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Excessive Fines and Cruel, Degrading and Inhuman


People vs. dela Cruz [GR L-5790, 17 April


Facts: In the morning of October 14, 1950, Eduardo

Bernardo, Jr. went to the store of Pablo de al Cruz in
Sampaloc, Manila, and purchased from him a sixounce tin of "Carnation" milk for thirty centavos. As
the purchase had been made for Ruperto Austria,
who was not in good terms with Pablo de la Cruz,
the matter reached the City Fiscal's office and
resulted in this criminal prosecution. Executive
Order 331 (issued by authority of Republic Act 509)
fixed 20 centavos as the maximum price for that
kind of commodity. Having retailed a can of milk at
ten centavos more than the ceiling price, Pablo de la
Cruz was sentenced, after trial, in the court of first
instance of Manila, to imprisonment for 5 years, and
to pay a fine of P5,000 plus costs. He was also
barred from engaging in wholesale and retail
business for 5 years. De la Cruz appealed.
Issue: Whether 5 years and P5,000 are cruel and
unusual for a violation that merely netted a tencentavo profit to the accused.
Held: The Constitution directs that "Excessive fines
shall not be imposed, nor cruel and unusual
punishment inflicted." The prohibition of cruel and
unusual punishments is generally aimed at the form
or character of the punishment rather than its
severity in respect of duration or amount, and apply
to punishments which never existed in America or
which public sentiment has regarded as cruel or
obsolete, for instance those inflicted at the whipping
post, or in the pillory, burning at the stake, breaking
on the wheel, disemboweling, and the like. Fine and
imprisonment would not thus be within the
prohibition. However, there are respectable
authorities holding that the inhibition applies as well
to punishments that although not cruel and unusual
in nature, may be so severe as to fall within the
fundamental restriction. These authorities explain,
nevertheless, that to justify a court's declaration of
conflict with the Constitution, the prison term must
be so disproportionate to the offense committed as
to shock the moral sense of all reasonable men as
to what is right and proper under the circumstances.
Seldom has a sentence been declared to be cruel
and unusual solely on account of its duration. The
Court does not regard such punishment (5 years
adn P5,000) unusual and cruel, remembering the
national policy against profiteering in the matter of
foodstuffs affecting the people's health, the need of
stopping speculation in such essentials and of
safeguarding public welfare in times of food scarcity
or similar stress. The damage caused to the State is
not measured exclusively by the gains obtained by
the accused, inasmuch as one violation would mean
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others, and the consequential breakdown of the

beneficial system of price controls. However,
considering that the modest store-owner has a
family to support, and shall serve in Muntinglupa a
stretch of 5 years, for having attempted to earn a
few extra centavos, the Court exercised its
discretion vested in the courts by the same
statutory enactment by reducing the imprisonment
to 6 months and the fine to P2,000; thus skirting the
constitutional issue yet executing substantial
2. People vs. Borja [GR L-22947, 12 July 1979]
Facts: On 18 December 1958, the Anderson FilAmerican Guerrillas (AFAG) held a general meeting
at the bahay-pulungan of the religious sect known
as Watawat Ng Lahi at Barrio Buragwis, Legaspi City.
The locale of the meeting was so chosen because
many AFAG members are also Watawat members.
One of the accused, Pedro Borja, presided over the
meeting, which was attended by more than a 100
members, announcing that their backpay was
forthcoming at the rate of P36,000 for a ranking
officer, and a lesser amount for those of lower rank.
Borja, who has the rank of a full colonel, is the AFAG
head for the entire Bicol region, which is said to
have 36,000 members. When the meeting ended,
Borja called an exclusive conference among
selected officers and members, including Rufino
Pavia, Inocencio Demen, Pedro Fustigo, Felipe
Benavides, Dominador de los Santos, Alejo
Balimbing, and Tito Oljina. At the secret meeting,
Balimbing proposed to Borja that they conduct a
raid the following morning at the Hacienda San
Miguel, located at San Miguel Island, across the bay
from Tabaco, Albay. With the conference over, all 8
men slept in the bahay-pulungan.
When they woke up the next day, the 8 men held an
early-morning conference, with Balimbing airing to
Borja his grievances against Santiago Gancayco, Jr.
the manager of the hacienda. That same morning,
the 8 men left by bus for Tabaco, via Legaspi City. In
Tabaco, the group went to Barrio San Jose. Upon
Borja's instruction, Balimbing hired a motorboat
operated by Mariano Burac. Crossing the bay, the
group disembarked at the hacienda, and at a
seashore conference, they agreed to pose as
members of the Philippine Constabulary, ostensibly
on a mission to inspect the firearms of the hacienda.
Borja herded the men of the hacienda inside the
bodega, where they were guarded by Benavides and
Fustigo. Therein, Balimbing accused Gancayco of
killing Balimbing's cousin, and demanded that
Gancayco produce the .45 caliber pistol which he
claimed was used to perpetrate the death.
Gancayco explained that it was not he but Solon
Demetrio who accidentally shot Balimbing's cousin,
and that Gancayco had no such pistol. Pavia, as well
as Demen, fired upon Gancayco. Demen aimed
rapid fire at Salustiano Isorena, the hacienda

overseer, who fell flat on the balcony floor.

Gancayco, bloodied, rushed out of the bodega. He
was pursued by the gunmen. While the pursuers
tracked their prey, Emilio Lanon, a security guard
and barrio lieutenant of the hacienda, left the
bodega by the back door and went to Gancayco's
house, where Mrs. Gancayco instructed him to close
all the windows and take the children downstairs, to
which he complied. Lanon left the house and looked
for Gancayco whom he found in the abaca
plantation. Gancayco, his wife, and children,
Isorena, and some other personnel of the hacienda,
were able to rendezvous at the seashore. They got
into a waiting motorboat and sped away towards
Tabaco, in the hope of taking the wounded men to
the hospital there. Gancayco died enroute, in the
arms of his wife. While events unfolded on Tabaco
Bay, the group of 8 men reached the seashore and
chanced upon a motorboat anchored there. When
they discovered that the motorboat did not have
enough gasoline, they looked for another and
dragooned Bienvenido Taller into transporting them.
The men alighted at the lighthouse at Malinao and
immediately afterwards, Taller reported to the police
authorities of the town. However, he was advised to
report to the police authorities of Tabaco, who had
jurisdiction over the case. The 8 men reached the
poblacion of Malinao. Borja instructed Pavia and
Demen to make their separate way towards Barrio
Buragwis. The remainder of the group boarded a
passenger bus going to Tiwi. As the bus stopped
near the market at Tiwi, another car overtook it and
policemen from Tabaco, headed by Chief of Police
Ceferino Firaza, alighted and surrounded the bus.
Firaza in a loud voice called for the surrender of all
those in the bus responsible for the killing at the
Hacienda San Miguel. He was suddenly fired upon
by Borja and then by Balimbing. The fusillade hit
him on the right cheek, and he ordered his men to
return fire. The encounter resulted in the death of
Balimbing and Oljina; the capture of Benavides and
de los Santos; and the escape of Borja and Fustigo.
The encounter in Tiwi took place in the afternoon of
19 December 1958. Subsequently, the rest of the
band fell one by one into the hands of the law.
Pavia, Demen, Fustigo were arrested, and Borja, the
last one to fall, was captured on 27 February 1959
after a nationwide manhunt. Pedro Borja, Pedro
Fustigo, Inocencio Demen, Rufino Pavia, Felipe
Benavides, Dominador de los Santos, John Doe and
Richard Doe (Alejo Balimbing, and Tito Oljina being
the last two), were charged for murder in Criminal
case 2578 and for frustrated murder in Criminal
Case 2590 before the Court of First Instance of
Albay. On 8 September 1960, the court, in Criminal
case 2590, found Borja, et. al. guilty beyond
reasonable doubt of the crime of frustrated murder,
as principals, and sentenced each to imprisonment
ranging from 6 years, 1 month, and 11 days of
prision mayor, as the minimum, to 14 years, 10
months, and 21 days of reclusion temporal as the
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maximum; to suffer inherent accessory penalties; to

indemnify Salustiano Isorena in the sum of
P5,000.00, as moral and exemplary damages,
severally and jointly, and to pay the costs. The court
also, in Criminal Case 2578, founf Borja, et. al. guilty
beyond reasonable doubt for the crime of murder,
and sentenced each of them to the maximum
penalty of death; to suffer inherent accessory
penalties; to indemnify the offended parties,
Mercedes Chuidian Vda. de Gancayco and her
children in the sum of P6,000.00 for the death of
Santiago Gancayco, Jr., and another amount in the
sum of P30,000.00 as moral and exemplary
damages, both severally and jointly, and to pay the
costs. In the decision, the trial court pursuant to
the Revised Penal Code, Article 5 recommended
to the President, through the Secretary of Justice,
with respect to the accused Dominador de los
Santos, "that executive clemency be extended to
him, or that at least his death penalty be minimized
or commuted to life imprisonment." The court so
recommended because "the testimony of the
accused had contributed in a large measure to the
Court in its pursuit of truth and justice in these
cases." Borja, et. al. appealed.
Issue: Whether the penalty imposed by the trial
court, in light of the aggraviating circumstances, be
reduced from the penalty from death and its
accessory penalties, to reclusion temporal and its
accessory penalties.
Held: Fustigo, Demen, Pavia, Benavides, and de los
Santos do not deny their culpability for the offenses
charged, but prayed for the reduction of the penalty
from death and its accessory penalties, to reclusion
temporal and its accessory penalties. They admitted
with candor: "The finding of facts in the decision of
the trial court having been found to be a faithful
narration of the incident as related during the trial
of the case and given in the two ocular inspections
of the premises where the shooting happened, it
would seem a useless endeavor to reiterate said
findings of facts." The five accused controverted the
findings of the trial court that there were five
aggravating circumstances in the case for murder.
Instead, they contended that the trial court should
circumstances. The trial court correctly considered
that either treachery or evident premeditation
qualifies the crime to murder, and hence the other
alternative circumstance should be considered as
aggravating. The trial court found five aggravating
circumstances against Fustigo, Demen, Pavia,
Benavides, and de los Santos, to wit: (1) the crimes
of murder and frustrated murder were committed by
a band, or with the aid of armed men; (2) means
were employed to weaken the defense, wherein is
included taking advantage of superior strength; (3)
craft, fraud and/or disguise were employed; (4)
there was promise of backpay in the commission of

the crimes; and (5) there was treachery or evident

premeditation, depending upon whatever is used to
qualify the crimes to murder and frustrated murder.
With respect to Pedro Borja in both cases, the trial
court considered against him four aggravating
circumstances as above excluding the promise of
backpay. It found another aggravating circumstance
in the case of frustrated murder, i.e. dwelling.
Hence, in the case of frustrated murder, it found six
aggravating circumstances against Fustigo, Demen,
Pavia, Benavides, and de los Santos; and five
aggravating circumstances against Borja. It msut be
noted, however, that the circumstance of band and
aid of armed men, cannot be taken separately from
the circumstance of use of means to weaken the
defense, and advantage of superior strength. All
these circumstances are absorbed in treachery and
may not be considered independently. Treachery
absorbs the circumstance of craft, fraud and
disguise. Nonetheless, this leaves the aggravating
circumstance of evident premeditation, which
applies to all the accused; and the aggravating
circumstance of promise of backpay, which applies
to all the accused, except Borja. In disposing the
case, the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of
the lower court in Criminal Case 2590 in toto; while
modifying Criminal Case 2578 in respect of the
principal penalty from death to reclusion perpetua
for lack of necessary votes, and in respect of the
civil indemnity from P6,000 to P12,000.00.

People vs. Dacuycuy [GR L-45127, 5 May


Facts: In a complaint filed by the Chief of Police of

Hindang, Leyte on 4 April 1975, Celestino S.
Matondo, Segundino A. Caval and Cirilo M. Zanoria,
public school officials of Leyte, were charged before
the Municipal Court of Hindang, Leyte in Criminal
Case 555 thereof for violation of Republic Act 4670.
The case was set for arraignment and trial on 29
May 1975. At the arraignment, Matondo, et. al.
pleaded not guilty to the charge. Immediately
thereafter, they orally moved to quash the
complaint for lack of jurisdiction over the offense
allegedly due to the correctional nature of the
penalty of imprisonment prescribed for the offense.
The motion to quash was subsequently reduced to
writing on 13 June 1975. On 21 August 1975, the
municipal court denied the motion to quash for lack
of merit. On 2 September 1975, Matondo, et. al.
filed a motion for the reconsideration of the denial
order on the same ground of lack of jurisdiction, but
with the further allegation that the facts charged do
not constitute an offense considering that Section
32 of RA 4670 is null and void for being
unconstitutional. In an undated order received by
the counsel for Matondo, et. al. on 20 October 1975,
the motion for reconsideration was denied. On 26
October 1975, Matondo, et. al. filed a petition for
certiorari and prohibition with preliminary injunction
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before the former Court of First Instance of Leyte,

Branch VIII (Civil Case B-622), to restrain the
Municipal Judge, Provincial Fiscal and Chief of Police
of Hindang, Leyte from proceeding with the trial of
said Criminal Case 555 upon the ground that the
former Municipal Court of Hindang had no
jurisdiction over the offense charged. Subsequently,
an amended petition alleged the additional ground
that the facts charged do not constitute an offense
since the penal provision, which is Section 32 of said
law, is unconstitutional for the following reasons: (1)
It imposes a cruel and unusual punishment, the
term of imprisonment being unfixed and may run to
reclusion perpetua; and (2) It also constitutes an
undue delegation of legislative power, the duration
of the penalty of imprisonment being solely left to
the discretion of the court as if the latter were the
legislative department of the Government. On 30
March 1976, having been advised that the petition
of Matondo, et. al. was related to Criminal Case
1978 for violation of PD 442 previously transferred
from Branch VIII to Branch IV of the erstwhile Court
of First Instance of Leyte, Judge Fortunato B. Cuna of
the former branch transferred the said petition to
the latter branch for further proceedings (Civil Case
5428). On 15 March 1976, the Provincial Fiscal of
Leyte filed an opposition to the admission of the
said amended petition but Judge Auxencio C.
Dacuycuy denied the same in his resolution of 20
April 1976. On 2 August 1976, the Provincial Fiscal
filed a supplementary memorandum in answer to
the amended petition. On 8 September 1976, Judge
Dacuycuy rendered the decision holding in
substance that RA 4670 is valid and constitutional
but cases for its violation fall outside of the
jurisdiction of municipal and city courts, and
remanding the case to the former Municipal Court of
Hindang, Leyte only for preliminary investigation.
On 25 September 1976, the Provincial Fiscal filed a
motion for reconsideration. Likewise, Matondo, et.
al. filed a motion for reconsideration of the lower
court's decision but the same was limited only to
the portion thereof which sustains the validity of
Section 32 of RA 4670. Judge Dacuycuy denied both
motions for reconsideration in a resolution dated 19
October 1976. The Provincial Fiscal filed the petition
for review with the Supreme Court.
Issue: Whether Section 32 of RA 4670, by not
providing a determinable term of imprisonment,
renders the penalty excessive, cruel and unusual.
Held: The rule is established beyond question that a
punishment authorized by statute is not cruel or
unusual or disproportionate to the nature of the
offense unless it is a barbarous one unknown to the
law or so wholly disproportionate to the nature of
the offense as to shock the moral sense of the
community. Based on this principle, our Supreme
Court has consistently overruled contentions of the
defense that

imprisonment authorized by the statute involved is

cruel and unusual. "The Constitution directs that
'Excessive fines shall not be imposed, nor cruel and
unusual punishment inflicted." The prohibition of
cruel and unusual punishments is generally aimed
at the form or character of the punishment rather
than its severity in respect of duration or amount,
and apply to punishments which never existed in
America, or which public sentiment has regarded as
cruel or obsolete, for instance there (sic) inflicted at
the whipping post, or in the pillory, burning at the
stake, breaking on the wheel, disemboweling, and
the like. Fine and imprisonment would not thus be
within the prohibition. That the penalty is grossly
disproportionate to the crime is an insufficient basis
to declare the law unconstitutional on the ground
that it is cruel and unusual. The fact that the
punishment authorized by the statute is severe does
not make it cruel or unusual. In addition, what
degree of disproportion the Court will consider as
obnoxious to the Constitution has still to await
appropriate determination in due time since, to the
credit of our legislative bodies, no decision has as
yet struck down a penalty for being "cruel and
unusual" or "excessive." However, Section 32 of RA
4670 provides for an indeterminable period of
imprisonment, with neither a minimum nor a
maximum duration having been set by the
legislative authority. The courts are thus given a
wide latitude of discretion to fix the term of
imprisonment, without even the benefit of any
sufficient standard, such that the duration thereof
may range, from one minute to the life span of the
accused. Irremissibly, this cannot be allowed. It
vests in the courts a power and a duty essentially
legislative in nature and which does violence to the
rules on separation of powers as well as the nondelegability of legislative powers. This time, the
presumption of constitutionality has to yield. On the
foregoing considerations, and by virtue of the
separability clause in Section 34 of RA 4670, the
penalty of imprisonment provided in Section 32
thereof should be declared unconstitutional.

State of Louisiana vs. Resweber [329 US

459, 13 January 1947]

Facts: Willie Francis is a colored citizen of Louisiana.

He was duly convicted of murder and in September
1945, sentenced to be electrocuted for the crime.
Upon a proper death warrant, Francis was prepared
for execution and on 3 May 1946, pursuant to the
warrant, was placed in the official electric chair of
the State of Louisiana in the presence of the
authorized witnesses. The executioner threw the
mechanical difficulty, death did not result. He was
thereupon removed from the chair and returned to
prison where he now is. A new death warrant was
issued by the Governor of Louisiana, fixing the
execution for 9 May 1946. Applications to the
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Supreme Court of the state were filed for writs of

certiorari, mandamus, prohibition and habeas
corpus, directed to the appropriate officials in the
state. By the applications Francis claimed the
protection of the due process clause of the
Fourteenth Amendment on the ground that an
execution under the circumstances detailed would
deny due process to him because of the double
jeopardy provision of the Fifth Amendment and the
cruel and unusual punishment provision of the
Eighth Amendment. These federal constitutional
protections, Francis claimed, would be denied
because he had once gone through the difficult
preparation for execution and had once received
through his body a current of electricity intended to
cause death. Execution of the sentence was stayed.
The Supreme Court of Louisiana denied the
applications on the ground of a lack of any basis for
judicial relief; i.e. the state court concluded there
was no violation of state or national law alleged in
the various applications.
Issue: Whether the imposition of death, or to
prepare the accused for electrocution once again, is
a cruel and unusual punishment in the constitutional
Held: The traditional humanity of modern AngloAmerican law forbids the infliction of unnecessary
pain in the execution of the death sentence.
Prohibition against the wanton infliction of pain has
come into our law from the Bill of Rights of 1688.
The identical words appear in our Eighth
Amendment. The Fourteenth would prohibit by its
due process clause execution by a state in a cruel
manner. Francis' suggestion is that because he once
underwent the psychological strain of preparation
for electrocution, now to require him to undergo this
preparation again subjects him to a lingering or
cruel and unusual punishment. Even the fact that
Francis has already been subjected to a current of
electricity does not make his subsequent execution
any more cruel in the constitutional sense than any
other execution. The cruelty against which the
Constitution protects a convicted man is cruelty
inherent in the method of punishment, not the
necessary suffering involved in any method
employed to extinguish life humanely. The fact that
an unforeseeable accident prevented the prompt
consummation of the sentence cannot add an
element of cruelty to a subsequent execution. There
is no purpose to inflict unnecessary pain nor any
unnecessary pain involved in the proposed
execution. The situation of the unfortunate victim of
this accident is just as though he had suffered the
identical amount of mental anguish and physical
pain in any other occurrence, such as a fire in the
cell block. The Court cannot agree that the hardship
imposed upon Francis rises to that level of hardship
denounced as denial of due process because of


Ford vs. Wainwright [477 US 399, 26 June

Facts: Alvin Bernard Ford was convicted of murder in
1974 and sentenced to death in a Florida state
court. There is no suggestion that he was
incompetent at the time of the offense, at trial, or at
sentencing. But subsequently he began to manifest
changes in behavior, indicating a mental disorder.
This led to extensive separate examinations by two
psychiatrists at his counsel's request, one of whom
concluded that Ford was not competent to suffer
execution. Counsel then invoked a Florida statute
governing the determination of a condemned
prisoner's competency. Following the statutory
psychiatrists, who together interviewed Ford for 30
minutes in the presence of 8 other people, including
Ford's counsel, the State's attorneys, and
correctional officials. The Governor's order directed
that the attorneys should not participate in the
examination in any adversarial manner. Each
psychiatrist filed a separate report with the
Governor, to whom the statute delegates the final
decision. The reports reached conflicting diagnoses
but were in accord on the question of Ford's
competency. Ford's counsel then attempted to
submit to the Governor other written materials,
including the reports of the two psychiatrists who
had previously examined Ford, but the Governor's
office refused to inform counsel whether the
submission would be considered. The Governor
subsequently signed a death warrant without
explanation or statement. After unsuccessfully
seeking a hearing in state court to determine anew
Ford's competency, his counsel filed a habeas
corpus proceeding in Federal District Court, seeking
an evidentiary hearing, but the court denied the
petition without a hearing, and the Court of Appeals
Issue: Whether the execution of a convict gone
insane is cruel and unusual.
Held: Since the Court last had occasion to consider
the infliction of the death penalty upon the insane,
the Court's interpretations of the Due Process
Clause and the Eighth Amendment have evolved
substantially. Now that the Eighth Amendment has
been recognized to affect significantly both the
procedural and the substantive aspects of the death
penalty, the question of executing the insane takes
on a wholly different complexion. The adequacy of
the procedures chosen by a State to determine
sanity, therefore, will depend upon an issue that the
Constitution places a substantive restriction on the
State's power to take the life of an insane prisoner.
There is now little room for doubt that the Eighth
Amendment's ban on cruel and unusual punishment
embraces, at a minimum, those modes or acts of
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punishment that had been considered cruel and

unusual at the time that the Bill of Rights was
adopted. Moreover, the Eighth Amendment's
proscriptions are not limited to those practices
condemned by the common law in 1789. Not bound
by the sparing humanitarian concessions of our
forebears, the Amendment also recognizes the
"evolving standards of decency that mark the
progress of a maturing society." In addition to
considering the barbarous methods generally
outlawed in the 18th century, therefore, the Court
contemporary values before determining whether a
fundamental human dignity that the Amendment
protects. The Eighth Amendment prohibits the State
from inflicting the penalty of death upon a prisoner
who is insane. Whether its aim be to protect the
condemned from fear and pain without comfort of
understanding, or to protect the dignity of society
itself from the barbarity of exacting mindless
vengeance, the restriction finds enforcement in the
Eighth Amendment. Ford's allegation of insanity in
his habeas corpus petition, if proved, therefore,
would bar his execution. The adequacy of a statecourt procedure is largely a function of the
circumstances and the interests at stake. In capital
proceedings generally, the Court has demanded
that factfinding procedures aspire to a heightened
standard of reliability. This especial concern is a
natural consequence of the knowledge that
unfathomable of penalties; that death is different.
Florida law directs the Governor, when informed
that a person under sentence of death may be
insane, to stay the execution and appoint a
commission of three psychiatrists to examine the
prisoner. Ford received the statutory process. The
Governor selected three psychiatrists, who together
interviewed Ford for a total of 30 minutes, in the
presence of 8 other people, including Ford's counsel,
the State's attorneys, and correctional officials. The
Governor's order specifically directed that the
attorneys should not participate in the examination
in any adversarial manner. This order was consistent
with the present Governor's "publicly announced
policy of excluding all advocacy on the part of the
condemned from the process of determining
whether a person under a sentence of death is
insane." After submission of the reports of the three
diagnoses but agreeing on the ultimate issue of
competency, Ford's counsel attempted to submit to
the Governor some other written materials,
including the reports of the two other psychiatrists
who had examined Ford at greater length, one of
whom had concluded that the prisoner was not
competent to suffer execution. The Governor's office
refused to inform counsel whether the submission
would be considered. The Governor subsequently
issued his decision in the form of a death warrant.

That this most cursory form of procedural review

fails to achieve even the minimal degree of
reliability required for the protection of any
constitutional interest is self-evident. The first
deficiency in Florida's procedure lies in its failure to
include the prisoner in the truth-seeking process. A
related flaw in the Florida procedure is the denial of
any opportunity to challenge or impeach the stateappointed psychiatrists' opinions. Perhaps the most
striking defect in the procedures is the State's
placement of the decision wholly within the
executive branch. Under this procedure, the person
who appoints the experts and ultimately decides
whether the State will be able to carry out the
sentence that it has long sought is the Governor,
whose subordinates have been responsible for
initiating every stage of the prosecution of the
condemned from arrest through sentencing. The
commander of the State's corps of prosecutors
cannot be said to have the neutrality that is
for reliability
in the
proceeding. Having identified various failings of the
Florida scheme, the Court must conclude that the
State's procedures for determining sanity are
inadequate to preclude federal redetermination of
the constitutional issue.

Atkins Vs. Virginia

Citation. 536 U.S 304 (2002)

Brief Fact Summary. Atkins contention was that
the execution of a mentally retarded criminal is a
cruel and unusual punishment which contravenes
the Eighth Amendment. He made this contention
when he was sentenced to death for committing
murder. Atkins (D) had an IQ 0f 59 at the time of his

Synopsis of Rule of Law. Under the Eighth

Amendment, the capital punishment of a mentally
retarded convict is cruel and unusual.

Facts. Atkins Daryl (D) was sentenced to death for

shooting a patron of an automated teller machine
and for robbery, after he was found guilty of
abduction, capital murder and armed robbery. A
verdict of mildly mentally retarded pertaining to
the health of Atkins (D), was given by a forensic
psychologist. This verdict of the psychologist was
based on the interview he had with Atkins (D) and
with others who knew him, review of school and

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court records of other crimes and a standard

intelligence test which showed that Atkins (D) had a
full scale IQ of 59. Atkins (D) however appealed
against the ruling of the trial court on the ground
that sentencing a mentally retarded criminal to
death was a cruel and unusual punishment under
the Eighth Amendment.
Issue. Under the Eighth Amendment, is the capital
punishment of a mentally retarded convict cruel and
Held. (Stevens,
Amendment, the capital punishment of a mentally
retarded convict is cruel and unusual. Mentally
retarded persons should be tried and punished
when they commit crimes once they meet the laws
requirement. Mentally retarded persons do not act
with the level of moral culpability that characterizes
the most serious adult criminal conduct because of
their disabilities in the areas of reasoning, control of
impulses and judgment. Hence, the enactment of
the federal government which exempts the mentally
retarded from execution has provided a strong
evidence in which the society view the mentally
retarded offenders as less culpable than the
average criminal. The mentally retarded persons
disposition often portrays that they lack remorse for
their crimes and they are also poor witnesses
because they are not capable of assisting their
counsel. Reversed and remanded.


People Vs. Esparas

Facts: Esparas was charge with violation of RA 6425

as amended by RA 759 for importing into the
country 20 kg of shabu. As the accused remains at
large up to the present time, the issue confronts the
Court is whether or not it will proceed to
automatically review her death sentence.
Issues: Whether the Court may proceed to
automatically review Esparas' death sentence
despite her absence.
Decision: Yes
Rationale: The reimposition of the death penalty
revived by the procedure by which the Supreme
Court reviews death penalty cases pursuant to the
Rules of Court it remains automatic and continues
to be mandatory and does not depend on the whims
of the death convict and leaves the SC without any
option. Any court decision authorizing the State to
take life must be as error-free as possible. It is not
only within the power of the SC but also it is its duty
to review al death penalty cases.
Sec. 8 of Rule 124 of the Rules of Court

which authorizes the dismissal of an appeal when

the appellant jumps bail has no application to cases
where the death penalty has been imposed.
1. Echegaray vs. Secretary of Justice [GR 132601,
19 January 1999]

Facts: [Acquired from GR 117472, 25 June 1996;

People vs. Echegaray (En Banc, Per curiam: 15
concur] Rodessa is a 10-year old girl, a fifth-grader,
and the daughter of Rosalie and Leo Echegaray.
Sometime in the afternoon of April 1994, while
Rodessa was looking after her three brothers (aged
6, 5 and 2) in their house as her mother attended a
gambling session in another place, she heard her
father order her brothers to go out of the house. As
soon as her brothers left, Leo Echegaray
approached Rodessa and suddenly dragged her
inside the room. Before she could question Leo, the
latter immediately, removed her panty and made
her lie on the floor. Thereafter, Leo likewise removed
his underwear and immediately placed himself on
top of Rodessa. Subsequently, Leo forcefully
inserted his penis into Rodessa's organ causing her
to suffer intense pain. After satisfying his bestial
instinct, Leo threatened to kill her mother if she
would divulge what had happened. Scared that her
mother would be killed by Leo, Rodessa kept to
herself the ordeal she suffered. She was very afraid
of Leo because the latter, most of the time, was
high on drugs. The same sexual assault happened 5
times and this usually took place when her mother
was out of the house (her mother was pregnant
during those times). However, after the fifth time,
Rodessa decided to inform her grandmother,
Asuncion Rivera, who in turn told Rosalie, Radessa's
mother. Rodessa and her mother proceeded to the
Barangay Captain where Rodessa confided the
sexual assaults she suffered. Thereafter, Rodessa
was brought to the precinct where she executed an
affidavit. From there, she was accompanied to the
Philippine National Police Crime Laboratory for
medical examination. At first, her mother was on
her side. However, when Leo was detained, her
mother kept on telling her. "Kawawa naman ang
Tatay mo, nakakulong." Lo Echegaray was charged
before the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, in a
complained formulated as "The undersigned
accuses LEO ECHEGARAY Y PILO of the crime of
RAPE, committed as follows: 'That on or about the
month of April 1994, in Quezon City, Philippines, the
above-named accused, by means of force and
intimidation did then and there wilfully, unlawfully
and feloniously have carnal knowledge of the
undersigned complainant, his daughter, a minor, 10
years of age, all against her will and without her
consent, to her damage and prejudice.' Contrary to
law." Upon being arraigned on 1 August 1994, Leo,

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assisted by his counsel de oficio, entered the plea of

"not guilty." On 7 September 1994, tge RTC, Branch
104, found Leo guilty of the crime of rape,
aggravated by the fact that the same was commited
by the accused who is the father/stepfather of the
complainant, and thus sentenced him to suffer the
penalty of DEATH, as provided for under RA 7659, to
pay the complainant Rodessa Echegaray the sum of
P50,000.00 as damages, plus all the accessory
penalties provided by law, without subsidiary
imprisonment in case of insolvency, and to pay the
costs. The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of
the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch 104
when the case was raised to the Supreme Court in
automatic review.

[Acquired from GR 117472, 7 February 1997

(Resolution En Banc, Per Curiam: 14 concur)] On 25
June 1996, the Court rendered its decision affirming
the conviction of Leofor the crime of raping his 10year old daughter. The crime having been
committed sometime in April, 1994 during which
time RA 7659, commonly known as the Death
Penalty Law, was already in effect, Leo Echegaray
was inevitably meted out the supreme penalty of
death. On 9 July 1996, Leo timely filed a Motion for
Reconsideration which focused on the sinister
motive of the victim's grandmother that precipitated
the filing of the alleged false accusation of rape
against the accused. On 6 August 1996, Leo
discharged the defense counsel, Atty. Julian R. Vitug,
and retained the services of the Anti-Death Penalty
Task Force of the Free Legal Assistance Group of the
Philippines (FLAG). On 23 August 1996, the Court
Reconsideration prepared by the FLAG on Leo's
behalf. The motion raises the following grounds for
the reversal of the death sentence, i.e. (1) Leo
should not have been prosecuted since the pardon
by the offended party and her mother before the
filing of the complaint acted as a bar to his criminal
prosecution; (2) The lack of a definite allegation of
the date of the commission of the offense in the
Complaint and throughout trial prevented Leo from
preparing an adequate defense; (3) The guilt of the
accused was not proved beyond a reasonable
doubt; (4) The Honorable Court erred in finding that
Leo was the father or stepfather of the complainant
and in affirming the sentence of death against him
on this basis; (5) The trial court denied Leo of due
process and manifested bias in the conduct of the
trial; (6) Leo was denied his constitutional right to
effective assistance of counsel and to due process,
due to the incompetence of counsel; and that (7) RA
unconstitutional per se: (a) for crimes where no
death results from the offense, the death penalty is
a severe and excessive penalty in violation of Article
III, Sec. 19(1) of the 1987 Constitution; and (b) The

death penalty is cruel and unusual punishment in

violation of Article III, Sec. 11 of the 1987
Constitution. The Supreme Court denied the Motion
for Reconsideration and Supplemental Motion for
Reconsideration for lack of merit.

[Acquired from GR 132601, 12 October 1998 (En

Banc, Per curiam: 13 concur, 1 took no part, 1 on
official leave)] On 25 June 1996, the Supreme Court
affirmed the conviction of Leo Echegaray y Pilo for
the crime of rape of the 10 year-old daughter of his
common-law spouse and the imposition upon him of
the death penalty for the said crime. Leo duly filed a
Motion for Reconsideration raising mainly factual
issues, and on its heels, a Supplemental Motion for
Reconsideration raising for the first time the issue of
the constitutionality of RA 7659 (the death penalty
law) and the imposition of the death penalty for the
crime of rape. On 7 February 1998, the Supreme
Court denied Leo's Motion for Reconsideration and
Supplemental Motion for Reconsideration with a
finding that Congress duly complied with the
requirements for the reimposition of the death
penalty and therefore the death penalty law is not
unconstitutional. In the meantime, Congress had
seen it fit to change the mode of execution of the
death penalty from electrocution to lethal injection,
and passed RA 8177 (An Act designating Death by
Lethal Injection as the method of carrying out
Capital Punishment, amending for the purpose
Article 81 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended
by Section 24 of Republic Act 7659). Pursuant to the
provisions of said law, the Secretary of Justice
promulgated the Rules and Regulations to
Implement RA 8177 ("implementing rules") and
directed the Director of the Bureau of Corrections to
prepare the Lethal Injection Manual. On 2 March
1998, Leo filed a Petition for Prohibition, Injunction
and/or Temporary Restraining Order to enjoin the
Secretary of Justice and Director of the Bureau of
Prisons from carrying out the execution by lethal
injection of Leo under RA 8177 and its implementing
rules as these are unconstitutional and void for
punishment per se as well as by reason of its being
(b) arbitrary, unreasonable and a violation of due
process, (c) a violation of the Philippines' obligations
under international covenants, (d) an undue
delegation of legislative power by Congress, (e) an
unlawful exercise by respondent Secretary of the
power to legislate, and (f) an unlawful delegation of
delegated powers by the Secretary of Justice to
Director. On 3 March 1998, Leo, through counsel,
filed a Motion for Leave of Court to Amend and
Supplement Petition with the Amended and
Supplemental Petition attached thereto, invoking
the additional ground of violation of equal
protection, and impleading the Executive Judge of
the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City and the

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Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court, Branch

104, in order to enjoin them from acting under the
questioned rules by setting a date for Leo's
execution. On 10 March 1998, the Court granted the
Motion for Leave of Court to Amend and Supplement
Petition. After deliberating on the pleadings, the
Subsequently, the Supreme Court denied the
petition insofar as Leo seeks to declare the assailed
statute (RA) as unconstitutional; but granted the
petition insofar as Sections 17 and 19 of the Rules
and Regulations to Implement RA 8177 are
concerned, which were declared invalid because (a)
Section 17 contravenes Article 83 of the Revised
Penal Code, as amended by Section 25 of RA 7659;
and (b) Section 19 fails to provide for review and
approval of the Lethal Injection Manual by the
Secretary of Justice, and unjustifiably makes the
manual confidential, hence unavailable to interested
parties including the accused/convict and counsel.
The Secretary of Justice and the Director of the
Bureau of Prisons were enjoined from enforcing and
implementing RA 8177 until Sections 17 and 19 of
the Rules and Regulations to Implement RA 8177
corrected in accordance with the Court's Decision.
[Present case] On 28 December 1998, at about
11:30 p.m.. Leo filed his Very Urgent Motion for
Issuance of TRO He invoked several grounds, viz: (1)
that his execution has been set on January 4, the
first working day of 1999; (b) that members of
Congress had either sought for his executive
clemency and/or review or repeal of the law
authorizing capital punishment; (b.1) that Senator
Aquilino Pimentel's resolution asking that clemency
be granted to Leo and that capital punishment be
reviewed has been concurred by 13 other senators;
(b.2) Senate President Marcelo Fernan and Senator
Miriam S. Defensor have publicly declared they
would seek a review of the death penalty law; (b.3)
Senator Raul Roco has also sought the repeal of
capital punishment, and (b.4) Congressman Salacrib
Baterina, Jr., and 35 other congressmen are
demanding review of the same law. When the Very
Urgent Motion was filed, the Court was already in its
traditional recess and would only resume session on
18 January 1999. Even then, Chief Justice Hilario
Davide, Jr. called the Court to a Special Session on 4
January 1999 17 at 10. a.m. to deliberate on Leo's
Very Urgent Motion. The Court hardly had 5 hours to
resolve petitioner's motion as he was due to be
executed at 3 p.m. Thus, the Court had the difficult
problem of resolving whether Leo's allegations
about the moves in Congress to repeal or amend
the Death Penalty Law are mere speculations or not.
Thus, on 4 January 1999, the Supreme Court issued
a Resolution temporarily restraining the execution of
Leo Echegaray. The Secretary of Justice filed an
Urgent Motion for Reconsideration of the said
Resolution, and a Supplemental Motion to Urgent
Motion for Reconsideration. The Secretary, et. al.

averred that "(1) The Decision in this case having

become final and executory, its execution enters the
exclusive ambit of authority of the executive
authority. The issuance of the TRO may be
construed as trenching on that sphere of executive
authority; (2) The issuance of the temporary
restraining order creates dangerous precedent as
there will never be an end to litigation because
there is always a possibility that Congress may
repeal a law. (3) Congress had earlier deliberated
extensively on the death penalty bill. To be certain,
whatever question may now be raised on the Death
Penalty Law before the present Congress within the
6-month period given by this Honorable Court had in
all probability been fully debated upon. (4) Under
the time honored maxim lex futuro, judex
praeterito, the law looks forward while the judge
looks at the past, the Honorable Court in issuing the
TRO has transcended its power of judicial review. (5)
At this moment, certain circumstances/supervening
events transpired to the effect that the repeal or
modification of the law imposing death penalty has
become nil, to wit: (a) The public pronouncement of
President Estrada that he will veto any law imposing
the death penalty involving heinous crimes; (b) The
resolution of Congressman Golez, et al., that they
are against the repeal of the law; and (c) The fact
that Senator Roco's resolution to repeal the law only
bears his signature and that of Senator Pimentel." In
their Supplemental Motion to Urgent Motion for
Reconsideration, the Secretary, et. al. attached a
copy of House Resolution 629 introduced by
Congressman Golez entitled "Resolution expressing
the sense of the House of Representative to reject
any move to review RA 7659 which provided for the
re-imposition of death penalty, notifying the Senate,
the Judiciary and the Executive Department of the
position of the House of Representatives on this
matter, and urging the President to exhaust all
means under the law to immediately implement the
death penalty law." The Resolution was concurred in
by 113 congressmen.
Issue: Whether the execution of the convict may be
stayed by the Supreme Court.
Held: An accused who has been convicted by final
judgment still possesses collateral rights and these
rights can be claimed in the appropriate courts. For
instance, a death convict who becomes insane after
his final conviction cannot be executed while in a
state of insanity, as it is generally assumed that due
process of law will prevent the government from
executing the death sentence upon a person who is
insane at the time of execution. The suspension of
such a death sentence is undisputably an exercise
of judicial power. It is not a usurpation of the
presidential power of reprieve though its effect is
the same the temporary suspension of the
execution of the death convict. In the same vein, it
cannot be denied that Congress can at any time

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amend RA 7659 by reducing the penalty of death to

life imprisonment. The effect of such an amendment
is like that of commutation of sentence. But by no
stretch of the imagination can the exercise by
Congress of its plenary power to amend laws be
considered as a violation of the power of the
President to commute final sentences of conviction.
The powers of the Executive, the Legislative and the
Judiciary to save the life of a death convict do not
exclude each other for the simple reason that there
is no higher right than the right to life. Indeed, in
various States in the United States, laws have even
been enacted expressly granting courts the power
to suspend execution of convicts and their
constitutionality has been upheld over arguments
that they infringe upon the power of the President to
grant reprieves. To contend that only the Executive
can protect the right to life of an accused after his
final conviction is to violate the principle of co-equal
and coordinate powers of the three branches of our
government.The extreme caution taken by the Court
herein was compelled, among others, by the fear
that any error of the Court in not stopping the
execution of Leo Echegaray will preclude any further
relief for all rights stop at the graveyard. As life was
at stake, the Court refused to constitutionalize haste
and the hysteria of some partisans. The Court's
majority felt it needed the certainty that the
legislature will not change the circumstance of Leo
Echegaray as alleged by his counsel. It was believed
that law and equitable considerations demand no
less before allowing the State to take the life of one
its citizens. The temporary restraining order of the
Court has produced its desired result, i.e., the
crystallization of the issue whether Congress is
disposed to review capital punishment. Posterior
events negated beyond doubt the possibility that
Congress will repeal or amend the death penalty
law, i.e. (a) The public pronouncement of President
Estrada that he will veto any law repealing the
death penalty involving heinous crimes; (b) The
resolution of Congressman Golez, et al., that they
are against the repeal of the law; (c) The fact that
Senator Roco's resolution to repeal the law only
bears his signature and that of Senator Pimentel."
On the other hand, House Resolution No. 629
"Resolution expressing the sense of the House of
Representatives to reject any move to review RA
7659 which provided for the reimposition of death
penalty, notifying the Senate, the Judiciary and the
Executive Department of the position of the House
of Representatives on this matter and urging the
President to exhaust all means under the law to
immediately implement the death penalty law," was
signed by 113 congressmen as of 11 January 1999.
The House of Representatives, on 18 January 1999,
with minor amendments formally adopted the Golez
resolution by an overwhelming vote. House
Resolution 25 expressed the sentiment that the
House "does not desire at this time to review

Republic Act 7659." In addition, the President has

stated that he will not request Congress to ratify the
Second Protocol in view of the prevalence of heinous
crimes in the country. In light of these
developments, the Court's TRO should now be lifted
as it has served its legal and humanitarian purpose.
The Court thus ordered the trial court judge (Hon.
Thelma A. Ponferrada, Regional Trial Court, Quezon
City, Branch 104) to set anew the date for execution
of Leo Echegaray in accordance with applicable
provisions of law and the Rules of Court, without

In RE Habeas Corpus. Aclaraction

Gatmaitan [GR L-39115, 26 May 1975]


Facts: Segifredo L. Aclaracion functioned as a

temporary stenographer in the Gapan branch of the
Court of First Instance (CFI) of Nueva Ecija from 1
October 1969 to 21 November 1971. His
appointment expired on 21 November 1972 while
he was working as a temporary stenographer in the
CFI of Manila. Thereafter, he was employed as a
stenographer in the Public Assistance and Claims
Adjudication Division of the Insurance Commission,
where he is now working. After Aclaracion had
ceased to be a court stenographer, the Court of
Appeals required him to transcribe his stenographic
notes in two cases decided by the Gapan court
which had been appealed (Muncal vs. Eugenio, CAGR 49711-R and Paderes vs. Domingo, CA-GR
52367-R). He failed to comply with the resolutions of
the Court of Appeals. He was declared in contempt
of court. On May 29 and July 29, 1974 Justice Magno
S. Gatmaitan and Justice Jose N. Leuterio, Chairmen
of the Third and Seventh Divisions of the Court of
Appeals, respectively, ordered the Chief of Police of
Makati, Rizal (Colonel Ruperto B. Acle), to arrest
Aclaracion, a resident of that municipality, and to
confine him in jail until he submits a complete
transcript of his notes in the said cases. Aclaracion
was arrested on 21 June 1974 and incarcerated in
the municipal jail. In a petition dated 12 July 1974
he asked the Court of Appeals that he be not
required to transcribe his notes in all the cases tried
in the Gapan court. He suggested that the
testimonies in the said cases be retaken. The Third
Division of the Court of Appeals in its resolution of 7
August 1974 ordered the release of Aclaracion.
Later, he transcribed his notes in the Muncal case.
However, the warden did not release him because of
the order of arrest issued by the Seventh Division.
On 9 August 1974 Aclaracion filed in the Supreme
Court a petition for habeas corpus. He advanced the
novel contention that to compel him to transcribe
his stenographic notes, after he ceased to be a
stenographer, would be a transgression of the rule
that "no involuntary servitude in any form shall exist
except as a punishment for a crime whereof the

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party shall have been duly convicted" (Sec. 14, Art.

IV, Bill of Rights, 1972 Constitution).

Issue: Whether the fact that a former court

stenographer was compelled to transcribe his
stenographic notes is a transgression of the right
against involuntary servitude.

Held: An Appellate Court may compel a former court

stenographer to transcribe his stenographic notes.
That prerogative is ancillary or incidental to its
appellate jurisdiction and is a part of its inherent
powers which are necessary to the ordinary and
efficient exercise of its jurisdiction and essential to
the due administration of justice. The provision of
section 12, Rule 41 of the Rules of Court that "upon
the approval of the record on appeal the clerk shall
direct the stenographer or stenographers concerned
to attach to the record of the case 5 copies of the
transcript of the oral evidence referred to in the
record on appeal" includes stenographers who are
no longer in the judiciary. The traditional made of
exercising the court's coercive power is to hold the
recalcitrant or negligent stenographer in contempt
of court if he does not comply with the order for the
transcription of his notes and imprison him until he
obeys the order. Another sanction to compel the
transcription is to hold in abeyance the transfer,
stenographer until he completes the transcription of
his notes. This is provided for in Circular 63 of the
Secretary of Justice. Aclaracion's contention that to
compel him to transcribe his stenographic notes
would constitute involuntary servitude is not
tenable. Involuntary servitude denotes a condition
of enforced, compulsory service of one to another or
the condition of one who is compelled by force,
coercion, or imprisonment, and against his will, to
labor for another, whether he is paid or not. That
situation does not obtain in this case.


Bailey Vs. Alabama

Defendant sought review of a judgment from the
Supreme Court of the State of Alabama, which
upheld the constitutionality of Ala. Code 4730 and
affirmed a judgment of conviction. Defendant
alleged that the statute upon which the conviction
was based violated U.S. Constitutional amends. XIII
and XIV.
Defendant was convicted under Ala. Code 4730 of
obtaining 15 dollars under a contract in writing with
intent to injure or defraud his employer. Defendant

had entered into a contract to perform a service and

was paid the money under the contract. Defendant
partially performed under the contract. Defendant
appealed alleging that the statute was
unconstitutional. The state supreme court upheld
the validity of the statute and Defendant's




On writ of error, the United States Supreme

Court reversed and remanded, finding that
the statute violated U.S. Constitutional
Amendment XIII.
The Court held that the State could not
punish the servant as a criminal for the
mere failure or refusal to serve without
paying his debt and was not permitted to
accomplish the same result by creating a
statutory presumption which upon proof of
no other fact exposed him to conviction and
The Court found that the statute provided a
convenient instrument for the coercion
which the Constitution and Congress
The statute, in essence, allowed for
compulsory service to secure the payment
of a debt and, as such, was unconstitutional.
The Court found the challenged statute
unconstitutional and reversed the judgment of the
state supreme court.

US Vs. Pompeya

This case is regarding the complaint filed by the
prosecuting attorney of the Province of Iloilo,
charging Silvestre Pompeya with violation of the
municipal ordinance of Iloilo for willfully, illegally,
and criminally and without justifiable motive failing
to render service on patrol duty, required under said
municipal ordinance.
Upon arraignment, Pompeya presented a demurrer,
stating that the acts charged in the complaint do
not constitute a crime and that the municipal
ordinance is unconstitutional for being repugnant to
the Organic Act of the Philippines, which guarantees
the liberty of the citizens.
The trial judge sustained said demurrer and ordered
the dismissal of the complaint.
Hence, this appeal.

W/N the facts stated in the complaint are sufficient

to show a cause of action under the said law
W/N said law is in violation of the provisions of the
Philippine Bill in depriving citizens of their rights
therein guaranteed

Is the assailed municipal ordinance a violation of the

Philippine Bill?
The municipal ordinance was enacted pursuant to
the provisions of Act No. 1309, the specific purpose
of which is to require each able-bodied male
resident of the municipality, between the ages of 18
and 55, as well as each householder when so
required by the president, to assist in the
maintenance of peace and good order in the
community, by apprehending ladrones, etc., as well
as by giving information of the existence of such
persons in the locality. The amendment contains a
punishment for those who may be called upon for
such service, and who refuse to render the same.
The question asked by the Supreme Court is
whether there is anything in the law, organic or
otherwise, in force in the Philippine Islands, which
prohibits the central Government, or any
governmental entity connected therewith, from
adopting or enacting rules and regulations for the
maintenance of peace and good government?
In answering this, the Supreme Court cited the tribal
relations of the primitive man, the feudal system,
the days of the "hundreds" -- all of which support
the idea of an ancient obligation of the individual to
assist in the protection of the peace and good order
of his community.
The Supreme Court held that the power exercised
under the provisions of Act No. 1309 falls within the
police power of the state and that the state was
fully authorized and justified in conferring the same
upon the municipalities of the Philippine Islands and
that, therefore, the provisions of the said Act are
constitutional and not in violation nor in derogation
of the rights of the persons affected thereby.
Is there a cause of action?
The complain is unable to show (a) that the
defendant was a male citizen of the municipality; (b)
that he was an able-bodied citizen; (c) that he was
not under 18 years of age nor over 55; nor (d) that
conditions existed which justified the president of
the municipality in calling upon him for the services
mentioned in the law.
"For all of the foregoing reasons, the judgment of

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the lower court is hereby affirmed, with costs. So


support his natural son at the monthly rate of P100,

due to insolvency, violative of the constitutional
right against imprisonment for debt.



Sura Vs Martin

Facts: In Civil Case 5580 of the Court of First

Instance (CFI) of Negros Occidental, through Judge
Eduardo D. Enriquez, judgment was rendered on 20
June 1961, amended on 15 July 1961, ordering the
Vicente Martin Sr. to recognize Vicente Martin Jr. as
his natural son; to provide Vicente Martin Jr. support
in the monthly rate of P100 from 10 December 1959
until the latter reaches the age of majority, and to
pay the attorney's fees in the amount of P1,000 plus
the costs. From the judgment, Vicente Martin Sr.
appealed to the Court of Appeals, and the latter
Court, in CA-GR 30388-R, affirmed said decision on
30 January 1964. On 9 May 1964, the Court of First
Instance (CFI) of Negros Occidental, through Judge
Jose R. Querubin issued the order, ordering the Clerk
of Court to issue writ of execution, same being
forwarded to the Provincial Sheriff of Negros
Oriental. Pursuant to said order, a writ of execution
was issued on 9 May 1964 by the Clerk of Court,
and the Provincial Sheriff of Negros Oriental served
the same upon the defendant in Tanjay, Negros
Oriental but returned the writ unsatisfied. The
second paragraph of the Sheriff's return of service,
dated 21 September 1964, stated that "the
judgment debtor is jobless, and is residing in the
dwelling house and in the company of his widowed
mother, at Tanjay, this province. Debtor has no
leviable property; he is even supported by his
mother. Hereto attached is the certificate of
insolvency issued by the Municipal Treasurer of
Tanjay Negros Oriental, where debtor legally
resides." On 6 October 1964, Nilda Sura's counsel
(in behalf of here minor child Vicente Martin Jr.)
prayed that Vicente Martin Sr., for failure to satisfy
the writ of execution, be adjudged guilty of
contempt of court. On 28 November 1964, the Court
issued the order granting Vicente Martin Sr. to fulfill
the decision of the court within the period of 30
days or he shall be held in contempt. Vicente Martin
Sr. having failed to satisfy said order, the Court on 9
January 1965 issued the order ordering the arrest of
Martin Sr. On 26 January 1964, Martin Sr.'s counsel
filed a notice of appeal, and at the same time
prayed for the fixing of a bond for the temporary
release of the defendant. On 1 February 1965, the
Court issued the order directing the confinement of
Martin Sr. to the provincial jail, adn fixed bail at
P7,000 if Martin Sr. desired to appeal the case.
Martin Sr. appealed.

Issue: Whether the imprisonment of Martin Sr. for

failure to satisfy the decision requiring him to

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Held: The orders for the arrest and imprisonment of

Vicente Martin, Sr., for contempt of court for failure
to satisfy the judgment were illegal, in view of the
following considerations: (1) The judgment ordering
Martin Sr. to pay past and future support at P100
per month was a final disposition of the case and
was declaratory of the obligation of Martin Sr.. The
writ of execution issued on the judgment with
respect to past support in the amount of about
P6,000 required "the sheriff or other proper officer"
to whom it was directed to satisfy the amount out of
all property, real and personal, of the judgment
debtor in the manner specified in Rule 39, Section
15, of the Rules of Court. The writ of execution was,
therefore, a direct order to the sheriff or other
proper officer to whom it was directed, and not an
order to the judgment debtor. In view thereof, the
judgment debtor could not, in the very nature of
things, have committed disobedience to the writ. (2)
The sheriff's return shows that the judgment debtor
was insolvent. Hence the Orders of January 9 and
February 1, 1965, in effect, authorized his
imprisonment for debt in violation of the
Constitution. (3) The disobedience to a judgment
considered as indirect contempt does not refer to a
judgment which is a final disposition of the case and
which is declaratory of the rights of the parties, but
to a special judgment, a judgment "which requires
the performance of any other act than the payment
of money, or the sale or delivery of real or personal
property." According to Moran, generally, any order
or judgment of a court finally disposing of an action
should be enforced by ordinary execution
proceedings, except special judgments which should
be executed by contempt proceedings. The Court
reversed the orders of the lower court.

People vs. Nitafan [GR 75954, 22 October


Facts: K.T. Lim (@ Mariano Lim) was charged before

respondent court with violation of BP 22 in an
Information alleging "that on 10 January 1985, in
the City of Manila, the said accused did then and
there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously make or
draw and issue to Fatima Cortez Sasaki Philippine
Trust Company Check No. 117383 dated February 9,
1985 in the amount of P143,000.00, xxx well
knowing that at the time of issue he did not have
sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank
which check was subsequently dishonored by the
drawee bank for insufficiency of funds, and despite
receipt of notice of such dishonor, said accused
failed to pay said Fatima Cortez Sasaki the amount
of said check or to make arrangement for full
payment of the same within five (5) banking days

after receiving said notice." On 18 July 1986, Lim

moved to quash the Information on the ground that
the facts charged did not constitute a felony as BP
22 was unconstitutional and that the check he
issued was a memorandum check which was in the
nature of a promissory note, perforce, civil in nature.
On 1 September 1986, Judge David G. Nitafan,
ruling that BP 22 on which the Information was
based was unconstitutional, issued the Order
quashing the Information. Hence, the petition for
review on certiorari filed by the Solicitor General in
behalf of the government.

Issue: Whether BP 22, which is ruled to be

constitutional in Lozano vs. Martinez (not contrary to
right against imprisonment from debt), applies also
to a memorandum check.

Held: Although a memorandum check may carry

with it the understanding that it is not to be
presented at the bank but will be redeemed by the
maker himself when the loan falls due; with the
promulgation of BP 22, such understanding or
private arrangement may no longer prevail to
exempt it from penal sanction imposed by the law.
To require that the agreement surrounding the
issuance of checks be first looked into and
thereafter exempt such issuance from the punitive
provisions of BP 22 on the basis of such agreement
or understanding would frustrate the very purpose
for which the law was enacted to stem the
proliferation of unfunded checks. After having
effectively reduced the incidence of worthless
checks changing hands, the country will once again
experience the limitless circulation of bouncing
checks in the guise of memorandum checks if such
checks will be considered exempt from the
operation of BP 22. It is common practice in
commercial transactions to require debtors to issue
checks on which creditors must rely as guarantee of
payment, or as evidence of indebtedness, if not as
mode of payment. To determine the reasons for
which checks are issued, or the terms and
conditions for their issuance, will greatly erode the
faith the public reposes in the stability and
commercial value of checks as currency substitutes,
and bring about havoc in trade and in banking


In RE Habeas Corpuz of Benjamin Vergara

et. al. Vergara vs. Gedorio [GR 154037, 30
April 2003]

Facts: Pending the settlement of the estate of the

late Anselma P. Allers, Eleuteria P. Bolao, as Special
Administratrix of the estate, included the property
(located in Dr. A. Santos Ave., Paraaque City)
leased by Berlito P. Taripe to Benjamin Vergara, Jona
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Sarvida, Milagros Majoremos, Majorie Jalalon, May

Joy Mendoza (@ May Joy Sandi), Joy Saballa (@
Josephine Saballa), Mabelyn B. Vergara, Rio Sarvida,
Francisco Majoremos in the inventory of the estate.
The probate court issued the Order dated 5 October
1999, decreeing, among others, that the Taripe's
lessees and listed in the Inventory to pay their
respective monthly rental regularly starting the
month of August, 1999, including arrears if any, to
the duly appointed Special Administratrix Mrs.
Eleuteria P. Bolao, until further notice. Copies of
the order were sent on 12 October 1999 to Vergara,
et. al. via registered mail. 5 months later, on motion
of Bolao, as Special Administratrix, the probate
court issued a writ of execution on 3 March 2000 to
enforce the order dated 5 October 1999. The Sheriff
submitted a return dated 10 August 2000 stating
that on 5 June 2000, he met with Vergara, et. al. but
failed to collect the rentals due on the property as
Taripe had already collected from them three
months advance rentals. On 4 August 2000, Bolao
filed a motion to require Vergara, et. al. to explain
why they should not be cited in indirect contempt
for disobeying the 5 October 1999 order of the
probate court. Vergara, et. al. were served copies of
the motion by registered mail. The probate court
granted the motion in its Resolution dated 7
September 2000. Vergara, were furnished
copies of the said Order on September 27, 2000 by
registered mail. 6 months later, in a letter dated 18
March 2001, some of the lessees, together with the
other tenants of the property, informed the probate
court that they are "freezing" their monthly rentals
as they are in a quandary as to whom to pay the
rentals. Bolao then filed on 20 March 2001, a
motion to cite Vergara, et. al. in contempt, which
was set for hearing on 11 May 2001. In its Order
dated 11 May 2001, the probate court found
Vergara, et. al. guilty of indirect contempt and
ordered them to pay a fine of P30,000.00 each and
to undergo imprisonment until they comply with the
probate court's order for them to pay rentals.
Vergara, et. al. again wrote the probate court on 11
June 2001 asking that the indirect contempt
"slapped" against them be withdrawn. They stated
that their failure to attend the 11 May 2001 hearing
was due to financial constraints, most of them
working on construction sites, receiving minimum
wages, and repeated that the reason why they are
freezing the monthly rentals is that they are
uncertain as to whom to remit it. Upon motion of
Bolao, the probate court, per its Order dated 16
November 2001, issued a warrant of arrest on 19
November 2001. On 24 December 2001, Vergara,
et. al. were arrested by Ormoc City policemen. On
26 December 2001, Vergara, et. al. filed with the
Court of Appeals a petition for the issuance of a writ
of habeas corpus. On 3 January 2002, the appellate
court ordered the temporary release of Vergara, et.
al. After due proceedings, the appellate court
rendered its decision on 26 March 2002 denying the

petition for lack of merit. Their motion for

reconsideration having been denied, Vergara, et. al.
filed the petition for review on certiorari with the
Supreme Court.
Issue: Whether imprisonment due to non-payment
of rentals, made in contravention of the trial courts
order, is within the purview of the right against
imprisonment from debt.

Held: The trial court's finding of contempt and the

order directing the imprisonment of Vergara,
to be unwarranted. The salutary rule is that the
power to punish to contempt must be exercised on
the preservative, not vindictive principle, and on the
corrective and not retaliatory idea of punishment.
Court must exercise their contempt powers
judiciously and sparingly, with utmost self-restraint.
Except where the fundamental power of the court to
imprison for contempt has been restricted by
statute, and subject to constitutional prohibitions
where a contemnor fails or refuses to obey an order
of the court for the payment of money he may be
imprisoned to compel obedience to such order.
Imprisonment for contempt as a means of coercion
for civil purpose cannot be resorted to until all other
means fail, but the court's power to order the
contemnor's detension continues so long as the
contumacy persists. In Philippine jurisdiction,
Section 20, Article 3 of the 1987 Philippine
Constitution expressly provides that no person shall
be imprisoned for debt. Debt, as used in the
Constitution, refers to civil debt or one not arising
from a criminal offense. It means any liability to pay
arising out of a contract, express or implied. Herein,
Vergara, et. al., as recognized lessees of the estate
of the deceased, were ordered by the probate court
to pay the rentals to the administratrix. Vergara, et.
al. did not comply with the order for the principal
reason that they were not certain as to the rightful
person to whom to pay the rentals because it was a
certain Berlito P. Taripe who had originally leased
the subject property to them. Clearly, the payment
of rentals is covered by the constitutional guarantee
against imprisonment.


Lozano v. Martinez
December 1986]




Facts: Batas Pambansa 22 (BP22; Bouncing Check

Law) was approved on 3 April 1979. The petitions
arose from cases involving prosecution of offenses
under BP22. (Florentina A. Lozano vs. RTC Judge
Antonio M. Martinez [Manila, Branch XX] in GR L63419, Luzviminda F. Lobaton vs. RTC Executive
Judge Glicerio L. Cruz [Lemery Batangas, Branch V]
in GR L-66839-42, Antonio and Susan Datuin vs. RTC
Judge Ernani C. Pano [Quezon City, Branch LXXVIII]
in GR 71654, Oscar Violago vs. RTC Judge Ernani C.

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Pano [Quezon City, Branch LXXVIII] in GR 74524-25,

Elinor Abad vs. RTC Judge Nicolad A. Gerochi Jr.
[Makati, Branch 139] in GR 75122-49, Amable and
Sylvia Aguiluz vs. Presiding Judge of Branch 154 of
Pasig in GR 75812- 13, Luis M. Hojas vs. RTC Judge
Senen Penaranda [Cagayan de Oro, Branch XX] in
GR 72565-67, and People vs. RTC Judge David
Nitafan [Manila, Branch 52] and Thelma Sarmiento
in GR 75789]. Lozano, Lobaton, Datuin, Violago,
Abad, Aguiluz, Hojas and Sarmiento moved
seasonably to quash the informations on the ground
that the acts charged did not constitute an offense,
the statute being unconstitutional. The motions
were denied by the trial courts, except in one case,
which is the subject of GR 75789 (People vs.
Nitafan), wherein the trial court declared the law
unconstitutional and dismissed the case. The parties
adversely affected have come to the Supreme Court
for relief.

Issue: Whether BP 22 is contrary to the

constitutional prohibition against imprisonment for

imprisonment for debt is a safeguard that evolved
gradually during the early part of the nineteenth
century in the various states of the American Union
as a result of the people's revulsion at the cruel and
inhumane practice, sanctioned by common law,
which permitted creditors to cause the incarceration
of debtors who could not pay their debts. At
common law, money judgments arising from actions
for the recovery of a debt or for damages from
breach of a contract could be enforced against the
person or body of the debtor by writ of capias ad
satisfaciendum. By means of this writ, a debtor
could be seized and imprisoned at the instance of
the creditor until he makes the satisfaction
awarded. As a consequence of the popular ground
swell against such a barbarous practice, provisions
forbidding imprisonment for debt came to be
generally enshrined in the constitutions of various
states of the Union. This humanitarian provision was
transported to our shores by the Americans at the
turn of the century and embodied in Philippine
organic laws. Later, the Philippine fundamental law
outlawed not only imprisonment for debt, but also
the infamous practice, native to our shore, of
throwing people in jail for non-payment of the
cedula or poll tax. It may be constitutionally
impermissible to penalize a person for non-payment
of a debt ex contractu. Organic provisions relieving
from imprisonment for debt were intended to
prevent commitment of debtors to prison for
liabilities arising from actions ex contractu. The
inhibition was never meant to include damages
arising in actions ex delicto, for the reason that

damages recoverable therein do not arise from any

contract entered into between the parties but are
imposed upon the defendant for the wrong he has
done and are considered as punishment, nor to fines
and penalties imposed by the courts in criminal
proceedings as punishments for crime. Herein, the
thrust of the law (BP 22) is to prohibit, under pain of
penal sanctions, the making of worthless checks
and putting them in circulation. The law punishes
the act not as an offense against property, but an
offense against public order. It is not the nonpayment of an obligation which the law punishes,
nor is it intended or designed to coerce a debtor to
pay his debt. Although the effect of the law may be
to coerce payment of an obligation, it is intended to
banish a practice (i.e. the issuance of worthless
checks) considered harmful to public welfare.



In RE: Declaration of the Petitioner's Rights

and Duties under Section 8 of RA 6132. Kay
Villegas Kami. [GR L-32485, 22 October

Facts: Kay Villegas Kami, Inc., filed a petition for

declaratory relief, claiming to be a duly recognized
and existing non-stock and non-profit corporation
created under the laws of the land, and praying for
a determination of the validity of Section 8 of RA
6132 and a declaration of petitioner's rights and
duties thereunder. In paragraph 7 of its petition,
"Kay Villegas Kami" avers that it has printed
materials designed to propagate its ideology and
program of government, and that in paragraph 11 of
said petition, it intends to pursue its purposes by
Convention who will propagate its ideology. "Kay
Villegas kami" actually impugns only the first
paragraph of Sec. 8(a) on the ground that it violates
the due process clause, right of association, and
freedom of expression and that it is an ex post facto

Issue: Whether Section 8 of RA 6132 is in the nature

of an ex-post facto law

Held: An ex post facto law is one which: (1) makes

criminal an act done before the passage of the law
and which was innocent when done, and punishes
such an act; (2) aggravates a crime, or makes it
greater than it was, when committed; (3) changes
the punishment and inflicts a greater punishment
than the law annexed to the crime when committed;
(4) alters the legal rules of evidence, and authorizes
conviction upon less or different testimony than the

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law required at the time of the commission of the

offense; (5) assuming to regulate civil rights and
remedies only, in effect imposes penalty or
deprivation of a right for something which when
done was lawful; and (6) deprives a person accused
of a crime of some lawful protection to which he has
become entitled, such as the protection of a former
conviction or acquittal, or a proclamation of
amnesty. From the aforesaid definition as well as
post facto
constitutional inhibition refers only to criminal laws
which are given retroactive effect. While it is true
that Sec. 18 penalizes a violation of any provision of
RA 6132 including Sec. 8 (a) thereof, the penalty is
imposed only for acts committed after the approval
of the law and not those perpetrated prior thereto.
There is nothing in the law that remotely insinuates
that Secs. 8(a) and 18, or any other provision
thereof, shall apply to acts carried out prior to its
approval. On the contrary, Sec. 23 directs that the
entire law shall be effective upon its approval. It was
approved on 24 August 1970.


People vs. Ferrer

December 1972]




Facts: On 5 March 1970 a criminal complaint for

violation of section 4 of the Anti-Subversion Act was
filed against Feliciano Co in the Court of First
Instance (CFI) of Tarlac. On March 10, Judge Jose C.
de Guzman conducted a preliminary investigation
and, finding a prima facie case against Co, directed
corresponding information. The twice-amended
information (Criminal Case 27), recites "That on or
about May 1969 to December 5, 1969, in the
Municipality of Capas, Province of Tarlac, Philippines,
and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court,
the abovenamed accused, feloniously became an
officer and/or ranking leader of the Communist Party
of the Philippines, an outlawed and illegal
organization aimed to overthrow the Government of
the Philippines by means of force, violence, deceit,
subversion, or any other illegal means for the
purpose of establishing in the Philippines a
totalitarian regime and placing the government
under the control and domination of an alien power,
by being an instructor in the Mao Tse Tung
University, the training school of recruits of the New
People's Army, the military arm of the said
Communist Party of the Philippines. That in the
commission of the above offense, the following
aggravating circumstances are present, to wit: (a)
That the crime has been committed in contempt of
or with insult to public authorities; (b) That the
crime was committed by a band; and (c) With the
aid of armed men or persons who insure or afford
impunity." Co moved to quash on the ground that
the Anti-Subversion Act is a bill of attainder.
Meanwhile, on 25 May 1970, another criminal

complaint was filed with the same court, charging

Nilo Tayag and five others with subversion. After
preliminary investigation was had, an information
was filed. On 21 July 1970 Tayag moved to quash,
impugning the validity of the statute on the grounds
that (1) Republic Act 1700 is a bill of attainder; (2) it
is vague; (3) it embraces more than one subject not
expressed in the title thereof; and (4) it denies him
the equal protection of the laws. Resolving the
constitutional issues raised, the trial court, in its
resolution of 15 September 1970, declared the
statute void on the grounds that it is a bill of
attainder and that it is vague and overbroad, and
dismissed the informations against the two accused.
The Government appealed. The Supreme Court
resolved to treat its appeal as a special civil action
for certiorari.

Issue: Whether the Anti-Subversion Law partakes of

the nature of a Bill of Attainder.

