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A. Definition/Scope

1. Civil Rights – are those rights that belong to every citizen of the state or
country, or, in a wider sense, to all its inhabitants, and are not connected
with the organization or administration of government. They include the
rights of property, marriage, equal protection of the laws, freedom of
contract, etc. Or, as otherwise defined civil rights are rights appertaining
to a person by virtue of his citizenship in a state or community. Such term
may also refer, in its general sense, to rights capable of being enforced or
redressed in a civil action.

2. Political Rights – are the right to participate, directly or indirectly, in the

establishment or administration of government, the right of suffrage, the
right to hold public office, the right of petition and, in general, the rights
appurtenant to citizenship vis-a-vis the management of government.

B. Due Process of Law

1. Who are protected?

- Bill of Rights are universal in their application to all persons within the
territorial jurisdiction, without regard to any differences of race, color, or

- The word "person" found in the Fourteenth Amendment and in the first
sentence of the first paragraph of the Philippine Bill of Rights includes

- Private corporations are "persons" within the scope of the guaranties in so

far as their property is concerned.

ARTICLE 1: Due Process and Equal Protection Clause

1. Classifications of Due Process

- Substantive – (Civil Law, Criminal Law etc)
- Procedural – (Rules of Court)
2. Scope of Due Process
- Before judicial, quasi-judicial, and administrative bodies.
-Judicial – Courts of Law
-Quasi Judicial – DARAB, NLRC
-Administrative – Civil Service Commission

- Deprivation of due process is a deprivation of right.

ARTICLE 2: Right Against Unreasonable Searches and Seizures

* Arrest - taking of a person into custody in order that he may be bound to

answer for the commission of an offense.

* Search warrant - is an order in writing issued in the name of the People of

the Philippines, signed by a judge and directed to a peace officer,
commanding him to search for personal property described therein and
bring it before the court.

* Warrant of Arrest - contemplated in Art. III, Sec. 2 of the Constitution

refers to an arrest to bring the accused to answer in court.

General Rule: A search or a seizure is reasonable upon presentation of a valid


Exceptions: 1. valid warrantless arrest; 2. valid warrantless searches

Kinds of Valid Warrantless Arrest

1. In Flagrante Delicto - When, in his presence, person to be arrested has

committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense.

2. Hot Pursuit- When an offense has just been committed and he has
probable cause to believe based on personal knowledge of facts and
circumstances that the person to be arrested has committed it.

3. Lawful arrest of a Fugitive of Justice who escaped from prison

confinement - When a person to be arrested is a prisoner who escaped
from a penal establishment or place he is serving final judgment, or is
temporary confined while his case is pending, or has escaped while being
transferred from one confinement to another.

Allowed Searches/Legal Searches

1. Search Incidental to a Lawful Arrest – upon arrest of an offender, and a

search was conducted; any illegal items to be confiscated are admissible and
shall be seized.
2. Plain View Searches

3. Administrative Searches

4. Customs Search

ARTICLE 3: Right to Privacy

It covers privacy relating to “intangibles”, and also “intangibles”. It refers to any

means or forms of communication.

- Examples: Telephone conversation, letters, text messages, emails

- Nobody can just open your letters including electronic communication,

or listen to your conversation, or record your conversation without your

- It would be unreasonable to require the description of the contents of

the communication. But the identity of the person or persons whose
communication is to be intercepted, and the identity of the offense or
offenses sought to be prevented, and the period of the authorization
given can be specified.

RA No. 4200 (Anti Wire-Tapping Law) - You cannot record telephone cords.

Exception: extension lines. Tapping in the main line is what is prohibited. Even if
it will establish the truth, this cannot be used as evidence. But if you record it in
an extension line, it may be admissible.

- does not consider it unlawful to record open and public communications

- what it protects are private conversations and communications. Specifically, it

is considered unlawful: (1) secretly overhear; (2) intercept; or (3) record private
communication or spoken word when doing so is without authority of all the
parties to such private communication.

Article 4: Freedom of Expression, Assembly and Petition

Freedom of expression is the foundation of a free, open and democratic

society. Freedom of expression is an indispensable condition to the exercise of
almost all other civil and political rights. No society can remain free, open and
democratic without freedom of expression. Freedom of expression guarantees
full, spirited, and even contentious discussion of all social, economic and
political issues. To survive, a free and democratic society must zealously
safeguard freedom of expression.

