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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 MIDTERM

1. Constitution; Constitutional Law


According to Cooley, a CONSTITUTION is that body of rules and maxims in accordance with which the
powers of the sovereignty are habitually exercised.
With particular reference to the Constitution of the Philippines, Justice Malcolm speaks of it as 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.
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW is the study of the maintenance of the proper balance between authority as
represented by the three inherent powers of the State and liberty as guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. The true
role of Constitutional Law is to effect an equilibrium between authority and liberty so that rights are exercised
within the framework of the law and the laws are enacted with due reference to rights.
2. Judicial Review
***Chapter 3 (page 21)
3. Police Power
Professor Freund describes the police power as the power of promoting the public welfare by restraining
and regulating the use of liberty and property.
As thus defined, the police power easily outpaces the other two inherent powers as instrument of the
State in interfering with private rights. The police power regulates not only the property but, more importantly,
the liberty of private persons, and virtually all the people. It is in this sense that the police power may be
regarded as infinitely more important than eminent domain and taxation.
The police power is considered the most pervasive, the least limitable, and the most demanding of the
three powers. It may be exercised as long as the activity or the property sought to be regulated has some
relevance to the public welfare. The justification is found in the ancient Latin maxims, Salus populi est suprema
lex and Sic utere tuo ut alienum non laedas, which call for the subordination of individual benefit to the interests
of the greater number.
Owing to the need to protect society from the inordinate assertion of individual liberty, it has been held
that the police power may not be bargained away through the medium of a contract or even a treaty. The
impairment clause must yield to the police power whenever the contract deals with a subject affecting the
public welfare. Such a contract suffers a congenital infirmity, to wit, its susceptibility to subsequent amendment
by the State in the exercise of the police power as a postulate of the existing legal order.
The police power is dynamic, not static, and must move with the moving society it is supposed to
regulate. Once exercised, it is not deemed exhausted and may be exercised again and again, as often as it is
necessary for the protection or the promotion of the public welfare.
Finally, it should be observed that the police power may sometimes use the taxing power as an
implement for the attainment of a legitimate police objective.
4. Tests to determine the validity of a Police Measure
The tests to determine the validity of a police measure are the following:
(1) The interests of the public generally, as distinguished from those of a particular class, require the exercise of
the police power. It simply means that the subject of the measure is within the scope of the police power,
that is, that the activity or property sought to be regulated affects the public welfare. If it does, the
enjoyment of private rights may be subordinated to the interests of the greater number, on the timehonored principle that the welfare of the people is the supreme law.
In view of the growing complexity of modern society, there is hardly any human activity or private
property that cannot be related, directly or indirectly, to the common welfare. It has been remarked that
practically everything a person does or owns has its impact, heavy or light, on the well-being of the
community to which he belongs. Activities that were before regarded as coming under the private and

