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White Light Corporation VS City of Manila

On December 3, 1992, City Mayor Alfredo S. Lim signed into a law Manila City Ordinance No. 7774 entitled
“An Ordinance Prohibiting Short-Time Admission, Short-Time Admission Rates, and Wash-Up Rate Schemes in
Hotels, Motels, Inns, Lodging Houses, Pension Houses, and Similar Establishments in the City of Manila.” On
December 15, 1992, the Malate Tourist and Development Corporation (MTDC) filed a complaint for declaratory relief
with prayer for a writ of preliminary injunction and/or temporary restraining order (TRO) impleading as defendant,
herein respondent City of Manila represented by Mayor Lim with the prayer that the Ordinance be declared invalid
and unconstitutional.
On December 21, 1992, petitioners White Light Corporation (WLC), Titanium Corporation (TC) and Sta.
Mesa Tourist and Development Corporation (STDC) filed a motion to intervene and to admit attached complaint-in-
intervention on the ground that the Ordinance directly affects their business interests as operators of drive-in-hotels
and motels in Manila. The RTC issued a TRO directing the City to cease and desist from enforcing the Ordinance. The
City alleges that the Ordinance is a legitimate exercise of police power. On October 20, 1993, the RTC rendered a
decision declaring the Ordinance null and void. On a petition for review on certiorari, the Court of Appeals reversed
the decision of the RTC and affirmed the constitutionality of the Ordinance.

Issue: Whether Manila City Ordinance No. 7774 is a valid exercise of police power

Police power, while incapable of an exact definition, has been purposely veiled in general terms to
underscore its comprehensiveness to meet all exigencies and provide enough room for an efficient and flexible
response as the conditions warrant. Police power is based upon the concept of necessity of the State and its
corresponding right to protect itself and its people. Police power has been used as justification for numerous and
varied actions by the State. The apparent goal of the Ordinance is to minimize if not eliminate the use of the covered
establishments for illicit sex, prostitution, drug use and alike. These goals, by themselves, are unimpeachable and
certainly fall within the ambit of the police power of the State. Yet the desirability of these ends do not sanctify any
and all means for their achievement.
Those means must align with the Constitution, and our emerging sophisticated analysis of its guarantees to
the people. That the Ordinance prevents the lawful uses of a wash rate depriving patrons of a product and the
petitioners of lucrative business ties in with another constitutional requisite for the legitimacy of the Ordinance as a
police power measure. It must appear that the interests of the public generally, as distinguished from those of a
particular class, require an interference with private rights and the means must be reasonably necessary for the
accomplishment of the purpose and not unduly oppressive of private rights. It must also be evident that no other
alternative for the accomplishment of the purpose less intrusive of private rights can work. More importantly, a
reasonable relation must exist between the purposes of the measure and the means employed for its
accomplishment, for even under the guise of protecting the public interest, personal rights and those pertaining to
private property will not be permitted to be arbitrarily invaded. Lacking a concurrence of these requisites, the police
measure shall be struck down as an arbitrary intrusion into private rights. As held in Morfe v. Mutuc, the exercise of
police power is subject to judicial review when life, liberty or property is affected. However, this is not in any way
meant to take it away from the vastness of State police power whose exercise enjoys the presumption of
validity. Ordinance No. 7774 is hereby declared UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

MMDA vs Trackworks Rail Transit

Facts: In 1997, the Government, through the Department of Transportation and Communications, entered into a
build-lease-transfer agreement (BLT agreement) with Metro Rail Transit Corporation, Limited (MRTC) pursuant to
Republic Act No. 6957 (Build, Operate and Transfer Law), under which MRTC undertook to build MRT3 subject to the
condition that MRTC would own MRT3 for 25 years, upon the expiration of which the ownership would transfer to
the Government. In 1998, respondent Trackworks Rail Transit Advertising, Vending & Promotions, Inc. (Trackworks)
entered into a contract for advertising services with MRTC. Trackworks thereafter installed commercial billboards,
signages and other advertising media in the different parts of the MRT3. In 2001, however, MMDA requested
Trackworks to dismantle the billboards, signages and other advertising media pursuant to MMDA Regulation No. 96-
009, whereby MMDA prohibited the posting, installation and display of any kind or form of billboards, signs, posters,
streamers, in any part of the road, sidewalk, center island, posts, trees, parks and open space. After Trackworks
refused the request of MMDA, MMDA proceeded to dismantle the former’s billboards and similar forms of

Issue: Whether MMDA has the power to dismantle, remove or destroy the billboards, signages and other advertising
media installed by Trackworks on the interior and exterior structures of the MRT3.

Ruling: That Trackworks derived its right to install its billboards, signages and other advertising media in the MRT3
from MRTC’s authority under the BLT agreement to develop commercial premises in the MRT3 structure or to obtain
advertising income therefrom is no longer debatable. Under the BLT agreement, indeed, MRTC owned the MRT3 for
25 years, upon the expiration of which MRTC would transfer ownership of the MRT3 to the Government.
Considering that MRTC remained to be the owner of the MRT3 during the time material to this case, and until this
date, MRTC’s entering into the contract for advertising services with Trackworks was a valid exercise of ownership
by the former. In fact, in Metropolitan Manila Development Authority v. Trackworks Rail Transit Advertising, Vending
& Promotions, Inc., this Court expressly recognized Trackworks’ right to install the billboards, signages and other
advertising media pursuant to said contract. The latter’s right should, therefore, be respected.
It is futile for MMDA to simply invoke its legal mandate to justify the dismantling of Trackworks’ billboards, signages
and other advertising media. MMDA simply had no power on its own to dismantle, remove, or destroy the billboards,
signages and other advertising media installed on the MRT3 structure by Trackworks. In Metropolitan Manila
Development Authority v. Bel-Air Village Association, Inc., Metropolitan Manila Development Authority v. Viron
Transportation Co., Inc., and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority v. Garin, the Court had the occasion to
rule that MMDA’s powers were limited to the formulation, coordination, regulation, implementation, preparation,
management, monitoring, setting of policies, installing a system, and administration. Nothing in Republic Act No.
7924 granted MMDA police power, let alone legislative power.

The Court also agrees with the CA’s ruling that MMDA Regulation No. 96-009 and MMC Memorandum Circular No.
88-09 did not apply to Trackworks’ billboards, signages and other advertising media. The prohibition against posting,
installation and display of billboards, signages and other advertising media applied only to public areas, but MRT3,
being private property pursuant to the BLT agreement between the Government and MRTC, was not one of the
areas as to which the prohibition applied.

Acebedo Optical Company, Inc. vs. The Honorable Court of Appeals

Petitioner applied with the Office of the City Mayor of Iligan for a business permit. After consideration of
petitioner's application and the opposition interposed thereto by local optometrists, respondent City Mayor issued
Business Permit No. 5342 subject to the following conditions:
(1) Since it is a corporation, Acebedo cannot put up an optical clinic but only a commercial store;
(2) It cannot examine and/or prescribe reading and similar optical glasses for patients, because these are functions
of optical clinics;
(3) It cannot sell reading and similar eyeglasses without a prescription having first been made by an independent
optometrist or independent optical clinic. Acebedo can only sell directly to the public, without need of a prescription,
Ray-Ban and similar eyeglasses;
(4) It cannot advertise optical lenses and eyeglasses, but can advertise Ray-Ban and similar glasses and frames;
(5) It is allowed to grind lenses but only upon the prescription of an independent optometrist.
On December 5, 1988, private respondent Samahan ng Optometrist Sa Pilipinas (SOPI lodged a complaint
against the petitioner alleging that Acebedo had violated the conditions set forth in its business permit and
requesting the cancellation and/or revocation of such permit. On July 19, 1989, the City Mayor sent petitioner a
Notice of Resolution and Cancellation of Business Permit effective as of said date and giving petitioner three (3)
months to wind up its affairs.

Issue: Whether the City Mayor has the authority to impose special conditions, as a valid exercise of police power,
in the grant of business permits

Ruling: Police power as an inherent attribute of sovereignty is the power to prescribe regulations to promote the
health, morals, peace, education, good order or safety and general welfare of the people. It is essentially regulatory
in nature and the power to issue licenses or grant business permits, if exercised for a regulatory and not revenue-
raising purpose, is within the ambit of this power. The authority of city mayors to issue or grant licenses and business
permits is beyond cavil. However, the power to grant or issue licenses or business permits must always be exercised
in accordance with law, with utmost observance of the rights of all concerned to due process and equal protection
of the law.
In the case under consideration, the business permit granted by respondent City Mayor to petitioner was burdened
with several conditions. Petitioner agrees with the holding by the Court of Appeals that respondent City Mayor acted
beyond his authority in imposing such special conditions in its permit as the same have no basis in the law or
ordinance. Public respondents and private respondent SOPI are one in saying that the imposition of said special
conditions is well within the authority of the City Mayor as a valid exercise of police power.
The issuance of business licenses and permits by a municipality or city is essentially regulatory in nature. The
authority, which devolved upon local government units to issue or grant such licenses or permits, is essentially in
the exercise of the police power of the State within the contemplation of the general welfare clause of the Local
Government Code.

What is sought by petitioner from respondent City Mayor is a permit to engage in the business of running an optical
shop. It does not purport to seek a license to engage in the practice of optometry. The objective of the imposition
of subject conditions on petitioner's business permit could be attained by requiring the optometrists in petitioner's
employ to produce a valid certificate of registration as optometrist, from the Board of Examiners in Optometry. A
business permit is issued primarily to regulate the conduct of business and the City Mayor cannot, through the
issuance of such permit, regulate the practice of a profession. Such a function is within the exclusive domain of the
administrative agency specifically empowered by law to supervise the profession, in this case the Professional
Regulations Commission and the Board of Examiners in Optometry.

Association of Small Landowners in the Philippines, Inc. vs Secretary of Agrarian Reform

FACTS: These are four consolidated cases questioning the constitutionality of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform
Act (R.A. No. 6657 and related laws i.e., Agrarian Land Reform Code or R.A. No. 3844).
Brief background: Article XIII of the Constitution on Social Justice and Human Rights includes a call for the adoption
by the State of an agrarian reform program. The State shall, by law, undertake an agrarian reform program founded
on the right of farmers and regular farmworkers, who are landless, to own directly or collectively the lands they till
or, in the case of other farmworkers, to receive a just share of the fruits thereof. RA 3844 was enacted in 1963. P.D.
No. 27 was promulgated in 1972 to provide for the compulsory acquisition of private lands for distribution among
tenant-farmers and to specify maximum retention limits for landowners. In 1987, President Corazon Aquino issued
E.O. No. 228, declaring full land ownership in favor of the beneficiaries of PD 27 and providing for the valuation of
still unvalued lands covered by the decree as well as the manner of their payment. In 1987, P.P. No. 131, instituting
a comprehensive agrarian reform program (CARP) was enacted; later, E.O. No. 229, providing the mechanics for its
(PP131’s) implementation, was also enacted. Afterwhich is the enactment of R.A. No. 6657, Comprehensive Agrarian
Reform Law in 1988. This law, while considerably changing the earlier mentioned enactments, nevertheless gives
them suppletory effect insofar as they are not inconsistent with its provisions.
[Two of the consolidated cases are discussed below]
G.R. No. 78742: (Association of Small Landowners vs Secretary)
The Association of Small Landowners in the Philippines, Inc. sought exception from the land distribution scheme
provided for in R.A. 6657. The Association is comprised of landowners of ricelands and cornlands whose landholdings
do not exceed 7 hectares. They invoke that since their landholdings are less than 7 hectares, they should not be
forced to distribute their land to their tenants under R.A. 6657 for they themselves have shown willingness to till
their own land. In short, they want to be exempted from agrarian reform program because they claim to belong to
a different class.
G.R. No. 79777: (Manaay vs Juico)
Nicolas Manaay questioned the validity of the agrarian reform laws (PD 27, EO 228, and 229) on the ground that
these laws already valuated their lands for the agrarian reform program and that the specific amount must be
determined by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR). Manaay averred that this violated the principle in eminent
domain which provides that only courts can determine just compensation. This, for Manaay, also violated due
process for under the constitution, no property shall be taken for public use without just compensation.
Manaay also questioned the provision which states that landowners may be paid for their land in bonds and not
necessarily in cash. Manaay averred that just compensation has always been in the form of money and not in bonds.
1. Whether or not there was a violation of the equal protection clause.
2. Whether or not there is a violation of due process.
3. Whether or not just compensation, under the agrarian reform program, must be in terms of cash.
1. No. The Association had not shown any proof that they belong to a different class exempt from the agrarian reform
program. Under the law, classification has been defined as the grouping of persons or things similar to each other in
certain particulars and different from each other in these same particulars. To be valid, it must conform to the
following requirements:
(1) it must be based on substantial distinctions;
(2) it must be germane to the purposes of the law;
(3) it must not be limited to existing conditions only; and
(4) it must apply equally to all the members of the class.
Equal protection simply means that all persons or things similarly situated must be treated alike both as to the rights
conferred and the liabilities imposed. The Association have not shown that they belong to a different class and
entitled to a different treatment. The argument that not only landowners but also owners of other properties must
be made to share the burden of implementing land reform must be rejected. There is a substantial distinction
between these two classes of owners that is clearly visible except to those who will not see. There is no need to
elaborate on this matter. In any event, the Congress is allowed a wide leeway in providing for a valid classification.
Its decision is accorded recognition and respect by the courts of justice except only where its discretion is abused to
the detriment of the Bill of Rights. In the contrary, it appears that Congress is right in classifying small landowners as
part of the agrarian reform program.
2. No. It is true that the determination of just compensation is a power lodged in the courts. However, there is no
law which prohibits administrative bodies like the DAR from determining just compensation. In fact, just
compensation can be that amount agreed upon by the landowner and the government – even without judicial
intervention so long as both parties agree. The DAR can determine just compensation through appraisers and if the
landowner agrees, then judicial intervention is not needed. What is contemplated by law however is that, the just
compensation determined by an administrative body is merely preliminary. If the landowner does not agree with
the finding of just compensation by an administrative body, then it can go to court and the determination of the
latter shall be the final determination. This is even so provided by RA 6657:
Section 16 (f): Any party who disagrees with the decision may bring the matter to the court of proper jurisdiction for
final determination of just compensation.
3. No. Money as [sole] payment for just compensation is merely a concept in traditional exercise of eminent domain.
The agrarian reform program is a revolutionary exercise of eminent domain. The program will require billions of
pesos in funds if all compensation have to be made in cash – if everything is in cash, then the government will not
have sufficient money hence, bonds, and other securities, i.e., shares of stocks, may be used for just compensation.


Facts: On March 2, 1995, COMELEC promulgated Resolution No. 2772 stating that the Commission shall have free
print space of not less than one-half page in at least one newspaper in every province or city as “Comelec Space”.
This ad space will be used by candidates for their campaign and platforms of government, and for the Commission’s
dissemination of vital information. Moreover, COMELEC released a letter-directive ordering the different
newspapers to comply with the said resolution. The petitioner Philippine Press Institute (PPI) filed a petition
contending that COMELEC violated the prohibition imposed by the Constitution against the taking of properties
without just compensation due to Sec 2. Moreover, the directive of COMELEC amounts to involuntary servitude and
violation of the freedom of expression and of the press due to Sec 8. On the other hand, COMELEC asserts their
directive is not mandatory and compelling. They only ask for a donation. They aver that even if the order is
mandatory, it would still be valid through the use of police power.

Issue: Is COMELEC’s action constitutional through the exercise of police power?

Held: No. Looking at Sec 2, it seems that respondent is correct that the order to give a free space to COMELEC is not
mandatory as there is no compelling language or any criminal or administrative charges for violation. The
respondent’s reason for creating the resolution was due to the voluntary offers given by the newspaper company in
the 1992 elections to help them advertise important election matters. However, the court will have to disagree that
even if the order is mandatory, it would still be valid as an exercise of police power. First, only the legislature can
exercise police power except if it is delegated to some other body. The COMELEC did not give any effort to specify
evidences that they were given police power. According to the Constitution, when a property is taken, it must be
given a just compensation. In the case at bar, there is no just compensation as the newspapers will give the space
for free as a donation. Moreover, there was no showing of reasonable necessity or emergency for the taking of print
space confronted the Commission. However, Sec 8 still stands as it is within the power of COMELEC to control the
media influences of candidates to prevent unequal campaigns.

Petition is partially granted. Sec 2 is not mandatory and Sec 8 is valid


G.R. No. 170147 January 30, 2009
On January 15, 1979, President Marcos issued Proclamation No. 18115 which reserved certain parcels of
land of the public domain in Lapu Lapu City in favor of petitioner (then Export Processing Zone Authority or EPZA)
for the establishment of the Mactan Export Processing Zone. However, some of the parcels covered by the
proclamation, including that of respondent spouses Agustin and Imelda Cancio, were private land. Petitioner offered
to purchase respondents’ lot P52,294,000 which respondents rejected.
Petitioner commenced expropriation proceedings for respondents’ property. It sought a writ of
possession for the property for which it was willing to deposit 10% of the offered amount with LBP in accordance
with A.O. No. 50.7. Respondents, however, filed a motion to require petitioner to comply with RA 8974, specifically
Sec 4(a) thereof, which requires that, upon the filing of the complaint for expropriation, the implementing agency
shall immediately pay the owner of the property an amount equivalent to 100% of the current zonal
valuation thereof for purposes of the issuance of a writ of possession.
Whether or not RA 8974 is applicable to this case for purposes of the issuance of the writ of possession.
RA 8974 governs this case, not A.O. No. 50 as petitioner insists. RA 8974 applies to instances when the
national government expropriates property for national government infrastructure projects. The economic zone is
a national government project. Also, the complaint for expropriation was filed only on August 27, 2001 or almost 1
year after the law was approved on November 7, 2000. Thus, there is no doubt about its applicability to this case.
It is only after the trial court ascertains the provisional amount to be paid that just compensation will be
determined. In establishing the amount of just compensation, the parties may present evidence relative to the
property’s fair market value, as provided under Section 5 of RA 8974.

Landbank of the Philippines

vs Raymunda Martinez
Ponente: Nachura

The land owned by Martinez was compulsory acquired by DAR for the purpose of CARP, of which the LBP offered
P1,955,485.60 as just compensation. Convinced that the amount was just and confiscatory, Martinez rejected it.
Thus, PARAD conducted a summary administrative proceedings for the preliminary determination of the just
PARAD marked some inconsistencies in the figures and factors used by LBP in its computation, so they rendered an
amount of P12,179,492.50 as just compensation.

LBP however, filed at the RTC-Romblon that the ruling of the DARAB on the just compensation has become final
after the lapse of 15 days. Martinez opposed the motion. Later on, LBP instituted a petition for certiorari against
PARAD, assailing that PARAD gravely abuse its discretion when it issued the order for the 12m just compensation
despite the pending petition in the RTC. CA, finding LBP guilty of forum-shopping dismissed the petition, Hence, this

(1) whether or not petitioner could file its appeal solely through its legal department; (2) whether or not petitioner
committed forum shopping; and (3) whether or not the Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudicator (PARAD) gravely
abused his discretion when he issued a writ of execution despite the pendency of LBP’s petition for fixing of just
compensation with the Special Agrarian Court (SAC).

The Court went on to rule that the petition for review on certiorari could not be filed without the Office of the
Government Corporate Counsel (OGCC) entering its appearance as the principal legal counsel of the bank or without
the OGCC giving its conformity to the LBP Legal Department’s filing of the petition. The Court also found petitioner
to have forum-shopped when it moved to quash the PARAD resolutions and at the same time petitioned for their
annulment via certiorari under Rule 65. Most importantly, the Court ruled that petitioner was not entitled to the
issuance of a writ of certiorari by the appellate court because the Office of the PARAD did not gravely abuse its
discretion when it undertook to execute the September 4, 2002 decision on land valuation. The said adjudicator’s
decision attained finality after the lapse of the 15-day period stated in Rule XIII, Section 11 of the Department of
Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB) Rules of Procedure.

On the supposedly conflicting pronouncements in the cited decisions, the Court reiterates its ruling in this case that
the agrarian reform adjudicator’s decision on land valuation attains finality after the lapse of the 15-day period
stated in the DARAB Rules. The petition for the fixing of just compensation should therefore, following the law and
settled jurisprudence, be filed with the SAC within the said period. Following settled doctrine, we ruled in this case
that the PARAD’s decision had already attained finality because of LBP’s failure to file the petition for the fixing of
just compensation within the 15-day period.


656 SCRA 60
G.R. No. 165828
August 24, 2011

TOPIC: Eminent Domain; Just Compensation

FACTS: National Power Corporation (NPC) undertook the Agus River Hydroelectric Power Plant Project to generate
electricity for Mindanao. It included the construction of several underground tunnels to be used in diverting the
water flow from the Agus River to the hydroelectric plants.

On 1997, Respondents sued NPC for recovery of damages of the property and a prayer for just compensation. They
alleged that the tunnel deprived them of the agricultural, commercial, industrial and residential value of their land;
and that their land had also become an unsafe place for habitation, forcing them and their workers to relocate to
safer grounds.

ISSUE: Whether the Heirs of Sangkay have the right to just compensation

RULING: Just compensation is the full and fair equivalent of the property taken from its owner by the expropriator.
It has the objective to recover the value of property taken in fact by the governmental defendant, even though no
formal exercise of the power of eminent domain has been attempted by the taking agency.

The underground tunnels impose limitations on respondents’ use of the property for an indefinite period and
deprive them of its ordinary use. Hence, respondents are clearly entitled to the payment of just compensation.

Notwithstanding the fact that petitioner only occupies the sub-terrain portion, it is liable to pay not merely an
easement fee but rather the full compensation for land. It is settled that the taking of private property for public
use, to be compensable, need not be an actual physical taking or appropriation. This is so because in this case, the
nature of the easement practically deprives the owners of its normal beneficial use. Compensable taking includes
destruction, restriction, diminution, or interruption of the rights of ownership or of the common and necessary use
and enjoyment of the property in a lawful manner, lessening or destroying its value.
Vda. de Ouano vs. Republic
G.R. NO. 168770, 9 FEBRUARY 2011


1. In 1949, the National Airport Corporation (NAC), MCIAA’s predecessor agency pursued a program to expand
the Lahug Airport in Cebu City.
2. As an assurance from the government, there is a promise of reconveyance or repurchase of said property
so long as Lahug ceases its operation or transfer its operation to Mactan – Cebu Airport.
3. Some owners refused to sell, and that the Civil Aeronautics Administration filed a complaint for the
expropriation of said properties for the expansion of the Lahug Airport.
4. The trial court then declared said properties to be used upon the expansion of said projects and order for
just compensation to the land owners, at the same time directed the latter to transfer certificate or
ownership or title in the name of the plaintiff.
5. At the end of 1991, Lahug Airport completely ceased its operation while the Mactan-Cebu airport opened
to accommodate incoming and outgoing commercial flights.
6. This then prompted the land owners to demand for the reconveynace of said properties being expropriated
by the trial court under the power of eminent domain. Hence these two consolidated cases arise.
7. In G.R. No. 168812 MCIAA is hereby ordered by court to reconvey said properties to the land owners plus
attorney’s fee and cost of suit, while in G.R. No. 168770, the RTC ruled in favor of the petitioners Oaunos
and against the MCIAA for the reconveynace of their properties but was appealed by the latter and the
earlier decision was reversed, the case went up to the CA but the CA affirmed the reversed decision of the

 Should MCIAA reconvey the lands to petitioners? YES

The notion that the government via expropriation proceedings acquires unrestricted ownership over or a fee simple
title to the covered land is no longer tenable. Expropriated lands should be differentiated from a piece of land,
ownership of which was absolutely transferred by way of an unconditional purchase and sale contract freely entered
by two parties, one without obligation to buy and the other without the duty to sell. In that case, the fee simple
concept really comes into play. There is really no occasion to apply the “fee simple concept” if the transfer is

The taking of a private land in expropriation proceedings is always conditioned on its continued devotion to its
public purpose. Once the purpose is terminated or peremptorily abandoned, then the former owner, if he so
desires, may seek its reversion subject of course to the return at the very least of the just compensation received.

In expropriation, the private owner is deprived of property against his will. The mandatory requirement of due
process ought to be strictly followed such that the state must show, at the minimum, a genuine need, an exacting
public purpose to take private property, the purpose to be specifically alleged or least reasonably deducible from
the complaint.

Public use, as an eminent domain concept, has now acquired an expansive meaning to include any use that is of
“usefulness, utility, or advantage, or what is productive of general benefit [of the public].” If the genuine public
necessity—the very reason or condition as it were—allowing, at the first instance, the expropriation of a private land
ceases or disappears, then there is no more cogent point for the government’s retention of the expropriated land.
The same legal situation should hold if the government devotes the property to another public use very much
different from the original or deviates from the declared purpose to benefit another private person. It has been said
that the direct use by the state of its power to oblige landowners to renounce their productive possession to another
citizen, who will use it predominantly for that citizen’s own private gain, is offensive to our laws.

The government cannot plausibly keep the property it expropriated in any manner it pleases and in the process
dishonor the judgment of expropriation. A condemnor should commit to use the property pursuant to the purpose
stated in the petition for expropriation, failing which it should file another petition for the new purpose. If not, then
it behooves the condemnor to return the said property to its private owner, if the latter so desires.

Hence, equity and justice demand the reconveyance by MCIAA of the litigated lands in question to the Ouanos
and Inocians. In the same token, justice and fair play also dictate that the Ouanos and Inocian return to MCIAA
what they received as just compensation for the expropriation of their respective properties plus legal interest to
be computed from default, which in this case should run from the time MCIAA complies with the reconveyance

The National Power Corporation (NAPOCOR) entered into a private property owned by respondents Borbon in
order to construct and maintain transmission lines for its Power Transmission Project. NAPOCOR then filed for
expropriation of an easement of right of way over a portion of the said property. However, during the pendency of
the appeal, NAPOCOR filed a motion to discontinue the expropriation proceedings, that the property sought to be
expropriated was no longer necessary for public purpose, that because the public purpose ceased to exist, the
proceedings for expropriation should no longer continue, and the State was now duty-bound to return the
property to its owners; and that the dismissal or discontinuance of the expropriation proceedings was in
accordance of the Rules of Court.
Whether the expropriation proceedings should be discontinued or dismissed pending appeal.

The dismissal of the proceedings for expropriation at the instance of NAPOCOR is proper, but, the dismissal or
discontinuance of the proceedings must be upon such terms as the court deems just and equitable. Here,
NAPOCOR seeks to discontinue the expropriation proceedings on the ground that the transmission lines
constructed on the respondents’ property had already been retired. The retirement of the transmission lines
necessarily stripped the expropriation proceedings of the element of public use. Accordingly, the Court grants the
motion to discontinue the proceedings and requires the return of the property to the respondents.
In view of the discontinuance of the proceedings and the eventual return of the property to the
respondents, 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 possession by paying actual or other
compensatory damages. The compensation must be based on what they actually lost as a result and by reason of
their dispossession of the property and of its use, including the value of the fruit trees, plants and crops destroyed
by NAPOCOR’s construction of the transmission lines. Considering that the dismissal of the expropriation
proceedings is a development occurring during the appeal, the Court treats the dismissal of the expropriation
proceedings as producing the effect of converting the case into an action for damages.


Commissioner of Internal Revenue Lilian Hefti reassigned Mustapha Gandarosa from Cagayan de Oro City to
Quezon City. Gandarosa, not amiable to the reassignment, filed a Rule 65 petition with prayer for a TRO before the
Regional Trial Court, Branch 7, under Judge Flores. The judge granted Ganadarosa’s request.

According to the Administrative Code of 1987 in Book V, Chapter 5, Subtitle A, Section 26(3), an employee who
questions the validity of his transfer should appeal to the Civil Service Commission.

Did Judge Flores commit gross ignorance of the law by taking jurisdiction of the case?

Yes. When a law rule is basic, judges should simply apply the law. Anything less is considered gross ignorance of
the law. In this case, the law was clear that Gandarosa should have filed the case with the Civil Service
Commission, not the Regional Trial Court.


This is a petition for review of a decision of the Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC). The Department of Justice
received a request from the Department of Foreign Affairs for the extradition of respondent Mark Jimenez to the
U.S. The Grand Jury Indictment. The warrant for his arrest, and other supporting documents for said extradition
were attached along with the request. Charges include:
1. Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud the US
2. Attempt to evade or defeat tax
3. Fraud by wire, radio, or television
4. False statement or entries
5. Election contribution in name of another

The Department of Justice (DOJ), through a designated panel proceeded with the technical evaluation and
assessment of the extradition treaty which they found having matters needed to be addressed. Respondent, then
requested for copies of all the documents included in the extradition request and for him to be given ample time
to assess it. The Secretary of Justice denied request on the following grounds:
1. He found it premature to secure him copies prior to the completion of the evaluation. At that point in
time, the DOJ is in the process of evaluating whether the procedures and requirements under the relevant law (PD
1069 Philippine Extradition Law) and treaty (RP-US Extradition Treaty) have been complied with by the Requesting
Government. Evaluation by the DOJ of the documents is not a preliminary investigation like in criminal cases
making the constitutionally guaranteed rights of the accused in criminal prosecution inapplicable.
2. The U.S. requested for the prevention of unauthorized disclosure of the information in the documents.
3. The department is not in position to hold in abeyance proceedings in connection with an extradition
request, as Philippines is bound to Vienna Convention on law of treaties such that every treaty in force is binding
upon the parties.

Mark Jimenez then filed a petition against the Secretary of Justice. RTC presiding Judge Lantion favored Jimenez.
Secretary of Justice was made to issue a copy of the requested papers, as well as conducting further proceedings.
Thus, this petition is now at bar.

Whether or not respondent’s entitlement to notice and hearing during the evaluation stage of the proceedings
constitute a breach of the legal duties of the Philippine Government under the RP-US Extradition Treaty.

The doctrine of incorporation is applied whenever municipal tribunals are confronted with situations in which
there appears to be a conflict between a rule of international law and the provisions of the constitution or statute
of a local state. Efforts should be done to harmonize them. In a situation, however, where the conflict is
irreconcilable and a choice has to be made between a rule of international law and municipal law, jurisprudence
dictates that municipal law should be upheld by the municipal courts. The doctrine of incorporation decrees that
rules of international law are given equal standing, but are not superior to, national legislative enactments.

No. The human rights of person, Filipino or foreigner, and the rights of the accused guaranteed in our Constitution
should take precedence over treaty rights claimed by a contracting state. The duties of the government to the
individual deserve preferential consideration when they collide with its treaty obligations to the government of
another state. This is so although we recognize treaties as a source of binding obligations under generally accepted
principles of international law incorporated in our Constitution as part of the law of the land.


The petition at bar seeking to void and set aside the Orders issued by the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila,
Branch 42. The first assailed Order set for hearing petitioner’s application for the issuance of a warrant for the
arrest of Respondent Mark B. Jimenez.
Pursuant to the existing RP-US Extradition Treaty, the US Government requested the extradition of Mark Jimenez.
A hearing was held to determine whether a warrant of arrest should be issued. Afterwards, such warrant was
issued but the trial court allowed Jimenez to post bail for his provisional liberty.

Whether or not the right to bail is available in extradition proceedings

The constitutional right to bail “flows from the presumption of innocence in favor of every accused who should not
be subjected to the loss of freedom as thereafter he would be entitled to acquittal, unless his guilt be proved
beyond reasonable doubt.” It follows that the constitutional provision on bail will not apply to a case like
extradition, where the presumption of innocence is not at issue.

No. The court agree with petitioner. As suggested by the use of the word “conviction,” the constitutional provision
on bail quoted above, as well as Section 4 of Rule 114 of the Rules of Court, applies only when a person has been
arrested and detained for violation of Philippine criminal laws. It does not apply to extradition proceedings,
because extradition courts do not render judgments of conviction or acquittal.

It is also worth noting that before the US government requested the extradition of respondent, proceedings had
already been conducted in that country. But because he left the jurisdiction of the requesting state before those
proceedings could be completed, it was hindered from continuing with the due processes prescribed under its
laws. His invocation of due process now has thus become hollow. He already had that opportunity in the
requesting state; yet, instead of taking it, he ran away.

Philippine Guardians Brotherhood vs COMELEC

Respondent delisted petitioner, a party list organization, from the roster of registered national, regional or
sectoral parties, organizations or coalitions under the party-list system through its resolution, denying also the
latter’s motion for reconsideration, in accordance with Section 6(8) of Republic Act No. 7941 (RA 7941), otherwise
known as the Party-List System Act, which provides:
Section 6. Removal and/or Cancellation of Registration. – The COMELEC may motu proprio or upon verified
complaint of any interested party, remove or cancel, after due notice and hearing, the registration of any national,
regional or sectoral party, organization or coalition on any of the following grounds: It fails to participate in the last
two (2) preceding elections or fails to obtain at least two per centum (2%) of the votes cast under the party-list
system in the two (2) preceding elections for the constituency in which it has registered.
Petitioner was delisted because it failed to get 2% of the votes cast in 2004 and it did not participate in the
2007 elections. Petitioner filed its opposition to the resolution citing among others the misapplication in the ruling
of MINERO v. COMELEC, but was denied for lack of merit. Petitioner elevated the matter to SC showing the excerpts
from the records of Senate Bill No. 1913 before it became the law in question.

Political Law
(1) Whether or not there is legal basis in the delisting of PGBI.
(2) Whether or not PGBI’s right to due process was violated.
Civil Law (Statutory Construction)
(1) Whether or not the doctrine of judicial precedent applies in this case.


Political Law
(1) No. The MINERO ruling is an erroneous application of Section 6(8) of RA 7941; hence, it cannot sustain PGBI’s
delisting from the roster of registered national, regional or sectoral parties, organizations or coalitions under the
party-list system. First, the law is in the plain, clear and unmistakable language of the law which provides for two (2)
separate reasons for delisting. Second, MINERO is diametrically opposed to the legislative intent of Section 6(8) of
RA 7941, as PGBI’s cited congressional deliberations clearly show. MINERO therefore simply cannot stand.
(2) No. On the due process issue, petitioner’s right to due process was not violated for [it] was given an opportunity
to seek, as it did seek, a reconsideration of [COMELEC resolution]. The essence of due process, consistently held, is
simply the opportunity to be heard; as applied to administrative proceedings, due process is the opportunity to
explain one’s side or the opportunity to seek a reconsideration of the action or ruling complained of. A formal or
trial-type hearing is not at all times and in all instances essential. The requirement is satisfied where the parties are
afforded fair and reasonable opportunity to explain their side of the controversy at hand. What is frowned upon is
absolute lack of notice and hearing x x x. [It is] obvious [that] under the attendant circumstances that PGBI was not
denied due process.

Civil Law (Statutory Construction)

(1) No. This case is an exception to the application of the principle of stare decisis. The doctrine of stare decisis et
non quieta movere (to adhere to precedents and not to unsettle things which are established) is embodied in Article
8 of the Civil Code of the Philippines which provides, thus:
ART. 8. Judicial decisions applying or interpreting the laws or the Constitution shall form a part of the legal system
of the Philippines.
The doctrine enjoins adherence to judicial precedents. It requires courts in a country to follow the rule
established in a decision of its Supreme Court. That decision becomes a judicial precedent to be followed in
subsequent cases by all courts in the land. The doctrine of stare decisis is based on the principle that once a question
of law has been examined and decided, it should be deemed settled and closed to further argument.
The doctrine though is not cast in stone for upon a showing that circumstances attendant in a particular
case override the great benefits derived by [SC’s] judicial system from the doctrine of stare decisis, the Court is
justified in setting it aside. MINERO did unnecessary violence to the language of the law, the intent of the legislature,
and to the rule of law in general. Clearly, [SC] cannot allow PGBI to be prejudiced by the continuing validity of an
erroneous ruling. Thus, [SC] now abandons MINERO and strike it out from [the] ruling case law.


G.R. No. 189644 | July 2, 2014

Section 11 of the Probation Law provides that the commission of another offense shall render the probation order
ineffective. As probation is a mere discretionary grant, petitioner was bound to observe full obedience to the terms
and conditions pertaining to the probation order or run the risk of revocation of this privilege.


FACTS: SUYAN was charged with violation of Section 16, Article III of Republic Act No. 6425. He pleaded guilty to the
charge. The trial court sentenced him to suffer the penalty of six years of prision correctional. He filed his application
for probation on the same day. RTC issued a Probation Order covering a period of six years.

While on probation, he was arrested again on two separate occasions, both for violations of Section 16 of RA 6425.
Two separate Informations were filed against him. Because of this, the Chief of the Parole and Probation Office
(ATTY. NAVARRO) recommended the revocation of his probation, citing recidivism. NAVARRO also pointed out that
SUYAN was no longer in a position to comply with the conditions of his probation, in view of his incarceration.
The RTC ordered the revocation of SUYAN’s probation and directed him to serve his sentence. SUYAN then
interposed an appeal with the Court of Appeals. He argued that he was not accorded due process. Finding merit in
his petition, the CA ordered the remand of the case to the RTC for further proceedings. Thus, the RTC conducted a
hearing on the Motion to Revoke.

The Parole and Probation Office filed a Violation Report where it stated that probationer SUYAN showed negative
attitude towards rehabilitation and instead continued with his illegal drug activities despite counseling and warning
from the Office. The prosecution likewise filed its Formal Offer of Evidence where it attached a certification from
another court that SUYAN has already served his sentence on the other drug charges against him. SUYAN filed his
Comment but did not dispute the certification.

After hearing, the RTC issued an Order revoking the probation. SUYAN appealed with the CA, but the same was

1. Whether or not the probation was validly revoked.


Yes, the probation of SUYAN was validly revoked.

Petitioner does not deny the fact that he has been convicted, and that he has served out his sentence for another
offense while on probation. Consequently, his commission of another offense is a direct violation of the condition in
his Probation Order, and the effects are clearly outlined in Section 11 of the Probation Law. Section 11 of the
Probation Law provides that the commission of another offense shall render the probation order ineffective.

The Court’s discretion to grant probation is to be exercised primarily for the benefit of organized society and only
incidentally for the benefit of the accused. Having the power to grant probation, it follows that the trial court also
has the power to order its revocation in a proper case and under appropriate circumstances.


Three days prior to the May 13, 2013 Elections, a petition for disqualification was filed by Edgar
“Egay” San Luis before the COMELEC against Emilio Ramon “E.R.” P. Ejercito, who was a fellow gubernatorial
candidate and, at the time, the incumbent Governor of the Province of Laguna.
Petition alleged Ejercito distributed orange card to influence voters in his favor; and Ejercito
exceeds the amount of expenditures necessary.
Ejercito proclaimed Governor.
The COMELEC First Division issued a Summons with Notice of Conference. Ejercito prayed for the
dismissal of the petition which was improperly filed because it is in reality a complaint for election offenses, thus,
the case should have been filed before the COMELEC Law Department, and if with probable cause, file with proper
The COMELEC First Division resolved to grant the disqualification of Ejercito. The COMELEC En Banc
agreed with the findings of its First Division that San Luis’ petition is an action to disqualify Ejercito.

Ejercito filed before the Court GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION against COMELEC and contends It violated
the right of petitioner due process when it ruled for disqualification of petitioner even it was not prayed for
disqualification. Worse, there is yet no finding of guilt by competent court that he committed election offense.

ISSUE: WON COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion


NO. A special civil action for certiorari under Rule 64, in relation to Rule 65, is an independent action that
is available only if there is no appeal or any other plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of
law.44 It is a legal remedy that is limited to the resolution of jurisdictional issues and is not meant to correct simple
errors of judgment.45 More importantly, it will only prosper if grave abuse of discretion is alleged and is actually
proved to exist.46

Grave abuse of discretion arises when a lower court or tribunal violates the Constitution, the law or
existing jurisprudence. It means such capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment as would amount to lack of
jurisdiction; it contemplates a situation where the power is exercised in an arbitrary or despotic manner by reason
of passion or personal hostility, so patent and gross as to amount to an evasion of positive duty or a virtual refusal
to perform the duty enjoined by law. x x x.47

Ejercito failed to prove that the COMELEC rendered its assailed Resolution with grave abuse of discretion.
The COMELEC First Division and COMELEC En Banc correctly ruled that the petition filed by San Luis
against Ejercito is not just for prosecution of election offense but for disqualification as well. Ejercito cannot feign
ignorance of the true nature and intent of San Luis’ petition. The title of San Luis’ petition shows that the case was
brought under Rule 25 of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure, which is the specific rule governing the disqualification
of candidates. Moreover, the averments of San Luis’ petition rely on Section 68 (a) and (c) of the OEC as grounds
for its causes of action. Section 68 of the OEC precisely enumerates the grounds for the disqualification of a
candidate for elective position and provides, as penalty, that the candidate shall be disqualified from continuing as
such, or if he or she has been elected, from holding the office. A similar tenor was expressed in the prayer in the
petition filed by San Luis.

An election offense has both criminal and electoral aspects. The electoral aspect may proceed
independently of the criminal aspect, and vice-versa. The criminal aspect of a disqualification case determines
whether there is probable cause to charge a candidate for an election offense. The prosecutor is the COMELEC,
through its Law Department, which determines whether probable cause exists. If there is probable cause, the
COMELEC, through its Law Department, files the criminal information before the proper court. Proceedings before
the proper court demand a full-blown hearing and require proof beyond reasonable doubt to convict. A criminal
conviction shall result in the disqualification of the offender, which may even include disqualification from holding
a future public office. The conduct of preliminary investigation is not required in the resolution of the electoral
aspect of a disqualification case.
The “exclusive power of the COMELEC to conduct a preliminary investigation of all casesinvolving
criminal infractions of the election laws” stated in Par. 1 of COMELEC Resolution No. 2050 pertains to the criminal
aspect of a disqualification case. Hence, an erring candidate may be disqualified even without prior determination
of probable cause in a preliminary investigation

G.R. No. 132922, April 21, 1998

Facts: Petitioners challenge the validity of §92 of B.P. Blg. 881. on the ground (1) that it takes property without due
process of law and without just compensation; (2) that it denies radio and television broadcast companies the equal
protection of the laws; and (3) that it is in excess of the power given to the COMELEC to supervise or regulate the
operation of media of communication or information during the period of election.
Issue: Whether is in excess of the power given to the COMELEC to supervise or regulate the operation of media of
communication or information during the period of election.
Held: No. The petition is dismissed.
With the prohibition on media advertising by candidates themselves, the COMELEC Time and COMELEC Space are
about the only means through which candidates can advertise their qualifications and programs of government.
More than merely depriving candidates of time for their ads, the failure of broadcast stations to provide air time
unless paid by the government would clearly deprive the people of their right to know. Art. III, §7 of the Constitution
provides that “the right of the people to information on matters of public concern shall be recognized,” while Art.
XII, §6 states that “the use of property bears a social function [and] the right to own, establish, and operate economic
enterprises [is] subject to the duty of the State to promote distributive justice and to intervene when the common
good so demands.”
To affirm the validity of §92 of B.P. Blg. 881 is to hold public broadcasters to their obligation to see to it that the
variety and vigor of public debate on issues in an election is maintained. For while broadcast media are not mere
common carriers but entities with free speech rights, they are also public trustees charged with the duty of
ensuring that the people have access to the diversity of views on political issues. This right of the people is
paramount to the autonomy of broadcast media. To affirm the validity of §92, therefore, is likewise to uphold the
people’s right to information on matters of public concern. The use of property bears a social function and is subject
to the state’s duty to intervene for the common good. Broadcast media can find their just and highest reward in the
fact that whatever altruistic service they may render in connection with the holding of elections is for that common

Feb. 3, 2000

Facts: The accused-appellant, Romeo Jalosjos, is a full-fledged member of Congress who is confined at the national
penitentiary while his conviction for statutory rape and acts of lasciviousness is pending appeal. The accused-
appellant filed a motion asking that he be allowed to fully discharge the duties of a Congressman, including
attendance at legislative sessions and committee meetings despite his having been convicted in the first instance
of a non-bailable offense on the basis of popular sovereignty and the need for his constituents to be represented

Issue: Whether or not accused-appellant should be allowed to discharge mandate as member of House of

Held: Election is the expression of the sovereign power of the people. However, inspite of its importance, the
privileges and rights arising from having been elected may be enlarged or restricted by law.
The immunity from arrest or detention of Senators and members of the House of Representatives arises
from a provision of the Constitution. The privilege has always been granted in a restrictive sense. The provision
granting an exemption as a special privilege cannot be extended beyond the ordinary meaning of its terms. It may
not be extended by intendment, implication or equitable considerations.
The accused-appellant has not given any reason why he should be exempted from the operation of Sec.
11, Art. VI of the Constitution. The members of Congress cannot compel absent members to attend sessions if the
reason for the absence is a legitimate one. The confinement of a Congressman charged with a crime punishable by
imprisonment of more than six years is not merely authorized by law, it has constitutional foundations. To allow
accused-appellant to attend congressional sessions and committee meetings for 5 days or more in a week will
virtually make him a free man with all the privileges appurtenant to his position. Such an aberrant situation not
only elevates accused-appellant’s status to that of a special class, it also would be a mockery of the purposes of the
correction system.

Biraogo vs Philippine Truth Commission of 2010


The genesis of the foregoing cases can be traced to the events prior to the historic May 2010 elections, when then
Senator Benigno Simeon Aquino III declared his staunch condemnation of graft and corruption with his slogan,
"Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap." The Filipino people, convinced of his sincerity and of his ability to carry
out this noble objective, catapulted the good senator to the presidency.

The first case is G.R. No. 192935, a special civil action for prohibition instituted by petitioner Louis Biraogo
(Biraogo) in his capacity as a citizen and taxpayer. Biraogo assails Executive Order No. 1 for being violative of the
legislative power of Congress under Section 1, Article VI of the Constitution as it usurps the constitutional authority
of the legislature to create a public office and to appropriate funds therefor.

The second case, G.R. No. 193036, is a special civil action for certiorari and prohibition filed by petitioners Edcel C.
Lagman, Rodolfo B. Albano Jr., Simeon A. Datumanong, and Orlando B. Fua, Sr. (petitioners-legislators) as
incumbent members of the House of Representatives.

Thus, at the dawn of his administration, the President on July 30, 2010, signed Executive Order No. 1 establishing
the Philippine Truth Commission of 2010 (Truth Commission).


1. Whether or not the petitioners have the legal standing to file their respective petitions and question Executive
Order No. 1;

2. Whether or not Executive Order No. 1 violates the principle of separation of powers by usurping the powers of
Congress to create and to appropriate funds for public offices, agencies and commissions;

3. Whether or not Executive Order No. 1 supplants the powers of the Ombudsman and the DOJ;

4. Whether or not Executive Order No. 1 violates the equal protection clause; and

5. Whether or not petitioners are entitled to injunctive relief.


Legal Standing of the Petitioners

The Court, however, finds reason in Biraogo’s assertion that the petition covers matters of transcendental
importance to justify the exercise of jurisdiction by the Court. There are constitutional issues in the petition which
deserve the attention of this Court in view of their seriousness, novelty and weight as precedents. Where the
issues are of transcendental and paramount importance not only to the public but also to the Bench and the Bar,
they should be resolved for the guidance of all.Undoubtedly, the Filipino people are more than interested to know
the status of the President’s first effort to bring about a promised change to the country. The Court takes
cognizance of the petition not due to overwhelming political undertones that clothe the issue in the eyes of the
public, but because the Court stands firm in its oath to perform its constitutional duty to settle legal controversies
with overreaching significance to society.

Power of the President to Create the Truth Commission

The Chief Executive’s power to create the Ad hoc Investigating Committee cannot be doubted. Having been
constitutionally granted full control of the Executive Department, to which respondents belong, the President has
the obligation to ensure that all executive officials and employees faithfully comply with the law. With AO 298 as
mandate, the legality of the investigation is sustained. Such validity is not affected by the fact that the investigating
team and the PCAGC had the same composition, or that the former used the offices and facilities of the latter in
conducting the inquiry.

Power of the Truth Commission to Investigate

The distinction between the power to investigate and the power to adjudicate was delineated by the Court in
Cariño v. Commission on Human Rights.59 Thus:

The legal meaning of "investigate" is essentially the same: "(t)o follow up step by step by patient inquiry or
observation. To trace or track; to search into; to examine and inquire into with care and accuracy; to find out by
careful inquisition; examination; the taking of evidence; a legal inquiry;" "to inquire; to make an investigation,"
"investigation" being in turn described as "(a)n administrative function, the exercise of which ordinarily does not
require a hearing. 2 Am J2d Adm L Sec. 257; x x an inquiry, judicial or otherwise, for the discovery and collection of
facts concerning a certain matter or matters."

In the legal sense, "adjudicate" means: "To settle in the exercise of judicial authority. To determine finally.
Synonymous with adjudge in its strictest sense;" and "adjudge" means: "To pass on judicially, to decide, settle or
decree, or to sentence or condemn. x x. Implies a judicial determination of a fact, and the entry of a judgment."

Finally, nowhere in Executive Order No. 1 can it be inferred that the findings of the PTC are to be accorded
conclusiveness. Much like its predecessors, the Davide Commission, the Feliciano Commission and the Zenarosa
Commission, its findings would, at best, be recommendatory in nature. And being so, the Ombudsman and the DOJ
have a wider degree of latitude to decide whether or not to reject the recommendation. These offices, therefore,
are not deprived of their mandated duties but will instead be aided by the reports of the PTC for possible
indictments for violations of graft laws.

Violation of the Equal Protection Clause

The petitioners assail Executive Order No. 1 because it is violative of this constitutional safeguard. They contend
that it does not apply equally to all members of the same class such that the intent of singling out the "previous
administration" as its sole object makes the PTC an "adventure in partisan hostility." Thus, in order to be accorded
with validity, the commission must also cover reports of graft and corruption in virtually all administrations
previous to that of former President Arroyo.

The equal protection clause is aimed at all official state actions, not just those of the legislature. Its inhibitions
cover all the departments of the government including the political and executive departments, and extend to all
actions of a state denying equal protection of the laws, through whatever agency or whatever guise is taken.

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 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. Mention of it has been made in at least three
portions of the questioned executive order.


The issue that seems to take center stage at present is - whether or not the Supreme Court, in the exercise of its
constitutionally mandated power of Judicial Review with respect to recent initiatives of the legislature and the
executive department, is exercising undue interference. Is the Highest Tribunal, which is expected to be the
protector of the Constitution, itself guilty of violating fundamental tenets like the doctrine of separation of
powers? Time and again, this issue has been addressed by the Court, but it seems that the present political
situation calls for it to once again explain the legal basis of its action lest it continually be accused of being a
hindrance to the nation’s thrust to progress.

WHEREFORE, the petitions are GRANTED. Executive Order No. 1 is hereby declared UNCONSTITUTIONAL insofar as
it is violative of the equal protection clause of the Constitution.

As also prayed for, the respondents are hereby ordered to cease and desist from carrying out the provisions of
Executive Order No. 1.



G.R. No. 186616 November 20, 2009
When RA 9164 entitled “An Act Providing for Synchronized Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections”
was passed, questions of the constitutionality were raised against Section 2 which states that “No barangay elective
official shall serve for more than 3 consecutive terms in the same position: Provided however, that the term of office
shall be reckoned from the 1994 barangay elections. Voluntary renunciation of office for any length of time shall not
be considered as an interruption in the continuity of service for the full term for which the elective official was
Before the 2007 Synchronized Barangay and SK Elections, some of the then incumbent officials of several
barangays of Caloocan City filed with the RTC a petition for declaratory relief to challenge the constitutionality of
the said provision as it is violative of the equal protection clause of the Constitution in as much as the barangay
officials were singled out that there consecutive limit shall be counted retroactively.
Whether or not the provision in Section 2 of RA 9164 is violative of the equal protection clause of the
The equal protection clause is under Sec 2 Art III of the Constitution which provides: “Nor shall any person
be denied the equal protection of the laws.” This is however considering equality under the same conditions and
among persons similarly situated. The law can treat barangay officials differently from other local elective officials
because the Constitution itself provides a significant distinction between these elective officials with respect to
length of term and term limitation. The clear distinction, expressed in the Constitution itself, is that while the
Constitution provides for a 3-year term and 3-term limit for local elective officials, it left the length of term and the
application of the 3-term limit or any form of term limitation for determination by Congress through legislation. Not
only does this disparate treatment recognize substantial distinctions, it recognizes as well that the Constitution itself
allows a non-uniform treatment. No equal protection violation can exist under these conditions.

