Philippine constitutional plebiscite, 1987

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The constitutional plebiscite was held in the Philippines on 2 February 1987.

The plebiscite is pursuant to Presidential Proclamation No. 3 which was issued on 25 March 1986.[1] by the President Corazon Aquino which abolished the Office of the Prime Minister and the Regular Batasang Pambansa (English: National Assembly). Multi-party elections were held accordingly in 1987.

Background of the New Constitution[edit]

In 1986, following the People Power Revolution which ousted Ferdinand Marcos as president, and following on her own inauguration, Corazon Aquino issued Proclamation No. 3, declaring a national policy to implement the reforms mandated by the people, protecting their basic rights, adopting a provisional constitution, and providing for an orderly translation to a government under a new constitution.[2] President Aquino later issued Proclamation No. 9, creating a Constitutional Commission (popularly abbreviated "ConCom" in the Philippines) to frame a new constitution to replace the 1973 Constitution which took effect during the martial law regime imposed by her predecessor. President Aquino appointed 50 members to the Commission. The members of the Commission were drawn from varied backgrounds, including several former senators and congressmen, a former Supreme Court Chief Justice (Roberto Concepcion), a Catholic bishop (Teodoro Bacani) and a noted film director (Lino Brocka). President Aquino also deliberately appointed five members, including former Labor Minister Blas Ople, who had been allied with President Marcos until the latter's ouster. After the Commission had convened, it elected as its president Cecilia Munoz Palma, who had emerged as a leading figure in the anti-Marcos opposition following her retirement as the first female Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.

The Commission finished the draft charter within four months after it was convened. Several issues were heatedly debated during the sessions, including on the form of government to adopt, the abolition of the death penalty, the continued retention of the Clark and Subic American military bases, and the integration of economic policies into the Constitution. Brocka walked out of the Commission before its completion (formally resigning on August 28, 1986[3]), and two other delegates dissented from the final draft. The ConCom completed their task on October 12, 1986 and presented the draft constitution to President Aquino on October 15, 1986. After a period of nationwide information campaign, a plebiscite for its ratification was held on February 2, 1987. More than three-fourth of all votes cast, 76.37% (or 17,059,495 voters) favored ratification as against 22.65% (or 5,058,714 voters) who voted against ratification. Thus it was on February 2, 1987, that the 1987 Constitution was rattified and took effect. On February 11, 1987, President Aquino, the other government officials, and the Armed Forces of the Philippines pledged allegiance to the Constitution.


Philippine constitutional plebiscite, 1987
Choice Votes  %
Referendum passed Yes 17,059,495 76.37
No 5,058,714 23.63
Total votes 22,118,209 100.00

See also[edit]


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