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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II NOTES & DOCTRINES 1

SAN BEDA COLLEGE OF LAW - MANILA


CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II NOTES & DOCTRINES

ARTICLE III Bill of Rights trial court order the arrest of Abratique to compel his attendance
SECTION 14 at trial. The prosecution likewise tried to get the NBI to produce
RIGHT TO SPEEDY, IMPARTIAL AND Abratique as the latter was in the Bureaus custody, but to no avail.
Eventually, the trial court ordered the prosecution to waive its right to
PUBLIC TRIAL present Abratique and rest its case on the evidence already offered.

PEOPLE vs. TEE No unreasonable delay in the case at bar


A state should not be deprived the opportunity to prosecute Nor do we find a delay of twenty (20) hearing days to be an
A trial is always subject to reasonable delays or postponements, but unreasonable length of time. Delay of less than two months has been
absent any showing that these delays are capricious and oppressive, the found, in fact, to be not an unreasonably lengthy period of time.
State should not be deprived of a reasonable opportunity to prosecute
the criminal action. Motion of reopening of cases
Strictly speaking, however, there was no reopening of the cases in the
Speedy Trial defined proceedings below. A motion to reopen may properly be presented
A speedy trial means a trial conducted according to the law of only after either or both parties have formally offered and closed their
criminal procedure and the rules and regulations, free from evidence, but before judgment.
vexatious, capricious, and oppressive delays.
FLORES vs. PEOPLE
In Conde v. Rivera and Unson, the Court held that where a prosecuting Constitutional Right to Speedy Trial
officer, without good cause, secures postponements of the trial of a The constitutional right to a speedy trial, as was noted in a recent
defendant against his protest beyond a reasonable period of time, as in decision, Acebedo v. Sarmiento, "means one free from vexatious,
this instance, for more than a year, the accused is entitled to relief by a capricious and oppressive delays, ... ."
proceeding in mandamus to compel a dismissal of the information, or
if he be restrained of his liberty, by habeas corpus to obtain his Thus, if the person accused were innocent, he may within the shortest
freedom. time possible be spared from anxiety and apprehension arising from a
prosecution, and if culpable, he will not be kept long in suspense as to
Concept of Speedy Trial is relative the fate in store for him, within a period of course compatible with his
The concept of speedy trial is necessarily relative. A determination as opportunity to present any valid defense.
to whether the right has been violated involves the weighing of
several factors such as Remedy

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(a) the length of the delay, As was also pointed out in Sarmiento: "The remedy in the event of a
(b) the reason for the delay, non-observance of this right is by habeas corpus if the accused were
(c) the conduct of the prosecution and the accused, and restrained of his liberty, or by certiorari, prohibition, or mandamus
(d) the efforts exerted by the defendant to assert his right, as well for the final dismissal of the case."
as
(e) the prejudice and damage caused to the accused.
In the first Supreme Court decision after the 1935 Constitution took
Speedy Trial Act of 1998 effect, People v. Castañeda, as was pointed out by the ponente, Justice
The Speedy Trial Act of 1998, provides that the trial period for Laurel:
criminal cases in general shall be one hundred eighty (180) days. "The Government should be the last to set an example of delay and
oppression in the administration of justice and it is the moral and legal
However, in determining the right of an accused to speedy trial, obligation of this court to see that the criminal proceedings against the
courts should do more than a mathematical computation of the number accused come to an end and that they be immediately discharged from
of postponements of the scheduled hearings of the case. the custody of the law."

