Outline in Constitutional Law 1 (Cruz)

July 13, 2017 | Author: Arvin Antonio Ortiz | Category: Constitution, Sovereignty, Sovereign Immunity, United States Government, United States Congress
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Commonwealth Constitution (1935) Constitution of 1973 Freedom Constitution (Feb. 25, 1986) • 1987 Constitution (adopted on Feb. 02, 1987) Outstanding Features

Political Law Political law is that 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.

Scope of Political Law • • • • •

Constitutional Law Administrative Law Law of Public Officers Election Law Law on Municipal Corporations

Revival of the Bicameral Congress of the Philippines and the strictly legal Presidential system. The independence of the judiciary has been strengthened, with new provisions for appointment and increase in its authority, covering even political questions formerly beyond its jurisdiction.

Supremacy of the Constitution

Constitutional Law

The 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.

Constitutional law is a study of the structure and powers of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines. It also deals with certain basic concepts of Political law, such as the nature of the State, the supremacy of the Constitution, the separation of powers, and the rule of the majority.


Necessity of the Study

A state is a community of persons, more or less numerous, permanently occupying a fixed territory, and possessed of an independent government organized for political ends to which the great body politic render habitual obedience.

Every citizen, regardless of the calling, should understand the mechanisms and motivations of his government. This must be so because “sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them” (Art.II, Sec. 1, 1987 Constitution). It is upon the active involvement in public affairs of every Filipino that the success of the Republic of the Philippines will depend.

State vs. Nation The term nation indicates a relation of birth or origin and implies a common race, usually characterized by community of language and customs. The State is a legal concept, while the nation is only a racial or ethnic concept.


Elements of state.

Constitution of the Phils., past and present



People Territory Government Sovereignty

To our Supreme Court, however, the distinction between the two is not relevant in our jurisdiction. Such distinction has been blurred because of the repudiation of the laissez faire policy in the Constitution (PVTA vs. CIR, reiterating the rule in ACCFA vs. Federation of Labor Unions). Laissez faire literally means “leave us alone”; it denotes that the government should play little or no role at all in the market.

People People refers simply inhabitants of the State.




Doctrine of Parens Patriae

Territory is the fixed portion of the surface of the earth inhabited by the people of the State. “The national territory comprises the Philippines archipelago, with all the islands and waters embraced therein, and all other territories over which the Philippines has sovereignty or jurisdiction, consisting of its territorial, fluvial, and aerial domains, including its territorial sea, the seabed, the subsoil, the insular shelves, and other submarine areas. The waters around, between, and connecting the islands of the archipelago, regardless of their breadth and dimensions, form part of the internal waters of the Philippines.” (Art. 1, 1987 Constitution)

One of the important tasks of the government is to act for the State as parens patriae, or guardian of the rights of people.

De Jure vs. De Facto Government 1. De Jure.—A de jure government has rightful title but no power or control, either because this has been withdrawn from it or because it has not yet actually entered into the exercise thereof. 2. De Facto.—A de facto government is a government of fact, that is, it actually exercises power or control but without legal title.

Government Government is the agency or instrumentality through the will of the State is formulated, expressed and realized.

3 Kinds of de facto Government 1. The government that gets possession and control of by force or by voice of the majority, the rightful legal government and maintains itself against the will of the latter. 2. That established as an independent government by the inhabitants of a country who rise in insurrection against the parent state. 3. That which is established and maintained by military forces who

Functions 1. Constituent.—Constituent functions constitute the very bonds of society and are therefore compulsory. 2. Ministrant.− Ministrant functions are those undertaken to advance the general interests of society, such as public works, public charity, and regulation of trade and industry.


OUTLINE IN CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 1 invade and occupy a territory of the enemy in the course of war, and which is denominated as a government of paramount force.

2. Political sovereignty.—The power behind the legal sovereign, or the sum of the influences that operate upon it.

Government of the Philippines

Characteristics of Sovereignty

Administrative Code of 1987, Sec.

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2(1): “The corporate governmental entity through the functions of the government are exercised throughout the Philippines, including, save as the contrary appears from the context, various arms through which political authority is made effective in the Philippines, whether pertaining to autonomous regions, provincial, city, municipal, or barangay subdivisions or other form of local government.”

CHAPTER IV THE DOCTRINE OF STATE IMMUNITY “The State may not be sued without its consent” (Art. XVI, Sec. 3, 1987 Constitution).

A government-owned or controlled corporation (GOCC) engaged in proprietary functions cannot be considered part of the Government for purposes of exemption from the application of the statute of limitations.

Basis of Non-suability of State •

Administration vs. Government • • •

Permanent Exclusive Comprehensive Absolute Indivisible Inalienable Imprescriptible

Administration is the group of persons in whose hands the reins of government are for the time being. The administration runs the government. Administration is transitional whereas the government is permanent.

