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PREAMBLE

We, the sovereign Filipino people, imploring the aid of Almighty God, in order to build a just
and humane society, and establish a Government that shall embody our ideals and aspirations,
promote the common good, conserve and develop our patrimony, and secure to ourselves and our
posterity, the blessings of independence and democracy under the rule of law and a regime of
truth, justice, freedom, love, equality, and peace, do ordain and promulgate this Constitution.

Meaning and
application

The Preamble serves solely as an introduction, and does not assign


powers to the federal
government,[1]
nor does it provide specific limitations on government action. Due to
the Preamble's limited nature, no court has ever utilized it as a
decisive factor in case adjudication,[2]
except as regards frivolous
litigation.[3]

Judicial
relevance

The courts have shown interest in any clues they can find in the
Preamble regarding the Constitution's meaning.[4]
Courts have developed several techniques for interpreting
the meaning of statutes and these are also used to interpret the
Constitution.[5]
As a result, the courts have said that interpretive techniques that
focus on the exact text of a document[6]
should be used in interpreting the meaning of the Constitution, so
the Preamble provides additional language against which to compare
other parts of the Constitution. Balanced against these techniques
are those that focus more attention on broader efforts to discern the
meaning of the document from more than just the wording;[7]
the Preamble is also useful for these efforts to identify the
"spirit" of the Constitution.

Additionally, when interpreting a legal document, courts are usually


interested in understanding the document as its authors did and their
motivations for creating it;[8]
as a result, the courts have cited the Preamble for evidence of the
history, intent and meaning of the Constitution as it was understood
by the Founders.[9]
Although revolutionary in some ways, the Constitution maintained many
common
law concepts (such as habeas
corpus, trial
by jury, and sovereign
immunity),[10]
and courts deem that the Founders' perceptions of the legal system
that the Constitution created (i.e., the interaction between what it
changed and what it kept from the British legal system[11])
are uniquely important because of the authority "the People"
invested them with to create it.[12]
Along with evidence of the understandings of the men who debated and
drafted the Constitution at the Constitutional
Convention, the courts are also interested in the way that
government officials have put into practice the Constitution's
provisions, particularly early government officials,[13]
although the courts reserve to themselves the final authority to
determine the Constitution's meaning.[14]
However, this focus on historical understandings of the Constitution
is sometimes in tension with the changed circumstances of modern
society from the late 18th century society that drafted the
Constitution; courts have ruled that the Constitution must be
interpreted in light of these changed circumstances.[15]
All of these considerations of the political theory behind the
Constitution have prompted the Supreme Court to articulate a variety
of special rules of construction and principles for interpreting
it.[16]
For example, the Court's rendering of the purposes behind the
Constitution have led it to express a preference for broad
interpretations of individual freedoms.[17]