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POLI LAW REVIEW

GR No. 174629 Date: February 14, 2008 (Valentine Day !


38 Republic v. Judge Eugenio
"etitioner: R" re#reente$ by t%e &nti'(oney )aun$erin* +oun,il (&()+!
Re#on$ent: -on. &ntonio .u*enio /r (R0+ (&N1)&!, "&N0&).2N &)V&R.3 an$ )1)1&N +-.NG
Facts:
&4ter t%e &*an 5. "1&0+2 rulin*, a erie o4 in5eti*ation ,on,ernin* t%e a6ar$ o4 t%e N&1& 7 ,ontra,t to "1&0+2 6ere
un$erta8en by t%e 29bu$9an an$ t%e +o9#lian,e an$ 1n5eti*ation :ta44 (;+1:<! o4 t%e &nti'(oney )aun$erin* +oun,il (;&()+<!.
0%e 2:G 6rote &()+ re=uetin* &()+ aitan,e ;in obtainin* 9ore e5i$en,e to ,o9#letely re5eal t%e 4inan,ial trail o4
,orru#tion urroun$in* t%e N&1& 7 "ro>e,t,< an$ alo notin* t%at t%e Re#ubli, 6a #reently $e4en$in* itel4 in t6o international
arbitration ,ae. 0%e +1: ,on$u,te$ an intelli*en,e $atabae ear,% on t%e 4inan,ial trana,tion o4 ,ertain in$i5i$ual in5ol5e$ in
t%e a6ar$, in,lu$in* &l5are? (+%air9an o4 t%e "re'@uali4i,ation Ai$ an$ &6ar$ 0e,%ni,al +o99ittee!. Ay t%i ti9e, &l5are? %a$
alrea$y been ,%ar*e$ by t%e 29bu$9an 6it% 5iolation o4 :e,tion 7(/! o4 t%e &nti Gra4t an$ +orru#t "ra,ti,e &,t.
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0%e ear,%
re5eale$ t%at &l5are? 9aintaine$ 8 ban8 a,,ount 6it% 6 $i44erent ban8. 0%e &()+ iue$ a reolution aut%ori?in* it .Be,uti5e
Dire,tor to i*n an$ 5eri4y an a##li,ation to in=uire into t%e $e#oit or in5et9ent o4 &l5are? et al. an$ to aut%ori?e t%e &()+
:e,retariat to ,on$u,t an in=uiry on,e t%e R0+ *rant t%e a##li,ation. 0%e rationale 4or t%e reolution 6a 4oun$e$ on t%e 4in$in*
o4 t%e +1: t%at a9ount 6ere tran4erre$ 4ro9 a -on* Con* ban8 a,,ount to ban8 a,,ount in t%e "%ili##ine 9aintaine$ by
re#on$ent. 0%e Reolution alo note$ t%at by a6ar$in* t%e ,ontra,t to "1&0+2 ($e#ite it la,8 o4 4inan,ial ,a#a,ity! &l5are?
5iolate$ :e,tion 7(.! o4 t%e &nti Gra4t an$ +orru#t "ra,ti,e &,t.
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0%e (&C&01 R0+ ren$ere$ an 2r$er *rantin* t%e &()+ t%e
aut%ority to in=uire an$ eBa9ine t%e ub>e,t ban8 a,,ount o4 &l5are? et al.
