Friday, December 4, 2009

GMA Declares Martial Law in Maguindanao




ABSCBN NEWS: GMA Declares Martial Law in Maguindanao
MANILA-(1st UPDATE)-President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has ordered a state of martial law in Maguindanao province, which could pave the way for the swift arrests of other suspects, including other members of the Ampatuan clan, who have been linked to the November 23 massacre which killed 57 innocent civilians.
For your convenience I am reproducing below the Martial Law Provision of the 1987 Philippine Constitution:
Article VII The Executive Department
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.

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 authorize the conferment of jurisdiction on military courts and agencies over civilians where civil courts are able to function, nor automatically suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus.

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, invasion.

During the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, any person thus arrested or detained shall be judicially charged within three days, otherwise he shall be released.
President Arroyo is continuing her harrowing exploration and deconstruction of the Philippine Constitution with this fresh, nerve-wracking act.

2 comments:

Dean Jorge Bocobo said...

D ERMITA states at a Malacanang Press Conference that the Proclamation of Martial Law in Maguindanao was "done" by the President at "around 9pm" on Friday, December 4, 2009. This exact point in time is important for Constitutional purposes found in 1987 Article VII Section 18

Jun Bautista said...

Take note of the proviso in section 18 granting the Supreme Court the power to review, and the citizens the right to question, the sufficiency of the factual basis for declaration of martial law. Not only can Congress check on the president's martial law powers, but the SC and the citizens as well.