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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).

1. Whether Proclamation 1946 and AOs 273 and 273-A

violate the principle of local autonomy under the Constitution
and The Expanded ARMM Act

Claiming that the Presidents issuances encroached on the

ARMMs autonomy, petitioners Datu Zaldy Uy Ampatuan,
Ansaruddin Adiong, and Regie Sahali-Generale, all ARMM
officials, filed this petition for prohibition under Rule 65. They
alleged that the Presidents proclamation and orders
encroached on the ARMMs autonomy as these issuances
empowered the DILG Secretary to take over ARMMs
operations and to seize the regional governments powers.
They also claimed that the President had no factual basis for
declaring a state of emergency, especially in the Province of
Sultan Kudarat and the City of Cotabato, where no critical
violent incidents occurred and that the deployment of troops
and the taking over of the ARMM constitutes an invalid
exercise of the Presidents emergency powers. Petitioners
asked that Proclamation 1946 as well as AOs 273 and 273-A
be declared unconstitutional.

2. Whether or not President Arroyo invalidly exercised

emergency powers when she called out the AFP and the PNP
to prevent and suppress all incidents of lawless violence in
Maguindanao, Sultan Kudarat, and Cotabato City
3. Whether or not the President had factual bases for her


1. The principle of local autonomy was not violated. DILG

Secretary did not take over control of the powers of the
ARMM. After law enforcement agents took the respondent
Governor of ARMM into custody for alleged complicity in the
Maguindanao Massacre, the ARMM ViceGovernor, petitioner
Adiong, assumed the vacated post on 10 Dec. 2009 pursuant
to the rule on succession found in Sec. 12 Art.VII of RA 9054.
In turn, Acting Governor Adiong named the then Speaker of
the ARMM Regional Assembly, petitioner SahaliGenerale,
Acting ARMM Vice-Governor. The DILG Secretary therefore
did not take over the administration or the operations of the

2. 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.

3. The Presidents call on the armed forces to prevent or

suppress lawless violence springs from the power vested in
her under Section 18, Article VII of the Constitution, which

Section 18. The President shall be the Commander-in-Chief of

all armed forces of the Philippines and whenever it becomes
necessary, he may call out such armed forces to prevent or
suppress lawless violence, invasion or rebellion. x x x

While it is true that the Court may inquire into the factual
bases for the Presidents exercise of the above power, it
would generally defer to her judgment on the matter. As the
Court acknowledged in Integrated Bar of the Philippines v.
Hon. Zamora, it is clearly to the President that the
Constitution entrusts the determination of the need for
calling out the armed forces to prevent and suppress lawless
violence. Unless it is shown that such determination was
attended by grave abuse of discretion, the Court will accord
respect to the Presidents judgment. Thus, the Court said:

If the petitioner fails, by way of proof, to support the

assertion that the President acted without factual basis, then
this Court cannot undertake an independent investigation
beyond the pleadings. The factual necessity of calling out the
armed forces is not easily quantifiable and cannot be
objectively established since matters considered for
satisfying the same is a combination of several factors which
are not always accessible to the courts. Besides the absence
of textual standards that the court may use to judge
necessity, information necessary to arrive at such judgment
might also prove unmanageable for the courts. Certain
pertinent information might be difficult to verify, or wholly
unavailable to the courts. In many instances, the evidence
upon which the President might decide that there is a need to
call out the armed forces may be of a nature not constituting
technical proof.

On the other hand, the President, as Commander-in-Chief has

a vast intelligence network to gather information, some of
which may be classified as highly confidential or affecting the
security of the state. In the exercise of the power to call, onthe-spot decisions may be imperatively necessary in
emergency situations to avert great loss of human lives and
mass destruction of property. Indeed, the decision to call out
the military to prevent or suppress lawless violence must be
done swiftly and decisively if it were to have any effect at all.
x x x.

The imminence of violence and anarchy at the time the

President issued Proclamation 1946 was too grave to ignore
and she 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 peoples 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.

