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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 CASE DIGESTS 1-VIADA (S.Y. 2011-2012) Atty. V.

Paul Le Montejo By: BBarrera, MCervantes, BCezar, LRespicio, KSalmite, NSanchez, NSimangan, LTuballa 14

Manila Prince Hotel vs. GSIS (G.R. No. 122156 February 3, 1997)

FACTS: The controversy arose when respondent GSIS decided to sell through public bidding 30% to 51% of the outstanding shares of Manila Hotel. Only two (2) bidders participated: petitioner Manila Prince Hotel Corporation, a Filipino corporation, which offered to buy 51% shares at P41.58/share, and a Malaysian firm, at P44.00/share. Pending the declaration of the winning bidder, petitioner matched the bid price of P44.00 per share tendered by the Malaysian Firm which respondent GSIS refused to accept. The petitioner posits that since Manila Hotel is part of the national patrimony, petitioner should be preferred after it has matched the bid offer of the Malaysian firm invoking Sec. 10, second par., Art. XII, of the 1987 Constitution.

ISSUE/S: 1. WON Sec. 10, second par., Art. XII, of the 1987 Constitution is a self-executing provision 2. Granting that this provision is self-executing, WON Manila Hotel falls under the term national patrimony. 3. Granting that the Manila Hotel forms part of the national patrimony, WON selling mere 51% shares and not the land itself can be considered part of national patrimony. 4. WON GSIS committed grave abuse of discretion.

RULING: 1. Yes. Sec. 10, second par., Art. XII of the of the 1987 Constitution is self-executing which needs no further guidelines or implementing laws or rules for its enforcement. It is per se judicially enforceable The Constitution mandates that qualified Filipinos shall be preferred. And when our Constitution declares that a right exists in certain specified circumstances an action may be maintained to enforce such right notwithstanding the absence of any legislation on the subject. Where there is a right there is a remedy. Ubi jus ibi remedium.

2. Yes. In its plain and ordinary meaning, the term patrimony pertains to heritage. When the Constitution speaks of national patrimony, it refers not only to the natural resources of the Philippines, but also to the cultural heritage of the Filipinos.

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3. Yes. 51% of the equity of the MHC comes within the purview of the constitutional shelter for it comprises the majority and controlling stock, so that anyone who acquires or owns the 51% will have actual control and management of the hotel. In this instance, 51% of the MHC cannot be disassociated from the hotel and the land on which the hotel edifice stands.

4. Yes. Since petitioner has already matched the bid price tendered by the foreign firm, respondent GSIS is left with no alternative but to award to petitioner the shares of MHC in accordance not only with the bidding guidelines and procedures but with the Constitution as well. The refusal of respondent GSIS to execute the corresponding documents with petitioner after the latter has matched the bid of the Malaysian firm clearly constitutes grave abuse of discretion.

Hence, GSIS(respondent) is ordered to accept the matching bid of petitioner and execute the necessary clearances for the purchase of the subject 51% MHC shares.

Reasoning: The Constitution is the fundamental, paramount and supreme law of the nation, it is deemed written in every statute and contract.

Tanada vs. Angara (G.R. No. 118295 May 2, 1997)

FACTS: On December 14, 1994, the Philippine Senate adopted Resolution No. 97 which resolved that the Senate concur, in the ratification by the President of the Philippines of the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization. The instant petition before this Court assails the WTO Agreement for violating the mandate of the 1987 Constitution to "develop a self-reliant and independent national economy effectively controlled by Filipinos . . . (to) give preference to qualified Filipinos (and to) promote the preferential use of Filipino labor, domestic materials and locally produced goods."

ISSUE/S: 1. WON there is a justiciable controversy? 2. WON the provisions of the WTO Agreement contravene with Sec.19,Art. 2 and Secs. 10 and 12, Art. 12 of the Philippine Constitution? 3. WON the provisions of WTO Unduly impair or interfere with the exercise of judicial and legislative power by the court and congress respectively? 4. WON there is grave abuse of discretion

RULING: 1. Yes. In seeking to nullify an act of the Philippine Senate on the ground that it contravenes the Constitution, the petition no doubt raises a justiciable controversy. Where an action of the legislative branch is seriously alleged to have infringed the Constitution, it becomes not only the right but in fact the duty of the judiciary to settle the dispute. The court however is limited to determine whether or not there had been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction" on the part of the Senate in ratifying the WTO Agreement and shall not inquire upon the wisdom of the President and Senate in ratifying the same.

2. No. The principles and state policies enumerated in Article II and some sections of Article XII are not "self-executing provisions, they do not embody judicially enforceable constitutional rights but guidelines for legislation. Furthermore, Economic Nationalism Should Be Read with Other Constitutional Mandates to Attain Balanced Development of Economy While the Constitution indeed mandates a bias in favor of Filipino goods, services, labor and enterprises, the Constitution did not intend to pursue an isolationist policy. While the Constitution does not encourage the unlimited entry of foreign goods, services and investments into the country, it does not prohibit them either. In fact, it allows an exchange on the basis of equality and reciprocity, frowning only on foreign competition that is unfair.

3. No. By their inherent nature, treaties really limit or restrict the absoluteness of sovereignty. By their voluntary act, nations may surrender some aspects of their state power in exchange for greater benefits granted by or derived from a convention or pact.

In its Declaration of Principles and State Policies, the Constitution "adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land, and adheres to the policy of peace, equality, justice, freedom, cooperation and amity, with all nations."
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By the doctrine of incorporation, the country is bound


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by generally accepted principles of international law, which are considered to be automatically part of our own laws. rules in international law is pacta sunt servanda international agreements must be performed in good faith.

One of the oldest and most fundamental

4. No. Grave abuse of discretion is meant such capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment as is equivalent to lack of jurisdiction. Mere abuse of discretion is not enough. It must be grave abuse of discretion as when the power is exercised in an arbitrary or despotic manner by reason of passion or personal hostility, and must be so patent and so gross as to amount to an evasion of a positive duty or to a virtual refusal to perform the duty enjoined or to act at all in contemplation of law.
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Failure on the part of the petitioner to show grave abuse of discretion will result in the dismissal of the petition.

Wherefore, Petition is dismissed for lack of merit.

Domino vs. Comelec (G.R. No. 134015 July 19, 1999)

FACTS: On 25 March 1998, DOMINO filed his certificate of candidacy for the position of Representative of the Province of Sarangani indicating in his certificate that he had resided in the constituency where he seeks to be elected for one (1) year and two (2) months immediately preceding the election. On 6 May 1998, the COMELEC 2nd Division promulgated a resolution declaring DOMINO disqualified as candidate for the position of representative of Sarangani for lack of the oneyear residence requirement and likewise ordered the cancellation of his certificate of candidacy.

ISSUE/S: 1. WON a summary proceeding for the exclusion or inclusion of voters in the list of voters declaring DOMINO a resident of the province of Sarangani and not of Quezon City acquire the nature of res judicata. 2. WON DOMINO was a resident of the Province of Sarangani for at least one year immediately preceding the election. 3. Whether the COMELEC or the HRET has jurisdiction over the present petition of DOMINO. 4. WON, the candidate who received the next highest number of votes can be proclaimed as the winning candidate in the light of DOMINOs disqualification?

RULING: 1.No. The contention of DOMINO that the decision in the exclusion proceedings declaring him a resident of the Province of Sarangani and not of Quezon City is final and conclusive upon the COMELEC cannot be sustained. It is not within the competence of the trial court, in an exclusion proceeding, to declare the challenged voter a resident of another municipality. The jurisdiction of the lower court over exclusion cases is limited only to determining the right of voter to remain in the list of voters or to declare that the challenged voter is not qualified to vote in the precinct in which he is registered, specifying the ground of the voter's disqualification.

Finally, the application of the rule on res judicata is unavailing.For the decision to be a basis for the dismissal by reason of res judicata, it is essential that there must be between the first and the second action identity of parties, identity of subject matter and identity of causes of action.

2. No. It is doctrinally settled that the term "residence," as used in the law prescribing the qualifications for suffrage and for elective office, means the same thing as "domicile," which imports not only an intention to reside in a fixed place but also personal presence in that place, coupled with conduct indicative of such intention.

A person's "domicile" once established is considered to continue and will not be deemed lost until a new one is established. To successfully effect a change of domicile one must demonstrate an actual removal or an actual change of domicile; a bona fide intention of abandoning the former place of residence and establishing a new one and definite acts which correspond with the purpose. with animus non revertendi.
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In other words, there must basically be animus manendi coupled

3. The COMELEC, has jurisdiction over the present petition. The fact of obtaining the highest number of votes in an election does not automatically vest the position in the winning candidate. A candidate must be proclaimed and must have taken his oath of office before he can be considered a member of the House of Representatives. Considering that DOMINO has not been proclaimed as Congressman-elect in the Lone Congressional District of the Province of Sarangani he cannot be deemed a member of the House of Representatives. Hence, it is the COMELEC and not the Electoral Tribunal which has jurisdiction over the issue of his ineligibility as a candidate.
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4. NO. The candidate who obtains the second highest number of votes may not be proclaimed winner in case the winning candidate is disqualified. It would be extremely repugnant to the basic concept of the constitutionally guaranteed right to suffrage if a candidate who has not acquired the majority or plurality of votes is proclaimed a winner and imposed as the representative of a constituency, the majority of which have positively declared through their ballots that they do not choose him.

Pamatong vs. Comelec (G.R. No. 161872, April 13, 2004)

FACTS: The COMELEC declared petitioner and thirty-five (35) others nuisance candidates who could not wage a nationwide campaign. Petitioner seeks to reverse the resolutions which were allegedly rendered in violation of his right to "equal access to opportunities for public service" under Section 26, Article II of the 1987 Constitution.

ISSUE/S: WON the constitutional provision ensuring "equal access to opportunities for public office" grants a constitutional right to run for or hold public office

RULING: No. What is recognized is merely a privilege subject to limitations imposed by law. Also, the "equal access" provision is a subsumed part of Article II of the Constitution. The provisions under the Article are generally considered not self-executing.

As earlier noted, the privilege of equal access to opportunities to public office may be subjected to limitations. Some valid limitations specifically on the privilege to seek elective office are found in the provisions of the Omnibus Election Code on "Nuisance Candidates" and outlined instances wherein the COMELEC may motu proprio refuse to give due course to or cancel a Certificate of Candidacy.
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As long as the limitations apply to everybody equally without discrimination, the equal access clause is not violated.

Reasoning: There is a need to limit the number of candidates especially in the case of candidates for national positions because the election process becomes a mockery even if those who cannot clearly wage a national campaign are allowed to run. Their names would have to be printed in the Certified List of Candidates, Voters Information Sheet and the Official Ballots. These would entail additional costs to the government

xxx[I]t serves no practical purpose to allow those candidates to continue if they cannot wage a decent campaign enough to project the prospect of winning, no matter how slim. It would be then a senseless sacrifice on the part of the State.

Yrasuegui vs. PAL (G.R. No. 168081, October 17, 2008)

FACTS: On June 15, 1993, petitioner was formally informed by PAL that due to his inability to attain his ideal weight, "and considering the utmost leniency" extended to him "which spanned a period covering a total of almost five (5) years," his services were considered terminated "effective immediately."
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ISSUE/S: 1. WON the obesity of petitioner is a ground for dismissal under the Labor Code. 2. WON the dismissal of petitioner can be predicated on the bona fide occupational disqualification defense. 3. WON the petitioner can invoke the equal protection clause guaranty

RULING: 1. Yes. It would fall under Article 282 of the Labor Code. A reading of the weight standards of PAL would lead to no other conclusion than that they constitute a continuing qualification of an employee in order to keep the job. Tersely put, an employee may be dismissed the moment he is unable to comply with his ideal weight as prescribed by the weight standards.

2. Yes. Though generally, employment in particular jobs may not be limited to persons of a particular sex, religion, or national origin. However, if the employer can show that sex, religion, or national origin is an actual qualification for performing the job, the qualification is then considered valid and referred to as bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ).

Applying the Meiorin Test in determining whether an employment policy is justified, the following must concur: (1) the employer must show that it adopted the standard for a purpose rationally connected to the performance of the job; (2) the employer must establish that the standard is reasonably necessary to the accomplishment of that work-related purpose; and (3) the employer must establish that the standard is reasonably necessary in order to accomplish the legitimate work-related purpose.
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The weight standards of PAL are reasonable. The most important activity of the cabin crew is to care for the safety of passengers and the evacuation of the aircraft when an emergency occurs. Passenger safety goes to the core of the job of a cabin attendant. Truly, airlines need cabin attendants who have the necessary strength to open emergency doors, the agility to attend to passengers in cramped working conditions, and the stamina to withstand grueling flight schedules among other reasons.

3. No. In the absence of governmental interference, the liberties guaranteed by the Constitution cannot be invoked.

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Put differently, the Bill of Rights is not


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meant to be invoked against acts of private individuals. Private actions, no matter how egregious, cannot violate the equal protection guarantee.

People vs. Siton

FACTS: In the case at bar the affidavit of the arresting police officer, lucidly shows that there was a prior surveillance conducted in view of the reports that vagrants and prostitutes proliferate in the place where the respondents (among other women) were wandering and in the wee hours of night and soliciting male customer. Hence, respondents Evangeline Siton and Krystel Kate Sagarano were charged with vagrancy pursuant to Article 202 (2) of the Revised Penal. In turn, the respondents filed separate Motions to Quash on the ground that Article 202 (2) is unconstitutional for being vague and overbroad.

ISSUE/S: 1. WON the definition of the crime of vagrancy under Article 202 (2) is unconstitutional for being vague. 2. WON Article 202 (2) violated the equal protection clause under the Constitution because it discriminates against the poor and unemployed, thus permitting an arbitrary and unreasonable classification.

RULING: 1 No. The trial court in its assailed ruling relied on the underlying principles in Papachristou vs. City of Jacksonville case:

First, that the assailed ordinance fails to give a person of ordinary intelligence fair notice that his contemplated conduct is forbidden by a statute and;

Second, it encourages or promotes opportunities for the application of discriminatory law enforcement.

However, the aforementioned principles do not apply in the case at bar since:

The first principle finds no application here because under our legal system, ignorance of the law excuses no one from compliance therewith and; Second, the fear exhibited by the respondents, that unfettered discretion is placed in the hands of the police to make an arrest or search, is assuaged by the constitutional requirement of probable cause, which is one less than certainty or proof, but more than suspicion or possibility. The requirement of probable cause provides an acceptable limit on police or executive authority that may otherwise be abused in relation to the search or arrest of persons found to be violating Article 202 (2).

Furthermore, it may be note worthy that the Jacksonville ordinance was declared unconstitutional for provisions that are not found in the questioned Vagrancy law in the case at bar. The power to define crimes and prescribe their corresponding penalties is legislative in nature and inherent in the sovereign power of the state to maintain social order as an aspect of police power. The legislature however, must inform the citizen with reasonable precision what acts it intends to prohibit so that he may have a certain understandable rule of conduct and know what acts it is his duty to avoid. This requirement has come to be known as the void-for-vagueness doctrine which states that a statute which either forbids or requires the doing of an act in terms so vague that men of common intelligence must necessarily guess at its meaning and differ as to its application, violates the first essential of due process of law. 2. No. Article 202 (2) does not violate the equal protection clause; neither does it discriminate against the poor and the unemployed. Offenders of public order laws are punished not for their status, as for being poor or unemployed, but for conducting themselves under such circumstances as to endanger the public peace or cause alarm and apprehension in the community. Being poor or unemployed is not a license or a justification to act indecently or to engage in immoral conduct. Vagrancy must not be so lightly treated as to be considered constitutionally offensive. It is a public order crime which punishes persons for conducting themselves, at a certain place and time which orderly society finds unusual, under such conditions that are repugnant and outrageous to the common standards and norms of decency and morality in a just, civilized and ordered society, as would engender a justifiable concern for the safety and well-being of members of the community.

DLSU vs. CA FACTS: The private respondents were involved in mauling incidents that were a result of a fraternity war. On May 3, 1995, the DLSU-CSB Joint Discipline Board issued a Resolution finding private respondents guilty. They were meted the supreme penalty of automatic expulsion, pursuant to CHED Order No. 4.

ISSUE/S: 1. WON private respondents accorded due process of law?

RULING: 1. Yes. Private respondents were accorded due process of law.

In administrative cases, such as investigations of students found violating school discipline, "[t]here are minimum standards which must be met before to satisfy the demands of procedural due process and these are: that (1) the students must be informed in writing of the nature and cause of any accusation against them; (2) they shall have the right to answer the charges against them and with the assistance if counsel, if desired; (3) they shall be informed of the evidence against them; (4) they shall have the right to adduce evidence in their own behalf; and (5) the evidence must be duly considered by the investigating committee or official designated by the school authorities to hear and decide the case.

In the case at bar, the Private respondents were duly informed in writing of the charges against them by the DLSU-CSB Joint Discipline Board. They were given the opportunity to answer the charges against them as they, in fact, submitted their respective answers. They were also informed of the evidence presented against them as they attended all the hearings before the Board. Moreover, private respondents were given the right to adduce evidence on their behalf and they did. Lastly, the Discipline Board considered all the pieces of evidence submitted to it by all the parties before rendering its resolution in Discipline Case No. 9495-3-25121. The essence of due process is simply an opportunity to be heard, or as applied to administrative proceedings, an opportunity to explain one's side or an opportunity to seek reconsideration of the action or ruling complained of. A formal trial-type hearing is not, at all times and in all instances, essential to due process it is enough that the parties are given a fair and reasonable opportunity to explain their respective sides of the controversy and to present supporting evidence on which a fair decision can be based. "To be heard" does not only mean presentation of testimonial evidence in court one may also be heard through pleadings and where the opportunity to be heard through pleadings is accorded, there is no denial of due process.

Romualdez vs. Comelec FACTS: Respondent-spouses, Carlos and Erlinda Romualdez registered as new voters of the Municipality of Burauen, Leyte, in spite of the fact that they were and still are, registered voters of Quezon City. That being the case, they are guilty of an election offense due to double registration under R.A. 8189, otherwise known as the Voters Registation Act of 1996.

ISSUE/S: 1. WON the petitioners are accorded due process of law 2. WON 45(j) of the Voters registration Act can be declared vague on the ground that it contravenes the fair notice requirement of the 1987 Constitution.

RULING: 1. Yes. The petitioners are accorded due process of law. Petitioners contend that the election offenses for which they are charged by private respondent (Section 261(y)(2) and (y)(5) of the Omnibus Election Code and Section 12 of the Voters Registration Act) are entirely different from those which they stand to be accused of before the RTC by the COMELEC(.Section 10(g) and (j), in relation to Section 45(j) of the Voters Registration Act). The petitioners contentions are untenable. The Complaint-Affidavit filed by private respondent with the COMELEC is couched in a language which embraces the allegations necessary to support the charge for violation of Section 10(g) and (j), in relation to Section 45(j) of Republic Act No. 8189;

Petitioners cannot be said to have been denied due process on the claim that the election offenses charged against them by private respondent are entirely different from those for which they stand to be accused of before the RTC, as charged by the COMELEC. In the first place, there appears to be no incongruity between the charges as contained in the Complaint-Affidavit and the Informations filed before the RTC. Evidently, the informations directed to be filed by the Comelec against petitioners, and which were, in fact, filed with the RTC, were based on the same set of facts as originally alleged in the private respondents Complaint-Affidavit.

2. No. Section 45(j) of R.A. No. 8189 cannot be facially invalidated as it is a criminal statute.

The void-for-vagueness doctrine holds that a law is facially invalid if men of common intelligence must necessarily guess at its meaning and differ as to its application. However, this Court has imposed certain limitations by which a criminal statute, as in the challenged law at bar, may be scrutinized. On-its-face" invalidation of criminal statutes is not appropriate as such invalidation would constitute a departure from the usual requirement of "actual case and controversy" and permit decisions to be made in a sterile abstract context having no factual concreteness.

Garcillano vs. Committees

FACTS: More than three years ago, tapes ostensibly containing a wiretapped conversation purportedly between the President of the Philippines and a high-ranking official of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) surfaced. On October 26, 2007, Maj. Lindsay Rex Sagge, a member of the ISAFP and one of the resource persons summoned by the Senate to appear and testify at its hearings, moved to intervene as petitioner in G.R. No. 179275.

Intervenor Sagge alleges violation of his right to due process considering that he is summoned to attend the Senate hearings without being apprised not only of his rights therein through the publication of the Senate Rules of Procedure Governing Inquiries in Aid of Legislation, but also of the intended legislation which underpins the investigation.

The respondents in G.R. No. 179275 admit that the Senate Rules of Procedure Governing Inquiries in Aid of Legislation had been published in newspapers of general circulation only in 1995 and in 2006. However, with respect to the present Senate of the 14th Congress, no effort was undertaken for the publication of these rules.

Respondents justify their non-observance of the constitutionally mandated publication by arguing that the rules have never been amended since 1995 and, despite that, they are published in booklet form available to anyone for free, and accessible to the public at the Senates internet web page.

ISSUE: Whether or not the absence of any amendment to the rules dispenses the requirement of due publication of the rules of procedure in a legislative inquiry.

RULING: No. The Senate cannot be allowed to continue with the conduct of the questioned legislative inquiry without duly published rules of procedure, in clear derogation of the constitutional requirement under Section 21, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution.

The absence of any amendment to the rules cannot justify the Senates defiance of the clear and unambiguous language of Section 21, Article VI of the Constitution. The organic law instructs, without more, that the Senate or its committees may conduct inquiries in aid of legislation only in accordance with duly published rules of procedure, and does not make any distinction whether or not these rules have undergone amendments or revision. The constitutional mandate to publish the said rules prevails over any custom, practice or tradition followed by the Senate.

Furthermore, the invocation by the respondents of the provisions of R.A. No. 8792, otherwise known as the Electronic Commerce Act of 2000, to support their claim of valid publication through the internet is all the more incorrect. The law merely recognizes the admissibility in evidence (for their being the original) of electronic data messages and/or electronic documents. It does not make the internet a medium for publishing laws, rules and regulations.

Placido vs. NLRC FACTS: Petitioners in this case aver that they were denied due process when PLDT refused to furnish them a copy of the Investigation Report and grant them a formal hearing in which they could be represented by counsel of their choice.

RULING: The petition is bereft of merit.

The essence of due process is simply an opportunity to be heard or, as applied to administrative proceedings, an opportunity to explain one's side or an opportunity to seek a reconsideration of the action or ruling complained of. What the law prohibits is absolute absence of the opportunity to be heard, hence, a party cannot feign denial of due process where he had been afforded the opportunity to present his side. A formal or trial type hearing is not at all times and in all instances essential to due process, the requirements of which are satisfied where the parties are afforded fair and reasonable opportunity to explain their side of the controversy.

In the present case, petitioners were, among other things, given several written invitations to submit themselves to PLDTs Investigation Unit to explain their side, but they failed to heed them. A hearing, which petitioners attended along with their union MKP representatives, was conducted on June 25, 2001 during which the principal witnesses to the incident were presented. Petitioners were thus afforded the opportunity to confront those witnesses and present evidence in their behalf, but they failed to do so.

Mendoza vs. Comelec

FACTS: The petitioner and the respondent vied for the position of Governor of the Province of Bulacan. The petitioner was proclaimed winning candidate and assumed the office of Governor, while the respondent seasonably filed an election protest with the COMELEC. The COMELEC approved the parties formal offer of evidence and then required the parties to submit their respective memoranda. The parties complied with the COMELECs order. The case was thereafter submitted for resolution. On March 2, 2009 the COMELEC transferred the Bulacan ballot boxes, including those involved in the provincial election contest, to the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET).

ISSUE: Whether there were proceedings within the SET premises, entitling the petitioner to notice and participation, which were denied to him; in other words, the issue is whether the petitioners right to due process has been violated.

RULING: No. The appropriate due process standards that apply to the COMELEC, as an administrative or quasi-judicial tribunal, are those outlined in the seminal case of Ang Tibay v. Court of Industrial Relations. These are now commonly referred to as cardinal primary rights in administrative proceedings to wit;

(1) The first of these rights is the right to a hearing, which includes the right of the party interested or affected to present his own case and submit evidence in support thereof. xxx (2) Not only must the party be given an opportunity to present his case and to adduce evidence tending to establish the rights which he asserts but the

tribunal must consider the evidence presented. (3) While the duty to deliberate does not impose the obligation to decide right, it does imply a necessity which cannot be disregarded, namely, that of having something to support its decision. A decision with absolutely nothing to support it is a nullity, a place when directly attached. (4) Not only must there be some evidence to support a finding or conclusion, but the evidence must be "substantial." "Substantial evidence is more than a mere scintilla. It means such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion." (5) The decision must be rendered on the evidence presented at the hearing, or at least contained in the record and disclosed to the parties affected. (6) The Court of Industrial Relations or any of its judges, therefore, must act on its or his own independent consideration of the law and facts of the controversy, and not simply accept the views of a subordinate in arriving at a decision. (7) The Court of Industrial Relations should, in all controversial questions, render its decision in such a manner that the parties to the proceeding can know the various issues involved, and the reasons for the decisions rendered. The performance of this duty is inseparable from the authority conferred upon it.

The first of the enumerated rights pertain to the substantive rights of a party at hearing stage of the proceedings. The essence of this aspect of due process, is simply the opportunity to be heard, or as applied to administrative proceedings, an opportunity to explain ones side or an opportunity to seek a reconsideration of the action or ruling complained of.

The second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth aspects of the Ang Tibay requirements are applicable at the deliberative stage, as the decision-maker decides on the evidence presented during the hearing. These standards set forth the guiding considerations in deliberating on the case and are the material and substantial components of decision-making. Finally, the last requirement, relating to the form and substance of the decision of a quasi-judicial body, further complements the hearing and decision-making due process rights and is similar in substance to the constitutional requirement that a decision of a court must state distinctly the facts and the law upon which it is based.

After consideration of the respondents Comments and the petitioners petition and Reply, we hold that the contested proceedings at the SET ("contested proceedings) are no longer part of the adversarial aspects of the election contest that would require notice of hearing and the participation of the parties

What took place at the SET were the internal deliberations of the COMELEC, as a quasi-judicial body, in the course of appreciating the evidence presented and deciding the provincial election contest on the merits.

To conclude, the COMELEC is under no legal obligation to notify either party of the steps it is taking in the course of deliberating on the merits of the provincial election contest.

Surigao Electric vs. ERC

FACTS: On March 19, 2007, the ERC issued its assailed Order, mandating that the discounts earned by SURNECO from its power supplier should be deducted from the computation of the power cost upon ascertaining that the Purchased Power Adjustment (PPA) of SURNECO resulted to an over-recovery amounting to PhP18,188,794.

ISSUE: WON SURNECO was deprived of the opportunity to be heard in ordering it to refund alleged over-recoveries arrived at by the ERC.

RULING: In directing SURNECO to refund its over-recoveries based on PPA policies, which only ensured that the PPA mechanism remains a purely cost-recovery mechanism and not a revenue-generating scheme for the electric cooperatives, the ERC merely exercised its authority to regulate and approve the rates imposed by the electric cooperatives on their consumers. The ERC simply performed its mandate to protect the public interest imbued in those rates.

It is beyond cavil that the State, in the exercise of police power, can regulate the rates imposed by a public utility such as SURNECO. The regulation of rates to be charged by public utilities is founded upon the police powers of the State and statutes prescribing rules for the control and regulation of public utilities are a valid exercise thereof. When private property is used for a public purpose and is affected with public interest, it ceases to be juris privati only and becomes subject to regulation. The regulation is to promote the common good. Submission to regulation may be withdrawn by the owner by discontinuing use; but as long as use of the property is continued, the same is subject to public regulation.

We likewise differ from SURNECOs stance that it was denied due process when the ERC issued its questioned Orders. Administrative due process simply requires an opportunity to explain ones side or to seek reconsideration of the action or ruling complained of. It means being given the opportunity to be heard before judgment, and for this purpose, a formal trial-type hearing is not even essential. It is enough that the parties are given a fair and reasonable chance to demonstrate their respective positions and to present evidence in support thereof.

Verily, the PPA confirmation necessitated a review of the electric cooperatives monthly documentary submissions to substantiate their PPA charges. The cooperatives were duly informed of the need for other required supporting documents and were allowed to submit them accordingly. In fact, hearings were conducted. Moreover, the ERC conducted exit conferences with the electric cooperatives representatives, SURNECO included, to discuss preliminary figures and to double-check these figures for inaccuracies, if there were any. In addition, after the issuance of the ERC Orders, the electric cooperatives were allowed to file their respective motions for reconsideration. It cannot claimed, therefore, that SURNECO was denied due process.

Southern Hemisphere vs. Anti-Terrorism

FACTS: Before the Court are six petitions challenging the constitutionality of Republic Act No. 9372 (RA 9372), "An Act to Secure the State and Protect our People from Terrorism," otherwise known as the Human Security Act of 2007.

ISSUE/S: 1. WON petitioners possess locus standi 2. WON there is an actual case or controversy 3. WON RA9372 Regulates speech so as to permit a facial analysis of its validity

RULING: It must be noted that in constitutional limitations, the power of judicial review is limited by four exacting requisites, viz: (a) there must be an actual case or

controversy; (b) petitioners must possess locus standi; (c) the question of constitutionality must be raised at the earliest opportunity; and (d) the issue of constitutionality must be the lis mota of the case.

In the present case, the dismal absence of the first two requisites, which are the most essential, renders the discussion of the last two superfluous.

1. Petitioners lack locus standi For a concerned party to be allowed to raise a constitutional question, it must show that (1) it has personally suffered some actual or threatened injury as a result of the allegedly illegal conduct of the government, (2) the injury is fairly traceable to the challenged action, and (3) the injury is likely to be redressed by a favorable action.

Petitioners in this case have not presented any personal stake in the outcome of the controversy. None of them faces any charge under RA 9372. Petitioner-organizations assert locus standi on the basis of being suspected "communist fronts" by the government, especially the military; whereas individual petitioners invariably invoke the "transcendental importance" doctrine and their status as citizens and taxpayers. While jurisprudence holds that transcendental public importance dispenses with the requirement that petitioner has experienced or is in actual danger of suffering direct and personal injury, this does not apply in cases involving the constitutionality of penal legislation.

2. Petitioners fail to present an actual case or controversy By constitutional fiat, judicial power operates only when there is an actual case or controversy.

Herein petitioners have failed to show that the challenged provisions of RA 9372 forbid constitutionally protected conduct or activity that they seek to do. No demonstrable threat has been established, much less a real and existing one.

[T]he rule established in our jurisdiction is; only statutes on free speech, religious freedom, and other fundamental rights may be facially challenged. Under no case may ordinary penal statutes be subjected to a facial challenge.

A facial challenge is allowed to be made to a vague statute and to one which is overbroad because of possible"chilling effect" upon protected speech. The theory is that "[w]hen statutes regulate or proscribe speech and no readily apparent construction suggests itself as a vehicle for rehabilitating the statutes in a single prosecution, the transcendent value to all society of constitutionally protected expression is deemed to justify allowing attacks on overly broad statutes with no requirement that the person making the attack demonstrate that his own conduct could not be regulated by a statute drawn with narrow specificity."

This rationale does not apply to penal statutes. Criminal statutes have general in terrorem effect resulting from their very existence, and, if facial challenge is allowed for this reason alone, the State may well be prevented from enacting laws against socially harmful conduct. In the area of criminal law, the law cannot take chances as in the area of free speech.

Vagueness vs. Overbreadth:

A statute or act suffers from the defect of vagueness when it lacks comprehensible standards that men of common intelligence must necessarily guess at its meaning and differ as to its application. It is repugnant to the Constitution in two respects: (1) it violates due process for failure to accord persons, especially the parties targeted by it, fair notice of the conduct to avoid; and (2) it leaves law enforcers unbridled discretion in carrying out its provisions and becomes an arbitrary flexing of the Government muscle. The overbreadth doctrine, meanwhile, decrees that a governmental purpose to control or prevent activities constitutionally subject to state regulations may not be achieved by means which sweep unnecessarily broadly and thereby invade the area of protected freedoms. As distinguished from the vagueness doctrine, the overbreadth doctrine assumes that individuals will understand what a statute prohibits and will accordingly refrain from that behavior, even though some of it is protected.

Facial Challenge vs. As-applied Challenge:

Distinguished from an as-applied challenge which considers only extant facts affecting real litigants, a facial invalidation is an examination of the entire law, pinpointing its flaws and defects, not only on the basis of its actual operation to the parties, but also on the assumption or prediction that its very existence may cause others not before the court to refrain from constitutionally protected speech or activities.

3. There is no merit in the claim that RA 9372 regulates speech so as to permit a facial analysis of its validity

From the definition of the crime of terrorism in the earlier cited Section 3 of RA 9372, the following elements may be culled: (1) the offender commits an act punishable under any of the cited provisions of the Revised Penal Code, or under any of the enumerated special penal laws; (2) the commission of the predicate crime sows and creates a condition of widespread and extraordinary fear and panic among the populace; and (3) the offender is actuated by the desire to coerce the government to give in to an unlawful demand.

In insisting on a facial challenge on the invocation that the law penalizes speech, petitioners contend that the element of "unlawful demand" in the definition of terrorism must necessarily be transmitted through some form of expression protected by the free speech clause. The argument does not persuade. What the law seeks to penalize is conduct, not speech. Hence petitions are dismissed.

Lejano vs. People

FACTS: On December 14, 2010 the Court reversed the judgment of the Court of Appeals (CA) and acquitted the accused of the charges against them on the ground of lack of proof of their guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

Complainant Lauro G. Vizconde, an immediate relative of the victims, asked the Court to reconsider its decision, claiming that it "denied the prosecution due process of law; as it seriously misappreciated the facts; and decided the case in a manner that resulted in the miscarriage of justice; or committed grave abuse in its treatment of the evidence and prosecution witnesses."

But, as a rule, a judgment of acquittal cannot be reconsidered because it places the accused under double jeopardy. The Constitution provides in Section 21,

Article III, that: Section 21. No person shall be twice put in jeopardy of punishment for the same offense. x x x

To reconsider a judgment of acquittal places the accused twice in jeopardy of being punished for the crime of which he has already been absolved. There is reason for this provision of the Constitution. In criminal cases, the full power of the State is ranged against the accused. If there is no limit to attempts to prosecute the accused for the same offense after he has been acquitted, the infinite power and capacity of the State for a sustained and repeated litigation would eventually overwhelm the accused in terms of resources, stamina, and the will to fight.

A motion for reconsideration after an acquittal is possible but only for exceptional and narrow grounds such as when the court that absolved the accused gravely abused its discretion, resulting in loss of jurisdiction, or when a mistrial has occurred.

ISSUE: WON the complainant was able to specify the violations of due process or acts constituting grave abuse of discretion that the Court supposedly committed.

RULING: No. Ultimately, what the complainant actually questions is the Courts appreciation of the evidence and assessment of the prosecution witnesses credibility. He ascribes grave error on the Courts finding that Alfaro was not a credible witness and assails the value assigned by the Court to the evidence of the defense. In other words, private complainant wants the Court to review the evidence anew and render another judgment based on such a re-evaluation. This is not constitutionally allowed as it is merely a repeated attempt to secure Webb, et als conviction. The judgment acquitting Webb, et al is final and can no longer be disturbed. WHEREFORE, the Court DENIES for lack of merit complainant Lauro G. Vizcondes motion for reconsideration dated December 28, 2010.

