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Simon vs. CHR (G.R. No.

100150 Jan 5, 1994)

CHRs power to cite for contempt should be understood to apply only to violations of its adopted
operational guidelines and rules of procedure essential to carry out its investigatorial powers.

Facts: A "Demolition Notice," dated 9 July 1990, signed by Carlos Qui mpo ( one of t he
pet i t i oner s ) i n hi s c apac i t y as an Executive Officer of the Quezon City
Integrated Hawkers Management Council under the Office of the City Mayor, was sent to,
and received by, the private respondents (being the officers and members of the North EDSA
Vendors Association, Incorporated). In said notice, the respondents were given a grace-period
of three (3) days (up to 12 July 1990) within which to vacate the questioned
premises of North EDSA. Prior to their receipt of the demolition notice, the private
respondents were informed by petitioner Quimpo that their stalls should be removed to give
way to the "People's Park". On 12 July 1990, the group, led by their President Roque
Fermo, filed a letter-complaint (Pinag-samang Sinumpaang Salaysay) with the CHR against
the petitioners, asking the late CHR Chairman Mary Concepcion Bautista for a letter to be
addressed to then Mayor Brigi do Simon, Jr., of QuezonCity to stop the demolition of
the private respondents' stalls, s ar i - s ar i s t or es , and c ar i nder i a al ong Nor t h
EDSA. The complaint was docketed as CHR Case No. 90-1580. On 23 July1990, the CHR issued
an Order, directing the petitioners "to desist from demolishing the stalls and shanties at North
EDSA pending resol ution of the vendors/squatters' complaint before the
Commission" and ordering said petitioners to appear before the CHR. In an Order,
dated 25 September1990, the CHR cited the petitioners in contempt for carrying out t he
demol i t i on of t he s t al l s , s ar i - s ar i s t or es andcarinderia despite the "order to
desist", and it imposed a fine of P500.00 on each of them.
Issue: Whether or not the CHR has jurisdiction:
a) to investigate the alleged violations of the "business rights" of the private
respondents whose stalls were demolished by the petitioners at the instance and
authority given by the Mayor of Quezon City;
b) to impose the fine of P500.00 each on the petitioners for contempt;
Held: a) Recalli ng the deliberations of the Constituti onal Commission, aforequoted, it is
readily apparent that the delegates envisioned a Commission on Human Rights
that would focus its attention to the more severe cases of human rights violations. Delegate
Garcia, for instance, mentioned s uc h ar eas as t he " ( 1) pr ot ec t i on of r i ght s of
pol i t i c al detainees, (2) treatment of prisoners and the prevention of t o r t u r e s , ( 3 )
f a i r a n d p u b l i c t r i a l s , ( 4 ) c a s e s o f disappearances, (5) salvagings and
hamletting, and (6) other c r i me s c o mmi t t e d a g a i n s t t h e r e l i g i o u s . " Wh i l e
t h e enumer at i on has not l i kel y been meant t o have any preclusive effect,
more than just expressing a statement of priority, it is, nonetheless, significant for the tone it
has set. In any event, the delegates did not apparently take comfort in peremptorily making a
conclusive delineation of the CHR's scope of investigatorial jurisdiction. They have thus seen it fit
to resolve, instead, that "Congress may provide for other cases of violations of human rights
that should fall within the aut hor i t y of t he Commi s s i on, t ak i ng i nt o ac c ount i t s
recommendation." In the particular case at hand, there is no cavil that what are sought to be
demolished are the stalls, sari-sari stores and carinderia, as well as temporary shanties, erected
by private respondents on a land which is planned to be developed into a "People's Park". More
than that, the land adjoins the North EDSA of Quezon City which, this Court can take judicial
notice of, is a busy nati onal hi ghway. The consequent danger to life and limb is not thus
to be likewise simply ignored. It is indeed paradoxical that a right which is claimed to have been
violated is one that cannot, in the first place, even be invoked, if it is, in fact, extant. Be that as it
may, looking at the standards hereinabove discoursed vis-a-vis the circumstances obtaining in
this instance, we are not prepared to conclude that the order for the demolition of the s t al l s ,
