The second chapter dealt on the entirety of the state which is considered to be a very important concept in the field of political science as it is branded as the basic unit of the international community and the ultimate expression of political activity among men. The third chapter was aimed at discovering the historical roots and progression of Philippine government in order to understand the complexities and changes within the bounds of local governance. This chapter will be dedicated to the discussion of the fundamentals of the so called “fundamental law of the land” which is the guiding light of the affairs of both state and government.
In addition, this will e an opening salvo to the critical study of the document as we enter the portals leading to the first two fragments of the 1987 Philippine Constitution the Preamble and the National Territory. Creating an Equilibrium Before we delve deeper into the concept of the organic law, let us first turn our attentions to the specific field of political law that is germane to the study of the constitution itself constitutional Law.
Constitutional Law is the study of the maintenance of the proper balance between authority as represented by the three Inherent powers of the State and liberty as guaranteed by the Bill of Relights. L Genuine liberty entails exercising It without causing any harm or Interception on the freedom of others. This Is the Ideal arrangement since by practice, people unavoidably uses liberty beyond normal control.
Hence, the state has been endowed from Its birth with the three Inherent powers namely police power, eminent domain, and taxation in order to regulate the usage of individual rights. But this does not mean that the state always has the authority to intrude on an individual’s freedom because in the context of Constitutional Law, what is being advanced is not primacy of one of the two factions but the promotion of the “co-existence” Constitution Defined Cooley describes it as the “body of rules and maxims in accordance with which the powers of sovereignty are habitually exercised. It also refers to “a written instrument by which the fundamental powers of the government are established, limited, 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. ” The first definition is much more extensive compared to the second one nice it covers even the unwritten constitutions like customs and traditions.
Furthermore, Cooley’s definition relates on the founding principles reflecting the aspirations of the sovereign while Miller’s include in its scope the structuring of the government wherein the several powers are distributed for the promotion of the common good. In layman’s terms, it is simply defined as the organic or supreme law of the state. Constitution vs.. Statute Constitution and statute are two terms belonging to the same world of legalities but differ in their scope and intrinsic meaning.
- The disparity is demonstrated in the allowing instances:
- The former elaborates on general items such as policies and principles while the latter deals on more specific topics. Statutes always follow the basic rule of legislation known as “singularity of subject. “
- In addition, in the context of being “open to change,” the constitution (for the cases of the written, enacted and rigid) cannot be easily amended while statute is more open to change and can even be repealed easily with regards to its constitutionality.
- The constitution is the product of the people’s integral sovereign power in society while statute is a result of he process of legislation or law-making as practiced by the legislature.
Lastly, in most cases, there is only one constitution in operation but there can be several statutes that would be enforced within the bounds of the state.
The purpose of the constitution is “to prescribe the permanent framework of a system of government, to assign to the several departments their respective powers and duties, and to establish certain first principles on which the government is founded. Dissecting this statement originating from American Jurisprudence, three government administering the state; Next is the apportionment of the different governmental powers to the branch or department that must exercise it so as to avoid concentration of powers; and finally, to provide for the guiding principles which aid the daily affairs of the entire governmental order. Supremacy without a Doubt The constitution is the supreme law of the land.
Neither legislation nor even the highest government official exercising immense powers inside the state can question the ultimate position occupied by the organic law in the hierarchy of the political system. The legislature can make laws but such laws are limited because they must inform to the tenets and principles anchored on the constitution. In fact, the judiciary checks both legislative and executive departments by interpreting their actions as “constitutional” or “unconstitutional. ” The people, its creator, in the exercise of sovereign power may not disregard the constitutions as well.
But it must be remembered that they can institute changes if ever it is proven that the constitution does not serve or address the needs of the current situation. The supremacy scenario can also be observed in the landscape of the international community due to the fact that in cases of conflict between international law and municipal (local) law, the latter usually prevails based on the principle of par in paper non habit emporium. But there are exceptional cases wherein constitutional inferiority is demonstrated in upholding the general interests of the people. Variety Exists Constitutions around the globe are not exempted to the phenomenon dubbed as “variety. ” Gradations exist and these are categorized into three major segments: There are two kinds of constitution according to form namely written and unwritten. The differentiation does not rest on the aspect of being “written” or not because mom examples of the unwritten constitution are in fact written documents. The major distinction is based on the “organization” of the scattered pieces into one, single collection.
The written constitution is usually the organized one while the unwritten “consists of rules which have not been integrated into a single, concrete from but are scattered in various sources. ” The 1987 Philippine Constitution is a written one while the English Constitution is an unwritten type. The next one is constitution according to origin which also has two types: enacted (conventional) and evolved (cumulative). Enacted is a result of a thorough document construction normally done through a constitutional convention and is normally instituted at a definite time and place.
On the other hand, evolved is a product of continuous process of accretion or adding up as it operates from one generation to another. The present Philippine Constitution is enacted while customs and traditions would be the best example for an evolved constitution. According to manner of amendment is the last category that comprises both flexible and rigid constitutions. Flexible constitutions are characterized by flexibility which implies that it can be changed by he sense that it can only be amended by a specific body and the procedure itself is quite complex and difficult.
