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REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES

SUPREME COURT
MANILA

EN BANC

REPRESENTATIVES EDCEL
C. LAGMAN, ET AL.,

Petitioners,

-versus- G.R. No. 235935

SENATE PRESIDENT
AQUILINO PIMENTEL III,
ET AL.,
Respondents.
x-----------------------------------x

COMMENT
(On the Petition dated December 20, 2017)

Respondents Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III,


Speaker Pantaleon D. Alvarez, Executive Secretary Salvador
C. Medialdea, Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana, Budget
Secretary Benjamin F. Diokno, and Armed Forces of the
Philippines Chief of Staff Rey Leonardo Guerrero, through the
Office of the Solicitor General, in compliance with this
Honorable Court’s Order dated December 29, 2017,
respectfully state:

PREFATORY STATEMENT

The petitioners impute grave abuse of discretion to the


respondents for extending the effectivity of martial law up to
the end of 2018. They did not, however, attach the adverted
“Joint Resolution” of the Congress upon which they pin their
allegation of arbitrariness. At the same time, the petitioners
trace the supposed arbitrariness to the absence of an actual
rebellion, unmindful that this Honorable Court has already
spoken. There is rebellion in Mindanao. Until the rebellion is
quelled, there is reason to extend Martial Law and suspend
the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus.
Lagman et. al. vs. Pimentel et.al.
COMMENT
G.R. No. 235935
x--------------------------------------------x

THE SUBSTANTIVE AND PROCEDURAL FACTS

1. On May 23, 2017, President Duterte issued


Proclamation No. 216 entitled “Declaring a State of Martial
Law and Suspending the Privilege of Writ of Habeas Corpus in
the Whole of Mindanao” for a period not exceeding sixty days,
pursuant to Section 18, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution.1

2. In compliance with the reportorial requirement


under the Constitution, President Duterte submitted his
Report on the declaration of martial law in Mindanao to the
Congress at 9:55 p.m. of May 25, 2017. The report stated the
factual basis for the President’s issuance of Proclamation No.
216.

3. After the submission of the Report, the Senate


adopted Senate P.S. Resolution No. 388 expressing full
support to the martial law proclamation after finding
Proclamation No. 216 “satisfactory, constitutional, and in
accordance with law.”2

4. The House of Representatives likewise issued


House Resolution No. 1050 “EXPRESSING THE FULL SUPPORT
OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES TO PRESIDENT
RODRIGO DUTERTE AS IT FINDS NO REASON TO REVOKE
PROCLAMATION NO. 216, ENTITLED ‘DECLARING A STATE OF
MARTIAL LAW AND SUSPENDING THE PRIVILEGE OF THE
WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS IN THE WHOLE OF MINDANAO.’”3

5. Thereafter, petitions were filed before this


Honorable Court assailing the factual basis of Proclamation
No. 216, which were docketed as G.R. Nos. 231658, 231771,
and 231774.4

6. Oral arguments for the consolidated petitions took


place from June 13 to 15, 2017.5 On the last day of the oral
1
Proclamation No. 216 dated 23 May 2017, attached as Annex “1”
2
Senate P.S. Resolution No. 388 dated May 30, 2017, attached as Annex “2”; Resolution No. 49 dated
May 30, 2017, attached as Annex “3”
3
House Resolution No. 1050 dated May 31, 2017, attached as Annex “4”.
4
Lagman v. Medialdea, G.R. No. 231658, July 4, 2017.
5
Id.

2
Lagman et. al. vs. Pimentel et.al.
COMMENT
G.R. No. 235935
x--------------------------------------------x

arguments, the Court held an executive session to consider


confidential facts. In attendance were respondents Secretary
Lorenzana and AFP Chief of Staff Año, among others.6

7. In its Decision promulgated on July 4, 2017, the


Court En Banc found sufficient factual basis for the issuance
of Proclamation No. 216, declared it as constitutional, and
dismissed the consolidated petitions.

8. On July 22, 2017, the Congress extended the period


of martial law in Mindanao to December 31, 2017, pursuant
to the Resolution of Both Houses No. 2.

9. In a letter addressed to President Duterte, AFP


General Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero recommended the further
extension of martial law and the suspension of the privilege
of the writ of habeas corpus in Mindanao for twelve months
beginning on January 1, 2018 for compelling reasons based
on their current security assessment. In brief, General
Guerrero cited the following reasons for the extension of
martial law:

The AFP strongly believes that on the basis of the


foregoing assessment, the following are cited as justification
for the recommended extension, to wit:

1. The DAESH-Inspired DIWM groups and allies


continue to visibly offer armed resistance in other parts of
Central, Western, and Eastern Mindanao in spite of the
neutralization of their key leaders and destruction of their
forces in Marawi City;

2. Other DAESH-inspired and like-minded threat


groups such as BIFF, AKP, DI-Maguid, DI-Toraype, and the
ASG remain capable of staging similar atrocities and violent
attacks against vulnerable targets in Mindanao, including the
cities of Davao, Cagayan de Oro, General Santos,
Zamboanga and Cotabato;

3. The CTs have been pursuing and intensifying


their political mobilization (army, party and mass base
building, rallies, pickets and demonstrations, financial and

6
http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/06/16/1710479/dnd-afp-chiefs-face-supreme-court-martial-law,
last accessed January 5, 2017.

3
Lagman et. al. vs. Pimentel et.al.
COMMENT
G.R. No. 235935
x--------------------------------------------x

logistical build up), terrorism against innocent civilians and


private entities, and guerilla warfare against the security
sector, and public government infrastructures;

4. The need to intensify the campaign against the


CTs is necessary in order to defeat their strategy, stop their
extortion, defeat their armed component, and to stop their
recruitment activities;

5. The threats being posed by the CTs, the ASG,


and the presence of remnants, protectors, supporters and
sympathizers of the DAESH/DIWM pose a clear and imminent
danger to public safety and hinders the speedy rehabilitation,
recovery and reconstruction efforts in Marawi City, and the
attainment of lasting peace, stability, economic development
and prosperity in Mindanao;

6. The 2nd extension of the implementation of


Martial Law coupled with the continued suspension of the
privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in Mindanao will
significantly help not only the AFP, but also the other
stakeholders in quelling and putting an end to the on-going
DAESH-inspired DIWM groups and CT-staged rebellion, and
in restoring public order, safety, and stability in Mindanao;
and

7.In seeking for another extension, the AFP is


ready, willing and able to perform anew its mandated task in
the same manner that it had dutifully done so for the whole
duration of Martial Law to date, without any reported human
rights violation and/or incident of abuse of authority.7

10. Secretary Delfin Lorenzana also wrote a letter to


President Duterte dated December 1, 2017, wherein he also
recommended the extension of martial law.8

11. Acting on the recommendations of General


Guerrero and Secretary Lorenzana, President Duterte wrote
to Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III and House Speaker
Pantaleon Alvarez requesting a further extension of martial
law and the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas
corpus in Mindanao for another year.9

7
Petition, Annex “C-2”, AFP General Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero letter to President Duterte.
8
Petition, Annex “C-1”, Secretary Delfin Lorenzana letter to President Duterte dated December 1, 2017.
9
Petition, Annex “C”, Letter of President Duterte so Senate President Pimentel and House Speaker Alvarez
dated December 8, 2017.

4
Lagman et. al. vs. Pimentel et.al.
COMMENT
G.R. No. 235935
x--------------------------------------------x

12. Both houses of the Congress approved President


Duterte’s request. In its Joint Session on December 13, 2017,
the Senate and the House of Representatives approved a
motion extending martial law in Mindanao from January 1,
2018 to December 31, 2018.

13. After losing out in the vote to approve President


Duterte’s request for the extension of martial law,
Congressmen Edcel Lagman, Tomasito S. Villarin, Edgar R.
Erice, Teddy Brawner Baguilat Jr., Gary C. Alejano, and
Emmanuel A. Billones filed the present Petition to assail the
factual basis of the martial law extension in Mindanao,
claiming that the extension of martial law is vitiated by grave
abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
jurisdiction.10

14. On December 29, 2017, the Court required the


respondents to comment on the petition. Hence, this
Comment.

PROCEDURAL ARGUMENTS

I.

THE PETITION QUESTIONING THE


EXTENSION OF MARTIAL LAW SUFFERS FROM
PROCEDURAL INFIRMITIES

a. This Honorable Court had


already ruled that there is actual
rebellion in Mindanao. The principle
of conclusiveness of judgment bars
the petitioners from relitigating the
same issue.

b. The written resolution of both


Houses of the Congress granting the
extension is indispensable for this
Honorable Court to exercise its
power of judicial review over an act
of a co-equal branch of government.
10
Petition, pp. 5-6.

5
Lagman et. al. vs. Pimentel et.al.
COMMENT
G.R. No. 235935
x--------------------------------------------x

c. A condition precedent for the


filing of the instant petition has not
been complied with.

II.

THE MANNER BY WHICH THE CONGRESS


APPROVED THE EXTENSION OF MARTIAL
LAW IS A POLITICAL QUESTION AND IS NOT
REVIEWABLE BY THIS HONORABLE COURT.

a. Section 16[3], Article VI of the


1987 Constitution grants the
Congress the power to determine the
rules of its own proceedings.

b. The petitioners’ general


statement that the approval of the
extension lacks sufficient factual
basis because there is no actual
rebellion disregards the ruling of the
Court in Lagman v. Medialdea.

III.

THE PETITIONERS FAILED TO ESTABLISH


GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION ON THE PART
OF BOTH HOUSES OF THE CONGRESS IN
EXTENDING MARTIAL LAW AND SUSPENDING
THE PRIVILEGE OF THE WRIT OF HABEAS
CORPUS.

a. The period for deliberation was


not unduly constricted so much so
that the President's request for
extension was approved with
inordinate haste without
scrutinizing and validating the
sufficiency of the factual basis of the
extension.

6
Lagman et. al. vs. Pimentel et.al.
COMMENT
G.R. No. 235935
x--------------------------------------------x

b. The petitioners failed to


establish grave abuse of discretion
on the part of the majority of all the
members of the Congress in
approving the extension of the
proclamation of martial law.

c. The Congress is necessarily


given wider latitude on how it will
respond to the President’s request
for the extension of martial law –
including the length of period of
deliberation and interpellation of the
Executive’s resource panel.

SUBSTANTIVE ARGUMENTS

IV.

THERE IS FACTUAL BASIS TO SUPPORT THE


EXTENSION OF MARTIAL LAW FOR ONE YEAR
IN MINDANAO

a. The President has sufficient


factual basis to ask for the extension
of martial law in Mindanao.

b. The requirements for the


declaration of martial law are
different from the requirements for
its extension.

c. As Commander-in-Chief, the
President has the sole prerogative to
choose which extraordinary power
to use under a given factual milieu.

7
Lagman et. al. vs. Pimentel et.al.
COMMENT
G.R. No. 235935
x--------------------------------------------x

V.

THE 1987 CONSTITUTION DOES NOT LIMIT


THE PERIOD FOR WHICH THE CONGRESS CAN
EXTEND THE PROCLAMATION OF MARTIAL
LAW AND THE SUSPENSION OF THE
PRIVILEGE OF THE WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS.
NEITHER DOES THE 1987 CONSTITUTION
PROHIBIT THE CONGRESS FROM GRANTING
FURTHER EXTENDING MARTIAL LAW OR
SUSPENDING THE WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS.

VI.

THE PETITIONERS HAVE NOT ESTABLISHED


THE NEED FOR THE ISSUANCE OF A
TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER OR
INJUNCTION.

DISCUSSION

PROCEDURAL ARGUMENTS

I. THE PETITION QUESTIONING


THE EXTENSION OF MARTIAL
LAW SUFFERS FROM
PROCEDURAL INFIRMITIES.

a. This Honorable Court had


already ruled actual rebellion
exists in Mindanao. The
principle of conclusiveness of
judgment bars the petitioners
from relitigating the same
issue.

15. In Lagman v. Medialdea11 and Padilla v. Congress,12


the Court held that “the President, in issuing Proclamation No.
216, had sufficient factual bases tending to show that actual
rebellion exists.”

11
G.R. Nos. 231658, 231771 & 231774, July 4, 2017 [Decision]; December 5, 2017 [Resolution]
12
G.R. No. 231671, July 25, 2017.

