(Question I, Political Law, 2017 Bar Exam)
A priority thrust of the Administration is the change of the form of government from unitary to federal. The change can be effected only through constitutional amendment or revision.
(a) What are the methods of amending the Constitution? Explain briefly each method. (3%)
(b) Cite at least three provisions of the Constitution that need to be amended or revised to effect the change from unitary to federal, and briefly explain why? (3%)
(a) The following is the procedure for amending or revising the Constitution:
1) Proposal for amendment or revision; and,
2) Ratification via plebiscite.
For the proposal for any revision of the Constitution, it may be proposed by:
1) The Congress, upon a vote of three-fourths of all its Members;
2) A constitutional convention; or
3) People’s initiative. (Section 1 and 2, Article XVII, 1987 Constitution)
For the plebiscite, any revision of the Constitution to be ratified requires a majority of the votes cast.
(b) The following should be amended or revised to effect a change from unitary to federal Government:
1) The provision describing the Philippines as a democratic and republic State to a democratic and federal State;
2) The provisions under Executive, Legislative, and Judiciary to align with a federal system of Government; and,
3) The provisions under Local Government Unit to increase its powers and functions to that of a federal system of Government.
(Note: The answer requires application of a concept that is generally not taught in law schools as it is not part of current Philippine law – i.e., federal system of Government. Bar exam questions should be limited to concepts and principles under existing laws.)
(Notice: The suggested answers simulate those that a bar examinee may provide, and thus specific citations are not provided. Notwithstanding, in the reviewers, the bar exam question is answered under the appropriate topic which discusses the concepts and principles, as well as provide for specific citations. Accordingly, please refer to it on the reviewer or in the Library.)
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