[G.R. No. 148560.

January 29, 2002]




Quoted hereunder, for your information, is a resolution of this Court dated JAN 29 2002.

G.R. No. 148560(Joseph Ejercito Estrada vs. Sandiganbayan (3rd Division) and the People
of the Philippines.)

Considering the motion for reconsideration filed by petitioner Joseph Ejercito Estrada and
finding nothing therein that in any way compels a modification of the decision rendered in
this case on November 19, 2001, the Court, by vote of 10 to 4 of its members, with one
abstention, RESOLVED to DENY with finality the aforesaid motion for reconsideration, as
well as petitioner's motion for oral arguments, for lack of merit.

Davide, Jr. C.J., and Bellosillo, Melo, Puno, Vitug, Mendoza, Panganiban, Quisumbing, Buena,
and De Leon, JJ. reiterate their votes to dismiss the petition in this case. In addition,
Mendoza, J. filed a separate opinion (hereto attached) in which Davide, Jr., C.J., and
Bellosillo, Melo, Puno, Vitug, Quisumbing, Buena and De Leon, Jr., JJ., concur.

Panganiban, J., reiterates his concurring opinion in the main case and holds that it is
unnecessary to rule on whether, as contended by petitioner, the Anti-Plunder Law should
initially be presumed invalid for allegedly derogating fundamental rights, because the State
has shown - and the Court has already upheld - its constitutionality.

Kapunan, Pardo, Ynares-Santiago, and Sandoval-Gutierrez, JJ., maintain their respective

Carpio, J., reiterates that he takes no part, having been one of the complainants before the
Office of the Ombudsman.

Considering that petitioner's motions for reconsideration and for oral arguments have
been denied with finality, no further pleadings shall be entertained by this Court.


MENDOZA, J., concurring in the denial of the motion for reconsideration:

Petitioner moves for a reconsideration of the decision rendered in this case on November
19, 2001. He makes several arguments which can be reduced to two propositions. First, he
contends that a facial review of the Anti-Plunder Law is required because (1) the law
imposes the death penalty; (2) where a penal law affects fundamental rights, the law is
presumed void and the government has the burden of showingthat it is valid; (3) the
provisions of the Anti-Plunder Law are not severable so that, if any provision is void, the
whole statute is void, petitioner invoking in this connection the principle that no one can be
prosecuted except under a valid law. Second, petitioner contends that (1) the provisions of
the Anti-Plunder Law under which he is being prosecuted are vague and overbroad and
their vagueness cannot be cured either by reference to the specific allegations of the
Amended Information or by judicial construction and (2) the provisions in question violate
the Due Process and Equal Protection guarantees of the Constitution.

These contentions will be dealt with in Part I and Part II in the order in which they are
made. Then, in Part III, the implications of adopting petitioner's theory will be discussed.




gift. misuse. authority. makes it a crime for any public officer. subparagraphs (3). business enterprise or material possession" amounting to at least P50 million. The question is whether he can assail the constitutionality of §1(d). in relation to §1(d). percentage. accumulate or acquire . to "amass. kickbacks or any other form of pecuniary benefit from any person and/or entity in connection with any government contract or project or by reason of the office or position of the public officer concerned.The question is whether petitioner can assail R. relationship. 7080 on the ground that as applied to other persons it is unconstitutional for being vague and overbroad. connection or influence to unjustly enrich himself or themselves at the expense and to the damage and prejudice of the Filipino people and the Republic of the Philippines. in relation to §1(d). 3) By the illegal or fraudulent conveyance or disposition of assets belonging to the National Government or any of its subdivisions. The question arises in the following context. of R. Petitioner is charged with violation of §2. or 6) By taking undue advantage or official position. share.A. 5) By establishing agricultural. an commission. (4). equity or any other form of interest or participation including the promise of future employment in any business enterprise or undertaking. (5) and (6) as well. any asset. if these provisions are . . subparagraphs (1) and (2) of the law as above quoted. through a "combination or series" of any of the following overt or criminal acts: 1) Through misappropriation. 4) By Obtaining. property. or malversation of public funds or raids on the public treasury. directly or indirectly. 2) By receiving. conversion. No. agencies or instrumentalities or government-owned or controlled corporations and their subsidiaries. industrial or commercial monopolies or other combinations and/or implementation of decrees and orders intended to benefit particular persons or special interests. No. otherwise known as the Anti-Plunder Law. 7080. on the theory that. Section 2.A. directly or indirectly. . receiving or accepting directly or indirectly any shares of stock.

there is no law under which petitioner can be prosecuted. This Case Does not Come Within the Exception . It was stated: "[P]etitioners were not charged with the [unlawful] possession of firewood. People[1]cralaw in which it was held that a person accused of violating P. . cannot question its validity insofar as it also prohibits the unauthorized possession of other "forest products" on the ground that the definition of the latter term is so broad that it includes even the mere possession of firewood. as the enforcement of the Anti-Plunder Law is not alleged to produce a chilling effect on freedom of speech or religion or some "fundamental rights" to be presently discussed. shrub.[4]cralaw "the power of judicial review is limited to actual cases and controversies . As-applied challenges constitute the general rule. the inclusion of any of there enumerated items in EO 277 is absolutely of no concern to petitioners. grass.D. . In rejecting the facial challenge to the law. bark. which governs this case. honey. They are not asserting a legal right for which they are entitled to a judicial determination at this time."[3]cralaw When an accused is guilty of conduct that can constitutionally be prohibited and that the State has endeavored to prohibit. The application of this rule. . is exemplified by Tan v.invalid.and limited further to the constitutional question raised or the very lis mota presented. and flowering plants." they could not assail its other provisions. which prohibits the possession of lumber without permit from the Bureau of Forest Development. thus. beeswax. No. the 'associated water' or fish." B. it has been pointed out hat "procedures for testing the constitutionality of a statue 'on its face'. this Court held that as the accused were charged with violation of the part of the order relating to the unauthorized possession of "lumber. shrubs. 705. §68. honey. A.Petitioner cannot challenge the entire statute on its face. This Case is Governed by the General Rule There are two types of constitutional challenges: "as-applied" challenges and "on-its-face" challenges. beeswax. Such punishment violates no personal right of the accused. Accordingly. are fundamentally at odds with the function of courts in our constitutional plan. bark."[2]cralaw Indeed. A contrary rule would permit litigation to turn on abstract hypothetical applications of a statute and disregard the wise limits placed on the judicial power by the Constitution. . Electoral Commission. the State should be able to inflict its punishment. only such of its provisions can be challenged by petitioner as are sought to be applied to him. The question should be answered in the negative. As Justice Laurel stressed in Angara v. [or] grass.

