Full Version - Constitutional Law 1 (LLB 103).pdf - Part 1 POLITICAL LAW(STRUCTURE AND POWERS OF THE GOVERNMENT I IN GENERAL A Political Law Defined

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Unformatted text preview: Part 1 POLITICAL LAW (STRUCTURE AND POWERS OF THE GOVERNMENT) I. IN GENERAL A. Political Law Defined POLITICAL LAW has been defined as that branch of public law which deals with the organization and operation of the governmental organs of the State and define the relations of the state with the inhabitants1 of its territory People vs. Perfecto, 43 Phil. 887, 897 [1922] DEFINITION / EFFECTIVITY Case: Bernardita R. Macariola charged respondent Judge Elias B. Asuncion of the Court of First Instance of Leyte. The complainant alleged that respondent Judge violated paragraphs 1 and 5, Article 14 of the Code of Commerce when he associated himself with the Traders Manufacturing and Fishing Industries, Inc. as a stockholder and a ranking officer, said corporation having been organized to engage in business. Said Article provides that: Article 14 - The following cannot engage in commerce, either in person or by proxy, nor can they hold any office or have any direct, administrative, or financial intervention in commercial or industrial companies within the limits of the districts, provinces, or towns in which they discharge their duties: 1. Justices of the Supreme Court, judges and officials of the department of public prosecution in active service. This provision shall not be applicable to mayors, municipal judges, and municipal prosecuting attorneys nor to those who by chance are temporarily discharging the functions of judge or prosecuting attorney. xxxx 5. Those who by virtue of laws or special provisions may not engage in commerce in a determinate territory. Rule: It is Our considered view that although the aforestated provision is incorporated in the Code of Commerce which is part of the commercial laws of the Philippines, it, however, partakes of the nature of a political law as it regulates the relationship between the government and certain public officers and employees, like justices and judges. 1 Page 1 Political Law has been defined as that branch of public law which deals with the organization and operation of the governmental organs of the State and define the relations of the state with the inhabitants of its territory (People vs. Perfecto, 43 Phil. 887, 897 [1922…. Specifically, Article 14 of the Code of Commerce partakes more of the nature of an administrative law because it regulates the conduct of certain public officers and employees with respect to engaging in business: hence, political in essence. It is significant to note that the present Code of Commerce is the Spanish Code of Commerce of 1885, with some modifications made by the "Commission de Codificacion de las Provincias de Ultramar," which was extended to the Philippines by the Royal Decree of August 6, 1888, and took effect as law in this jurisdiction on December 1, 1888. This includes not only citizens as there are rights protected by the Constitution for Inhabitants Political Law 1 2016 Atty. Edgar Pascua II Part 1 Upon the transfer of sovereignty from Spain to the United States and later on from the United States to the Republic of the Philippines, Article 14 of this Code of Commerce must be deemed to have been abrogated because where there is change of sovereignty, the political laws of the former sovereign, whether compatible or not with those of the new sovereign, are automatically abrogated, unless they are expressly re-enacted by affirmative act of the new sovereign. Thus, We held in Roa vs. Collector of Customs (23 Phil. 315, 330, 311 [1912]) that: By well-settled public law, upon the cession of territory by one nation to another, either following a conquest or otherwise ... those laws which are political in their nature and pertain to the prerogatives of the former government immediately cease upon the transfer of sovereignty. (Opinion, Atty. Gen., July 10, 1899). While municipal laws of the newly acquired territory not in conflict with the, laws of the new sovereign continue in force without the express assent or affirmative act of the conqueror, the political laws do not. (Halleck's Int. Law, chap. 34, par. 14). However, such political laws of the prior sovereignty as are not in conflict with the constitution or institutions of the new sovereign, may be continued in force if the conqueror shall so declare by affirmative act of the commander-in-chief during the war, or by Congress in time of peace. (Ely's Administrator vs. United States, 171 U.S. 220, 43 L. Ed. 142). In the case of American and Ocean Ins. Cos. vs. 356 Bales of Cotton (1 Pet. [26 U.S.] 511, 542, 7 L. Ed. 242), Chief Justice Marshall said: On such transfer (by cession) of territory, it has never been held that the relations of the inhabitants with each other undergo any change. Their relations with their former sovereign are dissolved, and new relations are created between them and the government which has acquired their territory. The