exclusive domain of the individual have irresistibly and inevitably been drawn into the embrace of the
police power.
Thus, a person may not do with his own life as he pleases: he may not, for example, expose himself to
disease by refusing vaccination, as he may contaminate his neighbors. As long as the object is the public
welfare and the subject of regulation may be properly related thereto, there is compliance with the first test
requiring the primacy of the welfare of the many over the interests of the few.
(2) The means employed are reasonably necessary for the accomplishment of the purpose and not unduly
oppressive upon individuals. Even if the purpose be within the scope of the police power, the law will still be
annulled if the subject is sought to be regulated in violation of the second requirement. In Constitutional
Law, the end does not justify the means. The lawful objective, in other words, must be pursued through a
lawful method; that is, both the end and the means must be legitimate. Lacking such concurrence, the
police measure shall be struck down as an arbitrary intrusion into private rights.
The means employed for the accomplishment of the police objective must pass the test of
reasonableness and, specifically, conform to the safeguards embodied in the Bill of Rights for the protection
of private rights. Failing this, the law will be annulled for violation of the second requirement.
5. Eminent Domain. Distinguish from destruction from necessity
The power of eminent domain enables the State to forcibly acquire private property, upon payment of
just compensation, for some intended public use.
Also called the power of expropriation, eminent domain is described as the highest and most exact
idea of property remaining in the government that may be acquired for some public purpose through a
method in the nature of a compulsory sale to the State.
Being inherent, the power of eminent domain does not need to be specifically conferred on the
government by the Constitution. As it happens, however, it is expressly provided in Article III, Section 9, that
private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation. This provision is not a grant but
indeed a limitation of the power as its negative and restrictive language clearly suggests.
This limiting function is in keeping with the philosophy of the Bill of Rights against the arbitrary exercise of
governmental powers to the detriment of individual rights.
Distinction should be made between eminent domain and destruction from necessity in that the latter
may be validly undertaken even by private individuals. This is not allowed in the case of eminent domain.
Additionally, it will be noted that destruction from necessity cannot require the conversion of the
property taken to public use, nor is there any need for the payment of just compensation.
6. Just Compensation
Just compensation is described as a full and fair equivalent of the property taken from private owner by
the expropriator. This is intended to indemnify the owner fully for the loss he has sustained as a result of the
expropriation. The measure of this compensation is not the takers gain but the owners loss. The word just is
used to intensify the meaning of the word compensation, to convey the idea that the equivalent to be
rendered for the property taken shall be real, substantial, full, ample.
However, the compensation, to be just, must be fair not only to the owner but also to the expropriator.
Payment in excess of the full and fair equivalent of the loss sustained by the owner, being prejudicial to the
public, will not satisfy the requirement of just compensation.
To ascertain just compensation, the court should determine first the actual or basic value of the
property. Where the entire property is not expropriated, there should be added to the basic value the owners
consequential damages after deducting therefrom the consequential benefits arising from the expropriation. If
the consequential benefits exceed the consequential damages, these items should be disregarded altogether
as the basic value of the property should be paid in every case.
The property taken should be assessed as of the time of the taking, which usually coincides with the
commencement of the expropriation proceedings. Where entry precedes the filing of the complaint for
expropriation, the assessment should be made as of the time of entry.
Finally, it should be stressed that title to the property shall not be transferred until after actual payment
of just comoensation is made to the owner.
7. Taxation

Taxes are the enforced proportional contributions from persons and property, levied by the State by
virtue of its sovereignty, for the support of government and for all public needs. Taxation is the method by which
these contributions are exacted. By the power of taxation, the State is able to demand from the members of
society their proportionate share or contribution in the maintenance of the government.
In taxation, there is an effort to apportion the costs of government among the people, according to
their ability to pay and on the basis of a scientific classification as possible. There is an equitable sharing among
the people of the expenses to be incurred for their common protection and benefit.
The importance of taxation derives from the unavoidable obligation of the government to protect the
people and extend them benefits in the form of public projects and services. In exchange for these, the people
are subjected to the reciprocal duty of sharing the expenses to be incurred therefor through the payment by
them of taxes.
The obligation to pay taxes is not based on contract. It is a duty imposed upon the individual by the
mere fact of his membership in the body politic and his enjoyment of the benefits available from such
membership.
Taxes are distinguished from licenses in the sense that the former are levied to raise revenues whereas
the latter are imposed for regulatory purposes only. Licenses are justified under the police power, and the
amount of the fees required is usually limited only to the cost of regulation. The exception is where the business
licensed is non-useful and is sought to be discouraged by the legislature, in which case a high license fee may
be imposed.
8. Tax exemptions
Tax exemptions are either constitutional or statutory. The constitutional exemption from taxes is provided
for in Article VI, Section 28(3), as follows: Charitable institutions, churches, and parsonages or convents
appurtenant thereto, mosques, non-profit cemeteries, and all lands, buildings, and improvements actually,
directly, and exclusively used for religious, charitable or educational purposes shall be exempt from taxation.
Exemption is granted religious and charitable institutions because they give considerable assistance to
the State in the improvement of the morality of the people and the care of the indigent and the handicapped.
The above provision is intended to make it easier for these institutions to pursue these laudable objectives
without the impediment of taxes that they otherwise would have to shoulder. The added justification in the
case of religious institutions is the principle of separation of church and State and the necessity to give full rein
to the freedom of religious profession and worship.
Statutory exemptions are granted in the discretion of the legislature. However, the Constitution provides
that no law granting any tax exemptions shall be passed without the concurrence of a majority of all the
Members of the Congress. This is because tax exemptions should not be lightly extended since they will
represent a loss of revenue to the government.
Where the tax exemption is granted gratuitously, it may be validly revoked at will, with or without cause.
But if the exemption is granted for valuable consideration, it is deemed to partake of the nature of a contract
and the obligation thereof is protected against impairment.
9. Dual aspect of due process
The dual aspects of due process are substantive due process and procedural due process.
Substantive due process requires the intrinsic validity of the law in interfering with the rights of the person
to his life, liberty or property. The inquiry in this regard is not whether or not the law is being enforced in
accordance with the prescribed manner but whether or not, to begin with, it is a proper exercise of legislative
power.
To be so, the law must have a valid governmental objective, i.e., the interests of the public generally as
distinguished from those of a particular class require the intervention of the State. Furthermore, this objective
must be pursued in a lawful manner, or, in other words, the means employed must be reasonably related to the
accomplishment of the purpose and not unduly oppressive.
The essence of procedural due process is expressed in the immortal cry of Themistocles to Eurybiades:
Strike, but hear me first! In more familiar words, the justice that procedural due process guarantees is the one
which hears before it condemns, which proceeds upon inquiry and renders judgment only after trial.
Our Supreme Court has held that the twin requirements of notice and hearing constitute the essential
elements of due process and neither of these elements can be eliminated without running afoul of the
constitutional guaranty.

