Political and International Law: National Territory and Declaration of Principles and State Policies

Preliminary Provisions and Basic Concepts

A. National Territory

Article 1 of the 1987 constitution provides that : “The national territory comprises the

  • Philippine archipelago, with all the islands and waters embraced therein, and
  • all other territories over which the Philippines has sovereignty or jurisdiction,
    • consisting of its terrestrial,
    • fluvial and
    • aerial domains,
    • including its territorial sea,
    • the seabed,
    • the subsoil,
    • the insular shelves,
    • and other submarine areas.
  • The waters around, between, and connecting the islands of the archipelago, regardless of their breadth and dimensions, form part of the internal waters of the Philippines.”
photo from Prohealth.com


It is a specification provided in the Constitution which defines the territorial boundaries of the country.

In the Philippines, there are two elements of the archipelagic doctrine:

  1. Internal WatersThe waters around, between, and connecting the islands of the archipelago, regardless of their breadth and dimensions.
  2. Straight Baseline Method consists of drawing straight lines connecting appropriate points on the coast without departing to any appreciable extent from the general direction of the coast, in order to delineate the internal waters from the territorial waters of an archipelago .

B. Declaration of Principles and state policies


SECTION 1. The Philippines is a democratic and republican State. Sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them.

The Philippines is a democratic and republican state.  A republican government is a democratic government by representatives chosen by the people at large 

This means that there is sovereignty of the people implying their supreme authority inherent in the state by which it is govern,thus the Filipino people have the right to constitute their own government, to change it, and to define its jurisdiction and powers. This sovereign power may be exercised indirectly or directly.

1.Exercised indirectly through public officials.
2.Exercised directly through suffrage.

Other manifestations of sovereignty include, among others, the presence of Bill of Rights and of elections through popular will!

SECTION 2. The Philippines renounces war as an instrument of national policy, adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land and adheres to the policy of peace, equality, justice, freedom, cooperation, and amity with all nations.

According to Atty. P, what we renounce is actually aggressive war, not defensive war. 

International Law refers to the body of rules and principles which governs the relations of nations and their respective peoples in their intercourse with one another.

The doctrine of incorporation is the automatic adoption of international law as part of the law of the land.

SECTION 3. Civilian authority is, at all times, supreme over the military. The Armed Forces of the Philippines is the protector of the people and the State. Its goal is to secure the sovereignty of the State and the integrity of the national territory.

SECTION 4. The prime duty of the Government is to serve and protect the people. The Government may call upon the people to defend the State and, in the fulfillment thereof, all citizens may be required, under conditions provided by law, to render personal military or civil service.

SECTION 5. The maintenance of peace and order, the protection of life, liberty, and property, and the promotion of the general welfare are essential for the enjoyment by all the people of the blessings of democracy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: