You are on page 1of 5

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II NOTES & DOCTRINES 1

SAN BEDA COLLEGE OF LAW - MANILA
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II NOTES & DOCTRINES

ARTICLE III Bill of Rights authority to suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas
SECTION 15 corpus, jeopardizing as the latter does individual liberty; and
SUSPENSION OF THE PRIVILEGE OF
(b) the privilege had been suspended by the American
THE WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS Governor-General, whose act, as representative of
the Sovereign, affecting the freedom of its subjects, can
LANSANG vs. GARCIA hardly be equated with that of the President of the
Pertinent Constitutional Provisions in the case Philippines dealing with the freedom of the Filipino
paragraph (14) of section 1, Article III of our Constitution, reading: people, in whom sovereignty resides, and from whom all
government authority emanates.
The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended
except in cases of invasion, insurrection, or rebellion, when the public The ruling of MONTENEGRO vs. CASTANEDA
safety requires it, in any way of which events the same may be The pertinent ruling in the Montenegro case was based mainly upon
suspended wherever during such period the necessity for such the Barcelon case, and hence, cannot have more weight than the same.
suspension shall exist.
Issue in both Barcelon and Montenegro Cases
and paragraph (2), section 10, Article VII of the same instrument, Barcelon Case: it did determine whether or not the Chief Executive
which provides that: had acted in accordance with law.

The President shall be commander-in-chief of all armed forces of the Montenegro Case: the Court held that petitioner therein had "failed to
Philippines, and whenever it becomes necessary, he may call out such overcome the presumption of correctness which the judiciary accords
armed forces to prevent or suppress lawless violence, invasion, to acts of the Executive ...." In short, the Court considered the question
insurrection, or rebellion. In case of invasion, insurrection, or whether or not there really was are rebellion, as stated in the
rebellion, or imminent danger thereof when the public safety requires proclamation therein contested.
it, he may suspend the privileges of the writ of habeas corpus, or place
the Philippines or any part thereof under martial law. Court’s power to review from American Jurisprudence
One of the important, if not dominant, factors, in connection therewith,
The merit of the claim regarding actual insurrection or rebellion was intimated in Sterling v. Constantin, in which the Supreme Court
has been rendered moot and academic of the United States, speaking through Chief Justice Hughes, declared
In other words, apart from adverting to the existence of that:

JAMES BRYAN SUAREZ DEANG © 2017 (09265563619/jbsdeang.jbd@gmail.com)
actual conspiracy and of the intent to rise in arms to overthrow the
government, Proclamation No. 889-A asserts that the lawless elements .... When there is a substantial showing that the exertion of state
"are actually engaged in an armed insurrection and rebellion" to power has overridden private rights secured by that Constitution, the
accomplish their purpose. subject is necessarily one for judicial inquiry in an appropriate
proceeding directed against the individuals charged with the
Two conditions that must concur to exercise the authority to transgression. To such a case the Federal judicial power extends
suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus (Art. 3, sec. 2) and, so extending, the court has all the authority
two (2) conditions must concur for the valid exercise of the authority appropriate to its exercise. ....
to suspend the privilege to the writ, to wit:
The Court has the power to review factual bases
(a) there must be "invasion, insurrection, or rebellion" or — In our resolution of October 5, 1971, We stated that "a majority of
pursuant to paragraph (2), section 10 of Art. VII of the the Court" had "tentatively arrived at a consensus that it may inquire in
Constitution — "imminent danger thereof," and order to satisfy itself of the existence of the factual bases for the
issuance of Presidential Proclamations Nos. 889 and 889-A ... and
(b) "public safety" must require the suspension of the privilege. thus determine the constitutional sufficiency of such bases in the light
of the requirements of Article III, sec. 1, par. 14, and Article VII, sec.
The Presidential Proclamation under consideration declares that there 10, par 2, of the Philippine Constitution...."
has been and there is actually a state of rebellion and
that "public safety requires that immediate and effective action be Upon further deliberation, the members of the Court are
taken in order to maintain peace and order, secure the safety of the now unanimous in the conviction that it has the authority to inquire
people and preserve the authority of the State." into the existence of said factual bases in order to determine the
constitutional sufficiency thereof.