8
Lagman et. al. vs. Pimentel et.al.
COMMENT
G.R. No. 235935
x--------------------------------------------x

16. The rulings in Lagman and Medialdea should have


laid to rest the issue of whether rebellion exists in Mindanao.
Unperturbed, the petitioners again question the sufficiency of
the President’s factual basis in determining the existence of
rebellion in Mindanao. They claim that “[t]he President and
his advisers failed to present validated and verifiable facts
evincing the existence of actual rebellion,”13 in disregard of
the principle of res judicata under Section 47, Rule 39 of the
Rules of Court.

17. Section 47(c), Rule 39 of the Rules of Court states:

In any other litigation between the same parties or


their successors in interest, that only is deemed to have
been adjudged in a former judgment or final order which
appears upon its face to have been so adjudged, or which
was actually and necessarily included therein or necessary
thereto.

18. Section 47(c), according to this Honorable Court,


has the effect of preclusion of issues.14 Elaborating on this
provision, the Supreme Court ruled that by the doctrine of
“conclusiveness of judgment,” otherwise known as the rule of
auter action pendant, “issues actually and directly resolved in
a former suit cannot again be raised in any future case
between the same parties involving a different cause of
action.”15

19. Otherwise stated, any fact directly adjudicated


before a competent court in which judgment is rendered on
the merits is conclusively settled by the judgment therein and
cannot again be litigated between the parties and their
privies, whether or not the claim, demand, purpose, or
subject matter of the two actions is the same.16

20. Inasmuch as the Court already ruled in Lagman17


and Padilla18 that the President had sufficient factual basis to
13
Petition, p. 23.
14
Enriqueta Rasdas v. Jaime Estenor, G.R. No. 157605, December 13, 2005.
15
Ibid. citing Chua v. Victorio, G.R. No. 157568, May 18, 2004, and Section 47(c), Rule 39 of the Rules of
Court.
16
Ibid. citing Dapar v. Biascan, G.R. No. 141880, September 27, 2004.
17
G.R. No. 231658, 231771 & 231774, July 4, 2017 [Decision]; December 5, 2017 [Resolution].
18
G.R. No. 231671, July 25, 2017.

9
Lagman et. al. vs. Pimentel et.al.
COMMENT
G.R. No. 235935
x--------------------------------------------x

show that actual rebellion does exist in Mindanao, such issue


can no longer be raised in the present Petition. Relitigating
the same issue sets a bad precedent for endless suits and
runs counter to the principle of judicial economy. This is
especially true considering that the petitioners in the 2017
Lagman case are the same ones now before this Honorable
Court.

21. Indeed, any resolution of the Court should no


longer touch on the existence of rebellion. In resolving the
instant case, the Court should confine itself to the issue of
whether the rebellion in Mindanao has been completely
quelled.

b. The written resolution of both


Houses of the Congress granting
the extension is indispensable
for this Honorable Court to
exercise its power of judicial
review.

22. The petitioners claim that “the second martial law


extension was vitiated by grave abuse of discretion,
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of
respondents Senate President Pimentel III and House
Speaker Alvarez, together with the supermajority of the
Congress, upon the errant initiative of the President.”19 The
contention is erroneous.

23. Assuming that the validity of the act of granting the


further extension of the proclamation and suspension is not a
political question, the written resolution granting said
extension alleged to have been issued with grave abuse of
discretion is indispensable before the Court can exercise its
expanded power of judicial review.

24. The petitioners, however, failed to attach a copy of


the written resolution of Congress alleged to have been issued
with grave abuse of discretion.20

19
Petition, p. 6.
20
Petition, p. 5.

10
Lagman et. al. vs. Pimentel et.al.
COMMENT
G.R. No. 235935
x--------------------------------------------x

25. “The term ‘grave abuse of discretion’ has a specific


meaning. An act of a court or tribunal can only be considered
as with grave abuse of discretion when such act is done in a
‘capricious or whimsical exercise of judgment as is equivalent
to lack of jurisdiction.’ The abuse of discretion must be so
patent and gross as to amount to an ‘evasion of a positive
duty or to a virtual refusal to perform a duty enjoined by law,
or to act at all in contemplation of law, as where the power is
exercised in an arbitrary and despotic manner by reason of
passion and hostility.’”21

26. Absent the written resolution of both Houses of


Congress which sets forth the reasons behind the granting of
the further extension of the proclamation or suspension, the
Court will have no basis upon which to determine if such act
of further extension was indeed done in a capricious or
whimsical manner tantamount to lack or excess of
jurisdiction. The written resolution explaining the rationale of
both houses of the Congress for granting the further
extension of the proclamation or suspension is indispensable,
without which, the Court cannot exercise its power of judicial
review over the act of a co-equal branch of government.

c. The petitioners failed to


comply with a condition
precedent for the filing of the
instant petition.

27. The petitioners did not even allege that the


rebellion in Mindanao no longer exists, a necessary requisite
for the Court to exercise judicial review over the assailed
extension of Martial Law and suspension of the privilege of
habeas corpus.

28. At most, the petitioners can only point out to


President Duterte’s announcement regarding the liberation of
Marawi from “terrorist influence.”22 They did not mention the
rebellion being waged by DAESH-inspired Da’awatul

21
Malayang Manggagawa ng Stayfast Phils., Inc. v. National Labor Relations Commission, G.R. No.
155306, 28 August 2013, citing Yu v. Judge Reyes-Carpio, G.R. No. 189207, June 15, 2011, 652 SCRA
341, 348.
22
Petition, para. 12(i).

11
Lagman et. al. vs. Pimentel et.al.
COMMENT
G.R. No. 235935
x--------------------------------------------x

Islamiyah Waliyatual Masriq (DIWM), other like-minded


Local/Foreign Terrorist Groups (L/FTGs) and Armed Lawless
Groups (ALGs), remnants of the groups of Hapilon and Maute,
the Turaifle Group, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters
(BIFF), the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), and the New People’s
Army (NPA). There is no averment that these groups have
been finally subdued and are no longer engaging in battles
with government troops.

29. Ironically, the petitioners do not question the


existence of the “remnants” of the forces that waged the
rebellion.23 Using their definition of “remnants,”24 the Court
can infer that the petitioners are admitting the presence of
these rebel groups. Their suggestion of using regular military
and police operations,25 instead of extending martial law, is a
tacit recognition that the rebellion has not been completely
quelled.

II. THE MANNER BY WHICH


THE CONGRESS APPROVED THE
EXTENSION OF MARTIAL LAW
IS A POLITICAL QUESTION AND
IS NOT REVIEWABLE BY THIS
HONORABLE COURT.

30. This Honorable Court does not automatically


assume jurisdiction over actual constitutional cases brought
before it even in instances that are ripe for resolution.26 Such
hesitation to exercise the power of judiclal review is
understandable, particularly if a case involves purely political
questions as in the case at bar.

31. The power of judicial review is the power of the


courts to test the validity of executive and legislative acts for
their conformity to the Constitution. For a court to exercise
this power, the following requirements must be met:

23
Petition, paras. 37-40.
24
Petition, paras. 41-42.
25
Petition, para. 46.
26
Integrated Bar of the Philippines v. Hon. Zamora, et al. 338 SCRA 81 (2000)

12
Lagman et. al. vs. Pimentel et.al.
COMMENT
G.R. No. 235935
x--------------------------------------------x

(1) an actual case or controversy calling for the


exercise of judicial power;

(2) the person challenging the act must have


"standing" to challenge; he must have a personal and
substantial interest in the case such that he has sustained,
or will sustain, direct injury as a result of its enforcement;

(3) the question of constitutionality must be raised at


the earliest possible opportunity; and

(4) the issue of constitutionality must be the very lis


mota of the case.27

32. An actual case or controversy is one that involves a


conflict of legal rights, an assertion of opposite legal claims
susceptible of judicial resolution; the case must not be moot
… or based on extra-legal or other similar considerations not
cognizable by a court of justice. Stated otherwise, it is not the
mere existence of a conflict or controversy that will authorize
the exercise by the courts of its power of review. More
importantly, the issue involved must be susceptible of judicial
determination. Excluded from these are questions of policy or
wisdom, otherwise referred to as political questions.28

33. Political questions refer to those questions which,


under the Constitution, are to be decided by the people in
their sovereign capacity, or in regard to which full
discretionary authority has been delegated to the legislative
or executive branch of government.29 Thus, if an issue is
clearly identified by the text of the Constitution as matters for
discretionary action by a particular branch of government or
to the people themselves then it is held to be a political
question. 30 The reason is that, under our system of
government, policy issues are within the domain of the
political branches of government and of the people
themselves as the repository of all state power.31 In short, the
judiciary does not settle policy issues.32 Prominent on the
surface of any case held to involve a political question is a

27
Garcia v. Exec. Secretary , G.R. No. 157584, April 2, 2009.
28
Id.
29
Nuclear Free Phils. Coalition vs. NPC, 141 SCRA 307 (1986); Torres vs. Gonzales, 152 SCRA 272 (1987);
Citizen’s Alliance for Consumer Protection vs. Energy Regulatory Board, 162 SCRA 521 (1988).
30
Garcia v. Executive Secretary 583 SCRA 119 (2009).
31
Valmonte v. Belmonte, Jr., 170 SCRA 256 (1989).
32
Id.

13
Lagman et. al. vs. Pimentel et.al.
COMMENT
G.R. No. 235935
x--------------------------------------------x

textually demonstrable constitutional commitment of the


issue to a coordinate political department or a lack of judicially
discoverable and manageable standards for resolving it. It
involves the impossibility of deciding without an initial policy
determination of a kind clearly for non-judicial discretion or
the impossibility of a court’s undertaking an independent
resolution without expressing lack of the respect due
coordinate branches of government.33

34. Although Section 1, Article VIII of the 1987


Constitution expands judicial power to include the duty “to
determine whether or not there has been grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the
part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government” and
thereby “limits resort to the political question doctrine,”34 the
Court has recognized issues “the determination of which is
exclusively for the President, for Congress or for the people
themselves through a plebiscite or referendum.”35

35. Thus, Section 1, Article VIII was not intended to do


away with "truly political questions." Chief Justice Roberto
Concepcion himself clarified this point during the deliberations
of the 1986 Constitutional Commission and from this
clarification it is gathered that there are two species of
political questions: (1) "truly political questions" and (2) those
which "are not truly political questions."36 Truly political
questions are beyond judicial review, the reason for respect
of the doctrine of separation of powers to be maintained. On
the other hand, by virtue of Section 1, Article VIII of the
Constitution, courts can review questions which are not truly
political in nature. 37

36. Recourse to the political question doctrine


necessarily raises the underlying doctrine of separation of
powers among the three great branches of government that
our Constitution has entrenched.38 The political question
being a function of the separation of powers, the courts will

33
Id.
34
Marcos v. Manglapus, G.R. No. 88211, September 15, 1989.
35
G.R. No. 88211, September 15, 1989.
36
See Francisco Jr. v. Nagmamalasakit ng mga Manananggol 415 SCRA 44 (2003) citing Record of the
Constitution Commission, Vol. 1, July 10, 1986 at 439-443.
37
Id.
38
Garcia v. Executive Secretary, supra.

14
Lagman et. al. vs. Pimentel et.al.
COMMENT
G.R. No. 235935
x--------------------------------------------x

not normally interfere with the workings of another co-equal


branch unless the case shows a clear need for the courts to
step in to uphold the law and the Constitution.39 One
department must not encroach upon nor interfere with acts
done within the constitutional competence of the other where
full discretionary authority has been delegated by the
Constitution to said department. That department alone, to
the exclusion of the others, has both right and duty to
exercise it free from any encroachment or interference of
whomsoever.40

37. In this jurisdiction, the determination of a truly


political question from a justiciable political question lies in
the answer to the question of whether there are
constitutionally imposed limits on powers or functions
conferred upon political bodies. If there are, then courts are
duty-bound to examine whether the branch or instrumentality
of the government properly acted within such limits.41

38. The petitioners argue that Congress approved the


extension of Martial Law with undue haste. They question the
manner by which the debates and the voting were conducted.
Unfortunately for the petitioners, there are no constitutional
parameters for the exercise of those acts. The Congress has
full discretionary authority to decide how to go about the
debates and the voting. In other words, the issues that the
petitioners raise are political and non-justiciable. The
questions presented essentially go into the wisdom of the
Congressional action.

