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P-02-1651 August 4, 2003 Facts: In a sworn letter-complaint, Alejandro Estrada, complainant, wrote to Judge Caoibes Jr. requesting for an investigation of rumors that respondent Soledad Escritor, court interpreter of Las Piñas, is living with a man not her husband. Judge Caoibes referred the letter to Escritor, who stated that ―there is no truth as to the veracity of the allegation‖ and challenged Estrada, ―to appear in the open and prove his allegation in the proper court‖. Judge Caoibes set a preliminary conference and Escritor move for inhibition to avoid bias and suspicion in hearing her case. In the conference, Estrada confirmed that he filed a letter-complaint for ―disgraceful and immoral conduct‖ under the Revised Administrative Code against Escritor for that his frequent visit in the Hall of Justice in Las Piñas learned Escritor is cohabiting with another man not his husband. Escritor testified that when she entered judiciary in 1999, she was already a widow since 1998. She admitted that she‘s been living with Luciano Quilapo Jr. without the benefit of marriage for 20 years and that they have a son. Escritor asserted that as a member of the religious sect known as Jehovah‘s Witnesses, and having executed a ―Declaration of Pledging Faithfulness‖ (which allows members of the congregation who have been abandoned by their spouses to enter into marital relations) jointly with Quilapo after ten years of living together, her conjugal arrangement is in conformity with her religious beliefs and has the approval of the congregation, therefore not constituting disgraceful and immoral conduct. Issue: Whether or not Escritor is administratively liable for disgraceful and immoral conduct. Ruling: Escritor cannot be penalized. The Constitution adheres to the benevolent neutrality approach that gives room for accommodation of religious exercises as required by the Free Exercise Clause, provided that it does not offend compelling state interests. The OSG must then demonstrate that the state has used the least intrusive means possible so that the free exercise clause is not infringed any more than necessary to achieve the legitimate goal of the state. In this case, with no iota of
evidence offered, the records are bereft of even a feeble attempt to show that the state adopted the least intrusive means. With the Solicitor General utterly failing to prove this element of the test, and under these distinct circumstances, Escritor cannot be penalized. The Constitution itself mandates the Court to make exemptions in cases involving criminal laws of general application, and under these distinct circumstances, such conjugal arrangement cannot be penalized for there is a case for exemption from the law based on the fundamental right to freedom of religion. In the area of religious exercise as a preferred freedom, man stands accountable to an authority higher than the state.
Estrada vs. Escritor , 492 SCRA 1 ; 22 JUN 2006 FACTS: Escritor is a court interpreter since 1999 in the RTC of Las Pinas City. She has been living with Quilapio, a man who is not her husband, for more than twenty five years and had a son with him as well. Respondent‘s husband died a year before she entered into the judiciary while Quilapio is still legally married to another woman. Complainant Estrada requested the Judge of said RTC to investigate respondent. According to complainant, respondent should not be allowed to remain employed therein for it will appear as if the court allows such act. Respondent claims that their conjugal arrangement is permitted by her religion —the Jehovah‘s Witnesses and the WatchTower and the Bible Trace Society. They allegedly have a ‗Declaration of Pledging Faithfulness‘ under the approval of their congregation. Such a declaration is effective when legal impediments render it impossible for a couple to legalize their union.
ISSUE: Whether or Not the State could penalize respondent for such conjugal arrangement. RULING: No. The State could not penalize respondent for she is exercising her right to freedom of religion. The free exercise of religion is specifically articulated as one of the fundamental rights in our Constitution. As Jefferson put it, it is the most inalienable and sacred of human rights. The State‘s interest in enforcing its prohibition cannot be merely abstract or symbolic in order to be sufficiently compelling to outweigh a free
Perich threatened to sue for discrimination.3d 769 (6th Cir. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. This benevolent neutrality could allow for accommodation of morality based on religion. Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School. 597 F. When she was later denied the opportunity to return to work. it has to further demonstrate that the state has used the least intrusive means possible so that the free exercise is not infringed any more than necessary to achieve the legitimate goal of the state. provided it does not offend compelling state interests. 2012 WL 75047 January 12. a distinction between public and secular morality and religious morality should be kept in mind. Assuming arguendo that the OSG has proved a compelling state interest. Thus the conjugal arrangement cannot be penalized for it constitutes an exemption to the law based on her right to freedom of religion. The school then terminated Perich from her position claiming that she had "damaged. Perich filed a retaliation complaint under the Americans with Disabilities Act ["ADA"]. Cheryl Perich was asked to take a leave of absence from her position as a "called" teacher at Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School ["Hosanna-Tabor"] following complications arising from narcolepsy (a sleep disorder). Furthermore. The jurisdiction of the Court extends only to public and secular morality. arguing that the doctrine precludes courts from hearing employment cases that involve the relationship between a religious institution and its ministerial . beyond any repair" her working relationship with the religious entity. Thus the State‘s interest only amounts to the symbolic preservation of an unenforced prohibition. HOSANNA-TABOR EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH v. the State has not evinced any concrete interest in enforcing the concubinage or bigamy charges against respondent or her partner. 2. The Court further states that our Constitution adheres the benevolent neutrality approach that gives room for accommodation of religious exercises as required by the Free Exercise Clause. 10-553. In this case. EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION (2012) United States Supreme Court No. Hosanna-Tabor raised the ministerial exception as a jurisdictional bar. 2012 Facts of the Case This is an update to a previous Case Bulletin. 2010). Following this action by Hosanna-Tabor.exercise claim. In the case at bar.
