Notes on the Executive Department (Philippines)

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Lecture slides with background information on the Executive Department of the Philippine government,

Content of these slides are based on research by Alex Brilliantes and Randy David.

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  • This lecture is based on the readings by Alex Brillantes (The Executive) and Randy David (The Making of a Presidential Candidate)
  • The Office of the President of the Philippines has been a coveted prize for aspiring politicians
  • Quezon First person to really turn the Executive into the dominant branch of government 98% of the laws originated from Quezon He had an influential role in provincial politics successfully amended the constitution to allow him a second term Laurel Negligible impact on the office Roxas Extensively exercised the President’s diplomatic function Entered into “unequal treaties” with the United States e.g. US Bases, Property Act, Bell Trade Act, US-RP military assistance, etc. Quirino Consolidated executive power Exercised emergency powers for the sake of national security (counter-insurgency, Huk movement) Magsaysay Assisted to the Presidency by the CIA (Landsdale) His personal charisma diverted attention from the Office to the man (i.e. him) Garcia Exercised “midnight appointment” privileges after losing his reelection bid to his VP. Macapagal Activist and independent Philippine foreign policy MAPHILINDO, the Sabah crisis, abrogation of US-RP Treaty of General Relations
  • Constitutional authoritarianism
  • Notes on the Executive Department (Philippines)

    1. 1. Notes on the Executive Branch
    2. 2. Overview <ul><li>The Executive as the key player in Philippine politics </li></ul><ul><li>The notion of a “historically dominant Executive” </li></ul><ul><li>Personalization of the Office of the President </li></ul>
    3. 3. It Pays to be President… <ul><li>The President has always played a central role in Philippine politics </li></ul><ul><li>In part, this is rooted in the prestige of the position </li></ul><ul><li>It can be shown that the “dominance” of the Executive is because of the development of the Office as an institution </li></ul>
    4. 4. The Executive in Historical Context <ul><li>Numerous attempts were made to formalize the role of the Executive even under colonial rule </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Biak-na-Bato, Constitution of Makabulos, Malolos Constitution, Etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>However, the serious development of the Executive branch took place under the 1935 Constitution and onwards </li></ul>
    5. 5. Under the 1935 Constitution <ul><li>Main Features of the Executive Branch: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>President = Head of Government and Head of State </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Term Limits = Amended to a maximum of two four-year terms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Executive Branch as co-equal with the other branches of government </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. Under the 1935 Constitution <ul><li>The President had clearly defined roles: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Chief Executive </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Chief Administrator </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Chief Legislator </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Diplomatic Chief </li></ul></ul><ul><li>These roles further developed as different individuals assumed the Office </li></ul>
    7. 7. Presidents (1935 Charter) <ul><li>Quezon (1935-44) </li></ul><ul><li>Laurel (1943-45) </li></ul><ul><li>Osmeña (1944-46) </li></ul><ul><li>Roxas (1946-48) </li></ul><ul><li>Quirino (1948-53) </li></ul><ul><li>Magsaysay (1954-57) </li></ul><ul><li>Garcia (1957-61) </li></ul><ul><li>Macapagal (1961-65) </li></ul><ul><li>Marcos (1965-73) </li></ul>
    8. 8. The 1973 Constitution <ul><li>Introduced a parliamentary system of government into the Philippines </li></ul><ul><li>Office of the President existed as “symbolic head of government” </li></ul><ul><li>The constitution was used by Marcos to legitimize and consolidate his rule </li></ul><ul><li>“ Pangulo” presidency </li></ul>
    9. 9. In the Post-Marcos context <ul><li>The Freedom Constitution gave President Aquino transitory emergency powers </li></ul><ul><li>The 1987 Constitution contains checks and balances against extreme consolidation of power under the Executive </li></ul>
    10. 10. Lessons <ul><li>The Executive in Philippine politics derives its centrality mostly from its function and roles </li></ul><ul><li>The notion of a historically dominant Executive, while inaccurate, does contain some truth </li></ul><ul><li>To date, even the present Executive Branch is open to personalism </li></ul>
    11. 11. -end-

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