Are rights stronger in the 1987 Constitution?

QUESTION: How is the Bill of Rights strengthened in the 1987 Constitution?

Deciding by decree at the beginning of her mandate as president installed by and after the People Power Revolution, President Corazon Aquino issued Proclamation No. 3 on March 25, 1986, which repealed many provisions of the 1973 Constitution adopted under the Marcos Regime including the unicameral legislature (Batasang Pambansa), the post of Prime Minister and the provisions that confer on the President legislative powers. Often referred to as the "Constitution of Freedom," Proclamation No. 3 was only conceived as a temporary constitution aimed at ensuring the freedom of the people and the return to a democratic regime.

A constitutional commission was soon called to draft a new constitution for the country.

The 1986 Constitutional Commission finished the final draft on October 12, 1986 and presented it to Corazon Aquino on October 15. The constitution was ratified by a nationwide plebiscite on February 8, 1987.

ANSWER: There are many ways by which the Bill of Rights is strengthened under the 1987 Constitution, in a way not seen in previous constitutions.

[1] New rights are given explicit recognition such as the prohibition against detention by reason of political beliefs and aspirations.

[2] The waiver of Miranda rights is now required to be made in writing with the assistance of counsel.

[3] The use of solitary, incommunicado and secret detention places is prohibited.

[4] The existence of substandard and inadequate penal facilities is made the concern of legislation.

[5] There is also recognition of the right of expression.

[6] There is an express prohibition against the use of torture.

[7] There is a mandate to the State to provide compensation and rehabilitation for victims of torture and their families.[8] Some rights have been expanded. For instance, free access to courts now includes access to quasi-judicial bodies and to adequate legal assistance.

[9] The requirements for interfering with some rights have been made more strict. For example, only judges can now issue search warrants or warrants of arrest.

[10] There must be a law authorizing the Executive Department to interfere with the privacy of communication, the liberty of abode, and the right to travel before these rights may be impaired or curtailed.

[11] The Constitution now provides that the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus does not suspend the right to bail, thus resolving a long-standing doctrinal debate.

[12] The suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus and the proclamation of martial law have been limited to sixty (60) days and are now subject to the power of Congress to revoke.

[13] The Supreme Court is now given the jurisdiction, upon the petition of any citizen to determine the sufficiency of the factual basis of the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus and the proclamation of martial law.

[14] The Supreme Court is empowered to adopt rules for the protection and enforcement of constitutional rights. As a result, we now have the writs of kalikasan, amparo and others.

[15] Article II, Sec. 11 commits the State to a policy which places value on the dignity of every human person and guarantees full respect for human rights.

[16] A Commission on Human Rights is created. However, it has been criticized as a toothless tiger.

[17] Under Article XVI. Sec. 5(2) the State is mandated to promote respect for the people's rights among the members of the military in the performance of their duty.

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