Mar 152013
 

 

 Proposals for a Nationalist and Democratic Constitution

Last May, the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) met with various groups and individuals representing the different sectors to address the issue of ensuring a truly pro-people Constitution. There was a consensus that the Constitution issue is one of the most vital issues of the day and thus must be addressed immediately and in a very substantial manner.

Three Task of Forces on the Economic Politico-Legal and Socio-Cultural Concerns were later formed to discuss and formulate specific provisions for submission to the Constitutional Commission. This assembly was shortly formalized into the multi sectorial People’s Panel with former Senator Lorenzo Tanada as Chairman.

The first set of proposals submitted to the Panel was authored by Sen. Tanada himself. These were adopted entirely by the People’s Panel and submitted to the Hon. Cecilia Munoz Palma, Commission President. We are today presenting these submissions to the people, as the first of a four part series on the Panel’s constitutional proposals.

The proposals may be grouped into three categories according to subject.

A.      There are first of all those intended for inclusion of the section on the Declaration of Principles and dealing with national security and international relations.

 

The proposals under this section includes

 

1.      The condemnation of wars of aggression as international crimes. We cannot live in isolation from the rest of the world. Any naked attack by one nation against another must be considered and treated as a crime not only against the nation but upon the community of nations.

2.      A prohibition against the continued existence of foreign military bases on Philippines territory, and against the establishment of any bases thereafter. Militarily the bases endanger rather than safeguard our security; they are a magnet for attacks in case of war the United States and any other power. Just as serious, recent history has proven that they invite foreign interference by the U.S. in our domestic affairs.

3.      A declaration of neutrality vis-à-vis the super power blocs. Super power rivalry we now know from experience has little to do with the defense of “freedom and democracy”. The United States was quite prepared to support the Marcos regime and did for fourteen years although that regime has taken away from our people both their freedom, resources and democracy, so long as Mr. Marcos acceded to its demands

4.      Outlawing the entry, passage, or storage of all nuclear and chemical weapons and component part thereof. The existence of such weapons within our shores invite attacks in a case of war and endanger our safely and security. The horrors of nuclear warfare and indeed of mere nuclear accidents as we have seen in Chernobyl demand that our country oppose and condemn the use of nuclear weapons as implements of war. Likewise the use of lethal chemical in warfare.

5.      The guarantee of the right asylum and non-extradition to freedom lighters ad the victims of political persecution for their participation in defense of human rights, and the liberation of their country. We have ourselves just experienced how important it is for freedom fighters and victims of political persecution to find a haven when compelled by circumstances to flee their country. Since the struggle for freedom is universal and demands the solidarity of all peoples, it is incumbent on us to provide friendly sanctuary to freedom fighters everywhere.

B.      The second set of proposals has to do with civil, political and human rights.

These proposals are provisions.

1.      Defining the limits of state authority in arrests, searches and detentions including preventive detentions – much abused during the Marcos regime when so many were kept in jail for years without charges, like Ninoy Aquino, Pepe Diokno and others. Under the same category is the provision not found in our past Constitutions (either 1935 or 1973) acquiring any person arrested upon a warrant to be produced before a competent court with a statement of charges against him within 24 hours after his arrest.

2.      Authorizing the holding of a prisoner only upon a proper court order for a period not longer than 10 days. This provision is intended to prevent ever happening again what was done to delaines like Jose Ma. Sison and many others.

3.      Prohibiting the trial of persons charged of crimes. Such trials are violative of the basic constitutional guarantee of due process.

4.      Abolishing capital punishment. I enologists decry not only the cruelly of this from of punishment but even its uselessness as punishment’s other function is to reform. Most nations in Europe and most states in the United States have removed the death penalty from their penal systems.

5.      Establishing the rights of every citizen to employment and to decent housing. The dream of all is to have a decent livelihood and a home of his own where he can spend his leisure hours after work with his family in decent surrounding. The States that cannot provide its citizens these basic requirements of life underman its claim to the loyalty of his citizens.

6.      Affirming and enjoining observance of the equality between men and women in economic, political, cultural, social and family life. The intent of this provision is only to make patent the fact of this equality which today moreover has been demonstrated in that we now have a woman as head of the State and a woman as head of the Constitutional Commission,

7.      Giving special protection and care to mothers during pregnancy and maternity. This is simply a recognition o the importance of the role of mother silo our society. There is a statute recognizing this right. We want to make the right a constitutional one.

