8epubllc of Lhe Þhlllpplnes

Ln 8AnC
G.k. No. 80S08 Ianuary 30, 1990
8CNGA1, peLlLloners,
MCN1ANC, 8kIG. GLN. ALIkLDC LIM, and CCL. ILSUS GAkCIA, respondenLs.

GU1ILkkL2, Ik., !"#
1hls ls a peLlLlon for prohlblLlon wlLh prellmlnary ln[uncLlon Lo prohlblL Lhe mlllLary and
pollce offlcers represenLed by publlc respondenLs from conducLlng "Areal 1argeL
Zonlngs" or "SaLuraLlon urlves" ln MeLro Manlla.
1he forLy one (41) peLlLloners sLaLe LhaL Lhey are all of legal age, booo flJe resldenLs of
MeLro Manlla and Laxpayers and leaders ln Lhelr respecLlve communlLles. 1hey malnLaln
LhaL Lhey have a common or general lnLeresL ln Lhe preservaLlon of Lhe rule of law,
proLecLlon of Lhelr human rlghLs and Lhe relgn of peace and order ln Lhelr communlLles.
1hey clalm Lo represenL "Lhe clLlzens of MeLro Manlla who have slmllar lnLeresLs and are
so numerous LhaL lL ls lmpracLlcable Lo brlng Lhem all before Lhls CourL."
1he publlc respondenLs, represenLed by Lhe SollclLor Ceneral, oppose Lhe peLlLlon
conLendlng lotet ollo LhaL peLlLloners lack sLandlng Lo flle Lhe lnsLanL peLlLlon for Lhey
are noL Lhe proper parLles Lo lnsLlLuLe Lhe acLlon.
Accordlng Lo Lhe peLlLloners, Lhe followlng "saLuraLlon drlves" were conducLed ln MeLro
1. March 3, 1987 aL abouL 9:30 ÞM ln 1lndalo, kaglLlngan, and Magdalena SLreeLs,
1ondo, Manlla.
2. !une l9, 1987 aL abouL l0:00 ÞM ln MaLa SLreeL, Þanday Þlra LxLenslon and San
SebasLlan SLreeL, 1ondo, Manlla.
3. !uly 20, 1987 aL abouL 8:00 AM ln 8angkusay SLreeL, 1ondo, Manlla.
4. AugusL 11 Lo l3, 1987 beLween 11:00 ÞM and 2:00 AM ln slx blocks along Aroma
8each up Lo Pappy Land, Magsaysay vlllage, 1ondo, Manlla.
3. AugusL 19, 1987 aL 9:00 ÞM ln Perbosa LxLenslon, Culrlno SLreeL, and Þacheco SLreeL,
1ondo, Manlla.
6. AugusL 28, 1987 aL l0:30 ÞM, ln 8lock 34, uagaL-dagaLan navoLas, MeLro Manlla.
7. AugusL 30, 1987 aL 9:30 ÞM aL Þaralso LxLenslon, Magsaysay vlllage, 1ondo, Manlla.
8. CcLober 12, 1987 aL 12:00 mldnlghL ln Apelo Cruz Compound, Cuezon ClLy.
9. CcLober 17, 1987 aL 11:00 ÞM ln Culrlno SLreeL, 1ondo, Manlla.
10. CcLober 23, 1987 aL 2:30 A.M. ln Sun valley urlve, Manlla lnLernaLlonal AlrporL,
Þasay ClLy.
11. november 1, 1987 aL 4:00 A.M. ln Cordlllera SLreeL, SLa. Mesa, Manlla.
12. november 3, 1987 aL 3:00 A.M. ln Lower Marlcaban, Þasay ClLy, MeLro Manlla.
