THE Supreme Court today upheld President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s power to declare a state of emergency but ruled that acts committed by government authorities under Proclamation 1017 were illegal.

Voting 11-3, the Court said that while PP 1017 was constitutional, insofar as it constituted a call by Arroyo for the armed forces to prevent or suppress lawless violence, the warrantless arrests and search of the Daily Tribune office were in violation of the law.

On February 24, Arroyo placed the country under a state of national emergency, claiming that there was a leftist-rightist plot to topple her administration. A week after, the president lifted PP 1017, declaring that the alleged “conspiracy” has been successfully dealt with and that peace and order has been restored.

Following the issuance of PP 1017, University of the Philippines professor and Inquirer columnist Randy David, Akbayan national president Ronald Llamas, and members of the Kilusang Mayo Uno were arrested without warrant while they were holding street protests in celebration of the 20th anniversary of Edsa 1.

A day after, police raided the office of the Daily Tribune, after a warning from the Palace that the media should refrain from publishing rumors and baseless information. Malacañang likewise hinted of a possible takeover of public utilities including media organizations.

The Court said that the warrantless arrests of David and Llamas and the dispersal and warrantless arrests of KMU and NAFLU-KMU members were illegal ” in the absence of proof that (they) were committing acts constituting lawless violence, invasion or rebellion and violating BP 880 (or the Public Assembly Act).”

The “warrantless search of the Tribune offices and whimsical seizure of its articles for publication and other materials (is) declared unconstitutional,” the Court added.

The 78-page ruling was penned by Justice Angelina Sandoval Gutierrez.

Those who concurred were Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban and Associate Justices Leonardo A. Quisumbing, Consuelo Ynares-Santiago, Antonio T. Carpio, Ma. Alicia Austria-Martinez, Conchita Carpio Morales, Romeo J. Callejo Sr., Adolfo S. Azcuna, Minita V. Chico-Nazario, and Cancio C. Garcia. Panganiban and Justice Ynares-Santiago both wrote separate concurring opinions.

Justice Dante O. Tinga issued a dissenting opinion, concurred in by Justices Renato C. Corona and Presbitero Jr. Velasco Jr. Senior Associate Justice Reynato S. Puno, meanwhile, was on leave.

“PP 1017’s extraneous provisions giving the President express or implied power to direct the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) to enforce obedience to all laws even those not related to lawless violence and to impose standards on media or any form of prior restraint on the press, are ultra vires and unconstitutional,” it said.

The Court also held that under Section 17, Article XII of the Constitution, “the President, in the absence of a legislation, cannot take over privately-owned public utility and private business affected with public interest.”

In her concurring opinion, Justice Ynares-Santiago added that as per the powers vested in the president by Article VII, “Arroyo cannot arrogate unto herself the power to take over or direct the operation of any privately owned public utility or business affected with public interest without congressional authorization.”

The Supreme Court further declared General Order No. 5, which implemented PP 1017, as partly valid.

“G.O. No. 5 is constitutional since it provides a standard by which the AFP and the PNP (Philippine National Police) should implement PP 1017, i.e. whatever is ‘necessary and appropriate actions and measures to suppress and prevent acts of lawless violence,”‘ the ruling said, “(c)onsidering that ‘acts of terrorism’ have not yet been defined and made punishable by the legislature, such portion of G.O. No. 5 is declared unconstitutional.”

The Court dismissed the claims of the petitioners that PP 1017 was “actually a declaration of Martial Law.” Arroyo, it said, merely invoked her “calling-out power.” But the Court warned that Arroyo must be careful in the exercise of such powers.

Under the calling-out power, the president may order the armed forces to suppress lawless violence, invasion and rebellion; this also involves “ordinary police action,” the ruling stated.

“Every act that goes beyond the President’s calling-out power is considered illegal,” the Court stressed.

The Court said that while Arroyo’s declaration of a “state of rebellion” during the July 2003 Oakwood mutiny “was merely an act declaring a status or condition of public moment or interest” (Section 4, Chapter 2, Book II of the Revised Administrative Code of 1987), PP 1017 “was more than that.”

