I have been reading a copy of proclamation 1017 Declaring a State of National Emergency. I am not a law expert or near that point but based on my conversations with really well-versed people, partly, yes there is nothing to be scared about the actual contents of 1017.However, the implementation is the one sending chills down my spine. I mean, why would the National Telecommunications Commission hold a dialogue with media executives telling them how to do their stories. Balanced reporting…fair, honest, we know it like the palm of our hands.
Both Fr. Bernas and retired Supreme Court justice Vicente Mendoza said that a declaration of a national state of emergency is an exercise of the President's power as a commander-in-chief in times of 1. invasion; 2. rebellion; 3. lawless violence.The President can utilize the police and the military when there is rebellion that would endanger the public safety. Utilizing would mean a suspension of the writ of habeas corpus and in this enters the warrantless arrest.
Both Fr. Bernas and justice Mendoza said there is really nothing to worry about these warrantless arrest if you are just ordinary citizens. Like in ordinary days, they said, you stay out of harm's way, out of trouble and you will have no problem.
But something's bothering me. Why did those people who drafted this proclamation included Article 12 Section 17 that states about the government taking over of vital industries.This, according to justice Mendoza should have Congress approval because Congress will determine how long the temprary take over will be.
Deliberate or Accidentally ommitted?
Part of the Proclamation states that;"NOW, THEREFORE, I Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, President of the Republic of the Philippines and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested upon me by Section 18, Article 7 of the Philippine Constitution which states that: “ The President…whenever it becomes necessary,…may call out (the) armed forces to prevent or suppress…rebellion…, “ and in my capacity as their Commander-in-Chief, do hereby command the Armed Forces of the Philippines, to maintain law and order throughout the Philippines, prevent or suppress all forms of lawless violence as well any act of insurrection or rebellion and to enforce obedience to all the laws and to all decrees, orders and regulations promulgated by me personally or upon my direction…"
A continuation of that provision Article 7 Section 18 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. 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."
With the arrest of several rallyist and suspected brains of the reported coup, it is obvious that there is already a suspension of writ. So, why did that portion omitted on the actual copy of the proclamation? Are they scared of the word "martial law" which might alarm the public? or they really do not have any intention of informing Congress?Who knows?
Another question is…is there really a rebellion that "endanger the public safety" to warrant such a declaration?
The government claims "THERE IS."
But what do we know? We only see protest rallies and not actual rebellion. Because if there is, I dont think I can still go to Robinson's Place Manila to eat at Mc Donalds and stroll for a while or I will no longer be able to see people going to movie houses or I will no longer see people going through their daily routines or i will no longer be able to walk my dog or Department of Justice employees will no longer be able to play basketball at the DOJ empty parking space after work today.
(here is the actual copy of the proclamation courtesy of INQ7)
declaring a state of national emergency: MALACAÑAN PALACE MANILA
PROCLAMATION NO. 1017
PROCLAMATION DECLARING A STATE OF NATIONAL EMERGENCY
WHEREAS, over these past months, elements in the political opposition have conspired with authoritarians of the extreme Left represented by the NDF-CPP-NPA and the extreme Right, represented by military adventurists–the historical enemies of the democratic Philippine State—who are now in tactical alliance and engaged in a concerted and systematic conspiracy, over a broad front, to bring down the duly constituted government elected in May 2004.
WHEREAS, these conspirators have repeatedly tried to bring down the President;
WHEREAS, the claims of these elements have been recklessly magnified by certain segments of the national media;
WHEREAS, this series of actions is hurting the Philippine State–by obstructing governance including hindering the growth of the economy and sabotaging the people’s confidence in government and their faith in the future of this country;
WHEREAS, these actions are adversely affecting the economy;
WHEREAS, these activities give totalitarian forces of both the extreme Left and extreme Right the opening to intensity their avowed aims to bring down the democratic Philippine State;
WHEREAS, Article 2, Section 4 of our Constitution makes the defense and preservation of the democratic institutions and the State the primary duty of Government;
WHEREAS, the activities above-described, their consequences, ramifications and collateral effects constitute a clear and present danger to the safety and the integrity of the Philippine State and of the Filipino people;
NOW, THEREFORE, I Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, President of the Republic of the Philippines and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested upon me by Section 18, Article 7 of the Philippine Constitution which states that: “ The President…whenever it becomes necessary,…may call out (the) armed forces to prevent or suppress…rebellion…, “ and in my capacity as their Commander-in-Chief, do hereby command the Armed Forces of the Philippines, to maintain law and order throughout the Philippines, prevent or suppress all forms of lawless violence as well any act of insurrection or rebellion and to enforce obedience to all the laws and to all decrees, orders and regulations promulgated by me personally or upon my direction; and as provided in Section 17, Article 12 of the Constitution do hereby declare a State of National Emergency.
IN WITNESS HEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the Republic of the Philippines to be affixed.
Done in the City of Manila, this 24th day of February, in the year of Our Lord, two thousand and six.
PresidentRepublic of the Philippines