Freedom of speech and press means something more than the right to
approve existing political beliefs or economic arrangements, to lend support to
official measures, and to take refuge in the existing climate of opinion on any
matter of public consequence. The right belongs as well- if not more- to those
who question, who do not conform, and who differ.

General rule: The expression is not subject to any prior restraint or censorship
because the Constitution commands that freedom of expression shall not be

Exceptions: (when expression may be subject to prior restraint)

- pornography,
- false or misleading advertisement,
- advocacy of imminent lawless action, and
- danger to national security

Unprotected speech

Libel – is public and malicious imputation of a crime, or a vice or defect,

real or imaginary, or any act, omission, condition, status, or circumstance
tending to cause the dishonor, credit, or contempt of a natural or juridical
person, or to blacken the memory of one who is dead. (Art. 353 of RPC)

* Requisites:

o must be defamatory;
o must be malicious;
o must be given publicity;
o victim must be identifiable

Article 5: Freedom of Religion

Religion – theistic (Phil. Jurisprudence); profession of faith to an active

power that binds and elevates mans to his Creator

1. Non-establishment clause (separation of Church and State)

- Neither a State nor the Government can set up a church. Neither it can pass
laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer religion over another.
Neither can openly or secretly participate in the affairs of any religious
organizations or groups and vice versa.

* Non-establishment calls for is government neutrality in religious matters; 4

general propositions:

a) Government must not prefer one religion over another or religion over
irreligion because preference would violate voluntarism and breed dissension;

b) Government funds must not be applied to religious purposes because this

would too violate voluntarism and breed interfaith dissension;

c) Government action must not aid religion because this too can violate
voluntarism and breed interfaith dissension;

d) Government action must not result in excessive entanglement with religion

because this too can violate voluntarism and breed interfaith dissension.

2. Free exercise clause (freedom of religious profession and worship)

- Freedom of choice guarantees the liberty of the religious conscience and

prohibits any degree of compulsion or burden, whether direct or indirect, in the
practice of one’s religion.

2 main standards used by the Court in deciding religion clause cases (standards
of separation):

1) separation (in the form of strict separation or the tamer version of strict
neutrality or separation)

strict or tame - protects the principle of church-state separation with a

rigid reading of the principle

- strict separation (strict separationist view/strict) – believes that the

Establishment Clause was meant to protect the state from the church,
and the state’s hostility towards religion allows no interaction between the
two; “wall of separation” to protect the state from the church

- strict neutrality (separationist view/tame) – is not hostile to religion, but it is

strict in holding that religion may not be used as a basis for classification for
purposes of governmental action, whether the action confers rights or
privileges or imposes duties or obligations; largely used by the Court, showing
the Court’s tendency to press relentlessly towards a more secular society

2) Benevolent neutrality or accommodation

- protects religious realities, tradition and established practice with a flexible

reading of the principle

- this theory believes that with respect to governmental actions,

accommodation of religion may be allowed, not to promote the government’s
favored form of religion but to allow individuals and groups to exercise their
religion without hindrance

Article 7: Liberty of abode, Travel, and of Changing the Same

- the right of every person not to be prevented by the government to travel

(freedom of locomotion). In every instance that the right of a person is
heavily prejudiced by the government, this right may be invoked.


1. If such exercise of the right to travel cannot be permitted for purposes of

National Security (in times of war)

2. If there is a case involving a public official wherein the grant of the right to
travel will prejudice the interests of the government

3. Whenever public safety and health demands (a person carrying a

contagious disease (MERSCOV Virus) )

Article 8: Right to Information

- Every person must have equal access to informations concerning public

welfare, security, and development.


national security matters – military, diplomatic, others

- At the very least, this jurisdiction recognizes the common law holding that
there is a governmental privilege against public disclosure with respect to
state secrets regarding military, diplomatic and other national security

- Likewise, information on inter-government exchanges prior to the

conclusion of treaties and executive agreements may be subject to
reasonable safeguards for the sake of national interest.

trade secrets and banking transactions – as provided by the Intellectual

Property Code

- The drafters of the Constitution also unequivocally affirmed that, aside from
national security matters and intelligence information, trade or industrial
secrets as well as banking transactions are also exempted from compulsory

criminal matters – those relating to the apprehension, the prosecution and

detention of criminals

- Also excluded are classified law enforcement matters, such as those

relating to the apprehension, the prosecution and the detention of criminals,
which courts may not inquire into prior to such arrest, detention and
prosecution. Efforts at effective law enforcement would be seriously
jeopardized by free public access, for example, police information regarding
rescue operations, the whereabouts of fugitives, or leads on covert criminal

other confidential matters – Ethical Standards Act

- The Ethical Standards Act further prohibits public officials and employees
from using or divulging “confidential or classified information officially known
to them by reason of their office and not made available to the public.”

