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PREAMBLE WE,THE SOVEREIGN FILIPINO PEOPLE,IMPLORING THE AID OFALMIGHTY GOD,IN ORDER TO BUILD A JUST AND HUMANE SOCIETYAND ESTABLISH A GOVERNMENT THAT SHALL EMBODY OUR IDEALS ANDASPIRATIONS,PROMOTE THE COMMON GOOD,CONSERVE AND DEVELOPOUR PATRIMONY,AND SECURE TO OURSELVES AND OUR POSTERITY THEBLESSINGS OF INDEPENDENCE AND DEMOCRACY UNDER THE RULE OF LAWAND A REGIME OF TRUTH,JUSTICE,FREEDOM,LOVE,EQUALITY AND PEACE, DO ORDAIN AND PROMULGATE THIS CONSTITUTION. Q.What is the function of the Preamble in the Constitution? A.The Preamble is not a source of rights or of obligations.Jacobson v. Massachussetts, 197 U.S. 11,22 (1905). Because, however, it sets down the origin, scope, and purpose of the Constitution, it is useful as an aid in ascertaining the meaning of ambiguous provisions in the body of the Constitution. It is thus a source of light. Q. What is the origin, scope and purpose of the Constitution as set out in the Preamble? A.Its origin, or authorship, is the will of the "sovereign Filipino people." Its scope and purpose is "to build a just and humane society and to 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." Q. What is the significance of the use of the grammatical first person "We?" A.The use of the first person stresses the active and sovereign role of the Filipino people as author of the Constitution. The language thus differs from that of the 1935 Constitution which 1
2 THE 1987 PHILIPPINE CONSTITUTION: Sec. 1A COMPREHENSIVE REVIEWERused the third person "The Filipino people," thereby suggesting that another power was merely announcing that the Filipinos were finally being allowed to promulgate a constitution. Q.Why does the Constitution now say "Almighty God" instead of "Divine Providence," as the 1935 and 1973 Constitutions did? A.The phrase "Almighty God" is more personal and more consonant with personalist Filipino religiosity. Q.What is the meaning of "common good" and how does it differ from the "general welfare" of the 1935 and 1973 Constitutions? A.The phrase "common good" projects the idea of a social order that enables every citizen to attain his or her fullest development economically, politically, culturally, and spiritually. The phrase "general welfare" was avoided because it could be interpreted as "the greatest good for the greatest number" even if what the greater number wants does violence to human dignity, as for instance when the greater majority might want the extermination of those who are considered inferior. Q.What is the significance of the specification of "equality?" A.It emphasizes that a major problem in Philippine society is the prevalence of gross economic and political inequalities.