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Secretary of Justice v.

Judge Lantion 343 SCRA 377 (2000)


SECRETARY OF JUSTICE v. LANTION [322 SCRA 160 (2000)] Nature: Petition for review of a decision of the Manila RTC Facts: On June 18, 1999 the Department of Justice received from the Department of Foreign Affairs a request for the extradition of private respondent Mark Jimenez to the U.S. The Grand Jury Indictment, the warrant for his arrest, and other supporting documents for said extradition were attached along with the request. Charges include: 1. Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud the US 2. Attempt to evade or defeat tax 3. Fraud by wire, radio, or television 4. False statement or entries 5. Election contribution in name of another The Department of Justice (DOJ), through a designated panel proceeded with the technical evaluation and assessment of the extradition treaty which they found having matters needed to be addressed. Respondent, then requested for copies of all the documents included in the extradition request and for him to be given ample time to assess it. The Secretary of Justice denied request on the ff. grounds: 1. He found it premature to secure him copies prior to the completion of the evaluation. At that point in time, the DOJ is in the process of evaluating whether the procedures and requirements under the relevant law (PD 1069Philippine Extradition Law) and treaty (RP-US Extradition Treaty) have been complied with by the Requesting Government. Evaluation by the DOJ of the documents is not a preliminary investigation like in criminal cases making the constitutionally guaranteed rights of the accused in criminal prosecution inapplicable. 2. The U.S. requested for the prevention of unauthorized disclosure of the information in the documents. 3. Finally, country is bound to Vienna convention on law of treaties such that every treaty in force is binding upon the parties. The respondent filed for petition of mandamus, certiorari, and prohibition. The RTC of NCR ruled

in favor of the respondent. Secretary of Justice was made to issue a copy of the requested papers, as well as conducting further proceedings. Issues: 1. WON private is respondent entitled to the two basic due process rights of notice and hearing Yes. 2(a) of PD 1086 defines extradition as the removal of an accused from the Philippines with the object of placing him at the disposal of foreign authorities to enable the requesting state or government to hold him in connection with any criminal investigation directed against him in connection with any criminal investigation directed against him or the execution of a penalty imposed on him under the penal or criminal law of the requesting state or government. Although the inquisitorial power exercised by the DOJ as an administrative agency due to the failure of the DFA to comply lacks any judicial discretion, it primarily sets the wheels for the extradition process which may ultimately result in the deprivation of the liberty of the prospective extradite. This deprivation can be effected at two stages: The provisional arrest of the prospective extradite pending the submission of the request & the temporary arrest of the prospective extradite during the pendency of the extradition petition in court. Clearly, theres an impending threat to a prospective extraditees liberty as early as during the evaluation stage. Because of such consequences, the evaluation process is akin to an administrative agency conducting an investigative proceeding, the consequences of which are essentially criminal since such technical assessment sets off or commences the procedure for & ultimately the deprivation of liberty of a prospective extradite. In essence, therefore, the evaluation process partakes of the nature of a criminal investigation. There are certain constitutional rights that are ordinarily available only in criminal prosecution. But the Court has ruled in other cases that where the investigation of an administrative proceeding may result in forfeiture of life, liberty, or property, the administrative proceedings are deemed criminal or penal, & such forfeiture partakes the nature of a penalty. In the case at bar, similar to a preliminary investigation, the evaluation stage of the extradition proceedings which may result in the filing of an information against the respondent, can possibly lead to his arrest, & to the deprivation of his liberty. Thus, the extraditee must be accorded due process rights of notice & hearing according to A3 14(1) & (2), as well as A3 7the right of the people to information on matters of public concern & the corollary right to access to official records & documents The court held that the evaluation process partakes of the nature of a criminal investigation,