The right to a speedy trial is deemed violated only when: Trail at the earliest opportunity
(1) the proceedings are attended by vexatious, capricious, and : "An accused person is entitled to a trial at the earliest opportunity.
oppressive delays; or ... He cannot be oppressed by delaying the commencement of trial for
(2) when unjustified postponements are asked for and secured; an unreasonable length of time. If the proceedings pending trial are
or deferred, the trial itself is necessarily delayed."
(3) when without cause or justifiable motive a long period of
time is allowed to elapse without the party having his case Also applicable to operation commenced by private person
tried. "The Constitution does not say that the right to a speedy trial may be
availed of only where the prosecution for crime is commenced and
No capricious conduct in the case at bar undertaken by the fiscal. It does not exclude from its operation cases
In the present case, although the absences of prosecution witness commenced by private individuals. Where once a person is
Abratique totaled twenty (20) hearing days, there is no showing prosecuted criminally, he is entitled to a speedy trial, irrespective of
whatsoever that prosecution capriciously caused Abratiques absences the nature of the offense or the manner in which it is authorized to be
so as to vex or oppress appellant and deny him his rights. commenced.”

On record, after Abratique repeatedly failed to show up for the taking


of his testimony, the prosecution went to the extent of praying that the
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II NOTES & DOCTRINES 2

CONDE vs. RIVERA Better course of the judge to disqualify himself


Remedy of the Accused That is to betray a sense of realism, for the factors that lead to
We lay down the legal proposition that, where a prosecuting officer, preferences or predilections are many and varied. It is well, therefore,
without good cause, secures postponements of the trial of a defendant that if any such should make its appearance and prove difficult to resist,
against his protest beyond a reasonable period of time, as in this the better course for a judge is to disqualify himself.
instance for more than a year, the accused is entitled to relief by a
proceeding in mandamus to compel a dismissal of the information, or That way, he avoids being misunderstood. His reputation for probity
if he be restrained of his liberty, by habeas corpus to obtain his and objectivity is preserved. What is even more important, the ideal of
freedom. an impartial administration of justice is lived up to.

MATEO, JR. vs. VILLALUZ Thus is due process vindicated. There is relevance to what was said by
Duty of the judge Justice Sanchez in Pimentel v. Salanga, drawing "attention of all
It is now beyond dispute that due process cannot be satisfied in the judges to appropriate guidelines in a situation where their capacity to
absence of that degree of objectivity on the part of a judge sufficient to try and decide a case fairly and judiciously comes to the fore by way
reassure litigants of his being fair and being just. Thereby there is the of challenge from any one of the parties. A judge may not be legally
legitimate expectation that the decision arrived at would be the prohibited from sitting in a litigation. But when suggestion is made of
application of the law to the facts as found by a judge who does not record that he might be induced to act in favor of one party or with
play favorites. bias or prejudice against a litigant arising out of circumstance
reasonably capable of inciting such a state of mind, he should conduct
There must be a cold neutrality on the part of the Judge a careful self-examination. He should exercise his discretion in a way
For him, the parties stand on equal footing. In the language of Justice that: the people's faith in the courts of justice is not impaired. A
Dizon: "It has been said, in fact, that due process of law requires a salutary norm is that he reflect on the probability that a losing party
hearing before an impartial and disinterested tribunal, and that every might nurture at the back of his mind the thought that the judge had
litigant is entitled to nothing less than the cold neutrality of an unmeritoriously tilted the scales of justice against him. That passion on
impartial judge." the part of a judge may be generated because of serious charges of
misconduct against him by a suitor or his counsel, is not altogether
He should, to quote from another decision "at all times manifest depth remote.
of commitment and concern to the cause of justice according to legal
norms, a cerebral man who deliberately holds in cheek the tug and pull He is a man, subject to the frailties of other men. He should, therefore,
of purely personal preferences and prejudices which he shares with the exercise great care and caution before making up his mind to act or
rest of his fellow mortals." withdraw from a suit where that party or counsel is involved. He could
in good grace inhibit himself where that case could be heard by another
A judge then, to quote from the latest decision in point, Geotina v. judge and where no appreciable prejudice would be occasioned to

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Gonzales, penned by Justice Castro, should strive to be at all times others involved therein. On the result of his decisions to sit or not to
"wholly free, disinterested, impartial and independent. Elementary sit may depend to a great extent the all important confidence in the
due process requires a hearing before an impartial and disinterested impartiality of the judiciary.
tribunal.
If after reflection he should resolve to voluntarily desist from sitting in
A judge has both the duty of rendering a just decision and the duty a case where his motives or fairness might be seriously impugned, his
of doing it in a manner completely free from suspicion as to its action is to be interpreted as giving meaning and substance to the
fairness and as to his integrity." Nor is this to imply that prior to second paragraph of Section 1, Rule 137. He serves the cause of the
Gutierrez, there had been no awareness of the due process aspect of an law who forestalls miscarriage of justice
impartial tribunal even if not explicitly referred to.
Greater deference in the due process requirement of impartiality
Fundamental requisite of impartiality for due process "All suitors, we must say, are entitled to nothing short of the cold
Conformably to what was so emphatically asserted in Gutierrez as the neutrality of an independent, wholly free, disinterested and impartial
fundamental requisite of impartiality for due process to be satisfied, tribunal. It has been said that "next in importance to the duty of
the Rules of Court provision on disqualification when revised three rendering a right judgment is that of doing it in such a manner as will
years later in 1964 contains this additional paragraph: beget no suspicion of the fairness and integrity of the judge."

"A judge may, in the exercise of sound discretion, disqualify himself Judges must avoid tasks incumbent upon executive officials
from sitting in a case, for just or valid reasons other than those To avoid any further controversies of this nature, lower court judges
mentioned above." are well-advised to limit themselves to the task of adjudication and to
leave to others the role of notarizing declarations. The less an occupant
Thereby, it is made clear to the occupants of the bench that outside of of the bench fritters away his time and energy in tasks more incumbent
(a) pecuniary interest, on officials of the executive branch the less the danger of his being a
(b) relationship or participant in any event that might lend itself to the interpretation that
(c) previous participation in the matter that calls for his impartiality has been compromised. There is much to be said for
adjudication, displaying zeal and eagerness in stamping out criminality, but that role
(d) there may be other causes that could conceivably erode the is hardly fit for a judge who must bide his time until the case is before
trait of objectivity, thus calling for inhibition. him. He must ever be on guard lest what is done by him, even from the
best of motives, may be thought of as eroding that objectivity and
sobriety which are the hallmarks of judicial conduct. Thus should he
attend to the performance of the sacred trust that is his.
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II NOTES & DOCTRINES 3

GARCIA vs. DOMINGO Pervasive publicity is not per se prejudicial


Trial should be public Pervasive publicity is not per se prejudicial to the right of an accused
Chairman of the Committee on the Bill of Rights, Delegate, later to fair trial. The mere fact that the trial of appellant was given a day-
Justice, Jose P. Laurel: to-day, gavel-to-gavel coverage does not by itself prove that the
"Trial should also be public in order to offset any danger of publicity so permeated the mind of the trial judge and impaired
conducting it in an illegal and unjust manner." his impartiality.

Historically as was pointed out by Justice Black, speaking for the For one, it is impossible to seal the minds of members of the bench
United States Supreme Court in the leading case of In re Oliver: from pre-trial and other off-court publicity of sensational criminal
"This nation's accepted practice of guaranteeing a public trial to an cases. The state of the art of our communication system brings news as
accused has its roots in [the] English common law heritage. He then they happen straight to our breakfast tables and right to our bedrooms.
observed that the exact date of its origin is obscure, "but it likely These news form part of our everyday menu of the facts and
evolved long before the settlement of the [United States] as an fictions of life.
accompaniment of the ancient institution of jury trial."
Idea of a fair and impartial judge
What does public trial signify For another, our idea of a fair and impartial judge is not that of a
Offhand it does seem fairly obvious that here is an instance where hermit who is out of touch with the world. We have not installed the
language is to be given a literal application. There is no ambiguity in jury system whose members are overly protected from publicity lest
the words employed. The trial must be public. they lose their impartiality.

