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L-2690; 1 JAN 1949]

Section 6, Art. III. 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. Neither shall the right to travel be impaired except in the
interest of national security, public safety, or public health, as may be provided by law.
Liberty Guaranteed by Sec. 6 Art. III
1. freedom to choose and change one's place of abode; and
2. freedom to travel both within the country and outside

Liberty of Abode upon lawful order of the court

Right to Travel national security, public safety or public health as may be provided by law

Facts: This is an action for habeas corpus brought by Bartolome Caunca in behalf of his
cousin Estelita Flores who was employed by the Far Eastern Employment Bureau, owned by
Julia Salazar, respondent herein. An advanced payment has already been given to Estelita
by the employment agency, for her to work as a maid. However, Estelita wanted to transfer
to another residence, which was disallowed by the employment agency. Further she was
detained and her liberty was restrained. The employment agency wanted that the
advance payment, which was applied to her transportation expense from the province
should be paid by Estelita before she could be allowed to leave.
Issue: Whether or Not an employment agency has the right to restrain and detain a maid
without returning the advance payment it gave?
Held: An employment agency, regardless of the amount it may advance to a prospective
employee or maid, has absolutely no power to curtail her freedom of movement. The fact
that no physical force has been exerted to keep her in the house of the respondent does not
make less real the deprivation of her personal freedom of movement, freedom to
transfer from one place to another, freedom to choose ones residence. Freedom
may be lost due to external moral compulsion, to founded or groundless fear, to erroneous
belief in the existence of an imaginary power of an impostor to cause harm if not blindly
obeyed, to any other psychological element that may curtail the mental faculty of choice or
the unhampered exercise of the will. If the actual effect of such psychological spell is to
place a person at the mercy of another, the victim is entitled to the protection of courts of
justice as much as the individual who is illegally deprived of liberty by duress or physical

Summary Whether a maid had the right to transfer to another residence even if she had not paid yet the amount
advances by an employment agency:
Yes. The fortunes of business cannot be controlled by controlling a fundamental human freedom.
Human dignity and freedom are essentially spiritual inseparable from the idea of eternal. Money, power, etc. belong
to the ephemeral and perishable.