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I. Nature of the Constitution

Purposes of the Constitution:

1. to prescribe the framework of a system of government
2. to assign to the several departments their respective powers and duties
3. to establish certain fixed principles on which government is founded

Classification of the Constitution:

1. written
2. conventional (or enacted)
3. rigid

Essential Qualities of the Written Constitution:

1. broad
2. brief
3. clear

Essential Parts of the Written Constitution:

1. constitution of liberty
2. constitution of government
3. constitution of sovereignty

2 steps in the amendment or revision of our Constitution:

1. Proposal
1. Constituent Assembly (vote of ¾ of Congress)
2. Constitutional Convention (call by 2/3 vote of Congress, or thrown to people by majority vote of
3. People's Initiative [Amendment only] (12% of registered voters with 3% of registered voters in each
legislative district)
2. Ratification (majority of the votes cast in the plebiscite; 60-90 days)

Judicial Review of Amendments

The amending process, both as to proposal and ratification, raises a judicial question (Sanidad vs COMELEC)

Doctrine of Proper Submission

Amendments cannot be submitteed to the people in a piecemeal fashion wherein the other amendments are to
follow. The people should have a frame of reference from which to read the amendments being proposed.
(Tolentino vs COMELEC)

II. The Constitution and The Courts

Voting on en banc cases

− majority of the members who actually took part in the deliberation on the issues in the case and voted thereon

Doctrine of Purposeful Hesitation

- symbolic function of the court
- the court would not decide on matters which are considered political questions

Requisites of Judicial Inquiry: [APE-N]

1. ACTUAL CASE - there must be an actual case or controversy
■ Actual case- conflict of legal rights, an assertion of opposite legal claims susceptible of judicial
2. PROPER PARTY - the question of constitutionality must be raised by the proper party
■ Proper party – one who has sustained or is in immediate danger of sustaining an injury as a
result of the act complained of
3. EARLIEST OPPORTUNITY - the constitutional question must be raised at the earliest possible opportunity
■ what is not alleged cannot be proven
 if question is not raised in the pleadings, it could not be raised at the trial, except:

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1. in criminal case – can be raised any time in the discretion of court
2. in civil case - can be raised at any stage if necessary to the determination of the case
3. in every case (except when there is estoppel) - can be raised at any stage if it involves
jurisdiction of the court
4. NECESSITY OF DECIDING CONSTITUTIONAL QUESTION - the decision of the constitutional question must
be necessary to the determination of the case itself
■ as long as there is some other basis that can be used by the courts for its decision, the
constitutionality of the challenged law will not be touched and the case will be decided on other
available grounds

Effects of Declaration of Unconstitutionality, 2 views:

• ORTHODOX VIEW – an unconstitutional act is not a law; it confers no rights, imposes no duties, and
affords no protection
• MODERN VIEW [OPERATIVE FACT DOCTRINE] – the court does not annul or repeal the statute it finds in
conflict with the Constitution; it simply refuses to recognize it; the decision affects the parties only and
there is no judgment against the statue; the actual existence of the statute prior to its declaration of
unconstitutionality was an operative fact and might have consequences which could not justly be ignored
<more realistic approach>

Partial Unconstitutionality, when valid (2 conditions):

1. the legislature is willing to retain the valid portions even if the rest of the statute is declared illegal; and
2. the valid portions can stand independently as a separate statute

III. The Fundamental Powers of the State

• Police Power
• Power of Eminent Domain
• Power of Taxation

1. they are inherent in the State
2. they are necessary and indispensable
3. they are methods by which the State interferes with private rights
4. they presuppose an equivalent compensation
5. they are execised primarily by the legislature

As to regulation regulates both liberty and regulates property rights regulates property rights
property only only
As to who may exercise only the government government and some only the government
private entities
As to the property taken destroyed because it is -wholesome -wholesome
noxious or intended for -taken for a public use or -taken for a public use or
noxious purpose purpose purpose
As to Compensation intangible altruistic feeling full and fair equivalent of the protection and public
that the person has property expropriated improvements for the taxes
contributed to the general paid

Limitations: Bill of Rights

IV. Police Power

-power of promoting the welfare by restraining and regulating the use of liberty and property

most pervasive, least limitable and most demanding of the 3 powers

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Salus populi est suprema lex – the welfare of the people is the supreme law
Sic utere tuo ut alienum non laedas – a person must use his own property so as not to injure another

1. cannot be bargained away through the medium of a treaty or contract (Stone v Mississippi)
2. may use taxing power as its implement (Tio vs Videogram Regulatory Board)
3. may use eminent domain as its implement (Assoc. of Small Landowners vs Sec. of Agrarian Reform)
4. could be given retroactive effect and may reasonably impair vested rights or contracts (police power
prevails over contract)
5. dynamic, not static, and must move with the moving society it is supposed to regulate

Who may exercise Police Power

• the Legislature (inherent)
• President (by delegation)
• administrative boards (by delegation)
• lawmaking bodies on all municipal levels, including barangay (by delegation)
• Municipal governments / LGU's (conferred by statute – general welfare clause of RA 7160)

Tests (Limitations):
1. LAWFUL SUBJECT – interests of the public generally, as distinguished from those of a particular class,
require the exercise of police power
2. LAWFUL MEANS – the means employed are reasonably necessary for the accomplishment of the purpose
and not unduly oppressive upon individuals

Additional limitations (when exercised by delegate):

• express grant by law (e.g. RA 7160)
• within territorial limits (for LGU's)
• must not be contrary to law (City Government of Quezon City vs Ericta)
• for municipal ordinances -
1. must not contravene the Constitution or any statute
2. must not be unfair and oppressive
3. must not be partial and discriminatory
4. must not prohibit, but may regulate, trade
5. must not be unreasonable
6. must be general in application and consistent with public policy

V. Power of Eminent Domain

- a.k.a. Expropriation; Condemnation
− use of the government of its coercive authority, upon just compensation, to forcibly acquire the needed
property in order to devote the same to public use
− (see Rule 67, Rules of Court and Sec. 9, Art III, Constitution)

Who may Exercise

1. The Congress (inherent)
2. President
3. various local legislative bodies
4. certain public corporations (e.g. National Housing Authority)
5. Quasi-public corporations (e.g. PLDT)

Eminent Domain vs. Destruction from Necessity

- public right - private right vested in every individual with which the
- arises from the laws of society and is vested in the state right of state or state necessity has nothing to do
or grantee, acting under the right and power of the state or - comes under the right of necessity, of self-preservation
benefit of the state - arises under the laws of society or society itself
- cannot require the conversion of the property taken to
public use, nor is there any need for the payment of just

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Jurisdiction over a complaint for eminent domain -
Regional Trial Court (RTC)

Requisites of Eminent Domain [NP-TPJ]:


[N] Necessity of Exercise

- genuine necessity, and
- must be of public character
 When exercised by legislature – political question
 When exercised by a delegate – justiciable question
■ determine the: (a) adequacy of compensation; (b) necessity of taking; and (c) public use

[P] Property
− GENERAL RULE: anything that can come under the dominion of man is subject to expropriation
− EXCEPTIONS: money and chose in action (personal right not reduced into possession, i.e. the right to bring an
action to recover debt, money or thing)
− Private property already devoted to public use cannot be expropriated by a delegate acting under a general
grant of authority (City of Manila vs Chinese Community)

[T] Taking
- REQUISITES (Republic vs Castellvi) [EM-LPD]:
1. [E] expropriator must enter a private property
2. [M] entry must be for more than a momentary period
3. [L] entry must be under the warrant of legal authority
4. [P] entry is for public use
5. [D] the owner is deprived of enjoying his property
- if taking is under police power, it is not compensable


the prejudice suffered by the individual property owner is the individual suffers more than his aliquot part of the
shared in common with the rest of the community damages, i.e. a special injury above that sustained by the
rest of the community

- where there is taking in the constitutional sense, the property owner need not file a claim for just compensation
with the Commission on Audit; he may go directly to the court to demand payment. Arbitrary action of the
government shall be deemed a waiver of its immunity from suit (Amigable vs Cuenca)

[P] Public Use

− whatever may be beneficially employed for the general welfare (Heirs of Ardona vs Reyes)
− includes both direct or indirect benefit or advantage to the public

[J] Just Compensation

− full and fair equivalent of the property taken from the property owner by the expropriator
− 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


entitlement to consequential damages, if any + consequential benefits must be deducted from the total
compensation provided consequential benefits does not exceed consequential damages

− Payment of the correct amount + Payment within a reasonable time

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* money (However, in Assoc. of Small Landowners vs Sec. of Agrarian Reform, payment is allowed to be made
partly in bonds because it deals with a revolutionary kind of expropriation)

- Payment of just compensation before title is transferred


- either as of the date of taking or filing of the complaint, whichever comes first

General Rule: when there is delay, there must be interest by way of damages (Art. 2209, CC)
Exception: when waived by not claiming the interest

- Taxes paid from the time of the taking until the transfer of the title, during which the owner did not enjoy
any beneficial use of the property, are reimbursable by the expropriator.


General Rule: landowner is not entitled to recover possession of the property, but only to demand payment
Exception: when the government failed to pay just compensation within 5 years from the finality of judgment
in expropriation proceedings, there is a right to recover property

VI. Power of Taxation

− method by which contributions are exacted from persons and property for the support of government and for
all public needs.
− obligation to pay taxes is a duty
- to raise revenues - for regulatory purpose only
- justified under police power
- amount of fees required is usually limited to the cost of

− all income earned in the taxing state, whether by citizens or aliens, and all immovable and tangible personal
properties found in its territory, as well as tangible personal property owned by persons domiciled therein

Power to Tax Includes Power to Destroy

− when used validly as an implement of the police power in discouraging and in effect ultimately prohibiting
certain things or enterprises inimical to public welfare

Power to Tax Does Not Include Power to Destroy

- where the tax is used solely for the purpose of raising revenues

Who May Exercise

1. Legislature / Congress (inherent)
2. President (by delegation / tariff powers [Sec. 28 (2), Art. VI, Consti])
3. local legislative bodies (conferred by direct authority [Sec. 5, Art. X, Consti])

Limitations of Taxation [DEP]:

1. [D] Due Process of Law
2. [E] Equal Protection
3. [P] Public Purpose

[D] Due Process

A. Substantive : tax should not be confiscatory except when used as an implement of police power
B. Procedural : * due process does not require previous notice and hearing before a law prescribing specific taxes
on specific articles may be enacted. * However, where the tax to be collected is to be based on the value of the
taxable property, the taxpayer is entitled to be notified of the assessment proceedings and to be heard therein on
the correct valuation of the property.

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[E] Equal Protection
− embodied in Sec. 28 (1), Art. VI, 1987 Constitution (The rule of taxation shall be uniform and equitable. The
Congress shall evolve a progressive system of taxation.)

− UNIFORMITY – persons or things belonging to the same class shall be taxed at the same rate
* REQUISTES (Tan vs Del Rosario): [SCAE]
1. [S] standards that are used are substantial and not arbitrary
2. [C] categorization is germane to achieve the legislative purpose
3. [A] the law applies, all things being equal, to both present and future conditions
4. [E] classification applies equally well to all those belonging to the same class

− EQUITABLE TAXATION – based on the capacity to pay

* EQUALITY IN TAXATION – tax shall be strictly proportional to the relative value of the property

− PROGRESSIVE SYSTEM OF TAXATION – the rate increases as the tax base increases

[P] Public Purpose

− whatever may be beneficially employed for the general welfare

Double Taxation / Direct Duplicate Taxation

− when additional taxes are laid on the same subject by the same taxing jurisdiction during the same taxing
period and for the same purpose.
− despite the lack of specific prohibition, double taxation will not be allowed if it results in a violation of the equal
protection clause.

Tax Exemptions
-may either be:
1. constitutional
- Art. Vi, Sec. 28 (3) : when lands, buildings and improvements are actually, directly and exclusively
[ADE] for religious, charitable or educational purposes – entitled to exemption
2. statutory- discretion of legislature

VII. Due Process of Law

− no precise definition because it might prove constricting and prevent the judiciary from adjusting it to the
circumstances of particular cases
− responsiveness to the supremacy of reason, obedience to the dictates of justice
− embodiment of sporting idea of fair play
− guaranty against any arbitrariness on the part of the government

Protection of Person
Covers Natural (citizen and alien) and Artificial Persons. As to the latter, with respect only to property because its
life and liberty are derived from and subject to control of legislature

Deprivation (in Sec. 1, Art. III)

− connotes denial of right to life, liberty or property
− not unconstitutional. what is prohibited is deprivation without due process of law.

− connotes integrity of the physical person
− not mere animal existence; embraces the enjoyment by the individual of God-given faculties that can make his
life worth living.

− freedom to do right and never wrong (Mabini)
− right to be free from arbitrary personal restraint or servitude

− anything that can come under the right of ownership and be the subject of contract
− all things within the commerce of man

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• However, one cannot have a vested right to a public office as this is not regarded as property. If created by
statute, it may be abolished by the legislature at any time.
• Mere privileges are not property rights and are therefore revocable at will

Substantive Due Process

− requires intrinsic validity of the law in interfering with the rights of the person to his life, liberty or property
1. Lawful Subject
2. Lawful Means

Procedural Due Process

- restriction on actions of judicial and quasi-judicial agencies of government
- Notice + Hearing (...hears before it condemns, which proceeds upon inquiry and renders judgment only after
1. Judicial Due Process
Requisites: [IJHJ]
1. [I] Impartial and Competent Court
2. [J] Jurisdiction lawfully acquired over the person of t he defendant and/or property
3. [H] Hearing
- not necessarily trial-type hearing; submission of position papers is enough
- right of a party to cross-examine the witness against him in a civil case is an indispensable part of
due process
- the filing of a motion for reconsideration cures the defect of absence of a hearing
- Cases in which notice and hearing may be dispensed with without violating due process:
a) abatement of nuisance per se
b) preventive suspension of a civil servant facing admin. charges
c) cancellation of passport of a person sought for the commission of a crime
d) statutory presumptions
4. [J] Judgment rendered upon lawful hearing
2. Administrative Due Process
1. [H] Right to a hearing
2. [E] Tribunal must consider the evidence presented
3. [D] Decision must have something to support itself
4. [S] Evidence must be Substantial
5. [P] Decision must be rendered on the evidence presented at the hearing, or at least contained in the
record and disclosed to the parties affected
6. [I] Tribunal, body, or any of its judges must act on its or his own independent consideration of the
facts and law of the controversy
7. [K] Decision is rendered in such a manner that the parties to the proceeding can know the various
issues involved, and the reason for the decision rendered

VIII. Equal Protection

− embraced in the concept of due process
− embodied in a separate clause to provide for a more specific guaranty against undue favoritism or hostility
from the government

SUBSTANTIVE EQUALITY – all persons or things similarly situated should be treated alike, both as to rights
conferred and responsibilities imposed.

EQUALITY IN ENFORCEMENT OF THE LAW – law be enforced and applied equally

“A law which denies equal protection is the same with a law which permits such denial.” (read People vs Vera)

1. it must be based on substantial distinctions
2. it must be germane to the purposes of the law
3. it must not be limited to existing conditions only

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- must be enforced as long as the problem sought to be corrected exists
4. it must apply equally well to all members of the class
- both as to rights conferred and obligations imposed

IX. Searches and Seizures

Section 2, Article III – deals with tangibles; embodies the “castle” doctrine (a man's house is his castle; a
citizen enjoys the right against intrusion and is master of all the surveys within the domain and privacy of his own
Section 3 (1), Article III – deals with intangibles
Section 3 (2), Artivle III – Exclusionary Rule (which embodies the Doctrine of the Fruit of the Poisonous Tree)

• available to natural and artificial persons, but the latter's books of accounts may be required to open for
examination by the State in the exercise of police power or power of taxation
• The right is personal (Stonehill vs Diokno)
• may be invoked only against the State (People vs Marti)
• Only a judge may issue a warrant. EXCEPTION: orders of arrest may be issued by administrative authorities
but only for the purpose of carrying out a final finding of a violation of a law
• VALID WARRANTLESS SEARCHES [NOTE: each of these requires probable cause, except stop and frisk]
1. searches incidental to lawful arrest (rule 126, Rules of Court) – for dangerous weapons or anything that
may have been used or constitute in the commission of an offense
1. the item to be searched was within the arrestee's custody or area of immediate control
2. the search was contemporaneous with the arrest
2. searches of moving vehicles
3. searches of prohibited articles in plain view
1. prior valid intrusion to a place
2. evidence was inadvertently discovered by the police who has the right to be there
3. evidence is immediately apparent
4. there is no further search
4. enforcement of customs law
5. consented searches
6. stop and frisk (limited protective search of outer clothing for weapons)
7. routine searches at borders and ports of entry
8. searches of businesses in the exercise of visitorial powers to enforce police regulations


1. in flagrante delicto
2. hot pursuit
3. the offender escaped from the penal establishment

Requisites of a valid warrant:


1. Probable Cause such facts and circumstances which such facts and circumstances which
- must refer to 1 specific offense would lead a reasonably prudent man would lead a reasonably prudent man
to believe that an offense has been to believe that an offense has been
committed and the person sought to committed and the objects sought in
be arrested had committed it the connection of the offense are in the
place sought to be searched
2. Personal determination of probable the judge personally determines the the judge must personally examine in
cause by the judge existence of probable cause; it is not the form of searching questions and
necessary that he should personally answers...
examine the complainant and his in writing and under oath...
witnesses (Soliven vs Makasiar) the complainants and his witnesses...
on facts personally known to them...
and attach to the record their sworn
-procedure; (1) personally evaluate the statements and affidavits.
fiscal's report, or (2) if [1] is (Silva vs Presiding Judge)
insufficient, disregard it and require the

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submission of supporting affidavits of


judge) – determination of probable
cause for the issuance of warrant of


(task of the prosecutor) –
ascertainment whether the offender
should be held for trial or be released
3. After examination under oath or not merely routinary but must be not merely routinary but must be
affirmation of the complainant and the probing and exhaustive probing and exhaustive
witnesses he may produce
4. Particularity of description GENERAL RULE: it must contain the GENERAL RULE: when the description
name/s of the persons to be arrested therein is as specific as the
EXCEPTION: if there is some descriptio circumstances will ordinarily allow.
personae which will enable the officer EXCEPTION: when no other more
to identify the accused accurate and detailed description could
have been given.

X. Liberty of Abode and Travel

Purpose of the Provision (Art. III, Sec. 6):

to further emphasize the individual's liberty as safeguarded in general terms by the due process clause. Liberty
under that clause includes the right to choose one's residence.

1. LIBERTY OF ABODE - “upon lawful order of the court”
2. RIGHT TO TRAVEL - “national security, public safety or public health as may be provided by law”

Caunca vs Salazar Whether a maid had the right to transfer to another residence even if she had not paid yet
82 Phil 851 the amount advances by an employment agency:
Yes. The fortunes of business cannot be controlled by controlling a fundamental human
Human dignity and freedom are essentially spiritual – inseparable from the idea of eternal.
Money, power, etc. belong to the ephemeral and perishable.
Rubi vs Provincial Board of The respondents were justified in requiring the members of certain non-Christian tribes to
Mindoro reside in a reservation, for their better education, advancement and protection. The
1919 measure was a legitimate exercise of police power.
Villavicencio vs Lukban Prostitutes, despite being in a sense lepers, are not chattels but Philippine citizens,
1919 protected by the same constitutional guarantee of freedom of abode. They may not be
compelled to change their domicile in the absence of a law allowing such.
Salonga vs Hermoso the case became moot and academic when the permit to travel abroad was issued before
97 SCRA 121 the case could be heard.
Lorenzo vs Dir. of Health Laws for the segregation of lepers have been provided the world over and is supported by
1927 high scientific authority. Such segregation is premised on the duty to protect public health.
Manotok vs CA Bail posted in a criminal case, is a valid restriction on the right to travel. By its nature, it
1986 may serve as a prohibition on an accused from leaving the jurisdiction of the Philippines
where orders of Philippine courts would have no binding force.
Marcos vs Manglapus The liberty of abode and the right to travel includes the right to leave, reside and travel
1989 within one’s country but it does not include the right to return to one’s country.
NOTE: Court warned that this case should not create a precedent because Marcos was a
class in himself.
Philippine Association of Right to travel may be impaired in the interest of national security, public health or public
Service Exporters vs order, as may be provided by law.
Drilon An order temporarily suspending the deployment of overseas workers is constitutional for
1988 having been issued in the interest of the safety of OFWs, as provided by the Labor Code.

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Religion defined
• “any specific system of belief, worship, conduct, etc., often involving a code of ethics and philosophy”
(definition ni Cruz)
• The aforesaid definition is comprehensive than that given in Aglipay vs Ruiz (a profession of faith to an
active power that binds and elevates man to his Creator). This is because there are religions, which do not
make reference to a God, e.g Buddhism, Atheism, etc.
• (comment ko: The definition is too vague. It is too broad that it can even cover systems of belief that we
do not consider as religions. If we are to accept the definition, it would be tantamount to calling different
schools of thought, e.g. Analytic tradition, Existentialism, as religions.)


1. Non-establishment clause
2. Free exercise of religious profession and worship


• as stated by Cruz: there is no violation of this clause if:

1. the statute has a secular purpose
2. its prinipal effect is one that neither advances nor inhibits religion; and
3. it does not foster an excessive government entanglement with religion

• reinforces Sec. 6, Art. II on the separation of church and State

• other provisions which support this: Sec 2(5), Art. IX-C [a religious sect or denomination cannot be
registered as a political party], Sec 5(2), Art. VI [no sectoral representative from the religious sector], and
Sec 29 (2), Art. VI [prohibition against the use of public money or property for the benefit of any religion,
or of any priest, minister or ecclsiastic], Sec. 28 (3), Art. VI [exemption from taxation of properties
actually, directly and exclusively used for religious purposes, Sec 4(2), Art XIV [citizenship requirement of
ownership of educational institutions except those owned by religious groups], Sec 29(2), Art VI
[appropriation allowed where the minister is employed in the armed forces, penal institution or
government-owned orphanage or leprosarium]

• Scope: the state cannot set up a church, nor pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religion, or prefer
one religion...

• Rationale:
o to delineate boundaries between the 2 institutions; and
o to avoid encroachment by one against the other.
o [Strong fences make good neighbors; Render unto Ceasar the things that are Ceasar's and unto
God the things that are God's.]

• A union of Church and State would either:

o tend to destroy government and to degrade religion; or
o result in a conspiracy because of its composite strength

• separation of church and state is not a wall of hostility

• The Government is neutral. It protects all, but prefers none and disparages none.

• Freedom of religion includes freedom from religion; the right to worship includes right not to worship

- Two values sought to be protected by the non-establishment clause:

(a) Voluntarism – the growth of a religious sect as a social force must come from the voluntary support of
its members because of the belief that both spiritual and secular society will benefit if religions are allowed
to compete on their own intrinsic merit without benefit of official patronage.
(b) Insulation of the political process from interfaith dissension – voluntarism cannot be achieved
unless the political process is insulated from religion and unless religion is insulated from politics.

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Engel vs Vitale recitation by students in public schools in New York of a prayer composed by the Board of
Regents was unconstitutional
Everson vs Board of US Supreme Court sustained the law providing free transportation for all schoolchildren
Education without discrimination, including those attending parochial schools
Board of Education vs US Supreme Court sustained the law requiring the petitioner to lend textbooks free of
Allen charge to all students from grades 7-12, including those attending private schools
In Everson and Allen, the government aid was given directly to the student and parents, not to the church-related school
Adong vs Cheong Seng in line with the constitutional principle of equal treatment of all religions, the State
Gee recognizes the validity of marriages performed in conformity with the rites of Mohammedan
Rubi vs Provincial Board the expression “non-Christian” in “non-Christian tribes” was not meant to discriminate. It
refers to degree of civilization, not to the religious belief.
Islamic Da'wah Council of by arrogating to itself the task of issuing halal certifications, the State has, in effect, forced
the Philippines vs Office of Muslims to accept its own interpretation of the Qur'an and Sunna on halal food.
Exec. Sec.

• Intramural Religious Dispute = outside the jurisdiction of the secular authorities

Gonzales vs Archbishop of where a civil right depends upon some matter pertaining to ecclesiastical affairs, the civil
Manila tribunal tries the civil right and nothing more.
Fonacier v CA where the dispute involves the property rights of the religious group, or the relations of the
members where the property rights are involved, the civil courts may assume jurisdiction.


• 2 aspects:
• absolute
• includes not to believe
• “everyone has a right to his beliefs and he may not be called to account because he cannot
prove what he believes”
• happens when the individual externalizes his beliefs in acts or omissions
• subject to regulation; can be enjoyed only with proper regard to rights of others
• Justice Frankfurter: the constitutional provision on religious freedom terminated disabilities,
it did not create new privileges... its essence is freedom from conformity to religious dogma,
not freedom from conformity to law because of religious dogma
German vs Barangan SC found that petitioners were not sincere in their profession
of religious liberty and were using it merely to express their
opposition to the government
Ebralinag vs division SC reversed Gerona vs Sec. of Educ. , and upheld the right of
Superintendent of Schools petitioners to refute to salute the Philippine flag on account of
of Cebu their religious scruples.
People vs Zosa invocation of religious scruples in order to avoid military
service was brushed aside by the SC
Victoriano vs Elizalde Rope SC upheld the validity of RA 3350, exempting members of a
Workers Union religious sect from being compelled to join a labor union
American Bible Society vs the constitutional guarantee of free exercise carries with it the
City of Manila right to disseminate information, and any restraint of such
right can be justified only on the ground that there is a clear
and present danger of an evil which the State has the right to
Hence, City ordinance imposing license fees to on sale is
inapplicable to the society
Tolentino vs Sec. of Finance the free exercise clause does not prohibit imposing a generally
applicable sales and use tax on the sale of religious materials;
the registration fee is not imposed for the exerise of a
privilege, but only for the purpose of defraying part of the cost
of registration

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• Compelling State Interest test [Estrada vs Escritor]
• the constitution's religion clause's prescribe not a strict bu a benevolent neutrality
(which recognizes that government must pursue its secular goals and interests, but at
the same time, strive to uphold religious liberty to the greatest extent possible within
flexible constitutional limits
• benevolent neutrality could allow for accomodation morality based on religion provided it
does not offend the compelling state interest test.
• two steps (as regards the test):
1. inquire whether respondent's right to religious freedom has been burdened; and
2. ascertain respondent's sincerity in her religious belief.
• solicitiations for religious purposes requires not a prior permit from DSWD as it is not
included in solicitations for “charitable or public welfare purposes.” [Centeno vs Villalon-


• Purpose: to stop government's clandestine attempts to prevent a person from exercising his civil or
political rights because of his religious beliefs.

People vs Zosa invocation of religious scruples in order to avoid military service was brushed aside by the


Freedom of Speech – “at once the instrument and the guaranty and the bright consummate flower of all liberty.”
(Wendell Philips)

• Freedom of Expression is available only insofar as it is exercised for the discussion of matters affecting the
public interest. Purely private interest matters do not come within the guaranty (invasion of privacy is not
sanctioned by the Constitution).
• covers ideas that are acceptable to the majority and the unorthodox view. (One of the functions of this
freedom is “to invite dispute” – US Supreme Court; “I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend
to the death your right to say it.” - Voltaire)
• The freedom to speak includes the right to silent. (This freedom was meant not only to protect the
minority who want to talk but also to benefit the majority who refuse to listen. - Socrates)

The ultimate good desired is better reached by a free trade in ideas – that the best test of truth is the power of the
thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market; and that truth is the only ground upon which their
wishes safely can be carried out.

Modes of Expression
− Oral and written language
− Symbolisms (e.g. bended knee, salute to the flag, cartoons)

 Freedom from previous restraint or censorship
 Freedom from subsequent punishment


 embodied in Art. III, Sec. 4 [No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of
the press, or the right of the people peacably to assemble and petition the government for redress of

 CENSORSHIP conditions the exercise of freedom of expression upon the prior approval of the government.
Only those ideas acceptable to it are allowed to be disseminated.

 CENSOR, therefore, assumes the role of arbiter for the people, usually applying his own subjective

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standards in determining the good and the not. Such is anathema in a free society.

Grosjean vs American There need not be total suppression; even restriction of circulation constitutes censorship
Press Co.
Burgos vs Chief of Staff the search, padlocking and sealing of the offices of Metropolitan Mail and We Forum by
military authorities, resulting in the discontinuance of publication of the newspapers, was
held to be prior restraint
Mutuc vs COMELEC the COMELEC prohibition against the use of taped jingles in the mobile units used in the
campaign was held to be unconstitutional, as it was in the nature of censorship
Sanidad vs COMELEC the Court annulled the COMELEC prohibition against radio commentators or newspaper
columnists from commenting on the issues involved in the scheduled plebiscite on the
organic law creating the Cordillera Autonomous Region as an unconstitutional restraint on
freedom of expression
Gonzales vs COMELEC the Court upheld the validity of the law which prohibited, except during the prescribed
election period, the making of speeches, announcements or commentaries for or against the
election of any party or candidate for public office.
JUSTIFICATION: the inordinate preoccupation of the people with politics tended toward the
neglect of the other serious needs of the nation and the pollution of its suffrages.
Iglesia ni Cristo vs CA The Board of Review for Motion Pictures and Television (BRMPT) has the authority to review
the petitioner's television program.
However, the Board acted with grave abuse of discretion when it gave an “X-rating” to the
TV program on the ground of “attacks against another religion.” Such a classification can be
justified only if there is a showing that the tv program would create a clear and present
danger of an evil which the State ought to prevent.
Primicias vs Fugosos The respondent mayor could only reasonably regulate, not absolutely prohibit, the use of
public places for the purpose indicated.
National Press Club vs the Supreme Court upheld the validity of Sec. 11(b), RA 6646, which prohibited any person
COMELEC making use of the media to sell or to give free of charge print space or air time for
campaign or other political purposes except to the COMELEC. This was held to be within the
power of the COMELEC to supervise the enjoyment or utilization of franchises for the
operation of media of communication and information, for the purpose of ensuring equal
opportunity, time and space, and the “right to reply,” as well as uniform and reasonable
rates of charges for the use of such media facilities.
Osmeňa vs COMELEC SC reaffirmed validity of RA 6646 as a legitimate exercise of police power. The regulation is
unrelated to the suppression of speech, as any restriction on freedom of expression
occasioned thereby is only incidental and no more than is necessary to achieve the purpose
of promoting equality.
NOTE: This is not inconsistent with the ruling in PPI vs COMELEC, because in the latter, SC
simply said that COMELEC cannot procure print space without paying just compensation.
Adiong vs COMELEC COMELEC's resolution prohibiting the posting of decals, and stickers in mobile units like cars
and other moving vehicles was declared unconstitutional for infringmenet of freedom of
Besides, the constitutional objective of giving the rich and poor candidates' equal
opportunity to inform the electorate is not violated by the posting of decals and stickers on
cars and other vehicles.
“Overbreadth doctrine” = prohibits the government from achieving its purpose by means
that weep unnecessarily broadly, reaching constitutionally protected as well as unprotected
activity; the government has gone too far; its legitimate interest can be satisfied without
reaching so broadly into the area of protected freedom.
Gonzales vs katigbak petitioner questioned the classification of the movie as “for adults only.” the petition was
dismissed because the Board did not commit grave abuse of discretion.


 embodied in Art. III, Sec. 18 (1) [No person shall be detained solely by reason of his political beliefs and

 without this assurance, the individual would hesitate to speak for fear that he might be held to account for
his speech, or that he might be provoking the vengeance of the officials he may have criticized.

 not absolute; subject to police power and may be regulated (freedom of expression does not cover ideas
offensive to public order)

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- Obscenity
US vs Kottinger SC acquitted accused who was charged of having offered for sale pictures of half-
clad members of non-Christian tribes, holding that he had only presented them in
their native attire
People vs Go Pin Accused was convicted for exhibiting nude paintings and pictures, notwithstanding
his claim that he had done so in the interest of art. SC, noting that he has charged
admission fees to the exhibition, held that his purpose was commercial, not
merely artistic.
Pita vs CA SC declared that the determination of what is obscene is a judicial function.
Miller vs California Test of Obscenity:
 whether the average person, applying contemporary community
standards, would find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the
prurient interest
 whether the work depicts, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct
specifically defined by the applicable law
 whether the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic,
political or scientific value

Justice Douglas, dissent: I do not think we, the judges, were ever given the
constitutional power to make definitions of obscenity. Obscenity is a hodgepodge.
- The Courts should not apply a national standard but the standard of the community in which the material is
being tested.

- Criticism of Official Conduct

Lagunzad vs Sotto Vda. the Court granted the petition to restrain the public exhibition of the movie
de Gonzales “Moises Padilla Story,” because it contained fictionalized embellishments.
Being a public figure does not destroy one's right to privacy.
Ayer Productions vs Judge the tribunal upheld the primacy of freedom of expression over Enrile's “right to
Capulong privacy,” because Enrile was a public figure and a public figure's right to privacy is
narrower than that of an ordinary citizen. Besides, the movie “Four Days of
Revolution (sabi ni Cruz)” / “A Dangerous Life (sabi ni Nachura)” / “The Four Day
Revolution (sabi sa case)” would not be historically faithful without including
therein the participation of Enrile in the EDSA revolution.
US vs Bustos SC compared criticism of official conduct to a “scalpel that relieves the abscesses
of officialdom”
People vs Alarcon newspaper publications tending to impede, obstruct, embarrass or influence the
courts in administering justice in a pending suit or proceeding constitutes criminal
contempt which is summarily punishable by the courts.
In re Jurado a publication that tends to impede, embarrass or obstruct the court and
constitutes a clear and present danger to the administration of justice is not
protected by the guarantee of press freedom and is punishable by contempt.
It is not necessary that publication actually obstructs the administration of justice,
it is enough that it tends to do so.
In re Sotto a senator was punished for contempt for having attacked a decision of SC which
he called incompetent and narrow-minded, and announcing that he would file a
bill for its reorganization
In re Tulfo Tulfo's “Sangkatutak na Bobo” column was held contumacious. Freedom of the
press is subordinate to the decision, authority and integrity of the judiciary and
the proper administration of justice.
In re Laureta a lawyer was held in contempt and suspended from the practice of law for wrting
individual letters to members of the SC division that decided a case against his
client, arrogantly questioning their decision
Zaldivar vs a member of the Bar who imputed charges of improper influence, corruption and
Sandiganbayan other misdeeds to members of the Supreme Court was suspended from the
practice of law as “neither the right of free speech nor the right to engage in
political activities can be so construed or extended as to permit any such liberties
to a member of the bar.”

 Right of students to free speech in school premises not absolute.

GENERAL RULE: a student shall not be expelled or suspended solely on the basis of articles he has written
EXCEPTION: when the article materially disrupts class work or involves substantial disorder or invasion of
rights of others, the school has the right to discipline its students (in such a case, it may expel or suspend the

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 Tests of valid governmental interference (criteria in determining the liability of the individual for ideas
expressed by him) :

1. Clear and Present Danger Rule

- most libertarian
- whether the words are used in such circumstances and of such a nature as to create a clear and present
danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that the State has the right to prevent.
- the substantive evil must be extremely serious and the degree of imminence extremely high before
utterances can be punished
- CLEAR = causal connection with the danger of the substantive evil arising from the utterance
- PRESENT = time element; imminent and immediate danger (the danger must not only be probable but
also inevitable)

Terminiello vs City of  (speech inside an auditorium with 800 persons)

Chicago  speech is often provocative and challenging. hence, “fighting
words” are not sufficient to convict a person absent a clear and
present danger of a serious substantive evil
Primicias vs Fugosos The respondent mayor could only reasonably regulate, not absolutely
prohibit, the use of public places for the purpose indicated.
− the condition of Manila at that time did not justify the mayor's fears.
there was no clear and present danger.
− decided in 1947
Navarro vs Villegas (compare with Primicias case)
SC sustained respondent mayor's act of refusing to issue a permit enabling
students to hold a public rally. Mayor feared the rally would result to public
- decided in 1970
Reyes vs Bagatsing the denial of a permit to hold a public rally was invalid as there was no
showing of the probability of a clear and present danger of an evil that
might arise as a result of the meeting. The burden of proving such
eventually rests on the Mayor.

2. Dangerous Tendency Doctrine

- if the words uttered create a dangerous tendency of an evil which the State has the right to prevent,
then such words are punishable.
- Justice Holmes, critique of this doctrine: Every idea is an incitement. If believed, it is acted on unless
some other belief outweighs it, or some failure of energy stifles the movement at its birth.

Bayan vs Executive 6. the Calibrated Pre-emptive Response Policy is null and void.
Secretary Ermita Respondents are enjoined from using it and to strictly observe the
requirements of maximum tolerance.
Cabansag vs It is not necessary that some definite or immediate acts of force or
Fernandez violence be advocated. It is sufficient that such acts be advocated in
general terms.
A mere tendency toward the evil was enough.
People vs Perez Accused declared: “The Filipinos like myself must use bolos for cutting off
(Governor-General) Wood's head for having recommended a bad thing for
the Filipinos, for he has killed our independence.”
He was sentenced to jail.

3. Balance of Interest Test

- when particular conduct is regulated in the interest of public order, and the regulation results in an
indirect, conditional, partial abridgment of speech, the duty of the courts is to determine which of the two
conflicting interests demands the greater protection under the circumstances presented.
- Justice Black, critique: it, in effect, allows the courts to decide that this freedom may not be enforced
unless they believe it is reasonable to do so.

liberty is preferred Authority is preferred the issue is resolved in the light of the
peculiar circumstances obtaining in
each particular case

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Assembly and Petition
− public issues are better resolved after an exchange of view among citizens meeting with each other for the
− not subject to previous restraint or censorship
− regulated by BP 880 (Public Assembly Act)

Tanada vs SC sustained the petitioner's motion compelling the mayor of Manila to issue a permit to hold
Bagatsing a rally, but changed the meeting place to Ugarte Field, a private park
Malabanan vs (several students were suspended for 1 year for conducting demonstration in the premises of
Ramento a university outside the area permitted by the school authorities)
SC emphasized that the students did not shed their constitutional rights to free speech at the
schoolhouse gate, and permitted the students to re-enroll and finish their studies.
Villar vs TIP (several students were barred from re-enrollment for participating in demonstrations)
while the Court upheld the academic freedom of institutions of higher learning, which
includes the right to set academic standards to determine under what circumstances failing
grades suffice for expulsion of students, it was held that this right cannot be utilized to
discriminate against those who exercise their constitutional rights to peaceful assembly.
Non vs Dames SC abandons its ruling in Alcuaz vs PSBA (that enrolment of a student is a semester-to-
semester contract and the school may not be compelled to renew the contract) upholding the
primacy of freedom of expression, because the students do not shed theur constitutionally
protected rights at the school gate.
PBM Employees right to free assembly and petition prevails over economic rights.
Assoc vs PBM

− Tests of a lawful assembly

− Purpose Test
- ideally, the test should be the purpose for which the assembly is held, regardless of the auspices under
which it is organized
− Auspices Test
- Evengelista vs Earnshaw: the mayor of Manila prohibited the members of the Communist Party from
holding any kind of meeting, revoking all permits previously granted by him on the ground that the party
had been found (by the fiscal's office) to be an illegal association.

Right of Association

− Art. III, Sec. 8

− deemed embraced in freedom of expression because the organization can be used as a vehicle for the
expression of views that have a bearing on public welfare.

SSS Employees right to organize does not carry with it right to strike
Assoc vs CA
Victoriano vs
Elizalde Rope
Workers' Union
Occena vs right of association was not violated where political parties were prohibited from participating
COMELEC in the barangay elections to insure the non-partisanship of the candidates.
In re Edillon Bar integration does not compel the lawyer to associate with anyone. Integration does not
make a lawyer a member of any group of which he is not already a member.

Access to Information

- the citizenry has a right to know what is going on in the country and in his government so he can express his
views thereon knowledgeably and intelligently

Valmonte v The people have a right to access official records but they cannot compel custodians of official
Belmonte records to prepare lists, abstracts, summaries and the like, such not being based on a
1989 demandable legal right.
Baldoza v Dimaano Judges cannot prohibit access to judicial records. However, a judge may regulate the manner
1976 in which persons desiring to inspect, examine or copy records in his office, may exercise their

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Legaspi v Civil Personal interest is not required in asserting the right to information on matters of public
Service concern.
Commission What matters constitute “public concern” should be determined by the court on a case to case
1987 basis.
Chavez v PCGG Public concern (def.) – writings coming into the hands of public officers in connection with
1998 their official functions
Ill-gotten wealth is, by its nature, a matter of public concern.
Privileged communication: (1) national security, (2) trade secrets, (3) criminal matters
pending in court,
Echegaray case SC held that making the Lethal Injection Manual inaccessible to the convict was


 Art. III, Sec. 10 of the Constitution

- to safeguard the integrity of valid contractual agreements against unwarranted interference by the State.

Contract defined
- any lawful agreement on property or property rights, whether real or personal, tangible or intangible.
- does not cover:
(a) License (merely a permit or privilege to do what otherwise would be unlawful and is not a contract with
the government
(b) Marriage contract (regarded as social institution subject at all times to regulation by the legislature and to
change of the original conditions).
(c) Public office (public office is a public trust). EXCEPTION: where the salary has already been earned, in
which case it will be deemed a vested property right that cannot be withdrawn or reduced.

- retroactive
- anything that diminishes the efficacy of the contract
- right of a party is changed to his prejudice
- when a law:
(a) Changes the terms of a contract between parties
(b) Imposes new conditions
(c) Dispenses those expressed
(d) Authorizes for its satisfaction something different from that provided in its terms.

** A mere change in PROCEDURAL REMEDIES which does not change the substance of the contract, and which still
leaves an efficacious remedy for enforcement does NOT impair the obligation of contracts.

− Police Power
- when a contract suffers from congenital infirmity, i.e. a contract which affects the public welfare
− Eminent Domain
− Power of Taxation
- Tax exemptions are not contractual and so may be revoked at will by the legislature.
EXCEPTION: where a law grants a tax exemption in exchange for valuable consideration, such
exemption is considered a contract and cannot be repealed because of the impairment clause.

Clemons v Nolting The following impair the obligation of a contract:

1922 1. A law which changes the terms of a legal contract with respect to:
a. time or mode of performance
b. conditions – that which imposes new or dispenses with expressed conditions
2. A law which authorizes for the satisfaction of a contract something different from
that provided in its terms
A law which compels a creditor to accept Philippine pesos when a debt in US currency is
owing impairs the obligation of the contract.
Charles River The state is never presumed to surrender its police power.
Bridge v Warren A franchise granted to a company to collect tolls from a bridge is subject to the duty and

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Bridge power of the state to provide for the improvement of an important line of travel.

Home Building & The legislature can’t bargain away public health, morals & safety. The police power is
Loan Assoc. v considered a reserved power.
Blaisdell The legislature may not impair the obligation of a contract but may modify, according to its
1934 wisdom, the remedy with which the obligations may be enforced.
• remedy – modes of proceeding and forms to enforce the contract provided
it does not seriously impair the value of the right
The reservation of state authority is read into and deemed part of contracts.
Stone v Mississippi A statute which subsequently outlaws gambling does not impair the obligation of contract. A
1879 lottery charter is only a privilege which may be revoked by the exercise of the police power of
the state, gambling being an appropriate subject of regulation.
Manila Trading v There is no vested right in remedies or modes of procedure. The legislature may modify
Reyes particular remedies for the enforcement of a contract without interfering with the obligation of
1935 the contract.
Rutter v Esteban Police power may only be invoked against the impairment of contracts if:
1953 1. justified by an emergency – furnished the proper occasion for the exercise of the
reserved power of the state
2. temporary in nature – operation limited to the exigency which called it forth, which
period may be reduced by the court
3. exercised upon reasonable conditions
4. impairment refers only to remedy and not to substantive right
5. addressed to a legitimate purpose – the protection of the basic interests of society
Ilusoria v CAR The prohibition in the Constitution refers only to contracts with respect to property. It does
1966 not apply to statutes relating to public subjects within the domain of the general legislative
powers of the state and involving the right and public welfare of the entire community
affected by it.
A law which allows tenants to change their contracts from tenancy to leasehold system does
not impair the obligation of contracts because it was enacted pursuant to social justice
precepts of the constitution.
Ortigas v Feati Zoning laws, promulgated in the exercise of police power, justify nullification of contractual
Bank obligations.
Conference of Contracts of labor are explicitly subject to the police power.
Maritime Manning CC1700: Relations between capital and labor are not merely contractual but are impressed
Agencies v POEA with public interest and must yield to the common good…


 Art. III, Sec. 22 of the Constitution
 Prohibition against Ex Post facto Laws - the equivalent of the impairment clause in criminal matters


1) One which makes an action done before the passing of the law, and which was innocent when done, criminal,
and punishes such action.
2) One which aggravates the crime or makes it greater than when it was committed.
3) One which changes the punishment and inflicts a greater punishment than that which the law annexed to the
crime when it was committed.
4) One which alters the legal rules of evidence and receives less testimony than the law required at the time of
the commission of the offense in order to convict the accused.
5) One which assumes to regulate civil rights and remedies only BUT, in effect, imposes a penalty or deprivation
of a right, which, when done, was lawful.
6) One which deprives a person accused of a crime of some lawful protection to which he has become entitled
such as the protection of a former conviction or acquittal, or a proclamation of amnesty.

Characteristics [CPR]
− [C] must refer to criminal matters
− [P] prejudicial to the accused
− [R] retroactive in application

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 A legislative act that inflicts punishment without trial.
 Essence is the substitution of legislative fiat for a judicial determination of guilt

Δ BA= Bill of Attainder; EPF = Ex Post Facto Law

(All Bills of Attainder are Ex Post Facto Laws)

Elements of Bill of Attainder

1. There must be a law.
2. The law imposes a penal burden on a named individual or easily ascertainable members of a group.
3. There is a direct imposition of penal burden without judicial trial.


 Art. III, Sec. 20 of the Constitution
 For HUMANITARIAN reasons… an added guaranty of the liberty of persons against their incarceration for
the enforcement of purely private debts because of their misfortune of being poor

Debt defined
 Any civil obligation arising from a contract
 Expressed or implied
 Resulting in any liability to pay in money

Scope of guaranty against imprisonment for non-payment of debt

** If an accused fails to pay the fine imposed upon him, this may result in his subsidiary imprisonment because his
liability is ex delicto and not ex contractu.

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** A FRAUDULENT debt may result in the imprisonment of the debtor if:
1. The fraudulent debt constitutes a crime such as estafa and
2. The accused has been duly convicted.

GENERAL RULE: Non-payment of taxes is punishable with imprisonment.
EXCEPTION: Failure to pay a poll tax

Poll tax defined

 A specific sum levied upon every person belonging to a certain class without regard to his property or


 Sec. 18, Art III, Constitution

Involuntary Servitude defined

 The condition of one who is compelled by force, coercion, or imprisonment, and against his will, to labor
for another, whether he is paid or not.
 Includes:
1. Slavery –civil relation in which one man has absolute power over the life, fortune and liberty of
2. Peonage – a condition of enforced servitude by which the servitor is restrained of his liberty and
compelled to labor in liquidation of some debt or obligation, real or pretended, against his will

General Rule
No involuntary service in any form shall exist.

1. Punishment for a crime for which the party shall have been duly convicted (Sec. 18, Art. III)
2. Personal military or civil service in the interest of national defense (Sec. 4, Art. II)
3. Naval enlistment – remain in service until the end of voyage so that the crew would not desert the ship,
making it difficult for the owners to recruit new hands to continue the voyage (Robertson vs Baldwin)
4. Posse comitatus – in pursuit of persons who might have violated the law, the authorities might
command all male inhabitants of a certain age to assist them (US vs Pompeya)
5. Return to work order in industries affected with public interest (Kapisanan ng Manggagawa sa Kahoy vs
6. Patria Potestas – unemancipated minors are obliged to obey their parents so long as they are under
parental power and to observe respect and reverence to them always (Art. 311, Civil Code)

US vs An Act providing for the method by which the people of the town may be called upon to render
Pompeya assistance for the protection of the public and the preservation of peace and good order is
constitutional. It was enacted in the exercise of the police power of the state and does not violate the
constitutional prohibition on involuntary servitude.
Pollock vs No indebtedness warrants a suspension of the right to be free from compulsory service, and no state
Williams can make the quitting of work any component of a crime, or make criminal sanctions available for
holding unwilling persons to labor.


 Sec. 15, Art. III

Writ of Habeas Corpus defined

 A writ issued by a court
 directed to a person detaining another
 commanding him
 to produce the body of the prisoner
• at a designated time and place
• with the day and cause of his caption and detention
 to do, to submit to, and receive whatever the court or judge awarding the writ shall consider in

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his behalf

*** The writ is a prerogative writ employed to test the validity of detention
*** to secure the detainee’s release
*** The action shall take precedence in the calendar of the court and must be acted upon immediately

When available (enumeration not exclusive)

 restoration of liberty of an individual subjected to physical restraint
 may be availed of where, as a consequence of a judicial proceeding:
1. there has been deprivation of a constitutional right resulting in the restraint of the person
2. the court has no jurisdiction to impose the sentence, or
3. an excessive penalty has been imposed, since such sentence is void as to the excess.
 May be extended to cases by which rightful custody of any person is withheld from the person entitled
 When moral restraint is exerted (Caunca vs Salazar)
 Right was accorded a person was sentenced to a longer penalty than was subsequently meted out to
another person convicted of the same offense. (Gumabon vs Director of Prisons)
 Unlawful denial of bail

When not available (enumeration not exclusive)

 the person alleged to be restrained is in the custody of an officer under a process issued by the court
which has jurisdiction to do so
 desaparecidos (disappeared persons) – persons could not be found; remedy is to refer the matter to
Commission on Human Rights

Need to comply with writ; disobedience thereof constitutes contempt

Who may suspend the privilege

The President

Grounds for Suspension of the privilege

1. invasion or rebellion
2. when public safety requires it

-- read Article VII, Sec. 18 of the Constitution

Lansang doctrine (Lansang vs Garcia)

• SC has the power to inquire into the factual basis of the suspension of the privilege of the writ
• Constitutionalized in Article VII, Sec. 18 of the Consti.


• Sec. 16, Art. III

Related concepts and provisions

• Right to speedy trial (Sec. 14, Art. III)
Speedy trial Speedy disposition of cases
Refers to trial phase only Refers to disposition of cases (All phases)
Criminal cases only Judicial, quasi-judicial or admin. Proceedings

• Periods for decision for courts (Sec. 15, Art. VIII)

• SC: 24 months from submission
• All lower collegiate courts: 12 months unless reduced by SC
• All other lower courts: 3 months
• Periods for decision for Constitutional Commissions (Sec 7, Art. IX-A)
• 60 days from date of submission for decision or resolution

Factors considered in determining whether the right is violated

1. Length of delay

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2. Reason of delay
3. Assertion of the right or failure to assert it
4. Prejudice caused by delay

Remedy in case there has been unreasonable delay in resolution of a case

Dismissal through mandamus


Criminal process includes:

a) Investigation prior to the filing of charges
b) Preliminary examination and investigation after charges are filed
c) Period of trial


Sec. 14, paragraph 1 of Art. III

1. Impartial and competent court in accordance with procedure prescribed by law
2. Proper observance of all the rights accorded the accused under the Constitution and the
applicable statutes
(example of statutory right of the accused: right to Preliminary investigation)

- MISTRIAL may be declared if shown that proceedings were held under circumstances as would prevent
the accused from freely making his defense or the judge from freely arriving at his decision

- When a law not published and a person is impleaded for violation of such law --– violation of due process

- When appeal is permitted by law but there is denial thereof --– violation of due process

- Sec. 17, Art. III

- Based on:
1. HUMANITARIAN reasons – it is intended to prevent the State, with all its coercive powers, from
extracting from the suspect testimony that may convict him
2. PRACTICAL reasons – a person subjected to such compulsion is likely to perjure himself for his
own protection

- Criminal prosecutions, government proceedings, including civil actions and administrative or
legislative investigations


1. ACCUSED – at all times; there is a reasonable assumption that the purpose of his interrogation
will be to incriminate him
2. WITNESS – only when an incriminating question is asked, since the witness has no way of
knowing in advance the nature or effect of the question to be put to him
- He cannot invoke right to self-incrimination when:
a) The question is relevant and otherwise allowed even if the answer may tend
to incriminate him or subject him to civil liability
b) the question relates to past criminality for which the witness can no longer be
c) he has been previously granted immunity under a validly enacted statute
- Only natural persons can invoke this right. Judicial persons are subject to the visitorial powers of the
state in order to determine compliance with the conditions of the charter granted to them.

- Testimonial Compulsion

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- Production of Documents, Papers and Chattels. EXCEPTION: when books of accounts are
to be examined in the exercise of police power and power of taxation.

- What is PROHIBITED is the use of physical or moral compulsion to extort communication from the witness
or to otherwise elicit evidence which would not exist were it not for the actions compelled from the

- The right does NOT PROHIBIT the examination of the body of the accused or the use of findings with
respect to his body as physical evidence. Hence, the fingerprinting of an accused would not violate the
right against self-incrimination. However, obtaining a sample of the handwriting of the accused would
violate this right if he is charged for falsification.

- The accused cannot be compelled to produce a private document in his possession which might tend to
incriminate him. However, a third person in custody of the document may be compelled to produce it.


- Either:
a) Directly, or
b) By failure to invoke it PROVIDED the waiver is certain and unequivocal and intelligently
and willingly made.

- Sec. 12, Art. III
- called the “Miranda Doctrine” (Miranda vs Arizona)


- Any questioning initiated by law enforcement officers after a person has been taken into custody or
otherwise deprived of his freedom of action in any significant way.
- BEGINS as soon as the investigation is no longer a general inquiry unto an unsolved crime, and
direction is then aimed upon a particular suspect who has been taken into custody and to whom the
police would then direct interrogatory questions which tend to elicit incriminating statements.
- Shall include the practice of issuing an INVITATION to a person who is investigated in connection
with an offense he is suspected to have committed, without prejudice to the liability of the inviting
officer for any violation of law.


a) Voluntary
b) With assistance of counsel
c) In writing, and
d) Express


a) To be informed of right to remain silent and to counsel
b) To be reminded that if he waives his right to remain silent, anything he says can and will be used
against him
c) To remain silent
d) To have competent and independent counsel preferably of own choice
e) To be provided with counsel if the person cannot afford the services of one
f) No torture, force, violence, threat, intimidation or any other means which vitiate the free will shall
be used against him
g) Secret detention places, solitary, incommunicado, or other similar forms of detention are prohibited
h) Confessions or admissions obtained in violation of these rights are inadmissible as evidence
(exclusionary rule)


[*** waiver must be in writing and in the presence of counsel]
a) Right to remain silent
b) Right to Counsel


a) Right to be informed of his right to remain silent and to counsel

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b) Right to counsel when making the waiver of the right to remain silent or to counsel

- Right to counsel de parte is not unlimited. Accused cannot repeatedly ask for postponement. He must be
provided with counsel de oficio.

- RA 7309: victims of unjust imprisonment may file their claims with the Board of Claims under DOJ

- HEARSAY EXCEPTION: any of several deviations from the hearsay rule; allowing the admission of otherwise
inadmissible statements because the circumstances surrounding the statements provide a baiss for
considering the statements reliable.
- RES GESTAE: The declaration of the accused acknowledging guilt made to the police desk officer after the
crime was committed may be given in evidence against him by the police officer to whom the admission was
made, as part of the res gestae.

- TERMINATION OF RIGHTS UNDER CUSTODIAL INVESTIGATION: When Charges are filed against the accused
(in such case, Sections 14 and 17 come into play).

- Sec. 13, Art. III

- BAIL defined
- Security given for the release of a person in custody of law, furnished by him or a bondsman, to
guaranty his appearance before any court as may be required

a) Corporate Surety
b) Property Bond
c) Cash Deposit
d) Recognizance

- WHO MAY INVOKE: a person under detention even if no formal charges have yet been filed (Rule 114,
Rules of Court)


1)Persons charged with offenses PUNISHABLE by RECLUSION PERPETUA or DEATH, when evidence of
guilt is strong
2)Persons CONVICTED by the trial court. Bail is only discretionary pending appeal.
3)Persons who are members of the AFP facing a court martial.


1)The right to bail shall NOT be impaired even when the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is
2)Excessive bail shall not be required.


4. Ability to post bail
5. Nature of the offense
6. Penalty imposed by law
7. Character and reputation of the accused
8. Health of the accused
9. Strength of the evidence
10. Probability of appearing at the trial
11. Forfeiture of previous bail bonds
12. Whether accused was a fugitive from justice when arrested
13. If accused is under bond in other cases


1. The person claiming the right must be in actual detention or custody of the law.
2. The constitutional right is available only in criminal cases, not, e.g. in deportation and
extradition proceedings.

- Note:
1. Right to bail is not available in the military.

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2. Apart from bail, a person may attain provisional liberty through recognizance.

- Sec. 14

- Burden of proof to establish the guilt of the accused is with the prosecution.
- Conviction depends on the strength of prosecution, not on the weakness of the defense

- The presumption may be overcome by contrary presumption based on the experience of human conduct.
(e.g unexplained flight may lead to an inference of guilt, as “the wicked flee when no man pursueth, but the
righteous are as bold as a lion.”)

- The constitutional presumption will not apply as long as there is some rational connection between the fact
proved and the ultimate fact presumed, and the inference of one fact from proof of another shall not be so
unreasonable as to be a purely arbitrary mandate. – Cooley

- No inference of guilt may be drawn against an accused for his failure to make a statement of any sort.

- EQUIPOISE RULE – evidence of both sides are equally balanced, in which case the constitutional
presumption of innocence should tilt the scales in favor of the accused.


- Indispensable in any criminal prosecution where the stakes are the liberty or even the life of the accused

- ASISTANCE OF COUNSEL – begins from the time a person is taken into custody and placed under
investigation for the commission of a crime.
- This is not subject to waiver.
• Right to counsel means the right to EFFECTIVE REPRESENTATION.
• If the accused appears at arraignment without counsel, the judge must:
− Inform the accused that he has a right to a counsel before arraignment
− Ask the accused if he desires the aid of counsel
− If the accused desires counsel, but cannot afford one, a counsel de oficio must be appointed
− If the accused desires to obtain his own counsel, the court must give him a reasonable time to
get one.


- Sec. 14


1)To furnish the accused with a description of the charge against him as will enable him to make his
2)To avail himself of his conviction or acquittal against a further prosecution for the same cause
3)To inform the court of the facts alleged.

The description and not the designation of the offense is controlling
(The real nature of the crime charged is determined from the recital of facts in the information. It is not
determined based on the caption or preamble thereof nor from the specification of the provision of law
allegedly violated.)

- If the information fails to allege the material elements of the offense, the accused cannot be convicted
thereof even if the prosecution is able to present evidence during the trial with respect to such elements.

- VOID FOR VAGUENESS RULE – accused is denied the right to be informed of the charge against him
and to due process as well, where the statute itself is couched in such indefinite language that it is not
possible for men of ordinary intelligence to determine therefrom what acts or omissions are punished and
hence, shall be avoided.
- Estrada vs Sandiganbayan: the doctrine merely requires a reasonable degree of certainty and not
absolute precision or mathematical exactitude.

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1)Time expired from the filing of the information
2)Length of delay involved
3)Reasons for the delay
4)Assertion or non-assertion of the right by the accused
5)Prejudice caused to the defendant.


If the dismissal is valid, it amounts to an acquittal and can be used as basis to claim double jeopardy. This
would be the effect even if the dismissal was made with the consent of the accused


1. He can move for the dismissal of the case.
2. If he is detained, he can file a petition for the issuance of writ of habeas corpus.

• Free from vexatious, capricious and oppressive delays
• To relieve the accused from needless anxieties before sentence is pronounced upon him

• The accused is entitled to the “cold neutrality of an impartial judge”. It is an element of due process.

• The attendance at the trial is open to all irrespective of their relationship to the accused. However, if
the evidence to be adduced is “offensive to decency or public morals”, the public may be excluded.
• The right of the accused to a public trial is not violated if the hearings are conducted on Saturdays,
either with the consent of the accused or if failed to object thereto.


A. The right to be present covers the period from ARRAIGNMENT to PROMULGATION of sentence.

B. Trial may proceed notwithstanding absence of accused, provided 3 requisites are met. Note, that
TRIAL IN ABSENTIA is allowed only if the accused has been validly arraigned.
1. Accused has already been arraigned
2. Accused has been duly notified of the trial; and
3. His failure to appear is unjustifiable.