Here, petitioners failed to show that the declaration of a state

of emergency in the Provinces of Maguindanao, Sultan
Kudarat and Cotabato City, as well as the Presidents exercise
of the calling out power had no factual basis. They simply
alleged that, since not all areas under the ARMM were placed
under a state of emergency, it follows that the takeover of
the entire ARMM by the DILG Secretary had no basis too.

Since petitioners are not able to demonstrate that the

proclamation of state of emergency in the subject places and
the calling out of the armed forces to prevent or suppress
lawless violence there have clearly no factual bases, the
Court must respect the Presidents actions.

G.R. No. 197291 April 3, 2013 AMPATUAN JR. vs. SEC.


(RTC), Branch 26, in Manila, dismissing petitioners petition

for mandamus.2

G.R. No. 197291


April 3, 2013


SEC. LEILA DE LIMA, as Secretary of the Department of
Justice, , Respondents.
This is a direct appeal by petition for review on certiorari
assailing the the final order issued by the Regional Trial Court

In the joint resolution issued on February 5, 2010, the Panel

of Prosecutors charged 196 individuals with multiple murder
in relation to the Maguindanao massacre. One Kenny
Dalandag, was admitted into the Witness Protection Program
of the DOJ and was later on listed as one of the prosecution
witness. On October 14, 2010, petitioner, through counsel
request the inclusion of Dalandag in the information for
murder considering that Dalandag had already confessed his
participation in the massacre through his two sworn
declarations. Petitioner reiterated the request twice more on

October 22, 201019 and November 2, 2010. But Secretary De

Lima denied petitioners request.
Accordingly, on December 7, 2010, petitioner brought a
petition for mandamus in the RTC in Manila seeking to
compel respondents to charge Dalandag as another accused
in the various murder cases undergoing trial in the QC RTC.
The RTC in Manila set a pre-trial conference and issued a pretrial order. The respondents questioned the propriety of the
conduct of a trial in a proceeding for mandamus. Petitioner

take action, but it cannot be used to direct the manner or the

particular way discretion is to be exercised,48or to compel the
retraction or reversal of an action already taken in the
exercise of judgment or discretion.49
As such, respondent Secretary of Justice may be compelled
to act on the letter-request of petitioner, but may not be
compelled to act in a certain way such as to grant or deny
such letter-request.

On June 27, 2011,33 the RTC of Manila issued the assailed

order in Civil Case No. 10-124777 dismissing the petition for
mandamus. Hence, this appeal by petition for review on



et al.

Whether respondents may be compelled by writ of

mandamus to charge Dalandag as an accused for multiple
murder in relation to the Maguindanao massacre despite his
admission to the Witness Protection Program of the DOJ.

No. The prosecution of crimes pertains to the Executive
Department of the Government whose principal power and
responsibility are to see to it that our laws are faithfully
executed. A necessary component of the power to execute
our laws is the right to prosecute their violators. The right to
prosecute vests the public prosecutors with a wide range of
discretion the discretion of what and whom to charge, the
exercise of which depends on a smorgasbord of factors that
are best appreciated by the public prosecutors.
In matters involving the exercise of judgment and discretion,
mandamus may only be resorted to in order to compel
respondent tribunal, corporation, board, officer or person to

Petition is denied

. GOV. ABDUSAKUR TAN, in his capacity as Governor of Sulu,

et al.
G.R. No. 187298, 03 July 2012,
The calling-out powers contemplated under the Constitution
is exclusive to the President.

An exercise by another ofcial, even if he is the local chief

executive, is ultra vires, and may not be justi ed by the
invocation of Section 465 of the Local Government Code.
Three members from the International Committee of the Red
Cross (ICRC) were kidnapped in the vicinity of the Provincial
Capitol in Patikul, Sulu. Andres Notter, Eugenio Vagni, and
Marie Jean Lacaba, were purportedly inspecting a water
sanitation project for the Sulu Provincial Jail when they were
seized by

three armed men who were later conrmed to be members

of the Abu Sayyaf
Group (ASG). A Local Crisis Committee, later renamed Sulu
Crisis Management