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POLITICAL & INTERNATIONAL LAW

Brief Review Guide For The 2017 Bar Examinations

By Prof. Alexis F. Medina1

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW

JUDICIAL REVIEW
Actual case requirement: Proposed bills do not present a justiciable
controversy: One of the requirements for judicial review is the existence of an
actual controversy. This means that there must be an existing case or
controversy that is appropriate or ripe for determination, not conjectural or
anticipatory, lest the decision of the court would amount to an advisory
opinion. A proposed bill does not present an actual justiciable controversy.
The filing of bills is within the legislative power of Congress and is not subject
to judicial restraint. Also, the judiciary cannot speculate on the
constitutionality or unconstitutionality of a bill that Congress may or may not
pass. (In The Matter Of: Save The Supreme Court Judicial Independence and
Fiscal Autonomy Movements v. Abolition of Judiciary Development Fund and
Reduction of Fiscal Autonomy, UDK-15143, January 21, 2015)

Actual case requirement: General Rule: Facial challenges to a law


(penal statutes, for example) on vagueness or overbreadth grounds are not
allowed, as these will go against the doctrinal requirement of an existing
and concrete controversy: Distinguished from an as-applied challenge which
considers only extant facts affecting real litigants, a facial invalidation is an
examination of the entire law, pinpointing its flaws and defects, not only on the
basis of its actual operation to the parties, but also on the assumption or
prediction that its very existence may cause others not before the court to
refrain from constitutionally protected speech or activities. The vagueness and
overbreadth doctrines, as grounds for a facial challenge, are not applicable
to penal laws. An on-its-face invalidation of penal statutes [such as RA 9372,
which defines the crime of terrorism], may not be allowed.

Employing a facial challenge in the case of penal statutes would


effectively go against the grain of the doctrinal requirement of an existing and
concrete controversy before judicial power may be appropriately exercised. A
facial challenge against a penal statute is, at best, amorphous and
speculative. It would, essentially, force the court to consider third parties who
are not before it. A litigant cannot thus successfully mount a facial challenge
against a criminal statute on either vagueness or overbreadth grounds. Judicial
power neither contemplates speculative counseling on a statutes future effect
on hypothetical scenarios. (Southern Hemisphere Engagement Network v. Anti-
Terrorism Council, G.R. No. 178552, October 5, 2010)

Exception: Facial challenges are allowed in free speech cases to avert


the chilling effect on free speech: The allowance of a facial challenge in free
speech cases is justified by the aim to avert the chilling effect on protected
speech. This rationale is inapplicable to plain penal statutes that generally bear
an in terrorem effect in deterring socially harmful conduct. It is settled, on the
other hand, that the application of the overbreadth doctrine is limited to a

1 AB Political Science, University of the Philippines (UP), Diliman; Order of the Purple Feather (OPF), UP, College of
Law; Valedictorian, San Sebastian College-Recoletos, Manila, College of Law; Philippine Representative to the World
Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Preparatory Committee Meeting for Legal Review (Geneva, Switzerland,
2014); Litigation Lawyer & Transaction Adviser on Public Private Partnerships (PPPs); Professor of Constitutional Law,
San Sebastian College-Recoletos, Manila, College of Law, and Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP), Manila,
College of Law; former professor of Constitutional Law, New Ear University, College of Law, Quezon City; Bar Review
Lecturer, Recoletos Review Center, Manila; Partner, Libra Law (Libarios & Partners)
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facial kind of challenge and, owing to the given rationale of a facial challenge,
applicable only to free speech cases. The most distinctive feature of the
overbreadth technique is that it marks an exception to some of the usual rules
of constitutional litigation. Ordinarily, a particular litigant claims that a statute
is unconstitutional as applied to him or her; if the litigant prevails, the courts
carve away the unconstitutional aspects of the law by invalidating its improper
applications on a case to case basis. Moreover, challengers to a law are not
permitted to raise the rights of third parties and can only assert their own
interests. In overbreadth analysis, those rules give way; challenges are
permitted to raise the rights of third parties; and the court invalidates the
entire statute "on its face," not merely "as applied for" so that the overbroad law
becomes unenforceable until a properly authorized court construes it more
narrowly. The factor that motivates courts to depart from the normal
adjudicatory rules is the concern with the "chilling," deterrent effect of the
overbroad statute on third parties not courageous enough to bring suit. The
Supreme Court assumes that an overbroad laws "very existence may cause
others not before the court to refrain from constitutionally protected speech or
expression." (Southern Hemisphere Engagement Network v. Anti-Terrorism
Council, G.R. No. 178552, October 5, 2010)

Locus standi: In petitions asserting a public right, such as the


peoples right to information on matters of public concern, any citizen
can be a real party in interest. The requirement of personal interest is
satisfied by the mere fact that the petitioner is a citizen, and therefore, part of
the general public which possesses the right. There is no need to show any
special interest in the result. It is sufficient that petitioners are citizens and, as
such, are interested in the faithful execution of the laws. (Initiatives for
Dialogue and Empowerment [IDEAL] v. Power Sector Liabilities and Management
Corporation [PSALM], G.R. No. 192088, October 9, 2012)

Locus standi: In a facial challenge on grounds of overbreadth or


vagueness, there is no need to assert a violation of ones own right: A
petitioner may mount a facial challenge to the constitutionality of a statute
even if he claims no violation of his own rights under the assailed statute
where it involves free speech on grounds of overbreadth or vagueness of the
statute. This is to counter the chilling effect on protected speech. A person
who does not know whether his speech constitutes a crime under an overbroad
or vague law may simply restrain himself from speaking in order to avoid being
charged of a crime. The overbroad or vague law thus chills him into silence.
(Disini v. Secretary of Justice, G.R. No. 203335, February 18, 2014)

Political questions: Matters of foreign relations: The conduct of the


foreign relations of our government is committed by the Constitution to the
executive and legislative--'the political'--departments of the government, and
the propriety of what may be done in the exercise of this political power is not
subject to judicial inquiry or decision. The question of whether the Philippine
government should espouse claims of its nationals against a foreign
government is a foreign relations matter, the authority for which is
demonstrably committed by our Constitution not to the courts but to the
political branches. (Vinuya v. Executive Secretary, G.R. No. 162230, 28 April
2010)

Political questions: The determination of whether a narration of


facts constitute an impeachable offense is purely a political question: The
Supreme Court cannot look into the narration of facts constitutive of the
offenses vis--vis her submissions disclaiming the allegations in the
complaints. This would require the Supreme Court to make a determination of
what constitutes an impeachable offense. Such a determination is a purely
political question which the Constitution has left to the sound discretion of the
legislature. Such an intent is clear from the deliberations of the Constitutional
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Commission. The issue is a non-justiciable political question which is beyond
the scope of its judicial power. (Gutierrez v. House of Representatives, G.R. No.
193459, February 15, 2011)

Political questions: The Supreme Court cannot review the decision


of the Committee on Justice to impeach. The Supreme Court cannot review
the sufficiency of the substance of the impeachment complaints. The
sufficiency of the substance will delve into the merits of the impeachment
complaints over which the Court has no jurisdiction. The Court can only rule
on whether there is a gross violation of the Constitution in filing the
impeachment complaint, in particular, whether the complaint was filed in
violation of the one-year ban. The Court cannot review the decision of the
Committee on Justice to impeach. Impeachment is a political process. Thus,
the decision to impeach lies exclusively on Congress. (Gutierrez v. House of
Representatives, G.R. No. 193459, February 15, 2011)
Doctrine of Operative Fact: In the interest of fair play, actions
previous to the declaration of unconstitutionality are legally recognized.
This is an exception to the rule that an unconstitutional act is not a law; it
confers no rights; it imposes no duties; it affords no protection; it creates no
office; it is inoperative as if it has not been passed at all. In the interest of fair
play, under the doctrine of operative facts, actions previous to the declaration
of unconstitutionality are legally recognized. They are not nullified. This is
because the existence of a law or executive act prior to its invalidation is an
operative fact and may have consequences which cannot always be ignored.
(Chavez v. Judicial and Bar Council, G.R. No. 202242, July 17, 2012)

THE LEGISLATIVE BRANCH


Why PDAF/Pork Barrel System is void: The PDAF/Pork Barrel
System violates the principle of separation of powers, as it authorizes
legislators to participate in the post-enactment phases of project
implementation, such as project identification, fund release and fund
realignment, thus allowing legislators to intervene and/or assume duties that
properly belong to the sphere of budget execution. (Belgica v. Executive
Secretary, G.R. No. 208566, November 19, 2013)

The PDAF/Pork Barrel System violates the principle of non-


delegation of legislative power considering that an individual legislator is
given the authority to dictate (a) how much fund would go to (b) a specific
project or beneficiary that he himself also determines, two (2) acts that
comprise the exercise of the power of appropriation, which is lodged in
Congress. (Belgica v. Executive Secretary, G.R. No. 208566, November 19, 2013)
The PDAF/Pork Barrel System undermines the system of checks and
balance by impairing the Presidents item veto power. For the President to
exercise his item-veto power, there must be a proper "item" which may be the
object of the veto. Because PDAF is a lump-sum appropriation, the actual
items of PDAF appropriation would not have been written into the General
Appropriations Bill and thus effectuated without veto consideration. The
legislators identification of the projects after the passage of the GAA denies the
President the chance to veto that item later on. (Belgica v. Executive Secretary
Ochoa, G.R. No. 208566, November 19, 2013)

The PDAF/Pork Barrel System undermines public accountability by


impairing Congress oversight functions considering that legislators would,
in effect, be checking on activities in which they themselves participate. It also
violates the constitutional prohibition on legislators intervention on matters
where he may be called upon to act. (Belgica v. Executive Secretary Ochoa, G.R.
No. 208566, November 19, 2013)

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The PDAF/Pork Barrel System violates the constitutional principles
on local autonomy as it allows district representatives who are national
officers to substitute the judgement of local officials on use of public funds for
local development. A Congressman can simply bypass the local development
council and initiate projects on his own. (Belgica v. Executive Secretary Ochoa,
G.R. No. 208566, November 19, 2013)

Legislative inquiries: Valid reason to refuse attendance: The


invitation does not indicate possible needed statute, subject of the
inquiry and advance list of questions: Invitations to attend congressional
inquiries should contain possible needed statute which prompted the need for
the inquiry, along with the usual indication of the subject of inquiry and the
questions relative to and in furtherance thereof." Compliance with this
requirement is imperative. There must be an advance list of questions. (See
Neri v. Senate Committee on Accountability of Public Officers and Investigation,
G.R. No. 180643, March 25, 2008; Senate v. Ermita, G.R. No. 169777, April 20,
2006)

Legislative inquires: Valid reason to refuse attendance: Executive


privilege: Even where the inquiry is in aid of legislation, there are still
recognized exemptions to the power of inquiry, which exemptions fall under the
rubric of executive privilege. When Congress exercises its power of inquiry,
the only way for department heads to exempt themselves therefrom is by a
valid claim of privilege. (Senate v. Ermita, G.R. No. 169777, April 20, 2006; Neri
v. Senate Committee, G.R. No. 180643, September 4, 2008) Executive privilege is
the power of the Government to withhold information from the public, the
courts, and the Congress. (Senate v. Ermita, G.R. No. 169777, April 20, 2006)

Executive privilege: Coverage: Military and diplomatic secrets, and


those affecting national security, Presidential conversations, correspondences,
and discussions in closed-door Cabinet meetings, and information on
investigations of crimes by law enforcement agencies before the prosecution of
the accused. (Senate v. Ermita, G.R. No. 169777, April 20, 2006 citing Chavez v.
Public Estates Authority; see also Neri v. Senate Committee on Accountability of
Public Officers and Investigation, G.R. No. 180643, March 25, 2008)

How executive privilege must be asserted: The claim of privilege must


not be implied, and must be clearly asserted; there must be a formal claim. The
facts on which the claim is based must be established; the precise and certain
reasons for the claim of privilege must be provided. (Senate v. Ermita, G.R. No.
169777, April 20, 2006)

The privilege must be invoked by the President or on his behalf. (Senate


v. Ermita, G.R. No. 169777, April 20, 2006)

Power of inquiry includes the power to compel attendance of


witness: The power of legislative investigation includes the power to compel the
attendance of witnesses. Corollary to the power to compel the attendance of
witnesses is the power to ensure that said witnesses would be available to
testify in the legislative investigation. (Standard Chartered Bank v. Senate
Committee on Banks, G.R. No. 167173, December 27, 2007)
Power of inquiry includes the power to cite for contempt: The
conferral of the legislative power of inquiry upon any committee of Congress
must carry with it all powers necessary and proper for its effective discharge.
The indispensability and usefulness of the power of contempt in a legislative
inquiry is underscored in a catena of cases, foreign and local. (Sabio v. Gordon,
G.R. No. 174340, October 17, 2006)

The exercise by the legislature of the contempt power is a matter of self-


preservation as that branch of the government vested with the legislative

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power, independently of the judicial branch, asserts its authority and punishes
contempts thereof. (Sabio v. Gordon, G.R. No. 174340, October 17, 2006)

THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH

The role of the President as Commander-in-Chief: A civilian


President is the ceremonial, legal and administrative head of the armed
forces. As Commander-in-Chief, the President has the power to direct military
operations and determine military strategy. While the President is still a
civilian, Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution mandates that civilian
authority is, at all times, supreme over the military, making the civilian
president the nations supreme military leader. The net effect of Article II,
Section 3, when read with Article VII, Section 18, is that a civilian President is
the ceremonial, legal and administrative head of the armed forces. The
Constitution does not require that the President must be possessed of military
training and talents, but as Commander-in-Chief, he has the power to direct
military operations and to determine military strategy. Normally, he would be
expected to delegate the actual command of the armed forces to military
experts; but the ultimate power is his. As Commander-in-Chief, he is
authorized to direct the movements of the naval and military forces placed by
law at his command, and to employ them in the manner he may deem most
effectual. (Kulayan v. Tan, G.R. No. 187298, July 03, 2012)

The President, as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, has full


discretion to call out the armed forces to prevent or suppress lawless
violence, invasion or rebellion: Congress may revoke the proclamation of
martial law or suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus and the
Supreme Court may review the sufficiency of the factual basis thereof.
However, there is no such equivalent provision dealing with the revocation or
review of the Presidents action to call out the armed forces. The distinction
places the calling out power in a different category from the power to declare
martial law and the power to suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas
corpus. The reason for the difference in the treatment of the aforementioned
powers highlights the intent to grant the President the widest leeway and
broadest discretion in using the power to call out because it is considered as
the lesser and more benign power compared to the power to suspend the
privilege of the writ of habeas corpus and the power to impose martial law. It is
the unclouded intent of the Constitution to vest upon the President, as
Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, full discretion to call forth the
military when in his judgment it is necessary to do so in order to prevent or
suppress lawless violence, invasion or rebellion. (Kulayan v. Tan, G.R. No.
187298, July 03, 2012)

Power to transfer appropriations: The transfer of appropriated funds,


to be valid under Section 25(5), must be made upon a concurrence of the
following requisites, namely:

(1) There is a law authorizing the President, the President of the Senate,
the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Chief Justice of the Supreme
Court, and the heads of the Constitutional Commissions to transfer funds
within their respective offices;
(2) The funds to be transferred are savings generated from the
appropriations for their respective offices; and
(3) The purpose of the transfer is to augment an item in the general
appropriations law for their respective offices. (Araullo v. Aquino, G.R. No.
209287, July 1, 2014)

Why the transfer of funds under DAP is invalid: The transfer of funds
under the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) is invalid for lack of a
valid law authorizing the transfer. The GAAs of 2011 and 2012 authorized
the transfers "to augment any item in this Act", and the effect was that the

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2011 and 2012 GAAs allowed the transfer of funds to augment any item in the
GAAs even if the item belonged to an office outside the Executive,
contravention of the Constitution. (Araullo v. Aquino, G.R. No. 209287, July 1,
2014)

The transfer of funds under DAP is invalid because DAP funds were not
necessarily savings. Savings are realized only when the purpose for which the
funds had been allocated were already satisfied, or the need for such funds had
ceased to exist. Funds described as unreleased or unalloted are not
necessarily savings. (Araullo v. Aquino, G.R. No. 209287, July 1, 2014)

The transfer of funds under DAP is invalid because DAP funds were not
transferred to augment existing items in the GAA. There must be an existing
item, project or activity, purpose or object of expenditure with an appropriation
to which savings may be transferred for the purpose of augmentation. The
power to augment cannot be used to fund non-existent items in the GAA.
(Araullo v. Aquino, G.R. No. 209287, July 1, 2014)

The transfer of funds under DAP is invalid for because some of the
transfers of appropriation were not made to their respective offices. Cross-
border transfers, whether as augmentation, or as aid, are prohibited. (Araullo v.
Aquino, G.R. No. 209287, July 1, 2014)

Presidential power to create investigating bodies: Pursuant to his


duty to faithfully execute the law, the President has the power to conduct
investigations and create an ad hoc investigating body. The creation of the
Philippine Truth Commission finds justification under Section 17, Article VII of
the Constitution, imposing upon the President the duty to ensure that the laws
are faithfully executed. The Presidents power to conduct investigations to aid
him in ensuring the faithful execution of laws in this case, fundamental laws
on public accountability and transparency is inherent in the Presidents
powers as the Chief Executive. That the authority of the President to conduct
investigations and to create bodies to execute this power is not explicitly
mentioned in the Constitution or in statutes does not mean that he is bereft of
such authority. As explained in the landmark case of Marcos v. Manglapus, the
powers of the President cannot be said to be limited only to the specific powers
enumerated in the Constitution. (Biraogo v. Philippine Truth Commission, G.R.
No. 192935, December 7, 2010)

THE OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN

The Ombudsmans independence: The concept of Ombudsmans


independence covers three (3) things: First: creation by the Constitution,
which means that the office cannot be abolished, nor its constitutionally
specified functions and privileges, be removed, altered, or modified by law,
unless the Constitution itself allows, or an amendment thereto is made;
Second: fiscal autonomy, which means that the office may not be obstructed
from [its] freedom to use or dispose of [its] funds for purposes germane to [its]
functions; hence, its budget cannot be strategically decreased by officials of
the political branches of government so as to impair said functions; and Third:
insulation from executive supervision and control, which means that those
within the ranks of the office can only be disciplined by an internal authority.

That being the case, the concept of Ombudsman independence cannot


be invoked as basis to insulate the Ombudsman from judicial power
constitutionally vested unto the courts. (Carpio-Morales v. Court of Appeals,
G.R. Nos. 217126-27, November 10, 2015)

The Ombudsmans administrative disciplinary authority: The


Ombudsman can impose the penalty of removal, suspension, demotion,
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fine, censure, or prosecution of a public officer or employee: The
Ombudsman has disciplinary authority over all elective and appointive
officials of the government, with the exception only of impeachable
officers, members of Congress and the Judiciary: The Ombudsman has the
power to impose the penalty of removal, suspension, demotion, fine, censure,
or prosecution of a public officer or employee, in the exercise of its
administrative disciplinary authority. The challenge to the Ombudsmans
power to impose these penalties, on the allegation that the Constitution only
grants it recommendatory powers, had already been rejected. Under RA 6770,
the Office of the Ombudsman was given disciplinary authority over all elective
and appointive officials of the government and its subdivisions,
instrumentalities and agencies (with the exception only of impeachable officers,
members of Congress and the Judiciary). Also, it can preventively suspend any
officer under its authority pending an investigation when the case so warrants.
It is settled that the Office of the Ombudsman can directly
impose administrative sanctions. (Office of the Ombudsman v. Apolonio, G.R.
No. 165132, March 7, 2012)

The Ombudsman has concurrent jurisdiction over administrative


cases which are within the jurisdiction of the regular courts or
administrative agencies: In case of concurrent jurisdiction, the body
where the complaint is filed first, and which opts to take cognizance of
the case, acquires jurisdiction to the exclusion of other tribunals
exercising concurrent jurisdiction: The Ombudsman has primary
jurisdiction to investigate any act or omission of a public officer or employee
who is under the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. The Sandemanians
jurisdiction extends only to public officials occupying positions corresponding
to salary grade 27 and higher. Consequently, as we held in Office of the
Ombudsman v. Rodriguez, any act or omission of a public officer or employee
occupying a salary grade lower than 27 is within the concurrent jurisdiction of
the Ombudsman and of the regular courts or other investigative agencies.
In administrative cases involving the concurrent jurisdiction of two or
more disciplining authorities, the body where the complaint is filed first, and
which opts to take cognizance of the case, acquires jurisdiction to the exclusion
of other tribunals exercising concurrent jurisdiction. In this case, the petitioner
is a Barangay Chairman, occupying a position corresponding to salary grade
14. Under RA 7160, the sangguniang panlungsod or sangguniang bayan has
disciplinary authority over any elective barangay official. Since the complaint
against the petitioner was initially filed with the Office of the Ombudsman, the
Ombudsman's exercise of jurisdiction is to the exclusion of the sangguniang
bayan whose exercise of jurisdiction is concurrent. (Alejandrino v. Office of the
Ombudsman Fact Finding and Intelligence Bureau, G.R. No. 173121, April 3,
2013)

The Ombudsman has jurisdiction to investigate a complaint


involving an act of a public official that is not service-connected: The
Ombudsman has jurisdiction over respondents complaint against petitioner
although the act complained of involves a private deal between them. Section
13(1),13 Article XI of the 1987 Constitution states that the Ombudsman can
investigate on its own or on complaint by any person any act or omission of
any public official or employee when such act or omission appears to be illegal,
unjust, or improper. Under R.A. No. 6770, otherwise known as the
Ombudsman Act of 1989, the jurisdiction of the Ombudsman encompasses all
kinds of malfeasance, misfeasance, and nonfeasance committed by any public
officer or employee during his/her tenure. R.A. No. 6770 also states that the
Ombudsman shall act on all complaints relating, but not limited, to acts or
omissions which are unfair or irregular. Thus, even if the complaint concerns
an act of the public official or employee which is not service-connected, the
case is within the jurisdiction of the Ombudsman. The law does not require
that the act or omission be related to or be connected with or arise from the
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performance of official duty. (Samson v. Restrivera, G.R. No. 178454, March 28,
2011)

RA No. 6770 granting disciplinary authority in the President over


the Deputy Ombudsman violates the independence of the Office of the
Ombudsman and is thus unconstitutional: Section 8(2) of RA No. 6770 is
invalid for violating the independence of the Office of the Ombudsman.
Subjecting the Deputy Ombudsman to discipline and removal by the President,
whose own alter egos and officials in the Executive Department are subject to
the Ombudsmans disciplinary authority, cannot but seriously place at risk the
independence of the Office of the Ombudsman itself. The Office of the
Ombudsman, by express constitutional mandate, includes its key officials, all
of them tasked to support the Ombudsman in carrying out her mandate.
Unfortunately, intrusion upon the constitutionally-granted independence is
what Section 8(2) of RA No. 6770 exactly did. By so doing, the law directly
collided not only with the independence that the Constitution guarantees to the
Office of the Ombudsman, but inevitably with the principle of checks and
balances that the creation of an Ombudsman office seeks to revitalize.
(Gonzales III v. Office of the President, G.R. No. 196231, January 28, 2014)

The Court of Appeals can issue injunctive writs against the


Ombudsman: The prohibition on court injunctions against Ombudsman
investigation is ineffective: The prohibition under Section 14, RA 6770
against courts other than the Supreme Court from issuing provisional
injunctive writs to enjoin investigations conducted by the Office of the
Ombudsman encroaches upon the Supreme Courts rule-making authority and
should be considered ineffective, pending deliberation on whether or not the
Supreme Court should adopt such prohibition.

Hence, with Congress interfering with matters of procedure (through


passing the first paragraph of Section 14, RA 6770) without the Supreme
Courts consent thereto, it remains that the CA had the authority to issue the
questioned injunctive writs enjoining the implementation of the preventive
suspension order against Binay, Jr. These issuances were merely ancillary to
the exercise of the CAs certiorari jurisdiction conferred to it under Section 9
(1), Chapter I of BP 129, as amended, and which it had already acquired over
the main CA-G.R. SP No. 139453 case. (Carpio-Morales v. Court of Appeals,
G.R. Nos. 217126-27, November 10, 2015)

OTHER CONSTITUTIONAL BODIES

JBC can set standards for choosing nominees to the judiciary: JBCs
policy of requiring five years of service as judges of first-level courts before they
can qualify as applicant to second-level courts is constitutional. The JBC has
the authority to set the standards/criteria in choosing its nominees for every
vacancy in the judiciary, subject only to the minimum qualifications required
by the Constitution and law for every position. (Villanueva v. Judicial and Bar
Council, G.R. No. 211833, April 7, 2015)

COA has jurisdiction over money claims against the government:


COA has primary jurisdiction over money claims against government agencies
and instrumentalities, including local governments. The COA and not the RTC
has primary jurisdiction to pass upon a money claim against a local
government unit. (Province of Aklan v. Jody King Construction and Development
Corp., G.R. Nos. 197592 & 20262, November 27, 2013) COAs authority over
money claims is limited to liquidated claims, or those determined or readily
determinable from vouchers, invoices, and such other papers within reach of
accounting officers. (Province of Aklan v. Jody King Construction and
Development Corp., G.R. Nos. 197592 & 20262, November 27, 2013)

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NATIONAL ECONOMY

Constitutional requirements for a valid service contract: The


Constitutional requirements for a valid service contract for the large-scale
exploration and development of minerals, petroleum and other mineral oils are
the following: 1) the service contract shall be crafted in accordance with a
general law that will set standard or uniform terms, conditions; 2) the
President shall be the signatory for the government; and 3) within 30 days, the
President shall report it to Congress. (Resident Marine Mammals of the
Protected Seascape of Taon Strait v. Secretary Reyes, G.R. No. 180771, April
21, 2015)
CITIZENSHIP

As a matter of law, foundlings are natural-born citizens: As a matter


of law, foundlings are as a class, natural-born citizens. The deliberations of the
1934 Constitutional Convention show that the framers intended foundlings to
be covered by the enumeration. The policy is clear: it is to recognize foundlings,
as a class, as Filipinos under Art. IV, Section 1 (3) of the 1935 Constitution.
This inclusive policy is carried over into the 1973 and 1987 Constitution. (Poe-
Llamanzares v. Comelec, G.R. No. 221697, March 8, 2016)

Foundlings are citizens under international law: Under Article 14 of


the 1930 Hague Convention on Certain Questions Relating to the Conflict of
Nationality Laws, a foundling is presumed to have the "nationality of the
country of birth. Under Article 2 of the 1961 United Nations Convention on the
Reduction of Statelessness, a foundling is presumed born of citizens of the
country where he is found. The principles found in these two conventions,
while yet unratified by the Philippines, are generally accepted principles of
international law. Thus, they part of the law of the land. (Poe-Llamanzares v.
Comelec, G.R. No. 221697, March 8, 2016) It is a generally accepted principle of
international law to presume foundlings as having been born of nationals of the
country in which the foundling is found. The presumption of natural-born
citizenship of foundlings stems from the presumption that their parents are
nationals of the Philippines. (Poe-Llamanzares v. Comelec, G.R. No. 221697,
March 8, 2016)

Reacquisition of citizenship: Reacquisition of Philippine citizenship


under RA 9225 for those who have lost the same by naturalization before the
effectivity of RA 9225 -- has no retroactive effect. A former natural-born Filipino
citizen re-acquires his Philippine citizenship upon taking the oath of allegiance
to the Republic. (David v. Agbay, G.R. No. 199113, March 18, 2015)

POLICE POWER

Police power and taking of property: The State may not, under the
guise of police power, permanently divest owners of the beneficial use of their
property solely to preserve or enhance the aesthetic appearance of the
community. The requirement under the ordinance for owners of educational
institutions to build their fences six meters back for beautification purposes is
invalid for being unreasonable and oppressive as it will substantially divest the
respondents of the beneficial use of their property solely for aesthetic purposes.
(Fernando v. St. Scholasticas College, G.R. No. 161107, March 12, 2013)

Test for a valid exercise of police power: There must be reasonable


relation between the purpose of the police power measure and the means
employed for its accomplishment. The means employed must be reasonably
necessary for the accomplishment of the government purpose. Limiting the
height of fences of private properties to one meter and requiring fences in
excess of one meter to be at least 80% see-thru has no reasonable relation to
its purpose of ensuring public safety and security. The ordinance is thus an
9|Page
invalid exercise of police power. Compelling the respondents to construct their
fence in accordance with the assailed ordinance is, thus, a clear encroachment
on their right to property, which necessarily includes their right to decide how
best to protect their property. (Fernando v. St. Scholasticas College, G.R. No.
161107, March 12, 2013)

EMINENT DOMAIN

What constitutes taking of property in eminent domain cases:


Where the owner is deprived of the ordinary and beneficial use of his
property or of its value by its being diverted to public use, there is taking
within the Constitutional sense. In the context of the State's inherent power
of eminent domain, there is a "taking" when the owner is actually deprived or
dispossessed of his property; when there is a practical destruction or a material
impairment of the value of his property or when he is deprived of the ordinary
use thereof. There is a "taking" in this sense when the expropriator enters
private property not only for a momentary period but for a more permanent
duration, for the purpose of devoting the property to a public use in such a
manner as to oust the owner and deprive him of all beneficial enjoyment
thereof. For ownership, after all, "is nothing without the inherent rights of
possession, control and enjoyment. Where the owner is deprived of the ordinary
and beneficial use of his property or of its value by its being diverted to public
use, there is taking within the Constitutional sense. (Republic v. Borbon, G.R.
No. 165354, January 12, 2015)

A city ordinance requiring land owners to setback their fences by


five meters to provide for parking space is a compensable taking: A city
ordinance requiring land owners to setback their fences by five meters to
provide for parking space is tantamount to a taking of private property for
public use without just compensation. The total destruction of value of the
property is not required for a taking to be compensable. (Fernando v. St.
Scholasticas College, G.R. No. 161107, March 12, 2013)

Reckoning point for determining the value of the property: Value of


the property at the time of taking. The reckoning point for determining just
compensation is the value of the property at the time of taking. Just
compensation must be valued at the time of taking, or the time when the
landowner was deprived of the use and benefit of his property, such as when
title is transferred in the name of the Republic of the Philippines. (Department
of Agrarian Reform v. Spouses Sta. Romana, G.R. No. 183290, July 9, 2014)

Even if the government taking was in 1940, and the action for payment
of just compensation was only filed in 1995, the reckoning point for
determining just compensation is still the value of the property at the time of
taking. Thus, just compensation should be fixed not as of the time of payment
but at the time of taking, that is, in 1940, even though this valuation appears
outdated. (Secretary of the Department of Public Works and Highways v.
Spouses Tecson, G.R. No. 179334, July 1, 2013)

Compensation to property owner in case expropriation proceedings


are discontinued: The expropriator who has taken possession of the property
subject of expropriation is obliged to pay reasonable compensation to the
landowner for the period of such possession although the proceedings had
been discontinued on the ground that the public purpose for the expropriation
had meanwhile ceased. In view of the discontinuance of the proceedings and
the eventual return of the property to the respondents, there is no need to pay
"just compensation" to them because their property would not be taken by
NAPOCOR. Instead of full market value of the property, therefore, NAPOCOR
should compensate the respondents for the disturbance of their property rights
from the time of entry in March 1993 until the time of restoration of the

10 | P a g e
possession by paying to them actual or other compensatory damages. (Republic
v. Borbon, G.R. No. 165354, January 12, 2015)

DUE PROCESS

Due process in NBI investigations: The NBI does not exercise judicial
or quasi-judicial powers. There is no violation of due process in an NBI
investigation if the respondents are not given an opportunity to file an answer
or submit counter-evidence. The NBI does not exercise judicial or quasi-judicial
powers and its findings are merely recommendatory. (Shu v. Dee, G.R. No.
182573, April 23, 2014)

Procedural safeguards in student disciplinary cases: Due process in


disciplinary cases involving students does not entail proceedings and hearings
similar to those in courts of justice. Proceedings may be summary; cross-
examination is not an essential part of the investigation or hearing; and the
required proof in a student disciplinary action is only substantial evidence.
Official action must meet minimum standards of fairness to the individual,
which generally encompass the right of adequate notice and a meaningful
opportunity to be heard. (Cudia v. The Superintendent of the Philippine Military
Academy, G.R. No. 211362, February 24, 2015)

Counsels mistake and due process: To properly claim gross


negligence on the part of the counsel, the petitioner must show that the
counsel was guilty of nothing short of a clear abandonment of the clients
cause. The general rule is that a client is bound by the acts, even mistakes, of
his counsel in the realm of procedural technique, unless the reckless or gross
negligence of counsel deprives the client of due process of law. The negligence
of counsel must be so gross that the client is deprived of his day in court. To
properly claim gross negligence on the part of the counsel, the petitioner must
show that the counsel was guilty of nothing short of a clear abandonment of
the clients cause. (Uyboco v. People, G.R. No. 211703, December 10, 2014)

EQUAL PROTECTION

The policy of JBC requiring 5 years of service as judges of first-level


courts before they can qualify as applicant to second-level courts does not
violate the equal protection clause. There is a substantial distinction
between judges with 5-year experience and those with less than 5 five years.
The classification is reasonable and relevant to its legitimate purpose of
selecting those with proven competence. (Villanueva v. Judicial and Bar Council,
G.R. No. 211833, April 7, 2015)

The creation of the Philippine Truth Commission to investigate


reported graft and corruption during the previous administration only
violates the equal protection clause: Although the purpose of Executive
Order No. 1 creating the Philippine Truth Commission is invalid for
transgression of the equal protection clause enshrined in Section 1, Article III
(Bill of Rights) of the 1987 Constitution. Equal protection simply requires that
all persons or things similarly situated should be treated alike, both as to
rights conferred and responsibilities imposed. Indeed, the equal protection
clause permits classification. Such classification, however, to be valid must
pass the test of reasonableness. The test has four requisites: (1) The
classification rests on substantial distinctions; (2) It is germane to the purpose
of the law; (3) It is not limited to existing conditions only; and (4) It applies
equally to all members of the same class.

