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  Administrative Code of the Philippines:

BOOK II DISTRIBUTION OF POWERS OF GOVERNMENT Chapter 1 BASIC PRINCIPLES AND POLICIES    

Sec. 1. Guiding Principles and Policies in Government. - Governmental power shall be exercised in accordance with the following basic principles and policies:

    (1) The Philippines is a democratic and republican State. Sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them.

    (2) The State values the dignity of every human person and guarantees full respect for human rights.

    (3) Civilian authority is, at all times, supreme over the military.

    (4) The State shall ensure the autonomy of local governments.

    (5) The territorial and political subdivisions of the Republic of the Philippines are the provinces, cities, municipalities, and barangays. There shall be autonomous regions, in accordance with the Constitution, in Muslim Mindanao and the Cordilleras as may be provided by law.

    (6) The separation of Church and State shall be inviolable.

    (7) The right of the people and their organizations to effective and reasonable participation at all levels of social, political, and economic decision-making shall not be abridged. The State shall, by law, facilitate the establishment of adequate consultation mechanisms.

    (8) The powers expressly vested in any branch of the Government shall not be exercised by, nor delegated to, any other branch of the Government, except to the extent authorized by the Constitution.

Chapter 2 LEGISLATIVE POWER

    Sec. 2. Seat of Legislative Power. - The legislative power shall be vested in the Congress of the Philippines which shall consist of a Senate and a House of Representatives, except to the extent reserved to the people by the Constitutional provision on initiative and referendum.

    Sec. 3. Inhibitions Against Members of Congress. - (1) No Senator or Member of the House of Representatives may hold any other office or employment in the Government, or any subdivision agency, or instrumentality thereof, including government-owned or controlled corporations or their subsidiaries, during his term without forfeiting his seat. Neither shall he be appointed to any office which may have been created or the emoluments thereof increased during the term for which he was elected.

    (2) No Senator or Member of the House of Representatives may personally appear as counsel before any court of justice or before the Electoral Tribunals, or quasi-judicial and other administrative bodies. Neither shall he, directly or indirectly, be interested financially in any contract with, or in any franchise or special privilege granted by the Government, or any subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof including any government-owned or controlled corporation, or its subsidiary, during his term of office. He shall not intervene in any matter before any office of the Government for his pecuniary benefit or where he may be called upon to act on account of his office.

    Sec. 4. Electoral Tribunal. - The Senate and the House of Representatives shall each have an Electoral Tribunal which shall be the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of their respective Members. Each Electoral Tribunal shall be composed of nine (9) Members, three (3) of whom shall be Justices of the Supreme Court to be designated by the Chief Justice, and the remaining six (6) shall be Members of the Senate or the House of Representatives, as the case may be, who shall be chosen on the basis of proportional representation from the political parties and the parties or organizations registered under the party-list system represented therein. The senior Justice in the Electoral Tribunal shall be its Chairman.

    Sec. 5. Commission on Appointments. - There shall be a Commission on Appointments consisting of the President of the Senate, as ex officio Chairman, and twelve (12) Senators and twelve (12) Members of the House of Representatives, elected by each House on the basis of proportional representation from the political parties and parties or organizations registered under the party-list system represented therein. The Chairman of the Commission shall not vote, except in case of a tie. The Commission shall act on all appointments submitted to it within thirty (30) session days of the Congress from their submission. The Commission shall rule by a majority vote of all its Members.

    Sec. 6. Legislative Investigation. - The Senate or the House of Representatives or any of its respective committees may conduct inquiries in aid of legislation in accordance with its duly published rules of procedure. The rights of persons appearing in or affected by such inquiries shall be respected.

    Sec. 7. Appearance of Heads of Departments.- The heads of departments may upon their own initiative, with the consent of the President, or upon the request of either House, as the rules of each House shall provide, appear before and be heard by such House on any matter pertaining to their departments. Written questions shall be submitted to the President of the Senate or the Speaker of the House of Representatives at least three (3) days before their scheduled appearance. Interpellations shall not be limited to written questions, but may cover matters related thereto. When the security of the State or the public interest so requires and the President so states in writing, the appearance shall be conducted in executive session.

    Sec. 8. Initiative and Referendum.- The Congress shall, as early as possible, provide for a system of initiative and referendum and the exceptions therefrom, whereby the people can directly propose and enact laws or approve or reject any act or law or part thereof passed by the Congress or local legislative body after the registration of a petition therefor signed by at least ten (10) per centum of the total number of registered voters, of which every legislative district must be represented by at least three (3) per centum of the registered voters thereof.

    Sec. 9. Power to Propose Constitutional Amendments. - (1) Any amendment to, or revision of the Constitution may be proposed by: (a) The Congress, upon a vote of three-fourths (3/4) of all its Members; or (b) a constitutional convention. The Congress may, by a vote of two-thirds (2/3) of all its Members, call a constitutional convention, or by a majority vote of all its Members, submit to the electorate the question of calling such a convention.

