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REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES v.

SANDIGANBAYAN, MAJOR -GENERAL


JOSEPHUS Q. RAMAS AND ELIZABETH DIMAANO
407 SCRA 10
July 21, 2003
Petitioner: RP
Respondent: Sandiganbayan, et al.
Ponente: J. Carpio
Nature of Action: Petition for review on certiorari
FACTS:
The PCGG (Presidential Commission on Good Government) created an AFP Anti-Graft Board
tasked to scrutinize the reports of unexplained wealth and corrupt practices by any AFP
personnel (active or retired). The AFP Board investigated various reports of alleged ill-gotten
wealth of respondent Maj. Gen. Josephus Ramas. Along with this, the Constabulary raiding team
served a search and seizure warrant on the premises of Ramas alleged mistress, Elizabeth
Dimaano. The Board then concluded that Ramas be prosecuted for violating the Anti-Graft and
Corrupt Practices Act (RA 3019) and Forfeiture of unlawfully Acquired Property (RA 1379).
Thereafter, they filed a petition for forfeiture against him before the Sandiganbayan. The
Sandiganbayan dismissed the case on several grounds one of which is that there was an illegal
search and seizure of the items confiscated.
ISSUES:
1. Whether or not the PCGG has the authority to investigate Ramas and Dimaano
2. Whether or not the properties and other belongings confiscated in Dimaanos house were
illegally seized which will consequently make it inadmissible
HELD:
The petition was dismissed. Even in the absence of a Constitution, the right against unlawful
seizure can be found in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Nevertheless, even during the interregnum, the Filipino
people under the Covenant and Declaration continued to enjoy almost the same rights found in
the Bill of Rights of the 1973 Constitution. As stated in Article 2(1) of the Convenant, the State
is required to respect and to ensure to all individuals within its territory and subject to its
jurisdiction the rights recognized in the present Covenant. Further, under Article 17(1) of the
Covenant, the revolutionary government had the duty to insure that [n]o one else shall be
subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his privacy, family, home or
correspondence.
The Declaration also provides in its Article 17(2) that [n]o one shall be arbitrarily deprived of
his property. The Court has taken into consideration the Declaration as part of the generally
accepted principles of international law and binding on the State. Hence, the revolutionary
government was also obligated under international law to observe the rights of individuals under
the Declaration, because it didnt repudiated either the Covenant or the Declaration during the
interregnum.

Footnotes:
(1) REPUBLIC ACT No. 3019 (ANTI-GRAFT AND CORRUPT PRACTICES ACT)
Section 1. Statement of policy. It is the policy of the Philippine Government, in line with the
principle that a public office is a public trust, to repress certain acts of public officers and private
persons alike which constitute graft or corrupt practices or which may lead thereto.
(2) REPUBLIC ACT No. 1379 (AN ACT DECLARING FORFEITURE IN FAVOR OF THE
STATE ANY PROPERTY FOUND TO HAVE BEEN UNLAWFULLY ACQUIRED BY ANY
PUBLIC OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE AND PROVIDING FOR THE PROCEEDINGS
THEREFORE.)
Section 1. Definitions. (a) For the purposes of this Act, a "public officer or employee" means any
person holding any public office or employment by virtue of an appointment, election or
contract, and any person holding any office or employment, by appointment or contract, in any
State owned or controlled corporation or enterprise.
(3) E.O. # 14 Sec. 3. The civil suits to recover unlawfully acquired property under Republic Act
No. 1379 or for restitution, reparation of damages, or indemnification for consequential and other
damages or any other civil actions under the Civil Code or other existing laws filed with the
Sandiganbayan against Ferdinand E. Marcos, Imelda R. Marcos, members of their immediate
family, close relatives, subordinates, close and/or business associates, dummies, agents and
nominees, may proceed independently of any criminal proceedings and may be proved by a
preponderance of evidence
(4) Art. 2(1) of the Covenant to respect and to ensure to all individuals within its territory
and subject to its jurisdiction the rights recognized in the present Covenant.
(5) Art. 17(1) of the Declaration to respect and to ensure to all individuals within its territory
and subject to its jurisdiction the right recognized in the present Covenant.