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I.

GENERAL PRINCIPLES

1. Political Law
a. Definition:
i. In the case of People VS Perfecto, the court
defined political law as the branch of public law,
which deals with the organization and operations
of the governmental organs of the State and
defines the relations of the State with the
inhabitants of its territory.
ii. In Macariola VS Asuncion where certain
provisions of the Spanish Code of Commerce
were deemed to be abrogated because they
partake the nature of a political law because it
regulates the relationship between the
government and certain public officers and
employees, like judges.
2. Constitutional Law:
i. Branch of public law that treats of constitution,
their nature, formation, amendment, and
interpretation.
ii. It refers to the law embodied in the constitution
and the principles growing out of the
interpretation and application made by the
courts.
iii. C.J. Hughes defines constitutional law as what
the judges say it is.
1. It is a body of rules resulting from the
interpretation by a high court of a written
constitutional instrument in the course of
disposing of cases in which the validity, in
relation to the constitutional instrument, of
some act of governmental power has
been challenged
a. Scope:

i. Constitutional
Law,
Administrative Law, Law of
Public Officers, Election
Law, Law on Municipal
Corporations,
Elections
Law.
b. Necessity of the study of Political Law:
i. Every citizen, regardless of calling, should
understand the mechanics and motivations of
his government. Why? Because sovereignty
resides in the people and all government
authority emanates from them.
ii. The success of the Republic of the Philippines
will depend upon the active involvement of every
Filipinos in public affairs.
c. Basis:
i. The 1987 Constitution of the Philippines
ii. Pertinent statutes
iii. Executive Orders and decrees
iv. Juridical decisions
v. Current Political events in which the purposes of
the law are applied
vi. The 1935 and 1973 constitutions which served
as the working drafts of the present constitution
vii. Constitution of the United and the ruling of its
Supreme Court
1. Some parts of the Constitution of the
Philippines was taken or in the words of
J. Cruz Imported from the United States
Constitution (E.g. Bill of rights).
a. Imported provisions should be
interpreted in the light of their
understanding in the country of
origin.
viii. Organic laws which are made to apply in the
Philippines

Constitutional Law 1 | Outline of Atty. Luis Manuel Bugayong | San Beda College, Manila- College of Law

1. Philippine Bill of 1902


2. Jone Law of 1916
3. Tydings-McDuffie Law of 1934
II.

THE PHILIPPINE CONSTITUTION

3. Constitution:
a. Definition:
i. J. Miller defines constitution as a written
instrument by which the fundamental powers of
government are established, limited, and
defined, and by which these powers are
distributed among several departments, for their
more safe and useful exercise for the benefit of
the body politic.
ii. It is 1. The written instrument agreed upon by
the people 2. As the absolute rule of action and
decision for all departments and officers of the
government 3. In opposition to which any act or
rule of any department or officer of the
government, or even the people themselves, will
be altogether void.
1. It is THE SUPREME LAW OF THE
LAND.
b. Constitution VS Statute
Constitution
Statute
Legislation is direct from the Legislation
from
the
people
peoples representative
States general principle
Provides the details of the
subject matter of which it
treats
Intended not merely to meet Intended primarily to meet
existing conditions
existing conditions only
It is the fundamental law of It
conforms
to
the
the state
constitution
c. Nature and Purpose

i. Serves as the supreme or fundamental law


1. It speaks for the entire people from whom
it derives its claim to obedience
2. It is the law to which all other laws must
conform and in accordance with which all
private rights must be determined all
public authority administered.
3. Test of legality of all governmental
actions, whether proceeding from the
highest official or lowest functionary.
ii. Establishes basic framework and underlying
principles of government
1. Grant and limits governmental authority
2. Prescribe the permanent framework of
the system of government and to assign
to the different departments or branches,
their respective powers and duties, and to
establish certain basic principles on which
the government is founded.
3. Set limits on the otherwise unlimited
power of the legislature.
d. Classes of Constitutions:
As to their origin and history
Conventional or enacted
Cumulative or evolved
Formally struck off at a Result of political evolution,
definite time and place not inaugurated at any
following a conscious or specific time but changing by
deliberate effort taken by a accretion rather than by any
constituent body or ruler
systematic method
As to their form
Written
Unwritten
One whose precepts are Consists of rules which have
embodied in one document or not been integrated into a
set of documents
single, concrete form but are
scattered
As to the manner of amending them

Constitutional Law 1 | Outline of Atty. Luis Manuel Bugayong | San Beda College, Manila- College of Law

Rigid or inelastic
Flexible or elastic
One
which
cannot
be One which possesses no
amended or altered except by higher legal authority than
some
machinery
more ordinary laws and which may
cumbrous than the ordinary be altered in the same way as
legislative process
other laws
i. The Philippine Constitution may be classified as
a Conventional, Written, and Rigid constitution.
It was drafted by an appointive body called
Constitutional Commission.
ii. Advantage of a conventional, rigid, and written
constitution:
1. Permanence: It can resist capricious
change dictated not by legitimate needs
but only by passing fancies, temporary
passions or occasional infatuations of the
people with ideas or personalities.
a. Permanence of the constitution
also has disadvantages:
i. It is unable to adjust to the
genuine need for change
brought about by new
conditions
and
circumstances.
ii. The difficulty in amending
DELAYS in effecting the
needed change and thus
cause irreparable injury to
the public interest.
iii. The written constitution thus
become an impediment
rather than a spur to
progress.
e. Requisites of a Good Written Constitution
i. As to form, a good written constitution should
be:

1. Brief:
a. If a constitution is too detailed, it
would lose the advantage of a
fundamental law which in a few
provisions outlines the structure of
the government of the whole state
and the rights of the citizens.
2. Broad:
a. Statement regarding 1. The
powers
and
functions
of
government, and 2. The relations
between the governing body and
the governed requires that it be as
comprehensible as possible.
3. Definite:
a. Any vagueness which may lead to
opposing
interpretations
of
essential features may cause
incalculable harm.
f. Essential Parts of a Constitution
i. Constitution of Liberty:
1. Sets forth the fundamental civil and
political rights of the citizens and imposes
limitations on the powers of the
government as a means of securing the
enjoyment of those rights (E.g. bill of
rights)
ii. Constitution of Government:
1. Outlines the organization of the
government, enumerates its powers, lays
down certain rules relative to its
administration and defines the electorate
(E.g. Articles VI, VII, VIII, IX- Legislative
Dept., Executive Dept., Judicial Dept.,
and
Constitutional
Commissions
respectively)

Constitutional Law 1 | Outline of Atty. Luis Manuel Bugayong | San Beda College, Manila- College of Law

iii. Constitution of Sovereignty:


1. Provisions pointing out the mode or
procedure in accordance with which
formal changes in the fundamental law
may be brought about (E.g. Article XVIIAmendments and Revisions)
4. Constitution of Sovereignty: Amendment or Revision of
the Constitution (Article XVII PC)
a. Definition of amendment and revision: The case of
Lambino VS COMELEC1 distinguished the concepts of
amendments and revisions:
Amendments
Revisions
Broadly refers to a change Broadly implies a change
that adds, reduces, or that
alters
a
basic
deletes without altering the principle
in
the
basic principle involved.
constitution, like altering
the principle of separation
of powers or the system of
checks-and-balances.
Envisages a change of There is a revision if the
SPECIFIC PROVISIONS change
alters
the
ONLY.
substantial provisions of
the constitution.
Generally affects only the Generally
affects
the
specific provision being several provisions of the
amended.
constitution.

Facts: Petitioners Lambino, et. al. commenced gathering signatures for an initiative
petition to change the 1987 constitution. Lambinos group filed a petition with the COMELEC
to hold a plebiscite that will ratify their initiative petition through RA 6735. They further aver
that their petition complies with the constitutional requirements laid down in Sec. 2 Article
XVII of the constitution, as they have 6 million individuals supporting the foregoing petition.
In summary, the proposed changes of the Lambino Group intends to change the form of
government from a bicameral-presidential form of government to unicameral-parliamentary
form of government.
Issue: Does the proposed changes made by the Lambino group constitutes a revision or a
amendments.

