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White Light Corporation VS City of Manila property is affected.

property is affected. However, this is not in any way meant to take it away from the vastness
of State police power whose exercise enjoys the presumption of validity. Ordinance No. 7774
Facts: is hereby declared UNCONSTITUTIONAL.
On December 3, 1992, City Mayor Alfredo S. Lim signed into a law Manila City
Ordinance No. 7774 entitled “An Ordinance Prohibiting Short-Time Admission, Short-Time
Admission Rates, and Wash-Up Rate Schemes in Hotels, Motels, Inns, Lodging Houses, Pension MMDA vs Trackworks Rail Transit
Houses, and Similar Establishments in the City of Manila.” On December 15, 1992, the Malate
Tourist and Development Corporation (MTDC) filed a complaint for declaratory relief with
Facts: In 1997, the Government, through the Department of Transportation and
prayer for a writ of preliminary injunction and/or temporary restraining order (TRO) impleading
Communications, entered into a build-lease-transfer agreement (BLT agreement) with Metro
as defendant, herein respondent City of Manila represented by Mayor Lim with the prayer that
Rail Transit Corporation, Limited (MRTC) pursuant to Republic Act No. 6957 (Build, Operate and
the Ordinance be declared invalid and unconstitutional.
Transfer Law), under which MRTC undertook to build MRT3 subject to the condition that MRTC
On December 21, 1992, petitioners White Light Corporation (WLC), Titanium
would own MRT3 for 25 years, upon the expiration of which the ownership would transfer to
Corporation (TC) and Sta. Mesa Tourist and Development Corporation (STDC) filed a motion to
the Government. In 1998, respondent Trackworks Rail Transit Advertising, Vending &
intervene and to admit attached complaint-in-intervention on the ground that the Ordinance
Promotions, Inc. (Trackworks) entered into a contract for advertising services with MRTC.
directly affects their business interests as operators of drive-in-hotels and motels in Manila.
Trackworks thereafter installed commercial billboards, signages and other advertising media in
The RTC issued a TRO directing the City to cease and desist from enforcing the Ordinance. The
the different parts of the MRT3. In 2001, however, MMDA requested Trackworks to dismantle
City alleges that the Ordinance is a legitimate exercise of police power. On October 20, 1993,
the billboards, signages and other advertising media pursuant to MMDA Regulation No. 96-009,
the RTC rendered a decision declaring the Ordinance null and void. On a petition for review on
whereby MMDA prohibited the posting, installation and display of any kind or form of
certiorari, the Court of Appeals reversed the decision of the RTC and affirmed the
billboards, signs, posters, streamers, in any part of the road, sidewalk, center island, posts,
constitutionality of the Ordinance.
trees, parks and open space. After Trackworks refused the request of MMDA, MMDA
proceeded to dismantle the former’s billboards and similar forms of advertisement.
Issue: Whether Manila City Ordinance No. 7774 is a valid exercise of police power
Issue: Whether MMDA has the power to dismantle, remove or destroy the billboards, signages
Ruling:
and other advertising media installed by Trackworks on the interior and exterior structures of
Police power, while incapable of an exact definition, has been purposely veiled in
the MRT3.
general terms to underscore its comprehensiveness to meet all exigencies and provide enough
room for an efficient and flexible response as the conditions warrant. Police power is based
Ruling: That Trackworks derived its right to install its billboards, signages and other advertising
upon the concept of necessity of the State and its corresponding right to protect itself and its
media in the MRT3 from MRTC’s authority under the BLT agreement to develop commercial
people. Police power has been used as justification for numerous and varied actions by the
premises in the MRT3 structure or to obtain advertising income therefrom is no longer
State. The apparent goal of the Ordinance is to minimize if not eliminate the use of the covered
debatable. Under the BLT agreement, indeed, MRTC owned the MRT3 for 25 years, upon the
establishments for illicit sex, prostitution, drug use and alike. These goals, by themselves, are
expiration of which MRTC would transfer ownership of the MRT3 to the Government.
unimpeachable and certainly fall within the ambit of the police power of the State. Yet the
Considering that MRTC remained to be the owner of the MRT3 during the time material to this
desirability of these ends do not sanctify any and all means for their achievement.
case, and until this date, MRTC’s entering into the contract for advertising services with
Those means must align with the Constitution, and our emerging sophisticated
Trackworks was a valid exercise of ownership by the former. In fact, in Metropolitan Manila
analysis of its guarantees to the people. That the Ordinance prevents the lawful uses of a wash
Development Authority v. Trackworks Rail Transit Advertising, Vending & Promotions, Inc., this
rate depriving patrons of a product and the petitioners of lucrative business ties in with another
Court expressly recognized Trackworks’ right to install the billboards, signages and other
constitutional requisite for the legitimacy of the Ordinance as a police power measure. It must
advertising media pursuant to said contract. The latter’s right should, therefore, be respected.
appear that the interests of the public generally, as distinguished from those of a particular
It is futile for MMDA to simply invoke its legal mandate to justify the dismantling of Trackworks’
class, require an interference with private rights and the means must be reasonably necessary
billboards, signages and other advertising media. MMDA simply had no power on its own to
for the accomplishment of the purpose and not unduly oppressive of private rights. It must also
dismantle, remove, or destroy the billboards, signages and other advertising media installed on
be evident that no other alternative for the accomplishment of the purpose less intrusive of
the MRT3 structure by Trackworks. In Metropolitan Manila Development Authority v. Bel-Air
private rights can work. More importantly, a reasonable relation must exist between the
Village Association, Inc., Metropolitan Manila Development Authority v. Viron Transportation
purposes of the measure and the means employed for its accomplishment, for even under the
Co., Inc., and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority v. Garin, the Court had the occasion
guise of protecting the public interest, personal rights and those pertaining to private property
to rule that MMDA’s powers were limited to the formulation, coordination, regulation,
will not be permitted to be arbitrarily invaded. Lacking a concurrence of these requisites, the
implementation, preparation, management, monitoring, setting of policies, installing a system,
police measure shall be struck down as an arbitrary intrusion into private rights. As held in
and administration. Nothing in Republic Act No. 7924 granted MMDA police power, let alone
Morfe v. Mutuc, the exercise of police power is subject to judicial review when life, liberty or
legislative power.
special conditions in its permit as the same have no basis in the law or ordinance. Public
The Court also agrees with the CA’s ruling that MMDA Regulation No. 96-009 and MMC respondents and private respondent SOPI are one in saying that the imposition of said special
Memorandum Circular No. 88-09 did not apply to Trackworks’ billboards, signages and other conditions is well within the authority of the City Mayor as a valid exercise of police power.
advertising media. The prohibition against posting, installation and display of billboards, The issuance of business licenses and permits by a municipality or city is essentially regulatory
signages and other advertising media applied only to public areas, but MRT3, being private in nature. The authority, which devolved upon local government units to issue or grant such
property pursuant to the BLT agreement between the Government and MRTC, was not one of licenses or permits, is essentially in the exercise of the police power of the State within the
the areas as to which the prohibition applied. contemplation of the general welfare clause of the Local Government Code.

What is sought by petitioner from respondent City Mayor is a permit to engage in the business
Acebedo Optical Company, Inc.
of running an optical shop. It does not purport to seek a license to engage in the practice of
optometry. The objective of the imposition of subject conditions on petitioner's business
vs. The Honorable Court of Appeals permit could be attained by requiring the optometrists in petitioner's employ to produce a valid
Facts: certificate of registration as optometrist, from the Board of Examiners in Optometry. A business
Petitioner applied with the Office of the City Mayor of Iligan for a business permit. permit is issued primarily to regulate the conduct of business and the City Mayor cannot,
After consideration of petitioner's application and the opposition interposed thereto by local through the issuance of such permit, regulate the practice of a profession. Such a function is
optometrists, respondent City Mayor issued Business Permit No. 5342 subject to the following within the exclusive domain of the administrative agency specifically empowered by law to
conditions: supervise the profession, in this case the Professional Regulations Commission and the Board
(1) Since it is a corporation, Acebedo cannot put up an optical clinic but only a commercial store; of Examiners in Optometry.
(2) It cannot examine and/or prescribe reading and similar optical glasses for patients, because
these are functions of optical clinics; Association of Small Landowners in the Philippines, Inc. vs Secretary of Agrarian Reform
(3) It cannot sell reading and similar eyeglasses without a prescription having first been made
by an independent optometrist or independent optical clinic. Acebedo can only sell directly to FACTS: These are four consolidated cases questioning the constitutionality of the
the public, without need of a prescription, Ray-Ban and similar eyeglasses; Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Act (R.A. No. 6657 and related laws i.e., Agrarian Land Reform
(4) It cannot advertise optical lenses and eyeglasses, but can advertise Ray-Ban and similar Code or R.A. No. 3844).
glasses and frames;
Brief background: Article XIII of the Constitution on Social Justice and Human Rights includes a
(5) It is allowed to grind lenses but only upon the prescription of an independent optometrist.
call for the adoption by the State of an agrarian reform program. The State shall, by law,
On December 5, 1988, private respondent Samahan ng Optometrist Sa Pilipinas
undertake an agrarian reform program founded on the right of farmers and regular
(SOPI lodged a complaint against the petitioner alleging that Acebedo had violated the
farmworkers, who are landless, to own directly or collectively the lands they till or, in the case
conditions set forth in its business permit and requesting the cancellation and/or revocation of
of other farmworkers, to receive a just share of the fruits thereof. RA 3844 was enacted in 1963.
such permit. On July 19, 1989, the City Mayor sent petitioner a Notice of Resolution and
P.D. No. 27 was promulgated in 1972 to provide for the compulsory acquisition of private lands
Cancellation of Business Permit effective as of said date and giving petitioner three (3) months
for distribution among tenant-farmers and to specify maximum retention limits for landowners.
to wind up its affairs.
In 1987, President Corazon Aquino issued E.O. No. 228, declaring full land ownership in favor
of the beneficiaries of PD 27 and providing for the valuation of still unvalued lands covered by
Issue: Whether the City Mayor has the authority to impose special conditions, as a valid
the decree as well as the manner of their payment. In 1987, P.P. No. 131, instituting a
exercise of police power, in the grant of business permits
comprehensive agrarian reform program (CARP) was enacted; later, E.O. No. 229, providing the
mechanics for its (PP131’s) implementation, was also enacted. Afterwhich is the enactment of
Ruling: Police power as an inherent attribute of sovereignty is the power to prescribe
R.A. No. 6657, Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law in 1988. This law, while considerably
regulations to promote the health, morals, peace, education, good order or safety and general
changing the earlier mentioned enactments, nevertheless gives them suppletory effect insofar
welfare of the people. It is essentially regulatory in nature and the power to issue licenses or
as they are not inconsistent with its provisions.
grant business permits, if exercised for a regulatory and not revenue-raising purpose, is within
the ambit of this power. The authority of city mayors to issue or grant licenses and business [Two of the consolidated cases are discussed below]
permits is beyond cavil. However, the power to grant or issue licenses or business permits must
always be exercised in accordance with law, with utmost observance of the rights of all G.R. No. 78742: (Association of Small Landowners vs Secretary)
concerned to due process and equal protection of the law. The Association of Small Landowners in the Philippines, Inc. sought exception from the land
In the case under consideration, the business permit granted by respondent City Mayor to distribution scheme provided for in R.A. 6657. The Association is comprised of landowners of
petitioner was burdened with several conditions. Petitioner agrees with the holding by the ricelands and cornlands whose landholdings do not exceed 7 hectares. They invoke that since
Court of Appeals that respondent City Mayor acted beyond his authority in imposing such their landholdings are less than 7 hectares, they should not be forced to distribute their land to
their tenants under R.A. 6657 for they themselves have shown willingness to till their own land. 2. No. It is true that the determination of just compensation is a power lodged in the courts.
In short, they want to be exempted from agrarian reform program because they claim to belong However, there is no law which prohibits administrative bodies like the DAR from determining
to a different class. just compensation. In fact, just compensation can be that amount agreed upon by the
landowner and the government – even without judicial intervention so long as both parties
G.R. No. 79777: (Manaay vs Juico) agree. The DAR can determine just compensation through appraisers and if the landowner
Nicolas Manaay questioned the validity of the agrarian reform laws (PD 27, EO 228, and 229) agrees, then judicial intervention is not needed. What is contemplated by law however is that,
on the ground that these laws already valuated their lands for the agrarian reform program and the just compensation determined by an administrative body is merely preliminary. If the
that the specific amount must be determined by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR). landowner does not agree with the finding of just compensation by an administrative body,
Manaay averred that this violated the principle in eminent domain which provides that only then it can go to court and the determination of the latter shall be the final determination. This
courts can determine just compensation. This, for Manaay, also violated due process for under is even so provided by RA 6657:
the constitution, no property shall be taken for public use without just compensation. Section 16 (f): Any party who disagrees with the decision may bring the matter to the court of
Manaay also questioned the provision which states that landowners may be paid for their land proper jurisdiction for final determination of just compensation.
in bonds and not necessarily in cash. Manaay averred that just compensation has always been
in the form of money and not in bonds. 3. No. Money as [sole] payment for just compensation is merely a concept in traditional
ISSUE: exercise of eminent domain. The agrarian reform program is a revolutionary exercise of
eminent domain. The program will require billions of pesos in funds if all compensation have
1. Whether or not there was a violation of the equal protection clause. to be made in cash – if everything is in cash, then the government will not have sufficient money
hence, bonds, and other securities, i.e., shares of stocks, may be used for just compensation.
2. Whether or not there is a violation of due process.
3. Whether or not just compensation, under the agrarian reform program, must be in terms of
cash. PPI vs. COMELEC
HELD:
Facts: On March 2, 1995, COMELEC promulgated Resolution No. 2772 stating that the
1. No. The Association had not shown any proof that they belong to a different class exempt Commission shall have free print space of not less than one-half page in at least one newspaper
from the agrarian reform program. Under the law, classification has been defined as the in every province or city as “Comelec Space”. This ad space will be used by candidates for their
grouping of persons or things similar to each other in certain particulars and different from campaign and platforms of government, and for the Commission’s dissemination of vital
each other in these same particulars. To be valid, it must conform to the following information. Moreover, COMELEC released a letter-directive ordering the different newspapers
requirements: to comply with the said resolution. The petitioner Philippine Press Institute (PPI) filed a petition
contending that COMELEC violated the prohibition imposed by the Constitution against the
(1) it must be based on substantial distinctions; taking of properties without just compensation due to Sec 2. Moreover, the directive of
(2) it must be germane to the purposes of the law; COMELEC amounts to involuntary servitude and violation of the freedom of expression and of
the press due to Sec 8. On the other hand, COMELEC asserts their directive is not mandatory
(3) it must not be limited to existing conditions only; and and compelling. They only ask for a donation. They aver that even if the order is mandatory, it
would still be valid through the use of police power.
(4) it must apply equally to all the members of the class.
Equal protection simply means that all persons or things similarly situated must be treated alike Issue: Is COMELEC’s action constitutional through the exercise of police power?
both as to the rights conferred and the liabilities imposed. The Association have not shown that
they belong to a different class and entitled to a different treatment. The argument that not Held: No. Looking at Sec 2, it seems that respondent is correct that the order to give a free
only landowners but also owners of other properties must be made to share the burden of space to COMELEC is not mandatory as there is no compelling language or any criminal or
implementing land reform must be rejected. There is a substantial distinction between these administrative charges for violation. The respondent’s reason for creating the resolution was
two classes of owners that is clearly visible except to those who will not see. There is no need due to the voluntary offers given by the newspaper company in the 1992 elections to help them
to elaborate on this matter. In any event, the Congress is allowed a wide leeway in providing advertise important election matters. However, the court will have to disagree that even if the
for a valid classification. Its decision is accorded recognition and respect by the courts of justice order is mandatory, it would still be valid as an exercise of police power. First, only the
except only where its discretion is abused to the detriment of the Bill of Rights. In the contrary, legislature can exercise police power except if it is delegated to some other body. The COMELEC
it appears that Congress is right in classifying small landowners as part of the agrarian reform did not give any effort to specify evidences that they were given police power. According to the
program. Constitution, when a property is taken, it must be given a just compensation. In the case at bar,
there is no just compensation as the newspapers will give the space for free as a donation. PARAD marked some inconsistencies in the figures and factors used by LBP in its computation,
Moreover, there was no showing of reasonable necessity or emergency for the taking of print so they rendered an amount of P12,179,492.50 as just compensation.
space confronted the Commission. However, Sec 8 still stands as it is within the power of
COMELEC to control the media influences of candidates to prevent unequal campaigns. LBP however, filed at the RTC-Romblon that the ruling of the DARAB on the just compensation
has become final after the lapse of 15 days. Martinez opposed the motion. Later on, LBP
Petition is partially granted. Sec 2 is not mandatory and Sec 8 is valid instituted a petition for certiorari against PARAD, assailing that PARAD gravely abuse its
discretion when it issued the order for the 12m just compensation despite the pending petition
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. SPOUSES CANCIO in the RTC. CA, finding LBP guilty of forum-shopping dismissed the petition, Hence, this
G.R. No. 170147 January 30, 2009 petition.
FACTS:
On January 15, 1979, President Marcos issued Proclamation No. 18115 which Issue:
reserved certain parcels of land of the public domain in Lapu Lapu City in favor of petitioner (1) whether or not petitioner could file its appeal solely through its legal department; (2)
(then Export Processing Zone Authority or EPZA) for the establishment of the Mactan Export whether or not petitioner committed forum shopping; and (3) whether or not the Provincial
Processing Zone. However, some of the parcels covered by the proclamation, including that of Agrarian Reform Adjudicator (PARAD) gravely abused his discretion when he issued a writ of
respondent spouses Agustin and Imelda Cancio, were private land. Petitioner offered to execution despite the pendency of LBP’s petition for fixing of just compensation with the
purchase respondents’ lot P52,294,000 which respondents rejected. Special Agrarian Court (SAC).
Petitioner commenced expropriation proceedings for respondents’ property. It
sought a writ of possession for the property for which it was willing to deposit 10% of the Ruling:
offered amount with LBP in accordance with A.O. No. 50.7. Respondents, however, filed a The Court went on to rule that the petition for review on certiorari could not be filed without
motion to require petitioner to comply with RA 8974, specifically Sec 4(a) thereof, which the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel (OGCC) entering its appearance as the
requires that, upon the filing of the complaint for expropriation, the implementing agency shall principal legal counsel of the bank or without the OGCC giving its conformity to the LBP Legal
immediately pay the owner of the property an amount equivalent to 100% of the current zonal Department’s filing of the petition. The Court also found petitioner to have forum-shopped
valuation thereof for purposes of the issuance of a writ of possession. when it moved to quash the PARAD resolutions and at the same time petitioned for their
ISSUE: annulment via certiorari under Rule 65. Most importantly, the Court ruled that petitioner was
Whether or not RA 8974 is applicable to this case for purposes of the issuance of the not entitled to the issuance of a writ of certiorari by the appellate court because the Office of
writ of possession. the PARAD did not gravely abuse its discretion when it undertook to execute the September 4,
RULING: 2002 decision on land valuation. The said adjudicator’s decision attained finality after the lapse
RA 8974 governs this case, not A.O. No. 50 as petitioner insists. RA 8974 applies to of the 15-day period stated in Rule XIII, Section 11 of the Department of Agrarian Reform
instances when the national government expropriates property for national government Adjudication Board (DARAB) Rules of Procedure.
infrastructure projects. The economic zone is a national government project. Also, the
complaint for expropriation was filed only on August 27, 2001 or almost 1 year after the law
was approved on November 7, 2000. Thus, there is no doubt about its applicability to this case. On the supposedly conflicting pronouncements in the cited decisions, the Court reiterates its
It is only after the trial court ascertains the provisional amount to be paid that just ruling in this case that the agrarian reform adjudicator’s decision on land valuation attains
compensation will be determined. In establishing the amount of just compensation, the parties finality after the lapse of the 15-day period stated in the DARAB Rules. The petition for the fixing
may present evidence relative to the property’s fair market value, as provided under Section 5 of just compensation should therefore, following the law and settled jurisprudence, be filed
of RA 8974. with the SAC within the said period. Following settled doctrine, we ruled in this case that the
PARAD’s decision had already attained finality because of LBP’s failure to file the petition for
Landbank of the Philippines the fixing of just compensation within the 15-day period.
vs Raymunda Martinez
Ponente: Nachura
NPC v. HEIRS OF SANGKAY
Facts: 656 SCRA 60
The land owned by Martinez was compulsory acquired by DAR for the purpose of CARP, of G.R. No. 165828
which the LBP offered P1,955,485.60 as just compensation. Convinced that the amount was
just and confiscatory, Martinez rejected it. Thus, PARAD conducted a summary administrative August 24, 2011
proceedings for the preliminary determination of the just compensation.
TOPIC: Eminent Domain; Just Compensation
FACTS: National Power Corporation (NPC) undertook the Agus River Hydroelectric Power Plant 5. At the end of 1991, Lahug Airport completely ceased its operation while the Mactan-
Project to generate electricity for Mindanao. It included the construction of several Cebu airport opened to accommodate incoming and outgoing commercial flights.
underground tunnels to be used in diverting the water flow from the Agus River to the 6. This then prompted the land owners to demand for the reconveynace of said
hydroelectric plants. properties being expropriated by the trial court under the power of eminent
domain. Hence these two consolidated cases arise.
On 1997, Respondents sued NPC for recovery of damages of the property and a prayer for just 7. In G.R. No. 168812 MCIAA is hereby ordered by court to reconvey said properties to
compensation. They alleged that the tunnel deprived them of the agricultural, commercial, the land owners plus attorney’s fee and cost of suit, while in G.R. No. 168770, the
industrial and residential value of their land; and that their land had also become an unsafe RTC ruled in favor of the petitioners Oaunos and against the MCIAA for the
place for habitation, forcing them and their workers to relocate to safer grounds. reconveynace of their properties but was appealed by the latter and the earlier
decision was reversed, the case went up to the CA but the CA affirmed the reversed
ISSUE: Whether the Heirs of Sangkay have the right to just compensation decision of the RTC.

RULING: Just compensation is the full and fair equivalent of the property taken from its owner ISSUE:
by the expropriator. It has the objective to recover the value of property taken in fact by the  Should MCIAA reconvey the lands to petitioners? YES
governmental defendant, even though no formal exercise of the power of eminent domain has HELD:
been attempted by the taking agency.
The notion that the government via expropriation proceedings acquires unrestricted ownership
The underground tunnels impose limitations on respondents’ use of the property for an over or a fee simple title to the covered land is no longer tenable. Expropriated lands should be
indefinite period and deprive them of its ordinary use. Hence, respondents are clearly entitled differentiated from a piece of land, ownership of which was absolutely transferred by way of
to the payment of just compensation. an unconditional purchase and sale contract freely entered by two parties, one without
obligation to buy and the other without the duty to sell. In that case, the fee simple concept
Notwithstanding the fact that petitioner only occupies the sub-terrain portion, it is liable to pay really comes into play. There is really no occasion to apply the “fee simple concept” if the
not merely an easement fee but rather the full compensation for land. It is settled that the transfer is conditional.
taking of private property for public use, to be compensable, need not be an actual physical
taking or appropriation. This is so because in this case, the nature of the easement practically The taking of a private land in expropriation proceedings is always conditioned on its
deprives the owners of its normal beneficial use. Compensable taking includes destruction, continued devotion to its public purpose. Once the purpose is terminated or peremptorily
restriction, diminution, or interruption of the rights of ownership or of the common and abandoned, then the former owner, if he so desires, may seek its reversion subject of course
necessary use and enjoyment of the property in a lawful manner, lessening or destroying its to the return at the very least of the just compensation received.
value.
In expropriation, the private owner is deprived of property against his will. The mandatory
Vda. de Ouano vs. Republic requirement of due process ought to be strictly followed such that the state must show, at the
G.R. NO. 168770, 9 FEBRUARY 2011 minimum, a genuine need, an exacting public purpose to take private property, the purpose to
be specifically alleged or least reasonably deducible from the complaint.
FACTS:
Public use, as an eminent domain concept, has now acquired an expansive meaning to include
1. In 1949, the National Airport Corporation (NAC), MCIAA’s predecessor agency any use that is of “usefulness, utility, or advantage, or what is productive of general benefit [of
pursued a program to expand the Lahug Airport in Cebu City. the public].” If the genuine public necessity—the very reason or condition as it were—allowing,
2. As an assurance from the government, there is a promise of reconveyance or at the first instance, the expropriation of a private land ceases or disappears, then there is no
repurchase of said property so long as Lahug ceases its operation or transfer its more cogent point for the government’s retention of the expropriated land. The same legal
operation to Mactan – Cebu Airport. situation should hold if the government devotes the property to another public use very much
3. Some owners refused to sell, and that the Civil Aeronautics Administration filed a different from the original or deviates from the declared purpose to benefit another private
complaint for the expropriation of said properties for the expansion of the Lahug person. It has been said that the direct use by the state of its power to oblige landowners to
Airport. renounce their productive possession to another citizen, who will use it predominantly for that
4. The trial court then declared said properties to be used upon the expansion of said citizen’s own private gain, is offensive to our laws.
projects and order for just compensation to the land owners, at the same time
directed the latter to transfer certificate or ownership or title in the name of the The government cannot plausibly keep the property it expropriated in any manner it pleases
plaintiff. and in the process dishonor the judgment of expropriation. A condemnor should commit to use
the property pursuant to the purpose stated in the petition for expropriation, failing which it vs.
should file another petition for the new purpose. If not, then it behooves the condemnor to JU DGE ALAN L. FLORES, PRESIDING JUDGE, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 7, TUBOD,
return the said property to its private owner, if the latter so desires. LANAO DEL NORTE, Respondent.

Hence, equity and justice demand the reconveyance by MCIAA of the litigated lands in Facts:
question to the Ouanos and Inocians. In the same token, justice and fair play also dictate that Commissioner of Internal Revenue Lilian Hefti reassigned Mustapha Gandarosa from Cagayan
the Ouanos and Inocian return to MCIAA what they received as just compensation for the de Oro City to Quezon City. Gandarosa, not amiable to the reassignment, filed a Rule 65 petition
expropriation of their respective properties plus legal interest to be computed from default, with prayer for a TRO before the Regional Trial Court, Branch 7, under Judge Flores. The judge
which in this case should run from the time MCIAA complies with the reconveyance obligation. granted Ganadarosa’s request.

According to the Administrative Code of 1987 in Book V, Chapter 5, Subtitle A, Section 26(3),
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, represented by the NATIONAL POWER CORPORATION,
vs.
 an employee who questions the validity of his transfer should appeal to the Civil Service
HEIRS OF SATURNINO Q. BORBON, AND COURT OF APPEALS Commission.

FACTS: Issue:
The National Power Corporation (NAPOCOR) entered into a private property owned by Did Judge Flores commit gross ignorance of the law by taking jurisdiction of the case?
respondents Borbon in order to construct and maintain transmission lines for its Power
Transmission Project. NAPOCOR then filed for expropriation of an easement of right of way Ruling:
over a portion of the said property. However, during the pendency of the appeal, NAPOCOR Yes. When a law rule is basic, judges should simply apply the law. Anything less is considered
filed a motion to discontinue the expropriation proceedings, that the property sought to be gross ignorance of the law. In this case, the law was clear that Gandarosa should have filed the
expropriated was no longer necessary for public purpose, that because the public purpose case with the Civil Service Commission, not the Regional Trial Court.
ceased to exist, the proceedings for expropriation should no longer continue, and the State was
now duty-bound to return the property to its owners; and that the dismissal or discontinuance
of the expropriation proceedings was in accordance of the Rules of Court. SECRETARY OF JUSTICE VS LANTION
ISSUE:
Whether the expropriation proceedings should be discontinued or dismissed pending appeal. Facts:
This is a petition for review of a decision of the Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC). The
HELD: Department of Justice received a request from the Department of Foreign Affairs for the
The dismissal of the proceedings for expropriation at the instance of NAPOCOR is proper, but, extradition of respondent Mark Jimenez to the U.S. The Grand Jury Indictment. The warrant for
the dismissal or discontinuance of the proceedings must be upon such terms as the court deems his arrest, and other supporting documents for said extradition were attached along with the
just and equitable. Here, NAPOCOR seeks to discontinue the expropriation proceedings on the request. Charges include:
ground that the transmission lines constructed on the respondents’ property had already been 1. Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud the US
retired. The retirement of the transmission lines necessarily stripped the expropriation 2. Attempt to evade or defeat tax
proceedings of the element of public use. Accordingly, the Court grants the motion to 3. Fraud by wire, radio, or television
discontinue the proceedings and requires the return of the property to the respondents. 4. False statement or entries
In view of the discontinuance of the proceedings and the eventual return of the property to 5. Election contribution in name of another
the respondents, NAPOCOR should compensate the respondents for the disturbance of their
property rights from the time of entry in March 1993 until the time of restoration of the The Department of Justice (DOJ), through a designated panel proceeded with the technical
possession by paying actual or other compensatory damages. The compensation must be evaluation and assessment of the extradition treaty which they found having matters needed
based on what they actually lost as a result and by reason of their dispossession of the property to be addressed. Respondent, then requested for copies of all the documents included in the
and of its use, including the value of the fruit trees, plants and crops destroyed by NAPOCOR’s extradition request and for him to be given ample time to assess it. The Secretary of Justice
construction of the transmission lines. Considering that the dismissal of the expropriation denied request on the following grounds:
proceedings is a development occurring during the appeal, the Court treats the dismissal of the 1. He found it premature to secure him copies prior to the completion of the
expropriation proceedings as producing the effect of converting the case into an action for evaluation. At that point in time, the DOJ is in the process of evaluating whether the procedures
damages. and requirements under the relevant law (PD 1069 Philippine Extradition Law) and treaty (RP-
US Extradition Treaty) have been complied with by the Requesting Government. Evaluation by
EFREN T. UY, NELIA B. LEE, RODOLFO L. MENES and QUINCIANO H. LUI, Complainants,
the DOJ of the documents is not a preliminary investigation like in criminal cases making the Whether or not the right to bail is available in extradition proceedings
constitutionally guaranteed rights of the accused in criminal prosecution inapplicable.
2. The U.S. requested for the prevention of unauthorized disclosure of the information Discussions:
in the documents. The constitutional right to bail “flows from the presumption of innocence in favor of every
3. The department is not in position to hold in abeyance proceedings in connection accused who should not be subjected to the loss of freedom as thereafter he would be entitled
with an extradition request, as Philippines is bound to Vienna Convention on law of treaties to acquittal, unless his guilt be proved beyond reasonable doubt.” It follows that the
such that every treaty in force is binding upon the parties. constitutional provision on bail will not apply to a case like extradition, where the presumption
of innocence is not at issue.
Mark Jimenez then filed a petition against the Secretary of Justice. RTC presiding Judge Lantion
favored Jimenez. Secretary of Justice was made to issue a copy of the requested papers, as well Ruling/s:
as conducting further proceedings. Thus, this petition is now at bar. No. The court agree with petitioner. As suggested by the use of the word “conviction,” the
constitutional provision on bail quoted above, as well as Section 4 of Rule 114 of the Rules of
Issue/s: Court, applies only when a person has been arrested and detained for violation of Philippine
Whether or not respondent’s entitlement to notice and hearing during the evaluation stage of criminal laws. It does not apply to extradition proceedings, because extradition courts do not
the proceedings constitute a breach of the legal duties of the Philippine Government under the render judgments of conviction or acquittal.
RP-US Extradition Treaty.
It is also worth noting that before the US government requested the extradition of respondent,
Discussions: proceedings had already been conducted in that country. But because he left the jurisdiction
The doctrine of incorporation is applied whenever municipal tribunals are confronted with of the requesting state before those proceedings could be completed, it was hindered from
situations in which there appears to be a conflict between a rule of international law and the continuing with the due processes prescribed under its laws. His invocation of due process now
provisions of the constitution or statute of a local state. Efforts should be done to harmonize has thus become hollow. He already had that opportunity in the requesting state; yet, instead
them. In a situation, however, where the conflict is irreconcilable and a choice has to be made of taking it, he ran away.
between a rule of international law and municipal law, jurisprudence dictates that municipal
law should be upheld by the municipal courts. The doctrine of incorporation decrees that rules
of international law are given equal standing, but are not superior to, national legislative Philippine Guardians Brotherhood vs COMELEC
enactments.
FACTS:
Ruling/s:
Respondent delisted petitioner, a party list organization, from the roster of
No. The human rights of person, Filipino or foreigner, and the rights of the accused guaranteed
registered national, regional or sectoral parties, organizations or coalitions under the party-list
in our Constitution should take precedence over treaty rights claimed by a contracting state.
system through its resolution, denying also the latter’s motion for reconsideration, in
The duties of the government to the individual deserve preferential consideration when they
accordance with Section 6(8) of Republic Act No. 7941 (RA 7941), otherwise known as the Party-
collide with its treaty obligations to the government of another state. This is so although we
List System Act, which provides:
recognize treaties as a source of binding obligations under generally accepted principles of
Section 6. Removal and/or Cancellation of Registration. – The COMELEC may motu
international law incorporated in our Constitution as part of the law of the land.
proprio or upon verified complaint of any interested party, remove or cancel, after due notice
and hearing, the registration of any national, regional or sectoral party, organization or coalition
GOVERNMENT OF THE USA VS PURGANAN
on any of the following grounds: It fails to participate in the last two (2) preceding
elections or fails to obtain at least two per centum (2%) of the votes cast under the party-list
Facts:
system in the two (2) preceding elections for the constituency in which it has registered.
The petition at bar seeking to void and set aside the Orders issued by the Regional
Petitioner was delisted because it failed to get 2% of the votes cast in 2004 and it
Trial Court (RTC) of Manila, Branch 42. The first assailed Order set for hearing petitioner’s
did not participate in the 2007 elections. Petitioner filed its opposition to the resolution citing
application for the issuance of a warrant for the arrest of Respondent Mark B. Jimenez.
among others the misapplication in the ruling of MINERO v. COMELEC, but was denied for lack
Pursuant to the existing RP-US Extradition Treaty, the US Government requested the
of merit. Petitioner elevated the matter to SC showing the excerpts from the records of Senate
extradition of Mark Jimenez. A hearing was held to determine whether a warrant of arrest
Bill No. 1913 before it became the law in question.
should be issued. Afterwards, such warrant was issued but the trial court allowed Jimenez to
post bail for his provisional liberty.
ISSUES:
Issue/s:
Political Law
(1) Whether or not there is legal basis in the delisting of PGBI.
(2) Whether or not PGBI’s right to due process was violated. Section 11 of the Probation Law provides that the commission of another offense shall render
Civil Law (Statutory Construction) the probation order ineffective. As probation is a mere discretionary grant, petitioner was bound
(1) Whether or not the doctrine of judicial precedent applies in this case. to observe full obedience to the terms and conditions pertaining to the probation order or run
the risk of revocation of this privilege.
RULINGS:
SERENO, J.
Political Law
(1) No. The MINERO ruling is an erroneous application of Section 6(8) of RA 7941; hence, it FACTS: SUYAN was charged with violation of Section 16, Article III of Republic Act No. 6425. He
cannot sustain PGBI’s delisting from the roster of registered national, regional or sectoral pleaded guilty to the charge. The trial court sentenced him to suffer the penalty of six years of
parties, organizations or coalitions under the party-list system. First, the law is in the plain, clear prision correctional. He filed his application for probation on the same day. RTC issued a
and unmistakable language of the law which provides for two (2) separate reasons for Probation Order covering a period of six years.
delisting. Second, MINERO is diametrically opposed to the legislative intent of Section 6(8) of
RA 7941, as PGBI’s cited congressional deliberations clearly show. MINERO therefore simply While on probation, he was arrested again on two separate occasions, both for violations of
cannot stand. Section 16 of RA 6425. Two separate Informations were filed against him. Because of this, the
(2) No. On the due process issue, petitioner’s right to due process was not violated for [it] was Chief of the Parole and Probation Office (ATTY. NAVARRO) recommended the revocation of his
given an opportunity to seek, as it did seek, a reconsideration of [COMELEC resolution]. The probation, citing recidivism. NAVARRO also pointed out that SUYAN was no longer in a position
essence of due process, consistently held, is simply the opportunity to be heard; as applied to to comply with the conditions of his probation, in view of his incarceration.
administrative proceedings, due process is the opportunity to explain one’s side or the
opportunity to seek a reconsideration of the action or ruling complained of. A formal or trial- The RTC ordered the revocation of SUYAN’s probation and directed him to serve his sentence.
type hearing is not at all times and in all instances essential. The requirement is satisfied where SUYAN then interposed an appeal with the Court of Appeals. He argued that he was not
the parties are afforded fair and reasonable opportunity to explain their side of the controversy accorded due process. Finding merit in his petition, the CA ordered the remand of the case to
at hand. What is frowned upon is absolute lack of notice and hearing x x x. [It is] obvious [that] the RTC for further proceedings. Thus, the RTC conducted a hearing on the Motion to Revoke.
under the attendant circumstances that PGBI was not denied due process.
The Parole and Probation Office filed a Violation Report where it stated that probationer SUYAN
Civil Law (Statutory Construction) showed negative attitude towards rehabilitation and instead continued with his illegal drug
(1) No. This case is an exception to the application of the principle of stare decisis. The doctrine activities despite counseling and warning from the Office. The prosecution likewise filed its
of stare decisis et non quieta movere (to adhere to precedents and not to unsettle things which Formal Offer of Evidence where it attached a certification from another court that SUYAN has
are established) is embodied in Article 8 of the Civil Code of the Philippines which provides, already served his sentence on the other drug charges against him. SUYAN filed his Comment
thus: but did not dispute the certification.
ART. 8. Judicial decisions applying or interpreting the laws or the Constitution shall form a part
of the legal system of the Philippines. After hearing, the RTC issued an Order revoking the probation. SUYAN appealed with the CA,
The doctrine enjoins adherence to judicial precedents. It requires courts in a but the same was denied.
country to follow the rule established in a decision of its Supreme Court. That decision
becomes a judicial precedent to be followed in subsequent cases by all courts in the land. The ISSUE:
doctrine of stare decisis is based on the principle that once a question of law has been 1. Whether or not the probation was validly revoked.
examined and decided, it should be deemed settled and closed to further argument.
The doctrine though is not cast in stone for upon a showing that circumstances HELD:
attendant in a particular case override the great benefits derived by [SC’s] judicial system from
the doctrine of stare decisis, the Court is justified in setting it aside. MINERO did unnecessary Yes, the probation of SUYAN was validly revoked.
violence to the language of the law, the intent of the legislature, and to the rule of law in
general. Clearly, [SC] cannot allow PGBI to be prejudiced by the continuing validity of an Petitioner does not deny the fact that he has been convicted, and that he has served out his
erroneous ruling. Thus, [SC] now abandons MINERO and strike it out from [the] ruling case law. sentence for another offense while on probation. Consequently, his commission of another
offense is a direct violation of the condition in his Probation Order, and the effects are clearly
outlined in Section 11 of the Probation Law. Section 11 of the Probation Law provides that the
SUYAN VS. PEOPLE commission of another offense shall render the probation order ineffective.
G.R. No. 189644 | July 2, 2014
The Court’s discretion to grant probation is to be exercised primarily for the benefit of so patent and gross as to amount to an evasion of positive duty or a virtual refusal to perform
organized society and only incidentally for the benefit of the accused. Having the power to the duty enjoined by law. x x x.47
grant probation, it follows that the trial court also has the power to order its revocation in a
proper case and under appropriate circumstances.
Ejercito failed to prove that the COMELEC rendered its assailed Resolution with
grave abuse of discretion.
EMILIO RAMON "E.R." P. EJERCITO vs. HON. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and EDGAR "EGAY"
S. SAN LUIS
The COMELEC First Division and COMELEC En Banc correctly ruled that the petition
FACTS: filed by San Luis against Ejercito is not just for prosecution of election offense but for
Three days prior to the May 13, 2013 Elections, a petition for disqualification disqualification as well. Ejercito cannot feign ignorance of the true nature and intent of San
was filed by Edgar “Egay” San Luis before the COMELEC against Emilio Ramon “E.R.” P. Ejercito, Luis’ petition. The title of San Luis’ petition shows that the case was brought under Rule 25 of
who was a fellow gubernatorial candidate and, at the time, the incumbent Governor of the the COMELEC Rules of Procedure, which is the specific rule governing the disqualification of
Province of Laguna. candidates. Moreover, the averments of San Luis’ petition rely on Section 68 (a) and (c) of the
Petition alleged Ejercito distributed orange card to influence voters in his OEC as grounds for its causes of action. Section 68 of the OEC precisely enumerates the grounds
favor; and Ejercito exceeds the amount of expenditures necessary. for the disqualification of a candidate for elective position and provides, as penalty, that the
Ejercito proclaimed Governor. candidate shall be disqualified from continuing as such, or if he or she has been elected, from
The COMELEC First Division issued a Summons with Notice of Conference. Ejercito holding the office. A similar tenor was expressed in the prayer in the petition filed by San Luis.
prayed for the dismissal of the petition which was improperly filed because it is in reality a
complaint for election offenses, thus, the case should have been filed before the COMELEC Law An election offense has both criminal and electoral aspects. The electoral aspect
Department, and if with probable cause, file with proper court. may proceed independently of the criminal aspect, and vice-versa. The criminal aspect of a
The COMELEC First Division resolved to grant the disqualification of Ejercito. The disqualification case determines whether there is probable cause to charge a candidate for an
COMELEC En Banc agreed with the findings of its First Division that San Luis’ petition is an action election offense. The prosecutor is the COMELEC, through its Law Department, which
to disqualify Ejercito. determines whether probable cause exists. If there is probable cause, the COMELEC, through
its Law Department, files the criminal information before the proper court. Proceedings before
Ejercito filed before the Court GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION against COMELEC and the proper court demand a full-blown hearing and require proof beyond reasonable doubt to
contends It violated the right of petitioner due process when it ruled for disqualification of convict. A criminal conviction shall result in the disqualification of the offender, which may even
petitioner even it was not prayed for disqualification. Worse, there is yet no finding of guilt by include disqualification from holding a future public office. The conduct of preliminary
competent court that he committed election offense. investigation is not required in the resolution of the electoral aspect of a disqualification case.
The “exclusive power of the COMELEC to conduct a preliminary investigation of all
casesinvolving criminal infractions of the election laws” stated in Par. 1 of COMELEC Resolution
ISSUE: WON COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion No. 2050 pertains to the criminal aspect of a disqualification case. Hence, an erring candidate
may be disqualified even without prior determination of probable cause in a preliminary
HELD: investigation

TELEBAP vs COMELEC
NO. A special civil action for certiorari under Rule 64, in relation to Rule 65, is an G.R. No. 132922, April 21, 1998
independent action that is available only if there is no appeal or any other plain, speedy, and
adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law.44 It is a legal remedy that is limited to the Facts: Petitioners challenge the validity of §92 of B.P. Blg. 881. on the ground (1) that it takes
resolution of jurisdictional issues and is not meant to correct simple errors of judgment.45 More property without due process of law and without just compensation; (2) that it denies radio
importantly, it will only prosper if grave abuse of discretion is alleged and is actually proved to and television broadcast companies the equal protection of the laws; and (3) that it is in excess
exist.46 of the power given to the COMELEC to supervise or regulate the operation of media of
communication or information during the period of election.
Grave abuse of discretion arises when a lower court or tribunal violates the Issue: Whether is in excess of the power given to the COMELEC to supervise or regulate the
Constitution, the law or existing jurisprudence. It means such capricious and whimsical exercise operation of media of communication or information during the period of election.
of judgment as would amount to lack of jurisdiction; it contemplates a situation where the Held: No. The petition is dismissed.
power is exercised in an arbitrary or despotic manner by reason of passion or personal hostility, With the prohibition on media advertising by candidates themselves, the COMELEC Time and
COMELEC Space are about the only means through which candidates can advertise their
qualifications and programs of government. More than merely depriving candidates of time for an aberrant situation not only elevates accused-appellant’s status to that of a special class, it
their ads, the failure of broadcast stations to provide air time unless paid by the government also would be a mockery of the purposes of the correction system.
would clearly deprive the people of their right to know. Art. III, §7 of the Constitution provides
that “the right of the people to information on matters of public concern shall be recognized,” Biraogo vs Philippine Truth Commission of 2010
while Art. XII, §6 states that “the use of property bears a social function [and] the right to own,
establish, and operate economic enterprises [is] subject to the duty of the State to promote Facts:
distributive justice and to intervene when the common good so demands.”
To affirm the validity of §92 of B.P. Blg. 881 is to hold public broadcasters to their obligation to The genesis of the foregoing cases can be traced to the events prior to the historic May 2010
see to it that the variety and vigor of public debate on issues in an election is maintained. For elections, when then Senator Benigno Simeon Aquino III declared his staunch condemnation of
while broadcast media are not mere common carriers but entities with free speech rights, graft and corruption with his slogan, "Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap." The Filipino
they are also public trustees charged with the duty of ensuring that the people have access people, convinced of his sincerity and of his ability to carry out this noble objective, catapulted
to the diversity of views on political issues. This right of the people is paramount to the the good senator to the presidency.
autonomy of broadcast media. To affirm the validity of §92, therefore, is likewise to uphold the
people’s right to information on matters of public concern. The use of property bears a social The first case is G.R. No. 192935, a special civil action for prohibition instituted by petitioner
function and is subject to the state’s duty to intervene for the common good. Broadcast media Louis Biraogo (Biraogo) in his capacity as a citizen and taxpayer. Biraogo assails Executive Order
can find their just and highest reward in the fact that whatever altruistic service they may No. 1 for being violative of the legislative power of Congress under Section 1, Article VI of the
render in connection with the holding of elections is for that common good. Constitution as it usurps the constitutional authority of the legislature to create a public office
and to appropriate funds therefor.

PEOPLE V JALOSJOS
Feb. 3, 2000 The second case, G.R. No. 193036, is a special civil action for certiorari and prohibition filed by
petitioners Edcel C. Lagman, Rodolfo B. Albano Jr., Simeon A. Datumanong, and Orlando B. Fua,
Facts: The accused-appellant, Romeo Jalosjos, is a full-fledged member of Congress who is Sr. (petitioners-legislators) as incumbent members of the House of Representatives.
confined at the national penitentiary while his conviction for statutory rape and acts of
lasciviousness is pending appeal. The accused-appellant filed a motion asking that he be Thus, at the dawn of his administration, the President on July 30, 2010, signed Executive Order
allowed to fully discharge the duties of a Congressman, including attendance at legislative No. 1 establishing the Philippine Truth Commission of 2010 (Truth Commission).
sessions and committee meetings despite his having been convicted in the first instance of a
non-bailable offense on the basis of popular sovereignty and the need for his constituents to Issues:
be represented
1. Whether or not the petitioners have the legal standing to file their respective petitions and
Issue: Whether or not accused-appellant should be allowed to discharge mandate as member question Executive Order No. 1;
of House of Representatives
2. Whether or not Executive Order No. 1 violates the principle of separation of powers by
Held: Election is the expression of the sovereign power of the people. However, inspite of its usurping the powers of Congress to create and to appropriate funds for public offices, agencies
importance, the privileges and rights arising from having been elected may be enlarged or and commissions;
restricted by law.
The immunity from arrest or detention of Senators and members of the House of 3. Whether or not Executive Order No. 1 supplants the powers of the Ombudsman and the
Representatives arises from a provision of the Constitution. The privilege has always been DOJ;
granted in a restrictive sense. The provision granting an exemption as a special privilege cannot
be extended beyond the ordinary meaning of its terms. It may not be extended by intendment, 4. Whether or not Executive Order No. 1 violates the equal protection clause; and
implication or equitable considerations.
The accused-appellant has not given any reason why he should be exempted from 5. Whether or not petitioners are entitled to injunctive relief.
the operation of Sec. 11, Art. VI of the Constitution. The members of Congress cannot compel
absent members to attend sessions if the reason for the absence is a legitimate one. The Held:
confinement of a Congressman charged with a crime punishable by imprisonment of more than
six years is not merely authorized by law, it has constitutional foundations. To allow accused- Legal Standing of the Petitioners
appellant to attend congressional sessions and committee meetings for 5 days or more in a
week will virtually make him a free man with all the privileges appurtenant to his position. Such
The Court, however, finds reason in Biraogo’s assertion that the petition covers matters of
transcendental importance to justify the exercise of jurisdiction by the Court. There are Violation of the Equal Protection Clause
constitutional issues in the petition which deserve the attention of this Court in view of their
seriousness, novelty and weight as precedents. Where the issues are of transcendental and The petitioners assail Executive Order No. 1 because it is violative of this constitutional
paramount importance not only to the public but also to the Bench and the Bar, they should be safeguard. They contend that it does not apply equally to all members of the same class such
resolved for the guidance of all.Undoubtedly, the Filipino people are more than interested to that the intent of singling out the "previous administration" as its sole object makes the PTC an
know the status of the President’s first effort to bring about a promised change to the country. "adventure in partisan hostility." Thus, in order to be accorded with validity, the commission
The Court takes cognizance of the petition not due to overwhelming political undertones that must also cover reports of graft and corruption in virtually all administrations previous to that
clothe the issue in the eyes of the public, but because the Court stands firm in its oath to of former President Arroyo.
perform its constitutional duty to settle legal controversies with overreaching significance to
society. The equal protection clause is aimed at all official state actions, not just those of the legislature.
Its inhibitions cover all the departments of the government including the political and executive
Power of the President to Create the Truth Commission departments, and extend to all actions of a state denying equal protection of the laws, through
whatever agency or whatever guise is taken.
The Chief Executive’s power to create the Ad hoc Investigating Committee cannot be doubted.
Having been constitutionally granted full control of the Executive Department, to which Applying these precepts to this case, Executive Order No. 1 should be struck down as violative
respondents belong, the President has the obligation to ensure that all executive officials and of the equal protection clause. The clear mandate of the envisioned truth commission is to
employees faithfully comply with the law. With AO 298 as mandate, the legality of the investigate and find out the truth "concerning the reported cases of graft and corruption during
investigation is sustained. Such validity is not affected by the fact that the investigating team the previous administration"only. The intent to single out the previous administration is plain,
and the PCAGC had the same composition, or that the former used the offices and facilities of patent and manifest. Mention of it has been made in at least three portions of the questioned
the latter in conducting the inquiry. executive order.

Power of the Truth Commission to Investigate Decision

The distinction between the power to investigate and the power to adjudicate was delineated The issue that seems to take center stage at present is - whether or not the Supreme Court, in
by the Court in Cariño v. Commission on Human Rights.59 Thus: the exercise of its constitutionally mandated power of Judicial Review with respect to recent
initiatives of the legislature and the executive department, is exercising undue interference. Is
The legal meaning of "investigate" is essentially the same: "(t)o follow up step by step by patient the Highest Tribunal, which is expected to be the protector of the Constitution, itself guilty of
inquiry or observation. To trace or track; to search into; to examine and inquire into with care violating fundamental tenets like the doctrine of separation of powers? Time and again, this
and accuracy; to find out by careful inquisition; examination; the taking of evidence; a legal issue has been addressed by the Court, but it seems that the present political situation calls for
inquiry;" "to inquire; to make an investigation," "investigation" being in turn described as "(a)n it to once again explain the legal basis of its action lest it continually be accused of being a
administrative function, the exercise of which ordinarily does not require a hearing. 2 Am J2d hindrance to the nation’s thrust to progress.
Adm L Sec. 257; x x an inquiry, judicial or otherwise, for the discovery and collection of facts
concerning a certain matter or matters." WHEREFORE, the petitions are GRANTED. Executive Order No. 1 is hereby declared
UNCONSTITUTIONAL insofar as it is violative of the equal protection clause of the Constitution.
In the legal sense, "adjudicate" means: "To settle in the exercise of judicial authority. To
determine finally. Synonymous with adjudge in its strictest sense;" and "adjudge" means: "To As also prayed for, the respondents are hereby ordered to cease and desist from carrying out
pass on judicially, to decide, settle or decree, or to sentence or condemn. x x. Implies a judicial the provisions of Executive Order No. 1.
determination of a fact, and the entry of a judgment."

Finally, nowhere in Executive Order No. 1 can it be inferred that the findings of the PTC are to
be accorded conclusiveness. Much like its predecessors, the Davide Commission, the Feliciano
Commission and the Zenarosa Commission, its findings would, at best, be recommendatory in COMELEC vs CONRADO CRUZ
nature. And being so, the Ombudsman and the DOJ have a wider degree of latitude to decide G.R. No. 186616 November 20, 2009
whether or not to reject the recommendation. These offices, therefore, are not deprived of FACTS:
their mandated duties but will instead be aided by the reports of the PTC for possible When RA 9164 entitled “An Act Providing for Synchronized Barangay and
indictments for violations of graft laws. Sangguniang Kabataan Elections” was passed, questions of the constitutionality were raised
against Section 2 which states that “No barangay elective official shall serve for more than 3
consecutive terms in the same position: Provided however, that the term of office shall be Consequently, the petitioners assail the validity of the creation of COMELEC-DOJ Joint Panel
reckoned from the 1994 barangay elections. Voluntary renunciation of office for any length of and of Joint Order No. 001-2011 before the Supreme Court.
time shall not be considered as an interruption in the continuity of service for the full term for
which the elective official was elected. Arroyo raised the issue in his petition that the creation of the Joint Committee is violative of
Before the 2007 Synchronized Barangay and SK Elections, some of the then the equal protection clause since it was created with the sole purpose of investigating and
incumbent officials of several barangays of Caloocan City filed with the RTC a petition for prosecuting certain persons and incidents only, specifically those involving the 2004 and 2007
declaratory relief to challenge the constitutionality of the said provision as it is violative of the elections to the exclusion of others contrary to the finding of the Supreme Court in Biraogo vs
equal protection clause of the Constitution in as much as the barangay officials were singled Philippine Truth Commission.
out that there consecutive limit shall be counted retroactively.
ISSUE: ISSUE:
Whether or not the provision in Section 2 of RA 9164 is violative of the equal
protection clause of the Constitution. Whether or not the creation of the Joint Committee is violative of the equal protection clause.
RULING:
The equal protection clause is under Sec 2 Art III of the Constitution which provides: HELD:
“Nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws.” This is however considering
equality under the same conditions and among persons similarly situated. The law can treat No, the creation of the Joint Committee does not violate the equal protection clause.
barangay officials differently from other local elective officials because the Constitution itself
provides a significant distinction between these elective officials with respect to length of term The Supreme Court held that Joint Order No. 001-2011 cannot be nullified on the ground that
and term limitation. The clear distinction, expressed in the Constitution itself, is that while the it singles out the officials of the Arroyo Administration and, therefore, infringes the equal
Constitution provides for a 3-year term and 3-term limit for local elective officials, it left the protection clause.
length of term and the application of the 3-term limit or any form of term limitation for
determination by Congress through legislation. Not only does this disparate treatment The Philippine Truth Commission of 2010 was expressly created for the purpose of investigating
recognize substantial distinctions, it recognizes as well that the Constitution itself allows a non- alleged graft and corruption during the Arroyo Administration since Executive Order No. 177
uniform treatment. No equal protection violation can exist under these conditions. specifically referred to the “previous administration”; while the Joint Committee was created
for the purpose of conducting preliminary investigation of election offenses during the 2004
and 2007 elections.
Jose Miguel Arroyo vs Department of Justice
While Mike Arroyo and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo were among those subjected to preliminary
FACTS: investigation, not all respondents therein were linked to GMA as there were public officers who
were investigated upon in connection with their acts in the performance of their official duties.
The Comelec issued Resolution No. 9266 approving the creation of a joint committee with the Private individuals were also subjected to the investigation by the Joint Committee.
Department of Justice (DOJ), which shall conduct preliminary investigation on the alleged
election offenses and anomalies committed during the 2004 and 2007 elections. Equal protection merely requires that all persons under like circumstances and conditions shall
be treated alike both as to privileges conferred and liabilities enforced. Given that the creation
Due to allegations of electoral fraud and manipulation during the 2004 and 2007 National of the Joint Committee was not purposefully created to investigate only the involved parties
Elections the Comelec and the DOJ issued Joint Order No. 001-2011 creating and constituting a specifically, there is no violation of the equal protection clause in this case.
Joint Committee and Fact-Finding Team composed of officials from the DOJ and the Comelec.
In its initial report, the Fact-Finding Team concluded that manipulation of the results in the May
14, 2007 senatorial elections in the provinces of North and South Cotabato and Maguindanao
were indeed perpetrated.

The Fact-Finding Team recommended that herein petitioners to be subjected to preliminary Republic vs Daisy Yahon
investigation for electoral sabotage. After the preliminary investigation, the COMELEC en banc G.R. No. 201043
adopted a resolution ordering that information/s for the crime of electoral sabotage be filed
against Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, et al. while that the charges against Jose Miguel Arroyo, Facts:
among others, should be dismissed for insufficiency of evidence.
Sgt. Yahon was married to respondent. A TPO has been issued against Sgt Yahon to right against unreasonable search and seizure. In these cases, the search and seizure may be
protect the respondent from further abuses. In the TPO, Sgt Yahon was ordered to provide made only with probable cause. Probable cause being at best defined as a reasonable ground
reasonable financial spousal support to the respondent. In his failure to appear before the court of suspicion, supported by circumstances sufficiently strong in themselves to warrant a cautious
with a counsel and with an answer to the charges against him, the court has granted PPO for man in the belief that the person accused is guilty of the offense with which he is charged; or
the respondent against Sgt Yahon. It was also reiterated that Sgt Yahon should provide for the the existence of such facts and circumstances which could lead a reasonably discreet and
financial spousal support to his wife from his retirement benefits. However, the Armed Forces prudent man to believe that an offense has been committed and that the item(s), article(s) or
of the Philippines Finance Center contended that half of the retirement benefits of Sgt Yahon object(s) sought in connection with said offense or subject to seizure and destruction by is in
cannot be given to the respondent as it is from a military institution. The petitioner contended the place to be searched.
that money due to government employees is not liable to the creditors of the said employees Additionally, stop-and-frisk has already been adopted as another exception to the general rule
in the process of garnishment. against a search without a warrant.
In the present case, petitioner effectively waived the inadmissibility of the evidence illegally
Issue: Whether or not the retirement benefits of Sgt Yahon be subject to the ruling of the court obtained when he failed to raise the issue or object thereto during the trial.
to provide for the financial spousal support of respondent.
The Supreme Court affirmed with modifications the assailed Decision and Resolution of the
Held: Retirement benefits of Sgt Yahon are subject to the financial spousal support of respondent court.
respondent. As a rule in statutory construction, when the law does not distinguish, the court
should not distinguish. As section 8 (g) of RA No. 9262 used the general term 'employer', it PEOPLE VS SUCRO
includes in its coverage the military institution, which is the employer of Sgt Yahon. FACTS:
Roy Fulgencio was instructed by P/Lt. Vicente Seraspi, Jr. (Station Commander of the
Manalili vs Court of Appeals (GR 113447) Oct. 9, 1997 INP) to monitor the activities of appellant Edison Sucro, because of information gathered by
Seraspi that Sucro was selling marijuana.
Facts: Pat. Fulgencio saw appellant enter the chapel, taking something which turned out
At about 2:10 PM on April 11, 1988, Police Anti-Narcotics Unit of Kalookan City conducted later to be marijuana from the compartment of a cart found inside the chapel, and then return
surveillance along A. Mabini Street, in front of the Kalookan City Cemetery. This was done after to the street where he handed the same to a buyer, Aldie Borromeo. After a while appellant
receiving information that drug addicts were roaming around said area. went back to the chapel and again came out with marijuana which he gave to a group of
Upon reaching the cemetery, the policemen chanced upon a male person, the petitioner, in persons. Pat. Fulgencio called up Seraspi to report that a third buyer later Identified as Ronnie
front of the cemetery who appeared high on drugs. The petitioner had reddish eyes and was Macabante, was transacting with appellant.
walking in a swaying manner. At that point, the team of P/Lt. Seraspi proceeded to the area and while the police officers were
Petitioner was trying to avoid the policemen, but the officers were able to introduce themselves at the Youth Hostel at Maagma St., Pat. Fulgencio told P/Lt. Seraspi to intercept Macabante and
and asked him what he was holding in his hands. Petitioner resisted. Policeman Espiritu asked appellant.
him if he could see what the petitioner had in his hands. The petitioner showed his wallet and Upon seeing the police, Macabante threw something to the ground which turned
allowed the officer to examine it. Policeman Espiritu found suspected crushed marijuana out to be a tea bag of marijuana. When confronted, Macabante readily admitted that he bought
residue inside. He kept the wallet and its marijuana contents and took petitioner to the same from Sucro. The police team was able to overtake and arrest appellant and recovered
headquarters to be further investigated. 19 sticks and 4 teabags of marijuana from the cart inside the chapel and another teabag from
The suspected marijuana was sent to the NBI Forensic Chemistry Section for analysis. Macabante

Issue: ISSUES:
Whether or not the search and seizure of the suspected marijuana is unreasonable, and hence Whether or not the arrest without warrant of the accused is lawful and
inadmissible as evidence. consequently.
Whether or not the evidence resulting from such arrest is admissible.
Held:
The general rule is a search and seizure must be validated by a previously secured judicial
warrant; otherwise, such a search and seizure is unconstitutional and subject to challenge. Any
evidence obtained in violation of this constitutionally guaranteed right is legally inadmissible in HELD:
any proceeding. The Court ruled in the affirmative. Section 5, Rule 113 of the Rules on Criminal
The exceptions to the rule are: (1) search incidental to a lawful arrest, (2) search of moving Procedure provides for the instances where arrest without warrant is considered lawful. The
vehicles, (3) seizure in plain view, (4) customs search, and (5) waiver by the accused of their rule states:
A peace officer or private person may, without warrant, arrest a person: The prosecution also presented a certification from the Department of Environment and
Natural Resources that the land cultivated by appellant where the growing marijuana plants
(a) When in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or were found, was part of the public domain. Appellant was acknowledged in the certification as
is attempting to commit an offense; the occupant of the lot, but no Certificate of Stewardship had yet been issued in his favor.
(b) When an offense has in fact just been committed, and he has personal knowledge of facts The defense presented appellant as its sole witness. He testified he was weeding his
indicating that the person to be arrested has committed it; vegetable farm when he was called by a person whose identity he does not know. He was asked
to go with the latter to see something. This unknown person then brought appellant to the
An offense is committed in the presence or within the view of an officer, within the place where the marijuana plants were found, approximately 100 meters away from his nipa
meaning of the rule authorizing an arrest without a warrant, when the officer sees the offense, hut. Five armed policemen were present and they made him stand in front of the hemp plants.
although at a distance, or hears the disturbances created thereby and proceeds at once to the He was then asked if he knew anything about the marijuana growing there. When he denied
scene thereof. Fulgencio, within a distance of two meters saw Sucro conduct his nefarious any knowledge thereof, SPO2 Libunao poked a fist at him and told him to admit ownership of
activity and the fact that Macabante, when intercepted by the police, was caught throwing the the plants. Appellant was so nervous and afraid that he admitted owning the marijuana. The
marijuana stick and when confronted, readily admitted that he bought the same from accused- police team then brought him to the police station at Villaverde. At the police headquarters,
appellant clearly indicates that Sucro had just sold the marijuana stick to Macabante, and appellant reiterated that he knew nothing about the marijuana plants seized by the police.
therefore, had just committed an illegal act of which the police officers had personal Appellant contends that there was unlawful search. First, the records show that the law
knowledge, being members of the team which monitored Sucro's nefarious activity. Police enforcers had more than ample time to secure a search warrant. Second, that the marijuana
officers have personal knowledge of the actual commission of the crime when it had earlier plants were found in an unfenced lot does not remove appellant from the mantle of protection
conducted surveillance activities of the accused. against unreasonable searches and seizures. The right against unreasonable searches and
seizures is the immunity of one’s person, which includes his residence, his papers, and other
That searches and seizures must be supported by a valid warrant is not an absolute rule. Among possessions.
the exceptions granted by law is a search incidental to a lawful arrest under Sec. 13, Rule 126
of the Rules on Criminal Procedure, which provides that a person lawfully arrested may be ISSUE:
searched for dangerous weapons or anything which may be used as proof of the commission (1) Whether or not the search and seizure of the marijuana plants in the present case is lawful
of an offense, without a search warrant. There is nothing unlawful about the arrest considering and the seized evidence admissible.
its compliance with the requirements of a warrantless arrest. Ergo, the fruits obtained from (2) Whether or not the seized plants is admissible in evidence against the accused.
such lawful arrest are admissible in evidence. (3) Whether or not the prosecution has proved appellant’s guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
(4) Whether or not the sentence of death by lethal injection is correct.
PEOPLE versus VALDEZ
HELD:
FACTS: In the instant case, there was no search warrant issued by a judge after personal
Abe Valdez y Dela Cruz, accused-appellant, is charged for violating Section 9 of the determination of the existence of probable cause given the fact that police had ample time to
Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972 (R.A. No. 6425), as amended by R.A. No. 7659. The accused was obtain said warrant. The protection against illegal search and seizure is constitutionally
allegedly caught in flagrante delicto and without authority of law, planted, cultivated and mandated and only under specific instances are searches allowed without warrants. The mantle
cultured seven (7) fully grown marijuana plants known as Indian Hemp from which dangerous of protection extended by the Bill of Rights covers both innocent and guilty alike against any
drugs maybe manufactured or derived. Appellant was arraigned and with assistance of counsel, form of high-handedness of law enforcers, regardless of the praiseworthiness of their
pleaded not guilty to the charge. Trial on the merits then ensued. intentions.
The prosecution presented its witnesses, namely: SPO3 Marcelo Tipay, SPO2 Noel With respect to the first issue, the confiscated plants were evidently obtained during
V. Libunao, SPO2 Pedro S. Morales, SPO1 Romulo G. Tobias and PO2 Alfelmer I. Balut, all an illegal search and seizure. As to the second issue, which involves the admissibility of the
member of the police force, who testified how the information was received, the marijuana plants as evidence for the prosecution, the said plants cannot, as products of an
commencement of their operation and its details under the specific instruction of Inspector unlawful search and seizure, be used as evidence against appellant. They are fruits of the
Parungao. Accordingly, they found appellant alone in his nipa hut. They, then, proceeded to proverbial poisoned tree. It was, therefore, a reversible error on the part of the court a quo to
look around the area where appellant had his kaingin and saw seven (7) five-foot high, have admitted and relied upon the seized marijuana plants as evidence to convict appellant.
flowering marijuana plants in two rows, approximately 25 meters away from his nipa hut. PO2 In the third issue, it is fundamental in criminal prosecutions that before an accused
Balut asked appellant who owned the prohibited plants and, according to Balut, the latter may be convicted of a crime, the prosecution must establish by proof beyond reasonable doubt
admitted that they were his. They uprooted the seven marijuana plants, took photos of that a crime was committed and that the accused is the author thereof. The evidence arrayed
appellant standing beside the cannabis plants and arrested him. One of the said plants was sent against the accused, however, must not only stand the test of reason, it must likewise be
to the Philippine National Police Crime Laboratory for analysis which produced a positive result. credible and competent. Competent evidence is “generally admissible” evidence. Admissible
evidence, in turn, is evidence “of such a character that the court or judge is bound to receive it, (3) customs searches,
that is, allow it to be introduced at trial. And as earlier discussed, it was error on the trial court’s (4) waiver or consent searches,
part to have admitted evidences against the accused and to have relied upon said proofs to (5) stop and frisk situations (Terry search), and
convict him for said evidence is doubly tainted. (6) search incidental to a lawful arrest.
In the fourth issue, the Constitution decrees that, “In all criminal prosecutions, the
accused shall be presumed innocent until the contrary is proved.” To justify the conviction of It is required in cases of in flagrante delicto that the arresting officer must have personal
the accused, the prosecution must adduce that quantum of evidence sufficient to overcome knowledge of such facts or circumstances convincingly indicative or constitutive of
the constitutional presumption of innocence. The prosecution must stand or fall on its evidence probable cause. Probable cause means a reasonable ground of suspicion supported by
and cannot draw strength from the weakness of the evidence for the accused. Absent the circumstances sufficiently strong in themselves to warrant a cautious man's belief that
required degree of proof of an accused’s guilt, he is entitled to an acquittal. the person accused is guilty of the offense with which he is charged. In the case at bar,
there are no facts on record reasonably suggestive or demonstrative of CHUA's
participation in on going criminal enterprise that could have spurred police officers from
conducting the obtrusive search. CHUA was not identified as a drug courier by a police
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, informer or agent. The fact that the vessel that ferried him to shore bore no resemblance
vs. to the fishing boats of the area did not automatically mark him as in the process of
CHUA HO SAN @ TSAY HO SAN, accused-appellant. perpetrating an offense. With these, the Court held that there was no probable cause to
justify a search incidental to a lawful arrest.
FACTS OF THE CASE:
The Court likewise did not appreciate the contention of the Prosecution that there was a
In response to reports of rampant smuggling of firearms and other contraband, Chief of Police
waiver or consented search. If CHUA could not understand what was orally articulated to
Jim Lagasca Cid of Bacnotan Police Station, La Union began patrolling the Bacnotan coastline
him, how could he understand the police's "sign language?" More importantly, it cannot
with his officers. While monitoring the coastal area of Barangay Bulala, he intercepted a radio
logically be inferred from his alleged cognizance of the "sign language" that he
call at around 12:45 p.m. from Barangay Captain Juan Almoite of Barangay Tammocalao
deliberately, intelligently, and consciously waived his right against such an intrusive
requesting for police assistance regarding an unfamiliar speedboat the latter had spotted.
search.
According to Almoite, the vessel looked different from the boats ordinarily used by fisherfolk
of the area and was poised to dock at Tammocalao shores. Cid and six of his men led by SPO1 Finally, being a forbidden fruit, the subject regulated substance was held to be
Reynoso Badua, proceeded immediately to Tammocalao beach and there conferred with inadmissible in evidence.
Almoite. Cid then observed that the speedboat ferried a lone male passenger, who was later
identified as Chua Ho San. When the speed boat landed, the male passenger alighted, carrying Hence, the accused was acquitted as the evidence was not sufficient to establish guilt
a multicolored strawbag, and walked towards the road. Upon seeing the police officers, the beyond reasonable doubt.
man changed direction. Badua held Chua’s right arm to prevent him from fleeing. They then
introduced themselves as police officers; however, Chua did not understand what they’re
saying. And by resorting of “sign language”, Cid motioned with his hands for the man to open PEOPLE VS TANGLIBEN
his bag. The man acceded to the request. The said bag was found to contain several transparent
plastics containing yellowish crystalline substances, which was later identified to be Facts: Patrolmen Silverio and Romeo Punzalan were conducting surveillance at the San
methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu. Chua was then brought to Bacnotan Police Station, Fernando Victory Liner Terminal. At around 9:30pm they noticed a person, Medel Tangliben,
where he was provided with an interpreter to inform him of his constitutional rights. carrying a traveling bag who acted suspiciously. They confronted him, inspected his bag, and
there they found marijuana leaves. The accused was then taken to the Police Headquarters for
ISSUE: Whether or not the warrantless arrest, search and seizure conducted by the Police further investigations. The TC found Tangliben guilty of violating sec.4 art. 2 of the RA 6425 or
Officers constitute a valid exemption from the warrant requirement. the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972.

RULING: The Court held in the negative. Issue: Whether or Not there was an unlawful search due to lack of search warrant.
The Court explains that the Constitution bars State intrusions to a person's body, personal
Held: No. Rule 113 sec. 5 provides the a peace officer or a private person may w/o a warrant
effects or residence except if conducted by virtue of a valid of a valid search warrant issued in
arrest a person when in his presence the person to be arrested has committed, is committing,
accordance with the Rules. However, warrantless searches may be permitted in the following
or is attempting to commit an offense.
cases, to wit:

(1) search of moving vehicles, In the present case, the accused was found to have been committing possession of marijuana
(2) seizure in plain view, and can be therefore searched lawfully even without a search warrant. Another reason is that
this case poses urgency on the part of the arresting police officers. It was found out that an associated with airline travel. Indeed, travelers are often notified through airport public
informer pointed to the accused telling the policemen that the accused was carrying marijuana. address systems, signs, and notices in their airline tickets that they are subject to search and, if
The police officers had to act quickly and there was not enough time to secure a search warrant. any prohibited materials or substances are found, such would be subject to seizure. These
announcements place passengers on notice that ordinary constitutional protections against
PEOPLE VS. LEILA JOHNSON warrantless searches and seizures do not apply to routine airport procedures.
Facts: The packs of methamphetamine hydrochloride having thus been obtained through
Leila Johnson was arrested at the airport after she was found to have in her a valid warrantless search, they are admissible in evidence against the accused-appellant
possession more than 500 grams of shabu when she was initially frisked by a security personnel herein. Corollarily, her subsequent arrest, although likewise without warrant, was justified
at a gate in the airport. The security personnel felt something hard in respondent’s abdominal since it was effected upon the discovery and recovery of “shabu” in her person in flagrante
area and when asked she said that she had to wear 2 girdles because of an operation. delicto.
Unconvinced, the security personnel went to her supervisor. Subsequently, after a thorough
search on respondent, packets of shabu were seized from her.
Accused (respondent) was subsequently convicted and sentenced to reclusion THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. MIKAEL MALMSTEDTG.R. No. 91107 June 19, 1991
perpetua. In the present appeal, respondent contended that the search made upon her was
not valid and that her constitutional rights were infringed when such search was conducted. Facts:
Captain Alen Vasco, the commanding officer of the first regional command (NARCOM)
Issue: WON a valid search was made. stationed at camp Dangwa, ordered his men to set up a temporary checkpoint for the purpose
of checking all vehicles coming from the Cordillera Region. The order to establish a checkpoint
Held: was prompted by persistent reports that vehicles coming from Sagada were transporting
The constitutional right of the accused was not violated as she was never placed marijuana and other prohibited drugs. And an information also was received about a Caucasian
under custodial investigation but was validly arrested without warrant pursuant to the coming from Sagada had in his possession prohibited drugs.
provisions of In the afternoon the bus where accused was riding stopped. Sgt. Fider and CIC Galutan
boarded the bus and announced that they were members of the NARCOM and that they would
Section 5, Rule 113 of the 1985 Rules of Criminal Procedure which provides: conduct an inspection. During the inspection CIC Galutan noticed a bulge on accused waist.
Sec. 5. Arrest without warrant; when lawful. A peace officer or a private person may, without Suspecting the bulge on accused waist to be a gun, the officer asked for accused’s passport and
a warrant, arrest a person: other identification papers. When accused failed to comply, the officer required him to bring
out whatever it was that was bulging o his waist. And it turned out to be a pouched bag and
(a) when in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually when accused opened the same bag the officer noticed four suspicious looking objects wrapped
committing, or is attempting to commit an offense; in brown packing tape. It contained hashish, a derivative of marijuana.
(b) when an offense has in fact just been committed, and he has personal knowledge Thereafter, the accused was invited outside the bus for questioning. But before he
of facts indicating that the person to be arrested has committed it; and… alighted from the bus accused stopped to get two travelling bags. The officer inspects the bag.
The circumstances surrounding the arrest of the accused above falls in either paragraph (a) or It was only after the officers had opened the bags that the accused finally presented his
(b) of the Rule above cited, hence the allegation that she has been subjected to custodial passport. The two bags contained a stuffed toy each, upon inspection the stuff toy contained
investigation is far from being accurate. also hashish.

The methamphetamine hydrochloride seized from her during the routine frisk at the Issue: Whether or not there is a violation of the constitutional right against unreasonable search
airport was acquired legitimately pursuant to airport security procedures. and seizure
Persons may lose the protection of the search and seizure clause by exposure of their persons
or property to the public in a manner reflecting a lack of subjective expectation of privacy, Ruling:
which expectation society is prepared to recognize as reasonable. Such recognition is implicit The Supreme Court held that under Section 5 Rule 113 of the Rules of Court provides:
in airport security procedures. With increased concern over airplane hijacking and terrorism “Arrest without warrant; when lawful – a peace officer or a private person may, without a
has come increased security at the nation’s airports. Passengers attempting to board an warrant, arrest a person:
aircraft routinely pass through metal detectors; their carry-on baggages as well as checked a) When, in the presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or
luggage are routinely subjected to x-ray scans. Should these procedures suggest the presence is attempting to commit an offense;
of suspicious objects, physical searches are conducted to determine what the objects b) When an offense has in fact just been committed, and he has personal knowledge of facts
are. There is little question that such searches are reasonable, given their minimal indicating that the person to be arrested has committed it; and
intrusiveness, the gravity of the safety interests involved, and the reduced privacy expectations
c) When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped from a penal establishment
or place where he is serving final judgment or temporary confined while his case is pending, or ISSUE(S):
Whether or not there was a valid search and seizure.
has escaped while being transferred from one confinement to another”

Accused was searched and arrested while transporting prohibited drugs. A crime RULING:
YES. The military operatives had reasonable ground to believe that a crime was being
was actually being committed by the accused and he was caught in flagrante delicto, thus the committed. There was consequently more than sufficient probable cause to warrant their
search made upon his personal effects falls squarely under paragraph 1 of the foregoing action. Under the situation then prevailing, the raiding team had no opportunity to apply for
provision of law, which allows a warrantless search incident to a lawful arrest. and secure a search warrant from the courts.
Probable cause has been defined as such facts and circumstances which could lead Impugned judgment of the trial court is AFFIRMED, but the recommended executive clemency
a reasonable, discreet and prudent man to believe that an offense has been committed, and is DELETED.
that the object sought in connection with the offense are in the placed sought to be searched.

When NARCOM received the information that a Caucasian travelling from Sagada to Baguio Doctrine: Where the military operatives had reasonable grounds to believe that a crime was
City was carrying with him a prohibited drug, there was no time to obtain a search warrant. being committed, and had no opportunity to apply for and secure a search warrant from the
courts, the same constituted an exception to the prohibition against warrantless searches.

Valmonte v de Villa; G.R. No. 83988; 29 Sep 1989; 178 SCRA 211 Social Justice Society vs Dangerous Drugs Board

FACTS:
The National Capital Region District Command (NCRDC) was activated on January 20, FACTS:
1987 pursuant to Letter of Instruction 02/87 of the Philippine General Headquarters, AFP, with In 2002, Republic Act No. 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of
the mission of conducting security operations within its area of responsibility and peripheral 2002 was implemented. Section 36 thereof requires mandatory drug testing of candidates for
areas, for the purpose of establishing an effective territorial defense, maintain peace and order, public office, students of secondary and tertiary schools, officers and employees of public and
and providing an atmosphere conducive to the social, economic and political development of private offices, and persons charged before the prosecutor’s office with certain offenses.
the National Capital Region. The NCRDC installed checkpoints in various parts of Valenzuela, In December 2003, COMELEC issued Resolution No. 6486, prescribing the rules and regulations
Metro Manila. on the mandatory drug testing of candidates for public office in connection with the May 10,
2004 synchronized national and local elections. Aquilino Pimentel, Jr., a senator and a candidate
ISSUE(S):
Whether or not checkpoints are illegal as they violate the people’s right against for re-election in the May elections, filed a Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition under Rule
unreasonable searches and seizures. 65. In it, he seeks (1) to nullify Sec. 36(g) of RA 9165 and COMELEC Resolution No. 6486 dated
December 23, 2003 for being unconstitutional in that they impose a qualification for candidates
RULING:
NO. Not all searches and seizures are prohibited. Those which are reasonable are not for senators in addition to those already provided for in the 1987 Constitution; and (2) to enjoin
forbidden. A reasonable search is not to be determined by any fixed formula but it is to be the COMELEC from implementing Resolution No. 6486.
resolved according to the facts of each case. The setting up of the questioned checkpoints may According to Pimentel, the Constitution only prescribes a maximum of five (5) qualifications for
be considered as a security measure to enable the NCRDC to pursue its mission of establishing one to be a candidate for, elected to, and be a member of the Senate. He says that both the
effective territorial defense and maintaining peace and order for the benefit of the public. Congress and COMELEC, by requiring, via RA 9165 and Resolution No. 6486, a senatorial
Between the inherent right of the state to protect its existence and promote public welfare and aspirant, among other candidates, to undergo a mandatory drug test, create an additional
an individual’s right against a warrantless search which is however reasonably conducted, the qualification that all candidates for senator must first be certified as drug free. He adds that
former should prevail. Petition is DISMISSED. there is no provision in the Constitution authorizing the Congress or COMELEC to expand the
qualification requirements of candidates for senator.

ISSUE: Whether or not Sec 36 of RA 9165 and Resolution 6486 are constitutional.

People v de Gracia; G.R. Nos. 102009-10; 06 Jul 1994; 233 SCRA 716 HELD: No. Pimentel’s contention is valid. Accordingly, Sec. 36 of RA 9165 is unconstitutional. It
is basic that if a law or an administrative rule violates any norm of the Constitution, that
FACTS:
A team from the NCR Defense Command conducted a surveillance on a Eurocar issuance is null and void and has no effect. The Constitution is the basic law to which all laws
building pursuant to an intelligence report that elements of the RAM-SFP was occupying the must conform; no act shall be valid if it conflicts with the Constitution. In the discharge of their
said establishment as their communication command post. After they were fired at by a group defined functions, the three departments of government have no choice but to yield obedience
of five men, a searching team raided the Eurocar Sales Office, finding and confiscating to the commands of the Constitution. Whatever limits it imposes must be observed.
ammunition, dynamites, M-shells and “Molotov” bombs inside one of the rooms and arresting The provision “[n]o person elected to any public office shall enter upon the duties of his office
appellant who was holding a C-4. until he has undergone mandatory drug test” is not tenable as it enlarges the
qualifications. COMELEC cannot, in the guise of enforcing and administering election laws or PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. OLIVER RENATO EDAÑO
promulgating rules and regulations to implement Sec. 36, validly impose qualifications on
candidates for senator in addition to what the Constitution prescribes. If Congress cannot FACTS: On the evening of August 6, 2002, member of Drug Enforcement Group together with a
require a candidate for senator to meet such additional qualification, the COMELEC, to be sure, female informant went to the parking area of McDonalds to conduct an entrapment operation.
is also without such power. The right of a citizen in the democratic process of election should Edaño arrived at around 7:00 p.m. on board a space wagon. The informant approached Edaño
not be defeated by unwarranted impositions of requirement not otherwise specified in the and talked to him inside the vehicle. Afterwards, the informant waived at PO3 Corbe who then
Constitution. approached Edaño. The latter went out of the vehicle and ran away. PO3 Corbe was able to
grab Edaño, causing the latter to fell on the ground. PO3 Corbe recovered a “knot-tied”
POLLO VS CONSTANTINO DAVID transparent plastic bag from Edaño’s right hand.
FACTS:
CSC Chairperson Karina David received a document from an anonymous source, ISSUES: Whether the search and seizure that followed warrantless arrest is valid.
making her aware that there is a corrupt official in the Commission. She then formed personnel
and directed them to back up all the files of the computers found therein. HELD: NO, the warrantless arrest of Edaño was not valid. Consequently, the search and seizure
that followed the warrantless arrest was likewise not valid. In this case, there was no overt act
David found, in Bricio Pollo, petitioner, legal pleading or documents that are related to indicative of a felonious enterprise that could be properly attributed to Edaño to rouse
administrative cases and were for on the behalf of parties who were facing charges. David suspicion in the mind of the police that he had just committed, was actually committing or was
inferred that he was willfully aiding their adverse interests and it was a practice that he pursued attempting to commit a crime in their presence. Informant and Edaño were just talking to each
regularly. other, there was no exchange of money and drugs as the police approached the car. Edaño is
entitled to acquittal since the shabu purportedly seized from him is inadmissible in evidence
Pollo argued that he was not even a lawyer to pursue such acts. He also asserted that the CSC for being the proverbial fruit of the poisonous tree.
conducted a fishing expedition and his right to privacy was violated and that the source of the
complaint was anonymous. The CSC charged Pollo in violation of RA 6713. After some motions
filed to the CSC, he filed his motion to the CA wherein he was ordered to be dismissed of his
governmental duties. The CA ruled that the search was legal because in their capacity as
employers, the government agencies could validly conduct search and seizure in the
governmental workplace without meeting the “probable cause” or warrant requirement for
search and seizure.

ISSUE: Whether there was illegal search.

RULING:
The SC ruled in favor of the CSC. Basing their decision on other cases, the SC asked
whether Pollo has a reasonable expectation of privacy in his office and computer files and was
the search reasonable in its inception and scope.
On regards the first inquiry, the SC found that he had no actual expectation of
privacy on his work computer. He did not have a separate office space nor did he use a
password for his computer. He would have visitors which he let them use his computer. The
CSC also implemented a policy that its employees on notice that they have no expectation of
privacy in anything on their office computers, and that the CSC may monitor their use. This
implies that on-the-spot inspections may be done to ensure that the computer resources were
used only for such legitimate business purposes.
On the second inquiry, the SC said that the search Pollo's files were conducted in
connection with investigation of work-related misconduct prompted by an anonymous letter-
complaint. A search by a government employer of an employee’s office is justified at inception
when there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that it will turn up evidence that the
employee is guilty of work-related misconduct.
SC's first Amparo case of any designated documents, papers, books of accounts, letters, photographs, objects or
tangible things, not privileged, which constitute or contain evidence material to any matter
FACTS: involved in the action and which are in his possession, custody or control.” (GR No. 180906, The
Secretary of National Defense v. Manalo, October 7, 2008)
Brothers Raymond and Reynaldo Manalo were abducted by military men belonging to the
CAFGU on the suspicion that they were members and supporters of the NPA. After 18 months REV. REYES VS GONZALES (2009)
of detention and torture, the brothers escaped on August 13, 2007.
FACTS:
Ten days after their escape, they filed a Petition for Prohibition, Injunction, and Temporary Petitioner, Rev. Reyes was among those arrested in the Manila Peninsula Hotel siege on
Restraining Order to stop the military officers and agents from depriving them of their right to November 2007 and together with fifty (50) others, they were brought to Camp Crame to await
liberty and other basic rights. While the said case was pending, the Rule on the Writ of Amparo inquest proceedings. On December 2007, a Hold Departure Order List was
took effect on October 24, 2007. The Manalos subsequently filed a manifestation and omnibus issued ordering the Immigration to include the name of petitioner and 49 others for the alleged
motion to treat their existing petition as amparo petition. crime of Rebellion, in the interest of national security and public safety.
Petitioner’s counsel wrote the DOJ Secretary requesting the lifting of HDO, in view of the
On December 26, 2007, the Court of Appeals granted the privilege of the writ of amparo. The dismissal of his client’s criminal case on rebellion. That, the DOJ Secretary has not acted on their
CA ordered the Secretary of National Defense and the Chief of Staff of the AFP to furnish the request, petitioner then next recourse was for the availment of the writ of amparo because of
Manalos and the court with all official and unofficial investigation reports as to the Manalos’ his alleged continued restraint of right to travel.
custody, confirm the present places of official assignment of two military officials involved, and ISSUE:
produce all medical reports and records of the Manalo brothers while under military custody. Whether petitioner’s right to liberty has been violated or threatened with violation by the
The Secretary of National Defense and the Chief of Staff of the AFP appealed to the SC seeking issuance of the HDO, which would entitle him to the privilege of the writ of amparo.
to reverse and set aside the decision promulgated by the CA. HELD:
No. The right to travel refers to the right to move from one place to another. Here, the
HELD: restriction on petitioner’s right to travel as a consequence of the pendency of the criminal case
filed against him was not unlawful. Petitioner has also failed to establish that his right to travel
In upholding the CA decision, the Supreme Court ruled that there is a continuing violation of was impaired in the manner and to the extent that it amounted to a serious violation of his
the Manalos right to security. xxx The Writ of Amparo is the most potent remedy available to right to life, liberty and security, for which there exists no readily available legal recourse or
any person whose right to life, liberty, and security has been violated or is threatened with remedy.
violation by an unlawful act or omission by public officials or employees and by private The writ of amparo was originally conceived as a response to the extraordinary rise in the
individuals or entities. xxx Understandably, since their escape, the Manalos have been under number of killings and enforced disappearances, and to the perceived lack of available and
concealment and protection by private citizens because of the threat to their life, liberty, and effective remedies to address these extraordinary concerns. Where, as in this case, there is no
security. The circumstances of respondents’ abduction, detention, torture and escape clear showing that the right to life, liberty or security of the petitioner is immediately in danger
reasonably support a conclusion that there is an apparent threat that they will again be or threatened, or that the danger or threat is continuing. Petitioner’s apprehension is at best
abducted, tortured, and this time, even executed. These constitute threats to their liberty, merely speculative.
security, and life, actionable through a petition for a writ of amparo,” the Court explained. (GR
No. 180906, The Secretary of National Defense v. Manalo, October 7, 2008) Petition is dismissed.

