Sei sulla pagina 1di 33

SECTION 18, ARTICLE VII OF THE 1987 CONSTITUTION

As Output Presented to
Atty. Chris Tenorio
Arellano University School of Law

In Partial Fulfillment
Of the Requirements in
Legal Research

Submitted by
Eleonor D. Antiquiera
Justin Andre A. Siguan
TABLE OF CONTENTS

I. Pros in Suspending the Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus

(SIGUAN)

II. Cons in Suspending the Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus

(ANTIQUIERA)

III. Conclusion
I

PROS IN SUSPENDING THE PRIVILEGE AND DECLARING MARTIAL LAW


(SIGUAN)

INTRODUCTION

What is a president? As defined by Merriam-Webster it is; “The chief officer of


an organization, usually entrusted with the direction and administration of its
policies.” Just by reading the definition above, you will immediately know that it is an
important position. One that control, supervise, or as the name itself provides, it
“Preside” over something or someone. It is a position vital for the improvement of a
nation; however, it is not the only thing that he can do. On top of supervising civilians,
he also has the power of the military, which is better known as the “commander-in-chief
power. As provided in the constitution:

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 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 of 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 Supreme Court may review, in an appropriate proceeding filed by any


citizen, the sufficiency of the factual basis of the proclamation of martial law or
the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus or the extension
thereof, and must promulgate its decision thereon within thirty days from its
filing.

A state of martial law does not suspend the operation of the Constitution,
nor supplant the functioning of the civil courts or legislative assemblies, nor the
authorize the conferment of jurisdiction on military courts and agencies over
civilians where civil courts are able to function, not automatically suspend the
privilege of the writ.

The suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall apply
only to persons judicially charged for rebellion or offenses inherent in, or directly
connected with the invasion.

During the suspension of the privilege of the writ, any person thus arrested
or detained shall be judicially charged within three days, otherwise he shall be
released. (Article VII, Section 18)

Therefore, as provided above, he is the one in charge of the safety of his


constituents, whether they like it or not. Try to think of him as a “chess-master.” He has
the power to move the pieces (to his liking) in order to protect the king, or in this case,
his people. Such power is absolute, that when it falls on the wrong hand, drastic events
may happen. This is not spurious as throughout the history of our country, this power
has been used by different Presidents. Some did it for the greater good, while on the
other hand, some abused it. However, when such power is abused, the president isn’t
the only one who’s liable, the constituents too should also be responsible as they are
the ones who will elect the person who will govern them. Trust between the leader and
its constituent should be established in order for a nation to prosper.

Knowing all of this, a quote from the book of Mariano Magsalin should
summarize how such power may be exercised; “The power to call out the armed forces
or the militia into actual service is doubtless of a very high and delicate nature. But it is
not a power that can be executed without a corresponding responsibility.” This power
should be exercised cautiously as it will befall a great tragedy when abused, as the
saying goes, “with great power, comes great responsibility.
A. Introduction to the Writ of habeas corpus

A writ of habeas corpus is an order from the court directed to a person detaining
another commanding him to produce the body of the detained person in his custody at a
designated date, time, and place, and to explain the cause of detention.

The intention of the privilege of writ of habeas corpus is to protect a person from illegal
detention, deprivation of one’s right to life, liberty, and of security. In simple terms, it
serves as a shield provided by the Constitution.

The general rule here is that, no person can be arrested without a warrant of arrest
issued by the court of law, however the exceptions are; (1) If the arrest were made in
connection with a crime committed in the presence of a detaining officer, or (2) if the
privilege of the writ of habeas corpus were suspended.

Its application applies only to persons “judicially charged” for rebellion or offenses
inherent in or directly connected with the invasion or rebellion.

B. Pros of Suspending the Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus

When the phrase “suspension of the writ of habeas corpus” is heard, people
usually respond violently and ask a lot of question as to why? Is there a need to
proclaim? Their skepticism is reasonable and relatable because the people are scarred
by the events that had transpired during the regime of the former president Ferdinand
Marcos. They wouldn’t want any of the pain they had suffered from before to happen
again. However, things are different today. The power of the President isn’t as absolute
as before. As provided in the current Constitution;

“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.

Clearly, when the congress deems that the evidence for the proclamation is insufficient,
they may revoke the suspension. Further, the Congress is not the only the one that may
impugn the validity of the proclamation of the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus.

The Courts may also question its validity, as in the case of Lansang vs. Garcia, since
the proclamation of the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus was assailed by the
petitioners due to some of them were apprehended, the suspension did not meet the
constitutional requisites, and that the proclamation was exercised arbitrarily. However,
after the court inquired and investigated its validity, they found that the rebellion was
apparent due to a “massive and systematic communist-oriented campaign to overthrow
the government by force.” Therefore, validating such proclamation made, due to the
presence of a rebellion.

In addition to, the present Constitution provides that the suspension of the
privilege of writ of habeas corpus has a time limit, compared with the constitution of the
Marcos Regime. Now, the Constitution states that:

“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.” (Section 18, Article VII, Par. 1)

The president can only impose martial law for a period of sixty days. Further, Martial law
can also be extended beyond those sixty days by the join vote of the congress.
Congress, on the other hand, voting jointly, now has the authority to revoke the
president’s proclamation of martial law. The perfect example is the recent declaration of
Proclamation no. 216, by the president Rodrigo Duterte, in the city of Marawi, in
Mindanao.
On May 23, 2017, government forces clashed with armed fighters from two ISIL-
affiliated groups, Abu Sayaff and the Maute. The siege was triggered when the military
tried to arrest top ISIL leader “Isnilon Hapilon. Although, the proclamation should only
last sixty days. The proclamation was not lifted until October 16, 2017, when the
government troops, neutralized and killed both Hapilon and Maute.

Here, the extension of the proclamation is with the concurrence of the Congress, and if
it is not supported, the proclamation and the declaration of the suspension of the writ of
habeas corpus and martial law will not prosper.

These are proof that the people learn from the past, and because of this, they will
arm themselves in case another tragedy would have happen. Because of the past, they
are now armed and will not be afraid of fighting back.
STATE OF MARTIAL LAW

A. Introduction of the State of Martial Law

Martial law or as known in filipino “Batas Militar”, is a period wherein the


President of the Philippines places an area under the control of the armed forces of the
Philippines. As provided in our Constitution;

“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, 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.

Looking back during the Marcos Regime, the declaration of martial law took effect when
former president Ferdinand E. Marcos declared Proclamation no. 1081. This was due to
the alleged staged ambush of the then defense secretary Juan Ponce Enrile.

But why is it needed? What is its purpose?

Martial law proper from the book of Mariano Magsalin states that; “Martial law proper,
that is, military law, in case of insurrection, riots and invasions, is not a substitute
for the civil law, but is rather an aid to the execution of civil law. Declarations of
martial law go no further than to warn citizens that the executive las called upon
the military power to assist him in the maintenance of law and order.”