Peoples initiative may May involve a rewriting of


propose
amendments the whole constitution.
(actually its the only thing
they can propose) to the
constitution.
Only congress and the
constitutional convention
can make revisions to the
constitution.

i. Two-Part Test: In California, where the initiative


clause allowed amendments BUT NOT revisions
to the constitutions just like in our constitution,
courts have developed a TWO-PART TEST:
Quantitative Test
Qualitative Test
Tests asks whether the Inquires into the qualitative
proposed change is so effects of the proposed
extensive in its provisions change in the constitution.
as to change directly the
substantial entirety of the
constitution
by
the
deletion or alteration of
numerous
existing
provisions.
Court examines only the Main inquiry is whether the
number of
provisions change will accomplish
affected and does not such for reaching changes
consider the degree of in the nature of our basic
change.
governmental plans as to
amount to a revision.
1. The two-part test applied in the case of
Lambino VS COMELEC:
a. Under both the quantitative and
qualitative tests, the petition of

Constitutional Law 1 | Outline of Atty. Luis Manuel Bugayong | San Beda College, Manila- College of Law

Lambino is a REVISION and not


merely an amendment.
i. Quantitatively:
Lambinos
group proposed changes
overhauls two articles viz:
Articles VI and Article VII on
the legislative and executive
braches of the government
respectively. Such change
will affect a total of 105
provisions in the entire
constitution.
ii. Qualitatively: The proposed
changes alter substantially
the
basic
plan
of
government,
from
presidential
to
parliamentary, and from a
bicameral to a unicameral
legislature. An alteration in
the structure of government
constitutes a REVISION of
the constitution. Merging the
legislative and executive
branches is a radical
change in the structure of
the government.
2. Thus, because said proposed changes in
the constitutes A REVISION OF THE
CONSTITUTION, the initiative made by
the Lambino Group shall fail because
under Section 2 Article XVII of the
constitution, provides that the people
through initiative can only propose
AMENDMENTS in the constitution.
b. Steps in the Amendatory Process

i. Proposal: The 1987 constitution provides three


ways of how to propose amendments or
revisions to the constitution: 1. Congress acting
as a Constituent Assembly and 2. Constitutional
Convention (Sec. 1 Article XVII), 3. Peoples
Initiative (Sec. 2 Article XVII).
1. Congress acting as a constituent
assembly:
a. Section 1 (1) Article XVII of the
Constitution provides that an
amendment or revisions to the
constitution may be proposed by
the congress, upon a vote of threefourths of all its members.
b. The congress of the Philippines is
composed of two houses viz: the
Senate and the House of
Representatives. Unlike the 1935
Constitution which particularly
stated that both houses of
congress had to come together in
joint session in order to propose
amendments,
the
present
constitution is SILENT about both
houses of congress coming
together
to
propose
amendments/revision
in
the
constitution.
c. It has been opined that, what is
essential is that BOTH HOUSE
VOTE
SEPARATELY.
Why?
Because the power to propose
amendments is given not to a
unicameral body but to a bicameral
body.

Constitutional Law 1 | Outline of Atty. Luis Manuel Bugayong | San Beda College, Manila- College of Law

i. The
meaning
of
a
constitutional command can
also be drawn from the
known
governmental
structure set up by the
constitution.
d. In effect, the congress acting as a
constituent assembly upon a vote
of three-fourths of all its members
voting separately may propose
changes in the constitution.
i. Assuming arguendo, that
there are 300 members of
the
House
of
Representatives and that
there are 24 Senators in the
Senate and that of the
members of the HOR is 225
and that of the members
of the senate is 8, 233
members of the congress is
needed to enact proposed
changes
in
the
constitutions.
2. Constitutional Convention: A body for the
express purpose of framing a constitution,
or revising the existing constitution, or
formulating amendments to it for the
approval of the electorate.
a. How a Constitutional Convention is
formed?
i. Sec. 3 of Art. XVII provides
that
a
constitutional
convention may be called
by:

1. The Congress may,


by a 2/3 votes of all
its members2
2. The Congress may,
by a majority vote of
all
its
Members,
submit
to
the
electorate
the
question of calling
such a convention.
ii. Thereafter,
the
same
Congress, acting this time
as a legislative body (or in
accordance
with
the
ordinary
legislative
process), may pass the
necessary implementing law
providing for the details of
the
Constitutional
Conventionnumber,
qualifications,
and
compensation
of
its
members.
iii. The constitution granted
to the Congress acting as
a constituent assembly
plenary authority to call a
constitutional convention,
which includes by virtue of
the doctrine of necessary
implication, all other powers
essential to the effective
exercise of the principal

Acting as a constitutional convention refer to (III) or to Imbong VS COMELEC

Constitutional Law 1 | Outline of Atty. Luis Manuel Bugayong | San Beda College, Manila- College of Law

3. Peoples Initiative: Method whereby the


people themselves can directly propose
amendments to the constitution.
a. Requirements:
i. There must be a petition,
1. This petition is a
petition to propose
changes
in
the
constitution through
peoples initiative.
ii. Full text of the proposed
changes must be in the
petition itself and it may be
either written on the face of
the petition, or attached to
it7.
iii. Petition must be signed by
at least 12% of the total
number of registered voters,
of which every legislative
districts
must
be
represented by at least 3%
of the registered voters
therein.
1. Legislative
District
means geographical
area wherein it is
represented by one
member
of
the
House
of
Representative.

power
by
necessary
3
implication .
iv. Implementing details are
within the authority of
Congress not only as a
Constituent Assembly but
also in the exercise of its
comprehensive legislative
power4.
v. Congress as a legislative
body may thus enact
necessary
implementing
legislation TO FILL IN THE
GAPS WHICH CONGRESS
AS A CONSTITUTIONAL
ASSEMBLY OMMITTED5.
vi. Q: How many delegates
does
a
constitutional
convention have?
1. A: There is no fix
number
in
the
number of delegates
in a constitutional
convention.
In
Imbong
VS
COMELEC,
the
Supreme Court held
that the number of
delegates in the ConCon
is
to
be
determined by the
Congress6.
3

Imbong VS COMELEC
4
Ibid
5
Ibid
6
In the same case, Congress acting as a constituent assembly passed Resolution no. 4
which amended an earlier resolution passed by the same body, and provided that 320

delegates should be apportioned among the existing representative districts according to


the number of their respective inhabitants, BUT fixing a minimum of at least 2 delegates for
a representative district. Thereafter, congress acting as a legislative body then enacted R.A.
6132 implemented the intent of congress acting as a constituent assembly expressed in
Sec. 1 of Res. No. 4.
7
Refer to Lambino VS COMELEC Supra

Constitutional Law 1 | Outline of Atty. Luis Manuel Bugayong | San Beda College, Manila- College of Law

iv. There must be an enabling


law8.
1. Law that congress
has to pass in order
to
enable
or
implement
a
provision
of
the
constitution which is
not self-executory.
2. The initiative clause
of the constitution
needs an enabling
law because the 2nd
paragraph of Sec. 2
of Art. XVII the
congress
shall
provide
for
the
implementation of the
exercise of this right.
3. Lambino stated that
R.A. 6735 or the
Initiative
and
Referendum Act is
an
enabling
that
would satisfy the
requirement in Par. 2
of Sec 2 Art. XVII.
4. However, in the case
of
Santiago
VS
COMELEC,
the
Supreme Court Held
that RA 6735 is
incomplete,
inadequate
and
wanting in essential
8

terms and conditions


insofar as initiative
on amendments to
the constitution is
concerned. While the
Act provides subtitles
for
initiative
on
national laws and
local laws, no subtitle
is
provided
for
initiative on national
laws and local laws,
NO SUBTITLE IS
PROVIDED
FOR
INITIATIVE ON THE
CONSTITUTION.
The silence of the
law vis--vis the said
subject simply means
that the main thrust
of the act is initiative
and referendum on
NATIONAL
AND
LOCAL
LAWS
ONLY.
v. Peoples initiative may be
exercised by the people
once every five years.
vi. The petition must be signed
personally by the people.
vii. It
shall
cover
ONLY
AMENDMENTS and NOT
REVISIONS.
ii. Ratification: Section 4 of Article XVII provides for
the manners of ratification of any proposed
amendments or revisions to the constitution:

Section 2 Article XVII (PC). Refer also to Defensor-Santiago VS COMELEC

Constitutional Law 1 | Outline of Atty. Luis Manuel Bugayong | San Beda College, Manila- College of Law

