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I.

GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF CRIMINAL LAW

A. Nature and definition

*** Canceran vs. People of the Phil., G.R. No. 206442 July 1, 2015 ***

JOVITO CANCERAN, Petitioner, vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.

This is a petition for review on certiorari seeking to reverse and set aside the August 10, 2012
Decision and the March 7, 2013 Resolution of the Court of Appeals (CA), in CA-G.R.No. 00559, which
affirmed and modified the Sept. 20, 2007 Judgment of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 39, Misamis
Oriental, Cagayan de Oro City (RTC), in Criminal Case No. 2003-141, convicting petitioner Jovito
Canceran (Canceran) for consummated Theft.

FACTS:

On October 6, 2002, at more or less 12:00 noon, at Ororama Mega Center Grocery Department,
Lapasan, Cagayan de Oro City, Jovito Canceran, conspiring, confederating together and mutually
helping one another with his co-accused Frederick Vequizo, URC Merchandiser, and Marcial Diaz,
Jr., a Unilever Philippines merchandiser both of Ororama Mega Center. With intent to gain and
without the knowledge and consent of the owner, did they willfully, unlawfully and feloniously take,
steal and carry away 14 cartons of Ponds White Beauty Cream valued at ₱ 28,627,20, belonging to
Ororama Mega Center, represented by William Michael N. Arcenio. Thus, performing all the acts of
execution which would produce the crime of theft as a consequence but, nevertheless, did not
produce it by reason of some cause independent of accused’s will. They were discovered by the
employees of Ororama Mega Center who prevented them from further carrying away said 14
cartons of Ponds White Beauty Cream, to the damage and prejudice of the Ororama Mega Center.

Version of the Prosecution: the prosecution presented Damalito Ompoc (Ompoc), a security guard;
and William Michael N. Arcenio (Arcenio), the Customer Relation Officer of Ororama Mega Center
(Ororama), as its witnesses. Through their testimonies, the prosecution established that on or
about October 6, 2002, Ompoc saw Canceran approach one of the counters in Ororama. Canceran
was pushing a cart which contained 2 boxes of Magic Flakes which he paid ₱1,423.00. Ompoc went
to the packer and asked if the boxes had been checked; upon inspection by Ompoc and the packer,
they found out that the contents of the 2 boxes were not Magic Flakes biscuits, but 14 smaller boxes
of Ponds White Beauty Cream worth ₱28,627.20. Canceran hurriedly left and a chase ensued; that
upon reaching the Don Mariano gate, Canceran stumbled as he attempted to ride a jeepney. After
being questioned, he tried to settle with the guards and even offered his personal effects to pay for
the items he tried to take; But, Arcenio refused to settle and his personal belongings were deposited
in the office of Arcenio.

Version of the Defense: Canceran vehemently denied the charges against him and claimed that he
was a promo merchandiser of La Tondeña, Inc. On October 6, 2002, he was in Ororama to buy
medicine for his wife. On his way out, after buying medicine and mineral water, an unknown male
person around 20 yrs old requested him to pay for the items in his cart at the cashier at the amount
of ₱ 1,440.00. After paying at the cashier, he went out of Ororama towards Limketkai to take a
jeepney; that three persons ran after him, and he was caught; that he was brought to the 4th floor of
Ororama, where he was mauled and kicked by one of those who chased him. They took his Nokia
5110 cellular phone and cash amounting to ₱2,500.00; and Ompoc took his Seiko watch and ring,
while a certain Amion took his necklace. Canceran further claimed that an earlier Information for
theft was already filed on October 9,2002 which was eventually dismissed. In January 2003, a
second Information was filed for the same offense over the same incident and became the subject of
the present case.

ISSUES

1. whether Canceran should be acquitted in the crime of theft as it was not charged in the
information 2. whether there was double jeopardy.

RULING

RTC: Canceran guilty beyond reasonable doubt of consummated Theft. penalty of imprisonment
from 10 years and 1 day to 10 years, 8 months of prision mayor, as minimum, to 14 years, 8 months
of reclusion temporal, as maximum.

CA:

Debunked Canceran’s contention that there was no taking because he merely pushed the cart
loaded with goods to the cashier’s booth for payment and stopped there. The appellate court held
that unlawful taking was deemed complete from the moment the offender gained possession of the
thing, even if he had no opportunity to dispose of the same. 2 years, 4 months and 1 day of prision
correccional, as minimum, to 8 years, eight 8 months and one 1 day of prision mayor, as maximum.

B. Characteristics of Criminal Law


1. General (Art. 2, RPC)

a. Exceptions

i. Treaties
*** Bayan vs. Zamora, G.R. No. 138570. October 10, 2000 ***

I. THE FACTS

The Republic of the Philippines and the United States of America entered into an agreement called
the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA). The agreement was treated as a treaty by the Philippine
government and was ratified by then-President Joseph Estrada with the concurrence of 2/3 of the
total membership of the Philippine Senate.

The VFA defines the treatment of U.S. troops and personnel visiting the Philippines. It provides for
the guidelines to govern such visits, and further defines the rights of the U.S. and the Philippine
governments in the matter of criminal jurisdiction, movement of vessel and aircraft, importation
and exportation of equipment, materials and supplies.

Petitioners argued, inter alia, that the VFA violates §25, Article XVIII of the 1987 Constitution, which
provides that “foreign military bases, troops, or facilities shall not be allowed in the Philippines
except under a treaty duly concurred in by the Senate . . . and recognized as a treaty by the other
contracting State.”

II. THE ISSUE

Was the VFA unconstitutional?

III. THE RULING

[The Court DISMISSED the consolidated petitions, held that the petitioners did not commit grave
abuse of discretion, and sustained the constitutionality of the VFA.]

NO, the VFA is not unconstitutional.

Section 25, Article XVIII disallows foreign military bases, troops, or facilities in the country, unless
the following conditions are sufficiently met, viz: (a) it must be under a treaty; (b) the treaty must
be duly concurred in by the Senate and, when so required by congress, ratified by a majority of the
votes cast by the people in a national referendum; and (c) recognized as a treaty by the other
contracting state.