having consequences which will result in deprivation of liberty of the prospective extradite. A favorable action in an extradition request exposes a person to eventual extradition to a foreign country, thus exhibiting the penal aspect of the process. The evaluation process itself is like a preliminary investigation since both procedures may have the same result the arrest and imprisonment of the respondent. The basic rights of notice & hearing are applicable in criminal, civil & administrative proceedings. Non-observance of these rights will invalidate the proceedings. Individuals are entitled to be notified of any pending case affecting their interests, & upon notice, may claim the right to appear therein & present their side. Rights to notice and hearing: Dispensable in 3 cases: a. When there is an urgent need for immediate action (preventive suspension in administrative charges, padlocking filthy restaurants, cancellation of passport). b. Where there is tentativeness of administrative action, & the respondent isnt prevented from enjoying the right to notice & hearing at a later time (summary distraint & levy of the property of a delinquent taxpayer, replacement of an appointee) c. Twin rights have been offered, but the right to exercise them had not been claimed. 2. WON this entitlement constitutes a breach of the legal commitments and obligation of the Philippine Government under the RP-US Treaty? No. The U.S. and the Philippines share mutual concern about the suppression and punishment of crime in their respective jurisdictions. Both states accord common due process protection to their respective citizens. The administrative investigation doesnt fall under the three exceptions to the due process of notice and hearing in the Sec. 3 Rules 112 of the Rules of Court. 3. WON theres any conflict between private respondents basic due process rights & provisions of RP-US Extradition treaty No. Doctrine of incorporation under international law, as applied in most countries, decrees that rules of international law are given equal standing with, but are not superior to national legislative acts. Treaty can repeal statute and statute can repeal treaty. No conflict. Veil of secrecy is lifted during trial. Request should impose veil at any stage.

Judgment: Petition dismissed for lack of merit. Kapunan, separate concurring opinion: While the evaluation process conducted by the DOJ is not exactly a preliminary investigation of criminal cases, it is akin to a preliminary investigation because it involves the basic constitutional rights of the person sought to be extradited. A person ordered extradited is arrested, forcibly taken from his house, separated from his family and delivered to a foreign state. His rights of abode, to privacy, liberty and pursuit of happiness are taken away from hima fate as harsh and cruel as a conviction of a criminal offense. For this reason, he is entitled to have access to the evidence against him and the right to controvert them. Puno, dissenting: Case at bar does not involve guilt or innocence of an accused but the interpretation of an extradition treaty where at stake is our governments international obligation to surrender to a foreign state a citizen of its own so he can be tried for an alleged offense committed within that jurisdiction.

Due Process
Mark Jimenez was charged of multiple crimes ranging from tax evasion to wire tapping to conspiracy to defraud the USA. Jimenez was then wanted in the US. The US government, pursuant to the RP-US extradition treaty requested to have Jimenez be extradited there. Jimenez requested for a copy of the complaint against him as well as the extradition request by the USA. The DOJ sec refused to provide him copy thereof advising that it is still premature to give him so and that it is not a preliminary investigation hence he is not entitled to receive such copies. Jimenez sued the DOJ Sec and the lower court ruled in favor of Jimenez. ISSUE: Whether or not Jimenez is deprived of due process. HELD: The SC affirmed the ruling of the lower court. The case against Jimenez refer to an impending threat of deprivation of ones property or property right. No less is this true, but even more so in the case before us, involving as it does the possible deprivation of liberty, which, based on the hierarchy of constitutionally protected rights, is placed second only to life itself and enjoys precedence over property, for while forfeited property can be returned or replaced, the time spent in incarceration is irretrievable and beyond recompense.

Overturning 322 SCRA 160 (Jan. 18, 2000)

By virtue of an extradition treaty between the US and the Philippines, the US requested for the extradition of Mark Jimenez for violations of US tax and election laws. Pending evaluation of the extradition documents by the Philippine government, Jimenez requested for copies of the US extradition request. The Secetary of Justice denied that request. ISSUE: During the evaluation stage of the extradition proceedings, is private respondent entitled to the two basic due process rights of notice and hearing? HELD: Private respondent is bereft of the right to notice and hearing during the evaluation stage of the extradition process. Extradition is a proceeding sui generis. It is not a criminal proceeding which will call into operation all the rights of an accused guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. The process of extradition does not involve the determination of the guilt or innocence of an accused. His guilt or innocence will be adjudged in the court of the state where he will be extradited. Dissent (original decision): Under the extradition treaty, the prospective extraditee may be provisionally arrested pending the submission of the request. Because of this possible consequence, the evaluation process is akin to an administrative agency conducting an investigative proceeding, and partakes of the nature of a criminal investigation. Thus, the basic due process rights of notice and hearing are indispensable. Assuming that the extradition treaty does not allow for such rights, the Constitutional right to procedural due process must override treaty obligations. When there is a conflict between international law obligations and the Constitution, the Constitution must prevail.

ecretary of Justice vs Lantion, 322 SCRA 160, Jaabuary 28, 2000


Facts : On June 18, 199 , the Department of Justice received from the Department of Foreign Affairs U.S. Note No. 0522 containing a request for the extradition of private respondent Mark Jimenez. Secretary of Justice then ordered a technical evaluation and assessment of the extradition request. Pending evaluation, private respondent (Mark Jimenez) through counsel wrote a letter addressed to herein petitioner requesting copies of official extradition request from the US Government. He requested ample time to comment and for the matter to be held in abeyance in the meantime. Secretary of Justice denied the said request specifically invoking our countrys responsibility to the Vienna Convention on the law of Treaties that every treaty in force is binding upon parties to it and must be performed by them in good faith. Extradition is a toll of criminal law enforcement and to be effective must be processed expeditiously. Particularly in this case is the RP-US Extradition Treaty. Extradition is the process by which persons charged with or convicted of crimes against the law of a State and found in a foreign state are returned by the latter to the former for trial or punishment. Pacta sunt servanda requires the parties to a treaty to keep their agreement therein in good faith. The observance of our countrys legal duties under a treaty is also compelled by Section 2, Article II of the Constitution.

The Philippines renounces war as an instrument of national policy, and adopts the generally accepted

principles of international law as part of the law of the nation.

Under the doctrine of incorporation, rules of international law form part of the law of the land and no further legislative action is needed to make such rules applicable in the domestic sphere. After the denial of the request letter, Mark Jimenez filed a petition against herein Secretary of Justice. RTC presiding Judge Lantion favored Jimenez. Thus, this petition is now at bar.

Issue: Whether or not respondent Judge Lantion acted without or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in issuing the temporary restraining order to herein petitioner in performing his legal duties as Secretary of Justice.

Held : The Extradition Law provides Rules of Court shall apply, thus extradite has the basic right of notice and hearing. The RP-US Extradition Treaty under the Incorporation Clause in case of conflict is not superior over a national law. International law is given equal standing but not superior to national legislative enactment. The principle lex posterior degorat oriori takes effect a treaty may repeal a statute and a statute may repeal a treaty. In States where the constitution is the highest law of the land, such as the Republic of the Philippines, both statutes and treaties may be invalidated if they are in conflict with the constitution. Thus, petitioner is ordered to furnish private respondent copies of the extradition request and its supporting papers and to grant him (Jimenez) a reasonable period within which to file his comment and supporting evidence There was only a void on some provisions of the RP-US Extradition Treaty as regards to the basic due process right of a prospective extradite at the evaluation stage of the extradition proceeding. RTCs decision is rendered moot and academic and herein petition is DISMISSED.