This gave us a clear role of what martial law should be, or should look like. However,
what happened before is very different from what is defined above. The military was in
full force, killings, torture, and different unimaginable things had transpired during the
Martial law of the Marcos Regime.

Another purpose of declaring martial law, as stated above, is to suppress


violence when invasion and rebellion is apparent.

As stated in the book of Magsalin; “Martial law is founded upon the principle
that the state has the right to protect itself against those who would destroy it
and has therefore been likened to the right of the individual to self-defense.”

Just like a person, the state can defend itself, and this is through the powers given by
the Constitution in the form of declaring martial law. The state flexes its armed forces
muscles to defend itself from the people wanting to harm the state and its people.
However, in the exercise of such power, who has the claim or right to distinguish that
rebellion or invasion is apparent? It is the President himself.
The perfect example for this is the recent declaration of President Rodrigo Duterte that
the province of Marawi, in Mindanao is under the state of martial law. This is due to the
rebellion of the alleged members of the ISIS group, Isnilon Hapilon and the Maute
group.

The President, upon seeing that such violence is apparent and discord is prevalent, he
did not hesitate, and declared martial law in the said province. This too, was also ratified
by the Congress, because in the absence thereof, such declaration is invalid and will
not prosper.
But same as the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, the declaration of the state of
martial law is not without its limitations. These are;

(1) The President cannot proclaim martial law without invasion or rebellion.

These are the requisite that must be present in order for the president to declare martial
law in the Philippines or any part thereof.

(2) The proclamation may last for sixty days, unless deemed necessary to extend
such proclamation;

This is a form of a defense mechanism against the temptation of abuse of power, as


shown by the martial law under the Marcos Regime, where there is no limitation of the
declaration of martial law.

(3) Congress, may revoke or ratify the said declaration

Another form of defense mechanism where the Constitution ensures that the executive
department will have no absolute power whenever the proclamation of martial law is in
effect.

B. Pros of Implementing Martial Law

Martial law, on face value, is a military government. Under our Constitution;

“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…”

here it is clear as day that the intention of the declaration is to prevent chaos whenever
the state is in peril, or to promote peace.

Let’s not look at the previous declaration under Marcos’ regime but instead, let us try
looking at the recent declaration of Martial law on the province of Marawi in Mindanao.
Here, in order for someone to know the advantage of the declaration of martial law, one
must read the Article VII, section 18 of the Constitution as a whole. Unlike before, the
President’s power during martial law is absolute; the executive branch at that time was
running the country.

But today is different; the people of the Philippines learned their lesson. Since absolute
authority may sometimes lead to corruption, the present Constitution imposes certain
limitations as to how can the President declare martial law.

(1) When can the President declare a state of martial law?

“In case of invasion or rebellion, when the public safety requires it...”

Although this was already included during the Marcos’ era, currently, it is subject to
approval of the Congress.

“Within forty - eight hours from the proclamation of martial law or the suspension
of the privilege of 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...”

With that being said, the Congress has the power to revoke the proclamation of martial
law, if it deems that the proclamation is being exercised arbitrarily. This power of
revocation by the Congress, granted by the constitution also includes the power to
extend the proclamation; “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 the
public safety requires it…”

Upon receipt of the report of the President, the Congress shall then vote jointly, by an
absolute majority; chooses whether (1) to revoke such proclamation or suspension, or
(2) to extend it beyond the 60-day period of its validity. This is to be based on a request
or initiative from the President who has access to the facts needed to determine if the
invasion or rebellion still persists and the public safety requires it.

If there are powers granted to the executive and the legislative branch, the Constitution,
ensuring that there will be no one above the law, also gave powers to the Judiciary, the
powers to review; “The Supreme Court may review, in an appropriate proceeding
filed any citizen, the sufficiency of the factual basis of the proclamation of martial
law or the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus or the
extension thereof, and must promulgate its decision thereon within thirty days
from its filing…”
The Supreme Court’s power to review the proclamation or suspension or extension, is
to review to determine whether there is sufficient factual basis of the same. The
question involved in this case is whether or not the President or Congress acted
arbitrarily as to amount to grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
jurisdiction. Such is a proof that the Supreme Court is the final bastion of the
Constitution.

(2) How long will the declaration last?

Unlike before, it is upon the discretion of the President alone whether or not he will lift
the proclamation, now it is provided in the current Constitution that it will only last for
sixty days “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 Philppines or any part of thereof under martial law…”

The difference and the advantages of the current Constitution against the
previous is significant as shown in the declaration of martial law in the province of
Marawi in Mindanao. There was no abuse of power since the power of the President is
not absolute and all encompassing. There is peace upon the lifting of the declaration in
the said province. This goes to show that there is no one above the law, and the
principle of checks and balances is prevalent and upheld in order to protect the rights of
the sovereign people.

STATE OF MARTIAL LAW

C. Introduction of the State of Martial Law

Martial law or as known in filipino “Batas Militar”, is a period wherein the


President of the Philippines places an area under the control of the armed forces of the
Philippines. As provided in our Constitution;
“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, 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.

Looking back during the Marcos Regime, the declaration of martial law took effect when
former president Ferdinand E. Marcos declared Proclamation no. 1081. This was due to
the alleged staged ambush of the then defense secretary Juan Ponce Enrile.

But why is it needed? What is its purpose?

Martial law proper from the book of Mariano Magsalin states that; “Martial law proper,
that is, military law, in case of insurrection, riots and invasions, is not a substitute
for the civil law, but is rather an aid to the execution of civil law. Declarations of
martial law go no further than to warn citizens that the executive las called upon
the military power to assist him in the maintenance of law and order.”

This gave us a clear role of what martial law should be, or should look like. However,
what happened before is very different from what is defined above. The military was in
full force, killings, torture, and different unimaginable things had transpired during the
Martial law of the Marcos Regime.

Another purpose of declaring martial law, as stated above, is to suppress


violence when invasion and rebellion is apparent.

As stated in the book of Magsalin; “Martial law is founded upon the principle
that the state has the right to protect itself against those who would destroy it
and has therefore been likened to the right of the individual to self-defense.”

Just like a person, the state can defend itself, and this is through the powers given by
the Constitution in the form of declaring martial law. The state flexes its armed forces
muscles to defend itself from the people wanting to harm the state and its people.
However, in the exercise of such power, who has the claim or right to distinguish that
rebellion or invasion is apparent? It is the President himself.
The perfect example for this is the recent declaration of President Rodrigo Duterte that
the province of Marawi, in Mindanao is under the state of martial law. This is due to the
rebellion of the alleged members of the ISIS group, Isnilon Hapilon and the Maute
group.

The President, upon seeing that such violence is apparent and discord is prevalent, he
did not hesitate, and declared martial law in the said province. This too, was also ratified
by the Congress, because in the absence thereof, such declaration is invalid and will
not prosper.
But same as the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, the declaration of the state of
martial law is not without its limitations. These are;

(4) The President cannot proclaim martial law without invasion or rebellion.

These are the requisite that must be present in order for the president to declare martial
law in the Philippines or any part thereof.