The weight of BARCELON vs. BAKER as a precedent
The weight of Barcelon v. Baker, as a precedent, is diluted by two (2) The grant of power to suspend the privilege is neither absolute nor
factors, namely: unqualified
(a) it relied heavily upon Martin v. Mott involving the U.S. Indeed, the grant of power to suspend the privilege is neither absolute
President's power to call out the militia, which — he being nor unqualified. The authority conferred by the Constitution, both
the commander-in-chief of all the armed forces — may be under the Bill of Rights and under the Executive Department, is limited
exercised to suppress or prevent any lawless violence, even and conditional.
without invasion, insurrection or rebellion, or imminent
danger thereof, and is, accordingly, much broader than his

These factors and the aforementioned setting or conditions mark. of course. thereby committing the crime of rebellion — under our constitutional system. arbitrary. Two facts that may be likened to declaration of war JAMES BRYAN SUAREZ DEANG © 2017 (09265563619/jbsdeang. Of the two (2)other suspension shall exist. "relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion. also. under  no quantitative examination of the supporting evidence is Art VII of the Constitution. seems to demand that the test of the there emerges a circumstance that may warrant a limited withdrawal validity of acts of Congress and of those of the Executive be. as well as Principle of Separation of Power and Checks and Balances an exception thereto. and said suspension shall exist. by suspending the mutandis. Philippines 2. namely: Revised Penal Code defining the crime of rebellion:  which may be limited in its scope to "any part" of the 1. merely adhere to Lenin's idea of a swift armed uprising. mutatis of the aforementioned guarantee or protection. fundamentally the same. and 3. have applied the "substantial evidence" rule. it does not appear that the President has acted The magnitude of the rebellion has a bearing on the second condition arbitrary in issuing Proclamation No. 889." alternatives. the suspension of the privilege is the least harsh. Under the principle of separation of powers and the system of checks and balances. at a given time and in a particular place. as amended. in any of which events the same may be  The administrative findings can be interfered with only if suspended wherever during such period the necessity for such there is no evidence whatsoever in support thereof." finding is. in both jurisdictions. already. establish and define the extent. called out the armed forces. three (3) courses of Communist rebellion or insurrection need be a Civil War action open to him. adopted Ho Chi Minh's terrorist tactics and resorted to the belief. however. as regards stress its importance. Article III of the Constitution. as regards the time when and the place where it may be exercised. that the suspension be required by public safety. when individual freedom is used to destroy that social order. Hence. Magnitude of Rebellion In view of the foregoing. Accordingly. it postulates the former in the negative. In case of invasion. Indeed. which measure. but arbitrariness." even if other minds equally reasonable When privilege of the writ of habeas corpus may be suspended might conceivably opine otherwise. the judicial authority to review decisions of What is more. of (b) there is a New People's Army. "wherever" — in case of rebellion — "the necessity for such proved inadequate to attain the desired result. especially considering that its establishment three courses of action of the President was announced publicly by the reorganized CPP. by means of force and violence. to place the Philippines or any part thereof under martial law. and 3. and ultimate objective. This view has been adopted by some American courts. although they may disagree on the means to be used assassination of uncooperative local official. Such New people themselves People's Army is per se proof of the existence of a rebellion. of habeas corpus shall not be suspended . beyond which it does not exist. ." Under the English law. and act in accordance with such 2. adopted Mao's concept of protracted people's war. to overthrow the same. evidently to administrative bodies or agencies is much more limited. the co-equality of coordinate branches of the Government. confined and restricted. whether they belong to the traditional Ideology of the Communist Party of the Philippines group or to the Maoist faction. under the Constitution. other. been adhered to in a number of Philippine cases. when public safety requires it.. the authority to suspend the privilege of the writ is thus circumscribed. not only by Substantial Evidence Rule the prescribed setting or the conditions essential to its existence. privilege "in cases of invasion. capricious and obviously unauthorized. that the arm the political. Other cases. economic and intellectual leadership. also. in defiance of the Rule of Law No cogent reason has been submitted to warrant the