- Other acknowledged limitations to information access include diplomatic

correspondence, closed door Cabinet meetings and executive sessions of
either house of Congress, as well as the internal deliberations of the Supreme

Article 9: Right to Association

It guarantees the right to form associations. It does not include the right to
compel others to form an association. But there may be situations in which, by
entering into a contract, one may also be agreeing to join an association.
- Exceptions:

If such is contrary to law (general rule)

Supervisors – are not allowed to join unions

The security guards – because they are armed; it will be easy for them to
threaten both employer and employee

Political parties to participate barangay election – the purpose is to have a

grassroots participation (walay makadaog na independent if nay big political

- The right is thus recognized as belonging to people whether employed or

unemployed, whether in the government or private sector.

- Also explicitly recognizes that the right to form associations includes the right to

- Degree of protection an association enjoys: depends on the position which the

association’s objective or activity occupies in the constitutional hierarchy of

Article 10: Non-impairment Clause

* Contract – lawful agreement involving property or property rights, whether real

or personal, tangible or intangible, which may result to an obligation between
two parties.

* Impairment – diminishes the efficacy of the contract, regardless the DEGREE.

However, with regards to remedies, impairment only occurs if all of the remedies
are withdrawn.

*Substantial impairment: A law which changes the terms of a legal contract

between parties, either in the time or mode of performance, or imposes new
conditions, or dispenses with those expressed, or authorizes for its satisfaction
something different from that provided in its terms, is law which impairs the
obligation of a contract and is thereof null and void.

* Note: there are certain contracts where in non-impairment clause does not
- Marriage Contract because this is more than a mere agreement between
the spouses as it is regarded as a social institution subject at all times to
regulation by the legislature and to change of the original condition
- The Grant of Permits or license can also be revoked. This can be done
since such permits are only certain privileges granted by the state subject
to revocation if the public welfare so requires.
- Pensions received by retirees and bonuses received by government
employees can also be revoked because they are not a property right.
Such are not a property subject to contract

Article 11: Free Access to Courts, Quasi Judicial, and Administrative Bodies

- Every person is entitled to avail the services to be provided by courts,

quasi judicial, and administrative bodies.

Indigent Person – persons who have no property or sources of income

sufficient for their support aside from their own labor through self-supporting
when able to work and in employment

Public Attorney’s Office – as mandated by law, the Public Attorney’s Office is

a tool to aid indigent persons in the exercise and protection of their right
before courts, quasi judicial, and administrative bodies.

Article 12: Rights of the Accused

The Miranda Rights

“You have the right to remain silent, anything you say will be used against
you in the courts of law, you have the right to an attorney, if you cannot hire,
one will be provided for you. Do you understand the rights I have just read to
you? With these rights in mind, do you wish to speak to me?”

These rights are very essential in an arrest to be conducted by law


Miranda Rights:

1) To person in custody must be informed at the outset in clear and

unequivocal terms that he has a right to remain silent;
2) After being so informed, he must told that anything he says can and will
be used against him in court;

3) He must be clearly informed that he has the right to consult with a

lawyer and to have a lawyer with him during the interrogation. He does not
have to ask for a lawyer. The investigators should tell him that he has the right to
counsel at that point;

4) He should be warned that not only he has the right to consult with a
lawyer but also that if he is indigent; a lawyer will be appointed to represent him;

5) Even if the person consents to answer questions without the assistance

of counsel, the moment he asks for a lawyer at any point in the investigation, the
interrogation must cease until an attorney is present;

6) If the foregoing protections and warnings are not demonstrated during

the trial to have been observed by the prosecution, no evidence obtained as a
result of the interrogation can be used against him.

Rule begins to be available

where the investigation ceases to be a general inquiry into an unsolved crime

and direction is then aimed upon a particular suspect who has been taken into
police custody and to whom the police would then direct interrogatory
questions which tend to elicit incriminating statements

* The moment the offender is in the custody of the law, such person is now
entitled of due process of law.