There is no dispute as to the presence of the first two requisites in the case of the VFA. The
concurrence handed by the Senate through Resolution No. 18 is in accordance with the provisions
of the Constitution . . . the provision in [in §25, Article XVIII] requiring ratification by a majority of
the votes cast in a national referendum being unnecessary since Congress has not required it.

xxx xxx xxx

This Court is of the firm view that the phrase “recognized as a treaty” means that the other
contracting party accepts or acknowledges the agreement as a treaty. To require the other
contracting state, the United States of America in this case, to submit the VFA to the United States
Senate for concurrence pursuant to its Constitution, is to accord strict meaning to the phrase.

Well-entrenched is the principle that the words used in the Constitution are to be given their
ordinary meaning except where technical terms are employed, in which case the significance thus
attached to them prevails. Its language should be understood in the sense they have in common use.

Moreover, it is inconsequential whether the United States treats the VFA only as an executive
agreement because, under international law, an executive agreement is as binding as a treaty. To be
sure, as long as the VFA possesses the elements of an agreement under international law, the said
agreement is to be taken equally as a treaty.

xxx xxx xxx

The records reveal that the United States Government, through Ambassador Thomas C. Hubbard,
has stated that the United States government has fully committed to living up to the terms of the
VFA. For as long as the United States of America accepts or acknowledges the VFA as a treaty, and
binds itself further to comply with its obligations under the treaty, there is indeed marked
compliance with the mandate of the Constitution.

ii. Law of Preferential Application

a. Immunity of President

*** Soliven vs. Makasiar, G.R. No. L-82585, 14 November 1988 ***

FACTS:
Soliven broadcasted the statement that President Aquino hid under her bed during a coup d' etat.
The President sued for libel. Soliven claimed that he can't be sued because the President was
immune from suit.
President Cory Aquino filed a criminal complaint for libel against Beltran
Petitioner Beltran argues that "the reasons which necessitate presidential immunity from suit
impose a correlative disability to file suit." He contends that if criminal proceedings ensue by virtue
of the President's filing of her complaint-affidavit, she may subsequently have to be a witness for
the prosecution, bringing her under the trial court's jurisdiction. This would in an indirect way
defeat her privilege of immunity from suit, as by testifying on the witness stand, she would be
exposing herself to possible contempt of court or perjury.

ISSUES:
Whether or not the President of the Philippines may initiate criminal proceedings against the
petitioners

HELD:
Yes, the President of the Philippines may initiate criminal proceedings.
The rationale for the grant to the President of the privilege of immunity from suit is to assure the
exercise of Presidential duties and functions free from any hindrance or distraction, considering
that being the Chief Executive of the Government is a job that, aside from requiring all of the office
holder's time, also demands undivided attention.
But this privilege of immunity from suit, pertains to the President by virtue of the office and may be
invoked only by the holder of the office; not by any other person in the President's behalf. Thus, an
accused in a criminal case in which the President is complainant cannot raise the presidential
privilege as a defense to prevent the case from proceeding against such accused.
Moreover, there is nothing in our laws that would prevent the President from waiving the privilege.
Thus, if so minded the President may shed the protection afforded by the privilege and submit to
the court's jurisdiction. The choice of whether to exercise the privilege or to waive it is solely the
President's prerogative. It is a decision that cannot be assumed and imposed by any other person.

*** Lourdes Rubrico et. al. vs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, et. al. (G.R. No. 183871, 2010) ***

FACTS:

Rubrico, in her petition, said she was abducted on April 3, 2007 by armed men belonging to the
301st Air Intelligence and Security Squadron, based at the Philippine Air Force Field Station at
Fernando Air Base in Lipa City, Batangas. During her detention, the petitioner added, her daughters
Mary Joy Rubrico Carbonel and Jean Rubrico Apruebo were harassed by Senior Insp. Arsenio
Gomez and that there were also armed men following them. The petitioners prayed that a writ of
amparo be issued, ordering the individual respondents to desist from performing any threatening
act against the security of the petitioners and for the Office of the Ombudsman (OMB) to
immediately file an information for kidnapping qualified with the aggravating circumstance of
gender of the offended party. It also prayed for damages and for respondents to produce documents
submitted to any of them on the case of Lourdes.

The respondents then filed a joint return on the writ specifically denying the material inculpatory
averments against them. Respondents interposed the defense that the President may not be sued
during her incumbency.

Petitioners pleaded back to be allowed to present evidence ex parte against the President, et al.

By a separate resolution, the CA dropped the President as respondent in the case .

ISSUE:

WHETHER OR NOT the [CA] committed reversible error in dismissing [their] Petition and dropping
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as party respondent.

HELD:

The presidential immunity from suit remains preserved under our system of government, albeit not
expressly reserved in the present constitution. Addressing a concern of his co-members in the 1986
Constitutional Commission on the absence of an express provision on the matter, Fr. Joaquin
Bernas, S.J. observed that it was already understood in jurisprudence that the President may not be
sued during his or her tenure.

Settled is the doctrine that the President, during his tenure of office or actual incumbency, may not
be sued in any civil or criminal case, and there is no need to provide for it in the Constitution or law.
It will degrade the dignity of the high office of the President, the Head of State, if he can be dragged
into court litigations while serving as such.

The Court also affirmed the dismissal of the amparo case against other respondents for failure of
the petition to allege ultimate facts as to make out a case against that body for the enforced
disappearance of Lourdes and the threats and harassment that followed.

*** David et. al. vs. Macapagal-Arroyo et. al., G.R. No. 171396, May 3, 2006) ***

I. THE FACTS

On February 24, 2006, as the Filipino nation celebrated the 20th Anniversary of the EDSA People
Power I, President Arroyo issued PP 1017, implemented by G.O. No. 5, declaring a state of national
emergency, thus:

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, President of the Republic of the Philippines and
Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested upon
me by Section 18, Article 7 of the Philippine Constitution which states that: “The President. . .
whenever it becomes necessary, . . . may call out (the) armed forces to prevent or suppress. .
.rebellion. . .,” and in my capacity as their Commander-in-Chief, do hereby command the Armed
Forces of the Philippines, to maintain law and order throughout the Philippines, prevent or
suppress all forms of lawless violence as well as any act of insurrection or rebellion and to enforce
obedience to all the laws and to all decrees, orders and regulations promulgated by me personally
or upon my direction; and as provided in Section 17, Article 12 of the Constitution do hereby
declare a State of National Emergency.

