MANILA - Supreme Court on Thursday highlighted the power of the Constitution, with emphasis on human rights, as it commemorated Constitution Day.
“We consider that only a Constitution, such as the 1987 Constitution, that acknowledges cultural and religious diversity but stresses unity, nourishes liberty but allows dissent, protects national security but emphasizes human rights and human dignity may allow us to have a government that is stable, a democracy that is vibrant, and a rule of law that is consistent,” Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno said in a statement.
Celebrated every second day of February, Constitution Day marks the 30th anniversary of the ratification of the 1987 Constitution.
"Thirty years since its ratification, we in the Supreme Court and the judiciary today re-commit ourselves to the task of allowing our people to realize their hopes and aspirations of a society that is more just, humane, and equal by ensuring that the courts are firm, fair, and free," Sereno said.
When democracy was restored in 1986, then president Corazon Aquino issued Proclamation No. 9, s. 1986 which created the Constitutional Commission--a select, small group of 50 women and men tasked to create the new charter to replace the 1973 Constitution.
The commission completed the draft Constitution in 111 days and a National Plebiscite was held on February 2, 1987.
The draft Constitution officially became the 1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines after being ratified by 16,622,111 affirmative votes (representing 76.30% of the total votes cast) as opposed to 4,953,375 negative votes (representing 22.74o/o of the total votes cast).
"More than simply a statement of principles and a collection of hopes and aspirations, the 1987 Constitution formed the backbone for the new democracy ushered in by the force of the People Power Revolution of 1986," Sereno said.
Sereno said the 1987 Constitution also provided rich and fertile ground for the rule of law to be nourished, to grow, and to bear fruit.
"This it did with a renewed focus on human rights and civil liberties, an emphasis on sovereignty, and institutional protection for the independence of the judiciary," she said.