By: KAT FERNANDEZ, MARIA BERNADETTE RAMOS AND NICO VALDERRAMA 1992 Question No.

8: A disgruntled employee of Apache Corporation reported to the Commissioner of Customs that the company is illegally importing electronic equipment by way of unlawful “shipside” activities thereby evading payment of customs duties and taxes on the goods. Accordingly, the Commissioner of Customs, upon the request of the Economic Intelligence and Investigation Bureau (EIIB), issued warrants of seizure and detention and directed EIIB to seize the goods listed in the warrants. After the seizure of the goods and considering the magnitude of the value of the goods, counsel for Apache Corporation filed a petition with the Supreme Court for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus to enjoin the Commissioner of Customs and his agents from continuing further with the forfeiture proceedings and praying that the Commissioner return the confiscated articles on the ground that the warrants were in violation of the Rules of Court and the Bill of Rights. 1. If you are a newly-appointed Solicitor in the office of the Solicitor General representing the Commissioner of Customs, how would you defend the latter? Give the specific defenses. Answer: Appurtenant to its power under the Tariff and Customs Code to enforce the provisions of such law, the Bureau of Customs may conduct searches and seizures even without the benefit of a warrant issued by a judge upon probable cause. This is historically considered an exemption from the constitutional guarantee against unreasonable searches and seizures. 2. Assuming that the enforcement of the warrant had been extended to the residence of the President of Apache Corporation, is such enforcement valid? Explain. Answer: No. The Tariff and Customs Code authorizes customs officials and agents to search any building, except dwelling houses. 3. Do you think the petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus filed by Apache Corporation will prosper in the Supreme Court? Discuss. Answer: No. The choice of remedy assumes want of authority and jurisdiction. Warrantless searches and seizures are however,

the duty of verifying the correct weight of a cargo shipment is imposed upon the vessel’s master. Explain fully. was hired to transport beans from Singapore to India. On appeal by ABC Corporation.00. The Collector of Customs imposed a fine of P22. 1993 Question No. The Collector of Customs sitting in seizure and forfeiture proceedings has exclusive jurisdiction to hear and determine all questions touching on the seizure and forfeiture of dutiable . Answer: The judgment of the Court of Tax Appeals should prevail. The vessel was allegedly hijacked at sea and found its way to Bataan. forfeitures or other penalties.600. the Court of Tax Appeals found the fine of P22. after appropriate administrative proceedings. 13: Under Section 2523 of the Tariff and Customs Code. Such searches and seizures are not considered unreasonable within the meaning of the constitutional guarantee. The Collector of Customs seized the M/V Floria and its cargo. to have violated the said provision far exceeding the 0% statutory limitation. Whose judgment should prevail under the circumstances of the case.000. owner or employee.00 (representing 15% of the value discrepancy) which was affirmed by the Commissioner of Customs. The Commissioner of Customs questions the scope of authority of the Court of Appeals in the determination of the fine imposable under Section 2523 of the Tariff and Customs Code. owner or employee of the vessel. 9: M/V Floria.” ABC Corporation’s vessel was found. and fake documents were used to show that the beans were imported from Japan.00 harsh and unreasonable for a first offense and reduced the same to P5. Does the RTC have jurisdiction over the case? Answer: The RTC has no jurisdiction. If a discrepancy between the actual gross weight and declared gross weight of manifested cargo exceeds 20% and “the Collector shall be of the opinion that such discrepancy was due to the carelessness or incompetency of the master or pilot in command. The owner of M/V Floria filed a complaint in the Regional Trial Court to obtain possession of the vessel and the beans. The CTA has exclusive appellate jurisdiction over decisions of the Commissioner of Customs in cases involving the imposition of fines.600. It is also alleged that said beans are now with the List Co. Question No. a vessel of Philippine registry.authorized under TCC. a fine of not more than 15% of the value of the article may be imposed upon the importing vessel.

(Commissioner of Customs vs. . is reviewable by the Court of Tax Appeals.goods. 177 SCRA 27) Neither has RTC review powers over actions concerning seizure and forfeiture proceedings conducted by the Collector of Customs which is reviewable by the Commissioner of Customs whose decision. Makasiar. in turn. The RTC has no jurisdiction to pass upon the validity or regularity of the seizure and forfeiture proceedings conducted by the Bureau of Customs.

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