ISSUE: Wheter or not President Arroyo invalidly exercised emergency powers when she called out the AFP and PNP to prevent and suppress all incidents of lawless violence in Maguindano, Sultan Kudarat, and Cotabato City.
FACTS: On 24 November 2009, the day after the Maguindanao Massacre, then Pres. Arroyo issued Proclamation 1946, placing “the Provinces of Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat and the City of Cotabato under a state of emergency.” She directed the AFP and the PNP “to undertake such measures as may be allowed by the Constitution and by law to prevent and suppress all incidents of lawless violence” in the named places. Three days later, she also issued AO 273 “transferring” supervision of the ARMM from the Office of the President to the DILG. She subsequently issued AO 273-A, which amended the former AO (the term “transfer” used in AO 273 was amended to “delegate”, referring to the supervision of the ARMM by the DILG).
RATIO DECIDENDI: The deployment is not by itself an exercise of emergency powers as understood under Section 23 (2), Article VI of the Constitution, which provides: SECTION 23. x x x (2) In times of war or other national emergency, the Congress may, by law, authorize the President, for a limited period and subject to such restrictions as it may prescribe, to exercise powers necessary and proper to carry out a declared national policy. Unless sooner withdrawn by resolution of the Congress, such powers shall cease upon the next adjournment thereof The President did not proclaim a national emergency, only a state of emergency in the three places mentioned. And she did not act pursuant to any law enacted by Congress that authorized her to exercise extraordinary powers. The calling out of the armed forces to prevent or suppress lawless violence in such places is a power that the Constitution directly vests in the President. She did not need a congressional authority to exercise the same.