1. For those made under Sec. 1


a. Ratified by a majority of the votes
cast in a plebiscite.
b. Plebiscite shall be scheduled not
earlier than 60 days nor later than
90 AFTER THE APPROVAL OF
SUCH
AMENDMENT
OR
REVISION.
2. For those made under Sec. 2
a. Ratified by a majority of the votes
cast in a plebiscite.
b. Plebiscite shall be held not earlier
than 60 days nor later than 90
days
AFTER
THE
CERTIFICATION
BY
THE
COMELEC
OF
THE
SUFFICIENCY OF PETITIONS.
3. The time set for waiting before a
plebiscite can be held is intended to give
to the electorate ample time to study the
proposed constitutional changes and to
avoid allowing the proposed changes to
become stale.
4. Doctrine of Proper Submission:
a. Gonzales VS COMELEC
i. Plebiscite may be held on
the same day as regular
election, provided that the
people
are
sufficiently
informed
of
the
amendments to be voted
upon, to conscientiously
deliberate
thereon,
to

express their will in a


genuine manner9
ii. J. Reyes and J. Sanchez
dissents to the opinion that
of the majority of the court
that amendments to the
constitution
can
be
submitted to the people for
ratification in a general
election. It obviously shows
that
both
magistrates
believed that the election
referred
to
in
the
constitution is a special
election. They opined that
holding a plebiscite in the
same day of the election will
divert the attention of the
people
from
the
amendments
to
other
matters such as choosing
the local and national
officials. Furthermore, they
believe that the people
wont be able to devote an
undivided attention to the
subject that they should
focus on, that is, the

In the same case, the court held: There is in this provision nothing to indicate that the
"election" therein referred to is a "special", not a general, election. The circumstance that
three previous amendments to the Constitution had been submitted to the people for
ratification in special elections merely shows that Congress deemed it best to do so under
the circumstances then obtaining. It does not negate its authority to submit proposed
amendments for ratification in general elections.

Constitutional Law 1 | Outline of Atty. Luis Manuel Bugayong | San Beda College, Manila- College of Law

amendments
in
the
constitution.
b. Tolentino VS COMELEC
i. There should be NO
PIECEMEAL SUBMISSION
OF
VOTES.
All
amendments
must
be
submitted for ratification at
one plebiscite only because
the people have to be given
a proper frame of reference
in
arriving
at
their
10
decision .
c. Judicial Review of Amendments
i. Question of the adoption of amendments to the
constitution is regarded now as subject to
judicial review.
ii. The court can now inquire whether or not the
prescribed procedure for amendment has been
observed.
iii. The judiciary may declare invalid a proposal:
1. adopted by less than of the members
of the Congress,
2. a call for a constitutional convention by
less than 2/3 of the legislature
3. ratification made by less than a majority
of the votes cast
4. Plebiscite irregularly held.
d. Constitutional History:
i. Pre-Colonial Era
1. Inhabitants of the Philippines consisted of
disparate tribes who were then scattered
throughout its more than 7000 islands.
2. These tribes were generally free and
were each governed by a system of laws

promulgated by the datu or a council of


elders.
ii. Spanish Era
1. Discovery of the Philippines by Magellan
in 1521 brought the people of the territory
under the common rule of Spain, which
lasted for more than 300 years.
2. Because of the abuses of both the
government and the friars, sense of unity
among the people gradually developed.
And Rizal, with the other propagandists
would later ignite the spirit of nationalism
that was to fuel the Philippine Revolution.
3. Andrs Bonifacio started the Philippine
Revolution, and the same was won under
the able generalship of Emilio Aguinaldo.
This led to the proclamation of Philippine
Independence in June 12 1898.
4. On 21 January 1899, the First Philippine
Republic was established with Aguinaldo
as the president.
a. The Malolos Constitution was also
enacted.
i. Established a free and
democratic
Philippine
Republic.
ii. The
first
democratic
constitution ever to be
promulgated in the whole of
Asia.
iii. American Regime
1. On December 10 1898, the United States
and the Spain signed the treaty of Paris.
Said treaty provided for the cession of the
Philippine Islands by Spain to the United
States.

10

Constitutional Law 1 | Outline of Atty. Luis Manuel Bugayong | San Beda College, Manila- College of Law

10

2. Upon the resistance of the Filipinos to the


new threat to their freedom, they fought
with the Americans in the PhilippineAmerican War. However, they lost the
foregoing war, thereby leading to the
colonization of our country.
3. The Americans first organized a military
government. However, the consolidation
of the executive, legislative, and judicial
authority to the military governor
provoked
protests
from
American
libertarians who are concerned with the
non-observance of the doctrine of
separation of powers. They then took
steps to make a transition from military to
civilian rule.
4. They made the following steps:
a. Schurman Commission / First
Philippine Commission:
i. Made a fact-finding survey
of the Philippine Islands and
submit
appropriate
recommendations to the US
Congress.
b. Taft Commission / Second
Philippine Commission:
i. Took over all the legislative
powers and some of the
executive
and
judicial
powers of the military
governor.
c. Spooner Amendment of 4 July
1901:
i. Civil
government
was
established
in
the
Philippines with William

Howard Taft as the first


Governor.
d. Philippine Bill of 1902:
i. The Philippine Assembly
was created in 1907 to sit
with
the
Philippine
Commission in a Bicameral
Legislature.
e. Jones Law / Philippine Autonomy
Act of 1916:
i. Established a Philippine
Legislature consisting of a
Senate and a House of
Representatives.
f. Tydings-McDuffie Act:
i. Authorised
the
establishment
of
the
Commonwealth
of
the
Philippines.
ii. Formed a Constitutional
Convention that framed the
1935 Consitution.
iii. This
act
promised
independence
to
the
Filipinos if they could prove
their capacity for democratic
government during a tenyear transition period.
5. After the war with Japan, the Philippines
was able to demonstrate its competence
and
capacity
for
a
democratic
government. Hence on 4 July 1946, the
United States formally withdrew its
sovereignty over the Philippines
iv. The Republic of the Philippines:

Constitutional Law 1 | Outline of Atty. Luis Manuel Bugayong | San Beda College, Manila- College of Law

11

1. Manuel Roxas was elected as the 5th


president of the Philippines. When the
United States ceded its sovereignty over
the Philippines, President Roxas asserted
the freedom of the Philippines and
proclaimed
the
Republic
of
the
Philippines.
2. In the course of the Philippines
independence, many events led to the
deterioration of the countrys condition.
These deterioration was caused the
peoples pent-up resentments which led
to demonstrations or the so-called
parliament of the streets organized by
student groups.
3. Because
of
these
unrest,
the
Constitutional Convention of 1971
convoked and started deliberations on the
revision of the 1935 Constitution and the
fashioning of the 1973 Constitution.
4. With the intensification of subversive
movements
by
communist-oriented
groups,
President
Marcos
issued
Proclamation 1081, placing the entire
nation under martial law.
5. On November 30 1972, the draft of the
1973 constitution was formally approved
by the constitutional convention, and
during the series of meetings held on
January 1973, was submitted to the
Citizens Assemblies for Ratification.
6. On January 17, 1973, President Marcos
issued
Proclamation
1102
which
announced that the Constitution of 1973
has been ratified by an overwhelming
Constitutional Law 1 | Outline of Atty. Luis Manuel Bugayong | San Beda College, Manila- College of Law

majority of the people and had thus


become effective.
7. On January 17, 1981, President Marcos
issued Proclamation No. 2045 which lifted
Marital Law.
8. On February 22, 1986, Defense Minister
JPE and General FVR started what was
known as the people power. This led to
the ouster of President Marcos and the
coming to power of President Aquino.
a. One of the first acts of President
Aquino was the promulgation of a
provisional
or
Freedom
Constitution which will be in force
pending the adoption of a new
constitution.
b. She then created a constitutional
commission headed by J. Cecilia
Muoz-Palma that will draft the
1987 constitution.
c. A majority of about 16 million
people voted in favor of the
constitution. Pursuant to the new
constitution, an election was held
for the revived congress of the
Philippines and those for some
local offices.
i. The rest of the government
underwent
changes
conformably to the changes
prescribed by the new new
fundamental law.
d. In the general elections of May
1992, general elections for the
President and Vice President, the
Senate, and all the members of the
12

HOR was held. FVR was then


elected as the president and
Joseph Estrada as the Vice
Presidnet.
e. In 1998, Joseph Estrada was
elected president of the Republic.
But in 2001, he was ousted to the
presidency
anent
to
some
corruption charges
f. On January 20, 2001, after a
massive
people
power
demonstration at EDSA, Vice
President
Gloria
MacapagalArroyo took the oath as the
constitutional
successor
of
Estrada.
e. The Supremacy of the Constitution:
i. Constitution is the basic and paramount law to
which all other laws must conform and to which
all persons, including the highest officials of the
land, must defer.
ii. Right or wrong, the Constitution must be upheld
as long as it has not been changed by the
sovereign people lest its disregard result in
usurpation of the majesty of law by the
pretenders to the illegitimate power.
III.
CONCEPT OF THE STATE
1. Definitions
a. State VS Nation
State
State is a community of
persons, more or less
numerous,
permanently
occupying a fixed territory,
and possessed of an

Nation
A people bound together by
common attractions and
repulsions into a living
organism possessed of a
common pulse, a common

independent
government
organized for political ends
to which the great body of
inhabitants render habitual
obedience.
Political concept
Not subject to external
control

intelligence and inspiration,


and destined apparently to
have a common history and
a common fate.