Held: Article III, section 1 (11) of the Constitution

states that "No bill of attainder or ex post facto law
shall be enacted." A bill of attainder is a legislative
act which inflicts punishment without trial. Its
essence is the substitution of a legislative for a
judicial determination of guilt. The constitutional
ban against bills of attainder serves to implement
the principle of separation of powers by confining
legislatures to rule-making and thereby forestalling
legislative usurpation of the judicial function. History
in perspective, bills of attainder were employed to
suppress unpopular causes and political minorities,
and it is against this evil that the constitutional
prohibition is directed. The singling out of a definite
class, the imposition of a burden on it, and a
legislative intent, suffice to stigmatize a statute as a
bill of attainder. Herein, when the Anti-Subversion
Act is viewed in its actual operation, it will be seen
that it does not specify the Communist Party of the
Philippines or the members thereof for the purpose
of punishment. What it does is simply to declare the
Party to be an organized conspiracy for the
overthrow of the Government for the purposes of
the prohibition, stated in section 4, against
membership in the outlawed organization. The term
"Communist Party of the Philippines" is used solely
for definitional purposes. In fact the Act applies not
only to the Communist Party of the Philippines but
also to "any other organization having the same
purpose and their successors." Its focus is not on
individuals but on conduct. Were the AntiSubversion Act a bill of attainder, it would be totally
unnecessary to charge Communists in court, as the
law alone, without more, would suffice to secure
their punishment. But the undeniable fact is that
their guilt still has to be judicially established. The
Government has yet to prove at the trial that the

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accused joined the Party knowingly, willfully and by

overt acts, and that they joined the Party, knowing
its subversive character and with specific intent to
further its basic objective, i.e., to overthrow the
existing Government by force, deceit, and other
illegal means and place the country under the
control and domination of a foreign power. Further,
the statute specifically requires that membership
must be knowing or active, with specific intent to
further the illegal objectives of the Party. That is
what section 4 means when it requires that
membership, to be unlawful, must be shown to have
been acquired "knowingly, willfully and by overt
acts." The ingredient of specific intent to pursue the
unlawful goals of the Party must be shown by "overt
acts." This constitutes an element of "membership"
distinct from the ingredient of guilty knowledge. The
former requires proof of direct participation in the
organization's unlawful activities, while the latter
requires proof of mere adherence to the
organization's illegal objectives. Even assuming,
however, that the Act specifies individuals and not
activities, this feature is not enough to render it a
bill of attainder. It is only when a statute applies
either to named individuals or to easily
ascertainable members of a group in such a way as
to inflict punishment on them without a judicial trial
does it become a bill of attainder. Nor is it enough
that the statute specify persons or groups in order
that it may fall within the ambit of the prohibition
against bills of attainder. It is also necessary that it
must apply retroactively and reach past conduct.
This requirement follows from the nature of a bill of
attainder as a legislative adjudication of guilt.
Indeed, if one objection to the bill of attainder is
that Congress thereby assumes judicial magistracy,
then it must be demonstrated that the statute
claimed to be a bill of attainder reaches past
conduct and that the penalties it imposes are
inescapable. Section 4 of Anti-Subversion Act
expressly states that the prohibition therein applies
only to acts committed "After the approval of this
Act." Only those who "knowingly, willfully and by
overt acts affiliate themselves with, become or
remain members of the Communist Party of the
Philippines and/or its successors or of any
subversive association" after 20 June 1957, are
punished. Those who were members of the Party or
of any other subversive association at the time of
the enactment of the law, were given the
opportunity of purging themselves of liability by
renouncing in writing and under oath their
membership in the Party. The law expressly provides
that such renunciation shall operate to exempt such
persons from penal liability. The penalties prescribed
by the Act are therefore not inescapable.

People vs. Sandiganbayan [GR 101724, 3

July 1992]






October 1986 and 9 December 1986, with the

Tanodbayan by Teofilo Gelacio, a political leader of
Governor Valentina Plaza, wife of Congressman
Democrito O. Plaza of Agusan del Sur, shortly after
the Ceferino S. Paredes had replaced Mrs. Plaza as
OIC/provincial governor of Agusan del Sur in March
1986. Gelacio's complaint questioned the issuance
to Governor Paredes, when he was still the
provincial attorney in 1976, of a free patent title for
Lot 3097-8, Pls. 67, with an area of 1,391 sq.m.,
more or less, in the Rosario public land subdivision
in San Francisco, Agusan del Sur. On 23 February
1989, the Tanodbayan referred the complaint to the
City Fiscal of Butuan City who subpoenaed Governor
Paredes. However, the subpoena was served on,
and received by, the Station Commander of San
Francisco, Agusan del Sur, who did not serve it on
Paredes. Despite the absence of notice to Paredes,
Deputized Tanodbayan/City Fiscal Ernesto M. Brocoy
conducted a preliminary investigation ex parte. He
recommended that an information be filed in court.
His recommendation was approved by the
Tanodbayan who, on 10 August 10, 1989, filed an
information in the Sandiganbayan (TBP Case 8603368), alleging "That on or about January 21,
1976, or sometime prior or subsequent thereto, in
San Francisco, Agusan del Sur, Philippines, and
within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the
above-named accused, a public officer, being then
the Provincial Attorney of Agusan del Sur, having
been duly appointed and qualified as such, taking
advantage of his public position, did, then and
there, wilfully and unlawfully persuade, influence
and induce the Land Inspector of the Bureau of
Lands, by the name of Armando L. Luison to violate
an existing rule or regulation duly promulgated by
competent authority by misrepresenting to the
latter that the land subject of an application filed by
the accused with the Bureau of Lands is disposable
by a free patent when the accused well knew that
the said land had already been reserved for a school
misrepresentation in his capacity as Provincial
Attorney of Agusan del Sur and applicant for a free
patent, a report favorably recommending the
issuance of a free patent was given by the said
Armando L. Luison, land inspector, thereby paving
the way to the release of a decree of title, by the
Register of Deeds of Agusan del Sur, an act
committed by the accused, in outright prejudice of
the public interest." Paredes was arrested upon a
warrant issued by the Sandiganbayan. Claiming that
the information and the warrant of arrest were null
and void because he had been denied his right to a
preliminary investigation, Paredes refused to post
bail. His wife filed a petition for habeas corpus
praying this Court to order his release, but the
Supreme Court denied her petition because the
proper remedy was for Paredes to file a bail bond of
P20,000 fixed by the Sandiganbayan for his
provisional liberty, and move to quash the
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information before being arraigned. On 5 April 1991,

Paredes filed in the Sandiganbayan "An Urgent
Motion to Quash Information and to Recall Warrant
of Arrest." After the parties had filed their written
arguments, the Sandiganbayan issued a resolution
on 1 August 1991 granting the motion to quash on
the ground of prescription of the offense charged.
The People of the Philippines, through the Solicitor
General, filed the petition for certiorari.

Issue: Whether Paredes may no longer

prosecuted for his violation of RA 3019 in 1976


Held: Batas Pambansa 195 which was approved on

16 March 1982, amending Section 11 of RA 3019 by
increasing from 10 to 15 years the period for the
prescription or extinguishment of a violation of the
AntiGraft and Corrupt Practices Act, may not be
given retroactive application to the "crime" which
was committed by Paredes in January 1976 yet, for
it would be prejudicial to the accused. It would
deprive him of the substantive benefit of the shorter
(10 years) prescriptive period under Section 11, RA
3019 which was an essential element of the "crime"
at the time he committed it. To apply BP 195 to
Paredes would make it an ex post facto law for it
would alter his situation to his disadvantage by
making him criminally liable for a crime that had
already been extinguished under the law existing
when it was committed. Since an ex post facto law
is proscribed by our Constitution (Sec. 22, Article III,
1987 Constitution), the Sandiganbayan committed
no reversible error in ruling that Paredes may no
longer be prosecuted for his supposed violation of
RA 3019 in 1976, 6 years before BP 195 was
approved. The new prescriptive period under that
law should apply only to those offenses which were
committed after the approval of BP 195.


Wright vs. CA [GR 113213, 15 August 1994]

Facts: On 17 March 1993, Assistant Secretary Sime

D. Hidalgo of the Department of Foreign Affairs
indorsed to the Department of Justice Diplomatic
Note 080/93 dated 19 February 1993 from the
Government of Australia to the Department of
Justice through Attorney General Michael Duffy. Said
Diplomatic Note was a formal request for the
extradition of Paul Joseph Wright who is wanted for
the indictable crimes of: 1 count of Obtaining
Property by Deception contrary to Section 81(1) of
the Victorian Crimes Act of 1958 (Wright and
Herbert Lance Orr, obtaining $315,250 from
Mulcahy, Mendelson and Round Solicitors by falsely
representing that all relevant documents relating to
the mortgage had been signed by Rodney and
Janine Mitchell who control Ruven Nominee Pty. Ltd.
Which owned the Bangholme, Victoria property);

and 13 counts of Obtaining Property by Deception

contrary to Section 81(1) of the Victorian Crimes Act
of 1958 (Wright and John Carson Cracker, obtaining
11.2 million commission including $367,044 in
bonus commission via Amazon Bond Pty. Ltd. by
submitting 215 life insurance proposals and paying
premiums thereon, but where life proposals were
not in existence and approximately 200 were
allegedly false; attempting to obtain $2,870.68
commission in the name of Amazon Bond by
submitting one proposal for life insurance with AMP
Society; signing and swearing before the Solicitor);
one count of attempting to Obtain Property by
Deception contrary to Section 321(m) of Victorian
Crimes Act of 1958 (Wright and Carson attempting
to cause the payment of $2,870.68 commission to a
bank account in the name of Amazon Bond Pty. Ltd.
by submitting a proposal for Life Insurance to the
AMP Society, the policy-holder of which does not
exist); and one count of Perjury contrary to Section
314 of Victorian Crimes Act of 1958 (Wright and
Cracker signing and swearing before a Solicitor
holding a current practicing certificate pursuant to
the Legal Profession Practice Act of 1958, a
Statutory Declaration attending to the validity of 29
of the most recent Life Insurance proposals of AMP
Society and containing 3 false statements).
Pursuant to Section 5 of PD 1069, in relation to the
Extradition Treaty concluded between the Republic
of the Philippines and Australia on 10 September
1990, extradition proceedings were initiated on 6
April 1993 by the State Counsels of the Department
of Justice before the Regional Trial Court. In its Order
dated 13 April 1993, the trial court directed Wright
to appear before it on 30 April 1993 and to file his
answer within 10 days. In the same order, the Judge
(Jose de la Rama, Branch 139) ordered the NBI to
serve summons and cause the arrest of Wright. The
trial court received return of the warrant of arrest
and summons signed by NBI Senior Agent Manuel
Almendras with the information that Wright was
arrested on 26 April 1993 at Taguig, Metro Manila
and was subsequently detained at the NBI detention
cell where Wright continue to be held. The trial
court, in its decision dated 14 June 1993, granted
the petition for extradition requested by the
Government of Australia, concluding that the
documents submitted by the Australian Government
meet the requirements of Article 7 of the Treaty of
Extradition and that the offenses for which the
petitioner were sought in his country are
extraditable offenses under Article 2 of the said
Treaty. The trial court, moreover, held that under the
provisions of the same Article, extradition could be
granted irrespective of when the offense in
relation to the extradition was committed,
provided that the offense happened to be an offense
in the requesting State at the time the acts or
omissions constituting the same were committed.
Wright challenged the decision of the Regional Trial
Court before the Court of Appeals. The Court of
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Appeals, however, affirmed the trial court's decision

on 14 September 1993 and denied Wright's Motion
for Reconsideration on 16 December 1993. Hence,
Wright filed the petition for review on certiorari to
set aside the order of deportation.

Issue: Whether the Treaty's retroactive application

violate the Constitutional prohibition against ex post
facto laws.

Held: Early commentators understood ex post facto

laws to include all laws of retrospective application,
whether civil or criminal. However, Chief Justice
Salmon P. Chase, citing Blackstone, The Federalist
and other early U.S. state constitutions in Calder vs.
Bull concluded that the concept was limited only to
penal and criminal statutes. As conceived under our
Constitution, ex post facto laws are (1) statutes that
make an act punishable as a crime when such act
was not an offense when committed; (2) laws which,
while not creating new offenses, aggravate the
seriousness of a crime; (3) statutes which prescribe
greater punishment for a crime already committed;
or, (4) laws which alter the rules of evidence so as
to make it substantially easier to convict a
defendant. "Applying the constitutional principle,
the (Court) has held that the prohibition applies only
to criminal legislation which affects the substantial
rights of the accused." This being so, there is
absolutely no merit in petitioner's contention that
the ruling of the lower court sustaining the Treaty's
retroactive application with respect to offenses
committed prior to the Treaty's coming into force
and effect, violates the Constitutional prohibition
against ex post facto laws. Here, the Treaty is
neither a piece of criminal legislation nor a criminal
procedural statute. "It merely provides for the
extradition of persons wanted for prosecution of an
offense or a crime which offense or crime was
already committed or consummated at the time the
treaty was ratified."


Bayot Vs. Sandiganbayan

Facts: Bayot is one of the several persons who was

accused in more than 100 counts of estafa thru
falsification of Public documents before the
Sandiganbayan. The said charges started from his
alleged involvement as a government auditor of the
commission on audit assigned to the Ministry of
education and culture, with some other employees
from the said ministry. The bureau of treasury and
the teachers camp in Baguio City for the
preparation and encashment of fictitious TCAA
checks for the nom-existent obligations of the
teachers camp resulting in damage to the
government of several millions. The 1st 32 cases
were filed on july 25, 1987, while Bayot ran for

municipal mayor of Amadeo Cavite and was elected

on January 1980. but on May 1980 Sandiganbayan
accused together with his other co-accused in all
but one of the thirtytwo cases filed against them.

favor of defendants. Upon this verdict, Plaintiff, who

was the original recipient of the wills proceeds prior
to defendants appeal, appealed the decision
which went to the Supreme Court.

On Mach 16, 1982 Batas Pambansa Blg 195 was


ISSUE: Whether a federal court can nullify a state

statute for violation of Article 1, Section 10 of the
constitution, which prohibits the passage and
application of retroactive laws.

Issue: Whether or Not it would be violative of the

post facto law.
Held: The
petitioners contention that RA 3019 as amended by
Batas Pambansa Blg 195, which includes the crime
ofestafa through falsification of Public Documents as
among crimes subjecting the public officer charged
therewith with suspension from public office
pending action in court, is a penal provision
which violates the constitutionalprohibition against
the enactment of ex post facto law. Accdg to the
RPC suspension from employment and public office
during trial shall not be considered as a penalty. It is
not a penalty because it is not a result of a judicial
proceeding. In fact, if acquitted the official who is
suspended shall be entitled to reinstatement and
the salaries and benefits which he failed to receive
during suspension. And does not violate the
constitutional provision against ex post facto law.
The claim of the petitioner that he cannot be
suspended because he is currently occupying a
position diffren tfrom that under which he is charged
is untenable. The amendatory provision clearly
states that any incumbent public officer against
whom any criminal prosecution under a valid
information under RA 3019 for any offense involving
fraud upon the government or public funds or
property or whatever stage of execution and mode
of participation shall be suspended from office. The
use of the word office applies to any office which
the officer charged may be holding and not only the
particular office under which he was charged.

Calder Vs. Bull

FACTS: In a disagreement over a well, the reviewing

court refused to acknowledge/enforce the will. The
would-be recipients (defendants) appealed and had
the judgment set aside. Defendants were only able
to do so because the Connecticut legislature passed
a law authorizing the extension of the statute of
limitations for appeal. The statute of limitations
extension applied retroactively to their case,
thereby allowing them to appeal. They successfully
appealed and a new trial was granted upon setting
aside the original probate courts decision,
whereupon the will was affirmed and enforced in
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RELEVANT LAW: Article 1, Section 10: No State

Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal;
coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but
gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts;
pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law
impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any
Title of Nobility.
HELD: Majority Opinion Justice Chase: No,
reversed. The relevant action is a civil/private right,
not a criminal right. The constitution applies ex
post facto restrictions on criminal rights, not
civil/private rights. Vested property rights can be
subject to ex post facto state law. The right of
property, as found in natural law, is subject to the
social contract found in state legislatures, among
other social contracts. The federal government
should not impede upon these contracts, because
they arise from natural law.


Facts : Following the Civil War, Congress and

Missouri adopted provisions that required
persons in specified professional occupations
to take an oath that they have never given
aid to the rebellion and secession. Missouri
convicted a priest who refused to take the
oath. A former Confederate congressman
asked the Supreme Court for permission to
practice without taking the federal oath.
Question: Do the state and national oaths violate
prohibitions against ex post facto laws and
bills of attainder of the Constitution?
Conclusion: Field, writing for a divided Court, held
that both state and national oath laws were
unconstitutional. The oath laws transformed
acts that had not been forbidden into crimes
and increased the punishment of acts that
were known to be crimes. The oath laws were
also bills of attainder since they were
legislative acts that inflicted punishment
without the benefit of a trial by a judge.

Misolas vs. Panga [GR 83341, 30 January

Facts: After receiving information from an
unidentified informant that members of the New
People's Army (NPA) were resting in a suspected
"underground house" in Foster Village, Del Carmen,
Pili, Camarines Sur, elements of the Philippine
Constabulary (PC) raided said house in the early
morning of 8 August 1987. Three persons were
inside the house, Arnel P. Misolas and two women
known by the aliases "Ka Donna" and "Ka Menchie"
but the women were able to escape in the confusion
during the raid. The house was searched and the
raiders found in a red bag under a pillow allegedly
used by Misolas a .20 gauge Remington shotgun
and 4 live rounds of ammunition. Petitioner was
arrested and brought to the PC headquarters. On 4
September 1987, an information charging Misolas
with illegal possession of firearms and ammunition
under Presidential Decree 1866 was filed by the
provincial fiscal. The information alleged that the
firearm and ammunition were used in furtherance of
subversion so as to qualify the offense under the
third paragraph of Section 1 of PD 1866. Upon
arraignment, Misolas, with the assistance of counsel
de oficio pleaded "not guilty" to the charge.
However, a few days later, the same counsel filed a
motion to withdraw the plea on the ground that
there was basis for the filing of a motion to quash.
Judge Benjamin V. Panga, as Judge of RTC Branch
33, Cadlan, Pili, Camarines Sur, gave Misolas time to
file a motion to quash. Misolas filed a motion to
quash on the grounds (1) that the facts charged do
not constitute an offense because the information
does not charge the proper offense since from the
allegations the offense that may be charged is
either subversion or rebellion; and (2) that the trial

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court had no jurisdiction over the person of

petitioner because of violations of his constitutional
rights, i.e, his arrest and the seizure of the firearm
and ammunition were illegal. The judge denied the
motion to quash for lack of merit in an order dated 7
January 1988. Misolas moved for reconsideration,
but such was denied on 15 February 1988. Misolas
filed the petition for certiorari.
Issue: Whether PD 1866 constitutes a bill of
Held: Misolas objected to PD 1866 on the ground of
substantive due process. Established rules of
constitutional litigation would, therefore, bar an
inquiry based on the theory that PD 1866
constitutes a bill of attainder. Yet, even if a
challenge on the ground that PD 1866 is a bill of
attainder could be appropriately considered, it will
still be met with little success. The Court, in People
v. Ferrer, defined a bill of attainder as a legislative
act which inflicts punishment on individuals or
members of a particular group without a judicial
trial. Essential to a bill of attainder are a
specification of certain individuals or a group of
individuals, the imposition of a punishment, penal or
otherwise, and the lack of judicial trial. This last
element, the total lack of court intervention in the
finding of guilt and the determination of the actual
penalty to be imposed, is the most essential. PD
1866 does not possess the elements of a bill of
attainder. It does not seek to inflict punishment
without a judicial trial. Nowhere in the measure is
there a finding of guilt and an imposition of a
corresponding punishment. What the decree does is
to define the offense and provide for the penalty
that may be imposed, specifying the qualifying
circumstances that would aggravate the offense.
There is no encroachment on the power of the court
to determine after due hearing whether the
prosecution has proved beyond reasonable doubt
that the offense of illegal possession of firearms has
been committed and that the qualifying
circumstance attached to it has been established
also beyond reasonable doubt as the Constitution
and judicial precedents require.
10. Lascon Vs. Executive Secretary
FACTS: Petitioner Lacson was involved in a criminal
case that started when eleven persons, believed to
be members of the Kuratong Baleleng Gang (KBG)
were killed by the Anti-Bank Robbery and
Intelligence Task Group (ABRITG)where
the petitioner was one of the heads. Then, in a
media expose, it was said that what happened was
a rub-out and not a shoot-out. Among other issues,
petitioner argues that Republic Act (R.A.) 8249, that
was enacted during his case was pending,has a
retroactive effect and is plan from the facts and was
made to suit the petitioners case, thus, making it

an ex-post facto law that would affect the right of

the accused to procedural due process. Hence, the
ISSUE: Whether or not the statute R.A. 8249 may
be considered as an ex post facto law that may
affect the petitioners right to due process?
REASONING: There is nothing ex-post facto in R.A.
8249 an ex post facto law generally provides for a
retroactive effect on penal laws. However, the Court
explains, R.A. 8249 is not a penal law. As the Court
defines, Penal laws are those acts of the legislature
which prohibit certain acts and establish penalties
thereof; or those that defines crimes, treat of their
nature, and provide for their punishment. Republic
Act 8249 is a substantive law on jurisdiction which is
not penal in character, thus, may not be considered
an ex post facto law. Therefore, the argument of the
petitioner that the law in question has retroactive
effect and may affect his right to due process is

United States vs. Bustos [GR L-12592, 8

March 1918]

Facts: In the latter part of 1915, numerous citizens

of the Province of Pampanga assembled, the
prepared and signed a petition to the Executive
Secretary through the law office of Crossfield &
O'Brien, and 5 individuals signed affidavits, charging
Roman Punsalan, justice of the peace of Macabebe
and Masantol, Pampanga, with malfeasance in office
and asking for his removal. Crossfield & O'Brien
submitted this petition and these affidavits with a
complaint to the Executive Secretary. The petition
transmitted by these attorneys was signed by 34
citizens. The Executive Secretary referred the
papers to the judge of first instance for the Seventh
Judicial District requesting investigation, proper
action and report. The Honorable Percy M. Moir,
recommended to the Governor-General that
Punzalan be removed from his position as justice of
the peace of Macabebe and Masantol, Province of
Pampanga, and ordered that the proceedings had in
the case be transmitted to the Executive Secretary.
Later the justice of the peace filed a motion for a
new trial; the judge of first instance granted the
motion and reopened the hearing; documents were
introduced, including a letter sent by the municipal
president and is councilors of Masantol, Pampanga,
asserting that the justice of the peace was the
victim of prosecution, and that one Agustin Jaime,
the auxiliary justice of the peace, had instituted the
charges for personal reasons; and the judge of first
instance ordered a suppression of the charges
against Punsalan and acquitted him of the same.
Attorneys for complainants thereupon appealed to

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the Governor-General. On 12 October 1916, Felipe

Bustos, et. al. (the petitioners against Punzalan)
were charged for libel. The Honorable Percy M. Moir
found all the defendants, with the exception of Felix
Fernandez, Juan S. Alfonso, Restituto Garcia, and
Manuel Mallari, guilty and sentenced each of them
to pay a fine of P10 and 1/32 of the costs, or to
suffer subsidiary imprisonment in case of
insolvency. New attorneys for the defense, coming
into the case, after the handing down of the
decision, filed on 16 December 1916, a motion for a
new trial, the principal purpose of which was to
retire the objection interposed by then counsel for
the defendants to the admission of the document
consisting of the entire administrative proceedings.
The trial court denied the motion. All the
defendants, except Melecio S. Sabado and Fortunato
Macalino appealed.

Issue: Whether the intemperate allegations set forth

in the information against the public official may be
the basis of a libel case against the petitioning

Held: "No law shall be passed abridging the freedom

of speech or of the press or of the rights of the
people to peaceably assemble and petition the
Government for a redress of grievances." These
paragraphs found in the Philippine Bill of Rights are
not threadbare verbiage. The language carries with
it all the applicable jurisprudence of great English
and American Constitutional cases. The interest of
society and the maintenance of good government
demand a full discussion of public affairs. Complete
liberty to comment on the conduct of public men is
a scalpel in the case of free speech. The sharp
incision of its probe relieves the abscesses of
officialdom. Men in public life may suffer under a
hostile and an unjust accusation; the wound can be
assuaged with the balm of a clear conscience. A
public officer must not be too thin-skinned with
reference to comment upon his official acts. Only
thus can the intelligence and dignity of the
individual be exalted. Of course, criticism does not
authorized defamation. Nevertheless, as the
individual is less than the State, so must expected
criticism be born for the common good. Rising
superior to any official, or set of officials, to the
Chief Executive, to the Legislature, to the Judiciary
to any or all the agencies of Government
public opinion should be the constant source of
liberty and democracy. The guaranties of a free
speech and a free press include the right to criticize
judicial conduct. The administration of the law is a
matter of vital public concern. Whether the law is
wisely or badly enforced is, therefore, a fit subject
for proper comment. If the people cannot criticize a
justice of the peace or a judge the same as any

other public officer, public opinion will be effectively

muzzled. Attempted terrorization of public opinion
on the part of the judiciary would be tyranny of the
basest sort. The sword of Damocles in the hands of
a judge does not hang suspended over the
individual who dares to assert his prerogative as a
citizen and to stand up bravely before any official.
On the contrary, it is a duty which every one owes
to society or to the State to assist in the
investigation of any alleged misconduct. It is further
the duty of all know of any official dereliction on the
part of a magistrate or the wrongful act of any
public officer to bring the facts to the notice of those
whose duty it is to inquire into and punish them. In
the words of Mr. Justice Gayner, who contributed so
largely to the law of libel. "The people are not
obliged to speak of the conduct of their officials in
whispers or with bated breath in a free government,
but only in a despotism." The right to assemble and
petition is the necessary consequence of republican
institutions and the complement of the right of free
speech. Assembly means a right on the part of
citizens to meet peaceably for consultation in
respect to public affairs. Petition means that any
person or group of persons can apply, without fear
of penalty, to the appropriate branch or office of the
government for a redress of grievances. The
persons assembling and petitioning must, of course,
assume responsibility for the charges made. Public
policy, the welfare of society, and the orderly
administration of government have demanded
protection for public opinion. The inevitable and
incontestable result has been the development and
adoption of the doctrine of privilege. Privilege is
classified as either absolute or qualified. With the
first, we are not concerned. As to qualified privilege,
it is as the words suggest a prima facie privilege
which may be lost by proof of malice. A pertinent
illustration of the application of qualified privilege is
a complaint made in good faith and without malice
in regard to the character or conduct of a public
official when addressed to an officer or a board
having some interest or duty in the matter. Even
when the statements are found to be false, if there
is probable cause for belief in their truthfulness and
the charge is made in good faith, the mantle of
privilege may still cover the mistake of the
individual. But the statements must be made under
an honest sense of duty; a self-seeking motive is
destructive. Personal injury is not necessary. All
persons have an interest in the pure and efficient
administration of justice and of public affairs. The
duty under which a party is privileged is sufficient if
it is social or moral in its nature and this person in
good faith believe he is acting in pursuance thereof
although in fact he is mistaken. The privilege is not
defeated by the mere fact that the communication
is made in intemperate terms. A further element of
the law of privilege concerns the person to whom
the complaint should be made. The rule is that if a
party applies to the wrong person through some
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natural and honest mistake as to the respective

functions of various officials such unintentional error
will not take the case out of the privilege. Hence,
the Court find the defendants entitled to the
protection of the rules concerning qualified
privilege, growing out of constitutional guaranties in
our bill of rights.


Burgos v. Chief of Staff, AFP [GR 64261, 26

December 1984]

Facts: On 7 December 1982, Judge Ernani CruzPao, Executive Judge of the then CFI Rizal [Quezon
City], issued 2 search warrants where the premises
at 19, Road 3, Project 6, Quezon City, and 784 Units
C & D, RMS Building, Quezon Avenue, Quezon City,
business addresses of the "Metropolitan Mail" and
"We Forum" newspapers, respectively, were
searched, and office and printing machines,
equipment, paraphernalia, motor vehicles and other
articles used in the printing, publication and
distribution of the said newspapers, as well as
numerous papers, documents, books and other
written literature alleged to be in the possession
and control of Jose Burgos, Jr. publisher-editor of the
"We Forum" newspaper, were seized. A petition for
preliminary mandatory and prohibitory injunction
was filed after 6 months following the raid to
question the validity of said search warrants, and to
enjoin the Judge Advocate General of the AFP, the
city fiscal of Quezon City, from using the
articles seized as evidence in Criminal Case Q022782 of the RTC Quezon City (People v. Burgos).
The prayer of preliminary prohibitory injunction was
rendered moot and academic when, on 7 July 1983,
the Solicitor General manifested that said articles
would not be used until final resolution of the
legality of the seizure of said articles.

Issue: Whether the continued sealing of the printing

machines in the offices of Metropolitan Mail and
We Forum is anathematic to the democratic

Held: The premises searched were the business and

printing offices of the "Metropolitan Mail" and the
"We Forum newspapers. As a consequence of the
search and seizure, these premises of the
Metropolitan Mail and We Forum were padlocked
and sealed, with the further result that the printing
discontinued. Such closure is in the nature of
previous restraint or censorship abhorrent to the
freedom of the press guaranteed under the
fundamental law, and constitutes a virtual denial of
Burgos, et. al.'s freedom to express themselves in
print. Thus state of being is patently anathematic to

a democratic framework where a free, alert and

even militant press is essential for the political
enlightenment and growth of the citizenry. Although
the public officers would justify the continued
sealing of the printing machines on the ground that
they have been sequestered under Section 8 of PD
sequestration of the property of any person, natural
or artificial, engaged in subversive activities against
the government and its duly constituted authorities
in accordance with implementing rules and
regulations as may be issued by the Secretary of
National Defense." It is doubtful, however, if
sequestration could validly be effected in view of
the absence of any implementing rules and
regulations promulgated by the Minister of National


New York Times vs. Sullivan [376 US 254, 9

March 1964]

Facts: L. B. Sullivan is one of the three elected

Commissioners of the City of Montgomery, Alabama.
He was "Commissioner of Public Affairs and the
duties are supervision of the Police Department, Fire
Department of Scales." He brought the civil libel
action against the four individual petitioners, who
are Negroes and Alabama clergymen, and against
the New York Times Company, a New York
corporation which publishes the New York Times, a
daily newspaper. Sullivan's complaint alleged that
he had been libeled by statements in a full-page
advertisement that was carried in the New York
Times on 29 March 1960. Entitled "Heed Their Rising
Voices," the advertisement began by stating that
"As the whole world knows by now, thousands of
Southern Negro students are engaged in widespread
non-violent demonstrations in positive affirmation of
the right to live in human dignity as guaranteed by
the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights." It went
on to charge that "in their efforts to uphold these
unprecedented wave of terror by those who would
deny and negate that document which the whole
world looks upon as setting the pattern for modern
freedom." Succeeding paragraphs purported to
illustrate the "wave of terror" by describing certain
alleged events. The text concluded with an appeal
for funds for three purposes: support of the student
movement, "the struggle for the right-to-vote," and
the legal defense of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,
leader of the movement, against a perjury
indictment then pending in Montgomery. The text
appeared over the names of 64 persons, many
widely known for their activities in public affairs,
religion, trade unions, and the performing arts.
Below these names, and under a line reading "We in
the south who are struggling daily for dignity and
freedom warmly endorse this appeal," appeared the

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names of the four individual petitioners and of 16

other persons, all but two of whom were identified
as clergymen in various Southern cities. The
advertisement was signed at the bottom of the page
by the "Committee to Defend Martin Luther King
and the Struggle for Freedom in the South," and the
officers of the Committee were listed. Of the 10
paragraphs of text in the advertisement, the third
and a portion of the sixth were the basis of
Sullivan's claim of libel. Third paragraph read as "In
Montgomery, Alabama, after students sang `My
Country, 'Tis of Thee' on the State Capitol steps,
their leaders were expelled from school, and
truckloads of police armed with shotguns and teargas ringed the Alabama State College Campus.
When the entire student body protested to state
authorities by refusing to re-register, their dining
hall was padlocked in an attempt to starve them
into submission," while the sixth paragraph reads
"Again and again the Southern violators have
answered Dr. King's peaceful protests with
intimidation and violence. They have bombed his
home almost killing his wife and child. They have
assaulted his person. They have arrested him seven
times - for 'speeding,' 'loitering' and similar
'offenses.' And now they have charged him with
`perjury' - a felony under which they could imprison
him for ten years." A jury in the Circuit Court of
Montgomery County awarded him damages of
$500,000, the full amount claimed, against all the
petitioners, and the Supreme Court of Alabama
affirmed. Background on Alabama laws on the
matter: Under Alabama law, a publication is
"libelous per se" if the words "tend to injure a
person in his reputation" or to "bring [him] into
public contempt"; the trial court stated that the
standard was met if the words are such as to "injure
him in his public office, or impute misconduct to him
in his office, or want of official integrity, or want of
fidelity to a public trust." The jury must find that the
words were published "of and concerning" the
plaintiff, but where the plaintiff is a public official his
place in the governmental hierarchy is sufficient
evidence to support a finding that his reputation has
been affected by statements that reflect upon the
agency of which he is in charge. Once "libel per se"
has been established, the defendant has no defense
as to stated facts unless he can persuade the jury
that they were true in all their particulars. His
privilege of "fair comment" for expressions of
opinion depends on the truth of the facts upon
which the comment is based. Unless he can
discharge the burden of proving truth, general
damages are presumed, and may be awarded
without proof of pecuniary injury. A showing of
actual malice is apparently a prerequisite to
recovery of punitive damages, and the defendant
may in any event forestall a punitive award by a
retraction meeting the statutory requirements. Good
motives and belief in truth do not negate an
inference of malice, but are relevant only in

mitigation of punitive damages if the jury chooses

to accord them weight. Further, Alabama law denies
a public officer recovery of punitive damages in a
libel action brought on account of a publication
concerning his official conduct unless he first makes
a written demand for a public retraction and the
defendant fails or refuses to comply.

Issue: Whether printed allegations or criticism

against official conduct should be supported by
actual facts, to free persons from liabilities
attendant to libel.

Held: The general proposition that freedom of

expression upon public questions is secured by the
First Amendment has long been settled by the
Court's decisions. The constitutional safeguard was
fashioned to assure unfettered interchange of ideas
for the bringing about of political and social changes
desired by the people. The maintenance of the
opportunity for free political discussion to the end
that government may be responsive to the will of
the people and that changes may be obtained by
lawful means, an opportunity essential to the
security of the Republic, is a fundamental principle
of our constitutional system. It is a prized American
privilege to speak one's mind, although not always
with perfect good taste, on all public institutions,
and this opportunity is to be afforded for "vigorous
advocacy" no less than "abstract discussion." The
First Amendment presupposes that right conclusions
are more likely to be gathered out of a multitude of
tongues, than through any kind of authoritative
selection. Against the background of a profound
national commitment to the principle that debate on
public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and
wide-open, and that it may well include vehement,
caustic, and sometimes unpleasantly sharp attacks
on government and public officials. The present
advertisement, as an expression of grievance and
protest on one of the major public issues of our
time, would seem clearly to qualify for the
interpretations of the First Amendment guarantees
have consistently refused to recognize an exception
for any test of truth - whether administered by
judges, juries, or administrative officials - and
especially one that puts the burden of proving truth
on the speaker. The constitutional protection does
not turn upon "the truth, popularity, or social utility
of the ideas and beliefs which are offered." Some
degree of abuse is inseparable from the proper use
of every thing; and in no instance is this more true
than in that of the press. That erroneous statement
is inevitable in free debate, and that it must be
protected if the freedoms of expression are to have
the "breathing space" that they "need to survive."
Injury to official reputation affords no more warrant

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for repressing speech that would otherwise be free

than does factual error. Where judicial officers are
involved, the Court has held that concern for the
dignity and reputation of the courts does not justify
the punishment as criminal contempt of criticism of
the judge or his decision. This is true even though
"misinformation." Such repression can be justified, if
at all, only by a clear and present danger of the
obstruction of justice. If judges are to be treated as
"men of fortitude, able to thrive in a hardy climate,"
surely the same must be true of other government
officials, such as elected city commissioners.
Criticism of their official conduct does not lose its
constitutional protection merely because it is
effective criticism and hence diminishes their official
reputations. A rule compelling the critic of official
conduct to guarantee the truth of all his factual
assertions - and to do so on pain of libel judgments
virtually unlimited in amount - leads to a
comparable "self-censorship." Allowance of the
defense of truth, with the burden of proving it on
the defendant, does not mean that only false
speech will be deterred. Even courts accepting this
defense as an adequate safeguard have recognized
the difficulties of adducing legal proofs that the
alleged libel was true in all its factual particulars.
Under such a rule, would-be critics of official
conduct may be deterred from voicing their
criticism, even though it is believed to be true and
even though it is in fact true, because of doubt
whether it can be proved in court or fear of the
expense of having to do so. They tend to make only
statements which "steer far wider of the unlawful
zone." The rule thus dampens the vigor and limits
the variety of public debate. It is inconsistent with
the First and Fourteenth Amendments.

In RE: Declaratory Relief RE Constitutionality

of RA 4880. Gonzales vs. Commission on
Elections [GR L-27833, 18 April 1969]

Facts: Two new sections were included in the

Revised Election Code, under Republic Act 4880,
which was approved and took effect on 17 June
1967, prohibiting the too early nomination of
candidates and limiting the period of election
campaign or partisan political activity. On 22 July
1967, Arsenio Gonzales and Felicisimo R. Cabigao
filed an action entitled "Declaratory Relief with
Preliminary Injunction," a proceeding that should
have been started in the Court of First Instance, but
treated by the Supreme Court as one of prohibition
in view of the seriousness and the urgency of the
constitutional issue raised. Gonzales and Cabigao
alleged that the enforcement of said RA 4880 would
prejudice their basic rights, such as their freedom of
speech, their freedom of assembly and their right to
form associations or societies for purposes not
contrary to law, guaranteed under the Philippine
Constitution," and that therefore said act is

unconstitutional. Cabigao was, at the time of the

filing of the petition, an incumbent councilor in the
4th District of Manila and the Nacionalista Party
official candidate for Vice-Mayor of Manila to which
he was subsequently elected on 11 November 1967;
while Gonzales is a private individual, a registered
voter in the City of Manila and a political leader of
his co-petitioner.

Issue: Whether the freedom of expression may be


Held: The primacy, the high estate accorded

freedom of expression is of course a fundamental
postulate of our constitutional system. No law shall
he passed abridging the freedom of speech or of the
press. It embraces, at the very least, free speech
and free press may be identified with the liberty to
discuss publicly and truthfully any matter of public
interest without censorship or punishment. There is
to be then no previous restraint on the
communication of views or subsequent liability
whether in libel suits, prosecution for sedition, or
action for damages, or contempt proceedings unless
there be a clear and present danger of substantive
evil that Congress has a right to prevent. The vital
need in a constitutional democracy for freedom of
expression is undeniable whether as a means of
assuring individual self-fulfillment, of attaining the
truth, of securing participation by the people in
social including political decision-making, and of
maintaining the balance between stability and
change. The trend as reflected in Philippine and
American decisions is to recognize the broadest
scope and assure the widest latitude to this
constitutional guaranty. It represents a profound
commitment to the principle that debate of public
issue should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open.
It is not going too far to view the function of free
speech as inviting dispute. "It may indeed best
serve its high purpose when it induces a condition of
unrest, creates dissatisfaction with conditions as
they are, or even stirs people to anger." Freedom of
speech and of the press thus means something
more than the right to approve existing political
beliefs or economic arrangements, to lend support
to official measures, to take refuge in the existing
climate of opinion on any matter of public
consequence. So atrophied, the right becomes
meaningless. The right belongs as well, if not more,
for those who question, who do not conform, who
differ. To paraphrase Justice Holmes, it is freedom
for the thought that we hate, no less than for the
thought that agrees with us. From the language of
the specific constitutional provision, it would appear
that the right is not susceptible of any limitation. No
law may be passed abridging the freedom of speech
and of the press. The realities of life in a complex

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society preclude however a literal interpretation.

Freedom of expression is not an absolute. It would
be too much to insist that at all times and under all
circumstances it should remain unfettered and
unrestrained. There are other societal values that
press for recognition. Two tests that may supply an
acceptable criterion for permissible restriction.
These are the "clear and present danger" rule and
the "dangerous tendency" rule. The Court is of the
view that no unconstitutional infringement exists
insofar as the formation of organizations,
associations, clubs, committees, or other groups of
persons for the purpose of soliciting votes or
undertaking any campaign or propaganda or both
for or against a candidate or party is restricted and
that the prohibition against giving, soliciting, or
receiving contribution for election purposes, either
directly or indirectly, is equally free from
constitutional infirmity. The restriction on freedom of
conventions, caucuses, conferences, meetings,
rallies, parades or other similar assemblies for the
purpose of soliciting votes or undertaking any
campaign or propaganda or both for or against a
candidate or party, leaving untouched all other
legitimate exercise of such poses a more difficult
consideration, it should not be annulled. The other
acts, likewise deemed included in "election
campaign" or "partisan political activity" tax to the
utmost the judicial predisposition to view with
sympathy legislative efforts to regulate election
practices deemed inimical, because of their collision
with the preferred right of freedom of expression.
The scope of the curtailment to which freedom of
expression may be subjected is not foreclosed by
the recognition of the existence of a clear and
present danger of a substantive evil, the
debasement of the electoral process. The majority
of the Court is of the belief that the ban on the
solicitation or undertaking of any campaign or
propaganda, whether directly or indirectly, by an
individual, the making of speeches, announcements
or commentaries or holding interview for or against
the election for any party or candidate for public
office, or the publication or distribution of campaign
literature or materials, suffers from the corrosion of
invalidity. It lacks however one more affirmative
vote to call for a declaration of unconstitutionality.
The necessary 2/3 vote, however, not being
obtained, there is no occasion for the power to
annul statutes to come into play. Such being the
case, it is the judgment of the Court that RA 4880
cannot be declared unconstitutional.


Social Weather Stations Inc. vs. Commission

on Elections [GR 147571, 5 May 2001]

Facts: The Social Weather Stations, Inc. (SWS), is a

private non-stock, non-profit social research

institution conducting surveys in various fields,

including economics, politics, demography, and
social development, and thereafter processing,
analyzing, and publicly reporting the results thereof.
On the other hand, Kamahalan Publishing
Corporation publishes the Manila Standard, a
newspaper of general circulation, which features
news-worthy items of information including election
surveys. SWS and Kamahalan Publishing brought
the action for prohibition with the Supreme Court to
enjoin the Commission on Elections from enforcing
5.4 of RA 9006 (Fair Election Act), which provides
that "Surveys affecting national candidates shall not
be published fifteen (15) days before an election
and surveys affecting local candidates shall not be
published seven (7) days be- fore an election." SWS
states that it wishes to conduct an election survey
throughout the period of the elections both at the
national and local levels and release to the media
the results of such survey as well as publish them
directly. Kamahalan Publishing, on the other hand,
states that it intends to publish election survey
results up to the last day of the elections on 14 May
2001. They argue that the restriction on the
publication of election survey results constitutes a
prior restraint on the exercise of freedom of speech
without any clear and present danger to justify such
restraint. They claim that SWS and other pollsters
conducted and published the results of surveys prior
to the 1992, 1995, and 1998 elections up to as close
as two days before the election day without causing
confusion among the voters and that there is
neither empirical nor historical evidence to support
the conclusion that there is an immediate and
inevitable danger to tile voting process posed by
election surveys. They point out that no similar
restriction is imposed on politicians from explaining
their opinion or on newspapers or broadcast media
from writing and publishing articles concerning
political issues up to the day of the election.
Consequently, they contend that there is no reason
for ordinary voters to be denied access to the
results of election surveys, which are relatively

speech, expression, and the press, such a measure

is vitiated by a weighty presumption of invalidity.
Indeed, any system of prior restraints of expression
comes to the Supreme Court bearing a heavy
presumption against its constitutional validity. The
Government thus carries a heavy burden of showing
justification for in enforcement of such restraint.
There, thus a reversal of the normal presumption of
validity that inheres in every legislation. Sec. 5.4
fails to meet criterion [3] of the O 'Brien test
because the causal connection of expression to the
asserted governmental interest makes such interest
"not related to the suppression of free expression."
By prohibiting the publication of election survey
results because of the possibility that such
publication might undermine the integrity of the
election, 5.4 actually suppresses a whole class of
expression, while allowing the expression of opinion
concerning the same subject matter by newspaper
columnists, radio and TV commentators, armchair
theorists, and other opinion takers. In effect, 5.4
shows a bias for a particular subject matter, if not
viewpoint, by referring personal opinion to statistical
results. The constitutional guarantee of freedom of
expression means that "the government has no
power to restrict expression because of its message,
its ideas, its subject matter, or its content." The
prohibition imposed by 5.4 cannot be justified on
the ground that it is only for a limited period and is
only incidental. The prohibition may be for a limited
time, but the curtailment of the right of expression
is direct, absolute, and substantial. It constitutes a
total suppression of a category of speech and is not
made less so because it is only for a period of 15
days immediately before a national election and 7
days immediately before a local election. In fine,
5.4 is invalid because (1) it imposes a prior
restraint on the freedom of expression, (2) it is a
direct and total suppression of a category of
expression even though such suppression is only for
a limited period, and (3) the governmental interest
sought to be promoted can be achieved by means
other than suppression of freedom of expression.

Issue: Whether 5.4 of RA 9006 constitutes an
unconstitutional abridgment of freedom of speech,
expression, and the press.

unconstitutional abridgment of freedom of speech,
expression, and the press. 5.4 lays a prior restraint
on freedom of speech, expression, and the press
prohibiting the publication of election survey results
affecting candidates within the prescribed periods of
15 days immediately preceding a national election
and 7 days before a local election. Because of the
preferred status of the constitutional rights of

Constitutional Law II | Case Pool by Nikki Sia

WLC School of Law

Zaldivar vs. Sandiganbayan [GR 79690-707,

1 February 1989]; also Zaldivar vs. Gonzales
[GR 80578]

Facts: [Acquired from 27 April 1988 decision]

Enrique A. Zaldivar, governor of the province of
Antique, sought, through a petition for Certiorari,
Prohibition, and Mandamus, to restrain the
Sandiganbayan and Tanodbayan Raul Gonzalez from
proceeding with the prosecution and hearing of
Criminal Cases 12159 to 12161 and 12163-12177
on the ground that said cases were filed by said
Tanodbayan without legal and constitutional
authority, since under the 1987 Constitution which
took effect on 2 February 1987, it is only the
Ombudsman (not the present or incumbent

Tanodbayan) who has the authority to file cases with

the Sandiganbayan. Similarly, Enrique A. Zaldivar,
on substantially the same ground as the first
petition, prays that Tanodbayan Gonzalez be
investigations and filing similar cases with the
Sandiganbayan. The Supreme Court granted the
consolidated petitions filed by Zaldivar and nullified
the criminal informations filed against him in the
Sandiganbayan; and ordered Raul Gonzalez to cease
and desist from conducting investigations and filing
criminal cases with the Sandiganbayan or otherwise
exercising the powers and functions of the
Ombudsman. [Present case] Tanodbayan Gonzales
allegedly made contumacious acts or statements in
a pleading filed before the Court and in statements
given to the media. In its Resolution dated 2 May
1988, the Supreme Court required Tanodbayan
Gonzales to explain "why he should not be punished
for contempt of court and/or subjected to
administrative sanctions" and in respect of which,
Gonzales was heard and given the most ample
opportunity to present all defenses, arguments and
evidence that he wanted to present for the
consideration of this Court. The Court did not
summarily impose punishment upon Gonzales which
it could have done under Section 1 of Rule 71 of the
Revised Rules of Court had it chosen to consider
Gonzales' acts as constituting "direct contempt." In
the per curiam resolution dated 7 October 1988, the
Court found Tanodbayan Gonzalez to be "guilty both
of contempt of court in facie curiae and of gross
misconduct as an officer of the court and member of

Tanodbayan Gonzales transcended the permissible
limits of free speech.

Held: The "clear and present danger" doctrine is not

a magic incantation which dissolves all problems
and dispenses with analysis and judgment in the
testing of the legitimacy of claims to free speech,
and which compels a court to exonerate a
defendant the moment the doctrine is invoked,
absent proof of impending apocalypse. The "clear
and present danger" doctrine has been an accepted
method for marking out the appropriate limits of
freedom of speech and of assembly in certain
contexts. It is not, however, the only test which has
been recognized and applied by courts. Although
the prevailing doctrine is that the clear and present
danger rule is such a limitation; another criterion for
permissible limitation on freedom of speech and of
the press, which includes such vehicles of the mass
media as radio, television and the movies, is the
"balancing-of interests test." The principle requires a

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WLC School of Law

court to take conscious and detailed consideration

of the interplay of interests observable in a given
situation or type of situation' Still, under either the
"clear and present danger" test or the "balancing-ofinterest test" the Corut believes that the statements
made by Gonzalez are of such a nature and were
made in such a manner and under such
circumstances, as to transcend the permissible
limits of free speech. This conclusion was implicit in
the per curiam Resolution of October 7, 1988. It is
important to point out that the "substantive evil"
which the Supreme Court has a right and a duty to
prevent does not, in the present case, relate to
threats of physical disorder or overt violence or
similar disruptions of public order. What is here at
stake is the authority of the Supreme Court to
confront and prevent a "substantive evil" consisting
not only of the obstruction of a free and fair hearing
of a particular case but also the avoidance of the
broader evil of the degradation of the judicial
system of a country and the destruction of the
standards of professional conduct required from
members of the bar and officers of the courts. The
"substantive evil" here involved, in other words, is
not as palpable as a threat of public disorder or
rioting but is certainly no less deleterious and more
far reaching in its implications for society.


Sanidad vs. Commission on Elections [GR

90878, 29 January 1990]

Facts: On 23 October 1989, Republic Act 6766,

entitled "An Act Providing for an Organic Act for the
Cordillera Autonomous Region" was enacted into
law. Pursuant to said law, the City of Baguio and the
Cordilleras which consist of the provinces of
Benguet, Mountain Province, Ifugao, Abra and
Kalinga-Apayao, all comprising the Cordillera
Autonomous Region, shall take part in a plebiscite
for the ratification of said Organic Act originally
scheduled last 27 December 1989 which was,
however, reset to 30 January 1990 by virtue of
Comelec Resolution 2226 dated 27 December 1989.
The Commission on Elections (COMELEC), by virtue
of the power vested by the 1987 Constitution, the
Omnibus Election Code (BP 881), said RA 6766 and
Resolution 2167, to govern the conduct of the
plebiscite on the said Organic Act for the Cordillera
Autonomous Region. In a petition for certiorari dated
20 November 1989, Pablito V. Sanidad, who claims
to be a newspaper columnist of the "Overview" for
the Baguio Midland Courier, a weekly newspaper
circulated in the City of Baguio and the Cordilleras,
assailed the constitutionality of Section 19 of
Comelec Resolution 2167, which provides that
"During the plebiscite campaign period, on the day
before and on plebiscite day, no mass media
columnist, commentator, announcer or personality
shall use his column or radio or television time to

campaign for or against the plebiscite issues."

Sanidad alleged that said provision is void and
constitutional guarantees of the freedom of
expression and of the press enshrined in the

Issue: Whether the COMELEC, through Section 19 of

Comelec Resolution 2167, restricts Sanidads
freedom of expression for no justifiable reason.

specific portions in newspapers or to specific radio

or television times. While the limitation in Section
19 of Comelec Resolution 2167 does not absolutely
bar Sanidad's freedom of expression, it is still a
restriction on his choice of the forum where he may
express his view. No reason was advanced by the
COMELEC to justify such abridgement. This form of
regulation, thus, is tantamount to a restriction of
Sanidad's freedom of expression for no justifiable

Held: It is clear from Article IX-C of the 1987
Constitution that what was granted to the COMELEC
was the power to supervise and regulate the use
and enjoyment of franchises, permits or other
grants issued for the operation of transportation or
other public utilities, media of communication or
information to the end that equal opportunity, time
and space, and the right to reply, including
reasonable, equal rates therefor, for public
candidates are ensured. The evil sought to be
prevented by this provision is the possibility that a
franchise holder may favor or give any undue
advantage to a candidate in terms of advertising
space or radio or television time. This is also the
reason why a "columnist, commentator, announcer
or personality, who is a candidate for any elective
office is required to take a leave of absence from his
work during the campaign period. It cannot be
gainsaid that a columnist or commentator who is
also a candidate would be more exposed to the
voters to the prejudice of other candidates unless
required to take a leave of absence. However,
neither Article IX-C of the Constitution nor Section
11(b), 2nd paragraph of RA 6646 can be construed
to mean that the Comelec has also been granted
the right to supervise and regulate the exercise by
media practitioners themselves of their right to
practitioners exercising their freedom of expression
during plebiscite periods are neither the franchise
holders nor the candidates. In fact, there are no
candidates involved in a plebiscite. Therefore,
Section 19 of Comelec Resolution 2167 has no
statutory basis. Plebiscite issues are matters of
public concern and importance. The people's right
to be informed and to be able to freely and
intelligently make a decision would be better served
by access to an unabridged discussion of the issues,
including the forum. The people affected by the
issues presented in a plebiscite should not be
unduly burdened by restrictions on the forum where
the right to expression may be exercised. Comelec
spaces and Comelec radio time may provide a
forum for expression but they do not guarantee full
dissemination of information to the public
concerned because they are limited to either

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Janet Reno vs. Americal Civil Liberties Union

[521 US 884,26 June 1997]

Facts: Two provisions of the Communications

Decency Act of 1996 (CDA or Act) seek to protect
minors from harmful material on the Internet, an
international network of interconnected computers
that enables millions of people to communicate with
one another in "cyberspace" and to access vast
amounts of information from around the world. Title
47 U. S. C. A. 223(a)(1)(B)(ii) (Supp. 1997)
criminalizes the "knowing" transmission of "obscene
or indecent" messages to any recipient under 18
years of age. Section 223(d) prohibits the
"knowin[g]" sending or displaying to a person under
18 of any message "that, in context, depicts or
describes, in terms patently offensive as measured
by contemporary community standards, sexual or
excretory activities or organs." Affirmative defenses
are provided for those who take "good faith, . . .
effective . . . actions" to restrict access by minors to
the prohibited communications, 223(e)(5)(A), and
those who restrict such access by requiring certain
designated forms of age proof, such as a verified
credit card or an adult identification number,
223(e)(5)(B). A number of plaintiffs filed suit
challenging the constitutionality of 223(a)(1) and
223(d). After making extensive findings of fact, a
three judge District Court convened pursuant to the
Act entered a preliminary injunction against
enforcement of both challenged provisions. The
court's judgment enjoins the Government from
enforcing 223(a)(1)(B)'s prohibitions insofar as they
relate to "indecent" communications, but expressly
preserves the Government's right to investigate and
prosecute the obscenity or child pornography
activities prohibited therein. The injunction against
enforcement of 223(d) is unqualified because that
section contains no separatereference to obscenity
or child pornography. The Government appealed to
the Supreme Court under the Act's special review
provisions, arguing that the District Court erred in
holding that the CDA violated both the First
Amendment because it is overbroad and the Fifth
Amendment because it is vague.

Issue: Whether the Communications Decency Act of

1996 places an unacceptably heavy burden on
protected speech.

Held: Regardless of whether the Communications

Decency Act of 1996 (CDA) is so vague that it
violates the Fifth Amendment, the many ambiguities
concerning the scope of its coverage render it
problematic for purposes of the First Amendment.
For instance, each of the two parts of the CDA uses
a different linguistic form. The first uses the word
"indecent," while the second speaks of material that
"in context, depicts or describes, in terms patently
offensive as measured by contemporary community
standards, sexual or excretory activities or organs."
Given the absence of a definition of either term, this
difference in language will provoke uncertainty
among speakers about how the two standards relate
to each other and just what they mean. This
uncertainty undermines the likelihood that the CDA
has been carefully tailored to the congressional goal
of protecting minors from potentially harmful
materials. The vagueness of the CDA is a matter of
special concern for two reasons. First, the CDA is a
content based regulation of speech. The vagueness
of such a regulation raises special First Amendment
concerns because of its obvious chilling effect on
free speech. Second, the CDA is a criminal statute.
In addition to the opprobrium and stigma of a
criminal conviction, the CDA threatens violators with
penalties including up to two years in prison for
each act of violation. The severity of criminal
sanctions may well cause speakers to remain silent
rather than communicate even arguably unlawful
words, ideas, and images. The CDA regulates
speech on the basis of its content. A "time, place,
and manner" analysis is therefore inapplicable. It is
thus immaterial whether such speech would be
feasible on the Web (which, as the Government's
own expert acknowledged, would cost up to
$10,000 if the speaker's interests were not
accommodated by an existing Web site, not
including costs for database management and age
equivalent to arguing that a statute could ban
leaflets on certain subjects as long as individuals
are free to publish books. In invalidating a number
of laws that banned leafletting on the streets
regardless of their content-- the Court explained
that "one is not to have the exercise of his liberty of
expression in appropriate places abridged on the
plea that it may be exercised in some other place."
Also, most Internet fora -- including chat rooms,
newsgroups, mail exploders, and the Web -- are
open to all comers. Even the strongest reading of
the "specific person" requirement of 223(d) cannot
save the statute. It would confer broad powers of
censorship, in the form of a "heckler's veto," upon
any opponent of indecent speech who might simply

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log on and inform the would be discoursers that his

17 year old child -- a "specific person under 18
years of age," -- would be present. Finally, there is
no textual support for the Government's submission
that material having scientific, educational, or other
redeeming social value will necessarily fall outside
the CDA's "patently offensive" and "indecent"
prohibitions. Thus, the CDA places an unacceptably
heavy burden on protected speech, and that the
defenses do not constitute the sort of "narrow
tailoring" that will save an otherwise patently invalid
unconstitutional provision. The CDA, casting a far
darker shadow over free speech, threatens to torch
a large segment of the Internet community. The
ruling of the district court was sustained.

Miriam College Foundation Inc. vs. Court of

Appeals [GR 127930, 15 December 2000]

Facts: Following the publication of the SeptemberOctober 1994 issue (Vol. 41, No. 14) of Miriam
College's school paper (Chi-Rho), and magazine
(Ang Magasing Pampanitikan ng Chi-Rho), the
members of the editorial board, and Relly Carpio,
author of Libog, all students of Miriam College,
received a letter signed by Dr. Aleli Sevilla, Chair of
the Miriam College Discipline Committee. The Letter
dated 4 November 1994 informed them that letters
of complaint were "filed against you by members of
the Miriam Community and a concerned Ateneo
grade five student have been forwarded to the
Discipline Committee for inquiry and investigation.
Please find enclosed complaints. As expressed in
their complaints you have violated regulations in the
student handbook specifically Section 2 letters B
and R, pages 30 and 32, Section 4 (Major offenses)
letter j, page 36 letters m, n, and p, page 37 and no.
2 (minor offenses) letter a, page 37. You are
required to submit a written statement in answer to
the charge/s on or before the initial date of hearing
to be held on November 15, 1994, Tuesday, 1:00 in
the afternoon at the DSA Conference Room." None
of the students submitted their respective answers.
They instead requested Dr. Sevilla to transfer the
case to the Regional Office of the Department of
Education, Culture and Sports (DECS) which under
Rule XII of DECS Order 94, Series of 1992,
supposedly had jurisdiction over the case. In a
Letter dated 21 November 1994, Dr. Sevilla again
required the students to file their written answers. In
response, Atty. Ricardo Valmonte, lawyer for the
students, submitted a letter to the Discipline
Committee reiterating his clients' position that said
Committee had no jurisdiction over them. According
to Atty. Valmonte, the Committee was "trying to
impose discipline on his clients on account of their
having written articles and poems in their capacity
as campus journalists." Hence, he argued that "what
applies is Republic Act No. 7079 The Campus
Journalism Act and its implementing rules and
regulations." He also questioned the partiality of the

members of said Committee who allegedly "had

already articulated their position" against his
clients. The Discipline Committee proceeded with its
investigation ex parte. Thereafter, the Discipline
Board, after a review of the Discipline Committee's
report, imposed disciplinary sanctions upon the
students, to wit: (1) Jasper Briones [Editor-in-Chief of
ChiRho, 4th year student]: Expulsion; (2) Daphne
Cowper: Suspension up to (summer) March 1995;
(3) Imelda Hilario: suspension for 2 weeks to expire
on 2 February 1995; (4) Deborah Ligon [4th year
student and could graduate as summa cum laude]:
suspension up to May 1995; (5) Elizabeth Valdezco:
suspension up to (summer) March 1995; (6) Camille
withheld, including diploma; (7) Joel Tan: suspension
for 2 weeks to expire on 2 February 1995; (8) Gerald
Gary Renacido [2nd year student]: Expelled and
given transfer credentials; (9) Relly Carpio [3rd year
student]: Dismissed and given transfer credentials;
(10) Jerome Gomez [3rd year student]: Dismissed
and given transfer credentials; and (11) Jose Mari
Ramos [Art editor of Chi-Rho, 2nd year student]:
Expelled and given transfer papers. Said students
thus filed a petition for prohibition and certiorari
with preliminary injunction/restraining order before
the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City questioning
the jurisdiction of the Discipline Board of Miriam
College over them. On 17 January 1995, the
Regional Trial Court, Branch CIII, presided by Judge
Jaime N. Salazar, Jr., issued an order denying the
students' prayer for a Temporary Restraining Order.
The students thereafter filed a "Supplemental
Subsequently, the RTC issued an Order dated 10
February 1995 granting the writ of preliminary
injunction. Both parties moved for a reconsideration
of the above order. In an Order dated 22 February
1995, the RTC dismissed the petition. The students,
excluding Deborah Ligon, Imelda Hilario and Daphne
Cowper, sought relief in the Supreme Court through
a petition for certiorari and prohibition of
questioning the Orders of the RTC dated 10 and 24
February 1995. On 15 March 1995, the Court
resolved to refer the case to the Court of Appeals
(CA) for disposition. In its Decision dated 26
September 1996, the appellate court granted the
students' petition. The CA declared the RTC Order
dated 22 February 1995, as well as the students'
suspension and dismissal, void. Miriam College filed
the present petition.

Issue: Whether Section 7 of the Campus Journalism

Act precludes the schools right to discipline its

Held: In several cases, the Supreme Court has

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upheld the right of the students to free speech in

school premises. The right of the students to free
speech in school premises, however, is not absolute.
The right to free speech must always be applied in
light of the special characteristics of the school
environment. Thus, while the Court upheld the right
of the students to free expression in the cases of
Malabanan vs. Ramento, Villar vs. Technological
Institute of the Philippines, Arreza vs. Gregorio
Araneta University Foundation, and Non vs. Dames
II, the Court did not rule out disciplinary action by
the school for "conduct by the student, in class or
out of it, which for any reason - whether it stems
from time, place, or type of behavior - which
materially disrupts classwork or involves substantial
disorder or invasion of the rights of others."
Provisions of law (such as Section 7 of the Campus
Journalism Act) should be construed in harmony
with those of the Constitution; acts of the legislature
should be construed, wherever possible, in a
manner that would avoid their conflicting with the
fundamental law. A statute should not be given a
broad construction if its validity can be saved by a
narrower one. Thus, Section 7 should be read in a
manner as not to infringe upon the school's right to
discipline its students. At the same time, however,
said provision should not be construed as to unduly
restrict the right of the students to free speech.
Consistent with jurisprudence, Section 7 of the
Campus Journalism Act is read to mean that the
school cannot suspend or expel a student solely on
the basis of the articles he or she has written,
except when such article materially disrupt class
work or involve substantial disorder or invasion of
the rights of others. Further, the power of the school
to investigate is an adjunct of its power to suspend
or expel. It is a necessary corollary to the
enforcement of rules and regulations and the
maintenance of a safe and orderly educational
environment conducive to learning. That power, like
the power to suspend or expel, is an inherent part of
the academic freedom of institutions of higher
learning guaranteed by the Constitution. the Court
therefore rule that Miriam College has the authority
to hear and decide the cases filed against the

10. ABSCBN Vs. Comelec

FACTS: Comelec approved Resolution 98-1419 on
April 21, 1998 which prohibited the conduct of exit
polls. Petitioners questioned the validity of the
resolution by filing a petition for certiorari in the SC.
Solicitor General argued that case should be
dismissed for failure to exhaust all available
remedies by failure to file a motion for
reconsideration before the Comelec.
HELD: Considering that the resolution was issued
only 20 days before the election and that the

petitioners got a copy of it only on May 4, 1998,

there was hardly any opportunity to move for
reconsideration and to obtain and swift resolution in
time for the May 11 elections. The petition also
involves transcendental constitutional issues
therefore, direct resort to SC is justified.
11. Babst vs. National Intelligence Board [GR L62992, 28 September 1984]
Facts: Arlene Babst, Odette Alcantara, Ceres P.
Doyo, Jo-Ann Q. Maglipon, Domini Torrevillas-Suarez,
Lorna Kalaw-Tirol, Cielo Buenaventura, Sylvia
Mayuga, Sheila S. Coronel, et al. are columnists,
feature article writers and reporters of various local
publications. At different dates since July 1980,
some of them have allegedly been summoned by
military authorities who have subjected them to
sustained interrogation on various aspects of their
works, feelings, sentiments, beliefs, associations
and even their private lives. Aside from the
interrogations, a criminal complaint for libel was
filed by Brig. Gen. Artemio Tidier, Jr. on 9 February
1983 with the Office of the City Fiscal, Manila,
against Domini Torrevillas-Suarez, editor of the
Panorama, and Ma. Ceres Doyo based on an article
written by Doyo and published in the 28 March 1982
issue of the Panorama, on which the author had
been interrogated by Brig. Gen. Wilfredo Estrada
(Ret.), Col. Renato Ecarma, NBI Asst. Director
Ponciano Fernando, Col. Balbino Diego, Col. Galileo
Kintanar, Col. Eustaquio Peralta, et. al. The
complaint included an staggering P10 million claim
for damages. (An information for libel has since
been filed with the Regional Trial Court of the
National Capital Region against Suarez and Doyo.)
On 3 March 1983, Babst, et. al. filed a petition for
prohibition with preliminary injunction, which was
superseded by the amended and supplemental
petition for prohibition with preliminary injunction,
seeking to prohibit the respondents (a) from issuing
subpoenas or letters of invitation to Babst, et. al.
and interrogating them, and (b) from filing libel suits
on matters that have been the subject of inquiry by
the National Intelligence Board (NIB).

Issue: Whether the issuance by the NIB of letters of

invitation to Babst,, their subsequent
interrogation, and the filing of libel suits against
Suarez and Dayo, are illegal and unconstitutional as
they are violative of the constitutional guarantee on
free expression since they have the effect of
imposing restrictive guidelines and norms on mass

Held: Prohibition will not issue in respect of the libel

charges now pending in court against Suarez and
Doyo and similar suits that might be filed. The writ

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of prohibition is directed against a tribunal, board or

person acting without or in excess of jurisdiction or
with grave abuse of discretion vis-a-vis certain
proceedings pending before it. The libel cases
adverted to are not pending before the NIB or any
other respondent. Further, the issue of validity of
the libel, charges by reason of their alleged collision
with freedom of expression, is a matter that should
be raised in the proper forum, i.e., before the court
where the libel cases are pending or where they
may be filed. The same rule applies to the issue of
admissibility as evidence of matters that have been
elicited in the course of an inquiry or interrogation
conducted by the NIB, which Babst, et. al. claim to
have been illegally obtained. Finally, the right to
seek redress when libeled is a personal and
individual privilege of the aggrieved party, and no
one among the officials has the authority to restrain
any of his subordinates who has been libeled from
vindicating his right by instituting a libel suit. Brig.
Gen. Tadiar has filed the libel case against Suarez
and Doyo in his personal capacity. Moreover, he is
not even a member of the NIB. And the NIB does not
appear to have anything to do with Gen. Tadiar's
private right to complain of libel.

12. Espuelas vs. People

December 1951]




Facts: Between June 9 and June 24, 1947, in the

town of Tagbilaran, Bohol, Oscar Espuelas y
Mendoza had his picture taken, making it to appear
as if he were hanging lifeless at the end of a piece
of rope suspended from the limb of a tree, when in
truth and in fact, he was merely standing on a
barrel. After securing copies of his photograph,
Espuelas sent copies of same to several newspapers
and weeklies of general circulation, not only in the
Province of Bohol but also throughout the
Philippines and abroad, for their publication with a
suicide note or letter, wherein he made to appear
that it was written by a fictitious suicide, Alberto
Reveniera and addressed to the latter's supposed
wife, stating therein in part that "if someone asks
you why I committed suicide, tell them I did it
because I was not pleased with the administration
of Roxas. Tell the whole world about this. And if they
ask why I did not like the administration of Roxas,
point out to them the situation in Central Luzon, the
Hukbalahaps. Tell them about Julio Guillen and the
banditry of Leyte. Dear wife, write to President
Truman and Churchill. Tell them that here in the
Philippines our government is infested with many
Hitlers and Mussolinis. Teach our children to burn
pictures of Roxas if and when they come across one.
I committed suicide because I am ashamed of our
government under Roxas. I cannot hold high my
brows to the world with this dirty government. I
committed suicide because I have no power to put
under Juez de Cuchillo all the Roxas people now in

power. So, I sacrificed my own self." Espuelas was

charged for violating Article 142 of the Revised
Penal Code, which punishes those who shall write,
publish or circulate scurrilous libels against the
Government of the Philippines or any of the duly
constituted authorities thereof or which suggest or
incite rebellious conspiracies or riots or which tend
to stir up the people against the lawful authorities or
to disturb the peace of the community. Espuelas
admitted the fact that he wrote the note or letter
and caused its publication in the Free Press, the
Evening News, the Bisaya, Lamdang and other local
periodicals and that he had impersonated one
Alberto Reveniera by signing said pseudonymous
name in said note or letter and posed himself as
Alberto Reveniera in a picture taken wherein he was
shown hanging by the end of a rope tied to a limb of
a tree. Espuelas was, after trial, convicted in the
Court of First Instance of Bohol of a violation of the
above article. The conviction was affirmed by the
Court of Appeals. Espuelas appealed.

Issue: Whether sedition laws unnecessarily curtain

the citizens freedom of expression.