The non-suability of the state is based on the logical and practical ground that there can be no legal right against the authority which makes the law on which the right depends (Justice Holmes). 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.



Sovereignty is the supreme and uncontrollable power inherent in a State by which that State is governed.

The test is whether, assuming the decision is rendered against the public officer impleaded, enforcement thereof will require an affirmative action from the State, such as the appropriation of the needed amount to satisfy the judgment.

Two Kinds of Sovereignty 1. Legal sovereignty.—The authority which has the power to issue final commands.

Waiver of Immunity


OUTLINE IN CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 1 The State may be sued if it gives its consent. •

Forms of Consent 1. Expressed consent.—Expressed consent may be manifested either through a general law or special law. 2. Implied consent.—Implied consent is given when the State itself commences litigation or when it enters into a contract. •

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If the agency is incorporated, the test of its suability is found in its charter. The test in every case is the nature of the primary functions being discharged.

Suability vs. Liability •

When the government enters into a contract for the State, it is then deemed to have divested itself of the mantle of immunity and descended to the level of the ordinary individual. Immunity would be lost regardless of the nature of the contract (Santos vs. Santos, Lyons vs. USA). Suability would follow only if the contract is entered into by the government in its proprietary capacity (USA vs. Ruiz). Governmental contracts do not result in implied waiver of the immunity of the State from suit.

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The mere fact that the State is suable does not mean that it is liable; or, waiver of immunity by the State does not mean concession of its liability. Suability is the result of the express or implied consent of the State to be sued. Liability is determined after hearing on the basis of the relevant laws and the established facts.

CHAPTER V FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES AND STATE POLICIES Article II lays 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.

Suit Against Government Agencies If suit is against one of the government’s entities, it must be ascertained if the principal has given its consent to be sued. It will depend in the first instance on whether the government agency impleaded is incorporated or unincorporated.

Preamble • • •

1. Incorporated agency.— It has a charter of its own that invests it with a separate juridical personality. 2. Unincorporated agency.—It has no separate juridical personality but is merged in the general machinery of the government.

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Preamble is not considered a source of substantive right since its purpose is only to introduce. Literally means “to walk before.” (Praeambulus: Walking in front) It’s not merely rhetorical; it indicates the authors of the Constitution. It also enumerates the primary aims and expresses the aspirations of the framers in drafting the Constitution. It is a useful aid in construction and interpretation of the text of the Constitution.


Republicanism • •

A republic is a representative government, a government fun by and for the people. The essence of republicanism is representation and renovation, the selection by their citizenry of a corps 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.

Women •

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Justice Jose P. Laurel, in Callang vs. Williams, defined Social Justice thus: “Social justice is ‘neither communism, nor despotism, nor atomism, nor anarchy,’ but the 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.” • Salus populi est suprema lex.—The welfare of the people is the supreme law.

Art. II, Sec. 4, 1987 Constitution: “… all citizens may be required, under conditions provided by law, to render personal military or civil service.” The duty is imposed upon all citizens. The duty must be personal, to preclude the hiring by the rich of “mercenaries” or professional soldiers to take their place in the defense of the State.

Separation of Church and State •

The Incorporation Clause •

Art. II, Sec. 2: “The Philippines… adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land…” Every State is, by reasons of its membership in the family of nations, bound by generally accepted principles of international law (doctrine of incorporation).

Art. II, Sec. 6 reiterates “the separation of Church and State shall be inviolable.” The doctrine cuts both ways: o State is prohibited from interfering in purely ecclesiastical affairs; o The Church is barred from meddling in purely secular matters. No excessive entanglement.

Supremacy of Civilian Authority •

Rearing of the Youth •

Art. II, Sec. 14 deals with the role of women in nation-building.

Social Justice

The Defense of the State •

This power is exercised most effectively, at least during the child’s formative years, through the school.

Art. II, Sec. 12 and Sec. 13 deal with the proper rearing of the youth.


Art. II, Sec. 3: “Civilian authority is, at all times, supreme over the military. The Armed Forces of the Philippines is the protector of the people and the State. Its goal is to secure the sovereign of the State

OUTLINE IN CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 1 and the integrity of the national territory.”

Local Autonomy •

The strengthening of the local government is based on the Jeffersonian view that “municipal corporations are the small republics from which the great one derives its strength.”

Blending of Powers •


The doctrine is observed in our country not only because it is regarded as a characteristic of republicanism but also for the reason that the major powers of government are actually distributed by the Constitution among the several departments and the Constitutional Commissions.

Purpose •

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The keynote of conduct of the various agencies of the government under the doctrine of separation of powers is not independence but interdependence.