8.      Affording protection to children and persons of tender and minor age. This is a similar provision protecting young workers in the proposals on labor. The young are the hope of all countries everywhere. How they will grow to adulthood decides the kind of leadership and the kind of citizenry we shall have in the future.

9.      Committing the State to material assistance for the aged, the ill and the disabled when in need. They need the deep concern of the State because if they are left alone and neglected in their helpless condition as they often are their situation would be desperate and tragic.

10.   Strengthening the prohibition against laws granting titles of royalty or nobility by prohibiting any effect being givers to grants of such titles to Filipino citizens by foreign government.

11.   Giving citizens the right to sue the Government for damages resulting from unlawful actions of government agencies, official or employees in the performance of their duties and giving preferential status and treatment to such cases. It is but fair to compensate the citizen for injuries or damages suffered as consequence of such actions. But more than as an act of justice; the proposed provision will serve to discourage future abuses and the careless performance of official duties.

C.      The rights of labor are the subject of the last category of proposals. The rights enunciated in the suggested provisions are too numerous to mention here. Many are already enjoyed by our workers and a few more are added for their protection and welfare. The main thrust of the proposals is that these rights be enshrined in the new Constitution so they may not be so easily infringed on or curtailed by any government power. Organized labor, we have seen froes experience of the Marcos years and events in other lands like Poland can be a force for freedom and democracy and it must be maintained always sturdy and independent.

Some of the proposals we are making are what we believe to be improvements on existing the provisions in the 1935 and 1973 Constitutions, modified in the light of experience especially the last 20 years while others are entirely new provision sullied in part from the Constitutions of other countries, but so salutary and relevant to our time and needs, that we earnestly believe they should find a place in our own fundamental laws.

We have not proposed any provision of Martial Law because we believe that Martial Law should not be provided for in the new Constitutions, instead the provision in the 1973 Constitution should be completely ignored.

These proposals are rooted in liberal, humanist and populist principles. After 15 years of Martials rule and authoritarianism. It has become urgent to restore the faith of the mass of our people in their government, to draw people and government closer together bound with an identity of interests and applications. An obvious way to attain this goal is to adopt a New Constitution embodying provisions which demonstrate not only solicitude but also commitment on the part of the State towards the well being the protection and happiness of all its citizens particularly the under privileged.

Proposal A

On war and international relations

1.      On War and International Relations:

The Philippines resources war as an instrument of national policy, consider wars of aggression as international crimes, and as a neutral state adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land, and adhered to the policy of peace, equality, justice, freedom and friendship with all nations.

2.      On U.S. Bases:

Foreign military bases on Philippine territory must be removed and no foreign military bases shall hereafter be allowed. (Declaration of Unity p. 4 par. 3.6. signed by President Corazon Aquino, Jose W. Diokno, Teofisto Guingona, Steve Salonga for his father, Jaime Ongpin, Lorenzo M. Tanada, and others).

3.      On Nuclear Weapons and Plant and Chemical Warfare.

The possession, storage and transport of nuclear in the Philippine territory of nuclear bombs, weapons and component parts thereof; and materials for chemical warfare in Philippine territory shall be prohibited and severely punished.

No nuclear plant shall be constructed and operated without a license duly issued by competent authorities certifying to the safety of the plant and its site, and the existence of a safe and permanent place for disposal of nuclear waste.

The Philippines shall cooperate with its neighbors to make Southeast Asia a zone of neutrality freedom and peace.

4.      On Right of Asylum and Non-Extradition.

The Philippine shall grant the right of asylum to citizen of foreign countries who are persecuted because of their struggle in defense of basic human rights and liberation of their country.

The extradition of aliens prosecuted for their action as freedom fighters shall be prohibited.

(Constitutions of Greece, Cuba, Spain, Czechoslovakia and Guatemala)

 

 

 

 

Proposal B

Basic Human Rights

1.      On Right of Women:

Women and men enjoy equal rights in economic, political, cultural, social and family life. (Vietnam, Bulgaria and Cuba)

2.      On Care and Protection of Mothers:

Mothers shall enjoy special protection and care from the State, during pregnancy and maternity including paid in leave of absence before and after child birth, free obstetrics and medical care and in maternity homes. (Cuba and Mexico)

3.      On Care and Protection of the Aged and the Disabled:

Citizens of the Philippines have the right to material assistance from the State and society when they are old, ill or disabled. The State develops the social relief and medical and health services that are required to enable citizens to enjoy this right. (China, Cuba USSR and Portugal)

4.      On Arrest, Search and detention:

The right of the people to be secured in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall not be violated, and no search warrant or warrant of arrest 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.