but only an as-applied challenge. are insufficient to move a court to examine the statute on its face."[6]cralaw In free speech or First Amendment cases. This reason is totally absent in the case of ordinary penal laws. let it be clearly stated that. may be made on the ground that." we did not mean to suggest that the doctrines do not apply to criminal statutes at all. First Amendment cases [and therefore] cannot be made to do service when what is involved is a criminal statute. when we said that "the doctrines of strict scrutiny. a facial challenge. they also justify facial challenges in cases under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Constitution with respect to so- called "fundamental rights. Put in another way. Neither did we mean to suggest that the doctrines justify facial challenges only in free speech or First Amendment cases. a statute has a chilling effect on freedom of speech or religion or other fundamental rights. the rule is different because of the chilling effect which enforcement of the statute might have on the exercise of protected freedoms. First Amendment cases [and therefore] cannot be made to do service when what is involved is a criminal statute." Petitioner's counsel disagrees and says that "this holding goes against the grain of American jurisprudence" and that in fact "American law reports are full of decisions where either the overbreadth or vagueness doctrines have been used to invalidate non-free speech statutes on their faces. as distinguished from as-applied challenge. Parties can only challenge such provisions of the statutes as applied to them. claims of facial overbreadth alone. But the . because of vagueness or overbreadth. Supreme Court to support his contention. overbreadth and vagueness are analytical tools for testing 'on their faces' statutes in free speech cases or.Permitting Facial Challenges to Statutes "Facial" challenges are the exceptions. They do. to those statutes. Before discussing these cases.S. It is equally settled that "a plaintiff who engages in some conduct that is clearly proscribed cannot complain of the vagueness of the law as applied to the conduct of others. overbreadth and vagueness are analytical tools for testing 'on their faces' statutes in free speech cases or.[5]cralaw The same rule applies to claims of vagueness. whose deterrent effect is precisely a reason for their enactment. They are made whenever it is alleged that enforcement of a statute produces a chilling or inhibitory effect on the exercise of protected freedoms because of the vagueness or overbreadth of the provisions of such statute. when invoked against ordinary criminal laws like the Anti-Plunder Law." In short. as they are called in American law. as they are called in American law. we declared in this case that "the doctrines of strict scrutiny. like the Anti-Plunder Law.To be sure. It can only be reviewed as applied to the challenger's conduct. Hence. although they do not justify a facial challenge." Petitioner cites a hodgepodge of cases decided by the U.

the plain import of our cases is. Louisiana[7]cralaw and Shuttlesworth v.Indeed. For example. such as the right of privacy.[15]cralaw the right to marry." These were declared "rights" by the U. unprotected conduct. Oklahoma. An examination of their content will show.[9]cralaw in explaining the breach-of-peace cases. as stated in Broaderick v. as when what is being enforced is an ordinary criminal statute like the Anti-Plunder law. if too broadly worded. justify invalidating a statute on its face and so prohibiting a State from enforcing the statute against conduct that is admittedly within its power to proscribe. that they are not. with confidence. actually involved free speech rights or expressive activities. the facial overbreadth adjudications an exception to our traditional rules of practice and that its function. On the other hand. although arising from prosecutions for breach of the peace.even if expressive - falls within the scope of otherwise valid criminal laws that reflect legitimate state interests in maintaining comprehensive controls over harmful. constitutionally. the concept of privacy as a fundamental right has been interpreted in American law to include the right to use contraceptive devices.[14]cralaw the right to have an abortion.[11]cralaw the right to travel. Given this rule it will be seen that the cases cited by petitioner's counsel to support his claim that "American reports are full of decisions where either the overbreadth or vagueness doctrines have been used to invalidate non-free speech statutes of their faces" do not apply to the present case. in which a facial examination of statutes was undertaken.doctrines cannot be invoked to justify a facial challenge to statute where no interest of speech or religion or fundamental freedom is involved.[16]cralaw and the right to die.[12]cralaw and federalisms. . They are not cases in which ordinary criminal statutes were declared void on their faces.[8]cralaw which counsel cites. Supreme Court in the course of what has come to be called "fundamental rights" adjudications.S. Brown v. . .[19]cralaw It is obvious that such "rights" cannot exist under our laws.at best a prediction .S. the "right" to engage in homosexual sodomy[18]cralaw and the "right" to physician-assisted suicide.cannot. at the very least. may deter protected speech to some unknown extent. these rights appear to be of universal value. determining what interests are implicit in the American "scheme of ordered liberty" for the purpose of extending such . involved rights deemed "fundamental" under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the U. there comes a point where that effect .[13]cralaw At first glance.[10]cralaw voting rights. however. the other cases cited by counsel. namely. Birmingham.[17]cralaw Other "rights" are being pressed for recognition in the name of privacy. It cannot be contended that statutes prohibiting the exercise of such "right" are presumed void because the rights involved are "fundamental. a limited one at the outset. attenuates as the otherwise unprotected behavior that it forbids the State to sanction moves from "pure speech" towards conduct and that conduct . Constitution. Although such laws. consisting of the right to hold protests and demonstrations in public places.