39. Understandably, the Court ruled in Garcia vs.


Executive Secretary42 that it cannot act on a dispute involving
the wisdom of an act of a co-equal department because it
would violate the principle of separation of powers:

This legislative determination was a lawful exercise of


Congress’ prerogative and one that this Honorable Court
must respect and uphold. Regardless of the individual
opinions of the Members of this Honorable Court, we cannot,

39
Integrated Bar of the Philippines v. Hon. Zamora, et al. 338 SCRA 81 (2000).
40
Mr. Justice Concepcion in Tanada, et al. vs. Mariano Jesus Cuenco, et al., 100 Phil. 101 (1957).
41
Francisco Jr. v. Nagmamalasakit ng mga Manananggol, supra.
42
G.R. No. 157584, April 2, 2009.

15
Lagman et. al. vs. Pimentel et.al.
COMMENT
G.R. No. 235935
x--------------------------------------------x

acting as a body, question the wisdom of a co-equal


department’s acts. The courts do not involve themselves
with or delve into the policy or wisdom of a statute. It sits,
not to review or revise legislative action, but to enforce the
legislative will. For the Court to resolve a clearly non-
justiciable matter would be to debase the principle of
separation of powers that has been tightly woven by the
Constitution into our republican system of government.43

a. Section 16[3], Article VI of


the 1987 Constitution grants
the Congress the power to
determine the rules of its own
proceedings.

40. It is beyond cavil that the 1987 Constitution itself


allows the Congress to determine the rules of its proceedings,
viz:

Section 16.

3. Each House may determine the rules of its


proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly behavior,
and, with the concurrence of two-thirds of all its Members,
suspend or expel a Member. A penalty of suspension, when
imposed, shall not exceed sixty days.

….

41. Thus, in Baguilat vs. Alvarez44, the Court


recognized the sole authority of the House of Representatives
to determine the rules of its proceedings, viz:

Corollary thereto, Section 16 (3), Article VI of the


Constitution vests in the House of Representatives the sole
authority to, inter alia, "determine the rules of its
proceedings." These "legislative rules, unlike statutory laws,
do not have the imprints of permanence and obligatoriness
during their effectivity. In fact, they 'are subject to
revocation, modification or waiver at the pleasure of the
body adopting them.' Being merely matters of procedure,
their observance are of no concern to the courts, for said
rules may be waived or disregarded by the legislative body

43
Id.
44
G.R. No. 227757, July 25, 2017.

16
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G.R. No. 235935
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at will, upon the concurrence of a majority [of the House of


Representatives]. " Hence, as a general rule, "[t]his Court
has no authority to interfere and unilaterally intrude into
that exclusive realm, without running afoul of
[C]onstitutional principles that it is bound to protect and
uphold x x x. Constitutional respect and a becoming regard
for the sovereign acts of a coequal branch prevents the
Court from prying into the internal workings of the [House
of Representatives]."

42. In Arroyo vs. De Venecia,45 the Court also


emphasized that it does not concern itself with parliamentary
rules, which may be waived or disregarded by the legislature:

In the decided cases,46 the constitutional provision


that "each House may determine the rules of its
proceedings" was invoked by parties, although not
successfully, precisely to support claims of autonomy of the
legislative branch to conduct its business free from
interference by courts. Here petitioners cite the provision for
the opposite purpose of invoking judicial review.

But the cases, both here and abroad, in varying forms


of expression, all deny to the courts the power to inquire
into allegations that, in enacting a law, a House of Congress
failed to comply with its own rules, in the absence of
showing that there was a violation of a constitutional
provision or the rights of private individuals. In Osmeña v.
Pendatun,47 it was held: "At any rate, courts have declared
that 'the rules adopted by deliberative bodies are subject to
revocation, modification or waiver at the pleasure of the
body adopting them.' And it has been said that
'Parliamentary rules are merely procedural, and with their
observance, the courts have no concern. They may be
waived or disregarded by the legislative body.'
Consequently, 'mere failure to conform to parliamentary
usage will not invalidate the action (taken by a deliberative
body) when the requisite number of members have agreed
to a particular measure.'"

In United States v. Ballin, Joseph & Co.,48 the rules


was stated thus: "The Constitution empowers each house to
determine its rules of proceedings. It may not by its rules

45
G.R. No. 127255 August 14, 1997.
46
Citing E.g., United States v. Ballin, Joseph & Co., 144 U.S. 1, 36 L.ED. 321 (1862); Exxon Corp. v. FTC,
589 F. 2d 582 (1978); Murray v. Buchanan, 674 F. 2d 14 (1982); Metzenbaum v. Federal Energy Regulatory
Com'n. 675 F. 2d 1282 (1982). See also Osmeña v. Pendatun, 109 Phil. 863 (1960).
47
Citing 109 Phil. at 870-71. See also EVAT cases [Tolentino v. Secretary of Finance], 235 SCRA 630.
48
Citing 144 U.S. at 5, 36 L.Ed. at 324-25

17
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ignore constitutional restraints or violate fundamental


rights, and there should be a reasonable relation between
the mode or method of proceeding established by the rule
and the result which is sought to be attained. But within
these limitations all matters of method are open to the
determination of the House, and it is no impeachment of the
rule to say that some other way would be better, more
accurate, or even more just. It is no objection to the validity
of a rule that a different one has been prescribed and in
force for a length of time. The power to make rules is not
one which once exercised is exhausted. It is a continuous
power, always subject to be exercised by the House, and
within the limitations suggested, absolute and beyond the
challenge of any other body or tribunal."

In Crawford v. Gilchrist,49 it was held: "The provision


that each House shall determine the rules of its proceedings
does not restrict the power given to a mere formulation of
standing rules, or to the proceedings of the body in ordinary
legislative matters; but in the absence of constitutional
restraints, and when exercised by a majority of a
constitutional quorum, such authority extends to a
determination of the propriety and effect of any action as it
is taken by the body as it proceeds in the exercise of any
power, in the transaction of any business, or in the
performance of any duty conferred upon it by the
Constitution."

In State ex rel. City Loan & Savings Co. v. Moore,50


the Supreme Court of Ohio stated: "The provision for
reconsideration is no part of the Constitution and is
therefore entirely within the control of the General
Assembly. Having made the rule, it should be regarded, but
a failure to regard it is not the subject-matter of judicial
inquiry. It has been decided by the courts of last resort of
many states, and also by the United States Supreme Court,
that a legislative act will not be declared invalid for
noncompliance with rules."

In State v. Savings Bank,51 the Supreme Court of


Errors of Connecticut declared itself as follows: "The
Constitution declares that each house shall determine the
rules of its own proceedings and shall have all powers
necessary for a branch of the Legislature of a free and
independent state. Rules of proceedings are the servants of
the House and subject to its authority. This authority may
be abused, but when the House has acted in a matter clearly
within its power, it would be an unwarranted invasion of the

49
Citing 64 Fla. 41; 59 So. 963, 968 (1912)
50
Citing 124 Ohio St. 256, 177 N.E. 910, 911 (1931)
51
Citing 79 Conn. 141, 64 Atl. 5, 9-10 (1906)

18
Lagman et. al. vs. Pimentel et.al.
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G.R. No. 235935
x--------------------------------------------x

independence of the legislative department for the court to


set aside such action as void because it may think that the
House has misconstrued or departed from its own rules of
procedure."

In McDonald v. State,52 the Wisconsin Supreme Court


held: "When it appears that an act was so passed, no inquiry
will be permitted to ascertain whether the two houses have
or have not complied strictly with their own rules in their
procedure upon the bill, intermediate its introduction and
final passage. The presumption is conclusive that they have
done so. We think no court has ever declared an act of the
legislature void for non-compliance with the rules of
procedure made by itself, or the respective branches
thereof, and which it or they may change or suspend at will.
If there are any such adjudications, we decline to follow
them."

Schweizer v. Territory53 is illustrative of the rule in


these cases. The 1893 Statutes of Oklahoma provided for
three readings on separate days before a bill may be passed
by each house of the legislature, with the proviso that in
case of an emergency the house concerned may, by two-
thirds vote, suspend the operation of the rule. Plaintiff was
convicted in the district court of violation of a law punishing
gambling. He appealed contending that the gambling
statute was not properly passed by the legislature because
the suspension of the rule on three readings had not been
approved by the requisite two-thirds vote. Dismissing this
contention, the State Supreme Court of Oklahoma held:

We have no constitutional provision requiring


that the legislature should read a bill in any particular
manner. It may, then, read or deliberate upon a bill
as it sees fit. either in accordance with its own rules,
or in violation thereof, or without making any rules.
The provision of section 17 referred to is merely a
statutory provision for the direction of the legislature
in its action upon proposed measures. It receives its
entire force from legislative sanction, and it exists
only at legislative pleasure. The failure of the
legislature to properly weigh and consider an act, its
passage through the legislature in a hasty manner,
might be reasons for the governor withholding his
signature thereto; but this alone, even though it is
shown to be a violation of a rule which the legislature
had made to govern its own proceedings, could be no
reason for the court's refusing its enforcement after
it was actually passed by a majority of each branch

52
Citing 80 Wis. 407, 50 N.W. 185, 186 (1891 )
53
Citing 5 Okl. 297, 47 Pac. 1094 (1897)

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of the legislature, and duly signed by the governor.


The courts cannot declare an act of the legislature
void on account of noncompliance with rules of
procedure made by itself to govern its deliberations.
McDonald v. State, 80 Wis. 407, 50 N.W. 185; In re
Ryan, 80 Wis. 414, 50 N.W. 187; State v. Brown, 33
S.C. 151, 11 S.E. 641; Railway Co. v. Gill, 54 Ark.
101, 15 S.W. 18.

We conclude this survey with the useful summary of


the rulings by former Chief Justice Fernando, commenting
on the power of each House of Congress to determine its
rules of proceedings. He wrote:

Rules are hardly permanent in character. The


prevailing view is that they are subject to revocation,
modification or waiver at the pleasure of the body
adopting them as they are primarily procedural.
Courts ordinary have no concern with their
observance. They may be waived or disregarded by
the legislative body. Consequently, mere failure to
conform to them does not have the effect of nullifying
the act taken if the requisite number of members have
agreed to a particular measure. The above principle is
subject, however, to this qualification. Where the
construction to be given to a rule affects person other
than members of the legislative body the question
presented is necessarily judicial in character. Even its
validity is open to question in a case where private
rights are involved.54

In this case no rights of private individuals are


involved but only those of a member who, instead of seeking
redress in the House, chose to transfer the dispute to this
Court. We have no more power to look into the internal
proceedings of a House than members of that House have
to look over our shoulders, as long as no violation of
constitutional provisions is shown.

Petitioners must realize that each of the three


departments of our government has its separate sphere
which the others may not invade without upsetting the
delicate balance on which our constitutional order rests. Due
regard for the working of our system of government, more
than mere comity, compels reluctance on our part to enter
upon an inquiry into an alleged violation of the rules of the
House. We must accordingly decline the invitation to
exercise our power.

54
Citing ENRIQUE M. FERNANDO, CONSTITUTION OF THE PHILIPPINES ANNOTATED 188-189
(1977); Pacete v. Secretary of the Commission on Appointments, 40 SCRA 58 (1971).

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G.R. No. 235935
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43. Parliamentary rules being subject to revocation,


modification, or waiver at the pleasure of Congress, their
observance or non-observance is exempt from judicial
scrutiny, being the sovereign act of a co-equal branch of
government.

c. The petitioners’ general


statement that the approval of
the extension lacks sufficient
factual basis because there is
no actual rebellion disregards
the ruling of the Court in
Lagman v. Medialdea.

44. The petitioners basically aver that the approval of


the extension of the declaration of martial law lacks sufficient
basis because there is no actual rebellion. This ignores the
settled ruling of the Court in Lagman vs. Meldiadea:55

Thus, the President deduced from the facts available


to him that there was an armed public uprising, the culpable
purpose of which was to remove from the allegiance to the
Philippine Government a portion of its territory and to
deprive the Chief Executive of any of his powers and
prerogatives, leading the President to believe that there was
probable cause that the crime of rebellion was and is being
committed and that public safety requires the imposition of
martial law and suspension of the privilege of the writ of
habeas corpus.

A review of the aforesaid facts similarly leads the


Court to conclude that the President, in issuing Proclamation
No. 216, had sufficient factual bases tending to show that
actual rebellion exists. The President’s conclusion, that
there was an armed public uprising, the culpable purpose of
which was the removal from the allegiance of the Philippine
Government a portion of its territory and the deprivation of
the President from performing his powers and prerogatives,
was reached after a tactical consideration of the facts. In
fine, the President satisfactorily discharged his burden of
proof.

