Historical Background of the 1987 Constitution

3415 Words Aug 2nd, 2013 14 Pages
THE BACKGROUND OF THE PRESENT CONSTITUTION

Historical Background of the 1987 Constitution

The history of the 1987 Constitution began on 11 April 1899, the date when the Treaty of Paris between the United and Spain of 10 December 1898 became effective upon the exchange of instruments of ratification of both countries. But the sources of the 1987 Constitution are (i) McKinley 's Instructions to the Second Philippine Commission; (ii) Spooner Amendment; (iii) Philippine Bill of 1902; (iv) Jones Law of 1916, otherwise known as the Philippine Autonomy Act; (v) 1935 Constitution; (vi) 1973 Constitution and (vi) Freedom Constitution of 1986 and its implementing orders.

Treaty of Paris

Under the Treaty of Paris, the Philippines was
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The Bill also defined for the first time who the citizens of the Philippines were. They were all the inhabitants of the Philippine islands who were subjects of Spain as of 11 April 1899, who continued to reside therein, and all the children born subsequent thereto. This definition is still good law today.

Jones Law

On 29 August 1916, the US Congress passed the Jones Law, otherwise known as the Philippine Autonomy Act.

It established a tripartite government with real separation of powers; this was the prototype of our present set-up. The executive power was in the hands of an American Governor-General, who was independent of the Legislature, and who was given the power to suspend the writ of habeas corpus and impose martial law without the recommendation of the Legislature. The Legislature was composed of the Senate and the House of Representatives, all composed of Filipinos. The judiciary continued to be made up of the Supreme Court, the CFIs and Justice of Peace Courts.

Under this set-up, while the Filipinos has all the legislative power, the Americans had all the executive power and thus, also the control of the government. Thus, in the Board of Control (National Coal Corporation) cases, the US Supreme Court ruled, despite the dissent of Holmes and
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