Doctrine of separation of powers is intended to prevent a concentration of authority in one person or group of persons that might lead to an irreversible error or abuse in its exercise to the detriment of our republican institutions. According to Justice Laurel (Pangasinan Transportation Co. vs. PSC): o Secure action o Forestall overaction o Prevent despotism o Obtain efficiency

There are instances under the Constitution when powers are not confined exclusively within one department but are in fact assigned to or shared by several departments —a “blending of powers.” Examples: o The enactment of general appropriations law, which begins with the preparation by the President of the budget, which becomes the basis of the bill adopted by the Congress and subsequently submitted by the President, who may then approve it. o The grant of amnesty by the President which requires the concurrence of a majority of all members of the Congress. o COMELEC does not alone deputize law enforcement agencies to ensure free, orderly, honest, peaceful and credible elections but does so with the consent of the President.

Checks and Balances •

To achieve these purposes: Legislative.—enactment of laws and may not enforce or apply them; Executive.—enforcement of laws and may not enact or apply them; Judiciary.—application of laws and may not enact or enforce them.


A system by which one department is allowed to resist encroachments upon its prerogatives or to rectify mistakes or excesses committed by the other departments. Illustrations: o Lawmaking power of the Congress is checked by the President through his veto





power, which may be overridden by the legislature. The Congress may refuse to give its concurrence to an amnesty proclaimed by the President and the Senate to a treaty he has concluded. The President may nullify a conviction in a criminal case by pardoning the offender (Gloria Arroyo to Teehankee). The judiciary has the power to declare invalid an act done by Congress, the President, and his subordinates, or the Constitutional Commissions.

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The Role of the Judiciary • •

The judiciary has the primordial duty to uphold the supremacy of the Constitution. To determine the valid exercise of power, the first criterion is whether or not the power in question has been constitutionally conferred upon the department claiming its exercise.


Justiciable vs. Political Questions •

Art. VIII, Sec. 1 broadens the concept of judicial power. It has the duty “to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government.” There is grave abuse of discretion: o When an act done is contrary to the Constitution, the law, or jurisprudence, or o It is executed whimsically, capriciously, arbitrarily, out of malice, ill will or personal bias (Infotech vs. COMELEC) The broadened concept of judicial power is not meant to do away with the political questions doctrine itself. The concept must sometimes yield to separation of powers, to the doctrine on ‘political questions’ or to the ‘enrolled bill’ rule.

Justiciable questions.—A purely justiciable question implies a given right, legally demandable and enforceable, an act or omission violative of such right, and a remedy granted and sanctioned by law, for said breach of right (Casibang vs. Aquino). Political questions.—It connotes what it means in ordinary parlance, namely, a question of policy. It is concerned with issues dependent upon the wisdom, not legality, of a particular measure.

Potestas delegata non delegari potest.—What has been delegated cannot be delegated further. The delegation of legislative power has become the rule and its nondelegation the exception.

Permissible Delegation 1. Delegation of tariff powers to the President. 2. Delegation of emergency powers to the President. 3. Delegation to the people at large. 4. Delegation to local governments. 5. Delegation to administrative bodies. Tariff Powers

Political Questions Under the New Constitution


Art. VI, Sec. 28(2)


The legislative process is much too cumbersome for the speedy solution of some economic problems, especially those relating to foreign trade.

Emergency Powers •

Art. VI, Sec. 23(2)

Tests of Delegation

Conditions for the vesture of emergency powers in the President are the following:

1. There must be war or other national emergency. 2. The delegation must be for a limited period only. 3. The delegation must be subject to such restrictions as the Congress may prescribe. 4. The emergency powers must be exercised to carry out a national policy declared by the Congress.

Referendum.—It is defined as a method of submitting an important legislative measure to a direct vote of the whole people. Plebiscite.—It is intended to work more permanent changes in the political structure, like a proposal to amend the Constitution.

Delegation to Local Governments •

Pelaez Case (Emmanuel Pelaez vs. Auditor General)

The local legislatures are more knowledgeable than the national lawmaking body on matters of purely local concern and are therefore in a better position to enact the necessary and appropriate legislation thereon.

Delegation to Administrative Bodies •

The true distinction is between: o Delegation of power to make law (cannot be done); o Conferring authority or discretion as to its execution, to be exercised under an in pursuance of the law (no valid objection can be made).

1. Completeness Test.—The law must be complete in all its essential terms and conditions when it leaves the legislature so that there will be nothing left for the delegate to do when it reaches him except enforce it. 2. The Sufficient Standard Test.—It is intended to map out the boundaries of the delegate’s authority by defining the legislative policy and indicating the circumstances under which it is to be pursued and effected.

Delegation to the People •

details which the Congress may not have the opportunity or competence to provide. This is effected by their promulgation of what are known as supplementary regulations, such as the implementing rules issued by the Department of Labor on the Labor Code.

Administrative agencies may implement the broad policies laid down in a statute by “filling in” the


The completeness test and sufficient standard test must be applied together or concurrently.

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