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Political Law (Constitutional Law) – Article II


Selected principles

Sec 1.  The Philippines is a democratic and republican State.  Sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them. 

Elements of a State (for municipal law purposes)              CODE:  PTSG

  1. A community of persons, more or less numerous (PEOPLE)
  2. Permanently occupying a definite portion of territory (TERRITORY)
  3. Independent of external control (SOVEREIGNTY)
  4. Possessing an organized government to which the great body of inhabitants render habitual obedience (GOVERNMENT)

Definition of “People”                                                           CODE:  CNCH

  1. Community of persons;
  2. Sufficient in Number;
  3. Capable of maintaining the continued existence of the community; and
  4. Held together by a common bond of law.

Definition of “Sovereignty”

  1. LEGAL sovereignty
  2. The supreme power to make law.
  3. It is lodged in the people.
  1. POLITICAL sovereignty
  2. The sum total of all the influences in a state,
  3. Legal and non-legal,
  4. Which determine the course of law.
  5. According to the Principle of AUTO-LIMITATION:

Sovereignty is the property of the state-force due to which it has the exclusive capacity of legal self-determination and self-restriction.

Definition of “Government”

  1. That institution or aggregate of institutions
  2. by which an independent society
  3. makes and carries out those rules of action
  4. which are necessary to enable men to live in a social state
  5. or which are imposed upon the people forming that society by those who possess the power or authority of prescribing them.

Classification of governments

1.  De jure       – one established by the authority of the legitimate sovereign

2.  De facto      – one established in defiance of the legitimate sovereign

Classification of de facto governments

  1. De facto proper
    1. That government that gets possession and control of
    2. or usurps by force or by the voice of majority
    3. the rightful legal government
    4. and maintains itself against the will of the latter.
  2. Government of paramount force
    1. That which is established and maintained by military forces
    2. who invade and occupy a territory of the enemy
    3. in the course of war.
  3. That established as an independent governmentby the inhabitants of a country who rise ininsurrection against the parent state.

Definition of “Republican State”

It is one wherein all government authority emanates from the people and is exercised by representatives chosen by the people.

Definition of Democratic State

This merely emphasizes that the Philippines has some aspects of direct democracy such as initiative and referendum.

Sec. 2.  The Philippines renounces war as an instrument of national policy, adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land and adheres to the policy of peace, equality, justice, freedom, cooperation, and amity with all nations.


Kind of war renounced by the Philippines

The Philippines only renounces AGGRESSIVE war as an instrument of national policy.  It does not renounce defensive war.

Some “generally accepted principles of international law” recognized by the Court:

  1. Right of an alien to be released on bail while awaiting deportation when his failure to leave the country is due to the fact that no country will accept him (Mejoff v. Director of Prisons, 90 Phil. 70)
  2. The right of a country to establish military commissions to try war criminals (Kuroda v. Jalondoni, 83 Phil. 171)
  3. The Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals (Agustin v. Edu, 88 SCRA 195)

Amity with all nations

This does not mean automatic diplomatic recognition of all nations.  Diplomatic recognition remains a matter of executive discretion.

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 sovereignty of the State and the integrity of the national territory.


Civilian authority/supremacy clause (1st sentence)

  1. Civilian authority simply means the supremacy of the law because authority, under our constitutional system, can only come from law.
  2. Under this clause, the soldier renounces political ambition.

Mark of sovereignty (2nd and 3rd sentences)

  1. Positively, this clause singles out the military as the guardian of the people and of the integrity of the national territory and therefore ultimately of the majesty of the law.
  2. Negatively, it is an expression of disapproval of military abuses.

Sec 4.  The prime duty of the Government is to serve and protect the people.  The Government may call upon the people to defend the State and, in the fulfillment thereof, all citizens may be required, under conditions provided by law, to render personal, military, or civil service.

Sec. 5.  The maintenance of peace and order, the protection of life, liberty and property, and the promotion of the general welfare are essential for the enjoyment by all the people of the blessings of democracy.

Sec. 6.  The separation of Church and State shall be inviolable.

Selected state policies

Sec. 7.  The State shall pursue an independent foreign policy.  In its relations with other states, the paramount consideration shall be national sovereignty, territorial integrity, national interest, and the right to self-determination.

Sec. 8.  The Philippines, consistent with the national interest, adopts and pursues a policy of freedom from nuclear weapons in its territory.

Policy of freedom from nuclear weapons

  1. The policy PROHIBITS:
    1. The possession, control and manufacture of nuclear weapons
    2. Nuclear arms tests.
  2. The policy does NOT prohibit the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

Sec. 12.  The State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution.  It shall equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception. etc.

Principle that the family is not a creature of the state.

Protection for the unborn

  1. It is not an assertion that the unborn is a legal person.
  2. It is not an assertion that the life of the unborn is placed exactly on the level of the life of the mother.  Hence, when it is necessary to save the life of the mother, the life of the unborn may be sacrificed.
  3. Under this provision, the Roe v. Wade doctrine allowing abortion up to the 6thmonth of pregnancy cannot be adopted in the Philippines because the life of the unborn is protected from the time of conception.

Sec. 16.  The State shall protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature.

  1. While the right to a balanced and healthful ecology is found under the declaration of Principle and State Policies and not under the Bill of Rights, it does not follow that it is less important than any of the civil and political rights enumerated in the latter. (Oposa v. Factoran)
  2. The right to a balanced and healthful ecology carries with it the correlative duty to refrain from impairing the environment.  (Oposa v. Factoran)

Sec. 26.  The State shall guarantee equal access to opportunities for public service, and prohibit political dynasties as may be defined by law.

Sec. 27.  The State shall maintain honesty and integrity in the public service and take positive and effective measures against graft and corruption.

Sec. 28.  Subject to reasonable conditions prescribed by law, the State adopts and implements a policy of full public disclosure of all its transactions involving public interest.



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