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Perez vs People (Class Digest)

Perez vs People (Class Digest)

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Published by Renan Lasala
Manresa; Ateneo law school; Consti Case
Manresa; Ateneo law school; Consti Case

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Published by: Renan Lasala on Aug 10, 2011
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05/29/2014

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Topic: Presumption of Constitutionality Case: Perez vs People Mnemonic: PeraPerezakapatid(peraparasakapatid) and Perezumption of Constitutionality

Prepared by Renan Lasala

Facts:  Zenon Perez is the Municipal Treasurer of Tubigon, Bohol on 1988.  In a recent audit made on his office, it was found that the public funds that he was entrusted to is short of Php72,784.57.  When he was asked regarding the shortage of funds, he confessed that he used them to pay for the loan of his brother, and that he also spent it for his family's food and his medicine.  When the case is filed to the Sandiganbayan, petitioner retracted his previous statement as he claimed that he was mentally and physically weak at that time, as he was suffering from Diabetes Miletus.  He was found guilty of Malversation of Funds by the Sandiganbayan, and is imposed a penalty of 10 years and one day for prision mayor (min), up to 14 years 8 months of reclusion temporal (max). Upon appeal at the SC level:  Peitioner claims that he was violated the right to a speedy trial and due process, as over 13 years had passed, before the case had been filed against him.  He claims that the sentenced imposed upon him is cruel and violates section 19 of Article III of the Constitution. Ruling:  The right to a speedy disposition of a case, like the right to speedy trial, is deemed violated only when the proceeding is attended by vexatious, capricious, and oppressive delays; or when unjustified postponements of the trial are asked for and secured, or when without cause or justifiable motive a long period of time is allowed to elapse without the party having his case tried.  There is strong presumption of constitutionality accorded to statutes.It is presumed that the legislature has acted within its constitutional powers. So, it is the generally accepted rule that every statute, or regularly accepted act, is, or will be, or should be, presumed to be valid and constitutional.  He who attacks the constitutionality of a law has the onus probandi to show why such law is a violation to the Constitution. Failing to overcome its presumption of constitutionality, a claim that a law is cruel, unusual, or inhumane, like the stance of petitioner, must fail.  Court affirms the decision of the Sandiganbayan and found petioner guilty of malversation of funds. With the modification of the penalty to 4 years 2 months and 1 day of prision correccional (min) to 10 yrs and 1 day of prision mayor (max), with perpetual special disqualification.

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