Title 4 of the Malolos Constitution Simplified

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January 31, 2022

Article 6

The following are Filipinos:

  • All persons born in the Philippine territory. A vessel of Philippine registry is considered, for this purpose, as part of Philippine territory.
  • Children of a Filipino father or mother, although born outside of the Philippines.
  • Foreigners who have obtained certification of naturalization.
  • Those who, without such certificate, have acquired a domicile in any town within Philippine territory.

Domicile is acquired by uninterrupted residence for two years in any locality within Philippine territory, with an open abode and known occupation, and contributing to all the taxes imposed by the Nation.

The condition of being a Filipino is lost in accordance with law.

Article 7

No Filipino or foreigner shall be detained nor imprisoned except for the commission of a crime and in accordance with law.

Article 8

All persons detained shall be discharged or delivered to the judicial authority within 24 hours following the act of detention. All detentions shall be without legal effect, unless the arrested person is duly prosecuted within 72 hours after delivery to a competent court. The accused shall be duly notified of such proceeding within the same period.

Article 9

No Filipino shall be imprisoned except by virtue of an order by a competent court. The order of imprisonment shall be ratified or confirmed within 72 hours following the said order, after the accused has been heard.

Article 10

No one shall enter the dwelling house of any Filipino or a foreigner residing in the Philippines without his consent except in urgent cases of fire, inundation, earthquake or similar dangers, or by reason of unlawful aggression from within, or in order to assist a person therein who cries for help.

Outside of these cases, the entry into the dwelling house of any Filipino or foreign resident in the Philippines or the search of his papers and effects can only be decreed by a competent court and executed only in the daytime.

The search of papers and effects shall be made always in the presence of the person searched or of a member of his family and, in their absence, of two witnesses resident of the same place.

However, when a criminal caught in fraganti should take refuge in his dwelling house, the authorities in pursuit may enter into it, only for the purpose of making an arrest. If a criminal should take refuge in the dwelling house of a foreigner, the consent of a latter must first be obtained.

Article 11

No Filipino shall be compelled to change his residence or domicile except by virtue of a final judgment.

**Article 12: Mails **

Post office mails and electronic messages cannot be detained or opened by government authorities unless it is authorized by a competent court, and in the presence of the sender..

Article 13: Illegal Search or Detention

The following orders must be justified:

  • imprisonment
  • search of a dwelling house
  • detention of messages

When an order lacks this requisite, or when the grounds on which the act was founded is proven in court to be unlawful or manifestly insufficient, the person to be detained or whose imprisonment has not been ratified within the period prescribed in Art. 9, or whose correspondence has been detained, shall have the right to recover damages.

Article 14: Due Process

Only a judge or court of proper jurisdiction, according to legal procedures, can prosecuted or sentence Filipinos

Article 15

Exept in the cases provided by the Constitution, all persons detained or imprisoned not in accordance with legal formalities shall be released upon his own petition or upon petition of another person.

The law shall determine the manner of proceeding summarily in this instance, as well as the personal and pecuniary penalties which shall be imposed upon the person who ordered, executed or to be executed the illegal detention or imprisonment.

Article 16

No one shall be temporarily or permanently deprived of rights or dstured in his enjoyment thereof, except by virtue of judicial sentence. The officials who, under any pretext whatsoever, should violate this provision, shall be personally liable for the damages caused.

Article 17

No one shall be deprived of his property by expropriation except on grounds of public necessity and benefit, previously declared and justified by proper authorities, and indemnifying the owner thereof prior to expropriation.

Article 18

No one shall be obliged to pay any public tax which had not been approved by the National Assembly or by local popular governments legally so authorized, and which is not in the manner prescribed by the law.

Article 19

No Filipino who is in full enjoyment of his civil or political rights, shall be impeded in the free exercise of said rights.

Article 20

Neither shall any Filipino be deprived:

  • of the right to freely express his ideas or opinions, orally or in writing, through the use of the press or other similar means.
  • of the right of association for purposes of human life and which are not contrary to public morals; and lastly
  • of the right to send petitions to the authorities, individually or collectively.

The right of petition shall not be exercised through any kind of armed force.

Article 21

The exercise of the rights provided for in the preceding article shall be subject to general provisions regulating the same.

Article 22

Crimes committed on the occasion of the exercise of rights provided for in this title, shall be punished by the courts in accordance with the laws.

Article 23

Any Filipino may establish and maintain institutions of learning, in accordance with the laws authorizing them. Public education shall be free and obligatory in all schools of the nation.

Article 24

Foreigners may freely reside in Philippine territory, subject to legal dispositions regulating the matter; may engage in any occupation or profession for the exercise of which no special license is required by law to be issued by the national authorities.

Article 25

No Filipino who is in full enjoyment of his political and civil rights shall be impeded in his right to travel freely abroad or in his right to transfer his residence or possessions to another country, except as to his obligations to contribute to military service or the maintenance of public taxes.

Article 26

No foreigner who has not been naturalized may exercise in the Philippines any office which carries with it any authority or jurisdictional powers.

Article 27: Citizen’s Obligations

All Filipinos are obliged to:

  • defend his country with arms when called upon by law, and
  • contribute to the expenses of the State in proportion to his means

Article 28

The enumeration of the rights provided for in this title does not imply the denial of other rights not mentioned.

Article 29: Prosecution of Public Officials

The prior authorization to prosecute a public official in the ordinary courts is not necessary, whatever may be the crime committed.

A superior order shall not exempt a public official from liability in the cases which constitute apparent and clear violations of constitutional precepts. In others, the agents of the law shall only be exempted if they did not exercise the authority.

Article 30: Suspension

The guarantees provided for in Articles 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11 and paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 20 shall not be suspended, partially or wholly, in any part of the Republic, except temporarily and by authority of law, when the security of the State in extraordinary circumstances so demands.

When promulgated in any territory where the suspension applies, there shall be a special law which shall govern during the period of the suspension, according to the circumstances prevailing.

The law of suspension as well as the special law to govern shall be approved by the National Assembly, and in case the latter is in recess, the Government shall have the power to decree the same jointly with the Permanent Commission, without prejudice to convoking the Assembly without the least delay and report to it what had been done.

However, any suspension made shall not affect more rights than those mentioned in the first paragraph of this Article nor authorize the Government to banish or deport from the Philippines any Filipino.

Article 31

No one shall be judged by a special law nor by special tribunals.

No person or corporation may enjoy privileges or emoluments which are not in compensation for public service rendered and authorized by law.

War and marine laws shall apply only for crimes and delicts which have intimate relation to military or naval discipline.

Article 32: Property

No Filipino shall establish laws on primogeniture, nor institutions restrictive of property rights, nor accept honors, decorations, or honorific titles or nobility from foreign nations without the consent of the Government.

Neither shall the Government establish in the Republic institutions mentioned in the preceding paragraph, nor confer honors, decorations, or honorific titles of nobility to any Filipino.

The Nation can reward by special law approved by the Assembly, conspicuous services rendered by citizens of the country.


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