Each search or seizure shall be made upon separated warrant issued by a competent judge.

A person who is arrested while committing an offense or on a warrant shall be brought, before the competent court within 24 hours of his arrest at the latest.

A court order is necessary for a person to be held for more than 48 hours. It may be extended only for ten consecutive days upon order of a competent court, and in no case shall it prevent judicial inspection.

On Preventive Detention:

Preventive detention is permissible only for offenses punishable by imprisonment. The place of detention shall be completely separate from the place use for service of sentences.

No detention shall exceed three days without order of a competent court which shall state the offense, time, and circumstances of its commission and the facts must be sufficient to establish probable guilt of the accused. All authorities who order a preventive detention or consent thereto shall be liable for any breach of this provision. (Mexico, etc.)

Preventive detention shall not be continued whenever it could be replaced by bail or by some means of provisional liberty as provided by law.

Any official action affecting he person provisionally detained must be immediately communicated to the detainee or his duly authorized representative. (Portugal, Mexico, Cuba, Japan)

5.      On Petition for information:

The right to petition for information on matters of public concern shall be guaranteed.

 

Every petition shall be answered in writing by the official to whom it is addressed within a brief period. Violation of this provision shall be punished as may be provided by law.

6.      On Death Penalty

Excessive fines shall not be imposed, not cruel and unusual punishment or death penalty inflicted. (Art IV. Sec. 21, 1973 Constitution, as amended)

7.      On Suit Against the State:

Citizens of the Philippines have the right to file action for damages resulting from unlawful actions by government agencies or by public officials or employees in the performance of their duties.

Complaints filled under this provision must be examined and promptly decided. Victims are entitles so fair and just compensations.

Retaliation against the complainant is strictly prohibited.( Vietnam, USSR, Cuba)

8.      On Protection of infants:

Infants are entitled to protection and care of society and the State, with a view to their integral developments.

Infants, particularly orphans and abandoned are entitled to special protection of society and the State against all forms of discrimination and oppression and against abuse of authority in the family and in other institutions. (Portugal)

9.      On Loss of Citizenship:

Our Constitution provides who are citizens of the Philippines (Art III, Sec.3) to complete the article on citizenship we propose the addition of the following:

 

Philippine citizenship may be lost by”

a.      Those who become citizens of another country.

b.      Those who without the Government permission serve another country in military functions or in posts entailing authority on jurisdiction

c.      Those who on foreign territory conspire or act in anyway against the Republic of the Philippines or on other grounds provided by law. The formalization of the loss of citizenship shall be through judicial process. (Cuba not a literal copy)

 

Article C

Right of workers and farmers

The State shall afford protection to labor, promote full employment, ensure equal work opportunities regardless of sex civil status race or creed and regulate between workers and employers. Towards this end the following basic principles shall not be contravened.

I.               The right of workers to organize and to bargain and act collectively is guaranteed.

II.             The maximum duration of work for one day shall be eight hours.

III.            The use of labor of minors under fourteen years of age is prohibited. Persons above that age and less than sixteen shall have a maximum work a day six hours.

IV.            Women in a state of pregnancy shall not perform physical labor which requires considerable effort and which could be hazardous to their health. They shall necessarily be entitled to 30 days leave prior to the approximate date of childbirth and to 30 days leave thereafter, and shall receive their full wages and retain their employment and the rights acquired under their labor contract. During the nursing period, they shall have to extra rest periods each day, of a half hour each for nursing their children.

V.              The minimum wag wage to be received by a worker shall be at least that fixed by law.

The general must be sufficient to satisfy the normal material, social, and cultural needs of the head of a family and to provide for education of his children. The minimum wage shall be fixed by taking into consideration the conditions of different industrial and commercial activities.

 

Farm workers shall be entitled to a minimum wage adequate to their needs.

The minimum wage is to be fixed by regional committees, composed of representatives of workers, employees, and the Government and will be subject to approval by a national committee, organized in the same manner as the regional committees.

