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Lacson Vs.

Perez Case Digest


Lacson Vs. Perez
357 SCRA 756 G.R. No. 147780
May 10, 2001
Facts: President Macapagal-Arroyo declared a State of Rebellion (Proclamation No.
38) on May 1, 2001 as well as General Order No. 1 ordering the AFP and the PNP to
suppress the rebellion in the NCR. Warrantless arrests of several alleged leaders and
promoters of the rebellion were thereafter effected. Petitioner filed for prohibition,
injunction, mandamus and habeas corpus with an application for the issuance of
temporary restraining order and/or writ of preliminary injunction. Petitioners assail the
declaration of Proc. No. 38 and the warrantless arrests allegedly effected by virtue
thereof. Petitioners furthermore pray that the appropriate court, wherein the information
against them were filed, would desist arraignment and trial until this instant petition is
resolved. They also contend that they are allegedly faced with impending warrantless
arrests and unlawful restraint being that hold departure orders were issued against
them.
Issue: Whether or Not Proclamation No. 38 is valid, along with the warrantless arrests
and hold departure orders allegedly effected by the same.
Held: President Macapagal-Arroyo ordered the lifting of Proc. No. 38 on May 6, 2006,
accordingly the instant petition has been rendered moot and academic. Respondents
have declared that the Justice Department and the police authorities intend to obtain
regular warrants of arrests from the courts for all acts committed prior to and until May
1, 2001. Under Section 5, Rule 113 of the Rules of Court, authorities may only resort to
warrantless arrests of persons suspected of rebellion in suppressing the rebellion if the
circumstances so warrant, thus the warrantless arrests are not based on Proc. No. 38.
Petitioners prayer for mandamus and prohibition is improper at this time because an
individual warrantlessly arrested has adequate remedies in law: Rule 112 of the Rules
of Court, providing for preliminary investigation, Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code,
providing for the period in which a warrantlessly arrested person must be delivered to
the proper judicial authorities, otherwise the officer responsible for such may be
penalized for the delay of the same. If the detention should have no legal ground, the
arresting officer can be charged with arbitrary detention, not prejudicial to claim of
damages under Article 32 of the Civil Code. Petitioners were neither assailing the
validity of the subject hold departure orders, nor were they expressing any intention to
leave the country in the near future. To declare the hold departure orders null and void
ab initio must be made in the proper proceedings initiated for that purpose. Petitioners
prayer for relief regarding their alleged impending warrantless arrests is premature
being that no complaints have been filed against them for any crime, furthermore, the
writ of habeas corpus is uncalled for since its purpose is to relieve unlawful restraint
which Petitioners are not subjected to.
Petition is dismissed. Respondents, consistent and congruent with their undertaking
earlier adverted to, together with their agents, representatives, and all persons acting in
their behalf, are hereby enjoined from arresting Petitioners without the required judicial
warrants for all acts committed in relation to or in connection with the May 1, 2001 siege
of Malacaang.