10. Right to appeal


The right to appeal is not essential to the right to a hearing. Except when guaranteed by the
Constitution, appeal may be allowed or denied by the legislature in its discretion. The requirements of due
process are deemed satisfied as long as the litigant is given his day in court at the trial of his case, and he
cannot demand as a matter of right another day in the appellate court.
But as long as the law allows him to appeal, denial of that remedy is a denial of due process.
Furthermore, the legislature itself cannot deprive him of the right to appeal in those cases coming under the
minimum appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.
11. Requirements of a reasonable classification in equal protection
The requirements of a reasonable classification in equal protection are the following:
A. It must be based upon substantial distinctions. Superficial differences do not make for a valid classification.
The distinction, to be valid, must be substantial. As a general statement only, the law cannot validly
distinguish on the basis of the attire of women, or the color of vehicles, or the source of native products, or
the emotions of persons, or the texture of their complexion, or the shape of their eyes, or the length of their
hair. But certain physical differences of persons can in some instances be the basis of a valid classification.
Thus, women, being weaker, may be treated more tenderly by the law than men in specifying work
conditions.
B. It must be germane to the purposes of the law. The classification, even if based on substantial distinctions,
will still be invalid if it is not germane to the purpose of the law. To illustrate, the accepted difference in
physical stamina between men and women will justify the prohibition of the latter from employment as
miners or stevedores or in other heavy or strenuous work. On the basis of this same classification, however,
the law cannot provide for a lower passing average for women in the bar examinations because physical
strength is not the test for admission to the legal profession.
C. It must not be limited to existing conditions only. By the third requirement is meant that the classification
must be enforced not only for the present but as long as the problem sought to be corrected continues to
exist. For example, the law prohibited members of the non-Christian tribes from drinking foreign liquor, on
the ground that their low degree of culture and their unfamiliarity with this kind of drink rendered them more
susceptible to its effects as compared to their more civilized countrymen who were less affected by it. The
Supreme Court sustained the classification as it was intended to apply as long as the difference between
the two groups continued to exist.
D. It must apply equally to all members of the class. The classification will be regarded as invalid if all the
members of the class are not similarly treated, both as to rights conferred and obligations imposed. It is not
necessary that the classification be made with absolute symmetry, in the sense that the members of the
class should possess the same characteristics in equal degree. Substantial similarity will suffice; and as long
as this is achieved, all those covered by the classification are to be treated equally.
12. Searches and Seizures
The constitutional provisions on searches and seizures are the following:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable
searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable, and no search warrant or
warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after
examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly
describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. (Article III, Section 2)
The privacy of communication and correspondence shall be inviolable except upon lawful order of
the court or when public safety or order requires otherwise as prescribed by law. (Article III, Section 3(1))
Any evidence obtained in violation of this or the preceding section shall be inadmissible for any
purpose in any proceeding. (Article III, Section 3(2))