C. The accused may waive the right to be present at the trial by not showing up. However, the court
can still compel the attendance of the accused if necessary for identification purposes. EXCEPTION: If
the accused, after arraignment, has stipulated that he is indeed the person charged with the offense
and named in the information, and that any time a witness refers to a name by which he is known,
the witness is to be understood as referring to him.

D. Trial in Absentia is mandatory upon the court whenever the accused has been arraigned.

E. There is also Promulgation in Absentia (only in cases of light offenses)

• While the accused is entitled to be present during promulgation of judgment, the absence of his
counsel during such promulgation does not affect its validity

• The trial in absentia does not abrogate the provisions of the Rules of Court regarding forfeiture of bail
bond if the accused fails to appear at his trial.

• A court has the power to prohibit a person admitted to bail from leaving the Philippines as this is a
necessary consequence of the nature and function of a bail bond


• To meet the witnesses face to face

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• To afford the accused an opportunity to cross-examine the witness
• To allow the judge the opportunity to observe the deportment of the witness


If the failure of the accused to cross-examine a witness is due to his own fault or was not due to the
fault of the prosecution, the testimony of the witness should be excluded.


It is demandable only during trials. Thus, it cannot be availed of during preliminary investigations.


1. The admissibility of “dying declarations”
2. Trial in absentia under Section 14(2)
•With respect to child testimony

• Testimony of witness who was not cross-examined is not admissible as evidence for being hearsay.

• If a prosecution witness dies before his cross-examination can be completed, his direct testimony
cannot be stricken off the record, provided the material points of his direct testimony had been covered on

• The right to confrontation may be waived.

• The accused is entitled to the issuance of subpoena ad testificandum and subpoena duces tecum for
the purpose of compelling the attendance of witness and the production of evidence that he may need for
his defense.
• Failure to obey – punishable as contempt of court.
• There are exceptional circumstances when the defendant may ask for conditional examination,
provided the expected testimony is material of any witness under circumstances that would make him
unavailable from attending the trial.


• When is a penalty “cruel, degrading and inhuman”?

1. A penalty is cruel and inhuman if it involves torture or lingering suffering. Ex. Being drawn and
2. A penalty is degrading if it exposes a person to public humiliation. Ex. Being tarred and feathered, then
paraded throughout town.

1. The punishment must not be so severe as to be degrading to the dignity of human beings.
2. It must not be applied arbitrarily.
3. It must not be unacceptable to contemporary society
4. It must not be excessive, i.e. it must serve a penal purpose more effectively than a less severe
punishment would.

A fine is excessive, when under any circumstance, it is disproportionate to the offense.

Note: Fr. Bernas says that the accused cannot be convicted of the crime to which the punishment is
attached if the court finds that the punishment is cruel, degrading or inhuman.
Reason: Without a valid penalty, the law is not a penal law.


*** 2 Kinds of Double Jeopardy:

1. When a person is put twice in jeopardy of punishment for the same offense (1st sentence
of Section 21)

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2. When a law and an ordinance punish the same act (2nd sentence of Sec. 21)


Requisites for a valid defense of double jeopardy: [ATS]

1) [A] First jeopardy must have attached prior to the second.
2) [T] The first jeopardy must have terminated.
3) [S] The second jeopardy must be for the same offense as that in the first.

When does jeopardy ATTACH: (1st requisite) [CICAV]

1) [C] A person is charged
2) [I] Under a complaint or information sufficient in form and substance to sustain a conviction
3) [C] Before a court of competent jurisdiction
4) [A] After the person is arraigned
5) [V] Such person enters a valid plea.

When does jeopardy NOT attach:

1)If information does not charge any offense
2)If, upon pleading guilty, the accused presents evidence of complete self-defense, and the court thereafter
acquits him without entering a new plea of not guilty for accused.
3)If the information for an offense cognizable by the RTC is filed with the MTC.
4)If a complaint filed for preliminary investigation is dismissed.

When does first jeopardy TERMINATE: (2ND REQUISITE)

3)Dismissal W/O the EXPRESS consent of the accused
4)Dismissal on the merits.

Examples of termination of jeopardy:

1)Dismissal based on violation of the right to a speedy trial. This amounts to an acquittal.
2) Dismissal based on a demurrer to evidence. This is a dismissal on the merits.
3) Dismissal on motion of the prosecution, subsequent to a motion for reinvestigation filed by the
4) Discharge of an accused to be a state witness. This amounts to an acquittal.

When can the PROSECUTION appeal from an order of dismissal:

− If dismissal is on motion of the accused. Exception: If motion is based on violation of the right to a
speedy trial or on a demurrer to evidence.
− If dismissal does NOT amount to an acquittal or dismissal on the merits
− If the question to be passed upon is purely legal.
− If the dismissal violates the right of due process of the prosecution.
− If the dismissal was made with grave abuse of discretion. (Certiorari is applicable only when correcting
errors of jurisdiction, but not in order to correct findings or conclusions of the court)

What are considered to be the “SAME OFFENSE”:

1)Exact identity between the offenses charged in the first and second cases.
2)One offense is an attempt to commit or a frustration of the other offense.
3)One offense is necessarily included or necessary includes the other.

Note: where a single act results in the violation of different laws or different provisions of the same law, the
prosecution for one will not bar the other so long as none of the exceptions apply.


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Double jeopardy will result if the act punishable under the law and the ordinance are the same. For there to
be double jeopardy, it is not necessary that the offense be the same.

1)Under the Rules of Court, a conviction for an offense will not bar a prosecution for an offense which
necessarily includes the offense charged in the former information where:

a) The graver offense developed due to a supervening fact arising from the same act or omission
constituting the former charge.
b) The facts constituting the graver offense became known or were discovered only after the filing
of the former information.
c) The plea of guilty to the lesser offense was made without the consent of the fiscal and the
offended party.

2)Under (1)(b), if the facts could have been discovered by the prosecution but were not discovered because
of the prosecution’s incompetence, it would not be considered a supervening event.

Effect of appeal by the accused:

If the accused appeals his conviction, he WAIVES his right to plead double jeopardy. The whole case will be
open to review by the appellate court. Such court may even increase the penalties imposed on the
accused by the trial court.


- Sec. 11, Art. III

- Social Justice Provision, implemented by the Rules of Court provision allowing “pauper suits”
- Additional guarantee: Adequate legal assistance


Who are citizens of the Philippines?

1) Those who are citizens of the Philippines at the time of the adoption of the 1987 Constitution
2) Those whose fathers or mothers are citizens of the Philippines.
3) Those born before January 17, 1973 of Filipino mothers, who elect Philippine citizenship upon reaching the age
of majority.
4) Those who are naturalized in accordance with law.

Modes of acquiring citizenship:

1) Jus Soli – acquisition of citizenship on the basis of place of birth
2) Jus Sanguinis – acquisition of citizenship on the basis of blood relationship
3) Naturalization – the legal act of adopting an alien and clothing him with the privilege of a native-born citizen.

Note: The Philippines follows (2) and (3)

Election of citizenship under the 1987 Constitution:

Prior to the 1973 Constitution, if a Filipina married an alien, she lost her Filipino citizenship. Hence, her child
would have to elect Filipino citizenship upon reaching the age of majority. Under the 1973 Constitution, however,
children born of Filipino mothers were already considered Filipinos. Therefore, the provision on election of
citizenship under the 1987 Constitution only applies to those persons who were born under the 1935 Constitution.
In order for the children to elect Filipino citizenship, the mothers must have been Filipinos at the time of their
marriage. So, if your mother was a Filipina who married an alien under the 1935 constitution and you were born
before January 17, 1973, you can elect Filipino citizenship upon reaching the age of majority.

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When must the election be made:
The election must be made within a reasonable period after reaching the age of majority.

Effects of naturalization:

• The legitimate minor children of the naturalized father become Filipinos as well.
• The wife also becomes a Filipino citizen, provided that she does not have any disqualification which would
bar her from being naturalized.

Natural-born citizens:
1) Citizens of the Philippines from birth who do not need to perform any act to acquire or perfect their Philippine
2) Those who elect Philippine citizenship under Art. IV, Sec. 1(3) of 1987 Constitution.

Marriage of Filipino with an alien:

1) General Rule: The Filipino RETAINS Philippine citizenship

2) Exception: If, by their act or omission they are deemed, under the law, to have renounced it.

Examples of renunciation of Philippine citizenship:

1) Voluntarily obtaining foreign passport
2) Pledging allegiance to another country (ex. by becoming a naturalized citizen of another country)

• Re-acquisition of citizenship
Natural-born Filipinos who are deemed to have lost their citizenship may re-acquire the same via repatriation
proceedings. This involves taking an oath of allegiance and filing the same with the civil registry.

How may one lose citizenship:

− By naturalization in a foreign country

− By express renunciation of citizenship
− By subscribing oath or allegiance to a foreign Constitution
− By serving in the armed forces of an enemy country
− By being a deserter of the armed forces of one’s country

How may one reacquire citizenship:

1. By direct act of Congress
2. By naturalization
3. By repatriation

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