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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW REVIEW 2-BILL OF RIGHTS Atty.

Vincent Paul Montejo

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mere fact that legislation may supplement and add to or prescribe a penalty for the violation of a self-executing constitutional provision does not render such a provision ineffective in the absence of such legislation. The omission from a constitution of any express provision for a remedy for enforcing a right or liability is not necessarily an indication that it was not intended to be self-executing. The rule is that a self-executing provision of the constitution does not necessarily exhaust legislative power on the subject, but any legislation must be in harmony with the constitution, further the exercise of constitutional right and make it more available. Subsequent legislation however does not necessarily mean that the subject constitutional provision is not, by itself, fully enforceable. Sec. 10, second par., Art. XII of the of the 1987 Constitution is a mandatory, positive command which is complete in itself and which needs no further guidelines or implementing laws or rules for its enforcement. From its very words the provision does not require any legislation to put it in operation. It is per se judicially enforceable When our Constitution mandates that [i]n the grant of rights, privileges, and concessions covering national economy and patrimony, the State shall give preference to qualified Filipinos , it means just that qualified Filipinos shall be preferred. And when our Constitution declares that a right exists in certain specified circumstances an action may be maintained to enforce such right notwithstanding the absence of any legislation on the subject; consequently, if there is no statute especially enacted to enforce such constitutional right, such right enforces itself by its own inherent potency and puissance, and from which all legislations must take their bearings. Where there is a right there is a remedy. Ubi jus ibi remedium It should be stressed that while the Malaysian firm offered the higher bid it is not yet the winning bidder. The bidding rules expressly provide that the highest bidder shall only be declared the winning bidder after it has negotiated and executed the necessary contracts, and secured the requisite approvals. Since the "Filipino First Policy provision of the Constitution bestows preference on qualified Filipinos the mere tending of the highest bid is not an assurance that the highest bidder will be declared the winning bidder. Resultantly, respondents are not bound to make the award yet, nor are they under obligation to enter into one with the highest bidder. For in choosing the awardee respondents are mandated to abide by the dictates of the 1987 Constitution the provisions of which are presumed to be known to all the bidders and other interested parties. The Filipino First Policy is a product of Philippine nationalism. It is embodied in the 1987 Constitution not merely to be used as a guideline for future legislation but primarily to be enforced; so must it be enforced. WIGBERTO E. TAADA et. al. v. EDGARDO ANGARA et. al. G.R. No. 118295 [1997] PHSC 1126 (2 May 1997) Facts: The President of the Philippines ratified the WTO Agreement which is composed of the Agreement Proper and "the associated legal instruments referred to as Multilateral Trade Agreements. On the other hand, the Final Act signed by Secretary Navarro embodies not only the WTO Agreement (and its integral annexes aforementioned) but also (1) the Ministerial Declarations and Decisions and (2) the Understanding on Commitments in Financial Services. The Ministerial Decisions and Declarations are twenty-five declarations and decisions on a wide range of matters, such as measures in favor of least developed countries, notification procedures, relationship of WTO with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and agreements on technical barriers to trade and on dispute settlement. The Understanding on Commitments in Financial Services dwell on, among other things, standstill or limitations and qualifications of commitments to existing non-conforming measures, market access, national treatment, and definitions of non-resident supplier of financial services, commercial presence and new financial service. Issue: W/N the "letter, spirit and intent" of the Constitution mandating "economic nationalism" are violated by the so-called "parity provisions" and "national treatment" clauses scattered in various parts not only of the WTO Agreement and its annexes but also in the Ministerial Decisions and Declarations and in the Understanding on Commitments in Financial Services. Ruling: It is true that in the recent case of Manila Prince Hotel vs . Government Service Insurance System , et al ., this Court held that "Sec. 10, second par., Art. XII of the 1987 Constitution is a mandatory, positive command which is complete in itself and which

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II ARTICLE III BILL OF RIGHTS INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS


I. DUE PROCESS AND EQUAL PROTECTION AS LIMITATIONS ON POLICE POWER, EMINENT DOMAIN AND TAXATION FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES ON CONSTITUTIONAL LAW AND THE BILL OF RIGHTS

A.

MANILA PRINCE HOTEL v. GOVERNMENT SERVICE INSURANCE SYSTEM, MANILA HOTEL CORPORATION, COMMITTEE ON PRIVATIZATION and OFFICE OF THE GOVERNMENT CORPORATE COUNSEL - G.R. No. 122156 [1997] PHSC 856 (3 February 1997) Facts: Respondent Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), pursuant to the privatization program of the Philippine Government under Proclamation No. 50 dated 8 December 1986, decided to sell through public bidding 30% to 51% of the issued and outstanding shares of respondent MHC. The winning bidder, or the eventual "strategic partner," is to provide management expertise and/or an international marketing/reservation system, and financial support to strengthen the profitability and performance of the Manila Hotel. In a close bidding held on 18 September 1995 only two (2) bidders participated: petitioner Manila Prince Hotel Corporation, a Filipino corporation, which offered to buy 51% of the MHC or 15,300,000 shares at P41.58 per share, and Renong Berhad, a Malaysian firm, with ITT-Sheraton as its hotel operator, which bid for the same number of shares at P44.00 per share, or P2.42 more than the bid of petitioner. Pending the declaration of Renong Berhad as the winning bidder/strategic partner and the execution of the necessary contracts, petitioner matched the bid price of P44.00 per share tendered by Renong Berha and sent a manager's check issued by Philtrust Bank for Thirty-three Million Pesos (P33.000.000.00) as Bid Security to match the bid of the Malaysian Group, Messrs Renong Berhad which respondent GSIS refused to accept. Perhaps apprehensive that respondent GSIS has disregarded the tender of the matching bid and that the sale of 51% of the MHC may be hastened by respondent GSIS and consummated with Renong Berhad, petitioner came to this Court on prohibition and mandamus. On 18 October 1995 the Court issued a temporary restraining order enjoining respondents from perfecting and consummating the sale to the Malaysian firm. Ruling: A constitution is a system of fundamental laws for the governance and administration of a nation. It is supreme, imperious, absolute and unalterable except by the authority from which it emanates. It has been defined as the fundamental and paramount law of the nation. It prescribes the permanent framework of a system of government, assigns to the different departments their respective powers and duties, and establishes certain fixed principles on which government is founded. The fundamental conception in other words is that it is a supreme law to which all other laws must conform and in accordance with which all private rights must be determined and all public authority administered. Under the doctrine of constitutional supremacy, if a law or contract violates any norm of the constitution that law or contract whether promulgated by the legislative or by the executive branch or entered into by private persons for private purposes is null and void and without any force and effect. Thus, since the Constitution is the fundamental, paramount and supreme law of the nation, it is deemed written in every statute and contract. Quite apparently, Sec. 10, second par., of Art XII is couched in such a way as not to make it appear that it is non-self-executing but simply for purposes of style. But, certainly, the legislature is not precluded from enacting other further laws to enforce the constitutional provision so long as the contemplated statute squares with the Constitution. Minor details may be left to the legislature without impairing the selfexecuting nature of constitutional provisions. In self-executing constitutional provisions, the legislature may still enact legislation to facilitate the exercise of powers directly granted by the constitution, further the operation of such a provision, prescribe a practice to be used for its enforcement, provide a convenient remedy for the protection of the rights secured or the determination thereof, or place reasonable safeguards around the exercise of the right. The

Compiled by: Thyrza Marbas/Percy Donalvo/Carrie Mae Bangayan

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW REVIEW 2-BILL OF RIGHTS Atty. Vincent Paul Montejo


needs no further guidelines or implementing laws or rule for its enforcement. From its very words the provision does not require any legislation to put it in operation. It is per se judicially enforceable." However, as the constitutional provision itself states, it is enforceable only in regard to "the grants of rights, privileges and concessions covering national economy and patrimony" and not to every aspect of trade and commerce. It refers to exceptions rather than the rule. The issue here is not whether this paragraph of Sec. 10 of Art. XII is selfexecuting or not. Rather, the issue is whether, as a rule, there are enough balancing provisions in the Constitution to allow the Senate to ratify the Philippine concurrence in the WTO Agreement. And we hold that there are. While the Constitution indeed mandates a bias in favor of Filipino goods, services, labor and enterprises, at the same time, it recognizes the need for business exchange with the rest of the world on the bases of equality and reciprocity and limits protection of Filipino enterprises only against foreign competition and trade practices that are unfair. In other words, the Constitution did not intend to pursue an isolationist policy. It did not shut out foreign investments, goods and services in the development of the Philippine economy. While the Constitution does not encourage the unlimited entry of foreign goods, services and investments into the country, it does not prohibit them either. In fact, it allows an exchange on the basis of equality and reciprocity, frowning only on foreign competition that is unfair. Furthermore, the constitutional policy of a "self-reliant and independent national economy" does not necessarily rule out the entry of foreign investments, goods and services. It contemplates neither "economic seclusion" nor "mendicancy in the international community." The WTO reliance on "most favored nation," "national treatment," and "trade without discrimination" cannot be struck down as unconstitutional as in fact they are rules of equality and reciprocity that apply to all WTO members. Aside from envisioning a trade policy based on "equality and reciprocity," the fundamental law encourages industries that are "competitive in both domestic and foreign markets," thereby demonstrating a clear policy against a sheltered domestic trade environment, but one in favor of the gradual development of robust industries that can compete with the best in the foreign markets. Constitutions are designed to meet not only the vagaries of contemporary events. They should be interpreted to cover even future and unknown circumstances. It is to the credit of its drafters that a Constitution can withstand the assaults of bigots and infidels but at the same time bend with the refreshing winds of change necessitated by unfolding events. JUAN DOMINO v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, NARCISO Ra. GRAFILO, JR., EDDY B. JAVA, JUAN P. BAYONITO, JR., ROSARIO SAMSON and DIONISIO P. LIM, SR. LUCILLE CHIONGBIAN-SOLON, intervenor. - G.R. No. 134015 [1999] PHSC 513 (19 July 1999) Facts: On 25 March 1998, DOMINO filed his certificate of candidacy for the position of Representative of the Lone Legislative District of the Province of Sarangani indicating in his certificate that he had resided in the constituency where he seeks to be elected for one (1) year and two (2) months immediately preceding the election. On 30 March 1998, private respondents Narciso Ra. Grafilo, Jr., Eddy B. Java, Juan P. Bayonito, Jr., Rosario Samson and Dionisio P. Lim, Sr., filed with the COMELEC a Petition to Deny Due Course to or Cancel Certificate of Candidacy of DOMINO alleging that DOMINO, contrary to his declaration in the certificate of candidacy, is not a resident, much less a registered voter, of the province of Sarangani where he seeks election. On 6 May 1998, the COMELEC 2nd Division promulgated a resolution declaring DOMINO disqualified as candidate for the position of representative of the lone district of Sarangani for lack of the one-year residence requirement and likewise ordered the cancellation of his certificate of candidacy. On 11 May 1998, the day of the election, the COMELEC issued Supplemental Omnibus Resolution No. 3046, ordering that the votes cast for DOMINO be counted but to suspend the proclamation if winning, considering that the Resolution disqualifying him as candidate had not yet become final and executory. The result of the election, per Statement of Votes certified by the Chairman of the Provincial Board of Canvassers, shows that DOMINO garnered the highest number of votes over his opponents for the position of Congressman of the Province of Sarangani. On 15 May 1998, DOMINO filed a motion for reconsideration of the Resolution dated 6 May 1998, which was denied by the COMELEC en banc in its decision dated 29 May 1998. Hence, the present Petition for

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Certiorari with prayer for Preliminary Mandatory Injunction alleging, in the main, that the COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to excess or lack of jurisdiction when it ruled that he did not meet the one-year residence requirement. Ruling: (from the separate opinionthe topic fundamental principles of consti law is not categorically discussed in the decision) When the Constitution speaks of residence, the word should be understood, consistent with Webster, to mean actual, physical and personal presence in the district that a candidate seeks to represent. In other words, the candidate's presence should be substantial enough to show by overts acts his intention to fulfill the duties of the position he seeks. The Constitution is the most basic law of the land. It enshrines the most cherished aspirations and ideals of the population at large. It is not a document reserved only for scholarly disquisition by the most eminent legal minds of the land. In ascertaining its import, lawyers are not meant to quibble over it, to define its legal niceties, or to articulate its nuances. Its contents and words should be interpreted in the sense understood by the ordinary men and women who place their lives on the line in its defense and who pin their hopes for a better life on its fulfillment. The call for simplicity in understanding and interpreting our Constitution has been made a number of times. About three decades ago, this Court declared: It is to be assumed that the words in which constitutional provisions are couched express the objective sought to be attained. They are to be given their ordinary meaning except where technical terms are employed in which case the significance thus attached to them prevails. As the Constitution is not primarily a lawyer's document, it being essential for the rule of law to obtain that it should ever be present in the people's consciousness, its language as much as possible should be understood in the sense they have in common use. What it says according to the text of the provision to be construed compels acceptance and negates the power of the courts to alter it, based on the postulate that the framers and the people mean what they say. Thus there are cases where the need for construction is reduced to a minimum. Petitioner Juan Domino having failed to adduce sufficient convincing evidence to prove his actual, physical and personal presence in the district of Sarangani for at least one year prior to the 1998 elections, rendered him ineligible and his election to office null and void. Rev. Ely Velez Pamatong v. Commission on Elections. - G.R. No. 161872 [2004] PHSC 379 (13 April 2004) Facts: Petitioner Rev. Elly Velez Pamatong filed his Certificate of Candidacy for President on December 17, 2003. Respondent Commission on Elections (COMELEC) refused to give due course to petitioners Certificate of Candidacy. On January 15, 2004, petitioner moved for reconsideration was denied by the COMELEC. The COMELEC declared petitioner and thirty-five (35) others nuisance candidates who could not wage a nationwide campaign and/or are not nominated by a political party or are not supported by a registered political party with a national constituency. In this Petition For Writ of Certiorari, petitioner seeks to reverse the resolutions which were allegedly rendered in violation of his right to equal access to opportunities for public service under Section 26, Article II of the 1987 Constitution, by limiting the number of qualified candidates only to those who can afford to wage a nationwide campaign and/or are nominated by political parties. In so doing, petitioner argues that the COMELEC indirectly amended the constitutional provisions on the electoral process and limited the power of the sovereign people to choose their leaders. The COMELEC supposedly erred in disqualifying him since he is the most qualified among all the presidential candidates, i.e., he possesses all the constitutional and legal qualifications for the office of the president, he is capable of waging a national campaign since he has numerous national organizations under his leadership, he also has the capacity to wage an international campaign since he has practiced law in other countries, and he has a platform of government. Petitioner likewise attacks the validity of the form for the Certificate of Candidacy prepared by the COMELEC. Petitioner claims that the form does not provide clear and reasonable guidelines for determining the qualifications of candidates since it does not ask for the candidates bio-data and his program of government. Ruling: There is no constitutional right to run for or hold public office and, particularly in his case, to seek the presidency. What is recognized is merely a privilege subject to limitations imposed by

Compiled by: Thyrza Marbas/Percy Donalvo/Carrie Mae Bangayan

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW REVIEW 2-BILL OF RIGHTS Atty. Vincent Paul Montejo


law. Section 26, Article II of the Constitution neither bestows such a right nor elevates the privilege to the level of an enforceable right. There is nothing in the plain language of the provision which suggests such a thrust or justifies an interpretation of the sort. The equal access provision is a subsumed part of Article II of the Constitution, entitled Declaration of Principles and State Policies. The provisions under the Article are generally considered not selfexecuting, and there is no plausible reason for according a different treatment to the equal access provision. Like the rest of the policies enumerated in Article II, the provision does not contain any judicially enforceable constitutional right but merely specifies a guideline for legislative or executive action. The disregard of the provision does not give rise to any cause of action before the courts. Obviously, the provision is not intended to compel the State to enact positive measures that would accommodate as many people as possible into public office. The approval of the Davide amendment indicates the design of the framers to cast the provision as simply enunciatory of a desired policy objective and not reflective of the imposition of a clear State burden. As earlier noted, the privilege of equal access to opportunities to public office may be subjected to limitations. Some valid limitations specifically on the privilege to seek elective office are found in the provisions of the Omnibus Election Code on Nuisance Candidates and COMELEC Resolution No. 6452 dated December 10, 2002 outlining the instances wherein the COMELEC may motu proprio refuse to give due course to or cancel a Certificate of Candidacy. As long as the limitations apply to everybody equally without discrimination, however, the equal access clause is not violated. Equality is not sacrificed as long as the burdens engendered by the limitations are meant to be borne by anyone who is minded to file a certificate of candidacy. In the case at bar, there is no showing that any person is exempt from the limitations or the burdens which they create. Significantly, petitioner does not challenge the constitutionality or validity of Section 69 of the Omnibus Election Code and COMELEC Resolution No. 6452 dated 10 December 2003. Thus, their presumed validity stands and has to be accorded due weight. Clearly, therefore, petitioners reliance on the equal access clause in Section 26, Article II of the Constitution is misplaced. ARMANDO G. YRASUEGUI v. PHILIPPINE AIRLINES, INC., G.R. No. 168081October 17, 2008 Facts: Petitioner Armando G. Yrasuegui was a former international flight steward of Philippine Airlines, Inc. (PAL). He stands five feet and eight inches (58) with a large body frame. The proper weight for a man of his height and body structure is from 147 to 166 pounds, the ideal weight being 166 pounds, as mandated by the Cabin and Crew Administration Manual of PAL. Due to his weight problem, PAL advised him to go on an extended vacation leave to address his weight concerns. Subsequently, for failure to meet the companys weight standards despite being given leave to trim down, he was removed from flight duty. Despite the lapse of a ninety-day period given him to reach his ideal weight, petitioner remained overweight. On January 3, 1990, he was informed of the PAL decision for him to remain grounded until such time that he satisfactorily complies with the weight standards. On November 13, 1992, PAL finally served petitioner a Notice of Administrative Charge for violation of company standards on weight requirements. He was given ten (10) days from receipt of the charge within which to file his answer and submit controverting evidence. On June 15, 1993, petitioner was formally informed by PAL that due to his inability to attain his ideal weight, and considering the utmost leniency extended to him which spanned a period covering a total of almost five (5) years, his services were considered terminated effective immediately. His motion for reconsideration having been denied, petitioner filed a complaint for illegal dismissal against PAL. The petitioner now invokes the equal protection guaranty of the Constitution. Ruling: In the absence of governmental interference, the liberties guaranteed by the Constitution cannot be invoked. Put differently, the Bill of Rights is not meant to be invoked against acts of private individuals. Indeed, the United States Supreme Court, in interpreting the Fourteenth Amendment, which is the source of our equal

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protection guarantee, is consistent in saying that the equal protection erects no shield against private conduct, however discriminatory or wrongful. Private actions, no matter how egregious, cannot violate the equal protection guarantee.

B.

BASIC PRINCIPLES ON THE FUNDAMENTAL POWERS OF THE STATE, THEIR CHARACTERISTICS, SIMILARITIES AND DISTINCTIONS, AND THEIR LIMITATIONS DUE PROCESS IN GENERAL ARTICLE III, SECTION 1, 1987 CONSTITUTION

C.

Procedural and Substantive Publication of Laws TANADA RULING, E.O. 200


THE SUMMARY DISMISSAL BOARD AND THE REGIONAL APPELLATE BOARD, PNP, REGION VI, ILOILO CITY v. C/INSP. LAZARO TORCITA - G.R. No. 130442 [2000] PHSC 490 (6 April 2000) Facts: Twelve administrative complaints were filed against C/Insp. Lazaro Torcita, by Manuel Puey, Jesus Puey, Alex Edwin del Rosario. The twelve administrative complaints were the subject of administrative hearings before the Summary Dismissal Board of the PNP. At the pre-trial, the parties and their respective counsels agreed that the twelve cases shall be consolidated into one "major complaint" for "conduct unbecoming of a police officer" under Par. e, Sec. 3, Rule II, Memorandum Circular No. 92-006 pursuant to RA 6975. The Board did not find sufficient evidence to establish that Torcita threatened anybody with a gun, nor that a serious confrontation took place between the parties. The Board also found that there was no sufficient evidence that the urinating incident took place, and held that the charges of violation of domicile and illegal search were not proven. The Board found that Lazaro Torcita was "in the performance of his official duties when the incident happened; however, he committed a breach of internal discipline by taking alcoholic drinks while in the performance of same. Whereupon, C/Insp. Torcita filed a petition for certiorari in the Regional Trial Court of Iloilo City, Branch 31, questioning the legality of the conviction of an offense for which he was not charged, "which conviction is a nullity because of the lack of procedural due process of law." Ruling: It is glaringly apparent from a reading of the titles of the twelve administrative cases filed against C/Insp. Torcita, earlier quoted, that none of the charges or offenses mentioned or made reference to the specific act of being drunk while in the performance of official duty. The records do not bear out the specific acts or conduct constituting the charge/offense in the twelve cases which were consolidated at the pre-hearing conference into a single case of "Conduct Unbecoming of a Police Officer." Notably, there is no indication or warning at all in the summary dismissal proceedings that C/Insp. Torcita was also being charged with breach of internal discipline consisting of taking alcoholic drinks while in the performance of his duties. The omission is fatal to the validity of the judgment finding him guilty of the offense for which he was not notified nor charged. Summary dismissal proceedings are governed by specific requirements of notification of the charges together with copies of affidavits and other attachments supporting the complaints, and the filing of an answer, together with supporting documents. It is true that consistent with its summary nature, the duration of the hearing is limited, and the manner of conducting the hearing is summary, in that sworn statements may take the place of oral testimonies of witnesses, cross-examination is confined only to material and relevant matters, and prolonged arguments and dilatory proceedings shall not be entertained. (Section 4, Memorandum Circular No. 92-006). However, notification of the charges contemplates that respondent be informed of the specific charges against him. Torcita was entitled to know that he was being charged with being drunk while in the performance of duty, so that he could traverse the accusation squarely and adduce evidence in his defense. Although he was given an opportunity to be heard on the multiple and broad charges initially filed against him, the absence of specification of the offense for which he was eventually found guilty is not a proper observance

Compiled by: Thyrza Marbas/Percy Donalvo/Carrie Mae Bangayan

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW REVIEW 2-BILL OF RIGHTS Atty. Vincent Paul Montejo


of due process. There can be no short-cut to the legal process (Alonte vs. Savellano Jr., 287 SCRA 245). It is a requirement of due process that the parties be informed of how the litigation was decided with an explanation of the factual and legal reasons that led to the conclusions of the Court (ABD Overseas Manpower Corp. vs. NLRC, 286 SCRA 454).

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extradition proceedings is the need to be more deferential to the judgment of a co-equal branch of the government, the Executive, which has been endowed by our Constitution with greater power over matters involving our foreign relations. Needless to state, this balance of interests is not a static but a moving balance which can be adjusted as the extradition process moves from the administrative stage to the judicial stage and to the execution stage depending on factors that will come into play. In sum, we rule that the temporary hold on private respondent's privilege of notice and hearing is a soft restraint on his right to due process which will not deprive him of fundamental fairness should he decide to resist the request for his extradition to the United States. There is no denial of due process as long as fundamental fairness is assured a party. ARNOLD P. MOLLANEDA v. LEONIDA C. UMACOB - G.R. No. 140128 [2001] PHSC 1429 (6 June 2001) Facts: The case stemmed from the affidavit-complaint for sexual harassment filed by Leonida Umacob against Arnold Mollaneda with the Civil Service Commission - Regional Office XI, Davao City (CSCRO XI) in September 1994. On July 7, 1997, the Commission issued Resolution No. 973277 finding petitioner guilty of grave misconduct and conduct grossly prejudicial to the best interest of the service. He was meted the penalty of dismissal from the government service with all its accessory penalties. Forthwith, petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration but was denied in Resolution No. 981761. Feeling aggrieved, petitioner filed with the Court of Appeals a petition for review but the Court of Appeals rendered its Decision affirming in toto Resolution No. 973277 of the Commission. Issue: W/N the petitioner is denied his right to due process Ruling: No. The fact that the Commission assigned Atty. Buena to hear and receive evidence does not render its factual findings unworthy of credence. In laying down the precedent that the matter of assigning values to the testimony of witnesses is best performed by trial courts or administrative bodies rather than by appellate courts, this Court merely recognizes that the trial court or the administrative body as a trier of facts is in a better position to assess the demeanor of the witnesses and the credibility of their testimonies as they were within its proximal view during the hearing or investigation. At any rate, it cannot be gainsaid that the term "administrative body or agency" includes the subordinate officials upon whose hand the body or agency delegates a portion of its authority. Included therein are the hearing officers through whose eyes and ears the administrative body or agency observes the demeanor, conduct and attitude of the witnesses and listens to their testimonies. It must be emphasized that the appointment of competent officers to hear and receive evidence is commonly resorted to by administrative bodies or agencies in the interest of an orderly and efficient disposition of administrative cases. It must be addressed that, the Commission's act of delegating the authority to hear and receive evidence to Atty. Buena is not without legal basis. Section 47, Book V of Executive Order No. 292 (otherwise known as the Administrative Code of 1987) provides that the Commission may deputize any department or agency or official or group of officials to conduct an investigation on the complaint filed by a private citizen against a government official or employee. The results of the investigation shall be submitted to the Commission with recommendation as to the penalty to be imposed or other action to be taken. Going further, petitioner complains that he was not furnished a copy of Atty. Buena's notes and recommendation. The Court cannot empathize with him. In Ruiz v. Drilon , we unequivocally held that a respondent in an administrative case is not entitled to be informed of the findings and recommendation of any investigating committee created to inquire into the charges filed against him. He is entitled only to the administrative decision based on substantial evidence made of record and a reasonable opportunity to meet the charges and the evidence presented against him during the hearing. Besides, Atty. Buena's findings and recommendation are internal communications between him and the Commission and, therefore, confidential. The Report remains an internal and confidential matter to be used as part - although not controlling - of the basis for the decision. Only when the party adversely affected by the decision has filed and perfected an appeal to the Civil Service Commission may all the records of the case, including the aforesaid Report be forwarded to the CSC. In the latter appellate tribunal, the respondent's counsel may be allowed to read and/or be given a copy of the Report to

SECRETARY OF JUSTICE v. HON. RALPH C. LANTION, Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch 25, and MARK B. JIMENEZ - G.R. No. 139465. [2000] PHSC 1176 (17 October 2000) Issue: W/N Mark Jimenez is entitled to the due process right to notice and hearing during the evaluation stage of the extradition process Ruling: No, he is not entitled to right to notice and hearing during the evaluation stage of the extradition process. An extradition proceeding is sui generis. It is not a criminal proceeding which will call into operation all the rights of an accused as guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. To begin with, the process of extradition does not involve the determination of the guilt or innocence of an accused. His guilt or innocence will be adjudged in the court of the state where he will be extradited. Hence, as a rule, constitutional rights that are only relevant to determine the guilt or innocence of an accused cannot be invoked by an extraditee especially by one whose extradition papers are still undergoing evaluation. Private respondent would also impress upon the Court the urgency of his right to notice and hearing considering the alleged threat to his liberty "which may be more priceless than life." The supposed threat to private respondents liberty is perceived to come from several provisions of the RP-US Extradition Treaty and P.D. No. 1069 which allow provisional arrest and temporary detention. To be sure, private respondents plea for due process deserves serious consideration involving as it does his primordial right to liberty. His plea to due process, however, collides with important state interests which cannot also be ignored for they serve the interest of the greater majority. The clash of rights demands a delicate balancing of interests approach which is a "fundamental postulate of constitutional law." The approach requires that we "take conscious and detailed consideration of the interplay of interests observable in a given situation or type of situation." These interests usually consist in the exercise by an individual of his basic freedoms on the one hand, and the governments promotion of fundamental public interest or policy objectives on the other. In the case at bar, on one end of the balancing pole is the private respondents claim to due process predicated on Section 1, Article III of the Constitution, which provides that "No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law . . ." Without a bubble of doubt, procedural due process of law lies at the foundation of a civilized society which accords paramount importance to justice and fairness. It has to be accorded the weight it deserves. Considering that in the case at bar, the extradition proceeding is only at its evaluation stage, the nature of the right being claimed by the private respondent is nebulous and the degree of prejudice he will allegedly suffer is weak, we accord greater weight to the interests espoused by the government thru the petitioner Secretary of Justice. In tilting the balance in favor of the interests of the State, the Court stresses that it is not ruling that the private respondent has no right to due process at all throughout the length and breadth of the extrajudicial proceedings. Procedural due process requires a determination of what process is due, when it is due, and the degree of what is due. Stated otherwise, a prior determination should be made as to whether procedural protections are at all due and when they are due, which in turn depends on the extent to which an individual will be "condemned to suffer grievous loss ." We have explained why an extraditee has no right to notice and hearing during the evaluation stage of the extradition process. As aforesaid, P.D. No. 1069 which implements the RP-US Extradition Treaty affords an extraditee sufficient opportunity to meet the evidence against him once the petition is filed in court. The time for the extraditee to know the basis of the request for his extradition is merely moved to the filing in court of the formal petition for extradition. The extraditee's right to know is momentarily withheld during the evaluation stage of the extradition process to accommodate the more compelling interest of the State to prevent escape of potential extraditees which can be precipitated by premature information of the basis of the request for his extradition. No less compelling at that stage of the

Compiled by: Thyrza Marbas/Percy Donalvo/Carrie Mae Bangayan

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW REVIEW 2-BILL OF RIGHTS Atty. Vincent Paul Montejo


enable the appellant to file an intelligent and exhaustive appellant's Brief Memorandum." (Norlyn Tantay) G.R. No. 142943 April 3, 2002 Spouses ANTONIO and LORNA QUISUMBING vs.MANILA ELECTRIC COMPANY (MERALCO) Under the law, the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) may immediately disconnect electric service on the ground of alleged meter tampering, but only if the discovery of the cause is personally witnessed and attested to by an officer of the law or by a duly authorized representative of the Energy Regulatory Board. Facts: Plaintiffs-appellees Spouses Antonio and Lorna Quisumbing are owners of a house and lot located at Quezon City, from Ms. Carmina Serapio Santos. On March 3, 1995 at around 9:00 a.m., defendant-appellant's inspectors headed by Emmanuel C. Orlino were assigned to conduct a routine-on-the-spot inspection of all single phase meters at Greenmeadows Avenue. House no. 94 of Block 8, Lot 19 Greenmeadows Avenue owned by plaintiffs-appellees was inspected after observing a standard operating procedure of asking permission from plaintiffs-appellees, through their secretary which was granted. The secretary witnessed the inspection. After the inspection, defendant-appellant's inspectors discovered that the terminal seal of the meter was missing; the meter cover seal was deformed; the meter dials of the meter was mis-aligned and there were scratches on the meter base plate. Defendant-appellant's inspectors relayed the matter to plaintiffs-appellees' secretary, who in turn relayed the same to plaintiff-appellee, Lorna Quisumbing, who was outraged of the result of the inspection and denied liability as to the tampering of the meter. Plaintiffs-appellees were advised by defendant-appellant's inspectors that they had to detach the meter and bring it to their laboratory for verification/confirmation of their findings. In the event the meter turned out to be tampered, defendant-appellant had to temporarily disconnect the electric services of plaintiffs-appellees. After an hour, defendant-appellant's head inspector, E. Orlina returned to the residence of plaintiffs-appellees and informed them that the meter had been tampered and unless they pay the amount of P178,875.01 representing the differential billing, their electric supply would be disconnected. Orlina informed plaintiffs-appellees that they were just following their standard operating procedure. However, on the same day at around 2:00 o'clock in the afternoon defendantappellant's officer through a two-way radio instructed its service inspector headed by Mr. Orlino to reconnect plaintiffs-appellees' electric service which the latter faithfully complied. On March 6, 1995, plaintiffs-appellees filed a complaint for damages with prayer for the issuance of a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction, despite the immediate reconnection, to order defendantappellant to furnish electricity to the plaintiffs-appellees alleging that defendant-appellant acted with wanton, capricious, malicious and malevolent manner in disconnecting their power supply which was done without due process, and without due regard for their rights, feelings, peace of mind, social and business reputation. The trial court held that Meralco (herein respondent) should have given the Quisumbing spouses (herein petitioners) ample opportunity to dispute the alleged meter tampering. The Court of Appeals overturned the trial court's ruling and dismissed the Complaint. Hence, this Petition. Issue: WON respondent observed the requisites of law when it disconnected the electrical supply of petitioners. Held: No. Petitioners contend that the immediate disconnection of electrical service was not validly effected because of respondent's noncompliance with the relevant provisions of RA 7832, the "AntiElectricity and Electric Transmission Lines/Materials Pilferage Act of 1994. We agree with petitioners. Section 4 of RA 7832 states: (a) The presence of any of the following circumstances shall constitute prima facie evidence of illegal use of electricity, as defined in this Act, by the person benefitted thereby, and shall be the basis for: (1) the immediate disconnection by the electric utility to such person after due notice, x x x xxx xxx xxx (viii) x x x Provided, however, That the discovery of any of the foregoing circumstances, in order to constitute prima facie evidence, must be personally witnessed and attested to by an officer of the law or a duly authorized

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representative of the Energy Regulatory Board (ERB)."9 (Italics supplied) Under the above provision, the prima facie presumption that will authorize immediate disconnection will arise only upon the satisfaction of certain requisites. One of these requisites is the personal witnessing and attestation by an officer of the law or by an authorized ERB representative when the discovery was made. A careful review of the evidence on record negates the appellate court's holding that "the actions of defendant-appellant's service inspectors were all in accord with the requirement of the law." Respondent's own witnesses provided the evidence on who were actually present when the inspection was made. These testimonies clearly show that at the time the alleged meter tampering was discovered, only the Meralco inspection team and petitioners' secretary were present. Plainly, there was no officer of the law or ERB representative at that time. Because of the absence of government representatives, the prima facie authority to disconnect, granted to Meralco by RA 7832, cannot apply. Neither can respondent find solace in the fact that petitioners' secretary was present at the time the inspection was made. The law clearly states that for the prima facie evidence to apply, the discovery "must be personally witnessed and attested to by an officer of the law or a duly authorized representative of the Energy Regulatory Board (ERB)."15 Had the law intended the presence of the owner or his/her representative to suffice, then it should have said so. Embedded in our jurisprudence is the rule that courts may not construe a statute that is free from doubt.16 Where the law is clear and unambiguous, it must be taken to mean exactly what it says, and courts have no choice but to see to it that the mandate is obeyed. Neither can we accept respondent's argument that when the alleged tampered meter was brought to Meralco's laboratory for testing, there was already an ERB representative present. The law says that before immediate disconnection may be allowed, the discovery of the illegal use of electricity must have been personally witnessed and attested to by an officer of the law or by an authorized ERB representative. In this case, the disconnection was effected immediately after the discovery of the alleged meter tampering, which was witnessed only by Meralco's employees. That the ERB representative was allegedly present when the meter was examined in the Meralco laboratory will not cure the defect. It is undisputed that after members of the Meralco team conducted their inspection and found alleged meter tampering, they immediately disconnected petitioners' electrical supply. Neither may respondent rely on its alleged contractual right to disconnect electrical service based on Exhibits "10"22 and "11," or on Decisions of the Board of Energy (now the Energy Regulatory Board). Petitioners' situation can fall under disconnection only "in case of or to prevent fraud upon the Company." However, this too has requisites before a disconnection may be made. An adjusted bill shall be prepared, and only upon failure to pay it may the company discontinue service. This is also true in regard to the provisions of Revised Order No. 1 of the former Public Service Commission, which requires a 48-hour written notice before a disconnection may be justified. In the instant case, these requisites were obviously not complied with. G.R. No. 111397 August 12, 2002 HON. ALFREDO LIM and RAFAELITO GARAYBLAS vs. THE COURT OF APPEALS, HON. WILFREDO REYES and BISTRO PIGALLE, INC. Facts: On December 7, 1992 Bistro filed before the trial court a petition for mandamus and prohibition, with prayer for temporary restraining order or writ of preliminary injunction, against Lim in his capacity as Mayor of the City of Manila. Bistro filed the case because policemen under Lims instructions inspected and investigated Bistros license as well as the work permits and health certificates of its staff. This caused the stoppage of work in Bistros night club and restaurant operations. Lim also refused to accept Bistros application for a business license, as well as the work permit applications of Bistros staff, for the year 1993. However, despite the trial courts order, Lim still issued a closure order on Bistros operations effective January 23, 1993, even sending policemen to carry out his closure order.

Compiled by: Thyrza Marbas/Percy Donalvo/Carrie Mae Bangayan

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW REVIEW 2-BILL OF RIGHTS Atty. Vincent Paul Montejo


Meanwhile, on February 17, 1993, Lim filed a motion to dissolve the injunctive order of January 20, 1993 and to dismiss the case. Lim insisted that the power of a mayor to inspect and investigate commercial establishments and their staff is implicit in the statutory power of the city mayor to issue, suspend or revoke business permits and licenses. This statutory power is expressly provided for in Section 11 (l), Article II of the Revised Charter of the City of Manila and in Section 455, paragraph 3 (iv) of the Local Government Code of 1991. The trial court denied Lims motion to dissolve the injunction and to dismiss the case. On March 10, 1993, Lim filed with the Court of Appeals a petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus against Bistro and Judge Wilfredo Reyes. Lim claimed that the trial judge committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction in issuing the writ of prohibitory preliminary injunction. On March 25, 1993, the Court of Appeals rendered the assailed decision. In a resolution dated July 13, 1993, the Court of Appeals denied Lims motion for reconsideration. On July 1, 1993, Manila City Ordinance No. 778314 took effect. On the same day, Lim ordered the Western Police District Command to permanently close down the operations of Bistro, which order the police implemented at once. Hence, this petition. Issue: WON Lim, as mayor, has the power/authority to close down Bistros business or any establishment in Manila without notice and hearing (due process). Held: No. The authority of mayors to issue business licenses and permits is beyond question. The law expressly provides for such authority. However, the power to suspend or revoke these licenses and permits is expressly premised on the violation of the conditions of these permits and licenses. The laws specifically refer to the "violation of the condition(s)" on which the licenses and permits were issued. Similarly, the power to refuse to issue such licenses and permits is premised on non-compliance with the prerequisites for the issuance of such licenses and permits. The mayor must observe due process in exercising these powers, which means that the mayor must give the applicant or licensee notice and opportunity to be heard. True, the mayor has the power to inspect and investigate private commercial establishments for any violation of the conditions of their licenses and permits. However, the mayor has no power to order a police raid on these establishments in the guise of inspecting or investigating these commercial establishments. Lim acted beyond his authority when he directed policemen to raid the New Bangkok Club and the Exotic Garden Restaurant. Such act of Lim violated Ordinance No. 7716 which expressly prohibits police raids and inspections. Lim has no authority to close down Bistros business or any business establishment in Manila without due process of law. Lim cannot take refuge under the Revised Charter of the City of Manila and the Local Government Code. There is no provision in these laws expressly or impliedly granting the mayor authority to close down private commercial establishments without notice and hearing, and even if there is, such provision would be void. The due process clause of the Constitution requires that Lim should have given Bistro an opportunity to rebut the allegations that it violated the conditions of its licenses and permits. Lims zeal in his campaign against prostitution is commendable. The presumption is that he acted in good faith and was motivated by his concern for his constituents when he implemented his campaign against prostitution in the Ermita-Malate area. However, there is no excusing Lim for arbitrarily closing down, without due process of law, the business operations of Bistro. For this reason, the trial court properly restrained the acts of Lim. G.R. No. 164171 February 20, 2006 G.R. No. 164172 February 20, 2006 G.R. No. 168741 February 20, 2006 EXECUTIVE vs. SOUTHWING Facts: On December 12, 2002, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, through Executive Secretary Alberto G. Romulo, issued EO 156, entitled "Providing for a comprehensive industrial policy and directions for the motor vehicle development program and its implementing guidelines. The issuance of EO 156 spawned three separate actions for declaratory relief before Branch 72 of the Regional Trial Court of

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Olongapo City, all seeking the declaration of the unconstitutionality of Article 2, Section 3.1 of said executive order. The cases were filed by herein respondent entities, who or whose members, are classified as Subic Bay Freeport Enterprises and engaged in the business of, among others, importing and/or trading used motor vehicles. Issue: WON EO 156 complied with the procedures and limitations imposed by law. Held: As in the enactment of laws, the general rule is that, the promulgation of administrative issuances requires previous notice and hearing, the only exception being where the legislature itself requires it and mandates that the regulation shall be based on certain facts as determined at an appropriate investigation.23 This exception pertains to the issuance of legislative rules as distinguished from interpretative rules which give no real consequence more than what the law itself has already prescribed; 24 and are designed merely to provide guidelines to the law which the administrative agency is in charge of enforcing.25 A legislative rule, on the other hand, is in the nature of subordinate legislation, crafted to implement a primary legislation. In Commissioner of Internal Revenue v. Court of Appeals, and Commissioner of Internal Revenue v. Michel J. Lhuillier Pawnshop, Inc., the Court enunciated the doctrine that when an administrative rule goes beyond merely providing for the means that can facilitate or render less cumbersome the implementation of the law and substantially increases the burden of those governed, it behooves the agency to accord at least to those directly affected a chance to be heard and, thereafter, to be duly informed, before the issuance is given the force and effect of law. In the instant case, EO 156 is obviously a legislative rule as it seeks to implement or execute primary legislative enactments intended to protect the domestic industry by imposing a ban on the importation of a specified product not previously subject to such prohibition. The due process requirements in the issuance thereof are embodied in Section 401 of the Tariff and Customs Code and Sections 5 and 9 of the SMA which essentially mandate the conduct of investigation and public hearings before the regulatory measure or importation ban may be issued. In the present case, respondents neither questioned before this Court nor with the courts below the procedure that paved the way for the issuance of EO 156. What they challenged in their petitions before the trial court was the absence of "substantive due process" in the issuance of the EO. Their main contention before the court a quo is that the importation ban is illogical and unfair because it unreasonably drives them out of business to the prejudice of the national economy. Considering the settled principle that in the absence of strong evidence to the contrary, acts of the other branches of the government are presumed to be valid, and there being no objection from the respondents as to the procedure in the promulgation of EO 156, the presumption is that said executive issuance duly complied with the procedures and limitations imposed by law. G.R. No. 127980 December 19, 2007 DE LA SALLE UNIVERSITY, INC. vs.THE COURT OF APPEALS Facts: Gleaned from the May 3, 1995 Decision of the DLSU-CSB Joint Discipline Board, two violent incidents on March 29, 1995 involving private respondents occurred. The mauling incidents were a result of a fraternity war. The victims, namely: petitioner James Yap and Dennis Pascual, Ericson Cano, and Michael Perez, are members of the "Domino Lux Fraternity," while the alleged assailants, private respondents Alvin Aguilar, James Paul Bungubung, Richard Reverente and Roberto Valdes, Jr. are members of "Tau Gamma Phi Fraternity," a rival fraternity. The next day, March 30, 1995, petitioner Yap lodged a complaint with the Discipline Board of DLSU charging private respondents with "direct assault." Similar complaints were also filed by Dennis Pascual and Ericson Cano against Alvin Lee and private respondents Valdes and Reverente. The Director of the DLSU Discipline Office sent separate notices to private respondents Aguilar, Bungubung and Valdes, Jr. and Reverente informing them of the complaints and requiring them to answer. Private respondents filed their respective answers. As it appeared that students from DLSU and CSB were involved in the mauling incidents, a joint DLSU-CSB Discipline Board was formed to investigate the incidents. Thus, petitioner Board Chairman Emmanuel Sales sent notices of hearing to private respondents on April 12, 1995.

Compiled by: Thyrza Marbas/Percy Donalvo/Carrie Mae Bangayan

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW REVIEW 2-BILL OF RIGHTS Atty. Vincent Paul Montejo


On May 3, 1995, the DLSU-CSB Joint Discipline Board issued a Resolution finding private respondents guilty. They were meted the supreme penalty of automatic expulsion, pursuant to CHED Order No. 4. Private respondents separately moved for reconsideration before the Office of the Senior Vice-President for Internal Operations of DLSU. The motions were all denied in a Letter-Resolution2 dated June 1, 1995. On June 5, 1995, private respondent Aguilar filed with the RTC, Manila, against petitioners a petition for certiorari and injunction under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court with prayer for temporary restraining order (TRO) and/or writ of preliminary injunction. The petition essentially sought to annul the May 3, 1995 Resolution of the DLSUCSB Joint Discipline Board and the June 1, 1995 Letter-Resolution of the Office of the Senior Vice-President for Internal Affairs. The following day, June 6, 1995, respondent Judge issued a TRO directing DLSU, its subordinates, agents, representatives and/or other persons acting for and in its behalf to refrain and desist from implementing Resolution dated May 3, 1995 and Letter-Resolution dated June 1, 1995 and to immediately desist from barring the enrollment of Aguilar for the second term of school year (SY) 1995. Despite the said order, private respondent Aguilar was refused enrollment by petitioner DLSU when he attempted to enroll on September 22, 1995 for the second term of SY 1995-1996. Thus, on September 25, 1995, Aguilar filed with respondent Judge an urgent motion to cite petitioners (respondents there) in contempt of court. Aguilar also prayed that petitioners be compelled to enroll him at DLSU in accordance with respondent Judge's Order dated September 20, 1995. On September 25, 1995, respondent Judge issued a writ of preliminary injunction. On October 16, 1995, petitioner DLSU filed with the CA a petition for certiorari (CA-G.R. SP No. 38719) with prayer for a TRO and/or writ of preliminary injunction to enjoin the enforcement of respondent Judge's September 20, 1995 Order and writ of preliminary injunction dated September 25, 1995. The CA granted petitioners' prayer for preliminary injunction. On May 14, 1996, the CHED issued its questioned Resolution No. 181-96, summarily disapproving the penalty of expulsion for all private respondents. As for Aguilar, he was to be reinstated, while other private respondents were to be excluded. Despite the directive of CHED, petitioner DLSU again prevented private respondent Aguilar from enrolling and/or attending his classes, prompting his lawyer to write several demand letters to petitioner DLSU. In view of the refusal of petitioner DLSU to enroll private respondent Aguilar, CHED wrote a letter dated June 26, 1996 addressed to petitioner Quebengco requesting that private respondent Aguilar be allowed to continue attending his classes pending the resolution of its motion for reconsideration of Resolution No. 181-96. However, petitioner Quebengco refused to do so, prompting CHED to promulgate an Order dated September 23, 1996. Notwithstanding the said directive, petitioner DLSU, through petitioner Quebengco, still refused to allow private respondent Aguilar to enroll. Thus, private respondent Aguilar's counsel wrote another demand letter to petitioner DLSU. On January 7, 1997, respondent Judge issued its questioned order granting private respondent Aguilar's urgent motion to reiterate preliminary injunction. Accordingly, private respondent Aguilar was allowed to conditionally enroll in petitioner DLSU, subject to the continued effectivity of the writ of preliminary injunction dated September 25, 1995 and to the outcome of Civil Case No. 95-74122. On February 17, 1997, petitioners filed the instant petition. Issue: WON DLSU is within its rights in expelling private respondents---were private respondents accorded due process of law? Held: Yes. Private due process of law. respondents were accorded

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In administrative cases, such as investigations of students found violating school discipline, "[t]here are withal minimum standards which must be met before to satisfy the demands of procedural due process and these are: that (1) the students must be informed in writing of the nature and cause of any accusation against them; (2) they shall have the right to answer the charges against them and with the assistance of counsel, if desired; (3) they shall be informed of the evidence against them; (4) they shall have the right to adduce evidence in their own behalf; and (5) the evidence must be duly considered by the investigating committee or official designated by the school authorities to hear and decide the case. Where a party was afforded an opportunity to participate in the proceedings but failed to do so, he cannot complain of deprivation of due process. Notice and hearing is the bulwark of administrative due process, the right to which is among the primary rights that must be respected even in administrative proceedings. The essence of due process is simply an opportunity to be heard, or as applied to administrative proceedings, an opportunity to explain one's side or an opportunity to seek reconsideration of the action or ruling complained of. So long as the party is given the opportunity to advocate her cause or defend her interest in due course, it cannot be said that there was denial of due process. A formal trial-type hearing is not, at all times and in all instances, essential to due process it is enough that the parties are given a fair and reasonable opportunity to explain their respective sides of the controversy and to present supporting evidence on which a fair decision can be based. "To be heard" does not only mean presentation of testimonial evidence in court one may also be heard through pleadings and where the opportunity to be heard through pleadings is accorded, there is no denial of due process. Private respondents were duly informed in writing of the charges against them by the DLSU-CSB Joint Discipline Board through petitioner Sales. They were given the opportunity to answer the charges against them as they, in fact, submitted their respective answers. They were also informed of the evidence presented against them as they attended all the hearings before the Board. Moreover, private respondents were given the right to adduce evidence on their behalf and they did. Lastly, the Discipline Board considered all the pieces of evidence submitted to it by all the parties before rendering its resolution in Discipline Case No. 9495-3-25121. Private respondents cannot claim that they were denied due process when they were not allowed to cross-examine the witnesses against them. This argument was already rejected in Guzman v. National University where this Court held that "x x x the imposition of disciplinary sanctions requires observance of procedural due process. And it bears stressing that due process in disciplinary cases involving students does not entail proceedings and hearings similar to those prescribed for actions and proceedings in courts of justice. The proceedings in student discipline cases may be summary; and cross examination is not, x x x an essential part thereof." G.R. No. 167011 December 11, 2008 SPOUSES CARLOS S. ROMUALDEZ and ERLINDA R. ROMUALDEZ vs. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and DENNIS GARAY Facts: On 12 July 2000, private respondent Dennis Garay, along with Angelino Apostol filed a Complaint-Affidavit with the COMELEC thru the Office of the Election Officer in Burauen, Leyte, charging petitioners with violation of Section 261(y)(2) and Section 261(y)(5) of the Omnibus Election Code, similarly referred to as Batas Pambansa Blg. 881; and Section 12 of Republic Act No. 8189. The Complaint-Affidavit contained a prayer that a preliminary investigation be conducted by the COMELEC, and if the evidence so warrants, the corresponding Information against petitioners be filed before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) for the prosecution of the same. On 28 November 2003, Atty. Maria Norina S. Tangaro-Casingal, COMELEC Investigating Officer, issued a Resolution, recommending to the COMELEC Law Department (Investigation and Prosecution Division), the filing of the appropriate Information against petitioners. Petitioners filed a Motion for Reconsideration thereon. Acting on the Motion, the COMELEC found no cogent reason to disturb the assailed En Banc Resolution of 11 June 2004. On 12 January 2006, Alioden D. Dalaig, Director IV, Law Department of the COMELEC filed with the RTC, Burauen, Leyte, separate Informations against petitioner Carlos S. Romualdez for violation of Section 10(g), in relation to Section 45(j) of Republic Act No. 8189, and against petitioner Erlinda R. Romualdez for violation of Section

The Due Process Clause in Article III, Section 1 of the Constitution embodies a system of rights based on moral principles so deeply imbedded in the traditions and feelings of our people as to be deemed fundamental to a civilized society as conceived by our entire history. The constitutional behest that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law is solemn and inflexible.

Compiled by: Thyrza Marbas/Percy Donalvo/Carrie Mae Bangayan

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW REVIEW 2-BILL OF RIGHTS Atty. Vincent Paul Montejo


10(g), in relation to Section 45(j) of Republic Act No. 8189, subsequently docketed as Crim. Case No. BN-06-03-4185 and Crim. Case No. BN-06-03-4183, respectively. Moreover, separate Informations for violation of Section 10(j), in relation to Section 45(j) of Republic Act No. 8189 were filed against petitioners. Petitioners contend that the election offenses for which they are charged by private respondent are entirely different from those which they stand to be accused of before the RTC by the COMELEC. According to petitioners, private respondents complaint charged them for allegedly violating, to wit: 1) Section 261(y)(2) and Section 261(y) (5) of the Omnibus Election Code, and 2) Section 12 of the Voters Registration Act; however, the COMELEC En Banc directed in the assailed Resolutions, that they be charged for violations of Section 10(g) and (j), in relation to Section 45(j) of the Voters Registration Act. Essentially, petitioners are of the view that they were not accorded due process of law. Specifically, their right to refute or submit documentary evidence against the new charges which COMELEC ordered to be filed against them. Moreover, petitioners insist that Section 45(j) of the Voters Registration Act is vague as it does not refer to a definite provision of the law, the violation of which would constitute an election offense; hence, it runs contrary to Section 14(1) and Section 14(2), Article III of the 1987 Constitution. Issue: WON petitioners were not accorded due process of law. Held: Petitioners cannot be said to have been denied due process on the claim that the election offenses charged against them by private respondent are entirely different from those for which they stand to be accused of before the RTC, as charged by the COMELEC. In the first place, there appears to be no incongruity between the charges as contained in the Complaint-Affidavit and the Informations filed before the RTC, notwithstanding the denomination by private respondent of the alleged violations to be covered by Section 261(y)(2) and Section 261(y)(5) of the Omnibus Election Code and Section 12 of Republic Act No. 8189. Evidently, the Informations directed to be filed by the COMELEC against petitioners, and which were, in fact, filed with the RTC, were based on the same set of facts as originally alleged in the private respondents Complaint-Affidavit. Petitioners buttress their claim of lack of due process by relying on the case of Lacson v. Executive Secretary. Citing Lacson, petitioners argue that the real nature of the criminal charge is determined by the actual recital of facts in the Complaint or Information; and that the object of such written accusations was to furnish the accused with such a description of the charge against him, as will enable him to make his defense. Let it be said that, in Lacson, this court resolved the issue of whether under the allegations in the subject Informations therein, it is the Sandiganbayan or the Regional Trial Court which has jurisdiction over the multiple murder case against therein petitioner and intervenors. In Lacson, we underscored the elementary rule that the jurisdiction of a court is determined by the allegations in the Complaint or Information, and not by the evidence presented by the parties at the trial. Indeed, in Lacson, we articulated that the real nature of the criminal charge is determined not from the caption or preamble of the Information nor from the specification of the provision of law alleged to have been violated, they being conclusions of law, but by the actual recital of facts in the Complaint or Information. Petitioners reliance on Lacson, however, does not support their claim of lack of due process because, as we have said, the charges contained in private respondents Complaint-Affidavit and the charges as directed by the COMELEC to be filed are based on the same set of facts. In fact, the nature of the criminal charges in private respondents Complaint-Affidavit and that of the charges contained in the Informations filed with the RTC, pursuant to the COMELEC Resolution En Banc are the same, such that, petitioners cannot claim that they were not able to refute or submit documentary evidence against the charges that the COMELEC filed with the RTC. Petitioners were afforded due process because they were granted the opportunity to refute the allegations in private respondents Complaint-Affidavit. On 2 April 2001, in opposition to the Complaint-Affidavit, petitioners filed a Joint Counter-Affidavit with Motion to Dismiss with the Law Department of the COMELEC. They similarly filed a Memorandum before the said body. Finding that due process was not dispensed with under the circumstances in the case at bar, we agree with the stance of the Office of the Solicitor General that petitioners were reasonably apprised of the nature and description of the charges against them. It likewise bears stressing that preliminary investigations were conducted whereby petitioners were informed of the complaint and of the evidence submitted against them. They were given the opportunity to adduce controverting evidence for their defense. In all these stages, petitioners actively participated. The instant case calls to our minds Orquinaza v. People, wherein the concerned police officer therein designated the offense charged as sexual harassment; but, the prosecutor found that there was no

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transgression of the anti-sexual harassment law, and instead, filed an Information charging therein petitioner with acts of lasciviousness. On a claim that there was deprivation of due process, therein petitioner argued that the Information for acts of lasciviousness was void as the preliminary investigation conducted was for sexual harassment. The court held that the designation by the police officer of the offense is not conclusive as it is within the competence of the prosecutor to assess the evidence submitted and determine therefrom the appropriate offense to be charged. Accordingly, the court pronounced that the complaint contained all the allegations to support the charge of acts of lasciviousness under the Revised Penal Code; hence, the conduct of another preliminary investigation for the offense of acts of lasciviousness would be a futile exercise because the complainant would only be presenting the same facts and evidence which have already been studied by the prosecutor. The court frowns upon such superfluity which only serves to delay the prosecution and disposition of the criminal complaint.

D. DUE PROCESS AND POLICE POWER


G.R. No. 89572 December 21, 1989 DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, CULTURE AND SPORTS (DECS) and DIRECTOR OF CENTER FOR EDUCATIONAL MEASUREMENT, petitioners, vs. ROBERTO REY C. SAN DIEGO and JUDGE TERESITA DIZONCAPULONG, in her capacity as Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Valenzuela, Metro Manila, Branch 172, respondents. The issue before us is mediocrity. The question is whether a person who has thrice failed the National Medical Admission Test (NMAT) is entitled to take it again. Facts: The private respondent is a graduate of the University of the East with a degree of Bachelor of Science in Zoology. The petitioner claims that he took the NMAT three times and flunked it as many times. When he applied to take it again, the petitioner rejected his application on the basis of the aforesaid rule. He then went to the Regional Trial Court of Valenzuela, Metro Manila, to compel his admission to the test. In his original petition for mandamus, he first invoked his constitutional rights to academic freedom and quality education. By agreement of the parties, the private respondent was allowed to take the NMAT scheduled on April 16, 1989, subject to the outcome of his petition. In an amended petition filed with leave of court, he squarely challenged the constitutionality of MECS Order No. 12, Series of 1972, containing the above-cited rule. The additional grounds raised were due process and equal protection. After hearing, the respondent judge rendered a decision on July 4, 1989, declaring the challenged order invalid and granting the petition. Judge Teresita Dizon-Capulong held that the petitioner had been deprived of his right to pursue a medical education through an arbitrary exercise of the police power. Issue: WON petitioner had been deprived of his right to pursue a medical education through an arbitrary exercise of the police power. Held: We cannot sustain the respondent judge. Her decision must be reversed. In Tablarin v. Gutierrez, this Court upheld the constitutionality of the NMAT as a measure intended to limit the admission to medical schools only to those who have initially proved their competence and preparation for a medical education. We see no reason why the rationale in the Tablarin case cannot apply to the case at bar. The issue raised in both cases is the academic preparation of the applicant. This may be gauged at least initially by the admission test and, indeed with more reliability, by the three-flunk rule. The latter cannot be regarded any less valid than the former in the regulation of the medical profession. There is no need to redefine here the police power of the State. Suffice it to repeat that the power is validly exercised if (a) the interests of the public generally, as distinguished from those of a particular class, require the interference of the State, and (b) the means employed are reasonably necessary to the attainment of the object sought to be accomplished and not unduly oppressive upon individuals.

Compiled by: Thyrza Marbas/Percy Donalvo/Carrie Mae Bangayan

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW REVIEW 2-BILL OF RIGHTS Atty. Vincent Paul Montejo


In other words, the proper exercise of the police power requires the concurrence of a lawful subject and a lawful method. The subject of the challenged regulation is certainly within the ambit of the police power. It is the right and indeed the responsibility of the State to insure that the medical profession is not infiltrated by incompetents to whom patients may unwarily entrust their lives and health. The method employed by the challenged regulation is not irrelevant to the purpose of the law nor is it arbitrary or oppressive. The three-flunk rule is intended to insulate the medical schools and ultimately the medical profession from the intrusion of those not qualified to be doctors. While every person is entitled to aspire to be a doctor, he does not have a constitutional right to be a doctor. This is true of any other calling in which the public interest is involved; and the closer the link, the longer the bridge to one's ambition. The State has the responsibility to harness its human resources and to see to it that they are not dissipated or, no less worse, not used at all. These resources must be applied in a manner that will best promote the common good while also giving the individual a sense of satisfaction. A person cannot insist on being a physician if he will be a menace to his patients. If one who wants to be a lawyer may prove better as a plumber, he should be so advised and adviced. Of course, he may not be forced to be a plumber, but on the other hand he may not force his entry into the bar. By the same token, a student who has demonstrated promise as a pianist cannot be shunted aside to take a course in nursing, however appropriate this career may be for others. The right to quality education invoked by the private respondent is not absolute. The Constitution also provides that "every citizen has the right to choose a profession or course of study, subject to fair, reasonable and equitable admission and academic requirements. The private respondent must yield to the challenged rule and give way to those better prepared. Where even those who have qualified may still not be accommodated in our already crowded medical schools, there is all the more reason to bar those who, like him, have been tested and found wanting. The contention that the challenged rule violates the equal protection clause is not well-taken. A law does not have to operate with equal force on all persons or things to be conformable to Article III, Section 1 of the Constitution. There can be no question that a substantial distinction exists between medical students and other students who are not subjected to the NMAT and the three-flunk rule. The medical profession directly affects the very lives of the people, unlike other careers which, for this reason, do not require more vigilant regulation. The accountant, for example, while belonging to an equally respectable profession, does not hold the same delicate responsibility as that of the physician and so need not be similarly treated. There would be unequal protection if some applicants who have passed the tests are admitted and others who have also qualified are denied entrance. In other words, what the equal protection requires is equality among equals. The Court feels that it is not enough to simply invoke the right to quality education as a guarantee of the Constitution: one must show that he is entitled to it because of his preparation and promise. The private respondent has failed the NMAT five times. While his persistence is noteworthy, to say the least, it is certainly misplaced, like a hopeless love. G.R. No. 120095 August 5, 1996 JMM PROMOTION AND MANAGEMENT, INC., and KARY INTERNATIONAL, INC., vs. HON. COURT OF APPEALS Facts: Following the much-publicized death of Maricris Sioson in 1991, former President Corazon C. Aquino ordered a total ban against the deployment of performing artists to Japan and other foreign destinations. The ban was, however, rescinded after leaders of the overseas employment industry promised to extend full support for a program aimed at removing kinks in the system of deployment. In its place, the government, through the Secretary of Labor and Employment, subsequently issued Department Order No. 28, creating the Entertainment Industry Advisory Council (EIAC), which was tasked with issuing guidelines on the training, testing certification and deployment of performing artists abroad. Pursuant to the EIAC's recommendations, the Secretary of Labor, on January 6, 1994, issued Department Order No. 3 establishing various

Case Pool 4Manresa2009-2010


procedures and requirements for screening performing artists under a new system of training, testing, certification and deployment of the former. Performing artists successfully hurdling the test, training and certification requirement were to be issued an Artist's Record Book (ARB), a necessary prerequisite to processing of any contract of employment by the POEA. Upon request of the industry, implementation of the process, originally scheduled for April 1, 1994, was moved to October 1, 1994. Thereafter, the Department of Labor, following the EIAC's recommendation, issued a series of orders fine-tuning and implementing the new system. In Civil Case No. 95-72750, the Federation of Entertainment Talent Managers of the Philippines (FETMOP), on January 27, 1995 filed a class suit assailing these department orders, principally contending that said orders 1) violated the constitutional right to travel; 2) abridged existing contracts for employment; and 3) deprived individual artists of their licenses without due process of law. FETMOP, likewise, averred that the issuance of the Artist Record Book (ARB) was discriminatory and illegal and "in gross violation of the constitutional right... to life liberty and property." Said Federation consequently prayed for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction against the aforestated orders. JMM Promotion and Management, Inc. Kary International, Inc., herein petitioners, filed a Motion for Intervention in said civil case, which was granted by the trial court. The trial court issued an Order denying petitioners' prayed for a writ of preliminary injunction and dismissed the complaint. On appeal from the trial court's Order, respondent court, in CA G.R. SP No. 36713 dismissed the same. Issue: WON the said orders issued by the Dept. of Labor, were violative of petitioners constl rights. Held: No. Describing the nature and scope of the police power, Justice Malcolm, in the early case of Rubi v. Provincial Board of Mindoro 4 wrote:
"The police power of the State," one court has said... is a power coextensive with self-protection, and is not inaptly termed "the law of overruling necessity." It may be said to be that inherent and plenary power in the state which enables it to prohibit all things hurtful to the comfort, safety and welfare of society." Carried onward by the current of legislature, the judiciary rarely attempts to dam the onrushing power of legislative discretion, provided the purposes of the law do not go beyond the great principles that mean security for the public welfare or do not arbitrarily interfere with the right of the individual.

Thus, police power concerns government enactments which precisely interfere with personal liberty or property in order to promote the general welfare or the common good. As the assailed Department Order enjoys a presumed validity, it follows that the burden rests upon petitioners to demonstrate that the said order, particularly, its ARB requirement, does not enhance the public welfare or was exercised arbitrarily or unreasonably. A thorough review of the facts and circumstances leading to the issuance of the assailed orders compels us to rule that the Artist Record Book requirement and the questioned Department Order related to its issuance were issued by the Secretary of Labor pursuant to a valid exercise of the police power. Of the hundreds of thousands of workers who left the country for greener pastures in the last few years, women composed slightly close to half of those deployed, constituting 47% between 19871991, exceeding this proportion (58%) by the end of 1991, 6 the year former President Aquino instituted the ban on deployment of performing artists to Japan and other countries as a result of the gruesome death of Filipino entertainer Maricris Sioson. Pursuant to the alarming number of reports that a significant number of Filipina performing artists ended up as prostitutes abroad (many of whom were beaten, drugged and forced into prostitution), and following the deaths of number of these women, the government began instituting measures aimed at deploying only those individuals who met set standards which would qualify them as legitimate performing artists. In spite of these measures, however, a number of our countrymen have nonetheless fallen victim to unscrupulous recruiters, ending up as virtual slaves controlled by foreign crime syndicates and forced into jobs other than those indicated in their employment contracts. Worse, some of our women have been forced into prostitution. In any event, apart from the State's police power, the Constitution itself mandates government to extend the fullest protection to our overseas workers. The basic constitutional statement on labor, embodied in Section 18 of Article II of the Constitution.

Compiled by: Thyrza Marbas/Percy Donalvo/Carrie Mae Bangayan

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW REVIEW 2-BILL OF RIGHTS Atty. Vincent Paul Montejo


As to petitioners' assertion that the police power cannot, nevertheless, abridge the right of our performing workers to return to work abroad after having earlier qualified under the old process, because, having previously been accredited, their accreditation became a "property right," protected by the due process clause, we find this contention untenable. A profession, trade of calling is a property right within the meaning of our constitutional guarantees. One cannot be deprived of the right to work and right to make a living because these rights are property rights, the arbitrary and unwarranted deprivation of which normally constitutes an actionable wrong. Nevertheless, no right is absolute, and the proper regulation of a profession, calling, business or trade has always been upheld as a legitimate subject of a valid exercise of the police power by the state particularly when their conduct affects either the execution of legitimate governmental functions, the preservation of the State, the public health and welfare and public morals. According to the maxim, sic utere tuo ut alienum non laedas, it must of course be within the legitimate range of legislative action to define the mode and manner in which every one may so use of his own property so as not to pose injury to himself or others. In any case, where the liberty curtailed affects at most the rights of property, the permissible scope of regulatory measures is certainly much wider. To pretend that a licensing or accreditation requirement violates the due process clause is to ignore the settled practice, under the mantle of the police power, of regulating entry to the practice of various trades or professions. Professionals leaving for abroad are required to pass rigid written and practical exams before they are deemed fit to practice their trade. Seamen are required to take tests determining their seamanship. Locally, the Professional Regulation Commission has began to require previously licensed doctors and other professionals to furnish documentary proof that they has either re-trained or had undertaken continuing education courses as a requirement for renewal of their licenses. It is not claimed that these requirements pose an unwarranted deprivation of a property right under the due process clause. So long as professionals and other workers meet reasonable regulatory standards no such deprivation exists. G.R. No. 162777 August 31, 2004 FRANCISCO I. CHAVEZ vs. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS Facts: Petitioner Chavez, on various dates, entered into formal agreements with certain establishments to endorse their products. On August 18, 2003, he authorized a certain Andrew So to use his name and image for 96 North, a clothing company. Petitioner also signed Endorsement Agreements with Konka International Plastics Manufacturing Corporation and another corporation involved in the amusement and video games business, G-Box. These last two agreements were entered into on October 14, 2003 and November 10, 2003, respectively. Pursuant to these agreements, three billboards were set up along the Balintawak Interchange of the North Expressway. One billboard showed petitioner promoting the plastic products of Konka International Plastics Manufacturing Corporation, and the other two showed petitioner endorsing the clothes of 96 North. One more billboard was set up along Roxas Boulevard showing petitioner promoting the game and amusement parlors of G-Box. On December 30, 2003, however, petitioner filed his certificate of candidacy for the position of Senator under Alyansa ng Pag-asa, a tripartite alliance of three political parties: PROMDI, REPORMA, and Aksyon Demokratiko. On January 6, 2004, respondent COMELEC issued Resolution No. 6520, which contained Section 32, the provision assailed herein. On January 21, 2004, petitioner was directed to comply with the said provision by the COMELEC's Law Department. He replied, on January 29, 2004, by requesting the COMELEC that he be informed as to how he may have violated the assailed provision. He sent another letter dated February 23, 2004, this time asking the COMELEC that he be exempted from the application of Section 32, considering that the billboards adverted to are mere product endorsements and cannot be construed as paraphernalia for premature campaigning under the rules. The COMELEC answered petitioner's request by issuing another letter, dated February 27, 2004, wherein it ordered him to remove or cause the removal of the billboards, or to cover them from public view pending the approval of his request. Feeling aggrieved, petitioner Chavez asks this Court that the COMELEC be enjoined from enforcing the assailed provision. He urges this Court to declare the assailed provision unconstitutional as the same is allegedly (1) a gross violation of the non-impairment clause; (2) an invalid exercise of police power; (3) in the nature of an

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ex-post facto law; (4) contrary to the Fair Elections Act; and (5) invalid due to overbreadth. Issue: WON Section 32 of COMELEC Resolution No. 6520 an invalid exercise of police power. Held: No. A close examination of the assailed provision reveals that its primary objectives are to prohibit premature campaigning and to level the playing field for candidates of public office, to equalize the situation between popular or rich candidates, on one hand, and lesser-known or poorer candidates, on the other, by preventing the former from enjoying undue advantage in exposure and publicity on account of their resources and popularity. The latter is a valid reason for the exercise of police power as held in National Press Club v. COMELEC, wherein the petitioners questioned the constitutionality of Section 11(b) of Republic Act No. 6646, which prohibited the sale or donation of print space and air time "for campaigning or other political purposes," except to the COMELEC. The obvious intention of this provision is to equalize, as far as practicable, the situations of rich and poor candidates by preventing the former from enjoying the undue advantage offered by huge campaign "war chests." This Court ruled therein that this objective is of special importance and urgency in a country which, like ours, is characterized by extreme disparity in income distribution between the economic elite and the rest of society, and by the prevalence of poverty, with so many of our population falling below the poverty line. It is true that when petitioner entered into the contracts or agreements to endorse certain products, he acted as a private individual and had all the right to lend his name and image to these products. However, when he filed his certificate of candidacy for Senator, the billboards featuring his name and image assumed partisan political character because the same indirectly promoted his candidacy. Therefore, the COMELEC was acting well within its scope of powers when it required petitioner to discontinue the display of the subject billboards. If the subject billboards were to be allowed, candidates for public office whose name and image are used to advertise commercial products would have more opportunity to make themselves known to the electorate, to the disadvantage of other candidates who do not have the same chance of lending their faces and names to endorse popular commercial products as image models. Similarly, an individual intending to run for public office within the next few months, could pay private corporations to use him as their image model with the intention of familiarizing the public with his name and image even before the start of the campaign period. This, without a doubt, would be a circumvention of the rule against premature campaigning. (Charmee Abad) BELTRAN V SECRETARY (2005) Facts: The National Blood Services Act provides for the phase out of commercial blood banks Issue: Whether or not it is a valid exercise of police power? Ruling: Yes. The National Blood Services Act was enacted in the exercise of the States police power in order to promote and preserve public health and safety. It is for the protection of public health by ensuring an adequate supply of safe blood in the country through voluntary blood donation. Attaining this objective requires the interference of the State given the disturbing condition of the Philippine blood banking system. Police power of the state is validly exercised if (a) the interest of the public generally, as distinguished from those of a particular class, requires the interference of the State; and, (b) the means employed are reasonably necessary to the attainment of the objective sought to be accomplished and not unduly oppressive upon individuals In serving the interest of the public, and to give meaning to the purpose of the law, the Legislature deemed it necessary to phase out commercial blood banks. This action may seriously affect the owners and operators, as well as the employees, of commercial blood banks but their interests must give way to serve a higher end for the interest of the public. CITY OF MANILA VS. LAGUIO (2005) Facts: The City Council may prohibited through an ordinance the operation of sauna parlors, massage parlors, karaoke bars, night clubs, day clubs, super clubs, discotheques, cabarets, dance halls, motels and inns in Ermita-Malate.

Compiled by: Thyrza Marbas/Percy Donalvo/Carrie Mae Bangayan

10

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW REVIEW 2-BILL OF RIGHTS Atty. Vincent Paul Montejo


Issue: Whether or not the prohibition is a valid exercise of police power? Ruling: NO. The enumerated establishments are lawful pursuits which are not per se offensive to the moral welfare of the community. To successfully invoke the exercise of police power as the rationale for the enactment of the Ordinance, and to free it from the imputation of constitutional infirmity, not only must it appear that the interests of the public generally, as distinguished from those of a particular class, require an interference with private rights, but the means adopted must be reasonably necessary for the accomplishment of the purpose and not unduly oppressive upon individuals. It must be evident that no other alternative for the accomplishment of the purpose less intrusive of private rights can work. A reasonable relation must exist between the purposes of the police 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 two requisites, the police measure shall be struck down as an arbitrary intrusion into private rights a violation of the due process clause. It is readily apparent that the means employed by the Ordinance for the achievement of its purposes, the governmental interference itself, infringes on the constitutional guarantees of a person's fundamental right to liberty and property. CARLOS SUPERDRUG V DSWD (2007) Facts: In relation to RA 9257 or otherwise known as the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2003, the DOH issued an Order providing that the twenty percent discount shall not be limited to the purchase of unbranded generic medicines only, but shall extend to both prescription and non-prescription medicines whether branded or generic. Thus, it stated that [t]he grant of twenty percent (20%) discount shall be provided in the purchase of medicines from all establishments dispensing medicines for the exclusive use of the senior citizens. The petitioners to insist that the grant of the senior citizen discount is unduly oppressive to their business, because petitioners have not taken time to calculate correctly and come up with a financial report, so that they have not been able to show properly whether or not the tax deduction scheme really works greatly to their disadvantage Issue: Whether or not the law is confiscatory Ruling: NO. The law is a legitimate exercise of police power which, similar to the power of eminent domain, has general welfare for its object. The Senior Citizens Act was enacted primarily to maximize the contribution of senior citizens to nation-building, and to grant benefits and privileges to them for their improvement and well-being as the State considers them an integral part of our society. The right to property has a social dimension. The right to property can be relinquished upon the command of the State for the promotion of public good When the conditions so demand as determined by the legislature, property rights must bow to the primacy of police power because property rights, though sheltered by due process, must yield to general welfare.

Case Pool 4Manresa2009-2010


domain is a genuine necessity and that necessity must be of a public character. Moreover, the ascertainment of the necessity must precede or accompany and not follow, the taking of the land. This "necessity within the rule that the particular property to be expropriated must be necessary does not mean an absolute but only a reasonable or practical necessity, such as would combine the greatest benefit to the public with the least inconvenience and expense to the condemning party and the property owner consistent with such benefit." Applying this standard, we hold that respondent City of Pasig has failed to establish that there is a genuine necessity to expropriate petitioners property. Our scrutiny of the records shows that the Certification14 issued by the Caniogan Barangay Council dated November 20, 1994, the basis for the passage of Ordinance No. 42 s. 1993 authorizing the expropriation, indicates that the intended beneficiary is the Melendres Compound Homeowners Association, a private, non-profit organization, not the residents of Caniogan. It can be gleaned that the members of the said Association are desirous of having their own private playground and recreational facility. Petitioners lot is the nearest vacant space available. The purpose is, therefore, not clearly and categorically public. The necessity has not been shown, especially considering that there exists an alternative facility for sports development and community recreation in the area, which is the Rainforest Park, available to all residents of Pasig City, including those of Caniogan. Estate v City of Manila (2004) Facts: petitioners acquired a favorable judgment of eviction against respondents.The said judgments became final and executory. Consequently, writs of execution were issued. During the pendency of the complaints for unlawful detainer, respondent City filed a case for the expropriation of the same properties involved in the ejectment cases. From thereon, numerous motions to intervene and motions for injunction were filed in the expropriation case by respondents. The trial court allowed respondent City to take possession of the property; it denied the motions for intervention and injunction, and, after allowing respondent City to oppose the motion to dismiss, dismissed the complaint for expropriation. On appeal, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court and found that respondent City properly exercised its right to expropriate the subject properties. Petitioners appealed the CA decision to this Court. Thereafter, on motion of respondent occupants, the Court of Appeals issued protective orders that required the parties to maintain the status quo (prohibiting any ejectment) pending this Courts resolution of the appeal. Issue: Whether or not the taking is lawful Ruling: NO. herein respondent City failed to prove strict compliance with the requirements of Sections 9 and 10 of RA 7279. Respondent City neither alleged in its complaint nor proved during the proceedings before the trial court that it complied with said requirements. This is a clear violation of the right to due process of the petitioners. Whether respondent City deprived petitioners of their property without due process of law depends on whether the City complied with the legal requirements for expropriation. Before respondent City can exercise its power of eminent domain, the same must be sanctioned and must not violate any law. Being a mere creation of the legislature, a local government unit can only exercise powers granted to it by the legislature. Such is the nature of the constitutional power of control of Congress over local government units, the latter being mere creations of the former. When it expropriated the subject properties, respondent City relied on its powers granted by Section 19 of the Local Government Code of 1991 and RA 409 (The Revised Charter of the City of Manila). The latter specifically gives respondent City the power to expropriate private property in the pursuit of its urban land reform and housing program. Respondent City, however, is also mandated to follow the conditions and standards prescribed by RA 7279 (the Urban Development and Housing Act of 1992), the law governing the expropriation of property for urban land reform and housing. Sections 9 and 10 of RA 7279 specifically provide that: Sec. 9. Priorities in the acquisition of Land Lands for socialized housing shall be acquired in the following order: (a) Those owned by the Government or any of its subdivisions, instrumentalities, or agencies, including government-owned or controlled corporations and their subsidiaries; (b) Alienable lands of the public domain; (c) Unregistered or abandoned and idle lands; (d) Those within the declared Areas of Priority Development, Zonal Improvement sites, and Slum

E.

