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PROHIBITION AGAINST IMPRISONMENT FOR DEBT

►LOZANO V. MARTINEZ (146 SCRA323)


FACTS: Petitioners challenged the constitutionality of BP 22 on the ground that it violates the constitutional
prohibition against imprisonment for a debt, since it is nothing more than a device to coerce payment of a debt
under the threat of penal sanctions.
ISSUE: WON the law is unconstitutional.
HELD: The law is constitutional. What it punishes is the issuance of a worthless check and not the non-payment
of an obligation. Because of its deleterious effects on the public interest, the issuance of worthless checks is
proscribed by the law. The State can do this in the exercise of its police power. Checks have become widely
accepted as a medium of payment in trade and commerce. The basis of this is confidence. If such confidence is
shaken, the usefulness of checks as substitutes for currency will be greatly diminished.
►VALLARTA V. CA (150 SCRA 336)
FACTS: To pay for some pieces of jewelry she was buying, petitioner issued a post-dated check. The check was
dishonored for lack of funds. She failed to deposit the necessary funds to cover it within three days from the time
she was given notice of its dishonor. Petitioner was charged with estafa. Petitioner argued that the law violated
the constitutional provision against imprisonment for non-payment of debt.
WON: WON the law violated such constitutional prohibition.
HELD: The law does not violate the prohibition against imprisonment for non-payment of debt. It is the fraud in
the issuance of the check and not the non-payment of debt which is punished.
►LEE V. RODIL (175 SCRA 100)
FACTS: Petitioner was charged with estafa for violation of PD # 115, the Trust Receipt Law. Petitioner argued
that PD # 115 is unconstitutional, because it violated the constitutional prohibition against imprisonment for
non-payment of debt.
ISSUE: WON PD # 115 is constitutional.
HELD: PD # 115 is constitutional. A trust receipt is a security for a loan. The loan is thus separate and distinct
from the trust receipt. Hence, the violation of a trust receipt may be punished as estafa. The fact that the lender
does not become the owner of the goods does not make the law unconstitutional. In estafa, the person prejudiced
through the misappropriation need not be the owner. The failure of a person to turn over the proceeds of the sale
of goods covered by a trust receipt or to return the goods is an act which may be punished in the exercise of
police power.
►VERGARA V. GEDORIO (402 SCRA 520)
FACTS: Respondent, the special administrator of an estate, included the parcel of land petitioners were leasing in
the inventory of the properties of the estate. Later on, upon motion of respondent, the probate court ordered the
petitioners to pay the rentals to respondent. As they failed to do so, the probate court cited petitioners for
contempt and ordered their imprisonment until they comply with the court order.
ISSUE: WON rentals are covered by the constitutional guarantee against imprisonment for non-payment of debt.
HELD: Section 20, Art. III of the Constitution expressly provides that no person shall be imprisoned for debt. Debt,
as used in the Constitution, refers to a civil debt or not arising from a criminal offense. Clearly, the payment of
rentals is covered by the constitutional guarantee against imprisonment.

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RIGHTS DURING INVESTIGATION
►PEOPLE V. TAMPOS (96 SCRA 624)
FACTS: After killing the deceased, the accused, a prisoner in the national penitentiary surrendered to the first
guard he encountered and told him that he had committed an act of revenge. The accused argued that his
admission is not admissible in evidence, as he was not assisted by counsel.
ISSUE: WON the right to counsel in the case at bar.
HELD: The spontaneous statement was made without any interrogation and was part of the res gestae. The
right to counsel during the custodial investigation is not applicable.
►PEOPLE V. AYSON (175 SCRA 216)
FACTS: Respondent, the ticket freight clerk of the Philippine Airlines was investigated by the management for
irregularities in the sale of tickets. He admitted that he had misappropriated the proceeds form the sale of
tickets. He wrote a note offering to settle his liability. Later on, respondent was charged with estafa. The
prosecution offered in evidence his admission and the handwritten note. The trial court ruled that they were
inadmissible in evidence, because respondent was not assisted by counsel.
ISSUE: WON the evidence is inadmissible.
HELD: It is admissible. Petitioner was not under custodial interrogation during his investigation. Hence, the
constitutional rights of a person under custodial interrogation were of no relevance to the inquiry.
►KIMPO V. SANDIGANBAYAN (232 SCRA 53)
FACTS: Petitioner, a collecting officer of the Bureau of Domestic Trade, was convicted of malversation. He argued
that the Report of Examination, the Statement of Accountability for Accountable forms without Money Value and
the Reconciliation Statement of Accountability he prepared during the audit should not have been admitted in
evidence because their admission in evidence violated his rights during custodial investigation and his right
against self-incrimination.
ISSUE: WON petitioner’s contention is tenable.
HELD: The contention is untenable. The documents in question were official forms prepared in the normal course
of audit regularly conducted by the Commission on Audit. Since petitioner was not under investigation for the
commission of a crime, he cannot be said to have been deprived of his constitutional rights.
►OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR V. SUMILANG (271 SCRA 316)
FACTS: An audit conducted of the official cashbook of the of the Municipal Trial Court of Pila, Laguna disclosed
several anomalies. One of them involved a check entrusted to respondent, who was then officer-in-charge, by a
litigant in connection with a civil case. Respondent executed an affidavit before the Office of the Court
Administrator in which she admitted that she misappropriated the money. When respondent was charged
administratively, she argued that her affidavit was inadmissible in evidence.
ISSUE: WON her affidavit is admissible in evidence.
HELD: Yes, it is admissible. Section 12 (1), Art. III of the Constitution may be invoked only during custodial
investigation. This means questioning initiated by law enforcement officers after a person has been taken into
custody or deprived of his freedom of action in any significant way. The Office of the Court Administrator is not
the law enforcement authority contemplated in the constitutional provision.
►GAMBOA V. CRUZ (162 SCRA 642)
FACTS: Petitioner was arrested for vagrancy. The next day, a witness identified him in a line-up as one of those
involved in a robbery. Petitioner was charged with robbery. He questioned his identification during the line-up on
the ground that he was not afforded the right to counsel.
ISSUE: WON petitioner is entitled such right.

