“Under the 1987 Charter, the President, in cases of invasion, cannot declare Martial Law unless actual invasion occurs. Isn’t that crazy, and even stupid?”
Last September 21, the nation marked the 50th anniversary of Martial Law when then President Ferdinand E. Marcos, the father of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., proclaimed the emergency nationwide.
As usual, as they have always been doing, militants, activists and leftists have been crying out, “Never Again, Never Again!”
Obviously, those crying out against another Martial Law proclamation are not aware that under the 1987 charter Martial Law is a toothless tiger.
Bongbong Marcos’ late father based his proclamation under the 1935 Constitution, which actually gave the President almost an absolute power as commander-in-chief of the armed forces to declare martial Law.
But, under the 1987 Charter framed by a Constitutional Commission handpicked by the late Cory Aquino herself, the commission overreacted by virtually emasculating the provision under which Martial Law could be declared “to suppress lawless violence, invasion or rebellion” and removed the prerequisite “IN IMMINENT DANGER THEREOF,” which actually made the proclamation of Martial Law meaningless.
Santa Banana, under the 1987 charter, the President, in cases of invasion, cannot declare Martial Law unless actual invasion occurs. Isn’t that crazy, and even stupid?
How can a President declare Martial Law when an invasion occurs when the military is already trained to defend the territory when an actual rebellion occurs.
There would be no need to declare Martial Law since it is the duty and responsibility of the Armed Forces to defend the country. That’s the reason why “imminent danger thereof” is necessary to declare Martial Law, my gulay, or when public safety requires it.
Another stupid overreaction to Marcos’ Martial Law is the limitation not exceeding 60 days.
My gulay, suppose invasion or rebellion occurs beyond 60 days, how can you limit them?
To limit Martial Law to only two months is crazy and even stupid, but that’s what Section 18 of Article VII under the Cory constitution wants!
Now read these: “Within 48 hours from the proclamation of Martial Law or the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, the President shall submit a report in person or in writing to the Congress.
“The Congress, voting jointly, by a vote of at least a majority of all its members in regular or special session, may revoke such proclamation or suspension, which revocation shall not be set aside by the President.
“Upon the initiative of the President, the Congress may, in the same manner, extend such proclamation or suspension for a period to be determined by the Congress, if the invasion or rebellion shall persist and public safety requires it.
“The Congress, if not in session, shall within 24 hours, following such proclamation or suspension, convene in accordance with its rules without need of a call.
“The Supreme Court may review, in an appropriate proceeding filed by any citizen, the sufficiency of the factual basis of the proclamation of Martial Law or the suspension of the privilege of the writ of or extension thereof, and must promulgate its decision thereon within 30 days from its filing. “
Read these too: “The state of Martial Law does not suspend the operation of the Constitution, nor supplant the functioning of 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.
“The suspension of the privilege of the writ shall apply only to persons judicially charged for rebellion offenses inherent or directly connected with invasion.
“During the suspension of the privilege of the writ, any person thus arrested or detained shall be judicially charged within three days, otherwise shall be released.”
Thus if you analyze carefully all the overreactions to the Marcos Martial Law, any President would be crazy or even stupid to proclaim Martial Law under these circumstances because the frame of the 1987 charter, obviously upon the instruction of Cory Aquino, has made Martial Law a toothless tiger and even meaningless.
So, what are the anti-Marcos activists and the leftists crying about Martial Law?
“Never Again” they cried out as the nation marked the anniversary of Martial Law.
But, as I said, if any President will proclaim Martial Law under the 1987 Constitution, he must be really crazy or even stupid because it is a toothless tiger.
I believe that those crying out “Never Again” for Martial law are truly more stupid because the 1987 Constitution makes Martial Law meaningless.
So, doesn’t that make those crying out against Martial Law more stupid?
• • •
As we marked the 50th anniversary of Proclamation 1081, which imposed a nationwide Martial law by President Ferdinand E. Marcos, I have my own story to tell.
