You are on page 1of 3

G.R. No. L-29169 August 19, 1968 ROGER CHAVEZ, petitioner, vs.

THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES and THE WARDEN OF THE CITY JAIL OF MANILA, respondents. SANCHEZ, J.: FACTS:Petitioner is a defendant in a criminal case with several others for qualified theft. He was called by the prosecution as the first witness to testify for the People during the first day of trial. Counsel of petitioner objected and invoked the privilege of self-incrimination. But petitioner's protestations were met with the judge's emphatic statement that it "is the right of the prosecution to ask anybody to act as witness on the witness stand including the accused," and that defense counsel "could not object to have the accused called on the witness stand." The cumulative impact of all these is that accused-petitioner had to take the stand. As a result of which cases against his co-accused were dropped. He was convicted of the crime charged by reason of his testimony.He filed a petition before the CA. It dismissed for failure of the counsel to file the required brief within the reglemantary period despite the counsels explanation for her non-compliance.MR was file but it was unavailing. PETITONER: He was denied of his constitutional right not to be compelled to testify against himself. ISSUE: Whether or not Habeas Corpus is the proper remedy for petitioner. RULING:The course which petitioner takes is correct. Habeas corpus is a high prerogative writ. It is traditionally considered as an exceptional remedy to release a person whose liberty is illegally restrained such as when the accused's constitutional rights are disregarded. Such defect results in the absence or loss of jurisdiction and therefore invalidates the trial and the consequent conviction of the accused whose fundamental right was violated. That void judgment of conviction may be challenged by collateral attack, which precisely is the function of habeas corpus. This writ may issue even if another remedy which is less effective may be availed of by the defendant. Thus, failure by the accused to perfect his appeal before the Court of Appeals does not preclude a recourse to the writ. The writ may be granted upon a judgment already final. For, as explained in Johnson vs. Zerbst, the writ of habeas corpus as an extraordinary remedy must be liberally given effect so as to protect well a person whose liberty is at stake. The propriety of the writ was given the nod in that case, involving a violation of another constitutional right, in this wise: Under our own Rules of Court, to grant the remedy to the accused Roger Chavez whose case presents a clear picture of disregard of a constitutional right is absolutely proper. Section 1 of Rule 102 extends the writ, unless otherwise expressly provided by law, "to all cases of illegal confinement or detention by which any person is deprived of his liberty, or by which the rightful custody of any person is withheld from the person entitled thereto. Just as we are about to write finis to our task, we are prompted to restate that: "A void judgment is in legal effect no judgment. By it no rights are divested. From it no rights can be obtained. Being worthless in itself, all proceedings founded upon it are equally worthless. It neither binds nor bars any one. All acts performed under it and all claims flowing out of it are void. The parties attempting to enforce it may be responsible as trespassers. ... " Upon the view we take of this case, judgment is hereby rendered directing the respondent Warden of the City Jail of Manila or the Director of Prisons or any other officer or person in custody of petitioner Roger Chavez by reason of the judgment of the Court of First Instance of Rizal, Quezon City Branch, in Criminal Case Q-5311, entitled "People of the Philippines, plaintiff, vs. Ricardo Sumilang, et al., accused," to discharge said Roger Chavez from custody, unless he is held, kept in custody or detained for any cause or reason other than the said judgment in said Criminal Case Q-5311 of the Court of First Instance of Rizal, Quezon City Branch, in which event the discharge herein directed shall be effected when such other cause or reason ceases to exist. No costs. So ordered.