Accordlng Lo Lhe peLlLloners, Lhe "areal LargeL zonlngs" or saLuraLlon drlves" are ln
crlLlcal areas plnpolnLed by Lhe mlllLary and pollce as places where Lhe subverslves are
hldlng. 1he arresLs range from seven (7) persons durlng Lhe !uly 20 saLuraLlon drlve ln
8angkusay, 1ondo Lo one Lhousand flve hundred (1,300) allegedly apprehended on
november 3 durlng Lhe drlve aL Lower Marlcaban, Þasay ClLy. 1he peLlLloners clalm LhaL
Lhe saLuraLlon drlves follow a common paLLern of human rlghLs abuses. ln oll Lhese
drlves, lL ls alleged LhaL Lhe followlng were commlLLed:
1. Pavlng no speclflc LargeL house ln mlnd, ln Lhe dead of Lhe nlghL or
early mornlng hours, pollce and mlllLary unlLs wlLhouL any search warranL
or warranL of arresL cordon an area of more Lhan one resldence and
someLlmes whole barangay or areas of barangay ln MeLro Manlla. MosL
of Lhem are ln clvlllan cloLhes and wlLhouL nameplaLes or ldenLlflcaLlon
2. 1hese ralders rudely rouse resldenLs from Lhelr sleep by banglng on Lhe
walls and wlndows of Lhelr homes, shouLlng, klcklng Lhelr doors open
(desLroylng some ln Lhe process), and Lhen orderlng Lhe resldenLs wlLhln
Lo come ouL of Lhelr respecLlve resldences.
3. 1he resldenLs aL Lhe polnL of hlgh-powered guns are herded llke cows,
Lhe men are ordered Lo sLrlp down Lo Lhelr brlefs and examlned for
LaLLoo marks and oLher lmaglned marks.
4. Whlle Lhe examlnaLlon of Lhe bodles of Lhe men are belng conducLed
by Lhe ralders, some of Lhe members of Lhe raldlng Leam force Lhelr way
lnLo each and every house wlLhln Lhe cordoned off area and Lhen
proceed Lo conducL search of Lhe sald houses wlLhouL clvlllan wlLnesses
from Lhe nelghborhood.
3. ln many lnsLances, many resldenLs have complalned LhaL Lhe ralders
ransack Lhelr homes, Losslng abouL Lhe resldenLs' belonglngs wlLhouL
LoLal regard for Lhelr value. ln several lnsLances, walls are desLroyed,
celllngs are damaged ln Lhe ralders' lllegal efforL Lo 'flsh' for lncrlmlnaLlng
6. Some vlcLlms of Lhese lllegal operaLlons have complalned wlLh
lncreaslng frequency LhaL Lhelr money and valuables have dlsappeared
afLer Lhe sald operaLlons.
7. All men and some women who respond Lo Lhese lllegal and unwelcome
lnLruslons are arresLed on Lhe spoL and hauled off Lo walLlng vehlcles LhaL
Lake Lhem Lo deLenLlon cenLers where Lhey are lnLerrogaLed and
'verlfled.' 1hese arresLs are all conducLed wlLhouL any warranLs of arresL
duly lssued by a [udge, nor under Lhe condlLlons LhaL wlll auLhorlze
warranLless arresL. Some hooded men are used Lo flngerpolnL suspecLed
8. ln some lnsLances, arresLed persons are released afLer Lhe explraLlon of
Lhe perlod whereln Lhey can be legally deLalned wlLhouL any charge aL all.
ln oLher lnsLances, some arresLed persons are released wlLhouL charge
afLer a few days of arblLrary deLenLlon.
9. 1he ralders almosL always brandlsh Lhelr weapons and polnL Lhem aL
Lhe resldenLs durlng Lhese lllegal operaLlons.
10. Many have also reporLed lncldenLs of on-Lhe-spoLbeaLlngs, maullngs
and malLreaLmenL.
11. 1hose who are deLalned for furLher 'verlflcaLlon' by Lhe ralders are
sub[ecLed Lo menLal and physlcal LorLure Lo exLracL confesslons and
LacLlcal lnformaLlon. (8ollo, pp. 2-4)
1he publlc respondenLs sLress Lwo polnLs ln Lhelr CommenL whlch was also adopLed as
Lhelr Memorandum afLer Lhe peLlLlon was glven due course.
llrsL, Lhe respondenLs have legal auLhorlLy Lo conducL saLuraLlon drlves. And second,
Lhey allege LhaL Lhe accusaLlons of Lhe peLlLloners abouL a dellberaLe dlsregard for
human rlghLs are totol lles.
lnsofar as Lhe legal basls for saLuraLlon drlves ls concerned, Lhe respondenLs clLe ArLlcle
vll, SecLlon 17 of Lhe ConsLlLuLlon whlch provldes:
1he ÞresldenL shall have conLrol of all Lhe execuLlve deparLmenLs,
bureaus and offlces. ne sboll eosote tbot tbe lows be foltbfolly execoteJ.
