The idea of a President exercising emergency powers brings horrible memories in the Philippines. Emergency power is associated with the brutal martial law regime of the late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos which lasted for more than a decade. In truth, Marcos did not have a monopoly on the exercise of emergency powers. Since the adoption of the 1935 Constitution, Presidents have been given emergency powers for a variety of reasons.4 Not too long ago, President Fidel V. Ramos was granted emergency powers to deal with the power crisis in the 1990s.5 President Estrada mobilized the Philippine Marines to deal with the rising criminal activities during his term.6 President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo issued Proclamation No. 1959 declaring martial law in President in the Province of Maguindanao in response to the Maguindanao massacre.
About the Author:
Atty. Dante Gatmaytan is a Professor in the UP College of Law where he teaches Constitutional Law, Legal Method, and Local Government Law. Before he entered the academe in 1998, he practiced law through public interest law offices working with rural poor communities involved in environment and natural resources law, indigenous people's rights, agrarian reform, and local governance.
He graduated with a Bachelor's Degree from Ateneo de Manila (B.S. Legal Management) in 1987 and a law degree (LLB) from the University of the Philippines in 1991. He holds Masters Degrees from Vermont Law School (cum laude) and the University of California, Los Angeles.