s ar i - s ar i s t or es and c ar i nder i a of t he pr i vat e respondents can fall withi n the
compartment of "human rights violations involving civil and political rights" intended by the
b) No, on its contempt powers, the CHR is constitutional ly authorized to "adopt its
operational guidelines and rules of procedure, and cite for contempt for violations
thereof in accordance with the Rules of Court." Accordi ngly, the CHR acted within its
authority in providing in its revised rules, its power " t o c i t e or hol d any per s on i n
di r ec t or i ndi r ec t c ont empt , and t o i mpos e t he appr opr i at e penal t i es i n
accordance with the procedure and sanctions provided for in t he Rul es of Cour t . " That
power t o c i t e f or c ont empt , however, should be understood to apply only to violations
of its adopted operational guidelines and rules of procedure es s ent i al t o c ar r y
out i t s i nves t i gat or i al power s . To exemplify, the power to cite for contempt could be
exercised against persons who refuse to cooperate with the said body, or who unduly withhold
relevant information, or who decline to honor summons, and the like, in pursuing its
investigative wor k . The " or der t o des i s t " ( a s emant i c i nt er pl ay f or a
restraining order) in the instance before us, however, is not i n v e s t i g a t o r i a l i n
c h a r a c t e r b u t p r e s c i n d s f r o m a n adjudicative power that it does not possess.

Facts: The petitioners filed a petition for prohibition against Ordinance No. 4760 for being violative of
the due process clause, contending that said ordinance is not only arbitrary, unreasonable or
oppressive but also vague, indefi nite and uncertain, and l ikewise allege the invasion
of the right to privacy and the guaranty against self-incrimination. Ordinance No. 4760
proposes to check the clandestine harboring of transients and guests of these
establishments by requiring these transients and guests to fill up a registration form, prepared
for the purpose, in a lobby open to public view at all times, and by i ntroduci ng
several other amendatory provisions calculated to shatter the privacy that characterizes the
registration of transients and guests."Moreover, the increase in the licensed fees was intended
to discourage "establishments of the kind from oper at i ng f or pur pos e ot her t han
l egal " and at t he s ame t i me, t o i nc r eas e " t he i nc ome of t he c i t y
government."The lower court ruled in favor of the petitioners. Hence, the appeal.
Issue: Whether or not Ordinance No. 4760 is unconstitutional
Held: No. The mantle of protection associated with the due process guaranty does not
cover petitioners. This particular mani festation of a police power measure bei ng
specifically aimed to safeguard publi c morals i s immune from such imputation of
null ity resting purely on conjecture and unsupported by anything of substance. To
hold otherwise would be to unduly restrict and narrow the scope of police power
which has been properly characterized as the most essential, insistent and the least limitable
of powers, extending as it does "to all the great public needs."It would be, to paraphrase
another leading decision, to destroy the very purpose of the state if it could be deprived or
allowed itself to be deprived of its competence to promote public health, publ ic
morals, public safety and the general welfare. Negatively put, police power is that inherent and
plenary power in the State which enables it to prohibi t all that is hurt full to the
comfort, safety, and welfare of society. On the legislative organs of the government,
whether national or local, primarily rest the exercise of the police power, which, it cannot
be too often emphasized, is the power to prescribe regulations to promote the
health, morals, peace, good order, safety and general welfare of the people. In view of the
requirements of due process, equal protection and other applicable constitutional guaranties
however, the exercise of such police power insofar as it may affect the life, liberty or property of
any person is subject to judicial inquiry. Where such exercise of police power may be considered
as either capricious, whimsical, unjust or unreasonable, a denial of due process or a violation of
any other applicable constitutional guaranty may call for correction by the courts. The Court
reversed the judgment of the lower court and lifted the injuction on the Ordinance in question.