(Lmphasls supplled )
1hey also clLe SecLlon 18 of Lhe same ArLlcle whlch provldes:
1he ÞresldenL shall be Lhe Commander-ln-Chlef of all armed forces of Lhe
Þhlllpplnes and whenever lL becomes necessary, he may call ouL such
armed forces Lo prevenL or suppress lawless vlolence, lnvaslon or
rebelllon. ...
1here can be no quesLlon LhaL under ordlnary clrcumsLances, Lhe pollce acLlon of Lhe
naLure descrlbed by Lhe peLlLloners would be lllegal and blanLanLly vlolaLlve of Lhe
express guaranLees of Lhe 8lll of 8lghLs. lf Lhe mlllLary and Lhe pollce musL conducL
concerLed campalgns Lo flush ouL and caLch crlmlnal elemenLs, such drlves musL be
conslsLenL wlLh Lhe consLlLuLlonal and sLaLuLory rlghLs of all Lhe people affecLed by such
1here ls, of course, noLhlng ln Lhe ConsLlLuLlon whlch denles Lhe auLhorlLy of Lhe Chlef
LxecuLlve, lnvoked by Lhe SollclLor Ceneral, Lo order pollce acLlons Lo sLop unabaLed
crlmlnallLy, rlslng lawlessness, and alarmlng communlsL acLlvlLles. 1he ConsLlLuLlon
granLs Lo CovernmenL Lhe power Lo seek and crlpple subverslve movemenLs whlch
would brlng down consLlLuLed auLhorlLy and subsLlLuLe a reglme where lndlvldual
llberLles are suppressed as a maLLer of pollcy ln Lhe name of securlLy of Lhe SLaLe.
Powever, all pollce acLlons are governed by Lhe llmlLaLlons of Lhe 8lll of 8lghLs. 1he
CovernmenL cannoL adopL Lhe same reprehenslble meLhods of auLhorlLarlan sysLems
boLh of Lhe rlghL and of Lhe lefL, Lhe enlargemenL of whose spheres of lnfluence lL ls
Lrylng hard Lo suppress. Cur democraLlc lnsLlLuLlons may sLlll be fraglle buL Lhey are noL
ln Lhe leasL blL sLrengLhened Lhrough vlolaLlons of Lhe consLlLuLlonal proLecLlons whlch
are Lhelr dlsLlngulshlng feaLures.
ln kooo v. Coozoles (143 SC8A 687, 690-691 [1986]), Lhe CourL sLaLed:
Cne of Lhe mosL preclous rlghLs of Lhe clLlzen ln a free socleLy ls Lhe rlghL
Lo be lefL alone ln Lhe prlvacy of hls own house. 1haL rlghL has anclenL
rooLs, daLlng back Lhrough Lhe mlsLs of hlsLory Lo Lhe mlghLy Lngllsh klngs
ln Lhelr forLresses of power. Lven Lhen, Lhe lowly sub[ecL had hls own
casLle where he was monarch of all he surveyed. 1hls was hls humble
coLLage from whlch he could bar hls soverelgn lord and all Lhe forces of
Lhe Crown.
