Sie sind auf Seite 1von 4

Case Title VALMONTE vs DE VILLA

(RICARDO C. VALMONTE and UNION OF LAWYERS AND ADVOCATES FOR


PEOPLE'S RIGHTS (ULAP) vs. GEN. RENATO DE VILLA and NATIONAL CAPITAL
REGION DISTRICT COMMAND)
G.R. no. G.R. No. 83988
Main Topic Searches and Seizures at Checkpoint
Other Related Topic • Right against unreasonable searches and seizures is a personal right.
• Public welfare vs individual right against a warrantless search
Date: September 29, 1989||

DOCTRINES
SARMIENTO, J., dissenting:
1. CONSTITUTIONAL LAW; CONSTITUTION; BEDROCK OF THE REGIME OF LAW AND CONSTITUTIONALISM.
2. ID.; SEARCH AND SEIZURE; BURDEN OF PROVING REASONABLENESS INCUMBENT UPON THE STATE.
3. ID.; ID.; ABSENCE ALONE OF A SEARCH WARRANT MAKES CHECKPOINT SEARCHES UNREASONABLE.
4. ID.; ID.; CASE AT BAR NOT SIMPLY A POLICEMAN ON THE BEAT.
FACTS:
Petitioners are seeking to declare checkpoints as unconstitutional, they should be dismantled or
banned… OR, the National Capital Region District Command (NCRDC) should be directed to formulate
guidelines in the implementation of checkpoints, for the protection of the people.
Petitioner Ricardo C. Valmonte sues in his capacity as citizen, taxpayer, member of the IBP, and as
resident of Valenzuela; petitioner Union of Lawyers and Advocates for People's Rights (ULAP) sues in its
capacity as an association whose members are all members of the IBP.
The facts:
>> The Philippine General Headquarters, AFP issued an instruction that they are in a mission to
conduct security operations (to establish an effective territorial defense, to maintain peace and
order, and to provide an atmosphere conducive to the social, economic and political development
of the NCR)
>>Therefore, the NCRDC installed checkpoints in Valenzuela.
>>Petitioners claim residents are worried of being harassed; their safety being placed at the
arbitrary, capricious and whimsical disposition of the military manning the checkpoints – because
their cars are subjected to regular searches and check-ups – without search warrant or court
order.
>> On the dawn of 9 July 1988, Benjamin Parpon, a supply officer of the Municipality of
Valenzuela was gunned down in McArthur Highway for refusing to submit himself to the
checkpoint; and for continuing to speed off inspite of warning shots fired in the air.
>> Valmonte claims he had gone thru these checkpoints where he was stopped and his car
subjected to search without a court order or search warrant.
>> + Petitioners contend that checkpoints give the respondents a blanket authority to make
searches and/or seizures without search warrant or court order in violation of the Constitution.

ISSUE:

W/N the checkpoints violate the Constitutional right against unreasonable searches and seizures:
-- APPARENTLY NOT. BUT READ DISSENTING OPINION OF J.Cruz, and J.Sarmiento
HELD:
Petitioners' concern for their safety and apprehension at being harassed by the military manning
the checkpoints are not sufficient grounds to declare the checkpoints as per se illegal.
> No proof to show that the military committed specific violations of petitioners'
right against unlawful search and seizure or other rights.
> In (ULAP) vs. Integrated National Police, it was held that individual petitioners who do not
allege that any of their rights were violated are not qualified to bring the action. (BAWAL
THIRD PARTY STANDING?)
>The constitutional right against unreasonable searches and seizures is a personal right..
ONLY invoked by those whose rights have been infringed, or threatened to be infringed.

What constitutes a reasonable or unreasonable search and seizure in any particular case is
purely a judicial question, determinable from a consideration of the circumstances involved.
> Valmonte's general allegation is not sufficient to enable the Court to determine whether
there was a violation of Valmonte's right against unlawful search and seizure. Not all
searches and seizures are prohibited. Those which are reasonable, are not forbidden. A
reasonable search is to be resolved according to the facts of each case.
> For example, the officer draws aside the curtain of a vacant vehicle parked on the public fair
grounds, or simply looks into a vehicle, or flashes a light -- do not constitute unreasonable
search.