Rubi vs. Provincial Board Of Mindoro
Facts: This is an application for habeas corpus in favor of Rubi and other Manguianes of the Province of
The provincial board of Mindoro adopted resolution No. 25 which states that provincial
governor of any province in which non-Christian inhabitants (uncivilized tribes) are found is
authorized, when such a course is deemed necessary in the interest of law and order, to direct
such inhabitants to take up their habitation on sites on unoccupied public lands to be selected
by him and approved by the provincial board. It is resolved that under section 2077 of the
Administrative Code, 800 hectares of public land in the sitio of Tigbao on Naujan Lake be
selected as a site for the permanent settlement of Mangyanes in Mindoro. Further, Mangyans
may only solicit homesteads on this reservation providing that said homestead applications are
previously recommended by the provincial governor.
Thereafter, the provincial governor of Mindoro issued executive order No. 2, which says that the
provincial governor has selected a site in the sitio of Tigbao on Naujan Lake for the permanent
settlement of Mangyanes in Mindoro. In that case, pursuant to Section 2145 of the Revised
Administrative Code, all the Mangyans in the townships of Naujan and Pola and the Mangyans
east of the Baco River including those in the districts of Dulangan and Rubi's place in Calapan,
were ordered to take up their habitation on the site of Tigbao, Naujan Lake. Also, that any
Mangyan who shall refuse to comply with this order shall upon conviction be imprisoned not
exceed in sixty days, in accordance with section 2759 of the revised Administrative Code.
Said resolution of the provincial board of Mindoro were claimed as necessary measures for the
protection of the Mangyanes of Mindoro as well as the protection of public forests in which they
roam, and to introduce civilized customs among them.
It appeared that Rubi and those living in his rancheria have not fixed their dwelling within the
reservation of Tigbao and are liable to be punished.
It is alleged that the Manguianes are being illegally deprived of their liberty by the provincial
officials of that province. Rubi and his companions are said to be held on the reservation
established at Tigbao, Mindoro, against their will, and one Dabalos is said to be held under the
custody of the provincial sheriff in the prison at Calapan for having run away form the
Issue: Whether or Not Section 2145 of the Administrative Code deprive a person of his liberty without
due process of law.
Whether or Not Section 2145 of the Administrative Code of 1917 is constitutional.

Held: The Court held that section 2145 of the Administrative Code does not deprive a person of his
liberty without due process of law and does not deny to him the equal protection of the laws,
and that confinement in reservations in accordance with said section does not constitute slavery
and involuntary servitude. The Court is further of the opinion that section 2145 of the
Administrative Code is a legitimate exertion of the police power, somewhat analogous to the
Indian policy of the United States. Section 2145 of the Administrative Code of 1917 is
The preamble of the resolution of the provincial board of Mindoro which set apart the Tigbao
reservation, it will be read, assigned as reasons fort the action, the following: (1) The failure of
former attempts for the advancement of the non-Christian people of the province; and (2) the
only successfully method for educating the Manguianes was to oblige them to live in a
permanent settlement. The Solicitor-General adds the following; (3) The protection of the
Manguianes; (4) the protection of the public forests in which they roam; (5) the necessity of
introducing civilized customs among the Manguianes.
Considered purely as an exercise of the police power, the courts cannot fairly say that the
Legislature has exceeded its rightful authority. It is, indeed, an unusual exercise of that power.
But a great malady requires an equally drastic remedy. One cannot hold that the liberty of the
citizen is unduly interfered without when the degree of civilization of the Manguianes is
considered. They are restrained for their own good and the general good of the Philippines. Nor
can one say that due process of law has not been followed.