rejection of such — such as by rising publicly and taking arms against the government test. by providing that "(t)he privilege of the writ findings of fact made in said decisions..com) (a) all Communists. public safety requires it. For from being full and plenary.. "imminent danger thereof" — "when the undertaken. to suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus. but. the confines and the limits of said which has been construed to mean "more than a mere scintilla" or power. the reviewing court determines Exception to the general rule  only whether there is some evidentiary basis for the It is only by way of exception that it permits the suspension of the contested administrative findings. insurrection or rebellion or imminent danger thereof.jbd@gmail. aimed at the paralyzation of the will to resist of the government. counsel for petitioner privilege of the writ of habeas corpus. to call out the armed forces. Rogelio Arienda admits that the proper standard is not correctness. believe that force and 1. likewise. insurrection.  authorizing the suspension of the privilege of the writ He had. CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II NOTES & DOCTRINES 2 The precept in the Bill of Rights establishes a general rule. violence are indispensable to the attainment of their main that it has. paragraph (14) of section 1. the President has. It has. same is unconstitutional. accordingly. and of the forces of the Republic and antagonistic thereto. or rebellion" — or. nor that the essential to the validity of the suspension of the privilege — namely.

If it appears the very basic purpose of the suspension. more beneficial to the detainees than that favored by Mr. What is more. We should encourage the earliest. even before the completion of said preliminary release or discharge from custody. order. When writ not allowed or discharged authorized. or make the charged and that hey should not be released." which any person is deprived of his liberty. Viewpoint of the Court Despite the humanitarian and libertarian spirit with which this view Ultimate purpose of the writ of habeas corpus had been espoused. the court steps in and the executive except as otherwise expressly provided by law. as amended. if and when Section 1. as were the other person suffering imprisonment under lawful judgment. this interpretation — of the act The term court includes quasi-judicial bodies like the Deportation of the President in having said formal charges filed — is. that if it appears that the detained person is in custody under a warrant of commitment in pursuance of law. the person shall not be discharged by reason of any corresponding preliminary examination and/or investigation informality or defect in the process.. and that the court or judge had there are sufficient evidence to convict the petitioners so jurisdiction to issue the process. Rule 102 of the Rules of Court..jbd@gmail. Rule effective protection. Justice Fernando. the Executive charged with or convicted of an offense in the Philippines. be no longer illegal at the time of the filing of the application. provides cases. Otherwise. We Board of the Bureau of Immigration. without giving the proper court opportunity and time to decide the question of probable cause. CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II NOTES & DOCTRINES 3 When detention ceases to become executive JACKSON vs. but if he is restrained of his liberty by any alleged private authority. (a) If the proclamation suspending the privilege of the writ Writ of habeas corpus is a Writ of inquiry of habeas corpus is valid — and We so hold it to be — and It is essentially a writ of inquiry and is granted to test the right under the detainee is covered by the proclamation. his release When the writ is not allowed or discharged authorized may not be ordered by Us. the return shall be To require their peremptory release upon the mere filing of charges considered prima facie evidence of the cause of restraint: against them. supervening events may bar his bail. provides that formal complaint is presented. consequently. If it appears suspension of the privilege. The detention ceases to be an executive and becomes a corpus shall extend to all cases of illegal confinement or detention by judicial concern . petitioners herein. the filing of a which he is detained. and. MACALINO Mr. at the as it may be possible. Nor shall — shall find that the prosecution has not established the anything in this rule be held to authorize the discharge of a person existence of a probable cause. believe. .. unless and until said court — after conducting the the writ is allowed. and the party claiming the custody must prove such facts. Section 4. Rule 102 of the said Rules provides when the writ of habeas corpus is not allowed or discharged authorized: (b) Inasmuch as the filing of a formal complaint or information does not detract from the validity and efficacy of the Sec. the other Members of the Court are unable to The ultimate purpose of the writ of habeas corpus is to relieve a accept it because: person from unlawful restraint. examination and/or investigation — would tend to induce the Executive to refrain from filing formal charges as long What is to be inquired into is the legality of his detention as of. that the prisoner is in custody under a warrant of commitment in pursuance of law. the privilege of the writ was suspended precisely to authorize the detention of persons believed to be plotting against When plea is considered prima facie evidence the security of the State until the courts can act on their respective Section 13 of Rule 102 of the Rules of Court. render the judgment. judgment. 