White Light Corporation vs. City of Manila

FACTS: On December 3, 1992, City Mayor Alfredo S. Lim signed into law the Ordinance prohibiting short time admission in hotels, motels, lodging houses, pension houses and similar establishments in the City of Manila.

Petitioners herein are operators of drive-in-hotels and motels in Manila which are directly affected by the said ordinance.

Petitioners argued that the Ordinance is unconstitutional and void since it violates the right to privacy and the freedom of movement; it is an invalid exercise of police power; and it is an unreasonable and oppressive interference in their business.

ISSUE/S: 1. WON the petitioners has legal standing 2. WON the petitioners have the requisite standing to plead for protection of their patrons' equal protection rights. 3. WON the ordinance is unconstitutional

RULING: 1. Yes. Petitioners in this case are owners of establishments offering "wash-up" rates and their business is being unlawfully interfered with by the Ordinance. Standing or locus standi is the ability of a party to demonstrate to the court sufficient connection to and harm from the law or action challenged to support party's participation in the case.

2. Yes. The requirement of standing is a core component of the judicial system derived directly from the Constitution. In this jurisdiction, the extancy of "a direct and personal interest" presents the most obvious cause for a petitioner's standing. Nonetheless, the general rules on standing admit of several exceptions such as the overbreadth doctrine, taxpayer suits, third party standing and, especially in the Philippines, the doctrine of transcendental importance.

For this particular set of facts, the concept of third party standing as an exception and the overbreadth doctrine are appropriate. In Powers v. Ohio, the United States Supreme Court wrote that: "We have recognized the right of litigants to bring actions on behalf of third parties, provided three important criteria are satisfied: the litigant must have suffered an injury-in-fact, thus giving him or her a "sufficiently concrete interest" in the outcome of the issue in dispute; the litigant must have a close relation to the third party; and there must exist some hindrance to the third party's ability to protect his or her own interests."Herein, it is clear that the business interests of the petitioners are likewise injured by the Ordinance. They rely on the patronage of their customers for their continued viability which appears to be threatened by the enforcement of the Ordinance.

Assuming arguendo that petitioners do not have a relationship with their patrons for the former to assert the rights of the latter, the overbreadth doctrine comes into play. In overbreadth analysis, challengers to government action are in effect permitted to raise the rights of third parties. Generally applied to statutes infringing on the freedom of speech, the overbreadth doctrine applies when a statute needlessly restrains even constitutionally guaranteed rights. In this case, the petitioners claim that the Ordinance makes a sweeping intrusion into the right to liberty of their clients. We can see that based on the allegations in the petition, the Ordinance suffers from overbreadth. It is thus recognized that the petitioners have a right to assert the constitutional rights of their clients to patronize their establishments for a "wash-rate" time frame.

3. Yes. The said ordinance is unconstitutional.

3a. The test of a valid ordinance is well established. For an ordinance to be valid, it must not only be within the corporate powers of the local government unit to enact and pass according to the procedure prescribed by law, it must also conform to the following substantive requirements: (1) must not contravene the Constitution or any statute; (2) must not be unfair or oppressive; (3) must not be partial or discriminatory; (4) must not prohibit but may regulate trade; (5) must be general and consistent with public policy; and (6) must not be unreasonable.

The Ordinance prohibits two specific and distinct business practices, namely wash rate admissions and renting out a room more than twice a day.

3b. The primary constitutional question that confronts us is one of due process. The due process guaranty has traditionally been interpreted as imposing two related but distinct restrictions on government, "procedural due process" and "substantive due process." Procedural due process refers to the procedures that the government must follow before it deprives a person of life, liberty, or property However, if due process were confined solely to its procedural aspects, there would arise absurd situation of arbitrary government action, provided the proper formalities are followed. Substantive due process then completes the protection envisioned by the due process clause. It inquires whether the government has sufficient justification for depriving a person of life, liberty, or property.

3c. The general test of the validity of an ordinance on substantive due process grounds is best tested when assessed with the evolved footnote 4 test laid down by the U.S. Supreme Court in U.S. v. Carolene Products, to wit;

First, the rational basis examination - laws or ordinances are upheld if they rationally further a legitimate governmental interest.

Second, the intermediate review - governmental interest is extensively examined and the availability of less restrictive measures is considered.

Third, applying strict scrutiny- the focus is on the presence of compelling, rather than substantial, governmental interest and on the absence of less restrictive means for achieving that interest.

If we were to take the myopic view that an Ordinance should be analyzed strictly as to its effect only on the petitioners at bar, then it would seem that the only restraint imposed by the law which we are capacitated to act upon is the injury to property sustained by the petitioners, an injury that would warrant the application of the most deferential standard the rational basis test. Yet as earlier stated, we recognize the capacity of the petitioners to invoke as well the constitutional rights of their patrons those persons who would be deprived of availing short time access or wash-up rates to the lodging establishments in question.

Viewed cynically, one might say that the infringed rights of these customers were are trivial since they seem shorn of political consequence. Still, the Bill of Rights does not shelter gravitas alone. Indeed, it is those "trivial" yet fundamental freedoms which the people reflexively exercise any day without the impairing awareness of their constitutional consequence that accurately reflect the degree of liberty enjoyed by the people.

3d. It cannot be denied that the primary animus behind the ordinance is the curtailment of sexual behavior. Whether or not this depiction of a mise-en-scene of vice is accurate, it cannot be denied that legitimate sexual behavior among willing married or consenting single adults which is constitutionally protected will be curtailed as well. We cannot discount other legitimate activities which the Ordinance would proscribe or impair. There are very legitimate uses for a wash rate or renting the room out for more than twice a day. E.g. Entire families are known to choose pass the time in a motel or hotel whilst the power is momentarily out in their homes.

3e. That the Ordinance prevents the lawful uses of a wash rate depriving patrons of a product and the petitioners of lucrative business ties in with another constitutional requisite for the legitimacy of the Ordinance as a police power measure. It must appear that the interests of the public generally, as distinguished from those of a particular class, require an interference with private rights and the means must be reasonably necessary for the accomplishment of the purpose and not unduly oppressive of private rights. It must also be evident that no other alternative for the accomplishment of the purpose less intrusive of private rights can work. More importantly, a reasonable relation must exist between the purposes of the measure and the means employed for its accomplishment, for even under the guise of protecting the public interest, personal rights and those pertaining to private property will not be permitted to be arbitrarily invaded.

Lacking a concurrence of these requisites, the police measure shall be struck down as an arbitrary intrusion into private rights.

Based on the foregoing facts, Ordinance No. 7774 is hereby declared UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

Office of the Solicitor vs. City of Manila FACTS: Respondents Ayala Land, Robinsons, and Shangri-la maintain and operate shopping malls in various locations in Metro Manila. The shopping malls operated or leased out by respondents have parking facilities for all kinds of motor vehicles, they collect parking fees from the persons making use of their parking facilities, regardless of whether said persons are mall patrons or not. In 1999, the Senate Committees on Trade and Commerce and on Justice and Human Rights conducted a joint investigation on which the following purpose is included: (1) to inquire into the legality of the prevalent practice of shopping malls of charging parking fees. The Committees found that the collection of parking fees by shopping malls is contrary to the National Building Code and is therefor [sic] illegal. Respondent SM Prime thereafter received information enjoining respondent SM Prime and similar establishments from collecting parking fees, and to impose upon said establishments penal sanctions under Presidential Decree No. 1096.

ISSUE: Whether or not compelling the respondent to provide parking spaces in their malls for the use of their patrons or the public in general, free of charge constitutes:

1. A lawful exercise of police power or 2. It is an unlawful taking of property without just Compensation? RULING: 1. The Court finds that in totally prohibiting respondents from collecting parking fees from the public for the use of the mall parking facilities, the State would be acting beyond the bounds of police power. Police power is the power of promoting the public welfare by restraining and regulating the use of liberty and property. It is usually exerted in order to merely regulate the use and enjoyment of the property of the owner. The power to regulate, however, does not include the power to prohibit. A fortiori, the power to regulate does not include the power to confiscate. Police power does not involve the taking or confiscation of property, with the exception of a few cases where there is a necessity to confiscate private property in order to destroy it for the purpose of protecting peace and order and of promoting the general welfare; for instance, the confiscation of an illegally possessed article, such as opium and firearms. 2. Yes. Although in the present case, title to and/or possession of the parking facilities remain/s with respondents, the prohibition against their collection of parking fees from the public, for the use of said facilities, is already tantamount to a taking or confiscation of their properties. The State is not only requiring that respondents devote a portion of the latters properties for use as parking spaces, but is also mandating that they give the public access to said parking spaces for free. Such is already an excessive intrusion into the property rights of respondents. Not only are they being deprived of the right to use a portion of their properties as they wish, they are further prohibited from profiting from its use or even just recovering therefrom the expenses for the maintenance and operation of the required parking facilities.

BSP vs ANTONIO-VALENZUELA

ISSUE/S: (1) Are banks entitled copies of ROE (report on examination) or audit findings? (2) Is failure to furnished copy/copies of ROE to a bank is a violation of due process?

HELD:

No. There is no provision in the law, nor sections in the procedures of the BSP that shows that the BSP is required to give the (audited)banks the copies of ROEs.

1.

2.

No. Under the law, the sanction of closure could be imposed upon a bank by the BSP even without notice and hearing. This close now, and hear later scheme is grounded on the practical and legal considerations to prevent unwarranted dissipation of the banks assets and as a valid exercise of POLICE POWER to protect the depositors, creditors, stockholders, and the general public.

ROXAS & CO vs DAMBA-NFSW

FACTS: Petitioner voluntarily offered to sell its Hacienda Palico to DAR pursuant to CARL. Subsequently, it withdraw its offer believing said hacienda was already converted as non-agricultural land, not covered by CARL, under PP1520 declaring the municipalities of maragondon and ternate in cavite province and the municipality of nasugbu as a TOURIST ZONE and for OTHER PURPOSES.

HELD: Hacienda Palico was not automatically converted as non-agricultural land. Under the whereas clause of PP 1520, it merely recognizes the potential tourism value of certain areas within the general area declared as tourist zone clearly does not allocated reserve, or intend the entirety of the land area of the zone for non-agricultural purposes.

CARL is both an exercise of police power and eminent domain. It prescribes retention limits for landowners and it provides for the compulsory acquisition of private agricultural lands. Objective: the expropriation b4 us affects all private agricultural lands whenever found and for whatever kind as long as they are in excess of the maximum retention limits allowed their owners. This kind of expropriation is intended for the benefit not only of a particular community or of a small segment of the population but of the entire Filipino nation, from all levels of our society, from the impoverished farmer to the land-glutted owner.

CHEVRON vs BCDA

ISSUE/S: 1. Is the royalty charged by the BOD of the CDC(Clark Development Dorporation) a tax imposition or a regulation police power? 2. Is royalty fee per liter unreasonable and grossly in excess of regulation costs?

HELD:

1. Regulation-police power. The purpose is the determining factor. If it is primarily to raise revenue, then it will be deemed a tax even though the measure results in some form of regulation. If it is primarily to regulate, then it is deemed a regulation-police power, even though incidentally, revenue is generated. In the case, from the declaration of policy, it can be gleaned that the policy is issued, first and foremost, to ensure the safety, security and good condition of the petroleum fuel industry within the CSEZ.

2.

No. Fuel is highly combustible which, if left unchecked, poses a serious threat to the life and property. The reasonable relation between the fee imposed on a per liter basis and the regulation sought to be obtained is that the higher the volume of fuel entering the said economic zone, the greater the extent and the frequency of supervision and inspection required to ensure safety, security, and order within the zone.

ESPINA vs ZAMORA

ISSUE: Is RA 8762(Retail Trade Liberalization Act of 2002) which allow foreign nationals from engaging in the retail trade business under 4 categories, unconstitutional(not a valid exercise of police power), because it runs afoul of several provisions in the constitution(denial of Filipinos right to property and due process)?

HELD: No. The control and regulation of the trade in the interest of the public welfare is of course an exercise of the police power of the state. RA 8762, merely lessens the restriction or restraint on the foreigners right to property or to engage in an ordinary lawful business.

Filipinos continue to have the right to engage in the kinds of retail business to which the law in question has permitted the entry of foreign investors.

In summary

First, aliens can only engage in retail trade business subject to the 4 categories;

Second, only nationals from, or judicial entities formed or incorporated in countries which allow the entry of Filipino retailers shall be allowed to engage in ratial trade business; and

Third, qualified foreign retailers shall not be allowed to engage in certain retailing activities outside their accredited stores thorugh the use of mobile or rolling stores or carts, the use of sales representatives, door-to-door selling, restaurants and sari2 stores and such other similar retailing activities.

SOLGEN VS AYALA

FACTS: The respondents, Ayala Land, Robinsons, and Shangri-la maintain and operate shopping malls while SM Prime constructs and leases building structures.

The shopping malls that respondents operate have parking facilities in which they collect parking fees from the persons making use of their facilities.

In May 2000, a joint investigation conducted by the Senate Committees on Trade and Commerce and on Justice and Human Rights issued Senate Committee Report No. 225 in which they find that the collection of parking fees by herein respondents are contrary to the National Building Code. The Code merely requires malls to provide parking spaces, without specifying whether it is free or not.

On 4 October 2000, the OSG, herein petitioner, filed a petition to the RTC of Makati praying that the practice of respondents in charging parking fees is violative of the National Building Code and its Implementing Rules and Regulations.

The RTC ruled in favour of the respondents. Upon appeal, CA denied the petition and likewise denied the motion for reconsideration. ISSUE: Whether or not the act of OSG is a valid exercise of the power of eminent domain.

HELD: No. Eminent domain enables the State to forcibly acquire private lands intended for public use upon payment of just compensation to the owner.

Although in the present case, title to and/or possession of the parking facilities remain/s with respondents, the prohibition against their collection of parking fees from the public, for the use of said facilities, is already tantamount to a taking or confiscation of their properties. The State is not only requiring that respondents devote a portion of the latters properties for use as parking spaces, but is also mandating that they give the public access to said parking spaces for free. Such is already an excessive intrusion into the property rights of respondents. Not only are they being deprived of the right to use a portion of their properties as they wish, they are further prohibited from its use or even just recovering therefrom the expenses for the maintenance and operation of the required parking facilities.

In conclusion, the total prohibition against the collection by respondents of parking fees from persons who use the mall parking facilities has no basis in the National Building Code or its IRR. The State also cannot impose the same prohibition by generally invoking police power, since said prohibition amounts to a taking of respondents property without payment of just compensation.

ORTEGA VS CITY OF CEBU

FACTS: The spouses Ortega are the registered owners of a parcel of land. On May 23, 1994, the Sangguniang Panglungsod of Cebu City enacted City Ordinance No. 1519, giving authority to the City Mayor to expropriate portion of such land, and appropriating for that purpose the amount of P3,284,400.00. The amount will be charged against Account No. 8-93-310, Continuing Appropriation, Account No. 101-8918-334.

Pursuant to said ordinance, Cebu City filed a Complaint for Eminent Domain before the RTC against the Spouses Ortega. RTC then declared that [Cebu City] "has the lawful right to take the property subject of the instant case, for public use or purpose described in the complaint upon payment of just compensation."

Based on the recommendation of the appointed Commissioners, RTC issued another order, ordering Cebu City to pay the spouses the sum of P31,416,000.00 as just compensation for the expropriated land.

RTCs decision became final and executory after Cebu City failed to perfect an appeal on time. RTC then issued another order stating that Ordinance No. 1519 appropriating the sum of P3,284,400.00 for payment of the subject lot is chargeable to Account No. 101-8918-334 and is now subject for execution or garnishment for it is no longer exempted from execution.

Cebu City filed an Omnibus Motion to Stay Execution, Modification of Judgment and Withdrawal of the Case, contending that the price set by the RTC as just compensation to be paid to the Spouses is way beyond the reach of its intended beneficiaries for its socialized housing program. The motion was denied by the RTC. Cebu Citys Motion for Reconsideration was likewise denied.

By virtue of the said order, a Notice of Garnishment was served to Philippine Postal Bank.

Cebu City then filed before the RTC a Motion to Dissolve, Quash or Recall the Writ of Garnishment, contending that the account mentioned in Ordinance No. 1519 is not an existing bank account and the garnishment of Cebu Citys bank account with Philippine Postal Bank is illegal, because government funds and properties may not be seized under writ of execution or garnishment to satisfy such judgement, on obvious reason of public policy. RTC denied the said motion and likewise denied its Motion for Reconsideration.

On appeal, CA affirmed RTCs denial of Cebu Citys Omnibus Motion to Modify Judgement and to be allowed to withdraw from the Expropriation Proceedings. ISSUES: 1. Whether the CA erred in affirming the RTCs denial of Cebu Citys Omnibus Motion to Modify Judgment and to be Allowed to Withdraw from the Expropriation Proceedings. 2. Whether the deposit of Cebu City with the Philippine Postal Bank, appropriated for a different purpose by its Sangguniang Panglungsod, can be subject to garnishment as payment for the expropriated lot covered by City Ordinance No. 1519.

HELD: 1. No. Section 4, Rule 67 of the Rules of Court on Expropriation speaks of 2 stages:

a. Determination of the authority of the plaintiff to exercise the power of eminent domain and the propriety of its exercise in the context of the facts

involved in the suit.

b. Determination by the court of the just compensation for the property sought to be taken.

An order of expropriation denotes the end of the first stage of expropriation. Its end then paves the way for the second stagethe determination of just compensation, and, ultimately, payment. An order of expropriation puts an end to any ambiguity regarding the right of the petitioner to condemn the respondents properties. Because an order of expropriation merely determines the authority to exercise the power of eminent domain and the propriety of such exercise, its issuance does not hinge on the payment of just compensation. After all, there would be no point in determining just compensation if, in the first place, the plaintiffs right to expropriate the property was not first clearly established.

Conversely, as is evident from the foregoing, an order by the trial court fixing just compensation does not affect a prior order of expropriation. As applied to the case at bar, Cebu City can no longer ask for modification of the judgment, much less, withdraw its complaint, after it failed to appeal even the first stage of the expropriation proceedings.

It is well-settled in jurisprudence that the determination of just compensation is a judicial prerogative. In Export Processing Zone Authority v. Dulay, we declared:
7

The determination of "just compensation" in eminent domain cases is a judicial function. The executive department or the legislature may make the initial determinations but when a party claims a violation of the guarantee in the Bill of Rights that private property may not be taken for public use without just compensation, no statute, decree, or executive order can mandate that its own determination shall prevail over the courts findings. Much less can the courts be precluded from looking into the "just-ness" of the decreed compensation.

Likewise, in the recent cases of National Power Corporation v. dela Cruz and Forfom Development Corporation v. Philippine National Railways, we emphasized the primacy of judicial prerogative in the ascertainment of just compensation as aided by the appointed commissioners, to wit:

Though the ascertainment of just compensation is a judicial prerogative, the appointment of commissioners to ascertain just compensation for the property sought to be taken is a mandatory requirement in expropriation cases. While it is true that the findings of commissioners may be disregarded and the trial court may substitute its own estimate of the value, it may only do so for valid reasons; that is, where the commissioners have applied illegal principles to the evidence submitted to them, where they have disregarded a clear preponderance of evidence, or where the amount allowed is either grossly inadequate or excessive. Thus, "trial with the aid of the commissioners is a substantial right that may not be done away with capriciously or for no reason at all.

2. No. The proper remedy of [the Spouses Ortega] is to file a mandamus case against Cebu City in order to compel its Sangguniang Panglungsod to enact an appropriation ordinance for the satisfaction of the Spouses Ortegas claim.

It is a settled rule that government funds and properties may not be seized under writs of execution or garnishment to satisfy judgments, based on obvious consideration of public policy. Disbursements of public funds must be covered by the corresponding appropriation as required by law. The functions and public services rendered by the State cannot be allowed to be paralyzed or disrupted by the diversion of public funds from their legitimate and specific objects, as appropriated by law.

LBP VS RUFINO

FACTS: Respondents are the registered owners in equal share of a parcel of land.

By respondents claim, in 1989, they voluntarily offered the aforesaid property to the government for CARP coverage at P120,000 per hectare. Acting thereon, petitioner Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) issued a Notice of Land Valuation and Acquisition dated October 21, 1996 declaring that out of the total area indicated in the title, 138.4018 hectares was subject to immediate acquisition at a valuation of P8,736,270.40 based on the assessment of petitioner Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP).

Respondents having found the valuation unacceptable, the matter was referred by the provincial agrarian reform officer of Sorsogon to the DAR Adjudication Board (DARAB) for the conduct of summary administrative proceedings to determine just compensation. DARAB then sustained LBPs valuation upon respondents failure to present any evidence to warrant increase.

On February 23, 1998, respondents lodged with Sorsogon RTC a complaint for determination of just compensation. Respondents contended that LBPs valuation was not full and fair equivalent of the property at the time of its taking.

LBP countered that the property was acquired by the DAR for CARP coverage in 1993 by compulsory acquisition and not by respondents voluntary offer to sell; and that it determined the valuation thereof in accordance with RA 6657 or the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of 1998 and pertinent DAR regulations.

The trial court appointed the parties respective nominated commissioners to appraise the property.

Commissioner Jesus S. Empleo, LBPs nominee, appraised the property based on, among other things, the applicable DAR issuances, average gross production, and prevailing selling prices of the crops planted thereon which included coconut, abaca, coffee, and rice. He arrived at a valuation of P13,449,579.08.

Commissioner Amando Chua of Cuervo Appraisers, Inc., respondents nominee, used the market data approach which relies primarily on sales and listings of comparable lots in the neighborhood. Excluding the secondary crops planted thereon, he valued the property at P29,925,725.

The trial court then found the market data approach to be more realistic and consistent with law and jurisprudence on the full and fair equivalent of the property. RTC then denied LBPs Motion for Reconsideration.

Upon appeal, CA sustained RTCs decision.

LBP contends that its determination should be given weight since its valuation of the property was based on the factors mentioned in RA 6657 and the formula

prescribed by DAR; and the taking of private property for agrarian reform is not a traditional exercise of the power of eminent domain as it also involves the exercise of police power, hence, part of the loss is not compensable.

ISSUE: Whether or not the market data approach should govern in the valuation of the property.

HELD: No. In determining just compensation, the RTC is required to consider several factors enumerated in Section 17 of R.A. 6657. These factors have been translated into a basic formula in [DAO 6-92], as amended by [DAO 11-94], issued pursuant to the DAR's rule-making power to carry out the object and purposes of R.A. 6657. While the determination of just compensation involves the exercise of judicial discretion, however, such discretion must be discharged within the bounds of the law. Here, the RTC wantonly disregarded R.A. 6657, as amended, and its implementing rules and regulations.

In fixing the just compensation in the present case, the trial court, adopting the market data approach on which Commissioner Chua relied, merely put premium on the location of the property and the crops planted thereon which are not among the factors enumerated in Section 17 of RA 6657. And the trial court did not apply the formula provided in DAR AO 6-92, as amended. This is a clear departure from the settled doctrine regarding the mandatory nature of Section 17 of RA 6657 and the DAR issuances implementing it.

LBP VS JOCSON

FACTS: Respondents are the registered owners of two parcels of tenanted rice land located at Negros Occidental. The property was placed under the coverage of the governments Operation Land Transfer (OLT) pursuant to Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 27 and awarded to the tenant-beneficiaries by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), which valued the compensation therefor in the total amount of P250,563.80 following the formula prescribed in PD No. 27 and EO No. 228.

The valuation was later increased to P903,637.03 after computing the 6% annual interest increment due on the property per DAR Administrative Order No. 13, series of 1994.

Finding the DARs offer of compensation for the property to be grossly inadequate, respondent filed a complaint before the RTC, sitting as a Special Agrarian Court (SAC), praying that petitioner and DAR be ordered to compute the just compensation for the property in accordance with the guidelines laid down in Section 17 of RA No. 6657 or the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of 1998.

In their respective Answers, petitioner and the DAR claimed that the property was acquired by the government under its OLT program and their valuation thereof constituted just compensation, having been made pursuant to the guidelines set by E.O. No. 228 and P.D. No. 27.

The RTC, after noting the report of the Commissioners appointed, fixed the just compensation at P2,564,403.58.

Petitioner filed a MR of the SAC decision which was denied.

Upon appeal, the appellate court dismissed the petition for lack of jurisdiction. ISSUE: Whether or not PD No. 27 and EO No. 228, as claimed by petitioner, or RA No. 6657, as claimed by respondent, should govern in determining the value of the property.

HELD: RA No 6657 should govern in determining the value of the property. Citing the case of Land Bank of the Philippines vs Chico, the Court declared in no uncertain terms that RA No. 6657 is the relevant law in determining just compensation after noting several decided cases where the Court found it more equitable to determine just compensation based on the value of the property at the time of payment.

P.D. No. 27/E.O. No. 228 vis a vis R.A. No. 6657 was applied to cases involving lands placed under the coverage of P.D. No. 27/E.O. No. 228 where payment of just compensation had not been completed. When in the interim R.A. No. 6657 was passed before the full payment of just compensation, as in the case at bar, the provisions of R.A. No. 6657 on just compensation control.

The determination of just compensation in eminent domain cases is a judicial function, and the Court does not find the SAC to have acted capriciously or arbitrarily in setting the price at P93,657.00 per hectare as the said amount does not appear to be grossly exorbitant or otherwise unjustified. For the Court notes that the SAC properly took into account various factors such as the nature of the land, when it is irrigated, the average harvests per hectare (expressed as AGP based on three normal crop years) at 117.73 cavans per hectare, and the higher valuation applied by the DAR.

EUSEBIO VS LUIS

FACTS: Respondents are the registered owners of a parcel of land which was taken by the City of Pasig sometime in 1980 and was used as a municipal road.

On February 1, 1983, the Sanggunian of Pasig City passed Resolution No. 15 authorizing payments to respondents for said parcel of land. However, the Appraisal Committee assessed the value of the land only at P150/sqm. In a letter dated June 26, 1995, respondents requested the Appraisal Commiitte to consider P2,000/sqm as the value of their land.

Respondents counsel sent a letter to Mayor Eusebio, demanding the amount of P5,000.00/sqm as just compensation for respondents property. In his reply, Mayor Eusebio said that the City of Pasig cannot pay them more than the amount set by the Appraisal Committee.

Thus, on October 8, 1996, respondents filed a complaint before the RTC praying that the property be returned to them with payment of reasonable rental for 16 years of use, or in the event said property can no longer be returned, that petitioners be ordered to pay just compensation.


RTC ruled in favor of the respondents. Upon appeal, CA affirmed the decision of the RTC and denied the petitioners motion for reconsideration. ISSUE: Whether or not property taken without the benefit of expropriation proceeding required by law in the taking of private property for public use can be regained.

HELD: Citing the case of Republic of the Philippines vs Court of Appeals, the Court emphasized that where private property is taken by the Government for public use without first acquiring title thereto either through expropriation or negotiated sale, the owners action to recover the land or the value thereof does not prescribe. The Court went on to remind government agencies not to exercise the power of eminent domain with wanton disregard for property rights as Section 9, Article III of the Constitution provides that private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation.

In Forform Development Corporation vs Philippine National Railways, the court declared that recovery of possession of the property by the landowner can no longer be allowed on the grounds of estoppel and, more importantly, of public policy which imposes upon the public utility the obligation to continue its services to the public. The non-filing of the case for expropriation will not necessarily lead to the return of the property to the landowner. What is left to the landowner is the right of compensation. It is settled that non-payment of just compensation does not entitle the private landowners to recover possession of their expropriated lot. Herein respondents also failed to question the taking of their property for a long period of time (from 1980 until the early 1990s).

The prevailing doctrine on judicial determination of just compensation is that set forth in Forfom. Therein, the Court ruled that even if there are no expropriation proceedings instituted to determine just compensation, the trial court is still mandated to act in accordance with the procedure provided for in Section 5, Rule 67 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, requiring the appointment of not more than three competent and disinterested commissioners to ascertain and report to the court the just compensation for the subject property. The Court reiterated its ruling in National Power Corporation v. Dela Cruz that trial with the aid of commissioners is a substantial right that may not be done away with capriciously or for no reason at all. It was also emphasized therein that although ascertainment of just compensation is a judicial prerogative, the commissioners findings may only be disregarded or substituted with the trial courts own estimation of the propertys value only if the commissioners have applied illegal principles to the evidence submitted to them, where they have disregarded a clear preponderance of evidence, or where the amount allowed is either grossly inadequate or excessive.

With regard to the time as to when just compensation should be fixed, it is settled jurisprudence that where property was taken without the benefit of expropriation proceedings, and its owner files an action for recovery of possession thereof before the commencement of expropriation proceedings, it is the value of the property at the time of taking that is controlling.

In this case, the trial court should have fixed just compensation for the property at its value as of the time of taking in 1980, but there is nothing on record showing the value of the property at that time. The trial court, therefore, clearly erred when it based its valuation for the subject land on the price paid for properties in the same location, taken by the city government only sometime in the year 1994.

City of Iloilo vs. Contreras and Javellana (G.R. No. 168967)

Facts: Petitioner filed a Complaint for eminent domain against private respondent Elpidio T. Javellana and Southern Negros Development Bank, the latter as mortgagee which sought to expropriate two parcels of land registered in Javellanas name to be used as a school site for Lapaz High School. Petitioner alleged that the Subject Property was declared for tax purposes to have a value of P60.00 per square meter, or a total value of P43,560.00. Javellana also claimed that the true fair market value of his property was no less than P220.00 per square meter. Petitioner was able to take physical possession of the properties sometime in the middle of 1985. Private respondent thus demanded his just compensation as well as interest. Private respondent alleged that since he had not been compensated for the Subject Property, petitioners possession was illegal, and he was entitled to recovery of possession of his lots. Private respondent could only demand for the payment of just compensation.

Issue: Whether or not just compensation should be based on the fair market value of a property at the time of the filing of complaint.

Held: When the taking of the property sought to be expropriated coincides with the commencement of the expropriation proceedings, or takes place subsequent to the filing of the complaint for eminent domain, the just compensation should be determined as of the date of the filing of the complaint. Just compensation is to be determined as of the date of filing of the complaint. The reckoning date should be in 2004 because of the clear injustice to the private respondent who all these years has been deprived of the beneficial use of his properties. City of Iloilo is held liable for damages for taking private respondents property without payment of just compensation.

RP vs. MANGOTARA

FACTS: Dona Demetria owns two parcels of land and has titles to prove ownership. 83 years later authenticity of said ownership was still in doubt and the government filed a case of expropriation against occupants of the land (not really the owners, just renters). The occupants questioned the expropriation case contending that expropriation cases can only be filed against owners, not mere occupants, of the land. The government also filed a case of Reversion against Dona Demetrias heirs contending two parcels of land were fraudulently acquired. The owners of the land questioned the case for Reversion contending that, since they filed a case for Reconstitution of Titles in 1914 and they still have said titles at present, the government has no right to the land.

ISSUE/S: 1. WON owners of parcels of land are indispensable parties to an expropriation proceeding? NO 2. WON the government erred in filing both a case for expropriation and a case for Reversion against the occupants and the owners of the land? NO 3. WON, in filing the case for Reversion, the government is barred by res judicata and prescription? NO

HELD: 1.

The defendants in an expropriation case are not limited to the owners of the property condemned. They include all other persons, owning, occupying

or claiming to own the property. When property is taken by eminent domain, the owner is not an indispensable party to the proceeding.

2.

The Republic is not engaging in contradictions when it instituted both expropriation/reversion proceedings for the same parcels of land. Rule 67, Section 1 of the Rules of Court allows filing of expropriation even when the title to any property sought to be condemned appears to be the Republic, although occupied by private individuals.

3.

(a prior case filed by an heir asking for a Reconstitution of titles was granted and said titles are still with said heir up to the time of the filing of the case for Reversion. They have titles to prove ownership. However, the 1914 case for Reconstitution of Title never delved into the issue of ownership, only reconstitution of title and it turns out said two lands were questionably acquired by Dona Demetria. Government, then, still has the right to impugn ownership claimed by Demetria and her heirs) Elementary is the rule that prescription does not run against the State. The indefeasibility of a Title over land previously public is not a bar to an investigation by the Director of Lands as to how such title has been acquired, if the purpose of such investigation is to determine w/n fraud had been committed in securing such title in order that the appropriate action for reversion may be filed by the government.

Republic vs. Mendoza (G.R. No. 185091)

Facts: PPS has been using 1,149 square meters of land in Lipa City, Batangas since 1957 for its school. However some portions of the property were registered in the name of respondents Primo and Maria Mendoza. The Republic claimed that, while no title was issued in the name of the City Government of Lipa, the Mendozas had relinquished to it their right over the school lot as evidenced by the consolidation and subdivision plan. The Mendozas claim, on the other hand, that although PPS sought permission from them to use the property as a school site, they never relinquished their right to it.

Issue: Whether or not the Mendozas were entitled to evict the Republic from the subject property that it had used for a public school.

Held: The Mendozas remedy is an action for the payment of just compensation, not ejectment. It may be assumed that the Mendozas agreed to transfer ownership of the land to the government but never got around to do so and the Republic itself altogether forgot about it. Consequently, the Republic should be deemed entitled to possession pending the Mendozas formal transfer of ownership to it upon payment of just compensation. Where the owner agrees voluntarily to the taking of his property by the government for public use, he thereby waives his right to the institution of a formal expropriation proceeding covering such property. As to the time when just compensation should be fixed, it is settled that where property was taken without the benefit of expropriation proceedings and its owner filed an action for recovery of possession before the commencement of expropriation proceedings, it is the value of the property at the time of taking that is controlling.

LBP vs. Livioco (G.R. No. 170685)

Facts: Livioco offered his sugarland to the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) for acquisition under the CARP at P30.00 per square meter, for a total of P9, 189,870.00. The voluntary-offer-to-sell (VOS) form submitted to the DAR indicated that the said property is adjacent to residential subdivisions and to an international paper mill. LBP set the price at P3.21 per square meter. Liviocos request for a reevaluation of the compensation on the ground that its value had already appreciated from the time it was first offered for sale was denied by the reason that there was already a perfected sale.

Livioco finally filed a petition for judicial determination of just compensation against respondents maintaining that the location of his property has become predominantly residential hence he should be paid his propertys value as such.

Issue: Whether or not the compensation for respondents property was determined in accordance with law.

Held: In expropriation cases (including cases involving lands for agrarian reform), the propertys character refers to its actual use at the time of taking, not its potential uses. Respondent himself admitted that his property was agricultural at the time he offered it for sale to DAR in 1988. The coverage of RA 6657 only extends to agricultural lands; respondents property should be conclusively treated as an agricultural land and valued as such. LBPs valuation is not in accordance with Section 17 of R.A. 6675. It is reminded to adhere strictly to the doctrine that just compensation must be valued at the time of taking. The time of taking is the time when the landowner was deprived of the use and benefit of his property, such as when title is transferred to the Republic. Valuation of property must be based on the values prevalent in 1994 for agricultural lands.

APO Fruits Corp. vs. LBP (G.R. No. 164195)

Facts: AFC and HPI received separate notices of land acquisition and valuation of their properties from the DAR-PARO. HPI and AFC rejected the valuations of DARPARO for being very low. DAR requested the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) to deposit P26, 409,549.86 in AFCs bank account and P45, 481,706.76 in HPIs bank account, which amounts the petitioners then withdrew. AFC and HPI filed separate petitions for determination of just compensation with the DARAB which the latter failed to act upon thus forcing AFC and HPI to file separate complaints for determination of just compensation. The RTC fixed the just compensation for the petitioners 1,338.6027 hectares of land at P1, 383,179,000.00, with interest on this amount at the prevailing market interest rates, computed from the taking of the properties on December 9, 1996 until fully paid, minus the amounts the petitioners already received under the initial valuation.

Issue: Whether or not just compensation was given to AFC and HPI.

Held: The 5% initial payments made by the LBP when the petitioners landholdings were taken, although promptly withdrawn by the petitioners, could not by any means be considered a fair exchange of values at the time of taking; in fact, the LBPs actual deposit could not be said to be substantial even from the original LBP valuation of P251,379,103.90. Deposits were not enough to compensate the petitioners for the potential income the landholdings could have earned for them if no immediate taking had taken place. Without prompt payment, compensation cannot be considered "just" if the property is immediately taken as the property owner suffers the immediate deprivation of both his land and its fruits or income. Petitioners were made to wait for more than a decade after the taking of their property before they actually received the full amount of the principal of the just compensation due them. When the LBP took the petitioners landholdings without the corresponding full payment, it became liable to the petitioners for the income the landholdings would have earned had they not immediately been taken from the petitioners.

Spouses Abad vs. Fil-Homes Realty (G.R. No. 189239)

Facts: On June 30, 2004, the City of Paraaque filed expropriation proceedings covering the lots owned by respondents before the Regional Trial Court of Paraaque with the intention of establishing a socialized housing project therein for distribution to the occupants including petitioners. No payment had been made to respondents for the lots therefore they still maintain ownership.

Issue: Whether or not there was just compensation.

Held: In the exercise of the power of eminent domain, the State expropriates private property for public use upon payment of just compensation. A socialized housing project falls within the ambit of public use as it is in furtherance of the constitutional provisions on social justice. the mere issuance of a writ of possession in the expropriation proceedings did not transfer ownership of the lots in favor of the City. Such issuance was only the first stage in expropriation. It is only upon the completion of these two stages that expropriation is said to have been completed. The process is not complete until payment of just compensation. To effectuate the transfer of ownership, it is necessary to pay the property owners the final just compensation. There is even no evidence that judicial deposit had been made in favor of respondents prior to the Citys possession of the lots.

VDA. DE OUANO vs. REPUBLIC. 642 SCRA 384 FACTS: In 1949, the National Airport Corporation (NAC), MCIAAs predecessor agency, pursued a program to expand the Lahug Airport in Cebu City. Through its team of negotiators, NAC met and negotiated with the owners of the properties situated around the airport. The government negotiating team assured them that they could repurchase their respective lands should the Lahug Airport expansion project do not push through or once the Lahug Airport closes or its operations transferred to Mactan-Cebu Airport. Some of the landowners accepted the assurance and executed deeds of sale with a right of repurchase. Others, however, including the owners of the aforementioned lots, refused to sell because the purchase price offered was viewed as way below market, forcing the hand of the Republic to file a complaint for the expropriation. On December 29, 1961, the then Court of First Instance (CFI) of Cebu rendered judgment for the Republic declaring the expropriation of Lots justified in and in lawful exercise of the right of eminent domain. In view of the adverted buy-back assurance made by the government, the owners of the lots no longer appealed the decision of the trial court. Following the finality of the judgment of condemnation, certificates of title for the covered parcels of land were issued in the name of the Republic which were subsequently transferred to MCIAA. After the transfer of the aforesaid lots to MCIAA, Lahug Airport completely ceased operations, Mactan Airport having opened to accommodate incoming and outgoing commercial flights. On the ground, the expropriated lots were never utilized for the purpose they were taken as no expansion of Lahug Airport was undertaken. This development prompted the former lot owners to formally demand from the government that they be allowed to exercise their promised right to repurchase. The demands went unheeded. Civil suits followed. Soon after the MCIAA abandoned the Lahug Airport expansion project, informal settlers entered and occupied Lot No. 763-A which, before its expropriation, belonged to the Ouanos. The Ouanos then formally asked to be allowed to exercise their right to repurchase the aforementioned lot, but the MCIAA ignored the demand. Issue: Whether abandonment of the public use for which the subject properties were expropriated entitles petitioners Ouanos to reacquire them. Held: Yes Expropriation is forced private property taking, the landowner being really without a ghost of a chance to defeat the case of the expropriating agency. In other words, in expropriation, the private owner is deprived of property against his will. Withal, the mandatory requirement of due process ought to be strictly followed, such that the state must show, at the minimum, a genuine need, an exacting public purpose to take private property, the purpose to be specifically alleged or least reasonably deducible from the complaint. Public use, as an eminent domain concept, has now acquired an expansive meaning to include any use that is of "usefulness, utility, or advantage, or what is productive of general benefit [of the public].If the genuine public necessitythe very reason or condition as it wereallowing, at the first instance, the expropriation of a private land ceases or disappears, then there is no more cogent point for the governments retention of the expropriated land. The same legal situation should hold if the government devotes the property to another public use very much different from the original or deviates from the declared purpose to benefit another private person. It has been said that the direct use by the state of its power to oblige landowners to renounce their productive possession to another citizen, who will use it predominantly for that citizens own private gain, is offensive to our laws. A condemnor should commit to use the property pursuant to the purpose stated in the petition for expropriation, failing which it should file another petition for the new purpose. If not, then it behooves the condemnor to return the said property to its private owner, if the latter so desires. The government cannot plausibly keep the property it expropriated in any manner it pleases and, in the process, dishonor the judgment of expropriation. This is not in To be compelled to renounce dominion over a piece of land is, in itself, an already bitter pill to swallow for the owner. But to be asked to sacrifice for the common good and yield ownership to the government which reneges on its assurance that the private property shall be for a public purpose may be too much. But it would be worse if the power of eminent domain were deliberately used as a subterfuge to benefit another with influence and power in the political process, including development firms. Given the foregoing disquisitions, equity and justice demand the reconveyance by MCIAA of the litigated lands in question to the Ouanos and Inocians. In the same token, justice and fair play also dictate that the Ouanos and Inocian return to MCIAA what they received as just compensation for the expropriation of their respective properties plus legal interest to be computed from default, which in this case should run from the time MCIAA complies with the reconveyance obligation.

NATIONAL POWER CORPORATION (NPC) vs. HEIRS OF SANGKAY G.R. 165828 August 24, 2011 FACTS: Pursuant to its legal mandate under Republic Act No. 6395, NPC undertook the Agus River Hydroelectric Power Plant Project in the 1970s to generate electricity for Mindanao. The project included the construction of several underground tunnels to be used in diverting the water flow from the Agus River to the hydroelectric plants.
2

On November 21, 1997, the respondents as the owners of land situated in Iligan City, sued NPC in the RTC for the recovery of damages and of the property, with the alternative prayer for the payment of just compensation.They alleged that they had belatedly discovered that one of the underground tunnels of NPC that diverted the water flow of the Agus River for the operation of the Hydroelectric Project traversed their land; that the underground tunnel had been constructed without their knowledge and consent; that the presence of the tunnel deprived them of the agricultural, commercial, industrial and residential value of their land; and that their land had also become an unsafe place for habitation because of the loud sound of the water rushing through the tunnel and the constant shaking of the ground, forcing them and their workers to relocate to safer grounds. NPC countered that the Heirs of Macabangkit had no right to compensation under section 3(f) of Republic Act No. 6395, under which a mere legal easement on their land was established; that their cause of action, should they be entitled to compensation, already prescribed due to the tunnel having been constructed in 1979; and that by reason of the tunnel being an apparent and continuous easement, any action arising from such easement prescribed in five years. Issue: Whether the Heirs of Macabangkits right to claim just compensation had prescribed under section 3(i) of Republic Act No. 6395, or, alternatively, under Article 620 and Article 646 of the Civil Code. Held: NO. Five-year prescriptive period under Section 3(i) of Republic Act No. 6395 does not apply to claims for just compensation
Section 3. Powers and General Functions of the Corporation. The powers, functions, rights and activities of the Corporation shall be the following: Provided, further, That said action for damages is filed within five years after the rights of way, transmission lines, substations, plants or other facilities shall have been established; Provided, finally, That after said period, no suit shall be brought to question the said rights of way, transmission lines, substations, plants or other facilities;

We rule that the prescriptive period provided under Section 3(i) of Republic Act No. 6395 is applicable only to an action for damages, and does not extend to an action to recover just compensation like this case. Consequently, NPC cannot thereby bar the right of the Heirs of Macabangkit to recover just compensation for their land. The action to recover just compensation from the State or its expropriating agency differs from the action for damages. The former, also known as inverse condemnation, has the objective to recover the value of property taken in fact by the governmental defendant, even though no formal exercise of the power of eminent domain has been attempted by the taking agency. Just compensation is the full and fair equivalent of the property taken from its owner by the expropriator. The measure is not the takers gain, but the owners loss. The word just is used to intensify the meaning of the word compensation in order to convey the idea that the equivalent to be rendered for the property to be taken shall be real, substantial, full, and ample. On the other hand, the latter action seeks to vindicate a legal wrong through damages, which may be actual, moral, nominal, temperate, liquidated, or exemplary enshrined in Article 19 and like provisions on human relations in the Civil Code, and the exercise results to the damage of another, a legal wrong is committed and the wrongdoer is held responsible. The action to recover just compensation is based on the Constitution while the action for damages is predicated on statutory enactments. Indeed, the former arises from the exercise by the State of its power of eminent domain against private property for public use, but the latter emanates from the transgression of a right. The fact that the owner rather than the expropriator brings the former does not change the essential nature of the suit as an inverse condemnation for the suit is not based on tort, but on the constitutional prohibition against the taking of property without just compensation. It would very well be contrary to the clear language of the Constitution to bar the recovery of just compensation for private property taken for a public use solely on the basis of statutory prescription. Due to the need to construct the underground tunnel, NPC should have first moved to acquire the land from the Heirs of Macabangkit either by voluntary tender to purchase or through formal expropriation proceedings. In either case, NPC would have been liable to pay to the owners the fair market value of the land, for Section 3(h) of Republic Act No. 6395 expressly requires NPC to pay the fair market value of such property at the time of the taking, thusly: (h) To acquire, promote, hold, transfer, sell, lease, rent, mortgage, encumber and otherwise dispose of property incident to, or necessary, convenient or proper to carry out the purposes for which the Corporation was created: Provided, That in case a right of way is necessary for its transmission lines, easement of right of way shall only be sought: Provided, however, That in case the property itself shall be acquired by purchase, the cost thereof shall be the fair market value at the time of the taking of such property. This was what NPC was ordered to do in National Power Corporation v. Ibrahim, where NPC had denied the right of the owners to be paid just compensation despite their land being traversed by the underground tunnels . There, NPC similarly argued that the underground tunnels constituted a mere easement that did not involve any loss of title or possession on the part of the property owners. (held in this case)The manner in which the easement was created by petitioner, however, violates the due process rights of respondents as it was without notice and indemnity to them and did not go through proper expropriation proceedings. Petitioner could have, at any time, validly exercised the power of eminent domain to acquire the easement over respondents property as this power encompasses not only the taking or appropriation of title to and possession of the expropriated property but likewise covers even the imposition of a mere burden upon the owner of the condemned property. Significantly, though, landowners cannot be deprived of their right over their land until expropriation proceedings are instituted in court. The court must then see to it that the taking is for public use, that there is payment of just compensation and that there is due process of law.
34 33 32 27 26

Issue: WON NPCs construction of the tunnel constituted taking of the land, and entitled owners to just compensation. The Court held in National Power Corporation v. Ibrahim that NPC was "liable to pay not merely an easement fee but rather the full compensation for land" traversed by the underground tunnels, viz: Notwithstanding the fact that petitioner only occupies the sub-terrain portion, it is liable to pay not merely an easement fee but rather the full compensation for land. This is so because in this case, the nature of the easement practically deprives the owners of its normal beneficial use. Respondents, as the owner of the property thus expropriated, are entitled to a just compensation which should be neither more nor less, whenever it is possible to make the assessment, than the money equivalent of said property. NPCs construction adversely affected the owners rights and interests because the subterranean intervention by NPC prevented them from introducing any developments on the surface, and from disposing of the land or any portion of it, either by sale or mortgage. There was a full taking on the part of NPC, notwithstanding that the owners were not completely and actually dispossessed. It is settled that the taking of private property for public use, to be compensable, need not be an actual physical taking or appropriation. Indeed, the expropriators action may be short of acquisition of title, physical possession, or occupancy but may still amount to a taking. Compensable taking includes destruction, restriction, diminution, or interruption of the rights of ownership or of the common and necessary use and enjoyment of the property in a lawful manner, lessening or destroying its value. It is neither necessary that the owner be wholly deprived of the use of his property, nor material whether the property is removed from the possession of the owner, or in any respect changes hands.
40 39 38 37

As a result, NPC should pay just compensation for the entire land. In that regard, the RTC pegged just compensation at P500.00/square meter based on its finding on what the prevailing market value of the property was at the time of the filing of the complaint, and the CA upheld the RTC. We rule that the reckoning value is the value at the time of the filing of the complaint, as the RTC provided in its decision. Compensation that is reckoned on the market value prevailing at the time either when NPC entered or when it completed the tunnel, as NPC submits, would not be just, for it would compound the gross unfairness already caused to the owners by NPCs entering without the intention of formally expropriating the land, and without the prior knowledge and consent of the Heirs of Macabangkit. NPCs entry denied elementary due process of law to the owners since then until the owners commenced the inverse condemnation proceedings. The Court is more concerned with the necessity to prevent NPC from unjustly profiting from its deliberate acts of denying due process of law to the owners. As a measure of simple justice and ordinary fairness to them, therefore, reckoning just compensation on the value at the time the owners commenced these inverse condemnation proceedings is entirely warranted.

Dumlao vs. COMELEC (G.R. No. L-52245)

Issue: Whether or Not Sec. 4 of BP.52 is unconstitutional being contrary to the equal protection and due process rights.

Held: No. The guarantee of equal protection is subject to rational classification based on reasonable and real differentiations. In the present case, employees 65 years of age have been classified differently from younger employees. The former are subject to compulsory retirement while the latter are not.

In respect of election to provincial, city, or municipal positions, to require that candidates should not be more than 65 years of age at the time they assume office, if applicable to everyone, might or might not be a reasonable classification although, as the Solicitor General has intimated, a good policy of the law should be to promote the emergence of younger blood in our political elective echelons.

The equal protection clause does not forbid all legal classification. What is proscribed is a classification which is arbitrary and unreasonable. There is reason to disqualify a 65 year old elective official who is trying to run for office because there is the need for new blood to assume relevance. When an official has retired he has already declared himself tired and unavailable for the same government work.

The first paragraph of section 4 of Batas Pambansa Bilang 52 is valid.

Quinto vs. COMELEC (G. R. No. 189698)

Facts: R.A. 8676 provides that all elective officials are not deemed resigned upon filing of their certificate of candidacy, however, appointive officials are considered deemed resigned upon filing of the COCs.

Issue: Whether or not Section 4 (a) of COMELEC Resolution No. 8678 is violative of the equal protection clause.

Held: 2009 Decision

Yes. Persons holding appointive positions as ipso facto resigned upon filing of CoCs, but not considering resigned all other civil servants, specifically elective ones, the law duly discriminates against the first class (appointive officials). Applying the four requisites of valid classification, the Court finds that treatment of persons holding appointive officers as opposed to those holding elective ones is not germane to the purposes of law (Requisite No. 2). There is no valid justification to treat appointive officials differently from the elective ones. The classification simply fails to meet the test that it should be germane to the purposes of law.

2010 Decision Section 4(a) of COMELEC Resolution No. 8678 is not violative of the equal protection clause.

There is substantial distinction. Elective officials are elected by his constituents, if they are deemed resigned, the constituents will be affected. On the other hand, in the case of appointive officials, they do not have ordinary succession, thus, there will be vacancy during resignation.

The dichotomized treatment of appointive and elective officials is therefore germane to the purposes of the law. For the law was made not merely to preserve the integrity, efficiency, and discipline of the public service; the Legislature, whose wisdom is outside the rubric of judicial scrutiny, also thought it wise to balance this with the competing, yet equally compelling, interest of deferring to the sovereign will.

Ang Ladlad vs. COMELEC (GR No. 190582)

Facts: COMELEC (Second Division) dismissed the Petition on moral grounds. LGBT tolerates immorality, sexual immorality and will be exposing our youth to an environment that does not conform to the teachings of our faith.

Issue: Whether or not denying the application of Ang Ladlad is violative of the equal protection clause.

Held: Yes. COMELEC made an unwarranted and impermissible classification not justified by the circumstances of the case. According to COMELEC, the majority of Filipinos considers homosexual conduct as immoral and unacceptable. Such reason is sufficient to disqualify the petitioner. Homosexuals are a class in themselves for the purposes of equal protection clause. Moral disapproval of an unpopular minority is not a legitimate state interest that is sufficient to satisfy the rational basis review under the equal protection clause. LGBT has the same interest in participating in the party-list system. Laws of general application should apply with equal force to LGBTs.

Trillanes vs. Pimentel (G.R. No. 179817)

Facts: Petitioner Trillanes IV is on trial for coup dtat in relation to the Oakwood Incident. In the 2007 elections, he won a seat in the Senate with a six-year term commencing at noon on June 30, 2007. Petitioner now asks the Court that he be allowed to attend all official functions of the Senate, alleging mainly that his case is distinct from that of Jalosjos as his case is still pending resolution whereas that in the Jalosjos case, there was already conviction. He asserts that he continues to enjoy civil and political rights since the presumption of innocence is still in his favor. Petitioner also illustrates that Jalosjos was charged with crimes involving moral turpitude, whereas he is indicted for coup d'etat which is regarded as a "political offense."

Issue: Whether or not petitioner may be allowed to attend the Senate sessions. Held: No. The distinctions cited by petitioner were not elemental in the pronouncement in Jalosjos that election to Congress is not a reasonable classification in criminal law enforcement as the functions and duties of the office are not substantial distinctions which lift one from the class of prisoners interrupted in their freedom and restricted in liberty of movement. The Constitution provides:

All persons, except those charged with offenses punishable by reclusion perpetua when evidence of guilt is strong, shall, before conviction, be bailable by sufficient sureties, or be released on recognizance as may be provided by law. The right to bail shall not be impaired even when the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is suspended. Excessive bail shall not be required.

The cited provisions apply equally to rape and coup d'etat cases, both being punishable by reclusion perpetua. Within the class of offenses covered by the stated range of imposable penalties, there is clearly no distinction as to the political complexion of or moral turpitude involved in the crime charged.

ABAKADA v. Purisima (G.R. No. 166715)

Facts: Petitioners are challenging the constitutionality of R.A. 9335, a tax reform legislation to optimize the revenue-generation capability and collection of the BIR and the BOC. They contend that, by establishing a system of rewards and incentives, the law "transform[s] the officials and employees of the BIR and the BOC into mercenaries and bounty hunters" as they will do their best only inconsideration of such rewards. Thus, the system of rewards and incentives invites corruption and undermines the constitutionally mandated duty of these officials and employees.

Issue: Whether or not the limitation of the scope of the system of rewards and incentives only to officials and employees of BIR and BOC is violative of the equal protection clause.

Held: No. The classification and treatment accorded to the BIR and the BOC under R.A. 9335 does not violate the equal protection clause. The subject of the law is the revenue- generation capability and collection of the BIR and the BOC, the incentives and/or sanctions provided in the law should logically pertain to the said agencies. The law concerns only the BIR and the BOC because they have the common distinct primary function of generating revenues for the national government through the collection of taxes, customs duties, fees and charges. Both the BIR and the BOC are bureaus under the DOF. They principally perform the special function of being the instrumentalities through which the State exercises one of its great inherent functions - taxation. Indubitably, such substantial distinction is germane and intimately related to the purpose of the law.

Soriano v. Laguardia (G.R. No. 164785)

Facts: The MTRCB gave a 20-day preventive suspension to Sorianos And Dating Daan TV program for defamatory utterances against an INC minister. Soriano was later imposed with a three-month suspension from his TV program

Issue: Whether or not the preventive suspension order by the MTRCB denied him his right to the equal protection clause.

Held: Petitioner next faults MTRCBs preventive suspension order which made him unable to answer the criticisms coming from the INC ministers. Petitioners position does not persuade. The equal protection clause demands that "all persons subject to legislation should be treated alike, under like circumstances and conditions both in the privileges conferred and liabilities imposed." It guards against undue favor and individual privilege as well as hostile discrimination. Surely, petitioner cannot, under the premises, place himself in the same shoes as the INC ministers, who, for one, are not facing administrative complaints before the MTRCB. For another, he offers no proof that the said ministers, in their TV programs, use language similar to that which he used in his own, necessitating the MTRCBs disciplinary action. If the immediate result of the preventive suspension order is that petitioner remains temporarily gagged and is unable to answer his critics, this does not become a deprivation of the equal protection guarantee.

League of Cities vs. COMELEC (GR No. 176951)

The 11 Congress enacted into law 33 bills converting 33 municipalities into cities. However, it did not act on bills converting 24 other municipalities into cities. Subsequently, the 12 Congress enacted Republic Act No. 9009 (RA 9009), which took effect on 20 June 2001, amending Section 450 of the Local Government Code by increasing the annual income requirement for conversion of a municipality into a city from P20million to P100million. 16 municipalities filed cityhood bills containing a common provision exempting all the 16 municipalities from the P100million income requirement of R.A. 9009. The cityhood bills were approved by the House of Representatives and the Senate, and lapsed into law without the Presidents signature. Said Cityhood Laws directed the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to hold plebiscites to determine whether the voters in each municipality approved of the conversion. Petitioners sought to declare the 16 Cityhood Laws unconstitutional for violation the equal protection clause.
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ISSUE: Whether the Cityhood Laws violate the equal protection clause.

HELD: 2008 Ruling

Cityhood laws are violative of the equal protection clause. Section 450 of the Local Government Code, as amended by R.A. 9009, does not contain any exemption to theP100 million annual income requirement. Even if the exemption provision in the Cityhood Laws were written in Section 450 of the Local Government Code, exemption would still be unconstitutional for violation of the equal protection clause. The exemption provision merely states, "Exemption from Republic Act No. 9009 The City of x x x shall be exempted from the income requirement prescribed under Republic Act No. 9009." This one sentence exemption provision contains no classification standards or guidelines differentiating the exempted municipalities from those that are not exempted.

In the 11 Congress, the exemption which is based solely on the fact that the 16 municipalities had cityhood bills that were pending when RA 9009 was enacted is not a valid classification between those entitled and those not entitled to exemption from the P100 million income requirement. The classification in the present case must be based on substantial distinctions, rationally related to a legitimate government objective which is the purpose of the law, not limited to existing conditions only, and applicable to all similarly situated. The mere pendency of a cityhood bill in the 11 Congress is not a material difference to distinguish one municipality from another for the purpose of the income requirement. The classification criterion mere pendency of a cityhood bill in the 11 Congress is not rationally related to the purpose of the law which is to prevent fiscally non-viable municipalities from converting into cities.
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2009 Ruling Petitioner LCP and the intervenors cannot plausibly invoke the equal protection clause, precisely because no deprivation of property results by virtue of the enactment of the cityhood laws. The LCPs claim that the IRA of its member-cities will be substantially reduced on account of the conversion into cities of the respondent LGUs would not suffice to bring it within the ambit of the constitutional guarantee. The favorable treatment accorded the sixteen (16) municipalities by the cityhood laws rests on substantial distinction. Indeed, respondent LGUs, which are subjected only to the erstwhile PhP 20 million income criterion instead of the stringent income requirement prescribed in RA 9009, are substantially different from other municipalities desirous to be cities. The exemption of respondent LGUs/municipalities from the P100M income requirement was meant to reduce the inequality occasioned by the passage of the amendatory RA 9009 and also to insure that fairness and justice would be accorded respondent LGUs making the classification is also germane to the purpose of the law. The non-retroactive effect of RA 9009 is not limited in application only to conditions existing at the time of its enactment because it is intended to apply for all time. The uniform exemption clause would apply to all municipalities that had pending cityhood bills before the passage of R.A. 9009 and were compliant with the LGC of 1991.

2010 Ruling
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2008 ruling is reinstated. No substantial distinction between municipalities with pending cityhood bills in the 11 Congress and municipalities that did not have pending bills. The mere pendency of a cityhood bill in the 11 Congress is not a material difference to distinguish one municipality from another for the purpose of the income requirement. Pendency of a cityhood bill in the 11 Congress limits the exemption to a specific condition existing at the time of passage of RA 9009therefore violating the requirement that a valid classification must not be limited to existing conditions only (pendency of the cityhood bills adverted to can no longer be repeated). Limiting the exemption only to the 16 municipalities violates the requirement that the classification must apply to all similarly situated.
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2011 Ruling There was valid classification, and the Cityhood Laws do not violate the equal protection clause. The purpose of the enactment of R.A. No 9009 was merely to stop the "mad rush of municipalities wanting to be converted into cities" and the apprehension that before long the country will be a country of cities and without municipalities. Substantial distinction lies in the capacity and viability of respondents to become component cities of their respective provinces. Congress, by enacting the Cityhood Laws, recognized this capacity and viability of the respondents to become the States partners in accelerating economic growth and development in the provincial regions, which is the very thrust of the LGC, manifested by the pendency of their cityhood bills during the 11th Congress and their relentless pursuit for cityhood up to the present. Truly, the urgent need to become a component city arose way back in the 11th Congress, and such condition continues to exist.

The Court stressed that Congress clearly intended that the local government units covered by the Cityhood Laws be exempted from the coverage of RA 9009, which imposes a higher income requirement of PhP100 million for the creation of cities.

Chamber of Real vs. Romulo (G.R. No. 160756)

Facts: Petitioner Chamber of Real Estate and Builders Associations, Inc. is questioning the constitutionality of Section 27 (E) of Republic Act 8424 and the revenue regulations issued by the BIR to implement said provision and those involving creditable withholding taxes. Imposition of minimum corporate income tax (MCIT) on corporations and creditable withholding tax (CWT) on sales of real properties classified as ordinary assets. CWT is being levied only on real estate enterprises.

Issue: Whether or not the revenue regulations are violative of the equal protection clause.

Held: The equal protection clause under the Constitution as applied in this case means that all persons belonging to the same class shall be taxed alike. It follows that the guaranty of the equal protection of the laws is not violated by legislation based on a reasonable classification. The taxing power has the authority to make reasonable classifications for purposes of taxation. Inequalities which result from a singling out of one particular class for taxation, or exemption, infringe no constitutional limitation. The real estate industry is a class and can be validly treated differently from other business enterprises.

Biraogo vs. Philippine Truth Commission (G.R. No. 192935)

Facts: EO No. 1 was issued by President Aquino to investigate reported cases of graft and corruption of previous administration. The petitioners assail EO No. 1 is violative of the constitutional safeguard because it does not apply equally to all members of the same class such that the intent of singling out the "previous administration" as its sole object makes the PTC an "adventure in partisan hostility." To be accorded with validity, the commission must also cover reports of graft and corruption in virtually all administrations previous to that of former President Arroyo.

Issue: Whether or not the Truth Commission is violative of the equal protection clause.

Held: Executive Order No. 1 should be struck down as violative of the equal protection clause. For a classification to meet the requirements of constitutionality, it must include or embrace all persons who naturally belong to the class. The clear mandate of the envisioned truth commission is to investigate and find out the truth concerning the reported cases of graft and corruption during the previous administration only. The previous administration was picked out was deliberate and intentional as can be gleaned from the fact that it was underscored at least three times in the assailed executive order. The Arroyo administration is but just a member of a class, that is, a class of past administrations. It is not a class of its own. Executive Order No. 1 suffers from arbitrary classification.


In Re: Morales (A.M. No. .M. No. P-08-2519) Facts: Atty. Morales has been alleged of consuming his working hours filing and attending to personal cases, such as administrative cases against employees in his old sala, using office supplies, equipment and utilities. A spot investigation was conducted by DCA Dela Cruz together with four NBI agents, a crime photographer and a support staff in the office of Atty. Morales. The team was able to access the personal computer of Atty. Morales and print two documents stored in its hard drive which were pleadings not related to his work. Atty. Morales's computer was seized and taken to the custody of the OCA.

Issue: Whether or not the pleadings found in Atty. Morales personal computer are admissible in the cases against him.

Held: Atty. Morales argues that the pleadings were acquired from his personal computer without any valid search and seizure order and without his consent, such evidence should be considered as the fruits of a poisonous tree as it violated his right to privacy. Consent must be voluntary in order to validate an otherwise illegal search. To constitute a valid consent or waiver of the constitutional guarantee against obtrusive searches, it must be shown that (1) the right exists; (2) that the person involved had knowledge, either actual or constructive, of the existence of such right; and (3) the said person had an actual intention to relinquish the right. There is no showing that Atty. Morales had an actual intention to relinquish his right. He may have agreed to the opening of his personal computer and the printing of files in the presence of DCA Dela Cruz, his staff and some NBI agents during the spot investigation, it is also of record that Atty. Morales immediately filed an administrative case against said persons questioning the validity of the investigation, specifically invoking his constitutional right against unreasonable search and seizure. The Court cannot use the evidence obtained from his personal computer against him for it violated his constitutional right. The case has been dismissed for insufficiency of evidence.

People vs. Nunez (G.R. No. 177148)

Facts: Laguna Police Detectives and IID Mobile Force conducted a search in the house of Raul R. Nuez based on reports of drug possession. Police officers found thirty-one (31) packets of shabu, lighters, improvised burners, tooters, and aluminum foil with shabu residue and a ladys wallet containing P4,610 inside appellants dresser.

Issue: Whether or not the search warrant was invalid for failing to state the exact address to be searched.

Held: The right to be secure from unreasonable searches and seizures, like any other right, can be waived and the waiver may be made expressly or impliedly. This right has been deemed waived by Nunez for failing to raise any objection to the legality of the search warrant and the admissibility of the evidence obtained during trial.

DEL ROSARIO vs. DONATO, SR. (G.R. No. 180595, 5-MAR-2010)

HELD: A judicially ordered search warrant that fails to yield the described illicit article does not allege that respondents NBI agents violated their right by fabricating testimonies to convince the RTC of Angeles City to issue the search warrant. Their allegation that the NBI agents used an unlawfully obtained search warrant is a mere conclusion of law. While in a motion to dismiss assumes as true the fact alleged in the complaint, such admission does not extend to conclusions of law. Statements of mere conclusions of law expose the complaint to a motion to dismiss on ground of failure to state a cause of action.

The allegation that the search warrant in this case was served in a malicious manner is also not sufficient. Allegations of bad faith, malice and other related words without ultimate facts to support the same are mere conclusions of law.

The proceeding under Rule 126, a limited criminal one, does not provide for the filing of counterclaims for damages against those who may have improperly sought the issuance of the search warrant. Consequently, the Del Rosarios had the right to seek damages, if the circumstances warranted, by separate civil action for the wrong inflicted on them by an improperly obtained or enforced search warrant. Unfortunately, their complaint, as worded, failed to state a proper cause of action.

Petitioner Arthur del Rosario claims that respondents NBI agents wrongfully included him as respondent in their application for a search warrant since he neither owned the house at 51 New York Street nor resided in it. But the rules do not require respondents in search warrant proceedings to be residents of the premises to be searched. If this were the case, criminals in possession of illegal articles could simply use other peoples residence for storing such articles to avoid being raided and searched.

PEOPLE vs. TUAN (G.R. No. 176066, 11-AUG-2010)

HELD: The validity of the issuance of a search warrant rests upon the following: (1) it must be issued upon probable cause; (2) the probable cause must be determined by the judge himself and not by the applicant or any other person; (3) in the determination of probable cause, the judge must examine, under oath or affirmation, the complainant and such witnesses as the latter may produce; and (4) the warrant issued must particularly describe the place to be searched and persons or things to be seized.

In People vs. Aruta, the Court defined probable cause as follows: Although probable cause eludes exact and concrete definition, it generally signifies a reasonable ground of suspicion supported by circumstances sufficiently strong in themselves to warrant a cautious man to believe that the person accused is guilty of the offense with which he is charged. It likewise refers to the existence of such facts and circumstances which could lead a reasonably discreet and prudent man to believe that an offense has been committed and that the item(s), article(s) or object(s) sought in connection with said offense or subject to seizure and destruction by law is in the place to be searched. It ought to be emphasized that in determining probable cause, the average man weighs facts and circumstances without resorting to the calibrations of our rules of evidence of which his knowledge is technically nil. Rather, he relies on the calculus of common

sense which all reasonable men have in abundance. The same quantum of evidence is required in determining probable cause relative to search. Before a search warrant can be issued, it must be shown by substantial evidence that the items sought are in fact seizable by virtue of being connected with criminal activity, and that the items will be found in the place to be searched. A magistrates determination of probable cause for the issuance of a search warrant is paid great deference by a reviewing court, as long as there was substantial basis for that determination. Substantial basis means that the questions of the examining judge brought out such facts and circumstances as would lead a reasonably discreet and prudent man to believe that an offense has been committed, and the objects in connection with the offense sought to be seized are in the place sought to be searched. Such substantial basis exists in this case.

A description of the place to be searched is sufficient if the officer serving the warrant can, with reasonable effort, ascertain and identify the place intended and distinguish it from other places in the community. A designation or description that points out the place to be searched to the exclusion of all others, and on inquiry unerringly leads the peace officers to it, satisfies the constitutional requirement of definiteness. In the case at bar, the address and description of the place to be searched in the Search Warrant was specific enough. There was only one house located at the stated address, which was accused-appellants residence, consisting of a structure with two floors and composed of several rooms.

PEOPLE vs. MAMARIL (G.R. No. 171980, 6-OCT-2010)

HELD: The requisites for the issuance of a search warrant are: (1) probable cause is present; (2) such probable cause must be determined personally by the judge; (3) the judge must examine, in writing and under oath or affirmation, the complainant and the witnesses he or she may produce; (4) the applicant and the witnesses testify on the facts personally known to them; and (5) the warrant specifically describes the place to be searched and the things to be seized.

On the other hand, probable cause means such facts and circumstances which would lead a reasonable discreet and prudent man to believe that an offense has been committed and that the objects sought in connection with the offense are in the place sought to be searched. There is no general formula or fixed rule for the determination of probable cause since the same must be decided in light of the conditions obtaining in given situations and its existence depends to a large degree upon the findings or opinion of the judge conducting the examination.

It is presumed that a judicial function has been regularly performed, absent a showing to the contrary. A magistrates determination of a probable cause for the issuance of a search warrant is paid with great deference by a reviewing court, as long as there was substantial basis for that determination.

TAN vs. SY TIONG GUE (G.R. NO. 174570, 15-DEC-2010)

HELD: Even if an information for Qualified Theft be later filed on the basis of the same incident subject matter of the dismissed case of robbery, petitioner cannot include the seized items as part of the evidence therein. Contrary to petitioners contention, he cannot use the items seized as evidence in any other offense except in that in which the subject search warrants were issued. Section 4, Rule 126 of the Revised Rules of Court provides: Section 4. Requisites for issuing search warrant. A search warrant shall not issue except upon probable cause in connection with one specific offense to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the things to be seized which may be anywhere in the Philippines. Thus, a search warrant may be issued only if there is probable cause in connection with only one specific offense alleged in an application on the basis of the applicants personal knowledge and his or her witnesses. Petitioner cannot, therefore, utilize the evidence seized by virtue of the search warrants issued in connection with the case of Robbery in a separate case of Qualified Theft, even if both cases emanated from the same incident.

TY vs. DE JAMIL (G.R. No. 182147, 15-DEC-2010)

HELD: For one, while it is the consistent principle in this jurisdiction that the determination of probable cause is a function that belongs to the public prosecutor and, ultimately, to the Secretary of Justice, who may direct the filing of the corresponding information or move for the dismissal of the case; such determination is subject to judicial review where it is established that grave abuse of discretion tainted the determination.

For another, there is no question that the Secretary of Justice is an alter ego of the President who may opt to exercise or not to exercise his or her power of review over the formers determination in criminal investigation cases. As aptly noted by Agent De Jemil, the determination of probable cause by the Secretary of Justice is, under the doctrine of qualified political agency, presumably that of the Chief Executive unless disapproved or reprobated by the latter.

Chan v. Secretary of Justice delineated the proper remedy from the determination of the Secretary of Justice. Therein, the Court, after expounding on the policy of non-interference in the determination of the existence of probable cause absent any showing of arbitrariness on the part of the public prosecutor and the Secretary of Justice, however, concluded, citing Alcaraz v. Gonzalez and Preferred Home Specialties, Inc. v. Court of Appeals, that an aggrieved party from the resolution of the Secretary of Justice may directly resort to judicial review on the ground of grave abuse of discretion, thus: x x x [T]he findings of the Justice Secretary may be reviewed through a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 based on the allegation that he acted with grave abuse of discretion. This remedy is available to the aggrieved party.

As petitioners strongly argue, even if the branded LPG cylinders were indeed owned by customers, such fact does not authorize Omni to refill these branded LPG cylinders without written authorization from the brand owners Pilipinas Shell, Petron and Total. In Yao, Sr. v. People, a case involving criminal infringement of property rights under Sec. 155 of RA 8293, in affirming the courts a quos determination of the presence of probable cause, this Court held that from Sec. 155.1of RA 8293 can be gleaned that mere unauthorized use of a container bearing a registered trademark in connection with the sale, distribution or advertising of goods or services which is likely to cause confusion, mistake or deception among the buyers/consumers can be considered as trademark infringement. The Court affirmed the presence of infringement involving the unauthorized sale of Gasul and Shellane LPG cylinders and the unauthorized refilling of the same by Masagana Gas Corporation as duly attested to and witnessed by NBI agents who conducted the surveillance and test-buys. Similarly, in the instant case, the fact that Omni refilled various branded LPG cylinders even if owned by its customers but without authority from brand owners Petron, Pilipinas Shell and Total shows palpable violation of BP 33, as amended. As aptly noted by the Court in Yao, Sr. v. People, only the duly authorized dealers and refillers ofShellane, Petron Gasul and, by extension, Total may refill these branded LPG cylinders. Our laws sought to deter the pernicious practices of unscrupulous businessmen.

The issue of ownership of the seized branded LPG cylinders is irrelevant and hence need no belaboring. BP 33, as amended, does not require ownership of the branded LPG cylinders as a condition sine qua non for the commission of offenses involving petroleum and petroleum products. Verily, the offense of refilling a branded LPG cylinder without the written consent of the brand owner constitutes the offense regardless of the buyer or possessor of the branded LPG cylinder.

The law does not require that the property to be seized should be owned by the person against whom the search warrants is directed. Ownership, therefore, is of no consequence, and it is sufficient that the person against whom the warrant is directed has control or possession of the property sought to be seized. Petitioners cannot deny that the seized LPG cylinders were in the possession of Omni, found as they were inside the Omni compound. In fine, we also note that among those seized by the NBI are 16 LPG cylinders bearing the embossed brand names of Shellane, Gasul and Totalgaz but were marked as Omnigas. Evidently, this pernicious practice of tampering or changing the appearance of a branded LPG cylinder to look like another brand violates the brand owners property rights as infringement under Sec. 155.1 of RA 8293. Moreover, tampering of LPG cylinders is a mode of perpetrating the criminal offenses under BP 33, as amended, and clearly enunciated under DOE Circular No. 2000-06-010 which provided penalties on a per cylinder basis for each violation. Foregoing considered, in the backdrop of the quantum of evidence required to support a finding of probable cause, we agree with the appellate court and the Office of the Chief State Prosecutor, which conducted the preliminary investigation, that there exists probable cause for the violation of Sec. 2 (a) in relation to Sec. 3 (c) of BP 33, as amended. Probable cause has been defined as the existence of such facts and circumstances as would excite belief in a reasonable mind, acting on the facts within the knowledge of the prosecutor, that the person charged was guilty of the crime for which he was prosecuted. After all, probable cause need not be based on clear and convincing evidence of guilt, as the investigating officer acts upon reasonable beliefprobable cause implies probability of guilt and requires more than bare suspicion but less than evidence which would justify a conviction.

ANIAG vs. COMELEC (G.R. No. 104961, 7-OCT-1994)

FACTS: Pursuant to the Gun Ban, the Sergeant-at-Arms wrote to petitioner, requesting the return of the two firearms issued to him. Thereafter, petitioner instructed his driver to pick the firearms from petitioners house and return them to Congress. Upon heading to the Congress, the driver was apprehended at a checkpoint. The car was searched and the gun was found neatly packed in their cases.

ISSUE: Whether ANIAG can be validly prosecuted for instructing his driver to return to the Sergeant-at-Arms of the House of Representatives the two firearms issued to him on the basis of the evidence gathered from the warrantless search of his car. NO.

HELD: NO. Petitioner strongly protests against the manner by which the PNP conducted the search. According to him, without warrant and without informing the driver of his fundamental rights the policemen searched his car. The firearms were not tucked in the waist nor within the immediate reach of Arellano but were neatly packed in their gun cases and wrapped in a bag kept in the trunk of the car. Thus, the search of his car that yielded the evidence for the prosecution was clearly violative of Secs. 2 and 3, par. 2, Art. III of the Constitution.

As a rule, a valid search must be authorized by a search warrant duly issued by an appropriate authority. However, this is not absolute. Aside from a search incident to a lawful arrest, a warrantless search had been upheld in cases of moving vehicles and the seizure of evidence in plain view, as well as the search conducted at police or military checkpoints which we declared are not illegal per se, and stressed that the warrantless search is not violative of the Constitution for as long as the vehicle is neither searched nor its occupants subjected to a body search, and the inspection of the vehicle is merely limited to a visual search.

The records do not show that the manner by which the package was bundled led the PNP to suspect that it contained firearms. There was no mention either of any report regarding any nervous, suspicious or unnatural reaction from Arellano when the car was stopped and searched. Given these circumstances and relying on its visual observation, the PNP could not thoroughly search the car lawfully as well as the package without violating the constitutional injunction.

An extensive search without warrant could only be resorted to if the officers conducting the search had reasonable or probable cause to believe before the search that either the motorist was a law offender or that they would find the instrumentality or evidence pertaining to the commission of a crime in the vehicle to be searched. The existence of probable cause justifying the warrantless search is determined by the facts of each case. Thus, we upheld the validity of the warrantless search in situations where the smell of marijuana emanated from a plastic bag owned by the accused, or where the accused was acting suspiciously, and attempted to flee.

We also recognize the stop-and-search without warrant conducted by police officers on the basis of prior confidential information which were reasonably corroborated by other attendant matters. In the case at bench, we find that the checkpoint was set up twenty (20) meters from the entrance to the Batasan Complex to enforce Resolution No. 2327. There was no evidence to show that the policemen were impelled to do so because of a confidential report leading them to reasonably believe that certain motorists matching the description furnished by their informant were engaged in gunrunning, transporting firearms or in organizing special strike forces. Nor, as adverted to earlier, was there any indication from the package or behavior of Arellano that could have triggered the suspicion of the policemen. Absent such justifying circumstances specifically pointing to the culpability of petitioner and Arellano, the search could not be valid. The action then of the policemen unreasonably intruded into petitioner's privacy and the security of his property, in violation of Sec. 2, Art. III, of the Constitution. Consequently, the firearms obtained in violation of petitioner's right against warrantless search cannot be admitted for any purpose in any proceeding.

The warrantless search conducted by the PNP is declared illegal and the firearms seized during the warrantless search cannot be used as evidence in any proceeding.

EPIE vs. ULAT-MARREDO (G.R. No. 148117, 22-MAR-2007)

FACTS: Upon receiving a call from an informant that a jeepney with Plate No. AYB 117 at Km. 96, Atok, Benguet was loaded with Benguet pine lumber, the PNP swiftly established a checkpoint. As the jeepney was spotted, the PNP flagged it down but the jeepney did not stop. Hence, they chased the jeepney loaded with vegetables, beneath it are the pine lumbers. Pine lumbers were also carried without any valid permit to do so.

ISSUE: Whether the police officers have a probable cause to believe that the subject vehicle was loaded with illegal cargo and that, therefore, it can be stopped and searched without warrant. YES.

HELD: YES. Section 3(2), also of Article III, provides that any evidence obtained in violation of the above provision shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding.

Hence, as a general rule, a search and seizure must be carried through with judicial warrant, otherwise, such search and seizure constitutes derogation of a constitutional right. The above rule, however, is not devoid of exceptions. In People v. Sarap, we listed the exceptions where search and seizure may be conducted without warrant, thus: (1) search incident to a lawful arrest; (2) search of a moving motor vehicle; (3) search in violation of customs laws; (4) seizure of the evidence in plain view; (5) search when the accused himself waives his right against unreasonable searches and seizures; (6) stop and frisk; and (7) exigent and emergency circumstances. The only requirement in these exceptions is the presence of probable cause. Probable cause is the existence of such facts and circumstances which would lead a reasonable, discreet, and prudent man to believe that an offense has been committed and that the objects sought in connection with the offense are in the place to be searched. In People v. Aruta, we ruled that in warrantless searches, probable cause must only be based on reasonable ground of suspicion or belief that a crime has been committed or is about to be committed. There is no hard and fast rule or fixed formula in determining probable cause for its determination varies according to the facts of each case. We recall that at around 2:30 p.m. of September 6, 1998, a confidential informer disclosed to SPO2 Ngina that a passenger jeepney with Plate No. AYB 117 loaded with Benguet pine lumber was at Km. 96, Atok, Benguet. The lumber was covered with assorted vegetables. A PNP roadblock was then placed in Acop, Tublay, Benguet to intercept the jeepney. At around 4:00 p.m. of that same day, the police spotted the vehicle. They flagged it down but it did not stop, forcing the police to chase it until it reached Shilan, La Trinidad. A search of the vehicle disclosed several pieces of Benguet pine lumber. Petitioners could not produce the required DENR permit to cut and transport the same. In People v. Vinecarao, we ruled that where a vehicle sped away after noticing a checkpoint and even after having been flagged down by police officers, in an apparent attempt to dissuade the police from proceeding with their inspection, there exists probable cause to justify a reasonable belief on the part of the law enforcers that the persons on board said vehicle were officers of the law or that the vehicle contained objects which were instruments of some offense. This ruling squarely applies to the present case. Verily, the Court of Appeals did not err in holding that respondent judge did not commit grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when she ruled that the warrantless search is valid and that the lumber seized is admissible in evidence against petitioners.

PEOPLE vs. TUAZON (G.R. No. 175783, 3-SEPT-2007)

FACTS: Upon receiving through phone call a confidential information that a Gemini car bearing plate no. PFC 411 would deliver an unspecified amount of shabu in Mariville Subd., Antipolo City, the PNP then dispatched a team of policemen to the area to conduct a surveillance. Upon arriving to the place stated, they saw the Gemini car and flagged it down, 5 sachets of shabu were then found on the drivers seat, 2 more were also found in appellants pocket when he was frisked.

ISSUE: Whether or not there was a valid warrantless arrest. YES.

HELD: YES. Police officers are presumed to have acted regularly in the performance of their official functions in the absence of clear and convincing proof to the contrary or that they were moved by ill-will.

In the case of People v. Lo Ho Wing, this Court had the occasion to elucidate on the rationale for the exemption of searches of moving vehicles from the requirement of search warrant, thus:

[T]he rules governing search and seizure have over the years been steadily liberalized whenever a moving vehicle is the object of the search on the basis of practicality. This is so considering that before a warrant could be obtained, the place, things and persons to be searched must be described to the satisfaction of the issuing judge a requirement which borders on the impossible in the case of smuggling effected by the use of a moving vehicle that can transport contraband from one place to another with impunity. We might add that a warrantless search of a moving vehicle is justified on the ground that "it is not practicable to secure a warrant because the vehicle can be quickly moved out of the locality or jurisdiction in which the warrant must be sought."

Nevertheless, the exception from securing a search warrant when it comes to moving vehicles does not give the police authorities unbridled discretion to conduct a warrantless search of an automobile. To do so would render the aforementioned constitutional stipulations inutile and expose the citizenry to indiscriminate police distrust which could amount to outright harassment. Surely, the policy consideration behind the exemption of search of moving vehicles does not encompass such arbitrariness on the part of the police authorities. In recognition of the possible abuse, jurisprudence dictates that at all times, it is required that probable cause exist in order to justify the warrantless search of a vehicle.

In Caballes v. Court of Appeals, the term "probable cause" was explained to mean [A] reasonable ground of suspicion supported by circumstances sufficiently strong in themselves to warrant a cautious mans belief that the person accused is guilty of the offense with which he is charged; or the existence of such facts and circumstances which could lead a reasonably discreet and prudent man to believe that an offense has been committed and that the items, articles or objects sought in connection with said offense or subject to seizure and destruction by law is in the place to be searched. The required probable cause that will justify a warrantless search and seizure is not determined by a fixed formula but is resolved according to the facts of the case.

When a vehicle is flagged down and subjected to an extensive search, such a warrantless search has been held to be valid as long as the officers conducting the search have reasonable or probable cause to believe prior to the search that they would find the instrumentality or evidence pertaining to a crime, in the vehicle to be searched.

In this case, we hold that the police had probable cause to effect the warrantless search of the Gemini car driven by appellant. A confidential informer tipped them off that said car was going to deliver shabu at Marville Subdivision. Pursuing said lead, the Antipolo City police sent a team to Marville Subdivision to monitor said vehicle. The information provided by the informer turned out to be correct as, indeed, the Gemini car was spotted in the place where it was said to be bringing shabu. When they stopped the car, they saw a gun tucked in appellants waist. Appellant did not have any document to support his possession of said firearm which all the more strengthened the polices suspicion. After he was told to step out of the car, they found on the drivers seat plastic sachets containing white powdery substance. These circumstances, taken together, are sufficient to establish probable cause for the warrantless search of the Gemini car and the eventual admission into evidence of the plastic packets against appellant.

In any case, appellant failed to timely object to the admissibility of the evidence against him on the ground that the same was obtained through a warrantless search. His failure amounts to a waiver of the objection on the legality of the search and the admissibility of the evidence obtained by the police. It was only proper for the trial court to admit said evidence.

PEOPLE vs. MARIACOS (G.R. No. 188611, 16-JUN-2010)

FACTS: The O.K. bag that was described to have in it the marijuana as reported by a confidential informant was found by the policeman. He then asked the other passengers in the jeepney who owns the bag, but nobody knew. Meanwhile, as the jeepney reached its destination, the bag was carried by accused-appellant, hence, the police caught them up and introduced himself as a policeman.

ISSUE: Whether or not there was probable cause to warrant the warrantless arrest. YES.

HELD: YES. Indeed, the search of a moving vehicle is one of the doctrinally accepted exceptions to the Constitutional mandate that no search or seizure shall be made except by virtue of a warrant issued by a judge after personally determining the existence of probable cause.

In People v. Bagista, the Court said: The constitutional proscription against warrantless searches and seizures admits of certain exceptions. Aside from a search incident to a lawful arrest, a warrantless search had been upheld in cases of a moving vehicle, and the seizure of evidence in plain view.

With regard to the search of moving vehicles, this had been justified on the ground that the mobility of motor vehicles makes it possible for the vehicle to be searched to move out of the locality or jurisdiction in which the warrant must be sought.

This in no way, however, gives the police officers unlimited discretion to conduct warrantless searches of automobiles in the absence of probable cause. When a vehicle is stopped and subjected to an extensive search, such a warrantless search has been held to be valid only as long as the officers conducting the search have reasonable or probable cause to believe before the search that they will find the instrumentality or evidence pertaining to a crime, in the vehicle to be searched.

It is well to remember that in the instances we have recognized as exceptions to the requirement of a judicial warrant, it is necessary that the officer effecting the arrest or seizure must have been impelled to do so because of probable cause. The essential requisite of probable cause must be satisfied before a warrantless search and seizure can be lawfully conducted. Without probable cause, the articles seized cannot be admitted in evidence against the person arrested.

Probable cause is defined as a reasonable ground of suspicion supported by circumstances sufficiently strong in themselves to induce a cautious man to believe that the person accused is guilty of the offense charged. It refers to the existence of such facts and circumstances that can lead a reasonably discreet and prudent man to believe that an offense has been committed, and that the items, articles or objects sought in connection with said offense or subject to seizure and destruction by law are in the place to be searched.

The grounds of suspicion are reasonable when, in the absence of actual belief of the arresting officers, the suspicion that the person to be arrested is probably guilty of committing the offense is based on actual facts, i.e., supported by circumstances sufficiently strong in themselves to create the probable cause of guilt of the person to be arrested. A reasonable suspicion therefore must be founded on probable cause, coupled with good faith on the part of the peace officers making the arrest.

Over the years, the rules governing search and seizure have been steadily liberalized whenever a moving vehicle is the object of the search on the basis of practicality. This is so considering that before a warrant could be obtained, the place, things and persons to be searched must be described to the satisfaction of the issuing judge a requirement which borders on the impossible in instances where moving vehicle is used to transport contraband from one place to another with impunity.

This exception is easy to understand. A search warrant may readily be obtained when the search is made in a store, dwelling house or other immobile structure. But it is impracticable to obtain a warrant when the search is conducted on a mobile ship, on an aircraft, or in other motor vehicles since they can quickly be moved out of the locality or jurisdiction where the warrant must be sought.

Given the discussion above, it is readily apparent that the search in this case is valid. The vehicle that carried the contraband or prohibited drugs was about to leave. PO2 Pallayoc had to make a quick decision and act fast. It would be unreasonable to require him to procure a warrant before conducting the search under the circumstances. Time was of the essence in this case. The searching officer had no time to obtain a warrant. Indeed, he only had enough time to board the vehicle before the same left for its destination.

It is well to remember that on October 26, 2005, the night before appellants arrest, the police received information that marijuana was to be transported from Barangay Balbalayang, and had set up a checkpoint around the area to intercept the suspects. At dawn of October 27, 2005, PO2 Pallayoc met the secret agent from the Barangay Intelligence Network, who informed him that a baggage of marijuana was loaded on a passenger jeepney about to leave for the poblacion. Thus, PO2 Pallayoc had probable cause to search the packages allegedly containing illegal drugs.

This Court has also, time and again, upheld as valid a warrantless search incident to a lawful arrest. Thus, Section 13, Rule 126 of the Rules of Court provides:

SEC. 13. Search incident to lawful arrest A person lawfully arrested may be searched for dangerous weapons or anything which may have been used or constitute proof in the commission of an offense without a search warrant.

For this rule to apply, it is imperative that there be a prior valid arrest. Although, generally, a warrant is necessary for a valid arrest, the Rules of Court provides the exceptions therefor, to wit:

SEC. 5. Arrest without warrant; when lawful A peace officer or a private person may, without a warrant, arrest a person: a) b) c)

When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense; When an offense has just been committed and he has probable cause to believe based on personal knowledge of facts or circumstances that the person to be arrested has committed it; and When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped from a penal establishment or place where he is serving final judgment or is temporarily confined while his case is pending, or has escaped while being transferred from one confinement to another.

In cases falling under paragraphs (a) and (b) above, the person arrested without a warrant shall be forthwith delivered to the nearest police station or jail and shall be proceeded against in accordance with section 7 of Rule 112.

Be that as it may, we have held that a search substantially contemporaneous with an arrest can precede the arrest if the police has probable cause to make the arrest at the outset of the search. Given that the search was valid, appellants arrest based on that search is also valid.

PEOPLE vs. AGULAY (G.R. No. 181747, 26-SEPT-2008)

FACTS: A certain informant went to the police station to report about a certain Sing who had been selling shabu. A police entrapment team was then formed. Upon entrapment, the informant pointed the target pusher to poseur-buyer. Poseur-buyer was then introduced to Sing, bought shabu, made the signal, then the team rushed to the crime, Sing was then frisked, and 2 sachets of shabu were found.

ISSUE: Whether accused-appellant was arrested in a legitimate buy-bust operation. YES.

HELD: YES. It is a well-established rule that an arrest made after an entrapment operation does not require a warrant inasmuch as it is considered a valid warrantless arrest, in line with the provisions of Rule 113, Section 5(a) of the Revised Rules of Court, to wit: Section 5. Arrest without warrant; when lawful. A peace officer or a private person may, without a warrant, arrest a person: (a) When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense. A buy-bust operation is a form of entrapment which in recent years has been accepted as a valid and effective mode of apprehending drug pushers. In a buybust operation, the idea to commit a crime originates from the offender, without anybody inducing or prodding him to commit the offense. due regard for constitutional and legal safeguards, a buy-bust operation deserves judicial sanction. There are eight (8) instances when a warrantless search and seizure is valid, to wit: (1) consented searches; (2) as an incident to a lawful arrest; (3) searches of vessels and aircraft for violation of immigration, customs, and drug laws; (4) searches of moving vehicles; (5) searches of automobiles at borders or constructive borders; (6) where the prohibited articles are in plain view; (7) searches of buildings and premises to enforce fire, sanitary, and building regulations; and (8) stop and frisk operations. Considering that the legitimacy of the buy-bust operation is beyond question, the subsequent warrantless arrest and warrantless search and seizure, were permissible. The search, clearly being incident to a lawful arrest, needed no warrant for its validity. Thus, contrary to accused-appellant's contention, the contraband seized from him, having been obtained as a result of the buy-bust operation to which the defense failed to impute any irregularity, was correctly admitted in evidence.
[17] [16]

If carried out with

On this premise, this Court has laid down the objective test in scrutinizing buy-bust operations. In People v. Doria,

[31]

we said:

We therefore stress that the objective test in buy-bust operations demands that the details of the purported transaction must be clearly and adequately shown. This must start from the initial contact between the poseur-buyer and the pusher, the offer to purchase, the promise or payment of the consideration until the consummation of the sale by the delivery of the illegal drug subject of the sale. The manner by which the initial contact was made, whether or not through an informant, the offer to purchase the drug, the payment of the buy-bust money, and the delivery of the illegal drug, whether to the informant alone or the police officer, must be the subject of strict scrutiny by courts to insure that law-abiding citizens are not unlawfully induced to commit an offense. x x x.

CHING vs. PEOPLE (G.R. No. 177237, 17-OCT-2008)

ISSUE: 1) 2) 3)

Whether or not the arrest of the petitioner was illegal. NO. Whether or not the search conducted on the premised is illegal. NO. Whether or not the buy-bust operation against the petitioner was a sham. NO.

HELD: 1) NO. According to the records, the entrapment operation started when Police Chief Suan received information from an informant that the latter was arranging a drug deal with Ching. Since the transaction was to be carried out almost immediately, Police Chief Suan no longer required the conduct of a surveillance operation to verify the information. Police Chief Suan lost no time in briefing his men. He then assembled a team to apprehend Ching in the arranged drug deal. He designated SPO1 Cadoy to act as the poseur-buyer and gave him the marked money to be used in the transaction. Inspector Arsenal was also tasked to lead the group in the target area. Police Chief Suan was monitoring his men nearby the area and communicated to them through a radio. Although he did not witness the actual sale, he was able to recount the incidents prior and immediately after the buy-bust operations.

2)

NO. This Court observed in many cases that drug pushers sell their prohibited articles to any prospective customer, be he a stranger or not, in private as well as in public places, even in the daytime. Indeed, drug pushers have become increasingly daring, dangerous and, worse, openly defiant of the law. Hence, what matters is not the time and venue of the sale, but the fact of agreement and the acts constituting sale and delivery of the prohibited drugs.

3)

NO. The rule is settled that an arrest made after an entrapment does not require a warrant inasmuch as it is considered a valid warrantless arrest pursuant to Rule 113, Section 5(a) of the Rules of Court 47 which states:

SEC. 5. Arrest Without Warrant; When Lawful. A peace officer or a private person may, without a warrant, arrest a person:

(a) When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense.

Having established that the buy-bust operation is factual and legitimate, the subsequent warrantless arrest of Ching and as well as the warrantless seizure of the illegal drugs was permissible, thus:

This interdiction against warrantless searches and seizures, however, is not absolute and such warrantless searches and seizures have long been deemed permissible by jurisprudence in instances of (1) search of moving vehicles, (2) seizure in plain view, (3) customs searches, (4) waiver or consented

searches, (5) stop and frisk situations (Terry search), and search incidental to a lawful arrest. The last includes a valid warrantless arrest, for, while as a rule, an arrest is considered legitimate [if] effected with a valid warrant of arrest, the Rules of Court recognize permissible warrantless arrest, to wit: (1) arrest in flagrante delicto, (2) arrest effected in hot pursuit, and (3) arrest of escaped prisoners.

The prosecution was able to establish the abovementioned rule.

PEOPLE vs. RACHO (G.R. No. L-186529, 3-AUG-2010)

ISSUE: Whether or not the search, which yielded the alleged contraband, was lawful

HELD: NO. The showing of some overt act indicative of the criminal design is required. Appellant herein was not committing a crime in the presence of the police officers. Neither did the arresting officers have personal knowledge of facts indicating that the person to be arrested had committed, was committing, or about to commit an offense. At the time of the arrest, appellant had just alighted from the Gemini bus and was waiting for a tricycle. Appellant was not acting in any suspicious manner that would engender a reasonable ground for the police officers to suspect and conclude that he was committing or intending to commit a crime. Were it not for the information given by the informant, appellant would not have been apprehended and no search would have been made, and consequently, the sachet of shabu would not have been confiscated.

PEOPLE vs. ARANETA (G.R. No. 191064, 20-OCT-2010)

HELD: The objective test in buy-bust operation was overcome. We therefore stress that the objective test in buy-bust operations demands that the details of the purported transaction must be clearly and adequately shown. This must start from the initial contact between the poseur-buyer and the pusher, the offer to purchase, the promise or payment of the consideration until the consummation of the sale by the delivery of the illegal drug subject of the sale. The manner by which the initial contact was made, whether or not through an informant, the offer to purchase the drug, the payment of the buy-bust money, and the delivery of the illegal drug, whether to the informant alone or the police officer, must be the subject of strict scrutiny by courts to insure that law-abiding citizens are not unlawfully induced to commit an offense. Criminals must be caught but not at all cost. At the same time, however, examining the conduct of the police should not disable courts into ignoring the accuseds predisposition to commit the crime. If there is overwhelming evidence of habitual delinquency, recidivism or plain criminal proclivity, then this must also be considered. Courts should look at all factors to determine the predisposition of an accused to commit an offense in so far as they are relevant to determine the validity of the defense of inducement. [Emphasis supplied] Absent any convincing countervailing evidence, the presumption is that the members of the buy-bust team performed their duties in a regular manner. It was certainly a job well done. Hence, the Court gives full faith and credit to the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses. The Court also holds that the seized items were admissible. A search warrant or warrant of arrest was not needed because it was a buy-bust operation and the accused were caught in flagrante delicto in possession of, and selling, dangerous drugs to the poseur-buyer. It was definitely legal for the buy-bust team to arrest, and search, them on the spot because a buy-bust operation is a justifiable mode of apprehending drug pushers. A buy-bust operation is a form of entrapment whereby ways and means are resorted to for the purpose of trapping and capturing the lawbreakers in the execution of their criminal plan. In this jurisdiction, the operation is legal and has been proven to be an effective method of apprehending drug peddlers, provided due regard to constitutional and legal safeguards is undertaken.
[6]

ABENES vs. CA (G.R. No. 156320, 14-FEB-2007) HELD: In the instant case, the firearm was seized from the petitioner when in plain view, the policemen saw it tucked into his waist uncovered by his shirt. Under the plain view doctrine, objects falling in the "plain view" of an officer who has a right to be in the position to have that view are subject to seizure and may be presented as evidence. The "plain view" doctrine applies when the following requisites concur: (a) the law enforcement officer in search of the evidence has a prior justification for an intrusion or is in a position from which he can view a particular area; (b) the discovery of the evidence in plain view is inadvertent; and (c) it is immediately apparent to the officer that the item he observes may be evidence of a crime, contraband or otherwise subject to seizure.
18

ESQUILLO vs. PEOPLE (G.R. No. 182010, 25-AUG-2010)

HELD: That law enforcers only on the strength of a valid search warrant may conduct a search is settled. The same, however, admits of exceptions,viz : (1) consented searches; (2) as an incident to a lawful arrest; (3) searches of vessels and aircraft for violation of immigration, customs, and drug laws; (4) searches of moving vehicles; (5) searches of automobiles at borders or constructive borders; (6) where the prohibited articles are in "plain view;" (7) searches of buildings and premises to enforce fire, sanitary, and building regulations; and (8) "stop and frisk" operations. (emphasis underscoring supplied) In the instances where a warrant is not necessary to effect a valid search or seizure, the determination of what constitutes a reasonable or unreasonable search or seizure is purely a judicial question, taking into account, among other things, the uniqueness of the circumstances involved including the purpose of the search or seizure, the presence or absence of probable cause, the manner in which the search and seizure was made, the place or thing searched, and the character of the articles procured.
20

What is, therefore, essential is that a genuine reason must exist, in light of the police officer's experience and surrounding conditions, to warrant the belief that the person who manifests unusual suspicious conduct has weapons or contraband concealed about him. Such a "stop-and-frisk" practice serves a dual purpose: (1) the general interest of effective crime prevention and detection, which underlies the recognition that a police officer may, under appropriate circumstances and in an appropriate manner, approach a person for purposes of investigating possible criminal behavior even without probable cause; and (2) the more pressing interest of safety and self-preservation which permit the police officer to take steps to assure himself that the person with whom he deals is not armed with a deadly weapon that could unexpectedly and fatally be used against the police officer.

From these standards, the Court finds that the questioned act of the police officers constituted a valid "stop-and-frisk" operation. The search/seizure of the suspected shabu initially noticed in petitioner's possession - later voluntarily exhibited to the police operative - was undertaken after she was interrogated on what she placed inside a cigarette case, and after PO1 Cruzin introduced himself to petitioner as a police officer. And, at the time of her arrest, petitioner was exhibiting suspicious behavior and in fact attempted to flee after the police officer had identified himself.
24

PEOPLE vs. MARTINEZ (G.R. No. 1911366, 13-DEC-2010)

FACTS: Upon the receipt of the report, police authorities and members of the SWAT team hied to Trinidad Subd., Dagupan City. Upon inquiry from the people in the area, the house of the accused was located. As the police officers entered the gate of the house. However, nothing from outside the house could be seen what is happening inside, such as the alleged paraphernalia and plastic sachet of shabu on the table while they were outside the premises of the property of accused. Before entering, they only relied on the information that that there was an ongoing pot session inside the house of accused. Thereafter, they immediately barged in and arrested accused.

ISSUE: 1. 2.

WON there was an express waiver on the part of the accused. NO. WON the items were seized in plain view. NO.

HELD:

1.

The accused is estopped from assailing the legality of his arrest if he fails to raise such issue before arraignment. However, this waiver is limited only to the arrest. The legality of an arrest affects only the jurisdiction of the court over the person of the accused. A waiver of an illegal warrantless arrest does not carry with it a waiver of the inadmissibility of evidence seized during the illegal warrantless arrest.

The State cannot, in a manner contrary to its constitutional guarantee, intrude into the persons of its citizens as well as into their houses, papers and effects. X x x the constitutional guarantee, however, is not a blanket prohibition against all searches and seizures without warrant. Arrests and seizures in the following instances are allowed even in the absence of a warrant (i) warrantless search incidental to a lawful arrest; (ii) search of evidence in plain view; (iii) search of a moving vehicle; (iv) consented warrantless search; (v) customs search; (vi) stop and frisk; and (vii) exigent and emergency circumstances.

Paragraph (c) of Rule 113 s clearly inapplicable to this case. Paragraphs (a) and (b), on the other hand, may be applicable and both require probable cause to be present in order for a warrantless arrest to be valid. Probable cause has been held to signify a reasonable ground of suspicion supported by circumstances sufficiently strong in themselves to warrant a cautious mans belief that the person accused is guilty of the offense with which he is charged. The manner by which accused-appellants were apprehended does not fall under any of the above-enumerated categories. Perforce, their arrest is illegal. First, the arresting officers had no personal knowledge that at the time of their arrest, accused-appellants had just committed, were committing, or were about to commit a crime. Second, the arresting officers had no personal knowledge that a crime was committed nor did they have any reasonable ground to believe that accused-appellants committed it. Third, accused-appellants were not prisoners who have escaped from a penal establishment.

It has been held that personal knowledge of facts in arrest without warrant must be based upon probable cause, which means an actual belief or reasonable grounds of suspicion. The grounds of suspicion are reasonable when the suspicion, that the person to be arrested is probably guilty of committing an offense, is based on actual facts, that is supported by circumstances sufficiently strong in themselves to create the probable cause of guilt of the person to be arrested.

2.

Neither can it be said that the subject items were seized in plain view. The elements of plain view are: (a) a prior valid intrusion based on the valid warrantless arrest in which the police are legally present in the pursuit of their official duties; (b) the evidence was inadvertently discovered by the police who have the right to be where they are; (c) the evidence must be immediately apparent; and, (d) "plain view" justified mere seizure of evidence without further search.

The apprehending officers should have first conducted a surveillance considering that the identity and address of one of the accused were already ascertained. After conducting the surveillance and determining the existence of probable cause, then a search warrant should have been secured prior to effecting arrest and seizure. The arrest being illegal, the ensuing search as a result thereof is likewise illegal. Evidence procured on the occasion of an unreasonable search and seizure is deemed tainted for being the proverbial fruit of a poisonous tree and should be excluded. The subject items seized during the illegal arrest are thus inadmissible. The drug, being the verycorpus delicti of the crime of illegal possession of dangerous drugs, its inadmissibility thus precludes conviction, and calls for the acquittal of the accused.