A week before that date, Sept 21, 1972, there were rumors all over town that President Marcos would declare Martial Law because of the growing threat of the Maoist communists, led by Joma Sison, head of the Communist Party of the Philippines.
On the night of Sept 21, I went to bed early. I was tired since at that time, aside from being vice president of Kanlaon Broadcasting System (KBS), then owned by the sugar magnate Roberto S. Benedicto, I had a daily column at the Philippine Daily Express, also owned by Benedicto, a daily radio program and a twice a week television program over Channel 9, also operated by KBS.
At about one o’clock the next morning, my telephone rang and the voice at the other end said frantically, “Sir, you better come to the station.”
Channel 9 was then along Roxas Boulevard, a short distance from the defunct Savoy Hotel (now the Midas Hotel) .
Santa Banana, on my way to Channel 9, I had to pass through three checkpoints manned by heavily armed soldiers.
Luckily, I had my ID tag as an official of Channel 9.
When I reached the station, the chief of security met me and showed me a big sheet of paper saying that Proclamation 1081 was declared by Marcos nationwide and that Channel 9, being a media outlet, was closed. I stayed with the crowd until six o’clock in the morning and decided to go home.
On my way home, as I was cruising along EDSA, I decided to drop by the Hotel Intercontinental coffeeshop for a cup of coffee.
When I entered the hotel, I saw sitting together at a large table Makati Mayor Nemesio Yabut with a big duffle bag, noted columnist Doroy Valencia, businessman Jesus Dayrit, BIR Commissioner Joe Viterbo and Brigido Sibug, assistant to Yabut.
When I asked them why they were there, Yabut told me that he expected to be picked up because he was suspected to have killed a certain labor leader reportedly close to Marcos, adding he had Valencia with him to ensure that he (Yabut) would not be killed summarily.
I joined them anyway, and at 10 o’clock I decided to go home.
When I reached home, my wife told me that I had a call from Channel 9. So I rushed back to the station where I was told to accompany a TV crew to Malacanang to cover the announcement of Marcos proclaiming Martial Law nationwide.
Broadcaster Jose Manuel “Babe” Romualdez was with me because he was supposed to announce the presence of Marcos to explain Proclamation 1081.
At Malacanang, as soon as Romualdez made the announcement, then Press Secretary Kit Tatad appeared to introduce Marcos and, out of sheer nervousness, over television Tatad was seen scratching his head.
Then Marcos came and made the announcement of Proclamation 1081 nationwide.
That meeting with Yabut, Valencia, Dayrit, Viterbo and Sibug started the 365 Club, a gathering of people who would just like to talk.
The 365 Club started when Doroy Valencia told me to invite all the media people who lost their jobs because of Martial Law and to tell them that they could have free breakfast every day at the Hotel Intercontinental.
Yabut was just smiling because he knew he would be the one paying for all those free breakfasts.
But a month later, Yabut was already complaining that his treasurer was paying too much because the media people and their families were not only taking breakfast, but also lunch and dinner.
Doroy Valencia had no choice but to issue what he called Proclamation 1082.
Henceforth, those going to the 365 Club at Hotel Intercontinental would have to pay KKB (Going Dutch).
That is what started the 365 Club, which just celebrated its 50th Anniversary together with Martial Law.
Today, the 365 Club remains a non-structural gathering of people from media, business, government past and present and plain citizens who want to express their opinions about anything on business and politics.
Since I am the only living co-founder of the 265 Club, I also proclaimed myself as Chairman Emeritus.
The fact that the 365 Club has lasted this long is proof that free speech could never be suppressed in the Philippines, even under Martial Law.
Another event, which I hate to recall, was our takeover of ABS-CBN.
We were told that our station, Channel 9 , would take over ABS-CBN because the Lopezes had left Manila, and that ABS-CBN would be taken over by KBS.
Santa Banana, we were like the Japanese Occupation forces entering the Old City of Manila.
We took over every room where there were cameras and facilities.
And aside from my work as television manager of Public Affairs, I was told to take over as manager of GTV-4, the government station.
This lasted until Marcos was ousted from power in 1986.