May 29, 2017


(The EPCC NEWS reprinted an article on Mr.Philip Lustre on the Philippine Constitution as talks are going around especially on Facebook on federalism and PP Duterte’s pronouncements that there will changes in the 1987 Constitution to accomodate his wishes as the 16th President of the Republic. – Editors)

I remember my college professor, who, in our Political Science 101 subject in early 1970s, gave only two kinds of constitutions, or fundamental laws of the land: the written and the unwritten.

The British Constitution is a prime example of an unwritten constitution. Its fundamental laws have been products of customs and traditions, which have been handed down from one generation to another generation.

The U.S Constitution is a prime example of a written constitution. Its founding fathers saw the necessity to put its fundamental laws in written form. It serves as the ultimate social contract between the governors and the governed.

Being a former U.S colony and a young nation in the community of nations, the Philippines adopted a written constitution. The first constitution is the 1935 Constitution. It is called as such because the Filipino people ratified it in 1935.

It was the fundamental law that became operational when the Philippines became a Commonwealth, or autonomous, state in 1935 in preparation for self-rule, or independence, ten years later.

The 1935 Constitution had remained the fundamental charter after the Philippines has gained independence from the U.S. in 1946.

Because of the colonial nature of the 1935 Constitution, the government of Ferdinand Marcos (he was not yet the dictator then), initiated a constitutional convention in 1971 to draft a new constitution that would reflect the republican, not colonial, nature of the Philippines.

But Marcos declared martial law in 1972 and manipulated the convention to come out with a constitution that would serve as the blueprint of the martial law government or the Marcos dictatorship.

Marcos did everything to manipulate the ratification of the 1973 Constitution. In the Javellana vs. Executive Secretary case, the Supreme Court, then under the respected Chief Justice Roberto Concepcion, ruled that the 1973 Constitution was not properly ratified by the Filipino people under the established norms of ratifying constitutions.

In fact, it was declared ratified under fraudulent circumstances. It only became operational when somebody in the Supreme Court inserted the encompassing phrase that the 1973 Constitution had no judicial obstacle to become effective and operational.

The 1973 Constitution was amended six times to insert provisions to strengthen the one-man rule of Marcos. Because of those frequent amendments to favor Marcos, wags claimed that a third kind of constitution existed: the frequently rewritten constitution.

The 1973 Constitution was totally shelved when the near bloodless 1986 EDSA People Revolution took place and ousted Marcos from power.

For a while, Cory Aquino had a revolutionary government and her government operated under what was termed as the “Freedom Constitution.”

The Freedom Constitution has been replaced by the present 1987 Constitution, which the Filipino people have ratified on Feb. 7, 1987.

This narrative goes to open minded millennials, who have the passion to know our political history. Forget the Marcos loyalists, who possess twisted minds.

They will never understand what actually happened in our history.
They will even revise our history.

Please ignore them completely.


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