    (2) Amendments to the Constitution may likewise be directly proposed by the people through initiative upon a petition of at least twelve (12) per centum of the total number of registered voters, of which every legislative district must be represented by at least three (3) per centum of the registered voters therein. No amendments under this paragraph shall be authorized within five years following the ratification of the 1987 Constitution nor oftener than once every five years thereafter. The Congress shall provide for the implementation of the exercise of this right.

    Sec. 10. Validity of Constitutional Amendments.- (1) Any amendment to or revision of the Constitution proposed by Congress or a constitutional convention shall be valid when ratified by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite which shall be held not earlier than sixty days (60) nor later than ninety days (90) after the approval of such amendment or revision.

    (2) Any amendment to or revision of the Constitution directly proposed by the people through initiative shall be valid when ratified by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite which shall be held not earlier than sixty days (60) nor later than ninety days (90) after the certification by the Commission on Elections of the sufficiency of the petition.

Chapter 3 EXECUTIVE POWER

    Sec. 11. Exercise of Executive Power. - The Executive power shall be vested in the President.

    Sec. 12. The Vice-President. - There shall be a Vice-President who shall have the same qualifications and term of office and be elected with and in the same manner as the President. He may be removed from office in the same manner as the President.

    The Vice-President may be appointed as a Member of the Cabinet. Such appointment requires no confirmation.

    Sec. 13. Vacancy in Office of the President.- In case of death, permanent disability, removal from office, or resignation of the President, the Vice-President shall become the President to serve the unexpired term. In case of death, permanent disability, removal from office, or resignation of both the President and Vice-President, the President of the Senate or, in case of his inability, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, shall then act as President until the President or Vice-President shall have been elected and qualified.

    The Congress shall, by law, provide who shall serve as President in case of death, permanent disability, or resignation of the Acting President. He shall serve until the President or Vice-President shall have been elected and qualified, and be subject to the same restrictions of powers and disqualifications as the Acting President.

    Sec. 14. Vacancy in Office of the Vice-President. - Whenever there is a vacancy in the Office of the Vice-President during the term for which he was elected, the President shall nominate a Vice-President from among the Members of the Senate and the House of Representatives who shall assume office upon confirmation by a majority vote of all the Members of both Houses of the Congress, voting separately.

    Sec. 15. Inhibitions Against Executive Officials. - The President, Vice-President, the Members of the Cabinet, and their deputies or assistants shall not, unless otherwise provided in this Constitution, hold any other office or employment during their tenure. They shall not, during said tenure, directly or indirectly practice any other profession, participate in any business, or be financially interested in any contract with, or in any franchise, or special privilege granted by the Government or any subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof, including government-owned or controlled corporations or their subsidiaries. They shall strictly avoid conflicts of interest in the conduct of their office.

    The spouse and relatives by consanguinity or affinity within the fourth civil degree of the President shall not during his tenure be appointed as Members of the Constitutional Commissions, or the Office of the Ombudsman, or as Secretaries, Undersecretaries, chairmen or heads of bureaus or offices, including government-owned or controlled corporations and their subsidiaries.

Chapter 4 JUDICIAL POWER

    Sec. 16. Judicial Power. - The judicial power shall be vested in one (1) Supreme Court, and in such lower courts as may be established by law. Such lower courts include the Court of Appeals, Sandiganbayan, Court of Tax Appeals, Regional Trial Courts, Shari's District Courts, Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts, and Shari'a Circuit Courts and they shall continue to exercise their respective jurisdiction until otherwise provided by law.

    Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable, and, in cases prescribed by law, to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government.

    Sec. 17. Composition of the Supreme Court. - The Supreme Court shall be composed of a Chief Justice and fourteen Associate Justices. It may sit en banc or in its discretion, in divisions of three, five or seven Members.

    Sec. 18. Jurisdiction and Powers of Supreme Court. - The Supreme Court shall have the following powers:

    (1) Exercise original jurisdiction over cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and over petitions for certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, quo warranto, and habeas corpus.

    (2) Review, revise, reverse, modify, or affirm on appeal or certiorari as the law or the Rules of Court may provide, final judgments and orders of lower courts in:

      (a) All cases in which the constitutionality or validity of any treaty, international or executive agreement, law, presidential decree, proclamation, order, instruction, ordinance, or regulation is in question.

      (b) All cases involving the legality of any tax, impost, assessment, or toll, or any penalty imposed in relation thereto.

      (c) All cases in which the jurisdiction of any lower court is in issue.

      (d) All criminal cases in which the penalty imposed is reclusion perpetua or higher.

      (e) All cases in which only an error or question of law is involved.


