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1.

Define Political Law

It is that branch of public law which deals with the organization and operations of the
governmental organs of the State and defines the relations of the State with the inhabitants of its
territory. (PEOPLE VS. PERFECTO, 43 Phil. 887)

2. What are included in Political Law?

 Constitutional Law;
 Administrative Law
 Law of Public Officers
 Law on Public Corporation
 Election Law

3. What is the doctrine of constitutional supremacy?

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.

4. What are the requisites for the exercise of “people’s initiative” to amend the Constitution?

It is provided under Section 2, Art. XVII of the Constitution which provides that “Amendments
to this Constitution may likewise be directly proposed by the people through initiative upon a
petition of at least 12% of the total number of registered voters, of which every legislative
district must be represented by at least 3% of the registered voter therein.” The Congress shall
provide for the implementation of the exercise of this right.

5. Is there a law which would provide for the mechanism for the people to propose
amendments to the Constitution by people’s initiative?

While Congress had enacted RA 6735 purportedly to provide the mechanisms for the
people’s exercise the power to amend the Constitution by people’s initiative, the Supreme Court
in MIRIAM DEFENSOR-SANTIAGO, et al. Vs. COMELEC, G.R. No. 127325, March 19,
1997 & June 10, 1997, the Supreme Court held that RA 6735 is incomplete, inadequate or
wanting in essential terms and conditions insofar as initiative on amendments to the
Constitution is concerned. Its lacunae on this substantive matter are fatal and cannot be
cured by “empowering” the COMELEC to promulgate such rules and regulations as may
be necessary to carry the purposes of this act.

In LAMBINO VS. COMELEC, however, the Supreme Court on November 21, 2006, in the
Minute Resolution of the petitioner’s Motion for Reconsideration held that RA No. 6735 is
adequate and complete for the purpose of proposing amendments to the Constitution
through people’s initiative by a vote of 10 members as per Certification of the En Banc’s
Clerk of Court.

5-a. May the question “Do you approve the amendment of Articles VI and VII of the 1987
Philippine Constitution changing the form of government from Presidential-Bicameral to
Parliamentary-Unicameral” be allowed to be submitted to the people for their ratification or
rejection as a means of amending the Constitution by people’s initiative if the requisite
number of signatories (12% nationwide and at least 3% for every legislative district) are met?

No for two (2) reasons.

1. The said “proposal” did not indicate which provisions of Articles VI and VII are actually
being amended which is a must under Section 2, Art. XVII. Otherwise, who shall make the
amendments if the people in a plebiscite approve the same;

2. Changing the form of government from presidential to parliamentary is an act of REVISING


the Constitution which is not allowed under Art. XVII, Section 2. People’s initiative may only be
allowed to propose amendments to the Constitution, not revision.

6. What are the requisites before an amendment to the Constitution by “people’s initiative” is
sufficient in form and in substance?

In the case of RAUL L. LAMBINO and ERICO B. AUMENTADO , together with 6,327,952
registered voters vs. THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, G.R. No. 174153, October 25,
2006, 505 SCRA 160, the following requisites must be present:

1. The people must author and must sign the entire proposal. No agent or representative can
sign for and on their behalf;

2. As an initiative upon a petition, THE PROPOSAL MUST BE EMBODIED IN A


PETITION.

These essential elements are present only if the full text of the proposed amendments is first
shown to the people who will express their assent by signing such complete proposal in a
petition. Thus, an amendment is “DIRECTLY PROPOSED BY THE PEOPLE THROUGH
INITIATIVE UPON A PETIITON “ ONLY IF THE PEOPLE SIGN ON A PETITION THAT
OCNTAINS THE FULL TEXT OF THE PROPOSED AMENDMENTS.

7. Distinguish “Revision” from “amendment” of the Constitution.

“Revision” is the alterations of the different portions of the entire document [Constitution]. It
may result in the rewriting whether the whole constitution, or the greater portion of it, or perhaps
some of its important provisions. But whatever results the revision may produce, the factor that
characterizes it as an act of revision is the original intention and plan authorized to be carried out.
That intention and plan must contemplate a consideration of all the provisions of the Constitution
to determine which one should be altered or suppressed or whether the whole document should
be replaced with an entirely new one.

“Amendment” of the Constitution, on the other hand, envisages a change or only a few specific
provisions. The intention of an act to amend is not to consider the advisability of changing the
entire constitution or of considering that possibility. The intention rather is to improve specific
parts of the existing constitution or to add to it provisions deemed essential on account of
changed conditions or to suppress portions of it that seem obsolete, or dangerous, or misleading
in their effect. (SINCO, Vicente, PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW)

8. May Congress propose amendments to the Constitution while at the same time calling for a
Constitutional Convention to amend the Constitution?

Yes, there is no prohibition for Congress to propose amendments to the Constitution


and at the same time call for the convening of a Constitutional Convention to amend the
Constitution. The word “or” in the provision “…Congress, upon a vote of ¾ of all its members;
OR [2] A constitutional Convention” under Section 1, Art. XVII also means “AND”.
(GONZALES VS. COMELEC, 21 SCRA 774)

9. What is the “Doctrine of Proper Submission” in connection with proposed


amendments to the Constitution?

“Doctrine of Proper Submission” means all the proposed amendments to the Constitution
shall be presented to the people for the ratification or rejection at the same time, not piecemeal.
(TOLENTINO VS. COMELEC, 41 SCRA 702)

10. What is the archipelagic doctrine or archipelago theory?

It is the 2nd sentence of Section 1, Art. I of the Constitution which states that “thewaters around,
between and connecting the islands of the archipelago, regardless of their breadth and
dimensions, form part of the internal waters of the Philippines.”