Whether the ministerial exception operated as an affirmative defense to the retaliation claim. Reversing the Sixth Circuit's holding that the ministerial exception did not apply to Perich's retaliation claim. responding to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's argument that the exception did not apply because Hosanna-Tabor‘s decision to fire Perich was not made for "religious reason[s]. Additionally. . as are facts pertaining to the amount of time such an individual spends on religious activities. even though Hosanna-Tabor was a religious organization. Since the Court determined that Perich's position was that of a commissioned minister and entailed duties different from those of a regular teacher.S. Issues of the Case 1. it held that the ministerial exception applied. the Supreme Court held that the complaint was in fact barred by the Religion Clauses of the First Amendment. Supreme Court granted certiorari and issued a ruling on January 11. 2. Under the "ministerial exception" hiring/firing decisions of Hosanna-Tabor were exempt from ADA anti-discrimination provisions. rather than as a jurisdictional bar preventing courts from hearing the case. the Sixth Circuit U. Arguments & Analysis 1. Reaching this conclusion. Court of Appeals held that: (1) Perich's retaliation claim did not fall into the ministerial exception. rather than as a jurisdictional bar preventing courts from hearing the case. The U. The ministerial exception operated as an affirmative defense to the retaliation claim. On appeal." regardless of whether these decisions are made on religious or other grounds." the Court held that the ministerial exception ensures that religious entities have the complete freedom to "select and control who will minister to the faithful. Whether a "called" teacher was a "minister" covered by the ministerial exception. because Perich's primary duties were not ministerial in nature and were similar to the duties of non-ministerial "contracted" teachers at the Hosanna-Tabor School. 2012. 2. and (2) Perich's retaliation claim would not impermissibly require a court to interpret church doctrine. While the Court held that the title of commissioned minister "does not automatically ensure coverage under the ministerial exception. and the specific duties that distinguish the commissioned minister from other employees of the religious entity.S. the Court highlighted the fact that the position of "called" teacher at Hosanna-Tabor entailed significant religious training and a formal process of becoming a commissioned minister.employees." it stated that such a title is certainly relevant to considerations about whether the exception applies.
or as an affirmative defense available to the defendant in an employment discrimination claim. LIBERTY OF ABODE AND FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT 1. Seventh. Sixth. Ninth. SENGA (2006) FACTS Petitioners Gen. Third. GUDANI v. H. and Tenth Circuits had demonstrated disagreement over this issue in prior cases. and places the burden of demonstrating that the exception applies on the defendant. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission represents the first time that the Court has formally recognized a "ministerial exception" to claims brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act (although lower courts had previously recognized the exception). Senator Biazon invited several senior officers of the military to appear at a public hearing before a Senate Committee to clarify allegations of massive cheating and the surfacing of copies of an audio excerpt purportedly of a phone conversation between the President and then Commission on Elections Commissioner . This holding allows courts to decide cases potentially involving the ministerial exception on the merits. Gudani and Lieutenant Colonel Balutan are high-ranking officers of Philippine Marines assigned to the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) in Baguio City. Courts in the First. and not a jurisdictional bar.The Supreme Court briefly addressed a conflict that had arisen at the circuit and district court level regarding whether the ministerial exception functions as a "jurisdictional bar" preventing courts from hearing such claims. not whether the court has the power to hear the case in the first place. Policy & Practice Ministerial Exception The Supreme Court‘s holding in Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. Resolving this disagreement. rather than the plaintiff. to an otherwise valid claim. the Supreme Court held that the ministerial exception operates as an affirmative defense. This is because the exception applies to considerations of whether a plaintiff is entitled to relief. and (2) the exception constitutes an affirmative defense that must be raised by a defendant in an employment discrimination complaint. Two major clarifications of law emerged from the Supreme Court's ruling: (1) firing decisions made by religious entities need not be made for "religious reasons" in order for the ministerial exception to apply.
and Col. Gudani and Col. Gen. Balutan had concluded their testimony. ` While Gen. initiated within the military justice system in connection with petitioners‘ .O. Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Lt . hence they will be subjected to General Court Martial proceedings x x x‖ Both Gen. But only Gen.O. At the time of the 2004 elections. Balutan filed their respective requests for travel authority addressed to the PMA Superintendent. However.) 464. Gudani and Col. It was signed by Lt. petitioners seek the annulment of a directive from the President enjoining them and other military officers from testifying before Congress without the President‘s consent. Noting that Gen. Now. and Col. Senga were among the several AFP officers also received a letter invitation from Sen. Gudani had been designated as commander. the President issued Executive Order (E. Biazon to attend the hearing. Senga did not attend to the requested hearing as per instruction from the President that NO AFP PERSONNEL SHALL APPEAR BEFORE ANY CONGRESSIONAL OR SENATE HEARING WITHOUT HER APPROVAL.‖ and that the two officers ―disobeyed a legal order. Gen.Garcillano. Balutan were likewise relieved of their assignments then. Thereafter. in violation of A[rticles of] W[ar] 65 (Willfully Disobeying Superior Officer). Petitioners also pray for injunctive relief against a pending preliminary investigation against them. the Memorandum directed the two officers to attend the hearing.‖ that such directive was ―in keeping with the time[-]honored principle of the Chain of Command. The Office of the Solicitor General notes that the E. Col. Conformably. the Office of the Chief of Staff of the AFP issued a Memorandum addressed to Gen. Biazon. in preparation for possible court-martial proceedings. Baloing. Balutan a member. of ―Joint Task Force Ranao‖ by the AFP Southern Command. Senga issued a statement which noted that the two had appeared before the Senate Committee ―in spite of the fact that a guidance has been given that a Presidential approval should be sought prior to such an appearance. Senga. ―enjoined officials of the executive department including the military establishment from appearing in any legislative inquiry without her approval. Gen. Gen. On the very day of the hearing. Balutan had been invited to attend the Senate Committee hearing. Gudani. the office of Gen. Hernando DCA Iriberri in behalf of Gen. Gudani and Col. Balutan attended the invitation from Sen. Gudani and Col.
The Court has to resolve whether petitioners may be subjected to military discipline on account of their defiance of a direct order of the AFP Chief of Staff. the notion of executive control also comes into consideration. Final judicial orders have the force of the law of the land which the President has the duty to faithfully execute. . we also hold that any chamber of Congress which seeks to appear before it a military officer against the consent of the President has adequate remedies under law to compel such attendance.O.violation of the aforementioned directive.O. The impression is wrong. the commander-in-chief powers of the President are not encumbered by the same degree of restriction as that which may attach to executive privilege or executive control. by virtue of her power as commander-in-chief. The ability of the President to require a military official to secure prior consent before appearing in Congress pertains to wholly different and independent specie of presidential authority—the commander-in-chief powers of the President. ISSUE Whether or not E. 464 compelled officials of the executive branch to seek prior presidential approval before appearing before Congress. Is EO 464 constitutional or not. 464 which provides among others that NO AFP PERSONNEL SHALL APPEAR BEFORE ANY CONGRESSIONAL OR SENATE HEARING WITHOUT HER APPROVAL is unconstitutional? RULING The Petition is dismissed. We hold that the President has constitutional authority to do so. If the President is not so inclined. Any military official whom Congress summons to testify before it may be compelled to do so by the President. the President may be commanded by judicial order to compel the attendance of the military officer. At the same time. or may the President prevent a member of the armed forces from testifying before a legislative inquiry? Insofar as E. and that as a consequence a military officer who defies such injunction is liable under military justice. By tradition and jurisprudence.