(5) The proclamation may last for sixty days, unless deemed necessary to extend
such proclamation;

This is a form of a defense mechanism against the temptation of abuse of power, as


shown by the martial law under the Marcos Regime, where there is no limitation of the
declaration of martial law.

(6) Congress, may revoke or ratify the said declaration

Another form of defense mechanism where the Constitution ensures that the executive
department will have no absolute power whenever the proclamation of martial law is in
effect.
CASE DIGESTS

LANSANG VS GARCIA
G.R. No. L-33964 – Writ of Habeas Corpus and Martial Law
December 11, 1971
FACTS:

In the case at bar, during the meeting of the Liberal Party at the Plaza Miranda, two
hand grenades were thrown, causing the death of 8 people. Because of this, former
president Marcos issued proclamation 889 which suspended the privilege of the writ of
habeas corpus. Marcos urged that there is a need to curtail the growth of Maoist
groups. Lansang on the other hand was invited by respondent Garcia for interrogation
and investigation. Petitioner Lansang then questioned the validity of the suspension of
the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus averring that such suspension does not meet
the Constitutional requirement.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the suspension of the privilege of writ of habeas corpus is constitutional?

HELD:

The Supreme Court held that it had the power to inquire into the factual basis of the
suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus by Marcos in August 1971 and
to annul the same if no legal ground could be established.
Accordingly, hearings were conducted to receive evidence on this matter, including two
closed-door sessions in which relevant classified information was divulged by the
government to the Members of the Supreme Court and three selected lawyers of the
petitioners. In the end, after satisfying that there was actually a massive and systematic
communist-oriented campaign planning to overthrow the government by force, as
claimed by Marcos. The Supreme Court unanimously decided to uphold the suspension
of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus.
OLAGUER VS MILITARY COMMISION NO. 34
G.R. No. L-54558 – Writ of Habeas Corpus and Martial Law
May 22, 1987
FACTS:

In the case at bar, petitioner Olaguer and some others who were civilians, were
detained by military personnel and they were placed in Camp Bagong Diwa. Theye
were charged with; (1) unlawful possession of explosives and incendiary devices; (2)
conspiracy to assassinate former president Marcos and his spouse; (3) conspiracy to
assassinate cabinet members; (4) conspiracy to assassinate Messrs. Arturo Tangco,
Jose Roño and Onofre Corpus; (5) arson of nine buildings; (6) attempted murder of
Messrs. Leonardo Perez, Teodoro Valencia and Generals Romeo Espino and Fabian
Ver; and (7) conspiracy and proposal to commit rebellion, and inciting to rebellion . On
August 19, 1980, the petitioners went to the Supreme Court and filed the instant Petition
for prohibition and habeas corpus.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the military courts have jurisdiction over the matter?

HELD:

The SC nullified for lack of jurisdiction all decisions rendered by the military courts or
tribunals during the period of martial law in all cases involving civilian defendants. As
long as the civil courts in the land are open and functioning, military tribunals cannot try and
exercise jurisdiction over civilians for offenses committed by them. Whether or not martial
law has been proclaimed throughout the country or over a part thereof is of no moment.
IN RE: THE WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS FOR REYNALDO DE VILLA
G.R. No. 158802 – Writ of Habeas Corpus
November 17, 2004
FACTS:

The case at bar involves seeking of the reversal of the decision made by the Supreme
Court with regard to the accused, Reynato de Villa, through the writ of habeas corpus.
The case that the accused were found to be guilty was of the rape of one Aileen
Mendoza, the accused niece by affinity, and was sentenced to reclusion perpetua, and
ordered him to pay the offended party civil indemnity, moral damages, costs of suit, and
support for one Leahlyn Mendoza, the putative child of the accused, born of the rape.
The son of de Villa, June de Villa, filed before the Supreme Court a petition for habeas
corpus on the ground that they acquired brand new evidence, proof that Leahlyn was
not sired by the aaccused.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the petition for habeas corpus be granted?

HELD:

Most basic criterion for the issuance of the writ is that the individual seeking such relief
be illegally deprived of his freedom of movement or placed under illegal restraint if an
individual’s liberty is restrained via some legal process, the writ is unavailing. Further,
the Court held that the writ of habeas corpus petition does not cover the re-examination
of the new evidence. The case is therefore dismissed.
ENDNOTES

1. Mariano F. Magsalin, Jr., Philippine Political Law, 453 (2007)

2. Mariano F. Magsalin, Jr., Philippine Political Law, 453 (2007)

3. Mariano F. Magsalin, Jr., Philippine Political Law, 450 (2007)

4. Yvette Morales, Duterte declares martial law in Mindanao, CNN Philippines, 24 May

2017, http://cnnphilippines.com/news/2017/05/24/Duterte-declares-martial-law-in-Mindanao.html

5. Mariano F. Magsalin, Jr., Philippine Political Law, 451 (2007)

6. AbogadoMo,http://www.abogadomo.com/law-professor/law-professor-archives/martial-law-and-suspension-

of-writ-of-habeas-corpus

7. Katerina Francisco, Martial Law, the dark chapter in Philippine history, Rappler, 22 September

2016, https://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/iq/146939-martial-law-explainer-victims-stories

8. Mariano F. Magsalin, Jr., Philippine Political Law, 450 (2007)

9. Mariano F. Magsalin, Jr., Philippine Political Law, 450 (2007)

10. CONSTITUTION, Art. VII, Sec. 18, par. (1)

11. VJ Bacungan, Duterte suspends privilege of writ of habeas corpus in Mindanao, CNN Philippines, 25 May

2017, http://cnnphilippines.com/news/2017/05/24/president-duterte-suspend-privilege-writ-of-habeas-

corpus-mindanao.html

12. Maxine Betteridge-Moes, What happened in Marawi?, Al-Jazeera, 30 October

2017, http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2017/10/happened-marawi-171029085314348.html
13. CONSTITUTION, Art. VII, Sec. 18, par. (1)

14. Lansang v. Garcia, G.R. No. L-33964, December 11, 1971

15. CONSTITUTION, Art. VII, Sec. 18, par. (1)

16. Mariano F. Magsalin, Jr., Philippine Political Law, 445 (2007)


II
CONS IN SUSPENDING THE PRIVILEGE AND DECLARING MARTIAL LAW
(ANTIQUIERA)

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 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 of 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 Supreme Court may review, in an appropriate proceeding filed by any


citizen, the sufficiency of the factual basis of the proclamation of martial law or the
suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus or the extension thereof, and
must promulgate its decision thereon within thirty days from its filing.

A state of martial law does not suspend the operation of the Constitution, nor
supplant the functioning of the civil courts or legislative assemblies, nor the authorize
the conferment of jurisdiction on military courts and agencies over civilians where civil
courts are able to function, not automatically suspend the privilege of the writ.

The suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall apply only to
persons judicially charged for rebellion or offenses inherent in, or directly connected
with the invasion.

