FACTS: On February 24, 2006, as the nation celebrated the 20th Anniversary of EDSA People Power I, President Arroyo issued PP 1017 declaring a state of national emergency. President Arroyo by virtue of the powers vested upon her by Section 18, Article 7 of the Philippine Constitution commanded the Armed Forces of the Philippines to maintain peace and order throughout the Philippines, prevent and suppress all forms of lawless violence as well as any act of insurrection or rebellion. Comes petitioners Randolf S. David, et al, who was arrested without warrant on the basis of PP 1017 and was brought to Camp Karingal, Quezon City where he was finger printed, photographed and booked like a criminal suspect. He was also treated brusquely by policemen and was charged with violation of BP Blg. 880 and later on detained for 7 hours and was released thereafter due to insufficiency of evidence. The petition herein assailed PP 1017 on the grounds that (1) it encroaches on the emergency powers of Congress; (2) it is a subterfuge to avoid the constitutional requireents for the imposition of Martial Law; and (3) it violates the constitutional guarantees of freedom of press, speech and of assembly.
ISSUE: Whether or not the petition is moot and academic.
DECISION: The petition was PARTLY GRANTED.
RATIO DECIDENDI: The case was partly granted since the court finds and so holds PP 1017 constitutional insofar as it constitutes a call by the President for the AFP to prevent to suppress lawless violence. The proclamation is sustained by Section 18, Article VII of the Constitution. However, PP 1017's extraneous provisions giving the President express or implied power (1) to issue decrees; (2) to direct AFP to enforce obedience to all laws even those not related to lawless violence as well as decrees promulgated by the President; (3) to imposed standards on media or any form of prior restraint on the press are ultra vires and unconstitutional. The court also rules that under Section 17, Article XII of the Constitution, the President, in the absence of legislation, cannot take over privately-owned public utility and private business affected with public interest.