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HELD: Petitioner was not entitled to counsel during the identification. While the right to counsel attaches upon
the start of an investigation, the police line-up was not part of the custodial inquest. Petitioner was not yet being
asked to answer for a criminal offense.
►PEOPLE V. GALLARDE
FACTS: The accused was arrested for rape with homicide shortly after the body of the victim was found. He was
photographed. The trial court rejected the photographs as evidence as he was not assisted by counsel.
ISSUE: WON the taking of picture is a violation of his (accused) constitutional rights.
HELD: The taking of pictures of an accused even without the assistance of counsel, being purely mechanical act,
is not a violation of his constitutional right against self-incrimination. Hence, the assistance of counsel is not
required.
►PEOPLE V. RONDERO (320 SCRA 383)
FACTS: The accused was arrested for the rape and the slaying of a child. Hair strands were found on the right
hand of the victim. Without the assistance of counsel, the accused waived his constitutional rights during
custodial investigation. Sample hair strands were taken from the accused. The forensic examination showed that
the hair strands found on the right hand of the victim had similar characteristics to those of the accused. The
accused was charged with rape with homicide and convicted. The accused argued that the result of the forensic
examination is not admissible in evidence, since he was not assisted by counsel when he signed the waiver of his
constitutional rights.
ISSUE: WON hair samples may be admitted as evidence.
HELD: The hair samples may be admitted in evidence against the accused, for what is proscribed is the use of
testimonial compulsion or any evidence communicative in nature acquired from the accused under duress.
►PEOPLE V. GO (237 SCRA 73)
FACTS: Armed with search warrant, police authorities seized methamphetamine hydrochloride, the marked
money used to entrap the accused, and paraphernalia for packing and using methamphetamine hydrochloride
from the house of the accused. The accused was arrested. Upon the request of the police authorities, he signed a
certification stating that nothing was seized during the search except the methamphetamine hydrochloride, the
marked money, and the paraphernalia for packing and using methamphetamine hydrochloride.
ISSUE: WON the certification is admissible.
HELD: The certification cannot be admitted in evidence, because he was not assisted by a lawyer. The
certification contained an admission that the seized items were in the possession of the accused. Mere possession
of methamphetamine hydrochloride is a criminal offense.
►PEOPLE V. WONG CHUEN MING (256 SCRA 102)
FACTS: The accused were arrested at the airport because boxes containing methamphetamine hydrochloride
were found in their baggage. After they had been placed under the custody, the accused were asked to sign the
boxes and the plastic bags containing methamphetamine hydrochloride.
ISSUE: WON they are admissible in evidence.
HELD: By affixing their signatures on the boxes and on the plastic bags, the accused made a tacit admission of
the crime charged, for mere possession of methamphetamine hydrochloride is punished by law. These signatures
are tantamount to an uncounselled extrajudicial confession. They are admissible in evidence.

