You are on page 1of 4

David vs. Macapagal-Arroyo Issues: WON Presidential Proclamation No 1017 and General Order No.

5 is constitutional Facts of the case: President Arroyo issued Presidential Proclamation No. 1017 and General Order No. 5 declaring a state of national emergency basing such issuances on the conspiracy among some military officers, leftist insurgents of the New Peoples Army (NPA), and some members of the political opposition in a plot to unseat or assassinate President Arroyo. The proclamation of PP1017 and GO No. 5 allowed the revocation of rally permits issued earlier and warrantless arrests and take-over of facilities, including media and the cancellation of all events relating to the EDSA anniversary. Rallies conducted were violently dispersed, some of the petitioners were arrested, and media outlets were raided. Held: The court first upheld the doctrine that the President during her tenure cannot be sued in any civil or criminal case, it will degrade his position and would impair his performance of his functions and that of the government. In case of judicial inquiry the case of Lansang laid down the extent of the courts inquiry into the Presidents exercise of power: the action does not need to be correct, but it must not be arbitrary, in the case of Integrated Bar of the Philippines it established that the petitioner must show that the Presidents decision is totally bereft of factual basis. The petitioner failed to show such proof, in fact the Solicitor Generals Consolidated Comment and Memorandum shows a narration of events leading to the proclamation. The action of the President was reasonable however it must not stifle liberty. The Constitution provides for the extent of power of the President in times of emergency, it demands the people to respect the integrity and wisdom of the President but it also constrains him to operate within procedural limits. In analyzing the factual basis of PP 1017 the calling out power of the President in relation to the Armed Forces of the Philippines to prevent or suppress lawless violence, invasion or rebellion is distinguished from Martial law which allows (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, since PP1017 is not exercised under Martial law, acts done under it must not be extend to those allowed by Martial law. The take-care power, on the other hand, of the President pertains to his duty to ensure the faithful execution of laws, he cannot legislate laws as such is vested by the constitution in the Legislature and as so much as PP 1017 grants the president the power to promulgate decrees it is unconstitutional, no emergency can justify the exercise of Legislative

power by the President, hence she cannot enforce such decrees and laws through the military unless these are laws relating to its duty to suppress lawless violence. Finally, on the issue of the meaning of emergency in relation to the power to take over, the court held that emergency may be classified under a) economic, b) natural disaster, and c) national security, and thus includes rebellion. In times of emergencies the power to take-over of the President granted in PP1017 allows him, without any authority or delegation from Congress, to take over or direct the operation of any privately-owned public utility or business affected with public interest, this is based on Sec 17 of Article XII of the constitution but read in relation to Sec. 23 Article IV, it is clear that emergency powers come from Congress and only delegates such to the President, hence Sec. 17 pertains to Congress and not the President. The president has the power to declare a state of national emergency, but the exercise of emergency powers needs a delegation from Congress. Ruling: WHEREFORE, the Petitions are partly granted. 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.

Notes: Constitutional Democracy: Contemporary Political theorist believed this to be a remedy to emergency, provided that: The emergency executive must be appointed by constitutional means i.e., he must be legitimate; he should not enjoy power to determine the existence of an emergency; emergency powers should be exercised under a strict time limitation; and last, the objective of emergency action must be the defense of the constitutional order- Carl J. Friedrich 1) No general regime or particular institution of constitutional dictatorship should be initiated unless it is necessary or even indispensable to the preservation of the State and its constitutional order 2) the decision to institute a constitutional dictatorship should never be in the hands of the man or men who will constitute the dictator 3) No government should initiate a constitutional dictatorship without making specific provisions for its termination 4) all uses of emergency powers and all readjustments in the organization of the government should be effected in pursuit of constitutional or legal requirements 5) no dictatorial institution should be adopted, no right invaded, no regular procedure altered any more than is absolutely necessary for the conquest of the particular crisis . . . 6) The measures adopted in the prosecution of the a constitutional dictatorship should never be permanent in character or effect 7) The dictatorship should be carried on by persons representative of every part of the citizenry interested in the defense of the existing constitutional order. . . 8) Ultimate responsibility should be maintained for every action taken under a constitutional dictatorship. . . 9) The decision to terminate a constitutional dictatorship, like the decision to institute one should never be in the hands of the man or men who constitute the dictator. . . 10) No constitutional dictatorship should extend beyond the termination of the crisis for which it was instituted 11) the termination of the crisis must be followed by a complete return as possible to the political and governmental conditions existing prior to the initiation of the constitutional dictatorship- Clinton L. Rossiter Concept of Constitutionalism While it does not by any means necessarily exclude some indeterminate limitations upon the substantive powers of government, full emphasis is placed upon procedural limitations, and political responsibility. Discussing the meaning of constitutionalism, he insisted that the historical and proper test of constitutionalism was the existence of adequate processes for keeping government responsible. He refused to equate constitutionalism with the enfeebling of government by an exaggerated emphasis upon separation of powers and substantive limitations on governmental power. He found that the really effective checks on despotism have consisted not in the weakening of government but, but rather in the limiting of it; between which there is a

great and very significant difference. In associating constitutionalism with limited as distinguished from weak government, McIlwain meant government limited to the orderly procedure of law as opposed to the processes of force. The two fundamental correlative elements of constitutionalism for which all lovers of liberty must yet fight are the legal limits to arbitrary power and a complete political responsibility of government to the governed. Theory of Prerogative: The executive has the power to act according to discretion for the public good, without the proscription of the law and sometimes even against it in cases of emergencies.