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Recent FAQs about proclamation of Martial Law

NB: Here’s my take on the recent LEGAL issues re: Martial Law. Comment if you have something to refute against or concur with. Thanks!

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Source: Rappler

Q: Is the Congress required to convene after the proclamation of Martial Law?

A: Yes, it is. The case of Fortun/Colmenares v. Arroyo, G.R. No. 190293, March 20, 2012 is instructive. This case was pointed out by KABATAAN Partylist Rep. Sarah Elago in one of her Tweets, and reiterated by former Ateneo de Manila School of Law and Governance dean, Prof. Tony La Vina in his newspaper column, weeks ago.

First, the Court said that the Congress’ exercise of its review power vis-a-vis the President’s proclamation of Martial Law is “automatic rather than initiated“. Then it went saying, “[T]he Congress is required to convene without need of a call within 24 hours following the Presidents proclamation or suspension. Clearly, the Constitution calls for quick action on the part of the Congress.” In that case, the Court reiterated the procedure under the Constitution, to wit:

“Xxx xxx xxx

  1. The Presidents proclamation or suspension is temporary, good for only 60 days;
  2. He must, within 48 hours of the proclamation or suspension, report his action in person or in writing to Congress;
  3. Both houses of Congress, if not in session must jointly convene within 24 hours of the proclamation or suspension for the purpose of reviewing its validity; and
  4. The Congress, voting jointly, may revoke or affirm the Presidents proclamation or suspension, allow their limited effectivity to lapse, or extend the same if Congress deems warranted.”

That the Congress is required to convene is just logical. It is only when the Congress has convened in joint session, and after their own review, would the citizens know that at least a majority of all its Members would want to uphold or revoke, officially, the proclamation. But, until then, any statement to the effect that the members of the Congress would want to uphold the proclamation would only remain as rumor, speculation or conjecture at its best.

 

Q: What if the Congress refuses or fails to convene within 24 hours? May the Supreme Court compel the Congress to convene?

A: Yes, I believe so, since it is “required” of the Congress to convene, as enunciated by the Court in Fortun/Colmenares v. Arroyo. However, it is almost impossible since the Congress only has 24 hours within which to convene and review the proclamation. That means that if a Mandamus petition will be filed before the Supreme Court to compel the Congress to convene, the Court would have to decide as well within 24 hours on whether or not to grant the Mandamus petition. I think, that is almost impossible to achieve.

 

Q: Can a concerned citizen file a petition directly with the Supreme Court to review the proclamation instead of waiting for the Congress to convene within 24 hours?

It depends. If the 24-hour period has not yet lapsed, the Supreme Court cannot entertain the petition for it would then be premature and would be violative of the Principle of Separation of Powers should the Supreme Court decide on the petition.

Fortun/Colmenares v. Arroyo is again instructive on this matter. The Court explained,

“Consequently, although the Constitution reserves to the Supreme Court the power to review the sufficiency of the factual basis of the proclamation or suspension in a proper suit, it is implicit that the Court must allow Congress to exercise its own review powers, which is automatic rather than initiated…. The constitutional validity of the Presidents proclamation of martial law or suspension of the writ of habeas corpus is first a political question in the hands of Congress before it becomes a justiciable one in the hands of the Court.”

In other words, it is only when the Congress failed to Convene within 24 hours may the Supreme Court step into the picture.

“Only when Congress defaults in its express duty to defend the Constitution through such review should the Supreme Court step in as its final rampart.

Xxx xxx xxx

If the Congress procrastinates or altogether fails to fulfill its duty respecting the proclamation or suspension within the short time expected of it, then the Court can step in, hear the petitions challenging the Presidents action, and ascertain if it has a factual basis.”

 

Q: Recently, a petition has been filed with the Supreme Court assailing President Duterte’s proclamation of Martial Law. In an interview with Inquirer,* Sen. Tito Sotto warned that there might arise a Constitutional crisis if the Supreme Court should order the Congress to convene and review the proclamation and the Congress would defy such order, noting that, for example, the Senate had recently junked the Senate Minority’s resolution calling for a joint session. Would that really happen?

