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Handout on the Subject Constitutional Principles

De La Salle College-Lipa
By: Atty. Gerald Rabena
Constitution It is the fundamental organic law of the state which contains the
principle on which the government is founded, the regulation of the division and
exercise of sovereign powers. It is that body of rules and maxims in accordance with
which the powers of sovereignty are habitually exercised.
Constitution v. Statute
Constitution is the legislation direct from the people and states general principles merely
to meet existing conditions while Statute is a legislation from the Representatives and
provides details of the subject it treats. It is intended to meet existing conditions only.
The Constitution is a Social Contract
The Constitution as a social contract means that it is where the people have
surrendered their sovereign powers to the State for the common good. Hence in the
case of Marcos v. Manglapus et, GR No. 88211 September 15, 1989 to wit:
Lest the officers of the government exercising powers delegated by the people forget
and the servants of the people become rulers, the Constitution reminds everyone that
SOVEREIGNTY RESIDES FROM THE PEOPLE AND ALL GOVERNMENT
AUTHORITY EMANATES FROM THEM. (Sec 1, Art II, 1987 Constitution)
Is the preamble part of the Constitution?
The preamble is not a part of the constitution which can exist without it but it is an
introductory part. It walks before it! It is not a source of rights but it fulfills two (2)
fundamental ends.
It identifies the sovereign power that ordains the Constitution; and
It lays down the great and higher purposes or aims which the Constitution was
ordained such as:
Embody our ideals and aspirations
Promote the common good
Conserve and develop our patrimony
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.
What is a State?
It is a community of Persons, more or less numerous, permanently occupying a definite
portion of Territory, independent of external control, and possessing a government to
which a great body of inhabitants render habitual obedience.
Elements of State-People, Territory, Governments, Sovereignty

Archipelago doctrine It is a principle where appropriate points are set along the
coast of archipelago including the outermost islands and then connects those points
with straight baselines. All waters within the baselines are considered internal waters of
the archipelagic state. It is adopted in the Constitution when it says the waters around,
between and connecting the islands of the archipelago, regardless of their breath and
dimensions, form part of the internal waters of the Philippines.
Government is defined as the institution or aggregate of institutions by which
independent society makes and carries out those rules of action which are necessary to
enable men to live in a social state, or which is imposed upon the people forming that
society by those who possess the power or authority of proscribing them.
De Jure government is a government of right, a government established according to
the Constitution of the State and lawfully entitled to recognition and supremacy and the
administration of the State but is actually ousted of power or control. It is the true and
lawful government.
De Facto government is that government which unlawfully gets possession and control
of the rightful legal government and maintains itself there by force and arms against the
will of the rightful legal government and claims to the exercise the powers thereof. It is a
government of fact.
Doctrine of Parens Patriae means parent if the country. The State acts as the guardian
of persons under disabilities.
Act of State In its broadest sense. It is an exercise of sovereign power which cannot
be challenged, controlled, or interfered with by the municipal courts. It refers to political
acts of the State which are exercised by political departments of the government and
not subject to judicial review and for the consequences of which, even affecting private
interests, they will not hold legally responsible those who command or perform them.
In its limited sense, it refers to acts taken by the State concerning as affecting aliens,
like the inherent right to exclude resident aliens from its territory when their continued
presence is no longer desirable from the standpoint of domestic interest and tranquility.
Two Functions of Government?
Consituent Functions-It constitutes the very bonds of society (example: the keeping of
order and providing for the protection of persons and property from violence and
robbery or the fixing of legal relations between man and wife, parents and children are
obligatory or constituent functions of government.
Ministrant Functions are optional functions of government. The principles for
determining whether or not a government shall exercise certain of these optional and
these are
Whether the government should do for the public welfare those things which capital
would not naturally undertake and

Whether the government should do things which by its very nature it is better equipped
to administer for the public welfare than any private individuals group of individuals.
Sovereignty means the supreme, uncontrollable power, the jures summi imperri, the
absolute right to govern. It is the supreme will of the State, the power to make laws and
enforce them by all means of coercion it cares to employ.
Dual Aspects:
Internal-which means the supremacy of a person or body of person in the State over the
individuals or association of individuals within the area of its jurisdiction.
External-which means the absolute independence of one state as a whole with
reference to the other states. It is the freedom of the State from subjection to or control
by a foreign State that is the supremacy of the state against all foreign wills.
Imperium is the right of the State to pass or enact its own laws and employ force to
secure obedience thereto, maintains peace and order within its territorial limits, defend
the State against foreign invasion and do any other act of governance over its people.
Dominium refers to independent proprietary right of possession, use, conservation,
dispositions or sale and control by the State over its territorial lands.
As a general rule, The State cannot be sued without consent.
Consent may be given expressly (by way a general law) or impliedly (when it files a suit
or when it enters into a contract in the exercise of it proprietary capacity)
Who gives consent? Congress by way of a law.
JURE IMPERII sovereign and government acts
JURE GESTONIS-private, commercial or proprietary acts.
Restrictive Theory-the immunity of the sovereign is recognized only with regards to
public acts or acts jure imperii of the state, but not with regard to private acts or acts jure
gestionis.
Republic Form of Government. It is a government of the people, by the people and for
te people. a representative government wherein the powers and duties of government
are exercised and discharged for the common good and welfare.
Doctrine of Incorporation. It is a doctrine where the generally accepted principles of
international law are made part of the law of the land either by express provision of the
Constitution or by means of judicial declaration.
Basis is Section 2, Art. II, Phils. Renounces war as an instrument of national policy.
Adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as a part of the law of the
land x x x.

Doctrine of Autolimitations- Phils. Adopts the principles of international law as a


limitations to the exercise of its sovereignty.
We only renounced aggressive war not defensive war.
What is posse commitatus? It is the power of the State to require all able bodied
citizens to perform civil duty to maintain peace and order.
What is the principle of laissez-faire?
It means let alone. It means government should leave the economic and social forces at
work without any intervention or interference on its part. It is the foundation of
Capitalism. This principle was rejected by the constitution because of the
expanded provision on Social Justice.
The Concept of Due Process. It is a law that hears before it condemns which
proceeds upon inquiry and renders judgment only after trial.
No personal shall be deprived of life, liberty and property without due process of law.
Life includes the right of an individual to his body in its completeness and extends to the
use of God-given faculties which makes it enjoyable.
Liberty includes the right to exist and the right to be free from arbitrary personal
restraint, and servitude.
Property means anything that can come under the right of ownership and be the
subject of contract.
Is the guarantee absolute? NO. For as longs as the deprivation is with due process.
Citizenship is membership in a political community which is more or less permanent in
nature.
Who are citizens of the Philippines?
Those who are citizens of the Philippines at the time of the adoption of the constitution;
Those whose father so mothers are citizens of the Philippines;
Those born before January 17, 1973 of Filipino Mothers who elect Phil. Citizenship
upon reaching the age of majority.
Those who are naturalized in accordance with law.
Jus Sanguinis-meaning by blood as when a child was born of Filipino parents.
Jus Soli- by place of birth.
Naturalization-the artificial means or process whether judicial or administrative by
which a state places the imprint of a native citizen when it adopts an alien and gives him
an imprint and endowment of a citizen of that country.