Held: The freedom of speech secured by the

Constitution "does not confer an absolute right to
speak or publish without responsibility whatever one
may choose." It is not "unbridled license that gives
immunity for every possible use of language and
prevents the punishment of those who abuse this
freedom." So statutes against sedition have always
been considered not violative of such fundamental
guaranty, although they should not be interpreted
so as to unnecessarily curtail the citizen's freedom
of expression to agitate for institutional changes.
Not to be restrained is the privilege of any citizen to
criticize his government and government officials
and to submit his criticism to the "free trade of
ideas" and to plead for its acceptance in "the
competition of the market." However, let such
criticism be specific and therefore constructive,
reasoned or tempered, and not a contemptuous
condemnation of the entire government set-up.
Such wholesale attack is nothing less than an
invitation to disloyalty to the government. Herein,
no particular objectionable actuation of the
government was made in the article. It is called
dirty, it is called a dictatorship, it is called shameful,
but no particular omissions or commissions are set
forth. Instead the article drips with male-violence
and hate towards the constituted authorities. It tries
to arouse animosity towards all public servants
headed by President Roxas whose pictures Espuelas
would burn and would teach the younger generation
to destroy. Analyzed for meaning and weighed in its
consequences the article cannot fail to impress
thinking persons that it seeks to sow the seeds of

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sedition and strife. The infuriating language is not a

sincere effort to persuade, what with the writer's
simulated suicide and false claim to martyrdom and
what with its failure to particularize. When the use
of irritating language centers not on persuading the
readers but on creating disturbance, the rationable
of free speech can not apply and the speaker or
writer is removed from the protection of the
constitutional guaranty. Although it be argued that
the article does not discredit the entire
governmental structure but only President Roxas
and his men; still, article 142 punishes not only all
libels against the Government but also "libels
against any of the duly constituted authorities
thereof." The "Roxas people" in the Government
obviously refer at least to the President, his Cabinet
and the majority of legislators to whom the
adjectives dirty, Hitlers and Mussolinis were
naturally directed. On this score alone the
conviction could be upheld. To top it all, Espuelas
proclaimed to his readers that he committed suicide
because he had "no power to put under juez de
cuchillo all the Roxas people now in power."
Knowing, that the expression Juez de Cuchillo
means to the ordinary layman as the Law of the
Knife, a "summary and arbitrary execution by the
knife", the idea intended by Espuelas to be
conveyed was no other than bloody, violent and
unpeaceful methods to free the government from
the administration of Roxas and his men. The
meaning, intent and effect of the article involves
maybe a question of fact, making the findings of the
court of appeals conclusive upon the Supreme

13. Elizalde vs. CFI 116 SCRA 93 (1982)

Mercado v. CFI of Rizal 116 SCRA 93 (1982)
F:Petitioner was accused of libel on the basis of a
telegram which he sent to the Secretary of
PublicWorks requesting investigation of Mrs. Virginia
Mercado of the Public Service Commission "as we
havereason to believe that she has enriched herself
thru corrupt practices xxx." He filed a motion to
dismiss onthe ground that his communication was
privileged, but his motion was denied. He filed
another motionwhich was also denied. Thus, this
petition forcertiorari,mandamusand prohibition in
the SC.
HELD:US v. Bustosis a landmark decision antedating
by forty years a similar decision of theUS Supreme
Court to the effect that a libel prosecution must
survive the test of whether or not theoffending
publication is within the guarantees of free speech
and free press. However, JusticeMalcolm in US v.
Bustoswas careful to point out that qualified
privilege and this is one instancemay be "lost by
proof of malice." What casts doubt on the good faith

of petitioner is his conduct,vis--vis private

respondent. The tenacity with which petitioner had

14. Lopez vs. Court of Appeals [GR L-26549, 31

July 1970]
Facts: In the early part of January 1956, there
appeared on the front page of The Manila Chronicle,
of which Eugenio Lopez was the publisher, as well
as on other dailies, a news story of a sanitary
inspector assigned to the Babuyan Islands, Fidel
Cruz by name, sending a distress signal to a passing
United States Airforce plane which in turn relayed
the message to Manila. He was not ignored, an
American Army plane dropping on the beach of an
island an emergency-sustenance kit containing,
among other things, a two-way radio set. He utilized
it to inform authorities in Manila that the people in
the place were living in terror, due to a series of
killings committed since Christmas of 1995. Losing
no time, the Philippines defense establishment
rushed to the island a platoon of scout rangers led
by Major Wilfredo Encarnacion. Upon arriving at the
reported killermenaced Babuyan Claro, however,
Major Encarnacion and his men found, instead of the
alleged killers, a man, the same Fidel Cruz, who
merely wanted transportation home to Manila. In
view of this finding, Major Wilfredo Encarnacion
branded as a "hoax," to use his own descriptive
word, the report of Fidel Cruz. That was the term
employed by the other newspapers when referring
to the incident. This Week Magazine of the Manila
Chronicle, then edited by Juan T. Gatbonton,
devoted a pictorial article to it in its issue of 15
January 1956. Mention was made that while Fidel
Cruz story turned out to he false, if brought to light
the misery of the people living in that place, with
almost everybody sick, only two individuals able to
read and write, food and clothing being scarce. Then
in the 29 January 1956 issue of This Week Magazine,
the "January News Quiz" included an item on the
central figure in what was known as the Calayan
Hoax, who nevertheless did the country a good turn
by calling the government's attention to that
forsaken and desolate corner of the Republic. Earlier
in its Special Year End Quiz appearing in its issue of
18 January 1956, reference was made to a health
inspector who suddenly felt "lonely" in his isolated
post, cooked up a story about a murderer running
loose on the island of Calayan so that he could be
ferried back to civilization. He was given the
appellation of "Hoax of the Year." The magazine on
both occasions carried photographs of the person
purporting to be Fidel Cruz. Unfortunately, the
pictures that were published on both occasions were
that of Fidel G. Cruz, a businessman-contractor from
Santa Maria, Bulacan. It turned out that the
photographs of Cruz and that of Fidel Cruz, sanitary
inspector, were on file, in the library of the Manila

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pursued a course of conduct.

Chronicle in accordance with the standard

procedure observed in other newspaper offices, but
when the news quiz format was prepared, the two
photographs were inadvertently switched. As soon,
however, as the inadvertent error was brought to
the attention of Lopez and Gatbonton, the following
correction was immediately published in This Week
Magazine on January 27, 1957: "While we were
rushing to meet the deadline for January 13th issue
of This Week, we inadvertently published the picture
of former Mayor Fidel G. Cruz of Sta. Maria, Bulacan,
businessman and contractor, in 'Our Own Who's
Who feature in the Year End Quiz' of This Week in
lieu of the health inspector Fidel Cruz, who was
connected with a story about a murderer running
loose on Calayan Island. We here express our
profound regrets that; such an error occurred."
Together with the foregoing correction, Lopez and
Gatbonton published the picture of Fidel Cruz; the
photographs and the correction moreover were
enclosed by four lines, the type used was bolder
than ordinary, and the item was placed in a
conspicuous place in order to call the attention of
the readers to such amends being made. The
businessman Fidel G. Cruz sued Lopez and
Gatbonton in the Court of First Instance of Manila for
the recovery of damages alleging the defamatory
character of the above publication of his picture.
After trial duly had, he was awarded P5,000 as
actual damages, another P5,000 as moral damages,
and P1,000 for attorney's fees. That judgment was
affirmed on appeal to the appellate Court. Lopez
and Gatbonton filed the petition for certiorari.

Issue: Whether the claim of freedom of the press

negates Lopez and Gatbontons liability arising
from libel.

Held: A libel was defined as a "malicious

defamation, expressed either in writing, printing, or
by signs or pictures, or the like, tending to blacken
the memory of one who is dead or to impeach the
honesty, virtue, or reputation, or publish the alleged
or natural defects of one who is alive, and thereby
expose him to public hatred, contempt, or ridicule."
There was an express provision in such legislation
for a tort or a quasi-delict action arising from libel.
There is reinforcement to such a view in the new
Civil Code providing for the recovery of moral
damages for libel, slander or any other form of
defamation. According to the standard treatise of
Newell on Slander and Libel: "Publication of a
person's photograph in connection with an article
libelous of a third person, is a libel on the person
whose picture is published, where the acts set out in

the article are imputed to such person." Why libel

law has both a criminal and a civil aspect is
explained by Hale in his Law of the Press thus: "On
the one hand, libeling a person results in depriving
him of his good reputation. Since reputation is a
thing; of value, truly rather to be chosen than great
riches, an impairment of it is a personal wrong. To
redress this personal wrong money damages are
awarded to the injured person. On the other hand,
the publication of defamatory statements tends
strongly to induce breach of the peace by the
person defamed, and hence is of peculiar moment
to the state as the guardian of the public peace.
Viewed from this angle, libel is a crime, and as such
subjects the offender to a fine or imprisonment." No
inroads on press freedom should be allowed in the
guise of punitive action visited in what otherwise
could be characterized as libel whether in the form
of printed words or a defamatory imputation
resulting from the publication of Cruz's picture with
the offensive caption as in complained of. This is not
to deny that the party responsible invites the
institution either of a criminal prosecution or a civil
suit. It must be admitted that what was done did
invite such a dire consequence, considering the
value the law justly places on a man's reputation.
This is merely to underscore the primacy that
freedom of the press enjoys. It ranks rather high in
the hierarchy of legal values. If the cases mean
anything at all then, to emphasize what has so
clearly emerged, they call for the utmost care on
the part of the judiciary to assure that in
safeguarding the interest of the party allegedly
offended, a realistic account of the obligation of a
news media to disseminate information of a public
character and to comment thereon as well as the
conditions attendant on the business of publishing
cannot be ignored. However, the correction
promptly made by Lopez and Gatbonton would thus
call for a reduction in the damages awarded. It
should be noted that there was no proof of any
actual pecuniary loss arising from the above
publication. It is worthwhile to recall what Justice
Malcolm referred to as the tolerant attitude on the
part of appellate courts on this score, the usual
practice being "more likely to reduce damages for
libel than to increase them."

future. Thoenen claimed that the article destroyed

the respect and admiration he enjoyed in the
The petitioners admitted publication of the news
item, ostensibly out of a social and moral duty to
inform the public on matters of general interest,
promote the public good and protect the moral
public (sic) of the people, and that the story was
published in good faith and without malice.
Issue: Whether or not the news report fall under
privileged communication and therefore protected
by the constitutional provision on freedom of
Held: The right of free speech is not absolute. Libel
is not protected speech. In the instant case, even if
we assume that the letter written by Atty. Angara is
privileged communication, it lost its character when
the matter was published in the newspaper and
circulated among the general population, especially
since the individual alleged to be defamed is neither
Moreover, the news item contained falsehoods on
two levels. First, the BF Homes residents did not ask
for the deportation of Thoenen, more so because
the letter of the Atty. Anagara was a mere request
for verification of Thoenens status as a foreign
resident. The article is also untrue because the
events she reported never happened. Worse, the
main source of information, Atty. Efren Angara,
apparently either does not exist, or is not a lawyer.
There is no constitutional value in false statements
of fact. Neither the intentional lie nor the careless
error materially advances societys interest in
uninhibited, robust, and wide-open debate.
Calculated falsehood falls into that class of
utterances which are no essential part of any
exposition of ideas, and are of such slight social
value as a step to truth that any benefit that may be
derived from them is clearly outweighed by the
social interest in order and morality The knowingly
false statement and the false statement made with
reckless disregard of the truth, do not enjoy
constitutional protection

16. Texas vs. Johnson [491 US 397, 21 June

G.R. No. 143372 December 13, 2005
Facts: On 30 September 1990, a news item
appeared in the Peoples Journal claiming that a
certain Francis Thoenen, a Swiss national who
allegedly shoots wayward neighbors pets that he
finds in his domain. It also claimed that BF Homes
residents, in a letter through lawyer Atty. Efren
Angara, requested for the deportation of Thoenen to
prevent the recurrence of such incident in the

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Facts: While the Republican National Convention

was taking place in Dallas in 1984, Gregory Lee
Johnson participated in a political demonstration
dubbed the "Republican War Chest Tour." As
demonstrators and in speeches made by them, the
purpose of this event was to protest the policies of
the Reagan administration and of certain Dallasbased corporations. The demonstrators marched
through the Dallas streets, chanting political slogans
and stopping at several corporate locations to stage

"dieins" intended to dramatize the consequences of

nuclear war. On several occasions they spraypainted the walls of buildings and overturned potted
plants, but Johnson himself took no part in such
activities. He did, however, accept an American flag
handed to him by a fellow protestor who had taken
it from a flagpole outside one of the targeted
buildings. The demonstration ended in front of
Dallas City Hall, where Johnson unfurled the
American flag, doused it with kerosene, and set it on
fire. While the flag burned, the protestors chanted:
"America, the red, white, and blue, we spit on you."
After the demonstrators dispersed, a witness to the
flag burning collected the flag's remains and buried
them in his backyard. No one was physically injured
or threatened with injury, though several witnesses
testified that they had been seriously offended by
the flag burning. Of the approximately 100
demonstrators, Johnson alone was charged with a
crime. The only criminal offense with which he was
charged was the desecration of a venerated object
in violation of Tex. Penal Code Ann. 42.09(a)(3)
(1989). After a trial, he was convicted, sentenced to
one year in prison, and fined $2,000. The Court of
Appeals for the Fifth District of Texas at Dallas
affirmed Johnson's conviction but the Texas Court of
Criminal Appeals reversed holding that the State
could not, consistent with the First Amendment,
punish Johnson for burning the flag in these

Issue: Whether publicly burning an American flag as

a means of political protest is a part of the
constitutional guarantee of freedom of expression.

Held: The First Amendment literally forbids the

abridgment only of "speech," but the Court has long
recognized that its protection does not end at the
spoken or written word. While the Court has rejected
"the view that an apparently limitless variety of
conduct can be labeled `speech' whenever the
person engaging in the conduct intends thereby to
express an idea," it has acknowledged that conduct
may be "sufficiently imbued with elements of
communication to fall within the scope of the First
and Fourteenth Amendments." In deciding whether
communicative elements to bring the First
Amendment into play, the Court has asked whether
"an intent to convey a particularized message was
present, and [whether] the likelihood was great that
the message would be understood by those who
viewed it." Especially pertinent to the case are the
Court's decisions recognizing the communicative
nature of conduct relating to flags. Attaching a
peace sign to the flag, refusing to salute the flag,
Barnette, and displaying a red flag, the Court has
held, all may find shelter under the First

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Amendment. Pregnant with expressive content, the

flag as readily signifies this Nation as does the
combination of letters found in "America." The Court
has not automatically concluded, however, that any
action taken with respect to the flag is expressive.
Instead, in characterizing such action for First
Amendment purposes, the Court has considered the
context in which it occurred. Herein, Johnson burned
an American flag as part - indeed, as the
culmination - of a political demonstration that
coincided with the convening of the Republican
Party and its renomination of Ronald Reagan for
President. The expressive, overtly political nature of
overwhelmingly apparent. At his trial, Johnson
explained his reasons for burning the flag as follows:
"The American Flag was burned as Ronald Reagan
was being renominated as President. And a more
powerful statement of symbolic speech, whether
you agree with it or not, couldn't have been made at
that time. It's quite a just position [juxtaposition].
We had new patriotism and no patriotism." In these
circumstances, Johnson's burning of the flag was
conduct "sufficiently imbued with elements of
communication," to implicate the First Amendment.
Where "speech" and "nonspeech" elements are
combined in the same course of conduct, a
sufficiently important governmental interest in
regulating the nonspeech element can justify
incidental limitations on First Amendment freedoms,
the applicability of O'Brien's relatively lenient
standard is limited to those cases in which "the
governmental interest is unrelated to the
suppression of free expression." In stating,
moreover, that O'Brien's test "in the last analysis is
little, if any, different from the standard applied to
time, place, or manner restrictions," the Court has
highlighted the requirement that the governmental
interest in question be unconnected to expression in
order to come under O'Brien's less demanding rule.
The State offers two separate interests to justify this
conviction: preventing breaches of the peace and
preserving the flag as a symbol of nationhood and
national unity. The Court hold that the first interest
is not implicated on this record and that the second
is related to the suppression of expression. A
principal "function of free speech under our system
of government is to invite dispute. It may indeed
best serve its high purpose when it induces a
condition of unrest, creates dissatisfaction with
conditions as they are, or even stirs people to
anger." It would be odd indeed to conclude both that
"if it is the speaker's opinion that gives offense, that
consequence is a reason for according it
constitutional protection," and that the government
may ban the expression of certain disagreeable
ideas on the unsupported presumption that their
very disagreeableness will provoke violence. Thus,
the Court not permitted the government to assume
that every expression of a provocative idea will
incite a riot, but have instead required careful

surrounding such expression, asking whether the
expression "is directed to inciting or producing
imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or
produce such action." Johnson's expressive conduct
does not fall within that small class of "fighting
words" that are "likely to provoke the average
person to retaliation, and thereby cause a breach of
the peace." No reasonable onlooker would have
regarded Johnson's generalized expression of
dissatisfaction with the policies of the Federal
Government as a direct personal insult or an
invitation to exchange fisticuffs. Forbidding criminal
punishment for conduct such as Johnson's will not
endanger the special role played by our flag or the
feelings it inspires. Nobody can suppose that this
one gesture of an unknown man will change our
Nation's attitude towards its flag. Indeed, Texas'
argument that the burning of an American flag "is
an act having a high likelihood to cause a breach of
the peace," and its statute's implicit assumption
that physical mistreatment of the flag will lead to
"serious offense," tend to confirm that the flag's
special role is not in danger; if it were, no one would
riot or take offense because a flag had been burned.
The flag's deservedly cherished place in our
community will be strengthened, not weakened, by
the Court's holding today. The decision is a
reaffirmation of the principles of freedom and
inclusiveness that the flag best reflects, and of the
conviction that our toleration of criticism such as
Johnson's is a sign and source of our strength.
Indeed, one of the proudest images of our flag, the
one immortalized in our own national anthem, is of
the bombardment it survived at Fort McHenry. It is
the Nation's resilience, not its rigidity, that Texas
sees reflected in the flag - and it is that resilience
that the Court reasserts today.

17. Borjal vs. Court of Appeals [GR 126466, 14

January 1999]
Facts: Arturo Borjal and Maximo Soliven are among
the incorporators of Philippines Today, Inc. (PTI),
now PhilSTAR Daily, Inc., owner of The Philippine
Star, a daily newspaper. At the time the complaint
was filed, Borjal was its President while Soliven was
(and still is) Publisher and Chairman of its Editorial
Board. Among the regular writers of The Philippine
Star is Borjal who runs the column Jaywalker.
Francisco Wenceslao, on the other hand, is a civil
engineer, businessman, business consultant and
journalist by profession. In 1988 he served as a
technical adviser of Congressman Fabian Sison, then
Chairman of the House of Representatives SubCommittee on Industrial Policy. During the
congressional hearings on the transport crisis
sometime in September 1988 undertaken by the
House Sub-Committee on Industrial Policy, those
who attended agreed to organize the First National

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Conference on Land Transportation (FNCLT) to be

participated in by the private sector in the transport
industry and government agencies concerned in
order to find ways and means to solve the
transportation crisis. More importantly, the objective
of the FNCLT was to draft an omnibus bill that would
embody a long-term land transportation policy for
presentation to Congress. The conference which,
according to Wenceslao, was estimated to cost
around P1,815,000.00 would be funded through
solicitations from various sponsors such as
transport firms, and individual delegates or
participants. On 28 February 1989, at the
organizational meeting of the FNCLT, Wenceslao was
elected Executive Director. As such, he wrote
numerous solicitation letters to the business
community for the support of the conference.
Between May and July 1989 a series of articles
written by Borjal was published on different dates in
his column Jaywalker. The articles dealt with the
alleged anomalous activities of an "organizer of a
Wenceslao. Neither did it refer to the FNCLT as the
conference therein mentioned. Wenceslao reacted
to the articles. He sent a letter to The Philippine Star
insisting that he was the "organizer" alluded to in
Borjal's columns. In a subsequent letter to The
Philippine Star, Wenceslao refuted the matters
contained in Borjal's columns and openly challenged
the latter by saying that he was prepared to
relinquish his position in case it is found that he has
misappropriated even one peso of FNCLT money,
and, on the other hand, if he will be able to prove
that Borjal has used his column as a "hammer" to
get clients for his PR Firm, AA Borjal Associates, he
should resign from the STAR and never again write a
column. Thereafter, Wenceslao filed a complaint
with the National Press Club (NPC) against Borjal for
unethical conduct. He accused Borjal of using his
column as a form of leverage to obtain contracts for
his public relations firm, AA Borjal Associates. In
turn, Borjal published a rejoinder to the challenge of
Wenceslao not only to protect his name and honor
but also to refute the claim that he was using his
column for character assassination. Apparently not
satisfied with his complaint with the NPC, Wenceslao
filed a criminal case for libel against Borjal and
Soliven, among others. However, in a Resolution
dated 7 August 1990, the Assistant Prosecutor
handling the case dismissed the complaint for
insufficiency of evidence. The dismissal was
sustained by the Department of Justice and later by
the Office of the President. On 31 October 1990,
Wenceslao instituted against Borjal and Soliven a
civil action for damages based on libel. After due
consideration, the trial court decided in favor of
Wenceslao and ordered Borjal and Soliven to
indemnify Wenceslao P1,000,000.00 for actual and
compensatory damages, in addition to P200,000.00
for moral damages, P100,000.00 for exemplary

damages, P200,000.00 for attorney's fees, and to

pay the costs of suit. The Court of Appeals affirmed
the decision of the court a quo but reduced the
amount of the monetary award to P110,000.00
actual damages, P200,000.00 moral damages and
P75,000.00 attorney's fees plus costs. Borjal and
Soliven filed a motion for reconsideration but the
Court of Appeals denied the motion in its Resolution
of 12 September 1996. Hence, the petition for
Issue: Whether Borjas intemperate or deprecatory
utterances appear removes such speech from the
protection of free speech, and opens him to liability
for libel.

Held: In order to maintain a libel suit, it is essential

that the victim be identifiable although it is not
necessary that he be named. It is also not sufficient
that the offended party recognized himself as the
person attacked or defamed, but it must be shown
that at least a third person could identify him as the
object of the libelous publication. Regrettably, these
requisites have not been complied with in the
present case. The questioned articles written by
Borjal do not identify Wenceslao as the organizer of
the conference. The first of the Jaywalker articles
which appeared in the 31 May 1989 issue of The
Philippine Star yielded nothing to indicate that
Wenceslao was the person referred to therein.
Surely, there were millions of "heroes" of the EDSA
Revolution and anyone of them could be "selfproclaimed" or an "organizer of seminars and
conferences." As a matter of fact, in his 9 June 1989
column Borjal wrote about the "so-called First
National Conference on Land Transportation whose
principal organizers are not specified." Neither did
the FNCLT letterheads disclose the identity of the
conference organizer since these contained only an
enumeration of names where Wenceslao was
described as Executive Director and Spokesman and
not as a conference organizer. The printout and
tentative program of the conference were devoid of
any indication of Wenceslao as organizer. The
printout which contained an article entitled "Who
Organized the NCLT ?" did not even mention
Wenceslao's name, while the tentative program only
denominated Wenceslao as "Vice Chairman and
Executive Director," and not as organizer. No less
than Wenceslao himself admitted that the FNCLT
had several organizers and that he was only a part
of the organization. Significantly, Wenceslao himself
entertained doubt that he was the person spoken of
in Borjal's columns. The former even called up
columnist Borjal to inquire if he (Wenceslao) was the
one referred to in the subject articles. His letter to
the editor published in the 4 June 1989 issue of The
Philippine Star showed Wenceslao's uncertainty.
Identification is grossly inadequate when even the
alleged offended party is himself unsure that he was

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WLC School of Law

the object of the verbal attack. It is well to note that

the revelation of the identity of the person alluded
to came not from Borjal but from Wenceslao himself
when he supplied the information through his 4 June
1989 letter to the editor. Had Wenceslao not
revealed that he was the "organizer" of the FNCLT
referred to in the Borjal articles, the public would
have remained in blissful ignorance of his identity. It
is therefore clear that on the element of
identifiability alone the case falls. Further,
indisputably, Borjal's questioned writings are not
within the exceptions of Article 354 of The Revised
Penal Code for they are neither private
communications nor fair and true report without any
comments or remarks. However this does not
necessarily mean that they are not privileged. To be
sure, the enumeration under Article 354 is not an
communications since fair commentaries on matters
of public interest are likewise privileged. The rule on
privileged communications had its genesis not in
the nation's penal code but in the Bill of Rights of
the Constitution guaranteeing freedom of speech
and of the press. Publications which are privileged
for reasons of public policy are protected by the
constitutional guaranty of freedom of speech. This
constitutional right cannot be abolished by the mere
failure of the legislature to give it express
recognition in the statute punishing libels. The
concept of privileged communications is implicit in
the freedom of the press. Public policy, the welfare
of society, and the orderly administration of
government have demanded protection of public
opinion. The inevitable and incontestable result has
been the development and adoption of the doctrine
of privilege. Fair commentaries on matters of public
interest are privileged and constitute a valid
defense in an action for libel or slander. The doctrine
of fair comment means that while in general every
discreditable imputation publicly made is deemed
false, because every man is presumed innocent
until his guilt is judicially proved, and every false
imputation is deemed malicious, nevertheless, when
the discreditable imputation is directed against a
public person in his public capacity, it is not
necessarily actionable. In order that such
discreditable imputation to a public official may be
actionable, it must either be a false allegation of
fact or a comment based on a false supposition. If
the comment is an expression of opinion, based on
established facts, then it is immaterial that the
opinion happens to be mistaken, as long as it might
reasonably be inferred from the facts. There is no
denying that the questioned articles dealt with
matters of public interest. A reading of the
imputations of Borjal against Wenceslao shows that
all these necessarily bore upon the latter's official
conduct and his moral and mental fitness as
Executive Director of the FNCLT. The nature and
functions of his position which included solicitation
of funds, dissemination of information about the

FNCLT in order to generate interest in the

conference, and the management and coordination
of the various activities of the conference
demanded from him utmost honesty, integrity and
competence. These are matters about which the
public has the right to be informed, taking into
account the very public character of the conference
itself. Concededly, Borjal may have gone overboard
in the language employed describing the "organizer
of the conference." One is tempted to wonder if it
was by some mischievous gambit that he would also
dare test the limits of the "wild blue yonder" of free
speech in this jurisdiction. But no matter how
intemperate or deprecatory the utterances appear
to be, the privilege is not to be defeated nor
rendered inutile for. Debate on public issues should
be uninhibited, robust and wide open, and that it
may well include vehement, caustic and sometimes
unpleasantly sharp attacks on the government and
public officials. Furthermore, while, generally, malice
can be presumed from defamatory words, the
privileged character of a communication destroys
the presumption of malice. The onus of proving
actual malice then lies on Wenceslao. He must bring
home to Borjal the existence of malice as the true
motive of his conduct. Wenceslao failed to
substantiate by preponderant evidence that Borjal
was animated by a desire to inflict unjustifiable
harm on his reputation, or that the articles were
written and published without good motives or
justifiable ends. On the other hand, Borjal acted in
good faith. Moved by a sense of civic duty and
prodded by his responsibility as a newspaperman,
he proceeded to expose and denounce what he
perceived to be a public deception. Every citizen
has the right to enjoy a good name and reputation,
but Borjal has not violated that right nor abused his
press freedom.

18.Baguio Midland Courier VS CA

In the case of BAGUIO MIDLAND COURIER, et. al.
vs. COURT OF APPEALS, et. al., G. R. NO.
107566, November 25, 2004, the Supreme Court
COMMUNICATION applies to fair comment on
matters of public interest, fair comment being that
which is true, or which if false, expresses the real
opinion of the author based upon reasonable degree
of care and on reasonable grounds.

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The Supreme Court further held that the remedy of

the person allegedly libeled is to show proof that an
article was written with the authors knowledge that
it was false or with reckless disregard of whether it
was false or not. While the law itself creates the
presumption that every defamatory imputation is
malicious, nevertheless, the privileged character of
a communication destroys said presumption. The
burden of proving actual malice shall then rest on
the plaintiff. (Id.)

19. Cabansag vs. Fernandez [GR L-8974, 18

October 1957]
Facts: Apolonio Cabansag filed on 13 January 1947
in the Court of First Instance of Pangasinan a
complaint seeking the ejectment of Germiniana
Fernandez, et al. from a parcel of land. The case was
set for hearing on 30 July 1947. The hearing was
postponed to 8 August 1947. On that day only one
witness testified and the case was postponed to 25
August 1947. Thereafter, three incidents developed,
namely: (1) a claim for damages, (2) issuance of a
writ of preliminary injunction which was set for
hearing on 23 March 1948, and (3) alleged
contempt for violation of an agreement of the
parties approved by the court. Pleadings were filed
by the parties on these incidents. Partial hearings
were held on various dates. On 9 December 1952
when the court, Judge Pasicolan presiding, issued an
order suggesting to the parties to arrange with the
stenographers who took down the notes to
transcribe their respective notes and stating that
the case would be set for hearing after the
submission of the transcript. From 9 December 1952
to 12 August 1954, no further step was taken either
by the court or by any of the contending parties in
the case. On 30 December 1953, when President
Magsaysay assumed office, he issued Executive
Order 1 creating the Presidential Complaints and
Action Commission (PCAC), which was later
superseded by Executive Order 19 promulgated on
17 March 1954. And on 12 August 1954, Apolonio
Cabansag, apparently irked and disappointed by the
delay in the disposition of his case, wrote the PCAC
a letter copy of which he furnished the Secretary of
Justice and the Executive Judge of the Court of First
Instance of Pangasinan. Upon receipt of the letter,
the Secretary of Justice indorsed it to the Clerk of
Court, Court of First Instance of Pangasinan,
instructing him to require the stenographers
concerned to transcribe their notes in Civil Case
9564. The clerk of court, upon receipt of this
instruction on 27 August 1954, referred the matter
to Judge Jesus P. Morfe before whom the case was
then pending informing him that the two
stenographers concerned, Miss Illuminada Abelo
and Juan Gaspar, have already been assigned
elsewhere. On the same date, Judge Morfe wrote the
Secretary of Justice informing him that under the

provisions of Act 2383 and Section 12 of Rule 41 of

the Rules of Court, said stenographers are not
obliged to transcribe their notes except in cases of
appeal and that since the parties are not poor
litigants, they are not entitled to transcription free
of charge, aside from the fact that said
stenographers were no longer under his jurisdiction.
Meanwhile, on 1 September 1954, Atty. Manuel
Fernandez filed a motion before Judge Morfe praying
that Cabansag be declared in contempt of court for
an alleged scurrilous remark he made in his letter to
the PCAC to the effect that he, Cabansag, has long
been deprived of his land "thru the careful
maneuvers of a tactical lawyer", to which counsel
for Cabansag replied with a counter-charge praying
that Atty. Fernandez be in turn declared in contempt
because of certain contemptuous remarks made by
him in his pleading. Acting on these charges and
counter-charges, on 14 September 1954, Judge
Morfe dismissed both charges but ordered Cabansag
to show cause in writing within 10 days why he
should not be held liable for contempt for sending
the above letter to the PCAC which tended to
degrade the court in the eyes of the President and
the people. Cabansag filed his answer stating that
he did not have the slightest idea to besmirch the
dignity or belittle the respect due the court nor was
he actuated with malice when he addressed the
letter to the PCAC; that there is not a single
contemptuous word in said letter nor was it
intended to give the Chief Executive a wrong
impression or opinion of the court; and that if there
was any inefficiency in the disposal of his case, the
same was committed by the judges who previously
intervened in the case. Appearing that the lawyers
of Cabansag, Roberto V. Merrera and Rufino V.
Merrera, had a hand in the writing and remittance of
the letter to the PCAC, Judge Morfe, on 29
September 1954, issued another order requiring
also said attorneys to show cause why they should
not likewise be held for contempt for having
committed acts which tend to impede, obstruct or
degrade the administration of justice. After due
hearing, the court rendered decision finding
Cabansag and the Merreras guilty of contempt and
sentencing them to pay a fine as stated in the early
part of this decision. Cabansag, et. al. appealed.
Issue: Whether Cabansag should be cited for
contempt due to the letter he sent to the Office of
the President, the language of which may
undermine the reputation and independence of the
Held: Courts have the power to preserve their
integrity and maintain their dignity without which
their administration of justice is bound to falter or
fail. This is the preservative power to punish for
contempt. This power is inherent in all courts and
essential to their right of self- preservation. In order
that it may conduct its business unhampered by

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publications which tend to impair the impartiality of

administration of justice, the court will not hesitate
to exercise it regardless of who is affected. For, "as
important as is the maintenance of an unmuzzled
press and the free exercise of the rights of the
citizen is the maintenance of the independence of
the judiciary." The reason for this is that respect of
the courts guarantees the stability of their
institution. Without such guaranty, said institution
would be resting on a very shaky foundation.
However, the freedom of speech and press should
not be impaired through the exercise of the power
to punish for contempt of court unless there is no
doubt that the utterances in question are a serious
and imminent threat to the administration of justice.
A judge may not hold in contempt one who ventures
to publish anything that tends to make him
unpopular or to belittle him. The vehemence of the
language concerning a judge's decision is not alone
the measure of the power to punish for contempt.
The fires which it kindles must constitute an
imminent, not merely a likely, threat to the
administration of justice. Even if we make a careful
analysis of the letter sent by Cabansag to the PCAC
which has given rise to the present contempt
proceedings, it was far from his mind to put the
court in ridicule and much less to belittle or degrade
it in the eyes of those to whom the letter was
addressed for, undoubtedly, he was compelled to
act the way he did simply because he saw no other
way of obtaining the early termination of his case.
This is clearly inferable from its context wherein, in
respectful and courteous language, Cabansag gave
vent to his feeling when he said that he "has long
since been deprived of his land thru the careful
maneuvers of a tactical lawyer"; that the case which
had long been pending "could not be decided due to
the fact that the transcript of the records has not, as
yet, been transcribed by the stenographers who
took the stenographic notes"; and that the "new
Judges could not proceed to hear the case before
the transcription of the said notes." Analyzing said
utterances, one would see that if they ever criticize,
the criticism refers, not to the court, but to opposing
counsel whose "tactical maneuvers" has allegedly
caused the undue delay of the case. The grievance
or complaint, if any, is addressed to the
stenographers for their apparent indifference in
transcribing their notes. The only disturbing effect of
the letter which perhaps has been the motivating
factor of the lodging of the contempt charge by the
trial judge is the fact that the letter was sent to the
Office of the President asking for help because of
the precarious predicament of Cabansag. While the
course of action he had taken may not be a wise
one for it would have been proper had he addressed
his letter to the Secretary of Justice or to the
Supreme Court, such act alone would not be
contemptuous. To be so the danger must cause a
serious imminent threat to the administration of

justice. Nor can we infer that such act has "a

dangerous tendency" to belittle the court or
undermine the administration of justice for the
writer merely exercised his constitutional right to
petition the government for redress of a legitimate
grievance. On the other hand, while the conduct of
Cabansag may be justified considering that, being a
layman, he is unaware of the technical rules of law
and procedure which may place him under the
protective mantle of our constitution, such does not
obtain with regard to his co-appellants. Being
learned in the law and officers of the court, they
circumspection in advising their client to avoid
undue embarrassment to the court or unnecessary
interference with the normal course of its
proceedings. Their duty as lawyers is always to
observe utmost respect to the court and defend it
against unjust criticism and clamor. Had they
observed a more judicious behavior, they would
have avoided the unpleasant incident that had
arisen. However, the record is bereft of any proof
showing improper motive on their part, much less
bad faith in their actuation. But they should be
warned that a commission of a similar misstep in
the future would render them amenable to a more
severe disciplinary action.

20. People vs. Alarcon [GR 46551, 12 December

Facts: As an aftermath of the decision rendered by
the Court of First Instance of Pampanga in criminal
case 5733 (People s vs. Salvador Alarcon, et al.),
convicting the accused therein except one of the
crime of robbery committed in band, a denunciatory
letter, signed by one Luis M. Taruc, was addressed
to His Excellency, the President of the Philippines. A
copy of said letter found its way to Federico
Mangahas who, as columnist of the Tribune, a
newspaper of general circulation in the Philippines,
quoted the letter in an article published by him in
the issue of that paper of 23 September 1937. The
article provides, in part, that "Fifty-two (52) tenants
in Floridablanca, Pampanga, have been charged and
convicted on a trumped up charge of robbery in
band because they took each a few cavans of palay
for which they issued the corresponding receipts,
from the bodega in the hacienda where they are
working. These tenants contend that they have the
right to take the palay for their food as the hacienda
owner has the obligation to give them rations of
palay for their main tenance and their families to be
paid later with their share of their crop. But this is
not all. When the convicted tenants appealed the
case and were released on bail pending their
appeal, court and public officials exerted pressure
upon one of their bondsmen, as this bondsman
informed the tenants, to withdraw his bail for them,
and the fifty two tenants were arrested again and

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put in jail." On 29 September 1937, the provincial

fiscal of Pampanga filed with the Court of First
Instance of that province to cite Federico Mangahas
for contempt. On the same date, the lower court
ordered Mangahas to appear and show cause.
Mangahas appeared and filed an answer,alleging,
among others, that the publication of the letter in
question is in line with the constitutional guarantee
of freedom of the press. On 29 November 1937,
the lower court entered an order, imposing upon
Mangahas the nominal fine of P25, or in case of
insolvency, 5 days in prison; this without prejudice
to the action for libel that the public prosecutor
believes to be advisable to file against Luis M. Taruc.
Magahas appealed from this order to the Court of
Appeals which later certified the case to the
Supreme Court as involving only a question of law.

Issue: Whether the trial court properly cited

Mangahas for contempt inasmuch as the robbery-inband case is still pending appeal.

Held: Newspaper publications tending to impede,

obstruct, embarrass, or influence the courts in
administering justice in a pending suit or proceeding
constitutes criminal contempt which is summarily
punishable by the courts. The rule is otherwise after
the cause is ended. It must, however, clearly appear
that such publications do impede, interfere with,
and embarrass the administration of justice before
the author of the publications should be held for
contempt. What is thus sought to be shielded
against the influence of newspaper comments is the
all-important duty of the court to administer justice
in the decision of a pending case. There is no
pending case to speak of when and once the court
has come upon a decision and has lost control either
to reconsider or amend it. That is the present case,
for here the letter complained of was published after
the Court of First Instance of Pampanga had decided
the criminal case for robbery in band, and after that
decision had been appealed to the Court of Appeals.
The fact that a motion to reconsider its order
confiscating the bond of the accused therein was
subsequently filed may be admitted; but, the
important consideration is that it was then without
power to reopen or modify the decision which it had
rendered upon the merits of the case, and could not
have been influenced by the questioned publication.
If it be contended, however, that the publication of
the questioned letter constitutes contempt of the
Court of Appeals where the appeal in the criminal
case was then pending, the interrelation of the
different courts forming our integrated judicial
system, one court is not an agent or representative
of another and may not, for this reason, punish
contempts in vindication of the authority and de
corum which are not its own. The appeal transfers

the proceedings to the appellate court, and this last

court be comes thereby charged with the authority
to deal with contempts committed after the
perfection of the appeal.

21. In Re Ramon Tulfo, AM 90-4-1545-0, April 17,

Facts: In Oct. 13, 1989, Tulfo wrote an article in his
column in PDI 'On Target' stating that the Supreme
Court rendered an idiotic decision in legalizing
checkpoints, and again on Oct. 16, 1989, where he
called the Supreme Court stupid and "sangkatutak
na mga bobo justices of the Philippine Supreme
Court". Tulfo was required to show cause why he
should not be punished for contempt. Tulfo said that
he was just reacting emotionally because he had
been a victim of harassment in the checkpoints, and
"idiotic" meant illogical and unwise, and "bobo" was
just quoted from other attorneys, and since the case
had been decided and terminated, there was not
contempts. Lastly, the article does not pose any
clear and present danger to the Supreme court.
Issue: Whether







Held: Yes. At the time Tulfo wrote the article, the

checkpoints case had not yet been decided upon,
and the Supreme Court was still acting on an MR
filed from the CA. The power to punish is inherent as
it is essential for self-preservation. Contempt of
court is defiance of the authority, justice and dignity
of the courts. It brings disrepute to the court. There
are two kinds of publications which can be punished
a. those whose object is to affect the decision in a
b. those whose object is to bring courts to discredit.
It should have been okay to criticize if respectful
language was used, but if its object is only to
degrade and ridicule, then it is clearly an
obstruction of justice. Nothing constructive can be
gained from them. Being emotional is no excuse for
being insulting. Quoting is not an excuse also,
because at the end of his article, Tulfo said, "So you
bobo justices, watch out!" Also, he said he was not
Tulfo is found in contempt of court and is gravely

22. Nestle Philippines vs. Sanchez [GR 75209,

30 September 1987]; Kimberly Independent
Labor Union for Solidarity, Activism and
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Nationalism-Olalia [GR 78791]

Facts: During the period July 8-10, 1987, Union of
Filipro Employees, and Kimberly Independent Labor
Union for Solidarity, Activism and NationalismOlalia, intensified the intermittent pickets they had
been conducting since 17 June 1981 in front of the
Padre Faura gate of the Supreme Court building.
They set up pickets' quarters on the pavement in
front of the Supreme Court building, at times
obstructing access to and egress from the Court's
premises and offices of justices, officials and
employees. They constructed provisional shelters
along the sidewalks, set up a kitchen and littered
the place with food containers and trash in utter
disregard of proper hygiene and sanitation. They
waved their red streamers and placards with
slogans, and took turns haranguing the court all day
long with the use of loudspeakers. These acts were
done even after their leaders had been received by
Justices Pedro L. Yap and Marcelo B. Fernan as
Chairmen of the Divisions where their cases are
pending, and Atty. Jose C. Espinas, counsel of the
Union of Filipro Employees, had been called in order
that the pickets might be informed that the
demonstration must cease immediately for the
same constitutes direct contempt of court and that
the Court would not entertain their petitions for as
long as the pickets were maintained. Thus, on 10
July 1987, the Court en banc issued a resolution
giving the said unions the opportunity to withdraw
graciously and requiring Messrs. Tony Avelino, Lito
Payabyab, Eugene San Pedro, Dante Escasura, Emil
Sayao and Nelson Centeno, union leaders of Union
of Filipro Employees in the Nestle case and their
counsel of record, Atty. Jose C. Espinas; and Messrs.
Ernesto Facundo, Fausto Gapuz, Jr. and Antonio
Gonzales, union leaders of Kimberly Independent
Nationalism-Olalia in the Kimberly case to appear
before the Court on 14 July 1987 at 10:30 a.m. and
then and there to show cause why they should not
be held in contempt of court. Atty. Jose C. Espinas
was further required to show cause why he should
not be administratively dealt with. On the appointed
date and time, the individuals appeared before the
Court, represented by Atty. Jose C. Espinas, in the
absence of Atty. Potenciano Flores, who was still
recuperating from an operation. Atty. Espinas, for
himself and in behalf of the union leaders
concerned, apologized to the Court for the acts,
together with an assurance that they will not be
repeated. He likewise manifested to the Court that
he had explained to the picketers why their actions
were wrong and that the cited persons were willing
to suffer such penalty as may be warranted under
the circumstances. He, however, prayed for the
Court's leniency considering that the picket was
actually spearheaded by the leaders of the
Katagalogan" (PAMANTIK), an unregistered loose

alliance of about 75 unions in the Southern Tagalog

area, and not by either the Union of Filipro
Employees or the Kimberly Independent Labor
Union. To confirm for the record that the person
cited for contempt fully understood the reason for
the citation and that they will abide by their promise
that said incident will not be repeated, the Court
required the respondents to submit a written
manifestation to this effect, which respondents
complied with on 17 July 1987.

Issue: Whether the respondents should be cited for

contempt for their continued picketing at the
Supreme Courts premises.

Held: The right of petition is conceded to be an

inherent right of the citizen under all free
governments. However, such right, natural and
inherent though it may be, has never been invoked
to shatter the standards of propriety entertained for
the conduct of courts. For "it is a traditional
conviction of civilized society everywhere that
courts and juries, in the decision of issues of fact
and law should be immune from every extraneous
influence; that facts should be decided upon
evidence produced in court; and that the
determination of such facts should be uninfluenced
by bias, prejudice or sympathies." Moreover,
"parties have a constitutional right to have their
causes tried fairly in court by an impartial tribunal,
uninfluenced by publication or public clamor. Every
citizen has a profound personal interest in the
enforcement of the fundamental right to have
justice administered by the courts, under the
protection and forms of law free from outside
coercion or interference." The acts of the
respondents are therefore not only an affront to the
dignity of the Court, but equally a violation of the
right of the adverse parties and the citizenry at
large. Still, the individuals cited, who are nonlawyers, are not knowledgeable in the intricacies of
substantive and adjective laws. They are not aware
that even as the rights of free speech and of
assembly are protected by the Constitution, any
attempt to pressure or influence courts of justice
through the exercise of either right amounts to an
abuse thereof, is no longer within the ambit of
constitutional protection, nor did they realize that
any such efforts to influence the course of justice
constitutes contempt of court. The duty and
responsibility of advising them, therefore, rest
primarily and heavily upon the shoulders of their
counsel of record. Atty. Jose C. Espinas, when his
attention was called by this Court, did his best to
demonstrate to the pickets the untenability of their
acts and posture. The incident should therefore
serve as a reminder to all members of the legal
profession that it is their duty as officers of the court

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to properly apprise their clients on matters of

decorum and proper attitude toward courts of
justice, and to labor leaders of the importance of a
continuing educational program for their members.

23. In Re Atty. Emil Jurado AM 90-5-2373 July 12,

Facts: Jurado, a journalist who writes in a newspaper
of general circulation, the Manila Standard. He
describes himself as a columnist, who incidentally
happens to be a lawyer,, had been writing about
alleged improperties and irregularities in the
judiciary over several months (from about October,
1992 to March, 1993). Other journalists had also
been making reports or comments on the same
communications were being extensively circulated,
by hand and through the mail, about alleged
venality and corruption in the courts. And all these
were being repeatedly and insistently adverted to
by certain sectors of society. Events Directly Giving
Rise to the Proceeding at Bar.
The seed of the proceeding at bar was sown by the
decision promulgated by this Court on August 27,
1992, in the so-called controversial case of
Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company v.
Eastern Telephone Philippines, Inc. (ETPI), G.R. No,
94374. In that decision the Court was sharply
divided; the vote was 9 to 4, in favor of the
petitioner PLDT. Mr. Justice Hugo E. Gutierrez, Jr.,
wrote the opinion for the majority.
In connection with this case, G.R. No. 94374, the
Philippine Daily Inquirer and one or two other
newspapers published, on January 28, 1993, a
report of the purported affidavit of a Mr. David Miles
Yerkes, an alleged expert in linguistics. This
gentleman, it appears, had been commissioned by
one of the parties in the case, Eastern Telephone
Philippines, Inc. (ETPI), to examine and analyze the
decision of Justice Gutierrez in relation to a few of
his prior ponencias and the writings of one of the
lawyers of PLDT, Mr. Eliseo Alampay, to ascertain if
the decision had been written, in whole or in part,
by the latter. Yerkes proffered the conclusion that
the Gutierrez decision looks, reads and sounds like
the writing of the PLDTs counsel, Thus, he speaks
of the Magnificent Seven, by merely referring to
undisclosed regional trial court judges in Makati; the
Magnificent Seven in the Supreme Court, as some
undesignated justices who supposedly vote as one;
the Dirty Dozen, as unidentified trial judges in
Makati and three other cities. He adverts to an
anonymous group of justices and judges for whom a
bank allegedly hosted a party; and six unnamed
justices of this Court who reportedly spent a prepaid
vacation in Hong Kong with their families.

The Chief Justice issued an administrative order

Creating an Ad Hoc Committee to Investigate
Reports of Corruption in the Judiciary, to
investigate the said reports of corruption in the
judiciary. A letter affidavit was also received from
the public utility, denying the allegations in Jurados
column. The Supreme Court then issued a resolution
ordering that the matter dealt with in the letter and
affidavit of the public utility company be docketed
and acted upon as an official Court proceeding for
the determination of whether or not the allegations
made by Jurado are true.
HELD: Jurados actuations, in the context in which
they were done, demonstrate gross irresponsibility,
and indifference to factual accuracy and the injury
that he might cause to the name and reputation of
those of whom he wrote. They constitute contempt
of court, directly tending as they do to degrade or
abase the administration of justice and the judges
engaged in that function. By doing them, he has
placed himself beyond the circle of reputable,
decent and responsible journalists who live by their
Code or the Golden Rule and who strive at all
times to maintain the prestige and nobility of their
Although honest utterances, even if inaccurate, may
further the fruitful exercise of the right of free
speech, it does not follow that the lie, knowingly and
deliberately published about a public official, should
enjoy a like immunity. The knowingly false
statement and the false statement made with
reckless disregard of the truth, do not enjoy
constitutional protection.
The Civil Code, in its Article 19 lays down the norm
for the proper exercise of any right, constitutional or
otherwise, viz.: ARTICLE 19. Every person must, in
the exercise of his rights and in the performance of
his duties, act with justice, give everyone his due,
and observe honesty and good faith. The provision
is reflective of the universally accepted precept of
abuse of rights, one of the most dominant
principles which must be deemed always implied in
any system of law.
Requirement to exercise bona fide care in
ascertaining the truth of the statements when
publishing statements which are clearly defamatory
to identifiable judges or other public officials.
Judges, by becoming such, are rightly regarded as
voluntarily subjecting themselves to norms of
conduct which embody more stringent standards of
honesty, integrity, and competence than are
commonly required from private persons.
Nevertheless, persons who seek or accept
appointment to the Judiciary cannot reasonably be
regarded as having forfeited any right to private
honor and reputation. For to so rule will be to

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discourage all save those who feel no need to

maintain their self-respect from becoming judges.
The public interest involved in freedom of speech
and the individual interest of judges (and for that
matter, all other public officials) in the maintenance
of private honor and reputation need to be
accommodated one to the other. And the point of
adjustment or accommodation between these two
legitimate interests is precisely found in the norm
which requires those who, invoking freedom of
speech, publish statements which are clearly
defamatory to identifiable judges or other public
officials to exercise bona fide care in ascertaining
the truth of the statements they publish. The norm
does not require that a journalist guarantee the
truth of what he says or publishes. But the norm
does prohibit the reckless disregard of private
reputation by publishing or circulating defamatory
statements without any bona fide effort to ascertain
the truth thereof.
24. Gonzales vs. Kalaw-Katigbak [GR L-69500,
22 July 1985]
Facts: Jose Antonio U. Gonzalez is the President of
the Malaya Films, a movie production outfit duly
registered as a single proprietorship with the Bureau
of Domestic Trade; while Maria Kalaw Katigbak and
Brig. Gen. Wilfredo C. Estrada are the Chairman and
Vice-Chairman, respectively of the Board of Review
for Motion Pictures and Television. In a resolution of
a sub-committee of the Board of 23 October 1984, a
permit to exhibit the film "Kapit sa Patalim" under
the classification "For Adults Only," with certain
changes and deletions enumerated was granted.
The film in issue was given an adult classification to
serve as a warning to theater operators and viewers
that some contents of Kapit are not fit for the
young. Some of the scenes in the picture were taken
in a theater-club and a good portion of the film shots
concentrated on some women erotically dancing
naked, or at least nearly naked, on the theater
stage. Another scene on that stage depicted the
women kissing and caressing as lesbians. And
toward the end of the picture, there exists scenes of
excessive violence attending the battle between a
group of robbers and the police. The vulnerable and
imitative in the young audience will misunderstand
these scenes. The Board gave Malaya films an
option to have the film reclassified to For-GeneralPatronage if it would agree to remove the obscene
scenes and pare down the violence in the film. A
motion for reconsideration was filed by Gonzales, in
behalf of Malaya Films, Lino Brocka, Jose F. Lacaba,
and Dulce Q. Saguisag, stating that the
classification of the film "For Adults Only" was
without basis. Then on 12 November 1984, the
Board released its decision: "Acting on the
applicant's Motion for Reconsideration dated 29
October 1984, the Board, after a review of the
resolution of the sub-committee and an examination

of the film, Resolves to affirm in toto the ruling of

the sub-committee. Considering, however, certain
vital deficiencies in the application, the Board
further Resolves to direct the Chairman of the Board
to Withhold the issuance of the Permit to exhibit
until these deficiencies are supplied." On 10 January
1985, Gonzales, et. al. filed the petition for certiorari
with the Supreme Court.

Issue: Whether the Board of Review for Motion

Pictures and Television have the power to classify
the movie Kapit sa Patalim under the classification
For Adults Only and impose conditions to edit the
material to allow it a General patronage rating.

Held: Motion pictures are important both as a

medium for the communication of ideas and the
expression of the artistic impulse. Their effects on
the perception by our people of issues and public
officials or public figures as well as the prevailing
cultural traits is considerable. The "importance of
motion pictures as an organ of public opinion
lessened by the fact that they are designed to
entertain as well as to inform." There is no clear
dividing line between what involves knowledge and
what affords pleasure. If such a distinction were
sustained, there is a diminution of the basic right to
free expression. Press freedom "may be identified
with the liberty to discuss publicly and truthfully any
matter of public concern without censorship or
punishment." This is not to say that such freedom,
as is the freedom of speech, absolute. It can be
limited if "there be a 'clear and present danger of a
substantive evil that [the State] has a right to
prevent.'" Censorship or previous restraint certainly
is not all there is to free speech or free press. If it
were so, then such basic rights are emasculated. It
is, however, except in exceptional circumstances a
sine qua non for the meaningful exercise of such
right. This is not to deny that equally basic is the
other important aspect of freedom from liability. To
avoid an unconstitutional taint on its creation, the
power of the Board is limited to the classification of
films. It can, to safeguard other constitutional
objections, determine what motion pictures are for
general patronage and what may require either
parental guidance or be limited to adults only. That
is to abide by the principle that freedom of
expression is the rule and restrictions the
exemption. The power to exercise prior restraint is
not to be presumed, rather the presumption is
against its validity. The test, to repeat, to determine
whether freedom of expression may be limited is
the clear and present danger of an evil of a
substantive character that the State has a right to
prevent. Such danger must not only be clear but
also present. There should be no doubt that what is
feared may be traced to the expression complained

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of. The causal connection must be evident. Also,

there must be reasonable apprehension about its
imminence. The time element cannot be ignored.
Nor does it suffice if such danger be only probable.
There is the requirement of its being well-nigh
inevitable. The basic postulate, therefore, is that
where the movies, theatrical productions, radio
scripts, television programs, and other such media
of expression are concerned included as they are
in freedom of expression censorship, especially
so if an entire production is banned, is allowable
only under the clearest proof of a clear and present
danger of a substantive evil to public safety, public
morals, public health or any other legitimate public
interest. There is merit to the observation of Justice
Douglas that "every writer, actor, or producer, no
matter what medium of expression he may use,
should be freed from the censor." The law, however,
frowns on obscenity. All ideas having even the
slightest redeeming social importance - unorthodox
ideas, controversial ideas, even ideas hateful to the
prevailing climate of opinion - have the full
protection of the guaranties, unless excludable
because they encroach upon the limited area of
more important interests. But implicit in the history
of the First Amendment is the rejection of obscenity
as utterly without redeeming social importance.
There was an abuse of discretion by the Board in the
light of the difficulty and travail undergone by
Gonzales, et. al. before Kapit sa Patalim was
classified as "For Adults Only," without any deletion
or cut. Moreover the Boards perception of what
constitutes obscenity appears to be unduly
restrictive. The Court concludes thus that there was
an abuse of discretion. Nonetheless, there are not
enough votes to maintain that such an abuse can be
considered grave. Accordingly, certiorari does not

25. Lagunzad vs. Soto Vda. de Gonzales [GR L32066, 6 August 1979]
Facts: Sometime in August 1961, Manuel Lagunzad,
a newspaperman, began the production of a movie
entitled "The Moises Padilla Story" under the name
of his own business outfit, the "MML Productions." It
was based mainly on the copyrighted but
unpublished book of Atty. Ernesto Rodriguez, Jr.,
entitled "The Long Dark Night in Negros" subtitled
"The Moises Padilla Story," the rights to which
Lagunzad had purchased from Atty. Rodriguez in the
amount of P2,000.00. The book narrates the events
which culminated in the murder of Moises Padilla
sometime between November 11 and November 17,
1951. Padilla was then a mayoralty candidate of the
Nacionalista Party (then the minority party) for the
Municipality of Magallon, Negros Occidental, during
the November 1951 elections. Governor Rafael
Lacson, a member of the Liberal Party then in power
and his men were tried and convicted for that

murder in People vs. Lacson, et al. In the book,

Moises Padilla is portrayed as "a martyr in
contemporary political history." Although the
emphasis of the movie was on the public life of
Moises Padilla, there were portions which dealt with
his private and family life including the portrayal in
some scenes, of his mother, Maria Soto Vda. de
Gonzales, and of one "Auring" as his girl friend. The
movie was scheduled for a premiere showing on 16
October 1961, or at the very latest, before the
November 1961 elections. On 3 October 1961,
Lagunzad received a telephone call from one Mrs.
Nelly Amante, half-sister of Moises Padilla, objecting
to the filming of the movie and the "exploitation" of
his life. Shown the early "rushes" of the picture, Mrs.
Amante and her sister, Mrs. Gavieres, objected to
many portions thereof notwithstanding Lagunzad's
explanation that the movie had been supervised by
Ernesto Rodriguez, Jr., based on his book "The Long
Dark Night in Negros." On 5 October 1961, Mrs.
Amante, for and in behalf of her mother, demanded
in writing for certain changes, corrections and
deletions in the movie. Lagunzad contends that he
acceded to the demands because he had already
invested heavily in the picture to the extent of
mortgaging his properties, in addition to the fact
that he had to meet the scheduled target date of
the premiere showing. On the same date, 5 October
1961, after some bargaining as to the amount to be
paid, which was P50,000.00 at first, then reduced to
P20,000.00, Lagunzad and Soto vda. de Gonzales,
represented by her daughters and Atty. Ernesto
Rodriguez, at the law office of Jalandoni and Jamir,
executed a "Licensing Agreement." Lagunzad takes
the position that he was pressured into signing the
Agreement because of Soto vda. de Gonzales'
demand, through Mrs. Amante, for payment for the
"exploitation" of the life story of Moises Padilla,
otherwise, she would "call a press conference
declaring the whole picture as a fake, fraud and a
hoax and would denounce the whole thing in the
press, radio, television and that they were going to
Court to stop the picture." On 10 October 1961,
Lagunzad paid Soto vda. de Gonzales the amount of
P5,000.00 but contends that he did so not pursuant
to their Agreement but just to placate the latter. On
14 October 1961, the filming of the movie was
completed. On 16 October 1961, a premiere
showing was held at the Hollywood Theatre, Manila,
with the Moises Padilla Society as its sponsor.
Subsequently, the movie was shown in different
theaters all over the country. Because Lagunzad
refused to pay any additional amounts pursuant to
the Agreement, on 22 December 1961, Soto vda. de
Gonzales instituted the suit against him praying for
judgment in her favor ordering Lagunzad (1) to pay
her the amount of P15,000.00, with legal interest
from the filing of the Complaint; (2) to render an
accounting of the proceeds from the picture and to
pay the corresponding 2-1/2% royalty therefrom; (3)
to pay attorney's fees equivalent to 20% of the
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amounts claimed; and (4) to pay the costs. By way

of counterclaim, Lagunzad demanded that the
Licensing Agreement be declared null and void for
being without any valid cause; that Soto vda. de
Gonzales be ordered to return to him the amount of
P5,000.00; and that he be paid P50,000.00 by way
of moral damages, and P7,500.00 as attorney's
fees. On 30 June 1964, the trial Court rendered a
Decision in favor of Soto vda. de Gonzales. On
appeal to the Court of Appeals, the latter Court
affirmed the judgment. Reconsideration having been
denied by the Court, Lagunzad filed the Petition for
Review on Certiorari. Initially, or on 16 June 1970,
the Supreme Court denied the Petition for lack of
merit, but resolved subsequently to give it due
course after Lagunzad moved for reconsideration on
the additional argument that the movie production
was in exercise of the constitutional right of freedom
of expression, and that the Licensing Agreement is a
form of restraint on the freedom of speech and of
the press.

Issue: Whether the Licensing Agreement infringes

on the constitutional right of freedom of speech and
of the press, in that, as a citizen and as a
newspaperman, Lagunzad had the right to express
his thoughts in film on the public life of Moises
Padilla without prior restraint.

Held: The right of freedom of expression occupies a

preferred position in the "hierarchy of civil liberties."
It is not, however, without limitations. As held in
Gonzales vs. Commission on Elections (27 SCRA
835, 858 [1969]), "From the language of the specific
constitutional provision, it would appear that the
right is not susceptible of any limitation. No law may
be passed abridging the freedom of speech and of
the press. The realities of life in a complex society
preclude however, a literal interpretation. Freedom
of expression is not an absolute. It would be too
much to insist that at all times and under all
circumstances it should remain unfettered and
unrestrained. There are other societal values that
press for recognition. The prevailing doctrine is that
the clear and present danger rule is such a
limitation on freedom of speech and of the press,
which includes such vehicles of the mass media as
radio, television and the movies, is the "balancingof-interests test." The principle "requires a court to
take conscious and detailed consideration of the
interplay of interests observable in a given situation
or type of situation." Herein, the interests
observable are the right to privacy asserted by Soto
vda. de Gonzales and the right of freedom of
expression invoked by Lagunzad. Taking into
account the interplay of those interests, the COurt
holds that under the particular circumstances

presented, and considering the obligations assumed

in the Licensing Agreement entered into by
Lagunzad, the validity of such agreement will have
to be upheld particularly because the limits of
freedom of expression are reached when expression
touches upon matters of essentially private concern.
The court denied the petition for review.

26. Ayer Production Pty. Ltd. vs. Capulong [GR L82380, 29 April 1988]; also McElroy vs.
Capulong [GR L-82398]
Facts: Hal McElroy, an Australian film maker, and his
movie production company,Ayer Productions Pty.
Ltd., envisioned, sometime in 1987, the filming for
commercial viewing and for Philippine and
international release, the historic peaceful struggle
of the Filipinos at EDSA (Epifanio de los Santos
Avenue). McEleroy discussed this project with local
movie producer Lope V. Juban, who advised that
they consult with the appropriate government
agencies and also with General Fidel V. Ramos and
Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, who had played major
roles in the events proposed to be filmed. The
proposed motion picture entitled "The Four Day
Revolution" was endorsed by the Movie Television
Review and Classification Board as well as the other
government agencies consulted. General Fidel
Ramos also signified his approval of the intended
film production. In a letter dated 16 December
1987, McElroy, informed Juan Ponce Enrile about the
projected motion picture enclosing a synopsis of it.
On 21 December 1987, Enrile replied that "he would
not and will not approve of the use, appropriation,
reproduction and/or exhibition of his name, or
picture, or that of any member of his family in any
cinema or television production, film or other
medium for advertising or commercial exploitation"
and further advised McElroy that "in the production,
airing, showing, distribution or exhibition of said or
similar film, no reference whatsoever (whether
written, verbal or visual) should not be made to him
or any member of his family, much less to any
matter purely personal to them." It appears that
McElroy acceded to this demand and the name of
Enrile was deleted from the movie script, and
McElroy proceeded to film the projected motion
picture. On 23 February 1988, Enrile filed a
Restraining Order and Writ of Preliminary Injunction
with the Regional Trial Court of Makati (Civil Case
88-151; Branch 134), seeking to enjoin McElroy, et.
al. from producing the movie "The Four Day
Revolution." The complaint alleged that McElroy, et.
al.'s production of the mini-series without Enrile's
consent and over his objection, constitutes an
obvious violation of his right of privacy. On 24
February 1988, the trial court issued ex-parte a
Temporary Restraining Order and set for hearing the
application for preliminary injunction. On 9 March

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1988, McElroy filed a Motion to Dismiss with

Opposition to the Petition for Preliminary Injunction
contending that the mini-series film would not
involve the private life of Juan Ponce Enrile nor that
of his family and that a preliminary injunction would
amount to a prior restraint on their right of free
expression. Ayer Productions also filed its own
Motion to Dismiss alleging lack of cause of action as
the mini-series had not yet been completed. In an
Order dated 16 March 1988, the trial court issued a
writ of Preliminary Injunction against the McElroy,
et. al. On 22 March 1988, Ayer Productions filed a
Petition for Certiorari dated 21 March 1988 with an
urgent prayer for Preliminary Injunction or
Restraining Order with the Supreme Court (GR L82380). A day later, or on 23 March 1988, McElroy
also filed a separate Petition for Certiorari with
Urgent Prayer for a Restraining Order or Preliminary
Injunction, dated 22 March 1988 (GR L-82398). By a
Resolution dated 24 March 1988, the petitions were

Issue: Wnether depiction of Enrile, as part of the

events in the 1986 People Power Revolution and not
as to his personal life nor his family, in the film The
Four Day Revolution requires his prior consent.

Held: The freedom of speech and of expression

includes the freedom to film and produce motion
pictures and to exhibit such motion pictures in
theaters or to diffuse them through television. In our
day and age, motion pictures are a universally
utilized vehicle of communication and medium of
expression. Along with the press, radio and
television, motion pictures constitute a principal
medium of mass communication for information,
education and entertainment. This freedom is
available in our country both to locally-owned and to
Furthermore, the circumstance that the production
of motion picture films is a commercial activity
expected to yield monetary profit, is not a
disqualification for availing of freedom of speech
and of expression. In our community, as in many
other countries, media facilities are owned either by
the government or the private sector but the private
sector-owned media facilities commonly require to
be sustained by being devoted in whole or in part to
revenue producing activities. Indeed, commercial
media constitute the bulk of such facilities available
in our country and hence to exclude commercially
owned and operated media from the exercise of
constitutionally protected freedom of speech and of
expression can only result in the drastic contraction
of such constitutional liberties in our country. The
counter-balancing claim of Enrile is to a right of
privacy. Our law, constitutional and statutory, does
include a right of privacy. It is left to case law,

however, to mark out the precise scope and content

of this right in differing types of particular situations.
The right of privacy or "the right to be let alone,"
like the right of free expression, is not an absolute
right. A limited intrusion into a person's privacy has
long been regarded as permissible where that
person is a public figure and the information sought
to be elicited from him or to be published about him
constitute matters of a public character. Succinctly
put, the right of privacy cannot be invoked to resist
publication and dissemination of matters of public
interest. The interest sought to be protected by the
right of privacy is the right to be free from
publicizing of the private affairs and activities of an
individual which are outside the realm of legitimate
public concern." Herein, there is a prior and direct
restraint on the part of the respondent Judge upon
the exercise of speech and of expression by
McElroy, et. al. The Judge has restrained them from
filming and producing the entire proposed motion
picture. The Judge should have stayed his hand,
instead of issuing an ex-parte Temporary Restraining
Order one day after filing of a complaint by Enrile
and issuing a Preliminary Injunction 20 days later;
for the projected motion picture was as yet
uncompleted and hence not exhibited to any
audience. Neither Enrile nor the trial Judge knew
what the completed film would precisely look like.
There was, in other words, no "clear and present
danger" of any violation of any right to privacy that
Enrile could lawfully assert. The subject matter of
"The Four Day Revolution" relates to the non-bloody
change of government that took place at Epifanio de
los Santos Avenue in February 1986, and the train of
events which led up to that denouement. Clearly,
such subject matter is one of public interest and
concern, and also of international interest. The
subject relates to a highly critical stage in the
history of this country and as such, must be
regarded as having passed into the public domain
and as an appropriate subject for speech and
expression and coverage by any form of mass
media. The subject matter does not relate to the
individual life and certainly not to the private life of
Ponce Enrile. "The Four Day Revolution" is not
principally about, nor is it focused upon, the man
Juan Ponce Enrile; but it is compelled, if it is to be
historical, to refer to the role played by Juan Ponce
Enrile in the precipitating and the constituent events
of the change of government in February 1986. The
extent of the intrusion upon the life of Juan Ponce
Enrile that would be entailed by the production and
exhibition of "The Four Day Revolution" would,
therefore, be limited in character. The extent of that
intrusion may be generally described as such
intrusion as is reasonably necessary to keep that
film a truthful historical account. Enrile does not
claim that McElroy, et. al. threatened to depict in
"The Four Day Revolution" any part of the private
life of Enrile or that of any member of his family. The
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line of equilibrium in the specific context of the

present case between the constitutional freedom of
speech and of expression and the right of privacy,
may be marked out in terms of a requirement that
the proposed motion picture must be fairly truthful
and historical in its presentation of events. There
must, in other words, be no knowing or reckless
disregard of truth in depicting the participation of
private respondent in the EDSA Revolution. There
must, further, be no presentation of the private life
of the unwilling individual (Enrile) and certainly no
revelation of intimate or embarrassing personal
facts. The proposed motion picture should not enter
into a "matters of essentially private concern." To
the extent that "The Four Day Revolution" limits
itself in portraying the participation of Enrile in the
EDSA Revolution to those events which are directly
and reasonably related to the public facts of the
EDSA Revolution, the intrusion into Enrile's privacy
cannot be regarded as unreasonable and actionable.
Such portrayal may be carried out even without a
license from Enrile.

27. KMU Vs Director General

In April 13, 2005, President Gloria Macapagal
Arroyo issued Executive Order 420 requiring all
government agencies and government-owned
corporations to streamline and harmonize their
Identification Systems. The purposes of the uniform
ID data collection and ID format are to reduce costs,
achieve efficiency and reliability and ensure
compatibility and provide convenience to the people
Petitioners allege that EO420 is unconstitutional
because it constitutes usurpation of legislative
functions by the executive branch of the
government. Furthermore, they allege that EO420
infringes on the citizens rights to privacy.
ISSUE: In issuing EO 420, did the president make,
Legislative power is the authority to make laws and
to alter or repeal them. In issuing EO 420, the
President did not make, alter or repeal any law but
merely implemented and executed existing laws. EO
420 reduces costs, as well as insures efficiency,
reliability, compatibility and user-friendliness in the
government entities under existing laws. Thus, EO
420 is simply an executive issuance and not an act
of legislation.
Facts: Respondent abs-cbn aired Prosti-tuition, an
episode of the TV program The Inside Story
produced and hosted by respondent Legarda. It

depicted female
students moonlighting
prostitutes to enable them to pay for their tuition
PWU was named as the school of some of the
students involved and the faade of the PWU
building served as the background of the episode.
This caused upsoar in the PWU community and they
filed a letter-complaint to the MTRCB.
MTRCB alleged that respondents
1) Did not submit the inside story to petitioner for
2) Exhibited the same without its permission, thus
violating sec 7 of PD 1986 and some sections of
MTRCB rules and regulations
ABS-CBN averred:
1) The Inside Story is a public affairs program, news
documentary and socio-political editorial, its airing
is protected by the constitutional provision
on freedom of expression and of the press
2) Petitioners has no power, authority and
jurisdiction to impose any form of prior restraint
upon respondents.
After hearing and submission of the parties
memoranda, MTRCB investigating committee
ordered the respondents to pay P20,000 for nonsubmission of the program
MTRCB affirmed the ruling
Respondents filed a special civil action for certiorari
with RTC QC. RTC rendered a decision in favor of
respondents, annulling and setting aside the
decision and resolution of the MTRCB and declaring
and decreeing that certain sections of PD 1986 &
MTRCB do not cover the TV program Inside Story,
they being a public affairs programs which can be
equated to a newspaper
Hence, this petition
Whether the MTRCB has the power or authority to
review the Inside Story prior its exhibition or
broadcast by TV.
Sec 3 of PD 1986 enumerates the powers, functions
and duties of the board:
b) to screen, review and examine all motion pictures
herein defined, TV programs, including publicity
The court in INC v. CA rules that PD 1986 gives
MTRCB the power to screen, review and examine
*LESSON* where the law does not make any
exceptions, courts may not exempt something
therefrom, unless there is compelling reason
apparent in the law to justify it.
Thus, when the law says all TV programs, the
word all covers all tv programs whether religious,
public affairs, news docu, etc
It then follows that since the Inside Story is a TV
Program, MTRCB has the power to review it

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The only exemptions from the MTRCBs power to

review are those mentioned in Sec 7 of PD 1986
1) TV programs imprinted or exhibited by Phil govt
and/or departments and agencies
2) Newsreels
In a desperate attempt to be exempted,
respondents content that Inside Story falls under
the category of newsreels.
MTRCB rules and reg defines newsreels as straight
news reporting, as distinguished from
analyses, commentaries, and opinions. Talk shows
on a given issue are not considered newsreels.
Clearly, Inside Story is not a newsreel but more of a
public affairs program and within petitioners power
of review.
Issue related to Consti law:
Petitioners power to review television programs
under Section 3(b) of P. D. No. 1986 does not
amount to prior restraint.
It is significant to note that in Iglesia ni Cristo, this
Court declared that freedom of religion has been
accorded a preferred status by the framers of our
fundamental laws, past and present, designed to
protect the broadest possible liberty of conscience,
to allow each man to believe as his
conscience directs x x x. Yet despite the fact that
freedom of religion has been accorded a preferred
status, still this Court, did not exempt the Iglesia
ni Cristos religious program from petitioners review
Respondents claim that the showing of The Inside
Story is protected by the constitutional provision
on freedom of speech and of the press. However,
there has been no declaration at all by the framers
of the Constitution that freedom of expression and
of the press has a preferred status.
If this Court, in Iglesia ni Cristo, did not exempt
religious programs from the jurisdiction and review
power of petitioner MTRCB, with more reason, there
is no justification to exempt therefrom The Inside
Story which, according to respondents, is protected
by the constitutional provision on freedom of
expression and of the press, a freedom bearing no
preferred status.
The only exceptions from the MTRCBs power of
review are those expressly mentioned in Section 7
of P. D. No. 1986, such as (1) television programs
imprinted or exhibited by the Philippine Government
and/or its departments and agencies, and (2)
29. Janet Reno vs. Americal Civil Liberties Union
[521 US 884,26 June 1997]
Facts: Two provisions of the Communications
Decency Act of 1996 (CDA or Act) seek to protect
minors from harmful material on the Internet, an
international network of interconnected computers
that enables millions of people to communicate with

one another in "cyberspace" and to access vast

amounts of information from around the world. Title
47 U. S. C. A. 223(a)(1)(B)(ii) (Supp. 1997)
criminalizes the "knowing" transmission of "obscene
or indecent" messages to any recipient under 18
years of age. Section 223(d) prohibits the
"knowin[g]" sending or displaying to a person under
18 of any message "that, in context, depicts or
describes, in terms patently offensive as measured
by contemporary community standards, sexual or
excretory activities or organs." Affirmative defenses
are provided for those who take "good faith, . . .
effective . . . actions" to restrict access by minors to
the prohibited communications, 223(e)(5)(A), and
those who restrict such access by requiring certain
designated forms of age proof, such as a verified
credit card or an adult identification number,
223(e)(5)(B). A number of plaintiffs filed suit
challenging the constitutionality of 223(a)(1) and
223(d). After making extensive findings of fact, a
three judge District Court convened pursuant to the
Act entered a preliminary injunction against
enforcement of both challenged provisions. The
court's judgment enjoins the Government from
enforcing 223(a)(1)(B)'s prohibitions insofar as they
relate to "indecent" communications, but expressly
preserves the Government's right to investigate and
prosecute the obscenity or child pornography
activities prohibited therein. The injunction against
enforcement of 223(d) is unqualified because that
section contains no separatereference to obscenity
or child pornography. The Government appealed to
the Supreme Court under the Act's special review
provisions, arguing that the District Court erred in
holding that the CDA violated both the First
Amendment because it is overbroad and the Fifth
Amendment because it is vague.
Issue: Whether the Communications Decency Act of
1996 places an unacceptably heavy burden on
protected speech.
Held: Regardless of whether the Communications
Decency Act of 1996 (CDA) is so vague that it
violates the Fifth Amendment, the many ambiguities
concerning the scope of its coverage render it
problematic for purposes of the First Amendment.
For instance, each of the two parts of the CDA uses
a different linguistic form. The first uses the word
"indecent," while the second speaks of material that
"in context, depicts or describes, in terms patently
offensive as measured by contemporary community
standards, sexual or excretory activities or organs."
Given the absence of a definition of either term, this
difference in language will provoke uncertainty
among speakers about how the two standards relate
to each other and just what they mean. This
uncertainty undermines the likelihood that the CDA
has been carefully tailored to the congressional goal
of protecting minors from potentially harmful
materials. The vagueness of the CDA is a matter of

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special concern for two reasons. First, the CDA is a

content based regulation of speech. The vagueness
of such a regulation raises special First Amendment
concerns because of its obvious chilling effect on
free speech. Second, the CDA is a criminal statute.
In addition to the opprobrium and stigma of a
criminal conviction, the CDA threatens violators with
penalties including up to two years in prison for
each act of violation. The severity of criminal
sanctions may well cause speakers to remain silent
rather than communicate even arguably unlawful
words, ideas, and images. The CDA regulates
speech on the basis of its content. A "time, place,
and manner" analysis is therefore inapplicable. It is
thus immaterial whether such speech would be
feasible on the Web (which, as the Government's
own expert acknowledged, would cost up to
$10,000 if the speaker's interests were not
accommodated by an existing Web site, not
including costs for database management and age
equivalent to arguing that a statute could ban
leaflets on certain subjects as long as individuals
are free to publish books. In invalidating a number
of laws that banned leafletting on the streets
regardless of their content-- the Court explained
that "one is not to have the exercise of his liberty of
expression in appropriate places abridged on the
plea that it may be exercised in some other place."
Also, most Internet fora -- including chat rooms,
newsgroups, mail exploders, and the Web -- are
open to all comers. Even the strongest reading of
the "specific person" requirement of 223(d) cannot
save the statute. It would confer broad powers of
censorship, in the form of a "heckler's veto," upon
any opponent of indecent speech who might simply
log on and inform the would be discoursers that his
17 year old child -- a "specific person under 18
years of age," -- would be present. Finally, there is
no textual support for the Government's submission
that material having scientific, educational, or other
redeeming social value will necessarily fall outside
the CDA's "patently offensive" and "indecent"
prohibitions. Thus, the CDA places an unacceptably
heavy burden on protected speech, and that the
defenses do not constitute the sort of "narrow
tailoring" that will save an otherwise patently invalid
unconstitutional provision. The CDA, casting a far
darker shadow over free speech, threatens to torch
a large segment of the Internet community. The
ruling of the district court was sustained.

30. Miller vs. California [413 US 15, 21 June

Facts: Miller conducted a mass mailing campaign to
euphemistically called "adult" material. Five
unsolicited advertising brochures were sent through
the mail in an envelope addressed to a restaurant in

Newport Beach, California. The brochures advertise

four books entitled "Intercourse," "Man-Woman,"
"Sex Orgies Illustrated," and "An Illustrated History
of Pornography," and a film entitled "Marital
Intercourse." While the brochures contain some
descriptive printed material, primarily they consist
of pictures and drawings very explicitly depicting
men and women in groups of two or more engaging
in a variety of sexual activities, with genitals often
prominently displayed. The envelope was opened by
the manager of the restaurant and his mother. They
had not requested the brochures; they complained
to the police. After a jury trial, he was convicted of
violating California Penal Code 311.2 (a), a
misdemeanor, by knowingly distributing obscene
matter, and the Appellate Department, Superior
Court of California, County of Orange, summarily
affirmed the judgment without opinion.
Issue: Whether the determination of obscene
materials are to be determined through the national
or community standard.
Held: Sex and nudity may not be exploited without
limit by films or pictures exhibited or sold in places
of public accommodation any more than live sex
and nudity can be exhibited or sold without limit in
such public places. At a minimum, prurient, patently
offensive depiction or description of sexual conduct
must have serious literary, artistic, political, or
scientific value to merit First Amendment protection.
The basic guidelines for the trier of fact must be: (a)
contemporary community standards" would find
that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the
prurient interest; (b) whether the work depicts or
describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual
conduct specifically defined by the applicable state
law; and (c) whether the work, taken as a whole,
lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific
value. If a state law that regulates obscene material
is thus limited, as written or construed, the First
Amendment values applicable to the States through
Fourteenth Amendment are adequately
protected by the ultimate power of appellate courts
to conduct an independent review of constitutional
claims when necessary. Thus, no one will be subject
to prosecution for the sale or exposure of obscene
materials unless these materials depict or describe
patently offensive "hard core" sexual conduct
specifically defined by the regulating state law, as
written or construed. These specific prerequisites
will provide fair notice to a dealer in such materials
that his public and commercial activities may bring
prosecution. The inability to define regulated
altogether removes the power of the States or the
Congress to regulate, then "hard core" pornography
may be exposed without limit to the juvenile, the
passerby, and the consenting adult alike. Under a
National Constitution, fundamental First Amendment

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limitations on the powers of the States do not vary

from community to community, but this does not
mean that there are, or should or can be, fixed,
uniform national standards of precisely what
appeals to the "prurient interest" or is "patently
offensive." These are essentially questions of fact,
and our Nation is simply too big and too diverse for
this Court to reasonably expect that such standards
could be articulated for all 50 States in a single
formulation, even assuming the prerequisite
consensus exists. When triers of fact are asked to
decide whether "the average person, applying
consider certain materials "prurient," it would be
unrealistic to require that the answer be based on
some abstract formulation. The adversary system,
with lay jurors as the usual ultimate factfinders in
criminal prosecutions, has historically permitted
triers of fact to draw on the standards of their
community, guided always by limiting instructions
on the law. To require a State to structure obscenity
proceedings around evidence of a national
"community standard" would be an exercise in
futility. Thus the Court herein (a) reaffirm the Roth
holding that obscene material is not protected by
the First Amendment; (b) hold that such material
can be regulated by the States, subject to the
specific safeguards enunciated above, without a
showing that the material is "utterly without
redeeming social value"; and (c) hold that obscenity
is to be determined by applying "contemporary
community standards," not "national standards."
31. Fernando Vs. CA
Facts: Acting on reports of sale and distribution of
pornographic materials, officers of the Philippine
National Police CIDG conducted police surveillance
on the store bearing the name of Gaudencio E.
Fernando Music Fair (Music Fair).
On May 5, 1999, Judge Perfecto Laguio of the
Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch 19, issued
Search Warrant No. 99-1216 for violation of Article
201 of the Revised Penal Code against petitioner
Gaudencio E. Fernando and a certain Warren
The warrant ordered the search of the store for
copies of New Rave, Hustler, IOU magazine, and
VHS tapes.
On the same day, police officers of the PNP-CIDG
NCR served the warrant on Rudy Estorninos, who,
according to the prosecution, introduced himself as
the store attendant of Music Fair. The police
searched the premises and confiscated twenty-five
(25) VHS tapes and ten (10) different magazines,
which they deemed pornographic.
All appellants pled not guilty to the offenses
charged. They waived their right to present
evidence. The RTC acquitted Tingchuy for lack of
evidence to prove his guilt, but convicted herein
petitioners Fernando and Estorninos.

The CA affirmed the decision. The petitioners sought

for review in the SC on certiorari and assailed the
CA decision.
They assigned the following errors:
I. Respondent court erred in convicting petitioner
Fernando even if he was not present at the time of
the raid
II. Respondent erred in convicting petitioner
Estorninos who was not doing anything illegal at the
time of the raid.
Petitioners contend that the prosecution failed to
prove that at the time of the search, they were
selling pornographic materials. Fernando contends
that since he was not charged as the owner of an
establishment selling obscene materials, the
prosecution must prove that he was present during
the raid and that he was selling the said materials.
Estorninos, on the other hand, insists that he was
not an attendant in Music Fair, nor did he introduce
himself so.
The Solicitor General counters that owners of
establishments selling obscene publications are
expressly held liable under Article 201, and
petitioner Fernandos ownership was sufficiently
proven. As the owner, according to the Solicitor
General, Fernando was naturally a seller of the
prohibited materials and liable under the
Issue: Whether the appellate court erred in affirming
the petitioners conviction.
Held: No. Petition dismissed.
As obscenity is an unprotected speech which the
State has the right to regulate, the State in pursuing
its mandate to protect, as parens patriae, the public
from obscene, immoral and indecent materials must
justify the regulation or limitation.
One such regulation is Article 201 of the Revised
Penal Code. To be held liable, the prosecution must
prove that (a) the materials, publication, picture or
literature are obscene; and (b) the offender sold,
exhibited, published or gave away such materials.
Necessarily, that the confiscated materials are
obscene must be proved.
People v. Kottinger-.obscenity as something which is
offensive to chastity, decency or delicacy. The test
to determine the existence of obscenity is, whether
the tendency of the matter charged as obscene, is
to deprave or corrupt those whose minds are open
to such immoral influences and into whose hands a
publication or other article charged as being
obscene may fall.
Also, that which shocks the ordinary and common
sense of men as an indecency. The disclaimer was
whether a picture is obscene or indecent must
depend upon the circumstances of the case, and
that ultimately, the question is to be decided by the

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judgment of the aggregate sense of the community

reached by it.
Go Pin- If such pictures, sculptures and paintings are
shown in art exhibits and art galleries for the cause
of art, to be viewed and appreciated by people
interested in art, there would be no offense
committed. However, the pictures here in question
were used not exactly for arts sake but rather for
commercial purposes. In other words, the supposed
artistic qualities of said pictures were being
commercialized so that the cause of art was of
secondary or minor importance. Gain and profit
would appear to have been the main, if not the
exclusive consideration in their exhibition; and it
would not be surprising if the persons who went to
see those pictures and paid entrance fees for the
privilege of doing so, were not exactly artists and
persons interested in art and who generally go to
art exhibitions and galleries to satisfy and improve
their artistic tastes, but rather people desirous of
satisfying their morbid curiosity and taste, and lust,
and for love [of] excitement, including the youth
who because of their immaturity are not in a
position to resist and shield themselves from the ill
and perverting effects of these pictures
Padan- An actual exhibition of the sexual act,
preceded by acts of lasciviousness, can have no
redeeming feature. In it, there is no room for art.
One can see nothing in it but clear and unmitigated
obscenity, indecency, and an offense to public
morals, inspiring and causing as it does, nothing but
lust and lewdness, and exerting a corrupting
influence specially on the youth of the land.
Katigbak- the Court measures obscenity in terms of
the dominant theme of the material taken as a
whole rather than in isolated passages.
Pita v. Court of Appeals, concerning alleged
pornographic publications, the Court recognized
that Kottinger failed to afford a conclusive definition
of obscenity, and that both Go Pin and Padan y
Alova raised more questions than answers such as,
whether the absence or presence of artists and
persons interested in art and who generally go to
art exhibitions and galleries to satisfy and improve
their artistic tastes, determine what art is; or that if
they find inspiration in the exhibitions, whether such
exhibitions cease to be obscene. Go Pin and Padan y
Alova gave too much latitude for judicial
arbitrament, which has permitted ad lib of ideas and
two-cents worths among judges as to what is
obscene or what is art.
The Court in Pita also emphasized the difficulty of
the question and pointed out how hazy
jurisprudence is on obscenity and how jurisprudence
actually failed to settle questions on the matter.
Significantly, the dynamism of human civilization
does not help at all. It is evident that individual
tastes develop, adapt to wide-ranging influences,
and keep in step with the rapid advance of
civilization. It seems futile at this point to formulate

a perfect definition of obscenity that shall apply in

all cases.
There is no perfect definition of obscenity but the
latest word is that of Miller v. California which
established basic guidelines, to wit: (a) whether to
the average person, applying contemporary
standards would find the work, taken as a whole,
appeals to the prurient interest; (b) whether the
work depicts or describes, in a patently offensive
way, sexual conduct specifically defined by the
applicable state law; and (c) whether the work,
taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic,
political, or scientific value.
But, it would be a serious misreading of Miller to
conclude that the trier of facts has the unbridled
discretion in determining what is patently
offensive. No one will be subject to prosecution for
the sale or exposure of obscene materials unless
these materials depict or describe patently offensive
hard core sexual conduct. Ie offensive descriptions
of sex acts.
What remains clear is that obscenity is an issue
proper for judicial determination and should be
treated on a case to case basis and on the judges
sound discretion.
In this case, the trial court found the confiscated
materials obscene and the Court of Appeals
affirmed such findings. Findings of fact of the Court
of Appeals affirming that of the trial court are
accorded great respect, even by this Court, unless
such findings are patently unsupported by the
evidence on record or the judgment itself is based
on misapprehension of facts.
Did petitioners participate in the distribution and
exhibition of obscene materials? We emphasize that
mere possession of obscene materials, without
intention to sell, exhibit, or give them away, is not
punishable under Article 201, considering the
purpose of the law is to prohibit the dissemination of
obscene materials to the public. The offense in any
of the forms under Article 201 is committed only
when there is publicity. The mayors permit shows
that Fernando was the owner of the store.
Petitioner Estorninos is likewise liable as the store
attendant actively engaged in selling and exhibiting
the obscene materials. Prosecution witness Police
Inspector Tababan, who led the PNP-CIDG NCR that
conducted the search, identified him as the store
attendant upon whom the search warrant was
32. Eastern Broadcasting Corporation vs. Dans
[GR L-59329, 19 July 1985]
Facts: Radio Station DYRE was closed on the ground
that the radio station was used to incite people to
sedition. A petition was filed by Eastern
Transportation and Communications, Ceferino S.

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Telecommunications Commission), et. al. to allow

the reopening of Radio Station DYRE which had
been summarily closed on grounds of national
security; alleging denial of due process and violation
of its right of freedom of speech. On 25 March 1985,
before the Court could promulgate a decision
squarely passing upon all the issues raised, Eastern
Broadcasting through its president, Mr. Rene G.
Espina suddenly filed a motion to withdraw or
dismiss the petition. Eastern Broadcasting alleged
that (1) it has already sold its radio broadcasting
station in favor of Manuel B. Pastrana as well as its
rights and interest in the radio station DYRE in Cebu
including its right to operate and its equipment; (2)
the National Telecommunications Commission has
expressed its willingness to grant to the said new
owner Manuel B. Pastrana the requisite license and
franchise to operate the said radio station and to
approve the sale of the radio transmitter of said
station DYRE; (3) in view of the foregoing, Eastern
Broadcasting has no longer any interest in said
case, and the new owner, Manuel B. Pastrana is
likewise not interested in pursuing the case any
Issue: Whether radio broadcasting enjoys a more
limited form Held: The case has become moot and
academic. However, for the guidance of inferior
courts and administrative tribunals exercising quasijudicial functions, the Court issues the following
guidelines: (1) The cardinal primary requirements in
administrative proceedings laid down by the Court
in Ang Tibay v. Court of Industrial Relations (69 Phil.
635) should be followed before a broadcast station
may be closed or its operations curtailed; (2) it is
necessary to reiterate that while there is no
controlling and precise definition of due process, it
furnishes an unavoidable standard to which
government action must conform in order that any
deprivation of life, liberty, or property, in each
appropriate case, may be valid (Ermita-Malate Hotel
and Motel Operators Association v. City Mayor, 20
SCRA 849); (3) All forms of media, whether print or
broadcast, are entitled to the broad protection of
the freedom of speech and expression clause. The
test for limitations on freedom of expression
continues to be the clear and present danger rule that words are used in such circumstances and are
of such a nature as to create a clear and present
danger that they will bring about the substantive
evils that the lawmaker has a right to prevent; (4)
the clear and present danger test, however, does
not lend itself to a simplistic and all embracing
interpretation applicable to all utterances in all
forums. Broadcasting has to be licensed. Airwave
frequencies have to be allocated among qualified
users; (5) The clear and present danger test must
take the particular circumstances of broadcast
media into account. The supervision of radio
stations whether by government or through selfregulation by the industry itself calls for thoughtful,

intelligent and sophisticated handling; (6) the

freedom to comment on public affairs is essential to
the vitality of a representative democracy; and (7)
Broadcast stations deserve the special protection
given to all forms of media by the due process and
freedom of expression clauses of the Constitution. A
broadcast corporation cannot simply appropriate a
certain frequency without regard for government
regulation or for the rights of others.All forms of
communication are entitled to the broad protection
of the freedom of expression clause. Necessarily,
however, the freedom of television and radio
broadcasting is somewhat lesser in scope than the
freedom accorded to newspaper and print media.
Radio broadcasting, more than other forms of
protection from the free expression clause, because:
First, broadcast media have established a uniquely
pervasive presence in the lives of all citizens.
Material presented over the airwaves confronts the
citizen, not only in public, but in the privacy of his
home. Second, broadcasting is uniquely accessible
to children. Bookstores and motion picture theaters
may be prohibited from making certain material
available to children, but the same selectivity
cannot be done in radio or television, where the
listener or viewer is constantly tuning in and out.
Similar considerations apply in the area of national
security. The broadcast media have also established
a uniquely pervasive presence in the lives of all
Filipinos. Newspapers and current books are found
only in metropolitan areas and in the poblaciones of
municipalities accessible to fast and regular
transportation. Even here, there are low income
masses who find the cost of books, newspapers, and
magazines beyond their humble means. Basic needs
like food and shelter perforce enjoy high priorities.
On the other hand, the transistor radio is found
everywhere. The television set is also becoming
universal. Their message may be simultaneously
received by a national or regional audience of
listeners including the indifferent or unwilling who
happen to be within reach of a blaring radio or
television set. The materials broadcast over the
airwaves reach every person of every age, persons
of varying susceptibilities to persuasion, persons of
different I.Q.s and mental capabilities, persons
whose reactions to inflammatory or offensive
speech would be difficult to monitor or predict. The
impact of the vibrant speech is forceful and
immediate. Unlike readers of the printed work, the
radio audience has lesser opportunity to cogitate,
analyze, and reject the utterance. Still, the
government has a right to be protected against
broadcasts which incite the listeners to violently
overthrow it. Radio and television may not be used
to organize a rebellion or to signal the start of
widespread uprising. At the same time, the people
have a right to be informed. Radio and television
would have little reason for existence if broadcasts
are limited to bland, obsequious, or pleasantly
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entertaining utterances. Since they are the most

convenient and popular means of disseminating
varying views on public issues, they also deserve
special protection.

Section 1. Title - This Act shall be known as "The Public
Assembly Act of 1985."
Section 2. Declaration of policy - The constitutional right of the
people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for
redress of grievances is essential and vital to the strength and
stability of the State. To this end, the State shall ensure the free
exercise of such right without prejudice to the rights of others to
life, liberty and equal protection of the law.
Section 3. Definition of terms - For purposes of this Act:
(a) "Public assembly" means any rally, demonstration,
march, parade, procession or any other form of mass or
concerted action held in a public place for the purpose
of presenting a lawful cause; or expressing an opinion
to the general public on any particular issue; or
protesting or influencing any state of affairs whether
political, economic or social; or petitioning the
government for redress of grievances.
The processions, rallies, parades, demonstrations,
public meetings and assemblages for religious purposes
shall be governed by local ordinances: Provided,
however, That the declaration of policy as provided in
Section 2 of this Act shall be faithfully observed.
The definition herein contained shall not include
picketing and other concerted action in strike areas by
workers and employees resulting from a labor dispute
as defined by the Labor Code, its implementing rules
and regulations, and by the Batas Pambansa Bilang 227.
(b) "Public place" shall include any highway, boulevard,
avenue, road, street, bridge or other thoroughfare, park,
plaza, square, and/or any open space of public
ownership where the people are allowed access.
(c) "Maximum tolerance" means the highest degree of
restraint that the military, police and other peace
keeping authorities shall observe during a public
assembly or in the dispersal of the same.
(d) "Modification of permit" shall include the change of
the place and time of the public assembly, rerouting of
the parade or street march, the volume of loud-speakers
or sound system and similar changes.
Section 4. Permit when required and when not required - A
written permit shall be required for any person or persons to

organize and hold a public assembly in a public place. However,

no permit shall be required if the public assembly shall be done or
made in a freedom park duly established by law or ordinance or
in private property, in which case only the consent of the owner
or the one entitled to its legal possession is required, or in the
campus of a government-owned and operated educational
institution which shall be subject to the rules and regulations of
said educational institution. Political meetings or rallies held
during any election campaign period as provided for by law are
not covered by this Act.
Section 5. Application requirements - All applications for a
permit shall comply with the following guidelines:
(a) The applications shall be in writing and shall include
the names of the leaders or organizers; the purpose of
such public assembly; the date, time and duration
thereof, and place or streets to be used for the intended
activity; and the probable number of persons
participating, the transport and the public address
systems to be used.

his permit, the applicant may contest the decision in an

appropriate court of law.
(f) In case suit is brought before the Metropolitan Trial
Court, the Municipal Trial Court, the Municipal Circuit
Trial Court, the Regional Trial Court, or the
Intermediate Appellate Court, its decisions may be
appealed to the appropriate court within forty-eight (48)
hours after receipt of the same. No appeal bond and
record on appeal shall be required. A decision granting
such permit or modifying it in terms satisfactory to the
applicant shall, be immediately executory.
(g) All cases filed in court under this Section shall be
decided within twenty-four (24) hours from date of
filing. Cases filed hereunder shall be immediately
endorsed to the executive judge for disposition or, in his
absence, to the next in rank.
(h) In all cases, any decision may be appealed to the
Supreme Court.

(b) The application shall incorporate the duty and

responsibility of applicant under Section 8 hereof.

(i) Telegraphic appeals to be followed by formal appeals

are hereby allowed.

(c) The application shall be filed with the office of the

mayor of the city or municipality in whose jurisdiction
the intended activity is to be held, at least five (5)
working days before the scheduled public assembly.

Section 7. Use of public thoroughfare - Should the proposed

public assembly involve the use, for an appreciable length of
time, of any public highway, boulevard, avenue, road or street,
the mayor or any official acting in his behalf may, to prevent
grave public inconvenience, designate the route thereof which is
convenient to the participants or reroute the vehicular traffic to
another direction so that there will be no serious or undue
interference with the free flow of commerce and trade.

(d) Upon receipt of the application, which must be duly

acknowledged in writing, the office of the city or
municipal mayor shall cause the same to immediately
be posted at a conspicuous place in the city or
municipal building.
Section 6. Action to be taken on the application (a) It shall be the duty of the mayor or any official
acting in his behalf to issue or grant a permit unless
there is clear and convincing evidence that the public
assembly will create a clear and present danger to
public order, public safety, public convenience, public
morals or public health.
(b) The mayor or any official acting in his behalf shall
act on the application within two (2) working days from
the date the application was filed, failing which, the
permit shall be deemed granted. Should for any reason
the mayor or any official acting in his behalf refuse to
accept the application for a permit, said application
shall be posted by the applicant on the premises of the
office of the mayor and shall be deemed to have been
(c) If the mayor is of the view that there is imminent
and grave danger of a substantive evil warranting the
denial or modification of the permit, he shall
immediately inform the applicant who must be heard on
the matter.
(d) The action on the permit shall be in writing and
served on the application within twenty-four hours.
(e) If the mayor or any official acting in his behalf
denies the application or modifies the terms thereof in

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Section 8. Responsibility of applicant - It shall be the duty and

responsibility of the leaders and organizers of a public assembly
to take all reasonable measures and steps to the end that the
intended public assembly shall be conducted peacefully in
accordance with the terms of the permit. These shall include but
not be limited to the following:
(a) To inform the participants of their responsibility
under the permit;
(b) To police the ranks of the demonstrators in order to
prevent non-demonstrators from disrupting the lawful
activities of the public assembly;
(c) To confer with local government officials concerned
and law enforcers to the end that the public assembly
may be held peacefully;
(d) To see to it that the public assembly undertaken shall
not go beyond the time stated in the permit; and
(e) To take positive steps that demonstrators do not
molest any person or do any act unduly interfering with
the rights of other persons not participating in the public
Section 9. Non-interference by law enforcement authorities - Law
enforcement agencies shall not interfere with the holding of a
public assembly. However, to adequately ensure public safety, a
law enforcement contingent under the command of a responsible
police officer may be detailed and stationed in a place at least one

hundred (100) meter away from the area of activity ready to

maintain peace and order at all times.
Section 10. Police assistance when requested - It shall be
imperative for law enforcement agencies, when their assistance is
requested by the leaders or organizers, to perform their duties
always mindful that their responsibility to provide proper
protection to those exercising their right peaceably to assemble
and the freedom of expression is primordial. Towards this end,
law enforcement agencies shall observe the following guidelines:
(a) Members of the law enforcement contingent who
deal with the demonstrators shall be in complete
uniform with their nameplates and units to which they
belong displayed prominently on the front and dorsal
parts of their uniform and must observe the policy of
"maximum tolerance" as herein defined;
(b) The members of the law enforcement contingent
shall not carry any kind of firearms but may be
equipped with baton or riot sticks, shields, crash
helmets with visor, gas masks, boots or ankle high
shoes with shin guards;
(c) Tear gas, smoke grenades, water cannons, or any
similar anti-riot device shall not be used unless the
public assembly is attended by actual violence or
serious threats of violence, or deliberate destruction of
Section 11. Dispersal of public assembly with permit - No public
assembly with a permit shall be dispersed. However, when an
assembly becomes violent, the police may disperse such public
assembly as follows:
(a) At the first sign of impending violence, the ranking
officer of the law enforcement contingent shall call the
attention of the leaders of the public assembly and ask
the latter to prevent any possible disturbance;

Section 12. Dispersal of public assembly without permit - When

the public assembly is held without a permit where a permit is
required, the said public assembly may be peacefully dispersed.
Section 13. Prohibited acts - The following shall constitute
violations of this Act:
(a) The holding of any public assembly as defined in
this Act by any leader or organizer without having first
secured that written permit where a permit is required
from the office concerned, or the use of such permit for
such purposes in any place other than those set out in
said permit: Provided, however, That no person can be
punished or held criminally liable for participating in or
attending an otherwise peaceful assembly;
(b) Arbitrary and unjustified denial or modification of a
permit in violation of the provisions of this Act by the
mayor or any other official acting in his behalf.
(c) The unjustified and arbitrary refusal to accept or
acknowledge receipt of the application for a permit by
the mayor or any official acting in his behalf;
(d) Obstructing, impeding, disrupting or otherwise
denying the exercise of the right to peaceful assembly;
(e) The unnecessary firing of firearms by a member of
any law enforcement agency or any person to disperse
the public assembly;
(f) Acts in violation of Section 10 hereof;
(g) Acts described hereunder if committed within one
hundred (100) meters from the area of activity of the
public assembly or on the occasion thereof;
1. the carrying of a deadly or offensive
weapon or device such as firearm, pillbox,
bomb, and the like;

(b) If actual violence starts to a point where rocks or

other harmful objects from the participants are thrown
at the police or at the non-participants, or at any
property causing damage to such property, the ranking
officer of the law enforcement contingent shall audibly
warn the participants that if the disturbance persists, the
public assembly will be dispersed;

2. the carrying of a bladed weapon and the


(c) If the violence or disturbances prevailing as stated in

the preceding subparagraph should not stop or abate,
the ranking officer of the law enforcement contingent
shall audibly issue a warning to the participants of the
public assembly, and after allowing a reasonable period
of time to lapse, shall immediately order it to forthwith

5. the interfering with or intentionally

disturbing the holding of a public assembly by
the use of a motor vehicle, its horns and loud
sound systems.

(d) No arrest of any leader, organizer or participant shall

also be made during the public assembly unless he
violates during the assembly a law, statute, ordinance or
any provision of this Act. Such arrest shall be governed
by Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended:
(e) Isolated acts or incidents of disorder or branch of the
peace during the public assembly shall not constitute a
group for dispersal.

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3 the malicious burning of any object in the

streets or thoroughfares;
4. the carrying of firearms by members of the
law enforcement unit;

Section 14. Penalties - Any person found guilty and convicted of

any of the prohibited acts defined in the immediately preceding
Section shall be punished as follows:
(a) violation of subparagraph (a) shall be punished by
imprisonment of one month and one day to six months;
(b) violations of subparagraphs (b), (c), (d), (e), (f), and
item 4, subparagraph (g) shall be punished by
imprisonment of six months and one day to six years;
(c) violation of item 1, subparagraph (g) shall be
punished by imprisonment of six months and one day to

six years without prejudice to prosecution under

Presidential Decree No. 1866;
(d) violations of item 2, item 3, or item 5 of
subparagraph (g) shall be punished by imprisonment of
one day to thirty days.
Section 15. Freedom parks - Every city and municipality in the
country shall within six months after the effectivity of this Act
establish or designate at least one suitable "freedom park" or mall
in their respective jurisdictions which, as far as practicable, shall
be centrally located within the poblacion where demonstrations
and meetings may be held at any time without the need of any
prior permit.
In the cities and municipalities of Metropolitan Manila, the
respective mayors shall establish the freedom parks within the
period of six months from the effectivity of this Act.
Section 16. Constitutionality - Should any provision of this Act
be declared invalid or unconstitutional, the validity or
constitutionality of the other provisions shall not be affected
Section 17. Repealing clause - All laws, decrees, letters of
instructions, resolutions, orders, ordinances or parts thereof which
are inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby
repealed, amended, or modified accordingly.
Section 18. Effectivity - This Act shall take effect upon its
Approved, October 22, 1985.

Primicias vs. Fugoso [GR L-1800, 27 January


Facts: The Philippine Legislature has delegated the

exercise of the police power to the Municipal Board
of the City of Manila, which according to section
2439 of the Administrative Code is the legislative
body of the City. Section 2444 of the same Code
grants the Municipal Board, among others, the
following legislative powers, to wit: "(p) to provide
for the prohibition and suppression of riots, affrays,
disturbances and disorderly assemblies, (u) to
regulate the use of streets, avenues, parks,
cemeteries and other public places" and "for the
abatement of nuisances in the same," and "(ee) to
enact all ordinances it may deem necessary and
proper for sanitation and safety, the furtherance of
prosperity and the promotion of morality, peace,
good order, comfort, convenience, and general
welfare of the city and its inhabitants." Under the
above delegated power, the Municipal Board of the
City of Manila, enacted sections 844 and 1119.
Section 844 of the Revised Ordinances of 1927
prohibits as an offense against public peace, and
section 1262 of the same Revised Ordinance
penalizes as a misdemeanor, "any act, in any public
place, meeting, or procession, tending to disturb the
peace or excite a riot; or collect with other persons
in a body or crowd for any unlawful purpose; or
disturb or disquiet any congregation engaged in any
lawful assembly." And section 1119 provides that
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"The streets and public places of the city shall be

kept free and clear for the use of the public, and the
sidewalks and crossings for the pedestrians, and the
same shall only be used or occupied for other
purposes as provided by ordinance or regulation:
Provided, That the holding of athletic games, sports,
or exercises during the celebration of national
holidays in any streets or public places of the city
and on the patron saint day of any district in
question, may be permitted by means of a permit
issued by the Mayor, who shall determine the
streets or public places, or portions thereof, where
such athletic games, sports, or exercises may be
held: And provided, further, That the holding of any
parade or procession in any streets or public places
is prohibited unless a permit therefor is first secured
from the Mayor, who shall, on every such occasion,
determine or specify the streets or public places for
the formation, route, and dismissal of such parade
or procession: And provided, finally, That all
applications to hold a parade or procession shall be
submitted to the Mayor not less than twenty-four
hours prior to the holding of such parade or
procession." An action of mandamus was instituted
by Cipriano Primicias, a campaign manager of the
Coalesced Minority Parties against Valeriano Fugoso,
as Mayor of the City of Manila, to compel the latter
to issue a permit for the holding of a public meeting
at Plaza Miranda on Sunday afternoon, 16
November 1947, for the purpose of petitioning the
government for redress to grievances on the ground
that Fugoso refused to grant such permit. Due to the
urgency of the case, the Court, after mature
deliberation, issued a writ of mandamus, as prayed
for in the petition on 15 November 1947, without
prejudice to writing later an extended and reasoned

Issue: Whether the Mayor of Manila may be

compelled to issue a permit to use Plaza Miranda to
hold a public meeting.

Held: The right to freedom of speech, and to

peacefully assemble and petition the government
for redress of grievances, are fundamental personal
rights of the people recognized and guaranteed by
the constitutions of democratic countries. But it is a
settled principle growing out of the nature of wellordered civil societies that the exercise of those
rights is not absolute for it may be so regulated that
it shall not be injurious to the equal enjoyment of
others having equal rights, nor injurious to the
rights of the community or society. The power to
regulate the exercise of such and other
constitutional rights is termed the sovereign "police
power," which is the power to prescribe regulations,
to promote the health, morals, peace, education,
good order or safety, and general welfare of the

people. This sovereign police power is exercised by

the government through its legislative branch by
the enactment of laws regulating those and other
constitutional and civil rights, and it may be
delegated to political subdivisions, such as towns,
municipalities and cities by authorizing their
legislative bodies called municipal and city councils
to enact ordinances for the purpose. Herein, as
there is no express and separate provision in the
Revised Ordinance of the City regulating the holding
of public meeting or assembly at any street or
public places, the provisions of said section 1119
regarding the holding of any parade or procession in
any street or public places may be applied by
analogy to meeting and assembly in any street or
public places. The provisions of the said ordinance
are construed to mean that it does not confer upon
the Mayor the power to refuse to grant the permit,
but only the discretion, in issuing the permit, to
determine or specify the streets or public places
where the parade or procession may pass or the
meeting may be held. The Court cannot adopt the
other alternative construction or construe the
ordinance under consideration as conferring upon
the Mayor power to grant or refuse to grant the
permit, which would be tantamount to authorizing
him to prohibit the use of the streets and other
public places for holding of meetings, parades or
processions, because such a construction would
make the ordinance invalid and void or violative of
the constitutional limitations. As the Municipal Board
is empowered only to regulate the use of streets,
parks, and other public places, and the word
"regulate," as used in section 2444 of the Revised
Administrative Code, means and includes the power
to control, to govern, and to restrain, but can not be
construed as synonymous with "suppress" or
"prohibit,", the Municipal Board can not grant the
Mayor a power which it does not have. In view of all
the foregoing, the petition for mandamus was
granted and, there appearing no reasonable
objection to the use of the Plaza Miranda, Quiapo,
for the meeting applied for, the mayor was ordered
to issue the corresponding permit, as requested.

Issue: Whether the Mayor possesses discretion to

determine the public places to be used for
assembly, i.e. the Sunken Garden, instead of Plaza

Held: As stated in Primicias v. Fugoso (80 Phil. 75),

the Mayor possesses reasonable discretion to
determine or specify the streets or public places to
be used for the assembly in order to secure
convenient use thereof by others and provide
adequate and proper policing to minimize the risks
of disorder and maintain public safety and order.
The Mayor has expressly stated his willingness to
grant permits for peaceful assemblies at Plaza
Miranda during Saturdays, Sundays and holidays
when they would not cause unnecessarily great
disruption of the normal activities of the community
and has further offered Sunken Gardens as an
alternative to Plaza Miranda as the site of the
demonstration sought to be held in the afternoon of
26 February 1970. Experiences in connection with
present assemblies and demonstrations do not
warrant the Court's disbelieving the Mayor's
appraisal that a public rally at Plaza Miranda, as
compared to one at the Sunken Gardens as he
suggested, poses a clearer and more imminent
danger of public disorders, breaches of the peace,
criminal acts, and even bloodshed as an aftermath
of such assemblies, and petitioner has manifested
that it has no means of preventing such disorders.
Consequently, every time that such assemblies are
announced, the community is placed in such a state
of fear and tension that offices are closed early and
employees dismissed, storefronts boarded up,
classes suspended, and transportation disrupted, to
the general detriment of the public. Civil rights and
liberties can exist and be preserved only in an
ordered society. Navarro has failed to show a clear
specific legal duty on the part of Mayor to grant
their application for permit unconditionally.


Navarro vs. Villegas

February 1970]




Facts: Navarro requested for a permit to hold a

meeting at Plaza Miranda in the afternoon of 26
February 1970. The Mayor of Manila, Villegas,
instead offered the Sunken Gardens, as an
alternative to Plaza Miranda, as the site of the
demonstration. Mayor Villegas has not denied nor
absolutely refused the permit sought by Navarro.
Navarro filedthe petition for mandamus. The Court,
after considering the pleadings and arguments of
the parties, issued a Resolution without prejudice to
a more extended opinion.

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Ignacio vs. Ela [GR L-6858, 31 May 1956]

Facts: Fernando Ignacio and Simeon de la Cruz, in

their behalf and for the benefit of other Jehovah's
Witnesses in the province of Zambales, filed the
petition for mandamus to compel Mayor Norberto
Ela of Sta. Cruz to grant them a permit to hold a
public meeting at the public plaza of Sta. Cruz,
Zambales, together with the kiosk, on such date and
time as may be applied for by them. Mayor Ela, in
his answer, stated that he had not refused Ignacio,
et. al.'s request to hold a religious meeting at the
public plaza as in fact he grave them permission to
use the northwestern part of the plaza on 27 July
1952, but they declined to avail of it.

Issue: Whether the power exercised by Mayor Ela is

capricious or arbitrary when he prohibited the use of
the kiosk in the public plaza.

Held: The right to freedom of speech and to

peacefully assemble, though guaranteed by our
Constitution, is not absolute, for it may be regulated
in order that it may not be "injurious to the equal
enjoyment of others having equal rights, nor
injurious to the rights of the community or society",
and this power may be exercised under the "police
power" of the state, which is the power to prescribe
regulations to promote the health, morals, peace,
education, good order or safety, and general welfare
of the people. It is true that there is no law nor
respondents the power to regulate the use of the
public plaza, together with its kiosk, for the
purposes for which it was established, but such
power may be exercised under his broad powers as
chief executive in connection with his specific duty
"to issue orders relating to the police or to public
safety" within the municipality (section 2194,
paragraph c, Revised Administrative Code). And it
may even be said that the above regulation has
been adopted as an implementation of the
constitutional provision which prohibits any public
property to be used, directly or indirectly, by any
religious denomination (paragraph 3, section 23,
Article VI of the Constitution). Herein, the power
exercised by Mayor Ela cannot be considered as
capricious or arbitrary considering the peculiar
circumstances. It appears that the public plaza,
particularly the kiosk, is located at a short distance
from the Roman Catholic Church. The proximity of
said church to the kiosk has caused some concern
on the part of the authorities that to avoid
disturbance of peace and order, or the happening of
untoward incidents, they deemed it necessary to
prohibit the use of that kiosk by any religious
denomination as a place of meeting of its members.
This was the policy adopted by Mayor Ela for
sometime previous to the request made by Ignacio,
et. al.. Mayor Ela never denied such request but
merely tried to enforce his policy by assigning them
the northwestern part of the public plaza. It cannot
therefore be said that Ignacio, et. al. were denied
their constitutional right to assemble for, as was
said, such right is subject to regulation to maintain
public order and public safety. This is especially so
considering that the tenets of Ignacio, et. al.'s
congregation are derogatory to those of the Roman
Catholic Church, a factor which Mayor Ela must have
considered in denying their request.


Reyes vs. Bagatsing

November 1983]



Facts: Retired Justice J.B.L. Reyes, on behalf of the

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Anti-Bases Coalition, sought a permit from the City

of Manila to hold a peaceful march and rally on 26
October 1983 from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m., starting from
the Luneta, a public park, to the gates of the United
States Embassy, hardly two blocks away. Once
there, and in an open space of public property, a
short program would be held. After the planned
delivery of two brief speeches, a petition based on
the resolution adopted on the last day by the
International Conference for General Disarmament,
World Peace and the Removal of All Foreign Military
Bases held in Manila, would be presented to a
representative of the Embassy or any of its
personnel who may be there so that it may be
delivered to the United States Ambassador. The
march would be attended by the local and foreign
participants of such conference. An assurance was
made to observe all the necessary steps "to ensure
a peaceful march and rally." Since Reyes had not
been informed of any action taken on his request on
behalf of the organization to hold a rally, on 20
October 1983, he filed a suit for mandamus with
alternative prayer for writ of preliminary mandatory
injunction. The oral argument was heard on 25
October 1983, the very same day the answer was
filed. The Court then deliberated on the matter. That
same afternoon, a minute resolution was issued by
the Court granting the mandatory injunction prayed
for on the ground that there was no showing of the
existence of a clear and present danger of a
substantive evil that could justify the denial of a
permit. The last sentence of such minute resolution
reads: "This resolution is without prejudice to a
more extended opinion." Hence the detailed
exposition of the Court's stand on the matter.

Issue: Whether Reyes, et. al. can exercise their

freedom of speech, press, or to assemble in front of
the US embassy.

Held: The Constitution is quite explicit: "No law shall

be passed abridging the freedom of speech, or of
the press, or the right of the people peaceably to
assemble and petition the Government for redress
of grievances." Free speech, like free press, may be
identified with the liberty to discuss publicly and
truthfully any matter of public concern without
censorship or punishment. There is to be then no
previous restraint on the communication of views or
subsequent liability whether in libel suits,
prosecution for sedition, or action for damages, or
contempt proceedings unless there be a "clear and
present danger of a substantive evil that [the State]
has a right to prevent." Freedom of assembly
connotes the right of the people to meet peaceably
for consultation and discussion of matters of public
concern. It is entitled to be accorded the utmost
deference and respect. It is not to be limited, much

less denied, except on a showing, as is the case

with freedom of expression, of a clear and present
danger of a substantive evil that the state has a
right to prevent. The sole justification for a limitation
on the exercise of this right, so fundamental to the
maintenance of democratic institutions, is the
danger, of a character both grave and imminent, of
a serious evil to public safety, public morals, public
health, or any other legitimate public interest. There
can be no legal objection, absent the existence of a
clear and present danger of a substantive evil, on
the choice of Luneta as the place where the peace
rally would start. Neither can there be any valid
objection to the use of the streets to the gates of
the US Embassy, hardly two blocks away at the
Roxas Boulevard. The novel aspect of the case is
that there would be a short program upon reaching
the public space between the two gates of the
United States Embassy at Roxas Boulevard. Related
to this, the second paragraph of its Article 22 of the
Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (to
which the Philippines is a signatory) reads: "2. The
receiving State is under a special duty to take
appropriate steps to protect the premises of the
mission against any intrusion or damage and to
prevent any disturbance of the peace of the mission
or impairment of its dignity." That being the case, if
there were a clear and present danger of any
intrusion or damage, or disturbance of the peace of
the mission, or impairment of its dignity, there
would be a justification for the denial of the permit
insofar as the terminal point would be the Embassy.
Moreover, Ordinance 7295 of the City of Manila
prohibits the holding or staging of rallies or
demonstrations within a radius of 500 feet from any
foreign mission or chancery; and for other purposes.
Even then, if the ordinance is nullified, or declared
ultra vires, its invocation as a defense is
understandable but not decisive, in view of the
primacy accorded the constitutional rights of free
speech and peaceable assembly. There was no
showing, however, that the distance between the
chancery and the embassy gate is less than 500
feet. Even if it could be shown that such a condition
is satisfied, it does not follow that the Mayor could
legally act the way he did. The validity of his denial
of the permit sought could still be challenged. It
could be argued that a case of unconstitutional
application of such ordinance to the exercise of the
right of peaceable assembly presents itself. As in
this case there was no proof that the distance is less
than 500 feet, the need to pass on that issue was
obviated. The high estate accorded the rights to
free speech and peaceable assembly demands
nothing less.


Ruiz vs. Gordon [GR L-65695, 19 December


Facts: On 21 November 1983, Hector S. Ruiz, as

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coordinator of the Olongapo Citizen's Alliance for

National Reconciliation, and in behalf of the
Reconciliation, Justice for Aquino Justice for All
(JAJA), Concern (sic) Citizen for Justice and Peace
Organization (UNIDO), personally delivered to
Richard Gordon, as City Mayor of Olongapo City, a
letter-application dated 19 November 1983,
requesting for a permit to hold a prayer-rally at the
Rizal Triangle, Olongapo City on 4 December 1983
from 1:00 P.M. until it will be finished in the early
evening. It was also requested that the
organizations to be allowed to hold a parade/march
from Gordon Avenue to the Rizal Triangle starting at
1:00 P.M. The permit was issued on 23 November
1983, granting Ruizs request for a permit to hold a
prayer rally at the Rizal Triangle, Olongapo City and
a parade/march from Gordon Avenue at 1:00 p.m. of
4 December 1983, provided that (1) The
parade/march and rally will be peaceful and orderly;
(2) Your organization will be responsible for any loss
or damage to government property and for the
cleanliness of the Rizal Triangle; (3) The
parade/march shall proceed from the corner of
Gordon Ave., and Magsaysay Drive, through
Magsaysay Drive, to Rizal Ave., thence to the Rizal
Triangle. Ruiz filed a petition for mandamus on 25
November 1983 against Gordon. On November 27,
the Court resolved to grant Gordons plea for
dismissal. Ruiz, on 1 December 1983, filed a motion
dated November 29 to withdraw petition on the
ground that the permit being sought in the prayerrally to be held on 4 December 1983 from 1:00 to
6:00 PM has been granted by Gordon.

Issue: Whether the permit applicant should be the

active party to determine if a permit has been
issued to it before a petition for mandamus is filed
in court.

Held: The action for mandamus could have been

obviated if only petitioner took the trouble of
verifying on November 23 whether or not a permit
had been issued. A party desirous of exercising the
right to peaceable assembly should be the one most
interested in ascertaining the action taken on a
request for a permit. Necessarily, after a reasonable
time or, if the day and time was designated for the
decision on the request, such party or his
representative should be at the office of the public
official concerned. If he fails to do so, a copy of the
decision reached, whether adverse or favorable,
should be sent to the address of petitioner. In that
way, there need not be waste of time and effort not
only of the litigants but likewise of a court from
which redress is sought in case of a denial or

modification of a request for a permit. Lately,

several petitions of this character have been filed
with the Supreme Court. It could be due to the lack
of knowledge of the guidelines set forth in the
extended opinion. Steps have been taken to send
the Regional Trial judges copies thereof. In the
future, therefore, without precluding the filing of
petitions directly with the Supreme Court, the
interest of justice and of public convenience would
be better served if litigation starts on the trial court

as Director of the National Capital Region, found

Malabanan, et. al. guilty of the charge of having
violated paragraph 146(c) of the Manual for Private
Schools more specifically their holding of an illegal
assembly which was characterized by the violation
of the permit granted resulting in the disturbance of
classes and oral defamation. The penalty was
suspension for one academic year. Hence, the
petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus.

Malabanan vs. Ramento [GR 62270, 21 May


Issue: Whether the students were properly meted

out a year suspension due to the disruption of
classes in GAUF attended by the students
concerted activity.

Facts: Crispin Malabanan, Evilio Jalos, Ben Luther

Lucas, Sotero Leonero and June Lee were officers of
the Supreme Student Council of the Gregorio
Araneta University Foundation. They sought and
were granted by the school authorities a permit to
hold a meeting from 8:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. on 27
August 1982. Pursuant to such permit, along with
other students, they held a general assembly at the
Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science basketball
court (VMAS), the place indicated in such permit,
not in the basketball court as therein stated but at
the second floor lobby. At such gathering they
manifested In vehement and vigorous language
their opposition to the proposed merger of the
Institute of Animal Science with the Institute of
Agriculture. At 10:30 A.M., the same day, they
marched toward the Life Science Building and
continued their rally. It was outside the area covered
by their permit. They continued their demonstration,
giving utterance to language severely critical of the
University authorities and using megaphones in the
process. There was, as a result, disturbance of the
classes being held. Also, the non-academic
employees, within hearing distance, stopped their
work because of the noise created. They were asked
to explain on the same day why they should not be
held liable for holding an illegal assembly. Then on 9
September 1982, they were informed through a
memorandum that they were under preventive
suspension for their failure to explain the holding of
an illegal assembly in front of the Life Science
Building. The validity thereof was challenged by
Malabanan, et. al. both before the Court of First
Instance of Rizal in a petition for mandamus with
damages against Cesar Mijares, in his capacity as
the President of GAUF, Gonzalo del Rosario, in his
capacity as the Director for Academic Affairs of
GAUF; Tomas B. Mesina, in his capacity as the Dean
of Student Affairs of GAUF; Atty. Leonardo Padilla, in
his capacity as Chief Legal Counsel & Security
Supervisor of GAUF; Atty. Fablita Ammay, Rosendo
Galvante and Eugenia Tayao, in their capacities as
members of the Ad Hoc Committee of GAUF and
before the Ministry of Education, Culture, and
Sports. On 20 October 1982, Anastacio D. Ramento,

Held: Malabanan, are entitled to their rights to

peaceable assembly and free speech. They enjoy
like the rest of the citizens the freedom to express
their views and communicate their thoughts to
those disposed to listen in gatherings. They do not,
to borrow from the opinion of Justice Fortas in Tinker
v. Des Moines Community School District, "shed
their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or
expression at the schoolhouse gate." While,
therefore, the authority of educational institutions
over the conduct of students must be recognized, it
cannot go so far as to be violative of constitutional
safeguards. On a more specific level, there is
persuasive force to this formulation in the Fortas
opinion: "The principal use to which the schools are
dedicated is to accommodate students during
prescribed hours for the purpose of certain types of
activities. Among those activities is personal
intercommunication among the students. This is not
only an inevitable part of the process of attending
school; it is also an important part of the
educational process. A student's rights, therefore,
do not embrace merely the classroom hours. When
he is in the cafeteria, or on the playing field, or on
the campus during the authorized hours, he may
express his opinions, even on controversial subjects
like the conflict in Vietnam, if he does so without
'materially and substantially interfer[ing] with the
requirements of appropriate discipline in the
operation of the school' and without colliding with
the rights of others. But conduct by the student, in
class or out of it, which for any reason whether it
stems from time, place, or type of behavior
materially disrupts classwork or involves substantial
disorder or invasion of the rights of others is, of
course, not immunized by the constitutional
guarantee of freedom of speech." It does not follow,
however, that Malabanan, et. al. can be totally
absolved for the events that transpired. Admittedly,
there was a violation of the terms of the permit. The
rally was held at a place other than that specified, in
the second floor lobby, rather than the basketball
court, of the VMAS building of the University.


Constitutional Law II | Case Pool by Nikki Sia

WLC School of Law

Moreover, it was continued longer than the period

allowed. The "concerted activity went on until 5:30
p.m." The University could thus, take disciplinary
action. On those facts, however, an admonition,
even a censure certainly not a suspension
could be the appropriate penalty. A one-year period
of suspension is much too severe, While the
discretion of both the University and Director
Ramento is recognized, the rule of reason, the
dictate of fairness calls for a much lesser penalty. If
the concept of proportionality between the offense
committed and the sanction imposed is not
followed, an element of arbitrariness intrudes. That
would give rise to a due process question. To avoid
this constitutional objection, it is the holding of the
Court that a one-week suspension would be
punishment enough.


Arreza vs, Gregorio Araneta University

Foundation [GR L-62297, 19 June 1985]

Facts: Carmelo A. Arreza, Lonesto G. Oidem, Jacob F.

Meimban, and Edgardo S. Fernando were either
leaders or participants in what the Gregorio Araneta
rally/demonstration held on 28 September 1982, in
front of the Life Science Building of the University,
and are officers and members of the Supreme
demonstration's purpose was to register the
opposition of the students to the abolition of the
school's Institute of Animal Science, as those taking
courses therein would not be able to graduate.
Other rallies were held on September 8, 27 and 29,
1982, for the purpose of sympathizing with the
suspension of 5 student leaders who conducted an
illegal assembly on 27 August 1982, causing
additional disturbance on the campus, not only by
the disorderly conduct observed but also by the
resulting boycott of classes. Such exercise of the
right to peaceable assembly was visited by the
University with a refusal to let Arreza, et. al. enroll
after an investigation of their alleged violation of
school rules and regulations. Arreza, et. al. filed a
petition for mandamus with a prayer for a
preliminary mandatory injunction to allow them to

Issue: Whether the students may be denied reenrollment due to the improper conduct attributed
to them in the exercise of their free speech and
peaceable assembly

Held: If in the course of such demonstration, with an

enthusiastic audience goading them on, utterances,
extremely critical, at times even vitriolic, were let
loose, that is quite understandable. Student leaders
are hardly the timid diffident types. They are likely
Constitutional Law II | Case Pool by Nikki Sia
WLC School of Law

to be assertive and dogmatic. They would be

ineffective if during a rally they speak in the
guarded and judicious language of the academe. At
any rate, even a sympathetic audience is not
disposed to accord full credence to their fiery
exhortations. They take into account the excitement
of the occasion, the propensity of speakers to
exaggerate, the exuberance of youth. They may
give the speakers the benefit of their applause, but
with the activity taking place in the school premises
and during the daytime, no clear and present
danger of public disorder is discernible. This is
without prejudice to the taking of disciplinary action
for conduct, which, to borrow from Tinker,
substantial disorder or invasion of the rights of
others." Herein, the infractions of University rules or
regulations by the students justify the filing of
appropriate charges. What cannot be justified is the
infliction of the highly-disproportionate penalty of
denial of enrollment and the consequent failure of
senior students to graduate, if in the exercise of the
cognate rights of free speech and peaceable
assembly, improper conduct could be attributed to


German vs. Barangan [GR 68828, 27 March


Facts: At about 5:00 p.m. of 2 October 1984, Reli

German, Ramon Pedrosa, Tirso Santillan, Jr., Ma.
Luisa Andal, Nieva Malinis, Ricardo Lavia, Cesar
Cortes, Danilo Reyes, Jose Reyes, Josefina Mate,
Lourdes Calma, Mildred Juan, Olive Guanzon,
Fernando Cochico, Sherman Cid, Nazareno Bentulan,
Roslina Donaire, Mario Martinez, Beatriz Teylan,
Angelina Lapid, Rosemarie Flores, Daniel Van Soto,
Edgardo Mercader, Nelly Agustin, Marily Magcalas,
David Chan, Arsenio Salansang, Nelson De Guzman,
Marciano Araneta, Cesar Meneses, Dionisio Rellosa,
Mario Santiago, Severino Santos, Leonora Santos,
Manansala, Percival Ostonal, Tommy Macaranas,
businessmen, students and office employees
converged at J.P. Laurel Street, Manila, for the
ostensible purpose of hearing Mass at the St. Jude
Chapel which adjoins the Malacaang grounds
locate in the same street. Wearing the now familiar
inscribed yellow T-shirts, they started to march
down said street with raised clenched fists and
shouts of anti-government invectives. Along the
way, however, they were barred by Major Isabelo
Lariosa, upon orders of his superior Gen. Santiago
Barangan, from proceeding any further, on the
ground that St. Jude Chapel was located within the
Malacaang security area. When German, et. al.'s
protestations and pleas to allow them to get inside
the church proved unavailing, they decided to leave.
However, because of the alleged warning given

them by Major Lariosa that any similar attempt by

German, et. al. to enter the church in the future
would likewise be prevented, they filed a petition for
mandamus to compel Barangan, et. al. to allow
them to enter and pray inside St. Jude Chapel
located at J.P. Laurel Street, Manila; and for a writ of
injunction to enjoin Barangan, et. al. from
preventing them from getting into and praying in
said church.

Issue: Whether the acts of Gen. Barangan, et. al.

violates the rights of German, et. al. to freedom of
religion and locomotion.

Held: Gen. Barangan and Maj. Lariosa assured

German, et. al. and the Court that they have never
restricted, and will never restrict, any person or
persons from entering and worshipping at said
church, but maintained, however, that the lastter's
intention was not really to perform an act of
religious worship, but to conduct an antigovernment demonstration at a place close to the
very residence and offices of the President of the
Republic. The yellow T-shirts worn by some of the
marchers, their raised clenched fists, and chants of
substantiate the militarymen's allegation. There are
serious doubts on the sincerity and good faith of
German, et. al. in invoking the constitutional
guarantee of freedom of religious worship and of
locomotion. While it is beyond debate that every
citizen has the undeniable and inviolable right to
religious freedom, the exercise thereof, and of all
fundamental rights for that matter, must be done in
good faith. As Article 19 of the Civil Code
admonishes: "Every person must in the exercise of
his rights and in the performance of his duties
observe honesty and good faith." Even assuming
that German, et. al.'s claim to the free exercise of
religion is genuine and valid, still Barangan, et. al.'s
reaction to the 2 October 1984 mass action may not
be characterized as violative of the freedom of
religious worship. Since 1972, when mobs of
demonstrators crashed through the Malacaang
gates and scaled its perimeter fence, the use by the
public of J P. Laurel Street and the streets
approaching it have been restricted. While travel to
and from the affected thoroughfares has not been
absolutely prohibited, passers-by have been
subjected to courteous, unobtrusive security checks.
The reasonableness of this restriction is readily
perceived and appreciated if it is considered that
the same is designed to protect the lives of the
President and his family, as well as other
government officials, diplomats and foreign guests
transacting business with Malacaang. The need to
secure the safety of heads of state and other
government officials cannot be overemphasized.

Constitutional Law II | Case Pool by Nikki Sia

WLC School of Law

The threat to their lives and safety is constant, real

and felt throughout the world. Vivid illustrations of
this grave and serious problem are the gruesome
assassinations, kidnapings and other acts of
violence and terrorism that have been perpetrated
against heads of state and other public officers of
foreign nations. Said restriction is moreover
intended to secure the several executive offices
within the Malacaang grounds from possible
external attacks and disturbances. These offices
include communications facilities that link the
central government to all places in the land.
necessary to maintain the smooth functioning of the
executive branch of the government, which
petitioners' mass action would certainly disrupt. In
fine, the restriction imposed on the use of J.P. Laurel
Street is allowed under the fundamental law, the
same having been established in the interest of
national security.

10. Acosta vs. Court of Appeals [GR 132088, 28

June 2000]
Facts: Everdina Acosta, Noemi Acosta, Elvira
Amparado, Rebecca Aquino, Roberto Arcaya, Eva
Arceo, Juliet Arellano, Anita Ascano, Grace Austra,
Luisa Aviles, Susie Aw, Victoria Badillo, Susan
Baldemor, Elisa Basa, Nory Batuigas, Teresita
Bautista, Segundina Bermas, Ferminer Boco, Evelyn
Bulaong, Sylvia Bulario, Gilda Bolosan, Josie Bungay,
Araceli Cabuse, Teresa Cacho, Rosanna Cajandinez,
Nely Calpito, Olivia Cardines, Thelma Carino,
Corazon Carracedo, Elenita Casauay, Marieta Cauli,
Marilou Cayton, Viriginia Chiapoco, Allen Cipriano,
Melinda B. Contreras, Zenaida Corporal, Priscilla
Corpuz, Luz Cosio, Emilia Cruz, Cristina Dela Cruz,
Rosalina Dela Cruz, Grace Cunanan, Evelyn De
Castro, Haydee De Valle, Cecilia Del Rosario,
Gullermina De La Cruz, Francis Dingil, Bella Dy,
Corazon Estebal, Luz Fajardo, Teresa Frago, Virginia
Gacho, Sabino Gales, Myrna Gallego, Marilyn Garna,
Natividad Gavilan, Lolita Gavino, Marilou Go, Leticia
Gomez, Olympio Gonzaga, Ruth Gonzales, Remedios
Havoc, Gregoria Hernandez, Oscar Hidalgo, Bibiano
Hugo, Rita Huerta, Lourdes Hulipas, Romeo Idos,
Erlinda Isla, Lita Italia, Matias Jabonete, Diana
Jimenez, Dominador Labaclado, Alma Laguian,
Melcy Lalu, Rebecca Lamalinao, Marita Lamsen,
Lourdes Ester Laredo, Teresita Lation, Rosalina
Ledesma, Norma Lecciones, Norma Leyte, Cecilia
Lincopines, Ofelia Lizardo, Venilla Locsin, Adelina
Lorenzo, Saturnina Lorenzo, Alejandra Mabaet,
Julieta Madrid, Erlinda Magpayo, Rolando Magsino,
Erlinda Mailig, Florenda Malapaya, Corazon Mallen,
Esmeralda Manalang, Merle Manalo, Erlinda
Manega, Shirley Mangahas, Elfrida Marquez,
Efigenia Menez, Nilda Nava, Merly Nery, Rosaminda
Oben, Melissa Olaquerra, Enriqueta Olivar, Dolores
Ordinario, Estrella Ortega, Rose Orprecio, Aurora

Ostaco, Elvira Pampanga, Norma Paquiz, Evangeline

Pardo, Gloria Parman, Erlinda Pastrana, Lerma Quirit,
Mecelin Quilandra, Mewlin Quillanora, Natividad
Ragud, Erlinda Rante, Eufemia Ramirez, Juditha
Raneses, Uldarico Rejaba, Melina Rejuso, Felisa
Renido, Milagros Rey, Redentor Reyes, Resalina
Sagun, Zenaida Salazar, Fe Salima, Shirley Saragon,
Purificacion Sari, Elvira Satumbaga, Maribey
Sealmoy, Editha Sinjay, Tita Silvino, Aurora
Tolentino, Esperanza Urbiztondo, Saturnino Yodico,
Rodolfo Mariano, Alicia Marinay, Susan Matanga,
Patria Matias, Louelita Mayuna, Lolita Mercado,
Eugenia Milla, Cresencia Mirador, Erma Moral,
Raquel Morales, and Dolores Lagrada are teachers
from different public schools in Metro Manila. On
various dates in September and October 1990,
Acosta, et. al. did not report for work and instead,
participated in mass actions by public school
teachers at the Liwasang Bonifacio for the purpose
of petitioning the government for redress of their
grievances. On the basis of reports submitted by
their respective school principals that Acosta,
participated in said mass actions and refused to
comply with the return-to-work order issued on 17
September 1990 by then Secretary Isidro D. Cario
of the Department of Education, Culture and Sports
(DECS), Acosta, et. al. were administratively
charged with such offenses as grave misconduct,
gross neglect of duty, gross violation of civil service
law, rules and regulations and reasonable office
regulations, refusal to perform official duty, gross
insubordination, conduct prejudicial to the best
interest of the service and absence without official
leave. Acosta, et. al. failed to answer these charges.
Following the investigations conducted by the DECS
Investigating Committees, Secretary Cario found
Acosta, et. al. guilty as charged and ordered their
immediate dismissal from the service. Acosta, et. al.
appealed the orders of Secretary Cario to the Merit
Systems Protection Board (MSPB) and later to the
CSC. In 1995, the CSC modified the said orders of
Secretary Cario by finding Acosta guilty of Conduct
Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service, adn
was meted out the penalty of 6 months suspension
without pay; but considering the period of time she
was out of service, she was automatically reinstated
to her former position. Following the denial of their
motion for reconsideration, Acosta, et. al.
questioned the matter before the Court of Appeals.
The appellate court denied their petition for
certiorari (29 August 1997) and subsequent motion
for reconsideration (7 January 1998). Hence, the
petition for review on certiorari.