A: I am not sure if there are several petitions filed. In one Inquirer report, a petition was filed assailing the factual basis of Duterte’s proclamation of Martial Law in Mindanao. In another Inquirer report as cited above, it says that Rep. Lagman et al. is asking the Court to compel Congress to convene in joint session. So, maybe there are several petitions filed.

But I think the latter petition will be declared moot since the 24-hour period given by the Constitution to Congress to jointly convene has already lapsed. But, if the said petition also assails the factual basis of the proclamation, I think it will not be dismissed on mere technicality but, on account of transcendental importance, will be consolidated with the other petition(s).

So, in other words, there will be no Constitutional crisis that would arise since, most likely, the Court will not order the Congress to convene, it being already moot. What the Court will do is to exercise its Constitutionally-granted power to review the President’s proclamation of Martial Law. The Constitution provides that the Court has 30 days from the filing of the petition to review whether or not there is sufficient factual basis for the proclamation. “If the Court finds none, then it can annul the proclamation or the suspension (Fortun/Colmenares v. Arroyo, 2012).” In other words, the Supreme Court is the last and ultimate Arbiter on this matter.

However, the Court must decide before the President would lift the proclamation; otherwise, the issue will become moot.

 

PS: It may be argued that the above-cited pronouncements of the Supreme Court may be considered as Obiter Dictum because they do not answer the issues raised in the Fortun/Comlenares’ petitions. Nonetheless, as I said, that the Congress should convene in joint session is just logical.

*http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/903114/sotto-warns-of-possible-constitutional-crisis-over-martial-law-debate?utm_term=Autofeed&utm_campaign=Echobox&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook#link_time=1496738342

 

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Thesis, chances, and Faith

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Sleepless nights with my siblings at my brother’s rented space. I never knew that my brother took this photo back then.

 

I have not written for so long on my WordPress blog due to my Law studies. What I have written today for my first blog post since my last is an #FBThrowback of what happened FOUR years ago.

April 2013. I was struggling with my Undergrad thesis then. It was just few days and sleepless nights before the Graduation Day. I was already prepared that I would “sablay” literally (instead of getting the UP “Sablay” – a symbolic sash worn during Commencement Exercises in the University of the Philippines), that is, not graduating with my batchmates that year. Notwithstanding, I still continued working on my thesis, sensing some hope that GOD gave me those times. Though I did not ask for help (because I grew up doing most of my works independently), still, my entire family came to the rescue. My brother offered his rented space where my sisters and I could work on my thesis. My mother filed a leave of absence from her work and came to Cebu to lend any assistance she could lend. But, since a Computer Science thesis/special problem/capstone is too technical for them, all they could do was to proofread my manuscript, help me pop the ideas out of the corners of my brain, print my manuscript, and have it bound while I continued refining the software that I developed for my thesis. My father also helped in editing my manuscript over e-mail. As I have highlighted in the Acknowledgment section of my thesis, it was all a collective effort. (Read Undergrad Thesis Acknowledgment here: https://www.facebook.com/100000053506248/posts/605367546141690/)

Fast forward: my adviser told me that the UP Cebu University Council, during their deliberation of official candidates for graduation that year, gave me one last chance to have my thesis finalized. I did. We did. Eventually, I graduated that year with my batchmates and officially conferred with a BS Computer Science degree with Latin honor.