13. Requisites of a valid warrant


The requisites of a valid warrant are the following:
(1) It must be based upon probable cause. Probable cause has been defined as referring to such facts and
circumstances antecedent to the issuance of the warrant that in themselves are sufficient to induce a
cautious man to rely on them and act in pursuance thereof. It consists of a reasonable ground of
suspicion supported by circumstances sufficiently strong in themselves to warrant a cautious man in
believing accused to be committing the offense or to be guilty of the offense. The warrant must refer to
only one specific offense.
(2) The probable cause must be determined personally by the judge. This power is derived by the judge
directly from the self-executing provisions of Article III, Section 2, of the Constitution and therefore may not
be limited, much less withdrawn, by the legislature. What the Constitution underscores is the exclusive and
personal responsibility of the issuing judge to satisfy himself of the existence of probable cause. In satisfying
himself of the existence of probable cause for the issuance of a warrant, the judge is not required to
personally examine the complainant and his witnesses. Following established doctrine and procedure, he
shall (1) personally evaluate the report and the supporting documents submitted by the fiscal regarding the
existence of probable cause and on the basis thereof, issue a warrant of arrest, or (2) if on the basis thereof
he finds no probable cause, he may disregard the fiscals report and require the submission of supporting
affidavits of witnesses to aid him in arriving at a conclusion as to the existence of probable cause.
(3) The determination must be made after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the
witnesses he may produce. According to Rule 126, Section 4, of the Rules of Court, the judge, before issuing
the warrant, must personally examine in the form of searching questions and answers, in writing and under
oath the complainant and any witnesses he may produce on facts personally known to them, and attach
to the record their sworn statements together with any affidavits submitted. The evidence offered by the
complainant and his witnesses should be based on their own personal knowledge and not on mere
information or belief. The affidavits, to be considered sufficient, should be drawn in such a manner that the
affiant could be charged with perjury if the allegations contained therein are found to be untrue.
(4) It must particularly describe the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized. The
Constitution requires that the place to be searched or the persons or things to be seized be described with
such particularity as to enable the person serving the warrant to identify them. Ideally, the person sought to
be seized should be identified by name. If the warrant is issued without a name or with the name in blank
such that it can be enforced against any person, it is unquestionably void. But the constitutional
requirement is satisfied if there is some descriptio personae that will enable the officer to identify the
accused.
14. Twofold aspect of religious profession and worship
The twofold aspect of religious profession and worship are the following:
(1) Freedom to believe. The individual is free to believe or disbelieve as he pleases. However absurd his beliefs
may be to others, even if they be hostile and heretical to the majority, he has full freedom to believe as he
pleases. He may not be required to prove his beliefs. He may not be punished for his inability to do so.
Religion, after all, is a matter of faith. Everyone has a right to his beliefs and he may not be called to
account because he cannot prove what he believes.
(2) Freedom to act on ones beliefs. But where the individual externalizes his beliefs in acts or omissions that
affect the public, his freedom to do so become subject to the authority of the State. As great as this liberty
may be, religious freedom, like all the other rights guaranteed in the Constitution, can be enjoyed only with
a proper regards for the rights of others. The inherent police power can be exercised to prevent religious
practices inimical to society. And this is true even if such practices are pursued out of sincere religious
conviction and not merely for the purpose of evading the reasonable requirements or prohibitions of the
law. But all this does not suggest that the authority of the State shall at all times prevail over the right of the

individual to religious profession and worship. As long as it can be shown that the exercise of the right does
not impair the public welfare, the attempt of the state to regulate or prohibit such right would be
unconstitutional encroachment.
15. Elements of freedom of expression
The elements of freedom of expression are the following:
(1) Freedom from previous restraint or censorship. John Milton declared the impossibility of finding a man base
enough to accept the office of censor and at the same time good enough to perform its duties. This
statement declared the general disapprobation of censorship as an unlawful curtailment of the free flow of
ideas. Censorship conditions the exercise of freedom of expression upon the prior approval of the
government. Only those ideas acceptable to it are allowed to be disseminated; all others are restricted or
suppressed. The censor thus assumes the unlikely role of political, moral, social and artistic arbiter for the
people, usually applying only his own subjective standards in determining what is good and what is not
good for them. Such authority is anathema in a free society.
(2) Freedom from subsequent punishment. Freedom of speech includes freedom after the speech. Without this
assurance, the citizen would hesitate to speak for fear he might be provoking the vengeance of the
officials he has criticized. Even as criticism is not conditioned on the consent of the government, so too is it
not subject to its subsequent chastisement. In a free society, the individual is not supposed to speak in
timorous whispers or with bated breath but with the clear voice of the unafraid. Nevertheless, freedom of
expression is not absolute notwithstanding that the language of the guaranty is unqualified. Like all rights, it
is subject to the police power and may be properly regulated in the interest of the public.