DUE PROCESS AND EMINENT DOMAIN


MASIKIP VS. CITY OF PASIG (2007)

Facts: The State expropriated the private property of petitionerfor the benefit of a small community which seeks to have its own sports and recreational facility. This has been contested because there is already such a recreational facility only a short distance away, Issue: Whether the taking is valid Ruling: NO, such taking cannot be considered to be for public use. Its expropriation is not valid. In this case, the Court defines what constitutes a genuine necessity for public use. The right to take private property for public purposes necessarily originates from "the necessity" and the taking must be limited to such necessity. The very foundation of the right to exercise eminent

Compiled by: Thyrza Marbas/Percy Donalvo/Carrie Mae Bangayan

11

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW REVIEW 2-BILL OF RIGHTS Atty. Vincent Paul Montejo


Improvement and Resettlement Program sites which have not yet been acquired; (e) Bagong Lipunan Improvement sites and Services or BLISS sites which have not yet been acquired; and (f) Privately-owned lands. Sec. 10. Modes of Land Acquisition. The modes of acquiring lands for purposes of this Act shall include, among others, community mortgage, land swapping, land assembly or consolidation, land banking, donation to the Government, joint venture agreement, negotiated purchase, and expropriation: Provided, however, That expropriation shall be resorted to only when other modes of acquisition have been exhausted: Provided further, That where expropriation is resorted to, parcels of land owned by small property owners shall be exempted for purposes of this Act: Provided, finally, that abandoned property, as herein defined, shall be reverted and escheated to the State in a proceeding analogous to the procedure laid down in Rule 91 of the Rules of Court. [italics supplied] Private lands rank last in the order of priority for purposes of socialized housing. In the same vein, expropriation proceedings are to be resorted to only after the other modes of acquisition have been exhausted. Compliance with these conditions is mandatory because these are the only safeguards of oftentimes helpless owners of private property against violation of due process when their property is forcibly taken from them for public use. SINDALAN V CA (2007) Facts: Petitioner sought to convert a portion of respondents land into Barangay Sindalans feeder road Respondents alleged that the expropriation of their property was for private use, that is, for the benefit of the homeowners of Davsan II Subdivision. They contended that petitioner deliberately omitted the name of Davsan II Subdivision and, instead, stated that the expropriation was for the benefit of the residents of Sitio Paraiso in order to conceal the fact that the access road being proposed to be built across the respondents land was to serve a privately owned subdivision and those who would purchase the lots of said subdivision. They also pointed out that under Presidential Decree No. (PD) 957, it is the subdivision owner who is obliged to provide a feeder road to the subdivision residents. Issue: Whether or not the taking was for public use Ruling: NO .. It is settled that the public nature of the prospective exercise of expropriation cannot depend on the "numerical count of those to be served or the smallness or largeness of the community to be benefited."15 The number of people is not determinative of whether or not it constitutes public use, provided the use is exercisable in common and is not limited to particular individuals.16 Thus, the first essential requirement for a valid exercise of eminent domain is for the expropriator to prove that the expropriation is for a public use. The exercise of the power of eminent domain is constrained by two constitutional provisions: (1) that private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation under Article III (Bill of Rights), Section 9 and (2) that no person shall be deprived of his/her life, liberty, or property without due process of law under Art. III, Sec. 1. The intended feeder road sought to serve the residents of the subdivision only. It has not been shown that the other residents of Barangay Sindalan, San Fernando, Pampanga will be benefited by the contemplated road to be constructed on the lot of respondents spouses Jose Magtoto III and Patricia Sindayan. While the number of people who use or can use the property is not determinative of whether or not it constitutes public use or purpose, the factual milieu of the case reveals that the intended use of respondents lot is confined solely to the Davsan II Subdivision residents and is not exercisable in common. Worse, the expropriation will actually benefit the subdivisions owner who will be able to circumvent his commitment to provide road access to the subdivision in conjunction with his development permit and license to sell from the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board, and also be relieved of spending his own funds for a right-of-way. In this factual setting, the Davsan II Subdivision homeowners are able to go to the barrio road by passing through the lot of a certain Torres family. Thus, the inescapable conclusion is that the expropriation of respondents lot is for the actual benefit of the Davsan II Subdivision owner, with incidental benefit to the subdivision homeowners. Considering that the residents who need a feeder road are all subdivision lot owners, it is the obligation of the Davsan II Subdivision owner to acquire a right-of-way for them. However, the failure of the subdivision owner to provide an access road does not shift the burden to petitioner. To deprive respondents of their property instead of

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compelling the subdivision owner to comply with his obligation under the law is an abuse of the power of eminent domain and is patently illegal. Without doubt, expropriation cannot be justified on the basis of an unlawful purpose. There is no precise meaning of "public use" and the term is susceptible of myriad meanings depending on diverse situations. The limited meaning attached to "public use" is "use by the public" or "public employment," that "a duty must devolve on the person or corporation holding property appropriated by right of eminent domain to furnish the public with the use intended, and that there must be a right on the part of the public, or some portion of it, or some public or quasi-public agency on behalf of the public, to use the property after it is condemned." The more generally accepted view sees "public use" as "public advantage, convenience, or benefit, and that anything which tends to enlarge the resources, increase the industrial energies, and promote the productive power of any considerable number of the inhabitants of a section of the state, or which leads to the growth of towns and the creation of new resources for the employment of capital and labor, [which] contributes to the general welfare and the prosperity of the whole community." In this jurisdiction, "public use" is defined as "whatever is beneficially employed for the community."

DIDIPIO V GUZON (2006) Facts: President Ramos executed an FTAA with AMC over a total land area of 37,000 hectares covering the provinces of Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino. Included in this area is Barangay Dipidio, Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya. Petitioners filed a demand letter addressed to then DENR Secretary Heherson Alvarez, for the cancellation of the CAMC FTAA for the primary reason that it is unconstitutional Issue: Whether or not mining operators the authority to exercise eminent domain Ruling: Yes. The evolution of mining laws gives positive indication that mining operators who are qualified to own lands were granted the authority to exercise eminent domain for the entry, acquisition, and use of private lands in areas open for mining operations. This grant of authority extant in Section 1 of Presidential Decree No. 512 is not expressly repealed by Section 76 of Rep. Act No. 7942; and neither are the former statutes impliedly repealed by the former. These two provisions can stand together even if Section 76 of Rep. Act No. 7942 does not spell out the grant of the privilege to exercise eminent domain which was present in the old law. The taking to be valid must be for public use. Public use as a requirement for the valid exercise of the power of eminent domain is now synonymous with public interest, public benefit, public welfare and public convenience. It includes the broader notion of indirect public benefit or advantage. Public use as traditionally understood as "actual use by the public" has already been abandoned. Mining industry plays a pivotal role in the economic development of the country and is a vital tool in the governments thrust of accelerated recovery. NAPOCOR VS. TIANGCO (2007) Facts: Private property in Rizal was expropriated. There were two basis: the 1984 and 1993 tax declarations. The trial court fixed the value of the property at its 1984 value, while the CA, at its 1993 worth. The filing for the expropriation was made on 1990 Issue: What value should govern? Ruling: Neither of the two determinations is correct. For purposes of just compensation, the respondents should be paid the value of the property as of the time of the filing of the complaint which is deemed to be the time of taking the property. In eminent domain cases, the time of taking is the filing of the complaint, if there was no actual taking prior thereto. Hence, in this case, the value of the property at the time of the filing of the complaint on November 20, 1990 should be considered in determining the just compensation due the respondents. So it is that in National Power Corporation v. Court of Appeals, et al., we ruled: Normally, the time of the taking coincides with the filing of the complaint for expropriation. Hence, many rulings of this Court have equated just compensation with the value of the property as of the

Compiled by: Thyrza Marbas/Percy Donalvo/Carrie Mae Bangayan

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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW REVIEW 2-BILL OF RIGHTS Atty. Vincent Paul Montejo


time of filing of the complaint consistent with the above provision of the Rules. So too, where the institution of the action precedes entry into the property, the just compensation is to be ascertained as of the time of the filing of the complaint. It was certainly unfair for the trial court to have considered a property value several years behind its worth at the time the complaint in this case was filed on November 20, 1990. The landowners are necessarily shortchanged, considering that, as a rule, land values enjoy steady upward movement. It was likewise erroneous for the appellate court to have fixed the value of the property on the basis of a 1993 assessment. NPC would be paying too much. Petitioner corporation is correct in arguing that the respondents should not profit from an assessment made years after the taking. The expropriation proceedings in this case having been initiated by NPC on November 20, 1990, property values on such month and year should lay the basis for the proper determination of just compensation. In Association of Small Landowners in the Philippines, Inc. v. Secretary of Agrarian Reform, the Court ruled that the equivalent to be rendered for the property to be taken shall be substantial, full, ample and, as must apply to this case, real. This must be taken to mean, among others, that the value as of the time of taking should be the price to be paid the property owner. Just compensation is defined as the full and fair equivalent of the property taken from its owner by the expropriator. In this case, this simply means the propertys fair market value at the time of the filing of the complaint, or "that sum of money which a person desirous but not compelled to buy, and an owner willing but not compelled to sell, would agree on as a price to be given and received therefor." The measure is not the takers gain, but the owners loss. In the determination of such value, the court is not limited to the assessed value of the property or to the schedule of market values determined by the provincial or city appraisal committee; these values consist but one factor in the judicial valuation of the property. The nature and character of the land at the time of its taking is the principal criterion for determining how much just compensation should be given to the landowner. All the facts as to the condition of the property and its surroundings, as well as its improvements and capabilities, should be considered. (Eman Acua) NATIONAL POWER BONGBONG CORPORATION, vs DR. ANTERO

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The trial court stressed that just compensation should be reckoned from 1997 when the taking took place. It noted that, in 1997, NPC consistently paid P300.00 per square meter to the spouses Felipe and Mercedes Larrazabal, Melchor Larrazabal, Fedelina Tuazon, Aznar Enterprises, Inc., Yolinda Beduya, and Trinidad Palanas for the properties it acquired for its transmission lines. It held that NPC should not discriminate against the spouses Bongbong, who should thus be paid the same rate. CA rendered a Decision affirming the RTC decision. The CA held that Section 5, Rule 67 of the Revised Rules of Civil Procedure on the creation of a board of commissioners does not apply to the present case since it is not an expropriation proceeding. The issues in this case are as follows: 1. whether the trial court, as affirmed by the CA, was correct in fixing just compensation at P300.00 per sq m; (2) whether petitioner is obliged to pay the full value of the property taken or easement fee only; (3) whether the procedure laid down in Rule 67 should be followed in determining just compensation; and (4) whether the CA erred in not ordering the transfer of the title over the subject property to petitioner after it was ordered to pay its full market value. The petition is partially granted. 1. We agree with the contention of petitioner that the trial court erred in the determination of just compensation at P300.00 per sq m based on the fact that it paid a similar rate to the other landowners whose properties were likewise acquired by petitioner. Just compensation is the fair value of the property as between one who receives, and one who desires to sell, fixed at the time of the actual taking by the government. This rule holds true when the property is taken before the filing of an expropriation suit, and even if it is the property owner who brings the action for compensation. The nature and character of the land at the time of its taking is the principal criterion for determining how much just compensation should be given to the landowner. In determining just compensation, all the facts as to the condition of the property and its surroundings, its improvements and capabilities, should be considered. In the present case, the trial court determined just compensation without considering the differences in the nature and character or condition of the property compared to the other properties in the province which petitioner had purchased. It simply relied on the fact that petitioner paid P300.00 per sq m to the other landowners whose lands had been taken as a result of the construction of transmission lines. But a perusal of the Deeds of Sale shows that the properties covered by the transmission lines are located in the municipalities of Kananga, Leyte or Tabango, Leyte, while the subject property is located in Villaba, Leyte; the Deeds of Sale describe the properties as industrial, residential/commercial, while the tax declaration of the subject property describes it as "agricultural." Petitioner consistently pointed out these differences and the trial court should not have ignored them. It must be stressed that although the determination of the amount of just compensation is within the courts discretion, it should not be done arbitrarily or capriciously. It must be based on all established rules, upon correct legal principles and competent evidence. 2. No. Pay full value. The Court has consistently held that the determination of just compensation is a judicial function. No statute, decree, or executive order can mandate that its own determination shall prevail over the courts findings. In National Power Corporation v. Manubay Agro-Industrial Development Corporation, petitioner (also the NPC) likewise sought the expropriation of certain properties which would be traversed by its transmission lines. In the said case, petitioner similarly argued that only an easement fee should be paid to respondent since the construction of the transmission lines would be a mere encumbrance on the property, and respondent would not be deprived of its beneficial enjoyment. The Court noted, however, that petitioner sought, and was later granted, authority to enter the property and demolish all the improvements thereon. It, therefore, concluded that the expropriation would, in fact, not be limited to an easement of a right of way only. Similarly, the expropriation by petitioner in the present case does not amount to a mere encumbrance on the property. The records in this case show that petitioner has occupied a 25,100-sq-m area of respondents property. This was not disputed by respondents.

As early as 1996, the National Power Corporation (NPC) negotiated with the spouses Bongbong to use a portion of the property pf the latter for the construction of a 230 KV LCIP Malitbog-Tabango CETL TWR SITE 1046 for the Leyte-Cebu Interconnection Project. When the spouses Bongbong agreed, NPC occupied a 25,100-sq-m portion of the property. On April 22, 1996, NPC paid the spouses Bongbong the amount of P33,582.00 representing the value of the improvements that were damaged by the construction of the project. The voucher for the payment of easement fee was prepared. However, when NPC offered a check for P163,150.00 (representing 10% of the total market value of the area affected) as payment for the easement fee, Antero refused to accept the amount and demanded that NPC pay the full value of the 25,100-sq-m portion it had occupied. On October 28, 1997, the spouses Bongbong received the P163,150.00 under protest. On October 3, 1997, the spouses Bongbong demanded that the NPC pay P8,748,448.00 which they alleged to be the just and reasonable value for their land and improvements. The refusal of NPC to heed their demands prompted the spouses Bongbong to file a complaint for just compensation before the RTC. On May 21, 1999, the spouses Bongbong filed a Motion to Admit as Supplement to the Amended Complaint the New Reappraisal of Plaintiffs Real Property and Improvements, dated February 8, 1999. In the said Reappraisal, which was issued by the Provincial Appraisal Committee (PAC) of Leyte (Resolution No. 03-99), the lot was valued at P300.00 per sq m. NPC opposed the motion, alleging that the payment of just compensation should be based on the market value of the property at the time of its taking in 1997; pursuant to its charter, it paid only an easement fee. On November 5, 1999, the trial court ruled that the value of the plaintiffs property at the time of taking in 1997 is THREE HUNDRED (P300.00) PESOS per square meter or the total amount of SEVEN MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THIRTY THOUSAND (P7,530,000.00) PESOS.

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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW REVIEW 2-BILL OF RIGHTS Atty. Vincent Paul Montejo


Normally, the power of eminent domain results in the taking or appropriation of title to, and possession of, the expropriated property; but no cogent reason appears why the said power may not be availed of to impose only a burden upon the owner of condemned property, without loss of title and possession. It is unquestionable that real property may, through expropriation, be subjected to an easement of right of way. However, as correctly observed by the CA, considering the nature and the effect of the installation power lines, the limitations on the use of the land for an indefinite period would deprive respondent of normal use of the property. For this reason, the latter is entitled to payment of just compensation, which must be neither more nor less than the monetary equivalent of the land. 3. petitioner insists that commissioners should at least be appointed to determine just compensation in accordance with the procedure in Section 5 of Rule 67. On this point, we do not agree with petitioner. Rule 67 need not be followed where the expropriator has violated procedural requirements. When a government agency itself violates procedural requirements, it waives the usual procedure prescribed in Rule 67. This Court ruled in the recent case of National Power Corporation v. Court of Appeals, to wit: We have held that the usual procedure in the determination of just compensation is waived when the government itself initially violates procedural requirements. NPCs taking of Pobres property without filing the appropriate expropriation proceedings and paying him just compensation is a transgression of procedural due process. Like in NPC, the present case is not an action for expropriation. NIA never filed expropriation proceedings although it had ample opportunity to do so. Respondents complaint is an ordinary civil action for the recovery of possession of the Property or its value, and damages. Under these circumstances, a trial before commissioners is not necessary. In National Power Corporation v. Court of Appeals, the Court clarified that when there is no action for expropriation and the case involves only a complaint for damages or just compensation, the provisions of Rule 67 would not apply. This case ceased to be an action for expropriation when NPC dismissed its complaint for expropriation. Since this case has been reduced to a simple case of recovery of damages, the provisions of the Rules of Court on the ascertainment of the just compensation to be paid were no longer applicable. A trial before commissioners, for instance, was dispensable. 4. The CA did not err in not directing the transfer of the title over the subject property to petitioner since no payment has yet been made. It is only upon payment of just compensation that title over the property passes to the expropriator. In sum, we find that the trial court arbitrarily fixed the amount of just compensation due to respondent at P300.00 per sq m without considering the differences in the nature, character and condition of the subject property compared to other properties in the province which petitioner had acquired. For this reason, the Court has no alternative but to remand the case to the trial court for the proper determination of just compensation. CONFEDERATION OF SUGAR PRODUCERS ASSOCIATION, INC., (CONFED), vs. DAR, LAND BANK, LRA Petitioners CONFED, NFSP, UNIFED and PANAYFED claim that their members own or administer private agricultural lands devoted to sugarcane. They and their predecessors-in-interest have been planting sugarcane on their lands allegedly since time immemorial. While their petition is denominated as one for prohibition and mandamus, the petitioners likewise seek to nullify paragraphs (d), (e) and (f) of Section 16 of Republic Act No. (RA) 6657, otherwise known as the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law. In other words, their arguments, which will be discussed shortly, are anchored on the proposition that these provisions are unconstitutional. It is the principal contention of the petitioners that, in the exercise by the State of the power of eminent domain, which in the case of RA 6657 is the acquisition of private lands for distribution to farmer-beneficiaries, expropriation proceedings, as prescribed in Rule 67 of the Rules of Court, must be strictly complied with. Furthermore, ART. 349. Provides that No one may be deprived of his property unless it be by competent authority for some purpose of proven public utility and after payment of the proper compensation. Unless this requisite has been complied with, it shall be the duty of the court to protect the owner of such property in its

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possession or to restore its possession to him, as the case may be. In this connection, they cite Section 1 of Rule 67, which they stress is entitled EXPROPRIATION, thus: SEC. 1. The complaint. - The right of eminent domain shall be exercised by the filing of a verified complaint which shall state with certainty the right and purpose of expropriation, describe the real or personal property sought to be expropriated, and join as defendants all persons owning or claiming to own, or occupying, any part thereof or interest therein, showing, so far as practicable, the separate interest of each defendant. If the title to any property sought to be expropriated appears to be in the Republic of the Philippines, although occupied by private individuals, or if the title is otherwise obscure or doubtful so that the plaintiff cannot with accuracy or certainty specify who are the real owners, averment to that effect shall be made in the complaint. The DAR, however, according to the petitioners, particularly through the process of compulsory acquisition, has managed to operate outside of the Constitution and the Rules of Court. They alleged that the compulsory acquisition process adopted by the DAR is absolutely without any constitutional or lawful basis whatsoever. It is allegedly "utterly repugnant to the principle of eminent domain" or "expropriation" and an "unmitigated and lawless usurpation of the constitutional power of the Supreme Court to promulgate rules of procedure." As such, the process of compulsory acquisition is allegedly null and void. The petitioners add that Section 22, Article XVII (Transitory Provisions) of the Constitution states that "[a]t the earliest possible time, the Government shall expropriate idle or abandoned lands as may be defined by law, for distribution to the beneficiaries of the agrarian reform program." The use of the word "expropriate" in this provision allegedly underscores the necessity of expropriation proceedings pursuant to Rule 67 of the Rules of Court in the acquisition of private agricultural lands. With respect to the Land Bank, the petitioners allege that in the light of the Courts pronouncement in Association of Small Landowners that "the determination made by the DAR is only preliminary unless accepted by all parties concerned, [o]therwise, the courts of justice will still have the right to review with finality the said determination in the exercise of what is admittedly a judicial function," the Land Bank cannot effect the payment of compensation as determined by the DAR which is considered as preliminary. The Land Bank must allegedly wait until such compensation is determined with finality by the courts. The Land Registration Authority is similarly assailed as committing grave abuse of discretion since it, through the various Registers of Deeds in the country and particularly in the sugar producing regions in the Visayas, has been allegedly summarily canceling certificates of title merely upon the directive or request of the DAR and without the knowledge and consent of the registered owners. In violation of the pertinent provisions30 of the Land Registration Act (Act No. 496), the Registers of Deeds are allegedly canceling certificates of title of landowners without asking them to surrender their owners duplicate certificates of titles. The petitioners thus pray, inter alia, for the issuance of a writ to prohibit the DAR, the Land Bank and the Land Registration Authority from subjecting the petitioners sugarcane farms to eminent domain or compulsory acquisition without filing the necessary expropriation proceedings pursuant to the provisions of Rule 67 of the Rules of Court and/or without the application or conformity of a majority of the regular farmworkers on said farms. The petition lacks merit. The validity of Section 16, including paragraphs (d), (e) and (f) thereof, of RA 6657 has already been affirmed in Association of Small Landowners. The Court categorically passed upon and upheld the validity of Section 16 of RA 6657, including paragraphs (d), (e) and (f), which sets forth the manner of acquisition of private agricultural lands and ascertainment of just compensation, in this wise: Where the State itself is the expropriator, it is not necessary for it to make a deposit upon its taking possession of the condemned property, as "the compensation is a public charge, the good faith of the public is pledged for its payment, and all the resources of taxation may be employed in raising the amount." Nevertheless, Section 16(e) of the CARP Law provides that: Upon receipt by the landowner of the corresponding payment, or in case of rejection or no response from the landowner, upon the deposit with an accessible bank designated by the DAR of the compensation in cash or in LBP bonds in accordance with this Act,

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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW REVIEW 2-BILL OF RIGHTS Atty. Vincent Paul Montejo


the DAR shall take immediate possession of the land and shall request the proper Register of Deeds to issue a Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) in the name of the Republic of the Philippines. The DAR shall thereafter proceed with the redistribution of the land to the qualified beneficiaries. Objection is raised, however, to the manner of fixing the just compensation, which it is claimed is entrusted to the administrative authorities in violation of judicial prerogatives. Specific reference is made to Section 16(d), which provides that in case of the rejection or disregard by the owner of the offer of the government to buy his land -the DAR shall conduct summary administrative proceedings to determine the compensation for the land by requiring the landowner, the LBP and other interested parties to submit evidence as to the just compensation for the land, within fifteen (15) days from the receipt of the notice. After the expiration of the above period, the matter is deemed submitted for decision. The DAR shall decide the case within thirty (30) days after it is submitted for decision. The determination made by the DAR is only preliminary unless accepted by all parties concerned. Otherwise, the courts of justice will still have the right to review with finality the said determination in the exercise of what is admittedly a judicial function. To be sure, the determination of just compensation is a function addressed to the courts of justice and may not be usurped by any other branch or official of the government. On the matter of when transfer of possession and ownership of the land to the Government is reckoned, Association of Small Landowners instructs: The CARP Law, for its part, conditions the transfer of possession and ownership of the land to the government on receipt by the landowner of the corresponding payment or the deposit by the DAR of the compensation in cash or LBP bonds with an accessible bank. Until then, title also remains with the landowner. No outright change of ownership is contemplated either. DARs compulsory acquisition procedure is based on Section 16 of RA 6657. It does not, in any way, preclude judicial determination of just compensation. Contrary to the petitioners submission that the compulsory acquisition procedure adopted by the DAR is without legal basis, it is actually based on Section 16 of RA 6657. Under the said law, there are two modes of acquisition of private agricultural lands: compulsory and voluntary. The procedure for compulsory acquisition is that prescribed under Section 16 of RA 6657. The procedure prescribed in Section 16 of RA 6657 is a summary administrative proceeding. The said procedure, taken together with the pertinent administrative issuances of the DAR, ensures compliance with the due process requirements of the law. More importantly, this summary administrative proceeding does not preclude judicial determination of just compensation. In fact, paragraph (e) of Section 16 of RA 6657 is categorical on this point as it provides that "[a]ny party who disagrees with the decision may bring the matter to the court of proper jurisdiction for final determination of just compensation." Rule 67 of the Rules of Court is not entirely disregarded in the implementation of RA 6657 The petitioners main objection to paragraphs (d), (e) and (f) of Section 16 of RA 6657 is that they are allegedly in complete disregard of the expropriation proceedings prescribed under Rule 67 of the Rules of Court. The petitioners argument does not persuade. As declared by the Court in Association of Small Landowners, we are not dealing here with the traditional exercise of the power of eminent domain, but a revolutionary kind of expropriation. The expropriation before us affects all private agricultural lands whenever found and of whatever kind as long as they are in excess of the maximum retention limits allowed their owners. This kind of expropriation is intended for the benefit not only of a particular community or of a small segment of the population but of the entire Filipino nation, from all levels of our society, from the impoverished farmer to the land-glutted owner. Its purpose does not cover only the whole territory of this country but goes beyond in time to the foreseeable future, which it hopes to secure and edify with the vision and the sacrifice of the present generation of Filipinos. Generations yet to come are as involved in this program as we are today, although hopefully only as beneficiaries of a richer and more fulfilling life we will guarantee to them tomorrow through our thoughtfulness today. And, finally, let it not be forgotten that it is no less than the Constitution itself that has ordained this revolution in the farms, calling for "a just distribution" among the farmers of lands that have heretofore been the prison of their dreams and deliverance.

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Despite the revolutionary or non-traditional character of RA 6657, however, the chief limitations on the exercise of the power of eminent domain, namely: (1) public use; and (2) payment of just compensation, are embodied therein as well as in the Constitution. With respect to "public use," the Court in Association of Small Landowners declared that the requirement of public use had already been settled by the Constitution itself as it "calls for agrarian reform, which is the reason why private agricultural lands are to be taken from their owners, subject to the prescribed maximum retention limits. The purposes specified in P.D. No. 27, Proc. No. 131 and RA No. 6657 are only an elaboration of the constitutional injunction that the State adopt the necessary measures to encourage and undertake the just distribution of all agricultural lands to enable farmers who are landless to own directly or collectively the lands they till. That public use, as pronounced by the fundamental law itself, must be binding on us." On the other hand, judicial determination of just compensation is expressly prescribed in Section 57 of RA 6657, quoted above, as it vests on the Special Agrarian Courts original and exclusive jurisdiction over all petitions for the determination of just compensation to landowners. It bears stressing that the determination of just compensation during the compulsory acquisition proceedings of Section 16 of RA 6657 is preliminary only. The inclusion of sugar lands in the coverage of RA 6657 delves into the wisdom of an act of Congress, beyond the ambit of judicial review Indeed, it is not within the power of the Court to pass upon or look into the wisdom of the inclusion by Congress of the sugar lands in the coverage of RA 6657. It is basic in our form of government that the judiciary cannot inquire into the wisdom or expediency of the acts of the executive or the legislative department, for each department is supreme and independent of the others, and each is devoid of authority not only to encroach upon the powers or field of action assigned to any of the other departments, but also to inquire into or pass upon the advisability or wisdom of the acts performed, measures taken or decisions made by the other departments. ASIA'S EMERGING DRAGON CORPORATION, vs. DOTC, SECRETARY LEANDRO R. MENDOZA and MANILA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AUTHORITY In the Decision dated 18 April 2008, We dismissed the Petitions in G.R. No. 169914 and G.R. No. 174166 of Asias Emerging Dragon Corporation (AEDC) and Salacnib F. Baterina (Baterina), respectively. The fallo of the Decision reads: WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing: a. The Petition in G.R. No. 169914 is hereby DISMISSED for lack of merit; and b. The Petition in G.R. No. 174166 is hereby likewise DISMISSED for being moot and academic. AEDC persistently asserts its right to be awarded the NAIA IPT III Project as the original proponent thereof, following the declaration of nullity of the award of the said project to PIATCO in Agan, Jr. v. Philippine International Air Terminals Co., Inc. Extensive as its Motion for Reconsideration may seem, it is mostly a reiteration of the arguments AEDC already raised in its Petition for Mandamus and Prohibition (with Application for Temporary Restraining Order), considered by this Court when it rendered its Decision dated 18 April 2008 dismissing said Petition. We are not persuaded, whether by the previous Petition or the present Motion, to grant AEDC the writs of mandamus and prohibition it prays for in the absence of a clear right to the same. The declaration of nullity of the award of the NAIA IPT III Project to PIATCO in Agan does not automatically entitle AEDC to the award of the said project on the mere basis that it was the original proponent thereof. The rights of the original proponent of an unsolicited proposal are rooted in Section 4-A of Republic Act No. 6957, more commonly known as the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) Law, as amended by Republic Act No. 7718. Mr. Justice Renato C. Corona submits that the original proponent of an unsolicited proposal for a BOT project, under Section 4-A of Republic Act No. 6957, as amended, is entitled to the award of the project in at least three circumstances: (1) no competitive bid was submitted; (2) there was a lower bid by a qualified bidder but the original proponent matched it; and (3) there was a lower bid but it was made by a person/entity not qualified to bid, in which case, it is as if no competitive bid had been made. Both Justice Corona and Mr. Justice Presbiterio J. Velasco, Jr., in their dissenting opinions,

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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW REVIEW 2-BILL OF RIGHTS Atty. Vincent Paul Montejo


conclude that AEDC is entitled to the award of the NAIA IPT III project as the original proponent thereof because the third circumstance is extant in this case. We can only accept in part the afore-mentioned enumeration of the circumstances when an original proponent is entitled to the award of the project under Section 4-A of Republic Act No. 6957, as amended. In the 18 April 2008 Decision, we have already exhaustively scrutinized Section 4-A of the BOT Law, as amended, in relation to its IRR, and in consideration of the intent of the legislators who crafted the BOT Law. We find no reason to disturb our conclusion therein that: The special rights or privileges of an original proponent thus come into play only when there are other proposals submitted during the public bidding of the infrastructure project. As can be gleaned from the plain language of the statutes and the IRR, the original proponent has: (1) the right to match the lowest or most advantageous proposal within 30 working days from notice thereof, and (2) in the event that the original proponent is able to match the lowest or most advantageous proposal submitted, then it has the right to be awarded the project. The second right or privilege is contingent upon the actual exercise by the original proponent of the first right or privilege. Before the project could be awarded to the original proponent, he must have been able to match the lowest or most advantageous proposal within the prescribed period. Hence, when the original proponent is able to timely match the lowest or most advantageous proposal, with all things being equal, it shall enjoy preference in the awarding of the infrastructure project. In the instant case, AEDC may be the original proponent of the NAIA IPT III Project; however, the Pre-Qualification Bids and Awards Committee (PBAC) also found the Peoples Air Cargo & Warehousing Co., Inc. Consortium (Paircargo), the predecessor of PIATCO, to be a qualified bidder for the project. Upon consideration of the bid of Paircargo/PIATCO, PBAC found the same to be far more advantageous than the original offer of AEDC. It is already an established fact in Agan that AEDC failed to match the more advantageous proposal submitted by PIATCO by the time the 30-day working period expired on 28 November 1996; and since it did not exercise its right to match the most advantageous proposal within the prescribed period, it cannot assert its right to be awarded the project. In the meantime, PIATCO already began building the NAIA IPT III facilities. By the time this Court promulgated its Decision in Agan, disqualifying PIATCO as a bidder and annulling the award of the NAIA IPT III Project to it, the NAIA IPT III facilities were substantially complete. The Court, in its Resolution in Agan, recognized the right of PIATCO to just compensation for the NAIA IPT III facilities, in accordance with law and equity. The Government, thereafter, instituted an expropriation case for the determination of the just compensation to be paid to PIATCO. In Republic v. Gingoyon, the Court affirmed the application of Republic Act No. 8974 to the expropriation case and the right of the Government to take possession of the NAIA IPT III facilities upon the payment to PIATCO of the proffered value of the same. These developments, as well as the implications and consequences thereof, cannot be conveniently ignored. The factual backdrop has significantly changed from the time of the bidding of the NAIA IPT III Project, which prevents us from concluding that, with the disqualification of PIATCO, AEDC shall automatically acquire NAIA IPT III Project as the original proponent thereof. The bidding and awarding process for the NAIA IPT III Project had long been closed. The Court could not just conveniently revert to the stage of bidding and awarding of the said project and ignore all the factual and legal developments that had already taken place. The three principles of public bidding are: the offer to the public, an opportunity for competition, and a basis for an exact comparison of bids, all of which are present in Sec. 10.9 to Sec. 10.16 of the IRR. First, the project is offered to the public through the publication of the invitation for comparative proposals. Second, the challengers are given the opportunity to compete for the project through the submission of their tender/bid documents. And third, the exact comparison of the bids is ensured by using the same requirements/qualifications/criteria for the original proponent and the challengers. The process of unsolicited proposals does involve public bidding where, in the end, the government is free to choose the bid or proposal most advantageous to it. However, by adoption of the Swiss Challenge (A Swiss challenge is a form of public procurement in some (usually lesser developed) jurisdictions which requires a public authority (usually an agency of government) which has received an unsolicited bid for a public project (such as a port, road or railway) or services to be provided to government, to publish the bid and invite third parties to match or exceed it. It's an offer made by the original

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proponent to the government ensuring his process to be best by his initiative (as a result of his own innovative approach) or on the demand of the government to perform certain task.), special consideration is given in said process to the original proponent of the project, namely, the right to be awarded the project should it be able to match the lowest or most advantageous proposal within 30 working days from notice. There is no truth to the averment of AEDC that we are allowing PIATCO to benefit from its own fraud and wrongdoing. Our refusal to award the NAIA IPT III Project to AEDC does not in any way benefit PIATCO. It is only entitled to just and equitable compensation for building the NAIA IPT III facilities, "for the government cannot unjustly enrich itself at the expense of PIATCO and investors." Just compensation This Court itself will decide how much payment will be due from plaintiffs to defendant PIATCO, in accordance with law, since the determination of just compensation is a judicial function. The amount of just compensation is not for the plaintiffs or defendant PIATCO to decide. This, Congressman Baterina, Et (sic) al. could not possibly set up a petition against both plaintiffs and defendant for illegal disbursement of public funds when it is precisely the Court, not plaintiff or defendant, which will ensure that the determination and payment of just compensation to defendant PIATCO would be in compliance with Philippine laws. There is, therefore, no room in this expropriation case for a taxpayers intervention. Similarly, there is also no room in this expropriation case for the accommodation of a legislators petition. Plaintiffs exercise of the right of eminent domain does not infringe howsoever on legislative prerogatives, powers of (sic) privileges. Furthermore, there is no basis under the Rules of Court or in jurisprudence for the allowance of a petition for prohibition being intermingled with a special civil action for expropriation. MARIA PAZ V. NEPOMUCENO, JOINED BY HER HUSBAND, FERMIN A. NEPOMUCENO VS. CITY OF SURIGAO Petitioners assail the February 29, 2000 decision and October 12, 2000 resolution of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. CV No. 56461 affirming with modification the decision of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Surigao City, Branch 32, in Civil Case No. 4570. Civil Case No. 4570 was a complaint for "Recovery of Real Property and/or its Market Value" filed by petitioner Maria Paz Nepomuceno to recover a 652 sq. m. portion of her 50,000 sq. m. lot which was occupied, developed and used as a city road by the city government of Surigao. Maria Paz alleged that the city government neither asked her permission to use the land nor instituted expropriation proceedings for its acquisition. On October 4, 1994, she and her husband, co-petitioner, Fermin A. Nepomuceno, wrote respondent (then Surigao City Mayor) Salvador Sering a letter proposing an amicable settlement for the payment of the portion taken over by the city. They subsequently met with Mayor Sering to discuss their proposal but the mayor rebuffed them in public and refused to pay them anything. In a letter dated January 30, 1995, petitioners sought reconsideration of the mayor's stand. But again, the city mayor turned this down in his reply dated January 31, 1995. In their answer, respondents admitted the existence of the road in question but alleged that it was constructed way back in the 1960s during the administration of former Mayor Pedro Espina. At that time, the lot was owned by the spouses Vicente and Josefa Fernandez who signed a road right-of-way agreement in favor of the municipal government. However, a copy of the agreement could no longer be found because the records were completely destroyed and lost when the Office of the City Engineer was demolished by typhoon Nitang in 1994. RTC ordered the City of Surigao to pay to Maria Paz V. Nepomuceno and her husband, Fermin Nepomuceno, the sum of P5,000.00 as attorney's fees, and the further sum of P3,260.00 as compensation for the portion of land in dispute, with legal interest thereon from 1960 until fully paid, and upon payment, directing her to execute the corresponding deed of conveyance in favor of the said defendant. Petitioners claim that, in fixing the value of their property, justice and equity demand that the value at the time of actual payment should be the basis, not the value at the time of the taking as the RTC and CA held. They demand P200/sq. m. or a total sum of P130,400 plus legal interest. Petitioners also assert that the CA decision in Spouses Mamerto

Compiled by: Thyrza Marbas/Percy Donalvo/Carrie Mae Bangayan

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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW REVIEW 2-BILL OF RIGHTS Atty. Vincent Paul Montejo


Espina, Sr. and Flor Espina v. City of Ormoc should be applied to this case because of the substantial factual similarity between the two cases. In that case, the City of Ormoc was directed to institute a separate expropriation proceeding over the subject property. Moreover, petitioners maintain that exemplary damages should be awarded because respondent City of Surigao illegally took their property. Petitioners' arguments are without merit.

Case Pool 4Manresa2009-2010


(W)here property is taken ahead of the filing of the condemnation proceedings, the value thereof may be enchanced by the public purpose for which it is taken; the entry by the plaintiff upon the property may have depreciated its value thereby; or, there may have been a natural increase in the value of the property from the time the complaint is filed, due to general economic conditions. The owner of private property should be compensated only for what he actually loses; it is not intended that his compensation shall extend beyond his loss or injury. And what he loses is only the actual value of his property at the time it is taken. This is the only way that compensation to be paid can be truly just; i.e., 'just not only to the individual whose property is taken,' 'but to the public, which is to pay for it. Here, petitioner insists that contrary to the findings of the two courts below, the determination of just compensation should be reckoned prior to the time of the filing of the complaint for expropriation. According to petitioner in Civil Case No. 3267-O, petitioner took possession of the land on January 1, 1992 when PNOC leased the same from its administrator as evidenced by a Lease Agreement for the period of January 1, 1992 to December 31, 1992. Thus, taking, for purposes of computing just compensation, should have been reckoned from January 1, 1992. We are not persuaded. In the context of the State's inherent power of eminent domain, there is "taking" where the owner is actually deprived or dispossessed of his property; where there is a practical destruction or a material impairment of the value of his property; or when he is deprived of the ordinary use thereof. In Republic v. Castellvi, this Court held that there is a "taking" when the expropriator enters private property not only for a momentary period but for a more permanent duration, for the purpose of devoting the property to a public use in such a manner as to oust the owner and deprive him of all beneficial enjoyment thereof. Thus, in that case, we rejected the State's contention that a lease on a year to year basis can give rise to a permanent right to occupy, since by express legal provision a lease made for a determinate time, as was the lease of Castellvi's land, ceases upon the day fixed, without need of a demand. Neither can it be said that the right of eminent domain may be exercised by simply leasing the premises to be expropriated. Where, as here, the owner was compensated and not deprived of the ordinary and beneficial use of his property by its being diverted to public use, there is no taking within the constitutional sense. Accordingly, we quote with approval the trial court's ruling on this point: Contrary to plaintiff's position, the lease in 1992 should not be construed as taking in the constitutional sense. What constitutes taking' is when the property is directly appropriated' and not to consequential injuries resulting from the exercise of lawful power'

In a long line of cases, we have consistently ruled that where actual taking is made without the benefit of expropriation proceedings and the owner seeks recovery of the possession of the property prior to the filing of expropriation proceedings, it is the value of the property at the time of taking that is controlling for purposes of compensation. As pointed out in Republic v. Lara, the reason for this rule is: The owner of private property should be compensated only for what he actually loses; it is not intended that his compensation shall extend beyond his loss or injury. And what he loses is only the actual value of his property at the time it is taken. This is the only way the compensation to be paid can be truly just; i.e., "just" not only to the individual whose property is taken, "but to the public, which is to pay for it." Thus, the value of petitioners' property must be ascertained as of 1960 when it was actually taken. It is as of that time that the real measure of their loss may fairly be adjudged. The value, once fixed, shall earn interest at the legal rate until full payment is effected, conformably with other principles laid down by case law. PHILIPPINE NATIONAL OIL COMPANY vs. LEONILO A. MAGLASANG and OSCAR S. MAGLASANG On October 25, 1994, PNOC filed a complaint for eminent domain against respondent Oscar S. Maglasang, the registered owner of a 63,333-square meter parcel of land identified as Lot No. 11900. On November 10, 1994, the PNOC filed another expropriation complaint, this time against respondent Leolino A. Maglasang, owner of the 98,206-square meter parcel of land identified as Lot No. 11907. The subject parcels of land are located at Lim-ao, Municipality of Kananga, Leyte and to be used by the PNOC in the construction and operation of the 125MW Geothermal Power Plant Project. The RTC issued writs of possession over Lot No. 11907 and Lot No. 11900 on December 5, 1994 and December 13, 1994, respectively, after PNOC posted the required provisional deposit. The trial court appointed three commissioners to ascertain and make a recommendation on the just compensation for the condemned lots. Atty. Reforzado submitted a Commissioners' Report dated February 18, 1999, attaching therewith the different valuations recommended by the three commissioners. City Assessor Supremo recommended the price of P 1,000.00 per square meter, Clerk of Court Reforzado pegged the value of the lots at P 900.00 per square meter. In his report, Mr. Pongos arrived at the lowest valuation of P 400.00 per square meter for the developed area and P 85.00 for the undeveloped area. Confronted with the commissioners' varying land valuations, the trial court made its own determination of the just compensation taking into account the range of prices recommended in the Commissioners' Report and documentary evidence presented by the parties. Setting the reckoning period for the computation of the just compensation at the time of the filing of the complaints, the trial court pegged the value of the two lots at P 300.00 per square meter. However, in the same decision, the trial court further increased said initial valuation to P 700.00 per square meter to compensate for what it termed as inflation factor and adjustment factor. On January 23, 2002, the CA rendered the herein challenged decision which modified the decision of the trial court insofar as it reduced the just compensation for the subject lots from P 700.00 to P 300.00. What is the precise time the fixing of just compensation should be reckoned? In expropriation proceedings, the value of the land and its character at the time it was taken by the government are the criteria for determining just compensation. This is so because, there are instances when the expropriating agency takes over the property prior to the expropriation suit, in which situation just compensation shall be determined as of the time of taking. The reason for the rule, as pointed out in Republic v. Lara,11 is that

F. 1. 2.

EQUAL PROTECTION Economic Quality Political Equality

PATRICIO DUMLAO vs. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS Petitioner Dumlao questions the constitutionality of section 4 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 52 as discriminatory and contrary to the equal protection and due process guarantees of the Constitution. Said Section 4 provides: Sec. 4. Special Disqualification in addition to violation of section 10 of Art. XI I-C of the Constitution and disqualification mentioned in existing laws, which are hereby declared as disqualification for any of the elective officials enumerated in section 1 hereof. Any retired elective provincial city or municipal official who has received payment of the retirement benefits to which he is entitled under the law, and who shall have been 65 years of age at the commencement of the term of office to which he seeks to be elected shall not be qualified to run for the same elective local office from which he has retired (Emphasis supplied) Petitioner Dumlao alleges that the aforecited provision is directed insidiously against him, and that the classification provided therein is based on "purely arbitrary grounds and, therefore, class legislation." Petitioner Dumlao assails the constitutionality of the first paragraph of section 4 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 52, quoted earlier, as being contrary to the equal protection clause guaranteed by the Constitution, and seeks to prohibit respondent COMELEC from implementing said provision.

Compiled by: Thyrza Marbas/Percy Donalvo/Carrie Mae Bangayan

17

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW REVIEW 2-BILL OF RIGHTS Atty. Vincent Paul Montejo


The constitutional guarantee of equal protection of the laws is subject to rational classification. If the groupings are based on reasonable and real differentiations, one class can be treated and regulated differently from another class. For purposes of public service, employees 65 years of age, have been validly classified differently from younger employees. Employees attaining that age are subject to compulsory retirement, while those of younger ages are not so compulsorily retirable. In respect of election to provincial, city, or municipal positions, to require that candidates should not be more than 65 years of age at the time they assume office, if applicable to everyone, might or might not be a reasonable classification although, as the Solicitor General has intimated, a good policy of the law would be to promote the emergence of younger blood in our political elective echelons. On the other hand, it might be that persons more than 65 years old may also be good elective local officials. Coming now to the case of retirees. Retirement from government service may or may not be a reasonable disqualification for elective local officials. For one thing, there can also be retirees from government service at ages, say below 65. It may neither be reasonable to disqualify retirees, aged 65, for a 65 year old retiree could be a good local official just like one, aged 65, who is not a retiree. But, in the case of a 65-year old elective local official, who has retired from a provincial, city or municipal office, there is reason to disqualify him from running for the same office from which he had retired, as provided for in the challenged provision. The need for new blood assumes relevance. The tiredness of the retiree for government work is present, and what is emphatically significant is that the retired employee has already declared himself tired and unavailable for the same government work, but, which, by virtue of a change of mind, he would like to assume again. It is for this very reason that inequality will neither result from the application of the challenged provision. Just as that provision does not deny equal protection neither does it permit of such denial (see People vs. Vera, 65 Phil. 56 [1933]). Persons similarly situated are sinlilarly treated. In fine, it bears reiteration that the equal protection clause does not forbid all legal classification. What is proscribes is a classification which is arbitrary and unreasonable. That constitutional guarantee is not violated by a reasonable classification based upon substantial distinctions, where the classification is germane to the purpose of the law and applies to all those belonging to the same class.

Case Pool 4Manresa2009-2010


thereof and urges a co-equal branch of government to respect its mandate. The concept of temporary detention does not necessarily curtail the duty of accused-appellant to discharge his mandate. Accused-appellant has always complied with the conditions/restrictions when allowed to leave jail.

7. 8.

ISSUE: Does membership in Congress exempt an accused from statutes and rules which apply to validly incarcerated persons in general? HELD: No. The accused-appellant has not given any reason why he should be exempted from the operation of Section 11, Article 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 months is not merely authorized by law, it has constitutional foundations. What the accused-appellant seeks is not of an emergency nature. Allowing accused-appellant to attend congressional sessions and committee meeting for five (5) days or more in a week will virtually make him free man with all the privilege 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. The Constitution guarantees: ". . . 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. 7 The organs of government may not show any undue favoritism or hostility to any person. Neither partiality not 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 duties imposed by the "mandate of the people" are multifarious. The accused-appellant asserts that the duty to legislative ranks highest in the hierarchy of government. The accused-appellant is only one of 250 members of the House of Representatives, not to mention the 24 members of the Senate, charged with the duties of legislation. Congress continues to function well in the physical absence of one or a few of its members. Depending on the exigency of Government that has to be addressed, the President or the Supreme Court can also be deemed the highest for that particular duty. The importance of a function depends on the need to its exercise. Never has the call of a particular duty lifted a prisoner into a different classification from those others who are validly restrained by law. 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. Premises considered, we are constrained to rule against the accused-appellant's claim that re-election to public office gives priority to any other right or interest, including the police power of the State. Motion DENIED. [G.R. No. 143076. June 10, 2003] PHILIPPINE RURAL ELECTRIC COOPERATIVES ASSOCIATION, INC. (PHILRECA) vs. THE SECRETARY, DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT, and THE SECRETARY, DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE Facts: On May 23, 2000, a class suit was filed by petitioners in their own behalf and in behalf of other electric cooperatives organized and existing under P.D. No. 269 who are members of petitioner Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives Association, Inc. (PHILRECA). Petitioner PHILRECA is an association of 119 electric cooperatives throughout the country. Petitioners Agusan del Norte Electric Cooperative, Inc. (ANECO), Iloilo I Electric Cooperative, Inc. (ILECO I) and Isabela I Electric Cooperative, Inc. (ISELCO I) are non-stock, non-profit electric cooperatives organized and existing under P.D. No. 269, as amended, and registered with the National Electrification Administration (NEA).

3. 4.

SOCIAL EQUITY OTHER CASES INTERNATIONAL vs. QUISUMBING 333 SCRA 13 (2000)

(Andrey Alcomendras) PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ROMEO G. JALOSJOS - G.R. Nos. 132875-76 [2000] PHSC 168 (3 February 2000) FACTS: The accused-appellant, Romeo F. Jaloslos is a full-pledged member of Congress who is now confined at the national penitentiary while his conviction for statutory rape on two counts and acts of lasciviousness on six counts 1 is pending appeal. The accusedappellant filed this 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. The accused-appellant's "Motion To Be Allowed To Discharge Mandate As Member of House of Representatives" was filed on the grounds that 1. Accused-appellant's reelection being an expression of popular will cannot be rendered inutile by any ruling, giving priority to any right or interest not even the police power of the State. 2. To deprive the electorate of their elected representative amounts to taxation without representation. 3. To bar accused-appellant from performing his duties amounts to his suspension/removal and mocks the renewed mandates entrusted to him by the people. 4. The electorate of the First District of Zamboanga del Norte wants their voice to be heard. 5. A precedent-setting U.S. ruling allowed a detained lawmaker to attend sessions of the U.S. Congress.

6.

The House treats accused-appellant as a bona fide member

Compiled by: Thyrza Marbas/Percy Donalvo/Carrie Mae Bangayan

18

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW REVIEW 2-BILL OF RIGHTS Atty. Vincent Paul Montejo


Pursuant to a policy of the state, P.D. No. 269 aims to promote, encourage and assist all public service entities engaged in supplying electric service, particularly electric cooperatives by giving every tenable support and assistance to the electric cooperatives coming within the purview of the law.[2] Accordingly, Section 39 of P.D. No. 269 provides that cooperatives (1) shall be permanently exempt from paying income taxes, and (2) for a period ending on December 31 of the thirtieth full calendar year after the date of a cooperative's organization or conversion hereunder, or until it shall become completely free of indebtedness incurred by borrowing, whichever event first occurs, shall be exempt from the payment (a) of all National Government, local government and municipal taxes and fees, including franchise, filing, recordation, license or permit fees or taxes and any fees, charges, or costs involved in any court or administrative proceeding in which it may be a party, and (b) of all duties or imposts on foreign goods acquired for its operations, the period of such exemption for a new cooperative formed by consolidation, as provided for in Section 29, to begin from as of the date of the beginning of such period for the constituent consolidating cooperative which was most recently organized or converted under this Decree: Provided, That the Board of Administrators shall, after consultation with the Bureau of Internal Revenue, promulgate rules and regulations for the proper implementation of the tax exemptions provided for in this Decree. From 1971 to 1978, in order to finance the electrification projects envisioned by P.D. No. 269, as amended, the Philippine Government entered into six (6) loan agreements with the government of the United States of America through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) with electric cooperatives, including petitioners ANECO, ILECO I and ISELCO I, as beneficiaries. The six (6) loan agreements involved a total amount of approximately US$86,000,000.00. These loan agreements are existing until today. The loan agreements contain similarly worded provisions on the tax application of the loan and any property or commodity acquired through the proceeds of the loan. Thus, Section 6.5 of A.I.D. Loan No. 492-H-027 dated November 15, 1971 provides that The Borrower covenants and agrees that this Loan Agreement and the Loan provided for herein shall be free from, and the Principal and interest shall be paid to A.I.D. without deduction for and free from, any taxation or fees imposed under any laws or decrees in effect within the Republic of the Philippines or any such taxes or fees so imposed or payable shall be reimbursed by the Borrower with funds other than those provided under the Loan Petitioners assail Sections 193 and 234 of the Local Government Code on the ground that the said provisions discriminate against them, in violation of the equal protection clause. Allegedly, said provisions unduly discriminate against petitioners who are duly registered cooperatives under P.D. No. 269, as amended, and not under R.A. No. 6938 or the Cooperative Code of the Philippines. They stress that cooperatives registered under R.A. No. 6938 are singled out for tax exemption privileges under the Local Government Code. They maintain that electric cooperatives registered with the NEA under P.D. No. 269, as amended, and electric cooperatives registered with the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) under R.A. No. 6938 are similarly situated for the following reasons: a) petitioners are registered with the NEA which is a government agency like the CDA; b) petitioners, like CDA-registered cooperatives, operate for service to their member-consumers; and c) prior to the enactment of the Local Government Code, petitioners, like CDA-registered cooperatives, were already tax-exempt.[7] Thus, petitioners contend that to grant tax exemptions from local government taxes, including real property tax under Sections 193 and 234 of the Local Government Code only to registered cooperatives under R.A. No. 6938 is a violation of the equal protection clause. ISSUE: Whether or not there is violation of the equal protection clause. HELD: There is no violation of the equal protection clause. The pertinent parts of Sections 193 and 234 of the Local Government Code provide: Section 193. Withdrawal of Tax Exemption Privileges.Unless otherwise provided in this Code, tax exemptions or incentives granted to, or presently enjoyed by all persons, whether natural or juridical, including government-owned and controlled corporations, except local water districts, cooperatives duly registered under R.A. No. 6938, non-stock and non-profit hospitals and educational institutions, are hereby withdrawn upon the effectivity of this Code. . Section 234. Exemptions from real property tax.The following are exempted from payment of the real property tax: . (d) All real property owned by duly registered cooperatives as provided for under R.A. No. 6938; and

Case Pool 4Manresa2009-2010


. Except as provided herein, any exemption from payment of real property tax previously granted to, or presently enjoyed by, all persons whether natural or juridical, including all government-owned and controlled corporations are hereby withdrawn upon effectivity of this Code.[6] The equal protection clause under the Constitution means that no person or class of persons shall be deprived of the same protection of laws which is enjoyed by other persons or other classes in the same place and in like circumstances.[8] Thus, the guaranty of the equal protection of the laws is not violated by a law based on reasonable classification. Classification, to be reasonable, must (1) rest on substantial distinctions; (2) be germane to the purposes of the law; (3) not be limited to existing conditions only; and (4) apply equally to all members of the same class.[9] We hold that there is reasonable classification under the Local Government Code to justify the different tax treatment between electric cooperatives covered by P.D. No. 269, as amended, and electric cooperatives under R.A. No. 6938. First, substantial distinctions exist between cooperatives under P.D. No. 269, as amended, and cooperatives under R.A. No. 6938. These distinctions are manifest in at least two material respects which go into the nature of cooperatives envisioned by R.A. No. 6938 and which characteristics are not present in the type of cooperative associations created under P.D. No. 269, as amended. a. Capital Contributions by Members The capital contributions by members of a cooperative under R.A. No. 6938 is one of the key factors which distinguished electric cooperatives under P.D. No. 269, as amended, from electric cooperatives under the Cooperative Code. In cooperatives under P.D. No. 269, the members do not make substantial contribution to the capital required. It is the government that puts in the capital, in most cases. Nowhere in P.D. No. 269, as amended, does it require cooperatives to make equitable contributions to capital. Petitioners themselves admit that to qualify as a member of an electric cooperative under P.D. No. 269, only the payment of a P5.00 membership fee is required which is even refundable the moment the member is no longer interested in getting electric service from the cooperative or will transfer to another place outside the area covered by the cooperative.[13] However, under the Cooperative Code, the articles of cooperation of a cooperative applying for registration must be accompanied with the bonds of the accountable officers and a sworn statement of the treasurer elected by the subscribers showing that at least twenty-five per cent (25%) of the authorized share capital has been subscribed and at least twenty-five per cent (25%) of the total subscription has been paid and in no case shall the paid-up share capital be less than Two thousand pesos (P2,000.00).[14] b. Extent of Government Control over Cooperatives The extent of government control over electric cooperatives covered by P.D. No. 269, as amended, is largely a function of the role of the NEA as a primary source of funds of these electric cooperatives. It is crystal clear that NEA incurred loans from various sources to finance the development and operations of the electric cooperatives. Consequently, amendments to P.D. No. 269 were primarily geared to expand the powers of the NEA over the electric cooperatives to ensure that loans granted to them would be repaid to the government. In contrast, cooperatives under R.A. No. 6938 are envisioned to be self-sufficient and independent organizations with minimal government intervention or regulation. To be sure, the transitory provisions of R.A. No. 6938 are indicative of the recognition by Congress of the fundamental distinctions between electric cooperatives organized under P.D No. 269, as amended, and cooperatives under the new Cooperative Code. Article 128 of the Cooperative Code provides that all cooperatives registered under previous laws shall be deemed registered with the CDA upon submission of certain requirements within one year. However, cooperatives created under P.D. No. 269, as amended, are given three years within which to qualify and register with the CDA, after which, provisions of P.D. No. 1645 which expand the powers of the NEA over electric cooperatives, would no longer apply. [22] Second, the classification of tax-exempt entities in the Local Government Code is germane to the purpose of the law. Section 193 of the Local Government Code is indicative of the legislative intent to vest broad taxing powers upon local government units and to limit exemptions from local taxation to entities specifically provided therein.

Compiled by: Thyrza Marbas/Percy Donalvo/Carrie Mae Bangayan

19

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW REVIEW 2-BILL OF RIGHTS Atty. Vincent Paul Montejo


While we understand petitioners predicament brought about by the withdrawal of their local tax exemption privileges under the Local Government Code, it is not the province of this Court to go into the wisdom of legislative enactments. Courts can only interpret laws. The principle of separation of powers prevents them from re-inventing the laws. Finally, Sections 193 and 234 of the Local Government Code permit reasonable classification as these exemptions are not limited to existing conditions and apply equally to all members of the same class. Exemptions from local taxation, including real property tax, are granted to all cooperatives covered by R.A. No. 6938 and such exemptions exist for as long as the Local Government Code and the provisions therein on local taxation remain good law. The instant petition is DENIED. RODOLFO C. FARIAS, et al v. THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, et al G.R. No. 147387. [2003] PHSC 1044 (10 December 2003) Facts: Before the Court are two Petitions under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, as amended, seeking to declare as unconstitutional Section 14 of Republic Act No. 9006 (The Fair Election Act), insofar as it expressly repeals Section 67 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 881 (The Omnibus Election Code) which provides: SEC. 67. Candidates holding elective office. Any elective official, whether national or local, running for any office other than the one which he is holding in a permanent capacity, except for President and Vice-President, shall be considered ipso facto resigned from his office upon the filing of his certificate of candidacy. The petitioners assert that Section 14 of Rep. Act No. 9006 violates the equal protection clause of the Constitution because it repeals Section 67 only of the Omnibus Election Code, leaving intact Section 66 thereof which imposes a similar limitation to appointive officials, thus: SEC. 66. Candidates holding appointive office or position. Any person holding a public appointive office or position, including active members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and officers and employees in governmentowned or controlled corporations, shall be considered ipso facto resigned from his office upon the filing of his certificate of candidacy. They contend that Section 14 of Rep. Act No. 9006 discriminates against appointive officials. By the repeal of Section 67, an elective official who runs for office other than the one which he is holding is no longer considered ipso facto resigned therefrom upon filing his certificate of candidacy. Elective officials continue in public office even as they campaign for reelection or election for another elective position. On the other hand, Section 66 has been retained; thus, the limitation on appointive officials remains - they are still considered ipso facto resigned from their offices upon the filing of their certificates of candidacy. Respondents argue that the repeal of Section 67 is germane to the general subject of Rep. Act No. 9006 as expressed in its title as it eliminates the effect of prematurely terminating the term of an elective official by his filing of a certificate of candidacy for an office other than the one which he is permanently holding, such that he is no longer considered ipso facto resigned therefrom. The legislature, by including the repeal of Section 67 of the Omnibus Election Code in Rep. Act No. 9006, has deemed it fit to remove the unfairness of considering an elective official ipso facto resigned from his office upon the filing of his certificate of candidacy for another elective office. With the repeal of Section 67, all elective officials are now placed on equal footing as they are allowed to finish their respective terms even if they run for any office, whether the presidency, vice-presidency or other elective positions, other than the one they are holding in a permanent capacity. According to the respondents, Section 14 of Rep. Act No. 9006, insofar as it repeals Section 67, leaving Section 66 of the Omnibus Election Code intact and effective, does not violate the equal protection clause of the Constitution. Section 67 pertains to elective officials while Section 66 pertains to appointive officials. A substantial distinction exists between these two sets of officials; elective officials occupy their office by virtue of their mandate based upon the popular will, while the appointive officials are not elected by popular will. The latter cannot, therefore, be similarly treated as the former. Equal protection simply requires that all persons or things similarly situated are treated alike, both as to rights conferred and responsibilities imposed. ISSUE: Whether sec 14 of RA 9006 is violative of the equal protection clause.

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Held: No. The equal protection of the law clause in the Constitution is not absolute, but is subject to reasonable classification. If the groupings are characterized by substantial distinctions that make real differences, one class may be treated and regulated differently from the other. [44] The Court has explained the nature of the equal protection guarantee in this manner: The equal protection of the law clause is against undue favor and individual or class privilege, as well as hostile discrimination or the oppression of inequality. It is not intended to prohibit legislation which is limited either in the object to which it is directed or by territory within which it is to operate. It does not demand absolute equality among residents; it merely requires that all persons shall be treated alike, under like circumstances and conditions both as to privileges conferred and liabilities enforced. The equal protection clause is not infringed by legislation which applies only to those persons falling within a specified class, if it applies alike to all persons within such class, and reasonable grounds exist for making a distinction between those who fall within such class and those who do not. Substantial distinctions clearly exist between elective officials and appointive officials. The former occupy their office by virtue of the mandate of the electorate. They are elected to an office for a definite term and may be removed therefrom only upon stringent conditions. On the other hand, appointive officials hold their office by virtue of their designation thereto by an appointing authority. Some appointive officials hold their office in a permanent capacity and are entitled to security of tenure while others serve at the pleasure of the appointing authority. Another substantial distinction between the two sets of officials is that under Section 55, Chapter 8, Title I, Subsection A. Civil Service Commission, Book V of the Administrative Code of 1987 (Executive Order No. 292), appointive officials, as officers and employees in the civil service, are strictly prohibited from engaging in any partisan political activity or take part in any election except to vote. Under the same provision, elective officials, or officers or employees holding political offices, are obviously expressly allowed to take part in political and electoral activities. By repealing Section 67 but retaining Section 66 of the Omnibus Election Code, the legislators deemed it proper to treat these two classes of officials differently with respect to the effect on their tenure in the office of the filing of the certificates of candidacy for any position other than those occupied by them. It is not within the power of the Court to pass upon or look into the wisdom of this classification. Since the classification justifying Section 14 of Rep. Act No. 9006, i.e., elected officials vis-a-vis appointive officials, is anchored upon material and significant distinctions and all the persons belonging under the same classification are similarly treated, the equal protection clause of the Constitution is, thus, not infringed. Duncan Association of Detailman-PTGWO, et al. v. Glaxo Wellcome Philippines, Inc. - G.R. No. 162994 [2004] PHSC 959 (17 September 2004) Facts: Petitioner Pedro A. Tecson (Tecson) was hired by respondent Glaxo Wellcome Philippines, Inc. (Glaxo) as medical representative on October 24, 1995, after Tecson had undergone training and orientation. Thereafter, Tecson signed a contract of employment which stipulates, among others, that he agrees to study and abide by existing company rules; to disclose to management any existing or future relationship by consanguinity or affinity with co-employees or employees of competing drug companies and should management find that such relationship poses a possible conflict of interest, to resign from the company. The Employee Code of Conduct of Glaxo similarly provides that an employee is expected to inform management of any existing or future relationship by consanguinity or affinity with co-employees or employees of competing drug companies. If management perceives a conflict of interest or a potential conflict between such relationship and the employees employment with the company, the management and the employee will explore the possibility of a transfer to another department in a non-counterchecking position or preparation for employment outside the company after six months. Tecson was initially assigned to market Glaxos products in the Camarines Sur-Camarines Norte sales area. Subsequently, Tecson entered into a romantic relationship with Bettsy, an employee of Astra Pharmaceuticals[3] (Astra), a competitor of Glaxo. Bettsy was Astras Branch Coordinator in Albay. She supervised the district managers and medical representatives of her company and

Compiled by: Thyrza Marbas/Percy Donalvo/Carrie Mae Bangayan

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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW REVIEW 2-BILL OF RIGHTS Atty. Vincent Paul Montejo


prepared marketing strategies for Astra in that area. Even before they got married, Tecson received several reminders from his District Manager regarding the conflict of interest which his relationship with Bettsy might engender. Still, love prevailed, and Tecson married Bettsy in September 1998. Tecson requested for time to comply with the company policy against entering into a relationship with an employee of a competitor company. In August 1999, Tecson again requested for more time resolve the problem. In September 1999, Tecson applied for a transfer in Glaxos milk division, thinking that since Astra did not have a milk division, the potential conflict of interest would be eliminated. His application was denied in view of Glaxos least-movementpossible policy. In November 1999, Glaxo transferred Tecson to the Butuan CitySurigao City-Agusan del Sur sales area. Tecson asked Glaxo to reconsider its decision, but his request was denied. Tecson defied the transfer order and continued acting as medical representative in the Camarines Sur-Camarines Norte sales area. Petitioners contend that Glaxos policy against employees marrying employees of competitor companies violates the equal protection clause of the Constitution because it creates invalid distinctions among employees on account only of marriage. They claim that the policy restricts the employees right to marry.[7] Glaxo argues that the company policy prohibiting its employees from having a relationship with and/or marrying an employee of a competitor company is a valid exercise of its management prerogatives and does not violate the equal protection clause; and that Tecsons reassignment does not amount to constructive dismissal.[9] It likewise asserts that the policy does not prohibit marriage per se but only proscribes existing or future relationships with employees of competitor companies, and is therefore not violative of the equal protection clause. It maintains that considering the nature of its business, the prohibition is based on valid grounds.[11] Issue: Whether Glaxos policy against its employees marrying employees from competitor companies violates the equal protection clause of the Constitution. Held: No. The challenged company policy does not violate the equal protection clause of the Constitution as petitioners erroneously suggest. It is a settled principle that the commands of the equal protection clause are addressed only to the state or those acting under color of its authority.[24] The equal protection clause erects no shield against merely private conduct, however, discriminatory or wrongful. [25] The only exception occurs when the state[26] in any of its manifestations or actions has been found to have become entwined or involved in the wrongful private conduct.[27] Obviously, however, the exception is not present in this case. Significantly, the company actually enforced the policy after repeated requests to the employee to comply with the policy. Indeed, the application of the policy was made in an impartial and even-handed manner, with due regard for the lot of the employee. (In any event, from the wordings of the contractual provision and the policy in its employee handbook, it is clear that Glaxo does not impose an absolute prohibition against relationships between its employees and those of competitor companies. Its employees are free to cultivate relationships with and marry persons of their own choosing. What the company merely seeks to avoid is a conflict of interest between the employee and the company that may arise out of such relationships. The assailed company policy which forms part of respondents Employee Code of Conduct and of its contracts with its employees, such as that signed by Tecson, was made known to him prior to his employment. He is therefore estopped from questioning said policy. Glaxos policy prohibiting an employee from having a relationship with an employee of a competitor company is a valid exercise of management prerogative and to avoid conflict of interest. Glaxo has a right to guard its trade secrets, manufacturing formulas, marketing strategies and other confidential programs and information from competitors, especially so that it and Astra are rival companies in the highly competitive pharmaceutical industry. That Glaxo possesses the right to protect its economic interests cannot be denied. No less than the Constitution recognizes the right of enterprises to adopt and enforce such a policy to protect its right to reasonable returns on investments and to expansion and growth.) Rodolfo S. Beltran, et al., v. The Secretary of Health. - G.R. No.

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133640 [2005] PHSC 1311 (25 November 2005) Facts: Before this Court are petitions assailing primarily the constitutionality of Section 7 of Republic Act No. 7719, otherwise known as the National Blood Services Act of 1994, and the validity of Administrative Order (A.O.) No. 9, series of 1995 or the Rules and Regulations Implementing Republic Act No. 7719. Republic Act No. 7719 or the National Blood Services Act of 1994 w was enacted into law on April 2, 1994. The Act seeks to provide an adequate supply of safe blood by promoting voluntary blood donation and by regulating blood banks in the country. On April 28, 1995, Administrative Order No. 9, Series of 1995, constituting the Implementing Rules and Regulations of said law was promulgated by respondent Secretary of the Department of Health (DOH).[6] Section 7 of R.A. 7719 [7] provides: Section 7. Phase-out of Commercial Blood Banks All commercial blood banks shall be phased-out over a period of two (2) years after the effectivity of this Act, extendable to a maximum period of two (2) years by the Secretary. Section 23 of Administrative Order No. 9 provides: Section 23. Process of Phasing Out. -- The Department shall effect the phasing-out of all commercial blood banks over a period of two (2) years, extendible for a maximum period of two (2) years after the effectivity of R.A. 7719. The decision to extend shall be based on the result of a careful study and review of the blood supply and demand and public safety.[8] The phase-out period was extended for two years by the DOH pursuant to Section 7 of Republic Act No. 7719 and Section 23 of its Implementing Rules and Regulations. Pursuant to said Act, all commercial blood banks should have been phased out by May 28, 1998. Hence, petitioners were granted by the Secretary of Health their licenses to open and operate a blood bank only until May 27, 1998. Blood banking and blood transfusion services in the country have been arranged in four (4) categories: blood centers run by the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC), government-run blood services, private hospital blood banks, and commercial blood services. Petitioners assert that the questioned legal provisions of the National Blood Services Act and its Implementing Rules violate the equal protection clause for irrationally discriminating against free standing blood banks in a manner which is not germane to the purpose of the law; Issue: whether section 7 of RA 7719 and its implementing rules and regulations violate the equal protection clause. Held: No. What may be regarded as a denial of the equal protection of the laws is a question not always easily determined. No rule that will cover every case can be formulated. Class legislation, discriminating against some and favoring others is prohibited but classification on a reasonable basis and not made arbitrarily or capriciously is permitted. The classification, however, to be reasonable: (a) must be based on substantial distinctions which make real differences; (b) must be germane to the purpose of the law; (c) must not be limited to existing conditions only; and, (d) must apply equally to each member of the class. Republic Act No. 7719 or The National Blood Services Act of 1994, was enacted for the promotion of public health and welfare. In January of 1994, the New Tropical Medicine Foundation, with the assistance of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) released its final report of a study on the Philippine blood banking system entitled Project to Evaluate the Safety of the Philippine Blood Banking System. It was revealed that of the blood units collected in 1992, 64.4 % were supplied by commercial blood banks, 14.5% by the PNRC, 13.7% by government hospital-based blood banks, and 7.4% by private hospital-based blood banks. During the time the study was made, there were only twenty-four (24) registered or licensed free-standing or commercial blood banks in the country. Hence, with these numbers in mind, the study deduced that each commercial blood bank produces five times more blood than the Red Cross and fifteen times more than the government-run blood banks. The study, therefore, showed that the Philippines heavily relied on commercial sources of blood. The study

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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW REVIEW 2-BILL OF RIGHTS Atty. Vincent Paul Montejo


likewise revealed that 99.6% of the donors of commercial blood banks and 77.0% of the donors of private-hospital based blood banks are paid donors. Paid donors are those who receive remuneration for donating their blood. Blood donors of the PNRC and government-run hospitals, on the other hand, are mostly voluntary. It was further found, among other things, that blood sold by persons to blood commercial banks are three times more likely to have any of the four (4) tested infections or blood transfusion transmissible diseases, namely, malaria, syphilis, Hepatitis B and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) than those donated to PNRC. Commercial blood banks give paid donors varying rates around P50 to P150, and because of this arrangement, many of these donors are poor, and often they are students, who need cash immediately. Since they need the money, these donors are not usually honest about their medical or social history. Thus, blood from healthy, voluntary donors who give their true medical and social history are about three times much safer than blood from paid donors. What the study also found alarming is that many Filipino doctors are not yet fully trained on the specific indications for blood component transfusion. They are not aware of the lack of blood supply and do not feel the need to adjust their practices and use of blood and blood products. It also does not matter to them where the blood comes from. The Philippine blood banking system is disturbingly primitive and unsafe, and with its current condition, the spread of infectious diseases from blood transfusion is unavoidable. This led to the passage of Republic Act No. 7719, to instill public consciousness of the importance and benefits of voluntary blood donation, safe blood supply and proper blood collection from healthy donors. To do this, the Legislature decided to order the phase out of commercial blood banks to improve the Philippine blood banking system, to regulate the supply and proper collection of safe blood, and so as not to derail the implementation of the voluntary blood donation program of the government. In lieu of commercial blood banks, non-profit blood banks or blood centers, in strict adherence to professional and scientific standards to be established by the DOH, shall be set in place. Based on the foregoing, the Legislature never intended for the law to create a situation in which unjustifiable discrimination and inequality shall be allowed. To effectuate its policy, a classification was made between nonprofit blood banks/centers and commercial blood banks. We deem the classification to be valid and reasonable for the following reasons: 1. it was based on substantial distinctions. The former operates for purely humanitarian reasons and as a medical service while the latter is motivated by profit. Also, while the former wholly encourages voluntary blood donation, the latter treats blood as a sale of commodity 2. the classification, and the consequent phase out of commercial blood banks is germane to the purpose of the law, that is, to provide the nation with an adequate supply of safe blood by promoting voluntary blood donation and treating blood transfusion as a humanitarian or medical service rather than a commodity. This necessarily involves the phase out of commercial blood banks based on the fact that they operate as a business enterprise, and they source their blood supply from paid blood donors who are considered unsafe compared to voluntary blood donors as shown by the USAIDsponsored study on the Philippine blood banking system. 3. the Legislature intended for the general application of the law. Its enactment was not solely to address the peculiar circumstances of the situation nor was it intended to apply only to the existing conditions. Hence, the Court finds that petitioners have failed to overcome the presumption of constitutionality of the law. As to whether the Act constitutes a wise legislation, considering the issues being raised by petitioners, is for Congress to determine. Elena P. Dycaico v. Social Security Commission, et al. - G.R. No. 161357 [2005] PHSC 1331 (30 November 2005) Facts: Bonifacio S. Dycaico became a member of the SSS on January 24, 1980. In his self-employed data record (SSS Form RS-1), he named the petitioner, Elena P. Dycaico, and their eight children as his beneficiaries. At that time, Bonifacio and Elena lived together as husband and wife without the benefit of marriage. In June 1989, Bonifacio was considered retired and began receiving his monthly pension from the SSS. He continued to receive the monthly pension until he passed away on June 19, 1997. A few months prior to his death, however, Bonifacio married the petitioner on January 6, 1997.