G.R. No. L-29169 August 19, 1968 ROGER CHAVEZ, petitioner, vs. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES and THE WARDEN OF THE CITY JAIL OF MANILA, respondents. SANCHEZ, J.: FACTS:Petitioner is a defendant in a criminal case with several others for qualified theft. He was called by the prosecution as the first witness to testify for the People during the first day of trial. Counsel of petitioner objected and invoked the privilege of self-incrimination. But petitioner's protestations were met with the judge's emphatic statement that it "is the right of the prosecution to ask anybody to act as witness on the witness stand including the accused," and that defense counsel "could not object to have the accused called on the witness stand." The cumulative impact of all these is that accused-petitioner had to take the stand. As a result of which cases against his co-accused were dropped. He was convicted of the crime charged by reason of his testimony.He filed a petition before the CA. It dismissed for failure of the counsel to file the required brief within the reglemantary period despite the counsels explanation for her non-compliance.MR was file but it was unavailing. PETITONER:He was deniedof his constitutional right not to be compelled to testify against himself. ISSUE: Whether or not Habeas Corpus is the proper remedy for petitioner. RULING:The course which petitioner takes is correct. Habeas corpus is a high prerogative writ. It is traditionally considered as an exceptional remedy to release a person whose liberty is illegally restrained such as when the accused's constitutional rights are disregarded. Such defect results in the absence or loss of jurisdiction and therefore invalidates the trial and the consequent conviction of the accused whose fundamental right was violated. That void judgment of conviction may be challenged by collateral attack, which precisely is the function of habeas corpus. This writ may issue even if another remedy which is less effective may be availed of by the defendant. Thus, failure by the accused to perfect his appeal before the Court of Appeals does not preclude a recourse to the writ. The writ may be granted upon a judgment already final. For, as explained in Johnson vs. Zerbst, the writ of habeas corpus as an extraordinary remedy must be liberally given effect so as to protect well a person whose liberty is at stake. The propriety of the writ was given the nod in that case, involving a violation of another constitutional right, in this wise: Under our own Rules of Court, to grant the remedy to the accused Roger Chavez whose case presents a clear picture of disregard of a constitutional right is absolutely proper. Section 1 of Rule 102 extends the writ, unless otherwise expressly provided by law, "to all cases of illegal confinement or detention by which any person is deprived of his liberty, or by which the rightful custody of any person is withheld from the person entitled thereto. Just as we are about to write finis to our task, we are prompted to restate that: "A void judgment is in legal effect no judgment. By it no rights are divested. From it no rights can be obtained. Being worthless in itself, all proceedings founded upon it are equally worthless. It neither binds nor bars any one. All acts performed under it and all claims flowing out of it are void. The parties attempting to enforce it may be responsible as trespassers. ... " Upon the view we take of this case, judgment is hereby rendered directing the respondent Warden of the City Jail of Manila or the Director of Prisons or any other officer or person in custody of petitioner Roger Chavez by reason of the judgment of the Court of First Instance of Rizal, Quezon City Branch, in Criminal Case Q-5311, entitled "People of the Philippines, plaintiff, vs. Ricardo Sumilang, et al., accused," to discharge said Roger Chavez from custody, unless he is held, kept in custody or detained for any cause or reason other than the said judgment in said Criminal Case Q-5311 of the Court of First Instance of Rizal, Quezon City Branch, in which event the discharge herein directed shall be effected when such other cause or reason ceases to exist. No costs. So ordered.

G.R. No. 167193 April 19, 2006 IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION FOR HABEAS CORPUS ENGR. ASHRAF KUNTING, Petitioner. AZCUNA, J.: FACTS:Kunting was arrested in Malaysia for violation of the Malaysian Internal Security Act. He was then turned over to the PNP-IG and Task Force Salinglahi pursuant to warrants for his arrest issued by the RTC of Isabela City, Basilan. Kunting was charged with four counts of Kidnapping for Ransom and Serious Illegal Detention with said RTC. Petitioner was flown to the Philippines and brought to the PNP-IG at Camp Crame for booking and custodial investigation. Atty. Danipog, Jr. informed the Branch Clerk of Court of the RTC that Kunting was already in the custody of the PNP-IG. He requested for Kuntings temporary detention due to the high security risks involved and prayed for the issuance of a corresponding commitment order which was granted. Consequently, Director Lomibao wrote a letter to DOJ, requesting for transfer of the venue of the trial from Isabela City, Basilan to Pasig City,for possibility that Kunting may be recovered by the ASG(Abu Sayaf Gropd) if he will be detained in Basilan. Meanwhile, RTC rendered a decision against petitioners co-accused in the consolidated Criminal Cases but deniedhis Motion to Set Case for Preliminary Investigation since the PNP-IG has not turned him. The trial court reiterated its Order, directing the Police Superintendent and Chief, Legal Affairs Division, PNP-IG, to turn over Kunting to the court. Subsequently, Police Chief Superintendent Rafanan reiterated the request to DOJ to facilitate the transfer of the venue of the trial of Kuntings capse. Kunting, by counsel, filed this petition for the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus stating that he has been restrained of his liberty. He stated that since no action was taken by the trial court or the DOJ, he filed this petition to put an end to his illegal detention classified in the records as "for safekeeping purposes only." ISSUE:The main issue is whether the petition for habeas corpus can prosper. RULING: Section 4, Rule 102 of the Rules of Court provides when the writ is not allowed: SEC. 4. When writ not allowed or discharge authorized.If it appears that the person alleged to be restrained of his liberty is in the custody of an officer under process issued by a court or judge or by virtue of a judgment or order of a court of record, and that the court or judge had jurisdiction to issue the process, render the judgment, or make the order, the writ shall not be allowed; or if the jurisdiction appears after the writ is allowed, the person shall not be discharged by reason of any informality or defect in the process, judgment, or order. Nor shall anything in this rule be held to authorize the discharge of a person charged with or convicted of an offense in the Philippines, or of a person suffering imprisonment under lawful judgment. In this case, Kuntings detention by the PNP-IG was under process issued by the RTC. He was arrested by the PNP by virtue of the alias order of arrest issued by Judge Danilo M. Bucoy, RTC, Branch 2, Isabela City, Basilan. His temporary detention at PNP-IG, Camp Crame, Quezon City, was thus authorized by the trial court. Moreover, Kunting was charged with four counts of Kidnapping for Ransom and Serious Illegal Detention in Criminal Case Nos. 3608-1164, 3537-1129, 3674-1187, and 3611-1165. In accordance with the last sentence of Section 4 above, the writ cannot be issued and Kunting cannot be discharged since he has been charged with a criminal offense. Bernarte v. Court of Appeals7 holds that "once the person detained is duly charged in court, he may no longer question his detention by a petition for the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus." WHEREFORE, the instant petition for habeas corpus is hereby DISMISSED.