For a classification to meet the requirements of constitutionality, it must


include or embrace all persons who naturally belong to the class. Applying
these precepts to this case, Executive Order No. 1 should be struck down as
violative of the equal protection clause. The clear mandate of the envisioned

11 | P a g e
truth commission is to investigate and find out the truth "concerning the
reported cases of graft and corruption during the previous
administration" only. The intent to single out the previous administration is
plain, patent and manifest. The Arroyo administration is but just a member of
a class, that is, a class of past administrations. Not to include past
administrations similarly situated constitutes arbitrariness which the equal
protection clause cannot sanction. In order for a classification to meet the
requirements of constitutionality, it must include or embrace all persons who
naturally belong to the class. In Executive Order No. 1, the previous
administration was picked out was deliberate and intentional. The equal
protection clause is violated by purposeful and intentional discrimination.
(Biraogo v. Philippine Truth Commission, G.R. No. 192935, December 7, 2010)

FREE SPEECH

The law penalizing aiding and abetting the commission of internet


libel: Void for being vague and overbroad. The law penalizing aiding and
abetting the commission of internet libel is void for being vague and
overbroad. The terms "aiding or abetting" unnecessarily sweep broadly, thereby
invading the area of protected freedoms, generating a chilling effect on those
who express themselves in cyberspace. Also, netizens are not given "fair notice"
or warning as to what is criminal conduct and what is lawful conduct. Its
vagueness also causes a chilling effect on the freedom of expression. (Disini v.
Secretary of Justice, G.R. No. 203335, February 18, 2014)

Why Comelec regulation of political speech on oversized tarpaulins


posted on private property by non-candidates during elections is void:
Speech with political consequences enjoys a high degree of protection.
Tarpaulins put up by private individuals that contain statements of their
approval or criticisms of public officials vote on the RH Law, as part of these
private individuals advocacy campaign against the RH Law, and not paid for by
any candidate or political party are not election propaganda subject to
Comelec regulation. (The Diocese of Bacolod v. Commission on Elections, G.R.
No. 205728, January 21, 2015)

Prohibiting non-candidates from posting on their private property


tarpaulins containing their opinions that may affect elections is a content-
based regulation that is presumed invalid. A content-based prior restraint will
only be valid it if passes the clear and present danger test. (The Diocese of
Bacolod v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 205728, January 21, 2015)

The act of the Comelec in restraining private individuals from posting


tarpaulins expressing political views in their own private property is an
impermissible encroachment on the right to property. The Comelec prohibition
is a deprivation of property without due process. (The Diocese of Bacolod v.
Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 205728, January 21, 2015)

Why the aggregate air-time limit on campaign advertising is invalid:


This unreasonably restricts the freedom of speech and of the press and
violates the peoples right to suffrage. Restriction on freedom of speech and
of the press: The Comelecs rule -- limiting the broadcast and radio
advertisements of candidates and political parties for national election
positions to an aggregate total of one hundred twenty (120) minutes and one
hundred eighty (180) minutes for political campaigns or advertisements -- is
unreasonable and arbitrary, as it unreasonably restricts the freedom of speech
and of the press. It unduly restricts and constrains the ability of candidates
and political parties to reach out and communicate with the people. (GMA
Network v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 205357, September 2, 2014)
Violation of the right to suffrage: The COMELECs aggregate time-limit
rule [rule limiting the broadcast and radio advertisements of candidates and
12 | P a g e
political parties for national election positions to an aggregate total of one
hundred twenty (120) minutes and one hundred eighty (180) minutes for
political campaigns or advertisements] violate the peoples right to suffrage by
restricting the right of the people to be adequately informed for the intelligent
exercise of their right to determine their own destiny. (GMA Network v.
Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 205357, September 2, 2014)

The Comelec prohibition on posting of an election campaign


material during an election period in Public Utility Vehicles (PUVs) and
transport terminals is void because it is a prior restraint on free
expression. The Comelec prohibition on posting of an election campaign
material during an election period in Public Utility Vehicles (PUVs) and
transport terminals -- constitutes a prior restraint on the right to free
expression. Prior restraints are presumed invalid. (1-United Transport Koalisyon
[1-Utak] v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 206020, April 14, 2015)

A content-neutral regulation, which merely controls the time, place or


manner of speech, is valid if the following requisites concur: first, the
government regulation is within the constitutional power of the Government;
second, it furthers an important or substantial governmental interest; third,
the governmental interest is unrelated to the suppression of free expression;
and fourth, the incidental restriction on freedom of expression is no greater
than is essential to the furtherance of that interest. Prohibiting owners of PUVs
and transport terminals from posting election campaign materials is an invalid
content-neutral regulation because, first, it is not within the constitutionally
delegated power of the Comelec, and second, there is no necessity to restrict
the right to free speech of the owners of PUVs and transport terminals. (1-
United Transport Koalisyon v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 206020, April
14, 2015)

Prohibiting owners of PUVs and transport terminals from posting election


campaign materials cannot be justified under the captive-audience doctrine.
The commuters are not forced or compelled to read the election campaign
materials posted on PUVs and transport terminals, nor are they incapable of
declining to receive the messages contained therein. (1-United Transport
Koalisyon v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 206020, April 14, 2015)
Public Figure Doctrine/Actual Malice Rule: To be liable for libel
against a public official or public figure, the latter must prove that the
statements were made with actual malice that is, with knowledge that
it was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not: Even
if the defamatory statement is false, no liability can attach if it relates to official
conduct, unless the public official concerned proves that the statements was
made with actual malice that is, with knowledge that it was false or with
reckless disregard of whether it was false or not. This is the gist of the ruling in
the landmark case of New York Times v. Sullivan. This is the rule of "actual
malice." In this case, the prosecution failed to prove not only that the charges
made by petitioner were false but also that petitioner made them with
knowledge of their falsity or with reckless disregard of whether they were false
or not. (Vasquez v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 118971, September 15, 1999)

Honest criticisms on the conduct of public officials and public figures are
insulated from libel judgments. The guarantees of freedom of speech and press
prohibit a public official or public figure from recovering damages for a
defamatory falsehood relating to his official conduct unless he proves that the
statement was made with actual malice, i.e., with knowledge that it was false
or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not. The raison d' tre for
the New York Times doctrine was that to require critics of official conduct to
guarantee the truth of all their factual assertions on pain of libel judgments
would lead to self-censorship. A "public figure" as defined in Ayers Production
Pty., Ltd. v. Capulong refers to celebrity. It includes, in short, anyone who has
13 | P a g e
arrived at a position where the public attention is focused upon him as a
person. (Borjal v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 126466, January 14, 1999)

In order to justify a conviction for criminal libel against a public figure, it


must be established beyond reasonable doubt that the libelous statements
were made or published with actual malice, meaning knowledge that the
statement was false or with reckless disregard as to whether or not it was true.
(Guingguing v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 128959 September 30, 2005)
The actual malice rule applies even if the person subject of criticism
is not a public figure, for as long as he is involved in a public issue: But
even assuming ex-gratia argumenti that private respondent, despite the position
he occupied would not qualify as a public figure, it does not necessarily follow
that he could not validly be the subject of a public comment even if he was not
a public official or at least a public figure, for he could be, as long as he was
involved in a public issue. If a matter is a subject of public or general interest,
it cannot suddenly become less so merely because a private individual is
involved or because in some sense the individual did not voluntarily choose to
become involved. The public's primary interest is in the event; the public focus
is on the conduct of the participant and the content, effect and significance of
the conduct, not the participant's prior anonymity or notoriety. (Borjal v. Court
of Appeals, G.R. No. 126466 January 14, 1999)

RIGHT TO PEACEABLY ASSEMBLE

Application for a permit to rally can only be denied or modified on


the showing of a clear and present danger: Freedom of assembly is not to be
limited or denied, except on a showing of a clear and present danger of a
substantive evil that the state has a right to prevent. If the mayor is to refuse
an application for a permit to a rally or modify it (the venue, for example), such
refusal or modification must be based on the clear and present danger test;
also, the mayor must immediately inform the applicant who should be heard
first on the perceived imminent and grave danger of a substantive evil that may
warrant the change of venue. (Integrated Bar of the Philippines v. Atienza, G.R.
No. 175241, February 24, 2010)

UNREASONABLE SEARCHES AND SEIZURES

A proclamation of a state of emergency is not a valid legal basis for


general searches and seizures: A proclamation of a state of emergency by a
provincial governor cannot serve as legal basis for general searches and
seizures, including warrantless arrests. Even a declaration of martial law by
the President does not suspend the operation of the Constitution, nor supplant
the functioning of the civil courts or legislative assemblies, nor authorize the
conferment of the jurisdiction on military courts and agencies over civilians
where civil courts are able to function, nor automatically suspend the privilege
of the writ." (Kulayan v. Tan, G.R. No. 187298, July 03, 2012)
Description in search warrants: The specific room in the house to be
searched need not be identified. A description of the place to be searched is
sufficient if the officer serving the warrant can, with reasonable effort, ascertain
and identify the place intended and distinguish it from other places in the
community. The specific room in the house to be searched need not be
identified. (People v. Tuan, G.R. No. 176066, August 11, 2010)
Search must precede the arrest: In a search incident to a lawful
arrest, the law requires that there first be a lawful arrest before a search can be
made -- the process cannot be reversed. (Sanchez v. People, G.R. No. 204589,
November 19, 2014)
Airport security searches: Valid even without a warrant, because of
their minimal intrusiveness, the gravity of the safety interests involved, and the

14 | P a g e
reduced privacy expectations associated with airline travel. (Sales v. People,
G.R. No. 191023, February 06, 2013)

Requirements to establish violation of the right against


unreasonable searches and seizures: To establish a violation of ones right
against unreasonable searches and seizures, one must first prove that he has
exhibited an actual (subjective) expectation of privacy in the place searched or
the item seized; and second, his subjective expectation is one that society is
prepared to recognize as reasonable (objective). (Pollo v. Constantino-David,
G.R. No. 181881, October 18, 2011)

Reduced expectation of privacy for a government employee in his


office: A government employees expectation of privacy in a regulated office
environment is reduced. The employees privacy interest in an office is to a
large extent limited by the companys work policies, the collective bargaining
agreement, if any, and the inherent right of the employer to maintain discipline
and efficiency in the workplace. (Pollo v. Constantino-David, G.R. No. 181881,
October 18, 2011)

No expectation of privacy for a government employee in his


government-issued computer if the employee is so notified based on office
policy: A government employee cannot have a subjective expectation of privacy
in his government-issued computer containing his personal files, if the
government office implemented a policy that put its employees on notice that
they have no expectation of privacy in anything they create, store, send or
receive on the office computers. (Pollo v. Constantino-David, G.R. No. 181881,
October 18, 2011)

Requirement for warrantless search by the government employer of


a government employees office: reasonable grounds for suspecting that it
will turn up evidence that the employee is guilty of work-related
misconduct: A warrantless search by a government employer of an employees
office is justified at inception when there are reasonable grounds for suspecting
that it will turn up evidence that the employee is guilty of work-related
misconduct. Thus, a search of a government employees files in the
government-issued computer, conducted in connection with investigation of
work-related misconduct prompted by an anonymous letter-complaint -- is
reasonable. (Pollo v. Constantino-David, G.R. No. 181881, October 18, 2011)

Overt act requirement in in flagrante delicto arrest: For a warrantless


arrest of an accused caught in flagrante delicto to be valid, two requisites must
concur: (1) the person to be arrested must execute an overt act indicating that
he has just committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit a
crime; and (2) such overt act is done in the presence or within the view of the
arresting officer." Trying to run away when no crime has been overtly
committed, and without more, cannot be evidence of guilt. Flight per se is not
synonymous with guilt. (People v. Edano, G.R. No. 188133, July 7, 2014)

Reliable information alone is not enough to justify a warrantless


arrest. The accused must perform some overt act that would indicate that he
has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense.
(People v. Racho, G.R. No. 186529, August 3, 2010)

Overt act requirement in in flagrante delicto arrest: The mere act of


leaving a residence of a known drug peddler is not sufficient for a valid arrest,
unless there is an overt manifestation that the person had just engaged in, was
actually engaging in or was attempting to engage in the criminal activity of
illegal possession of shabu. (Sanchez v. People, G.R. No. 204589, November 19,
2014)

15 | P a g e
Police presence at the scene not required in a hot pursuit arrest: In
a hot pursuit arrest, police presence at the scene while the crime was being
committed is not required. It is enough that evidence of the recent commission
of the crime is patent and the police officer has probable cause to believe,
based on personal knowledge of facts or circumstances, that the person to be
arrested has recently committed the crime. (Pestilos v. Generoso, G.R. No.
182601, November 10, 2014)

Arrest of someone who voluntarily surrenders to clear his name: The


arrest of a person who has presented himself before the police station to clear
his name and prove that he is not the accused -- is not valid, as he was neither
committing nor attempting to commit an offense, and the police officers had no
personal knowledge of any offense that he might have committed. (In the Matter
of Petition for Habeas Corpus of Datukan Malang Salibo, v. Warden, Quezon City
Jail, G.R. No. 197597, April 8, 2015)

RIGHT TO PRIVACY
Determining violation of the right to privacy: Reasonable
expectation of privacy test: The "reasonable expectation of privacy" test
should be used to determine whether there is a violation of the right to privacy.
The reasonableness of a persons expectation of privacy depends on a two-part
test: (1) whether, by his conduct, the individual has exhibited an expectation of
privacy; and (2) this expectation is one that society recognizes as reasonable.
(Spouses Hing v. Choachuy, G.R. No. 179736, June 26, 2013)
Surveillance cameras should not pry into or cover places where there is
reasonable expectation of privacy. (Spouses Hing v. Choachuy, G.R. No. 179736,
June 26, 2013)
Expectation of privacy and use of privacy tools in Facebook: To have
an expectation of privacy in Facebook posts, a user must show intention to
keep certain posts private through the use of privacy tools. A Facebook user
who opts to make use of a privacy tool to grant or deny access to his or her
post or profile detail should not be denied the informational privacy right which
necessarily accompanies said choice. (Vivares v. St. Theresas College, G.R. No.
202666, September 29, 2014)

An ordinance requiring property owners such as private schools to


expose their property by limiting the height of fences to one meter and
requiring fences in excess of one meter to be at least 80% see-thru is a
violation of the right to privacy of the property owners. (Fernando v. St.
Scholasticas College, G.R. No. 161107, March 12, 2013)

Writ of habeas data: There must be a nexus between the right to privacy
on the one hand, and the right to life, liberty or security on the other for the
writ of habeas data to be granted. (Gamboa v. Chan, G.R. No. 193636, July 24,
2012)

Right to privacy must yield to an overriding legitimate state


interest: An application for a writ of habeas data may be denied if the right to
privacy in life, liberty or security must yield to an overriding legitimate state
interest, such as dismantling of private armed groups (PAGs). The state interest
of dismantling PAGs far outweighs the alleged intrusion on the private life of
Gamboa. Thus, the act of the police in collecting information on individuals
suspected of maintaining PAGs, such as Gamboa, and in sharing and
forwarding such information to a government body tasked to investigate PAGs
was not an unlawful act that violated or threatened her right to privacy in life,
liberty or security. The fact that the PNP released information to the
government investigating commission without prior communication to Gamboa
16 | P a g e
and without affording her the opportunity to refute the same cannot be
interpreted as a violation or threat to her right to privacy since that act is an
inherent and crucial component of intelligence-gathering and investigation. The
right to privacy is not absolute. It may succumb to an opposing or overriding
state interest deemed legitimate and compelling. (Gamboa v. Chan, G.R. No.
193636, July 24, 2012)

An ordinance requiring property owners to expose their property by


limiting the height of fences can be a violation of the right to privacy of
the property owners. Ordinance No. 192 limits the height of fences to one
meter and requiring fences in excess of one meter to be at least 80% see-thru.
Requiring the exposure of their property via a see-thru fence is violative of their
right to privacy, considering that the residence of the Benedictine nuns is also
located within the property. The right to privacy has long been considered a
fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution that must be protected from
intrusion or constraint. The right to privacy is essentially the right to be let
alone, as governmental powers should stop short of certain intrusions into the
personal life of its citizens. It is inherent in the concept of liberty, enshrined in
the Bill of Rights (Article III) in Sections 1, 2, 3(1), 6, 8, and 17, Article III of the
1987 Constitution. (Fernando v. St. Scholasticas College, G.R. No. 161107,
March 12, 2013)

RIGHTS IN CUSTODIAL INVESTIGATIONS

Meaning of custodial investigation: Custodial investigation involves


any questioning initiated by law enforcement officers after a person has been
taken into custody or otherwise deprived of his freedom of action in any
significant way. It is only after the investigation ceases to be a general inquiry
into an unsolved crime and begins to focus on a particular suspect, the suspect
is taken into custody, and the police carries out a process of interrogations that
lends itself to eliciting incriminating statements that the rule begins to operate.
Applying the foregoing definitions, accused-appellant was not under
custodial investigation when he admitted, without assistance of counsel, to POI
Torre and POI Macusi that he stabbed his father to death. Accused-appellant's
verbal confession was so spontaneously and voluntarily given and was not
elicited through questioning by the police authorities. At that point, PO I
Macusi still had no idea who actually committed the crime and did not
consider accused-appellant as the suspect in his father's killing. Accused-
appellant was also merely standing before POI Torre and POI Macusi in front of
the Camiling Police Station and was not yet in police custody. Accused-
appellant was arrested and subjected to custodial investigation by the police
officers only after his confession. Hence, herein accused-appellant's confession,
even if done without the assistance of a lawyer, is not in violation of his
constitutional right under Section I2, paragraph I, Article III of the I987
Constitution. (People v. Guting, G.R. No. 205412, September 9, 2015)

Miranda rights not applicable in administrative investigations:


Rights in custodial interrogation apply only to admissions made in a criminal
investigation but not to those made in an administrative investigation. Thus,
an employees written statement given during an administrative inquiry
conducted by an employer in connection with an anomaly/irregularity he
allegedly committed in the course of his employment -- is admissible as
evidence against the employee, even if he was not assisted by a lawyer when he
signed the written statement. (Tanenggee v. People, G.R. No. 179448, June 26,
2013)

Voluntary confession without the assistance of counsel given before


police investigation or arrest is admissible as evidence, because it was
made not under custodial investigation: Custodial investigation commences
when a person is taken into custody and is singled out as a suspect in the
17 | P a g e
commission of a crime under investigation and the police officers begin to ask
questions on the suspect's participation therein and which tend to elicit an
admission. If a person, before he is arrested and placed under custodial
investigation, voluntarily confesses to the police his commission of a crime,
such confession, even if done without the assistance of a lawyer, is not in
violation of his constitutional right, and is admissible as evidence. (People v.
Guting, G.R. No. 205412, September 9, 2015)

RIGHT AGAINST SELF-INCRIMINATION

Mandatory drug testing for those arrested: Mandatory drug testing of


a person arrested for alleged extortion violates a persons right to privacy
guaranteed under constitutional right against unreasonable searches and
seizures, and the right against self-incrimination. The constitutional right
against self-incrimination proscribes the use of physical or moral compulsion
to extort communications from the accused and not the inclusion of his body
in evidence when it may be material. However, a drug test result is immaterial
evidence in prosecuting non-drug offenses. Moreover, to impose mandatory
drug testing on the accused for all persons arrested regardless of the crime or
offense for which the arrest was made is a blatant attempt to harness a
medical test as a tool for criminal prosecution. We cannot condone drug testing
of all arrested persons regardless of the crime or offense for which the arrest is
being made. (Dela Cruz v. People, G.R. No. 200748, July 23, 2014)

Paraffin test without a lawyer is valid: The right against self-


incrimination extends only to testimonial compulsion: As to the paraffin
test to which the appellant was subjected to he raises the question, under the
sixth assigned error, that it was not conducted in the presence of his lawyer.
This right is afforded to any person under investigation for the commission of
an offense whose confession or admission may not be taken unless he is
informed of his right to remain silent and to have competent and independent
counsel of his own choice. His right against self-incrimination is not violated by
the taking of the paraffin test of his hands. This constitutional right extends
only to testimonial compulsion and not when the body of the accused is
proposed to be examined as in this case. Indeed, the paraffin test proved
positively that he just recently fired a gun. Again, this kind of evidence
buttresses the case of the prosecution. (People v. Fieldad, G.R. No. 196005,
October 1, 2014)

RIGHT TO BAIL

Bail when incarceration is clearly shown to be injurious to the


health or endangers the life of the accused: Bail for the provisional liberty of
the accused, regardless of the crime charged, should be allowed independently
of the merits of the charge, provided his continued incarceration is clearly
shown to be injurious to his health or to endanger his life. Indeed, denying him
bail despite imperiling his health and life would not serve the true objective of
preventive incarceration during the trial. Granting provisional liberty to Enrile
will then enable him to have his medical condition be properly addressed and
better attended to by competent physicians in the hospitals of his choice. This
will not only aid in his adequate preparation of his defense but, more
importantly, will guarantee his appearance in court for the trial. (Enrile v.
Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 213847, August 18, 2015)