Secretary of Justice vs Judge lantion GR No 139465 ,Jan 18,2000 FACTS: On January 13, 1977, then President Ferdinand E. Marcos issued Presidential Decree No. 1069 "Prescribing the Procedure for the Extradition of Persons Who Have Committed Crimes in a Foreign Country". The Decree is founded on: the doctrine of incorporation under the Constitution; the mutual concern for the suppression of crime both in the state where it was committed and the state where the criminal may have escaped; the extradition treaty with the Republic of Indonesia and the intention of the Philippines to enter into similar treaties with other interested countries; and the need for rules to

guide the executive department and the courts in the proper implementation of said treaties.On November 13, 1994, then Secretary of Justice Franklin M. Drilon, representing the Government of the Republic of the Philippines, signed in Manila the "Extradition Treaty Between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Government of the United States of America"On June 18, 1999, the Department of Justice received from the Department of Foreign Affairs U.S. Note Verbale No. 0522 containing a request for the extradition of private respondent Mark Jimenez to the United States. ISSUE: 1 Whether or not there is a conflict between between the treaty and the due process clause in the Constitution? HELD: 1.NO.En contrario, these two components of the law of the land are not pined against each other. There is no occasion to choose which of the two should be upheld.Instead, we see a void in the provisions of the RP-US Extradition Treaty, as implemented by Presidential Decree No. 1069, as regards the basic due process rights of a prospective extraditee at the evaluation stage of extradition proceedings. From the procedures earlier abstracted, after the filing of the extradition petition and during the judicial determination of the propriety of extradition, the rights of notice and hearing are clearly granted to the prospective extraditee. However, prior thereto, the law is silent as to these rights. Reference to the U.S. extradition procedures also manifests this silence.In the absence of a law or principle of law, we must apply the rules of fair play. An application of the basic twin due process rights of notice and hearing will not go against the treaty or the implementing law. Neither the Treaty nor the Extradition Law precludes these rights from a prospective extraditee.The doctrine of incorporation is applied whenever municipal tribunals (or local courts) are confronted with situations in which there appears to be a conflict between a rule of international law and the provisions of the constitution or statute of the local state. Efforts should first be exerted to harmonize them, so as to give effect to both since it is to be presumed that municipal law was enacted with proper regard for the generally accepted principles of international law in observance of the observance of the Incorporation Clause in the above-cited constitutional provision. PETITION is DISMISSED for lack of merit.

FACTS: Secretary Of Justice Franklin Drilon, representing the Government of the Republic of the Philippines, signed in Manila the extradition Treaty Between the Government of the Philippines and the Government of the U.S.A. The Philippine Senate ratified the said Treaty. On June 18, 1999, the Department of Justice received from the Department of Foreign Affairs U.S Note Verbale No. 0522 containing a request for the extradition of private respondent Mark Jiminez to the United States. On the same day petitioner designate and authorizing a panel of attorneys to take charge of and to handle the case. Pending evaluation of the aforestated extradition documents, Mark Jiminez through counsel, wrote a letter to Justice Secretary requesting copies of the official extradition request from the U.S Government and that he be given ample time to comment on the request after he shall have received copies of the requested papers but the petitioner denied the request for the consistency of Article 7 of the

RP-US Extradition Treaty stated in Article 7 that the Philippine Government must present the interests of the United States in any proceedings arising out of a request for extradition. ISSUE: Whether or not to uphold a citizens basic due process rights or the governments ironclad duties under a treaty.

RULING: Petition dismissed. The human rights of person, whether citizen or alien , and the rights of the accused guaranteed in our Constitution should take precedence over treaty rights claimed by a contracting state. The duties of the government to the individual deserve preferential consideration when they collide with its treaty obligations to the government of another state. This is so although we recognize treaties as a source of binding obligations under generally accepted principles of international law incorporated in our Constitution as part of the law of the land. The doctrine of incorporation is applied whenever municipal tribunals are confronted with situation in which there appears to be a conflict between a rule of international law and the provision of the constitution or statute of the local state.

Petitioner (Secretary of Justice) is ordered to furnish Mark Jimenez copies of the extradition request and its supporting papers, and to grant him (Mark Jimenez) a reasonable period within which to file his comment with supporting evidence.

Under the Doctrine of Incorporation, rules of international law form part of the law of the land and no further legislative action is needed to make such rules applicable in the domestic sphere.

