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SANLAKAS v.

ANGELO REYES
February 3, 2004 | SEPARATE OPINION OF Ynares-Santiago, J. | Crimes Against Public Order - Rebellion or
Insurrection
PLEASE NOTE THAT IN OUR OUTLINE, SIR ONLY SAID TO READ THE SEPARATE OPINION OF
JUSTICE YNARES-SANTIAGO. HENCE, THIS DIGEST WILL FOCUS ON THAT BUT I INCLUDED THE
MAIN DECISION AT THE END. :)
PETITIONER: Sanlakas Party-List
RESPONDENT: Executive Secretary Angelo Reyes
SUMMARY: This case concerns the Oakwood Mutiny of 2003. The SC's main decision ruled that Proclamation No.
427 and General Order No. 4 was VALID. Justice Ynares-Santiago, in her separate opinion, said that it was NULL and
VOID.
DOCTRINE: (Justice Ynares-Santiago) Thus, the declaration of a state of rebellion does not have any legal meaning or
consequence. This declaration does not give the President any extra powers. It does not have any good purpose. If the
declaration is used to justify warrantless arrests even after the rebellion has ended, as in the case of Cardenas, such
declaration or, at the least, the warrantless arrests, must be struck down. | The crime of rebellion or insurrection is
committed only by rising publicly or taking up arms against the Government. A coup d etat, on the other hand, takes
place only when there is a swift attack accompanied by violence. | Once the act of rising publicly and taking up arms
against the Government ceases, the commission of the crime of rebellion ceases. Similarly, when the swift attack
ceases, the crime of coup d etat is no longer being committed. Rebellion has been held to be a continuing crime, and the
authorities may resort to warrantless arrests of persons suspected of rebellion, as provided under Section 5, Rule 113 of
the Rules of Court.

proclamation of martial law. Finally, they contend that


FACTS: the presidential issuances cannot be construed as an
1. On July 27, 2003, 300 junior officers and enlisted men exercise of emergency powers as Congress has not
of the AFP, acting upon instigation, command and delegated any such power to the President.
direction of known and unknown leaders have seized the (3) Rep. Suplico et al. v. President Macapagal- Arroyo
Oakwood Building in Makati. and Executive Secretary Romulo, petitioners contending
2. Publicly, they complained of the corruption in the that there was usurpation of the power of Congress
AFP and declared their withdrawal of support for the granted by Section 23 (2), Article VI of the Constitution.
government, demanding the resignation of the President, (4) Pimentel v. Romulo, et al, petitioner fears that the
Secretary of Defense and the PNP Chief. declaration of a state of rebellion "opens the door to the
3. These acts constitute a violation of Article 134 of the unconstitutional implementation of warrantless arrests"
Revised Penal Code, and by virtue of Proclamation No. for the crime of rebellion.
427 and General Order No. 4, the Philippines was
declared under the State of Rebellion. HELD (YNARES-SANTIAGO SEPARATE
4. Negotiations took place and the officers went back to OPINION): WHEREFORE, I vote for Proclamation
their barracks in the evening of the same day. No. 427 and General Order No. 4, issued on July 27,
5. On August 1, 2003, both the Proclamation and 2003 by Respondent President Gloria Macapagal-
General Orders were lifted, and Proclamation No. 435, Arroyo, to be declared NULL and VOID for having been
declaring the Cessation of the State of Rebellion was issued with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack
issued. of jurisdiction. All other orders issued and action taken
6. In the interim, however, the following petitions were based on those issuances, especially after the Oakwood
filed: incident ended in the evening of July 27, 2003, e.g.,
(1) SANLAKAS AND PARTIDO NG warrantless arrests, should also be declared null and
MANGGAGAWA VS. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, void.
petitioners contending that Sec. 18 Article VII of the
Constitution does not require the declaration of a state of ISSUE: WON Proclamation No. 427 declaring a state of
rebellion to call out the AFP, and that there is no factual rebellion is legal? -- NO.
basis for such proclamation.
