Arrest without warrant is essentially martial law

/ 04:01 AM June 23, 2020

Arrest without warrant, detention without being charged, is the essence of martial law. The late senator Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr. famously said that he was twice arrested by martial law enforcers but he did not know why.

The anti-terrorism law authorizes arrest without warrant by a court, but merely on the personal determination of the arresting officer. No application for warrant of arrest and no judicial action to issue the warrant of arrest are needed.


The arresting officer reports to the court after the arrest, but the court will decide whether the detention should continue, not pass upon the legality of the arrest without warrant. The offense of arrest without court warrant is erased from criminal law.

The arresting officer reports to the court the detention of the citizen and may ask the court for 14 days detention plus 10 more days—or the sum total of 24 days in detention!


The saying, “Work expands to fill the time available,” gives the arresting officer the luxury of time to investigate the case. The burden of the arresting officer to justify the arrest without warrant is shifted to the person detained, who now has the burden to convince the court to void his detention.

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TAGS: anti-terrorism bill, Jose J. Ferrer Jr., Letters to the Editor, martial law, warrantless arrests
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