“In declaring a state of national emergency, President Arroyo did not only rely on Section 18, Article VII of the Constitution, a provision calling on the AFP to prevent or suppress lawless violence, invasion or rebellion. She also relied on a provision on the State’s extraordinary power to take over privately-owned public utility and business affected with public interest. Indeed, PP 1017 calls for the exercise of an awesome power. Obviously, such Proclamation cannot be deemed harmless,” it said.

In his dissenting opinion, Justice Tinga said while PP 1017 and General Order No. 5 “warrant circumspect scrutiny from those interested and tasked with preserving our civil liberties…the plain fact remains that these issuances are valid on their face, and should result in no constitutional or statutory breaches if applied according to their letter.”

To which Panganiban, in his concurring opinion, said: “Let us face it. Even Justice Tinga concedes that under PP 1017, the police — “to some minds” — “may have flirted with power.”

“Some of those who drafted PP 1017 may be testing the outer limits of presidential prerogatives and the perseverance of this Court in safeguarding the people’s constitutionally enshrined liberty. They are playing with fire, and unless prudently restrained, they may one day wittingly or unwittingly burn down the country. History will never forget, much less forgive, this Court if it allows such misadventure and refuses to strike down abuse at its inception. Worse, our people will surely condemn the misuse of legal hocus pocus to justify this trifling with constitutional sanctities,” Panganiban said.

House Minority Floor Leader Francis Escudero welcomed the ruling, saying that the Court, at the very least, recognized the administration’s abuse of its exercise of power under PP 1017.

The Alternative Law Groups also hailed the decision of the Court. “It is a clear indictment of the repressive acts of the Arroyo administration,” ALG spokesperson Marlon Manuel said.

Tribune editor in chief Ninez Cacho-Olivares said she will file administrative and criminal charges against Presidential chief of staff Michael Defensor, Justice secretary Raul Gonzales, and PNP chief Arturo Lomibao for ordering the raid on their premises.

The Palace, meanwhile, was satisfied with the Court’s decision. Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye said they were glad that the Court upheld the government’s right to “protect itself when under attack.”

Read the Supreme Court’s decision on Proclamation 1017 here.

31 Responses to Supreme Court: PP 1017 partly unconstitutional



May 4th, 2006 at 12:18 am

now what?? with all this brohaha by the SC nothing will happen.this GMA and his evil group will just ignore this or even twist this the solution is in the hands of every good,honest dedicated filipino people to do something to oust this evil GMA..this decission will only be nothing to people like SecErmita,Defensor,Bunye and all lap dog of the administration..just wait and see..sooner DOJ Gonzales will brand this SC justices as anti goverment or maybe destabilizer,or in cahoots with the left and the right..this GMA group is so evil that if we all good filipino doesnt do something and just be a fence sitter..all is hell in this country..Let us all unite now,am calling former pres aquino,ramos,estrada all the clergy and bishop,leaders of religious sector.INC,EL Shadai,Dating Daan Soriano,Born again,JIL villanueva,the NGO`s,student sector,Business group,idealistic mambers/officers of AFP,PNP all Law enforcer and even the NPA,MILF and all the rebel group and oust this evil group of GMA and we put them to where they belong so that they will be a symbol that Crime Does Not Pay..we put them in..JAIL !! Let PEOPLE POWER now begin..


Phil Cruz

May 4th, 2006 at 1:07 am

Well, that’s three out of three for the people and three out of three for Gloria. Although I must say this third Supreme Court decision on “1017” was more clearly really one for the people and was a loud slap on the wrists of Gloria, her legal advisers, her military and police enforcers and her rabid propagandists.

Now we await the next really critical decision from the High Court – the one on the Cha-Cha People’s “Kuno” Initiative. That’s the last major hurdle in the next few weeks or months. This ruling better be clear as day and leave no room for possible misinterpretations again which will lead to more acrimonious delays. And it better be as close to unanimity as possible if not completely unanimous.