102. so that courts of justice could even if the detention is at its inception illegal. in Nava v. the writ shall not be allowed. Any such supervening events are the issuance of a judicial process Purpose of suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus preventing the discharge of the detained person. without Even if the arrest of a person is illegal. 4. Justice Fernando is of the opinion — in line with the view of Mr. the writ of habeas steps out. the return shall be considered prima facie evidence of the cause of restraint. to the effect that ". for early filing of said charges. Gatmaitan. the filing of the application for a writ of habeas corpus. Manifestly. by reason of same assume jurisdiction over the detainees and extend to them supervening events such as the instances mentioned in Section 4. 13. complaint or information against him does not affect the suspension of said privilege.com) (c) From a long-range viewpoint. or if the jurisdiction appears after therefore. Court includes quasi-judicial bodies JAMES BRYAN SUAREZ DEANG © 2017 (09265563619/jbsdeang. or of a would have released said accused. would obviously be to defeat Sec.. it would be more reasonable to that the person alleged to be restrained of his liberty is in the custody construe the filing of said formal charges with the court of of an officer under process issued by a court or judge or by virtue of a first instance as an expression of the President's belief that judgment or order of a court of record. Writ of habeas corpus extends to all cases of illegal detention Justice Tuason. His view — particularly the theory Supervening events may bar release or discharge that the detainees should be released immediately. When the return evidence. the return shall be considered only as a plea of the facts therein set forth. as amended. or order. and when only a plea. or by which the rightful custody of any person is withheld from the person entitled thereto. it may.

Commander-in-Chief of the Nation's armed forces. To be effective.00) cash invading force is captured and detained. eighteen thousand six hundred fifty pesos (P18. 2045 which continues in force the suspension of the Cannot claim right to bail and be charged during the period privilege of the writ of habeas corpus. constitutionally upon 26. on constitutional ground.650. . or beat off an "When it comes to a decision by the head of the State upon a matter invasion. periodicals. attendant in the herein case do not warrant their release on a writ of habeas corpus. a matter. or any other milder acts but equally in Specific mention of rebellion and insurrection pursuance of the rebellious movement. shows that the terms survival of society and its government and duly constituted authorities. and the need The fundamental issue here. not in the concept of a statutory offense. the the greater interest of public safety and national security. is the necessity of its adoption as a measure to suppress or quell the rebellion. the absence of a judicial warrant is no legal impediment as a basic military concept in the art of warfare. lesser violations against liberty. "rebellion and insurrection" are used therein in the sense of a state If killing and other acts of violence against the rebels find justification or condition of the Nation. suspension of the privilege of habeas corpus. therefore. may not be insisted upon as reviewable by the courts. it is obvious that persons engaged in rebellion or detention in view of the suspension of the privilege of the writ. as sizeable quantity of printing paraphernalia. and that the circumstances in the light of the bill of rights guarantee to individual freedom. insurrection may not claim the right to be released on bail when similarly captured or arrested during the continuance of the aforesaid contingency. the purpose be of suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus other than to restrict. To hold killing. assorted medicine packed and ready for distribution. pamphlets.38 cal. most assuredly so in case of invasion. correspondence. the existence of probable cause before the issuance of a judicial which should be left for the sole determination of the President as warrant of arrest and the granting of bail if the offense is bailable. CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II NOTES & DOCTRINES 4 IN RE: THE ISSUANCE OF THE WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS The grant of the power to suspend the said privilege provides the basis FOR DR. For what indeed could detention. JAMES BRYAN SUAREZ DEANG © 2017 (09265563619/jbsdeang. likewise. PONCE ENRILE for continuing with perfect legality the detention as long as the Arrest is legal in the case at bar invasion or rebellion has not been repelled or quelled. neither in the manner of their not subject to judicial inquiry. revolver which contingency does not present a legal question on whether there with eight (8) live bullets. if captured enemies from the invading force may not be charged initially without any warrant. at least while the exigencies of invasion. corpus. such as arrest and occasions expressly mentioned in the charter. liberty power to suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus on the and property. will not be the subject of judicial inquiry. What. the right to personal liberty. believed to be CPP/NPA funds. is that the exercise thereof is of their constitutional right to liberty." along including a plan on how they would infiltrate the youth and student which "rebellion" or "insurrection" is mentioned by the Constitution. detention of a person for any of the offenses covered by Proclamation No. is whether or not petitioners' detention is legal. should determine the legality of imposing what is merely seizing their persons and detaining them while any of these commonly referred to as "preventive detention" resulting from the contingencies continues cannot be less justified.com) to arresting or capturing persons committing overt acts of violence against government forces. This should be clear beyond doubt in the case of "invasion. conference table numerous subversive documents. 1982. in The function of the PCO is to validate. books. vs. need not follow the usual procedure in the the President. This must be so because the suspension of the privilege is a military measure the necessity of which the President alone may determine as Detainees were caught in flagrante delicto an incident of his grave responsibility as the Commander-in-Chief of Caught in flagrante delicto. AURORA PARONG ET AL. of protecting not only public safety but the very life scampered towards different directions leaving in top of their of the State. the ordinary rights of individuals must yield to what he deems the necessities of the moment. the occasion for its application on specific Arrest here need not follow usual procedure individuals should be left to the exclusive and sound judgment of The arrest. its legal effect is to render the writ with any statutory offense that would provide the occasion to demand unavailing as a means of judicially inquiring into the legality of the the right to bail. The need for a unified command in such contingencies is imperative-even axiomatic- Obviously. The suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is one such measure. and the public safety requires it." 3 What should survival quite clearly transcends in importance and urgency the claim be underscored is that if the greater violation against life itself such as of those detained to the right to bail to obtain their freedom. as it cannot be raised otherwise would defeat the purpose of the constitutional grant of the as transgressing against the due process clause that protects life. if the arrest has been made Now. nor by their continued detention. and other papers. with a view to determining its legality arrest. nineteen (19) rounds of ammunition for M16 is a violation of the right to personal liberty when any member of the armalite. the government and duly constituted authorities. We have carefully gone over the claims of the parties in their respective Suspension of the privilege is a military measure pleadings as well as in the oral argument during the hearing on August The significance of the conferment of this power. involving its life. and We find that petitioners have not been illegally deprived the President as Commander-in-Chief. Also found were one (1) . dictated as it is. Public danger warrants the The necessity for such measure as a means of defense for national substitution of executive process for judicial process. therefore. at least for the duration of the emergency of Function of the Presidential Commitment Order invasion or rebellion. as in all petitioner for the writ of habeas therefor in the interest of public safety continues.jbd@gmail. The arrest or capture is thus The specific mention in the Constitution of rebellion and insurrection impelled by the exigencies of the situation that involves the very along with invasion and imminent danger thereof. in the exigencies of armed hostilities which is of the essence of waging a rebellion or insurrection. stationaries. sector (code-named YORK). which The Suspension is one such measure that in order to be effective were then seized. rebellion or prosecution of offenses which requires the determination by a judge of insurrection persist. the nine (9) detainees mentioned the Armed Forces.

