The 1935 Constitution of the Philippines was written in 1934, approved and adopted by the Commonwealth of the Philippines (1935–1946) and later used by the Third Republic (1946–1972). It was written with an eye to meeting the approval of the United States Government as well, so as to ensure that the U.S. would live up to its promise to grant the Philippines independence. It is one of the many constitutions drafted to govern the government of the Philippines.
1935 Constitution was ratified on May 14, 1935.
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The 1935 Constitution of the Philippines Full Text
The Filipino people, imploring the aid of Divine Providence, in order to establish a government that shall embody their ideals, conserve and develop the patrimony of the nation, promote the general welfare, and secure to themselves and their posterity the blessings of independence under a regime of justice, liberty, and democracy, do ordain and promulgate this Constitution.
THE NATIONAL TERRITORY
Section 1. The Philippines comprises all the territory ceded to the United States by the Treaty of Paris concluded between the United States and Spain on the tenth day of December, eighteen hundred and ninety-eight, the limits which are set forth in Article III of said treaty, together with all the islands embraced in the treaty concluded at Washington between the United States and Spain on the seventh day of November, nineteen hundred, and the treaty concluded between the United States and Great Britain on the second day of January, nineteen hundred and thirty, and all territory over which the present Government of the Philippine Islands exercises jurisdiction.
DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES
Section 1. The Philippines, is a republican state. Sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them.
Section 2. The defense of the State is a prime duty of government, and in the fulfillment of this duty all citizens may be required by law to render personal military or civil service.
Section 3. The Philippines renounces war as an instrument of national policy, and adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the Nation.
Section 4. The natural right and duty of parents in the rearing of the youth for civic efficiency should receive the aid and support of the government.
Section 5. The promotion of social justice to insure the well-being and economic security of all the people should be the concern of the State.
BILL OF RIGHTS
- No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws.
- Private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation.
- The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue but upon probable cause, to be determined by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
- The liberty of abode and of changing the same within the limits prescribed by law shall not be impaired.
- The privacy of communication and correspondence shall be inviolable except upon lawful order of the court or when public safety and order require otherwise.
- The right to form associations or societies for purposes not contrary to law shall not be abridged.
- No law shall be made respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, and the free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever be allowed. No religious test shall be required for the exercise of civil or political rights.
- No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the Government for redress of grievances.
- No law granting a title of nobility shall be enacted, and no person holding any office of profit shall, without the consent of the Congress of the Philippines, accept any present, emolument, office, or title of any kind whatever from any foreign state.
- No law impairing the obligation of contracts shall be passed.
- No ex post facto law or bill of attainder shall be enacted.
- No person shall be imprisoned for debt or non-payment of a poll tax.
- No involuntary servitude in any form shall exist except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall during such period the necessity for such suspension shall exist.
- No person shall be held to answer for a criminal offense without due process of law.
- All persons shall before conviction be bailable by sufficient sureties, except those charged with capital offenses when evidence of guilt is strong. Excessive bail shall not be required.
- In all criminal prosecutions the accused shall be presumed to be innocent until the contrary is proved, and shall enjoy the right to be heard by himself and counsel, to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him, to have a speedy and public trial, to meet the witnesses face to face, and to have compulsory process to secure the attendance of witnesses in his behalf.
- No person shall be compelled to be a witness against himself.
- Excessive fines shall not be imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishment inflicted.
- No person shall be twice put in jeopardy of punishment for the same offense. If an act is punished by a law and an ordinance, conviction or acquittal under either shall constitute a bar to another prosecution for the same act.
- Free access to the courts shall not be denied to any person by reason of poverty.
Section 1. The following are citizens of the Philippines:
- Those who are citizens of the Philippine Islands at the time of the adoption of this Constitution.
- Those born in the Philippine Islands of foreign parents who, before the adoption of this Constitution, had been elected to public office in the Philippine Islands.
- Those whose fathers are citizens of the Philippines.
- Those whose mothers are citizens of the Philippines and, upon reaching the age of majority, elect Philippine citizenship.
- Those who are naturalized in accordance with law.
Section 2. Philippine citizenship may be lost or reacquired in the manner provided by law.
Section 1. Suffrage may be exercised by male citizens of the Philippines not otherwise disqualified by law, who are twenty-one years of age or over and are able to read and write, and who shall have resided in the Philippines for one year and in the municipality wherein they propose to vote for at least six months preceding the election. The National Assembly shall extend the right of suffrage to women, if in a plebiscite which shall be held for that purpose within two years after the adoption of this Constitution, not less than three hundred thousand women possessing the necessary qualifications shall vote affirmatively on the question.