Fidel Ramos. it is integral to military discipline that the soldier‘s speech be with the consent and approval of the military commander.Again. let it be emphasized that the ability of the President to prevent military officers from testifying before Congress does not turn on executive privilege. that he may not issue any press statements or give any press conference during his period of detention. the commander-in-chief clause vests on the President. have to be considered. irrespective of a soldier's personal views on the matter. yet it is vital that such opinions be kept out of the public eye. but on the Chief Executive‘s power as commander-in-chief to control the actions and speech of members of the armed forces. as a condition for his house arrest. De Villa is useful in this regard. The commander-in-chief provision in the Constitution is denominated as Section 18. Kapunan was also ordered. Article VII. an officer in the AFP. The Court unanimously upheld such restrictions. noting: ―… to a certain degree. Jr. activities which may otherwise be sanctioned under civilian law. Such authority includes the ability of the President to restrict the travel. Reference to Kapunan. individual rights may be curtailed. absolute authority over the persons and actions of the members of the armed forces. such as those found in Section 5. The President‘s prerogatives as commander-in-chief are not hampered by the same limitations as in executive privilege. movement and speech of military officers. It is from this viewpoint that the restrictions imposed on petitioner Kapunan. Col. For there is no constitutional provision or military indoctrination will eliminate a soldier‘s ability to form a personal political opinion. Hence. v. For one. and a military torn by political strife is incapable of fulfilling its constitutional function as protectors of the people and . Kapunan was ordered confined under ―house arrest‖ by then Chief of Staff (later President) Gen. as commander-in-chief. lawful orders must be followed without question and rules must be faithfully complied with. political belief is a potential source of discord among people. Article XVI. because the effectiveness of the military in fulfilling its duties under the law depends to a large extent on the maintenance of discipline within its ranks. Lt.‖ As a general rule. which begins with the simple declaration that ―[t]he President shall be the Commander-in-Chief of all armed forces of the Philippines x x x Outside explicit constitutional limitations. The necessity of upholding the ability to restrain speech becomes even more imperative if the soldier desires to speak freely on political matters.
Judicial relief as remedy: The refusal of the President to allow members of the military to appear before Congress is not absolute. It elucidated on the constitutional scope and limitations on the constitutional power of congressional inquiry. the Court will without hesitation affirm that the officer has to choose the President. Thus. yet it is on the President that the Constitution vests the title as commander-in-chief and all the prerogatives and functions appertaining to the position. It may thus be subjected to judicial review pursuant to the Court‘s certiorari powers under Section 1. To avoid conflict. Senate affirmed both the Arnault and Bengzon rulings. Where a military officer is torn between obeying the President and obeying the Senate. Article VIII of the Constitution. the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. since petitioners testified anyway despite the presidential prohibition. it is similarly detrimental for the President to unduly interfere with Congress‘s right to conduct legislative inquiries. The impasse did not come to pass in this petition. who is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. it is ruinous to military discipline to foment an atmosphere that promotes an active dislike of or dissent against the President. Soldiers are constitutionally obliged to obey a President they may dislike or distrust. Even petitioners are well aware that it was necessary for them to obtain permission from their superiors before they could travel to Manila to attend the Senate Hearing. by parity of reasoning. Congress holds significant control over the armed forces in matters such as budget appropriations and the approval of higher-rank promotions. If the information possessed by executive officials on the operation of their offices is necessary for wise legislation on that subject. The remedy lies with the courts. After all. the Constitution prescribes that it is the President. the power of inquiry. Congress must indicate in its invitations to the public . ―with process to enforce it. and not the Senate. Again. Congress has the right to that information and the power to compel the disclosure thereof. the exigencies of military discipline and the chain of command mandate that the President‘s ability to control the individual members of the armed forces be accorded the utmost respect. Inasmuch as it is ill-advised for Congress to interfere with the President‘s power as commander-in-chief.of the State. For another.‖ is grounded on the necessity of information in the legislative process.
Section 21 also mandates that the rights of persons appearing in or affected by such inquiries be respected. In Senate. or to any person for that matter. Lastly. with conclusiveness. ―all officers and soldiers in the active service of the [AFP]. By this and. considering his retirement last 4 October 2005. an imposition that obligates Congress to adhere to the guarantees in the Bill of Rights. to authorize the appearance of the military officers before Congress. Even if the President has earlier disagreed with the notion of officers appearing before the legislature to testify. necessarily implying the constitutional infirmity of an inquiry conducted without duly published rules of procedure. Title I of Commonwealth Act No. Courts are empowered. which defines persons subject to military law as. attendance or non-attendance in legislative inquiries. 408. if the courts so rule. the possible needed statute which prompted the need for the inquiry. Section 21.‖ and points out that he is no longer in the active service. the Chief Executive is nonetheless obliged to comply with the final orders of the courts. Should neither branch yield to the other branch‘s assertion. He cites Article 2. to arbitrate disputes between the legislative and executive branches of government on the proper constitutional parameters of power. Once jurisdiction has been acquired over the officer. . The provision requires that the inquiry be done in accordance with the Senate or House‘s duly published rules of procedure. Article VI likewise establishes critical safeguards that proscribe the legislative power of inquiry. However. the constitutional recourse is to the courts. among others. under the constitutional principle of judicial review. an officer whose name was dropped from the roll of officers cannot be considered to be outside the jurisdiction of military authorities when military justice proceedings were initiated against him before the termination of his service. as the final arbiter if the dispute. the duty falls on the shoulders of the President. It is only the courts that can compel. General Gudani argues that he can no longer fall within the jurisdiction of the court-martial. the Court ruled that the President could not impose a blanket prohibition barring executive officials from testifying before Congress without the President‘s consent notwithstanding the invocation of executive privilege to justify such prohibition. as commander-in-chief. it continues until his case is terminated.officials concerned.