* The text of 1987 Constitution has preserved the phrase “person under
investigation” without the word “custodial”, to expand the coverage of the right
to situations when a person under investigation is not yet I custody. The intention
was to extend the guarantee beyond mere strict custodial investigation. The
right should extend to the period of “custodial interrogation, temporary
detention and preliminary technical custody”.

* Custodial investigations do not apply to spontaneous statements.

Article 13: Right to Bail

Right to bail – a corollary to the right to be presumed innocent, is, like the
privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, another means of immediately obtaining
liberty; enables the accused to prepare his defense

Bail – a mode of short confinement which would, with reasonable certainty,

insure the attendance of the accused

Why is bail awarded to the accused?

1) To honor the presumption of innocence until his guilt is proven beyond

reasonable doubt; and

2) To enable him to prepare his defense without being subject to punishment

prior conviction

When is the right to bail available?

When one is under the custody of the law either when he has been arrest or
has surrendered himself to the jurisdiction of the court.

* Formal charges are not necessary in order to avail the right to bail.

When is there no constitutional right to bail?

1) The offense charged must be capital [now punishable by a least reclusion


2) The evidence of guilt must be strong;

3) “It must appear that in case of conviction the defendant’s criminal liability
would probably call for capital punishment”

Factors which must be considered in determining bail:

1) Ability to post bail

2) Nature of the offense

3) Penalty imposed by law

4) Character and reputation of the accused

5) Health of the accused

6) Strength of the evidence

7) Probability of appearing for trial

8) Prior forfeiture of bonds

9) Whether the accused was a fugitive from justice when arrested

10) Whether under bond in other cases

* Since bail is constitutionally available to “all persons”, it must be available to

one who is detained even before formal charges are filed.

Forms of bail:

Corporate surety

Property bond

Cash deposit


Article 14: The Rights of an Accused

- The right against self-incrimination is made available in instances wherein

a persons tends to be incriminated in a complaint without exercising his
right to be heard, the right to counsel, and the right to be protected by
the law and the constitution.
- We may recall an instance during the Senate Hearing of the Pork Barrel
Scam, former BIR Commissioner Ms. Janet Lim – Napoles repeatedly
invoked her right against self incrimination.
- The exercise of this right protects an accused

Some of the basic rights of the accused:

- 1. Right to be presumed innocent

- 2. Right to be heard by himself and counsel
- 3. Right to be informed of the nature and cause of the charge
- 4. Right to have speedy, impartial and public trial
- 5. Right to confrontation
- 6. Right to have compulsory process

* Due process is satisfied if the accused is “informed as to why he is proceeded

against and what charge he has to meet, with his conviction being made to rest
on evidence that is not tainted with falsity after full opportunity for him rebutting
it and the sentence being imposed in accordance with law.” It is assumed that
the court that rendered judgment is one of competent jurisdiction.

* “To warrant a finding of prejudicial publicity there must be allegation and

proof that the judges have been unduly influences, not simply that they might
be, by the barrage of publicity.”

Equipoise Rule – where the evidence of the parties in a criminal case is evenly
balanced, the constitution presumption of innocence should tilt the scales in
favor of the accused. There is no equipoise rule if the evidence is not evenly
balanced. The rule cannot be invoked where the evidence of the prosecution is

Presumption of innocence

The Constitution mandates that an accused shall be presumed innocent until

the contrary is proved beyond reasonable doubt.

The prosecution has the burden to overcome such presumption of innocence

by presenting the quantum of evidence required.

The prosecution must rest on its own merits and must not rely on the weakness
of the defense.

Article 15: The Right Against the Suspension of Writ of Habeas Corpus

What is habeas corpus?

- A write directed to the person detaining another, commanding him to

produce the body of the prisoner at a designated time and place, with the day
and cause of his caption and detention, to do, submit to, and receive whatever
the court or judge awarding the writ shall consider in that behalf.

* An essential requisite for the availability of the writ is actual deprivation of

personal liberty.

What is the “privilege of the writ of habeas corpus”?

- It is the right to have an immediate determination of the legality of the

deprivation of physical liberty.

When the writ may be availed of?

1) To have the cause of his detention examined

2) To have the issue ascertained as to whether he is held under a lawful

3) As a consequence of a judicial proceeding:

a. There has been deprivation of a constitutional right resulting in the restraint of

the person

b. The court has no jurisdiction to impose the sentence

c. And excess of penalty has been imposed, since such sentence is void as to
the excess

4) Rightful custody of any person is withheld from the person entitled thereto

Article 16: The Right to Speedy Disposition of Cases

- Every person has the right to a speedy disposition of cases.