Such was a learning experience for me, and the lessons I got from my mistakes back then — I applied them when I was doing my Juris Doctor thesis last year, i.e., four years thereafter. I made a Gannt chart — one thing I learned from my Undergrad days — and tried very much to stick to it. The constant monitoring of our Thesis Committee also helped a lot. Consequently, I finished my Juris Doctor thesis on time, without having to pass through the hell of cramming I once passed through four years ago. Then, my Juris Doctor thesis was awarded Best Thesis together with the thesis of my classmate. But then again, it was another product of a collective effort. (Read Juris Doctor (Law) Thesis Acknowledgment: https://www.facebook.com/100000053506248/posts/1493430364002066/)

Indeed, a photo like this one speaks a thousand words, a story even. Mine is a long story to tell but I had to cut it short here lest everyone be bored. But, I would really love to thank all the persons who gave me chances and trusted me that I would rise from my mistakes. Had my Undergrad adviser and the UP Cebu University Council been stricter and not allow me to graduate that year, I would have not come this far to where I am today. To date, I did not know how the deliberation during that memorable day went — Was the decision of giving me a chance unanimous? Or if it weren’t, who were the persons who vouched for me? — but to the teachers who supported me, I am forever grateful. And of course, to my family, I am more grateful.

And to all of those who are struggling right now, I am telling you to soldier on, to finish what you have started, and to keep the Faith no matter what lies ahead. That is better than quitting at once and do nothing at all. “But, there’s no more hope. Graduation is just few days away.” Well, four years ago, I held onto what GOD reminded me through the Scriptures, “[w]ith man this is impossible, but with GOD all things are possible (Matthew 19:26).”

 

PS: Currently, I am having my review for the Bar Examinations this November 2017. Since the Bar Examinations have not yet been regionalized, we, law students from provinces, will still have to spend around P100,000 to P200,000 for the duration of the review until the examination proper. In this regard, I would like to take this opportunity to knock on your kind hearts for some financial assistance. Any amount will do. I will really cherish your help.

 


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Magra-rally pa ba kayo?

Renato Reyes, Jr.: “Samantala, may isang bagay din na dapat nating bantayan. Ito yung pang-iintriga at panghahati. May mga Dilawan na kontra kay Duterte na ang nais ay udyukan ang Kaliwa na mag-rally para sa kanila. Ngayon pa lang, gusto na nilang ipambala sa kanyon at isubo sa labanan ang Kaliwa habang sila ay manonood lang at nakaabang sa Twitter. Ayos din, ano?

Huwag tayong magpadala sa ganitong pang-uudyok na kunwari ay prinsipyado pero ang totoo’y nang-uupat lang. Buti sana kung nag-rally sila laban sa lahat ng kabalbalan ni Aquino, may ascendancy silang maningil. Eh sa anim na taon ni Noynoy, ni hindi ko sila nakitang mag-rally habang pinapatay ang mga Lumad at mga magsasaka sa Mindanao.

Anyways, so ganun na nga. Madami tayong gagawin. Pagtulungan nating maisulong ang mga adhikaing makabayan at progresibo, sa loob man o labas ng gobyerno. Wala sa kamay ng isang tao ang pagbabago. Kalahok dito ang buong sambayanan. Magkikita-kita pa rin tayo, sa kalsada at kung saan-saan pa.”

 

From: https://natoreyes.wordpress.com/2016/06/01/magra-rally-pa-ba-kayo

like a rolling stone

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Ilang beses kong nabasa ang tanong na ito matapos i-anunsyo ang pagkakatalaga ng ilang mga progresibo sa susunod na Duterte administration. Dalawa sa mga progresibo ang hahawak sa DAR at DSWD. Tinuturing na mga progresibo din ang hahawak ng DOLE at DepEd.

Sa ganitong kalagayan, magra-rally pa ba ang Kaliwa?

Maikling sagot, OO naman. Marami pang problema ang mangangailangan ng sama-samang pagkilos. Hindi naman nalutas ang lahat ng problema ng bansa dahil lamang may bagong gobyerno. At hindi naman ang pag-upo sa gabinete ang katapusan ng ating gawain. Hindi cabinet appointment, kundi panlipunang pagbabago, ang ipinaglalaban natin.