RIGHT AGAINST DOUBLE JEOPARDY

Dismissal of a case during preliminary investigation would not put


the accused in danger of double jeopardy: The first jeopardy attaches only (a)
after a valid indictment; (b) before a competent court; (c) after arraignment; (d)
when a valid plea has been entered; and (e) when the accused was acquitted or
convicted, or the case was dismissed or otherwise terminated without his
express consent. Since the preliminary investigation stage is not part of the
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trial, the dismissal of a case during preliminary investigation would not put the
accused in danger of double jeopardy in the event of a re-investigation or the
filing of a similar case. (Jamaca v. People, G.R. No. 183681, July 27, 2015)

RIGHT TO INFORMATION
Access to information on the winning bidder for a government
project: The peoples constitutional right to information is intertwined with the
governments constitutional duty of full public disclosure of all transactions
involving public interest. The people have the right to access the papers and
documents relating to the company profile and legal capacity of the winning
bidder for a government project. (Initiatives For Dialogue And Empowerment
Through Alternative Legal Services, Inc. v. Power Sector Assets and Liabilities
Management Corporation, G.R. No. 192088, October 9, 2012)

LIBERTY OF ABODE

When evictions and demolitions without any court order are valid:
The Constitution provides that urban or rural poor dwellers shall not be evicted
nor their dwelling demolished, except in accordance with law and in a just and
humane manner. RA 7279 allows summary evictions and demolition in cases
where persons or entities occupy danger areas and when persons occupy areas
where government infrastructure projects with available funding are about to
be implemented. To ensure that evictions and demolitions are conducted in a
just and humane manner, RA 7279 commands requires compliance with a
prescribed procedure in executing eviction and/or demolition orders, including
prior 30-day notice and adequate consultation. Evictions and demolitions
without any court order under RA 7279 are valid. (Kalipunan Ang Damay Ang
Mahihirap v. Robredo, G.R. No. 200903, July 22, 2014)

ACADEMIC FREEDOM
Academic freedom gives institutions of higher learning the right to
impose disciplinary sanctions, which includes the power to dismiss or expel
students who violate disciplinary rules. The power to discipline students is
subsumed in the academic freedom to determine what may be taught, how it
shall be taught and who may be admitted to study. (Cudia v. The
Superintendent of the Philippine Military Academy, G.R. No. 211362, February
24, 2015)

THE WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS

A person who is illegally arrested and detained because of a


mistaken identity can avail himself of a Petition for Habeas Corpus. It is
undisputed that petitioner Salibo presented himself before the Datu Hofer
Police Station to clear his name and to prove that he is not the accused
Butukan S. Malang. When petitioner Salibo was in the presence of the police
officers of Datu Hofer Police Station, he was neither committing nor attempting
to commit an offense. The police officers had no personal knowledge of any
offense that he might have committed. Petitioner Salibo was also not an
escapee prisoner. The police officers, therefore, had no probable cause to arrest
petitioner Salibo without a warrant. They deprived him of his right to liberty
without due process of law, for which a petition for habeas corpus may be
issued. (In the Matter of Petition for Habeas Corpus of Datukan Malang Salibo, v.
Warden, Quezon City Jail, G.R. No. 197597, April 8, 2015)

WRIT OF AMPARO

Presidential immunity in amparo proceedings: A non-sitting President


does not enjoy immunity from suit, even for acts committed during the latters
tenure. Hence, former President Arroyo cannot use the presidential immunity
from suit to shield herself from judicial scrutiny, within the context of amparo
proceedings, to determine if she was responsible or accountable for the
19 | P a g e
abduction of a person. Moreover, there is no determination of administrative,
civil or criminal liability in amparo and habeas data proceedings, courts can
only go as far as ascertaining responsibility or accountability for the enforced
disappearance or extrajudicial killing. (Rodriguez v. Macapagal-Arroyo, G.R. No.
193160, November 15, 2011)
Writ of amparo: Command responsibility may be loosely applied in
amparo cases in order to identify those accountable individuals who have
the power to effectively implement whatever processes an amparo court
would issue. Amparo proceedings determine (a) responsibility, or the extent
the actors have been established by substantial evidence to
have participated in whatever way, by action or omission, in an enforced
disappearance, and (b) accountability, or the measure of remedies that should
be addressed to those (i) who exhibited involvement in the enforced
disappearance without bringing the level of their complicity to the level of
responsibility defined above; or (ii) who are imputed with knowledge relating to
the enforced disappearance and who carry the burden of disclosure; or (iii)
those who carry, but have failed to discharge, the burden of extraordinary
diligence in the investigation of the enforced disappearance. Thus, although
there is no determination of criminal, civil or administrative liabilities, the
doctrine of command responsibility may nevertheless be applied to ascertain
responsibility and accountability within these foregoing definitions. (Rodriguez
v. Macapagal Arroyo, G.R. No. 191805, November 15, 2011)
In amparo proceedings, a former President can be held responsible
or accountable for extrajudicial killings: Having established the applicability
of the doctrine of command responsibility in amparo proceedings, it must now
be resolved whether the president [ex-President Arroyo], as commander-in-chief
of the military, can be held responsible or accountable for extrajudicial killings
and enforced disappearances. We rule in the affirmative.

To hold someone liable under the doctrine of command responsibility,


the following elements must obtain:

a. the existence of a superior-subordinate relationship between the


accused as superior and the perpetrator of the crime as his subordinate;

b. the superior knew or had reason to know that the crime was about to
be or had been committed; and
c. the superior failed to take the necessary and reasonable measures to
prevent the criminal acts or punish the perpetrators thereof.
The president, being the commander-in-chief of all armed
forces, necessarily possesses control over the military that qualifies him as
a superior within the purview of the command responsibility doctrine.

On the issue of knowledge, it must be pointed out that although


international tribunals apply a strict standard of knowledge, i.e., actual
knowledge, such may nonetheless be established through circumstantial
evidence. Knowledge of the commission of irregularities, crimes or offenses is
presumed when (a) the acts are widespread within the government officials
area of jurisdiction; (b) the acts have been repeatedly or regularly committed
within his area of responsibility; or (c) members of his immediate staff or office
personnel are involved.
Meanwhile, as to the issue of failure to prevent or punish, it is important
to note that as the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, the president has
the power to effectively command, control and discipline the military.
(Rodriguez v. Macapagal Arroyo, G.R. No. 191805, November 15, 2011)

In amparo proceedings, responsibility or accountability for


extrajudicial killing must be established by substantial evidence: The next
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question that must be tackled is whether Rodriguez has proven through
substantial evidence that former President Arroyo is responsible or accountable
for his abduction. We rule in the negative. Aside from Rodriguezs general
averments, there is no piece of evidence that could establish her responsibility
or accountability for his abduction. Neither was there even a clear attempt to
show that she should have known about the violation of his right to life, liberty
or security, or that she had failed to investigate, punish or prevent it.
(Rodriguez v. Macapagal Arroyo, G.R. No. 191805, November 15, 2011)

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW

Right to counsel not imperative in administrative proceedings: In an


administrative proceeding, a respondent has the option of engaging the services
of counsel. As such, the right to counsel is not imperative. Thus, there is
nothing objectionable in the denial by an adjudicating body of a request to
reschedule an administrative conference because the counsel for the
respondent would not be available. In an administrative proceeding like that
conducted against the petitioner, a respondent has the option of engaging the
services of counsel. As such, the right to counsel is not imperative because
administrative investigations are themselves inquiries conducted only to
determine whether there are facts that merit disciplinary measures against
erring public officers and employees, with the purpose of maintaining the
dignity of government service. (Vivo v. Philippine Amusement and Gaming
Corporation, G.R. No. 187854, November 12, 2013)

Before enforcement of administrative that impose a heavy and


substantial burden on the citizenry, there must be prior opportunity to be
heard: Prior opportunity to be heard is required before an administrative
agency enforces rules and regulations that substantially adds to or increases
the burden of those governed. Thus, the Comelec should have conducted prior
hearings before promulgating the resolution on aggregate-based air time limits
for political advertising, as this administrative rule introduces a radical change,
and adversely affects, or imposes a heavy and substantial burden on, the
citizenry. Otherwise, the new rule is ineffectual. (GMA Network v. Commission
on Elections, G.R. No. 205357, September 2, 2014)

The doctrine of res judicata applies only to judicial or quasi-judicial


proceedings, and not to the exercise of administrative powers: The CA was
correct in ruling that the doctrine of res judicata applies only to judicial or
quasi-judicial proceedings, and not to the exercise of administrative powers.
Administrative powers here refer to those purely administrative in nature, as
opposed to administrative proceedings that take on a quasi-judicial character.

In administrative law, a quasi-judicial proceeding involves (a) taking and


evaluating evidence; (b) determining facts based upon the evidence presented;
and (c) rendering an order or decision supported by the facts proved. The
exercise of quasi-judicial functions involves a determination, with respect to
the matter in controversy, of what the law is; what the legal rights and
obligations of the contending parties are; and based thereon and the facts
obtaining, the adjudication of the respective rights and obligations of the
parties. In Bedol v. Commission on Elections, the Supreme Court declared:

The Supreme Court has laid down the test for determining whether an
administrative body is exercising judicial or merely investigatory functions:
adjudication signifies the exercise of the power and authority to adjudicate
upon the rights and obligations of the parties. Hence, if the only purpose of an
investigation is to evaluate the evidence submitted to an agency based on the
facts and circumstances presented to it, and if the agency is not authorized to
make a final pronouncement affecting the parties, then there is an absence of

21 | P a g e
judicial discretion and judgment. (Encinas v. PO1 Agustin and PO1 Caubang,
G.R. No. 187317, April 11, 2013)

The results of a fact-finding investigation are not a judgment on


the merits for purposes of the application of the doctrine of res judicata:
In this case, there is no "judgment on the merits." The dismissal of the BFP
Complaint in the Resolution dated 05 July 2005 was the result of a fact-finding
investigation for purposes of determining whether a formal charge for an
administrative offense should be filed. Hence, no rights and liabilities of parties
were determined therein with finality. The proceedings before the BFP yields
the conclusion that they were purely administrative in nature and constituted
a fact-finding investigation for purposes of determining whether a formal
charge for an administrative offense should be filed against petitioner. The
proceedings before the BFP were merely investigative, aimed at determining the
existence of facts for the purpose of deciding whether to proceed with an
administrative action. This process can be likened to a public prosecutors
preliminary investigation, which entails a determination of whether there is
probable cause to believe that the accused is guilty, and whether a crime has
been committed.

The prosecutor in a preliminary investigation does not determine the


guilt or innocence of the accused. He does not exercise adjudication nor rule-
making functions. The public prosecutor exercises investigative powers in the
conduct of a preliminary investigation. Similarly, the BFP exercised its
investigative or fact-finding function to determine whether, based on the facts
and the evidence presented, further administrative actionin the form of a
formal chargeshould be taken against petitioner. In neither instance is there
in adjudication upon the rights, obligations, or liabilities of the parties before
them. The dismissal of the BFP Complaint cannot operate as res judicata.
(Encinas v. PO1 Agustin and PO1 Caubang, G.R. No. 187317, April 11, 2013)

THE LAW ON PUBLIC OFFICERS

Impeachment Process: The one-year bar starts from initiation of


impeachment complaint: Article XI, Section 3, paragraph (5) of the
Constitution reads: "No impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against the
same official more than once within a period of one year." The term "initiate"
means to file the complaint and take initial action on it. The initiation starts
with the filing of the complaint which must be accompanied with an action to
set the complaint moving. It refers to the filing of the impeachment
complaint coupled with Congress taking initial action of said complaint. The
initial action taken by the House on the complaint is the referral of the
complaint to the Committee on Justice.

