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Question A.7, Political Law, 2019 Bar Exam

Notice: The following suggested answers simulate those that a bar examinee may provide as an answer to a bar exam question. Thus, specific citations (i.e., republic acts, articles/sections, jurisprudence, etc.) are not provided because it is not required in the bar exam. For purposes other than answering the bar exam, please be reminded that proper referencing or legal citation is required.

Question A.7, Political Law, 2019 Bar Exam

The continuing threat to the security of the State in various parts of the country prompted the National Security Adviser of the President to adopt a “Comprehensive National Security Strategy (CNSS)” with the following components:

Component 1: During a state of emergency, the President, in the exercise of his power of general supervision, may delegate to the heads of local government units (LGUs), through an administrative issuance, the power to call-out the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for a more effective and immediate response to the ground situation; and,

Component 2: In declaring Martial Law, the President, in a preemptive action and without waiting for the recommendation of the Secretary of National Defense and the AFP, may rely upon any intelligence information he may have gathered through other sources.

Disturbed by the strategy’s supposed infirmities, a concerned citizens’ organization raised the constitutionality of the two (2) components of the CNSS before the Supreme Court.

(a) Is component 1 of the CNSS constitutional? Explain. (2.5%)

(b) Is component 2 of the CNSS constitutional? Explain. (2.5%)

Suggested Answer:

(a) No. Answer

Under the 1987 Constitution and jurisprudence, the calling-out powers may only be exercised solely by the President and may not be delegated. Rule

In the case at bar, Component 1 violates the requirement that President alone shall exercise the calling-out powers and the same cannot be delegated to anyone, such as to heads of the local government units (LGUs). Apply

Thus, Component 1 is not constitutional. Conclusion

(b) Yes. Answer

Under the1987 Constitution and jurisprudence, the power to declare Martial law is an extraordinary power are conferred by the Constitution with the President as Commander-in-Chief. It therefore necessarily follows that the power and prerogative to determine whether the situation warrants a for the declaration of martial law, also lies, at least initially, with the President. Rule

In the case at bar, Component 2 is consistent with the President’s exclusive prerogative whether to declare Martial Law. There is no legal requirement that the President has to be wait for any recommendation from the Secretary of National Defense and the AFP. Apply

Thus, Component 2 of the CNSS is constitutional. Conclusion

Disclaimer: All information is for educational and general information only. These should not be taken as professional legal advice or opinion. Please consult a competent lawyer to address your specific concerns. Any statements or opinions of the author are solely his own and do not reflect that of any organization he may be connected.

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