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Shortly after Bonifacios death, the petitioner filed with the SSS an application for survivors pension. Her application, however, was denied on the ground that under Section 12-B(d) of Republic Act (Rep. Act) No. 8282 or the Social Security Law[2] she could not be considered a primary beneficiary of Bonifacio as of the date of his retirement. The said proviso reads: Sec. 12-B. Retirement Benefits. (d) Upon the death of the retired member, his primary beneficiaries as of the date of his retirement shall be entitled to receive the monthly pension. Applying this proviso, the petitioner was informed that the Records show that the member [referring to Bonifacio] was considered retired on June 5, 1989 and monthly pension was cancelled upon our receipt of a report on his death on June 19, 1997. In your death claim application, submitted marriage contract with the deceased member shows that you were married in 1997 or after his retirement date; hence, you could not be considered his primary beneficiary. The petitioner points out that the term primary beneficiaries as used in Section 12-B(d) of Rep. Act No. 8282 does not have any qualification. She thus theorizes that regardless of whether the primary beneficiary designated by the member as such is legitimate or not, he or she is entitled to the survivors pension. Reliance by the appellate court and the SSC on the definitions of primary beneficiaries and dependents in Section 8 of Rep. Act No. 8282 is allegedly unwarranted because these definitions cannot modify Section 12-B(d) thereof. The petitioner maintains that when she and Bonifacio got married in January 1997, a few months before he passed away, they merely intended to legalize their relationship and had no intention to commit any fraud. Further, since Rep. Act No. 8282 is a social legislation, it should be construed liberally in favor of claimants like the petitioner. She cites the Courts pronouncement that the sympathy of the law on social security is toward its beneficiaries, and the law, by its own terms, requires a construction of utmost liberality in their favor.[5] The SSS, on the other hand, contends that Section 12-B(d) of Rep. Act No. 8282 should be read in conjunction with the definition of the terms dependents and primary beneficiaries in Section 8 thereof. According to the SSS, there is nothing in Rep. Act No. 8282 which provides that should there be no primary or secondary beneficiaries, the benefit accruing from the death of a member should go to his designated common-law spouse and that to rule otherwise would be to condone the designation of common-law spouses as beneficiaries, a clear case of circumventing the SS Law and a violation of public policy and morals.[6] Finally, the SSS is of the opinion that Section 12-B(d) of Rep. Act No. 8282 is clear and explicit; hence, there is no room for its interpretation, only for application. Issue: whether the proviso as of the date of his retirement in Section 12-B(d) of Rep. Act No. 8282 violates the equal protection and due process clauses of the Constitution. Held: Yes. The Court holds that the proviso as of the date of his retirement in Section 12-B(d) of Rep. Act No. 8282, which qualifies the term primary beneficiaries, is unconstitutional for it violates the due process and equal protection clauses of the Constitution. As illustrated by the petitioners case, the proviso as of the date of his retirement in Section 12-B(d) of Rep. Act No. 8282 which qualifies the term primary beneficiaries results in the classification of dependent spouses as primary beneficiaries into two groups: (1) Those dependent spouses whose respective marriages to SSS members were contracted prior to the latters retirement; and (2) Those dependent spouses whose respective marriages to SSS members were contracted after the latters retirement. Underlying these two classifications of dependent spouses is that their respective marriages are valid. In other words, both groups are legitimate or legal spouses. The distinction between them lies solely on the date the marriage was contracted. The petitioner belongs to the second group of dependent spouses, i.e., her marriage to

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Bonifacio was contracted after his retirement. She and those similarly situated are undoubtedly discriminated against as the proviso as of the date of his retirement disqualifies them from being considered primary beneficiaries for the purpose of entitlement to survivors pension. Generally, a statute based on reasonable classification does not violate the constitutional guaranty of the equal protection clause of the law. However, as in other statutes, the classification in Rep. Act No. 8282 with respect to entitlement to benefits, to be valid and reasonable, must satisfy the following requirements: (1) it must rest on substantial distinctions; (2) it must be germane to the purpose of the law; (3) it must not be limited to existing conditions only; and (4) it must apply equally to all members of the same class. The legislative history of Rep. Act No. 8282 does not bear out the purpose of Congress in inserting the proviso as of the date of his retirement to qualify the term primary beneficiaries in Section 12B(d) thereof. To the Courts mind, however, the proviso was apparently intended to prevent sham marriages or those contracted by persons solely to enable one spouse to claim benefits upon the anticipated death of the other spouse. This concern is concededly valid. However, classifying dependent spouses and determining their entitlement to survivors pension based on whether the marriage was contracted before or after the retirement of the other spouse, regardless of the duration of the said marriage, bears no relation to the achievement of the policy objective of the law, i.e., provide meaningful protection to members and their beneficiaries against the hazard of disability, sickness, maternity, old age, death and o other contingencies resulting in loss of income or financial burden."[14] Such classification of dependent spouses is not germane to the aforesaid policy objective. For if it were the intention of Congress to prevent sham marriages or those entered in contemplation of imminent death, then it should have prescribed a definite duration-of-relationship or durational period of relationship as one of the requirements for entitlement to survivors pension. In this particular provision, the duration of the marriage is not even considered. It is observed that, in certain instances, the retirement a age under Rep. Act No. 8282 is sixty (60) years old.[16] A marriage contracted by a retired SSS member after the said age may still last for more than ten years, assuming the member lives up to over seventy (70) years old. In such a case, it cannot be said that the marriage was a sham or was entered into solely for the purpose of enabling one spouse to obtain the financial benefits due upon the death of the other spouse. Further, the classification of dependent spouses on the basis of whether their respective marriages to the SSS member were contracted prior to or after the latters retirement for the purpose of entitlement to survivors pension does not rest on real and substantial distinctions. It is arbitrary and discriminatory. It is too sweeping because the proviso as of the date of his retirement, which effectively disqualifies the dependent spouses whose respective marriages to the retired SSS member were contracted after the latters retirement as primary beneficiaries, unfairly lumps all these marriages as sham relationships or were contracted solely for the purpose of acquiring benefits accruing upon the death of the other spouse. The proviso thus unduly prejudices the rights of the legal surviving spouse, like the petitioner, and defeats the avowed policy of the law. James Mirasol, et al. v. Dept. of Public Works & Highways, et al. - G.R. No. 158793 [2006] PHSC 471 (8 June 2006) FACTS: Petitioners assert that Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Department Order No. 74 (DO 74), Department Order No. 215 (DO 215), and the Revised Rules and Regulations on Limited Access Facilities of the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) violate Republic Act No. 2000 (RA 2000) or the Limited Access Highway Act. Petitioners also seek to declare Department Order No. 123 (DO 123) and Administrative Order No. 1 (AO 1)[2] unconstitutional. Pursuant to its mandate under R.A. 2000, DPWH issued on June 25, 1998 Department Order (DO) No. 215 declaring the Manila-Cavite (Coastal Road) Toll Expressway as limited access facilities. This provides for the enforcement of the total ban on motorcycles along the entire breadth of North and South Luzon Expressways and the ManilaCavite (Coastal Road) Toll Expressway under DO 215. On July 18, 2001, the DPWH acting thru the TRB, issued Department Order No. 123 allowing motorcycles with engine displacement of 400 cubic centimeters inside limited access facilities (toll ways). Petitioners assail the DPWHs failure to provide scientific objective data on the danger of having motorcycles plying highways. They attack this exercise of police power as baseless unwarranted. Petitioners belabor the fact that there are studies and our and that

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provide proof that motorcycles are safe modes of transport. They also claim that AO 1 introduces an unreasonable classification by singling-out motorcycles from other motorized modes of transport. Finally, petitioners argue that AO 1 violates their right to travel. ISSUES: WHETHER DO 74, DO 215 AND THE TRB REGULATIONS CONTRAVENE RA 2000; And WHETHER AO 1 AND DO 123 ARE UNCONSTITUTIONAL.[5] HELD: (DO 74 and DO 215 are void because the DPWH has no authority to declare certain expressways as limited access facilities. Under the law, it is the DOTC which is authorized to administer and enforce all laws, rules and regulations in the field of transportation and to regulate related activities. Since the DPWH has no authority to regulate activities relative to transportation, the TRB cannot derive its power from the DPWH to issue regulations governing limited access facilities. The DPWH cannot delegate a power or function which it does not possess in the first place. Since DO 74 and DO 215 are void, it follows that the rules implementing them are likewise void. Hence, we need not pass upon the constitutionality of the classification of motorcycles under DO 123. ) We now discuss the constitutionality of AO 1. The use of public highways by motor vehicles is subject to regulation as an exercise of the police power of the state. The police power is far-reaching in scope and is the most essential, insistent and illimitable of all government powers. The tendency is to extend rather than to restrict the use of police power. The sole standard in measuring its exercise is reasonableness. What is reasonable is not subject to exact definition or scientific formulation. No all-embracing test of reasonableness exists,[36] for its determination rests upon human judgment applied to the facts and circumstances of each particular case. We find that AO 1 does not impose unreasonable restrictions. None of its rules violates reason. The purpose of these rules and the logic behind them are quite evident. A toll way is not an ordinary road. The special purpose for which a toll way is constructed necessitates the imposition of guidelines in the manner of its use and operation. Inevitably, such rules will restrict certain rights. But the mere fact that certain rights are restricted does not invalidate the rules. The means by which the government chooses to act is not judged in terms of what is best, rather, on simply whether the act is reasonable. The validity of a police power measure does not depend upon the absolute assurance that the purpose desired can in fact be probably fully accomplished, or upon the certainty that it will best serve the purpose intended. Reason, not scientific exactitude, is the measure of the validity of the governmental regulation. Arguments based on what is best are arguments reserved for the Legislatures discussion. Judicial intervention in such matters will only be warranted if the assailed regulation is patently whimsical. We do not find the situation in this case to be so. Neither do we find AO 1 oppressive. Petitioners are not being deprived of their right to use the limited access facility. They are merely being required, just like the rest of the public, to adhere to the rules on how to use the facility. AO 1 does not infringe upon petitioners right to travel but merely bars motorcycles, bicycles, tricycles, pedicabs, and any non-motorized vehicles as the mode of traveling along limited access highways. Several cheap, accessible and practical alternative modes of transport are open to petitioners. There is nothing oppressive in being required to take a bus or drive a car instead of ones scooter, bicycle, calesa, or motorcycle upon using a toll way.) A police power measure may be assailed upon proof that it unduly violates constitutional limitations like due process and equal protection of the law. Petitioners attempt to seek redress from the motorcycle ban under the aegis of equal protection must fail. Petitioners contention that AO 1 unreasonably singles out motorcycles is specious. To begin with, classification by itself is not prohibited. A classification can only be assailed if it is deemed invidious, that is, it is not based on real or substantial differences. We find that it is neither warranted nor reasonable for petitioners to say that the only justifiable classification among modes of transport is the motorized against the non-motorized. Not all motorized vehicles are created equal. A 16-wheeler truck is substantially different from other light vehicles. The first may be denied access to some roads where the latter are free to drive. Old vehicles may be reasonably differentiated from newer models.[46] We find that real and substantial differences exist between a motorcycle and other forms of transport sufficient to justify its classification among those prohibited from plying the toll

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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW REVIEW 2-BILL OF RIGHTS Atty. Vincent Paul Montejo


ways. Amongst all types of motorized transport, it is obvious, even to a child, that a motorcycle is quite different from a car, a bus or a truck. The most obvious and troubling difference would be that a twowheeled vehicle is less stable and more easily overturned than a fourwheeled vehicle. A classification based on practical convenience and common knowledge is not unconstitutional simply because it may lack purely theoretical or scientific uniformity. Moreover, we take note that the Philippines is home to a host of unique motorized modes of transport ranging from modified hand-carts (kuliglig) to bicycle sidecars outfitted with a motor. To follow petitioners argument to its logical conclusion would open up toll ways to all these contraptions. Both safety and traffic considerations militate against any ruling that would bring about such a nightmare. SALVADOR PARREO vs. COMMISSION ON AUDIT FACTS: Salvador Parreo (petitioner) served in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for 32 years. On 5 January 1982, petitioner retired from the Philippine Constabulary with the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. Petitioner availed, and received payment, of a lump sum pension equivalent to three years pay. In 1985, petitioner started receiving his monthly pension amounting to P13,680. Petitioner migrated to Hawaii and became a naturalized American citizen. In January 2001, the AFP stopped petitioners monthly pension in accordance with Section 27 of Presidential Decree No. 1638[4] (PD 1638), as amended by Presidential Decree No. 1650.[5] Section 27 of PD 1638, as amended, provides that a retiree who loses his Filipino citizenship shall be removed from the retired list and his retirement benefits terminated upon loss of Filipino citizenship. Petitioner filed a claim before the COA for the continuance of his monthly pension. The COA denied petitioners claim for lack of jurisdiction. The COA ruled that pursuant to the mandate of the Constitution, whenever a dispute involves the validity of laws, the courts, as guardians of the Constitution, have the inherent authority to determine whether a statute enacted by the legislature transcends the limit imposed by the fundamental law. The COA further ruled that even if it assumed jurisdiction over the claim, petitioners entitlement to the retirement benefits he was previously receiving must necessarily cease upon the loss of his Filipino citizenship in accordance with Section 27 of PD 1638, as amended. Issue: Whether Section 27 of PD 1638, as amended, is violates the equal protection clause. Held: No. The constitutional right to equal protection of the laws is not absolute but is subject to reasonable classification. To be reasonable, the classification (a) must be based on substantial distinctions which make real differences; (b) must be germane to the purpose of the law; (c) must not be limited to existing conditions only; and (d) must apply equally to each member of the class. There is compliance with all these conditions. There is a substantial difference between retirees who are citizens of the Philippines and retirees who lost their Filipino citizenship by naturalization in another country, such as petitioner in the case before us. The constitutional right of the state to require all citizens to render personal and military service[20] necessarily includes not only private citizens but also citizens who have retired from military service. A retiree who had lost his Filipino citizenship already renounced his allegiance to the state. Thus, he may no longer be compelled by the state to render compulsory military service when the need arises. Petitioners loss of Filipino citizenship constitutes a substantial distinction that distinguishes him from other retirees who retain their Filipino citizenship. If the groupings are characterized by substantial distinctions that make real differences, one class may be treated and regulated differently from another. Republic Act No. 7077[22] (RA 7077) affirmed the constitutional right of the state to a Citizen Armed Forces. Section 11 of RA 7077 provides that citizen soldiers or reservists include ex-servicemen and retired officers of the AFP. Hence, even when a retiree is no longer in the active service, he is still a part of the Citizen Armed Forces. Thus, we do not find the requirement imposed by Section 27 of PD 1638, as amended, oppressive, discriminatory, or contrary to public policy. The state has the right to impose a reasonable condition that is necessary for national defense. To rule otherwise would be detrimental to the interest of the state. Petitioner has other recourse if he desires to continue receiving his monthly pension. Petitioner will be entitled to receive his monthly pension should he reacquire his Filipino citizenship since he will again

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be entitled to the benefits and privileges of Filipino citizenship reckoned from the time of his reacquisition of Filipino citizenship. There is no legal obstacle to the resumption of his retirement benefits from the time he complies again with the condition of the law, that is, he can receive his retirement benefits provided he is a Filipino citizen. (Petitioner filed his money claim before the COA. The jurisdiction of the COA over money claims against the government does not include the power to rule on the constitutionality or validity of laws. Petitioners money claim essentially involved the constitutionality of Section 27 of PD 1638, as amended. Hence, the COA did not commit grave abuse of discretion in dismissing petitioners money claim.) (Janette Ancog) Manila Int'l Airport Auth. et al v. Olongapo Maintenance Services Inc., et al/ Gana, et al. Vs. Triple Crown etc./G.R. No. 167827(Triple Crown etc. Vs. MIAA). - G.R. No. 146184-85/G.R. No. 161117 [2008] PHSC 60 (31 January 2008) Facts: OMSI and TCSI were among the five contractors of MIAA which had janitorial and maintenance service contracts covering various areas in the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Before their service contracts expired on October 31, 1998, the MIAA Board of Directors, through Antonio P. Gana, then General Manager (GM) of MIAA, wrote OMSI and TCSI informing them that their contracts would no longer be renewed after October 31, 1998. On September 28, 1998, TCSI, in a letter to Gana, expressed its concern over the award of its concession area to a new service contractor through a negotiated contract. It said that to award TCSIs contract by mere negotiation would violate its right to equal protection of the law. TCSI thus suggested that a public bidding be conducted and that the effectivity of its service contract be meanwhile extended until a winning bid is declared. A similar letter from OMSI to MIAA followed. In reply, MIAA wrote TCSI and OMSI reiterating its disinclination to renew the latters contracts, adding that it was to the governments advantage to instead just negotiate with other contractors. The MIAA said that awarding a contract through negotiation was in accordance with Section 9 of Executive Order No. (EO) 903; Sec. 82 of Republic Act No. (RA) 8522, otherwise known as the General Appropriations Act for 1998; and Sec. 417 of the Government Accounting and Auditing Manual (GAAM). Consequently, OMSI and TCSI instituted civil cases against MIAA to forestall the termination of their contracts and prevent MIAA from negotiating with other service contractors. Issue: Whether there was a violation of respondents right to equal protection. Held: Executive Order No. 301 explicitly permits negotiated contracts in particular identified instances. In its preamble, it adverted to the then existing set-up of "a centralized administrative system . . . for reviewing and approving negotiated contracts . . .," and to the unsatisfactory character thereof in that "such centralized administrative system is not at all facilitative particularly in emergency situations, characterized as it is by red tape and too much delay in the processing and final approval of the required transaction or activity;" hence, the "need to decentralize the processing and final approval of negotiated contracts . . . " It then laid down, in its Section 1, "guidelines for negotiated contracts" thenceforth to be followed. While affirming the general policy that contracts shall not be entered into or renewed without public bidding, x x x. (Emphasis supplied.) It is only in the instances enumerated above that public bidding may be dispensed with and a contract closed through negotiations. It is thus clear that the contention of MIAA and Gana that the exceptions in EO 301, particularly Sec. 1(e), include contracts for public services cannot be sustained. On the claim of OMSI and TCSI that their rights to equal protection of laws were violated by the negotiation of the contracts by MIAA with other service contractors, the Court finds no law that is discriminatory against them in relation to their expired service contracts. EO 301, EO 903, RA 8522, and the GAAM are not discriminatory against them precisely because, as the Court ruled, there has to be public bidding where OMSI and TCSI are allowed to participate. At most,

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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW REVIEW 2-BILL OF RIGHTS Atty. Vincent Paul Montejo


what can be discriminatory is the intended negotiation of the new service contracts by MIAA which prevents OMSI and TCSI from participating in the bidding. We find such act illegal and irregular because of the wrong application of the laws by MIAA and not because the pertinent laws are discriminatory against them. We stressed in Genaro R. Reyes Construction, Inc. v. CA: [A]lthough the law be fair on its face, and impartial in appearance, yet if applied and administered by the public authorities charged with their administration x x x with an evil eye and unequal hand so as to practically make unjust and illegal determination, the denial of equal justice is still within the prohibition of the Constitution. Given the antecedent facts of these consolidated cases, we agree with the courts a quo that the constitutional right of OMSI and TCSI to equal protection is violated by MIAA and Gana when no public bidding was called precisely because the latter were going to award the subject service contracts through negotiation. Worse, the acts of MIAA and Gana smack of arbitrariness and discrimination as they not only did not call for the required public bidding but also did not even accord OMSI and TCSI the opportunity to submit their proposals in a public bidding. What OMSI and TCSI got was a terse reply that their contracts will not be renewed and that MIAA would negotiate contracts lower than those of OMSI and TCSI without granting them the opportunity to submit their own bids or proposals. On the ground of uneven protection of law, we could grant the prayer for an order directing a public bidding. Unfortunately, such action is already foreclosed by the decision of MIAA not to hire any service contractor. Antonio F. Trillanes IV v. Hon. Oscar Pimentel, Sr., etc., et al. G.R. No. 179817 [2008] PHSC 581 (27 June 2008) Facts: At the wee hours of 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. Later in the 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. [1] A series of negotiations quelled the teeming tension and eventually resolved the impasse with the surrender of the militant soldiers that evening. In the aftermath of this eventful episode dubbed as the Oakwood Incident, petitioner Antonio F. Trillanes IV was charged, along with his comrades, with coup detat defined under Article 134-A of the Revised Penal Code before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Makati. Close to four years later, petitioner, who has remained in detention, threw his hat in the political arena and won a seat in the Senate with a six-year term commencing at noon on June 30, 2007. Before the commencement of his term or on June 22, 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, chiefly to be allowed to go to the Senate to attend all official functions of the Senate (whether at the Senate or elsewhere) particularly when the Senate is in session, and to attend the regular and plenary sessions of the Senate, committee hearings, committee meetings, consultations, investigations and hearings in aid of legislation, caucuses, staff meetings, etc., which are normally held at the Senate of the Philippines located at the GSIS Financial Center, Pasay City. Issue: Whether or not petitioner may be allowed to attend Senate sessions

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from the class of prisoners interrupted in their freedom and restricted in liberty of movement. Petitioner also posits that his election provides the legal justification to allow him to serve his mandate, after the people, in their sovereign capacity, elected him as Senator. He argues that denying his Omnibus Motion is tantamount to removing him from office, depriving the people of proper representation, denying the peoples will, repudiating the peoples choice, and overruling the mandate of the people. In once more debunking the disenfranchisement argument,[45] it is opportune to wipe out the lingering misimpression that the call of duty conferred by the voice of the people is louder than the litany of lawful restraints articulated in the Constitution and echoed by jurisprudence. The apparent discord may be harmonized by the overarching tenet that the mandate of the people yields to the Constitution which the people themselves ordained to govern all under the rule of 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 duties imposed by the mandate of the people are multifarious. The accused-appellant asserts that the duty to legislate ranks highest in the hierarchy of government. The accused-appellant is only one of 250 members of the House of Representatives, not to mention the 24 members of the Senate, charged with the duties of legislation. Congress continues to function well in the physical absence of one or a few of its members. x x x Never has the call of a particular duty lifted a prisoner into a different classification from those others who are validly restrained by law. Lastly, petitioner pleads for the same liberal treatment accorded certain detention prisoners who have also been charged with non-bailable offenses, like former President Joseph Estrada and former Governor Nur Misuari who were allowed to attend social functions. Emergency or compelling temporary leaves from imprisonment are allowed to all prisoners, at the discretion of the authorities or upon court orders.[48] In fact, the trial court previously allowed petitioner to register as a voter in December 2006, file his certificate of candidacy in February 2007, cast his vote on May 14, 2007, be proclaimed as senator-elect, and take his oath of office[49] on June 29, 2007. In a seeming attempt to bind or twist the hands of the trial court lest it be accused of taking a complete turn-around,[50] petitioner largely banks on these prior grants to him and insists on unending concessions and blanket authorizations. Petitioners position fails. On the generality and permanence of his requests alone, petitioners case fails to compare with the species of allowable leaves. Jaloslos succinctly expounds: x x x Allowing accused-appellant to attend congressional sessions and committee meetings for five (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-appellants status to that of a special class, it also would be a mockery of the purposes of the correction system.[51] WHEREFORE, the petition is DISMISSED. British American Tobacco v. Jose Isidro N. Camacho, et al. G.R. No. 163583 [2008] PHSC 860 (20 August 2008) Facts: RA 8240, entitled An Act Amending Sections 138, 139, 140, and 142 of the NIRC, as Amended and For Other Purposes, took effect on January 1, 1997. In the same year, Congress passed RA 8424 or The Tax Reform Act of 1997, re-codifying the NIRC. Paragraph (c) of Section 145 provides for four tiers of tax rates based on the net retail price per pack of cigarettes. To determine the applicable tax rates of existing cigarette brands, a survey of the net retail prices per pack of cigarettes was conducted as of October 1, 1996, the results of which were embodied in Annex D of the NIRC as the duly registered, existing or active brands of cigarettes. Paragraph (c) of Section 145, [1] states SEC. 145. Cigars and cigarettes. xxxx (c) Cigarettes packed by machine. There shall be levied, assessed and collected on cigarettes packed by machine a tax at the rates prescribed below: xxxx New brands shall be classified according to their current net retail price.

Held: The petition is bereft of merit. In attempting to strike a distinction between his case and that of Jalosjos, petitioner chiefly points out that former Rep. Romeo Jalosjos (Jalosjos) was already convicted, albeit his conviction was pending appeal, whereas he (petitioner) is a mere detention prisoner. Further, petitioner illustrates that Jalosjos was charged with crimes involving moral turpitude, i.e., two counts of statutory rape and six counts of acts of lasciviousness, whereas he is indicted for coup detat which is regarded as a political offense. The distinctions cited by petitioner were not elemental in the pronouncement in Jalosjos that election to Congress is not a reasonable classification in criminal law enforcement as the functions and duties of the office are not substantial distinctions which lift one

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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW REVIEW 2-BILL OF RIGHTS Atty. Vincent Paul Montejo


xxxxxx The classification of each brand of cigarettes based on its average net retail price as of October 1, 1996, as set forth in Annex D of this Act, shall remain in force until revised by Congress. (Emphasis supplied) As such, new brands of cigarettes shall be taxed according to their current net retail price while existing or old brands shall be taxed based on their net retail price as of October 1, 1996. To implement RA 8240, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) issued Revenue Regulations No. 1-97,[2] which classified the existing brands of cigarettes as those duly registered or active brands prior to January 1, 1997. New brands, or those registered after January 1, 1997, shall be initially assessed at their suggested retail price until such time that the appropriate survey to determine their current net retail price is conducted. In June 2001, petitioner British American Tobacco introduced into the market Lucky Strike Filter, Lucky Strike Lights and Lucky Strike Menthol Lights cigarettes, with a suggested retail price of P9.90 per pack.[3] Pursuant to Sec. 145 (c) quoted above, the Lucky Strike brands were initially assessed the excise tax at P8.96 per pack. On February 17, 2003, Revenue Regulations No. 9-2003, [4] amended Revenue Regulations No. 1-97 by providing, among others, a periodic review every two years or earlier of the current net retail price of new brands and variants thereof for the purpose of establishing and updating their tax classification. Subsequently, Revenue Regulations No. 22-2003[6] was issued on August 8, 2003 to implement the revised tax classification of certain new brands introduced in the market after January 1, 1997, based on the survey of their current net retail price. The survey revealed that Lucky Strike Filter, Lucky Strike Lights, and Lucky Strike Menthol Lights, are sold at the current net retail price of P22.54, P22.61 and P21.23, per pack, respectively.[7] Respondent Commissioner of the Bureau of Internal Revenue thus recommended the applicable tax rate of P13.44 per pack inasmuch as Lucky Strikes average net retail price is above P10.00 per pack. Thus, on September 1, 2003, petitioner filed before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Makati, Branch 61, a petition for injunction with prayer for the issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) and/or writ of preliminary injunction, docketed as Civil Case No. 03-1032. Said petition sought to enjoin the implementation of Section 145 of the NIRC, Revenue Regulations Nos. 1-97, 9-2003, 22-2003 and Revenue Memorandum Order No. 6-2003 on the ground that they discriminate against new brands of cigarettes, in violation of the equal protection and uniformity provisions of the Constitution. While the petition was pending, RA 9334 (An Act Increasing The Excise Tax Rates Imposed on Alcohol And Tobacco Products, Amending For The Purpose Sections 131, 141, 143, 144, 145 and 288 of the NIRC of 1997, As Amended), took effect on January 1, 2005. The statute, among others, (1) increased the excise tax rates provided in paragraph (c) of Section 145; (2) mandated that new brands of cigarettes shall initially be classified according to their suggested net retail price, until such time that their correct tax bracket is finally determined under a specified period and, after which, their classification shall remain in force until revised by Congress; (3) retained Annex D as tax base of those surveyed as of October 1, 1996 including the classification of brands for the same products which, although not set forth in said Annex D, were registered on or before January 1, 1997 and were being commercially produced and marketed on or after October 1, 1996, and which continue to be commercially produced and marketed after the effectivity of this Act. Said classification shall remain in force until revised by Congress; and (4) provided a legislative freeze on brands of cigarettes introduced between the period January 2, 1997[17] to December 31, 2003, such that said cigarettes shall remain in the classification under which the BIR has determined them to belong as of December 31, 2003, until revised by Congress. Under RA 9334, the excise tax due on petitioners products was increased to P25.00 per pack. In the implementation thereof, respondent Commissioner assessed petitioners importation of 911,000 packs of Lucky Strike cigarettes at the increased tax rate of P25.00 per pack, rendering it liable for taxes in the total sum of P22,775,000.00. Petitioner assails the constitutionality of RA 9334 insofar as it retained Annex D and praying for a downward classification of Lucky Strike products at the bracket taxable at P8.96 per pack. Petitioner contended that the continued use of Annex D as the tax base of existing brands of cigarettes gives undue protection to said brands which are still taxed based on their price as of October 1996 notwithstanding that they are now sold at the same or even at a higher

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price than new brands like Lucky Strike. Held: As can be seen, the law creates a four-tiered system which we may refer to as the low-priced,[33] medium-priced,[34] high-priced,[35] and premium-priced[36] tax brackets. When a brand is introduced in the market, the current net retail price is determined through the aforequoted specified procedure. The current net retail price is then used to classify under which tax bracket the brand belongs in order to finally determine the corresponding excise tax rate on a per pack basis. The assailed feature of this law pertains to the mechanism where, after a brand is classified based on its current net retail price, the classification is frozen and only Congress can thereafter reclassify the same. Due to this legislative classification scheme, it is possible that over time the net retail price of a previously classified brand, whether it be a brand under Annex D or a new brand classified after the effectivity of RA 8240 on January 1, 1997, would increase (due to inflation, increase of production costs, manufacturers decision to increase its prices, etc.) to a point that its net retail price pierces the tax bracket to which it was previously classified.[38] Consequently, even if its present day net retail price would make it fall under a higher tax bracket, the previously classified brand would continue to be subject to the excise tax rate under the lower tax bracket by virtue of the legislative classification freeze. It is apparent that, contrary to its assertions, petitioner is not only questioning the undue favoritism accorded to brands under Annex D, but the entire mechanism and philosophy of the law which freezes the tax classification of a cigarette brand based on its current net retail price. As thus formulated, the central issue is whether or not the classification freeze provision violates the equal protection and uniformity of taxation clauses of the Constitution. In Sison, Jr. v. Ancheta,[45] this Court, through Chief Justice Fernando, explained the applicable standard in deciding equal protection and uniformity of taxation challenges: Now for equal protection. The applicable standard to avoid the charge that there is a denial of this constitutional mandate whether the assailed act is in the exercise of the police power or the power of eminent domain is to demonstrate "that the governmental act assailed, far from being inspired by the attainment of the common weal was prompted by the spirit of hostility, or at the very least, discrimination that finds no support in reason. It suffices then that the laws operate equally and uniformly on all persons under similar circumstances or that all persons must be treated in the same manner, the conditions not being different, both in the privileges conferred and the liabilities imposed. Favoritism and undue preference cannot be allowed. For the principle is that equal protection and security shall be given to every person under circumstances, which if not identical are analogous. If law be looks upon in terms of burden or charges, those that fall within a class should be treated in the same fashion, whatever restrictions cast on some in the group equally binding on the rest." That same formulation applies as well to taxation measures. The equal protection clause is, of course, inspired by the noble concept of approximating the ideal of the laws's benefits being available to all and the affairs of men being governed by that serene and impartial uniformity, which is of the very essence of the idea of law. There is, however, wisdom, as well as realism, in these words of Justice Frankfurter: "The equality at which the 'equal protection' clause aims is not a disembodied equality. The Fourteenth Amendment enjoins 'the equal protection of the laws,' and laws are not abstract propositions. They do not relate to abstract units A, B and C, but are expressions of policy arising out of specific difficulties, addressed to the attainment of specific ends by the use of specific remedies. The Constitution does not require things which are different in fact or opinion to be treated in law as though they were the same." Hence the constant reiteration of the view that classification if rational in character is allowable. As a matter of fact, in a leading case of Lutz v. Araneta, this Court, through Justice J.B.L. Reyes, went so far as to hold "at any rate, it is inherent in the power to tax that a state be free to select the subjects of taxation, and it has been repeatedly held that 'inequalities which result from a singling out of one particular class for taxation, or exemption infringe no constitutional limitation.'" Petitioner likewise invoked the kindred concept of uniformity. According to the Constitution: "The rule of taxation shall be uniform and equitable." This requirement is met according to Justice Laurel in

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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW REVIEW 2-BILL OF RIGHTS Atty. Vincent Paul Montejo


Philippine Trust Company v. Yatco, decided in 1940, when the tax "operates with the same force and effect in every place where the subject may be found." He likewise added: "The rule of uniformity does not call for perfect uniformity or perfect equality, because this is hardly attainable." The problem of classification did not present itself in that case. It did not arise until nine years later, when the Supreme Court held: "Equality and uniformity in taxation means that all taxable articles or kinds of property of the same class shall be taxed at the same rate. The taxing power has the authority to make reasonable and natural classifications for purposes of taxation, . . . As clarified by Justice Tuason, where "the differentiation" complained of "conforms to the practical dictates of justice and equity" it "is not discriminatory within the meaning of this clause and is therefore uniform." There is quite a similarity then to the standard of equal protection for all that is required is that the tax "applies equally to all persons, firms and corporations placed in similar situation." (Emphasis supplied) In consonance thereto, we have held that in our jurisdiction, the standard and analysis of equal protection challenges in the main have followed the rational basis test, coupled with a deferential attitude to legislative classifications and a reluctance to invalidate a law unless there is a showing of a clear and unequivocal breach of the Constitution. Within the present context of tax legislation on sin products which neither contains a suspect classification nor impinges on a fundamental right, the rational-basis test thus finds application. Under this test, a legislative classification, to survive an equal protection challenge, must be shown to rationally further a legitimate state interest. The classifications must be reasonable and rest upon some ground of difference having a fair and substantial relation to the object of the legislation. Since every law has in its favor the presumption of constitutionality, the burden of proof is on the one attacking the constitutionality of the law to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the legislative classification is without rational basis. The presumption of constitutionality can be overcome only by the most explicit demonstration that a classification is a hostile and oppressive discrimination against particular persons and classes, and that there is no conceivable basis which might support it. A legislative classification that is reasonable does not offend the constitutional guaranty of the equal protection of the laws. The classification is considered valid and reasonable provided that: (1) it rests on substantial distinctions; (2) it is germane to the purpose of the law; (3) it applies, all things being equal, to both present and future conditions; and (4) it applies equally to all those belonging to the same class. The first, third and fourth requisites are satisfied. The classification freeze provision was inserted in the law for reasons of practicality and expediency. That is, since a new brand was not yet in existence at the time of the passage of RA 8240, then Congress needed a uniform mechanism to fix the tax bracket of a new brand. The current net retail price, similar to what was used to classify the brands under Annex D as of October 1, 1996, was thus the logical and practical choice. This does not explain, however, why the classification is frozen after its determination based on current net retail price and how this is germane to the purpose of the assailed law. An examination of the legislative history of RA 8240 provides interesting answers to this question. From the examination of the legislative history, it is quite evident that the classification freeze provision could hardly be considered arbitrary, or motivated by a hostile or oppressive attitude to unduly favor older brands over newer brands. To our mind, the classification freeze provision was in the main the result of Congresss earnest efforts to improve the efficiency and effectivity of the tax administration over sin products while trying to balance the same with other state interests. To elaborate a little, Congress could have reasonably foreseen that, under the DOF proposal and the Senate Version, the periodic reclassification of brands would tempt the cigarette manufacturers to manipulate their price levels or bribe the tax implementers in order to allow their brands to be classified at a lower tax bracket even if their net retail prices have already migrated to a higher tax bracket after the adjustment of the tax brackets to the increase in the consumer price index. Presumably, this could be done when a resurvey and reclassification is forthcoming. All in all, the classification freeze provision addressed Congresss administrative concerns in the simplification of tax administration of sin products, elimination of potential areas for abuse and corruption in tax collection, buoyant and stable revenue generation, and ease of projection of revenues. Consequently, there can be no denial of the equal protection of the laws since the rationalbasis test is amply satisfied. Going now to the contention of petitioner that the classification freeze provision unduly favors older brands over newer brands, we must first contextualize the basis of this claim. As previously discussed, the evidence presented by the petitioner merely

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showed that in 2004, Marlboro and Philip Morris, on the one hand, and Lucky Strike, on the other, would have been taxed at the same rate had the classification freeze provision been not in place. But due to the operation of the classification freeze provision, Lucky Strike was taxed higher. From here, petitioner generalizes that this differential tax treatment arising from the classification freeze provision adversely impacts the fairness of the playing field in the industry, particularly, between older and newer brands. Thus, it is virtually impossible for new brands to enter the market. Petitioner did not, however, clearly demonstrate the exact extent of such impact. It has not been shown that the net retail prices of other older brands previously classified under this classification system have already pierced their tax brackets, and, if so, how this has affected the overall competition in the market. Further, it does not necessarily follow that newer brands cannot compete against older brands because price is not the only factor in the market as there are other factors like consumer preference, brand loyalty, etc. Verily, where there is a claim of breach of the due process and equal protection clauses, considering that they are not fixed rules but rather broad standards, there is a need for proof of such persuasive character as would lead to such a conclusion. Absent such a showing, the presumption of validity must prevail. Whether Congress acted improvidently in derogating, to a limited extent, the states interest in promoting fair competition among the players in the industry, while pursuing other state interests regarding the simplification of tax administration of sin products, elimination of potential areas for abuse and corruption in tax collection, buoyant and stable revenue generation, and ease of projection of revenues through the classification freeze provision, and whether the questioned provision is the best means to achieve these state interests, necessarily go into the wisdom of the assailed law which we cannot inquire into, much less overrule. The classification freeze provision has not been shown to be precipitated by a veiled attempt, or hostile attitude on the part of Congress to unduly favor older brands over newer brands. On the contrary, we must reasonably assume, owing to the respect due a co-equal branch of government and as revealed by the Congressional deliberations, that the enactment of the questioned provision was impelled by an earnest desire to improve the efficiency and effectivity of the tax administration of sin products. For as long as the legislative classification is rationally related to furthering some legitimate state interest, as here, the rational-basis test is satisfied and the constitutional challenge is perfunctorily defeated. (Note: As to the Revenue Regulations insofar as they grant the BIR the power to reclassify or update the classification of new brands every two years or earlier, they were held to be invalid for because they unjustifiably emasculate the operation of Section 145 of the NIRC because they authorize the Commissioner of Internal Revenue to update the tax classification of new brands when nowhere in Section 145 is such authority granted to the Bureau. Unless expressly granted to the BIR, the power to reclassify cigarette brands remains a prerogative of the legislature which cannot be usurped by the former. ABAKADA Guro Party List, et al. v. Hon. Cesar V. Purisima, Hon. Guillermo Parayno, Jr. & Hon. Alberto D. Lina etc. - G.R. No. 166715 [2008] PHSC 856 (14 August 2008) Facts: RA 9335 was enacted to optimize the revenuegeneration capability and collection of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Bureau of Customs (BOC). The law intends to encourage BIR and BOC officials and employees to exceed their revenue targets by providing a system of rewards and sanctions through the creation of a Rewards and Incentives Fund (Fund) and a Revenue Performance Evaluation Board (Board).[3] It covers all officials and employees of the BIR and the BOC with at least six months of service, regardless of employment status. Petitioners, invoking their right as taxpayers filed this petition challenging the constitutionality of RA 9335, a tax reform legislation. Among their contentions is that limiting the scope of the system of rewards and incentives only to officials and employees of the BIR and the BOC violates the constitutional guarantee of equal protection. There is no valid basis for classification or distinction as to why such a system should not apply to officials and employees of all other government agencies. Held: Equality guaranteed under the equal protection clause is equality under the same conditions and among persons similarly situated; it is equality among equals, not similarity of treatment of persons who are classified based on substantial differences in relation to the object to be accomplished.[19] When things or persons are different in fact or circumstance, they may be treated in law differently. In Victoriano v. Elizalde Rope Workers Union,[20] this Court declared: The guaranty of equal protection of the laws is not a guaranty of equality in the application of the

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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW REVIEW 2-BILL OF RIGHTS Atty. Vincent Paul Montejo


laws upon all citizens of the [S]tate. It is not, therefore, a requirement, in order to avoid the constitutional prohibition against inequality, that every man, woman and child should be affected alike by a statute. Equality of operation of statutes does not mean indiscriminate operation on persons merely as such, but on persons according to the circumstances surrounding them. It guarantees equality, not identity of rights. The Constitution does not require that things which are different in fact be treated in law as though they were the same. The equal protection clause does not forbid discrimination as to things that are different. It does not prohibit legislation which is limited either in the object to which it is directed or by the territory within which it is to operate. The equal protection of the laws clause of the Constitution allows classification. Classification in law, as in the other departments of knowledge or practice, is the grouping of things in speculation or practice because they agree with one another in certain particulars. A law is not invalid because of simple inequality. The very idea of classification is that of inequality, so that it goes without saying that the mere fact of inequality in no manner determines the matter of constitutionality. All that is required of a valid classification is that it be reasonable, which means that the classification should be based on substantial distinctions which make for real differences, that it must be germane to the purpose of the law; that it must not be limited to existing conditions only; and that it must apply equally to each member of the class. This Court has held that the standard is satisfied if the classification or distinction is based on a reasonable foundation or rational basis and is not palpably arbitrary. In the exercise of its power to make classifications for the purpose of enacting laws over matters within its jurisdiction, the state is recognized as enjoying a wide range of discretion. It is not necessary that the classification be based on scientific or marked differences of things or in their relation. Neither is it necessary that the classification be made with mathematical nicety. Hence, legislative classification may in many cases properly rest on narrow distinctions, for the equal protection guaranty does not preclude the legislature from recognizing degrees of evil or harm, and legislation is addressed to evils as they may appear.[21] (emphasis supplied) The equal protection clause recognizes a valid classification, that is, a classification that has a reasonable foundation or rational basis and not arbitrary.[22] With respect to RA 9335, its expressed public policy is the optimization of the revenue-generation capability and collection of the BIR and the BOC.[23] Since the subject of the law is the revenue- generation capability and collection of the BIR and the BOC, the incentives and/or sanctions provided in the law should logically pertain to the said agencies. Moreover, the law concerns only the BIR and the BOC because they have the common distinct primary function of generating revenues for the national government through the collection of taxes, customs duties, fees and charges. Both the BIR and the BOC are bureaus under the DOF. They principally perform the special function of being the instrumentalities through which the State exercises one of its great inherent functions taxation. Indubitably, such substantial distinction is germane and intimately related to the purpose of the law. Hence, the classification and treatment accorded to the BIR and the BOC under RA 9335 fully satisfy the demands of equal protection. II. REQUIREMENTS OF FAIR PROCEDURE 1. REQUIREMENTS FOR SEARCH WARRANT

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warrants in anticipation of criminal cases to be instituted against petitioner Kho. On the same day, the respondent Judge conducted the necessary examination of the applicants and their witnesses, after which he issued Search Warrant Nos. 90-11, 90-12, 90-13, 90-14, and 90-15. On the following day, May 16, 1990, armed with Search Warrant Nos. 90-11 and 90-12, NBI agents searched subject premises at BF Homes, Paranaque, and they recovered various high-powered firearms and hundreds of rounds of ammunition. Meanwhile, another search was conducted at the house at No. 326 McDivitt St. Bgy. Moonwalk, Paranaque, by another team of NBI agents using Search Warrant Nos. 90-13, 90-14 and 90-15. The said second search yielded several high-powered firearms will explosives and more than a thousand rounds of ammunition. The simultaneous searches also resulted in the confiscation of various radio and telecommunication equipment, two units of motor vehicles (Lite-Ace vans) and one motorcycle. Upon verification with the Firearms and Explosives Unit in Camp Crame, the NBI agents found out that no license has ever been issued to any person or entity for the confiscated firearms in question. Likewise, the radio agents found out that no license has ever been issued to any person or entity for the confiscated firearms in question. Likewise, the radio transceivers recovered and motor vehicles seized turned out to be unlicensed and unregistered per records of the government agencies concerned. On May 28, 1990, the petitioners presented a Motion to Quash the said Search Warrants, contending that: 1. The subject search warrants were issued without probable cause: 2. The same search warrants are prohibited by the Constitution for being general warrants; 3. The said search warrants were issued in violation of the procedural requirements set forth by the Constitution; 4. The search warrants aforesaid were served in violation of the Revised Rules of Court; and 5. The objects seized were all legally possessed and issued. Petitioners question the issuance of subject search warrants, theorizing upon the absence of any probable cause therefor. They contend that the surveillance and investigation conducted by NBI agents within the premises involved, prior to the application for the search warrants under controversy, were not sufficient to vest in the applicants personal knowledge of facts and circumstances showing or indicating the commission of a crime by them (petitioners). Held: Petitioners' contention is untenable. Records show that the NBI agents who conducted the surveillance and investigation testified unequivocally that they saw guns being carried to and unloaded at the two houses searched, and motor vehicles and spare parts were stored therein. It is therefore decisively clear that the application for the questioned search warrants was based on the personal knowledge of the applicants and their witnesses. In the case of Central Bank v . Morfe (20 SCRA 507), this Court ruled that the question of whether or not a probable cause exists is one which must be determined in light of the conditions obtaining given situations. In Luna v . Plaza (26 SCRA 310), it held that the existence of a probable cause depends to a large extent upon the finding or opinion of the judge who conducted the required examination of the applicants and the witnesses. After a careful study, the Court discerns no basis for disturbing the findings and conclusions arrived at by the respondent Judge after examining the applicants and witnesses. Respondent judge had the singular opportunity to assess their testimonies and to find out their personal knowledge of facts and circumstances enough to create a probable cause. The Judge was the one who personally examined the applicants and witnesses and who asked searching questions vis-a-vis the applications for search warrants. He was thus able to observe and determine whether subject applicants and their witnesses gave accurate accounts of the surveillance and investigation they conducted at the premises to be searched. In the absence of any showing that respondent judge was recreant of his duties in connection with the personal examination he so conducted on the affiants before him, there is no basis for doubting the reliability and correctness of his findings and impressions. Petitioners brand as fatally defective and deficient the procedure followed in the issuance of subject search warrants, reasoning out that the same did not comply with constitutional and statutory requirements. They fault respondent Judge for allegedly failing to ask specific questions they deem particularly important during the examination of the applicants and their witnesses. This stance of petitioners is similarly devoid of any sustainable basis. Nothing improper is perceived in the manner the respondent Judge

BENJAMIN V. KHO and ELIZABETH ALINDOGAN v. HON. ROBERTO L. MAKALINTAL and NATIONAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION - G.R. No. 94902-0 [1999] PHSC 280 (21 April 1999) Facts: On May 15, 1990, NBI Agent Max B. Salvador applied for the issuance of search warrants by the respondent Judge against Benjamin V. Kho, now petitioner, in his residence at No. 45 Bb. Ramona Tirona St., BF Homes, Phase I, Paranaque. On the same day, Eduardo T. Arugay, another NBI agent, applied with the same court for the issuance of search warrants against the said petitioner in his house at No. 326 McDivitt St., Bgy. Moonwalk, Paranaque. The search warrants were applied for after teams of NBI agents had conducted a personal surveillance and investigation in the two houses referred to on the basis of confidential, information they received that the said places were being used as storage centers for unlicensed firearms and "chopchop" vehicles. Respondent NBI sought for the issuance of search

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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW REVIEW 2-BILL OF RIGHTS Atty. Vincent Paul Montejo


conducted the examination of subject applicants for search warrants and their witnesses. He personally examined them under oath, and asked them searching questions on the facts and circumstances personally known to them, in compliance with prescribed procedure and legal requirements. It can be gleaned that the sworn statements and affidavits submitted by the witnesses were duly attached to the pertinent records of the proceedings. It was within the discretion of the examining Judge to determine what questions to ask the witnesses so long as the questions asked are germane to the pivot of inquiry the existence or absence of a probable cause. Petitioners claim that subject search warrants are general warrants prescribed by the Constitution. According to them, the things to be seized were not described and detailed out, i e . the firearms listed were not classified as to size or make, etc. Records on hand indicate that the search warrants under scrutiny specifically describe the items to be seized thus: Search Warrant No. 90- 11. Unlicensed radio communications equipments such as transmitters, transceivers, handsets, scanners, monitoring device and the like. Search Warrant No, 90-13. Unlicensed radio communications equipments such as transmitters, transceivers, handsets, radio communications equipments, scanners, monitoring devices and others. The use of the phrase "and the like" is of no moment. The same did not make the search warrants in question general warrants. In Oca v . Maiquez (14 SCRA 735), the Court upheld the warrant although it described the things to be seized as "books of accounts and allied papers." Subject Warrant Nos. 90-12 and 90-15 refer to: Unlicensed firearms of various calibers and ammunitions for the said firearms. Search Warrant No. 90-14 states: Chop-chop vehicles and other spare parts. The Court believes, and so holds, that the said warrants comply with Constitutional and statutory requirements. The law does not require that the things to be seized must be described in precise and minute detail as to leave no room for doubt on the part of the searching authorities. Otherwise, it would be virtually impossible for the applicants to obtain a warrant as they would not know exactly what kind of things they are looking for. Since the element of time is very crucial in criminal cases, the effort and time spent in researching on the details to be embodied in the warrant would render the purpose of the search nugatory. Verily, the failure to specify detailed descriptions in the warrants did not render the same general.In People v . Rubio (57 Phil 384), the Court held that, ". . . But where, by the nature of the goods to be seized, their description must be rather general, it is not required that a technical description be given, for this would mean that no warrant could issue." It is indeed understandable that the agents of respondent Bureau have no way of knowing whether the guns they intend to seize are a Smith and Wesson or a Beretta. The surveillance conducted could not give the NBI agents a close view of the weapons being transported or brought to the premises to be searched. Thus, they could not be expected to know the detailed particulars of the objects to be seized. Petitioners contend that the searching agents grossly violated the procedure in enforcing the search warrants in question. The petition avers supposedly reprehensible acts perpetrated by the NBI agents. The question of whether there was abuse in the enforcerment of the challanged search warrants is not within the scope of a Motion to Quash. In a Motion to Quash, what is assailed is the validity of the issuance of the warrant. The manner of serving the warrant and of effecting the search are not an issue to be resolved here.

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Surigao del Sur, represented by its Sr. Vice President Ricardo G[.] Santiago, is in possession or ha[s] in [its] control high powered firearms, ammunitions, explosives, which are the subject of the offense, or used or intended to be used in committing the offense, and which . . . are [being kept] and conceal[ed] in the premises herein described. xxx Attached to the application were the joint Deposition of SPO3 Cicero S. Bacolod and SPO2 Cecilio T. Morito, as well as a summary of the information and the supplementary statements of Mario Enad and Felipe Moreno. After propounding several questions to Bacolod, Judge Maximiano C. Asuncion issued the contested search warrant, the pertinent portion of which reads: It appearing to the satisfaction of the undersigned, after examining under oath, SPO3 Cicero S. Bacolod, that there is probable cause to believe that the management of Paper Industries Corporation of the Philippines, located at PICOP Compound, Barangay Tabon, Bislig, Surigao del Sur, represented by its Sr. Vice President Ricardo G. Santiago, has in its possession or control the following: XXXX Believing that the warrant was invalid and the search unreasonable, the petitioners filed a "Motion to Quash" before the trial court. Held: The fundamental right against unreasonable and searches and seizures and the basic conditions for the issuance of a search warrant are laid down in Section 2, Article III of the 1987 Constitution, which reads: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable, and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized. (Emphasis supplied) Consistent with the foregoing constitutional provision, Section 3 and 4, Rule 126 of the Rules of Court, detail the requisites for the issuance of a valid search warrant as follows: Sec. 3. Requisite for issuing search warrant. A search warrant shall not issue but upon probable cause in connection with one specific offense to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the things to be seized. Sec. 4. Examination of complainant; record. The judge must, before issuing the warrant, personally examine in the form of searching questions and answers, in writing and under oath the complainant and any witnesses he may produce on facts personally known to them and attach to the record their sworn statements together with any affidavits submitted. More simply stated, the requisites of a valid search warrant are: (1) probable cause is present; (2) such presence is determined personally by the judge; (3) the complainant and the witnesses he or she may produce are personally examined by the judge, in writing and under oath or affirmation; (4) the applicant and the witnesses testify on facts personally known to them; and (5) the warrant specifically describes the place to be searched and the things to be seized. In the present case, the search warrant is invalid because (1) the trail court failed to examine personally the complainant and the other deponents; (2) SPO3 Cicero Bacolod, who appeared during the hearing for the issuance or the search warrant, had no personal knowledge that petitioners were not licensed to possess the subject firearms; and (3) the place to be searched was not described with particularity. No Personal Examination of the Witnesses As earlier stated, Chief Inspector Pascua's application for a search warrant was supported by (1) the joint Deposition of SPO3 Cicero S. Bacolod and SPO2 Cecilio T. Moriro, (2) a summary of information and (3) supplementary statements of Mario Enad and Felipe Moreno. Except for Pascua and Bacolod however, none of the aforementioned witnesses and policemen appeared before the trial court. Moreover, the applicant's participation in the hearing for the issuance of the search warrant consisted only of introducing Witness Bacolod. The trial judge failed to propound questions, let alone probing questions, to the applicant and to his witnesses other than Bacolod (whose testimony, as will later be shown, is also improper). Obviously, His Honor relied mainly on their affidavits. Mere affidavits of the complainant and his witnesses are thus not sufficient. The examining Judge has to take depositions in writing of the complainant and the witnesses he may procedure and attach

PAPER INDUSTRIES CORPORATION OF THE PHILIPPINES, et al v. JUDGE MAXIMIANO C. ASUNCION, Presiding Judge, Branch 104, Regional Trial Court of Quezon City; STATE PROSECUTOR LEO B. DACERA III; and the SPECIAL OPERATIONS UNIT OF THE PNP TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT COMMAND - G.R. No. 122092 [1999] PHSC 357 (19 May 1999)

Facts: On January 25, 1995, Police Chief Inspector Napoleon B. Pascua applied for a search warrant before the said RTC of Quezon City, stating that the management of Paper Industries Corporation of the Philippines, located at PICOP compound, Barangay Tabon, Bislig,

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them to the record. Such written deposition is necessary in order that the Judge may be able to properly determine the existence or nonexistence of the probable cause, to hold liable for perjury the person giving it if it will be found later that his declarations are false. It is axiomatic that the examination must be probing and exhaustive, not merely routinary or pro-forma , if the claimed probable cause is to be established. The examining magistrate must not simply rehash the contents of the affidavit but must make his own inquiry on the intent and justification of the application. Bacolod's Testimony Pertained Not to Facts Personally Known to Him Bacolod appeared during the hearing and was extensively examined by the judge. But his testimony showed that he did not have personal knowledge that the petitioners, in violation of PD 1866, were not licensed to possess firearms, ammunitions or explosives. When questioned by the judge, Bacolod stated merely that he believed that the PICOP security guards had no license to possess the subject firearms. This, however, does not meet the requirement that a witness must testify on his personal knowledge, not belief. Moreover, Bacolod failed to affirm that none of the firearms seen inside the PICOP compound was licensed. Bacolod merely declared that the security agency and its guard were not licensed. He also said that some of the firearms were owned by PICOP. Yet, he made no statement before the trail court PICOP, aside from the security agency, had no license to possess those firearms. Worse, the applicant and his witnesses inexplicably failed to attach to the application a copy aforementioned "no license" certification from the Firearms and Explosives Office (FEO) of the PNP or to present it during the hearing. Such certification could have been easily obtained, considering that the FEO was located in Camp Crame where the unit of Bacolod was also based. In People v. Judge Estrada , the Court held: The facts and circumstances that would show probable cause must be the best evidence that could be obtained under the circumstances. The introduction of such evidence is necessary in cases where the issue is the existence of the negative ingredient of the offense charged for instance, the absence of a license required by law, as in the present case and such evidence is within the knowledge and control of the applicant who could easily produce the same. But if the best evidence could not be secured at the time of the application, the applicant must show a justifiable reason therefor during the examination by the judge. Particularity of the Place to Be Searched In the present case, the assailed search warrant failed to described the place with particularly. It simply authorizes a search of "the aforementioned premises," but it did not specify such premises. The warrant identifies only one place, and that is the "Paper Industries Corporation of the Philippines, located at PICOP Compound, Barangay Tabon, Bislig[,] Surigao del Sur." The PICOP compound, however, is made up of "200 offices/building, 15 plants, 84 staff houses, 1 airstrip, 3 piers/wharves, 23 warehouses, 6 POL depots/quick service outlets and some 800 miscellaneous structures, all of which are spread out over some one hundred fifty-five hectares." Obviously, the warrant gives the police officers unbridled and thus illegal authority to search all the structures found inside the PICOP compound. Moreover, the fact that the raiding police team knew which of the buildings or structures in the PICOP Compound housed firearms and ammunitions did not justify the lack of particulars of the place to be searched. Otherwise, confusion would arise regarding the subject of the warrant the place indicated in the warrant or the place identified by the police. Such conflict invites uncalled for mischief or abuse of discretion on the part of law enforces. Thus, in People v Court of Appeals , this Court ruled that the police had no authority to search the apartment behind the store, which was the place indicated in the warrant, even if they intended it to be the subject of their application. Indeed, the place to be searched cannot be changed, enlarged or amplified by the police. What is material in determining the validity of a search is the place stated in the warrant itself, not what the applicants had in their thoughts, or had represented in the proofs they submitted to the court issuing the warrant. The place to be searched, as set out in the warrant, cannot be amplified or modified by the officers' own personal knowledge of the premises, or the evidence they adduced in support of their application for the warrant. Such a change is proscribed by the Constitution which requires inter alia the search warrant to particularly describe the place to be searched as well as the persons or things to be seized. It would concede to police officers the power of choosing the place to be searched, even if it not be that delineated in the warrant. It would open wide the door to abuse of the search process, and grant to officers executing a search warrant that discretion which the Constitution has

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precisely removed from them. The particularization of the description of the place to be searched may properly be done only by the Judge, and only in the warrant itself; it cannot be left to the discretion of the police officers conducting the search.

FRANK UY and UNIFISH PACKING CORPORATION vs BUREAU OF INTERNAL REVENUE and HON. MERCEDES GOZO-DADOLE - G.R. No. 129651. [2000] PHSC 1208 (20 October 2000) Facts: On 30 September 1993, a certain Rodrigo Abos reported to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) that petitioners Unifish Packing Corporation and Uy Chin Ho alias Frank Uy were engaged in activities constituting violations of the National Internal Revenue Code. On 1 October 1993, Nestor N. Labaria, Assistant Chief of the Special Investigation Branch of the BIR, applied for search warrants from Branch 28 of the Regional Trial Court of Cebu. The application sought permission to search the premises of Unifish. After hearing the depositions of Labaria and Abos, Judge Mercedes Gozo-Dadole issued the disputed search warrants. The first warrant included the address in the heading as Hernan Cortes St., Cebu City while the body of the warrant stated Uy Chin Ho c/o Unifish Packing Corporation, Hernan Cortes St., Mandaue City. The second warrant had in the heading the address Hernan Cortes St., Mandaue City and in the body Uy Chin Ho alias Frank Uy and Unifish Packing Corporation, Hernan Cortes St., Mandaue City. Both warrants directed the search and seizure of: 1. Multiple sets of Books of Accounts; Ledgers, Journals, Columnar Books, Cash Register Books, Sales Books or Records; Provisional & Official Receipts; 2. Production Record Books/Inventory Lists [,] Stock Cards; 3. Unregistered Delivery Receipts; 4. Unregistered Purchase & Sales Invoices; 5. Sales Records, Job Order; 6. Corporate Financial Records; and 7. Bank Statements/Cancelled Checks Petitioners contend that there are several defects in the subject warrants that command their nullification. They point out inconsistencies in the description of the place to be searched in Search Warrant A-1, as well as inconsistencies in the names of the persons against whom Search Warrants A-1 and A-2 were issued. That two search warrants (Search Warrants A-1 and A-2) were issued for the same crime, for the same place, at a single occasion is cited as another irregularity. Petitioners also dispute the existence of probable cause that would justify the issuance of the warrants. Finally, they claim that the things to be seized were not described with particularity. These defects, according to petitioners, render the objects seized inadmissible in evidence. Held: Inconsistencies in the description of the place to be searched The Constitution requires, for the validity of a search warrant, that there be a particular description of the place to be searched and the persons of things to be seized. The rule is that a description of a place to be searched is sufficient if the officer with the warrant can, with reasonable effort, ascertain and identify the place intended and distinguish it from other places in the community. Any designation or description known to the locality that points out the place to the exclusion of all others, and on inquiry leads the officers unerringly to it, satisfies the constitutional requirement. In this case, it was not shown that a street similarly named Hernan Cortes could be found in Cebu City. Nor was it established that the enforcing officers had any difficulty in locating the premises of petitioner corporation. That Search Warrant A-1, therefore, inconsistently identified the city where the premises to be searched is not a defect that would spell the warrants invalidation in this case. Inconsistencies in the description of the persons named in the two warrants These discrepancies are hardly relevant. In Miller v. Sigler , it was held that the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution, from which Section 2, Article III of our own Constitution is historically derived, does not require the warrant to name the person who occupies the described premises. Where the search warrant is issued for the search of specifically described premises only and not for the search of a person, the failure to name

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the owner or occupant of such property in the affidavit and search warrant does not invalidate the warrant; and where the name of the owner of the premises sought to be searched is incorrectly inserted in the search warrant, it is not a fatal defect if the legal description of the premises to be searched is otherwise correct so that no discretion is left to the officer making the search as to the place to be searched. Since, in the case at bar, the warrant was issued not for search of the persons owning or occupying the premises, but only a search of the premises occupied by them, the search could not be declared unlawful or in violation of the constitutional rights of the owner or occupants of the premises, because of inconsistencies in stating their names. Two warrants issued at one time for one crime and one place In any event, Search Warrant A-1 should be deemed superseded by Search Warrant A-2. Two warrants, Search Warrants A-1 and A-2, were actually issued by the trial court for the same crime (violation of SEC. 253 of the National Internal Revenue Code). It appears, however, that Search Warrant A-2 was issued merely to correct the inconsistencies in the address in Search Warrant A-1, as well as to include Unifish Packing Corporation as a party against whom the warrant was issued. Search Warrant A-2 was evidently an attempt by the issuing judge to be more precise in the names of the persons against whom the warrant was issued and in the description of the place to be searched. Indeed, it would be absurd for the judge to issue on a single occasion two warrants authorizing the search of a single place for a single offense. Inasmuch as the apparent intent in issuing Search Warrant A-2 was to supersede Search Warrant A-1, the latter should be deemed revoked by the former. The alleged absence of probable cause Probable cause is defined as such facts and circumstances which would lead a reasonably discreet and prudent man to believe that an offense has been committed and that the objects sought in connection with the offense are in the place sought to be searched. In the determination of probable cause, the Constitution and the Rules of Court require an examination of the witnesses under oath. The examination must be probing and exhaustive, not merely routine or pro forma . The examining magistrate must not simply rehash the contents of the affidavit but must make his own inquiry on the intent and justification of the application. Asking of leading questions to the deponent in an application for search warrant, and conducting of examination in a general manner, would not satisfy the requirements for issuance of a valid search warrant. The witnesses, in turn, must testify under oath to facts of their own personal knowledge. The oath required must refer to the truth of the facts within the personal knowledge of the petitioner or his witnesses, because the purpose thereof is to convince the committing magistrate, not the individual making the affidavit and seeking the issuance of the warrant, of the existence of probable cause. Search warrants are not issued on loose, vague or doubtful basis of fact, nor on mere suspicion or belief. It may be recalled that before issuing the warrants, the judge deposed two witnesses, namely, Nestor Labaria of the BIR, and Rodrigo Abos, who claimed to be an old employee of Unifish. Petitioners claim that the testimonies of Labaria and Abos are hearsay. We agree with this contention, but only as to the testimony of Labaria. The application for the warrants, however, is not based solely on Labarias deposition but is supported by that of Abos, whose knowledge of petitioners alleged illegal practices was apparently obtained during his employment with Unifish. Abos stated that, as former Operating Chief of Unifish, he had access to the company records, and even showed the issuing judge photocopies thereof. Thus, we reject the contention that this witness did not have personal knowledge of the facts to which he testified. The contents of the deposition clearly demonstrate otherwise. Alleged lack of particularity in the description of the things seized A search warrant may be said to particularly describe the things to be seized when the description therein is as specific as the circumstances will ordinarily allow (People vs. Rubio, 57 Phil, 384); or when the description expresses a conclusion of fact - not of law - by which the warrant officer may be guided in making the search and seizure ( idem ., dissent of Abad Santos, J .,); or when the things described are limited to those which bear direct relation to the offense for which the warrant is being issued (Sec. 2, Rule 126, Revised Rules of Court). The herein search warrant does not conform to any of the foregoing tests. If the articles desired to be seized have any direct relation to an offense committed, the applicant must necessarily have some evidence, other than those articles, to prove the said offense; and the articles subject of search and seizure should come in handy merely to strengthen such evidence. In this event, the description contained in the herein disputed warrant should have mentioned, at least, the dates, amounts, persons, and other pertinent data regarding the

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receipts of payments, certificates of stocks and securities, contracts, promissory notes, deeds of sale, messages and communications, checks, bank deposits and withdrawals, records of foreign remittances, among others, enumerated in the warrant. We agree that most of the items listed in the warrants fail to meet the test of particularity, especially since witness Abos had furnished the judge photocopies of the documents sought to be seized. The issuing judge could have formed a more specific description of these documents from said photocopies instead of merely employing a generic description thereof. The use of a generic term or a general description in a warrant is acceptable only when a more specific description of the things to be seized is unavailable. The failure to employ the specificity available will invalidate a general description in a warrant. The use by the issuing judge of the terms multiple sets of books of accounts, ledgers, journals, columnar books, cash register books, sales books or records, provisional & official receipts, production record books/inventory lists, stock cards, sales records, job order, corporate financial records, and bank statements/cancelled checks is therefore unacceptable considering the circumstances of this case. As regards the terms unregistered delivery receipts and unregistered purchase & sales invoices, however, we hold otherwise. The Solicitor General correctly argues that the serial markings of these documents need not be specified as it is not possible to do so precisely because they are unregistered. Where, by the nature of the goods to be seized, their description must be rather general, it is not required that a technical description be given, as this would mean that no warrant could issue. Taking into consideration the nature of the articles so described, it is clear that no other more adequate and detailed description could have been given, particularly because it is difficult to give a particular description of the contents thereof. Although it appears that photocopies of these unregistered documents were among those handed by Abos to the issuing judge, it would be impractical to require the latter to specify each and every receipt and invoice, and the contents thereof, to the minutest detail. The general description of most of the documents listed in the warrants does not render the entire warrant void. Insofar as the warrants authorize the search and seizure of unregistered delivery receipts and unregistered purchase and sales invoices, the warrants remain valid. The search warrant is severable, and those items not particularly described may be cut off without destroying the whole warrant. Accordingly, the items not particularly described in the warrants ought to be returned to petitioners. Petitioners allege that the following articles, though not listed in the warrants, were also taken by the enforcing officers: 1. One (1) composition notebook containing Chinese characters, 2. Two (2) pages writing with Chinese characters, 3. Two (2) pages Chinese character writing, 4. Two (2) packs of chemicals, 5. One (1) bound gate pass, 6. Surety Agreement. In addition, the searching party also seized items belonging to the Premier Industrial and Development Corporation (PIDC), which shares an office with petitioner Unifish. The seizure of the items not specified in the warrants cannot be justified by the directive in the penultimate paragraph thereof to "seize and take possession of other properties relative to such violation," which in no way can be characterized as a particular description of the things to be seized. As regards the articles supposedly belonging to PIDC, we cannot order their return in the present proceedings. The legality of a seizure can be contested only by the party whose rights have been impaired thereby, and the objection to an unlawful search and seizure is purely personal and cannot be availed of by third parties. THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ROBERTO SALANGUIT y KO - G.R. No. 133254-55 [2001] PHSC 1337 (19 April 2001) Facts: On December 26, 1995, Sr. Insp. Aguilar applied for a warrant in the Regional Trial Court, Branch 90, Dasmariias, Cavite, to search the residence of accused-appellant Robert Salanguit y Ko on Binhagan St., Novaliches, Quezon City. He presented as his witness SPO1 Edmund Badua, who testified that as a poseur-buyer, he was able to purchase 2.12 grams of shabu from accused-appellant. The sale took place in accused-appellant's room, and Badua saw that the shabu was taken by accused-appellant from a cabinet inside his room. The application was granted, and a search warrant was later

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issued by Presiding Judge Dolores L. Espaol. In this case, the search warrant issued against accused-appellant reads: SEARCH WARRANT NO.160 For: Violation of RA 6425 SEARCH WARRANT TO ANY PEACE OFFICER: G R E E T I N G S: It appearing to the satisfaction of the undersigned after examining under oath SR. INSP. RODOLFO V. AGUILAR, PNP and his witness SPO1 EDMUND M. BADUA, PNP that there is probable cause to believe that ROBERT SALANGUIT has in his possession and control in his premises Binhagan St., San Jose, Quezon City as shown in Annex "A", the properties to wit: UNDETERMINED QUANTITY OF SHABU AND DRUG PARAPHERNALIA which should be seized and brought to the undersigned. You are hereby commanded to make an immediate search anytime of the day/night of the premises above-described and forthwith seize and take possession of the above-stated properties and bring said properties to the undersigned to be dealt with as the law directs. GIVEN UNDER MY HAND this 26 th day of December 1995 at Imus, Cavite, Philippines. (SGD.) DOLORES L. ESPAOL Judge Accused-appellant assails the validity of the warrant on three grounds: (1) that there was no probable cause to search for drug paraphernalia; (2) that the search warrant was issued for more than one specific offense; and (3) that the place to be searched was not described with sufficient particularity. Held: Existence of Probable Cause The warrant authorized the seizure of "undetermined quantity of shabu and drug paraphernalia." Evidence was presented showing probable cause of the existence of methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu. Accused-appellant contends, however, that the search warrant issued is void because no evidence was presented showing the existence of drug paraphernalia and the same should not have been ordered to be seized by the trial court. The contention has no merit. To be sure, SPO1 Edmund Badua, the intelligence officer who acted as a poseur-buyer, did not testify in the proceedings for the issuance of a search warrant on anything about drug paraphernalia. The fact that there was no probable cause to support the application for the seizure of drug paraphernalia does not warrant the conclusion that the search warrant is void. This fact would be material only if drug paraphernalia was in fact seized by the police. The fact is that none was taken by virtue of the search warrant issued. If at all, therefore, the search warrant is void only insofar as it authorized the seizure of drug paraphernalia, but it is valid as to the seizure of methamphetamine hydrochloride as to which evidence was presented showing probable cause as to its existence. Accordingly, we hold that the first part of the search warrant, authorizing the search of accused-appellant's house for an undetermined quantity of shabu, is valid, even though the second part, with respect to the search for drug paraphernalia, is not. Specificity of the Offense Charged Accused-appellant contends that the warrant was issued for more than one specific offense because possession or use of methamphetamine hydrochloride and possession of drug paraphernalia are punished under two different provisions of R.A. No. 6425. Indeed, in People v. Dichoso the search warrant was also for "Violation of R.A. 6425," without specifying what provisions of the law were violated, and it authorized the search and seizure of "dried marijuana leaves and methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu) and sets of paraphernalias (sic)." This Court, however, upheld the validity of the warrant: Appellant's contention that the search warrant in question was issued for more than (1) offense, hence, in violation of Section 3, Rule 126 of the Rules of Court, is unpersuasive. He engages in semantic juggling by suggesting that since illegal possession of shabu, illegal possession of marijuana and illegal possession of paraphernalia are covered by different articles and sections of the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972, the search warrant is clearly for more than one (1) specific offense. In short, following this theory, there should have been three (3) separate search warrants, one for illegal possession of shabu, the second for illegal possession of marijuana and the third for illegal possession of paraphernalia. This argument is pedantic. The Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972 is a special law that deals specifically with dangerous drugs which are subsumed into "prohibited" and "regulated" drugs and defines and penalizes categories of offenses which are closely related or which belong to the same class or species. Accordingly, one (1)

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search warrant may thus be validly issued for the said violations of the Dangerous Drugs Act. Particularly of the Place Accused-appellant contends that the search warrant failed to indicate the place to be searched with sufficient particularity. This contention is without merit. As the Solicitor General states: .....While the address stated in the warrant is merely "Binhagan St., San Jose, Quezon City," the trial court took note of the fact that the records of Search Warrant Case No.160 contained several documents which identified the premises to be searched, to wit: 1) the application for search warrant which stated that the premises to be searched was located in between No.7 and 11 at Binhagan Street, San Jose, Quezon City; 2) the deposition of witness which described the premises as "a house without a number located at Binhagan St., San Jose, Quezon City; and 3) the pencil sketch of the location of the premises to be searched. The rule is that a description of the place to be searched is sufficient if the officer with the warrant can, with reasonable effort, ascertain and identify the place intended to be searched. 33 For example, a search warrant authorized a search of Apartment Number 3 of a building at 83 Pleasant Street, Malborough, Massachusetts. As it turned out, there were five apartments in the basement and six apartments on both the ground and top floors and that there was an Apartment Number 3 on each floor. However, the description was made determinate by a reference to the affidavit supporting the warrant that the apartment was occupied by the accused "Morris Ferrante of 83 Pleasant Street, Malboro Mass." In this case, the location of accused-appellant's house being indicated by the evidence on record, there can be no doubt that the warrant described the place to be searched with sufficient particularity. In sum, we hold that with respect to the seizure of shabu from accused-appellant's residence, Search Warrant No.160 was properly issued, such warrant being founded on probable cause personally determined by the judge under oath or affirmation of the deposing witness and particularly describing the place to be searched and the things to be seized. (note: Another issue in the case pertains to the applicability of the Plain View doctrine on the seizure of two newsprint-wrapped bricks of marijuana along with the shabu. The court held that the seizure of the marijuana was invalid for the ff. reasons: 1. Although the officers had prior justification to be in the premises, such justification ended when the shabu which is the subject of the warrant was seized, hence they had no justification to conduct a further search of the premises. 2. illegality of the marijuana was not evident since they were wrapped in newsprint.) (Carrie Mae Bangayan) PEOPLE vs. SIMBAHON Facts: Search Warrant is issued by the judge against the accused, commanding the search in the premises of 771 Roxas Street, Sampaloc, Manila, owned by appellant Danilo Simbahon y Quiatzon, for alleged violation of Republic Act No. 6425, otherwise known as the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972, as amended, and Presidential Decree No. 1866, penalizing the illegal possession of firearms. The body of the warrant contained a directive to the peace officers to search for and seize shabu packaging/ sniffing paraphernalia and . 38 caliber revolver. Issue: Is the search warrant valid? Held: No. the case should be dismissed on the ground of manifest violations of the constitutional right of the accused against illegal search and seizure. While appellant may be deemed to have waived his right to question the legality of the search warrant and the admissibility of the evidence seized for failure to raise his objections at the opportune time, however, the record shows serious defects in the search warrant itself which render the same null and void. The caption as well as the body of Search Warrant No. 95-100 show that it was issued for more than one offense for violation of RA 6425 and for violation of PD 1866. On its face, the search warrant violates Section 3, Rule 123 of the Revised Rules of Court, which prohibits the issuance of a search warrant for more than one specific offense. The caption of Search Warrant No. 365 reflects the violation of two special laws: P.D. No. 1866 for illegal possession of firearms, ammunitions and explosives; and R.A. No. 1700, the Anti-Subversive Law. Search Warrant No. 365 was therefore a scatter-shot warrant and totally null and void.

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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW REVIEW 2-BILL OF RIGHTS Atty. Vincent Paul Montejo


Likewise, the warrant failed to describe the place to be searched with sufficient particularity. The rule is that a description of a place to be searched is sufficient if the officer with the warrant can, with reasonable effort, ascertain and identify the place intended. The constitutional requirement is a description which particularly points to a definitely ascertainable place, so as to exclude all others. In the case at bar, only the application for search warrant contained the address of the place to be searched. The search warrant issued by the court merely referred to appellants residence as premises, without specifying its address. The Constitution and the Rules of Court limit the place to be searched only to those described in the warrant. The absence of a particular description in the search warrant renders the same void. Finally, the seized marijuana was not mentioned in the search warrant issued for the search of appellants house. The seizure by the police officers conducting the search of articles not described in the search warrant was beyond the parameters of their authority under the search warrant. Article III, Section 2 of the 1987 Constitution. MICROSOFT vs. MAXICORP FACTS: The NBI filed for a search warrant against MAXICORP for violation of PD 49 (copyright infringement) and Art. 189 (unfair competition) of RPC. Par C of the warrant states: c) Sundry items such as labels, boxes, prints, packages, wrappers, receptacles, advertisements and other paraphernalia bearing the copyrights and/or trademarks owned by MICROSOFT CORPORATION; e) Computer hardware, including central processing units including hard disks, CD-ROM drives, keyboards, monitor screens and diskettes, photocopying machines and other equipment or paraphernalia used or intended to be used in the illegal and unauthorized copying or reproduction of Microsoft software and their manuals, or which contain, display or otherwise exhibit, without the authority of MICROSOFT CORPORATION, any and all Microsoft trademarks and copyrights; Issue: Does the warrant particularly describe the thing seized? Held: A search warrant is severable, the items not sufficiently described may be cut off without destroying the whole warrant It is only required that a search warrant be specific as far as the circumstances will ordinarily allow.38 The description of the property to be seized need not be technically accurate or precise. The nature of the description should vary according to whether the identity of the property or its character is a matter of concern. 39 Measured against this standard we find that paragraph (e) is not a general warrant. The articles to be seized were not only sufficiently identified physically, they were also specifically identified by stating their relation to the offense charged. Paragraph (e) specifically refers to those articles used or intended for use in the illegal and unauthorized copying of petitioners software. This language meets the test of specificity. However, we find paragraph (c) of the search warrants lacking in particularity The scope of this description is all-embracing since it covers property used for personal or other purposes not related to copyright infringement or unfair competition. Moreover, the description covers property that Maxicorp may have bought legitimately from Microsoft or its licensed distributors. Paragraph (c) simply calls for the seizure of all items bearing the Microsoft logo, whether legitimately possessed or not. Neither does it limit the seizure to products used in copyright infringement or unfair competition. No provision of law exists which requires that a warrant, partially defective in specifying some items sought to be seized yet particular with respect to the other items, should be nullified as a whole. A partially defective warrant remains valid as to the items specifically described in the warrant. A search warrant is severable, the items not sufficiently described may be cut off without destroying the whole warrant. Thus, all items seized under paragraph (c) of the search warrants, not falling under paragraphs a, b, d, e or f, should be returned to Maxicorp. VALLEJO vs. COURT OF APPEALS FACTS: NBI Agent Javier received a tip-off from vallejo about fixers submitting to the latter fake titles. Nbi conducted a surveillance and found the tip-off to be true. Clerk assigned to the registry of deeds of Isabela volunteered to provide CAVRO with vital information.A search warrant was approved by Judge de Alban after finding the existence of probable cause.

Case Pool 4Manresa2009-2010


CAVRO found and seized inside the premises of Register of Deeds several fake titles and documents and a return search was conducted few weeks after. Petitioner contends that the nature of the warrant was of a general warrant since there was no particularity as to what documents were to be searched and seized. (While the warrant made mention fake land titles, there was no mention of which titles were spurious. The phrase undetermined number of land transfer transactions without the corresponding payment of capital gains tax and payment of documentary stamps is, likewise, a dangerous supposition, as there are millions of documents on various land transactions kept in the registry. Anent the phrase blank forms of land titles kept inside the drawers of every table of employees of the Register of Deeds, the petitioner asserts that no conceivable wrong could have been committed therein, as it was the normal practice for employees to have such blank forms in hand, in preparation for their issuance after thorough examination of the propriety of documents submitted in support thereof) Issue: W/N the search warrant was valid. Held: The search warrant is void for lack of particularity. Requisites for issuing search warrant. - A search warrant shall not issue except upon probable cause in connection with one specific offense to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the things to be seized which may be anywhere in the Philippines. The things to be seized must be described with particularity. Technical precision of description is not required. It is only necessary that there be reasonable particularity and certainty as to the identity of the property to be searched for and seized, so that the warrant shall not be a mere roving commission Indeed, the law does not require that the things to be seized must be described in precise and minute detail as to leave no room for doubt on the part of the searching authorities. If this were the rule, it would be virtually impossible for the applicants to obtain a warrant as they would not know exactly what kind of things to look forthe specific property to be searched for should be so particularly described as to preclude any possibility of seizing any other property the terms expressly used in the warrant were too all-embracing, with the obvious intent of subjecting all the records pertaining to all the transactions of the petitioners office at the Register of Deeds to search and seizure. Such tenor of a seizure warrant contravenes the explicit command of the Constitution that there be a particular description of the things to be seized The questioned warrant in this case is a scatter-shot warrant for having been issued for more than one offense - Falsification of Land Titles under Article 171 and Article 213 of the Revised Penal Code, and violation of Rep. Act No. 3019. A warrant must be issued upon probable cause in connection with one specific offense a careful perusal of the application for the warrant shows that the applicant did not allege any specific act performed by the petitioner constituting a violation of any of the aforementioned offenses. PEOPLE vs. ESTRADA Facts: Judge Estrada previously issued a search warrant for violation of RA No. 8203. As a consequence of the 52 boxes of drugs believed to be fake, misbranded or unregistered, were seized. However, it turned out that the warrant failed to satisfy the constitutional requirement of particular description of the place to be searched so that the judge quashed the warrant, which order was sustained by the Supreme Court. Considering that the drugs were found genuine, though illegally imported, and were seized under a void warrant, must they be returned to their owner? Held: No. even if the drugs seized were genuine and even if they contain the proper chemicals or ingredients for their production, if the seller has no permit from the proper government agency, they cannot be returned. It may be the burden of the party seeking the issuance of a warrant to convince the issuing magistrate that the probable exists and to procure the necessary evidence to show that the party against whom the warrant is directed is not duly authorized by the Bureau of Food and Drug. However, if there is an allegation that the possession of the drugs was illegal for lack of permit, the party seeking the return of the property must show the corresponding permit. The pharmaceutical genuineness of the medicines is not sufficient justification to demand its return. SONY COMPUTER vs. SUERGREEN

Compiled by: Thyrza Marbas/Percy Donalvo/Carrie Mae Bangayan

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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW REVIEW 2-BILL OF RIGHTS Atty. Vincent Paul Montejo


Facts: The case stemmed from the complaint filed with the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) by petitioner Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc., against respondent Supergreen, Incorporated. The NBI found that respondent engaged in the reproduction and distribution of counterfeit "PlayStation" game software, consoles and accessories in violation of Sony Computer's intellectual property rights. Thus, NBI applied with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila, Branch 1 for warrants to search respondent's premises in Paraaque City and Cavite. On April 24, 2001, the RTC of Manila issued Search Warrants Nos. 01-1986 to 01-1988 covering respondent's premises at Trece-Tanza Road, Purok 7, Barangay de Ocampo, Trece Martires City, Cavite, and Search Warrants Nos. 01-1989 to 01-1991 covering respondent's premises at Room 302, 3rd Floor Chateau de Baie Condominium, 149 Roxas Boulevard corner Airport Road, Paraaque City. The NBI simultaneously served the search warrants on the subject premises and seized a replicating machine and several units of counterfeit "PlayStation" consoles, joy pads, housing, labels and game software. Respondent filed a motion to quash Search Warrants on the grounds that the search warrant failed to particularly describe the properties to be seized and impropriety of venue. The appellate court ruled that under Section 2, Rule 126 of the Rules of Court, the RTC of Manila had no jurisdiction to issue a search warrant enforceable in Cavite, and that lack of jurisdiction was not deemed waived. Issue: Was the search warrant valid Held: YES. In the present case, respondent's premises in Cavite, within the Fourth Judicial Region, is definitely beyond the territorial jurisdiction of the RTC of Manila, in the National Capital Region. Thus, the RTC of Manila does not have the authority to issue a search warrant for offenses committed in Cavite. Hence, petitioner's reliance in Malaloan is misplaced. Malaloan involved a court in the same judicial region where the crime was committed. The instant case involves a court in another region. Any other interpretation re-defining territorial jurisdiction would amount to judicial legislation. Nonetheless, we agree with petitioner that this case involves a transitory or continuing offense of unfair competition under Section 168 of Republic Act No. 8293. Respondent's imitation of the general appearance of petitioner's goods was done allegedly in Cavite. It sold the goods allegedly in Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila. The alleged acts would constitute a transitory or continuing offense. Thus, clearly, under Section 2 (b) of Rule 126, Section 168 of Rep. Act No. 8293 and Article 189 (1) of the Revised Penal Code, petitioner may apply for a search warrant in any court where any element of the alleged offense was committed, including any of the courts within the National Capital Region (Metro Manila). YAO, SR. vs. PEOPLE Facts: The Search Warrant in question commanded any peace officer to make an immediate search on MASAGANA compound located at Governors Drive, Barangay Lapidario, Trece Martires, Cavite City. The compound consisted of 10,000 square meters with several structures in it. Did the warrant satisfy the constitutional requirement of specific description of the place to be searched? HELD: Yes. It appears that the raiding team had ascertained and reached MASAGANA compound without difficulty since MASAGANA does not have any other offices/plants in Trece Martires, Cavite City. Moreover, Oblanca, who was with the raiding team, was already familiar with the MASAGANA compound as he and Alajar had monitored and conducted test-buys thereat. Even if there are several structures inside the compound, there was no need to particularize the areas to be searched because, these structures constitute the essential and necessary components of petitioners business and cannot be treated separately as they form part of one entire compound. The compound is owned and used solely by MASAGANA. What the case law merely requires is that the place to be searched can be distinguished in relation to the other places in the community. This requisite was complied with in the instant case. OUELAN vs. PEOPLE Facts: On 27 August 1996, a team from the Police Assistance and Reaction Against Crime (PARAC) of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), was formed to implement a search warrant issued by the RTC of Manila on 26 August 1996 which warrant was issued against one Bernard Lim. In serving the warrant, the PARAC team accompanied by a Security Officer of the building where the premises to be searched was located. The warrant was served to Petitioner who was naked from the waist up when he opened the door.