contrary to our ruling in this case. is in fat so repugnant to our Constitution as to be the very antithesis of what is fundamental to our people. outside the traditional rights of persons accused in criminal cases." "Statute on common carriers. there is no basis for departing from the general rule that a party can challenge a statute only as applied to him. Florida Prepaid Postsecondary Education Expense Board v." "Statute on waste. is not whither the vagueness and overbreadth doctrines apply to facial challenges to criminal statutes. Indeed. which is derived from the right of privacy in American law. We hold it does not." and "Statute on procedure" no not address the question whether in the case of ordinary criminal statutes allegations of vagueness and overbreadth justify a facial review of statutes.without a showing that interests of speech (or." "Statute on employment. Only the failure to see the cases in the context in which they were decided can account for petitioner's claim that. the cases upholding these "rights. it cannot be overemphasized. the right to have an abortion. there are no interests of speech or other fundamental rights affected by the enforcement of the law and. freedom of religion) or other fundamental rights are infringed- triggers a facial review of the said statutes. The question rather is whether the mere assertion that a penal statute is vague or overbroad .[20]cralaw On the other hand. The excerpts from other cases cited in petitioner's Motion for Reconsideration under the headings "Price-fixing and anti-trust legislation. It will suffice to say that federalism principles simply do not have any application in this country. have no application to the case at bar and do not support his plea for a facial review of the Anti- Plunder Law. there are instances in American law in which the vagueness and overbreadth doctrines were used to invalidate on their faces even "non-free speech" statutes." "Statute on taxation. therefore. As the Anti-Plunder Law implicates neither free speech nor freedom of religion or other fundamental rights of petitioner. For the question in the case at bar." which are cited by petitioner's counsel as instances in which "non-free" speech statutes" were declared void on their faces. involves an issue of federalism.[21]cralaw which petitioner sites as a non-First Amendment case involving a facial examination of a statute. Thus. a facial review of the law cannot be required nor the . it may be added. also considered "fundamental" in American constitutional law. In the case of the Anti-Plunder Law."rights" to the several states. College Savings Bank. using strict scrutiny as the standard of judicial review. It is obvious that such "rights" are not necessarily also part of the liberty guaranteed on the Due Process Clause of our Constitution.

Salerno[23]cralaw in which. Quoting Justice Stevens. Petitioner singles out two cases cited in the decision in this case. 481 US 739. The first is United States v. since we have not recognized an 'overbreadth' doctrine outside the limited context of the First Amendment. Petitioner disputes the continuing validity of these decisions. 95 L E 2d 697. correctly summarized a long established principle of our jurisprudence: "The fact . He claims that they have been either ignored or overruled in subsequent decisions of the American Supreme Court. This is not correct. Salerno. while statutes found vague as a matter of due process typically are invalidated 'as applied' to a particular defendant. through Chief Justice Rehnquist. since the challenger must establish that no set of circumstances exists under which the Act would be valid.burden of proving its validity placed on the State. of course. for that reason. The fact that the Bail Reform Act might operate unconstitutionally under some conceivable set of circumstances is insufficient to render it wholly invalid. Justice Stevens' statement was actually made in a memorandum opinion denying certiorari in an abortion case.S. petitioner says that the statement in Salerno that "we have not recognized an 'overbreadth' doctrine outside the limited context of the First amendment" is a mere "rhetorical flourish" and."[22]cralaw C. the most difficult challenge to mount successfully. 107 S Ct 2095 (1987).[24]cralaw The full text of his statement reads: The Court's opinion in United States v. Cases Cited in the Decision in this Case Reflect the Current State of the Law Several decisions of the U. typically produce facial invalidation. As stated in a leading casebook on constitutional law: "Vagueness challenges in First Amendment context. it was held: A facial challenge to a legislative act is. Supreme Court are cited for the holding in this case that petitioner cannot question the validity of those provisions of the Anti-Plunder Law under which he is not being prosecuted. "has been properly ignored" in other cases. Mere assertions that it is vague or overbroad only justify an "as-applied" review of its challenged-provisions. like overbreadth challenges.

This part of the ruling in that case has not been modified. for the Court effectively held that the statute at issue would be constitutional as applied in a large fraction of cases. this fact is of no moment to this case. at 749-750." In his view. post. Unfortunately. the most difficult challenge to mount successfully. at 681-682.That statement was unsupported by citation or precedent. What Justice Stevens stated was a mere "rhetorical flourish" is the statement that "[a] facial challenge to a legislative act is. Supreme Court. 95 L Ed 2d 697. See 481 US. of course. since the challenger must establish that no set of circumstances exists under which the Act would be valid. stating that a facial challenge must fail unless there is "no set of circumstances" in which the statute could be validly applied. in any subsequent decisions of the U. Indeed. Thus... It was contended in that case that the denial of bail on the basis of the court's determination that the arrestee was likely to commit future crimes was a denial of due . Casey involved abortion for which a different test of overbreadth for determining the validity of a statute on its face was formulated. 107 S Ct 2095. Salerno could not really have been "replaced" by Casey because the two cases involved fundamentally different interests. and it fully supports the ruling in the case at bar that the vagueness and overbreadth doctrines justifying facial examination of statutes infringing interests of speech or freedom of religion or other fundamental rights do not apply to penal statutes like the Anti-Plunder Law. much less overruled. Casey[25]cralaw which held that a statute will be held facially invalid if "in a large fraction of cases in which [it] is relevant.S." Id. 107 S Ct 2095. Salerno is a non-First Amendment and a non-fundamental rights case. 95 L Ed 2d 697. Even if it was later "replaced" by the decision in Casey. what Justice Stevens referred to as a mere "rhetorical flourish" is not the statement in Salerno that "we have not recognized an 'overbreadth' doctrine outside the limited context of the First Amendment" on which this Court relied for its decision in this case. It involved a challenge to the Bail Reform Act of 1984 which permits a federal court to detain an arrestee without bail pending trial on the ground of the danger posed by the arrestee to the community. Ibid. the preceding sentence in the Salerno opinion went well beyond that principle.that [a legislative] Act might operate unconstitutionally under some conceivable set of circumstances is insufficient to render it wholly invalid. at 745. at 1178. It was also unnecessary to the holding in the case. That sentence opens Part II of the opinion with a rhetorical flourish." With this part of the Salerno ruling (or dictum as petitioner's counsel calls it) we are not concerned in this case. 134 L Ed 2d. because it is irrelevant. it will operate as a substantial obstacle to a woman's choice to undergo an abortion. the "no-set-of-circumstances" test embodied in this statement in the Salerno case has been "replaced" by the ruling in Planned Parenthood v.

