Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 3

Consti Doctrines and Maxims

Verba legis whenever possible, the words used in the Constitution must be given their ordinary
meaning except where technical terms are employed.
Ratio legis et anima where there is ambiguity, the words of the Constitution should be interpreted in
accordance with the intent of the framers.
Ut magis valeat quam pereat the Constitution has to be interpreted as a whole.
Doctrine of Proper Submission
Plebiscite may be held on the same day as regular election (Gonzales v. COMELEC, G.R. No. L28196,
Nov. 9, 1967), provided the people are sufficiently informed of the amendments to be voted upon, to
conscientiously deliberate thereon, to express their will in a genuine manner. Submission of piecemeal
amendments is unconstitutional. All amendments must be submitted for ratification at one plebiscite
only. The people have to be given a proper frame of reference in arriving at their decision. (Tolentino v.
COMELEC, G.R. No. L34150, Oct. 16, 1971)
Archipelagic Doctrine
It is defined as all waters, around between and connecting different islands belonging to the Philippine
Archipelago, irrespective of their width or dimension, are necessary appurtenances of its land territory,
forming an integral part of the national or inland waters, subject to the exclusive sovereignty of the

What does it Emphasize?

It emphasizes the unity of the land and waters by defining an archipelago as group of islands
surrounded by waters or a body of waters studded with islands.

Main Purpose?

The main purpose of the archipelagic doctrine is to protect the territorial interests of an archipelago, that is,
to protect the territorial integrity of the archipelago. Without it, there would be pockets of high seas
between some of our islands and islets, thus foreign vessels would be able to pass through these pockets of
seas and would have no jurisdiction over them. Accordingly, if we follow the old rule of international law, it
is possible that between islands, e.g. Bohol and Siquijor, due to the more than 24 mile distance between the
2 islands, there may be high seas. Thus, foreign vessels may just enter anytime at will, posing danger to the
security of the State. However, applying the doctrine, even these bodies of water within the baseline,
regardless of breadth, form part of the archipelago and are thus considered as internal waters.
Doctrine of State Immunity or Non Suability of the State

Under this doctrine, the State cannot be sued without its consent

Basis of the doctrine of State immunity

It reflects nothing less than recognition of the sovereign character of the State and an express
affirmation of the unwritten rule effectively insulating it from the jurisdiction of courts. It is based on
the very essence of sovereignty. (Department of Agriculture v. NLRC, G.R. No. 104269, November 11,
Principle of par in parem non habet imperium
In public international law, the principle that one sovereign power cannot exercise jurisdiction over
another sovereign power. It is the basis of the act of state doctrine and sovereign immunity.
Doctrine of Incorporation
It means that the rules of International law form part of the law of the land and no legislative action is
required to make them applicable in a country. By this doctrine, the Philippines is bound by generally
accepted principles of international law, which are considered to be automatically part of our own laws.
(Taada v. Angara, G.R. No. 118295, May 2, 1997)
Doctrine of Autolimitation
It is the doctrine where the Philippines adhere to principles of international law as a limitation to the
exercise of its sovereignty.
Note: The fact that the international law has been made part of the law of the land does not by any means
imply the primacy of international law over national law in the municipal sphere. (Philip Morris, Inc. v. CA,
G.R. No. 91332, July 16, 1993)

Principle of Civilian Supremacy

The civilian authority is, at all times, supreme over the military.

Civilian supremacy ensured?

By the installation of the President, the highest civilian authority, as the commanderinchief of
all the armed forces of the Philippines. (Sec. 18, Art. VII, 1987 Constitution)
Through the requirement that members of the AFP swear to uphold and defend the
Constitution, which is the fundamental law of civil government. (Sec. 5[1], Art. XVI, 1987

Doctrine of Separation of Powers

In essence, separation of powers means the legislation belongs to Congress, execution to the
executive, settlement of legal controversies to the judiciary. Each is therefore prevented from invading
the domain of the others.


To prevent the concentration of authority in one person or group of persons that might lead to
irreparable error or abuse in its exercise to the detriment of republican institutions. The purpose was
not to avoid friction, but, by means of the inevitable friction incident to the distribution of
governmental powers among the three departments, to save the people from autocracy.
1. To secure action
2. To forestall overaction
3. To prevent despotism
4. To obtain efficiency
Principle of Blending of Powers
It is an instance when powers are not confined exclusively within one department but are assigned to
or shared by several departments.
Principle of Checks and Balances
It allows one department to resist encroachments upon its prerogatives or to rectify mistakes or
excesses committed by the other departments.
Gerrymandering is the formation of one legislative district out of separate territories for the purpose of
favoring a candidate or a party. It is not allowed because the Constitution provides that each district
shall comprise, as far as practicable, contiguous, compact and adjacent territory (Bernas, Reviewer in
Philippine Constitution, p. 186)
Doctrine of Necessary Implication
the grant of express power carried with it all other powers that may be reasonably inferred from it.

Doctrine of Shifting Majority

For each House of Congress to pass a bill, only the votes of the majority of those present in the
session, there being a quorum, is required.
Note: The basis for determining the existence of a quorum in the Senate shall be the total number of
Senators who are within the coercive jurisdiction of the Senate (Avelino v. Cuenco, G.R. No. L2821, Mar. 4,

One billone subject rule

Every bill passed by the Congress shall embrace only one subject. The subject shall be expressed in
the title of the bill. This rule is mandatory.
Note: The purpose of such rule is (1) to prevent hodgepodge or logrolling legislation, (2) to prevent surprise
or fraud upon the legislature, and to fairly appraise the people. (Central Capiz v. Ramirez, G.R. No. 16197,
March 12, 1920).
Doctrine of Augmentation
A prohibition against transfer of appropriations (see sec. 25, Art. VI Constitution). However, the President;
Senate President; Speaker of the House; Chief Justice; and Heads of Constitutional Commissions may, by law,
be authorized to augment any item in the general appropriations law for their respective offices from savings
in other items of their respective appropriations.

Doctrine of inappropriate provisions

a provision that is constitutionally inappropriate for an appropriation bill may be singled out for veto
even if it is not an appropriation or revenue item. (Gonzales v. Macaraig, Jr., G.R. No. 87636, Nov. 19,
Executive Impoundment

Refusal of the President to spend funds already allocated by Congress for specific purpose. It is the
failure to spend or obligate budget authority of any type. (Philconsa v. Enriquez, G.R. No. 113105, Aug.
19, 1994)
Doctrine of qualified political agency or alter ego principle
It means that the acts of the secretaries of the Executive departments performed and promulgated in
the regular course of business are presumptively the acts of the Chief Executive. (Villena v. Secretary
of the Interior, G.R. No. L46570, April 21, 1939)

1. If the acts are disapproved or reprobated by the President;
2. If the President is required to act in person by law or by the Constitution.


Reason of Alter Ego Doctrine

Since the President is a busy man, he is not expected to exercise the totality of his power
of control all the time. He is not expected to exercise all his powers in person. He is
expected to delegate some of them to men of his confidence, particularly to members of
his Cabinet.

Note: In the case of Abakada Guro v. Executive Secretary, G.R. No. 168056, Sept. 1, 2005, the SC held that
the Secretary of Finance can act as an agent of the Legislative Dept. to determine and declare the event
upon which its expressed will is to take effect. Thus, being the agent of Congress and not of the President,
the latter cannot alter, or modify or nullify, or set aside the findings of the Secretary of Finance and to
substitute the judgment of the former for that of the latter.