It possesses that character when anyone interested in observing the Criticisms against the jury system are mounting and Mark Twain's wit
manner a judge conducts the proceedings in his courtroom may do so. and wisdom put them all in better perspective when he observed:
There is to be no ban on such attendance. His being a stranger to the "When a gentleman of high social standing, intelligence, and probity
litigants is of no moment. swears that testimony given under the same oath will outweigh with
him, street talk and newspaper reports based upon mere hearsay, he is
No relationship to the parties need be shown. The thought that lies worth a hundred jurymen who will swear to their own ignorance and
behind this safeguard is the belief that thereby the accused is afforded stupidity . . . Why could not the jury law be so altered as to give men
further protection, that his trial is likely to be conducted with of brains and honesty an equal chance with fools and miscreants?"
regularity and not tainted with any impropriety.
Our judges are learned in the law and trained to disregard off-court
It is not amiss to recall that Delegate Laurel in his terse summation the evidence and on-camera performances of parties to a litigation.
importance of this right singled out its being a deterrence to Their mere exposure to publications and publicity stunts does not per
arbitrariness. It is thus understandable why such a right is deemed se fatally infect their impartiality.

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embraced in procedural due process. Where a trial takes place, as is
quite usual, in the courtroom and a calendar of what cases are to be Test of Actual Prejudice
heard is posted, no problem arises. It the usual course of events that we rejected this standard of possibility of prejudice and adopted the
individuals desirous of being present are free to do so. test of actual prejudice as we ruled that to warrant a finding of
prejudicial publicity, there must be allegation and proof that the
Exception judges have been unduly influenced, not simply that they might be,
There is the well recognized exception though that warrants the by the barrage of publicity.
exclusion of the public where the evidence may be characterized as
"offensive to decency or public morals." In the case at bar, the records do not show that the trial judge developed
actual bias against appellant as a consequence of the extensive media
Courtrooms coverage of the pre-trial and trial of his case. The totality of
Courtrooms are not of uniform dimensions. Some are smaller than circumstances of the case does not prove that the trial judge acquired a
others. Moreover, as admitted by Justice Black in his masterly In re fixed opinion as a result of prejudicial publicity which is incapable of
Oliver opinion, it suffices to satisfy the requirement of a trial being change even by evidence presented during the trial. Appellant has the
public if the accused could "have his friends, relatives and counsel burden to prove this actual bias and he has not discharged the burden.
present, no matter with what offense he may be charged."
IN RE: REQUEST FOR LIVE RADIO AND TV COVERAGE OF
PEOPLE vs. TEEHANKEE, JR. THE TRIAL IN SANDIGANBAYAN OF THE PLUNDER CASES
Right to a fair trial is not incompatible with Free Press AGAINST FORMER PRESIDENT JOSEPH ESTRADA
We cannot sustain appellant's claim that he was denied the right to Reasons for televised recording
impartial trial due to prejudicial publicity. It is true that the print and 1. the hearings are of historic significance. They are an
broadcast media gave the case at bar pervasive publicity, just like all affirmation of our commitment to the rule that "the King is
high profile and high stake criminal trials. Then and now, we rule that under no man, but he is under God and the law." (Quod Rex
the right of an accused to a fair trial is not incompatible to a free press. non debet esse sub homine, sed sub Deo et Lege.)
To be sure, responsible reporting enhances an accused's right to a 2. the Estrada cases involve matters of vital concern to our
fair trial for, as well pointed out, "a responsible press has always been people who have a fundamental right to know how their
regarded as the handmaiden of effective judicial administration, government is conducted. This right can be enhanced by
especially in the criminal field . . . The press does not simply publish audio-visual presentation.
information about trials but guards against the miscarriage of justice 3. audio-visual presentation is essential for the education and
by subjecting in the police, prosecutors, and judicial processes to civic training of the people.
extensive public scrutiny and criticism."
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II NOTES & DOCTRINES 4