Having concluded that the initiation takes place by the act of filing and
referral or endorsement of the impeachment complaint to the House Committee
on Justice or, by the filing by at least one-third of the members of the House of
Representatives with the Secretary General of the House, the meaning of
Section 3 (5) of Article XI becomes clear. Once an impeachment complaint has
been initiated, another impeachment complaint may not be filed against the
same official within a one-year period. (Gutierrez v. House of Representatives,
G.R. No. 193459, February 15, 2011)
Condonation doctrine has no legal basis: The doctrine of condonation
is bereft of legal bases. The concept of public office is a public trust and the
corollary requirement of accountability to the people at all times, as mandated
under the 1987 Constitution, is plainly inconsistent with the idea that an
elective local officials administrative liability for a misconduct committed
during a prior term can be wiped off by the fact that he was elected to a second
22 | P a g e
term of office, or even another elective post. Election is not a mode of
condoning an administrative offense, and there is simply no constitutional or
statutory basis in our jurisdiction to support the notion that an official elected
for a different term is fully absolved of any administrative liability arising from
an offense done during a prior term. In this jurisdiction, liability arising from
administrative offenses may be condoned by the President. When a doctrine of
the Supreme Court is overruled and a different view is adopted, the new
doctrine should be applied prospectively, and should not apply to parties who
had relied on the old doctrine and acted on the faith thereof. (Carpio-Morales v.
Court of Appeals, G.R. Nos. 217126-27, November 10, 2015)
Nepotism: The prohibition against nepotism applies to
appointments made by a group of individuals acting as a body. A relative
within the third civil degree of consanguinity or affinity of a member of the
body that is the appointing authority (such as the Civil Service Commission)
cannot be appointed by such body. (Civil Service Commission v. Cortes, G.R. No.
200103, April 23, 2014)

Back salaries during the suspension pending an appeal: Two


conditions must be met before an employee may be entitled: 1) the
employee must be found innocent of the charges; and 2) his suspension
must be unjustified: The issue of entitlement to back salaries, for the period of
suspension pending appeal, of a government employee who had been dismissed
but was subsequently exonerated is settled in our jurisdiction. The starting
point for this outcome is the no work-no pay principle public officials are only
entitled to compensation if they render service. There are two conditions before
an employee may be entitled to back salaries: a) the employee must be found
innocent of the charges and b) his suspension must be unjustified. The
reasoning behind these conditions runs this way: although an employee is
considered under preventive suspension during the pendency of a successful
appeal, the law itself only authorizes preventive suspension for a fixed period;
hence, his suspension beyond this fixed period is unjustified and must be
compensated. (Civil Service Commission v. Cruz, G.R. No. 187858, August 9,
2011)

In case of an employees complete exoneration of the administrative


charge against him (i.e., the employee is not found guilty of any other
offense), or the employees acquittal of the criminal charge based on his
innocence, the requirement (for payment of back wages for the period of
the suspension pending appeal) that the suspension must be unjustified is
automatically subsumed in the other requirement of exoneration: The
payment of back salary to a government employee -- who was illegally removed
from office -- because of his eventual exoneration on appeal, is merely
incidental to the ordered reinstatement. Also, where the employee, who was
dismissed after being found administratively liable for dishonesty, was
acquitted on a finding of innocence in the criminal case based on the same acts
for which he was dismissed the executive pardon granted him in the
administrative case (in light of his prior acquittal) entitled him to back salaries
from the time of his illegal dismissal up to his actual reinstatement.
The above situation should be distinguished from the case of an
employee who was dismissed from the service after conviction of a crime and
who was ordered reinstated after being granted pardon. We held that he was
not entitled to back salaries since he was not illegally dismissed nor acquitted
of the charge against him. In case of the employees complete exoneration of
the administrative charge against him (i.e., the employee is not found guilty
of any other offense), or his acquittal of the criminal charge based on his
innocence -- the conditions laid down in Gonzales become the two sides of the
same coin; the requirement that the suspension must be unjustified is
automatically subsumed in the other requirement of exoneration. (Civil Service
Commission v. Cruz, G.R. No. 187858, August 9, 2011)
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Meaning of exoneration: If the administrative offense found to have
been actually committed is of lesser gravity than the offense charged, the
employee cannot be considered exonerated, if the factual premise for the
imposition of the lesser penalty remains the same: However, the
employee found guilty of a lesser offense may only be entitled to back
salaries when the offense actually committed does not carry the penalty
of more than one-month suspension or dismissal. The mere reduction of the
penalty on appeal does not entitle a government employee to back salaries if he
was not exonerated of the charge against him. This is the Courts teaching
in City Mayor of Zamboanga v. CA. In this case, the employee was initially
found guilty of disgraceful and immoral conduct and was given the penalty of
dismissal by the City Mayor of Zamboanga. On appeal, however, the CA limited
the employees guilt to improper conduct and correspondingly reduced the
penalty to six-months suspension without pay with a stern warning that
repetition of the same or similar offense will be dealt with more severely."
Bangalisan clearly laid down the principle that if the exoneration of the
employee is relative (as distinguished from complete exoneration), an inquiry
into the factual premise of the offense charged and of the offense committed
must be made. If the administrative offense found to have been actually
committed is of lesser gravity than the offense charged, the employee cannot be
considered exonerated if the factual premise for the imposition of the lesser
penalty remains the same. The employee found guilty of a lesser offense may
only be entitled to back salaries when the offense actually committed does not
carry the penalty of more than one-month suspension or dismissal.
Bangalisan reiterated that the payment of back salaries, during the period of
suspension of a member of the civil service who is subsequently ordered
reinstated, may be decreed only if the employee is found innocent of the
charges which caused the suspension and when the suspension is unjustified.
A careful reading of these cases would reveal that a strict observance of
the second condition for an award of back salaries becomes important only if
the employee is not totally innocent of any administrative infraction. As
previously discussed, where the employee is completely exonerated of the
administrative charge or acquitted in the criminal case arising from the same
facts based on a finding of innocence, the second requirement becomes
subsumed in the first. Otherwise, a determination of the act/s and offense/s
actually committed and of the corresponding penalty imposed has to be made.
(Civil Service Commission v. Cruz, G.R. No. 187858, August 9, 2011)
Liability of Public Officers: The Arias Doctrine: Heads of offices have
to rely to a reasonable extent on their subordinates and on the good faith of
those who prepare bids, purchase supplies, or enter into negotiations. There
should be other grounds than the mere signature or approval appearing on a
voucher to sustain a conspiracy charge and conviction. Even if the head of
office erred in his assessment of the extrinsic and intrinsic validity of the
documents presented to him for endorsement, his act is all the same imbued
with good faith because the otherwise faulty reliance upon his subordinates.
(Jaca v. People, G.R. No. 166967, January 28, 2013)

Exception to the Arias Doctrine: If there are peculiar circumstances


that should have prompted a head of office to exercise a higher degree of
circumspection, he must go beyond what his subordinates had prepared or
recommended. (Rivera v. People, G.R. No. 156577, December 3, 2014)

The Arias Doctrine will not apply if the documents in question bore
irregularities too evident too ignore. In such case, the head of office must
exercise a higher degree of circumspection, and go beyond what their
subordinates had prepared. (Lihaylihay v. People, G.R. No. 191219, July 31,
2013)

24 | P a g e
The Arias Doctrine applies only to heads of offices, not to public officials
whose duty is to examine each voucher to ascertain whether it was proper to
sign it. (Bacasmas v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 189343, July 10, 2013) The
Arias Doctrine applies only where the head of an office is being held to answer
for his act of relying on the acts of his subordinate. It is not applicable when
the head of an office is being held liable for relying on other independent
offices. (Jaca v. People, G.R. No. 166967, January 28, 2013)

Next-in-Rank Rule: The next in rank has no vested right to be


appointed to the position next higher: The next-in-rank rule is a rule of
preference on who to consider for promotion. The rule does not give employees
next in rank a vested right to the position next higher to theirs should that
position become vacant. Appointment is a discretionary power of the
appointing authority. Who to appoint is "a political question involving
considerations of wisdom which only the appointing authority can decide." As
long as the appointee possesses the minimum qualifications prescribed by law
or regulations, there is no question that his appointment must be respected by
the Civil Service Commission even if it be proved that there are others with
superior credentials. (Abad v. Dela Cruz, G.R. No. 207422, March 18, 2015)

De facto Officers: Acts are valid and binding: One who is in possession
of an office, and is discharging its duties under color of authority, meaning an
authority derived from an appointment, however irregular or informal, is a de
facto officer. A de jure officer is one who is deemed, in all respects, legally
appointed and qualified and whose term of office has not expired. (Funa v.
Chairman, Civil Service Commission, G.R. No. 191672, November 25, 2014)

The actions of a de facto officer are valid for all purposes as those of
a de jure officer, in so far as the public or third persons are concerned: A
de facto officer is one who derives his appointment from one having colorable
authority to appoint, if the office is an appointive office, and whose
appointment is valid on its face. He may also be one who is in possession of an
office, and is discharging its duties under color of authority, by which is meant
authority derived from an appointment, however irregular or informal, so that
the incumbent is not a mere volunteer. Consequently, the acts of the de facto
officer are just as valid for all purposes as those of a de jure officer, in so far as
the public or third persons who are interested therein are concerned. (Funa v.
Chairman, Civil Service Commission, G.R. No. 191672, November 25, 2014)

ELECTION LAW
Biometrics validation as part of the registration process is not a
"qualification" to the exercise of the right of suffrage, but a mere aspect of
the registration procedure, of which the State has the right to reasonably
regulate: Essentially, the present petition is a constitutional challenge against
the biometrics validation requirement imposed under RA 10367, including
COMELEC Resolution Nos. 9721, 9863, and 10013. As non-compliance with
the same results in the penalty of deactivation, petitioners posit that it has
risen to the level of an unconstitutional substantive requirement in the exercise
of the right of suffrage. They submit that the statutory requirement of biometric
validation is no different from the unconstitutional requirement of literacy and
property because mere non-validation already absolutely curtails the exercise
of the right of suffrage through deactivation. Further, they advance the
argument that deactivation is not the disqualification by law contemplated as a
valid limitation to the exercise of suffrage under the 1987 Constitution. The
contestation is untenable.

