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SALAZAR VS. ACHACOSO [183 SCRA 145; G.R. NO.

81510; 14
MAR 1990]
Wednesday, February 04, 2009 Posted by Coffeeholic Writes
Labels: Case Digests, Political Law

Facts:

Rosalie Tesoro of Pasay City in a sworn statement filed with the

POEA, charged petitioner with illegal recruitment. Public respondent Atty.


Ferdinand Marquez sent petitioner a telegram directing him to appear to the
POEA regarding the complaint against him. On the same day, after knowing
that petitioner had no license to operate a recruitment agency, public
respondent Administrator Tomas Achacoso issued a Closure and Seizure
Order No. 1205 to petitioner. It stated that there will a seizure of
thedocuments and paraphernalia being used or intended to be used as the
means of committing illegal recruitment, it having verified that petitioner
has (1) No valid license or authority from the Department of Labor and
Employment to recruit and deploy workers for overseas employment; (2)
Committed/are committing acts prohibited under Article 34 of the New Labor
Code in relation to Article 38 of the same code. A team was then tasked to
implement the said Order. The group, accompanied by mediamen and
Mandaluyong policemen, went to petitioners residence. They served the
order to a certain Mrs. For a Salazar, who let them in. The team confiscated
assorted costumes. Petitioner filed with POEA a letter requesting for the
return of the seized properties, because she was not given prior notice and
hearing. The said Order violated due process. She also alleged that it
violated sec 2 of the Bill of Rights, and the properties were confiscated
against her will and were done with unreasonable force and intimidation.

Issue:

Whether

or

Not

the Philippine

Overseas

Employment

Administration (or the Secretary of Labor) can validly issue warrants of


search and seizure (or arrest) under Article 38 of the Labor Code

Held:

Under the new Constitution, . . . 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. Mayors and prosecuting
officers cannot issue warrants of seizure or arrest. The Closureand Seizure
Order was based on Article 38 of the Labor Code. The Supreme Court held,
We reiterate that the Secretary of Labor, not being a judge, may no longer
issue search or arrest warrants. Hence, the authorities must go through the
judicial process. To that extent, we declare Article 38, paragraph (c), of the
Labor Code, unconstitutional and of no force and effect The power of the
President to order the arrest of aliens for deportation is, obviously,
exceptional. It (the power to order arrests) cannot be made to extend to
other cases, like the one at bar. Under the Constitution, it is the sole domain
of the courts. Furthermore, the search and seizure order was in the nature
of a general warrant. The court held that the warrant is null and void,
because

it

must

identify

specifically

the

things

to

be

seized.

WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. Article 38, paragraph (c) of the Labor
Code is declared UNCONSTITUTIONAL and null and void. The respondents
are ORDERED to return all materials seized as a result of the implementation
of Search and Seizure Order No. 1205.

POSADAS VS. COURT OF APPEALS [188 SCRA 288; G.R. NO.


89139; 2 AUG 1990]
Friday, February 06, 2009 Posted by Coffeeholic Writes
Labels: Case Digests, Political Law

Facts:

Members of the Integrated National Police (INP) of the Davao

Metrodiscom assigned with the Intelligence Task Force, Pat. Ursicio Ungab
and Pat. Umbra Umpar conducted surveillance along Magallanes Street,
Davao City. While in the vicinity of Rizal Memorial Colleges they spotted
petitioner carrying a "buri" bag and they noticed him to be acting
suspiciously. They approached the petitioner and identified themselves as

members of the INP. Petitioner attempted to flee but his attempt to get
away was unsuccessful. They then checked the "buri" bag of the petitioner
where they found one (1) caliber .38 Smith & Wesson revolver with Serial
No. 770196, two (2) rounds of live ammunition for a .38 caliber gun, a
smoke (tear gas) grenade, and two (2) live ammunitions for a .22 caliber
gun.

They

brought

the

petitioner

to

the

police

station

for

further

investigation. In the course of the same, the petitioner was asked to show
the necessary license or authority to possess firearms and ammunitions
found in his possession but he failed to do so. He was then taken to the
Davao Metrodiscom office and the prohibited articles recovered from him
were indorsed to M/Sgt. Didoy the officer then on duty. He was prosecuted
for illegal possession of firearms and ammunitions in the Regional Trial Court
of

Issue:

Davao

Whether

Held: In

or

Not

the

City.

warantless

search

is

valid.

justifying the warrantless search of the buri bag then carried by

the petitioner, argues that under Section 12, Rule 136 of the Rules of Court
a person lawfully arrested may be searched for dangerous weapons or
anything used as proof of a commission of an offense without a search
warrant. It is further alleged that the arrest without a warrant of the
petitioner

was

lawful

under

the

circumstances.

in the case at bar, there is no question that, indeed, it is reasonable


considering that 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.

Clearly, the search in the case at bar can be sustained under the exceptions
heretofore discussed, and hence, the constitutional guarantee against
unreasonable searches and seizures has not been violated.

Aberca vs. Ver Case Digest L-69866 April 15,


1988
FACTS:
This case stems from alleged illegal searches and seizures and other violations of the rights and liberties
of plaintiffs by various intelligence units of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, known as Task Force
Makabansa (TFM) ordered by General Fabian Ver "to conduct pre-emptive strikes against known
communist-terrorist (CT) underground houses in view of increasing reports about CT plans to sow
disturbances in Metro Manila," Plaintiffs allege, among others, that complying with said order, elements of
the TFM raided several places, employing in most cases defectively issued judicial search warrants; that
during these raids, certain members of the raiding party confiscated a number of purely personal items
belonging to plaintiffs; that plaintiffs were arrested without proper warrants issued by the courts; that for
some period after their arrest, they were denied visits of relatives and lawyers; that plaintiffs were
interrogated in violation of their rights to silence and counsel; that military men who interrogated them
employed threats, tortures and other forms of violence on them in order to obtain incriminatory
information or confessions and in order to punish them; that all violations of plaintiffs constitutional rights
were part of a concerted and deliberate plan to forcibly extract information and incriminatory statements
from plaintiffs and to terrorize, harass and punish them, said plans being previously known to and
sanctioned by defendants.
Seeking to justify the dismissal of plaintiffs' complaint, the respondents postulate the view that as public
officers they are covered by the mantle of state immunity from suit for acts done in the performance of
official duties or function
ISSUE:whether 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. If such action for damages may be maintained, who can be held liable
for such violations: only the military personnel directly involved and/or their superiors as well.
RATIO DICIDENDI:
SC: We find respondents' invocation of the doctrine of state immunity from suit totally misplaced. The
cases invoked by respondents actually involved acts done by officers in the performance of official duties
written the ambit of their powers.
It may be that the respondents, as members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, were merely
responding to their duty, as they claim, "to prevent or suppress lawless violence, insurrection, rebellion

and subversion" in accordance with Proclamation No. 2054 of President Marcos, despite the lifting of
martial law on January 27, 1981, and in pursuance of such objective, to launch pre- emptive strikes
against alleged communist terrorist underground houses. But this cannot be construed as a blanket
license or a roving commission untramelled by any constitutional restraint, to disregard or transgress
upon the rights and liberties of the individual citizen enshrined in and protected by the Constitution. The
Constitution remains the supreme law of the land to which all officials, high or low, civilian or military, owe
obedience and allegiance at all times.
Article 32 of the Civil Code which renders any public officer or employee or any private individual liable in
damages for violating the Constitutional rights and liberties of another, as enumerated therein, does not
exempt the respondents from responsibility. Only judges are excluded from liability under the said article,
provided their acts or omissions do not constitute a violation of the Penal Code or other penal statute.
We do not agree. We find merit in petitioners' contention that 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.
Firstly, it is wrong to at the plaintiffs' action for damages 5 Section 1, Article 19. to 'acts of alleged physical
violence" which constituted delict or wrong. Article 32 clearly specifies as actionable the act of violating or
in any manner impeding or impairing any of the constitutional rights and liberties enumerated therein,
among others
The complaint in this litigation alleges facts showing with abundant clarity and details, how plaintiffs'
constitutional rights and liberties mentioned in Article 32 of the Civil Code were violated and impaired by
defendants. The complaint speaks of, among others, searches made without search warrants or based
on irregularly issued or substantially defective warrants; seizures and confiscation, without proper
receipts, of cash and personal effects belonging to plaintiffs and other items of property which were not
subversive and illegal nor covered by the search warrants; arrest and detention of plaintiffs without
warrant or under irregular, improper and illegal circumstances; detention of plaintiffs at several
undisclosed places of 'safehouses" where they were kept incommunicado and subjected to physical and
psychological torture and other inhuman, degrading and brutal treatment for the purpose of extracting
incriminatory statements. The complaint contains a detailed recital of abuses perpetrated upon the
plaintiffs violative of their constitutional rights.
Secondly, neither can it be said that only those shown to have participated "directly" should be held liable.
Article 32 of the Civil Code encompasses within the ambit of its provisions those directly, as well as
indirectly, responsible for its violation.
The responsibility of the defendants, whether direct or indirect, is amply set forth in the complaint. It is well
established in our law and jurisprudence that a motion to dismiss on the ground that the complaint states
6
no cause of action must be based on what appears on the face of the complaint. To determine the
sufficiency of the cause of action, only the facts alleged in the complaint, and no others, should be
7
considered. For this purpose, the motion to dismiss must hypothetically admit the truth of the facts
8
alleged in the complaint.