Section 1. The Legislative power shall be vested in a Congress of the Philippines, which shall consist of a Senate and a House of Representatives.
Section 2. The Senate shall be composed of twenty-four Senators who shall be chosen at large by the qualified electors of the Philippines, as may be provided by law.
Section 3. The term of office of Senators shall be six years and shall begin on the thirtieth day of December next following their election. The first Senators elected under this Constitution shall, in the manner provided by law, be divided equally into three groups, the Senators of the first group, to serve for a term of six years; those of the second group, for four years; and those of the third group, for two years.
Section 4. No person shall be a Senator unless he be a natural born citizen of the Philippines and, at the time of his election, is at least thirty-five years of age, a qualified elector, and a resident of the Philippines for not less than two years immediately prior to his election.
Section 5. The House of Representatives shall be composed of not more than one hundred and twenty Members who shall be apportioned among the several provinces as nearly as may be accorded to the number of their respective inhabitants, but each province shall have at least one Member. The Congress shall by law make an apportionment within three years after the return of every enumeration, and not otherwise. Until such apportionment shall have been made, the House of Representatives shall have the same number of Members as that fixed by law for the National Assembly, who shall be elected by the qualified electors from the present Assembly districts. Each representative district shall comprise, as far as practicable, contiguous and compact territory.
Section 6. The term of office of the Members of the House of Representatives shall be four years and shall begin on the thirtieth day of December next following their election.
Section 7. No person shall be a Member of the House of Representatives unless he be a natural born citizen of the Philippines, and, at the time of his election, is at least twenty-five years of age, a qualified elector, and a resident of the province in which he is chosen for not less than one year immediately prior to his election.
- Elections for Senators and Members of the House of Representatives shall be held in the manner and on the dates fixed by law.
- In case of vacancy in the Senate or in the House of Representatives, a special election may be called to fill such vacancy in the manner prescribed by law, but the Senator or Member of the House of Representatives thus elected shall serve only for the unexpired term.
Section 9. The Congress shall convene in regular session once every year on the fourth Monday of January, unless a different date is fixed by law. It may be called in special session at any time by the President to consider general legislation or only such subjects as he may designate. No special session shall continue longer than thirty days and no regular session longer than one hundred days, exclusive of Sundays.
- The Senate shall elect its President and the House of Representatives its Speaker.
Each House shall choose such other officers as may be required.
- A majority of each House shall constitute a quorum to do business, but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day and may compel the attendance of absent Members in such manner and under such penalties as such House may provide.
- Each House may determine the rule of its proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds of all its Members, expel a Member.
- Each House shall keep a Journal of its proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such parts as may in its judgment requires secrecy; and the yeas and nays on any question shall, at the request of one-fifth of the Members present, be entered into the Journal.
- Neither House during the sessions of the Congress shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting.
Section 11. The Senate and the House of Representatives shall have an Electoral Tribunal which shall be the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of their respective Members. Each Electoral Tribunal shall be composed of nine Members, three of whom shall be Justices of the Supreme Court to be designated by the Chief Justice, and the remaining six shall be Members of the Senate or the House of Representatives, as the case may be, who shall be chosen by each House, three upon nomination of the party having the largest number of votes and three of the party having the second largest numbers of votes therein. The senior Justice in each Electoral Tribunal shall be its Chairman.
Section 12. There shall be a Commission on Appointments consisting of twelve Senators and twelve Members of the House of Representatives, elected by each House, respectively, on the basis of proportional representation of the political parties therein. The president of the Senate shall be the Chairman ex officio of the Commission, but shall not vote except in case of tie.
Section 13. The Electoral Tribunal and the Commission on Appointments shall be constituted within thirty days after the Senate and the House of Representatives shall have been organized with the election of their President and Speaker, respectively. The Commission on Appointments shall meet only while the Congress is in session, at the call of its Chairman or a majority of its Members, to discharge such powers and functions as are herein conferred upon it.
Section 14. The Senators and the Members of the House of Representatives shall, unless otherwise provided by law, receive an annual compensation of seven thousand two hundred pesos each, including per diems and other emoluments or allowances and exclusive only of traveling expenses to and from their respective districts in the case of Members of the House of Representatives, and to an from their places of residence in the case of Senators, when attending sessions of the Congress. No increase in said compensation shall take effect until after the expiration of the full term of all the Members of the Senate and of the House of Representatives approving such increase. Until otherwise provided by law, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall each receive an annual compensation of sixteen thousand pesos.