1haL rlghL has endured Lhrough Lhe ages albelL only ln a few llberLarlan
reglmes. 1helr number, regreLLably, conLlnues Lo dwlndle agalnsL Lhe
onslaughLs of auLhorlLarlanlsm. We are among Lhe forLunaLe few, able
agaln Lo en[oy Lhls rlghL afLer Lhe ordeal of Lhe pasL despoLlsm. We musL
cherlsh and proLecL lL all Lhe more now because lL ls llke a prodlgal son
1haL rlghL ls guaranLeed ln Lhe followlng provlslons of ArLlcle lv of Lhe
1973 ConsLlLuLlon:
SLC. 3. 1he rlghL of Lhe people Lo be secure ln Lhelr persons, houses,
papers and effecLs agalnsL unreasonable searches and selzures of
whaLever naLure and for any purpose shall noL be vlolaLed, and no search
warranL or warranL of arresL shall lssue excepL upon probable cause Lo be
deLermlned by Lhe [udge, or such oLher responslble offlcer as may be
auLhorlzed by law, afLer examlnaLlon under oaLh or afflrmaLlon of Lhe
complalnanL and Lhe wlLnesses he may produce, and parLlcularly
descrlblng Lhe place Lo be searched, and Lhe persons or Lhlngs Lo be
xxx xxx xxx
Cnly lasL year, Lhe CourL agaln lssued Lhls remlnder ln 20tb ceototy lox lllm cotpototloo
v. coott of Appeols(164 SC8A 633, 660- 661 [1988]):
1hls consLlLuLlonal rlghL proLecLs a clLlzen agalnsL wanLon and
unreasonable lnvaslon of hls prlvacy and llberLy as Lo hls person, papers
and effecLs. We have explalned ln Lhe case of leople vs. 8otqos(144 SC8A
1) clLlng vllloooevo v. Ooetoblo (48 SC8A 343) why Lhe rlghL ls so
lL ls deference Lo one's personallLy LhaL lles aL Lhe core of Lhls rlghL, buL lL
could be also looked upon as a recognlLlon of a consLlLuLlonally proLecLed
area, prlmarlly one's home, buL noL necessarlly LhereLo conflned. (Cf.
Poffa v. unlLed SLaLes, 383 uS 293 [1966]) WhaL ls soughL Lo be guarded
ls a man's prerogaLlve Lo choose who ls allowed enLry Lo hls resldence. ln
LhaL haven of refuge, hls lndlvlduallLy can asserL lLself noL only ln Lhe
cholce of who shall be welcome buL llkewlse ln Lhe klnd of ob[ecLs he
wanLs around hlm. 1here Lhe sLaLe, however powerful, does noL as such
have access excepL under Lhe clrcumsLances above noLed, for ln Lhe
LradlLlonal formulaLlon, hls house, however humble, ls hls casLle. 1hus ls
ouLlawed any unwarranLed lnLruslon by governmenL, whlch ls called upon
Lo refraln from any lnvaslon of hls dwelllng and Lo respecL Lhe prlvacles of
hls llfe. (Cf. Schmerber v. Callfornla, 384 uS 737 [1966], 8rennan !. and
8oyd v. unlLed SLaLes, 11 6 630 [1886]). ln Lhe same veln, Landynskl ln hls
auLhorlLaLlve work (Search and Selzure and Lhe Supreme CourL [1966]),
could flLly characLerlze consLlLuLlonal rlghL as Lhe embodlmenL of a
splrlLual concepL: Lhe bellef LhaL Lo value Lhe prlvacy of home and person
and Lo afford lLs consLlLuLlonal proLecLlon agalnsL Lhe long reach of
governmenL ls no less Lhan Lo value human dlgnlLy, and LhaL hls prlvacy
musL noL be dlsLurbed excepL ln case of overrldlng soclal need, and Lhen
only under sLrlngenL procedural safeguards. (lblJ, p. 74.)