The 1987 Philippine Constitution is rigid while the constitution of the Scandinavian state of Sweden is considered as flexible. Written Constitution: Essential Qualities Since the 1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines is a written one, it is more sensible to tackle the essential qualities of a constitution in the lexicon of the written type. Broadness refers the extensiveness of the constitution in terms of its scope and reach. Furthermore, broadness relates to the fact that the constitution “is opposed to embody the past, reflect the present and to anticipate the future. Accordingly, it must have the capability to provide answers or solutions for every contingency. Brevity implies that a good written constitution must stick to the basics. It is limited in the sense that it should not be a venue for staging the details which must be addressed and expressed by reinforcing legislation. Thus, the nature of the document is to prevent the situation wherein it becomes too “chatty’ or wordy. A written constitution must also be definite. This quality relates to the condition hat its provisions must be construed in a clear manner to avoid vagueness in the interpretation.
Such ambiguity may lead to “confusion and divisiveness among the people, and perhaps even physical conflict. “8 Written Constitution: Essential Parts Almost all texts dealing on the topics of constitution, law and Political Science are in agreement that there are three essential parts of a good written constitution. These are the following: The constitution of liberty which is symbolized by the presence of a Bill of Rights, elaborates the citizens’ civil and political rights as well as the imitation imposed on the side of the government in the regulation of the same.
It is found in Article Ill (Bill of Rights) of our constitution. Reflected in Article VI (Legislative), VII (Executive), VIII Adjudicatory), and IX (Local Government) is the second essential part known as the constitution of government whose main feature is the outlining of the governmental structure and the respective powers that they must utilize in the conduct of administration. The provisions relating to the procedures on how to institute changes in the constitution is referred to as the constitution of sovereignty. Article XVII (Amendments or Revisions) is an exemplary of this part.
Beginnings of the 1987 Philippine Constitution September 21, 1972 is the dreaded day of the proclamation of Martial Law courtesy of one of the most infamous head of state in the Philippines?Ferdinand Adrenalin Marco’s. Such declaration was fueled by the various political upheavals in the Philippine political scene at that time including insurgency movements of militant groups and the fear of a communist seizure of the duly constituted government. The Martial Law lasted for about 8 years and was only lifted in 1981. The growing year 1983; Seen. Benign “Ninny’ Aquinas, Jar. Turned from his exile in the United States and was assassinated at the Manila International Airport. Three years after such heart-breaking murder, Marco’s called for a special snap election which was centered between him and the widow of Ninny?Carbon “Core’ Aquinas. Massive cheating and electoral fraud characterized the election process in which the final tally of votes expressed the victory of the administration. Yet, even though triumph was at hand, the snap election was one of the major reasons that catapulted the People Power Revolution of 1986.
The withdrawal of the military support for the overspent through the acts of high military officials Fidel V. Ramose and Juan Pence Enrich led to the downfall of the Marco’s Administration. The world’s attention was gravitated to the Philippines in the year 1986 when “the cheapest revolution”9 in history was launched in order to overthrow the infamous regime of Ferdinand Adrenalin Marco’s. The latter was forced to go to an exile in Hawaii, United States. When Core was inaugurated as President, her administration reorganized the entire governmental order and promulgated the Freedom Constitution that abrogated the operation of the 1973 Constitution.
The “Freedom Constitution” was the precursor of the 1987 organic law. In the latter part of the same year, she ordered the formation of a Constitutional Commission through Proclamation no. 9 to draft a new constitution to legalize the new government. The regular session of the said commission was held from June 2 – October 15, 1986. It was headed by Cecilia Munson Palm, the first woman to be appointed to the Supreme Court of the Philippines, as chairman, together with Ambrosia B. Patella as vice- chairman. Napoleon G. Ram served as floor leader with Jose D.
Cauldron and Madam Domain Alonso, a Muslim legislator, as assistant floor leaders. Members of the commission came from different walks of life which encompass such prominent names as former COMELY Commissioner Rene Sacramento, former Associate Justice Florien Regarded, former Chief Justice Hilarious Divide, Jar. , Dean Emeritus of Atone Law School FRR. Joaquin G. Barnes, S. J. , award-winningly director Lion Brocks, and notable lawyer Christian Monsoon. After drafting the newly structured and designed fundamental law, the commission recommended to President Aquinas the scheduling of the plebiscite for the ratification of the proposed code.
A three-month period was given for the people to carefully study and scrutinize such. The plebiscite was scheduled on the 2nd February, 1987. During the campaign period for the ratification, Filipinos were quite apprehensiveness eventually, they approved the plebiscite. The process was a huge success with 76. 29% affirming the ratification while 22. 74% were on the contrary. The 1987 text is pretty lengthy and wordy which is composed of eighteen articles. Historical experiences have molded it into its present form and substance particularly the enormous impact of the Martial Law Era.