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Chapter I: Overview of the Philippine Political “The Republic of the Philippines is a state since
System it has all the elements of the state.”—People,
Government, Territory, and Sovereignty
- The Philippines is a Democratic and
Constitution—Written instrument
Republican state
enacted by direct action of the people by
o Individual sovereignty
the people by which the fundamental
collectively is the nationality
powers of the government are
established, limited and defined; Where
o Democracy= Individual
powers are distributed among several
departments for their safe and useful
o Republican= Representation and
1. Establishes and defies the power of the 3
branches of government
2. Establishes the broad powers and relation C. THE NATIONAL TERRITORY
between federal & state government - The Philippine Archipelago and other
3. Defined the rights of the members of territories the country has sovereignty
society and jurisdiction
o Philippine laws apply only
Malolos Consti 1935 Consti 1973 Consti
within the Philippine national
- The 1943 Constitution was declared null territory
and void after commonwealth o Embassies are extension of the
- 1986 is provisional Philippine national territory

“The Constitution is the supreme law of the Application of Criminal Law in the Philippine
land”—The basic and paramount law to which all Territory
laws must conform to
1. Offense on Philippine ship/airship
Hierarchy of Laws 2. Forge/counterfeit any currency of the
Philippine Islands or Obligations and
- Philippine Constitution: First created by Securities
the sovereign people 3. Liable for acts connected with the
- Statutes: Created by Congress introductions of #2
- Implementing Rules and Regulations: 4. Public officers/employees who commit
Written by agencies an offense in the exercise of their
- When the court declared a law to be governmental functions
unconstitutional, the former shall be void 5. Crimes against national security and Law
and unconstitutional of Nations
- The court will avoid as much as possible
the decision of constitutional question Application of Civil Law in the National
due to the Doctrine of Separation of Territory
- Laws relating to family, rights, and duties
- Orthodox View: An unconstitutional law
are binding upon the citizen, where ever
is not a law
they may go
- Modern View: The court refuses to
recognize the rights of the parties
- Lex Rei Sitae: The law is where the Japanese Occupation
property is situated (Art 16, Civil Code)
- May 1942: US forces surrender to the
o Interstate and Testamentary
Japanese (Greater East Asia)
successions shall be regulated by
- October 1944: Gen. Douglan McArthur
the national law of the deceased
- Lex Loci Celebrationis: The law of the
- September 1945: Japanese Surrendered
place where the solemnity is celebrated
- July 4, 1946: Independence inaccordance
- Prohibitive laws shall not be rendered
to the Tydings-McDuffie Act
ineffective by laws or judgments
promulgates agreed upon in a foreign Post-Independence
country (Art 17(2), Civil Code
- 1945-53: Hulk Rebellion
- 1972: Martial Law (PD 1051) because of
growing lawlessness and open rebellion
- 1983: Assassination of Ninoy Aquino
- Legislative, Executive, Judiciary
which sparked the rebellion
- Fundamental Powers of the State—
- February 1986: Snap Elections
Police Power, Power of eminent domain,
Power of Taxation
- Doctrine of Separation of Powers:
Prevents a concentration of authority in F. EXECUTIVE BRANCH
just one branch - President, Head of state and government
- Legislative: Propose, Amend, Enact, and - Office of the President, Office of the
Repeal laws Vice-President, DAR, DA, DLR, DBM,
- Executive: Enforce laws, Appoint, DepEd, DOE, DENR, DOF, DFA, DILG,
remove, control military, pardon DOH, DOLE, DND, NEDA, Office of
- Judiciary: Settle controversies, Apply the Press Secretary, DPWH, DOST,
and Interpret laws; Vested with judicial DSWD, DOT, DTI, DOTr
autonomy and independence


- Pre-Spanish: Negritos 30,000 years ago
- 16th Century = Spain (377 years)
- Ferdinand Magellan (1521)
- Emilio Aguinaldo uprising (1896)
- America defeated Spain in Manila Bay
(May 1, 1898)
American Period
- December 10, 1898: Treaty of Paris
- 1899-1902: Philippine Insurrection
- 1901: Aguinaldo was captured and
forced to swore allegiance
- July 4, 1902: American independence
- 1935: Commonwealth, under Quezon;
Tydings-McDuffie Act
Chapter II: Philippine Legislative System o All laws passed during the
Japanese occupation were
