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1 Legal Counseling Finals

Art. III - Bill of Rights SECTION 1. Right to due process of law.

No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws.


A person may be deprived of life, liberty or property provided due process is observed. Municipal corporations cannot invoke the protection, being a mere creature of the state. It does not extend to rights which are political. It is also not intended to enforce social equity. Extends to private corporations but only insofar as their property is concerned.

Procedural Due Process vs. Substantive Due Process

Procedural Due Process requires that there must be: 1. An impartial court vested with authority to hear and decide cases; 2. Jurisdiction lawfully acquired over the person of the defendant or the property which is the subject matter of the proceeding; 3. Right to be heard; and 4. Judgment to be rendered after lawful hearing.

Substantive Due Process requires that the law in question affecting life, liberty or property be a valid law, that is, within the power of the law-making body to enact and is reasonable in its operation, and that the law itself must not be arbitrary and duly oppressive.

SECTION 2. Right against unreasonable searches and seizures.

The right of the people to be secure in their: i. Persons;

2 ii.


Houses; Papers and effects

against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable.

Requisites of a valid search warrant: i. ii. iii. iv. It must be issued upon probable cause; The probable cause must be determined personally by the judge himself; Such determination of the existence of probable cause must be made after the examination by the judge of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce; and The warrant must particularly describe the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

When search and seizure may be made without a search warrant: i. ii. iii. iv. v. When there is consent or waiver; When search is an incidental to a lawful arrest; When contraband are transported by ship, automobile, or other vehicle, in view of the difficulty in securing a search warrant; When articles prohibited by law are exposed to plain view; or As an incident of inspection, supervision and regulation in the exercise of police power.

When arrest may be valid without a warrant of arrest:

A peace officer or private person may, without a warrant, arrest a person:

i. ii. iii.

When, IN HIS PRESENCE, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense (In flagrante delicto); When an offense has in fact just been committed and he has PERSONAL KNOWLEDGE of facts indicating that the person to be arrested has committed it (Hot Pursuit); or When the person to be arrested is an escaped prisoner or detainee.

SECTION 3. Right to privacy.

The privacy of communication and correspondence shall be inviolable.


i. ii.

Upon lawful order of the court; or When public safety or order requires otherwise, as prescribed by law.

Any evidence obtained in violation of this or the preceding section shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding.

SECTION 4. Freedom of expression.

No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of:


iii. iv.

Speech; Of expression; Of the press; or The right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances.

The freedom of expression is not absolute, subject to regulation by the state, and subject one to liability when abused.

Standard tests of freedom of expression:

1. The Dangerous Tendency Test. If the words spoken create a dangerous tendency which the state has a right to prevent, then such words are punishable.

2. The Clear and Present Danger Rule. Whether the words are used in such circumstances and are of such nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evil that Congress has a right to prevent.

3. Balancing of Interest Test.

4 The court will weigh or balance the conflicting social interests that will be affected by legislation. It involves many considerations but in the end, it will uphold what should be considered as the most important interest.

Some guidelines to follow: When two private individuals have conflicting claims under the bill of rights, the Balancing of Interest Test is used. When suit is between a private individual and the government, Courts usually use the Clear and Present Danger Rule.

Two (2) components of the freedom of speech: i.


Freedom without PRIOR RESTRAINT from the government. Freedom from SUBSEQUENT PUNISHMENT.

Prior Restraint: Government restriction on forms of expression in advance of actual publication or dissemination.

Forms of PRIOR RESTRAINT: i. ii. iii. iv. Censorship; Closures; Court injunction; and System of issuance of permits and licenses.

Subsequent Punishment: A restraint on freedom of speech, press and expression that comes after the exercise of said rights.

Forms of SUBSEQUENT PUNISHMENT: i. ii. iii. Criminal prosecutions for sedition, libel and obscenity; Citation for contempt; and Suits for damages.

Protected by Sec. 4:

5 i. ii. iii. iv. v. vi. Political speeches; Artistic expression; Commercial speeches; Scientific information; Symbolic speeches; and Picketing.

Not protected by Sec. 4: i. ii. iii. iv. Seditious speeches; Libelous speeches; Obscene speeches; and Contemptuous speeches.

SECTION 5. Freedom of Religion.

No law shall be made respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever be allowed. No religious test shall be required for the exercise of civil or political rights.

Comment: The freedom to BELIEVE is absolute. However, the freedom to act in accordance with ones belief is not absolute for when such belief is translated into actions, which may come in conflict with some accepted canons of a civilized existence, the state now has the power to restrict or regulate such translated actions.

Two parts of freedom to act in accordance with ones belief: i. ii. The State cannot compel a person to do something which his religion prohibits. The State cannot prohibit a person from doing something which his religion commands.

SECTION 6. The liberty of abode and the right to travel.

The liberty of abode and of changing the same within the limits prescribed by law shall not be impaired.

Exception: Upon lawful order of the court. (ex. Distierro)

Neither shall the right to travel be impaired.




In the interest of national security; Public safety; or Public health, as may be provided by law.

SECTION 7. The right to information.

The right of the people to information on matters of public concern shall be recognized. Access to official records, and to documents and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions, or decisions, as well as to government research data used as basis for policy development, shall be afforded the citizen, subject to such limitations as may be provided by law.

Exceptions: i. ii. Information involving national security; Information which are confidential in nature. (ex. Income tax returns, military intelligence funds, disbarment proceedings, etc.)

The burden is on the government to justify the withholding of information or document, not on the person requesting it.

SECTION 8. The right to association.

The right of the people, including those employed in the public and private sectors to form:

7 i. ii. Unions; Associations; or Societies for purposes not contrary to law shall not be abridged.


Exceptions: i. ii. iii. Purpose is contrary to law; Exercise of the police power of the State; or Such association would create imminent danger to public order, public peace, or public safety.

SECTION 9. Private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation.

SECTION 10. No law impairing the obligation of contracts shall be passed.

SECTION 11. Free access to the courts and quasi-judicial bodies and adequate legal assistance shall not be denied to any person by reason of poverty.


Any person under custodial investigation for the commission of an offense shall have the right:

i. ii.

To be informed of his right to remain silent; To have competent and independent counsel preferably of his own choice or to be provided with one. (These rights cannot be waived except in writing and in the presence of counsel)

iii. iv.

Against torture, force, violence, threat, intimidation, or any other means which vitiate the free will; and Against being held in secret, solitary, incommunicado, or other similar forms of detention.

SECTION 13. Right to bail.

All persons: i. Arrested;

8 ii.


Detained; or Deprived of liberty have the right to bail.

Exceptions: i.


Persons charged with capital offense; or An offense punishable by reclusion perpetua, life imprisonment, or death if the evidence of his guilt is strong and before conviction.

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

SECTION 14. Rights of the ACCUSED in criminal prosecution:

Constitutional rights of the ACCUSED in criminal cases: i. ii. iii. iv. v. vi. vii. Right to due process of law; Right to presumption of innocence; Right to be heard and counsel; Right to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him (arraignment); Right to have a speedy, impartial and public trial; Right to meet the witnesses face to face; and Right to have compulsory process to secure the attendance of the witness and the production of evidence in his behalf.

However, after arraignment, trial may proceed notwithstanding the absence of the accused (Trial-in-absentia) Provided, that he has been duly notified and his failure to appear is unjustifiable.

SECTION 15. Habeas Corpus

The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended.



In cases of invasion;

9 ii.


Rebellion; or When the public safety requires it.

The writ is the order from the court requiring a person detaining another to show cause for the detention, while the privilege of the writ is the further order from the court to release an individual if it finds his detention without legal cause or authority.

The privilege of the writ is the one that may be suspended by the President, and not the writ itself, in cases of invasion or rebellion, when public safety requires it. (Art. VII, Sec. 18)

Instances where a writ of habeas corpus may be availed in a judicial proceeding: i. ii. iii. In cases of violation of a persons constitutional right resulting to a restraint of his freedom; The court has no jurisdiction to impose the penalty; or The punishment is excessive.

Limitations of the power of the President to suspend the privilege of the writ:


iii. iv.

The duration of the suspension shall not exceed sixty (60) days UNLESS extended by congress; The President may submit a report in person or in writing to Congress within forty-eight (48) hours from the suspension; The Supreme Court may review the propriety of the suspension thru a petition by any citizen. The Congress by majority vote of each house may revoke such suspension, where such revocation shall not be set aside by the President; and Persons detained during the suspension of the writ must be judicially charged within three (3) days.

SECTION 16. Right to speedy disposition of cases.

All persons shall have the right to a speedy disposition of their cases before all judicial, quasi-judicial, or administrative bodies. (Apples to civil, criminal and administrative cases)

SECTION 17. Right against self-incrimination.

No person shall be compelled to be a witness against himself.

10 SECTION 18. Right against involuntary servitude.

No person shall be detained solely by reason of his political beliefs and aspirations.

No involuntary servitude in any form shall exist except as a punishment for a crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.

Involuntary servitude a condition where one is compelled by force, coercion or imprisonment, to labor for another, whether paid or not.

Cases where involuntary servitude is permissible: (PDREPP)

i. ii. iii. iv. v. vi.

As a punishment for a crime of which a person has been duly convicted (Art. III, Sec. 18); When military or civil service is required for the defense of the state (Art II, Sec. 4); If there is a return to work order against striking laborers affected with public interest; In military and naval enlistment; Under Patria Potestas authority of parents to require their children to perform reasonable amount of work; and Posse Comitatus a valid exercise of the police power of the State.



Aclarasyon vs. Gatmaitan, 64 SCRA 131. A court stenographer can still be compelled to transcribe notes without violating the right against involuntary servitude. The compulsion is part of the inherent power of the court necessary for the ordinary and efficient administration of justice.


Sarmiento vs. Tuico.

The SC upheld the propriety of the issuance of the return to work order, that the same is necessary in industries affected with public interest.

SECTION 19. Right to bail.

Excessive fines shall not be imposed, nor cruel, degrading or inhuman punishment inflicted.


Neither shall death penalty be imposed, except:


For compelling reasons involving heinous crimes, the Congress provides for it.

Any death penalty already imposed shall be reduced to reclusion perpetua.

Important matters regarding death penalty:

The imposition of death penalty was merely SUSPENDED, and was not abolished by the present constitution (Atty. Santos Torrena). In Dec. 13, 1993, RA 7659 RESTORED the death penalty on certain heinous crimes. In 1996, RA 8177 designates death by lethal injection. But in June 24, 2006, RA 9346 PROHIBITED the imposition of death penalty. o In lieu of death penalty, reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment was imposed.

The employment of physical, psychological, or degrading punishment against any prisoner or detainee or the use of substandard or inadequate penal facilities under subhuman conditions shall be dealt with by law.

SECTION 20. No person shall be imprisoned for debt or non-payment of a poll tax.

Debt here refers only to a civil or contractual debt (ex contractu), not one arising from a criminal offense (ex delicto).

Sec. 20 does not apply to: i. ii. Damages arising in action ex delicto; and Fines and penalties imposed as punishment for crimes.

SECTION 21. Right against double jeopardy.

No person shall be twice put in jeopardy of punishment for the same offense. If an act is punished by a law and an ordinance, conviction or acquittal under either shall constitute a bar to another prosecution for the same act.


A bar to another prosecution: i. ii. iii. Conviction; Acquittal; or Dismissal of the case without express consent of the accused (Dismissal without motion).

Requisites for double jeopardy to attach: i. ii. iii. iv. v. vi. Accused has been previously brought to trial; In a court of competent jurisdiction; Under a valid complaint or information; He has been arraigned and pleaded to the charge; He has been convicted or acquitted or the case against him has been dismissed or otherwise terminated without his express consent; and He is being charged again for the same offense.

Appeal, its effect: The accused, after having been convicted, may appeal to a higher court, but the latter may raise the penalty imposed on him by the lower court and such is not second jeopardy.

SECTION 22. No ex post facto law or bill of attainder shall be enacted. Characteristics of an Ex post facto law:

i. ii. iii.

Ex post Facto laws relate to penal or criminal matters only; They are retroactive in their operation; and They deprive persons accused of crime of some protection or defense previously available, to their disadvantage. It may apply retroactively provided they are favorable to the accused.

Six (6) kinds of Ex post facto law: i. ii. iii. iv. v. vi. Makes an action done before the passage of the law, innocent when done, criminal; Aggravates a crime or makes it greater than when it was committed; Changes the punishment and inflicts a greater punishment than what the law annexed to the crime when committed; Alters the legal rules of evidence and receives less or different testimony than the law requires at the time of the commission of the offense; Assumes to regulate civil rights and remedies only but in effect imposes a penalty; or Deprives persons accused of a crime of some protection or defense previously available.

13 Bill of attainder is a legislative act which inflicts punishment without judicial trial.

Other matters:

Self-defense. Reasons for reverse trial: i. ii. iii. iv. There is already an implied admission of the offense; The prosecution will not prove anymore; The defendant will be the one to prove self-defense; and The defendant is guilty until proven innocent (?).