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Former Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban warned President Rodrigo Duterte against using his power to “call out” the military to help the police enforce the enhance community quarantine rules.

Panganiban was reacting to Duterte’s threat to impose a martial law-type deployment of soldiers to discipline Filipinos breaking social distancing rules, curfews, and stay-at-home orders.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said among the special powers of the President under the Bayanihan Act was to mobilize the Armed Forces of the Philippines to help the Philippine National Police. The AFP has also confirmed a leaked memorandum readying the military for an extensive rule in the ECQ.

“While the President’s invocation of his ‘call out’ power is definitely constitutional (see Art. VII, Sec. 18, Constitution), its wrongful or abusive implementation in ‘as applied’ cases may be declared unconstitutional,” said Panganiban in his Inquirer column.

Panganiban cited the ruling of the Supreme Court in the case of David v. Arroyo 14 years ago when it ruled as illegal the warrantless arrest and detention of columnist Randy David and Ronald Llamas, and the warrantless search of the Daily Tribune’s premises.

Panganiban said the SC stated that warrantless arrest “may be made only when (1) ‘in the presence’ of the arresting officer or private individual, “the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense’, or (2) ‘when an offense has just been committed’ and the arresting officer or individual ‘has probable cause to believe based on personal knowledge of the facts or circumstances that the person to be arrested has committed it’.”

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