You are on page 1of 3

SUBJECT:

Constitutional Law

TOPIC:

Due Process Void for Vagueness

TITLE:

PROF. RANDOLF S. DAVID, LORENZO TAADA III, RONALD LLAMAS, H. HARRY L.


ROQUE, JR., JOEL RUIZ BUTUYAN, ROGER R. RAYEL, GARY S. MALLARI, ROMEL
REGALADO BAGARES, CHRISTOPHER F.C. BOLASTIG, Petitioners,

vs.

GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO, AS PRESIDENT AND COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF,


EXECUTIVE SECRETARY EDUARDO ERMITA, HON. AVELINO CRUZ II,
SECRETARY OF NATIONAL DEFENSE, GENERAL GENEROSO SENGA, CHIEF OF
STAFF, ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES, DIRECTOR GENERAL ARTURO
LOMIBAO, CHIEF, PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE, Respondents.

CITATION:

G.R. No. 171396, May 3, 2006

FACTS:

On February 24, 2006, as the Filipino nation celebrated the 20th Anniversary of the EDSA
People Power I, President Arroyo issued PP 1017, implemented by G.O. No. 5, declaring
a state of national emergency, thus:

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 as 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 their presentation of the factual bases of PP 1017 and G.O. No. 5, respondents stated
that the proximate cause behind the executive issuances was the conspiracy among
some military officers, leftist insurgents of the New Peoples Army, and some members
of the political opposition in a plot to unseat or assassinate President Arroyo. They
considered the aim to oust or assassinate the President and take-over the reins of
government as a clear and present danger.

Petitioners David and Llamas were arrested without warrants on February 24, 2006 on
their way to EDSA. Meanwhile, the offices of the newspaper Daily Tribune, which was
perceived to be anti-Arroyo, was searched without warrant at about 1:00 A.M. on
February 25, 2006. Seized from the premises in the absence of any official of the Daily
Tribune except the security guard of the building were several materials for publication.
The law enforcers, a composite team of PNP and AFP officers, cited as basis of the
warrantless arrests and the warrantless search and seizure was Presidential
Proclamation 1017 issued by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in the exercise of
her constitutional power to call out the Armed Forces of the Philippines to prevent or
suppress lawless violence.

ISSUE:

1. Whether or not the warrantless arrests of petitioners David, et al., made pursuant to
PP 1017, are valid.

2. Whether or not PP 11017 is constitutional.

HELD:

1. No, the warrantless arrests of petitioners David, et al., made pursuant to PP 1017, were
not valid.

Searches, seizures and arrests are normally unreasonable unless authorized by a validly
issued search warrant or warrant of arrest. Section 5, Rule 113 of the Revised Rules on
Criminal Procedure provides [for the following circumstances of valid warrantless arrests:
Sec. 5. Arrest without warrant; when lawful. - A peace officer or a private person may,
without a warrant, arrest a person:

(a) When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually
committing, or is attempting to commit an offense.

(b) When an offense has just been committed and he has probable cause to believe
based on personal knowledge of facts or circumstances that the person to be arrested
has committed it; and Justice Mendoza also stated that PP 1017 is not a declaration of
Martial Law. It is no more than a call by the President to the armed forces to prevent or
suppress lawless violence. As such, it cannot be used to justify acts that only under a
valid declaration of Martial Law can be done. Its use for any other purpose is a perversion
of its nature and scope, and any act done contrary to its command is ultra vires. Justice
Mendoza further stated that specifically, (a) arrests and seizures without judicial warrants;
(b) ban on public assemblies; (c) take-over of news media and agencies and press
censorship; and (d) issuance of Presidential Decrees, are powers which can be exercised
by the President as Commander-in-Chief only where there is a valid declaration of Martial
Law or suspension of the writ of habeas corpus. Based on the above disquisition, it is
clear that PP 1017 is not a declaration of Martial Law. It is merely an exercise of President
Arroyos calling-out power for the armed forces to assist her in preventing or suppressing
lawless violence

2. Partially. The Court rules that PP 1017 is constitutional insofar as it constitutes a call
by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on the AFP to prevent or suppress lawless
violence. However, the provisions of PP 1017 commanding the AFP to enforce laws not
related to lawless violence, as well as decrees promulgated by the President, are
declared unconstitutional. In addition, the provision in PP 1017 declaring national
emergency under Section 17, Article VII of the Constitution is constitutional, but such
declaration does not authorize the President to take over privately-owned public utility or
business affected with public interest without prior legislation.

The Court partially granted the petitions.