    (3) Assign temporarily judges of lower courts to other stations as public interest may require. Such temporary assignment shall not exceed six (6) months without the consent of the judge concerned.

    (4) Order a change of venue or place of trial to avoid a miscarriage of justice.

    (5) Promulgate rules concerning the protection and enforcement of constitutional rights, pleading, practice, and procedure in all courts, the admission to the practice of law, the Integrated Bar, and legal assistance to the underprivileged. Such rules shall provide a simplified and inexpensive procedure for the speedy disposition of cases, shall be uniform for all courts of the same grade; and shall not diminish, increase, or modify substantive rights. Rules of procedure of special courts and quasi-judicial bodies shall remain effective unless disapproved by the Supreme Court.

    (6) Appoint all officials and employees of the Judiciary in accordance with the Civil Service law.


    Sec. 19. Apportionment of Jurisdiction. - Congress shall define, prescribe and apportion the jurisdiction of the various courts but may not deprive the Supreme Court of its jurisdiction enumerated in the immediately preceding section. Neither shall a law be passed increasing its appellate jurisdiction as therein specified without its advice and concurrence.

    No law shall be passed reorganizing the Judiciary when it undermines the security of tenure of its Members.

    Sec. 20. Administrative Supervision.- The Supreme Court shall have administrative supervision over all courts and the personnel thereof.

    Sec. 21. Judicial and Bar Council. - (1) A Judicial and Bar Council is hereby created under the supervision of the Supreme Court composed of the Chief Justice as ex officio Chairman, the Secretary of Justice, and a representative of the Congress as ex officio Member, a representative of the Integrated Bar, a professor of law, a retired Member of the Supreme Court, and a representative of the private sector.

    (2) The regular members of the Council shall be appointed by the President for a term of four (4) years with the consent of the Commission of Appointments. Of the Members first appointed, the representative of the Integrated Bar shall serve for four (4) years, the professor of law for three (3) years, the retired Justice for two (2) years, and the representative of the private sector for one (1) year.

    (3) The Clerk of the Supreme Court shall be the Secretary ex officio of the Council and shall keep a record of its proceedings.

    (4) The regular Members of the Council shall receive such emoluments as may be determined by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court shall provide in its annual budget the appropriations for the Council.

    (5) The Council shall have the principal function of recommending appointees to the Judiciary. It may exercise such other functions and duties as the Supreme Court may assign to it.

    Sec. 22. Appointment of Members of Judiciary. - The Members of the Supreme Court and judges of lower courts shall be appointed by the President from a list of at least three (3) nominees prepared by the Judicial and Bar Council for every vacancy. Such appointments need no confirmation.

    For the lower courts, the President shall issue the appointments within ninety (90) days from the submission of the list.

    Sec. 23. Prohibition Against Performing Quasi-Judicial or Administrative Functions. - The Members of the Supreme Court and of other courts established by law shall not be designated to any agency performing quasi-judicial or administrative functions.

Chapter 5 CONSTITUTIONAL COMMISSIONS

    Sec. 24. Constitutional Commissions. - The Constitutional Commissions, which shall be independent, are the Civil Service Commission, the Commission on Elections, and the Commission on Audit.

    Sec. 25. Inhibitions Against Constitutional Commissioners. - No member of a Constitutional Commission shall, during his tenure, hold any other office or employment. Neither shall he engage in the practice of any profession or in the active management or control of any business which in anyway may be affected by the functions of his office, nor shall he be financially interested, directly or indirectly, in any contract with, or in any franchise or privilege granted by the Government, any of its subdivisions, agencies, or instrumentalities, including government-owned or controlled corporations or their subsidiaries.

    Sec. 26. Fiscal Autonomy. - The Constitutional Commissions shall enjoy fiscal autonomy. The approved annual appropriations shall be automatically and regularly released.

    Sec. 27. Promulgation of Rules. - Each Commission en banc may promulgate its own rules concerning pleadings and practice before it or before any of its offices. Such rules however shall not diminish, increase, or modify substantive rights.

    Sec. 28. Decisions by the Constitutional Commissions.- Each Commission shall decide, by a majority vote of all its Members, any case or matter brought before it within sixty (60) days from the date of its submission for decision or resolution. A case or matter is deemed submitted for decision or resolution upon the filing of the last pleading, brief, or memorandum required by the rules of the Commission or by the Commission itself. Unless otherwise provided by the Constitution or by law, any decision, order, or ruling of each Commission may be brought to the Supreme Court on certiorari by the aggrieved party within thirty (30) days from receipt of a copy thereof.

Chapter 6 OTHER BODIES

    Sec. 29. Other Bodies. - There shall be in accordance with the Constitution, an Office of the Ombudsman, a Commission on Human Rights, an independent central monetary authority, and a national police commission. Likewise, as provided in the Constitution, Congress may establish an independent economic and planning agency.

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