Pre-Bar Quizzer in Political Law – Part I: Constitution of Government 21-30
21. What are the factors to be considered by the Philippines in dealing with other nations?
As provided in Section 7 of Art. II, The Philippines shall pursue an independent foreign policy. In its relations with other states the paramount consideration shall be  national sovereignty,  territorial integrity,  national interest, and  the right to self-determination,
22. Is there absolute prohibition for the Philippines to be equipped with nuclear weapons?
No, as stated in Section 8, Art. II, “the Philippines, consistent with the national interest, adopts and pursues a policy of freedom from nuclear weapons in its territory.” As such, if it is consistent with national interest, the same is not prohibited.
23. Is “divorce” prohibited by the 1987 Philippine Constitution?
Father Bernas opines that the provision of the Constitution (Section 12, Art. III) which provides in part that the “State shall strengthen the family” does not take a stand on divorce though it appears that a divorce law would “break” the family instead of “strengthening” it. As such, a Divorce Law to be passed by Congress may or may not be unconstitutional.
23. Is abortion allowed in the Philippines?
Section 12, Art. II prohibits all forms of abortion except “therapeutic abortion” or when the life of the mother is in danger. (Note: In the United States, abortion is allowed but only up to the 2nd trimester of the pregnancy [ROE vs. WADE])
24. Is a law prohibiting the sale of “girlie(bold) magazines” to minors violates the right of parents in rearing their children for civic efficiency?
No, as held in the case of GINSBERG VS. NEW YORK, 390 US 629 (1969), a law prohibiting the sale of “girlie magazines” [bold?) is constitutional and does not violate the above provision. This is so because parents could buy said magazines for their children if they believe the same is already suitable to the understanding of their child. This is in accordance with this provision which states that the parents have the “natural and primary right in rearing their child for civic efficiency…”
25. May the State prohibit the teaching of a particular language in any school?
No as held in MEYER VS. NEBRASKA, 260 US 260 (1922) because the child is not a mere creature of the State and the parents have the natural right and duty of rearing their children for civic efficiency.
26. May the State require parents to enroll their small children only to public schools valid?
As held in PIERCE VS. SOCIETY OF SISTERS, 268 US 510 (1925), a law requiring small kids to be enrolled in public schools only is unconstitutional since it interferes with the right of parents in rearing their children. They have the right to choose which school is best suited for the development of their children without interference from the State. THIS IS SO BECAUSE THE CHILDREN ARE NOT MERE CREATURES OF THE STATE.
27. Do we practice the free enterprise system in the Philippines or is it the welfare state concept? Distinguish the two.
As held in ACCFA VS. CUGCO, 30 SCRA 649 “the Philippines never practiced the free enterprise system. It is the welfare-state concept which is being followed as shown by the constitutional provision on agrarian reform, housing, protection to labor… (NOTE, however, that the 1987 Constitution have provisions which provide for “free enterprise). The said doctrine was reiterated in PHILIPPINE COCONUT DESICCATORS VS. PHILIPPINE COCONUT AUTHORITY, 286 SCRA 109 where it was held that the Philippine Constitutions, starting from the 1935 document, HAVE REPUDIATED laissez faire (or the doctrine of free enterprise) as an economic principle, and although the present Constitution enshrines free enterprise as a policy, it nevertheless reserves to the government the power to intervene whenever necessary to promote the general welfare. As such, free enterprise does not call for the removal of “protective regulations” for the benefit of the general public. This is so because under Art. XII, Sections 6 and 9, it is very clear that the government reserves the power to intervene whenever necessary to promote the general welfare and when the public interest so requires.
27-a. May the PCGG Commissioners refuse to appear before a Senate Committee conducting alleged irregularities committed by them while sitting in the Board of PHILCOMSAT, a private firm sequestered by the government on account of Executive Order No. 1 providing that they should not be the subject of any investigation in connection with their acts in connection with the performance of their duties as such?
No. Such act would violate Section 28, Art. II of the Constitution mandating disclosure of all public transactions involving the public interest. Such act would also violate the “right to information on matters of public concern” as well as the “public accountability of public officials” as embodied in Section 1, Art. XI of the 1987 Constitution, not to mention that such would render nugatory the power of Congress under Section 21, Art. VI. (SABIO VS. GORDON, 504 SCRA 704)
28. What Are the limitations to the Congress power to exercise legislative power?
The limitations are:
1. it cannot pass irrepealable laws
2. principle of separation of powers
3. non-delegability of legislative powers
29. What are the constitutionally allowed “delegation of legislative power” by Congress?
The permissible delegation of legislative power is.
1) Sec. 23 (2) of Article VI (Emergency powers to the President in case of war or other national emergency, for a limited period and subject to such restrictions as Congress may provide, to exercise powers necessary and proper to carry out a declared national policy. Unless sooner withdrawn by Resolution of Congress, such powers shall cease upon the next adjournment thereof.
2) Sec. 28 (2) of Article VI. The Congress may by law, authorize the President to fix within specified limits, and subject to such limitations and restrictions as it may impose, tariff rates, import and export quotas, tonnage and wharfage dues, and other duties or imposts within the framework of the national development program of the government.
3) Delegation to local governments
4) Delegation of Rule-making power to administrative bodies
5) Delegation to the People (Section 2, Art. XVII of the Constitution and Section 32, Article VI—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 of local legislative body after the registration of a petition thereof signed by at least 10% of the total number of registered voters, of which every legislative district must be represented by at least 3% of the registered voters thereof.
30. What is the completeness test? The sufficiency of standard test?
As held in PELAEZ VS. AUDITOR GENERAL, 15 SCRA 569:
(a) Completeness Test simply means that the law must be complete in itself when it left Congress. It must set forth therein the policy to be executed, carried out or implemented by the delegate which is not given any discretion; and
(b) Sufficiency of Standards Test simply requires Congress to fix a standard, the limits of which are sufficiently determinate or determinable to which the delegate must conform in the performance of his functions. Some of the standards to guide the delegate are general welfare, public interest, etc.
Pre-Bar Quizzer in Political Law (Doctrinal Rulings, Requisites and Definitions) July, 2008 by Atty. Larry D. Gacayan
College of Law, University of the Cordilleras
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