Sunday, September 21, 2014

Martial Law in the Philippines

Proclamation No. 1081 read in part:
My countrymen, as of the twenty-first of this month, I signed Proclamation № 1081 placing the entire Philippines under Martial Law...
— Ferdinand Marcos, September 21, 1972

  1. Martial law in the Philippines (Tagalog: Batas Militar sa Pilipinas; Spanish: ley marcial en Filipinas) refers to several intermittent periods in Philippine history wherein the Philippine head of state (such as the President) proclaims that an area is placed under the control of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Martial law is declared either when there is near-violent civil unrest or in cases of major natural disasters, however most countries use a different legal construct like "state of emergency".
  2. Typically, the imposition of martial law accompanies curfews, the suspension of civil law, civil rights, habeas corpus, and the application or extension of military law or military justice to civilians. Civilians defying martial law may be subjected to military tribunals (court-martial).
  3. On 30 August 1896, Spanish Governor-General Ramón Blanco, 1st Marquis of Peña Plata, declared "state of war" in the provinces of Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Pampanga, Tarlac, Laguna, Batangas, and Nueva Ecija and place them under martial law.
  4. On 23 June 1898, another decree signed by Emilio Aguinaldo was issued, replacing the Dictatorial Government with a Revolutionary Government, with himself as President.
  5. On 22 September 1944, martial law came into effect when President José P. Laurel of the wartime Second Philippine Republic (puppet-government under Japan) placed the Philippines under martial law in 1944 through Proclamation No. 29, dated 21 September 1944.  Proclamation No. 30 was issued the next day, declaring the existence of a state of war between the Philippines and the US and Great Britain. This took effect on 23 September 1944.
  6. On 21 September 1972, but it was actually signed on 17 September 1972 by President Ferdinand Marcos. The formal announcement of the proclamation was made only at seven-thirty in the evening of 23 September 1972, about twenty-two hours after he had commanded his military collaborators to start arresting his political opponents and close down all media and retail (fashion, food, religious, sports) establishments.
  7. Proclamation № 1081 was the declaration of Martial Law in the Philippines by President Ferdinand E. Marcos. It became effective throughout the entire country on 21 September 1972, and was announced to the public two days later. It was formally lifted on 17 January 1981—six months before the first presidential election in the Philippines in twelve years.
  8. Under the pretext of an assassination of then-Defence Secretary (now Senator) Juan Ponce Enrile and an ensuing Communist insurgency, President Marcos enacted the Proclamation that he might be able to rule by military power.
  9. He initially signed the Proclamation on 17 September 1972, but it was postdated to 21 September 1972 because of Marcos' superstitions and numerological beliefs. Marcos formally announced the Proclamation in a live television and radio broadcast from Malacañang Palace a further two days later on the evening of 23 September 1972.
  10. The following year, President Marcos replaced the 1935 Constitution with a new one that changed the system of government from a presidential to a parliamentary one, with himself remaining in power as both head of state (with the title "President") and head of government (titled "Prime Minister"). President Marcos also manipulated elections and had his political coalition–the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL; English: New Society Movement)–control the unicameral legislature he created, known as the Batasang Pambansa.
  11. President Marcos formally lifted Martial Law on 17 January 1981, several weeks before the first pastoral visit of Pope John Paul II to the Philippines for the beatification of Lorenzo Ruiz.
  12. On 4 December 2009, in the wake of the Maguindanao massacre, Macapagal-Arroyo placed Maguindanao province under a state of martial law, through Proclamation No. 1959. The declaration also suspended the writ of habeas corpus in the province. The announcement was made days after hundreds of government troops were sent to the province, which would later raid armories of the powerful Ampatuan clan. The Ampatuan family was implicated in the massacre, which saw the murder of 57 persons, including women members of the rival Mangudadatu clan, human rights lawyers, and 31 media workers. This was considered the worst incident of political violence in the nation's history. It has also been condemned worldwide as the worst loss of life of media professionals in one day in the history of journalism. Macapagal-Arroyo lifted the state of martial law in Maguindanao on 12 December 2009.

References:

Proclamation No. 1081
Martial law in the Philippines

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