: This case stemmed from the leave application for foreign travel sent through mail by Wilma Salvacion P. TagumCity. Respondent left for abroad without waiting for the result of her application. received respondent‘s leave application for foreign travel from September 11. mailed her leave application which was approved by her superior. In her Comment dated February 2. Respondent reported back to work on October 19. in fact. It further advised that respondent be directed to make a written explanation of her failure to secure authority to travel abroad in violation of OCA Circular No. Davao del Norte. 49-2003. then Chief Justice Reynato S. in its Memorandum dated November 26. J. OFFICE OF ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES-OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMIN…. 2009. (2011) DECISION MENDOZA. LEAVE DIVISION. recommended the disapproval of respondent‘s leave application. 2009. Judge Arlene Lirag-Palabrica. Heusdens (respondent). 2009. Accordingly. Office of the Court Administrator (OCA). On December 7. respondent admitted having travelled overseas without the required travel authority. Respondent was likewise directed to explain within fifteen (15) days from notice her failure to comply with the OCA circular. 2009 to October 11. Staff Clerk IV of the Municipal Trial Court in Cities. Office of Administrative Services. Puno approved the OCA recommendation. She explained that it was not her intention to violate the rules as she.2. Records disclose that on July 10. in a letter dated January 6. . The OCA. 2010. the Employees Leave Division. 2009. Vilches informed respondent that her leave application was disapproved and her travel was considered unauthorized. 2009. OCA Deputy Court Administrator Nimfa C.. It turned out that no travel authority was issued in her favor because she was not cleared of all her accountabilities as evidenced by the Supreme Court Certificate of Clearance. 2010.
Vacation Leave to be Spent Abroad. • application for leave covering the period of the travel abroad. and • Supreme Court clearance. 2. in its Report dated March 8. if any. 1. She honestly believed that her leave application would be eventually approved by the Court. 49-2003 for failing to secure the approval of her application for travel authority. • for court stenographer. • clearance as to pending criminal and administrative case filed against him/her. The OCA. 2009. clearance as to pending stenographic notes for transcription from his/her court and from the Court of Appeals. 99-12-08-SC dated 6 November 2000. No. found respondent to have violated OCA Circular No. • clearance as to money and property accountability. the OCA recommended that the administrative complaint be re-docketed as a regular administrative matter and that respondent be deemed guilty for violation of OCA Circular No.M.as early as June 26. 49-2003 and be reprimanded with a warning that a repetition of the same or similar offense in the future would be dealt with more severely. regardless of the number of days. favorably recommended by the Presiding Judge or Executive Judge.The judge or court personnel must submit the following: (a) For Judges x x x (b) For Court Personnel: • application or letter-request addressed to the Court Administrator stating the purpose of the travel abroad. OCA Circular No. Hence. must be with prior permission from the Supreme Court through the Chief Justice and the Chairmen of the Divisions. Complete requirements should be submitted to and received by the Office of the Court Administrator at least two weeks before the . 2011. 49-2003 (B) specifically requires that: B. Pursuant to the resolution in A. Judges and court personnel who wish to travel abroad must secure a travel authority from the Office of the Court Administrator. all foreign travels of judges and court personnel.
intended period. however. therefore. she failed to comply with the clearance and accountability requirements. applications for travel abroad received less than two weeks of the intended travel shall not be favorably acted upon. failed to secure clearance from the Supreme Court Savings and Loan Association (SCSLA) where she had an outstanding loan. [Underscoring supplied] Paragraph 4 of the said circular also provides that ―judges and personnel who shall leave the country without travel authority issued by the Office of the Court Administrator shall be subject to disciplinary action. Considering that respondent was aware that she was not able to complete the requirements. or any misrepresentation or deception in connection with an application for leave. She cannot feign ignorance of this requirement because she had her application for clearance circulated through the various divisions. shall be a ground for disciplinary action. . her leaving the country.‖ it was expected that her leave application would. There is no dispute.‖ In addition. as a consequence. Likewise. without first awaiting the approval or non-approval of her application to travel abroad from the OCA. Section 67 of the Civil Service Omnibus Rules on Leave expressly provides that ―any violation of the leave laws. her explanation that she honestly believed that her application would be approved is unacceptable. As the OCA Circular specifically cautions that ―no action shall be taken on requests for travel authority with incomplete requirements. No action shall be taken on requests for travel authority with incomplete requirements. every government employee who files an application for leave of absence for at least thirty (30) calendar days is instructed to submit a clearance as to money and property accountabilities. was violative of the rules. respondent knew that she had to secure the appropriate clearance as to money and property accountability to support her application for travel authority.‖ In fact. be disapproved by the OCA. Thus. In this case. that although respondent submitted her leave application for foreign travel. rules or regulations. She.
is not absolute. as assured by the Constitution.On the Constitutional Right to Travel It has been argued that OCA Circular No. [Emphases supplied] Let there be no doubt that the Court recognizes a citizen‘s constitutional right to travel. granting that it is an issue.) No. 8239. The law restricts the right to travel of an individual charged with the crime of terrorism even though such person is out on bail. or public health. the exercise of one‘s right to travel or the freedom to move from one place to another.‖ Some of these statutory limitations are the following: 1] The Human Security Act of 2010 or Republic Act (R. Article III of the 1987 Constitution. The liberty of abode and of changing the same within the limits prescribed by law shall not be impaired except upon lawful order of the court. Section 6 reads: Sec. The only issue in this case is the non-compliance with the Court‘s rules and regulations. No. as may be provided by law. notthe issue in this case. Neither shall the right to travel be impaired except in the interest of national security. public safety. 6. In fact.A. statutory and inherent limitations regulating the right to travel.A. It is. this is not the proper vehicle to thresh out issues on one‘s constitutional right to travel. 2] The Philippine Passport Act of 1996 or R. 49-2003 (B) on vacation leave to be spent abroad unduly restricts a citizen‘s right to travel guaranteed by Section 6. she was apologetic and openly admitted that she went abroad without the required travel authority. There are constitutional. Section 6 itself provides that ―neither shall the right to travel be impaired except i n the interest of national security. It should be noted that respondent. Pursuant to said law. Hence. did not raise any constitutional concerns. the Secretary . Nonetheless. 9372. however. public safety or public health. as may be provided by law. in her Comment.
Congress has the power to issue a subpoena and subpoena duces tecum to a witness in any part of the country. 6] Inter-Country Adoption Act of 1995 or R. 9262.‖ Inherent limitations on the right to travel are those that naturally emanate from the source. signed by the chairperson or acting chairperson and the Speaker or acting Speaker of the House. exploitation.Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003‖ or R. doubtful purpose of travel. detrimental. An example of such inherent limitation is the power of the trial courts to prohibit persons charged with a crime to leave the country.A. 10022. In enforcement of said law. A.A. 9208. 2011-011. or in the case of the Senate. permission of the court is necessary.The law restricts movement of an individual against whom the protection order is intended. 5] The Act on Violence against Women and Children or R.A. No.A. and approved by the Senate President. the Bureau of Immigration. No. 4] The Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995 or R. as amended by R. the Inter-Country Adoption Board may issue rules restrictive of an adoptee‘s right to travel ―to protect the Filipino child from abuse. These are very basic and are built-in with the power. . a passport of a Filipino citizen. including possible victims of human trafficking‖ from our ports. 8043. trafficking and/or sale or any other practice in connection with adoption which is harmful. or withdraw. No.of Foreign Affairs or his authorized consular officer may refuse the issuance of. allowing its Travel Control and Enforcement Unit to ―offload passengers with fraudulent travel documents.Pursuant thereto. In such a case. No. restrict the use of. in order to manage migration and curb trafficking in persons. Another is the inherent power of the legislative department to conduct a congressional inquiry in aid of legislation. issued Memorandum Order Radjr No. In the exercise of legislative inquiry. 8042. Pursuant to the provisions thereof. signed by its Chairman or in his absence by the Acting Chairman. the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) may refuse to issue deployment permit to a specific country that effectively prevents our migrant workers to enter such country. 3] The ―Anti. or prejudicial to the child. No.
1986. 26 of the Office of the President. he or she assumes certain duties with their concomitant responsibilities and gives up some rights like the absolute right to travel so that public service would not be prejudiced. If judges and court personnel can go on leave and travel abroad at will and without restrictions or regulations. the Court issued OCA Circular No.‖ This provision empowers the Court to oversee all matters relating to the effective supervision and management of all courts and personnel under it. If their expectations are frustrated. Recognizing this mandate. there could be a disruption in the administration of justice. Memorandum Circular No. Where a person joins the Judiciary or the government in general. considers the Supreme Court exempt and with authority to promulgate its own rules and regulations on foreign travels. he or she swears to faithfully adhere to. in the Judiciary and the society as well. with respect to members and employees of the Judiciary. 49-2003 to regulate their foreign travel in an unofficial capacity. Such regulation is necessary for the orderly administration of justice. the Court came out with OCA Circular No. despite the fact that their invaluable services are urgently needed. When one becomes a public servant. dated July 31. Thus. In a situation where there is a delay in the dispensation of justice. As earlier stated. and abide with. To permit such unrestricted freedom can result in disorder. have been issued to guide the government officers and employees in the efficient performance of their obligations. members and employees of the Judiciary cannot just invoke and demand their right to travel. These rules and regulations. Section 5 (6). litigants can get disappointed and disheartened. 492003 (B). to which one submits himself or herself. the law and the corresponding office rules and regulations. could possibly arise. For said reason. they may take the law into their own hands which .Supreme Court has administrative supervision over all courts and the personnel thereof With respect to the power of the Court. Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution provides that the ―Supreme Court shall have administrative supervision over all courts and the personnel thereof. A situation where the employees go on mass leave and travel together. if not chaos.
Second. In the case of respondent. Paler that an employee could not be considered absent without leave since his application was deemed approved. respondent should have exercised prudence and asked for the status of her leave application before leaving for abroad. 49-2003 which imposes guidelines on requests for travel abroad for judges and court personnel. it is imperative that every court employee comply with the travel notification and authority requirements as mandated by OCA Circular No. like the others who are serving the Judiciary. the application for leave of absence shall be deemed approved. one of the exceptions to the non-impairment of one‘s constitutional right to travel. the employee in said case was governed by CSC Rules only. 292. 49-2003. is not acted upon by the head of agency or his duly authorized representative within five (5) working days after receipt thereof. Applying this provision. The ruling in Paler. He cannot leave the country without his application being approved. she is governed not only by CSC Rules but also by OCA Circular No. Section 49. otherwise the leave application shall be deemed approved. in Paler. is not squarely applicable in this case. the . In said case. Rule XVI of the Omnibus Rules on Leave reads: SEC. it can even be considered that the restriction or regulation of a court personnel‘s right to travel is a concern for public safety. there was no action on his application within five (5) working days from receipt thereof. First. Given the exacting standard expected from each individual called upon to serve in the Judiciary. including terminal leave. a leave application should be acted upon within five (5) working days after its receipt. – Whenever the application for leave of absence. In the case at bench. however. the Court held in the case of Commission on Appointments v. Period within which to act on leave applications.results in public disorder undermining public safety. much less assume that his leave application would be favorably acted upon. 49. In this limited sense. A court employee who plans to travel abroad must file his leave application prior to his intended date of travel with sufficient time allotted for his application to be processed and approved first by the Court. under the Omnibus Rules Implementing Book V of Executive Order (EO) No. Indeed.