invalidated (October 23, 1944)
- Commonwealth Congress (1945-1946)
- Governor-General: Promulgate
- Congress of the Philippines (1946-1972)
executive decrees (President)
- Martial Law: Batasang Bayan (1972-
- Royal Audencia: Passed laws in the form
of auto accordados (Supreme Court)
- Batasang Pambansa (1978-1986):
- Crown of Spain: Councils
Advisory body to the President
- Provision Republic (1986-1987)
o Under Cory Aquino
B. LEGISLATIVE PERIODS OF THE o Interregnum Period: Adoption of
PHILIPPINES the freedom constitution (March
Malolos Congress (1898-1899)—Assembly of 24, 1986)
Representatives - Congress of the Philippines: Restored
presidential system
- Malolos Constitution: First important o 24 Senators, 250 Representatives
Filipino document o Republic Acts
o 101 articles; September 18,
1898-Novermebr 13, 1899
o Pedro Paterno: President of the C. STATUTES ENACTED BY THE
Philippine Commission (1900-1907)—American 1. Acts (Public Acts): Philippine
appointees Commission & Philippine Legislature
- Schurman Commission: First Filipino 2. Commonwealth Acts: National
Commission; Under William McKinley Assemblies (1935-1941) &
- Taft Commission: Second Filipino Commonwealth Congress (1944-1946)
Commission 3. Republic Acts: Congress of the
o March 16, 1900 Philippines (1946-1972; 1987-present)
o Philippine Organic Law (July 4. Batas Pambansa: Interim Batasang
1902): Formation of lower house Pambansa (1978-1984) & Regular
o July 1907: First election Batasang Pambansa (1978-1984)
- Philippine Assembly (October 16, 1907) 5. Presidential Decree: Martial Law
o Manila Grand Opera House 6. Executive Orders (Under Cory
o Partido Naciolasita (Osmeña) v. Aquino)—President exercise both
Partido Nacional Progresista executive and legislative powers
o Jones Law (October 16, 1916):
Senate and House of
Representatives D. LAWS ARE REPEALED BY
Philippine Legislative became bicameral (1916- SUBSEQUENT ONES
- National Assembly (1935-1946) - Political Law—Branch of public law
- Second National Assembly (1939-1941) which deals with the organization of the
o Commonwealth Acts governmental organs of the state, and
defines the relations of the state with the 11. Action of Approved Bill—Published on
inhabitants of its territory Official Gazette
- A change in sovereignty would have no a. 15 Days after publication=
effect in civil laws Effectivity
b. Essence of publication is due
F. HOW A BILL BECOMES A LAW - If bill is urgent, congress may do the 3
readings in one day
- Sponsor is the one who filed it
1. Preparation of bill from either house
2. First reading—Bill number & Title at the
Session hall
3. Committee Action: Amendments, Public
hearings, Persons affected by the
proposed law
4. Second Reading—Bill number, Title,
and Text of Bill; Author/Sponsor may be
a. Period of Sponsorship and
b. Period of Amendment
c. Voting by: Viva Voce, Count,
Division of house, Nominal
5. Third Reading—Amendments and
engrossed and Physical copies are printed
a. Title & Bill number
b. Roll call/Nominal Voting
o A member may explain his vote
within 3 minutes
6. Transmittal of approved bill to the other
7. Senate/House action on Approved bill
8. Conference committee—Reconcile
differences and add amendments
9. Transmittal of bill to the president:
Signed by the Senate President and
House Speaker
10. Presidential Action on the Bill
a. Approve bill
b. Veto (Bill will go back to where
it originated
c. Naturally becomes a law within
30 days
d. Congress may override a veto by
2/3 vote by all members
Chapter III: Overview of the Philippine C. LEVEL OF COURTS
Judicial System - Municipal Trial Courts (436): 1
- Municipal Circuit Trial Court (482): 2
- Royal Audiencia: Highest tribunal
established (Spanish period)
o Metropolitan Trial Court
- Audencia Territorial de Manila: Civil &
(MetroTC): 82 MetroTCs & 124
Criminal cases
- Act 136 of the Second Philippine
- Regional Trial Court (720): Divided into
Congress (Judiciary Law)
13 regions
- June 11, 1901: Birth of Supreme Court
- Shari’a Courts: Muslim law; Muslim
code on personal law is enforced
o 5 Shari’a District Court; 52
- 4 Levels of National Court system— - Court of Taxt Appeals: Review by appeal
Local and RTC, Court of Appeals, and the decisions of the commissioner of the
15-member supreme court BIR and Commission of Cutoms
- Sandiganbayan: Graft Court; Anti-Graft
and Corruption practices Act;
Unexplained Wealth Act
- Court of Appeals: Appeals decisions of
the RTC
- Supreme Court: Highest Court of the
land; Chief Justice and 14 Associates
