* Latin word- CONSTITUO – fixed, established and settled. * Organic and fundamental law of a state.
* Body of rules and principles in accordance with which the powers of sovereignty are regularly exercised. * Written instrument by which the fundamental powers of government are established, limited and defined and by which those powers are distributed among the several departments.
SUPREMACY AND PURPOSE OF CONSTITUTION:
* 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. * Any law that violates the constitution is deemed NULL AND VOID. * Primary purposes:
1. To define the organization of the government.
2. To determine the distribution of government powers.
3. To establish certain principles governing the operation of the government.
4. To define the rights of the citizens.
5. To hold the state together as one body politic.
KINDS OR CLASSIFICATIONS OF CONSTITUTION:
* According to their origin and history
1. Conventional or enacted- enacted by a constituent assembly.
- Example: 1987 Philippine Constitution
2. Cumulative or evolved- product of growth through a long period of development
- derived from customs, traditions, and judicial decisions. - According to their form:
1. Written- put into writing at a definite period of time by a special body such as Constitutional Convention, Constituent Assembly and Constitutional Commission.
- Examples: The 1935, 1973 and 1987 Philippine Constitution.
2. Unwritten- not written in one single instrument but in several documents, separately written by different bodes or agencies and at different periods of time. - According to the manner of amending them:
1. Rigid or inelastic- cannot just be changed or amended by a designated body.
- Example: Philippine Constitution
2. Flexible or elastic- treated as any ordinary law and could be changes or altered. - Others:
1. Normative- the government adjust its actions to the norms of the country.
2. Nominal- it cannot yet be fully operative because of the existing socio-economic conditions,
- principle value: Education
3. Semantic- tool for the perpetuation or continuation of power in the hands of power holders.
Divisions of a Written Constitution:
2. Provisions enumerating the basic rights of the people, grouped as the Bill of Rights,
3. Provisions defining the organization, form, distribution of powers of government.
4. Provisions outlining the amendatory process.
Constituent Powers of the Congress:
1. Power to submit the people the question of calling a Constitutional Convention.
2. Power to call the Constitutional Convention.
3. Power to propose amendment to or revision of the Constitution.
PRINCIPLES OF PHILIPPINE GOVERNMENT:
1. Aid of Almighty God in the life of the nation and the people is recognized (Preamble)
2. Sovereign power of the people [Article II, Sec.2]
3. Offensive or aggressive war is renounced. [Article II, Sce.2]
4. Civilian authority is supreme over the military [Article II, Sec.2]
5. Separation of the Church and State [Article II, Sec. 6]
6. Importance of the family as a basic autonomous social institution
[Article II, Sec.12]
7. Human rights are guaranteed [Article III, Secs. 1-22; Article XIII, Secs. 17-19]
8. Right of Suffrage [Article V]
9. Separation of powers wit checks and balances [Article VI, VII, VIII]
10. Local autonomy and Autonomous Regions are guaranteed [Article X]
11. Majority rule in a democratic and republican state [Article II, Sec.1]
12. Non-suability of the State [article XVI, Sec.3]
13. Guarantees of social justice [Article XIII, Secs. 1-16]
14. Nationalization of natural resources [Article XII, Secs. 2,2, 17-18]