VI.            Equal wages shall be paid for equal work, regardless for sex or nationality.

VII.          The minimum wage shall be exempt from attachment.

VIII.         Workers shall be entitled to a participation in the profits of enterprises.

a.      A national committee, compose to a representatives of workers, employers, and the Government shall fix the percentage of profits to be distributed among workers;

b.      The national committee shall undertaken research and make necessary and appropriate studies in order to become acquainted with the general conditions of the national economy. It shall also take into consideration the need to promote  the industrial development of the country, the reasonable return that should be obtained by capital and the necessary reinvestment of capital;

c.      The committee may revise the fixed percentage whenever new studies and research so justify.

d.      The law may exempt newly established enterprises from the obligation of sharing profits for a specialized and limited number of years as well as exploration work and other activities when justified by their nature or peculiar conditions;

e.      To determine the amount of profits of each enterprise the basis to be taken is the taxable income according to the provision of the income tax law. Workers may submit to the appropriate office of the Ministries of labor and finance any objections they may deem pertinently as may be provided by law.

f.       The right of workers to participate in profit does not imply the power to intervene in the direction of administration of an enterprise.

IX.            In any agricultural, industrial, or mining enterprise, or in any kind of work, employers shall be obliged, as determined by law, to furnish safe, comfortable and hygienic living quarters. This obligation shall be met with contributions to be made by the enterprise to a national housing fund to serve as deposits in behalf of their workers and to establish a financing agreement that will permit them to receive sufficient low cost credit to enable them to acquire their housing ownership.

It is considered that it would be of social utility to enact legislation for the creation of an agency composed of representatives of the Government, the workers, and the employers for the purpose of administering the resources of this national housing fund. Such legislation would regulate the methods and procedures by which workers could acquire housing in ownership.

The enterprise referred to above that are not located in urban areas are obliged to establish schools, clinics, and any other services necessary to the community.

Establishments for the sale of intoxicating liquors and houses for games of chance are prohibited in all work centers.

X.              Employers shall be responsible for work injuries and for occupational disease of workers, contracted because of or in the performance of their work or occupation therefore, employers shall pay the corresponding indemnification whether death or only temporary or permanent disability has resulted, in accordance with what the law prescribes.

XI.            Credits in favor or workers for wages or salary earned within the last year, and for indemnity compensation, shall have priority over all other obligations in the event or receivership or bankruptcy of the employer.

 

 

 

Proposals for a nationalist and democratic constitution (Part 2)

          We have succeeded in getting rid of the fascist, dictator; yet our historic journey to freedom ad a truly democratic society has still to, reach it destination.

All around us we see the ills and problems that deny us our freedom and our prosperity, foreign domination is manifest in a deadly presence of US military bases and the huge unfettered multinational corporations. Wide scale exploitation of he landless majority in the country sides and of the underpaid – workers in the factories remains a cruel reality in our economic life. Militarization and human right abuses still bound to aggravate our people’s already miserable existence. Without any doubt, our struggle must not only continue; it must intensify.

The heroic act of the Filipino people in ousting the US-backed Marcos dictatorial regime has opened a new chapter in our historic quest for a better society. As it enriched our political experience, it has also created new arenas and opportunities for the advancement of our nationalist and democratic objectives, in this period of political transition; history beckons us to intervene decisively.

One of the critical arenas of political struggle is drafting the new Constitution. It may be instrumental an “legalizing” fascist rule as the Marcos regime did; or in formalizing recognition of the democratic gains and demands of the people, as it should in this new Charter.

The forces of reaction, US imperialism and its local henchmen, remnants of the fascist regime both in and out of the present government, and sectors representing conservative interests, are out to reverse the gains achieved thru the nationalist and democratic struggle of the people. And they will do these whenever and wherever they can especially the Constitutional Commission.

Our task, therefore in this period of Constitution-drafting is to articulate a complete program for a free, democratic and prosperous Filipino society, within and outside the hails of the Constitutional Commission. Particularly because the people had no hand in the selection of the drafters, they must use various democratic for a beyond the session halls of the con-com. Thus, classrooms, factories, public plazas, even t discussion groups in sari-sari stores should be transferred into venue of advocacy. Even if the Con-Com fails to manifest the people’s aspirations in the draft Charter, the people will emerge politically sharper, more sensitive and assertive for such a time when they themselves will truly promulgate their Constitution.

It has time and again been said that the Constitution must only contain basic provisions that would not touch on the province of legislation. Our historical context, however, impels us at times to transcend generalities and strike categorically and squarely at the roots of our problems. Thus, issues such as the US military bases and unequal treaties, land reform and national industrialization, and providing guarantees to the people’s economic, social and cultural rights, must once and for all be resolved in the Constitution.