Will the Supreme Court finally put to rest all doubts and suspicions about its independence? Will they be leaving a legacy as heels or heroes? As many have already noted, this is it. This is the critical decision. All roads lead to Rome on this one.

If the Magistrates strike down Gloria’s and De Venecia’s Cha-Cha Initiative, they’ll go down in history as one of the most respected ever.

But if they go for the Gloria – JDV initiative…. God help this country and the generations to come. Can the country withstand the temblors that will surely follow after such a decision?



May 4th, 2006 at 1:43 am

Phil Cruz: Indeed, the country waits in bated breath on the SC’s decision on “the Cha-Cha People’s “Kuno” Initiative.” Until then, I guess we shouldn’t exhale just yet…

I read a great article, although, unfortunately, I was unable to catch the name of the columnist, but saved the words on my mobile. If my memory serves me right, I think it was in Business World regarding a year after the “Hello Garci” fiasco. I apologize to the lady columnist for unable to get her name….



May 4th, 2006 at 4:33 am

I agree with you Chabeli and Phil. But the damage has been done. Personally, though the SC has blasted the CPR, EO 464 and PP 1017 to kingdom come, GMA and her minions have achieved their goals. They have managed to prevent the people from kicking them out of the palace long enough for them to rein in the military. Is it better late than never? Its too late at these juncture. We could have taken them down last February.

I will fully respect and believe in the SC when and only if, they shoot down the Cha-Cha as well. We must be more vigilant this time around as our enemy now is stronger. They will stop at nothing to hold on to power.


tongue in, anew

May 4th, 2006 at 4:33 am

I don’t mind if the SC declares PP1017 “partly” unconstitutional. What matters to me is that those provisions which are patently anomalous were struck down by the justices using ungracious language loaded with malediction, venom that usually spews out of Raul Gonzales’ sneered orifice.

It’s disgusting though to hear SCJ Tinga’s remarks, knowing too well that PP1017, judging from the way the exact words of Marcos’ PD1081 were lifted verbatim, was for all intents and purposes short of declaring Martial Law.

We have to watch Tinga more closely now that the preliminaries are over and the final test of that body is when it comes out with its ruling on Peoples Initiative. So will we keep an eye on Puno an Panganiban, previous dissenters to the SC’s decision to declaring unconstitutional PIRMA for chacha under Ramos.

Delikado, baka ma-PUNO tayo ng TINGA, ma-PANGANIB yAN.



May 4th, 2006 at 6:21 am

guess again who has the last laugh…

the orbiter of an SC fell for the LEFT & RIGHT fiction of the palace (NOT bunye’s Left & Right non-fiction, mind you ) as it was not contested by the petitioners.

to wit:

Petitioners failed to show that President Arroyo’s exercise of the calling-out power, by issuing PP 1017, is totally bereft of factual basis. A reading of the Solicitor General’s Consolidated Comment and Memorandum shows a detailed narration of the events leading to the issuance of PP 1017, with supporting reports forming part of the records. Mentioned are the escape of the Magdalo Group, their audacious threat of the Magdalo D-Day, the defections in the military, particularly in the Philippine Marines, and the reproving statements from the communist leaders. There was also the Minutes of the Intelligence Report and Security Group of the Philippine Army showing the growing alliance between the NPA and the military. Petitioners presented nothing to refute such events. Thus, absent any contrary allegations, the Court is convinced that the President was justified in issuing PP 1017 calling for military aid.

i wonder if they (the justices) also viewed the palace video (parts 1 & 2…not the pirated, of course!) on this…

it’s like knowing who’s the victor in the fiction-vs-non-fiction stories…to which my barber predicts to be dan brown and ron howard…

come on, SC, decide on garci’s 2nd petition already! (as djb patiently waits, baycas is already a bit itchy)



May 4th, 2006 at 6:36 am

the moral culled from the orbiters’ recent 3 rules: gloria did right, only her underlings did wrong!


Jon Mariano

May 4th, 2006 at 7:46 am

Regarding PP1017, I think that the decision was a fair one. The president does have the power to issue such PPs, EOs, and other directives. But as seen in the past weeks, the SC also can say whether what the president has done is illegal or not.