Purpose of the audio-visual records last analysis, to avoid miscarriage of justice, the Court resolved to
Above all, there is the need to keep audio-visual records of the hearings PROHIBIT live radio and television coverage of court proceedings.
for documentary purposes. The recordings will be useful in preserving Video footage of court hearings for news purposes shall be limited and
the essence of the proceedings in a way that the cold print cannot quite restricted as above indicated.
do because it cannot capture the sights and sounds of events. They will
be primarily for the use of appellate courts in the event a review of the The Court had another unique opportunity in Estrada to revisit the
proceedings, rulings, or decisions of the Sandiganbayan is sought or question of live radio and television coverage of court proceedings in
becomes necessary. The accuracy of the transcripts of stenographic a criminal case. It held that
notes taken during the trial can be checked by reference to the tapes. [t]he propriety of granting or denying the instant petition involve[s] the
weighing out of the constitutional guarantees of freedom of the press
RE: PETITION FOR RADIO AND TELEVISION COVERAGE and the right to public information, on the one hand, and the
OF THE MULTIPLE MURDER CASES AGAINST fundamental rights of the accused, on the other hand, along with the
MAGUINDANAO GOVERNOR ZALDY AMPATUAN, ET AL. constitutional power of a court to control its proceedings in ensuring a
Putts Law fair and impartial trial. The Court disposed:
Putts Law states that technology is dominated by two types of
people: The Court is not all that unmindful of recent technological and
1. those who understand what they do not manage, and scientific advances but to chance forthwith the life or liberty of any
2. those who manage what they do not understand. person in a hasty bid to use and apply them, even before ample safety
nets are provided and the concerns heretofore expressed are aptly
Indeed, members of this Court cannot strip their judicial robe and don addressed, is a price too high to pay.
the experts gown, so to speak, in a pretense to foresee and fathom all
serious prejudices or risks from the use of technology inside the Doctrine from Estrada
courtroom. In resolving the motion for reconsideration, the Court in Estrada, by
Resolution of September 13, 2001, provided a glimmer of hope when
Win-win situation it ordered the audio-visual recording of the trial for documentary
In this day and age, it is about time to craft a win-win situation that purposes, under the following conditions:
shall not compromise rights in the criminal administration of justice,
sacrifice press freedom and allied rights, and interfere with the (a) the trial shall be recorded in its entirety, excepting such
integrity, dignity and solemnity of judicial proceedings. Compliance portions thereof as the Sandiganbayan may determine should
with regulations, not curtailment of a right, provides a workable not be held public under Rule 119, 21 of the Rules of
solution to the concerns raised in these administrative matters, while, Criminal Procedure;
at the same time, maintaining the same underlying principles upheld in
the two previous cases. (b) cameras shall be installed inconspicuously inside the

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courtroom and the movement of TV crews shall be regulated
Basic principles enunciated consistent with the dignity and solemnity of the proceedings;
The basic principle upheld in Aquino is firm ─
[a] trial of any kind or in any court is a matter of serious importance (c) the audio-visual recordings shall be made for documentary
to all concerned and should not be treated as a means of entertainment purposes only and shall be made without comment except
[, and t]o so treat it deprives the court of the dignity which pertains to such annotations of scenes depicted therein as may be
it and departs from the orderly and serious quest for truth for which our necessary to explain them;
judicial proceedings are formulated. The observation that [m]assive
intrusion of representatives of the news media into the trial itself can (d) the live broadcast of the recordings before the
so alter and destroy the constitutionally necessary atmosphere and Sandiganbayan shall have rendered its decision in all the
decorum stands. cases against the former President shall be prohibited under
pain of contempt of court and other sanctions in case of
The Court concluded in Aquino: violations of the prohibition;

Considering the prejudice it poses to the defendant's right to due (e) to ensure that the conditions are observed, the audio-visual
process as well as to the fair and orderly administration of justice, and recording of the proceedings shall be made under the
considering further that the freedom of the press and the right of the supervision and control of the Sandiganbayan or its Division
people to information may be served and satisfied by less concerned and shall be made pursuant to rules promulgated
distracting, degrading and prejudicial means, live radio and by it; and
television coverage of court proceedings shall not be allowed. Video
footages of court hearings for news purposes shall be restricted and (f) simultaneously with the release of the audio-visual
limited to recordings for public broadcast, the original thereof shall be
(a) shots of the courtroom, deposited in the National Museum and the Records
(b) the judicial officers, Management and Archives Office for preservation and
(c) the parties and their counsel taken prior to the exhibition in accordance with law.
commencement of official proceedings.