1he declslon of Lhe unlLed SLaLes Supreme CourL ln kocblo v. collfotolo, (342 uS 163, 96
L. Ld. 183 [1932]) emphaslzes clearly LhaL pollce acLlons should noL be characLerlzed by
meLhods LhaL offend a sense of [usLlce. 1he courL ruled:
Applylng Lhese general conslderaLlons Lo Lhe clrcumsLances of Lhe
presenL case, we are compelled Lo conclude LhaL Lhe proceedlngs by
whlch Lhls convlcLlon was obLalned do more Lhan offend some fasLldlous
squeamlshness or prlvaLe senLlmenLallsm abouL combaLLlng crlme Loo
energeLlcally. 1hls ls conducL LhaL shocks Lhe consclence. lllegally
breaklng lnLo Lhe prlvacy of Lhe peLlLloner, Lhe sLruggle Lo open hls
mouLh and remove whaL was Lhere, Lhe forclble exLracLlon of hls
sLomach's conLenLs Lhls course of proceedlng by agenLs of governmenL Lo
obLaln evldence ls bound Lo offend even hardened senslblllLles. 1hey are
meLhods Loo close Lo Lhe rack and Lhe screw Lo permlL of consLlLuLlonal
lL ls slgnlflcanL LhaL lL ls noL Lhe pollce acLlon petse whlch ls lmpermlsslble and whlch
should be prohlblLed. 8aLher, lL ls Lhe procedure used or ln Lhe words of Lhe courL,
meLhods whlch "offend even hardened senslblllLles." ln 8teltboopt v. Abtom (332 uS
432, 1 L. Ld. 2nd 448 [1937]), Lhe same courL valldaLed Lhe use of evldence, ln Lhls case
blood samples lnvolunLarlly Laken from Lhe peLlLloner, where Lhere was noLhlng bruLal
or offenslve ln Lhe Laklng. 1he CourL sLaLed:
8aslcally Lhe dlsLlncLlon resLs on Lhe facL LhaL Lhere ls noLhlng 'bruLal' or
'offenslve' ln Lhe Laklng of a sample of blood when done, as ln Lhls case,
under Lhe proLecLlve eye of a physlclan. 1o be sure, Lhe drlver here was
unconsclous when Lhe blood was Laken, buL Lhe absence of consclous
consenL, wlLhouL more, does noL necessarlly render Lhe Laklng a vlolaLlon
of a consLlLuLlonal llghL, and cerLalnly Lhe resL was admlnlsLered here
would noL be consldered offenslve by even Lhe mosL dellcaLe.
lurLhermore, due process ls noL measured by Lhe yardsLlck of personal
reacLlon or Lhe sphygmogram of Lhe mosL senslLlve person, buL by LhaL
whole communlLy sense of 'decency and falrness LhaL has been woven by
common experlence lnLo Lhe fabrlc of accepLable conducL....
1he lndlvldual's rlghL Lo lmmunlLy from such lnvaslon of hls body was consldered as "far
ouLwelghed by Lhe value of lLs deLerrenL effecL" on Lhe evll soughL Lo be avolded by Lhe
pollce acLlon.
lL ls clear, Lherefore, LhaL Lhe naLure of Lhe afflrmaLlve rellef hlnges closely on Lhe
deLermlnaLlon of Lhe exacL facLs surroundlng a parLlcular case.
1he vlolaLlons of human rlghLs alleged by Lhe peLlLloners are serlous. lf an orderly
procedure ascerLalns Lhelr LruLh, noL only a wrlL of prohlblLlon buL crlmlnal prosecuLlons
would lmmedlaLely lssue as a maLLer of course. A perslsLenL paLLern of wholesale and
gross abuse of clvll llberLles, as alleged ln Lhe peLlLlon, has no place ln clvlllzed socleLy.
Cn Lhe oLher hand, accordlng Lo Lhe respondenLs, Lhe sLaLemenLs made by Lhe
peLlLloners are o complete lle.
1he SollclLor Ceneral argues:
1hls a compleLe lle.
!usL Lhe conLrary, Lhey had been conducLed wlLh due regard Lo human
rlghLs. noL only LhaL, Lhey were lnLelllgenLly and carefully planned
monLhs ahead of Lhe acLual operaLlon. 1hey were execuLed ln
coordlnaLlon wlLh barangay offlclals who pleaded wlLh Lhelr consLlLuenLs
Lo submlL Lhemselves volunLarlly for characLer and personal verlflcaLlon.
Local and forelgn correspondenLs, who had [olned Lhese operaLlons,
wlLnessed and recorded Lhe evenLs LhaL Lransplred relaLlve LhereLo.
(AfLer CperaLlon 8eporLs: november 3, 1987, Annex 12, november 20,
1987, Annex 13, november 24, 1987, Annex 14). 1haL ls why ln all Lhe
drlves so far conducLed, Lhe alleged vlcLlms who numbered Lhousands
had noL Lhemselves complalned.
ln her speech durlng Lurn-over rlLes on !anuary 26, 1987 aL Camp
Agulnaldo, ÞresldenL Aqulno branded all accusaLlons of dellberaLe
dlsregard for human rlghLs as 'LoLal lles'. Pere are excerpLs from her
sLrongesL speech yeL ln supporL of Lhe mlllLary:
All occosotloos of o Jellbetote JlsteqotJ fot bomoo tlqbts bove beeo
sbowo- op to be totol lles.