What I’ve been looking for (which I haven’t seen yet) is the punishment for the wrong ones, for the actions done based on illegal directives, or illegal actions done based on legal directives. If there’s no punishment, what will hold back GMA or any president thereafter to do the same thing again in the future?

Even if GMA did not do anything illegal personally, she is still responsible with what her minions have done. I thought command responsibility applies here. But then again, what are the consequences for those officers, and GMA herself?



May 4th, 2006 at 7:46 am

The SC rulings have been quite fair and pro-people. Gloria should kick out her legal and political advisers.who are absolute embarrassment.



May 4th, 2006 at 7:55 am

I believe there’s no equivalent punishment anyone can impose on the illegal acts commited by the president other than by impeachment. As to her minions who are equally criminally liable, they can take the route that Ninez Cacho-Olivarez of the Daily Tribune is taking … sue them in court.


Phil Cruz

May 4th, 2006 at 9:00 am

I agree with Jon. Punishment for the wrongdoers is also what I still have to see.

I have always been of the opinion that unless we punish the guilty and render Justice, we will never get out of this rut we’re in. To render Justice, we have to Enforce the laws.

This country does not care about Enforcing laws, rules and regulations. Non-enforcement. Wrong enforcement. Selective enforcement. Stupid and lackadaisical enforcement. Enforcement for the rich, enforcement for the poor. And therefore practically nobody follows laws, rules and regulations.

Proper Enforcement is what puts order to chaos, consistency to randomness. Enforcement builds character for both enforcers and citizens. And Character is what builds nations.

But how do we develop the nation’s capability to Enforce? By punishing those who don’t enforce. And rewarding those who do.

This leads up to the command responsibility principle. If you trace it up the ladder, the responsibility goes up to the highest official of the land, the Presidency. The buck not only stops there, it starts there. Once the Chief Executive starts following the laws and punishes subordinates who don’t, enforcement is easy all the way down the line. And citizens will also begin to be law-abiding.

A law-abiding President is therefore the key. So next time, let’s nominate and elect a law-abiding one. To do this, we have to educate the voting public. Who will do this? Anyone who truly cares for this nation and the generations to come.



May 4th, 2006 at 9:58 am

Although CPR was unconstitutional. The SC also upheld PB 880, encouraged identifying Freedom Parks & advised the policy of max. tolerance be used.
Was the SC trying to please everybody?
Was it trying to create winners & losers?
Although 1017 was Constitutional, some parts where not. While it’s true that some damage was done. Somebody will always have to pay anyway for being in a challenging position. Personaly, anyway those who had to suffer the inconvience where not model citizens anyway.
I think anyone who has more responsibility then the others will always have more chances of making mistakes.
I think that at that time due to circumstances what was done was the better thing to do.
It’s always the same old lot of people challenging the goverment in every oppurtunity.
I know peace loving people had nothing to complain about.
I think the role of the SC is to remind all parties about “the rule of law”.
I don’t remember the role of the SC as being a “punisher”
Only egos where hurt.I don’t see those people humiliated having less freedom today. But they too should pay a price for their beliefs.



May 4th, 2006 at 10:26 am

Proclamation 1017: Canalized by the Constitution…

Update – Supreme Court: PP 1017 partly unconstitutional (PCIJ).  Yesterday, the Supreme Court issued its decision on the petitions assailing President Arroyo’s Proclamation 1017. Contrary to any spin……


Jon Mariano

May 4th, 2006 at 12:13 pm

Joselu, you’ve got to be kidding! How can you say “Personaly, anyway those who had to suffer the inconvenience were not model citizens anyway.”



May 4th, 2006 at 12:43 pm

“Personaly, anyway those who had to suffer the inconvience where not model citizens anyway.”

wow! it’s like saying those wrongly accused convicts rotting in jails are not model citizens anyway so let them continue rotting in jail. include also those wrongly arrested suspects presented in front of cameras. anyway, not much harm is done “only egos where hurt”.


