Legally Yours,  Political Law

David v. Arroyo

Constitutional Law. Political Law. Powers of the President.
David v. Arroyo
GR No. 171396; May 3, 2006

President Arroyo issued PP1017 declaring a state of national emergency. This case covers the seven consolidated petitions for certiorari assailing the constitutionality of PP1017 and General Order No. 5 implementing the former. it is alleged that in doing so, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo committed grave abuse of discretion and that respondent officials of the Government, in their professed efforts to defend and preserve democratic institutions are actually trampling upon the very freedom guaranteed and protected by the constitution.

Whether or not PP1017 and GO No. 5 are constitutional

The assailed PP1017 is unconstitutional insofar as it grants President Arroyo the authority to promulgate decrees. legislative power is peculiarly within the province of the Legislature, Section 1, Article VI categorically states that “the legislative power shall be vested in the Congress of the Philippines, which shall consist of a Senate and a House of Representatives”. To be sure, neither martial law nor a state of rebellion nor a state of emergency can justify President Arroyo’s exercise of legislative power by issuing decrees. It follows that these decrees are void and, therefore, cannot be enforced. With respect to “laws”, she cannot call the military to enforce or implement certain laws such as customs laws, laws governing family and property relations, laws on obligations and contracts, and the like. She can only order the military under PP1017, to enforce laws pertaining to its duty to suppress lawless violence.

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