It must be emphasized that the question in the case at bar is not whether the overbreadth test for facial invalidity in First Amendment and fundamental rights cases is the "substantial overbreadth" test in Broaderick or the test of "undue burden in a large fraction . The second case cited in the decision in this case. in other situations not before the Court. Casey involved abortion for which a different test of overbreadth for determining the validity of a statute on its face was formulated. among other things. As previously noted. The pertinent provision of the Pennsylvania statute was invalidated on the ground that it operated in "a large fraction of cases" as a "substantial obstacle" to a woman's fundamental right to have an abortion. required any married woman seeking an abortion to submit a statement that she has notified her husband of her decision to have an abortion. it has its detractors. Sullivan. in the vast literature on the subject. In point of fact. the ruling has been affirmed in at least two cases: Reno v. A new standard of review in cases involving abortion as a fundamental right was thus adopted. The American Court rejected the facial challenge to the law and it was in that context that it ruled that "[t]he fact that the Bail Reform Act might operate unconstitutionally under some conceivable set of circumstances is insufficient to render it wholly invalid. Surely. Oklahoma[28]cralaw which held: Embedded in the traditional rules governing constitutional adjudication is the principle that a person to whom a statute may constitutionally be applied will not be heard to challenge that statute on the ground that it may conceivably be applied unconstitutionally to others.[27]cralaw In contrast. since we have not recognized an 'overbreadth' doctrine outside the limited context of the First Amendment. Flores[26]cralaw and Rust v." Salerno has greater relevance to this case than Casey. Nor has Salerno been ignored or dismissed as petitioner claims. Petitioner says that the "substantial overbreadth" test laid down in this case has likewise been superseded by the Casey test insofar as Broaderick limited facial overbreadth challenges to First Amendment rights. is Broaderick v. the right to an abortion is considered in American jurisprudence as a "fundamental right" justifying a facial review of a statute. which petitioner's counsel claims has already been overruled. But so does it have its defenders. That case involved a Pennsylvania statute which.process.

the statute will not be declared void simply because its other provisions. either "substantial overbreadth" or "undue burden in a large fraction of cases" as the case may be is all that is required to justify a facial challenge to a statute. who also wrote the plurality opinion in Planned Parenthood v. applies to penal statutes. Broaderick categorically stated that it does not: "Claims of facial overbreadth have been entertained in cases involving statutes which.or perhaps merely recognized . Under the First Amendment overbreadth doctrine. in First Amendment or fundamental rights cases. For Broaderick and Casey really involved different facts. which call for the facial invalidation of a statute. thus: The basic Supreme Court doctrines concerning "facial" and "as-applied" challenges are set forth in the Salerno case and run essentially. or (2) the facial invalidation of the rule is warranted by the "overbreadth" doctrine.a bifurcated structure for evaluating facial attacks. On the first tier lie cases involving First Amendments rights. not applicable to the case. as follows: there are two types of constitutional challenges. The question in this case is whether the overbreadth and vagueness doctrines in First Amendment and fundamental rights cases.of cases" in Casey. if the provision under which an accused is being prosecuted is valid. seek to regulate only spoken words. On the other hand. as pointed out above. [31]cralaw A law review note restates the Salerno rule in somewhat the same way as follows: Salerno created . while facial challenges are unusual. are void for being vague or overbroad. The Salerno rule is summarized in a law review article. The continuing validity of Broaderick's "substantial overbreadth" doctrine was affirmed recently in National Endowment for the Arts v. Finley." Otherwise. facial challenges succeed upon proof that a questioned statute is capable of a . vagueness and overbreadth claims in non-First Amendment cases can succeed only if it is shown that "no set of circumstances exists under which the Act would be valid. Casey. in which the overbreadth standard controls facial attacks." [29]cralaw Overbreadth or vagueness m an ordinary criminal law can justify only the invalidation of the law "as applied" to the accused. [30]cralaw the opinion in which was written by Justice O'Connor. As-applied challenges are the standard kind of constitutional challenge. Thus. a special doctrine limited to the First Amendment. A facial challenge to a rule should succeed only if (1) there exists no set of circumstances under which the rule could be constitutionally applied. "as-applied" challenges and "facial" challenges. by their terms.

Invalidation of any of these subparagraphs will not affect the validity of the other provisions carrying out the legislative purpose to punish those guilty of amassing ill-gotten wealth in the total amount of at least P50 million." For another. (4)."substantial number" of unconstitutional applications.S.cannot affect the validity of the provisions under which petitioner is being prosecuted. the remaining provisions of this Act and the application of such provisions to other persons or circumstances shall be affected thereby. That these cases have not been later reiterated by the U. (5). On the second tier rest all other facial attacks. the Anti-Plunder Act provides in §7 that "if any provisions of [the] Act or the "application thereof to any person or circumstances is held invalid. But the provisions of the Anti-Plunder Law are severable and the invalidity of its other provisions - assuming this to be the case . [33]cralaw In the case of the Anti-Plunder Law. this circumstance would be sufficient to render the entire Anti-Plunder Law void. It is true that a person cannot be prosecuted except pursuant to a valid law. D. that presumption has not been disputed in the case of the Anti-Plunder Law. they have been replaced by newer rulings is of secondary interest so long as they have not been proven erroneous. In such event. [32]cralaw Finally. The test is whether the statute can exist independently of the invalid parts. while it is true that a separability clause in a statute creates only a presumption. as counsel for petitioner claims. . Supreme Court or that. there will be no law under which petitioner can be prosecuted. if subparagraphs (3). For one. and they are governed by the no-set-of-circumstances test. the "overt or criminal acts" enumerated in §1. and (6) of §1(d) are void because they are vague and/or overbroad.Provisions of the Anti-Plunder Law under which Petitioner is Being Prosecuted Not Affected by Other Parts Being Challenged It is nevertheless argued that. it should be stated here that the American precedents are being cited not because of their weight as precedents (for they are not binding on this Court) but because of the force of their reasoning and only because they are either cited to us in petitioner's pleadings or their discussion is impelled by arguments advanced by petitioner.subparagraphs (1) to (6) are actually independent means by which the crime of plunder may be committed.

when no interest of freedom of speech or religion or any other fundamental right is implicated by its enforcement. Application of the strict scrutiny standard to the Anti-Plunder Law would place on the government the. Any doubt as to its application must be resolved in favor of the accused and against the State. and the illegal or fraudulent disposition of government property. as a standard of review in free speech and fundamental rights cases. however. as applied to him. This is not the same. burden of demonstrating a compelling reason for its enactment. THEANTI-PLUNDER LAW IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL Petitioner argues that. A.[34]cralaw The consequence of applying strict scrutiny to criminal statutes and reversing the presumption of constitutionality. As in those pleadings. Petitioner is . The bulk of the Motion for Reconsideration is devoted to a discussion why the other subparagraphs. the law in question must be strictly construed in specific instances in which its provisions are applied. (4). the statute is vague and overbroad. As any criminal statute. and that it inflicts a cruel or unusual punishment. As Professor Gunther has pointed out. subparagraphs (3). and (6) of §1(d). subparagraphs (1) and (2). apply to the Anti-Plunder Law and call for a determination of the validity of all its provisions on their faces. strict scrutiny is "strict" in theory and "fatal" in fact. as applied to him.Allegations of Vagueness and Overbreadth Merely Repetitions of Arguments Already Passed Upon Petitioner repeats arguments already made in his Petitions and Memorandum that the provisions of the Anti-Plunder Law as applied to him are vague and overbroad.Nor does strict scrutiny. namely. AS APPLIED TO HIM. as saying that strict scrutiny should be applied in determining the validity of the law. very little is given in petitioner's Motion for Reconsideration to a discussion of the invalidity of §1(d). (5). [35]cralaw II. the implementation of a presidential decree to favor particular individuals. that it constitutes a denial of the equal protection of the laws.ON PETITIONER'S CLAIM THAT. is disastrous to our system of criminal law. when the presumption is that every statute is valid and the burden of showing its invalidity is on the accused. are void and why petitioner should be allowed to raise their alleged invalidity as a defense. monopolies and combinations. These subparagraphs of §1(d) deal with the establishment of. the acquisition of ownership of stocks in a business enterprise.

No. the Court did not rely simply on the allegations of the Amended Information against petitioner. It is not as if the Court plucked their meaning from thin air. The foregoing discussion should dispose of petitioner's allegation that the construction of the statute in this case amounts to judicial legislation by the Court. as no new arguments are presented in the Motion for Reconsideration. (4). As this is not a case which involves the exercise of freedom of speech or religion or any other fundamental right. (5).not being prosecuted for their violations but for violation of §1(d). My separate opinion in the main case did not refer to the Amended Information to derive the meaning of §1(d). No drastic surgery of the statute was needed to ascertain the meaning and purpose of Congress in enacting that law. No. Instead. the meaning of these provisions is explained by reference to the discussions in Congress on S. It only remains to say here That in concluding that these provisions are not vague. As we have ruled in another case." such that its meaning can be ascertained by reference to legislative and other sources. kickbacks. conversion. gift. [36]cralaw when a statute is not "perfectly vague. it will suffice to refer to the discussion in my separate opinion on why they are neither vague nor overbroad. in relation to §1(d). on plunder committed by receiving commission. percentage. it may be saved by proper construction.A. 733 and to the purpose of the law. subparagraphs (1) and (2) of R. While the main opinion and my separate opinion made references to the Amended Information. subparagraph (2). and (6) of §1(d) is clearly uncalled for. For no more than statutory interpretation is involved in understanding the Anti-Plunder Law. a consideration of the facial validity of subparagraphs (3). With respect to the validity of subparagraphs (1) and (2) of §1(d). The Amended Information was quoted only to show that the prosecution against petitioner in this case is for violation of §2. misuse. subparagraphs (1) and (2). or malversation of public funds or raids on the public treasury and for violation of §1(d). on plunder through misappropriation. B. because in reality their meaning is discoverable from a consideration of the legislative history of the law.Statute Neither Violates the Equal Protection Clause Nor Inflicts a Cruel or Unusual Punishment . subparagraph (1). share. particularly the abuses of presidential power which led to its enactment. or any other form of pecuniary benefit while the accused is in office. their main reliance was actually on the usual aids in statutory construction. 7080.