Racial concept
May or may not be
independent of external
control
May consist of one or more May be made up of several
nations or peoples
states
2. Elements
iii. People:
1. A 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. (See discussion in Nachura)
2. The inhabitants of the State.
3. People must be numerous enough to be
self-sufficing and to defend themselves
AND Small enough to be easily
administered and sustained.
4. People must come from both sexes to be
able to perpetuate themselves.
iv. Territory:
1. A fixed portion of the surface of the earth
inhabited by the people of the State.
2. Territory must not be too big as to be
difficult to administer and defend
3. Territory must not be too small as to be
unable to provide for the needs of the
population.
4. Components of territory:
a. Terrestrial domain
b. Maritime domain

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c. Aerial domain
National Territory (Refer to Art. 1 of the 1987 PC)
1. Necessity of constitutional provision on National
Territory:
Binding force of such provision under international law;
Value of provision defining our national territory;
Acquisition of other territories;
Deliberations in the constitutional convention that drafted
the 1973 Constitution is enlightening as to why is there a
need to define the national territory in the constitution:
o Delegates Roco and Nolledo reiterated that a
definition of the national territory is necessary for the
preservation of our national wealth, for national
security, and as a manifestation of our solidarity as a
people.
o Delegate Quintero made three points on why it is
important to define the national territory in the
constitution: 1. Territorial assertions in R.A. 3046 were
couched merely in whereas clauses, and that these
clauses should be expressed in more authoritative
fashion; 2. Deleting the entire article on national
territory would leave the status of Batanes in doubt; 3.
It will cure the defects of the 1935 constitution to
express the possibility of future territorial acquisitions
by the Philippines.
2. Philippine Territory:
A. The Philippine Archipelago
Q: What is an Archipelago?
A: A unit of water studded with islands. This means that
the land area is everything that comes within the water
area.
NB: In the deliberations of the constitutional convention
that 1973 constitution, Del. Roseller Lim from Zamboanga
asked where this archipelago was. Committee Chairman
Quintero answered that IT WAS THE AREA
DELINEATED IN THE TREATY OF PARIS.

B. All other territories over which the Philippines has


sovereignty or jurisdiction
This particular portion of Art. 2 is an old and revised
provision that was formulated since the 1935
Constitution. This meant to include the islands
Batanes, Marianas and Freedom Island (To which
the Philippines has claims by historical rights),
Sabah, and among others.
C. Territorial Sea
Consists of a marginal belt of maritime waters
adjacent to the base lines extending 12 nautical
miles outward. Outside the territorial sea are the high
seas.
The traditional length of the territorial waters
measured seawards, according to the canon-shot
rule of 1902 was 3 miles11. However, modern law,
now recognizes 12 nautical miles.
Two methods for fixing the baseline from which the
territorial belt is measured seawards:
o Normal Baseline Method: Breadth of the
territorial sea is measured from the low waterline, following the indentations of the coast.
o Straight Baseline Method: Straight lines
connecting appropriate points on the coast,
without departing to any appreciable extend
from the general direction of the coast.
D. Internal Waters and the Archipelagic Doctrine
The waters around, between and connecting the
islands of the archipelago, irrespective of their breadth
and dimensions, for part of the internal waters of the
Philippines
o This together with the straight baseline method
11

th

Effective range of 18 century defensive shore batteries.

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for the ARCHIPELAGIC DOCTRINE


Internal Water: Consist of all parts of the sea
landwards from the baseline as well as inland rivers
and lakes

such islands, waters and other natural features form


an intrinsic geographical, economic and political
entity, or which historically have been regarded as
such.

E. the airspace, the sub-soil, the sea-bed, the insular


shelves and the other submarines areas.
Provision on Airspace:
This provision on airspace was based on the
provisions of articles 1 and 2 of the Convention on
International Civil Aviation, which stated that the
state has exclusive sovereignty over the airspace
above its territory.
Sovereignty over air space extends only until where
outer space begins.
But the real range or extent of the airspace is not
yet identified.
Provision on the sea-bed and sub-soil
Based on Art. 2 Sec 1 of the Convention on the
Territorial Sea and Contiguous Zone.
Said convention allows a coastal state to exercise
control over the contiguous zone, which is a part of
high seas.
Determinations to the extent of the Philippines
territorial airspace vis--vis its air space, sub-soil, seabed, the insular or continental shelves and other
submarine areas are left to other modes than by
constitutional precepts.

G. Territorial Sea
Consists of marginal belt of maritime waters adjacent
to the base lines extending 12 nautical miles
outward 12 . Outside the territorial sea are the high
seas.
Traditional length of the territorial waters measured
seawards, according to the canon-shot rule of 17023 miles.

H. Baselines
The low-water line along the coast as marked on
large-scale charts officially recognized by coastal
state.
2 ways of drawing the baseline:
Normal baseline: One drawn following the lowwater line along the coast as marked on largescale charts officially recognized by the coastal
state.
Straight baselines: Connect the outermost points
of our archipelago with straight baselines and
consider all the waters enclosed hereby as
internal waters.
This
makes
the
Philippines
an
archipelago. The entire archipelago is
regarded as one integrated unit instead of
being fragmented into so many thousand
islands.

F. Archipelago and archipelagic state


Archipelagic State: A stated constituted wholly by
one or more archipelagos and may include other
islands.
I. Archipelagic waters
Archipelago: Means a group of islands, including
parts of islands, interconnecting waters and other
12
natural features which are so closely interrelated that
Basis is the 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea
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Waters around, between and connecting the islands of


the archipelago, irrespective of their breadth and
dimensions, form part of the internal waters of the
Philippines.
Internal Waters: Internal or inland waters consist of all
parts of the sea landwards from the baseline as well as
inland rivers and lakes.
Not a subject to the right of innocent passage by other
states.

J. Insular shelf
Seabed and subsoil of the areas adjacent to the coastal
state but outside the territorial sea, to a depth of two
hundred meters.
Seabed and subsoil of areas adjacent to islands.
Summary of Philippine Territory according to Commissioner Adolfo
Azcuna:
Terrestrial Domain: Includes all surfaces of lands above
the sea that belongs to the Philippines.
Fluvial Domain: Includes the inland waters (E.g. Bays, and
river, streams, the sea landwards from the baselines).
Aerial Domain: Air directly above its terrestrial. All the air
that lies above the land and water territory is PH territory.
All the way up to the outer space, there is no more air.
Territorial Sea: Margin or belt of maritime waters adjacent
to our base lines up to the extent of 12 nautical miles.
It is a belt surrounding our base lines seaward.
Seabed: Below the territorial sea. Also PH territory.
Continental Shelf: Submarine area that is directly under
the water beyond the territorial sea up to the edge of the
continental margin, regardless of the depth of the
superjacent waters.
v. Government:

1. The agency of the or instrumentality


through which the will of the State is
formulated, expressed and realized.
2. Government VS State:
Government
State
Agent
Principal
Possible to exist without a state.
Cannot
exist
without
a
government
Government may change, its As long as its essential requisites
form may change
are present, it remains the same.
3. Government VS Administration
Government
Administration
Institution through which the Consists of people running the
state exercises its power
institution
More or less permanent. MORE Temporary in nature.
OR LESS because it not
temporary per se because it can
also
change
when
the
constitution is changed thru
revision.
More specific than a government.
Means that the administration is
the entity that execute the will,
power, and duties, functions of
the government.
3. Government VS Administration
Government
Administration
Institution through which the Consists of people running the
state exercises power
institution
More or less permanent. MORE Temporary in nature.
OR LESS BECAUSE it can also
be changed if the constitution is
changed thru revision
More
specific
than
a
government. Means that the
administration is the entity that

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execute the will, power, and


duties, and functions of the
government.
4. Government of the Republic of the
Philippines: Refers to the Corporate
governmental entity through which the
functions of the government are
exercised throughout the Philippines,
including, save as the contrary appears
from the context, the various arms
through which political authority is made
effective in the Philippines whether
pertaining to the autonomous regions, the
provincial city, municipal or barangay
subdivisions or other forms of local
government.