>Checkpoints may be considered as a measure to enable the NCRDC to pursue its mission.
> to thwart plots to destabilize the government, in the interest of public security; not to mention
the abundance of unlicensed firearms and the alarming rise in lawlessness and violence, not
all are reported in media, most likely brought about by deteriorating economic conditions —
which all sum up to what one can consider, as abnormal times.
BETWEEN the inherent right of the state to protect its existence and promote public
welfare AND an individual's right against a warrantless search (which
is reasonably conducted) the former should prevail.
True, the manning of checkpoints by the military is susceptible of abuse by the men in
uniform, in the same manner that all governmental power is susceptible of abuse. But, at
the cost of occasional inconvenience, discomfort and even irritation to the citizen, the
checkpoints during these abnormal times, when conducted within reasonable limits, are
part of the price we pay for an orderly society and a peaceful community. >>!!WTF!!<<
((BUT, on 17 July 1988, checkpoints in Metro Manila were temporarily lifted, and a review and refinement
of the rules in the conduct of the police and military manning the checkpoints was ordered by the National
Capital Regional Command Chief and the Metropolitan Police Director.))
Petition DISMISSED.
Separate Opinions

CRUZ, J., dissenting:

I dissent. The sweeping statements in the majority opinion are as dangerous as the checkpoints
it would sustain and fraught with serious threats to individual liberty. The bland declaration that
individual rights must yield to the demands of national security ignores the fact that the Bill of
Rights was intended precisely to limit the authority of the State even if asserted on the
ground of national security.
Worse is that the searches and seizures are peremptorily pronounced to be reasonable even
without proof of probable cause and much less the required warrant.
The excuse is that they are aimed at "establishing an effective territorial defense, maintaining
peace and order, and providing an atmosphere conducive to the social, economic and political
development of the NCR." == every individual may be stopped and searched at random and at
any time simply because he excites the suspicion, caprice, hostility or malice of the officers
manning the checkpoints, on pain of arrest or worse, even being shot to death, if he resists.
I have no quarrel with a policeman flashing a light inside a parked vehicle on a dark street as a
routine measure of security and curiosity. But the case is different. Military officers are
systematically stationed at strategic checkpoints to actively ferret out suspected criminals by
detaining and searching any individual who in their opinion might impair "the social, economic
and political development of the National Capital Region." It is incredible that we can sustain
such a measure. And we are not even under martial law.
Unless we are vigilant of our rights, we may find ourselves back to the dark era of the truncheon
and the barbed wire, with the Court itself a captive of its own complaisance and sitting at the
deathbed of liberty.

SARMIENTO, J., dissenting:

The existence alone of checkpoints makes search unreasonable and hence, repugnant to the
Constitution.
The Charter says that the people enjoy the right of security of person, home, and effects. It is
also the bedrock — the right of the people to be left alone — on which the regime of law and
constitutionalism rest. It is not a matter of "occasional inconveniences, discomfort and even
irritation." To say that it is, is to trivialize the plain command of the Constitution.
Checkpoints are things of martial rule, and things of the past.
They are repressive measures, the same measures against which we had fought so
painstakingly in our quest for liberty, a quest that ended at EDSA and a quest that terminated a
dictatorship. How soon we forget.
While the right against unreasonable searches and seizures, is a right personal to the aggrieved
party, the petitioners have come to Court because they had been/felt aggrieved. The burden is
the State's, to demonstrate the reasonableness of the search. The petitioners,
Ricardo Valmonte in particular, need not, have illustrated the "details of the incident" in all
their gore and gruesomeness.
The absence alone of a search warrant, makes checkpoint searches unreasonable, and by itself,
subject to constitutional challenges. As it is, "checkpoints" have become "search warrants" unto
themselves — a roving one at that.
That "not all searches and seizures are prohibited," is fine. And so is "a reasonable search is not
to be determined by any fixed formula but is to be resolved according to the facts of each case."
>>But the question is: Are the searches in this case reasonable? I submit that they are
not, for one simple reason: No search warrant has been issued by a judge.
I do not find this case to be a simple matter of an "officer merely draw(ing) aside the curtain of a
vacant vehicle . . . or simply look(ing) there, "or flash(ing) a light therein." …What we have here is
Orwell's Big Brother watching every step we take and every move we make.
"Checkpoints" are State policy. The American cases the majority refers to involve routine checks
compelled by "probable cause". What we have here, however, is not simply a policeman on the
beat but armed men, CAFGU or Alsa Masa, who hold the power of life or death over the
citizenry, who fire with no provocation and without batting an eyelash. They likewise shoot
you simply because they do not like your face. I have witnessed actual incidents.
Washington said that militia cannot be made to dictate the terms for the nation.
"Between the inherent right of the state to protect its existence . . . and on individual's right
against a warrantless search, which is reasonably conducted, "so my brethren go on, the former
shall prevail.” >> First, this is the same lie that the hated despot foisted on the Filipino people. It
is a serious mistake to fall for it a second time around. Second, the checkpoint searches herein
are unreasonable: There was no warrant.
The country is once again the "showcase of democracy" in Asia. But if in many cases, it has
been "paper democracy", let this Court anyway bring to pass its stand, and make liberty in the
land, a living reality.
I vote then, to grant the petition.