POSADAS vs. CA (G.R. No. 89139, 2-AUG-1990)

FACTS: Pat. Ungab and Pat. Umpar, both members of INP of the Davao Metrodiscom assigned with the Intelligence Task Force were conducting surveillance along Magallanes St., Davao City. While they were within the premises of the Rizal Memorial Colleges they spotted petitioner carrying a BURI bag and they noticed him to be acting suspiciously. They approached petitioner and identified themselves as members of the INP. Petitioner attempted to flee but his attempt to get away was thwarted by the two notwithstanding his resistance. They then checked the buri bag and found a revolver, rounds of live ammunition, and tear gas. Petitioner failed to show the necessary license or authority to possess the same. Thereafter, he was prosecuted for illegal possession of firearms and ammunitions.

ISSUE: 1. 2.

WON there was a lawful arrest or search and seizure. YES. WON the arrest is justified by stop and search. YES.

HELD:

1.

An arrest without a warrant may be effected by a peace officer or private person, among others, when in his presence the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense; or when an offense has in fact just been committed, and he has personal knowledge of the facts indicating that the person arrested has committed it.

At the time the peace officers in this case identified themselves and apprehended the petitioner as he attempted to flee they did not know that he had committed, or was actually committing the offense of illegal possession of firearms and ammunitions. They just suspected that he was hiding something in the buri bag. They did now know what its contents were. The said circumstances did not justify an arrest without a warrant.

2.

There are many instances where a warrant and seizure can be effected without necessarily being preceded by an arrest, foremost of which is the "stop and search" without a search warrant at military or police checkpoints, the constitutionality or validity of which has been upheld by this Court

in Valmonte vs. de Villa, as follows:

Petitioner Valmonte's general allegation to the effect that he had been stopped and searched without a search warrant by the military manning the checkpoints, without more, i.e., without stating the details of the incidents which amount to a violation of his light against unlawful search and seizure, is not sufficient to enable the Court to determine whether there was a violation of Valmonte's right against unlawful search and seizure. Not all searches and seizures are prohibited. Those which are reasonable are not forbidden. A reasonable search is not to be determined by any fixed formula but is to be resolved according to the facts of each case.

Where, for example, the officer merely draws aside the curtain of a vacant vehicle which is parked on the public fair grounds, or simply looks into a vehicle or flashes a light therein, these do not constitute unreasonable search.

The setting up of the questioned checkpoints in Valenzuela (and probably in other areas) may be considered as a security measure to enable the NCRDC to pursue its mission of establishing effective territorial defense and maintaining peace and order for the benefit of the public. Checkpoints may also be regarded as measures to thwart plots to destabilize the government in the interest of public security. In this connection, the Court may take judicial notice of the shift to urban centers and their suburbs of the insurgency movement, so clearly reflected in the increased killings in cities of police and military men by NPA "sparrow units," not to mention the abundance of unlicensed firearms and the alarming rise in lawlessness and violence in such urban centers, not all of which are reported in media, most likely brought about by deteriorating economic conditions which all sum up to what one can rightly consider, at the very least, as abnormal times. Between the inherent right of the state to protect its existence and promote public welfare and an individual's right against a warrantless search which is however reasonably conducted, the former should prevail.

True, the manning of checkpoints by the military is susceptible of abuse by the men in uniform in the same manner that all governmental power is susceptible of abuse. But, at the cost of occasional inconvenience, discomfort and even irritation to the citizen, the checkpoints during these abnormal times, when conducted within reasonable limits, are part of the price we pay for an orderly society and a peaceful community.

Thus, as between a warrantless search and seizure conducted at military or police checkpoints and the search thereat in the case at bar, there is no question that, indeed, the latter is more reasonable considering that unlike in the former, it was effected on the basis of a probable cause. The probable cause is that when the petitioner acted suspiciously and attempted to flee with the buri bag there was a probable cause that he was concealing something illegal in the bag and it was the right and duty of the police officers to inspect the same.

It is too much indeed to require the police officers to search the bag in the possession of the petitioner only after they shall have obtained a search warrant for the purpose. Such an exercise may prove to be useless, futile and much too late.

PEOPLE vs. MENGOTE (G.R. No. 87059, 22-JUN-1992)

FACTS: Shortly after a phone call received in the Western Police District, that there was a suspicious-looking persons (one of whom was holding his abdomen, and both men looking from side-to-side) at the corner of Juan Luna and North Bay Boulevard, Pat. Mercado and Alberto Juan proceeded to the said place and approached these persons and identified themselves as policemen, whereupon the two tried to run away but were unable to escape because the other lawmen surrounded them. Suspects were searched, and one of them was found a revolver with live bullets in the chamber, the other (MENGOTE) had a fan knife secreted in his front right pants pocket. They were then turned over to the HQ for investigation. Thereafter, they were accused of violation of PD 1866.

ISSUE: 1. 2.

WON the warrantless arrest was valid. NO WON the evidence obtained was inadmissible evidence. YES

HELD:

Warrantless search in broad daylight of a person merely looking from side to side and holding his stomach is illegal.

These requirements have not been established in the case at bar. At the time of the arrest in question, the accused-appellant was merely "looking from side to side" and "holding his abdomen," according to the arresting officers themselves. There was apparently no offense that had just been committed or was being actually committed or at least being attempted by Mengote in their presence.

The Solicitor General submits that the actual existence of an offense was not necessary as long as Mengote's acts "created a reasonable suspicion on the part of the arresting officers and induced in them the belief that an offense had been committed and that the accused-appellant had committed it." The question is, What offense? What offense could possibly have been suggested by a person "looking from side to side" and "holding his abdomen" and in a place not exactly forsaken?

A person may not be stopped and frisked in broad daylight on a busy street on mere unexplained suspicion.

On the other hand, there could have been a number of reasons, all of them innocent, why his eyes were darting from side to side and be was holding his abdomen. If they excited suspicion in the minds of the arresting officers, as the prosecution suggests, it has nevertheless not been shown what their suspicion was all about. In fact, the policemen themselves testified that they were dispatched to that place only because of the telephone call from the informer that there were "suspicious-looking" persons in that vicinity who were about to commit a robbery at North Bay Boulevard. The caller did not explain why he thought the men looked suspicious nor did he elaborate on the impending crime.

The truth is that they did not know then what offense, if at all, had been committed and neither were they aware of the participation therein of the accusedappellant. It was only later, after Danganan had appeared at the Police headquarters, that they learned of the robbery in his house and of Mengote's supposed involvement therein. As for the illegal possession of the firearm found on Mengote's person, the policemen discovered this only after he had been searched and the investigation conducted later revealed that he was not its owners nor was he licensed to possess it.

MANALILI vs. CA (G.R. No. 113447, 9-OCT-1997)

FACTS: Due to the information that drug addicts were roaming the area of Kalookan City; a surveillance was conducted by Pat. Espiritu and Pat. Lumabas. Upon

reaching the city, they alighted from the official car of the Police Station. Thereafter, they chanced upon a male (MANALILI) whose eyes were reddish and was walking in a swaying manner. Manalili tried to avoid them; policemen approached him and introduced their selves as police officers. Police then asked what Manalili was holding in his hands, but he tried to resist. Espiritu again asked Manalili of what he was holding, then the latter showed his wallet and allowed Espiritu to examine the same. Espiritu took the wallet and examined it, found suspected crushed marijuana residue inside; kept it.

Thereafter, an examination was conducted to Manalili and to the confiscated marijuana. Results are all positive.

ISSUE: WON there was a valid warrantless search and arrest. YES.

HELD:

Stop-and-frisk has already been adopted as another exception to the general rule against a search without a warrant. In Posadas vs. Court of Appeals, the Court held that there were many instances where a search and seizure could be effected without necessarily being preceded by an arrest, one of which was stop-and-frisk.
24

In the case at hand, Patrolman Espiritu and his companions observed during their surveillance that appellant had red eyes and was wobbling like a drunk along the Caloocan City Cemetery, which according to police information was a popular hangout of drug addicts. From his experience as a member of the AntiNarcotics Unit of the Caloocan City Police, such suspicious behavior was characteristic of drug addicts who were "high." The policemen therefore had sufficient reason to stop petitioner to investigate if he was actually high on drugs. During such investigation, they found marijuana in petitioner's possession.

Furthermore, we concur with the Solicitor General's contention that petitioner effectively waived the inadmissibility of any evidence illegally obtained when he failed to raise this issue or to object thereto during the trial. A valid waiver of a right, more particularly of the constitutional right against unreasonable search, requires the concurrence of the following requirements: (1) the right to be waived existed; (2) the person waiving it had knowledge, actual or constructive, thereof; and (3) he or she had an actual intention to relinquish the right. Otherwise, the Courts will indulge every reasonable presumption against waiver of fundamental safeguards and will not deduce acquiescence from the failure to exercise this elementary right. In the present case, however, petitioner is deemed to have waived such right for his failure to raise its violation before the trial court. In petitions under Rule 45, as distinguished from an ordinary appeal of criminal cases where the whole case is opened for review, the appeal is generally limited to the errors assigned by petitioner. Issues not raised below cannot be pleaded for the first time on appeal.
26

VEROY vs. LAYAGUE (G.R. No. 95630, 18-JUN-1992)

FACTS: As the Veroy Spouses already lived in Quezon City; left their house in Davao City under the care of two houseboys and Edna Sooguilon (only the key to the kitchen was left, keys to the bedrooms were still kept by spouses); Capt. Obrero contacted Luisa Veroy asking for perimission that they would search her house because of the report they received that their was being used as safehouse of rebel soldiers. Luisa responded and gave her permission that the search be conducted, but it should be done in the presence of Major Macasaet. True enough, upon the search being conducted, a gun, bullets, clothes of men and a book entitled Islamic Revolution Future Path of the Nation were all found in the house. An arraignment was then set and an information was filed against petitioners for violation of P.D. 1866.

ISSUE: WON there was the petitioners validly waived their right against warrantless search and seizure. NO.

HELD: Where permission to enter a residence was given to search for rebels, it is illegal to search on the rooms therein and seize firearms without a search warrant. None of these exceptions pertains to the case at bar. The reason for searching the house of herein petitioners is that it was reportedly being used as a hideout and recruitment center for rebel soldiers. While Capt. Obrero was able to enter the compound, he did not enter the house because he did not have a search warrant and the owners were not present. This shows that he himself recognized the need for a search warrant, hence, he did not persist in entering the house but rather contacted the Veroys to seek permission to enter the same. Permission was indeed granted by Ma. Luisa Veroy to enter the house but only to ascertain the presence of rebel soldiers. Under the circumstances it is undeniable that the police officers had ample time to procure a search warrant but did not.

Undeniably, the offense of illegal possession of firearms is malum prohibitum but it does not follow that the subject thereof is necessarily illegal per se. Motive is immaterial in mala prohibita but the subjects of this kind of offense may not be summarily seized simply because they are prohibited. A search warrant is still necessary. Hence, the rule having been violated and no exception being applicable, the articles seized were confiscated illegally and are therefore protected by the exclusionary principle. They cannot be used as evidence against the petitioners in the criminal action against them for illegal possession of firearms. (Roan v. Gonzales, 145 SCRA 689-690 [1986]). Besides, assuming that there was indeed a search warrant, still in mala prohibita, while there is no need of criminal intent, there must be knowledge that the same existed. Without the knowledge or voluntariness there isno crime.

PEOPLE vs. NUEVAS (G.R. No. 170233, 22-FEB-2007)

FACTS: PO3 Fami and SPO3 Cabling conducted a stationary surveillance and monitoring of illegal drug trafficking along Perimeter St., Brgy. Pag-asa, Olongapo City. They received an information that a person would make a delievery of marijuana dried leaves; person was described for them to recognize. While stationed thereat, they saw a male (Nuevas) fit to the decription, alight from a motor vehicle; was carrying a bag. Fami and Cabiling accosted Nuevas and informed him that they were police officers; Nuevas and Fami conversed in the Waray language. Thereafter, Nuevas informed Fami that there were other stuff in the possession of a certain Vangie, and two other male persons (Inocencio and Din). Later on, Nuevas pointed to the police officers a plastic bag which, when opened, contained marijuana dried leaves and bricks wrapped in blue cloth. Shortly, Nueva disclosed where the two other male persons would deliver the marijuana. Then, they all went to the place, Fami and Cabiling then introduced themselves as police officers; asked Din what he was carrying, replied that it was Nuevas, Fami then took the bag and upon inspection, founf marijuana packed in newspaper.

ISSUE: 1. 2.

WON there was consent on the part of Nuevas for the warrantless search. YES. WON there was consent on the part of Din and Inocencio for the warrantless search. NONE.

HELD:

The SC held that the search conducted in Nuevas case was made with his consent. In Dins case, there was none.

1.

There is reason to believe that Nuevas indeed willingly submitted the plastic bag with the incriminating contents to the police officers. It can be seen that in his desperate attempt to exculpate himself from any criminal liability, Nuevas cooperated with the police, gave them the plastic bag and even revealed his associates, offering himself as an informant. His actuations were consistent with the lamentable human inclination to find excuses, blame others and save oneself even at the cost of others lives.

2.

The prosecution failed to clearly show that Din intentionally surrendered his right against unreasonable searches. While it may not be contrary to human nature for one to be jolted into surrendering something incriminating to authorities, Famis and Cablings testimonies do not show that Din was in such a state of mind or condition. Fami and Cabling did not testify on Dins composurewhether he felt surprised or frightened at the timewhich fact we find necessary to provide basis for the surrender of the bag. There was no mention of any permission made by the police officers to get or search the bag or of any consent given by Din for the officers to search it. It is worthy to note that in cases where the Court upheld the validity of consented search, the police authorities expressly asked, in no uncertain terms, for the consent of the accused to be searched. And the consent of the accused was established by clear and positive proof.

Inocencios supposed possession of the dried marijuana leaves was sought to be shown through his act of looking into the plastic bag that Din was carrying. Taking a look at an object, more so in this case peeping into a bag while held by another, is not the same as taking possession thereof. To behold is not to hold. Indeed, the act attributed to Inocencio is insufficient to establish illegal possession of the drugs or even conspiracy to illegally possess the same. The prosecution failed to show by convincing proof that Inocencio knew of the contents of the bag and that he conspired with Din to possess the illegal items. Inocencio was firm and unshakeable in his testimony that he had no part in any delivery of marijuana dried leaves. The constitutional immunity against unreasonable searches and seizures is a personal right which may be waived. However, it must be seen that the consent to the search was voluntary in order to validate an otherwise illegal detention and search, i.e., the consent was unequivocal, specific, and intelligently given, uncontaminated by any duress or coercion. The consent to a search is not to be lightly inferred, but must be shown by clear and convincing evidence. The question whether a consent to a search was in fact voluntary is a question of fact to be determined from the totality of all the circumstances. Relevant to this determination are the following characteristics of the person giving consent and the environment in which consent is given: (1) the age of the defendant; (2) whether he was in a public or secluded location; (3) whether he objected to the search or passively looked on; (4) the education and intelligence of the defendant; (5) the presence of coercive police procedures; (6) the defendant's belief that no incriminating evidence will be found; (7) the nature of the police questioning; (8) the environment in which the questioning took place; and (9) the possibly vulnerable subjective state of the person consenting. It is the State which has the burden of proving, by clear and positive testimony, that the necessary consent was obtained and that it was freely and voluntarily given. Jurisprudence requires that in case of consented searches or waiver of the constitutional guarantee against obtrusive searches, it is fundamental that to constitute a waiver, it must first appear that (1) the right exists; (2) the person involved had knowledge, either actual or constructive, of the existence of such right; and (3) the said person had an actual intention to relinquish the right.
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BUREAU OF CUSTOMS vs. OGARIO (G.R. No. 138081, 30-MAR-2000)

HELD:

In Jao v. Court of Appeals,

[10]

this Court, reiterating its ruling in a long line of cases, said:

There is no question that Regional Trial Courts are devoid of any competence to pass upon the validity or regularity of seizure and forfeiture proceedings conducted by the Bureau of Customs and to enjoin or otherwise interfere with these proceedings. The Collector of Customs sitting in seizure and forfeiture proceedings has exclusive jurisdiction to hear and determine all questions touching on the seizure and forfeiture of dutiable goods. The Regional Trial Courts are precluded from assuming cognizance over such matters even through petitions of certiorari, prohibition or mandamus.

It is likewise well-settled that the provisions of the Tariff and Customs Code and that of Republic Act No. 1125, as amended, otherwise known as "An Act Creating the Court of Tax Appeals," specify the proper fora and procedure for the ventilation of any legal objections or issues raised concerning these proceedings. Thus, actions of the Collector of Customs are appealable to the Commissioner of Customs, whose decision, in turn, is subject to the exclusive appellate jurisdiction of the Court of Tax Appeals and from there to the Court of Appeals.

Respondents cite the statement of the Court of Appeals that regular courts still retain jurisdiction "where, as in this case, for lack of probable cause, there is serious doubt as to the propriety of placing the articles under Customs jurisdiction through seizure/forfeiture proceedings." They overlook the fact, however, that under the law, the question of whether probable cause exists for the seizure of the subject sacks of rice is not for the Regional Trial Court to determine. The customs authorities do not have to prove to the satisfaction of the court that the articles on board a vessel were imported from abroad or are intended to be shipped abroad before they may exercise the power to effect customs searches, seizures, or arrests provided by law and continue with the administrative hearings.
[11]

It is noteworthy that because of the indiscriminate issuance of writs of injunction, the Supreme Court issued on June 25, 1999 Administrative Circular No. 0799 to all judges of lower courts entitled re: exercise of utmost caution, prudence, and judiciousness in issuance of temporary restraining orders and writs of preliminary injunction. The circular states in part:

Finally, judges should never forget what the Court categorically declared in Mison v. Natividad (213 SCRA 734, 742 [1992]) that "[b]y express provision of law, amply supported by well-settled jurisprudence, the Collector of Customs has exclusive jurisdiction over seizure and forfeiture proceedings, and regular courts cannot interfere with his exercise thereof or stifle or put it to naught."

The Office of the Court Administrator shall see to it that this circular is immediately disseminated and shall monitor implementation thereof.

RIETA vs. PEOPLE (G.R. No. 147817, 12-AUG-2004)

HELD: Under the Tariff and Customs Code, a search, seizure and arrest may be made even without a warrant for purposes of enforcing customs and tariff laws. Without mention of the need to priorly obtain a judicial warrant, the Code specifically allows police authorities to enter, pass through or search any land, enclosure, warehouse, store or building that is not a dwelling house; and also to inspect, search and examine any vessel or aircraft and any trunk, package, box or envelope or any person on board; or to stop and search and examine any vehicle, beast or person suspected of holding or conveying any dutiable or prohibited article introduced into the Philippines contrary to law

SALVADOR vs. PEOPLE (G.R. No. 146706, 15-JUL-2005)

HELD: The Constitutional provisions (Section 2 and 3(2), Article 3 of the 1987 Constitution do not prohibit searches and seizures, but only such as are unreasonable. Our jurisprudence provides for privileged areas where searches and seizures may lawfully be effected sans a search warrant. These recognized exceptions include: (1) search of moving vehicles; (2) search in plain view; (3) customs searches; (4) waiver or consented searches; (5) stop-andfrisk situations; and (6) search incidental to a lawful arrest.

Here, it should be noted that during the incident in question, the special mission of the PAF operatives was to conduct a surveillance operation to verify reports of drug trafficking and smuggling by certain PAL personnel in the vicinity of the airport. In other words, the search made by the PAF team on petitioner and his co-accused was in the nature of a customs search. As such, the team properly effected the search and seizure without a search warrant since it exercised police authority under the customs law.

The power of the State to foul any fraudulent schemes resorted to by importers who evade payment of customs duties clearly recognized In Papa vs. Mago involving a customs search, we held that law enforcers who are tasked to effect the enforcement of the customs and tariff laws are authorized to search and seize, without a search warrant, any article, cargo or other movable property when there is reasonable cause to suspect that the said items have been introduced into the Philippines in violation of the tariff and customs law. They may likewise conduct a warrantless search of any vehicle or person suspected of holding or conveying the said articles, as in the case at bar.

The search of a moving vehicle is recognized on this jurisdiction as a valid exception to the requirement for a search warrant. We recall that at the time of the search, petitioner and his co-accused were on board a moving PAL aircraft tow truck. As stated earlier, the search of a moving vehicle is recognized in this jurisdiction as a valid exception to the requirement for a search warrant. Such exception is easy to understand. A search warrant may readily be obtained when the search is made in a store, dwelling house or other immobile structure. But it is impracticable to obtain a warrant when the search is conducted in a mobileship, aircraft or other motor vehicle since they can quickly be moved out of the locality or jurisdiction where the warrant must be sought.

People vs. Rolando De Gracia G.R.Nos.102009-10,July 6,1994

FACTS: On the height of the coup detat in December 1989 headed by the elements of Reform the Armed Forces Movement-Soldiers of the Filipino People (RAM-SFP) against the Government, a team from the Intelligence Division of the NCR Defense Command conducted a surveillance of the Eurocar Sales office in Quezon City pursuant to an intelligence report received by the division that said establishment was being occupied by elements of the RAM-SFP as a communication command post. While conducting the said surveillance, a group of 5 men approached the car of the surveillance team and started firing at them. As a consequence, a searching team was sent to raid the Eurocar Sales office (without search warrants because of the disorder during that time and the courts are consequently closed.) where they found ammunitions, dynamites and molotoy bombs. As a result of the raid, the appellant who was found to be a former Philippine Constabulary and 2 other men who were janitors of the said building were arrested.

The accused appellant herein was charged in two separate informations for illegal possession of ammunition and explosives in furtherance of rebellion, and for attempted homicide which were tried jointly by the RTC of Quezon City. Appellant was convicted for the first charge, but was acquitted of the latter. He was then sentenced to serve the penalty of *reclusion perpetua, * with a recommendation that he be extended with executive clemency after serving a jail term of five (5) years of good behavior. Thus this appeal.

The appellant principally contends that he cannot be held guilty of illegal possession of firearms for the reason that he did not have either physical or constructive possession thereof considering that he had no intent to possess the same; he is neither the owner nor a tenant of the building where the ammunition and explosives were found; he was merely employed asan errand boy; he was guarding the explosives for and in behalf of a certain Col. Matillano; and he did not have actual possession of the explosives. He claims that intent to possess is necessary before one can be convicted under Presidential Decree No. 1866.

ISSUE: Whether or not there has been a valid search and seizure in this case.

RULING: Yes, given the circumstances, the instant case falls under one of the exceptions against a warrantless search. The military operatives in this case had reasonable ground to believe that a crime was being committed. There was consequently more than sufficient probable cause to warrant their action. Furthermore, under the situation then prevailing, the raiding team had no opportunity to apply for and secure a search warrant from the courts. The trial judge himself manifested that on the day when the raid was conducted, his court was closed. Under such urgency and exigency of the moment, a search warrant could lawfully be dispensed with.

People vs. Andre G.R. No. 81561, January 18, 1991

FACTS: The appellant and his common-law wife, Shirley Reyes, attempted to send 4 gift wrapped packages containing marijuana through a packing and forwarder company owned by Anita Reyes and her husband Job Reyes. The appellant disguised the said packages by stacking it with books, gloves and cigars. However before delivery of the package, as a Standard Operating Procedure, Mr. Job Reyes opened the boxes for final inspection and found marijuana leaves inside. He then reported the incident to the NBI and sent a sample of the suspected marijuana leaves for examination. The NBI Forensics was able to determine that the samples were indeed marijuana leaves and so they seized the package and located the appellant. The appellant was charged for violation of R.A. 6425 and was consequently convicted by the RTC, thus this appeal. The appellant contends that the evidence against him is not admissible as evidence because it was obtained in violation of his constitutional right against unreasonable search and seizure and privacy of communication.

ISSUE Whether or not there has been a violation of the appellants constitutional right thereby making the obtained evidence inadmissible.

RULING No. There has been no violation of the appellants Constitutional Right, specifically his right against unreasonable search and seizure. It must be noted that the evidence obtained was not procured by the state through its law enforcers or other authorized government agencies but through a private individual acting in his private capacity and without the intervention and participation of State authorities. In the absence of governmental interference, the liberties guaranteed by the Constitution cannot be invoked against the State. Furthermore, the search and seizure clauses are restraints upon the government and its agents, not upon private individuals.

If the search is made upon the request of law enforcers, a warrant must generally be first secured if it is to pass the test of constitutionality. However, if the search is made at the behest or initiative of the proprietor of a private establishment for its own and private purposes, as in the case at bar, and without the intervention of police authorities, the right against unreasonable search and seizure cannot be invoked for only the act of private individual, not the law enforcers, is involved.

The contraband in the case at bar having come into possession of the Government without the latter transgressing appellant's rights against unreasonable search and seizure, the Court sees no cogent reason why the same should not be admitted against him in the prosecution of the offense charged.

Waterous Drug vs NLRC G.R.NO. 113271; 16 OCT 1997

FACTS: Antonia Catolico was hired as a pharmacist by petitioner Waterous Drug Corporation on 15 August 1988. On 31 July 1989, Catolico received memorandum from WATEROUS Vice President-General Manager Emma R. Co warning her not to dispense medicine to employees chargeable to the latter's accounts as it was a prohibited practice and not to negotiate with suppliers of medicine without consulting the Purchasing Department, as this would impair the company's control of purchases and, besides she was not authorized to deal directly with the suppliers.

Catolico did not deny her responsibility but explained that her act was "due to negligence". In a memorandum dated 21 November 1989, WATEROUS Supervisor Luzviminda E. Bautro warned Catolico against the "rush delivery of medicines without the proper documents." On 29 January 1990, WATEROUS Control Clerk Eugenio Valdez informed Co that he noticed an irregularity involving Catolico and Yung Shin Pharmaceuticals, Inc., wherein it was found that there was a discrepancy in the per bottle price of Voren tablets between the recent and previous Purchase Orders. Upon verification, the discrepancy showed that the cost per bottle in the recent Purchase Order was overpriced.

The Accounting Department of Yung Shin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. then confirmed that the refund for the jack-up price of ten bottles of Voren tablets was paid to Ms. Catolico. Valdez talked to Ms. Catolico regarding the check but she denied having received it and that she is unaware of the overpriced.

However, upon conversation with Ms. Saldana, Pharmacy Clerk, she confirmed that the check amounting to P640.00 was actually received by Ms. Catolico.

As a matter of fact, Ms. Catolico even asked Ms. Saldana if she opened the envelope containing the check but Ms. Saldana answered her "talagang ganyan, bukas." It appears that the amount in question (P640.00) had been pocketed by Ms. Catolico.

Co asked Catolico to explain, within twenty-four hours, her side of the reported irregularity. Catolico asked for additional time to give her explanation, and she was granted a 48-hour extension. However, before the 48-hour extension expires, she was informed she would be placed on preventive suspension to protect the interests of the company.

Catolico, through her counsel, explained that the check she received from YSP was a Christmas gift and not a "refund of overprice." She also averred that the preventive suspension was ill-motivated, as it sprang from an earlier incident between her and Co's secretary, Irene Soliven.

On 5 March 1990, Waterous Supervisor Luzviminda Bautro, issued a memorandum notifying Catolico of her termination. On 5 May 1990, Catolico filed before the Office of the Labor Arbiter a complaint for unfair labor practice, illegal dismissal, and illegal suspension. In his decision of 10 May 1993, Labor Arbiter Alex Arcadio Lopez found no proof of unfair labor practice against petitioners. Nevertheless, he decided in favor of Catolico because petitioners failed to "prove what alleged as complainant's dishonesty," and to show that any investigation was conducted. Hence, the dismissal was without just cause and due process. He thus declared the dismissal and suspension illegal but disallowed reinstatement.

Petitioners appealed the decision and urged the NLRC to set it aside because the Labor Arbiter erred in finding that Catolico was denied due process and that there was no just cause to terminate her services.

The NLRC affirmed the findings of the Labor Arbiter on the ground that petitioners were not able to prove a just cause for Catolico's dismissal from her employment. It found that petitioner's evidence consisted only of the check of P640.00 drawn by YSP in favor of complainant, which her co-employee saw when the latter opened the envelope. But, it declared that the check was inadmissible in evidence pursuant to Sections 2 and 3(1 and 2) of Article III of the Constitution.

The NLRC then dismissed the appeal for lack of merit, but modified the dispositive portion of the appealed decision by deleting the award for illegal suspension as the same was already included in the computation of the aggregate of the awards in the amount of P35,401.86.

Having their motion for reconsideration denied, petitioners filed special civil action for *certiorari*, which is anchored on the following grounds: I. Public respondent committed grave abuse of discretion in its findings of facts. II. Due process was duly accorded to private respondent. III. Public respondent gravely erred in applying Section 3, Article III of the 1987 Constitution.

ISSUE Whether or not the dismissal of the private respondent is in violation of the Constitution, under the Bill of Rights

RULING The Court held that Catolico was denied due process. Although Catolico was given an opportunity to explain her side, she was dismissed from the service in the memorandum issued by her Supervisor after receipt of her letter and that of her counsel. No hearing was ever conducted after the issues were joined through said letters.

The Court also held that Catolico was also unjustly dismissed. The burden is on the employer to prove just and valid cause for dismissing an employee. However, in the case at bar, WATEROUS failed to discharge that burden which resulted in a finding that the dismissal is unjustified.

It is evident from the Supervisor's memorandum that Catolico was dismissed because of an alleged anomalous transaction with YSP. Unfortunately for petitioners, their evidence does not establish that there was an overcharge since it appears that Catolicos dismissal is based on hearsay information.

As regards the constitutional violation upon which the NLRC anchored its decision, that the Bill of Rights does not protect citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures perpetrated by private individuals. It is not true, as counsel for Catolico claims, that the citizens have no recourse against such assaults. On the contrary, and as said counsel admits, such an invasion gives rise to both criminal and civil liabilities.

Finally, since it has been determined by the Labor Arbiter that Catolico's reinstatement would not be to the best interest of the parties, he correctly awarded separation pay to Catolico. Separation pay in lieu of reinstatement is computed at one month's salary for every year of service. In this case, however, Labor Arbiter Lopez computed the separation pay at one-half month's salary for every year of service. Catolico did not oppose or raise an objection. As such, we will uphold the award of separation pay as fixed by the Labor Arbiter.

The court dismissed the petition and affirmed the challenged decision and resolution of the National Labor Relations except as to its reason for upholding the Labor Arbiter's decision, *viz*., that the evidence against private respondent was inadmissible for having been obtained in violation of her constitutional rights of privacy of communication and against unreasonable searches and seizures which was set aside.

People vs. Mendoza 301 SCRA 66

FACTS On November 11, 1988, Octavio Mendoza, his wife Cecilia and their 10-year old daughter Charmaine went to the birthday party of a relative of Octavio in Mcdo, Harrison Plaza. During the party, Octavio left without telling his wife and kid, and went to KFC.

Since Cecilia and Charamaine couldnt find him in the party, they went home in Las Pinas. They arrived home at 7 pm and left again to go to Cecilias parents in Bacoor to bring perfume. Octavio still was not home.

They got home around 9pm and saw Octavios car parked in the garage of their neighbor. All the lights were opened but the front door was locked. After a while, Octavio opened the back door and let them in. He was drunk and told Charmaine to get cold water and douse him. She followed and was instructed to go to her room. She went and got ready for bed. She heard her parents arguing about them leaving the party without Octavio. Afterwards, she heard three gunshots, ran to their room and saw her mom on the floor bleeding. She also saw her dad hide a gun under the bed.

Octavio then called his brother-in-law Sgt. Antonio Gabac. When Gabac arrived, they all brought him to Perpetual Help Hospital where Cecilia was declared dead on arrival. The policemen investigated Gabac and found a .38 caliber revolver in his waist. Gabac told them that Octavio handed it over to him as soon as he arrived at the crime scene. Cecilias father, Alipio Eusebio learned of his daughters death and that valuables were being taken away from her house. He and his sons decided to go there and decided to remove, together with his sons, the remaining pieces of property therein, including accused-appellant's personal effects such as memorandum receipt and mission order authorizing Mendoza to carry weapon.

At court, Charmaine testified that she saw her father hide the gun under the bed. In her second testimony, she said she saw no such act. Octavio also denied that he killed his wife and that he owned that gun. He said that the memorandum receipt and mission order were illegally procured by Eusebio in violation of his right against unreasonable search and seizure.

ISSUE Was Octavios constitutional right against unreasonable search and seizure violated when Eusebio took the memorandum receipt and mission order and brought it to court?

RULING The court held that Eusebio did not violate Octavios constitutional right against unreasonable search and seizure. The constitutional protection against unreasonable searches and seizures refers to immunity of ones person from interference from THE GOVERNMENT and it cannot be extended to acts committed by PRIVATE INDIVIDUALS. In the case at bar, the articles were discovered by Cecilias father, Alipio Eusebio, a private individual. Besides, other evidence proved his guilt. Test showed nitrate in his hands and the testimony of his daughter was accorded great weight. He was charged of the crime parricide with the special aggravating circumstance of the use of an unlicensed firearm.

People vs. Bongcarawan 384 SCRA 525

FACTS Accused Basher Bongcarawan was found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violation of Sec. 16, Article III of RA No. 6425 (Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972). He

was found with the possession, custody and control of eight packs of Methamphetamine Hydrochloride (Shabu), without the corresponding license or prescription.

The contraband article was discovered incidentally when the vessel security personnel, Mark Diesmo, addressed the complaint of one Lorena Canoy that her jewelry were missing and she suspects that her co-passenger (Bongcarawan) at cabin no. 106 was the culprit. With his consent, he was bodily searched, but no jewelry was found. The security personnel then asked the accused to get his baggage and requested to open it. When the accused opened his baggage it was found that there are eight small plastic packs containing white crystals which the security personnel suspected that it was shabu. The item was then turned over to the Philippine Coast Guard.

On the defense of the accused, he averts that the contraband article was not his but belong to Alican Alex Macapudi as he was requested by the former to bring the Samsonite suitcase containing sunglasses and watches to Iligan. He also claimed that the security personnel forcibly opened the suitcase when he refused to do the same, when he was asked by the security personnel, as he did not know the secret combination lock.

ISSUE WON there is a violation on the constitutional right against unreasonable search and seizure.

RULING The right against unreasonable search and seizure is a fundamental right protected by the Constitution. Evidence acquired in violation of this right shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding. Whenever this right is challenged, an individual may choose between invoking the constitutional protection or waiving his right by giving consent to the search and seizure. It should be stressed, however, that protection is against transgression committed by the government or its agent. As held by this Court in the case of *People v. Marti*, in the absence of governmental interference, liberties guaranteed by the Constitution cannot be invoked against the State. The constitutional proscription against unlawful searches and seizures applies as a restraint directed only against the government and its agencies tasked with the enforcement of the law. Thus, it could only be invoked against the State to whom the restraint against arbitrary and unreasonable exercise of power is imposed.

In the case before us, the baggage of the accused-appellant was searched by the vessel security personnel. It was only after they found shabu inside the suitcase that they called the Philippine Coast Guard for assistance. The search and seizure of the suitcase and the contraband items was therefore carried out without government intervention, and hence, the constitutional protection against unreasonable search and seizure does not apply.

There is no merit in the contention of the accused-appellant that the search and seizure performed by the vessel security personnel should be considered as one conducted by the police authorities for like the latter, the former are armed and tasked to maintain peace and order. The vessel security officer in the case at bar is a private employee and does not discharge any governmental function. In contrast, police officers are agents of the state tasked with the sovereign function of enforcement of the law. Historically and until now, it is against them and other agents of the state that the protection against unreasonable searches and seizures may be invoked.