Alecks Pabico

May 4th, 2006 at 1:14 pm

Wow, Joselu, isn’t that a sweeping generalization? You say you know that peace loving people had nothing to complain about Proclamation 1017?

I consider myself peace-loving too and I have a lot to complain about the way things are being run in this country.

To say “only egos were hurt” and that those who were “humiliated” still enjoy their undiminished freedoms anyway is not being truthful about the real situation. What do you take Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran’s continuing detention and the Batasan 5’s protective custody confining them to the Batasan grounds for? Remember that it wasn’t only Prof. Randy David, Ronald Llamas, and Akbayan Rep. Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel who were arrested and charged during the week-long declaration of a state of national emergency. Countless others, mostly urban poor women and children who only wanted to join the activities commemorating the 20th anniversary of Edsa 1, were also among those arrested, detained for several hours without food, and charged. You mean to tell me that only their egos were hurt by those acts?


Manuel L. Quezon III » Newsbreak’s coming expose

May 4th, 2006 at 1:55 pm

[…] Also, the PCIJ blog report on the decision, with this quote from the Chief Justice’s concurring opinion: […]



May 4th, 2006 at 2:59 pm

I recall Randy David’s statement after his release, he said “I’m glad I’m out but I pity those who are still detained because they do not have the battery of lawyers who helped me. Its an eye-opener and makes one think of the less fortunate”. I agree with you Alecks, such sweeping generalization is uncalled for. We shouldn’t be to harsh in condemning the poor for trying to air their grievances to an uncaring and arrogant administration. They have nothing, not even egos. So whose egos were hurt? All these people want is a better life, just a little better.

This administration will stop at nothing to perpetuate their stay in power. They will continually cut corners to suppress this simmering cauldron of discontent. Sooner or later, this blow up in their faces. The sooner the better. The longer they stay in power, the more our country sinks in this quagmire.



May 4th, 2006 at 3:47 pm

Sorry guys, for me their not.I recognize they are fighting for something.I’m sure they are aware of consequences.
Randy David had a battery of lawyers to defend him. I wounder if he thought of sharing his comfortable life w/ the others?
Because personaly, I would look up to people who work silently & achive something insted of people who are continously challenging everything & in the long run are not setting any positive exsamples anyway.It’s their right to do whatever they want.But I think it’s asking to much to demand or ask for admiration.
I think there are more needy people who deserve more attention then a bunch of leftist & rightist.
Because I think more energy & attention must be given to helping the poor.Doing things to keep this country moving.
Alecks, who is to say what is the truthful situation anyway. You can ask 10 different people & you will get 10 fifferent “truthful situations.
I’ glad the batasan are symbolicaly “imprisoned” inside the institution they wanted to exploit for their own end.
Alecks, in reality certain people are only to glad to be arrested.It adds more drama, attract sympathy. That day, even if there was no 1017, There would always be PB 880 that is constitutional anyway.
I suppose many people sympatize w/ them.
Question is, will you participate in those street rallies when you are aware of all the things that can happen to you? Are you ready for the great inconvience, humiliation & all the consequences?
From a comfortable place I guess many would rather give their sympathy cause your not ready to accept the consequences.
There are people insted who do not give much thought to joining street rallies & protest. Because they do it for a leaveing or because they know nothing better to do.
Yes Jon, all they are are radical leaders.Can we credit them for making life better for the majority? They just make more noise then the others.Are these the people we are suppose to look up too?


INSIDE PCIJ: Stories behind our stories » PNP on SC ruling on 1017: There was no abuse of authority

May 4th, 2006 at 3:49 pm

[…] The PNP issued the statement in reaction to the Supreme Court’s Wednesday ruling, which upheld PP 1017 but said that the arrests and raid that accompanied the declaration were illegal. (Click here for the Court’s decision and the concurring and dissenting opinions.) Pagdilao said that while emergency rule was in force, there were “no specific parameters on the legality and constitutionality” of PP 1017 and the General Orders implementing it. […]



May 4th, 2006 at 4:01 pm


“Yes Jon, all they are are radical leaders.Can we credit them for making life better for the majority? They just make more noise then the others.Are these the people we are suppose to look up too?”

a hundred and eight years ago, two groups of radicals, those we know now as the propagandistas and the katipunan (rizal, jacinto, mabini, luna, et al), opposed the status quo and made a lot of noise, more than the “silent majority” of the time.

can we credit them for making life better for the majority?

i suppose not.

are they people we should look up to?

i suppose not.


Jon Mariano

May 4th, 2006 at 4:24 pm

This thread is about the SC’s decision regarding PP1017. I was wondering whether the president who issued the proclamation, and her minions who the SC said did some illegal acts are to be given some form of punishment. Joselu said they deserve what they got, they’re not model citizens anyway (#12). And he added some more non-sequitors in #19.

To me, it’s a question of following the rules. If they don’t they must be given punishment. The thing is, arrest and encarceration is a form of punishment. Randy David, et al were punished using unconstitutional grounds. Those who did it then must be punished.



May 4th, 2006 at 7:44 pm

Yes Jon, heads must roll. Radicals is what made this country, radicals with dreams and principles. So who are we to say that all these radicals are only out for themselves and personal glory? These is the spin that the administration would want us to believe. Each one of us is protected by the constitution and the rule of law. Let the axe fall where its suppose to. Tamaan ang dapat tamaan. We in a democracy not a dictatorship.



May 4th, 2006 at 8:22 pm

Well, if the part of EO l017 declared as unconstitutional like the warrantless arrest, then the recourse for those victims is to seek damages for injuries suffered. It is no contest, since the law is illegal, chances are they may get an out of court settlement for monetary damages. For the criminal parts of course somone has to answer for that, but that is only possible after an impartial investigation and the question is by whom? I suggest a judicial inquiry, since anything done by politician turn to nothing.



May 4th, 2006 at 11:49 pm



INSIDE PCIJ: Stories behind our stories » CBCP: Disclose Mayuga Report

May 11th, 2006 at 10:44 pm

[…] The pastoral letter commended the recent Supreme Court rulings on Executive Order 464 and Proclamation 1017. […]


INSIDE PCIJ: Stories behind our stories » Liberty and prosperity should blossom hand in hand — Chief Justice

May 18th, 2006 at 5:27 pm

[…] The chief justice referred to three recent decisions issued by the Supreme Court in the last month: invalidating major provisions of Executive Order No. 464; upholding the people’s right to peaceably assemble and seek redress for grievances and shooting down the government’s Calibrated Preemptive Response policy; and upholding the civil liberties of the people under a state of national emergency, as issued through Presidential Proclamation 1017. […]


Barako Café » Blog Archive » Partly unconstitutional

May 19th, 2006 at 3:39 pm

[…] PCIJ reports on the SC ruling on 1017 […]


INSIDE PCIJ: Stories behind our stories » Anti-Arroyo groups brace for new impeachment bid

June 20th, 2006 at 4:54 pm

[…] On the first charge, the groups say Arroyo resorted to “dictatorial powers” when she issued Executive Order 464. Moreover, they say, the President “trampled upon Constitutionally protected rights such as the freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and the right to peaceful assembly” by issuing the Calibrated Preemptive Response policy and Presidential Proclamation 1017. […]


INSIDE PCIJ » SONA silent on rights, loud on threats — critics

July 24th, 2007 at 12:02 am

[…] “She has proven the power of the presidency during the Oakwood mutiny and the coup in 2006,” says Angara, recalling the time when the president issued several edicts that, although questioned by various groups, were able to prolong her stay in power. […]


The Daily PCIJ » Blog Archive » Invoking the rule of law

November 29th, 2007 at 8:12 pm

[…] Meanwhile, the President and her allies “flout the law,” according to Colmenares. The Supreme Court declared the government’s policy of Calibrated Preemptive Response unconstitutional, rendered Macapagal-Arroyo’s Executive Order 464 partially void, along with Presidential Proclamation 1017. […]

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