of the proper
balance between the authority and liberty.
- Effect an equilibrium between authority and
liberty so that the rights are exercised within
the framework of the law and the laws are
enacted with due difference to rights.
- A study of the structure and powers of the
Government of the Republic of the
Philippines; and deals with certain basic
concepts of Political Law: nature of State,
supremacy of the Constitution, separation of
powers, and rule of the majority.

*AUTHORITY represented by the three
inherent powers of the State

Three Inherent Powers of the State
I. POLICE POWER
- Promote the general welfare of the people
- Regulates the liberty and property, public
health, morals, public safety, and general
welfare.

2 Tests to Determine the Validity Of Police Power
1. The interest of the public generally as
distinguished from those of a particular class
requires the exercise of police power.
2. The means employed must be reasonably
necessary for the attainment of the purpose
and not unduly oppressive upon an
individual.

II. Power of Eminent Domain
- Taking of private property for public use
- Compensation: just compensation or the
equivalent value of the property taken.

Factors in determining the Value of the Land
Expropriated
a. Size c. Location(commands the price)
b. Shape d. Beneficial use

Note:
Eminent Domain can be exercised by the government
and public service companies.
Public Service Companies
a. Telecommunication Companies
b. Manila Water
c. Meralco

*Compensation can also be service, not always money.

III. Power of Taxation
- To collect taxes
- To raise revenues for public purpose
- Only the government can exercise the
imposition of taxes.

C. Scope of the Study
Political Law embraces Constitutional Law 1 and 2,
Administrative Law, the Law of Public Officers,
Election Law, and the Law on Municipal
Corporations.

D. Necessity for the Study
Sovereignty resides in the people and all
government authority emanates from them.
The active participation of the Filipinos in public
affairs will lead to the success of the Republic of the
Philippines.

II. THE PHILIPPINE CONSTITUTION
A. Constitution
- According to Cooley, it is that body of rules
and maxim in accordance with which the
powers of sovereignty are habitually
exercised.
- The fundamental or supreme law of the land
*All laws must conform with it.
Constitutional Law 1 ERNESTINE EUSEBIO [ ]

- According to Justice Malcolm, it is the written
instrument enacted by direct action of the people
by which the fundamental powers of the
government are established, limited, and defined
and by which those powers are distributed among
the several departments for their safe and useful
exercise for the benefit of the body politic.

1.1 Purpose
-To prescribe the permanent framework system
of government, to assign to several departments
their respective powers and duties, and to
establish certain first fixed principles on which
government is founded.

1.2 Classification
As to FORM
1. Written there is a document
2. Unwritten product of evolution; no
document; based from customs and traditions;
scattered in various sources such as statutes of
a fundamental character, judicial decisions,
commentaries of publicists, and certain
common principles.

As to ORIGIN and HISTORY
1. Conventional/Enacted made by constituent
assembly; formally made at a definite time and
place following a conscious or deliberate effort
taken by a constituent body o ruler.
2. Cumulative/Evolved - long process; result of
political evolution, not inaugurated by specific
time.

As to manner of AMENDING
1. Rigid requires tedious process
2. Flexible can change from time to time
Note: The Philippine Constitution is written,
conventional, and rigid.

Characteristic of a Good Written Constitution
1. Brief not too long or too short but well
explained
2. Broad- comprehensive as possible and covers all
the aspects needed in the promulgation of a
certain law
3. Definite exact or concrete, can easily be
understood; no ambiguity or vagueness.

Essential Parts of the Written Constitution
1. Constitution of Liberty consists of series of
prescriptions setting forth the fundamental civil and
political rights of the citizens and imposing limitations
on the powers of government as a means of securing
the enjoyment of those rights.
Article II: Declaration of Principles and State
Policies
Article IV: Citizenship
Article V: Suffrage
Article XII: National Economy and Patrimony

2. Constitution of Government consists of series of
provisions outlining the organization of the
government, enumerating its powers, laying down
certain rules relative to its administration and defining
the electorate.
Article VI: The Legislative Department
Article XI: Accountability of Public Officers

3. Constitution of Sovereignty consists of provisions
pointing out the mode or procedure in accordance
with which formal changes in the fundamental law
may be brought about.
Article XVII: Amendments or Revisions

