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Executive immunity

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There is no provision in the Constitution clothing the president with immunity from suit. The 1973 Constitution had a specific provision guaranteeing the president’s immunity but the 1987 Constitution did not preserve this provision.

Posted: July 14th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Achieving the Constitution

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There are at least two types of laws found in the Constitution. The first defines the nature and limits of governmental power over the nation’s citizens. The other assigns state power to the various branches of government, demarcating their proper spheres and prescribing their relationship to one another. A constitutional regime is a government bound by such laws.

Posted: July 13th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Politics and the Constitution

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If we can step back for a moment from the legal issues that are presently the object of heated debate, we might be able to view the controversy surrounding the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) with a different frame. I propose the perspective of political development especially in relation to the Constitution.

Posted: July 10th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Unconstitutional

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On Feb. 24, 2006, then President Gloria Macapagal- Arroyo issued Proclamation 1017, placing the country under a state of emergency. The proclamation was based on a security report that there was a military plot to overthrow the government. Saying that while the attempt had been thwarted the danger remained, the proclamation revoked all permits for demonstrations that had been organized for that day to mark the 20th anniversary of Edsa People Power. Arrests were made and the offices of a newspaper were raided. I had the misfortune of being arrested by police for leading one of the demonstrating groups on Edsa.

Posted: July 6th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

The DAP decision

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Araullo vs Aquino (July 1, 2014, penned by Justice Lucas P. Bersamin) declared unconstitutional four “acts and practices under the Disbursement Acceleration Program, National Budget Circular No. 541 and related issuances.” It did not declare the DAP unconstitutional, only the “acts and practices under” it, unlike Belgica vs Ochoa (Nov. 13, 2013) which plainly declared the Priority Development Assistance Fund unconstitutional. The four are worded in deep legalese and need to be explained for lay readers.

Posted: July 6th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

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