IN THE KNOW: Martial law | Inquirer News

IN THE KNOW: Martial law

/ 01:37 AM May 25, 2017

The President as Commander in Chief can place the Philippines or any part of it under martial law or suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus “in case of invasion or rebellion, when the public safety requires it,” according to Article VII, Section 18 of the 1987 Constitution.

The 1935 Constitution also stipulates the same conditions in its martial law provision.

But the use of this power is now limited in the 1987 Constitution. The President must submit a report to Congress in person or in writing within 48 hours of the proclamation of martial law.


Congress, in turn, voting jointly, by at least a majority of all its members in regular or special session, may revoke the  proclamation, and the President may not set aside the revocation.


The period of martial law cannot exceed 60 days.

Unlike the late President Ferdinand  Marcos, the current President cannot suspend the Constitution, close Congress or supplant the civil courts.

The Constitution states: “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 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 30 days from its filing.”

The suspension of the privilege of the writ will apply only to persons judicially charged with rebellion or offenses inherent in or directly connected with invasion.

As such, any person arrested or detained will be judicially charged within three days, otherwise the person must be released. —INQUIRER RESEARCH


Source: 1987 Constitution


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