People of the Philippines vs. Leila Johnson G.R. No. 138881 Dec. 18, 2000

FACTS On July 26, 1998 accused 58 year-old Mrs. Leila Johnson was due to fly back to the USA after visiting her family in the Philippines. While inside the Ninoy Aquino International Airport waiting for her departure, she was subjected to routine frisking by Olivia Ramirez, a lady frisker on duty. When Ramirez frisked Mrs. Johnson, she felt something hard on the accused abdominal area. Upon inquiry, Mrs. Johnson explained she needed to wear two panty girdles as she had just undergone an operation as a result of an ectopic pregnancy. Not satisfied with the explanation, she reported the matter to her superior which directed her to take accused to the rest room and asked accused to bring out the thing under her girdle. There, accused brought out three (3) plastic packs later found out to be methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu totaling to 580.2 grams without corresponding license or prescription to possess or use said regulated drug. Thereafter, she was immediately arrested.

The Regional Trial Court, Br 110, Pasay City found accused guilty of violation of Section 16 of R.A. No. 6425 (Dangerous Drugs Act), as amended by R.A. No. 7659 sentenced her to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua and to pay a fine of P500,000.00 and the costs of the suit. Hence, this appeal.

ISSUE WON accused constitutional right against search and seizure was violated when she was subjected to airport security procedure of frisking.

RULING No. The court held that ordinary constitutional protections against warrantless searches and seizures do not apply to routine airport procedures. The

methamphetamine hydrochloride seized from her during the routine frisk at the airport was acquired legitimately pursuant to airport security procedures.

Persons may lose the protection of the search and seizure clause by exposure of their persons or property to the public in a manner reflecting a lack of subjective expectation of privacy, which expectation society is prepared to recognize as reasonable. Such recognition is implicit in airport security procedures. With increased concern over airplane hijacking and terrorism has come increased security at the nations airports. Passengers attempting to board an aircraft routinely pass through metal detectors; their carry-on baggage as well as checked luggage are routinely subjected to x-ray scans. Should these procedures suggest the presence of suspicious objects, physical searches are conducted to determine what the objects are. There is little question that such searches are reasonable, given their minimal intrusiveness, the gravity of the safety interests involved, and the reduced privacy expectations associated with airline travel.

The packs of methamphetamine hydrochloride having thus been obtained through a valid warrantless search, they are admissible in evidence against the accused-appellant herein. Corollarily, her subsequent arrest, although likewise without warrant, was justified since it was effected upon the discovery and recovery of shabu in her person in flagrante delicto.

Further the court held that the accused was validly arrested without warrant pursuant to the provisions of Section 5, Rule 113 of the 1985 Rules of Criminal Procedure which provides:

Sec. 5. Arrest without warrant; when lawful. A peace officer or a private person may, without a warrant, arrest a person:

(a) when in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually

committing, or is attempting to commit an offense;

(b) when an offense has in fact just been committed, and he has personal knowledge of committed it;

facts indicating that the person to be arrested has

The circumstances surrounding the arrest of the accused above falls in either paragraph (a) or (b) of the Rule above cited.

People of the Philippines vs. Susan Canton G.R.No. 148825. December 27, 2002

FACTS On February 12, 1998 at about 1:30pm accused, Susan Canton was at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, being a departing passenger bound for Saigon, Vietman. When she passed through the metal detector booth, a beeping sound was emitted. Consequently, Mylene Cabunoc, a civilian employee of the National Action Committee on Hijacking and Terrorism (NACHT) and the frisker on duty at that time, called her attention, saying Excuse me maam, can I search you? Upon frisking the accused, Mylene felt something bulging at her abdominal area. Mylene inserted her hand under the skirt of accused, pinched the package several times and noticed that the package contained what felt like rice granules. When Mylene passed her hand, she felt similar packages in front of accused genital area and thighs. She asked Susan to bring out the packages, but the latter refused and said: Money, money only. Mylene forthwith reported the matter to her supervisor on duty.

Her supervisor instructed to bring accused to a comfort room for a thorough physical examination. There they discovered (3) three packages individually wrapped and sealed in gray colored packing tape, which after examination turned out to be methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu (totaling 998.2809 grams), of a regulated drug, without the corresponding prescription or license.

The trial court rendered a decision finding accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the offense of violation of Section 16 of Article III of Republic Act No. 6425 (Dangerous Drug Act), as amended, and sentenced her to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua and to pay a fine of P1M. Accused filed a MR and/or New Trial as well as the Motion to Inhibit the Judge. The trial court issued an order denying the same. Hence this appeal.

ISSUE WON the warrantless search and seizure of the shabu were violative of her constitutional rights.

RULING No. The Court do not agree that the warrantless search and subsequent seizure of the regulated drugs, as well as the arrest accused, were violative of her constitutional rights. Though Sections 2 and 3(2) of Article III of the 1987 Constitution provides:

Sec. 2. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects

against unreasonable searches and seizures of

whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable, and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath particularly

or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and

describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.

Sec. 3.

(2) Any evidence obtained in violation of this or the preceding section shall be

inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding.

However, the prohibition against warrantless searches and seizures is not absolute. There are recognized exceptions established by jurisprudence: (1)search of moving vehicles; (2) seizure in plain view; (3) customs searches; (4) waiver or consented searches; (5) stop and frisk situations (Terry search); and (6) search incidental to a lawful arrest.

What constitutes a reasonable or unreasonable search in any particular case is a judicial question, determinable from a consideration of the circumstances involved. The rule is that the Constitution bars State intrusions to a person's body, personal effects or residence except if conducted by virtue of a valid search warrant issued in compliance with the procedure outlined in the Constitution and reiterated in the Rules of Court.

In the present case, the search was made pursuant to routine airport security procedure, which is allowed under Section 9 of Republic Act No. 6235 reading as follows:

SEC. 9. Every ticket issued to a passenger by the airline or air carrier concerned shall contain among others the following condition printed thereon: Holder hereof and his hand-carried luggage(s) are subject to search for, and seizure of, prohibited materials or substances. Holder refusing to be searched shall not be allowed to board the aircraft, which shall constitute a part of the contract between the passenger and the air carrier.

This constitutes another exception to the proscription against warrantless searches and seizures.

The Court also found the ruling in *People v. Johnson* *(see previous case)*to be applicable to the instant case, which involves similar facts and issues.

People vs. Conde 356 SCRA 478

FACTS On appeal is the decision dated December 15, 1993, of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 129, Kalookan City finding accused Oscar Conde, Allan Atis and Alejandro Perez, Jr., guilty of the special complex crime of robbery with homicide and sentencing each of them to suffer the penalty of *reclusion perpetua *with the accessory penalties under the law.

On May 25, 1992 at about 8:00 AM, the accused block the path of the two Indian Nationals on a motorcycle. One of the men, later identified as Oscar Conde, poked a gun at the two Indians while his three companions approached and stabbed the Indians. Allan Atis took the goods which were being sold by the two Indians on installment. After the stabbing, the four men fled from the crime scene. Of the four assailants, only three were identified.

On May 30, 1992, the police arrested the three accused. Police recovered the weapons used in the robbery, when Felicidad Macabare, Conde's wife, went to the police station to talk to the accused. These weapons were discovered inside her bag after a routine inspection. Sevillano admitted, however, that they did not have a warrant of arrest when they apprehended the accused. Nor did they have a search warrant when they inspected Felicidad's bag and when they searched the house of a certain Jimmy where they found the stolen items. The three denied the accusations and presented alibis that Alejandro Perez, Jr. went to Pulang Lupa Cemetery and visited the graves of his uncle and grandfather. From the cemetery, they went home where they drank some beer until late afternoon. Oscar Conde testified that he was mending his fish net at Barangay Polo Street, Paranaque when the crime was committed. Allan Atis stated that he was in MCU where he worked as a construction worker for certain Romy Ramos when the incident occurred.

ISSUE WON the arrest of the appellants were illegal.

RULING The records of the case will show that the arrests of the appellants came after the lapse of 5 days from the time they were seen committing the crime. At the time they were arrested, the police were not armed with any warrants for their arrests. Section 5 of Rule 113, of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure enumerates the instances when an arrest can be made without warrant, namely:

(a) When, in his presence the person to be arrested has committed, is actually

committing, or is attempting to commit an offense;

(b) When an offense has in fact just been committed, and he has probable cause to believe based on personal knowledge of facts or circumstances that the person to be arrested has committed it; and

(c) When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped from a penal establishment or place where he is serving final judgment or temporarily confined while his case is pending, or has escaped while being transferred from one confinement to another.

None of the above circumstances is present in this case. Appellants were merely walking along Tandang Sora Avenue and were not committing any crime. Neither can it be said that the crime had just been committed. Five days had already passed from the time of the robbery with homicide. It cannot also be said that the arresting officers had probable cause based on personal knowledge. PO3 Sevillano admitted that they learned about the suspects from Apollo Romero and certain unnamed informants. The third circumstance is patently not present. The lapse of five days gave the police more than enough time to conduct surveillance of the appellants and apply for a warrant of arrest. Clearly, appellants' rights provided in Sec. 2, Art. III of the Constitution were violated.

Unfortunately, appellants did not assert their constitutional rights prior to their arraignment. This is fatal to their case. An accused is estopped from assailing the legality of his arrest if he failed to move for the quashing of the Information against him before his arraignment. When the appellants entered their pleas on arraignment without invoking their rights to question any irregularity, which might have accompanied their arrests, they voluntarily submitted themselves to the jurisdiction of the court and the judicial process. Any objection, defect, or irregularity attending their arrests should had been made before they entered their pleas. It is much too late for appellants to raise the question of their warrantless arrests. Their pleas to the information upon arraignment constitute clear waivers of their rights against unlawful restraint of liberty.

Valmonte vs. De Villa G.R. No. 83988, September 29, 1989

FACTS On 20 January 1987, the National Capital Region District Command (NCRDC) was activated pursuant to Letter of Instruction 02/87 of the Philippine General Headquarters, AFP, with the mission of conducting security operations within its area of responsibility and peripheral areas, for the purpose of establishing an effective territorial defense, maintaining peace and order, and providing an atmosphere conducive to the social, economic and political development of the National Capital Region. As part of its duty to maintain peace and order, the NCRDC installed checkpoints in various parts of Valenzuela, Metro Manila. Petitioners Atty. Ricardo Valmonte, who is a resident of Valenzuela, Metro Manila, and the Union of Lawyers and Advocates For Peoples Rights (ULAP) sought the declaration of checkpoints in Valenzuela, Metro Manila and elsewhere as unconstitutional. In the alternative, they prayed that respondents Renato De Villa and the National Capital Region District Command (NCRDC) be directed to formulate guidelines in the implementation of checkpoints for the protection of the people. Petitioners contended that the checkpoints gave the respondents blanket authority to make searches and seizures without search warrant or court order in violation of the Constitution.

ISSUE Do the military and police checkpoints violate the right of the people against unreasonable search and seizures? RULING NO, military and police checkpoints DO NOT violate the right of the people against unreasonable search and seizures. (The Court, voting 13-2, DISMISSED the petition.)

xxx. Not all searches and seizures are prohibited. Those which are reasonable are not forbidden. A reasonable search is not to be determined by any fixed formula but is to be resolved according to the facts of each case.

Where, for example, the officer merely draws aside the curtain of a vacant vehicle which is parked on the public fair grounds, or simply looks into a vehicle, or flashes a light therein, these do not constitute unreasonable search.

The setting up of the questioned checkpoints in Valenzuela (and probably in other areas) may be considered as a security measure to enable the NCRDC to pursue its mission of establishing effective territorial defense and maintaining peace and order for the benefit of the public. Checkpoints may also be regarded as measures to thwart plots to destabilize the government, in the interest of public security. In this connection, the Court may take judicial notice of the shift to urban centers and their suburbs of the insurgency movement, so clearly reflected in the increased killings in cities of police and military men by NPA sparrow units, not to mention the abundance of unlicensed firearms and the alarming rise in lawlessness and violence in such urban centers, not all of which are reported in media, most likely brought about by deteriorating economic conditions which all sum up to what one can rightly consider, at the very least, as abnormal times. Between the inherent right of the state to protect its existence and promote public welfare and an individual's right against a warrantless search which is however reasonably conducted, the former should prevail. True, the manning of checkpoints by the military is susceptible of abuse by the men in uniform, in the same manner that all governmental power is susceptible of abuse. But, at the cost of occasional inconvenience, discomfort and even irritation to the citizen, the checkpoints during these abnormal times, when conducted within reasonable limits, are part of the price we pay for an orderly society and a peaceful community.

VALMONTE vs.DE VILLA G.R. No. 83988, May 24, 1990

FACTS In the Court's decision dated 29 September 1989, petitioners' petition for prohibition seeking the declaration of the checkpoints as unconstitutional and their dismantling and/or banning, was dismissed. Petitioners have filed the instant motion and supplemental motion for reconsideration of said decision.

ISSUE

RULING The Motion and Supplemental Motion for Reconsideration are DENIED.

The routine checkpoint stop does intrude, to a certain extent, on motorist's right to "free passage without interruption", but it cannot be denied that, as a rule, it involves only a brief detention of travellers during which the vehicle's occupants are required to answer a brief question or two. For as long as the vehicle is neither searched nor its occupants subjected to a body search, and the inspection of the vehicle is limited to a visual search, said routine checks cannot be regarded as violative of an individual's right against unreasonable search.
1

These routine checks, when conducted in a fixed area, are even less intrusive.

Vehicles are generally allowed to pass these checkpoints after a routine inspection and a few questions. If vehicles are stopped and extensively searched, it is because of some probable cause which justifies a reasonable belief of the men at the checkpoints that either the motorist is a law-offender or the contents of the vehicle are or have been instruments of some offense.

The Court's decision on checkpoints does not, in any way, validate nor condone abuses committed by the military manning the checkpoints. The Court's decision was concerned with power, i.e. whether the government employing the military has the power to install said checkpoints. Once that power is acknowledged, the Court's inquiry ceases. True, power implies the possibility of its abuse. But whether there is abuse in a particular situation is a different "ball game" to be resolved in the constitutional arena.

The Court, like all other concerned members of the community, has become aware of how some checkpoints have been used as points of thievery and extortion practiced upon innocent civilians. Even the increased prices of foodstuffs coming from the provinces, entering the Metro Manila area and other urban centers, are largely blamed on the checkpoints, because the men manning them have reportedly become "experts" in mulcting travelling traders. This, of course, is a national tragedy .

But the Court could not a priori regard in its now assailed decision that the men in uniform are rascals or thieves. The Court had to assume that the men in uniform live and act by the code of honor and they are assigned to the checkpoints to protect, and not to abuse, the citizenry. The checkpoint is a military "concoction." It behooves the military to improve the QUALITY of their men assigned to these checkpoints. For no system or institution will succeed unless the men behind it are honest, noble and dedicated.
6

In any situation, where abuse marks the operation of a checkpoint, the citizen is not helpless. For the military is not above but subject to the law. And the courts exist to see that the law is supreme. Soldiers, including those who man checkpoints, who abuse their authority act beyond the scope of their authority and are, therefore, liable criminally and civilly for their abusive acts; This tenet should be ingrained in the soldiery in the clearest of terms by higher military authorities.
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PEOPLE VS. EXALA 221 SCRA 494 (1993)

FACTS On November 2, 1982, a private jeepney driven by the accused-appellant, Restituto Bocalan,was stopped at a police checkpoint for routing inspection regarding unlicensed firearms and other prohibited items. Along with Bocalan were his co-accused Jaime Fernandez and Rodelio Exala. Pfc. Ricardo Galang, a member of the inspection team, went near the jeep and asked the occupants if there were firearms inside, and in which the occupants answered in the negative. Pfc. Galang then noticed a black bag inside the jeepney, as he became suspicious, he asked the occupants of what the bag contained, but nobody answered. Pfc. Galang then opened the bag and found a number of marijuana. Thereafter, the accused were brought to the police station for further investigation. The accused were all charged for violation of Section 4, Article II of R.A. 6425, as amended. Bocalan now assails his conviction. He contends that the trial court erred in admitting the bag as evidence against him since it was obtained through a warrantless search.

ISSUE Whether or not the warrantless search was valid and legal, thus proper in using the marijuana as evidence for convicting the accused (Bocalan) of the crime charged against him.

HELD Yes. Since the search was conducted prior to the arrest, Bocalan argues that it was not incident to a lawful arrest. This issue was never raised in the proceedings. Bocalan never objected to the admissibility of the evidence on the ground that the same was obtained in a warrantless search. Consequently, he is deemed to have waived his objection on the legality of the search and the admissibility of the evidence obtained in the course thereof. In view of such waiver, the court is bound to admit the evidence. But even assuming arguendo that there was no waiver, still appellant's contention deserves scant consideration. There are indeed instances where search and seizure can be effected without necessarily being preceded by an arrest. The instant case is an incident to or an

offshoot of a lawful "stop-and-search" at a military or police checkpoint. The checkpoint in the instant case was established in line with "Operational Bakal" the main object of which was to search for unlicensed firearms and other prohibited items in the possession of unauthorized persons passing through it. When the jeep carrying the contraband passed through the checkpoint, it was flagged down and the occupants were asked routine questions. In the course thereof, Pfc. Galang noticed a black leather bag the sides of which were bulging. He asked what the contents of the bag were. None of the accused answered. At that moment, the demeanor of the accused changed; they became suspiciously quiet and nervous as if they were concealing something from Pfc. Galang. The accused clearly appeared to be in abject fear of being discovered. Such peculiar apprehensiveness if not restrained reaction of the accused, which did not appear normal, provided the probable cause justifying a more extensive search that led to the opening of the bag and the discovery of the prohibited stuff. Significantly, there was no sign of any protest or objection to the search. The accused remained silent even after their arrest. Their submissive stance after the discovery of the bag of marijuana, as well as the absence of any protest on their part when arrested, not only casts serious doubts on their professed innocence but also confirms their acquiescence to the search. Clearly then, there was waiver of the right against unreasonable search and seizure.

GUANZON vs. DE VILLA 181 SCRA 623 (1990)

FACTS This is a petition for prohibition with preliminary injunction to prohibit the military and police officers represented by public respondents from conducting "Areal Target Zonings" or "Saturation Drives" in Metro Manila. Petitioners allege that the saturation drives abused their human rights. According to the petitioners, the "areal target zonings" or saturation drives" are in critical areas pinpointed by the military and police as places where the subversives are hiding. Raiders, without any search warrant or warrant of arrest went destroying the doors of the houses of the petitioners rousing them from their sleeps early in the morning. The public respondents stressed two points, First, the respondents have legal authority to conduct saturation drives. And second, they allege that the accusations of the petitioners about a deliberate disregard for human rights are total lies.

ISSUE Whether or not the saturation drives were unconstitutional.

HELD The case did not rule on the constitutionality of the saturation drives. Instead, the case was remanded to the lower court for further reception of evidence. The Constitution grants to Government the power to seek and cripple subversive movements which would bring down constituted authority and substitute a regime where individual liberties are suppressed as a matter of policy in the name of security of the State. However, all police actions are governed by the limitations of the Bill of Rights. Where a violation of human rights specifically guaranteed by the Constitution is involved, it is the duty of the court to stop the transgression and state where even the awesome power of the state may not encroach upon the rights of the individual. It is the duty of the court to take remedial action even in cases such as the present petition where the petitioners do not complain that they were victims of the police actions, where no names of any of the thousands of alleged victims are given, and where the prayer is a general one to stop all police "saturation drives," as long as the Court is convinced that the event actually happened. On one hand, Under Article VII, Section 18 of the Constitution it is stated that The President shall be the Commander-in-Chief of all armed forces of the Philippines and whenever it becomes necessary, he may call out such armed forces to prevent or suppress lawless violence, invasion or rebellion. There can be no question that under ordinary circumstances, the police action of the nature described by the petitioners would be illegal and blantantly violative of the express guarantees of the Bill of Rights. If the military and the police must conduct concerted campaigns to flush out and catch criminal elements, such drives must be consistent with the constitutional and statutory rights of all the people affected by such actions. According to the court, Saturation drives and other police measures are not illegal, the problem only arises in the manner on which the police action is executed.

ABENES vs. CA G.R. No. 156320, February 14, 2007

FACTS Three days prior to the May 11, 1998 national and local elections, the Philippine National Police (PNP) of Pagadian City, created a team composed of seven policemen with a directive to establish and man a checkpoint in Barangay Danlugan, for the purpose of enforcing the Gun Ban which was then being implemented by the COMELEC.

The Team leader SPO3 Pascua coordinated with the Barangay Chairman of Danlugan, and the team put up a road block with the marking "COMELEC GUN BAN". Vehicles passing through the road block were required by the team to stop and their occupants were then politely requested to alight in order to allow routine inspection and checking of their vehicles. Motorists who refused the request were not forced to do so.

At about 10:30 in the morning of the same day, a red Tamaraw FX trying to pass through the check point was stopped by the team and directed to park at the side of the road. As the occupants within the vehicle could not be seen through its tinted windows, SPO1 Eliezer Requejo, a member of the team, knocked on the vehicles window and requested the occupants to step down for a routine inspection. The eight occupants, which included the accused-appellant Rodolfo Abenes who is the Barangay Chairman of Tawagan Norte, Labangan, Zamboanga Del Sur, alighted from the vehicle.

SPO1 Requejo and SPO3 Pascua noticed that a holstered firearm was tucked at the right waist of Abenes. The firearm was readily visible to the policemen; it was not covered by the shirt worn by Abenes. Abenes was then asked by SPO3 Pascua whether he had a license and authority to carry the firearm, and whether his possession was exempted from the Gun Ban being enforced by the COMELEC. Accused answered in the affirmative. The policemen then demanded for the pertinent documents to be shown to support Abenes claim. He could not show any. Hence, SPO1 Requejo confiscated Abenes firearm, which was later identified as a Norinco .45 caliber pistol bearing Serial No. 906347, including its magazine containing seven live ammunitions.

Subsequently SPO3 Pascua brought Abenes to the PNP Headquarters.

A certification dated May 18, 1998 from the Firearms and Explosives License Processing Section of the PNP, Pagadian City disclosed that Abenes is not a registered nor a licensed firearm holder.

ISSUE 1. 2.

Was the check-point validly established? Was the petitioners constitutional right against unlawful search and seizure violated?

RULING The Court upheld the validity of the checkpoint. the production of the mission order is not necessary in view of the fact that the checkpoint was established three days before the May 11, 1998 elections; and, the circumstances under which the policemen found the gun warranted its seizure without a warrant.

This Court has ruled that not all checkpoints are illegal. Those which are warranted by the exigencies of public order and are conducted in a way least intrusive to motorists are allowed. For, admittedly, routine checkpoints do intrude, to a certain extent, on motorists right to "free passage without interruption," but it cannot be denied that, as a rule, it involves only a brief detention of travelers during which the vehicles occupants are required to answer a brief question or two. For as long as the vehicle is neither searched nor its occupants subjected to a body search, and the inspection of the vehicle is limited to a visual search, said

routine checks cannot be regarded as violative of an individuals right against unreasonable search. In fact, these routine checks, when conducted in a fixed area, are even less intrusive. The checkpoint herein conducted was in pursuance of the gun ban enforced by the COMELEC. The COMELEC would be hard put to implement the ban if its deputized agents were limited to a visual search of pedestrians. It would also defeat the purpose for which such ban was instituted. Those who intend to bring a gun during said period would know that they only need a car to be able to easily perpetrate their malicious designs.

The facts adduced do not constitute a ground for a violation of the constitutional rights of the accused against illegal search and seizure. PO3 Suba admitted that they were merely stopping cars they deemed suspicious, such as those whose windows are heavily tinted just to see if the passengers thereof were carrying guns. At best they would merely direct their flashlights inside the cars they would stop, without opening the cars doors or subjecting its passengers to a body search. There is nothing discriminatory in this as this is what the situation demands.

In the instant case, the firearm was seized from the petitioner when in plain view, the policemen saw it tucked into his waist uncovered by his shirt. Under the plain view doctrine, objects falling in the "plain view" of an officer who has a right to be in the position to have that view are subject to seizure and may be presented as evidence. The "plain view" doctrine applies when the following requisites concur: (a) the law enforcement officer in search of the evidence has a prior justification for an intrusion or is in a position from which he can view a particular area; (b) the discovery of the evidence in plain view is inadvertent; and (c) it is immediately apparent to the officer that the item he observes may be evidence of a crime, contraband or otherwise subject to seizure.

All the foregoing requirements are present in the instant case. The law enforcement officers lawfully made an initial intrusion because of the enforcement of the Gun Ban and were properly in a position from which they particularly viewed the area. In the course of such lawful intrusion, the policemen came inadvertently across a piece of evidence incriminating the petitioner where they saw the gun tucked into his waist. The gun was in plain view and discovered inadvertently when the petitioner alighted from the vehicle.

GAANAN vs.IAC G.R. No. L-69809 October 16, 1986

FACTS Complainant Atty. Pintor and Montebon offered to withdraw the complaint for direct assault they filed against Laconico after demanding P8,000 from him. This demand was heard by Atty. Gaanan through a telephone extension as requested by Laconico so as to personally hear the proposed conditions for the settlement. Atty. Pintor was subsequently arrested in an entrapment operation upon receipt of the money. Since Atty. Gaanan listened to the telephone conversation without complainant''s consent, complainant charged Gaanan and Laconico with violation of the Anti- Wiretapping Act (RA 4200).

ISSUE Whether or not an extension telephone is among the prohibited devices in Section 1 of the Act, such that its use to overhear a private conversation would constitute unlawful interception of communications between the two parties using a telephone line.

RULING The Court ruled in favor of the petitioner. The petitioner was acquitted of the crime of violation of Rep. Act No. 4200, otherwise known as the Anti-Wiretapping Act.

Because of technical problems caused by the sensitive nature of electronic equipment and the extra heavy loads which telephone cables are made to carry in certain areas, telephone users often encounter what are called "crossed lines". An unwary citizen who happens to pick up his telephone and who overhears the details of a crime might hesitate to inform police authorities if he knows that he could be accused under Rep. Act 4200 of using his own telephone to secretly overhear the private communications of the would be criminals. Surely the law was never intended for such mischievous results.

The main issue in the resolution of this petition, however, revolves around the meaning of the phrase "any other device or arrangement." Is an extension of a telephone unit such a device or arrangement as would subject the user to imprisonment ranging from six months to six years with the accessory penalty of perpetual absolute disqualification for a public officer or deportation for an alien?

The law refers to a "tap" of a wire or cable or the use of a "device or arrangement" for the purpose of secretly overhearing, intercepting, or recording the communication. There must be either a physical interruption through a wiretap or the deliberate installation of a device or arrangement in order to overhear, intercept, or record the spoken words.

An extension telephone cannot be placed in the same category as a dictaphone, dictagraph or the other devices enumerated in Section 1 of RA No. 4200 as the use thereof cannot be considered as "tapping" the wire or cable of a telephone line. The telephone extension in this case was not installed for that purpose. It just happened to be there for ordinary office use. It is a rule in statutory construction that in order to determine the true intent of the legislature, the particular clauses and phrases of the statute should not be taken as detached and isolated expressions, but the whole and every part thereof must be considered in fixing the meaning of any of its parts.

Further, our lawmakers intended to discourage, through punishment, persons such as government authorities or representatives of organized groups from installing devices in order to gather evidence for use in court or to intimidate, blackmail or gain some unwarranted advantage over the telephone users. Consequently, the mere act of listening, in order to be punishable must strictly be with the use of the enumerated devices in RA 4200 or others of similar nature. An extension telephone is not among such devices or arrangements.

STONEHILL vs DIOKNO G.R. No. L-19550 June 19, 1967

FACTS Respondents issued, on different dates, 42 search warrants against petitioners personally, and/or corporations for which they are officers directing peace officers to search the persons of petitioners and premises of their offices, warehouses and/or residences to search for personal properties books of accounts, financial records, vouchers, correspondence, receipts, ledgers, journals, portfolios, credit journals, typewriters, and other documents showing all business transactions including disbursement receipts, balance sheets and profit and loss statements and Bobbins(cigarettes) as the subject of the offense for violations of Central Bank Act, Tariff and Customs Laws, Internal Revenue Code, and Revised Penal Code.

Upon effecting the search in the offices of the aforementioned corporations and on the respective residences of the petitioners, there seized documents, papers, money and other records. Petitioners then were subjected to deportation proceedings and were constrained to question the legality of the searches and seizures as well as the admissibility of those seized as evidence against them.

On March 20, 1962, the SC issued a writ of preliminary injunction and partially lifted the same on June 29, 1962 with respect to some documents and papers.

ISSUE Whether or not the search warrant issue is valid.

RULING The SC ruled in favor of Stonehill et al.

The SC emphasized however that Stonehill et al cannot assail the validity of the search warrant issued against their corporation for Stonehill are not the proper party hence has no cause of action. It should be raised by the officers or board members of the corporation.

The constitution protects the peoples right against unreasonable search and seizure. It provides; (1) that no warrant shall issue but upon probable cause, to be determined by the judge in the manner set forth in said provision; and (2) that the warrant shall particularly describe the things to be seized. In the case at bar, none of these are met. The warrant was issued from mere allegation that Stonehill et al committed a violation of Central Bank Laws, Tariff and Customs Laws, Internal Revenue (Code) and Revised Penal Code. In other words, no specific offense had been alleged in said applications. The averments thereof with respect to the offense committed were abstract. As a consequence, it was impossible for the judges who issued the warrants to have found the existence of probable cause, for the same presupposes the introduction of competent proof that the party against whom it is sought has performed particular acts, or committed specific omissions, violating a given provision of our criminal laws. As a matter of fact, the applications involved in this case do not allege any specific acts performed by herein petitioners. It would be a legal heresy, of the highest order, to convict anybody of a violation of Central Bank Laws, Tariff and Customs Laws, Internal Revenue (Code) and Revised Penal Code, as alleged in the aforementioned applications without reference to any determinate provision of said laws or codes.

The grave violation of the Constitution made in the application for the contested search warrants was compounded by the description therein made of the effects to be searched for and seized, to wit:

Books of accounts, financial records, vouchers, journals, correspondence, receipts, ledgers, portfolios, credit journals, typewriters, and other documents and/or papers showing all business transactions including disbursement receipts, balance sheets and related profit and loss statements.

Thus, the warrants authorized the search for and seizure of records pertaining to all business transactions of Stonehill et al, regardless of whether the transactions were legal or illegal. The warrants sanctioned the seizure of all records of Stonehill et al and the aforementioned corporations, whatever their nature, thus openly contravening the explicit command of the Bill of Rights that the things to be seized be particularly described as well as tending to defeat its major objective: the elimination of general warrants. The Moncado doctrine is likewise abandoned and the right of the accused against a defective search warrant is emphasized.

Indeed, the non-exclusionary rule is contrary, not only to the letter, but also, to the spirit of the constitutional injunction against unreasonable searches and seizures. To be sure, if the applicant for a search warrant has competent evidence to establish probable cause of the commission of a given crime by the party against whom the warrant is intended, then there is no reason why the applicant should not comply with the requirements of the fundamental law. Upon the other hand, if he has no such competent evidence, then it is not possible for the Judge to find that there is probable cause, and, hence, no justification for the issuance of the warrant. The only possible explanation (not justification) for its issuance is the necessity of fishing evidence of the commission of a crime. But, then, this fishing expedition is indicative of the absence of evidence to establish a probable cause.

Moreover, the theory that the criminal prosecution of those who secure an illegal search warrant and/or make unreasonable searches or seizures would suffice to protect the constitutional guarantee under consideration, overlooks the fact that violations thereof are, in general, committed By agents of the party in power, for, certainly, those belonging to the minority could not possibly abuse a power they do not have. Regardless of the handicap under which the minority usually but, understandably finds itself in prosecuting agents of the majority, one must not lose sight of the fact that the psychological and moral effect of the possibility of securing their conviction, is watered down by the pardoning power of the party for whose benefit the illegality had been committed.

PASTRANO vs. CA G.R. No. 104504 October 31, 1997

FACTS A group of students went to see Capt. Rodolfo Maoza, then intelligence operations officer of the Philippine Constabulary, at Camp Naranjo, at Oroquieta City. They reported having seen Clyde Pastrano beaten up by his father, petitioner Pedrito Pastrano. The students were willing to testify but expressed fear of the petitioner who, according to them, had firearms. Clyde Pastrano had died and it was suspected he had been the victim of foul play. Two sons of Pedrito Pastrano by his estranged wife also saw Capt. Maoza, seeking his assistance in connection with the death of their brother Clyde. The brothers reported that their father and his common-law wife were keeping unlicensed firearms in their house. They executed a joint affidavit which they stated that they had personal knowledge of the fact that their father Pedrito Pastrano was keeping three (3) firearms of different calibers in the bedroom of his house.

On the basis of the affidavit of the Pastrano brothers, Capt. Maoza applied for a search warrant on the same day.

After examining complainant and the two brothers, Judge Teodorico M. Durias of the Municipal Trial Court of Oroquieta City (Branch I) issued a search warrant which Capt. Maoza and his men later served at the residence of Pedrito Pastrano at Capitol Drive, Oroquieta City. Seized from petitioner's dwelling was a sack containing the following:

One (1) Revolver Cal. 22 Magnum with Serial No. 07345. Made in Germany ROHMGMBH SONTHEM/BRENZ;

One (1) round ammunition for Cal. 22 Magnum;

One (1) Revolver Cal. 32 with Serial No. 233833 Colt Made in U.S.A.;

Six rounds of live Ammunition for Cal. 32 revolver.

On the basis of the evidence thus seized, petitioner Pedrito Pastrano y Capapas and his common-law wife, Erlinda Ventir y Sanchez, were charged with Illegal Possession of Firearms and Ammunition as penalized under P.D. No. 1866, 1. ISSUE Whether or not the Search Warrant issued by Judge Teodorico Durias is invalid for failure to comply with the basic requirements of the Constitution.

RULING The Court held that petitioner waived any objection based on the illegality of the search.

Petitioner assails the absence of a written deposition showing that the judge had examined the complainant and his witnesses by means of searching questions in writing and under oath as required by Rule 126, 4 of the Rules on Criminal Procedure.

Rule 126, 4 indeed requires the examination of the complainant and his witnesses to be put in writing and under oath. But although this is a ground for quashing a search warrant in this case, petitioner did nothing to this end. He did not move to quash the information before the trial court. Nor did he object to the presentation of the evidence obtained as being the product of an illegal search.

Petitioner thus waived any objection based on the illegality of the search. As held in People v. Omaweng, the right to be secure against unreasonable searches and seizures, like any other right, can be waived and the waiver may be made either expressly or impliedly.

The Court find that the prosecution clearly established the elements of the crime charged and that the Court of Appeals and the trial court correctly found petitioner guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Illegal Possession of Firearms and Ammunition.

ABERCA vs. VER G.R. No. L-69866 April 15, 1988 FACTS Petitioners brought suit alleging that General Fabian Ver had ordered the Task Force Makabansa of the AFP to conduct "preemptive strikes against known communist terrorists'' underground houses" in Metro Manila. The TFM raided some places using defective warrants; they seized personal belongings of petitioners; they had been interrogated in violation of their right to silence and to counsel; they had been tortured and intimidated. Petitioners asked for payment of damages for violations of their constitutional rights.