Issue: Whether the participation of the public school

teachers in the mass actions was an exercise of
their constitutional rights to peaceably assemble
and petition the government for redress of

Constitutional Law II | Case Pool by Nikki Sia

WLC School of Law

Held: The character and legality of the mass actions

which they participated in have been passed upon
by the Court as early as 1990 in Manila Public
School Teachers' Association (MPSTA) v. Laguio, Jr.
wherein it ruled that "these 'mass actions' were to
all intents and purposes a strike; they constituted a
concerted and unauthorized stoppage of, or
absence from, work which it was the teachers'
sworn duty to perform, undertaken for essentially
economic reasons." In Bangalisan v. Court of
Appeals, it added that "it is an undisputed fact that
there was a work stoppage and that petitioners'
purpose was to realize their demands by
withholding their services. The fact that the
conventional term "strike" was not used by the
striking employees to describe their common course
of action is inconsequential, since the substance of
the situation, and not its appearance, will be
deemed to be controlling. The ability to strike is not
essential to the right of association. In the absence
of statute, public employees do not have the right to
engage in concerted work stoppages for any
purpose." It is not the exercise by Acosta, et. al. of
their constitutional right to peaceably assemble that
was punished, but the manner in which they
exercised such right which resulted in the temporary
stoppage or disruption of public service and classes
in various public schools in Metro Manila. For,
indeed, there are efficient and non-disruptive
avenues, other than the mass actions in question,
whereby Acosta, et. al. could petition the
government for redress of grievances. It bears
stressing that suspension of public services,
however temporary, will inevitably derail services to
the public, which is one of the reasons why the right
to strike is denied government employees. It may
be conceded that Acosta, et. al. had valid
grievances and noble intentions in staging the
"mass actions," but that will not justify their
absences to the prejudice of innocent school
children. Their righteous indignation does not
legalize an illegal work stoppage.

11. Bayan Vs. Ermita

Facts: The petitioners, Bayan, et al., alleged that
they are citizens and taxpayers of the Philippines
and that their right as organizations and individuals
were violated when the rally they participated in on
October 6, 2005 was violently dispersed by
policemen implementing Batas Pambansa No. 880.
Petitioners contended that Batas Pambansa No. 880
is clearly a violation of the Constitution and the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
and other human rights treaties of which the
Philippines is a signatory. They argue that B.P. No.
880 requires a permit before one can stage a public

assembly regardless of the presence or absence of a

clear and present danger. It also curtails the choice
of venue and is thus repugnant to the freedom of
expression clause as the time and place of a public
assembly form part of the message which the
expression is sought. Furthermore, it is not contentneutral as it does not apply to mass actions in
support of the government. The words lawful
cause, opinion, protesting or influencing
suggest the exposition of some cause not espoused
by the government. Also, the phrase maximum
tolerance shows that the law applies to assemblies
against the government because they are being
tolerated. As a content-based legislation, it cannot
pass the strict scrutiny test. This petition and two
other petitions were ordered to be consolidated on
February 14, 2006. During the course of oral
arguments, the petitioners, in the interest of a
speedy resolution of the petitions, withdrew the
portions of their petitions raising factual issues,
particularly those raising the issue of whether B.P.
No. 880 and/or CPR is void as applied to the rallies
of September 20, October 4, 5 and 6, 2005.
Issue: Whether the Calibrated Pre-emptive response
and the Batas Pambansa No. 880, specifically
Sections 4, 5, 6, 12, 13(a) and 14(a) violates Art. III
Sec. 4 of the Philippine Constitution as it causes a
disturbing effect on the exercise by the people of
Held: Section 4 of Article III of the Philippine
Constitution provides that no law shall be passed
abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or
of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to
assemble and petition the government for redress of
grievances. The right to peaceably assemble and
petition for redress of grievances, together with
freedom of speech, of expression, and of the press,
is a right that enjoys dominance in the sphere of
constitutional protection. For this rights represent
the very basis of a functional democratic polity,
without which all the other rights would be
However, it must be remembered that the right,
while sacrosanct, is not absolute. It may be
regulated that it shall not be injurious to the equal
enjoyment of others having equal rights, nor
injurious to the rights of the community or society.
The power to regulate the exercise of such and
other constitutional rights is termed the sovereign
police power, which is the power to prescribe
regulations, to promote the health, morals, peace,
education, good order or safety, and general welfare
B.P. No 880 is not an absolute ban of public
assemblies but a restriction that simply regulates
the time, place and manner of the assemblies. B.P.
No. 880 thus readily shows that it refers to all kinds
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WLC School of Law

of public assemblies that would use public places.

The reference to lawful cause does not make it
content-based because assemblies really have to be
for lawful causes, otherwise they would not be
peaceable and entitled to protection. Neither the
words opinion, protesting, and influencing in
of grievances come from the wording of the
Constitution, so its use cannot be avoided. Finally,
maximum tolerance is for the protection and benefit
of all rallyist and is independent of the content of
Furthermore, the permit can only be denied on the
ground of clear and present danger to public order,
public safety, public convenience, public morals or
public health. This is a recognized exception to the
exercise of the rights even under the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights and The International
Wherefore, the petitions are GRANTED in part, and
respondents, more particularly the Secretary of the
Interior and Local Governments, are DIRECTED to
take all necessary steps for the immediate
compliance with Section 15 of Batas Pambansa No.
880 through the establishment or designation of at
least one suitable freedom park or plaza in every
city and municipality of the country. After thirty (30)
days from the finality of this Decision, subject to the
giving of advance notices, no prior permit shall be
required to exercise the right to peaceably assemble
and petition in the public parks or plaza in every city
or municipality that has not yet complied with
section 15 of the law. Furthermore, Calibrated preemptive response (CPR), insofar as it would purport
to differ from or be in lieu of maximum tolerance, is
NULL and VOID and respondents are ENJOINED to
REFRAIN from using it and to STRICTLY OBSERVE the
requirements of maximum tolerance, The petitions
are DISMISSED in all other respects, and the
constitutionality of Batas Pambansa No. 880 is


Occena vs. Commission on Elections [GR L60258, 31 January 1984]

Facts: Samuel C. Occena filed a petition for

prohibition seeking that sections 4 and 22 of Batas
Pambansa Blg. 222, otherwise known as the
Barangay Election Act of 1982, be declared as
unconstitutional insofar as it prohibits any candidate
in the Barangay election of 17 May 1982 "from
representing or allowing himself to be represented
as a candidate of any political party or prohibits a
political party, political group, political committee
from intervening in the nomination of a candidate in
the barangay election or in the filing of his

certificate of candidacy, or giving aid or support

directly or indirectly, material or otherwise,
favorable to or against his campaign for election."
On this basis, it is also prayed that "judgment be
rendered declaring the 1982 Barangay elections null
and void ab initio, for being unconstitutional, and
directing the holding of new barangay elections
without any ban on the involvement of political
parties, political committees, political organizations
and other political group."

Issue: Whether the ban on the intervention of

political parties in the election of barangay officials
is violative of the constitutional guarantee of the
right to form associations and societies for purposes
not contrary to law.

Held: The right to form associations or societies for

purposes not contrary to law is neither absolute nor
illimitable; it is always subject to the pervasive and
dominant police power of the state and may
constitutionally be regulated or curtailed to serve
(Gonzales vs. Comelec, 27 SCRA 835; Imbong vs.
Comelec, 35 SCRA 28). Whether a restriction
imposed is constitutionally permissible or not
depends upon the circumstances of each case.
Examining Section 4 of the Barangay Election Act of
1982, the right to organize is intact. Political parties
may freely be formed although there is a restriction
on their activities, i.e., their intervention in the
election of barangay officials on 17 May 1982 is
proscribed. But the ban is narrow, not total. It
operates only on concerted or group action of
political parties. Members of political and kindred
organizations, acting individually, may intervene in
the barangay election. As the law says: "Nothing
(therein) shall be construed as in any manner
affecting or constituting an impairment of the
freedom of individuals to support or oppose any
candidate for any barangay office." Moreover,
members of the family of a candidate within the
fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity as
well as the personal campaign staff of a candidate
(not more than 1 for every 100 registered voters in
his barangay) can engage in individual or group
action to promote the election of their candidate.
There are reasons for insulating the barangay from
the divisive and debilitating effects of a partisan
political campaign. The Barangay Captain and the
Barangay Council, apart from their legislative and
consultative powers, also act as an agency for
neutral community action such as the distribution of
basic foodstuff and as an instrument in conducting
plebiscites and referenda. The Barangay Captain,
together with the members of the Lupon
administrative supervision over the barangay

Constitutional Law II | Case Pool by Nikki Sia

WLC School of Law

conciliation panels in the latter's work of settling

local disputes. The Barangay Captain himself settles
or helps settle local controversies within the
barangay either through mediation or arbitration. It
would definitely enhance the objective and impartial
discharge of their duties for barangay officials to be
shielded from political party loyalty. In fine, the ban
against the participation of political parties in the
barangay election is an appropriate legislative
response to the unwholesome effects of partisan
bias in the impartial discharge of the duties imposed
on the barangay and its officials as the basic unit of
our political and social structure.


In RE Edillon [AC 1928, 3 August 1978]

Facts: Marcial A. Edillon is a duly licensed practicing

attorney in the Philippines. On 29 November 1975,
the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) Board of
Governors unanimously adopted Resolution 75-65 in
Administrative Case MDD-1 (In the Matter of the
Membership Dues Delinquency of Atty. Marcial A.
Edillon) recommending to the Court the removal of
the name of the respondent from its Roll of
Attorneys for "stubborn refusal to pay his
membership dues" to the IBP since the latter's
constitution notwithstanding due notice. On 21
January 1976, the IBP, through its then President
Liliano B. Neri, submitted the said resolution to the
Court for consideration and approval, pursuant to
paragraph 2, Section 24, Article III of the By-Laws of
the IBP. On 27 January 1976, the Court required the
respondent to comment on the resolution and letter
adverted to above; he submitted his comment on 23
February 1976, reiterating his refusal to pay the
membership fees due from him. On 2 March 1976,
the Court required the IBP President and the IBP
Board of Governors to reply to Edillon's comment:
on 24 March 1976, they submitted a joint reply.
Thereafter, the case was set for hearing on 3 June
1976. After the hearing, the parties were required to
submit memoranda in amplification of their oral
arguments. The matter was thenceforth submitted
for resolution.

Issue: Whether Sections 1, 9, 10 of the Rules of

Court 139-A, and the provisions of par. 2, Section
24, Article III of the IBP By-Laws, constitute an
invasion of Edillon's constitutional rights in the
sense that he is being compelled, as a pre-condition
to maintaining his status as a lawyer in good
standing, to be a member of the IBP and to pay the
corresponding dues, and that as a consequence of
this compelled financial support of the said
organization to which he is admittedly personally
antagonistic, he is being deprived of the rights to
liberty and property guaranteed to him by the

Held: An "Integrated Bar" is a State-organized Bar,

to which every lawyer must belong, as distinguished
from bar associations organized by individual
lawyers themselves, membership in which is
voluntary. Integration of the Bar is essentially a
process by which every member of the Bar is
afforded an opportunity to do his share in carrying
out the objectives of the Bar as well as obliged to
bear his portion of its responsibilities. Organized by
or under the direction of the State, an integrated
Bar is an official national body of which all lawyers
are required to be members. They are, therefore,
subject to all the rules prescribed for the
governance of the Bar, including the requirement of
payment of a reasonable annual fee for the effective
discharge of the purposes of the Bar, and adherence
to a code of professional ethics or professional
responsibility breach of which constitutes sufficient
reason for investigation by the Bar and, upon proper
cause appearing, a recommendation for discipline or
disbarment of the offending member. The
integration of the Philippine Bar was obviously
dictated by overriding considerations of public
interest and public welfare to such an extent as
more than constitutionally and legally justifies the
restrictions that integration imposes upon the
personal interests and personal convenience of
individual lawyers. Apropos to the above, it must be
stressed that all legislation directing the integration
of the Bar have been uniformly and universally
sustained as a valid exercise of the police power
over an important profession. The practice of law is
not a vested right but a privilege, a privilege
moreover clothed with public interest because a
lawyer owes substantial duties not only to his client,
but also to his brethren in the profession, to the
courts, and to the nation, and takes part in one of
the most important functions of the State the
administration of justice as an officer of the
Court. The practice of law being clothed with public
interest, the holder of this privilege must submit to
a degree of control for the common good, to the
extent of the interest he has created. When,
therefore, Congress enacted RA 6397 authorizing
the Supreme Court to "adopt rules of court to effect
the integration of the Philippine Bar under such
conditions as it shall see fit," it did so in the exercise
of the paramount police power of the State. The
Act's avowal is to "raise the standards of the legal
profession, improve the administration of justice,
and enable the Bar to discharge its public
responsibility more effectivity." Hence, the Congress
in enacting such Act, the Court in ordaining the
integration of the Bar through its Resolution
promulgated on 9 January 1973, and the President
of the Philippines in decreeing the constitution of
the IBP into a body corporate through PD 181 dated
4 May 1973, were prompted by fundamental
considerations of public welfare and motivated by a

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WLC School of Law

desire to meet the demands of pressing public

necessity. But the most compelling argument
sustaining the constitutionality and validity of Bar
integration in the Philippines is the explicit
unequivocal grant of precise power to the Supreme
Court by Section 5 (5) of Article X of the 1973
Constitution of the Philippines, which reads that the
Supreme Court shall have the power to (5)
"promulgate rules concerning pleading, practice,
and procedure in all courts, and the admission to
the practice of law and the integration of the Bar."
Thus, when Edillon entered upon the legal
profession, his practice of law and his exercise of
the said profession, which affect the society at
large, were and are subject to the power of the body
politic to require him to conform to such regulations
as might be established by the proper authorities for
the common good, even to the extent of interfering
with some of his liberties. If he did not wish to
submit himself to such reasonable interference and
regulation, he should not have clothed the public
with an interest in his concerns. Integration does not
make a lawyer a member of any group of which he
is not already a member. He became a member of
the Bar when he passed the Bar examinations. All
that integration actually does is to provide an
official national organization for the well-defined but
unorganized and incohesive group of which every
lawyer is already a member. Bar integration does
not compel the lawyer to associate with anyone. He
is free to attend or not attend the meetings of his
Integrated Bar Chapter or vote or refuse to vote in
its elections as he chooses. The only compulsion to
which he is subjected is the payment of annual
dues. The Supreme Court, in order to further the
State's legitimate interest in elevating the quality of
professional legal services, may require that the
cost of improving the profession in this fashion be
shared by the subjects and beneficiaries of the
regulatory program the lawyers. Assuming that
the questioned provision does in a sense compel a
lawyer to be a member of the Integrated Bar, such
compulsion is justified as an exercise of the police
power of the state. The provisions of Rule of Court
139-A and of the By-Laws of the Integrated Bar of
complained of are neither
unconstitutional nor illegal.


Board of Directors of Rotary International vs.

Rotary Club [481 US 537, 4 May 1987]

Facts: Rotary International (International) is a

nonprofit corporation founded in 1905, with
headquarters in Evanston, Illinois. It is "an
organization of business and professional men
united worldwide who provide humanitarian service,
encourage high ethical standards in all vocations,
and help build goodwill and peace in the world."
Individual members belong to a local Rotary Club
rather than to International. In turn, each local

Rotary Club is a member of International. In August

1982, shortly before the trial in the present case,
International comprised 19,788 Rotary Clubs in 157
countries, with a total membership of about
907,750. Individuals are admitted to membership in
a Rotary Club according to a "classification system."
The purpose of this system is to ensure "that each
Rotary Club includes a representative of every
worthy and recognized business, professional, or
institutional activity in the community." Each active
member must work in a leadership capacity in his
business or profession. The general rule is that "one
active member is admitted for each classification,
but he, in turn, may propose an additional active
member, who must be in the same business or
professional classification." Thus, each classification
may be represented by two active members. In
addition, "senior active" and "past service"
members may represent the same classifications as
active members. There is no limit to the number of
clergymen, journalists, or diplomats who may be
admitted to membership. Subject to these
requirements, each local Rotary Club is free to adopt
its own rules and procedures for admitting new
candidates for membership will be considered by
committee determines whether the candidate's
business or profession is described accurately and
fits an "open" classification. The membership
committee evaluates the candidate's "character,
business and social standing, and general
eligibility." If any member objects to the candidate's
admission, the final decision is made by the club's
board of directors. Membership in Rotary Clubs is
open only to men. Herbert A. Pigman, the General
Secretary of Rotary International, testified that the
exclusion of women results in an "aspect of
fellowship that is enjoyed by the present male
membership," and also allows Rotary to operate
effectively in foreign countries with varied cultures
and social mores. Although women are not admitted
to membership, they are permitted to attend
meetings, give speeches, and receive awards.
Women relatives of Rotary members may form their
own associations, and are authorized to wear the
Rotary lapel pin. Young women between 14 and 28
years of age may join Interact or Rotaract,
organizations sponsored by Rotary International. In
1977 the Rotary Club of Duarte, California, admitted
Donna Bogart, Mary Lou Elliott, and Rosemary
Freitag to active membership. International notified
the Duarte Club that admitting women members is
contrary to the Rotary constitution. After an internal
hearing, International's board of directors revoked
the charter of the Duarte Club and terminated its
membership in Rotary International. The Duarte
Club's appeal to the International Convention was
unsuccessful. The Duarte Club and two of its women
Constitutional Law II | Case Pool by Nikki Sia
WLC School of Law

members filed a complaint in the California Superior

Court for the County of Los Angeles. The complaint
alleged, inter alia, that the Board's actions violated
the Unruh Civil Rights Act. The Club sought (1) to
enjoin International from enforcing its restrictions
against admitting women members, revoking the
Duarte Club's charter, or compelling delivery of the
charter to any representative of International, (2) a
declaration that the board's actions had violated the
Unruh Act. After a bench trial, the court concluded
that neither Rotary International nor the Duarte Club
is a "business establishment" within the meaning of
the Unruh Act. The court recognized that "some
individual Rotarians derive sufficient business
advantage from Rotary to warrant deduction of
Rotarian expenses in income tax calculations, or to
warrant payment of those expenses by their
employers"; but it found that "such business
benefits are incidental to the principal purposes of
the association to promote fellowship and 'service'
activities." The court also found that Rotary clubs do
not provide their members with goods, services, or
facilities. On the basis of these findings and
conclusions, the court entered judgment for
International. The California Court of Appeal
reversed. The California Supreme Court denied the
Board's petition for review.

Issue: Whether the law allowing inclusion of women

as members of an association deprive the Rotary
Club its right of association.

Held: The freedom to enter into and carry on certain

intimate or private relationships is a fundamental
element of liberty protected by the Bill of Rights.
Such relationships may take various forms, including
the most intimate. The Court has not attempted to
mark the precise boundaries of this type of
constitutional protection. The intimate relationships
to which it has accorded constitutional protection
include marriage, the begetting and bearing of
children, child rearing and education, and
cohabitation with relatives. Of course, it has not
held that constitutional protection is restricted to
relationships among family members. It has
emphasized that the First Amendment protects
those relationships, including family relationships,
commitments to the necessarily few other
individuals with whom one shares not only a special
community of thoughts, experiences, and beliefs but
also distinctively personal aspects of one's life."
Still, determining the limits of state authority over
an individual's freedom to enter into a particular
assessment of where that relationship's objective
characteristics locate it on a spectrum from the
most intimate to the most attenuated of personal

attachments." In determining whether a particular

association is sufficiently personal or private to
constitutional protection,
the Court
considers factors such as size, purpose, selectivity,
and whether others are excluded from critical
aspects of the relationship. The relationship among
Rotary Club members is not the kind of intimate or
private relation that warrants constitutional
protection. The size of local Rotary Clubs ranges
from fewer than 20 to more than 900. There is no
upper limit on the membership of any local Rotary
Club. About 10 percent of the membership of a
typical club moves away or drops out during a
typical year. The clubs therefore are instructed to
"keep a flow of prospects coming" to make up for
the attrition and gradually to enlarge the
membership. Many of the Rotary Clubs' central
activities are carried on in the presence of
strangers. Rotary Clubs are required to admit any
member of any other Rotary Club to their meetings.
Members are encouraged to invite business
associates and competitors to meetings. The
application of the Unruh Act to local Rotary Clubs
does not interfere unduly with the members'
freedom of private association. The Unruh Act does
not require the clubs to abandon or alter any of
these activities; nor to abandon their basic goals of
humanitarian service, high ethical standards in all
vocations, good will, and peace; nor to abandon
their classification system or admit members who
do not reflect a cross section of the community. On
the other hand, the right to engage in activities
protected by the First Amendment implies "a
corresponding right to associate with others in
pursuit of a wide variety of political, social,
economic, educational, religious, and cultural ends."
For this reason, "impediments to the exercise of
one's right to choose one's associates can violate
the right of association protected by the First
Amendment." Herein, however, the evidence fails to
demonstrate that admitting women to Rotary Clubs
will affect in any significant way the existing
members' ability to carry out their various purposes.
Indeed, by opening membership to leading business
and professional women in the community, Rotary
Clubs are likely to obtain a more representative
cross section of community leaders with a
broadened capacity for service. Even if the Unruh
Act does work some slight infringement on Rotary
members' right of expressive association, that
infringement is justified because it serves the
discrimination against women. On its face the Unruh
Act makes no distinctions on the basis of the
accommodations laws "plainly serve compelling
state interests of the highest order." The application
of the Unruh Act to California Rotary Clubs does not
violate the right of expressive association afforded
by the First Amendment.

Constitutional Law II | Case Pool by Nikki Sia

WLC School of Law


People Vs. Ferrer

Facts: Hon. Judge Simeon Ferrer is the Tarlac

trial court judge that declared RA1700 or the AntiSubversive Act of 1957 as a bill of attainder. Thus,
dismissing the information of subversion against the
following: 1.)Feliciano Co for being an officer/leader
of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)
aggravated by circumstances of contempt and insult
to public officers, subversion by a band and aid of
armed men to affordimpunity. 2.) Nilo Tayag and 5
others, for being members/leaders of the NPA,
inciting, instigating people to unite and overthrow
Aggravating Circumstances of Aid or Armed Men,
Craft, and Fraud. The trial court is of opinion that 1.)
The Congress usurped the powers of the judge
2.) Assumed judicial magistracy by pronouncing the
guilt of the CPP without any forms of safeguard of a
judicial trial. 3.) It created a presumption of
organizational guilt by being members of the CPP
The Anti Subversive Act of 1957 was approved
20June1957. It is an act to outlaw the CPP and
similar associations penalizing membership therein,
and for other purposes. It defined the Communist
Party being although a political party is in fact an
organized conspiracy to overthrow the Government,
not only by force and violence but also by deceit,
subversion and other illegal means. It declares that
the CPP is a clear and present danger to the security
of the Philippines. Section 4 provided that affiliation
with full knowledge of the illegal acts of the CPP is
punishable. Section 5 states that due investigation
by a designated prosecutor by the Secretary of
Justice be made prior to filing of information in
court. Section 6 provides for penalty for furnishing
false evidence. Section 7 provides for 2 witnesses in
open court for acts penalized by prision mayor to
of membership to the CCP through writing under
oath. Section 9 declares the constitutionality of the
statute and its valid exercise under freedom if
(1) Whether or not RA1700 is a bill of attainder/ ex
post facto law.
(2) Whether or Not RA1700 violates freedom of
Held: The court holds the VALIDITY Of the AntiSubversion

A bill of attainder is solely a legislative act. It

punishes without the benefit of the trial. It is the
substitution of judicial determination to a legislative
determination of guilt. In order for a statute be
measured as a bill of attainder, the following
requisites must be present: 1.) The statute specifies
persons, groups. 2.) the statute is applied
retroactively and reach past conduct. (A bill of
attainder relatively is also an ex post facto law.)
In the case at bar, the statute simply declares the
CPP as an organized conspiracy for the overthrow of
the Government for purposes of example of
SECTION 4 of the Act. The Act applies not only to
the CPP but also to other organizations having the
same purpose and their successors. The Acts focus
Membership to this organizations, to be UNLAWFUL,
it must be shown thatmembership was acquired
with the intent to further the goals of the
organization by overt acts. This is the element
punishable. This is the required proof of a members
is membership punished. Membership renders
organization. Membership makes himself party to its
Furthermore, the statute is PROSPECTIVE in nature.
Section 4 prohibits acts committed after approval of
the act. The members of the subversive
organizations before the passing of this Act is given
renouncing membership in accordance with Section
8. The statute applies the principle of mutatis
mutandis or that the necessary changes having
The declaration of that the CPP is an organized
conspiracy to overthrow the Philippine Government
should not be the basis of guilt. This declaration is
only a basis of Section 4 of the Act.
limitation to the exercise of Freedom of Expression
and Association in this matter. Before the
enactment of the statute and statements in the
preamble, careful investigations by the Congress
were done. The court further stresses that whatever
interest in freedom of speech and association is
excluded in the prohibition of membership in the
CPP are weak considering NATIONAL SECURITY and
The court set basic guidelines to be observed in the
prosecution under RA1700. In addition to proving
circumstances/ evidences of subversion, the
following elements must also be established:
1. Subversive Organizations besides the CPP, it must
Constitutional Law II | Case Pool by Nikki Sia
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be proven that the organization purpose is to

overthrow the present Government of the
Philippines and establish a domination of a FOREIGN
POWER. Membership is willfully and knowingly done
2. In case of CPP, the continued pursuance of its
subversive purpose.Membership is willfully and
The court did not make any judgment on the crimes
of the accused under the Act. The Supreme Court
set aside the resolution of the TRIAL COURT.

SSS Employees Association VS. CA

Facts: The petitioners went on strike after the SSS

failed to act upon the unions demands concerning
the implementation of their CBA. SSS filed before
the court action for damages with prayer for writ of
preliminary injunction against petitioners for staging
an illegal strike. The court issued a temporary
restraining order pending the resolution of
the application for
preliminary injunction while
petitioners filed a motion to dismiss alleging the
courts lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter.
Petitioners contend that the court made reversible
error in taking cognizance on the subject matter
since the jurisdiction lies on the DOLE or the
National Labor Relations Commission as the case
involves a labor dispute. The SSS contends on one
hand that the petitioners are covered by the Civil
Service laws, rules and regulation thus have no right
to strike. They are not covered by the NLRC or DOLE
therefore the court may enjoin the petitioners from
Issue: Whether or not SSS employers have the right
to strike
Whether or not the CA erred in taking
jurisdiction over the subject matter.
Held: The Constitutional provisions enshrined on
Human Rights and Social Justice provides guarantee
among workers with the right to organize and
conduct peaceful concerted activities such as
strikes. On one hand, Section 14 of E.O No. 180
provides that the Civil Service law and rules
governing concerted activities and strikes in the
government service shall be observed,
subject to any legislation that may be enacted by
Congress referring to Memorandum Circular No. 6,
s. 1987 of the Civil Service Commission which states
that prior to the enactment by Congress of
applicable laws concerning strike by government
employeesenjoins under pain of administrative
sanctions, all government officers and employees
from staging strikes, demonstrations, mass
leaves, walk-outs and other forms of mass action
which will result in temporary stoppage or disruption
of public service. Therefore in the absence of any

legislation allowing govt. employees to strike they

are prohibited from doing so.
In Sec. 1 of E.O. No. 180 the employees in the civil
service are denominated as
government employees and that the SSS is one
such government-controlled corporation with an
original charter, having been created under R.A. No.
1161, its employees are part of the civil service and
are covered by the Civil Service
Commissions memorandum prohibiting strikes.
Neither the DOLE nor the NLRC has jurisdiction over
the subject matter but instead it is the Public Sector
Labor-Management Council which is not granted by
law authority to issue writ of injunction in labor
disputes within its jurisdiction thus the resort of SSS
before the general court for the issuance of a writ
of injunction to enjoin the strike is appropriate.
6. Victoriano Vs. Elizalde Rope Workers Union
Facts: Petitioner Victoriano is a member of the
Iglesia ni Cristo and was an employee of Elizalde
Rope Factory and was a member of the Elizalde
Rope Workers' Union. Membership with the Union
was mandatory as provided for under a collective
bargaining agreement: "Membership in the Union
shall be required as a condition of employment for
all permanent employees workers covered by this
Under Section 4(a), paragraph 4, of Republic Act No.
875, prior to its amendment by Republic Act No.
3350, the employer was not precluded "from
making an agreement with a labor organization to
require as a condition of employment membership
therein, if such labor organization is the
representative of the employees." On June 18, 1961,
however, Republic Act No. 3350 was enacted,
introducing an amendment to paragraph (4)
subsection (a) of section 4 of Republic Act No. 875,
as follows: ... "but such agreement shall not cover
members of any religious sects which prohibit
affiliation of their members in any such labor
Being a member of the INC, a religion that prohibits
affiliation with labor organizations, the Petitioner
wrote a letter informing the Union of his resignation.
Thereupon, the Union wrote a formal letter to the
Company asking the latter to separate Appellee
from the service in view of the fact that he was
resigning from the Union as a member.
The CFI ruled in favor of Petitioner and enjoined the
company from dismissing him.
In its appeal, the Union claimed that R.A. no. 3350
was unconstitutional on the ground that 1) prohibits
all the members of a given religious sect from
joining any labor union if such sect prohibits
affiliations of their members thereto; and,
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consequently, deprives said members of their

constitutional right to form or join lawful
associations or organizations guaranteed by the Bill
of Rights, and thus becomes obnoxious [to the]
Constitution; 2) Impairs the obligation of contracts;
3) discriminates in favor of certain religious sects
and affords no protection to labor unions; 4) violates
the constitutional provision that no religious test
shall be required for the exercise of a civil right; 5)
violates the equal protection clause; and 6) the act
violates the constitutional provision regarding the
promotion of social justice.
Issue: Whether or not R.A. No. 3350 violates the
Constitutional mandate to protect the rights of
workers and to promote their welfare
notwithstanding the fact that it allows some
workers, by virtue of their religious beliefs, to opt
out of Union security agreements.
Held: NO. R.A. No. 3350 is constitutional on all
counts. It must be pointed out that the free exercise
of religious profession or belief is superior to
contract rights. In case of conflict, the latter must,
therefore, yield to the former.
The purpose of Republic Act No. 3350 is secular,
worldly, and temporal, not spiritual or religious or
holy and eternal. It was intended to serve the
secular purpose of advancing the constitutional
right to the free exercise of religion, by averting that
certain persons be refused work, or be dismissed
from work, or be dispossessed of their right to work
and of being impeded to pursue a modest means of
livelihood, by reason of union security agreements.
More so now in the [1987 and past in
constitutions] [...] where it is mandated that
"the State shall afford protection to labor,
promote full employment and equality in
employment, ensure equal work opportunities
regardless of sex, race or creed and regulate
the relation between workers and employers.
We believe that in enacting Republic Act No. 3350,
Congress acted consistently with the spirit of the
constitutional provision. It acted merely to relieve
the exercise of religion, by certain persons, of a
burden that is imposed by union security
agreements. It was Congress itself that imposed
that burden when it enacted the Industrial Peace Act
(Republic Act 875), and, certainly, Congress, if it so
deems advisable, could take away the same burden.
It is certain that not every conscience can be
accommodated by all the laws of the land; but when
general laws conflict with scrupples of conscience,
exemptions ought to be granted unless
some "compelling state interest" intervenes. In
the instant case, We see no such compelling state
interest to withhold exemption.


CENECO Vs Secretary of Labor

On August 15, 1987, CENECO entered into a
collective bargaining agreement with CURE, a labor
union representing its rank-and-file employees,
providing for a term of three years retroactive to
April 1, 1987 and extending up to March 31, 1990.
On December 28, 1989, CURE wrote CENECO
proposing that negotiations be conducted for a new
collective bargaining agreement (CBA).
On January 18, 1990, CENECO denied CUREs
request on the ground that, under applicable
decisions of the Supreme Court, employees who at
the same time are members of an electric
cooperative are not entitled to form or join a union.
Prior to the submission of the proposal for CBA
renegotiation, CURE members, in a general
assembly held on December 9, 1989, approved
Resolution No. 35 whereby it was agreed that tall
union members shall withdraw, retract, or recall the
union members membership from Central Negros
Electric Cooperative, Inc. in order to avail (of) the
full benefits under the existing Collective Bargaining
Agreement entered into by and between CENECO
and CURE, and the supposed benefits that our union
may avail of under the renewed CBA.
However, the withdrawal from membership was
denied by CENECO on February 27, 1990 under
Resolution No. 90.

Thus, member employees of a cooperative may

withdraw as members of the cooperative in order to
join labor union. Membership in a cooperative is
voluntary; inherent in it is the right not to join.
NOTES: (San Jose Electric Service Cooperative vs.
Ministry of Labor)
1. A cooperative, therefore, is by its nature different
from an ordinary business concern being run either,
by persons, partnerships or corporations. Its owners
and/or members are the ones who run and operate
the business while the others are its employees.
2. An employee therefore of such a cooperative who
is a member and co-owner thereof cannot invoke
the right to collective bargaining for certainly an
owner cannot bargain with himself or his co-owners.
Employees of cooperatives who are themselves
members of the cooperative have no right to form
or join labor organizations for purposes of collective
bargaining for being themselves co-owners of the
3. However, in so far as it involves cooperatives with
employees who are not members or co-owners
thereof, certainly such employees are entitled to
exercise the rights of all workers to organization,
collective bargaining, negotiations and others as are
enshrined in the Constitution and existing laws of
the country.

Issue: WON the employees of CENECO who

withdrew their membership from the cooperative
are entitled to form or join CURE for purposes of the
negotiations for a collective bargaining agreement
proposed by the latter.
The right of the employees to self-organization is a
compelling reason why their withdrawal from the
cooperative must be allowed. As pointed out by
CURE, the resignation of the member- employees is
an expression of their preference for union
membership over that of membership in the
cooperative. The avowed policy of the State to
afford fall protection to labor and to promote the
primacy of free collective bargaining mandates that
the employees right to form and join unions for
purposes of collective bargaining be accorded the
highest consideration.

Constitutional Law II | Case Pool by Nikki Sia

WLC School of Law

Epperson vs. Arkansas [393 US 97, 12
November 1968]
Facts: The Arkansas law makes it unlawful for a
teacher in any state-supported school or
university "to teach the theory or doctrine that
mankind ascended or descended from a lower
order of animals," or "to adopt or use in any such
institution a textbook that teaches" this theory.
Violation is a misdemeanor and subjects the
violator to dismissal from his position. On Little
Rock, the official textbook furnished for the high
school biology course did not have a section on
the Darwinian Theory. Then, for the academic
year 1965-1966, the school administration, on
recommendation of the teachers of biology in the
school system, adopted and prescribed a textbook

which contained a chapter setting forth "the

theory about the origin of man from a lower form
of animal." Susan Epperson, a young woman
who graduated from Arkansas' school system and
then obtained her master's degree in zoology at
the University of Illinois, was employed by the
Little Rock school system in the fall of 1964 to
teach 10th grade biology at Central High School.
At the start of the next academic year, 1965, she
was confronted by the new textbook (which one
surmises from the record was not unwelcome to
her). She faced at least a literal dilemma because
she was supposed to use the new textbook for
classroom instruction and presumably to teach
the statutorily condemned chapter; but to do so
would be a criminal offense and subject her to
dismissal. She instituted the action in the
Chancery Court of the State, seeking a
declaration that the Arkansas statute is void and
enjoining the State and the officials of the Little
Rock school system from dismissing her for
violation of the statute's provisions. H. H.
Blanchard, a parent of children attending the
public schools, intervened in support of the
action. The Chancery Court held that the statute
violated the Fourteenth Amendment to the
United States Constitution. The court noted that
this Amendment encompasses the prohibitions
upon state interference with freedom of speech
and thought which are contained in the First
Amendment. Accordingly, it held that the
challenged statute is unconstitutional because, in
violation of the First Amendment, it "tends to
hinder the quest for knowledge, restrict the
freedom to learn, and restrain the freedom to
teach." In this perspective, it held that the Act
was an unconstitutional and void restraint upon
the freedom of speech guaranteed by the
Constitution. On appeal, the Supreme Court of
Arkansas reversed. It sustained the statute as an
exercise of the State's power to specify the
curriculum in public schools. It did not address
itself to the competing constitutional

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Issue: Whether Arkansas law violates the

Constitution by prohibiting the instruction that
man, by evolution, came from lower animals.
Held: It is of no moment whether the law is
deemed to prohibit mention of Darwin's theory,
or to forbid any or all of the infinite varieties of
communication embraced within the term
"teaching." Under either interpretation, the law
must be stricken because of its conflict with the
constitutional prohibition of state laws respecting
an establishment of religion or prohibiting the
free exercise thereof. The overriding fact is that
Arkansas' law selects from the body of
knowledge a particular segment which it
proscribes for the sole reason that it is deemed to
conflict with a particular religious doctrine; that
is, with a particular interpretation of the Book of
Genesis by a particular religious group. The
State's undoubted right to prescribe the
curriculum for its public schools does not carry
with it the right to prohibit, on pain of criminal
penalty, the teaching of a scientific theory or
doctrine where that prohibition is based upon
reasons that violate the First Amendment. It is
much too late to argue that the State may impose
upon the teachers in its schools any conditions
that it chooses, however restrictive they may be
of constitutional guarantees. Herein, there can be
no doubt that Arkansas has sought to prevent its
teachers from discussing the theory of evolution
because it is contrary to the belief of some that
the Book of Genesis must be the exclusive
source of doctrine as to the origin of man. No
suggestion has been made that Arkansas' law
may be justified by considerations of state policy
other than the religious views of some of its
citizens. It is clear that fundamentalist sectarian
conviction was and is the law's reason for
existence. Its antecedent, Tennessee's "monkey
law," candidly stated its purpose: to make it
unlawful "to teach any theory that denies the
story of the Divine Creation of man as taught in
the Bible, and to teach instead that man has
descended from a lower order of animals."
Perhaps the sensational publicity attendant upon

the Scopes trial induced Arkansas to adopt less

explicit language. It eliminated Tennessee's
reference to "the story of the Divine Creation of
man" as taught in the Bible, but there is no doubt
that the motivation for the law was the same: to
suppress the teaching of a theory which, it was
thought, "denied" the divine creation of man.
Arkansas' law cannot be defended as an act of
religious neutrality. Arkansas did not seek to
excise from the curricula of its schools and
universities all discussion of the origin of man.
The law's effort was confined to an attempt to
blot out a particular theory because of its
supposed conflict with the Biblical account,
literally read. Plainly, the law is contrary to the
mandate of the First, and in violation of the
Fourteenth, Amendment to the Constitution.
Engel vs. Vitale [370 US 421, 25 June
Facts: The Board of Education of Union Free
School District 9, New Hyde Park, New York,
acting in its official capacity under state law,
directed the School District's principal to cause
the following prayer to be said aloud by each
class in the presence of a teacher at the beginning
of each school day: "Almighty God, we
acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we
beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our
teachers and our Country." This daily procedure
was adopted on the recommendation of the State
Board of Regents, a governmental agency
created by the State Constitution to which the
New York Legislature has granted broad
supervisory, executive, and legislative powers
over the State's public school system. These state
officials composed the prayer which they
recommended and published as a part of their
"Statement on Moral and Spiritual Training in
the Schools," saying: "We believe that this
Statement will be subscribed to by all men and
women of good will, and we call upon all of
them to aid in giving life to our program."
Shortly after the practice of reciting the Regents'
prayer was adopted by the School District, the
parents of 10 pupils brought the action in a New
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York State Court insisting that use of this official

prayer in the public schools was contrary to the
beliefs, religions, or religious practices of both
themselves and their children. Among other
things, these parents challenged the
constitutionality of both the state law authorizing
the School District to direct the use of prayer in
public schools and the School District's
regulation ordering the recitation of this
particular prayer on the ground that these actions
of official governmental agencies violate that
part of the First Amendment of the Federal
Constitution which commands that "Congress
shall make no law respecting an establishment of
religion" - a command which was "made
applicable to the State of New York by the
Fourteenth Amendment of the said Constitution."
The New York Court of Appeals, over the
dissents of Judges Dye and Fuld, sustained an
order of the lower state courts which had upheld
the power of New York to use the Regents'
prayer as a part of the daily procedures of its
public schools so long as the schools did not
compel any pupil to join in the prayer over his or
his parents' objection.
Issue: Whether the New York law adopting the
practice of reciting the Regents prayer in public
schools violate the (Non)Establishment Clause.
Held: By using its public school system to
encourage recitation of the Regents' prayer, the
State of New York has adopted a practice wholly
inconsistent with the Establishment Clause.
There can, of course, be no doubt that New
York's program of daily classroom invocation of
God's blessings as prescribed in the Regents'
prayer is a religious activity. It is a solemn
avowal of divine faith and supplication for the
blessings of the Almighty. The nature of such a
prayer has always been religious. There can be
no doubt that New York's state prayer program
officially establishes the religious beliefs
embodied in the Regents' prayer. The argument
to the contrary, which is largely based upon the
contention that the Regents' prayer is "non-

denominational" and the fact that the program

does not require all pupils to recite the prayer but
permits those who wish to do so to remain silent
or be excused from the room, ignores the
essential nature of the program's constitutional
defects. Neither the fact that the prayer may be
denominationally neutral nor the fact that its
observance on the part of the students is
voluntary can serve to free it from the limitations
of the Establishment Clause, as it might from the
Free Exercise Clause, of the First Amendment,
both of which are operative against the States by
virtue of the Fourteenth Amendment. The New
York laws officially prescribing the Regents'
prayer are inconsistent both with the purposes of
the Establishment Clause and with the
Establishment Clause itself.
School District of Abington Township,
Pennsylvania vs. Schempp [374 US 203, 17 June
Facts: [Case 142] The Commonwealth of
Pennsylvania by law requires that "At least ten
verses from the Holy Bible shall be read, without
comment, at the opening of each public school
on each school day. Any child shall be excused
from such Bible reading, or attending such Bible
reading, upon the written request of his parent or
guardian." The Schempp family, husband and
wife and two of their three children (who are of
the Unitarian faith and are members of the
Unitarian church in Germantown, Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania, where they, as well as another son,
Ellory, regularly attend religious services),
brought suit to enjoin enforcement of the statute,
contending that their rights under the Fourteenth
Amendment to the Constitution of the United
States are, have been, and will continue to be
violated unless this statute be declared
unconstitutional as violative of these provisions
of the First Amendment. They sought to enjoin
the School District of Abington Township
(Pennsylvania), wherein the Schempp children
attend school (the Abington Senior High School),
and its officers and the Superintendent of Public
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Instruction of the Commonwealth from

continuing to conduct such readings and
recitation of the Lord's Prayer in the public
schools of the district pursuant to the statute. A
three-judge statutory District Court for the
Eastern District of Pennsylvania held that the
statute is violative of the Establishment Clause of
the First Amendment as applied to the States by
the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth
Amendment and directed that appropriate
injunctive relief issue. Hence, the appeal by the
District, its officials and the Superintendent.
[Case 119] In 1905 the Board of School
Commissioners of Baltimore City adopted a rule
pursuant to Art. 77, 202 of the Annotated Code of
Maryland. The rule provided for the holding of
opening exercises in the schools of the city,
consisting primarily of the "reading, without
comment, of a chapter in the Holy Bible and/or
the use of the Lord's Prayer." Mrs. Madalyn
Murray and her son, William J. Murray III, are
both professed atheists. Following unsuccessful
attempts to have the school board rescind the
rule, the suit was filed for mandamus to compel
its rescission and cancellation. It was alleged that
William was a student in a public school of the
city and Mrs. Murray, his mother, was a taxpayer
therein; that it was the practice under the rule to
have a reading on each school morning from the
King James version of the Bible; that at the
Murrays' insistence the rule was amended to
permit children to be excused from the exercise
on request of the parent and that William had
been excused pursuant thereto; that nevertheless
the rule as amended was in violation of the
Murrays' rights "to freedom of religion under the
First and Fourteenth Amendments" and in
violation of "the principle of separation between
church and state, contained therein." The petition
particularized the Murrays' atheistic beliefs and
stated that the rule, as practiced, violated their
rights "in that it threatens their religious liberty
by placing a premium on belief as against nonbelief and subjects their freedom of conscience to
the rule of the majority; it pronounces belief in
God as the source of all moral and spiritual

values, equating these values with religious

values, and thereby renders sinister, alien and
suspect the beliefs and ideals of your Petitioners,
promoting doubt and question of their morality,
good citizenship and good faith." The Board
demurred and the trial court, recognizing that the
demurrer admitted all facts well pleaded,
sustained it without leave to amend. The
Maryland Court of Appeals affirmed, the
majority of four justices holding the exercise not
in violation of the First and Fourteenth
Amendments, with three justices dissenting.
Issue: Whether the reading of the bible, even
without comments, at the start of the school day
by students violate the (Non) Establishment
Held: The First Amendment's mandate that
"Congress shall make no law respecting an
establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free
exercise thereof" has been made wholly applicable
to the States by the Fourteenth Amendment. In
Cantwell v. Connecticut (310 US 296, 303 [1940]), it
was held that "The fundamental concept of liberty
embodied in that [Fourteenth] Amendment
embraces the liberties guaranteed by the First
Amendment. The First Amendment declares that
Congress shall make no law respecting an
establishment of religion or prohibiting the free
exercise thereof. The Fourteenth Amendment has
rendered the legislatures of the states as
incompetent as Congress to enact such laws." In a
series of cases since Cantwell the Court has
repeatedly reaffirmed that doctrine, and it does so
in the present case. Further, the Establishment
Clause forbids not only governmental preference of
one religion over another. As was held in Everson v.
Board of Education (330 US 1, 15 [1947]), "neither a
state nor the Federal Government can set up a
church. Neither can pass laws which aid one
religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over
another." The wholesome "neutrality" stems from a
recognition of the teachings of history that powerful
sects or groups might bring about a fusion of
governmental and religious functions or a concert or
dependency of one upon the other to the end that
official support of the State or Federal Government
would be placed behind the tenets of one or of all
orthodoxies. This the Establishment Clause
prohibits. And a further reason for neutrality is

found in the Free Exercise Clause, which

recognizes the value of religious training,
teaching and observance and, more particularly,
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the right of every person to freely choose his own

course with reference thereto, free of any
compulsion from the state. This the Free Exercise
Clause guarantees. Thus, the two clauses may
overlap; but still, the distinction between the two
clauses is apparent - a violation of the Free
Exercise Clause is predicated on coercion while
the Establishment Clause violation need not be
so attended. Applying the Establishment Clause
principles in Case 142, the States are requiring
the selection and reading at the opening of the
school day of verses from the Holy Bible and the
recitation of the Lord's Prayer by the students in
unison. These exercises are prescribed as part of
the curricular activities of students who are
required by law to attend school. They are held in
the school buildings under the supervision and
with the participation of teachers employed in
those schools. Such an opening exercise is a
religious ceremony and was intended by the State
to be so, and thus the exercises and the law
requiring them are in violation of the
Establishment Clause. On the other hand, in Case
119, although the State contends that the program
is an effort to extend its benefits to all public
school children without regard to their religious
belief, and that its purpose is not strictly religious
as it is sought to be accomplished through
readings, without comment, from the Bible; the
place of the Bible as an instrument of religion
cannot be gainsaid, and the State's recognition of
the pervading religious character of the
ceremony is evident from the rule's specific
permission of the alternative use of the Catholic
Douay version as well as the recent amendment
permitting nonattendance at the exercises. None
of these factors is consistent with the contention
that the Bible is here used either as an instrument
for nonreligious moral inspiration or as a
reference for the teaching of secular subjects.
Therefore, ib oth cases, the laws require religious
exercises and such exercises are being conducted
in direct violation of the rights of Schempp, et.
al. Nor are these required exercises mitigated by
the fact that individual students may absent
themselves upon parental request, for that fact

furnishes no defense to a claim of

unconstitutionality under the Establishment
Clause. Further, it is no defense to urge that the
religious practices here may be relatively minor
encroachments on the First Amendment. The
breach of neutrality that is today a trickling
stream may all too soon become a raging torrent
and, in the words of Madison, "it is proper to
take alarm at the first experiment on our
4. Stone vs. Graham [449 US 39, 17
November 1980]
Facts: A Kentucky statute requires the posting of
a copy of the Ten Commandments, purchased
with private contributions, on the wall of each
public classroom in the State. Stone, et. al.
claiming that this statute violates the
Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses of the
First Amendment, sought an injunction against
its enforcement. The state trial court upheld the
statute, finding that its "avowed purpose" was
"secular and not religious," and that the statute
would "neither advance nor inhibit any religion
or religious group" nor involve the State
excessively in religious matters. The Supreme
Court of the Commonwealth of Kentucky
affirmed by an equally divided court.
Issue: Whether the posting of the Ten
Commandments in public school rooms,
procured from private contributions, violate the
non-establishment clause.
Held: Kentucky's statute requiring the posting of
the Ten Commandments in public school rooms
has no secular legislative purpose, and is
therefore unconstitutional. The pre-eminent
purpose for posting the Ten Commandments on
schoolroom walls is plainly religious in nature.
The Ten Commandments are undeniably a sacred
text in the Jewish and Christian faiths, and no
legislative recitation of a supposed secular
purpose can blind us to that fact. The
Commandments do not confine themselves to
arguably secular matters, such as honoring one's
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parents, killing or murder, adultery, stealing,

false witness, and covetousness. Rather, the first
part of the Commandments concerns the
religious duties of believers: worshipping the
Lord God alone, avoiding idolatry, not using the
Lord's name in vain, and observing the Sabbath
Day. The case is not in which the Ten
Commandments are integrated into the school
curriculum, where the Bible may constitutionally
be used in an appropriate study of history,
civilization, ethics, comparative religion, or the
like. Posting of religious texts on the wall serves
no such educational function. If the posted copies
of the Ten Commandments are to have any effect
at all, it will be to induce the schoolchildren to
read, meditate upon, perhaps to venerate and
obey, the Commandments. However desirable
this might be as a matter of private devotion, it is
not a permissible state objective under the
Establishment Clause. It does not matter that the
posted copies of the Ten Commandments are
financed by voluntary private contributions, for
the mere posting of the copies under the auspices
of the legislature provides the "official support of
the State Government" that the Establishment
Clause prohibits. Nor is it significant that the
Bible verses involved in this case are merely
posted on the wall, rather than read aloud, for "it
is no defense to urge that the religious practices
here may be relatively minor encroachments on
the First Amendment." Ky. Rev. Stat. 158.178
(1980) violates the first part of the Lemon v.
Kurtzman test, and thus the Establishment Clause
of the Constitution.
5. Aglipay v. Ruiz [GR 45459, 13 March
Facts: In May 1936, the Director of Posts
announced in the dailies of Manila that he would
order the issuance of postage stamps
commemorating the celebration in the City of
Manila of the 33rd International Eucharistic
Congress, organized by the Roman Catholic
Church. Monsignor Gregorio Aglipay, Supreme
Head of the Philippine Independent Church, in
the fulfillment of what he considers to be a civic

duty, requested Vicente Sotto, Esq., member of

the Philippine Bar, to denounce the matter to the
President of the Philippines. In spite of the
protest of Sotto, the Director of Posts publicly
announced that the designs of the postage for
printing have been sent to the United States. The
said stamps were actually issued and sold though
the greater part thereof remained unsold. The
further sale of the stamps was sought to be
prevented by Aglipay.
Issue: Whether the stamp (containing a map of
the Philippines, the location of the City of
Manila, and an inscription that reads "Seat
XXXIII International Eucharistic Congress, Feb.
3-7, 1937") violate the Nonestablishment clause
by allegedly promoting the Catholic religion.
Held: Section 13, Article VI, of the 1935
Constitution provides that no public money or
property shall ever be appropriated, applied, or
used, directly or indirectly, for the use, benefit, or
support of any sect, church, denomination,
sectarian institution, or system of religion, or for
the use, benefit, or support of any priest,
preacher, minister, or other religious teacher or
dignitary as such, except when such priest,
preacher, minister, or dignitary is assigned to the
armed forces or to any penal institution,
orphanage, or leprosarium." The prohibition is a
direct corollary of the principle of separation of
church and state. Act 4052 contemplates no
religious purpose in view. What it gives the
Director of Posts is the discretionary power to
determine when the issuance of special postage
stamps would be "advantageous to the
Government." Of course, the phrase
"advantageous to the Government" does not
authorize the violation of the Constitution; i.e. to
appropriate, use or apply of public money or
property for the use, benefit or support of a
particular sect or church. Herein, the issuance of
the postage stamps was not inspired by any
sectarian feeling to favor a particular church or
religious denominations. The stamps were not
issued and sold for the benefit of the Roman
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Catholic Church, nor were money derived from

the sale of the stamps given to that church. The
purpose of the issuing of the stamps was to take
advantage of an event considered of international
importance to give publicity to the Philippines
and its people and attract more tourists to the
country. Thus, instead of showing a Catholic
chalice, the stamp contained a map of the
Philippines, the location of the City of Manila,
and an inscription that reads "Seat XXXIII
International Eucharistic Congress, Feb. 3-7,
1937." Thus, while the issuance and sale of the
stamps may be said to be inseparably linked with
an event of a religious character, the resulting
propaganda received by the Roman Catholic
Church, was not the aim and purpose of the
Government. The Government should not be
embarrassed in its activities simply because of
incidental results, more or less religious in
character, if the purpose had in view is one which
could legitimately be undertaken by appropriate
legislation. The main purpose should not be
frustrated by its subordination to mere incidental
results not contemplated.
6. Mueller vs. Allen [463 US 388, 29 June
Facts: Minnesota, like every other State, provides
its citizens with free elementary and secondary
schooling. Minnesota, by a law originally
enacted in 1955 and revised in 1976 and again in
1978, permits state taxpayers to claim a
deduction from gross income for certain
expenses incurred in educating their children.
The deduction is limited to actual expenses
incurred for the "tuition, textbooks and
transportation" of dependents attending
elementary or secondary schools. A deduction
may not exceed $500 per dependent in grades K
through 6 and $700 per dependent in grades 7
through 12. About 820,000 students attended this
school system in the most recent school year.
During the same year, approximately 91,000
elementary and secondary students attended
some 500 privately supported schools located in
Minnesota, and about 95% of these students

attended schools considering themselves to be

sectarian. Certain Minnesota taxpayers (Mueller,
et. al.) sued in the United States District Court
for the District of Minnesota claiming that
290.09, subd. 22, violated the Establishment
Clause by providing financial assistance to
sectarian institutions. They named as defendants
the Commissioner of the Department of Revenue
of Minnesota and several parents who took
advantage of the tax deduction for expenses
incurred in sending their children to parochial
schools. The District Court granted the
Commissioner, et. al.'s motion for summary
judgment, holding that the statute was "neutral
on its face and in its application and does not
have a primary effect of either advancing or
inhibiting religion." On appeal, the Court of
Appeals affirmed, concluding that the Minnesota
statute substantially benefited a "broad class of
Minnesota citizens." The United States Court of
Appeals for the Eighth Circuit held that the
Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, as
made applicable to the States by the Fourteenth
Amendment, was not offended by this
Issue: Whether the Minnesota law allowing tax
deductions for expenses incurred in childrens
education violates the Establishment Clause
inasmuch as allegedly it will provide financial
assistance to sectarian institutions.
Held: A State's decision to defray the cost of
educational expenses incurred by parents regardless of the type of schools their children
attend - evidences a purpose that is both secular
and understandable. An educated populace is
essential to the political and economic health of
any community, and a State's efforts to assist
parents in meeting the rising cost of educational
expenses plainly serves this secular purpose of
ensuring that the State's citizenry is well
educated. Similarly, Minnesota, like other States,
could conclude that there is a strong public
interest in assuring the continued financial health
of private schools, both sectarian and
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nonsectarian. By educating a substantial number

of students such schools relieve public schools of
a correspondingly great burden - to the benefit of
all taxpayers. In addition, private schools may
serve as a benchmark for public schools, in a
manner analogous to the "TVA yardstick" for
private power companies. Further, there are
several features of the Minnesota tax deduction
particularly significant in determining that the
Minnesota statute does not have "the primary
effect of advancing the sectarian aims of the
nonpublic schools." First, an essential feature of
Minnesota's arrangement is the fact that 290.09,
subd. 22, is only one among many deductions such as those for medical expenses, 290.09, subd.
10, and charitable contributions, 290.21, subd. 3
- available under the Minnesota tax laws.
Traditionally "legislatures have especially broad
latitude in creating classifications and
distinctions in tax statutes," in part because the
"familiarity with local conditions" enjoyed by
legislators especially enables them to "achieve an
equitable distribution of the tax burden." The
Minnesota Legislature's judgment that a
deduction for educational expenses fairly
equalizes the tax burden of its citizens and
encourages desirable expenditures for
educational purposes is entitled to substantial
deference. Other characteristics of 290.09, subd.
22, argue equally strongly for the provision's
constitutionality. Most importantly, the deduction
is available for educational expenses incurred by
all parents, including those whose children attend
public schools and those whose children attend
nonsectarian private schools or sectarian private
schools. The State's provision of a forum
neutrally "available to a broad class of
nonreligious as well as religious speakers" does
not "confer any imprimatur of state approval," so
here: "the provision of benefits to so broad a
spectrum of groups is an important index of
secular effect." Although the Establishment
Clause extends beyond prohibition of a state
church or payment of state funds to one or more
churches, its prohibition does not extend to the
type of tax deduction established by Minnesota.

The historic purposes of the Clause simply do

not encompass the sort of attenuated financial
benefit, ultimately controlled by the private
choices of individual parents, that eventually
flows to parochial schools from the neutrally
available tax benefit at issue. Furthermore, the
Minnesota statute does not "excessively
entangle" the State in religion. The only plausible
source of the "comprehensive, discriminating,
and continuing state surveillance," necessary to
run afoul of this standard would lie in the fact
that state officials must determine whether
particular textbooks qualify for a deduction. State
officials must disallow deductions taken for
"instructional books and materials used in the
teaching of religious tenets, doctrines or worship,
the purpose of which is to inculcate such tenets,
doctrines or worship."
7. Lemon vs. Kurtzman [403 US 602, 28
June 1971]
Facts: [The Rhode Island Statute] The Rhode
Island Salary Supplement Act was enacted in
1969. It rests on the legislative finding that the
quality of education available in nonpublic
elementary schools has been jeopardized by the
rapidly rising salaries needed to attract
competent and dedicated teachers. The Act
authorizes state officials to supplement the
salaries of teachers of secular subjects in
nonpublic elementary schools by paying directly
to a teacher an amount not in excess of 15% of
his current annual salary. As supplemented,
however, a nonpublic school teacher's salary
cannot exceed the maximum paid to teachers in
the State's public schools, and the recipient must
be certified by the state board of education in
substantially the same manner as public school
teachers. In order to be eligible for the Rhode
Island salary supplement, the recipient must
teach in a nonpublic school at which the average
per-pupil expenditure on secular education is less
than the average in the State's public schools
during a specified period. The State
Commissioner of Education also requires eligible
schools to submit financial data. If this
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information indicates a per-pupil expenditure in

excess of the statutory limitation, the records of
the school in question must be examined in order
to assess how much of the expenditure is
attributable to secular education and how much
to religious activity. The Act also requires that
teachers eligible for salary supplements must
teach only those subjects that are offered in the
State's public schools. They must use "only
teaching materials which are used in the public
schools." Finally, any teacher applying for a
salary supplement must first agree in writing "not
to teach a course in religion for so long as or
during such time as he or she receives any salary
supplements" under the Act. Certain citizens and
taxpayers of Rhode Island brought the suit to
have the Rhode Island Salary Supplement Act
declared unconstitutional and its operation
enjoined on the ground that it violates the
Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses of the
First Amendment. The District Court concluded
that the Act violated the Establishment Clause,
holding that it fostered "excessive entanglement"
between government and religion. In addition
two judges thought that the Act had the
impermissible effect of giving "significant aid to
a religious enterprise." [The Pennsylvania
Statute] Pennsylvania has adopted a program that
has some but not all of the features of the Rhode
Island program. The Pennsylvania Nonpublic
Elementary and Secondary Education Act was
passed in 1968 in response to a crisis that the
Pennsylvania Legislature found existed in the
State's nonpublic schools due to rapidly rising
costs. The statute affirmatively reflects the
legislative conclusion that the State's educational
goals could appropriately be fulfilled by
government support of "those purely secular
educational objectives achieved through
nonpublic education." The statute authorizes the
state Superintendent of Public Instruction to
"purchase" specified "secular educational
services" from nonpublic schools. Under the
"contracts" authorized by the statute, the State
directly reimburses nonpublic schools solely for
their actual expenditures for teachers' salaries,

textbooks, and instructional materials. A school

seeking reimbursement must maintain prescribed
accounting procedures that identify the
"separate" cost of the "secular educational
service." These accounts are subject to state
audit. The funds for this program were originally
derived from a new tax on horse and harness
racing, but the Act is now financed by a portion
of the state tax on cigarettes. There are several
significant statutory restrictions on state aid.
Reimbursement is limited to courses "presented
in the curricula of the public schools." It is
further limited "solely" to courses in the
following "secular" subjects: mathematics,
modern foreign languages, physical science, and
physical education. Textbooks and instructional
materials included in the program must be
approved by the state Superintendent of Public
Instruction. Finally, the statute prohibits
reimbursement for any course that contains "any
subject matter expressing religious teaching, or
the morals or forms of worship of any sect." The
Act went into effect on 1 July 1968, and the first
reimbursement payments to schools were made
on 2 September 1969. Some $5 million has been
expended annually under the Act. The State has
now entered into contracts with some 1,181
nonpublic elementary and secondary schools
with a student population of some 535,215 pupils
- more than 20% of the total number of students
in the State. More than 96% of these pupils
attend church-related schools, and most of these
schools are affiliated with the Roman Catholic
church. Associations of persons resident in
Pennsylvania declaring belief in the separation of
church and state; and other citizens and taxpayers
of Pennsylvania, including Lemon (a parent of a
child attending public school in Pennsylvania)
brought an action in the District Court to
challenge the constitutionality of the
Pennsylvania statute. The District Court held that
the Act violated neither the Establishment nor the
Free Exercise Clause.
Issue: Whether the Rhode Island and
Pennsylvania statutes violate the Establishment
Constitutional Law II | Case Pool by Nikki Sia
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Held: In the absence of precisely stated
constitutional prohibitions, the Court must draw
lines with reference to the three main evils
against which the Establishment Clause was
intended to afford protection: "sponsorship,
financial support, and active involvement of the
sovereign in religious activity." Every analysis in
this area must begin with consideration of the
cumulative criteria developed by the Court over
many years. Three such tests may be gleaned
from cases. First, the statute must have a secular
legislative purpose; second, its principal or
primary effect must be one that neither advances
nor inhibits religion, finally, the statute must not
foster "an excessive government entanglement
with religion." Inquiry into the legislative
purposes of the Pennsylvania and Rhode Island
statutes affords no basis for a conclusion that the
legislative intent was to advance religion. On the
contrary, the statutes themselves clearly state that
they are intended to enhance the quality of the
secular education in all schools covered by the
compulsory attendance laws. There is no reason
to believe the legislatures meant anything else. A
State always has a legitimate concern for
maintaining minimum standards in all schools it
allows to operate. As there is nothing here that
undermines the stated legislative intent; it must
therefore be accorded appropriate deference.
Still, its hould be determined whether the
government entanglement with religion is
excessive. The Court thus must examine the
character and purposes of the institutions that are
benefited, the nature of the aid that the State
provides, and the resulting relationship between
the government and the religious authority.
Herein, both statutes foster an impermissible
degree of entanglement. The church schools
involved in the Rhode Island program are located
close to parish churches. This understandably
permits convenient access for religious exercises
since instruction in faith and morals is part of the
total educational process. The school buildings
contain identifying religious symbols such as

crosses on the exterior and crucifixes, and

religious paintings and statues either in the
classrooms or hallways. Although only
approximately 30 minutes a day are devoted to
direct religious instruction, there are religiously
oriented extracurricular activities. Approximately
two-thirds of the teachers in these schools are
nuns of various religious orders. Their dedicated
efforts provide an atmosphere in which religious
instruction and religious vocations are natural
and proper parts of life in such schools. The
parochial schools constituted "an integral part of
the religious mission of the Catholic Church."
The various characteristics of the schools make
them "a powerful vehicle for transmitting the
Catholic faith to the next generation." This
process of inculcating religious doctrine is, of
course, enhanced by the impressionable age of
the pupils, in primary schools particularly. In
short, parochial schools involve substantial
religious activity and purpose. The substantial
religious character of these church-related
schools gives rise to entangling church-state
relationships of the kind the Religion Clauses
sought to avoid. Although the District Court
found that concern for religious values did not
inevitably or necessarily intrude into the content
of secular subjects, the considerable religious
activities of these schools led the legislature to
provide for careful governmental controls and
surveillance by state authorities in order to
ensure that state aid supports only secular
education. The dangers and corresponding
entanglements are enhanced by the particular
form of aid that the Rhode Island Act provides.
Teachers have a substantially different
ideological character from books. In terms of
potential for involving some aspect of faith or
morals in secular subjects, a textbook's content is
ascertainable, but a teacher's handling of a
subject is not. The Court cannot ignore the
danger that a teacher under religious control and
discipline poses to the separation of the religious
from the purely secular aspects of pre-college
education. The conflict of functions inheres in
the situation. A comprehensive, discriminating,
Constitutional Law II | Case Pool by Nikki Sia
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and continuing state surveillance will inevitably

be required to ensure that these restrictions are
obeyed and the First Amendment otherwise
respected. Unlike a book, a teacher cannot be
inspected once so as to determine the extent and
intent of his or her personal beliefs and
subjective acceptance of the limitations imposed
by the First Amendment. These prophylactic
contacts will involve excessive and enduring
entanglement between state and church. There is
another area of entanglement in the Rhode Island
program that gives concern. The statute excludes
teachers employed by nonpublic schools whose
average per-pupil expenditures on secular
education equal or exceed the comparable figures
for public schools. In the event that the total
expenditures of an otherwise eligible school
exceed this norm, the program requires the
government to examine the school's records in
order to determine how much of the total
expenditures is attributable to secular education
and how much to religious activity. This kind of
state inspection and evaluation of the religious
content of a religious organization is fraught with
the sort of entanglement that the Constitution
forbids. It is a relationship pregnant with dangers
of excessive government direction of church
schools and hence of churches. There is danger
that pervasive modern governmental power will
ultimately intrude on religion and thus conflict
with the Religion Clauses. The Pennsylvania
statute also provides state aid to church-related
schools for teachers' salaries. The complaint
describes an educational system that is very
similar to the one existing in Rhode Island.
Reimbursement is not only limited to courses
offered in the public schools and materials
approved by state officials, but the statute
excludes "any subject matter expressing religious
teaching, or the morals or forms of worship of
any sect." In addition, schools seeking
reimbursement must maintain accounting
procedures that require the State to establish the
cost of the secular as distinguished from the
religious instruction. The Pennsylvania statute,
moreover, has the further defect of providing

state financial aid directly to the church-related

school. The history of government grants of a
continuing cash subsidy indicates that such
programs have almost always been accompanied
by varying measures of control and surveillance.
The government cash grants provide no basis for
predicting that comprehensive measures of
surveillance and controls will not follow. In
particular the government's post-audit power to
inspect and evaluate a church-related school's
financial records and to determine which
expenditures are religious and which are secular
creates an intimate and continuing relationship
between church and state. The potential for
political divisiveness related to religious belief
and practice is aggravated in these two statutory
programs by the need for continuing annual
appropriations and the likelihood of larger and
larger demands as costs and populations grow.
The Rhode Island District Court found that the
parochial school system's "monumental and
deepening financial crisis" would "inescapably"
require larger annual appropriations subsidizing
greater percentages of the salaries of lay
teachers. Although no facts have been developed
in this respect in the Pennsylvania case, it
appears that such pressures for expanding aid
have already required the state legislature to
include a portion of the state revenues from
cigarette taxes in the program.
9. Wallace vs. Jaffree [472 US 38, 4 June
Facts: Ishmael Jaffree is a resident of Mobile
County, Alabama. On 28 May 1982, he filed a
complaint on behalf of three of his minor
children; two of them were second-grade
students and the third was then in kindergarten;
which named members of the Mobile County
School Board, various school officials, and the
minors' three teachers as defendants; alleging
that (1) they brought the action "seeking
principally a declaratory judgment and an
injunction restraining the board, etc. and each of
them from maintaining or allowing the
maintenance of regular religious prayer services
Constitutional Law II | Case Pool by Nikki Sia
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or other forms of religious observances in the

