Concerning martial law Home – About the Philippines – 1987 Constitution: has the provision on imposing martial law, that we should all be familiar with at present.

Article VII, 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 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 any 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 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 the 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.

The suspension of the privilege of the writ 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.

The present provisions of the Constitution were written with the September 23, 1972 imposition of martial law in mind. As early as the 1950s, Claro M. Recto warned that the martial law provisions of the 1935 Constitution could easily be abused by a a president without scruples. The late journalist Vicente Albano Pacis pointed out that the martial law provision in that Constitution had been copied from the Jones Law, but the framers of the Charter forgot that a safeguard was included under the Jones Law, requiring the review of a proclamation of martial law by the President of the United States. The 1935 Constitution didn’t require or authorize a review. The present Charter requires the consent of Congress, and allows Congress to revoke martial law if in its view, the imposition is not warranted. Imposing martial law isn’t easy, there are more safeguards in place, and a president can no longer expect to abolish Congress or rule absolutely.

Manuel L. Quezon III.

2 thoughts on “Concerning martial law

  1. You presume that the administration is so law abiding.

    THE safeguards in place was placed prior to the
    invention of “State Terrorism”. Gloria only needs a big
    pretext to declare Martial Law, which she can manufacture
    anytime courtesy of the NBI ,the PNP, the AFP
    and yes, the CIA.

    Even a mighty nation like the US was forced to change
    its libertarian laws out of fear of terrorism… the people
    can be forced to change its mind about Martial Law
    especially if Media will be suppressed.

    State-sponsored terrorism is a menace that’s within
    GMA’s “moral” threshold to consider. It’s just the timing
    that she needs. She must be preempted at all cost.

  2. Bakit di na lang papuntahin sa Bohol si Presidente Kulugo, pakainin ng kamote, tapos ang problema, di na kelangan and people power o kudeta!

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