Functions of the Government


In the case of Fontanilla VS Maliaman, the Supreme Court
recognized that the functions of government have been classified
into Constituent/Governmental and Ministrant/Proprietary. The
former involves the exercise of sovereignty and considered as
compulsory. The latter connotes merely the exercise of proprietary
functions and thus considered as optional.

Governmental: Constitute the very bonds of society and are


therefore
compulsory.
MANDATORY
FOR
THE
GOVERNMENT TO PERFORM.
Woodrow Wilsons enumeration of the constituent function of
government:
Keeping of order and providing for protection of
persons and property from violence and robbery.
Fixing of the legal relations between man and wife and
between parents and children.

Regulation of the holding, transmission, and


interchange of property, and the determination of its
liabilities for debt.
Definition and unison net of a crime
Administration of justice in civil cases
Determination of the political duties, privileges, and
relations
of
citizens.

Proprietary: Those undertaken to advance the general


interests of society, such as public works, public charity, and
regulation of trade and industry. THEY ARE THOSE THAT
ARE UNDERTAKEN ONLY BY WAY OF ADVANCING THE
GENERAL INTERESTS OF SOCIETY, AND MERELY
OPTIONAL.
Commercial or universal banking is, ideally, not a
governmental but a private sector endeavor. It is an optional
function of government (Romualdez-Yap VS CSC).
In the case of Romualdez-Yap VS CSC, the Court held that
the principles determining whether or not a government shall
exercise certain of these optional functions are: 1. That a
government should do for the public welfare those things
which private capital would not naturally undertake, and 2.
That a government should do those things for the public
welfare than in any private individual or group of individuals.
In the case of PVTA VS CIR, the Supreme Court held that the
twofold functions of the government, is now obsolete. The
justification given by the court:
Growing complexities of modern society have rendered
the traditional classification of the functions of
government quite unrealistic, not to say obsolete.
The areas which used to be left to private enterprise
and initiative and which the government was called
upon to enter optionally, and only because it was better
equipped to administer for the public welfare continue
to lose their well-defined boundaries and to be

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absorbed within activities that the government must


undertake in its sovereign capacity if it is to meet the
increasing social challenges of the times.
Here of course this development was envisioned,
indeed adopted as a national policy, by the Constitution
itself in its declaration of principle concerning the
promotion of social justice.
The blur in the division of the function of government is
reiterated by the Supreme Court in the case of Philippine
Association of Coconut Desiccators VS PCA. In this case, the
Supreme Court held that although the present constitution
enshrines free enterprise as a policy, it nonetheless reserves
to the government THE POWER TO INTERVENE
WHENEVER NECESSARY TO PROMOTE THE GENERAL
WELFARE.
Individuals and private groups, including corporations,
cooperatives, and similar collective organizations, shall
have the right to own, establish, and operate economic
enterprises, subject to the duty of the State to promote
distributive justice and to intervene when the common
good so demands.
Amidst said decision of the Supreme Court, the twofold
functions of the government still has relevance in determining
whether the government can be sued or not. In determining
the suability of a state agency or corporation it is necessary to
determine if said agency is performing a governmental or
proprietary function.

Doctrine of Parens Patriae

Literally 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 people.


In the case of the Government of P.I. VS Monte de Piedad13.,
the Supreme Court explained the concept of parens patriae. It
held that the prerogative of parens patriae is inherent in the
lodged supreme power of every state, whether that power is
lodged in a royal person or in the legislature.
Has no affinity to those arbitrary powers which are
sometimes exerted by irresponsible monarchs to the
great detriment of the people and the destruction of
their liberties.
It is most beneficient function, and often necessary to
be exercised in the interest of humanity, and for the
prevention of injury to those who cannot protect
themselves
The doctrine of parens patriae was also appreciated in the
case of Cabaas VS Pilapil. In the said case, the Supreme
Court held that the judiciary, as an agency of the State acting
as parens patriae, is called upon whenever a pending suit of
litigation affects one who is a minor to accord priority to his
best interest14.

De Jure and De Facto Government

Regardless of their forms and on the basis of legitimacy,


governments are either de jure of de facto.
De Jure government: Has a rightful title but no power or
control, either because this has been withdrawn from it or

13

In the case of Government of P.I. VS Monte de Piedad, contributions were collected


during the Spanish regime for the relief of the victims of an earthquake but part of the
money was never distributed and instead deposited with the defendant bank. When the
government filed an action for recovery, the defendant questioned the competence of the
plaintiff, contending that the suit could be instituted only by the intended beneficiaries
themselves OR BY THEIR HEIRS. The Supreme Court subsequently rejected this view and
upheld that the government has the right to file the case for the state as parens patriae in
representation of the legitimate claimants.
14
In this case, the government acting for the State as parens patriae chose the mother of an
illegitimate child as against his uncle to be the trustee of the insurance proceeds left him by
his father, who had expressly designated the uncle.

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because it has not yet actually entered into the exercise


thereof.
In Lawyers League for a Better Philippines VS
President Corazon Aquino, et. al., the Supreme Court
held that the Government of Corazon Aquino was a de
jure government because the people have accepted
said government which is in effective control of the
entire country. Not to mention that the community of
Nations has recognized the legitimacy of the
government of President Aquino.
Same was held in the case of In Re: Saturnino V.
Bermudez where the court in answering the question
raised by petitioner on who was the president and vice
president being referred to in Sec. 7 of Art. XVIII,
reiterated its resolution in Lawyers League for a Better
Philippines VS Aquino wherein it held that there is no
doubt that the president and vice president being
referred to in said provision of the 1987 constitution
was no other than President Aquino and Vice President
Laurel respectively. The people themselves made the
judgment in this political question, and they have
accepted the government of President Aquino which is
in effective control of the entire country so that it is not
merely a de facto government but a de jure
government.
De Facto government: A government of fact, that is, it actually
exercises power or control but without legal title.
In the case of Co Kim Chan VS Valdez Tan Keh, the
Supreme Court held that there are three kinds of de
facto government:
De Facto Proper: de facto in a proper legal
sense that gets possession and control of, or
usurps, by force or by the voice of the majority,
the rightful legal government and maintains itself
against the will of the latter.
Government of Paramount Forces: A de facto

Government
which
is
established
and
maintained by military forces who invade and
occupy a territory of the enemy in the course of
war, and which is denominated a government of
paramount force.
Has 2 characteristics: 1) Its existence is
maintained by active military power
within the territories and against the
rightful authority of an established and
lawful government. 2.) While it exists it
must necessarily be obeyed in civil
matters by private citizens who, by acts
of obedience rendered in submission to
force, do not become responsible, as
wrongdoers, for those acts, though not
warranted by the laws of the rightful
government.
Independent
Government:
A
de
facto
Government that is established as an
independent government by the inhabitants of a
country who rise in insurrection against the
parent state.
Said case also concluded that the Philippine Executive
Commission was a civil government established by
military forces or occupation and therefore a de facto
government of the second kind. As Halleck says, the
government established over an enemys territory
during the military occupation may exercise all the
powers given by the laws of war to the conqueror over
the conquered, and is subject to all restrictions which
that code imposes. It is of little consequence whether
such government be called a military or civil
government. Its character is the same and the source
of its authority the same. In either case, it is a
government imposed of suck territory or the rest of the
world, those laws alone determine the legality or

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illegality of its acts.