Mobile County Public Schools in violation of the
First Amendment as made applicable to states by
the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States
Constitution," (2) that two of the children had
been subjected to various acts of religious
indoctrination "from the beginning of the school
year in September, 1981"; (3) that the teachers
had "on a daily basis" led their classes in saying
certain prayers in unison; (4) that the minor
children were exposed to ostracism from their
peer group class members if they did not
participate; and (5) that Ishmael Jaffree had
repeatedly but unsuccessfully requested that the
devotional services be stopped. The original
complaint made no reference to any Alabama
statute. On 4 June 1982, the Jaffrees filed an
amended complaint seeking class certification,
and on 30 June 1982, they filed a second
amended complaint naming the Governor of
Alabama and various state officials as additional
defendants. In that amendment the Jaffrees
challenged the constitutionality of three Alabama
statutes: 16-1-20 (enacted in 1978, which
authorized a 1- minute period of silence in all
public schools "for meditation"), 16-1-20.1
(enacted in 1981, which authorized a period of
silence "for meditation or voluntary prayer"), and
16-1-20.2 (enacted in 1982, which authorized
teachers to lead "willing students" in a prescribed
prayer to "Almighty God, the Creator and
Supreme Judge of the world"). On 2 August
1982, the District Court held an evidentiary
hearing on Jaffree's motion for a preliminary
injunction. A week after the hearing, the District
Court entered a preliminary injunction. At the
preliminary-injunction stage of the case, the
District Court distinguished 16-1-20 from the
other two statutes. It then held that there was
"nothing wrong" with 16-1-20, but that 16-1-20.1
and 16-1-20.2 were both invalid because the sole
purpose of both was "an effort on the part of the
State of Alabama to encourage a religious
activity." After the trial on the merits, the District
Court did not change its interpretation of these
two statutes, but held that they were

constitutional because, in its opinion, Alabama

has the power to establish a state religion if it
chooses to do so. The Court of Appeals agreed
with the District Court's initial interpretation of
the purpose of both 16-1-20.1 and 16-1-20.2, and
held them both unconstitutional. The US
Supreme Court has already affirmed the Court of
Appeals' holding with respect to 16-1-20.2
(Wallace v. Jaffree, 466 US 924 [1984]). On the
other hand, the Jaffreys have not questioned the
holding that 16-1-20 is valid. Hence, the
constitutionality of 16-1-20.1 was left for the
resolution by the Supreme Court.
Issue: Whether 16-1-20.1, which authorizes a
period of silence for "meditation or voluntary
prayer," is a law respecting the establishment of
religion within the meaning of the First
Held: The First Amendment was adopted to
curtail the power of Congress to interfere with
the individual's freedom to believe, to worship,
and to express himself in accordance with the
dictates of his own conscience. Until the
Fourteenth Amendment was added to the
Constitution, the First Amendment's restraints on
the exercise of federal power simply did not
apply to the States. But when the Constitution
was amended to prohibit any State from
depriving any person of liberty without due
process of law, that Amendment imposed the
same substantive limitations on the States' power
to legislate that the First Amendment had always
imposed on the Congress' power. This Court has
confirmed and endorsed this elementary
proposition of law time and time again. When the
Court has been called upon to construe the
breadth of the Establishment Clause, it has
examined the criteria developed over a period of
many years. Thus, in Lemon v. Kurtzman, 403
U.S. 602, 612 -613 (1971), it was held that
"Every analysis in this area must begin with
consideration of the cumulative criteria
developed by the Court over many years. Three
such tests may be gleaned from our cases. First,
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the statute must have a secular legislative

purpose; second, its principal or primary effect
must be one that neither advances nor inhibits
religion; finally, the statute must not foster `an
excessive government entanglement with
religion.'" It is the first of these three criteria that
is most plainly implicated by this case. No
consideration of the second or third criteria is
necessary if a statute does not have a clearly
secular purpose. For even though a statute that is
motivated in part by a religious purpose may
satisfy the first criterion, the First Amendment
requires that a statute must be invalidated if it is
entirely motivated by a purpose to advance
religion. In applying the purpose test, it is
appropriate to ask "whether government's actual
purpose is to endorse or disapprove of religion."
Herein, the answer to that question is dispositive.
For the record not only provides us with an
unambiguous affirmative answer, but it also
reveals that the enactment of 16-1-20.1 was not
motivated by any clearly secular purpose indeed, the statute had no secular purpose. The
legislative intent to return prayer to the public
schools is, of course, quite different from merely
protecting every student's right to engage in
voluntary prayer during an appropriate moment
of silence during the schoolday. The 1978 statute
already protected that right, containing nothing
that prevented any student from engaging in
voluntary prayer during a silent minute of
meditation. Only two conclusions are consistent
with the text of 16-1-20.1: (1) the statute was
enacted to convey a message of state
endorsement and promotion of prayer; or (2) the
statute was enacted for no purpose. No one
suggests that the statute was nothing but a
meaningless or irrational act. The Alabama
legislature enacted 16-1-20.1, despite the
existence of 16-1-20 for the sole purpose of
expressing the State's endorsement of prayer
activities for one minute at the beginning of each
schoolday. The addition of "or voluntary prayer"
indicates that the State intended to characterize
prayer as a favored practice. Such an
endorsement is not consistent with the

established principle that the government must

pursue a course of complete neutrality toward
10. Islamic Da'wah Council of the
Philippines vs. Office of the Executive
Secretary [GR 153888, 9 July 2003]
Facts: The Islamic Da'wah Council of the
Philippines, Inc. (IDCP), a corporation that
operates under Department of Social Welfare and
Development License SB-01-085, is a nongovernmental organization that extends voluntary
services to the Filipino people, especially to
Muslim communities. It claims to be a federation
of national Islamic organizations and an active
member of international organizations such as
the Regional Islamic Da'wah Council of
Southeast Asia and the Pacific (RISEAP) and the
World Assembly of Muslim Youth. The RISEAP
accredited petitioner to issue halal2 certifications
in the Philippines. Thus, among the functions
IDCP carries out is to conduct seminars, orient
manufacturers on halal food and issue halal
certifications to qualified products and
manufacturers. IDCP formulated in 1995 internal
rules and procedures based on the Qur'an and the
Sunnah for the analysis of food, inspection
thereof and issuance of halal certifications. In
that same year, IDCP began to issue, for a fee,
certifications to qualified products and food
manufacturers. IDCP even adopted for use on its
halal certificates a distinct sign or logo registered
in the Philippine Patent Office under Patent 42000-03664. On 26 October 2001, the Office of
the Executive Secretary issued Executive Order
(EO) 465, series of 2001, creating the Philippine
Halal Certification Scheme and designating the
Office on Muslim Affairs (OMA) to oversee its
implementation. Under the EO, OMA has the
exclusive authority to issue halal certificates and
perform other related regulatory activities. On 8
May 2002, a news article entitled "OMA Warns
NGOs Issuing Illegal 'Halal' Certification" was
published in the Manila Bulletin, a newspaper of
general circulation. In said article, OMA warned
Constitutional Law II | Case Pool by Nikki Sia
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Muslim consumers to buy only products with its

official halal certification since those without
said certification had not been subjected to
careful analysis and therefore could contain pork
or its derivatives. OMA also sent letters to food
manufacturers asking them to secure the halal
certification only from OMA lest they violate EO
46 and RA 4109. As a result, IDCP lost revenues
after food manufacturers stopped securing
certifications from it. IDCP filed a petition for
prohibition, praying for the declaration of nullity
of EO 46 and the prohibition of the Office of the
Executive Secretary and OMA from
implementing the subject EO.
Issue: Whether the OMA encroached ipon the
religious freedom of Muslim organizatinos to
interpret what food products are fit for Muslim
Held: OMA was created in 1981 through
Executive Order 697 "to ensure the integration of
Muslim Filipinos into the mainstream of Filipino
society with due regard to their beliefs, customs,
traditions, and institutions." OMA deals with the
societal, legal, political and economic concerns
of the Muslim community as a "national cultural
community" and not as a religious group. Thus,
bearing in mind the constitutional barrier
between the Church and State, the latter must
make sure that OMA does not intrude into purely
religious matters lest it violate the nonestablishment clause and the "free exercise of
religion" provision found in Article III, Section 5
of the 1987 Constitution. Without doubt,
classifying a food product as halal is a religious
function because the standards used are drawn
from the Qur'an and Islamic beliefs. By giving
OMA the exclusive power to classify food
products as halal, EO 46 encroached on the
religious freedom of Muslim organizations like
IDCP to interpret for Filipino Muslims what food
products are fit for Muslim consumption. Also,
by arrogating to itself the task of issuing halal
certifications, the State has in effect forced
Muslims to accept its own interpretation of the

Qur'an and Sunnah on halal food. There is no

compelling justification for the government to
deprive muslim organizations of their religious
right to classify a product as halal, even on the
premise that the health of muslim Filipinos can
be effectively protected by assigning to OMA the
exclusive power to issue halal certifications. The
protection and promotion of the muslim
Filipinos' right to health are already provided for
in existing laws and ministered to by government
agencies charged with ensuring that food
products released in the market are fit for human
consumption, properly labeled and safe. Unlike
EO 46, these laws do not encroach on the
religious freedom of muslims.
10. Fonacier vs. Court of Appeals [GR L5917, 28 January 1955]
Facts: Upon the death of Mons. Aglipay, the
Supreme Head of the Iglesia Filipina
Independiente (IFI) since 1902, Mons. Santiago
A. Fonacier was elected Obispo Maximo, on 14
October 1940, in accordance with the
constitution of the church. The latter's successor
should have been elected by the Asamblea
Magna of the Church on 1 September 1943.
However, due to the circumstances brought about
by the Pacific War, it was agreed, on 16
December 1941, by the Bishops stationed in
Manila and neighboring provinces that Mons.
Fonacier should hold over as Obispo Maximo of
the IFI, for the duration of the emergency created
by the year. After the liberation of the
Philippines, and on 1 September 1945, an
attempt was made to convene the Asamblea
Magna for the purpose of electing the Obispo
Maximo, but owing to lack of quorum, the
Bishops present agreed that Mons. Fonacier
would continue for another year, or until 1
September 1946. On 2 September 1945, the
Consejo Supremo de Obispos (Supreme Council
of Bishops) of the IFI convened and approved
the designation of bishops to their respective
bishoprics. In that meeting Mons. Alejandro
Remollino was assigned as bishop of the diocese
of Cavite. Upon learning that the latter notified
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the priests of his bishopric regarding his

assignment, Mons. Fonacier wrote him a letter
dated 18 September 1945 enjoining him from
assuming the duties of his office and from taking
possession of the diocese of Cavite until he
(Fonacier) had approved the appointment made
by the Supreme Council as provided for in the
constitution. To this letter Bishop Remollino
replied explaining his side and adding that he
was ready to defend his stand on the matter
before the courts of justice. In view of this
attitude, Mons. Fonacier ordered the expulsion of
Bishop Remollino from the church and also of
Bishop Manuel Aguilar whom Mons. Fonacier
suspected to be the instigator of certain acts of
insubordination and defamation against him. On
1 December 1945, Bishop Manuel Aguilar filed
charges against Mons. Fonacier as Supreme
Bishop which were submitted to a meeting of the
Supreme Council of Bishops, held on 21 January
1946, which decreed the forced resignation of
Mons. Fonacier, and to the Asamblea Magna or
Asamblea General of the church, held on 22
January 1946. This body approved the forced
resignation of Mons. Fonacier and elected
Bishop Gerardo M. Bayaca as Supreme Bishop
to succeed Mons. Fonacier. When notified of his
removal as Obispo Maximo and required to turn
over all the funds, documents and other
properties of the church to his successor, Mons.
Fonacier refused. The case was instituted in the
Court of First Instance of Manila by the IFI,
represented by its Supreme Bishop Gerardo M.
Bayaca, against Mons.Fonacier seeking to
require the latter to render an accounting of his
administration of all the temporal properties he
has his possession belonging to said church and
to recover the same from him on the ground that
he had ceased be the Supreme Bishop of said
religious organization. On 1 September 1946 the
Asamblea Magna convened and elected Mons.
Isabelo de los Reyes, Jr. as Obispo Maximo. On
the same date Mons. Fonacier and some of his
followers met at the Manila Hotel and elected
Mons Juan Jamias as their Supreme Bishop. Thus
two factions of the IFI were created. Thus,

Bishop Isabelo de los Reyes, Jr., was made a coplaintiff in a supplementary complaint. The
faction under Mons. Isabelo de los Reyes, Jr.
according to the statement of the Director of
National Library, issued on 22 May 1947, had 19
bishops and 252 priests while the faction under
Mons. Juan Jamias had 10 bishops and only 40
priests. Thus on 23 June 1947, the Secretary of
Public Instruction promulgated an order to the
effect that for administrative purposes, Mons.
Isabelo de los Reyes, Jr., was recognized as sole
head of the IFI and the applications of priests of
said church for permits to solemnize marriages
would be granted if it were shown thereon that
they recognized Isabelo de los Reyes, Jr., as the
Obispo Maximo of said church. The Supreme
Court, however, denied the power of the
Secretary to stop the Fonacier group from
obtaining licenses to solemnize marriages. On 22
January 1948, the bishop and priests under Mons.
De los Reyes, Jr., had increased from 252 to 293
while those under Mons. Jamias were only 64
and Mons. De los Reyes, Jr. was duly registered
as "corporation sole for the administration of the
temporalities of the Iglesia Filipina
Independiente, pursuant to the provisions of
Articles 154-164 of the Corporation Law." On 17
May 1950, the trial court rendered judgment
declaring Mons. Isabelo de los Reyes, Jr. as the
sole and legitimate Supreme Bishop of the IFI,
and ordering Mons. Fonacier to render an
accounting of his administration of the properties
and funds of the church "from the time he began
occupying the position of Secretario de
Economia Temporal thereof until the present
When the case was taken to the Court of
Appeals, the latter found the decision of the
Court of origin in accordance with law and the
evidence and affirmed the same in toto. The case
was elevated to the Superme Court by virtue of a
petition for review interposed by Mons. Fonacier.
Issue: Whether the civil courts have jurisdiction
to determine the legality of the ouster of certain
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WLC School of Law

bishops of the IPI, to determine the proper

faction to hold the churchs property, and/or pass
upon matters involving the churchs amendment
of its constitution, etc.
Held: Where a decision of an ecclesiastical court
plainly violates the law it professes to administer,
or is in conflict with the laws of the land, it will
not be followed by the civil courts. In some
instances, not only have the civil courts assumed
the right to inquire into the jurisdiction of
religious tribunals and the regularity of their
procedure, but they have subjected their
decisions to the test of fairness or to the test
furnished by the constitution and laws of the
church. Thus, it has been held that expulsion of a
member without notice or an opportunity to be
heard is not conclusive upon the civil courts
when a property right is involved. Where there is
a schism which leads to a separation into distinct
and conflicting bodies, the rights of such bodies
to the use of the property must be determined by
ordinary principles which govern voluntary
associations. If the principle of government in
such cases is that the majority rules, then the
numerical majority of members must control the
right to the use of the property. If there be within
the congregation officers in whom are vested the
powers of such control, then those who adhere in
the acknowledged organism by which the body is
governed are entitled to the use of the property.
The minority in choosing to separate themselves
into a distinct body, and refusing to recognize the
authority of the government body, can claim no
rights in the property from the fact that they had
once been members of the church or
congregation. Herein, the properties of the IFI
are held by a religious congregation, and that the
numerical majority is on the side of the faction of
Mons. de los Reyes, et. al. where the number of
its bishops and priests, as of 22 January 1948,
were 293 as against 64 of Mons. Fonacier's
group. On the other hand, the amendments of the
constitution, restatement of articles of religion
and abandonment of faith or abjuration alleged
by Mons. Fonacier, having to do with faith,

practice, doctrine, form of worship, ecclesiastical

law, custom and rule of a church and having
reference to the power of excluding from the
church those allegedly unworthy of membership,
are unquestionably ecclesiastical matters which
are outside the province of the civil courts.
11. Estrada vs. Escritor [AM P-02-1651, 4
August 2003]
Facts: In a sworn letter-complaint dated 27 July
2000, Alejandro Estrada wrote to Judge Jose F.
Caoibes, Jr., presiding judge of Branch 253,
Regional Trial Court of Las Pias City,
requesting for an investigation of rumors that
Soledad Escritor, court interpreter in said court,
is living with a man not her husband. They
allegedly have a child of 18 to 20 years old.
Estrada is not personally related either to Escritor
or her partner and is a resident not of Las Pias
City but of Bacoor, Cavite. Nevertheless, he filed
the charge against Escritor as he believes that she
is committing an immoral act that tarnishes the
image of the court, thus she should not be
allowed to remain employed therein as it might
appear that the court condones her act. Judge
Caoibes referred the letter to Escritor who stated
that "there is no truth as to the veracity of the
allegation" and challenged Estrada to "appear in
the open and prove his allegation in the proper
forum." Judge Caoibes set a preliminary
conference on 12 October 2000. Escritor moved
for the inhibition of Judge Caoibes from hearing
her case to avoid suspicion and bias as she
previously filed an administrative complaint
against him and said case was still pending in the
Office of the Court Administrator (OCA).
Escritor's motion was denied. The preliminary
conference proceeded with both Estrada and
Escritor in attendance. Estrada confirmed that he
filed the letter-complaint for immorality against
Escritor because in his frequent visits to the Hall
of Justice of Las Pias City, he learned from
conversations therein that Escritor was living
with a man not her husband and that she had an
18-20 year old son by this man. This prompted
him to write to Judge Caoibes as he believed that
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employees of the judiciary should be respectable

and Escritor's live-in arrangement did not
command respect. Escritor, on the other hand,
testified that when she entered the judiciary in
1999, she was already a widow, her husband
having died in 1998. She admitted that she has
been living with Luciano Quilapio, Jr. without
the benefit of marriage for 20 years and that they
have a son. But as a member of the religious sect
known as the Jehovah's Witnesses and the Watch
Tower and Bible Tract Society, their conjugal
arrangement is in conformity with their religious
beliefs. In fact, after 10 years of living together,
she executed on 28 July 1991 a "Declaration of
Pledging Faithfulness." Escritor's partner,
Quilapio, executed a similar pledge on the same
day. Both pledges were executed in Atimonan,
Quezon and signed by 3 witnesses. At the time
Escritor executed her pledge, her husband was
still alive but living with another woman.
Quilapio was likewise married at that time, but
had been separated in fact from his wife. During
her testimony, Escritor volunteered to present
members of her congregation to confirm the
truthfulness of their "Declarations of Pledging
Faithfulness," but Judge Caoibes deemed it
unnecessary and considered her identification of
her signature and the signature of Quilapio
sufficient authentication of the documents. Judge
Caoibes endorsed the complaint to Executive
Judge Manuel B. Fernandez, Jr., who, in turn,
endorsed the same to Court Administrator
Alfredo L. Benipayo. On 17 July 2001, the
Court, upon recommendation of Acting Court
Administrator Zenaida N. Elepao, directed
Escritor to comment on the charge against her. In
her comment, Escritor reiterated her religious
congregation's approval of her conjugal
arrangement with Quilapio. Deputy Court
Administrator Christopher O. Lock
recommended that the case be referred to
Executive Judge Bonifacio Sanz Maceda, RTC
Branch 255, Las Pias City for investigation,
report and recommendation. In his Report and
Recommendation, investigating judge Maceda
found Escritor's factual allegations credible as

they were supported by testimonial and

documentary evidence. He also noted that "(b)y
strict Catholic standards, the live-in relationship
of respondent with her mate should fall within
the definition of immoral conduct, to wit: 'that
which is willful, flagrant, or shameless, and
which shows a moral indifference to the opinion
of the good and respectable members of the
community'" He pointed out, however, that "the
more relevant question is whether or not to exact
from Escritor, a member of 'Jehovah's Witnesses,'
the strict moral standards of the Catholic faith in
determining her administrative responsibility in
the case at bar." The investigating judge
acknowledged that "religious freedom is a
fundamental right which is entitled to the highest
priority and the amplest protection among human
rights, for it involves the relationship of man to
his Creator and thereby recommended the
dismissal of the complaint against Escritor. After
considering the Report and Recommendation of
Executive Judge Maceda, the Office of the Court
Administrator, through Deputy Court
Administrator (DCA) Lock and with the
approval of Court Administrator Presbitero
Velasco, concurred with the factual findings of
Judge Maceda but departed from his
recommendation to dismiss the complaint. DCA
Lock stressed that although Escritor had become
capacitated to marry by the time she joined the
judiciary as her husband had died a year before,
"it is due to her relationship with a married man,
voluntarily carried on, that respondent may still
be subject to disciplinary action." Considering
the ruling of the Court in Dicdican v. Fernan, et
al. that "court personnel have been enjoined to
adhere to the exacting standards of morality and
decency in their professional and private conduct
in order to preserve the good name and integrity
of the court of justice," DCA Lock found
Escritor's defense of freedom of religion
unavailing to warrant dismissal of the charge of
immorality. Accordingly, he recommended that
Escritor be found guilty of immorality and that
she be penalized with suspension of 6 months
and one day without pay with a warning that a
Constitutional Law II | Case Pool by Nikki Sia
WLC School of Law

repetition of a similar act will be dealt with more

severely in accordance with the Civil Service
Issue: Whether Escritor's right to religious
freedom should carve out an exception from the
prevailing jurisprudence on illicit relations for
which government employees are held
administratively liable.
Held: The case being one of first impression, the
claim of religious freedom is subjected to the
"compelling state interest" test from a benevolent
neutrality stance - i.e. entertaining the possibility
that Escritor's claim to religious freedom would
warrant carving out an exception from the Civil
Service Law; necessarily, her defense of religious
freedom will be unavailing should the
government succeed in demonstrating a more
compelling state interest. In applying the test, the
first inquiry is whether Escritor's right to
religious freedom has been burdened. There is no
doubt that choosing between keeping her
employment and abandoning her religious belief
and practice and family on the one hand, and
giving up her employment and keeping her
religious practice and family on the other hand,
puts a burden on her free exercise of religion.
The burden on Escritor is even greater as the
price she has to pay for her employment is not
only her religious precept but also her family
which, by the Declaration Pledging Faithfulness,
stands "honorable before God and men." The
second step is to ascertain Escritor's sincerity in
her religious belief. The accused appears to be
sincere in her religious belief and practice and is
not merely using the "Declaration of Pledging
Faithfulness" to avoid punishment for
immorality. She did not secure the Declaration
only after entering the judiciary where the moral
standards are strict and defined, much less only
after an administrative case for immorality was
filed against her. The Declaration was issued to
her by her congregation after 10 years of living
together with her partner, Quilapio, and 10 years
before she entered the judiciary. In any event,

even if the Court deems sufficient Escritor's

evidence on the sincerity of her religious belief
and its centrality in her faith, the case cannot still
be decided using the "compelling state interest"
test. The case is one of first impression, thus the
parties were not aware of the burdens of proof
they should discharge in the Court's use of the
"compelling state interest" test. To properly settle
the issue, the government should be given the
opportunity to demonstrate the compelling state
interest it seeks to uphold in opposing Escritor's
stance that her conjugal arrangement is not
immoral and punishable as it comes within the
scope of free exercise protection. Should the
Court prohibit and punish her conduct where it is
protected by the Free Exercise Clause, the
Court's action would be an unconstitutional
encroachment of her right to religious freedom.
The Court cannot therefore simply take a passing
look at Escritor's claim of religious freedom, but
must instead apply the "compelling state interest"
test. The government must be heard on the issue
as it has not been given an opportunity to
discharge its burden of demonstrating the state's
compelling interest which can override
respondent's religious belief and practice. Thus,
the case was remanded to the Office of the Court
12. West Virginia State Board of Education
vs. Barnette [319 US 624, 14 June 1943]
Facts: Following the decision by the US Supreme
Court on 3 June 1940 in Minersville School
District v. Gobitis (310 U.S. 586 , 60 S.Ct. 1010,
127 A.L.R. 1493), the West Virginia legislature
amended its statutes to require all schools therein
to conduct courses of instruction in history,
civics, and in the Constitutions of the United
States and of the State "for the purpose of
teaching, fostering and perpetuating the ideals,
principles and spirit of Americanism, and
increasing the knowledge of the organization and
machinery of the government." The Board of
Education was directed, with advice of the State
Superintendent of Schools, to "prescribe the
courses of study covering these subjects" for
Constitutional Law II | Case Pool by Nikki Sia
WLC School of Law

public schools. The Act made it the duty of

private, parochial and denominational schools to
prescribe courses of study "similar to those
required for the public schools." The Board of
Education on 9 January 1942, adopted a
resolution containing recitals taken largely from
the Court's Gobitis opinion and ordering that the
salute to the flag become "a regular part of the
program of activities in the public schools," that
all teachers and pupils "shall be required to
participate in the salute honoring the Nation
represented by the Flag; provided, however, that
refusal to salute the Flag be regarded as an Act of
insubordination, and shall be dealt with
accordingly." The resolution originally required
the "commonly accepted salute to the Flag"
which it defined. Objections to the salute as
"being too much like Hitler's" were raised by the
Parent and Teachers Association, the Boy and
Girl Scouts, the Red Cross, and the Federation of
Women's Clubs. Some modification appears to
have been made in deference to these objections,
but no concession was made to Jehovah's
Witnesses. What is now required is the "stiffarm" salute, the saluter to keep the right hand
raised with palm turned up while the following is
repeated: "I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the
United States of America and to the Republic for
which it stands; one Nation, indivisible, with
liberty and justice for all." Failure to conform is
"insubordination" dealt with by expulsion.
Readmission is denied by statute until
compliance. Meanwhile the expelled child is
"unlawfully absent" and may be proceeded
against as a delinquent. His parents or guardians
are liable to prosecution, and if convicted are
subject to fine not exceeding $50 and jail term
not exceeding thirty days. Certain citizens of the
United States and of West Virginia, including
Barnette, et. al., brought suit in the United States
District Court for themselves and others similarly
situated asking its injunction to restrain
enforcement of these laws and regulations
against Jehovah's Witnesses. The Witnesses are
an unincorporated body teaching that the
obligation imposed by law of God is superiod to

that of laws enacted by temporal government.

Their religious beliefs include a literal version of
Exodus, Chapter 20, verses 4 and 5, which says:
"Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven
image, or any likeness of anything that is in
heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or
that is in the water under the earth; thou shalt not
bow down thyself to them nor serve them." They
consider that the flag is an "image" within this
command. For this reason they refuse to salute it.
Children of this faith have been expelled from
school and are threatened with exclusion for no
other cause. Officials threaten to send them to
reformatories maintained for criminally inclined
juveniles. Parents of such children have been
prosecuted and are threatened with prosecutions
for causing delinquency. The District Court
restrained enforcement as to the Witnesses and
those of that class. The Board of Education
brought the case to the US Supreme Court by
direct appeal.
Issue: Whether compulsion in saluting the flag,
as employed herein, is a permissible means for
its achievement.
Held: In connection with the pledges, the flag
salute is a form of utterance. Symbolism is a
primitive but effective way of communicating
ideas. The use of an emblem or flag to symbolize
some system, idea, institution, or personality, is a
short cut from mind to mind. Causes and nations,
political parties, lodges and ecclesiastical groups
seek to knit the loyalty of their followings to a
flag or banner, a color or design. The State
announces rank, function, and authority through
crowns and maces, uniforms and black robes; the
church speaks through the Cross, the Crucifix,
the altar and shrine, and clerical reiment.
Symbols of State often convey political ideas just
as religious symbols come to convey theological
ones. Associated with many of these symbols are
appropriate gestures of acceptance or respect: a
salute, a bowed or bared head, a bended knee. A
person gets from a symbol the meaning he puts
into it, and what is one man's comfort and
Constitutional Law II | Case Pool by Nikki Sia
WLC School of Law

inspiration is another's jest and scorn. The

compulsory flag salute and pledge requires
affirmation of a belief and an attitude of mind. It
is not clear whether the regulation contemplates
that pupils forego any contrary convictions of
their own and become unwilling converts to the
prescribed ceremony or whether it will be
acceptable if they simulate assent by words
without belief and by a gesture barren of
meaning. It is now a commonplace that
censorship or suppression of expression of
opinion is tolerated by the Constitution only
when the expression presents a clear and present
danger of action of a kind the State is empowered
to prevent and punish. It would seem that
involuntary affirmation could be commanded
only on even more immediate and urgent
grounds than silence. But here the power of
compulsion is invoked without any allegation
that remaining passive during a flag salute ritual
creates a clear and present danger that would
justify an effort even to muffle expression. To
sustain the compulsory flag salute, the Court is
required to say that a Bill of Rights which guards
the individual's right to speak his own mind, left
it open to public authorities to compel him to
utter what is not in his mind. Struggles to coerce
uniformity of sentiment in support of some end
thought essential to their time and country have
been waged by many good as well as by evil
men. Nationalism is a relatively recent
phenomenon but at other times and places the
ends have been racial or territorial security,
support of a dynasty or regime, and particular
plans for saving souls. As first and moderate
methods to attain unity have failed, those bent on
its accomplishment must resort to an everincreasing severity. As governmental pressure
toward unity becomes greater, so strife becomes
more bitter as to whose unity it shall be.
Probably no deeper division of our people could
proceed from any provocation than from finding
it necessary to choose what doctrine and whose
program public educational officials shall compel
youth to unite in embracing. Compulsory
unification of opinion achieves only the

unanimity of the graveyard. It seems trite but

necessary to say that the First Amendment to our
Constitution was designed to avoid these ends by
avoiding these beginnings. There is no mysticism
in the American concept of the State or of the
nature or origin of its authority. We set up
government by consent of the governed, and the
Bill of Rights denies those in power any legal
opportunity to coerce that consent. Authority
here is to be controlled by public opinion, not
public opinion by authority. Thus, the limitations
of the Constitution are applied with no fear that
freedom to be intellectually and spiritually
diverse or even contrary will disintegrate the
social organization. To believe that patriotism
will not flourish if patriotic ceremonies are
voluntary and spontaneous instead of a
compulsory routine is to make an unflattering
estimate of the appeal of our institutions to free
minds. We can have intellectual individualism
and the rich cultural diversities that we owe to
exceptional minds only at the price of occasional
eccentricity and abnormal attitudes. When they
are so harmless to others or to the State as those
we deal with here, the price is not too great. But
freedom to differ is not limited to things that do
not matter much. That would be a mere shadow
of freedom. The test of its substance is the right
to differ as to things that touch the heart of the
existing order. If there is any fixed star in our
constitutional constellation, it is that no official,
high or petty, can prescribe what shall be
orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or
other matters of opinion or force citizens to
confess by word or act their faith therein. If there
are any circumstances which permit an
exception, they do not now occur to the Court.
The action of the local authorities in compelling
the flag salute and pledge transcends
constitutional limitations on their power and
invades the sphere of intellect and spirit which it
is the purpose of the First Amendment to our
Constitution to reserve from all official control.
13. Ebralinag vs. Division Superintendent of
Schools of Cebu [GR 95770, 1 March
Constitutional Law II | Case Pool by Nikki Sia
WLC School of Law

1993]; also Amolo vs. Division

Superintendent of Schools of Cebu [GR
Facts: 43 students of the Daanbantayan National
High School, Agujo Elementary School, Calape
Barangay National High School, Pinamungajan
Provincial High School, Tabuelan Central
School, Canasojan Elementary School, Liboron
Elementary School, Tagaytay Primary School,
San Juan Primary School and Northern Central
Elementary School of San Fernando, Cebu, were
expelled (23 October 1990) upon order of then
Acting Division Superintendent Marcelo
Bacalso. Said students in the towns of Daan
Bantayan, Pinamungajan, Carcar, and Taburan,
Cebu province (GR 95770, Ebralinag vs.
Division Superintendent) were expelled for
refusing to salute the flag, sing the national
anthem and recite the patriotic pledge as required
by Republic Act 1265 (11 July 1955), and by
Department Order 8 dated 21 July 1955 of the
Department of Education, Culture and Sports
(DECS) making the flag ceremony compulsory
in all educational institutions. This prompted
some Jehovah's Witnesses in Cebu to appeal to
the Secretary of Education Isidro Cario but the
latter did not answer their letter. 25 students who
were similarly expelled (high school and grade
school students enrolled in public schools in
Asturias, Cebu [GR 95887, Amolo vs. Director
Superintendent]) because Dr. Pablo Antopina,
who succeeded Susana Cabahug as Division
Superintendent of Schools, would not recall the
expulsion orders of his predecessor. Instead, he
verbally caused the expulsion of some more
children of Jehovah's Witnesses. On 31 October
1990, the students and their parents filed the
Special civil actions for Mandamus, Certiorari
and Prohibition alleging that the Division
Superintendent of Schools of Cebu, et. al. acted
without or in excess of their jurisdiction and with
grave abuse of discretion in ordering their
expulsion without prior notice and hearing,
hence, in violation of their right to due process,
their right to free public education, and their right

to freedom of speech, religion and worship.

Jehovah's Witnesses admittedly teach their
children not to salute the flag, sing the national
anthem, and recite the patriotic pledge for they
believe that those are "acts of worship" or
"religious devotion" which they "cannot
conscientiously give to anyone or anything
except God." They feel bound by the Bible's
command to "guard ourselves from idols 1
John 5:21." They consider the flag as an image or
idol representing the State. They think the action
of the local authorities in compelling the flag
salute and pledge transcends constitutional
limitations on the State's power and invades the
sphere of the intellect and spirit which the
Constitution protects against official control.
They stress, however, that while they do not take
part in the compulsory flag ceremony, they do
not engage in "external acts" or behavior that
would offend their countrymen who believe in
expressing their love of country through the
observance of the flag ceremony. They quietly
stand at attention during the flag ceremony to
show their respect for the right of those who
choose to participate in the solemn proceedings.
Since they do not engage in disruptive behavior,
there is no warrant for their expulsion. On 27
November 1990, the Court issued a temporary
restraining order and a writ of preliminary
mandatory injunction commanding the Division
Superintendent to immediately readmit the
students to their respective classes until further
orders from the Court. The Court also ordered
the Secretary of Education and Cebu District
Supervisor Manuel F. Biongcog to be impleaded
as respondents in the cases.
Issue: Whether the students, who belong to the
Jehovahs Witness sect, should be expelled
(following the holding in the case of Gerona) for
not saluting the flag in accordance with RA 1265.
Held: Religious freedom is a fundamental right
which is entitled to the highest priority and the
amplest protection among human rights, for it
involves the relationship of man to his Creator.
Constitutional Law II | Case Pool by Nikki Sia
WLC School of Law

The right to religious profession and worship has

a two-fold aspect, vis., freedom to believe and
freedom to act on one's belief. The first is
absolute as long as the belief is confined within
the realm of thought. The second is subject to
regulation where the belief is translated into
external acts that affect the public welfare. The
sole justification for a prior restraint or limitation
on the exercise of religious freedom is the
existence of a grave and present danger of a
character both grave and imminent, of a serious
evil to public safety, public morals, public health
or any other legitimate public interest, that the
State has a right (and duty) to prevent. Absent
such a threat to public safety, the expulsion of the
students from the schools is not justified. By
exempting the Jehovah's Witnesses from saluting
the flag, singing the national anthem and reciting
the patriotic pledge, this religious which
admittedly comprises a "small portion of the
school population" will not shake up our part of
the globe and suddenly produce a nation
"untaught and uninculcated in and unimbued
with reverence for the flag, patriotism, love of
country and admiration for national heroes."
After all, what the students seek only is
exemption from the flag ceremony, not exclusion
from the public schools where they may study
the Constitution, the democratic way of life and
form of government, and learn not only the arts,
science, Philippine history and culture but also
receive training for a vocation or profession and
be taught the virtues of "patriotism, respect for
human rights, appreciation for national heroes,
the rights and duties of citizenship, and moral
and spiritual values as part of the curricula.
Expelling or banning the students from
Philippine schools will bring about the very
situation that this Court had feared in Gerona.
Forcing a small religious group, through the iron
hand of the law, to participate in a ceremony that
violates their religious beliefs, will hardly be
conducive to love of country or respect for duly
constituted authorities. Moreover, the expulsion
of members of Jehovah's Witnesses from the
schools where they are enrolled will violate their

right as Philippine citizens, under the 1987

Constitution, to receive free education, for it is
the duty of the State to "protect and promote the
right of all citizens to quality education and to
make such education accessible to all." While it
is certain that not every conscience can be
accommodated by all the laws of the land; when
general laws conflict with scruples of conscience,
exemptions ought to be granted unless some
"compelling state interests" intervenes.
Exemptions may be accorded to the Jehovah's
Witnesses with regard to the observance of the
flag ceremony out of respect for their religious
beliefs, however "bizarre" those beliefs may
seem to others. Nevertheless, their right not to
participate in the flag ceremony does not give
them a right to disrupt such patriotic exercises.
While the highest regard must be afforded their
right to the exercise of their religion, "this should
not be taken to mean that school authorities are
powerless to discipline them" if they should
commit breaches of the peace by actions that
offend the sensibilities, both religious and
patriotic, of other persons. If they quietly stand at
attention during the flag ceremony while their
classmates and teachers salute the flag, sing the
national anthem and recite the patriotic pledge,
such conduct cannot possibly disturb the peace,
or pose "a grave and present danger of a serious
evil to public safety, public morals, public health
or any other legitimate public interest that the
State has a right (and duty) to prevent." Thus,
although the Court upholds the students' right
under our Constitution to refuse to salute the
Philippine flag on account of their religious
beliefs, it hopes, nevertheless, that another
foreign invasion of our country will not be
necessary in order for our countrymen to
appreciate and cherish the Philippine flag.

the Philippines through its Philippine agency

established in Manila in November 1898. The
City of Manila, is a municipal corporation with
powers that are to be exercised in conformity
with the provisions of Republic Act 409,
(Revised Charter of the City of Manila). In the
course of its ministry, the Society's Philippine
agency has been distributing and selling bibles
and/or gospel portions thereof (except during the
Japanese occupation) throughout the Philippines
and translating the same into several Philippine
dialects. On 29 May 1953, the acting City
Treasurer of the City of Manila informed the
Society that it was conducting the business of
general merchandise since November 1945,
without providing itself with the necessary
Mayor's permit and municipal license, in
violation of Ordinance 3000, as amended, and
Ordinances 2529, 3028 and 3364, and required
the Society to secure, within 3 days, the
corresponding permit and license fees, together
with compromise covering the period from the
4th quarter of 1945 to the 2nd quarter of 1953, in
the total sum of P5,821.45. On 24 October 1953,
the Society paid to the City under protest the said
permit and license fees, giving at the same time
notice to the City Treasurer that suit would be
taken in court to question the legality of the
ordinances under which the said fees were being
collected, which was done on the same date by
filing the complaint that gave rise to the present
action. After hearing, the lower court dismissed
the complaint for lack of merit. The Society
appealed to the Court of Appeals, which in turn
certified the case to the Supreme Court for the
reason that the errors assigned involved only
questions of law.

14. American Bible Society v. City of Manila

[GR L-9637, 30 April 1957]

Issue: Whether the City Treasurer may impose

permit fee upon the religious organization before
the latter may distribute and sell bibles with the
City of Manila.

Facts: The American Bible Society, is a foreign,

non-stock, non-profit, religious, missionary
corporation duly registered and doing business in

Held: Article III, section 1, clause (7) of the

Constitution guarantees the freedom of religious
profession and worship. Religion has been

Constitutional Law II | Case Pool by Nikki Sia

WLC School of Law

spoken of as 'a profession of faith to an active

power that binds and elevates man to its Creator.
It has reference to one's views of his relations to
His Creator and to the obligations they impose of
reverence to His being and character, and
obedience to His Will. The constitutional
guaranty of the free exercise and enjoyment of
religious profession and worship carries with it
the right to disseminate religious information.
Any restraint of such right can only be justified
like other restraints of freedom of expression on
the grounds that there is a clear and present
danger of any substantive evil which the State
has the right to prevent. A tax on the income of
one who engages in religious activities is
different from a tax on property used or
employed in connection with those activities. It
is one thing to impose a tax on the income or
property of a preacher. It is quite another thing to
exact a tax from him for the privilege of
delivering a sermon. The power to tax the
exercise of a privilege is the power to control or
suppress its enjoyment. The power to impose a
license tax on the exercise of these freedoms is
indeed as potent as the power of censorship
which this Court has repeatedly struck down. It is
not a nominal fee imposed as a regulatory
measure to defray the expenses of policing the
activities in question. It is in no way apportioned.
It is flat license tax levied and collected as a
condition to the pursuit of activities whose
enjoyment is guaranteed by the constitutional
liberties of press and religion and inevitably
tends to suppress their exercise. Such is the
inherent vice and evil of a flat license tax.
Dissemination of religious information cannot be
conditioned upon the approval of an official or
manager. The right to enjoy freedom of the press
and religion occupies a preferred position as
against the constitutional right of property
owners. Herein, Section 27 (e) of
Commonwealth Act 466 (NIRC) -- which
exempts corporations or associations organized
and operated exclusively for religious, charitable,
or educational purposes, Provided however, That
the income of whatever kind and character from
Constitutional Law II | Case Pool by Nikki Sia
WLC School of Law

any of its properties, real or personal, or from

any activity conducted for profit, regardless of
the disposition made of such income, shall be
liable to the tax imposed under the Code -- does
not apply to the Society as its act of distributing
and selling bibles, etc. is purely religious in
nature. Ordinance 2529, as amended, cannot as
well be applied to the Society, for in doing so it
would impair its free exercise and enjoyment of
its religious profession and worship as well as its
rights of dissemination of religious beliefs. The
fact that the price of the bibles and other
religious pamphlets are little higher than the
actual cost of the same does not necessarily mean
that it is already engaged in the business or
occupation of selling said merchandise for
profit. Lastly, Ordinance 3000 of the City of
Manila, which requires the obtention of the
Mayor's permit before any person can engage in
any of the businesses, trades or occupations
enumerated therein, is not applicable to the
Society, as its business, trade or occupation is not
particularly mentioned in Section 3 of the
Ordinance, and the record does not show that a
permit is required therefor under existing laws
and ordinances for the proper supervision and
enforcement of their provisions governing the
sanitation, security and welfare of the public and
the health of the employees engaged in the
business of the Society
15. Jimmy Swaggart Ministries vs. Board of
Equalization of California [493 US 378,
17 January 1990]
Facts: California's Sales and Use Tax Law
requires retailers to pay a sales tax "for the
privilege of selling tangible personal property at
retail." The use tax, as a complement to the sales
tax, reaches out-of-state purchases by residents
of the State. It is "imposed on the storage, use, or
other consumption in this state of tangible
personal property purchased from any retailer,"
at the same rate as the sales tax (6 percent).
Although the use tax is imposed on the
purchaser, it is generally collected by the retailer
at the time the sale is made. Neither the State

Constitution nor the State Sales and Use Tax Law

exempts religious organizations from the sales
and use tax, apart from a limited exemption for
the serving of meals by religious organizations.
During the tax period from 1974 to 1981, Jimmy
Swaggart Ministries was a religious organization
incorporated as a Louisiana nonprofit corporation
and recognized as such by the Internal Revenue
Service pursuant to 501(c)(3) of the Internal
Revenue Code of 1954, as amended, and by the
California State Controller pursuant to the
Inheritance Tax and Gift Tax Laws of the State of
California. The Ministry's constitution and
bylaws provide that it "is called for the purpose
of establishing and maintaining an evangelistic
outreach for the worship of Almighty God." This
outreach is to be performed "by all available
means, both at home and in foreign lands," and
"shall specifically include evangelistic crusades;
missionary endeavors; radio broadcasting (as
owner, broadcaster, and placement agency);
television broadcasting (both as owner and
broadcaster); and audio production and
reproduction of music; audio production and
reproduction of preaching; audio production and
reproduction of teaching; writing, printing and
publishing; and, any and all other individual or
mass media methods that presently exist or may
be devised in the future to proclaim the good
news of Jesus Christ." From 1974 to 1981, the
Ministry conducted numerous "evangelistic
crusades" in auditoriums and arenas across the
country in cooperation with local churches.
During this period, it held 23 crusades in
California - each lasting 1 to 3 days, with one
crusade lasting 6 days - for a total of 52 days. At
the crusades, the Ministry conducted religious
services that included preaching and singing.
Some of these services were recorded for later
sale or broadcast. It also sold religious books,
tapes, records, and other religious and
nonreligious merchandise at the crusades. The
Ministry also published a monthly magazine,
"The Evangelist," which was sold nationwide by
subscription. The magazine contained articles of
a religious nature as well as advertisements for
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the Ministry's religious books, tapes, and records.

The magazine included an order form listing the
various items for sale in the particular issue and
their unit price, with spaces for purchasers to fill
in the quantity desired and the total price.
Appellant also offered its items for sale through
radio, television, and cable television broadcasts,
including broadcasts through local California
stations. In 1980, the Board of Equalization of
the State of California informed the Ministry that
religious materials were not exempt from the
sales tax and requested that the latter to register
as a seller to facilitate reporting and payment of
the tax. The Ministry responded that it was
exempt from such taxes under the First
Amendment. In 1981, the Board audited the
Ministry and advised the latter that it should
register as a seller and report and pay sales tax on
all sales made at its California crusades. The
Board also opined that the Ministry had a
sufficient nexus with the State of California to
require the latter to collect and report use tax on
its mail-order sales to California purchasers.
Based on the sales figures for the Ministry's
religious materials, the Board notified the
Ministry that it owed sales and use taxes of
$118,294.54, plus interest of $36,021.11, and a
penalty of $11,829.45, for a total amount due of
$166,145.10. The Ministry did not contest the
Board's assessment of tax liability for the sale
and use of certain nonreligious merchandise,
including such items as "T-shirts with JSM logo,
mugs, bowls, plates, replicas of crown of thorns,
ark of the covenant, Roman coin, candlesticks,
Bible stand, pen and pencil sets, prints of
religious scenes, bud vase, and communion
cups." The Ministry filed a petition for
redetermination with the Board, reiterating its
view that the tax on religious materials violated
the First Amendment. Following a hearing and
an appeal to the Board, the Board deleted the
penalty but otherwise redetermined the matter
without adjustment in the amount of $118,294.54
in taxes owing, plus $65,043.55 in interest.
Pursuant to state procedural law, the Ministry
paid the amount and filed a petition for

redetermination and refund with the Board. . The

Board denied the Ministry's petition, and the
latter brought suit in state court, seeking a refund
of the tax paid. The trial court entered judgment
for the Board, ruling that the Ministry was not
entitled to a refund of any tax. The California
Court of Appeal affirmed, and the California
Supreme Court denied discretionary review.
Issue: Whether the State's imposition of sales and
use tax liability on its sale of religious materials
contravenes the First Amendment's command,
made applicable to the States by the Fourteenth
Amendment, to "make no law respecting an
establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free
exercise thereof."
Held: The Free Exercise Clause "withdraws from
legislative power, state and federal, the exertion
of any restraint on the free exercise of religion.
Its purpose is to secure religious liberty in the
individual by prohibiting any invasions thereof
by civil authority." Indeed, "a regulation neutral
on its face may, in its application, nonetheless
offend the constitutional requirement for
governmental neutrality if it unduly burdens the
free exercise of religion." The free exercise
inquiry asks whether government has placed a
substantial burden on the observation of a central
religious belief or practice and, if so, whether a
compelling governmental interest justifies the
burden. Issue: Whether the tax imposed on the
Ministry acts as prior restraint to the free
exercise of religious beliefs. Held: Unlike flat
license taxes, which operate as a precondition to
the exercise of evangelistic activity, the
registration requirement herein and the tax itself
do not act as prior restraints - no fee is charged
for registering, the tax is due regardless of
preregistration, and the tax is not imposed as a
precondition of disseminating the message. Thus,
the tax at issue in the present case is akin to a
generally applicable income or property tax,
which may constitutionally be imposed on
religious activity. Collection and payment of the
Constitutional Law II | Case Pool by Nikki Sia
WLC School of Law

tax does not violate the Ministry's sincere

religious beliefs. California's nondiscriminatory
Sales and Use Tax Law requires only that the
Ministry collect the tax from its California
purchasers and remit the tax money to the State.
The only burden on the Ministry is the claimed
reduction in income resulting from the
presumably lower demand for the Ministry's
wares (caused by the marginally higher price)
and from the costs associated with administering
the tax. To the extent that imposition of a
generally applicable tax merely decreases the
amount of money the Ministry has to spend on its
religious activities, any such burden is not
constitutionally significant. Though the Court
does not doubt the economic cost to the Ministry
of complying with a generally applicable sales
and use tax, such a tax is no different from other
generally applicable laws and regulations - such
as health and safety regulations - to which the
Ministry must adhere. Finally, in no sense has the
State "conditioned receipt of an important benefit
upon conduct proscribed by a religious faith, or
denied such a benefit because of conduct
mandated by religious belief, thereby putting
substantial pressure on an adherent to modify his
behavior and to violate his beliefs. The Ministry
has never alleged that the mere act of paying the
tax, by itself, violates its sincere religious beliefs.
In fine, the collection and payment of the
generally applicable tax in the present case
imposes no constitutionally significant burden on
the Ministry's religious practices or beliefs. The
Free Exercise Clause accordingly does not
require the State to grant the Ministry an
exemption from its generally applicable sales and
use tax. Although it is of course possible to
imagine that a more onerous tax rate, even if
generally applicable, might effectively choke off
an adherent's religious practices (the burden of a
flat tax could render itinerant evangelism
"crushed and closed out by the sheer weight of
the toll or tribute which is exacted town by
town"), no such situation appears in the present

16. Pamil vs. Teleron [GR L-34854, 20

November 1978]
Facts: Father Margarito R. Gonzaga, was, in
1971, elected to the position of municipal mayor
of Alburquerque, Bohol. Thereafter, he was duly
proclaimed. A suit for quo warranto was then
filed by Fortunato R. Pamil, himself an aspirant
for the office, for his disqualification based on
the Administrative Code provision, which
providest that "In no case shall there be elected
or appointed to a municipal office ecclesiastics,
soldiers in active service, persons receiving
salaries or compensation from provincial or
national funds, or contractors for public works of
the municipality." The suit did not prosper as
Judge Victorino C. Teleron, as Judge of the Court
of First Instance of Bohol (Branch III) sustained
the right of Father Gonzaga to the office of
municipal mayor. He ruled that such statutory
ineligibility was impliedly repealed by the
Election Code of 1971. The matter was then
elevated to the Supreme Court Tribunal by
Issue: Whether an ecclesiastic or a priest may be
elected as a public official.
Held: The challenged Administrative Code
provision, certainly insofar as it declares
ineligible ecclesiastics to any elective or
appointive office, is, on its face, inconsistent with
the religious freedom guaranteed by the
Constitution. To so exclude them is to impose a
religious test. Torcaso v. Watkins, an American
Supreme Court decision, has persuasive weight.
What was there involved was the validity of a
provision in the Maryland Constitution
prescribing that "no religious test ought ever to
be required as a disqualification for any office or
profit or trust in this State, other than a
declaration of belief in the existence of God."
Such a constitutional requirement was assailed as
contrary to the First Amendment of the United
States Constitution by an appointee to the office
of notary public in Maryland, who was refused a
commission as he would not declare a belief in
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God. He failed in the Maryland Court of Appeals

but prevailed in the United States Supreme
Court, which reversed the state court decision. It
could not have been otherwise. As emphatically
declared by Justice Black: "this Maryland
religious test for public office unconstitutionally
invades the appellant's freedom of belief and
religion and therefore cannot be enforced against
him. The analogy appears to be obvious. In that
case, it was lack of belief in God that was a
disqualification. Here being an ecclesiastic and
therefore professing a religious faith suffices to
disqualify for a public office. There is thus an
incompatibility between the Administrative Code
provision relied upon by Pamil and an express
constitutional mandate. It is not a valid argument
against this conclusion to assert that under the
Philippine Autonomy Act of 1916, there was
such a prohibition against a religious test, and yet
such a ban on holding a municipal position had
not been nullified. It suffices to answer that no
question was raised as to its validity. Thus, the
view that the Administrative Code provision is
inoperative by virtue of the mandate of the 1935
Constitution, similarly found in the present
Charter, failed to obtain the necessary eight votes
needed to give it binding force. The attack on the
continuing effectivity of Section 2175 having
failed, it must be given full force and application.
17. Torcaso vs. Watkins [367 US 488, 19
June 1961]
Facts: Article 37 of the Declaration of Rights of
the Maryland Constitution provides that "no
religious test ought ever to be required as a
qualification for any office of profit or trust in
this State, other than a declaration of belief in the
existence of God." Torcaso was appointed to the
office of Notary Public by the Governor of
Maryland but was refused a commission to serve
because he would not declare his belief in God.
He then brought the action in a Maryland Circuit
Court to compel issuance of his commission,
charging that the State's requirement that he
declare this belief violated "the First and
Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of

the United States." The Circuit Court rejected

these federal constitutional contentions, and the
highest court of the State, the Court of Appeals,
affirmed, holding that the state constitutional
provision is self-executing and requires
declaration of belief in God as a qualification for
office without need for implementing legislation.
Hence, the appeal.
Issue: Whether Torcaso may be denied his office
unless he declares his religious beliefs
Held: When our Constitution was adopted, the
desire to put the people "securely beyond the
reach" of religious test oaths brought about the
inclusion in Article VI of that document of a
provision that "no religious Test shall ever be
required as a Qualification to any Office or
public Trust under the United States." Not
satisfied, however, with Article VI and other
guarantees in the original Constitution, the First
Congress proposed and the States very shortly
thereafter adopted our Bill of Rights, including

the First Amendment. That Amendment broke

new constitutional ground in the protection it
sought to afford to freedom of religion, speech,
press, petition and assembly. With these, neither
a State nor the Federal Government can
constitutionally force a person "to profess a
belief or disbelief in any religion." Neither can
constitutionally pass laws or impose
requirements which aid all religions as against
non-believers, and neither can aid those religions
based on a belief in the existence of God as
against those religions founded on different
beliefs. The fact that a person is not compelled to
hold public office cannot possibly be an excuse
for barring him from office by state-imposed
criteria forbidden by the Constitution. This
Maryland religious test for public office
unconstitutionally invades Torcaso's freedom of
belief and religion and therefore cannot be
enforced against him.
18. Gerona, et. al v SEC. OF EDUCATION

106 Phil 2 Aug. 12, 1959

1. Petitioners belong to the Jehovas Witness whose children were expelled from their schools when they
refused to salute, sing the anthem, recite the pledge during the conduct of flag ceremony. DO No. 8 issued by
DECS pursuant to RA 1265 which called for the manner of conduct during a flag ceremony. The p etitioners
wrote the Secretary of Education on their plight and requested to reinstate their children. This was denied.
2. As a result, the petitioners filed for a writ of preliminary injunction against the Secretary and Director of
Public Schools to restrain them from implementing said DO No. 8.
3. The lower court (RTC) declared DO 8 invalid and contrary to the Bill of Rights.
ISSUE: Whether or not DO 8 is valid or constitutional
DO 8 is valid. Saluting the flag is not a religious ritual and it is for the courts to determine, not a religious
group, whether or not a certain practice is one.
1. The court held that the flag is not an image but a symbol of the Republic of the Philippines, an emblem of
national sovereignty, of national unity and cohesion and of freedom and liberty which it and the Constitution
guarantee and protect. Considering the complete separation of church and state in our system of
government, the flag is utterly devoid of any religious significance. Saluting the flag consequently does not
involve any religious ceremony.
After all, the determination of whether a certain ritual is or is not a religious ceremony must rest with the
courts. It cannot be left to a religious group or sect, much less to a follower of said group or sect; otherwise,
there would be confusion and misunderstanding for there might be as many interpretations and meanings to
be given to a certain ritual or ceremony as there are religious groups or sects or followers.
2. The freedom of religious belief guaranteed by the Constitution does not and cannot mean exemption form

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or non-compliance with reasonable and non-discriminatory laws, rules and regulations promulgated by
competent authority. In enforcing the flag salute on the petitioners, there was absolutely no compulsion
involved, and for their failure or refusal to obey school regulations about the flag salute they were not being
persecuted. Neither were they being criminally prosecuted under threat of penal sacntion. If they chose not to
obey the flag salute regulation, they merely lost the benefits of public education being maintained at the
expense of their fellow citizens, nothing more. According to a popular expression, they could take it or leave
it. Having elected not to comply with the regulations about the flag salute, they forfeited their right to attend
public schools.

The Filipino flag is not an image that requires religious veneration; rather it is symbol of the Republic
of the Philippines, of sovereignty, an emblem of freedom, liberty and national unity; that the flag
salute is not a religious ceremony but an act and profession of love and allegiance and pledge of
loyalty to the fatherland which the flag stands for; that by authority of the legislature, the Secretary
of Education was duly authorized to promulgate Department Order No. 8, series of 1955; that the
requirement of observance of the flag ceremony or salute provided for in said Department Order No.
8, does not violate the Constitutional provision about freedom of religion and exercise of religion; that
compliance with the non-discriminatory and reasonable rules and regulations and school discipline,
including observance of the flag ceremony is a prerequisite to attendance in public schools; and that
for failure and refusal to participate in the flag ceremony, petitioners were properly excluded and
dismissed from the public school they were attending.

19. Everson Vs. Board of Education

Brief Fact Summary. The Petitioner, Everson (Petitioner), in his status as a taxpayer, filed suit challenging
the ability of the Respondent, Board of Education (Respondent), to reimburse funds to parents of parochial
Synopsis of Rule of Law. This case stands for the proposition that, while no law respecting an
establishment of religion will stand under the United States Constitution (Constitution), neutral laws, which
afford benefits to children will be upheld.
Facts. The Petitioner in his status as a taxpayer filed suit challenging the ability of the Respondent to
reimburse funds to parents of parochial school students for the transportation of their children to and from
school. The Petitioner brought suit alleging that the New Jersey reimbursement statute respects the
establishment of religion, by allowing the parents of parochial school students to benefit from the
reimbursement scheme. The New Jersey Court of Appeals held that the statute did not violate the
Constitution and the Supreme Court of the United States (Supreme Court) granted certiorari to consider the
Issue. This case considers whether the parents of parochial school children can benefit from the same
services afforded to the parents of public school children.
Held. Affirmed.
In affirming the judgment of the Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court found the statute was not
unconstitutional because it was designed to provide a benefit to the parents of all school children, distinct

20. Centeno VS. Villalon

KTA: Solicitation for religious purposes may be subject to proper regulation by the State in the exercise of
police power. The State has authority under the exercise of its police power to determine whether or not there
shall be restrictions on soliciting by unscrupulous persons or for unworthy causes or for fraudulent purposes.
Certainly the solicitation of contributions in good faith for worthy purposes should not be denied, but
somewhere should be lodged the power to determine within reasonable limits the worthy from the unworthy.
This petition is an appeal on the decision of the Trial Court convicting Centeno and Yco for violating P.D. 1564
known as the Solicitation Permit Law when they both solicited money for the renovation of their chapel
without a permit from the DSWD.

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WLC School of Law

In 1985, the petitioners, officers of Samahang Katandaan ng Nayon ng Tikay, launched a fund drive for the
renovation of their chapel in Bulacan.
The petitioners approached and solicited from Judge Adoracion G. Angeles, a resident of Tikay, a contribution
of P1,500.00. The solicitation was made without a permit from the Department of Social Welfare and
Development (DSWD). Hon. Angeles filed a complaint against the petitioners for violation of P.D. 1564 known
as the Soliciation Permit Law.
P.D. 1564 provides as follows:
Sec. 2. Any person, corporation, organization, or association desiring to solicit or receive contributions
for charitable or public welfare purposes shall first secure a permit from the Regional Offices of the
Department of Social Services and Development as provided in the Integrated Reorganization Plan.

In 1992, the trial court found the petitioners guilty of violating the Solicitation Permit Law.
In this instant case, the petitioners assert among others that the term religious purpose is not expressly
included in the provisions of the statute, hence what the law does not include, it excludes.
Issue: Whether or not the phrase charitable purposes should be construed in the broadest sense so as to
include a religious purpose.
The 1987 Constitution and other statutes treat the words charitable and religious separately and
independently of each other.
In P.D. 1564, it merely stated charitable or public welfare purposes which means that it was not the
intention of the framers of the law to include solicitations for religious purposes. The world religious purpose
is not interchangeable with the expression charitable purpose.
The acts of the petitioners cannot be punished under the said law because the law does not contemplate
solicitation for religious purposes.
The solicitation for religious purposes may be subject to proper regulation by the State in the exercise of
police power. However, in the case at bar, considering that solicitations intended for a religious purpose are
not within the coverage of Presidential Decree No. 1564, as earlier demonstrated, petitioner cannot be held
criminally liable therefor.
The decision appealed from is reversed and set aside, and petitioner Martin Centeno is acquitted of the
offense charged.

Cox Vs. New Hampshire

A New Hampshire town required that a license be obtained before parades could be held within the town. A
group of Jehovah's Witnesses held a sidewalk parade without first obtaining the license and they were fined
for violating the law. The Jehovah's Witnesses challenged the New Hampshire law, saying that its provisions
violated their First Amendment rights. Specifically, they challenged the fee attached to the permit as a means
of suppressing their free speech rights.
Whether time, place, and manner restrictions on holding a parade violate the First Amendment freedoms of
speech and assembly.

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WLC School of Law

Reasoning (9-0)
A unanimous Supreme Court, via Justice Charles Evans Hughes, held that, although the government cannot
regulate the contents of speech, it can place reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions on speech for
the public safety. The Court held that the New Hampshire law was not meant to prohibit speech, but simply to
regulate it when it took the form of a parade or other form of large gathering. The Court said that the
government had a legitimate interest in keeping order at such events, and it could impose a fee for the
license that was proportional to the amount of police presence that would be required to ensure the
peaceable nature of the event.


Garces Vs. Estenzo

Facts: Two resolutions of the Barangay Council of Valencia, Ormoc City were passed:
a. Resolution No. 5- Reviving the traditional socio-religious celebration every fifth of April. This provided for
the acquisition of the image of San Vicente Ferrer and the construction of a waiting shed. Funds for the said
projects will be obtained through the selling of tickets and cash donations.
b. Resolution No. 6- The chairman or hermano mayor of the fiesta would be the caretaker of the image of San
Vicente Ferrer and that the image would remain in his residence for one year and until the election of his
successor. The image would be made available to the Catholic Church during the celebration of the saints
feast day.
These resolutions have been ratified by 272 voters, and said projects were implemented. The image was
temporarily placed in the altar of the Catholic Church of the barangay. However, after a mass, Father Sergio
Marilao Osmea refused to return the image to the barangay council, as it was the churchs property since
church funds were used in its acquisition.
Resolution No. 10 was passed for the authorization of hiring a lawyer for the replevin case against the priest
for the recovery of the image. Resolution No. 12 appointed Brgy. Captain Veloso as a representative to the
case. The priest, in his answer assailed the constitutionality of the said resolutions. The priest with Andres
Garces, a member of the Aglipayan Church, contends that Sec. 8 Article IV1 and Sec 18(2) Article VIII) 2 of the
constitution was violated.
Issue: Whether or Not any freedom of religion clause in the Constitution violated.
Held: No. As said by the Court this case is a petty quarrel over the custody of the image. The image was
purchased in connection with the celebration of the barrio fiesta and not for the purpose of favoring any
religion nor interfering with religious matters or beliefs of the barrio residents. Any activity intended to
facilitate the worship of the patron saint(such as the acquisition) is not illegal. Practically, the image was
placed in a laymans custody so that it could easily be made available to any family desiring to borrow the
image in connection with prayers and novena. It was the councils funds that were used to buy the image,
therefore it is their property. Right of the determination of custody is their right, and even if they decided to
give it to the Church, there is no violation of the Constitution, since private funds were used. Not every
government activity which involves the expenditure of public funds and which has some religious tint is
violative of the constitutional provisions regarding separation of church and state, freedom of worship and
banning the use of public money or property.

German Vs. Barangan

One afternoon in October 1984, Reli German et al went to JP Laurel Sreet to pray and worship at the St. Luke
Chapel. But they were barred by General Santiago Barangan from entering the church because the same is
within the vicinity of the Malacaang. And considering that Germans group is expressively known as the

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August Twenty One Movement who were wearing yellow shirts with clench fists, Barangan deemed that they
were not really there to worship but rather they are there to disrupt the ongoings within the Malacaang.
ISSUE: Whether or not the bar disallowing petitioners to worship and pray at St. Lukes is a violation of their
freedom to worship and locomotion.
HELD: No. In the case at bar, German et al were not denied or restrained of their freedom of belief or choice
of their religion, but only in the manner by which they had attempted to translate the same into action. There
has been a clear manifestation by Barangan et al that they allow German et al to practice their religious
belief but not in the manner that German et al impressed. Such manner impresses clear and present
danger to the executive of the state hence the need to curtail it even at the expense of curtailing ones
freedom to worship.
Dissenting Opinions
J. Fernando It would be an unwarranted departure then from what has been unanimously held in the J.B.L.
Reyes decision if on such a basic right as religious freedom -clearly the most fundamental and thus entitled to
the highest priority among human rights, involving as it does the relationship of man to his Creator -this Court
will be less vigilant in upholding any rightful claim. More than ever, in times of stress -and much more so in
times of crisis -it is that deeply-held faith that affords solace and comfort if not for everyone at least for the
majority of mankind. Without that faith, mans very existence is devoid of meaning, bereft of significance.
J. Teehankee The right to freely exercise ones religion is guaranteed in Section 8 of our Bill of Rights. 7
Freedom of worship, alongside with freedom of expression and speech and peaceable assembly along with
the other intellectual freedoms, are highly ranked in our scheme of constitutional values. It cannot be too
strongly stressed that on the judiciary -even more so than on the other departments -rests the grave and
delicate responsibility of assuring respect for and deference to such preferred rights. No verbal formula, no
sanctifying phrase can, of course, dispense with what has been so felicitously termed by Justice Holmes as
the sovereign prerogative of judgment. Nonetheless, the presumption must be to incline the weight of the
scales of justice on the side of such rights, enjoying as they do precedence and primacy.
J. Makasiar With the assurances aforestated given by both petitioners and respondents, there is no clear
and present danger to public peace and order or to the security of persons within the premises of Malacaang
and the adjacent areas, as the respondents has adopted measures and are prepared to insure against any
public disturbance or violence.


Gonzales Vs. Archbishop of Manila

In Gonzalez v. Roman Catholic Archbishop of Manila, the Supreme Court refused to interpret internal church
laws, and held that determinations by internal church tribunals cannot be challenged in US courts. This case
involved a challenge to a church tribunals refusal to appoint Raul Gonzalez to a certain position within the
church. Gonzalezs guardian brought the suit on his behalf, alleging that he was entitled to the position
through inheritance; the church countered that Gonzalez, as a child, was not qualified for the position.
Because the appointment was a religious act, the Court held that it was the function of the church authorities
to determine what the essential qualifications of the position were and whether Gonzalez possessed them. In
the absence of fraud, collusion, or arbitrariness, the Court concluded that the decisions of proper church
tribunals on purely ecclesiastical matters must be final, and not subject to challenge in the court system.

Iglesia ni Cristo VS CA

F: This is a petition for review on the decision of the CA affirming action of respondent Board of Review For
Moving Pictures and Television that x-rated the TV Program "Ang Iglesia ni Cristo" classifying it not for public
viewing on grounds that they offend and constitute an attack against other religions which is expressly
prohibited by law. Respondent contends the Board acted without jurisdiction and in grave abuse of discretion
by requiring them to submit VTR tapes and x-rating them and suppression of freedom of expression. Trial
court rendered judgment ordering the Board to give petitioner the permit for their TV program while ordering
petitioners to refrain from attacking and offending other religious sectors from their program. In their motion
for reconsideration the petitioner prays for the deletion of the order of the court to make them subject to the
requirement of submitting the VTR tapes of their programs for review prior to showing on television. Such
motion was granted. Respondent board appealed before the CA which reversed the decision of the lower
court affirming the jurisdiction and power of the board to review the TV program. In their petition for review
on certiorari, petitioner assails the jurisdiction of the Board over reviewing of their TV program and its grave
abuse of discretion of its power to review if they are indeed vested with such.
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Issue: whether or not the Board has jurisdiction over the case at bar and whether or not it has acted with
grave abuse of discretion.
Held: The court affirmed the jurisdiction of the Board to review TV programs by virtue of the powers vested
upon it by PD 1986. On the account of suppression of religious freedom, the court ruled that any act that
restrains speech is accompanied with presumption of invalidity. The burden lies upon the Board to overthrow
this presumption. The decision of the lower court is a suppression of the petitioners freedom of speech and
free exercise of religion. Respondent board cannot censor the speech of petitioner Iglesia ni Cristo simply
because it attacks other religions. It is only where it is unavoidably necessary to prevent an immediate and
grave danger to the security and welfare of the community that infringement of religious freedom may be
justified. There is no showing whatsoever of the type of harm the tapes will bring about especially the gravity
and imminence of the threatened harm. Prior restraint on speech, including religious speech, cannot be
justified by hypothetical fears but only by the showing of a substantive and imminent evil. Thus the court
affirmed the jurisdiction of the Board to review the petitioners TV program while it reversed and set aside the
decision of the lower court that sustained the act of respondent in x-rating the TV program of the petitioner.
2 fold aspects of religious profession and worship namely:
1. Freedom to believe (absolute
2. Freedom to act on ones belief where an individual externalizes his beliefs in acts or omissions affecting
the public, this freedom to do so becomes subject to the regulation authority of the state.

Marsh Vs. Alabama

Brief Fact Summary. Marsh, a Jehovahs Witness, was arrested for trespassing after attempting to distribute
religious literature in a privately owned Alabama town.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. A private entity that acts like a governmental body and performs a public function
is subject to the United States Constitution (Constitution).
Facts. A Corporation owned a town called Chickasaw in Alabama. The town was accessible and used freely
by the public except for the fact that the Gulf Shipbuilding Corporation owned title to the town and paid the
police. Marsh, a Jehovahs Witness was told she needed a permit to distribute her flyers. However, Marsh
declined to obtain a permit and refused to leave the sidewalk. Marsh was arrested and charged with violating
Alabamas anti-trespassing statute.
Marsh claimed that applying the statute to her violated the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the
Issue. Is the Constitution applicable to privately owned towns?
Held. Yes, it applies, because the town acts like a government body. The Supreme Court of the United States
(Supreme Court) first recognizes that if Chickasaw had been a municipality the anti-trespassing statute would
not be unconstitutional. The Supreme Court specifically states that a private town is not the same as a
private homeowner. Meaning, it is not appropriate to suppress unwanted religious expression in the town like
it would be in a private home.
People Vs. Cayat
In 1937, there exists a law (Act 1639) which bars native non-Christians from drinking gin or any other liquor
outside of their customary alcoholic drinks. Cayat, a native of the Cordillera, was caught with an A-1-1 gin in
violation of this Act. He was then charged and sentenced to pay P5.00 and to be imprisoned in case of
insolvency. Cayat admitted his guilt but he challenged the constitutionality of the said Act. He averred, among
others, that it violated his right to equal protection afforded by the constitution. He said this an attempt to
treat them with discrimination or mark them as inferior or less capable race and less entitled will meet with
their instant challenge. The law sought to distinguish and classify native non-Christians from Christians.
ISSUE: Whether or not the said Act violates the equal protection clause.

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WLC School of Law

HELD: No. The SC ruled that Act 1639 is valid for it met the requisites of a reasonable classification. The SC
emphasized that it is not enough that the members of a group have the characteristics that distinguish them
from others. The classification must, as an indispensable requisite, not be arbitrary. The requisites to be
complied with are;
(1) must rest on substantial distinctions;
(2) must be germane to the purposes of the law;
(3) must not be limited to existing conditions only; and
(4) must apply equally to all members of the same class.
Act No. 1639 satisfies these requirements. The classification rests on real or substantial, not merely imaginary
or whimsical, distinctions. It is not based upon accident of birth or parentage. The law, then, does not seek
to mark the non-Christian tribes as an inferior or less capable race. On the contrary, all measures thus far
adopted in the promotion of the public policy towards them rest upon a recognition of their inherent right to
equality in the enjoyment of those privileges now enjoyed by their Christian brothers. But as there can be no
true equality before the law, if there is, in fact, no equality in education, the government has endeavored, by
appropriate measures, to raise their culture and civilization and secure for them the benefits of their progress,
with the ultimate end in view of placing them with their Christian brothers on the basis of true equality.