ISSUE Whether or not the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus bars a civil action for damages for illegal searches conducted by military personnel and other violations of rights and liberties guaranteed under the Constitution.

RULING The suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus does not destroy petitioners right and cause of action for damages for illegal arrest and detention and other violations of their constitutional rights. The suspension does not render valid an otherwise illegal arrest or detention. What is suspended is merely the right of the individual to seek release from detention through the writ of habeas corpus as a speedy means of obtaining his liberty.

Moreover, as pointed out by petitioners, their right and cause of action for damages are explicitly recognized in PD 1755 which amended Art. 1146 of the Civil Code by adding the following text: However, when the action (for injury to the rights of the plaintiff or for quasi-delict) arises from or out of any act, activity or conduct of any public officer involving the exercise of powers or authority arising from martial law including the arrest, detention and/or trial of the plaintiff, the same must be brought within one year.

Even assuming that the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus suspends petitioners right of action for damages for illegal arrest and detention, it does not and cannot suspend their rights and causes of action for injuries suffered because of respondents confiscation of their private belongings, the violation of their right to remain silent and to counsel and their right to protection against unreasonable searches and seizures and against torture and other cruel and inhuman treatment. The question became moot and academic since the suspension of the PWHC had been lifted with the issuance of then Pres. Corazon Aquino of Proclamation No. 2 on March 25, 1986.

PP vs. DELA CRUZ G.R. No. 182348, November 20, 2008

FACTS In the morning of October 20, 2002, an informant tipped off the Drug Enforcement Unit of the Marikina Police Station that wanted drug pusher Wifredo Loilo alias "Boy Bicol" was at his nipa hut hideout in San Mateo, Rizal. A team was organized to arrest Boy Bicol. They saw Boy Bicol by a table talking with accusedappellant. They shouted "Boy Bicol sumuko ka na may warrant of arrest ka. Upon hearing this, Boy Bicol engaged them in a shootout and was fatally shot. He dropped his shotgun when a police officer pointed his firearm at him. The team entered the nipa hut and apprehended accused-appellant. They saw a plastic bag of suspected shabu, a digital weighing scale, drug paraphernalia, ammunition, and magazines lying on the table. PO1 Calanoga, Jr. put the markings "CVDC," the initials of accused-appellant, on the bag containing the seized drug.

Accused-appellant was subsequently arrested. The substance seized from the hideout was sent to the Philippine National Police crime laboratory for examination and tested positive for methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu. He was thus separately indicted for violation of RA 9165 and for illegal possession of firearm. According to the defense, accused-appellant was at Boy Bicol's house having been asked to do a welding job for Boy Bicol's motorcycle. While accusedappellant was there, persons who identified themselves as police officers approached the place, prompting accused-appellant to scamper away. He lied face down when gunshots rang. The buy-bust team then helped him get up. He saw the police officers searching the premises and finding shabu and firearms, which were on top of a table or drawer.

When he asked the reason for his apprehension, he was told that it was because he was a companion of Boy Bicol. He denied under oath that the gun and drugs seized were found in his possession and testified that he was only invited by Boy Bicol to get the motorcycle from his house.

The RTC acquitted accused-appellant of illegal possession of firearm and ammunition but convicted him of possession of dangerous drugs.

ISSUE Whether or not the warrantless arrest was valid.

RULING

The Court ruled that since the accused-appellant was not in possession of the illegal drugs in Boy Bicol's nipa hut, his subsequent arrest was also invalid. Rule 113 of the Rules on Criminal Procedure on warrantless arrest provides:

Sec. 5. Arrest without warrant; when lawful.--A peace officer or a private person may, without a warrant, arrest a person: a) When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense; b) When an offense has just been committed, and he has probable cause to believe based on personal knowledge of facts or circumstances that the person to be arrested has committed it; and c) When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped from a penal establishment or place where he is serving final judgment or is temporarily confined while his case is pending, or has escaped while being transferred from one confinement to another.

The warrantless arrest of accused-appellant was effected under Sec. 5(a), arrest of a suspect in flagrante delicto. For this type of warrantless arrest to be valid, two requisites must concur: (1) the person to be arrested must execute an overt act indicating that he has just committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit a crime; and (2) such overt act is done in the presence or within the view of the arresting officer.

Accused-appellant's act of pointing a firearm at the buy-bust team would have been sufficient basis for his arrest in flagrante delicto; however, the prosecution was not able to adequately prove that accused-appellant was committing an offense. Although accused-appellant merely denied possessing the firearm, the prosecution's charge was weak absent the presentation of the alleged firearm. He was eventually acquitted by the trial court because of this gaffe. His arrest, independent of the buy-bust operation targeting Boy Bicol, was therefore not lawful as he was not proved to be committing any offense.

PEOPLE v. AGOJO GR. NO. 181318 APRIL 16, 2009

FACTS AGOJO was arrested via a buy-bust operation, wherein he was selling and delivering (4) plastic bags of methamphetamine hydrochloride commonly known as "shabu,", with a total weight of 206.32 grams, a regulated dangerous drug. AGOJO also have in his possession, custody and control one (1) caliber .45 pistol Ithaca with defaced serial number, one (1) magazine and seven (7) rounds of live ammunitions for caliber .45, without having secured the necessary license and/or permit from the proper authorities to possess the same. Subsequently, he waqs convicted by the trial court and was sentenced to suffer the penalty of death. On the other hand, AGOJO assails his arrest by giving his own version of the story, that he was in fact framed-up by the buy-bust team.

ISSUE Whether or not the ARREST of AGOJO is proper even though the ARREST was made WITHOUT A WARRANT?

RULING In this case, appellant points to the arrest not being in flagrante delicto, the existence of discrepancies in the serial numbers of the buy-bust money and a prior attempt to frame him up as proofs of the frame-up. However, the fact that the arrest was not in flagrante delicto is of no consequence. The arrest was validly executed pursuant to Section 5, paragraph (b) of Rule 113 of the Rules of Court, which states:

Sec. 5. Arrest without warrant; when lawful. A peace officer or a private person may, without a warrant, arrest a person: (a) When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense; (b) When an offense has in fact been committed and he has personal knowledge of facts indicating that the person to be arrested has committed it; and, (c) When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped from penal establishment or place where he is serving final judgment or temporarily confined while his case is pending, or has escaped while being transferred from one confinement to another.

The second instance of lawful warrantless arrest covered by paragraph (b) cited above necessitates two stringent requirements before a warrantless arrest can be effected: (1) an offense has just been committed; and (2) the person making the arrest has personal knowledge of facts indicating that the person to be arrested has committed it. A review of the records shows that both requirements were met in this case.

People vs. Tan G.R. No. 182310 December 9, 2009 Facts: Francisco "Bobby" Tan, his wife and one of his daughters was killed at their residence. The suspects of the brutal killing was his two illegitimate sons by another woman, herein respondents, Archie and Jan Michael (Jan-Jan) who are living with them.

According to respondents, prior to the incident they climbed down the high concrete fence of the compound at about 12:45 a.m to go out. They returned home at around 3:30 a.m. Respondent Jan-Jan entered the house ahead of his brother. On reaching the door of his room at the end of the hallway, he noticed his stepsister Katherine, lying on the floor near the masters bedroom. As Jan-Jan switched on the light in his room, he beheld her lying on a pool of blood. He quickly stepped into the masters bedroom and there saw his father, Bobby, lying on the bed with his chest drenched in blood. Almost simultaneously, respondent Archie who had come into the house after his brother Jan-Jan noticed that the door of his room, which he locked earlier, was partly open. As he went in and switched on the light, he saw his stepmother Cindy, lying in her blood near the wall below the air conditioner. A few days after the incident police officers from the Regional CIDG submitted their investigation report to the City Prosecutors Office of Iloilo City, which pointed to respondents as principal suspects on the killing of their parents and stepsister. Separate informations for two (2) murders and parricide were filed at RTC against respondents.

Thereafter respondents filed a motion for judicial determination of probable cause with a prayer to suspend the issuance of warrants of arrest against them.

Judge Globert Justalero, took over the RTC, and thereafter, reversed the order of the previous presiding judge. He found probable cause against respondents and ordered the issuance of warrants for their arrest. Respondents filed the present petition for certiorari with the CA. CA granted the petition, set aside the RTC order of Judge Justalero, and annulled the warrants of arrest issued. The CA also dismissed the criminal cases against the respondents.

Issue: WON there was probable cause to issue a warrant for the arrest of respondents.

Held: What is probable cause? Probable cause assumes the existence of facts that would lead a reasonably discreet and prudent man to believe that a crime has been committed and that it was likely committed by the person sought to be arrested. It requires neither absolute certainty nor clear and convincing evidence of guilt. The test for issuing a warrant of arrest is less stringent than that used for establishing the guilt of the accused. As long as the evidence shows a prima facie case against the accused, the trial court has sufficient ground to issue a warrant for his arrest.

Here, admittedly, the evidence against respondents is merely circumstantial. The prosecution evidence shows that they had motive in that they had been at odds with their father and stepmother. They had opportunity in that they were still probably home when the crime took place. Archie took two pairs of new gloves from his car late that evening. Cindy was apparently executed inside Archies room. The separate rooms of the two accused had, quite curiously, been wiped clean even of their own fingerprints. A trial, unlike preliminary investigations, could yield more evidence favorable to either side after the interrogations of the witnesses either on direct examination or on cross-examination. What is important is that there is some rational basis for going ahead with judicial inquiry into the case. This Court does not subscribe to the CAs position that the prosecution had nothing to go on with.

Ong vs. Genio G.R. No.182336 December 23, 2009

Facts: Petitioner Elvira O. Ong filed a criminal complaint against respondent Jose Genio for Robbery. The information states that respondent carry away kitchen and canteen equipment as well as her personal things valued at Php 700,000.00.

Respondent filed a Motion to Dismiss the Case for Lack of Probable Cause Pursuant to Sec. 6(a), Rule 112 of the Rules of Court and, in View of Compelling Grounds for the Dismissal of the Case to Hold in Abeyance the Issuance of the Warrant of Arrest (Motion to Dismiss).

RTC of Makati City dismissed the case because the other elements of the crime of Robbery, specifically the elements of intent to gain, and either violence against or intimidation of any person or force upon things, were not specifically alleged in the Information filed. The RTC held that the evidence on record failed to establish probable cause to charge respondent with the crime of Robbery.

Issue: WON the court erred in not finding probable cause to merit the issuance of the warrant of arrest and dismissal of the case.

Held: Section 6(a), Rule 112 of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure clearly provides:

SEC. 6. When warrant of arrest may issue.

(a) By the Regional Trial Court. ' Within ten (10) days from the filing of the complaint or information, the judge shall personally evaluate the resolution of the prosecutor and its supporting evidence. He may immediately dismiss the case if the evidence on record clearly fails to establish probable cause. If he finds probable cause, he shall issue a warrant of arrest, or a commitment order if the accused has already been arrested pursuant to a warrant issued by the judge who conducted the preliminary investigation or when the complaint or information was filed pursuant to section 7 of this Rule. In case of doubt on the existence of probable cause, the judge may order the prosecutor to present additional evidence within five (5) days from notice and the issue must be resolved by the court within thirty (30) days from the filing of the complaint or information.

Pursuant to the aforementioned provision, the RTC judge, upon the filing of an Information, has the following options:

(1) dismiss the case if the evidence on record clearly failed to establish probable cause; (2) if he or she finds probable cause, issue a warrant of arrest; and (3) in case of doubt as to the existence of probable cause, order the prosecutor to present additional evidence within five days from notice, the issue to be resolved by the court within thirty days from the filing of the information.

It bears stressing that the judge is required to personally evaluate the resolution of the prosecutor and its supporting evidence. He may immediately dismiss the case if the evidence on record clearly fails to establish probable cause. This, the RTC judge clearly complied with in this case.

People vs Pepino GR No. 183479 June 29, 2010

Facts: On October 18, 1997 in Quezon City, Metro Manila accused/appellant Pepino, Daisy and Pelenio (died in a shootout) kidnap Anita Ching, a businesswoman, and brought her to a safehouse for the purpose of demanding ransom in the amount of P500,000.00, after which it was paid the victim was released.

An information for the crime of kidnapping for ransom with serious illegal detention was filed against accused.

RTC, by Decision found Pepino and Daisy guilty beyond reasonable doubt as principal and accomplice, respectively, of the crime charged.

Pepino did not testify, and for that matter presented no evidence to defeat or attenuate the charge or evidence brought against him. All he did in his defense was to raise the constitutional presumption of innocence, and to present his kins (Renato, Larex, Zeny to testify that they and Pepino were illegally arrested. He challenged his warrantless arrest for kidnapping as illegal.

Issue: WON accused Pepino was illegally arrested.

Held: Pepino assails his conviction on, among others, the illegality of his arrest.

The court opines that as to the alleged illegality of Pepinos arrest, it is settled that any irregularity attending the arrest of an accused should be timely raised in a motion to quash the Information at any time before arraignment, failing which he is deemed to have waived. Since Pepino did not raise such alleged irregularity early on, he is now estopped.

Rebellion vs People G.R. No. 175700 July 5, 2010

Held: Petitioners claim that his warrantless arrest is illegal lacks merit. We note that nowhere in the records did we find any objection interposed by petitioner to the irregularity of his arrest prior to his arraignment. It has been consistently ruled that an accused is estopped from assailing any irregularity of his arrest if he fails to raise this issue or to move for the quashal of the information against him on this ground before arraignment. Any objection involving a warrant of arrest or the procedure by which the court acquired jurisdiction over the person of the accused must be made before he enters his plea; otherwise, the objection is deemed waived. In this case, petitioner was duly arraigned, entered a negative plea and actively participated during the trial. Thus, he is deemed to have waived any perceived defect in his arrest and effectively submitted himself to the jurisdiction of the court trying his case. At any rate, the illegal arrest of an accused is not sufficient cause for setting aside a valid judgment rendered upon a sufficient complaint after a trial free from error. It will not even negate the validity of the conviction of the accused.
5

A lawful arrest without a warrant may be made by a peace officer or a private individual under any of the following circumstances:

Sec 5. Arrest without warrant, when lawful A peace officer or a private person may, without a warrant, arrest a person: (a) When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing or is attempting to commit an offense;

(b) When an offense has just been committed and he has probable cause to believe based on personal knowledge of facts or circumstances that the person to be arrested has committed it; and

(c) When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped from a penal establishment or place where he is serving final judgment or is temporarily confined while his case is pending, or has escaped while being transferred from one confinement to another.

Pineda-Ng vs. People G.R. No. 189533 November 15, 2010

Facts: On December 19, 2007, an Information for Qualified Theft was filed against: Richard Francisco, Branch Mgr. of private complainant Philippine Business Bank, Mailada Marilag-Aquino; and petitioner Ma. Imelda Pineda-Ng.

The prosecution found that Aquino had drawn and issued the seven (7) checks in favor of petitioner amounting to P8,735,000.00. Petitioner presented these 7 checks for payment before the bank by virtue of her Bill Purchase Accommodation facility through Francisco, who, in excess of his authority, approved the payment of these checks despite the fact that the same were actually drawn from Closed Accounts and/or drawn against insufficient funds.

At first, Judge Reyes found probable cause to hold Francisco liable, while ordered the dismissal of the case against Aquino and petitioner for absence of probable cause. Aggrieved, the bank filed its MR.

Judge Reyes, acting on the banks MR, issued an Order reversing her earlier ruling, this time finding probable cause against Aquino and petitioner and directing the issuance of warrants of arrest to all the accused. No bail was recommended. Petitioner filed petition for certiorari before CA, which was denied for lack of merit. Hence, this Petition ascribe grave abuse of discretion to the CA for decision and resolution which are inconsistent with and not supported by the law, the facts, and the settled jurisprudence laid down by the SC on the matter of filing of criminal cases against the accused where there is no evidence sufficient to engender a well-founded belief that an offense was committed.

Issue: WON there is probable cause in this case.

Held: Probable cause has been defined as the existence of such facts and circumstances as would lead a person of ordinary caution and prudence to entertain an honest and strong suspicion that the person charged is guilty of the crime subject of the investigation. Being based merely on opinion and reasonable belief, it does not import absolute certainty. Probable cause need not be based on clear and convincing evidence of guilt, as the investigating officer acts upon reasonable belief. Probable cause implies probability of guilt and requires more than bare suspicion, but less than evidence which would justify a conviction.

The general rule is that this Court does not review factual findings of the trial court, which include the determination of probable cause for the issuance of a warrant of arrest. It is only in exceptional cases where this Court sets aside the conclusions of the prosecutor and the trial court judge on the existence of probable cause, such as cases when the Court finds it necessary in order to prevent the misuse of the strong arm of the law or to protect the orderly administration of justice. The facts obtaining in this case do not warrant the application of the exception.

Moreover, we respect the findings of the CA when it held that Judge Reyes did not solely rely on the findings of the City Prosecutor in reversing her earlier Order. We observed, among others, that when Judge Reyes quoted our ruling in People v. CA, she underscored a portion thereof, clearly indicative of her reliance on said jurisprudence. Thus, it cannot be validly argued that Judge Reyes simply and blindly adhered to the recommendation of the City Prosecutor in rendering the assailed Order, bereft of any factual and legal basis. Furthermore, we also accord respect to the factual findings of the City Prosecutor and the CA that petitioner indeed encashed these allegedly anomalous checks. Suffice it to state that a finding of probable cause does not require an inquiry into whether there is sufficient evidence to procure a conviction it is enough that there is a reasonable belief that the act or omission complained of constitutes the offense charged.

People vs, Martinez G.R. No. 191366 Dec. 13, 2010

Held: Paragraph (c) of Rule 113 is clearly inapplicable to this case. Paragraphs (a) and (b), on the other hand, may be applicable and both require probable cause to be present in order for a warrantless arrest to be valid. Probable cause has been held to signify a reasonable ground of suspicion supported by circumstances sufficiently strong in themselves to warrant a cautious mans belief that the person accused is guilty of the offense with which he is charged.

It has been held that personal knowledge of facts in arrests without warrant must be based upon probable cause, which means an actual belief or reasonable grounds of suspicion. The grounds of suspicion are reasonable when the suspicion, that the person to be arrested is probably guilty of committing an offense, is based on actual facts, that is, supported by circumstances sufficiently strong in themselves to create the probable cause of guilt of the person to be arrested. As to paragraph (a) of Section 5 of Rule 113, the arresting officers had no personal knowledge that at the time of the arrest, accused had just committed, were committing, or were about to commit a crime, as they had no probable cause to enter the house of accused Rafael Gonzales in order to arrest them. As to paragraph (b), the arresting officers had no personal knowledge of facts and circumstances that would lead them to believe that the accused had just committed an offense.


People vs. Quebral G.R. No. 185379 Nov. 27, 2009

Held: The accused-appellants invoke the rule that a person may be arrested even without a warrant only a) if he is caught in the act of committing a crime, b) if he has just committed a crime and the arresting officer pursued him, or c) if he escaped from a legal confinement. But in the first two instances, the officer must have personal knowledge of the facts underlying the arrest. The target persons observable acts must clearly spell a crime. If no crime is evident from those acts, no valid arrest can be made. An informant whispering to the police officers ear that the person walking or standing on the street has committed or is committing a crime will not do. The arresting officer must himself perceive the manifestations of a crime.

As the lower court aptly put it in this case, the law enforcers already had an inkling of the personal circumstances of the persons they were looking for and the criminal act they were about to commit. That these circumstances played out in their presence supplied probable cause for the search. The police acted on reasonable ground of suspicion or belief supported by circumstances sufficiently strong in themselves to warrant a cautious man to believe that a crime has been committed or is about to be committed. Since the seized shabu resulted from a valid search, it is admissible in evidence against the accused.

People vs. Ara G.R. No. 185011 Dec. 23, 2009

Held: One of the situations covered by a lawful warrantless arrest under Section 5(a), Rule 113 of the Rules of Court is when a person has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense in the presence of a peace officer or private person.

It is erroneous as well to argue that there was no probable cause to arrest accused-appellants. Probable cause, in warrantless searches, must only be based on reasonable ground of suspicion or belief that a crime has been committed or is about to be committed. There is no hard and fast rule or fixed formula for determining probable cause, for its determination varies according to the facts of each case. Probable cause was provided by information gathered from the CI and from accused-appellants themselves when they instructed PO1 Ayao to enter their vehicle and begin the transaction. The illegal sale of shabu inside accused-appellants vehicle was afterwards clearly established. Thus, as we have previously held, the arresting officers were justified in making the arrests as accused-appellants had just committed a crime when Ara sold shabu to PO1 Ayao. Talib and Musa were also frisked for contraband as it may be logically inferred that they were also part of Aras drug activities inside the vehicle. This inference was further strengthened by Musas attempt to drive the vehicle away and elude arrest.

Esquillo vs People G.R. No. 82010 Aug. 25, 2010

Held: That a search may be conducted by law enforcers only on the strength of a valid search warrant is settled. The same, however, admits of exceptions, viz:

(1) consented searches; (2) as an incident to a lawful arrest; (3) searches of vessels and aircraft for violation of immigration, customs, and drug laws; (4) searches of moving vehicles; (5) searches of automobiles at borders or constructive borders; (6) where the prohibited articles are in "plain view;" (7) searches of buildings and premises to enforce fire, sanitary, and building regulations; and (8) "stop and frisk" operations.

In the instances where a warrant is not necessary to effect a valid search or seizure, the determination of what constitutes a reasonable or unreasonable search or seizure is purely a judicial question, taking into account, among other things, the uniqueness of the circumstances involved including the purpose of the search or seizure, the presence or absence of probable cause, the manner in which the search and seizure was made, the place or thing searched, and the character of the articles procured.

Lumanog vs. People G.R. No.182555 Sept. 7, 2010

Held: The police arrested Joel, without any warrant, on 19 June 1996 or six days after the killing. Six days is definitely more than enough to secure an arrest warrant, and yet the police opted to arrest Joel and the other accused, without any warrant, claiming that it was conducted in "hot pursuit." In law enforcement, "hot pursuit" can refer to an immediate pursuit by the police such as a car chase. Certainly, the warrantless arrrest of Joel, made six days after the murder, does not fall within the ambit of "hot pursuit." The question now is whether the successive warrantless arrests of the accused are legal. The pertinent provisions of Rule 113 of the Rules on Criminal Procedure on warrantless arrest provide:

Sec. 5. Arrest without warrant; when lawful. - A peace officer or a private person may, without a warrant, arrest a person:

a) When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense; b) When an offense has just been committed, and he has probable cause to believe based on personal knowledge of facts or circumstances that the person to be arrested has committed it; and c) When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped from a penal establishment or place where he is serving final judgment or is temporarily confined while his case is pending, or has escaped while being transferred from one confinement to another.

None of the above instances is present in this case: (1) the accused were not arrested in flagrante delicto; (2) the arrest was not based on personal knowledge of the arresting officers that there is probable cause that the accused were the authors of the crime which had just been committed; (3) the accused were not prisoners who have escaped from custody serving final judgment or temporarily confined while their case is pending. There is no question that all the accused were apprehended several days after the crime while doing ordinary and unsuspicious activities. There is also no question that the police had no personal knowledge of probable cause that the accused were responsible for the crime which had been committed. The third situation is inapplicable since the accused are not prison escapees. Considering these facts, there is indeed no justification for the warrantless arrests effected by the police in their so-called "hot pursuit." Such warrantless arrest, therefore, amounts to a violation of Section 2, Article III of the Constitution, which provides:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable, and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized. The police investigation work in this case, which led to the unlawful warrantless arrest of the accused, is nothing but sloppy: (1) they chose to rely solely on the sworn statement of one eyewitness (Alejo); (2) they failed to obtain any description of the suspects from other eyewitnesses, including the owner of the Kia Pride which was forcefully obtained by the suspects as a get-away car; (3) they showed Alejo a picture of Joel to assist him in identifying the "suspect"; and (4) they arrested the other accused based entirely on the illegally extracted extrajudicial confession of Joel.

People vs Araneta G.R. No. 191064 Oct. 20, 2010

Held: The Court also holds that the seized items were admissible. A search warrant or warrant of arrest was not needed because it was a buy-bust operation and the accused were caught in flagrante delicto in possession of, and selling, dangerous drugs to the poseur-buyer. It was definitely legal for the buy-bust team to arrest, and search, them on the spot because a buy-bust operation is a justifiable mode of apprehending drug pushers. A buy-bust operation is a form of entrapment whereby ways and means are resorted to for the purpose of trapping and capturing the lawbreakers in the execution of their criminal plan. In this jurisdiction, the operation is legal and has been proven to be an effective method of apprehending drug peddlers, provided due regard to constitutional and legal safeguards is undertaken.

People v Penaflorida 551 SCRA 111 (2008)

Facts: SPO3 Vicente Competente narrated that in his capacity as chief of the Investigation and Operation Division of the PNP station in Tigaon, Camarines Sur, that he received a tip from an asset that a bundle of marijuana was being transported by appellant to Huyon-huyon from another barangay in Tigaon, Camarines Sur. Major Domingo Agravante, chief of police in Tigaon, then organized a team composed of Competente as team leader, SPO2 Callo, SPO1 Portugal, PO3 Pillos and PO2 Edgar Latam. The team boarded the police mobile car and proceeded to Sitio Nasulan in Barangay Huyon-huyon. They overtook appellant who was on a bicycle. The police officers flagged appellant down and found marijuana wrapped in a cellophane and newspaper together with other grocery items. The amount of P1550.00 was also found in appellants possession. The police officers confiscated these items and took photographs thereof. Appellant was then brought to the headquarters where he was booked.

Major Lorlie Arroyo, a forensic chemist at the PNP Crime Laboratory Regional Office No. V, was presented as an expert witness to identify the subject marijuana leaves. She related that after taking a representative sample from the 928-gram confiscated dried leaves, the same was tested positive of marijuana.

Appellant denied the accusations against him. That on his way home, they met Boyet Obias (Obias) who requested appellant to bring a package wrapped in a newspaper to Jimmy Gonzales, he placed it in the basket in front of his bicycle and Gonzales proceeded to the Tiagon town proper. On his way home, he was flagged down by the police and was invited to go with them to the headquarters.

TC ruled that there was violation of Section 4, Article II of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 6425, otherwise known as The Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972, hence, the instant case is now before this Court on automatic review.

In assailing his conviction, appellant submits that there is doubt that he had freely and consciously possessed marijuana. One of the issues raised is that, upon receipt of the information from the asset, the police officers should have first investigated and tried to obtain a warrant of arrest against appellant, instead of arbitrarily arresting him.

Issue: Whether or not the contention of the appellant is tenable?

Ruling: No.

The police was tipped off at around 1:00pm that appellant was transporting marijuana to Huyon-huyon. Certainly, they had no time to secure an arrest warrant as appellant was already in transit and already committing a crime. The arrest as effected after appellant as caught in flagrante delicto. He was seen riding his bicycle and carrying with him the contraband, hence, demonstrating that a crime was then already being committed. Under the circumstances, the police had probable cause to believe that appellant was committing a crime. Thus, the warrantless arrest is justified.

Article II, Section 4 of RA No. 6425, as amended by RA No 7659, states: Sec. 4. Sale, Administration, Delivery, Distribution and Transportation of Prohibited Drugs The penalty of reclusion perpetua to death and a fine ranging from five hundred thousand pesos to ten million pesos shall be imposed upon any person who, unless authorized by law, shall sell, administer, deliver, give away to another, distribute, dispatch in transit or transport any prohibited drug, or shall act as broker in any of such transactions. x x x.

Jurisprudence defines transport as to carry or convey from one place to another. In the instant case, appellant was riding his bicycle when he was caught by the police. He admitted that he was about to convey the package, which contained marijuana, to a certain Jimmy Gonzales.

Appellant, denies any knowledge that the package in his possession contained marijuana. But TC rejected his contention, noting that it was impossible for appellant not to be aware of the contents of the package because marijuana has a distinct sweet and unmistakable aroma which would have alarmed him.

Taking one step further, the appellate court went on to declare that being mala prohibita, one commits the crime under RA No. 6425 by mere possession of a prohibited drug without legal authority. Intent, motive or knowledge thereof is not necessary.

Finally, the lower courts correctly sentenced appellant to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua and to pay a fine of one million pesos by virtue of the amendment to Section 4, RA No. 6425 by RA No. 7659.

TCs decision is affirmed.

People vs. Sembrano G.R. No.185848 Aug. 16, 2010

Held: On the legality of the warrantless arrest, We reiterate that appellant was arrested during an entrapment operation where he was caught in flagrante delicto selling shabu. When an arrest is made during an entrapment operation, it is not required that a warrant be secured in line with the provisions of Rule 113, Section 5(a) of the Revised Rules of Court allowing warrantless arrests, to wit:

Section 5. Arrest without warrant; when lawful. A peace officer or a private person may, without a warrant, arrest a person: (a) When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense.

A buy-bust operation is a form of entrapment which in recent years has been accepted as a valid and effective mode of apprehending drug pushers. If carried out with due regard for constitutional and legal safeguards, a buy-bust operation, such as the one involving appellant, deserves judicial sanction. Consequently, the warrantless arrest and warrantless search and seizure conducted on the person of appellant were allowed under the circumstances. The search, incident to his lawful arrest, needed no warrant to sustain its validity. Thus, there is no doubt that the sachets of shabu recovered during the legitimate buy-bust operation, are admissible and were properly admitted in evidence against him.

Appellants defenses of denial and frame-up are both self-serving and uncorroborated, and must fail in light of straightforward and positive testimony of poseurbuyer identifying him as the seller of shabu. The twin defenses of denial and frame-up hold little weight vis--vis the strong evidence gathered by the prosecution in proving his complicity to the offenses. To recall, PO1 Manaols testimony was corroborated on material points by PO1 Bagay, who identified appellant as the one who handed the sachet of shabu to PO1 Manaol after being handed two (2) One Hundred Peso bills. Contrary to the defenses claim, it is not impossible for a buy-bust operation to be conducted in broad daylight, as in the case at bar. Frame-up, like denial, is viewed by this Court with disfavor for it can easily be concocted.

People vs. Racho G.R. No. 186529 August 3, 2010

Held: After a thorough review of the records of the case and for reasons that will be discussed below, we find that appellant can no longer question the validity of his arrest, but the sachet of shabu seized from him during the warrantless search is inadmissible in evidence against him.

The records show that appellant never objected to the irregularity of his arrest before his arraignment. In fact, this is the first time that he raises the issue. Considering this lapse, coupled with his active participation in the trial of the case, we must abide with jurisprudence that appellant, having voluntarily submitted to the jurisdiction of the trial court, is deemed to have waived his right to question the validity of his arrest, thus curing whatever defect may have attended his arrest. The legality of the arrest affects only the jurisdiction of the court over his person. Appellants warrantless arrest therefore cannot, in itself, be the basis of his acquittal.

As to the admissibility of the seized drug in evidence, it is necessary for us to ascertain whether or not the search which yielded the alleged contraband was lawful.

The 1987 Constitution states that a search and consequent seizure must be carried out with a judicial warrant; otherwise, it becomes unreasonable and any evidence obtained therefrom shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding. Said proscription, however, admits of exceptions, namely:

1. Warrantless search incidental to a lawful arrest; 2. Search of evidence in "plain view;" 3. Search of a moving vehicle; 4. Consented warrantless search; 5. Customs search; 6. Stop and Frisk; and 7. Exigent and emergency circumstances.

Obviously, this is an instance of seizure of the "fruit of the poisonous tree," hence, the confiscated item is inadmissible in evidence consonant with Article III, Section 3(2) of the 1987 Constitution, "any evidence obtained in violation of this or the preceding section shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding." Without the confiscated shabu, appellants conviction cannot be sustained based on the remaining evidence. Thus, an acquittal is warranted, despite the waiver of appellant of his right to question the illegality of his arrest by entering a plea and his active participation in the trial of the case. As earlier mentioned, the legality of an arrest affects only the jurisdiction of the court over the person of the accused. A waiver of an illegal, warrantless arrest does not carry with it a waiver of the inadmissibility of evidence seized during an illegal warrantless arrest.

PEOPLE vs. BIYOC 532 SCRA 201

Facts:

At 4pm of Dec 5, 2000, private complainant AAA was in a room on the 2 floor of the family house taking care of here one year old sister. Her father, herein appellant, entered the room and touched here genitals, after which he told her to lie down on the floor.

nd

Overcome by fear, AAA did lie down on the floor as told. Appellant at once pulled her short pants down and touched her genitals again, after which he went on top of her and tried to insert his penis into her vagina. Appellant was not able to fully penetrate AAAs vagina, however, as her elder sister BBB went up the 2 floor and saw appellant sitting in front of AAA who was lying down, face up. Appellant immediately warned BBB not to tell their mother about what she saw. After BBB left appellant inserted his penis inside AAAs vagina.
nd

BBB lost no time to report that same day to her mother CCC, live-in partner of appellant, what she saw, CCC thus immediately confronted AAA who did confirm that appellant had inserted his penis inside her vagina that afternoon, and that appellant had been doing the same act to her since she was nine years old.

Incensed, CCC accompanied AAA the following day, December 6, 2000, DSWD to report the incident, and also to the police officers.

PO1 Javier, together with AAA and CCC thereafter proceeded to the family home and on their way, they met appellant. PO1 Javier at once informed him of his rights, arrested him and brought him to the police station. AAAs and CCCs statements were thereupon taken.

TC ruled that appellant is guilty for the crime of rape. In his brief, appellant raised the issue that the trial court failed to consider the fact that the accuseds arrest was legally objectionable. He claims that his arrest was illegal because a warrantless arrest was effected even before the statement of the private complainant was taken.

Issue WON the contention of the accused-appellant is correct?

Ruling NO. Objections to the legality of arrests must, however, be made prior to the entry of plea at arraignment; otherwise, they are considered waived.

We have also ruled that an accused may be stopped from assailing the illegality of his arrest if he fails to move for the quashing of the information against him before his arraignment. And since the legality of an arrest affects only the jurisdiction of the court over the person of the accused, any defect in his arrest may be deemed cured when he voluntarily submitted to the jurisdiction of the trial court as what was done by the appellants in the instant case. Not only did they enter their pleas during arraignment, but they also actively participated during the trial which constitutes a waiver of any irregularity in their arrest.

In the present case, appellant failed to question the illegality of his arrest before entering his please, hence, he is deemed to waive the same.

Valdez v People 538 SCRA 611 (2007)

Facts: Bautista testified that at around 8:00pm of March 17, 2003, he was conducting the routing patrol along the National Highway La Union together with Aratas and Ordono when they noticed petitioner, lugging a bag, alight from a mini-bus. The tanods observed that petitioner, who appeared suspicious to them, seemed to be looking for something. They thus approached him but the latter purportedly attempted to run away. They chased him, put him under arrest and thereafter brought him to the house of Barangay Captain Orencio Mercado (Mercado) where he, as averred by Bautista, was ordered by Mercado to open his bag. Petitioners bag allegedly contained a pair of denim pants, eighteen pieces of eggplant and dried marijuana leaves wrapped in newspaper and cellophane. It was then that petitioner was taken to the police station for further investigation.