(2) SJS Officers/Members v. Hon. Executive Secretary, RATIO:
et al, petitioners contending that the proclamation is a [SEPARATE OPINION OF JUSTICE YNARES-
circumvention of the report requirement under the same SANTIAGO]
Section 18, Article VII, commanding the President to 1. The majority opinion discussed only the abstract
submit a report to Congress within 48 hours from the nature of the powers exercised by the Chief Executive,
without considering if there was sufficient factual Code is the crime of rebellion or insurrection, to wit:
basis for the Presidents declaration of a state of ART. 134. Rebellion or insurrection, How
rebellion and when it ended. In taking this position, the committed. The crime of rebellion or
majority is returning, if not expanding, the doctrine insurrection is committed by rising publicly and
enunciated in Garcia-Padilla v. Enrile, which taking up arms against the Government for the
overturned the landmark doctrine in Lansang v. Garcia. purpose of removing from the allegiance to said
2. In Lansang, the Supreme Court upheld its authority to Government or its laws, the territory of the
inquire into the factual bases for the suspension of the Republic of the Philippines or any part thereof,
privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, and held that this of any body of land, naval or other armed forces,
inquiry raises a judicial rather than a political question. or depriving the Chief Executive or the
3. In Garcia-Padilla, on the other hand, the ponencia legislature, wholly or partially, of any of their
held that Lansang was no longer authoritative, and that powers or prerogatives.
the President's decision to suspend the privilege is final 14. On the other hand, a coup d' etat is defined as
and conclusive upon the courts and all other persons. 4. follows:
These two cases were decided prior to the 1987 ART. 134-A. Coup d etat. How committed. The
Constitution, which requires this Court not only to settle crime of coup d etat is a swift attack
actual controversies involving rights which are legally accompanied by violence, intimidation, threat,
demandable and enforceable, but also to determine strategy or stealth, directed against the duly
whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion constituted authorities of the Republic of the
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of Philippines, or any military camp or installation,
any branch or instrumentality of government. communications networks, public utilities or
5.This provision in the 1987 Constitution was precisely other facilities needed for the exercise and
meant to check abuses of executive power. Martial Law continued possession of power, singly or
was still fresh in the minds of the delegates in 1987! simultaneously carried out anywhere in the
6. The majority ignored the fact that the state of rebellion Philippines by any person or persons, belonging
declared by the President was in effect five days after the to the military or police or holding any public
peaceful surrender of the militant group. office or employment, with or without civilian
7.The President's proclamation cites Section 18, Article support or participation, for the purpose of
VII of the Constitution as the basis for the declaration of seizing or diminishing state power.
the state of rebellion. 15. Under these provisions, the crime of rebellion or
8. Section 18 authorizes the President, as Commander- insurrection is committed only by rising publicly or
in-Chief, to call out the Armed Forces, in order to taking up arms against the Government. A coup d
suppress one of three conditions: etat, on the other hand, takes place only when there is
(1) lawless violence, a swift attack accompanied by violence. Once the act
(2) rebellion or of rising publicly and taking up arms against the
(3) invasion. Government ceases, the commission of the crime of
9. In the latter two cases, i.e., rebellion or invasion, the rebellion ceases.
President may, when public safety requires, also 16. Similarly, when the swift attack ceases, the crime of
(1) suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, or coup d etat is no longer being committed. Rebellion has
(2) place the Philippines or any part thereof under been held to be a continuing crime, and the authorities
martial law. may resort to warrantless arrests of persons suspected of
10. The majority made it clear that exercise of the rebellion, as provided under Section 5, Rule 113 of the
Presidents Commander-in-Chief powers does not require Rules of Court.
the declaration of a state of rebellion or a declaration of a 17. However, this doctrine should be applied to its
state of lawless violence or a state of invasion. proper context i.e., relating to subversive armed
11. When any of these conditions exist, the President organizations, such as the New People's Army, the
may call out the armed forces to suppress the danger. avowed purpose of which is the armed overthrow of the
12. Thus, the declaration of a state of rebellion does organized and established government. Only in such
not have any legal meaning or consequence. This instance should rebellion be considered a continuing
declaration does not give the President any extra crime.
powers. It does not have any good purpose. If the 18. When the soldiers surrendered peacefully in the
declaration is used to justify warrantless arrests even evening of July 27, the rebellion or the coup d' etat
after the rebellion has ended, as in the case of ended. The President, however, did not lift the
Cardenas, such declaration or, at the least, the declaration of the state of rebellion until 5 days later, on
warrantless arrests, must be struck down. August 1, 2003.
13. Clearly defined in Article 134 of the Revised Penal 19. After the peaceful surrender, no person suspected of
having conspired with the soldiers or participated in the with: With what army will the Chief Justice enforce
Oakwood incident could be arrested without a warrant of his Decision?
arrest.