No video shots or photographs shall be permitted during the trial


proper.

Accordingly, in order to protect the parties' right to due process, to


prevent the distraction of the participants in the proceedings and in the
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II NOTES & DOCTRINES 5

Totality of Circumstances Test


Respecting the possible influence of media coverage on the (c) A single fixed compact camera shall be installed
impartiality of trial court judges, petitioners correctly explain that inconspicuously inside the courtroom to provide a single
prejudicial publicity insofar as it undermines the right to a fair trial wide-angle full-view of the sala of the trial court. No
must pass the totality of circumstances test, applied in People v. panning and zooming shall be allowed to avoid unduly
Teehankee, Jr. and Estrada v. Desierto, highlighting or downplaying incidents in the
proceedings. The camera and the necessary equipment shall
that the right of an accused to a fair trial is not incompatible to a free be operated and controlled only by a duly designated official
press, that pervasive publicity is not per se prejudicial to the right of or employee of the Supreme Court. The camera equipment
an accused to a fair trial, and that there must be allegation and proof of should not produce or beam any distracting sound or light
the impaired capacity of a judge to render a bias-free decision. Mere rays. Signal lights or signs showing the equipment is
fear of possible undue influence is not tantamount to actual prejudice operating should not be visible. A limited number of
resulting in the deprivation of the right to a fair trial. microphones and the least installation of wiring, if not
wireless technology, must be unobtrusively located in places
Remedy of the Accused indicated by the trial court.
Moreover, an aggrieved party has ample legal remedies.
1. He may challenge the validity of an adverse judgment The Public Information Office and the Office of the Court
arising from a proceeding that transgressed a constitutional Administrator shall coordinate and assist the trial court on the physical
right. set-up of the camera and equipment.
2. As pointed out by petitioners, an aggrieved party may early
on move for a change of venue, (d) The transmittal of the audio-visual recording from inside the
3. for continuance until the prejudice from publicity is abated, courtroom to the media entities shall be conducted in such
4. for disqualification of the judge, and a way that the least physical disturbance shall be ensured
5. for closure of portions of the trial when necessary. in keeping with the dignity and solemnity of the proceedings
6. The trial court may likewise exercise its power of contempt and the exclusivity of the access to the media entities.
and issue gag orders.
The hardware for establishing an interconnection or link with the
Right on Public Trial camera equipment monitoring the proceedings shall be for the account
An accused has a right to a public trial but it is a right that belongs to of the media entities, which should employ technology that can
him, more than anyone else, where his life or liberty can be held i. avoid the cumbersome snaking cables inside the
critically in balance. courtroom,
ii. minimize the unnecessary ingress or egress of
A public trial aims to ensure that he is fairly dealt with and would not technicians, and

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be unjustly condemned and that his rights are not compromised in iii. preclude undue commotion in case of technical
secrete conclaves of long ago. glitches.