1n re#one to a letter o4 :#e,ial "roe,utor Villa'1*na,io, &()+ iue$ a Reolution aut%ori?in* it .Be,uti5e Dire,tor to in=uire
into an$ eBa9ine t%e a,,ount o4 &l5are?, "1&0+2, an$ e5eral ot%er entitie in5ol5e$ in t%e nulli4ie$ ,ontra,t. &()+ 4ile$ an
a##li,ation be4ore t%e (&N1)& R0+ to in=uire into t%e a,,ount alle*e$ a %a5in* been ue$ to 4a,ilitate ,orru#tion in t%e N&1& 7
"ro>e,t. 0%e eB #arte a##li,ation 6a *rante$ an$ t%e (&N1)& R0+ iue$ a ban8 in=uiry or$er. &l5are? alle*e$ t%at %e 4ortuitouly
learne$ o4 t%e ban8 in=uiry or$er, 6%i,% 6a iue$ 4ollo6in* an eB #arte a##li,ation, an$ %e ar*ue$ t%at not%in* in t%e &nti'(oney
)aun$erin* &,t (;&()&<! aut%ori?e$ t%e &()+ to ee8 t%e aut%ority to in=uire into ban8 a,,ount eB #arte. &4ter e5eral 9otion,
9ani4etation, or$er an$ reolution t%e ,ae 6ent u# to t%e :+. &l5are? et al. #oition: 0%e &()&, bein* a ubtanti5e #enal
tatute, %a no retroa,ti5e e44e,t an$ t%e ban8 in=uiry or$er ,oul$ not a##ly to $e#oit or in5et9ent o#ene$ #rior to t%e e44e,ti5ity
o4 t%e &()& (17 2,tober 2001!. 0%e ub>e,t ban8 a,,ount, o#ene$ in 1989 to 1990, ,oul$ not be t%e ub>e,t o4 t%e ban8 in=uiry
or$er 6it%out 5iolatin* t%e ,ontitutional #ro%ibition a*aint eB #ot 4a,to la6.
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Issues:
D%et%er or not t%e #ro,ri#tion a*aint eB #ot 4a,to la6 a##lie to :e,tion 11 o4 t%e &()& (a #ro5iion 6%i,% $oe not #ro5i$e a
#enal an,tion AE0 6%i,% 9erely aut%ori?e t%e in#e,tion o4 u#e,t a,,ount an$ $e#oit!.
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F G.:.
eld!Rationale:
G.:. 1t i ,lear t%at no #eron 9ay be #roe,ute$ un$er t%e ".N&) #ro5iion o4 t%e &()& 4or a,t ,o99itte$ #rior to t%e
ena,t9ent o4 t%e la6 (17 2,tober 2001!. Dit% re#e,t to t%e &E0-2R10G 02 1N:".+0, it %oul$ be note$ t%at an eB #ot 4a,to la6
i one t%at (a9on* ot%er! $e#ri5e a #eron a,,ue$ o4 a ,ri9e o4 o9e la64ul #rote,tion to 6%i,% %e %a be,o9e entitle$, u,% a
t%e #rote,tion o4 a 4or9er ,on5i,tion or a,=uittal, or a #ro,la9ation o4 a9nety.
"R12R to t%e &()&:
(1! 0%e 4a,t t%at ban8 a,,ount 6ere in5ol5e$ in a,ti5itie later on enu9erate$ in t%e la6 $i$ not, by itel4, re9o5e u,% a,,ount
4ro9 t%e %elter o4 abolute ,on4i$entiality.
(2! 1n or$er t%at ban8 a,,ount ,oul$ be eBa9ine$, t%ere 6a nee$ to e,ure eit%er t%e 6ritten #er9iion o4 t%e $e#oitor 2R a
,ourt or$er aut%ori?in* u,% eBa9ination, au9in* t%at t%ey 6ere in5ol5e$ in ,ae o4 bribery or $ereli,tion o4 $uty o4 #ubli,
o44i,ial, or in a ,ae 6%ere t%e 9oney $e#oite$ or in5ete$ 6a itel4 t%e ub>e,t 9atter o4 t%e liti*ation.