- Justice Delayed is Justice Denied.
- An exercise of the right to speedy disposition of cases is an exercise of the
right to due process.

The determination whether or not the right has been violated, the following
factors must be considered:

1) Length of delay

2) Reason for the delay

3) Assertion of the right or failure to assert it

4) Prejudice caused by the delay

Article 17: The Right Against Self Incrimination

- The right against self-incrimination is made available in instances wherein

a persons tends to be incriminated in a complaint without exercising his
right to be heard, the right to counsel, and the right to be protected by
the law and the constitution.
- We may recall an instance during the Senate Hearing of the Pork Barrel
Scam, former BIR Commissioner Ms. Janet Lim – Napoles repeatedly
invoked her right against self incrimination.
- The exercise of this right protects an accused
Article 18: The Right Against Involuntary Servitude

Involuntary Servitude

- It is every condition of enforced or compulsory service of one to another no

matter under what form of such servitude may be disguised.

Exceptions to the rule against involuntary servitude:

1) Involuntary servitude may be imposed as a punishment for a crime whereof

the party shall have been duly convicted.

2) In the interest of national defense all citizens may be compelled by law to

render personal military or civil service.

3) A return to work order.

Article 19: Right Against Inhumane, Cruel, and Degrading Punishment

Right against excessive fines; What do you mean by excessive fines?

- A fine is excessive when under any circumstance it is disproportionate to the


When is a penalty “cruel, degrading or inhuman?

- It takes more than merely being harsh, excessive, out of proportion, or severe
for a penalty to be obnoxious to the Constitution.

- The punishment must be “flagrantly and plainly oppressive”, “wholly

disproportionate to the nature of the offense as to shock the moral sense of the

* To be “cruel and unusual” or “excessive” within the meaning of the

Constitution, the penalty must be flagrantly disproportionate to the offense no
matter under what circumstances the offense may be committed; but to be
“clearly excessive” under Article 5 of RPC, it need only be disproportionate to
the circumstances of the offense and of the offender.

Is death penalty by itself cruel, degrading or inhuman?

- No. Death penalty per se is not a cruel, degrading or inhuman punishment

because unconstitutional punishment implies something inhuman and
barbarous, something more than the mere extinguishment of life.
What happens to death penalty already imposed?

- It is reduced to reclusion perpetua

What are heinous crimes?

- Crimes are heinous “for being grievous, odious and hateful offenses and which,
by reason of their inherent or manifest wickedness, viciousness, atrocity and
perversity are repugnant and outrageous to the common standards and norms
of decency and morality in a just, civilized and ordered society.

What is the duty of the judge when an accused pleads guilty to a capital

- He must not immediately impose the penalty but must first look into the
evidence to see if death is the proper penalty.

Article 20: Non Imprisonment for Non Payment of Debt

- The law does not punish any person who fails to pay the dues imposed
by the government (Taxes), provided, that the said failure to pay dues are not
deliberate, willful, and with malice (intent to defraud).

-No person shall be imprisoned for failure to pay debt, or poll tax.

- Cases of Estafa, Bouncing Checks Law are exempted from this provision.

The Constitutional Prohibition, stated in full, means:

- “No person may be imprisoned for debt in virtue of an order in a civil

proceeding, either as a substitute for satisfaction of a debt or as a means of
compelling satisfaction; but a person may be imprisoned as a penalty for a
crime arising from a contractual debt and imposed in a proper criminal

Meaning of “debt” in the provision

- It means any liability to pay money growing out of a contract, express or


May a person be imprisoned for a fraudulent debt?

- Yes, but only if:

1) The fraudulent debt constitutes a crime (e.g. estafa)

2) The debtor has been duly convicted

What is a “poll tax”?

- A poll tax can be understood as the cedula tax or residence tax.

Article 21: The Right Against Double Jeopardy

-No person shall be held to answer to an offense similar to the previous

one in which he was impleaded/instituted.

Article 22: No Ex Post Facto Law or Bill of Attainder

Ex Post Facto Law

- a law which seeks to punish a previous act which was committed during
the time when such act was not yet illegal.

Bill of Attainder

- a legislative act which seeks to substitute judicial proceedings in order to

acquire conviction of an accused.