In their presentation of the factual bases of PP 1017 and G.O. No. 5, respondents stated that the
proximate cause behind the executive issuances was the conspiracy among some military officers,
leftist insurgents of the New People’s Army, and some members of the political opposition in a plot
to unseat or assassinate President Arroyo. They considered the aim to oust or assassinate the
President and take-over the reins of government as a clear and present danger.

Petitioners David and Llamas were arrested without warrants on February 24, 2006 on their way to
EDSA. Meanwhile, the offices of the newspaper Daily Tribune, which was perceived to be anti-
Arroyo, was searched without warrant at about 1:00 A.M. on February 25, 2006. Seized from the
premises – in the absence of any official of the Daily Tribune except the security guard of the
building – were several materials for publication. The law enforcers, a composite team of PNP and
AFP officers, cited as basis of the warrantless arrests and the warrantless search and seizure was
Presidential Proclamation 1017 issued by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in the exercise
of her constitutional power to call out the Armed Forces of the Philippines to prevent or suppress
lawless violence.

II. THE ISSUE

1. Were the warrantless arrests of petitioners David, et al., made pursuant to PP 1017, valid?
2. Was the warrantless search and seizure on the Daily Tribune’s offices conducted pursuant to PP
1017 valid?

III. THE RULING

[The Court partially GRANTED the petitions.]

1. NO, the warrantless arrests of petitioners David, et al., made pursuant to PP 1017, were NOT
valid.

[S]earches, seizures and arrests are normally unreasonable unless authorized by a validly issued
search warrant or warrant of arrest. Section 5, Rule 113 of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure
provides [for the following circumstances of valid warrantless arrests]:

Sec. 5. Arrest without warrant; when lawful. - A peace officer or a private person may, without a
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 just been committed and he has probable cause to believe based on
personal knowledge of facts or circumstances that the person to be arrested has committed it; and
x x x.

Neither of the [provisions on in flagrante nor hot pursuit warrantless arrests] justifies petitioner
David’s warrantless arrest. During the inquest for the charges of inciting to sedition and violation of
BP 880, all that the arresting officers could invoke was their observation that some rallyists were
wearing t-shirts with the invective “Oust Gloria Now” and their erroneous assumption that
petitioner David was the leader of the rally. Consequently, the Inquest Prosecutor ordered his
immediate release on the ground of insufficiency of evidence. He noted that petitioner David was
not wearing the subject t-shirt and even if he was wearing it, such fact is insufficient to charge him
with inciting to sedition.

2. NO, the warrantless search and seizure on the Daily Tribune’s offices conducted pursuant to PP
1017 was NOT valid.

[T]he search [and seizure in the Daily Tribune premises] is illegal. Rule 126 of The Revised Rules on
Criminal Procedure lays down the steps in the conduct of search and seizure. Section 4 requires
that a search warrant be issued upon probable cause in connection with one specific offence to be
determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant
and the witnesses he may produce. Section 8 mandates that the search of a house, room, or any
other premise be made in the presence of the lawful occupant thereof or any member of his family
or in the absence of the latter, in the presence of two (2) witnesses of sufficient age and discretion
residing in the same locality. And Section 9 states that the warrant must direct that it be served in
the daytime, unless the property is on the person or in the place ordered to be searched, in which
case a direction may be inserted that it be served at any time of the day or night. All these rules
were violated by the CIDG operatives.

b. Diplomatic Immunity

*** Minucher v. Scalzo, G.R. No. 142396, 11 February 2003 ***

Facts

Violation of the “Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972,” was filed against Minucher following a “buy-bust
operation” conducted by Philippine police narcotic agents accompanied by Scalzo in the house of
Minucher, an Iranian national, where heroin was said to have been seized. Minucher was later
acquitted by the court.

Minucher later on filed for damages due to trumped-up charges of drug trafficking made by Arthur
Scalzo.

Scalzo on his counterclaims that he had acted in the discharge of his official duties as being merely
an agent of the Drug Enforcement Administration of the United States Department of Justice.

Scalzo subsequently filed a motion to dismiss the complaint on the ground that, being a special
agent of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, he was entitled to diplomatic
immunity. He attached to his motion Diplomatic Note of the United States Embassy addressed to
DOJ of the Philippines and a Certification of Vice Consul Donna Woodward, certifying that the note
is a true and faithful copy of its original. Trial court denied the motion to dismiss.
ISSUE

Whether or not Arthur Scalzo is indeed entitled to diplomatic immunity.

RULLING

YES.

A foreign agent, operating within a territory, can be cloaked with immunity from suit as long as it
can be established that he is acting within the directives of the sending state.

The consent or imprimatur of the Philippine government to the activities of the United States Drug
Enforcement Agency, however, can be gleaned from the undisputed facts in the case.

The official exchanges of communication between agencies of the government of the two countries
Certifications from officials of both the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs and the United
States Embassy
Participation of members of the Philippine Narcotics Command in the “buy-bust operation”
conducted at the residence of Minucher at the behest of Scalzo
These may be inadequate to support the “diplomatic status” of the latter but they give enough
indication that the Philippine government has given its imprimatur, if not consent, to the activities
within Philippine territory of agent Scalzo of the United States Drug Enforcement Agency.

The job description of Scalzo has tasked him to conduct surveillance on suspected drug suppliers
and, after having ascertained the target, to inform local law enforcers who would then be expected
to make the arrest.

In conducting surveillance activities on Minucher, later acting as the poseur-buyer during the buy-
bust operation, and then becoming a principal witness in the criminal case against Minucher,

Scalzo hardly can be said to have acted beyond the scope of his official function or duties.