Pero kung ang tanong ay “magra-rally na ba kayo laban kay Duterte?”, ang sagot diyan ay “hindi pa sa kagyat, wala pang dahilan”. Hindi dahil sangayon tayo sa lahat ng kanyang pahayag at lahat ng kanyang appointments. May pagkakaiba pa rin sa pananaw. Pero ang mga pagkakaiba ng pagtingin ay sisikapin idaan sa pag-uusap…

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Graft in Tacloban

Harry Roque's Blog

searchI had dinner recently with Mayor Alfred Romualdez of Tacloban City. That was a first. I have been consistently an anti-Marcos activist since my grade school days. I’ve always thought that the Philippines would be a better place without the Marcoses and their conjugal half, the Romualdezes. Like the Aquino’s, my mother’s immediate family, including the Reyes clan of Pasig that gave the country the great statesman, Jovito Salonga, were victims of the Marcos dictatorship. Scars from those days will probably never heal. And perhaps, they should never heal if only to remind us of what dictatorships can do to a democracy.

But I was touched by the tale of Mayor Romualdez.

We’ve heard over and over again the Palace line that the local government is always the first line of defense. That is true because normally, the national government will not be in the area affected by a calamity.

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[UP] Cebu is Rising!

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We, the constituents of the University of the Philippines Cebu, join all Cebuanos, Filipinos and the rest of the world as we STRIKE! DANCE! RISE! to END violence against women and children!

On Feb. 14, we will spend our Valentine’s Day with all the women of all walks in life, joining them in their struggle towards liberation from abuse, discrimination, prejudice, stereotypes and other forms of violence.

Ayala Cebu Terraces will be rocked by the shaking of our bodies, stomping of our feet and raising of our hands to the tune of “Isang Bilyong Babae”. But before that, we, from UP  Cebu, will also be holding our own UP Cebu Rising at 1:30pm; afterwards, we’ll march to Ayala, quarter to 3pm.

For the Unity Statement of UP Community, follow this link: http://www.facebook.com/notes/nke-upc/one-billion-rising-up-community-unity-statement/10151460040341745

One Billion Rising Cebu is made possible by its conveners: Gabriela Women’s Party, UP Cebu Gender and Development Office, SIDLAK GRC 7, Bisdak Pride, Women’s Resource Center of Visayas, Good Shepherd Welcome House, Antonia de Oviedo Center,  Nagkahiusang Kusog sa Estudyante- UP Cebu (NKE), Student Alliance for Nationalism and Democracy-USC (STAND USC), Legal Alternatives for Women, Inc., and The Fair Trade Shop- Cebu

Feb-'12-Special


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Sinulog 2013: Socialism vs. Christianity?

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

The priest who celebrated the mass that I attended this morning started his homily by emphasizing the relevance of Sto. Niño (Child Jesus) as the whole province is celebrating Sinulog (Feast of Sto. Niño). He explained why God chose to become human and undergo childhood, so on and so forth, until he came to what has become the focal point of his entire homily. He began by saying that there are two conflicting ideologies in the society today. First, he pointed out Socialism and defined it as a socio-political system (that started in French Revolution) based on égalité (equality), fraternité (fraternity) and the other principle, liberté (liberty), that he admitted he forgot.

His first statements were affirmative as he said that there is no objection to Socialism’s equality. He went further by emphasizing that the concept of equality is derived, actually, from Christianity which came first than Socialism. However, he stressed that there is a problem with Socialism’s equality, i.e., a person will keep on asserting his/her rights without considering the rights of others because he/she is pre-occupied in making sure that he/she is equally treated. Socialism lacks the concept of social responsibility which, on the other hand, Christianity (the other ideology he referred to in his premise) upholds. Unlike Christianity, he said, Socialism does not include caring for and defending the weakest among men and women. Christianity promotes preferential option for the poor, he added. He, then, concluded that Socialism is a selfish kind.