Jose Miguel Arroyo vs Department of Justice


The Comelec issued Resolution No. 9266 approving the creation of a joint committee with the Department of Justice
(DOJ), which shall conduct preliminary investigation on the alleged election offenses and anomalies committed
during the 2004 and 2007 elections.

Due to allegations of electoral fraud and manipulation during the 2004 and 2007 National Elections the Comelec and
the DOJ issued Joint Order No. 001-2011 creating and constituting a Joint Committee and Fact-Finding Team
composed of officials from the DOJ and the Comelec. In its initial report, the Fact-Finding Team concluded that
manipulation of the results in the May 14, 2007 senatorial elections in the provinces of North and South Cotabato
and Maguindanao were indeed perpetrated.

The Fact-Finding Team recommended that herein petitioners to be subjected to preliminary investigation for
electoral sabotage. After the preliminary investigation, the COMELEC en banc adopted a resolution ordering that
information/s for the crime of electoral sabotage be filed against Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, et al. while that the
charges against Jose Miguel Arroyo, among others, should be dismissed for insufficiency of evidence.

Consequently, the petitioners assail the validity of the creation of COMELEC-DOJ Joint Panel and of Joint Order No.
001-2011 before the Supreme Court.

Arroyo raised the issue in his petition that the creation of the Joint Committee is violative of the equal protection
clause since it was created with the sole purpose of investigating and prosecuting certain persons and incidents only,
specifically those involving the 2004 and 2007 elections to the exclusion of others contrary to the finding of the
Supreme Court in Biraogo vs Philippine Truth Commission.


Whether or not the creation of the Joint Committee is violative of the equal protection clause.


No, the creation of the Joint Committee does not violate the equal protection clause.

The Supreme Court held that Joint Order No. 001-2011 cannot be nullified on the ground that it singles out the
officials of the Arroyo Administration and, therefore, infringes the equal protection clause.

The Philippine Truth Commission of 2010 was expressly created for the purpose of investigating alleged graft and
corruption during the Arroyo Administration since Executive Order No. 177 specifically referred to the “previous
administration”; while the Joint Committee was created for the purpose of conducting preliminary investigation of
election offenses during the 2004 and 2007 elections.

While Mike Arroyo and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo were among those subjected to preliminary investigation, not all
respondents therein were linked to GMA as there were public officers who were investigated upon in connection
with their acts in the performance of their official duties. Private individuals were also subjected to the investigation
by the Joint Committee.

Equal protection merely requires that all persons under like circumstances and conditions shall be treated alike both
as to privileges conferred and liabilities enforced. Given that the creation of the Joint Committee was not
purposefully created to investigate only the involved parties specifically, there is no violation of the equal protection
clause in this case.
Republic vs Daisy Yahon
G.R. No. 201043

Sgt. Yahon was married to respondent. A TPO has been issued against Sgt Yahon to protect the respondent
from further abuses. In the TPO, Sgt Yahon was ordered to provide reasonable financial spousal support to the
respondent. In his failure to appear before the court with a counsel and with an answer to the charges against him,
the court has granted PPO for the respondent against Sgt Yahon. It was also reiterated that Sgt Yahon should provide
for the financial spousal support to his wife from his retirement benefits. However, the Armed Forces of the
Philippines Finance Center contended that half of the retirement benefits of Sgt Yahon cannot be given to the
respondent as it is from a military institution. The petitioner contended that money due to government employees
is not liable to the creditors of the said employees in the process of garnishment.

Issue: Whether or not the retirement benefits of Sgt Yahon be subject to the ruling of the court to provide for the
financial spousal support of respondent.

Held: Retirement benefits of Sgt Yahon are subject to the financial spousal support of respondent. As a rule in
statutory construction, when the law does not distinguish, the court should not distinguish. As section 8 (g) of RA
No. 9262 used the general term 'employer', it includes in its coverage the military institution, which is the employer
of Sgt Yahon.

Manalili vs Court of Appeals (GR 113447) Oct. 9, 1997

At about 2:10 PM on April 11, 1988, Police Anti-Narcotics Unit of Kalookan City conducted surveillance along A.
Mabini Street, in front of the Kalookan City Cemetery. This was done after receiving information that drug addicts
were roaming around said area.
Upon reaching the cemetery, the policemen chanced upon a male person, the petitioner, in front of the cemetery
who appeared high on drugs. The petitioner had reddish eyes and was walking in a swaying manner.
Petitioner was trying to avoid the policemen, but the officers were able to introduce themselves and asked him
what he was holding in his hands. Petitioner resisted. Policeman Espiritu asked him if he could see what the
petitioner had in his hands. The petitioner showed his wallet and allowed the officer to examine it. Policeman
Espiritu found suspected crushed marijuana residue inside. He kept the wallet and its marijuana contents and took
petitioner to headquarters to be further investigated.
The suspected marijuana was sent to the NBI Forensic Chemistry Section for analysis.

Whether or not the search and seizure of the suspected marijuana is unreasonable, and hence inadmissible as

The general rule is a search and seizure must be validated by a previously secured judicial warrant; otherwise, such
a search and seizure is unconstitutional and subject to challenge. Any evidence obtained in violation of this
constitutionally guaranteed right is legally inadmissible in any proceeding.
The exceptions to the rule are: (1) search incidental to a lawful arrest, (2) search of moving vehicles, (3) seizure in
plain view, (4) customs search, and (5) waiver by the accused of their right against unreasonable search and
seizure. In these cases, the search and seizure may be made only with probable cause. Probable cause being at
best defined as a reasonable ground of suspicion, supported by circumstances sufficiently strong in themselves to
warrant a cautious man in the belief that the person accused is guilty of the offense with which he is charged; or
the existence of such facts and circumstances which could lead a reasonably discreet and prudent man to believe
that an offense has been committed and that the item(s), article(s) or object(s) sought in connection with said
offense or subject to seizure and destruction by is in the place to be searched.
Additionally, stop-and-frisk has already been adopted as another exception to the general rule against a search
without a warrant.
In the present case, petitioner effectively waived the inadmissibility of the evidence illegally obtained when he
failed to raise the issue or object thereto during the trial.

The Supreme Court affirmed with modifications the assailed Decision and Resolution of the respondent court.

Roy Fulgencio was instructed by P/Lt. Vicente Seraspi, Jr. (Station Commander of the INP) to monitor the
activities of appellant Edison Sucro, because of information gathered by Seraspi that Sucro was selling marijuana.
Pat. Fulgencio saw appellant enter the chapel, taking something which turned out later to be marijuana
from the compartment of a cart found inside the chapel, and then return to the street where he handed the same
to a buyer, Aldie Borromeo. After a while appellant went back to the chapel and again came out with marijuana
which he gave to a group of persons. Pat. Fulgencio called up Seraspi to report that a third buyer later Identified as
Ronnie Macabante, was transacting with appellant.
At that point, the team of P/Lt. Seraspi proceeded to the area and while the police officers were at the Youth
Hostel at Maagma St., Pat. Fulgencio told P/Lt. Seraspi to intercept Macabante and appellant.
Upon seeing the police, Macabante threw something to the ground which turned out to be a tea bag of
marijuana. When confronted, Macabante readily admitted that he bought the same from Sucro. The police team
was able to overtake and arrest appellant and recovered 19 sticks and 4 teabags of marijuana from the cart inside
the chapel and another teabag from Macabante

Whether or not the arrest without warrant of the accused is lawful and consequently.
Whether or not the evidence resulting from such arrest is admissible.

The Court ruled in the affirmative. Section 5, Rule 113 of the Rules on Criminal Procedure provides for the
instances where arrest without warrant is considered lawful. The rule states:
A peace officer or private person may, without warrant, arrest a person:

(a) When in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to
commit an offense;
(b) When an offense has in fact just been committed, and he has personal knowledge of facts indicating that the
person to be arrested has committed it;

An offense is committed in the presence or within the view of an officer, within the meaning of the rule
authorizing an arrest without a warrant, when the officer sees the offense, although at a distance, or hears the
disturbances created thereby and proceeds at once to the scene thereof. Fulgencio, within a distance of two
meters saw Sucro conduct his nefarious activity and the fact that Macabante, when intercepted by the police, was
caught throwing the marijuana stick and when confronted, readily admitted that he bought the same from
accused-appellant clearly indicates that Sucro had just sold the marijuana stick to Macabante, and therefore, had
just committed an illegal act of which the police officers had personal knowledge, being members of the team
which monitored Sucro's nefarious activity. Police officers have personal knowledge of the actual commission of
the crime when it had earlier conducted surveillance activities of the accused.

That searches and seizures must be supported by a valid warrant is not an absolute rule. Among the exceptions
granted by law is a search incidental to a lawful arrest under Sec. 13, Rule 126 of the Rules on Criminal Procedure,
which provides that a person lawfully arrested may be searched for dangerous weapons or anything which may be
used as proof of the commission of an offense, without a search warrant. There is nothing unlawful about the arrest
considering its compliance with the requirements of a warrantless arrest. Ergo, the fruits obtained from such lawful
arrest are admissible in evidence.


Abe Valdez y Dela Cruz, accused-appellant, is charged for violating Section 9 of the Dangerous Drugs Act
of 1972 (R.A. No. 6425), as amended by R.A. No. 7659. The accused was allegedly caught in flagrante delicto and
without authority of law, planted, cultivated and cultured seven (7) fully grown marijuana plants known as Indian
Hemp from which dangerous drugs maybe manufactured or derived. Appellant was arraigned and with assistance
of counsel, pleaded not guilty to the charge. Trial on the merits then ensued.
The prosecution presented its witnesses, namely: SPO3 Marcelo Tipay, SPO2 Noel V. Libunao, SPO2 Pedro
S. Morales, SPO1 Romulo G. Tobias and PO2 Alfelmer I. Balut, all member of the police force, who testified how
the information was received, the commencement of their operation and its details under the specific instruction
of Inspector Parungao. Accordingly, they found appellant alone in his nipa hut. They, then, proceeded to look
around the area where appellant had his kaingin and saw seven (7) five-foot high, flowering marijuana plants in
two rows, approximately 25 meters away from his nipa hut. PO2 Balut asked appellant who owned the prohibited
plants and, according to Balut, the latter admitted that they were his. They uprooted the seven marijuana plants,
took photos of appellant standing beside the cannabis plants and arrested him. One of the said plants was sent to
the Philippine National Police Crime Laboratory for analysis which produced a positive result. The prosecution also
presented a certification from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources that the land cultivated by
appellant where the growing marijuana plants were found, was part of the public domain. Appellant was
acknowledged in the certification as the occupant of the lot, but no Certificate of Stewardship had yet been issued
in his favor.
The defense presented appellant as its sole witness. He testified he was weeding his vegetable farm when
he was called by a person whose identity he does not know. He was asked to go with the latter to see something.
This unknown person then brought appellant to the place where the marijuana plants were found, approximately
100 meters away from his nipa hut. Five armed policemen were present and they made him stand in front of the
hemp plants. He was then asked if he knew anything about the marijuana growing there. When he denied any
knowledge thereof, SPO2 Libunao poked a fist at him and told him to admit ownership of the plants. Appellant was
so nervous and afraid that he admitted owning the marijuana. The police team then brought him to the police
station at Villaverde. At the police headquarters, appellant reiterated that he knew nothing about the marijuana
plants seized by the police. Appellant contends that there was unlawful search. First, the records show that the law
enforcers had more than ample time to secure a search warrant. Second, that the marijuana plants were found in
an unfenced lot does not remove appellant from the mantle of protection against unreasonable searches and
seizures. The right against unreasonable searches and seizures is the immunity of one’s person, which includes his
residence, his papers, and other possessions.
(1) Whether or not the search and seizure of the marijuana plants in the present case is lawful and the seized
evidence admissible.
(2) Whether or not the seized plants is admissible in evidence against the accused.
(3) Whether or not the prosecution has proved appellant’s guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
(4) Whether or not the sentence of death by lethal injection is correct.

In the instant case, there was no search warrant issued by a judge after personal determination of the
existence of probable cause given the fact that police had ample time to obtain said warrant. The protection
against illegal search and seizure is constitutionally mandated and only under specific instances are searches
allowed without warrants. The mantle of protection extended by the Bill of Rights covers both innocent and guilty
alike against any form of high-handedness of law enforcers, regardless of the praiseworthiness of their intentions.
With respect to the first issue, the confiscated plants were evidently obtained during an illegal search and
seizure. As to the second issue, which involves the admissibility of the marijuana plants as evidence for the
prosecution, the said plants cannot, as products of an unlawful search and seizure, be used as evidence against
appellant. They are fruits of the proverbial poisoned tree. It was, therefore, a reversible error on the part of the
court a quo to have admitted and relied upon the seized marijuana plants as evidence to convict appellant.
In the third issue, it is fundamental in criminal prosecutions that before an accused may be convicted of a
crime, the prosecution must establish by proof beyond reasonable doubt that a crime was committed and that the
accused is the author thereof. The evidence arrayed against the accused, however, must not only stand the test of
reason, it must likewise be credible and competent. Competent evidence is “generally admissible” evidence.
Admissible evidence, in turn, is evidence “of such a character that the court or judge is bound to receive it, that is,
allow it to be introduced at trial. And as earlier discussed, it was error on the trial court’s part to have admitted
evidences against the accused and to have relied upon said proofs to convict him for said evidence is doubly
In the fourth issue, the Constitution decrees that, “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall be
presumed innocent until the contrary is proved.” To justify the conviction of the accused, the prosecution must
adduce that quantum of evidence sufficient to overcome the constitutional presumption of innocence. The
prosecution must stand or fall on its evidence and cannot draw strength from the weakness of the evidence for the
accused. Absent the required degree of proof of an accused’s guilt, he is entitled to an acquittal.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,

CHUA HO SAN @ TSAY HO SAN, accused-appellant.
In response to reports of rampant smuggling of firearms and other contraband, Chief of Police Jim Lagasca Cid of
Bacnotan Police Station, La Union began patrolling the Bacnotan coastline with his officers. While monitoring the
coastal area of Barangay Bulala, he intercepted a radio call at around 12:45 p.m. from Barangay Captain Juan Almoite
of Barangay Tammocalao requesting for police assistance regarding an unfamiliar speedboat the latter had spotted.
According to Almoite, the vessel looked different from the boats ordinarily used by fisherfolk of the area and was
poised to dock at Tammocalao shores. Cid and six of his men led by SPO1 Reynoso Badua, proceeded immediately
to Tammocalao beach and there conferred with Almoite. Cid then observed that the speedboat ferried a lone male
passenger, who was later identified as Chua Ho San. When the speed boat landed, the male passenger alighted,
carrying a multicolored strawbag, and walked towards the road. Upon seeing the police officers, the man changed
direction. Badua held Chua’s right arm to prevent him from fleeing. They then introduced themselves as police
officers; however, Chua did not understand what they’re saying. And by resorting of “sign language”, Cid motioned
with his hands for the man to open his bag. The man acceded to the request. The said bag was found to contain
several transparent plastics containing yellowish crystalline substances, which was later identified to be
methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu. Chua was then brought to Bacnotan Police Station, where he was
provided with an interpreter to inform him of his constitutional rights.
ISSUE: Whether or not the warrantless arrest, search and seizure conducted by the Police Officers constitute a valid
exemption from the warrant requirement.
RULING: The Court held in the negative.
The Court explains that the Constitution bars State intrusions to a person's body, personal effects or residence except
if conducted by virtue of a valid of a valid search warrant issued in accordance with the Rules. However, warrantless
searches may be permitted in the following cases, to wit:
(1) search of moving vehicles,
(2) seizure in plain view,
(3) customs searches,
(4) waiver or consent searches,
(5) stop and frisk situations (Terry search), and
(6) search incidental to a lawful arrest.
It is required in cases of in flagrante delicto that the arresting officer must have personal knowledge of such
facts or circumstances convincingly indicative or constitutive of probable cause. Probable cause means a
reasonable ground of suspicion supported by circumstances sufficiently strong in themselves to warrant a
cautious man's belief that the person accused is guilty of the offense with which he is charged. In the case at
bar, there are no facts on record reasonably suggestive or demonstrative of CHUA's participation in on going
criminal enterprise that could have spurred police officers from conducting the obtrusive search. CHUA was not
identified as a drug courier by a police informer or agent. The fact that the vessel that ferried him to shore bore
no resemblance to the fishing boats of the area did not automatically mark him as in the process of perpetrating
an offense. With these, the Court held that there was no probable cause to justify a search incidental to a lawful
The Court likewise did not appreciate the contention of the Prosecution that there was a waiver or consented
search. If CHUA could not understand what was orally articulated to him, how could he understand the police's
"sign language?" More importantly, it cannot logically be inferred from his alleged cognizance of the "sign
language" that he deliberately, intelligently, and consciously waived his right against such an intrusive search.
Finally, being a forbidden fruit, the subject regulated substance was held to be inadmissible in evidence.
Hence, the accused was acquitted as the evidence was not sufficient to establish guilt beyond reasonable doubt.


Facts: Patrolmen Silverio and Romeo Punzalan were conducting surveillance at the San Fernando Victory Liner
Terminal. At around 9:30pm they noticed a person, Medel Tangliben, carrying a traveling bag who acted
suspiciously. They confronted him, inspected his bag, and there they found marijuana leaves. The accused was
then taken to the Police Headquarters for further investigations. The TC found Tangliben guilty of violating sec.4
art. 2 of the RA 6425 or the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972.

Issue: Whether or Not there was an unlawful search due to lack of search warrant.

Held: No. Rule 113 sec. 5 provides the a peace officer or a private person may w/o a warrant arrest a person when
in his presence the person to be arrested has committed, is committing, or is attempting to commit an offense.

In the present case, the accused was found to have been committing possession of marijuana and can be therefore
searched lawfully even without a search warrant. Another reason is that this case poses urgency on the part of the
arresting police officers. It was found out that an informer pointed to the accused telling the policemen that the
accused was carrying marijuana. The police officers had to act quickly and there was not enough time to secure a
search warrant.


Leila Johnson was arrested at the airport after she was found to have in her possession more than 500
grams of shabu when she was initially frisked by a security personnel at a gate in the airport. The security
personnel felt something hard in respondent’s abdominal area and when asked she said that she had to wear 2
girdles because of an operation. Unconvinced, the security personnel went to her supervisor. Subsequently, after a
thorough search on respondent, packets of shabu were seized from her.
Accused (respondent) was subsequently convicted and sentenced to reclusion perpetua. In the present
appeal, respondent contended that the search made upon her was not valid and that her constitutional rights
were infringed when such search was conducted.

Issue: WON a valid search was made.

The constitutional right of the accused was not violated as she was never placed under custodial
investigation but was validly arrested without warrant pursuant to the provisions of

Section 5, Rule 113 of the 1985 Rules of Criminal Procedure which provides:
Sec. 5. Arrest without warrant; when lawful. A peace officer or a private person may, without a warrant, arrest a

(a) when in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting
to commit an offense;
(b) when an offense has in fact just been committed, and he has personal knowledge of facts indicating that
the person to be arrested has committed it; and…
The circumstances surrounding the arrest of the accused above falls in either paragraph (a) or (b) of the Rule above
cited, hence the allegation that she has been subjected to custodial investigation is far from being accurate.

The methamphetamine hydrochloride seized from her during the routine frisk at the airport was acquired
legitimately pursuant to airport security procedures.
Persons may lose the protection of the search and seizure clause by exposure of their persons or property to the
public in a manner reflecting a lack of subjective expectation of privacy, which expectation society is prepared to
recognize as reasonable. Such recognition is implicit in airport security procedures. With increased concern over
airplane hijacking and terrorism has come increased security at the nation’s airports. Passengers attempting to
board an aircraft routinely pass through metal detectors; their carry-on baggages as well as checked luggage are
routinely subjected to x-ray scans. Should these procedures suggest the presence of suspicious objects, physical
searches are conducted to determine what the objects are. There is little question that such searches are
reasonable, given their minimal intrusiveness, the gravity of the safety interests involved, and the reduced privacy
expectations associated with airline travel. Indeed, travelers are often notified through airport public address
systems, signs, and notices in their airline tickets that they are subject to search and, if any prohibited materials or
substances are found, such would be subject to seizure. These announcements place passengers on notice
that ordinary constitutional protections against warrantless searches and seizures do not apply to routine airport
The packs of methamphetamine hydrochloride having thus been obtained through a valid warrantless
search, they are admissible in evidence against the accused-appellant herein. Corollarily, her subsequent arrest,
although likewise without warrant, was justified since it was effected upon the discovery and recovery of
“shabu” in her person in flagrante delicto.