Distinguish the production order under the Rule on the Writ of Amparo from a search RODRIGUEZ VS ARROYO
warrant.
FACTS:
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
Noriel Rodriguez (petitioner) is a member of Alyansa Dagiti Mannalon Iti Cagayan, a
The production order under the Rule on the Writ of Amparo should not be confused with a peasant organization affiliated with Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP).
search warrant for law enforcement under Art. III, sec. 2 of the 1987 Constitution. It said that Under the Oplan Bantay Laya, the military tagged KMP members as an enemy of the state,
the production order should be likened to the production of documents or things under sec. 1, making its members an easy target of extra-judicial killings and enforced disappearances.
Rule 27 of the Rules of Civil Procedure which states that “upon motion of any party showing On September 6, 2009, Rodriguez just alighted from a tricycle driven by Hermie Antonio Carlos
good cause therefor, the court in which an action is pending may (a) order any party to produce in Brgy. Tapel, Cagayan, when 4 men forcibly took him and forced him to get inside a car where
and permit the inspection and copying or photographing, by or on behalf of the moving party, more men in civilian clothing were waiting (1 was holding a .45 caliber pistol).
The men started punching Rodriguez inside the car, and forced him to confess that he is a presidential privilege of immunity, especially when it impedes the search for truth or impairs
member of the New People’s Army (NPA). Rodriguez remained silent until they reached a the vindication of a right.”
military camp belonging to the 17th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army. Term vs Tenure: The term means the time during which the officer may claim to hold the office
Rodriguez was then subjected to beatings and torture by members of the Philippine Army. as of right, and fixes the interval after which the several incumbents shall succeed one another.
Members of the army wanted him to admit that he is an NPA member and then pinpoint other The tenure represents the term during which the incumbent actually holds office. The tenure
NPA members and camp locations. Since Rodriguez cannot answer, he is repeatedly beaten and may be shorter than the term for reasons within or beyond the power of the incumbent. The
tortured. Rodriguez was also coerced to sign several documents to declare that he is a intent of the framers of the 1987 Constitution is to limit the president’s immunity from suits
surenderree. during their tenure (and not term).
On September 17, 2009, Rodriguez’s mother and brother came to see him “It is clear that former President Arroyo cannot use the presidential immunity from suit to
(accompanied by members of the CHR – Pasicolan, Cruz and Callagan). They insisted to take shield herself from judicial scrutiny that would assess whether, within the context of amparo
Rodriguez home with them to Manila. proceedings, she was responsible or accountable for the abduction of Rodriguez.”
Rodriguez arrived in Manila on September 18. Callagan and 2 military members went inside
their house and took pictures for around 30 minutes despite Rodriguez’s effort to stop them. (2) Yes. The doctrine of command responsibility may be used to determine whether
On November 3, Rodriguez and his girlfriend notices that several suspicious-looking respondents are accountable for and have the duty to address the abduction of Rodriguez in
men are following them on the streets, jeepney and MRT. order to enable the courts to devise remedial measures to protect his rights.
On December 7, Rodriguez filed a Petition for the Writ of Amparo and Petition for Proceedings under the Rule on the Writ of Amparo do not determine criminal, civil or
the Writ of Habeas Data with Prayers for Protection Orders, Inspection of Place, and Production administrative liability, but this should not abate the applicability of the doctrine of command
of Documents and Personal Properties dated 2 December 2009. responsibility.
The petition was filed against former President Arroyo, Gen. Ibrado, PDG. Versoza,
Lt. Gen. Bangit, Major General (Maj. Gen.) Nestor Z. Ochoa, P/CSupt. Tolentino, P/SSupt. “In the context of amparo proceedings, responsibility may refer to the participation of the
Santos, Col. De Vera, 1st Lt. Matutina, Calog, George Palacpac, Cruz, Pasicolan and Callagan. respondents, by action or omission, in enforced disappearance. Accountability, on the other
Respondents contend that Rodriguez is a double agent, and had been working as their hand, may attach to respondents who are imputed with knowledge relating to the enforced
informant/infiltrator in the fight against NPA rebels. disappearance and who carry the burden of disclosure; or those who carry, but have failed to
Then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, through the solicitor-general, insisted on discharge, the burden of extraordinary diligence in the investigation of the enforced
her immunity from suits (by virtue of her position as president). disappearance.”
Supreme Court granted the writs after finding that the petition sufficiently alleged the
abduction and torture of Rodriguez by members of the Philippine Army. SC directed the Court “Despite maintaining former President Arroyo in the list of respondents in G.R. No. 191805, and
of Appeals to hear the petition. allowing the application of the command responsibility doctrine to amparo and habeas data
CA ruled in favor of Rodriguez and found Ibrado, Versoza, Bangit, Ochoa, Tolentino, proceedings, Rodriguez failed to prove through substantial evidence that former President
Santos, De Vera and Matutina liable for his abduction and torture. As to Calog and Palacpac, Arroyo was responsible or accountable for the violation of his rights to life, liberty and property.
the case was dismissed for lack of merit. On President Arroyo, the case was dismissed on He likewise failed to prove through substantial evidence the accountability or responsibility of
account of her immunity from suits. respondents Maj. Gen. Ochoa, Cruz, Pasicolan and Callagan.”

ISSUE: SC affirmed the decision of the CA, but with modifications. The case is dismissed with respect
WON President Arroyo should be dropped as a respondent by virtue of her to respondents former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, P/CSupt. Ameto G. Tolentino, and
presidential immunity from suit P/SSupt. Jude W. Santos, Calog, George Palacpac, Antonio Cruz, Aldwin Pasicolan and Vicent
WON the doctrine of command responsibility can be used in writs of amparo and Callagan for lack of merit.
habeas data cases.
LEE VS ILAGAN
HELD:
FACTS:
(1) CA’s rationale does not stand anymore since the presidential immunity from suits only Neri, a police officer, filed a petition for the issuance of Writ of Habeas Data against Joy, her
applies during her incumbency. “Incumbent Presidents are immune from suit or from being former common law partner.
brought to court during the period of their incumbency and tenure but not beyond.”
According to him, sometime in July 2011, he visited Joy’s condominium and rested for a while.
“A non-sitting President does not enjoy immunity from suit, even for acts committed during the When he arrived at his office, he noticed his digital camera missing. On August 23, 2011, Joy
latter’s tenure. We emphasize our ruling therein that courts should look with disfavor upon the
confronted him about a purported sex video she discovered from the digital camera showing evidence showing an actual or threatened violation of the right to privacy in life, liberty or
him and another woman. security of the victim[5]. In this relation, it bears pointing out that the writ of habeas data will
not issue to protect purely property or commercial concerns nor when the grounds invoked in
He denied the video and demanded the return of the camera, but she refused. They had an support of the petitions therefor are vague and doubtful[6].
altercation where Neri allegedly slammed Joy’s head against a wall and then walked away.
In this case, the Court finds that Ilagan was not able to sufficiently allege that his right to
Because of this, Joy filed several cases against him, including a case for violation of Republic privacy in life, liberty or security was or would be violated through the supposed
Act 9262 and administrative cases before the Napolcom, utilising the said video. reproduction and threatened dissemination of the subject sex video. While Ilagan purports a
privacy interest in the suppression of this video – which he fears would somehow find its way
The use of the same violated his life to liberty, security and privacy and that of the other to Quiapo or be uploaded in the internet for public consumption – he to failed to explain the
woman, thus he had no choice but to file the petition for issuance of the writ of habeas data. connection between such interest and any violation of his right to life, liberty or security.

RTC issued the writ and directed Joy to appear before the RTC and produce Neri’s digital
camera, as well as the original and copies of the video, and to make a return within five days Gamboa v. Chan, G.R. No. 193636, 24 July 2012
from receipt. In her return,. Joy admitted keeping the memory card of the digital camera and
reproducing the video but only for use as evidence in the cases she filed against Neri. Neri’s FACTS
petitions should be dismissed because its filing was only aimed at suppressing the evidence in Gamboa alleged that the Philippine National Police in Ilocos Norte (PNP–Ilocos Norte)
the cases she filed against him; and she is not engaged in the gathering, collecting, or storing of conducted a series of surveillance operations against her and her aides, and classified her as
data regarding the person of Neri. The RTC granted Neri’s petition and ordered the turn-over someone who keeps a Private Army Group (PAG). Purportedly without the benefit of data
of the video to Neri and enjoined Joy from reproducing the same. It disregarded Joy’s defense verification, PNP–Ilocos Norte forwarded the information gathered on her to the Zeñarosa
that she is not engaged in the collection, gathering and storage of data, and that her acts of Commission, thereby causing her inclusion in the Report’s enumeration of individuals
reproducing the same and showing it to other persons (Napolcom) violated Neri’s right to maintaining PAGs. Contending that her right to privacy was violated and her reputation
privacy and humiliated him. It clarified that it ruling only on the return of the video and not on maligned and destroyed, Gamboa filed a Petition for the issuance of a writ of habeas data
its admissibility as evidence. Dissatisfied, Joy filed the instant petition before the Supreme against respondents in their capacities as officials of the PNP-Ilocos Norte.
Court.
ISSUE
HELD: Whether or not the petition for the issuance of writ of habeas data is proper when the right to
privacy is invoked as opposed to the state’s interest in preserving the right to life, liberty or
A.M. No. 08-1-16-SC, or the Rule on the Writ of Habeas Data (Habeas Data Rule), was conceived security.
as a response, given the lack of effective and available remedies, to address the extraordinary
rise in the number of killings and enforced disappearances[1]. It was conceptualized as a judicial RULING
remedy enforcing the right to privacy, most especially the right to informational privacy of NO.
individuals[2], which is defined as “the right to control the collection, maintenance, use, and The writ of habeas data is an independent and summary remedy designed to protect the image,
dissemination of data about oneself[3].” privacy, honor, information, and freedom of information of an individual, and to provide a
forum to enforce one’s right to the truth and to informational privacy. It seeks to protect a
As defined in Section 1 of the Habeas Data Rule, the writ of habeas data now stands as “a person’s right to control information regarding oneself, particularly in instances in which such
remedy available to any person whose right to privacy in life, liberty or security is violated or information is being collected through unlawful means in order to achieve unlawful ends. It
threatened by an unlawful act or omission of a public official or employee, or of a private must be emphasized that in order for the privilege of the writ to be granted, there must exist a
individual or entity engaged in the gathering, collecting or storing of data or information nexus between the right to privacy on the one hand, and the right to life, liberty or security on
regarding the person, family, home, and correspondence of the aggrieved party.” the other.
In this case, the Court ruled that Gamboa was unable to prove through substantial evidence
Thus, in order to support a petition for the issuance of such writ, Section 6 of the Habeas Data that her inclusion in the list of individuals maintaining PAGs made her and her supporters
Rule essentially requires that the petition sufficiently alleges, among others, “[t]he manner the susceptible to harassment and to increased police surveillance. In this regard, respondents
right to privacy is violated or threatened and how it affects the right to life, liberty or security sufficiently explained that the investigations conducted against her were in relation to the
of the aggrieved party.” In other words, the petition must adequately show that there exists criminal cases in which she was implicated. As public officials, they enjoy the presumption of
a nexus between the right to privacy on the one hand, and the right to life, liberty or security regularity, which she failed to overcome. [T]he state interest of dismantling PAGs far outweighs
on the other[4]. Corollarily, the allegations in the petition must be supported by substantial the alleged intrusion on the private life of Gamboa, especially when the collection and
forwarding by the PNP of information against her was pursuant to a lawful mandate. Therefore, RAMIREZ VS. CA G.R. NO. 93833 SEPTEMBER 28, 1995
the privilege of the writ of habeas data must be denied.
Facts: A civil case damages was filed by petitioner in the RTC alleging that the private
Navarro vs. Court of Appeals, 313 SCRA 153 (1999) respondent in a confrontation in the latter’s office, allegedly vexed, insulted and humiliated her
in a “hostile and furious mood” and in a manner offensive to petitioner’s dignity and
FACTS: personality,” contrary to morals, good customs and public policy.” In support of her claim,
Two local media men, Stanley Jalbuena, Enrique Lingan, in Lucena City wnet to the police petitioner produced a verbatim transcript of the event and sought moral damages, attorney’s
station to report alledged indecent show in one of the night establishment shows in the City. fees and other expenses of litigation in the amount of P610,000.00, in addition to costs,
At the station, a heated confrontation followed between victim Lingan and accused policeman interests and other reliefs awardable at the trial court’s discretion. The transcript on which the
Navarro who was then having drinks outside the headquarters, lead to a fisticuffs. The victim civil case was based was culled from a tape recording of the confrontation made by petitioner.
was hit with the handle of the accused's gun below the left eyebrow, followed by a fist blow, As a result of petitioner’s recording of the event and alleging that the said act of secretly taping
resulted the victim to fell and died under treatment. The exchange of words was recorded on the confrontation was illegal, private respondent filed a criminal case before the Regional Trial
tape, specifically the frantic exclamations made by Navarro after the altercation that it was the Court of Pasay City for violation of Republic Act 4200, entitled “An Act to prohibit and penalize
victim who provoked the fight. During the trial, Jalbuena, the other media man , testified. wiretapping and other related violations of private communication, and other purposes.
Presented in evidence to confirm his testimony was a voice recording he had made of the Petitioner filed a Motion to Quash the Information on the ground that the facts charged do not
heated discussion at the police station between the accused police officer Navarro and the constitute an offense, particularly a violation of R.A. 4200. the RTC granted the Motion. From
deceased, Lingan, which was taken without the knowledge of the two. the RTC’s order, the private respondent filed a Petition for Review on Certiorari with this Court,
which forthwith referred the case to the CA. Respondent CA declared the RTC’s order null and
ISSUES: void, and holding that the allegations sufficiently constitute an offense punishable under
1. Whether or not the voice recording is admissible in evidence in view of RA 4200, which Section 1 of R.A. 4200. Petitioner filed a MR which the CA denied. Hence, the instant petition.
prohibits wiretapping. Issue: Whether the recording of a “Private Conversation” without the consent of both of the
party is a violation of R.A. 4200.
2. Whether the mitigating circumstances of sufficient provocation or threat on the part of
the offended party and lack of intention to commit so grave a wrong may be appreciated in Held: Yes, Section 1 of R.A. 4200 entitled, ” An Act to Prohibit and Penalized Wire Tapping and
favor of the accused. Other Related Violations of Private Communication and Other Purposes,” provides that it shall
be unlawful for any person, not being authorized by all the parties to any private
HELD: communication or spoken word, to tap any wire or cable, or by using any other device or
1. The answer is affirmative, the tape is admissible in view of RA 4200, which prohibits arrangement, to secretly overhear, intercept, or record such communication or spoken word
wiretapping. Jalbuena's testimony is confirmed by the voice recording he had made. by using a device commonly known as a dictaphone or dictagraph or detectaphone or walkie-
talkie or tape recorder, or however otherwise described. The aforestated provision clearly and
The law prohibits the overhearing, intercepting, or recording of private unequivocally makes it illegal for any person, not authorized by all the parties to any private
communications (Ramirez v Cpourt of Appeals, 248 SCRA 590 [1995]). Snce the exchange communication to secretly record such communication by means of a tape recorder. The law
between petitioner Navarro and Lingan was not private, its tape recording is not prohibited. makes no distinction as to whether the party sought to be penalized by the statute ought to be
a party other than or different from those involved in the private communication. The statute’s
2. The remarks of Lingan, which immediately preceded the acts of the accused, constituted intent to penalize all persons unauthorized to make such recording is underscored by the use
sufficient provocation. Provocation is said to be any unjust or improper conduct of the offended of the qualifier “any”. Consequently, as respondent Court of Appeals correctly concluded, “even
party capable of exciting, annoying or irritating someone. The provocation must be sufficient a (person) privy to a communication who records his private conversation with another without
and must immediately precede the act; and in order to be sufficient, it must be adequate to the knowledge of the latter (will) qualify as a violator. The unambiguity of the express words of
excite a person to commit the wrong, which must be accordingly proportionate in gravity. The the provision, therefore plainly supports the view held by the respondent court that the
mitigating circumstance of lack of intention to commit so grave a wrong must also be provision seeks to penalize even those privy to the private communications. Where the law
considered. The exclamations made by Navarro after the scuffle that it was Lingan who makes no distinctions, one does not distinguish.
provoked him showed that he had no intent to kill the latter.
Zulueta v. CA

FACTS: Cecilia Zulueta, petitioner, entered the clinic of her husband, Alfredo Martin, private
respondent, forcibly opened the drawers and cabinets and took a total of 157 documents
consisting of private correspondence between the private respondent and and hi alleged
paramours, greeting cards, cancelled checks, diaries, respondent’s passport, and photographs.
The documents and papers were to be used in evidence in a case for legal separation and for Held: Yes. Ratio: (People vs. Marti) Marti ruling: The Bill of Rights does not protect citizens
disqualification from practice of medicine filed by the petitioner against the private respondent. from unreasonable searches and seizures perpetrated by private individuals. It is not true, as
Respondent then filed an action for the recovery of the documents and damages against the counsel for Catolico claims, that the citizens have no recourse against such assaults. On the
petitioner which was granted by the Regional Trial Court (RTC). The decision of the RTC was contrary, and as said counsel admits, such an invasion gives rise to both criminal and civil
then affirmed by the Court of Appeals (CA) hence this petition for certiorary. liabilities. Despite this, the SC ruled that there was insufficient evidence of cause for the
dismissal of Catolico from employment Suspicion is not among the valid causes provided by the
ISSUE: Whether or not the documents obtained be admissible as evidence against the Labor Code for the termination of Employment.
respondent.
39. MARQUEZ vs DESIERTO
HELD: NO. Such documents are inadmissible in any proceeding. Even though the petitioner and
respondent are husband and wife, their contracting of marriage does not shed the right of
privacy of one of the contracting parties. And that, such documents were obtained without the FACTS: Marquez, branch manager of Union Bank Julia Vargas, received an Order from
consent of the respondent. Ombudsman to produce several bank documents for purposes of inspection in camera. The
Ombudsman wanted to conduct such in camera inspection on the accounts based on a trail of
The Supreme Court ruled that the right to privacy of the spouse as against the other is preserved manager’s checks by a certain Trivinio who purchased 51 managers checks for a total amount
even after marriage. As elaborated by the Court, “the intimacies between husband and wife do of P272M. Marquez agreed to the inspection.
not justify any one of them in breaking the drawers and cabinets of the other and in ransacking
them for any telltale evidence of marital infidelity. A person, by contracting marriage, does not Marquez wrote to the Ombudsman saying that the accounts in question cannot readily be
shed his/her integrity or his right to privacy as an individual and the constitutional protection identified and asked for time to respond to the order. The Ombudsman replied that the Bank
is ever available to him or to her.” should have preserved records despite the accounts being dormant.

38. Waterouse Drug Corporation v. NLRC G.R. No. 113271. October 16, 1997
Ombudsman issued order to direct Marquez to produce the bank documents due to the
Facts: Antonia Melodia Catolico was hired as a pharmacist by Waterous Drug Corp. YSP Inc., a unjustified delay by the Bank since the in camera inspection had already been extended twice.
supplier of medicine, sold to Waterous, thru Catolico, 10 bottles of Voren Tablets at P384 per
unit. However, previews P.O.s issued to YSP, Inc. showed that the price per bottle is P320.00. Marquez filed for declaratory relief to clear the rights of petitioners under the bank secrecy law
Verification was made to YSP, Inc. to determine the discrepancy and it was found that the cost
per bottle was indeed overpriced.
ISSUE/S: Whether the in camera inspection orders are allowed as an exception to the bank
YSP, Inc. Accounting Department (Ms. Estelita Reyes) confirmed that the difference represents secrecy law? NO
refund of jack-up price of ten bottles of Voren tablets per sales invoice, which was paid to Ms.
Catolico. Said check was sent in an envelope addressed to Catolico. RULING: The in camera inspection is not allowed. There being no pending case before a court
of competent jurisdiction. An exception to the bank secrecy law is when the money deposited
Catolico denied receiving the same. However, Saldana, the clerk of Waterous Drug Corp. is the subject matter of a litigation. Therefore, it may be allowed on the ground of a pending
confirmed that she saw an open envelope with a check amounting P640 payable to Catolico. case when:
Waterous Drug Corp. ordered the termination of Catolico for acts of dishonesty.
1. The case is pending in court of competent jurisdiction
NLRC: Dismissed the Petition. Evidence of respondents (check from YSP) being rendered
inadmissible, by virtue of the constitutional right invoked by complainants.
2. The account must be clearly identified
Petitioners: In the light of the decision in the People v. Marti, the constitutional protection
against unreasonable searches and seizures refers to the immunity of one’s person from 3. Inspection is limited to the subject matter of the pending case
interference by government and cannot be extended to acts committed by private individuals
so as to bring it within the ambit of alleged unlawful intrusion by the government.
4. The Bank personnel and account holder must be notified to be present during the inspection
Issue: W/N the check is admissible as evidence
5. Such inspection may cover only the account identified in the pending case candidates can advertise their qualifications and programs of government. More than merely
The order for in camera inspection is based on a pending investigation of the Ombudsman for depriving candidates of time for their ads, the failure of broadcast stations to provide air time
violations of RA 3019, Sec 3(e)(g). Clearly, there is no pending litigation yet before a court of unless paid by the government would clearly deprive the people of their right to know. Art. III,
competent authority. It is only an investigation by the Ombudsman. §7 of the Constitution provides that “the right of the people to information on matters of public
concern shall be recognized,” while Art. XII, §6 states that “the use of property bears a social
40. O P L E V S T O R R E S ( 1 9 9 8 ) function [and] the right to own, establish, and operate economic enterprises [is] subject to the
duty of the State to promote distributive justice and to intervene when the common good so
FACTS: A.O. No. 308 was issued by President Fidel V. Ramos on December 12, 1996 for the demands.”
Adoption of a National Computerized Identification Reference System. It was published in four
newspapers of general circulation on January. Petitioner filed the instant petition against To affirm the validity of §92 of B.P. Blg. 881 is to hold public broadcasters to their obligation to
respondents, on the grounds that: see to it that the variety and vigor of public debate on issues in an election is maintained. For
1. it is a usurpation of the power of Congress to legislate, while broadcast media are not mere common carriers but entities with free speech rights,
2. it impermissibly intrudes on our citizenry’s protected zone of privacy. they are also public trustees charged with the duty of ensuring that the people have access
to the diversity of views on political issues. This right of the people is paramount to the
ISSUE: Whether there is a violation of the Right to Privacy as enshrined in the Bill of Rights. autonomy of broadcast media. To affirm the validity of §92, therefore, is likewise to uphold
the people’s right to information on matters of public concern. The use of property bears a
HELD: The essence of privacy is the “right to be left alone.” The right to privacy as such is social function and is subject to the state’s duty to intervene for the common good. Broadcast
accorded recognition independently of its identification with liberty; in itself, it is fully deserving media can find their just and highest reward in the fact that whatever altruistic service they
of constitutional protection. The Court prescind from the premise that the right to privacy is a may render in connection with the holding of elections is for that common good
fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution, hence, it is the burden of government to
show that A.O. No. 308 is justified by some compelling state interest and that it is narrowly 42. ABS-CBN v. COMELECBS-CBN BROADCASTING CORPORATION vs. COMMISSION ON
drawn. A.O. No. 308 is predicated on two considerations: ELECTIONS
1. the need to provides our citizens and foreigners with the facility to conveniently transact
business with basic service and social security providers and other government instrumentalities FACTS: COMELEC issued a Resolution restraining ABS-CBN or any other groups from conducting
and ; exit survey during the elections for national officials particularly for President and Vice
2. the need to reduce, if not totally eradicate, fraudulent transactions and misrepresentations President. The electoral body believed that such project might conflict with the official
by persons seeking basic services. COMELEC count, as well as the unofficial quick count of the National Movement for Free
It is debatable whether the interests are compelling enough to warrant the issuance of the said Elections (NAMFREL).
order. The broadness, vagueness, and overbreadth of A.O. No. 308 which if implemented will
put our people’s right to privacy in clear and present danger. In the case at bar, the threat ISSUE: Whether the COMELEC Resolution restraining survey polls infringes the Freedom of
comes from which by issuing A.O. No. 308 pressures the people to surrender their privacy by Speech and of the Press.
giving information about themselves on the pretext that it will facilitate delivery of basic
services. Petition is granted. A.O. No. 308 is unconstitutional. HELD: The holding of exit polls and the dissemination of their results through mass media
constitute an essential part of the freedoms of speech and of the press. Hence, the COMELEC
41. TELEBAP v. COMELEC cannot ban them totally in the guise of promoting clean, honest, orderly and credible elections.
Quite the contrary, exit polls — properly conducted and publicized — can be vital tools in
Facts: Petitioners challenge the validity of §92 of B.P. Blg. 881. on the ground (1) that it takes eliminating the evils of election-fixing and fraud. Narrowly tailored countermeasures may be
property without due process of law and without just compensation; (2) that it denies radio prescribed by the COMELEC so as to minimize or suppress the incidental problems in the
and television broadcast companies the equal protection of the laws; and (3) that it is in excess conduct of exit polls, without transgressing in any manner the fundamental rights of our
of the power given to the COMELEC to supervise or regulate the operation of media of people.
communication or information during the period of election.
The freedoms of speech and of the press should all the more be upheld when what is sought to
Issue: Whether is in excess of the power given to the COMELEC to supervise or regulate the be curtailed is the dissemination of information meant to add meaning to the equally vital right
operation of media of communication or information during the period of election. of suffrage. The Court cannot support any ruling or order “the effect of which would be to nullify
so vital a constitutional right as free speech.” When faced with borderline situations in which
Held: No. The petition is dismissed. With the prohibition on media advertising by candidates the freedom of a candidate or a party to speak or the freedom of the electorate to know is
themselves, the COMELEC Time and COMELEC Space are about the only means through which invoked against actions allegedly made to assure clean and free elections, this Court shall lean
in favor of freedom. For in the ultimate analysis, the freedom of the citizen and the State’s of the regulation might be, they cannot be attained at the sacrifice of the fundamental right of
power to regulate should not be antagonistic. There can be no free and honest elections if, in expression, when such aim can be more narrowly pursued by punishing unlawful acts, rather
the efforts to maintain them, the freedom to speak and the right to know are unduly curtailed. than speechbecause of apprehension that such speech creates the danger of such evils To
summarize then, we hold that §5.4 is invalid because (1) it imposes a prior restraint on the
freedom of expression, (2) it is a direct and total suppression of a category of expression even
43. SWS vs Comelec
though such suppression is only for a limited period, and (3) the governmental interest sought
to be promoted can be achieved by means other than suppression of freedom of expression.

Facts : Petitioner, Social Weather Stations, Inc. (SWS), is a private non-stock, non-profit social
A.M. No. 01-4-03-S.C. June 29, 2001 RE: REQUEST RADIO-TV COVERAGE OF THE TRIAL OF
research institution conducting surveys in various fields, including economics, politics,
IN THE SANDIGANBAYAN OF THE PLUNDER CASES AGAINST THE FORMER PRESIDENT JOSEPH
demography, and social development, and thereafter processing, analyzing, and publicly
E. ESTRADA SECRETARY OF JUSTICE HERNANDO PEREZ, KAPISANAN NG MGA BRODKASTER
reporting the results thereof. On the other hand, petitioner Kamahalan Publishing Corporation
NG PILIPINAS, CESAR SARINO, RENATO CAYETANO and ATTY. RICARDO ROMULO,
publishes the Manila Standard, a newspaper of general circulation, which features news-
petitioners,
worthy items of information including election surveys Petitioners brought this action for
vs. JOSEPH E. ESTRADA and INTEGRATED BAR OF THE PHILIPPINES, oppositors.
prohibition to enjoin the Commission on Elections from enforcing §5.4 of RA. No.9006 (Fair
Election Act), which provides: Surveys affecting national candidates shall not be published
Nature: Motion for reconsideration of the decision denying petitioners request for permission
fifteen (15) days before an election and surveys affecting local candidates shall not be published
to televise and broadcast live the trial of former President Estrada before the Sandiganbayan.
seven (7) days be- fore an election. Petitioner SWS states that it wishes to conduct an election
Keywords: Live telecast of President Estrada’s Plunder Case, right to information,
survey throughout the period of the elections both at the national and local levels and release
to the media the results of such survey as well as publish them directly. Petitioner Kamahalan
MENDOZA, J
Publishing Corporation, on the other hand, states that it intends to publish election survey
results up to the last day of the elections on May 14,2001
Facts: On 13 March 2001, the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) sent a letter
requesting this Court to allow live media coverage of the anticipated trial of the plunder and
Issue : WON Sec. 5.4 of R.A. No. 9006 constitutes an unconstitutional abridgment of freedom
other criminal cases filed against former President Joseph E. Estrada before the Sandiganbayan.
of speech, expression, and the press.
The petitioners invoked other than the freedom of the press, the constitutional right of the
people to be informed of matters of public concern which could only be recognized, served and
HELD : What test should then be employed to determine the constitutional validity of §5.4?
satisfied by allowing live radio and television coverage of the court proceedings. Moreover, the
The United States Supreme Court, through Chief Justice Warren, held in United States v. O
live radio and television coverage of the proceedings will also serve the dual purpose of
'Brien: [A] Government regulation is sufficiently justified [1] if it is within the constitutional
ensuring the desired transparency in the administration of justice.
power of the Government; [2] if it furthers an important or substantial governmental interest;
[3] if the governmental interest is unrelated to the suppression of free expression; and [4] if the
However, in the Resolution of the Court on October 1991, in a case for libel filed by then
incidental restriction on alleged First Amendment freedoms [of speech, expression and press]
President Corazon C. Aquino read that the Court resolved to prohibit live radio and television
is no greater than is essential to the furtherance of that interest. This is so far the most
coverage of court proceedings in view of protecting the parties’ right to due process, to prevent
influential test for distinguishing content-based from content neutral regulations and is said to
distraction of the participants in the proceedings and to avoid miscarriage of justice.
have "become canonical in the review of such laws." is noteworthy that the O 'Brien test has
been applied by this Court in at least two cases First. Sec. 5.4 fails to meet criterion [3] of the O
Issue: Whether the constitutional guarantees of freedom of the press and right to information
'Brien test because the causal connection of expression to the asserted governmental interest
of public concern be given more weight than the fundamental rights of the accused.
makes such interest "not related to the suppression of free expression." By prohibiting the
publication of election survey results because of the possibility that such publication might
Ratio: The petition is denied.
undermine the integrity of the election, Sec. 5.4 actually suppresses a whole class of expression,
while allowing the expression of opinion concerning the same subject matter by newspaper
The courts recognize the constitutionally embodied freedom of the press and the right to public
columnists, radio and TV commentators, armchair theorists, and other opinion takers Even if
information. It also approves of media's exalted power to provide the most accurate and
the governmental interest sought to be promoted is unrelated to the suppression of speech
comprehensive means of conveying the proceedings to the public and in acquainting the public
and the resulting restriction of free expression is only incidental, §5.4 nonetheless fails to meet
with the judicial process in action; nevertheless, within the courthouse, the overriding
criterion [4] of the O'Brien test, namely, that the restriction be not greater than is necessary to
consideration is still the paramount right of the accused to due process which must never be
further the governmental interest. As already stated, §5.4 aims at the prevention of last-minute
allowed to suffer diminution in its constitutional proportions.
pressure on voters, the creation of bandwagon effect, "junking" of weak or "losing" candidates,
and resort to the form of election cheating called "dagdag-bawas." Praiseworthy as these aims
Due process guarantees the accused a presumption of innocence until the contrary is proved nature. The Decision made no reference to the application for a writ of preliminary mandatory
in a trial that is not lifted above its individual settings nor made an object of public's attention injunction.
and where the conclusions reached are induced not by any outside force or influence but only
by evidence and argument given in open court, where fitting dignity and calm ambiance is CA dismissed the Petition for Certiorari, ruling that the RTC did not commit any grave abuse of
demanded."Television can work profound changes in the behavior of the people it focuses discretion in impliedly denying the application for preliminary mandatory injunction.
on."The conscious or unconscious effect that such coverage may have on the testimony of
witnesses and the decision of judges cannot be evaluated but, it can likewise be said, it is not TINGA, J.:
at all unlikely for a vote of guilt or innocence to yield to it.
Facts: Petitioners operate and run Bombo Radyo DZNC Cauayan (DZNC), an AM radio broadcast
Although an accused has a right to a public trial but it is a right that belongs to him, more than station, and Star FM DWIT Cauayan, an FM radio broadcast station, in Cauayan Citry, Isabela.
anyone else, where his life or liberty can be held critically in balance. A public trial aims to Back in 1996, Newsounds commenced relocation of its broadcasting station, management
ensure that he is fairly dealt with and would not be unjustly condemned and that his rights are office, and transmitters on propery located in Minante 2, Cauayan City, Isabela.
not compromised. A public trial is not synonymous with publicized trial; it only implies that the
court doors must be open to those who wish to come, sit in the available seats, conduct On July 1996, the Housing & Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) and Office of the Municipal
themselves with decorum and observe the trial process. In the constitutional sense, a Planning and Development Coordinator (OMPDC) affirmed and certified that the commercial
courtroom should have enough facilities for a reasonable number of the public to observe the structure to be constructed conformed to local zoning regulations, noting as well that the
proceedings, not too small as to render the openness negligible and not too large as to distract location is classified as a “commercial area”. The radio station was able to fully operate
the trial participants from their proper functions, who shall then be totally free to report what smoothly thereafter.
they have observed during the proceedings.
In 2002 however, when petitioners applied for a renewal of mayor’s permit, City Zoning
Ruling: WHEREFORE, an audio-visual recording of the trial of former President Estrada before Administratior-Designate Bagnos Maximo refused to issue zoning clearance on the grounds
the Sandiganbayan is hereby ordered to be made, for the account of the Sandiganbayan, under that petitioners were not able to submit conversion papers showing that the agricultural land
the following conditions: (a) the trial shall be recorded in its entirety, excepting such portions was converted to commercial land. Petitioners asked the court to compel the issuance of
thereof as the Sandiganbayan may determine should not be held public under Rule 119, 21 of mayor’s permit but the court denied the action. In the meantime, the Department of Agrarian
the Rules of Criminal Procedure; (b) cameras shall be installed inconspicuously inside the Reform (DAR) Region II office issued to petitioners a formal recognition of conversion of the
courtroom and the movement of TV crews shall be regulated consistent with the dignity and property from agricultural to commercial.
solemnity of the proceedings; (c) the audio-visual recordings shall be made for documentary
purposes only and shall be made without comment except such annotations of scenes depicted In 2003, petitioners again filed their application for renewal of mayor’s permit, attaching the
therein as may be necessary to explain them; (d) the live broadcast of the recordings before DAR Order. Respondent Felicisimo Meer, acting City Administrator of Cauayan City denied the
the Sandiganbayan shall have rendered its decision in all the cases against the former President same, claiming that it was void on the grounds that they did not have record of the DAR Order.
shall be prohibited under pain of contempt of court and other sanctions in case of violations of
the prohibition; (e) to ensure that the conditions are observed, the audio-visual recording of The deadline lapsed on Febuary 15, 2004, and respondents Meer and Racma Fernandez-Garcia,
the proceedings shall be made under the supervision and control of the Sandiganbayan or its City Legal Officer of Cauayan City, closed the radio station. Due to the prvosion of Omnibus
Division concerned and shall be made pursuant to rules promulgated by it; and (f) Election Code which prohibits the closure of radio station during the pendency of election
simultaneously with the release of the audio-visual recordings for public broadcast, the original period, COMELEC issued an order allowing the petitioners to operate before Febuary 17, 2004,
thereof shall be deposited in the National Museum and the Records Management and Archives but was barred again by respondent Mayor Ceasar Dy on the grounds that the radio station had
Office for preservation and exhibition in accordance with law. no permit. Nonetheless, COMELEC allowed them to run again until June 10, 2004 after
elections. Petitioners filed the case to the RTC and CA for the issuance of mayor’s permit but
both courts denied the petition.
45. Newsounds Broadcasting vs. Dy, G.R. No. 170270, April 2, 2009 Nature: Petition for
Review emanated from a petition for mandamus A municipal or city mayor is likewise authorized under the LGC to issue licenses and permits,
and suspend or revoke the same for any violation of the conditions upon which said licenses or
Nature: Petition for Review emanated from a petition for mandamus permits had been issued, pursuant to law or ordinance. In case of Cauayan City, the authority
Keywords: Prior restraint, Permit to operate, Agricultural land to Commercial to require a mayor’s permit was enacted through Ordinance No. 92-004, enacted in 1993.
Summary: RTC rendered a Decision denying the petition for mandamus. The RTC upheld all the However, nothing in the ordinance requires an application for a mayor’s permit to submit
arguments of the respondents, including their right to deny the sought after mayors permit “either an approved land conversion papers from DAR, showing that its property was converted
unless they were duly satisfied that the subject property has been classified as commercial in from prime agricultural land or an approved resolution from the Sangguniang Bayan or
Sangguniang Panglungsod authorizing the reclassification of property from agricultural to an act of prior restraint against speech, expression or of the press. Prior restraint refers to
commercial land. official governmental restrictions on the press or other forms of expression in advance of
actual publication or dissemination. While any system of prior restraint comes to court
In 1996, the HLURB issued a zoning decision that classified the property as commercial. bearing a heavy burden against its constitutionality, not all prior restraints on speech are
Petitioners are also armed with several certifications stating that the property is indeed a invalid.
commercial area. Also, petitioners paid real property taxes based on the classification of
property as commercial without objections raised by the respondents. That the acts imputed against respondents constitute a prior restraint on the freedom of
expression of respondents who happen to be members of the press is clear enough. There is a
Petitioners argued that this consistent recognition by the local government of Cauayan of the long-standing tradition of special judicial solicitude for free speech, meaning that governmental
commercial character of the property constitutes estoppels against respondents from denying action directed at expression must satisfy a greater burden of justification than governmental
the fact before the courts. The lower courts had ruled that “the government of Cauayan City is action directed at most other forms of behavior. We had said in SWS v. COMELEC: Because of
not bound by estoppels, but petitioners classified that this concept is understood to only refer the preferred status of the constitutional rights of speech, expression, and the press, such a
to acts and mistakes of its official especially to those which are irregular. measure is vitiated by a weighty presumption of invalidity. Indeed, any system of prior
restraints of expression comes to this Court bearing a heavy presumption against its
Issue: WON there is prior restraint against DZNC constitutional validity. . . . The Government 'thus carries a heavy burden of showing justification
for the enforcement of such restraint. There is thus a reversal of the normal presumption of
Ratio: YES. validity that inheres in every legislation.

