Constitution Days; a[euro]Frame Constitutions of Government with What Wisdom and Foresight We May, They Must Be Imperfect, and Leave Something to Discretion, and Much to Public Virtue.a[euro] -- George Sutherland

Manila Bulletin, February 9, 2007 | Go to article overview
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Constitution Days; a[euro]Frame Constitutions of Government with What Wisdom and Foresight We May, They Must Be Imperfect, and Leave Something to Discretion, and Much to Public Virtue.a[euro] -- George Sutherland


Byline: Adrian E. Cristobal

FOR an older generation, yesterday was Constitution Day, which only this paper - and no politician - noted. It's because February 8 is the date of the 1935 Constitution, superceded by the 1973 Constitution under martial law, which was subsequently thrown in history's dustbin by the "freedom" Constitution and the current Constitution ratified on February 2, 1987.

To observe Constitution Day yesterday was only symbolic, for it was the 1935 Constitution which has lasted the longest so far.

Chronologically speaking, we have had four constitutions before 1987. We had the 1899 Constitution which established the first Asian republic; the 1935 Constitution approved by the US president, suspended in the war years by the 1943 Constitution under the Japanese occupation, and restored after World War II, then superseded by the 1973 Constitution.

Interestingly, whatever the political reality, all our charters recognized the sovereignty of the people and the Bill of Rights. The dissimilarity was in the 1899 and 1943: There was no renunciation of war as an instrument of national policy.

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Constitution Days; a[euro]Frame Constitutions of Government with What Wisdom and Foresight We May, They Must Be Imperfect, and Leave Something to Discretion, and Much to Public Virtue.a[euro] -- George Sutherland
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