Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Constitution by Jan Christopher Elmido

CONSTITUTION DEFINED
ž A Constitution is that body of rules and maxims in accordance with which the powers of sovereignty are habitually exercised [Cooley, Constitutional Limitations, p. 4]
ž That Written instrument enacted by direct participation of the people by which fundamental powers of the government are established, limited and defined, and by which those powers are distributed among the several departments for their safe and useful exercise for the benefit of the body politic. [Malcolm, Philippine Constitutional Law, p. 6]

PURPOSE
ž 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.

CLASSIFICATION
ž WRITTEN OR UNWRITTEN
¡ A written constitution is one whose precepts are embodied in one single document or set of documents
¡ An unwritten constitution consists of rules which have not been integrated into a single, concrete form but are scattered in various sources
¡ ENACTED (CONVENTIONAL) OR EVOLVED (CUMULATIVE)
¡ A conventional constitution is enacted, formally struck off at a definite time and place following a conscious or deliberate effort taken by a constituent body or ruler
¡ A cumulative constitution is the result of political evolution, not inaugurated at any specific time but changing by accretion rather than by any systematic method
ž RIGID OR FLEXIBLE
¡ A rigid constitution is one that can be amended only by a formal and usually difficult process
¡ A flexible constitution is one that can be changed by ordinary legislation

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CONSTITUTION
1. THE MALOLOS CONSTITUTION
ž The Philippine Revolution of 1896
ž Proclamation of Philippine Independence, at Kawit, Cavite on June 12, 1898.
ž Revolutionary Congress convention: September 15, 1898
ž President Emilio Aguinaldo’s approval on December 23 1898
ž Ratification by the Congress on January 20, 1899
ž Promulgated: January 21, 1899
2. THE AMERICAN REGIME AND THE ORGANIC ACTS
ž Treaty of Paris: December 10, 1898
ž US President Mckinley’s Instruction of April 7, 1900
ž The Spooner Ammendment: March 2, 1901
ž The Philippine Bill of July 1, 1902
ž The Jones Law (Philippine Autonomy Act) of August 29, 1916.
ž The Tydings-McDuffie Act of March 24, 1934
3. THE 1935 CONSTITUTION
ž Philippine Legislature Act No. 4125
ž Election of Delegates to the Constitutional Convention and Inauguration
ž Approval of the draft on February 8, 1935
¡ Washington DC: March 18, 1935
¡ Certified by US President Roosevelt on March 23, 1935
ž Ratification: May 14, 1935
ž Amendments
¡ 1939
¡ 1940
¡ 1947
4. THE JAPANESE OCCUPATION
ž The occupation of Manila on January 2, 1942
ž Organization of the Philippines Executive Commission on January 23, 1942
ž Executive Orders Nos. 1 and 4 in 1942
ž Inauguration of the second Philippine Republic on October 14, 1943
¡ Jose P. Laurel served as the President
5. THE 1973 CONSTITUTION
ž Resolution of both houses (RBH) No. 2 was passed on March 16, 1967, calling for a Constitutional Convention to revise the 1935 Constitution
ž Republic Act No. 6132: Constitutional Convention Act of 1970
ž Election of Delegates: November 10, 1970
ž Inauguration on June 1, 1971
ž Declaration of Martial Law: September 21, 1972
ž Approval of the Draft: November 29, 1972
ž November 30, 1972 - President Marcos’ decree setting the plebiscite on January 15, 1973
ž Postponement of Plebiscite: December 23, 1972
ž Presidential Decree No. 86: December 31, 1972
ž Organization of the Citizen Assemblies
ž PD No. 86-A – Citizens Assemblies meeting on January 10 – 15, 1973
ž Presidential Proclamation No. 1102: January 17, 1973
ž Ratification of the new Constitution by the Citizens Assemblies
ž Amendments
ž 1976
ž 1980
ž 1981
ž 1984
ž Snap presidential election of 1986
ž EDSA I – People’s Revolution: February 22 – 25, 1986

THE 1987 CONSTITUTION
1. PROCLAMATION OF THE FREEDOM CONSTITUTION
ž Proclamation No. 1: February 25, 1986
¡ President Corazon Aquino announced that she and Vice President Laurel were assuming power
ž Proclamation No.3: March 25, 1986
¡ Promulgation of the Freedom Constitution
¡ Calling of a Constitutional Commission
2. ADOPTION OF THE CONSTITUTION
ž Proclamation No. 9, creating the Constitutional Commission of 50 members
ž Approval of the draft Constitution by the Constitutional Commission: October 15, 1986
ž Plebiscite: February 2, 1987
ž Proclamation No. 58
¡ Ratification of the Constitution
ž Effectivity of the 1987 Constitution
¡ February 2, 1987, the date of the plebiscite when the people ratified the Constitution [De Leon v. Esguerra, 153 SCRA 602]

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