same act which transfers their country, transfers the allegiance of those who remain in it; and the law which may be denominated political, is necessarily changed, although that which regulates the intercourse and general conduct of individuals, remains in force, until altered by the newly- created power of the State. Likewise, in People vs. Perfecto (43 Phil. 887, 897 [1922]), this Court stated that: "It is a general principle of the public law that on acquisition of territory the previous political relations of the ceded region are totally abrogated” There appears no enabling or affirmative act that continued the effectivity of the aforestated provision of the Code of Commerce after the change of sovereignty from Spain to the United States and then to the Republic of the Philippines. Consequently, Article 14 of the Code of Commerce has no legal and binding effect and cannot apply to the respondent, then Judge of the Court of First Instance, now Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals. Macariola vs. Asuncion- 114 SCRA 77, - A.M. No. 133-J May 31, 1982 Political Law 1 2016 Atty. Edgar Pascua II Page Rule: As to whether the Indeterminate Sentence Act was in force during the occupation, the answer is in the affirmative. A proclamation of the Commander-in-Chief of the Japanese forces of January 2, 1942, directed that "so far as the military administration permits, all the laws now in force in the Commonwealth, as well as executive and judicial institutions, shall continue to be effective for the time being as in the past." This was nothing more than a confirmation of the well-known rule of the Law of Nations that municipal laws, as contra-distinguished from laws of political nature, are not abrogated by a change of sovereignty. (Kim Cham vs. Valdes Tan Keh and Dizon (75 Phil., 113) The Indeterminate Sentence Law is not a political law. It does not affect political relations. In fact, it is a part of the Commonwealth's criminal and penal system directly related to the punishment of crime and the maintenance of public peace and order, which Article 43 of Section III of the Hague 2 Hence, As To Laws Which Are Not Political In Nature; Part 1 Regulations of 1907 compels the belligerent occupant to take all steps in his power to reestablish and insure as far as possible. G.R. No. L-1352 April 30, 1947 ALFONSO MONTEBON vs. THE DIRECTOR OF PRISONS Case: On May 22, 1944, Herminigildo and Raymunda Locquiao executed a deed of donation propter nuptias in favor of their son, respondent Benito Locquiao and his then prospective and eventual bride By the terms of the deed, the donees were gifted with four (4) parcels of land, including the land in question, in consideration of the impending marriage of the donees. Herminigildo and Raymunda died on December 15, 1962. Years later, the donation was questioned by the Petitioner as allegedly it did not observe the form required by law as there was no written acceptance on the document itself or in a separate public instrument. The issue to be threshed out is whether acceptance of the donation by the donees is required. Rule: It is settled that only laws existing at the time of the execution of a contract are applicable thereto and not later statutes, unless the latter are specifically intended to have retroactive effect. Consequently, it is the Old Civil Code which applies in this case since the donation propter nuptias was executed in 1944 and the New Civil Code took effect only on August 30, 1950. The fact that in 1944 the Philippines was still under Japanese occupation is of no consequence. It is a well-known rule of the Law of Nations that municipal laws, as contra-distinguished from laws of political nature, are not abrogated by a change of sovereignty. This Court specifically held that during the Japanese occupation period, the Old Civil Code was in force. As a consequence, applying Article 1330 of the Old Civil Code in the determination of the validity of the questioned donation, it does not matter whether or not the donees had accepted the donation. The validity of the donation is unaffected in either case. G.R. No. 122134 October 3, 2003 ROMANA LOCQUIAO VALENCIA and CONSTANCIA L. VALENCIA vs. BENITO A. LOCQUIAO B. Scope of Political Law: a. The law of PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION. This deals with the organization and management of the different branches of the government b. CONSTITUTIONAL LAW. Deals with the guaranties of the constitution to individual rights and the limitations on governmental action c. ADMINISTRATIVE LAW. Deals with the exercise of executive power in the making of rules and the decision of questions affecting private rights d. The law on PUBLIC CORPORATIONS. Deals with the governmental agencies for local government or for other special purpose C. Constitutional Law defined Political Law 1 2016 Atty. Edgar Pascua II Page It “is a body of rules resulting from the interpretation by a high court of cases in which the validity, in relation to the constitutional instrument, of some act of government, has