*** Liang v. People, G.R. No. 125865, 28 January 2000 ***

FACTS:
Petitioner is an economist working with the Asian Development Bank (ADB). Sometime in 1994, for
allegedly uttering defamatory words against fellow ADB worker Joyce Cabal, he was charged before
the MeTC of Mandaluyong City with two counts of oral defamation. Petitioner was arrested by
virtue of a warrant issued by the MeTC. After fixing petitioner’s bail, the MeTC released him to the
custody of the Security Officer of ADB. The next day, the MeTC judge received an “office of protocol”
from the DFA stating that petitioner is covered by immunity from legal process under section 45 of
the Agreement between the ADB and the Philippine Government regarding the Headquarters of the
ADB in the country. Based on the said protocol communication that petitioner is immune from suit,
the MeTC judge without notice to the prosecution dismissed the criminal cases. The latter filed a
motion for reconsideration which was opposed by the DFA. When its motion was denied, the
prosecution filed a petition for certiorari and mandamus with the RTC of Pasig City which set aside
the MeTC rulings and ordered the latter court to enforce the warrant of arrest it earlier issued. After
the motion for reconsideration was denied, the petitioner elevated the case to the SC via a petition
for review arguing that he is covered by immunity under the Agreement and that no preliminary
investigation was held before the criminal case.

ISSUES:
(1) Whether or not the petitioner’s case is covered with immunity from legal process with regard
to Section 45 of the Agreement between the ADB and the Philippine Gov’t.

HELD:
(1) NO. The petitioner’s case is not covered by the immunity. Courts cannot blindly adhere to the
communication from the DFA that the petitioner is covered by any immunity. It has no binding
effect in courts. The court needs to protect the right to due process not only of the accused but also
of the prosecution. Secondly, the immunity under Section 45 of the Agreement is not absolute, but
subject to the exception that the acts must be done in “official capacity”. Hence, slandering a person
could not possibly be covered by the immunity agreement because our laws do not allow the
commission of a crime, such as defamation, in the name of official duty.

*** WHO vs. Aquino, G.R. No. L-35131, 29 November 1972 ***

Facts:

Dr. Leonce Verstuyft was assigned by WHO to its regional office in Manila as Acting Assistant
Director of Health Services. His personal effects, contained in twelve (12) crates, were allowed free
entry from duties and taxes. Constabulary Offshore Action Center (COSAC) suspected that the crates
“contain large quantities of highly dutiable goods” beyond the official needs of Verstuyft. Upon
application of the COSAC officers, Judge Aquino issued a search warrant for the search and seizure
of the personal effects of Verstuyft. Secretary of Foreign Affairs Carlos P. Romulo advised Judge
Aquino that Dr. Verstuyft is entitled to immunity from search in respect for his personal baggage as
accorded to members of diplomatic missions pursuant to the Host Agreement and requested that
the search warrant be suspended. The Solicitor General accordingly joined Verstuyft for the quashal
of the search warrant but respondent judge nevertheless summarily denied the quashal. Verstuyft,
thus, filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition with the SC. WHO joined Verstuyft in asserting
diplomatic immunity.

Issue: Whether or not personal effect of Verstuyft can be exempted from search and seizure under
the diplomatic immunity.

Held:

Yes. The executive branch of the Phils has expressly recognized that Verstuyft is entitled to
diplomatic immunity, pursuant to the provisions of the Host Agreement. The DFA formally advised
respondent judge of the Philippine Government's official position. The Solicitor General, as
principal law officer of the gorvernment, likewise expressly affirmed said petitioner's right to
diplomatic immunity and asked for the quashal of the search warrant. It is a recognized principle of
international law and under our system of separation of powers that diplomatic immunity is
essentially a political question and courts should refuse to look beyond a determination by the
executive branch of the government, and where the plea of diplomatic immunity is recognized and
affirmed by the executive branch of the government as in the case at bar, it is then the duty of the
courts to accept the claim of immunity upon appropriate suggestion by the principal law officer of
the government, the Solicitor General in this case, or other officer acting under his discretion.
Courts may not so exercise their jurisdiction by seizure and detention of property, as to embarass
the executive arm of the government in conducting foreign relations. The Court, therefore, holds the
respondent judge acted without jurisdiction and with grave abuse of discretion in not ordering the
quashal of the search warrant issued by him in disregard of the diplomatic immunity of petitioner
Verstuyft.

c. Members of Congress (Art. VI, Section 11, 1987 Const.)

*** People v. Jalosjos, G.R. Nos. 132875‐76, February 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.

Jalosjos’ primary argument is the "mandate of sovereign will." He states that the sovereign
electorate of the First District of Zamboanga del Norte chose him as their representative in
Congress. Having been re-elected by his constituents, he has the duty to perform the functions of a
Congressman. He calls this a covenant with his constituents made possible by the intervention of
the State. He adds that it cannot be defeated by insuperable procedural restraints arising from
pending criminal cases.

Jalosjos further argues that on several occasions, the Regional Trial Court of Makati granted several
motions to temporarily leave his cell at the Makati City Jail, for official or medical reasons.

Jalosjos avers that his constituents in the First District of Zamboanga del Norte want their voices to
be heard and that since he is treated as bona fide member of the House of Representatives, the
latter urges a co-equal branch of government to respect his mandate.

Issue:
Whether or not accused-appellant should be allowed to discharge mandate as member of House of
Representatives and to leave his cell.

Held:
To allow accused-appellant to attend congressional sessions and committee meetings will virtually
make him a free man.

When the voters of his district elected the accused-appellant to Congress, they did so with full
awareness of the limitations on his freedom of action. They did so with the knowledge that he could
achieve only such legislative results which he could accomplish within the confines of prison. To
give a more drastic illustration, if voters elect a person with full knowledge that he is suffering from
a terminal illness, they do so knowing that at any time, he may no longer serve his full term in office.
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.

In the ultimate analysis, the issue before us boils down to a question of constitutional equal
protection.

The Constitution guarantees: "x x x nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of laws."
This simply means that all persons similarly situated shall be treated alike both in rights enjoyed
and responsibilities imposed. The organs of government may not show any undue favoritism or
hostility to any person. Neither partiality nor prejudice shall be displayed.

