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Ilagan v. Juan Ponce Enrile (Minister of National Defense) (1985), Lt. Gen. Fidel Ramos (Acting Chief of Staff AFP), Brig. Gen. Dionisio Tan-Gatue (PC-INP Regional Commander) Melencio-Herrera, J. This is a petition for Habeas Corpus filed the the IBP, FLAG, and the Movement of Attys for Brotherhood, Integrity, and Nationalism on behalf of Attys. Ilagan, Arellano, and Risonar, Jr. Atty. Ilagan was arrested in Davao City o By elements of the PC-INP o Detained in Camp Catitipan o On the basis of a mission order allegedly issued ty Ministry of National Defense Same day, 1 of the attys who visited Atty. Ilagan (Atty. Arellano) was also arrested and detained on the basis of an unsigned Mission Order Thereafter, military told IBP Davao that Atty Risonar was to be arrested, too. o Atty Risonar went to Camp Catitipan to veify his arrest papers o Atty Risonar was detained on the basis of a Mission Order signed by the Regional Unified Commander A petition for habeas corpus was filed on the ground of illegal arrest, violative of the Consti (since no arrest can be made on the basis of Mission Orders) o They also claim that there is a military campaign to harass lawyers involved in national security cases Enrile et al. said that: o Attys were arrested on the basis of a PDA issued by the President o Writ of habeas corpus is suspended by Proc No. 2045-A o Accdg to Garcia-Padilla vs. Ponce Enrile, et al, Courts do not have the authority to inquire into validity of detention of persons because of Proc No. 2045-A o There is a state of rebellion in Davao City and the attys played active roles in organizing mass actions of the CPP and NDF During hearing, Enrile et al presented evidence of subversive activities in Davao. o Due to lack of evidence linking the attys to the subversion, court ordered their temporary release The next day, the petitioners filed a Motion stating that the attys were still not released. Also, they wanted the attys to be released to the custody of the principal counsel of petioners at the Supreme Court (Chief Justice Concepcion) Enrile et al opposed this saying that: o There is a suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus o The attys were not arrested for lawyer acts but for their subversive acts Enrile et al filed an information for rebellion against the attys in the RTC-Davao Petitioners say that the “Welgang Bayans” were in legitimate exrcise of right of expression and assembly to petition government for redress of grievances Enrile et al answered saying that petition for habeas corpus has been rendered moot and academic because of the filing of an information against the attys for rebellion and the issuance of a warrant of arrest against them. The proper remedy is a to quash the warrant of arrest. o The function of the special proceeding of habeas corpus is to inquire into the legality of detention. o Now that the attys' detention is by virtue of a judicial order in relation to criminal cases filed against them, the remedy of habeas corpus no longer lies. Petitioners say that since there was no preliminary investigation, info for rebellion is void. Enrile et al countered by saying that a preliminary investigation was not necessary since the attys were lawfully arrested without a warrant.
Issue: Is a petition for habeas corpus proper? Held: No. Ratio: Section 7, Rule 112, of the 1985 Rules on CrimPro provides: SEC. 7. When accused lawfully arrested without warrant.- When a person is lawfully arrested without a warrant for an offense cognizable by the Regional Trial Court the complaint or information may be filed by the offended party, peace officer or fiscal without preliminary investigation having been first conducted on the basis of the affidavit of the offended party or arrested officer or person. However, before the filing of such complaint or information, the person arrested may ask for a preliminary investigation by a proper officer in accordance with this Rule, but he must sign a waiver of the provisions of Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, with the assistance of a lawyer and in case of non-availability of a lawyer, a responsible person of his choice. Notwithstanding such waiver, he may apply for bail as provided in the corresponding rule and the investigation must be terminated within fifteen (15) days from its inception. If the case has been filed in court without a preliminary investigation having been first conducted, the accused may within five (5) days from the time he learns of the filing of the information, ask for a preliminary investigation with the same right to adduce evidence in his favor in the manner prescribed in this Rule. Section 5, Rule 113 enumerates the instances when an arrest without warrant is lawful. SEC. 5. Arrest without warrant; when lawful.—A peace officer or a private person may, without a warrant, arrest a person:
(a) When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense; (b) 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; and (c) When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped from a penal establishment or place where he is serving final judgment or temporarily confined while his case is pending, or has escaped while being transferred from one confinement to another. In cases falling under paragraphs [al and [b] hereof, the person arrested without a warrant shall be forthwith delivered to the nearest police station or jail, and he shall be proceeded against in accordance with Rule 112, Section 7. (Rule 113) Paragraphs (a) and (b) refer to cases when a suspect is caught in flagrante delicto or immediately thereafter, while paragraph (c) refers to escaping prisoners. Whether the attys fall under either of the first two instances is a question of fact, which will need the presentation of evidence and is more properly within the province of the trial court. o The question of absence of a proper preliminary investigation is also better inquired into by the TC Justice Teehankee held that the TC is called upon "not to dismiss the information but hold the case in abeyance and conduct its own investigation or require the fiscal to hold a reinvestigation.” As in People vs. Casiano, an own investigation or reinvestigation is the proper procedure since the absence of such investigation did not impair the validity of the information or render it defective. o It also did not affect the jurisdiction of the TC o The right to a preliminary investigation, being waivable, does not argue against the validity of the proceedings, the most that could have been done being to remand the case in order that such investigation could be conducted. The Nolasco case, which petitioners invoke, wherein the accused were released, is not the same with this case. o In that case, the accused were charged only with Illegal Possession of Subversive documents which is punishable by prision correccional and the TC granted bail o In this case, petitioners are charged with the capital offense of Rebellion, and the TC has not allowed bail.
Petition for Habeas Corpus dismissed for being moot and academic. Petitioners are now detained by virtue of a Warrant of Arrest. Teehankee, J. dissents: When temporary release of the attys was ordered by the court, attys were not released. However, SC has refused to enforce its own release order (after repeated motions for enforcement) by dismissing the petition for habeas corpus as being moot and academic. The petition for habeas corpus must be granted because: Basic right to due process Attys denied due process Right to preliminary investigation Professional witnesses of the military not checked out People’s right of assembly Preservation of liberties and motives Basic concepts and principles of freedom The express teaching of the Salonga case Peaceful and violent welgas The stale PDA Civilian supremacy The Supreme Court as guardian and final arbiter of the Constitution Erroneous premises of the majority decision o Majority based decision on-erroneous premise that the trial court had such jurisdiction to issue the warrant of arrest, and that the denial of a preliminary investigation of petitioners-lawyers was a mere informality or defect o Erroneous premise that filinf of the information without prelim investigation falls within exceptions of Rule 112, sec 7 and Rule 113, sec 5 (meaning attys were not validly arrested without warrant) o Majority decision relies on law which authorizes arrests without warrant by a citizen or by a police officer who witnessed the arrestee in flagrante delicto. Attys were not caught in flagrante delicto violating the law. Same standard in Galman case of not jeopardizing accused's constitutional rights should be applied The preservation of freedom, like its perfection is a never ending struggle. Petitioners'appeal for liberty should be heeded. Concepcion, Jr., J., dissents: Petition is not moot and academic Petitioners should be set free because they were arrested unlawfully, and the information filed against them is null and void Petitioners have a right to prelim investigation, infringement of this is denial of due process
Just as a spring polluted at its source cannot produce a flow of clean water, the unlawful arrest of petitioners cannot give rise to a valid information.
Abad Santos, J. dissents: Agrees with Teehankee. Majority opinion appeals to the mind. Teehankee’s opinion serves better the ends of justice (not only based on law, but also on equity)
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