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BAR Exams Reviewer Political Law Part 2

Philippine Bar Exams Reviewer for Political Law Part 2
The Constitution – General Considerations

#1. National Territory

The national territory comprises the Philippine archipelago, with all the islands and waters embraced therein, and all other territories over which the Philippines has sovereignty or jurisdiction, consisting of its terrestrial, 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.

#2. Archipelagic Doctrine

A body of water studded with islands, or the islands surrounded with water, is viewed as a unity of islands and waters together forming one integrated unit. [N.B. Embodied in Art. II.]

#3. Straight Baseline Method

Consists of drawing straight lines connecting appropriate points on the coast without departing to any appreciable extent from the general direction of the coast, in order to delineate the internal waters from the territorial waters of an archipelago

#4. State

A community of persons, permanently occupying a definite portion of territory, independent of external control, and possessing a government to which a great body of the inhabitants render habitual obedience. [Collector of Internal Revenue v. Campos Rueda (1971)]

  1. #5.  Basis of State Immunity from Suit
    1. Constitutional Basis: “The State may not be sued without its consent.” [Const., Art. XVI, Sec. 13].
    2. InternationalLawBasis:“Parinparemimperiumnonhabet”i.e.“Anequalhasnopower over an equal”
    3. Positivist Theory: There can be no legal right as against the authority that makes the laws. Also called the doctrine of Royal Prerogative of Dishonesty. [Kawananakoa v. Polyblank (1907)]
    4. Sociological Theory: If the State were suable, all its time would be spent defending itself and this would prevent it from its other functions. [Republic vs. Villasor (1973)]
  2. #6.  Suit Against the State

A suit is against the State regardless of who is named the defendant if:

  1. It produces adverse consequences to the public treasury in terms of disbursement of public funds and loss of government property.
  2. CannotprosperunlesstheStatehasgivenitsconsent.

#7. Suit Not Against the State
A suit is not against the State when

  1. Whenintendedtocompelperformanceofaministerialduty.[Begosov.PVA(1970)]
  2. Whenapublicofficersuedinhisprivatecapacity
  3. When the action is not in personam with the government as the named defendant, but an action in rem that does not name the government in particular.

#8. Express Consent of the State

The express consent of the state is effected only by the will of the legislature through the medium of a duly enacted statute; may be embodied either in a general law or a special law.

#9. Express consent through General Law

The express consent through general law authorizes any person who meets the conditions stated in the law to sue the government in accordance with the procedure in the law (e.g. Act No. 3083; Civil Code, art. 2180(6), 2189)

As to the vicarious liability under CC, Art. 2180(6): The Government is only liable for the acts of its agents, officers, and employees when they act as special agents, i.e. receive a definite and fixed order or commission, foreign to the exercise of the duties of his office. [Merritt v. Gov’t of the Philippine Islands, (1916)]

#10. Express consent Special Law

Express consent in special law may come in the form of a private bill authorizing a named individual to bring suit on a special claim.

#11. Implied Consent of the State

There is implied consent of the state when:

(1) When the State enters into a private contract that is not incidental to a government function

(2) The State acts in a proprietary function

(3) When the government files a complaint, e.g. defendant may file a counterclaim against it.

(4) When it would be inequitable for the State to invoke its immunity.

(5) In instances of Eminent Domain when the State takes private property for public use or purpose.

#10. Separation Powers

Separation of Powers is a fundamental principle in our system of government. It is obtained not through express provision but by actual division in our Constitution. Each department of the government has exclusive cognizance of matters within its jurisdiction, and is supreme within its own sphere. [Angara v. Electoral Commission (1936)].

Separation of powers is founded on the belief that, by establishing equilibrium among the three power holders, harmony will result, power will not be concentrated and thus tyranny will be avoided [Bernas].

#11. Checks and Balances

The Constitution did not intend the three powers to be absolutely unrestrained and independent of each other. It has provided for an elaborate system of checks and balances to secure coordination in the workings of the various departments of the government. [Angara, supra]

#12. Delegation of Powers

As a general rule, “Delegata potestas non potest delegari” – what has been delegated can no longer be delegated.

#13. Non-Delegation of Legislative Powers
As a general rule, only Congress (as a body) may exercise, with the following exemptions: (1) Delegated legislative power to local governments [See Art. IX, Sec. 9]

(2) Constitutionally-grafted exceptions through (1) Emergency power delegated to the Executive during State of War or National Emergency [Art. VI, Sec.23(2)]; and (2) Certain taxing powers of President [Art. VI, sec.28(2)].

#14. The Two tests of Valid Delegations

A. Completeness test – the law sets forth the policy to be executed, carried out, or implemented by the delegate (Abakada, infra), such that there is nothing left for the delegate to do but to enforce the law [Pelaez v.Auditor General (1965)]

B. Sufficient standard test – the standard test is sufficient if it defines legislative policy, marks its limits, maps out its boundaries and specifies the public agency to apply it. [Edu v. Ericta (1970)]

#15. Government

A corporate governmental entity through which the functions of government are exercised throughout the Philippines [Rev. Admin. Code]

#16. De jure government
(1) Has rightful title; but
(2) No power or control [In re Letter of Justice Puno (1992)]

#17. De facto government

Government of fact, that is, it actually exercises power or control without legal title. [Co Kim Cham v. Valdes, (1945)]

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Audiobook BAR FAQs Political Law Q&A

BAR Exams Reviewer Political Law Part 1

Philippine Bar Exams Reviewer for Political Law Part 1
The Constitution – Concepts and Definitions

POLITICAL LAW REVIEW CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 1

PART I – THE CONSTITUTION
#1. WHAT IS POLITICAL LAW?

