Top 10 things about the Preamble

We, the sovereign Filipino people, imploring the aid of Almighty God, in order to build a just and humane society, and establish a Government that shall embody our ideals and aspirations, promote the common good, conserve and develop our patrimony, and secure to ourselves and our posterity, the blessings of independence and democracy under the rule of law and a regime of truth, justice, freedom, love, equality, and peace, do ordain and promulgate this Constitution.

[1] It is neither a part nor an important part of the 1987 Constitution. If it were, it would be Article I but it is not.

[2] It has 75 words. The Preamble to the US Constitution has 52 words while the longest is the Preamble to the Constitution of India, which has 85 words.

[3] Our Preamble is one of the 8 most notable preambles to the Constitutions of the world. Others are the Preamble to the United Nations Charter, the Preamble to the Constitution of India, the Preamble to the United States Constitution, the Preamble to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Preamble and Title 1 of the Swiss Federal Constitution, the Preamble to the Constitution of Fiji and, finally, the Preamble to the Albanian Constitution.

[4] Although the Preamble is not a part of the 1987 Constitution, it can be used as a guide by the courts to interpret unclear provisions of the fundamental document. It is not a source of right but it is a source of light.

[5] The Preamble is not a source of rights or obligations. Therefore, we cannot go to court and sue the Government even if we think that there is no love and peace in our country.

[6] The Preamble confirms that the Filipino people are the sovereign. Sovereign means ultimate ruler or power; the supreme and total authority to make rules and govern. This is why Article II says that sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them.[7] Many authors in constitutional and political law say that our Preamble has too many unnecessary words. They say that the words "love" and "truth" should not even be included therein.

[8] The main reason why the phrases "blessings of independence and democracy" and "just and humane society" are included in our Preamble is the experience of the Filipino before, during and after the 1986 People Power Revolution which removed Ferdinand Marcos from power and abolished the 1973 Constitution.

[9] The Preamble is a single winding sentence. If we remove the phrases, we are left with: "We, the sovereign Filipino people do ordain and promulgate this Constitution."

[10] The phrase "imploring the aid of Almighty God" does not mean that we are a Christian nation but the Supreme Court has issued a ruling that this confirms that we do not adhere to strict separation between Church and State. According to the High Court, "The Filipino people in "imploring the aid of Almighty God" manifested their spirituality innate in our nature and consciousness as a people, shaped by tradition and historical experience. As this is embodied in the preamble, it means that the State recognizes with respect the influence of religion in so far as it instills into the mind the purest principles of morality. Moreover, in recognition of the contributions of religion to society, the 1935, 1973 and 1987 Constitutions contain benevolent and accommodating provisions towards religions such as tax exemption of church property, salary of religious officers in government institutions, and optional religious instructions in public schools." (A.M. No. 10-4-19-SC)

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