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Sec. 3. Corrupt practices of public officers. ' 1n a$$ition to a,t or o9iion o4 #ubli, o44i,er alrea$y #enali?e$ by eBitin* la6, t%e 4ollo6in* %all
,ontitute ,orru#t #ra,ti,e o4 any #ubli, o44i,er an$ are %ereby $e,lare$ to be unla64ul:
(>! Cno6in*ly a##ro5in* or *rantin* any li,ene, #er9it, #ri5ile*e or bene4it in 4a5or o4 any #eron not =uali4ie$ 4or or not le*ally entitle$ to u,% li,ene,
#er9it, #ri5ile*e or a$5anta*e, or o4 a 9ere re#reentati5e or $u99y o4 one 6%o i not o =uali4ie$ or entitle$.
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(e! +auin* any un$ue in>ury to any #arty, in,lu$in* t%e Go5ern9ent, or *i5in* any #ri5ate #arty any un6arrante$ bene4it, a$5anta*e or #re4eren,e
in t%e $i,%ar*e o4 %i o44i,ial a$9initrati5e or >u$i,ial 4un,tion t%rou*% 9ani4et #artiality, e5i$ent ba$ 4ait% or *ro ineB,uable ne*li*en,e. 0%i
#ro5iion %all a##ly to o44i,er an$ e9#loyee o4 o44i,e or *o5ern9ent ,or#oration ,%ar*e$ 6it% t%e *rant o4 li,ene or #er9it or ot%er
,on,eion.
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"leae rea$ t%e ori*inal 4or t%e ot%er iue ai$e 4ro9 &rt. 7, H22.
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Section 11. Authority to inquire into Bank Deposits. I Not6it%tan$in* t%e #ro5iion o4 Re#ubli, &,t No. 140J, a a9en$e$K Re#ubli, &,t No. 6426,
a a9en$e$K Re#ubli, &,t No. 8791, an$ ot%er la6, t%e &()+ 9ay in=uire into or eBa9ine any #arti,ular $e#oit or in5et9ent 6it% any ban8in*
intitution or non'ban8 4inan,ial intitution u#on or$er o4 any ,o9#etent ,ourt in ,ae o4 5iolation o4 t%i &,t 6%en it %a been etabli%e$ t%at t%ere i
#robable ,aue t%at t%e $e#oit or in5et9ent in5ol5e$ are in any 6ay relate$ to a 9oney laun$erin* o44ene: "ro5i$e$, 0%at t%i #ro5iion %all not
a##ly to $e#oit an$ in5et9ent 9a$e #rior to t%e e44e,ti5ity o4 t%i &,t.
POLI LAW REVIEW
0%e #aa*e o4 t%e &()& tri##e$ anot%er layer o44 t%e rule on abolute ,on4i$entiality t%at #ro5i$e$ a 9eaure o4 la64ul #rote,tion
to t%e a,,ount %ol$er. 0%e a##li,ation o4 t%e ban8 in=uiry or$er a a 9ean o4 in=uirin* into trana,tion entere$ into #rior to t%e
#aa*e o4 t%e &()& 6oul$ be ,ontitutionally in4ir9, o44eni5e a to t%e eB #ot 4a,to ,laue.
N.V.R0-.).::, t%e ar*u9ent t%at t%e #ro%ibition a*aint eB #ot 4a,to la6 *oe a 4ar a to #ro%ibit any in=uiry into $e#oit in
ban8 a,,ount 2".N.D #rior to t%e e44e,ti5ity o4 t%e &()& e5en i4 t%e 0R&N:&+012N: 6ere entere$ into 6%en t%e la6 %a$
alrea$y ta8en e44e,t ,annot be utaine$. 0%i ar*u9ent 6ill ,reate a loo#%ole in t%e &()& t%at 6oul$ reult to 4urt%er 9oney
laun$erin*. 1t i %ar$ to #reu9e t%at +on*re inten$e$ to ena,t a el4'$e4eatin* la6 in t%e 4irt #la,e, an$ t%e ,ourt are in%ibite$
4ro9 u,% a ,ontru,tion by t%e ,ar$inal rule t%at ;a la6 %oul$ be inter#rete$ 6it% a 5ie6 to u#%ol$in* rat%er t%an $etroyin* it.<