55
Supra.

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After all, what the President needs to satisfy is only


the standard of probable cause for a valid declaration of
martial law and suspension of the privilege of the writ of
habeas corpus….56

45. It is, in effect, an effort to relitigate an issue that


had been resolved with finality by the Court. The existence of
the rebellion can no longer be questioned. It follows that the
validity of the extension of martial law and the suspension of
the writ of habeas corpus cannot be made to rest on the
supposed absence of an actual rebellion.

46. What the petitioners should have done is to show


that the rebellion has been completely quelled. They have not
done so. The Court in its ruling already made it plain that
there is rebellion in Mindanao, and that it can only speculate
whether the sixty-day lifespan of Proclamation No. 216 could
outlive the present hostilities in Mindanao, thus:

In reviewing the sufficiency of the factual basis of the


proclamation or suspension, the Court considers only the
information and data available to the President prior to or at
the time of the declaration; it is not allowed to "undertake
an independent investigation beyond the pleadings."

….

To reiterate, the Court is not equipped with the


competence and logistical machinery to determine the
strategical value of other places in the military's efforts to
quell the rebellion and restore peace. It would be engaging
in an act of adventurism if it dares to embark on a mission
of deciphering the territorial metes and bounds of martial
law. To be blunt about it, hours after the proclamation of
martial law none of the members of this Court could have
divined that more than ten thousand souls would be forced
to evacuate to Iligan and Cagayan de Oro and that the
military would have to secure those places also; none of us
could have predicted that Cayamora Maute would be
arrested in Davao City or that his wife Ominta Romato Maute
would be apprehended in Masiu, Lanao del Sur; and, none
of us had an inkling that the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom
Fighters (BIFF) would launch an attack in Cotabato City. The
Court has no military background and technical expertise to
predict that. In the same manner, the Court lacks the

56
Lagman v. Medialdea, G.R. No. 231658, July 4, 2017

22
Lagman et. al. vs. Pimentel et.al.
COMMENT
G.R. No. 235935
x--------------------------------------------x

technical capability to determine which part of Mindanao


would best serve as forward operating base of the military
in their present endeavor in Mindanao. Until now the Court
is in a quandary and can only speculate whether the 60-day
lifespan of Proclamation No. 216 could outlive the present
hostilities in Mindanao. It is on this score that the Court
should give the President sufficient leeway to address the
peace and order problem in Mindanao.

47. Indubitably, without any evidence to support the


petitioners’ general allegation that there is no factual basis to
extend martial law in Mindanao, there is no basis for them to
claim that the Congress acted contrary to the Constitution.

48. Judicial power to stay an act of Congress, like


judicial power to hold an act unconstitutional, is an awesome
responsibility calling for the utmost circumspection in its
exercise."57 Thus, the petitioners should have at the very
least provided the Court sufficient basis to exercise its
awesome power to review the acts of its two other co-equal
branches of Government.

III. THE PETITIONERS FAILED


TO ESTABLISH GRAVE ABUSE OF
DISCRETION ON THE PART OF
BOTH HOUSES OF THE
CONGRESS IN EXTENDING
MARTIAL LAW AND
SUSPENDING THE PRIVILEGE
OF THE WRIT OF HABEAS
CORPUS.

49. Even assuming that the issues raised are not purely
political in nature, the role of the Court is confined to checking
and not supplanting the political branches, i.e., to determine
if these branches infringed the constitutional limits of their
jurisdiction, and not to exercise the power vested in them or
determine the wisdom of their acts which do not transgress
constitutional limits.58 As the Court held in Oposa v.

57
Vera vs. Hon. Arca, G.R. No. L-25721, May 26, 1969.
58
See Lansang v. Garcia, 42 SCRA 448, 479-480 (1971), cited in Marcos v. Manglapus, G.R. No. 88211,
September 15, 1989.

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COMMENT
G.R. No. 235935
x--------------------------------------------x

Factoran,59 “the new provision (Section 1, Article VIII of the


Constitution) vests in the judiciary, and particularly the
Supreme Court, the power to rule upon even the wisdom of
the decisions of the executive and the legislature and to
declare their acts invalid for lack or excess of jurisdiction
because they are tainted with grave abuse of discretion. The
respondents, however, did not commit grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, as will
be discussed below.

a. The period for deliberation


was not unduly constricted so
much so that the President's
request for extension was
approved with inordinate haste
without scrutinizing and
validating the sufficiency of the
factual basis of the extension.

50. The petitioners’ allegation that the Congress


committed “inordinate haste” in approving the extension is
baseless.

51. Speed in the conduct of proceedings should not


automatically be attributed to an injudicious performance of
functions:

For one’s prompt dispatch may be another’s undue


haste. The orderly administration of justice remains as the
paramount and constant consideration, with particular
regard of the circumstances peculiar to each case. The
presumption of regularity includes the public officers official
actuations in all phases of work. Consistent with such
presumption, it was incumbent upon petitioners to present
contradictory evidence other than a mere tallying of days or
numerical calculation.60 (Emphasis supplied.)

52. Seeing differently, the petitioners anchor their


claim of “inordinate haste” on the Rules of the Joint Session
adopted by both Houses. They contend that the interpellation

59
G.R. No. 101083, July 30, 1993.
60
Santos-Concio v. Department of Justice, G.R. No. 175057, January 29, 2008.

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COMMENT
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x--------------------------------------------x

of resource persons for “not more than three (3) minutes”61


is an inordinately short period compared to ordinary
legislation that provides for one to two hours of interpellation
and debate.

53. Their argument is specious. The extension or


revocation of Martial Law cannot be equated with the process
of ordinary legislation, as this is a direct, if not a special
Constitutional mandate. Under Section 18, Article VII of the
1987 Constitution only Congress, voting jointly, has the sole
power to extend martial law.62

54. To follow the petitioners’ logic, if every incumbent


legislative member were to ask probing questions, it would
mean that 24 Senators and at 250 House Representatives
could potentially ask questions. If they were to be given an
hour each to interpellate the resource speakers, it would take
months before the issue could be resolved. It is misleading to
say that the “three minute rule” is inordinately short, as the
time cap excludes the time within which the resource persons
can answer the questions propounded by the members of
Congress. Given the time sensitive nature of Martial Law or
its extension, the time cap was necessary in the interest of
expediency.

55. The petitioners also contend that in the same Joint


Session Rules, only a maximum of one minute is given for any
member of congress to explain his or her vote.63 According to
the petitioners, this amounted to grave abuse of discretion
and inordinate alacrity.64

56. It should be pointed out, nevertheless, that the


determination of the factual basis of the extension or
revocation of Martial Law is within the sphere of power of the
Congress. The power necessarily includes the process and
rules for its deliberation which is governed by Section 16(3),
Article VI of the 1987 Constitution.

61
Section 7, Rule IV
62
Section 18, Article VII, 1987 Constitution.
63
Section 14, Rule VIII
64
Page 18, Petition

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Lagman et. al. vs. Pimentel et.al.
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x--------------------------------------------x

57. Section 16(3), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution


provides:

Each House may determine the rules of its


proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly behavior,
and, with the concurrence of two-thirds of all its Members,
suspend or expel a Member. A penalty of suspension, when
imposed, shall not exceed sixty days.

58. In Pimentel, et al. vs. Senate Committee of the


Whole, etc.65, citing Dela Paz v. Senate Committee on Foreign
Relations66, the Court held that “[t]his provision has been
traditionally construed as a grant of full discretionary
authority to the House of Congress in the formulation,
adoption and promulgation of its own rules,” viz:

First. Section 16(3), Article VI of the Philippine


Constitution states: "Each House shall determine the rules
of its proceedings."

This provision has been traditionally construed as a


grant of full discretionary authority to the House of Congress
in the formulation, adoption and promulgation of its own
rules. As such, the exercise of this power is generally
exempt from judicial supervision and interference, except
on a clear showing of such arbitrary and improvident use of
the power as will constitute a denial of due process.

The issue partakes of the nature of a political question


which, under the Constitution, is to be decided by the people
in their sovereign capacity, or in regard to which full
discretionary authority has been delegated to the legislative
or executive branch of the government. Further, pursuant
to his constitutional grant of virtually unrestricted authority
to determine its own rules, the Senate is at liberty to alter
or modify these rules at any time it may see fit, subject only
to the imperatives of quorum, voting and publication.

59. Each house of the Congress has the innate power


to promulgate its own rules of procedure; both houses
decided to come up with the Joint Rules. These Rules were
the subject of several deliberations in both Houses prior to
their adoption. It cannot therefore be said that the Rules were

65
G.R. No. 187714, March 8, 2011.
66
G.R. No. 184849, 13 February 2009, 579 SCRA 521, 525.

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G.R. No. 235935
x--------------------------------------------x

the result of a swift and wanton action from the supermajority


to silence the “authentic minority.”

60. In any case, an explanation of one’s vote in the


deliberation process is not a constitutional requirement. In
fact, the same rule provides that “a Member who does not
want to explain may yield his/her allotted time to another
Member of the House.” The time for explanation is clearly a
privilege and not a right granted to a member of Congress by
the Congress itself.

61. Grave abuse of discretion implies such capricious


and whimsical exercise of judgment as is equivalent to lack of
jurisdiction or, in other words, where the power is exercised
in an arbitrary manner by reason of passion, prejudice, or
personal hostility, and it must be so patent or gross as to
amount to an evasion of a positive duty or to a virtual refusal
to perform the duty enjoined or to act at all in contemplation
of law.67 Plainly, no grave abuse of discretion can be
attributed in the promulgation of Joint Rules and the time limit
that they provide for the members of the Congress.

b. The petitioners failed to


establish grave abuse of
discretion on the part of the
majority of all the members of
the Congress in approving the
extension of the proclamation
of martial law.

62. The petition is based on the third paragraph of


Section 18, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution. The
petitioners in the same breath invoke Section 1, Article VIII
of the 1987 Constitution, or the expanded jurisdiction of this
Honorable Court, and ascribe grave abuse of discretion on the
part of the majority of the members of Congress who
approved the extension of the proclamation of martial law.

63. Such reliance on the Court’s expanded jurisdiction


is misplaced.

67
AGG Trucking and/or Alex Ang Gaeid vs. Yuag, G.R. No. 195033, October 12, 2011.

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64. The Court has settled this question in Lagman v.


Medialdea.68 To recall, it pronounced that the “appropriate
proceeding” mentioned in Section 18, Article VII of the 1987
Constitution does not refer to a petition for certiorari filed
under Section 1 or 5 of Article VIII thereof. The Court said:

It could not have been the intention of the framers of


the Constitution that the phrase "in an appropriate
proceeding" would refer to a Petition for Certiorari pursuant
to Section 1 or Section 5 of Article VIII. The standard of
review in a petition for certiorari is whether the respondent
has committed any grave abuse of discretion amounting to
lack or excess of jurisdiction in the performance of his or her
functions. Thus, it is not the proper tool to review the
sufficiency of the factual basis of the proclamation or
suspension. It must be emphasized that under Section 18,
Article VII, the Court is tasked to review the sufficiency of
the factual basis of the President's exercise of emergency
powers. Put differently, if this Court applies the standard of
review used in a petition for certiorari, the same would
emasculate its constitutional task under Section 18, Article
VII. (Underscoring supplied.)

65. There is only one standard in the Constitution that


allows judicial review of the proclamation of martial law, or its
extension, and that is through a sui generis proceeding based
on the “sufficiency of factual basis test” under Article VII of
the 1987 Constitution. Thus, additionally invoking the
expanded jurisdiction of this Honorable Court is erroneous.

66. At any rate, the petitioners failed to establish grave


abuse of discretion on the part of the majority of all the
members of Congress in approving the extension of
proclamation of martial law, for reasons to be discussed
below. The general statements that the leadership and
alleged supermajority of Congress exercised grave abuse of
discretion in the deliberations held last December 13, 2017,
and relying only on the period allotted by the Congress for
each member to interpellate as basis, are far from being acts
indicative of grave abuse of discretion.

68
G.R. No. 231658, July 4, 2017.

28
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G.R. No. 235935
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c. The Congress is necessarily


permitted wider latitude on how
it chooses to respond to the
President’s extension thereof –
including the length of period of
deliberation and interpellation
of the Executive’s resource
panel.

67. The petitioners also assail the allegedly


”constricted” period allocated for the interpellation and
deliberation of Executive’s resource panel.69 Their contention
lacks merit.