Section 15. The Senators and Members of the House of Representatives shall in all cases except treason, felony, and breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at the session of the Congress, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any speech or debate therein, they shall not be questioned in any other place.
Section 16. No Senator or Member of the House of Representatives may hold any other office or employment in the government without forfeiting his seat, nor shall any Senator or Member of the House of Representatives, during the time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil office which may have been created or the emoluments whereof shall have been increased while he was a Member of the Congress.
Section 17. No Senator or Member of the House of Representatives shall directly or indirectly be financially interested in any contract with the government or any subdivision or instrumentality thereof, or in any franchise or special privilege granted by the Congress during his term of office. He shall not appear as counsel before the Electoral Tribunals or before any court in any civil case wherein the Government or any subdivision or instrumentality thereof is the adverse party, or in any criminal case wherein an officer or employee of the government is accused of an offense committed in relation to his office, or collect any fee for his appearance in any administrative proceedings; or accept employment to intervene in any cause or matter where he may be called upon to act on account of his office. No Member of the Commission on Appointments shall appear as counsel before any court inferior to a collegiate court of appellate jurisdiction.
Section 18. All appropriation, revenue or tariff bills, bills authorizing increase of the public debt, bills of local application, and private bills, shall originate exclusively in the House of Representatives, but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments.
- The President shall submit within fifteen days of the opening of each regular session of the Congress a budget of receipts and expenditures, which shall be the basis of the general appropriations bill. The Congress may not increase the appropriations recommended by the President for the operation of the Government as specified in the Budget, except the appropriations for the Congress and the Judicial Department. The form of the Budget and the information that it should contain shall be prescribed by law.
- No provision or enactment shall be embraced in the general appropriations bill unless it relates specifically to some particular appropriation therein; and any such provision or enactment shall be limited in its operation to such appropriation.
- Every bill passed by the Congress shall, before it becomes a law, be presented to the President. If he approves the same, he shall sign it; but if not, he shall return it with his objections to the House where it originated, which shall enter the objections at large on its Journal and proceed to reconsider it. If, after such reconsideration, two-thirds of all the Members of such House shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent together, with the objections, to the House by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two-thirds of all the Members of that House, it shall become a law. In all such cases, the votes of each House shall be determined by yeas and nays, and the names of the Members voting for and against shall be entered on its Journal. If any bill shall not be returned by the President as herein provided within twenty days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the same shall become a law in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by adjournment prevent its return, in which case it shall become a law unless vetoed by the President within thirty days after adjournment.
- The President shall have the power to veto any particular item or items of an appropriation bill, but the veto shall not affect the item or items to which he does not object. When a provision of an appropriation bill affects one or more items of the same, the President cannot veto the provision without at the same time, vetoing the particular item or items to which it relates. The item or items objected to shall not take effect except in the manner heretofore provided as to bills returned to the Congress without the approval of the President. If the veto refers to a bill or any item of an appropriation bill which appropriates a sum in excess of ten per centum of the total amount voted in the appropriation bill for the general expenses of the Government for the preceding year, or if it should refer to a bill authorizing an increase of the public debt, the same shall not become a law unless approved by three-fourths of all the Members of each House.
- The President shall have the power to veto any separate item or items in a revenue of tariff bill, and the item or items shall not take effect except in the manner provided as to bills vetoed by the President.
- No bill which may be enacted into law shall embrace more than one subject which shall be expressed in the title of the bill.
- No bill shall be passed by either House unless it shall have been printed and copies thereof in its final form furnished its Members at least three calendar days prior to its passage, except when the President shall have certified to the necessity of its immediate enactment. Upon the last reading of a bill no amendment thereof shall be allowed, and the question upon its passage shall be taken immediately thereafter, and the yeas and nays entered on the Journal.
- The rule of taxation shall be uniform.
- The Congress may by law authorize the President, subject to such limitations and restrictions as it may impose, to fix, within specified limits, tariff rates, import or export quotas, and tonnage and wharfage dues.
- Cemeteries, churches, and parsonages or convents appurtenant thereto, and all lands, buildings, and improvements used exclusively for religious, charitable, or educational purposes shall be exempt from taxation.
- All money collected on any tax levied for a special purpose shall be treated as a special fund and paid out for such purpose only. If the purpose for which a special fund was crated has been fulfilled or abandoned, the balance, if any, shall be transferred to the general funds of the Government.
- No money shall be paid out of Treasury except in pursuance of an appropriation made by law.
