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The sole substantive issue to be resolved is, therefore,

whether there is sufficient factual basis for Proclamation No.

216. While I arrive at the same conclusion as the ponencia
that there exists an actual rebellion and public safety requires
the declaration of martial law and suspension of the privilege
of the writ of habeas corpus in the entire Mindanao, I
propose a different standard ofreview for an Article VII,
Section 18 proceeding.
A review of the sufficiency of factual basis involves inquiry
into the existence oftwo things: (1) actual rebellion or
invasion; and (2) the demands of public safety. While they
involve separate factual issues, these twin requirements are
inseparably entwined. Thus, the proper standard of review
must be one that is applicable to both.
Martial law is essentially police power. It has for its object
"public safety," which is the principal concern of police
power. However, whereas police power is normally a
legislative function executed by the executive
arm, martial law is exercised by the executive with the aid of
the military.

VII, Section 18 is to verify the sufficiency of the factual basis

of the President's action, the standard may be restated as such
evidence that is adequate to satisfy a reasonable mind seeking the
truth (or falsity) of its
factual existence. This is a flexible test that balances the
President's authority to respond to exigencies created by a
state of invasion or rebellion and the Court's duty to ensure
that the executive act is within the bounds set by the
Constitution. The test does not require absolute truth of the
facts alleged to have been relied upon by the President, but
simply that totality
of facts and circumstances make the allegations more likely
than not to be

Indeed, the proposed standard hews closely to probable

cause, which speaks of a "reasonably discreet and prudent
man," but without being subject to the same jurisprudential
restrictions. The purpose of the inquiry is not to determine
whether an offense has been committed by a specific person
or group of persons, rather it is to verify the truth or falsity of
the facts relied upon by the President.
The test of reasonableness is also comparable to the
substantial evidence standard in administrative cases, which
is defined as "that amount of relevant evidence which a
reasonable mind might accept as adequate to justify a
conclusion."39 But, again, substantial evidence has a specific
legal meaning in our jurisdiction and is used in cases decided
by administrative or quasi-judicial bodies. It does not and
cannot be applied, in its accepted form, in testing the validity
of a purely executive act, such as the proclamation of martial
law or suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas
corpus, for the President does not take evidence-in the sense
in which the term is used in judicial or quasi-judicial
proceedings-before he acts.40
all have in common is that they use as a benchmark the
hypothetical "reasonable mind" or "reasonable person,"
which signifies a sensible mind, fairly judicious in his
actions, and at least somewhat cautious in reaching his
In order to avoid a repeat of the excesses associated with the
Marcos martial law, the 1987 Constitution narrowed the
grounds for suspension of the privilege and declaration of
martial law to "invasion or rebellion, when the public safety
requires it." It removed lawless violence and insurrection as
grounds, as well as the phrase "imminent danger thereof,"
which means that there must be actual rebellion. Notably, the
grounds set by the 1987 Constitution are the exact same
grounds that first appeared in the suspension clause of the
US Constitution. The similarity did not escape the attention
of Father Bernas who, while agreeing that martial law under
the 1987 Constitution falls under Willoughby's third
fonnulation, observed that "[m]artial law in the Philippines
jurisdiction is imposed not by or through an authorization
from Congress but by the Executive as specifically
authorized and within the limits set by the Constitution."49
the varying factual circumstances and conclusions reached
by the Court in these cases,
they all have one thing in common: the word 'rebellion,' as
used in the Constitution, was never seen as being confined to
the RPC definition. The factual bases in Barcelon and
Montenegro do not squarely fall within the definition of the
RPC. Lansang and Garcia-Padilla arguably did, but the
analysis did not involve the RPC definition. In these cases,
the Court consistently viewed rebellion from a national
security perspective rather than a criminal law vantage point.
The framers were presumably aware of these decisions, yet
made no attempt to define rebellion. There is nothing in the
debates that show a clear intent to either limit it to the RPC
definition 60

leave it the determination to Congress. Therefore, rebellion
in the
Constitution properly refers to a "state ofrebellion" rather
than the "crime of
rebellion. "

Of course, the President cannot declare martial law or

suspend the
writ on the basis of any disturbances. There must be some
baseline against
which the President's action may be evaluated against. It has
been suggested
that what is essential is that armed hostilities is in defiance of
authorities. This is similar to the first portion of the RPC
definition: "rising publicly and
rebellion as an "open, organized, and armed resistance to an
taking arms against the Govemment."
Black's Law Dictionary defines

The common theme is that there is a public, armed resistance

to the government. In my view, this definition is the most
consistent with the purpose ofthe grant ofmartial
law/suspension powers: to meet the exigencies of internal or
external threats to the very existence of the
government or ruler."
most of what the Government would present as evidence to
justify the President's action can be set out in the Report he
submits to the
Congress. The executive department can, for example,
consider attaching to
the President's Report proof of the factual bases for the
declaration of
martial law and suspension of the privilege of the writ. These
may include
judicial affidavits, declassified or redacted military
intelligence reports, and
other products of the executive's fact-finding and intelligence

the public's fears as to a possible abuse of the exercise of the
President's extraordinary powers and even avoid/discourage
legal challenges to it before this Court.