68. In Lagman v. Medialdea,70 the Court differentiated


its power of review from that the power of the Congress’
power to revoke or affirm the said proclamation, viz:

a) The judicial power to review


versus the congressional power to
revoke.

The Court may strike down the presidential


proclamation in an appropriate proceeding filed by any
citizen on the ground of lack of sufficient factual basis. On
the other hand, Congress may revoke the proclamation or
suspension, which revocation shall not be set aside by the
President.

In reviewing the sufficiency of the factual basis of the


proclamation or suspension, the Court considers only the
information and data available to the President prior to or at
the time of the declaration; it is not allowed to "undertake
an independent investigation beyond the pleadings." On the
other hand, Congress may take into consideration not only
data available prior to, but likewise events supervening the
declaration. Unlike the Court which does not look into the
absolute correctness of the factual basis as will be discussed
below, Congress could probe deeper and further; it can
delve into the accuracy of the facts presented before it.

In addition, the Court's review power is passive; it is


only initiated by the filing of a petition "in an appropriate
69
p. 17, Petition.
70
G.R. No. 231658, July 4, 2017.

29
Lagman et. al. vs. Pimentel et.al.
COMMENT
G.R. No. 235935
x--------------------------------------------x

proceeding" by a citizen. On the other hand, Congress'


review mechanism is automatic in the sense that it may be
activated by Congress itself at any time after the
proclamation or suspension was made.

69. It can be gleaned from this ruling that the Congress


is given wider latitude to review the President’s proclamation
and such review is independent from that of the Supreme
Court. Necessarily, this “wider latitude” includes the manner
by which the Congress responds to the President’s
proclamation.

70. Appropriately, in his Separate Opinion in Lagman,71


Justice Leonen expounded on the “wider latitude” mentioned
above, stating that the Congress is treated as the President's
co-equal when it comes to determining the wisdom behind the
imposition or continued imposition of martial law or
suspension of the writ, viz:

The framers also intended for the Congress to have a


considerably broader review power than the Judiciary and
to play an active role following the President's proclamation
of martial law or suspension of the privilege of the writ
of habeas corpus. Unlike the Court which can only act upon
an appropriate proceeding filed by any citizen, Congress
may, by voting jointly and upon a majority vote, revoke
such proclamation or suspension. The decision to revoke is
not premised on how factually correct the President's
invocation of his Commander-in-Chief powers are, rather,
Congress is permitted a wider latitude in how it chooses to
respond to the President's proclamation or suspension.
While the Court is limited to reviewing the sufficiency of the
factual basis behind the President's proclamation or
suspension, Congress does not operate under such
constraints and can strike down the President's exercise of
his Commander-in-Chief powers as it pleases without
running afoul of the Constitution.

With its veto power and power to extend the


duration of martial law upon the President's initiative and
as a representative of its constituents, Congress is also
expected to continuously monitor and review the
situation on the areas affected by martial law. Unlike the
Court which is mandated to promulgate its decision

71
Supra.

30
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within thirty (30) days from the time a petition


questioning the proclamation is filed, Congress is not
saddled with a similar duty. While the Court is mandated
to look into the sufficiency of the factual basis and
whether or not the proclamation was attended with grave
abuse of discretion, Congress deals primarily with the
wisdom behind the proclamation or suspension. Much
deference is thus accorded to Congress and is treated as
the President's co-equal when it comes to determining
the wisdom behind the imposition or continued
imposition of martial law or suspension of the writ.
[Underscoring supplied.]

71. Ineluctably, the framers of the 1987 Constitution


considered the Congress as the President’s co-equal in
determining the wisdom behind the imposition or continued
imposition of Martial Law. Thus, it only should be proper that
the Congress be given wider latitude as to how it should
respond to the President’s extension of Martial Law – which
includes deciding the length of the interpellation and debate.

SUBSTANTIVE ARGUMENTS

IV. THERE IS FACTUAL


BASIS TO SUPPORT THE
EXTENSION OF MARTIAL
LAW FOR ONE YEAR IN
MINDANAO

a. The President had


sufficient factual basis to
ask for the extension of
Martial Law in Mindanao.

72. The petitioners assail the second extension of


martial law asserting that it is not necessary since there is no
actual rebellion in Mindanao. They argue that the presence of
“remnants” of terrorist groups capable of launching attacks in
Mindanao does not prove the existence of an actual rebellion

31
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x--------------------------------------------x

in the region.72 The acknowledgment that there are remnants


of the forces that launched the rebellion ironically militates
against the petitioner’s position that the second extension is
not warranted under Section 18, Article VII of the 1987
Constitution.

73. Section 18, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution


states that the Congress may extend the proclamation of
martial law or suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas
corpus if it finds that: (1) the invasion or rebellion persists;
and (2) public safety requires it:

Section 18. The President shall be the Commander-in-


Chief of all armed forces of the Philippines and whenever it
becomes necessary, he may call out such armed forces to
prevent or suppress lawless violence, invasion or rebellion.
In case of invasion or rebellion, when the public safety
requires it, he may, for a period not exceeding sixty days,
suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus or place
the Philippines or any part thereof under martial law. Within
forty-eight hours from the proclamation of martial law or the
suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, the
President shall submit a report in person or in writing to the
Congress. The Congress, voting jointly, by a vote of at least
a majority of all its Members in regular or special session,
may revoke such proclamation or suspension, which
revocation shall not be set aside by the President. Upon the
initiative of the President, the Congress may, in the
same manner, extend such proclamation or
suspension for a period to be determined by the
Congress, if the invasion or rebellion shall persist and
public safety requires it.73

74. As pronounced by the Supreme Court in Lagman,74


the facts presented by the Government show that the
uprisings initiated by the DAESH-inspired Maute Group
constitute actual rebellion in Mindanao. While the leadership
of the Mautes was decimated in Marawi, the rebellion in
Mindanao persists as the surviving members of the militant
group have not laid down their arms. The remnants remain a
formidable force to be reckoned with. They are capable of
launching retaliatory attacks against the Government and
acts of terrorism against the civilian population to wrest
72
Petition, pp. 11-15.
73
Emphasis supplied.
74
Lagman v. Medialdea, G.R. No. 231658, July 4, 2017.

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control of Mindanao and continue their bid to establish a


wilayah in the region.

75. The violence committed by the other groups such


as the BIFF, AKP, ASG, DI Maguid, DI Toraype should be taken
into consideration in determining whether the rebellion has
been completely quelled. These groups are part of the
rebellion. As such, they cannot be taken lightly as they are
likewise capable of perpetrating strategic and well-
coordinated mass casualty attacks to overthrow the present
government and to establish a wilayah in Mindanao.75 For
their part, the New People’s Army (NPA) has been launching
offensives in certain parts of Mindanao, even as the National
Democratic Front was engaged in peace talks with the
Government. The NPAs have forged a common front with the
Muslim rebels to remove the allegiance of Mindanao to the
duly-constituted government.

76. Public safety inevitably requires the extension of


the proclamation of martial law and the suspension of the
privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in Mindanao. As
discussed above, the danger and risks the DAESH-inspired
DIWM, local terrorist groups, and the NPAs pose still remain
high and the extension of martial law will necessarily address
the rebellion being waged by these groups, which stage
attacks from areas they control inside Mindanao.

b. The requirements for the


declaration of martial law are
different from the
requirements for its extension.

77. The Joint Resolution dated December 13, 2017


approving President Duterte’s request to extend Martial Law
and the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas
corpus in Mindanao from December 31, 2017 to December
31, 2018 is valid and not unconstitutional.

78. At the outset, the proclamation of Martial Law is a


matter entirely different from its extension. The requirements

75
Annex “5” and series, incidents, cases filed, and arrests involving terrorist rebels in Mindanao.

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for the declaration of martial law are different from the


requirements for its extension.

79. The power to grant an extension of Martial Law and


a suspension of the writ of habeas corpus is vested in both
Houses of Congress voting jointly under Section 18, Article
VII, Section 18 of the Constitution.

80. A proclamation of martial law takes effect


immediately at the President’s instance when he determines
that there is a rebellion or invasion and public safety requires
that the Philippines or any part thereof be placed under
martial law. On the other hand, an extension of martial law is
initiated by the President but it takes effect upon Congress’
issuance of a resolution that rebellion and invasion persists
and public safety requires that the Philippines or any part
thereof be placed under martial law.

81. Thus, in Lagman,76 the Court explained the nature


of extensions of martial law in this wise:

Section 18, Article VII of the Constitution provides


that ''the President … may, for a period not exceeding sixty
days, suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus or
place the Philippine or any part thereof under martial law….
Upon the initiative of the President, the Congress may, in
the same manner, extend such proclamation or suspension
for a period to be determined by the Congress, if the
invasion or rebellion shall persist and public safety requires
it."

From the foregoing, it is clear that the President's


declaration of martial law and/or suspension of the privilege
of the writ of habeas corpus is effective for 60 days. As aptly
described by Commissioner Monsod, "this declaration has a
time fuse. It is only good for a maximum of 60 days. At the
end of 60 days, it automatically terminates." Any extension
thereof should be determined by Congress. The act of
declaring martial law and/or suspending the privilege of the
writ of habeas corpus by the President, however, is separate
from the approval of the extension of the declaration and/or
suspension by Congress. The initial declaration of martial
law and/or suspension of the writ of habeas corpus is
determined solely by the President, while the extension of

76
Lagman v. Medialdea, G.R. No. 231658, December 5, 2017

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the declaration and/or suspension, although initiated by the


President, is approved by Congress.

In this case, Proclamation No. 216 issued on May 23,


2017 expired on July 23, 2017. Consequently, the issue of
whether there were sufficient factual for the issuance of the
said Proclamation has been rendered moot by its expiration.
We have consistently ruled that a case becomes moot and
academic when it "ceases to present a justiciable
controversy by virtue of supervening events, so that a
declaration thereon would be of no practical value.” As
correctly pointed out by the OSG, "the martial law and
suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas
corpus now in effect in Mindanao no longer finds basis
in Proclamation No. 216" but in Resolution of Both
Houses No. 11 (RBH No. 11) adopted on July 22, 2017.
RBH No. 11 is totally different and distinct from
Proclamation No. 216. The former is a joint executive-
legislative act while the latter is purely executive in
nature.77 (Emphasis supplied)

82. Considering that there are differences between a


declaration of martial law and extension thereof, it follows
that the scope of judicial review of the proclamation of martial
law is different from a judicial review of the extension thereof.

83. According to Lagman,78 the scope of judicial review


of martial law is limited to three points of inquiry, to wit: (1)
Is there an actual rebellion or invasion? (2) Does public safety
require the declaration of martial law? and (3) Is there
probable cause for the President to believe that there is an
actual rebellion or rebellion?

84. In contrast, the Congress’ extension of martial law


only requires that the rebellion persists and that public safety
requires the extension of martial law. In other words, the
extension of martial law is premised on the existence of an
ongoing rebellion.

85. That the rebellion is ongoing is beyond doubt. The


existence of sufficient facts to justify the approved extension

77
Ibid.
78
Lagman v. Medialdea, G.R. No. 231658, July 4, 2017.

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is not even contested by the petitioners, who cited some of


these facts in their petition, viz:

53. A litany of alleged “skirmishes” does not


necessarily constitute armed public uprising against the
government.

54. They may only indicate banditry, lawless violence


and terroristic acts of remnants or residue of vanquished
combatants.

55. They could also be indicative of the revival of acts


of violence by CCP-NPA cabals reliving their fifty-year old
“rebellion” which appears to be doomed for lack of popular
support and the necessary wherewithal against the superior
armaments of government forces.79

….

115. It is well settled that the President need not


immediately declare martial law or seek its extension
because he is empowered as Commander-in-Chief
“whenever it becomes necessary” to “call out such armed
forces to prevent or suppress lawless violence, invasion or
rebellion. (Section 18 of Article VII)

116. There is more reason for the President to


exercise his “calling out” power to prevent and subdue the
threats of lawless violence by mere remnants or residue of
vanquished terrorist groups.

118. The extension of martial law and the suspension


of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus against
remnants of terrorists groups is akin to killing a fly with a
sledgehammer.80

86. As to the issue of whether public safety requires the


approved extension one year, much leeway must be given to
the President in order to fully and effectively discharge his
functions as Commander-in-Chief. Due deference must be
made to his judgment call, which the Honorable Court has
recognized is based on “vital, relevant, classified, and live
information” not ordinarily available to the public or they may
deal with sensitive data, release or publication of which could
do more harm than good.