Petitioners have taken great pains to depict their struggle as a textbook case of denial of the At the same time, jurisprudence distinguishes between a content-neutral regulation, i.e.,
right to free speech and of the press. In their tale, there is undeniable political color. They admit merely concerned with the incidents of the speech, or one that merely controls the time, place
that in 2001, Bombo Radyo was aggressive in exposing the widespread election irregularities in or manner, and under well defined standards; and a content-based restraint or censorship, i.e.,
Isabela that appear to have favored respondent Dy and other members of the Dy political the restriction is based on the subject matter of the utterance or speech. Content-based laws
dynasty. Respondent Ceasar Dy is the brother of Faustino Dy, Jr., governor of Isabela from 2001 are generally treated as more suspect than content-neutral laws because of judicial concern
until he was defeated in his re-election bid in 2004 by Grace Padaca, a former assistant station with discrimination in the regulation of expression.[44] Content-neutral regulations of speech
manager at petitioners own DZNC Bombo Radyo. A rival AM radio station in Cauayan City, or of conduct that may amount to speech, are subject to lesser but still heightened scrutiny.
DWDY, is owned and operated by the Dy family. Petitioners likewise direct our attention to a
20 February 2004 article printed in the Philippine Daily Inquirer where Dy is quoted as intending Ostensibly, the act of an LGU requiring a business of proof that the property from which it
to file disenfranchisement proceedings against DZNC-AM. operates has been zoned for commercial use can be argued, when applied to a radio station,
as content-neutral since such a regulation would presumably apply to any other radio station
The partisan component of this dispute will no doubt sway many observers towards one or business enterprise within the LGU.
opinion or the other, but not us. The comfort offered by the constitutional shelter of free
expression is neutral as to personality, affinity, ideology and popularity. The judges tasked to However, the circumstances of this case dictate that we view the action of the respondents as
enforce constitutional order are expected to rule accordingly from the comfort of that neutral a content-based restraint.
shelter.
35.3. The timing of respondents closure of petitioners radio stations is also very telling. The
The following undisputed facts bring the issue of free expression to fore. Petitioners are closure comes at a most critical time when the people are set to exercise their right of suffrage.
authorized by law to operate radio stations in Cauayan City, and had been doing so for some Such timing emphasizes the ill motives of respondents.
years undisturbed by local authorities. Beginning in 2002, respondents in their official capacities
have taken actions, whatever may be the motive, that have impeded the ability of petitioners In their Answer with Comment to the petition for mandamus, respondents admitted that
to freely broadcast, if not broadcast at all. These actions have ranged from withholding permits petitioners had made such exposes during the 2001 elections, though they denied the nature
to operate to the physical closure of those stations under color of legal authority. While once and truthfulness of such reports. They conceded that the Philippine Daily Inquirer story
petitioners were able to broadcast freely, the weight of government has since bore down upon reported that Dy said he planned to file disenfranchisement proceedings against [DZNC]-AM.
them to silence their voices on the airwaves. An elementary school child with a basic While respondents assert that there are other AM radio stations in Isabela, they do not
understanding of civics lessons will recognize that free speech animates these cases. specifically refute that station DWDY was owned by the Dy family, or that DZNC and DWDY are
the two only stations that operate out of Cauayan.
Without taking into account any extenuating circumstances that may favor the respondents,
we can identify the bare acts of closing the radio stations or preventing their operations as
Prior to 2002, petitioners had not been frustrated in securing the various local government DOCTRINE: Consistent with good faith, reasonable care and the constitutional guarantee of
requirements for the operation of their stations. It was only in the beginning of 2002, after the freedom of the press, the press should not be held to account, to a point of suppression, for
election of respondent Ceasar Dy as mayor of Cauayan, that the local government started to honest mistakes or imperfections in the choice of language. There must be some room for
impose these new requirements substantiating the conversion of CDCs property for misstatement of fact as well as for misjudgment. Only by giving them much leeway and
commercial use. Petitioners admit that during the 2001 elections, Bombo Radyo was aggressive tolerance can they courageously and effectively function as critical agencies in our democracy.
in exposing the widespread election irregularities in Isabela that appear to have favored A newspaper, especially one national in reach and coverage, should be free to report on events
Respondent Dy and other members of the Dy political dynasty.[52] Respondents efforts to close and developments in which the public has a legitimate interest with minimum fear of being
petitioners radio station clearly intensified immediately before the May 2004 elections, where hauled to court by one group or another on criminal or civil charges for malice or
a former employee of DZNC Bombo Radyo, Grace Padaca, was mounting a credible and damages, i.e. libel, so long as the newspaper respects and keeps within the standards of
ultimately successful challenge against the incumbent Isabela governor, who happened to be morality and civility prevailing within the general community.
the brother of respondent Dy. It also bears notice that the requirements required of petitioners For liability in libel cases to arise without offending press freedom, there
by the Cauayan City government are frankly beyond the pale and not conventionally adopted is this test to meet: "The constitutional guarantees require, we think, a federal rule that
by local governments throughout the Philippines. prohibits a public official from recovering damages for a defamatory falsehood relating to his
official conduct unless he proves that the statement was made with ‘actual malice’— that is,
All those circumstances lead us to believe that the steps employed by respondents to ultimately with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not." There
shut down petitioners radio station were ultimately content-based. The United States Supreme can be no presumption of actual malice on privileged communication, thus it must be
Court generally treats restriction of the expression of a particular point of view as the paradigm sufficiently proved. Fair commentaries on matters of public interest are privileged
violation of the First Amendment. The facts confronting us now could have easily been drawn communication and constitute a valid defense in an action for libel or slander for as such, no
up by a constitutional law professor eager to provide a plain example on how free speech may malice can be aptly be presumed on them. The instant articles of the case dealt with matters
be violated. of public interest. These are matters about which the public has the right to be informed, taking
into account the very public character of the election itself. For this reason, they attracted
The Court is of the position that the actions of the respondents warrant heightened or strict media mileage and drew public attention not only to the election itself but to the candidates.
scrutiny from the Court, the test which we have deemed appropriate in assessing content- Thus, no malice may be imputed on these articles for the action of libel to stand, it must be
based restrictions on free speech, as well as for laws dealing with freedom of the mind or sufficiently proved.
restricting the political process, of laws dealing with the regulation of speech, gender, or race
as well as other fundamental rights as expansion from its earlier applications to equal FACTS:
protection.[54] The immediate implication of the application of the strict scrutiny test is that Petitioner was one of the mayoralty candidates in Bais, Negros Oriental during
the burden falls upon respondents as agents of government to prove that their actions do the May 11, 1992 elections.
not infringe upon petitioners constitutional rights. As content regulation cannot be done in On March 30, 1990, Ricardo Nolan, another mayoralty candidate, petitioned for the
the absence of any compelling reason,[55] the burden lies with the government to establish disqualification of petitioner from running in the elections. Said petition, however, was denied
such compelling reason to infringe the right to free expression. by the COMELEC.
Two days before the elections, or on May 9, 1992, respondent Manila Daily Bulletin
Ruling: WHEREFORE, the petitions are GRANTED. The assailed decisions of the Court of Appeals Publishing Corporation (Manila Bulletin) published the following story:
and the Regional Trial Court of Cauayan City, Branch 24, are hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The Comelec has disqualified Hector G. Villanueva as Lakas-
The instant petition for mandamus is hereby GRANTED and respondents are directed to NUCD candidate for mayor of Bais City for having been convicted in
immediately issue petitioners zoning clearances and mayors permits for 2004 to petitioners three administrative cases for grave abuse of authority and harassment
in 1987, while he was officer-in-charge of the mayor’s office of Bais City.
Notes: Whenever the force of government or any of its political subdivisions bears upon to A day before the elections or on May 10, 1992, respondent Philippine Daily Inquirer,
close down a private broadcasting station, the issue of free speech infringement cannot be Inc. (PDI) also came out with a similar story, to wit:
minimized, no matter the legal justifications offered for the closure. In many respects, the The Commission on Elections disqualified Hector G.
present petitions offer a textbook example of how the constitutional guarantee of freedom of Villanueva as Lakas-NUCD candidate for mayor of Bais City for having
speech, expression and of the press may be unlawfully compromised. Tragically, the lower been convicted in three administrative cases for grave abuse of
courts involved in this case failed to recognize or assert the fundamental dimensions, and it is authority and harassment in 1987, while he was the officer-in-charge
our duty to reverse, and to affirm the Constitution and the most sacred rights it guarantees. of the mayor’s office in the city.
On May 11, 1992, the national and local elections were held as scheduled. When
46. Hector Villanueva v. PDI results came out, it turned out that petitioner failed in his mayoralty bid.
Believing that his defeat was caused by the publication of the above-quoted stories, Every citizen of course has the right to enjoy a good name
petitioner sued respondents PDI and Manila Bulletin as well as their publishers and editors for and reputation, but we do not consider that the respondents, under
damages before the RTC of Bais City. He alleged that the articles were “maliciously timed” to the circumstances of this case, had violated said right or abused the
defeat him. He claimed he should have won by landslide, but his supporters reportedly freedom of the press. The newspapers should be given such leeway
believed the news items distributed by his rivals and voted for other candidates. He asked for and tolerance as to enable them to courageously and effectively
actual damages of P270,000 for the amount he spent for the campaign, moral damages perform their important role in our democracy. In the preparation
of P10,000,000, an unspecified amount of exemplary damages, attorney’s fees of P300,000 and of stories, press reporters and edition usually have to race with their
costs of suit. deadlines; and consistently with good faith and reasonable
care, they should not be held to account, to a point of suppression,
ISSUE: Whether or not Manila Bulletin and Philippine Daily Inquirer are liable for damages or for honest mistakes or imperfection in the choice of words.
libel for the published article. We find respondents entitled to the protection of the rules concerning qualified
privilege, growing out of constitutional guaranties in our Bill of Rights. We cannot punish
RULING: NO journalists including publishers for an honest endeavor to serve the public when moved by a
For liability in libel cases to arise without offending press freedom, there is this test sense of civic duty and prodded by their sense of responsibility as news media to report what
to meet: "The constitutional guarantees require, we think, a federal rule that prohibits a public they perceived to be a genuine report.
official from recovering damages for a defamatory falsehood relating to his official conduct
unless he proves that the statement was made with ‘actual malice’— that is, with knowledge
that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not." Fair commentaries 47. G.R. No. 180291, July 27, 2010 GOVERNMENT SERVICE INSURANCE SYSTEM (GSIS) and
on matters of public interest are privileged communication and constitute a valid defense in an WINSTON F. GARCIA, in his capacity as PRESIDENT and GENERAL MANAGER of the GSIS,
action for libel or slander for as such, no malice can be aptly be presumed on them. The rule Petitioners, vs. DINNAH VILLAVIZA, ELIZABETH DUQUE, ADRONICO A. ECHAVEZ, RODEL
on privileged communication had its genesis not in the nation’s penal code but in the Bill of RUBIO, ROWENA THERESE B. GRACIA, PILAR LAYCO, and ANTONIO JOSE LEGARDA,
Rights of the Constitution guaranteeing freedom of speech and of the press. As early as 1918, Respondents.
in United States v. Cañete, this Court ruled that publications which are privileged for reasons of
public policy are protected by the constitutional guaranty of freedom of speech. Facts: PGM Garcia, as President and General Manager of the GSIS, filed separate formal
In the instant case, there is no denying that the questioned articles dealt with charges against respondents and eventually found them guilty for Grave Misconduct and/or
matters of public interest. These are matters about which the public has the right to be Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service and meting out the penalty of one (1)
informed, taking into account the very public character of the election itself. For this reason, year suspension plus the accessory penalties appurtenant thereto. The charges contained that
they attracted media mileage and drew public attention not only to the election itself but to respondent, wearing red shirt together with some employees, marched to or appeared
the candidates. simultaneously at or just outside the office of the Investigation Unit in a mass
In the instant case, we find no conclusive showing that the published articles in demonstration/rally of protest and support for Messrs. Mario Molina and Albert Velasco, the
question were written with knowledge that these were false or in reckless disregard of what latter having surreptitiously entered the GSIS premises.
was false or not.
Nevertheless, even assuming that the contents of the articles turned out to be false, On appeal, CSC found that the acts of respondents in going to the GSIS-IU office wearing red
mere error, inaccuracy or even falsity alone does not prove actual malice. Errors or shirts to witness a public hearing do not amount to a concerted activity or mass action
misstatements are inevitable in any scheme of truly free expression and debate. Consistent proscribed above. CSC added that their actuations can be deemed an exercise of their
with good faith and reasonable care, the press should not be held to account, to a point of constitutional right to freedom of expression. The CA found no cogent reason to deviate
suppression, for honest mistakes or imperfections in the choice of language. There must be therefrom.
some room for misstatement of fact as well as for misjudgment. Only by giving them much
leeway and tolerance can they courageously and effectively function as critical agencies in our Issue: Whether or not the unruly mass gathering of twenty employees during office hours,
democracy. inside office premises to protest falls within the purview of the constitutional guarantee to
A newspaper, especially one national in reach and coverage, should be free to report freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.
on events and developments in which the public has a legitimate interest with minimum fear
of being hauled to court by one group or another on criminal or civil charges for malice or Ruling: Yes.
damages, i.e. libel, so long as the newspaper respects and keeps within the standards of
morality and civility prevailing within the general community. As defined in Section 5 of CSC Resolution No. 02-1316 which serves to regulate the political
As aptly observed in Quisumbing v. Lopez, et al.: rights of those in the government service, the concerted activity or mass action proscribed must
be coupled with the intent of effecting work stoppage or service disruption in order to realize
their demands of force concession. Wearing similarly colored shirts, attending a public hearing communication. There are few, if any, thoughts that cannot be expressed by the use of less
at the GSIS-IU office, bringing with them recording gadgets, clenching their fists, some even offensive language.
badmouthing the guards and PGM Garcia, are acts not constitutive of an (i) intent to effect The SC ruled that ―Soriano‘s statement can be treated as obscene, at least with respect to the
work stoppage or service disruption and (ii) for the purpose of realizing their demands of force average child,‖ and thus his utterances cannot be considered as protected speech. Citing
concession. decisions from the US Supreme Court, the High Court said that the analysis should be ―context
based‖ and found the utterances to be obscene after considering the use of television
The limitations or qualifications found in Section 5 of CSC Resolution No. 02-1316 are there to broadcasting as a medium, the time of the show, and the ―G‖ rating of the show, which are all
temper and focus the application of such prohibition. Not all collective activity or mass factors that made the utterances susceptible to children viewers. The Court emphasized on
undertaking of government employees is prohibited. Otherwise, we would be totally depriving how the uttered words could be easily understood by a child literally rather than in the context
our brothers and sisters in the government service of their constitutional right to freedom of that they were used.‖
expression. The SC also said ―that the suspension is not a prior restraint, but rather a ―form of permissible
administrative sanction or subsequent punishment.‖ In affirming the power of the MTRCB to
Government workers, whatever their ranks, have as much right as any person in the land to issue an order of suspension, the majority said that ―it is a sanction that the MTRCB may validly
voice out their protests against what they believe to be a violation of their rights and impose under its charter without running afoul of the free speech clause.‖ visit
interests. Civil Service does not deprive them of their freedom of expression. It would be unfair fellester.blogspot.com The Court said that the suspension ―is not a prior restraint on the right
to hold that by joining the government service, the members thereof have renounced or waived of petitioner to continue with the broadcast of Ang Dating Daan as a permit was already issued
this basic liberty. This freedom can be reasonably regulated only but can never be taken away. to him by MTRCB,‖ rather, it was a sanction for ―the indecent contents of his utterances in a
―G‖ rated TV program.‖ (Soriano v. Laguardia; GR No. 165636, April 29, 2009)
Respondents freedom of speech and of expression remains intact, and CSCs Resolution No. 02-
1316 defining what a prohibited concerted activity or mass action has only tempered or Dissenting Opinion:
regulated these rights. Measured against that definition, respondents actuations did not PUNO, J.:
amount to a prohibited concerted activity or mass action.
In a separate dissenting opinion, said that a single government action could be both a penalty
and a prior restraint. The Chief Magistrate pointed out that the three month suspension takes
48. Soriano v. MTRCB
such form because it also acts as a restraint to petitioner‘s future speech and thus deserves a
higher scrutiny than the ―context based‖ approach that the majority applied. In voting to grant
Facts:
Soriano‘s petition, the Chief Justice said that ―in the absence of proof and reason, he [Soriano]
On August 10, 2004, at around 10:00 p.m., petitioner, as host of the program Ang
should not be penalized with a three-month suspension that works as a prior restraint on his
Dating Daan, aired on UNTV 37, made obscene remarks against INC. Two days after, before the
speech.
MTRCB, separate but almost identical affidavit-complaints were lodged by Jessie L. Galapon
and seven other private respondents, all members of the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC), against
petitioner in connection with the above broadcast. Respondent Michael M. Sandoval, who felt 49. a SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE ENGAGEMENT NETWORK, INC., vs.ANTI-TERRORISM COUNCIL,
directly alluded to in petitioner‘s remark, was then a minister of INC and a regular host of the et. al G.R. No. 178552 October 5, 2010 chilling effect, facial challenge, Human Security Act of
TV program Ang Tamang Daan. 2007, in terrorem effect

Issue: Whether or not Soriano‘s statements during the televised ―Ang Dating Daan‖ part of FACTS: Petitioners assail for being intrinsically vague and impermissibly broad the definition of
the religious discourse and within the protection of Section 5, Art.III. the crime of terrorism under RA 9372 (the Human Security Act of 2007) in that terms like
“widespread and extraordinary fear and panic among the populace” and “coerce the
Held: No. Under the circumstances obtaining in this case, therefore, and considering the government to give in to an unlawful demand” are nebulous, leaving law enforcement agencies
adverse effect of petitioner‘s utterances on the viewers‘ fundamental rights as well as with no standard to measure the prohibited acts.
petitioner‘s clear violation of his duty as a public trustee, the MTRCB properly suspended him
from appearing in Ang Dating Daan for three months. Furthermore, it cannot be properly
asserted that petitioner‘s suspension was an undue curtailment of his right to free speech ISSUE: Can the Human Security Act of 2007 be facially challenged on the grounds of vagueness
either as a prior restraint or as a subsequent punishment. Aside from the reasons given above and overbreadth doctrines?
(re the paramount of viewers rights, the public trusteeship character of a broadcaster‘s role
and the power of the State to regulate broadcast media), a requirement that indecent language RULING: No. A facial invalidation of a statute is allowed only in free speech cases, wherein
be avoided has its primary effect on the form, rather than the content, of serious certain rules of constitutional litigation are rightly excepted.
In Estrada vs. Sandiganbayan it was held that: A facial challenge is allowed to be made to a
vague statute and to one which is overbroad because of possible “chilling effect” upon 1. First, this relates to the right of the people to participate in public affairs, including the
protected speech. The possible harm to society in permitting some unprotected speech to go right to criticize government actions. Speech that promotes dialogue on public affairs, or
unpunished is outweighed by the possibility that the protected speech of others may be airs out grievances and political discontent, should thus be protected and encouraged.
deterred and perceived grievances left to fester because of possible inhibitory effects of overly 2. Second, free speech should be encouraged under the concept of a market place of ideas.
broad statutes. 3. Third, free speech involves self-expression that enhances human dignity.
4. Fourth, expression is a marker for group identity.
5. Fifth, the Bill of Rights, free speech included, is supposed to “protect individuals and
This rationale does not apply to penal statutes. Criminal statutes have general in
minorities against majoritarian abuses perpetrated through [the] framework [of
terrorem effect resulting from their very existence, and, if facial challenge is allowed for this
democratic governance]. ”
reason alone, the State may well be prevented from enacting laws against socially harmful
6. Lastly, free speech must be protected under the safety valve theory. In order to avoid this
conduct. In the area of criminal law, the law cannot take chances as in the area of free speech.
situation and prevent people from resorting to violence, there is a need for peaceful
methods in making passionate dissent. Free speech must, thus, be protected as a peaceful
means of achieving one’s goal, considering the possibility that repression of nonviolent
THE DIOCESE OF BACOLOD, represented by the Most Rev. Bishop Vicente Navarra dissent may spill over to violent means just to drive a point.
vs. COMELEC
In the hierarchy of civil liberties, the rights of free expression and of assembly occupy a
FACTS: preferred position as they are essential to the preservation and vitality of our civil and
On February 2013, petitioners posted two (2) tarpaulins within the compound of political institutions; and such priority “gives these liberties the sanctity and the sanction
San Sebastian Cathedral of Bacolod. Each tarpaulin was approximately 6×10 in size. They were not permitting dubious intrusions.
posted on the front walls of the cathedral within public view.
The first tarpaulin contains the message “IBASURA RH Law” referring to the
Reproductive Health Law of 2012 or Republic Act No. 10354. The second tarpaulin is the subject
of the present case. This tarpaulin contains the heading “Conscience Vote” and lists candidates
as either “(Anti-RH)/ Team Buhay” or “(Pro-RH)/Team Patay”.
The electoral candidates were classified according to their vote on the adoption of
the RH Law. Those who voted for the passing of the law were classified by petitioners as BAYAN v. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY ERMITA
comprising “Team Patay,” while those who voted against it form “Team Buhay”: G.R. NO. 169838; 25 APR 2006
Respondent Atty. Mavil V. Majarucon, as Election Officer of Bacolod City, issued a
Notice to Remove Campaign Materials addressed to petitioner Most Rev. Bishop Vicente M. Facts:
Navarra, otherwise, COMELEC will be constrained to file an election offense against the Rallies of September 20, October 4, 5 and 6, 2005 is at issue. BAYAN’s rally was
petitioners. violently dispersed. 26 petitioners were injured, arrested and detained when a peaceful mass
action they was preempted and violently dispersed by the police. KMU asserts that the right to
ISSUE: Whether the act of the COMELEC infringes the Freedom of Religion and Freedom of peaceful assembly, are affected by Batas Pambansa No. 880 and the policy of “Calibrated
Speech. Preemptive Response” (CPR) being followed to implement it. KMU, et al., claim that on October
4, 2005, a rally KMU co-sponsored was to be conducted at the Mendiola bridge but police
HELD: blocked them along C.M. Recto and Lepanto Streets and forcibly dispersed them, causing
injuries to several of their members. They further allege that on October 6, 2005, a multi-
On Freedom of Religion. As aptly argued by COMELEC, the tarpaulin, on its face, “does not sectoral rally which KMU also co-sponsored was scheduled to proceed along España Avenue in
convey any religious doctrine of the Catholic church.” That the position of the Catholic church front of the UST and going towards Mendiola bridge. Police officers blocked them along
appears to coincide with the message of the tarpaulin regarding the RH Law does not, by itself, Morayta Street and prevented them from proceeding further. They were then forcibly
bring the expression within the ambit of religious speech. On the contrary, the tarpaulin clearly dispersed, causing injuries on one of them. Three other rallyists were arrested.
refers to candidates classified under “Team Patay” and “Team Buhay” according to their
respective votes on the RH Law. All petitioners assail Batas Pambansa No. 880 The Public Assembly Act of 1985, some of them
in toto and others only Sections 4, 5, 6, 12, 13(a), and 14(a), as well as the policy of CPR. They
On Freedom of Speech. Embedded in the tarpaulin, are opinions expressed by petitioners. It is seek to stop violent dispersals of rallies under the “no permit, no rally” policy and the CPR policy
a specie of expression protected by our fundamental law. There are several theories and announced on Sept. 21, 2005.
schools of thought that strengthen the need to protect the basic right to freedom of expression.
not be “peaceable” and entitled to protection. Maximum tolerance1 is for the protection and
Petitioners Bayan, et al., contend that BP 880 is clearly a violation of the Constitution and the benefit of all rallyists and is independent of the content of the expressions in the rally. There is,
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and other human rights treaties of which likewise, no priorrestraint, since the content of the speech is not relevant to the regulation.
the Philippines is a signatory.
The so-called calibrated preemptive response policy has no place in our legal firmament and
They argue that B.P. No. 880 requires a permit before one can stage a public assembly must be struck down as a darkness that shrouds freedom. It merely confuses our people and is
regardless of the presence or absence of a clear and present danger. It also curtails the choice used by some police agents to justify abuses. Insofar as it would purport to differ from or be in
of venue and is thus repugnant to the freedom of expression clause as the time and place of a lieu of maximum tolerance, this was declared null and void.
public assembly form part of the message for which the expression is sought.
The Secretary of the Interior and Local Governments, are DIRECTED to take all necessary steps
Petitioners Jess del Prado, et al., in turn, argue that B.P. No. 880 is unconstitutional as it is a for the immediate compliance with Section 15 of Batas Pambansa No. 880 through the
curtailment of the right to peacefully assemble and petition for redress of grievances because establishment or designation of at least one suitable freedom park or plaza in every city and
it puts a condition for the valid exercise of that right. It also characterizes public assemblies municipality of the country. After thirty (30) days from the finality of this Decision, subject to
without a permit as illegal and penalizes them and allows their dispersal. Thus, its provisions the giving of advance notices, no prior permitshall be required to exercise the right to
are not mere regulations but are actually prohibitions. Regarding the CPR policy, it is void for peaceably assemble and petition in the public parks or plazas of a city or municipality that has
being an ultra vires act that alters the standard of maximum tolerance set forth in B.P. No. 880, not yet complied with Section 15 of the law.
aside from being void for being vague and for lack of publication.

KMU, et al., argue that the Constitution sets no limits on the right to assembly and therefore IBP VS HON. MANILA MAYOR ATIENZA (2010)
B.P. No. 880 cannot put the prior requirement of securing a permit. And even assuming that
the legislature can set limits to this right, the limits provided are unreasonable: First, allowing FACTS:
the Mayor to deny the permit on clear and convincingevidence of a clear and present danger is In 2006, the IBP, through its then National President Jose Anselmo Cadiz, filed an
too comprehensive. Second, the five-day requirement to apply for a permit is too long as application with the Office of the City Mayor of Manila for a permit to rally at the foot of
certain events require instant public assembly, otherwise interest on the issue would possibly Mendiola Bridge to be participated in by IBP officers and members, law students and multi-
wane.As to the CPR policy, they argue that it is preemptive, that the government takes action sectoral organizations. Respondent Mayor Atienza issued a permit allowing the IBP to stage a
even before the rallyists can perform their act, and that no law, ordinance or executive order rally on given date but indicated Plaza Miranda as the venue, instead of the Mendiola Bridge.
supports the policy. Furthermore, it contravenes the maximum tolerance policy of B.P. No. 880 Aggrieved, petitioners filed before the CA a petition for certiorari but having been unresolved
and violates the Constitution as it causes a chilling effect on the exercise by the people of the within 24 hours from its filing, petitioners again, filed before the SC assailing the appellate
right to peaceably assemble. court’s inaction or refusal to resolve the petition within the period provided under the Public
Assembly Act of 1985.
Respondents argued that petitioners have no standing. BP 880 entails traffic re-routing to The rally pushed through at Mendiola Bridge, and as alleged by the Petitioners, the
prevent grave public inconvenience and serious or undue interference in the free flow participants voluntarily dispersed after the peaceful conduct of the program. A few days later,
of commerce and trade. It is content-neutral regulation of the time, place and manner of the MPD instituted a criminal action,against Cadiz for violating the Public Assembly Act in
holding public assemblies. According to Atienza RA. 7160 gives the Mayor power to deny a staging a rally at a venue not indicated in the permit.
permit independently of B.P. No. 880. and that the permit is for the use of a public place and
not for the exercise of rights; and that B.P. No. 880 is not a content-based regulation because ISSUE: Whether the partial grant of the application runs contrary to the Pubic Assembly Act and
it covers all rallies. violates the constitutional right to freedom of expression and public assembly.
HELD: The Court finds for petitioners. In modifying the permit outright, respondent gravely
Issue: Whether or Not BP 880 and the CPR Policy unconstitutional. abused his discretion when he did not immediately inform the IBP who should have been heard
first on the matter of his perceived imminent and grave danger of a substantive evil that may
Held: warrant the changing of the venue. The opportunity to be heard precedes the action on the
No question as to standing. Their right as citizens to engage in peaceful assembly permit, since the applicant may directly go to court after an unfavorable action on the permit.
and exercise the right of petition, as guaranteed by the Constitution, is directly affected by B.P. Respondent failed to indicate how he had arrived at modifying the terms of the permit against
No. 880. B.P. 880 is not an absolute ban of public assemblies but a restriction that simply the standard of a clear and present danger test which, it bears repeating, is an indispensable
regulates the time, place and manner of the assemblies. It refers to all kinds of public condition to such modification. Nothing in the issued permit adverts to an imminent and grave
assemblies that would use public places. The reference to “lawful cause” does not make it danger of a substantive evil, which “blank” denial or modification would, when granted
content-based because assemblies really have to be for lawful causes, otherwise they would imprimatur as the appellate court would have it, render illusory any judicial scrutiny thereof.
(c) The application shall be filed with the office of the mayor of the city or municipality in whose
BATAS PAMBANSA BLG. 880 jurisdiction the intended activity is to be held, at least five (5) working days before the
AN ACT ENSURING THE FREE EXERCISE BY THE PEOPLE OF THEIR RIGHT PEACEABLY TO scheduled public assembly.
ASSEMBLE AND PETITION THE GOVERNMENT FOR OTHER PURPOSES
 (d) Upon receipt of the application, which must be duly acknowledged in writing, the office of
the city or municipal mayor shall cause the same to immediately be posted at a conspicuous
Section 1. Title - This Act shall be known as "The Public Assembly Act of 1985." place in the city or municipal building.
Section 2. Declaration of policy - The constitutional right of the people peaceably to assemble Section 6. Action to be taken on the application -
and petition the government for redress of grievances is essential and vital to the strength and (a) It shall be the duty of the mayor or any official acting in his behalf to issue or grant a permit
stability of the State. To this end, the State shall ensure the free exercise of such right without unless there is clear and convincing evidence that the public assembly will create a clear and
prejudice to the rights of others to life, liberty and equal protection of the law. present danger to public order, public safety, public convenience, public morals or public
Section 3. Definition of terms - For purposes of this Act: health.
(a) "Public assembly" means any rally, demonstration, march, parade, procession or any other (b) The mayor or any official acting in his behalf shall act on the application within two (2)
form of mass or concerted action held in a public place for the purpose of presenting a lawful working days from the date the application was filed, failing which, the permit shall be deemed
cause; or expressing an opinion to the general public on any particular issue; or protesting or granted. Should for any reason the mayor or any official acting in his behalf refuse to accept
influencing any state of affairs whether political, economic or social; or petitioning the the application for a permit, said application shall be posted by the applicant on the premises
government for redress of grievances. of the office of the mayor and shall be deemed to have been filed.
The processions, rallies, parades, demonstrations, public meetings and assemblages for (c) If the mayor is of the view that there is imminent and grave danger of a substantive evil
religious purposes shall be governed by local ordinances: Provided, however, That the warranting the denial or modification of the permit, he shall immediately inform the applicant
declaration of policy as provided in Section 2 of this Act shall be faithfully observed. who must be heard on the matter.
The definition herein contained shall not include picketing and other concerted action in strike (d) The action on the permit shall be in writing and served on the application within twenty-
areas by workers and employees resulting from a labor dispute as defined by the Labor Code, four hours.
its implementing rules and regulations, and by the Batas Pambansa Bilang 227. (e) If the mayor or any official acting in his behalf denies the application or modifies the terms
(b) "Public place" shall include any highway, boulevard, avenue, road, street, bridge or other thereof in his permit, the applicant may contest the decision in an appropriate court of law.
thoroughfare, park, plaza, square, and/or any open space of public ownership where the people (f) In case suit is brought before the Metropolitan Trial Court, the Municipal Trial Court, the
are allowed access. Municipal Circuit Trial Court, the Regional Trial Court, or the Intermediate Appellate Court, its
(c) "Maximum tolerance" means the highest degree of restraint that the military, police and decisions may be appealed to the appropriate court within forty-eight (48) hours after receipt
other peace keeping authorities shall observe during a public assembly or in the dispersal of of the same. No appeal bond and record on appeal shall be required. A decision granting such
the same. permit or modifying it in terms satisfactory to the applicant shall, be immediately executory.
(d) "Modification of permit" shall include the change of the place and time of the public (g) All cases filed in court under this Section shall be decided within twenty-four (24) hours from
assembly, rerouting of the parade or street march, the volume of loud-speakers or sound date of filing. Cases filed hereunder shall be immediately endorsed to the executive judge for
system and similar changes. disposition or, in his absence, to the next in rank.
Section 4. Permit when required and when not required - A written permit shall be required for (h) In all cases, any decision may be appealed to the Supreme Court.
any person or persons to organize and hold a public assembly in a public place. However, no (i) Telegraphic appeals to be followed by formal appeals are hereby allowed.
permit shall be required if the public assembly shall be done or made in a freedom park duly Section 7. Use of public thoroughfare - Should the proposed public assembly involve the use,
established by law or ordinance or in private property, in which case only the consent of the for an appreciable length of time, of any public highway, boulevard, avenue, road or street, the
owner or the one entitled to its legal possession is required, or in the campus of a government- mayor or any official acting in his behalf may, to prevent grave public inconvenience, designate
owned and operated educational institution which shall be subject to the rules and regulations the route thereof which is convenient to the participants or reroute the vehicular traffic to
of said educational institution. Political meetings or rallies held during any election campaign another direction so that there will be no serious or undue interference with the free flow of
period as provided for by law are not covered by this Act. commerce and trade.
Section 5. Application requirements - All applications for a permit shall comply with the Section 8. Responsibility of applicant - It shall be the duty and responsibility of the leaders and
following guidelines: organizers of a public assembly to take all reasonable measures and steps to the end that the
(a) The applications shall be in writing and shall include the names of the leaders or organizers; intended public assembly shall be conducted peacefully in accordance with the terms of the
the purpose of such public assembly; the date, time and duration thereof, and place or streets permit. These shall include but not be limited to the following:
to be used for the intended activity; and the probable number of persons participating, the (a) To inform the participants of their responsibility under the permit;
transport and the public address systems to be used. (b) To police the ranks of the demonstrators in order to prevent non-demonstrators from
(b) The application shall incorporate the duty and responsibility of applicant under Section 8 disrupting the lawful activities of the public assembly;
hereof.
(c) To confer with local government officials concerned and law enforcers to the end that the Section 12. Dispersal of public assembly without permit - When the public assembly is held
public assembly may be held peacefully; without a permit where a permit is required, the said public assembly may be peacefully
(d) To see to it that the public assembly undertaken shall not go beyond the time stated in the dispersed.
permit; and Section 13. Prohibited acts - The following shall constitute violations of this Act:
(e) To take positive steps that demonstrators do not molest any person or do any act unduly (a) The holding of any public assembly as defined in this Act by any leader or organizer without
interfering with the rights of other persons not participating in the public assembly. having first secured that written permit where a permit is required from the office concerned,
Section 9. Non-interference by law enforcement authorities - Law enforcement agencies shall or the use of such permit for such purposes in any place other than those set out in said permit:
not interfere with the holding of a public assembly. However, to adequately ensure public Provided, however, That no person can be punished or held criminally liable for participating in
safety, a law enforcement contingent under the command of a responsible police officer may or attending an otherwise peaceful assembly;
be detailed and stationed in a place at least one hundred (100) meter away from the area of (b) Arbitrary and unjustified denial or modification of a permit in violation of the provisions of
activity ready to maintain peace and order at all times. this Act by the mayor or any other official acting in his behalf.
Section 10. Police assistance when requested - It shall be imperative for law enforcement (c) The unjustified and arbitrary refusal to accept or acknowledge receipt of the application for
agencies, when their assistance is requested by the leaders or organizers, to perform their a permit by the mayor or any official acting in his behalf;
duties always mindful that their responsibility to provide proper protection to those exercising (d) Obstructing, impeding, disrupting or otherwise denying the exercise of the right to peaceful
their right peaceably to assemble and the freedom of expression is primordial. Towards this assembly;
end, law enforcement agencies shall observe the following guidelines: (e) The unnecessary firing of firearms by a member of any law enforcement agency or any
(a) Members of the law enforcement contingent who deal with the demonstrators shall be in person to disperse the public assembly;
complete uniform with their nameplates and units to which they belong displayed prominently (f) Acts in violation of Section 10 hereof;
on the front and dorsal parts of their uniform and must observe the policy of "maximum (g) Acts described hereunder if committed within one hundred (100) meters from the area of
tolerance" as herein defined; activity of the public assembly or on the occasion thereof;
(b) The members of the law enforcement contingent shall not carry any kind of firearms but 1. the carrying of a deadly or offensive weapon or device such as firearm, pillbox, bomb, and
may be equipped with baton or riot sticks, shields, crash helmets with visor, gas masks, boots the like;
or ankle high shoes with shin guards; 2. the carrying of a bladed weapon and the like;
(c) Tear gas, smoke grenades, water cannons, or any similar anti-riot device shall not be used 3 the malicious burning of any object in the streets or thoroughfares;
unless the public assembly is attended by actual violence or serious threats of violence, or 4. the carrying of firearms by members of the law enforcement unit;
deliberate destruction of property. 5. the interfering with or intentionally disturbing the holding of a public assembly by the use of
Section 11. Dispersal of public assembly with permit - No public assembly with a permit shall a motor vehicle, its horns and loud sound systems.
be dispersed. However, when an assembly becomes violent, the police may disperse such Section 14. Penalties - Any person found guilty and convicted of any of the prohibited acts
public assembly as follows: defined in the immediately preceding Section shall be punished as follows:
(a) At the first sign of impending violence, the ranking officer of the law enforcement contingent (a) violation of subparagraph (a) shall be punished by imprisonment of one month and one day
shall call the attention of the leaders of the public assembly and ask the latter to prevent any to six months;
possible disturbance; (b) violations of subparagraphs (b), (c), (d), (e), (f), and item 4, subparagraph (g) shall be
(b) If actual violence starts to a point where rocks or other harmful objects from the participants punished by imprisonment of six months and one day to six years;
are thrown at the police or at the non-participants, or at any property causing damage to such (c) violation of item 1, subparagraph (g) shall be punished by imprisonment of six months and
property, the ranking officer of the law enforcement contingent shall audibly warn the one day to six years without prejudice to prosecution under Presidential Decree No. 1866;
participants that if the disturbance persists, the public assembly will be dispersed; (d) violations of item 2, item 3, or item 5 of subparagraph (g) shall be punished by imprisonment
(c) If the violence or disturbances prevailing as stated in the preceding subparagraph should of one day to thirty days.
not stop or abate, the ranking officer of the law enforcement contingent shall audibly issue a Section 15. Freedom parks - Every city and municipality in the country shall within six months
warning to the participants of the public assembly, and after allowing a reasonable period of after the effectivity of this Act establish or designate at least one suitable "freedom park" or
time to lapse, shall immediately order it to forthwith disperse; mall in their respective jurisdictions which, as far as practicable, shall be centrally located within
(d) No arrest of any leader, organizer or participant shall also be made during the public the poblacion where demonstrations and meetings may be held at any time without the need
assembly unless he violates during the assembly a law, statute, ordinance or any provision of of any prior permit.
this Act. Such arrest shall be governed by Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended: In the cities and municipalities of Metropolitan Manila, the respective mayors shall establish
(e) Isolated acts or incidents of disorder or branch of the peace during the public assembly shall the freedom parks within the period of six months from the effectivity of this Act.
not constitute a group for dispersal. Section 16. Constitutionality - Should any provision of this Act be declared invalid or
unconstitutional, the validity or constitutionality of the other provisions shall not be affected
thereby.
Section 17. Repealing clause - All laws, decrees, letters of instructions, resolutions, orders, In the evening of 10 Aug 2004, petitioner Eliseo Soriano as hose of the program Ang
ordinances or parts thereof which are inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby Dating Daan, aired on UNTV 37, made the following remarks directed towards private
repealed, amended, or modified accordingly. respondent Michael Sandoval, a minister of the Iglesia ni Cristo and a host of the program Ang
Section 18. Effectivity - This Act shall take effect upon its approval. Tamang Daan:
Lehitimong anak ng demonyo; sinungaling. Gago ka talaga Michael, masahol ka pa sa putang
ALEJANDRO ESTRADA, petitioner v. SOLEDAD S. ESCRITOR, respondent
A.M. No. P-02- babae o di ba. Yung putang babae ang gumagana lang doon yung ibaba, [dito] kay Michael ang
1651 August 4, 2003 gumagana ang itaas, o di ba! O, masahol pa sa putang babae yan. Sabi ng lola ko masahol pa
Facts: sa putang babae yan. Sobra ang kasinungalingan ng mga demonyong ito.
Escritor is a court interpreter since 1999 in the RTC of Las Pinas City. She has been living Two days after, complaints were lodged by Jessie Galapon and other private respondents,
with Quilapio, a man who is not her husband, for more than twenty five years and had a son all members of the Iglesia ni Cristo before the MTRCB. On 16 Aug 2004, the MTRCB issued an
with him as well. Respondent’s husband died a year before she entered into the judiciary while order preventively suspending Ang Dating Daan for 20 days in accordance with Sec 3(d) of PD
Quilapio is still legally married to another woman. 1986.
Complainant Estrada requested the Judge of said RTC to investigate respondent. According Petitioner sought for reconsideration praying that respondent Chairperson Consoliza
to complainant, respondent should not be allowed to remain employed therein for it will Laguardia recuse themselves from hearing the case but later withdrew his motion followed by
appear as if the court allows such act. the filing for certiorari and prohibition to nullify the preventive suspension order.
Respondent claims that their conjugal arrangement is permitted by her religion—the Jehovah’s On 27 Sept 2004, the MTRCB issued a decision imposing 3 months suspension from the
Witnesses and the Watch Tower and the Bible Trace Society. They allegedly have a ‘Declaration program Ang Dating Daan.
of Pledging Faithfulness’ under the approval of their congregation. Such a declaration is
effective when legal impediments render it impossible for a couple to legalize their union. ISSUES:
Issue:  W/N MTRCB is authorized under PD 1986 to issue preventive suspension.
Whether or Not the State could penalize respondent for such conjugal arrangement.  W/N petitioner was deprived of due process and equal protection for lack of due
Held: hearing in the case.
No. The State could not penalize respondent for she is exercising her right to freedom  W/N petitioner’s utterance was religious speech protected by religious freedom.
of religion. The free exercise of religion is specifically articulated as one of the fundamental  W/N petitioner’s utterance was protected by freedom of speech and expression.
rights in our Constitution. As Jefferson put it, it is the most inalienable and sacred of human
rights. The State’s interest in enforcing its prohibition cannot be merely abstract or symbolic in HELD:
order to be sufficiently compelling to outweigh a free exercise claim. In the case at bar, the 1.) Yes. The Court ruled that administrative agencies have powers and functions which
State has not evinced any concrete interest in enforcing the concubinage or bigamy charges may be administrative, investigatory, regulatory, quasi-legislative, or quasi-judicial, or a mix of
against respondent or her partner. Thus the State’s interest only amounts to the symbolic the five, as conferred by the Constitution or the law. The authority given should be liberally
preservation of an unenforced prohibition. Furthermore, a distinction between public and construed. A perusal of the PD 1986 reveal the possession of authority to issue preventive
secular morality and religious morality should be kept in mind. The jurisdiction of the Court suspension as found in Sec 3(d), “To supervise, regulate, and grant, deny or cancel… exhibition,
extends only to public and secular morality. and/or television broadcast… as are determined by the BOARD to be objectionable…” Any
The Court further states that our Constitution adheres the benevolent neutrality approach that other construal would render its power to regulate, supervise, or discipline illusory.
gives room for accommodation of religious exercises as required by the Free Exercise Clause. Preventive suspension is not a penalty by itself, being merely a preliminary step in an
This benevolent neutrality could allow for accommodation of morality based on religion, administrative investigation. And the power to discipline and impose penalties, if granted,
provided it does not offend compelling state interests. Assuming arguendo that the OSG has carries with it the power to investigate administrative complaints and, during such
proved a compelling state interest, it has to further demonstrate that the state has used the investigation, to preventively suspend the person subject of the complaint.
least intrusive means possible so that the free exercise is not infringed any more than necessary Moreover, the assailed Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) issued by MTRCB in pursuant
to achieve the legitimate goal of the state. Thus the conjugal arrangement cannot be penalized to PD 1986 merely formalizes the power bestowed by said statute. The IRR provision on
for it constitutes an exemption to the law based on her right to freedom of religion. preventive suspension is applicable not only to motion pictures and publicity materials but only
beyond motion pictures. The MTRCB would regretfully be rendered ineffective should it be
subject to the restrictions petitioner envisages.
Soriano v Laguardia 2.) No. The Court ruled that since MTRCB handed out the assailed order in response to a written
587 SCRA 79 (2009) notice after petitioner appeared before that Board for a hearing on private respondents
Velasco, Jr. J.: complaint, no violation of the guarantee was made. Under Sec. 3, Chapter XIII of the IRR of PD
FACTS: 1986, preventive suspension shall issue any time during the pendency of the case. In this
particular case, it was done after MTRCB duly apprised petitioner of his having possibly violated
PD 1986 and of administrative complaints that had been filed against him for such violation. At
any event, that preventive suspension can validly be meted out even without a hearing On various occasions from August to October 1991, Austria received several communications
Neither the guarantee of equal protection was denied. Petitioner argues that he was unable form Ibesate, the treasurer of the Negros Mission, asking him to admit accountability and
to answer the criticisms coming from the INC ministers. The equal protection clause demands responsibility for the church tithes and offerings collected by his wife, Thelma Austria, in his
that all persons subject to legislation should be treated alike, under like circumstances and district and to remit the same to the Negros Mission.
conditions both in the privileges conferred and liabilities imposed. The Court ruled that
petitioner cannot, under the premises, place himself in the same shoes as the INC ministers, The petitioner answered saying that he should not be made accountable since it was Pastor
who, for one, are not facing administrative complaints before the MTRCB. For another, he Buhat and Ibesate who authorized his wife to collect the tithes and offerings since he was very
offers no proof to such allegations. ill to be able to do the collecting.
3.) No. The Court ruled that there is nothing in petitioner’s statements subject of the
complaints expressing any particular religious belief, nothing furthering his avowed evangelical A fact-finding committee was created to investigate. The petitioner received a letter of
mission. The fact that he came out with his statements in a televised bible exposition program dismissal citing:
does not automatically accord them the character of a religious discourse. Plain and simple 1) Misappropriation of denominational funds;
insults directed at another person cannot be elevated to the status of religious speech. Even 2) Willful breach of trust;
petitioners attempts to place his words in context show that he was moved by anger and the 3) Serious misconduct;
need to seek retribution, not by any religious conviction. 4) Gross and habitual neglect of duties; and
4.) No. The Court held that be it in the form of prior restraint, e.g., judicial injunction against 5) Commission of an offense against the person of 
employer's duly authorized representative
publication or threat of cancellation of license/franchise, or subsequent liability, whether in as grounds for the termination of his services.
libel and damage suits, prosecution for sedition, or contempt proceedings, are anathema to the
freedom of expression. Prior restraint means official government restrictions on the press or Petitioner filed a complaint with the Labor Arbiter for illegal dismissal, and sued the SDA
other forms of expression in advance of actual publication or dissemination. The freedom of for reinstatement and backwages plus damages. Decision was rendered in favor of petitioner.
speech may be regulated to serve important public interests and it may not be invoked when
the expression touches upon matters of essentially private concern. The freedom to express SDA appealed to the NLRC. Decision was rendered in favor of respondent.
ones sentiments and belief does not grant one the license to vilify in public the honor and
integrity of another. Any sentiments must be expressed within the proper forum and with
proper regard for the rights of others. A speech would fall under the unprotected type if the Issue:
utterances involved are no essential part of any exposition of ideas, and are of such slight social
value as a step of truth that any benefit that may be derived from them is clearly outweighed 1. Whether or not the termination of the services of the petitioner is an ecclesiastical affair,
by the social interest in order and morality. and, as such, involves the separation of church and state.
The Petitioner’s statement can be treated as obscene, at least with respect to the average child,
and thus his utterances cannot be considered as protected speech. Citing decisions from the 2. Whether or not the Labor Arbiter/NLRC has jurisdiction to try and decide the complaint filed
US Supreme Court, the Court said that the analysis should be context based and found the by petitioner against the SDA.
utterances to be obscene after considering the use of television broadcasting as a medium, the
time of the show, and the “G” rating of the show, which are all factors that made the utterances Held/Ratio:
susceptible to children viewers. The Court emphasized on how the uttered words could be
easily understood by a child literally rather than in the context that they were used. 1. No. The matter at hand relates to the church and its religious ministers but what is involved
here is the relationship of the church as an employer and the minister as an employee, which
Austria v. NLRC G.R. No. 124382 August 16, 1999 is purely secular because it has no relationship with the practice of faith, worship or
doctrines. The grounds invoked for petitioner’s dismissal are all based on Art. 282 of Labor
KTA: Relationship of the church as an employer and the minister as an employee is purely Code.
secular in nature because it has no relation with the practice of faith, worship or doctrines of
the church, such affairs are governed by labor laws. The Labor Code applies to all 2. Yes. SDA was exercising its management prerogative (not religious prerogative) to fire an
establishments, whether religious or not. employee which it believes is unfit for the job. It would have been a different case if Austria
was expelled or excommunicated from the SDA.
Facts: The Seventh Day Adventists(SDA) is a religious corporation under Philippine law. The
petitioner was a pastor of the SDA for 28 years from 1963 until 1991, when his services were ISLAMIC DA'WAH COUNCIL OF THE PHILIPPINES, INC (IDCP) vs. Office of the Executive
terminated. Secretary, et al (2003)
The halal certifications issued by petitioner and similar organizations come forward as the
FACTS: Petitioner IDCP, a corporation that operates under DSWD, is a non-governmental official religious approval of a food product fit for Muslim consumption. The petition is
organization that extends voluntary services to the Filipino people, especially to Muslim GRANTED. Executive Order 46, s. 2000, is hereby declared NULL AND VOID.
communities. Among the functions petitioner carries out is to conduct seminars, orient
manufacturers on halal food and issue halal certifications to qualified products and CASE: Velarde v Social Justice Society (SJS)
manufacturers. On October 26, 2001, respondent Office of the Executive Secretary issued EO DATE: April 28, 2004
46 5 creating the Philippine Halal Certification Scheme and designating respondent Office on PONENTE: Panganiban, J.
Muslim Affairs (OMA) to oversee its implementation. Under the EO, respondent OMA has the NATURE OF THE CASE: Petition for Review under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, assailing June
exclusive authority to issue halal certificates and perform other related regulatory activities. 12, 2003 Decision and July 29, 2003 Order of the RTC of Manila, Branch 49.
Petitioner contends that the subject EO violates the constitutional provision on the separation
of Church and State and that it is unconstitutional for the government to formulate policies and Topic in Syllabus: The Decision
guidelines on the halal certification scheme because said scheme is a function only religious
organizations, entity or scholars can lawfully and validly perform for the Muslims.
FACTS:
ISSUE: Whether the EO is violates the constitutional provision as to freedom of religion  January 28, 2003, Social Justice Society (SJS) filed a Petition for Declaratory Relief
with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) – Manila against Mariano “Mike” Velarde, His
RULING: The Court grants the petition. OMA deals with the societal, legal, political and Eminence Jaime Cardinal Sin, Executive Minister Eraño Manalo, Bro. Eddie
economic concerns of the Muslim community as a "national cultural community" and not as a Villanueva and Bro. Eliseo Soriano. SJS sought the interpretation of certain
religious group. Thus, bearing in mind the constitutional barrier between the Church and State, constitutional provisions, specifically concerning the separation of Church and State,
the latter must make sure that OMA does not intrude into purely religious matters lest it violate as well as a petition for declaratory judgment on the constitutionality of religious
the non-establishment clause and the "free exercise of religion" provision found in Article III, leaders endorsing certain candidates and asking members of their flock to vote for
Section 5 of the 1987 Constitution. Freedom of religion was accorded preferred status by the a specific candidate.
framers of our fundamental law. And this Court has consistently affirmed this preferred status,  All respondents of the initial case sought for the dismissal of the petition on the
well aware that it is "designed to protect the broadest possible liberty of conscience, to allow common ground that aforesaid petition by the SJS did not state a cause of action
each man to believe as his conscience directs, to profess his beliefs, and to live as he believes and had no justiciable controversy. They were ordered to submit a pleading by way
he ought to live, consistent with the liberty of others and with the common good." Without of advisement which was followed closely by another Order that denied all Motions
doubt, classifying a food product as halal is a religious function because the standards used are to Dismiss.
drawn from the Qur'an and Islamic beliefs. By giving OMA the exclusive power to classify food  Bro. Mike Velarde, Bro. Eddie Villanueva and Executive Minister Eraño Manalo
products as halal, EO 46 encroached on the religious freedom of Muslim organizations like moved to reconsider the denial. His Eminence Jaime Cardinal Sin, asked for
herein petitioner to interpret for Filipino Muslims what food products are fit for Muslim extension to file memorandum. Only Bro. Eli Soriano complied with the first Order
consumption. Also, by arrogating to itself the task of issuing halal certifications, the State has by submitting his Memorandum. The Motions for Reconsideration were denied as
in effect forced Muslims to accept its own interpretation of the Qur'an and Sunnah on halal well.
food. Only the prevention of an immediate and grave danger to the security and welfare of the
 Main contents of assailed Decision:
community can justify the infringement of religious freedom. If the government fails to show
 Aforementioned actions of respondents in the initial case
the seriousness and immediacy of the threat, State intrusion is constitutionally unacceptable.
 That the trial court had jurisdiction over the Petition because "in praying
In a society with a democratic framework like ours, the State must minimize its interference
for a determination as to whether the actions imputed to the
with the affairs of its citizens and instead allow them to exercise reasonable freedom of
respondents are violative of Article II, Section 6 of the Fundamental Law,
personal and religious activity. There is no compelling justification for the government to
[the Petition] has raised only a question of law." A lengthy discussion of
deprive Muslim organizations, like herein petitioner, of their religious right to classify a product
the issue raised in the Petition – separation of Church and State –
as halal, even on the premise that the health of Muslim Filipinos can be effectively protected
followed.
by assigning to OMA the exclusive power to issue halal certifications. The protection and
 A quo, it also mentioned that "[e]ndorsement of specific candidates in
promotion of the Muslim Filipinos' right to health are already provided for in existing laws and
an election to any public office is a clear violation of the separation
ministered to by government agencies charged with ensuring that food products released in
clause."
the market are fit for human consumption, properly labeled and safe. Unlike EO 46, these laws
 After its essay on the legal issue, however, the trial court failed to include a
do not encroach on the religious freedom of Muslims. With these regulatory bodies given
dispositive in its Decision.
detailed functions on how to screen and check the quality and safety of food products, the
 Petition for Review thus filed by respondent Velarde.
perceived danger against the health of Muslim and non-Muslim Filipinos alike is totally avoided.
ISSUES: - All that the 5-page SJS Petition prayed for was "that the question raised
 Procedural Issue: in paragraph 9 hereof be resolved," seeking an opinion of court more
1. Did the Petition for Declaratory Relief filed by the SJS with the RTC of Manila than anything else
have the necessary requisites? - Courts, however, are proscribed from rendering advisory opinions
- Justiciable controversy?  Cause of Action
- Ccause of action? - An act or an omission of one party in violation of the legal right or rights
- Legal standing? of another, causing injury to the latter
 Substantive Issues: - Essential elements: (1) a right in favor of the plaintiff; (2) an obligation
1. Did the RTC Decision conform to the form and substance required by the on the part of the named defendant to respect or not to violate such
Constitution, the law and the Rules of Court? (MAIN ISSUE in connection with right; and (3) such defendant’s act or omission that is violative of the
the syllabus topic) right of the plaintiff or constituting a breach of the obligation of the
2. May religious leaders like herein petitioner, Bro. Mike Velarde, be prohibited former to the latter
from endorsing candidates for public office? Corollarily, may they be banned - HOWEVER, in special civil actions for declaratory relief, the concept of a
from campaigning against said candidates? cause of action under ordinary civil actions does not strictly apply, only
RULING: that a breach or violation should be impending, imminent or at least
The Petition of Bro. Mike Velarde is meritorious. threatened
“WHEREFORE, the Petition for Review of Brother Mike Velarde is GRANTED. - Petition of SJS, however, discloses no specific allegation. Interest can
The assailed June 12, 2003 Decision and July 29, 2003 Order of the Regional only be inferred in so far as the SJS “has thousands of members who are
Trial Court of Manila (Branch 49) are hereby DECLARED NULL AND VOID and citizens-taxpayers-registered voters and who are keenly interested in a
thus SET ASIDE. The SJS Petition for Declaratory Relief is DISMISSED for failure judicial clarification of the constitutionality of the partisan participation
to state a cause of action.” of religious leaders in Philippine politics and in the process to insure
adherence to the Constitution by everyone.”
REASONING: - General averment  not enough to constitute a legal right or interest
 Petition for Declaratory Relief, Sec. 1 Rule 63 of the Rules of Court - In the whole Petition, there is no single allegation of fact upon which SJS
"Section 1. Who may file petition. - Any person interested under a deed, will, could base a right of relief and even granting that it sufficiently asserted
contract or other written instrument, whose rights are affected by a statute, a legal right it wanted to protect, there was no certainty that such right
executive order or regulation, ordinance, or any other governmental would be invaded by said respondents
regulation may, before breach or violation thereof, bring an action in the  Legal Standing
appropriate Regional Trial Court to determine any question of construction - Defined as a personal and substantial interest in the case, such that the
or validity arising, and for a declaration of his rights or duties thereunder." party has sustained or will sustain direct injury as a result of the
 Procedural Issue: challenged act
Requisites for Petition for Declaratory Relief - Parties suing as taxpayers must specifically prove that they have
 Justiciable Controversy sufficient interest in preventing the illegal expenditure of money raised
- Refers to an existing case or controversy that is appropriate or ripe for by taxation. In SJS’s Petition, there is no indication, whether implied or
judicial determination, not one that is conjectural or merely anticipatory explicit, of taxpayer’s money being wrongfully disbursed
- SJS failed to show an existing controversy in their Petition, as well as the - There was also no showing that as a political party or with members as
legal right of petitioners being violated by the respondents therein voters, they would be adversely affected by the alleged acts if issue were
- Elections had not even started yet  SJS was questioning a mere not resolved. No allegation that they had suffered or would be losing
possibility votes through the actions of the therein respondents.
- Premise was highly speculative and theoretical, thus insufficient - The allegedly keen interest of its "thousands of members who are
- No factual allegation that SJS’ rights were being subjected to any citizens-taxpayers-registered voters" is too general and beyond the
threatening, imminent and inevitable violation that should be prevented contemplation of the standards set by Philippine jurisprudence
by the declaratory relief sought  Sans legal standing, SJS insisted that the Court take cognizance of the Petition
- Judicial power and duty of court cannot be exercised when there is actual as it raised “issues of paramount public interest.” This had already been done
or threatened violation of right in a prior case, that of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines v. Zamora, where
the Court entertained IBP’s petition despite a lack in locus standi. In this case,
however, despite being given the opportunity to substantiate otherwise
barren allegations concerning the supposed constitutional issue, counsels for is not indubitable. In every case, the resolution shall state clearly and
both sides – particularly respondent SJS – made no satisfactory allegations or distinctly the reasons therefor.
clarifications. If the motion is denied, the movant may file an answer within the
 Regarding proper proceedings before the trial court, the following must be balance of the period originally prescribed to file an answer, but not less
noted in order to not waste precious judicial time and effort: than five (5) days in any event, computed from the receipt of the notice
(Copy-pasted from case because it’s too long and impossible to of the denial. If the pleading is ordered to be amended, the defendant
shorten.) shall file an answer within fifteen (15) days, counted from the service of
Prefatorily, the trial court may -- motu proprio or upon motion of the amended pleading, unless the court provides a longer period.
the defendant -- dismiss a complaint (or petition, in a special civil action) After the last pleading has been served and filed, the case shall be
that does not allege the plaintiff’s (or petitioner’s) cause or causes of set for pretrial, which is a mandatory proceeding. A plaintiff’s/
action. A complaint or petition should contain "a plain, concise and direct petitioner’s (or its duly authorized representative’s) non-appearance at
statement of the ultimate facts on which the party pleading relies for his the pretrial, if without valid cause, shall result in the dismissal of the
claim or defense." It should likewise clearly specify the relief sought. action with prejudice, unless the court orders otherwise. A similar failure
Upon the filing of the complaint/petition and the payment of the on the part of the defendant shall be a cause for allowing the
requisite legal fees, the clerk of court shall forthwith issue the plaintiff/petitioner to present evidenceex parte, and the court to render
corresponding summons to the defendants or the respondents, with a judgment on the basis thereof.
directive that the defendant answer within 15 days, unless a different The parties are required to file their pretrial briefs; failure to do so
period is fixed by the court. The summons shall also contain a notice that shall have the same effect as failure to appear at the pretrial. Upon the
if such answer is not filed, the plaintiffs/petitioners shall take a judgment termination thereof, the court shall issue an order reciting in detail the
by default and may be granted the relief applied for. The court, however, matters taken up at the conference; the action taken on them, the
may -- upon such terms as may be just -- allow an answer to be filed after amendments allowed to the pleadings; and the agreements or
the time fixed by the Rules. admissions, if any, made by the parties regarding any of the matters
If the answer sets forth a counterclaim or cross-claim, it must be considered. The parties may further avail themselves of any of the
answered within ten (10) days from service. A reply may be filed within modes of discovery, if they so wish.
ten (10) days from service of the pleading responded to. Thereafter, the case shall be set for trial, in which the parties shall
When an answer fails to tender an issue or admits the material adduce their respective evidence in support of their claims and/or
allegations of the adverse party’s pleading, the court may, on motion of defenses. By their written consent or upon the application of either
that party, direct judgment on such pleading (except in actions for party, or on its own motion, the court may also order any or all of the
declaration of nullity or annulment of marriage or for legal issues to be referred to a commissioner, who is to be appointed by it or
separation). Meanwhile, a party seeking to recover upon a claim, a to be agreed upon by the parties. The trial or hearing before the
counterclaim or crossclaim -- or to obtain a declaratory relief -- may, at commissioner shall proceed in all respects as it would if held before the
any time after the answer thereto has been served, move for a summary court.
judgment in its favor. Similarly, a party against whom a claim, a Upon the completion of such proceedings, the commissioner shall
counterclaim or crossclaim is asserted -- or a declaratory relief sought -- file with the court a written report on the matters referred by the
may, at any time, move for a summary judgment in its favor. After the parties. The report shall be set for hearing, after which the court shall
motion is heard, the judgment sought shall be rendered forthwith if issue an order adopting, modifying or rejecting it in whole or in part; or
there is a showing that, except as to the amount of damages, there is no recommitting it with instructions; or requiring the parties to present
genuine issue as to any material fact; and that the moving party is further evidence before the commissioner or the court.
entitled to a judgment as a matter of law. Finally, a judgment or final order determining the merits of the case
Within the time for -- but before -- filing the answer to the shall be rendered. The decision shall be in writing, personally and directly
complaint or petition, the defendant may file a motion to dismiss based prepared by the judge, stating clearly and distinctly the facts and the law
on any of the grounds stated in Section 1 of Rule 16 of the Rules of Court. on which it is based, signed by the issuing magistrate, and filed with the
During the hearing of the motion, the parties shall submit their clerk of court
arguments on the questions of law, and their evidence on the questions  Based on aforementioned procedure of court proceedings, following
of fact. After the hearing, the court may dismiss the action or claim, deny conclusions may be made concerning proceedings conducted in the RTC of
the motion, or order the amendment of the pleadings. It shall not defer Manila:
the resolution of the motion for the reason that the ground relied upon
- Initial pleading of the SJS was grossly inadequate  did not even specify - Requirements: intended to inform parties of the reasons behind the
relief decision so that if any of them appeals, he can point out to the appellate
Relief - a specific coercive measure prayed for as a result of a court the finding of facts or the rulings on points of law with which he
violation of the rights of a plaintiff or a petitioner disagrees
- Apparently, contrary to the requirement of Section 2 of Rule 16 of the - Also, to assure parties that judge reached judgment through legal
Rules of Court, the Motions (of therein respondents) were not heard. reasoning
Worse, the Order purportedly resolving the Motions to Dismiss did not  Madrid v Court of Appeals
state any reason at all for their denial, in contravention of Section 3 of - Instructed magistrates to exert effort to ensure that their decisions
the said Rule 16. There was not even any statement of the grounds relied would present a comprehensive analysis of the factual and legal findings
upon by the Motions; much less, of the legal findings and conclusions of  Decision assailed:
the trial court - Begins with the nature of the action and the question or issue presented
- The RTC issued its "Decision" without allowing the parties to file their - Brief discussion of the constitutional provisions involved and what the
answers. For this reason, there was no joinder of the issues petitioners sought to achieve
- The questioned Decison was utterly lacking in requirements prescribed - Proceeds to a full-length opinion on the nature and the extent of the
by the Constitution and the Rules of Court separation of Church and State
- Trial court indeed acted with inexplicable haste, with total ignorance of - Did not include a resolutory or dispositive portion
the law, with grave abuse of discretion  Manalang v Tuason de Rickards
 Substantive Issues: - Dispositive of a decision  investive or controlling factor that
1. Fundamental Requirements of a Decision (MAIN ISSUE in connection with determines and settles the rights of the parties and the questions settled
the syllabus topic) therein
 Constitution, Sec.14 Article VIII:  Significance of factual findings  value of the decision as a precedent
"No decision shall be rendered by any court without expressing therein  Decisions or orders issued in careless disregard of the constitutional mandate
clearly and distinctly the facts and the law on which it is based. No are a patent nullity and must be struck down as void
petition for review or motion for reconsideration of a decision of the Parts of a Decision
court shall be refused due course or denied without stating the basis  Statement of a Case
therefor." - Legal definition of the nature of the action, whether civil or criminal, etc.
 Rules of Court, Sec. 1 Rule 36 (Civil Procedure) - Criminal cases: verbatim reproduction of criminal information serves as
"Sec. 1. Rendition of judgments and final orders. – A judgment or final a guide; importance emphasized when there is a question of efficiency
order determining the merits of the case shall be in writing personally of the charges
and directly prepared by the judge, stating clearly and distinctly the facts - Mentions also: court of origin & case number
and the law on which it is based, signed by him and filed with the clerk - Reproduction of the decretal portion of the assailed decision informs the
of court." reader of how the appealed case was decided by the court a quo
 Rules of Court, Sec.2 Rule 120 (Criminal Procedure)  Statement of Facts
"Sec. 2. Form and contents of judgments. -- The judgment must be - Three ways:
written in the official language, personally and directly prepared by the i. Objective/reportorial method – summarizes without comment the
judge and signed by him and shall contain clearly and distinctly a testimony of the witnesses
statement of the facts proved or admitted by the accused and the law ii. Synthesis method - factual theory of the plaintiff or prosecution
upon which the judgment is based.” and then that of the defendant or defense is summarized according
 Administrative Circular No. 1, January 28, 1988: Prompted all judges to “to to the judge’s best light
make complete findings of facts in their decisions, and scrutinize closely the iii. Subjective method - version of the facts accepted by the judge is
legal aspects of the case in the light of the evidence presented. They should simply narrated without explaining what the parties’ versions are
avoid the tendency to generalize and form conclusions without detailing the iv. Combination of objective/subjective - testimony of each witness is
facts from which such conclusions are deduced.” reported and the judge then formulates his or her own version of
 Court cannot simply give a judgment without justifying its action – such could the facts
leave parties in the dark and be prejudicial to the losing party desiring to take  Issues or Assignments of Error
the case to a higher tribunal - Both factual and legal issues should be stated
 People v Bugarin
- Though not specifically questioned by the parties, additional issues may the Bishop. They said that their rights to due process were violated because they
also be included, if deemed important for substantial justice to be were not heard before the order of expulsion was made.
rendered
 The Court’s Ruling Issue: Whether or not the courts have jurisdiction to hear a case involving the
- Includes a full discussion of the errors and issues involved in the case expulsion/excommunication of members of a religious institution – NO
 The Disposition or Dispositive Portion
- Criminal case: Innocence or guilt, specific crime, penalty imposed, Ratio: Section 5 of Article III
participation of the accused, modifying circumstance, if any then civil  A form of government where the complete separation of civil and ecclesiastical
liability and cost. authority is insisted upon, the civil courts must not allow themselves to intrude
- Civil case: Whether complaint is granted or dismissed, specific relief unduly in matters of an ecclesiastical in nature.
granted, costs.  In disputes involving religious institutions or organizations, there is one area, which
- Test of completeness: the Court should not touch: doctrinal and disciplinary differences.
i. Parties should know rights and obligations  To the power of excluding form the church those allegedly unworthy of
ii. Know how to execute decision under contingencies membership, are unquestionably ecclesiastical matters, which are outside the
iii. No need for further proceedings to dispose of issue province of civil courts.
iv. Case should be terminated according to proper relief
2. Religious Leaders’ Endorsement of Candidates Comments: records show that Bishop De la Cruz pleaded with petitioners several times not to
 Issue deserved serious consideration. There was, however, a lack in ultimate commit acts inimical to the best interests of PIC. They were also warned of the consequences
facts in the SJS Petition of their actions yet these pleas and warnings fell on deaf ears.
 Counsel for SJS has utterly failed to convince the Court that there are enough
factual and legal bases to resolve the paramount issue. On the other hand, the Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap, Inc. vs. Robredo
Office of the Solicitor General has sided with petitioner insofar as there are no July 22,2014 | Brion J. | implementation of infrastructure project not subject to judicial review
facts supporting the SJS Petition and the assailed Decision
 Assailed Decision was rendered in clear violation of the Constitution, because
PETITIONER: Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap, Inc. represented by its VP, Carlito Badion, et al
it made no findings of facts and final disposition. Hence, it is void and deemed
RESPONDENTS: Jessie Robredo in his capacity as Secretary of DILG, et al
legally inexistent. Consequently, there is nothing for this Court to review,
affirm, reverse or even just modify.
SUMMARY: Petitioners reside in the cites of San Juan, Navotas and Quezon. LGU has a infrasture
project that requires the eviction and demolition of illegally occupied areas by the petitioners.
Taruc v. De la Cruz
Petitioners filed a case which argues that respondents must first secure an eviction and/or demolition
order from the court prior to their implementation of Section 28 (a) and (b) of RA 7279 and argued
Facts:
that the said RA was unconstitutional.
 The petitioners are lay members of the Philippine Independent Church (PIC) in
Socorro, Surigao City. DOCTRINE: To justify judicial review to be conducted by the Judicial department, the petitioners must
 Petitioners led by Taruc clamored for the transfer of parish priest Rustom Florano establish facts that are necessarily linked to the jurisdictional problem they presented in this case.
for the reason that Fr. Florano’s wife’s family belonged to a political party opposed
to petitioner Taruc’s. Bishop De la Cruz found this reason too flimsy so he did not
give in to the request. FACTS:
 Things worsened when Taruc conducted an open mass for the town Fiesta  The members of petitioners were/are occupying parcels of land owned by and
celebrated by Fr. Ambong who was not a member of the clergy of the diocese of located in the cities of San Juan, Navotas and Quezon
Surigao.
 These LGUs sent the petitioners notices of eviction and demolition pursuant to
 Petitioners were then expelled/excommunicated from the PIC for the reason of (1)
Section 28 (a) and (b) of RA 7279 in order to give way to the implementation and
disobedience to duly constituted authority, (2) inciting dissension resulting in
construction of infrastructure projects in the areas illegally occupied by the
division of the Parish of Our Mother of Perpetual Help and (3) threatening to forcible
petitioners
occupy the Parish Church causing anxiety among the General Membership.
 Petitioners filed a complaint for damages with preliminary injunction against Bishop
 Section 28 (a) and (b) of RA 7279 authorize evictions and demolitions without any
De la Cruz and impleaded Fr. Florano and a certain Delfin Bordas for conspiring with
court order when:
o persons or entities occupy danger areas such as esteros, railroad tracks,  the petition does not present any justiciable controversy
garbage dumps, riverbanks, shorelines, waterways, and other public since the City of Navotas had already successfully evicted the
places suchas sidewalks, roads, parks, and playgrounds; and petitioners in San Roque, Navotas
o persons or entities occupy areas where government infrastructure  petition was filed out of time since the petitioners were
projects with available funding are about to be implemented. personally notified of the intended eviction and demolition
on September 23, 2011
 On March 23, 2012, the petitioners directly filed a petition for prohibition and  He further asserts that his faithful implementation of Section
mandamus before the Court, seeking to compel the respondents to first secure an 28 (a) and (b) of RA 7279, which are presumed to be
eviction and/or demolition order from the court prior to their implementation of constitutional, cannotbe equated to grave abuse of
Section 28 (a) and (b) of RA 7279. discretion.

