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Galman vs.

G.R. No. 72670, September 12, 1986
Teehankee, C.J.

Suspension of Ninoy Aquino’s

the Privilege Imprisonment
of the Writ of for almost 8
Plaza Miranda Habeas Corpus Declaration of years Heart Assassination
Bombing Martial Law Surgery
Agrava Commission
• On October 14, 1983, Mr. Marcos issued Presidential Decree
No. 1886 creating an independent Board of Inquiry called the
Agrava Commission.
• The Board was composed of Former CA Justice Corazon
Agrava, Lawyer Luciano Salazar, Businessman Dante Santos,
Labor Leader Ernesto Herrera and Educator Amado Dizon.
Majority vs. Minority Report
• “Both majority and
minority reports were one
in rejecting the military
version that Rolando
Galman was an NPA-
hired assassin, stating
that the evidence shows
that Rolando Galman
had no subversive
Stance of Mr. Marcos
• “I am convinced that if any member of my government
were involved , I would have known somehow… Even
at a fairly low level, I would have known.”

• “The circumstances under which the board has chosen

to implicate you are fraught with doubt and great

• “The newspapers have been biased. The evidence

still proves that Galman was the killer.”
• Mr. Marcos treated the minority report as if it were the
majority report and referred it to respondent Tanodbayan “for
final resolution through the legal system” and for trial in the
Sandiganbayan which was better known as the graft court.
November 11, 1985: Galman et al. filed petition on
alleging that Respondents Tanodbayan and
Sandiganbayan committed serious irregularities
constituting mistrial and resulting in miscarriage of
• November 18, 1985: By nine-to-two votes, the Court issued a
TRO enjoining the Sandiganbayan from rendering a decision
• November 28, 1985: By nine-to-two votes (in reverse), the
Court resolved to dismiss the petition and to lift the TRO
• November 29, 1985: MR was filed by the petitioners
• December 2, 1985: Sandiganbayan rendered a decision
acquitting all of the accused.
• February 4, 1986: The Court denied petitioners’ MR for lack of
• March 20, 1986: Petitioners filed a Motion to Admit their
Second MR based on the revelations of Deputy Tanodbayan
Manuel Herrera.
• April 3, 1986: Court granted the 2nd MR
Was there mistrial and miscarriage
of justice on the part
of the Sandiganbayan?
• Anchored on Deputy Tanodbayan Manuel Herrera’s exposé
that Mr. Marcos had stage-managed in and from Malacanang
Palace “a scripted and pre-determined manner of handling
and disposing of the Aquino-Galman murder case
• “Moro-moro” / “scripted”
Salient points in the Decision
• No double jeopardy: presupposes a valid judgment
• Motion to Disqualify/Inhibit should have been resolved
• Objections of Respondents – must be rejected in the
face of the Court’s declaration that the trial was a mock
trial and that the pre-determined judgment of acquittal
was unlawful and void ab initio.
• Case must be tried before an impartial court with an
unbiased prosecutor.
• Now that the light is emerging, the Supreme Court
faces the task of restoring public faith and confidence
in the courts. The Supreme Court enjoys neither the
power of the sword nor of the purse. Its strength lies
mainly in public confidence, based on the truth and
moral force of its judgments. This has been built on its
cherished traditions of objectivity and impartiality
integrity and fairness and unswerving loyalty to the
Constitution and the rule of law which compels
acceptance as well by the leadership as by the people.
“The notion nurtured under the past
regime that those appointed to public
office owe their primary allegiance to the
appointing authority and are
accountable to him alone and not to the
people or the Constitution must be
“What the past regime had denied the people and the
aggrieved parties in the sham trial must now be
assured as much to the accused as to the aggrieved
parties. The people will assuredly have a way of
knowing when justice has prevailed as well as when it
has failed.”
Thank you!