Finally, the People’s panel for a Nationalist and Democratic Constitution has decided to zero in on essential and relevant matters that need to be crystalized into Constitutional provisions, specifically those which have been the historical demands and aspirations of the Filipino masses. What follows are the proposals of the People’s Panel covering the political, economic and socio cultural fields. They include such provisions as are responsive to concerns of national sovereignty and independence, democratic governance, people’s rights, self-determination, military restricting, land reforms, national industrialization, relevant and nationalist education, language, art and culture. To provide basis for the proposals, we are reprinting the annotations made by the Panel Chairman, former Sen. Lorenzo Tanada. These are proposals that have been submitted to the Con-Com. But more importantly, these are being presented for submission to the people.

 

On National Sovereignty and Independence

DECLARATION OF PRINICIPLES

The Philippines is a neutral and non aligned state. She renounces war as an instrument of national policy, condemns wars of aggression and expansion as international crimes, adopts the generally accepted principles of International law as part of the law of the land, and adheres to the policy of peace, equality, justice, freedom, cooperation, and friendship will all nations, irrespective of ideology, race or culture.

GENERAL PROVISIONS

The possession, storage and transport of nuclear bombs, weapons and components parts thereof, and materials for chemical warfare in the Philippine territory shall be prohibited and severely punished.

No nuclear plant shall be constructed and operated without a license duly issued by competent authorities as provided for by law, certifying to the safety of the plant and its site, and the existence of a safe and permanent place for disposal of nuclear waste.

TRANSITORY PROVISIONS

All existing treaties, facts, and agreements inconsistent with the policy of neutrality and violative of the sovereign will of the Filipino people are abrogated. All US military bases, installations, and facilities presently existing shall be removed from Philippine territory not later than March 13, 1991. Thereafter, no foreign military base, installation, and facility in Philippine territory shall be allowed.

ON NATIONAL INDUSTRIALIZATION AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT.

The state shall develop a self reliant national Economy free from all forms of foreign domination. A Central Economic plan shall be drawn that would ensure the genuine development of the nation’s productive capacity, promote the Filipino people’s livelihood and provide for their basic needs and prosperity. To this end, the state shall adopt a moral economy where the state shall control or strongly regulate key industries in the interest of social justice while encouraging the initiative of the private sector in all other spheres of economic activity in a system of fait competition.

All the wealth of the nation including but not limited to its natural resources, its heritage and culture is owned by the Filipino people and should therefore be used primarily for their benefit.

In line with the spirit of equitable distribution of wealth, the state shall take steps to implement the dispersal of property by promoting various forms of properly, such as state ownership, cooperative or collective ownership, individual ownership, and cooperate ownership. Property rights are subject to the limitations the law may impose on the disposition of common goods.

National industrialization and modernization of agriculture constitute the cornerstone of a strong and self reliant economy. Towards this end, the state shall promote a balanced economic growth. It shall develop the agricultural sector which shall create surplus necessary for the needs of industry. It shall provide for the establishment of basic and strategic industries, the development of science and technology, the availability of development finance and the training ad education of its people.

The state shall, likewise, adopt a policy of self sufficiency in food production and other basic goods. It shall provide for the full and efficient flow of distribution of goods and commodities.

It shall be the prime responsibility of the state to promote appropriate science and technology for the welfare of the people, and the progress of national industrialization based on local processing of our extractive materials and agricultural products.

The collective determination of the Filipino people to assert economic independence and hasten national industrialization and modernization of agriculture shall be attained through the nationalization of all vital and strategic industries in line with this; the State shall adopt as a policy the nationalization of the following:

a.      Extractive and non-replenishable industries  such as mining, exploration and the like;

b.      Industries involving public service such as the generation and distribution of electricity, water, communication and facilities, mass transportation, and fuel.

c.      Industries strategic to genuine economic development such as bank, fertilizers, steel, smelting basic chemicals and drugs.

Just compensation shall be provided under terms determined by the State.

The state shall encourage Filipino private entrepreneurs contributing positively to the task of developing the nation’s productive capacity and capital resources to enter into areas of economy where their expertise and capital are more suited with a requisite degree of state regulation for the benefit of end-users. Towards this end, the State shall provide appropriate tariff protection and credit subsidies to these entrepreneurs.

No form of monopoly control in private industries shall be allowed to dominate the livelihood and welfare of the Filipino people.

