II DISTRIBUTION OF POWERS OF GOVERNMENT Chapter
1 BASIC PRINCIPLES AND POLICIES
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
Vice-President may be appointed as a Member of the Cabinet.
Such appointment requires no confirmation.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
(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
(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.
law shall be passed reorganizing the Judiciary when it undermines the security
of tenure of its Members.
20. Administrative Supervision.- The Supreme Court shall have administrative
supervision over all courts and the personnel thereof.
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.
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.
The Clerk of the Supreme Court shall be the Secretary ex officio
of the Council and shall keep a record of its proceedings.
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.
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.
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.
the lower courts, the President shall issue the appointments
within ninety (90) days from the submission of the list.
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.
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
26. Fiscal Autonomy. - The Constitutional Commissions
shall enjoy fiscal autonomy. The approved annual appropriations
shall be automatically and regularly released.
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.
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.