A public trial is not synonymous with publicized trial; it only implies If the premises outside the courtroom lack space for the set-up of the
that the court doors must be open to those who wish to come, sit in media entities facilities, the media entities shall access the audio-visual
the available seats, conduct themselves with decorum and observe the recording either via wireless technology accessible even from outside
trial process. the court premises or from one common web broadcasting platform
from which streaming can be accessed or derived to feed the images
In the constitutional sense, a courtroom should have enough facilities and sounds.
for a reasonable number of the public to observe the proceedings, not
too small as to render the openness negligible and not too large as to At all times, exclusive access by the media entities to the real-time
distract the trial participants from their proper functions, who shall then audio-visual recording should be protected or encrypted.
be totally free to report what they have observed during the
proceedings. (e) The broadcasting of the proceedings for a particular day
must be continuous and in its entirety, excepting such
Guidelines portions thereof where Sec. 21 of Rule 119 of the Rules of
(a) An audio-visual recording of the Maguindanao massacre Court applies, and where the trial court excludes, upon
cases may be made both for documentary purposes and for motion, prospective witnesses from the courtroom, in
transmittal to live radio and television broadcasting. instances where, inter alia, there are unresolved
identification issues or there are issues which involve the
(b) Media entities must file with the trial court a letter of security of the witnesses and the integrity of their testimony
application, manifesting that they intend to broadcast the (e.g., the dovetailing of corroborative testimonies is material,
audio-visual recording of the proceedings and that they have minority of the witness).
the necessary technological equipment and technical plan
to carry out the same, with an undertaking that they will The trial court may, with the consent of the parties, order only the
faithfully comply with the guidelines and regulations and pixelization of the image of the witness or mute the audio output, or
cover the entire remaining proceedings until promulgation of both.
judgment.
(f) To provide a faithful and complete broadcast of the
No selective or partial coverage shall be allowed. No media entity proceedings, no commercial break or any other gap shall
shall be allowed to broadcast the proceedings without an application be allowed until the days proceedings are adjourned, except
duly approved by the trial court. during the period of recess called by the trial court and
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II NOTES & DOCTRINES 6

during portions of the proceedings wherein the public is PEOPLE vs. VALERIANO
ordered excluded. Trial in absentia
. Paragraph (2), Section 14, Article III of the Constitution permits
(g) To avoid overriding or superimposing the audio output from trial in absentia after the accused has been arraigned provided he has
the on-going proceedings, the proceedings shall be broadcast been duly notified of the trial and his failure to appear thereat is
without any voice-overs, except brief annotations of unjustified. One who jumps bail can never offer a justifiable reason for
scenes depicted therein as may be necessary to explain them his non-appearance during the trial. Accordingly, after the trial in
at the start or at the end of the scene. Any commentary shall absentia, the court can render judgment in the case and promulgation
observe the sub judice rule and be subject to the contempt may be made by simply recording the judgment in the criminal docket
power of the court; with a copy thereof served upon his counsel, provided that the notice
requiring him to be present at the promulgation is served through his
(h) No repeat airing of the audio-visual recording shall be bondsmen or warden and counsel.
allowed until after the finality of judgment, except brief
footages and still images derived from or cartographic
sketches of scenes based on the recording, only for news
purposes, which shall likewise observe the sub judice rule
and be subject to the contempt power of the court;

(i) The original audio-recording shall be deposited in


the National Museum and the Records Management and
Archives Office for preservation and exhibition in
accordance with law.

(j) The audio-visual recording of the proceedings shall be made


under the supervision and control of the trial court which
may issue supplementary directives, as the exigency
requires, including the suspension or revocation of the grant
of application by the media entities.

(k) The Court shall create a special committee which shall


forthwith study, design and recommend appropriate
arrangements, implementing regulations, and administrative
matters referred to it by the Court concerning the live

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broadcast of the proceedings pro hac vice, in accordance
with the above-outlined guidelines. The Special Committee
shall also report and recommend on the feasibility,
availability and affordability of the latest technology that
would meet the herein requirements.It may conduct
consultations with resource persons and experts in the field
of information and communication technology.

(l) All other present directives in the conduct of the


proceedings of the trial court (i.e., prohibition on recording
devices such as still cameras, tape recorders; and allowable
number of media practitioners inside the courtroom) shall be
observed in addition to these guidelines.

PEOPLE vs. MAPALAO


Fair Trial
The Constitutional Convention felt the need for such a provision as
there were quite a number of reported instances where the proceedings
against a defendant had to be stayed indefinitely because of his non-
appearance. What the Constitution guarantees him is a fair trial, not
continued enjoyment of his freedom even if his guilt could be proved.
With the categorical statement in the fundamental law that his absence
cannot justify a delay provided that he has been duly notified and his
failure to appear is unjustified, such an abuse could be remedied. That
is the way it should be, for both society and the offended party have a
legitimate interest in seeing to it that came should not go unpunished.