been challenged.” (Bernas) 3 Constitutional law is a term used to designate the law embodied in the constitution and the legal principles growing out of the interpretation and application made by courts of the constitution in specific cases. (Sinco, Phil. Political Law) Part 1 Constitutional law consist not only of the constitution, but also of the cases decided by the Supreme Court on constitutional grounds, i.e., every case where the ratio decidendi is based on a constitutional provision. (Defensor-Santiago) Constitutional law is the study of the maintenance of the proper balance between authority represented by the three inherent powers of the State and liberty as guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. (Cruz, Constitutional Law) D. Constitution Defined A constitution is both a legal document and a political plan. It, therefore, embodies legal rules as well as political principles. And so when we speak of constitutional law in the strict sense of the tern, we refer to the legal rules of the constitution.2 It is defined by Judge Story to be a fundamental law or basis of government. It is established by the people, in their original sovereign capacity, to promote their own happiness, and permanently to secure their rights, property, independence, and common welfare. (McKoan vs. Devries, 3 Barb., 196, 198 [quoting 1 Story, Const., secs. 338, 339]; Church vs. Kelsey, 7 Sup. Ct., 897, 898; 121 U. S., 282; 30 L. ed., 960.) A constitution is delineated by the mighty hand of the people, in which certain first principles of fundamental laws are established. The constitution is certain and fixed. It contains the permanent will of the people, and is the supreme law of the land. It is paramount to the legislature, and can be revoked or altered only by the authority that made it. (Vanhornes's Lessee vs. Dorrance, 2 U. S. [2 Dall.] 304, 308; 28 Fed. Cas., 1012;1 L. ed., 391.) A constitution is an act of extraordinary legislation by which the people establish the structure and mechanism of their government, and in which they prescribe fundamental rules to regulate the motions of the several parts. (Eakin vs. Raub [Pa.] 12 Serg. & R., 330, 347.) A constitution is the written charter enacted and adopted by the people of a state through a combination of representatives, or in any way the people may choose to act, by which a government for them is obtained and established, and by which the people give organic and corporate form to that ideal thing, a state, for all time to come, or during the life of the state. (Lynn vs. Polk, 76 Tenn. [8 Lea], 121, 165.) 2 Page It may be more specifically defined as a written instrument organizing the government, distributing its powers and safeguarding the rights of the People (Tañada and Fernando) Mendoza Notes Political Law 1 4 It is a law for the government, safeguarding individual rights, set down in writing. (Hamilton) 2016 Atty. Edgar Pascua II Part 1 According to Schwartz, “it is seen as an organic instrument, under which governmental powers are both conferred and circumscribed.” Such stress upon both grant and limitation of authority is fundamental in American theory. “The office and purpose of the constitution is to shape and fix the limits of governmental activity.” (Fernando) Comprehensive Definition: That body of rules and maxims in accordance with which the powers of sovereignty are habitually exercised. (Cooley) –This covers written and unwritten constitutions. (Cruz, Constitutional Law) American sense: A constitution is a written instrument by which the fundamental powers of government are established, limited, and defined and by which these powers are distributed among several departments, for their more safe and useful exercise, for the benefit of the body politic. (Justice Miller) With particular reference to the Philippine Constitution: That written instrument enacted by direct action of the people by which the fundamental powers of the government are established, limited and defined, and by which those powers are distributed among several departments for their safe and useful exercise for the benefit of the body politic. (Malcolm, Philippine Constitutional Law, p. 6) E. Doctrine of Constitutional Supremacy In Social Justice Society v. Dangerous Drugs Board,3 the Court held that, "It is basic that if a law or an administrative rule violates any norm of the Constitution, that issuance is null and void and has no effect. The Constitution is the basic law to which all laws must conform; no act shall be valid if it conflicts with the Constitution." In Sabio v. Gordon4, the Court held that, "the Constitution is the highest law of the land. It is the ‘basic and paramount law (to which all other laws must conform.’" In Atty. Macalintal v. Commission on Elections5, the Court held that, "The Constitution is the fundamental and paramount law of the nation to which all other laws must conform and in accordance with which all private rights must be determined and all public authority administered. Laws that do not conform to the Constitution shall be stricken down for being unconstitutional In Manila Prince Hotel v. Government Service Insurance System, the Court held that: 5 Rule: A constitution is a system of fundamental laws for the governance and administration of a nation. It is supreme, imperious, absolute and unalterable except by the authority from which it emanates. It has been defined as the fundamental and paramount law of the nation. It prescribes 3 Page G.R. Nos. 157870, 158633 and 161658, 3 November 2008, 570 SCRA 410 G.R. No. 174340, 17 October 2006, 504 SCRA 704. 