20. Section 5, Rule 113 of the Revised Rules of Court, [MAIN DECISION]
which governs arrest without warrant, provides as -The Court rendered that the both the Proclamation No.
follows: 427 and General Order No. 4 are constitutional. Section
SEC. 5. Arrest without warrant; when lawful. A 18, Article VII does not expressly prohibit declaring
peace officer or a private person may, without a state or rebellion. The President in addition to its
warrant, arrest a person: Commander-in-Chief Powers is conferred by the
(a) When, in his presence, the person to be Constitution executive powers. It is not disputed that the
arrested has committed, is actually committing, President has full discretionary power to call out the
or is attempting to commit an offense; armed forces and to determine the necessity for the
(b) When an offense has just been committed exercise of such power. While the Court may examine
and he has probable cause to believe based on whether the power was exercised within constitutional
personal knowledge of facts or circumstances limits or in a manner constituting grave abuse of
that the person to be arrested has committed it; discretion, none of the petitioners here have, by way of
and x x x x x x x x x proof, supported their assertion that the President acted
21. In cases falling under paragraphs (a) and (b) above, without factual basis. The issue of the circumvention of
the person arrested without a warrant shall be forthwith the report is of no merit as there was no indication that
delivered to the nearest police station or jail and shall be military tribunals have replaced civil courts or that
proceeded against in accordance with section 7 of Rule military authorities have taken over the functions of
112. Civil Courts.
22. Rule 113, Section 5, pars. (a) and (b) of the Rules of
Court are exceptions to the due process clause in the -The issue of usurpation of the legislative power of the
Constitution. Section 5, par. (a) relates to a situation Congress is of no moment since the President, in
where a crime is committed or attempted in the presence declaring a state of rebellion and in calling out the armed
of the arresting officer. Section 5, par. (b), on the other forces, was merely exercising a wedding of her Chief
hand, presents the requirement of personal knowledge, Executive and Commander-in-Chief powers. These are
on the part of the arresting officer, of facts indicating purely executive powers, vested on the President by
that an offense had just been committed, and that the Sections 1 and 18, Article VII, as opposed to the
person to be arrested had committed that offense. delegated legislative powers contemplated by Section 23
23. After the peaceful surrender of the soldiers on July (2), Article VI.
27, 2003, there was no crime that was being attempted,
being committed, or had just been committed. There -The fear on warrantless arrest is unreasonable, since any
should, therefore, be no occasion to effect a valid person may be subject to this whether there is rebellion
warrantless arrest in connection with the Oakwood or not as this is a crime punishable under the Revised
Incident. Penal Code, and as long as a valid warrantless arrest is
24. The purpose of the declaration and its duration as far present.
as the overeager authorities were concerned was only to
give legal cover to effect warrantless arrests even if the - Legal standing or locus standi has been defined as a
state of rebellion or the instances stated in Rule 113, personal and substantial interest in the case such that the
Section 5 of the Rules are absent or no longer exist. party has sustained or will sustain direct injury as a
25. Our history had shown the dangers when too much result of the governmental act that is being challenged.
power is concentrated in the hands of one person. Unless
specifically defined, it is risky to concede and -The gist of the question of standing is whether a party
acknowledge the residual powers to justify the validity alleges "such personal stake in the outcome of the
of the presidential issuances. This can serve as a blank controversy as to assure that concrete adverseness which
check for other issuances and open the door to abuses. sharpens the presentation of Issue upon which the court
26. The majority cite the exercise of strong executive depends for illumination of difficult constitutional
powers by U.S. President Andrew Jackson. Was it not questions. Based on the foregoing, petitioners Sanlakas
President Jackson who is said to have cynically defied and PM, and SJS Officers/Members have no legal
the U.S. Supreme Courts ruling (under Chief Justice standing to sue. Only petitioners Rep. Suplico et al. and
Marshall) against the forcible removal of the American Sen. Pimentel, as Members of Congress, have standing
Indians from the tribal lands by saying: The Chief to challenge the subject issuances. It sustained its
Justice has issued his Decision, now let him try to decision in Philippine Constitution Association v.
enforce it? Others quote Madison as having gone further Enriquez, that the extent the powers of Congress are
impaired, so is the power of each member thereof, since
his office confers a right to participate in the exercise of
the powers of that institution.