79
Id., at pars. 53 – 55, pp. 14 & 15.
80
Id., at pars. 114, 115, & 118, p. 27.

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87. Given that the Decision of the Court had already


declared that there is rebellion in Mindanao, the onus lies on
the petitioners to show that the rebellion has been completely
quelled. Otherwise, the cannot impute grave abuse of
discretion to the respondents.

c. As Commander-in-Chief, the
President has the sole
prerogative to choose which
extraordinary power to use
under a given factual milieu.

88. The petitioners argue that the President need not


immediately declare martial law or seek its extension. They
suggest that, as Commander-in-Chief, the President can call
out the armed forces to prevent or suppress lawless violence,
invasion or rebellion. Allegedly, there is no need to extend
martial law and to suspend the writ of habeas corpus in
Mindanao to defeat remnants of terrorist groups.81

89. What the petitioners fail to see is that the


declaration of martial is a prerogative of the President, as the
Court stressed in Lagman:

Indeed, the 1987 Constitution gives the "President, as


Commander-in- Chief, a 'sequence' of 'graduated power[s]'.
From the most to the least benign, these are: the calling out
power, the power to suspend the privilege of the writ of
habeas corpus, and the power to declare martial law." It
must be stressed, however, that the graduation refers only
to hierarchy based on scope and effect. It does not in any
manner refer to a sequence, arrangement, or order which
the Commander-in-Chief must follow. This so-called
"graduation of powers" does not dictate or restrict the
manner by which the President decides which power to
choose.

These extraordinary powers are conferred by the


Constitution with the President as Commander-in-Chief; it
therefore necessarily follows that the power and prerogative
to determine whether the situation warrants a mere exercise
of the calling out power; or whether the situation demands
suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus; or

81
Petition, paras. 114-118.

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whether it calls for the declaration of martial law, also lies,


at least initially, with the President. The power to choose,
initially, which among these extraordinary powers to wield
in a given set of conditions is a judgment call on the part of
the President. As Commander-in-Chief, his powers are
broad enough to include his prerogative to address
exigencies or threats that endanger the government, and
the very integrity of the State.

It is thus beyond doubt that the power of judicial


review does not extend to calibrating the President's
decision pertaining to which extraordinary power to avail
given a set of facts or conditions. To do so would be
tantamount to an incursion into the exclusive domain of the
Executive and an infringement on the prerogative that
solely, at least initially, lies with the President.82

90. The same principle applies, as far as the request for


extension of martial law is concerned. The President has
broad powers to ascertain the most appropriate measure to
deal with the rebellion plaguing Mindanao. Those powers
should not be niggardly construed. After all, it is a Martial Law
far removed from its old version. The President as the
commanding general has the authority to issue orders that
have the effect of law but strictly in a theater of war. He
exercises police power with the military’s assistance to ensure
public safety, among others. He would not be able to do this
by just exercising his “calling out” power.

V. THE 1987 CONSTITUTION DOES


NOT LIMIT THE PERIOD FOR WHICH
THE CONGRESS CAN EXTEND THE
PROCLAMATION OF MARTIAL LAW
AND THE SUSPENSION OF THE
PRIVILEGE OF THE WRIT OF
HABEAS CORPUS. NEITHER DOES
THE 1987 CONSTITUTION
PROHIBIT THE CONGRESS FROM
GRANTING FURTHER EXTENSIONS
TO THE PROCLAMATION OR
SUSPENSION.

82
G.R. No. 236158, 4 July 2017, citing Sanlakas vs. Executive Secretary Reyes, G.R. Nos. 159085, 159103,
159185, and 159196, 3 February 2004; underscoring supplied.

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Lagman et. al. vs. Pimentel et.al.
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G.R. No. 235935
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91. The sixty-day period imposed by Article VII, Section


18 of the 1987 Constitution upon the President’s initial
proclamation of martial law and suspension of the privilege of
the writ of habeas corpus does not similarly apply to the
period of extension that Congress may grant on such
proclamation or extension,83 and the proclamation or
suspension may be extended more than once, contrary to the
stance of the petitioners.84

92. The petitioners admit that the proposal to limit the


period of extension to sixty days made by Commissioner
Suarez was not even adopted by the plenary. 85 Besides,
Commissioner Suarez explained that his concern in proposing
a definite period of extension was not so much that Congress
would be extending martial law “in perpetuity”, as the
petitioners make it appear, but that there was no certainty as
to who between the President and the Congress will determine
the period of extension.

93. This led present-day constitutionalist,


Commissioner Fr. Joaquin G. Bernas, to suggest the addition
of the clause “for a period to be determined by the Congress”
to accentuate Congress’ role and absolute discretion in
determining the period of extension. Interestingly, the
learned Commissioner Blas F. Ople cautioned against
unnecessarily emasculating the martial law powers of the
President and empowering “an intractable Congress that may
be dominated by opposition parties.” In the end,
Commissioner Suarez acceded to the position of
Commissioner Florenz D. Regalado, subject only to
Commissioner Bernas’ suggested amendment which the
plenary adopted, thus:

MR. SUAREZ. That is correct. I think the two of them


must have to agree on the period; but it
is theoretically possible that when the
President writes a note to the Congress,
because it would be at the instance of
the President that the extension would
have to be granted by Congress, it is
possible that the period for the

83
Petition, p. 20.
84
Ibid. at p. 22.
85
Petition, p. 21 citing Record of the Constitutional Commission Proceedings and Debates, Vol. II, p. 509.

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Lagman et. al. vs. Pimentel et.al.
COMMENT
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x--------------------------------------------x

extension may be there. It is also


possible that it may not be there.
That is the reason why we want to
make it clear that there must be a
reasonable period for the
extension. So, if my suggestion is not
acceptable to the Committee, may I
request that a voting be held on it,
Madam President.

FR. BERNAS. Madam President, may I just propose


something because I see the problem.
Suppose we were to say “or extend the
same FOR A PERIOD TO BE
DETERMINED BY CONGRESS” - that
gives Congress a little flexibility on just
how long the extension should be.

MR. OPLE. Yes, but still the idea is to preserve the


principle of collective judgment of that
point upon the expiration of the 60 days
when, upon his own initiative, the
President seeks for an extension of the
proclamation of martial law or the
suspension of the privilege of the writ.

FR. BERNAS. Yes, the participation of the President is


there but by giving the final decision
to Congress, we are also preserving
the idea that the President may not
revoke what Congress has decided
upon.

MR. OPLE. The reason for my concern, Madam


President, is that when we put all of
these encumbrances on the
President and Commander-in-Chief
during an actual invasion and
rebellion, given an intractable
Congress that may be dominated by
opposition parties, we may be
actually impelling the President to
use the sword of Alexander to cut
the Gordian knot by just declaring a
revolutionary government that sets
him free to deal with the invasion or
the insurrection. That is the reason I

40
Lagman et. al. vs. Pimentel et.al.
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G.R. No. 235935
x--------------------------------------------x

am in favor of the present formulation.


However, if Commissioner Suarez
insists on his amendment, I do not think
I will stand in the way. Thank you,
Madam President.

MR. SUAREZ. We will accept the committee


suggestion, subject to style later
on….86

94. The first principle of constitutional construction


demands that when the statute, or in this case, the
Constitution, is clear, plain, and free from ambiguity, it must
be given its literal meaning and applied without attempted
interpretation.87 Verba legis non est recedendum, or from the
words of the Constitution, there should be no departure.88

95. Pursuant to the verba legis rule, the period for


which the Congress can extend the proclamation of martial
law and suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas
corpus is a matter that the august body can itself define,
unshackled by any predetermined length of time, contrary to
the petitioners’ erroneous submission.

96. Plainly stated, the Congress is given a free hand in


determining the period of extension, and did exercise its wise
discretion in extending the proclamation of martial law and
the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in
the entire Mindanao until December 31, 2018. In fact, the
Resolution that called for both houses of Congress to convene
in joint session on December 13, 2017 at 9 a.m. in the session
hall of the House of Representatives stated that both Houses
of Congress will “deliberate on the request of President
Rodrigo Roa Duterte to extend further the proclamation of
martial law and suspension of the privilege of the writ of
habeas corpus until 31 December 2018 or for such other
period of time as the Congress may determine.”89

86
Record of the Constitutional Commission Proceedings and Debates, Vol. II, pp. 508 – 509.
87
Padilla v. Congress of the Philippines, G.R. No. 231671, July 25, 2017.
88
Francisco v. House of Representatives, G.R. No. 160261, November 10, 2003; Chavez v. Judicial and Bar
Council, G.R. No. 202242, July 17, 2012
89
See Annex “A” of the Petition; emphasis supplied.

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Lagman et. al. vs. Pimentel et.al.
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97. Surprisingly, the petitioners claim that the clause


“in the same manner” found in Article VII, Section 18 of the
1987 Constitution imposes a limitation of sixty days on the
Congress’ extension of martial law in the same manner as the
sixty-day limitation on the President’s initial proclamation and
suspension. This is a misreading of the Constitution and is
contrary to the principle of reddendo singula singulis.

98. By the maxim reddendo singula singulis, or


“referring each to each; referring each phrase or expression
to its appropriate object”, or “let each be put in its proper
place, that is, the words should be taken distributively,”90 the
words in different parts of a statute must be referred to their
appropriate connection, giving to each in its place, its proper
force and effect, and, if possible, rendering none of them
useless or superfluous, even if strict grammatical construction
demands otherwise.91

99. Properly construed, the phrase “in the same


manner” in the last sentence of the first paragraph of Article
VII, Section 18 of the 1987 Constitution must be understood
as referring to the immediately preceding sentence on the
manner by which Congress may revoke the proclamation or
suspension. In other words, in granting an extension of the
proclamation or suspension, Congress must observe the same
manner of voting as in revocation, that is, voting jointly, by a
vote of at least a majority of all its Members in regular or
special session.

100. The Congress indubitably voted jointly in regular


session, and by a vote of 240-27, more than the required
minimum number of votes required by the Constitution,
granted the extension sought by the President. In the House,
226 voted for an extension, and 23 voted against it. In the
Senate, 14 senators voted in favor of the extension and 4
voted against it. The extension, thus, was arrived at by
Congress in compliance with the manner of voting required by
the 1987 Constitution.

90
People of the Philippines v. Tamani, G.R. Nos. L-22160 & L-22161, January 21, 1974 citing 76 C. J. S.
175.
91
City of Manila v. Laguio, Jr., G.R. No. 118127, April 12, 2005.

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101. Commissioner Florenz D. Regalado sufficiently


explained during the deliberations on the difference between
the period for the President’s initial proclamation or
suspension, and the Congressional concurrence on the period
of extension thereof, to wit:

MR. REGALADO. In the first situation where the President


declares martial law, there had to be a
prescribed period because there was no
initial concurrence requirement. And if
there was no concurrence, the martial
law period ends at 60 days. Thereafter,
if they intend to extend the same
suspension of the privilege of the writ or
the proclamation of martial law, it is
upon the initiative of the President this
time, and with the prior concurrence of
Congress. So, the period of
extension has already been taken
into account by both the Executive
and the Legislative, unlike the first
situation where the President acted
alone without prior concurrence.
The reason for the limitation in the
first does not apply to the
extension.92

102. That said, the petitioners’ apprehension that the


President’s proclamation and suspension would be
“inordinately long” and “in perpetuity” is easily obviated by
two constitutional mechanisms that safeguard against any
possible abuse of authority on the part of the Executive.

103. As sufficiently explained during the constitutional


deliberations, legislative imprimatur is indispensable before
an extension can be granted. Moreover, the extension is
subject to judicial scrutiny upon the exercise of any citizen of
his or her right to question the sufficiency of its factual basis,
as exemplified by the very action now before this Honorable
Court.

92
Record of the Constitutional Commission Proceedings and Debates, Vol. II, pp. 508 – 509, emphasis and
underscoring supplied.

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x--------------------------------------------x

104. Just as there is no limit in the number of extensions


the Congress may grant, there is nothing in the Constitution
that prohibits the legislature from extending martial law more
than once.

105. The intendment of the last sentence of Section 18


of Article VII is unmistakable: it authorizes the Congress to
extend the President’s proclamation or suspension “if the
invasion or rebellion shall persist and public safety requires
it.” Pursuant to the plain-meaning rule, the word “persist”
means in its ordinary acceptation “to continue to exist
especially past a usual, expected, or normal time”,93 or to
“[c]ontinue to exist; be prolonged.”94

106. Therefore, for as long as the Congress believes that


the invasion or rebellion continues to exist, and the public
safety requires it, the proclamation of martial law and the
suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus may
be extended, subject only to the condition that any such
extension be upon the initiative of the President and for a
period to be determined by the Congress.

