From One-Man Rule to People Power

Cite as: 53 Ateneo L.J. 44 (2001)
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Esteemed constitutionalist Fr. Joaquin G. Bernas, S.J., Dean Emeritus of the Ateneo Law School explores the roots, growth, and fall of one-man rule in the Philippine experience, as well as the advent of the People Power phenomenon both in 1986 and 2001.

The Author notes that, ironically, the antecedent to one-man rule rests with a strong presidency under the Constitution. Through an examination of Martial Law jurisprudence, the Article examines the Supreme Court as a legitimizing agency which reinforces the one-man rule. Corollary, one-man rule is supported by pillars of a “legitimate” martial law regime, broad legislative powers, military tribunals, and repressed constituent powers.

In the next part of his Article, the Author examines the role of People Power in its historical context. The effect of the 1986 People Power stressed a democratic element in Philippine politics which unnoticeable before. He also separates and differentiates the 2001 People Power from its predecessor.

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