On February 24,2006, during the celebration of the 20th anniversary of Edsa People Power I, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo issued PP 1017 declaring a state of National Emergency which subject to certain conditions by the framers of our constitution. The basis of the declaration is the conspiracy of the opposition, the extreme left and extreme right which have repeatedly tried to bring down the republican government.
Petitioners allege that President Arroyo has committed a grave abuse of discretion in declaring a State of National Emergency, assailing that PP 1017 on the grounds that it encroaches on the emergency powers of Congress; it is a subterfuge to avoid the constitutional requirements for the imposition of martial law; and it violates the constitutional guarantees of freedom of the press, of speech and of assembly.
Do the petitioners have legal standing?
This Court holds that all the petitioners herein have locus standi. In view of the number of petitioners suing in various personalities, the Court deems it imperative to have a more than passing discussion on legal standing or locus standi. The difficulty of determining locus standi arises in public suits. Here, the plaintiff who asserts a “public right” in assailing an allegedly illegal official action, does so as a representative of the general public. He may be a person who is affected no differently from any other person. He could be suing as a “stranger,” or in the category of a “citizen,” or ‘taxpayer.” In either case, he has to adequately show that he is entitled to seek judicial protection. In other words, he has to make out a sufficient interest in the vindication of the public order and the securing of relief as a “citizen” or “taxpayer. The locus standi of petitioners in particularly David and Llamas, is beyond doubt.