...1o oot solJlets, let me soy qo oot ooJ flqbt, flqbt wltb evety ossotooce
tbot l wlll stooJ by yoo tbtooqb tblck ooJ tblo to sbote tbe blome, JefeoJ
yoot octloos, mooto tbe losses ooJ eojoy wltb yoo tbe flool vlctoty tbot l
om cettolo wlll be oots.
?ou and l wlll see Lhls Lhrough LogeLher.
l've sworn Lo defend and uphold Lhe ConsLlLuLlon.
We have wasLed enough Llme answerlng Lhelr barklngs for lL ls sLlll a long
way Lo lasLlng peace. . . . 1he dangers and hardshlps Lo our men ln Lhe
fleld are greaL enough as lL ls wlLhouL havlng Lhem dlsLracLed by Lllls
worLhless carplng aL Lhelr backs.
Oot coootet-losotqeocy pollcy temolos tbe some. ecooomlc Jevelopmeot
to poll oot tbe toots-ooJ mllltoty opetotloos to slosb tbe qtowtb - of tbe
1he answer Lo Lerror ls force - now.
Cnly feaLs of arms can buy us Lhe Llme needed Lo make our economlc
and soclal lnlLlaLlves bear frulL. . . now LhaL Lhe exLreme 8lghL has been
defeaLed, l expect qteotet vlqot lo tbe ptosecotloo of tbe wot oqolost tbe
commoolst losotqeocy, even as we conLlnue Lo waLch our backs agalnsL
aLLacks from Lhe 8lghL. (Þhlllpplne SLar, !anuary 27, 1988, p. 1, Annex 13,
emphasls supplled)
vlewed ln Lhe llghL of ÞresldenL Aqulno's observaLlon on Lhe maLLer, lL
can be sald LhaL peLlLloners mlsrepresenL as human rlghLs vlolaLlons Lhe
mlllLary and pollce's zealous vlgllance over Lhe people's rlghL Lo llve ln
peace and safeLy. (8ollo, pp. 36-38)
Pereln lles Lhe problem of Lhe CourL. We can only guess Lhe LruLh. LveryLhlng before us
conslsLs of allegaLlons. Accordlng Lo Lhe peLlLloners, more Lhan 3,407 persons were
arresLed ln Lhe saLuraLlon drlves covered by Lhe peLlLlon. no esLlmaLes are glven for Lhe
drlves ln 8lock 34, uagaL-dagaLan, navoLas, Apelo Cruz Compound, Þaslg, and Sun valley
urlve near Lhe Manlla lnLernaLlonal AlrporL area. noL one of Lhe several Lhousand
persons LreaLed ln Lhe lllegal and lnhuman manner descrlbed by Lhe peLlLloners appears
as a peLlLloner or has come before a Lrlal courL Lo presenL Lhe klnd of evldence
admlsslble ln courLs of [usLlce. Moreover, Lhere musL have been Lens of Lhousands of
nearby resldenLs who were lnconvenlenced ln addlLlon Lo Lhe several Lhousand allegedly
arresLed. none of Lhose arresLed has apparenLly been charged and none of Lhose
affecLed has apparenLly complalned.
A parLlcularly lnLrlgulng aspecL of Lhe SollclLor Ceneral's commenLs ls Lhe sLaLemenL LhaL
local and forelgn co-respondenLs acLually [olned Lhe saLuraLlon drlves and wlLnessed and
recorded Lhe evenLs. ln oLher words, Lhe acLlvlLles soughL Lo be compleLely proscrlbed
were ln full vlew of medla. 1he slghL of hooded men allegedly belng used Lo flngerpolnL
suspecLed subverslves would have been good Lelevlslon copy. lf Lrue, Lhls was probably
effecLed away from Lhe ublqulLous eye of Lhe 1v cameras or, as Lhe SollclLor Ceneral
conLends, Lhe allegaLlon ls a "compleLe lle."
1he laLesL aLLempL Lo sLage a coop J'etot where several Lhousand members of Lhe
Armed lorces of Lhe Þhlllpplnes soughL Lo overLhrow Lhe presenL CovernmenL
lnLroduces anoLher aspecL of Lhe problem and lllusLraLes qulLe clearly why Lhose dlrecLly
affecLed by human rlghLs vlolaLlons should be Lhe ones Lo lnsLlLuLe courL acLlons and
why evldence of whaL acLually Lransplred should flrsL be developed before peLlLlons are
flled wlLh Lhls CourL.
Where Lhere ls large scale muLlny or acLual rebelllon, Lhe pollce or mlllLary may go ln
force Lo Lhe combaL areas, enLer affecLed resldences or bulldlngs, round up suspecLed
rebels and oLherwlse quell Lhe muLlny or rebelllon wlLhouL havlng Lo secure search
warranLs and wlLhouL vlolaLlng Lhe 8lll of 8lghLs. 1hls ls exacLly whaL happened ln Lhe
WhlLe Þlalns Subdlvlslon and Lhe commerclal cenLer of MakaLl durlng Lhe flrsL week of
uecember, 1989.
1he areal LargeL zonlngs ln Lhls peLlLlon were lnLended Lo flush ouL subverslves and
crlmlnal elemenLs parLlcularly because of Lhe blaLanL assasslnaLlons of publlc offlcers
and pollce offlclals by elemenLs supposedly coddled by Lhe communlLles where Lhe
"drlves" were conducLed.
lL ls clear from Lhe pleadlngs of boLh peLlLloners and respondenLs, however, LhaL Lhere
was no rebelllon or crlmlnal acLlvlLy slmllar Lo LhaL of Lhe aLLempLed coop J' etots. 1here
appears Lo have been no lmpedlmenL Lo securlng search warranLs or warranLs of arresL
before any houses were searched or lndlvlduals roused from sleep were arresLed. 1here
ls no sLrong showlng LhaL Lhe ob[ecLlves soughL Lo be aLLalned by Lhe "areal zonlng"
could noL be achleved even as Lhe rlghLs of squaLLer and low lncome famllles are fully
Where a vlolaLlon of human rlghLs speclflcally guaranLeed by Lhe ConsLlLuLlon ls
lnvolved, lL ls Lhe duLy of Lhe courL Lo sLop Lhe Lransgresslon and sLaLe where even Lhe
awesome power of Lhe sLaLe may noL encroach upon Lhe rlghLs of Lhe lndlvldual. lL ls Lhe
duLy of Lhe courL Lo Lake remedlal acLlon even ln cases such as Lhe presenL peLlLlon
where Lhe peLlLloners do noL complaln LhaL Lhey were vlcLlms of Lhe pollce acLlons,
where no names of any of Lhe Lhousands of alleged vlcLlms are glven, and where Lhe
prayer ls a general one Lo sLop all pollce "saLuraLlon drlves," as long as Lhe CourL ls
convlnced LhaL Lhe evenL acLually happened.
1he CourL belleves lL hlghly probable LhaL some vlolaLlons were acLually commlLLed. 1hls
ls so lnsplLe of Lhe alleged pleas of barangay offlclals for Lhe Lhousands of resldenLs "Lo
submlL Lhemselves volunLarlly for characLer and personal verlflcaLlon." We cannoL
lmaglne pollce acLlons of Lhe magnlLude descrlbed ln Lhe peLlLlons and admlLLed by Lhe
respondenLs, belng underLaken wlLhouL some undlsclpllned soldlers and pollcemen
commlLLlng cerLaln abuses. Powever, Lhe remedy ls noL Lo sLop all pollce
acLlons, locloJloq tbe esseotlol ooJ leqltlmote ooes. We see noLhlng wrong ln pollce
maklng Lhelr presence vlslbly felL ln Lroubled areas. Þollce cannoL respond Lo rloLs or
vlolenL demonsLraLlons lf Lhey do noL move ln sufflclenL numbers. A show of force ls
someLlmes necessaryos looq os tbe tlqbts of people ote ptotecteJ ooJ oot vloloteJ. A
blankeL prohlblLlon such as LhaL soughL by Lhe peLlLloners would llmlL all pollce acLlons
Lo one on one confronLaLlons where search warranLs and warranLs of arresLs agalnsL
speclflc lndlvlduals are easlly procured. Anarchy may relgn lf Lhe mlllLary and Lhe pollce
declde Lo slL down ln Lhelr offlces because all concerLed drlves where a show of force ls
presenL are LoLally prohlblLed.
