Aquino vs Minister of Defense Juan Ponce Enrile Martial Law – Habeas Corpus – Power of the President to Order Arrests Enrile (then Minister of National Defense), pursuant to the order of Marcos issued and ordered the arrest of a number of individuals including Benigno Aquino Jr even without any charge against them. Hence, Aquino and some others filed for habeas corpus against Juan Ponce Enrile. Enrile’s answer contained a common and special affirmative defense that the arrest is valid pursuant to Marcos’ declaration of Martial Law. ISSUE: Whether or not Aquino’s detention is legal in accordance to the declaration of Martial Law. HELD: The Constitution provides that in case of invasion, insurrection or rebellion, or imminent danger against the state, when public safety requires it, the President may suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus or place the Philippines or any part therein under Martial Law. In the case at bar, the state of rebellion plaguing the country has not yet disappeared, therefore, there is a clear and imminent danger against the state. The arrest is then a valid exercise pursuant to the President’s order. Same; Question us to whether or not the Court can inquire into the factual bases for the proclamation of martial law has become moot and purposeless as a consequence of the general referendum of July 27-28, 1973.—Any inquiry by this Court in the present cases into the constitutional sufficiency of the factual bases for the proclamation of martial law has become moot and purposeless as a consequence of the general referendum of July 27-28, 1973. The question propounded to the voters was: “Under the (1973) Constitution, the President, if he so desires, can continue in office beyond 1973. Do you want President Marcos to continue beyond 1973 and finish the reforms he initiated under Martial Law?” The overwhelming majority of those who cast their ballots, including citizens between 15 and 18 years, voted affirmatively on the proposal. The question was thereby removed from the area of presidential power under the Constitution and transferred to the seat of sovereignty itself. Whatever may be the nature of the exercise of that power by the President in the beginning—whether or not purely political and therefore non-justiciable—this Court is precluded from applying its judicial yardstick to the act of the sovereign. Same; Question as to the validity of Proclamation No. 1081 has been foreclosed by the transitory provision of the 1973 Constitution.—The question of the validity of Proclamation No. 1081 has been foreclosed by the transitory provision of the 1973 Constitution [Art. XVII, Sec. 3(2)] that “all proclamations, orders, decrees, instructions, and acts promulgated, issued, or done by the incumbent President shall be part of the law of the land and shall remain valid, legal, binding and effective even after . . . the ratification of this Constitution. . . .” To be sure, there is an attempt in these cases to resuscitate the issue of the effectivity of the new Constitution. All that, however, is behind us now. The question has been laid to
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- Winter '18
- Political Law, Supreme Court of the United States, Habeas corpus, Military tribunal