 Petitioners argue that they have:


o No plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. ISSUES:
o the respondents gravely abused their discretion in implementing Section (1) Whether the petition should be dismissed for serious procedural defects – YES
28 (a) and (b) of RA 7279 which are patently unconstitutional for (2) Whether Section 28 (a) and (b) of RA 7279 are violative of Sections 1 and 6, Article 3 of
warranting demolition without any court order. (Section 6, Article 3 of the 1987 Constitution - NO
the 1987 Constitution expressly prohibits the impairment of liberty of (3) Whether or not the petion may be subject to Judicial Review –NO
abode unless there is a court order.)
o Violate their right to adequate housing, a universal right recognized in RULING: Petition is Dismissed
Article 25 of Universal Declaration ofHuman Rights and Section 2 (a) of
RA 7279. RATIO:
o Insist that they stand to be directly injured by the respondents’threats of (1).
evictions and demolitions had previously conducted evictions and  The petitioners violated the principle of hierarchy of courts when they directly
demolitions in a violent manner, contrary to Section 10, Article 13 of the filed the petition before the Court.
1987 Constitution.  The petitioners appear to have forgotten that the Supreme Court is a court of
o Also contend that the transcendental public importance of the issues last resort, not a court offirst instance.
raised in this case clothes them with legal standing.  The petitioners wrongly availed themselves of a petition for prohibition and
mandamus.
 Respondent’s case: For a writ of prohibition is merely to prevent the public
o Respondents prays for the outright dismissal of the petition for its respondent’s usurpation of power or improper assumption of
serious procedural defects: jurisdiction, on the other hand, a writ of mandamus only
 Petitioners Ignored the hierarchy of courts commands the public respondent to perform his ministerial
 Petitioners incorrectly availed themselves of a petition for functions.
prohibition and mandamus in assailing the constitutionality of
Section 28 (a) and (b) of RA 7279  The use of the permissive word "may" implies that the public respondents
have discretion when their duty to execute evictions and/or demolitions shall
o For a writ of prohibition is merely to be performed. Where the words of a statute are clear, plain, and free from
prevent the public respondent’s ambiguity, it must be given its literal meaning and applied without attempted
usurpation of power or improper interpretation.
assumption of jurisdiction, on the (2).
other hand, a writ of mandamus only  The resolution of the constitutionality of Section 28 (a) and (b) of RA 7279 is
commands the public respondent to not the lis mota (the cuase of the suit or action) of the case.
perform his ministerial functions. (3).
 The petition fails show the essential requisites that would warrant the Court’s
 the petitioners failed to particularly state the grave abuse of exercise of judicial review which are:
discretion that the Mayor of Navotas allegedly committed. (1) the existence of an actual case or controversy involving a conflict of legal
rights susceptible of judicial determination;
(2) the existence of personal and substantial interest on the part ofthe shed light on the cases; (b) the assets determined to belong to the Marcoses shall be net of and
party raising the constitutional question; exempt from, any form of taxes due the Republic of the Philippines; (c) that all disclosures of
(3) recourse to judicial review is made at the earliest opportunity; and assets shall not used as evidence by the Gov’t in any criminal, civil, tax or administrative case
(4) the resolution of the constitutional question must be necessary to the against the former.
decision of the case.

 the petitioner who claims the unconstitutionality of a law has the burden of ISSUES:
showing first that the case cannot be resolved unless the disposition of the (A) Procedural:
constitutional question that he raised is unavoidable. 1) W/N the petitioner has the personality or legal standing to file the
instant petition; and
 Petitioners fail to show the necessity of examining the constitutionality of 2) W/N this Court is the proper court before which this action may be
Section 28 (a) and (b) of RA 7279 in the light of Sections 1 and 6, Article 3 of filed.
the 1987 Constitution. In the case of Magkalas v. NHA, this Court had already
ruled on the validity of evictions and demolitions without any court order. (B) Substantive:
1) W/N this Court could require the PCGG to disclose to the public the
 the petitioners failed to substantiate their allegations that the public details of any agreement, perfected or not, with the Marcoses; and
respondents gravely abused their discretion in implementing Section 28 (a) 2) W/N there exist any legal restraints against a compromise agreement
and (b) of RA 7279. Instead, theymerely imputed jurisdictional abuse to the between the Marcoses and the PCGG relative to the Marcoses’ ill-
public respondents through general averments in their pleading, but without gotten wealth.
any basis to support their claim.
HELD:
Francisco Chavez vs. PCGG First Procedural Issue
(Constitutional right to information on matters of public concern)
YES. The Petitioner has the legal standing to file the instant petition.
FACTS: In Legaspi vs. CSC, the Court declared that “when a mandamus proceeding involves
Petitioner Chavez, as taxpayer, citizen and former gov’t official, impelled to bring the assertion of a public right, the requirement of personal interest is satisfied by the mere fact
this action regarding several news reports on: (1) the alleged discovery of billions of dollars of that petitioner is a citizen and, therefore, part of the general public which possesses the right.”
Marcos assets deposited in various coded accounts in Swiss banks and (2) the reported
execution of a compromise, between the government (through PCGG) and the Marcos heirs, The instant petition is anchored on the right of the people to information and access
on how to split or share these assets. to official records and documents which guaranteed under Sec. 7, Art. III of the 1987
Constitution. Due to the satisfaction of the two basic requisites laid down by decisional law to
Petitioner, invoking his constitutional right to information, demands that sustain petitioner’s legal standing, i.e. 1) the enforcement of a public right; 2) espoused by a
respondents make public any negotiations and agreements pertaining to PCGG’s task of Filipino citizen, the Court ruled that the petition at bar should be allowed.
recovering the Marcoses’ ill-gotten wealth. He claims that any compromise on the alleged
billions of ill-gotten wealth involves an issue of paramount public interest, since it has a Second Procedural Issue
“debilitating effect on the country’s economy” that would be greatly prejudicial to the national
interest of the Filipino People. Hence, they have the right to know the transactions effected by YES. Section 5, Art. VIII of the Constitution expressly confers upon the SC original
the Government. jurisdiction over petitions for certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, quo warranto and habeas
corpus.
Respondents, on the other hand, contended that petitioner’s action is premature,
because there is no showing that he has asked the PCGG to disclose the negotiations and the The Court ruled that this petition is not confined to the Agreements that have
Agreements. And even if he has, PCGG may not yet be compelled to make any disclosure, since already been drawn, but likewise to any other ongoing or future undertaking towards any
the proposed terms and conditions of the Agreements have not become effective and binding. settlement on the alleged Marcos loot. Ineluctably, the core issue boils down to the precise
interpretation, in terms of scope, of the twin constitutional provisions on “public transaction.”
Further, Pres. Ramos, in his Memorandum, commanded the PCGG Chairman NOT to This broad and prospective relief sought by the instant petition brings it out of the realm of Civil
approve the Compromise Agreements. Embodied in the covenant that (a) the Marcoses shall Case.
provide the gov’t assistance by way of testimony or disposition on any information that may
his civil liability. The immunity thereby granted shall be continued to protect the
First Substantive Issue witness who repeats such testimony before the Sandiganbayan when required to
do so by the latter or by the Commission.
YES. The Court can require the PCGG to disclose to the public the details of any
agreement, whether perfected or not. In the case at bar, the compromise agreements revealed serious flaws. First, the
agreements did not conform to the requirements of EO 14 and 14-A. Criminal immunity under
Sec. 7, Art. III of the Constitution provides that the right of the people to section 5 cannot be granted to the Marcoses, who are the principal defendants in the ill-gotten
information on matters of public concern shall be recognized. Access to official records, and wealth cases. The provision is applicable mainly to witnesses who provide information against
to documents, and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions or decisions, as well as to a respondent, defendant or accused in an ill-gotten wealth case.
gov’t research data used as basis for policy development, shall be afforded the citizen, subject
to such limitations as may be provided by law. Second, under the General Agreement, the PCGG commits to exempt from all forms
of taxes the properties to be retained by the Marcos heirs. This is a clear violation of the
Such recognized restrictions are as follows: a) national security matters and Constitution. Sec. 28(4), Art. VI of the Constitution specifically provides: “No law granting any
intelligence information; b) trade secrets and banking transactions; c) criminal matters and; d) tax exemption shall be passed without the concurrence of a majority of all the Member of the
other confidential information. Congress.” The PCGG has absolutely no power to grant such exemptions.

The Court emphasized that ill-gotten wealth assumes a public character which Third, under the Agreement, the government binds itself to cause the dismissal of
refers to assets and properties acquired, directly or indirectly, by former Pres. Marcos, his all cases against the Marcos heirs, pending before the Sandiganbayan and other court. This is
family and relatives through or as a result of improper of illegal use of government funds or a direct encroachment on judicial powers of the court which has the jurisdiction on dismissal.
properties; or their having taken undue advantage of their public office; or their use of powers Hence, PCGG cannot guarantee the dismissal of all such criminal cases against the Marcoses.
or influences resulting in their unjust enrichment and causing grave damage and prejudice to
the Filipino People and the Republic of the Philippines. Fourth, the government also waives all claims and counterclaims, whether past,
present, or future against the Marcoses. This stipulation is contrary to the Civil Code which
Thus, the Court can require the PCGG to disclose sufficient public information on states that “an action for future fraud may not be waived.” Further, the Agreements do not
any agreement that may arrived at and any proposed settlement concerning the Marcoses’ provide for a definite or determinable period within which the parties shall fulfill their
purported ill-gotten wealth. respective prestations.

Based on the foregoing discussion, it is crystal clear that the Agreements which
Second Substantive Issue PCGG entered into with the Marcos heirs violated the Constitution.

YES. There are Legal Restraints existed against the compromise agreement between Petition GRANTED.
the PCGG and the Marcos heirs.

Generally, law encourages compromises in civil cases, except with regard to the Republic Act No. 8493 February 12, 1998
following matters: 1) the civil status of persons, 2) the validity of a marriage of a legal AN ACT TO ENSURE A SPEEDY TRIAL OF ALL CRIMINAL CASES BEFORE THE SANDIGANBAYAN,
separation, 3) any ground for legal separation, 4) future support, 5) the jurisdiction of courts, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, METROPOLITAN TRIAL COURT, MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURT, AND
and 6) future legitimate. A Compromise must not be contrary to law, morals, good customs, MUNICIPAL CIRCUIT TRIAL COURT, APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR, AND FOR OTHER
public policy or public order. PURPOSES
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress
In Republic & Campos Jr. vs. Sandiganbayan, the power to grant criminal immunity assembled::
was conferred on PCGG by Section 5 of EO No. 14, as amended by EO No. 14-A, which provides: Section 1. Title. - This Act shall be known as the "Speedy Trial Act of 1998."
Section 2. Mandatory Pre-Trial in Criminal Cases. - In all cases cognizable by the Municipal Trial
Section 5. The PCGG is authorized to grant immunity from criminal prosecution to Court, Municipal Circuit Trial Court, Metropolitan Trial Court, Regional Trial Court, and the
any person who provides information or testifies in an investigation conducted by Sandiganbayan, the justice or judge shall, after arraignment, order a pre-trial conference to
the Commission to establish the unlawful manner in which any respondent, consider the following:
defendant or accused has acquired the properties in question in any case where (a) Plea bargaining;
such information or testimony is necessary to ascertain or prove the latter’s guilt or (b) Stipulation of Facts;
(c) Marking for identification of evidence of parties; eighty (180) days. For the second twelve-month period the time limit shall be one hundred
(d) Waiver of objections to admissibility of evidence; and twenty (120) days, and for the third twelve-month period the time limit with respect to the
(e) Such other matters as will promote a fair and expeditious trial. period from arraignment to trial shall be eighty (80) days.
Section 3. Pre-Trial Agreement. - All agreements or admissions made or entered into during Section 10. Exclusions. - The following periods of delay shall be excluded in computing the time
the pre-trial conference shall be reduced to writing and signed by the accused and counsel, within which trial must commence:
otherwise the same shall not be used in evidence against the accused. The agreements in (a) Any period of delay resulting from other proceedings concerning the accused, including but
relation to matters referred to in Section 2 hereof is subject to the approval of the court: not limited to the following:
Provided, That the agreement on the plea of the accused to a lesser offense may only be (1) delay resulting from an examination of the accused, and hearing on his/her mental
revised, modified, or annulled by the court when the same is contrary to law, public morals, or competency, or physical incapacity;
public policy. (2) delay resulting from trials with respect to charges against the accused;
Section 4. Nonappearance at Pre-Trial Conference. - Where counsel for the accused or the (3) delay resulting from interlocutory appeals;
prosecutor does not appear at the pre-trial conference and does not offer an acceptable excuse (4) delay resulting from hearings on pre-trial motions: Provided, That the delay does not exceed
for his/her lack of cooperation, the pre-trial justice or judge may impose proper sanctions or thirty (30) days,
penalties. (5) delay resulting from orders of inhibition, or proceedings relating to change of venue of cases
Section 5. Pre-Trial Order. - After the pre-trial conference, the court shall issue an order reciting or transfer from other courts;
the actions taken, the facts stipulated, and evidence marked. Such order shall bind the parties, (6) delay resulting from a finding of the existence of a valid prejudicial question; and
limit the trial to matters not disposed of and control the course of action during the trial, unless (7) delay reasonably attributable to any period, not to exceed thirty (30) days, during which any
modified by the court to prevent manifest injustice. proceeding concerning the accused is actually under advisement.
Section 6. Time Limit for Trial. - In criminal cases involving persons charged of a crime, except (b) Any period of delay resulting from the absence or unavailability of the accused or an
those subject to the Rules on Summary Procedure, or where the penalty prescribed by law does essential witness.
not exceed six (6) months imprisonment, or a fine of One thousand pesos (P1,000.00) or both, For purposes of this subparagraph, an accused or an essential witness shall be considered
irrespective of other imposable penalties, the justice or judge shall, after consultation with the absent when his/her whereabouts are unknown and, in addition, he/she is attempting to avoid
public prosecutor and the counsel for the accused, set the case for continuous trial on a weekly apprehension or prosecution or his/her whereabouts cannot be determined by due diligence.
or other short-term trial calendar at the earliest possible time so as to ensure speedy trial. In An accused or an essential witness shall be considered unavailable whenever his/her
no case shall the entire trial period exceed one hundred eighty (180) days from the first day of whereabouts are known but his/her presence for trial cannot be obtained by due diligence or
trial, except as otherwise authorized by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court pursuant to he/she resists appearing at or being returned for trial.
Section 3, Rule 22 of the Rules of Court. (c) Any period of delay resulting from the fact that the accused is mentally incompetent or
Section 7. Time Limit Between Filing of Information and Arraignment and Between physically unable to stand trial.
Arraignment and Trial. - The arraignment of an accused shall be held within thirty (30) days (d) If the information is dismissed upon motion of the prosecution and thereafter a charge is
from the filing of the information, or from the date the accused has appeared before the justice, filed against the accused for the same offense, or any offense required to be joined with that
judge or court in which the charge is pending, whichever date last occurs. Thereafter, where a offense, any period of delay from the date the charge was dismissed to the date the time
plea of not guilty is entered, the accused shall have at least fifteen (15) days to prepare for trial. limitation would commence to run as to the subsequent charge had there been no previous
Trial shall commence within thirty (30) days from arraignment as fixed by the court. charge.
If the accused pleads not guilty to the crime charged, he/she shall state whether he/she (e) A reasonable period of delay when the accused is joined for trial with a co-accused over
interposes a negative or affirmative defense. A negative defense shall require the prosecution whom the court has not acquired jurisdiction, or as to whom the time for trial has not run and
to prove the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt, while an affirmative defense may no motion for severance has been granted.
modify the order of trial and require the accused to prove such defense by clear and convincing (f) Any period of delay resulting from a continuance granted by any justice or judge motu propio
evidence. or on motion of the accused or his/her counsel or at the request of the public prosecutor, if the
Section 8. Time Limit Following an Order for New Trial. - If the accused is to be tried again justice or judge granted such continuance on the basis of his/her findings that the ends of
following an order of a court for a new trial, the trial shall commence within thirty (30) days justice served by taking such action outweigh the best interest of the public and the defendant
from the date the order for a new trial becomes final, except that the court retrying the case in a speedy trial. No such period of delay resulting from a continuance granted by the court in
may extend such period but in any case shall not exceed one hundred eighty (180) days from accordance with this subparagraph shall be excludable under this section unless the court sets
the date the order for a new trial becomes final if unavailability of witnesses or other factors forth, in the record of the case, either orally or in writing, its reasons for finding that the ends
resulting from passage of time shall make trial within thirty (30) days impractical. of justice served by the granting of such continuance outweigh the best interests of the public
Section 9. Extended Time Limit. - Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 7 of this Act, for and the accused in a speedy trial.
the first twelve-calendar-month period following its effectivity, the time limit with respect to
the period from arraignment to trial imposed by Section 7 of this Act shall be one hundred
Section 11. Factors for Granting Continuance. - The factors, among others, which a justice or (d) otherwise willfully fails to proceed to trial without justification consistent with the
judge shall consider in determining whether to grant a continuance under subparagraph (f) of provisions of this Act, the court may, without prejudice to any appropriate criminal and/or
Section 10 of this Act are as follows: administrative charges to be instituted by the proper party against the erring counsel if and
(a) Whether the failure to grant such a continuance in the proceeding would be likely to make when warranted, punish any such counsel or attorney, as follows:
a continuation of such proceeding impossible, or result in a miscarriage of justice. (1) in the case of a counsel privately retained in connection with the defense of an accused, by
(b) Whether the case taken as a whole is so novel, so unusual and so complex, due to the imposing a fine not exceeding; fifty percent (50%) of the compensation to which he/she is
number of accused or the nature of the prosecution or otherwise, that it is unreasonable to entitled in connection with his/her defense of the accused;
expect adequate preparation within the periods of time established by this Act. (2) by imposing on any appointed counsel de officio or public prosecutor a fine not exceeding
No continuance under subparagraph (f) of Section 10 shall be granted because of general Ten thousand pesos (10,000.00); and
congestion of the court's calendar, or lack of diligent preparation or failure to obtain available (3) by denying any defense counsel or public prosecutor the right to practice before the court
witnesses on the part of the public prosecutor. considering the case for a period not exceeding thirty (30) days.
Section 12. Public Attorney's Duties Where Accused is Imprisoned. - If the public attorney The authority to punish provided for by this section shall be in addition to any other authority
knows that a person charged of a crime is preventively detained, either because he/she is or power available to the court. The court shall follow the procedures established in the Rules
charged of a bailable crime and has no means to post bail, or is charged of a non-bailable crime, of Court in punishing any counsel or public prosecutor pursuant to this section.
or is serving a term of imprisonment in any penal institution, the public attorney shall promptly: Section 15. Rules and Regulations. - The Supreme Court shall promulgate rules, regulations,
(a) Undertake to obtain the presence of the prisoner for trial, or cause a notice to be served on administrative orders and circulars which shall seek to accelerate the disposition of criminal
the person having custody of the prisoner mandating such person to so advise the prisoner of cases. The rules, regulations, administrative orders and circulars formulated shall provide
his/her right to demand trial. sanctions against justices and judges who willfully fail to proceed to trial without justification
(b) Upon receipt of a notice, the person having custody of the prisoner shall promptly advise consistent with the provisions of this Act.
the prisoner of the charge and of his/her right to demand trial. If at any time thereafter the Section 16. Funding. - For the effective implementation of the rules, regulations, administrative
prisoner informs the person having custody that he/she demands trial, such person shall cause orders and circulars promulgated under this Act, the amount of Twenty million pesos
notice to that effect to be sent promptly to the public attorney. (P20,000,000.00) annually shall be appropriated from the allocation of the Supreme Court
(c) Upon receipt of such notice, the public attorney shall promptly seek to obtain the presence under the General Appropriations Act. Thereafter, such additional amounts as may be
of the prisoner for trial. necessary for its continued implementation shall be included in the annual General
(d) When the person having custody of the prisoner receives from the public attorney a Appropriations Act.
properly supported request for temporary custody of the prisoner for trial, the prisoner shall Section 17. Act Not a Bar to Speedy Trial Claim Under the Constitution. - No provision of this
be made available to that public attorney. Act shall be interpreted as a bar to any claim of denial of speedy trial as required by Article III,
Section 13. Remedy Where Accused is Not Brought to Trial Within the Time Limit. - If an Section 14(2) of the 1987 Constitution.
accused is not brought to trial within the time limit required by Section 7 of this Act as extended Section 18. Repealing Clause. - All laws, presidential decrees, executive orders, rules and
by Section 9, the information shall be dismissed on motion of the accused. The accused shall regulations or parts thereof inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed or
have the burden of proof of supporting such motion but the prosecution shall have the burden modified accordingly.
of going forward with the evidence in connection with the exclusion of time under Section 10 Section 19. Separability Clause. - In case any provision of this Act is declared unconstitutional,
of this Act. the other provisions shall remain in effect.
In determining whether to dismiss the case with or without prejudice, the court shall consider, Section 20. Effectivity. - This Act shall take effect after fifteen (15) days following its publication
among other factors, the seriousness of the offense, the facts and circumstances of the case in the Official Gazette or in any newspaper of general circulation: Provided, That Section 7 of
which led to the dismissal, and the impact of a reprosecution on the implementation of this Act this Act shall become effective after the expiration of the aforementioned third-calendar-
and on the administration of justice. Failure of the accused to move for dismissal prior to trial month period provided in Section 9 of this Act.
or entry of a plea of guilty shall constitute a waiver of the right to dismissal under this section.
Section 14. Sanctions. - In any case in which counsel for the accused, the public prosecution or Estrada v Desierto
GR Nos. 146710-15, March 2, 2001 Ponente : Puno, J.
public attorney:
(a) knowingly allows the case to be set for trial without disclosing the fact that a necessary Facts :
witness would be unavailable for trial;
(b) files a motion solely for the purpose of delay which he/she knows is totally frivolous and
1. In 1998, Joseph Estrada was elected President of the Philippines, while Gloria Macapagal-
without merit;
Arroyo was elected Vice-President. The president was accused with corruption, culminating in
(c) makes a statement for the purpose of obtaining continuance which he/she knows to be false
Ilocos Sur Governor ChavitSingson’s accusations that the president received millions of pesos
and which is material to the granting of a continuance; or
from jueteng lords.
2. The Senate and the House of Representatives began early investigations regarding the II. Assuming that the petitions present a justiciable controversy, whether petitioner Estrada is
accusation, while key socio-political figures like Cardinal Sin, former Presidents Aquino and a President on leave while respondent Arroyo is an Acting President.
Ramos, the vice president, senior advisers and cabinet members called on the president to
resign, and resigned from their cabinet posts themselves. III. Whether conviction in the impeachment proceedings is a condition precedent for the
criminal prosecution of petitioner Estrada. In the negative and on the assumption that
3. The impeachment trial began on 7 December 2000, with 21 senator-judges presided over by petitioner is still president, whether he is immune from criminal prosecution.
Chief Justice HilarioDavide. At a point when 11 senator-judges ruled against opening a second
envelope of evidence showing the president’s P3.3 billion bank account under the name “Jose IV. Whether the prosecution of petitioner Estrada should be enjoined on the ground of
Velarde”, the public prosecutors resigned and a mass demonstration at EDSA began. prejudicial publicity

4. CJ Davide granted Senator Raul Roco’s motion to postpone the impeachment trial until the Ruling:
House of Representatives resolved the lack of public prosecutors.
I. The petitions present a justiciable controversy because the cases at bar pose legal, and not
5. With the defection of more officials and of the army and police from the Estrada political, questions. Hence, the cases are within the jurisdiction of the Court to decide.
administration, the president attempted to appease public sentiment by announcing a snap
election and by allowing the second envelope to be opened. The measures failed, and the calls
· Definition of ‘political questions’: “...those questions which, under the
for resignation strengthened.
Constitution, are to be decided by the people in their sovereign capacity, or in regard
to which full discretionary authority has been delegated to the legislative or
6. On 20 January 2001, the president negotiated with representatives of the vice-president. executive branch of government.” --Former CJ Roberto Concepcion
News broke out that Chief Justice HilarioDavide would administer the oath of presidency to the
vice president at EDSA Shrine. Estrada issued two statements - one stating reservations on the
· Arroyo’s government is NOT revolutionary in character, since her oath was taken
constitutionality of Arroyo’s presidency, and another stating that he is incapable of dispensing
under the 1987 Constitution.
his responsibilities as president, thus allowing Arroyo to be the acting president.