B. AMENDMENT or REVISION
1. Amendment isolated or piecemeal change only

*LAMBINO v COMELEC

FACTS:
Raul Lambino and Enrico Aumentado, leaders of the
Lambino group, together with the other members
gathered signature for an initiative petition to change
the 1987 Constitution.
Constitutional Law 1 ERNESTINE EUSEBIO [ ]

They, together with the COMELEC, filed a petition on
August 25, 2006 to hold a plebiscite that will ratify
their petition under Section 5 (b) and (c) and Section 7
of RA 6735.
The group allegedly claimed that they have gathered
6, 327, 952 voters, and COMELEC election registrars
had verified the signature.

ISSUE:
(look at page 227) Whether or not the Lambino
Group can propose amendment through peoples
initiative.

RULING:
The petition as dismissed.

2. Revision - revamp or rewriting of the whole
document
(Insert Santiago case here)

C. PROCEDURE
1. Proposal made either directly by the Congress
or by a constitutional convention.
- If the proposal is for amendment only, it
is better made by direct legislative actions
where the votes of at least 3/4s of all
members of the Congress are needed.
- If the proposal is for the complete
revamping, it is better to call a constituent
convention.

*IMBONG v COMELEC
FACTS:
Manuel Imbong, running as a candidate for a
delegate to the Constitutional Convention says
that the constitutionality of R.A. No. 6132
prejudices his rights as such candidate.

ISSUE:
The constitutionality of part 1 of Sec 8 of RA
6132

The said RA consists of prohibitions set for
aspiring candidates.

RULING:
The said Republic Act cannot be declared as
unconstitutional because it was created by the
law making body-Legislative Body. And as the
legislative department, they have the right to
make laws as stated in the Constitution.

(Santiago v COMELEC, pirma,)

*OCCENA v COMELEC
FACTS:
Samuel Occena and Ramon Gonzales-
former delegates to the 1971 Constitutional
Convention assert that the 1973 Constitution is
not the fundamental law. They also questioned
the validity of 3 Batasang Pambansa Resolutions
proposing constitutional amendments stating
that IBP has no such power to do so.

ISSUE:
The 1973 Constitution being the fundamental
law
Whether or not the IBP has the power to
propose constitutional amendment

HELD:
(1) The 1973 Constitution is the fundamental
law. Simple as that.
(2) The power of the IBP is certain, meaning it
has the power to propose amendment as
stated in the 1976 Amendments that IBP has
the same capacity to Interim National
Assembly. The 1973 Constitution in its
Transitory Provisions vested the INA the
power to propose amendments.
(3) Amendments are extensive
(4) The IBP has the capacity to propose
amendments and only majority of votes is
required.

Constitutional Law 1 ERNESTINE EUSEBIO [ ]

2. Ratification
(Tolentino vs Comelec)
(Occena vs Comelec, see amendments)
(Gonzales


D. JUDICIAL REVIEW of AMENDMENTS
The judiciary may declare a proposal invalid.

*SANIDAD v COMELEC

E. CONSTITUTIONAL HISTORY

F. 1935, 1973, freedom, and 1987

*SATURNINO V. BERMUDEZ
Saturnino filed a petition in the Supreme Court because
according to him the Section 5 of Article 18 of the
proposed 1986 Constitution was not clear.
The said section contains the term of the incumbent
president and vice president.
Saturnino then stated that the provisions is not clear as
to whom it refers, whether President Aquino or Marcos.
The petition was dismissed due to lack of jurisdiction
and no cause of action.
It was cleared that the legitimacy of the Aquino
government is not a justifiable matter, because it
belongs to the reality of politics where the Filipino
people are the judge.
*LAWYERS LEAGUE FOR A BETTER PHILIPPINES v AQUINO

The petition was about the legitimacy of the Aquino
government where the petitioners claiming that the
Aquino government was illegal because it was not
established pursuant to the 1973 Constitution.

The petitions have been dismissed because:
(1) You cannot sue a president while he/she is in his
term

*DE LEON v ESGUERRA
FACTS:
The petitioners filed a complaint because they
were being replaced in their positions by persons
appointed by the Governor while their term has not yet
ended.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the designation of respondents to
replace petitioners was validly made during the one year
period which ended on Feb. 25, 1987.

HELD: