Duterte: Congress, SC should have no say on martial law

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte shows a medal during his speech to troops during the 81st anniversary of the Armed Forces of the Philippines at Camp Aguinaldo military headquarters in Quezon city, north of Manila, Philippines on Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016

MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte wants to amend the provisions in the 1987 Constitution that check a president’s power to declare and implement martial law.

The chief executive noted that he cannot proceed on declaring martial law in case of war or invasion as such authority is subject to review by Congress and the Supreme Court.

The executive, legislative and judiciary are co-equal branches of government.

“Pupunta pa sa Congress. Pupunta pa ako doon sa SC. If there’s anybody who would file a complaint to look into the factual [basis for the declaration] kung totoo ba, which you could not do,” Duterte said in a speech in Pampanga on Thursday.

“Eh, kung magulo ang mundo? Kaya nga martial law na para isang tao na lang ang magdirekta,” president said.
Duterte noted that the Congress and the Supreme Court might have different opinions on the declaration of martial law.

“Eh, kung iba ang SC? Magsabi ang Congress, yes. No ito, yes itong isa. Saan mo ako ilagay? Kaya kailangan talagang palitan iyan,” Duterte said.

The 1987 Constitution states that the president may place the Philippines under martial law for no more than 60 days and only in case of invasion or rebellion.

Section 18, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution states that the president may likewise suspend the writ of habeas corpus within 48 hours from the proclamation of martial law.

The president is required to submit a report in person or in writing to Congress regarding the declaration of martial law or the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus. Congress, through a majority vote, can overturn the declaration. Congressional concurrence is also required to extend the declaration of martial law.

The Supreme Court may also review the sufficiency of the factual basis of the proclamation of martial law or its extension if a citizen petitions it to do so.

“A state of martial law does not suspend the operation of the Constitution, nor supplant the functioning of the civil courts or legislative assemblies, nor authorize the conferment of jurisdiction on military courts and agencies over civilians where civil courts are able to function, nor automatically suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus,” the constitution reads.