Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - Politics com
POLITICS COM. AND PHILIPPINE CONSTITUTION
WRITTEN CONSTITUTION ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES:
A written constitution is not as open to interpretation by time and circumstance as an unwritten one. A
favorite argument from the UK is that the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. is a relic of a time gone by, when
in reality it remains the will of the majority of the American people today. When we want a change, we
affect that change, like the 13th and 19th Amendments. The biggest advantage to a Written
Constitution is that anyone can go and read it. In the case of the UK, that has an unwritten Constitution
drawn from multiple sources, it's much harder to be sure you really understand what's in it.
Commonly a written constitution is superior to an unwritten on for a couple of reasons. Mainly though it
sets a basis of law. Prior to our own constitution laws were based solely on precedent (at least in the
English system of government). With the writing of the constitution a set of guidelines were set. The
problem with this is that it can get to detailed and fall out of use. For example, the Texas Constitution is
close to 250 pages, some of which relates to horse theft. The U.S. Constitution is closer to 10 even with
amendments. Written constitutions are best when they are generalized. This generalization is in turn
defined by precedent, instead of the other way around.
One disadvantage is that it could be too broadly based or (2) it could express values that may not be
appropriate as time changes. 3. It is difficult to change once it has been adopted and you end up with a
string of amendments. 4. It could be put in place by a minority of people or a conquering power against
the wishes of the people who are then forced to change their way of life esp. if the culture has a strong
1. Over time the language of the time it was written in could be taken out of context.
2. It cannot adapt to future technological/social changes easily
3. I guess it could be destroyed/damaged
4. Those who wrote it may have had a different intent form interpretations that may occur at a
5. Like it religious text it may be considered the be all end all of what is right and allowed to
UNWRITTEN CONSTITUTION ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES:
An unwritten constitution based on conventions has the advantage of being extremely adaptable or
flexible. Since it is unwritten, it can be changed easily to deal with new situations. All that is necessary
for the practices to be changed is for Parliament to agree that change is necessary. Old constitutional
practices do not become 'millstones' that make it difficult to deal with changed circumstances.
There is an entrenchment, but one that given democratic consensus may be more easily modified than
as a written constitution. So long as democratic processes are in place and Parliament and the Judiciary
act as elected guardians, then in many ways the British Constitution appears more fitted to reflect a
changing world and changing circumstances.
Unwritten Constitution changes to reflect the times in which we live.
It carries risks. If a constitution is to place limits on government or to set out the parameters within
which governments must operate, then the fact that it can be adapted by government whim can be
Written constitutions can become set in stone. What was appropriate in the past may become
anachronistic, outmoded and inappropriate today; but the mere fact of being written into a formal
constitution may hinder or prevent a timely or rational change.
CONSTITUTION OF THE PHILIPPINES
In 1986, following the People Power Revolution which ousted Ferdinand E. Marcos as president, and
following on her own inauguration, Corazon C. Aquino issued Proclamation No. 3, declaring a national
policy to implement the reforms mandated by the people, protecting their basic rights, adopting a
provisional constitution, and providing for an orderly transition to a government under a new
constitution. President Aquino later issued Proclamation No. 9, creating a Constitutional Commission
(popularly abbreviated "Con Com" in the Philippines) to frame a new constitution to replace the 1973
Constitution which took effect during the Marcos martial law regime. Aquino appointed 50 members to
the Commission. The members of the Commission were drawn from varied backgrounds, including
several former congressmen, a former Supreme Court Chief Justice (Roberto Concepción), a Catholic
bishop (Teodoro Bacani) and film director (Lino Brocka). Aquino also deliberately appointed 5 members,
including former Labor Minister Blas Ople, who had been allied with Marcos until the latter's ouster.
After the Commission had convened, it elected as its president Cecilia Muñoz-Palma, who had emerged
as a leading figure in the anti-Marcos opposition following her retirement as the first female Associate
Justice of the Supreme Court.
The Commission finished the draft charter within four months after it was convened. Several issues
were heatedly debated during the sessions, including on the form of government to adopt, the abolition
of the death penalty, the continued retention of the Clark and Subic American military bases, and the
integration of economic policies into the Constitution. Brocka would walk out of the Commission before
its completion, and two other delegates would dissent from the final draft. The ConCom completed their
task on 12 October 1986 and presented the draft constitution to President Aquino on October 15, 1986.
After a period of nationwide information campaign, a plebiscite for its ratification was held on February
2, 1987. More than three-fourths of all votes cast, 76.37% (or 17,059,495 voters) favored ratification as
against 22.65% (or 5,058,714 voters) who voted against ratification. On February 11, 1987, the new
constitution was proclaimed ratified and took effect. On that same day, Aquino, the other government
officials, and the Armed Forces of the Philippines pledged allegiance to the Constitution.