During the suspension of the privilege of the writ, any person thus arrested or
detained shall be judicially charged within three days, otherwise he shall be released.
(Article VII, Section 18)i
WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS

A. Introduction of Writ of Habeas Corpus

CNN Philippines on their article published on their website entitled as “What is


the writ of habeas corpus?” defines the Writ of Habeas Corpus as the latin phrase that
means “that you have the body.” The Supreme Court of our country has jurisdiction over
habeas corpus petitions so SC issues the writ and commands an individual or a
government official who has restrained another individual to produce the prisoner at a
designated time and place so that the Court can determine whether the prisoner's
custody is legal or not. If it isn't legal, then the prisoner must be released. In other
words, the writ is a safeguard against warrantless arrests and illegal detention.

It should be noted that the Constitution states certain conditions for the writ of
habeas corpus to be suspended, thus allowing warrantless arrests. Section 15, Article
III of the 1987 Constitution stipulates that the writ can only be suspended in cases of
invasion or rebellion and when public safety requires it.

“The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended except
in cases of invasion or rebellion, when the public safety requires it ii.”

For safeguard against warrantless arrests and illegal detention, Section 13,
Article III of the 1987 Constitution provides that the right to bail shall remain even when
the writ is suspended.

“All persons, except those charged with offenses punishable by reclusion


perpetua when evidence of guilt is strong, shall, before conviction, be
bailable by sufficient sureties, or be released on recognizance as may be
provided by law. The right to bail shall not be impaired even when the
privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is suspended. Excessive bail shall
not be required.”

Furthermore, only the President has the power to suspend the writ of habeas
corpus under Section 18, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution which all Presidents of the
Philippines use as their legal basis for issuing the state of emergency.

“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 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...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...suspension for a period to be determined by
the Congress, if the invasion or rebellion shall persist and public safety
requires it.iii”

The provision makes very clear that the suspension of the writ "shall apply only to
persons judicially charged for rebellion or offenses inherent in or directly connected with
the invasion" and that any person arrested or detained while the writ is suspended must
be charged within three days or else he or she will be released.

According to CNN Philippines in their recent article during the suspension of the
privilege of the writ of habeas corpus last May 2017, the following are certain cases
wherein the Presidents of the Philippines suspended the privilege of the writ of habeas
Corpus. The first suspension of the writ of habeas corpus after the American occupation
was in 1950, when President Elpidio Quirino issued Proclamation No. 210 to help in the
fight against Communist rebels. In 1971, President Ferdinand Marcos also suspended
habeas corpus through Proclamation No. 889 in response to the threat of Communist
rebels and to the Plaza Miranda bombing. Most recently, President Gloria Macapagal-
Arroyo suspended the writ in Maguindanao in 2009 through Proclamation No. 1959
following the Maguindanao massacre.

The most recent suspension of the writ happened last May 24, 2017, it should
also be noted that President Rodrigo Duterte suspended the privilege of the writ of
habeas corpus in Mindanao group of Islands due to the aforesaid terrorism that
happened in Marawi City caused by the Maute Groupiv.

B. Cons of Suspending the Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus

Juan Ponce Enrile in his article entitled as “The Effect of Suspension of habeas
corpus on the right to bail in cases of rebellion, insurrection and sedition”, has
excellently showed how there is conflict between individual liberty and state security
upon the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus. With this in hand, one
of the cons on suspending the writ is confusion. There are different views when it comes
to the clarity on the matter of bail. He explained that under normal conditions, there is
no doubt that bail is a matter of right before conviction by the Court of First Instance in
cases of rebellion, sedition and insurrection as there are no crimes punishable with
death. But the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus as to the offense listed has
created grave doubt as to the right of persons charged with said crimes to be admitted
to bail. In fact, he reiterated in his book that the main problem there is, is that whether
the presidential proclamation suspending the privileges of the writ of habeas corpus for
persons detained has equally suspended their right to bail after the information has
been filed against them.

“Three judges of the Court of First instance - two in the City of Manila, and
one in Iloilo - before whom information involving the offenses covered by
the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus have been filed rendered
diverse ruling on the right of the accused bail.” Judge Magno Gatmaitan
and Judge Agustin Montesa, in deciding the motions to bail presented
before them respectively ruled that the indictees were not entitled to bail.
Judge Gavino Abaya on the other hand, disposing of a similar motion,
held that the accused did have a right to be allowed to bail. From the
rulings of Judge Abaya, the Government filed a petition for certiorari in the
Supreme Court, while similar petitions were filed by the indictees from the
respective orders of Judge Gatmaitan and Judge Montesa.v”

In the article of Flerida Ruth Pineda and Augusto Caesar Espiritu entitled as
Suspension of the Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus: Its Justification and Duration”
published on the Philippine Law Journal, it was explicitly shown how the suspension of
the privilege of the writ caused a wave of alarm and fear on the hearts of the people
when former President Elpidio Quirino suspended it and this marks another con upon
the suspension of the writ. It was said that “surely there is cause for alarm if the liberties
of the citizens could be rendered insecure by the military on suspicions of dissidence
and subversive activities.vi”

Another con would have to be that there are people who are not convinced
enough that there is enough legal basis on the suspension of the writ being proposed by
the Presidents because according to CNN Philippines on their article posted last
September 2016, there are suspensions of the writ without legal basis. Note that
suspending the writ without legal basis is an abus of power granted to the President
through Sec. 18, Art. VII of the 1987 Constitution. It was written on the article that law
experts see no basis for suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, which
Senator Richard Gordon earlier proposed to put more teeth into President Rodrigo
Duterte's fight against illegal drugs and terrorismvii.

"..in the Constitution it's very clear that you can only suspend the writ of
habeas of corpus in case of invasion or rebellion, University of Sto. Tomas
Law Dean Nilo Divina explained.

Ateneo Human Rights Center Executive Director Ray Paolo Santiago


agreed on the matter.

"So it's not automatic that when there's invasion or when there's rebellion
it can already be suspended. It has to be when public safety requires. And
that's a restrictive requirement in our Constitution."
In fact according to Senator Hontiveros, Suspension of the privilege of the writ of
habeas corpus will lead to more abuses and will add to the growing climate of impunity,
and this adds up to the list of cons upon suspension of the writ. On the press release of
Senator Hontiveros November 2016, she stated that President Rodrigo Duterte's plan to
suspend the privilege of the writ of Habeas Corpus as a response to the country's
worsening drug problem and lawlessness would lead to more abuses. The suspension
of the writ would contribute to the growing climate of impunity brought about by the
thousands of unresolved extrajudicial killings. The privilege of the writ grants a person
the right to report or question an unlawful detention or imprisonment before a court. She
said that during the Marcos regime, the suspension of the privilege of the writ led to
arbitrary arrests of members of the political opposition and citizensviii.

STATE OF MARTIAL LAW

A. Martial Law in the Philippines

Martial Law last September 21, 1944

On September 21, 1944, President Jose P. Laurel, following the bombing of Davao
on September 18, 1944, by the returning Allied forces, issued proclamation #29, placing
the entire country under Martial Law and suspended the privileges of the writ of habeas
corpus. On September 22, 1944, Laurel also declared a state of war between the
Philippines and the United States and Great Britain through Proclamation No. 30.

