Friday, July 30, 2010


As mandated by the Constitution, the President is vested with the following powers:
  1. to call the Congress to special session
  2. to approve or veto bills
  3. to consent to the deputization of government personnel by the Commission on Elections
  4. to discipline its deputies
  5. to exercise emergency and tariff powers.


The President shall address the Congres at the opening of its regular session. He may also appear before it at any other time.


The budget is the schedule of expenditures and revenue measures. This budgetary power is entrusted to the President since he is in the best position to determine the needs of the government and propose the corresponding appropriations on the basis of existing or expected sources of revenue.

In the execution of budgetary power, the President shall submit to the Congress within thirty days from the opening of every regular session, as the basis of the general appropriations bill, a budget of expenditures and sources of financing, including receipts from existing and proposed revenue measures.

The appropriations recommended by the President for the operation of the government as specified in the budget may not be increased by the Congress.


As head of State, the President is the spokesperson of the nation on external affairs. He may deal with foreign states and governments, extend or withhold recognition, maintain diplomatic relations, enter into treaties, and otherwise transact the business of foreign relations.

The power to conclude treaties is however subject to the concurrence of at least two-thirds of all the Members of the Senate and also of the Supreme Court which has also the power to delcare them unconstitutional.


The President may contract or guarantee foreign loans on behalf of the Republic of the Philippines with the prior concurrence of teh Monetary Board, and subject to such limitations as may be provided by law. The Monetary Board shall submit to Congress a report on loans within 30 days from the end of every quarter. (Suarez, 2005)


The President with his pardoning power may grant reprieves, commutations, and pardons and remit fines and forfeitures, after conviction by final judgment. The President may also grant amnesty with the concurrence of a majority of all the Members of the Congress.

A pardon is an act of grace which exempts the individual on whom it is bestowed from the punishment which the law inflicts for the crime he has committed.
A parole is when a prisoner is released from imprisonment but his liberty is not fully restored because the parolee is still considered in the custody of the law although he is not in confinement.
A commutation is a reduction or mitigation of the penalty, e.g., when the death sentence is reduced to life imprisonment.
A reprieve is merely a postponement of a sentence to a date certain, or a stay of execution. It may be ordered to enable the government to secure additional evidence to ascertain the guilt of the convict or, in the case of the execution of the death sentence upon a pregrant woman, to prevent the killing of her unborn child.
An amnesty is an act of grace given with the concurrence of Congress. It is usually extended to groups of persons who committed political offenses and it abolishes the offense itself.

Kinds of Pardon
Pardon may be classified into
  1. absolute or conditional; and
  2. plenary or partial.
An absolute pardon is one given without any conditions attached. Whereas, a conditional pardon is one under which the convict is required to comply with certain requirements. In conditional pardon, the offender has the right to reject the pardon if he feels that the conditions imposed are more onerous than the penalty sought to be remitted. On the other hand, in case of absolute pardon, it is complied even without the acceptance of the pardonee.

A plenary pardon extinguishes all the penalties imposed upon the offender, including accessory disabilities, whereas a partial pardon does not.

  1. It cannot be granted in cases of impeachment.
  2. It cannot be granted in cases of violations of election laws without the favorable recommendation of the Commission on Elections.
  3. It can be granted only after conviction of final judgment.
  4. It cannot be granted in cases of legislative contempt or civil contempt.
  5. It cannot absolve the convict of civil liability.
  6. It cannot restore public offices forfeited.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


The military power enables the President to:
  1. command all the armed forces of the Philippines;
  2. suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus; and
  3. declare martial law.
Command of the Armed Forces
Based on the constitutional principle of the supremacy of the civilian authority over the military, the President is held as the Commander-in-Chief of all the armed forces. Whenever necessary, he may call out such armed forces to prevent or suppress violence, invasion or rebellion only.

Habeas Corpus
The writ of habeas corpus is a writ directed to the person detaining another, commanding him to produce the body of the prisoner at a designated time and place, with the day and cause of his caption and detention, to do, to submit to, and receive whatever the court or judge awarding the writ shall consider in his behalf. It is a high prerogative common law writ of ancient origin the great object of which is the liberation of those who may be in prison without sufficient cause. (Moran)

The President is entrusted the power to suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus. Note that what is suspended is not the writ itself but only the privilege of it. This means that when the court receives an application for the writ, and it finds the petition in proper form, it will issue the writ as a matter of course, i.e., the court will issue an order commanding the production before the court of the person allegedly detained, at a time and place stated in the order, and requiring the true cause of his detention to be shown to the court. If the return to the writ shows that the person in custody was apprehended and detained in areas where the privilege of the writ has been suspended or for crimes mentioned in the executive proclamation, the court will suspend further proceedings in the action. (Cruz, 2002)

Martial Law
Martial law refers to that law which has application when the military arm does not supersede civilian authority but is called upon to aid it in the execution of its civil function.

During martial law, there is no new powers given to the executive, no extension of arbitrary authority is recognized, no civil rights are suspended. The relations between the state and its citizens is unchanged. The interference that may be caused to personal freedom or property rights must always be based on necessity.