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► PEOPLE V. AGUSTIN (240 SCRA 541)
FACTS: The accused was picked up by military personnel and brought before the city fiscal, who investigated him.
The city fiscal informed him that he had the right to remain silent, to be assisted by a lawyer of his own choice
and to be provided a lawyer if he could not afford the services of a lawyer. When the accused was asked if wanted
to be assisted by a lawyer, he answered in the affirmative. The city fiscal informed the accused that a lawyer was
present in the room and asked him if he wanted to avail of the assistance of that lawyer. The accused agreed to
give a statement. A stenographer took stenographic notes of the proceedings and transcribed them. The accused
and the lawyer signed each page of the stenographic notes.
ISSUE: WON the statement is admissible.
HELD: The statement is not admissible in evidence. The accused was not told of his right to have a competent
and independent counsel of his choice. He was not asked if he had any such counsel in mind, and if he could
afford to hire the services of such lawyer, and if he could not, if he would agree to be assisted by the lawyer
provided for him. He was not informed that he could waive his right and that waiver must be in writing and in
the presence of his counsel.
►PEOPLE V. MANRIQUEZ (328 SCRA 385)
FACTS: The accused surrendered after he was implicated in the killing of two persons. H e was interrogated by a
police investigator. The police investigator informed him that he had the right to remain silent, that anything
that he might say could be used as evidence against him, and that he had the right to be assisted by a lawyer of
his own choice. The accused answered that he did not want to be assisted by counsel and signed a waiver with
the assistance of a lawyer. The accused was charged with two counts of murder. He argued that his confession
was inadmissible is evidence.
ISSUE: WON the confession is admissible in evidence.
HELD: The accused was not asked if he wanted to avail of his right and was not told that if he had no lawyer of
his own choice he could avail of one to be appointed for him. Furthermore, it is not shown that he agreed to be
assisted by the lawyer who assisted him in signing a waiver. Only the waiver was shown to the lawyer. The
confession had not yet been prepared when the lawyer was approached to assist the accused. Since the waiver
was void, the confession is inadmissible in evidence.
►PEOPLE V. LONGRONIO (242 SCRA 565)
FACTS: Because the suggestion of a neighbor that the accused be investigated in connection with a robbery with
homicide case, police officers traced his whereabouts and asked him who was responsible for the crime. The
accused admitted his guilt. He was turned over to the police station. With the assistance of a lawyer, the accused
signed a confession. The accused claimed his confession was inadmissible, as he was not informed of his rights
when he was first asked who was responsible for the crime and that he was not meaningfully assisted by counsel
during the investigation.
ISSUE: WON the confession was admissible.
HELD: Yes, it is admissible. At the time the inquiry began, the accused was not a person under investigation
within the meaning of the Constitution. He was not a suspect. He had not been taken into police custody or
significantly deprived of his freedom. There was at that time nothing to connect him to the crime. The police
officers were interested to find out if the accused knew anything which could furnish a clue to the discovery of the
malefactor. When the custodial investigation began in the police station, the accused was assisted by a lawyer of
his own choice, who also signed the confession.

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RIGHT AGAINST SELF-INCRIMINATION
►BAGADIONG V. GONZALES (94 SCRA 906)
FACTS: Plaintiffs filed a case to prohibit the provincial officials of Catanduanes from disbursing public funds
pursuant to the provincial budget on the ground that the budget had been falsified. During the trial, the plaintiffs
called on one of the defendants as witness. The latter objected on the ground that his right against self-
incrimination would be violated.
ISSUE: WON the information to be elicited is self-incriminatory.
HELD: The privilege against self-incrimination protects a person in all types of cases - criminal, civil, or
administrative. However, the defendant was not being directed to take the witness stand in a criminal case in
which he is an accused but in a civil case. He invoked his right against self-incrimination before any question was
propounded to him. At that stage, there is no way of telling whether or not the information to be elicited is self-
incriminatory.
►BATAAN SHIPYARD and ENGINEERING COMPANY, INC V. PCGG (150 SCRA 181)
FACTS: Petitioner was sequestered by the Presidential Commission on Good Government. The Presidential
Commission on Good Government required petitioner to produce its corporate records. Petitioner argued that
compliance with the order would violate its right against self-incrimination.
ISSUE: WON right against self-incrimination is applicable in this instant case.
HELD: A corporation is a creature of the State. The State may inquire how a corporation has exercised its
privileges and franchises. The right against self-incrimination has no application to juridical persons.
PRESUMPTION OF INNOCENCE
►VALLARTA V. CA (150 SCRA 336)
FACTS: To pay for some pieces of jewelry she was buying, petitioner issued a post-dated check. The check was
dishonored for lack of funds. She failed to deposit the necessary funds to cover it within three days from the time
she was given notice of its dishonor. Petitioner was charged with estafa. Petitioner argued that the law creating
the presumption of deceit in case of failure to deposit within three days the necessary funds to make good a check
which was dishonored for lack of funds violated the constitutional presumption of innocence and the prohibition
against imprisonment for non-payment of debt.
ISSUE: WON the presumption of deceit is conclusive.
HELD: The presumption of deceit is not conclusive. It can be rebutted by proof of good faith. Besides, there is no
constitutional objection to the passage of a law that when certain facts have been proved they shall be prima
facie evidence of guilt if there is a rational connection between the facts proved and the facts presumed.
►PAMINTUAN V. PEOPLE (234 SCRA 63)
FACTS: In the course of a robbery in the house of the complainants, pieces of jewelry were taken. The pieces of
jewelry were later on seen being displayed for sale in the stall tended by petitioner. Petitioner was charged with
violation of the Anti-Fencing Law.
ISSUE: WON the prima facie evidence of fencing would violate the constitutional presumption of innocence.
HELD: The provision in the Anti-Fencing Law that possession of any article which has been the subject of robbery
or theft shall be prima facie evidence of fencing is valid. The presumption is reasonable. The constitutional
presumption of innocence is not violated by a law providing that proof of some material fact shall constitute
prima facie evidence of guilt.

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