and employees with permanent. there was no approval or disapproval of his application within 5 working days from the submission of the requirements. in Paler. when an employee-member applies for a SCSLA loan. hence. his capital deposit. she submitted her leave application but did not fully comply with the clearance and accountability requirements enumerated in OCA Circular No.employee submitted his leave application with complete requirements before his intended travel date. In the case of respondent. all monies and monetary benefits due or would be due from his office. When respondent joined the Judiciary and volunteered to join the SCSLA. An eligible employee who applies for membership with SCSLA must submit. No additional requirement was asked to be filed. which is voluntary. as well as to first and second-level court judges and their personnel. OCA is not enforcing the collection of a loan extended to such employee. his latest appointment papers issued by the Supreme Court. the employee-borrower likewise undertakes to assign in favor of SCSLA. SCSLA membership is voluntary Regarding the requirement of the OCA that an employee must also seek clearance from the SCSLA. coterminous. Third. every employee-borrower must procure SCSLA members to sign as co-makers for the loan and in case of leave applications that would require the processing of a Supreme Court clearance. First. the Court finds nothing improper in it. In this case. officials. Government Service Insurance System or from any government office or other sources. she agreed . SCSLA was primarily established as a savings vehicle for Supreme Court and lower court employees. it cannot be denied that its functions and operations are inextricably connected with the Court. together with his application. to answer the remaining balance of his loan. including earned dividends. is open only to Supreme Court justices. the leave application could not have been favorably acted upon. in case of non-payment. Third. The membership. 49-2003. Although SCSLA is a private entity. there was no submission of the clearance requirements and. he or she is asked to authorize the Supreme Court payroll office to deduct the amount due and remit it to SCSLA. another co-maker‘s undertaking would be needed. Fourth. The Court stresses that it is not sanctioning respondent for going abroad with an unpaid debt but for failing to comply with the requirements laid down by the office of which she is an employee. Second. or casual appointment.
Stated otherwise. a utility worker of the Metropolitan Trial Court was found guilty of violating OCA Circular No. In Office of the Administrative Services (OAS)-Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) v. respondent has clearly agreed to the limitations that would probably affect her constitutional right to travel.to follow the requirements and regulations set forth by both offices. a court stenographer was found guilty of violation of OCA Circular No. he or she should expect to be subjected to a disciplinary action. can leave for abroad without permission but he or she must be prepared to face the consequences for his or her violation of the Court‘s rules and regulations. She was also found guilty of dishonesty when she indicated in her application that her leave . she was not forced or coerced to accomplish the requirements. 49-2003 for traveling abroad without securing the necessary permission for foreign travel. having elected to become a member of the SCSLA. her right. the Court was not hesitant to impose the appropriate sanctions and penalties. if not constricted. Calacal. the Court stressed that unawareness of the circular was not an excuse from non-compliance therewith. Bautista. An employee cannot be allowed to enjoy the benefits and privileges of SCSLA membership and at the same time be exempted from her voluntary obligations and undertakings. In that case. respondent voluntarily and knowingly committed herself to honor these undertakings. When she applied for a loan. 49-2003 for going overseas without the required travel authority and was reprimanded and warned that a repetition of the same or similar offense would be penalized more severely. who is not being restricted by a criminal court or any other agency pursuant to any statutory limitation. In Reyes v. In this regard. a judge or a member of the Judiciary. Everything was of her own volition. A judiciary employee who leaves for abroad without authority must be prepared to face the consequences Lest it be misunderstood. By her non-compliance with the requirement. it can be said that she has waived. In the past. By accomplishing and submitting the said undertakings.
Because of the employee‘s numerous infractions.would be spent in the Philippines. before the intended date with sufficient time to communicate it to the applicant. Following the Uniform Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service. respondent Wilma Salvacion P. she was dismissed from the service with forfeiture of all benefits and privileges. Bulacan v. takes note of the belated action (4 months) of the Leave Division on her application for leave which she submitted two months before her intended departure date. Bulacan. except accrued leave credits. was found guilty of dishonesty for falsifying her Daily Time Record and leaving the country without the requisite travel authority. Paguio-Bacani. is hereby ADMONISHED for traveling abroad without any travel authority . including government owned or controlled corporations. TagumCity. and dismissal from the service on the third infraction. a branch clerk of court of the Municipal Trial Court of Meycauayan. nonetheless. Clerk IV Municipal Trial Court in Cities. As respondent was not informed of the denial of her application within a reasonable time. suspension for one to thirty days on the second. the OCA recommended that she be penalized with a reprimand and warned that a repetition of the same or similar offense would be dealt with more severely. with a warning that a repetition of the same or similar offense would be dealt with more severely. WHEREFORE. The Court. Heusdens. the Court considers a violation of reasonable office rules and regulations as a light offense and punishable with reprimand on the first offense. Considering that this appears to be respondent‘s first infraction. respondent should only be admonished. In Concerned Employees of the Municipal Trial Court of Meycauayan. with prejudice to re-employment in any branch or instrumentality of the government. She was suspended from the service for one (1) year without pay. The Leave Division should have acted on the application. when in truth it was spent abroad. If an applicant has not complied with the requirements. the Leave Division should deny the same and inform him or her of the adverse action. favorably or unfavorably.
49-20031 read: B. Judges and court personnel who wish to travel abroad must secure a travel authority from the Office of the Court Administrator. The majority holds that respondent has violated OCA Circular No.in violation of OCA Circular No. Respondent Wilma Salvacion P. regardless of the number of days. traveled abroad without travel authority as required by OCA Circular No. J. with a WARNING that a repetition of the same or similar offense would be dealt with more severely. dissenting DISSENTING OPINION CARPIO. The Leave Division. 1. Clerk IV of the Municipal Trial Court in Cities in Tagum City. OAS-OCA. The pertinent provisions of OCA Circular No. 49-2003. Heusdens (respondent). all foreign travels of judges and court personnel. 99-12-08-SC dated 06 November 2000.: This case involves a government employee‘s constitutional right to travel abroad. The judge or court personnel must submit the following: (a) For Judges: · application or letter-request addressed to the Court Administrator stating the purpose of the travel abroad · application for leave covering the period of the . 49-2003. must be with prior permission from the Supreme Court through the Chief Justice and the Chairmen of the Divisions. and must accordingly be admonished. 49-2003. No. VACATION LEAVE TO BE SPENT ABROAD Pursuant to the resolution in A. is hereby directed to act upon applications for travel abroad at least five (5) working days before the intended date of departure. I disagree.M.