School District of Abington Township VS Schempp

Facts of the case: The Abington case concerns Bible-reading in Pennsylvania public schools. At the beginning
of the school day, students who attended public schools in the state of Pennsylvania were required to read at
least ten verses from the Bible. After completing these readings, school authorities required all Abington
Township students to recite the Lord's Prayer. Students could be excluded from these exercises by a written
note from their parents to the school. In a related case -- Murray v. Curlett -- a Baltimore statute required
Bible-reading or the recitation of the Lord's Prayer at open exercises in public schools. Murray and his mother,
professed atheists -- challenged the prayer requirement.
Question: Did the Pennsylvania law and Abington's policy, requiring public school students to participate in
classroom religious exercises, violate the religious freedom of students as protected by the First and
Fourteenth Amendments?
The Court found such a violation. The required activities encroached on both the Free Exercise Clause and the
Establishment Clause of the First Amendment since the readings and recitations were essentially religious
ceremonies and were "intended by the State to be so." Furthermore, argued Justice Clark, the ability of a
parent to excuse a child from these ceremonies by a written note was irrelevant since it did not prevent the
school's actions from violating the Establishment Clause.

Zorach Vs Clauson

Brief Fact Summary. The Petitioners, Zorach and other taxpayers and residents of New York City
(Petitioners), brought suit challenging the constitutionality of a released time program, which allowed
children to leave school, with parental permission, for religious instruction.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. This case stands for the proposition that the Establishment Clause of the United
States Constitution (Constitution) does not advocate hostility toward religion and mere acknowledgment of a
religious program, without participation, is not unconstitutional.
Facts. The released time program allowed children, with parental permission, to be released from school
for religious instruction. The instructions took place away from the school grounds and no school involvement
was required, other than acknowledging the students participation. The Petitioners brought suit challenging
the constitutionality of the program alleging that the prohibition against any laws respecting the
establishment of any religion also prohibited this voluntary program. The Petitioners appealed from a
judgment for the Respondents, Clauson and other member of the Board of Education of the City of New York
(Respondents) and the Supreme Court of the United States (Supreme Court) granted writs.
Issue. The issue is simply whether New York, through its acceptance of the released time program, has

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engaged in the respect of an establishment of religion, within the meaning of the First Amendment of the
Held. Affirmed.
The Supreme Court held for the Respondents, noting that because instruction occurred away from the schools
and did not require school participation, no respect for a particular establishment had occurred.
Additionally, the Supreme Court held that a philosophy of hostility toward religion cannot be read into the Bill
of Rights. Just because the First Amendment of the Constitution prohibits the making of a law which will
respect the establishment of religion, it does not necessarily follow that the government should be hostile
toward the exercise of religion, which would also be an abrogation of the Free Exercise Clause of the same
Dissent. Justices Hugo Black (J. Black) and Robert Jackson (J. Jackson) wrote separate dissents, both standing
for the proposition that the majority had blurred the line between the separation of church and state.

Salonga vs. Hermoso [GR L-53622, 25 April 1980]

Facts: This is not the first time Jovito R. Salonga came to the Supreme Court by way of a mandamus
proceeding to compel the issuance to him of a certificate of eligibility to travel. In the first case, Salonga v.
Madella (GR L-49130), the case became moot and academic as the Office of the Solicitor General, in its
answer to the petition, stated that the travel eligibility certificate was not denied and, as a matter of fact, had
been granted. Herein, in the motion to dismiss of the Solicitor General dated 21 April 1980, it was stated that
the certificate of eligibility to travel had been granted Salonga. A xeroxed copy was enclosed.
Held: The Travel Processing Center should exercise the utmost care to avoid the impression that certain
citizens desirous of exercising their constitutional right to travel could be subjected to inconvenience or
annoyance. In the address of President and Prime Minister Ferdinand E. Marcos before the American
Newspaper Publishers Association on 22 April 1980, he emphasized anew the respect accorded constitutional
rights. The freedom to travel is certainly one of the most cherished. He cited with approval the ringing
affirmation of Willoughby, who, as he noted was "partial to the claims of liberty." Burdick and Willis, both of
whom were equally convinced that there be no erosion to human rights even in times of martial law, likewise
received from President Marcos the accolade of his approval. It would appear, therefore, that in case of doubt
of the Officer-in-Charge of the Travel Processing Center, the view of General Fabian Ver should immediately be
sought. It goes without saying that the petition for such certificate of eligibility to travel be filed at the earliest
opportunity to facilitate the granting thereof and preclude any disclaimer as to the person desiring to travel
being in any way responsible for any delay.

Caunca Vs. Salazar

Facts: This is an action for habeas corpus brought by Bartolome Caunca in behalf of his cousin Estelita Flores
who was employed by the Far Eastern Employment Bureau, owned by Julia Salazar, respondent herein. An
advanced payment has already been given to Estelita by the employment agency, for her to work as a maid.
However, Estelita wanted to transfer to another residence, which was disallowed by the employment agency.
Further she was detained and her liberty was restrained. The employment agency wanted that the advance
payment, which was applied to her transportation expense from the province should be paid by Estelita
before she could be allowed to leave.
Issue: Whether or Not an employment agency has the right to restrain and detain a maid without returning
the advance payment it gave?
Held: An employment agency, regardless of the amount it may advance to a prospective employee or maid,
has absolutely no power to curtail her freedom of movement. The fact that no physical force has been
exerted to keep her in the house of the respondent does not make less real the deprivation of her personal
freedom of movement, freedom to transfer from one place to another, freedom to choose ones residence.
Freedom may be lost due to external moral compulsion, to founded or groundless fear, to erroneous belief in
the existence of an imaginary power of an impostor to cause harm if not blindly obeyed, to any other
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psychological element that may curtail the mental faculty of choice or the unhampered exercise of the will. If
the actual effect of such psychological spell is to place a person at the mercy of another, the victim is entitled
to the protection of courts of justice as much as the individual who is illegally deprived of liberty by duress or
physical coercion.

Manotoc vs. Court of Appeals [GR L-62100, 30 May 1986]

Facts: Ricardo L. Manotoc, Jr., is one of the two principal stockholders of Trans-Insular Management, Inc. and
the Manotoc Securities, Inc., a stock brokerage house. Having transferred the management of the latter into
the hands of professional men, he holds no officer-position in said business, but acts as president of the
former corporation. Following the "run" on stock brokerages caused by stock broker Santamaria's flight from
this jurisdiction, Manotoc, who was then in the United States, came home, and together with his
costockholders, filed a petition with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for the appointment of a
management committee, not only for Manotoc Securities, Inc., but likewise for Trans-Insular Management, Inc.
The petition relative to the Manotoc Securities, Inc. (SEC Case 001826, "In the Matter of the Appointment of a
Management Committee for Manotoc Securities, Inc., Teodoro Kalaw, Jr., Ricardo Manotoc, Jr., Petitioners"),
was granted and a management committee was organized and appointed. Pending disposition of SEC Case
001826, the SEC requested the then Commissioner of Immigration, Edmundo Reyes, not to clear Manotoc for
departure and a memorandum to this effect was issued by the Commissioner on 4 February 1980 to the Chief
of the Immigration Regulation Division. When a Torrens title submitted to and accepted by Manotoc
Securities, Inc. was suspected to be a fake, 6 of its clients filed six separate criminal complaints against
Manotoc and one Raul Leveriza, Jr., as president and vice-president, respectively, of Manotoc Securities, Inc.
In due course, corresponding criminal charges for estafa were filed by the investigating fiscal before the then
Court of First Instance of Rizal (Criminal Cases 45399 and 45400, assigned to Judge Camilon; Criminal Cases
45542 to 45545, raffled off to Judge Pronove). In all cases, Manotoc has been admitted to bail in the total
amount of P105,000.00, with FGU Insurance Corporation as surety. On 1 March 1982, Manotoc filed before
each of the trial courts a motion entitled, "motion for permission to leave the country", stating as ground
therefor his desire to go to the United States, "relative to his business transactions and opportunities." The
prosecution opposed said motion and after due hearing, both Judge Camilon and Judge Pronove in their orders
dated 9 March 1982, and 26 March 1982, respetively, denied the same. It appears that Manotoc likewise
wrote the Immigration Commissioner a letter requesting the recall or withdrawal of the latter's memorandum
dated 4 February 1980, but said request was also denied in a letter dated 27 May 1982. anotoc thus filed a
petition for certiorari and mandamus before the then Court of Appeals seeking to annul the judges' orders, as
well as the communication-request of the Securities and Exchange Commission, denying his leave to travel
abroad. On 5 October 1982, the appellate court rendered a decision dismissing the petition for lack of merit.
Dissatisfied with the appellate court's ruling, Manotoc filed the petition for review on certiorari with the
Supreme Court. Pending resolution of the petition, Manotoc filed on 15 August 1984 a motion for leave to go
abroad pendente lite. On 20 September 1984, the Supreme Court in a resolution en banc denied Manotoc's
motion for leave to go abroad pendente lite.
Issue: Whether a court has the power to prohibit a person admitted to bail from leaving the Philippines.
Held: A court has the power to prohibit a person admitted to bail from leaving the Philippines. This is a
necessary consequence of the nature and function of a bail bond. Rule 114, Section 1 of the Rules of Court
defines bail as the security required and given for the release of a person who is in the custody of the law,
that he will appear before any court in which his appearance may be required as stipulated in the bail bond or
recognizance. The condition imposed upon Manotoc to make himself available at all times whenever the court
requires his presence operates as a valid restriction on his right to travel. As held in People v. Uy Tuising (61
Phil. 404 [1935]), "the result of the obligation assumed by appellee (surety) to hold the accused amenable at
all times to the orders and processes of the lower court, was to prohibit said accused from leaving the
jurisdiction of the Philippines, because, otherwise, said orders and processes will be nugatory, and inasmuch
as the jurisdiction of the courts from which they issued does not extend beyond that of the Philippines they
would have no binding force outside of said jurisdiction." Indeed, if the accused were allowed to leave the
Philippines without sufficient reason, he may be placed beyond the reach of the courts. The effect of a
recognizance or bail bond, when fully executed or filed of record, and the prisoner released thereunder, is to
transfer the custody of the accused from the public officials who have him in their charge to keepers of his
own selection. Such custody has been regarded merely as a continuation of the original imprisonment. The
sureties become invested with full authority over the person of the principal and have the right to prevent the
principal from leaving the state. If the sureties have the right to prevent the principal from leaving the state,
more so then has the court from which the sureties merely derive such right, and whose jurisdiction over the
person of the principal remains unaffected despite the grant of bail to the latter. In fact, this inherent right of
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the court is recognized by petitioner himself, notwithstanding his allegation that he is at total liberty to leave
the country, for he would not have filed the motion for permission to leave the country in the first place, if it
were otherwise. The constitutional right to travel being invoked by Manotoc is not an absolute right. Section
5, Article IV of the 1973 Constitution states that "the liberty of abode and of travel shall not be impaired
except upon lawful order of the court, or when necessary in the interest of national security, public safety or
public health." The order of the trial court releasing Manotoc on bail constitutes such lawful order as
contemplated by the constitutional provision.
4, Marcos vs. Manglapus [GR 88211, 15 September 1989]
Facts: In February 1986, Ferdinand E. Marcos was deposed from the presidency via the non-violent "people
power" revolution and forced into exile. In his stead, Corazon C. Aquino was declared President of the
Republic under a revolutionary government. Her ascension to and consolidation of power have not been
unchallenged. The failed Manila Hotel coup in 1986 led by political leaders of Mr. Marcos, the takeover of
television station Channel 7 by rebel troops led by Col. Canlas with the support of "Marcos loyalists" and the
unsuccessful plot of the Marcos spouses to surreptitiously return from Hawaii with mercenaries aboard an
aircraft chartered by a Lebanese arms dealer awakened the nation to the capacity of the Marcoses to stir
trouble even from afar and to the fanaticism and blind loyalty of their followers in the country. The ratification
of the 1987 Constitution enshrined the victory of "people power" and also clearly reinforced the constitutional
moorings of Mrs. Aquino's presidency. This did not, however, stop bloody challenges to the government. On
28 August 1987, Col. Gregorio Honasan, one of the major players in the February Revolution, led a failed coup
that left scores of people, both combatants and civilians, dead. There were several other armed sorties of
lesser significance, but the message they conveyed was the same a split in the ranks of the military
establishment that threatened civilian supremacy over the military and brought to the fore the realization
that civilian government could be at the mercy of a fractious military. But the armed threats to the
Government were not only found in misguided elements in the military establishment and among rabid
followers of Mr. Marcos. There were also the communist insurgency and the secessionist movement in
Mindanao which gained ground during the rule of Mr. Marcos, to the extent that the communists have set up
a parallel government of their own in the areas they effectively control while the separatists are virtually free
to move about in armed bands. There has been no let up in these groups' determination to wrest power from
the government. Not only through resort to arms but also through the use of propaganda have they been
successful in creating chaos and destabilizing the country. Nor are the woes of the Republic purely political.
The accumulated foreign debt and the plunder of the nation attributed to Mr. Marcos and his cronies left the
economy devastated. The efforts at economic recovery, three years after Mrs. Aquino assumed office, have
yet to show concrete results in alleviating the poverty of the masses, while the recovery of the ill-gotten
wealth of the Marcoses has remained elusive. Now, Mr. Marcos, in his deathbed, has signified his wish to
return to the Philippines to die. But Mrs. Aquino, considering the dire consequences to the nation of his return
at a time when the stability of government is threatened from various directions and the economy is just
beginning to rise and move forward, has stood firmly on the decision to bar the return of Mr. Marcos and his
family. Hence, Marcos' petition for mandamus and prohibition, asking the court to order Raul Manglapus as
Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Catalino Macaraig as Executive Secretary, Sedfrey Ordonez as Secretary of
Justice, Miriam Defensor Santiago as Immigration Commissioner, Fidel Ramos as Secretary of National
Defense, and Renato de Villa as Chief of Staff, to issue travel documents to Mr. Marcos and the immediate
members of his family and to enjoin the implementation of the President's decision to bar their return to the
Issue: Whether Ferdinand E. Marcos and his family have the right to travel and liberty of abode, in light of the
attendant circumstances in the present case.
Held: The individual right involved is not the right to travel from the Philippines to other countries or within
the Philippines. These are what the right to travel would normally connote. Essentially, the right involved is
the right to return to one's country, a totally distinct right under international law, independent from although
related to the right to travel. Thus, the Universal Declaration of Humans Rights and the International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights treat the right to freedom of movement and abode within the territory
of a state, the right to leave a country, and the right to enter one's country as separate and distinct rights.
The Declaration speaks of the "right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state"
separately from the "right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country." On the other
hand, the Covenant guarantees the "right to liberty of movement and freedom to choose his residence" and
the right to "be free to leave any country, including his own." which rights may be restricted by such laws as
"are necessary to protect national security, public order, public health or morals or the separate rights and
freedoms of others." as distinguished from the "right to enter his own country" of which one cannot be
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"arbitrarily deprived." It would therefore be inappropriate to construe the limitations to the right to return to
one's country in the same context as those pertaining to the liberty of abode and the right to travel. The right
to return to one's country is not among the rights specifically guaranteed in the Bill of Rights, which treats
only of the liberty of abode and the right to travel, but the right to return may be considered, as a generally
accepted principle of international law and, under our Constitution, is part of the law of the land. However, it
is distinct and separate from the right to travel and enjoys a different protection under the International
Covenant of Civil and Political Rights, i.e., against being "arbitrarily deprived" thereof. On the other hand, the
Constitution declares among the guiding principles that "the prime duty of the Government is to serve and
protect the people" and that "the maintenance of peace and order, the protection of life, liberty, and
property, and the promotion of the general welfare are essential for the enjoyment by all the people of the
blessings of democracy." Admittedly, service and protection of the people, the maintenance of peace and
order, the protection of life, liberty and property, and the promotion of the general welfare are essentially
ideals to guide governmental action. Thus, in the exercise of presidential functions, in drawing a plan of
government, and in directing implementing action for these plans, or from another point of view, in making
any decision as President of the Republic, the President has to consider these principles, among other things,
and adhere to them. Faced with the problem of whether or not the time is right to allow the Marcoses to
return to the Philippines, the President is, under the Constitution, constrained to consider these basic
principles in arriving at a decision. More than that, having sworn to defend and uphold the Constitution, the
President has the obligation under the Constitution to protect the people, promote their welfare and advance
the national interest. Since the persons who seek to return to the country are the deposed dictator and his
family at whose door the travails of the country are laid and from whom billions of dollars believed to be illgotten wealth are sought to be recovered, the constitutional guarantees must be adjusted to the
requirements of equally important public interests, as such are neither absolute nor inflexible. The President
has determined that the destabilization caused by the return of the Marcoses would wipe away the gains
achieved during the past few years and lead to total economic collapse. Given what is within our individual
and common knowledge of the state of the economy, the Court cannot argue with that determination.

Silverio vs. Court of Appeals [GR 94284, 8 April 1991]

Facts: On 14 October 1985, Ricardo C. Silverio was charged with violation of Section 20 (4) of the Revised
Securities Act in Criminal Case CBU-6304 of the Regional Trial Court of Cebu. In due time, he posted bail for
his provisional liberty. On 26 January 1988, or more than 2 years after the filing of the Information, the People
of the Philippines filed an Urgent ex parte Motion to cancel the passport of and to issue a holddeparture Order
against Silverio on the ground that he had gone abroad several times without the necessary Court approval
resulting in postponements of the arraignment and scheduled hearings. Overruling opposition, the Regional
Trial Court, on 4 April 1988, issued an Order directing the Department of Foreign Affairs to cancel Silverio's
passport or to deny his application therefor, and the Commission on Immigration to prevent Silverio from
leaving the country. This order was based primarily on the Trial Court's finding that since the filing of the
Information on 14 October 1985, "the accused has not yet been arraigned because he has never appeared in
Court on the dates scheduled for his arraignment and there is evidence to show that accused Ricardo C.
Silverio, Sr. has left the country and has gone abroad without the knowledge and permission of this Court."
Silverio's Motion for Reconsideration was denied on 28 July 1988. Silverio's Certiorari Petition before the Court
of Appeals met a similar fate on 31 January 1990. Hence, the Petition for Review filed on 30 July 1990.
Issue: Whether the right to travel can be impaired upon lawful order of the Court, even on grounds other than
the "interest of national security, public safety or public health."
Held: Article III, Section 6 of the 1987 Constitution should be interpreted to mean that while the liberty of
travel may be impaired even without Court Order, the appropriate executive officers or administrative
authorities are not armed with arbitrary discretion to impose limitations. They can impose limits only on the
basis of "national security, public safety, or public health" and "as may be provided by law," a limitive phrase
which did not appear in the 1973 text. Apparently, the phraseology in the 1987 Constitution was a reaction to
the ban on international travel imposed under the previous regime when there was a Travel Processing
Center, which issued certificates of eligibility to travel upon application of an interested party. Article III,
Section 6 of the 1987 Constitution should by no means be construed as delimiting the inherent power of the
Courts to use all means necessary to carry their orders into effect in criminal cases pending before them.
When by law jurisdiction is conferred on a Court or judicial officer, all auxiliary writs, process and other means
necessary to carry it into effect may be employed by such Court or officer. Herein, Silverio is facing a criminal
charge. He has posted bail but has violated the conditions thereof by failing to appear before the Court when
required. Warrants for his arrest have been issued. Those orders and processes would be rendered nugatory if
an accused were to be allowed to leave or to remain, at his pleasure, outside the territorial confines of the
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country. Holding an accused in a criminal case within the reach of the Courts by preventing his departure
from the Philippines must be considered as a valid restriction on his right to travel so that he may be dealt
with in accordance with law. The offended party in any criminal proceeding is the People of the Philippines. It
is to their best interest that criminal prosecutions should run their course and proceed to finality without
undue delay, with an accused holding himself amenable at all times to Court Orders and processes.

Lorenzo vs. Director of Health [GR 27484, 1 September 1927]

Facts: Angel Lorenzo was a leper. He filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus with the Court of First Instance
of Manila, alleging that his confinement in the San Lazaro Hospital in the City of Manila was in violation of his
constitutional rights. Lorenzo was confined in said hospital in conformity with the provisions of section 1058
of the Administrative Code. The trial court sustained the law authorizing the segregation of lepers, and denied
the petition for habeas corpus, by requiring the trial court to receive evidence to determine if leprosy is or is
not a contagious disease. Lorenzo appealed.
Issue: Whether the Administrative Code provision on the confinement of lepers violative of the latters
constitutional rights on freedom of travel.
Held: The Philippine law pertaining to the segregation of lepers is found in article XV of chapter 37 of the
Administrative Code. Codal section 1058 empowers the Director of Health and his authorized agents "to
cause to be apprehended, and detained, isolated, or confined, all leprous persons in the Philippine Islands." In
amplification of this portion of the law are found provisions relating to arrest of suspected lepers, medical
inspection and diagnostic procedure, confirmation of diagnosis by bacteriological methods, establishment of
hospitals, detention camps, and a leper colony, etc. Section 1058 of the Administrative Code was enacted by
the legislative body in the legitimate exercise of the police power which extends to the preservation of the
public health. It was placed on the statute books in recognition of leprosy as a grave health problem. The
methods provided for the control of leprosy plainly constitute due process of law. Judicial notice will be taken
of the fact that leprosy is commonly believed to be an infectious disease tending to cause one afflicted with it
to be shunned and excluded from society, and that compulsory segregation of lepers as a means of
preventing the spread of the disease is supported by high scientific authority. Upon this view, laws for the
segregation of lepers have been provided the world over. Similarly, the local Legislature has regarded leprosy
as a contagious disease and has authorized measures to control the dread scourge. It would require a much
stronger case than the present case for the Court to sanction admitting the testimony of expert or other
witnesses to show that a law of this character may possibly violate some constitutional provision.


Facts: Petitioner, Phil association of Service Exporters, Inc., is engaged principally in the recruitment of Filipino
workers, male and female of overseas employment. It challenges the constitutional validity of Dept. Order No.
1 (1998) of DOLE entitled Guidelines Governing the Temporary Suspension of Deployment of Filipino
Domestic and Household Workers. It claims that such order is a discrimination against males and females.
The Order does not apply to all Filipino workers but only to domestic helpers and females with similar skills,
and that it is in violation of the right to travel, it also being an invalid exercise of the lawmaking power.
Further, PASEI invokes Sec 3 of Art 13 of the Constitution, providing for worker participation in policy and
decision-making processes affecting their rights and benefits as may be provided by law. Thereafter the
Solicitor General on behalf of DOLE submitting to the validity of the challenged guidelines involving the police
power of the State and informed the court that the respondent have lifted the deployment ban in some states
where there exists bilateral agreement with the Philippines and existing mechanism providing for sufficient
safeguards to ensure the welfare and protection of the Filipino workers.
Issue: Whether or not there has been a valid classification in the challenged Department Order No. 1.
Held: SC in dismissing the petition ruled that there has been valid classification, the Filipino female domestics
working abroad were in a class by themselves, because of the special risk to which their class was exposed.
There is no question that Order No.1 applies only to female contract workers but it does not thereby make an
undue discrimination between sexes. It is well settled hat equality before the law under the constitution does
not import a perfect identity of rights among all men and women. It admits of classification, provided that:
1. Such classification rests on substantial distinctions
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2. That they are germane to the purpose of the law

3. They are not confined to existing conditions
4. They apply equally to al members of the same class
In the case at bar, the classifications made, rest on substantial distinctions.
Dept. Order No. 1 does not impair the right to travel. The consequence of the deployment ban has on the
right to travel does not impair the right, as the right to travel is subjects among other things, to the
requirements of public safety as may be provided by law. Deployment ban of female domestic helper is a
valid exercise of police power. Police power as been defined as the state authority to enact legislation that
may interfere with personal liberty or property in order to promote general welfare. Neither is there merit in
the contention that Department Order No. 1 constitutes an invalid exercise of legislative power as the labor
code vest the DOLE with rule making powers.

RUBI vs Provincial Board of Mindoro

Rubi and various other Manguianes (Mangyans) in the province of Mindoro were ordered by the provincial
governor of Mindoro to remove their residence from their native habitat and to established themselves on a
reservation in Tigbao, still in the province of Mindoro, and to remain there, or be punished by imprisonment if
they escaped. Manguianes had been ordered to live in a reservation made to that end and for purposes of
cultivation under certain plans. The Manguianes are a Non-Christian tribe who were considered to be of very
low culture.
One of the Manguianes, a certain Dabalos, escaped from the reservation but was later caught and was placed
in prison at Calapan, solely because he escaped from the reservation. An application for habeas corpus was
made on behalf by Rubi and other Manguianes of the province, alleging that by virtue of the resolution of the
provincial board of Mindoro creating the reservation, they had been illegally deprived of their liberty. In this
case, the validity of Section 2145 of the Administrative Code, which provides:
With the prior approval of the Department Head, the provincial governor of any province in
which non-Christian inhabitants are found is authorized, when such a course is deemed
necessary in the interest of law and order, to direct such inhabitants to take up their habitation
on sites on unoccupied public lands to be selected by him and approved by the provincial board.
was challenged.
ISSUE: Whether or not Section 2145 of the Administrative Code constitutes undue delegation. Whether or not
the Manguianes are being deprived of their liberty.
I. No. By a vote of five to four, the Supreme Court sustained the constitutionality of this section of the
Administrative Code. Under the doctrine of necessity, who else was in a better position to determine whether
or not to execute the law but the provincial governor. It is optional for the provincial governor to execute the
law as circumstances may arise. It is necessary to give discretion to the provincial governor. The Legislature
may make decisions of executive departments of subordinate official thereof, to whom it has committed the
execution of certain acts, final on questions of fact.
II. No. Among other things, the term non-Christian should not be given a literal meaning or a religious
signification, but that it was intended to relate to degrees of civilization. The term non-Christian it was said,
refers not to religious belief, but in a way to geographical area, and more directly to natives of the Philippine
Islands of a low grade of civilization. In this case, the Manguianes were being reconcentrated in the
reservation to promote peace and to arrest their seminomadic lifestyle. This will ultimately settle them down
where they can adapt to the changing times.
The Supreme Court held that the resolution of the provincial board of Mindoro was neither discriminatory nor
class legislation, and stated among other things: . . . one cannot hold that the liberty of the citizen is unduly
interfered with when the degree of civilization of the Manguianes is considered. They are restrained for their
own good and the general good of the Philippines. Nor can one say that due process of law has not been
followed. To go back to our definition of due process of law and equal protection of the laws, there exists a
law; the law seems to be reasonable; it is enforced according to the regular methods of procedure prescribed;
and it applies alike to all of a class.

Constitutional Law II | Case Pool by Nikki Sia

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Villavicencio vs. Lukban

The writ of Habeas Corpus was filed by the petitioner, with the prayer that the respondent produce around
170 women whom Justo Lukban et, al deported to Davao. Liberty of abode was also raised versus the power
of the executive of the Municipality in deporting the women without their knowledge in his capacity as Mayor.
Facts: Justo Lukban as Manila City's Mayor together with Anton Hohmann, the city's Chief of Police, took
custody of about 170 women at the night of October 25 beyond the latters consent and knowledge and
thereafter were shipped to Mindanao specifically in Davao where they were signed as laborers. Said women
are inmates of the houses of prostitution situated in Gardenia Street, in the district of Sampaloc.
That when the petitioner filed for habeas corpus, the respondent moved to dismiss the case saying that those
women were already out of their jurisdiction and that , it should be filed in the city of Davao instead.
The court ruled in favor of the petitioner with the instructions;
For the respondents to have fulfilled the court's order, three optional courses were open: (1) They could have
produced the bodies of the persons according to the command of the writ; or (2) they could have shown by
affidavit that on account of sickness or infirmity those persons could not safely be brought before the court;
or (3) they could have presented affidavits to show that the parties in question or their attorney waived the
right to be present.
The court concluded the case by granting the parties aggrieved the sum of 400 pesos each, plus 100 pesos
for nominal damage due to contempt of court. Reasoning further that if the chief executive of any
municipality in the Philippines could forcibly and illegally take a private citizen and place him beyond the
boundaries of the municipality, and then, when called upon to defend his official action, could calmly fold his
hands and claim that the person was under no restraint and that he, the official, had no jurisdiction over this
other municipality.
We believe the true principle should be that, if the respondent is within the jurisdiction of the court and has it
in his power to obey the order of the court and thus to undo the wrong that he has inflicted, he should be
compelled to do so. Even if the party to whom the writ is addressed has illegally parted with the custody of a
person before the application for the writ is no reason why the writ should not issue. If the mayor and the
chief of police, acting under no authority of law, could deport these women from the city of Manila to Davao,
the same officials must necessarily have the same means to return them from Davao to Manila. The
respondents, within the reach of process, may not be permitted to restrain a fellow citizen of her liberty by
forcing her to change her domicile and to avow the act with impunity in the courts, while the person who has
lost her birthright of liberty has no effective recourse. The great writ of liberty may not thus be easily evaded.

Alcuaz vs PSBA

In 1986, some PSBA students, herein petitioners Alcuaz et. al. staged demonstrations in the premises of the
school. In order for the demonstration to be settled, an agreement was entered into among others the
regulations for the conduct of protest action. In spite of the agreement, it was alleged that the petitioners,
committed tumultuous and anarchic acts within the premises of the school, fanned by the cooperation of the
intervening professors, causing disruption of classes to the prejudice of the majority students. The school
took administrative sanctions upon them in view of their participation in the demonstration. The students and
the intervening professors were sanctioned. They were dismissed and terminated.
Whether or not there has been a deprivation of constitutional rights of expression and assembly and of due
process of law of the students who have been barred from re-enrollment.

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The Supreme Court held that due process in disciplinary cases such as the case at bar does not entail
proceedings and hearings similar to those prescribed for actions and proceedings in the courts of justice. The
Court has already recognized the right of the school to refuse re-enrollment of students for academic
delinquency and violation of disciplinary regulations. In the schools administrative process, both students
and professors were given three (3) days from receipt of letter to explain in writing why the school should not
take administrative sanction against them. With respect to the academic activities of the students and the
teaching loads of the teachers, the respondent school has created new class for the petitioners and the
intervening professors during and when the investigation was going on.
The Court then upheld that there is no denial of due process where all requirements of administrative due
process were met by the school and the students were given the opportunity to be heard and that the right of
expression and assembly are not absolute especially when parties are bound to certain rules under a

Ateneo de Manila Vs. Capulong

On February 8, 9, and 10 of 1991, a fraternity in Ateneo Law School named Aquila Legis conducted its
initiation rites upon neophytes. Unfortunately, one neophyte died as a result thereof and one was hospitalized
due to serious physical injuries. In a resolution dated March 9, 1991, the Disciplinary Board formed by Ateneo
found seven students guilty of violating Rule 3 of the Rules on Discipline. Fr. Joaquin Bernas, then president of
Ateneo, on the basis of the findings, ordered the expulsion of the seven students. However, on May 17, 1991,
Judge Ignacio Capulong of the Makati RTC, upon the students petition for certiorari, prohibition, and
mandamus, ordered Ateneo to reverse its decision and reinstate the said students.
ISSUE: Whether or not the Ateneo Law School has competence to issue an order dismissing such students
pursuant to its rules.
HELD: Yes, Ateneo has the competence and the power to dismiss its erring students and therefore it had
validly exercised such power. The students do not deserve to claim such a venerable institution such as
Ateneo as their own a minute longer for they may forseeably cast a malevolent influence on students
currently enrolled as well as those who come after them. This is academic freedom on the part of the school
which includes:
a. freedom to determine who may teach;
b. freedom to determine what may be taught;
c. freedom to determine how it shall be taught;
d. freedom to determine who may be admitted to study.


Isabelo Vs. Perpetual Help College of Rizal


A student, Manuelito Isabelo, Jr., filed the instant petition for mandamus with prayer for a writ of
mandamus addressed to DECS to implement its order to re-admit him as a senior graduating student of
Perpetual Help College of Rizal (PHCR)

Manuelito was enrolled at the Perpetual Help College of Rizal for BS Criminology. He was
elected Public Relations Officer ("PRO") of the Supreme Student Council

He was invited to attend a meeting with PHCR officials on 08 May 1991. He was asked by the VP for
Academic Affairs, Dr. Grace De Leon, to sign Resolution No. 105 that would implement a 20% tuition fee
increase for the school year 1991-1992.

Manuelito refused to sign the resolution; instead he asked for a 2-week period to take the matter up
with fellow officers.

Since, the administration assured that the request of the student council would be considered
favorably, the petitioner finally signed Resolution No. 105.

PHCR announced that it will increase tuition fees in all levels. The student council filed with the DECS a
motion for reconsideration. DECS held the advised that the "collection of the increase (should) be held in
abeyance pending the resolution of (the) matter."

The administration dropped Manuelito from PHCR's list of students because of the following reasons:

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WLC School of Law

o Non compliance of CMT requirement as per DECS Order No. 9, S. 1990 and DECS Memorandum No. 80, S.
1991 and PHCR Internal Memo. No. 891-007;
o No NCEE during the admission in the BS Criminology course;
o Official Admission Credential not yet submitted;
o Void declaration of CMT subjects (MS 11, 12, 21 and 22)

He took special training during the semestral break, and he was able to pass it, but PHCR still refused
to give him that accreditation, insisting that he by then had ceased to be a student of PHCR.

Manuelito wrote to DECS, which in turn sent their letter to PHCR ordering that students should be
allowed to continue their classes pending the resolution. PHCR did not comply with the directive.

Manuelito: Real reason PHCR has voided his enrollment is his active participation in opposing PHCR's
application for tuition fee increase with the DECS.

PHCR: invokes "academic freedom" in dropping the petitioner from its roll of students. HE been allowed
to enroll "conditionally" pending the completion of his remedial classes in CMT, in which he failed.
Issue: WON PHCR may drop Manuelito from the list of students. CASE REMANDED.

In Garcia vs. Loyola School of Theology: admission to an institution of higher learning is

discretionary upon the school and that such an admission is a mere privilege, rather than a right, on
the part of the student.

In Ateneo de Manila University vs. Capulon: the term "academic freedom" "the freedom to determine
on academic grounds who may teach, what may be taught (and) how it shall be taught," but likewise "who
may be admitted to study."

However academic freedom is not an unabridged license. It is a privilege that assumes a correlative
duty to exercise it responsibly.

In Non vs. Dames II: abandoned Alcuaz vs. PSBA, (that enrollment of a student is a semester-tosemester contract, and that the school may not be compelled to renew the contract) by recognizing instead
the right of a student to be enrolled for the entire period in order to complete his course. We have
also stressed that the contract between the school and the student, imbued, as it is, with public interest, is
not an ordinary contract.

Expulsion is disproportionate to his deficiencies in his CMT course. The circumstances show that the
PHCR has strongly been influenced by his participation in questioning PHCR's application for tuition fee

However DECS should determine whether the petitioner really deserves to be in senior class or has a
number of school deficiencies to overcome, as the respondent school counters.

NON Vs. Dames II

Petitioners, students in private respondent Mabini Colleges, Inc. were not allowed to re-enroll by the school
for the academic year 1988-1989 for leading or participating in student mass actions against the school in
the preceding semester. The subject of the protests is not, however, made clear in the pleadings.
The trial court dismissed the petition referring to the ruling in Alcuaz vs. PSBA stating, that being a mere
privilege and not a legal right for a student to be enrolled or re-enrolled, respondent Mabini College is free to
admit or not admit the petitioners for re-enrollment in view of the academic freedom enjoyed by the school.
The respondents, in justifying their action, stated that 8 of the petitioners have incurred failing grades. In
response, the petitioners stated that: (a) three of them were graduating. (b) Their academic deficiencies do
not warrant non-readmission. (c) The improper conduct attributed to them was during the exercise of the
cognate rights of free speech and peaceable assembly. (d) There was no due investigation that could serve as
basis for disciplinary action. (e) Respondent school is their choice institution near their places of residence,
which they can afford to pay for tertiary education.
Whether or not the school has the right not to re-admit the petitioners.

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The Supreme Court ruled that the trial court cannot anchor the Termination of Contract theory the contract
between the school and the student is not an ordinary contract. It is imbued with public interest, considering
the high priority given by the Constitution to education and the grant to the State of supervisory and
regulatory powers over all educational institutions. It is intended merely to protect schools wherein tuition
fees are collected and paid on installment basis. It cannot be construed to mean that a student shall be
enrolled for only one semester.
The right of an institution of higher learning to set academic standards cannot be utilized to discriminate
against students who exercise their constitutional rights to speech and assembly, for otherwise there will be a
violation of their right to equal protection. It provides that every student has the right to enroll in any school
college or university upon meeting its specific requirements and reasonable regulations; . . . and that the
student is presumed to be qualified for enrollment for the entire period he is expected to complete the
course, without prejudice to his right to transfer.


University of San Agustin vs CA

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WLC School of Law

University of San Agustin v. CA (1994)

Mandamus Rule 65

The present case involves third year Nursing

students who failed to meet the retention
policy of the school, that is, minimum grade
of 80% in any major Nursing subject and in
two minor subjects. As a consequence, the
school refused to re-admit them.
Private respondents Antonio Marco Ho, Ma.
Elaine Magante, Roy D. Sancho, Michael Kim
So and Bernardita Cainoy were third year
Nursing students of petitioner University of
San Agustin (USA) who were refused readmission in the summer classes of 1989
and last two semesters of school year 19891990 on the alleged ground that they failed
to obtain grades of not lower than 80% in
Nursing 104 (Nursing Practice II with Related
Learning Experience).
Its persistent refusal to re-admit them
prejudiced their right to freely choose their
field of study and finish a college degree
and worse, no other school within the city
and nearby areas is willing to accept them
due to the difference in the curriculum and
school residency requirement. Thus, they
filed a petition for mandamus before the
Regional Trial Court of Iloilo City, to
command petitioner USA to re-admit them.
Submitting a joint answer to the petition,
petitioner USA and the other petitioners,
Dean Concepcion Cajilig and Clinical
Instructors Nenalyn Abioda, Mary Espino,
Rhodora Azucena, Ma. Dulce Socorro Posa
and Cosette Monteblanco admitted having
barred private respondents from finishing
their Nursing course but justified the
decision not to re-admit them as being in
pursuance of the school's policy that only
students with grades of at least 80% in any
major Nursing subject, including Nursing
104, and two minor subjects, are allowed
enrollment in the following year. Private
respondents were duly informed and
forewarned of their below 80% performance
To buttress petitioner's stance, they placed
reliance on Section 9(2) of the Education Act
of 1982 (B.P. Blg. 232) which recognizes the
right of students to freely choose their field
of study subject to existing curricula, and to
continue their course up to graduation,
except in cases of academic deficiency or
violation of disciplinary regulations; and
Section 13(2) thereof vesting in institutions
of higher learning the right to determine on
academic grounds who shall be admitted to
study, who may teach, and what shall be

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the subjects of study and research.

Additionally, petitioners contended that
private respondents have no cause of action
for mandamus under the premises because
there is no clear and well-defined right of
the latter which has been violated neither
do the former have a corresponding
ministerial duty to re-admit them, since
petitioner USA is a private educational
institution not performing public functions
and duties. Under the Manual of Regulations
for Private Schools, petitioner USA enjoys
the right to academic freedom.
The RTC ruled that mandamus will not lie to
compel the respondents to enroll petitioning
students because of their academic
deficiencies and that this refusal of
respondents university falls within its right
to do so under the academic freedom clause
of our Constitution.
The CA did not agree with the ruling of the
trial court.
Whether or not the students can compel the
school to allow them to complete their
course? No. Mandamus does not lie.
We rule that the special civil action of
mandamus is not available in this instance.
The petition which was filed by private
respondents before the trial court sought
the issuance of a writ of mandamus, to
command petitioners to admit them for
enrollment. Taking into account the
admission of private respondents that they
have finished their Nursing course at the
Lanting College of Nursing even before the
promulgation of the questioned decision,
this case has clearly been overtaken by
events and should therefore be dismissed.
However, even if a case were moot and
academic, a statement of the governing
principle is appropriate in the resolution of
dismissal for the guidance not only of the
parties but of others similarly situated. We
shall adhere to this view and proceed to
dwell on the merits of this petition.
Under Rule 65, Section 3 of the Rules of
Court, mandamus lies under any of the
following cases: (1) against any tribunal
which unlawfully neglects the performance
of an act which the law specifically enjoins
as a duty; (2) in case any corporation, board
or person unlawfully neglects the
performance of an act which the law enjoins
as a duty resulting from an office, trust or
station; and (3) in case any tribunal,
corporation, board or person unlawfully

excludes another from the use and

enjoyment of a right or office to which such
other is legally entitled; and there is no
other plain, speedy and adequate remedy in
the ordinary course of law.
The nature of mandamus has been the
subject of discussions in several cases. It is
settled that mandamus is employed to
compel the performance, when refused, of a
ministerial duty, this being its main
objective. It does not lie to require anyone
to fulfill contractual obligations or to compel
a course of conduct, nor to control or review
the exercise of discretion.
On the part of the petitioner, it is essential
to the issuance of a writ of mandamus that
he should have a clear legal right to the
thing demanded and it must be the
imperative duty of the respondent to
perform the act requiredIt is simply a
command to exercise a power already
possessed and to perform a duty already
In the present case, private respondents
have failed to satisfy the prime and
indispensable requisites of a mandamus
proceeding. There is no showing that they
possess a clear legal right to be enrolled in
petitioner USA. Moreover, assuming that
petitioner USA has an imperative duty to
enroll them, it does not appear to this Court
that the duty is merely ministerial; rather, it
is a duty involving the exercise of discretion.
This was likewise our ruling in the case of
Tangonan v. Pao et al., which involves a
factual setting similar to the present
petition. We adopted as our own the
rationalization of the trial court therein: . . .
. Every school has a right to determine who
are the students it should accept for
enrolment. It has the right to judge the
fitness of students. While petitioner
questions the findings of respondent school
as to her academic competence, the Court
cannot find any legal jurisdiction to interfere
in the exercise of judgment of the school on
this matter. . . .
Equally mandated by Article XIV, Section
5(2) of the 1987 Constitution is that
academic freedom shall be enjoyed in all
institutions of higher learning. Academic
freedom of educational institutions has been
defined as the right of the school or college
to decide for itself, its aims and objectives,
and how best to attain them free from
outside coercion or interference save
possibly when the overriding public welfare
calls for some restraint. It has a wide sphere
of autonomy certainly extending to the
choice of students. Said constitutional

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provision is not to be construed in a

niggardly manner or in a grudging fashion.
That would be to frustrate its purposes and
nullify its intent.


University of San Carlos VS. CA

The principal issue raised in this petition is whether

or not mandamus is the proper remedy to compel a
university to confer a degree with honors. The
secondary question is whether or not the refusal of
that university to confer honors would constitute
bad faith so as to make it liable for damages.
Private respondent Jennifer C. Lee filed an action for mandamus
with damages against petitioners University of San Carlos and
Victoria A. Satorre, docketed as Civil Case No. R22022 in the
Regional Trial Court, Branch XVIII, Cebu, asking that petitioners
be compelled to confer upon her the degree of Bachelor of
Science in Commerce, major in Accounting, cum laude,
retroactive to March 28, 1982, to execute and deliver to her all
necessary credentials evidencing her graduation with honors, and
to pay her moral damages in the amount of P300,000.00,
exemplary damages in the amount of P50,000.00, and attorney's
fees in the amount of P20,000.00.
After trial, the lower court rendered its Decision dated January
29, 1986, 1 the dispositive portion of which reads as follows:
WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered
in favor of plaintiff, and accordingly,
defendants University of San Carlos and Dean
Victoria A. Satorre are ordered to confer upon
plaintiff, Jennifer C. Lee, the degree of
Bachelor of Science in Commerce, major in
accounting, with cum laude honors (sic),
retroactive to March 28, 1982, and to execute
and deliver to plaintiff all the necessary
school credentials evidencing her graduation
with such honors; and said defendants are
ordered to pay plaintiff jointly and severally
the sum of P75,000 as moral damages, the
sum of P20,000 as exemplary damages, with
interest thereon at 12% per annum beginning
July 22, 1982, until said amounts are fully
paid: and the sum of P15,000 as attorney's
fees. The counterclaim is ordered dismissed.
Costs against defendants. 2
Petitioners appealed to the respondent Court of Appeals where the
case was docketed as CA-G.R. No. SP-09368. In a decision dated
May 28, 1987, the appellate court affirmed in toto the decision of
the trial court. 3
The motion for reconsideration filed by petitioners was denied in
a Resolution of the appellate court dated July 7, 1987. 4
Hence, this petition where petitioners allege as grounds thereof(a) A university may not be compelled by
mandamus to grant graduation honors to any
student who, according to the university's

standards, rules and regulations, does not

qualify for such honors; and
(b) The decision penalizing petitioners to pay
excessive moral and exemplary damages and
attorney's fees is not justified by the facts and
circumstances of this case and disregards the
many decisions of this Honorable Court
setting reasonable standards and limits in the
award of such damages. (P. 2, petition; p. 12,
Private respondent enrolled in the College of Architecture,
University of San Carlos (USC), during the first semester of
school year 1978-79. At the end of the second semester of that
school year, she obtained a grade of "I.C." (Incomplete) in
Architecture 121, and grades of "5's" (failures) in Architecture
122 and Architecture 123.
The following school year, 1979-1980, she shifted to the College
of Commerce of the USC. Some of the units she had completed
when she was still an architecture student were then carried over
and credited in her new course. As a commerce student, she
obtained good grades. However, she was aware of her earlier
failing grades in the College of Architecture and that the same
would be taken into consideration in the evaluation of her overall
academic performance to determine if she could graduate with
So, on December 10, 1981, she wrote 5 the Council of Deans of
the USC, requesting that her grades of 5s in Architecture 121 and
Architecture 122 be disregarded in the computation of her grade
average. She wrote a similar letter to the Ministry of Education,
Culture and Sports MECS in Region VII on January 5,
1982 6 and this letter was referred to the President of the USC for
comment and return to the MECS.
In the 3rd Indorsement dated February 4, 1982, the President of
the USC informed the MECS that the university policy was that
any failing grade obtained by a student in any course would
disqualify the student for honors; that to deviate from that policy
would mean injustice to students similarly situated before who
were not allowed to graduate with honors; that the bad grades
given to her were justified and could not be deleted or removed
because her subjects were not "dropped" as required; that she had
two failures and one incomplete grade which became a failure
upon her inaction to attend to the incomplete grade within one
year; and that while her three failures did not affect her
graduation from the College of Commerce, they nonetheless
caused her disqualification from graduating with honors. She was
furnished a copy of said indorsement but she did not ask for a
On March 17, 1982, when the USC President was out of town,
private respondent wrote to the USC Registrar' requesting that her
failing grades be changed. The USC Registrar 7 referred her letter
to the MECS and the request for change of grades was approved
in a 4th indorsement of March 22, 1982. 8 Thus, her grade of IC
in Architecture 121 was changed to "1.9" by Professor Victor
Leves Jr. and the grades of "5" in Architecture 122 and
Architecture 123 were changed to "W" (Withdrawn).
On March 24, 1982, Mr. Marcelo Bacalso of MECS' Higher
Education Division discovered that the change of the grade of

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WLC School of Law

private respondent from "IC" to "1.9" did not have the supporting
class record required, so he wrote to MECS Supervisor Mr. Ortiz
requesting the submission of the class record. 9
On March 28, 1982, the USC held its graduation exercises, and
the private respondent graduated with the degree of Bachelor of
Science in Commerce, major in Accounting, without honors.
On March 31, 1982, the private respondent, assisted by counsel,
demanded from Dean Victoria A. Satorre that she be allowed to
graduate, cum laude. 10 Dean Satorre explained that the matter
was held in abeyance pending compliance with certain
requirements of the MECS through the memo of Mr. Bacalso. 11
On May 24, 1982, Arch. Leves Jr., the teacher required to produce
the class records, reported he could not produce the
same. 12 Thus, on May 27, 1982, Dean Satorre wrote to the
MECS Regional Director Aurelio Tiro asking for the revocation
of the change of grades of private respondent. 13 The request was
denied as there was no positive proof of fraud. 14
It is an accepted principle that schools of teaming are given ample
discretion to formulate rules and guidelines in the granting of
honors for purposes of graduation. This is part of academic
freedom. Within the parameters of these rules, it is within the
competence of universities and colleges to determine who are
entitled to the grant of honors among the graduating students. Its
discretion on this academic matter may not be disturbed much
less controlled by the courts unless there is grave abuse of
discretion in its exercise.
In this case, the petitioner's bulletin of information provides all
students and all other interested parties advise on the University
policies and rules on enrollment and academic achievements.
Therein it is provided, among others, that a student may not
officially withdraw from subjects in the curriculum if he does not
have the written permission of his parents or guardian. 15 For an
incomplete grade, there must be an application for completion or
removal within the period announced by the school calendar and
when not removed within one (1) year, it automatically becomes
final. 16 A "DR" (Dropped) subject which is in the same category,
as a "5" disqualifies a student from receiving honors. 17 A
candidate for honors should have earned no less than 18 units per
semester but a working student should earn no less that 12 units.
A failure in any subject disqualifies a student from
honors. 18 Good moral character and exemplary conduct are as
important criteria for honors as academic achievements. 19
Private respondent should know and is presumed to know those
University policies and is bound to comply therewith.
It is precisely because she knew of these rules that she exerted all
efforts to have her final grades of "5's" in Architecture 122 and
Architecture 123 be disregarded in the computation of honors.
When her request was denied by the university, she did not ask
for a reconsideration thereof. Instead, in the middle part of March
1982 when the USC President was out of town, she wrote another
letter to the USC registrar asking her failing grades be changed as
above related. The matter was referred to the MECS and the
request was approved on March 22,1982.
However, when it was discovered thereafter that the change of
private respondent's grades from "IC" TO "1.9" was not supported
by the corresponding class records and its production was
required the same could not be produced. There is thus no

justification for said change of grade. Moreover, the request for

the change of the grade of incomplete was not made by private
respondent within one (1) year so that it became final according
to the rules.
By the same token, the change of the grades of private respondent
from "5" to "W" (Withdrawn) in Architecture 122 and
Architecture 123 was without the written permission of her
parents or guardian. Indeed, it is unusual that a student who got a
"5" in a subject, as in this case, should still be allowed to
withdraw from such subject. Withdrawal from subjects is not
ordinarily allowed after mid-term examination 20 much less after
a failing grade in the subject has been received.
The change of grades of private respondent is thus open to
question. Obviously, private respondent employed undue and
improper pressure on the MECS authorities to approve the change
of her grades to remove all obstacle to her graduation with
honors. Petitioners' claim that the change of grades of the private
respondent was attended with fraud is not entirely misplaced.
Petitioners cannot be faulted for refusing to vest the honors
demanded of them by the private respondent. One failure would
have been sufficient to disqualify her but she had one incomplete
and two failures. Her only change was to reverse her failing
grades. This she accomplished thru the back door.
Nevertheless, even if she succeeded in removing her failing
grades, it was still within the sound discretion of the petitioners to
determine whether private respondent was entitled to graduate
with honors. The Court finds that petitioners did not commit a
grave abuse of discretion in denying the honors sought by private
respondent under the circumstances. Indeed, the aforesaid change
of grades did not automatically entitle her to the award of honors.
Private respondent not having demonstrated that she has a clear
legal right to the honors sought, her claim for damages must
necessarily fail.
WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED and the subject
decision of the respondent court of May 28, 1987 and its
resolution of July 7, 1987, are hereby REVERSED and SET
ASIDE and another judgment is hereby rendered DISMISSING
the complaint without pronouncement as to costs.
UP Vs. Ayson
JR., respondents.

Foundation, Inc., et al,, v. The University of the Philippines, et

al.," restraining petitioners from implementing the decision of the
Board of Regents to phase out the UP College Baguio High
School (UPCBHS) and the Memorandum of petitioner Dean
Patricio Lazaro directing the principal of UPCBHS not to accept
new incoming freshmen for the school year 1989-1990.
Sometime in 1972, the UP Board of Regents approved the
establishment of UPCBHS as an integral part of the graduate
program in education to serve, among others, as a laboratory and
demonstration school for prospective teachers. Provided,
however, that UPCBHS must be self-supporting and should not
entail any subsidy from the budget of the UP.
In 1978, the Board of Regents provided for the establishment of a
Division of Education in UP College Baguio (UPCB) which shall
be composed of a Department of Professional Education and a
High School Department. However, the Department of
Professional Education was never organized, although the High
School Department has been in continuous operation.
In 1981, the Committee to Review Academic Program
recommended the abolition of the UPCBHS. In 1985, the
Program Review Committee likewise asked the UPCB to look
into the viability of its secondary education program on account
of limited financial resources plus the fact that UPCBHS failed to
serve as a laboratory school for teacher training program as
UPCB does not offer programs in Education. Subsequently,
various discussions were held on the proposed phase-out of the
On January 30,1989, the UP Board of Regents approved the
proposed phase-out of UPCBHS on the grounds,inter alia, that
only an insignificant number of UPCBHS graduates qualified for
admission and actually enrolled in UPCB and that UPCBHS is
not serving as a laboratory or demonstration school for
prospective teachers much less a self-supporting unit.
Subsequently, petitioner Dean Patricio Lazaro issued a
memorandum directing the UPCBHS Principal not to accept new
incoming high school freshmen for the school year 1989- 1990.
On May 25,1989, respondent UP College Baguio High School
Foundation Inc., represented by its president, filed a petition with
the Regional Trial Court of Baguio, Br. VI, presided by
respondent Judge against herein petitioners, for Injunction with
preliminary preventive and mandatory injunction with prayer for
the issuance of a temporary restraining order, docketed as Civil
Case No. 1748-R, alleging among others, that the decision of the
UP Board of Regents to phase out the UPCBHS is without legal
basis and unconstitutional.
Thereafter, respondent Judge issued the assailed Orders
restraining petitioners from implementing the Board's decision to
phase out UPCBHS and the memorandum of Dean Patricio
Lazaro. Petitioners' motion to dismiss Civil Case No. 1748-R was
denied by respondent Judge.
Hence, this petition.

This is a petition for certiorari, with urgent prayer for the issuance
of a temporary restraining order, seeking to annul the Orders of
respondent Judge dated May 25, 1989 and June 14, 1989 in Civil
Case No. 1748-R entitled,"UP College Baguio High School

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On June 27,1989, the Court issued a Temporary Restraining

Order enjoining the implementation of the assailed orders of
respondent Judge.
Petitioners contend, among other things, that the decision of the
UP Board of Regents to phase out the UPCBHS is an exercise of

academic freedom guaranteed by the Constitution (Art. XIV, Sec.

5, par. 2).lwph1.t
Respondents, on the other hand, take issue not with the exercise
of academic freedom but rather on the right to quality education
(Art. XIV, Sec. 1) and free public secondary education (Art. XIV,
Sec. 2, par. 2) mandated by the Constitution and Rep. Act No.
6655, otherwise known as "Free Public Secondary Education Act
of 1988." Respondents ' contend that the abolition of the
UPCBHS would be violative of said rights.
The conflict of the present petition pits the concept of academic
freedom as against the right to free public secondary education.
Art. XIV, Section 2, [2] of the Constitution, provides: "The State
shall establish and maintain a system of free public education in
the elementary and high school levels. Without limiting the right
of natural parents to rear their children, elementary education is
compulsory for all children of school age." On the other hand,
Art. XIV, Section 5 [2], provides: "Academic freedom shall be
enjoyed in all institutions of higher learning."
Is secondary public education demandable in an institution of
higher learning such as the University of the Philippines?
We rule in the negative.
It is beyond cavil that the UP, as an institution of higher learning,
enjoys academic freedomthe institutional kind.
In Garcia v. The Faculty Admission Committee, Loyola School of
Theology (68 SCRA 277 [1975]), the Court had occasion to note
the scope of academic freedom recognized by the Constitution as
(I)t is to be noted that the reference is to the
'institutions of higher learning' as the
recipients of this boon. It would follow then
that the school or college itself is possessed of
such a right. It decides for itself its aims and
objectives and how best to attain them. It is
free from outside coercion or interference
save possibly when the overriding public
welfare calls for some restraint. It has a wide
sphere of autonomy certainly extending to the
choice of students. This constitutional
provision is not to be construed in a niggardly
manner or in a grudging fashion. That would
be to frustrate its purpose, nullify its intent.
xxx xxx xxx
It is the business of a university to provide
that atmosphere which is most conducive to
speculation, experiment and creation. It is an
atmosphere in which there prevail the four
essential freedom of a universityto
determine for itself on academic grounds who
may teach, what may be taught, how it shall
be taught, and who may be admitted to study"'
(Emphasis supplied; citing Sinco, Philippine
Political Law, 491, (1962) and the concurring
opinion of Justice Frankfurter in Sweezy v.
New Hampshire (354 US 234 [1957]).

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WLC School of Law

Rep. Act No. 6655, otherwise known as the "Free Public

Secondary Education Act of 1988," includes in its coverage state
colleges and universities (SCUs) offering secondary courses.
Respondents cointend that since a secondary course is being
offered in UPCB, petitioners cannot unilaterally withdraw
therefrom, otherwise, the said Act would be nothing but a mere
nullity for all other SCUs. Besides, respondents contend,
petitioners already recognized the applicability of Rep. Act No.
6655 when they implemented the same at the UPCBHS for
School Year 1988-89 and petitioners' assertion that UPCBHS was
established only if it would be "self-supporting and should not
entail any subsidy from the budget of UP" is but a lame excuse.
At this juncture, it must be pointed out that UPCBHS was
established subject to a number of conditionalities, e.g., it must be
self-supporting, it can serve as a feeder for the UP at Baguio, it
can serve as a laboratory and demonstration school for
prospective teachers, failing in which the University can order its
abolition on academic grounds, specially where the purposes for
which it was established was not satisfied.
Specifically, the University of the Philippines was created under
its Charter (Act No. 1870 [1908], as amended) to provide
advanced tertiary education and not secondary education. Section
2 of said Act states that "the purpose of said University shall be to
provide advanced instruction in literature, philosophy, the
sciences, and arts, and to give professional and technical
It is apparent that secondary education is not the mandated
function of the University of the Philippines; consequently, the
latter can validly phase out and/or abolish the UPCBHS
especially so when the requirements for its continuance have not
been met, Rep. Act No. 6655 to the contrary notwithstanding. The
findings of facts by the Board of Regents which led to its decision
to phase out the UPCBHS must be accorded respect, if not
finality. Acts of an administrative agency within their areas of
competence must be casually overturned by the courts. It must be
emphasized that UPCBHS was established as a component of the
tertiary level, i.e., the teacher/training program. As it turned out
however, the latter program was not viable in UPCB thereby
necessitating the phasing out of UPCBHS, the rationale being its
reasons for existence no longer exists. On this score, UPCBHS
differs from the other UP high schools in Iloilo, Diliman, Cebu
and Los Ba;os. The latter schools serve as laboratory schools for
the College of Education in said areas, whereas, in Baguio, there
is no College of Education.
A careful perusal of Rep. Act No. 6655 could not lend
respondents a helping hand either. Said Act implements the policy
of the State to provide free public secondary education (Sec. 4)
and vests the formulation of a secondary public education
curriculum (Sec. 5), the nationalization of public secondary
schools (Sec. 7) and the implementation of the rules and
regulations thereof (Sec. 9) upon the Secretary of the Department
of Education, Culture and Sports (DECS).lwph1.t Rep. Act
No. 6655 complements Sec. 2 (2), Article XIV of the Constitution
which mandates that the State shall establish and maintain a
system of free public secondary education. However, this
mandate is not directed to institutions of higher learning like UP
but to the government through the Department of Education,
Culture and Sports (DECS). As an institution of higher learning
enjoying academic freedom, the UP cannot be compelled to

provide for secondary education. However, should UP operate a

high school in the exercise of its academic freedom, Rep. Act No.
6655 requires that the students enrolled therein "shall be free
from payment of tuition and other school fees.
In view of the foregoing, respondents do not have a clear legal
right to UP secondary education.
ACCORDINGLY, the Court Resolved to Grant the petition. The
assailed Orders of respondent Judge dated May 25, 1989 and June
14, 1989 are hereby Set Aside and respondent Judge is ordered to
Dismiss Civil Case No. 1748-R. Secretary Lourdes Quisumbing
of the Department of Education, Culture and Sports is requested
to make arrangements with the other high schools in Baguio City
for purposes of accommodating the students herein affected. The
temporary restraining order issued is made permanent.
Duterte vs. Sandiganbayan [GR 130191, 27
April 1998]
Facts: In 1990, the Davao City Local Automation
Project was launched by the city government of
Davao. The goal of said project was to make Davao
City a leading center for computer systems and
technology development. It also aimed to provide
consultancy and training services and to assist all
local government units in Mindanao set up their
respective computer systems. To implement the
project, a Computerization Program Committee,
composed of the following was formed: Atty.
Benjamin C. de Guzman (City Administrator) as
Chairman; and Mr. Jorge Silvosa (Acting City
Treasurer), Atty. Victorino Advincula (City Councilor),
Mr. Alexis Almendras (City Councilor), Atty. Onofre
Francisco (City Legal Officer), Mr. Rufino Ambrocio,
Jr. (Chief of Internal Control Office), and Atty.
Mariano Kintanar (COA Resident Auditor) as
members. The Committee recommended the
acquisition of Goldstar computers manufactured by
Goldstar Information and Communication, Ltd.,
South Korea and exclusively distributed in the
Philippines by Systems Plus, Inc. (SPI), the total
contract cost amounting to P11,656,810.00. On 5
November 1990, the City Council (Sangguniang
Panlungsod) of Davao unanimously passed
Resolution 1402 and Ordinance 173 approving the
proposed contract for computerization between
Davao City and SPI. The Sanggunian, likewise,
authorized the City Mayor (Rodrigo R. Duterte) to
sign the said contract for and in behalf of Davao
City. On the same day, the Sanggunian issued
Resolution 1403 and Ordinance 174, the General
Fund Supplemental Budget 07 for CY 1990
appropriating P3,000,000.00 for the city's
computerization project. Sometime in February
1991, a complaint (Civil Case 20,550-91), was
instituted before the Regional Trial Court of Davao
City, Branch 12 by Dean Pilar Braga, Hospicio C.
Conanan, Jr. and Korsung Dabaw Foundation, Inc.
against the Duterte, de Guzman, the City Council,

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WLC School of Law

various city officials and SPI for the judicial

declaration of nullity of the resolutions and
ordinances and the computer contract executed
pursuant thereto with SPI. On 22 February 1991,
Goldstar, through its agent, Mr. S.Y. Lee sent a
proposal to Duterte for the cancellation of the
computerization contract. Consequently, on 8 April
1991, the Sanggunian issued Resolution 449 and
Ordinance 53 accepting Goldstar's offer to cancel
the computerization contract provided the latter
return the advance payment of P1,748,521.58 to
the City Treasurer's Office within a period of 1
month. On 6 May 1991, Duterte, in behalf of Davao
City, and SPI mutually rescinded the contract and
the downpayment was duly refunded. The city
government, intent on pursuing its computerization
plan, following the recommendation of Special Audit
Team of the Commission on Audit, sought the
assistance of the National Computer Center (NCC).
The NCC recommended the acquisition of Philips
computers in the amount of P15,792,150.00. Davao
City complied with the NCC's advice and hence, was
finally able to obtain the needed computers. On 1
August 1991, the Anti-Graft League-Davao City
Chapter, through one Miguel C. Enriquez, filed an
unverified complaint with the OmbudsmanMindanao against Duterte and de Guzman, the City
Treasurer, City Auditor, the whole city government
of Davao and SPI, alleging that the latter, in
entering into the computerization contract, violated
RA 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act), PD
1445 (Government Auditing Code of the
Philippines), COA circulars and regulations, the
Revised Penal Code and other pertinent penal laws
(OMB-3- 91-1768). On 14 October 1991, Judge Paul
T. Arcangel, issued an Order dismissing Civil Case
20,550-91. On 12 November 1991, Graft
Investigator Manriquez issued an order in OMB-3-911768 directing Jorge Silvosa (City Treasurer),
Mariano Kintanar (City Auditor) and Manuel T. Asis of
SPI to file in 10 days their respective verified pointby-point comment under oath upon every allegation
of the complaint in Civil Case 20,550-91. On 4
December 1991, the Ombudsman received the
affidavits of the Special Audit Team but failed to
furnish Duterte, et. al. copies thereof. On 18
February 1992, Duterte, et. al. submitted a
manifestation adopting the comments filed by Jorge
Silvosa and Mariano Kintanar dated 25 November
1991 and 17 January 1992, respectively. Four years
after, or on 22 February 1996, Duterte,
received a copy of a Memorandum prepared by
Special Prosecution Officer I, Lemuel M. De Guzman
dated 8 February 1996 addressed to Ombudsman
Aniano A. Desierto regarding OMB-MIN-90-0425 and
OMB-3-91-1768. Instead of the charges of
malversation, violation of Sec. 3(e), R.A. No. 3019
and Art. 177, Revised Penal Code, Prosecutor De
Guzman recommended that Duterte, et. al. be
charged under Sec. 3(g) of RA 3019 "for having
entered into a contract manifestly and grossly

disadvantageous to the government, the elements

of profit, unwarranted benefits or loss to
government being immaterial." Accordingly,
Duterte, et. al. were charged before the
Sandiganbayan in an information dated 8 February
1996 (Criminal Case 23193). On 27 February 1996,
Duterte, et. al. filed a motion for reconsideration
and on 29 March 1996, a Supplemental Motion for
Reconsideration on the ground that, among others,
"petitioners were deprived of their right to a
preliminary investigation, due process and the
speedy disposition of their case." On 19 March
1996, the Ombudsman issued a Resolution denying
Duterte, et. al.'s motion for reconsideration. On 18
June 1997, Duterte, et. al. filed a Motion to Quash
which was denied by the Sandiganbayan in its Order
dated 27 June 1997. On 15 July 1997, Duterte, et. al.
moved for reconsideration of the above order but
the same was denied by the Sandiganbayan for lack
of merit in its Resolution dated 5 August 1997.
Duterte and de Guzman filed a special civil action
for certiorari with preliminary injunction with the
Supreme Court.
Issue: Whether there was unreasonable delay in the
termination of the irregularly conducted preliminary

their explanation and after four long years of being

in the dark, they, naturally, had reason to assume
that the charges against them had already been
dismissed. On the other hand, the Office of the
Ombudsman failed to present any plausible, special
or even novel reason which could justify the fouryear delay in terminating its investigation. Its
excuse for the delay the many layers of review
that the case had to undergo and the meticulous
scrutiny it had to entail has lost its novelty and is
no longer appealing. The incident herein does not
involve complicated factual and legal issues,
specially in view of the fact that the subject
computerization contract had been mutually
cancelled by the parties thereto even before the
AntiGraft League filed its complaint. The Office of
the Ombudsman capitalizes on Duterte, et. al.'s
three motions for extension of time to file comment
which it imputed for the delay. However, the delay
was not caused by the motions for extension. The
delay occurred after petitioners filed their comment.
Between 1992 to 1996, Duterte, et. al. were under
no obligation to make any move because there was
no preliminary investigation within the
contemplation of Section 4, Rule II of A.O. No. 07 to
speak of in the first place. Hence, the petition was

Held: Compounding the deprivation of Duterte's and

de Guzman's right to a preliminary investigation
was the undue and unreasonable delay in the
termination of the irregularly conducted preliminary
investigation. Their manifestation adopting the
comments of their co-respondents was filed on 18
February 1992. However, it was only on 22 February
1996 or 4 years later, that they received a
memorandum dated 8 February 1996 submitted by
Special Prosecutor Officer I Lemuel M. De Guzman
recommending the filing of information against
them for violation of Sec. 3(g) of RA 3019 (Anti-Graft
and Corrupt Practices Act). The inordinate delay in
the conduct of the "preliminary investigation"
infringed upon their constitutionally guaranteed
right to a speedy disposition of their case. Further,
the constitutional right to speedy disposition of
cases does not come into play only when political
considerations are involved. The Constitution makes
no such distinction. While political motivation in
Tatad may have been a factor in the undue delay in
the termination of the preliminary investigation
therein to justify the invocation of their right to
speedy disposition of cases, the particular facts of
each case must be taken into consideration in the
grant of the relief sought. Duterte, et. al. herein
could not have urged the speedy resolution of their
case because they were completely unaware that
the investigation against them was still on-going.
Peculiar to this case is the fact that Duterte, et. al.
were merely asked to comment, and not file
counter-affidavits which is the proper procedure to
follow in a preliminary investigation. After giving

Tatad vs. Sandiganbayan [GR L-72335-39,
21 March 1988]
Facts: Sometime in October 1974, Antonio de los
Reyes, former Head Executive Assistant of the then
Department of Public Information (DPI) and
Assistant Officer-in-Charge of the Bureau of
Broadcasts, filed a formal report with the Legal
Panel, Presidential Security Command (PSC),
charging Francisco S. Tatad, who was then Secretary
and Head of the Department of Public Information,
with alleged violations of Republic Act 3019,
otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt
Practices Act. Apparently, no action was taken on
said report. Then, in October 1979, or 5 years later,
it became publicly known that Tatad had submitted
his resignation as Minister of Public Information, and
2 months after, or on 12 December 1979, Antonio
de los Reyes filed a complaint with the Tanodbayan
(TBP Case 8005-16-07) against Tatad, accusing him
of graft and corrupt practices in the conduct of his
office as then Secretary of Public Information. The
complaint repeated the charges embodied in the
previous report filed by complaint before the Legal
Panel, Presidential Security Command (PSC). On 26
January 1980, the resignation of Tatad was accepted
by President Ferdinand E. Marcos. On 1 April 1980,
the Tanodbayan referred the complaint of Antonio
de los Reyes to the Criminal Investigation Service
(CIS) for fact-finding investigation. On 16 June 1980,
Roberto P. Dizon, CIS Investigator of the
Investigation and Legal Panel, PSC, submitted his
Investigation Report, with the following conclusion,
"evidence gathered indicates that former Minister

