Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Definition of Terms

Martial Law

The term martial law has been equated with PP 1017 since the beginning. In a previous post, I argued that PP 1017 cannot be equated with martial law because that belittles the horrors Filipinos experienced because of Proclamation 1081 in. But in today's paper, a new meaning of Martial Law emerged, in their oral argument in front of the Supreme Court,
"Lawyers for seven petitioners said that PP 1017 was actually a declaration of martial law in the guise of a proclamation of a national state of emergency to go around a constitutional mandate that Ms Arroyo must report to Congress within 48 hours of its issuance."
In this instance, they are not equating PP 1017 with the Martial law of Marcos under the 1935 Constitution but with the Martial Law of the 1987 Constitution. And this to my mind is reasonable.

People might say this is semantic quibbling. I beg to differ, the Martial Law of the 1935 constitution, as demonstrated by Marcos is sweeping. It gives the President almost unlimited control of the country while the Martial Law of the 1987 constitution enacted limits and roadblocks to that kind of power. The 1987 constitution embodies the Filipinos learning from the 1972 declaration.

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