AQUINO VS. MILITARY COMMISSION NO.2G.R. NO. L-37364MAY 9, 1975FACTS:Following the proclamation of martial law in the Philippines, Benigno S.Aquino Jr. was arrested on 23 September 1972, pursuant to General Order 2-A of the President for complicity in a conspiracy to seize political and statepower in the country and to take over the Government. He was detained atFort Bonifacio in Rizal province.On 25 September 1972, he sued for a writ of habeas corpus in whichhe questioned the legality of the proclamation of martial law and his arrest anddetention. The Supreme Court issued a writ of habeas corpus, returnable to it,and required the Chief of Staff, Armed Forces of the Philipines, the Secretaryof National Defense, etc. to file their respective answers, after which the casewas heard. Thereafter, the parties submitted their memoranda. Aquino's lastReply memorandum was dated 30 November 1972.On 17 September 1974, the Supreme Court dismissed the petition andupheld the validity of martial law and the arrest and detention of Aquino. Theoriginal petition in the case was filed on 23 August 1973. It sought to restrainthe Military Commission from proceeding with the hearing and trial of Aquinoon 27 August 1973. Because of the urgency of the petition, the Supreme Courtcalled a hearing on Sunday, August 26, on the question of whether with itsmembership of only 9 Justices, it had a quorum to take cognizance of thepetition in view of the constitutional questions involved. At that hearing, theCourt asked the parties to agree to seek from the Military Commission apostponement of Aquino's trial the following day. The purpose was to relieve the Court of the pressure of having todecide the question of quorum without adequate time to do so. When theproceedings before the Military Commission opened the following day,however, Aquino questioned the fairness of the trial and announced that he didnot wish to participate in the proceedings even as he discharged both hisdefense counsel of choice and his military defense counsel. The proceedingswere thereupon adjourned to another day. In the meantime, for Aquino'sassurance, a Special Committee, composed of a retired Justice of theSupreme Court, to be designated by the Chief Justice, as Chairman, and four(4) members to be designated respectively by petitioner, the President of theIntegrated Bar of the Philippines, the Secretary of Justice and the Secretary ofNational Defense, was created to reinvestigate the charges against Aquino.The Secretaries of Justice and National Defense designated theirrepresentatives but Aquino refused to name his. The Chief Justice asked former Justice J. B. L. Reyes but the latterdeclined, as he also declined in his capacity as President of the IBP todesignate a representative to the Committee. As a result, with only two of its
members designated, the Special Committee has not been able to function.