Registration is a form of regulation and not as a qualification for the


right of suffrage: Registration regulates the exercise of the right of
suffrage. It is not a qualification for such right: Registration is a mere

25 | P a g e
procedural requirement which does not fall under the limitation that "[n]o
literacy, property, or other substantive requirement shall be imposed on the
exercise of suffrage." The requirement of biometrics validation for voters is not
a "qualification" to the exercise of the right of suffrage, but a mere aspect of the
registration procedure, of which the State has the right to reasonably regulate.
The act of registration is an indispensable precondition to the right of suffrage.
For registration is part and parcel of the right to vote and an indispensable
element in the election process. The State undoubtedly, in the exercise of its
inherent police power, may then enact laws to safeguard and regulate the act of
voter's registration for the ultimate purpose of conducting honest, orderly and
peaceful election. (Kabataan Party List v. Comelec, G.R. No. 221318, December
16, 2015)

Comelec has no jurisdiction over the expulsion of party-list


representative from his party: Section 17, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution
endows the HRET with jurisdiction to resolve questions on the qualifications of
members of Congress. In the case of party-list representatives, the HRET
acquires jurisdiction over a disqualification case upon proclamation of the
winning party-list group, oath of the nominee, and assumption of office as
member of the House of Representatives. (Lico v. Commission on Elections, G. R.
No. 205505, September 29, 2015)

The COMELEC also has no jurisdiction to decide on the validity of the


expulsion of an incumbent Member of the House of Representatives from the
winning party-list organization that he represents. His expulsion from the
party-list organization is not a mere intra-corporate matter because it
necessarily affects his title as member of Congress. Under Section 17, Article VI
of the Constitution, the HRET is the sole judge of all contests when it comes to
qualifications of the members of the House of Representatives. The COMELEC
failed to recognize that the issue on the validity of petitioner Lico's expulsion
from Ating Koop is integral to the issue of his qualifications to sit in Congress.
(Lico v. Commission on Elections, G. R. No. 205505, September 29, 2015)

False nickname is not material misrepresentation: An allegedly false


nickname in the CoC is not a material misrepresentation that is a ground to
cancel or deny due course to a CoC under Section 78. (Villafuerte v. Comelec,
25 February 2014)

Due process in cancellatino of CoC: Opportunity to be heard is


required before cancellation of or denial of due course to a CoC. (Cerafica v.
Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 205136, December 2, 2014)
For cancellation of/denial of due course to a CoC for material
misrepresentation, there must be a verified petition. (Cerafica v. Commission on
Elections, G.R. No. 205136, December 2, 2014)

Nuisance candidates: Comelec must give the candidate opportunity to be


heard before cancellation of/denial of due course of CoC. (Timbol v. Comelec,
G.R. No. 206004, February 24, 2015)
Requirements for former natural-born Filipinos to qualify as
candidates in Philippine elections: Oath of allegiance and oath of
renunciation: Natural-born Filipinos, who have been naturalized as citizens of
a foreign country, but who reacquired or retained their Philippine citizenship
must (1) take the oath of allegiance under RA 9225, and (2) for those seeking
elective public offices in the Philippines, to additionally execute a personal and
sworn renunciation of any and all foreign citizenship before an authorized
public officer prior or simultaneous to the filing of their certificates of
candidacy, to qualify as candidates in Philippine elections. (Sobejana-Condon v.
Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 198742, August 10, 2012)

26 | P a g e
The mere act of running for public offices does not suffice to serve as an
effective renunciation of foreign citizenship. (Sobejana-Condon v. Commission
on Elections, G.R. No. 198742, August 10, 2012)

Effect of use of foreign passport after oath of renunciation:


Recantation of oath of renunciation: Recantation of Oath of
Renunciation. The use of foreign passport after renouncing ones foreign
citizenship is a positive and voluntary act of representation as to ones
nationality and citizenship; it does not divest Filipino citizenship regained by
repatriation but it recants the Oath of Renunciation required to qualify one to
run for an elective position. (Maquiling v. Comelec, G.R. No. 195649, April 16,
2013)

Rules on determination of residence: There is no hard and fast rule to


determine a candidates compliance with residency requirement since the
question of residence is a question of intention. Still, jurisprudence has laid
down the following guidelines: (a) every person has a domicile or residence
somewhere; (b) where once established, that domicile remains until he acquires
a new one; and (c) a person can have but one domicile at a time. To hold that
Jalosjos has not establish a new domicile in Zamboanga Sibugay despite the
loss of his domicile of origin (Quezon City) and his domicile of choice and by
operation of law (Australia) would violate the settled maxim that a man must
have a domicile or residence somewhere. (Jalosjos v. Commission on Elections,
G.R. No. 191970, April 24, 2012)

No requirement to own a house to establish residence: A candidate is


not required to have a house in a community to establish his residence or
domicile in a particular place. It is sufficient that he should live there even if it
be in a rented house or in the house of a friend or relative. To insist that the
candidate own the house where he lives would make property a qualification
for public office. (Jalosjos v. Comelec, G.R. No. 191970, April 24, 2012)
The fact that a candidate has no registered property under his name
does not belie his actual residence because property ownership is not among
the qualifications required of candidates for local election. It is enough that he
should live in the locality, even in a rented house or that of a friend or relative.
To use ownership of property in the district as the determinative indicium of
permanence of domicile or residence implies that only the landed can establish
compliance with the residency requirement. (Jalover v. Osmena, G.R. No.
209286, September 23, 2014)

No requirement of 24-7 presence to establish residence: The law does


not require a person to be in his home twenty-four (24) hours a day, seven (7)
days a week, to fulfill the residency requirement. (Jalover v. Osmena, G.R. No.
209286, September 23, 2014)

Subjective non-legal standards (such as, a man of stature does not live
in a dilapidated house or a feedmill) cannot be used to determine residence.
(Jalover v. Osmena, G.R. No. 209286, September 23, 2014)
Three-term limit rule: In case of legislative reapportionment, where the
district is practically the same as the district that previously elected the same
candidate, the three-term limit rule applies. (Naval v. Comelec, G.R. No.
207851, July 8, 2014)

LOCAL GOVERNMENTS
The Mayor has the power to demolish illegal constructions after due
process: Under Sec. 444 (b)(3)(vi) of the Local Government Code, insofar as
illegal constructions are concerned, the mayor can, after satisfying the
requirement of due notice and hearing, order their closure and demolition. This
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power is separate and distinct from the power to summarily abate
nuisances per se. (Aquino v. Municipality of Malay, Aklan, G.R. No. 211356,
September 29, 2014)

Local autonomy does not preclude the national government from


taking a direct hand in national social welfare programs: The concept of
local autonomy does not imply the conversion of local government units into
"mini-states." The national government has not completely relinquished all its
powers over local governments. Only administrative powers over local affairs
are delegated to political subdivisions. Policy-setting for the entire country still
lies in the President and Congress. Thus, the national government is not
precluded from taking a direct hand in the formulation and implementation of
national social welfare programs.
Thus, the Department of Social Welfare and Development can embark on
a poverty reduction strategy with the poorest of the poor as target beneficiaries,
such as the Conditional Cash Transfer Program (CCTP) and have full control
over the identification of beneficiaries and the manner by which services are to
be delivered, instead of allocating the P21 Billion CCTP Budget directly to the
LGUs. (Pimentel v. Executive Secretary, G.R. No. 195770, July 17, 2012)

Requirements for government projects affecting the ecological


balance of local communities: prior public consultation and prior
sanggunian approval: Under the Local Government Code, two requisites must
be met before a national project that affects the environmental and ecological
balance of local communities can be implemented: prior consultation with the
affected local communities, and prior approval of the project by the
appropriate sanggunian. Absent either of these mandatory requirements, the
projects implementation is illegal. The lack of prior public consultation and
approval is not corrected by a subsequent endorsement. (Boracay Foundation v.
Province of Aklan, G.R. No. 196870, June 26, 2012)

INTERNATIONAL LAW

How the Philippines can be bound by an international treaty that it


has not signed: Under the 1987 Constitution, generally accepted principles of
international law, by virtue of the incorporation clause of the Constitution,
form part of the laws of the land even if they do not derive from treaty
obligations.

That the Philippines is not a party to the 1930 Hague Convention nor to
the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness does not mean that
their principles are not binding. Their principles are binding as generally
accepted principles of international law. "Generally accepted principles of
international law" are based not only on international custom, but also on
"general principles of law recognized by civilized nations," as the phrase is
understood in Article 38.1 paragraph (c) of the ICJ Statute. (Poe-Llamanzares v.
Comelec, G.R. No. 221697, March 8, 2016)

Generally accepted principles of international law include


customary international la and general principles of law recognized by
civilized nations: Generally accepted principles of international law include
international custom as evidence of a general practice accepted as law, and
general principles of law recognized by civilized nations. International
customary rules are accepted as binding as a result from the combination of
two elements: the established, widespread, and consistent practice on the part
of States; and a psychological element known as the opinion juris sive
necessitates (opinion as to law or necessity). Implicit in the latter element is a
belief that the practice in question is rendered obligatory by the existence of a
rule of law requiring it. "General principles of law recognized by civilized
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nations" are principles "established by a process of reasoning" or judicial logic,
based on principles which are "basic to legal systems generally, such as
"general principles of equity, i.e., the general principles of fairness and justice,"
and the "general principle against discrimination" which is embodied in the
"Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on
Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Convention on the
Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the Convention Against
Discrimination in Education, the Convention (No. 111) Concerning
Discrimination in Respect of Employment and Occupation. (Poe-Llamanzares v.
Comelec, G.R. No. 221697, March 8, 2016)

Basic principles that should govern the relations between and


among States: Under international law, what basic principles should govern
the relations between and among States? The United Nations Charter provides
that its Members should act in accordance with the following principles:
Sovereign equality of states: The Organization is based on the principle
of the sovereign equality of all its Members.
Pacta sunt servanda: All Members, in order to ensure to all of them the
rights and benefits resulting from membership, shall fulfil in good faith the
obligations assumed by them in accordance with the present Charter.
Peaceful settlement of disputes: All Members shall settle their
international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international
peace and security, and justice, are not endangered.
Prohibition on the threat or use of force: All Members shall refrain in their
international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial
integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner
inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.
Assistance to the UN: All Members shall give the United Nations every
assistance in any action it takes in accordance with the present Charter, and
shall refrain from giving assistance to any state against which the United
Nations is taking preventive or enforcement action.
Ensuring compliance by non-members: The Organization shall ensure
that states which are not Members of the United Nations act in accordance
with these Principles so far as may be necessary for the maintenance of
international peace and security.
Non-intervention in domestic or internal affairs: Nothing contained in the
present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters
which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state or shall
require the Members to submit such matters to settlement under the present
Charter; but this principle shall not prejudice the application of enforcement
measures under Chapter VII. (see Article 2, Chapter 1, United Nations Charter)

The principle of complementarity and the jurisdiction of the


International Criminal Court (ICC): The principle of complementarity simply
means that the ICC is intended to complement, not replace, national criminal
systems; it prosecutes cases only when States do not or are unwilling or unable
to do so genuinely. (https://www.icc-cpi.int/about/how-the-court-works) Under
Article 17 of the Rome Statute, a case is inadmissible if: (a) the case is being
investigated or prosecuted by a State which has jurisdiction over it, unless the
State is unwilling or unable genuinely to carry out the investigation or
prosecution; (b) the case has been investigated by a State which has
jurisdiction over it and the State has decided not to prosecute the person
concerned, unless the decision resulted from the unwillingness or inability of
the State genuinely to prosecute; or (c) the person concerned has already been
tried for conduct which is the subject of the complaint.

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