INTEGRATED BAR OF THE PHILIPPINES,
HON. RONALDO B. ZAMORA, GEN. PANFILO M.LACSON, GEN. EDGAR B. AGLIPAY, and GEN. ANGELO REYES,
At bar is a special civil action for
and prohibition with prayer for issuance of a temporary restraining orderseeking to nullify on constitutional grounds the order of President Joseph Ejercito Estrada commanding thedeployment of the Philippine Marines (the “Marines”) to join the Philippine National Police (the “PNP”) in visibilitypatrols around the metropolis.In view of the alarming increase in violent crimes in Metro Manila, like robberies, kidnappings and carnappings, thePresident, in a verbal directive, ordered the PNP and the Marines to conduct joint visibility patrols for the purpose of crime prevention and suppression. The Secretary of National Defense, the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of thePhilippines (the “AFP”), the Chief of the PNP and the Secretary of the Interior and Local Government were tasked toexecute and implement the said order. In compliance with the presidential mandate, the PNP Chief, through PoliceChief Superintendent Edgar B. Aglipay, formulated Letter of Instruction 02/2000 (the “LOI”) which detailed themanner by which the joint visibility patrols, called Task Force
would be conducted. Task Force
was placed under the leadership of the Police Chief of Metro Manila.Subsequently, the President confirmed his previous directive on the deployment of the Marines in a Memorandum,dated 24 January 2000, addressed to the Chief of Staff of the AFP and the PNP Chief. In the Memorandum, thePresident expressed his desire to improve the peace and order situation in Metro Manila through a more effectivecrime prevention program including increased police patrols. The President further stated that to heighten policevisibility in the metropolis, augmentation from the AFP is necessary. Invoking his powers as Commander-in-Chief under Section 18, Article VII of the Constitution, the President directed the AFP Chief of Staff and PNP Chief tocoordinate with each other for the proper deployment and utilization of the Marines to assist the PNP in preventingor suppressing criminal or lawless violence. Finally, the President declared that the services of the Marines in theanti-crime campaign are merely temporary in nature and for a reasonable period only, until such time when thesituation shall have improved. The selected areas of deployment under the LOI are: Monumento Circle, North Edsa (SM City), AranetaShopping Center, Greenhills, SM Megamall, Makati Commercial Center, LRT/MRT Stations and the NAIA andDomestic Airport.On 17 January 2000, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (the “IBP”) filed the instant petition to annul LOI02/2000 and to declare the deployment of the Philippine Marines, null and void and unconstitutional, arguing that:
THE DEPLOYMENT OF THE PHILIPPINE MARINES IN METRO MANILA IS VIOLATIVE OF THE CONSTITUTION, IN THAT:A) NO EMERGENCY SITUATION OBTAINS IN METRO MANILA AS WOULD JUSTIFY, EVEN ONLY REMOTELY, THEDEPLOYMENT OF SOLDIERS FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT WORK; HENCE, SAID DEPLOYMENT IS IN DEROGATION OFARTICLE II, SECTION 3 OF THE CONSTITUTION;B) SAID DEPLOYMENT CONSTITUTES AN INSIDIOUS INCURSION BY THE MILITARY IN A CIVILIAN FUNCTION OFGOVERNMENT (LAW ENFORCEMENT) IN DEROGATION OF ARTICLE XVI, SECTION 5 (4), OF THE CONSTITUTION;C) SAID DEPLOYMENT CREATES A DANGEROUS TENDENCY TO RELY ON THE MILITARY TO PERFORM THECIVILIAN FUNCTIONS OF THE GOVERNMENT.
IN MILITARIZING LAW ENFORCEMENT IN METRO MANILA, THE ADMINISTRATION IS UNWITTINGLY MAKING THEMILITARY MORE POWERFUL THAN WHAT IT SHOULD REALLY BE UNDER THE CONSTITUTION.Asserting itself as the official organization of Filipino lawyers tasked with the bounden duty to uphold the ruleof law and the Constitution, the IBP questions the validity of the deployment and utilization of the Marines to assistthe PNP in law enforcement.
WON the Integrated Bar of the Philippines has legal standing to petition for the annulment of the LOI and toassail the constitutionality of the declaration of deployment of the Philippine Marines