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substantive due process; police power ESTRADA v.

DESIERTO 2 March 2001 Puno, ponente petition for prohibition and quo warranto FACTS: Basically, Estrada was President; and he was ousted. In between he was impeached by the House of Representatives, he was tried (but we all know how that ended), his Cabinet left him, Arroyo was sworn in as the new President, he left Malacanang Palace. six cases filed against him in the Office of the Ombusdman were set in motion; these were for bribery, graft & corruption, plunder, forfeiture, perjury, serious misconduct and so on Estrada filed a petition with the SC seeking to enjoin the Ombudsman from conducting any proceedings related to the criminal complaints against him until his term as President was over (prohibition); he also wanted a judgment confirming him as the lawful and incumbent President who was temporarily unable to discharge the duties of his office and that Arroyo was merely Acting President (quo warranto) ISSUES: was there a justiciable controversy? YES. was Estrada a President on leave and Arroyo only an Acting President? NO. was conviction in the impeachment proceedings a condition precedent for Estradas criminal prosecution? NO. should the prosecution of Estrada be enjoined on the ground of prejudicial publicity and therefore violative of his right to due process? NO. REASONING: ON THE POLITICAL QUESTION QUESTION EDSA 2 was an intra-constitutional event, and the case involved the resignation of the sitting President and the succession of the Vice-President; therefore there are legal issues involved which are subject to judicial review ON CONSTRUCTIVE RESIGNATION 8 Art. VII of the Constitution provided the provisions when the Vice-President shall become President the issue was if Estrada resigned as President or should be considered resigned when Arroyo took her oath as the 14th President resignation was a factual question with the following elements: a) there must be intent to resign, and, b) the intent must be coupled by acts of relinquishment the validity of the resignation wasnt governed by any formal requirement as to form; as long as it was clear, it could be given legal effect in Estradas case, the totality of prior, contemporaneous and posterior facts and circumstantial evidence bearing a material relevance to the issue; under this test, Estrada did resign from office since the impeachment court was functus officio, it was untenable for Estrada to demand that he should first be impeached and then convicted before he could be criminally

prosecuted, since that would put a perpetual bar against his prosecution ON PREJUDICIAL PUBLICITY two principal legal and philosophical schools on dealing with unrestrained publicity during the investigation and trial of high-profile cases o British: presumes that publicity will prejudice a jury; will stay and stop criminal trials when the right of the accused to fair trials suffers a threat o American: skeptical approach to the potential effect of pervasive publicity; developed different tests: substantial, probability of irreparable harm, strong likelihood, clear and present danger, etc. citing People v. Tehankee Jr. and Larranaga v. CA: the right of the accused to a fair trial is not incompatible to a free press; responsible reporting enhances the accused rights to a fair trial; the press guards against the miscarriage of justice by subjecting the police, prosecutors and judicial processes to extensive public scrutiny and criticism; pervasive publicity is not per se prejudicial to the right of the accused to a fair trial o the test adopted in Martelino v. Alejandro is actual prejudice: to warrant a finding of prejudicial publicity there must be allegation and proof that the judges have been unduly influenced, not simply that they might be, by the barrage of publicity citing Webb v. Hon. Raul de Leon: in Richmond Newspapers v. Virginia, criminal trials are presumptively open to give assurance that proceedings were conducted fairly and to discourage perjury, misconduct or decisions based on secret bias or partiality; it was important that societys criminal process satisfy the appearance of justice; there was also freedom of speech to consider; there was no proof that the tone and content of the publicity that attended the investigation fatally infected the fairness and impartiality of the authorities in Estradas case, there wasnt enough evidence to warrant enjoining the preliminary investigation of the Ombudsman; requires more proof than hostile headlines; needs to show more weighty social science evidence to successfully prove the impaired capacity of a judge to render a bias-free decision RULING: petitions dismissed