Case Pool 4Manresa2009-2010


The search yielded three (3) pieces of transparent plastic sachets containing white crystalline substances, which were later confirmed by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) forensic chemist as shabu, plastic tubings, weighing scales, an improvised burner, and empty transparent plastic sachets. Petitioner assails the improper enforcement of the search warrant which eventually led to his arrest. He argued that the police operatives proceeded with the search though he, (Petitioner) was not the subject of such warrant. According to him, the warrant was invalidated when it was served against him and not to the person clearly indicated in the warrant. ISSUES: Whether the search warrant was properly enforced and whether petitioner was validly arrested without warrant. RULING: This argument is misplaced. Section 4, Rule 126 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure provides for the requisites for the issuance of search warrant. Nowhere in said rule or any other provision in the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure is it required that the search warrant must name the person who occupies the described premises. A cursory reading of the search warrant reveals that the police officers were ordered to make an immediate search of the premises mentioned and to seize and take possession of shabu. Furthermore, they were directed to bring persons to be dealt with as the law may direct. While petitioner may not be the person subject of the search, the fact that he was caught in flagrante delicto necessitated his valid warrantless arrest. Therefore, the fact that petitioners name was not indicated in the search warrant is immaterial. It is not required that the SW must name the person who occupies the described premises. Where the SW is issued for the search of specifically described premises only and not for the search of a person, the failure to name the owner or occupant such property in the affidavit and search does not invalidate the warrant; and where the name of the owner of the premises sought to be searched is incorrectly inserted in the SW, it is not a fatal defect if the legal description of the premises to be searched is otherwise correct so that no discretion is left to the will of the officer making the search as to the place to be searched. SANTOS vs. PRYCE GAS Facts: Respondent Pryce Gases, Inc. is a domestic corporation engaged in the manufacture of oxygen, acetylene and other industrial gases as well as in the distribution of LPG products in the Visayas and Mindanao regions. Its branch in Iloilo City has been selling LPG products directly or through various dealers to hospitals, restaurants and other business establishments. In the beginning of the year 2002, respondent noticed the decline in the return of its LPG cylinders for refilling. Respondents employees suspected that the LPG cylinders had been removed from market circulation and refilled by respondents competitors, one of whom was Sun Gas, Inc. Petitioner Rowland Kim Santos is the manager of Sun Gas, Inc. Arnold T. Figueroa, respondents sales manager, sought the assistance of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) to recover the LPG cylinders allegedly in the possession of Sun Gas, Inc. Acting on Figueroas complaint, CIDG operatives conducted surveillance on the warehouse of Sun Gas, Inc. The CIDG operatives requested the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) to conduct a routine fire inspection at Sun Gas, Inc. warehouse with some of the CIDG operatives led by PO2 Vicente D. Demandara, Jr. posing as BFP inspectors. The CIDG operatives entered the warehouse and were able to take photographs of the LPG cylinders. On 4 June 2002, PO2 Vicente D. Demandara, Jr. applied before the RTC of Iloilo City for a warrant to search the premises described as No. 130, Timawa Avenue, Molo, Iloilo. The application alleged that petitioner was in possession of Pryce LPG tanks, the Pryce logos of some of which were scraped off and replaced with a Sun Gas, Inc. marking, and other materials used in tampering Pryce gas tanks. It also averred that petitioner was illegally distributing Pryce LPG products without the consent of respondent, in violation of Section 2 of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 623, as amended by R.A. No. 5700. After conducting searching questions on witnesses PO1 Aldrin Ligan, a CIDG operative, and Richard Oliveros, an employee of Pryce Gases, Inc., Hon. Rene B. Honrado, the presiding judge of Branch 29, issued the corresponding search warrant. The search warrant authorized the seizure of the following items: 1. Assorted sizes of PRYCE LPG GAS TANKS CYLINDERS in different kilograms.

Compiled by: Thyrza Marbas/Percy Donalvo/Carrie Mae Bangayan

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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW REVIEW 2-BILL OF RIGHTS Atty. Vincent Paul Montejo


2. Suspected LPG gas tanks cylinders with printed/mark SUN GAS INC., trademark and embossed Pryce Gas Trademark scrapped off. 3. Other materials used in tampering the PRYCE LPG GAS TANKS cylinders. wOn 7 June 2002, petitioner filed a Motion to Quash the search warrant on the grounds of lack of probable cause as well as deception and fraud employed in obtaining evidence in support of the application therefor, in violation of Article III, Section 2 of the Constitution and Rule 126, Sections 4 and 5 of the Rules of Court. Respondent opposed petitioners Motion to Quash. On the same day, the CIDG filed a criminal complaint before the Office of the City Prosecutor of Iloilo against petitioner, charging the latter with violation of R.A. No. 623, as amended. After hearing, the trial court issued an Order, granting petitioners Motion to Quash. The trial court upheld the validity of the surveillance conducted on petitioners warehouse in order to obtain evidence to support the application for a search warrant and declared that based on the evidence gathered in support of the application for search warrant, the CIDG was able to establish probable cause that petitioner was tampering with Pryce LPG cylinders and making them appear to be those of Sun Gas, Inc. This conclusion, notwithstanding, the trial court made a turnaround, stating that the probable cause as found by it at the time of the application for search warrant fell short of the requisite probable cause necessary to sustain the validity of the search warrant. Respondent filed a manifestation and motion to hold in abeyance the release of the seized items. Respondent elevated the matter to the Court of Appeals via a special civil action for certiorari, arguing that the trial court committed grave abuse of discretion in quashing the search warrant. The petition essentially questioned the quashal of the search warrant despite a prior finding of probable cause and the failure of petitioner to prove that he bought the seized items from respondent. It also challenged petitioners personality to file the motion to quash. (Krisna Caballero)

Case Pool 4Manresa2009-2010

Hon Ne Chan Vs. Honda FACTS - On 14 November 2003, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), through Special Investigator (SI) Glenn Lacaran, applied for search warrants with the RTC against petitioners for alleged violation of Section 168 in relation to Section 170 of Republic Act No. 8293 or the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines. On the same date, RTC Judge Artemio S. Tipon issued two search warrants. The first warrant, Search Warrant No. 03-4438, was directed against petitioner Hon Ne Chan and John Does, operating under the name and style Dragon Spirit Motorcycle Center, located at No. 192 M.H. del Pilar Street corner 10 Avenue, Grace Park, Caloocan City, Metro Manila. On the other hand, the second search warrant, or Search Warrant No. 03-4439 was issued against petitioner Yunji Zeng and John Does, operating under the name and style Dragon Spirit Motorcycle Center, located at No. 192 E. Delos Santos Avenue, Caloocan City, Metro Manila. On the strength of these search warrants, NBI agents conducted a search of petitioners premises and seized items. On 1 December 2003, petitioners filed with the RTC a Joint Motion to Quash Search Warrants and to Return Illegally Seized Items, averring therein that the search warrants were issued despite the absence of probable cause and that they were in the nature of general search warrants. Respondents filed their Opposition thereto on 7 January 2004 but despite this, the trial court still issued an Order dated 20 February 2004 which quashed both Search Warrants No. 03-4438 and 03-4439 and ordered the NBI to return to petitioners the articles seized. In quashing the search warrants, the trial court held that the return of the twenty-two WAVE CX 110 motorcycle units was proper for they were never specifically mentioned therein. As regards the rest of the items seized by the NBI agents, the trial court decreed that their return to petitioners was justified due to lack of probable cause in the issuance of the search warrants. ISSUE - We are primarily tasked to resolve the questions of: 1) whether probable cause existed in the issuance of the subject search warrants; 2) whether said search warrants were in the nature of general search warrants and therefore null and void; and 3) whether there existed an offense to which the issuance of the search warrants was connected. RULINGS - We affirm the Decision of the Court of Appeals. Thus, the validity of the issuance of a search warrant rests upon the following factors: (1) it must be issued upon probable cause; (2) the probable cause must be determined by the judge himself and not by the applicant or any other person; (3) in the determination of probable cause, the judge must examine, under oath or affirmation, the complainant and such witnesses as the latter may produce; and (4) the warrant issued must particularly describe the place to be searched and persons or things to be seized. In this case, petitioners argue that the requirements enumerated in Rule 126 of the Rules of Court pertaining to the issuance of a search warrant were not fulfilled when Search Warrants No. 03-4438 and 03-4439 were issued by the trial court. First, they contend that no probable cause existed meriting the issuance of the search warrants in that it was stated in the Application for Search Warrant of National Bureau of Investigation Special Investigator (NBI SI) Lacaran that (h)e has information and verily believes that (petitioners) are in possession or has in their control properties which are being sold, retailed, distributed, imported, dealt with or otherwise disposed of, or intended to be used as a means of committing a violation of Section 168 in relation to Section 170 of Republic Act No. 8293 otherwise known as the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines Said statement, petitioners insist, failed to meet the condition that probable cause must be shown to be within the personal knowledge of the complainant or the witnesses he may produce and not based on mere hearsay. It is settled that in determining probable cause, a judge is duty-bound to personally examine under oath the complainant and the witnesses he may present. Emphasis must be laid on the fact that the oath required must refer to the truth of the facts within the personal knowledge of the petitioner or his witnesses, because the purpose thereof is to convince the committing magistrate, not the individual making the affidavit and seeking the issuance of the warrant, of the existence of probable cause. Search warrants are not issued on loose, vague or doubtful basis of fact, or on mere suspicion or belief. In the case at bar, petitioners capitalize on the first paragraph of the Application for Search Warrant executed by NBI SI Lacaran to support their argument that he lacked the personal

Supporting jurisprudence thus outlined the following requisites for a search warrants validity, the absence of even one will cause its downright nullification: (1) it must be issued upon probable cause; (2) the probable cause must be determined by the judge himself and not by the applicant or any other person; (3) in the determination of probable cause, the judge must examine, under oath or affirmation, the complainant and such witnesses as the latter may produce; and (4) the warrant issued must particularly describe the place to be searched and persons or things to be seized.

The instant controversy pertains only to the existence of probable cause, which the trial court found wanting after evaluating the items seized from petitioner. Petitioner does not dispute that the items seized from him, consisting of Pryce LPG tanks of assorted weights, were particularly enumerated in the search warrant. Petitioner is neither assailing the manner by which the trial court conducted the determination of probable cause. The trial court retracted its earlier finding of probable cause because the seized items were incomplete or insufficient to charge petitioner with a criminal offense, thus, negating its previous determination of probable cause. We disagree. In quashing the search warrant, it would appear that the trial court had raised the standard of probable cause to whether there was sufficient cause to hold petitioner for trial. In so doing, the trial court committed grave abuse of discretion.

Probable cause for a search warrant is defined as such facts and circumstances which would lead a reasonably discrete and prudent man to believe that an offense has been committed and that the objects sought in connection with the offense are in the place sought to be searched. A finding of probable cause needs only to rest on evidence showing that, more likely than not, a crime has been committed and that it was committed by the accused. Probable cause demands more than bare suspicion; it requires less than evidence which would justify conviction. The existence depends to a large degree upon the finding or opinion of the judge conducting the examination. However, the findings of the judge should not disregard the facts before him nor run counter to the clear dictates of reason.ch

Compiled by: Thyrza Marbas/Percy Donalvo/Carrie Mae Bangayan

35

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW REVIEW 2-BILL OF RIGHTS Atty. Vincent Paul Montejo


knowledge required by both the Rules of Court and by jurisprudence. However, the very next paragraph of the application reveals the tremulous nature of their argument for it is clearly stated therein that far from merely relying on mere information and belief, NBI SI Lacaran personally verified the report and found [it] to be a fact. This, to our mind, removed the basis of his application from mere hearsay and supported the earlier finding of probable cause on the part of the examining judge. We cannot, thus, agree in his Order of 20 February 2004 quashing the search warrants he earlier issued on 14 November 2003. It is likewise well to reiterate here that probable cause, as far as the issuance of a search warrant is concerned, has been uniformly defined as such facts and circumstances which would lead a reasonable, discreet and prudent man to believe that an offense has been committed, and that the objects sought in connection with the offense are in the place sought to be searched. Equally important is our declaration in Microsoft Corporation and Lotus Development Corporation v. Maxicorp, Inc. that The determination of probable cause does not call for the application of rules and standards of proof that a judgment of conviction requires after trial on the merits. As implied by the words themselves, probable cause is concerned with probability, not absolute or even moral certainty. The prosecution need not present at this stage reasonable doubt. The standards of judgment are those of a reasonably prudent man, not the exacting calibrations of a judge after a full-blown trial. Petitioners also argue that the search warrants in question partook the nature of general search warrants in that they included motorcycles bearing the model name WAVE. They insist that word WAVE is generic and that it fails to pass the requirement of particularity of the items to be seized. They also maintain that had the word WAVE been enough, there would have been no need for petitioners to state in their application for search warrants the specific motorcycle models, i.e., DSM WAVE, DSM SUPERWAVE 110, and WAVE R 125. It is elemental that in order to be valid, a search warrant must particularly describe the place to be searched and the things to be seized. The constitutional requirement of reasonable particularity of description of the things to be seized is primarily meant to enable the law enforcers serving the warrant to: (1) readily identify the properties to be seized and thus prevent them from seizing the wrong items; and (2) leave said peace officers with no discretion regarding the articles to be seized and thus prevent unreasonable searches and seizures. It is not, however, required that the things to be seized must be described in precise and minute detail as to leave no room for doubt on the part of the searching authorities. In Bache and Co. (Phil.), Inc. v. Judge Ruiz, it was pointed out that one of the tests to determine the particularity in the description of objects to be seized under a search warrant is when the things described are limited to those which bear direct relation to the offense for which the warrant is being issued. A reading of the search warrants issued by the trial court in this case reveals that the items to be seized, including motorcycles, are those which are connected with the alleged violation of Section 168 in relation to Section 170 of Republic Act No. 8293, notwithstanding the use of the generic word WAVE. We, therefore, adopt the following finding of the appellate court: We may say this of the Wave motorcycles. It is evident that Wave is the model name of the motorcycles produced by the (herein respondents) Honda and, therefore, any imitation unit that is in the possession of the (herein petitioners) and carries the name Wave is the fit object of the warrants whether some other name or figure is affixed to it or not. The name Wave CX 110 is but a [species] of units under the generic name Wave. The warrant that directs the seizure of Wave logically includes Wave CX 110 and is by no means converted into a roving commission when it allows the officer to seize it. Anent petitioners contention that the search warrants were issued in relation to no particular offense. On the other hand, in the Application for Search Warrant filed by NBI SI Lacaran, it is clearly stated that what respondents are complaining about was the alleged violation of the goodwill they have established with respect to their motorcycle models WAVE 110 S and WAVE 125 S and which goodwill is entitled to protection in the same manner as other property rights. It is quite obvious then that their cause of action arose out of the intrusion into their established goodwill involving the two motorcycle models and not patent infringement, as what existed in Savage. 2. VALID INSTANCES WARRANT;ESS SEARCHES AND SEIZURES (A.) SEARCH OF MOVING VEHICLES OF

Case Pool 4Manresa2009-2010


Aniag Vs. Comelec FACTS - In preparation for the synchronized national and local elections scheduled on 11 May 1992, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) issued on 11 December 1991 Resolution No. 2323 otherwise referred to as the "Gun Ban," promulgating rules and regulations on bearing, carrying and transporting of firearms or other deadly weapons, on security personnel or bodyguards, on bearing arms by members of security agencies or police organizations, and organization or maintenance of reaction forces during the election period. 1 Subsequently, on 26 December 1991 COMELEC issued Resolution No. 2327 providing for the summary disqualification of candidates engaged in gunrunning, using and transporting of firearms, organizing special strike forces, and establishing spot checkpoints. 2 On 10 January 1992, pursuant to the "Gun Ban," Mr. Serapio P. Taccad, Sergeant-at-Arms, House of Representatives, wrote petitioner who was then Congressman of the 1st District of Bulacan requesting the return of the two (2) firearms 3 issued to him by the House of Representatives. Upon being advised of the request on 13 January 1992 by his staff, petitioner immediately instructed his driver, Ernesto Arellano, to pick up the firearms from petitioner's house at Valle Verde and return them to Congress. Meanwhile, at about five o'clock in the afternoon of the same day, the Philippine National Police (PNP) headed by Senior Superintendent Danilo Cordero set up a checkpoint outside the Batasan Complex some twenty (20) meters away from its entrance. About thirty minutes later, the policemen manning the outpost flagged down the car driven by Arellano as it approached the checkpoint. They searched the car and found the firearms neatly packed in their gun cases and placed in a bag in the trunk of the car. Arellano was then apprehended and detained. He explained that he was ordered by petitioner to get the firearms from the house and return them to Sergeant-at-Arms Taccad of the House of Representatives. Thereafter, the police referred Arellano's case to the Office of the City Prosecutor for inquest. The referral did not include petitioner as among those charged with an election offense. On 15 January 1992, the City Prosecutor ordered the release of Arellano after finding the latter's sworn explanation meritorious. ISSUE - whether he can be validly prosecuted for instructing his driver to return to the Sergeant-at-Arms of the House of Representatives the two firearms issued to him on the basis of the evidence gathered from the warrantless search of his car. RLUINGS - As a rule, a valid search must be authorized by a search warrant duly issued by an appropriate authority. However, this is not absolute. Aside from a search incident to a lawful arrest, a warrantless search had been upheld in cases of moving vehicles and the seizure of evidence in plain view, 17 as well as the search conducted at police or military checkpoints which we declared are not illegal per se, and stressed that the warrantless search is not violative of the Constitution for as long as the vehicle is neither searched nor its occupants subjected to a body search, and the inspection of the vehicle is merely limited to a visual search. Petitioner contends that the guns were not tucked in Arellano's waist nor placed within his reach, and that they were neatly packed in gun cases and placed inside a bag at the back of the car. Significantly, COMELEC did not rebut this claim. The records do not show that the manner by which the package was bundled led the PNP to suspect that it contained firearms. There was no mention either of any report regarding any nervous, suspicious or unnatural reaction from Arellano when the car was stopped and searched. Given these circumstances and relying on its visual observation, the PNP could not thoroughly search the car lawfully as well as the package without violating the constitutional injunction. An extensive search without warrant could only be resorted to if the officers conducting the search had reasonable or probable cause to believe before the search that either the motorist was a law offender or that they would find the instrumentality or evidence pertaining to the commission of a crime in the vehicle to be searched. The existence of probable cause justifying the warrantless search is determined by the facts of each case. Thus, we upheld the validity of the warrantless search in situations where the smell of marijuana emanated from a plastic bag owned by the accused, or where the accused was acting suspiciously, and attempted to flee. In the case at bench, we find that the checkpoint was set up twenty (20) meters from the entrance to the Batasan Complex to enforce Resolution No. 2327. There was no evidence to show that the policemen were impelled to do so because of a confidential report leading them to reasonably believe that certain motorists matching

Compiled by: Thyrza Marbas/Percy Donalvo/Carrie Mae Bangayan

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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW REVIEW 2-BILL OF RIGHTS Atty. Vincent Paul Montejo


the description furnished by their informant were engaged in gunrunning, transporting firearms or in organizing special strike forces. Nor, as adverted to earlier, was there any indication from the package or behavior of Arellano that could have triggered the suspicion of the policemen. Absent such justifying circumstances specifically pointing to the culpability of petitioner and Arellano, the search could not be valid. The action then of the policemen unreasonably intruded into petitioner's privacy and the security of his property, in violation of Sec. 2, Art. III, of the Constitution. Consequently, the firearms obtained in violation of petitioner's right against warrantless search cannot be admitted for any purpose in any proceeding. It may be argued that the seeming acquiescence of Arellano to the search constitutes an implied waiver of petitioner's right to question the reasonableness of the search of the vehicle and the seizure of the firearms. While Resolution No. 2327 authorized the setting up of checkpoints, it however stressed that "guidelines shall be made to ensure that no infringement of civil and political rights results from the implementation of this authority," and that "the places and manner of setting up of checkpoints shall be determined in consultation with the Committee on Firearms Ban and Security Personnel created under Sec. 5, Resolution No. 2323." 28 The facts show that PNP installed the checkpoint at about five o'clock in the afternoon of 13 January 1992. The search was made soon thereafter, or thirty minutes later. It was not shown that news of impending checkpoints without necessarily giving their locations, and the reason for the same have been announced in the media to forewarn the citizens. Nor did the informal checkpoint that afternoon carry signs informing the public of the purpose of its operation. As a result, motorists passing that place did not have any inkling whatsoever about the reason behind the instant exercise. With the authorities in control to stop and search passing vehicles, the motorists did not have any choice but to submit to the PNP's scrutiny. Otherwise, any attempt to turnabout albeit innocent would raise suspicion and provide probable cause for the police to arrest the motorist and to conduct an extensive search of his vehicle. In the case of petitioner, only his driver was at the car at that time it was stopped for inspection. As conceded by COMELEC, driver Arellano did not know the purpose of the checkpoint. In the face of fourteen (14) armed policemen conducting the operation, 29 driver Arellano being alone and a mere employee of petitioner could not have marshalled the strength and the courage to protest against the extensive search conducted in the vehicle. In such scenario, the "implied acquiescence," if there was any, could not be more than a mere passive conformity on Arellano's part to the search, and "consent" given under intimidating or coercive circumstances is no consent within the purview of the constitutional guaranty. People v. Gonzales FACTS - The police received an information that a woman with long hair, wearing maong pants and jacket, and Ray Ban sunglasses would be transporting marijuana along the national highway. According to the information, the woman would bring a black traveling bag and would ride a trisikad. Based on this information, policemen were sent to the area. They found the woman, ordered her to open the black bag, which she refused. The police opened it and found marijuana. ISSUE Whether the marijuana is admissible as evidence. RULINGS - Yes. The arrest was legal and the search of her bag justified. The police had no time to obtain a warrant since they were tipped off only in the evening and the contraband would be transported early in the morning of the following day. The law enforcers had a definite target of the arrest. There was a description of the identity of the person engaged in transporting prohibited drugs at a particular place and time. Accordingly, when they saw accused who fitted the description they had probable cause to apprehend her. Basic is the rule that no arrest, search or seizure can be made without a valid warrant issued by a competent judicial authority. The Constitution guarantees the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures. Any evidence obtained in violation of said right shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding. Nevertheless, the constitutional proscription against warrantless searches and seizures admits of certain legal and judicial exceptions, as follows: (1) warrantless search incidental to a lawful arrest recognized under Section 12, Rule 126 of the Rules of Court and by prevailing jurisprudence; (2) seizure of evidence in plain view; (3) search of a moving vehicle; (4) consented warrantless search; (5) customs search; (6) stop and frisk; and (7) exigent and emergency circumstances.

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Moreover, a lawful arrest without a warrant may be made by a peace officer or a private person under the following circumstances: 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 and circumstances 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 is temporarily confined while his case is pending, or has escaped while being transferred from one confinement to another. In cases falling under paragraphs (a) and (b) above, the person arrested without a warrant shall be forthwith delivered to the nearest police station or jail and shall be proceeded against in accordance with Section 7 of Rule 112. In this case, the trial court found and held that appellant was caught in flagrante carrying marijuana leaves and fruiting tops at the time of her arrest. A crime was actually being committed by the appellant; thus, her arrest and the search of her black traveling bag fall squarely under paragraph (a) of the aforecited provisions of the Rules allowing a warrantless search incident to lawful arrest. On this score, we are in agreement with the trial court. While it is true that the apprehending officers were not armed with a search warrant when the search was conducted over the personal effects of appellant, nevertheless under the circumstances of the case, there was sufficient probable cause for said police officers to believe that appellant was then and there committing a crime. Probable cause signifies a reasonable ground of suspicion supported by circumstances sufficiently strong in themselves to warrant a cautious mans 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 items, articles or objects sought in connection with said offense or subject to seizure and destruction by law is in the place to be searched. The required probable cause that will justify a warrantless search and seizure is not determined by a fixed formula but is resolved according to the facts of each case. In the case at bar, the police officers were tipped off only on the evening of August 29, 1993. The contraband was to be transported early in the morning of the following day. Certainly, the law enforcers had no time to secure the needed warrants. The only recourse left to the police was to arrest the courier in flagrante. Note that the law enforcers had a definite target for their arrest, that is, a woman with long hair, wearing maong pants and jacket and Ray Ban sunglasses, carrying a black traveling bag. There was a description about the identity of the person engaged in transporting prohibited drugs at a particular time and place. The law enforcers already had an inkling of the personal circumstances of the person they were looking for. Accordingly, when the police officers saw the woman who fitted the tipped description given earlier and who was later identified as the appellant, standing near a trisikad, along the national highway holding the handle of a black traveling bag on a trisikad, they had probable cause to apprehend appellant. In our view, appellants arrest was legal and the search of her bag conducted by the police was not illegal. Consequently, the marijuana bricks seized from appellant during the search is admissible in evidence against her since they were taken incidental to a lawful arrest. People v. Vinecario FACTS - On the night of April 10, 1995, policemen were manning a checkpoint at Ulas, Davao City, to enforce the COMELEC gun ban when a Honda TMX motorcycle boarded by three men sped by past them. A police officer blew his whistle and ordered them to return to the check point which they obliged. One of the men introduced himself as a soldier but he could not produce an identification card. Another one carried a backpack and when he was asked about its contents he replied that it merely contained a mat. The men passed the bag to each other. Suspecting that it contained a bomb, a policeman ordered them to open the bag. It contained marijuana. ISSUE - Wheter the search was lawful. RULINGS - Yes. Although the general rule is that motorists and their vehicles as well as pedestrians passing through checkpoints may only be subjected to a routine inspection, vehicles may be stopped and extensively searched when there is probable cause which justifies a reasonable belief of the men at the checkpoints that either the motorist is a law offender or the contents of the vehicle are or have been instruments of some offense.

Compiled by: Thyrza Marbas/Percy Donalvo/Carrie Mae Bangayan

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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW REVIEW 2-BILL OF RIGHTS Atty. Vincent Paul Montejo


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 objects sought in connection with the offense are in the place sought to be searched. The required probable cause that will justify a warrantless search and seizure is not detemined by any fixed formula but is resolved according to the facts of each case. Warrantless search of the personal effects of an accused has been declared by this Court as valid, because of existence of probable cause, where the smell of marijuana emanated from a plastic bag owned by the accused, or where the accused was acting suspiciously, and attempted to flee. There is probable cause which justified the warrantless search. In light of appellants speeding away after noticing the checkpoint and even after having been flagged down by police officers, their suspicious and nervous gestures when interrogated on the contents of the backpack which they passed to one another, and the reply of one of them that he was a member of the Philippine Army, apparently in an attempt to dissuade the policemen from proceeding with their inspection, there existed probable cause to justify a reasonable belief on the part of the law enforcers that appellants were offenders of the law or that the contents of the back pack were instruments of some offense. Epie Vs. Ulat-Marredo FACTS - The evidence for the prosecution shows that at around 2:30 p.m. of September 6, 1998, SPO2 Alberto Ngina of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Tublay Station received an information from a confidential agent that a jeepney with Plate No. AYB 117 at Km. 96, Atok, Benguet was loaded with Benguet pine lumber. SPO2 Ngina immediately relayed the information to SPO4 Rentao Quitoriano and SPO1 Domingo Pulig. They then swiftly established a checkpoint in Acop, Tublay, Benguet. At around 4:00 p.m. of the same day, the PNP operatives spotted the jeepney heading toward La Trinidad. They flagged it down but it did not stop. Hence, they chased the vehicle up to Shilan, La Trinidad where it finally halted. The police saw five persons inside the jeepney then loaded with assorted vegetables, like womboc3 and chili. When SPO4 Quitoriano lifted a womboc, he found some pieces of lumber under it. The driver and his companions admitted they have no permit to transport the lumber. The police immediately arrested and investigated petitioners, Marso Insiong Dumpit, Armando Palasi, and Ben Arinos. Only petitioners were charged with violation of Section 68 of the Revised Forestry Code. After the prosecution presented its evidence, petitioners, through counsel, filed a "Motion to Suppress Evidence of the Prosecution" on the ground that the pieces of Benguet pine lumber were illegally seized. ISSUE - whether the police officers have a probable cause to believe that the subject vehicle was loaded with illegal cargo and that, therefore, it can be stopped and searched without a warrant. RULINGS - In this jurisdiction, the fundamental law of the land recognizes and protects the right of a person to privacy against unreasonable intrusions by the agents of the State. This right to undisturbed privacy is guaranteed by Section 2, Article III of the Constitution which provides: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable, and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized. Section 3(2), also of Article III, provides that any evidence obtained in violation of the above provision shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding. Hence, as a general rule, a search and seizure must be carried through with judicial warrant, otherwise, such search and seizure constitutes derogation of a constitutional right. The above rule, however, is not devoid of exceptions. Here, the search involved a moving vehicle, an instance where a warrantless search and seizure may be conducted by peace officers. The only issue we should determine is whether there was probable cause to justify such warrantless search and seizure. We recall that at around 2:30 p.m. of September 6, 1998, a confidential informer disclosed to SPO2 Ngina that a passenger

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jeepney with Plate No. AYB 117 loaded with Benguet pine lumber was at Km. 96, Atok, Benguet. The lumber was covered with assorted vegetables. A PNP roadblock was then placed in Acop, Tublay, Benguet to intercept the jeepney. At around 4:00 p.m. of that same day, the police spotted the vehicle. They flagged it down but it did not stop, forcing the police to chase it until it reached Shilan, La Trinidad. A search of the vehicle disclosed several pieces of Benguet pine lumber. Petitioners could not produce the required DENR permit to cut and transport the same. In People v. Vinecarao, we ruled that where a vehicle sped away after noticing a checkpoint and even after having been flagged down by police officers, in an apparent attempt to dissuade the police from proceeding with their inspection, there exists probable cause to justify a reasonable belief on the part of the law enforcers that the persons on board said vehicle were officers of the law or that the vehicle contained objects which were instruments of some offense. This ruling squarely applies to the present case. Verily, the Court of Appeals did not err in holding that respondent judge did not commit grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when she ruled that the warrantless search is valid and that the lumber seized is admissible in evidence against petitioners. People Vs. Tuason Facts: In the morning of 7 March 1999, the Antipolo City Police Station received through telephone, a confidential information that a Gemini car bearing plate number PFC 4116 would deliver an unspecified amount of shabu in Marville Subdivision, Antipolo City. Acting on said tip, Antipolo City Chief of Police Major Rene Quintana dispatched a team of policemen to the area to conduct a surveillance. When the team arrived in Marville Subdivision, they saw the said Gemini car and immediately flagged it down. The driver of the car pulled to a stop and opened a window of said vehicle giving the policemen the opportunity to identify themselves as members of the Antipolo City Police Station. It was then that PO1 Manuel Padlan (PO1 Padlan) saw a gun tucked on appellants waist. PO1 Padlan inquired about the gun and appellant allegedly replied it did not belong to him nor could he produce any pertinent document relating to said firearm. This prompted PO3 Bueno to order appellant to get down from the car. As soon as appellant stepped down from the vehicle, PO3 Bueno saw five plastic sachets on the drivers seat, the contents of which appellant allegedly admitted to be shabu. Appellant was thereafter immediately brought to the police station. Issue: Whether or not the search is valid.

Ruling: In Caballes v. Court of Appeals,34 the term "probable cause" was explained to mean [A] reasonable ground of suspicion supported by circumstances sufficiently strong in themselves to warrant a cautious mans 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 items, articles or objects sought in connection with said offense or subject to seizure and destruction by law is in the place to be searched. The required probable cause that will justify a warrantless search and seizure is not determined by a fixed formula but is resolved according to the facts of the case. When a vehicle is flagged down and subjected to an extensive search, such a warrantless search has been held to be valid as long as the officers conducting the search have reasonable or probable cause to believe prior to the search that they would find the instrumentality or evidence pertaining to a crime, in the vehicle to be searched. In this case, we hold that the police had probable cause to effect the warrantless search of the Gemini car driven by appellant. A confidential informer tipped them off that said car was going to deliver shabu at Marville Subdivision. Pursuing said lead, the Antipolo City police sent a team to Marville Subdivision to monitor said vehicle. The information provided by the informer turned out to be correct as, indeed, the Gemini car was spotted in the place where it was said to be bringing shabu. When they stopped the car, they saw a gun tucked in appellants waist. Appellant did not have any document to support his possession of said firearm which all the more strengthened the polices suspicion. After he was told to step out of the car, they found on the drivers seat plastic sachets containing white powdery substance. These circumstances, taken together, are sufficient to establish probable cause for the warrantless search of the Gemini car and the eventual admission into evidence of the plastic packets against appellant.

(B.) SEARCH ARREST

INCIDENT

TO

VALID

Compiled by: Thyrza Marbas/Percy Donalvo/Carrie Mae Bangayan

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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW REVIEW 2-BILL OF RIGHTS Atty. Vincent Paul Montejo


People vs Sarap FACTS - In the course of implementing a search warrant for possession of marijuana, the police arrested three women. During their investigation, the police learned that accused was the supplier of the marijuana and that she would be back two days later. Accordingly, on the date mentioned, policemen went to the house where accused was expected. When they arrived, they saw accused walking in the alley near the house. The police blocked her path and seized from her a green bag which contained marijuana. ISSUE Whether the evidence is admissible RULINGS - No. In the instant case, Sarap cannot be said to be committing a crime. Neither was she about to commit one nor had she just committed a crime. She was merely walking in the alley near the house of Conrado Ricaforte. It was only when Janet Iguiz led Sarap downstairs and identified her as Melly that she was singled out as the suspect. Guarino would not have apprehended Sarap were it not for Janet Iguizs identification. Moreover, the evidence on record clearly illustrated that it was only after Janet Iguiz pointed to Sarap as Melly that Guarino suspected that the bag she was holding contained marijuana. The Banga Police could have secured a search warrant when Jonalyn Duran disclosed during the investigation that a certain Melly of Capiz and one Roger would be back on March 4, 1996. The persons intended to be searched had been particularized and the thing to be seized specified. The time was also sufficiently ascertained to be March 4, 1996, although it was uncertain whether Melly would arrive. "Melly" turned out to be accused-appellant21 and the thing to be seized was marijuana. The above particulars would have provided sufficient grounds to secure a search warrant, instead, the police only acted when the caretaker of the house of Conrado Ricaforte informed them that there were strangers looking for Jonalyn and Joysie Duran. Hence, they cannot now dispense with the requirement of a search warrant on the basis of urgency in effecting it, considering that they had twenty-four hours to do so. The apprehending officers had prior knowledge of Saraps alleged activities. Verily, there was no excuse for the Banga Police not to secure a search warrant. Hence, the Banga Police could not effect a warrantless search and seizure since there was no probable cause and Sarap was not lawfully arrested. The law requires that the search must be incidental to a lawful arrest in order that the search itself may likewise be considered legal. People v. Laguio, Jr., FACTS - Due to an information from a person arrested for selling illegal drugs that accused was his employer, the police sought accused. The operative saw him came out of his apartment going towards a parked BMW car. On nearing the car, thee police officers approached accused, introduced themselves to him, asked his name and, upon hearing that he was Lawrence Wang, immediately frisked him and asked him to open the back compartment of the BMW car. When frisked, the police found inside the front right pocket of Wang an unlicensed pistol. At the same time, the other members of the operatives searched the BMW car and found inside it 29.2941 kilograms of methamphetamine hydrochloride. ISSUE - Was the search and seizure lawful? RULINGS - Section 5, above, provides three (3) instances when warrantless arrest may be lawfully effected: (a) arrest of a suspect in flagrante delicto; (b) arrest of a suspect where, based on personal knowledge of the arresting officer, there is probable cause that said suspect was the author of a crime which had just been committed; (c) arrest of a prisoner who has escaped from custody serving final judgment or temporarily confined while his case is pending. For a warrantless arrest of an accused caught in flagrante delicto under paragraph (a) of Section 5 to be valid, two requisites must concur: (1) the person to be arrested must execute an overt act indicating that he has just committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit a crime; and (2) such overt act is done in the presence or within the view of the arresting officer. The facts and circumstances surrounding the present case did not manifest any suspicious behavior on the part of private respondent Lawrence Wang that would reasonably invite the attention of the police. He was merely walking from the Maria Orosa Apartment and was about to enter the parked BMW car when the police operatives arrested him, frisked and searched his person and commanded him to open the compartment of the car, which was later on found to be owned by his friend, David Lee. He was not committing any visible offense then. Therefore, there can be no valid warrantless arrest in flagrante delicto under paragraph (a) of Section 5. It is settled that Facts:

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"reliable information" alone, absent any overt act indicative of a felonious enterprise in the presence and within the view of the arresting officers, is not sufficient to constitute probable cause that would justify an in flagrante delicto arrest. Neither may the warrantless arrest be justified under paragraph (b) of Section 5. What is clearly established from the testimonies of the arresting officers is that Wang was arrested mainly on the information that he was the employer of Redentor Teck and Joseph Junio who were previously arrested and charged for illegal transport of shabu. Teck and Junio did not even categorically identify Wang to be their source of the shabu they were caught with in flagrante delicto. Upon the duos declaration that there will be a delivery of shabu on the early morning of the following day, May 17, which is only a few hours thereafter, and that Wang may be found in Maria Orosa Apartment along Maria Orosa Street, the arresting officers conducted "surveillance" operation in front of said apartment, hoping to find a person which will match the description of one Lawrence Wang, the employer of Teck and Junio. These circumstances do not sufficiently establish the existence of probable cause based on personal knowledge as required in paragraph (b) of Section 5. For a warrantless arrest of a person in flagrante delicto under paragraph (a) of Section 5 to be valid, two requisites must concur: (1) the person to be arrested must execute an overt act indicating that he has just committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit a crime; and (2) such overt act is done in the presence or within the view of the arresting officer. The facts and circumstances surrounding this case did not manifest any suspicious behavior on the part of Wang that would reasonably invite the attention of the police. He was merely walking from the apartment and was about to enter the parked BMW car when the police operatives arrested him, frisked and searched his person and commanded him to open the compartment of the car, which was later on found to be owned by his friend, David Lee. He was not committing any visible offense then. Therefore, there can be no valid warrantless arrest in flagrante delicto under paragraph (a) of Section 5. It is settled that reliable information alone, absent any overt act indicative of a felonious enterprise in the presence and within the view of the arresting officers, is not sufficient to constitute probable cause that would justify an in flagrante delicto arrest. Consequently, the search that followed was also illegal. (Gil Ciudadano) People v. Bohol 560 SCRA 232 July 28, 2008

A confidential informant came to the police station and tipped P/Sr. Insp. Jessie Nitullano that a certain Ricardo Bohol is engaged in illegal drug trade in Tondo, Manila. P/Sr. Insp. Nitullano launched then and there a buy-bust entrapment of Bohol. PO2 Ferdinand Estrada was assigned to act as poseur buyer, and he was provided with a marked P100-bill as buy-bust money. PO2 Estrada proceeded to the house of Bohol and told Bohol of their purpose. Bohol asked, How much? to which PO2 Estrada replied, Piso lang (meaning P100 worth of shabu) and handed to the former the marked P100-bill. In turn, Bohol gave PO2 Estrada the shabu. Bohol was arrested and recovered from him the buy-bust money and the shabu. RTC convicted accused for the charges. Since one of the penalties imposed by the trial court is life imprisonment, the cases were forwarded to CA for automatic review.CA denied appeal. Issue:W/N SEARCH AND ARREST WAS ILLEGAL WHEN ACCUSED CLAIMED THAT HE WAS PEACEFULLY SLEEPING WHEN ARRESTED WITHOUT A WARRANT AND NOT INCIDENTAL TO ALAWFUL WARRANTLESS ARREST.HENCE THE SHABU WAS INADMISSIBLE. Ruling: NO. Legal.The arrest of Bohol is legal. The Constitution proscribes unreasonable arrests and provides in the Bill of Rights that no arrest, search and seizure can be made without a valid warrant issued by competent judicial authority. However, it is a settled exception to the rule that an arrest made after an entrapment operation does not require a warrant. Such warrantless arrest is considered reasonable and valid under Rule 113, Section 5(a) of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure, which states: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;x x x In the present case, the arresting officers were justified in arresting Bohol as he had just committed a crime when he sold the shabu to PO2 Estrada. A buy-bust operation is a form of entrapment which has repeatedly been accepted to be a valid means of arresting violators of the Dangerous Drugs Law. Considering the legality of Bohols warrantless arrest, the subsequent warrantless search

Compiled by: Thyrza Marbas/Percy Donalvo/Carrie Mae Bangayan

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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW REVIEW 2-BILL OF RIGHTS Atty. Vincent Paul Montejo


that resulted in the seizure of the shabu found in his person is likewise valid. The constitutional proscription against warrantless searches and seizures admits of certain exceptions. This Court has ruled that the following instances constitute valid warrantless searches and seizures: (1) search incident to a lawful arrest; (2) search of a moving motor vehicle; (3) search in violation of customs laws; (4) seizure of the evidence in plain view; (5) search when the accused himself waives his right against unreasonable searches and seizures; (6) stop and frisk; and (7) exigent and emergency circumstances. People v. Dumangay 566 SCRA 290 G.R. No. 173483 September 23, 2008 Facts: An informant reported to the office of MADAC Cluster 3 that a certain Merlie, was engaged in selling shabu at the corner of Makati City. Acting on the report, MADAC conducted a buy-bust operation with Barbosa as the poseur-buyer. They found Merlie in front of her house and with the informant, Barbosa approached Merlie. The informant introduced Barbosa as a buyer of shabu, Merlies possession and informed Merlie the cause of her arrest and apprised her of her constitutional rights. Merlie denied the allegations of the prosecution. The trial court found the evidence of the prosecution sufficient to prove Merlies guilt. Merlie appealed. Ca affir00med Issue: Whether or not appellant is guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violating Rep. Act No. 9165. Ruling:YES.We are convinced that appellant is guilty beyond reasonable doubt. The elements of illegal sale of shabu are: (1) the identity of the buyer and the seller, the object and the consideration; and (2) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment therefor. What is material is the proof that the transaction or sale transpired, coupled with the presentation in court of the corpus delicti. Corpus delicti is the body or substance of the crime, and establishes the fact that a crime has been actually committed. It has two elements, namely: (1) proof of the occurrence of a certain event; and (2) some persons criminal responsibility for the act.The straightforward testimony of Barbosa, the poseur-buyer, clearly established that an illegal sale of shabu actually took place and that appellant was the seller. The prosecution clearly and positively established that Merlie agreed to sell shabu to the poseur-buyer and that the sale was consummatedWe disagree with appellants contention that inconsistencies in Barbosas testimony are adequate to demolish the credibility of Barbosa. The inconsistencies alluded to by the appellant in the testimony of Barbosa are inconsequential and minor to adversely affect his credibility. The inconsistencies do not detract from the fact that Barbosa positively identified her in open court. What is essential is that the prosecution witness positively identified the appellant as the one who sold the shabu to the poseur-buyer. There is also nothing on record that sufficiently casts doubt on the credibility of the prosecution witness. More so, the lack of prior surveillance does not cast doubt on Barbosas credibility. We have held that a prior surveillance is not necessary especially where the police operatives are accompanied by their informant during entrapment, as in this case. Contrary to appellants contention, the informant was present during the entrapment. Unless there is clear and convincing evidence that the members of the buy-bust team were inspired by any improper motive or were not properly performing their duty, their testimony on the operation deserves faith and credit. Lastly, considering that the buy-bust operation in this case is legitimate, the subsequent warrantless arrest and the warrantless search and seizure are equally valid. In People v. Julian-Fernandez, we held that the interdiction against warrantless searches and seizures is not absolute and such warrantless searches and seizures have long been deemed permissible by jurisprudence in instances such as the search incidental to a lawful arrest. This includes a valid warrantless arrest, for, while as a rule, an arrest is considered legitimate if effected with a valid warrant of arrest, the Rules of Court recognize an arrest in flagrante delicto as a permissible warrantless arrest. In this case, we find that the appellant, having failed to controvert the evidence that the other two plastic sachets of shabu were found in her possession, is also guilty beyond reasonable doubt of illegal possession of shabu. People v. Agulay 566 SCRA 571 G.R. No. 181747 September 26, 2008 Facts: An informant arrived at Police Station and reported to the Chief of the Station Drug Enforcement Unit (SDEU) that a certain Sing had been selling shabu at Brgy. Sta. Lucia, in Novaliches, Quezon City. A police entrapment team was formed. PO2 Herrera was assigned as poseur-buyer and was given a P100.00 bill, which he marked. PO2 Herrera bought shabu using the marked P100.00 bill. Sing gave a small plastic sachet to PO2 Herrera who, thereafter, scratched his head as a signal. The other police companions of PO2 Herrera, who were deployed nearby, then rushed to the crime scene. The defense, on the other hand, had an entirely different version of what transpired that night. The RTC found accused-appellant guilty of the offense charged, and meted out to him the penalty of Life Imprisonment.

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Accused-appellant filed his Notice of Appeal with Motion to Litigate as Pauper Litigant. CA affirmed. Issue: WHETHER OR NOT THE TRIAL COURT GRAVELY ERRED IN NOT FINDING THAT THE ACCUSED-APPELLANT WAS ILLEGALLY ARRESTED AND AS SUCH, THE SACHETS OF SHABU ALLEGEDLY RECOVERED FROM HIM ARE INADMISSIBLE IN EVIDENCE. Ruling: NO.This Court finds no justification to deviate from the lower courts findings and conclusion that accused-appellant was arrested in flagrante delicto selling shabu. In order to successfully prosecute an accused for illegal sale of drugs, the prosecution must be able to prove the following elements: (1) identities of the buyer and seller, the object, and the consideration; and(2) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment therefor.The testimonies of the prosecution witnesses proved that all the elements of the crime have been established: that the buy-bust operation took place, and that the shabu subject of the sale was brought to and identified in court. Moreover, PO2 Herrera, the poseur-buyer, positively identified accused-appellant as the person who sold to him the sachet containing the crystalline substance which was confirmed to be shabu. It is a well-established rule that an arrest made after an entrapment operation does not require a warrant inasmuch as it is considered a valid warrantless arrest, in line with the provisions of Rule 113, Section 5(a) of the Revised Rules of Court. A buy-bust operation is a form of entrapment which in recent years has been accepted as a valid and effective mode of apprehending drug pushers. In a buy-bust operation, the idea to commit a crime originates from the offender, without anybody inducing or prodding him to commit the offense. If carried out with due regard for constitutional and legal safeguards, a buy-bust operation deserves judicial sanction. There are eight (8) instances when a warrantless search and seizure is valid, to wit:(1) consented searches; (2) as an incident to a lawful arrest; (3) searches of vessels and aircraft for violation of immigration, customs, and drug laws; (4) searches of moving vehicles; (5) searches of automobiles at borders or constructive borders; (6) where the prohibited articles are in plain view; (7) searches of buildings and premises to enforce fire, sanitary, and building regulations; and (8) stop and frisk operations.Considering that the legitimacy of the buy-bust operation is beyond question, the subsequent warrantless arrest and warrantless search and seizure, were permissible. The search, clearly being incident to a lawful arrest, needed no warrant for its validity. Thus, contrary to accusedappellant's contention, the contraband seized from him, having been obtained as a result of the buy-bust operation to which the defense failed to impute any irregularity, was correctly admitted in evidence. The prosecutions failure to submit in evidence the required physical inventory and photograph of the evidence confiscated will not discharge accused-appellant from his crime. Non-compliance with said section is not fatal and will not render an accuseds arrest illegal or the items seized/confiscated from him inadmissible. In People v. Del Monte, this Court held that what is of utmost importance is the preservation of the integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized items, as the same would be utilized in the determination of the guilt or innocence of the accused. In the instant case, we find the integrity of the drugs seized intact, and there is no doubt that the three sachets of drugs seized from accused-appellant were the same ones examined for chemical analysis, and that the crystalline substance contained therein was later on determined to be positive for methylamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu). Accused-appellants allegation that he is a victim of a frame-up, which has been held as a shop-worn defense of those accused in drug-related cases, is viewed by the Court with disfavor. Like the defense of alibi, frame-up is an allegation that can easily be concocted. For this claim to prosper, the defense must adduce clear and convincing evidence to overcome the presumption of regularity of official acts of government officials. Absent any proof of motive to falsely accuse him of such a grave offense, the presumption of regularity in the performance of official duty and the findings of the trial court with respect to the credibility of witnesses shall prevail over that of the accused-appellant. Apart from his defense that he is a victim of a frame-up and extortion by the police officers, accusedappellant could not present any other viable defense. Again, while the presumption of regularity in the performance of official duty by law enforcement agents should not by itself prevail over the presumption of innocence, for the claim of frame-up to prosper, the defense must be able to present clear and convincing evidence to overcome this presumption of regularity. Finally, the testimony of accused-appellants brother, having been given by a relative of the accused-appellant, his testimony should be received with caution.On this premise, this Court has laid down the objective test in scrutinizing buy-bust operations. In People v. Doria, we said:We therefore stress that the objective test in buy-bust operations demands that the details of the purported

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transaction must be clearly and adequately shown. This must start from the initial contact between the poseur-buyer and the pusher, the offer to purchase, the promise or payment of the consideration until the consummation of the sale by the delivery of the illegal drug subject of the sale. The manner by which the initial contact was made, whether or not through an informant, the offer to purchase the drug, the payment of the buy-bust money, and the delivery of the illegal drug, whether to the informant alone or the police officer, must be the subject of strict scrutiny by courts to insure that law-abiding citizens are not unlawfully induced to commit an offense. x x x. Ching v. People 569 S 711 G.R. No. 177237 October 17, 2008 Facts: Police Chief Leonardo Suan was in his office at Camp Crame when he received information from a confidential informant about a drug deal to be consummated by the latter with petitioner Ching. Police Chief Suan immediately assembled a team to conduct a buybust operation. The team on board three vehicles proceeded to the vicinity of the target area, a gasoline station in Binondo, Manila. The confidential informant walked towards San Fernando Street. When the informant returned, he was accompanied by Ching who was carrying with him a green bag bearing the name Prudential Bank. The confidential informant introduced SPO1 Cadoy to Ching and told the latter that the former wanted to buy shabu. Ching handed the green bag to SPO1 Cadoy saying Ito na ang tatlong kilo. As soon as the money was in Chings possession, his team arrested William Ching and retrieved from Ching the marked money. During the custodial investigation, the arresting officers prepared the Affidavit of Arrest, Booking Sheet and Arrest Report, Request for Laboratory Examination, Request for Physical/Medical Examination and Referral to the Inquest Prosecutor. The defense, on the other hand, put up the defense of denial and frame up. The RTC rendered a decision convicting Ching of the crime charged and sentenced him to reclusion perpetua. This time the RTC did not appreciate the presence of recidivism since the same was not alleged in the information. Dissatisfied, Ching directly elevated his conviction to this Court for review. This Court, however, referred the case to the Court of Appeals for intermediate review, conformably with the ruling in People v. Mateo.The Court of Appeals affirmed in toto the decision of the RTC. Issue:Whether search and the Arrest Was Illegal. Ruling:Ching faults the RTC and the Court of Appeals for not giving credence to his version of what happened on the day in question. He vigorously insists that on the day he was arrested, a group of men swooped down upon him and dragged him from his sisters apartment unit and took him to a vehicle where his captors demanded a huge amount of money from him, and after his refusal to heed to their demands, he was tortured and his captors planted evidence against him. Without the said buy-bust or entrapment operation, there was no valid basis for his warrantless arrest. Hence, the operatives violated his constitutional right against warrantless arrest. He also claims that the search done in the apartment unit was illegal since such was effected following an illegal arrest.The credibility of witnesses is a matter best examined by, and left to, the trial courts. The time-tested doctrine is that the matter of assigning values to declarations on the witness stand is best and most competently performed by the trial judge who, unlike appellate magistrates, can weigh such testimony in light of the declarants demeanor, conduct and position to discriminate between truth and falsehood. Thus, appellate courts will not disturb the credence. In the prosecution of sale of dangerous drugs, the concurrence of all the following elements must concur: (1) the identity of the buyer and the seller, the object, and consideration; and (2) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment therefor. What is material to the prosecution for illegal sale of dangerous drugs is the proof that the transaction or sale actually took place, coupled with the presentation in court of evidence of corpus delicti. In the instant case, all the elements of the crime have been sufficiently established by the prosecution. The witnesses for the prosecution were able to prove that the buy-bust operation indeed took place and the shabu subject of the sale was brought and duly identified in court. The poseur-buyer (SPO1 Cadoy) positively identified Ching as the one who sold to him the three plastic bags of shabu. SPO1 Cadoy straightforwardly narrated the circumstances leading to the consummation of the sale of illegal drugs and the arrest of Ching. Once again this Court stresses that a buy-bust operation is a legally effective and proven procedure, sanctioned by law at that, for apprehending drug peddlers and distributors. It is often utilized by law enforcers for the purpose of trapping and capturing lawbreakers in the execution of their nefarious activities. The defense of frame-up in drug cases requires strong and convincing evidence because of the presumption that the law enforcement agencies acted in the regular performance of their official Chings claim that his warrantless arrest was invalid is not meritorious. The rule is settled that an arrest made after an entrapment does not require a warrant inasmuch as it is considered a valid

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warrantless arrest pursuant to Rule 113, Section 5(a) of the Rules of Court 47 ;This interdiction against warrantless searches and seizures, however, is not absolute and such warrantless searches and seizures have long been deemed permissible by jurisprudence in instances of (1) search of moving vehicles, (2) seizure in plain view, (3) customs searches, (4) waiver or consented searches, (5) stop and frisk situations (Terry search), and search incidental to a lawful arrest. The last includes a valid warrantless arrest, for, while as a rule, an arrest is considered legitimate [if] effected with a valid warrant of arrest, the Rules of Court recognize permissible warrantless arrest, to wit: (1) arrest in flagrante delicto, (2) arrest effected in hot pursuit, and (3) arrest of escaped prisoners (Sharone Clapiz)

(C.) PLAIN VIEW

WHEN THNGS ARE SEIZED IN

G.R. No. 96177 January 27, 1993 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,vs.MARI MUSA y HANTATALU, accused-appellant. Facts: At the trial, the prosecution presented three (3) witnesses, who acted as poseur-buyer in the buy-bust operation made against the appellant. Information received from civilian informer was that this Mari Musa was engaged in selling marijuana in said place. So they proceeded to the house of Mari Musa. Amado Ani was able to buy one newspaper-wrapped dried marijuana for P10.00. The next day, a buy-bust was planned. Convinced that the contents were marijuana, Ani walked back towards his companions and raised his right hand for the raid. The second time, Ani with the NARCOM team returned to Mari Musa's house, the woman, who was later known as Mari Musa's wife, slipped away from the house. Sgt. Belarga frisked Mari Musa but could not find the P20.00 marked money with him. Mari Musa was then asked where the P20.00 was and he told the NARCOM team he has given the money to his wife (who had slipped away). Mari Musa was then placed under arrest and brought to the NARCOM office. In this appeal, the appellant contends that his guilt was not proved beyond reasonable doubt and impugns the credibility of the prosecution witnesses. The appellant claims that the testimony of Sgt. Ani, the poseur-buyer, is not credible because: (1) prior to the buy-bust operation, neither Sgt. Ani nor the other NARCOM agents were personally known by the appellant or vice-versa; and (2) there was no witness to the alleged giving of the two wrappers of marijuana. Issue: Whether or not a policeman can distinguish between marijuana cigarette from ordinary ones by the type of rolling done on the cigarette sticks from a distance of 10-15 meters to be the basis of his conviction. Ruling: YES. The Court has held that what matters is not an existing familiarity between the buyer and the seller, for quite often, the parties to the transaction may be strangers, but their agreement and the acts constituting the sale and delivery of the marijuana. The place of the commission of the crime of selling prohibited drugs has been held to be not crucial and the presence of other people apart from the buyer and seller will not necessarily prevent the consummation of the illegal sale. People v. Ale does not apply here because the policeman in that case testified that he and his companion were certain that the appellant therein handed marijuana cigarettes to the poseur-buyer based on the appearance of the cigarette sticks. The Court rejected this claim, stating that: This Court cannot give full credit to the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses marked as they are with contradictions and tainted with inaccuracies.Bian testified that they were able to tell that the four cigarettes were marijuana cigarettes because according to him, the rolling of ordinary cigarettes are different from those of marijuana cigarettes. (tsn, November 13, 1984, p. 10).It is however, incredible to believe that they could discern the type of rolling done on those cigarettes from the distance where they were observing the alleged sale of more or less 10 to 15 meters. 21 In the case at bar, however, T/Sgt. Belarga did not positively claim that he saw the appellant hand over marijuana to Sgt. Ani. What he said was that there was an exchange of certain articles between the two. Contrary to the contention of the appellant, it was not impossible for T/Sgt. Belarga to have seen, from a distance of 90-100 meters, Sgt. Ani hand to the appellant "something" and for the latter to give

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to the former "something."Notwithstanding the fact that T/Sgt. Belarga could not have been certain that what Sgt. Ani received from the appellant was marijuana because of the distance, his testimony, nevertheless, corroborated the direct evidence, which the Court earlier ruled to be convincing, presented by Sgt. Ani on the following material points: (1) T/Sgt. Belarga instructed Sgt. Ani to conduct a surveillance and test-buy operation on the appellant at Suterville, Zamboanga City on December 13, 1989; 23 (2) later that same day, Sgt. Ani went back to their office and reported a successful operation and turned over to T/Sgt. Belarga one wrapper of marijuana; (3) T/Sgt. Belarga then organized a team to conduct a buy-bust operation the following day; (4) on December 14, 1989, T/Sgt. Belarga led a team of NARCOM agents who went to Suterville, Zamboanga City; (5) T/Sgt. Belarga gave a P20.00 marked bill to Sgt. Ani which was to be used in the buybust operation; (6) upon the arrival of the NARCOM agents in Suterville, Zamboanga City, Sgt. Ani proceeded to the house of the appellant while some agents stayed in the vehicles and others positioned themselves in strategic places; the appellant met Sgt. Ani and an exchange of articles took place. The corroborative testimony of T/Sgt. Belarga strengthens the direct evidence given by Sgt. Ani. Additionally, the Court has ruled that the fact that the police officers who accompanied the poseur-buyer were unable to see exactly what the appellant gave the poseur-buyer because of their distance or position will not be fatal to the prosecution's case provided there exists other evidence, direct or circumstantial, e.g., the testimony of the poseur-buyer, which is sufficient to prove the consummation of the sale of the prohibited drug.Furthermore, the Constitution, in conformity with the doctrine laid down in Stonehill v. Diokno, declares inadmissible, any evidence obtained in violation of the freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. While a valid search warrant is generally necessary before a search and seizure may be effected, exceptions to this rule are recognized. Thus, in Alvero v. Dizon, the Court stated that. "[t]he most important exception to the necessity for a search warrant is the right of search and seizure as an incident to a lawful arrest." Rule 126, Section 12 of the Rules of Court expressly authorizes a warrantless search and seizure incident to a lawful arrest, thus: Sec. 12. Search incident to lawful arrest. 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 no doubt that the warrantless search incidental to a lawful arrest authorizes the arresting officer to make a search upon the person of the person arrested. As early as 1909, the Court has ruled that "[a]n officer making an arrest may take from the person arrested any money or property found upon his person which was used in the commission of the crime or was the fruit of the crime or which might furnish the prisoner with the means of committing violence or of escaping, or which may be used as evidence in the trial of the cause . . . " Hence, in a buy-bust operation conducted to entrap a drug-pusher, the law enforcement agents may seize the marked money found on the person of the pusher immediately after the arrest even without arrest and search warrants. In the case at bar, the NARCOM agents searched the person of the appellant after arresting him in his house but found nothing. They then searched the entire house and, in the kitchen, found and seized a plastic bag hanging in a corner. The warrantless search and seizure, as an incident to a suspect's lawful arrest, may extend beyond the person of the one arrested to include the premises or surroundings under his immediate control. Objects in the "plain view" of an officer who has the right to be in the position to have that view are subject to seizure and may be presented as evidence. In Ker v. California 42 police officers, without securing a search warrant but having information that the defendant husband was selling marijuana from his apartment, obtained from the building manager a passkey to defendants' apartment, and entered it. There they found the defendant husband in the living room. The defendant wife emerged from the kitchen, and one of the officers, after identifying himself, observed through the open doorway of the kitchen, a small scale atop the kitchen sink, upon which lay a brick-shaped package containing green leafy substance which he recognized as marijuana. The package of marijuana was used as evidence in prosecuting defendants for violation of the Narcotic Law. The admissibility of the package was challenged before the U.S. Supreme Court, which held, after observing that it was not unreasonable for the officer to walk to the doorway of the adjacent kitchen on seeing the defendant wife emerge therefrom, that "the discovery of the brick of marijuana did not constitute a search, since the officer merely saw what was placed before him in full view. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the warrantless seizure of the marijuana was legal on the basis of the "plain view" doctrine and upheld the admissibility of the seized drugs as part of the prosecution's evidence. The "plain view" doctrine may not, however, be used to launch unbridled searches and indiscriminate seizures nor to extend a general exploratory search made solely to find evidence of defendant's guilt.

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The "plain view" doctrine is usually applied where a police officer is not searching for evidence against the accused, but nonetheless inadvertently comes across an incriminating object. Furthermore, the U.S. Supreme Court stated the following limitations on the application of the doctrine: What the "plain view" cases have in common is that the police officer in each of them had a prior justification for an intrusion in the course of which he came inadvertently across a piece of evidence incriminating the accused. The doctrine serves to supplement the prior justification whether it be a warrant for another object, hot pursuit, search incident to lawful arrest, or some other legitimate reason for being present unconnected with a search directed against the accused and permits the warrantless seizure. Of course, the extension of the original justification is legitimate only where it is immediately apparent to the police that they have evidence before them; the "plain view" doctrine may not be used to extend a general exploratory search from one object to another until something incriminating at last emerges. It has also been suggested that even if an object is observed in "plain view," the "plain view" doctrine will not justify the seizure of the object where the incriminating nature of the object is not apparent from the "plain view" of the object. Stated differently, it must be immediately apparent to the police that the items that they observe may be evidence of a crime, contraband, or otherwise subject to seizure. In the instant case, the appellant was arrested and his person searched in the living room. Failing to retrieve the marked money which they hoped to find, the NARCOM agents searched the whole house and found the plastic bag in the kitchen. The plastic bag was, therefore, not within their "plain view" when they arrested the appellant as to justify its seizure. The NARCOM agents had to move from one portion of the house to another before they sighted the plastic bag. Unlike Ker vs. California, where the police officer had reason to walk to the doorway of the adjacent kitchen and from which position he saw the marijuana, the NARCOM agents in this case went from room to room with the obvious intention of fishing for more evidence. Moreover, when the NARCOM agents saw the plastic bag hanging in one corner of the kitchen, they had no clue as to its contents. They had to ask the appellant what the bag contained. When the appellant refused to respond, they opened it and found the marijuana. Unlike Ker v. California, where the marijuana was visible to the police officer's eyes, the NARCOM agents in this case could not have discovered the inculpatory nature of the contents of the bag had they not forcibly opened it. Even assuming then, that the NARCOM agents inadvertently came across the plastic bag because it was within their "plain view," what may be said to be the object in their "plain view" was just the plastic bag and not the marijuana. The incriminating nature of the contents of the plastic bag was not immediately apparent from the "plain view" of said object. It cannot be claimed that the plastic bag clearly betrayed its contents, whether by its distinctive configuration, its transprarency, or otherwise, that its contents are obvious to an observer. 48 We, therefore, hold that under the circumstances of the case, the "plain view" doctrine does not apply and the marijuana contained in the plastic bag was seized illegally and cannot be presented in evidence pursuant to Article III, Section 3(2) of the Constitution. The exclusion of this particular evidence does not, however, diminish, in any way, the damaging effect of the other pieces of evidence presented by the prosecution to prove that the appellant sold marijuana, in violation of Article II, Section 4 of the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972. We hold that by virtue of the testimonies of Sgt. Ani and T/Sgt. Belarga and the two wrappings of marijuana sold by the appellant to Sgt. Ani, among other pieces of evidence, the guilt of the appellant of the crime charged has been proved beyond reasonable doubt. [Less abridged digest for a more comprehensive explanation on Plainview doctrine] [G.R. No. 142295. May 31, 2001]VICENTE DEL ROSARIO yNICOLAS, petitioner, vs. PEOPLE Facts: The police received a report that Vicente del Rosario was in possession of certain firearms without the necessary licenses. Acting upon the report, P/Sr. Insp. Edwin C. Roque of the PNP Firearms and Explosives Division issued a certification stating that the appellant is not a licensed/registered firearm holder of any kind and caliber. Armed with the said certification, P/Sr. Insp. Adique applied for a search warrant to enable his team to search the house of appellant. Upon arrival at the house of appellant, the police officers introduced themselves to the wife of appellant. Adique informed him that they had a search warrant and that they were authorized to search his house. The search yielded the following items: (a) a caliber .45 pistol with Serial No. 703792 with five magazines of caliber .45 found at the masters bedroom; (b) five magazines of 5.56 M-16 rifle and two radios found in the room of appellants daughter; and (c) a caliber .22 revolver with Serial No.

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48673 containing 8 pieces of live ammunition found in the kitchen of the house. When asked about his license to possess the firearms, the appellant failed to produce any. This prompted the police officers to seize the subject firearms. For his defense, appellant contends that he had a license for the caliber .45 pistol recovered in his bedroom and that the other items seized during the search including the caliber . 22 revolver, were merely planted by the police officers. Appellant likewise assails the manner in which the search was carried and that the barangay officials arrived only after the police already had finished the search. RTC rendered judgment of conviction.CA affirmed. Petitioner submits that He also submits that he had a license for the . 45 caliber firearm and ammunition seized in his bedroom. The other firearm, a .22 caliber revolver seized in a drawer at the kitchen of his house, a magazine for 5.56 mm. cal. Armalite rifle, and two 2-way radios found in his daughters bedroom, were either planted by the police or illegally seized, as they were not mentioned in the search warrant. Issue: First: whether petitioner had a license for the .45 caliber Colt pistol and ammunition seized in his bedroom; and Second: whether the .22 caliber revolver seized in a drawer at the kitchen of his house, a magazine for 5.56 mm. cal. Armalite rifle and two 2-way radios found in his daughters bedroom, were planted by the police or were illegally seized. Ruling:First: The .45 cal. Colt pistol in question was duly licensed.Normally, we do not review the factual findings of the Court of Appeals and the trial courts. However, this case comes within the exceptions. The findings of fact by the Court of Appeals will not be disturbed by the Court unless these findings are not supported by evidence. In this case, the findings of the lower courts even directly contradict the evidence. Hence, we review the evidence. It is true that the court may rely on the certification of the Chief, Firearms and Explosives Division, PNP on the absence of a firearm license. However, such certification referred to another individual and thus, cannot prevail over a valid firearm license duly issued to petitioner. On the dorsal side of the printed computerized license, there is stamped the words Validity of computerized license is extended until renewed license is printed dated January 17, 1995, signed by Police Chief Inspector Franklin S. Alfabeto, Chief, Licence Branch, FEO. Coupled with this indefinite extension, petitioner paid the license fees for the As a senior police officer, Senior Inspector Adique could easily determine the genuineness and authenticity of the computerized printed license presented. He must know the computerized license printed form. The stamp is clearly visible. He could decipher the words and the signature of the authorized signing official of the Firearms and Explosives Division, PNP. He belonged to the same national police organization.Assuming that the license presented was expired during that period was not illegal. The firearm was kept at home, not carried outside residence,provided that the license had not been cancelled or revoked. According to firearm licensing regulations, the renewal of a firearm license was automatically applied for upon payment of the license fees for the renewal period. The expired license was not cancelled or revoked. It served as temporary authority to possess the firearm until the renewed license was issued. The license would be renewed, as it was, because petitioner still possessed the required qualifications. Meantime, the validity of the license was extended until the renewed computerized license was printed. To convict an accused for illegal possession of firearms and explosives under P. D. 1866, as amended, two (2) essential elements must be indubitably established, viz.: (a) the existence of the subject firearm or explosive which may be proved by the presentation of the subject firearm or explosive or by the testimony of witnesses who saw accused in possession of the same, and (b) the negative fact that the accused had no license or permit to own or possess the firearm or explosive which fact may be established by the testimony or certification of a representative of the PNP Firearms and Explosives Unit that the accused has no license or permit to possess the subject firearm or explosive. x x x We stress that the essence of the crime penalized under P. D. 1866 is primarily the accuseds lack of license or permit to carry or possess the firearm, ammunition or explosive as possession by itself is not prohibited by law. Second issue. The seizure of items not mentioned in the search warrant was illegal. With respect to the .22 caliber revolver with Serial No. 48673, that the police raiding team found in a drawer at the kitchen of petitioners house, suffice it to say that the firearm was not mentioned in the search warrant applied for and issued for the search of petitioners house. Section 2, Article III of the Constitution lays down the general rule that a search and seizure must be carried out through or on the strength of a judicial warrant, absent which such search and seizure becomes unreasonable within the meaning of said

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constitutional provision. Supporting jurisprudence thus outlined the following requisites for a search warrants validity, the absence of even one will cause its downright nullification: (1) it must be issued upon probable cause; (2) the probable cause must be determined by the judge himself and not by the applicant or any other person; (3) in the determination of probable cause, the judge must examine, under oath or affirmation, the complainant and such witnesses as the latter may produce; and (4) the warrant issued must particularly describe the place to be searched and persons or things to be seized. Seizure is limited to those items particularly described in a valid search warrant. Searching officers are without discretion regarding what articles they shall seize. Evidence seized on the occasion of such an unreasonable search and seizure is tainted and excluded for being the proverbial fruit of a poisonous tree. In the language of the fundamental law, it shall be inadmissible in evidence for any purpose in any proceeding. In this case, the firearm was not found inadvertently and in plain view. It was found as a result of a meticulous search in the kitchen of petitioners house. This firearm, to emphasize, was not mentioned in the search warrant. Hence, the seizure was illegal. The seizure without the requisite search warrant was in plain violation of the law and the Constitution. True that as an exception, the police may seize without warrant illegally possessed firearm or any contraband for that matter, inadvertently found in plain view. However, [t]he seizure of evidence in plain view applies only where the police officer is not searching for evidence against the accused, but inadvertently comes across an incriminating object. Specifically, seizure of evidence in plain view is justified when there is: (a) a prior valid intrusion based on the valid warrantless arrest in which the police are legally present in the pursuit of their official duties; (b) the evidence was inadvertently discovered by the police who had the right to be where they are; (c) the evidence must be immediately apparent, and (d) plain view justified mere seizure of evidence without further search. Hence, the petitioner rightly rejected the firearm as planted and not belonging to him. The prosecution was not able to prove that the firearm was in the effective possession or control of the petitioner without a license. In illegal possession of firearms, the possessor must know of the existence of the subject firearm in his possession or control. The same is true with respect to the 5.56 cal. magazine found in the bedroom of petitioners daughter. With particular reference to the two 2-way radios that the raiding policemen also seized in the bedroom of petitioners daughter, there was absolutely no reason for the seizure. The radios were not contraband per se. The National Telecommunications Commission may license two-way radios at its discretion. The burden is on the prosecution to show that the two-way radios were not licensed. Consequently, the confiscation of the two 2-way radios was clearly illegal. [G.R. No. 133265. May 29, 2002] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. QUE MINGKHA alias ALFONSO GO and KIM QUE YU alias ALFONSO QUE,accused-appellants.

Facts:From the prosecution evidence, it appears Central Police District, received a phone call from an informant that a blue Kia Pregio van which was being used in the transport of shabu has been seen within the vicinity of Barangay Holy Spirit, Quezon City. Dela Fuente immediately dispatched the three teams to monitor the van. Before reaching Commonwealth Avenue, in front of Andok's Litson Manok, the van hit a seven-year old boy. The van sped away, leaving its young victim behind. A concerned motorist picked up the boy and rushed him to the hospital. Espejon, in the meantime, reported to Dela Fuente that they have spotted the blue Kia van. They followed the van after it sped away and intercepted it at Commonwealth Avenue corner Zuzuarregui Street. The members of the team alighted from their vehicle and approached the van. They introduced themselves as police officers to the driver and passenger of the van. The police noted that Go was on the driver's seat while Que sat on the passenger's seat. Espejon informed Go that he just committed the crime of reckless imprudence and asked for his driver's license. The police peered through the window of the van and noticed several sacks placed on the floor at the back of the van. The sacks have Chinese markings and had a logo which looked like the head of a pig. One of the sacks was open and they noticed that it contained several plastic bags containing white crystalline substance. The police also asked for the identification of Go's

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companion. The latter handed his driver's license which revealed his name as Kim Que Yu. The police handcuffed Go and Que, confiscated their driver's license and their cellular phones found at the front seat of the van, and brought them to Police Station. Both Go and Que claim ignorance about the presence of shabu at the back of the van. Issue: Whether or not The lower court erred in not holding that the shabu was the product of illegal search and seizure, hence not admissible in evidence for any purpose in any proceeding. Ruling:YES. We reverse the decision of the trial court in so far as it found accused-appellant Que guilty of the charge. In People v. Pagaura we made the cautionary warning that the court must be extra vigilant in trying drug cases lest an innocent person is made to suffer the unusually heavy penalties for drug offenses x x x. In our criminal justice system the overriding consideration is not whether the court doubts the innocence of the accused but whether it entertains a reasonable doubt as to his guilt. x x x In the case at bar, no less than the Solicitor General himself entertains doubt on the guilt of Que and recommends his acquittal. When the prosecution itself says it failed to prove Ques guilt, the Court should listen and listen hard, lest it locks up a person who has done no wrong.We fully agree with the Solicitor General that persistent doubt exists on the full veracity of the prosecutions theory as regards his (Ques) participation in the crime. Eye contact with the evidence of the prosecution against Que will establish that it is incredible as it goes against the grain of our natural experience and expectation. Right from the start, the prosecution story cannot but raise the quizzical eyebrow. According to the story, five (5) days before the apprehension of the accused, the policemen had already gathered detailed data about the Kia Pregio van that would be used in moving a big quantity of shabu in Quezon City. They knew exactly its model, plate number, color, etc. Despite the wide time lead, the prosecution does not explain its failure to flush out the true owner of the van who could well be the drug lord in the case at bar. Certainly, it was not too difficult to discover his identity from the vans registration papers with the LTO and thereafter monitor the vehicles movement. Instead, the policemen meandered around the city, hoping they would encounter the van by chance. We cannot be made to believe that our policemen catch drug syndicates by using the calculus of chance.Equally unexplainable in the prosecution story is the reaction of the policemen when they spotted the van transporting the shabu which they have been hunting for five (5) days. They knew it was carrying shabu of big quantity. They ought to suspect that its passengers pose a clear danger to their lives. Yet, nothing in the records shows that PO1 Raul Espejon and PO3 Jesus Curameng called for reinforcement when they first saw the van. They just serenely tailed the van until it bumped an ice cream-on-sticks vendor. Again, such an act of throwing caution to the wind strains the seams of credibility of the policemen-witnesses. The Constitution proscribes search and seizure without a judicial warrant and any evidence obtained without such warrant is inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding. The rule is, however, not absolute. Search and seizure may be made without a warrant and the evidence obtained therefrom may be admissible in the following instances: (1) search incident to a lawful arrest; (2) search of a moving motor vehicle; (3) search in violation of customs laws; (4) seizure of evidence in plain view; (5) when the accused himself waives his right against unreasonable searches and seizures. The search made in the case at bar falls under the fourth exception. We held in People vs. Doria:Objects falling in plain view of an officer who has a right to be in a position to have that view are subject to seizure even without a search warrant and may be introduced in evidence. The 'plain view' doctrine applies when the following requisites concur: (a) the law enforcement officer in search of the evidence has a prior justification for an intrusion or is in a position from which he can view a particular area; (b) the discovery of evidence in plain view is inadvertent; (c) it is immediately apparent to the officer that the item he observes may be evidence of a crime, contraband or otherwise subject to seizure. The law enforcement officer must lawfully make an initial intrusion or properly be in a position from which he can particularly view the area. In the course of such lawful intrusion, he came inadvertently across a piece of evidence incriminating the accused. The object must be open to eye and hand and its discovery inadvertent. The facts show that while the van was traversing Don Antonio Avenue in Quezon City, it accidentally hit a seven-year old ambulant vendor. The van stopped and the owner got off to bring the boy to the hospital. A police officer who witnessed the accident approached the van to apprehend the driver for reckless imprudence. As he stood near the van, he saw through the lightly tinted window of the van several sacks placed at the back of the van. One of the sacks was open,

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revealing several plastic bags containing white crystalline substance which the police suspected to be shabu. Clearly, the prohibited substance was within the plain view of the police officer who was in a position to be near the van at the time. The substance is therefore not a product of an illegal search and not inadmissible as evidence. The Court finds accused-appellant Que Ming Kha alias Alfonso Go GUILTY as charged.