· EDSA II is an exercise of people power of freedom of speech and the right to


7. The Arroyo administration was met with acceptance by the different branches of
assembly. It is intra constitutional in this regard (within the scope of the
government, by majority of the public, and by the international community. The impeachment
Constitution). The resignation of Estrada that it caused and the subsequent
trial was closed, despite sentiments such as those of Senator Defensor- Santiago that the
succession of of Arroyo are subject to judicial review. 
II. Estrada is NOT a President
impeachment court had failed to resolve the case, leaving open questions regarding Estrada’s
on leave while Arroyo is Acting President.
qualifications to run for other elected posts.

· Under Section 11 Article VII, Estrada says that only Congress has the ultimate 

8. The Office of the Ombudsman proceeded to file a series of cases regarding the corruption of
Estrada. Estrada filed a motion compelling the Ombudsman to refrain from further proceedings authority to determine whether the President is incapable of performing his 

until his term as president was over. He also filed a petition to be confirmed as the lawful and functions in the manner provided by said provision.
incumbent president, temporarily unable to fulfill his duties, thus making Arroyo an acting
president only. · Hence, Arroyo has no power to judge Estrada’s inability to do his job as President.

9. The Supreme Court ruled a) to inform the parties that they did not declare the Office of the · However, both houses of Congress expressed their recognition and support of
President vacant on 20 January 2001, b) to prohibit either party from discussing in Arroyo 
as the new President, and it is implicitly clear in this recognition that
Estrada’s inability is no longer temporary. Thus, Congress has rejected Estrada’s
public the merits of the case while in its pendency, c) to enjoin the Ombudsman from resolving claim of inability.
pending criminal cases against Estrada for 30 days.
· Furthermore, Court cannot exercise its judicial power to revise decision of
Issues: Congress in recognizing Arroyo. To do so would be to transgress principle of
separation of powers, since this is a political issue. 
III. Estrada contends that he has
not been convicted in the impeachment case and that he enjoys immunity from all
I. Whether the petitions present a justiciable controversy.
kinds of suit.
· Executive immunity provision of 1973 Constitution was no longer included in the
1986 Constitution. This is in accordance with SC ruling in In Re: Saturnino Bermudez Petitioners state that the trial of the Maguindanao Massacre cases has attracted
that “incumbent Presidents are immune from suit or from being brought to court intense media coverage due to the gruesomeness of the crime, prominence of the
during the period of their incumbency and tenure” but not beyond. accused, and the number of media personnel killed. They inform that reporters are
being frisked and searched for cameras, recorders, and cellular devices upon entry,
· When the president has resigned, then proper criminal and civil cases may already and that under strict orders of the trial court against live broadcast coverage, the
be filed against him 
·
IV. Estrada argued that respondent Ombudsman should be number of media practitioners allowed inside the courtroom has been limited to
stopped from conducting the investigation of the cases filed against him because of one reporter for each media institution.
prejudicial publicity on his guilt, and that respondent has also developed bias. Hence, the present petitions which assert the exercise of right to a fair and public
trial and the lifting of the absolute ban on live television and radio coverage of court
proceedings. They principally urge the Court to revisit the 1991 ruling in Re: Live TV
· In People v Teehankee, Jr. and Larranaga v Court of Appeals it was laid down that
and Radio Coverage of the Hearing of President Corazon C. Aquinos Libel Case and
the right of an accused to a fair trial is not incompatible to a free press. Responsible
the 2001 ruling in Re: Request Radio-TV Coverage of the Trial in the Sandiganbayan
press.
of the Plunder Cases Against the Former President Joseph E. Estrada which rulings,
they contend, violate the doctrine that proposed restrictions on constitutional rights
· Our judges are smart enough to know the law and to disregard camera drama and are to be narrowly construed and outright prohibition cannot stand when regulation
off-court evidence. Their exposure to media does not affect their impartiality. is a viable alternative.

RE: PETITION FOR RADIO AND TELEVISION COVERAGE OF THE MULTIPLE MURDER
CASES AGAINST MAGUINDANAO GOVERNOR ZALDY AMPATUAN, ET AL., ISSUE: Whether or not the petition for radio and television coverage of the
June 14, 2011 A.M. No. 10-11-5-SC Maguindanao Massacre should be allowed

FACTS: HELD:
The Court partially GRANTS pro hac vice petitioners’ prayer for a live broadcast of
On November 23, 2009, 57 people including 32 journalists and media practitioners the trial court proceedings, subject to guidelines.
were killed on their way to Shariff Aguak in Maguindanao. This tragic incident came Respecting the possible influence of media coverage on the impartiality of trial court
to be known as Maguindanao massacre´ spawned charges for 57 counts of murder judges, petitioners correctly explain that prejudicial publicity insofar as it
and additional charges of rebellion against 197 accused, docketed as Criminal Case undermines the right to a fair trial must pass the totality of circumstances test,
Nos. Q-09-162148-72, Q-09-162216-31, Q-10-162652-66, and Q-10-163766, applied in People v. Teehankee, Jr. and Estrada v. Desierto, that the right of an
commonly entitled People v. Datu Andal Ampatuan, Jr., et al. Following the transfer accused to a fair trial is not incompatible to a free press, that pervasive publicity is
of venue and the reraffling of the cases, the cases are being tried by Presiding Judge not per se prejudicial to the right of an accused to a fair trial, and that there must
Jocelyn Solis-Reyes of Branch 221 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Quezon City. be allegation and proof of the impaired capacity of a judge to render a bias-free
Almost a year later on November 19 2010, the National Union of Journalists of the decision. Mere fear of possible undue influence is not tantamount to actual
Philippines (NUJP), ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation, GMA Network Inc., relatives prejudice resulting in the deprivation of the right to a fair trial.
of the victims, individual journalists from various media entities and members of the
academe filed a petition before this court praying that live television and radio On public trial, Estrada basically discusses:
coverage of the trial in this criminal cases be allowed, recording devises be An accused has a right to a public trial but it is a right that belongs to him,
permitted inside the court room to assist the working journalists, and reasonable more than anyone else, where his life or liberty can be held critically in balance. A
guidelines be formulated to govern the broadcast coverage and the use of devices. public trial aims to ensure that he is fairly dealt with and would not be unjustly
The Court docketed the petition as A.M. No. 10-11-5-SC. condemned and that his rights are not compromised in secrete conclaves of long
President Benigno S. Aquino III, by letter of November 22, 2010 addressed to Chief ago. A public trial is not synonymous with publicized trial; it only implies that the
Justice Renato Corona, came out in support of those who have petitioned this Court court doors must be open to those who wish to come, sit in the available seats,
to permit television and radio broadcast of the trial." The Court docketed the matter conduct themselves with decorum and observe the trial process. In the
as A.M. No. 10-11-7-SC. constitutional sense, a courtroom should have enough facilities for a reasonable
number of the public to observe the proceedings, not too small as to render the
By separate Resolutions of November 23, 2010, the Court consolidated A.M. No. 10- openness negligible and not too large as to distract the trial participants from their
11-7-SC with A.M. No. 10-11-5-SC.
proper functions, who shall then be totally free to report what they have observed shall coordinate and assist the trial court on the physical set-up of the camera and
during the proceedings. equipment.
Compliance with regulations, not curtailment of a right, provides a workable
solution to the concerns raised in these administrative matters, while, at the same (d) The transmittal of the audio-visual recording from inside the courtroom to the
time, maintaining the same underlying principles upheld in the two previous cases. media entities shall be conducted in such a way that the least physical disturbance
The basic principle upheld in Aquino is firm ─ [a] trial of any kind or in any shall be ensured in keeping with the dignity and solemnity of the proceedings and
court is a matter of serious importance to all concerned and should not be treated the exclusivity of the access to the media entities.
as a means of entertainment, and to so treat it deprives the court of the dignity
which pertains to it and departs from the orderly and serious quest for truth for The hardware for establishing an interconnection or link with the camera equipment
which our judicial proceedings are formulated. The observation that massive monitoring the proceedings shall be for the account of the media entities, which
intrusion of representatives of the news media into the trial itself can so alter and should employ technology that can (i) avoid the cumbersome snaking cables inside
destroy the constitutionally necessary atmosphere and decorum stands. the courtroom, (ii) minimize the unnecessary ingress or egress of technicians, and
The Court had another unique opportunity in Estrada to revisit the (iii) preclude undue commotion in case of technical glitches.
question of live radio and television coverage of court proceedings in a criminal case.
It held that the propriety of granting or denying the instant petition involves the If the premises outside the courtroom lack space for the set-up of the media entities
weighing out of the constitutional guarantees of freedom of the press and the right facilities, the media entities shall access the audio-visual recording either via
to public information, on the one hand, and the fundamental rights of the accused, wireless technology accessible even from outside the court premises or from one
on the other hand, along with the constitutional power of a court to control its common web broadcasting platform from which streaming can be accessed or
proceedings in ensuring a fair and impartial trial In so allowing pro hac vice the live derived to feed the images and sounds. At all times, exclusive access by the media
broadcasting by radio and television of the Maguindanao Massacre cases, the Court entities to the real-time audio-visual recording should be protected or encrypted.
lays down the following guidelines toward addressing the concerns mentioned in (e) The broadcasting of the proceedings for a particular day must be continuous and
Aquino and Estrada: in its entirety, excepting such portions thereof where Sec. 21 of Rule 119 of the Rules
of Court[27] applies, and where the trial court excludes, upon motion, prospective
(a) An audio-visual recording of the Maguindanao massacre cases may be made witnesses from the courtroom, in instances where, inter alia, there are unresolved
both for documentary purposes and for transmittal to live radio and television identification issues or there are issues which involve the security of the witnesses
broadcasting. and the integrity of their testimony (e.g., the dovetailing of corroborative
testimonies is material, minority of the witness). The trial court may, with the
(b) Media entities must file with the trial court a letter of application, manifesting consent of the parties, order only the pixelization of the image of the witness or
that they intend to broadcast the audio-visual recording of the proceedings and that mute the audio output, or both.
they have the necessary technological equipment and technical plan to carry out the
same, with an undertaking that they will faithfully comply with the guidelines and (f) To provide a faithful and complete broadcast of the proceedings, no commercial
regulations and cover the entire remaining proceedings until promulgation of break or any other gap shall be allowed until the days proceedings are adjourned,
judgment. No selective or partial coverage shall be allowed. No media entity shall except during the period of recess called by the trial court and during portions of
be allowed to broadcast the proceedings without an application duly approved by the proceedings wherein the public is ordered excluded.
the trial court.
(g) To avoid overriding or superimposing the audio output from the on-going
(c) A single fixed compact camera shall be installed inconspicuously inside the proceedings, the proceedings shall be broadcast without any voice-overs, except
courtroom to provide a single wide-angle full-view of the sala of the trial court. No brief annotations of scenes depicted therein as may be necessary to explain them
panning and zooming shall be allowed to avoid unduly highlighting or downplaying at the start or at the end of the scene. Any commentary shall observe the sub judice
incidents in the proceedings. The camera and the necessary equipment shall be rule and be subject to the contempt power of the court;
operated and controlled only by a duly designated official or employee of the
Supreme Court. The camera equipment should not produce or beam any distracting (h) No repeat airing of the audio-visual recording shall be allowed until after the
sound or light rays. Signal lights or signs showing the equipment is operating should finality of judgment, except brief footages and still images derived from or
not be visible. A limited number of microphones and the least installation of wiring, cartographic sketches of scenes based on the recording, only for news purposes,
if not wireless technology, must be unobtrusively located in places indicated by the which shall likewise observe the sub judice rule and be subject to the contempt
trial court. The Public Information Office and the Office of the Court Administrator power of the court;
(i) The original audio-recording shall be deposited in the National Museum and the undesirable effects weighs heavily against broadcasting the trial. Moreover, the fact
Records Management and Archives Office for preservation and exhibition in that the accused has legal remedies after the fact is of no moment, since the damage
accordance with law. has been done and may be irreparable. It must be pointed out that the fundamental
right to due process of the accused cannot be afforded after the fact but must be
(j) The audio-visual recording of the proceedings shall be made under the protected at the first instance
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 To address the physical impossibility of accommodating the large number of
application by the media entities. interested parties inside the courtroom in Camp Bagong Diwa, it is not necessary to
allow the press to broadcast the proceedings here and abroad, but the Court may
(k) The Court shall create a special committee which shall forthwith study, design allow the opening of closed-circuit viewing areas outside the courtroom where
and recommend appropriate arrangements, implementing regulations, and those who may be so minded can come and watch the proceedings. Aside from
administrative matters referred to it by the Court concerning the live broadcast of providing a viewing area outside the courtroom in Camp Bagong Diwa, closed-circuit
the proceedings pro hac vice, in accordance with the above-outlined guidelines. The viewing areas can also be opened in selected trial courts in Maguindanao,
Special Committee shall also report and recommend on the feasibility, availability Koronadal, South Cotabato, and General Santos City where most of the relatives of
and affordability of the latest technology that would meet the herein the accused and the victims reside, enabling them to watch the trial without having
requirements.It may conduct consultations with resource persons and experts in the to come to Camp Bagong Diwa. These viewing areas will, at all times, be under the
field of information and communication technology. control of the trial court judges involved, subject to this Court's supervision.

(l) All other present directives in the conduct of the proceedings of the trial court The disallowing the live media broadcast of the trial in Criminal Case Nos. Q-09-
(i.e., prohibition on recording devices such as still cameras, tape recorders; and 162148-72, Q-09-162216-31, Q-1 0-162652-66, and Q-10-163766 is subject to the
allowable number of media practitioners inside the courtroom) shall be observed in following guidelines on audio visual recording and streaming of the video coverage:
addition to these guidelines.
a. An audio-visual recording of the Maguindanao massacre cases may be made both
RESOLUTION October 23, 2011 for documentary purposes and for transmittal to specified closed-circuit viewing
Petitioners Tiamzon and Legarta take issue on provisos (t), (g), and (h) of areas: (i) outside the courtroom, within the Camp Bagong Diwa 's premises; and (ii)
the enumerated guidelines in the June 14, 2011 Resolution and allege that these selected trial courts in Maguindanao, Koronadal, South Cotabato, and General
must be struck down for being unconstitutional, as they constitute prior restraint on Santos City where the relatives of the accused and the victims reside. Said trial
free expression because they dictate what media can and cannot report about the courts shall be identified by the Office of the Court Administrator. These viewing
"Maguindanao massacre" trial. areas shall be under the control of trial court judges involved, subject to this Court's
Accused Andal Ampatuan, Jr. (Ampatuan) also filed a Motion for Reconsideration supervision.
dated June 27, 2011, alleging that the June 14, 2011 Resolution "deprives him of his
rights to due process, equal protection, presumption of innocence, and to be b. The viewing area will be installed to accommodate the public who want to
shielded from degrading psychological punishment." observe the proceedings within the Camp Bagong Diwa premises. The streaming of
this video coverage within the different court premises in Mindanao will be installed
This Court partially grants reconsideration of the June 14, 2011 Resolution and deny so that the relatives of the parties and the interested public can watch the
the Partial Motion for Reconsideration dated June 29, 2011 of petitioners Editha proceedings in real time.
Mirandilla Tiamzon and Glenna Legarta. The Court is now disallowing the live media
broadcast of the trial of the "Maguindanao massacre" cases but is still allowing the c. A single fixed compact camera shall be installed inconspicuously inside the
filming of the proceedings for (1) the real-time transmission to specified viewing courtroom to provide a single wide-angle full-view of the sala of the trial court. No
areas, and (2) documentation. panning and zooming shall be allowed to avoid unduly highlighting or downplaying
In a constitutional sense, public trial is not synonymous with publicized trial. The incidents in the proceedings. The camera and the necessary equipment shall be
right to a public trial belongs to the accused. The requirement of a public trial is operated and controlled only by a duly designated official or employee of the
satisfied by the opportunity of the members of the public and the press to attend Supreme Court.
the trial and to report what they have observed. The accused's right to a public trial
should not be confused with the freedom of the press and the public's right to know d. The transmittal of the audio-visual recording from inside the courtroom to the
as a justification for allowing the live broadcast of the trial. The tendency of a high closed-circuit viewing areas shall be conducted in such a way that the least physical
profile case like the subject case to generate undue publicity with its concomitant
disturbance shall be ensured in keeping with the dignity and solemnity of the The prosecution, however, was unable to present Ricardo as witness as the
proceedings. subpoena cannot be personally served to him as he was in Sultan Kudarat. Ricardo was able to
give a sworn statement pertaining to the stealing for a labor case between Jonathan and DLPC
e. The Public Information Office and the Office of the Court Administrator shall for the latter’s alleged illegal dismissal.
coordinate and assist the trial courts involved on the physical set-up of the camera
and equipment. Issues:
(1) WON Ricardo’s sworn statement is admissible as evidence
f. The original audio-recording shall be deposited in the National Museum and the (2) WON Siton is a credible witness
Records Management and Archives Office for preservation and exhibition in (3) WON guilt beyond reasonable doubt proven
accordance with law.
Held / Ratio:
g. The audio-visual recording of the proceedings and its transmittal shall be made Judgment affirmed with modifications.
under the control of the trial court which may issue supplementary directives, as the (1) Not admissible. The RTC & CA erred when it admitted the sworn statement of Ricardo as
exigency requires, subject to this Court evidence in the instant case. Sec. 47, Rule 130 of the Rules on Evidence and Sec. 1(f), Rule
115 of the Rules on Criminal Procedure both speak of admissibility of a testimony of a
h. In all cases, the witnesses should be excluded from watching the proceedings, witness “unable to testify” in court. In Tan v. CA, the Court has held that “unable to testify”
whether inside the courtroom or in the designated viewing areas. The Presiding does not cover cases of witnesses subpoenaed but did not appear. Ricardo was only
Judge shall issue the appropriate orders to insure compliance with this directive and subpoenaed once. He was neither dead nor out of the country. In fact he is in Sultan
for the imposition of appropriate sanctions for its violation. Kudarat which is merely 4 hours drive away from Davao. The Court must exercise its
coercive power to arrest, but, it did not in the present case.
(2) Credible. Contradictions in the affidavit and his testimony in the court do not always
Jonathan Cariaga v. CA militate against a witness’s credibility. Affidavits, which are usuall ex parte, are often
June 6, 2001 incomplete and inaccurate and, generally, inferior to a testimony in an open court which
Gonzaga-Reyes is subject to cross examination.

Nature: Siton’s statement on direct examination that he “corrected” his affidavit does not
Petition for review on certiorari of a decision of the CA affirming RTC decision convicting necessarily discredit him. The payment was made in exchange for his services as agent
Jonathan Cariaga of qualified theft and not for concocting a story. The other alleged inaccuracies are negligible (e.g.,
description of Jonathan’s house)
Facts: (3) Yes. Jonathan cited testimonies of witnesses which seem to confirm that there were no
Luis Aboitiz was the systems analyst of Davao Light & Power Company (DLPC). He stolen goods. A more careful examination of the testimony reveals otherwise.
received reports that some private electricians were involved in the sale of DLPC supplies. He The determination of sufficiency of evidence is based on the credibility and quality, not
initiated a covert operation to ascertain the matter and catch the perpetrators. on the number. Witnesses are weighed, not numbered, and the testimony of one, if
In October 1988, he sought assistance of Sgt. Villasis, Chief of the Theft & Robber credible, is sufficient to convict. The defense’s bare denial cannot prevail over the
Section of METRODISCOM-Davao. He also hired Florencio Siton as an undercover agent under unimpeached testimony of Ricardo.
the pseudonym “Canuto Duran”.
‘Duran’ became acquainted with Ricardo Cariaga, a private electrician, and he said Mere circumstance that Jonathan is an employee of DLPC is insufficient to create relation of
that his ‘boss’ needs some electrical materials to be used in Diwalwal, a gold panning area. confidence which is required for the crime of qualified theft. However, access to the place
Ricardo offered to supply the materials saying that his cousin can supply the same to him. where the taking took place OR access to the stolen goods changes the crime to a qualified
‘Duran’ was able to purchase some wires which came from, as Ricardo said, his cousin named theft.
Jonathan Cariaga (accused). Jonathan was the driver of a DLPC service truck. On November Appreciation of the generic aggravating circumstance of use of motor vehicle is proper even if
1988, ‘Duran’ and Jonathan were introduced to each other. After which, more transactions not alleged in the information. A generic aggravating circumstance may be proven even if not
were made between the two. alleged. The truck was used to store & transport the materials to the place where they are sold.
‘Duran’s undercover work came to an end when Sgt. Villasis ‘apprehended’ him on
February 1989. ‘Duran’ then ‘confessed’ in order to persuade Ricardo and the others involved
to come out with the truth. Ricardo and another person came to the police station and
confessed to their participation as “fence” for Jonathan Cariaga.
People vs Ong
G.R. No. 137348 Held:
June 21, 2004
Criminal Case Digest The aforementioned provision on Arraignment and Plea provides that (a) The accused must be
arraigned before the court where the complaint or information was filed or assigned for trial.
Facts: The arraignment shall be made in open court by the judge of clerk by furnishing the accused
with a copy of the complaint or information, reading the same in the language or dialect known
Based on prosecution through the testimony of SPO1 Rodolfo S. Gonzales, in the afternoon of to him, and asking him whether he pleads guilty or not guilty. The prosecution may call at the
July 23, 1998, a confidential informant (CI) of the Special Operations Division (SOD), PNP trial witnesses other than those named in the complaint or information.
Narcotics Group, reported to Chief Inspector Albert Ignatius D. Ferro about the alleged illicit
drug activities of accused William Ong and Ching De Ming @ Robert Tiu. As per order of Chief The trial court held that the arraignment of appellants violated the above rule. Appellants are
Inspector Ferro, a team of eight decided to conduct a buy-bust operation. Once, CI confirmed Chinese nationals. Their Certificate of Arraignment states that they were informed of the
the meeting time and venue with the drug dealer, and exchanges of gift-wrapped packages accusations against them. It does not, however, indicate whether the information was read in
rendered of one (1) sealed plastic bag with a white crystalline substance by the accused Ong the language or dialect known to them.
and boodle money placed in a “W. Brown” plastic bag by SPO1 Gonzales, thereafter, the latter
arrested Ong while the CI and the back-up agents arrested co-accused De Ming. Both accused Ong and De Ming were arraigned, assisted by counsel de parte, and both entered
a plea of not guilty. From the records, it was clear that appellants only knew the Chinese
The two (2) accused were brought to the police office where the corresponding booking sheets language, however the appellants were arraigned on an information written in the English
and arrest report were prepared. The plastic bag containing the illegal drug substance, was language. The requirement that the information should be read in a language or dialect known
referred to the Philippine National Police (PNP) Crime Laboratory for examination, positive for to the accused is mandatory. It must be strictly complied with as it is intended to protect the
methyl amphetamine hydrochloride or shabu, a regulated drug. constitutional right of the accused to be informed of the nature and cause the of the accusation
against him. The constitutional protection is part of due process. Failure to observe the rules
However, the appellants denied the story of the prosecution. Accused William Ong, a Chinese necessarily nullifies the arraignment. After the arraignment and in the course of the trial, the
citizen from the People’s Republic of China (PRC), claimed that he came to the Philippines in lower court had to secure the services of a certain Richard Ng Lee as Chinese interpreter.
1997 to look for a job. Initially, he worked in a pancit factory in Quezon City, but later hunted
for another job, was referred by his friend Kian Ling to Ong Sin for a possible job as a technician Hence, it is abundantly clear that it was the CI who made the initial contact, and he was likewise
in a bihon factory owned by Sin. Subsequently, without any knowledge of his new job, William the one who closed the deal with accused William Ong, and set the venue and time of the
Ong was later taken to the police station and there he met the other accused Ching De Ming meeting. Since only the CI had personal knowledge of the offer to purchase shabu, the court
for the first time. He maintained innocence to the crime charged. held that SPO1 Gonzales is, in effect, not the “poseur-buyer” but merely the deliveryman. His
testimony therefore on material points of the sale of shabu is hearsay and standing alone
On his part, accused Ching De Ming testified that he is a legitimate businessman engaged in the cannot be the basis of the conviction of the appellants.
RTW business. On that same date of the commission of the crime, while waiting for his girlfriend
and her mother, whose mother Avenlina Cardoz, testified in De Ming’s favor and corroborated The buy-bust operation is a form of entrapment, which in recent years has been accepted as a
with his story, that he was approached by persons unknown to him. He was misidentified as valid means of arresting violators of the Dangerous Drugs Law. However, to determine whether
one of the accused and dragged him out of his car and brought to the other car, took his clutch there was valid entrapment or whether proper procedures were undertaken by the police
bag, then after a few hours, at Camp Crame, they removed his blindfold. He denied knowing officers, in effecting the buy-bust operation, it is incumbent upon the courts to make sure that
Ong and the charge of conspiring with him to deliver shabu in New Manila, Quezon City. the details of the operation are clearly and adequately laid out through relevant, material and
competent evidence.
On November 18, 1998 the trial court convicted appellants as charged and imposed on them
the penalty of death. It likewise ordered each of them to pay a fine of P1 million pesos. In the case at bar, the prosecution evidence about the buy-bust operation is incomplete. The
However, the case was on automatic review. Appellants insist on their innocence. They claim confidential information who had sole knowledge of how the alleged illegal sale of shabu
that their guilt was not proven beyond reasonable doubt. started and how it was perfected was not presented as a witness. His testimony was given
instead by SPO1 Gonzales who had no personal knowledge of the same and not part of the buy-
Issue: bust operation.

(a) Whether or not the arraignment of appellants violates Rule 116, Section (a) of the Revised Although, the court is sharply aware of the compelling considerations why confidential
Rules of Criminal Procedure? informants are usually not presented by the prosecution. Likewise, once the identity of the
informer has been disclosed to those who would have cause to resent the communication, the then caused to be published articles entitled “Doubtful Citizenship” in the Feb 11, 1952 issue
privilege is no longer applicable. of the Manila Chronicle. It said that while the Commissioner of Immigration had certain
evidences supporting the Filipino citizenship of Hiong, the Commisisoner’s decision was based
In sum, there is no fixed rule with respect to disclosure of the identity of an informer. The on questionable proofs. It then proceeded to enumerate the evidences such as:
problem has to be resolved on a case to case basis and calls for balancing the state interest in
protecting the people from crimes against the individual’s right to prepare his defense. The 1. Mr. Frederico M. Chua Hiong and his family, as shown, by the Master List of alien
balance must be adjusted by giving due weight to the following factors, among others: (1) the registered in 1941 with the Bureau of Immigration, were registered under reg no.s.
crime charged, (2) the possible defenses, (3) the possible significance of the informer’s 199-461 to 199466.
testimony, and (4) other relevant factors. 2. The proceedings of the Board of Special Inquiry at the Port of Manila, under Chinese
Board Report No. 1451, show that Mr. Chua Hiong was admitted into the country as
In the present case, the crime charged against the appellants is capital in character and can legitimate minor son of Chua Pe on September 23, 1913.
result in the imposition of the death penalty. The prosecution has to prove all the material 3. A certified Chinese Marriage Certificate secured from the local Civil Registrar shows
elements of the alleged sale of shabu and the resulting buy-bust operation. Where the that his marriage was performed by the Chinese Consul at the Chinese YMCA in
testimony of the informer is indispensable. It should be disclosed. The liberty and the life of a 1926.
person enjoy high importance in our scale of values. It cannot be diminished except by a value 4. Affidavits sworn to by residents of Aparri, Cagayan, the place where the alleged
of higher significance. Moreover, the mishandling and transfer of custody of the alleged mother (of Hiong) lives, and submitted by the Chief of Police at the instance of the
confiscated methyl amphetamine hydrochloride further shattered the case of the prosecution. investigator in this case, show that the alleged mother has never left Aparri, much
There is no crime of illegal sale of regulated drug when there is a nagging doubt on whether the less the Philippines, and therefore could not give birth to Hiong who was born in
substance confiscated was the same specimen examined and established to be regulated drug. China.

The court decided to reverse and set aside its former decision. Appellants Ong and De Ming @ In response, Hiong caused Seriously Speaking to be published in the Manila Chronicle. It said:
Tiu are acquitted of the crime of the violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972, as amended, “This investigation was only one of a series of other investigations conducted by different
and are ordered immediately released from custody unless held for some other lawful cause. agencies of our government at the instigation of Mr. Gocheco, who appears to be obsessed
with a persecution mania in order to besmirch my name and reputation and harass me and my
family. To my eternal shame and misfortune, Mr. Cesario T. Gocheco is my nephew. As such,
People of the Philippines vs. Federico M. Chua Hiong he is cognizant of all of the facts of my life for he has known me for the past 25 years….Why
G.R. No. 10413-R October 20, 1954 then this sudden concern over my citizenship? Why this mad desire to bring harm to me and
my family? The reason is not hard to find – personal revenge is the moving passion in this drama
Facts: of intrigues and persecution to which I and my family have been subjected.… It is easy to
Federico Chua Hiong is the uncle of Cesareo Gacheco. Gacheco and his family were defeated in imagine the gloom, despondency and despair, that must have seized the Gocheco family when
a civil case in the CFI of Manila, which, if not overturned by the SC, would lead to Gacheco and the above decision was handed down as that would divest them of everything that they now
co. losing 2/3s of the inheritance left by a Paulino Gacheco. Hiong sided with the party that have and thus face stark poverty… It is obvious that the name “Benito Sulipco” is fictitious, as
defeated Gacheco. This created tension and Gacheco wrote the Chief Finance Agent of the it is the most natural thing that my enemies should cowardly hide behind the cloak of
Department of Finance charging Hiong with tax evasion and using a fake citizenship. He then anonymity, but, one need not stretch the imagination too far to be able to guess the
wrote a letter to Vice President Fernando Lopez accusing Hiong of illegal transactions with the “mastermind behind these threats... For what could be better or more convenient to my
government. enemies than my untimely death, or for that matter, my deportation from this country had they
been able to prove their charges filed with the different government agencies. What better or
A letter was written by a certain Benito Solipco to Hiong. (The SC says Solipco was undoubtedly more convenient weapon can my enemies avail of then a this systematic and malicious
if not persecution in order to coerce or cajole me into submitting to their demands that I should desist
Gacheco himself, acting under Gacheco’s inducement.) It said that the members of the Go from proceeding with the civil case I have instituted against the Gocheco family which shall
Family Association, of which Gocheco belonged, told Solipco that they will make every ultimately reduce them to the poverty of the
vengeance against Hiong, such as paying some persons to kill him, or reporting him to every proverbial church-mouse?” Because of the article above, Hiong was found guilty of libel by the
Philippine Government Authority that he is a communist and other kinds of vengeance. The RTC. He now appeals.
letter warned Hiong to be careful as the Go Family wee all his enemies now and that they will
make every vengeance against him at all cost. The letter was contained in an envelope along Issue: Whether or not Chua Hiong’s libelous publication was a proper act of self-defense
with a rope which contained a note saying “this serves for your personal use.” Hiong received
threats on the phone and was denounced as a communist through anonymous letters. Gocheco Ruling: Yes
Self-defense applies to the crime of libel. Self-defense is a man’s inborn right. In a physical
assault, retaliation becomes unlawful after the attack has ceased, because there would be no TC: Convicted accused for the special complex crime of robbery with homicide
further harm to repel. But that is not the case when it is aimed at a person’s good name. Once
the aspersion is cast its sting clings and the one thus defamed may avail himself of all necessary One of the contentions of accused Malimit in this appeal is that the trial court erred in giving
means to shake it off. He may hit back with another libel which, if adequate, will be justified. credence to the testimonies of Rondon and Batin. He questions the credibility of the 2 witnesses
Granting that the “Seriously Speaking” column of the Manila Chronicle caused by Hiong was because they only revealed that they have knowledge of the crime and identified the accused
libelous, is it unnecessarily libelous? It was intended to counteract the impression left in the as the perpetrator, 5 months after the incident.
mind of the public by the article “Doubtful Citizenship” which Gocheco caused to be published Date of the crime: April 15, 1991
in the Manila Chronicle on Feb. 11, 1952. Hiong was living as a Filipino, his livelihood depended Witnesses pointed at accused: September 17, 1991
mainly upon enterprises only Filipinos can engage in. It is perfectly conceivable that any
attempt to assail his Filipino citizenship should meet the keenest defense from him. To flout in ISSUE:
public the genuineness of one’s citizenship is slanderous, nobody would dare deny, the more WON the testimonies of the witnesses may be appreciated by the court? YES
so Hiong’s case for obvious reasons. The Doubtful Citizenship column makes it appear that his
citizenship was acquired through questionable means and that an investigation is currently HELD:
being conducted with respect to the legality of his citizenship. Gocheco’s purpose was to malign
Hiong. Because he lost in the civil case, Gocheco decided to air his grievances through the press. Accused haphazardly concluded that Rondon and Batin implicated the appellant to this
Hiong’s Seriously Speaking Column is not necessarily libelous because Hiong is entitled to show gruesome crime only on September 17, 1991. The aforementioned date however, was merely
Gocheco’s motive behind Doubtful Citizenship and to dispel the bad impression about him of the date when Rondon and Batin executed their respective affidavits, narrating that they saw
those who had read it. the appellant on the night of April 15, 1991 carrying a bolo stained with blood and rushing out
of Malaki's store.

People v Malimit As to his claim of delay, suffice it to state that extant from the records are ample testimonial
evidence negating his assertion, to wit:
DOCTRINE: The non-disclosure by the witness to the police officers of appellant's identity 1. After having discovered the commission of the crime, Rondon and Batin
immediately after the occurrence of the crime is not entirely against human experience. In fact immediately looked for Eutiquio Beloy, Malaki's brother-in-law, and informed him
the natural reticence of most people to get involved in criminal prosecutions against immediate that appellant was the only person they saw running away from the crime scene;
neighbors, as in this case, is of judicial notice. 2. Beloy and Batin reported the crime with the CAFGU detachment in their barangay
where Batin declared that it was appellant who robbed Malaki on that fateful night;
FACTS: and
 At 8 pm, Onofre Malaki(victim) was attending to his store. Malaki's houseboy Edilberto 3. Batin again made a similar statement later at the Silago Police Station.
Batin, was busy cooking supper at the kitchen located at the back of the store
 Florencio Rondon, a farmer, arrived at the store of Malaki. to purchase chemical for his Even assuming arguendo that Rondon and Batin identified the appellant only on September 15,
rice farm 1991, or after the lapse of five months from commission of the crime, this fact alone does not
 Batin had just finished cooking, he proceeded directly to the store to ask Malaki if supper render their testimony less credible.
is to be prepared. As Batin stepped inside the store, he saw accused Ercarnacion “Manolo”
Malimit coming out of the store with a bolo while his boss, bathed in his own blood, was The non-disclosure by the witness to the police officers of appellant's identity immediately after
sprawled on the floor struggling for his life the occurrence of the crime is not entirely against human experience. In fact the natural
 Rondon, who was outside and barely five (5) meters away from the store, also saw reticence of most people to get involved in criminal prosecutions against immediate neighbors,
accused Malimit rushing out through the front door of Malaki's store with a blood-stained as in this case, is of judicial notice.
bolo
o Aided by the illumination coming from a pressure lamp inside the store, At any rate, the consistent teaching of our jurisprudence is that the findings of the trial court
Rondon clearly recognized Malimit with regard to the credibility of witnesses are given weight and the highest degree of respect by
 Both Batin and Rondon rushed to the nearby house of Malaki's brother-in-law Eutiquio the appellate court. This is the established rule of evidence, as the matter of assigning values
Beloy and informed Beloy of the tragic incident which befell Malaki. to the testimony of witnesses is a function best performed by the trial court which can weigh
 Batin, along with Beloy, went back to the store. Inside, they saw the lifeless body of Malaki said testimony in the light of the witness" demeanor, conduct and attitude at the trial. And
in a pool of blood lying prostrate at the floor. Beloy readily noticed that the store's drawer although the rule admits of certain exceptions, namely: (1) when patent inconsistencies in the
was opened and ransacked and the wallet of Malaki was missing from his pocket
statements of witnesses are ignored by the trial court, or (2) when the conclusions arrived at ISSUE: WON the evidence gathered, particularly accused-appellant’s hair strands can be
are clearly unsupported by the evidence, we found none in this case. admitted as evidence against him?

Additional info: HELD: Yes. Under the above-quoted provisions, what is actually proscribed is the use of
The non-presentation by the prosecution of the police blotter which could prove if accused was physical or moral compulsion to extort communication from the accused-appellant and not
indeed implicated right away by Batin to the crime was not necessary for the prosecution to the inclusion of his body in evidence when it may be material. For instance, substance emitted
present as evidence. Entries in the police blotter are merely corroborative evidence of the from the body of the accused may be received as evidence in prosecution for acts of
uncontroverted testimony of Batin that he identified the appellant as the perpetrator of the lasciviousness and morphine forced out of the mouth of the accused may also be used as
crime before the Silago police. As such, its presentation as evidence is not indispensable. evidence against him. Consequently, although accused-appellant insists that hair samples were
Besides, if appellant believed that he was not identified therein, then he should have secured forcibly taken from him and submitted to the NBI for forensic examination, the hair samples
a copy thereof from the Silago Police Station and utilized the same as controverting evidence may be admitted in evidence against him, for what is proscribed is the use of testimonial
to impeach Batin's credibility as witness. Having failed to do so, appellant cannot now pass the compulsion or any evidence communicative in nature acquired from the accused under
blame on the prosecution for something which appellant himself should have done. duress.
People vs. Rondero On the other hand, the blood-stained undershirt and short pants taken from the accused are
inadmissible in evidence. They were taken without the proper search warrant from the police
EXCLUSIONARY RULE officers. Accused-appellant’s wife testified that the police officers, after arresting her husband
in their house, took the garments from the clothesline without proper authority. This was never
ART III SECTION 3. (2) Any evidence obtained in violation of this or the preceding section shall rebutted by the prosecution. Under the libertarian exclusionary rule known as the “fruit of the
be inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding. poisonous tree,” evidence illegally obtained by the state should not be used to gain other
evidence because the illegally obtained evidence taints all evidence subsequently obtained.
FACTS: The accused was seen by the victim’s father with an ice pick and washing his bloodied Simply put, accused-appellant’s garments, having been seized in violation of his constitutional
hands at the well. The 9 year old victim was later found dead and half naked with lacerations right against illegal searches and seizure, are inadmissible in court as evidence.
in her vagina but no sperm. He was convicted of homicide only. For his conviction, several
circumstantial pieces of evidence were submitted including strands of his hair for comparison
with the strands of hair found in the victim’s right hand at the scene of the crime as well as Bengzon v Senate Blue Ribbon Committee Digest
blood-stained undershirt and short pants taken from his house. The accused-appellant avers G.R. No. 89914 November 20, 1991
the acquisition of his hair strands without his express written consent and without the presence Padilla, J.:
of his counsel, which, he contends is a violation of his Constitutional right against self-
incrimination under Sections 12 and 17, Article III of the Constitution, to wit: Facts:
Sec. 12. 1. Petitioner was one of the defendants in a civil case filed by the government with the
Sandiganbayan for the alleged anomalous sale of Kokoy Romoaldez of several government
(1) Any person under investigation for the commission of an offense shall have the right to be corporations to the group of Lopa, a brother-in-law of Pres. Aquino.
informed of his right to remain silent and to have competent and independent counsel
preferably of his own choice. If the person cannot afford the services of counsel, he must be 2. By virtue of a privilege speech made by Sen. Enrile urging the Senate to look into the
provided with one. These rights cannot be waived except in writing and in the presence of transactions, an investigation was conducted by the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee. Petitioners
counsel. and Ricardo Lopa were subpoenaed by the Committee to appear before it and testify on "what
they know" regarding the "sale of thirty-six (36) corporations belonging to Benjamin "Kokoy"
(2) No torture, force, violence, threat, intimidation or any other means which vitiate the free Romualdez."
will shall be used against him. Secret detention places, solitary, incommunicado, or other
similar forms of detention are prohibited. 3. At the hearing, Lopa declined to testify on the ground that his testimony may "unduly
prejudice" the defendants in civil case before the Sandiganbayan.
(3) Any confession or admission in violation of this or Section 17 hereof shall be inadmissible in
evidence against him. 4. Petitioner filed for a TRO and/or injunctive relief claiming that the inquiry was beyond
the jurisdiction of the Senate. He contended that the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee acted in
Sec. 17. No person shall be compelled to be a witness against himself. excess of its jurisdiction and legislative purpose. One of the defendants in the case before the
Sandiganbayan, Sandejas, filed with the Court of motion for intervention. The Court granted it
and required the respondent Senate Blue Ribbon Committee to comment on the petition in On February 17, 1989, NBI Director Salvador Ranin dispatched NBI agents to Legaspi Village
intervention. following a report that the group would stage a theft of mail matter on that day. Tumagan
accompanied a team of NBI agents composed of Senior Agent Arles Vela and two other agents
ISSUE: W/N the Blue Ribbon inquiry was in aid of legislation in a private car.
At 2:00 p.m., a postal delivery jeep, driven by one Henry Orindai, was parked in front of the
NO. Esguerra Building on Adelantado Street. Pasicolan alighted from the jeep bringing with him a
1. There appears to be no intended legislation involved. The purpose of the inquiry to be mail bag. Upon reaching Amorsolo St., Pasicolan gave the mail bag to two persons, who were
conducted is not related to a purpose within the jurisdiction of Congress, it was conducted to later identified as Ronnie Romero and petitioner Lito Marcelo. The latter transferred the
find out whether or not the relatives of President Aquino, particularly Mr. Lopa had violated RA contents of the mail bag to a travelling bag. Meanwhile, the NBI team led by agent Vela, upon
3019 in connection with the alleged sale of the 36 or 39 corporations belonging to Benjamin seeing Pasicolan going towards Amorsolo St., moved their car and started towards Amorsolo
"Kokoy" Romualdez to the Lopa Group. St. They were just in time to see Pasicolan handing over the mail bag to Marcelo and Romero. At
that point, Atty. Sacaguing and Arles Vela arrested the two accused. The NBI agents followed
2. The power of both houses of Congress to conduct inquiries in aid of legislation is not the postal delivery jeep, overtook it, and arrested Pasicolan.
absolute or unlimited. Its exercise is circumscribed by the Constitution. As provided therein, The NBI agents brought Pasicolan, Marcelo, and Romero to their headquarters.
the investigation must be "in aid of legislation in accordance with its duly published rules of Romero, Marcelo, and Pasicolan were asked to affix their signatures on the envelopes of the
procedure" and that "the rights of persons appearing in or affected by such inquiries shall be letters. They did so in the presence of the members of the NBI Administrative and
respected." It follows then that the rights of persons under the Bill of Rights must be respected, Investigative Staff and the people transacting business with the NBI at that time. According to
including the right to due process and the right not to be compelled to testify against one's self. Director Ranin, they required the accused to do this in order to identify the letters as the very
same letters confiscated from them.
3. The civil case was already filed in the Sandiganbayan and for the Committee to probe A case for qualified theft was filed before the Sandiganbayan wherein the accused were
and inquire into the same justiciable controversy would be an encroachment into the exclusive declared guilty.
domain of judicial jurisdiction that had already earlier set in. The issue sought to be investigated
has already been pre-empted by the Sandiganbayan. To allow the inquiry to continue would
Issue(s): Whether or not the letters signed by the petitioner were inadmissible as evidence.
not only pose the possibility of conflicting judgments between the legislative committee and a
judicial tribunal.
Held: The Supreme Court held that the letters were valid evidence. It is known that during
4. Finally, a congressional committee’s right to inquire is subject to all relevant limitations custodial investigation, a person has the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. Any
placed by the Constitution on governmental action ‘including the relevant limitations of the Bill admission or confession made in the absence of counsel is inadmissible as evidence.
of Rights. One of these rights is the right of an individual to against self-incrimination. The right Furthermore, no person shall be compelled to be a witness against himself. In the instant case,
to remain silent is extended to respondents in administrative investigations but only if it even though the petitioner was asked to sign the letters, the letters are still admissible as
partakes of the nature of a criminal proceeding or analogous to a criminal proceeding. Hence, evidence because the accused was convicted not only by means of these letters but also by
the petitioners may not be compelled by respondent Committee to appear, testify and produce testimonies made by the NBI agents. Moreover, the Supreme Court held that the letters were
evidence before it only because the inquiry is not in aid of legislation and if pursued would be validly seized as an incident of a valid arrest and therefore can stand on their own. The
violative of the principle of separation of powers between the legislative and the judicial decision of the Sandiganbayan is affirmed.
departments of the government as ordained by the Constitution.