“Martial Law became effective at 9:00 o'clock in the morning of September


22, 1944. The state of war became effective on September 23, 1944, at
10:00 o'clock in the morning.

President Laurel, had been under pressure from Japanese Premier Hideki
Tojo, since as early as the inauguration of the wartime Philippine Republic
on October 1943, to declare war against the United States and Great
Britain. Laurel had successfully parried off that Japanese demand for more
than a year. But in the face of attacks on the territory of the Philippines by
the returning allies, President Laurel found no more reason to delay the
proclamation of martial law and the state of war.

In his eventual trial for treasonable collaboration in 1946, President Laurel


argued that by declaring a state of war between the Philippines and the
United States and Great Britain, but mandating that no Filipino would be
conscripted in the Japanese army, he did not give the Japanese anything
that they did not already have; in fact, he gave them nothing”ix.
Martial Law during the Marcos Regime

There are various takes on when did Martial law actually started but according to
Gregorio Brillantes it started on September 22, 1972 at exactly 9:11 p.m. signaled the
actual start of Ferdinand Marcos’ Martial Law regimex. “The declaration issued under
Proclamation 1081 suspended the civil rights and imposed military authority in the
country. Marcos defended the declaration stressing the need for extra powers to quell
the rising wave of violence allegedly caused by communists. The emergency rule was
also intended to eradicate the roots of rebellion and promote a rapid trend for national
development. The autocrat assured the country of the legality of Martial Law
emphasizing the need for control over civil disobedience that displays lawlessness.
Marcos explained citing the provisions from the Philippine Constitution that Martial Law
is a strategic approach to legally defend the Constitution and protect the welfare of the
Filipino people from the dangerous threats posed by Muslim rebel groups and Christian
vigilantes that places national security at risk during the time. Marcos explained that
martial law was not a military takeover but was then the only option to resolve the
country’s dilemma on rebellion that stages national chaos threatening the peace and
order of the country. The emergency rule, according to Marcos’s plan, was to lead the
country into what he calls a New Society. Marcos used several events to justify martial
law. Threat to the country’s security was intensifying following the re-establishment of
the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) in 1968. Supporters of CPP’s military
arm, the New People’s Army, also grew in numbers in Tarlac and other parts of the
country. The alleged attempt to the life of then Minister of Defense Juan Ponce Enrile
gave Marcos a window to declare Martial Law. Marcos announced the emergency rule
the day after the shooting incident. Marcos also declared insurgency in the south
caused by the clash between Muslims and Christians, which Marcos considered as a
threat to national security. The Muslims were defending their ancestral land against the
control of Christians who migrated in the area. The minority group organized the Moro
National Liberation Front (MNLF) in Malaysia and pushed for the autonomy of Mindanao
from the national government. The move was initially supported by most Filipinos and
was viewed by some critics as a change that solved the massive corruption in the
country. Martial law ceased the clash between the executive and legislative branches of
the government and a bureaucracy characterized by special interest. Marcos started to
implement reforms on social and political values that hindered effective modernization.
To match the accomplishments of its Asian neighbors, Marcos imposed the need for
self-sacrifice for the attainment of national welfare. His reforms targeted his rivals within
the elite depriving them of their power and patronage but did not affect their supporters
(US Library of Congress, Martial Law and the Aftermath). Thirty-thousand opposition
figures including Senator Benigno Aquino, journalists, student and labor activists were
detained at military compounds under the President’s command (Proclamation 1081
and Martial Law). The army and the Philippine Constabulary seized weapons and
disbanded private armies controlled by prominent politicians and other influential figures
(Proclamation 1081 and Martial Law). Marcos took control of the legislature and closed
the Philippine Congress (Proclamation 1081 and Martial Law). Numerous media outfits
were either closed down or operated under tight control (Proclamation 1081 and Martial
Law). Marcos also allegedly funnelled millions of the country’s money by placing some
of his trusted supporters in strategic economic positions to channel resources to him.
Experts call this the crony capitalism. The deterioration of the political and economic
condition in the Philippines triggered the decline of support on Marcos’ plans. More and
more Filipinos took arms to dislodge the regime. Urban poor communities in the
country’s capital were organized by the Philippine Ecumenical Council for Community
and were soon conducting protest masses and prayer rallies. These efforts including the
exposure of numerous human rights violations pushed Marcos to hold an election in
1978 and 1981 in an aim to stabilize the country’s chaotic condition. Marcos, in both
events, won the election; however, his extended term as President of the Republic of
the Philippines elicited an extensive opposition against his regime. Social unrest
reached its height after former Senator Benigno Aquino was murdered. The incident
sent thousands of Filipinos to the streets calling for Marcos’ removal from post. Turning
again to his electoral strategy, Marcos held a snap election in 1986 but what he hoped
will satisfy the masses only increased their determination to end his rule that seated
Corazon Aquino, widow of Benigno Aquino, as President of the Philippines ousting
Marcos from Malacañang Palace and ending the twenty-one years of tyrant rulexi.”

Martial Law in Maguindanao

In the wake of the massacre of 57 people in Ampatuan town, President Gloria


Macapagal Arroyo placed Maguindanao under a state of martial law, Executive
Secretary Eduardo Ermita announced on Saturday morning. This resulted to
Malacañang suspending the writ of habeas corpus in the province except "for certain
areas," enabling the military to make arrests without court intervention. This constitutes
the first declaration of martial law in the Philippines since 1972, when then-president
Ferdinand Marcos imposed military rule over the entire country. Press Secretary Cerge
Remonde pointed out that the judicial process in the province is being hampered as "no
judges will take the case, no judges will pursue the proper search warrants, or warrant
of arrests." Ermita said the step was taken in order to avert the escalation of "lawless"
violence in the province and pave the way for the swift arrest of the suspects in the
massacre in Ampatuan, Maguindanao, last November 23. Ermita however clarified that
despite the imposition of martial law, elected government officials, and not the military,
will take over the supervision of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
The president issued Administrative Order 273-A wherein it delegates to the local
government the supervision of ARMM. Ermita said that in case any local executive is
suspended or removed from their position for whatever reason, then the secretary of the
local government can determine the successor in accordance with the Constitution.xii

Martial Law in Marawi City

ABS - CBN News reported that the Malacanang Palace issued Proclamation No.
216, declaring a state of martial law and suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas
corpus in Mindanao. This was due to the terrorist attack that happened in Marawi City.
The proclamation, signed by President Rodrigo Duterte and Executive Secretary
Salvador Medialdea, cites passages from the 1987 Constitution and the Revised Penal
Code, as amended by Republic Act No. 6968, which provide for the declaration of
martial law by the country's chief executive. Section 18, Article VII of the Constitution
expressly states that the president can suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas
corpus or place the country or any part of it under martial law, "in case of invasion or
rebellion, when the public safety requires it." Article 134 of the Revised Penal Code
defines rebellion or insurrection as "rising and taking arms against the government."