None of the rights of the citizen can be taken away except by due process of law. To constitute
"due process of law," as has been often held, a judicial proceeding is not always necessary. In
some instances, even a hearing and notice are not requisite a rule which is especially true where
much must be left to the discretion of the administrative officers in applying a law to particular
The idea of the provision in question is to unify the people of the Philippines so that they may
approach the highest conception of nationality. The public policy of the Government of the
Philippine Islands is shaped with a view to benefit the Filipino people as a whole. The
Manguianes, in order to fulfill this governmental policy, must be confined for a time, as we have
said, for their own good and the good of the country.
Therefore, petitioners are not unlawfully imprisoned or restrained of their liberty. Habeas
corpus can, therefore, not issue.

Orquiola v. Sandiganbayan
No digest found

Galman vs. Sandiganbayan
Facts: Assassination of former Senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino, Jr. He was killed from his plane that
had just landed at the Manila International Airport. His brain was smashed by a bullet fired
point-blank into the back of his head by an assassin. The military investigators reported within a
span of three hours that the man who shot Aquino (whose identity was then supposed to be
unknown and was revealed only days later as Rolando Galman) was a communist-hired gunman,
and that the military escorts gunned him down in turn.
President was constrained to create a Fact Finding Board to investigate due to large masses of
people who joined in the ten-day period of national mourning yearning for the truth, justice and
The fact is that both majority and minority reports were one in rejecting the military version
stating that "the evidence shows to the contrary that Rolando Galman had no subversive
affiliations. Only the soldiers in the staircase with Sen. Aquino could have shot him; that Ninoy's
assassination was the product of a military conspiracy, not a communist plot. Only difference
between the two reports is that the majority report found all the twenty-six private respondents
above-named in the title of the case involved in the military conspiracy; " while the chairman's
minority report would exclude nineteen of them.
Then Pres. Marcos stated that evidence shows that Galman was the killer.
Petitioners pray for issuance of a TRO enjoining respondent court from rendering a decision in
the two criminal cases before it, the Court resolved by nine-to-two votes 11 to issue the
restraining order prayed for. The Court also granted petitioners a five-day period to file a reply
to respondents' separate comments and respondent Tanodbayan a three-day period to submit a
copy of his 84-page memorandum for the prosecution.
But ten days later, the Court by the same nine-to-two-vote ratio in reverse, resolved to dismiss
the petition and to lift the TRO issued ten days earlier enjoining the Sandiganbayan from
rendering its decision. The same Court majority denied petitioners' motion for a new 5-day
period counted from receipt of respondent Tanodbayan's memorandum for the prosecution
(which apparently was not served on them).
Thus, petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration, alleging that the dismissal did not indicate
the legal ground for such action and urging that the case be set for a full hearing on the merits
that the people are entitled to due process.
However, respondent Sandiganbayan issued its decision acquitting all the accused of the crime
charged, declaring them innocent and totally absolving them of any civil liability. Respondents
submitted that with the Sandiganbayan's verdict of acquittal, the instant case had become moot
and academic. Thereafter, same Court majority denied petitioners' motion for reconsideration
for lack of merit.
Hence, petitioners filed their motion to admit their second motion for reconsideration alleging
that respondents committed serious irregularities constituting mistrial and resulting in
miscarriage of justice and gross violation of the constitutional rights of the petitioners and the
sovereign people of the Philippines to due process of law.
Issue: Whether or not petitioner was deprived of his rights as an accused.
Whether or not there was a violation of the double jeopardy clause.
Held: Petitioners' second motion for reconsideration is granted and ordering a re-trial of the said
cases which should be conducted with deliberate dispatch and with careful regard for the
requirements of due process.