- No public money, or property shall ever be appropriated, applied, or used, directly or indirectly, for the use, benefit, or support of any sect, church, denomination, sectarian institution or system of religion, for the use, benefit, or support of any priest, preacher, ministers, or other religious teacher or dignitary as such except when such priest, preacher, minister, or dignitary is assigned to the armed forces or to any penal institution, orphanage or leprosarium.
Section 24. The heads of departments upon their own initiative or upon the request of either House may appear before and be heard by such House on any matter pertaining to their departments, unless the public interest shall require otherwise and the President shall so state in writing.
Section 25. The Congress, shall, with the concurrence of two-thirds of all the Members of each House, have the sole power to declare war.
Section 26. In times of war and other national emergency the Congress may by law authorize the President, for a limited period, and subject to such restrictions as it may prescribe, to promulgate rules and regulations to carry out a declared national policy.
Section 1. The executive power shall be vested in a President of the Philippines.
Section 2. The President shall hold his office during a term of four years and together with the Vice-President chosen for the same term, shall be elected by direct vote of the people. The returns of every election for President and Vice-President, duly certified by the board of canvassers of each province or city, shall be transmitted to the seat of the National Government, directed to the President of the Senate, who shall, in the presence of the Senate and the House of Representatives, open all the certificates, and the votes shall then be counted. The person respectively having the highest number of votes for President and Vice-President shall be declared elected, but in case two or more shall have an equal and the highest number of votes for their office, one of them shall be chosen President or Vice-President, as the case may be, by a majority vote of the Members of the Congress in joint session assembled.
Section 3. No person may be elected to the office of the President or Vice-President unless he is a natural born citizen of the Philippines, a qualified voter, forty years of age or over, and has been a resident of the Philippines for at least ten years immediately preceding the election.
Section 4. Elections for President and Vice-President shall be held once every four years on a date to be fixed by law.
The terms of the President and Vice-President shall end at noon on the thirtieth day of December following the expiration of four years after their election, and the terms of their successors shall begin from such time.
Section 5. No person shall serve as President for more than eight consecutive years. The period of such service shall be counted from the date he shall have commenced to act as President. Voluntary renunciation of the office for any length of time shall not be considered as an interruption in the continuity of the service of the incumbent for the full term for which he was elected.
Section 6. If, at the time fixed for the beginning of the term of the President, the President-elect shall have died, the Vice-President-elect shall become President. If a President shall not have been chosen before the time fixed for the beginning of his term or if the President shall have failed to qualify, then the Vice-President shall act as President until a President shall have qualified, and the Congress may by law provide for the case wherein neither a President-elect nor a Vice-President-elect shall have qualified, declaring who shall then act as President, or the manner in which one who is to act shall be selected, and such person shall act accordingly until a President or Vice-President shall have qualified.
Section 7. Before he enters on the execution of his office, the President shall take the following oath or affirmation :
“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully and conscientiously fulfill my duties as President of the Philippines, preserve and defend its Constitution, execute its laws, do justice to every man, and consecrate myself to the service of the Nation. So help me God.” (In case of affirmation, last sentence will be omitted)
Section 8. In the event of the removal of the President from office, or his death, resignation, or inability to discharge the powers and duties of the said office, the same shall devolve on the Vice-President, and the Congress shall by law provide for the case of removal, death, resignation, or inability, both of the President and Vice-President, declaring what officer shall then act as President, and such officer shall act accordingly, until the disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.
Section 9. The President shall have an official residence and receive a compensation to be ascertained by law which shall be neither increased nor diminished during the period of which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within the period any other emolument from the Government or any of its subdivisions or instrumentalities. Until the Congress shall provide otherwise, the President shall receive an annual salary of thirty thousand pesos. The Vice-President, when not acting as President, shall receive an annual compensation of fifteen thousand pesos until otherwise provided by law.
- The President shall have control of all executive departments, bureaus or offices, exercise general provision over all local governments as may be provided by law, and take care that the laws be faithfully executed.
- The President shall be commander-in-chief of all armed forces of the Philippines, and, whenever it becomes necessary, he may call out such armed forces to prevent or suppress lawless violence, invasion, insurrection, or rebellion. In case of invasion, insurrection, or rebellion or imminent danger thereof, when the public safety requires it, he may suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, or place the Philippines or any part thereof under Martial Law.
- The President shall nominate and with the consent of the Commission on Appointments, shall appoint the heads of the executive departments and bureaus, officers of the Army from the rank of colonel, of the Navy and Air Forces from the rank of captain or commander, and all other officers of the Government whose appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and those whom he may be authorized by law to appoint; but the Congress may by law vest the appointment of inferior officers, in the President alone, in the courts, or in the heads of departments.