Police Inspector Laya, the forensic chemist who conducted the examination of the marijuana allegedly confiscated from petitioner. Laya maintained that the specimen submitted to him for analysis, a sachet of the substance weighing 23.10 grams and contained in a plastic bag, tested positive of marijuana. The charges were denied by petitioner. TC ruled in favour of the prosecution.

In appeal, petitioner prays for his acquittal and asserts that his guilt of the crime charged had not been proven beyond reasonable doubt. He argues, albeit for the first time on appeal, that the warrantless arrest effected against him by the barangay tanod was unlawful and that the warrantless search of his bag that followed was likewise contrary to law. Consequently, he maintains, the marijuana leaves purportedly seized from him are inadmissible in evidence for being the fruit of a poisonous tree.

Issue: Whether or not there was an illegal arrest? YES. What is the effect of the declaration of illegal arrest?

Ruling: At the outset, we observe that nowhere in the records can we find any objection by petitioner to the irregularity of his arrest before his arraignment. Considering this and his active participation in the trial of the case, jurisprudence dictates that petitioner is deemed to have submitted to the jurisdiction of the trial court, thereby curing any defect in his arrest. The legality of an arrest affects only the jurisdiction of the court over his person. Petitioners warrantless arrest therefore cannot, in itself, be the basis of his acquittal.

However, to determine the admissibility of the seized drugs in evidence, it is indispensable to ascertain whether or not the search which yielded the alleged contraband was lawful. The search, conducted as it was without a warrant, is justified only if it were incidental to a lawful arrest. Evaluating the evidence on record in its totality, as earlier intimated, the reasonable conclusion is that the arrest of petitioner without a warrant is not lawful as well.

Section 5, Rule 113 of the Rules on Criminal Procedure provides the only occasions on which a person may be arrested without a warrant, to wit: Section 5. Arrest without warrant; when lawful.A peace officer or a private person may, without a warrant, arrest a person: (a) When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense; (b) When an offense has just been committed and he has probable cause to believe based on personal knowledge of facts or circumstances that the person to be arrested has committed it; and (c) When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped from a penal establishment or place where he is serving final judgment or temporarily confined while his case is pending, or has escaped while being transferred from one confinement to another. xxx It is obvious that based on the testimonies of the arresting barangay tanod, not one of these circumstances was obtaining at the time petitioner was arrested. By their own admission, petitioner was not committing an offense at the time he alighted from the bus, nor did he appear to be then committing an offense. The tanod did not have probable cause either to justify petitioners warrantless arrest.
20

For the exception in Section 5(a), Rule 113 to operate, this Court has ruled that two (2) elements must be present: (1) the person to be arrested must execute an overt act indicating that he has just committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit a crime; and (2) such overt act is done in the presence or within the view of the arresting officer. Here, petitioners act of looking around after getting off the bus was but natural as he was finding his way to his destination. That he purportedly attempted to run away as the tanod approached him is irrelevant and cannot by itself be construed as adequate to charge the tanod with personal knowledge that petitioner had just engaged in, was actually engaging in or was attempting to engage in criminal activity. More importantly, petitioner testified that he did not run away but in fact spoke with the barangay tanod when they approached him.
21

Indeed, the supposed acts of petitioner, even assuming that they appeared dubious, cannot be viewed as sufficient to incite suspicion of criminal activity enough to validate his warrantless arrest. If at all, the search most permissible for the tanod to conduct under the prevailing backdrop of the case was a stop-and-frisk to allay any suspicion they have been harboring based on petitioners behavior. However, a stop-and-frisk situation, following Terry v. Ohio, must precede a warrantless arrest, be limited to the persons outer clothing, and should be grounded upon a genuine reason, in light of the police officers experience and surrounding conditions, to warrant the belief that the person detained has weapons concealed about him.
27 26

Ruling in Issue No. 2

Accordingly, petitioners waiver of his right to question his arrest notwithstanding, the marijuana leaves allegedly taken during the search cannot be admitted in evidence against him as they were seized during a warrantless search which was not lawful. As we pronounced in People v. Bacla-an A waiver of an illegal warrantless arrest does not also mean a waiver of the inadmissibility of evidence seized during an illegal warrantless arrest. The following searches and seizures are deemed permissible by jurisprudence: (1) search of moving vehicles (2) seizure in plain view (3) customs searches (4) waiver or consent searches (5) stop and frisk situations (Terry Search) and (6) search incidental to a lawful arrest. The last includes a valid warrantless search and seizure pursuant to an equally valid warrantless arrest, for, while as a rule, an arrest is considered legitimate if effected with a valid warrant of arrest, the Rules of Court recognize permissible warrantless arrests, to wit: (1) arrests in flagrante delicto, (2) arrests effected in hot pursuit, and, (3) arrests of escaped prisoners. When petitioner was arrested without a warrant, he was neither caught in flagrante delicto committing a crime nor was the arrest effected in hot pursuit. Verily, it cannot therefore be reasonably argued that the warrantless search conducted on petitioner was incidental to a lawful arrest. In its Comment, the Office of the Solicitor General posits that apart from the warrantless search being incidental to his lawful arrest, petitioner had consented to the search. We are not convinced. As we explained in Caballes v. Court of Appeals Doubtless, the constitutional immunity against unreasonable searches and seizures is a personal right which may be waived. The consent must be voluntary in order to validate an otherwise illegal detention and search, i.e., the consent is unequivocal, specific, and intelligently given, uncontaminated by any duress or coercion. Hence, consent to a search is not to be lightly inferred, but must be shown by clear and convincing evidence. The question whether a consent to a search was in fact voluntary is a question of fact to be determined from the totality of all the circumstances. Relevant to this determination are the following characteristics of the person giving consent and the environment in which consent is given: (1) the age of the defendant; (2) whether he was in a public or secluded location; (3) whether he objected to the search or passively looked on; (4) the education and intelligence of the defendant; (5) the presence of coercive police procedures; (6) the defendant's belief that no incriminating evidence will be found; (7) the nature of the police questioning; (8) the environment in which the questioning took place; and (9) the possibly vulnerable subjective state of the person consenting. It is the State which has the burden of proving, by clear and positive testimony, that the necessary consent was obtained and that it was freely and voluntarily given.
31 30 29

A final word. We find it fitting to take this occasion to remind the courts to exercise the highest degree of diligence and prudence in deliberating upon the guilt of accused persons brought before them, especially in light of the fundamental rights at stake. Here, we note that the courts a quo neglected to give more serious consideration to certain material issues in the determination of the merits of the case. We are not oblivious to the fact that in some instances, law enforcers resort to the practice of planting evidence to extract information or even harass civilians. Accordingly, courts are duty-bound to be "[e]xtra vigilant in trying drug cases lest an innocent person be made to suffer the unusually severe penalties for drug offenses." In the same vein, let this serve as an admonition to police officers and public officials alike to perform their mandated duties with commitment to the highest degree of diligence, righteousness and respect for the law.
52

SC reversed the decision of the lower courts and acquitted the accused.

PEOPLE vs. SANTOS 555 SCRA 578

Facts: On March 8, 2003, the SDEU operatives of the Pasig City Police conducted a buy-bust operation in a residential area along Dr. Sixto Antonio Avenue, on the basis of reports that a certain alias Monching Labo was selling illegal drugs in the said locality. Accompanied by a confidential informant, the police team, proceeded to the ratget area at around 1:15 to 1:20 a.am. PO3 Carlo Luna was to act as the poseur-buyer, whereas the other members of the team were to serve as his backup.

The informant the pointed to 2 pesons standing along the target area, one of whom was Monching Labo, later indentified as appellant Ramon Catoc Picayo. After approaching , the informant introduced PO3 Luna as a shabu customer to one of the persons, later identified as appellant Jerry Santos. Appellant Santos then asked PO3 Luna how much worth of shabu he was buying and asked for the money. PO3 Luna gave appellant Santos the buy-bust money consisting of a pre-marked p100 bill. Santos handed this money to appellant Catoc, who took out from his pocket a sealed transparent plastic sachet containing a white crystalline substance, which he handed back to appellant Santos. When Santos gave the plastic sachet to PO3 Luna, the latter nabbed the former and introduced himself as a policeman.

Appellants contend that the trial court erred in convicting the, as their guilt was not proven beyond reasonable doubt, considering that the prosecution failed to prove that a buy-bust operation took place and that their arrests without warrant were not legally effected.

Issue WON the arrest was legally effected?

Ruling YES. The claim of appellants that their warrantless arrests were illegal lacks merit. The Court notes that nowhere in the records did we find any objection by appellants to the irregularity of their arrests prior to their arraignment. We have held in a number of cases that the illegal arrest of an accused is not a sufficient cause for setting aside a valid judgment rendered upon a sufficient complaint after a trial free from error; such arrest does not negate the validity of the conviction of the accused. It is much too late in the day to complain about the warrantless arrest after a valid information ha been filed, the accused arraigned, trial commenced and completed, and a judgment of conviction rendered against him.

Nevertheless, our ruling in Pp vs Cabugatan provides that:

The rule is settled that an arrest made after entrapment does not require a warrant inasmuch as it Is considered as valid warrantless arrest pursuant to Rule 113, Section 5(a) of the Rules of Court.

Ople v Torres 293 SCRA 141 (1998)

Facts: Petitioner Ople prays that this Court invalidate Administrative Order No. 308 entitled Adoption of a National Computerized Indentification Reference System on two important constitutional grounds, viz: one, it is usurpation of the power of Congress to legislate, and two, it impermissibly intrudes on our citizenrys protected zone of privacy.

Issue: Whether or not AO No. 308 violates the constitutional right to privacy.

Ruling: Yes.

Zones of privacy are recognized and protected in our laws. The Civil Code provides that every person shall respect the dignity, personality, privacy and peace of mind of his neighbours and other persons and punishes as actionable torts several acts by a person of meddling and prying into the privacy of another. It also holds a public officer or employee or any private individual liable for damages for any violation of the rights and liberties of another person, and recognizes the privacy of letter and other private communications. The Revised Penal Code makes a crime the violation of secrets by an officer, the revelation of trade and industrial secrets, and trespass to dwelling. Invasion of privacy is an offense in special laws like the Anti-Wiretapping Law, the Secrecy of Bank Deposits Act and the Intellectual Property Code. The Rules of Court on privileged communication likewise recognize the privacy of certain information.

Unlike the dissenters, we rescind from the premise that the right to privacy is a fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution; hence, it is the burden of government to show that AO No. 308 is justified by some compelling state interest and that it is narrowly drawn. AO No. 308 is predicated on two considerations: (1) the need to provide our citizens and foreigners with the facility to conveniently transact business with basic service and social security providers and other government instrumentalities and (2) the need to reduce, if not totally eradicate, fraudulent transaction and misrepresentations by person seeking basic services. It is debatable whether these interests are compelling enough to warrant the issuance of AO No. 308. But what is not arguable is the broadness, the vagueness, the overbreadth of AO No. 308 which if implemented will put our peoples right to privacy in clear and present danger.

AO No. 308 falls short of assuring that personal information which will be gathered about our people will only be processed for unequivocally specified purposes. That lack of proper safeguards in this regard od AO No. 308 may interfere with individuals liberty of abode and travel by enabling authorities to track down his movement; it may also enable unscrupulous persons to access confidential information and circumvent the right against self-incrimination; it may pave the way for fishing expeditions by government authorities and evade the right against unreasonable searches and seizures. The possibilities of abuse and misuse of PRN, biometrics and computer technology are accentuated when we consider that the individual lacks control over what can be read or placed on his ID, much less verify the correctness of the date encoded. They threaten the very abuses that the Bill of Rights seeks to prevent.

The right to privacy is one of the most threatened rights of man living in a mass society. The threats emanate from various sources governments, journalists, employers, social scientists, etc. In the case at bar, the threat comes from the executive branch of government which by issuing AO No. 308 pressures the people to surrender their privacy by giving information about themselves on the pretext that it will facilitate delivery of basic services. Given the record-keeping power of the computer, only the indifferent fail to perceive the danger that AO No. 308 gives the government the power to compile a devastating dossier against unsuspecting citizens. It is timely to take not of the well-worded warning of Kalvin, Jr., the disturbing result could be that everyone will live burdened by an unerasable record of his past and his limitations. In a way, the threat is that because of its record-keeping, the society will have lost its benign capacity to forget. Oblivious to this counsel, the dissents still say we shout not be too quick in labelling the right to privacy as a fundamental right. We close with the statement that the right to privacy was not engraved in our Constitution for flattery.

In Re Sabio 504 SCRA 214 (2006)

Facts: On February 20, 2006, Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago introduced Philippine Senate Resolution No.455, directing an inquiry in aid of legislation on the anomalous losses incurred by the Philippine Overseas Telecommunications Corporation (POTC), Philippine Communications Satellite Corporation (PHILCOMSAT), and PHILCOMSAT Holdings Corporation (PHC) due to the alleged improprieties in their operations by their respective Board of Directors.

On August 10, 2006, Senator Gordon issued a Subpoena Ad Testificandum, approved by Senate President Manuel Villar, requiring Chairman Sabio and PCGG Commissioners Ricardo Abcede, Nicasio Conti, Tereso Javier and Narciso Nrio to appear in the public hearing scheduled on August 23, 2006 and testify on what they know relative to the matters specified in Senate Res. 455. However, said invitation was refused by them, invoking 4 (b) of EO No. 1 which provides that, No member or staff of the Commission shall be required to testify or produce evidence in any judicial, legislative or administrative proceeding concerning matters within its official cognizance.

Unconvinced with the above Compliance and Explanation, the Committee on Government Corporations and Public Enterprises and the Committee on Public Services issued an Order directing Major General Jose Balajadia (Ret.), Senate Sergeant-At-Arms, to place Chairman Sabio and his Commissioners under arrest for contempt of the Senate. The Order bears the approval of Senate President Villar and the majority of the Committees members.

In GR No. 174177, petitioners Philcomsat Holdings Corporation and its directors and officers alleged among others that the subpoena violated petitioners right to privacy and against self-incrimination.

Issue: Whether or not the subpoena violated petitioners rights to privacy.

Ruling: No.

One important on the Congress power of inquiry is that the rights of persons appearing in or affected by such inquiries shall be respected. This is just another way of saying that the power of inquiry must be subject to the limitations placed by the Constitution on government action. As held in Barenblatt v United States, the Congress, in common with all other branches of the Government, must exercise its powers subject to the limitations placed by the Constitution on governmental action, more particularly in the context of this case, the relevant limitations of the Bill of Rights.

Zones of privacy are recognized and protected in our laws. Within these zones, any form of intrusion is impermissible unless excused by law and in accordance with customary legal process. The meticulous regard we accord to these zones arises not only from our conviction that the right to privacy is a constitutional right and the right most valued by civilized men, but also from our adherence to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which mandates that, no one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy and everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

Our Bill of Rights, enshrined in Article III of the Constitution, provides at least two guarantees that explicitly create zone of privacy. It highlights a persons right to be let alone or the right to determine what, how much, to whom and when information about himself shall be disclosed. Section 2 guarantees the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose. Section 3 renders inviolable the privacy of communication and correspondence and further cautions that any evidence obtained in violation of this or the preceding section shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding.

In evaluating a claim for violation of the right to privacy, a court must determine whether a person has exhibited a reasonable expectation of privacy and if so, whether that expectation has been violated by unreasonable government intrusion. Applying this determination to these cases, the important inquiries are: first, did the directors and officers of Philcomsat Holdings Corporation exhibit a reasonable expectation; and second, did the government violate such expectation?

The answers are in the negative. Petitioners were invited in the Senates public hearing to deliberate on Senate Res. No. 455, particularly on the anomalous

losses incurred by the Philippines Overseas Telecommunications Corporation (POTC), Philippines Communications Satellite Corporation (PHILCOMSAT), and Philcomsat Holdings Corporations (PHC) due to the alleged improprieties in the operation by their respective board of directors. Obviously, the inquiry focuses on petitioners acts committed in the discharge of their duties as officers and directors of the said corporations, particularly Philcomsat Holdings Corporation. Consequently, they have no reasonable expectation of privacy over matters involving their offices in a corporation where the government has interest. Certainly, such matters are of public concern and over which the people have the right to information.

This goes to show that the right to privacy is not absolute where there is an overriding compelling state interest. In Morfe v Mutuc, the Court, in line with Whalen v Roe, employed the rational basis relationship test when it held that there was no infringement of the individuals right to privacy as the requirement to disclosure information is for a valid purpose, i.e., to curtail and minimize the opportunities for official corruption, maintain a standard of honesty in public service, and promote morality in public administration. In Valmonte v Belmonte, the Court remarked that as public figures, the Members of the former Batasang Pambansa enjoy a more limited right to privacy as compared to ordinary individuals, and their actions are subject to closer scrutiny. Taking this into consideration, the Court ruled that the right of the people to access information on matters of public concern prevails over the right to privacy of financial transactions.

Under the present circumstances, the alleged anomalies in the PHILCOMSAT, PHC, and POTC, ranging in millions of pesos, and the conspiratorial participation of the PCGG and its officials are compelling reasons for the Senate to exact vital information from the directors and officers of Philcomsat Holdings Corporations, as well as from Chairman Sabio and his Commissioners to aid it in crafting the necessary legislation to prevent corruption and formulate remedial measures and policy determination regarding PCGGs efficacy. There being no reasonable expectation of privacy on the part of those directors and officers over the subject covered by Senate Res. No. 455, it follows that their right to privacy has not been violated by respondent Senate Committees.

SJS vs DDB 570 SCRA 410 (2008)

Facts: In these kindred petitions, the constitutionality of Section 36 of RA No. 9165, otherwise known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, insofar as it requires mandatory drug testing of candidates for public office, students of secondary and tertiary schools, officers and employees of public and private offices, and persons charged before the prosecutors office with certain offenses, among other personalities, is put in issue.

Issue1: Whether or not the mandatory drug testing of candidates for public office, students of secondary and tertiary schools, officers and employees of public and private offices in violation of right to privacy.

Ruling: No.

The first factor to consider in the matter of reasonableness is the nature of the privacy interest upon which the drug testing, which effects a search within the meaning of Sec. 2, Art. III of the Constitution intrudes. In this case, the office or workplace serves as the backdrop for the analysis of the privacy expectation of the employees and the reasonableness of drug testing requirement. The employees privacy interest in an office is to a large extent circumscribed by the companys work policies, the collective bargaining agreement, if any, entered into by management and the bargaining unit, and the inherent right of the employer to maintain discipline and efficiency in the workplace. Their privacy expectation in a regulated office environment is, in fine, reduced; and a degree of impingement upon such privacy has been upheld.

Just as defining as the first factor is the character of the intrusion authorized by the challenged law. Reduced to a question form, is the scope of the search or intrusion clearly set forth, or, as formulated in Ople v Torres, is the enabling law, authorzing a search narrowly drawn or narrowly focused?

The poser should be answered in the affirmative. For one, Sec. 36 of RA 9165 and its implementing rules and regulations (IRR), as couched, contain provisions specifically directed towards preventing a situation that would unduly embarrass the employees or place them under a humiliating experience. While every officer and employee in a private establishment is under the law deemed forewarned that he or she may be a possible subject of a drug test, nobody is really singled out in advance for drug testing. The goal is to discourage drug use by not telling advance anyone when and who is to be tested. And as may be observed, Sec. 36(d) of RA 9165 itself prescribes what, in Ople, is a narrowing ingredient by providing that the employee concerned shall be subjected to random drug test as contained in the companys work rules and regulations x x x for purposes of reducing the risk in the work place.

For another, the random drug testing shall be undertaken under conditions calculated to protect as much as possible the employees privacy and dignity. As to the mechanics of the test, the law specifies that the procedure shall employ two testing methods, i.e., the screening test and the confirmatory test, doubtless to ensure as much as possible the trustworthiness of the results. But the more important consideration lies in the fact that the test shall be conducted by trained professionals in access-controlled laboratories monitored by the Department of Health (DOH) to safeguard against results tampering and to ensure an accurate chain of custody. In addition, the IRR issued by the DOH provides that access to the drug results shall be on the need to know basis; that the drug test result and the records shall be kept confidential subject to the usual accepted practices to protect the confidentiality of the tests results. Notably, RA 9165 does not oblige the employer concerned to report to the prosecuting agencies any information or evidence relating to the violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act received as a result of the operation of the drug testing. All told, therefore, the intrusion into the employees privacy, under RA 9165, is accompanied by proper safeguards, particularly against embarrassing leakages of test results, and is relatively minimal.

To reiterate, RA 9165 was enacted as a measure to stamp out illegal drug in the country and thus protect the well-being of the citizens, especially the youth, from the deleterious effects of dangerous drugs. The law intends to achieve this through the medium, among others, of promoting an resolutely pursuing a national drug abuse policy in the workplace via a mandatory random drug test. To the Court, the need for drug testing to at least minimize illegal drug use is substantial enough to override the individuals privacy interest under the premises. The Court can consider that the illegal drug menace cuts across gender, age group, and social economic lines. And it may not be amiss to state that the sale, manufacture, or trafficking of illegal drugs, with their ready market, would be an investors dream were it not for the illegal and immoral components of any such activities. The drug problem has already abated since the martial law public execution of a notorious drug trafficker. The state can no longer assume a laid back stance with respect to this modern-day scourge. Drug enforcement agencies perceive a mandatory random drug test to be an effective way of preventing and deterring drug use among employees in private offices, the threat of detection by random testing being higher than other modes. The Court holds that the chosen method is a reasonable and enough means to lick the problem.

Taking into account the foregoing factors, i.e., the reduced expectation of privacy on the part of the employees, the compelling state concern likely to be met by the search, and the well-defined limits set forth in the law to properly guide authorities in the conduct of the random testing, we hold that the challenged drug test requirement is, under the limited context of the case, reasonable and, ergo, constitutional.

Like their counterparts in the private sector, government officials and employees also labour under reasonable supervision and restrictions imposed by the Civil Service Law and other laws on public officers, all enacted to promote a high standard of ethics in the public service. And if RA 9165 passes the norm of reasonableness for private employees, the more reason that it should pass the test for civil servants, who, by constitutional command, are required to be accountable at all times to the people and to serve them with utmost responsibility and efficiency.

Issue2: Whether or not the mandatory drug testing of persons charged before the prosecutors office with certain offenses is in violation of right to privacy.

Ruling: Yes.

Unlike the situation covered by Sec. 36(c) and (d) of RA 9165, the Court finds no valid justification for mandatory drug testing for persons accused of crimes. In the case of students, the constitutional viability of the mandatory, random, and suspicionless drug testing for students emanates primarily from the waiver by the students of their right to privacy when they seek entry to the school, and from their voluntarily submitting their persons to the parental authority of school authorities. In the case of private and public employees, the constitutional soundness of the mandatory, random, and suspicionless drug testing proceeds from the reasonableness of the drug test policy and requirement.

We find the situation entirely different in the case of persons charged before the public prosecutors office with criminal offenses punishable with six (6) years and one (1) day imprisonment. The operative concepts in the mandatory drug testing are randomness and suspicionless. In the case of persons charged with a crime before the prosecutors office, a mandatory drug testing can never be random or suspicionless. The ideas of randomness and being suspicionless are antiethical to their being made defendants in a criminal complaint. They are not randomly picked; neither are they beyond suspicion. When persons suspected of committing a crime charged, they are singled out and are impleaded against their will. The persons thus charged, by the bare fact of being hauled before the prosecutors office and peaceably submitting themselves to drug testing, if that be the case do not necessarily consent to the procedure, let alone waive their right to privacy. To impose mandatory drug testing on the accused is a blatant attempt to harness a medical test as a tool for criminal prosecution, contrary to the stated objectives of RA 9165. Drug testing in this case would violate a persons right to privacy guaranteed under Sec. 2, Art. III of the Constitution. Worse still, the accused persons are veritably forced to incriminate themselves.

Lee vs CA G.R. No. 177861 July 13, 2010

Held: Petitioner Emma Lee claims that the RTC correctly quashed the subpoena ad testificandum it issued against Tiu on the ground that it was unreasonable and oppressive, given the likelihood that the latter would be badgered on oral examination concerning the Lee-Keh childrens theory that she had illicit relation with Lee and gave birth to the other Lee children.

But, as the CA correctly ruled, the grounds citedunreasonable and oppressiveare proper for subpoena ad duces tecum or for the production of documents and things in the possession of the witness, a command that has a tendency to infringe on the right against invasion of privacy. Section 4, Rule 21 of the Rules of Civil Procedure, thus provides:

SECTION 4. Quashing a subpoena. The court may quash a subpoena duces tecum upon motion promptly made and, in any event, at or before the time specified therein if it is unreasonable and oppressive, or the relevancy of the books, documents or things does not appear, or if the person in whose behalf the subpoena is issued fails to advance the reasonable cost of the production thereof.

Manila Electric Company vs. Lim G.R. No. 184769 October 5, 2010

Held: Respondents plea that she be spared from complying with MERALCOs Memorandum directing her reassignment to the Alabang Sector, under the guise of a quest for information or data allegedly in possession of petitioners, does not fall within the province of a writ of habeas data. Section 1 of the Rule on the Writ of Habeas Data provides:

Section 1. Habeas Data. The writ of habeas data is a remedy available to any person whose right to privacy in life, liberty or security is violated or threatened by an unlawful act or omission of a public official or employee or of a private individual or entity engaged in the gathering, collecting or storing of data or information regarding the person, family, home and correspondence of the aggrieved party. (emphasis and underscoring supplied)

The habeas data rule, in general, is designed to protect by means of judicial complaint the image, privacy, honor, information, and freedom of information of an individual. It is meant to provide a forum to enforce ones right to the truth and to informational privacy, thus safeguarding the constitutional guarantees of a persons right to life, liberty and security against abuse in this age of information technology.

It bears reiteration that like the writ of amparo, habeas data was conceived as a response, given the lack of effective and available remedies, to address the extraordinary rise in the number of killings and enforced disappearances. Its intent is to address violations of or threats to the rights to life, liberty or security as a remedy independently from those provided under prevailing Rules.

Castillo v. Cruz underscores the emphasis laid down in Tapuz v. del Rosario that the writs of amparo and habeas data will NOT issue to protect purely property or commercial concerns nor when the grounds invoked in support of the petitions therefor are vague or doubtful. Employment constitutes a property right under the context of the due process clause of the Constitution. It is evident that respondents reservations on the real reasons for her transfer - a legitimate concern respecting the terms and conditions of ones employment - are what prompted her to adopt the extraordinary remedy of habeas data. Jurisdiction over such concerns is inarguably lodged by law with the NLRC and the Labor Arbiters.

In another vein, there is no showing from the facts presented that petitioners committed any unjustifiable or unlawful violation of respondents right to privacy visa-vis the right to life, liberty or security. To argue that petitioners refusal to disclose the contents of reports allegedly received on the threats to respondents safety amounts to a violation of her right to privacy is at best speculative. Respondent in fact trivializes these threats and accusations from unknown individuals in her earlier-quoted portion of her July 10, 2008 letter as "highly suspicious, doubtful or are just mere jokes if they existed at all." And she even suspects that her transfer to another place of work "betray[s] the real intent of management]" and could be a "punitive move." Her posture unwittingly concedes that the issue is labor-related.

Zulueta v CA 253 SCRA 699 (1996)

Facts: Petitioner Cecilia Zulueta is the wife of private respondent Alfredo Martin. On March 26, 1982, petitioner entered the clinic of her husband, a doctor of medicine, and in the presence of her mother, a driver and private respondents secretary, forcibly opened the drawers and cabinet in her husbands clinic and took 157 documents consisting of private correspondence between Dr. Martin and his alleged paramours, greeting cards, cancelled checks, diaries, Dr. Martins passport, and photographs. The documents and papers were seized for use in evidence in a case for legal separation and for disqualification from the practice of medicine which petitioner had filed against her husband.

Issue:

Whether or not the documents and papers seized were admissible in evidence.

Ruling: No.

The documents and papers in question are inadmissible in evidence. The constitutional injunction declaring the privacy of communication and correspondence to be inviolable is no less applicable simply because it is the wife (who thinks herself aggrieved by her husbands infidelity) who is the party against whom the constitutional provision is to be enforced. The only exception to the prohibition in the Constitution is if there is a lawful order from a court or when public safety or order requires otherwise, as prescribed by law. Any violation of this provision renders the evidence obtained inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding.

The intimacies between husband and wife do not justify any one of them in breaking the drawers and cabinets of the other and in ransacking them for any telltale evidence of marital infidelity. A person, by contracting marriage, does not shed his/her integrity or his right to privacy as an individual and the constitutional protection is ever available to him or to her.

The law insures absolute freedom of communication between the spouse by making it privileged. Neither husband nor wife may testify for or against the other without the consent of the affected spouse while the marriage subsists. Neither may be examined without the consent if the other as to any communication received in confidence by one from the other during the marriage, save for specified exceptions. But one thing is freedom of communication; quite another is a compulsion for each one to share what one knows with the other. And this has nothing to do with the duty of fidelity that each owes to the other.

In Re Alejano 468 SCRA 188 (2005)

Facts: This case results from the Oakwood incident in July 2003.

One of the petitioners argument is that the officials of the ISAFP Detention Center violated the detainees right to privacy when ISAFP officials opened and read the letters handed by detainees Trillanes and Maestrecampo to one of the petitioners for mailing. Petitioners point out that the letters were not in a sealed envelope but simply folded because there were no envelopes in the ISAFP Detention Center. Petitioners contend that the Constitution prohibits the infringement of a citizens privacy rights unless authorized by law. The Solicitor General does not deny that the ISAFP officials opened the letters.

Issue: Whether or not the officials of ISAFP Detention Center violated detainees right to privacy of communication.

Ruling: No.

The opening and reading of the detainees letters in the present case did not violate the detainees right to privacy of communication. The letters were not in sealed envelope. The inspection of the folded letters is a valid measure as it serves the same purpose as the opening of sealed letters for the inspection of contraband.

The letters alleged to have been read by the ISAFP authorities were not confidential letters between the detainees and their lawyers. The petitioner who received the letters from detainees Trillanes and Maestrecampo was merely acting as the detainees personal courier and not as their counsel when he received the letters for mailing. In the present case, since the letters were not confidential communication between the detainees and their lawyers, the officials of the ISAFP Detention Center could read the letters. If the letters are marked confidential communication between the detainees and their lawyers, the detention officials should not read the letters but only open the envelopes for inspection in the presence of the detainees.

That a law is required before an executive officer could intrude on a citizens privacy rights is a guarantee that is available only to the public at large but not to persons who are detained or imprisoned. The right to privacy of those detainees is subject to Section 4 of RA 7438, as well as to the limitations inherent in lawful detention or imprisonment. By the very fact of their detention, pre-trial detainees and convicted prisoners have a diminished expectation of privacy rights.

KMU v Director 487 SCRA 623 (2006)

Facts: On 13 April 2005, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo issued EO 420 (REQUIRING ALL GOVERNMENT AGENCIES AND GOVERNMENT-OWNED AND CONTROLLED CORPORATIONS TO STREAMLINE AND HARMONIZE THEIR IDENTIFICATION SYSTEMS, AND AUTHORIZING FOR SUCH PURPOSE THE DIRECTOR-GENERAL, NATIONAL ECONOMIC AND DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY TO IMPLEMENT THE SAME, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES). Petitioners alleged that EO 420 is unconstitutional because it violates the constitutional provisions on the right to privacy. (i) It allows access to personal confidential data without the owners consent. (ii) EO 420 is vague and without adequate safeguards or penalties for any violation of its provisions. (iii) There are no compelling reasons that will legitimize the necessity of EO 420.

Issue: Whether or not EO 420 violates the constitutional provision on the right to privacy.

Ruling: No.

All these years, the GSIS, SSS, LTO, Philhealth and other government entities have been issuing ID cards in the performance of their governmental functions. There have been no complaints from citizens that the ID cards of these government entities violate their right to privacy. There have also been no complaints of abuse by these government entities in the collection and recording of personal identification data.

In fact, petitioners in the present cases do not claim that the ID systems of government entities prior to EO 420 violate their right to privacy. Since petitioners do not make such claim, they even have less basis to complain against the unified ID system under EO 420. The data collected and stored for the unified ID system under EO 420 will be limited to only 14 specific data, and the ID card itself will show only eight specific data. The data collection, recording and ID card system under EO 420 will even require less data collected, stored and revealed than under the disparate systems prior to EO 420.

Prior to EO 420, government entities had a free hand in determining the kind, nature, and extent of data to be collected and stored for their ID systems. Under EO 420, government entities can collect and record only the 14 specific data mentioned in Section 3 of EO 420. In addition, government entities can show in their ID cards only eight of these specific data, seven less data than what Supreme Courts ID shows.

Also, prior to EO 420, there was no executive issuance to government entities prescribing safeguards on the collection, recording, and disclosure of personal identification data to protect the right to privacy. Now, under Section 5 of EO 420, the following safeguards are instituted:

a. b. c. d. e. f.

The date to be recorded and stored, which shall be used only for purposes of establishing the identity of a person, shall be limited to those specified in Section 3 of this executive order; In no case shall the collection or compilation of other data in violation of a persons right to privacy be allowed or tolerated under this order; Stringent systems of access control to data in the identification system shall be instituted; Data collected and stored for this purpose shall be kept and treated as strictly confidential and a personal or written authorization of the Owner shall be required for access and disclosure of data; The identification card to be issued shall be protected by advanced security features and cryptographic technology; A written request by the Owner of the identification card shall be required for any correction or revision of relevant data, or under such conditions as the participating agency issuing the identification card shall prescribe.

On its face, EO 420 shows no constitutional infirmity because it even narrowly limits the data that can be collected, recorded and shown compared to the existing ID systems of government entities. EO 420 further provides strict safeguards to protect the confidentiality of the data collected, in contrast to the prior ID systems which are bereft of strict administrative safeguards.

Petitioners have not shown how EO 420 will violate their right to privacy. Petitioners cannot show such violation by a mere facial examination of EO 420 because EO 420 narrowly draws the data collection, recording and exhibition while prescribing comprehensive safeguards. Ople v Torres is not authority to hold that EO 420 violates the right to privacy because in that case, the assailed executive issuance, broadly drawn and devoid of safeguards, was annulled solely on the ground that the subject matter required legislation. As the Associate Justice, now Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban noted in his concurring opinion in Ople v Torres, The voting is decisive only on the need for appropriate legislation, and it is only on this ground that the petition is granted by this Court.

EO 420 applies only to government entities that already maintain ID systems and issue ID cards pursuant to their regular functions under existing laws. EO 420 does not grant such government entities any power that they do not already possess under existing laws. In contrast, the assailed executive issuance in Ople v Torres sought to establish a National Computerized Identification Reference System, a national ID system that did not exist prior to the assailed executive issuance. Obviously, a national ID card system requires legislation because it creates a new national data collection and card issuance system where none existed before.

In the present case, EO 420 does not establish a national ID system but makes the existing sectoral card systems of government entities like GSIS, SSS, Philhealth and LTO less costly, more efficient, reliable, and user-friendly to the public. Hence, EO 420 is a proper subject of executive issuance under the Presidents constitutional power of control over government entities in the Executive department, as well as under the Presidents constitutional duty to ensure that laws are faithfully executed.