(Sharone Clapiz)

ABENES VS. COURT OF APPEALS FACTS: Three days prior to the May 11, 1998 national and local elections, the Philippine National Police (PNP) of Pagadian City created a team with a directive to establish and man a checkpoint in Barangay Danlugan at said city, for the purpose of enforcing the Gun Ban. A red Tamaraw FX trying to pass through the check point was stopped by the team and directed to park at the side of the road. As the occupants within the vehicle could not be seen through its tinted windows, a member of the team, knocked on the vehicles window and requested the occupants to step down for a routine inspection. The eight occupants, which included the accused-appellant Rodolfo Abenes who is the Barangay Chairman of Tawagan Norte, Labangan, Zamboanga Del Sur, alighted from the vehicle. At this juncture, SPO1 Requejo and SPO3 Pascua noticed that a holstered firearm was tucked at the right waist of Abenes. The firearm was readily visible to the policemen; it was not covered by the shirt worn by Abenes. Abenes was then asked by SPO3 Pascua whether he had a license and authority to carry the firearm, and whether his possession was exempted from the Gun Ban being enforced by the COMELEC. Accused answered in the affirmative. The policemen then demanded for the pertinent documents to be shown to support Abenes claim. He could not show any. Hence, SPO1 Requejo confiscated Abenes firearm. A certification dated May 18, 1998 from the Firearms and Explosives License Processing Section of the PNP, Pagadian City disclosed that Abenes is not a registered nor a licensed firearm holder. RTC rendered its Decision convicting the petitioner for having been found in possession without license/permit of a Norinco .45 caliber pistol. The petitioner appealed to the CA claiming that the checkpoint was not shown to have been legally set up, and/or that the frisking of the petitioner who was ordered to alight from the Tamaraw FX, along with his companions in the vehicle, violated his constitutional right against unlawful search and seizure; and, that the trial court erred in believing the version of the incident as testified to by the policemen instead of the version presented by the defenses witness which is more consistent with truth and human experience. The CA affirmed the RTC Decision. ISSUES: 1. was the check-point validly established? 2. was the petitioners constitutional right against unlawful search and seizure violated? RULING:

1.

This Court uphold the validity of the checkpoint. The petitioner insists that the prosecution should have produced the mission order constituting the checkpoint, and invokes Aniag, Jr. v. Comelec,15 where the Court purportedly held that firearms seized from a motor vehicle without a warrant are inadmissible because there was no indication that would trigger any suspicion from the policemen nor any other circumstance showing probable cause.

We take judicial notice of the existence of the COMELEC resolution imposing a gun ban during the election period issued pursuant to Section 52(c) in relation to Section 26(q) of the Omnibus Election Code (Batas Pambansa Blg. 881). This Court has ruled that not all checkpoints are illegal. Those which are warranted by the exigencies of public order and are conducted in a way least intrusive to motorists are allowed. For, admittedly, routine checkpoints do intrude, to a certain extent, on motorists right to "free passage without interruption," but it cannot be denied that, as a rule, it involves only a brief detention of travelers during which the

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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW REVIEW 2-BILL OF RIGHTS Atty. Vincent Paul Montejo


vehicles occupants are required to answer a brief question or two. For as long as the vehicle is neither searched nor its occupants subjected to a body search, and the inspection of the vehicle is limited to a visual search, said routine checks cannot be regarded as violative of an individuals right against unreasonable search. In fact, these routine checks, when conducted in a fixed area, are even less intrusive. The checkpoint herein conducted was in pursuance of the gun ban enforced by the COMELEC. The COMELEC would be hard put to implement the ban if its deputized agents were limited to a visual search of pedestrians. It would also defeat the purpose for which such ban was instituted. Those who intend to bring a gun during said period would know that they only need a car to be able to easily perpetrate their malicious designs. 2. The facts adduced do not constitute a ground for a violation of the constitutional rights of the accused against illegal search and seizure. PO3 Suba admitted that they were merely stopping cars they deemed suspicious, such as those whose windows are heavily tinted just to see if the passengers thereof were carrying guns. At best they would merely direct their flashlights inside the cars they would stop, without opening the cars doors or subjecting its passengers to a body search. There is nothing discriminatory in this as this is what the situation demands. (Emphasis supplied) Under the plain view doctrine, objects falling in the "plain view" of an officer who has a right to be in the position to have that view are subject to seizure and may be presented as evidence.18 The "plain view" doctrine applies when the following requisites concur: (a) the law enforcement officer in search of the evidence has a prior justification for an intrusion or is in a position from which he can view a particular area; (b) the discovery of the evidence in plain view is inadvertent; and (c) it is immediately apparent to the officer that the item he observes may be evidence of a crime, contraband or otherwise subject to seizure. All the foregoing requirements are present in the instant case. The law enforcement officers lawfully made an initial intrusion because of the enforcement of the Gun Ban and were properly in a position from which they particularly viewed the area. In the course of such lawful intrusion, the policemen came inadvertently across a piece of evidence incriminating the petitioner where they saw the gun tucked into his waist. The gun was in plain view and discovered inadvertently when the petitioner alighted from the vehicle.

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The assailed search and seizure may still be justified as akin to stop and frisk situation whose object is either to determine the identity of a suspicious individual or to maintain the status quo momentarily while the police officer seeks to obtain more information. A police officer may approach a person for the purpose of investigating possible criminal behavior even though there is no probable cause to make an arrest. The search in the case at bar can be sustained under the foregoing exceptions, hence, the constitutional guarantee against unreasonable searches and seizure has not been violated. PEOPLE VS. MENGOTE FACTS: Accused-appellant Rogelio Mengote was convicted of illegal possession of firearms on the strength mainly of the stolen pistol found on his person at the moment of his warrantless arrest. In this appeal, he pleads that the weapon was not admissible as evidence against him because it had been illegally seized and was therefore the fruit of the poisonous tree. The Government disagrees. It insists that the revolver was validly received in evidence by the trial judge because its seizure was incidental to an arrest that was doubtless lawful even if admittedly without warrant. After the Western Police District received a telephone call from an informer that there were three suspicious-looking persons at the corner of Juan Luna and North Bay Boulevard in Tondo, Manila, a surveillance team of plainclothesmen was forthwith dispatched to the place. They there saw two men "looking from side to side," one of whom was holding his abdomen. They approached these persons and identified themselves as policemen, whereupon the two tried to run away but were unable to escape because the other lawmen had surrounded them. The suspects were then searched and found a gun as well as a fan knife. The weapons were taken from them. Mengote and Morellos were then turned over to police headquarters for investigation by the Intelligence Division. Information was filed against the accused-appellant for illlegal possesion of firearms. ISSUE: WON THE EVIDENCE OBTAINED IS ADMISSIBLE. RULING: NO! There is no question that evidence obtained as a result of an illegal search or seizure is inadmissible in any proceeding for any purpose. That is the absolute prohibition of Article III, Section 3(2), of the Constitution. This is the celebrated exclusionary rule based on the justification given by Judge Learned Hand that "only in case the prosecution, which itself controls the seizing officials, knows that it cannot profit by their wrong will the wrong be repressed." At the time of the arrest in question, the accused-appellant was merely "looking from side to side" and "holding his abdomen," according to the arresting officers themselves. There was apparently no offense that had just been committed or was being actually committed or at least being attempted by Mengote in their presence. What offense could possibly have been suggested by a person "looking from side to side" and "holding his abdomen" and in a place not exactly forsaken? These are certainly not sinister acts. And the setting of the arrest made them less so, if at all. It might have been different if Mengote had been apprehended at an ungodly hour and in a place where he had no reason to be, like a darkened alley at 3 o'clock in the morning. But he was arrested at 11:30 in the morning and in a crowded street shortly after alighting from a passenger jeep with his companion. He was not skulking in the shadows but walking in the clear light of day. There was nothing clandestine about his being on that street at that busy hour in the blaze of the noonday sun. On the other hand, there could have been a number of reasons, all of them innocent, why his eyes were darting from side to side and he was holding his abdomen. If they excited suspicion in the minds of the arresting officers, as the prosecution suggests, it has nevertheless not been shown what their suspicion was all about. In fact, the policemen themselves testified that they were dispatched to that place only because of the telephone call from the informer that there were "suspicious-looking" persons in that vicinity who were about to commit a robbery at North Bay Boulevard. The caller did not explain why he thought the men looked suspicious nor did he elaborate on the impending crime. PEOPLE VS. CHUA HO SAN FACTS: A taiwanese was arrested, he spoke no english. When his bag was searched, shabu was found. He was arrested at past midnight after the police was patrolling the night on reports of smuggling.

(D.) STOP AND FRISK


POSADAS VS. COURT OF APPEALS FACTS: On Oct 16, 1986, while in the premises of RMC, members of the Integrated National Police of Davao spotted petitioner, below 18 yrs old, carrying a buri bag and noticed him to be acting suspiciously. They approached the petitioner and identified themselves as members of the INP. Petitioner attempted to flee but his attempt was thwarted notwithstanding his resistance. They then checked the buri bag where they found firearm, ammunitions, and a smoke grenade. The petitioner failed to show the necessary license or authority to possess firearms and ammunitions. He was prosecuted for illegal possession of firearms and ammunitions and was found guilty. CA affrimed the decision. ISSUE: WON the warrantless search on the petitioner is valid. RULING: yes! Under the Rules of Court, a person lawfully arrested may be searched for dangerous weapons or anything used as proof of a commission of an offense without a search warrant. An arrest without a warrant may be effected by a peace officer or private person, among others, when in his presence the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense; or when an offense has in fact just been committed, and he has personal knowledge of the facts indicating that the person to be arrested has committed it. At the time the peace officers in this case identified themselves and apprehended the petitioner as he attempted to flee, they did not know that he had committed, or was actually committing the offense of illegal possession of firearms and ammunitions. They just suspected that he was hiding something in the buri bag. Said cirmcumstances did not justify an arrest without a warrant. However, a reasonable search is not to be determined by any fixed formula but is to be resolved according to the facts of each case. As between a warrantless search and seizure conducted at military or police checkpoints and the search thereat in the case at bar, there is no question that indeed the latter is more reasonable considering that unlike in the former, it was effected on the basis of probable cause. The probable cause is when the petitioner acted suspiciously and attempted to flee with the buri bag.

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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW REVIEW 2-BILL OF RIGHTS Atty. Vincent Paul Montejo


When they saw the boat about to dock, they went near and saw the said taiwanese. When they tried to approach him, he changed direction and tried to run. ISSUE: WAS THE EVIDENCE ADMISSSIBLE? RULING: NO! There was no probable cause. There was no report that a foreigner would disembark with prohibited drugs on that day. The fact that he looked unusual does not suggest that he was perpetrating an offense. The defense that he had no visa and that he was committing an offense was not immediately apparent. He was at first walking casually.

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seizure could not be construed as voluntary submission or an implied acquiescence to warrantless search and seizure especially so when members of the raiding team were intimidatingly numerous and heavily armed. (Cute Constantino) People v. Danilo Asis and Gilbert Formento GR. No. 142531 December 15, 2002 Facts: Both accused, who were deaf-mutes, were charged for a crime of robbery with homicide. They were charged on the basis that they were last seen to be with the victim the night the crime took place. During the course of the investigation, after the body of the victim was seen in the morning, police investigator received a phone call from a certain relative of the victim, that one of the suspects, Danilo Asis, went back to the scene of the crime. Accused Danilo Asis and Formento were arrested and were searched without a warrant. During the arrest, police investigators search the bag of Formento, which was allegedly surrendered by the wife of Formento, and found a short pants with a blood stain on it. According to the police investigator, during the course of their investigation, he noticed that there was a bloodstain in Asis T-Shirt. Also they presented as evidence the bloodstain of short pants recovered from the bag of Gilberto Formento. Also, the prosecution showed that the short pants recovered was owned by the victim. During the presentation of prosecution witness Dr. Bausa, they stipulated that the bloodstains found in the white t-shirt and in the short pants were human blood. RTC convicted them of the crime and ruled that although no witnesses to the actual killing and robbery were presented, the circumstantial evidence including the recovery of bloodstained clothing from both accused definitely proved that the 2 accused committed the crime. On automatic appeal, the accused questioned the validity of the search and seizure and they also questioned the admissibility of the presented evidence. The prosecution contends that it was the wife of appellant who voluntarily surrendered the bag that contained the bloodstained trousers of the victim. Her act, it claims, constituted a valid consent to the search without a warrant. Issue: WON there was there was a valid search and seizure and WON the evidence. Were admissible or was there a valid waiver of the constitutional right against unreasonable searches and seizures? Ruling: There was NO Valid Search and Seizure. To constitute a valid waiver, it must be shown that: first, the right exists; second, the person involved had knowledge, actual or constructive, of the existence of such a right; and third, the person had an actual intention to relinquish the right. How could Appellant Formento have consented to a warrantless search when, in the first place, he did not understand what was happening at that moment? The prosecution witnesses themselves testified that there was no interpreter to assist him -- a deaf-mute -during the arrest, search and seizure. Naturally, it would seem that he indeed consented to the warrantless search, as the prosecution would want this Court to believe. Verily, courts indulge every reasonable presumption against waiver of fundamental constitutional rights and x x x we do not presume acquiescence [to] the loss of fundamental rights. Neither can the OSG claim that appellants wife voluntarily surrendered the bag that contained the bloodstained trousers of the victim. As admitted by Prosecution Witness PO2 Pablo Ileto, the victims sister and appellants wife cannot understand each other. Eventually, appellants wife gave the belongings of Gilbert Formento where the bloodstained shorts of the victim were recovered. How can the surrender of appellants belongings in this case be voluntary, when the person surrendering them did not even understand the person she was communicating with? To be sure, the OSG cannot even use the argument that the search was made by a private individual, the victims sister, and thereby skirt the issue of constitutional protection against unlawful searches by the State. The victims sister herself testified against this argument.

(E.) EXPRESS WAIVER


VEROY VS. LAYAGUE FACTS: Petitioners are husband and wife who owned and formerly resided at skyline, Davao City. In June 1988, they transferred to Quezon City where they are presently residing. The care and upkeep of their old residence was left to 2 houseboys. The key to the masters bedroom as well as the keys to the childrens rooms were retained by petitioners. On April 12, 1990, Capt. Obrero raided the house of herein petitioners in Davao City on information that the said residence was being used as a safehouse of rebel soldiers. They were able to enter the yard with the help of the caretakers but did not enter the house since the owner was not present and they did not have the search warrant. Pet. Ma. Luisa was contacted by telephone to ask permission to search the house. She responded that she is flying to davao city to witness the search but relented if the search would not be conducted in the presence of Major Macasaet. The authority given by pet. Was relayed by Capt. Obrero to Major Macasaet who answered that pet. Has called him twice by telephone and that the permission was given on the condition that the search be conducted in his presence. The following day, the search was conducted pursuant to the authority granted by pet. The caretakers facilitated their entry into the yard, and using the key entrusted to one Edna Soguilon, they were able to gain entrance into the kitchen. A locksmith had to be employed to open the padlock of the door leading to the childrens room. Capt. Obrero recovered handgun, printed materials, etc. ISSUE: WON THE ARTICLES WERE ADMISSIBLE AS EVIDENCE. RULING: NO! Pet aver that while they concede that Capt. Obrero had permission from Ma. Luisa Veroy to break open the door of their residence, it was merely for the purpose of ascertaining thereat the presence of the alleged rebel soldiers. The permission did not include any authority to conduct a room to room search once inside the house. The constitution guarantees the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and efffects against unreasonable searches and seizures. However, the rule that searches and seizures must be supported by a valid warrant is not absolute. Among the recognized exceptions thereto are: 1. A search incidental to an arrest; 2. A search of a moving vehicle; and 3. Seizure of evidence in plain view. None of these exceptions pertains to the case at bar. The reason for searching the house of herein pet is that it was reportedly being used as a hideout and recruitment center for rebel soldiers. While Capt. Obrero was able to enter the compound, he did not enter the house because he did not have the search warrant and the owners were not present. This shows that he himself recognized the need for a search warrant that is why he contacted the Veroys to seek permisson to enter the same. Permission was indeed granted but only to ascertain the presence of rebel soldiers. Under the circumstances, it is undeniable that the police officers had ample time to procure a search warrant but did not. Hence, the rule having been violated and no exception being applicable, the articles seized were confiscated illegally and are therefore protected by the exclusionary principle. They cannot be used as evidence against the pet in the criminal action against them for illegal possession of firearms. PEOPLE VS. COMPACION FACTS: A confidential tip from a police informant was received that accused-appellant was growing and cultivating marijuana plants at its backyard. Police officers initially wanted to secure a search warrant but could not wait for one to be issued then went to the house of the accused at around 1:30 am. The accused let them enter without objection. ISSUE: WAS THERE A CONSENTED SEARCH? RULING: NO! Waiver must be made voluntarily, knowingly, and intelligently. Allowing the members of the military to enter the premises and his consequent silence during the unreasonable search and

Compiled by: Thyrza Marbas/Percy Donalvo/Carrie Mae Bangayan

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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW REVIEW 2-BILL OF RIGHTS Atty. Vincent Paul Montejo


People v. Nuevas, Din and Inocencio GR No. 170233 [2007] Facts: Accused were charged before the RTC with illegal possession of marijuana. PO3 Fami testified that he and SPO3 Cabiling conducted a stationary surveillance and monitoring of illegal drug trafficking along Perimeter Street, Barangay Pag-Asa, Olangapo City. They received information that a certain male person, more or less 54 in height, 25 to 30 years old, with a tattoo mark on the upper right hand, and usually wearing a sando and maong pants, would make a delivery of marijuana dried lives. While stationed thereat, they saw a male person fir the description, carrying a plastic bag, later identified as Nuevas, alight from motor vehicle. They accosted Nuevas and informed him that they are police officers. Later on, Nuevas voluntarily pointed to the police officers a plastic bag which, when opened, contained marijuana dried leaves and bricks wrapped in a blue cloth. Shortly, in his bid to escape charges, Nuevas disclosed where the two [2] other male persons would make the delivery of marijuana weighing more or less five [5] kilos. Fami and Cabling, together with Nuevas, then proceeded to Purok 12, Old Cabalan, Olongapo City, which according to Nuevas was where his two (2) companions, Din and Inocencio, could be located. From there, they saw and approached two (2) persons along the National Highway, introducing themselves as police officers. Din was carrying a light blue plastic bag. When asked, Din disclosed that the bag belonged to Nuevas. Fami then took the bag and upon inspection found inside it marijuana packed in newspaper and wrapped therein. After confiscating the items, Fami and Cabling brought Nuevas, Din and Inocencio to the police office at Purok III for proper documentation. Fami further testified that a receipt for the property seized was issued by Cabling and that a field test was duly conducted on the confiscated items. All three accused were likewise physically examined on the basis of which corresponding medical certificates were issued. The corresponding booking sheets and arrest report were also accomplished. Fami stated that he and Cabling executed a joint affidavit in connection with the arrest of all the accused and the confiscation of the items. Appellants maintain that there was no basis for their questioning and the subsequent inspection of the plastic bags of Nuevas and Din, as they were not doing anything illegal at the time. Issue: Was there a valid waiver of a constitutional right against unreasonable searches and seizure? Ruling: As to Nuevas, the Court held that there was a valid waiver made. However, as to Din and Inocencio, there was no valid waiver made. The constitutional immunity against unreasonable searches and seizures is a personal right which may be waived. However, it must be seen that the consent to the search was voluntary in order to validate an otherwise illegal detention and search, i.e., the consent was unequivocal, specific, and intelligently given, uncontaminated by any duress or coercion. The consent to a search is not to be lightly inferred, but must be shown by clear and convincing evidence. The question whether a consent to a search was in fact voluntary is a question of fact to be determined from the totality of all the circumstances. Relevant to this determination are the following characteristics of the person giving consent and the environment in which consent is given: (1) the age of the defendant; (2) whether he was in a public or secluded location; (3) whether he objected to the search or passively looked on; (4) the education and intelligence of the defendant; (5) the presence of coercive police procedures; (6) the defendant's belief that no incriminating evidence will be found; (7) the nature of the police questioning; (8) the environment in which the questioning took place; and (9) the possibly vulnerable subjective state of the person consenting. It is the State which has the burden of proving, by clear and positive testimony, that the necessary consent was obtained and that it was freely and voluntarily given.

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Facts: On December 9, 1998, Felipe A. Bartolome, District Collector of Customs of Cebu, issued a Warrant of Seizure and Detention of 25,000 bags of rice, bearing the name of "SNOWMAN, Milled in Palawan" shipped on board the M/V "Alberto," which was then docked at Pier 6 in Cebu City. The warrant was issued on the basis of the report of the Economic Intelligence and Investigation Bureau (EIIB), Region VII that the rice had been illegally imported. The report stated that the rice was landed in Palawan by a foreign vessel and then placed in sacks marked "SNOWMAN, Milled in Palawan." It was then shipped to Cebu City on board the vessel M/V "Alberto." Forfeiture proceedings were started in the customs office in Cebu, docketed as Cebu Seizure Identification Case No. 17-98. On December 10, 1998, respondent Mark Montelibano, the consignee of the sacks of rice, and his buyer, respondent Elson Ogario, filed a complaint for injunction (Civil Case No. CEB-23077) in the Regional Trial Court of Cebu City, alleging: xxxx That a Warrant of Seizure and detention issued by the Collector of Customs dated December 9, 1998 be quashed because the defendants act of seizing and detaining the herein-mentioned sacks of rice are illegal. The continuing act of detaining the hereinmentioned sacks of rice will lead to the deterioration of the same. That no public auction sale of the same should be conducted by the Bureau of Customs or any government agency Xxxxx RTC ruled in favor of Montelibano. Issue: Can the Bureau of Customs issue a Warrant of Seizure and Detention and does the RTC has jurisdiction to pass aupon the validity or regularity of Seizure and Forfeiture proceedings? Ruling: No. Citing the case of Jao v. CA, the Supreme Court ruled that: There is no question that Regional Trial Courts are devoid of any competence to pass upon the validity or regularity of seizure and forfeiture proceedings conducted by the Bureau of Customs and to enjoin or otherwise interfere with these proceedings. The Collector of Customs sitting in seizure and forfeiture proceedings has exclusive jurisdiction to hear and determine all questions touching on the seizure and forfeiture of dutiable goods. The Regional Trial Courts are precluded from assuming cognizance over such matters even through petitions of certiorari, prohibition or mandamus. It is likewise well-settled that the provisions of the Tariff and Customs Code and that of Republic Act No. 1125, as amended, otherwise known as "An Act Creating the Court of Tax Appeals," specify the proper fora and procedure for the ventilation of any legal objections or issues raised concerning these proceedings. Thus, actions of the Collector of Customs are appealable to the Commissioner of Customs, whose decision, in turn, is subject to the exclusive appellate jurisdiction of the Court of Tax Appeals and from there to the Court of Appeals. The rule that Regional Trial Courts have no review powers over such proceedings is anchored upon the policy of placing no unnecessary hindrance on the governments drive, not only to prevent smuggling and other frauds upon Customs, but more importantly, to render effective and efficient the collection of import and export duties due the State, which enables the government to carry out the functions it has been instituted to perform. Even if the seizure by the Collector of Customs were illegal, which has yet to be proven, we have said that such act does not deprive the Bureau of Customs of jurisdiction thereon. Felicisimo Rieta v. People of the Philippines GR NO. 147817 [2004] Chicot Doctirne Facts: On October 12, 1979, Col. Panfilo Lacson, the[n] Chief of the Police Intelligence Branch of the Metrocom Intelligence and Security Group (MISG for brevity), received information that certain syndicated groups were engaged in smuggling activities somewhere in Port Area, Manila. It was further revealed that the activities [were being] done at nighttime and the smuggled goods in a delivery panel and delivery truck [were] being escorted by some police and military personnel. He fielded three surveillance stake-out teams the following night along Roxas Boulevard and Bonifacio Drive near Del Pan Bridge, whereby they were to watch out for a cargo truck with Plate No. T-SY-167 bound for Malabon. Nothing came out of it. On the basis of his investigation, [it was discovered that] the truck was registered in the name of Teresita Estacio of Pasay City.

(F.)

SEARCH OF WAREHOUSE IN VIOLATION OF Customs & Tariffs Code

Bureau of Cutoms and The Economic Intelligence and Investigation Bureau v. Nelson Ogario and Mark Montelibano GR No. 138081 [2000]

Compiled by: Thyrza Marbas/Percy Donalvo/Carrie Mae Bangayan

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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW REVIEW 2-BILL OF RIGHTS Atty. Vincent Paul Montejo


At around 9:00 oclock in the evening of October 14, 1979, Col. Lacson and his men returned to the same area, with Col. Lacson posting himself at the immediate vicinity of the 2nd COSAC Detachment in Port Area, Manila, because as per information given to him, the said cargo truck will come out from the premises of the 2nd COSAC Detachment. COSAC stands for Constabulary Off-Shore Anti-Crime Battalion. The night watch lasted till the wee hours of the following morning. About 3:00 a.m. an Isuzu panel came out from the place of the 2nd COSAC Detachment. It returned before 4:00 a.m. of [the] same day. At around 5 minutes before 4:00 oclock that morning, a green cargo truck with Plate No. T-SY-167 came out from the 2nd COSAC Detachment followed and escorted closely by a light brown Toyota Corona car with Plate No. GR-433 and with 4 men on board. At that time, Lt. Col. Panfilo Lacson had no information whatsoever about the car, so he gave an order by radio to his men to intercept only the cargo truck. The cargo truck was intercepted. Col. Lacson noticed that the Toyota car following the cargo truck suddenly made a sharp U-turn towards the North, unlike the cargo truck [that] was going south. Almost by impulse, Col. Lacsons car also made a U-turn and gave chase to the speeding Toyota car, which was running between 100 KPH to 120 KPH. Col. Lacson sounded his siren. The chase lasted for less than 5 minutes until said car made a stop along Bonifacio Drive, at the foot of Del Pan Bridge. Col. Lacson and his men searched the car and they found several firearms, particularly: three (3) .45 cal. Pistols and one (1) armalite M-16 rifle. He also discovered that T/Sgt. Ernesto Miaco was the driver of the Toyota car, and his companions inside the car were Sgt. Guillermo Ferrer, Sgt. Fidel Balita and Sgt. Robartolo Alincastre, [all] belonging to the 2nd COSAC Detachment. They were found not to be equipped with mission orders. When the cargo truck with Plate No. T-SY-167 was searched, 305 cases of blue seal or untaxed cigarettes were found inside. The cargo truck driver known only as Boy was able to escape while the other passengers or riders of said truck were apprehended, namely: Police Sgt. Arturo Rimorin of Pasay City Police Force, Pat. Felicisimo Rieta of Kawit Police Force, and Gonzalo Vargas, a civilian. x x x xxx xxx Lacsons men hauled the intercepted vehicles, the arrested men and confiscated goods to Camp Crame, Quezon City. All the 371 cases (305 + 66) of blue seal cigarettes were turned over to the Bureau of Customs. Sgt. Bienvenido Balaba executed an Affidavit of Arrest together with Arnel Acuba. The Booking and Information Sheet of Ernesto de Castro showed that he was arrested by the MISG after delivering assorted blue seal cigarettes at 185 Sanciangco St., Tonsuya, Malabon. Issue: Validity of the Search and Seizure Petitioner contends that his arrest by virtue of Arrest Search and Seizure Order (ASSO) No. 4754 was invalid, as the law upon which it was predicated -- General Order No. 60, issued by then President Ferdinand E. Marcos -- was subsequently declared by the Court, in Taada v. Tuvera, to have no force and effect. Thus, he asserts, any evidence obtained pursuant thereto is inadmissible in evidence. Ruling: We do not agree. In Taada, the Court addressed the possible effects of its declaration of the invalidity of various presidential issuances. Discussing therein how such a declaration might affect acts done on a presumption of their validity, the Court said: x x x. In similar situations in the past this Court had taken the pragmatic and realistic course set forth in Chicot County Drainage District vs. Baxter Bank to wit: The courts below have proceeded on the theory that the Act of Congress, having been found to be unconstitutional, was not a law; that it was inoperative, conferring no rights and imposing no duties, and hence affording no basis for the challenged decree. x x x It is quite clear, however, that such broad statements as to the effect of a determination of unconstitutionality must be taken with qualifications. The actual existence of a statute, prior to [the determination of its invalidity], is an operative fact and may have consequences which cannot justly be ignored. The past cannot always be erased by a new judicial declaration. The effect of the subsequent ruling as to invalidity may have to be considered in various aspects with respect to particular conduct, private and official. Questions of rights claimed to have become vested, of status, of prior determinations deemed to have finality and acted upon accordingly, of public policy in the light of the nature both of the statute and of its previous application, demand examination. These questions are among the most difficult of those which have engaged the attention of courts, state and federal, and it is manifest from numerous decisions that an all-inclusive statement of a principle of absolute retroactive invalidity cannot be justified. xxx xxx xxx

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Similarly, the implementation/enforcement of presidential decrees prior to their publication in the Official Gazette is an operative fact which may have consequences which cannot be justly ignored. The past cannot always be erased by a new judicial declaration x x x that an all-inclusive statement of a principle of absolute retroactive invalidity cannot be justified. The Chicot doctrine cited in Taada advocates that, prior to the nullification of a statute, there is an imperative necessity of taking into account its actual existence as an operative fact negating the acceptance of a principle of absolute retroactive invalidity. Whatever was done while the legislative or the executive act was in operation should be duly recognized and presumed to be valid in all respects. The ASSO that was issued in 1979 under General Order No. 60 -- long before our Decision in Taada and the arrest of petitioner -- is an operative fact that can no longer be disturbed or simply ignored. Furthermore, the search and seizure of goods, suspected to have been introduced into the country in violation of customs laws, is one of the seven doctrinally accepted exceptions to the constitutional provision. Such provision mandates that no search or seizure shall be made except by virtue of a warrant issued by a judge who has personally determined the existence of probable cause. Under the Tariff and Customs Code, a search, seizure and arrest may be made even without a warrant for purposes of enforcing customs and tariff laws. Without mention of the need to priorly obtain a judicial warrant, the Code specifically allows police authorities to enter, pass through or search any land, enclosure, warehouse, store or building that is not a dwelling house; and also to inspect, search and examine any vessel or aircraft and any trunk, package, box or envelope or any person on board; or to stop and search and examine any vehicle, beast or person suspected of holding or conveying any dutiable or prohibited article introduced into the Philippines contrary to law. Note: The Chicot Doctrine advocates the imperative necessity to take account of the actual existence of a statute prior to its nullification, as an operative fact negating acceptance of "a principle of absolute retroactive invalidity. (Jong Cortez) SALVADOR VS. PEOPLE July 15, 2005 F: On the wee hours of June 4, 1994, Aurelio Mandin, Danilo Santos and petitioner Tomas Salvador, then aircraft mechanics employed by the Philippine Air Lines (PAL) and assigned at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and Manila Domestic Airport, were nabbed by intelligence operatives of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) during a routine surveillance operation for possessing thirteen (13) packets containing assorted smuggled watches and jewelries valued at more than half a million pesos Consequently, they were charged before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) with violation of Section 3601 of the Tariff and Customs Code. They were convicted in the lower court. I: Was the warrantless search and seizure valid?

H: Yes, the warrantless search and seizure is valid. Thus, the evidence is admissible. petitioner contends that the warrantless search and seizure conducted by the PAF operatives is illegal. Citing People v. Burgos, [9] he maintains that at the time he and his co-accused were stopped by the PAF law enforces, they were unaware that a crime was being committed. Accordingly, the law enforcers were actually engaged in a fishing expedition in violation of his Constitutional right against unlawful search and seizure. Thus, the seized items should not have been admitted in evidence against him. The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) counters that under the factual circumstances of the case at bar, there was sufficient probable cause for the PAF surveillance team to stop and search petitioner and his companions. They boarded the parked Air Bus 300 PAL plane at the time when there were no other PAL personnel working therein. They stayed inside the plane for sometime and surprisingly, came out with bulging waists. They then stopped and looked around and made apparent signals. All these acts were sufficient to engender a reasonable suspicion that petitioner and his colleagues were up to something illegal. Moreover, the search and seizure was conducted in connection with the enforcement of customs law when the petitioner and his co-accused were riding a motor vehicle. In addition, the search was conducted at the vicinity

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of Lima Gate of the Manila Domestic Airport which, like every gate in the airport perimeter, has a checkpoint. Finally, the petitioner and his companions agreed to the search after one of them was caught with a suspicious-looking packet. Under these circumstances, the search and seizure is legal and the seized items are admissible in evidence. We agree with the OSG. As a rule, the Bill of Rights prohibits intrusions by the law enforcers to a persons body, personal effects or residence, unless the same are conducted pursuant to a valid search warrant issued in compliance with the procedure mandated by the Constitution and the Rules of Court. The Constitution do not prohibit searches and seizures, but only such as are unreasonable. Our jurisprudence provides for privileged areas where searches and seizures may lawfully be effected sans a search warrant. These recognized exceptions include: (1) search of moving vehicles; (2) search in plain view; (3) customs searches; (4) waiver or consented searches; (5) stop-and-frisk situations; and (6) search incidental to a lawful arrest. Here, it should be noted that during the incident in question, the special mission of the PAF operatives was to conduct a surveillance operation to verify reports of drug trafficking and smuggling by certain PAL personnel in the vicinity of the airport. In other words, the search made by the PAF team on petitioner and his co-accused was in the nature of a customs search. As such, the team properly effected the search and seizure without a search warrant since it exercised police authority under the customs law. In Papa vs. Mago involving a customs search, we held that law enforcers who are tasked to effect the enforcement of the customs and tariff laws are authorized to search and seize, without a search warrant, any article, cargo or other movable property when there is reasonable cause to suspect that the said items have been introduced into the Philippines in violation of the tariff and customs law. They may likewise conduct a warrantless search of any vehicle or person suspected of holding or conveying the said articles, as in the case at bar. In short, Mago clearly recognizes the power of the State to foil any fraudulent schemes resorted to by importers who evade payment of customs duties. The Governments policy to combat the serious malady of smuggling cannot be reduced to futility and impotence on the ground that dutiable articles on which the duty has not been paid are entitled to the same Constitutional protection as an individuals private papers and effects. Here, we see no reason not to apply this State policy which we have continued to affirm. Moreover, we recall that at the time of the search, petitioner and his co-accused were on board a moving PAL aircraft tow truck. As stated earlier, the search of a moving vehicle is recognized in this jurisdiction as a valid exception to the requirement for a search warrant. Such exception is easy to understand. A search warrant may readily be obtained when the search is made in a store, dwelling house or other immobile structure. But it is impracticable to obtain a warrant when the search is conducted in a mobile ship, aircraft or other motor vehicle since they can quickly be moved out of the locality or jurisdiction where the warrant must be sought. Verily, we rule that the Court of Appeals committed no reversible error in holding that the articles involved in the instant controversy were validly seized by the authorities even without a search warrant, hence, admissible in evidence against petitioner and his co-accused. Held: The search was valid.

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It is admitted that the military operatives who raided the Eurocar Sales Office were not armed with a search warrant at that time. 15 The raid was actually precipitated by intelligence reports that said office was being used as headquarters by the RAM. 16 Prior to the raid, there was a surveillance conducted on the premises wherein the surveillance team was fired at by a group of men coming from the Eurocar building. When the military operatives raided the place, the occupants thereof refused to open the door despite the requests for them to do so, thereby compelling the former to break into the office. 17 The Eurocar Sales Office is obviously not a gun store and it is definitely not an armory or arsenal which are the usual depositories for explosives and ammunition. It is primarily and solely engaged in the sale of automobiles. The presence of an unusual quantity of high-powered firearms and explosives could not be justifiably or even colorably explained. In addition, there was general chaos and disorder at that time because of simultaneous and intense firing within the vicinity of the office and in the nearby Camp Aguinaldo which was under attack by rebel forces. 18 The courts in the surrounding areas were obviously closed and, for that matter, the building and houses therein were deserted. Under the foregoing circumstances, it is out considered opinion that the instant case falls under one of the exceptions to the prohibition against a warrantless search. In the first place, the military operatives, taking into account the facts obtaining in this case, had reasonable ground to believe that a crime was being committed. There was consequently more than sufficient probable cause to warrant their action. Furthermore, under the situation then prevailing, the raiding team had no opportunity to apply for and secure a search warrant from the courts. The trial judge himself manifested that on December 5, 1989 when the raid was conducted, his court was closed. 19 Under such urgency and exigency of the moment, a search warrant could lawfully be dispensed with.

(H.) SEARCH AND SEIZURE BY PRIVATE PERSONS


PEOPLE VS MARTI January 18, 1991 F: The appellant Andre Marti and his common-law wife, Shirley Reyes, went to the booth of the "Manila Packing and Export Forwarders" in the Pistang Pilipino Complex, Ermita, Manila, carrying with them four (4) gift-wrapped packages. Anita Reyes (the proprietress and no relation to Shirley Reyes) attended to them. The appellant informed Anita Reyes that he was sending the packages to a friend in Zurich, Switzerland. Appellant filled up the contract necessary for the transaction, writing therein his name, passport number, the date of shipment and the name and address of the consignee, namely, "WALTER FIERZ, Mattacketr II, 8052 Zurich, Switzerland. Before delivery of appellant's box to the Bureau of Customs and/or Bureau of Posts, Mr. Job Reyes (proprietor) and husband of Anita (Reyes), following standard operating procedure, opened the boxes for final inspection. When he opened appellant's box, a peculiar odor emitted therefrom. He took samples of the items and sent the same to the NBI. It turned out to be dried marijuana leaves. The appellant was thereafter arrested and a criminal case was filed against him. I: Whether there was an unreasonable search and seizure in violation of the Constitution H: There was none.

(G.) EXIGENCY
PEOPLE V. DE GRACIA July 6, 1994 Facts: The incidents involved in this case took place at the height of the coup d'etat staged in December, 1989 by ultra-rightist elements headed by the Reform the Armed Forces Movement-Soldiers of the Filipino People (RAM-SFP) against the Government. In the course of events, the accused in this case was under surveillance. They were arrested by police operatives in a building. No search warrant was secured by the raiding team because, according to them, at that time there was so much disorder considering that the nearby Camp Aguinaldo was being mopped up by the rebel forces and there was simultaneous firing within the vicinity of the Eurocar office, aside from the fact that the courts were consequently closed. The group was able to confirm later that the owner of Eurocar office is a certain Mr. Gutierrez and that appellant is supposedly a "boy" therein. Issue: Was the search without warrant valid?

The constitutional proscription against unlawful searches and seizures therefore applies as a restraint directed only against the government and its agencies tasked with the enforcement of the law. Thus, it could only be invoked against the State to whom the restraint against arbitrary and unreasonable exercise of power is imposed. If the search is made upon the request of law enforcers, a warrant must generally be first secured if it is to pass the test of constitutionality. However, if the search is made at the behest or initiative of the proprietor of a private establishment for its own and private purposes, as in the case at bar, and without the intervention of police authorities, the right against unreasonable search and seizure cannot be invoked for only the act of private individual, not the law enforcers, is involved. In sum, the protection against unreasonable searches and seizures cannot be extended to acts committed by private individuals so as to bring it within the ambit of alleged unlawful intrusion by the government.

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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW REVIEW 2-BILL OF RIGHTS Atty. Vincent Paul Montejo


The constitutional proscription against unlawful searches and seizures therefore applies as a restraint directed only against the government and its agencies tasked with the enforcement of the law. Thus, it could only be invoked against the State to whom the restraint against arbitrary and unreasonable exercise of power is imposed. If the search is made upon the request of law enforcers, a warrant must generally be first secured if it is to pass the test of constitutionality. However, if the search is made at the behest or initiative of the proprietor of a private establishment for its own and private purposes, as in the case at bar, and without the intervention of police authorities, the right against unreasonable search and seizure cannot be invoked for only the act of private individual, not the law enforcers, is involved. In sum, the protection against unreasonable searches and seizures cannot be extended to acts committed by private individuals so as to bring it within the ambit of alleged unlawful intrusion by the government. DRUG VS. NLRC Oct. 16, 1997 F: Catolico was a pharmacist of Waterous Drugs. She was dismissed from the company because of certain irregularities. The said irregularities sprang from a Purchase Order of Waterous Drugs from Yun Shin Pharmaceuticals (YSP) which was said to be overpriced and that the jacked-up price was pocketed by Catolico. It appears that during the investigation made by Waterous, Ms. Saldana, a coemployee of Catolico, opened an envelope addressed to Catolico which allegedly contained a check representing the amount pocketed by Catolico. Catolico filed an Illegal Dismissal complaint with the Labor Arbiter. The Labor Arbiter decided in favor of Catolico. Waterous appealed the decision to NLRC. The NLRC affirmed the findings of the Labor Arbiter on the ground that petitioners were not able to prove a just cause for Catolico's dismissal from her employment. It found that petitioner's evidence consisted only of the check of P640.00 drawn by YSP in favor of complainant, which her co-employee saw when the latter opened the envelope. But, it declared that the check was inadmissible in evidence pursuant to Sections 2 and 3(1 and 2) of Article III of the Constitution. I: Whether the evidence was inadmissible because it violates Sections 2 and 3 (1 and 2) of Article III of the Constitution H: The evidence was admissible. The NLRC committed an error in its ruling. As regards the constitutional violation upon which the NLRC anchored its decision, we find no reason to revise the doctrine laid down in People vs. Marti 34 that the Bill of Rights does not protect citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures perpetrated by private individuals. It is not true, as counsel for Catolico claims, that the citizens have no recourse against such assaults. On the contrary, and as said counsel admits, such an invasion gives rise to both criminal and civil liabilities. (Val Donalvo) (Anna Go)

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3.

CONSTITUTIONALITY CHECKPOINTS

OF

VALMONTE vs. DE VILLA (178 SCRA 211 [1989]; 185 SCRA 665 [1990]) We cannot avoid checkpoints because it is necessary for prevention of crimes. SC stated that in checkpoints, the police can conduct reasonable searches. Even extension searches are allowed provided that there is probable cause. It can tell you to go down or open your compartment. What is probable cause? The court stated if he has the reasonable ground to believe that you are an offender. (Thyrza Marbas) PEOPLE vs. EXALA 221 SCRA 494 (1993) Facts: A search was conducted on a checkpoint, a private jeep boarded by accused stopped for routine inspection. Police asked whether there was a gun, they answered none. The police then tried conducting visual search by beaming a flashlight in the backseat. A bag was seen with the sides bulging. When the police asked what was inside the bag, nobody answered. Instead they turned fidgety. So the bag was ordered open and was found to contain 2 kilos of marijuana. While this is happening, there was no protest. Issue: whether or not the extensive search is justified Held: There was a justification for a more extensive search because when they were asked what was inside the bag nobody answered and instead all of them turned fidgety. (I wasnt able to find the case in the net. Please note that this digest is a copy from my 1st year case digests. Should you find the case in the net, please read it na lang po. Sorry ulit! ) GUANZON vs. DE VILLA 181 SCRA 623 (1990)

Facts: Members of the Metro Manila police flushed all males in the Muslim community in Quiapo. This was about a saturation drive (areal target zoning) conducted by them in connection with anti-drug campaign. They were able to apprehend the small time pushers. Issue: whether or not the saturation drives were unconstitutional Held: The SC did not rule on the constitutionality of the saturation drives. Instead, the case was remanded to the lower court for further reception of evidence. Nevertheless, the SC said that in certain situations police action is necessary. Under Article VII Section 18 of the Constitution, the President as Commander-in-Chief may call out the armed forces to quell lawlessness or violence (not necessarily martial law). Saturation drives are actually a part of police action or measure. Police measure according to the court is not illegal, it is allowed by the Constitution itself. The problem is the manner by which the police action is executed. On the case at hand, there might have been violations but the SC cannot categorize simply because petitioners are not the proper parties. Note: This case recognizes the complementary roles of the PNP and the military in conducting anti-crime campaigns, provided that the peoples rights are not violated in these words: If the military and the police must conduct concerted campaigns to flush out and catch criminal elements, such drives must be consistent with the constitutional and statutory rights of all people affected by such actions. ABENES vs. CA 515 SCRA 690 (2007) Facts: 3 days prior to the May 11, 1998 national and local elections, PNP of Pagadian City created a team composed of seven policemen with a directive to establish and man a checkpoint in Barangay Danlugan at said city, for the purpose of enforcing the Gun Ban which was then being implemented by the COMELEC. The team put up a road block with the marking "COMELEC GUN BAN". A red Tamaraw FX, with the petitioner as one of the occupants, trying to pass through the check point was stopped by the team. Petitioner Abenes who is a Barangay Chairman of Tawagan Norte,

PEOPLE vs. MENDOZA 301 SCRA 66 (1999) PEOPLE vs. BONGCARAWAN 384 SCRA 525 (2002) (I.) AIRPORT SECURITY PEOPLE vs. JOHNSON 348 SCRA 527 (2000) PEOPLE vs. JOHNSON 394 SCRA 478 (2002) PEOPL vs. CANTON 394 SCRA 478 (2002) (J.) JAIL SAFETY PEOPLE vs. CONDE 356 SCRA 625 (2002)

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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW REVIEW 2-BILL OF RIGHTS Atty. Vincent Paul Montejo


Labangan, Zamboanga Del Sur was seen with a holstered firearm tucked at his right waist. The firearm was readily visible to the policemen; it was not covered by the shirt worn by Abenes. He was then asked whether he had a license and authority to carry the firearm, and whether his possession was exempted from the Gun Ban being enforced by the COMELEC to which he answered in the affirmative but failed to show the pertinent documents. Hence the firearm was confiscated. Issue: Was the check-point validly established? Held: This Court has ruled that not all checkpoints are illegal. Those which are warranted by the exigencies of public order and are conducted in a way least intrusive to motorists are allowed. For, admittedly, routine checkpoints do intrude, to a certain extent, on motorists right to "free passage without interruption," but it cannot be denied that, as a rule, it involves only a brief detention of travelers during which the vehicles occupants are required to answer a brief question or two. For as long as the vehicle is neither searched nor its occupants subjected to a body search, and the inspection of the vehicle is limited to a visual search, said routine checks cannot be regarded as violative of an individuals right against unreasonable search. In fact, these routine checks, when conducted in a fixed area, are even less intrusive. The checkpoint herein conducted was in pursuance of the gun ban enforced by the COMELEC. The COMELEC would be hard put to implement the ban if its deputized agents were limited to a visual search of pedestrians. It would also defeat the purpose for which such ban was instituted. Those who intend to bring a gun during said period would know that they only need a car to be able to easily perpetrate their malicious designs.

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1. Whether or not the search warrants were valid. 2. Whether or not the things seized may be used in evidence against them Held: 1. No, they are not valid since they are general warrants. Requirements for a valid search warrant: 1. That no warrant shall issue but upon probable cause, to be determined by the judge; 2. That the warrant shall particularly describe the things to be seized. The requisites were not met. There was no specific offense. As a consequence, it would have been impossible for the judge to have found the existence of probable cause. The things to be seized were not particularly described. 2. No, the things searched and seized from petitioners cannot be used against them. The exclusionary rule applies; otherwise, it would violate the spirit of the constitutional injunction against unreasonable searches and seizures. The articles that were seized illegally by the government cannot be used as admissible evidence, thus adopting the fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine in Philippine jurisdiction.

PASTRANO vs. CA 281 SCRA 254 (1997) 4. WIRE TAPPING GAANAN vs. IAC 145 SCRA 112 (1986)
Facts: Atty.Laconico and Atty. Gaanan are client and counsel respectively. Laconico called the complainant in the direct assault charge against him in the hope of setting the case amicably. While Laconico was talking to the complainant through the telephone, he asked his lawyer (Gaanan) to listen through an extension telephone. The deal was made and the pay-off settled. During the pay-off, Atty. Gaanan and Laconico made it appear that it was extotrtion, with the presence of NBI agents. The evidence for extortion was statements of Gaanan and Kaconico as well as affidavits regarding the phone conversation. Laconico and Gaanan were charged for violation of RA 4200. Issue: whether or not the extension phone is among those prohibited devices under RA 4200 Held: No. RA 4200 expressly prohibits the tapping of a wire where there is physical interruption or deliberate installation of a device. A telephone extension is not covered by this definition because there is no physical interruption by installing a device. To have an extension is part of the installation. Facts: Two sons of petitioner Pastrano - James Clement G. Pastrano and Clinton Steve G. Pastrano seek assistance from the authority in connection with the death of their brother Clyde. The brothers reported that their father and his common-law wife were keeping unlicensed firearms in their house. They executed a joint affidavit on February 20, 1989 in which they stated that they had personal knowledge of the fact that their father Pedrito Pastrano was keeping three (3) firearms of different calibers in the bedroom of his house. After examining the two brothers, Judge Teodorico M. Durias of the Municipal Trial Court of Oroquieta City (Branch I) issued a search warrant which Capt. Maoza and his men later served at the residence of Pastrano. Issue: whether or not the Search Warrant issued by Judge Teodorico Durias is invalid for failure to comply with the basic requirements of the Constitution and thus, the evidence obtained is inadmissible in court Held: 1. The second ground for the present petition is that the evidence against petitioner was obtained through illegal search. Petitioner cites the constitutional provision that no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized. Petitioner contends that Capt. Rodolfo Maoza, who applied for the search warrant, did not have personal knowledge of the facts on which the warrant was based. But the trial court actually examined the two brothers, James Clement G. Pastrano and Clinton G. Steve Pastrano. These two were the ones who reported the matter to Capt. Maoza. They gave information of the illegal possession of firearms by their father, petitioner herein, on the basis of personal knowledge. Their testimonies, not that of Capt. Maoza, formed the basis of the trial courts finding of probable cause for the issuance of a search warrant. 2. Petitioner assails the absence of a written deposition showing that the judge had examined the complainant and his witnesses by means of searching questions in writing and under oath as required by Rule 126, 4 of the Rules on Criminal Procedure, to wit:

5.

WHAT MAY BE SEIZED

A.

6. REMEDIES IN CASES OF VIOLATION EXCLUSIONARY RULE STONEHILL vs. DIOKNO 20 SCRA 383 (1967)

Facts: The crime alleged is a violation of several laws. Several judges issued various search warrants (amounting to 42 in all) against petitioners herein and /or the corporations of which they were officers, directed to any peace officers, to search the persons above-named and/or the premises of their offices, warehouses, and/or residences, and to seize and take possession of book of accounts, financial records, vouchers, etc., and other documents and/or papers showing all business transactions. The materials are alleged to have been the subject of a violation of Central Bank Laws, Tariff and Customs laws, Internal Revenue (Code), and the Revised Penal Code. Issues:

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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW REVIEW 2-BILL OF RIGHTS Atty. Vincent Paul Montejo


4. Examination of complainant, record. - The judge must, before issuing the warrant, personally examine in the form of searching questions and answers, in writing and under oath the complainant and any witnesses he may produce on facts personally known to them and attach to the record their sworn statements together with any affidavits submitted. Rule 126, 4 indeed requires the examination of the complainant and his witnesses to be put in writing and under oath. But although this is a ground for quashing a search warrant in this case, petitioner did nothing to this end. He did not move to quash the information before the trial court. Nor did he object to the presentation of the evidence obtained as being the product of an illegal search. In the case of Demaisip v. Court of Appeals, we held: At any rate, objections to the legality of the search warrant and to the admissibility of the evidence obtained thereby were deemed waived when no objection to the legality of the search warrant was raised during the trial of the case nor to the admissibility of the evidence obtained through said warrant. Petitioner thus waived any objection based on the illegality of the search. As held in People v. Omaweng, the right to be secure against unreasonable searches and seizures, like any other right, can be waived and the waiver may be made either expressly or impliedly.

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1986 was the widely held perception that the government was callous or indifferent to, if not actually responsible for, the rampant violations of human rights. While it would certainly be too naive to expect that violators of human rights would easily be deterred by the prospect of facing damage suits, it should nonetheless be made clear in no uncertain terms that Article 32 of the Civil Code makes the persons who are directly, as well as indirectly, responsible for the transgression joint tortfeasors. Further, the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus does not destroy Aberca, et. al.s right and cause of action for damages for illegal arrest and detention and other violations of their constitutional rights. The suspension does not render valid an otherwise illegal arrest or detention. What is suspended is merely the right of the individual to seek release from detention through the writ of habeas corpus as a speedy means of obtaining his liberty. Furthermore, their right and cause of action for damages are explicitly recognized in P.D. No. 1755 which amended Article 1146 of the Civil Code by adding the following to its text: However, when the action (for injury to the rights of the plaintiff or for a quasi-delict) arises from or out of any act, activity or conduct of any public officer involving the exercise of powers or authority arising from Martial Law including the arrest, detention and/or trial of the plaintiff, the same must be brought within one (1) year. Thus, even assuming that the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus suspends Aberca, et. al.s right of action for damages for illegal arrest and detention, it does not and cannot suspend their rights and causes of action for injuries suffered because of Ver, et. al.s confiscation of their private belongings, the violation of their right to remain silent and to counsel and their right to protection against unreasonable searches and seizures and against torture and other cruel and inhuman treatment.

B.

CIVIL ACTION FOR DAMAGES ABERCA vs. VER 160 SCRA 590

Facts: Petitioners brought suit alleging that General Fabian Ver had ordered the Task Force Makabansa of the AFP to conduct "preemptive strikes against known communist terrorists'' underground houses" in Metro Manila. The TFM raided some places using defective warrants; they seized personal belongings of petitioners; they had been interrogated in violation of their right to silence and to counsel; they had been tortured and intimidated. Petitioners asked for payment of damages for violations of their constitutional rights. Issue: Whether Ver, et. al., may be held civilly liable for undertaking invalid search and seizures, or violation of Constitutional rights or liberties of another in general. Held: It may be that Ver, et. al., as members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, were merely responding to their duty, as they claim, to prevent or suppress lawless violence, insurrection, rebellion and subversion in accordance with Proclamation 2054 of President Marcos, despite the lifting of martial law on 27 January 1981, and in pursuance of such objective, to launch pre-emptive strikes against alleged communist terrorist underground houses. But this cannot be construed as a blanket license or a roving commission untramelled by any constitutional restraint, to disregard or transgress upon the rights and liberties of the individual citizen enshrined in and protected by the Constitution. The Constitution remains the supreme law of the land to which all officials, high or low, civilian or military, owe obedience and allegiance at all times. Article 32 of the Civil Code which renders any public officer or employee or any private individual liable in damages for violating the Constitutional rights and liberties of another, as enumerated therein, does not exempt Ver, et. al. from responsibility. Only judges are excluded from liability under the said article, provided their acts or omissions do not constitute a violation of the Penal Code or other penal statute. This is not to say that military authorities are restrained from pursuing their assigned task or carrying out their mission with vigor. However, in carrying out this task and mission, constitutional and legal safeguards must be observed, otherwise, the very fabric of our faith will start to unravel. Article 32 clearly speaks of an officer or employee or person directly or indirectly responsible for the violation of the constitutional rights and liberties of another. Thus, it is not the actor alone (i.e. the one directly responsible) who must answer for damages under Article 32; the person indirectly responsible has also to answer for the damages or injury caused to the aggrieved party. By this provision, the principle of accountability of public officials under the Constitution acquires added meaning and assumes a larger dimension. No longer may a superior official relax his vigilance or abdicate his duty to supervise his subordinates, secure in the thought that he does not have to answer for the transgressions committed by the latter against the constitutionally protected rights and liberties of the citizen. Part of the factors that propelled people power in February

FORBES vs. CHUOCO TIACO 16 PHIL 534 (1910)

Note: This is a really old case, decided by the US Supreme Court (228 U.S. 549 (1913). But to summarize; In the Philippines, we have adopted the doctrine of presidential immunity from American jurisprudence. In the 1905 case of Forbes vs. Chuoco Tiaco, our Supreme Court ruled that the head of the executive department could not be held personally liable for damages resulting from an act performed pursuant to law.

Held: Where the act originally purports to be done in the name and by the authority of the state, a defect in that authority may be cured by the subsequent adoption of the act. The deportation of a Chinaman from the Philippine Islands by the Governor General prior to an act of the legislature authorizing such deportation is to be considered as having been ordered in pursuance of such statute. Sovereign states have inherent power to deport aliens, and Congress is not deprived of this power by the Constitution of the United States. The ground on which the power to deport aliens rests necessitates that it may have to be exercised in a summary manner by executive officers. Congress not being prevented by the Constitution from deporting aliens, the Philippine government cannot be prevented from so doing by the Bill of Rights incorporated in the Act of July 1, 1902. The deportation of aliens in this case by the Philippine government was not a deprivation of liberty without due process of law. The local government of the Philippine Islands has all civil and judicial power necessary to govern the Islands, and this includes the power to deport aliens. The extension by Congress of the Chinese Exclusion and Immigration Laws to the Philippine Islands does not prevent the government of the Islands passing an act removing aliens therefrom. The English rule is that an act of state is not cognizable in any municipal court. It is within the power of the Legislature of the Philippine Islands to declare an act of the executive which is within its power to authorize to be not subject to question or review. Deporting the plaintiffs was not depriving them of liberty without due process of law unless, on other grounds, the local government was acting beyond its powers. But the local

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government has all civil and judicial power necessary to govern the Islands.

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FACTS: On February 16, 1995 Criminal Case No. 22018 was filed with the Sandiganbayan and thereafter raffled to the First Division.On February 17, 1995, an order for the arrest of petitioner was issued by the respondent Sandiganbayan.On February 19, 1995 petitioner filed with respondent court an Opposition to Issuance of Warrant of Arrest with Motion For Leave To File Motion For Reconsideration of Ombudsman Resolutions. In his Opposition, petitioner alleged that since the only documents attached to the Information and submitted to respondent Sandiganbayan were the Resolution dated June 2, 1992 of the panel of investigators and the Memorandum dated January 16, 1995 of the Office of the Special Prosecutor, the same were not adequate for the determination of probable cause for the issuance of a warrant of arrest by respondent Sandiganbayan. Hence, petitioner claims the respondent Sandiganbayan should recall the warrant of arrest already issued or desist from issuing a warrant of arrest. Petitioner, avers, furthermore that the filing of the Information was premature considering that he was not furnished a copy of the Ombudsmans Resolution in violation of Section 27 of R.A. No. 6770 and prays that he be given leave to file a motion for reconsideration of the Ombudsmans Resolution dated June 2, 1992 and the Office of the Special Prosecutors Memorandum dated January 16, 1995.On February 22, 1995, petitioner posted bail. On the same day he likewise filed, through counsel, a Manifestation stating that he was posting bail without prejudice to the Opposition To Issuance of Warrant of Arrest with Motion For Leave To File a Motion For Reconsideration of the Ombudsmans Resolution which he filed. ISSUE: Whether the warrant of arrest issued by respondent Sandiganbayan is null and void, or should now be lifted if initially valid. RULING: Petitioner and the Office of the Special Prosecutor both argue that the warrant of arrest issued by respondent Sandiganbayan is null and void for lack of sufficient basis upon which it could have personally determined the existence of probable cause to issue the warrant of arrest against him. They contend that there was a violation of Section 2, Article III of the Constitution because the Information in Criminal Case No. 22018 was accompanied only by the Resolution dated June 2, 1992 of the Panel of Graft Investigators of the Office of the Ombudsman recommending the filing of the information and the Memorandum dated January 16, 1995 of the Office of the Special Prosecutor denying the existence of a prejudicial question which will warrant the suspension of the filing of the criminal case. Their argument is principally anchored on the pronouncements made in the case of Ho vs. Peoplethat reliance on the prosecutors report alone is not sufficient in determining whether there is probable cause for the issuance of a warrant of arrest. Consequent to the nullity of the warrant of arrest, petitioner further argues that the Sandiganbayan has not acquired jurisdiction over him and is without power to exercise the same. However, the Office of the Special Prosecutor and the Office of the Solicitor General maintain that any infirmity that may have attended the issuance of the warrant of arrest was cured by petitioners voluntary submission to the jurisdiction of the respondent Sandiganbayan when petitioner posted bail and subsequently invoked the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan by filing numerous motions wherein he sought affirmative reliefs. Now, pertinent to the issue at hand is the second clause of Section 2, Article III of the 1987 Constitution, which provides that: Sec. 2. xxx no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon a probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized. (Emphasis supplied) In Ho vs. People, the Court had the opportunity to elucidate on the matter of determining of probable cause to merit the issuance of a warrant of arrest: First, x xx the determination of probable cause by the prosecutor is for a purpose different from that which is to be made by the judge. Whether there is reasonable ground to believe that the accused is guilty of the offense charged and should be held for trial is what the prosecutor passes upon. The judge, on the other hand, determines whether a warrant of arrest should be issued against the accused, i.e., whether there is a necessity for placing him under immediate custody in order not to frustrate the ends of justice. Thus, even if both should base their findings on one and the same proceeding or evidence, there should be no confusion as to their distinct objectives. Second, since their objectives are different, the judge cannot rely solely on the report of the prosecutor in finding probable cause to justify the issuance of a warrant of arrest. Obviously and understandably, the contents of the prosecutors report will support his own conclusion that there is reason to charge the accused of an

(Janissa Delicona)

C.

CRIMINAL CASES UNDER REVISED PENAL CODE 7. REQUIREMENTS FOR ISSUANCE OF WARRANT OF ARREST
LIM VS FELIX (1991)

Facts: Sometime on March 1989, Congressman Espinosa and his security escorts were attacked and killed by a lone assassin.An information for murder was filed against the petitoners. Petitioners filed a verified petition for change of venue. The SC issued an En Banc Resolution authorizing the change of venue from the Regional Trial Court of Masbate to the Regional Trial Court of Makati to avoid a miscarriage of justice. The cases were raffled to Branch 56 presided by respondent Judge Nemesio S. Felix. Judge Felix issued a warrant of arrest. Issue: The primary issue in these consolidated petitions centers on whether or not a judge may issue a warrant of arrest without bail by simply relying on the prosecution's certification and recommendation that a probable cause exists. Ruling: The records of the preliminary investigation conducted by the Municipal Court of Masbate and reviewed by the respondent Fiscal were still in Masbate when the respondent Judge issued the warrants of arrest against the petitioners. There was no basis for the respondent Judge to make his own personal determination regarding the existence of a probable cause for the issuance of a warrant of arrest as mandated by the Constitution. He could not possibly have known what transpired in Masbate as he had nothing but a certification. Significantly, the respondent Judge denied the petitioners' motion for the transmittal of the records on the ground that the mere certification and recommendation of the respondent Fiscal that a probable cause exists is sufficient for him to issue a warrant of arrest. We reiterate the ruling in Soliven v. Makasiar that the Judge does not have to personally examine the complainant and his witnesses. The Prosecutor can perform the same functions as a commissioner for the taking of the evidence. However, there should be a report and necessary documents supporting the Fiscal's bare certification. All of these should be before the Judge. The extent of the Judge's personal examination of the report and its annexes depends on the circumstances of each case. We cannot determine before hand how cursory or exhaustive the Judge's examination should be. The Judge has to exercise sound discretion for, after all, the personal determination is vested in the Judge by the Constitution. It can be as brief or as detailed as the circumstances of each case require. To be sure, the Judge must go beyond the Prosecutor's certification and investigation report whenever necessary. He should call for the complainant and witnesses themselves to answer the court's probing questions when the circumstances of the case so require. It is worthy to note that petitioners Vicente Lim, Sr. and Susana Lim presented to the respondent Judge documents of recantation of witnesses whose testimonies were used to establish a prima facie case against them. Although, the general rule is that recantations are not given much weight in the determination of a case and in the granting of a new trial [Tan Ang Bun v. Court of Appeals, et al. G. R. No. L-47747, February 15, 1990, People v. Lao Wan Sing, 46 SCRA 298 (1972)], the respondent Judge before issuing his own warrants of arrest should, at the very least, have gone over the records of the preliminary examination conducted earlier in the light of the evidence now presented by the concerned witnesses in view of the "political undertones" prevailing in the cases. Even the Solicitor General recognized the significance of the recantations of some witnesses when he recommends a reinvestigation of the cases. We reiterate that in making the required personal determination, a Judge is not precluded from relying on the evidence earlier gathered by responsible officers. The extent of the reliance depends on the circumstances of each case and is subject to the Judge's sound discretion. However, the Judge abuses that discretion when having no evidence before him, he issues a warrant of arrest. Indubitably, the respondent Judge committed a grave error when he relied solely on the prosecutor's certification and issued the questioned Order dated July 5, 1990 without having before him any other basis for his personal determination of the existence of a probable cause. COJUANGCO VS SANDIGANBAYAN (1998)

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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW REVIEW 2-BILL OF RIGHTS Atty. Vincent Paul Montejo


offense and hold him for trial. However, the judge must decide independently. Hence, he must have supporting evidence, other than the prosecutors bare report, upon which to legally sustain his own findings on the existence (or nonexistence) of a probable cause to issue an arrest order. This responsibility of determining personally and independently the existence or nonexistence of probable cause is lodged in him by no less than the most basic law of the land. Parenthetically, the prosecutor could ease the burden of the judge and speed up the litigation process by forwarding to the latter not only the information and his bare resolution finding probable cause, but also so much of the records and the evidence on hand as to enable His Honor to make his personal and separate judicial finding on whether to issue a warrant of arrest. Lastly, it is not required that the complete or entire records of the case during the preliminary investigation be submitted to and examined by the judge. We do not intend to unduly burden trial courts by obliging them to examine the complete records of every case all the time simply for the purpose of ordering the arrest of an accused. What is required, rather, is that the judge must have sufficient supporting documents (such as the complaint, affidavits, counter-affidavits, sworn statements of witnesses or transcripts of stenographic notes, if any) upon which to make his independent judgment or, at the very least, upon which to verify the findings of the prosecutor as to the existence of probable cause. The point is: he cannot rely solely and entirely on the prosecutors recommendation, as Respondent Court did in this case. Although the prosecutor enjoys the legal presumption of regularity in the performance of his official duties and functions, which in turn gives his report the presumption of accuracy, the Constitution, we repeat, commands the judge to personally determine probable cause in the issuance of warrants of arrest. This Court has consistently held that a judge fails in his bounden duty if he relies merely on the certification or the report of the investigating officer. As alleged by petitioner, in the case at bar, the Sandiganbayan had two pieces of documents to consider when it resolved to issue the warrant of arrest against the accused: (1) the Resolution dated June 2, 1992 of the Panel of Investigators of the Office of the Ombudsman recommending the filing of the Information and (2) the Memorandum dated June 16, 1995 of the Office of the Special Prosecutor denying the existence of a prejudicial question which will warrant the suspension of the criminal case. The Sandiganbayan had nothing more to support its resolution. In Roberts vs. Court of Appeals, we struck down as invalid an order for the issuance of a warrant of arrest which were based only on the information, amended information and Joint Resolution, without the benefit of the records or evidence supporting the prosecutors finding of probable cause. And in Ho vs. People, we declared that respondent palpably committed grave abuse of discretion in ipso facto issuing the challenged warrant of arrest on the sole basis of the prosecutors findings and recommendation, and without determining on its own the issue of probable cause based on evidence other than such bare findings and recommendation. Similarly, we are now constrained to rule that herein respondent court failed to abide by the constitutional mandate of personally determining the existence of probable cause before issuing a warrant of arrest. For the two cited documents were the product of somebody elses determination, insufficient to support a finding of probable cause by the Sandiganbayan. Hence, the warrant of arrest issued by respondent court on February 17, 1995 against herein petitioner is palpably invalid. ABDULA VS GUIANI (2000) FACTS: On 24 June 1994, a complaint for murderwas filed before the Criminal Investigation Service Command, ARMM Regional Office XII against herein petitioners and six (6) other personsin connection with the death of a certain Abdul Dimalen, the former COMELEC Registrar of Kabuntalan, Maguindanao. Acting on this complaint, the Provincial Prosecutor of Maguindanao, Salick U. Panda, in a Resolution dated 22 August 1994, dismissed the charges of murder against herein petitioners and five other respondents on a finding that there was no prima facie case for murder against them. Prosecutor Panda, however, recommended the filing of an information for murder against one of the respondents, a certain Kasan Mama. Pursuant to this Resolution, an information for murder was thereafter filed against Kasan Mama before the sala of respondent Judge. In an Order dated 13 September 1994, respondent Judge ordered that the case, now docketed as Criminal Case No. 2332, be returned to the Provincial Prosecutor for further investigation. In this Order, respondent judge noted that although there were eight (8) respondents in the murder case, the information filed with the court "charged only

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one (1) of the eight (8) respondents in the name of Kasan Mama without the necessary resolution required under Section 4, Rule 112 of the Revised Rules of Court to show how the investigating prosecutor arrived at such a conclusion." As such, the respondent judge reasons, the trial court cannot issue the warrant of arrest against Kasan Mama. Upon the return of the records of the case to the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor for Maguindanao, it was assigned to 2nd Assistant Prosecutor Enok T. Dimaraw for further investigation. In addition to the evidence presented during the initial investigation of the murder charge, two new affidavits of witnesses were submitted to support the charge of murder against herein petitioners and the other respondents in the murder complaint. Thus, Prosecutor Dimaraw treated the same as a refiling of the murder charge and pursuant to law, issued subpoena to the respondents named therein. On December 6, 1994, herein petitioners submitted and filed their joint counter-affidavits. After evaluation of the evidence, Prosecutor Dimaraw, in a Resolution dated 28 December 1994, found a prima facie case for murder against herein petitioners and three (3) other respondents. He thus recommended the filing of charges against herein petitioners BaiUnggieAbdula and Odin Abdula, as principals by inducement, and against the three (3) others, as principals by direct participation. On 2 January 1995, an information for murder dated 28 December 1994 was filed against the petitioner spouses and Kasan Mama, CuencoUsman and Jun Mama before Branch 14 of the Regional Trial Court of Cotabato City, then the sala of respondent judge. This information was signed by investigating prosecutor Enok T. Dimaraw. The following day, or on 3 January 1995, the respondent judge issued a warrant for the arrest of petitioners. Upon learning of the issuance of the said warrant, petitioners filed on 4 January 1995 an Urgent Ex-parte Motion for the setting aside of the warrant of arrest on 4 January 1995. In this motion, petitioners argued that the enforcement of the warrant of arrest should be held in abeyance considering that the information was prematurely filed and that the petitioners intended to file a petition for review with the Department of Justice. A petition for review was filed by the petitioners with the Department of Justice on 11 January 1995. Despite said filing, respondent judge did not act upon petitioners pending Motion to Set Aside the Warrant of Arrest. Issue: Whether or not the warrant of arrest issued against petitioners was valid. Ruling: On this issue, petitioners, citing the case of Allado vs. Diokno argue that the warrant for his arrest should be recalled considering that the respondent judge "did not personally examine the evidence nor did he call the complainant and his witnesses in the face of their incredible accounts." As proof, he points to the fact that the information was filed at around 4:00 p.m. of the January 2, 1995 and the order of arrest was immediately issued the following day or on January 3, 1995. Moreover, petitioner argues, respondent judge did not even issue an order stating that there is probable cause for the issuance of the warrant of arrest, a clear violation of the guidelines set forth in the Allado case. In the case at bench, respondent admits that he issued the questioned warrant as there was "no reason for (him) to doubt the validity of the certification made by the Assistant Prosecutor that a preliminary investigation was conducted and that probable cause was found to exist as against those charged in the information filed." The statement is an admission that respondent relied solely and completely on the certification made by the fiscal that probable cause exists as against those charged in the information and issued the challenged warrant of arrest on the sole basis of the prosecutors findings and recommendations. He adopted the judgment of the prosecutor regarding the existence of probable cause as his own. Although the prosecutor enjoys the legal presumption of regularity in the performance of his official duties, which in turn gives his report the presumption of accuracy, nothing less than the fundamental law of the land commands the judge to personally determine probable cause in the issuance of warrants of arrest. A judge fails in this constitutionally mandated duty if he relies merely on the certification or report of the investigating officer. To be sure, we cannot determine beforehand how cursory or exhaustive the respondents examination of the records should be. The extent of the judges examination depends on the exercise of his sound discretion as the circumstances of the case require. In the case at bench, the respondent had before him two different

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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW REVIEW 2-BILL OF RIGHTS Atty. Vincent Paul Montejo


informations and resolutions charging two different sets of suspects. In the face of these conflicting resolutions, it behooves him not to take the certification of the investigating prosecutor at face value. The circumstances thus require that respondent look beyond the bare certification of the investigating prosecutor and examine the documents supporting the prosecutors determination of probable cause. The inordinate haste that attended the issuance of the warrant of arrest and respondents own admission are circumstances that tend to belie any pretense of the fulfillment of this duty. Clearly, respondent judge, by merely stating that he had no reason to doubt the validity of the certification made by the investigating prosecutor has abdicated his duty under the Constitution to determine on his own the issue of probable cause before issuing a warrant of arrest. Consequently, the warrant of arrest should be declared null and void.

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supporting documents submitted by the prosecutor regarding the existence of probable cause and, on the basis thereof, issue a warrant of arrest; or (b) if on the basis thereof he finds no probable cause, disregard the prosecutors report and require the submission of supporting affidavits of witnesses to aid him in determining its existence. What he is never allowed to do is follow blindly the prosecutors bare certification as to the existence of probable cause. Much more is required by the constitutional provision. Judges have to go over the report, the affidavits, the transcript of stenographic notes if any, and other documents supporting the prosecutors certification. Although the extent of the judges personal examination depends on the circumstances of each case, to be sure, he cannot just rely on the bare certification alone but must go beyond it. This is because the warrant of arrest issues not on the strength of the certification standing alone but because of the records which sustain it. He should even call for the complainant and the witnesses to answer the courts probing questions when the circumstances warrant. In the case at bench respondent Judge not only failed to follow the required procedure but worse, was negligent enough not to have noticed that there was not even a prosecutor's certification to rely upon since no information had even been filed yet in court, and that Crim. Case No. Br. 20-1373 was merely docketed as such on the strength of a mere complaint filed by the private complainant LeoncioDalin Sr. himself. Respondent Judge admitted that he signed the Warrant of Arrest against complainant and the latters client simply because it was presented to him for signature by the Criminal Docket Clerk. There was thus a total and unwarranted abdication of a judicial function. Respondent cannot exculpate himself from administrative liability by contending that the mistake was entirely attributable to the Criminal Docket Clerk who failed to faithfully comply with her "duty" of going over the records of criminal cases and ensuring first that an information had already been filed in court before preparing the warrant of arrest. As we have already repeatedly said, a judge cannot take refuge behind the inefficiency of his court personnel for they are not guardians of his responsibilities. More importantly the responsibility delegated by respondent was clearly unauthorized and unwarranted, as already explained above. He cannot without abandoning his judicial obligation just instruct the Criminal Docket Clerk, through the much vaunted Check List for Criminal Cases that he had prepared for her to follow, to automatically prepare warrants of arrest simply because informations have been filed against the accused. Although respondents purpose in preparing the Check List, i.e., to help him comply with RA 8493 otherwise known as the Speedy Trial Act of 1998, may be considered laudable, we have already said that shortcuts in judicial processes are to be avoided when they impede rather than promote a judicious dispensation of justice. Much more when, as in the instant case, the shortcut amounted to a violation of a constitutional provision. GOVERNMENT VS PURGANAN (2002) ISSUE: In extradition cases, is Respondent Entitled to Notice and Hearing Before the Issuance of a Warrant of Arrest? RULING: NO. Petitioner contends that the procedure adopted by the RTC --informing the accused, a fugitive from justice, that an Extradition Petition has been filed against him, and that petitioner is seeking his arrest -- gives him notice to escape and to avoid extradition. Moreover, petitioner pleads that such procedure may set a dangerous precedent, in that those sought to be extradited -including terrorists, mass murderers and war criminals -- may invoke it in future extradition cases. On the other hand, Respondent Jimenez argues that he should not be hurriedly and arbitrarily deprived of his constitutional right to liberty without due process. He further asserts that there is as yet no specific law or rule setting forth the procedure prior to the issuance of a warrant of arrest, after the petition for extradition has been filed in court; ergo, the formulation of that procedure is within the discretion of the presiding judge. Both parties cite Section 6 of PD 1069 in support of their arguments. It states: SEC. 6. Issuance of Summons; Temporary Arrest; Hearing, Service of Notices.- (1) Immediately upon receipt of the petition, the presiding judge of the court shall, as soon as practicable, summon the accused to appear and to answer the petition on the day and hour fixed in the order. [H]e may issue a warrant for the immediate arrest of the accused which may be served any where within the Philippines if it appears to the presiding judge that the immediate arrest and temporary detention of the accused will best serve the ends of justice. Upon receipt of the answer, or should the accused after having received the summons fail to

TALINGDAN VS EDUARTE(2001) FACTS: Atty. Edgar H. Talingdan, a private practitioner, charges respondent Judge Henedino P. Eduarte, RTC-Br. 20, Cauayan, Isabela, with improvidently issuing a warrant of arrest in Crim. Case No. Br. 20-1373 for libel without the requisite preliminary investigation being first conducted by the Office of the Public Prosecutor. Specifically, complainant alleged in his Letter-Complaint that sometime in April 2000 elements of the PNP stormed into his residence to arrest him and his client, Modesto Luzano, on the strength of a Warrant of Arrest dated 12 April 2000 issued by respondent Judge Eduarte in Crim. Case No. Br. 20-1373 entitled "People v. Edgar Talingdan and Modesto Luzano" for the supposed crime of libel. Surprised that such a case existed against him and his client as they had not been previously charged, complainant filed a Very Urgent Motion to Quash and/or Set Aside Warrant of Arrest and Direct Prosecutors Office to Conduct Preliminary Investigation asking that the Warrant of Arrest be set aside for being premature since they had not been previously notified of the charge against them and no preliminary investigation was ever conducted by the public prosecutors office yet, and for being defective since the amount of bail was not specified therein in violation of their constitutional right to bail. Respondent Judge granted the motion and recalled the warrant of arrest in an Order dated 12 May 2000 admitting that he issued the same under the mistaken belief that a preliminary investigation had already been conducted and an information already filed in court. Complainant nonetheless filed this administrative case allegedly to help the Court in purging the Judiciary of those who undermine its dignity and credibility as his faith therein was almost eroded by the unfortunate incident. In his Comments respondent Judge did not deny that he issued the improvident warrant of arrest. He only alleged by way of explanation and exculpation that on 24 March 2000 a complaint for libel was directly filed with the RTC-Br. 19, Cauayan, Isabela, by LeoncioDalin Sr. which was docketed as Crim. Case No. 2881. The case was assigned to his sala after raffle and was re-docketed as Crim. Case No. Br. 20-1373. The records of the case then went to the Criminal Docket Clerk, Ms. Imelda Severino who, under the Check List for Criminal Cases that he had prepared for her, was supposed to verify from the records first whetheran information had already been filed and if there was, to prepare the corresponding warrant of arrest if the accused had not yet been arrested. Thus when he saw the Warrant of Arrest prepared by Ms. Severino in Crim. Case No. Br. 20-1373, he signed the same honestly thinking that she had faithfully complied first with her duty of going over the records of the case. Respondent Judge assured the Court that the incident was a simple mistake on his part and that he had not been actuated by malice, corrupt motive, or improper consideration in its commission. ISSUE: Whether or not the judge acted improvidently in issuing the warrants or arrest against the petitioners? RULING: YES. Enshrined in our Constitution is the rule that "[n]o x xx warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing x xx the persons x xx to be seized." Interpreting the words "personal determination" we said that it does not thereby mean that judges are obliged to conduct the personal examination of the complainant and his witnesses themselves. To require thus would be to unduly laden them with preliminary examinations and investigations of criminal complaints instead of concentrating on hearing and deciding cases filed before them. Rather what is emphasized merely is the exclusive and personal responsibility of the issuing judge to satisfy himself as to the existence of probable cause. To this end he may: (a) personally evaluate the report and the

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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW REVIEW 2-BILL OF RIGHTS Atty. Vincent Paul Montejo


answer within the time fixed, the presiding judge shall hear the case or set another date for the hearing thereof. (2) The order and notice as well as a copy of the warrant of arrest, if issued, shall be promptly served each upon the accused and the attorney having charge of the case. (Emphasis ours) Does this provision sanction RTC Judge Purganans act of immediately setting for hearing the issuance of a warrant of arrest? We rule in the negative. 1. On the Basis of the Extradition Law It is significant to note that Section 6 of PD 1069, our Extradition Law, uses the word immediate to qualify the arrest of the accused. This qualification would be rendered nugatory by setting for hearing the issuance of the arrest warrant. Hearing entails sending notices to the opposing parties, receiving facts and arguments from them, and giving them time to prepare and present such facts and arguments. Arrest subsequent to a hearing can no longer be considered immediate. The law could not have intended the word as a mere superfluity but, on the whole, as a means of imparting a sense of urgency and swiftness in the determination of whether a warrant of arrest should be issued. By using the phrase if it appears, the law further conveys that accuracy is not as important as speed at such early stage. The trial court is not expected to make an exhaustive determination to ferret out the true and actual situation, immediately upon the filing of the petition. From the knowledge and the material then available to it, the court is expected merely to get a good first impression -- a prima facie finding -- sufficient to make a speedy initial determination as regards the arrest and detention of the accused. Attached to the Petition for Extradition, with a Certificate of Authentication among others, were the following: (1) Annex H, the Affidavit executed on May 26, 1999 by Mr. Michael E. Savage -- trial attorney in the Campaign Financing Task Force of the Criminal Division of the US Department of Justice; (2) Annexes H to G, evidentiary Appendices of various exhibits that constituted evidence of the crimes charged in the Indictment, with Exhibits 1 to 120 (duly authenticated exhibits that constituted evidence of the crimes charged in the Indictment); (3) Annex BB, the Exhibit I Appendix of Witness [excerpts] Statements Referenced in the Affidavit of Angela Byers and enclosed Statements in two volumes; (4) Annex GG, the Exhibit J Table of Contents for Supplemental Evidentiary Appendix with enclosed Exhibits 121 to 132; and (5) Annex MM, the Exhibit L Appendix of Witness [excerpts] Statements Referenced in the Affidavit of Betty Steward and enclosed Statements in two volumes. It is evident that respondent judge could have already gotten an impression from these records adequate for him to make an initial determination of whether the accused was someone who should immediately be arrested in order to best serve the ends of justice. He could have determined whether such facts and circumstances existed as would lead a reasonably discreet and prudent person to believe that the extradition request was prima facie meritorious. In point of fact, he actually concluded from these supporting documents that probable cause did exist. In the second questioned Order, he stated: In the instant petition, the documents sent by the US Government in support of [its] request for extradition of herein respondent are enough to convince the Court of the existence of probable cause to proceed with the hearing against the extraditee. We stress that the prima facie existence of probable cause for hearing the petition and, a priori, for issuing an arrest warrant was already evident from the Petition itself and its supporting documents. Hence, after having already determined therefrom that a prima facie finding did exist, respondent judge gravely abused his discretion when he set the matter for hearing upon motion of Jimenez. Moreover, the law specifies that the court sets a hearing upon receipt of the answer or upon failure of the accused to answer after receiving the summons. In connection with the matter of immediate arrest, however, the word hearing is notably absent from the provision. Evidently, had the holding of a hearing at that stage been intended, the law could have easily so provided. It also bears emphasizing at this point that extradition proceedings are summary in nature. Hence, the silence of the Law and the Treaty leans to the more reasonable interpretation that there is no intention to punctuate with a hearing every little step in the entire proceedings. It is taken for granted that the contracting parties intend something reasonable and something not inconsistent with generally recognized principles of International Law, nor with previous treaty obligations towards third States. If, therefore, the meaning of a treaty is ambiguous, the reasonable meaning is to be preferred to the unreasonable, the more reasonable to the less reasonable x xx .