Deputy Tanodbayan Manuel Herrera (made his expose 15 months later when former Pres. was
no longer around) affirmed the allegations in the second motion for reconsideration that he
revealed that the Sandiganbayan Justices and Tanodbayan prosecutors were ordered by Marcos
to whitewash the Aquino-Galman murder case. Malacaang wanted dismissal to the extent that
a prepared resolution was sent to the Investigating Panel. Malacaang Conference planned a
scenario of trial where the former President ordered then that the resolution be revised by
categorizing the participation of each respondent; decided that the presiding justice, Justice
Pamaran, (First Division) would personally handle the trial. A conference was held in an inner
room of the Palace. Only the First Lady and Presidential Legal Assistant Justice Lazaro were with
the President. The conferees were told to take the back door in going to the room where the
meeting was held, presumably to escape notice by the visitors in the reception hall waiting to
see the President. During the conference, and after an agreement was reached, Pres. Marcos
told them 'Okay, mag moro-moro na lamang kayo;' and that on their way out of the room Pres.
Marcos expressed his thanks to the group and uttered 'I know how to reciprocate'.
The Court then said that the then President (code-named Olympus) had stage-managed in and
from Malacaang Palace "a scripted and predetermined manner of handling and disposing of
the Aquino-Galman murder case;" and that "the prosecution in the Aquino-Galman case and the
Justices who tried and decided the same acted under the compulsion of some pressure which
proved to be beyond their capacity to resist. Also predetermined the final outcome of the case"
of total absolution of the twenty-six respondents-accused of all criminal and civil liability. Pres.
Marcos came up with a public statement aired over television that Senator Aquino was killed
not by his military escorts, but by a communist hired gun. It was, therefore, not a source of
wonder that President Marcos would want the case disposed of in a manner consistent with his
announced theory thereof which, at the same time, would clear his name and his administration
of any suspected guilty participation in the assassination. such a procedure would be a better
arrangement because, if the accused are charged in court and subsequently acquitted, they may
claim the benefit of the doctrine of double jeopardy and thereby avoid another prosecution if
some other witnesses shall appear when President Marcos is no longer in office.
More so was there suppression of vital evidence and harassment of witnesses. The
disappearance of witnesses two weeks after Ninoy's assassination. According to J. Herrera,
"nobody was looking for these persons because they said Marcos was in power. The assignment
of the case to Presiding Justice Pamaran; no evidence at all that the assignment was indeed by
virtue of a regular raffle, except the uncorroborated testimony of Justice Pamaran himself. The
custody of the accused and their confinement in a military camp, instead of in a civilian jail. The
monitoring of proceedings and developments from Malacaang and by Malacaang personnel.
The partiality of Sandiganbayan betrayed by its decision: That President Marcos had wanted all
of the twenty-six accused to be acquitted may not be denied. In rendering its decision, the
Sandiganbayan overdid itself in favoring the presidential directive. Its bias and partiality in favor
of the accused was clearly obvious. The evidence presented by the prosecution was totally
ignored and disregarded.
The record shows that the then President misused the overwhelming resources of the
government and his authoritarian powers to corrupt and make a mockery of the judicial process
in the Aquino-Galman murder cases. "This is the evil of one-man rule at its very worst." Our
Penal Code penalizes "any executive officer who shall address any order or suggestion to any
judicial authority with respect to any case or business coming within the exclusive jurisdiction of
the courts of justice."
Impartial court is the very essence of due process of law. This criminal collusion as to the
handling and treatment of the cases by public respondents at the secret Malacaang conference
(and revealed only after fifteen months by Justice Manuel Herrera) completely disqualified
respondent Sandiganbayan and voided ab initio its verdict. The courts would have no reason to
exist if they were allowed to be used as mere tools of injustice, deception and duplicity to
subvert and suppress the truth. More so, in the case at bar where the people and the world are
entitled to know the truth, and the integrity of our judicial system is at stake.
There was no double jeopardy. Courts' Resolution of acquittal was a void judgment for having
been issued without jurisdiction. No double jeopardy attaches, therefore. A void judgment is, in
legal effect, no judgment at all. By it no rights are divested. It neither binds nor bars anyone. All
acts and all claims flowing out of it are void.