Marcelo v. Sandiganbayan People v. Gallarde


G.R. No. 109242, January 26, 1999 G.R. No. 133025
Facts: An information for the special complex crime of rape with homicide was filed charging
accused-appellant of having sexual intercourse with one Editha Talan, a minor, 10 years of age,
Facts:
against her will and consent, and thereafter, with intent to kill, cover the nose and mouth of
On February 10, 1989, Jacinto Merete, a letter carrier in the Makati Central Post Office, the said minor resulting to her death and then bury her in the field. Through circumstantial
disclosed to his chief, Projecto Tumagan, the existence of a group responsible for the pilferage evidence, the trial court rendered a decision finding accused-appellant guilty of the crime of
of mail matter in the post office. Among those mentioned by Merete were Arnold
murder and sentenced him to reclusion perpetua and to pay the heirs of the victim actual
Pasicolan, an emergency laborer assigned as a bag opener in the Printed Matters Section, and damages. It convicted accused-appellant of the crime of murder only, not of the complex crime
Redentor Aguinaldo, a mail sorter of the Makati Post Office. For this reason, Tumagan sought of rape with homicide because of the lack of proof of carnal knowledge.
the aid of the National Bureau of Investigation in apprehending the group responsible for mail
Issue: Whether or not right against self-incrimination is violated if pictures of accused were
pilferage in the Makati Post Office. taken, without assistance of counsel, as part of the evidence.
Held: No.The SC did not agree with the trial court's rejection of the photographs (Exhibits "I",  One of the effective ways of preventing the commission of vote-buying and of
"J" and "K") taken of GALLARDE immediately after the incident on the ground that "the same prosecuting those committing it is the grant of immunity from criminal liability in
were taken while [GALLARDE] was already under the mercy of the police." The taking of pictures favor of the party whose vote was bought.
of an accused even without the assistance of counsel, being a purely mechanical act, is not a  The COMELEC has the exclusive power to conduct preliminary investigation of all
violation of his constitutional right against self-incrimination. election offenses punishable under the election laws and to prosecute the same, as
The constitutional right of an accused against self-incrimination proscribes the use of physical may be otherwise provided by law
or moral compulsion to extort communications from the accused and not the inclusion of his  When the COMELEC nullifies a resolution of the Provincial Prosecutor which is the
body in evidence when it may be material. Purely mechanical acts are not included in the basis of the information for vote selling, it in effect, withdraws the deputation
prohibition as the accused does not thereby speak his guilt, hence the assistance and guiding granted to the prosecutor.
hand of counsel is not required. The essence of the right against self-incrimination is  Where certain voters have already executed sworn statements attesting to the
testimonial compulsion, that is, the giving of evidence against himself through a testimonial corrupt practice of vote-buying in a pending case, it cannot be denied that they had
act. 28 Hence, it has been held that a woman charged with adultery may be compelled to already given information in the vote- buying case.
submit to physical examination to determine her pregnancy; and an accused may be compelled
to submit to physical examination and to have a substance taken from his body for medical Dela Cruz vs. People GR No. 200748 July 23, 2014
determination as to whether he was suffering from gonorrhea which was contracted by his Ponente: Sereno, CJ
victim; to expel morphine from his mouth; to have the outline of his foot traced to determine
its identity with bloody footprints; and to be photographed or measured, or his garments or FACTS:
shoes removed or replaced, or to move his body to enable the foregoing things to be done.
The petitioner here was Jaime De La Cruz, a police officer, who was charged of violation of Sec
COMELEC V. TAGLE 15, Art 2 of RA 9165 or “Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002”. According to the
397 SCRA 618 prosecution, the NBI received a complaint from Corazon and Charito that Ariel, who was the
live-in partner of Corazon and the son of Charito was picked up by unknown persons whom
FACTS: were believed to be police officers for allegedly selling drugs. After that, an errand boy came
 Florentino Bautista ran for the position of Mayor in Kawit Cavite and gave a phone number to the complainants. During the call, complainants were instructed
 He filed a complaint against the incumbent Mayor Poblete and others supported by to go to Gorordo Police Office wherein they met James who demanded them money worth
affidavits of 44 witnesses attesting to vote- buying activities. P100,000 which was lowered to P40,000 in exchange of the release of Ariel. After the meeting,
 The case was handled by a prosecutor of the COMELEC’s law department. they went to the NBI to file a complaint. Thus, the NBI conducted an entrapment operation.
 A separate complaint was filed by Rodelas and Macapagal with the provincial During the course of entrapment, the officers were able to nab Jaime Dela Cruz by using a pre-
prosecutor against the witnesses (vote-selling) marked 500 bill dusted with fluorescent powder which was made part of the amount
 COMELEC en banc declared the resolution of the provincial prosecutor to institute demanded by James and handed by Corazon. After that, petitioner Jaime was required to
criminal actions against the witnesses as null and void. COMELEC cited RA 6646 submit his urine for drug testing which produces a positive result for having presence of
otherwise known as “The Electoral Reforms law of 1987” which grants immunity dangerous drug. However, petitioner denied the charge against him.
from criminal prosecution persons who voluntarily give information and willingly RTC and CA found the accused guilty.
testify against those liable for vote-buying or vote-selling. Issue:
 Law department of COMELEC filed a motion to dismiss the case against the WON the drug test conducted upon the petitioner is legal
witnesses. This was denied by respondent judge TAGLE. Held:
 According to Tagle, for the witnesses to be exempt to should have committed the No. Drug test can be made upon persons who were apprehended or arrested under
overt act of divulging information regarding the vote buying the situations listed in Art 2 of RA 9165. It must be noted that the accused was here was
arrested in the alleged act of extortion. Extortion is not listed in Art 2 of RA 9165. Thus, drug
HELD: test in Sec 15 does not cover persons apprehended or arrested for any crime, but only for
Witnesses are exempt from criminal prosecution. unlawful acts listed under Art 2 of RA 9165.

 A free, orderly, honest , peaceful, and credible election is indispensable in a


democratic society, as without it democracy would not flourish and would be a
sham. [REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9745]
AN ACT PENALIZING TORTURE AND OTHER CRUEL, INHUMAN AND DEGRADING TREATMENT
OR PUNISHMENT AND PRESCRIBING PENALTIES THEREFOR
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress (1) Systematic beating, headbanging, punching, kicking, striking with truncheon or rifle butt or
assembled: other similar objects, and jumping on the stomach;
SECTION 1. Short Title. — This Act shall be known as the “Anti-Torture Act of 2009”. (2) Food deprivation or forcible feeding with spoiled food, animal or human excreta and other
SEC. 2. Statement of Policy. — It is hereby declared the policy of the State: stuff or substances not normally eaten;
(a) To value the dignity of every human person and guarantee full respect for human rights; (3) Electric shock;
(b) To ensure that the human rights of all persons, including suspects, detainees and prisoners (4) Cigarette burning; burning by electrically heated rods, hot oil, acid; by the rubbing of pepper
are respected at all times; and that no person placed under investigation or held in custody of or other chemical substances on mucous membranes, or acids or spices directly on the
any person in authority or, agent of a person in authority shall be subjected to physical, wound(s);
psychological or mental harm, force, violence, threat or intimidation or any act that impairs (5) The submersion of the head in water or water polluted with excrement, urine, vomit and/or
his/her free will or in any manner demeans or degrades human dignity; blood until the brink of suffocation;
(c) To ensure that secret detention places, solitary, incommunicado or other similar forms of (6) Being tied or forced to assume fixed and stressful bodily position;
detention, where torture may be carried out with impunity, are prohibited; and (7) Rape and sexual abuse, including the insertion of foreign objects into the sex organ or
(d) To fully adhere to the principles and standards on the absolute condemnation and rectum, or electrical torture of the genitals;
prohibition of torture as provided for in the 1987 Philippine Constitution; various international (8) Mutilation or amputation of the essential parts of the body such as the genitalia, ear,
instruments to which the Philippines is a State party such as, but not limited to, the tongue, etc.;
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the Convention on the Rights of the (9) Dental torture or the forced extraction of the teeth;
Child (CRC), the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (10) Pulling out of fingernails;
(CEDAW) and the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading (11) Harmful exposure to the elements such as sunlight and extreme cold;
Treatment or Punishment (CAT); and all other relevant international human rights instruments (12) The use of plastic bag and other materials placed over the head to the point of
to which the Philippines is a signatory. asphyxiation;
SEC. 3. Definitions. — For purposes of this Act, the following terms shall mean: (13) The use of psychoactive drugs to change the perception, memory, alertness or will of a
(a) “Torture” refers to an act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is person, such as:
intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him/her or a third person (i) The administration of drugs to induce confession and/or reduce mental competency; or
information or a confession; punishing him/her for an act he/she or a third person has (ii) The use of drugs to induce extreme pain or certain symptoms of a disease; and
committed or is suspected of having committed; or intimidating or coercing him/her or a third (14) Other analogous acts of physical torture; and
person; or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is (b) “Mental/Psychological Torture” refers to acts committed by a person in authority or agent
inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a person in authority of a person in authority which are calculated to affect or confuse the mind and/or undermine
or agent of a person in authority. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent a person’s dignity and morale, such as:
in or incidental to lawful sanctions. (1) Blindfolding;
(b) “Other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment” refers to a deliberate and (2) Threatening a person(s) or his/her relative(s) with bodily harm, execution or other wrongful
aggravated treatment or punishment not enumerated under Section 4 of this Act, inflicted by acts;
a person in authority or agent of a person in authority against a person under his/her custody, (3) Confinement in solitary cells or secret detention places;
which attains a level of severity causing suffering, gross humiliation or debasement to the (4) Prolonged interrogation;
latter. (5) Preparing a prisoner for a “show trial”, public display or public humiliation of a detainee or
(c) “Victim” refers to the person subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman and degrading prisoner;
treatment or punishment as defined above and any individual who has suffered harm as a result (6) Causing unscheduled transfer of a person deprived of liberty from one place to another,
of any act(s) of torture, or other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment. creating the belief that he/she shall be summarily executed;
(d) “Order of Battle” refers to any document or determination made by the military, police or (7) Maltreating a member/s of a person’s family;
any law enforcement agency of the government, listing the names of persons and organizations (8) Causing the torture sessions to be witnessed by the person’s family, relatives or any third
that it perceives to be enemies of the State and that it considers as legitimate targets as party;
combatants that it could deal with, through the use of means allowed by domestic and (9) Denial of sleep/rest;
international law. (10) Shame infliction such as stripping the person naked, parading him/her in public places,
SEC. 4. Acts of Torture. — For purposes of this Act, torture shall include, but not be limited to, shaving the victim’s head or putting marks on his/her body against his/her will;
the following: (11) Deliberately prohibiting the victim to communicate with any member of his/her family;
(a) Physical torture is a form of treatment or punishment inflicted by a person in authority or and
agent of a person in authority upon another in his/her custody that causes severe pain, (12) Other analogous acts of mental/psychological torture.
exhaustion, disability or dysfunction of one or more parts of the body, such as:
SEC. 5. Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment. — Other cruel, inhuman to ensure his/her safety and all other persons involved in the investigation and prosecution
or degrading treatment or punishment refers to a deliberate and aggravated treatment or such as, but not limited to, his/her lawyer, witnesses and relatives; and
punishment not enumerated under Section 4 of this Act, inflicted by a person in authority or (c) To be accorded sufficient protection in the manner by which he/she testifies and presents
agent of a person in authority against another person in custody, which attains a level of evidence in any fora in order to avoid further trauma.
severity sufficient to cause suffering, gross humiliation or debasement to the latter. The SEC. 10. Disposition of Writs of Habeas Corpus, Amparo and Habeas Data Proceedings and
assessment of the level of severity shall depend on all the circumstances of the case, including Compliance with a Judicial Order. — A writ of habeas corpus or writ of amparo or writ of habeas
the duration of the treatment or punishment, its physical and mental effects and, in some cases, data proceeding, if any, filed on behalf of the victim of torture or other cruel, degrading and
the sex, religion, age and state of health of the victim. inhuman treatment or punishment shall be disposed of expeditiously and any order of release
SEC. 6. Freedom from Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or by virtue thereof, or other appropriate order of a court relative thereto, shall be executed or
Punishment, an Absolute Right. — Torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment complied with immediately.
or punishment as criminal acts shall apply to all circumstances. A state of war or a threat of war, SEC. 11. Assistance in Filing a Complaint. — The CHR and the PAO shall render legal assistance
internal political instability, or any other public emergency, or a document or any determination in the investigation and monitoring and/or filing of the complaint for a person who suffers
comprising an “order of battle” shall not and can never be invoked as a justification for torture torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment, or for any interested
and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment. party thereto.
SEC. 7. Prohibited Detention. — Secret detention places, solitary confinement, incommunicado The victim or interested party may also seek legal assistance from the Barangay Human Rights
or other similar forms of detention, where torture may be carried out with impunity, are hereby Action Center (BHRAC) nearest him/her as well as from human rights nongovernment
prohibited. organizations (NGOs).
In which case, the Philippine National Police (PNP), the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) SEC. 12. Right to Physical, Medical and Psychological Examination. — Before and after
and other law enforcement agencies concerned shall make an updated list of all detention interrogation, every person arrested, detained or under custodial investigation shall have the
centers and facilities under their respective jurisdictions with the corresponding data on the right to be informed of his/her right to demand physical examination by an independent and
prisoners or detainees incarcerated or detained therein such as, among others, names, date of competent doctor of his/her own choice. If such person cannot afford the services of his/her
arrest and incarceration, and the crime or offense committed. This list shall be made available own doctor, he/she shall be provided by the State with a competent and independent doctor
to the public at all times, with a copy of the complete list available at the respective national to conduct physical examination. The State shall endeavor to provide the victim with
headquarters of the PNP and AFP. A copy of the complete list shall likewise be submitted by psychological evaluation if available under the circumstances. If the person arrested is a female,
the PNP, AFP and all other law enforcement agencies to the Commission on Human Rights she shall be attended to preferably by a female doctor. Furthermore, any person arrested,
(CHR), such list to be periodically updated, by the same agencies, within the first five (5) days detained or under custodial investigation, including his/her immediate family, shall have the
of every month at the minimum. Every regional office of the PNP, AFP and other law right to immediate access to proper and adequate medical treatment.
enforcement agencies shall also maintain a similar list for all detainees and detention facilities The physical examination and/or psychological evaluation of the victim shall be contained in a
within their respective areas, and shall make the same available to the public at all times at medical report, duly signed by the attending physician, which shall include in detail his/her
their respective regional headquarters, and submit a copy, updated in the same manner medical history and findings, and which shall be attached to the custodial investigation report.
provided above, to the respective regional offices of the CHR. Such report shall be considered a public document.
SEC. 8. Applicability of the Exclusionary Rule; Exception. — Any confession, admission or Following applicable protocol agreed upon by agencies tasked to conduct physical,
statement obtained as a result of torture shall be inadmissible in evidence in any proceedings, psychological and mental examinations, the medical reports shall, among others, include:
except if the same is used as evidence against a person or persons accused of committing (a) The name, age and address of the patient or victim;
torture. (b) The name and address of the nearest kin of the patient or victim;
SEC. 9. Institutional Protection of Torture Victims and Other Persons Involved. — A victim of (c) The name and address of the person who brought the patient or victim for physical,
torture shall have the following rights in the institution of a criminal complaint for torture: psychological and mental examination, and/or medical treatment;
(a) To have a prompt and an impartial investigation by the CHR and by agencies of government (d) The nature and probable cause of the patient or victim’s injury, pain and disease and/or
concerned such as the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO), the PNP, trauma;
the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the AFP. A prompt investigation shall mean a (e) The approximate time and date when the injury, pain, disease and/or trauma was/were
maximum period of sixty (60) working days from the time a complaint for torture is filed within sustained;
which an investigation report and/or resolution shall be completed and made available. An (f) The place where the injury, pain, disease and/or trauma was/were sustained;
appeal whenever available shall be resolved within the same period prescribed herein; (g) The time, date and nature of treatment necessary; and
(b) To have sufficient government protection against all forms of harassment, threat and/or (h) The diagnosis, the prognosis and/or disposition of the patient.
intimidation as a consequence of the filing of said complaint or the presentation of evidence Any person who does not wish to avail of the rights under this provision may knowingly and
therefor. In which case, the State through its appropriate agencies shall afford security in order voluntarily waive such rights in writing, executed in the presence and assistance of his/her
counsel.
SEC. 13. Who are Criminally Liable. — Any person who actually participated or induced another (d) The penalty of prision mayor in its medium and maximum periods shall be imposed if, in
in the commission of torture or other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment consequence of torture, the victim shall have lost the power of speech or the power to hear or
or who cooperated in the execution of the act of torture or other cruel, inhuman and degrading to smell; or shall have lost an eye, a hand, a foot, an arm or a leg; or shall have lost the use of
treatment or punishment by previous or simultaneous acts shall be liable as principal. any such member; or shall have become permanently incapacitated for labor.
Any superior military, police or law enforcement officer or senior government official who (e) The penalty of prision mayor in its minimum and medium periods shall be imposed if, in
issued an order to any lower ranking personnel to commit torture for whatever purpose shall consequence of torture, the victim shall have become deformed or shall have lost any part of
be held equally liable as principals. his/her body other than those aforecited, or shall have lost the use thereof, or shall have been
The immediate commanding officer of the unit concerned of the AFP or the immediate senior ill or incapacitated for labor for a period of more than ninety (90) days.
public official of the PNP and other law enforcement agencies shall be held liable as a principal (f) The penalty of prision correccional in its maximum period to prision mayor in its minimum
to the crime of torture or other cruel or inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment for period shall be imposed if, in consequence of torture, the victim shall have been ill or
any act or omission, or negligence committed by him/her that shall have led, assisted, abetted incapacitated for labor for more than thirty (30) days but not more than ninety (90) days.
or allowed, whether directly or indirectly, the commission thereof by his/her subordinates. If (g) The penalty of prision correccional in its minimum and medium period shall be imposed if,
he/she has knowledge of or, owing to the circumstances at the time, should have known that in consequence of torture, the victim shall have been ill or incapacitated for labor for thirty (30)
acts of torture or other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment shall be days or less.
committed, is being committed, or has been committed by his/her subordinates or by others (h) The penalty of arresto mayor shall be imposed for acts constituting cruel, inhuman or
within his/her area of responsibility and, despite such knowledge, did not take preventive or degrading treatment or punishment as defined in Section 5 of this Act.
corrective action either before, during or immediately after its commission, when he/she has (i) The penalty of prision correccional shall be imposed upon those who establish, operate and
the authority to prevent or investigate allegations of torture or other cruel, inhuman and maintain secret detention places and/or effect or cause to effect solitary confinement,
degrading treatment or punishment but failed to prevent or investigate allegations of such act, incommunicado or other similar forms of prohibited detention as provided in Section 7 of this
whether deliberately or due to negligence shall also be liable as principals. Act where torture may be carried out with impunity.
Any public officer or employee shall be liable as an accessory if he/she has knowledge that (j) The penalty of arresto mayor shall be imposed upon the responsible officer/s or personnel
torture or other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment is being committed of the AFP, the PNP and other law enforcement agencies for failure to perform his/her duty to
and without having participated therein, either as principal or accomplice, takes part maintain, submit or make available to the public an updated list of detention centers and
subsequent to its commission in any of the following manner: facilities with the corresponding data on the prisoners or detainees incarcerated or detained
(a) By themselves profiting from or assisting the offender to profit from the effects of the act therein, pursuant to Section 7 of this Act.
of torture or other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment; SEC. 15. Torture as a Separate and Independent Crime. — Torture as a crime shall not absorb
(b) By concealing the act of torture or other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or or shall not be absorbed by any other crime or felony committed as a consequence, or as a
punishment and/or destroying the effects or instruments thereof in order to prevent its means in the conduct or commission thereof. In which case, torture shall be treated as a
discovery; or separate and independent criminal act whose penalties shall be imposable without prejudice
(c) By harboring, concealing or assisting in the escape of the principals in the act of torture or to any other criminal liability provided for by domestic and international laws.
other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment: Provided, That the accessory SEC. 16. Exclusion from the Coverage of Special Amnesty Law. — In order not to depreciate the
acts are done with the abuse of the official’s public functions. crime of torture, persons who have committed any act of torture shall not benefit from any
SEC. 14. Penalties. — (a) The penalty of reclusion perpetua shall be imposed upon the special amnesty law or similar measures that will have the effect of exempting them from any
perpetrators of the following acts: criminal proceedings and sanctions.
(1) Torture resulting in the death of any person; SEC. 17. Applicability of Refouler. — No person shall be expelled, returned or extradited to
(2) Torture resulting in mutilation; another State where there are substantial grounds to believe that such person shall be in
(3) Torture with rape; danger of being subjected to torture. For the purposes of determining whether such grounds
(4) Torture with other forms of sexual abuse and, in consequence of torture, the victim shall exist, the Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Secretary of the DOJ, in
have become insane, imbecile, impotent, blind or maimed for life; and coordination with the Chairperson of the CHR, shall take into account all relevant
(5) Torture committed against children. considerations including, where applicable and not limited to, the existence in the requesting
(b) The penalty of reclusion temporal shall be imposed on those who commit any act of State of a consistent pattern of gross, flagrant or mass violations of human rights.
mental/psychological torture resulting in insanity, complete or partial amnesia, fear of SEC. 18. Compensation to Victims of Torture. — Any person who has suffered torture shall have
becoming insane or suicidal tendencies of the victim due to guilt, worthlessness or shame. the right to claim for compensation as provided for under Republic Act No. 7309: Provided,
(c) The penalty of prision correccional shall be imposed on those who commit any act of torture That in no case shall compensation be any lower than Ten thousand pesos (P10,000.00). Victims
resulting in psychological, mental and emotional harm other than those described in paragraph of torture shall also have the right to claim for compensation from such other financial relief
(b) of this section. programs that may be made available to him/her under existing law and rules and regulations.
SEC. 19. Formulation of a Rehabilitation Program. — Within one (1) year from the effectivity of SEC. 27. Effectivity. — This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its publication in the
this Act, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the DOJ and the Official Gazette or in at least two (2) newspapers of general circulation.
Department of Health (DOH) and such other concerned government agencies, and human
rights organizations shall formulate a comprehensive rehabilitation program for victims of PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,
torture and their families. The DSWD, the DOJ and the DOH shall also call on human rights vs.
nongovernment organizations duly recognized by the government to actively participate in the LEO ECHEGARAY y PILO, accused-appellant.
formulation of such program that shall provide for the physical, mental, social, psychological
healing and development of victims of torture and their families. Toward the attainment of G.R. No. 117472 February 7, 1997
restorative justice, a parallel rehabilitation program for persons who have committed torture FACTS: Right against cruel and unusual punishment
and other cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment shall likewise be formulated by the same
agencies. Accused-apellant Leo Echegaray was charged and convicted for the crime of raping his ten-year
SEC. 20. Monitoring of Compliance with this Act. — An Oversight Committee is hereby created old daughter. The crime having been committed sometime in April, 1994, during which time
to periodically oversee the implementation of this Act. The Committee shall be headed by a Republic Act No. 7659, commonly known as the Death Penalty Law, was already in effect,
Commissioner of the CHR, with the following as members: the Chairperson of the Senate accused-appellant was inevitably meted out the supreme penalty of death.
Committee on Justice and Human Rights, the respective Chairpersons of the House of
Representatives’ Committees on Justice and Human Rights, and the Minority Leaders of both In appealing the conviction, it raised the constitutionality of the Death Penalty Law as being
houses or their respective representatives in the minority. severe and excessive, cruel and unusual in violation of the constitution. He invokes the ruling
SEC. 21. Education and Information Campaign. — The CHR, the DOJ, the Department of in Furman vs. Georgia wherein the US Supreme Court categorically ruled that death penalty is
National Defense (DND), the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and such cruel and degrading. He also argues that death is an excessive and cruel punishment for a crime
other concerned parties in both the public and private sectors shall ensure that education and of rape because there is no taking of life in rape. He invokes the ruling in Coker vs. Georgia
information regarding prohibition against torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading which said that while rape deserves serious punishment, it should not involve the taking of
treatment or punishment shall be fully included in the training of law enforcement personnel, human life. In rape, life is not over for the victim. Death penalty should only be imposed where
civil or military, medical personnel, public officials and other persons who may be involved in the crime was murder.
the custody, interrogation or treatment of any individual subjected to any form of arrest,
detention or imprisonment. The Department of Education (DepED) and the Commission on ISSUE: Whether or not Death Penalty is cruel and unusual punishment.
Higher Education (CHED) shall also ensure the integration of human rights education courses in
all primary, secondary and tertiary level academic institutions nationwide. HELD: NO. The penalty is neither cruel, unjust nor excessive. In the US case of Kemmler,
SEC. 22. Applicability of the Revised Penal Code. — The provisions of the Revised Penal Code it was held that punishments are cruel when they involve torture or a lingering death. It implies
insofar as they are applicable shall be suppletory to this Act. Moreover, if the commission of there something inhuman, barbarous, something more than the extinguishment of life. It is
any crime punishable under Title Eight (Crimes Against Persons) and Title Nine (Crimes Against degrading if it involves public humiliation. The severity is not sufficient, but must be
Personal Liberty and Security) of the Revised Penal Code is attended by any of the acts disproportionate to the crime committed. Excessiveness is measured by 1) seriousness of the
constituting torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment as crime, 2) policy of the legislative, 3) perversity of the accused.
defined herein, the penalty to be imposed shall be in its maximum period.
SEC. 23. Appropriations. — The amount of Five million pesos (Php5,000,000.00) is hereby The issue in Furman vs. Georgia is not so much the death penalty itself, but the arbitrariness
appropriated to the CHR for the initial implementation of this Act. Thereafter, such sums as pervading the procedures by which the death penalty was imposed by the jury. It was nullified
may be necessary for the continued implementation of this Act shall be included in the annual because the discretion in which the statute vested in trial judges and sentencing juries was
General Appropriations Act. uncontrolled and without any parameters, guidelines, or standards.
SEC. 24. Implementing Rules and Regulations. — The DOJ and the CHR, with the active
participation of human rights nongovernmental organizations, shall promulgate the rules and With regard to the case of Coker vs. Georgia, the SC held that this case has no bearing on
regulations for the effective implementation of this Act. They shall also ensure the full Philippine experience and culture. Such a premise is in fact an ennobling of the biblical notion
dissemination of such rules and regulations to all officers and members of various law of retributive justice of "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth". But, the forfeiture of life simply
enforcement agencies. because life was taken, never was a defining essence of the death penalty in the context of our
SEC. 25. Separability Clause. — If any provision of this Act is declared invalid or unconstitutional, legal history and cultural experience; rather, the death penalty is imposed in heinous crimes
the other provisions not affected thereby shall continue to be in full force and effect. because the perpetrators thereof have committed unforgivably execrable acts that have so
SEC. 26. Repealing Clause. — All laws, decrees, executive orders or rules and regulations deeply dehumanized a person or criminal acts with severely destructive effects, and because
contrary to or inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed or modified they have so caused irreparable and substantial injury to both their victim and the society and
accordingly. a repetition of their acts would pose actual threat to the safety of individuals and the survival
of government, they must be permanently prevented from doing so.
ISSUE1: WON the lower court erred in not ruling that Mercado’s guilt has not been proven –
RA 7659 already sufficiently defined what are heinous crimes – crimes punished with death are NO
those that are grievous, odious, and hateful by reason of inherent viciousness, atrocity and
perversity, those that are repugnant and outrageous to common standards of norms and HELD/RATIO1:
decency and morality in a just, civilized and ordered society. They also include crimes which are The issue revolves around the credibility of the witnesses. Well settled is the rule that “unless
despicable because life is callously taken, or the victim is treated as an animal or dehumanized. there is a showing that the trial court overlooked, misunderstood, or misapplied some fact or
circumstance of weight and substance that would have affected the result of the case, the
People v Mercado appellate court will not disturb the factual findings of the lower court. For having had the
No. L-65152 opportunity of observing the demeanor and behavior of the witnesses while testifying, the trial
Ponente: J. Relova court, more than the reviewing tribunal, is in a better position to gauge their credibility, and
Date: August 30, 1984 properly appreciate the relative weight of the often conflicting evidence for both parties”.

Petitioner: People of the Philippines ISSUE2: WON Mercado should be convicted of kidnapping and serious illegal detention – YES
Respondent: Federico Mercado or Alberto Mercado
Relief: Appeal from the decision of CFI of Rizal HELD/RATIO2:
While the defense argued that Mercado should be convicted of grave coercion only sicne his
FACTS: purpose was to force Yvonne to produce Susan, the Court believes this was without merit.
 Mercado was the boyfriend of Susan Baylon, the younger sister of complainant
Following the Ablaza case, “the victim was actually restrained or deprived of her freedom, and
that makes proper the prosecution of the accused under Art 267 of the RPC (illegal detention)”.
Yvonne Baylon. Susan left the family residence on Sept 1, 1979 and Mercado
suspected that its was Yvonne who instigated her to leave.
ISSUE3: WON Mercado should be credited with mitigating circumstance of passion or
 At about 8:30am the next day, Mercado came from behind Yvonne while she was w obfuscation – NO
alking on a road at San Carlos Subd, Binagonan, Rizal. Mercado grabbed Yvonne by
the neck and pointed a knife on her throat, then dragged her to the house of his fri HELD/RATIO3:
end Said mitigating circumstance cannot be invoked in favor of the accused whose relationship with
Norma Guerrero. Mercado demanded that Yvonne produce her sister Susan. He th her was illegitimate. The obfuscation must arise from lawful sentiments.
en dragged her to the road side.
 The brothers of Yvonne and some neighbors arrived asking Mercado to release ISSUE4: WON Mercado should be credited with the period of his preventive detention – YES
Yvonne, but instead of doing so, Mercado raised the blouse of Yvonne and inserted
his hand underneath it and pointed the knife on her breast. Thereafter, Mercado d HELD/RATIO4:
ragged Yvonne to a store where the Chief of Police and some policemen talked to h He has been detained since Sept 2, 1979 and therefore, in accordance with Art 29 of the RPC,
im. the period of his preventive detention should be deducted from the term of his sentence
Mercado demanded from the police that he wanted to see Susan and that he be gi (reclusion perpetua).
ven transportation and money. This situation lasted up to about 12nn.
DISPOSITIVE:
 The barrio captain arrives and he was able to take hold of Mercado and subdue him Wherefore, the decision appealed from is affirmed, with costs. Appellant should be credited
. with the full time of his preventive imprisonment upon a showing that he agreed to abide by
Yvonne, because of the traumatic experience she was subjected to, lost the same disciplinary rules imposed upon convicted prisoners, otherwise, he shall be credited
consciousness and was brought to the hospital. Her fingers suffered injuries, abrasi with 4/5 of the time of such preventive imprisonment.
on on her neck, and a small wound on her stomach.
 On the other hand, Mercado averred that Susan was his wife; that although they w NOTES:
ere not legally marries, they had been living together for some time in their family Elements of the crime of illegal detention (Art 267, RPC):
house in Tayuman. He also alleged that it was Yvonne who first attempted to stab h 1) that the offender is a private individual
im, only he was able to stop her and grab the knife from her, and that was when th 2) that he kidnaps or detains another, or in any manner deprives the latter of his liberty
e barrio captain and the policemen arrived who thought that he was going to stab Y 3) that the act of detention or kidnapping must be illegal
vonne. 4) in the commission of the offense, any of the ff circumstances is present
a) that the kidnapping or detention last for more than 5 days
b) that it is committed simulating public authority To substantiate the claim of double jeopardy, it must be proven that:
c) that any serious physical injuries are inflicted upon the person kidnapped or detained or 1. A first jeopardy must have attached prior to the second
threats to kill him are made 2. First jeopardy validly terminated
d) that the person kidnapped or detained is a minor, female, or a public officer 3. Second jeopardy must be for the same offense

As a rule, a criminal prosecution includes a civil action for the recovery of indemnity.
Illegal detention is committed by a private person while arbitrary detention (Art 124, RPC) is Hence, a decision in such case disposes both the criminal as well as the civil liabilities
committed by a public officer, usually a law-enforcing authority. There is illegal detention in of an accused. Here, the trial court promulgated only the civil aspect of the case, but
forcible abduction. When the violent taking of a woman is motivated by lewd designs, forcible not the criminal. The promulgation of the CA decision was not only incomplete but
abduction under Art 342 is the offense (against chastity); when it is not so motivated, the void. It was emphasized that grave abuse of discretion rendered the
offense is kidnapping under Art 267 (against personal liberty). aforementioned act of the trial court void. Since the criminal case has not yet been
terminated, the first jeopardy has not yet attached. Hence, double jeopardy cannot
CUISON vs. COURT OF APPEALS prosper as a defense.

FACTS: ALMARIO VS CA
On February 7, 1989 respondent Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court of FACTS:
Pangasinan rendered a Joint decision finding the accused Eduardo Cuison guilty of the crime of Almario is one of the accused in Criminal Case No. 91-6761, for estafa thru
double homicide beyond reasonable doubt in the shooting of Sapigao and Rulo Castro. falsification of public document, and Criminal Case No. 91-6762, for estafa, with respondent
On appeal to the Court of Appeals, the said decision was affirmed with the RCBC as the offended party in both cases. The hearing was reset several times due to the
modification that the civil indemnity was increased from P30, 000 to P50, 000. The accused elevation of the Presiding Judge to a higher court, lack of trial judge immediately appointed to
elevated the decision on a petition for review but the Supreme Court denied the petition. the hearing, and lack of proof of notice to all the accused and their counsel.
The case was remanded to the RTC Pangasinan for promulgation of the decision. On September 8, 1995, private complainant failed to appear despite due notice. Hence, upon
However, respondent Judge promulgated the decision of the Court of Appeals only with respect motion of Almario’s counsel, the respondent court issued an order dismissing the case for
to the modified civil liability of the accused but did not commit the accused to jail to commence failure to prosecute and considering Almario’s right to a speedy trial.
service of his sentence. Upon motion of the private prosecutor and despite the opposition of Almario, respondent court
Ass. City Prosecutor Abraham L. Ramos II reported the matter to the Solicitor ordered that there has been no vexatious, capricious and oppressive delays, or unjustified
General and requested that a motion for clarification be filed with this Court to clarify the postponements of the trial, or a long time is allowed to lapse without the party having his case
decision dated July 30, 1991. On July 7, 1995 the Solicitor General filed a Motion to Clarify tried which would constitute a violation of the right of Almario to speedy trial.
Decision, wherein the resolution modified the appealed decision of the court a quo in one After arraignment of the accused, the pre-trial was set and the same was ordered terminated
respect only- the increased of the indemnity to be paid by the appellant to the heirs of the on October 25, 1994. On June 21, 1995, the case was set for initial presentation of evidence of
victims. the proof of service of the notices to the accused and their respective counsels. On July 17, 1995,
After a careful review the court found no doubt as to the participation of the counsel for the accused did not interpose objection to private prosecutors motion to postpone
accused-appellant in the shooting of Sapigao and Castro and that conspiracy was present in the due to absence of witnesses. On July 24, 1995, the trial could not proceed as, being a joint trial
instant case. Acting on the motion to clarify decision, the Court affirmed the decision of the of three criminal cases, the three other accused were not present. There were only three settings
court a quo with regard to the penalty of imprisonment in the said Trial Court’s decision. from the date of termination of the pre-trial for the prosecution to present evidence and the
The accused, however, fled a Motion to Set Aside Promulgation on the grounds that same were postponed with valid reasons. Furthermore, the dismissal in the Order dated
it will violate the accused’s constitutional right against double jeopardy. September 8, 1995, did not result in the acquittal of the accused since the right of the accused
ISSUE: to speedy trial has not been violated, and its dismissal having been made upon the motion of
Whether or not the trial courts’s promulgation of the CA decision would violate the the accused there is no double jeopardy.
constitutional right against double jeopardy? The order dismissing the charge/case against Almario is reconsidered and set aside. Almario
HELD: then moved for a reconsideration which was denied and so Almario filed before the CA a
The constitutional proscription of double jeopardy is not violated by a Court of petition for certiorari which the appellate court denied and dismissed for lack of merit.
Appeals order requiring the trial court to promulgate a decision sentencing the accused to Hence, this petition. Almario asserts that this reversal was a violation of the doctrine of double
imprisonment even if, earlier, the same decision has been promulgated in regard only to the jeopardy, as the criminal cases were initially dismissed for an alleged violation of his
payment of the modified civil indemnity arising from the same criminal act. Otherwise stated, constitutional right to a speedy trial.
the promulgation of only one part of the decision such as civil indemnity is not a bar to the
subsequent promulgation of the other part, the imposition of the criminal accountability.
ISSUE: Whether double jeopardy had set in so that Almario’s constitutional right against such complained of as a felony. In this particular instance this relinquish the civil liability for a person
jeopardy had been violated? who has been found not to be the perpetrator of any act or omission shall not be and should
never be held liable for such an act or omission. This surmise that there is no delict, civil liability
RULING: NO. Clearly, under Section 7, Rule 117 of the Revised Rules of Court, double jeopardy ex delicto is entirely out of the question and therefore the civil action if there is any. Which will
attaches only (1) upon a valid indictment, (2) before a competent court, (3) after arraignment, be instituted should be based on the grounds other the delict that was complained of.
(4) when a valid plea has been entered, and (5) when the defendant was convicted or acquitted, The secondary instance is an acquittal that was based on reasonable doubt
or the case was dismissed or otherwise terminated without the express consent of the accused. regarding the guilt of the accused has not been duly established. In this case at hand the
In the cases at bar, the order of dismissal based on a violation of the right to speedy trial was acquittal was primarily based on reasonable doubt. It was clearly stated that the accused was
made upon motion by counsel for petitioner before the trial court. It was made at the instance recklessly imprudent or negligent. Which evidently prompted the court to acquit him on the
of the accused before the trial court, and with his express consent. Generally, the dismissal of main contention of a reasonable doubt. Since civil liability is not extinguished in a criminal case
a criminal case resulting in acquittal made with the express consent of the accused or upon his if the accused is acquitted on reasonable doubt. The decision of the Court of Appeals states
own motion will not place the accused in double jeopardy. However, this rule admits of two that the defendant is civilly liable for negligent and reckless of driving his automobile which was
exceptions, namely: insufficiency of evidence and denial of the right to speedy trial. Delay in the proximate cause of the vehicular accident and to indemnify the plaintiff for a sum of money
the trial was due to circumstances beyond the control of the parties and of the trial court. There due to the death of Ruben Nicolas.
were no unjustified postponements which had prolonged the trial for unreasonable lengths of
time. It follows that Almario cannot invoke the constitutional right against double jeopardy PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-appellee,
when that order was reconsidered seasonably. For as Almario’s right to speedy trial was not vs.
transgressed, this exception to the fifth element of double jeopardy that the defendant was DANILO FELICIANO, JR., JULIUS VICTOR MEDALLA, CHRISTOPHER SOLIVA, WARREN L.
acquitted or convicted, or the case was dismissed or otherwise terminated without the express ZINGAPAN, and ROBERT MICHAEL BELTRAN ALVIR, Accused-appellants.
consent of the accused was not met. The trial courts initial order of dismissal was upon motion G.R. No. 196735 May 5, 2014
of petitioners counsel, hence made with the express consent of petitioner. That being the case,
despite the reconsideration of said order, double jeopardy did not attach. TOPIC: right to be informed of their offenses, disguise, res gestae, treachery

MANANTAN vs CA FACTS:
FACTS: On December 8, 1994, at around 12:30 to 1:00 in the afternoon, seven (7) members of the
The petitioner Manantan was charged by the Provincial Fiscal of Isabela with Sigma Rho fraternity were eating lunch at the Beach House Canteen, near the Main Library of
reckless imprudence resulting to homicide. The alleged crime occurred on or about the 25th day the University of the Philippines, Diliman, when they were attacked by several masked men
of September 1982 in the Municipality of Santiago, Isabela. The provincial fiscal filed this carrying baseball bats and lead pipes. Some of them sustained injuries that required
information on June 1, 1983 within the Municipality of Santiago, Isabela. The accused was the hospitalization. One of them, Dennis Venturina, died from his injuries.
driver and person-in-charge of an automobile with the Plate No. NGA-816. Manantan willfully An information for murder was filed against several members of the Scintilla Juris fraternity and
and recklessly drove the vehicle in a negligent manner which ended up sideswiping a passenger separate informations were also filed against them for the attempted and frustrated murder of
jeepney. Which caused the Jeepney to turn turtle twice that ultimately ended with the death Sigma Rho fraternity members.
of Ruben Nicolas, a passenger of the jeepney. On a decision dated June 30, 1938 which was RTC found Alvir, Feliciano Jr., Soliva, Medalla and Zingapan guilty beyond reasonable doubt of
later promulgated on August 4, 1988, the trial court reached a decision in favor of Manantan. murder and attempted murder. Others were acquitted. The case against Guerrero was ordered
With the subsequent turn of events the private respondent spouses Nicolas filed their notice archived by the court until his apprehension. CA affirmed RTC’s decision.
of appeal on the civil aspect of the trial court’s judgment. The spouses Nicolas prayed that the ISSUES:
decision appealed from be modified and that the appellee be ordered to pay indemnity and 6. Whether or not accused-appellants’ constitutional rights were violated when the
damages. The court reached a decision wherein the Court of Appeals decided in favor of the information against them contained the aggravating circumstance of the use of masks despite
private respondents. With regards to the civil liability the court a quo stated that during the the prosecution presenting witnesses to prove that the masks fell off
time that the accident occurred. Manantan was in a state of heavily inebriated after consuming 7. Whether or not the RTC and CA correctly ruled, on the basis of the evidence, that
at least twelve bottles of beer between 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. The petitioner opted for accused-appellants were sufficiently identified.
reconsideration but the appellate court denied it vehemently.
ISSUE: Whether or not the acquittal of the accused also extinguished his civil liability. HELD:
RULING:
No, it is quite evident that the law recognizes two different kinds of acquittal, with FIRST ISSUE: No.
entirely different effects regarding the civil liability of the accused. First and foremost, the The Court held that an information is sufficient when the accused is fully apprised of the charge
grounds pertaining to the acquittal of the accused is not the main reason for the act or omission against him to enable him to prepare his defense. The argument of appellants that the
information filed against them violates their constitutional right to be informed of the nature
and cause of the accusation against them holds no water. The Court found no merit on the When the bystanders’ testimonies are weighed against those of the victims who witnessed
appellants’ arguments that the prosecution should not have included the phrase “wearing the entirety of the incident from beginning to end at close range, the former become merely
masks and/or other forms of disguise” in the information since they were presenting corroborative of the fact that an attack occurred. Their account of the incident, therefore,
testimonial evidence that not all the accused were wearing masks or that their masks fell off. must be given considerably less weight than that of the victims.
It should be remembered that every aggravating circumstance being alleged must be stated in
the information. Failure to state an aggravating circumstance, even if duly proven at trial, will Accused-appellants were correctly charged with murder, and there was treachery in the
not be appreciated as such commission of the crime
It was, therefore, incumbent on the prosecution to state the aggravating circumstance of The victims in this case were eating lunch on campus. They were not at a place where they
“wearing masks and/or other forms of disguise” in the information in order for all the evidence, would be reasonably expected to be on guard for any sudden attack by rival fraternity men.
introduced to that effect, to be admissible by the trial court. The victims, who were unarmed, were also attacked with lead pipes and baseball bats. The only
In criminal cases, disguise is an aggravating circumstance because, like nighttime, it allows the way they could parry the blows was with their arms. In a situation where they were unarmed
accused to remain anonymous and unidentifiable as he carries out his crimes. and outnumbered, it would be impossible for them to fight back against the attackers. The
The introduction of the prosecution of testimonial evidence that tends to prove that the attack also happened in less than a minute, which would preclude any possibility of the
accused were masked but the masks fell off does not prevent them from including disguise as bystanders being able to help them until after the incident.
an aggravating circumstance. The swiftness and the suddenness of the attack gave no opportunity for the victims to retaliate
What is important in alleging disguise as an aggravating circumstance is that there was a or even to defend themselves. Treachery, therefore, was present in this case.
concealment of identity by the accused. The inclusion of disguise in the information was,
therefore, enough to sufficiently apprise the accused that in the commission of the offense they Merciales v CA
were being charged with, they tried to conceal their identity.
The introduction of evidence which shows that some of the accused were not wearing masks FACTS:
is also not violative of their right to be informed of their offenses.  Criminal cases for rape with homicide in connection of the death of Maritess
The information charges conspiracy among the accused. Conspiracy presupposes that “the act Merciales were filed against private respondents/accused
of one is the act of all.” This would mean all the accused had been one in their plan to conceal  During the trial, the public prosecuter filed a motion for the discharge of accused
their identity even if there was evidence later on to prove that some of them might not have Nuada so that he could be a state witness but the prosecution contended that it was
done so. not required to present evidence to warrant the discharge of Nuada because he was
SECOND ISSUE: Yes. already under the Witness Protection Program of the DOJ
The Court held that the accused were sufficiently identified by the witnesses for the  But this was motion was denied for failure of prosecutor to present evidence
prosecution. It was held that the trial court, in weighing all the evidence on hand, found the provided in Sec 9, Rule 119 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure
testimonies of the witnesses for the prosecution to be credible. Slight inconsistencies in their
statements were immaterial considering the swiftness of the incident.  Prosecution then filed petition for certiorari [GR. No. 113273-78, another case]
before the SC question such denial.
Evidence as part of the res gestae may be admissible but have little persuasive value in this
case  The private respondents then filed a motion to set the case for hearing based on
According to the testimony of U.P. Police Officer Salvador, when he arrived at the scene, he their constitutional right to speedy trial which was granted and the hearing was set
interviewed the bystanders who all told him that they could not recognize the attackers since on July 29, 1994
they were all masked. This, it is argued, could be evidence that could be given as part of the res  On that date, the prosecution filed an MR, instead of presenting of further evidence.
gestae. The hearing was postponed and set for another hearing (Aug 9)
There is no doubt that a sudden attack on a group peacefully eating lunch on a school campus  On that said date, prosecutor again filed for MR and invoked its pending petition for
is a startling occurrence. Considering that the statements of the bystanders were made certiorari with the SC but the respondents objected to reset the hearing again.
immediately after the startling occurrence, they are, in fact, admissible as evidence given in res  The judge called for recess to allow the prosecution to present the NBI agent would
gestae. be presented to prove the extrajudicial confession of the accused Nuada
The statements made by the bystanders, although admissible, have little persuasive value since  But after the recess, the public prosecutor declined to present the NBI agent and
the bystanders could have seen the events transpiring at different vantage points and at manifested that it would not anymore present further evidence
different points in time. Even Frisco Capilo, one of the bystanders at the time of the attack,
 The defense then moved that the cases be deemed submitted for decision and
testified that the attackers had their masks on at first, but later on, some remained masked and
asked leave of court to file a DEMURRER to evidence
some were unmasked.
 The SG filed in the case before the SC a motion for issuance of a TRO to enjoin the
judge but was denied by the SC The petitioner was deprived of her day in court. It is not only the State but also the offended
party that is entitled to due process in criminal cases.
RTC: dismissed the charge of rape with homicide based on demurrer to evidence filed by private
respondents/accused; hence, the accused were ACQUITTED and the criminal cases against With regard the acquittal of the accused by the trial was done without regard to due process
them were DISMISSED for lack of sufficient evidence to prove the guild of the accused beyond of law, it is null and void as if there was no acquittal at all. It cannot be double jeopardy
reasonable doubt
HENCE, it was very apparent that the public prosecutor violated the due process rights of the
Petitioner argued: private complainant owing to its blatant disregard of procedural rules and the failure to
 reopening of the criminal case will not violate the accused’s right to double present available crucial evidence, which would tend to prove the guilt or innocence of the
jeopardy. accused therein. Moreover, we likewise found that the trial court was gravely remiss in its duty
 There was judicial misconduct due to the prosecutions’ premature resting and trial to ferret out the truth and, instead, just “passively watched as the public prosecutor bungled
court’s grant of the demurrer to evidence even if the presentation of the evidence the case.”
for the prosecution has not been completed (violation of due process)
Doctrine in this case:
Respondent’s argument:  When there is a finding that there was grave abuse of discretion on the part of the
 No extrinsic fraud, abuse of discretion and jurisdiction defect to warrant the trial court in dismissing the criminal case by granting the accused’s demurrer to
annulment or evidence, the judgment of the TC is considered VOID.
 Reopening of the case will violate the accused’s right against double jeopardy
NOTES:
ISSUE: Could there be an acquittal by demurrer in this case? NO. There was grave abuse of  “The grant or denial of a demurrer to evidence is left to the sound discretion of the
discretion by the trial court. trial court, and its ruling on the matter shall not be disturbed in the absence of a
grave abuse of such discretion.”
HELD: PETITION GRANTED, case remanded, RTC judge order to complete presentation of all  As to effect, “the grant of a demurrer to evidence amounts to an acquittal and
available witness for the prosecution cannot be appealed because it would place the accused in double jeopardy.
 The order is reviewable only by certiorari if it was issued with grave abuse of
Nonfeasance on the party of the public prosecutor: discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.”
 The trial court required the public prosecutor to present evidence to justify Nuada’s  When grave abuse of discretion is present, an order granting a demurrer becomes
discharge as state witness but it insisted there was no need to do so because Nuada null and void.
was already under the Witness Protection Program of the DOJ
 Due to this refusal to present the required evidence it prompted the trial court to  The accused cannot be in double jeopardy because the lower court acted without
deny the motion to discharge Nuada jurisdiction (the trial judge in this case acted without or in excess of jurisdiction, for
 Again, the trial court the directed public prosecutor to present Atty. Caabay, the NBI a judgment which is void for lack of due process is equivalent to excess or lack of
agent who took Nuada’s extrajudicial confession but the prosecutor declared that jurisdiction
he was resting the prosecutions case, knowing fully well that the evidence he
previously presented was not sufficient to convict the accused.  “The power of courts to grant demurrer in criminal cases should be exercised with
 And due to that, a demurrer to evidence was filed by the accused and was granted great caution, because not only the rights of the accused – but those of the offended
by the trial court party and the public interest as well – are involved.”