Sovereignty

The supreme and uncontrollable power inherent in a State by


which that State is governed.
Kinds:
Legal
Political
Power
to
issue
final The sum total of all the
commands
influences which lie behind the
law.
Internal
External
Supreme
power
over Also known as independence,
everything within its territory
which is freedom from external
control.
Characteristics (PECAIII):
Permanence
Exclusiveness
Comprehensiveness
Absoluteness
Indivisibility
Inalienability
Imprescriptibility
Effects of change in sovereignty
ON POLITICAL LAWS: In the case of People VS
Perfecto, the court held that the political laws in force
during the Spanish regime are abrogated when Spain
ceded the Philippines to the United States because it is
inconsistent with democratic principles of government.
Not to mention that it is a general principle of public law
that on acquisition of territory the previous political
relations of the ceded region are totally abrogated.
Every nation, acquiring territory, by treaty or otherwise,
must hold it subject to the constitution and laws of its

own government, and not according to those of the


government, and not according to those of the
government ceding it. In this case, the court held that
lesse majeste is a political law because it is a law that
regulates the relationship of the people with some
minister of the crown, i.e. the senators of the Philippine
Islands.
The same was the decision of the court in the case of
Macariola VS Asuncion, wherein the Supreme Court, in
dismissing a complaint against Respondent Judge
Asuncion for allegedly violating the provisions of Article
14 of the Spanish Code of Commerce which prohibits
judges from engaging in commerce, held that Article 14
of the Code of Commerce is already abrogated by the
change of sovereignty because said provision of the
foregoing code is political in nature. In addition, the
court held that where there is a change of sovereignty,
the political laws of the former sovereign, whether
compatible or not with those of the new sovereign, are
automatically abrogated, UNLESS THEY ARE
EXPRESSLY RE-ENACTED BY AFFIRMATIVE ACT
OF THE NEW LAW.
ON MUNICIPAL LAWS: In Vilas VS Municipality of
Manila, the United States Supreme Court, stated that
while there is a total abrogation of the former politica
relations of inhabitants of ceded territory, and an
abrogation of laws in conflict with the political character
of the substituted sovereign, THE GREAT BODY OF
MUNICIPAL LAW REGULATING PRIVATE AND
DOMESTIC RIGHTS CONTINUES IN FORCE UNTIL
ABROGATED OR CHANGED BY THE NEW RULER.
Effects of belligerent occupation
No change in sovereignty.
But in Laurel VS Misa, the court held that politicsl lsed,
except the law on treason, are suspended. Municipal
laws remain in force UNLESS REPEALED BY THE

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BELLIGERENT OCCUPANT.
even if the individual is outside the territory of the
State.
At the end of the belligerent occupation, when the
occupant is ousted from the territory, the political laws
Extraterritorial: Power exercised by the State
which had been suspended during the occupation shall
beyond its territory in the following cases:
automatically become effective again, under the
Assertion of its personal jurisdiction over its
doctrine of JUS POSTLIMINIUM.
nationals abroad,
Jus Postliminum: When a property taken by the
By virtue of its relations with other states or
enemy is either recaptured or rescued from him,
territories, as when it establishes a colonial
by the fellow subjects or allies of the original
protectorate, or a condominium, or
power, it does not become the property of the
administers a trust territory
recaptor or rescuer, as if it had been a new prize,
When the local state waives its jurisdiction
but it is restored to the original owner by right of
over persons and things within its territory,
postliminy, upon certain terms.
as when a foreign army stationed therein
Dominium VS Imperium
remains under the jurisdiction of the
Dominium
Imperium
sending state
Refers to the capacity to The authority possessed by
By the principle of extraterritoriality, as
own or acquire property, the State embraced in the
illustrated by the immunities of the head of
including lands held by the concept of sovereignty.
state in a foreign country.
state in its proprietary
capacity.
5. Act of State: An act done by the sovereign
power of a country, or by its delegate,
Jurisdiction:
within the limits of the power vested in
Territorial: Power of the State over persons and
him. It cannot be questioned or made the
things within its territory.
subject of legal proceedings in a court of
Exceptions:
law. (E.g. The president, in the exercise of
Foreign states (Heads of states,
its diplomatic power, extends recognition
diplomatic representatives)
to a newly established foreign state or
Foreign state property (Embassies,
government).
consulates, and public vessels engaged in
non-commercial activities)
IV.
The Doctrine of State Immunity from Suit
Acts of state
Constitutional
Provision (Sec. 3 Article XVI PC): The state may
Foreign merchant vessels exercising
not
be
sued
without
its consent.
rights of innocent passage
Foreign armies passing through or
1. Stages in the suit against the state:
stationed in its territory with its permission.
a. Suability
Personal: The power of the State over its
b. Liability
nationals, which may be exercised by the State
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c. Determination whether or not the aggrieved party is


entitled for
2. Doctrine of State Immunity from Suit: The state as well as its
government is immune from suit UNLESS IT GIVES ITS
CONSENT. In the case of D.A. VS NLRC, the doctrine of
state immunity was also referred to as the royal prerogative
of dishonesty because it grants the state the prerogative to
defeat any legitimate claim against it by simply invoking its
non-suability.
3. Basis:
d. In Republic VS Villasor15, the Supreme Court said that
the reason or the basis behind the doctrine is that
THERE CAN BE NO LEGAL RIGHT AS AGAINST
THE AUTHORITY THAT MAKES THE LAW ON
WHICH THE RIGHT DEPENDS.
e. The demands and inconveniences of litigation will
divert the time and resources of the State from the
more pressing matters demanding its attention to the
prejudice of the public welfare.
4. Same immunity is likewise enjoyed by other States. This is in
consonance with the PIL Principle of par in parem non habet
imperium (equals do not have authority over one another).
a. The states diplomatic agents, including consuls to a
certain extent, are also exempt from jurisdiction of local
courts and administrative tribunals.
b. The United Nations, as well as its organs and
specialized agencies are likewise beyond the
jurisdiction of local courts.
c. Even other international organizations or international
agencies may be immune from the jurisdiction of local
courts and local administrative tribunals.
15

F: In this case, the Supreme Court granted the petition of petitioner Republic of the
Philippines to nullify and set-aside the decision rendered by Respondent Judge Villasor,
ordering for the execution of the decision granting, P.J. Kiener Co. Ltd., Gavino Unchuan,
and ICC the arbitration award amounting to Php 1,712,396.40. The aforementioned amount
will be taken from the funds of the AFP. I: 1.) Whether or not the suit is against the state. 2.)
Whether or not the funds of the AFP can be garnished.

NB: As was held in the case of Holy See VS Rosario16, the


court held that by virtue of the principles of PIL, when a
state or international agency wishes to plead sovereign or
diplomatic immunity in a foreign court, it requests the
Foreign Office of the State where it is sued to convey to
the court that said defendant is entitled to immunity. In the
Philippines, the practice is for the foreign government or
I.O. to first secure an executive endorsement of its claim of
sovereign or diplomatic immunity. In this case, the DFA,
through the OLA moved to be allowed to intervene on the
side of petitioner. The court on the other hand allowed the
said department to file its memorandum in support of
petitioners claim of sovereign immunity.
5. Test whether to determine if suit is against the State: There
must be an AFFIRMATIVE ACT FROM THE STATE TO
SATISFY THE JUDGMENT. In the case of Sanders VS
Veridiano17, the Supreme Court held that even if in case the
16

The Holy See owns a lot in Paraaque and they sold it to 2 buyers who then assigned
rights to the sale to Rosario. In the agreement that ensued between the Holy See and the
buyers, the Holy See stated that they will provide for the clearing of the land that was then
filled with informal settlers. However, such did not happen. Subsequently, a dispute arose
as to who should clear the parcels of land. Respondent then filed a complaint for the
annulment of the sale, but the DFA intervened and said it had a legal interest in the outcome
of the case as regards the diplomatic immunity of the petitioner. Petitioner in this case avers
that the respondent trial court has no jurisdiction over petitioner, being a foreign state
enjoying sovereign immunity. On the other hand, private respondent insists that the doctrine
of non-suability is not absolute because the petitioner has divested itself of such a cloak
when of its own free will, it entered into a commercial transaction for the sale of a parcel of
land located in the Philippines.
17
Sanders and Moreau were both ranking officials of the U.S. Navy stationed in the
Philippines. Respondents Rossi and Wyers, both American Citizens were employed as
gamerooms in the special services division of the NAVSTA. Sometime in October 1975,
Rosi and Wyers were advised that their employment had been converted from permanentfull time to permanent part-time. Apparently, respondents instituted a grievance proceeding.
Subsequently, the hearing officers rendered a judgment in favor of respondent, ordering for
the reinstatement of the permanent-full time status of the petitioners. However, in a letter
sent by Sanders to Moreau, the former disagreed to the decision of the Hearing Officer.
After said letters were exchanged, Respondent filed a claim for damages, saying that said
letters contained libelous accusations that exposed respondents to ridicule and caused
them mental anguish, and maintained that petitioners were being sued in their personal
capacity. Petitioners however maintained that the acts complained of were performed in the
discharge of their official duties.