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Verily, as argued by petitioner, sending to persons sought to be extradited a notice of the request for their arrest and setting it for hearing at some future date would give them ample opportunity to prepare and execute an escape. Neither the Treaty nor the Law could have intended that consequence, for the very purpose of both would have been defeated by the escape of the accused from the requested state. 2. On the Basis of the Constitution Even Section 2 of Article III of our Constitution, which is invoked by Jimenez, does not require a notice or a hearing before the issuance of a warrant of arrest. It provides: Sec. 2. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable, and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized. To determine probable cause for the issuance of arrest warrants, the Constitution itself requires only the examination -- under oath or affirmation -- of complainants and the witnesses they may produce. There is no requirement to notify and hear the accused before the issuance of warrants of arrest. In Ho v. People and in all the cases cited therein, never was a judge required to go to the extent of conducting a hearing just for the purpose of personally determining probable cause for the issuance of a warrant of arrest. All we required was that the judge must have sufficient supporting documents upon which to make his independent judgment, or at the very least, upon which to verify the findings of the prosecutor as to the existence of probable cause. In Webb v. De Leon, the Court categorically stated that a judge was not supposed to conduct a hearing before issuing a warrant of arrest: Again, we stress that before issuing warrants of arrest, judges merely determine personally the probability, not the certainty of guilt of an accused. In doing so, judges do not conduct a de novo hearing to determine the existence of probable cause. They just personally review the initial determination of the prosecutor finding a probable cause to see if it is supported by substantial evidence. At most, in cases of clear insufficiency of evidence on record, judges merely further examine complainants and their witnesses. In the present case, validating the act of respondent judge and instituting the practice of hearing the accused and his witnesses at this early stage would be discordant with the rationale for the entire system. If the accused were allowed to be heard and necessarily to present evidence during the prima facie determination for the issuance of a warrant of arrest, what would stop him from presenting his entire plethora of defenses at this stage -- if he so desires -- in his effort to negate a prima facie finding? Such a procedure could convert the determination of a prima facie case into a full-blown trial of the entire proceedings and possibly make trial of the main case superfluous. This scenario is also anathema to the summary nature of extraditions. That the case under consideration is an extradition and not a criminal action is not sufficient to justify the adoption of a set of procedures more protective of the accused. If a different procedure were called for at all, a more restrictive one -- not the opposite -- would be justified in view of respondents demonstrated predisposition to flee. Since this is a matter of first impression, we deem it wise to restate the proper procedure: Upon receipt of a petition for extradition and its supporting documents, the judge must study them and make, as soon as possible, a prima facie finding whether (a) they are sufficient in form and substance, (b) they show compliance with the Extradition Treaty and Law, and (c) the person sought is extraditable. At his discretion, the judge may require the submission of further documentation or may personally examine the affiants and witnesses of the petitioner. If, in spite of this study and examination, no prima facie finding is possible, the petition may be dismissed at the discretion of the judge. On the other hand, if the presence of a prima facie case is determined, then the magistrate must immediately issue a warrant for the arrest of the extraditee, who is at the same time summoned to answer the petition and to appear at scheduled summary hearings. Prior to the issuance of the warrant, the judge must not inform or notify the potential extraditee of the pendency of the petition, lest the latter be given the opportunity

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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW REVIEW 2-BILL OF RIGHTS Atty. Vincent Paul Montejo


to escape and frustrate the proceedings. In our opinion, the foregoing procedure will best serve the ends of justice in extradition cases.

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knowledge of any fact which might indicate that the two students were probably guilty of the crime. What they had were the supposed positive identification of two alleged eyewitnesses, which is insufficient to justify the arrest without a warrant by the NBI. Indeed, at the time [the victim] was killed, these [NBI] agents were nowhere near the scene of the crime. When [the NBI agents] attempted to arrest [the students], the latter were not committing a crime nor were they doing anything that would create the suspicion that they were doing anything illegal. On the contrary, [they], under the supervision of the U.P. police, were taking part in a peace talk called to put an end to the violence on the campus. Nor can it be argued that the arresting officers had probable cause to believe accused-appellant to be guilty of the killing of the victim because they found a bloodstained t-shirt, a .38 caliber revolver, and two spent .38 caliber shells in his house. At the time accusedappellant was arrested, he was not doing anything overtly criminal. The alleged discovery of the gun came after his arrest. Moreover, as will presently be explained, the objects allegedly seized from accused-appellant were illegally obtained without a search warrant. Be that as it may, accused-appellant cannot now question the validity of his arrest without a warrant. The records show that he pleaded not guilty to the charge when arraigned on November 11, 1997. It is true that on August 28, 1997, he filed a petition for reinvestigation in which he alleged that he had been illegally detained without the benefit of a warrant of arrest. In its order, dated September 9, 1997, the trial court granted his motion and ordered the City Prosecutor to conduct a preliminary investigation and submit his findings within thirty (30) days thereof. On October 7, 1997, City Prosecutor Agapito S. Lu moved for the resetting of accused-appellants arraignment from October 8, 1997 to the first week of November, 1997 on the ground that the findings on the laboratory and ballistics examinations had not yet been received from the NBI. Accused-appellant did not object to the arraignment. The City Prosecutors request was, therefore, granted and the arraignment was reset to November 11, 1997. Nor did accused-appellant move to quash the information on the ground that his arrest was illegal and, therefore, the trial court had no jurisdiction over his person. Instead, on November 11, 1997, at the scheduled arraignment, accused-appellant, with the assistance of counsel, pleaded not guilty to the charge. On the same day, the trial court issued an order stating that, as a result of accused-appellants arraignment, his motion for preliminary investigation had become moot and academic and, accordingly, set the case for trial. Accused-appellant thus waived the right to object to the legality of his arrest. PEOPLE VS VINALON (2002) ISSUE: Whether or not the warrantless arrest was valid. RULING: Appellants aver that the police conducted the warrantless arrest based upon unconfirmed suspicion. On this score, we have previously held that a warrantless arrest may be made by police officers based on their personal knowledge culled from the victim herself who pointed to the suspect as the assailant at the time of the arrest.33In our view, the arrest of appellants done immediately after the incident was valid for it was made by the arresting officers after the victims of the robbery pointed to appellants as the malefactors. Accordingly, the search and seizure that ensued are valid as incidental to a lawful arrest. However, appellants seek to nullify the seizure of the objects allegedly taken from their possession. They claim they do not constitute admissible evidence as they were not duly receipted nor properly identified at the time they were taken. Cited in this regard is the case of People vs. Gesmundo, which stated that the officer seizing the property under the warrant must give a detailed receipt to the lawful occupant of the premises in whose presence the search and seizure was made. Note, however, that Gesmundo involved a search and seizure made pursuant to a warrant, and not to a situation of seizure incidental to warrantless arrest, as in the present case. Here, arresting officer Amigo testified that indeed he seized the disputed items from appellants but he did not issue a receipt.36 He claimed that the seized items were entered in the logbook of the security guard of the hospital where appellants were arrested. But this claim was unsubstantiated, as the logbook was not presented nor made part of the record of the case. Not only did the credibility of his testimony suffer thereby, but this circumstance also negated the probative force and value of the said items as evidence for the prosecution. (Lala Dulla) PEOPLE vs TOKOHISA KIMURA and AKIRA KIZAKI,

8.

WHEN ARREST MAY WITHOUT A WARRANT

BE

MADE

(a.) STRICT ENFORCEMENT OF RULE


PEOPLE VS CUBCUBIN (2001) ISSUE: Whether the warrantless arrest was valid. RULING: Accused-appellant contends that his arrest, effected on August 26, 1997 without a warrant, was illegal. On this point, Rule 113, 5(b) of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure, as amended, provides: 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 in fact just been committed, and he has personal knowledge of facts indicating that the person to be arrested has committed it; (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 temporarily confined while his case is pending, or has escaped while being transferred from one confinement to another. Under 5(b), two conditions must concur for a warrantless arrest to be valid: first, the offender has just committed an offense and, second, the arresting peace officer or private person has personal knowledge of facts indicating that the person to be arrested has committed it. It has been held that personal knowledge of facts in arrests without a warrant must be based upon probable cause, which means an actual belief or reasonable grounds of suspicion. In this case, the arrest of accused-appellant was effected shortly after the victim was killed. The question, therefore, is whether there was probable cause for PO3 Rosal and SPO1 Malinao, Jr., the arresting officers, to believe that accused-appellant committed the crime. We hold that there was none. The two did not have personal knowledge of facts indicating that accused-appellant had committed the crime. Their knowledge of the circumstances from which they allegedly inferred that accused-appellant was probably guilty was based entirely on what they had been told by others, to wit: by someone who called the PNP station in San Antonio, Cavite City at about 3:30 in the morning of August 26, 1997 and reported that a man had been killed along Julian Felipe Boulevard of the said city; by an alleged witness who saw accused-appellant and the victim coming out of the Sting Cafe; by DanetGarcellano, waitress at the Sting Cafe, who said that the man last seen with the victim was lean, mustachioed, darkcomplexioned and was wearing a white t-shirt and a pair of brown short pants; by a tricycle driver named Armando Plata who told them that the physical description given by Garcellano fitted accusedappellant, alias Jun Dulce and who said he knew where accusedappellant lived and accompanied them to accused-appellants house. Thus, PO3 Rosal and SPO1 Malinao, Jr. merely relied on information given to them by others. In an analogous case, the police was informed that the accused was involved in subversive activities. On the basis of this information, the police arrested the accused and, in the course of the arrest, allegedly recovered an unlicensed firearm and some subversive materials from the latter. This Court held that the arresting officers had no personal knowledge since their information came entirely from an informant. It was pointed out that at the time of his arrest, the accused was not in possession of the firearm nor engaged in subversive activities. His arrest without a warrant could not be justified under 5(b). In another case, the accused, in a case of robbery with rape, were arrested solely on the basis of the identification given by one of the victims. This Court held the arrest to be illegal for lack of personal knowledge of the arresting officers. More recently, in Posadas v. Ombudsman, this Court, in declaring the arrest without warrant of two University of the Philippines students to be illegal, held: There is no question that this case does not fall under paragraphs (a) and (c). The arresting officers in this case did not witness the crime being committed. Neither are the students fugitives from justice nor prisoners who had escaped from confinement. The question is whether paragraph (b) applies because a crime had just been committed and the NBI agents had personal knowledge of facts indicating that [the students] were probably guilty. .... [T]he NBI agents in the case at bar tried to arrest [the students] four days after the commission of the crime. They had no personal

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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW REVIEW 2-BILL OF RIGHTS Atty. Vincent Paul Montejo


2004 Apr 27/2nd DivisionG.R. No. 130805D E C In the morning of June 27, 1994, Maj. Anso, head of Delta Group, Narcotics Command (NARCOM) I, North Metro District Command, Camp Karingal, Quezon City, received information from a confidential informant that a certain Koichi Kishi and Rey Plantilla were engaged in the selling of illegal drugs at the Cash and Carry Supermarket, Makati City. Acting on said information, Maj. Anso organized a team composed of SPO4 Baldovino, Jr., SPO1 Cabato and PO3 Cadoy to conduct surveillance of the area. A buy-bust operation was launched and PO3 Cadoy was designated to act as poseur-buyer and they prepared the buy-bust money consisting of one P500.00 bill and five pieces of P100.00 bill. At around 8:00 in the evening, Koichi and Rey arrived and were met by PO3 Cadoy and the informant. PO3 Cadoy gave the marked money worth P1,000.00 to Rey and Koichi who then handed him the shabu. PO3 Cadoy scratched his head as a pre-arranged signal of the consummation of the sale. While the team was approaching, PO3 Cadoy held Koichi by the hand while Rey scampered away. They learned from Koichi that his friends/suppliers will arrive the same evening to fetch him. Several minutes later, a white Nissan Sentra car driven by appellant Kimura with his co-appellant Kizaki seating at the passenger seat arrived at the parking area. Koichi pointed to them as the ones who will fetch him. Appellants remained inside the car for about ten to fifteen minutes. Then, a certain Boy driving a stainless jeep, without a plate number, arrived and parked the jeep two to three parking spaces away from the Sentra car. Boy approached the Sentra car and after a few minutes, appellants got out of their car. Appellant Kizaki went to the stainless jeep and sat at the passenger seat. Boy and appellant Kimura went to the rear of the Sentra car and opened its trunk. Appellant Kimura got a package wrapped in a newspaper and gave it to Boy who walked back to his jeep. While Maj. Anso and SPO4 Baldovino, Jr. were approaching to check what was inside the wrapped newspaper, appellant Kimura ran but was apprehended while Boy was able to board his jeep and together with appellant Kizaki who was seated at the passenger seat sped off towards South Superhighway. The police operatives then inspected the contents of the trunk and found packages of marijuana. They brought Koichi and appellant Kimura to the headquarters and turned over the seized marijuana to the investigator who made markings thereon. Maj. Anso reported the escape of appellant Kizaki to their investigation section. The seized packages which were contained in 3 sacks were brought to the PNP Crime Laboratory on June 29, 1994. Forensic Chemist Sonia Sahagun-Ludovico testified that the contents of the sacks weighed 40,768 grams and were positive to the test of marijuana. On June 29, 1994, appellant Kizaki while having dinner with his friends at the Nippon Ichi Restaurant located at Mabini, Malate, Manila was arrested by another NARCOM group led by Maj. Jose F. Dayco. Appellants defense is denial and alibi. Appellant Kizaki was arrested on June 29, 1994, two days after the Cash and Carry incident, in the Nippon Ichi Restaurant located at Mabini, Manila. He was having dinner with Lt. Col. Rodolfo Tan, Masami Y. Nishino, Anita Takeyama and Akiyoshi Takeyama. On June 27, 1997, the trial court rendered the herein assailed judgment finding accused Akira Kizaki and Tomohisa Kimura GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt for violation of Section 4 of Republic Act 6425, as amended by Republic Act 7659. ISSUE 1. WON the alleged warrantless arrest of appellant Kizaki was valid. 2. WON the conviction of all the accused were proper. REASON Rule 113, Section 5 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure provides that a peace officer or a private person may, without a warrant, arrest a person only under the following circumstances: (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 (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 is temporarily confined while his case is pending, or has escaped while being transferred from one confinement to another.

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The alleged crime happened on June 27, 1994 and appellant Kizaki was arrested on June 29, 1994 or two days after the subject incident. At the time appellant Kizaki was arrested, he was at a restaurant having dinner with a group of friends, thus, he was not committing or attempting to commit a crime. Neither was he an escaped prisoner whose arrest could be effected even without a warrant. It bears stressing that none of the arresting officers of appellant Kizaki was present on the night of June 27 where appellant Kizaki allegedly sold and transported marijuana and escaped, thus the arresting officers had no personal knowledge of facts or circumstances that appellant Kizaki committed the crime. None of the exceptions enumerated above was present to justify appellant Kizakis warrantless arrest. However, notwithstanding the unjustified warrantless arrest of appellant Kizaki, the records show that he did not raise such question before he pleaded to the offense charged. Neither did he move to quash the information on that ground before the trial court. He thus waived objection to the illegality of his arrest. Moreover, appellant Kizakis application for bail which was denied by the trial court likewise constitutes a waiver of his right to question whatever irregularities and defects which attended his arrest. Nevertheless, we find the other claims of appellants meritorious. In all prosecutions for violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act, the existence of all dangerous drugs is a sine qua non for conviction. The dangerous drug is the very corpus delicti of the crime of violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act. In this case, the prosecution failed to prove the crucial first link in the chain of custody. The prosecution witnesses PO2 Supa, SPO2 Madlon and PO3 Piggangay admitted they did not write their initials on the brick of marijuana immediately after allegedly seizing from accused-appellant outside the grocery store but only did so in their headquarters. The narcotics field test, which initially identified the seized item as marijuana, was likewise not conducted at the scene of the crime, but only at the narcotics office. There is thus reasonable doubt as to whether the item allegedly seized from accusedappellant is the same brick of marijuana marked by the policemen in their headquarters and given by them to the crime laboratory for examination. Moreover, although the three sacks of alleged marijuana were marked as A, B, C, the contents of these three sacks however had no markings when they were kept inside the supply room on June 28 since as Badua intimated, the contents of these three sacks were only marked when he brought the same to the PNP Crime Laboratory on June 29, 1994. The records of the case do not show that the police operatives complied with the procedure in the custody of seized prohibited and regulated drugs as embodied in the Dangerous Drugs Board Regulation No. 3 Series of 1979, i.e., any apprehending team having initial custody and control of said drugs and/or paraphernalia, should immediately after seizure or confiscation, have the same physically inventoried and photographed in the presence of the accused, if there be any, and/or his representative, who shall be required to sign the copies of the inventory and be given a copy thereof. In this case, there was no inventory made in the crime scene despite the fact that Maj. Anso testified that he saw eighteen packages neatly wrapped in a newspaper but the inventory was made already in the headquarters. SPO1 Badua testified that the marijuana confiscated from appellant Kimura was contained in three sacks. Although the defense raised by appellants Kimura and Kizaki were denial and alibi, respectively, which are inherently weak, we have repeatedly declared that the conviction of the accused must rest not on the weakness of the defense but on the strength of the prosecution. In fine, for failure of the prosecution to establish the guilt of both appellants beyond reasonable doubt, they must perforce be exonerated from criminal liability. DIMACUHA vs PEOPLE February 23, 2007/G.R. No. 143705/1st DIVISION The prosecution's evidence tend to show that at around 9:30 a.m. on 10 August 1995, SPO2 Melanio Valeroso, Senior Inspector Ely Pintang, SPO2 Ostan, and Edilberto Ogto were at the office of the Intelligence Unit of the Marikina Police Station, Metro Manila. While there, an informant or confidential informer or asset named Benito Marcelo arrived. He relayed to the policemen about a sale of illegal drugs to be done between 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon of the same day along the corner to J.M. Basa and Kapwa Streets, Calumpang, Marikina, Metro Manila. A team was formed. Then, the team dispatched to the said place.

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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW REVIEW 2-BILL OF RIGHTS Atty. Vincent Paul Montejo


At about 11:00 a.m. of that day, SPO2 Valeroso and SPO2 Vicente Ostan positioned themselves along J.M. Basa Street, while the other members were at Kapwa Street, Calumpang, Marikina. SPO2 Valeroso and SPO2 Ostan were fronting a house which was more or less 5 to 7 meters away from where they were. The house allegedly owned by Rudy Kalawang was where the sale of the illegal drugs was to take place. More or less thirty minutes later, two vehicles parked near the said house. In the car, there were 3 occupants (a female driver, a female companion, and a male companion) while in the jeep there were 2 (a male driver and a male companion). Moments later, the female driver of the car approached the driver of the other vehicle. After a few minutes of transaction, the jeep left. Thereafter, the female driver and her female companion went to the gate of the house while their male companion stayed at the car. At the said gate, Benito Marcelo met the female driver and her female companion. The female driver took out from her shoulder bag one small plastic bag x x x and gave it to Benito Marcelo. Immediately, SPO2 Valeroso and SPO2 Ostan approached the female driver, her female companion and Benito Marcelo. Aside from the small plastic bag that was handed to Benito Marcelo, SPO2 Valeroso also recovered suspected shabu inside the shoulder bag of the female driver "inserted inside the cover of a check booklet. Then, they were brought to the headquarters. The female driver was Ruby Dimacuja; her female companion was Juvy Carpio and their male companion was Michael Mallari. SPO2 Valeroso then marked the two transparent plastic bags recovered from Ruby Dimacuja by affixing his initials, placing the date and writing Ruby Dimacuja's name. A joint affidavit was executed. On 10 August 1995, Forensic Chemist Julita T. De Villa came up with the following findings: Qualitative examination conducted on the above stated specimen gave POSITIVE result to the test for methamphetamine hydrochloride a regulated drugs. RTC found that the evidence for the prosecution convincingly established petitioners guilt beyond reasonable doubt. Upon appeal, the CA, affirmed the decision of the trial court. ISSUE WON the arrest and search conducted on the person and belongings of the petitioner without a warrant was valid. REASON It is settled that in cases involving violations of the Dangerous Drugs Act, credence should be given to the narration of the incident by the prosecution witnesses especially when they are police officers who are presumed to have performed their duties in a regular manner, unless there be evidence to the contrary. Moreover, in the absence of proof of motive to falsely impute such a serious crime against the petitioner, the presumption of regularity in the performance of official duty, as well as the findings of the trial court on the credibility of witnesses, shall prevail over petitioners self-serving and uncorroborated claim of having been framed. Here, we found nothing in the record to justify why we should depart from the above rule as far as the testimonies of prosecution witnesses SPO2 Melanio Valeroso and SPO2 Vicente Ostan are concerned. As correctly noted by the trial court, there is no evidence of any improper motive on the part of the police officers who conducted the entrapment operation in this case. The prosecutions evidence established that an honest-to-goodness entrapment operation which has repeatedly been accepted to be a valid means of arresting violators of the Dangerous Drugs Law was conducted on August 10, 1995 against Dimacuha by the team composed of SPO2 Melanio Valeroso, SPO2 Vicente Ostan, Bello Borgueta, Jose Castelo, Jr. and Felipe Evangelista. After laboratory examination, the white crystalline substance contained in the small plastic sachets was found positive of methamphetamine hydrochloride, commonly known as shabu, a regulated drug. Petitioner now questions the credibility of the prosecution witnesses and their testimonies by giving stress over the non-presentation in court of Benito Marcelo, the professed police asset. She argues that the non-presentation of Marcelo was a denial of her constitutional right to meet and confront her accuser. The right of the petitioner to confront the witnesses against her is not affected by the failure of the prosecution to present the informant. The matter of presentation of witnesses is not for accused nor even for the trial court to decide. Discretion belongs to the prosecutor as to how the State should present its case. The prosecutor has the right to choose whom he would present as witnesses. Moreover, in illegal drugs cases, the presentation of an informant is not essential for

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conviction nor is it indispensable for a successful prosecution because his testimony would be merely corroborative and cumulative. Informants are usually not presented in court because of the need to hide their identity and preserve their invaluable service to the police. It is well-settled that except when the accused vehemently denies selling prohibited drugs and there are material inconsistencies in the testimonies of the arresting officers, or there are reasons to believe that the arresting officers had motives to falsely testify against the accused, or that only the informant was the poseur-buyer who actually witnessed the entire transaction, the testimony of the informant may be dispensed with as it will merely be corroborative of the apprehending officers' eyewitness accounts. The Constitution enshrines in the Bill of Rights the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose. To give full protection to it, the Bill of Rights also ordains the exclusionary principle that any evidence obtained in violation of said right is inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding. Here, the petitioner was caught in flagrante delicto while in the act of delivering 1.15 grams and in actual possession of another 10.78 grams of methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu) as a result of an entrapment operation conducted by the police on the basis of information received from Benito Marcelo regarding petitioner's illegal drug trade. Petitioner's arrest, therefore, was lawful and the subsequent seizure of a bag of shabu inserted inside the cover of her checkbook was justified and legal in light of the prevailing rule that an officer making an arrest may take from the person arrested any property found upon his person in order to find and seize things connected with the crime. The seized regulated drug is, therefore, admissible in evidence, being the fruit of the crime. Petitioner next argues that no entrapment (buy-bust) operation ever took place as no payment was made. This is of no moment. In the crime of distribution of prohibited drugs, the payment of any consideration is immaterial. The mere act of distributing the prohibited drug to others is in itself a punishable offense. In Criminal Case No. 96-112-D-MK, petitioner was charged under Section 15, Article III of RA No. 6425 for IN VIEW WHEREOF, the instant petition is DENIED and the assailed CA decision and resolution are AFFIRMED. PEOPLE vs LAGUIO JR March 16, 2007/G.R. No. 128587 On 16 May 1996, at about 7:00 p.m., police operatives of the Public Assistance and Reaction Against Crime of the Department of Interior and Local Government, namely, Captain Margallo, Police Inspector Cielito Coronel and SPO3 Reynaldo Cristobal, arrested SPO2 Vergel de Dios, Rogelio Anoble and a certain Arellano, for unlawful possession of methamphetamine hydrochloride, a regulated drug popularly known as shabu. In the course of the investigation of the three arrested persons, Redentor Teck, alias Frank, and Joseph Junio were identified as the source of the drug. An entrapment operation was then set after the three were prevailed upon to call their source and pretend to order another supply of shabu. At around 11:00 p.m. that same date, Redentor Teck and Joseph Junio were arrested while they were about to hand over another bag of shabu to SPO2 De Dios and company. Questioned, Redentor Teck and Joseph Junio informed the police operatives that they were working as talent manager and gymnast instructor, respectively, of Glamour Modeling Agency owned by Lawrence Wang. Redentor Teck and Joseph Junio did not disclose their source of shabu but admitted that they were working for Wang. They also disclosed that they knew of a scheduled delivery of shabu early the following morning of 17 May 1996, and that their employer (Wang) could be found at the Maria Orosa Apartment in Malate, Manila. The police operatives decided to look for Wang to shed light on the illegal drug activities of Redentor Teck and Joseph Junio. Police Inspector Cielito Coronel and his men then proceeded to Maria Orosa Apartment and placed the same under surveillance. Prosecution witness Police Inspector Cielito Coronel testified that at about 2:10 a.m. of 17 May 1996, Wang, who was described to the operatives by Teck, came out of the apartment and walked towards a parked BMW car. On nearing the car, he (witness) together with Captain Margallo and two other police officers approached Wang, introduced themselves to him as police officers, asked his name and, upon hearing that he was Lawrence Wang, immediately frisked him and asked him to open the back compartment of the BMW car. When frisked, there was found inside the front right pocket of Wang and confiscated from him an unlicensed AMT Cal. 380 9mm automatic Back-up Pistol loaded with ammunitions. At the same time, the other members of the operatives searched the BMW car

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and found inside it were the following items: (a) 32 transparent plastic bags containing white crystalline substance with a total weight of 29.2941 kilograms, which substance was later analyzed as positive for methamphetamine hydrochloride, a regulated drug locally known as shabu; (b) cash in the amount of P650,000; (c) one electronic and one mechanical scales; and (d) an unlicensed Daewoo 9mm Pistol with magazine. Then and there, Wang resisted the warrantless arrest and search. On 9 January 1997, Wang filed his undated Demurrer to Evidence, praying for his acquittal and the dismissal of the 3 cases against him for lack of a valid arrest and search warrants and the inadmissibility of the prosecutions evidence against him. Considering that the prosecution has not yet filed its Opposition to the demurrer, Wang filed an Amplification to his Demurrer of Evidence on 20 January 1997. On 12 February 1997, the prosecution filed its Opposition alleging that the warrantless search was legal as an incident to the lawful arrest and that it has proven its case, so it is now time for the defense to present its evidence. On 13 March 1997, the respondent judge, the Hon. Perfecto A.S. Laguio, Jr., issued the herein assailed Resolution granting Wangs Demurrer to Evidence and acquitting him of all charges for lack of evidence. ISSUE 1. WON the prosecution may appeal the trial courts resolution granting Wangs demurrer to evidence and acquitting him of all the charges against him without violating the constitutional proscription against double jeopardy; and 2. WON there was lawful arrest, search and seizure by the police operatives in this case despite the absence of a warrant of arrest and/or a search warrant. REASON An order granting an accuseds demurrer to evidence is a resolution of the case on the merits, and it amounts to an acquittal. Generally, any further prosecution of the accused after an acquittal would violate the constitutional proscription on double jeopardy. This constitutes an exception to the rule that the dismissal of a criminal case made with the express consent of the accused or upon his own motion bars a plea of double jeopardy. Under Rule 119, Section 23 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, as amended, the trial court may dismiss the action on the ground of insufficiency of evidence upon a demurrer to evidence filed by the accused with or without leave of court. In resolving accuseds demurrer to evidence, the court is merely required to ascertain whether there is competent or sufficient evidence to sustain the indictment or support a verdict of guilt. The appellate court may review dismissal orders of trial courts granting an accuseds demurrer to evidence. This may be done via the special civil action of certiorari under Rule 65 based on the ground of grave abuse of discretion, amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. Such dismissal order, being considered void judgment, does not result in jeopardy. Unfortunately, what petitioner People of the Philippines filed with the Court in the present case is an appeal by way of a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 raising a pure question of law, which is different from a petition for certiorari under Rule 65. In the dismissal of a criminal case upon demurrer to evidence, appeal is not available as such an appeal will put the accused in double jeopardy. Certiorari, however, is allowed. For being the wrong remedy taken by petitioner People in this case, this petition is outrightly dismissible. The Court cannot reverse the assailed dismissal order of the trial court by appeal without violating private respondents right against double jeopardy. Even assuming that the Court may treat an "appeal" as a special civil action of certiorari, which definitely this Court has the power to do, when there is a clear showing of grave abuse of discretion committed by the lower court, the instant petition will nevertheless fail on the merits as the succeeding discussion will show. There are actually two (2) acts involved in this case, namely, the warrantless arrest and the warrantless search. There is no question that warrantless search may be conducted as an incident to a valid warrantless arrest. The law requires that there be first a lawful arrest before a search can be made; the process cannot be reversed. However, if there are valid reasons to conduct lawful search and seizure which thereafter shows that the accused is currently committing a crime, the accused may be lawfully arrested in flagrante delicto without need for a warrant of arrest.

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Finding that the warrantless arrest preceded the warrantless search in the case at bar, the trial court granted private respondent's demurrer to evidence and acquitted him of all the three charges for lack of evidence, because the unlawful arrest resulted in the inadmissibility of the evidence gathered from an invalid warrantless search. Clearly therefore, the warrantless arrest of the accused and the search of his person and the car were without probable cause and could not be licit. The arrest of the accused did not fall under any of the exception to the requirements of warrantless arrests, (Sec. 5, Rule 113, Rules of Court) and is therefore, unlawful and derogatory of his constitutional right of liberty. x x x) For a warrantless arrest of an accused caught in flagrante delicto under paragraph (a) of Section 5 Rule 113 to be valid, two requisites must concur: (1) the person to be arrested must execute an overt act indicating that he has just committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit a crime; and (2) such overt act is done in the presence or within the view of the arresting officer. The facts and circumstances surrounding the present case did not manifest any suspicious behavior on the part of Lawrence Wang that would reasonably invite the attention of the police. He was merely walking from the Maria Orosa Apartment and was about to enter the parked BMW car when the police operatives arrested him, frisked and searched his person and commanded him to open the compartment of the car, which was later on found to be owned by his friend, David Lee. He was not committing any visible offense then. Therefore, there can be no valid warrantless arrest in flagrante delicto under paragraph (a) of Section 5 Rule 113. It is settled that "reliable information" alone, absent any overt act indicative of a felonious enterprise in the presence and within the view of the arresting officers, is not sufficient to constitute probable cause that would justify an in flagrante delicto arrest. Neither may the warrantless arrest be justified under paragraph (b) of Section 5 Rule 113. What is clearly established from the testimonies of the arresting officers is that Wang was arrested mainly on the information that he was the employer of Redentor Teck and Joseph Junio who were previously arrested and charged for illegal transport of shabu. Teck and Junio did not even categorically identify Wang to be their source of the shabu they were caught with in flagrante delicto. Upon the duos declaration that there will be a delivery of shabu on the early morning of the following day, May 17, which is only a few hours thereafter, and that Wang may be found in Maria Orosa Apartment along Maria Orosa Street, the arresting officers conducted "surveillance" operation in front of said apartment, hoping to find a person which will match the description of one Lawrence Wang, the employer of Teck and Junio. These circumstances do not sufficiently establish the existence of probable cause based on personal knowledge as required in paragraph (b) of Section 5. WHEREFORE, the instant petition is DENIED. BELTRAN vs PEOPLE June 1, 2007/G.R. No. 175013 Following the issuance by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo of Presidential Proclamation No. 1017 on 24 February 2006 declaring a State of National Emergency, police officers arrested Beltran on 25 February 2006, while he was en route to Marilao, Bulacan, and detained him in Camp Crame, Quezon City. Beltran was arrested without a warrant and the arresting officers did not inform Beltran of the crime for which he was arrested. On that evening, Beltran was subjected to an inquest at the Quezon City Hall of Justice for Inciting to Sedition under Article 142 of the Revised Penal Code based on a speech Beltran allegedly gave during a rally in Quezon City on 24 February 2006, on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the EDSA Revolution. The inquest was based on the joint affidavit of Beltrans arresting officers who claimed to have been present at the rally. The inquest prosecutor indicted Beltran and filed the corresponding Information with the Metropolitan Trial Court of Quezon City (MeTC). The authorities brought back Beltran to Camp Crame where, on 27 February 2006, he was subjected to a second inquest, with 1st Lt. Lawrence San Juan, this time for Rebellion. A panel of State prosecutors from the DOJ conducted this second inquest. The inquest was based on two letters, both dated 27 February 2006, of Yolanda Tanigue and of Rodolfo Mendoza. Tanigue is the Acting Executive Officer of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), Philippine National Police (PNP), while Mendoza is the Acting Deputy Director of the CIDG. The letters referred to the DOJ for appropriate action the results of the CIDGs investigation implicating Beltran, the petitioners in G.R. Nos. 172074-76, San

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Juan, and several others as leaders and promoters of an alleged foiled plot to overthrow the Arroyo government. The plot was supposed to be carried out jointly by members of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the Makabayang Kawal ng Pilipinas (MKP), which have formed a tactical alliance. On 27 February 2006, the DOJ panel of prosecutors issued a Resolution finding probable cause to indict Beltran and San Juan as leaders/promoters of Rebellion. The panel then filed an Information with the RTC Makati. The Information alleged that Beltran, San Juan, and other individuals conspiring and confederating with each other, x x x, did then and there willfully, unlawfully, and feloniously form a tactical alliance between the CPP/NPA, renamed as Partidong Komunista ng Pilipinas (PKP) and its armed regular members as Katipunan ng Anak ng Bayan (KAB) with the Makabayang Kawal ng Pilipinas (MKP) and thereby rise publicly and take up arms against the duly constituted government, x x x. The Information was docketed as Criminal Case No. 06-452. ISSUE 1. WON the inquest proceeding against Beltran for Rebellion was valid. 2. WON there is probable cause to indict Beltran for Rebellion. REASON The Inquest Proceeding against Beltran for Rebellion is Void. Inquest proceedings are proper only when the accused has been lawfully arrested without warrant. Section 5, Rule 113 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure provides the instances when such warrantless arrest may be effected, thus: 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; xxx In cases falling under paragraphs (a) and (b) above, the person arrested without a warrant shall be forthwith delivered to the nearest police station or jail and shall be proceeded against in accordance with section 7 of Rule 112. The joint affidavit of Beltrans arresting officers states that the officers arrested Beltran, without a warrant, for Inciting to Sedition, and not for Rebellion. Thus, the inquest prosecutor could only have conducted as he did conduct an inquest for Inciting to Sedition and no other. Consequently, when another group of prosecutors subjected Beltran to a second inquest proceeding for Rebellion, they overstepped their authority rendering the second inquest void. None of Beltrans arresting officers saw Beltran commit, in their presence, the crime of Rebellion. Nor did they have personal knowledge of facts and circumstances that Beltran had just committed Rebellion, sufficient to form probable cause to believe that he had committed Rebellion. What these arresting officers alleged in their affidavit is that they saw and heard Beltran make an allegedly seditious speech on 24 February 2006. Indeed, under DOJ Circular No. 61, dated 21 September 1993, the initial duty of the inquest officer is to determine if the arrest of the detained person was made in accordance with the provisions of paragraphs (a) and (b) of Section 5, Rule 113. If the arrest was not properly effected, the inquest officer should proceed under Section 9 of Circular No. 61 which provides: Where Arrest Not Properly Effected. Should the Inquest Officer find that the arrest was not made in accordance with the Rules, he shall: recommend the release of the person arrested or detained; note down the disposition on the referral document; prepare a brief memorandum indicating the reasons for the action taken; and forward the same, together with the record of the case, to the City or Provincial Prosecutor for appropriate action. Where the recommendation for the release of the detained person is approved by the City or Provincial Prosecutor but the evidence on hand warrant the conduct of a regular preliminary investigation, the

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order of release shall be served on the officer having custody of said detainee and shall direct the said officer to serve upon the detainee the subpoena or notice of preliminary investigation, together with the copies of the charge sheet or complaint, affidavit or sworn statements of the complainant and his witnesses and other supporting evidence. For the failure of Beltrans panel of inquest prosecutors to comply with Section 7, Rule 112 in relation to Section 5, Rule 113 and DOJ Circular No. 61, we declare Beltrans inquest void. Beltran would have been entitled to a preliminary investigation had he not asked the trial court to make a judicial determination of probable cause, which effectively took the place of such proceeding. There is No Probable Cause to Indict Beltran for Rebellion. Probable cause is the existence of such facts and circumstances as would excite the belief in a reasonable mind, acting on the facts within the knowledge of the prosecutor, that the person charged was guilty of the crime for which he was prosecuted. To accord respect to the discretion granted to the prosecutor and for reasons of practicality, this Court, as a rule, does not interfere with the prosecutors determination of probable cause for otherwise, courts would be swamped with petitions to review the prosecutors findings in such investigations. However, in the few exceptional cases where the prosecutor abused his discretion by ignoring a clear insufficiency of evidence to support a finding of probable cause, thus denying the accused his right to substantive and procedural due process, we have not hesitated to intervene and exercise our review power under Rule 65 to overturn the prosecutors findings. This exception holds true here. Rebellion under Article 134 of the Revised Penal Code is committed By rising publicly and taking arms against the Government for the purpose of removing from the allegiance to said Government or its laws, the territory of the Republic of the Philippines or any part thereof, or any body of land, naval, or other armed forces or depriving the Chief Executive or the Legislature, wholly or partially, of any of their powers or prerogatives. The elements of the offense are: That there be a (a) public uprising and (b) taking arms against the Government; and That the purpose of the uprising or movement is either (a) to remove from the allegiance to said Government or its laws: (1) the territory of the Philippines or any part thereof; or (2) any body of land, naval, or other armed forces; or (b) to deprive the Chief Executive or Congress, wholly or partially, of any of their powers and prerogatives. Thus, by its nature, rebellion is a crime of the masses or multitudes involving crowd action done in furtherance of a political end. The evidence before the panel of prosecutors who conducted the inquest of Beltran for Rebellion consisted of the affidavits and other documents attached to the CIDG letters. We have gone over these documents and find merit in Beltrans contention that the same are insufficient to show probable cause to indict him for Rebellion. The bulk of the documents consists of affidavits, some of which were sworn before a notary public, executed by members of the military and some civilians. Except for two affidavits, executed by a certain Ruel Escala, dated 20 Febuary 2006, and Raul Cachuela, dated 23 February 2006, none of the affidavits mentions Beltran. In his affidavit, Escala recounted that in the afternoon of 20 February 2006, he saw Beltran, Ocampo, Casio, Maza, Mariano, Virador, and other individuals on board a vehicle which entered a chicken farm in Bucal, Padre Garcia, Batangas and that after the passengers alighted, they were met by another individual who looked like San Juan. For his part, Cachuela stated that he was a former member of the CPP and that (1) he attended the CPPs 10th Plenum in 1992 where he saw Beltran; (2) he took part in criminal activities; and (3) the arms he and the other CPP members used were purchased partly from contributions by Congressional members, like Beltran, who represent party-list groups affiliated with the CPP. The allegations in these affidavits are far from the proof needed to indict Beltran for taking part in an armed public uprising against the government. What these documents prove, at best, is that Beltran was in Bucal, Padre Garcia, Batangas on 20 February 2006 and that 14 years earlier, he was present during the 1992 CPP Plenum. None of the affidavits stated that Beltran committed specific acts of promoting, maintaining, or heading a rebellion as found in the DOJ Resolution of 27 February 2006. None of the affidavits alleged that Beltran is a leader of a rebellion. Beltrans alleged presence during

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the 1992 CPP Plenum does not automatically make him a leader of a rebellion. In fact, Cachuelas affidavit stated that Beltran attended the 1992 CPP Plenum as Chairman, Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU). Assuming that Beltran is a member of the CPP, which Beltran does not acknowledge, mere membership in the CPP does not constitute rebellion. As for the alleged funding of the CPPs military equipment from Beltrans congressional funds, Cachuelas affidavit merely contained a general conclusion without any specific act showing such funding. Such a general conclusion does not establish probable cause. To repeat, none of the affidavits alleges that Beltran is promoting, maintaining, or heading a Rebellion. The Information in Criminal Case No. 06-452 itself does not make such allegation. Thus, even assuming that the Information validly charges Beltran for taking part in a Rebellion, he is entitled to bail as a matter of right since there is no allegation in the Information that he is a leader or promoter of the Rebellion. However, the Information in fact merely charges Beltran for conspiring and confederating with others in forming a tactical alliance to commit rebellion. As worded, the Information does not charge Beltran with Rebellion but with Conspiracy to Commit Rebellion, a bailable offense. WHEREFORE, we GRANT the petition. In G.R. No. 175013, we SET ASIDE the Order dated 31 May 2006 of the Regional Trial Court, Makati City, Branch 146 and the Order dated 29 August 2006 of the Regional Trial Court, Makati City, Branch 150. PEOPLE vs BOHOL December 10, 2008/G.R. No. 178198/3rd DIVISION The victim, Steven Alston Davis, a 31-year old British national was married to Evelyn Bohol in Hong Kong sometime in March 1997, when the latter was only 17 years old. Together with their two minor children, Steven and the appellant shared a house at No. 1823 Fifth Street, Villasol Subdivision in Angeles City, Pampanga. Steven spent his weekdays in his Makati apartment together with his friend Michael, and stayed with his family in Angeles City during weekends. At around two oclock in the morning, Jennifer (Michaels GF) and Michael was roused from sleep by three men with drawn handguns. These were later positively identified during the trial to be Arnold Adoray, Alexander Dagami, and accused-turned-state-witness Robin Butas. Alexander grabbed Jennifer by the hand and locked her inside Michaels bathroom. After taking Michaels keys, wallet, and cellular phone, the three men proceeded to Stevens room. Upon seeing the then sleeping Steven, Arnold fired four consecutive shots upon the former, hitting the latter at the back. The three men then hurriedly left the house. Thereafter, PNP personnel arrived at the scene of the crime; then an ambulance took Stevens body to the Makati Medical Center where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Michael was able to contact Evelyn through her mobile phone at around six oclock in the morning; the former immediately informed the latter of the killing of her husband. When Michael met Evelyn at ten oclock in the morning, he readily observed that appellant showed no signs of sadness or mourning despite the violent death of her husband. Subsequently, Arnold and Alexander were charged with murder on August 16, 2002. Trial thereafter ensued. The information was later amended charging the appellant, together with Robin, with the crime of murder, in conspiracy with Arnold and Alexander. Considering that at the time the appellant was arrested, the trial of the case, in which Arnold and Alexander were eventually convicted, was almost complete, a separate trial for the appellant was held. Upon arraignment, the appellant pleaded Not guilty. To ensure impartiality, the presiding judge inhibited himself, and the case of the appellant was re-raffled to Branch 141. Robin contended that the appellant was responsible for inducing/persuading him, Arnold, and Alexander to perpetrate the killing of Steven. He further stated that the appellant and Arnold (as in fact admitted to him by the appellant) were having a love affair, as he would oftentimes see them caress and kiss each other in the living room of their house in Angeles City. Robin also testified that, at about eleven oclock in the evening of July 17, 2002, appellant roused him from sleep and required him to join them. Robin then rode a white car together with Arnold, Alexander and the appellant, who acted as the guide in proceeding towards Stevens apartment. Upon reaching Stevens place, appellant gave Arnold the keys of the house, and forthwith ordered the group to alight from the car. Upon gaining entry, the three performed all the acts of execution. Riding the same car, Arnold, Alexander, Robin and Evelyn returned to Angeles City.

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On November 25, 2004, the RTC rendered a Decision finding the appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt of murder, qualified by treachery, and sentenced her to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua. The court also made her liable to pay civil indemnity in the amount of P50,000.00. This decision was affirmed by the CA in its Decision dated December 28, 2006, with an added award of P50,000.00 representing moral damages due the heirs of Steven. ISSUE WON Evelyns conviction was proper. REASON We find no cogent reason to reverse the decision of the RTC, as affirmed by the CA. Nevertheless, we deem it proper to discuss the issues raised by the appellant. First, whether Robins testimony is credible. As enunciated in People v. Bocalan, the simple fact that Robin was originally charged with the appellant as a co-conspirator but was later discharged as a state witness and was no longer prosecuted for the crime charged does not render his testimony incredible or lessen its probative weight. While his testimony should be taken with caution, there is no reason why it cannot be given credence, it appearing that the same was corroborated by the testimony of his wife who happens to be appellants sister. Besides, appellant offered no evidence to show that Robin was actuated by an ill or devious motive to testify against her. Second, whether appellant was correctly convicted of murder. Treachery attended the killing of the victim. The killing occurred at around two oclock in the morning, an hour when generally people are asleep. The witnesses are also one in saying that upon entering Stevens room, the assailants immediately shot the former and caused the latters death. Both the testimonial and the physical sets of evidence also show that Steven was shot from behind. Evidently, the victim was caught unaware, totally defenseless against the armed invaders. While it is true that appellant did not directly participate in shooting Steven, nevertheless, evidence clearly shows that she was part of the conspiracy to commit the crime. Although admittedly, appellant was the wife of the victim, she could not be convicted of parricide. Records show that appellants relationship with the victim was not alleged in the information. Hence, she can be convicted only of murder. PEOPLE vs ALUNDAY September 3, 2008/G.R. No. 181546/3rd DIVISION Sometime in May 2000, the Intelligence Section of the Police Provincial Office of Mountain Province received a report from a confidential informant of an existing marijuana plantation within the vicinity of Mount Churyon, Sadanga, Mountain Province. Acting on the confidential information, Chief of the Intelligence Section of Mountain Province, Police Senior Inspector Andrew Cayad reported the matter to the Provincial Director, who immediately directed Cayad to lead a 70-men police contingent to make an operation plan. A joint operation from the whole Mountain Province Police Force was formed. The police operation was termed Operation Banana. On 2 August 2000, a contingent composed of policemen proceeded to Mount Churyon. Edward Sacgaca of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) was invited to videotape the operation. They proceeded to Mount Churyon where they arrived at around 6 oclock in the morning of 3 August 2000. A group of policemen was dispatched to scout the area ahead of the others, while the rest stayed behind as back-up security. At a distance of 30 meters, Saipen, together with the members of his group, saw Ricardo Alunday, cutting and gathering marijuana plants. SPO1 Saipen and others approached Alunday and introduced themselves as members of the PNP. SPO1 Saipen, together with the other policemen, brought said accused-appellant to a nearby hut. Inside the hut, the operatives saw an old woman, an M16 rifle and some dried marijuana leaves. The other members of the raiding team uprooted and thereafter burned the marijuana plants, while the team from the Provincial Headquarters got some samples of the marijuana plants and brought the same to their headquarters. Emilia Gracia Montes, Forensic Analyst, PNP Crime Laboratory, Camp MBAdo Dangwa, La Trinidad, Benguet, received 17 pieces of fully grown suspected marijuana plants for laboratory examination and

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analyses. She tested the subject specimens and found all to be positive for marijuana. After trial, the court a quo found accused-appellant guilty in Crim. Case No. 1528 but was acquitted in Crim. Case No. 1529. On 9 October 2007, CA affirmed the findings and conclusion of the RTC. ISSUE WON the conviction of accused was proper. REASON Indeed, in the case at bench, the prosecution was able to establish the following with conviction: (1) On 3 August 2000, a police continent raided a marijuana plantation located in Mount Churyon, Sadanga, Mountain Province. (2) In the course thereof, appellant was seen cutting and gathering marijuana plants from the premises. (3) There were no other plants except marijuana which were growing in the said area. (4) There was a hut apparently used by appellant and an old woman as a camp or temporary dwelling which existed alone within the area of the subject plantation. (5) The samples taken from the said plantation were all found to be positive for marijuana. On the face of these positive testimonies of the prosecution witnesses, appellants bare denials must necessarily fail. Aside from appellants preposterous claim that he was looking for squash in the subject area where only marijuana plants were planted, he did not advance any explanation for his presence thereat. Besides, prosecution witness Saipen categorically stated that he caught appellant red-handed harvesting marijuana plants. Thus, We find it facetious that appellant did not even know what a marijuana plant looked like. Appellant asserts that the plantation in question was maintained by the Cordillera Peoples Liberation Army which witness Cayad confirmed likewise. Thus, appellant theorizes that he could not have been the perpetrator of the crime charged. We find appellants assertion specious. A perusal of Section 9, Art. II of R.A. No. 6425 shows that a violation exists when a person shall cultivate, plant or culture on any medium Indian hemp, opium poppy (papaver somniferum) or any other plant which may hereafter be classified as dangerous drug. Indeed, ownership of the land where the marijuana seedlings are planted, cultivated and cultured is not a requisite of the offense. Accused-appellant further assails his conviction for being improper and illegal asserting that the court a quo never acquired jurisdiction over his person because he was arrested without a warrant and that his warrantless arrest was not done under any of the circumstances enumerated in Section 5, Rule 113 of the 1985 Rules of Court. He insists that the arresting officers had three months within which to secure a warrant from the time they received the information about an existing marijuana plantation in Mount Churyon, Sadanga, in May 2000, until they effected accused-appellants arrest on 3 August 2000. Also, accused maintains that the arresting officers failure to secure a warrant can never be justified by the urgency of the situation. Accused-appellants claim of irregularity in his arrest is, at the most, limp. Section 5(a) provides that a peace officer or a private person may, without a warrant, arrest a person when, in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit, an offense. Section 5(a) refers to arrest in flagrante delicto. In flagrante delicto means caught in the act of committing a crime. This rule, which warrants the arrest of a person without warrant, requires that the person arrested has just committed a crime, or is committing it, or is about to commit an offense, in the presence or within view of the arresting officer. The Court has consistently ruled that any objection involving a warrant of arrest or the procedure for the acquisition by the court of jurisdiction over the person of the accused must be made before he enters his plea; otherwise, the objection is deemed waived. We have also ruled that an accused may be estopped from assailing the illegality of his arrest if he fails to move for the quashing of the information against him before his arraignment. And since the legality of an arrest affects

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only the jurisdiction of the court over the person of the accused, any defect in the arrest of the accused may be deemed cured when he voluntarily submits to the jurisdiction of the trial court. We have also held in a number of cases that the illegal arrest of an accused is not a sufficient cause for setting aside a valid judgment rendered upon a sufficient complaint after a trial free from error; such arrest does not negate the validity of the conviction of the accused. Herein, accused-appellant went into arraignment and entered a plea of not guilty. Thereafter, he actively participated in his trial. He raised the additional issue of irregularity of his arrest only during his appeal to this Court. He is, therefore, deemed to have waived such alleged defect by submitting himself to the jurisdiction of the court by his counsel-assisted plea during his arraignment; by his actively participating in the trial and by not raising the objection before his arraignment. Jurisprudence instructs us that in cases involving illegal drugs, credence is given to prosecution witnesses who are police officers, for they are presumed to have performed their duties in a regular manner, unless there is evidence to the contrary. Where there is nothing to indicate that the witnesses for the prosecution were moved by improper motives, the presumption is that they were not so moved and their testimony, therefore, is entitled to full faith and credit. In this case, the records are bereft of any indication which even remotely suggests ill motive on the part of the police officers.

(b) EXCEPTIONS TO STRICT ENCORCEMENT (1) ILLEGAL POSSESSION OF GUNS OR DRUGS


PEOPLE vs. CARLITO LINSANGAN y DIAZ 1991 Apr 16/1st Division/G.R. No. 88589D E C In early November, 1987, police operatives of the Drug Enforcement Unit, Police Station No. 3 of the Western Police District were informed that there was rampant drug using and pushing on Dinalupihan Street, Tondo, Manila. In light of these reports, Police Lieutenant Manuel Caeg and the other members of the unit organized a "buy-bust" operation on November 13, 1987 at Dinalupihan St., Tondo, Manila, to effect the arrest of the notorious drug pusher. Patrolman Roberto Ruiz, doing surveillance and arrest operations, was designated as the team leader, Pfc. Eleazar Lahom, Patrolmen Tomasito Corpuz and Jesus Saulog were designated as team members. On November 13, 1987 at 10 o'clock in the morning, before the group left the office for the area of operation, two (2) ten-peso bills were given to Pat. Corpuz who had marked them with his initials "T.C." He gave one of the marked bills to the informer. Then, they proceeded to Dinalupihan, using an owner-type jeep driver by Pat. Lahom. They were all in civilian clothes. The informer raised his hand as a signal to the appellant, who rose and walked toward them. They walked toward a wooden house with a wooden fence and a store on the left side. The informer told the appellant: "Kukuha ako." "Magkano?" The informer told the accused that he would buy P10 worth of marijuana while his "compadre" (referring to Patrolman Tomasito Corpuz), would also get P10 worth. P20 would fetch 10 cigarette sticks of handrolled marijuana at P2.00 per stick. The accused took the P20 from Pat. Corpuz and tucked it in his front waist. The accused went inside the wooden house and emerged shortly and handed over to Pat. Corpuz 10 cigarette sticks of handrolled marijuana. Pat. Corpuz took them with his right hand and at the same time he grabbed the accused with his other hand, saying: "Pulis ito, h'wag kang pumalag!" Pat. Ruiz saw the signal and rushed over to them. The accused tried to resist but was overpowered. The informer took to his heels. Pat. Ruiz frisked Linsangan and retrieved the marked ten-peso bills tucked in his waist. He asked the appellant to sign his name on the two P10 bills. They boarded the jeep and returned to the police station. Pat. Ruiz prepared a letter-request to the NBI for the laboratory examination of the ten suspected marijuana sticks. The appellant also put his initials "C.L." on each stick. The 10 handrolled cigarette sticks were referred to the NBI's forensic chemist, Carina Javier, for examination. She found them positive for marijuana. As soon as Pat. Ruiz received the NBI report on the examination, he booked the appellant for violation of the Dangerous Drugs Law and filed the case with the fiscal's office. RTC found accused guilty of the charge of drug pushing. ISSUE WON conviction was proper.

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REASON The appeal has no merit. The court's assessment of the credibility of the prosecution's witnesses is entitled to great respect unless and until they are clearly shown to be arbitrary, which the defense failed to do. Although some inconsistencies were noted by the appellant in the affidavit of arrest prepared by Pat. Corpuz, they involve minor details which do not affect the over-all picture of the case. The alleged motive of the policemen for fabricating the charge against him and planning marked money on his person is not credible. The Court is unable to imagine that a lowly tricycle driver would have the temerity to defy a pair of armed policemen by refusing to give them a ride in his tricycle to pursue a law violator. The appellant was not denied due process during the custodial investigation. Although he was not assisted by counsel when he initialed the P10bills that the police found tucked in his waist, his right against selfincrimination was not violated for his possession of the marked bills did not constitute a crime; the subject of the prosecution was his act of selling marijuana cigarettes. His conviction was not based on the presence of his initials on the P10 bills, but on the fact that the trial court believed the testimony of the policemen that they arrested him while he was actually engaged in selling marijuana cigarettes to a member of the arresting party. PEOPLE vs. CRUZ 1988 August 30/2nd Division/G.R. No. 76728D E C On May 9, 1986, Lt. Noel Manabat, along with the elements of CRIG stationed at Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig, Metro Manila acting on an intelligence information that about noon of that day a stolen car, coming from Quezon City, was to be sold somewhere in Magallanes, Makati, nabbed Romeo Fernandez and Joey Flores at the intersection of EDSA and Timog Street and brought them to headquarters. After some questioning, these 2 carnap suspects led the 8 man-CRlG team to 61 Mabituan Street, Masambong, Quezon City where they alleged the other members of the carnap gang were waiting for their shares of the proceeds from the sale of a carnapped vehicle. At said address, a sister of appellant, who owned the apartment, opened the door to the CRIG team. Inside the apartment, the team found appellant, sleeping on the floor, and gangmates Herminio Rivera and Lolito Timcang. The team recognized appellant because he was pointed to by Romeo Fernandez and Joey Flores. These two also informed the team that appellant was armed and, sure enough, the team found a clutch bag containing a caliber .38 paltik revolver, 1 live ammunition and a hand grenade under a bar, located 1 meter away from the slumbering appellant. After waking him up, Sgt. Reynaldo Cachuela confronted him at once with these exhibits. Appellant, in the presence of all the eight-man CRIG team and gangmates admitted ownership of the bag, firearm, bullet and grenade. The team arrested appellant and the rest of his group, as well as confiscated the items of the crime. On June 25, 1986, Lilian Lauron of the Legal Research Branch of the Firearms and Explosives Unit, Camp Crame, Quezon City, in answer to a police inquiry, determined that appellant Reynaldo Cruz y Santos was not a licensed holder of caliber .38 paltik revolver. As to hand grenades, she declared that only military personnel were authorized to carry them. The accused, upon the other hand, denied ownership or possession of the firearm and hand grenade, as well as the bag which contained the same. According to the accused, the bag and its contents belonged to Joey Flores and was "planted" by PC operatives. RTC convicted the accused of the crime he was charged which was Illegal Possession of Firearm and Ammunition. ISSUE WON the conviction was proper. REASON The unlicensed firearm and explosive were found when they arrested the accused and his companions for "carnapping' and not for illegal possession of firearm and ammunition. In Magoncia vs. Palacio, the Court ruled that an unlicensed firearm may be seized without the necessity of obtaining a search warrant. ". . . The illegality of the search is independent from the illegal possession of prohibited arms. The illegality of the search did not make legal an illegal possession of firearms. When in pursuing an illegal action or in the commission of a criminal offense, the offending police officers should happen to discover a criminal

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offense being committed by any person, they are not precluded from performing their duties as police officers for the apprehension of the guilty person and the taking of the corpus delicti." Finally, the accused, citing the case of Morales vs. Ponce Enrile, claims that the extrajudicial confession obtained from him during custodial investigation, is inadmissible in evidence against him for having been obtained in violation of his constitutional rights. We agree. It would appear that the police officers failed to comply with the strictures laid down by the Court in the cited case of Morales vs. Ponce Enrile, for police officers to follow in a custodial investigation in that, while Police Sgt. Jesus Ordinario testified that he had informed the accused of his constitutional rights to remain silent and to be represented by counsel and that the accused waived such rights, the waiver of constitutional rights was not made with the assistance or even in the presence of counsel. However, the conviction of the appellant is not based upon his extrajudicial confession alone. The evidence presented by the prosecution, even without said extrajudicial confession, is abundant, to support a finding of guilt. WHEREFORE, the judgment appealed from is AFFIRMED, with costs against the accused-appellant. (LOU ESTRELLADO) PP vs. SALVADOR PEAFLORIDA, JR., Y CLIDORO, G.R. No. 175604 April 10, 2008 FACTS: SPO3 Vicente Competente narrated that in his capacity as chief of the Investigation and Operation Division of the PNP station in Tigaon, Camarines Sur, that he received a tip from an asset that a bundle of marijuana was being transported by appellant to Huyonhuyon from another barangay in Tigaon, Camarines Sur. Major Domingo Agravante, chief of police of Tigaon, then organized a team composed of Competente as team leader, SPO2 Callo, SPO1 Portugal, PO3 Pillos and PO2 Edgar Latam. The team boarded the police mobile car and proceeded to Sitio Nasulan in Barangay Huyon-huyon. They overtook appellant who was on a bicycle. The police officers flagged appellant down and found marijuana wrapped in a cellophane and newspaper together with other grocery items. The amount of P1550.00 was also found in appellant's possession. The police officers confiscated these items and took photographs thereof. Appellant was then brought to the headquarters where he was booked. Major Lorlie Arroyo), a foresic chemist at the PNP Crime Laboratory Regional Office No. V, was presented as an expert witness to identify the subject marijuana leaves. She related that after taking a representative sample from the 928-gram confiscated dried leaves, the same was tested positive of marijuana. Appellant denied the accusations against him. That on his way home, they met Boyet Obias (Obias) who requested appellant to bring a package wrapped in a newspaper to Jimmy Gonzales, he placed it in the basket in front of his bicycle and Gonzales proceeded to the Tiagon town proper. On his way home, he was flagged down by the police and was invited to go with them to the headquarters. TC ruled that there was violation of Section 4, Article II of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 6425, otherwise known as The Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972, Hence, the instant case is now before this Court on automatic review. In assailing his conviction, appellant submits that there is doubt that he had freely and consciously possessed marijuana. one of the issues raised is that, upon receipt of the information from the asset, the police officers should have first investigated and tried to obtain a warrant of arrest against appellant, instead of arbitrarily arresting him. ISSUE: W/N the contention of the appellant is tenable? RULING: NO. Appellant resorts to a challenge on the validity of his arrest predicated on lack of a warrant of arrest. The OSG correctly justifies the failure to apply for an arrest warrant because at that point, time was of the essence in appellant's apprehension, noting in the same breath that there is no law requiring investigation and surveillance upon receipt of tips from assets before conducting police operations. The police was tipped off at around 1:00 p.m. that appellant was transporting marijuana to Huyon-huyon. Certainly, they had no time to secure an arrest warrant as appellant was already in transit and

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already committing a crime. The arrest was effected after appellant was caught in flagrante delicto. He was seen riding his bicycle and carrying with him the contraband, hence, demonstrating that a crime was then already being committed. Under the circumstances, the police had probable cause to believe that appellant was committing a crime. Thus, the warrantless arrest is justified. Add-ons Article II, Section 4 of R.A. No. 6425, as amended by R.A. No. 7659, states: SEC. 4. Sale, Administration, Delivery, Distribution and Transportation of Prohibited Drugs. The penalty of reclusion perpetua to death and a fine ranging from five hundred thousand pesos to ten million pesos shall be imposed upon any person who, unless authorized by law, shall sell, administer, deliver, give away to another, distribute, dispatch in transit or transport any prohibited drug, or shall act as broker in any of such transactions. x x x. Jurisprudence defines "transport" as "to carry or convey from one place to another." In the instant case, appellant was riding his bicycle when he was caught by the police. He admitted that he was about to convey the package, which contained marijuana, to a certain Jimmy Gonzales. Appellant, denies any knowledge that the package in his possession contained marijuana. But TC rejected his contention, noting that it was impossible for appellant not to be aware of the contents of the package because "marijuana has a distinct sweet and unmistakable aroma which would have alarmed him." Taking one step further, the appellate court went on to declare that being mala prohibita, one commits the crime under R.A. No. 6425 by mere possession of a prohibited drug without legal authority. Intent, motive or knowledge thereof is not necessary. Finally, the lower courts correctly sentenced appellant to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua and to pay a fine of one million pesos by virtue of the amendment to Section 4, R.A. No. 6425 by R.A. No. 7659. TCs decision is affirmed.

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ISSUE: W/N there was waiver of illegal arrest? RULING YES. Accused-appellant. corroborated by defense witness Melchor Mabini, contends that his arrest was an alleged warrantless one. However, such irregularity was only raised during trial. In regard to this delay, this Court has consistently ruled that any objection involving a warrant of arrest or procedure in the acquisition by the court of jurisdiction over the person of an accused must be made before he enters his plea, otherwise the objection is deemed waived. Verily, the illegal arrest of an accused is not sufficient cause for setting aside a valid judgment rendered upon a sufficient complaint after trial free from error; such arrest does not negate the validity of the conviction of the accused (People vs. Manzano, 248 SCRA 239 [1995]). And it is much too late in the day to complain about the warrantless arrest after a valid information had been filed and the accused arraigned and trial commenced and completed and a judgment of conviction rendered against him (People vs. Llenaresas, 248 SCRA 629 [1995]). As regards the evidentiary weight of accused-appellant's sworn statement wherein he confessed to the crime charged, and his verbal confession made before robbery victim, Marites Nas Atienza, we rule against the validity of the written confession in the absence of a counsel but uphold the admissibility of the verbal confession. In People vs. Deniega, 251 SCRA 626 [1995], we laid down the four fundamental requirements needed for admissibility of a confession, to wit: (1) the confession must be voluntary; (2) the confession must be made with the assistance of competent and independent counsel: (3) the confession must be express: and (4) the confession must be in writing. SC affirmed lower courts decision. PP vs. RUBEN TIDULA et al. Jul 16, 1998/G.R. No. 123273 FACTS: On August 31, 1992, in Oton, Iloilo, Tidula et al. confederating and helping one another, taking advantage of their superior strength and nighttime to better realize their purpose, by means of force and violence upon person, entered the residence of Mark Michael Lazaro Zulueta, and once inside, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously ransack, take, steal and carry away with intent to gain one (1) Sony cassette tape recorder worth P3,000.00, two (2) jackets worth P4,000.00, one (1 ) Citizen's men's wrist watch worth P1,500.00 and undetermined cash of coins, all owned and belonging to Mark Michael Lazaro Zulueta in the total amount of eight thousand five hundred (P8,500.00) pesos, and on the occasion or by reason of said robbery, Tidula et al., armed with bladed weapons, with a decided purpose to kill, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously stab and twist the head of Mark Michael Lazaro Zulueta with the weapons which they were then provided, thereby hitting him and inflicting injuries which caused his death. At about 6:45 in the evening of August 31, 1992 when the spouses returned to their house from their grocery store at the public market, they found Mark Michael Lazaro Zulueta, inside the comfort room lying on his stomach, both hands tied behind his back, his mouth stuffed with handkerchief, bloody from several stab wounds, dead. On September 7, 1992, during the police investigation, Pablo Genosa confessed to the police authorities all he knew about the subject incident. This is his story. On August 21, 1992 at about 11:00 o'clock in the morning, co-accused Ruben Tidula, Domingo Gato and Victorio Tidula went to his house. The three invited him to join in a transaction to kill Mark Michael Lazaro Zulueta and his mother Marilyn Manubag at the instance of the accused Salvacion Gato. The three informed him that Salvacion Gato would pay P2,000.00 for the accomplishment of the purpose. Pablo Genosa complained telling the three that the amount [was] too meager for the work to be done but he was informed that they would also stage a hold-up from which he could get more. Pablo Genosa agreed to join the four male accused. They decided to carry out the plan on August 24, 1992 between 7:30 [and] 8:30 in the evening after the market day of Oton, anticipating that Marilyn Manubag would bring home plenty of money as proceeds of her sale on that day. The defense contends that "the accusations against the accused were purely framed up and that the sworn statement of . . . Pablo

(c) WAIVER OF ILLEGALITY OF ARREST


PP vs. PANFILO CABILES Jan 16, 1998/ G.R. No. 112035 FACTS: Marites Atienza, is a housewife whose husband was abroad. On the eve of November 5, 1989, she was asleep with her 1-year old daughter, inside her room at her house. While, Luzviminda Aquino, Marites' housemaid, was sleeping on a sofa, 3 to 4 steps away. At around 1:15 o'clock on the morning of November 5, 1989, Cabiles suddenly barged into the house destroying the kitchen door, thus enabling him to reach the lock inside. Cabiles suddenly poked a 6-inch kitchen knife on the right side of Marites' neck. He then placed masking tape on her mouth and ordered her to bring out her money and jewelry, which she did. Luzviminda was awakened by the crying of the baby. When she was about to shout, the man poked the knife on her left side, causing her an injury. The man then went to the store and ransacked the same in search for more valuables.Cabiles likewise succeeded in raping Luzviminda. Later, the police officers and Maritess brother, went to a sash factory warehouse at the Marivic Compound, Kalookan City. They saw accused-appellant Cabiles sleeping on a bench and was wearing a bracelet which the former recognized as the bracelet taken from Marites. Also recovered from him is a wristwatch with the brand name "Chanel" which was the one taken from Marites. Marites saw accused-appellant at the Kalookan City Police Station. The latter admitted his guilt As regards his sworn statement containing a confession to the commission of the crime, he said he was forced by the policemen at the station to execute the same. He did not read it and was just forced to sign it. He was not assisted by counsel during that time. Accused-appellant. corroborated by defense witness Melchor Mabini, contends that his arrest was an alleged warrantless one. The trial court found no merit in Cabiles defense, and convicted the latter for the crime of robbery with rape. CA affirmed.

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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW REVIEW 2-BILL OF RIGHTS Atty. Vincent Paul Montejo


Genosa was a fabrication." Interposing alibi, the defense presented fourteen (14) witnesses Relying on the testimony of Pablo Genosa, the accused who was discharged as a state witness, the trial court ruled in favor of the prosecution. Hence, this appeal direct to this Court. One of the issues raised by the defense is that the court erred in not ruling against the issuance of warrants of arrest in violation of the constitutional rights of the accused. ISSUE W/N the contention of the defense is tenable? RULING NO. The appeal is bereft of merit. Appellants assail the legality of their arrest, emphasizing that Pablo Genosa, Victorio Tidula and Jose Prior were all arrested without warrants. Also, the warrant for the arrest of Ruben Tidula and Domingo Gato was dated September 12, 1992, which was four days later than the date on which it was served, September 8, 1992. Appellants likewise claim that the warrant for the arrest of Salvacion Gato, which was dated September 5, 1992, was supposedly based on the Sworn Statement of Pablo Genosa which was, however, dated two days later, September 7, 1992. It must be noted, though, that while the photocopy of the warrant for the arrest of Salvacion Gato (submitted by accused-appellants) is dated September 5, 1992, a careful examination of the records shows that the original copy of the said warrant is dated September 8, 1992. It is a basic rule of evidence that the original copy prevails over a mere photocopy. And assuming that the aforementioned warrants were indeed defective or void, appellants failed to make a timely objection thereto, that is, prior to the entry of their plea. In People v. Salvatierra, the Court ruled: "Appellant is estopped from questioning the legality of his arrest considering that he never raised this before entering his plea. Any objection involving a warrant of arrest or the acquisition of jurisdiction over the person of an accused must be made before he enters his plea; otherwise the objection is deemed waived." Consequently, the defects in the arrest warrants and in the resulting arrests were cured by appellants' voluntary submission to the jurisdiction of the trial court, as manifested by the individual pleas they entered during their arraignment and by their active participation in the trial thereafter, without any mention of such defects. In the present case, we sustain the finding of the trial court that appellants are guilty of the special complex crime of robbery with homicide. The prosecution has sufficiently proven that appellants, with intent to gain, asported one Sony cassette tape recorder worth P3,000, two jackets worth P4,000 and one Citizen wristwatch worth P1,500, and that the said items belonged to the household of Marilyn Manubag. It is also evident that homicide was committed on the same occasion. TCs decision is AFFIRMED, but the award of moral damages is DELETED. PP vs. NOEL NAVARRO Oct 7, 1998/G.R. No. 129566 FACTS: On January 5, 1991, around 9:00pm, Jose Rabago went to Enoc Theater located at Poblacion, Alaminos, Pangasinan to view some stationary pictures exhibited outside the theater. When he was about to go home on board his motorcycle, he was invited by Ferdinand Rabadon, who was drinking beer inside Adela's Restaurant, to join him. Rabago obliged. Rabadon invited Rabago to Five Doors Disco but the latter opted to go home Rabadon, who was still on the motorcycle holding its handle bars, offered to drive Rabago home. When Rabago was about to mount the motorcycle, he was pushed by one Ming Basila, causing him to fall on his buttocks, after which Basila shot Rabadon twice at the back. While Rabadon was already lying down with his leg pinned by the motorcycle, appellant shot him three (3) times. "Rabago ran away, and saw Virgilio Rabadon, a policeman, to whom he reported Rabadon's killing. On January 6, 1991, Rabago was

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investigated by policeman Rolando Rabadon but he said that he did not see anything. During the hearing of the case, Rabago explained that he did not divulge the identities of the assailants for fear of his life. He claimed that some policemen in Alaminos, Pangasinan [were] members of the Aguila Gang which killed people. The gang [was] allegedly led by one Ramon Navarro, appellant's brother. NBI interrogated Rabago on January 3, 1994, at which time, Rabago named Navarro and Ming Basila as the authors of Rabadon's killing. Three (3) years later, on January 5, 1994, at 8:00pm, a composite team of the National Bureau of Investigation led by Atty. Teofilo Gallang served a search warrant and warrant of arrest to one Ramon Navarro, brother of accused-appellant in his residence and failing to find Ramon Navarro, the composite team of the NBI went to the house where accused-appellant was staying where they saw him (Noel Navarro). Accused-appellant Navarro was searched, but [nothing was found] in his body. Accused-appellant was arrested right then and there without any warrant of arrest shown to him by the NBI. In fact, it was admitted that the NBI composite team at the time [had] no warrant of arrest against accused-appellant. TC found the appellant guilty of murder, based on Jose Rabago's testimony as a prosecution witness, which it found to be positive, credible and sufficient to support a judgment of conviction. To resolve the appeal fully, one of the issues raised by Navarro is on the defenses of denial and illegality of arrest, and thus he was denied of due process.. ISSUE W/n the contention of Navarro is correct? RULING NO. The appeal is devoid of merit. While the appellant denied that he killed Ferdinand Rabadon, he did not offer any evidence to prove his assertion; instead, his testimony focused on the circumstances surrounding his alleged illegal arrest and subsequent detention. Contrary to the appellant's assertion that he was denied due process by virtue of his alleged illegal arrest, such claim is negated by his voluntary submission to the jurisdiction of the trial court, as manifested by the voluntary and counsel-assisted plea he entered during arraignment and by his active participation in the trial thereafter. [People v Tidula, GR No. 123273, July 16, 1998; People v Montilla, GR No. 123872, January 30, 1998; People v Rivera, 245 SRCA 421, June 29, 1995; People v Codilla, 224 SRCA 104 June 30, 1993.] Faced with the detailed, clear and consistent testimony of Jose Rabago, against whom no ill motive was imputed, Appellant Navarro, whom the former pointed to as one of the killers of Ferdinand Rabadon, cannot escape conviction merely by issuing an unsubstantiated denial and resorting to constitutional guarantees which he has already voluntarily waived. The appeal is denied and TCs decision is affirmed.

(d) EFFECTS ARREST

OF

DECLARTION

OF

ILLEGAL

PP vs. RODOLFO BIYOC y WENCESLAO G.R. No. 167670 December 7, 2007 FACTS: At 4PM of December 5, 2000, private complainant AAA (as used in the full text of the decision) was in a room on the second floor of the family house taking care of her one-year-old sister. Her father, herein appellant, entered the room and touched her genitals, after which he told her to lie down on the floor. Overcome by fear, AAA did lie down on the floor as told. Appellant at once pulled her short pants down and touched her genitals again, after which he went on top of her and tried to insert his penis into her vagina. Appellant was not able to fully penetrate AAAs vagina, however, as her elder sister BBB (as used by SC) went up the second floor and saw appellant sitting in front of AAA who was lying down, face up. Appellant immediately warned BBB not to tell their mother about what she just saw.5 After BBB left, appellant inserted his penis inside AAAs vagina.