- The President shall have the power to make appointments during the recess of the Congress, but such appointments shall be effective only until disapproval by the Commission on Appointments or until the next adjournment of the Congress.
- The President shall from time to time give to the Congress information on the state of the Nation, and recommend to its consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.
- The President shall have the power to grant reprieves, commutations, and pardons, and remit fines and forfeitures, after conviction, for all expenses except in case of impeachment, upon such conditions and with such restrictions and limitations as he may deem proper to impose. He shall have the power to grant amnesty with the concurrence of the Congress.
- The President shall have the power, with the concurrence of two-thirds of all the Members of the Senate to make treaties, and with the consent of the Commission on Appointments, he shall appoint ambassadors, other public ministers, and consuls. He shall receive ambassadors and other public ministers duly accredited to the Government of the Philippines.
- The executive departments of the present Government of the Philippine Islands shall continue as now authorized by law until the Congress shall provide otherwise.
- The heads of the departments and chiefs of bureaus or offices and their assistants shall not, during their continuance in office, engage in the practice of any profession, or intervene, directly or indirectly, in the management or control of any private enterprise which in any way may be affected by the functions of their office; nor shall they, directly or indirectly, be financially interested in any contract with the Government, or any subdivision or instrumentality thereof.
- The President may appoint the Vice-President as a member of his Cabinet and also as head of an executive department.
Section 1. The judicial power shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such inferior courts as may be established by law.
Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to define, prescribe and apportion the jurisdiction of various courts, but may not deprive the Supreme Court of its original jurisdiction over cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers, and consuls, nor of its jurisdiction to review, revise, reverse, modify, or affirm on appeal, certiorari, or writ of error, as the law or the rules of court may provide, final judgments and decrees of inferior courts in:
- All cases in which the constitutionality or validity of any treaty, law, ordinance, or executive order or regulation is in question.
- All cases involving the legality of any tax, impost, assessment, or toll, or any penalty imposed in relation thereto.
- All cases in which the jurisdiction of any trial court is in issue.
- All criminal cases in which the penalty imposed is death or life imprisonment.
- All cases in which an error or question of law is involved.
Section 3. Until the Congress shall provide otherwise the Supreme Court shall have such original and appellate jurisdiction as may be possessed and exercised by the Supreme Court of the Philippine Islands at the time of the adoption of this Constitution. The original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court shall include all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers, and consuls.
Section 4. The Supreme Court shall be composed of a Chief Justice and ten Associate Justices and may sit either en banc or in two divisions unless otherwise provided by law.
Section 5. The Members of the Supreme Court and all judges of inferior courts shall be appointed by the President with the consent of the Commission on Appointments.
Section 6. No person may be appointed Member of the Supreme Court unless he has been five years a citizen of the Philippines, is at least forty years of age, and hasfor ten years or more been a judge of a court of record or engaged in the practice of law in the Philippines.
Section 7. No judge appointed for a particular district shall be designated or transferred to another district without the approval of the Supreme Court. The Congress shall by law determine the residence of judges of inferior courts.
Section 8. The Congress shall prescribe the qualifications of judges of inferior courts, but no person may be appointed judge of any such courts unless he is a citizen of the Philippines and has been admitted to the practice of law in the Philippines.
Section 9. The Members of the Supreme Court and all judges of inferior courts shall hold office during good behavior, until they reach the age of seventy years, or become incapacitated to discharge the duties of their office. They shall receive such compensation as may be fixed by law, which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office. Until the Congress shall provide otherwise, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court shall receive an annual compensation of sixteen thousand pesos, and each Associate Justice, fifteen thousand pesos.
Section 10. All cases involving the constitutionality of a treaty or law shall be heard and decided by the Supreme Court en banc, and no treaty or law may be declared unconstitutional without the concurrence of two-thirds of all the Members of the Court.
Section 11. The conclusions of the Supreme Court in any case submitted to it for decision shall be reached in consultation before the case is assigned to a Justice for a writing of the opinion of the Court. Any Justice dissenting from a decision shall state the reasons for his dissent.
Section 12. No decision shall be rendered by any court of record without expressing therein clearly and distinctly the facts and the law on which it is based.
