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Bache v Ruiz - Digest

Bache v Ruiz - Digest

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Published by Richel Dean
Case digest only for Political Law/ Consti
Art III, Section 2 Bill of Rights
Case digest only for Political Law/ Consti
Art III, Section 2 Bill of Rights

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Published by: Richel Dean on Mar 07, 2013
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11/03/2013

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Bache v RuizFacts:
Commissioner of Internal Revenue Vera wrote a letter to Judge Ruiz requesting the issuance of a search warrantfor the violation of Section 46 (a) of the National Revenue Code in relation with Sections 53, 72, 73, 208 and 209and for Judge Ruiz to authorize Examiner De Leon to male and file the application for search warrant which was
attached to the same letter. Three days after, De Leo and his witness Logronio went to Judge Ruiz’s CFI bringing
the letter-request, the application for the search warrant pre
pared by him *unsigned+, Logronio’s affidavit
subscribed defore De Leon, a deposition by Logronio [printed and signed but not subscribed] and a searchwarrant accomplished but yet unsigned by Judge Ruiz.At the time they [De Leon and Logronio] were at the court, Judge Ruiz was conducting a hearing in his sala andso he [Ruiz] instructed his Deputy Clerk of Court to take the depositions of De Leon and Logronio, after which[hearing done] Judge Ruiz along with Deputy Clerk Gonzales, stenographer Gaspar, De Leon and Logronio wentinside the chamber where Judge Ruiz requested for the Gaspar [stenographer] to read to him her stenographicnotes [deposition]. After that Judge Ruiz then had De Leon and Logronio swear an oath and warned them thatshould statements be false and without legal basis they would be charged with perjury.
Judge Ruiz then signed De Leon’s application for Search Warrant and Logronio’s deposition, Search Warrant No.
2-M-70 was issued.Petitioners filed for MTQ, preliminary and prohibitory Writs of Injunction to be issued, for the SW to be declared
null and void and for respondents to pay for damages and attorney’s fees. Respondent filed an answer and the
motion was dismissed. While the case was ongoing, BIR made tax assessments based or partly based on thedocuments seized during the search.
Issues:
1)
 
W/N Judge Ruiz sufficiently determined if there was probable cause before issuing the Search Warrant.2)
 
W/N the Search Warrant was valid for covering more than one offense.3)
 
W/N the Search Warrant is general in nature.4)
 
W/N the corporation is entitled to protection against unreasonable search and seizures.
Ruling:
IJudge Ruiz failed to personally examine the complainant and his witness [Art. III, Sec. 1 of 1987 Constitution andRule 126, Sec. 3 and 4 of ROC ]Section 4, Rule 126 of ROC requires that the judge himself personally examine the complainant and his witnessto determine the existence of probable cause. There was no examination done in the present case, while it istrue that the applica
tion for SW and Logronio’s deposition were subscribed before the judge, there were no
questions asked to which could possibly be the basis in determining whether or not there was probable cause.
 
 IIThe SW was for at least 4 distinct offenses under the Tax Code:1
st
violation
 –
Sec. 46 (a), Sec. 72 and 73 provided for the filing of ITR which are interrelated;2
nd
violation
 –
Sec. 53 for withholding of income taxes at source;3
rd
violation
 –
Sec. 208 for unlawful pursuit of business or occupation;4
th
violation
 –
Sec. 209 for failure to make a return of receipts, sales, business or gross value of output actuallyremoved or to pay tax due.Stonehill v Diokno is not applicable to the case, respondents contend since at the time, the Search Warrant wasissued
for violation of Central Bank Laws, Internal Revenue (Code) and Revised Penal Code;” whereas, here
Search Warrant No 2-M-70 was issued for violation of only one code. This is not true since it [Stonehill v Diokno]
it was ruled that ‘”no search warrant shall issue for more than one specific offense.”
 IIIThe search warrant does not particularly describe the things to be seized. In Stonehill v Diokno where the
warrants “sanctioned the seizure of all records of the petitioners and the aforementioned corporat
ions,whatever their nature, thus openly contravening the explicit command of our Bill of Rights that the things to beseized be particularly described as well as tending to defeat its major objective: the elimination of general
warrants.”
 In Uy Kheytin, et.al. v Villareal, it was established that the purpose and intent of the requiring that a searchwarrant describe the place to be searched and the things to be seized is to limit the things to be seized and onlythose particularly described in the SW so as unreasonable searches and seizures may not be made.
Tests for SW:
-
 
A search warrant may be said to particularly describe the things to be seized when the descriptiontherein 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 beguided 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 thewarrant is being issued
(Sec. 2, Rule 126, Revised Rules of Court)
 IVA corporation is, after all, but an association of individuals under an assumed name and with a distinct legalentity. In organizing itself as a collective body it waives no constitutional immunities appropriate to such body.Its property cannot be taken without compensation. It can only be proceeded against by due process of law, andis protected, under the 14th Amendment, against unlawful disc
rimination . . .”
(Hale v. Henkel, 201 U.S. 43, 50L. ed. 652.)
Separate Opinion by Justice Barredo: side note.

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