However, looking at his arguments, it seemed he was referring to Capitalism which is another social system that emphasizes individual rights. This social system, which became a global system at present, is the ultimate cause why there is a great gap between the rich and the poor, why only few own the lands and riches of the earth, why prices are high without regulation despite its promise of low prices due to competition, why people need to pay much for basic social services such as education and health, and why most people strive only for themselves, competing with one another for survival in this money-driven system.

But the priest forgot Socialism’s other principle that he mentioned which could have saved him from misinterpreting Socialism – fraternity. This principle is what makes Socialism different from other social system. In Capitalism, there is also liberty; it’s just that it is a blind liberty. It also asserts people’s rights but focuses much on individual rights. But with fraternity, Socialism does not limit every person to just asserting his/her individual rights, welfare and liberty but the rights, welfare and liberty of others, as well. With fraternity, Socialism inculcates in the mind of every person the concept of collective – that we are brothers and sisters who shall work together for progress, who shall protect one another and who shall look after the weakest among us as we aim for collective progress, liberty and equality. Unlike Capitalism where individualism and self-centeredness reigns brought by competition, in Socialism, there is unity. This principle is actually the same with what he said Socialism lacks.

In the middle of the priest’s homily, I thought of walking-out like what Carlos Celdran did but I did not have the courage. Also, why would I let a priest’s misleading homily ruin my purpose of attending the mass which was communing with Christ? If only that mass was like the synagogues around 2000 years ago where Jesus Christ would entertain questions and comments from His listeners, I would have raised all the points I wrote here and asked the priest and the church-goers in the end, “So, is Socialism really a selfish kind of social system? Is it really conflicting with Christianity on the matter of its basic principles?” Because for me, it is not. The priest, with all due respect, was just barking at the wrong tree.

First published at: http://www.facebook.com/notes/kristian-jacob-casas-abad-lora/sinulog-2013-socialism-vs-christianity/10151265476814794


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BREAKING NEWS: Cybercrime Law goes in action, prematurely!

This is Cybercrime Law in action! (kahit sa October 3 pa magti-take-effect yung law, may umaabuso na.)

This very recent incident will show us how the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 (RA 10175) is FLAWED and will indeed cause harm to everyone. These statements by a certain page claiming to be of PNP give us a clear picture of what will happen starting October 3, 2012. One, that is suggested by these statements, is the INVASION of PRIVACY of every netizen. If the government suspects us of having committed a “cybercrime” as defined in the newly-enacted law, they can immediately track us down and monitor our accounts, WITHOUT COURT ORDER.

This is a CONSTITUTIONAL VIOLATION. The 1987 Philippine Constitution provides in Article III, Section 3. (1) “The privacy of communication and correspondence shall be inviolable except upon lawful order of the court, or when public safety or order requires otherwise as prescribed by law.”

Familiar, eh? Yes, it exhibits Martial Law, in cyberspace. But not just in cyberspace because threats to our lives continue in the real world — spying, tracking, filing cases against us and the possibility of being punished one degree higher (in case of “online libel”).

Clearly, this law is ANTI-PEOPLE! We CALL the Supreme Court to URGENTLY heed the petitions we filed against the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012!

If the Aquino Government is really democratic, such laws abridging our freedom to exercise our democratic rights should not be passed or approved. In case they have been approved, immediate junking/action to revise shall be done.

Fight for a GENUINELY DEMOCRATIC PHILIPPINES! No to e-Martial Law! Junk the Cybercrime Law! Sign the petition here: http://www.change.org/petitions/junk-the-cybercrime-prevention-law

PS: I hope we can use this against the Cybercrime Law

PSS: Can we file a case against the PNP if our evidences will tell us that it is indeed the PNP that is owning the page? I can feel it poses threat to the netizens who commented on that post, esp. to that person whom the PNP addressed such statements.

More photos:

How it started


Source: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=407344995985593&set=a.145337415519687.39609.145291485524280&type=1&comment_id=1016364&ref=notif&notif_t=like&theater