5 453 Phil. 586 (2003). 4 Political Law 1 2016 Atty. Edgar Pascua II Part 1 the permanent framework of a system of government, assigns to the different departments their respective powers and duties, and establishes certain fixed principles on which government is founded. The fundamental conception in other words is that it is a supreme law to which all other laws must conform and in accordance with which all private rights must be determined and all public authority administered. Under the doctrine of constitutional supremacy, if a law or contract violates any norm of the constitution that law or contract whether promulgated by the legislative or by the executive branch or entered into by private persons for private purposes is null and void and without any force and effect. Thus, since the Constitution is the fundamental, paramount and supreme law of the nation, it is deemed written in every statute and contract. G.R. No. 122156 February 3, 1997 MANILA PRINCE HOTEL vs. GOVERNMENT SERVICE INSURANCE SYSTEM - quoting 8 Wall. 603 (1869). “…When the courts declare a law to be inconsistent with the Constitution, the former shall be void and the latter shall govern” Art 7, New Civil Code’’ Rule: As the new Civil Code puts it: "When the courts declare a law to be inconsistent with the Constitution, the former shall be void and the latter shall govern. Administrative or executive acts, orders and regulations shall be valid only when they are not contrary to the laws of the Constitution." It is understandable why it should be so, the Constitution being supreme and paramount. Any legislative or executive act contrary to its terms cannot survive. CIR v. San Roque Power Corp., G.R. No. 187485, 8 October 2013 F. Foreign Jurisprudence and Constitutional Law Rule: American jurisprudence and authorities, much less the American Constitution, are of dubious application for these are no longer controlling within our jurisdiction and have only limited persuasive merit insofar as Philippine constitutional law is concerned. As held in the case of Garcia vs. COMELEC, (227 SCRA 100 (1993).)"[i]n resolving constitutional disputes, [this Court] should not be beguiled by foreign jurisprudence some of which are hardly applicable because they have been dictated by different constitutional settings and needs." Indeed, although the Philippine Constitution can trace its origins to that of the United States, their paths of development have long since diverged. In the colorful words of Father Bernas, "[w]e have cut the umbilical cord." G.R. No. 160261 November 10, 2003 FRANCISCO, JR. vs THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES Rule Foreign decisions and authorities are not per se controlling in this jurisdiction. At best, they are persuasive and have been used to support many of our decisions. We should not place undue and fawning reliance upon them and regard them as indispensable mental crutches without which we cannot come to our own decisions through the employment of our own endowments. We live in a different ambience and must decide our own problems in the light of our own interests and needs, and of our qualities and even idiosyncrasies as a people, and always with our own concept of law and justice. Our laws must be construed in accordance with the intention of our own lawmakers and such intent may be deduced from the language of each law and the context of other local legislation related thereto. More importantly, they must be construed to serve our own public interest which is the be-all and the end-all of all our laws. And it need not be stressed that our public interest is distinct and different from others. G.R. No. 167614 March 24, 2009 SERRANO vs. .GALLANT MARITIME G. Types of Constitution Page 6 1. In relation to the amendment process: Political Law 1 2016 Atty. Edgar Pascua II Part 1 RIGID CONSTITUTION - is one that can be amended only by a formal and usually difficult process. This may not be amended except through a special process distinct from and more involved than the method of changing ordinary laws. The constitution is rendered difficult to change and thereby acquires a greater degree of stability; FLEXIBLE CONSTITUTION - is one that can be changed by ordinary legislation. (Cruz, Constitutional Law p 5). It may be changed in the same manner and through the same body that enacts ordinary legislation. Example: British Constitution. 2. As to its adaption: WRITTEN CONSTITUTION - is one whose precepts are embodied in one doc...
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