Presidential Powers


Presidential powers; calling-out power. Petitioners contend that the President unlawfully exercised emergency powers when she ordered the deployment of AFP and PNP personnel in the Provinces of Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat and the City of Cotabato.

The Supreme Court held that such deployment is not by itself an exercise of emergency powers as understood under Section 23 (2), Article VI of the Constitution. 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. But, apart from the fact that there was no such take over to begin with, the SC held the imminence of violence and anarchy at the time the President issued Proclamation 1946 was too grave to ignore and as a result, the President had to act to prevent further bloodshed and hostilities in the places mentioned. Progress reports also indicated that there was movement in these places of both high-powered firearms and armed men sympathetic to the two clans.

Thus, to pacify the people’s fears and stabilize the situation, the President had to take preventive action. She called out the armed forces to control the proliferation of loose firearms and dismantle the armed groups that continuously threatened the peace and security in the affected places.Datu Zaldy Uy Ampatuan, et al. v. Hon. Ronaldo Puno, et al., G.R. No. 190259. June 7, 2011.