Section 13. The Supreme Court shall have the power to promulgate rules concerning pleading, practice, and procedure in all courts, and the admission to the practice of law. Said rules shall be uniform for all courts of the same grade and shall not diminish, increase, or modify substantive rights. The existing laws on pleading, practice, and procedure are hereby repealed as statutes, and are declared Rules of Courts, subject to the power of the Supreme Court to alter and modify the same. The Congress shall have the power to repeal, alter or supplement the rules concerning pleading, practice, and procedure, and the admission to the practice of law in the Philippines.
Section 1. The President, the Vice-President, the Justices of the Supreme Court, and the Auditor General, shall be removed from office on impeachment for any conviction of, culpable violation of the Constitution, treason, bribery, or other high crimes.
Section 2. The House of Representatives by a vote of two-thirds of all its Members, shall have the sole power of impeachment.
Section 3. The Senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachment. When sitting for that purpose, the Senators shall be on oath or affirmation. When the President of the Philippines is on trial, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court shall preside. No person shall be convicted without the concurrence of three-fourths of all the Members of the Senate.
Section 4. Judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from office and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the Government of the Philippines, but the party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to prosecution, trial, and punishment, according to law.
COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS
Section 1. There shall be an independent Commission on Elections composed of a Chairman and two other Members to be appointed by the President with the consent of the Commission on Appointments, who shall hold office for a term of nine years and may not be reappointed. Of the Members of the Commission first appointed, one shall hold office for nine years, another for six years, and the third for three years. The Chairman and the other Members of the Commission on Elections may be removed from office only by impeachment in the manner provided in this Constitution.
Until the Congress shall provide otherwise the Chairman of the Commission shall receive an annual salary of twelve thousand pesos, and the other Members, ten thousand pesos each. Their salaries shall be neither increased nor diminished during their term of office.
Section 2. The Commission on Elections shall have exclusive charge of the enforcement and administration of all laws relative to the conduct of elections and shall exercise all other functions which may be conferred upon it by law. It shall decide, save those involving the right to vote, all administrative questions affecting elections, including the determination of the number and location of polling places, and the appointment of election inspectors and of other election officials. All law enforcement agencies and instrumentalities of the Government, when so required by the Commission, shall act as its deputies for the purpose of insuring free, orderly, and honest election. The decisions, orders, and rulings of the Commission shall be subject to review by the Supreme Court.
No pardon, parole, or suspension of sentence for the violation of any election law may be granted without the favorable recommendation of the Commission.
Section 3. The Chairman and Members of the Commission on Elections shall not, during their continuance in office, engage in the practice of any profession, or intervene, directly or indirectly, in the management or control of any private enterprise which in any way may be affected by the functions of their office; nor shall they, directly or indirectly, be financially interested in any contract with the Government or any subdivision or instrumentality thereof.
Section 4. The Commission on Elections shall submit to the President and the Congress, following each election, a report on the manner in which such election was conducted.
GENERAL AUDITING OFFICE
Section 1. There shall be a General Auditing Office under the direction and control of an Auditor General, who shall hold office for a term of ten years and may not be reappointed. The Auditor General shall be appointed by the President with the consent of the Commission on Appointments, and shall receive an annual compensation to be fixed by law which shall not be diminished during his continuance in office. Until the Congress shall provide otherwise, the Auditor General shall receive an annual compensation of twelve thousand pesos.
Section 2. The Auditor General shall examine, audit, and settle all accounts pertaining to the revenues and receipts from whatever source, including trust funds derived from bond issues; and audit, in accordance with law and administrative regulations, all expenditures of funds or property pertaining or held in trust by the Government or the provinces or municipalities thereof. He shall keep the general accounts of the Government and preserve the vouchers pertaining thereto. It shall be the duty of the Auditor General to bring the attention of the proper administrative officer expenditures of funds or property which, in his opinion, are irregular, unnecessary, excessive, or extravagant. He shall also perform such other functions as may be prescribed by law.
Section 3. The decisions of the Auditor General shall be rendered within the time fixed by law, and the same may be appealed to the President whose action shall be final. When the aggrieved party is a private person or entity, an appeal from the decision of the Auditor General may be taken directly to a court of record in the manner provided by law.
Section 4. The Auditor General shall submit to the President and the Congress an annual report covering the financial condition and operations of the Government, and such other reports as may be required.
Section 1. A Civil Service embracing all branches and subdivision of the Government shall be provided by law. Appointments in the Civil Service, except as to those which are policy-determining, primarily confidential or highly technical in nature, shall be made only according to merit and fitness, to be determined as far as practicable by competitive examination.
Section 2. Officers and employees in the Civil Service, including members of the armed forces, shall not engage directly or indirectly in partisan political activities or take part in any election except to vote.