Does being an elective official result in a substantial distinction that allows different treatment? Is
being a Congressman a substantial differentiation which removes the accused-appellant as a
prisoner from the same class as all persons validly confined under law?

The performance of legitimate and even essential duties by public officers has never been an excuse
to free a person validly in prison.

The Court cannot validate badges of inequality. The necessities imposed by public welfare may
justify exercise of government authority to regulate even if thereby certain groups may plausibly
assert that their interests are disregarded.

We, therefore, find that election to the position of Congressman is not a reasonable classification in
criminal law enforcement. The functions and duties of the office are not substantial distinctions
which lift him from the class of prisoners interrupted in their freedom and restricted in liberty of
movement. Lawful arrest and confinement are germane to the purposes of the law and apply to all
those belonging to the same class.

*** Trillanes vs. Hon. Pimentel, G.R. No. 179817, 27 June 2008 ***

FACTS:
July 27, 2003, a group of more than 300 heavily armed soldiers led by junior officers of the Armed
Forces of the Philippines (AFP) stormed into the Oakwood Premier Apartments in Makati City and
publicly demanded the resignation of the President and key national officials.
On the same day, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo issued Proclamation No. 427 and General
Order No. 4 declaring a state of rebellion and calling out the Armed Forces to suppress the
rebellion.
Petitioner Antonio F. Trillanes IV was charged, along with his comrades, with coup d’etat defined
under Article 134-A of the Revised Penal Code before the RTC of Makati.
4 years later, petitioner, who has remained in detention, threw his hat in the political arena and
won a seat in the Senate with a 6-year term commencing at noon on June 30, 2007.
Petitioner filed with the RTC, Makati City, Branch 148, an "Omnibus Motion for Leave of Court to be
Allowed to Attend Senate Sessions and Related Requests".
The trial court denied all the requests in the Omnibus Motion.
ISSUE:
Whether or not membership in Congress exempt an accused from statutes and rules which apply to
validly incarcerated persons in general

HELD:
No, it is impractical to draw a line between convicted prisoners and pre-trial detainees for the
purpose of maintaining jail security; and while pre-trial detainees do not forfeit their constitutional
rights upon confinement, the fact of their detention makes their rights more limited than those of
the public.
When a person indicted for an offense is arrested, he is deemed placed under the custody of the
law. He is placed in actual restraint of liberty in jail so that he may be bound to answer for the
commission of the offense. He must be detained in jail during the pendency of the case against him,
unless he is authorized by the court to be released on bail or on recognizance.
Presumption of innocence does not carry with it the full enjoyment of civil and political rights.
Allowing 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.

***Pobre v. Sen. Santiago, A.C. No, 7399, August 25, 2009***


FACTS:

In one of her privilege speeches before the Senate, Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago delivered the
following remarks:

x x x I am not angry. I am irate. I am foaming in the mouth. I am homicidal. I am suicidal. I am


humiliated, debased, degraded. And I am not only that, I feel like throwing up to be living my middle
years in a country of this nature. I am nauseated. I spit on the face of Chief Justice Artemio
Panganiban and his cohorts in the Supreme Court, I am no longer interested in the position [of Chief
Justice] if I was to be surrounded by idiots. I would rather be in a different environment than in a
Supreme Court of idiots. x x

Her speech came as a response to the decision of the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) declaring that
only sitting members of the Supreme Court can be nominated for the impending vacancy of the CJ
post. Consequently, nominees who were not incumbent members of the Court, including Sen.
Defensor-Santiago, were automatically disqualified. Private complainant Antero J. Pobre filed the
instant petition before the Court, contending that the lady senator's utterances amounted to a total
disrespect towards then CJ Panganiban and a direct contempt of Court. Accordingly, he wanted
disbarment proceedings or other disciplinary actions to be taken against Sen. Defensor-Santiago.

ISSUE: Whether or not there is a ground for Sen. Defensor-Santiago to be disbarred or subjected to
disciplinary action by the Court for her questioned speech.

HELD: No, the Court sided with Sen. Defensor-Santiago's defense that she should be afforded
parliamentary immunity from suit pursuant to Section 11, Art. VI of the 1987 Constitution, which
section states in part that "no [Senator] x x x shall be questioned nor be held liable in any other
place for any speech or debate in the Congress or in any committee thereof." Although there was no
express admission on the part of the lady senator that she did indeed say those words, there was no
categorical denial either, which the Court ultimately regarded as an implied admission.

***Jimenez, v. Cabangbang, G.R. No. L ‐15905, August 3, 1966***

Facts: Cabangbang was a member of the House of Representatives and Chairman of its
Committee on National Defense. On 14 Nov 1958, Cabangbang caused the publication
of an open letter addressed to the Philippines. Said letter alleged that there have been
allegedly three operational plans under serious study by some ambitious AFP officers,
with the aid of some civilian political strate gists. That such strategists have had
collusions with communists and that the Secretary of Defense, Jesus Vargas, was
planning a coup d’état to place him as the president. The “planners” allegedly have
Nicanor Jimenez, among others, under their guise and t hat Jimenez et al may or may
not be aware that they are being used as a tool to meet such an end. The letter was
said to have been published in newspapers of general circulation. Jimenez then filed a
case against Cabangbang to collect a sum of damages agai nst Cabangbang alleging that
Cabangbang’s statement is libelous. Cabangbang petitioned for the case to be
dismissed because he said that as a member of the HOR he is immune from suit and
that he is covered by the privileged communication rule and that the said letter is not
even libelous.

ISSUE: Whether or not the open letter is covered by privilege communication


endowed to members of Congress.

