It was 9 p.m. last night when President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo declared Maguindanao to be under the martial rule by virtue of Proclamation No. 1959. It was formally proclaimed this morning at around 7 a.m. The writ of habeas corpus has been suspended as well except for places known to be under the control of the MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front). Warrantless arrest is now in effect. This is for the military to go after the Maguindanao massacre suspects. Human rights lawyer Atty. Manuel Diokno said in an interview that the proclamation is unconstitutional; as Martial Law can only be declared when there is an actual act of rebellion. On the declaration of suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, Article III section 15 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution provides: “The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended except in cases of invasion or rebellion, when the public safety requires it.” In our present situation, there no actual or imminent form of rebellion at all. The President through Sec. Eduardo Ermita, justified the said declaration only to suppress lawlessness in the province of Maguindanao.
Well, whether it is legal or not, I just hope it will produce positive results in relation to the said gruesome massacre. To render speedy justice to the victims and prove to the world that our country is not powerless in the prosecution of the criminals. So that we can go back to our normal lives again and live in peace.