The doctrine of incorporation is applied whenever municipal tribunals are confronted with situations in which there appears to be a conflict between a rule of international law and the provisions of the constitution or statute of the local state.

Efforts should first be exerted to harmonize them, so as to give effect to both since it is to be presumed that municipal law was enacted with proper regard for the generally accepted principles of international law in observance of the incorporation clause in the above cited constitutional provision.

In a situation, however, where the conflict is irreconcilable and a choice has to be made between a rule of international law and a municipal law, jurisprudence dictates that municipal law should be upheld by the

municipal courts, for the reason that such courts are organs of municipal law and are accordingly bound by it in all circumstances.

The fact that international law has been made part of the law of the lan d does not pertain to or imply the primacy of international law over national or municipal law in the municipal sphere. The doctrine of incorporation, as applied in most countries, decrees that rules of international law are given equal standing with, but are not superior to, national legislative enactments. Accordingly, the principle lex posterior derogate priori takes effect a treaty may repeal a statute and a statute may repeal a treaty. In states where the Constitution is the highest law of the land, such as the Republic of the Philippines, both statutes and treaties may be invalidated if they are in conflict with the constitution

Secretary of Justice vs. Judge Lantion GR 139465


acts: On June 18, 1999, the Department of Justice received from the Department of Foreign Affairs of the United States requesting for the extradition of Mark Jimenez for various crimes in violation of US laws. In compliance with the related municipal law, specifically Presidential Decree No. 1069 Prescribing the Procedure for Extradition of Persons Who Have committed Crimes in a Foreign Country and the established Extradition Treaty Between the Government of the Philippines and the Government of the United States of America, the department proceeded with proceeded with the de signation of a panel of attorneys to conduct a technical evaluation and assessment as provided for in the presidential decree and the treaty. The respondent requested for a copy of the official extradition request as well as the documents and papers submitted therein. The petitioner denied the request as it alleges that such information is confidential in nature and that it is premature to provide such document as the process is not a preliminary investigation but a mere evaluation. Therefore, the constitutional rights of the accused are not yet available. Issue: 1.Whether or not private respondent, Mark B. Jimenez, be granted access to the official extradition request and documents with an opportunity to file a comment on or opposition thereto 2.Whether or not private respondents entitlement to notice and hearing during the evaluation stage of the proceedings constitute a breach of the legal duties of the Philippine Government under the RP-US Extradition Treaty Ruling: The Supreme Court ruled that the private respondent be furnished a copy of the extradition request and its supporting papers and to give him a reasonable period of time within which to file his comment with supporting evidence. In this case, there exists a clear conflict between the obligation of the Philippine Government to comply with the provisions of the treaty and its equally significant role of protection of its citizens of its right of due process. The processes outlined in the treaty and in the presidential decree already pose an impending threat to a prospective extraditees liberty as early as the evaluation stage. It is not an imagined threat to his liberty, but a very imminent one. On the other hand, granting due process to the extradition case causes delay in the process.The rule of pacta sunt servanda, one of the oldest and most fundamental maxims of international law, requires the parties to a treaty to

keep their agreement therein in good faith. The doctrine of incorporation is applied whenever municipal tribunals are confronted with situations in which there appears to be a conflict between a rule of international law and the provisions of the constitution or statute of a local state. Efforts should be done to harmonize them. In a situation, however, where the conflict is irreconcilable and a choice has to be made between a rule of international law and municipal law, jurisprudence dictates that municipal law should be upheld by the municipal courts. The doctrine of incorporation decrees that rules of international law are given equal standing, but are not superior to, national legislative enactments.In this case, there is no conflict between international law and municipal law. The United States and the Philippines share a mutual concern about the suppression and punishment of crime in their respective jurisdictions. At the same time, both States accord common due process protection to their respective citizens. In fact, neither the Treaty nor the Extradition Law precludes the rights of due process from a prospective extradite.