G.R. No. 167193 April 19, 2006 IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION FOR HABEAS CORPUS ENGR. ASHRAF KUNTING, Petitioner. AZCUNA, J.: FACTS:Kunting was arrested in Malaysia for violation of the Malaysian Internal Security Act. He was then turned over to the PNP-IG and Task Force Salinglahi pursuant to warrants for his arrest issued by the RTC of Isabela City, Basilan. Kunting was charged with four counts of Kidnapping for Ransom and Serious Illegal Detention with said RTC. Petitioner was flown to the Philippines and brought to the PNP-IG at Camp Crame for booking and custodial investigation. Atty. Danipog, Jr. informed the Branch Clerk of Court of the RTC that Kunting was already in the custody of the PNP-IG. He requested for Kuntings temporary detention due to the high security risks involved and prayed for the issuance of a corresponding commitment order which was granted. Consequently, Director Lomibao wrote a letter to DOJ, requesting for transfer of the venue of the trial from Isabela City, Basilan to Pasig City,for possibility that Kunting may be recovered by the ASG(Abu Sayaf Gropd) if he will be detained in Basilan. Meanwhile, RTC rendered a decision against petitioners co-accused in the consolidated Criminal Cases but deniedhis Motion to Set Case for Preliminary Investigation since the PNP-IG has not turned him. The trial court reiterated its Order, directing the Police Superintendent and Chief, Legal Affairs Division, PNP-IG, to turn over Kunting to the court. Subsequently, Police Chief Superintendent Rafanan reiterated the request to DOJ to facilitate the transfer of the venue of the trial of Kuntings case. Kunting, by counsel, filed this petition for the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus stating that he has been restrained of his liberty. He stated that since no action was taken by the trial court or the DOJ, he filed this petition to put an end to his illegal detention classified in the records as "for safekeeping purposes only." ISSUE:The main issue is whether the petition for habeas corpus can prosper. RULING: Section 4, Rule 102 of the Rules of Court provides when the writ is not allowed: SEC. 4. When writ not allowed or discharge authorized.If it appears that the person alleged to be restrained of his liberty is in the custody of an officer under process issued by a court or judge or by virtue of a judgment or order of a court of record, and that the court or judge had jurisdiction to issue the process, render the judgment, or make the order, the writ shall not be allowed; or if the jurisdiction appears after the writ is allowed, the person shall not be discharged by reason of any informality or defect in the process, judgment, or order. Nor shall anything in this rule be held to authorize the discharge of a person charged with or convicted of an offense in the Philippines, or of a person suffering imprisonment under lawful judgment. In this case, Kuntings detention by the PNP-IG was under process issued by the RTC. He was arrested by the PNP by virtue of the alias order of arrest issued by Judge Danilo M. Bucoy, RTC, Branch 2, Isabela City, Basilan. His temporary detention at PNP-IG, Camp Crame, Quezon City, was thus authorized by the trial court. Moreover, Kunting was charged with four counts of Kidnapping for Ransom and Serious Illegal Detention in Criminal Case Nos. 3608-1164, 3537-1129, 3674-1187, and 3611-1165. In accordance with the last sentence of Section 4 above, the writ cannot be issued and Kunting cannot be discharged since he has been charged with a criminal offense. Bernarte v. Court of Appeals7 holds that "once the person detained is duly charged in court, he may no longer question his detention by a petition for the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus." WHEREFORE, the instant petition for habeas corpus is hereby DISMISSED.