o Cases filed with SC must be
resolved within 24 months;
Lower collegiate courts: 12
Months; Lower courts: 3 months

- Sandiganbayan—Hears criminal cases - Jurisdiction—Power and authority of the
against senior officials court to hear, try and decide a case; Right
- Court—Organ of the government whose to act in a case
function is the application of laws to - Territorial Jurisdiction—Power in
controversies brought before it relation to his territory; Every act of
- Supreme Court—Court of last resort, jurisdiction exercised by a judge without
heads the judicial branch his territory is null
o The Bench—Seat of judges
o The Bar—Arregate of lawyers Classification of Jurisdiction
o Jurisprudence—Philosophy of 1. General Jurisdiction: Power to
Law adjudicate all controversies except those
o Judge—Presiding officers of the expressly withheld by law
lower courts Limited or Specific: Restricted power to
o Judicial officers of the higher adjudicate a particular case
courts 2. Original Jurisdiction: Given to courts to
- Department of Justice—Under executive take cognizance of cases (Where the case
branch originates)
Appellate Jurisdiction: A superior court H. JURISDICTION OF SADINGBAYAN
has to bear appeals of causes which have - Exclusive Original Jurisdiction
been tried - Exclusive Appellate Jurisdiction:
3. Exclusive Jurisdiction: Alone has the Exercises exclusive appellate jurisdiction
power to try and determine the suit, over appeals from final judgements,
action or matter in dispute resolutions or orders of regional trial
Concurrent Jurisdiction: May be courts
entertained by several courts
4. Civil Jurisdiction: Subject-matter is not I. JURISDICTION OF COURT OF TAX
of criminal nature APPEALS
Criminal: Court is to punish crime - Exclusive appellate jurisdiction to review
E. JURISDICTION OF SUPREME COURT by appeal Decisions of the Collector of
- Has the power to “review, revise, reverse, Internal Revenue, Decisions of the
modify or affirm on appeal or certiorari Commissioner of Customs, Decisions of
as the law or Rules of the Court may provincial or city Boards of Assessment
provide.” Appeals (RA 1125)


- En Banc— “In the Bench”; A session - Exclusive Original Jurisdiction over
where the entire membership of the Civil and Criminal cases
supreme court will participate in the - Appellate Jurisdiction over all cases
decision decided by the MTC
- En Bacn cases—Constitutionality or
validity is questioned; Criminal cases K. JURISDICTION OF THE MUNICIPAL
imposing death penalty; Raises novel TRIAL COURT
questions of law; Cases affecting public - Exclusive original jurisdiction on civil
ministers; Concerning decisions, action and probate hearings where the
resolutions, or orders of civil service demand does not exceed P100,000;
commission, COMELEC, or COA; Criminal cases over violations of city or
Penalty to be imposed is dismissal of municipal ordinances, offenses
Judge; Disbarment; Doctrine or Principle punishable with imprisonment not
may be modified exceeding 6 years
- Direct filing of the present petition with - Delegation Jurisdiction over cases land
the Court En Bacn by itself constitutes registration cases where there is no
forum-shopping controversy or where the value of land
- Forum Shopping: Filing of repetitious doesn’t exceed P100,000
suits in different courts - Preliminary Investigation


- Shall exercise its adjudicatory powers - Exclusive Original Jurisdiction;
and functions through its 17 divisions. It Appellate Jurisdiction
sits En Banc for the exercise of
administrative, ceremonial, and non-
adjudicatory junctions
- Concurrent jurisdiction with Supreme
Court, Regional Trial Court
Chapter IV: Introduction Laws B. PHILOSOPHY OF LAW
A. LAWS AND KINDS OF LAWS According to Aquinas:
Law—Rule of conduct or action prescribed or 1. Eternal Law: Laws of the universe
formally recognized as a binding or enforced by 2. Divine Law: Revealed word of God
a controlling authority; Body of rule of action or 3. Natural Law: Eternal Law as it applies to
conduct prescribed by controlling authority, and us, which we know by reason
having legal force 4. Human Law: Created by us, for the
purpose of carrying out natural law
- Generic sense: Whole body or system of
- “Law is nothing else than an ordinance of
reason for the common good,
- Concrete sense: A rule of conduct
promulgated by him who has the care of
formulated and made obligatory by
the community”
legitimate power of the state
o Ordinance of Reason: Law must
- Statutory/Enacted Law—Passed by
have an end goal
legislative branch.