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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW REVIEW 2-BILL OF RIGHTS Atty. Vincent Paul Montejo


BBB lost no time to report that same day to her mother CCC, live-in partner of appellant, what she saw. CCC thus immediately confronted AAA who did confirm that appellant had inserted his penis inside her vagina that afternoon, and that appellant had been doing the same act to her since she was nine years old. Incensed, CCC accompanied AAA the following day, December 6, 2000, DSWD to report the incident, and also to the police officers. PO1 Javier, together with AAA and CCC thereafter proceeded to the family home, and on their way, they met appellant. PO1 Javier at once informed him of his rights, arrested him, and brought him to the police station. AAAs and CCCs statements were thereupon taken. TC ruled that appellant is guilty for the crime of rape. In his Brief, appellant raised the issue that the trial court failed to consider the fact that the accuseds arrest was legally objectionable. He claims that his arrest was illegal because a "warrantless arrest was effected even before the statement of the private complainant was taken." ISSUE W/N the contention of the accused-appellant is correct? RULING (a) NO. Objections to the legality of arrests must, however, be made prior to the entry of plea at arraignment; otherwise, they are considered waived. We have also ruled that an accused may be estopped from assailing the illegality of his arrest if he fails to move for the quashing of the information against him before his arraignment. And since the legality of an arrest affects only the jurisdiction of the court over the person of the accused, any defect in his arrest may be deemed cured when he voluntarily submitted to the jurisdiction of the trial court as what was done by the appellants in the instant case. Not only did they enter their pleas during arraignment, but they also actively participated during the trial which constitutes a waiver of any irregularity in their arrest. In the present case, appellant failed to question the illegality of his arrest before entering his plea, hence, he is deemed to have waived the same. SC ruled appellant is guilty of Simple Rape, aggravated by relationship. Decisions of TC and CA were affirmed. ARSENIO VERGARA VALDEZ vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, 538 SCRA 61/ November 23, 2007 FACTS : Bautista testified that at around 8:00PM of March 17, 2003, he was conducting the routine patrol along the National Highway La Union together with Aratas and Ordoo when they noticed petitioner, lugging a bag, alight from a mini-bus. The tanods observed that petitioner, who appeared suspicious to them, seemed to be looking for something. They thus approached him but the latter purportedly attempted to run away. They chased him, put him under arrest and thereafter brought him to the house of Barangay Captain Orencio Mercado (Mercado) where he, as averred by Bautista, was ordered by Mercado to open his bag. Petitioners bag allegedly contained a pair of denim pants, eighteen pieces of eggplant and dried marijuana leaves wrapped in newspaper and cellophane. It was then that petitioner was taken to the police station for further investigation. Police Inspector Laya, the forensic chemist who conducted the examination of the marijuana allegedly confiscated from petitioner. Laya maintained that the specimen submitted to him for analysis, a sachet of the substance weighing 23.10 grams and contained in a plastic bag, tested positive of marijuana. The charges were denied by petitioner. TC ruled in favor of the prosecution. In appeal, petitioner prays for his acquittal and asserts that his guilt of the crime charged had not been proven beyond reasonable doubt. He argues, albeit for the first time on appeal, that the warrantless arrest effected against him by the barangay tanod was unlawful and that the warrantless search of his bag that followed was likewise contrary to law. Consequently, he maintains, the marijuana leaves purportedly seized from him are inadmissible in evidence for being the fruit of a poisonous tree. ISSUE W/N there was an illegal arrest? YES What is the effect of the declaration of illegal arrest? RULING At the outset, we observe that nowhere in the records can we find any objection by petitioner to the irregularity of his arrest before his arraignment. Considering this and his active participation in the trial of (b)

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the case, jurisprudence dictates that petitioner is deemed to have submitted to the jurisdiction of the trial court, thereby curing any defect in his arrest. The legality of an arrest affects only the jurisdiction of the court over his person. Petitioners warrantless arrest therefore cannot, in itself, be the basis of his acquittal. However, to determine the admissibility of the seized drugs in evidence, it is indispensable to ascertain whether or not the search which yielded the alleged contraband was lawful. The search, conducted as it was without a warrant, is justified only if it were incidental to a lawful arrest. Evaluating the evidence on record in its totality, as earlier intimated, the reasonable conclusion is that the arrest of petitioner without a warrant is not lawful as well. Section 5, Rule 113 of the Rules on Criminal Procedure provides the only occasions on which a person may be arrested without a warrant, to wit: Section 5. Arrest without warrant; when lawful. A peace officer or a private person may, without a warrant, arrest a person: When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense; 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 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 temporarily confined while his case is pending, or has escaped while being transferred from one confinement to another.

(c)

It is obvious that based on the testimonies of the arresting barangay tanod, not one of these circumstances was obtaining at the time petitioner was arrested. By their own admission, petitioner was not committing an offense at the time he alighted from the bus, nor did he appear to be then committing an offense. The tanod did not have probable cause either to justify petitioners warrantless arrest. For the exception in Section 5(a), Rule 113 to operate, this Court has ruled that two (2) elements must be present: (1) the person to be arrested must execute an overt act indicating that he has just committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit a crime; and (2) such overt act is done in the presence or within the view of the arresting officer. Here, petitioners act of looking around after getting off the bus was but natural as he was finding his way to his destination. That he purportedly attempted to run away as the tanod approached him is irrelevant and cannot by itself be construed as adequate to charge the tanod with personal knowledge that petitioner had just engaged in, was actually engaging in or was attempting to engage in criminal activity. More importantly, petitioner testified that he did not run away but in fact spoke with the barangay tanod when they approached him. Indeed, the supposed acts of petitioner, even assuming that they appeared dubious, cannot be viewed as sufficient to incite suspicion of criminal activity enough to validate his warrantless arrest. If at all, the search most permissible for the tanod to conduct under the prevailing backdrop of the case was a stop-and-frisk to allay any suspicion they have been harboring based on petitioners behavior. However, a stop-and-frisk situation, following Terry v. Ohio, must precede a warrantless arrest, be limited to the persons outer clothing, and should be grounded upon a genuine reason, in light of the police officers experience and surrounding conditions, to warrant the belief that the person detained has weapons concealed about him. RULING IN ISSUE no. 2 Accordingly, petitioners waiver of his right to question his arrest notwithstanding, the marijuana leaves allegedly taken during the search cannot be admitted in evidence against him as they were seized during a warrantless

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search which was not lawful. As we pronounced in People v. Baclaan A waiver of an illegal warrantless arrest does not also mean a waiver of the inadmissibility of evidence seized during an illegal warrantless arrest. The following searches and seizures are deemed permissible by jurisprudence: (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. The last includes a valid warrantless search and seizure pursuant to an equally valid warrantless arrest, for, while as a rule, an arrest is considered legitimate if effected with a valid warrant of arrest, the Rules of Court recognize permissible warrantless arrests, to wit: (1) arrests in flagrante delicto, (2) arrests effected in hot pursuit, and, (3) arrests of escaped prisoners. When petitioner was arrested without a warrant, he was neither caught in flagrante delicto committing a crime nor was the arrest effected in hot pursuit. Verily, it cannot therefore be reasonably argued that the warrantless search conducted on petitioner was incidental to a lawful arrest. In its Comment, the Office of the Solicitor General posits that apart from the warrantless search being incidental to his lawful arrest, petitioner had consented to the search. We are not convinced. As we explained in Caballes v. Court of Appeals Doubtless, the constitutional immunity against unreasonable searches and seizures is a personal right which may be waived. The consent must be voluntary in order to validate an otherwise illegal detention and search, i.e., the consent is unequivocal, specific, and intelligently given, uncontaminated by any duress or coercion. Hence, consent to a search is not to be lightly inferred, but must be shown by clear and convincing evidence. The question whether a consent to a search was in fact voluntary is a question of fact to be determined from the totality of all the circumstances. Relevant to this determination are the following characteristics of the person giving consent and the environment in which consent is given: (1) the age of the defendant; (2) whether he was in a public or secluded location; (3) whether he objected to the search or passively looked on; (4) the education and intelligence of the defendant; (5) the presence of coercive police procedures; (6) the defendant's belief that no incriminating evidence will be found; (7) the nature of the police questioning; (8) the environment in which the questioning took place; and (9) the possibly vulnerable subjective state of the person consenting. It is the State which has the burden of proving, by clear and positive testimony, that the necessary consent was obtained and that it was freely and voluntarily given. A final word. We find it fitting to take this occasion to remind the courts to exercise the highest degree of diligence and prudence in deliberating upon the guilt of accused persons brought before them, especially in light of the fundamental rights at stake. Here, we note that the courts a quo neglected to give more serious consideration to certain material issues in the determination of the merits of the case. We are not oblivious to the fact that in some instances, law enforcers resort to the practice of planting evidence to extract information or even harass civilians. Accordingly, courts are duty-bound to be [e]xtra vigilant in trying drug cases lest an innocent person be made to suffer the unusually severe penalties for drug offenses. In the same vein, let this serve as an admonition to police officers and public officials alike to perform their mandated duties with commitment to the highest degree of diligence, righteousness and respect for the law. SC reversed the decision of the lower courts and acquitted the accused. PP vs. JERRY SANTOS Y MACOL AND RAMON CATOC Y PICAYO

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FACTS: On March 8, 2003, the SDEU operatives of the Pasig City Police conducted a buy-bust operation in a residential area along Dr. Sixto Antonio Avenue, on the basis of reports that a certain alias Monching Labo was selling illegal drugs in the said locality. Accompanied by a confidential informant, the police team, proceeded to the target area at around 1:15 to 1:20 a.m. PO3 Carlo Luna was to act as the poseur-buyer, whereas the other members of the team were to serve as his backup. The informant then pointed to two persons standing along the target area, one of whom was Monching Labo, later identified as appellant Ramon Catoc y Picayo. After approaching, the informant introduced PO3 Luna as a shabu customer to one of the persons, later identified as appellant Jerry Santos y Macol. Appellant Santos then asked PO3 Luna how much worth of shabu he was buying and asked for the money. PO3 Luna gave appellant Santos the buy-bust money consisting of a pre-marked P100 bill. Santos handed this money to appellant Catoc, who took out from his pocket a sealed transparent plastic sachet containing a white crystalline substance, which he handed back to appellant Santos. When Santos gave the plastic sachet to PO3 Luna, the latter nabbed the former and introduced himself as a policeman. Two (2) heat-sealed transparent plastic sachets with markings "CEL/JMS 030803 and RPC/LTM 030803" containing 0.03 gram of white crystalline substance and marked as A and B respectively. TC ruled in favor of the prosecution. CA affirmed TCs decision. Appellants contend that the trial court erred in convicting them, as their guilt was not proven beyond reasonable doubt, considering that the prosecution failed to prove that a buy-bust operation took place and that their arrests without warrant were not legally effected. ISSUE W/N the arrest was legally effected? RULING YES. The claim of appellants that their warrantless arrests were illegal lacks merit. The Court notes that nowhere in the records did we find any objection by appellants to the irregularity of their arrests prior to their arraignment. We have held in a number of cases that the illegal arrest of an accused is not a sufficient cause for setting aside a valid judgment rendered upon a sufficient complaint after a trial free from error; such arrest does not negate the validity of the conviction of the accused. It is much too late in the day to complain about the warrantless arrest after a valid information has been filed, the accused arraigned, trial commenced and completed, and a judgment of conviction rendered against him. Nevertheless, our ruling in People v. Cabugatan provides that: The rule is settled that an arrest made after an entrapment does not require a warrant inasmuch as it is considered a valid warrantless arrest pursuant to Rule 113, Section 5(a) of the Rules of Court, which states: 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. As we have already declared the legality of the buy-bust operation that was conducted by the police, it follows that the subsequent warrantless arrests were likewise legally effected. Furthermore, any search resulting from the lawful warrantless arrests was also valid, because the appellants committed a crime in flagrante delicto; that is, the persons arrested committed a crime in the presence of the arresting officers. SC affirmed the decision of the lower courts.

9.

IMMUNITY FROM ARREST MEMBERS OF CONGRESS 10. PRIVACY (ART III, SECTION 2)
OPLE vs. TORRES, 293 scra 141 (1998)

FACTS: Senator Ople is challenging the validity of A.O. No. 308 issued by Pres. Ramos entitled Adoption of a National Computerized Identification Reference System. The Order provides for a Population Reference Number (PRN) for every individual through the use of Biometrics Technology and computer

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application design. Petitioner argues that it constitutes impermissible intrusion on the citizens right to privacy. ISSUE W/N the contention of the petitioner is correct? RULING YES. Sections 1, 2, 3, 6, 8 and 17 of the Bill of rights in various ways protect the right to privacy. As it is a fundamental right, it is the burden of the government to show that its restriction is justified by some compelling state interest and the restriction is narrowly drawn to protect that interest. A.O. No. 308 is predicated on: (1) the need to provide citizens with the facility to transact business with the government instrumentalities and (2) the need to reduce fraudulent misrepresentation by persons seeking basic services. It is doubtful whether these interests are compelling enough to warrant the issuance of A.O. No. 308. On the other hand, the Order also suffers from vagueness and overbreadth. It does not state whether encoding of data is limited to biological information alone for identification purposes, The existence of a vast reservoir of personal information constitutes a covert invitation to misuse. The Order does not also provide who shall control and access the data under what circumstances and for what purpose. As A.O. No.308 is widely drawn that a minimum standard for a reasonable expectation of privacy cannot be inferred from its provisions, it is unconstitutional. (Gyn Etulle) an

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that the right to privacy is a "constitutional right" and "the right most valued by civilized men," but also from our adherence to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which mandates that, "no one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy" and "everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks." Our Bill of Rights, enshrined in Article III of the Constitution, provides at least two guarantees that explicitly create zones of privacy. It highlights a person's "right to be let alone" or the "right to determine what, how much, to whom and when information about himself shall be disclosed."49 Section 2 guarantees "the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose." Section 3 renders inviolable the "privacy of communication and correspondence" and further cautions that "any evidence obtained in violation of this or the preceding section shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding." In evaluating a claim for violation of the right to privacy, a court must determine whether a person has exhibited a reasonable expectation of privacy and, if so, whether that expectation has been violated by unreasonable government intrusion.50 Applying this determination to these cases, the important inquiries are: first, did the directors and officers of Philcomsat Holdings Corporation exhibit a reasonable expectation of privacy?; and second, did the government violate such expectation? The answers are in the negative. Petitioners were invited in the Senate's public hearing to deliberate on Senate Res. No. 455, particularly "on the anomalous losses incurred by the Philippine Overseas Telecommunications Corporation (POTC), Philippine Communications Satellite Corporation (PHILCOMSAT), and Philcomsat Holdings Corporations (PHC) due to the alleged improprieties in the operations by their respective board of directors." Obviously, the inquiry focus on petitioners' acts committed in the discharge of their duties as officers and directors of the said corporations, particularly Philcomsat Holdings Corporation. Consequently, they have no reasonable expectation of privacy over matters involving their offices in a corporation where the government has interest. Certainly, such matters are of public concern and over which the people have the right to information. This goes to show that the right to privacy is not absolute where there is an overriding compelling state interest. In Morfe v. Mutuc,51 the Court, in line with Whalen v. Roe,52 employed the rational basis relationship test when it held that there was no infringement of the individual's right to privacy as the requirement to disclosure information is for a valid purpose, i.e., to curtail and minimize the opportunities for official corruption, maintain a standard of honesty in public service, and promote morality in public administration.53 In Valmonte v. Belmonte,54 the Court remarked that as public figures, the Members of the former Batasang Pambansa enjoy a more limited right to privacy as compared to ordinary individuals, and their actions are subject to closer scrutiny. Taking this into consideration, the Court ruled that the right of the people to access information on matters of public concern prevails over the right to privacy of financial transactions. Under the present circumstances, the alleged anomalies in the PHILCOMSAT, PHC and POTC, ranging in millions of pesos, and the conspiratorial participation of the PCGG and its officials are compelling reasons for the Senate to exact vital information from the directors and officers of Philcomsat Holdings Corporations, as well as from Chairman Sabio and his Commissioners to aid it in crafting the necessary legislation to prevent corruption and formulate remedial measures and policy determination regarding PCGG's efficacy. There being no reasonable expectation of privacy on the part of those directors and officers over the subject covered by Senate Res. No. 455, it follows that their right to privacy has not been violated by respondent Senate Committees. SJS vs. DDB (2008) Facts: In these kindred petitions, the constitutionality of Section 36 of Republic Act No. (RA) 9165, otherwise known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, insofar as it 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, among other personalities, is put in issue. Issue 1: Whether or not the mandatory drug testing of candidates for public office, students of secondary and tertiary

IN RE: CAMILO L. SABIO (2006)


Facts: On February 20, 2006, Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago introduced Philippine Senate Resolution No. 455 (Senate Res. No. 455), "directing an inquiry in aid of legislation on the anomalous losses incurred by the Philippines Overseas Telecommunications Corporation (POTC), Philippine Communications Satellite Corporation (PHILCOMSAT), and PHILCOMSAT Holdings Corporation (PHC) due to the alleged improprieties in their operations by their respective Board of Directors. On August 10, 2006, Senator Gordon issued a Subpoena Ad Testificandum, approved by Senate President Manuel Villar, requiring Chairman Sabio and PCGG Commissioners Ricardo Abcede, Nicasio Conti, Tereso Javier and Narciso Nario to appear in the public hearing scheduled on August 23, 2006 and testify on what they know relative to the matters specified in Senate Res. No. 455. However, said invitation was refused by them, invoking 4(b) of E.O. No. 1 which provides that, "No member or staff of the Commission shall be required to testify or produce evidence in any judicial, legislative or administrative proceeding concerning matters within its official cognizance." Unconvinced with the above Compliance and Explanation, the Committee on Government Corporations and Public Enterprises and the Committee on Public Services issued an Order directing Major General Jose Balajadia (Ret.), Senate Sergeant-At-Arms, to place Chairman Sabio and his Commissioners under arrest for contempt of the Senate. The Order bears the approval of Senate President Villar and the majority of the Committees' members. In G.R. No. 174177, petitioners Philcomsat Holdings Corporation and its directors and officers alleged among others that the subpoenae violated petitioners' rights to privacy and against selfincrimination. Issue: Whether or not the subpoena violated petitioners rights to privacy. Ruling: NO. One important limitation on the Congress' power of inquiry is that "the rights of persons appearing in or affected by such inquiries shall be respected." This is just another way of saying that the power of inquiry must be "subject to the limitations placed by the Constitution on government action." As held in Barenblatt v. United States, "the Congress, in common with all the other branches of the Government, must exercise its powers subject to the limitations placed by the Constitution on governmental action, more particularly in the context of this case, the relevant limitations of the Bill of Rights." Zones of privacy are recognized and protected in our laws. Within these zones, any form of intrusion is impermissible unless excused by law and in accordance with customary legal process. The meticulous regard we accord to these zones arises not only from our conviction

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schools, officers and employees of public and private offices in violation of right to privacy. Ruling: NO. The first factor to consider in the matter of reasonableness is the nature of the privacy interest upon which the drug testing, which effects a search within the meaning of Sec. 2, Art. III of the Constitution, intrudes. In this case, the office or workplace serves as the backdrop for the analysis of the privacy expectation of the employees and the reasonableness of drug testing requirement. The employees' privacy interest in an office is to a large extent circumscribed by the company's work policies, the collective bargaining agreement, if any, entered into by management and the bargaining unit, and the inherent right of the employer to maintain discipline and efficiency in the workplace. Their privacy expectation in a regulated office environment is, in fine, reduced; and a degree of impingement upon such privacy has been upheld. Just as defining as the first factor is the character of the intrusion authorized by the challenged law. Reduced to a question form, is the scope of the search or intrusion clearly set forth, or, as formulated in Ople v. Torres, is the enabling law authorizing a search "narrowly drawn" or "narrowly focused"? The poser should be answered in the affirmative. For one, Sec. 36 of RA 9165 and its implementing rules and regulations (IRR), as couched, contain provisions specifically directed towards preventing a situation that would unduly embarrass the employees or place them under a humiliating experience. While every officer and employee in a private establishment is under the law deemed forewarned that he or she may be a possible subject of a drug test, nobody is really singled out in advance for drug testing. The goal is to discourage drug use by not telling in advance anyone when and who is to be tested. And as may be observed, Sec. 36(d) of RA 9165 itself prescribes what, in Ople, is a narrowing ingredient by providing that the employees concerned shall be subjected to "random drug test as contained in the company's work rules and regulations x x x for purposes of reducing the risk in the work place." For another, the random drug testing shall be undertaken under conditions calculated to protect as much as possible the employee's privacy and dignity. As to the mechanics of the test, the law specifies that the procedure shall employ two testing methods, i.e., the screening test and the confirmatory test, doubtless to ensure as much as possible the trustworthiness of the results. But the more important consideration lies in the fact that the test shall be conducted by trained professionals in access-controlled laboratories monitored by the Department of Health (DOH) to safeguard against results tampering and to ensure an accurate chain of custody. In addition, the IRR issued by the DOH provides that access to the drug results shall be on the "need to know" basis; that the "drug test result and the records shall be [kept] confidential subject to the usual accepted practices to protect the confidentiality of the test results." Notably, RA 9165 does not oblige the employer concerned to report to the prosecuting agencies any information or evidence relating to the violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act received as a result of the operation of the drug testing. All told, therefore, the intrusion into the employees' privacy, under RA 9165, is accompanied by proper safeguards, particularly against embarrassing leakages of test results, and is relatively minimal. To reiterate, RA 9165 was enacted as a measure to stamp out illegal drug in the country and thus protect the well-being of the citizens, especially the youth, from the deleterious effects of dangerous drugs. The law intends to achieve this through the medium, among others, of promoting and resolutely pursuing a national drug abuse policy in the workplace via a mandatory random drug test. To the Court, the need for drug testing to at least minimize illegal drug use is substantial enough to override the individual's privacy interest under the premises. The Court can consider that the illegal drug menace cuts across gender, age group, and social- economic lines. And it may not be amiss to state that the sale, manufacture, or trafficking of illegal drugs, with their ready market, would be an investor's dream were it not for the illegal and immoral components of any of such activities. The drug problem has hardly abated since the martial law public execution of a notorious drug trafficker. The state can no longer assume a laid back stance with respect to this modern-day scourge. Drug enforcement agencies perceive a mandatory random drug test to be an effective way of preventing and deterring drug use among employees in private offices, the threat of detection by random testing being higher than other modes. The Court holds that the chosen method is a reasonable and enough means to lick the problem. Taking into account the foregoing factors, i.e., the reduced expectation of privacy on the part of the employees, the compelling state concern likely to be met by the search, and the well-defined limits set forth in the law to properly guide authorities in the conduct of the random testing, we hold that the challenged drug test requirement is, under the

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limited context of the case, reasonable and, ergo, constitutional. Like their counterparts in the private sector, government officials and employees also labor under reasonable supervision and restrictions imposed by the Civil Service law and other laws on public officers, all enacted to promote a high standard of ethics in the public service. And if RA 9165 passes the norm of reasonableness for private employees, the more reason that it should pass the test for civil servants, who, by constitutional command, are required to be accountable at all times to the people and to serve them with utmost responsibility and efficiency. Issue 2: Whether or not the mandatory drug testing of persons charged before the prosecutor's office with certain offenses is in violation of right to privacy. Ruling: YES. Unlike the situation covered by Sec. 36(c) and (d) of RA 9165, the Court finds no valid justification for mandatory drug testing for persons accused of crimes. In the case of students, the constitutional viability of the mandatory, random, and suspicionless drug testing for students emanates primarily from the waiver by the students of their right to privacy when they seek entry to the school, and from their voluntarily submitting their persons to the parental authority of school authorities. In the case of private and public employees, the constitutional soundness of the mandatory, random, and suspicionless drug testing proceeds from the reasonableness of the drug test policy and requirement. We find the situation entirely different in the case of persons charged before the public prosecutor's office with criminal offenses punishable with six (6) years and one (1) day imprisonment. The operative concepts in the mandatory drug testing are "randomness" and "suspicionless." In the case of persons charged with a crime before the prosecutor's office, a mandatory drug testing can never be random or suspicionless. The ideas of randomness and being suspicionless are antithetical to their being made defendants in a criminal complaint. They are not randomly picked; neither are they beyond suspicion. When persons suspected of committing a crime are charged, they are singled out and are impleaded against their will. The persons thus charged, by the bare fact of being haled before the prosecutor's office and peaceably submitting themselves to drug testing, if that be the case, do not necessarily consent to the procedure, let alone waive their right to privacy.[40] To impose mandatory drug testing on the accused is a blatant attempt to harness a medical test as a tool for criminal prosecution, contrary to the stated objectives of RA 9165. Drug testing in this case would violate a persons' right to privacy guaranteed under Sec. 2, Art. III of the Constitution. Worse still, the accused persons are veritably forced to incriminate themselves.

11. PRIVACY OF COMMUNICATIONS


Zulueta vs. CA (1996) Facts: Petitioner Cecilia Zulueta is the wife of private respondent Alfredo Martin. On March 26, 1982, petitioner entered the clinic of her husband, a doctor of medicine, and in the presence of her mother, a driver and private respondents secretary, forcibly opened the drawers and cabinet in her husbands clinic and took 157 documents consisting of private correspondence between Dr. Martin and his alleged paramours, greetings cards, cancelled checks, diaries, Dr. Martins passport, and photographs. The documents and papers were seized for use in evidence in a case for legal separation and for disqualification from the practice of medicine which petitioner had filed against her husband. Issue: Whether or not the documents and papers seized admissible in evidence. Ruling: NO. The documents and papers in question are inadmissible in evidence. The constitutional injunction declaring the privacy of communication and correspondence [to be] inviolable3 is no less applicable simply because it is the wife (who thinks herself aggrieved by her husbands infidelity) who is the party against whom the constitutional provision is to be enforced. The only exception to the prohibition in the Constitution is if there is a lawful order [from a] court or when public safety or order requires otherwise, as prescribed by law.4 Any violation of this provision renders the evidence obtained inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding.5 The intimacies between husband and wife do not justify any one of them in breaking the drawers and cabinets of the other and in ransacking them for any telltale evidence of marital infidelity. A

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person, by contracting marriage, does not shed his/her integrity or his right to privacy as an individual and the constitutional protection is ever available to him or to her. The law insures absolute freedom of communication between the spouses by making it privileged. Neither husband nor wife may testify for or against the other without the consent of the affected spouse while the marriage subsists.6 Neither may be examined without the consent of the other as to any communication received in confidence by one from the other during the marriage, save for specified exceptions.7 But one thing is freedom of communication; quite another is a compulsion for each one to share what one knows with the other. And this has nothing to do with the duty of fidelity that each owes to the other. Ople vs. Torres (1998) Facts: Petitioner Ople prays that this Court invalidate Administrative Order No. 308 entitled "Adoption of a National Computerized Identification Reference System" on two important constitutional grounds, viz: one, it is a usurpation of the power of Congress to legislate, and two, it impermissibly intrudes on our citizenry's protected zone of privacy. Issue: Whether or not AO No. 308 violates the constitutional right to privacy. Ruling: YES. Zones of privacy are recognized and protected in our laws. The Civil Code provides that "[e]very person shall respect the dignity, personality, privacy and peace of mind of his neighbors and other persons" and punishes as actionable torts several acts by a person of meddling and prying into the privacy of another. 35 It also holds a public officer or employee or any private individual liable for damages for any violation of the rights and liberties of another person, 36 and recognizes the privacy of letters and other private communications. 37 The Revised Penal Code makes a crime the violation of secrets by an officer, 38 the revelation of trade and industrial secrets, 39 and trespass to dwelling. 40 Invasion of privacy is an offense in special laws like the AntiWiretapping Law, 41 the Secrecy of Bank Deposits Act 42 and the Intellectual Property Code. 43 The Rules of Court on privileged communication likewise recognize the privacy of certain information. 44 Unlike the dissenters, we prescind from the premise that the right to privacy is a fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution, hence, it is the burden of government to show that A.O. No. 308 is justified by some compelling state interest and that it is narrowly drawn. A.O. No. 308 is predicated on two considerations: (1) the need to provide our citizens and foreigners with the facility to conveniently transact business with basic service and social security providers and other government instrumentalities and (2) the need to reduce, if not totally eradicate, fraudulent transactions and misrepresentations by persons seeking basic services. It is debatable whether these interests are compelling enough to warrant the issuance of A.O. No. 308. But what is not arguable is the broadness, the vagueness, the overbreadth of A.O. No. 308 which if implemented will put our people's right to privacy in clear and present danger. ----------A.O. No. 308 falls short of assuring that personal information which will be gathered about our people will only be processed for unequivocally specified purposes. 60 The lack of proper safeguards in this regard of A.O. No. 308 may interfere with the individual's liberty of abode and travel by enabling authorities to track down his movement; it may also enable unscrupulous persons to access confidential information and circumvent the right against self-incrimination; it may pave the way for "fishing expeditions" by government authorities and evade the right against unreasonable searches and seizures. 61 The possibilities of abuse and misuse of the PRN, biometrics and computer technology are accentuated when we consider that the individual lacks control over what can be read or placed on his ID, much less verify the correctness of the data encoded. 62 They threaten the very abuses that the Bill of Rights seeks to prevent. ______ The right to privacy is one of the most threatened rights of man living in a mass society. The threats emanate from various sources governments, journalists, employers, social scientists, etc. In th case at bar, the threat comes from the executive branch of government which by issuing A.O. No. 308 pressures the people to surrender their privacy by giving information about themselves on the pretext that it will facilitate delivery of basic services. Given the record-keeping power of the computer, only the indifferent fail to perceive the danger that A.O. No. 308 gives the government the power to compile a devastating dossier against unsuspecting citizens. It is timely to take

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note of the well-worded warning of Kalvin, Jr., "the disturbing result could be that everyone will live burdened by an unerasable record of his past and his limitations. In a way, the threat is that because of its record-keeping, the society will have lost its benign capacity to forget." 89 Oblivious to this counsel, the dissents still say we should not be too quick in labelling the right to privacy as a fundamental right. We close with the statement that the right to privacy was not engraved in our Constitution for flattery. In Re Alejano (2005) Facts: This case results from the Oakwood incident in July 2003. One of the petitioners argument is that the officials of the ISAFP Detention Center violated the detainees right to privacy when the ISAFP officials opened and read the letters handed by detainees Trillanes and Maestrecampo to one of the petitioners for mailing. Petitioners point out that the letters were not in a sealed envelope but simply folded because there were no envelopes in the ISAFP Detention Center. Petitioners contend that the Constitution prohibits the infringement of a citizens privacy rights unless authorized by law. The Solicitor General does not deny that the ISAFP officials opened the letters. Issue: Whether or not the officials of ISAFP Detention Center violated detainees right to privacy of communication. Ruling: No. The opening and reading of the detainees letters in the present case did not violate the detainees right to privacy of communication. The letters were not in a sealed envelope. The inspection of the folded letters is a valid measure as it serves the same purpose as the opening of sealed letters for the inspection of contraband. The letters alleged to have been read by the ISAFP authorities were not confidential letters between the detainees and their lawyers. The petitioner who received the letters from detainees Trillanes and Maestrecampo was merely acting as the detainees personal courier and not as their counsel when he received the letters for mailing. In the present case, since the letters were not confidential communication between the detainees and their lawyers, the officials of the ISAFP Detention Center could read the letters. If the letters are marked confidential communication between the detainees and their lawyers, the detention officials should not read the letters but only open the envelopes for inspection in the presence of the detainees. That a law is required before an executive officer could intrude on a citizens privacy rights is a guarantee that is available only to the public at large but not to persons who are detained or imprisoned. The right to privacy of those detained is subject to Section 4 of RA 7438, as well as to the limitations inherent in lawful detention or imprisonment. By the very fact of their detention, pre-trial detainees and convicted prisoners have a diminished expectation of privacy rights. KMU vs. Director (2006) Facts: On 13 April 2005 President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo issued EO 420 (REQUIRING ALL GOVERNMENT AGENCIES AND GOVERNMENT-OWNED AND CONTROLLED CORPORATIONS TO STREAMLINE AND HARMONIZE THEIR IDENTIFICATION (ID) SYSTEMS, AND AUTHORIZING FOR SUCH PURPOSE THE DIRECTOR-GENERAL, NATIONAL ECONOMIC AND DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY TO IMPLEMENT THE SAME, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES). Petitioners alleged that EO 420 is unconstitutional because it violates the constitutional provisions on the right to privacy (i) It allows access to personal confidential data without the owners consent. (ii) EO 420 is vague and without adequate safeguards or penalties for any violation of its provisions. (iii) There are no compelling reasons that will legitimize the necessity of EO 420. Issue: Whether or not EO 420 violates the constitutional provision on the right to privacy. Ruling: NO. All these years, the GSIS, SSS, LTO, Philhealth and other government entities have been issuing ID cards in the performance of their governmental functions. There have been no complaints from citizens that the ID cards of these government entities violate their right to privacy. There have also been no complaints of abuse

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by these government entities in the collection and recording of personal identification data. In fact, petitioners in the present cases do not claim that the ID systems of government entities prior to EO 420 violate their right to privacy. Since petitioners do not make such claim, they even have less basis to complain against the unified ID system under EO 420. The data collected and stored for the unified ID system under EO 420 will be limited to only 14 specific data, and the ID card itself will show only eight specific data. The data collection, recording and ID card system under EO 420 will even require less data collected, stored and revealed than under the disparate systems prior to EO 420. Prior to EO 420, government entities had a free hand in determining the kind, nature and extent of data to be collected and stored for their ID systems. Under EO 420, government entities can collect and record only the 14 specific data mentioned in Section 3 of EO 420. In addition, government entities can show in their ID cards only eight of these specific data, seven less data than what the Supreme Courts ID shows. Also, prior to EO 420, there was no executive issuance to government entities prescribing safeguards on the collection, recording, and disclosure of personal identification data to protect the right to privacy. Now, under Section 5 of EO 420, the following safeguards are instituted: a. The data to be recorded and stored, which shall be used only for purposes of establishing the identity of a person, shall be limited to those specified in Section 3 of this executive order; In no case shall the collection or compilation of other data in violation of a persons right to privacy be allowed or tolerated under this order; Stringent systems of access control to data in the identification system shall be instituted; Data collected and stored for this purpose shall be kept and treated as strictly confidential and a personal or written authorization of the Owner shall be required for access and disclosure of data; The identification card to be issued shall be protected by advanced security features and cryptographic technology; A written request by the Owner of the identification card shall be required for any correction or revision of relevant data, or under such conditions as the participating agency issuing the identification card shall prescribe.

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In the present case, EO 420 does not establish a national ID system but makes the existing sectoral card systems of government entities like GSIS, SSS, Philhealth and LTO less costly, more efficient, reliable and user-friendly to the public. Hence, EO 420 is a proper subject of executive issuance under the Presidents constitutional power of control over government entities in the Executive department, as well as under the Presidents constitutional duty to ensure that laws are faithfully executed.

III.

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION B. PRIOR RESTRAINTS/ SUBSEQUENT PUNISHMENT


BLO vs. COMELEC (1992)

Facts: Petitioner Blo Umpar Adiong, a senatorial candidate in the May 11, 1992 elections assails the COMELEC's Resolution insofar as it prohibits the posting of decals and stickers in "mobile" places like cars and other moving vehicles. According to him such prohibition is violative of Section 82 of the Omnibus Election Code and Section 11(a) of Republic Act No. 6646. In addition, the petitioner believes that with the ban on radio, television and print political advertisements, he, being a neophyte in the field of politics stands to suffer grave and irreparable injury with this prohibition. The posting of decals and stickers on cars and other moving vehicles would be his last medium to inform the electorate that he is a senatorial candidate in the May 11, 1992 elections. Issue: Whether or not Comelecs Resolution is unconconstitutional. Ruling: YES. The prohibition unduly infringes on the citizen's fundamental right of free speech enshrined in the Constitution (Sec. 4, Article III). There is no public interest substantial enough to warrant the kind of restriction involved in this case. The posting of decals and stickers in mobile places like cars and other moving vehicles does not endanger any substantial government interest. There is no clear public interest threatened by such activity so as to justify the curtailment of the cherished citizen's right of free speech and expression. Under the clear and present danger rule not only must the danger be patently clear and pressingly present but the evil sought to be avoided must be so substantive as to justify a clamp over one's mouth or a writing instrument to be stilled: The case confronts us again with the duty our system places on the Court to say where the individual's freedom ends and the State's power begins. Choice on that border, now as always delicate, is perhaps more so where the usual presumption supporting legislation is balanced by the preferred place given in our scheme to the great, the indispensable democratic freedom secured by the first Amendment . . . That priority gives these liberties a sanctity and a sanction not permitting dubious intrusions and it is the character of the right, not of the limitation, which determines what standard governs the choice . . . For these reasons any attempt to restrict those liberties must be justified by clear public interest, threatened not doubtfully or remotely, but by clear and present danger. The rational connection between the remedy provided and the evil to be curbed, which in other context might support legislation against attack on due process grounds, will not suffice. These rights rest on firmer foundation. Accordingly, whatever occasion would restrain orderly discussion and persuasion, at appropriate time and place, must have clear support in public danger, actual or impending. Only the greatest abuses, endangering permanent interests, give occasion for permissible limitation. (Thomas V. Collins, 323 US 516 [1945]). (Emphasis supplied) Significantly, the freedom of expression curtailed by the questioned prohibition is not so much that of the candidate or the political party. The regulation strikes at the freedom of an individual to express his preference and, by displaying it on his car, to convince others to agree with him. A sticker may be furnished by a candidate but once the car owner agrees to have it placed on his private vehicle, the expression becomes a statement by the owner, primarily his own and not of anybody else. If, in the National Press Club case, the Court was careful to rule out restrictions on reporting by newspapers or radio and television stations and commentators or columnists as long as these are not correctly paid-for advertisements or purchased opinions with less reason can we sanction the prohibition against a sincere manifestation of support and a proclamation of belief by an individual person who pastes a sticker or decal on his private property. (Vanessa Fermil)

b.

c. d.

e. f.

On its face, EO 420 shows no constitutional infirmity because it even narrowly limits the data that can be collected, recorded and shown compared to the existing ID systems of government entities. EO 420 further provides strict safeguards to protect the confidentiality of the data collected, in contrast to the prior ID systems which are bereft of strict administrative safeguards. Petitioners have not shown how EO 420 will violate their right to privacy. Petitioners cannot show such violation by a mere facial examination of EO 420 because EO 420 narrowly draws the data collection, recording and exhibition while prescribing comprehensive safeguards. Ople v. Torres is not authority to hold that EO 420 violates the right to privacy because in that case the assailed executive issuance, broadly drawn and devoid of safeguards, was annulled solely on the ground that the subject matter required legislation. As then Associate Justice, now Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban noted in his concurring opinion in Ople v. Torres, The voting is decisive only on the need for appropriate legislation, and it is only on this ground that the petition is granted by this Court. EO 420 applies only to government entities that already maintain ID systems and issue ID cards pursuant to their regular functions under existing laws. EO 420 does not grant such government entities any power that they do not already possess under existing laws. In contrast, the assailed executive issuance in Ople v. Torres sought to establish a National Computerized Identification Reference System, a national ID system that did not exist prior to the assailed executive issuance. Obviously, a national ID card system requires legislation because it creates a new national data collection and card issuance system where none existed before.

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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW REVIEW 2-BILL OF RIGHTS Atty. Vincent Paul Montejo


EMILIO M. R. OSMEA and PABLO P. GARCIA, petitioners, vs. THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, respondent 288 SCRA 447 This is a petition for prohibition, seeking a reexamination of the validity of 11(b) of R.A. No. 6646, the Electoral Reforms Law of 1987, which prohibits mass media from selling or giving free of charge print space or air time for campaign or other political purposes, except to the Commission on Elections. Thus, 11(b) states: Prohibited Forms of Election Propaganda. In addition to the forms of election propaganda prohibited in Section 85 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 881, it shall be unlawful: .... (b) for any newspapers, radio broadcasting or television station, or other mass media, or any person making use of the mass media to sell or to give free of charge print space or air time for campaign or other political purposes except to the Commission as provided under Section 90 and 92 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 881. Any mass media columnist, commentator, announcer or personality who is a candidate for any elective public office shall take a leave of absence from his work as such during the campaign period. On the other hand, the Omnibus Election Code provisions referred to in 11(b) read: SEC. 90. Comelec space. - The Commission shall procure space in at least one newspaper of general circulation in every province or city: Provided, however, That in the absence of said newspaper, publication shall be done in any other magazine or periodical in said province or city, which shall be known as Comelec Space wherein candidates can announce their candidacy. Said space shall be allocated, free of charge, equally and impartially by the Commission among all candidates within the area in which the newspaper is circulated. (Sec. 45, 1978 EC). SEC. 92. Comelec time. - The Commission shall procure radio and television time to be known as Comelec Time which shall be allocated equally and impartially among the candidates within the area of coverage of all radio and television stations. For this purpose, the franchise of all radio broadcasting and television stations are hereby amended so as to provide radio or television time, free of charge, during the period of the campaign. (Sec. 46, 1978 EC Held: The provisions in question involve no suppression of political ads. They only prohibit the sale or donation of print space and air time to candidates but require the COMELEC instead to procure space and time in the mass media for allocation, free of charge, to the candidates. In effect, during the election period, the COMELEC takes over the advertising page of newspapers or the commercial time of radio and TV stations and allocates these to the candidates. The prohibition against paid or sponsored political advertising is only half of the regulatory framework, the other half being the mandate of the COMELEC to procure print space and air time so that these can be allocated free of charge to the candidates. Here, there is no total ban on political ads, much less restriction on the content of the speech but only a substitution of media advertisements by the COMELEC space and COMELEC hour. Section 11(b) is a content-neutral restriction. Unlike content-based restrictions, it is not imposed because of the content of the speech. Content-neutral regulations need only a substantial governmental interest to support them. A deferential standard of review will suffice to test their validity. The OBrien Test: A government regulation is sufficiently justified if it is within the constitutional power of the Government, if it furthers an important or substantial governmental interest; if the governmental interest is unrelated to the suppression of free expression; and if the incident restriction on alleged First Amendment freedoms is no greater than is essential to the furtherance of that interest. Applying the OBrien test in this case, the Supreme Court found that 11(b) of R.A. No. 6646 is a valid exercise of the power of the State to regulate media of communication or information for the purpose of ensuring equal opportunity, time and space for political campaigns; that the regulation is unrelated to the suppression of speech; that any restriction on freedom of

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expression is only incidental and no more than is necessary to achieve the purpose of promoting equality. PETITION WAS DISMISSED. ABS-CBN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, petitioner, vs. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, respondent 323 SCRA 811 (2000) COMELEC en-banc approved the issuance of a restraining order to stop ABS-CBN or any other groups, its agents or representatives from conducting exit polls, as such may conflict with COMELECs official count as well as NAMFRELs unofficial quick count. COMELEC argues that the exit poll has a clear and present danger of destroying the credibility and integrity of the electoral process for it: 1. Disrupts the electoral process; 2. Confuses the voters; 3. Violates the secrecy of the ballots. Exit Poll: Defined An exit poll is a species of electoral survey conducted by qualified individuals or groups of individuals for the purpose of determining the probable result of an election by confidentially asking randomly selected voters whom they have voted for, immediately after they have officially cast their ballots. Issue: Whether or not the said COMELEC resolution was a valid restriction on the freedom of speech and of the press. Held: It is not a valid restriction The freedom of expression is a fundamental principle of our democratic government. It "is a 'preferred' right and, therefore, stands on a higher level than substantive economic or other liberties. Tests in determining the validity of restrictions to freedom of speech and of the press:

1.

'Clear and present danger' rule- the evil consequence of the comment or utterance must be 'extremely serious and the degree of imminence extremely high' before the utterance can be punished. The danger to be guarded against is the 'substantive evil' sought to be prevented. 'Dangerous tendency' rule- If the words uttered create a dangerous tendency which the state has a right to prevent, then such words are punishable. It is not necessary that some definite or immediate acts of force, violence, or unlawfulness be advocated. It is sufficient that such acts be advocated in general terms. Nor is it necessary that the language used be reasonably calculated to incite persons to acts of force, violence, or unlawfulness. It is sufficient if the natural tendency and probable effect of the utterance be to bring about the substantive evil which the legislative body seeks to prevent.

2.

The Supreme Court adheres to the clear and present danger rule. The danger must not only be clear but also present. "Present" refers to the time element; the danger must not only be probable but very likely to be inevitable. The evil sought to be avoided must be so substantive as to justify a clamp over one's mouth or a restraint of a writing instrument. Prior restraint carries with it a presumption of invalidity. To justify a restriction, the promotion of a substantial government interest must be clearly shown. The said Comelec Resolution is too broad, since its application is without qualification as to whether the polling is disruptive or not. There is no showing that exit polls or the means to interview voters cause chaos in voting centers. Neither has any evidence been presented proving that the presence of exit poll reporters near an election precinct tends to create disorder or confuse the voters. The absolute ban imposed by the Comelec cannot, therefore, be justified. It does not leave open any alternative channel of communication to gather the type of information obtained through exit polling. On the other hand, there are other valid and reasonable ways and means to achieve the Comelec end of avoiding or minimizing disorder and confusion that may be brought about by exit surveys.

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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW REVIEW 2-BILL OF RIGHTS Atty. Vincent Paul Montejo


Quite the contrary, instead of disrupting elections, exit polls -- properly conducted and publicized -- can be vital tools for the holding of honest, orderly, peaceful and credible elections; and for the elimination of election-fixing, fraud and other electoral ills. No violation of Ballot secrecy In exit polls, the contents of the official ballot are not actually exposed. Furthermore, the revelation of whom an elector has voted for is not compulsory, but voluntary. Voters may also choose not to reveal their identities. SOCIAL WEATHER STATIONS, INCORPORATED and KAMAHALAN PUBLISHING CORPORATION, doing business as MANILA STANDARD, petitioners, vs. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, respondent

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. By prohibiting the publication of election survey results because of the possibility that such publication might undermine the integrity of the election, 5.4 actually suppresses a whole class of expression, while allowing the expression of opinion concerning the same subject matter by newspaper columnists, radio and TV commentators, armchair theorists, and other opinion makers. In effect, 5.4 shows a bias for a particular subject matter, if not viewpoint, by preferring personal opinion to statistical results. The prohibition imposed by 5.4 cannot be justified on the ground that it is only for a limited period and is only incidental. The prohibition may be for a limited time, but the curtailment of the right of expression is direct, absolute, and substantial. It constitutes a total suppression of a category of speech and is not made less so because it is only for a period of fifteen (15) days immediately before a national election and seven (7) days immediately before a local election. Second, 5.4 fails to meet criterion [4] of the OBrien test- that the restriction be not greater than is necessary to further the governmental interest. While 5.4 aims at the prevention of last-minute pressure on voters, the creation of bandwagon effect, junking of weak or losing candidates, and resort to the form of election cheating called dagdag-bawas, however these aims cannot be attained at the sacrifice of the fundamental right of expression, when such aim can be more narrowly pursued by punishing unlawful acts, rather than speech because of apprehension that such speech creates the danger of such evils. The petition for prohibition was GRANTED and 5.4 of R.A. No. 9006 and 24(h) of COMELEC Resolution 3636 dated March 1, 2001, implementing such provision, are declared unconstitutional.

Petitioners sought to enjoin the Commission on Elections from enforcing 5.4 of R.A. No. 9006 (Fair Election Act), which provides: xxx Surveys affecting national candidates shall not be published fifteen (15) days before an election and surveys affecting local candidates shall not be published seven (7) days before an election. The term election surveys is defined in 5.1 of the law as follows: Election surveys refer to the measurement of opinions and perceptions of the voters as regards a candidates popularity, qualifications, platforms or a matter of public discussion in relation to the election, including voters preference for candidates or publicly discussed issues during the campaign period (hereafter referred to as Survey). Held: 5.4 of R.A. No. 9006 constitutes an unconstitutional abridgment of freedom of speech, expression, and the press for the following reasons: (1) It imposes a prior restraint on the freedom of expression; (2) It is a direct and total suppression of a category of expression even though such suppression is only for a limited period; and (3) The governmental interest sought to be promoted can be achieved by means other than the suppression of freedom of expression. To be sure, 5.4 lays a prior restraint on freedom of speech, expression, and the press by prohibiting the publication of election survey results affecting candidates within the prescribed periods of fifteen (15) days immediately preceding a national election and seven (7) days before a local election. The grant of power to the COMELEC under Art. IX-C, 4 is limited to ensuring equal opportunity, time, space, and the right to reply as well as uniform and reasonable rates of charges for the use of such media facilities for public information campaigns and forums among candidates. The presumption of no invalidity extends only to exercises of supervisory or regulatory authority on the part of the Comelec for the purpose of securing equal opportunity among candidates for political office, although such supervision or regulation may result in some limitation of the rights of free speech and free press. The OBrien Test: [A] government regulation is sufficiently justified [1] if it is within the constitutional power of the Government; [2] if it furthers an important or substantial governmental interest; [3] if the governmental interest is unrelated to the suppression of free expression; and [4] if the incidental restriction on alleged First Amendment freedoms [of speech, expression and press] is no greater than is essential to the furtherance of that interest. Under this test, even if a law furthers an important or substantial governmental interest, it should be invalidated if such governmental interest is not unrelated to the suppression of free expression. Moreover, even if the purpose is unrelated to the suppression of free speech, the law should nevertheless be invalidated if the restriction on freedom of expression is greater than is necessary to achieve the governmental purpose in question. Using the OBrien test, section 5.4 should be invalidated. First. It fails to meet criterion [3] of the OBrien test because the asserted governmental interest is not unrelated to the suppression of free expression.

GMA NETWORK vs. MTRCB G.R. No. 148579 FEBRUARY 5, 2007 Facts: Petitioner GMA Network, Inc. operates and manages the UHF television station, EMC Channel 27. On January 7, 2000, respondent MTRCB issued an order of suspension against petitioner for airing "Muro Ami: The Making" without first securing a permit from it as provided in Section 7 of PD 1986. The penalty of suspension was based on Memorandum Circular 9817 dated December 15, 1998 which provided for the penalties for exhibiting a program without a valid permit from the MTRCB. Issues: (1) Whether the MTRCB has the power or authority to review the show "Muro Ami: The Making" prior to its broadcast by television and (2) Whether Memorandum Circular No. 98-17 was enforceable and binding on petitioner. Held: 1. Yes, MTRCB has jurisdiction. Section 3 of PD 1986 empowers the MTRCB to screen, review and examine all motion pictures, television programs including publicity materials. This power of prior review is highlighted in its Rules and Regulations, particularly Section 7 thereof. The only exemptions from the MTRCBs power of review are those expressly mentioned in Section 7,6 such as (1) television programs imprinted or exhibited by the Philippine Government and/or departments and agencies, and (2) newsreels. "Muro Ami: The Making," did not fall under any of the exemptions and was therefore within the power of review of MTRCB. Even if said program is a pubic affairs program, the MTRCB still has jurisdiction. A public affairs program -- described as a variety of news treatment; a cross between pure television news and news-related commentaries, analysis and/or exchange of opinions -- is within the MTRCBs power of review. 2. No, Memorandum Circular No. 98-17 was not enforceable and binding on petitioner. The Administrative Code of 1987, particularly Section 3 thereof, expressly requires each agency to file with the Office of the National Administrative Register (ONAR) of the

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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW REVIEW 2-BILL OF RIGHTS Atty. Vincent Paul Montejo


University of the Philippines Law Center three certified copies of every rule adopted by it. Administrative issuances which are not published or filed with the ONAR are ineffective and may not be enforced. Memorandum Circular No. 98-17 has not been registered with the ONAR as of January 27, 2000. It is thus unenforceable since it has not been filed in the ONAR. Consequently, petitioner was not bound by said circular and should not have been meted the sanction provided thereunder. CHAVEZ vs. GONZALES 545 SCRA 441 February 15, 2008 Petitioner Chavez filed a petition under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court against respondents Secretary Gonzales and the NTC, praying for the issuance of the writs of certiorari and prohibition, as extraordinary legal remedies, to annul void proceedings, and to prevent the unlawful, unconstitutional and oppressive exercise of authority by the respondents. This case concerns the Hello Garci issue. On June 5, 2005, Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye told reporters that the opposition was planning to destabilize the administration by releasing an audiotape of a mobile phone conversation allegedly between President Arroyo, and a high-ranking official of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC). Said conversation was allegedly wiretapped. On June 8, 2005, respondent Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Raul Gonzales warned reporters that those who had copies of the compact disc (CD) and those broadcasting or publishing its contents could be held liable under the Anti-Wiretapping Act. In another press briefing, Secretary Gonzales ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to go after media organizations found to have caused the spread, the playing and the printing of the contents of a tape. June 11, 2005, the NTC issued this press release giving a fair warning to radio and television owners/operators to observe anti-wiretapping law and pertinent circulars on program standards. The concerned radio and television companies are further warned that their broadcast/airing of such false information and/or willful misrepresentation shall be just cause for the suspension, revocation and/or cancellation of the licenses or authorizations issued to them. On June 14, 2005, NTC held a dialogue with the Board of Directors of the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster sa Pilipinas (KBP) asking the latter that the exercise of press freedom [be] done responsibly. Issue: Whether or not the acts of the respondent constitute a valid prior restraint Held: No, said acts do not constitute a valid prior restraint. Prior restraint refers to official governmental restrictions on the press or other forms of expression in advance of actual publication or dissemination. Freedom from prior restraint is largely freedom from government censorship. Any law or official that requires some form of permission to be had before publication can be made, commits an infringement of the constitutional right, and remedy can be had at the courts. Not all prior restraints on speech are however invalid. A distinction has to be made whether the restraint is (1) a contentneutral regulation, (i.e., merely concerned with the incidents of the speech, or one that merely controls the time, place or manner, and under well defined standards;) or (2) a content-based restraint or censorship, (i.e., the restriction is based on the subject matter of the utterance or speech). When the speech restraints take the form of a content-neutral regulation, only a substantial governmental interest is required for its validity. This is the intermediate approach. This is subject to an intermediate review. A content-based regulation bears a heavy presumption of invalidity and is measured against the clear and present danger rule. It latter will pass constitutional muster only if justified by a compelling

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reason, and the restrictions imposed are neither overbroad nor vague. The challenged acts in the case at bar need to be subjected to the clear and present danger rule, as they are content-based restrictions. The acts of respondents focused solely on but one objecta specific content fixed as these were on the alleged taped conversations between the President and a COMELEC official. Undoubtedly these did not merely provide regulations as to the time, place or manner of the dissemination of speech or expression. A governmental action that restricts freedom of speech or of the press based on content is given the strictest scrutiny, with the government having the burden of overcoming the presumed unconstitutionality by the clear and present danger rule. On the basis of the records of the case at bar, respondents who have the burden to show that these acts do not abridge freedom of speech and of the press failed to hurdle the clear and present danger test. It appears that the great evil which government wants to prevent is the airing of a tape recording in alleged violation of the anti-wiretapping law. Not every violation of a law will justify straitjacketing exercise of freedom of speech and of the press. the

The totality of the injurious effects of the violation to private and public interest must be calibrated in light of the preferred status accorded by the Constitution and by related international covenants protecting freedom of speech and of the press. There is no showing that the feared violation of the antiwiretapping law clearly endangers the national security of the State. 2. Whether or not the press statements of the Secretary of Justice and the NTC constitute a form of content-based prior restraint. Held: It is not decisive that the press statements made by respondents were not reduced in or followed up with formal orders or circulars. It is sufficient that the press statements were made by respondents while in the exercise of their official functions. Undoubtedly, respondent Gonzales made his statements as Secretary of Justice, while the NTC issued its statement as the regulatory body of media. The concept of an act does not limit itself to acts already converted to a formal order or official circular. The press statements at bar are acts that should be struck down as they constitute impermissible forms of prior restraints on the right to free speech and press. The petition was GRANTED. Note: In this case, the Supreme Court enumerated the Four aspects of freedom of the press, to wit: 1) 2) 3) 4) Freedom from prior restraint; Freedom from punishment subsequent to publication; Freedom of access to information; Freedom of circulation.

2. APPLICATIONS CONTEXTS a. FREEDOM SECURITY OF

OF

TESTS

IN

VARIOUS NATIONAL

EXPRESSION

AND

b. FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION & CRITICISM OF OFFICIAL CONDUCT: TEST OF ACTUAL MALICE SOLIVEN vs. MAKASIAR 167 SCRA 393 (1988)

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the public of the legitimacy of the purpose of the activity and of the qualifications and integrity of the personalities behind it.

BORJAL vs. CA 301 SCRA 1 (1999)


Facts: Petitioners Arturo Borjal and Maximo Soliven are among the incorporators of Philippines Today, Inc. (PTI), now PhilSTAR Daily, Inc., owner of The Philippine Star, a daily newspaper. At the time the complaint was filed, petitioner Borjal was its President while Soliven was (and still is) Publisher and Chairman of its Editorial Board. Among the regular writers of The Philippine Star is Borjal who runs the column Jaywalker. Private respondent Francisco Wenceslao, is a civil engineer, businessman, business consultant and journalist by profession. In 1988 he served as a technical adviser of Congressman Fabian Sison, then Chairman of the House of Representatives Sub-Committee on Industrial Policy (the sub-committee). The sub-committee agreed to organize the First National Conference on Land Transportation (FNCLT). The conference which, according to private respondent, was estimated to cost around P1,815,000.00 would be funded through solicitations from various sponsors. Private respondent Wenceslao was elected Executive Director. As such, he wrote numerous solicitation letters to the business community for the support of the conference. Between May and July 1989 petitioner Borjal wrote a series of articles which dealt with the alleged anomalous activities of an "organizer of a conference" without naming or identifying private respondent. Neither did it refer to the FNCLT as the conference therein mentioned. Private respondent reacted to the articles. He sent a letter to The Philippine Star insisting that he was the organizer alluded to in petitioner Borjals columns. He refuted the matters contained in said columns. Private Respondent filed a criminal case for libel against petitioners Borjal and Soliven, among others. However, in a Resolution dated 7 August 1990, the Assistant Prosecutor handling the case dismissed the complaint for insufficiency of evidence. The dismissal was sustained by the Department of Justice and later by the Office of the President. On 31 October 1990 private respondent instituted against petitioners a civil action for damages based on libel subject of the instant case. The trial court decided in favor of private respondent Wenceslao and ordered petitioners Borjal and Soliven to indemnify private respondent for damages. The Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the court a quo but reduced the amount of the monetary award. Issue: Whether or not the disputed articles constitute privileged communications as to exempt the author from liability. Held: Yes, they are privileged.

The guarantees of freedom of speech and press prohibit a public official or public figure from recovering damages for a defamatory falsehood relating to his official conduct unless he proves that the statement was made with actual malice, i.e., with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not. To require critics of official conduct to guarantee the truth of all their factual assertions on pain of libel judgments would lead to self-censorship, since would-be critics would be deterred from voicing out their criticisms even if such were believed to be true, or were in fact true, because of doubt whether it could be proved or because of fear of the expense of having to prove it In the present case, SC deemed private respondent a public figure. A "public figure" is defined as a person who, by his accomplishments, fame, mode of living, or by adopting a profession or calling which gives the public a legitimate interest in his doings, his affairs and his character, has become a public personage. He is, in other words, a celebrity. The FNCLT was an undertaking infused with public interest. As its Executive Director and spokesman, private respondent consequently assumed the status of a public figure. Moreover, If a matter is a subject of public or general interest, it cannot suddenly become less so merely because a private individual is involved or because in some sense the individual did not voluntarily choose to become involved. The publics primary interest is in the event; the public focus is on the conduct of the participant and the content, effect and significance of the conduct, not the participant's prior anonymity or notoriety. On Malice While, generally, malice can be presumed from defamatory words, the privileged character of a communication destroys the presumption of malice. Malice connotes ill will or spite and speaks not in response to duty but merely to injure the reputation of the person defamed, and implies an intention to do ulterior and unjustifiable harm. It is the essence of the crime of libel. Private respondent failed to substantiate by preponderant evidence that petitioner was animated by a desire to inflict unjustifiable harm on his reputation, or that the articles were written and published without good motives or justifiable ends. Furthermore, to be considered malicious, the libelous statements must be shown to have been written or published with the knowledge that they are false or in reckless disregard of whether they are false or not.[ Even assuming that the contents of the articles are false, mere error, inaccuracy or even falsity alone does not prove actual malice. Petition was granted.

Fair commentaries on matters of public interest are privileged and constitute a valid defense in an action for libel or slander. The doctrine of fair comment means that while in general every discreditable imputation publicly made is deemed false, because every man is presumed innocent until his guilt is judicially proved, and every false imputation is deemed malicious, nevertheless, when the discreditable imputation is directed against a public person in his public capacity, it is not necessarily actionable. In order that such discreditable imputation to a public official may be actionable, it must either be a false allegation of fact or a comment based on a false supposition. If the comment is an expression of opinion, based on established facts, then it is immaterial that the opinion happens to be mistaken, as long as it might reasonably be inferred from the facts. The questioned articles dealt with matters of public interest. The declared objective of the conference, the composition of its members and participants, and the manner by which it was intended to be funded no doubt lend to its activities as being genuinely imbued with public interest. An organization such as the FNCLT aiming to reinvent and reshape the transportation laws of the country and seeking to source its funds for the project from the public at large cannot dissociate itself from the public character of its mission. As such, it cannot but invite close scrutiny by the media obliged to inform

VASQUEZ vs. CA 314 SCRA 460 (2000)


Facts: The question for determination in this case is the liability for libel of a citizen who denounces a barangay official for misconduct in office. Petitioner Rodolfo R. Vasquez is a resident of the Tondo Foreshore Area. Sometime in April 1986, he and some 37 families from the area went to see then National Housing Authority (NHA) General Manager Lito Atienza regarding their complaint against their Barangay Chairman, Jaime Olmedo. After their meeting with Atienza and other NHA officials, petitioner and his companions were met and interviewed by newspaper reporters at the NHA compound concerning their complaint. The interview appeared the next day in the newspaper Ang Tinig ng Masa, the pertinent portions of which read:

xxx Nananawagan kahapon kay pangulong Corazon Aquino ang 38 mahihirap na pamilya sa Tondo Foreshore Area na umanoy inagawan ng lupa ng kanilang barangay chairman sa pakikipagsabwatan sa ilang pinuno ng

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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW REVIEW 2-BILL OF RIGHTS Atty. Vincent Paul Montejo


National Housing Authority sapul 1980.xxx xxx Sinabi nila na nakipagsabwatan umano si Chairman Jaime Olmedo ng barangay 66, Zone 6, Tondo Foreshore Area, sa mga project manager ng NHA upang makamkam ang may 14 na lote ng lupa sa naturang lugar. xxx xxx Binanggit ni Rodolfo R. Vasquez, 40, Tagapagsalita ng (mga) pamilyang apektado, na umaabot lang sa 487.87 metro kuwadrado ang kabuuan ng mga lupa na kinatitirikan ng mga barung-barung ng 38 pamilya. xxx Based on the newspaper article, Olmedo filed a complaint for libel against petitioner alleging that the latters statements cast aspersions on him and damaged his reputation. After conducting preliminary investigation, the city prosecutor, filed an information for libel before the RTC of Manila, Br. 40. The trial court rendered judgment finding petitioner guilty of libel. CA affirmed the decision. Issue: W/N petitioner is liable for libel. Held: Petitioner is not liable for libel.

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unnoticed. An alleged confrontation between Thoenen and the owner of a pet he shot recently threatens to exacerbate the problem, Angara said. The subject of said article was Francis Theonen who is a retired engineer and permanently residing in the country with his Filipina wife and children. Claiming that the report was false and defamatory, and that the petitioners acted irresponsibly in failing to verify the truth of the same prior to publication, he filed a civil case for damages against herein petitioners. Thoenen claimed that the article destroyed the respect and admiration he enjoyed in the community, and that since it had been published, he and his wife received several queries and angry calls from friends, neighbors and relatives. The principal source of the article was allegedly a letter by a certain Atty. Efren Angara addressed to the Bureau of Immigration who requested to verify the true status/authenticity of the residency in the Philippines of a foreign national (a Swiss) by the name of Francis Thoenen who is presently residing at No. 10 Calcuta cor. Beirut Street, BF Homes (PH. III), Paraaque, Metro Manila. I received (sic) complaint from my clients residing around his vicinity that this foreigner had (sic) been causing troubles ever since he showed up. He is too meticulous and had (sic) been shooting dogs and cats passing his house wall everytime. The news article contained several inaccuracies. The headline, which categorically stated that the subject of the article engaged in the practice of shooting pets, was untrue. Moreover, it is immediately apparent from a comparison between letter and the news item that while the letter is a mere request for verification of Thoenens status, Lee wrote that residents of BF Homes had asked the Bureau of Immigration to deport a Swiss who allegedly shoots neighbors pets. No complaints had in fact been lodged against him by any of the BF Homeowners nor had any pending deportation proceedings been initiated against him in the Bureau of Immigration. The Office of the Bar Confidant also announced that no Atty. Efren Angara ever exists. The trial court ruled in favor of the petitioners, while the CA reversed the ruling. ISSUE: W/N the freedom of speech and the press can be extended to petitioners in this case? RULING: NO. The freedom of speech and of the press is not absolute. Not all speech is protected. The right of free speech is not absolute at all times and under all circumstances. There are certain well-defined and narrowly limited classes of speech, the prevention and punishment of which has never been thought to raise any Constitutional problem. These include the lewd and obscene, the profane, the libelous, and the insulting or fighting words - those which by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace. It has been well observed that such utterances are no essential part of any exposition of ideas, and are of such slight social value as a step to truth that any benefit that may be derived from them is clearly outweighed by the social interest in order and morality. Libel is not protected speech. For an imputation to be libelous, the following requisites must be met: (a) the allegation of a discreditable act or condition concerning another; (b) publication of the charge; (c) identity of the person defamed; and (d) existence of malice. All the elements are found to be present in the case. As a general rule, malice is presumed. ART. 354. Requirement of Publicity. - Every defamatory imputation is presumed to be malicious, even if it be true, if no good intention and justifiable motive for making it is shown, except in the following cases: 1. 2. A private communication made by any person to another in the performance of any legal, moral or social duty; and A fair and true report, made in good faith, without any comments or remarks, of any judicial, legislative or other official proceedings which are not of confidential nature, or of any statement, report or speech delivered in said proceedings, or of any other act performed by public officers in the exercise of their functions.

Petitioner was able to prove the truth of his charges against the barangay official. His allegation that, through connivance with NHA officials, complainant was able to obtain title to several lots at the Tondo Foreshore Area was based on the letter of NHA Inspector General Hermogenes Fernandez to petitioners counsel. With regard to the other imputations made by petitioner against complainant, it must be noted that what petitioner stated was that various charges (for attempted murder against petitioner, gambling, theft of fighting cocks) had been filed by the residents against their barangay chairman but these had all been dismissed. Petitioner was able to show evidence against these charges. In denouncing the barangay chairman in this case, petitioner and the other residents of the Tondo Foreshore Area were not only acting in their self-interest but engaging in the performance of a civic duty to see to it that public duty is discharged faithfully and well by those on whom such duty is incumbent. The recognition of this right and duty of every citizen in a democracy is inconsistent with any requirement placing on him the burden of proving that he acted with good motives and for justifiable ends. For that matter, even if the defamatory statement is false, no liability can attach if it relates to official conduct, unless the public official concerned proves that the statement was made with actual malice that is, with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not. In this case, the prosecution failed to prove not only that the charges made by petitioner were false but also that petitioner made them with knowledge of their falsity or with reckless disregard of whether they were false or not. The decision of the CA was REVERSED and the petitioner was ACQUITTED of the crime charged.

(Kristine Ferrer)

c. FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AND THE RIGHT OF PRIVACY


Philippine Journalist, Inc. vs. Theonen December 13, 2005 FACTS: On September 30, 1990, a news item in Peoples Journal (a tabloid of general circulation) contained the following article. Swiss Shoots Neighbors Pets (Cristina Lee) RESIDENTS of a subdivision in Paraaque have asked the Bureau of Immigration to deport a Swiss who allegedly shoots wayward neighbors pets that he finds in his domain.The BF Homes residents through lawyer Atty. Efren Angara complained that the deportation of Francis Thoenen, of 10 Calcutta BF Homes Phase III, could help prevent the recurrence of such incident in the future. Angara explained that house owners could not control their dogs and cats when they slip out of their dwellings

The article is not a privileged communication. A privileged communication may be either absolutely privileged or qualifiedly privileged. Absolutely privileged communications are those which are not actionable even if the author has acted in bad faith. An

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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW REVIEW 2-BILL OF RIGHTS Atty. Vincent Paul Montejo


example is found in Sec. 11, Art. VI of the 1987 Constitution which exempts a member of Congress from liability for any speech or debate in the Congress or in any Committee thereof. Upon the other hand, qualifiedly privileged communications containing defamatory imputations are not actionable unless found to have been made without good intention or justifiable motive. To this genre belong private communications and fair and true report without any comments or remarks. The petitioners story is not privileged in character, for it is neither private communication nor a fair and true report without any comments or remarks. What is a private communication? A communication made bona fide upon any subject-matter in which the party communicating has an interest, or in reference to which he has a duty, is privileged, if made to a person having a corresponding interest or duty, although it contained criminatory matter which without this privilege would be slanderous and actionable. A pertinent illustration of the application of qualified privilege is a complaint made in good faith and without malice in regard to the character or conduct of a public official when addressed to an officer or a board having some interest or duty in the matter. Assuming that the letter written by the spurious Atty. Angara is privileged communication, it lost its character when the matter was published in the newspaper and circulated among the general population. Neither is the news item a fair and true report without any comments or remarks of any judicial, legislative or other official proceedings; there is in fact no proceeding to speak of. Nor is the article related to any act performed by public officers in the exercise of their functions, for it concerns only false imputations against Thoenen, a private individual seeking a quiet life. On its face, the statement that residents of BF Homes had asked the Bureau of Immigration to deport a Swiss who allegedly shoots neighbors pets is patently untrue since the letter of the spurious Atty. Angara was a mere request for verification of Thoenens status as a foreign resident. Lees article, moreover, is also untrue, in that the events she reported never happened. The respondent had never shot any of his neighbors pets, no complaints had been lodged against him by his neighbors, and no deportation proceedings had been initiated against him. Although it has been stressed that a newspaper should not be held to account to a point of suppression for honest mistakes, or imperfection in the choice of words, even the most liberal view of free speech has never countenanced the publication of falsehoods, especially the persistent and unmitigated dissemination of patent lies. There is no constitutional value in false statements of fact. Neither the intentional lie nor the careless error materially advances societys interest in uninhibited, robust, and wide-open debate. The use of the known lie as a tool is at once at odds with the premises of democratic government and with the orderly manner in which economic, social, or political change is to be effected. Calculated falsehood falls into that class of utterances which are no essential part of any exposition of ideas, and are of such slight social value as a step to truth that any benefit that may be derived from them is clearly outweighed by the social interest in order and morality The knowingly false statement and the false statement made with reckless disregard of the truth, do not enjoy constitutional protection Tulfo vs. People of the Philippines September 16, 2008 The freedom of the press is one of the cherished hallmarks of our democracy; but even as we strive to protect and respect the fourth estate, the freedom it enjoys must be balanced with responsibility. There is a fine line between freedom of expression and libel, and it falls on the courts to determine whether or not that line has been crossed. FACTS: Atty. Carlos "Ding" So of the Bureau of Customs filed a complaint and charged and charged petitioners Erwin Tulfo, as author/writer, Susan Cambri, as managing editor, Rey Salao, as national editor, Jocelyn Barlizo, as city editor, and Philip Pichay, as president of the Carlo Publishing House, Inc., of the daily tabloid Remate, with the crime of libel in connection with the publication of the articles in the column "Direct Hit" in the issues of May 11, 1999; May 12, 1999; May 19, 1999; and June 25, 1999. One of the articles are as follows: PINAKAMAYAMAN SA CUSTOMS Ito palang si Atty. Ding So ng Intelligence Division ng Bureau of Customs and [sic] pinakamayaman na yata na government official sa

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buong bansa sa pangungurakot lamang diyan sa South Harbor.Hindi matibag ang gagong attorney dahil malakas daw ito sa Iglesia ni Kristo.Hoy, So! . . nakakahiya ka sa mga INC, ikaw na yata ang pinakagago at magnanakaw na miyembro nito.Balita ko, malapit ka nang itiwalag ng nasabing simbahan dahil sa mga kalokohan mo. Abangan bukas ang mga raket ni So sa BOC. The trial court found the petitioners guilty of libel while CA affirmed the said decision. ISSUE: W/N petitioners are guilty of libel? RULING: Yes, malice applies. Not covered by the privilege communication rule. Freedom of the Press v. Responsibility of the Press The Court has long respected the freedom of the press, and upheld the same when it came to commentaries made on public figures and matters of public interest. Even in cases wherein the freedom of the press was given greater weight over the rights of individuals, the Court, however, has stressed that such freedom is not absolute and unbounded. The exercise of this right or any right enshrined in the Bill of Rights, indeed, comes with an equal burden of responsible exercise of that right. The recognition of a right is not free license for the one claiming it to run roughshod over the rights of others. It cannot be said that Tulfo followed the Journalist's Code of Ethics and exercised his journalistic freedom responsibly. In his series of articles, he targeted one Atty. "Ding" So of the Bureau of Customs as being involved in criminal activities, and was using his public position for personal gain. He went even further than that, and called Atty. So an embarrassment to his religion, saying "ikaw na yata ang pinakagago at magnanakaw sa miyembro nito." He accused Atty. So of stealing from the government with his alleged corrupt activities. And when Atty. So filed a libel suit against him, Tulfo wrote another article, challenging Atty. So, saying, "Nagalit itong tarantadong si Atty. So dahil binabantayan ko siya at in-expose ang kagaguhan niya sa [Bureau of Customs]. The exercise of press freedom must be done "consistent with good faith and reasonable care." This was clearly abandoned by Tulfo when he wrote the subject articles. This is no case of mere error or honest mistake, but a case of a journalist abdicating his responsibility to verify his story and instead misinforming the public. Journalists may be allowed an adequate margin of error in the exercise of their profession, but this margin does not expand to cover every defamatory or injurious statement they may make in the furtherance of their profession, nor does this margin cover total abandonment of responsibility. In order that such discreditable imputation to a public official may be actionable, it must either be a false allegation of fact or a comment based on a false supposition. If the comment is an expression of opinion, based on established facts, then it is immaterial that the opinion happens to be mistaken, as long as it might reasonably be inferred from the facts. Tulfosarticles cannot even be considered as qualified privileged communication under the second paragraph of Art. 354 of the RPC which exempts from the presumption of malice "a fair and true report, made in good faith, without any comments or remarks, of any judicial, legislative, or other official proceedings which are not of confidential nature, or any statement, report, or speech delivered in said proceedings, or of any other act performed by public officers in the exercise of their functions." This particular provision has several elements which must be present in order for the report to be exempt from the presumption of malice. The provision can be dissected as follows: In order that the publication of a report of an official proceeding may be considered privileged, the following conditions must exist: (a) That it is a fair and true report of a judicial, legislative, or other official proceedings which are not of confidential nature, or of a statement, report or speech delivered in said proceedings, or of any other act performed by a public officer in the exercise of his functions; (b) That it is made in good faith; and (c) That it is without any comments or remarks. Petitioners Cambri, Salao, Barlizo, and Pichay all claim that they had no participation in the editing or writing of the subject articles, and are thus not liable.The argument must fail. The language of Art. 360 of the RPC is plain. It lists the persons responsible for libel:

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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW REVIEW 2-BILL OF RIGHTS Atty. Vincent Paul Montejo


Art. 360. Persons responsible.--Any person who shall publish, exhibit, or cause the publication or exhibition of any defamation in writing or by similar means, shall be responsible for the same. The author or editor of a book or pamphlet, or the editor or business manager of a daily newspaper, magazine or serial publication, shall be responsible for the defamations contained therein to the same extent as if he were the author thereof. Those who would publish under the aegis of freedom of the press must also acknowledge the corollary duty to publish responsibly. To show that they have exercised their freedom responsibly, they must go beyond merely relying on unfounded rumors or shadowy anonymous sources. There must be further investigation conducted, some shred of proof found to support allegations of misconduct or even criminal activity. It is in fact too easy for journalists to destroy the reputation and honor of public officials, if they are not required to make the slightest effort to verify their accusations. Journalists are supposed to be reporters of facts, not fiction, and must be able to back up their stories with solid research. The power of the press and the corresponding duty to exercise that power judiciously cannot be understated. But even with the need for a free press, the necessity that it be free does not mean that it be totally unfettered. It is still acknowledged that the freedom can be abused, and for the abuse of the freedom, there must be a corresponding sanction. It falls on the press to wield such enormous power responsibly. It may be a cliche that the pen is mightier than the sword, but in this particular case, the lesson to be learned is that such a mighty weapon should not be wielded recklessly or thoughtlessly, but always guided by conscience and careful thought.

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The line of equilibrium in the specific context of the instant case between the constitutional freedom of speech and of expression and the right of privacy, may be marked out in terms of a requirement that the proposed motion picture must be fairly truthful and historical in its presentation of events. PHILIPPINE JOURNALISTS, INC. vs. CAPULONG 160 SCRA 861 (1988)

d. FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AND ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE


IN RE EMILIANO P. JURADO AM NO. 90-5-2373 JULY 12, 1990 Facts: Emiliano P. Jurado, a journalist who writes in a newspaper of general circulation, the "Manila Standard." He describes himself as a columnist, who "incidentally happens to be a lawyer," remarking that while he values his membership in the law profession, "such membership is neither a critical nor indispensable adjunct in the exercise of his occupation as a newspaperman." His column in the "Manila Standard" is entitled "Opinion." Jurado had been writing about alleged improperties and irregularities in the judiciary over several months (from about October, 1992 to March, 1993). Other journalists had also been making reports or comments on the same subject. At the same time, anonymous communications were being extensively circulated, by hand and through the mail, about alleged venality and corruption in the courts. And all these were being repeatedly and insistently adverted to by certain sectors of society. Issue: Whether or Not Tulfo is in contempt.

c. FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AND RIGHT OF PRIVACY


Ayer Productions vs. Capulong April 29, 1988 FACTS: Petitioner McElroy an Australian film maker, and his movie production company, Ayer Productions, envisioned, sometime in 1987, for commercial viewing and for Philippine and international release, the historic peaceful struggle of the Filipinos at EDSA. The proposed motion picture entitled "The Four Day Revolution" was endorsed by the MTRCB as and other government agencies consulted. Ramos also signified his approval of the intended film production. It is designed to be viewed in a six-hour mini-series television play, presented in a "docu-drama" style, creating four fictional characters interwoven with real events, and utilizing actual documentary footage as background. David Williamson is Australia's leading playwright and Professor McCoy (University of New South Wales) is an American historian have developed a script. Enrile declared that he will not approve the use, appropriation, reproduction and/or exhibition of his name, or picture, or that of any member of his family in any cinema or television production, film or other medium for advertising or commercial exploitation. petitioners acceded to this demand and the name of Enrile was deleted from the movie script, and petitioners proceeded to film the projected motion picture. However, a complaint was filed by Enrile invoking his right to privacy. RTC ordered for the desistance of the movie production and making of any reference to plaintiff or his family and from creating any fictitious character in lieu of plaintiff which nevertheless is based on, or bears substantial or marked resemblance to Enrile. Hence the appeal. ISSUE: Whether or Not freedom of expression was violated. RULING: Yes. Freedom of speech and of expression includes the freedom to film and produce motion pictures and exhibit such motion pictures in theaters or to diffuse them through television. Furthermore the circumstance that the production of motion picture films is a commercial activity expected to yield monetary profit, is not a disqualification for availing of freedom of speech and of expression. The projected motion picture was as yet uncompleted and hence not exhibited to any audience. Neither private respondent nor the respondent trial Judge knew what the completed film would precisely look like. There was, in other words, no "clear and present danger" of any violation of any right to privacy. Subject matter is one of public interest and concern. The subject thus relates to a highly critical stage in the history of the country. At all relevant times, during which the momentous events, clearly of public concern, that petitioners propose to film were taking place, Enrile was a "public figure:" Such public figures were held to have lost, to some extent at least, their right to privacy.