After months of putting Marawi City in a state of Martial law, Philippine Star
released an article wherein Martial law in Mindanao may not yet be lifted immediately
even after the death of terrorist leaders Isnilon Hapilon and Omar Maute as the military
still has to address what it described as the “greater threat” posed by the network of
extremists. Armed Forces spokesman Maj. Gen. Restituto Padilla said martial law
needs to be retained in some parts of Mindanao because of the existence of terrorist
networksxiii.

What changed under the 1987 Philippine Constitution pertinent to Martial Law?

Jodesz Gavilan on her article entitled as Martial Law 101: Things you Should
know published in Rappler differentiated the Martial Law under our 1987 Constitution
from the Martial Law under the 1935 Constitution. Five years after ending Martial Law,
Marcos was toppled from power through the 1986 People Power Revolution. Corazon
Aquino, the widow of Marcos critic Benigno Aquino Jr, ascended to the presidency. In
April 1986, through Proclamation No. 9, Aquino created the 1986 Constitutional
Commission (Con-Con) which was responsible for drafting a replacement for the 1973
constitution. Unlike the 1935 Constitution which Marcos based his proclamation on, the
1987 Philippine Constitution was more explicit on when Martial Law can be declared.
Section 18, Article VII of the 1987 Philippine Constitution says that the President, as
commander-in-chief, may “in case of invasion or rebellion, when the public safety
requires it” suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus or place the country under
martial law. The martial law period or suspension of the writ of habeas corpus should,
however, not exceed 60 days. The writ safeguards individual freedom against arbitrary
state action. Unlike the previous constitutions, the 1987 Philippine Constitution specifies
that a state of martial law cannot override the function of both the judiciary and
legislative branches of the government. The latest constitution also does not “authorize
the conferment of jurisdiction on military courts and agencies over civilians where civil
courts are able to function." A state of martial law does not automatically suspend the
privilege of the writ of habeas corpus. Its suspension shall only apply to "persons
judicially charged for rebellion or offenses inherent in or directly connected with the
invasion." During the suspension of the privilege of the writ, those arrested or detained
shall be judicially charged within three days, or otherwise releasedxiv.

B. Cons of Implementing Martial Law

There are different views on the implementation of Martial Law. However, it has
managed to create a big impact towards the people in the Philippines. Several rallies
were conducted by universities in Metro Manila and other provinces during the recent
implementation of Martial Law in Marawi City. Some argue that our ancestors fought for
it during the Marcos regime, hence, we shouldn’t allow that it be implemented again
while some contend that the Martial Law during the Marcos Regime is far different from
the Martial Law under the 1987 Constitution and it’s more beneficial especially on the
sudden event of terrorism that happened in Marawi City early 2017. However, people
would always voice out their dislike upon hearing Martial Law. Senator Risa Hontiveros
has been one of the Senators that has been going against the implementation of Martial
Law. She said on January 11, 2017, that the latest Pulse Asia survey showing that
majority of Filipinos disagree that martial law is needed to solve the country’s problems
should serve as a stern warning to those planning to subject the country to a new form
of authoritarian rulexv. In fact, a columnist from Inquirer voiced out her opinion on Martial
Law on her article entitled “How can Marcos’ martial law be ‘good’?”, wherein she
explained her side of the coin.

1. I beg to differ with President Duterte’s assessment that martial law under
the dictator Ferdinand Marcos was “good”. The economy collapsed, crime
went up, real wages went down, corruption became world-class,
extrajudicial killings were at their highest (until this administration). Not to
mention torture and disappearances. If that is good, I don’t know what bad
is.
2. Marcos’ martial law failed to address the peace and order problems that
were the articulated reasons for its declaration—as evidenced by the fact
that the communist and the Moro problems are still with us today. On this
basis alone, how can Marcos’ martial law be considered “good”?
3. Mr. Duterte says his martial law will be harsh. But the 1987 Constitution
has safeguards against martial law, because we learned from the Marcos
experience. That means Marcos’ martial law was measurably harsher.
And it did not succeedxvi.

On an editorial of Philippine Inquirer dated last May 29, 2017, it discussed the
negative impacts on the implementation of Martial Law in Marawi City.

“As far as the business community is concerned, Philippine President


Rodrigo Duterte's declaration of martial law in Mindanao was a decisive
action necessary to restore peace and order in the South. While a few
commented that it was an "overkill" considering that the crisis was limited
to Marawi City in Lanao del Sur, the majority believed that martial rule was
needed to nip the problem in the bud. But such an action is not without
economic cost. The first casualty will be tourism. Foreign governments
have issued advisories to their citizens against travel to Mindanao. Even
local private companies have suspended trips by their staff to the South.
The hometown of the President, Davao City, could suffer most as it is a
favourite among tourists and one of the destinations being promoted by
the Department of Tourism to foreigners. In 2016, Davao del Norte and
Davao del Sur saw a 12-per cent jump in tourist arrivals to 3.6 million.
Another risk is that prices of basic goods could shoot up. A price freeze to
prevent unscrupulous traders from jacking up prices of basic goods is now
in effect in Mindanao. Under the Price Act, an automatic price freeze or
price control at current prices is in effect for 60 days for basic goods and
15 days for liquefied petroleum gas and kerosene from the day martial law
was declared or until lifted by the Presidentxvii.”

Jodezs Gavilan on here article on Rappler provided some cons on implementing


Martial Law. She provided that there are people who laud the Martial Law period in the
Philippines, claiming that it was the “best years” of the country due to the strict
implementations that President Ferdinand Marcos imposed in our country. However, the
supposed discipline that existed then was accompanied by the numerous abuses
people suffered through. According to Amnesty International, about 70,000 people were
imprisoned while 34,000 were tortured, and 3,240 were killed during Martial Law from
1972 to 1981. People deemed to be subversive were tortured by various means,
including electrocution, water cure, and strangulationxviii.

A writer of Philippine Star also raised on his Article, Martial law in Mindanao
raises rights concerns, another con in the Martial Law in Mindanao. Rights group
Karapatan, in its own release, said it strongly protests the declaration, saying "it will not
address the circumstances of the current situation in Marawi, but will aggravate the
insecurity in the area." It warned that martial law "will never result to anything but gross
violations of people's rights." It said that while it condemns attacks by the Maute group
and is calling for an investigation, martial law is an uncalled for response.

"Martial Law will inevitably result in intensified military operations,


including aerial strikes, which can kill and affect hundreds of civilians, and
to an open season for extrajudicial killings, illegal arrests, torture and other
forms of rights violations," Karapatan said.

Mags Maglana of Konsyensya Dabaw, said that "while the safety of


civilians in Marawi and adjacent areas needs to be ensured, and the
problems of lawlessness and ‘violent extremism’ have to be addressed,
the declaration of martial law for the whole of Mindanao is unwarranted."