107. It is well-settled that what is not expressly or


impliedly prohibited may be done.95 The Court cannot, in the
absence of any express or implied prohibition in the 1987
Constitution, prevent the Congress from granting further
extensions of the proclamation or suspension. To rule
otherwise would be engaging in judicial legislation.

108. This position is supported by legislative history. The


deliberations in the Constitutional Commission reveal that the
framers did in fact intend to grant Congress the power and
discretion to grant further extensions of the proclamation and
suspension.

109. Commissioner Florenz D. Regalado, who later


became a member of this Honorable Court, was adamant on
his position that the Constitution should not fix any length of
time for the extension. Twice he emphasized that such a
93
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/persist.
94
https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/persist.
95
Manila Electric Company v. Public Service Commission, G.R. No. 42317, 21 September 1934.

44
Lagman et. al. vs. Pimentel et.al.
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limitation will require Congress to convene each time the fixed


period expires, thereby recognizing that further extensions
are indeed allowed under the Constitution. He also reasoned
out that the clause “if the invasion or rebellion shall persist
and public safety requires it” serves as an adequate gauge for
the extension of the proclamation or suspension, viz.:

MR. SUAREZ. Thank you, Madam President.

May we suggest that on line 7, between


the words “same” and “if,” we insert the
phrase FOR A PERIOD OF NOT MORE
THAN SIXTY DAYS, which would equal
the initial period for the first declaration
just so it will keep on going.

THE PRESIDENT. What does the Committee say?

MR. REGALADO. May we request a clarification from


Commissioner Suarez on this proposed
amendment? This extension is already a
joint act upon the initiative of the
President and with the concurrence of
Congress. It is assumed that they have
already agreed not only on the fact of
extension but on the period of
extension. If we put it at 60 days
only, then thereafter, they have to
meet again to agree jointly on a
further extension.

MR. SUAREZ. That is precisely intended to safeguard


the interests and protect the lives of
citizens.

MR. REGALADO. In the first situation where the President


declares martial law, there had to be a
prescribed period because there was no
initial concurrence requirement. And if
there was no concurrence, the martial
law period ends at 60 days. Thereafter,
if they intend to extend the same
suspension of the privilege of the writ or
the proclamation of martial law, it is

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upon the initiative of the President this


time, and with the prior concurrence of
Congress. So, the period of extension
has already been taken into account by
both the Executive and the Legislative,
unlike the first situation where the
President acted alone without prior
concurrence. The reason for the
limitation in the first does not apply to
the extension.
MR. SUAREZ. We are afraid of a situation that may
develop where the extended period
would be even longer than the initial
period, Madam President. It is only
reasonable to suggest that we have to
put a restriction on the matter of the
exercise of this right within a reasonable
period.
….
MR. OPLE. May I just pose a question to the
Committee in connection with the
Suarez amendment? Earlier,
Commissioner Regalado said that that
point was going to be a collective
judgment between the President and
the Congress. Are we departing from
that now in favor of giving Congress the
plenipotentiary power to determine the
period?
FR. BERNAS. Not really, Madam President, because
Congress would be doing this in
consultation with the President, and the
President would be outvoted by about
300 Members.

MR. REGALADO. Madam President, following that is


the clause “extend the same if the
invasion or rebellion shall persist
and public safety requires it.” That
by itself suggests a period within
which the suspension shall be
extended, if the invasion is still
going on. But there is already the
cutoff of 60-day period. Do they have
to meet all over again and agree to
extend the same?96

96
Record of the Constitutional Commission Proceedings and Debates, Vol. II, pp. 508 – 509, emphasis and
underscoring supplied.

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110. Similarly, Commissioner Roberto R. Concepcion, a


former Chief Justice of the Court, acknowledged that the
President may ask “for another extension, if necessary.”97

111. All told, there is absolutely no merit to the


petitioners’ contentions. Analyzed from any perspective, the
1987 Constitution empowers the Congress to further extend
the proclamation of martial law and suspension of the
privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, and it has the absolute
discretion to determine the length of this period of extension
without need of judicial fiat.

V. THE PETITIONERS HAVE NOT


ESTABLISHED THE NEED FOR
THE ISSUANCE OF A
TEMPORARY RESTRAINING
ORDER OR WRIT OF
INJUNCTION

101. The petitioners seek a temporary restraining order


or writ of preliminary injunction to stop the implementation of
respondents and their agents of the extension of martial law
and the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas
corpus in Mindanao for one year, effective from January 1,
2018 to December 31, 2018, and restrain the disbursements
of funds to finance its further implementation.98 Purportedly,
it is of critical immediacy that injunctive relief, through a TRO
or writ of preliminary injunction, be issued forthwith before
the effectivity on January 1, 2018 of the challenged extension
of Martial Law in order to preserve their rights.99 Sadly, the
petitioners failed to establish the requisites for the grant of a
TRO or injunctive writ.

102. A party seeking a TRO or a preliminary injunction


must first clearly establish the conditions laid out in Sections
3 and 5, Rule 58 of the Rules of Court, to wit:

97
Ibid. at p. 510, emphasis and underscoring supplied.
98
Petition dated December 20, 2017, pp. 28-29
99
Petition, par. 125

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G.R. No. 235935
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SEC. 3. Grounds for issuance of preliminary


injunction. - A preliminary injunction may be granted when
it is established:

(a) That the applicant is entitled to the relief


demanded, and the whole or part of such relief consists in
restraining the commission or continuance of the act or acts
complained of, or in requiring the performance of an act or
acts, either for a limited period or perpetually;

(b) That the commission, continuance or non-


performance of the act or acts complained of during the
litigation would probably work injustice to the applicant; or

(c) That a party, court, agency or a person is doing,


threatening, or is attempting to do, or is procuring or
suffering to be done, some act or acts probably in violation
of the rights of the applicant respecting the subject of the
action or proceeding, and tending to render the judgment
ineffectual.

….

SEC. 5. Preliminary injunction not granted without


notice; exception. - No preliminary injunction shall be
granted without hearing and prior notice to the party or
persons sought to be enjoined. If it shall appear from facts
shown by affidavits or by the verified application that great
or irreparable injury would result to the applicant before the
matter can be heard on notice, the court to which the
application for preliminary injunction was made, may issue
ex parte a temporary restraining order to be effective only
for a period of twenty (20) days from service on the party
or person sought to be enjoined, except as herein provided.
Within the twenty-day period, the court must order said
party or person to show cause at a specified time and place,
why the injunction should not be granted. The court shall
also determine, within the same period, whether or not the
preliminary injunction shall be granted, and accordingly
issue the corresponding order.

However, subject to the provisions of the preceding


sections, if the matter is of extreme urgency and the
applicant will suffer grave injustice and irreparable injury,
the executive judge of a multiple-sala court or the presiding
judge of a single-sala court may issue ex parte a temporary
restraining order effective for only seventy-two (72) hours
from issuance but shall immediately comply with the
provisions of the next preceding section as to service of
summons and the documents to be served therewith.
Thereafter, within the aforesaid seventy-two (72) hours, the
judge before whom the case is pending shall conduct a

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Lagman et. al. vs. Pimentel et.al.
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G.R. No. 235935
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summary hearing to determine whether the temporary


restraining order shall be extended until the application for
preliminary injunction can be heard. In no case shall the
total period of effectivity of the temporary restraining order
exceed twenty (20) days, including the original seventy-two
hours provided herein.

103. Before an injunction can be issued, it is essential


that the following requisites are present: (1) the applicant
must have a clear and unmistakable right, that is a right in
esse; (2) there is a material and substantial invasion of such
right; (3) there is an urgent need for the writ to prevent
irreparable injury to the applicant; and (4) no other ordinary,
speedy, and adequate remedy exists to prevent the infliction
of irreparable injury.100

104. Spouses Nisce vs. Equitable PCI Bank101 discussed


the requisites, vis-a-vis the proof required, for the issuance
of a writ of preliminary injunction:

The plaintiff praying for a writ of preliminary


injunction must further establish that he or she has a
present and unmistakable right to be protected; that the
facts against which injunction is directed violate such right;
and there is a special and paramount necessity for the writ
to prevent serious damages. In the absence of proof of a
legal right and the injury sustained by the plaintiff, an order
for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction will be
nullified. Thus, where the plaintiff's right is doubtful or
disputed, a preliminary injunction is not proper. The
possibility of irreparable damage without proof of an actual
existing right is not a ground for a preliminary injunction.

However, to establish the essential requisites for a


preliminary injunction, the evidence to be submitted by the
plaintiff need not be conclusive and complete. The plaintiffs
are only required to show that they have an ostensible right
to the final relief prayed for in their complaint. A writ of
preliminary injunction is generally based solely on initial or
incomplete evidence. Such evidence need only be a
sampling intended merely to give the court an evidence of
justification for a preliminary injunction pending the decision
on the merits of the case, and is not conclusive of the
principal action which has yet to be decided.

100
DPWH vs. City Advertising Ventures Corporation, G.R. No. 182944, November 9, 2016
101
G.R. No. 167434, February 19, 2007

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G.R. No. 235935
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105. To support their prayer for injunctive relief, the


petitioners merely allege that Tomasito Villarin, who is a
resident of Davao City, is personally affected and gravely
prejudiced by the extension of martial law and the suspension
of habeas corpus in Mindanao. Without providing evidence
aside from their bare allegations, the petitioners claim that
such extension would spawn violations of “civil liberties” of
Mindanaoans like Villarin.102

106. A mere allegation, in absence of any support in the


record, does not meet the standard proof that would warrant
the issuance of the injunctive relief.103 The application for
injunctive relief must be strictly construed against the
pleader.104 Before a writ of preliminary injunction may be
issued, there must be a clear showing by the applicant that
there exists a right to be protected and that the acts against
which the writ is to be directed are violative of said right.

107. The petitioners failed to state what the “civil


liberties” are and neglected to attach to their pleading any
document that would show how these supposed rights are or
shall be injured by the extension of martial law in the whole
of Mindanao. Undoubtedly, a mere allegation, in the absence
of any support on record, does not meet the standard of proof
that would warrant the issuance of the injunctive writ.

108. It would not help the cause of the petitioners to


contend that the issuance of injunctive relief will foreclose
alleged further violations of human rights and derogation of
the rule of law in Mindanao during the extension.105
Injunction, whether preliminary or final, is not designed to
protect contingent or future rights. An injunction will not issue
to protect a right not in esse and which may never arise, or
to restrain an act which does not give rise to a cause of action.
The possibility of irreparable damage, without proof of
violation of an actual existing right, is no ground for an
injunction being mere damnum absque injuria.106

102
Petition, par. 123
103
Sales and Agonias, et al. vs. SEC, State Investment House, Inc., G.R. No. L-54330, January 13, 1989
104
St. James College of Paranaque vs. Equitable PCI Bank, G.R. No. 179441, August 9, 2010
105
Petition, par. 126
106
Mamba, et al. vs. Lara, et al., G.R. No. 165109, December 14, 2009

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Lagman et. al. vs. Pimentel et.al.
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G.R. No. 235935
x--------------------------------------------x

109. Neither would their positions as “duly-elected


Representatives to the 17th Congress of the Philippines …
sworn to defend and uphold the Constitution”107 warrant the
issuance of a TRO or writ of injunction. They must have a clear
legal right to such relief.

110. A clear legal right means one clearly founded in or


granted by law or is enforceable as a matter of law. The
existence of a substantial right to the relief prayed for must
necessarily precede the issuance of any injunctive writ, such
that a party’s failure to establish such right effectively bars
any application for a TRO or preliminary injunction. The
Honorable Court explained in Garrido vs. Tortogo, et al.:108

Generally, injunction, being a preservative remedy for


the protection of substantive rights or interests, is not a
cause of action in itself but merely a provisional remedy, an
adjunct to a main suit. It is resorted to only when there is
a pressing necessity to avoid injurious consequences that
cannot be redressed under any standard of
compensation. The controlling reason for the existence of
the judicial power to issue the writ of injunction is that the
court may thereby prevent a threatened or continuous
irremediable injury to some of the parties before their claims
can be thoroughly investigated and advisedly
adjudicated. The application for the writ rests upon an
alleged existence of an emergency or of a special reason for
such an order to issue before the case can be regularly
heard, and the essential conditions for granting such
temporary injunctive relief are that the complaint alleges
facts that appear to be sufficient to constitute a cause of
action for injunction and that on the entire showing from
both sides, it appears, in view of all the circumstances, that
the injunction is reasonably necessary to protect the legal
rights of plaintiff pending the litigation.