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petitioners are entitled to damages, such award will have to


be satisfied not by the petitioners in their personal capacities
but by the United States government as their principal. It held
that SUCH WILL REQUIRE THE GOVERNMENT TO
PERFORM AN AFFIRMATIVE ACT TO SATISFY
JUDGMENT
o Affirmative Act: Appropriations of the necessary
amount to cover the damages awarded, thus making
the action a suit against that government without its
consent.
o Test of suit against the state is the same whether the
suit is against government officers or a state agency is
THE SAME.
o In Tan VS Director of Forestry, the Supreme Cout held
that state immunity from suit may be invoked as long
as the suit really affects the property, rights or interests
of the State and not merely those of the officers
nominally made party defendants.
V.
Fundamental Principles and State Policies
Fundamental
Article 2 of the 1987 PC: Declaration of Principles and State
Policies:
- Intended to lay down the rules underlying our system of
government and must therefore be adhered to in the conduct
of public affairs and the resolution of public issues.
1. Preamble: Serves as an introduction of the constitution. To
walk before, the constitution.
a. Importance of the Constitution:
i. Indicate the authors of the constitution (We the
sovereign Filipino People),
ii. It also enumerates the primary aims and expressed
the aspirations of the framers in drafting the
Constitution

iii. Useful as an aid in the construction


interpretation of the text in the constitution.
iv. Useful as an aid in legislation.

and

NB: The preamble is not an essential part of the constitution. The


essential parts of the constitution are: 1. Consti of Liberty (Bill of
Rights), 2. Consti of Governance (Articles VI, VII, VIII, IX), and 3.
Consti of Sovereignty (Article XVII).
THE STATE PRINCIPLES:
1. Republicanism (Sec. 1 Art. II 1987 PC)
a. Republic: A representative government, a government run by
and for the people. Not a pure democracy where the people
govern themselves directly.
b. Essential Features:
i. Representation:
People
are
represented.
Republicanism being a representative government.
ii. Renovation: Selection by the citizenry of a crops 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.
c. Manifestation of a Republican Government (GRABE-SBCD):
i. Government of laws and not of men
1. The ascendancy of the law is axiomatic in
a republic and must be recognized by
every public official NO MATTER HOW
EXALTED.
2. No one is above law; and ALL MUST
BOW TO ITS MAJESTY.
3. All official act must be based upon and
conform to the authority of a valid law.
Lacking which, the act must be rejected.
4. Nobility of intention is not sufficient to
validate an authorized act. Indeed, in

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Villavicencio VS Lukban, where Mayor


Lukban, who was then that Mayor of
Manila, motivated by his desire to protect
the health and the morals of his
constituents deported the 170 prostitutes
to Davao without the consent of the
deported women and without the
knowledge of their relatives/friends. The
Supreme Court condemned the action of
Mayor Lukban, there being no showing
that any law or even an ordinance had
authorized it.
ii. Rule of Majority
1. Plurality in elections.
iii. Accountability of Public Officers
iv. Bill of rights
v. Legislation cannot enact irrepealable laws.
vi. Separation of powers
vii. Blending of powers
viii. Checks and balances
ix. Non-delagation of powers
2. The Incorporation Clause
i.
Sec. 2 provides:
a. Philippines renounces war as an instrument of
national policy,
b. Adopts the accepted principles of international law
as part of the law of the land,
c. Adheres to the policy of peace, equality, justice,
freedom, cooperation, and amity with all nations.
ii.
Renunciation of war:
a. Covenant of the League of Nations: Provided
conditions for the right to go to war
b. Kellog-Briand Pact of 1928: Also known as the
General Treaty for the Renunciation of War, ratified
by 62 States. It forbades war as an instrument of
national policy.

iii.

c. Charter of the United Nations: Art. 2 of which


prohibits the threat or use of force against the
territorial integrity or political independence of a
state.
Doctrine of Incorporation: Every state, by membership
to the family of nations, is bound by the principles of
international law, which automatically is incorporated in
its own laws.
a. In the case of Kuroda VS Jalandoni, the court, in
upholding the validity of E.O. 68 petitioners
argument, debunked the contention of the latter
who averred that the creation of E.O. 68 is illegal
because it violates not only provisions of the
constitution, but also the laws; and that because the
Philippines is not a signatory to the Hague
Convention on Rules and Regulations covering
Land Warfare, the charges against him are
baseless because he was charged of crimes not
based on laws both national and international, and
that the military commission trying his case has no
jurisdiction. The court held that the law is valid by
virtue of Section 3 of the 1935 Constitution, which
adhered to the policy of renunciation of war and the
doctrine of incorporation. On that the military
commission has no jurisdiction over his case
because the Philippines is not a signatory to the
Hague and Geneva Conventions, the Supreme
Court held that even if the Philippines was not a
signatory to the aforementioned conventions, it
cannot be gainsaid that the rules and regulations in
the abovestated conventions form part of the
generally accepted principles of International Law.
Hence, such rules and principles form part of the
law of the laws of the Philippines even if it is not a
signatory in the conventions governing them,
because the constitution have has been deliberately

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iv.

v.

general and extensive in its scope and is not


confined to the recognition of rules and principles of
international law as contained in treaties to which
our government may have been or shall be a
signatory.
b. The Supreme Court ruled on the basis of the
abovementioned considerations in the case of
Agustin VS Edu, wherein petitioner questioned the
validity of Letter of Instruction No. 229 (1974)
(amended by LOI 479 series of 1976), which
required every car owner to procure and use one
pair of a reflectorized triangular EWD whenever any
vehicle is stalled or disabled or is parked for 30
minutes or more in any street, highway, etc.
Petitioner further contends that LOI 229 is
unconstitutional,
oppressive,
unreasonable,
arbitrary, confiscatory, and contrary to the precepts
of the new society. In reply to such allegations,
respondents maintained it was not unconstitutional
because the Philippines was just complying with the
provisions of the treaties that It signed. Indeed, the
Philippines, being a signatory to the Vienna
Convention on Road Signs and Signal and having
ratified the said treaty under P.D. 207,
recommended that a local legislation be enacted for
the installation of road safety signs and devices.
The Philippines will also not repudiate a
commitment to which it had pledged its word.
The generally accepted principles of international law:
Refers to norms of general or customary international
law which are binding on all states. E.g. renunciation of
war, sovereign immunity, pacta sunt servanda, etc.
Under the 1987 PC, international law can become part
of the sphere of domestic law either by transformation
or incorporation.

vi.

a. Transformation:
Method
requires
that
an
international law principle be transformed into
domestic law by methods such as local legislation
b. Incorporation: This method applies, by mere
constitutional declaration, international law is
deemed to have the force of domestic law.
Doctrine of incorporation is applied whenever local
courts are confronted with situations in which there
appears to be a conflict between a rule of international
law and the provisions of the constitution or some
municipal laws of the local state.
a. In case there is a conflict between an international
law and a municipal law:
i. First step: Harmonize both laws so as to give
effect to both.
ii. If the conflict between the two laws seemed
to be irreconcilable, proceed to second step:
municipal laws must be upheld.
b. In Ichong VS Hernandez18, the court held the treaty
between the Philippines and Burma regarding the
Philippines importation of rice in the said country is
invalid because the retail trade national law (law in
conflict with the foregoing treaty), was passed in the
exercise of the police power, which cannot be
bargained away through the medium of a treaty or a
contract.
c. In the case of In Re: Garcia, the court helt that
treaties could not be intended to modify the laws in

18

Petitioner sought for the invalidation of the R.A. 1180 also known as the Retail Trade
Nationalization Act because they believed that said law contravened with several treaties
namely the charter of the UN and the declaration of Human Rights, and the treaty of Amity
with PRC. In denying said petition, the court held that no treaties or international obligations
were infringed when said law was promulgated. But granting arguendo that the said law
infringes upon said the aforementioned treaties, the treaty is always subject to qualification
or amendment by a subsequent law and the same may never curtail or restrict the scope of
the police power of the state. There is no question that R.A. 1180 was approved in the
exercise of police power.

