The Daily Manila Shimbun


DND issues memo to AFP on declaration of martial law   

May 25, 2017

The Department of National Defense issued a memorandum to the chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for its guidance on the presidential declaration of martial law in Mindanao. The memorandum signed by Undersecretary for Civil, Veterans and Retiree Affairs  Eduardo Del Rosario, dated May 24, instructed the military and all bureaus and agencies under the defense department to observe the rule of law and human rights in Mindanao. “In this connection, the AFP and all bureaus and agencies of this Department are hereby enjoined  that the rule of law and human  rights should  prevail in the place or part of the Philippines  where the Martial Law was declared  and effective,” it stated. “Any arrest,  search  and seizure  executed  or implemented  in the area or place where  Martial  Law is effective,  including the filing of charges,  should comply with the Revised  Rules of Court and applicable jurisprudence,” it added. DND Public Affairs Director Arsenio Andolong said the memorandum is still valid except for the part on  the writ of habeas corpus as it was crafted before Duterte made his pronouncement on the suspension of the of habeas corpus late afternoon of Wednesday. “The memo was issued at around 11 a.m. yesterday (Wednesday) while the President and SND (Secretary National Defense) was inbound from Russia. President's pronouncement suspension of the writ of habeas corpus was issued upon his arrival the evening," he said. "The suspension requires a separate pronouncement. Maybe another one might be issued. The Cabinet is now meeting in Davao City. We find out later," he added. The memorandum also noted that the “DND  bureaus  and  agencies   involved  in  humanitarian   activities  are  hereby enjoined  to  institute  appropriate  action  on those  affected  and displaced  persons  by providing  adequate  assistance  in coordination  with other government  agencies.” Despite suspension of the writ of habeas corpus announced by President Rodrigo Duterte upon his arrival from the shortened visit in Russia, the first part of the memo states  “the declaration  of Martial Law in the Island of Mindanao does  not suspend  the operation  of the Constitution,   nor supplement  the functioning of the Philippine  judicial  and legislative  assemblies,   nor authorize  the conferment  of jurisdiction  on military  courts and agencies  over civilian where  civil courts are able to function,  nor automatically  suspend  the privilege  of the writ of habeas corpus.”  (Robina Asido/DMS)