Motion to Disqualify/Inhibit should have been resolved ahead. In this case, petitioners' motion
for reconsideration of the abrupt dismissal of their petition and lifting of the TRO enjoining the
Sandiganbayan from rendering its decision had been taken cognizance of by the Court which
had required the respondents', including the Sandiganbayan's, comments. Although no
restraining order was issued anew, respondent Sandiganbayan should not have precipitately
issued its decision of total absolution of all the accused pending the final action of this Court. All
of the acts of the respondent judge manifest grave abuse of discretion on his part amounting to
lack of jurisdiction which substantively prejudiced the petitioner.
With the declaration of nullity of the proceedings, the cases must now be tried before an
impartial court with an unbiased prosecutor. Respondents accused must now face trial for the
crimes charged against them before an impartial court with an unbiased prosecutor with all due
The function of the appointing authority with the mandate of the people, under our system of
government, is to fill the public posts. Justices and judges must ever realize that they have no
constituency, serve no majority nor minority but serve only the public interest as they see it in
accordance with their oath of office, guided only the Constitution and their own conscience and

Stonehill v. Diokno
Facts: Respondents issued, on different dates, 42 search warrants against petitioners personally,
and/or corporations for which they are officers directing peace officers to search the persons of
petitioners and premises of their offices, warehouses and/or residences to search for personal
properties books of accounts, financial records, vouchers, correspondence, receipts, ledgers,
journals, portfolios, credit journals, typewriters, and other documents showing all business
transactions including disbursement receipts, balance sheets and profit and loss statements and
Bobbins(cigarettes) as the subject of the offense for violations of Central Bank Act, Tariff and
Customs Laws, Internal Revenue Code, and Revised Penal Code.
Upon effecting the search in the offices of the aforementioned corporations and on the
respective residences of the petitioners, there seized documents, papers, money and other
records. Petitioners then were subjected to deportation proceedings and were constrained to
question the legality of the searches and seizures as well as the admissibility of those seized as
evidence against them.
On March 20, 1962, the SC issued a writ of preliminary injunction and partially lifted the same
on June 29, 1962 with respect to some documents and papers.
Held: Search warrants issued were violative of the Constitution and the Rules, thus, illegal or being
general warrants. There is no probable cause and warrant did not particularly specify the things
to be seized. The purpose of the requirement is to avoid placing the sanctity of the domicile and
the privacy of communication and correspondence at the mercy of the whims, caprice or
passion of peace officers.
Document seized from an illegal search warrant is not admissible in court as a fruit of a
poisonous tee. However, they could not be returned, except if warranted by the circumstances.
Petitioners were not the proper party to question the validity and return of those taken from
the corporations for which they acted as officers as they are treated as personality different
from that of the corporation.

US VS. BUSTOS [37 PHIL. 731; G.R. L-12592; 8 MAR 1918]
Facts: In the latter part of 1915, numerous citizens of the Province of Pampanga assembled, and
prepared and signed a petition to the Executive Secretary(privileged communication) through
the law office of Crossfield and O'Brien, and five individuals signed affidavits, charging Roman
Punsalan, justice of the peace of Macabebe and Masantol, Pampanga, with malfeasance in
office and asking for his removal. The specific charges against the justice of the peace include
the solicitation of money from persons who have pending cases before the judge. Now,
Punsalan alleged that accused published a writing which was false, scandalous, malicious,
defamatory, and libelous against him.
Issue: Whether or Not accused is entitled to constitutional protection by virtue of his right to free
speech and free press.
Held: Yes. The guaranties of a free speech and a free press include the right to criticize judicial
conduct. The administration of the law is a matter of vital public concern. Whether the law is
wisely or badly enforced is, therefore, a fit subject for proper comment. If the people cannot
criticize a justice of the peace or a judge the same as any other public officer, public opinion will
be effectively suppressed. It is a duty which every one owes to society or to the State to assist in
the investigation of any alleged misconduct. It is further the duty of all who know of any official
dereliction on the part of a magistrate or the wrongful act of any public officer to bring the facts
to the notice of those whose duty it is to inquire into and punish them.
The right to assemble and petition is the necessary consequence of republican institutions and
the complement of the part of free speech. Assembly means a right on the part of citizens to
meet peaceably for consultation in respect to public affairs. Petition means that any person or
group of persons can apply, without fear of penalty, to the appropriate branch or office of the
government for a redress of grievances. The persons assembling and petitioning must, of
course, assume responsibility for the charges made. All persons have an interest in the pure and
efficient administration of justice and of public affairs.
Public policy, the welfare of society, and the orderly administration of government have
demanded protection for public opinion. The inevitable and incontestable result has been the
development and adoption of the doctrine of privilege. All persons have an interest in the pure
and efficient administration of justice and of public affairs. The duty under which a party is
privileged is sufficient if it is social or moral in its nature and this person in good faith believes he
is acting in pursuance thereof although in fact he is mistaken. Although the charges are probably
not true as to the justice of the peace, they were believed to be true by the petitioners. Good
faith surrounded their action. Probable cause for them to think that malfeasance or misfeasance
in office existed is apparent. The ends and the motives of these citizens to secure the removal
from office of a person thought to be venal were justifiable. In no way did they abuse the
In the usual case malice can be presumed from defamatory words. Privilege destroys that
presumption. A privileged communication should not be subjected to microscopic examination
to discover grounds of malice or falsity.

Narciso v. Romana
No case digest

FACTS: SSSEA went on strike after the SSS failed to act on the union's demands. SSS filed with the
Regional Trial Court of Quezon City a complaint against petitioners for staging an illegal strike
and baricaded the entrances to the SSS Building, preventing non-striking employees from
reporting for work and SSS members from transacting business with the SSS.
ISSUE: WON employees of the Social Security System(SSS) have the right to strike.
HELD: Yes. While there is no question that the Constitution recognizes the right of government
employees to organize, it is silent as to whether such recognition also includes the right to
strike. The commissioners intended to limit the right to the formation of unions or associations
only, without including the right to strike. It will be recalled that the Industrial Peace Act (R.A.
No. 875), which was repealed by the Labor Code, expressly banned strikes by employees in the
Government, including instrumentalities exercising governmental functions, but excluding
entities entrusted with proprietary functions No similar provision is found in the Labor Code. To
implement the constitutional guarantee of the right of government employees to organize, the
President issued E.O. No. 180 which provides guidelines for the exercise of the right to organize
of government employees. In the absence of any legislation allowing government employees to
strike, recognizing their right to do so, or regulating the exercise of the right, they are prohibited
from striking. The SSS is one such government-controlled corporation with an original charter,
its employees are part of the civil service and are covered by the Civil Service Commission's
memorandum prohibiting strikes. This being the case, the strike staged by the employees of the
SSS was illegal

Aberca vs. Ver
FACTS: This case stems from alleged illegal searches and seizures and other violations of the rights and
liberties of plaintiffs by various intelligence units of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, known
as Task Force Makabansa (TFM) ordered by General Fabian Ver "to conduct pre-emptive strikes
against known communist-terrorist (CT) underground houses in view of increasing reports about
CT plans to sow disturbances in Metro Manila," Plaintiffs allege, among others, that complying
with said order, elements of the TFM raided several places, employing in most cases defectively
issued judicial search warrants; that during these raids, certain members of the raiding party
confiscated a number of purely personal items belonging to plaintiffs; that plaintiffs were
arrested without proper warrants issued by the courts; that for some period after their arrest,
they were denied visits of relatives and lawyers; that plaintiffs were interrogated in violation of
their rights to silence and counsel; that military men who interrogated them employed threats,
tortures and other forms of violence on them in order to obtain incriminatory information or
confessions and in order to punish them; that all violations of plaintiffs constitutional rights
were part of a concerted and deliberate plan to forcibly extract information and incriminatory
statements from plaintiffs and to terrorize, harass and punish them, said plans being previously
known to and sanctioned by defendants.