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force in the country. In this case, Garcia applied for


admission to the practice of law in the Philippines,
and further petition that he be admitted without the
required bar examination. He contended that under
the Treaty on Academic Degrees and the Exercise
of Professions between the Philippines and Spain,
he is entitled to do so. The court however denied
his petition because: 1. The treaty is not applicable
to Filipino citizens desiring to practice law in the
Philippines. 2. The treaty could not have intended to
modify the laws and regulations governing
admission to the practice of laws in the Philippines.
3. The executive department may not encroach
upon the constitutional prerogative of the Supreme
Court to promulgate rules for admission to the
practice of law.
3. Defense of the State
i. Section 4 provides that:
a. It is the prime duty of the government to serve and
protect the people.
b. The Government may call 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.
ii. State may take up all necessary action, including the
use of armed force, to repel any threat to its security.
iii. C.A. No. 1 or the National Defense Act states that the
AFP shall be composed of a citizen armed force which
shall undergo military training and serve, as may be
provided by law.
iv. In the case of People VS Lagman and Zosa, the
accused were charged with and convicted of refusal to
register for military training as required by C.A. No. 1.
De Sosa contends that he did not register in the military
service because he is fatherless and has a mother, and
an 8 y/o brother to support. Lagman on the other hand,

has a father to support, has no military leanings, and


does not wish to kill or be killed. On the contention of
these both Lagman and de Sosa made in their
respective cases that C.A. No. 1 in so far as it
establishes
compulsory
military
service
is
unconstitutional; the Supreme Court held that it was
not, and indeed, it was in faithful compliance with its
provisions. The duty of the government to defend the
State cannot be performed except through an army. To
leave the organization of an army to the will of the
citizens would be to make this duty of the government
excusable should there be no sufficient men who
volunteer to enlist therein.
v. It was also held in case of People VS Lagman and de
Sosa supra, that the duty to defend the state is
imposed upon all citizens, including women. And that
the military or civil services that may be required by
them must be personal. Q: What if a person has
sincere conscientious or religious scruples about the
taking of human life, or have no military inclinations or
aptitudes? A: Accommodations can be made by
assigning them to non-combat or civil duties.
vi. Provision is based upon the inherent right of every
state to existence and self-preservation.
4. Peace and Order
i. Section 5 provides that
a. The maintenance of peace and order, the protection
of life, liberty and property.
b. It will likewise promote the general welfare which is
essential for the enjoyment by all the people of the
blessings of democracy.
5. Separation of Church and State
i.
Ratio: Strong fences make good neighbor. The idea is
to delineate the boundaries between the church and
the state and thus avoid encroachments by one against

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ii.

iii.

iv.

the other because of a misunderstanding of the limits of


their respective exclusive jurisdictions.
State is prohibited from interfering in purely
ecclesiastical affairs. Church is likewise barred from
meddling in purely secular matters.
a. Reason: A union of church and the state, tends to
destroy government and to degrade religion.
BUT the wall that separates the church and the state is
not a wall of hostility. Indeed, the state recognizes the
beneficent influence of religion in the enrichment of the
nations life. As it instills into the mind the purest
principles of morality. In the case of Aglipay VS Ruiz,
the court speaking thru Justice Laurel stated the
influence of religion is deeply felt and highly
appreciated by the State. Deeply felt because in the
preamble, the Filipino people as the authors of the
constitution implored the aid of divine providence in
order to establish a government that would embody
their ideals Indeed it shows that they manifested their
intense religious nature and placed unfaltering reliance
upon Him who guides the destinies of men and nations.
In Aglipay VS Ruiz, the court in denying the petition of
Msgr. Aglipay regarding the withholding of the printing
and issuance of postage stamps themed with the
celebration of the 33rd International Eucharistic
Congress in Manila and further maintaining that such
was contrary to constitutional provisions on the
separation of church and state, the Supreme Court
held that it was not because Act. 4025, the law that
directs the selling of the aforementioned stamps does
not contemplate any religious purpose. The only
purpose in issuing and selling the stamps was to
advertise the Philippines and attract more tourists to
this country. The officials concerned merely took
advantage of an event of international importance to
give publicity to the Philippines and its people. Indeed,

the stamps are not designed with any insignia or


symbolism of the Catholic Church except for a map of
the Philippines and Manila. Thus, it is obvious that the
emphasis of said stamps were not the Eucharistic
Congress itself but Manila as the seat of the said
congress, and that any resulting propaganda received
by the RCC vis--vis these stamps, was not the aim
and purpose of the government.
v.
Exceptions to the rule on the separation of the Church
and the State:
a. Churches, parsonages, etc., actually, directly, and
exclusively used for religious purposes shall be
exempt from tax.
b. Prohibition against appropriation for sectarian
benefit, except when priest is assigned to the AFP,
any penal institutions or leprosarium.
c. Optional religious instruction for public elementary
and high school students.
d. Filipino ownership requirement for educational
institutions, except those established by religious
groups and mission abroad.
6. Social Justice:
i.
Definition: Neither communism, nor despotism, nor
atomism, nor anarchy, but eh humanization of laws and
the equalization of social and economic forces by the
State so that justice in its rational and objectively secular
conception may at least be approximated. Social justice
means promoting the welfare of all the people, the
adoption by the government of all the component
elements of society through the maintenance of a proper
economic and social equilibrium in the intrrelations of the
members of the community, constitutionally, through its
adoption of measures legally justifiable, or extraconstitutionally, through the exercise of powers
underlying the existence of all governments on the time-

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ii.

iii.

19

honored principle of salus populi est supreme lex


(Calalang VS Williams).
Purpose of the provision: To alleviate the plight of these
forgotten men, to give those with less privileges in life
more privileges in law. This was contemplated in the
case of Ondoy VS Ignacio19, where the Supreme Court
in granting the petition for compensation for the death of
Ondoy stated that As between a laborer, usually poor
and unlettered and the employer, who has resources to
secure able legal advice, the law has reason to demand
from the latter stricter compliance. Social justice in this
case is not equality BUT PROTECTION.
However social justice cannot be invoked to trample
rights of property owners nor can it nullify a law on
obligations and contracts. This was ruling in the case of
Salonga VS Farrales. In the said case, respondent is the
owner of a parcel of residential land in Olongapo City.
Before respondent purchased the land, Salonga already
in possession as lessee of a part of the land, on which
she had already erected a house. Because the petitioner
and other lessees are not paying their respective rental
fees, Farrales filed an ejectment case against Salonga
and other lessees. Decision was subsequently rendered
in favor of farrales. Meanwhile, Farrales sold to the other
lessees the parcels of land on which they respectively
occupy so that when the decision was affirmed and
executed on appeal, the ejectment w=case was then
only against Salonga. Salonga painstakingly offered to
purchase said lot from Farrales, but the latter refused.
He then went to the court praying that Farrales be
compelled to sell to him the land in dispute, but it was
dismissed. Ruling on the issue if whether or not social
justice is applicable in this case, the court held that social
justice not applicable in this case because social justice
cannot be invoked to trample rights of property owners

nor can it nullify a law on obligations and contracts. Ths


social justice consecrated in our constitution was not
intended to take away rights from a person and give
them to another who is not entitled thereto.
7. Rearing of the youth
i. Article 12 provides that:
a. State recognizes the sanctity of family life
b. It shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic
autonomous social institution.
c. Equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the
unborn from conception.
i. Policy against abortion
ii. This however, must be equated with the equal
protection due the mother.
d. Parents have natural and primary right and duty to rear
the youth for civil efficiency and the development of
moral character.
e. In doing the foregoing, parents shall receive the aid
and support of the government.
i. State cannot unreasonably interfere with the
exercise by parents of their natural right and
duty to rear their children. BUT there are times
when it can regulate the same under the police
power.
1. Ex: State is in a position to assist the
parent in the proper upbringing of the
child through the enforcement of
educational policies looking to the
attainment of the stated objectives.
2. 2 American Cases: Meyer VS Nebraska
and Pierce VS Society of Sisters:
a. In Meyer VS Nebraska, Supreme
Court held that it is incompetent for
the government to prohibit the
teaching of the German language

Check ATD for digest.

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to students between certain age


levels.
b. In Pierce VS Society of Sisters, a
law prohibiting the establishment
of private schools and in effect
confining the education of the
youth to public institutions of
learning was likewise annulled
because it would standardize the
thinking of the children, who
according to the court, were not
mere creatures of the state.
ii. Article 13 provides that:
1. State shall promote and protect their
physical, moral, spiritual, and social wellbeing.
2. State shall inculcate in the youth
patriotism
and
nationalism,
and
encourage their involvement in public and
civil affairs.

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