Category Archives: Elections and Constitutional Law

House Resolution 1109 (re: Constitutional Amendment or Revision)

(The House of Representatives recently issued a resolution asking that members of Congress — which, in a bicameral set-up, is composed of the Senate and the House of Representatives — convene to consider amendments or revisions of the Constitution. A stated purpose is to highlight a justiciable controversy, to allow the Supreme Court to decide, whether the Constitutional amendment/revision by Congress should be done by both chambers voting separately. Full text of House Resolution No. 1109 is reproduced below. See also similar discussions: How to Change a Constitution and SC dismisses petition assailing House Resolution 1109.) Continue reading

How to Change a Constitution

Amending the Constitution, which is the highest law of the land, is an issue that comes alive in every term of recent Presidents. Terms such as “Cha-Cha” (charter change), “con-ass” and “concon” are thrown around with regularity. Some sectors argue that there’s a need to amend the Constitution now. Others say that while there’s a need to amend the Constitution, it should be done in a time when the people are comfortable with our leaders. Still others simply don’t care. So, how do you amend the Constitution? Continue reading

Legal Status of Parcels of Land in Boracay

If you’re planning to purchase or deal with land located in Boracay, you may want to check on two things: (1) whether the parcel of land belongs to the portion already declared as agricultural, as this is the only portion which may be alienated or disposed of; and (2) if it is classified as agricultural land, whether there is sufficient basis for the owner to claim title to it, as discussed in the case digest below. Continue reading

Primer on the President’s power to grant Pardon

What is pardon?

Pardon is “an act of grace, proceeding from the power entrusted with the execution of the laws, which exempts the individual, on whom it is bestowed, from the punishment the law inflicts for a crime he has committed. It is the private, though official act of the executive magistrate, delivered to the individual for whose benefit it is intended, and not communicated officially to the Court. A pardon is a deed, to the validity of which delivery is essential, and delivery is not complete without acceptance.” Continue reading

Primer on the Recall Process

You may have heard about the recent gathering of signatures to initiate the recall process against Pampanga Governor Eddie “Ed” Panlilio. Let’s discuss the concept and process of recall.

Who may exercise the power of recall? The power of recall for loss of confidence shall be exercised by the registered voters of a local government unit (LGU) to which the local elective official subject to such recall belongs. Continue reading

Creation of ARMM’s Shariff Kabunsuan province is invalid

The Supreme Court Justices, according to Chief Justice Reynato Puno (thru PDI), “are aware of of how their decision on a deal expanding the Bangsamoro territory would impact on the volatile situation in Mindanao.” This may be particularly true considering that just last month, the SC also declared that the creation of a new province in the ARMM – Shariff Kabunsuan – is unconstitutional. Here’s the digest of that case — Bai Sandra Sema vs. COMELEC and Didagen Dilangalen, G.R. No. 177597, 16 July 2008. Continue reading

Primer on Ancestral Lands and Ancestral Domains

One of the bigger issues for the past couple of days is the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on Ancestral Domain (for the Bangsamoro People in certain parts of Mindanao) between the Philippine Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). Petitions have been filed with the Supreme Court assailing the validity of the MOA, so we could not really discuss it. Let’s have a general discussion on ancestral lands and ancestral domains. Continue reading

RA 9184 or The Government Procurement Reform Act of 2003: Boon or Bane?

By: ACA Nimfa Cuesta Vilches*

The procurement (acquisition of goods, services and contracting for infrastructure project) law was enacted to lay down rules and regulations and to modernize, standardize, and regulate the procurement activities of the government. It is a response to the clamor of the citizenry to provide value for taxpayer money (P147.662 billion capital outlay in the P1.227 trillion national budget this year) and show Government commitment to good governance, transparency, accountability, equity, efficiency, and economy in the procurement process. In short, the law wants to deter corruption. Continue reading