HELD: Article VI, Section 15 of the Constitution provides “The Senators and Members
of the House of Representatives shall in all cases except treason, felony, and breach of
the peace. Be privileged from arrest during their attendance at the sessions of the
Congress, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any speech or debate
therein, they shall not be questioned in any other place.” The publication of the said
letter is not covered by said expression which refers to utterances made by
Congressmen in the performance of their official functions, such as speeches
delivered, statements made, or votes cast in the halls of Congress, while the same is in
session as well as bills introduced in Congress, whether the same is in session or not,
and other acts performed by Congressmen, either in Congress or outside the premises
housing its offices, in the official discharge of their duties as members of Congress
and of Congressional Committees duly authorized to perform its functions as such at
the time of the performance of the acts in question. Congress was not in session when
the letter was published and at the s ame time he, himself, caused the publication of
the said letter. It is obvious that, in thus causing the communication to be so
published, he was not performing his official duty, either as a member of Congress or
as officer of any Committee thereof. Hence , contrary to the finding made by the lower
court the said communication is not absolutely privileged.

iii. Public international law


*** Bayan vs. Zamora, G.R. No. 138570. October 10, 2000 ***
BAYAN (Bagong Alyansang Makabayan), a Junk VFA Movement, Bishop Tomas Millamena (Iglesia
Filipina Independiente), Bishop Elmer Bolocan (United Church of Christ of the Phil.), Dr. Reynaldo
Legasca, Md, Kilusang Mambubukid Ng Pilipinas, Kilusang Mayo Uno, Gabriela, Prolabor, and The
Public Interest Law Center, petitioners, vs. Executive Secretary Ronaldo Zamora, Foreign Affairs
Secretary Domingo Siazon, Defense Secretary Orlando Mercado, Brig. Gen. Alexander Aguirre,
Senate President Marcelo Fernan, Senator Franklin Drilon, Senator Blas Ople, Senator Rodolfo
Biazon, And Senator Francisco Tatad, respondents.

Facts: On March 14, 1947, the Philippines and the United States of America forged a Military Bases
Agreement which formalized, among others, the use of installations in the Philippine territory by
United States military personnel. In view of the impending expiration of the RP-US Military Bases
Agreement in 1991, the Philippines and the United States negotiated for a possible extension of the
military bases agreement. On September 16, 1991, the Philippine Senate rejected the proposed RP-
US Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Security which, in effect, would have extended the
presence of US military bases in the Philippines. On July 18, 1997, the United States panel, headed
by US Defense Deputy Assistant Secretary for Asia Pacific Kurt Campbell, met with the Philippine
panel, headed by Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Rodolfo Severino Jr., to exchange notes on “the
complementing strategic interests of the United States and the Philippines in the Asia-Pacific
region.” Both sides discussed, among other things, the possible elements of the Visiting Forces
Agreement (VFA for brevity). Thereafter, then President Fidel V. Ramos approved the VFA, which
was respectively signed by public respondent Secretary Siazon and Unites States Ambassador
Thomas Hubbard. On October 5, 1998, President Joseph E. Estrada, through respondent Secretary
of Foreign Affairs, ratified the VFA. On October 6, 1998, the President, acting through respondent
Executive Secretary Ronaldo Zamora, officially transmitted to the Senate of the Philippines, the
Instrument of Ratification, the letter of the President and the VFA, for concurrence pursuant to
Section 21, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution

Issues (justiciable controversy): (1) Whether or not petitioners have legal standing as concerned
citizens, taxpayers, or legislators to question the constitutionality of the VFA; (2) whether the VFA
is governed by the provisions of Section 21, Article VII or of Section 25, Article XVIII of the
Constitution; (3) and whether or not the Supreme Court has jurisdiction.

Ruling: (1) No. Petitioners failed to show that they have sustained, or are in danger of sustaining
any direct injury as a result of the enforcement of the VFA. As taxpayers, petitioners have not
established that the VFA involves the exercise by Congress of its taxing or spending powers. On this
point, it bears stressing that a taxpayer’s suit refers to a case where the act complained of directly
involves the illegal disbursement of public funds derived from taxation.

(2) Yes.The fact that the President referred the VFA to the Senate under Section 21, Article VII, and
that the Senate extended its concurrence under the same provision, is immaterial. For in either
case, whether under Section 21, Article VII or Section 25, Article XVIII, the fundamental law is
crystalline that the concurrence of the Senate is mandatory to comply with the strict constitutional
requirements.

(3) No. In fine, absent any clear showing of grave abuse of discretion on the part of respondents, the
Court as the final arbiter of legal controversies and staunch sentinel of the rights of the people is
then without power to conduct an incursion and meddle with such affairs purely executive and
legislative in character and nature. For the Constitution no less, maps out the distinct boundaries
and limits the metes and bounds within which each of the three political branches of government
may exercise the powers exclusively and essentially conferred to it by law.

2. Territorial (Art.2, RPC; Art. I of the Constitution)

v. Vessels/Planes
a. English Rule vs. French Rule

***People v. Tulin, G.R. No. 111709, 30 August 2001, 364 SCRA 10***

In the evening of March 2, 1991, "M/T Tabangao," a cargo vessel owned by the PNOC Shipping and
Transport Corporation,loaded with barrels of kerosene, regular gasoline, and diesel oil, was
boarded by 7 fully armed pirates. The pirates includingthe accused Roger P. Tulin, Virgilio Loyola,
and Andres Infante Jr. detained the crew and completely took over the vessel.The vessel was
directed to proceed to Singapore where the cargoes were unloaded transferred and sold under the
directsupervision of accused Cheong San Hiong. Thereafter, the captive vessel returned to the
Philippines. A series of arrests was thereafter effected and all the accused were charged with
qualified piracy or violation of PresidentialDecree No. 532 (Piracy in Philippine Waters). They were
subsequently convicted of the crime charged. Hence, this appeal.Meanwhile accused Cheong argues
that the trial court erred in convicting and punishing him as an accomplice when theacts allegedly
committed by him were done or executed outside of Philippine waters and territory, stripping the
Philippinecourts of jurisdiction to hold him for trial, to convict, and sentence.

ISSUES:Whether or not Cheong can be convicted as accomplice when the acts allegedly committed
by him were done or executed outside Philippine waters and territory.