In that sense. to reflect Congress's concerns in dealing with serious offenses. 249 is reclusion temporal (12 years and 1 day to 20 years). 2 months. It is contended that the penalty for the predicate crimes of plunder. e. theft and graft but constitute the plunder of an entire nation resulting in material damage to the national economy. No. The predicate crimes become plunder. . When the two crimes are combined because they are committed on the same occasion. amasses wealth in the amount of at least P50 million. the penalty for simple rape under Art. The acts and/or omissions sought to be penalized do not involve simple cases of malversation of public funds. 266-B of the Revised Penal Code is reclusion perpetua. are light compared to the penalty (reclusion perpetua to death) imposed when these crimes are treated as a single complex crime of plunder under R.. Thus. But when the two crimes are combined into the special complex crime of robbery with homicide because the two crimes are committed on the same occasion. They amount to a systematic looting of public wealth. here and abroad. No. when considered separately. robbery with violence against or intimidation of persons under Art. With respect to the first point. For example. Again. Homicide under Art.g. As the explanatory note accompanying S.It is contended that the Anti-Plunder Law violates the due process and equal protection guarantees of the Constitution. while that. a term chosen from other equally apt terminologies like kleptocracy and economic treason. and which touch so many states and territorial units. and 1 day) to prision mayor in its medium period (6 years and 1 day td 8 years). The above- described crime does not yet exist in Philippine statute books. extortion. the Code provides the heavier penalty of reclusion perpetua to death for its commission. the predicate crimes take on a very different complexion. 7080.A. taking advantage of his office. for homicide under Art. the need to come up with a legislation as a safeguard against the possible recurrence of the depravities of the previous regime and as a deterrent to those . That is why this Court held that plunder is a malum in se because it is not only morally reprehensible but also stigmatizing in its effect. The "complexing" of crimes and the imposition of a heavier penalty for their violations are familiar techniques employed in the law. 733 stated: Plunder. bribery. that may involve so many persons. the Revised Penal Code. the two are treated as one special complex crime of rape with homicide and punished with a heavier penalty of reclusion perpetua to death. 5 of the Revised Penal Code is punished with prision correccional in its maximum period (4 years.with similar inclination to succumb to the corrupting influences of power. committed thru a series of acts done not in the public eye but in stealth and secrecy over a period of time. suffice it to say that when the predicate crimes are committed in combination or series by one who. it is argued. 249 of the same Code is punished with reclusion temporal (12 years and 1 day to 20 years). the Anti-Plunder Law not only denies the equal protection of the laws but also imposes a cruel and unusual punishment. par. 294. punishes the use of high office for personal enrichment.

are considered heinous offenses in R. or subjected to dehumanizing acts. no less heinous are the effects and repercussions of crimes like qualified bribery. and carnapping where the owner. and drug offenses involving government officials.[37]cralaw bribery. qualified bribery. driver or occupant of the carnapped vehicle is killed or raped. destructive arson. . As this Court said. [With the government] terribly lacking the money to provide even the most basic services to its people. Viewed in this context. greed and syndicated criminality that so deeply entrenched itself in the structures of society and the psyche of the populace. rape.[41]cralaw qualified bribery. 7659. as well as murder. however. other crimes. Qualified piracy. and drug offenses involving minors or resulting in the death of the victim in the case of. There are crimes. the Philippine Government must muster the political will to dismantle the culture of corruption.[39]cralaw and monopolies and combinations in restraint of trade. There are crimes that are.[43]cralaw for which the penalty is similar. . despicable. any form of misappropriation or misapplication of government funds translates to an actual threat to the very existence of government. along with plunder. destructive arson resulting in death. . If a comparison is needed. robbery with homicide. No. parricide.Petitioner cannot therefore compare the penalty for plunder (reclusion perpetua to death) with the penalties for special complex crimes such as malversation of public funds or property. infanticide.Seen in this light. and in turn. referring to heinous crimes in People v. or robbery with violence against or intimidation of persons. it should be to the penalties for. destructive arson resulting in death.[38]cralaw frauds and illegal exactions. qualified piracy. rape or intentional mutilation.A. in which the abomination lies in the significance and implications of the subject criminal acts in the scheme of the larger socio-political and economic context in which the state finds itself to be struggling to develop and provide for its poor and underprivileged masses. are clearly heinous by their very nature. the capital crimes of kidnapping and serious illegal detention for ransom resulting in the death of the victim or the victim is raped. employees or officers. . tortured. say. by their very nature.[42]cralaw or robbery with violence against or intimidation of persons. which are penalized by reclusion perpetua to death.[40]cralaw for which the penalties are merely correctional. the very survival of the people it governs over. Echagaray: [44]cralaw The evil of a crime may take various forms. Reeling from decades of corrupt tyrannical rule that bankrupted the government and impoverished the population. dishonesty. kidnapping and serious illegal detention. either because life was callously taken or the victim is treated like an animal and utterly dehumanized as to completely disrupt the normal course of his or her growth as a human being. where the victim is detained for more than three days or serious physical injuries were inflicted on the victim or threats to kill him were made or the victim is a minor.

and not he. It is not only the sovereign prerogative of the State to maintain order and to punish those who violate the criminal laws designed for this purpose. 7659. Even now. As we have held. for then any pronouncement we make on the matter will be merely advisory. It will enable an accused. is based on a legislative finding. using strict scrutiny[46]cralaw as the standard of review.that their perpetrators must not be allowed to cause further destruction and damage to society.[47]cralaw In the second place. The exercise of this power is likewise its duty to enable the people to enjoy their freedoms. therefore. who is otherwise guilty. the flaw in the argument becomes apparent.A. petitioner will in effect be allowed to assert the rights of third parties not before the Court. and this presumption cannot be overcome except by "some factual foundation of record" to the contrary. which is On trial. by allowing petitioner to question parts of the law even though he is not being prosecuted under them.ON THE ADVERSE CONSEQUENCES OF ADOPTING PETITIONER'S THEORY Adoption of petitioner's theory that the Anti-Plunder Law must be judged on its face. will severely impair the State's ability to deal with crime. has serious adverse consequences to our legal system."[48]cralaw . It is.Any adverse ruling on his constitutional challenge will foreclose the right of third parties to raise the same question. when no interests of speech or fundamental rights are involved. the statute is vague and/or overbroad. however solid the problem may be.It is beyond the power of courts in our constitutional system to render advisory opinions. which imposes the penalty of reclusion perpetua to death for plunder and other crimes considered heinous. Moreover. as applied to others. If it be argued that assertion of the invalidity of the other provisions of the Anti-Plunder Law is being made only for the purpose of showing that the law is invalid and petitioner cannot be prosecuted under an invalid law. petitioner is already claiming that it is the Anti-Plunder Law. In the first place. presumed valid. No. R. even though as to him it is not. a line-by-line strict scrutiny of the provisions of a criminal statute like the Anti-Plunder Law.[45]cralaw III. to escape condign and merited punishment simply by showing that. "courts do not sit to adjudicate mere academic questions to satisfy scholarly interest therein.It will enable the defense in a criminal case to turn the tables on the prosecution and put the latter on the defensive by imposing on it the burden of justification.

