Special Sub-Topic: The Philippine Constitution
|Who was the President of the 1987 Constitutional Commission?|
Cecilia Munoz Palma. The Constitutional Commission was responsible for the drafting of the 1987 Constitution. The officers of the Commission were: Cecilia Munoz Palma (President), Ambrosio B. Padilla (Vice President), Napoleon G. Rama (Floor Leader), Ahmad Domocao Alonto (Assistant Floor Leader), and Jose D. Calderon (Asst Floor Leader).
|The Philippines is largely a Catholic nation. Is the separation of Church and State enshrined in the 1987 Constition?|
y. Article II, Section 6 clearly states that "the separation of Church and State shall be inviolable."
|What is regarded by the State as a "primary social economic force?"|
labor. Under State Policies, the State "affirms labor as a primary social economic force." (Article II, Section 18)
|According to Article III, Section 15 of the Constitution, the writ of habeas corpus may be suspended in times of rebellion or what?|
invasion. The writ of habeas corpus prevents persons from being arrested without warrants of arrest. The Constitution specifies the conditions wherein the writ shall be suspended to prevent warrantless arrests, which were prevalent during the Marcos dictatorship (which was overthrown by the 1st People Power Revolution). The Constitution clearly states that "the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended except in cases of invasion or rebellion."
|The Lower Chamber of the Congress of the Philippines is known by what name?|
House of Representatives. Article VI, Section 1 states, "The legislative power shall be vested in the Congress of the Philippines which shall consist of a Senate and a House of Representatives...". The Upper House of Congress is the Senate while the Lower House is the House of Representatives. Representatives are elected by the constituents in their respective legislative districts, while Senators are elected at the national level.
|A Member of either house of Congress may be expelled by their fellow Members. For a Member to be expelled, how much of the total number of Members of a house must concur with the expulsion?|
two-thirds. Article VI, Section 16.3 states, "Each House may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds of all its Members, suspend or expel a Member." So, if the Senate wants to expel a member, 16 of the 24 Senators must agree to expel that Senator.
|If a President wishes to veto a bill, he/she must communicate it within a certain span of time, otherwise the bill will become a law. How long is this span of time?|
30 days. According to Article VI, Section 27.1, "The President shall communicate his veto of any bill to the House where it originated within thirty days after the date of receipt thereof, otherwise, it shall become a law as if he had signed it." A vetoed bill may still become a law if two-thirds of the members of the house where it originated votes to make it a law.
|In the event that both the President and Vice President are removed from office, who will act as President in the Philippines?|
President of the Senate. Article VII, Section 7 states, "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 Senate President will continue to become an Acting President until such time that a President has been elected. In the event that the President, Vice President, Senate President, and Speaker of the House are all removed from office, the Congress shall provide a process by which an Acting President will be selected.
|One of the functions of the government is to enter into treaties and agreements with the governments of other states. However, such agreements will only be valid and effective when the concurrence of a specific government entity has been given. Name this government entity.|
Senate. The concurrence of at least two-thirds of all the Members of the Senate is needed to make a treaty or international agreement valid and effective (Article VIII, Section 21).
|How many Associate Justices comprise the Supreme Court?|
14. Article VIII, Section 4 states, "The Supreme Court shall be composed of a Chief Justice and fourteen Associate Justices." The successor of a retiring Chief Justice is chosen from the roster of Associate Justices. The President, with help from the Judicial and Bar Council, is responsible for selecting the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
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