RULING: YES. Although PD No. 532 requires that the attack and seizure of the vessel and its cargo
be committed in Philippine waters, the
disposition by the pirates of the vessel and its cargo is still deemed part of the act of piracy, hence,
the same need not be committed in Philippine waters. In the case at bar, the attack on and seizure
of the vessel and its cargo were committed in Philippine waters, although the captive vessel was
later brought by the pirates to Singapore where its cargo was off-loaded, transferred, and sold. Such
transfer was done under accused-appellant Hiong's direct supervision. Hence, he was party of the
piracy. Piracy falls under Title One of Book Two of the RPC. As such, it is an exception to the rule on
territoriality in criminal law. The same principle applies even if Hiong were charged under a special
law, PD No. 532 which penalizes piracy in Philippine waters. Verily, PD No. 532 should be applied
with more force here since its purpose is precisely to discourage and prevent piracy in Philippine
waters. It is likewise, well-settled that
regardless of the law penalizing the same, piracy is a reprehensible crime against the whole world.

***People vs. Wong Cheng, G.R. No. 18924, 19 October 1922***


The appellant, in representation of the Attorney General, filed an appeal that urges the revocation
of a demurrer sustained by the Court of First Instance of Manila presented by the defendant. The
defendant, accused of having illegally smoked opium aboard the merchant vessel Changsa of
English nationality while the said vessel was anchored in Manila Bay, two and a half miles from the
shores of the city. In the said demurrer, the defendant contended the lack of jurisdiction of the
lower court of the said crime, which resulted to the dismissal of the case.
Issue: Whether or not the Philippine courts have jurisdiction over the crime committed aboard
merchant vessels anchored in our jurisdictional waters.

Held: Yes. The crime in the case at bar was committed in our internal waters thus the Philippine
courts have a right of jurisdiction over the said offense. The Court said that having the opium
smoked within our territorial waters even though aboard a foreign merchant ship is a breach of the
public order because it causes such drugs to produce pernicious effects within our territory.
Therefore, the demurrer is revoked and the Court ordered further proceedings.

***People vs. Elkanish, G.R. No. L-2666, 26 September 1951***

Clarificatory points from Dad re double jeopardy:


•There is double jeopardy only for the same offense, not for the same act.
•It is possible that the Accused did only one act, but his act is punishable by twolaws. If each law
requires proof of an additional fact which the other does not,there is no double jeopardy. If the
accused is acquitted under one law, he canstill be prosecuted or convicted under the other law.
Example of no double jeopardy: People vs. Tinamisan •
Test: Do the offenses char3ed in the two Informations involve the same law7
•Note, however, that the rule on double jeopardy has been related by the SC in the case of "People
vs. Elkanish. In this case, an information of illegal possession of blasting caps was declared to be a
bar to a second information for illegal importation of the same blasting caps. Supposedly,
“possession” and “importation” are two different offenses, but the SC said there was double
jeopardy. Here was the SC’s justification: When one imports something into the Philippines, he
necessarily has the possession of it. The importer is a possessor. He has only one objective - that is,
to sell or dispose for profit the thing he imported.
• Your prof might ask something that was mentioned in the Elkanish decision. In the Elkanish case,
it was mentioned in passing that the scenario is different when the offenses involved are (1)
smoking opium and (2) possessionof a pipe for opium1. Smoking of opium is an end in itself, while
possession of pipe may not necessarily end in smoking opium using a pipe. When you possess pipe,
you may either sell it or keep the pipe it as part of an equipment for running an opium den. In
contrast, importation and possession of blasting caps has only one aim - that is, to sell or dispose for
profit the blasting caps that were imported.

***People vs. Lol-lo, G.R. No. 17958, 27 February 1922***


On June 30, 1920, sixer vintas intercepted two Dutch boats which were on its way in the midst of
the islands of Buang and Bukid in the Dutch East Indies. The six vintas were manned by 24 armed
Moros. The said Dutch boats were carrying men, women and children. At first, the Moros asked for
food. But when they got on the Dutch boats, they asked for themselves all the vessel’s cargo,
attacked nearly all of the men and brutally violated two of the women by methods too tremendous
to be described. All of the persons on the Dutch boat, except the two young women, were again
placed on it and holes were made in it, the idea that it would submerge. The Moros finally arrived at
Maruro, a Dutch possession. Two of the Moro marauders were Lol-lo, who also raped one of the
women, and Saraw. At Maruro, the two women were able to escape.

Lol-lo and Saraw later returned to their home in South Ubian, Tawi-Tawi, Sulu. They were arrested
there and were charged in the Court of First Instance of Sulu with the crime of piracy.

Issue: Whether or not Philippine courts have jurisdiction over the crime of piracy alleged in this
case.
Held: Yes, the Philippine courts have jurisdiction on the case. Piracy is a villainy not against any
particular state but against all mankind. It should be tried and punished in the sufficient tribunal of
any country where the offender may be found or into which he may be carried. The jurisdiction of
piracy, unlike all other crimes, has no territorial limits.

***Bayan vs. Zamora, supra US vs. Bull, 15 Phil. 7***

The Republic of the Philippines and the United States of America entered into an agreement called
the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA). The agreement was treated as a treaty by the Philippine
government and was ratified by then-President Joseph Estrada with the concurrence of 2/3 of the
total membership of the Philippine Senate.The VFA defines the treatment of U.S. troops and
personnel visiting the Philippines. It provides for the guidelines to govern such visits, and further
defines the rights of the U.S. and the Philippine governments in the matter of criminal jurisdiction,
movement of vessel and aircraft, importation and exportation of equipment, materials and supplies.
Petitioners argued, inter alia, that the VFA violates §25, Article XVIII of the 1987 Constitution, which
provides that “foreign military bases, troops, or facilities shall not be allowed in the Philippines
except under a treaty duly concurred in by the Senate . . . and recognized as a treaty by the other
contracting State.”

ISSUE: Was the VFA unconstitutional?

RULING: [The Court DISMISSED the consolidated petitions, held that the petitioners did not commit
grave abuse of discretion, and sustained the constitutionality of the VFA.]