would soon be apparent if it were customary to bring statutes to court. The concepts of "standing" and "case and controversy" tend to ensure this. "Every tendency to deal with constitutional questions abstractly. and thus to see and portray it from a very different vantage point. as well as shifting the line of vision. the "standing" and "case" requirement creates a time lag between legislation and adjudication. while the feelings that produced them were at their highest pitch. by the "impact of actuality. Hence it cushions the clash between the Court and any given legislative majority and strengthens the Court's hand in gaining acceptance for its principles. to sterile conclusions unrelated to actualities.[50]cralaw FOR THE FOREGOING REASONS. in concrete cases that exemplify the actual consequences of legislative or executive actions. anything else enables the Court to appeal to the nation's second thought. "to formulate them in terms of barren legal questions. Thus is the Court enabled to prove its principles as it evolves them. . . and there are sound reasons. for believing that the hard. leads to dialectics." It may be added that the opportunity to relate a legislative policy to the flesh-and-blood facts of an actual case. Very truly yours.[49]cralaw No one has written more extensively on the need for an actual case or controversy as a desideratum of sound constitutional adjudication than Alexander M. and yet enlarging context of a real controversy leads to sounder and more enduring judgments. to observe and describe in being what the legislature mayor may not have foreseen as probable . the exercise of the power of judicial review is premised on the existence of an actual case or controversy. I VOTE TO DENY THE MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION FILED BY PETITIONER. . Bickel. Moreover. is that the judgment of courts can come later. grounded not only in theory but in the judicial experience of centuries. which is lacking in the legislature and which fits the courts for the function of evolving and applying constitutional principles. after the hopes and prophecies expressed in legislation have been tested in the actual workings of our society. here and elsewhere. the judgment of courts may be had. and while the policies they embodied had as yet suffered none of the dents necessarily made.With grace and power. as it were in the very flush of enactment. it may be ventured. The validity of this argument." Professor Felix Frankfurter wrote a generation ago. Professor Bickel wrote: One of the chief faculties of the judiciary." .In the third place.this opportunity as much as. confining. in another of Professor Frankfurter's phrases. or more than.


Jose 'Jinggoy' Estrada. No. relationship.a.000.2001 Lessons Applicable: · Consti – Overbreadth doctrine. 3 RPC FACTS: An information is filed against former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada a. No. void-for-vagueness doctrine · Crim Law 1. receiving. directly or indirectly. unlawfully and criminally amass. Ricaforte. subordinates and/or other persons. in consideration of toleration or protection of illegal gambling Diverting. And The Social Security System . kickback or any form of pecuniary benefit.a. authority.R. Eleuterio Tan or Eleuterio Ramos Tan or Mr. relatives by affinity or consanguinity. representing a portion of P200. Delia Rajas and John Does & Jane Does of the crime of Plunder under RA 7080 (An Act Defining and Penalizing the Crime of Plunder) June.k.000. and John Does and Jane Does. and other John Does & Jane Does For His Personal Gain And Benefit.804. Uy.878. Edward Serapio. or influence. Charlie 'Atong' Ang. business associates. accumulate and acquire by himself. Jane Doe a. Alma Alfaro.a. ill-gotten wealth of P4.k.A. Yolanda T. Eleuterio Ramos Tan or Mr. did then and there willfully. converting or misusing directly or indirectly. through any or a combination or a series of overt or criminal acts.17 thereby unjustly enriching himself or themselves at the expense and to the damage of the Filipino people and the Republic of the Philippines.mala in se · Crim pro – proof beyond reasonable doubt Laws Applicable: Art. Ricaforte. Alma Alfaro.000.000. or similar schemes or means Received P545. by himself and/or in connivance with co- accused Charlie 'Atong' Ang.00. 1998 to January 2001: Estrada himself and/or in connivance/conspiracy with his co- accused.000.00 in the form of gift.G.00) tobacco excise tax share allocated for the province of Ilocos Sur under R. 148560 November 19. by taking undue advantage of his official position. connection. More Or Less. Yolanda T.k.173. more or less.' together with Jose 'Jinggoy' Estrada. John Doe a.a. misappropriating. The Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) To Purchase 351.097.000. 'Asiong Salonga' and 'Jose Velarde. percentage. public funds of P130. Delia Rajas.a. share. Edward Serapio. Jane Doe a.000 Shares Of Stocks. who are members of his family.k. John Doe a. 7171.k. for his or their personal gain and benefit. by himself and/or in connection with co-accused Charlie 'Atong' Ang. Uy.