Konsensya Dabaw said that "with past experiences of large-scale


repression against Mindanawons, and so much at stake in Mindanao’s
present and future, we cannot be trusting and naively believe that martial
law under President Duterte would be a better experience."

Mindanao-based advocacy group Suara Bangsamoro likewise condemned


the martial law declaration. The group said militarizing the entire region
will not help solve the decades-old problem in the south such as
landlessness and poverty.

“Suara Bangsamoro believes that urban militarization and aerial bombings


will worsen the security crisis in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur. The group
fears that civilian lives and livelihood will become collateral damage to a
problem that is deeply rooted in landlessness and the Moro’s right to self-
determination,” the group said in a statementxix.

CASE DIGESTS

SAULO VS. CRUZ


G.R. No. L-14819 - Writ of Habeas Corpus
March 19, 1959

FACTS: Petitioner filed a petition praying for the reasons therein stated, that a writ a
habeas corpus be issued, and after appropriate proceedings, the petitioner be
discharged, upon the ground that he is illegally detained and deprived of his liberty. This
Court issued a resolution ordering respondent, Commanding General of the Philippine
Constabulary, to file, within five days from notice, an answer returnable to the Court of
First Instance of Manila. Said court issued an order stating that the facts set forth in the
petition — with the exception of the conclusion therein made, relative to the alleged
illegality of petitioner's detention — had been substantially admitted in the answer of
said respondent, who, however, assailed the jurisdiction of said Court of First Instance,
under section 2, Rule 102 of the Rules of Court.

ISSUES:
1. May a person be arrested without warrant for an alleged violation of an Act which
expressly provides that no prosecution thereunder shall be made unless a preliminary
investigation has been conducted by the proper Court of First Instance?
2. When such person has been so arrested, is he entitled to be released during the time
the preliminary investigation is being conducted?

HELD: The case at bar falls under the first alternative, the writ of habeas corpus herein
having been issued by this Court. Conformably with the first sentence of said section 2
the writ was made returnable before the Court of First Instance of Manila. Respondent,
however, maintains that the court of first instance alluded to in said section 2, is "the
court of first instance within whose jurisdiction the petitioner is confined", under the
theory, presumably, that the decision of such court would be "enforceable only within his
judicial district." This view is devoid of merit. It is borne out, neither by said section 2 of
the rules, nor by the language of the law pertinent thereto or the established practice
thereon. Although the last sentence of section 2 declares that the writ of habeas corpus
granted by a court of first instance shall be enforceable only within his judicial district,
this limitation is not in point, the writ in this case having been granted by the Supreme
Court and, as provided in said section, "it shall be enforceable anywhere in the
Philippines,"
Moreover, it is apparent from sections 12 to 15 of said Rule 102 (which are quoted
hereunder), that the court or judge to whom the writ is returned shall have the authority
and the duty to inquire into the facts and the law pertinent to the legality or illegality of
petitioner's detention and to order his discharge from confinement, should it appear
satisfactorily "that he is unlawfully imprisoned or restrained." It should be noted, also,
that the procedure set forth in the Rules of Court is in line with the provisions of Act No.
654 of the Philippine Commission. Respondent's pretense is, seemingly, based upon
the belief that the "writ of habeas corpus" mentioned in section 2 of Rule 102 — which,
if issued by a court of first instance or a judge thereof shall be "enforceable only within
his judicial district" — is the same order of "discharge", referred to in section 15 of said
rule. However, the writ alluded to in said section 2 is nothing but the one specifically
described in section 6 of Rule 102. Therefore, the record of the case at bar is remanded
to the lower court for appropriate action.

LAGMAN VS. MEDIALDEA


G.R. No. 231658 - Writ of Habeas Corpus and Martial Law
July 4, 2017

FACTS: Upon us is a consolidated petition. The Lagman Petition claims that the
declaration of martial law has no sufficient factual basis because there is no rebellion or
invasion in Marawi City or in any part of Mindanao. It argues that acts of terrorism in
Mindanao do not constitute rebellion since there is no proof that its purpose is to
remove Mindanao or any part thereof from allegiance to the Philippines, its laws, or its
territory. Second, the Lagman Petition claims that the declaration of martial law has no
sufficient factual basis because the President’s Report contained “false, inaccurate,
contrived and hyperbolic accounts”. Third, the Lagman Petition claims that the
declaration of martial law has no sufficient factual basis since the President’s Report
mistakenly included the attack on the military outpost in Butig, Lanao del Sur in
February 2016, the mass jail break in Marawi City in August 2016, the Zamboanga
siege, the Davao market bombing, the Mamasapano carnage and other bombing
incidents in Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, and Basilan, as additional factual bases for the
proclamation of martial law. It contends that these events either took place long before
the conflict in Marawi City began, had long been resolved, or with the culprits having
already been arrested. Fourth, the Lagman Petition claims that the declaration of martial
law has no sufficient factual basis considering that the President acted alone and did
not consult the military establishment or any ranking official before making the
proclamation. Finally, the Lagman Petition claims that the President’s proclamation of
martial law lacks sufficient factual basis owing to the fact that during the presentation
before the Committee of the Whole of the House of Representatives, it was shown that
the military was even successful in pre-empting the ASG and the Maute Group’s plan to
take over Marawi City and other parts of Mindanao; there was absence of any hostile
plan by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front; and the number of foreign fighters allied with
ISIS was “undetermined” which indicates that there are only a meager number of
foreign fighters who can lend support to the Maute Group.

ISSUE: Whether or not the petition docketed as G.R. No. 231658 is the “appropriate
proceeding” covered by Paragraph 3, Section 18, Article VII of the Constitution sufficient
to invoke the mode of review required of this Court when a declaration of martial law or
the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is promulgated?

HELD: Petitioner is a citizen and has locus standi. In the Lagman Petition, however,
petitioners therein did not categorically mention that they are suing as citizens but
merely referred to themselves as duly elected Representatives. That they are suing in
their official capacities as Members of Congress could have elicited a vigorous
discussion considering the issuance by the House of Representatives of House
Resolution No. 1050 expressing full support to President Duterte and finding no reason
to revoke Proclamation No. 216. Considering, however, the trend towards relaxation of
the rules on legal standing, as well as the transcendental issues involved in the present
Petitions, the Court will exercise judicial self-restraint and will not venture into this
matter. In any case, the Court can take judicial cognizance of the fact that petitioners in
the Lagman Petition are all citizens of the Philippines since Philippine citizenship is a
requirement for them to be elected as representatives. We will therefore consider them
as suing in their own behalf as citizens of this country. Besides, respondents did not
question petitioners’ legal standing. The beseech the cognizance of this Court based on
the third paragraph of Section 18, Article VII (Executive Department) of the 1987
Constitution. During the oral argument, the petitioners theorized that the jurisdiction of
this Court under the third paragraph of Section 18, Article VII is sui generis. It is a
special and specific jurisdiction of the Supreme Court different from those enumerated
in Sections 1 and 5 of Article VIII.