Foreign investment shall be allowed and encourage to the extent and under conditions that are beneficial to national economic growth. Generally these will be in the following areas:

a.      Where transnational are willing to provide scarce capital in priority areas that domestic investors may not want to enter and where government funds are not sufficient;

b.      Where there is some technology that the country lacks but might want to learn to use, provided, however, that a definite period for the transfer of technology to a Filipino entity shall be fixed.

The generation of foreign exchange through exports shall primarily be used for the requirements of national economic development. The State shall, therefore, adopt a trade policy that will give priority to the production of good for domestic requirements over export. Imports shall be geared towards hastening the thrust of national industrialization such as the import of capital goods and raw materials not readily available within the economy.

The state shall make full use of all forms of exchange including countertrade with all countries regardless of their logical leanings on the basis of equality and mutual benefit.

Foreign loans shall be contracted only to finance productive and vital undertakings in line with the national economic development program. A ceiling on all foreign borrowings shall be fixed by the legislature. Foreign loans of the private sector shall be subject to state regulation.

Ceilings on interest and principal payments as a percentage of support shall be implemented as provided for by law.

Full information as to the terms, maturities, purposes, and conditions of foreign loans obtained by government shall be made available to the public and publicized by implementing agencies through newspapers of general circulation; within a period of time 1 month after such loan has been contracted.

Appropriate Monetary and Fiscal policy shall be utilized to promote economic development, national industrialization, and agricultural modernization.

The bulk of taxation shall be generated from direct progressive taxes on wealth and income.

Government spending shall give priority to meeting the basic needs of the Filipino people. It should, therefore, focus on nutrition, clothing, housing, health, education and other social services like unemployment, Medicare, and workers compensation insurance.

1.      The condemnation of wars of aggression as international crimes. We cannot live in isolation from the rest of the world. Any naked attack by one nation against another must be considered and treated as a crime not only against the nation but upon the community nations.

2.      A prohibition against the continued existence of foreign military bases on Philippine territory, and against the establishment of any bases thereafter. Militarily the bases endanger rather than safeguard our security. They are a magnet for attacks in case of war between the United States and any other power. Just as serious, recent history as proven that they invite foreign interference by the U.S. in our domestic affairs.

3.      A declaration of neutrality vis-à-vis the super power blocks. Super power rivalry we now know from experience has little to do with the defense of “freedom and democracy” the United States was quite prepared to support the Marcos regime, and did, for fourteen years although that regime has taken away from our people both their freedom, resources and democracy, so long as Mr. Marcos acceded to its demands”.

4.      Outlawing the entry, passage or storage of all nuclear and chemical weapons and component parts thereof. The existence of such weapons within shores invite attacks in case of war and endanger our safely and security. The horrors of nuclear warfare and indeed of mere nuclear accidents as we have seen in Chernobyl demand that our country oppose and condemn the use of nuclear weapons as implements of war. Likewise the use of lethal chemicals in warfare.

5.      The guarantee of the right of asylum and non-extradition to freedom fighters and the victims of political persecution for their participation in defense of human rights, and the aberration of their country. We have ourselves just experienced how important it is for freedom fighters and victims of political persecution to find a heaven when compelled by circumstances to flee their country. Since the struggle for freedom is universal and demands the solidarity of all peoples, it is incumbent on us of to provide friendly sanctuary to freedom fighters everywhere.

 

 

 

PROPOSALS FOR A NATIONALIST AND DEMOCRATIC CONSTITUTION (LAST OF A SERIES)

On democratic Rights

Bill of Political and Civil Rights

No person shall be deprived of life and liberty without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the law. The State shall take care that the rights of persons who cannot minister to themselves by reason of poverty, lack of education, disability or age, are fully protected. Men and women shall enjoy equal rights under the law. (Proposed provision underscored)

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall be presumed 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, impartial and public trial, to meet the witnesses face to face, and to have compulsory process to secure the attendance of witnesses and the production of evidence in his behalf. There shall be no trials in absentia. (Proposed provision underscored)

The penal system shall primarily aim toward the reformation and rehabilitation of the offender. Death penalty or excessive fines shall not be imposed nor cruel and unusual punishment inflicted. (Proposed provision underscored)

Torture, hamletting, zoning, food blockades, strafing, bombing, rape, and similar forms of atrocities shall be prohibited and shall be punishable as provide for by law.

Any evidence obtained by means of force, torture or in the absence of counsel shall not be admissible.

In no case shall civilians be tried by military courts.