Captain Alen Vasco, the commanding officer of the first regional command (NARCOM) stationed at camp
Dangwa, ordered his men to set up a temporary checkpoint for the purpose of checking all vehicles coming from
the Cordillera Region. The order to establish a checkpoint was prompted by persistent reports that vehicles coming
from Sagada were transporting marijuana and other prohibited drugs. And an information also was received about
a Caucasian coming from Sagada had in his possession prohibited drugs.
In the afternoon the bus where accused was riding stopped. Sgt. Fider and CIC Galutan boarded the bus and
announced that they were members of the NARCOM and that they would conduct an inspection. During the
inspection CIC Galutan noticed a bulge on accused waist. Suspecting the bulge on accused waist to be a gun, the
officer asked for accused’s passport and other identification papers. When accused failed to comply, the officer
required him to bring out whatever it was that was bulging o his waist. And it turned out to be a pouched bag and
when accused opened the same bag the officer noticed four suspicious looking objects wrapped in brown packing
tape. It contained hashish, a derivative of marijuana.
Thereafter, the accused was invited outside the bus for questioning. But before he alighted from the bus
accused stopped to get two travelling bags. The officer inspects the bag. It was only after the officers had opened
the bags that the accused finally presented his passport. The two bags contained a stuffed toy each, upon
inspection the stuff toy contained also hashish.

Issue: Whether or not there is a violation of the constitutional right against unreasonable search and seizure

The Supreme Court held that under Section 5 Rule 113 of the Rules of Court provides:
“Arrest without warrant; when lawful – a peace officer or a private person may, without a warrant, arrest a
a) When, in the presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to
commit an offense;
b) When an offense has in fact just been committed, and he has personal knowledge of facts indicating that the
person to be arrested has committed it; and
c) When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped from a penal establishment or place where he is
serving final judgment or temporary confined while his case is pending, or has escaped while being transferred
from one confinement to another”

Accused was searched and arrested while transporting prohibited drugs. A crime was actually being
committed by the accused and he was caught in flagrante delicto, thus the search made upon his personal effects
falls squarely under paragraph 1 of the foregoing provision of law, which allows a warrantless search incident to a
lawful arrest.
Probable cause has been defined as such facts and circumstances which could lead a reasonable, discreet
and prudent man to believe that an offense has been committed, and that the object sought in connection with
the offense are in the placed sought to be searched.
When NARCOM received the information that a Caucasian
travelling from Sagada to Baguio City was carrying with him a prohibited drug, there was no time to obtain a search

Valmonte v de Villa; G.R. No. 83988; 29 Sep 1989; 178 SCRA 211

The National Capital Region District Command (NCRDC) was activated on January 20, 1987 pursuant to
Letter of Instruction 02/87 of the Philippine General Headquarters, AFP, with the mission of conducting security
operations within its area of responsibility and peripheral areas, for the purpose of establishing an effective
territorial defense, maintain peace and order, and providing an atmosphere conducive to the social, economic and
political development of the National Capital Region. The NCRDC installed checkpoints in various parts of
Valenzuela, Metro Manila.

Whether or not checkpoints are illegal as they violate the people’s right against unreasonable searches
and seizures.

NO. Not all searches and seizures are prohibited. Those which are reasonable are not forbidden. A
reasonable search is not to be determined by any fixed formula but it is to be resolved according to the facts of
each case. The setting up of the questioned checkpoints may be considered as a security measure to enable the
NCRDC to pursue its mission of establishing effective territorial defense and maintaining peace and order for the
benefit of the public. 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 however reasonably conducted, the former should
prevail. Petition is DISMISSED.

People v de Gracia; G.R. Nos. 102009-10; 06 Jul 1994; 233 SCRA 716

A team from the NCR Defense Command conducted a surveillance on a Eurocar building pursuant to an
intelligence report that elements of the RAM-SFP was occupying the said establishment as their communication
command post. After they were fired at by a group of five men, a searching team raided the Eurocar Sales Office,
finding and confiscating ammunition, dynamites, M-shells and “Molotov” bombs inside one of the rooms and
arresting appellant who was holding a C-4.

Whether or not there was a valid search and seizure.

YES. The military operatives had reasonable ground to believe that a crime was being committed. There
was consequently more than sufficient probable cause to warrant their action. Under the situation then prevailing,
the raiding team had no opportunity to apply for and secure a search warrant from the courts.
Impugned judgment of the trial court is AFFIRMED, but the recommended executive clemency is DELETED.

Doctrine: Where the military operatives had reasonable grounds to believe that a crime was being committed, and
had no opportunity to apply for and secure a search warrant from the courts, the same constituted an exception to
the prohibition against warrantless searches.

Social Justice Society vs Dangerous Drugs Board

In 2002, Republic Act No. 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 was implemented.
Section 36 thereof requires mandatory drug testing of candidates for public office, students of secondary and tertiary
schools, officers and employees of public and private offices, and persons charged before the prosecutor’s office
with certain offenses.
In December 2003, COMELEC issued Resolution No. 6486, prescribing the rules and regulations on the mandatory
drug testing of candidates for public office in connection with the May 10, 2004 synchronized national and local
elections. Aquilino Pimentel, Jr., a senator and a candidate for re-election in the May elections, filed a Petition for
Certiorari and Prohibition under Rule 65. In it, he seeks (1) to nullify Sec. 36(g) of RA 9165 and COMELEC Resolution
No. 6486 dated December 23, 2003 for being unconstitutional in that they impose a qualification for candidates for
senators in addition to those already provided for in the 1987 Constitution; and (2) to enjoin the COMELEC from
implementing Resolution No. 6486.
According to Pimentel, the Constitution only prescribes a maximum of five (5) qualifications for one to be a candidate
for, elected to, and be a member of the Senate. He says that both the Congress and COMELEC, by requiring, via RA
9165 and Resolution No. 6486, a senatorial aspirant, among other candidates, to undergo a mandatory drug test,
create an additional qualification that all candidates for senator must first be certified as drug free. He adds that
there is no provision in the Constitution authorizing the Congress or COMELEC to expand the qualification
requirements of candidates for senator.

ISSUE: Whether or not Sec 36 of RA 9165 and Resolution 6486 are constitutional.

HELD: No. Pimentel’s contention is valid. Accordingly, Sec. 36 of RA 9165 is unconstitutional. It is basic that if a law
or an administrative rule violates any norm of the Constitution, that issuance is null and void and has no effect. The
Constitution is the basic law to which all laws must conform; no act shall be valid if it conflicts with the Constitution.
In the discharge of their defined functions, the three departments of government have no choice but to yield
obedience to the commands of the Constitution. Whatever limits it imposes must be observed.
The provision “[n]o person elected to any public office shall enter upon the duties of his office until he has undergone
mandatory drug test” is not tenable as it enlarges the qualifications. COMELEC cannot, in the guise of enforcing and
administering election laws or promulgating rules and regulations to implement Sec. 36, validly impose qualifications
on candidates for senator in addition to what the Constitution prescribes. If Congress cannot require a candidate for
senator to meet such additional qualification, the COMELEC, to be sure, is also without such power. The right of a
citizen in the democratic process of election should not be defeated by unwarranted impositions of requirement not
otherwise specified in the Constitution.
CSC Chairperson Karina David received a document from an anonymous source, making her aware that
there is a corrupt official in the Commission. She then formed personnel and directed them to back up all the files
of the computers found therein.

David found, in Bricio Pollo, petitioner, legal pleading or documents that are related to administrative cases and
were for on the behalf of parties who were facing charges. David inferred that he was willfully aiding their adverse
interests and it was a practice that he pursued regularly.

Pollo argued that he was not even a lawyer to pursue such acts. He also asserted that the CSC conducted a fishing
expedition and his right to privacy was violated and that the source of the complaint was anonymous. The CSC
charged Pollo in violation of RA 6713. After some motions filed to the CSC, he filed his motion to the CA wherein he
was ordered to be dismissed of his governmental duties. The CA ruled that the search was legal because in their
capacity as employers, the government agencies could validly conduct search and seizure in the governmental
workplace without meeting the “probable cause” or warrant requirement for search and seizure.

ISSUE: Whether there was illegal search.

The SC ruled in favor of the CSC. Basing their decision on other cases, the SC asked whether Pollo has a
reasonable expectation of privacy in his office and computer files and was the search reasonable in its inception and
On regards the first inquiry, the SC found that he had no actual expectation of privacy on his work computer.
He did not have a separate office space nor did he use a password for his computer. He would have visitors which
he let them use his computer. The CSC also implemented a policy that its employees on notice that they have no
expectation of privacy in anything on their office computers, and that the CSC may monitor their use. This implies
that on-the-spot inspections may be done to ensure that the computer resources were used only for such legitimate
business purposes.
On the second inquiry, the SC said that the search Pollo's files were conducted in connection with
investigation of work-related misconduct prompted by an anonymous letter-complaint. A search by a government
employer of an employee’s 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.


FACTS: On the evening of August 6, 2002, member of Drug Enforcement Group together with a female informant
went to the parking area of McDonalds to conduct an entrapment operation. Edaño arrived at around 7:00 p.m. on
board a space wagon. The informant approached Edaño and talked to him inside the vehicle. Afterwards, the
informant waived at PO3 Corbe who then approached Edaño. The latter went out of the vehicle and ran away. PO3
Corbe was able to grab Edaño, causing the latter to fell on the ground. PO3 Corbe recovered a “knot-tied”
transparent plastic bag from Edaño’s right hand.

ISSUES: Whether the search and seizure that followed warrantless arrest is valid.

HELD: NO, the warrantless arrest of Edaño was not valid. Consequently, the search and seizure that followed the
warrantless arrest was likewise not valid. In this case, there was no overt act indicative of a felonious enterprise that
could be properly attributed to Edaño to rouse suspicion in the mind of the police that he had just committed, was
actually committing or was attempting to commit a crime in their presence. Informant and Edaño were just talking
to each other, there was no exchange of money and drugs as the police approached the car. Edaño is entitled to
acquittal since the shabu purportedly seized from him is inadmissible in evidence for being the proverbial fruit of
the poisonous tree.