G.R. No.

160792 August 25, 2005
IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION FOR HABEAS CORPUS OF CAPT. GAR A!E"ANO, PN #MARINES$ CAPT. NICANOR FAE!%ON, PN
#MARINES$ CAPT. GERAR%O GAMBA!A, PA !T. SG "AMES !AUG, PN CAPT. MI!O MAESTRECAMPO, PA !T. SG ANTONIO TRI!!ANES I&,
PN HOMOBONO A%A'A, ()* ROBERTO RAFAE! #ROE!$ PU!I%O, Petitioners,
vs.
GEN. PE%RO CABUA, GEN. NARCISO ABAA, SEC. ANGE!O REES, ()* SEC. ROI!O GO!E',Respondents.
FACTS: Early morning of 27 Jly 2!!", some "2# armed soldiers, led $y t%e no& detained 'nior offi(ers, entered and too) (ontrol of t%e *a)&ood
Premier +,ry Apartments -.*a)&ood./, an ps(ale apartment (omple,, lo(ated in t%e $siness distri(t of 0a)ati City. T%e soldiers disarmed t%e
se(rity offi(ers of *a)&ood and planted e,plosive devi(es in its immediate srrondings. T%e 'nior offi(ers p$li(ly renon(ed t%eir spport for t%e
administration and (alled for t%e resignation of President 1loria 0a(apagal2Arroyo and several (a$inet mem$ers.
Arond 7:!! p.m. of t%e same date, t%e soldiers volntarily srrendered to t%e at%orities after several negotiations &it% government emissaries. T%e
soldiers later defsed t%e e,plosive devi(es t%ey %ad earlier planted. T%e soldiers t%en retrned to t%eir $arra()s. *n "# Jly 2!!", 1en. A$aya, as t%e
C%ief of Staff of t%e AFP, issed a dire(tive to all t%e 0a'or Servi(e Commanders to trn over (stody of ten 'nior offi(ers to t%e 3SAFP 4etention
Center. T%e transfer too) pla(e &%ile military and (ivilian at%orities &ere investigating t%e soldiers5 involvement in t%e *a)&ood in(ident.
*n # Agst 2!!", government prose(tors filed an 3nformation for coup d’etat &it% t%e Regional Trial Cort of 0a)ati City, 6ran(% 7#, against t%e
soldiers involved in t%e 27 Jly 2!!" *a)&ood in(ident. T%e government prose(tors a((sed t%e soldiers of coup d’etat as defined and penali8ed
nder Arti(le #"92A of t%e Revised Penal Code of t%e P%ilippines, as amended. T%e (ase &as do()eted as Criminal Case :o. !"227;9. T%e trial (ort
later issed t%e Commitment *rders giving (stody of 'nior offi(ers +t. S1 Antonio Trillanes 3< -.Trillanes./ and Capt. 1erardo 1am$ala to t%e
Commanding *ffi(ers of 3SAFP. *n 2 Agst 2!!", 1en. A$aya issed a dire(tive to all 0a'or Servi(e Commanders to ta)e into (stody t%e military
personnel nder t%eir (ommand &%o too) part in t%e *a)&ood in(ident e,(ept t%e detained 'nior offi(ers &%o &ere to remain nder t%e (stody of
3SAFP.
Petitioners filed a petition for =a$eas Corps $efore t%e CA, %o&ever t%e same &as denied. T%e Cort of Appeals fond t%e petition $ereft of merit. T%e
appellate (ort pointed ot t%at t%e detainees are already (%arged of coup d’etat $efore t%e Regional Trial Cort of 0a)ati. Habeas corpus is navailing
in t%is (ase as t%e detainees5 (onfinement is nder a valid indi(tment, t%e legality of &%i(% t%e detainees and petitioners do not even >estion.
3SS?E: @*: t%e denial of t%e petition for =a$eas Corps &as valid
=E+4: AES
For o$vios reasons, t%e dty to %ear t%e petition for habeas corpus ne(essarily in(ldes t%e determination of t%e propriety of t%e remedy. 3f a (ort finds
t%e alleged (ase of t%e detention nla&fl, t%en it s%old isse t%e &rit and release t%e detainees. 3n t%e present (ase, after %earing t%e (ase, t%e Cort
of Appeals fond t%at habeas corpus is inappli(a$le. After a(tively parti(ipating in t%e %earing $efore t%e Cort of Appeals, petitioners are estopped from
(laiming t%at t%e appellate (ort %ad no 'risdi(tion to in>ire into t%e merits of t%eir petition.
T%e Cort of Appeals (orre(tly rled t%at t%e remedy of habeas corpus is not t%e proper remedy to address t%e detainees5 (omplaint against t%e
reglations and (onditions in t%e 3SAFP 4etention Center. T%e remedy of habeas corpus %as one o$'e(tive: to in>ire into t%e (ase of detention of a
person. T%e prpose of t%e &rit is to determine &%et%er a person is $eing illegally deprived of %is li$erty.3f t%e in>iry reveals t%at t%e detention is illegal,
t%e (ort orders t%e release of t%e person. 3f, %o&ever, t%e detention is proven la&fl, t%en t%e habeas corpus pro(eedings terminate.
T%e se of habeas corpus is t%s very limited. 3t is not a &rit of error. :eit%er (an it s$stitte for an appeal.
A mere allegation of a violation of one5s (onstittional rig%t is not sffi(ient. T%e (orts &ill e,tend t%e s(ope of t%e &rit only if any of t%e follo&ing
(ir(mstan(es is present: -a/ t%ere is a deprivation of a (onstittional rig%t reslting in t%e nla&fl restraint of a personB -$/ t%e (ort %ad no 'risdi(tion
to impose t%e senten(eB or -(/ an e,(essive penalty is imposed and s(% senten(e is void as to t%e e,(ess.
AS TO %ENIA! OF RIGHT TO COUNSE!: T%e s(%edled visiting %ors provide reasona$le a((ess to t%e detainees, giving petitioners sffi(ient time to
(onfer &it% t%e detainees. T%e detainees5 rig%t to (onsel is not ndermined $y t%e s(%edled visits. Even in t%e %earings $efore t%e Senate and t%e
Feli(iano Commission, petitioners &ere given time to (onfer &it% t%e detainees, a fa(t t%at petitioners t%emselves admit.
2"
T%s, at no point &ere t%e
detainees denied t%eir rig%t to (onsel.
AS TO INHUMANE PUNISHMENT: T%e $oarding of t%e iron grills is for t%e frt%eran(e of se(rity &it%in t%e 3SAFP 4etention Center. T%is measre
intends to fortify t%e individal (ells and to prevent t%e detainees from passing on (ontra$and and &eapons from one (ell to anot%er. T%e $oarded grills
ensre se(rity and prevent disorder and (rime &it%in t%e fa(ility. T%e diminis%ed illmination and ventilation are $t dis(omforts in%erent in t%e fa(t of
detention, and do not (onstitte pnis%ments on t%e detainees.
T%e limitation on t%e detainees5 p%ysi(al (onta(ts &it% visitors is a reasona$le, non2pnitive response to valid se(rity (on(erns.
AS T* R31=T T* PR3<ACA *F C*00?:3CAT3*:: T%e letters alleged to %ave $een read $y t%e 3SAFP at%orities &ere not (onfidential letters
$et&een t%e detainees and t%eir la&yers. T%e petitioner &%o re(eived t%e letters from detainees Trillanes and 0aestre(ampo &as merely a(ting as t%e
detainees5 personal (orier and not as t%eir (onsel &%en %e re(eived t%e letters for mailing. I) t+, -.,s,)t /(s,, s0)/, t+, 1,tt,.s 2,., )ot
/o)30*,)t0(1 /o44u)0/(t0o) 5,t2,,) t+, *,t(0),,s ()* t+,0. 1(26,.s, t+, o330/0(1s o3 t+, ISAFP %,t,)t0o) C,)t,. /ou1* .,(* t+, 1,tt,.s. 3f t%e
letters are mar)ed (onfidential (ommni(ation $et&een t%e detainees and t%eir la&yers, t%e detention offi(ials s%old not read t%e letters $t only open
t%e envelopes for inspe(tion in t%e presen(e of t%e detainees.

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