26558. 2001: Office of the Ombudsman filed before the Sandiganbayan 8 separate Informations. Crim. for Illegal Use Of An Alias (CA No.450. Case No. 26558 finding that a probable cause for the offense of plunder exists to justify the issuance of warrants for the arrest of the accused · June 14. par. reconsideration/reinvestigation of offenses and opportunity to prove lack of probable cause. respectively 3.173. commissions or percentages by reason of said purchases which became part of the deposit in the equitable-pci bank under the account name “Jose Velarde” by unjustly enriching himself from commissions. Case No.000 Shares Of Stock. Case No. 3. More Or Less. gifts. it dispenses with the "reasonable doubt" standard in criminal prosecutions 3. 142. Case No. shares.(SSS). 26558 on the ground that the facts alleged therein did NOT constitute an indictable offense since the law on which it was based was unconstitutional for vagueness and that the Amended Information for Plunder charged more than 1 offense – Denied · Estrada filed a petition for certiorari are: .50 and P744.855. par. or any form of pecuniary benefits. for violation of Sec.233. 26559 to 26562. Crim. 3.Denied · April 25. Crim. for violation of Secs. 329. directly or indirectly.00 respectively and by collecting or receiving.965. of RA 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act). of RA 6713 (The Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees) 4. 7. by himself and/or in connivance with John Does and Jane Does. 26565. 2001: Estrada moved to quash the Information in Crim. 26563. (e). (a). 2001: Sandiganbayan issued a Resolution in Crim.104. it abolishes the element of mens rea in crimes already punishable under The Revised Penal Code · April 4. as amended by RA 6085) · April 11. Cases Nos.17 and depositing the same under his account name “Jose Velarde” at the Equitable-Pci Bank Estrada questions the constitutionality of the Plunder Law since for him: 1. 26564.612. 2001: Estrada filed an Omnibus Motion on the grounds of lack of preliminary investigation. Crim. percentages. kickbacks. par. P3. Crim. (a). 183 of The Revised Penal Code) 5.607. (e) and 3. in connivance with John Does and Jane Does. Case No. par. for Perjury (Art. it suffers from the vice of vagueness 2. Of The Belle Corporation worth P1. inclusive. par. Case No.102. as amended by RA 7659 2. 3. (d). for violation of RA 7080. . docketed as: 1.

and if so. whether it is within the power of Congress to so classify it ISSUES: 1. YES · Miserably failed in the instant case to discharge his burden and overcome the presumption of constitutionality of the Plunder Law · Plunder Law contains ascertainable standards and well-defined parameters which would enable the accused to determine the nature of his violation. i. Plunder Law is constitutional. W/N the Plunder Law is constitutional (consti1) 2.a statute which either forbids or requires the doing of an act in terms so vague that men of common intelligence must necessarily guess at its meaning and differ as to its application. 1 (d) · Void-For-Vagueness Doctrine . W/N the Plunder Law is a malum prohibitum (crim law 1) HELD: Petition is dismissed.1. violates the first essential of due process of law o The test in determining whether a criminal statute is void for uncertainty is whether the language conveys a sufficiently definite warning as to the proscribed conduct when measured by common understanding and practice o can only be invoked against that specie of legislation that is utterly vague on its face. W/N the Plunder Law dispenses with the "reasonable doubt" standard in criminal prosecutions (crim pro) 3. · Combination. that which cannot be clarified either by a saving clause or by construction . Whether Plunder as defined in RA 7080 is a malum prohibitum.at least a combination or series of overt or criminal acts enumerated in subsections (1) to (6) of Sec. The Plunder Law is unconstitutional for being vague 2..must be two (2) or more overt or criminal acts falling under the same category of enumeration · pattern .e.at least two (2) acts falling under different categories of enumeration · series . 1. The Plunder Law requires less evidence for proving the predicate crimes of plunder and therefore violates the rights of the accused to due process 3.

000. · The overbreadth and vagueness doctrines then have special application only to free speech cases.o a statute or act may be said to be vague when it lacks comprehensible standards that men of common intelligence must necessarily guess at its meaning and differ in its application. it violates due process for failure to accord persons.00. if entertained at all. There is no need to prove each and every other act alleged in the Information to have been committed by the accused in furtherance of the overall unlawful scheme or conspiracy to amass. and. if facial challenge is allowed for this reason alone. especially the parties targeted by it. the law cannot take chances as in the area of free speech. it is said that a litigant may challenge a statute on its face only if it is vague in all its possible applications · Overbreadth Doctrine . · The use of the "reasonable doubt" standard is indispensable to command the respect and confidence of the community in the application of criminal law. accumulate or acquire ill-gotten wealth . fair notice of what conduct to avoid b. it leaves law enforcers unbridled discretion in carrying out its provisions and becomes an arbitrary flexing of the Government muscle o As for the vagueness doctrine. o has acquired such exalted stature in the realm of constitutional law as it gives life to the Due Process Clause which protects the accused against conviction except upon proof beyond reasonable doubt of every fact necessary to constitute the crime with which he is charged · What the prosecution needs to prove beyond reasonable doubt is only a number of acts sufficient to form a combination or series which would constitute a pattern and involving an amount of at least P50.000. the State may well be prevented from enacting laws against socially harmful conduct.a governmental purpose may NOT be achieved by means which sweep unnecessarily broadly and thereby invade the area of protected freedoms o overbreadth claims. · 2. · Criminal statutes have general in terrorem effect resulting from their very existence. have been curtailed when invoked against ordinary criminal laws that are sought to be applied to protected conduct · A facial challenge is allowed to be made to a vague statute and to one which is overbroad because of possible "chilling effect" upon protected speech. In the area of criminal law. NO. o the statute is repugnant to the Constitution in 2 respects: a.

000. accumulate or acquire ill gotten wealth. especially since in the case of plunder the predicate crimes are mainly mala in se ." 3. NO · plunder is a malum in se which requires proof of criminal intent (mens rea) o Any person who participated with the said public officer in the commission of an offense contributing to the crime of plunder shall likewise be punished for such offense. the degree of participation and the attendance of mitigating and extenuating circumstances.A. than "a scheme or conspiracy to amass. No.00 or more.000. they are mala in se and it does not matter that such acts are punished in a special law. o In the imposition of penalties. For when the acts punished are inherently immoral or inherently wrong. 7659 that plunder is a heinous offense implies that it is a malum in se.o Pattern is merely a by-product of the proof of the predicate acts. § indicates quite clearly that mens rea is an element of plunder since the degree of responsibility of the offender is determined by his criminal intent o The legislative declaration in R. shall be considered by the court. There would be no other explanation for a combination or series of overt or criminal acts to stash P50. as provided by the Revised Penal Code. This conclusion is consistent with reason and common sense.

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