Section 3. No officer or employee of the government shall receive additional or double compensation unless specifically authorized by law.
Section 4. No officer or employee in the Civil Service shall be removed or suspended except for cause as provided by law.
CONSERVATION AND UTILIZATION OF NATURAL RESOURCES
Section 1. All agricultural timber, and mineral lands of the public domain, waters, minerals, coal, petroleum, and other mineral oils, all forces of potential energy and other natural resources of the Philippines belong to the State, and their disposition, exploitation, development, or utilization shall be limited to citizens of the Philippines or to corporations or associations at least sixty per centum of the capital of which is owned by such citizens, subject to any existing right, grant, lease, or concession at the time of the inauguration of the Government established under this Constitution. Natural resources, with the exception of public agricultural land, shall not be alienated, and no license, concession, or lease for the exploitation, development, or utilization of any of the natural resources shall be granted for a period exceeding twenty-five years, renewable for another twenty-five years, except as to water rights for irrigation, water supply, fisheries, or industrial uses other than the development of water power, in which cases beneficial use may be the measure and limit of the grant.
Section 2. No private corporation or association may acquire, lease, or hold public agricultural lands in excess of one thousand and twenty four hectares, nor may any individual acquire such lands by purchase in excess of one hundred and forty four hectares, or by lease in excess of one thousand and twenty four hectares, or by homestead in excess of twenty-four hectares. Lands adapted to grazing, not exceeding two thousand hectares, may be leased to an individual, private corporation, or association.
Section 3. The Congress may determine by law the size of private agricultural land which individuals, corporations, or associations may acquire and hold, subject to rights existing prior to the enactment of such law.
Section 4. The Congress may authorize, upon payment of just compensation, the expropriation of lands to be subdivided into small lots and conveyed at cost to individuals.
Section 5. Save in cases of hereditary succession, no private agricultural land shall be transferred or assigned except to individuals, corporations, or associations qualified to acquire or hold lands of the public domain in the Philippines.
Section 6. The State may, in the interest of national welfare and defense, establish and operate industries and means of transportation and communication, and upon payment of just compensation, transfer to public ownership utilities and other private enterprise to be operated by the Government.
Section 1. The flag of the Philippines shall be red, white, and blue, with a sun and three stars, as consecrated and honored by the people and recognized by law.
Section 2. All public officers and members of the armed forces shall take an oath to support and defend the Constitution.
Section 3. The Congress shall take steps toward the development and adoption of a common national language based on one of the existing native languages. Until otherwise provided by law, English and Spanish shall continue as official languages.
Section 4. The State shall promote scientific research and invention. Arts and letters shall be under its patronage. The exclusive right to writings and inventions shall be secured to authors and inventors for a limited period.
Section 5. All educational institutions shall be under the supervision of and subject to regulation by the State. The Government shall establish and maintain a complete and adequate system of public education, and shall provide at least free public primary instruction, and citizenship training to adult citizens. All schools shall aim to develop moral character, personal discipline, civic conscience, and vocational efficiency, and to teach the duties of citizenship. Optional religious instruction shall be maintained in the public schools as now authorized by law. Universities established by the State shall enjoy academic freedom. The State shall create scholarships in arts, science, and letters for specially gifted citizens.
Section 6. The State shall afford protection to labor, especially to working women, and minors, and shall regulate the relations between the landowner and tenant, and between labor and capital in industry and in agriculture. The State may provide for compulsory arbitration.
Section 7. The Congress shall not, except by general law, provide for the formation, organization, or regulation of private corporations, unless such corporations are owned and controlled by the Government or any subdivision or instrumentality thereof.
Section 8. No franchise, certificate, or any other form of authorization for the operation of a public utility shall be granted except to citizens of the Philippines or to corporations or other entities organized under the laws of the Philippines sixty per centum of the capital of which is owned by citizens of the Philippines, nor shall such franchise, certificate, or authorization be exclusive in character or for a longer period than fifty years. No franchise or right shall be granted to any individual, firm, or corporation, except under the condition that it shall be subject to amendment, alteration, or repeal by the Congress when the public interest so requires.
Section 9. The Government shall organize and maintain a national police force to preserve public order and enforce the law.
Section 10. This Constitution shall be officially promulgated in English and Spanish, but in case of conflict the English text shall prevail.
Section 1. The Congress in joint session assembled, by a vote of three-fourths of all the Members of the Senate and of the House of Representatives voting separately, may propose amendments to this Constitution or call a convention for that purpose. Such amendments shall be valid as part of this Constitution when approved by a majority of the votes cast at an election at which the amendments are submitted to the people for their ratification.