The Philippine shall grant the right of asylum to citizens of foreign countries who are persecuted because of their struggle in defense of basic human rights and the liberation of their country.

The extradition of freedom fighters shall be prohibited.

The right of citizens to keep arms within their dwellings shall not be infringed. The right to bear arms outside thereof may, however, be subject to limitations as may be prescribed by law.

Right to trial by jury shall be assured.

The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended.

Bill of Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights

Labor is an inalienable right to every citizen. It shall be the duly of the State to provide employment to all citizen and to ensure conditions of employment that will promote human dignity.

Workers shall be entitled to participation in the profits of enterprises as provide by law.

Workers shall have the right o full participation in the fixing of wages and other conditions of employment. Participation in the management of state owned firms shall be assured to the workers therein.

The State shall ensure workers’ right to self organization, collectively bargaining, security of tenure, just, safe ad humane conditions of work and to engage in concerted action to promote their economic, social, political and civil rights.

Every person shall have the right to rest and leisure after work, which shall be secured by the State through the limitation of hours of work, periodic vacations with pay, and remuneration for work done during public holidays.

It shall be the duty of the State to maintain at its own expenses a comprehensive system of social insurance that shall protect every citizen from economic consequences of old age, disability, involuntary unemployment and to provide for the general medical care.

Every person shall have the right to free education which the State shall secure through a system of universal instruction in the primary, secondary and tertiary levels admission to institutions of higher learning shall be on the basis of merit to determine at examinations administered by the State.

The academic freedom of all members of the academic community including teachers and students shall be protected by the State. The State shall promote a climate conducive to academic freedom.

All teachers, students, non-academic personnel, parents, and other members of the academic community shall have the right to be represented in the governing bodies of all educational institutions through their duly elected representatives and/or sectorial organizations.

The right of teachers and students to form independent unions or councils and to act collectively for their benefit shall be protected by the States. Campus press freedom shall likewise be guaranteed.

The State recognizes the right of the Moro people, the Cordillera peoples, and other national minority peoples to preserve and develop their own cultural, historical, and religious acts, the right to freely use and develop their language, and the right organized social and productive activities in conformity with their values and traditions. The culture and tradition of the national minority peoples form part of the national culture. The State shall work for the total eradication of any form of discrimination against national minority people.

The State shall protect the rights of all citizens to decent housing and adequate community services. Urban poor dwellers shall be protected against arbitrary and inhuman demolitions of their houses.

The state shall develop on site, relocation or resettlement sites and services with minimum dislocation of families and based upon the review of land use plans and implementing guidelines, all subject to consultation and approval by affected residents. There shall also be established and ensured subsidized, low cost housing primarily for those generally belonging to the urban and rural poor sectors.

Women and men enjoy equal rights in economic, political, cultural, social and family life.

The state shall ensure to all citizens the effective delivery of a appropriate and adequate health and nutrition services anchored on the peoples participation in the panning implementation, monitoring and evaluation of these programs.

Mother shall enjoy special protection and care from the State during pregnancy and maternity including paid in leave of absence before an after child birth, free obstetric and medical care and in maternity homes.

On Democratic Representation and Form of Government

Parliamentary with a System of Direct Representation

The People’s Parliament

Legislative power shall be vested in a People’s Parliament which shall be composed of:

a.      Deputies elected by the members of the Municipal Peoples Congresses elected from among themselves;

b.      Representative of political parties acquiring more than five percent of all the votes cast in the election of representatives to the Barrio People’s Congresses, in portion to their respective percentage shares in the total number of votes cast; (System of proportional representation)

c.      Representatives from the Autonomous Regions.

d.      The members of the People’s Parliament shall elect the Prime Minister and the Minister of the Cabinet.

 

The People’s Congresses

Each barrio, municipality or city, and province shall have its people’s Congress.

The Barrio People’s Congress shall be composed of members elected by all qualified voters in the barrio. Their number shall be fixed on the basis of a ration to the total number of registered voters. The Congress shall elect a Chairman and an Executive Council. It shall also elect its representatives to Municipal/city People’s Congress.

The municipal/city people’s congress shall be composed of members elected from among the representatives of the barrio people’s congresses. The Congress shall elect its Chairman and Executive Council and its representatives to the Provincial People’s Congress. The deputies to the People’s Parliament shall be elected from among the members of the Municipal/City People’s Congresses.

The Provincial People’s Congress shall be composed of members elected from among the representatives of the Municipal/City people’s Congress/ the Congress shall elect its Chairman and Executive Council.

