Political Law

Political Law Review
Based on the outline of Justice Vicente V. Mendoza
April 1996 Revised Edition
General Information
I. Definitions and Concepts in Public Law
A. Political Law defined-That branch of public law which deals with the organization and operation of the government organs of the state and defines the relations of the state with the inhabitants of its territory. (Sinco, Philippine Political Law 1, 11th ed., 1962)

Political Law Review

Scope of Political Law.– The entire field of political law may be subdivided into (a)the law of public administration, (b) constitutional law, (c) administrative law, and (d) the law of public corporations. These four subdivisions may be briefly described for the time being, as
follows: The first deals with the organization and management of the different branches of the government; the second, with the guaranties of the constitution to individual rights and the limitations on governmental action; the third, with the exercise of executive power in the making
of rules and the decision of questions affecting private rights; and the last, with governmental agencies for local government or for other special purposes. (Sinco 1)

Macariola v Asuncion, 114 SCRA 77 (1982)
Spanish Code of Commerce Provision Disqualifying Judges from Engaging in Commerce is Part of Spanish Political Law Abrogated by Change of Sovereignty

F: The complainant alleged that respondent judge of the CFI violated paragraphs 1 and 5, Art. 14 of the Code of Commerce (w/c prohibited judges, among others, from engaging in commerce, either in person or in proxy or in the financial intervention in commercial or industrial companies w/in the limits of the districts) when he associated himself w/ the Traders Mftg. & Fishing Industries, Inc. as a stockholder and pres., said corp. having been organized to engage in business.

      HELD: Although this provision is incorporated in the Code of Commerce w/c is part of the commercial laws of the Phils, it partakes of the nature of a political law as it regulates the relationship between the government and certain public officers and employees, like justices and
judges. Political law has been defined as that branch of public law w/c deals w/ the organization and operation of the governmental organs of the State and defines the relations of the state w/ the inhabitants of its territory. Specifically, Art. 14 of the Code of Commerce partakes more of the nature of an administrative law bec. it regulates the conduct of certain public officers and employees w/ respect to engaging in business; hence, political in essence.

      xxx Upon the transfer of sovereignty from Spain to US, and later on from US to the Republic of the Phils., Art. 14 of the said Code must be deemed to have been abrogated because where there is change of sovereignty, the political laws of the former sovereign, whether compatible or not w/ those of the new sovereign, are automatically abrogated, unless they are expressly re-enacted by affirmative act of the new sovereign. There appears to be no enabling or affirmative act. Consequently, Art. 14 of the Code of Commerce has no legal and binding effect and cannot apply to respondent Judge. VV.
B. Constitutional Law Defined
       A constitution is both a legal document and a political plan. It, therefore, embodies legal rules as well as political principles. And so when we speak of constitutional law in the strict sense of the tern, we refer to the legal rules of the constitution. xxx
      xxx In the sense in w/c the concept is understood in American and Philippine Jurisprudence, constitutional law is a term used to designate the law embodied in the constitution and the legal principles growing out of the interpretation and application made by courts of the provisions of the constitution in specific cases. xxx

Political Law Review

Constitutional law forms a distinct branch of jurisprudence dealing w/ the legal
principles affecting the nature, adoption, amendment, and operation of the con