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Supreme Court Dectvep Cases & Oruer Issues ‘THAT MADE IT TO THE HEADLINES IN YEARS 2015-2018 Justin Ryan D. Morilla Last Updated on Octobe 2018, PARDON OF ERAP Risos-Vidal vy. COMELEC January 21, 2015 DEATH BY HAZING Dungo v. People July 1, 2015 POLITICAL LAW; PARDON: Former President Estrada was granted an absolute pardon that fully restored all his civil and political rights, which naturally includes the right to seek public elective office, the focal point of this controversy. The wording of the pardon extended to former President Estrada is complete, unambiguous, and unqualified. It is this Court’s firm view that the phrase in the presidential parcion at issue which declares. that former President Estrada “is hereby restored to his civil and political rights" substantially complies with the requirement of express restoration under Articles 36 and 41 of the Revised Penal Code. POLITICAL LAW; DISQUALIFICATION TO RUN FOR PUBLIC OFFICE: Section 40 of the isqualified from running for any elective local position, to wit: (a) Those sentenced by final judgment for an offense involving moral turpitude or for an offense punishable by one (1) year or more of imprisonment, within two (2) years after serving sentence. While it may be apparent that the proscription in Section 40(a) of the LGC is worded in absolute terms, Section 12 of the EC provides a legal escape from the prohibition ~ a plenary pardon or amnesty. In other words, the latter provision allows any person who has been granted plenary pardon or amnesty after conviction by final judgment of an offense involving moral turpitude, inter alia, to run for and hold any public office, whether local or national position. The disqualification of former President Estrada under Section 40 of the LGC in relation to Section 12 of the OEC was removed by his acceptance of the absolute pardon granted to him. CRIMINAL LAW; MALUM PROHIBITU! The crime of hazing under R.A. No. 8049 is malum prohibitum. The Senate deliberations would show that the lawmakers intended the anti-hazing statute to be malum prohibitum. In Vedana v. Valencia, the Court noted that in our nation’s very recent history, the people had spoken, through the Congress, to deem conduct constitutive of hazing, an act previously considered harmless by custom, as criminal. The act of hazing itself is not inherently immoral, but the law deems the same to be against public policy and must be prohibited. Accordingly, the existence of criminal intent is immaterial in the crime of hazing. Also, the defense of good faith cannot be raised in its prosecution. See Republic Act 11053 for the Anti-Hazing Act of 2018 DISMISSAL OF JUNJUN BINAY Carpio Morales v. CA November 10, 2015, POLITICAL LAW; ABANDONING THE. CONDONATION DOCTRINE: To begin with, the concept of public office is a public trust and the corollary requirement of accountability to the people at all times, as mandated under the 1987 Constitution, is plainly inconsistent with the idea that an elective local official's administrative liability for a misconduct committed during a prior term can be wiped off by the fact that he was elected to a second term of office, or even another elective post. Election is not a mode of condoning an administrative offense, and there is simply no constitutional or statutory basis in our jurisdiction to support the notion that an official elected for a different term is fully absolved of any administrative liability ari from an offense done during a prior term. Page 1 of 22 Supreme Court Dectvep Cases & Oruer Issues ‘THAT MADE IT TO THE HEADLINES IN YEARS 2015-2018 Justin Ryan D. Morilla Last Updated on Octobe Also, it cannot be inferred from Section 60 of the LGC that the grounds for discipline enumerated therein cannot anymore be invoked against an elective local official to hold him. administratively liable once he is re-elected to office. In fi Section 40 (b) of the LGC precludes condonation since in the first place, an elective local official who is meted with the penalty of removal could not be re-elected to an elective local position due to a direct disqualification from running for such post, In ilar regard, Section 52 (a) of the RRACCS imposes a penalty of perpetual disqualification from holding public office as an accessory to the penalty of dismissal from service. It should, however, be clarified that this Court's abandonment of the condonation doctrine should be prospective in application for the reason that judicial decisions applying or interpreting the laws or the Constitution, until reversed, shall form part of the legal system of the Philippines KILLING OF JENNIFER LAUDE Laude v. Ginez-Jabalde November 24, 2015 REMEDIAL LAW; NOTICE OF HEARING: Rule 15, Section 4 of the Rules of Court clearly makes it a mandatory rule that the adverse party be given notice of hearing on the motion at least three days prior. While the general rule is that a motion that fails to comply with the requirements of Rule 15 isa mere scrap of paper, an exception may be made, and the motion may still be acted upon by the court, provided doing so will neither cause prejudice to the other party nor violate his or her due process rights. 113 The adverse party must be given time to study the motion in order to enable him or her to prepare properly and engage the arguments of the movant. 114 In this case, the general rule must apply because Pemberton was not given sufficient time to study petitioners’ Motion, thereby depriving him of his right to procedural due process. 