Political Law deals with organization and operations of governmental organs and defines the relations of the State with the inhabitants of its territory. [People v. Perfecto (1922)]

#2. WHAT IS CONSTITUTIONAL LAW

Constitutional Law is the law embodied in the Constitution and the legal principles growing out of the interpretation and application of its provisions by the courts in specific cases.

#3. DEFINE CONSTITUTION

The Constitution is a document which serves as the fundamental law of the state; that written instrument enacted by the direct action of the people by which the fundamental powers of the government are established, limited and defined. [Malcolm, Phil. Const. Law]

#4. WHAT ARE THE CLASSIFICATION OF CONSTITUTIONS?

(1) Written v. unwritten
(2) Enacted (conventional) v. evolved (cumulative) (3) Rigid v. flexible

The Philippine Constitution is written, enacted and rigid.
#5. WHAT IS THE DATE OF EFFECTIVITY OF THE 1987 CONSTITUTION?.

February 2, 1987, the date of the plebiscite, and not on the date its ratification was proclaimed. [De Leon v. Esguerra (1987)]

#6. WHAT ARE THE BASIC PRINCIPLES OF CONSTITUTIONAL INTERPRETATION?

(1) Verba legis (give words their ordinary meaning) (2) Ratio legis est anima (intent of the framers)
(3) Ut magis valeat quam pereat (interpret as a whole)

#7. WHAT ARE THE PARTS OF THE CONSTITUTION?

(1) Constitution of Government –e.g. Art. VI, VII, VIII, IX (2) Constitution of Sovereignty–i.n.Art.XVII
(3) Constitution of Liberty–e.g.Art.III

#8. DEFINE AMENDMENT

An addition or change within the lines of the original constitution; adds, reduces or deletes without altering the basic principles involved; affects only the specific provision being amended. [Lambino v. COMELEC (2006)]

#9. DEFINE REVISION

A change that alters a basic principle in the constitution; alters the substantial entirety of the constitution. [Id.] The 1987 Constitution allows people’s initiative only for the purpose of amending, not revising, the Constitution.[Id.]

#10. DISTINGUISH THE TWO-PART TEST? To determine whether amendment or revision:

(1) Quantitative test: Examines only number of provisions affected, not the degree of the change.

(2) Qualitative test: Inquires into the qualitative effects of the proposed change in the constitution, i.e. whether the change will “accomplish such far reaching changes in the nature of our basic governmental plan as to amount to a revision.” [Id.]

#11. WHAT ARE THE STEPS IN THE AMENDATORY PROCESS?

Step 1. Proposal – The adoption of the suggested change in the Constitution.
(a) Congress (as a Constituent Assembly) – a vote of 3⁄4 of ALL its members.
(b) Constitutional Convention – Called into existence by (i) 2/3 of all members of Congress OR (ii) the electorate, in a referendum called for by a majority of all members of Congress [CONST., art. XVII, sec. 3]
(c) People (through a People’s Initiative)- petition of at least 12% of the total number of registered voters; every legislative district must be represented by at least 3% of the registered voters therein.

○ (i) Limitation on Initiative: No amendment in this manner shall be authorized (1) within 5 years following the ratification of the 1987 Const. nor (2) more often than

once every 5 years thereafter.
(ii) Enabling Law: Constitutional provision on amendments via People’s Initiative not self- executory [Defensor-Santiago v. COMELEC, 270 SCRA 170 (1997)]

Syep 2. Ratification – the proposed amendment shall be submitted to the people and shall be deemed ratified by the majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite, held not earlier than 60 days nor later than 90 days:

(a) After approval of the proposal by Congress or ConCon;
(b) After certification by the COMELEC of sufficiency of petition of the people.

#12. WHAT IS THE DOCTRINE OF PROPER SUBMISSION?

A plebiscite may be held on the same day as a regular election [Gonzales v. COMELEC (1967)]. The entire Constitution must be submitted for ratification at one plebiscite only. The people must have a proper “frame of reference”. [Tolentino v. COMELEC (1971)]. No “piecemeal submission,” e.g. submission of age amendment ahead of other proposed amendments. [Id.]

#13. WHAT IS JUDICIAL REVIEW OF AMENDMENTS?

The validity of the process of amendment is not a political question because the Court must review if constitutional processes were followed; the issue is manner not wisdom. [See Lambino]

#14. WHAT ARE THE STEPS IN THE REVISION PROCESS?

Same as amendments in all respects except that it cannot be proposed via a People’s Initiative. [See Lambino, supra]

#15. WHAT ARE SELF-EXECUTING PROVISIONS?

Provisions which are complete in themselves and do not need enabling legislation for their operation; judicially enforceable per se.[Manila Prince Hotel v. GSIS (1997)].

General Presumption: All provisions of the constitution are self-executing. [Id.]

Exception: Statements of general principles, such as those in Art. II, are usually not self- executing.

#16. WHAT ARE NON-SELF EXECUTING PROVISIONS?
Provisions which merely “la[y] down a general principle.” [Manila Prince, supra]

Note: A provision may be self-executing in one part, and non-self-executing in another. [Manila Prince, supra]