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  The Government


Malacanang Palace, the seat of the president of the Philippines

    The government of the Philippines is republican in form and is founded on democratic principles.
     After the establishment of the revolutionary government in 1898, the delegates to the Malls Congress adopted a Constitution inspired by the American, French and some Latin American constitutions. 
     When the Commonwealth of the Philippines was established in 1935 it adopted a constitution which with certain modifications later become the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines on July 4, 1946. The document, basically patterned after the constitution of the United States contains a comprehensive Bill of Rights, adheres to the principle of separation of powers, and recognizes that all government authority emanates from the people in whom sovereignty resides. 
     The executive power is vested in the President, who is directly elected by qualified voters of the country. The President holds office for a term of six years and by law may not run for re-election. The president holds office and during his term, lives in Malacanang Palace, one-time official residence of Spanish and American governors-general.
     The president has control of all executive departments, bureaus or offices, exercises general supervision over all local governments. He also sees to the faithful implementation of all laws.
     The president appoints all heads of departments, bureaus and offices subject to confirmation by the Commission on Appointments. He can grant pardons, reprieves, and commutations of sentence in all offenses except in cases involving impeachment. With the concurrence of Congress, he can grant amnesty.
     The president can also concluded treaties with foreign countries, such treaties being subject to ratification by the Senate. He wields the appointing powetr in the selection of ambassadors, ministers and consuls with the consent of the Commission on Appointments.
     The power to make laws is vested in a Congress composed of two chambers, the lower house called House of Representatives and an upper house called the Senate. Each of the two house of Congress selects its own presiding officers, the Speaker in the lower house and the President of the Senate in the upper house.
     Co-equal but separate from either executive and legislative branches of the government is the judiciary composed of the Supreme Court and lesser courts. The chief justice and associate justices are appointed by the President with the consent of the Commission on Appointments. The Supreme Court has jurisdiction over cases affecting ambassadors, ministers and consuls. The Supreme Court can also review, revise, modify or affirm on appeal the final judgement and decrees of inferior courts in cases involving the validity or constitutionality of any law, ordinance, executive order or treaty; and in cases involving crimes carrying the death penalty or the penalty of
life imprisonment, and cases involving the legality of any impost, tax or assessment.
     All justices of the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals and the judges of inferior courts hold office during good behavior until they reach the retirement are of 70 or have become incapacitated to discharge the duties of their office.
     The central or national government based in Manila and the capital of Quezon City exercises supervision over all the country. For administrative purposes, the Philippines is divided into provinces, sub-provinces, municipalities and cities, each of these political units enjoying a degree of autonomy in local affairs.
     Each province is made up of municipalities, usually a cluster of barrios around a town or poblacion. The municipality is a public corporation created by an act of Congress and is governed by the Municipal Law, which defines its duties and powers. Below the municipality is the barrio (barangay) or the village which also has its own elective officials made up of the barrio captain (chairman) and barrio councilors.
     Municipalities in the Philippines are classified according to classes, each class of municipality thus determining the number of councilors it may have. 
     Enjoying an autonomous administrative existence alongside these political units are the chartered cities. The city is governed by a city mayor and a city council, all elective officials. 

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