2018, POLITICAL LAW; JUDICIAL REVIEW OF THE CONSTITUTIONALITY OF THE VISITNG FORCES AGREEMENT: The constitutionality of an official act may be the subject of judicial review, provided the matter is not raised collaterally. The constitutionality of the Visi Forces Agreement is not the lis mora of this Petition, Petitioners started their Petition with a claim that their right to access to justice was violated, but ended it with a prayer for a declaration of the Visiting Forces Agreement’ unconstitutionality. ‘They attempt to create the connection between the two by asserting that the Visiting Forces Agreement prevents the transfer of Pemberton to Olongapo City Jail, which allegedly is tantamount to the impairment of this court's authority. REMEDIAL LAW; CRIMINAL JURISDICTION AND CUSTODY: The issues of criminal jurisdiction and custody during trial as contained in the Visiting Forces Agreement were discussed in Nicolas v. Secretary Romulo. REMEDIAL LAW; WRIT OF MANDATORY INJUNCTION: It is likewise established that a writ of mandatory injunction is granted upon a showing that (@) the invasion of the right is material and substantial; (b) the right of complainant is clear and unmistakable; and (c) there is an urgent and permanent necessity for the writ to prevent serious damage. Nowhere in their Petition did petitioners discuss the basis for their claim that they are entitled to the sought writ, let alone mention it in their arguments. This court cannot consider the issuance of a writ of mandatory injunction or a temporary restraining order without any legal and factual basis. GERRY ORTEGA MURDER CASE De Lima v. Reyes January 11, 2016 REMEDIAL LAW; PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION: In a preliminary investigation, the prosecutor does not determine the guilt or Page 2 of 22 Supreme Court Dectvep Cases & Oruer Issues ‘THAT MADE IT TO THE HEADLINES IN YEARS 2015-2018 Justin Ryan D. Morilla Last Updated on Octobe innocence of an accused. The prosecutor only determines "whether there is sufficient ground to engender a well-founded belief that a crime has. been committed and the respondent is probably guilty thereof, and should be held for trial." As such, the prosecutor does not perform quasi-judicial functions. REMEDIAL LAW; EXECUTIVE AND JUDICIAI DETERMINATION OF PROBABLE CAUSE: There are two kinds of determination of probable cause: executive and judicial. The executive determination of probable cause is one made during preliminary investigation. It is a function that properly pertains to the public prosecutor who is given a broad discretion to determine whether probable cause exists and to charge those whom he believes to have committed the crime as defined by law and thus should be held for trial. Otherwise stated, such official has the qu judicial authority to determine whether or not a criminal case must be filed in court. Whether or not that function has been correctly discharged by the public prosecutor, i., whether or not he has made a correct ascertainment of the existence of probable cause in a case, is a matter that the trial court itself does not and may not be compelled to pass upon. The judicial determination of probable cause, on the other hand, is one made by the judge to ascertain whether a warrant of arrest should be issued against the accused. The judge must satisfy himself that based on the evidence submitted, there is necessity for placing the accused under custody in order not to frustrate the ends of justice. If the judge finds no probable cause, the judge cannot be forced to issue the arrest warrant, REMEDIAL LAW; EFFECT OF FILING OF INFORMATION TO THE PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION: The preliminary investigation conducted by the fiscal for the purpose of determining whether a prima facie case exist warranting the prosecution of the accused terminated upon the filing of the information in the proper court, In turn, as above stated, the filing of 2018, said information sets in motion the criminal action against the accused in Court. Should the fiscal find it proper to conduct a reinvestigation of the case, at such stage, the permission of the Court must be secured. After such reinvestigation the finding and recommendations of the fiscal should be submitted to the Court for appropriate action. While it that the fiscal has the quasi judicial discretion to determine whether or not a criminal case should be filed in court or not, once the case had already been brought to Court whatever disposition the fiscal may feel should be proper in the case thereafter should be sed for the consideration of the Court, the only ition is that the action of the Court must not the substantial rights of the accused or the right of the People to due process of law. (Citing Crespo v. Mogul) REMEDIAL LAW; REFUSAL BY THE COURT ‘TO GRANT MOTION TO DISMISS FILED BY THE PROSECUTOR UPON THE DIRECTIVE OF THE SECRETARY OF JUSTICE: The rule therefore in this jurisdiction is that once a complaint or information is filed in Court any disposition of the case as t0 its dismissal or the convietion or acquittal of the accused rests in the sound discretion of the Court. Although the fiscal retains the direction and control of the prosecution of criminal cases even while the case is already in Court he cannot impose his opinion on the trial court. The Court is the best and sole judge on what to do with the case before it.- The determination of the case is within its exclusive jurisdiction and competence. A motion to dismiss the case filed by the fiscal should be addressed to the Court who has the option to grant or deny the same. It does not matter if this is done before or after the arraignment of the accused or that the motion was filed after a reinvestigation or upon instructions of the Secretary of Justice who reviewed the records of the investigation, (Citing Crespo v. Mogul) Page 3 of 22