Philippines high court upholds state of emergency proclamation

[JURIST] The Supreme Court of the Philippines [official website] on Wednesday ruled that the state of emergency decree [Proclamation 1017 text] issued by Philippines President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo [official website] in February was constitutional, but struck down portions of the proclamation and its implementing order [GO 5 text] authorizing the military to "enforce laws not related to lawless violence." In an 11-3 decision [text], the high court upheld Arroyo's right to declare a state of emergency, but said that Arroyo exceeded her authority by allowing the military to make warrantless arrests and raid media outlets. Arroyo declared the state of emergency [JURIST report] after discovering a coup [JURIST report] attempt in February; the proclamation was lifted [JURIST report] a week later.

The Philippines Supreme Court has issued several decisions in recent weeks concerning the scope of Arroyo's powers. Last month, the court struck down [JURIST report] an executive order [text] preventing government officials from being questioned in investigations against Arroyo regarding alleged vote-rigging and election fraud [JURIST report] in 2004. A week later, the court voided [JURIST report] Arroyo's policy of breaking up unauthorized demonstrations by force. Reuters has more. The Manila Times has local coverage.

 

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