travel abroad. Complete requirements should be submitted to and received by the Office of the Court Administrator at least two weeks before the intended period. Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) on 10 July 2009. was received by the Employees Leave Division. . Office of the Administrative Services. Respondent reported back to work after her leave. Judges and personnel who shall leave the country without travel authority issued by Office of the Court Administrator shall be subject to disciplinary action. favorably recommended by Presiding Judge LiragPalabrica. clearance as to pending stenographic notes for transcription from his/her court and from the Court of Appeals · Supreme Court clearance 2. if any · for court stenographer. favorably recommended by the Executive Judge · certification from the Statistics Division. When respondent did not receive any action from the OCA on her leave application. favorably recommended by the Presiding Judge or Executive Judge · clearance as to money and property accountability · clearance as to pending criminal and administrative case filed against him/her. Likewise. applications for travel abroad received less than two weeks of the intended travel shall not be favorably acted upon. No action shall be taken on requests for travel authority with incomplete requirements. (Emphasis supplied) Respondent filed a leave application for travel abroad covering the period from 11 September 2009 to 11 October 2009. xxx 4. Court Management Office. Respondent‘s leave application. she went ahead with her intended leave and travel abroad believing that her leave application would be eventually approved by the Court. OCA as to the condition of the docket (b) For Court Personnel: · application or letter-request addressed to the Court Administrator stating the purpose of the travel abroad · application for leave covering the period of the travel abroad.
The OCA subsequently recommended that respondent be reprimanded for violating OCA Circular No. 2922 (EO 292). more than two months after the start of respondent‘s intended leave. Deputy Ministers and heads of Financial Institutions. provides for the procedure in the disposition of requests of government officials and employees for authority to travel abroad. Thus. as may be provided by law and the rules and regulations of the Civil Service Commission. issued by then President Corazon C. in a letter dated 6 January 2010. Those which require full powers. 63 (EO 6). thus: Executive Order No. 6 is hereby modified to the extent that the Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Supreme Court are hereby exempted from the provisions thereof requiring them to secure the prior approval of the Office of the President in connection with their travel abroad. Members of the Cabinet. 49-2003. Memorandum Order No. 4. 3. The Supreme Court may promulgate guidelines on . officers and employees in the Civil Service are entitled to leave of absence. except those of the following government officials which shall be submitted to the Office of the President for decision: 1. 2. the OCA issued a memorandum recommending disapproval of respondent‘s leave application. with or without pay.On 26 November 2009. Executive Order No. On 31 July 1986. Justices of the Supreme Court and Intermediate Appellate Court. Under Section 60 of Executive Order No. 265 was issued.4 EO 6 states: [T]he travels abroad of government officials and employees shall be authorized by the heads of the ministries and government-owned or controlled corporations. Members of Constitutional Commissions. Aquino on 12 March 1986. the OCA informed respondent that her leave application was disapproved and her travel abroad was unauthorized. modifying EO 6.
49-2003 provides that complete requirements should be submitted to the OCA at least two weeks before the intended period of travel. However. or two months before her intended leave from 11 September 2009 to 11 October 2009. it is understood that it should be prior to the applicant‘s intended leave. the OCA‘s letter dated 6 January 2010 disapprovin g the leave application came too late. Under the Omnibus Rules Implementing Book V of EO 292. Section 49. OCA Circular No. 96-3-06-0 dated 19 March 1996. No. No. administrative matters relating to foreign travel of judges and court personnel were referred to the Chief Justice and the Chairmen of the Divisions for their appropriate action. that the OCA issued a memorandum recommending disapproval of her leave application. Rule XVI of the Omnibus Rules on Leave reads: . the Supreme Court issued A. containing the guidelines on requests for travel abroad for judges and court personnel pursuant to the Supreme Court resolutions in A. The requirement that the leave application be submitted to the OCA at least two weeks before the intended leave for travel is to give sufficient time for its approval or disapproval before the intended leave. 96-3-06-0 and A. 26. 49-2003 was issued. In accordance with Memorandum Order No. it was only on 26 November 2009. 99-12-08-SC dated 6 November 2000. it was only in a letter dated 6 January 2010 that the OCA informed respondent of the disapproval of her leave application. OCA Circular No.travels abroad for its members and that of the lower courts and their respective employees.M. Respondent‘s leave application for travel abroad was received by the OCA on 10 July 2009. otherwise the leave application is deemed approved.M. Although OCA Circular No. No. 99-12-08-SC.M.M. On 20 May 2003. a leave application should be acted upon within five (5) working days after its receipt. 49-2003 does not provide for the time frame within which to act on the leave application. No. In A. Furthermore. Clearly. providing guidelines on requests for travel abroad on official business or official time by all members and personnel of the Judiciary. Requests for permission to travel abroad from members and employees of the judiciary shall henceforth be obtained from the Supreme Court. or after respondent‘s intended leave.
The majority states that although respondent submitted her leave application for foreign travel. The OCA has no power to enforce the collection of loans extended by a private lender. 49. where the leave application was received by the OCA two months before the intended leave but was only acted upon after the intended leave. More so in this case. this refers to accountability to the government. not to a private company like the SCSLA. even if some of its investors are Supreme Court officials. The OCA does not have jurisdiction to require such clearance because that would be tantamount to making the Court a collecting agent of the SCSLA which is a private association. Even if the OCA‘s Certificate of Clearance Form requires the SCSLA‘s conformity. (Emphasis supplied) Thus. in the recent case of Commission on Appointments v. 49-2003 specifically provides that ―no action shall be taken on requests for travel authority wit h incomplete requirements. such requirement has no legal basis. is not acted upon by the head of agency or his duly authorized representative within five (5) working days after receipt thereof.SEC. the OCA has no right to deny a court . I disagree with the majority‘s view that clearance from the SCSLA is required before a court employee can exercise his or her constitutional right to travel abroad. Indeed. this Court. Although OCA Circular No. she failed to comply with the clearance and accountability requirements because she ―failed to secure clearance from the Supreme Court Savings and Loan Association (SCSLA) where she had an outstanding loan. including terminal leave. respondent‘s leave of absence was deemed approved as of 15 July 2009 pursuant to Section 49.‖ Thus. Rule XVI of the Omnibus Rules on Leave. The SCSLA is a private association with private funds. 49-2003 provides that ―clearance as to money and property accountability‖ is one of the requirements to be submitted. Thus. under pain of denying a constitutional right of a citizen if he does not secure clearance from the private lender. There was no final approval or disapproval of Paler‘s application within five working days from receipt of his leave application as required by Section 49.‖ the majority rationalizes that respondent should have expected that her leave application would be disapproved. – Whenever the application for leave of absence.6 held that respondent Paler could not be considered absent without leave since his leave application was deemed approved. Period within which to act on leave application. since OCA Circular No.the application for leave of absence shall be deemed approved. Paler.
public safety. The only exception recognized so far is when a court orders the impairment of the right to travel abroad in connection with a pending . The liberty of abode and of changing the same within the limits prescribed by law shall not be impaired except upon lawful order of the court. the appropriate executive officers or administrative authorities are not armed with arbitrary discretion to impose limitations. Bernas. 25 April 1980. Vol. Requiring the court employee clearance from the SCSLA is no different from requiring the court employee to secure a clearance from his or her creditor banks before he or she can travel abroad. 1987. public safety or public health. or public health‖ and ―as may be provided by law. which issued certificates of eligibility to travel upon application of an interested party (See Salonga v. As held in Silveriov. in the interest of national security. Joaquin G. Apparently. (Emphasis supplied) Although the constitutional right to travel is not absolute.J. They can impose limits only on the basis of ―national security. 6. 97 SCRA 121). 263). Section 6 of the 1987 Constitution should be interpreted to mean that while the liberty of travel may be impaired even without court order. First Edition.‖ a limitive phrase which did not appear in the 1973 text (The Constitution. as may be provided by law. No. I. the denial of respondent‘s right to travel abroad is a gross violation of a fundamental constitutional right. Article III of the 1987 Constitution: SEC. public safety. public safety. as may be provided by law.Neither shall the right to travel be impaired except in the interest of national security. or public health. There is no law prohibiting a person fro m traveling abroad just because he has an existing debt or financial obligation. That would unduly restrict a citizen‘ s right to travel which is guaranteed by Section 6. S.. Here. Hermoso & Travel Processing Center.employee‘s constitutional right to travel just to enforce collection of the SCSLA‘s loans to its members. or public health. the phraseology in the 1987 Constitution was a reaction to the ban on international travel imposed under the previous regime when there was a Travel Processing Center. Neither the OCA nor the majority can point to the existence of such a law.. L-53622.8 (Emphasis supplied) The constitutional right to travel cannot be impaired without due process of law. it can only be restricted in the interest of national security. In the absence of such a law. Court of Appeals:7 Article III. due process of law requires the existence of a law regulating travel abroad. There is no such law applicable to the travel abroad of respondent. p.
issues a subpoena or arrest order against a person. do not apply in the present case. Every person shall respect the dignity. during . The Court cannot inquire what respondent does during her leave of absence since that would constitute unwarranted interference into her private affairs and would encroach on her right to privacy. The SCSLA clearance is not required by any law before a court employee can travel abroad. Thus. during her approved leave.10 During her approved leave of absence.‖11 Under Article 26 of the Civil Code. The following and similar acts. Respondent‘s right to travel abroad. respondent‘s leave application was deemed approved as of 15 July 2009 pursuant to Section 49.criminal case. Here. however. prevention and other relief: 1. enjoys the constitutional right to travel within the Philippines or abroad. lowly station in life. physical defect. 3. the right to privacy is expressly protected: Art. like any other citizen. did not require approval from anyone because respondent. Intriguing to cause another to be alienated from his friends. respondent‘s time was her own personal time and she could be wherever she wanted to be. Rule XVI of the Omnibus Rules on Leave and the Omnibus Rules Implementing Book V of EO 292. place of birth. Vexing or humiliating another on account of his religious beliefs. pursuant to its power of legislative inquiry. These exceptions. Prying into the privacy of another‘s residence. or to live without unwarranted interference by the public in matters in which the public is not necessarily concerned. personality. The right to privacy is ―the right of an individual to be let alone. 26. or to be free from unwarrante d publicity. privacy and peace of mind of his neighbors and other persons. 2. Meddling with or disturbing the private life or family relations of another. respondent has submitted to the OCA all the requirements for her leave application two months prior to her intended leave. Clearly. 49-2003. shall produce a cause of action for damages. (Emphasis supplied) Furthermore. respondent‘s travel abroad.9 Another possible exception is if Congress. or other personal condition. though they may not constitute a criminal offense. respondent was not even facing a preliminary investigation or an administrative complaint when she left the country. 4. The SCSLA clearance is not even specifically required under OCA Circular No.
Municipal Trial Court in Cities. Thus. public safety. the requirement of securing approval for any leave of absence is a reasonable and valid regulation to insure continuity of service in the government. However.12 The Philippines is a signatory to the Declaration13 and a state party to the Covenant. the duty of this Court under Section 5(5). of which Rule XVI is the Omnibus Rules on Leave. Accordingly. Clerk IV. In fact. the Civil Service Commission has promulgated the Omnibus Rules Implementing Book V of Executive Order No. Such rules and regulations are adopted to balance the well-being and benefit of the government employees and the efficiency and productivity in the government service. or public health. a right enshrined not only in the Bill of Rights but also in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. This Court should be the first to protect the right to travel of its employees. as may be provided by law.14 In fact.‖ Not one of these grounds is present in this case. once a leave of absence is approved. . 292.her approved leave. Article VIII of the Constitution is to ―promulgate rules concerning the protection and enforcement of constitutional rights.‖ not to curtail such rights. There is no doubt that the use of leave of absence can be regulated without impairing the employees‘ right to privacy and to travel. cannot be impaired ―except in the interest of national security. Neither can this Cour t promulgate rules that ―diminish‖ or even ―modify‖ substantive rights15 like the constitutional right to travel. any restriction during the approved leave on the right to travel of the government employee violates his or her constitutional right to travel. I vote to DISMISS the administrative complaint against Wilma Salvacion P. Heusdens. Tagum City.
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