o For the Common good: The end
o Statutes: Enacted by Philippine
or goal of law is the common
- Case Law—Decisions of the supreme
o Promulgated: The law must be
court, the courts and judicial bodies;
made known to them
Result of the as Common Law system
o Power to coerce others: To prove
o Common Law: Body of rules
an efficacious inducement to
created through judicial
decisions; Past decisions guide
- Theories of Law: Classical Natural Law;
the determination of current
Internal Morality of Law; Classical Legal
o Doctrine of Stare Decisis “Let
the decision stand”
- Administrative Law—Executive orders
- Legislative Department
issued by the President; Based on
o Statutes: Laws enacted by
statutory authority
Congress; Declare rights and
Purpose of Law: To establish standards that allow duties or commands or prohibit
individuals to interact with the greatest efficiency certain conduct
and the least amount of conflict o Ordinance: Passed by a local
1. Keep the peace - Judiciary Department
2. Shape moral standards o Case Law: Creation and
3. Promote social justice refinement of law in the course
4. Maintain the status quo of judicial decisions; Also
5. Facilitate orderly change referred to as Jurisprudence
6. Facilitate planning - Executive Department—Given delegated
7. Provide a basis for compromise legislative power
8. Maximize individual freedom o Implementing Rules and
Sources of Law: Constitution, statutes, Acts of Regulations
Congress, Municipal Ordinances, Implementing o Administrative Law
Rules and Regulations, Judicial decisions 1. Treaties are a source of Law
2. The president can issue G. PHILIPPINE CIVIL LAW TRADITION
executive orders to regulate WITH A COMMON LAW TOUCH
and direct national agencies - Philippines remained to be a civil law
and officials country because of the influence of spain.
3. Exerts influence through However, the political law systems were
IRRs changes by the Americans who
4. LGUs pass municipal introduced the concept of Common Law
ordinances which are also - Art 8, New Civil Code
considered as laws - Courts can declare statues and
regulations unconstitutional if they
D. PRECEDENCE AND HIERARCHY OF exceed constitutional authority or if they
PHILIPPINE LAW conflict with constitutional provisions
- The Philippine Legal System is basically
- 1987 Constitution, Statutes, IRRs, - Private Law: governs the relationships
Judicial Decisions among individual citizens; Private sphere
o Civil Law: governs relationships
E. CIVIL LAW SYSTEM OR TRADITION between individual citizens
- Civil Law System: Legal system that has - Public Law: governs relationship
drawn its inspiration largely from the between the state and the people
Roman law heritage o Criminal Law: governs the
o Jus civile (“civil law”) issues that arise between parties
o Emperor Justinian I over private rights
commissioned a code of laws I. SUBSTANTIVE LAW VS. PROCEDURAL
known as the Corpus Juris LAW
Civilis (Body of Civil Law) - Substantive Law: Law that creates and
o The rise of nationalism resolves the issue between the parties;
Creates, defines, and regulates rights;
F. COMMON LAW SYSTEM OR The body, essence, and substance that
TRADITION guides the conduct of the citizens;
- Common Law: Body of law that Encompasses principle of right and
developed and derives through judicial wrong
decision as distinguished from legislative - Procedural Law: A Method of enforcing
enactment rights or obtaining redress for the
- The emergence of Common Law invasion of rights
represents the imposition of such a o To facilitate the movement of a
unitary system under the auspices and lawsuit through the legal system;
control of centralized power in the form To ensure that the party will be
of a sovereign king; It represented the afforded fair and impartial
assertion and affirmation of that central treatment
sovereign power - Types of Procedural Law: Rules of Civil
o Precedent: Earlier court decision Procedure; Rules of Criminal Procedure;
o Stare Decisis: A court must Rules of Evidence
follow a previous decision of a
higher court in the jurisdiction
Chapter V: Basic Remedial Laws D. ACTIONS
- Actions—An ordinary suit in a court of
justice, by which one party prosecutes
- Jurisdiction—The power to and authority
another for the enforcement or protection
of the court to hear, try, and decide a
of a right
case; A power constitutionally conferred
upon a judge or magistrate, to take Classification of Actions
cognizance of and decide causes
1. Real Actions: Those brought for the
according to law
protection of real rights (property)
- Venue—The place where the case is to be
2. Personal Actions: Those brought for the
heard or tried
specific recovery of goods and chattels;
Jurisdiction Venue Arises from breach of contracts
