Category Archives: Elections & Constitutional Law

Effect of Certification by President that a Proposed Law is Urgent; Engrossed/Enrolled Bill

The recent passage of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 (House Bill No. 6875) by the House of Representatives brings to fore, among others, the effect of Presidential certification on the urgency of the proposed law. The copy of the CURES Act, on the other hand, contains a note that it is an engrossed bill. What is the legal significance of the certification by the President that a Senate Bill or House Bill is urgent? What is an engrossed bill or enrolled bill?

Continue reading

Both Legislative Franchise and NTC Permit (CPC) Required for Television and Radio Stations

Can the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) authorize a radio or television station to operate without a congressional franchise? This question was squarely answered in the 2003 case of Associated Communications & Wireless Services – United Broadcasting Networks vs. NTC (G.R. No. 144109, 17 February 2003). The decision was penned by Supreme Court Justice Reynato S. Puno.

Continue reading

Declaration of Martial Law under the Philippine Constitution: Exercise and Review

The constitutional provisions on Martial Law — as contained in Section 18, Article VII of the Constitution — is intended to provide additional safeguard against possible abuse by the President in the exercise of his power to declare martial law or suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus. Section 18 contains six paragraphs, and reads in full:

Continue reading

Full List of Emergency Powers Granted to the President under the “Bayanihan to Heal As One Act” (Republic Act No. 11469)

The “Bayanihan to Heal As One Act” (Republic Act No. 11469) grants Emergency Powers to President Rodrigo R. Duterte in order to address the national emergency brought about by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Under R.A. 11469 (update: implementing directives), the President shall have the power to adopt the following temporary emergency measures to respond to crisis brought by the pandemic:

Continue reading

Congressional Grant of Emergency Powers to the President: The Philippine Experience

The public health emergency caused by the novel coronavirus, subsequently named Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19), is the first of its kind in our lifetime. The request for emergency powers to address a national emergency, however, is not the first of its kind.  On 23 March 2020, the House of Representatives started its deliberations on House Bill No. 6616, declaring a national emergency and granting emergency powers in favor of President Rodrigo Duterte. Three decades earlier, Congress passed a law declaring a state of national emergency and granting emergency powers to the President. 

Continue reading

Valid Warrantless Searches in the Philippines

People have the constitutional right “to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable, and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized” (Constitution, Article III, Section 2). There are, however, exceptions to the requirement of a search warrant. The following are instances of valid warrantless searches:

Continue reading

Supreme Court Decision on Martial Law in Mindanao (Lagman vs. Medialdea, G.R. Nos. 231658, G.R. No. 231771, G.R. No. 231774; Full Text)

The Supreme Court of the Philippines FINDS sufficient factual basis for the issuance of Proclamation No. 216 and DECLARES it as CONSTITUTIONAL. Full text copy in PDF below (wait for the content to load). See also Declaration of Martial Law under the Philippine Constitution: Exercise and Review. Continue reading

Ferdinand Marcos Burial Case: Supreme Court Decision in Ocampo et al. vs. Enriquez, G.R. Nos. 225973 (full text)

[The Supreme Court of the Philippines, voting 9-5, dismissed the petitions seeking to disallow the burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. This is the full text of the Supreme Court’s majority decision in the Marcos burial case, Ocampo et al. vs. Enriquez, G.R. Nos. 225973, 225984, 226097, 226116, 226117, 226120, and 226294, 8 November 2016].

Continue reading