Ruling: The principle of press freedom is invoked by Jurado in justification of these published writings. That invocation is obviously unavailing in light of the basic postulates and the established axioms or norms for the proper exercise of press freedom earlier set forth in this opinion. Jurado next puts in issue this Court's power to cite him for contempt. The issue is quickly disposed of by adverting to the familiar principle reiterated inter alia in Zaldivar v. Gonzales: . . . (T)he Supreme Court has inherent power to punish for contempt, to control in the furtherance of justice the conduct of ministerial officers of the Court including lawyers and all other persons connected in any manner with a case before the Court (In re Kelly, 35 Phil. 944 [1916]; In re Severino Lozano and Anastacio Quevedo, 54 Phil. 801 (1930]; In re Vicente Pelaez, 44 Phil. 567 [1923]; and In re Vicente Sotto, 82 Phil. 595 [1949]). The power to punish for contempt is "necessary for its own protection against improper interference with the due administration of justice," "(i)t is not dependent upon the complaint of any of the parties litigant" (Halili v. Court of Industrial Relations, 136 SCRA 112 [1985]; Andres v. Cabrera, 127 SCRA 802 [1984]; Montalban v. Canonoy, 38 SCRA 1 [1971]; Commissioner of Immigration v. Cloribel, 20 SCRA 1241 [1967]; Herras Teehankee v. Director of Prisons, 76 Phil. 630 [1946]). Contempt is punishable, even if committed without relation to a pending case. Philippine jurisprudence parallels a respectable array of English decisions holding contumacious scurrilous attacks against the courts calculated to bring them into disrepute, even when made after the trial stage or after the end of the proceedings. Jurado would also claim that the Court has no administrative supervision over him as a member of the press or over his work as a journalist, and asks why he is being singled out, and, by being required to submit to a separate administrative proceeding, treated differently than his other colleagues in media who were only asked to explain their reports and comments about wrongdoing in the judiciary to the Ad Hoc Committee. The answer is that upon all that has so far been said, the Court may hold anyone to answer for utterances offensive to its dignity, honor or reputation which tend to put it in

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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW REVIEW 2-BILL OF RIGHTS Atty. Vincent Paul Montejo


disrepute, obstruct the administration of justice, or interfere with the disposition of its business or the performance of its functions in an orderly manner. Jurado has not been singled out. What has happened is that there have been brought before the Court, formally and in due course, sworn statements branding his reports as lies and thus imposing upon him the alternatives of substantiating those reports or assuming responsibility for their publication. Jurado would have the Court clarify in what capacity whether a journalist, or as a member of the bar he has been cited in these proceeding. Thereby he resurrects the issue he once raised in a similar earlier proceeding: that he is being called to account as a lawyer for his statements as a journalist. This is not the case at all. Upon the doctrines and principles already inquired into and cited, he is open to sanctions as journalist who has misused and abused press freedom to put the judiciary in clear and present to the danger of disrepute and of public obdium and opprobrium, detriment and prejudice of the administration of justice. That he is at the same time a member of the bar has nothing to do with the setting in of those sanctions, although it may aggravate liability. At any rate, what was said about the matter in that earlier case is equally cogent here:

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respondent was called over the phone by a leading member of the Court and was asked to dismiss the cases against two Members of the Court." Statements of the respondent saying that the SCs order '"heightens the people's apprehension over the justice system in this country, especially because the people have been thinking that only the small fly can get it while big fishes go scot-free was publicized in leading newspapers. Now, the Court Resolved to require respondent to explain in writing why he should not be punished for contempt of court for making such public statements reported in the media. Respondent then sought to get some members of the Court to inhibit themselves in the resolution of the Zaldivar case for alleged bias and prejudice against him. A little later, he in effect asked the whole Court to inhibit itself from passing upon the Issue involved in proceeding and to pass on responsibility for this matter to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, upon the ground that respondent cannot expect due process from this Court, that the Court has become incapable of judging him impartially and fairly. The Court found respondent guilty of contempt of court and indefinitely suspended from the practice of law. Now, he assails said conviction, invoking his freedom of speech. Counsel for respondent urges that it is error "for this Court to apply the "visible tendency" rule rather than the "clear and present danger" rule in disciplinary and contempt charges." ISSUE: Whether or Not there was a violation of the freedom of speech/expression. RULING: There was no violation. The Court did not purport to announce a new doctrine of "visible tendency," it was simply paraphrasing Section 3 (d) of Rule 71 of the Revised Rules of Court which penalizes a variety of contumacious conduct including: "any improper conduct tending, directly or indirectly, to impede, obstruct or degrade the administration of justice." Under either the "clear and present danger" test or the "balancing-ofinterest test," the Court held that the statements made by respondent Gonzalez are of such a nature and were made in such a manner and under such circumstances, as to transcend the permissible limits of free speech. What is here at stake is the authority of the Supreme Court to confront and prevent a "substantive evil" consisting not only of the obstruction of a free and fair hearing of a particular case but also the avoidance of the broader evil of the degradation of the judicial system of a country and the destruction of the standards of professional conduct required from members of the bar and officers of the courts, which has some implications to the society. SWS vs. ASUNCION 228 SCRA 11 (1993) (Xyza Gemelo) UNITED vs. GUTIERREZ 315 SCRA 423 (1990) IN RE PUBLISHED 385 SCRA 285 (2002) IN THE MATTERMACASAET 561 SCRA 395 (2008)

IN RE RAMON TULFO AM NO. 90-4-1545-0 APRIL 7, 1990 Facts: In Oct. 13, 1989, Tulfo wrote an article in his column in PDI 'On Target' stating that the Supreme Court rendered an idiotic decision in legalizing checkpoints, and again on Oct. 16, 1989, where he called the Supreme Court stupid and "sangkatutak na mga bobo justices of the Philippine Supreme Court". Tulfo was required to show cause why he should not be punished for contempt. Tulfo said that he was just reacting emotionally because he had been a victim of harassment in the checkpoints, and "idiotic" meant illogical and unwise, and "bobo" was just quoted from other attorneys, and since the case had been decided and terminated, there was not contempts. Lastly, the article does not pose any clear and present danger to the Supreme court. Issue: Whether or Not Tulfo is in contempt. Ruling: Yes. At the time Tulfo wrote the article, the checkpoints case had not yet been decided upon, and the Supreme Court was still acting on an MR filed from the CA. The power to punish is inherent as it is essential for self-preservation. Contempt of court is defiance of the authority, justice and dignity of the courts. It brings disrepute to the court. There are two kinds of publications which can be punished for contempt: a. those whose object is to affect the decision in a pending case. b. those whose object is to bring courts to discredit. Tulfo's article constituted both. It should have been okay to criticize if respectful language was used, but if its object is only to degrade and ridicule, then it is clearly an obstruction of justice. Nothing constructive can be gained from them. Being emotional is no excuse for being insulting. Quoting is not an excuse also, because at the end of his article, Tulfo said, "So you bobo justices, watch out!" Also, he said he was not sorry for having written the articles. Tulfo is found in contempt of court and is gravely censured.

e. SYMBOLIC EXPRESSION f. ASSEMBLY AND PETITION


DELA CRUZ vs. CA 305 SCRA 303 (1999)

Zaldivar vs. Sandiganbayan February 1, 1989 FACTS: The case stemmed from the resolution of the Supreme Court stopping the respondent from investigating graft cases involving Antique Gov. Enrique Zaldivar. The Court ruled that since the adoption of the 1987 Constitution, respondents powers as Tanodbayan have been superseded by the creation of the Office of the Ombudsman, he however becomes the Special Prosecutor of the State, and can only conduct an investigation and file cases only when so authorized by the Ombudsman. A motion for reconsideration was filed by the respondent wherein he included statements which were unrelated in the Issue raised in the Court. This include: (a)That he had been approached twice by a leading member of the court and he was asked to 'go slow on Zaldivar and 'not to be too hard on him; (b) That he "was approached and asked to refrain from investigating the COA report on illegal disbursements in the Supreme Court because 'it will embarass the Court;" and (c) that in several instances, the undersigned

D.

CONTENT-NEUTRAL RESTRICTIONS 1. REGULATION OF POLITICAL CAMPAIGN OSMEA vs. COMELEC 288 SCRA447 (1998) ABS-CBN vs. COMELEC 323 SCRA 811 (2000) SWS vs. COMELEC 357 SCRA 497 (2001) 2. FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY
NESTLE PHILIPPINES vs. SANCHEZ

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154 SCRA 542 (Metong Guhiling)

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adverted to in Osmea v. Comelec,where the Court referred to it as a "content-neutral" regulation of the time, place, and manner of holding public assemblies. A fair and impartial reading of B.P. No. 880 thus readily shows that it refers to all kinds of public assemblies22 that would use public places. The reference to "lawful cause" does not make it contentbased because assemblies really have to be for lawful causes, otherwise they would not be "peaceable" and entitled to protection. Neither are the words "opinion," "protesting" and "influencing" in the definition of public assembly content based, since they can refer to any subject. The words "petitioning the government for redress of grievances" come from the wording of the Constitution, so its use cannot be avoided. Finally, maximum tolerance is for the protection and benefit of all rallyists and is independent of the content of the expressions in the rally. Furthermore, the permit can only be denied on the ground of clear and present danger to public order, public safety, public convenience, public morals or public health. Second Issue: No, the CPR is not constitutional. This Court reiterates its basic policy of upholding the fundamental rights of our people, especially freedom of expression and freedom of assembly. In several policy addresses, Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban has repeatedly vowed to uphold the liberty of our people and to nurture their prosperity. He said that "in cases involving liberty, the scales of justice should weigh heavily against the government and in favor of the poor, the oppressed, the marginalized, the dispossessed and the weak. Indeed, laws and actions that restrict fundamental rights come to the courts with a heavy presumption against their validity. These laws and actions are subjected to heightened scrutiny." For this reason, the so-called calibrated preemptive response policy has no place in our legal firmament and must be struck down as a darkness that shrouds freedom. It merely confuses our people and is used by some police agents to justify abuses.

Subayco vs Sandiganbayan Aug 21, 1986 Facts: During the Martial Law days, one of the biggest protest rallies was blueprinted as a Welga ng Bayan at Escalante, Negros Occidental. It ended in tragedy when Twenty (20) demonstrators were shot dead and twenty-four (24) others were wounded by the military and para-military forces of the Marcos government. Of several persons charged with various counts of murder and frustrated murder, only three (3) were convicted Generoso N. Subayco, Alfredo T. Alcalde and Eleuterio O. Ibaez were convicted by the respondent Sandiganbayan. They now come to this Court insisting on their innocence and pleading to be set free. Ruling: We deny their petition and we warn our military and police authorities that they cannot shoot people who are exercising their right to peacefully assemble and petition the government for redress of grievance. The use of bullets to break up an assembly of people petitioning for redress of grievance cannot but be bewailed. It is bound to happen again for as long as abuses in government abound. Precisely to help put a brake on official abuses, people empowerment was codified in various provisions of the 1987 Constitution. It is high time to remind our officials that under our Constitution power does not come from the barrel of a gun but from the ballots of the people. It thus important to know the unexpurgated will of the people for in a republican government, it is the people who should truly rule. Consequently, the right of the people to assemble peacefully and to petition for redress of grievance should not be abridged by officials momentarily holding the powers of government. The Constitution did not engage in mystical teaching when it proclaimed in solemn tone that "sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them." It should be clear even to those with intellectual deficits that when the sovereign people assemble to petition for redress of grievances, all should listen, especially the government. For in a democracy, it is the people who count; those who are deaf to their grievances are ciphers

3.FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION AND THE RIGHT TO STRIKE IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR


SSS Employees Association vs Court of Appeals July 28, 1989

Bayan vs Ermita April 25, 2006 Facts: The first petitioners, Bayan, et al. allege that they are citizens and taxpayers of the Philippines and that their rights as organizations and individuals were violated when the rally they participated in on October 6, 2005 was violently dispersed by policemen implementing Batas Pambansa (B.P.) No. 880. Petitioners Bayan, et al., contend that Batas Pambansa No. 880 is clearly a violation of the Constitution and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and other human rights treaties of which the Philippines is a signatory. They argue that B.P. No. 880 requires a permit before one can stage a public assembly regardless of the presence or absence of a clear and present danger. It also curtails the choice of venue and is thus repugnant to the freedom of expression clause as the time and place of a public assembly form part of the message for which the expression is sought. Furthermore, it is not content-neutral as it does not apply to mass actions in support of the government. The words "lawful cause," "opinion," "protesting or influencing" suggest the exposition of some cause not espoused by the government. Also, the phrase "maximum tolerance" shows that the law applies to assemblies against the government because they are being tolerated. As a content-based legislation, it cannot pass the strict scrutiny test. Issues: Whether or not B.P. No. 880 is a content-based or contentneutral regulation. Whether or not the Calibrated Preemptive Response (CPR) is constitutional. Ruling: First Issue: It is a content-neutral regulation. A reading of BP 880 is clear that it is not an absolute ban of public assemblies but a restriction that simply regulates the time, place and manner of the assemblies. This was

Facts: Members of SSS Employees Association (SSSEA) went on strike after the SSS failed to act on the union's demands, which included: implementation of the provisions of the old SSS-SSSEA collective bargaining agreement (CBA) on check-off of union dues; payment of accrued overtime pay, night differential pay and holiday pay; conversion of temporary or contractual employees with six (6) months or more of service into regular and permanent employees and their entitlement to the same salaries, allowances and benefits given to other regular employees of the SSS; and payment of the children's allowance of P30.00, and after the SSS deducted certain amounts from the salaries of the employees and allegedly committed acts of discrimination and unfair labor practices. On June 11, 1987, the SSS filed with the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City a complaint for damages with a prayer for a writ of preliminary injunction against petitioners. Issue: Whether or not the employees of Social Security System (SSS) have the right to strike? Ruling: No, SSS employees do not have the right to strike. Considering that under the 1987 Constitution "[t]he civil service embraces all branches, subdivisions, instrumentalities, and agencies of the Government, including government-owned or controlled corporations with original charters" [Art. IX(B), Sec. .2(l) see also Sec. 1 of E.O. No. 180 where the employees in the civil service are denominated as "government employees"] and that the SSS is one such government-controlled corporation with an original charter, having been created under R.A. No. 1161, its employees are part of the civil service [NASECO v. NLRC, G.R. Nos. 69870 & 70295, November 24,1988] and are covered by the Civil Service Commission's memorandum prohibiting strikes. This being the case, the strike staged by the employees of the SSS was illegal. Government employees may, therefore, through their unions or associations, either petition the Congress for the betterment of the

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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW REVIEW 2-BILL OF RIGHTS Atty. Vincent Paul Montejo


terms and conditions of employment which are within the ambit of legislation or negotiate with the appropriate government agencies for the improvement of those which are not fixed by law. If there be any unresolved grievances, the dispute may be referred to the Public Sector Labor - Management Council for appropriate action. But employees in the civil service may not resort to strikes, walk-outs and other temporary work stoppages, like workers in the private sector, to pressure the Govemment to accede to their demands. As now provided under Sec. 4, Rule III of the Rules and Regulations to Govern the Exercise of the Right of Government- Employees to SelfOrganization, which took effect after the instant dispute arose, "[t]he terms and conditions of employment in the government, including any political subdivision or instrumentality thereof and government- owned and controlled corporations with original charters are governed by law and employees therein shall not strike for the purpose of securing changes thereof." Dela Cruz vs Court of Appeals March 25, 1999 Facts: Petitioners are public school teachers from various schools in Metro Manila who were simultaneously charged, preventively suspended, and eventually dismissed in October 1990 by then Secretary Isidro D. Cario of the Department of Education, Culture and Sports (DECS), for participating in the mass action/illegal strike in Sept. 19-21, 1990. Petitioners contend that the Court of Appeals grievously erred in affirming the CSC resolutions finding them guilty of conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service when their only "offense" was to exercise their constitutional right to peaceably assemble and petition the government for redress of their grievances. Moreover petitioners insist that the mass actions of September/October 1990 were not "strikes" as there was no actual disruption of classes. Petitioners therefore ask for exoneration or, in the alternative, award of back wages for the period of three (3) years when they were not allowed to work while awaiting resolution of their appeals by the MSPB and CSC, deducting the period of six (6) months' suspension eventually meted them. Ruling: The petitions must be denied in view of previous rulings of this Court already settling all the issues raised by petitioners. It is a very desirable and necessary judicial practice that when a court has laid down a principle of law as applicable to a certain state of facts, it will adhere to that principle and apply it to all future cases where the facts are substantially the same. Stare decisis et non quieta movere. Stand by the decisions and disturb not what is settled.. As early as 18 December 1990 we have categorically ruled in the consolidated cases of Manila Public School Teachers Association v. Laguio Jr., and Alliance of Concerned Teachers v. Hon. Isidro Cario that the mass actions of September/October 1990 staged by Metro Manila public school teachers "amounted to a strike in every sense of the term, constituting as they did, a concerted and unauthorized stoppage of or absence from work which it was said teachers' sworn duty to perform, carried out for essentially economic reasons to protest and pressure the Government to correct what, among other grievances, the strikers perceived to be the unjust or prejudicial implementation of the salary standardization law insofar as they were concerned, the non-payment or delay in payment of various fringe benefits and allowances to which they were entitled, and the imposition of additional teaching loads and longer teaching hours." In Rolando Gan v. Civil Service Commission, we denied the claim that the teachers were thereby denied their rights to peaceably assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances reasoning that this constitutional liberty to be upheld, like any other liberty, must be exercised within reasonable limits so as not to prejudice the public welfare. But the public school teachers in the case of the 1990 mass actions did not exercise their constitutional rights within reasonable limits. On the contrary, they committed acts prejudicial to the best interest of the service by staging the mass protests on regular school days, abandoning their classes and refusing to go back even after they had been ordered to do so. Had the teachers availed of their free time recess, after classes, weekends or holidays to dramatize their grievances and to dialogue with the proper authorities within the bounds of law, no one not the DECS, the CSC or even the Supreme Court could have held them liable for their participation in the mass actions. Sta Clara vs Gaston January 23, 2002 Facts: The complaint alleged that private respondents herein [were] residents of San Jose Avenue, Sta. Clara Subdivision, Mandalagan, Bacolod City. They purchased their lots in the said subdivision sometime in 1974, and at the time of purchase, there was no mention

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or requirement of membership in any homeowners association. From that time on, they have remained non-members of SCHA. The case arose when the subdivision guards refused to let private respondent enter the subdivision premises by reason of not having a gate pass. The complaint further alleged that these acts of the petitioners herein done in the presence of other subdivision owners had caused private respondents to suffer moral damage. Petitioners contend that it is Home Insurance and Guaranty Corporation which has jurisdiction over the case since it is an intracorporate controversy because its by-laws contains a provision that all real estate owners in Sta. Clara Subdivision automatically become members of the association. The private respondents, having become lot owners of Sta. Clara Subdivision in 1974 after the approval by the SEC of SCHAs articles of incorporation and by-laws, became members automatically in 1974 of SCHA Issue: Are Private Respondents SCHA Members?

Ruling: In order to determine if the HIGC has jurisdiction over the dispute, it is necessary to resolve preliminarily -- on the basis of the allegations in the Complaint -- whether private respondents are members of the SCHA. Petitioners contend that because the Complaint arose from intracorporate relations between the SCHA and its members, the HIGC therefore has no jurisdiction over the dispute. To support their contention that private respondents are members of the association, petitioners cite the SCHAs Articles of Incorporation and By-laws which provide that all landowners of the Sta. Clara Subdivision are automatically members of the SCHA. We are not persuaded. The constitutionally guaranteed freedom of association includes the freedom not to associate. The right to choose with whom one will associate oneself is the very foundation and essence of that partnership. It should be noted that the provision guarantees the right to form an association. It does not include the right to compel others to form or join one. More to the point, private respondents cannot be compelled to become members of the SCHA by the simple expedient of including them in its Articles of Incorporation and By-laws without their express or implied consent. True, it may be to the mutual advantage of lot owners in a subdivision to band themselves together to promote their common welfare. But that is possible only if the owners voluntarily agree, directly or indirectly, to become members of the association. True also, memberships in homeowners associations may be acquired in various ways -- often through deeds of sale, Torrens certificates or other forms of evidence of property ownership. In the present case, however, other than the said Articles of Incorporation and By-laws, there is no showing that private respondents have agreed to be SCHA members.

Padcom vs Ortigas May 9, 2002 Facts: Petitioner Padcom Condominium Corporation (hereafter PADCOM) owns and manages the Padilla Office Condominium Building (PADCOM Building). The land on which the building stands was originally acquired from the Ortigas & Company, Limited Partnership (OCLP), by Tierra Development Corporation (TDC) under a Deed of Sale dated 4 September 1974. Among the terms and conditions in the deed of sale was the requirement that the transferee and its successor-in-interest must become members of an association for realty owners and long-term lessees in the area later known as the Ortigas Center. In 1982, respondent Ortigas Center Association, Inc. (hereafter the Association) was organized to advance the interests and promote the general welfare of the real estate owners and long-term lessees of lots in the Ortigas Center. It sought the collection of membership dues in the amount of two thousand seven hundred twenty-four pesos and forty centavos (P2,724.40) per month from PADCOM. The corporate books showed that PADCOM owed the Association P639,961.47, representing membership dues, interests and penalty charges from April 1983 to June 1993. In view of PADCOMs failure and refusal to pay its arrears in monthly dues, including interests and penalties thereon, the Association filed a complaint for collection of sum of money. PADCOM contends that it cannot be compelled to be a member of the Association solely by virtue of the "automatic membership" clause that appears on the title of the property and the Deed of Transfer. In 1975, when it bought the land, the Association was still inexistent. Therefore, the provision on automatic membership was

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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW REVIEW 2-BILL OF RIGHTS Atty. Vincent Paul Montejo


anticipatory in nature, subject to the actual formation of the Association and the subsequent formulation of its implementing rules. Issue: Whether or not the automatic membership clause on the title to the property violated PADCOMs freedom to associate under the Constitution. Ruling: Neither are we convinced by PADCOMs contention that the automatic membership clause is a violation of its freedom of association. PADCOM was never forced to join the association. It could have avoided such membership by not buying the land from TDC. Nobody forced it to buy the land when it bought the building with the annotation of the condition or lien on the Certificate of Title thereof and accepted the Deed. PADCOM voluntarily agreed to be bound by and respect the condition, and thus to join the Association. GSIS vs Kapisanan ng mga Manggagaw December 6, 2006 Facts: A four-day October 2004 concerted demonstration, rallies and en masse walkout waged/held in front of the GSIS main office in Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City, started it all. Forming a huge part of the October 4 to October 7, 2004 mass action participants were GSIS personnel, among them members of the herein respondent Kapisanan Ng Mga Manggagawa sa GSIS ("KMG" or the "Union"), a public sector union of GSIS rank-and-file employees. Ruling: Employeess in the public service may not engage in strikes or in concerted and unauthorized stoppage of work; that the right of government employees to organize is limited to the formation of unions or associations, without including the right to strike. Jacinto v. Court of Appeals came next and there we explained: Specifically, the right of civil servants to organize themselves was positively recognized in Association of Court of Appeals Employees vs. Ferrer-Caleja. But, as in the exercise of the rights of free expression and of assembly, there are standards for allowable limitations such as the legitimacy of the purpose of the association, [and] the overriding considerations of national security . . . . As regards the right to strike, the Constitution itself qualifies its exercise with the provision "in accordance with law." This is a clear manifestation that the state may, by law, regulate the use of this right, or even deny certain sectors such right. Executive Order 180 which provides guidelines for the exercise of the right of government workers to organize, for instance, implicitly endorsed an earlier CSC circular which "enjoins under pain of administrative sanctions, all government officers and employees from staging strikes, demonstrations, mass leaves, walkouts and other forms of mass action which will result in temporary stoppage or disruption of public service" by stating that the Civil Service law and rules governing concerted activities and strikes in government service shall be observed. And in the fairly recent case of Gesite v. Court of Appeals,24 the Court defined the limits of the right of government employees to organize in the following wise: It is relevant to state at this point that the settled rule in this jurisdiction is that employees in the public service may not engage in strikes, mass leaves, walkouts, and other forms of mass action that will lead in the temporary stoppage or disruption of public service. The right of government employees to organize is limited to the formation of unions or associations only, without including the right to strike, adding that public employees going on disruptive unauthorized absences to join concerted mass actions may be held liable for conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service. Significantly, 1986 Constitutional Commission member Eulogio Lerum, answering in the negative the poser of whether or not the right of government employees to self-organization also includes the right to strike, stated: When we proposed this amendment providing for self organization of government employees, it does not mean that because they have the right to organize, they have also the right to strike. That is a different matter. xxx

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with Maria Kalaw Katigbak as its Chairman and Brig. Gen. Wilfredo C. Estrada as its Vice-Chairman, also named respondents. In a resolution of a sub-committee of respondent Board of October 23, 1984, a permit to exhibit the film Kapit sa Patalim under the classification "For Adults Only," with certain changes and deletions enumerated was granted. A motion for reconsideration was filed by petitioners stating that the classification of the film "For Adults Only" was without basis. Then on November 12, 1984, respondent Board released its decision: "Acting on the applicant's Motion for Reconsideration dated 29 October 1984, the Board, after a review of the resolution of the sub-committee and an examination of the film, Resolves to affirm in toto the ruling of the sub-committee. Considering, however, certain vital deficiencies in the application, the Board further Resolves to direct the Chairman of the Board to Withheld the issuance of the Permit to exhibit until these deficiencies are supplied. Hence this petition. Issue: Whether or not the classification of the movie as For Adults Only is without legal and factual basis and is exercised as impermissible restraint of artistic expression. Ruling: No, it is not without legal and factual basis and is also not exercised as an impermissible restraint of artistic expression. The test, to repeat, to determine whether freedom of expression may be limited is the clear and present danger of an evil of a substantive character that the State has a right to prevent. Such danger must not only be clear but also present. There should be no doubt that what is feared may be traced to the expression complained of. The causal connection must be evident. Also, there must be reasonable apprehension about its imminence. The time element cannot be ignored. Nor does it suffice if such danger be only probable. There is the requirement of its being well-nigh inevitable. The basic postulate, wherefore, as noted earlier, is that where the movies, theatrical productions radio scripts, television programs, and other such media of expression are concerned included as they are in freedom of expression censorship, especially so if an entire production is banned, is allowable only under the clearest proof of a clear and present danger of a substantive evil to public public morals, public health or any other legitimate public interest. In the applicable law, Executive Order No. 876, reference was made to respondent Board "applying contemporary Filipino cultural values as standard, words which can be construed in an analogous manner. Moreover, as far as the question of sex and obscenity are concerned, it cannot be stressed strongly that the arts and letters "shall be under the patronage of the State. That is a constitutional mandate. It will be less than true to its function if any government office or agency would invade the sphere of autonomy that an artist enjoys. This being a certiorari petition, the question before the Court is whether or not there was a grave abuse of discretion. That there was an abuse of discretion by respondent Board is evident in the light of the difficulty and travail undergone by petitioners before Kapit sa Patalim was classified as "For Adults Only," without any deletion or cut. Moreover its perception of what constitutes obscenity appears to be unduly restrictive. This Court concludes then that there was an abuse of discretion. Nonetheless, there are not enough votes to maintain that such an abuse can be considered grave. Accordingly, certiorari does not lie. This conclusion finds support in this explanation of respondents in its Answer to the amended petition: "The adult classification given the film serves as a warning to theater operators and viewers that some contents of Kapit are not fit for the young. Some of the scenes in the picture were taken in a theater-club and a good portion of the film shots concentrated on some women erotically dancing naked, or at least nearly naked, on the theater stage. Another scene on that stage depicted the women kissing and caressing as lesbians. And toward the end of the picture, there exists scenes of excessive violence attending the battle between a group of robbers and the police. The vulnerable and imitative in the young audience will misunderstand these scenes." Further: "Respondents further stated in its answer that petitioner company has an option to have the film reclassified to ForGeneral-Patronage if it would agree to remove the obscene scenes and pare down the violence in the film." (Rhys Guiamadel) IGLESIA NI CRISTO, (INC.), petitioner, vs. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, BOARD OF REVIEW FOR MOVING PICTURES AND TELEVISION and HONORABLE HENRIETTA S. MENDOZA, respondents.

4.

MOVIES CENSORSHIP
Gonzales vs Kalaw Katigbak July 22, 1985

Facts: The principal petitioner is Jose Antonio U. Gonzalez, President of the Malaya Films, a movie production outfit duly registered as a single proprietorship with the Bureau of Domestic Trade. The respondent is the Board of Review for Motion Pictures and Television,

Compiled by: Thyrza Marbas/Percy Donalvo/Carrie Mae Bangayan

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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW REVIEW 2-BILL OF RIGHTS Atty. Vincent Paul Montejo


FACTS: Petitioner Iglesia ni Cristo, a duly organized religious organization, has a television program entitled "Ang Iglesia ni Cristo". The program presents and propagates petitioner's religious beliefs, doctrines and practices often times in comparative studies with other religions. Sometime in the months of September, October and November 1992 petitioner submitted to the respondent Board of Review for Moving Pictures and Television the VTR tapes of its TV program Series Nos. 116, 119, 121 and 128. The Board classified the series as "X" or not for public viewing on the ground that they "offend and constitute an attack against other religions which is expressly prohibited by law." ISSUES: The basic issues can be reduced into two: (1) first, whether the respondent Board has the power to review petitioner's TV program "Ang Iglesia ni Cristo," and (2) second, assuming it has the power, whether it gravely abused its discretion when it prohibited the airing of petitioner's religious program, series Nos. 115, 119 and 121, for the reason that they constitute an attack against other religions and that they are indecent, contrary to law and good customs. RULING: The first issue can be resolved by examining the powers of the Board under PD No. 1986. The law gives the Board the power to screen, review and examine all "television programs." By the clear terms of the law, the Board has the power to "approve, delete . . . and/or prohibit the . . . exhibition and/or television broadcast of . . . television programs . . ." The law also directs the Board to apply "contemporary Filipino cultural values as standard" to determine those which are objectionable for being "immoral, indecent, contrary to law and/or good customs, injurious to the prestige of the Republic of the Philippines and its people, or with a dangerous tendency to encourage the commission of violence or of a wrong or crime." Petitioner contends that the term "television program" should not include religious programs like its program "Ang Iglesia ni Cristo." A contrary interpretation, it is urged, will contravene section 5, Article III of the Constitution which guarantees that "no law shall be made respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever be allowed." We reject petitioner's submission which need not set us adrift in a constitutional voyage towards an uncharted sea. Freedom of religion has been accorded a preferred status by the framers of our fundamental laws, past and present. We have affirmed this preferred status well aware that it is "designed to protect the broadest possible liberty of conscience, to allow each man to believe as his conscience directs, to profess his beliefs, and to live as he believes he ought to live, consistent with the liberty of others and with the common good." We thus reject petitioner's postulate that its religious program is per se beyond review by the respondent Board. Its public broadcast on TV of its religious program brings it out of the bosom of internal belief. Television is a medium that reaches even the eyes and ears of children. The Court iterates the rule that the exercise of religious freedom can be regulated by the State when it will bring about the clear and present danger of some substantive evil which the State is duty bound to prevent, i.e., serious detriment to the more overriding interest of public health, public morals, or public welfare. A laissez faire policy on the exercise of religion can be seductive to the liberal mind but history counsels the Court against its blind adoption as religion is and continues to be a volatile area of concern in our country today. As to the Second Issue: Deeply ensconced in our fundamental law is its hostility against all prior restraints on speech, including religious speech. Hence, any act that restrains speech is hobbled by the presumption of invalidity and should be greeted with furrowed brows. It is the burden of the respondent Board to overthrow this presumption. If it fails to discharge this burden, its act of censorship will be struck down. It failed in the case at bar. The evidence shows that the respondent Board x-rated petitioners TV series for "attacking" either religions, especially the Catholic church. An examination of the evidence, especially Exhibits "A," "A-1," "B," "C," and "D" will show that the so-called "attacks" are mere criticisms of some of the deeply held dogmas and tenets of other religions. The videotapes were not viewed by the respondent court as they were not presented as evidence. Yet they were considered by the respondent court as indecent, contrary to law and good customs, hence, can be prohibited from public viewing under section 3(c) of PD 1986. This ruling clearly suppresses petitioner's freedom of speech and interferes with its right to free exercise of religion. In x-rating the TV program of the petitioner, the respondents failed to apply the clear and present danger rule. In American Bible Society v. City of Manila, this Court held: "The constitutional guaranty of free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship carries with it the right to disseminate religious information. Any restraint of

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such right can be justified like other restraints on freedom of expression on the ground that there is a clear and present danger of any substantive evil which the State has the right to prevent." In Victoriano vs. Elizalde Rope Workers Union, we further ruled that ". . . it is only where it is unavoidably necessary to prevent an immediate and grave danger to the security and welfare of the community that infringement of religious freedom may be justified, and only to the smallest extent necessary to avoid the danger." Prior restraint on speech, including religious speech, cannot be justified by hypothetical fears but only by the showing of a substantive and imminent evil which has taken the life of a reality already on ground. It is also opined that it is inappropriate to apply the clear and present danger test to the case at bar because the issue involves the content of speech and not the time, place or manner of speech. Allegedly, unless the speech is first allowed, its impact cannot be measured, and the causal connection between the speech and the evil apprehended cannot be established. The contention overlooks the fact that the case at bar involves videotapes that are pre-taped and hence, their speech content is known and not an X quantity. Given the specific content of the speech, it is not unreasonable to assume that the respondent Board, with its expertise, can determine whether its sulphur will bring about the substantive evil feared by the law. IN VIEW WHEREOF, the Decision of the respondent Court of Appeals dated March 24, 1995 is affirmed insofar as it sustained the jurisdiction of the respondent MTRCB to review petitioner's TV program entitled "Ang Iglesia ni Cristo," and is reversed and set aside insofar as it sustained the action of the respondent MTRCB xrating petitioner's TV Program Series Nos. 115, 119, and 121. No costs.

5.

RADIO BROADCAST

EASTERN BROADCASTING CORPORATION (DYRE) petitioner, vs. THE HON. JOSE P. DANS, JR., MINISTER OF TRANSPORTATION & COMMUNICATIONS, THE HON. CEFERINO S. CARREON, COMMISSIONER, NATIONAL TELECOM., COMMISSION, ET AL., respondents. This petition was filed to compel the respondents to allow the reopening of Radio Station DYRE which had been summarily closed on grounds of national security. The petitioner contended that it was denied due process when it was closed on the mere allegation that the radio station was used to incite people to sedition. it alleged that no hearing was held and not a bit of proof was submitted to establish a factual basis for the closure. The petitioner was not informed beforehand why administrative action which closed the radio station was taken against it. No action was taken by the respondents to entertain a motion seeking the reconsideration of the closure action. The petitioner also raised the issue of freedom of speech. It appears from the records that the respondents' general charge of "inciting people to commit acts of sedition" arose from the petitioner's shift towards what it stated was the coverage of public events and the airing of programs geared towards public affairs. The case has become moot and academic. However, for the guidance of inferior courts and administrative tribunals exercising quasi-judicial functions, the Court issues the following guidelines: (1) The cardinal primary requirements in administrative proceedings laid down by this Court in Ang Tibay v. Court of Industrial Relations (69 Phil. 635) should be followed before a broadcast station may be closed or its operations curtailed. 1 (2) It is necessary to reiterate that while there is no controlling and precise definition of due process, it furnishes an unavoidable standard to which government action must conform in order that any deprivation of life, liberty, or property, in each appropriate case, may be valid (Ermita-Malate Hotel and Motel Operators Association v. City Mayor, 20 SCRA 849). (3) All forms of media, whether print or broadcast, are entitled to the broad protection of the freedom of speech and expression clause. The test for limitations on freedom of expression continues to be the clear and present danger rule that words are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that the lawmaker has a right to prevent. (4) The clear and present danger test, however, does not lend itself to a simplistic and all embracing interpretation applicable to all utterances in all forums. Broadcasting has to be licensed. Airwave frequencies have to be allocated among qualified users. A broadcast corporation cannot simply appropriate a certain frequency without regard for government regulation or for the rights of others.

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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW REVIEW 2-BILL OF RIGHTS Atty. Vincent Paul Montejo


All forms of communication are entitled to the broad protection of the freedom of expression clause. Necessarily, however, the freedom of television and radio broadcasting is somewhat lesser in scope than the freedom accorded to newspaper and print media. The American Court in Federal Communications Commission v. Pacifica Foundation (438 U.S. 726), confronted with a patently offensive and indecent regular radio program, explained why radio broadcasting, more than other forms of communications, receives the most limited protection from the free expression clause. First, broadcast media have established a uniquely pervasive presence in the lives of all citizens, Material presented over the airwaves confronts the citizen, not only in public, but in the privacy of his home. Second, broadcasting is uniquely accessible to children. Bookstores and motion picture theaters may be prohibited from making certain material available to children, but the same selectivity cannot be done in radio or television, where the listener or viewer is constantly tuning in and out. (5) The clear and present danger test, therefore, must take the particular circumstances of broadcast media into account. The supervision of radio stations-whether by government or through selfregulation by the industry itself calls for thoughtful, intelligent and sophisticated handling. (6) The freedom to comment on public affairs is essential to the vitality of a representative democracy. (7) Broadcast stations deserve the special protection given to all forms of media by the due process and freedom of expression clauses of the Constitution. WHEREFORE, the case having become moot and academic, the petitioner's motion to withdraw or dismiss the petition is hereby GRANTED.

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only critical, but vital to the exercise of their professions. The right of access to information ensures that these freedoms are not rendered nugatory by the government's monopolizing pertinent information. For an essential element of these freedoms is to keep open a continuing dialogue or process of communication between the government and the people. It is in the interest of the State that the channels for free political discussion be maintained to the end that the government may perceive and be responsive to the people's will. Yet, this open dialogue can be effective only to the extent that the citizenry is informed and thus able to formulate its will intelligently. Only when the participants in the discussion are aware of the issues and have access to information relating thereto can such bear fruit. The right to information is an essential premise of a meaningful right to speech and expression. But this is not to say that the right to information is merely an adjunct of and therefore restricted in application by the exercise of the freedoms of speech and of the press. Far from it. The right to information goes hand-in-hand with the constitutional policies of full public disclosure * and honesty in the public service. ** It is meant to enhance the widening role of the citizenry in governmental decision-making as well as in checking abuse in government. Yet, like all the constitutional guarantees, the right to information is not absolute. As stated in Legaspi, the people's right to information is limited to "matters of public concern," and is further "subject to such limitations as may be provided by law." Similarly, the State's policy of full disclosure is limited to "transactions involving public interest," and is "subject to reasonable conditions prescribed by law." Hence, before mandamus may issue, it must be clear that the information sought is of "public interest" or "public concern," and is not exempted by law from the operation of the constitutional guarantee [Legazpi v. Civil Service Commission, supra, at p. 542.] The Court has always grappled with the meanings of the terms "public interest" and "public concern". As observed in Legazpi: In determining whether or not a particular information is of public concern there is no rigid test which can be applied. "Public concern" like "public interest" is a term that eludes exact definition. Both terms embrace a broad spectrum of subjects which the public may want to know, either because these directly affect their lives, or simply because such matters naturally arouse the interest of an ordinary citezen. In the final analysis, it is for the courts to determine on a case by case basis whether the matter at issue is of interest or importance, as it relates to or affects the public. [Ibid. at p. 541] The information sought by petitioners in this case is the truth of reports that certain Members of the Batasang Pambansa belonging to the opposition were able to secure "clean" loans from the GSIS immediately before the February 7, 1986 election through the intercession of th eformer First Lady, Mrs. Imelda Marcos. The GSIS is a trustee of contributions from the government and its employees and the administrator of various insurance programs for the benefit of the latter. Undeniably, its funds assume a public character. It is therefore the legitimate concern of the public to ensure that these funds are managed properly with the end in view of maximizing the benefits that accrue to the insured government employees. Moreover, the supposed borrowers were Members of the defunct Batasang Pambansa who themselves appropriated funds for the GSIS and were therefore expected to be the first to see to it that the GSIS performed its tasks with the greatest degree of fidelity and that an its transactions were above board. In sum, the public nature of the loanable funds of the GSIS and the public office held by the alleged borrowers make the information sought clearly a matter of public interest and concern. A second requisite must be met before the right to information may be enforced through mandamus proceedings, viz., that the information sought must not be among those excluded by law. Respondent maintains that a confidential relationship exists between the GSIS and its borrowers. It is argued that a policy of confidentiality restricts the indiscriminate dissemination of information. Yet, respondent has failed to cite any law granting the GSIS the privilege of confidentiality as regards the documents subject of this petition. His position is apparently based merely on considerations of policy. The judiciary does not settle policy issues. The Court can only declare what the law is, and not what the law should be. Under our system of government, policy issues are within the domain of the political branches of the government, and of the people themselves as the repository of all State power.

g. FREEDOM OF INFORMATION
RICARDO VALMONTE, OSWALDO CARBONELL, DOY DEL CASTILLO, ROLANDO BARTOLOME, LEO OBLIGAR, JUN GUTIERREZ, REYNALDO BAGATSING, JUN "NINOY" ALBA, PERCY LAPID, ROMMEL CORRO and ROLANDO FADUL, petitioners, vs. FELICIANO BELMONTE, JR., respondent. In his comment respondent raises procedural objections to the issuance of a writ of mandamus, among which is that petitioners have failed to exhaust administrative remedies. Respondent claims that actions of the GSIS General Manager are reviewable by the Board of Trustees of the GSIS. Petitioners, however, did not seek relief from the GSIS Board of Trustees. It is therefore asserted that since administrative remedies were not exhausted, then petitioners have no cause of action. ISSUE: Whether or not they are entitled to the documents sought, by virtue of their constitutional right to information. RULING: The pertinent provision under the 1987 Constitution is Art. 111, Sec. 7 which states: The right of the people to information on matters of public concern shall be recognized. Access to official records, and to documents, and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions, or decisions, as well as to government research data used as basis for policy development, shall be afforded the citizen, subject to such limitations as may be provided by law. An informed citizenry with access to the diverse currents in political, moral and artistic thought and data relative to them, and the free exchange of ideas and discussion of issues thereon, is vital to the democratic government envisioned under our Constitution. The cornerstone of this republican system of government is delegation of power by the people to the State. In this system, governmental agencies and institutions operate within the limits of the authority conferred by the people. Denied access to information on the inner workings of government, the citizenry can become prey to the whims and caprices of those to whom the power had been delegated. The postulate of public office as a public trust, institutionalized in the Constitution (in Art. XI, Sec. 1) to protect the people from abuse of governmental power, would certainly be were empty words if access to such information of public concern is denied, except under limitations prescribed by implementing legislation adopted pursuant to the Constitution. Petitioners are practitioners in media. As such, they have both the right to gather and the obligation to check the accuracy of information the disseminate. For them, the freedom of the press and of speech is not

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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW REVIEW 2-BILL OF RIGHTS Atty. Vincent Paul Montejo


Respondent however contends that in view of the right to privacy which is equally protected by the Constitution and by existing laws, the documents evidencing loan transactions of the GSIS must be deemed outside the ambit of the right to information. When the information requested from the government intrudes into the privacy of a citizen, a potential conflict between the rights to information and to privacy may arise. However, the competing interests of these rights need not be resolved in this case. Apparent from the above-quoted statement of the Court in Morfe is that the right to privacy belongs to the individual in his private capacity, and not to public and governmental agencies like the GSIS. Moreover, the right cannot be invoked by juridical entities like the GSIS. Neither can the GSIS through its General Manager, the respondent, invoke the right to privacy of its borrowers. The right is purely personal in nature and hence may be invoked only by the person whose privacy is claimed to be violated. It may be observed, however, that in the instant case, the concerned borrowers themselves may not succeed if they choose to invoke their right to privacy, considering the public offices they were holding at the time the loans were alleged to have been granted. It cannot be denied that because of the interest they generate and their newsworthiness, public figures, most especially those holding responsible positions in government, enjoy a more limited right to privacy as compared to ordinary individuals, their actions being subject to closer public scrutiny Respondent next asserts that the documents evidencing the loan transactions of the GSIS are private in nature and hence, are not covered by the Constitutional right to information on matters of public concern which guarantees "(a)ccess to official records, and to documents, and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions, or decisions" only. It is argued that the records of the GSIS, a government corporation performing proprietary functions, are outside the coverage of the people's right of access to official records. It is further contended that since the loan function of the GSIS is merely incidental to its insurance function, then its loan transactions are not covered by the constitutional policy of full public disclosure and the right to information which is applicable only to "official" transactions. First of all, the "constituent ministrant" dichotomy characterizing government function has long been repudiated. In ACCFA v. Confederation of Unions and Government Corporations and Offices (G.R. Nos. L-21484 and L-23605, November 29, 1969, 30 SCRA 6441, the Court said that the government, whether carrying out its sovereign attributes or running some business, discharges the same function of service to the people. Consequently, that the GSIS, in granting the loans, was exercising a proprietary function would not justify the exclusion of the transactions from the coverage and scope of the right to information. Considering the intent of the framers of the Constitution which, though not binding upon the Court, are nevertheless persuasive, and considering further that government-owned and controlled corporations, whether performing proprietary or governmental functions are accountable to the people, the Court is convinced that transactions entered into by the GSIS, a government-controlled corporation created by special legislation are within the ambit of the people's right to be informed pursuant to the constitutional policy of transparency in government dealings. In fine, petitioners are entitled to access to the documents evidencing loans granted by the GSIS, subject to reasonable regulations that the latter may promulgate relating to the manner and hours of examination, to the end that damage to or loss of the records may be avoided, that undue interference with the duties of the custodian of the records may be prevented and that the right of other persons entitled to inspect the records may be insured [Legaspi v. Civil Service Commission, supra at p. 538, quoting Subido v. Ozaeta, 80 Phil. 383, 387.] Although citizens are afforded the right to information and, pursuant thereto, are entitled to "access to official records," the Constitution does not accord them a right to compel custodians of official records to prepare lists, abstracts, summaries and the like in their desire to acquire information on matters of public concern. WHEREFORE, the instant petition is hereby granted and respondent General Manager of the Government Service Insurance System is ORDERED to allow petitioners access to documents and records evidencing loans granted to Members of the former Batasang Pambansa, as petitioners may specify, subject to reasonable regulations as to the time and manner of inspection, not incompatible with this decision, as the GSIS may deem necessary.

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LEO ECHEGARAY vs. SECRETARY OF JUSTICE The relevant portions of the Manifestation and Urgent Motion filed by the Secretary of Justice beseeching this Court "to provide the appropriate relief" state: xxx xxx xxx 5. Instead of filing a comment on Judge Ponferrada's Manifestation however, herein respondent is submitting the instant Manifestation and Motion (a) to stress, inter alia, that the non-disclosure of the date of execution deprives herein respondent of vital information necessary for the exercise of his statutory powers, as well as renders nugatory the constitutional guarantee that recognizes the people's right to information of public concern, and (b) to ask this Honorable Court to provide the appropriate relief. 6. The non-disclosure of the date of execution deprives herein respondent of vital information necessary for the exercise of his power of supervision and control over the Bureau of Corrections pursuant to Section 39, Chapter 8, Book IV of the Administrative Code of 1987, in relation to Title III, Book IV of such Administrative Code, insofar as the enforcement of Republic Act No. 8177 and the Amended Rules and Regulations to Implement Republic Act No. 8177 is concerned and for the discharge of the mandate of seeing to it that laws and rules relative to the execution of sentence are faithfully observed. 7. On the other hand, the willful omission to reveal the information about the precise day of execution limits the exercise by the President of executive clemency powers pursuant to Section 19, Article VII (Executive Department) of the 1987 Philippine Constitution and Article 81 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, which provides that the death sentence shall be carried out "without prejudice to the exercise by the President of his executive powers at all times." (Emphasis supplied) For instance, the President cannot grant reprieve, i.e., postpone the execution of a sentence to a day certain (People v. Vera, 65 Phil. 56, 110 [1937]) in the absence of a precise date to reckon with. The exercise of such clemency power, at this time, might even work to the prejudice of the convict and defeat the purpose of the Constitution and the applicable statute as when the date at execution set by the President would be earlier than that designated by the court. 8. Moreover, the deliberate non-disclosure of information about the date of execution to herein respondent and the public violates Section 7, Article III (Bill of Rights) and Section 28, Article II (Declaration of Principles and State Policies) of the 1987 Philippine Constitution which read: Sec. 7. The right of the people to information on matters of public concern shall be recognized. Access to official records, and to documents and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions, or decisions, as well as to government research data used as basis for policy development shall, be afforded the citizen, subject to such limitations as may be provided by law. Sec. 28. Subject to reasonable conditions prescribed by law, the State adopts and implements a policy of full public disclosure of all transactions involving public interest. 9. The "right to information" provision is self-executing. It supplies "the rules by means of which the right to information may be enjoyed (Cooley, A Treatise on the Constitutional Limitations, 167 [1972]) by guaranteeing the right and mandating the duty to afford access to sources of information. Hence, the fundamental right therein recognized may be asserted by the people upon the ratification of the Constitution without need for any ancillary act of the Legislature (Id., at p. 165) What may be provided for by the Legislature are reasonable conditions and limitations upon the access to be afforded which must, of necessity, be consistent with the declared State policy of full public disclosure of all transactions involving public interest (Constitution, Art. II, Sec. 28). However, it cannot be overemphasized that whatever limitation may be prescribed by the Legislature, the right and the duty under Art. III, Sec. 7 have become operative and enforceable by virtue of the adoption of the New Charter." (Decision of the Supreme Court En Banc in Legaspi v. Civil Service Commission, 150 SCRA 530, 534-535 [1987]. The same motion to compel Judge Ponferrada to reveal the date of execution of petitioner Echegaray was filed by his counsel, Atty. Theodore Te, on December 7, 1998. He invoked his client's right to due process and the public's right to information. The Solicitor General, as counsel for public respondents, did not oppose petitioner's motion on the ground that this Court has no more jurisdiction over the process of execution of Echegaray. This Court granted the relief prayed for by the Secretary of Justice and by the counsel of the petitioner in its Resolution of December 15, 1998. There was not a whimper of protest from

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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW REVIEW 2-BILL OF RIGHTS Atty. Vincent Paul Montejo


the public respondents and they are now estopped from contending that this Court has lost its jurisdiction to grant said relief. The jurisdiction of this Court does not depend on the convenience of litigants. IN VIEW WHEREOF, the Court grants the public respondents' Urgent Motion for Reconsideration and Supplemental Motion to Urgent Motion for Reconsideration and lifts the Temporary Restraining Order issued in its Resolution of January 4, 1999. The Court also orders respondent trial court judge (Hon. Thelma A. Ponferrada, Regional Trial Court, Quezon City, Branch 104) to set anew the date for execution of the convict/petitioner in accordance with applicable provisions of law and the Rules of Court, without further delay. FRANCISCO I. CHAVEZ, petitioner, vs. PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION ON GOOD GOVERNMENT (PCGG) and MAGTANGGOL GUNIGUNDO, (in his capacity as chairman of the PCGG), respondents, GLORIA A. JOPSON, CELNAN A. JOPSON, SCARLET A. JOPSON, and TERESA A. JOPSON, petitioners-in-intervention. Before the Court are (1) a "Motion for Leave to Intervene with Motion for Leave to File the Attached Partial Motion for Reconsideration . . ." and (2) "Partial Motion for Reconsideration," both filed on January 22, 1999, as well as movants' Memorandum of Authorities filed on March 16, 1999. Movants Ma. Imelda Marcos-Manotoc, Ferdinand R. Marcos II and Irene Marcos-Araneta allege that they are parties and signatories 1 to the General and Supplemental Agreements dated December 28, 1993, which this Court, in its Decision promulgated on December 9, 1998, declared "NULL AND VOID for being contrary to law and the Constitution." As such, they claim to "have a legal interest in the matter in litigation, or in the success of either of the parties or an interest against both as to warrant their intervention." They add that their exclusion from the instant case resulted in a denial of their constitutional rights to due process and to equal protection of the laws. They also raise the "principle of hierarchical administration of justice" to impugn the Court's cognizance of petitioner's direct action before it. The motions are not meritorious. No Denial of Due Process Movants claim that their exclusion from the proceeding regarding the Agreements to which they were parties and signatories was a denial of "their property right to contract without due process of law." We rule that the movants are merely incidental, not indispensable, parties to the instant case. Being contractors to the General and Supplemental Agreements involving their supposed properties, they claim that their interests are affected by the petition. However, as exhaustively discussed in the assailed Decision, the Agreements undeniably contain terms an condition that are clearly contrary to the Constitution and the laws and are not subject to compromise. Such terms and conditions cannot be granted by the PCGG to anyone, not just to movants. Being so, no argument of the contractors will make such illegal and unconstitutional stipulations pass the test of validity. The void agreement will not be rendered operative by the parties' alleges performance (partial or full) of their respective prestations. A contract that violates the Constitution and the law is null and void ab intio and vests no rights and creates no obligations. It produces no legal effect at all. 5 In legal terms, the movants have really no interest to protect or right to assert in this proceeding. Contrary to their allegations, no infraction upon their rights has been committed. The original petition of Francisco I. Chavez sought to enforce a constitutional right against the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) and to determine whether the latter has been acting within the bounds of its authority. In the process of adjudication, there is no need to call on each and every party whom said agency has contracted with. In any event, we are now ruling on the merits of the arguments raised by movants; hence, they can no longer complain of not having been heard in this proceeding. Petition Sought to Define Scope of Right to Information Movants insist that there was "nothing "secret" or "furtive" about the agreements as to warrant their compulsory disclosure by the Honorable Court . . .." They submit that when they filed their Motion for Approval of Compromise Agreements before the Sandiganbayan, they practically "opened to public scrutiny the agreements and everything else related thereto."

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In our Decision, we have already discussed this point and, hence, shall no longer belabor it. Suffice it to say that in our Decision, we ruled that the Chavez petition was not confined to the conclude terms contained in the Agreements, but likewise concerned other ongoing and future negotiations and agreement, perfected or not. It sought a precise interpretation of the scope of the twin constitutional provisions on "public transactions." It was therefore not endered moot and academic simply by the public disclosure of the subject Agreements. In sum, we hold that the motions are procedurally flawed and that, at this late stage, intervention can no longer be allowed. Moreover, movants are not indispensable parties to this suit which principally assails the constitutionality and legality of PCGG's exercise of its discretion. In any event, the Court has ruled on the merits of movants' claims. Hence, they can no longer complain, however remotely, of deprivation of due process or of equal protection of the law. RAMON A. GONZALES vs. HON. ANDRES R. NARVASA DECISION In this petition for prohibition and mandamus filed on December 9, 1999, petitioner Ramon A. Gonzales, in his capacity as a citizen and taxpayer, assails the constitutionality of the creation of the Preparatory Commission on Constitutional Reform (PCCR) and of the positions of presidential consultants, advisers and assistants. Petitioner asks this Court to enjoin the PCCR and the presidential consultants, advisers and assistants from acting as such, and to enjoin Executive Secretary Ronaldo B. Zamora from enforcing their advice and recommendations. In addition, petitioner seeks to enjoin the Commission on Audit from passing in audit expenditures for the PCCR and the presidential consultants, advisers and assistants. Finally, petitioner prays for an order compelling respondent Zamora to furnish petitioner with information on certain matters. On January 28, 2000, respondent Hon. Andres R. Narvasa, impleaded in his capacity as Chairman of the PCCR, filed his Comment to the Petition. The rest of the respondents, who are being represented in this case by the Solicitor General, filed their Comment with this Court on March 7, 2000. Petitioner then filed a Consolidated Reply on April 24, 2000, whereupon this case was considered submitted for decision. Right to Information Finally, petitioner asks us to issue a writ of mandamus ordering Executive Secretary Ronaldo B. Zamora to answer his letter (Annex D) dated October 4, 1999 requesting for the names of executive officials holding multiple positions in government, copies of their appointments, and a list of the recipients of luxury vehicles seized by the Bureau of Customs and turned over to Malacanang. The right to information is enshrined in Section 7 of the Bill of Rights which provides that The right of the people to information on matters of public concern shall be recognized. Access to official records, and to documents, and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions, or decisions, as well as to government research data used as basis for policy development, shall be afforded the citizen, subject to such limitations as may be provided by law. Under both the 1973 and 1987 Constitution, this is a self-executory provision which can be invoked by any citizen before the courts. This was our ruling in Legaspi v. Civil Service Commission, wherein the Court classified the right to information as a public right and when a [m]andamus proceeding involves the assertion of a public right, the requirement of personal interest is satisfied by the mere fact that the petitioner is a citizen, and therefore, part of the general public which possesses the right. However, Congress may provide for reasonable conditions upon the access to information. Such limitations were embodied in Republic Act No. 6713, otherwise knows as the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, which took effect on March 25, 1989. This law provides that, in the performance of their duties, all public officials and employees are obliged to respond to letters sent by the public within fifteen (15) working days from receipt thereof and to ensure the accessibility of all public documents for inspection by the public within reasonable working hours, subject to the reasonable claims of confidentiality. Elaborating on the significance of the right to information, the Court said in Baldoza v. Dimaano that [t]he incorporation of this right in the Constitution is a recognition of the fundamental role of free exchange of information in a democracy. There can be no realistic perception by the public of the nations problems, nor a meaningful democratic

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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW REVIEW 2-BILL OF RIGHTS Atty. Vincent Paul Montejo


decisionmaking if they are denied access to information of general interest. Information is needed to enable the members of society to cope with the exigencies of the times. The information to which the public is entitled to are those concerning matters of public concern, a term which embrace[s] a broad spectrum of subjects which the public may want to know, either because these directly affect their lives, or simply because such matters naturally arouse the interest of an ordinary citizen. In the final analysis, it is for the courts to determine in a case by case basis whether the matter at issue is of interest or importance, as it relates to or affects the public. Thus, we agree with petitioner that respondent Zamora, in his official capacity as Executive Secretary, has a constitutional and statutory duty to answer petitioners letter dealing with matters which are unquestionably of public concern that is, appointments made to public offices and the utilization of public property. With regard to petitioners request for copies of the appointment papers of certain officials, respondent Zamora is obliged to allow the inspection and copying of the same subject to the reasonable limitations required for the orderly conduct of official business. WHEREFORE, the petition is dismissed, with the exception that respondent Zamora is ordered to furnish petitioner with the information requested. PURIFICACION M. VDA. DE URBANO vs. GOVERNMENT SERVICE INSURANCE SYSTEM (GSIS) The facts, gathered mainly from the stipulation and admissions of the parties, are as follows: In 1971, petitioners mortgaged their 200-square meter property in Quezon City to the respondent GSIS to secure a housing loan of P47,000.00. As petitioners failed to pay their loan when it fell due, GSIS foreclosed the mortgage on October 28, 1983. With a bid of P154,896.00, GSIS emerged as the highest bidder in the public auction of the property. In a bid to redeem their property, petitioner Arnel Arrienda wrote on September 26, 1984 to the Acquired Assets Department (AAD) of the GSIS signifying the petitioners' intention to redeem their property. Two days after or on September 28, petitioner vda. de Urbano wrote the GSIS Board of Trustees (the "Board") to inform them of her desire to redeem the subject property and for advice on the procedure for redemption.3 GSIS responded on October 16, 1984 advising her to pay the total redemption price of P154,896.00 on or before the expiry date of redemption on November 18, 1984 in full and in cash, failing which the property would be offered for sale through public bidding. Unable to find financing to repurchase the subject property, petitioners again wrote to the Board through AAD Manager Secoquian on January 18, 1985 requesting for re-mortgage through repurchase of the subject property.4 On February 27, 1985, AAD Manager Secoquian wrote to petitioners that "the granting of real estate/housing loan to the GSIS members is not within the province and competence of this department, hence your request for a re-mortgage of said property cannot be acted upon."5 On June 19, 1985, petitioner vda. de Urbano wrote to the Board requesting approval to file a loan of P240,000.00 with the GSIS Real Estate Department to repurchase their foreclosed property. On August 21, 1985, months after the expiration of the redemption period on November 18, 1984, GSIS consolidated its title over the property, leading to the cancellation of TCT No. 167532 covering the property and the issuance of TCT No. 33418 in favor of GSIS. On September 5, 1985, respondent Crispina dela Cruz commenced negotiations with respondent GSIS for her purchase of the petitioners' foreclosed property for P250,000.00 spot cash. Unable to raise the entire amount of the property but still persistent to reacquire it, petitioner Arnel Arrienda wrote to the Board on October 4, 1985, offering a downpayment of P50,000.00 to purchase their property, the balance of P124,572.62 to be paid within five years in equal monthly installments. He enclosed a cashier's check in the amount of P10,000.00 as earnest money. On October 30, 1985, AAD Manager Secoquian informed petitioners that the Board adopted Resolution No. 881 on October 10, 1985 declining their offer to purchase the subject property under their proposed terms and conditions. On November 11, 1985, petitioner Arnel Arrienda again wrote to the Board requesting reconsideration of Resolution No. 881 and abeyance of the public sale or negotiation of the subject property. Secoquian wrote petitioner Arnel Arrienda on December 26, 1985 informing him that the Board adopted Resolution No. 1022 dated December 12, 1985 denying his request for reconsideration of Resolution No. 881 and

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returning petitioners' cashier's check of P10,000.00. The Board also directed the "Operating Unit Concerned to inform Ms. Cristina Cruz (sic) that her offer to purchase the above-mentioned property shall only be entertained by the GSIS Board if accompanied by a Cashier's or Manager's check in the amount equivalent to 10% of her offer, forfeitable in favor of the System in case she fails to comply with the terms and conditions proposed by the System." With no let up on their efforts to repurchase their property, petitioner Aurelio Arrienda wrote to the Board on January 6, 1986 requesting a restructuring or a liberal arrangement to purchase back the subject property. This was denied by the Board in Resolution No. 36 dated January 16, 1986. Meantime, GSIS continued negotiating with private respondent dela Cruz. On January 28, 1986, Secoquian recommended to the Board the approval of the sale to dela Cruz. Not having lost their resolve and pinning their hopes on the new Board of Trustees under the new administration of then President Corazon Aquino, petitioner vda. de Urbano wrote on January 20, 1987 to Atty. Regalado Resurreccion, Head of the Operation Pabahay of the Government Investments and Loan Department of the GSIS, requesting reconsideration of GSIS' position with regard to the subject property.12 As indicated in a GSIS internal communication, Officer-in-Charge Rosales of the Residential Loans Department initially handled the-request, then endorsed it to Atty. Resurreccion on January 19, 1987 and enclosed in his endorsement petitioner vda. de Urbano's June 19, 1985 letter applying for a loan of P240,000.00 to repurchase the subject property. The matter was, in turn, endorsed by Atty. Resurreccion to AAD Manager Secoquian on January 20, 1987 as "the Operation Pabahay Task Force cannot undertake the processing of this kind of loan unless a certificate of award or sale is issued in favor of the applicant." Atty. Resurreccion likewise noted in his endorsement that the applicant for the loan was already 81 years old and no longer a member of the GSIS. AAD Manager Secoquian returned said application to the head of the Operation Pabahay on March 3, 1987, enumerating the Board resolutions relative to the subject property and stating that "pending action by the Board on the offer of CRISPINA VDA. DELA CRUZ to purchase the subject property for the amount of P250,000.00, the request of Mrs. URBANO cannot as yet be given due consideration." On August 11, 1987, GSIS approved under Resolution No. 342 the "sale of the subject property to respondent dela Cruz for a consideration of P267,000.00 CASH." The following day, respondent AAD & GRADE Acting Vice-President Zacarias C. Beltran, Jr. wrote to petitioners Zenaida/Aurelio Arrienda calling their attention to the absence of a formal lease contract over the subject property where petitioners continued to stay. He also demanded payment of rental arrears on the property for 45 months as of July 31, 1987 amounting to P58,500.0014 and invited petitioners Zenaida and Aurelio Arrienda to the GSIS Office to make arrangements for the payment of the rental arrears and to execute the corresponding lease contract. The letter did not mention the negotiation with private respondent dela Cruz. On September 1, 1987, GSIS wrote to private respondent dela Cruz that the Board, through Board Resolution No. 342, approved the sale of the subject property payable in full and in cash for P267,000.00, representing its current market value, within thirty days from notice of the resolution. On January 20, 1988, a Deed of Absolute Sale over the subject property was executed between GSIS and private respondent de la. Cruz. The following day, TCT No. 374292 covering the subject property was issued to dela Cruz. Meantime, having learned about the sale of the subject property to dela Cruz, petitioner Aurelio Arrienda wrote to the GSIS on September 27, 1987 protesting the said sale and requesting its reconsideration and recall. Respondent Beltran, then already the Vice President of the AAMG & GRADE Department of the GSIS, responded on October 27, 1987 informing him of Resolution No. 430, dated October 13, 1987, which reiterated the approval of the sale of the subject property to respondent dela Cruz as previously approved under Board Resolution No. 342. On November 4, 1987, petitioner Aurelio Arrienda again wrote to the GSIS protesting the sale of the property to respondent dela Cruz and requesting for a formal investigation of the circumstances leading to the sale. The GSIS' Department of Investigation manager wrote to petitioner Aurelio Arrienda on January 11, 1988 requesting petitioner Aurelio Arrienda to "come for conference" with Atty. Gatpatan of the said department regarding his complaint on the subject property. Issue: Was GSIS in bad faith in dealing with petitioners? Ruling: Finally, on the issue of whether or not GSIS was in bad faith in dealing with the petitioners, we rule in the negative. As earlier discussed, respondent GSIS' denial of petitioners' further

Compiled by: Thyrza Marbas/Percy Donalvo/Carrie Mae Bangayan

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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW REVIEW 2-BILL OF RIGHTS Atty. Vincent Paul Montejo


requests for repurchase of the subject property was based on a factual determination of petitioners' financial incapacity and the then GSIS charter, P.D. 1146. It is also worth noting that GSIS sold the subject property to respondent dela Cruz only after giving petitioners an almost one year opportunity to repurchase the property and only after ascertaining that the purchase price proposed by private respondent dela Cruz in payment of the subject property would benefit the GSIS. Nor can petitioners, on the strength of Valmonte v. Belmonte, Jr.,29 impute bad faith on the part of GSIS when the latter did not disclose to petitioners that it was negotiating with private respondent dela Cruz for the sale of the subject property as soon as it started the negotiations. The Court ruled in the Valmonte case that the constitutional right to information is limited to "matters of public concern," to "transactions involving public interest." The negotiation and subsequent sale of the subject property by the GSIS to private respondent dela Cruz was by no stretch of the imagination imbued with public interest as it was a purely private transaction. Petitioners cannot therefore demand that it be informed of such negotiation and sale more so since they no longer had any interest on the subject property upon failure to comply with GSIS' terms for repurchase and upon GSIS' denial of petitioners' offer to repurchase under their proposed terms and conditions. In the absence of proof of bad faith on the part of the respondents, we deny petitioners' prayer for moral damages and attorney's fees. WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED and the impugned decision and resolution of the Court of Appeals are AFFIRMED. No costs. SO ORDERED. SENATE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. EDUARDO R. ERMITA The present consolidated petitions for certiorari and prohibition proffer that the President has abused such power by issuing Executive Order No. 464 (E.O. 464) last September 28, 2005. They thus pray for its declaration as null and void for being unconstitutional. In G.R. No. 169659, petitioners party-list Bayan Muna, House of Representatives Members Satur Ocampo, Crispin Beltran, Rafael Mariano, Liza Maza, Joel Virador and Teodoro Casino, Courage, an organization of government employees, and Counsels for the Defense of Liberties (CODAL), a group of lawyers dedicated to the promotion of justice, democracy and peace, all claiming to have standing to file the suit because of the transcendental importance of the issues they posed, pray, in their petition that E.O. 464 be declared null and void for being unconstitutional; that respondent Executive Secretary Ermita, in his capacity as Executive Secretary and alter-ego of President Arroyo, be prohibited from imposing, and threatening to impose sanctions on officials who appear before Congress due to congressional summons. Additionally, petitioners claim that E.O. 464 infringes on their rights and impedes them from fulfilling their respective obligations. Thus, Bayan Muna alleges that E.O. 464 infringes on its right as a political party entitled to participate in governance; Satur Ocampo, et al. allege that E.O. 464 infringes on their rights and duties as members of Congress to conduct investigation in aid of legislation and conduct oversight functions in the implementation of laws; Courage alleges that the tenure of its members in public office is predicated on, and threatened by, their submission to the requirements of E.O. 464 should they be summoned by Congress; and CODAL alleges that its members have a sworn duty to uphold the rule of law, and their rights to information and to transparent governance are threatened by the imposition of E.O. 464. In G.R. No. 169667, petitioner Alternative Law Groups, Inc. (ALG), alleging that as a coalition of 17 legal resource non-governmental organizations engaged in developmental lawyering and work with the poor and marginalized sectors in different parts of the country, and as an organization of citizens of the Philippines and a part of the general public, it has legal standing to institute the petition to enforce its constitutional right to information on matters of public concern, a right which was denied to the public by E.O. 464, prays, that said order be declared null and void for being unconstitutional and that respondent Executive Secretary Ermita be ordered to cease from implementing it. On October 11, 2005, Petitioner Senate of the Philippines, alleging that it has a vital interest in the resolution of the issue of the validity of E.O. 464 for it stands to suffer imminent and material injury, as it has already sustained the same with its continued enforcement since it directly interferes with and impedes the valid exercise of the Senates powers and functions and conceals information of great public interest and concern, filed its petition for certiorari and prohibition, docketed as G.R. No. 169777 and prays that E.O. 464 be declared unconstitutional. In the oral arguments on the petitions conducted on February 21, 2006, the following substantive issues were ventilated: (1) whether respondents committed grave abuse of discretion in implementing E.O. 464 prior to its publication in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation; and (2) whether E.O. 464 violates the following provisions of the Constitution: Art. II, Sec. 28, Art. III, Sec.

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4, Art. III, Sec. 7, Art. IV. Sec. 1, Art. VI, Sec. 21, Art. VI, Sec. 22, Art. XI, Sec. 1, and Art. XIII, Sec. 16. The procedural issue of whether there is an actual case or controversy that calls for judicial review was not taken up; instead, the parties were instructed to discuss it in their respective memoranda. Petitioners submit that E.O. 464 violates the following constitutional provisions: Art. III, Sec. 7 Art. III, Sec. 4 ISSUE: Whether E.O. 464 violates the right of the people to information on matters of public concern; and RULING: Right to Information E.O 464 is concerned only with the demands of Congress for the appearance of executive officials in the hearings conducted by it, and not with the demands of citizens for information pursuant to their right to information on matters of public concern. Petitioners are not amiss in claiming, however, that what is involved in the present controversy is not merely the legislative power of inquiry, but the right of the people to information. There are, it bears noting, clear distinctions between the right of Congress to information which underlies the power of inquiry and the right of the people to information on matters of public concern. For one, the demand of a citizen for the production of documents pursuant to his right to information does not have the same obligatory force as a subpoena duces tecum issued by Congress. Neither does the right to information grant a citizen the power to exact testimony from government officials. These powers belong only to Congress and not to an individual citizen. Thus, while Congress is composed of representatives elected by the people, it does not follow, except in a highly qualified sense, that in every exercise of its power of inquiry, the people are exercising their right to information. To the extent that investigations in aid of legislation are generally conducted in public, however, any executive issuance tending to unduly limit disclosures of information in such investigations necessarily deprives the people of information which, being presumed to be in aid of legislation, is presumed to be a matter of public concern. The citizens are thereby denied access to information which they can use in formulating their own opinions on the matter before Congress opinions which they can then communicate to their representatives and other government officials through the various legal means allowed by their freedom of expression. Thus holds Valmonte v. Belmonte: It is in the interest of the State that the channels for free political discussion be maintained to the end that the government may perceive and be responsive to the peoples will. Yet, this open dialogue can be effective only to the extent that the citizenry is informed and thus able to formulate its will intelligently. Only when the participants in the discussion are aware of the issues and have access to information relating thereto can such bear fruit. The impairment of the right of the people to information as a consequence of E.O. 464 is, therefore, in the sense explained above, just as direct as its violation of the legislatures power of inquiry. Conclusion Congress undoubtedly has a right to information from the executive branch whenever it is sought in aid of legislation. If the executive branch withholds such information on the ground that it is privileged, it must so assert it and state the reason therefor and why it must be respected. The infirm provisions of E.O. 464, however, allow the executive branch to evade congressional requests for information without need of clearly asserting a right to do so and/or proffering its reasons therefor. By the mere expedient of invoking said provisions, the power of Congress to conduct inquiries in aid of legislation is frustrated. That is impermissible. For [w]hat republican theory did accomplishwas to reverse the old presumption in favor of secrecy, based on the divine right of kings and nobles, and replace it with a presumption in favor of publicity, based on the doctrine of popular sovereignty. Resort to any means then by which officials of the executive branch could refuse to divulge information cannot be presumed valid. Otherwise, we shall not have merely nullified the power of our legislature to inquire into the operations of government, but we shall have given up something of much greater value our right as a people to take part in government.

Compiled by: Thyrza Marbas/Percy Donalvo/Carrie Mae Bangayan

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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW REVIEW 2-BILL OF RIGHTS Atty. Vincent Paul Montejo


(Q Gumia) ALFREDO HILADO vs. JUDGE AMOR A. REYES G.R. No. 163155; July 21, 2006 Facts: Julita Campos Benedicto (pivate respondent), the surviving spouse of the deceased Roberto S. Benedicto, filed a petition for issuance of letters of administration before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila. The case was raffled to Branch 21 presided by Judge Amor A. Reyes (public respondent). Julita Benedicto was appointed Administratrix of the estate of Benedicto (the estate), and letters of administration were thereafter issued in her favor. Herein petitioners, Alfredo Hilado, Manuel Lacson, Jose M. Tuvilla, Joaquin Limjap, Lopez Sugar Corporation and First Farmers Holding Corporation had, during the lifetime of Benedicto, filed before the Bacolod City RTC two complaints for damages or collection of sums of money, docketed as Civil Case No. 95-9137 and Civil Case No. 111718, against Roberto Benedicto et al. From January 2002 until November 2003, the Branch Clerk of Court of Branch 21 of the Manila RTC allowed petitioners through counsel to regularly and periodically examine the records of the case and to secure certified true copies thereof. By December 2003, however, an associate of petitioners' counsel, was denied access to the last folder-record of the case which, according to the court's clerical staff, could not be located and was probably inside the chambers of public respondent for safekeeping. Petitioners' counsel thus requested public respondent to allow them to personally check the records of the case. Acting on the letter, the Officer-In- Charge/Legal Researcher of Branch 21 advised petitioners' counsel in writing that "per instruction of the Hon. Presiding Judge, only parties or those with authority from the parties are allowed to inquire or verify the status of the case pending in this Court," and that they may be "allowed to go over the records of the above-entitled case upon presentation of written authority from the [administratrix]." On February 2, 2004, petitioners' counsel was served with a notice of hearing of the case on February 13, 2004. Petitioners' counsel thus attended such scheduled hearing during which he filed a Motion for Inhibition of public respondent on the ground of gross ignorance, dereliction of duty, and manifest partiality towards the administratrix. Public respondent, noting that an error was committed in the service to petitioners of the notice of hearing, ignored the motion of petitioners' counsel. Intending to compare the list of properties in the estate's inventory, petitioners' counsel sent the Branch Clerk of Court of Branch 21 of the Manila RTC a letter requesting to be furnished with certified true copies of the "updated inventory." By still another letter, petitioners' counsel requested to be furnished with certified true copies of the order issued by the court during the hearing of February 13, 2004, as well as the transcript of stenographic notes taken thereon. By Order of March 2, 2004, public respondent indicated why petitioners had no standing to file the Motion for Inhibition as well as to request for certified true copies of the above-indicated documents. Petitioners thus filed the present petition for mandamus and prohibition to compel public respondent to allow them to access, examine, and obtain copies of any and all documents forming part of the records of the case and disqualify public respondent from further presiding thereover. They contend that the records of the case are public records to which the public has the right to access, inspect and obtain official copies thereof, recognition of which right is enjoined under Section 7, Article III of the Constitution and Section 2, Rule 135 and Section 11, Rule 136 of the Rules of Court. Issue: Whether a writ of mandamus may issue to compel public respondent to allow petitioners to examine and obtain copies of any or all documents forming part of the records of the case Held: Insofar as the right to information relates to judicial records, an understanding of the term "judicial record" or "court record" is in order. The term "judicial record" or "court record" does not only refer to the orders, judgment or verdict of the courts. It comprises the official collection of all papers, exhibits and pleadings filed by the parties, all processes issued and returns made thereon, appearances, and wordfor-word testimony which took place during the trial and which are in

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the possession, custody, or control of the judiciary or of the courts for purposes of rendering court decisions. It has also been described to include any paper, letter, map, book, other document, tape, photograph, film, audio or video recording, court reporter's notes, transcript, data compilation, or other materials, whether in physical or electronic form, made or received pursuant to law or in connection with the transaction of any official business by the court, and includes all evidence it has received in a case. In determining whether a particular information is of public concern, there is no right test. In the final analysis, it is for the courts to determine on a case to case basis whether the matter at issue is of interest or importance as it relates to or affect the public. It bears emphasis that the interest of the public hinges on its right to transparency in the administration of justice, to the end that it will serve to enhance the basic fairness of the judicial proceedings, safeguard the integrity of the fact-finding process, and foster an informed public discussion of governmental affairs. The right of the public to be informed of the proceedings in court is not founded in the desire or necessity of people to know about the doing of others, but in the necessity of knowing whether its servant, the judge, is properly performing his duty. Decisions and opinions of a court are of course matters of public concern or i