1he remedy ls noL an orlglnal acLlon for prohlblLlon broughL Lhrough a Laxpayers' sulL.
Where noL one vlcLlm complalns and noL one vlolaLor ls properly charged, tbe ptoblem ls
oot loltlolly fot tbe 5opteme coott. lt ls boslcolly ooe fot tbe execotlve Jepottmeots ooJ
fot ttlol cootts. Well meanlng clLlzens wlLh only second hand knowledge of Lhe evenLs
cannoL keep on lndlscrlmlnaLely Losslng problems of Lhe execuLlve, Lhe mlllLary, and Lhe
pollce Lo Lhe Supreme CourL as lf we are Lhe reposlLory of all remedles for all evlls. 1he
rules of consLlLuLlonal llLlgaLlon have been evolved for an orderly procedure ln Lhe
vlndlcaLlon of rlghLs. 1hey should be followed. lf our pollcy makers susLaln Lhe
conLenLlon of Lhe mlllLary and Lhe pollce LhaL occaslonal saLuraLlon drlves are essenLlal
Lo malnLaln Lhe sLablllLy of governmenL and Lo lnsure peace and order, clear pollcy
guldellnes on Lhe behavlor of soldlers and pollcemen musL noL only be evolved, Lhey
should also be enforced. A meLhod of plnpolnLlng human rlghLs abuses and ldenLlfylng
vlolaLors ls necessary.
1he problem ls approprlaLe for Lhe Commlsslon on Puman 8lghLs. A hlgh level
conference should brlng LogeLher Lhe heads of Lhe ueparLmenL of !usLlce, ueparLmenL
of naLlonal uefense and Lhe operaLlng heads of affecLed agencles and lnsLlLuLlons Lo
devlse procedures for Lhe prevenLlon of abuses.
under Lhe clrcumsLances of Lhls Laxpayers' sulL, Lhere ls no errlng soldler or pollceman
whom we can order prosecuLed. ln Lhe absence of clear facLs ascerLalned Lhrough an
orderly procedure, no permanenL rellef can be glven aL Lhls Llme. lurLher lnvesLlgaLlon
of Lhe peLlLloners' charges and a hard look by admlnlsLraLlon offlclals aL Lhe pollcy
lmpllcaLlons of Lhe prayed for blankeL prohlblLlon are also warranLed.
ln Lhe meanLlme and ln Lhe face of a ptlmo focle showlng LhaL some abuses were
probably commlLLed and could be commlLLed durlng fuLure pollce acLlons, we have Lo
Lemporarlly resLraln Lhe alleged banglng on walls, Lhe klcklng ln of doors, Lhe herdlng of
half-naked men Lo assembly areas for examlnaLlon of LaLLoo marks, Lhe vlolaLlon of
resldences even lf Lhese are humble shanLles of squaLLers, and Lhe oLher alleged acLs
whlch are shocklng Lo Lhe consclence.
WnLkLICkL, the pet|t|on |s hereby kLMANDLD to the keg|ona| 1r|a| Courts of Man||a,
Ma|abon, and Þasay C|ty where the pet|t|oners may present ev|dence support|ng the|r
a||egat|ons and where spec|f|c err|ng part|es may be p|npo|nted and prosecuted.
Cop|es of th|s dec|s|on are ||kew|se forwarded to the Comm|ss|on on numan k|ghts,
the Secretary of Iust|ce, the Secretary of Nat|ona| Defense, and the Command|ng
Genera| ÞC-INÞ for the draw|ng up and enforcement of c|ear gu|de||nes to govern
po||ce act|ons |ntended to abate r|ots and c|v|| d|sturbances, f|ush out cr|m|na|
e|ements, and subdue terror|st act|v|t|es.
In the meant|me, %&' ()%* +,-.(%,+' -/ &01(2 3,4&%* (..'4'5 by the pet|t|oners as
comm|tted dur|ng the po||ce act|ons are LNICINLD unt|| such t|me as permanent ru|es
to govern such act|ons are promu|gated.

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