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THE PHILIPPINE LEGISLATURE

From the Latin lex, legis meaning law


The Legislature branch broadly deals with the making, deliberation over, enactment, amendment and repealing
of laws
Basic Structures
There are two basic structures for legislative branches of government:
Unicameral the legislative branch consists of one chamber / house
Bicameral legislative power is vested in two chambers / houses
The Philippine Congress
The Philippine Congress is the countrys legislative department (Article VI, Sec 1)
Congress is Bicameral
Upper House: Senate
Lower House: House of Representatives
Senators are Congressmen
Senate
Composition 24 senators elected at large
Qualifications
* Natural-born citizen
* at least 35 yrs. old on election day
* Literate (can read & write)
* Registered voter
* Philippine resident for 2 yrs. prior to election day
Term of Office 6 years Maximum: 2 terms
Parliamentary Privileges
Congressmen have two parliamentary privileges while congress is in session:
Privilege from Arrest
- Immunity from offenses punishable by not more than 6 yrs imprisonment
Privilege of speech and debate
- Immunity from libel and slander
Elected Congressmen must
Fully disclose their financial & business interest
Disclose potential conflicts of interests that arises in the course of legislation
Keep from other office or employment (appointed or otherwise), forfeit his/her seat to do so
Structure and Dynamics
Senate President and House Speaker elected by majority vote
Other Offices, procedures and the discipline of its members is at the discretion of each house
Quorum: Majority
Each house maintains a journal and record of proceedings
Neither House can adjourn without the others consent while in session
Powers of Congress
Appointment of Public Officials
Legislative inquiry and investigation
Declare the existence of a state of war
Ratify the countrys international treaties (Senate)
Authorize limited emergency powers for the President
Approve the government budget
Undertake projects under the CDF (Countrywide Development Fund)
Propose, review, and adopt bills for enactment into law
Overturn a Presidential veto with respect to proposed legislation
Allow for referenda
Propose amendments to the constitution and call for a constitutional convention
Legislative Limitations
Increase appropriations recommended by the executive branch
Pass tax exemptions without the concurrence of a majority of its members
Grant titles of nobility
Press ex post facto bills
Pass bills of attainder
ex post facto law (from the Latin for "from after the action") or retroactive law is a law that retroactively changes the
legal consequences (or status) of actions committed or relationships that existed prior to the enactment of the law.
A bill of attainder is an act of a legislature declaring a person or group of persons guilty of some crime and punishing
them without benefit of a judicial trial.
*How a Bill Becomes Law
Referral to Committee Debate
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Referral to Committee Debate
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Bicameral
Committee

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President


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Approve --------- President ---------- Veto
30-day period

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THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT

The Executive Branch
Charged with the execution and administration of a countrys laws
In general, the executive branch sets the direction of national policy
Executive power in the Philippine government is vested in the office of the President of the Republic.
*Running for President
Natural born citizen of the Philippines
Registered voter
Literate (can read & write)
at least 40 years old on election day
Resident of the country for 10 years
Elected at large by plurality
*Term Limits
The term of the President is for six years (no re-election)
No person who has succeeded and served as President for four (4) years can run again
Vice-President: maximum two (2) terms
*Presidential Privileges
Appoint the heads of the different executive departments
Appoint ambassadors, consuls and public ministers
Appoint armed forces personnel from the rank of colonel or naval captain
Contract / guarantee foreign loans
Negotiate foreign treaties
Make appointments not otherwise provided by law
Suspend the writ of habeas corpus
Declare martial law
Prepare the national budget
Perform acts of clemency
*Acts of Clemency
1. Amnesty
2. Pardon
3. Commutation
4. Reprieve
5. Remission of fines and forfeitures
*The President cannot.
1. Increase his/ her salary or that of the Vice-President during his / her term
2. Ratify foreign treaties
3. Grant clemency in cases of impeachment
*Causes of Vacancy
Death
Permanent disability
Resignation
Impeachment
Written declaration that he/she is unable to discharge the powers and duties of the Office
If a majority of the Cabinet makes a written declaration that the President cannot discharge the powers
and duties of the Office
*More on Vacancy
The President can, at a later time, inform Congress he/she is fit to perform his/her duties again
Congress can judge otherwise by a two-thirds vote of both houses voting separately
*Even More on Vacancy
If the President falls seriously ill..
- The public will be informed of his/her state of health
- Members of the Cabinet in charge of national security and foreign relations shall have access to the
President
- The Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces shall have access to the President
Philippine
Presidents
Aguinaldo (1898-1902)
Quezon (1935-44)
Laurel (1943-45 )
Osmea (1944-46)
Roxas (1946-48)
Quirino (1948-53)
Magsaysay (1953-57)
Garcia (1957-61)
Macapagal (1961-65)
Marcos (1965-86)
Corazon Aquino (1986-92)
Ramos (1992-98)
Estrada (1998-2001)
Arroyo (2001-2010)
Benigno Aquino III (2010-2016)
Some notes
The Executive in Philippine politics derives its centrality mostly from its function and roles
- based on its historical evolution
- plenty of prestige is associated with the Office of the Executive
Personalism has always been prevalent in the Executive Branch
THE JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT
The Judicial Department
Article VII, Section I: Judicial power will be vested on the Supreme Court and all lower courts
Judicial power: the power to apply the laws to contests or disputes concerning legally recognized rights
Loosely, the judiciary refers to the court system
Judicial Power
Generally entails the activities:
. Settling legal controversies
. Determining whether there has been grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
jurisdiction by any branch of government
Scope of Judicial Power
Adjudicating Power the power to settle legal disputes
Power of Judicial Review refers to the power of the Supreme Court to interpret and make judgment
with respect to the law
Incidental Powers powers necessary for the discharge of the judicial function
The Supreme Court
Composition
1 Chief Justice and 14 Associate Justices
sits en banc or in divisions
Qualifications
by appointment
40 years of age
natural born citizen
Judge or legal practitioner for 15 years
Powers of the Supreme Court
. Supreme Court has jurisdiction over:
Cases involving ambassadors and public ministers
Petitions for certiorari, mandamus, quo warranto, prohibition & habeas corpus
Review judgments of lower courts
Cases involving constitutionality, legality of any tax, reclusion perpetua and errors on questions of law .
Judicial and Bar Council
Tasked with nominating appointees to the
Judiciary
Composition
Chief Justice
Secretary of Justice
Representative from Congress
IBP (Integrated Bar of the Philippines) representative
Professor of Law
Private Sector representative
Rendering Court Decisions
Once a decision is reached, a Supreme Court Justice is assigned to write an opinion
The opinion is certified by the Chief Justice and served to the parties concerned
Dissentions and abstentions must be explained
The opinion must explain facts of law