FORTUN VS. ARROYO


G.R. No. 190293 - Writ of Habeas Corpus and Martial Law
March 20, 2012

FACTS: On November 23, 2009, heavily armed men believed led by the ruling
Ampatuan family of Maguindanao gunned down and buried under shoveled dirt 57
innocent civilians. In response to this carnage, President Arroyo issued on November
24, 2009 PP 1946 declaring a state of emergency in Maguindanao, Sultan Kudarat, and
Cotabato City. On December 4, 2009, President Arroyo issued PP 1959 declaring
martial law and suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in Maguindanao
except for identified areas of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. On December 6, 2009,
President Arroyo submitted her report to Congress. On December 9, 2009, Congress
convened in joint session to review the validity of the President’s action. But two days
later, or on December 12, 2009, before Congress could act, the President issued PP
1963, lifting martial law and restoring the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus.

ISSUE: Whether or not the issuance of PP 1963, lifting martial law and restoring the
privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in Maguindanao, render the issue moot and
academic?

HELD: Yes, the issuance of PP 1963, lifting martial law and restoring the privilege of the
writ in Maguindanao, rendered the issues moot and academic Prudence and respect for
the co-equal departments of the government dictate that the Court should be cautious in
entertaining actions that assail the constitutionality of the acts of the Executive or the
Legislative department. The issue of constitutionality, said the Court in Biraogo v.
Philippine Truth Commission of 2010, must be the very issue of the case, that the
resolution of such issue is unavoidable. First, President Arroyo withdrew her
proclamation of martial law and suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus
before the joint houses of Congress could fulfill their automatic duty to review and
validate or invalidate the same. Second, since President Arroyo withdrew her
proclamation of martial law and suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus
in just eight days, they have not been meaningfully implemented.

ENDNOTES

i CONST. art. VII, sec. 18.


ii CONST. art. III, sec. 15.
iii Id. at i.
iv VJ Bacungan, Duterte suspends privilege of writ of habeas corpus in Mindanao, CNN

Philippines, May 25, 2017, http://cnnphilippines.com/news/2017/05/24/president-


duterte-suspend-privilege-writ-of-habeas-corpus-mindanao.html (last visited 10
December 2017).
v Enrile,J. P. (1952) The effect of the suspension of habeas corpus on the right to bail in

cases of rebellion, insurrection and sedition. Philippine Law Journal, 27, 1-3, Angeles v.
Abaya, GR No. L-5102, October 1951, Nava v. Gatmaitan, GR No. L-4855, October
1951, Hernandez v. Montesa, GR No. L-4964, October 1951.
vi Pineda, F.R. & Espiritu, A.C. (1952). The Suspension of the Privilege of Writ of

Habeas Corpus: Its justification and duration. Philippine Law Journal, 27.
vii Anjo Alimario, Experts: No legal basis for suspending privilege of writ of habeas

corpus, CNN Philippines, Septermber 10, 2016,


http://cnnphilippines.com/news/2016/09/10/law-suspending-privilege-of-writ-of-habeas-
corpus.html (last visited 10 December 2017).
viii Senate of the Philippines 17th Congress. Hontiveros: Suspension of writ of habeas

corpus will lead to more abuses, add to the growing climate of impunity. (November 14,
2016), http://senate.gov.ph/press_release/2016/1114_hontiveros1.asp.
ix G Primo Esteria, President Laurel declared Martial Law throughout the entire country,

Kahimyang, January 22, 2017, https://kahimyang.com/kauswagan/articles/2047/today-


in-philippine-history-september-21-1944-president-laurel-declared-martial-law-
throughout-the-entire-country (last visited 13 December 2017)
x Gregorio Brillantes, Gregorio Brillantes' Brief History of Martial Law, Esquire

Magazine, September 21, 2017, http://www.esquiremag.ph/long-reads/notes-and-


essays/a-brief-history-of-martial-law-a1789-20170921-lfrm3 (last visited 10 December
2017).
xi Philippine History.org, The Philippines during Martial Law. (March 1, 2017),

http://www.philippine-history.org/martial-law-philippines.htm.
xii GMA News Online, Arroyo declares martial law in Maguindanao province. (December

5, 2009), http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/nation/178575/arroyo-declares-
martial-law-in-maguindanao-province/story/.
xiii Alexis Romero, Marawi freed but martial law remains, Philstar, 17 October 2017,

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/10/17/1749927/marawi-freed-martial-law-
remains (10 December 2017).
xiv Jodesz Gavilan, Martial Law 101: Things you should know, Rappler, 15 August 2016,

https://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/iq/142723-martial-law-declaration-philippines (10
December 2017).
xv Politics.com.ph. Hontiveros: Pinoys’ dislike for Martial Law a warning for gov’t.

(January 11, 2017), http://politics.com.ph/hontiveros-pinoys-dislike-martial-law-warning-


govt/.
xvi Solita Collas-Monsod, How can Marcos’ martial law be ‘good’? Inquirerdotnet, 27 May

2017, http://opinion.inquirer.net/104328/can-marcos-martial-law-good (last visited 10


December 2017).
xvii The Straits Times. Economic cost of martial law in Mindanao a worry: Philippine Daily

Inquirer. (May 29, 2017), http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/economic-cost-of-


martial-law-in-mindanao-a-worry-philippine-daily-inquirer.
xviii Id. at xvii.
xix Jonathan de Santos, Martial law in Mindanao raises rights concerns, Philstar, 24 May

2017, http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/05/24/1703185/martial-law-mindanao-
raises-rights-concerns (last visited 10 December 2017).
III
CONCLUSION

In summary, there are certain advantages and disadvantages when it comes to


the declaration of martial law or suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus.
It may be abusive, it may hurt the economy, and it is in fact really harsh. However, we
must not forget the reason behind its implementation; it is to obtain peace and order.
Despite that, now, the sovereign people have learned its lesson from the past. Through
this, the Constitution was amended to mitigate what may be abusive when exercised
arbitrarily (Commander – in – Chief Powers). Furthermore, the power vested to the
president when it comes to exercising his authority during martial law is not all
encompassing and absolute. The Congress and the Supreme Court are present, in
case the President has exercised his power with grave abuse of discretion (Checks and
Balances). The Philippines is not a hopeless country, we just have bizarre leaders
elected. However, with the right person, and the right timing, this country might change
for the better.

With that being said, in our opinion, the Commander-in-chief power in the current
Constitution is beneficial, when exercised properly. The Constitution needs no further
amendment or revisions thereof. The legislature made no flaws upon imposing the law.
The Legislative branch has been deliberated this matter for a period of time, and is
studied thoroughly. To impugn it otherwise, is tantamount to the mockery of Legislation,
unless there are known errors within the literal wording of the law itself. The only known
error is that of the one who is exercising it.

Let us not forget that we chose the president, we chose the leader who will govern us.
May this be a warning to us sovereign people to think thoroughly who will lead us in the
future. For a country to prosper, good rapport between the leader and his constituent
must be established.