The authority to hear and The place or the court 3. Mixed Actions: to both the former
determine a case where the case is to be tried
and heard classes; For the specific recovery of
Matter of Substantive Law Matter of Procedural Law lands, tenements, and for damages for
Established a relation Established a relation injury sustained in respect of such
between the court and the between plaintiff and
subject matter defendant, or petitioner property
and respondent 4. In Rem Action: Directed against the
Fixed by law, cannot be May be conferred by the thing itself
conferred by parties act or agreement of the
5. In Personam Actions: Directed at a
particular person on the basis of his
liability to establish a claim against him
- Jurisdiction over the plaintiff or 6. Quasi In Rem Action: Directed to a
petitioner is acquired by the filing of the particular person, but the purpose is to
complaint, petition or initiatory pleasing bar and bid not only said person but any
before the court other person who claims any interest in
- Jurisdiction over the defendant or the property
respondent is acquired by the voluntary 7. Transitory Action: The venue of which
appearance depends generally upon the residence of
the parties
B. BASIC DOKET FEE IS JURISDICTIONAL 8. Local Actions: Required by the Rules of
- Proper docket fees have to be paid before Court to be instituted in a particular place
the court will attain jurisdiction; in the absence of an agreement to the
Jurisdiction cannot be attained without contrary
payment 9. Civil Actions: Enforcement or protection
COURTS 10. Criminal Actions: The state prosecutes
- The Supreme Court is not a trier of facts person for an act or omission punishable
- The principle of hierarchy of courts by law
generally applies to cases involving 11. Special Proceedings: A remedy by which
factual questions a party seeks to establish a status, a right,
- The lower courts are the proper forum to or a particular fact
resolve such issues 12. Commencement of Action: A civil action
- One cannot directly go the supreme court is commenced by the filing of the original
complaint in Court
- Cause of Action—The act or omission by - Real Actions: The proper court who has
which a party violates a right of another jurisdiction over the area where the
o The Plaintiff’s primary right and property is situated
the defendant’s corresponding - Personal Actions: Where the plaintiff
primary duty resides
o The delict or wrongful act or
omission of the defendant, by H. KINDS OF PLEADINGS
which the primary right and duty - Pleadings—The written statements of the
have been violated respective claims and defenses of the
- Right of Action—A remedial right parties submitted to court
belonging to some persons; Matter of - Complaint—Pleading alleging the
right plaintiff’s cause or cause of action
- Res Judicata—What has been decided - Answer—The defending party sets forth
upon cannot be reiterated again his defense
- Defenses—May either be negative
F. PARTIES TO CIVIL ACTIONS (Denial) or affirmative (Allegation of a
new matter; Hypothetically admitting the
Classification of Parties
material allegations)
1. Real Party Interest: The party who stands - Counterclaim—Claim a defending party
to be benefited or injured by the may have against an opposing party
judgement in the suit - Compulsory Counterclaim—Arises out
2. Indispensable Party: A person without of or is connected with the transaction
whom no final determination can be had - Cross-claims—Any claim by one party
of an action against a co-party
3. Proper Party: Not indispensable but who - Counter-counterclaims—asserted
ought or be joined as a party if complete against original counter claim
relief is to be sought - Reply—To deny or allege facts in denial
4. Pro Forma Party: A husband or wife or avoidance of new matters alleged by
required to be joined in suits way of defense in the answer
5. Quasi-Parties: Those in whose behalf a - Third Party Complaint—A defending
class, or representative suit is brought party may file against a person not a party
6. Representatives as Parties: A to action, called third
representative acting in fiduciary - Bringing new parties—Presence of
capacity parties is required for the granting of
7. Indigent Party: A party may be complete relief
authorized to litigate his action
8. Class Suits: When the subject matter of I. PARTS OF PLEADINGS
the controversy is one of common or 1. Caption
general interest to many persons so 2. The Body—Paragraphs, Headings,
numerous that it is impracticable to join Relief, Date
all as parties 3. Signature and Address (An unsigned
o Controversy: When two parties pleading procedure has no legal effect)
disagree 4. Verification (Thru Affidavit)
5. Certification against Forum-shopping