NO, the VFA is not unconstitutional. Section 25, Article XVIII disallows foreign military bases,
troops, or facilities in the country, unless the following conditions are sufficiently met, viz: (a) it
must be under a treaty; (b) the treaty must be duly concurred in by the Senate and, when so
required by congress, ratified by a majority of the votes cast by the people in a national
referendum; and (c) recognized as a treaty by the other contracting state.There is no dispute as to
the presence of the first two requisites in the case of the VFA. The concurrence handed by the
Senate through Resolution No. 18 is in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution . . . the
provision in [in §25, Article XVIII] requiring ratification by a majority of the votes cast in a national
referendum being unnecessary since Congress has not required it.

xxx xxx xxx

This Court is of the firm view that the phrase “recognized as a treaty” means that the other
contracting party accepts or acknowledges the agreement as a treaty. To require the other
contracting state, the United States of America in this case, to submit the VFA to the United States
Senate for concurrence pursuant to its Constitution, is to accord strict meaning to the phrase. Well-
entrenched is the principle that the words used in the Constitution are to be given their ordinary
meaning except where technical terms are employed, in which case the significance thus attached
to them prevails. Its language should be understood in the sense they have in common use.
Moreover, it is inconsequential whether the United States treats the VFA only as an executive
agreement because, under international law, an executive agreement is as binding as a treaty. To be
sure, as long as the VFA possesses the elements of an agreement under international law, the said
agreement is to be taken equally as a treaty. xxx xxx xxx The records
reveal that the United States Government, through Ambassador Thomas C. Hubbard, has stated that
the United States government has fully committed to living up to the terms of the VFA. For as long
as the United States of America accepts or acknowledges the VFA as a treaty, and binds itself further
to comply with its obligations under the treaty, there is indeed marked compliance with the
mandate of the Constitution.

3. Prospective (Article 21 and 22, RPC; See also Article 4, Civil Code)

a. Effects of repeal
*** US vs. Soliman, 36 Phil. 5 (1917)***
Gabino Soliman, the defendant/appellant, was found guilty for false testimony(perjury) in another
criminal case, for falsely imputing to some other personsthe commission of the crime of estafa. The
trial judge on the ground thatthere was room for reasonable doubt acquitted him. However,
appellant wassentenced to 6 months imprisonment and P300 fine was imposed by the trial judge
for there can be no doubt that the accused was guilty of the crime of perjury as defined and
penalized in Act No. 1697 Sec .3 . The enactment of the Administrative Code (Act No. 2657) was
alleged tohave expressly repealed Act No. 1697 Sec.3 where the former becameeffective on July 1,
1916. On the other hand, the judgment was entered onNovember 23, 1915. It was suggested that
the repealed Act No. 1697 Sec.3should be held to have the effect of remitting and extinguishing the
criminalresponsibility of the accused incurred under the provisions of the repealedlaw prior to the
enactment of the Administrative Code.

ISSUE:WON the enactment of Administrative Code repealing Act No. 1697 Sec.3relieved Soliman of
his penalties.

HELD: The repealed Act No . 1697 does not have the effect of relieving an offender inwhole or in
part of penalties already incurred under the old law, unless thenew law favors the defendant by
diminishing the penalty or doing away withit altogether, and then only to the extent to which the
new law is favorable tothe offender.It will not be presumed that in the absence of an express
language, that it was the intention of the legislator to let false swearing as to a materialmatter in a
court of justice go unpunished, and such would be the effect of the repealed Act No. 1697, unless it
be held that the repeal had the effect of reviving the old statute (Act No. 2142). The Administrative
code (Act No 2657 Sec. 12) which repealed Act No. 1697dealt with the form and effect of laws in
general, providing that “when a lawwhich expressly repeals a prior law is itself repealed the law
first repealedshall not be thereby revived unless expressly so provided." The court ruled that the
express repeal of Act No. 1697 by the enactment of the Administrative Code (Act No. 2657) revived
the provisions of the PenalCode touching perjury, which were themselves repealed, not expressly
but byimplication, by the enactment of Act No. 2657. Comparing the penaltiesprescribed in the
Penal Code, Soliman should be given the benefit of the
provisions of Act No. 2142 wherein the penalty prescribed therein is lessthan that imposed upon
him under Act No. 1697. The enactment of new penal laws, notwithstanding the fact that they
containgeneral repealing clauses, does not deprive the courts of jurisdiction to try,convict and
sentence persons charged with violations of the old law prior tothe date when the repealing law
goes into effect, unless the new law whollyfails to penalize the acts which constituted the offense
defined and penalizedin the repealed law. The court therefore concluded that “in any case in whicha
statute prescribing a penalty for the commission of a specific offense isrepealed, and in which the
new statute provides new and distinct penaltiesfor the commission of such offense, the penalty
which must be imposed onone who committed the offense prior to the enactment of the
repealingstatute is that one which is more favorable to the convict”. The judgment of conviction
entered in the trial court was affirmed but thesentence imposed was reversed giving the accused
the benefit of theprovisions of Act No. 2142, a penalty of 4 months and 1 day of arresto mayorand a
fine of P75 with subsidiary imprisonment as prescribed by law shouldinstead be imposed

***Republic vs. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 90529, 16 August 1991***

Issue: Whether or not the Solicitor General has the authority to initiate ill-gotten wealth cases?

Held: The power to initiate and file the petition for said forfeiture proceedings for wealth illegally
acquired prior and up to February 25, 1986 remains with the Solicitor General.

For ill-gotten or unexplained wealth amassed after February 25, 1986, it is the Ombudsman who
has the power to both investigate and initiate the proper action for recovery of ill-gotten or
unexplained wealth.

***US vs. Cuna, 12 Phil 241***

***People vs. Tamayo, 61 Phil 225***

b. Habitual delinquent (Art. 62, RPC)


***People vs. Lacson, G.R. No. 149453, 1 April 2003***
***Gumabon vs. Director of Prisons, 37 SCRA 420 (1971)***
***People vs. Pimentel, G.R. No. 100210, 1 April 1998***
***Bernardo vs. Balagot, G.R. No. 86561, 10 November 1992***
***People vs. Venus, 63 Phil 435 (1936)***