Bar Q and A #1

Collapsable Answer Just click the plus sign.

There are three modes of amending the Constitution and two modes for revising the Constitution.

  1. Under Section Article XVIII of the Constitution. Congress may by three- fourths vote of all its Members propose any amendment to or revision of the Constitution. This method is also known as an amendment or revision by the Congress acting as a Constituent Assembly.

  2. Under the same provision, a constitutional convention may propose any amendment to or revision of the According to Section 3 Article XVII of the Constitution, Congress may, by a two- thirds vote of all its Members, call a constitutional convention  or by a majority vote of all its members submit the question of calling such a convention to the electorate.

  3. Under Section 2, Article XVII of the Constitution, the people may directly propose amendments to the Constitution through initiative upon a petition of at least twelve per cent of the total number of registered voters, of which every legislative district must be represented by at least three per cent of the registered voters therein.

It should be noted that under the 3rd aforementioned method of initiative, the people may propose only amendments, not a revision.

According to Section 4 Article XVII of the Constitution, to be valid any amendment to or revision of the Constitution, must be ratified by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite.

There are two steps involved in the amendment or revision of the Constitution. The first is the proposal and the second is the ratification. (Cruz, 2014)

There is no third way of proposing revisions to the Constitution; however, the people through initiative upon petition of at least twelve percent of the total number of registered voters, of which every legislative district must be represented by at least three percent of the registered voters in it may directly propose amendments to the Constitution. This right is not operative without an implementing law. (Section 2, Article XVI of the 1987 Constitution)

  1. Article X, 3 must be omitted because the legislature will no longer define the scope of the powers of the government.

  2. Article X Sec, 4 will have to be The President will no longer have the power of supervision over local governments.

  3. Article X, 5 must be omitted. Congress will no longer be allowed to impose limitations on the power of taxation of local governments.

NOTE: The panel wishes to recommend liberality in favor of the examinee for this question, as answers can be gleaned from many articles and provisions of the Constitution, among them Articles VI, VII, and X.

a.) The proposal is a revision. Using the qualitative test provided in the case of Lambino v. COMELEC, the main inquiry is whether the change will "accomplish such far reaching changes in the nature of our basic governmental plan as to amount to a revision." In this case, the proposal to change where the sovereignty resides—from the people to the  party—definitely alters the nature of the Philippine government, thus satisfying the test. (Lambino v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 174153, October 25, 2006)

b.) Any revision of the Constitution may be proposed by:

  1. The Congress, upon a vote of three-fourths of all its Members; or

  2. A constitutional convention.

The Congress may, by a vote of two-thirds 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.

The revision shall be valid when ratified by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite which shall be held not earlier than sixty days nor later than ninety days after the approval of such amendment or revision. [Art XVII, Sec 1, 3 & 4, Const.]

a.) The Contiguous Zone is an intermediary zone between the territorial sea and the high seas extending enforcement jurisdiction of the coastal state  to  a  maximum  of  24  nautical  miles  from

b.) Under the EEZ, the coastal state retains exclusive sovereignty over exploring, exploiting and conserving all natural resources. Under Article 60 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). It also has the right to construct and authorize and regulate the construction, operation and use of artificial islands, installations and structures for the purposes provided for in Article 56 and other economic purposes, installations and structures which may interfere with the exercise of the rights of the coastal State in the zone;  it shall also have the exclusive jurisdiction over such artificial islands, installations, and structures, including  jurisdiction with regard to customs, fiscal, health, safety, and immigration laws and regulations.

The archipelagic doctrine emphasizes the unity of land and waters by defining an archipelago either as a group of islands surrounded by waters or a body of waters studded with islands. For this purpose, it requires that baselines be drawn by connecting the appropriate points of the outermost islands to encircle the islands within the archipelago. The waters on the landward side of the baselines regardless of breadth or dimensions are merely internal waters. The entire archipelago is regarded as one integrated unit instead of being fragmented into so many thousand islands

Yes, the archipelagic doctrine is reflected in the 1987 Constitution. Article I, Section 1 provides that the national territory of the Philippines includes the Philippine archipelago, with all the islands and waters embraced therein; and the waters around, between, and connecting the islands of the archipelago, regardless of their breadth and dimensions, form part of the internal waters of the Philippines.

False. Under Article I of the Constitution, the water around, between and connecting the islands of the Philippines form part of its internal waters. Under Article 49 (1) of the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea, these waters do not form part of the territorial sea but are described as archipelagic waters.

The basis of the Philippine claim is effective occupation of a territory not subject to the sovereignty of another state. The Japanese forces occupied the Spratly Island group during the Second World War. However, under the San Francisco Peace Treaty of 1951 Japan formally renounced all right and claim to the Spratlys. The San Francisco Treaty or any other international agreement, however, did not designate any beneficiary state following the Japanese renunciation of right. Subsequently, the Spratlys became terra nullius and was occupied by the Philippines in the title of sovereignty. Philippine sovereignty was displayed by open and public occupation of a number of islands by stationing of military forces. By organizing a local government unit, and by awarding petroleum drilling rights, among other political and administrative acts. In 1978, it confirmed its sovereign title by the promulgation of Presidential Decree No. 1596, which declared the Kalayaan Island Group part of Philippine territory.

NO, the petition is not meritorious. The United Nations Convention on the law of the Sea plays no role in the acquisition, enlargement or, as petitioners claim, diminution of territory. Under traditional international law typology, States acquire (or conversely, lose) territory through occupation, accretion, cession and prescription, not by executing multilateral treaties on the regulations of sea-use rights or enacting statutes to comply with the treaty's terms to delimit maritime zones and continental shelves. Territorial claims to land features are outside UNCLOS III, and are instead governed by the rules on general international law.

The Kalayaan Islands and the Scarborough Shoals are located at an appreciable distance from the nearest shoreline of the Philippine Archipelago. A straight baseline loped around them from the nearest baseline will violate Article 47(3) and Article 47(2) of the United Nations Convention on the law of the Sea III. Whether the bodies of water lying landward of the baselines of the Philippines are internal waters or archipelagic waters, the Philippines retains jurisdiction over them (Magallona v. Ermita, 655 SCRA 476).