Proclamation 1959: Martial Law in Maguindanao

[Full text of Proclamation No. 1959 dated 4 December 2009, declaring martial law in the Province of Maguindanao. See also Declaration of Martial Law under the Philippine Constitution: Exercise and Review.]




WHEREAS, Proclamation No. 1946 was issued on 24 November 2009 declaring a state of emergency in the provinces of Maguindanao, Sultan Kudarat and the City of Cotabato for the purpose of preventing and suppressing lawless violence in the aforesaid areas;

WHEREAS, Section 18, Art.VII of the Constitution provides that “x x x In case of invasion or rebellion, when the public safety requires it, (the President) may, for a period not exceeding sixty days, suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus or place the Philippines or any part thereof under
martial law. x x x”

WHEREAS, R.A. No. 6986 provides that the crime of rebellion or insurrection is committed by rising publicly and taking arms against the Government for the purpose of xxx depriving the Chief Executive or the Legislature, wholly or partially, of any of their powers or prerogatives.”

WHEREAS, heavily armed groups in the province of Maguindanao have established positions to resist government troops, thereby depriving the Executive of its powers and prerogatives to enforce the laws of the land and to maintain public order and safety;

WHEREAS, the condition of peace and order in the province of Maguindanao has deteriorated to the extent that the local judicial system and other government mechanisms in the province are not functioning, thus endangering public safety;

WHEREAS, the Implementing Operational Guidelines of the GRP-MILF Agreement on the General Cessation of Hostilities dated 14 November 1997 provides that the following is considered a prohibited hostile act: “x x x establishment of checkpoints except those necessary for the GRP’s enforcement and maintenance of peace and order; and, for the defense and security of the MILF in their identified areas, as jointly determined by the GRP and MILF. x x x”

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO, President of the Republic of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Constitution and by law, do hereby proclaim, as follows:

SECTION 1. There is hereby declared a state of martial law in the province of Maguindanao, except for the identified areas of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front as referred to in the Implementing Operational Guidelines of the GRP-MILF Agreement on the General Cessation of Hostilities.

SECTION 2. The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall likewise be suspended in the aforesaid area for the duration of the state of martial law.

DONE in the City of Manila, this 4th day of December in the year of our Lord, Two Thousand and Nine.


By the President:

Executive Secretary


4 thoughts on “Proclamation 1959: Martial Law in Maguindanao

  1. xcyne

    Just a matter of curiousity, is it possible that the proclamation is just staged in order to open the possibility of dismissal of cases which may be filed against the perpetrators of the involved crime based on technicalities on the warrantless arrest? This question comes to mind given the “close” relationship between the president and the perpetrators and the several transactions that both are/were involved in. Thanks

  2. david

    The rule of MARTIAL LAW had no chioce but to be established due to the such goverment involvement in such a issue.And the power struggle of a area by using weapons as the main source of power and income.

    Until all weapons and private arimies and groups that are armed with goverment issue weapons are removed from power though weaponry then there will always be a issue in this area of the country.

    Based on the facts it is known to beleive that the said groups are or where gaining not only income but power though the sell of weapons to private groups or armies and maintain in the proper power positions though having contacts with in the goverment system.

    This further shows to the international goverments how strong the corruptions are within the goverment system in the country.

  3. Balili Swim

    The ambush may be another stage play to justify martial law. What’s the point of travelling at night? To hide the fact that the ambush is fake? Remember the so called rescue attempt for Andal Ampatuan, Jr. at NBI Manila? It is inexplicable why the would be rescuers had to leave their vehicle and weapons near the Ampatuan cell where the police and media will surely find. The government may have staged it to justify martial law.

  4. arab_prince

    I am just curious as what will happen to the petitions questioning the validity of Proclamation No. 1959? Will the administration answer these charges? And will the President invoke the Doctrine of State Immunity regarding this?

    Another thing is, what happened to Resolution 1522? I think the President didn’t withdrew Martial Law because of that.


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