which. For the Court to insist on reviewing Presidential action on the ground If such a procedure were allowed. while imminent danger thereof. by all means to be avoided. This would seem to be pure semanticism. carry with it the suspension of the right to bail. VII of the The suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus must. in much the same to grant the demand for respect of rights supposedly guaranteed by the way as individual freedom yields to the exercise of the police power of Constitution by those who themselves seek to destroy that very same the State in the interest of general welfare. writers or publicists. arbitrariness. the Constitution. captured and detained in the course includes the courts. on the ground that there is absolutely no evidence to hold him for trial. they would. and the test as laid emergency. the law and in time of war. rejoin answerable only to his conscience. were they being charged with an proof upon which to show the President having acted with ordinary or common offense. giving him their own loyalty with utmost insurrection. favor of adhering to the more desirable and long-tested doctrine of would be most inclined. the people government efforts to bring to an end the invasion. the President takes absolute command. the people and to God. seem to be ignoring realities in the name of Power and the Right to Liberty misplaced magnanimity and compassion. therefore. incidentally. Constitution partakes of military measures. which is simply inconceivable. not being a trier of facts. for if the State perishes. in giving him the supreme mandate as their President. The petition now before Us is exactly one of this kind. becomes self-evident that the duty of the judiciary to of the case against him. specially when they are out on bail. For their their comrades in the field thereby jeopardizing the success of part." This clearly means denial of the right to be released on down therein is not whether the President acted correctly but whether bail on being charged in court with bailable offenses. if We consider that with particular reference to the nature of the actions the Suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus must carry President would take on the occasion of the grave emergency he has to the suspension of the right to bail deal with. In so doing. when public safety requires it. trampling over it already as they are still waging war against the government.jbd@gmail. our Constitution is for both peacetime When a person is charged in court for an ordinary offense. the President will not fail them. Unexhilaratingly. On these occasions. rebellion or can only trust and pray that. if the becoming modesty. is hard to prove. ill afford to assume the authority to check or government's campaign to suppress the rebellion is to be enhanced and reverse or supplant the presidential actions. while so easy to allege. as they may rightfully do so. the judiciary can. sounds good in theory but impractical and unrealistic. therefore. . Moreover. but in time of war or grave peril to the nation. rebellion. he acted arbitrarily. without the least doubt. protect individual rights must yield to the power of the Executive to protect the State. is not the proper forum for the review sought. the finding of the President on the existence of the emergency that gives occasion for the exercise of the power to suspend the privilege The matter is to be decided on the basis of the evidence. on the claim considering how well-nigh impossible it is for the courts to contradict of arbitrariness. where it . and those arrested. the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus "has the sole effect of allowing the executive to defer Judicial interference the trials of persons charged with certain offenses during the period of Judicial interference was thus held as permissible. individual freedom is obviously for full enjoyment in time of peace. "political question" in reference to the power of judicial review. of the rebellion.com) In ordinary offense restricted. with Adequate safeguards against arbitrariness the Bill of Rights that guarantees the right to personal liberty. and for the sake of humanity. if not all. for the Reason: If the right to bail may be demanded during the continuance very life of the Nation and its government. as clearly indicated in Section 9. for complete effectiveness for the of habeas corpus in case of invasion. as a ground for judicial inquiry of presidential acts and The finding of such probable cause may not be immediately brought decisions. for review by this Court in a habeas corpus proceeding. which. in effect. in the face of the formidable obstacle built up by the presumption of regularity in the performance of official duty. this is the revealing experience of this Court in the Lansang case. patriotism. Art. If granted. and this Court of the writ. it is not that in time of war the Constitution is does not authorize the filing of a petition for habeas corpus based silenced. Arbitrariness Probable cause in habeas corpus proceeding Arbitrariness. insurrection. CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II NOTES & DOCTRINES 5 They may not even claim the right to be charged immediately in doubtlessly realized how hardly possible it is to adduce evidence or court. This stark actuality gives added force and The difference again is that the power comes into being during extreme substance to the rationale of the suspension of the privilege of the writ emergencies the exercise of which. which. in habeas corpus based on arbitrariness. perishes such as the requirement of determining the existence of a probable with it. the President is thereof will be released. is in grave peril. constitutes an allegation of arbitrariness in the filing It. should be limited or JAMES BRYAN SUAREZ DEANG © 2017 (09265563619/jbsdeang. instrument. which most accuse. rendered effective. cause by the judge before the issuance of the warrant of arrest. This is so because according to legal arbitrariness. In a true sense then. it would be easy to delay and of arbitrariness may only result in a violent collision of two jealous obstruct the prosecution of an offense by a resort to a petition for powers with tragic consequences. It would. with indeed. For the power is intended as a limitation of the right. or purpose it was granted should not permit intereference. the effect is to transfer the jurisdiction of the trial courts in criminal cases to this Court.