PEOPLE V. BURGOS - 144 SCRA 1


FACTS:
Due to an information given by a person, who allegedly was being forcibly recruited by accused to the
NPA, the members of the Constabulary went to the house of accused, asked about his firearm and
documents connected to subversive activities. Accused pointed to where his firearm was as well as his
other documents allegedly.

HELD:
The right of the person to be secure against any unreasonable seizure of his body and any deprivation
of liberty is a most basic and fundamental one. The statute or rule, which allows exceptions to
the requirement of warrants of arrest is strictly construed. Any exception must clearly fall within
the situations when securing a warrant would be absurd or is manifestly unnecessary as
provided by the Rule. We cannot liberally construe the rule on arrests without warrant or
extend its application
beyond the cases specifically provided by law. To do so would infringe upon personal liberty
and set back a basic right so often violated and so deserving of full protection.

GUANZON VS. DE VILLA [181 SCRA 623; G.R. 80508; 30 JAN


1990]
Friday, February 06, 2009 Posted by Coffeeholic Writes
Labels: Case Digests, Political Law

Facts: The

41 petitioners alleged that the "saturation drive" or "aerial

target zoning" that were conducted in their place (Tondo Manila) were
unconstitutional. They alleged that there is no specific target house to be
search and that there is no search warrant or warrant of arrest served. Most
of the policemen are in their civilian clothes and without nameplates or
identification cards. The residents were rudely rouse from their sleep by
banging on the walls and windows of their houses. The residents were at the
point of high-powered guns and herded like cows. Men were ordered to strip
down to their briefs for the police to examine their tattoo marks. The
residents complained that they're homes were ransacked, tossing their
belongings and destroying their valuables. Some of their money and
valuables had disappeared after the operation. The residents also reported
incidents of maulings, spot-beatings and maltreatment. Those who were

detained also suffered mental and physical torture to extract confessions and
tactical informations. The respondents said that such accusations were all
lies. Respondents contends that the Constitution grants to government the
power to seek and cripple subversive movements for the maintenance of
peace in the state. The aerial target zoning were intended to flush out
subversives and criminal elements coddled by the communities were the
said drives were conducted. They said that they have intelligently and
carefully planned months ahead for the actual operation and that local and
foreign media joined the operation to witness and record such event.

Issue: Whether

or Not the saturation drive committed consisted of

violation

of

human

rights.

Held: It is not the police action per se which should be prohibited rather it
is the procedure used or the methods which "offend even hardened
sensibilities" .Based on the facts stated by the parties, it appears to have
been no impediment to securing search warrants or warrants of arrest
before any houses were searched or individuals roused from sleep were
arrested. There is no showing that the objectives sought to be attained by
the "aerial zoning" could not be achieved even as th rights of the squatters
and low income families are fully protected. However, the remedy should not
be brought by a tazpaer suit where not one victim complaints and not one
violator is properly charged. In the circumstances of this taxpayers' suit,
there is no erring soldier or policeman whom the court can order prosecuted.
In

the

absence

of

clear

facts

no

permanent

relief

can

be

given.

In the meantime where there is showing that some abuses were committed,
the court temporary restraint the alleged violations which are shocking to
the senses. Petition is remanded to the RTC of Manila.