Limitations of the Military Powers
The military powers of the President is not absolute. The following are the limitations on the military powers of the President:

  1. He may call out the armed forces when it becomes necessary to prevent or suppress lawless violence, invasion or rebellion only.
  2. The grounds for the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus and the proclamation of martial law are now limited only to invasion or rebellion, when the public safely requires it.
  3. The duration of such suspension or proclamation shall not exceed sixty days, following which it shall be automatically lifted.
  4. Within forty-eight hours after such suspension or proclamation, the President shall personally or in writing report his action to the Congress. If not in session, Congress must convene within 24 hours without need of a call.
  5. The Congress may then, by a majority vote of all its members voting jointly, revoke his action.
  6. The revocation may not be set aside by the President.
  7. By the same veto and in the same manner, the Congress may, upon initiative of the President, extend his suspension or proclamation for a period to be determined by the Congress if the invasion or rebellion shall continue and the public safety requires the extension.
  8. The action of the President and the Congress shall be subject to review by the Supreme Court which shall have the authority to determine the sufficiency of the factual basis of such action. This matter is no longer considered a political question and may be raised in an appropriate proceeding by any citizen. Moreover, the Supreme Court must decide the challenge within thirty days from the time it is filed.
  9. Martial law does not automatically suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus or the operation of the Constitution. The civil courts and the legislative bodies shall remain open. Military courts and agencies are not conferred jurisdiction over civilians where the civil courts are functioning.
  10. The suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall apply only to persons facing charges of rebellion or offenses inherent in or directly connected with invasion.
  11. Any person arrested for such offense must be judicially charged therewith within three days. Otherwise he shall be released.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Section 17, Article VII of the Constitution mandates that the President shall have the control of all the executive departments, bureaus and offices. He shall ensure that the laws be faithfully executed.

Control is defined as the power of an officer to alter or modify or nullify or set aside what a subordinate officer had done in the performance of his duties and to substitute the judgment of the former for that of the latter. It includes the authority to order the doing of an act by a subordinate or to undo such act or to assume a power directly vested in him by law. (Cruz, 2002).

The control power of the President is directly derived from the Constitution. Thus, any law that will limit the exercise of his control power is invalid. The members of the Cabinet as his alter ego are under the full control of the President. He may appoint them as he sees fit, shuffle them at pleasure, and replace them in his discretion without any legal inhibition whatsoever. (ibid).

Control vs. Supervision
Control is different from supervision. To supervise is to oversee that subordinate officers perform their duties. If the subordinates fail or neglect to fulfill them, then the officer may take such action or steps as prescribed by law to make them perform these duties.

The "take-care" clause
The President is considered as the Law Enforcer. He is to enforce the Constitution, statutes, judicial decisions, administrative rules and regulations and municipal ordinances, as well as treaties entered into by the government.  The President cannot choose what he just would like to enforce or what he deemed lawful. He is to execute and implement all laws unless it is declared unconstitutional by the judiciary.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Appointment may be defined as the selection, by the authority vested with the power, of an individual who is to exercise the functions of a given office. (Cruz, 2002).

Under the Constitution, the President is authorized to appoint, with the consent of the Commission on Appointment, the following:
  1. heads of the executive departments;
  2. ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls;
  3. officers of the armed forces from the rank of the colonel or naval captain;
  4. other officers whose appointments are vested in him by the Constitution;
  5. all other officers of the Government whose appointments are not otherwise provided by law; and
  6. those whom he may be authorized by law to appoint.
Permanent or Temporary.
Appointment may be permanent or temporary. It is permanent when the person appointed possesses the required eligibility of the post and is thus protected by the constitutional provision on security of tenure. Temporary appointment, on the other hand, is given to a person without the required eligibility, and thus can be removed from the office without the necessity of just cause or a valid investigation. Temporary appointments rest on the understanding that the person will be replaced at any time a final choice shall have been made by the President of who shall occupy the post.

Appointment vs. Designation
Designation is different from appointment. Although designation may be loosely defined as an appointment because it also involves the naming of a particular person to a specified public office, the latter simply means the imposition of additional duties, usually by law, on a person already in the public service. For example, the chairman of the Board of Investments is, by designation, a member of the National Economic Development Council. (ibid).

Regular or Ad Interim
A regular appoinment is made during the legislative session. It is made only after the nomination is confirmed by the Commission on Appointment (CA) and once confirmed by the CA, continues until the end of the term of the appointee.
An ad interim appointment is made when the Congress is in recess. It does not wait for the confirmation of the Commission on Appointment but such appointment ceases to be valid if disapproved by the CA or upon the next adjournment of the Congress. This kind of appointment is intended to prevent a hiatus in the discharge of official duties.

  1. Congress may prescribe qualifications for public office.
  2. Certain appointments are subject to approval of the Commission on Appointments.
  3. The Judiciary may annul appointments made by the President if the appointee has not been validly confirmed or does not possess the required qualifications.
  4. Appointments to public office cannot be forced upon any citizen except for purposes of the defense of the State.
  5. Appointments extended by an acting President shall remain effective unless revoked by the elected President within ninety days from his assumption of office.
  6. Appointment is prohibited two months before the next presidential elections and up to the end of the president or acting president except temporary appointments to executive positions when continued vacancies therein will prejudice public service or endanger public safety. (midnight appointment)
The Removal Power
From having the power of appointment, comes the removal power. The President may remove his appointtees, especially the members of the Cabinet or other executive officials whose term of office is determined at his pleasure.

Not all appointees however can be removed by the President since the Constitution prescribes certain methods for the separation from the public service. For example, the justices of the Supreme Court, members of the Constitutional Commissions, the Ombudsman, although appointed by the President may only be removed thru impeachment. Judges of the Supreme Court are not within the ambit of the removal power of the President, but rather of the disciplinary authority of the Supreme Court.


Clear is the profound influence of the President as he is the most powerful person of the State. As head of state and chief executive, he is conferred with vast powers to enable him to lead the State.

The following are the list of the specific powers granted to the President by the Constitution:
  1. Appointing power
  2. Control power
  3. Military power
  4. Pardoning power
  5. Borrowing power
  6. Diplomatic power
  7. Informing power
  8. Other powers