Section 1. The first election of the officers provided in this Constitution and the inauguration of the Government of the Commonwealth of the Philippines shall take place as provided in Public Act Numbered One hundred and twenty-seven of the Congress of the United States, approved March twenty-four, nineteen hundred and thirty four.
Section 2. All laws of the Philippine Islands shall continue in force until the inauguration of the Commonwealth of the Philippines; thereafter, such laws shall remain operative, unless inconsistent with this Constitution, until amended, altered, modified, or repealed by the Congress of the Philippines, and all references in such laws to the Government or officials of the Philippine Islands shall be construed, insofar as applicable, to refer to the government and corresponding officials under this Constitution.
Section 3. All courts existing at the time of the adoption of this Constitution shall continue and exercise their jurisdiction, until otherwise provided by law in accordance with this Constitution, and all cases, civil and criminal, pending in said courts, shall be heard, tried, and determined under the laws then in force.
Section 4. All officers and employees in the existing Government of the Philippine Islands shall continue in office until the Congress shall provide otherwise, but all officers whose appointments are by this Constitution vested in the President shall, vacate their respective offices upon the appointment and qualification of their successors, if such appointment is made within a period of one year from the date of the inauguration of the Commonwealth of the Philippines.
Section 5. The Members of the House of Representatives for the Mountain Province shall be elected as may be provided by law. The voters of municipalities and municipal districts formerly belonging to a special province and now forming part of regular provinces shall vote in the election for Members of the House of Representatives in such districts as may be provided by law.
Section 6. The provisions of this Constitution, except those contained in this article and in Article V, and those which refer to the election and qualifications of officers to be elected under this Constitution, shall not take effect until the inauguration of the Commonwealth of the Philippines.
EFFECTIVE UPON THE PROCLAMATION OF THE
INDEPENDENCE OF THE PHILIPPINES
Section 1. Upon the proclamation of the President of the United States recognizing the independence of the Philippines:
- The property rights of the United States and the Philippines shall be promptly adjusted and settled, and all existing property rights of citizens or corporations of the United States shall be acknowledged, respected, and safeguarded to the same extent as property rights of the Philippines.
- The officials elected and serving under this Constitution shall be constitutional officers of the free and independent Government of the Philippines and qualified to function in all respects as if elected directly under such Government, and shall serve their full terms of office as prescribed in this Constitution.
- The debts and liabilities of the Philippines, its provinces, cities, municipalities, and instrumentalities, which shall be valid and subsisting at the time of the final and complete withdrawal of the sovereignty of the United States, shall be assumed by the free and independent Government of the Philippines; and where bonds have been issued under authority of an Act of Congress of the United States by the Philippine Islands, or any province, city or municipality therein, the Government of the Philippines will make adequate provision for the necessary funds for the payment of interest and principal, and such obligations shall be a first lien on all taxes collected.
- The Government of the Philippines will assume all continuing obligations of the United States under the Treaty of Peace with Spain ceding the Philippine Islands to the United States.
- The Government of the Philippines will embody the foregoing provisions of this article (except subsection (2)) in a treaty with the United States.
THE COMMONWEALTH AND THE REPUBLIC
Section 1. The government established by this Constitution shall be known as the Commonwealth of the Philippines. Upon the final and complete withdrawal of the sovereignty of the United States and the proclamation of Philippine independence, the Commonwealth of the Philippines shall thenceforth be known as the Republic of the Philippines.
ORDINANCE APPENDED TO THE 1935 CONSTITUTION
Notwithstanding the provisions of Section one, Article Thirteen, and section eight, Article Fourteen, of the foregoing Constitution, during the effectivity of the Executive Agreement entered into by the President of the Philippines with the President of the United States on the fourth of July, nineteen hundred and forty-six, pursuant to the provisions of Commonwealth Act Numbered Seven hundred and thirty-three, but in no case to extend beyond the third of July, nineteen hundred and seventy-four, the disposition, exploitation, development, and utilization of all agricultural, timber, and mineral lands of the public domain, waters, minerals, coal, petroleum, and other mineral oils, all forces of potential energy, and other natural resources of the Philippines, and the operation of public utilities, if open to any person, be open to citizens of the United States and to all forms of business enterprises owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by citizens of the United States in the same manner as to, and under the same conditions imposed upon, citizens of the Philippines or corporations or associations owned or controlled by citizens of the Philippines.
Source: The Philippine Constitution