Seeking to justify the dismissal of plaintiffs' complaint, the respondents postulate the view that
as public officers they are covered by the mantle of state immunity from suit for acts done in the
performance of official duties or function
ISSUE: Whether the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus bars a civil action for
damages for illegal searches conducted by military personnel and other violations of rights and
liberties guaranteed under the Constitution. If such action for damages may be maintained, who
can be held liable for such violations: only the military personnel directly involved and/or their
superiors as well.
HELD: SC: We find respondents' invocation of the doctrine of state immunity from suit totally
misplaced. The cases invoked by respondents actually involved acts done by officers in the
performance of official duties written the ambit of their powers.
It may be that the respondents, as members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, were
merely responding to their duty, as they claim, "to prevent or suppress lawless violence,
insurrection, rebellion and subversion" in accordance with Proclamation No. 2054 of President
Marcos, despite the lifting of martial law on January 27, 1981, and in pursuance of such
objective, to launch pre- emptive strikes against alleged communist terrorist underground
houses. But this cannot be construed as a blanket license or a roving commission untramelled by
any constitutional restraint, to disregard or transgress upon the rights and liberties of the
individual citizen enshrined in and protected by the Constitution. The Constitution remains the
supreme law of the land to which all officials, high or low, civilian or military, owe obedience
and allegiance at all times.
Article 32 of the Civil Code which renders any public officer or employee or any private
individual liable in damages for violating the Constitutional rights and liberties of another, as
enumerated therein, does not exempt the respondents from responsibility. Only judges are
excluded from liability under the said article, provided their acts or omissions do not constitute
a violation of the Penal Code or other penal statute.
We do not agree. We find merit in petitioners' contention that the suspension of the privilege of
the writ of habeas corpus does not destroy petitioners' right and cause of action for damages for
illegal arrest and detention and other violations of their constitutional rights. The suspension
does not render valid an otherwise illegal arrest or detention. What is suspended is merely the
right of the individual to seek release from detention through the writ of habeas corpus as a
speedy means of obtaining his liberty.
Firstly, it is wrong to at the plaintiffs' action for damages 5 Section 1, Article 19. to 'acts of
alleged physical violence" which constituted delict or wrong. Article 32 clearly specifies as
actionable the act of violating or in any manner impeding or impairing any of the constitutional
rights and liberties enumerated therein, among others
The complaint in this litigation alleges facts showing with abundant clarity and details, how
plaintiffs' constitutional rights and liberties mentioned in Article 32 of the Civil Code were
violated and impaired by defendants. The complaint speaks of, among others, searches made
without search warrants or based on irregularly issued or substantially defective warrants;
seizures and confiscation, without proper receipts, of cash and personal effects belonging to
plaintiffs and other items of property which were not subversive and illegal nor covered by the
search warrants; arrest and detention of plaintiffs without warrant or under irregular, improper
and illegal circumstances; detention of plaintiffs at several undisclosed places of 'safehouses"
where they were kept incommunicado and subjected to physical and psychological torture and
other inhuman, degrading and brutal treatment for the purpose of extracting incriminatory
statements. The complaint contains a detailed recital of abuses perpetrated upon the plaintiffs
violative of their constitutional rights.
Secondly, neither can it be said that only those shown to have participated "directly" should be
held liable. Article 32 of the Civil Code encompasses within the ambit of its provisions those
directly, as well as indirectly, responsible for its violation.
The responsibility of the defendants, whether direct or indirect, is amply set forth in the
complaint. It is well established in our law and jurisprudence that a motion to dismiss on the
ground that the complaint states no cause of action must be based on what appears on the face
of the complaint.
To determine the sufficiency of the cause of action, only the facts alleged in
the complaint, and no others, should be considered.
For this purpose, the motion to dismiss
must hypothetically admit the truth of the facts alleged in the complaint.