Bryan Tiojanco retells the founding of Philippine democracy as a triumph of people power, i.e., the democratic reinterpretation of human dignity and equality which had first spread from Catholic parishes, became the slogan of the revolution, and is now a central principle of the country’s constitution. His retelling argues against an idea that is now popular in comparative constitutional studies: the designed juristocracy premise, i.e., that the empowerment of courts worldwide to routinely adjudicate moral and political controversies heretofore resolved by parliaments and other elected bodies was baked into the design of the written constitutions, bills of rights, and basic laws that came with them. He argues for an opposing premise, which is that for revolutionary constitutions what is baked into the design is a principle of inclusion—i.e., a framework of democratic contestation that affords previously politically excluded groups meaningful participation or representation in public decisionmaking bodies. His main thesis is that the People Power Principle is the principle of inclusion inscribed in the 1987 Philippine Constitution.
Bryan Dennis G. Tiojanco is a postdoctoral fellow at the National University of Singapore Faculty of Law Centre for Asian Legal Studies. He obtained his Doctor of the Science of Law (J.S.D.) and Master of Laws (LL.M.) degrees from Yale Law School. He obtained his Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree (cum laude) from the University of the Philippines College of Law.