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Tatad had violated Sec. 3 (e) and Sec. 7 of RA 3019,

respectively. On the other hand, Mr. Antonio L.
Cantero is also liable under Sec. 5 of RA 3019," and
recommended appropriate legal action on the
matter. Tatad moved to dismiss the complaint
against him, claiming immunity from prosecution by
virtue of PD 1791, but the motion was denied on 26
July 1982 and his motion for reconsideration was
also denied on 5 October 1982. On 25 October
1982, all affidavits and counter-affidavits were with
the Tanodbayan for final disposition. On 5 July 1985,
the Tanodbayan approved a resolution, dated 1 April
1985, prepared by Special Prosecutor Marina Buzon,
recommending that the informations be filed
against Tatad before the Sandiganbayan, for (1)
violation of Section 3, paragraph (e) of RA 3019 for
giving D'Group, a private corporation controlled by
his brother-in-law, unwarranted benefits, advantage
or preference in the discharge of his official
functions through manifest partiality and evident
bad faith; (2) violation of Section 3, paragraph (b) of
R.A. 3019 for receiving a check of P125,000.00 from
Roberto Vallar, President/General Manager of Amity
Trading Corporation as consideration for the release
of a check of P588,000.00 to said corporation for
printing services rendered for the Constitutional
Convention Referendum in 1973; and (3) violation of
Section 7 of R.A. 3019 on three (3) counts for his
failure to file his Statement of Assets and Liabilities
for the calendar years 1973, 1976 and 1978."
Accordingly, on 12 June 1985, informations were
filed with the Sandiganbayan against Tatad
(Criminal cases 10499 to 10503). On 22 July 1985,
Tatad filed with the Sandiganbayan a consolidated
motion to quash the information on the ground that,
among others, "the prosecution deprived accusedmovant of due process of law and of the right to a
speedy disposition of the cases filed against him,
amounting to loss of jurisdiction of file the
informations." On 26 July 1985, the Tanodbayan filed
its opposition to petitioner's consolidated motion to
quash. On August 9, 1985, the Sandiganbayan
rendered its resolution denying Tatad's motion to
quash. On 10 August 1985, the Tanodbayan filed an
amended information in Criminal Case 10500,
changing the date of the commission of the offense
to 30 September 1974. On 30 August 1985, Tatad
filed a consolidated motion for reconsideration
which was denied by the Sandiganbayan on 17
September 1985. On 16 October 1985, Tatad filed a
petition for certiorari and prohibition, with
preliminary injunction, before the Supreme Court.
Issue: Whether the long delay in teh termination of
the preliminary investigation by the Tanodbayan
violated tatads rights to due process and speedy
disposition of cases.
Held: A painstaking review of the facts can not but
leave the impression that political motivations
played a vital role in activating and propelling the
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prosecutorial process in this case. Firstly, the

complaint came to life, as it were, only after
petitioner Tatad had a falling out with President
Marcos. Secondly, departing from established
procedures prescribed by law for preliminary
investigation, which require the submission of
affidavits and counter-affidavits by the Tanodbayan
referred the complaint to the Presidential Security
Command for fact-finding investigation and report.
The Court cannot emphasize too strongly that
prosecutors should not allow, and should avoid,
giving the impression that their noble office is being
used or prostituted, wittingly or unwittingly, for
political ends or other purposes alien to, or
subversive of, the basic and fundamental objective
of serving the interest of justice evenhandedly,
without fear or favor to any and all litigants alike,
whether rich or poor, weak or strong, powerless or
mighty. Only by strict adherence to the established
procedure may the public's perception of the
impartiality of the prosecutor be enhanced. Coming
into the main point, the long delay in the
termination of the preliminary investigation by the
Tanodbayan is violative of the constitutional right of
the accused to due process. Substantial adherence
to the requirements of the law governing the
conduct of preliminary investigation, including
substantial compliance with the time limitation
prescribed by the law for the resolution of the case
by the prosecutor, is part of the procedural due
process constitutionally guaranteed by the
fundamental law. Not only under the broad umbrella
of the due process clause, but under the
constitutional guarantee of "speedy disposition" of
cases as embodied in Section 16 of the Bill of Rights
(both in the 1973 and 1987 Constitution), the
inordinate delay is violative of Tatad's constitutional
rights. A delay of close to 3 years can not be
deemed reasonable or justifiable in the light of the
circumstances obtaining in the present case. The
Court is not impressed by the attempt of the
Sandiganbayan to sanitize the long delay by
indulging in the speculative assumption that "the
delay may be due to a painstaking and grueling
scrutiny by the Tanodbayan as to whether the
evidence presented during the preliminary
investigation merited prosecution of a former highranking government official." In the first place, such
a statement suggests a double standard of
treatment, which must be emphatically rejected.
Secondly, three out of the five charges against Tatad
were for his alleged failure to file his sworn
statement of assets and liabilities required by RA
3019, which certainly did not involve complicated
legal and factual issues necessitating such
"painstaking and grueling scrutiny" as would justify
a delay of almost three years in terminating the
preliminary investigation. The other two charges
relating to alleged bribery and alleged giving of
unwarranted benefits to a relative, while presenting
more substantial legal and factual issues, certainly

do not warrant or justify the period of three years,

which it took the Tanodbayan to resolve the case.
After a careful review of the facts and circumstances
of the case, the Court was constrained to hold that
the inordinate delay in terminating the preliminary
investigation and filing the information in the instant
case is violative of the constitutionally guaranteed
right of Tatad to due process and to a speedy
disposition of the cases against him. Accordingly,
the informations in Criminal Cases 10499, 10500,
10501, 10502 and 10503 should be dismissed.
Licaros vs. Sandiganbayan [GR 145851, 22
November 2001]
Facts: On 5 June 1982, the Legaspi City Branch of
the Central Bank was robbed and divested of cash in
the amount of P19,731,320.00. In the evening of 6
June 1982, Modesto Licaros (no relation to Abelardo
B. Licaros), one of the principal accused, together
with four companions, delivered in sacks a
substantial portion of the stolen money to the
Concepcion Building in Intramuros, Manila where
Home Savings Bank had its offices, of which
Abelardo Licaros was then Vice Chairman and
Treasurer. The delivery was made on representation
by Modesto Licaros to former Central Bank Governor
Gregorio Licaros, Sr., then Chairman of the Bank and
father of Abelardo, that the money to be deposited
came from some Chinese businessmen from Iloilo
who wanted the deposit kept secret; that Governor
Licaros left for the United States on 28 May 1982 for
his periodic medical check-up, so left to his son,
Abelardo, to attend to the proposed deposit.
Abelardo attempted to report the incident to
General Fabian Ver but he could not get in touch
with him because the latter was then out of the
country. It was only the following day, 9 June 1982,
when Abelardo was able to arrange a meeting with
then Central Bank Governor Jaime C. Laya, Senior
Deputy Governor Gabriel Singson, and Central Bank
Chief Security Officer, Rogelio Navarete, to report
his suspicion that the money being deposited by
Modesto Licaros may have been stolen money. With
the report or information supplied by Abelardo, then
CB Governor Laya called up then NBI Director Jolly
Bugarin and soon after the meeting, the NBI,
Metrocom and the CB security guards joined forces
for the recovery of the money and the apprehension
of the principal accused. All the aforesaid Central
Bank officials executed sworn statements and
testified for Abelardo, particularly CB Governor
Jaime C. Laya, CB Senior Deputy Governor Gabriel
Singson and CB Director of the Security and
Transport Department Rogelio Navarette, and were
one in saying that it was the report of Abelardo to
the authorities that broke the case on 9 June 1982
and resulted in the recovery of the substantial
portion of the stolen money and the arrest of all the
principal accused. On 6 July 1982, after preliminary
investigation, the Tanodbayan (now Special
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Prosecutor) filed an Information for robbery with the

Sandiganbayan (Criminal Case 6672) against two
groups of accused: (a) Principals: Modesto Licaros y
Lacson (Private Individual), Leo Flores y Manlangit
(CB Security Guard), Ramon Dolor y Ponce (CB
Assistant Regional Cashier), Glicerio Balansin y
Elaurza (CB Security Guard), Rolando Quejada y
Redequillo (Private Individual), Pio Edgardo Flores y
Torres (Private Individual), Mario Lopez Vito y
Dayungan (Private Individual), and Rogelio De la
Cruz y Bodegon (Private Individual); and (b)
Accessory After the Fact: Abelardo B. Licaros (Vice
Chairman and Treasurer, Home Savings Bank and
Trust Co. (HSBTC), Private Individual). On 26
November 1982, the Tanodbayan filed an Amended
Information naming the same persons as principals,
except Rogelio dela Cruz who is now charged as an
accessory, together with Abelardo. De la Cruz died
on 6 November 1987 as per manifestation by his
counsel dated and filed on 17 November 1987. On
29 November 1982, the accused were arraigned,
including Abelardo, who interposed the plea of not
guilty. On 7 January 1983, the Tanodbayan filed with
the Sandiganbayan a "Motion for Discharge" of
Abelardo to be utilized as a state witness which was
granted in a Resolution dated 11 February 1983.
The Supreme Court, however, on petition for
certiorari filed by accused Flores, Modesto Licaros
and Lopez Vito, annulled the discharge because it
ruled that the Sandiganbayan should have deferred
its resolution on the motion to discharge until after
the prosecution has presented all its other evidence.
At the close of its evidence, or on 23 July 1984, the
prosecution filed a second motion for discharge of
Abelardo to be utilized as a state witness but the
Sandiganbayan in a Resolution dated 13 September
1984 denied the Motion stating in part that the
motion itself does not furnish any cue or suggestion
on what petitioner will testify in the event he is
discharged and placed on the stand as state
witness. Meanwhile, as of 8 March 1983, the
prosecution has presented 10 witnesses. None of
the witnesses, nor any of the principal accused who
executed the sworn statements implicated Abelardo
to the crime of robbery directly or indirectly. On 17
September 1984, the prosecution formally offered
its documentary evidence. In a Resolution dated 1
October 1984, the Sandiganbayan admitted the
evidence covered by said formal offer and the
prosecution was considered to have rested its case.
On 14 January 1986, Abelardo filed a Motion for
Separate Trial contending that the prosecution
already closed its evidence and that his defense is
separate and distinct from the other accused, he
having been charged only as accessory. The motion
was granted in an Order dated 17 January 1986.
Thereafter, Abelardo commenced the presentation
of his evidence. On 8 August 1986, Abelardo filed
his Formal Offer of Exhibits. On 14 August 1986,
Abelardo filed his Memorandum praying that
judgment be rendered acquitting him of the offense

charged. In a Resolution dated 26 August 1986, the

Sandiganbayan, through Presiding Justice Francis E.
Garchitorena (then newly appointed after the EDSA
revolution), admitted all the exhibits covered by
said Formal Offer of Exhibits at the same time,
ordering the prosecution to file its Reply
Memorandum, thereafter the case was deemed
submitted for decision. On 26 September 1986, the
prosecution filed its Reply Memorandum. Abelardo
also filed his Reply Memorandum on 29 September
1986 praying that judgment be rendered acquitting
him of the offense charged. In a Resolution dated 8
October 1986 copy of which was received by
Abelardo on 15 October 1986, the Sandiganbayan
deferred the decision of the case regarding Abelardo
until after the submission of the case for decision
with respect to the other accused. Abelardo filed his
Motion for Reconsideration on 16 October 1986, but
the Sandiganbayan in a Resolution dated 16
December 1986 and promulgated on 6 January 1987
denied the same. The case was submitted for
decision on 20 June 1990. More than 10 years after
the case was submitted for decision, the
Sandiganbayan has not rendered the Decision. On
15 August 2000, Abelardo filed his Motion to
Resolve. This was followed by Reiterative Motion for
Early Resolution filed on 21 September 2000.
Abelardo filed a petition for mandamus with the
Supreme Court
Issue: Whether the dismissal of Abelardos case is
warranted by the guarantee on speedy trial or
speedy disposition of the case.
Held: Under Section 6 of PD 1606 amending PD
1486, the Sandiganbayan has only 90 days to
decide a case from the time it is deemed submitted
for decision. Considering that the subject criminal
case was submitted for decision as early as 20 June
1990, it is obvious that the Sandiganbayan has
failed to decide the case within the period
prescribed by law. Even if the Court was to consider
the period provided under Section 15(1), Article III of
the 1987 Constitution, which is 12 months from the
submission of the case for decision, the
Sandiganbayan would still have miserably failed to
perform its mandated duty to render a decision on
the case within the period prescribed by law. Clearly
then, the decision in this case is long overdue, and
the period to decide the case under the law has long
expired. Even more important than the above
periods within which the decision should have been
rendered is the right against an unreasonable delay
in the disposition of one's case before any judicial,
quasi-judicial or administrative body. This
constitutionally guaranteed right finds greater
significance in a criminal case before a court of
justice, where any delay in disposition may result in
a denial of justice for the accused altogether.
Indeed, the aphorism "justice delayed is justice
denied" is by no means a trivial or meaningless
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concept that can be taken for granted by those who

are tasked with the dispensation of justice.
Indubitably, there has been a transgression of
Abelardo's right to a speedy disposition of his case
due to inaction on the part of the Sandiganbayan.
Neither that court nor the special prosecutor
contradicted his allegation of a ten-year delay in the
disposition of his case. The special prosecutor in its
Comment9 even openly admitted the date when the
case had been deemed submitted for decision (i.e.
20 June 1990), as well as Sandiganbayan's failure to
act on it despite Abelardo's several Motions to
resolve the case. It has been held that a breach of
the right of the accused to the speedy disposition of
a case may have consequential effects, but it is not
enough that there be some procrastination in the
proceedings. In order to justify the dismissal of a
criminal case, it must be established that the
proceedings have unquestionably been marred by
vexatious, capricious and oppressive delays. Herein,
the failure of the Sandiganbayan to decide the case
even after the lapse of more than 10 years after it
was submitted for decision involves more than just a
mere procrastination in the proceedings. From the
explanation given by the Sandiganbayan, it appears
that the case was kept in idle slumber, allegedly due
to reorganizations in the divisions and the lack of
logistics and facilities for case records. Had it not
been for the filing of the Petition for Mandamus,
Abelardo would not have seen any development in
his case, much less the eventual disposition thereof.
The case remains unresolved up to now, with only
the Sandiganbayan's assurance that at this time
"work is being done on the case for the preparation
and finalization of the decision." Hence, the
dismissal of the criminal case against Abelardo for
violation of his right to a speedy disposition of his
case is justified by the following circumstances: (1)
the 10-year delay in the resolution of the case is
inordinately long; (2) Abelardo has suffered vexation
and oppression by reason of this long delay; (3) he
did not sleep on his right and has in fact
consistently asserted it, (4) he has not contributed
in any manner to the long delay in the resolution of
his case, (5) he did not employ any procedural
dilatory strategies during the trial or raised on
appeal or certiorari any issue to delay the case, (6)
the Sandiganbayan did not give any valid reason to
justify the inordinate delay and even admitted that
the case was one of those that got "buried" during
its reorganization, and (7) Abelardo was merely
charged as an accessory after the fact. For too long,
Abelardo has suffered in agonizing anticipation
while awaiting the ultimate resolution of his case.
The inordinate and unreasonable delay is
completely attributable to the Sandiganbayan. No
fault whatsoever can be ascribed to Abelardo or his
lawyer. It is now time to enforce his constitutional
right to speedy disposition and to grant him speedy


Dimayacyac Vs Judge Roxas

Before us is a petition for review

on certiorari assailing the Decision[1] of the Court of
Appeals (CA for brevity) dated November 13, 1998
in CA-G.R. SP No. 43884, denying Atty. Reynaldo
P. Dimayacyacs petition for certiorari and ruling that
the Regional Trial Court (Branch 227) of Quezon City
(RTC for brevity) was correct in denying petitioners
motion to quash the information charging petitioner
with falsification of public documents, docketed as
Criminal Case No. Q-93-49988.
The antecedent facts as borne out by the
records of the case are accurately narrated in the
CA Decision dated November 13, 1998, thus:
An information for falsification of public documents
docketed as Criminal Case No. Q-91-18037 at the
RTC of Quezon City was filed against petitioner
along with some others. That information reads:
The undersigned Assistant City Prosecutor accuses
PUBLIC DOCUMENT (under Article 172, first and last
paragraph in relation to Article 171 paragraph 2 of
the Revised Penal Code), committed as follows:
That on or about the 5th day of 1986, in Quezon
City, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this
Honorable Court, the above-named accused, all
private individuals, conspiring together,
confederating with and mutually helping one
another, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and
feloniously commit the act of falsification of public
documents, by then and there falsifying or causing
the falsification of the following documents, to wit:
a) Certification dated March 10, 1986 purportedly
signed by a certain Fernando Dizon, Record
Management Analyst of the Bureau of Land, Central
Office, Manila;
(b) Report dated May 5, 1986 purportedly signed by
a certain Jose Mariano, Chief Record Management
Division of Bureau of Land, Central Office, Manila;
(c) Sales Certificate and Deed of Assignment
allegedly issued by the Bureau of Land in favor of
Lourdes Angeles; that despite the fact that said
accused knew all the time that said documents are
fake and spurious used the same in the Petition for
Reconstitution of Records of the technical
description of Lots Nos. 755, 777, 778 and 783 of
the Piedad Estate covered by TCT No. 14, Decree
No. 667, GLRORecord No. 5975 and the issuance of
Title thereto filed by Estrella Mapa over and
involving the aforesaid lots in Land Registration
Case docketed as LRC Case No. 3369 (86) before
Branch 99, Regional Trial Court, Quezon City and

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that by virtue of said falsification and the use of the

same as evidence in Court Honorable Presiding
Judge Godofredo Asuncion issued an order dated
June 30, 1986 granting said petition, and pursuant
thereto the Register of Deeds of Quezon City issued
Transfer Certificates of Titles Nos. 348156, 348291
and 348292 in the name of Estrella Mapa thereby
embracing and/or encroaching the portions of the
properties belonging to Romeo D.
Gomez, Sixto Agbada, Irene Agbada-Cruz and
Mercedes Aristorenas whose properties were
embraced and included in the said Transfer
Certificates of Titles and in such amount as may be
awarded under the provisions of the Civil Code.
Before his arraignment, petitioner moved to quash
the information on two (2) grounds. First, that the
officer who filed the information had no legal
authority to do so, and second, that more than one
offense was charged in the information.
Pending resolution of the motion to quash,
petitioner was arraigned.
By Order of August 23, 1991,
Judge Benigno T. Dayaw of Branch 80 of the
Regional Trial Court of Quezon City to whose sala
Criminal Case No. Q-91-18037 was raffled, holding
that the grant or denial of Motion to Dismiss
whether the accused is arraigned or not is
discretionary on the part of the Court, it citing
People vs. IAC, L-66939-41, January 10, 1987,
granted the petitioners motion to quash upon the
second ground. Accordingly, the information was
More than two (2) years after the quashal of the
information in Criminal Case No. Q-91-18037 or on
October 19, 1993, the Quezon City Prosecutor filed
against the same accused including petitioner two
(2) informations for falsification of public documents
docketed at the Quezon City RTC as Criminal Case
Nos. Q-93-49988 and 49989. The Informations arose
from the questioned acts of falsification subject of
the earlier quashed information in Criminal Case No.
Petitioner later filed with Branch 103 of the RTC of
Quezon City to which the informations were raffled a
motion for the quashal thereof on the ground of
double jeopardy, citing Section 3(h) of Rule 117 of
the Revised Rules of Court.
Petitioner argued at the court a quo that he would
be placed in double jeopardy as he was indicted
before for the same offenses and the case was
dismissed or otherwise terminated without his
express consent.
By the assailed Order of December 18, 1996, public
respondent, Judge Vicente Q. Roxas of Branch 227
of the RTC of Quezon City to which the two (2)

informations against petitioner, et al, were

eventually lodged, held that the information in
Criminal Case No. Q-93-49988 involved a different
document as that involved in Criminal Case No. Q91-18037 which had already been
quashed. Resolution of the motion to quash the
information in Criminal Case No. Q-93-49989 was
stayed pending the submission by petitioner of the
documents required by the court a quo. Public
respondent thus denied the motion to quash the
information in Criminal Case No. Q-93-49988 and
ordered petitioners arraignment, he holding that
said case did not place petitioner in double jeopardy.
Herein petitioner then filed a petition
for certiorari before the CA which denied his petition
stating in its Decision that since the Information in
Criminal Case No. Q-91-18037, on petitioners
motion, was quashed on the ground that more than
one offense was charged pursuant to Sec. 3 (e) of
Rule 117 of the Revised Rules of Court,[3] he is not
placed in double jeopardy by the filing of another
Information for an offense included in the charge
subject of the Information in Criminal Case No. Q91-18037.[4]
Hence, herein petition for review on certiorari
assigning the following errors of the CA, to wit:
I. That the Honorable Court of Appeals
ERRED in disregarding the legal
doctrine that THERE IS DOUBLE
JEOPARDY, in the case now pending
before Respondent Judge Vicente Q.
II. That the Honorable Court of Appeals
ERRED in not adhering to the decisions
of this Honorable Supreme Court, as
well as to applicable jurisprudence on
the matter;
III. That the Honorable Court of Appeals
ERRED in not taking into account that
based on the Manifestation and Motion
(To Grant Petition) In Lieu of Comment
filed by the Office of the Solicitor
General, the ORDER of dismissal of
Judge Benigno T. Dayaw in
on August 23, 1991 has become final
and executory; and
IV. That the Honorable Respondent Court
of Appeals ERRED in concluding that an
ORDER sustaining the motion to quash
is not a bar to another prosecution for

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the same offense, as it has no legal

On the other hand, the Office of the Solicitor
General (OSG) contends that petitioner, by filing the
motion to quash and refusing to withdraw it after he
was arraigned, is deemed to have waived his right
against double jeopardy, as his motion to quash
constituted his express consent for the dismissal of
the information. However, the OSG advances the
view that the criminal case against herein petitioner
may be dismissed for the inordinate delay in the
conduct of preliminary investigation for the purpose
of filing the proper information, which is a violation
of the accuseds constitutional right to due process
of law and to speedy disposition of cases.
Private respondent complainant Irene AgbadaCruz, in turn, submits that the Court of Appeals
committed no error since the dismissal or quashal of
an information is not a bar to another prosecution
except when the motion to quash is based on the
ground that (1) the criminal action or liability has
been extinguished or that (2) the accused has
previously been convicted or in jeopardy of being
convicted or acquitted of the offense charged,
pursuant to Section 6 in relation to Section 3, Rule
117 of the Rules of Court, to wit:
Section 6. Order sustaining the motion to quash not
a bar to another prosecution; exception. - An order
sustaining the motion to quash is not a bar to
another prosecution for the same offense unless the
motion was based on the grounds specified in
Section 3, sub-sections (f) and (h) of this Rule.
Section 3. Grounds. The accused may move to
quash the complaint or information on any of the
following grounds:
(a) That the facts
charged do not
constitute an
(b) That the court
trying the case has
no jurisdiction over
the offense
charged or the
person of the
(c) That the officer
who filed the
information had no
authority to do so;
(d) That it does not
substantially to the
prescribed form;

(e) That more than

one offense is
charged except in
those cases in
which existing
laws prescribe a
single punishment
for various
(f) That the
criminal action
or liability has
(g) That it contains
averments which,
if true, would
constitute a legal
excuse or
justification; and
(h) That the
accused has
been previously
convicted or in
jeopardy of
being convicted,
or acquitted of
the offense
charged. (Emphas
is supplied)
Thus, private respondent Cruz argues that since the
previous information was quashed on the ground of
duplicity of offenses charged, the subsequent filing
of a proper information is, therefore, not barred.
In their Memorandum, private respondentscomplainants
Mercedes Aristorenas contend that (1) jeopardy
does not attach where the dismissal of the
information was effected at the instance of the
accused; and (2) there was no violation of
petitioners right to a speedy disposition of his case
since he never raised this issue in the trial court nor
in the appellate court, hence, his silence should be
interpreted as a waiver of said right to a speedy
The issues boil down to (1) whether or not the
prosecution of petitioner under the Information
docketed as Criminal Case No. Q-93-49988 would
constitute double jeopardy, considering that when
the Information in Criminal Case No. Q-91-18037
was previously quashed, he had already been
arraigned, and (2) whether or not petitioners
constitutional right to a speedy disposition of his
case has been violated.
With regard to the first issue, we are in accord
with the ruling of the CA that not all the elements
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for double jeopardy exist in the case at

bench. In People vs. Tac-An,[6] we enumerated the
elements that must exist for double jeopardy to be
invoked, to wit:
Thus, apparently, to raise the defense of double
jeopardy, three requisites must be present: (1) a
first jeopardy must have attached prior to the
second; (2) the first jeopardy must have been
validly terminated; and (3) the second jeopardy
must be for the same offense as that in the first.
Legal jeopardy attaches only (a) upon a valid
indictment, (b) before a competent court, (c) after
arraignment, (d) a valid plea having been entered;
and (e) the case was dismissed or otherwise
terminated without the express consent of the
accused (People vs. Ylagan, 58 Phil. 851).
Was the duplicitous information a valid
indictment? We answer in the affirmative. In People
vs. Bugayong,[7] we ruled that when an appellant
fails to file a motion to quash within the time
prescribed under Section 1, Rule 117 of the Rules of
Court, he is thus deemed to have waived the defect
in the Information. In People vs. Manalili,[8] we held
that an accused, who fails to object prior to
arraignment to a duplicitous information, may be
found guilty of any or all of the crimes alleged
therein and duly proven during the trial, for the
allegation of the elements of such component
crimes in the said information has satisfied the
constitutional guarantee that an accused be
informed of the nature of the offense with which he
or she is being charged.Verily, a duplicitous
information is valid since such defect may be
waived and the accused, because of such waiver,
could be convicted of as many offenses as those
charged in the information and proved during trial.
The validity of the information having been
established, we go on to examine whether the other
requisites for double jeopardy to attach are
present. In the present case, although there was a
valid indictment before a competent court and
petitioner, as the accused, had already been
arraigned therein, entering a valid plea of not guilty,
the last requisite that the case was dismissed or
otherwise terminated without his express consent, is
not present.
It should be noted that the termination of
Criminal Case No. Q-91-18037 was upon motion of
petitioner who, on April 1, 1991, filed with the court
an Urgent Motion to Quash which was granted by
Resolution dated August 23, 1991. In Sta. Rita vs.
Court of Appeals,[9] we held that the reinstatement
of criminal cases against the accused did not violate
his right against double jeopardy since the dismissal
of the information by the trial court had been

effected at his own instance when the accused filed

a motion to dismiss on the grounds that the facts
charged do not constitute an offense and that the
RTC had no jurisdiction over the case. In this case,
considering that since the dismissal of the previous
criminal case against petitioner was by reason of his
motion for the quashal of the information, petitioner
is thus deemed to have expressly given his consent
to such dismissal. There could then be no double
jeopardy in this case since one of the requisites
therefore, i.e., that the dismissal be without
accuseds express consent, is not present.
As to whether the subsequent filing of the two
informations docketed as Q-93-49988 and Q-9349989 constitutes a violation of petitioners
constitutional right to a speedy disposition of cases,
[10] we rule in the negative. We are not convinced
by the OSGs assertion that the cases of Tatad vs.
Sandiganbayan[11] or Angchangco,
Ombudsman,[12] are applicable to the case before
us. We see differently. There is no factual similarity
between this case before us and the cases
of Tatad and Angchangco.
In the Tatad case, there was a hiatus in the
proceedings between the termination of the
on October 25, 1982 and its resolution on April 17,
1985. The Court found that political motivations
played a vital role in activating and propelling the
prosecutorial process[13] against then Secretary
Francisco S. Tatad. In the Angchangcocase, the
criminal complaints remained pending in the Office
of the Ombudsman for more than six years despite
the respondents numerous motions for early
resolution and the respondent, who had been
retired, was being unreasonably deprived of the
fruits of his retirement because of the still
unresolved criminal complaints against him. In both
cases, we ruled that the period of time that elapsed
for the resolution of the cases against the
petitioners therein was deemed a violation of the
accuseds right to a speedy disposition of cases
against them.
In the present case, no proof was presented to
show any persecution of the accused, political or
otherwise, unlike in the Tatad case. There is no
showing that petitioner was made to endure any
vexatious process during the two-year period before
the filing of the proper informations, unlike in
the Angchangco case where petitioner therein was
deprived of his retirement benefits for an
unreasonably long time. Thus, the circumstances
the Tatad and Angchangco cases
justifying the radical relief granted by us in said
cases are not existent in the present case.

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We emphasize our ruling in Ty-Dazo vs.

Sandiganbayan[14] where we held that:
The right to a speedy disposition of cases, like the
right to a speedy trial, is deemed violated only when
the proceedings is attended by vexatious,
capricious, and oppressive delays; or when
unjustified postponements of the trial are asked for
and secured, or when without cause or unjustifiable
motive, a long period of time is allowed to elapse
without the party having his case tried. In the
determination of whether or not that right has been
violated, the factors that may be considered and
balanced are: the length of the delay the reasons for
such delay, the assertion or failure to assert such
right by the accused, and the prejudice caused by
the delay.
A mere mathematical reckoning of the time
involved, therefore, would not be sufficient. In the
application of the constitutional guarantee of the
right to speedy disposition of cases, particular
regard must also be taken of the facts and
circumstances peculiar to each case. (Emphasis
Thus, we shall examine how such aforementioned
factors affected herein petitioners right.
As to the length of delay, it is established that
the prosecution did not take any action on
petitioners case for two years. From the time that
Criminal Case No. Q-91-18037 was dismissed
on August 23, 1991, the prosecution failed to effect
the very simple remedy of filing two separate
informations against petitioner until October of
1993. Indeed, there was a delay in the refiling of the
proper informations. However, the prosecution was
never given the opportunity to explain the
circumstances that may have caused such delay
precisely because petitioner never raised the issue
of the length of time it took the prosecution to
revive the case. There is nothing on record to show
what happened during the two-year lull before the
filing of the proper informations. Hence, it could not
be ascertained that peculiar situations existed to
prove that the delay was vexatious, capricious and
oppressive, and therefore, a violation of petitioners
constitutional right to speedy disposition of cases.
What the records clearly show is that petitioner
never asserted his right to a speedy disposition of
his case. The only ground he raised in assailing the
subsequent filing of the two informations is that he
will be subjected to double jeopardy. It was only the
OSG that brought to light the issue on petitioners
right to a speedy disposition of his case, and only
when the case was brought to the appellate court
on certiorari. Even in this petition before us,
petitioner did not raise the issue of his right to a

speedy disposition of his case. Again, it was only the

OSG that presented such issue to us in the Brief for
the State which was only then adopted by petitioner
through a Manifestation dated August 3, 1999. We
are not convinced that the filing of the informations
against petitioner after two years was an
unreasonable delay. Petitioner himself did not really
believe that there was any violation of his right to a
speedy disposition of the case against him.
The case which is more in point with the
is Dela
Sandiganbayan[15] where we ruled that petitioner
therein, for failing to assert their right to a speedy
disposition of their cases, was deemed to have
waived such right and thus, not entitled to the
radical relief granted by the Court in the cases
of Tatad and Angchangco. The
circumstances surrounding herein petitioners case
do not demonstrate that there was any violation of
petitioners right to a speedy disposition of his case.
hereby DENIED for lack of merit. The temporary
restraining order issued pursuant to our Resolution
dated January 17, 2000 is hereby LIFTED and the
Regional Trial Court of Quezon City (Branch 227) is
hereby ORDERED to proceed with dispatch with
petitioners arraignment in Criminal Case No. Q-9349988.

Bernat Vs. Sandiganbayan

FACTS: On August 14, 1991, petitioner, along with

several co-accused, were charged before the
Sandiganbayan with violation of Section 3(e) of
Republic Act No. 3019, otherwise known as the AntiGraft and Corrupt Practices Act.5 After arraignment
and the presentation of the parties testimonial and
documentary evidence, the case was eventually
submitted for decision on August 23, 1994 before
the Second Division. Thereafter, the case remained
pending and unacted upon until the reorganization
of the Sandiganbayan pursuant to Administrative
Order 266-97, and the case was unloaded to the
newly created Fifth Division.
The case was originally assigned to Justice
Godofredo Legaspi. Later, it was re-assigned to
Justice Ma. Cristina G. Cortez-Estrada on November
3, 1998.
Justice Cortez-Estrada was writing the decision of
the case, she found out that the Transcript of
Stenographic Notes (TSN) was missing from the
records turned over to her.
Clerk of Court of the Fifth Division informed the
parties and ordered them to attend a conference to
discuss on April 19, 2002
Petitioner filed a comment manifesting that he is
strongly averse to any further proceeding
occasioned by the lack of stenographic notes, as he
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should not be prejudiced by the fault or negligence

of another
On September 4, 2002, petitioner filed his Motion
to Dismiss but was dismissed by SandiganBayan
ISSUE: Is there a violation of the constitutional
prohibition against unreasonable delay in the
disposition of a criminal case which stands
undecided until now (May 2004) although submitted
for decision on August 25, 1994?
HELD: Section 16 of Article III of the Constitution
guarantees the right of all persons to a speedy
disposition of their cases. Nevertheless, this right is
deemed violated only when the proceedings are
attended by vexatious, capricious and oppressive
delays.7 Moreover, the determination of whether
the delays are of said nature is relative and cannot
be based on a mere mathematical reckoning of
time. Particular regard must be taken of the facts
and circumstances peculiar to each case. As a
guideline, the Court in Dela Pea v.
Sandiganbayan mentioned certain factors that
should be considered and balanced, namely:
1) length of delay; 2) reasons for the delay; 3)
assertion or failure to assert such right by the
accused; and 4) prejudice caused by the delay
Following these principles, the Court finds there was
no violation of petitioners right to a speedy
disposition of his case
It is fair to assume that he would have just
continued to sleep on his right a situation
amounting to laches. petitioner herein failed
seasonably to assert his constitutional right to a
speedy disposition of his case. During the 8-year
period, prior to the April 19, 2002 conference
between the parties, petitioner did not complain
about the long delay in deciding his case. It was
only after the missing TSNs were brought to his
attention that petitioner showed an interest in the
termination of his case.
While this Court recognizes the right to speedy
disposition quite distinctly from the right to a
speedy trial, and although this Court has always
zealously espoused protection from oppressive and
vexatious delays not attributable to the party
involved, at the same time, we hold that a partys
individual rights should not work against and
preclude the peoples equally important right to
public justice.

Abadia VS. CA

Private respondent Lt. Col. Marcelino Malajacan was

arrested on April 27, 1990 in connection with the
December 1989 coup attempt. He was brought to
the ISG Detention Center in Fort Bonifacio, Makati
where he was detained for nine months without
charges. On January 30, 1991, a charge sheet was
filed against private respondent by the office of the
Judge Advocate General alleging violations of the
67th, 94th and 97th Articles of War for Mutiny,

Murder and Conduct Unbecoming an Officer and a

Gentleman, respectively. A petition for habeas
corpus was filed by the private respondent with the
Court of Appeals on March 7, 1991 which was,
however, dismissed by the said court's Fourth
Division in a decision promulgated on June 28, 1991
on the ground that pre-trial investigation for the
charges against the respondent was already
ongoing before a Pre-Trial and Investigative (PTI)
Panel of the Judge Advocate General's Office (JAGO).
The pertinent portions of the Court of Appeals'
decision state:
As in the Elepante case also, we cannot at this
time order the release of petitioner on a writ
ofhabeas corpus without giving the military
from here on a reasonable time within which
to finish the investigation of his case and
determine whether he should be formally
charged before the court martial or released
for insufficiency of evidence, especially since,
as manifested by respondents, petitioner has
already filed his counter-affidavits to those
supporting the charge sheet against him and
that the matter is now ready for resolution.
WHEREFORE, the instant petition is hereby
DISMISSED, but the incumbent Chief of
Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines is
directed to take appropriate action in
case with
speed, consistent with his constitutional right
to a speedy disposition of his case. 1
Three months after these charges were filed, the Pre-Trial
Investigative Panel came out with a Resolution dated 27 May
1991 finding no evidence of direct participation by the private
respondent in the December 1989 coup. Said panel nonetheless
recommended that respondent be charged with violation of
Article 136 of the Revised Penal Code (Conspiracy and Proposal
to Commit Rebellion or Insurrection) and the 96th Article of War
in relation to the 94th Article of War. 2 Consequently, all existing
charges against respondent were dismissed and a new charge for
violation of Article of War No. 96 for Conduct Unbecoming an
Officer and a Gentleman for having allegedly been involved in a
series of conferences with other military officers for the purpose
of overthrowing the government, carrying with it the penalty of
dismissal from service was filed with the General Court Martial
(GCM) No. 8.
Additionally, the Judge Advocate General's Office endorsed the
filing of charges for violation of Article 136 of the Revised Penal
Code to the Quezon City Prosecutor's Office on October 29,
1991. 3 The City Prosecutor eventually came out with a
resolution dated February 4, 1992, dismissing the charges. 4
Upon private respondent's arraignment (and before entering his
plea) in General Court Martial No. 8 for violation of the 96th
Article of War, private respondent entered a special motion to
dismiss the case on grounds of prescription under AW 38. The
said article states:
Art. 38. As to time. Except for desertion,
murder or rape committed in time of war, or

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for mutiny or for war offenses, no person

subject to military law shall be liable to be
tried or punished by a court martial for any
crime of offense committed more than two
years before the arraignment of such person. .
. . . (Emphasis supplied)
The private respondent contended that the offense was supposed
to have been committed between August to November, 1989,
more than two years before his arraignment on April 22, 1992.
Favorably resolving the motion to dismiss for being
"substantial . . . meritorious and legally tenable," the General
Court Martial dropped the last remaining charge against private
respondent. 5 On April 23, 1992, the Assistant Trial Judge
Advocate submitted a report to the Chief of Staff quoting the
Resolution of GCM No. 8 for "info/notation".
On May 27, 1992 respondent filed a second petition for habeas
corpus before the Court of Appeals where he assailed his
continued detention at the ISG Detention Center in spite of the
dismissal of all the charges against him. He contended that his
continued confinement under the circumstances amounted to an
"illegal restraint of liberty" correctable only by the court's
"issuance of the high prerogative writ of habeas corpus." 6
In a Resolution dated May 29, 1992, the 12th Division of the
Court of Appeals ordered petitioners Lt. General Lisandro
Abadia, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and
Maj. General Arturo Enrile, Commanding General of the
Philippine Army "(t)o produce the person of Lt. Col. Marcelino
Q. Malajacan" and to show lawful cause for the latter's continued
detention. 7 On June 3, 1992, respondent court promulgated the
questioned decision issuing a writ of habeas corpus and
commanding herein petitioners to release the private respondent.
In its decision, respondent court held:
While we recognize the fact that under
military law, a decision of a military tribunal,
be it of acquittal or conviction, or dismissal is
merely recommendatory and subject to review
by the convening authority and the reviewing
authority, We find a glaring hiatus in the rules
and procedure being followed by the military
in general and the respondents in this
particular case, that inevitably leads to
unbridled injustice, which if not corrected by
the proper authorities concerned including this
court, will subject any member of the military
to indefinite confinement. The lack of time
limit within which the Chief of Staff and/or
reviewing authority may approve or
disapprove the order of dismissal on the
ground of prescription may be subject to
abuse. 8
Consequently, on June 11, 1992, petitioner filed a petition for
review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court to annul
and set aside respondent courts decision alleging that:
1. The respondent court may not impose a
time frame for the Chief of Staff to act on the
respondent's case where the law itself
provides none; and,

2. The Resolution of June 3, 1992 contravenes

a previous decision by a co-equal body, the
Special Fourth Division of the Court of
Appeals which on September 27, 1991
dismissed respondent's petition for habeas
We disagree.
In the context of the constitutional protection guaranteeing fair
trial rights to accused individuals particularly the Right to a
Speedy Trial, we cannot accept petitioners' submission that the
absence of any specific provision limiting the time within which
records of general courts martial should be forwarded to the
appropriate reviewing authority and for the reviewing authority to
decide on the case would deny private respondent or any
military personnel facing charges before the General Courts
Martial, for that matter a judicial recourse to protect his
constitutional right to a speedy trial. What petitioners suggest is
untenable. In the case at bench, the records of the case may
indefinitely remain with the General Court Martial, and our
courts, because of a procedural gap in the rules, cannot be called
upon to ascertain whether certain substantive rights have been or
are being denied in the meantime. That is not the spirit ordained
by inclusion of the second paragraph of Article VIII, Section 1 of
the Constitution which mandates the "duty of the Courts of
Justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are
legally demandable and enforceable and to determine whether or
not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack
or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or
instrumentality of the government." 9 Moreover, the absence of
rules and regulations mandating a reasonable period within which
the appropriate appellate military authority should act in a case
subject to mandatory review is no excuse for denial of a
substantive right. The Bill of Rights provisions of the 1987
Constitution were precisely crafted to expand substantive fair trial
rights and to protect citizens from procedural machinations which
tend to nullify those rights. Moreover, Section 16, Article III of
the Constitution extends the right to a speedy disposition of cases
to cases "before all judicial, quasi-judicial and administrative
bodies." This protection extends to all citizens, including those in
the military and covers the periods before, during and after the
trial, affording broader protection than Section 14(2) which
guarantees merely the right to a speedy trial.
The 1987 Constitution reflects both the recognition by the
Constitutional Commission of the necessity of a military force
and the widespread concern, after two decades of authoritarian
rule, over its role in a democratic society. Thus, while the
Constitution recognizes the need for a military force to protect its
citizens, it emphatically ordains the supremacy, at all times of
civilian authority over the military. Through numerous provisions
scattered all over the fundamental law, the constitutional
injunction mandating the principle of civilian supremacy over the
military has been given substantive detail. 10 This detail has been
further elaborated by the Rules of Court and our
jurisprudence.11 Petitioners' thesis, however, would deny the
provisions. 12
A consideration of the history of Philippine military law,
moreover, exposes the fallacy of the petitioner's averments. The
first military law enacted by the National Assembly of the

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Philippines (Commonwealth Act No. 408 which remains that

backbone of existing military law in our country) is essentially
American in origin. 13 With a few minor amendments,
Commonwealth Act No. 408, similar to the American military
code of 1928, continues to be the organic law of the Armed
Forces of the Philippines. 14 Our system of court martial
proceedings therefore on the surface remains essentially identical
to the system in force in the United States. 15
Paradoxically, developments in our military law have failed to
keep up with developments in law both here and in the United
States. While the Constitution and the Rules of Court have
together expanded the fair trial rights of the accused, military law
on the matter has remained static, if not anachronistic. While
admittedly, military law is a jurisprudence which exists separate
and apart from the law which governs most of us, 16 because "it
is the primary business of armies and navies to fight or to be
ready to fight wars should the occasion arise," 17 it is distinct
only in so far as it addresses the general recognition of the unique
concerns of the military establishment in safeguarding the
government and citizens it has been sworn to protect, but it
cannot exist as an entity wholly separate from our laws,
particularly our Constitution. In the United States, this
recognition has led to the evolution of two basic sources of
specialized jurisprudence: the Uniform Code of Military Justice
(UCMJ), enacted in 1950 by the US Congress and revised in 1968
and the Manual for Court Martial (MCM), most recently revised
in 1975. These statutory enactments and the revisions which
followed essentially reflected the growth of jurisprudence in the
sphere of civil rights to the extent that, in some aspects involving
the fair trial rights of the accused, the military statutory
requirements have become more stringent. This is at least true as
far as the right to a speedy disposition of cases is concerned. A
few examples are in order.
Article 33 of the UCMJ requires the forwarding to the convening
authority of all documents related to the case within eight (8)
days of the accused's arrest and confinement. Causing
unnecessary delay in the disposition of criminal cases constitutes
an actionable offense under Article 98. In general, the Uniform
Code of Military Justice mandates that immediate steps be taken
to try or dismiss cases against an accused member of the armed
forces imposing an unusually heavy burden on government in
establishing diligence in the disposition of cases. In the arena of
military jurisprudence, decisions interpreting speedy trial
requirements adhere to standards more rigorous than those
involving normal Sixth Amendment Rights. These decisions have
required stringent "Sixth Amendment balancing of 1) length of
delay, 2) reasons for delay, 3) timely assertion of speedy trial
accused." 18
Thus, ironically, while U.S. military law has dynamically
reflected changes and trends in fair trial jurisprudence in enacting
provisions giving life to the changes in the law, our military law
has been stunted by legislative inaction. Obviously, current
military law and jurisprudence in the Philippines have failed to
respond to actual changes in the fundamental law guaranteeing
and expanding the fair trial rights to the accused thereby leaving
gaps in military law which enables our system of military justice
to ignore on a wholesale basis substantive rights available to all
citizens. The absence of a provision mandating a period within

which appeals may be taken to the corresponding appellate

authority underscores this deficiency.
Yet our Constitution is clear, Section 14 Article III thereof states:
Sec. 14. (2) In all criminal prosecutions, the
accused shall be presumed innocent until the
contrary is proved, and shall enjoy the right to
be heard by himself and counsel, to be
informed of the nature and the cause of the
accusation against him, to have a speedy,
impartial and public trial, to meet the
witnesses face to face, and to have
compulsory process to secure the attendance
of witnesses and the production of evidence in
his behalf. However, after arraignment, trial
may proceed notwithstanding the absence of
the accused provided that he has been duly
notified and his failure to appear is
These rights are clearly available to all citizens even in the
absence of statutory enactment. They cannot be denied to certain
individuals because of gaps in the law for which they are not
responsible. They cannot be taken away from certain individuals
because of the nature of their vocation. Members of the military
establishment do not waive individual rights on taking up military
uniform. That they become subject to uniquely military rules and
procedures does not imply that they agree to exclusively fall
under the jurisdiction of only those rules and regulations, and opt
to stand apart from those rules which govern all of the country's
citizens. As the respondent Court correctly held:
As admitted by counsel for respondents, there
is no time frame within which to transmit the
records of the case to the reviewing authority
as well as time limitation within which the
Chief of Staff must act on the
recommendation of dismissal However, it
must be stressed that the absence of a rule
does not give to the Chief of Staff indefinite
time within which to act at the expense of the
constitutional right of a citizen to enjoy liberty
and to be protected from illegal or arbitrary
Respondent court, therefore, did not commit an abuse of
discretion in ordering the petitioners to act with dispatch in
dealing with the private respondent's case. Over three years have
elapsed since the respondent's arrest. To this day, there is no
indication and it has not been alleged that records of the
case have been forwarded to the appropriate military appellate
This case does not even involve complex issues of fact and law.
The central issue which the appropriate military appellate
authority will have to review is whether or not the General Court
Martial was correct in dismissing the case on grounds of
prescription under Article 38 of the Articles of War. We cannot
see why the military appellate review authority should take an
interminable length of time in coming up with a decision on the
case. The unjustified delay in dealing with the respondent's case
is a deliberate injustice which should not be perpetrated on the
private respondent a day longer.
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Petitioner next contends that the Decision of the respondent court
dated June 3, 1992, issuing a writ of habeas corpus in favor of the
private respondent contravenes a previous decision of a co-equal
body, the Court of Appeal's Fourth Division which earlier denied
the same. This is untenable. The factual circumstances
surrounding both decisions are different.
First, at the time of the first petition, the private respondent was
being held in the detention center for eleven months without
charges being filed against him. The pre-trial investigative panel
had not yet been constituted. Because of his confinement without
charges, a petition for the issuance of the writ of habeas
corpus was filed in his behalf on the basis of respondent's
averment that his arrest and continued detention without charges
violated his constitutional rights. 19 The Fourth Division found
adequate support upholding military jurisdiction over the case of
the private respondent under the Articles of War. It also noted that
the case against the private respondent was ongoing and that it
would be difficult to order respondent's release on a writ
of habeas corpus without giving military authorities reasonable
time within which to investigate and try the case. The Court
nonetheless urged the Chief of Staff to act on the petitioner's case
"with all deliberate speed, consistent with his constitutional right
to a speedy disposition of his case."
Second, by the time the subsequent petition for habeas
corpus was before the court's Twelfth Division (herein respondent
Pre-trial Investigative Panel had dismissed all cases against the
petitioner and endorsed the filing of charges (under Article 136 of
the Revised Penal Code) with the Quezon City Prosecutor's
Office. The latter subsequently dismissed the case. Moreover at
the time the Twelfth Division rendered its assailed decision,
respondent was already languishing in a military detention center
for three years, half of those spent in the limbo between the
GCM's decision dismissing the cases filed against him and the
uncertainty of when the military appellate process would finally
come around in either exonerating him or overturning the GCM's
findings. This in spite of the fact that even during the first petition
before the Fourth Division, the court had already urged speedy
disposition of the case.
Finally, in dismissing the cases against the private respondent, the
General Court Martial had made a determination that the charges
against respondent had prescribed under Article 38 of the Articles
of War. Conformably with this conclusion and with the Court's
ruling in Domingo vs. Minister of National Defense, 20 the lower
court was correct in stating that the respondent could no longer be
tried by the General Court Martial if a period of two years had
elapsed prior to the arraignment of the accused. Clearly, the
circumstances, noted above, had changed so radically in the
intervening period that the appellate court's Twelfth Division had
no choice, given the incredible delay in forwarding the documents
to the military appellate authority, but to issue the writ.
These finding obviously militate against petitioners' contention
that the appellate court's Twelfth Division abused its discretion in
issuing an order allegedly in contravention to the Fourth
Division's earlier orders. The factual circumstances are hardly
similar. The respondent court, under these changed circumstances

could be hardly faulted for issuing the writ of habeas corpus in

favor of the private respondent.
The mantle of protection accorded by the issuance of a writ
of habeas corpus "extends to all cases of illegal confinement or
detention by which a person is deprived of his liberty, or by
which the rightful custody any person is withheld from the person
entitled thereto." 21 As we emphasized hereinbefore, and we
repeat it once more, petitioners cannot seek shelter in the absence
of specific rules relating to review of cases dismissed by military
tribunals in violating the right of the accused to a speedy trial and
in justifying his continued confinement. Were we to uphold the
proposition that our courts should decline to exercise jurisdiction
because the law itself provides no time frame for the proper
military authorities to review the general court martial's dismissal
of the respondent's case would mean that we would be
sanctioning the suggestion implicit in petitioner's argument that
the Constitution's guarantees are guarantees available not to all of
the people but only to most of them.
Petition is hereby DENIED.
Military Court Proceedings

Cruz Vs Enrile

Facts: Habeas corpus proceedings were

commenced on October 1, 1986 to test the legality
of the continued detention of some 217 so-called
political detainees arrested in the nine-year span of
official martial rule and committed to the New
Bilibid Prisons in Muntinlupa. All had been made to
stand trial for common crimes before various courts
martial; if any of these offenses had any political
color, this had neither been pleaded nor proved. Of
the 217 prisoners, 157 are civilians, and only 26
confirmed as military personnel. One hundred and
fifteen (115) accused had been condemned to die.
Forty-six (46) were sentenced to life imprisonment.
To nine (9) others were meted prison terms of from
twenty to thirty years; to forty-one (41), prison
terms of ten to twenty years; and to three (3), less
than ten years. Presidential amnesty was granted to
petitioner Virgilio Alejandrino, yet to this date he
remains a prisoner at the Penitentiary, as to
Domingo Reyes, Antonio Pumar, Teodoro Patano,
Andres Parado and Daniel Campus, although they
were acquitted of the charges against them, and
Reynaldo C. Reyes and Rosalino de los Santos, who
appear to have fully served the sentences imposed
on them by the military commissions which
convicted them.
The petitioners urge the Court to declare
unconstitutional the establishment of all military
tribunals as well as General Order No. 8 ordaining
their creation, and the nullity of all the proceedings
had against them before these bodies as a result of
which they had been illegally deprived of their
liberty. Their plea is for the grant of a retrial of their
respective cases in the civil courts, where their right
to due process may be accorded respect. The writ
of habeas corpus issued on July 31, 1987, two weeks

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after an amended petition was filed with leave of

court, reiterating the arguments originally pleaded,
and setting forth the additional claim that the
pronouncement of this Court of the lack of
jurisdiction of military tribunals to try cases of
civilians even during martial rule, as declared
in Olaquer, et al. vs. Military Commission No. 34, et
al., entitled the petitioners to be unconditionally
freed from detention.
Issue: Whether the establishment of all military
tribunals as well as General Order No. 8 ordaining
their creation may be declared unconstitutional
Held: Yes.
In Olaquer, this Court in no uncertain terms affed
a military jurisdiction or tribunal cannot try and
exercise jurisdiction, even during the period of
martial law, over civilians for offenses allegedly
committed by them as long as the civil courts are
open and functioning, and that any judgment
rendered by such body relating to a civilian is null
and void for lack of jurisdiction on the part of the
military tribunal concerned (People v. Navarro, 63
SCRA 264, 274 [1975]). For the same reasons, Our
pronouncement in Aquino, Jr. v. Military Commission
No. 2 (L-37364,63 SCRA 546) and all decided cases
affirming the same, in so far as they are
inconsistent with this pronouncement, should be
deemed abandoned.16
Such is the statement of the doctrine squarely
applicable in these cases.
1. Clearly, no right to relief under Olaquer exists in
favor of the 26 petitioners who were admittedly in
the military service. 17 Over them the courts
martial yardly exercised jurisdiction. It need only be
said that these tribunals were created precisely to
try and decide cases of military personnel, and the
validity of General Order No. 8 ordaining their
creation, although repeatedly challenged on
constitutional grounds, has as many times been
upheld by the Court, either expressly or
impliedly. 18 As to these petitioners, the writ is thus
2. Deference to the Olaquer decision impels on the
other hand the application thereof to all civilians,
without distinction, who were haled before military
tribunals. To be sure, due consideration was given to
the submittal that the doctrine is, or should be
declared as, limited in aplicability to political of
fenders, and not ordinary crimes such as those of
which the civilian petitioners were
convicted. 18a But distinction should not be set
where none were clearly intended. The issue
in Olaquer, as here, is the jurisdiction of courts
martial over the persons of civilians, and not merely
over the crimes imputed to them, regardless of
which they are entitled to trial by judicial, not
executive or military process. Conformably with this
holding, the disposition of these cases would
necessarily have, as a premise, the invalidity of any
and all proceedings had before courts martial

against the civilian petitioners. There is all the more

reason to strike down the proceedings leading to the
conviction of these non-political detainees who
should have been brought before the courts of
justice in the first place, as their offenses are totally
unrelated to the insurgency avowedly sought to be
controlled by martial rule.
Due regard for consistency likewise dictates
rejection of the proposal to merely give prospective
effect to Olaquer. No distinction should be made,
as the public respondents propose, between cases
still being tried and those finally decided or already
under review. All cases must be treated alike,
regardless of the stage they happen to be in, and
since according to Olaquer, all proceedings before
courts martial in cases involving civilians are null
and void, the court deems it proper to adhere to
that unequivocal pronouncement, perceiving no
cogent reason to deviate from the doctrine.
The petition is hereby granted insofar as petitioners
Vergilio Alejandrino, Domingo Reyes, Antonio Pumar
Teodoro Patono, Andres Parado, Del
Campus, Reynaldo C. Reyes and Rosalino de los
Santosare concerned. The Director of the Bureau of
Prisons is hereby ordered to effect the immediate
release of the above-mentioned petitioners, unless
there are other legal causes that may warrant their
The petition is DISMISSED as to petitioners Elpidio
Cacho, William Lorenzana, Benigno Bantolino,
Getulio B. Braga, Jr., Tomas C. Amarte, Rogelio L.
Caricungan, Ernesto Baradiel, Isabelo Narne, Eric F.
Pichay, Pablo Callejo, Russel A. Paulino, Laurel
Lamaca, Tirso F. Bala, Calixto Somera, Edulino
Lacsina (Draftee), Ronnie A. Celiz, Elpidio Urbano,
Sofronio Galo, Aquilino Leyran, Leopoldo Arcadio,
Rolando Tudin, Rosendo I. Ramos, Pacifica Batacan,
Edilberto Liberato, Jimmy C. Realis, Democrito
Loraa who are all military personnel.
As to the other petitioners, the Department of
Justice is hereby DIRECTED TO FILE the necessary
informations against them in the courts having
jurisdiction over the offenses involved, within one
hundred eighty (180) days from notice of this
decision, without prejudice to the reproduction of
the evidence submitted by the parties and admitted
by the Military Commission. If eventually convicted,
the period of the petitioners detention shall be
credited in their favor.
The Courts wherein the necessary informations are
filed are DIRECTED TO CONDUCT with dispatch the
necessary proceedings inclusive of those for the
grant of bail which may be initiated by the accused.

TAN VS BARRIOS ( See Double Jeopardy)



Que Vs. Cosico

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These two petitions were consolidated as they

involve substantially the same facts, issues and
arguments. Petitioners in G.R. No. 81861 and
private respondent in G.R. No. 83114 all stand as
the accused in Criminal Case No. C-2152 for estafa
thru falsification of commercial documents which
case was dismissed but subsequently reinstated.
The main issue to be resolved in both petitions is
whether or not the reinstatement of the criminal
case placed the accused in double jeopardy.
The facts of the case, as narrated in the lower court's order dated
November 27, 1987, are as follows:
The record shows that the information for
estafa thru falsification of commercial
documents involving the amount of P
2,120,511.24 was filed with the Regional Trial
Court of Roxas City, Branch XVI, on
November 29, 1985. The case was set for
arraignment and pre-trial on March 31, 1986.
In a motion for postponement dated March
24, 1986, which was received by the court on
April 1, 1986, Atty. Lorenzo E. Coloso,
counsel for the accused Bernabe Que and
Amelia Que, filed a motion to postpone the
arraignment and pre-trial set on March 31,
1986. He prayed that the date be reset to May
8, 1986. On March 31, 1986, the accused
Gualberto Devera, Bernabe Que, Amelia Que,
Warren Machado and Paz L. Martelino were
arraigned while the other accused, namely,
Antonio Blancaflor, Wilfredo Azarco, Renato
Elauria and Amelita Tutica could not be
arraigned because they were still at-large. The
court then set a separate trial for some of the
accused on May 8, 1986. On that date, Judge
Enrique Suplico directed the prosecution to
file its written stipulation of facts with respect
to the U.S. checks with machine copies of the
said documents attached thereto, copy
furnished all the defense counsel, within thirty
(30) days from May 8, 1986. In turn, the
defense counsel were given ten (10) days
from receipt of the stipulation of facts to file
their counter proposal or answer. Upon
motion of the City Fiscal, the pre-trial was
then reset to June 26, 1986. The setting for
June 26, 1986 was, however, postponed to
July 22, 1986 due to the motion for
postponement filed by Atty. Lorenzo Coloso.
On July 22, 1986, the City Fiscal submitted
his proposals for admission of facts, which
was duly received on the same date by the
defense counsel. On the same, date, the court
again directed the prosecution to furnish
machine copies of the 489 U.S. treasury
warrants to the accused through counsel
within 15 days from the said date, after which
the defense counsel shall make their counter
proposal within 10 days from receipt thereof.

In the meantime, the date was reset to

September 17 and 18, 1986. On September
17, 1986, the prosecution submitted
supplemental proposals for admission of facts.
The hearing of September 18, 1986 was reset
to November 10 and 11, 1986 upon request of
the prosecution and without objection on the
part of the defense counsel as the prosecution
witnesses were in Manila. On November 10,
1986, Judge Enrique P. Suplico issued the
questioned order. (Rollo, G.R. No. 81861, pp.

The order dismissing the case stated, to wit:

After the court has ordered the prosecution
thru City Fiscal Sergio Pestano as well as
Private Prosecutor Roberto Barrios to proceed
with the presentation of their evidence for
three (3) times, still the prosecution refused to
present evidence. This case was postponed
many times at the instances of the prosecution
and today's trial is set for two days.
On oral motion of Atty. Alberto Villarruz and
Lorenzo Coloso, counsel for the defense
invoking their constitutional rights to speedy
trial under the Constitution and the Rules of
Court, this court has no alternative but to
dismiss this case.

Also, the lower court's order dated May 22, 1987 stated:
xxx xxx xxx
It appears that when this case was called for
hearing on the morning of November 10,
1986, Atty. Rodriguez Dadivas, counsel for
the accused Gualberto Devera and Warren
Machado, orally moved for the inhibition of
the presiding judge on the ground that he had
some doubts as to the impartiality of the judge
against whom he and some nineteen (19)
other practicing lawyers had filed serious
administrative charges with the President of
the Philippines, the Chief Justice of the
Supreme Court, and the Minister of Justice.
Following Atty. Dadivas, Atty. Roberto
Barrios, former private prosecutor, also
moved for the inhibition of the judge for the
same reason alleged by Atty. Dadivas. The
presiding judge, however, ruled Attys.
Dadivas and Barrios out of order and asked
the City Fiscal to present the evidence for the
prosecution. Thereupon, the City Fiscal
manifested that he was authorizing the private
prosecutor to actively handle the prosecution
of the case. The prosecution was then ready
with its principal witness, Mr. Angel Yu,
former local branch manager of Republic
Planters Bank, who was then present in Court
ready to testify. Atty. Roberto Barrios,
however, insisted that the presiding judge
should first rule on their previous motion for
inhibition. Instead of resolving the motion for
inhibition, the presiding judge asked the
comments of Atty. Lorenzo E. Coloso,
counsel for the accused Bernabe Que and
Amelia Que, and Atty. Alberto Villarruz,
counsel for the accused Paz L. Martelino, who
both invoked the constitutional right of their
clients to a speedy trial. The presiding judge
asked again the prosecution to present its
evidence but the private prosecutor insisted
that a ruling be made by the presiding judge
with regard to the pending motion for
inhibition. As a result, the presiding judge
issued the order dated November 10, 1986
dismissing this case. ... (Rollo, G.R. No.
81861, pp. 18-19)

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This case is hereby DISMISSED and the bail

bonds of all the accused are hereby cancelled.
Given in open court, November 10, 1986.
On November 21, 1986, the prosecution filed a motion for
reconsideration from the order of dismissal. This was opposed by
the defense.
In the meantime, the case was re-raffled to Judge Rodrigo Cosico,
as the former judge was not reappointed after the reorganization
of the judiciary. Judge Cosico in an order dated May 22, 1987,
granted the prosecution's motion for reconsideration and caused
the case to be reopened. The subsequent motion for
reconsideration flied by the defense was denied in an order dated
November 27, 1987.
G.R. No. 83114
On December 17, 1987, accused Paz Martelino filed before the
Court of Appeals a petition for certiorari praying that the order of
Judge Cosico reinstating the case be declared null and void on the
ground of double jeopardy.
The Court of Appeals, in its decision dated April 22, 1988, found
merit in the petition and set aside Judge Cosico's order as "it
amounts to double jeopardy on the part of the petitioner." The
decision of the appellate court is based on precedents which
discuss the failure of the prosecution to appear for trial, produce
its witnesses, or present its evidence. (Gandicela v. Lutero, 88
Phil. 299 [1951] ; People v. Diaz, 94 Phil. 714 [1954]; People v.
Tacneng, 105 Phil. 1298 [1959]). Furthermore, the respondent
Judge was permanently enjoined from proceeding with Criminal
Case No. C-2152.
The People of the Philippines filed the present petition docketed
as G.R. No. 83114 to review on certiorari the decision of the
Court of Appeals.
G.R. No. 81861
Meanwhile, the accused Bernabe Que and Amelia Que filed a
petition for certiorari directly with this court seeking to declare
Judge Cosico's orders dated May 22, 1987 and November 27,

1987 as null and void and to prohibit respondent from further

proceeding with Criminal Case No. C-2152.
As stated earlier, the common issue of these two petitions is
whether or not the reopening of Criminal Case No. C-2152 puts
the accused in double jeopardy.
We rule that Criminal Case No. C-2152 may be reinstated as no
double jeopardy has attached.
The rule on double jeopardy is found in sec. 21, Article III (Bill
of Rights) of the 1987 Constitution which provides that "No
person shall be twice put in jeopardy of punishment for the same
offense. ... This is complemented by Rule 117 of the 1985 Rules
on Criminal Procedure, as amended which provides as follows:
SEC. 7. Former conviction or acquittal;
double jeopardy.-When an accused has been
convicted or acquitted, or the case against him
dismissed or otherwise terminated without his
express consent by a court of competent
jurisdiction, upon a valid complaint or
information or other formal charge sufficient
in form and substance to sustain a conviction
and after the accused had pleaded to the
charge, the conviction or acquittal of the
accused or the dismissal of the case shall be a
bar to another prosecution for the offense
charged, or for any attempt to commit the
same or frustration thereof, or for any offense
which necessarily includes or is necessarily
included in the offense charged in the former
complaint or information. ...
Thus, the requisites that must concur for legal jeopardy to attach
are, to wit: 1) a valid complaint or information; 2) a court of
competent jurisdiction; 3) the accused has pleaded to the charge
and 4) the accused has been convicted or acquitted or the case
dismissed or terminated without the express consent of the
The fourth requisite is lacking in the instant case. The case was
dismissed upon motion and with the express consent of the
accused. The accused Bernabe Que, Amelia Que and Paz
Martelino invoked their constitutional right to a speedy trial when
the prosecution refused to present evidence until the court had
ruled on the motion for inhibition. It was on their oral motion that
the lower court ordered the case to be dismissed.
For double jeopardy to attach, the general rule is that the
dismissal of the case must be without the express consent of the
accused. [People v. Jardin, 124 SCRA 167 (1983); People v.
Pilpa, 79 SCRA 81 (1977); People v. Cuevo, 104 SCRA 312
Moreover, as held in the case of Bermisa v. Court of Appeals, 92
SCRA 136,141-143 (1979):
Our organic and criminal laws expressly
guarantee that in all criminal prosecutions, the
accused shall enjoy the right to have a speedy
trial. A speedy trial 'is a trial conducted
according to the law of criminal procedure
and the rules and regulations, free from
vexatious, capricious, and oppressive delays.

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(Kalaw vs. Apostol, et al., 64 Phil. 852

[1937]). It can be one which may be had as
soon after indictment as the prosecution can
with reasonable diligence prepare for trial.
And such a trial is denied an accused person
procrastination of prosecuting officers, the
accused is forced to wait many months or
years for trial. (Conde vs. Judge, et al., 45
Phil. 173 [1923]).
In fact, the consent of petitioner to the
dismissal constituted a waiver of his
constitutional right not to be prosecuted for
the same offense.
... where a defendant expressly consents to or
moves for the dismissal of the case against
him, even if the court or judge states in the
order that the dismissal is definite or does not
say that the dismissal is without prejudice to
the filing of another information, the dismissal
win not be a bar to a subsequent prosecution
offense.Gandicela vs. Lutero, 88 Phil. 299
The effect of a discharge (of a person
committed on a criminal charge in case of a
failure to find an indictment or file an
information within a certain time) depends
upon the particular statute. Under some
statutes, the discharge does not prevent
another indictment for the same offense, since
it is considered that the effect of the discharge
is merely to relieve the accused from
imprisonment or from being held to bail, and
not to acquit him of the crime. ...... (27 Am.
Jur., pp. 597-598)
There were no oppressive delays on the part of the prosecution.
The prosecution's insistence that Judge Suplico rule on the motion
to inhibit before further proceedings in the case was not dilatory.
There is no reason apparent from the records why Suplico should
vacillate or show anger on a matter that affects the subsequent
course of the trial. He could have easily granted or denied the
motion, giving sound reasons for his ruling. He could have
required that the motion be submitted formally. The subsequent
behavior of the former Judge, especially his precipitate dismissal
of the case shows that his reaction was not mere impetuousness or
pique. It bears the earmarks of bias and prejudice. As noted by
Judge Cosico in his order dated November 27, 1987:
... A closed scrutiny of the foregoing
chronology of facts that transpired at the
Regional Trial Court does not show that the
prosecution of this case nor does it appear that
the prosecution was unprepared to present its
evidence. The two (2) postponements
requested by the prosecution appear to be
reasonable. Moreover, it appears that on

November 10, 1986, Mr. Angel Yu, principal

witness for the prosecution, was then present
and ready to testify. On the other hand, it
appears that Atty. Lorenzo Coloso also asked
for at least two (2) postponements. In
invoking the right of the accused to speedy
trial, Atty. Coloso is not therefore coming to
this court with clean hands. Considering the
two (2) postponements requested by Atty.
Coloso, the accused in effect waived their
right to speedy trial." (Rollo, G. R. No. 81861,
pp. 24-25)
On the contention of the petitioners in G. R. No. 81861 that the
oral motion for inhibition is in violation of Rule 137, sec. 2,
suffice it to say that among the exceptions that all motions shall
be in writing are those made in the course of a hearing or trial
(Rule 15, sec. 2, Rules of Court).
Also, as noted by Judge Cosico, "the record shows that a written
motion for inhibition was actually filed before the Regional Trial
Court, Branch 14, Roxas City, by Atty. Rodriguez D. Dadivas
although it was belatedly withdrawn after the issuance of the
challenged order.
WHEREFORE, the petition docketed as G.R. 81861 is hereby
DISMISSED for lack of merit. The petition docketed as G. R. No.
83114 is GRANTED and the questioned orders of Judge Cosico
dated May 22, 1987 and November 27, 1978 are AFFIRMED.
The decision of the Court of Appeals dated April 22, 1988 is SET

Caes vs IAC


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