System of Recall

The representative in the Barrio, Municipal/City and Provincial People’s Congress and the deputies in the People’s Parliament are subject to recall by the members of the Congress which elected them to their positions, or in the case of Barrio People’s Congress, by the voters.

System of Initiative

The people are guaranteed the right to propose legislation to the People’s Congress or to the People’s Parliament, or upon compliance with conditions set, may submit such proposed legislation to the general electorate in a referendum.

 

ON SELF-DETERMINATION AND THE AUTONOMOUS REGIONS

Declaration of Principles

The state shall recognize the inalienable right and internationally respected freedom of the Moro people, Cordillera people, and other national minority peoples to determine their own system of local administration in consideration of the indigenous socio-political institutions currently in practice within the framework of nation unity.

The Autonomous regions and the Rights of National Minorities

The Philippines is a unitary state, recognizing and respecting the rights of the Autonomous regions in the Administration of their local government and conduct of political affairs, control and supervision over the economic, social and cultural activities within the region of autonomy provided, however, that national defense, foreign affairs, and central banking shall remain under the control and authority of the national government. National laws that are no in violation of this Constitution shall be respected.

The State recognizes and protects the proprietor rights of the Moro people, Cordillera people, and other national minority peoples to their disposition, utilization and management of the natural resources within the ancestral domain; provided, that all rights with respect to these resources legitimately acquired prior to the promulgation of this Constitution shall be respected subject to the payment of just compensation and royalties to the National minority Peoples affected. The leases and contracts with commercial corporations shall be subject to the review by the national minority communities; provided, further, that the period of all leases covering said was executed and that such lease shall not contravene the provisions of this Constitution on the protection and conservation of the national patrimony.

The State also recognizes and respects the National Minority Peoples right to economic prosperity and self-determination.

ON MILITARY RESTRUCTURING

General Provisions

The defense of the State shall rest primarily on a Citizens Army composed of all able bodied citizens of the Philippines, who shall undergo military training and corps of trained officers in active duly status to train, service and keep the Citizens army in reasonable preparedness at all times, and to maintain existing air and naval defense forces.

Local Government

Each city or municipality shall have he power to establish, maintain and control its own police force for the purpose of enforcing the laws ordinances, preserving peace and order, and protecting the rights of the citizens within its territorial jurisdiction.

ON EDUCATION

General Provision

It shall be the responsibility of the State to establish a free and complete system of education.

The education system shall promote nationalist consciousness, develop critical thinking and scientific outlook, cultivate democratic values, and shall be geared towards the fullest development of the human potential and attainment of genuine social justice.

Duties of Every Citizen

It is the duly of the people to avail themselves of the national educational system to the fullest extent possible in order to discover and develop their native talents, to continue, educating themselves after formal schooling ends, to participate in the social, economic, cultural, and political life of their communities and of the country, using their skills, talents, and critical and creative faculties for the promotion and enhancement of the rights of all and for the welfare of the nation.

ON ART AND CULTURE

Declaration of Principles.

The state shall promote a nationalist, mass-based, pro people and non discriminatory art, media and culture.

General Provisions

An autonomous national Commission of Art and Culture shall be established for the purpose of promoting artistic activity and cultural development along a nationalist and pro people line. This body, shall be provided with its own budget, for logistical support to deserving artist and cultural workers, as individuals or as institutions, in the form of scholarships, grants-in-aid, subsidies for materials, publication assistance, and other incentives, with priority to those engaged in grassroots programs and the national minority people.

Art and culture, including the mass media, shall be free from censorship.

ONE THE NATIONAL LANGAUGE

General Provisions

Filipino, the national lingua franca of the country, shall be the official language, with the regional languages as auxiliary languages; and until otherwise provided by law, English shall also serve as an auxiliary language.

A National language Commission shall be establishing to develop and propagate the national language based on the nation lingua franca and other Philippine languages that shall unite and empower the people.

Filipino shall be the medium of instruction in all schools with the regional languages English as auxiliary language. The Legislature shall take steps within a period of five years to implement this policy.

Transitory provision

This Constitutional shall be officially promulgate in Filipino and translated into the regional languages of the Philippines and in English. In case of conflict, the Filipino text shall prevail.

 

 

 

The date posted here is due to our website rebuild, it does not reflect the original date this article was posted. This article was originally posted in Yonip in Jan 28th 2012

 

 

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