A writ of preliminary injunction is an extraordinary


event and is the strong arm of equity or a transcendent
remedy. It is granted only to protect actual and existing
substantial rights. Without actual and existing rights on the
part of the applicant, and in the absence of facts bringing
the matter within the conditions for its issuance, the
ancillary writ must be struck down for being issued in grave
abuse of discretion. Thus, injunction will not issue to protect

107
Par. 120, p. 27, Lagman Petition.
108
G.R. No. 156358, August 17, 2011

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G.R. No. 235935
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a right not in esse, which is merely contingent, and which


may never arise, or to restrain an act which does not give
rise to a cause of action.

111. Although the petitioners aver that they have the


right to challenge violations of the Constitution like the
extension of martial law and the further suspension the
privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in Mindanao for an
additional one year, they have not established their right to a
TRO or writ of injunction.

112. As a remedy anchored on equity, a TRO or writ of


injunction cannot override, prevent or diminish an express
power granted to the President of the Republic of the
Philippines by no less than the Constitution.

113. The declaration or extension of Martial Law and


suspension of the privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus is an
extraordinary power of the President granted to him by the
Constitution to quell a prevailing rebellion or invasion. As
emphasized by the Court in Kulayan vs. Gov. Tan,109 the
Commander-in-Chief powers of the President as vested by the
Constitution can only be balanced by the act of the Congress:

Springing from the well-entrenched constitutional


precept of One President is the notion that there are certain
acts which, by their very nature, may only be performed by
the president as the Head of the State. One of these acts or
prerogatives is the bundle of Commander-in-Chief powers
to which the "calling-out" powers constitutes a portion. The
President’s Emergency Powers, on the other hand, is
balanced only by the legislative act of Congress …:

Article 7, Sec 18. The President shall be the


Commander-in-Chief of all armed forces of the
Philippines and whenever it becomes necessary, he
may call out such armed forces to prevent or suppress
lawless violence, invasion or rebellion. In case of
invasion or rebellion, when the public safety requires
it, he may, for a period not exceeding sixty days,
suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus or
place the Philippines or any part thereof under martial
law. Within forty-eight hours from the proclamation of

109
G.R. No. 187298 , July 03, 2012.

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martial law or the suspension of the privilege of the


writ of habeas corpus, the President shall submit a
report in person or in writing to the Congress. The
Congress, voting jointly, by a vote of at least a
majority of all its Members in regular or special
session, may revoke such proclamation or suspension,
which revocation shall not be set aside by the
President. Upon the initiative of the President, the
Congress may, in the same manner, extend such
proclamation or suspension for a period to be
determined by the Congress, if the invasion or
rebellion shall persist and public safety requires it.
The Congress, if not in session, shall, within
twenty-four hours following such proclamation or
suspension, convene in accordance with its rules
without need of a call.
The power to declare a state of martial law is
subject to the Supreme Court’s authority to review the
factual basis thereof. By constitutional fiat, the
calling-out powers, which is of lesser gravity than the
power to declare martial law, is bestowed upon the
President alone. As noted in Villena, "(t)here are
certain constitutional powers and prerogatives
of the Chief Executive of the Nation which must
be exercised by him in person and no amount of
approval or ratification will validate the exercise
of any of those powers by any other person.
Such, for instance, is his power to suspend the
writ of habeas corpus and proclaim martial
law.110

114. Clearly, no amount of approval or ratification will


validate the President’s exercise of any of the commander-in-
chief powers. The safeguards to the proclamation of martial
law is for the Congress to revoke the proclamation or to
extend the same when necessary under the circumstances.

115. In Constantino, Jr. v. Cuisia,111 the Court


characterized these Commander-in-Chief powers as exclusive
to the President, precisely because they are of exceptional
import:

There are certain presidential powers which arise out


of exceptional circumstances, and if exercised, would
involve the suspension of fundamental freedoms, or at least
110
G.R. No. 187298, July 03, 2012; emphasis and underlining supplied; citations omitted.
111
G.R. No. 106064 , 13 October 2005, 472 SCRA 505; citations omitted.

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call for the supersedence of executive prerogatives over


those exercised by co-equal branches of government. The
declaration of martial law, the suspension of the writ of
habeas corpus, and the exercise of the pardoning power,
notwithstanding the judicial determination of guilt of the
accused, all fall within this special class that demands the
exclusive exercise by the President of the constitutionally
vested power. The list is by no means exclusive, but there
must be a showing that the executive power in question is
of similar gravitas and exceptional import.

116. In the same manner that the extension approved


by the Congress cannot be restrained by the Supreme Court,
the act of extending martial law and further suspending the
privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in Mindanao is best left
to the discretion the representatives of the people.

117. In providing for a martial law provision otherwise


known as the “Commander-in-Chief” clause of the
Constitution, the framers intended that the President can
declare martial law in cases of rebellion or invasion, the
implementation of which is automatic, and such declaration
can only be revoked by Congress in a joint session or the
sufficiency of the factual basis of the declaration or extension
thereof be determined by the Supreme Court in an
appropriate proceeding. They never intended that this power
be impeded or hampered either by prior approval or
concurrence of Congress or an injunctive relief or TRO issued
by the Supreme Court. Had it been so, the martial law power
of the President can easily be rendered inutile and ineffective
to meet the exigencies of the moment.

118. If a TRO or an injunctive relief is issued, this would


place an unwritten provision to the very document
promulgated and directly acted upon by the people
themselves. It would also tantamount to judicial legislation as
it would establish a “shortcut” remedy other than the power
of review by the Supreme Court established under Section 18,
Article VII of the Constitution.

119. Furthermore, the issuance of a TRO would set a bad


precedent at it would effectively tie the hands of the President
and prevent him from addressing the danger or emergencies

54
Lagman et. al. vs. Pimentel et.al.
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G.R. No. 235935
x--------------------------------------------x

at hand. As Justice Mendoza stated in his Concurring Opinion


in Lagman:

It must be borne in mind that it is the people, through


the Constitution, who entrusted to the president their safety
and security. They gave him enough latitude and
discernment on how to execute such emergency powers. If
the Framers did not so cramp him, it is not for the Court
to impose restrictions. To do so is dangerous for it
would tie up the hands of future presidents facing the
same, if not more serious, critical situations. At any
rate, the Framers have put in place several safeguards to
prevent violations of the constitutional and other human
rights.112

120. Well-entrenched in our constitutional law that the


President possesses broad powers but not unrestricted
powers. In the exercise of his martial law powers, the
President should always observe and respect the
constitutional safeguards placed in the Constitution.
Nonetheless, martial law powers cannot be prevented by a
mere TRO or injunctive relief as it would diminish its
“automatic” nature. A TRO would impose an undue restriction
on the exercise of the emergency powers of the President.

121. This was also the wisdom of the framers when they
did not consider the need for the concurrence of Congress
before the proclamation of martial law because of
impracticality.

122. In fact, the earlier deliberations of the Commission


required the concurrence of at least a majority of all the
Members of the Congress for the proclamation of martial law.
Commissioner Padilla championed the removal of such
concurrence, thus:

The way it now appears, the President as the


Commander-in-Chief of all the Armed Forces cannot
immediately suspend the writ or proclaim martial law. I
agree with the period mentioned of 60 days, but it requires
the concurrence of at least a majority of all the Members of
the Congress.

112
Page 7, Separate Concurring Opinion, Lagman Decision.

55
Lagman et. al. vs. Pimentel et.al.
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G.R. No. 235935
x--------------------------------------------x

Should we not allow the President to suspend the


privilege of the writ of habeas corpus or even proclaim
martial law without requiring a priori, or beforehand, the
concurrent of the majority of the Members of Congress? If
we wait for the congressional concurrence, the suspension
of the writ or the proclamation of martial law may be unduly
delayed. Will the Committee consider an amendment
to the effect that the President may suspend the
privilege of the writ of habeas corpus or even
proclaim martial law, but the period shall be limited
unless there be subsequent concurrence of the
Congress since the Committee itself provides that the
Congress may revoke, reduce or even extend the
period of 60 days? The point is for the insipiency of
the suspension or the proclamation, it must not be
preaccompanied by the concurrence of a majority of
the Members of the Congress.113 (emphasis supplied).

123. Evident from the disquisition above, the framers did


not intend anything to prevent the President from declaring
martial law or to stop or restrain the implementation thereof
by order of the courts. They deemed wise that the President
be given wide latitude in making his decision and vision in its
implementation. The reason for martial law is for the
government to immediately respond to an actual invasion or
rebellion. If there is a need for concurrence of Congress before
it is declared, then its purpose of urgency and immediacy is
forfeited. In the same manner that the proclamation or even
the implementation cannot be prevented or stopped by a TRO
or an injunctive relief to be granted by this Honorable Court.

124. It is already well-settled in the case of Lagman vs.


Medialdea,114 that the power of the Supreme Court is limited
to the review of the sufficiency of the factual basis of the
martial law proclamation:

After all, the Court's review is confined to the


sufficiency, not accuracy, of the information at hand during
the declaration or suspension; subsequent events do not
have any bearing insofar as the Court's review is concerned.
In any event, safeguards under Section 18, Article VII of the
Constitution are in place to cover such a situation, e.g., the
martial law period is good only for 60 days; Congress may
choose to revoke it even immediately after the proclamation

113
Records of the Constitutional Commission: Proceedings and Debates Vol. II, 29 July 1986, p. 426.
114
G.R. No. 231658, July 4, 2017.

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G.R. No. 235935
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is made; and, this Court may investigate the factual


background of the declaration. Hence, the maxim falsus in
uno, falsus in omnibus finds no application in this case.
Falsities of and/or inaccuracies in some of the facts stated
in the proclamation and the written report are not enough
reasons for the Court to invalidate the declaration and/or
suspension as long as there are other facts in the
proclamation and the written Report that support the
conclusion that there is an actual invasion or rebellion and
that public safety requires the declaration and/or
suspension.

In sum, the Court's power to review is limited to


the determination of whether the President in
declaring martial law and suspending the privilege of
the writ of habeas corpus had sufficient factual basis.
Thus, our review would be limited to an examination on
whether the President acted within the bounds set by the
Constitution, i.e., whether the facts in his possession prior
to and at the time of the declaration or suspension are
sufficient for him to declare martial law or suspend the
privilege of the writ of habeas corpus.115 (Emphasis supplied.)

125. This is consistent with the principle of separation of


powers, where each branch of government is supreme in its
own sphere, as with the judiciary in its exercise of judicial
power,116 Article VII, Section 18 puts the question of the
sufficiency of the factual basis of the proclamation of martial
law within the ambit of judicial review, and provides the only
constitutional standard by which the use of martial law powers
may be examined. No TRO or injunctive relief is available but
only a final determination of whether there is factual basis or
not in the extension of the martial law proclamation of the
President.

126. With more reason should a TRO not be issued to


question the wisdom of the Congress in approving the
extension of martial law for such act carries with it the weight
and approval of a co-equal branch of government, the
members of which, like the President, were elected by the
Filipino people. This outlines the very essence of every
constitutional government, that is to uphold the independence
of each branch of government and to champion the
democratic tenet of Republicanism that all government

115
Page 51, Majority Decision, G.R. No. 231658, July 4, 2017, citations omitted.
116
Angara v. Electoral Commission, G.R. No. L-45081, July 15, 1936.

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authority emanates from the people through their


representatives.

127. To iterate, the issuance of a TRO or an injunctive


relief by the Court would unduly interfere with the
congressional power to extend the declaration of martial law
by the President. Under the Constitution, the Congress, as the
bastion of the people’s representatives, has the power to
extend or revoke such proclamation or extension. The
Supreme Court may only review the factual basis thereof,
which power is not even automatic, as it can only be exercised
upon initiative of any concerned citizen. In the same breath,
the Court cannot wield its power to issue injunctive relief to
forfeit the Commander-in-Chief powers granted to the
Executive by the Constitution.

PRAYER

WHEREFORE, the respondents respectfully pray that


this Honorable Court:

1) DENY DUE COURSE to the Petition, and

2) DISMISS the Petition for lack of merit.

The respondents also request such other just and


equitable relief as this Honorable Court may deem fit.

Makati City for Manila, January 8, 2018.

58