 It was then clear that the public prosecutor was guilty of serious nonfeasance. It was  “Demurrer to the evidence is “an objection by one of the parties in an action, to the
his duty to take all steps to protect the rights of the people in trial. He should have effect that the evidence which his adversary produced is insufficient in point of law,
exhausted all available proof to establish the guilt of the accused. whether true or not, to make out a case or sustain the issue.

Grave abuse of discretion on the part of trial court: POTOT vs PEOPLE


 Due to the nature of the testimonies of the 7 prosecution witness and and nature of FACTS:
the circumstances, the trial court (motu proprio) should have called additional On December 12, 1999 the appellant Potot was charged with homicide before the
witnesses to question such them to satisfy his mind to the issues of the case RTC for assaulting and stabbing Rodolfo Dapulag with a deadly weapon in the form of a knife
which ultimately led to the dead of the latter. During the arraignment, Potot pleaded guilty and PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, appellee, vs. CLARENCE ASTUDILLO, CRISANTO
invoked the mitigating circumstances of the plea of guilty and voluntary surrender. He was later ASTUDILLO, alias ANTENG or ENTENG, HILARIO ASTUDILLO, alias BODA,appellant.
on convicted of homicide with the above stated mitigating circumstances. Potot filed a DECISION
manifestation with motion informing that he is not appealing from the Decision and praying YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.:
that a commitment order be issued so he could immediately serve his sentence. Rosalie This is an appeal from the decision[1] of the Regional Trial Court of Bangued, Abra, Branch 2, in
Dapulag (the wife of the victim) with the approval of the public prosecutor, filed a motion for Criminal Case No. 1698, convicting appellants Clarence Astudillo, Crisanto Astudillo and Hilario
reconsideration or retrial hoping that the decision be set aside and that the case be heard again Astudillo of the crime of Murder; sentencing them to suffer the penalty reclusion perpetua and
due to several irregularities that were done before the trial. She alleged that there were 2 other ordering them, jointly and severally, to pay damages to the heirs of the deceased, Silvestre
persons involved in committing the crime and that the eyewitness opted not to include this Aquino, Jr.
information in his sworn statement. This was mainly due upon a solicitation by a certain person
and also due to the belief of the witness that it would further complicate the case. The The Information filed against the appellants reads:
petitioner vehemently opposed this motion, stating that the case can no longer be modified or That on or about November 12, 1995, at around 7:30 oclock in the evening at Zone 7,
set aside once it has become final when he formally waived his right to appeal. On May 3, 2000 Municipality of Bangued, Province of Abra, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this
the motion of Rosalie Dapulag was granted by the trial court and set aside the previous decision. Honorable Court, the above-named accused, conspiring, confederating and mutually helping
While also ordering that the records of the case be remanded to the office of the Provincial one another, with intent to kill, with treachery and evident premeditation and while armed
Prosecutor for re-evaluation of the evidence and filing of the corresponding charge. Hence, the with a sharp-pointed instrument (unrecovered) did then and there, wilfully, unlawfully and
petitioner filed an MFR contending that the trial court jurisdiction to issue the order since the feloniously stab one SILVESTRE AQUINO, JR., thereby inflicting multiple stab wounds on the
decision has already become final and that the said order would place him in a Double Jeopardy. different parts of his body, which caused his death and thereafter, the accused rode on an
On May 26, 2000 the MFR was denied by the trial court on the contention that the State is not unregistered motorized tricycle (recovered) with Municipal Plate No. 7077, which they used in
bound by the error or negligence of its prosecuting officers, hence the jeopardy shall not attach. escaping from the crime scene.
The petitioner assailed the decisions with the Solictor General. With the February 1 decision CONTRARY TO LAW.[2]
reinstated and the other court orders be set aside.
ISSUE: W/N the trial court based on a motion by a private complainant can set aside a Upon arraignment on November 21, 1995, appellants pleaded not guilty.[3] Trial on the merits
previous judgment of conviction and have records remanded of case to the office of the thereafter ensued. The prosecutions account of the antecedent facts are as follows: At around
Provincial Prosecutor for re-evaluation of evidence and the filing of the corresponding charges. 7:00 p.m., of November 12, 1995, brothers Clarence, Crisanto and Hilario Astudillo, went to
HELD: No, it is only the accused that can modify or have the judgment of conviction set house of Alberto Damian who was celebrating the eve of his birthday. Clarence greeted Alberto
aside. Although he must do this before the judgment becomes final or before he perfects his and thereafter asked the victim, Silvestre Aquino, who was one of the visitors, to go with
appeal. This duly based on Sec. 7 Rule 120 of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure as him.[4] Silvestre acceded and the two walked towards Floras Store, where they were later joined
amended. Sec. 7. Modification of judgment - A judgment of conviction may, upon motion of by Crisanto and Hilario. While at the store, Crisanto and Silvestre had an argument.[5]
the accused, be modified or set aside before it becomes final or before appeal is perfected. At around that time, prosecution eyewitnesses Manuel Bareng and Eduardo Bata, 12 and 11
Except where the death penalty is imposed, a judgment becomes final after the lapse of the years of age, respectively, were selling balut in front of Floras Store. They saw Clarence stab
period for perfecting an appeal, or when the sentence has been partially or totally satisfied or Silvestre with a bolo while Crisanto and Hilario held him by the wrists. Clarence delivered
served, or when the accused has waived in writing his right to appeal, or has applied for several stab blows at the back and on the chest of the victim until the latter fell to the
probation. Clearly, jeopardy attaches only (1) upon a valid indictment, (2) before a competent ground. Thereafter, the three appellants fled on board a tricycle.[6]
court, (3) after arraignment, (4) when a valid plea has been entered, and (5) when the Silvestre was rushed to the Municipal Health Office of Bangued, Abra, where he was
defendant was convicted or acquitted, or the case was dismissed or otherwise terminated pronounced dead on arrival.
without the express consent of the accused.
CAUSE OF DEATH:
To be considered sufficient therefore, the evidence must prove: Cardiac Tamponade, secondary to Stab Wound.[7]
On the other hand, the version of the defense is as follows: On November 12, 1995 at around
(a) the commission of the crime, and 7:00 p.m., Clarence passed by the house of Alberto Damian where Silvestre and several others
(b) the precise degree of participation therein by the accused.” were playing cards. Silvestre offered Clarence a glass of gin, which he declined. Silvestre got
embarrassed and cursed him so he decided to leave the house. However, Silvestre followed
 Thus, when the accused files a demurrer, the court must evaluate whether the him in front of Floras Store and pushed him twice, causing him to fall on the ground. Then,
prosecution evidence is sufficient enough to warrant the conviction of the accused Silvestre struck him on the head and arm with an empty one-liter softdrink bottle.[8]
beyond reasonable doubt. Hilario arrived and tried to pacify Silvestre but the latter attacked him. As he retreated, he saw
a knife which he then swung at the victim. Silvestre was hit but continued to attack him. Left
with no choice, Hilario stabbed Silvestre 2 or 3 times. When the latter collapsed to the ground, testimonies of the prosecution eyewitnesses, Manuel Bareng and Eduardo Bata, that the
Hilario rushed to the succor of his elder brother, Clarence.[9] Meanwhile, Clarence suffered from appellants ganged up on the defenseless victim. These witnesses were not shown to have been
shock and remained seated on the ground while their other brother, Crisanto, stood on the impelled by ill-motive to falsely testify against the appellants, hence, their testimony is entitled
roadside and called for help.[10] The appellants left the scene on board a tricycle and proceeded to full faith and credit.[18]
to the house of Clarences in-laws. On the same night, they surrendered to the Philippine
National Police, stationed at Bangued, Abra.[11] Moreover, the alleged inconsistencies between the testimony of the prosecution witnesses and
On March 16, 1998, the trial court rendered a decision convicting appellants of the crime of their affidavit are too inconsequential to merit consideration. Specifically, appellants point to
Murder qualified by abuse of superior strength.[12] Appellants filed a motion for reconsideration the failure of Eduardo Bata to state in his sworn statement that appellants Crisanto and Hilario
contending that the prosecution failed to prove their guilt beyond reasonable doubt and, restrained the victim while Clarence stabbed him, as well as the alleged unfamiliarity of
assuming that it did, the qualifying circumstance of abuse of superior strength, not having been prosecution witness Manny Bareng with the Ilocano words bagsol and binagsol (which mean
alleged in the information, cannot be appreciated against them.[13] Appellants motion for stab and stabbed, respectively), in his sworn statement. Suffice it to state that inconsistencies
reconsideration was denied in an Order dated July 13, 1998.[14] However, an Amended between the sworn statement and direct testimony given in open court do not necessarily
Decision[15] was rendered where the phrase abuse of superior strength was replaced with discredit the witness since an affidavit, being taken ex-parte, is oftentimes incomplete and is
TREACHERY in the body of the Decision and in the decretal portion thereof, which reads: generally regarded as inferior to the testimony of the witness in open court. Judicial notice can
WHEREFORE, the Court finds all the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of murder, defined be taken of the fact that testimonies given during trial are much more exact and elaborate than
and penalized under Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code as amended by Rep Act No. 7659, those stated in sworn statements, usually being incomplete and inaccurate for a variety of
qualified by TREACHERY AND for having conspired together and helping one another to kill reasons, at times because of partial and innocent suggestions or for want of specific
Silvestre Aquino, Jr., with the aggravating circumstance of use of motor vehicle, [which is] inquiries. Additionally, an extrajudicial statement or affidavit is generally not prepared by the
however, offset by the ordinary mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender and sentences affiant himself but by another who uses his own language in writing the affiants statement,
them to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua and to pay jointly and severally the heirs of hence, omissions and misunderstandings by the writer are not infrequent. Indeed, the
Silvestre Aquino, Jr., the amount of P65,288.50 [as] actual damages, P50,000.00 for his death prosecution witnesses direct and categorical declarations on the witness stand are superior to
and suffering plus P500,000.00 [as] moral and exemplary damages and to pay the costs of this their extrajudicial statements. This is especially so because their testimony to the effect that
suit. Crisanto and Hilario held the victims wrists while Clarence stabbed him remained consistent
even under cross-examination.[19]
SO ORDERED.[16]
The trial court correctly rejected the appellants self-defense theory. When an accused invokes
Hence, appellants interposed the instant appeal, raising the following errors: self-defense, he thereby admits authorship of the crime. The burden of proof is thus shifted on
THE TRIAL COURT COMMITTED A REVERSIBLE ERROR WHEN IT DID NOT ACQUIT THE ACCUSED- him to prove all the elements of self-defense, to wit: (1) unlawful aggression on the part of the
APPELLANTS ON THE GROUND OF REASONABLE DOUBT. victim; (2) reasonable necessity of the means employed to repel the aggression; and (3) lack of
THE TRIAL COURT LIKEWISE COMMITTED A REVERSIBLE ERROR WHEN IT CONVICTED THE sufficient provocation on the part of the accused.[20]
ACCUSED-APPELLANTS OF MURDER.
THE TRIAL COURT FURTHER COMMITTED A REVERSIBLE ERROR AND ACTED WITH GRAVE ABUSE In the instant case, even if it was true that the initial act of aggression came from the deceased,
OF DISCRETION WHEN IT RENDERED THE SECOND DECISION DATED JULY 10, 1998. still the appellants plea of self-defense will not prosper. As stated above, the evidence
THE TRIAL COURT ALSO ERRED WHEN IT CONVICTED ALL THE ACCUSED-APPELLANTS. overwhelmingly shows that appellants Crisanto and Hilario were able to restrain the victim by
THE TRIAL COURT FURTHER ERRED WHEN IT RULED THE ACCUSED-APPELLANTS GUILTY OF the wrists. At that point, any unlawful aggression or danger on the lives of the appellants
CONSPIRACY AND SENTENCED THEM TO A UNIFORM PENALTY.[17] ceased, hence, it was no longer necessary for appellant Clarence to repeatedly stab the
The resolution of the instant case hinges on the credibility of the witnesses. The settled rule is victim. Verily, their act could no longer be interpreted as an act of self-preservation but a
that the matter of assigning value to a declaration on the witness stand is more competently perverse desire to kill.[21] Furthermore, the number of wounds sustained by the victim negates
performed by a trial judge who had the front-line opportunity to personally evaluate the self-defense. It certainly defies reason why the victim sustained a total of 15 wounds on the
witnesses demeanor, conduct, and behavior while testifying. In the absence of a clear showing different parts of his body if appellants were only defending themselves. Parenthetically, the
that some fact or circumstance of weight or substance had been overlooked, misunderstood or number of wounds was eloquently established by the physical evidence, which is a mute
misapplied, the trial judges assessment of the witnesses testimonies shall not be disturbed on manifestation of truth and ranks high in the hierarchy of trustworthy evidence.[22]
appeal.
From the attendant circumstances, it is evident that appellants collective and individual act of
A careful review of the records of the case at bar shows that the trial court did not miss any holding the victims wrists and delivering several stab blows demonstrated the existence of their
such material circumstance, nor did it commit any palpable error in upholding the facts as common design to kill the victim. Direct proof of an agreement concerning the commission of
established by the prosecution. We see no reason to doubt the positive and straightforward a felony and the decision to commit it is not necessary. Conspiracy, as in the instant case, can
be inferred from the acts of the three appellants which clearly manifest a concurrence of wills treachery. Verily, it is precluded from considering the attendance of a qualifying circumstance
and a common intent or design to commit a crime.[23] if the complaint or information did not allege such facts.[34] Even before the Revised Rules on
Anent the qualifying circumstance of treachery, we find no merit in appellants contention that Criminal Procedure[35] took effect on December 1, 2000, qualifying circumstances were
the trial cannot validly appreciate the same in its amended decision because the attendance of required to be so specified in the complaint or information, otherwise they cannot be
treachery was not one of the issues raised in their motion for reconsideration. Otherwise appreciated against the accused.
stated, appellants posit that the reconsideration of the judgment of conviction should be
limited only to the issues raised in their motion for reconsideration, i.e., their guilt or innocence In order that treachery may be considered, the following requisites must concur: (1) the
and/or the propriety of appreciating the qualifying circumstance of abuse of superior strength employment of means, method or manner of execution which would ensure the safety of the
which was not alleged in the information. malefactor from defensive or retaliatory acts on the part of the victim, no opportunity being
given to the latter to defend himself or to retaliate; and (2) the means, method, or manner of
Under Rule 121, Section 1 of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure,[24] a motion for execution were deliberately or consciously adopted by the offender.[36] Here, it is clear that
reconsideration of a judgment of conviction may be filed by the accused, or initiated by the treachery qualified the killing of the deceased to murder, considering that the appellants
court, with the consent of the accused. Likewise, under Rule 120, Section 7,[25] a judgment of deliberately restrained the victim so as to enable one of them to successfully deliver the stab
conviction may be modified or set aside only upon motion of the accused. [26] These provisions blows without giving the latter a chance to defend himself or to retaliate.
changed the previous rulings[27] of the Court to the effect that such modification may be made As regards the generic aggravating circumstance of use of motor vehicle, the trial court erred
upon motion of the fiscal, provided the same is made before a judgment has become final or in appreciating the same inasmuch as the prosecution failed to show that the tricycle was
an appeal has been perfected.[28]The requisite consent of the accused to such motion for deliberately used by the appellants to facilitate the commission of the crime or that the crime
reconsideration or modification is intended to protect the latter from having to defend himself could not have been committed without it. The use of motor vehicle is not aggravating where
anew from more serious offenses or penalties which the prosecution or the court may have the use thereof was merely incidental and was not purposely sought to facilitate the
overlooked.[29] Accordingly, once the judgment has been validly promulgated, any commission of the offense or to render the escape of the offender easier and his apprehension
reconsideration or amendment to correct a manifest substantial error, even if unwittingly difficult.[37]
committed by the trial court through oversight or an initially erroneous comprehension, can be The mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender was correctly appreciated in favor of
made only with the consent or upon the instance of the accused. Errors in the decision cannot appellants. To benefit an accused, the following requisites must be proven, namely: (1) the
be corrected unless the accused consents thereto, or himself moves for reconsideration of, or offender has not actually been arrested; (2) the offender surrendered himself to a person in
appeals from, the decision.[30] authority; and (3) the surrender was voluntary. A surrender to be voluntary must be
It must be stressed, however, that the protection against double jeopardy in the foregoing rules spontaneous, showing the intent of the accused to submit himself unconditionally to the
may be waived by the accused. Thus, when the accused himself files or consents to the filing of authorities, either because he acknowledges his guilt, or he wishes to save them the trouble
a motion for reconsideration or modification, double jeopardy cannot be invoked because the and expense necessarily incurred in his search and capture.[38]
accused waived his right not to be placed therein by filing such motion.[31] His motion gives the
court an opportunity to rectify its errors or to reevaluate its assessment of facts and conclusions In the case at bar, appellants voluntarily surrendered to the authorities on the same night of
of law and make them conformable with the statute applicable to the case in the new judgment the incident when they learned that the authorities were looking for them.[39] Though they did
it has to render.[32]The raison detre is to afford the court a chance to correct its own mistakes not give a statement regarding the stabbing incident, the mitigating circumstance of voluntary
and to avoid unnecessary appeals from being taken.[33] In effect, a motion for reconsideration surrender should nonetheless be considered in their favor. What matters is that they
or modification filed by or with consent of the accused renders the entire evidence open for spontaneously, voluntarily and unconditionally placed themselves at the disposal of the
the review of the trial court without, however, conducting further proceedings, such as the authorities. This act of respect for the law indicates a moral disposition favorable to their
taking of additional proof. reform.[40]
Under Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by Republic Act No. 7659, Murder is
Clearly, therefore, appellants cannot dictate upon the trial court which aspects of the judgment punishable by reclusion perpetua to death. With no generic aggravating circumstance and one
of conviction should be reviewed. Having filed a timely motion for reconsideration asking the generic mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender, the penalty imposable on the
court to acquit, or in the alternative, convict them of the lesser offense of homicide, appellants appellants, in accordance with Article 63 (3) of the Revised Penal Code, should be the minimum
waived the defense of double jeopardy and effectively placed the evidence taken at the trial period, which is reclusion perpetua.[41]
open for the review of the trial court. At any rate, the issue of the attendant qualifying With respect to the civil liability of the appellants, the award of moral and exemplary damages
circumstance in the case at bar was squarely raised by the appellants in their alternative prayer cannot be lumped together as was done by the trial court. These kinds of damages are different
for conviction for the lesser offense of homicide in view of the erroneous appreciation of the in nature, and require separate determination. Moral damages are awarded where the
qualifying circumstance of abuse of superior strength which was not alleged in the claimant experienced physical suffering, mental anguish, fright, serious anxiety, besmirched
information. Hence, the court a quo is not only empowered but also under obligation to rectify reputation, wounded feelings, moral shock, social humiliation, and similar injury as a result of
its mistake in appreciating the qualifying circumstance of abuse of superior strength instead of the felonious act.[42] The award of exemplary damages, on the other hand, is warranted when
the commission of the offense is attended by an aggravating circumstance, whether ordinary Costs de oficio.
or qualifying. In People v. Catubig,[43] we explained:
SO ORDERED.
The term aggravating circumstances used by the Civil Code, the law not having specified
otherwise, is to be understood in its broad or generic sense. The commission of an offense has G.R. NO.L-61776 TO NO.L-61861 23 March 1984
a two-pronged effect, one on the public as it breaches the social order and the other upon the REYNALDO R. BAYOT, petitioner, vs. SANDIGANBAYAN (SECOND DIVISION) and PEOPLE OF
private victim as it causes personal sufferings, each of which is addressed by, respectively, the THE PHILIPPINES, respondents.
prescription of heavier punishment for the accused and by an award of additional damages to
the victim. The increase of the penalty or a shift to a graver felony underscores the exacerbation Facts:
of the offense by the attendance of aggravating circumstances, whether ordinary or qualifying, Petitioner Reynaldo R. Bayot is one of the several persons accused in more than one
in its commission. Unlike the criminal liability which is basically a State concern, the award of hundred (100) counts of Estafa thru Falsification of Public Documents before the
damages, however, is likewise, if not primarily, intended for the offended party who suffers Sandiganbayan. The said charges stemmed from his alleged involvement, as a government
thereby. It would make little sense for an award of exemplary damages to be due the private auditor of the Commission on Audit assigned to the Ministry of Education and Culture, together
offended party when the aggravating circumstance is ordinary but to be withheld when it is with some officers/employees of the said Ministry, the Bureau of Treasury and the Teacher's
qualifying. Withal, the ordinary or qualifying nature of an aggravating circumstance is a Camp in Baguio City, in the preparation and encashment of fictitious TCAA checks for non-
distinction that should only be of consequence to the criminal, rather than to the civil, liability existent obligations of the Teacher's Camp resulting in damage to the government of several
of the offender. In fine, relative to the civil aspect of the case, an aggravating circumstance, million pesos. The first thirty-two (32) cases were filed on July 25, 1978. In the meantime,
whether ordinary or qualifying, should entitle the offended party to an award of exemplary petitioner ran for the post of municipal mayor of Amadeo, Cavite in the local elections held in
damages within the unbridled meaning of Article 2230 of the Civil Code.[44] January 1980. He was elected. On May 30, 1980, the Sandiganbayan promulgated a decision
As testified to by the widow of the deceased, the death of her husband brought grief and convicting herein petitioner and some of his co-accused in all but one of the thirty-two (32)
emotional suffering to their family.[45] Hence, they are entitled to moral damages in the amount cases filed against them. Whereupon, appeals were taken to this Court and the cases are now
of P50,000.00, pursuant to current jurisprudence.[46] Likewise, the presence of the qualifying pending review in G.R. Nos. L-54645-76. However, on March 16, 1982, Batas Pambansa Blg. 195
circumstance of treachery in the killing of the deceased justifies the award of P25,000.00 as was passed amending, among others, Section 13 of Republic Act No. 3019. Petitioner filed a
exemplary damages.[47] motion for reconsideration alleging that "to apply the provision of Batas Pambansa Blg. 195 to
the herein accused would be violative of the constitutional guarantee of protection against an
The award of actual damages should also be modified. In order that actual damages may be ex post facto law.
recovered, the amount actually expended in connection with the death of the victim must be
substantiated with a reasonable degree of certainty, premised upon competent proof and on Issue:
the best evidence obtainable by the injured party. In the instant case, the records show that Whether or not the retroactive application of Batas Pambansa Blg. 195 would
the amount of P65,288.50 awarded by the trial court as actual damages is not fully violate the Constitutional provision against enactment of ex post facto law.
substantiated by receipts.[48] However, as the heirs of the deceased actually incurred funeral
expenses, they are entitled to temperate damages.[49] In the recent case of People v. Held:
Abrazaldo,[50] we ruled that where the amount of actual damages cannot be determined NO. The Court finds no merit in petitioner's contention that Section 13 of Republic
because of absence or lack of receipts to prove the amount claimed, temperate damages in the Act 3019, as amended by Batas Pambansa Blg. 195, which includes the crime of Estafa thru
amount of P25,000.00 should be awarded. Falsification of Public Document as among the crimes subjecting the public officer charged
Finally, the civil indemnity in the amount of P50,000.00 is affirmed. In murder, the grant of civil therewith with suspension from office pending action in court, is a penal provision which
indemnity which has been fixed by jurisprudence at P50,000.00, requires no proof other than violates the constitutional prohibition against the enactment of ex post facto law. Paragraph 3
the fact of death as a result of the crime and proof of the accuseds responsibility therefor.[51] of Article 24 of the Revised Penal Code clearly states that suspension from the employment or
public office during the trial or in order to institute proceedings shall not be considered as
WHEREFORE, in view of all the foregoing, the Decision of the Regional Trial Court of Bangued, penalty. It is not a penalty because it is not imposed as a result of judicial proceedings. In fact,
Abra, Branch 2, in Criminal Case No. 1698, finding appellants, Clarence Astudillo, Crisanto if acquitted, the official concerned shall be entitled to reinstatement and to the salaries and
Astudillo @ Anteng or Enteng, and Hilario Astudillo @ Boda, guilty beyond reasonable doubt of benefits which he failed to receive during suspension. Those mentioned in paragraph Nos. 1, 3
the crime of murder and sentencing them to suffer the penalty of reclusion and 4 of said Article 24 are merely preventive measures before final judgment. Not being a
perpetua is AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION as to the civil liability. As modified, appellants are penal provision, therefore, the suspension from office, pending trial, of the public officer
ordered, jointly and severally, to pay the heirs of the deceased, Silvestre Aquino, Jr., the charged with crimes mentioned in the amendatory provision committed before its effectivity
amounts of P50,000.00 as civil indemnity, P50,000.00 as moral damages, P25,000.00 as does not violate the constitutional provision on ex post facto law.
temperate damages, and P25,000.00 as exemplary damages.
In the case at bar, the statute simply declares the CPP as an organized conspiracy for the
overthrow of the Government for purposes of example of SECTION 4 of the Act. The Act applies
PEOPLE VS. FERRER [48 SCRA 382; NOS.L-32613-14; 27 DEC 1972]
not only to the CPP but also to other organizations having the same purpose and their
successors. The Act’s focus is on the conduct not person.
Monday, February 09, 2009 Posted by Coffeeholic Writes
Labels: Case Digests, Political Law Membership to this organizations, to be UNLAWFUL, it must be shown that membership was
acquired with the intent to further the goals of the organization by overt acts. This is the
Facts: Hon. Judge Simeon Ferrer is the Tarlac trial court judge that declared RA1700 or the Anti- element of MEMBERSHIP with KNOWLEDGE that is punishable. This is the required proof of a
Subversive Act of 1957 as a bill of attainder. Thus, dismissing the information of subversion member’s direct participation. Why is membership punished. Membership renders aid and
against the following: 1.) Feliciano Co for being an officer/leader of the Communist Party of the encouragement to the organization. Membership makes himself party to its unlawful acts.
Philippines (CPP) aggravated by circumstances of contempt and insult to public officers,
subversion by a band and aid of armed men to afford impunity. 2.) Nilo Tayag and 5 others, for Furthermore, the statute is PROSPECTIVE in nature. Section 4 prohibits acts committed after
being members/leaders of the NPA, inciting, instigating people to unite and overthrow the approval of the act. The members of the subversive organizations before the passing of this Act
Philippine Government. Attended by Aggravating Circumstances of Aid or Armed Men, Craft, is given an opportunity to escape liability by renouncing membership in accordance with
and Fraud. The trial court is of opinion that 1.) The Congress usurped the powers of the judge Section 8. The statute applies the principle of mutatis mutandis or that the necessary changes
2.) Assumed judicial magistracy by pronouncing the guilt of the CPP without any forms of having been made.
safeguard of a judicial trial. 3.) It created a presumption of organizational guilt by being
members of the CPP regardless of voluntariness. The declaration of that the CPP is an organized conspiracy to overthrow the Philippine
Government should not be the basis of guilt. This declaration is only a basis of Section 4 of the
The Anti Subversive Act of 1957 was approved 20June1957. It is an act to outlaw the CPP and Act. The EXISTENCE OF SUBSTANTIVE EVIL justifies the limitation to the exercise of “Freedom
similar associations penalizing membership therein, and for other purposes. It defined the of Expression and Association” in this matter. Before the enactment of the statute and
Communist Party being although a political party is in fact an organized conspiracy to overthrow statements in the preamble, careful investigations by the Congress were done. The court
the Government, not only by force and violence but also by deceit, subversion and other illegal further stresses that whatever interest in freedom of speech and association is excluded in the
means. It declares that the CPP is a clear and present danger to the security of the Philippines. prohibition of membership in the CPP are weak considering NATIONAL SECURITY and
Section 4 provided that affiliation with full knowledge of the illegal acts of the CPP is punishable. PRESERVATION of DEMOCRACY.
Section 5 states that due investigation by a designated prosecutor by the Secretary of Justice
be made prior to filing of information in court. Section 6 provides for penalty for furnishing false The court set basic guidelines to be observed in the prosecution under RA1700. In addition to
evidence. Section 7 provides for 2 witnesses in open court for acts penalized by prision mayor proving circumstances/ evidences of subversion, the following elements must also be
to death. Section 8 allows the renunciation of membership to the CCP through writing under established:
oath. Section 9 declares the constitutionality of the statute and its valid exercise under freedom
if thought, assembly and association. 1. Subversive Organizations besides the CPP, it must be proven that the organization purpose
is to overthrow the present Government of the Philippines and establish a domination of a
FOREIGN POWER. Membership is willfully and knowingly done by overt acts.
Issues: 2. In case of CPP, the continued pursuance of its subversive purpose. Membership is willfully
and knowingly done by overt acts.
(1) Whether or not RA1700 is a bill of attainder/ ex post facto law.
The court did not make any judgment on the crimes of the accused under the Act. The Supreme
(2) Whether or Not RA1700 violates freedom of expression. Court set aside the resolution of the TRIAL COURT.

ALEJANDRO KATIGBAK v. SOLICITOR GENERAL


Held: The court holds the VALIDITY Of the Anti-Subversion Act of 1957. 259 Phil. 1024

A bill of attainder is solely a legislative act. It punishes without the benefit of the trial. It is the
NARVASA, J.:
substitution of judicial determination to a legislative determination of guilt. In order for a
These cases were certified to this Court by the Court of Appeals for resolution on
statute be measured as a bill of attainder, the following requisites must be present: 1.) The
appeal,[1] since the central issue involved is the constitutionality of Republic Act No. 1379, "An
statute specifies persons, groups. 2.) the statute is applied retroactively and reach past conduct.
Act Declaring Forfeiture in Favor of the State of Any Property Found To Have Been Unlawfully
(A bill of attainder relatively is also an ex post facto law.)
Acquired by Any Public Officer or Employee and Providing for the Proceedings Therefor."[1] As Appeal was taken from this verdict to the Court of Appeals by the Katigbaks which appeal, as
posed by the referral resolution,2 the question is whether or not said statute -- earlier stated, was certified to this Court.
" ** en cuanto autoriza la confiscacion en favor No less than 18 errors have been attributed by the Katigbaks to the Court a quo.[7] They
del Estado de las propiedades ilegalmente adquiridas por un funcionario o empleadodel Gobi concern mainly the character of R.A. No. 1379 as an ex post facto law, principally because it
erno antes de la aprobacion de la Ley ** es nula y anticonstitucional porque: imposes the penalty of forfeiture on a public officer or employee acquiring properties allegedly
(a) es una Ley ex-post in violation of said R.A. No. 1379 at a time when that law had not yet been enacted.[8]
facto que autoriza la confiscacion de una propiedad privada adquirida antes de Whatever persuasiveness might have been carried by the ruling on the issue of the learned Trial
la aprobacion de Judge in 1961, the fact is that the nature of R.A. No. 1379 as penal was in 1962 clearly and
la ley y obligael funcionario o empleado publico a explicar como adquirio sus propiedades priv categorically pronounced by this Court in Cabal v. Kapunan, Jr.[9] Citing voluminous
adas, compeliendo de esta forma a incriminarse a simismo, y authorities, the Court in that case declared that "forfeiture to the State of property of a public
en cierto modo autoriza la confiscacion de dicha propiedad sin debido proceso de la ley; y officer or employee which is manifestly out of proportion to his salary as such ** and his other
(b) porque autoriza la confiscacion de inmuebles previamente hipotecados de buena fe a una lawful income and the income from legitimately acquired property ** has been held ** to
persona." partake of the nature of a penalty"; and that "proceedings for forfeiture of property (although
The proceedings at bar originated from two (2) actions filed with the Court of First Instance of technically civil in form) are deemed criminal or penal, and, hence, the exemption of defendants
Manila. in criminal cases from the obligation to be witnesses against themselves is applicable
The first was Civil Case No. 30823, instituted by the Spouses Alejandro Katigbak and thereto."[10] The doctrine was reaffirmed and reiterated in 1971 in Republic v. Agoncillo.1 And
Mercedes Katigbak. In their complaint they prayed that: (1) the Solicitor General be enjoined germane is the 1977 ruling of the Court in de la Cruz v. Better Living, Inc.[2] -- involving among
from filing a complaint against them for forfeiture of property under the above mentioned R.A. others the issue of the validity and enforceability of a written agreement alleged to be in
No. 1379; (2) said statute be declared unconstitutional in so far as it authorizes forfeiture violation of Republic Act No. 3019, otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices
of properties acquired before its approval, or, alternatively, a new preliminary investigation of Act -- to the effect that "the provisions of said law cannot be given retroactive effect."
the complaint filed against Alejandro Katigbak by NBI officers be ordered; (3) properties The forfeiture of property provided for in Republic Act No. 1379 being in the nature of a penalty;
acquired by Alejandro Katigbak when he was out of the government service be excluded from and it being axiomatic that a law is ex post facto which inter alia "makes criminal an act done
forfeiture proceedings; and (4) the NBI officers and the Investigating Prosecutor before the passage of the law and which was innocent when done, and punishes such an act,"
(Leonardo Lucena) be sentenced to pay damages. or, "assuming to regulate civil rights and remedies only, in effect imposes a penalty or
The second action was Civil Case No. 31080, commenced by petition[3] filed by the Republic of deprivation of a right for something which when done was lawful," it follows that that penalty
the Philippines against Alejandro Katigbak, his wife, Mercedes, and his son, Benedicto, seeking of forfeiture prescribed by R.A. No. 1379 cannot be applied to acquisitions made prior to its
the forfeiture in favor of the State of the properties of Alejandro Katigbakallegedly gotten by passage without running afoul of the Constitutional provision condemning ex post facto laws
him illegally, in accordance with R.A. No. 1379. Said properties were allegedly acquired or bills of attainder.[3] But this is precisely what has been done in the case of
while Katigbak was holding various positions in the government, the last being that of an the Katigbaks. The Trial Court declared certain of their acquisitions in 1953, 1954 and 1955 to
examiner of the Bureau of Customs; and title to some of the properties were supposedly be illegal under R.A. No. 1379 although made prior to the enactment of the law, and imposed
recorded in the names of his wife and/or son. a lien thereon "in favor of the Government in the sum of P100,000.00." Such a disposition is,
The cases were jointly tried. The judgment thereafter rendered[4] (1) dismissed the complaint quite obviously, constitutionally impermissible.
and the counterclaim in Civil Case No. 30823, the first action; and (2) as regards Civil Case No. As to the issue of whether or not the Prosecuting Fiscal, Leonardo Lucena, should be made
31080, ordered "that from the properties (of Katigbak) enumerated in this decision as acquired answerable for damages because the filing of the forfeiture proceedings, Civil Case No. 31080,
in 1953, 1954 and 1955, shall be enforced a lien in favor of the Government in the sum of resulted from a preliminary investigation which was allegedly conducted by Fiscal Lucena in an
P100,000.00."[1] The judgment also declared that the "impatience of the Investigating arbitrary and highhanded manner, suffice it to state that the trial court found no proof of any
Prosecutor" during the preliminary inquiry into the charges filed against Katigbak for violation intention to persecute or other ill motive underlying the institution of Civil Case No. 31080. The
of R.A. No. 1379 did not amount to such arbitrariness as would justify annulment of the trial court further found that during the preliminary investigation by Fiscal Lucena on
proceedings since, after all, Katigbak was able to fully ventilate his side of the case in the trial September 13, 19, 24, 25 and 26, 1956, Alejandro Katigbak was assisted by reputable and
court;[2] that R.A. No. 1379 is not penal in nature, its objective not being the enforcement of a competent counsel, Atty. Estanislao A. Fernandez and Atty. Antonio Carag. The mere fact that
penal liability but the recovery of property held under an implied trust;3 that with respect to the preliminary investigation was terminated against the objection of Katigbak's counsel, does
things acquired through delicts, prescription does not run in favor of the offender;[4] that not necessarily signify that he was denied the right to such an investigation. What is more, the
Alejandro Katigbak may not be deemed to have been compelled to testify against his will since Trial Court's factual conclusion that no malice or bad faith attended the acts of public
he took the witness stand voluntarily.[5] The Katigbaks moved for reconsideration and/or new respondents complained of, and consequently no award of damages is proper, cannot under
trial. The Trial Court refused to grant a new trial but modified its decision by reducing the established rule be reviewed by this Court absent any showing of the existence of some
amount of "P100,000.00 in the dispositive portion ** to P80,000.00."[6] recognized exception thereto.
The foregoing pronouncements make unnecessary the determination of the other issues.
and Intelligence Task Group (ABRITG). Among those included in the ABRITG were petitioners
WHEREFORE, the judgment of the Court a quo, in so far as it pronounces the acquisitions of and petitioner-intervenors.
property by the appellants illegal in accordance with Republic Act No. 1379 and imposes a lien
thereon in favor of the Government in the sum of P80,000.00 is hereby REVERSED AND SET Acting on a media expose of SPO2 Eduardo delos Reyes, a member of the Criminal Investigation
ASIDE, but is AFFIRMED in all other respects. No pronouncement as to costs. Command, that what actually transpired was a summary execution and not a shoot-out
SO ORDERED. between the Kuratong Baleleng gang members and the ABRITG, Ombudsman Aniano Desierto
formed a panel of investigators to investigate the said incident. Said panel found the incident
WRIGHT vs CA G.R. No. 113213 August 15, 1994 Extradition, Ex post facto law as a legitimate police operation. However, a review board modified the panel’s finding and
recommended the indictment for multiple murder against twenty-six respondents including
FACTS: herein petitioner, charged as principal, and herein petitioner-intervenors, charged as
Petitioner, an Australian Citizen, was sought by Australian authorities for indictable accessories. After a reinvestigation, the Ombudsman filed amended informations before the
crimes in his country. Extradition proceedings were filed against him which ordered the Sandiganbayan, where petitioner was charged only as an accessory.
deportation of petitioner. Said decision was sustained by the Court of Appeals; hence,
petitioner came herein by way of review on certiorari, to set aside the order of deportation, The accused filed separate motions questioning the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan, asserting
contending that the provision of the Treaty giving retroactive effect to the extradition treaty that under the amended informations, the cases fall within the jurisdiction of the Regional Trial
amounts to an ex post facto law which violates Section 21 of Article VI of the Constitution. Court pursuant to Section 2 of R.A. 7975. They contend that the said law limited the jurisdiction
of the Sandiganbayan to cases where one or ore of the “principal accused” are government
ISSUE: Can extradition treaty be applied retroactively? officals with Salary Grade 27 or higher, or PNP officials with rank of Chief Superintendent or
higher. Thus, they did not qualify under said requisites. However, pending resolution of their
RULING: NO. Early commentators understood ex post facto laws to include all laws of motions, R.A. 8249 was approved amending the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan by deleting
retrospective application, whether civil or criminal. However, Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase, the word “principal” from the phrase “principal accused” in Section 2 of R.A. 7975.
citing Blackstone, The Federalist and other early U.S. state constitutions in Calder vs. Bull
concluded that the concept was limited only to penal and criminal statutes. Petitioner questions the constitutionality of Section 4 of R.A. 8249, including Section 7 which
provides that the said law shall apply to all cases pending in any court over which trial has not
As conceived under our Constitution, ex post facto laws are begun as of the approval hereof.
1) statutes that make an act punishable as a crime when such act was not an offense when
committed; 2) laws which, while not creating new offenses, aggravate the seriousness of a
crime; 3) statutes which prescribes greater punishment for a crime already committed; or, 4) Issues:
laws which alter the rules of evidence so as to make it substantially easier to convict a
defendant. (1) Whether or not Sections 4 and 7 of R.A. 8249 violate the petitioners’ right to due process
“Applying the constitutional principle, the (Court) has held that the prohibition applies only to and the equal protection clause of the Constitution as the provisions seemed to have been
criminal legislation which affects the substantial rights of the accused.” This being so, there is introduced for the Sandiganbayan to continue to acquire jurisdiction over the Kuratong
no absolutely no merit in petitioner’s contention that the ruling of the lower court sustaining Baleleng case.
the Treaty’s retroactive application with respect to offenses committed prior to the Treaty’s
coming into force and effect, violates the Constitutional prohibition against ex post facto laws. (2) Whether or not said statute may be considered as an ex-post facto statute.
As the Court of Appeals correctly concluded, the Treaty is neither a piece of criminal legislation
nor a criminal procedural statute. “It merely provides for the extradition of persons wanted for (3) Whether or not the multiple murder of the alleged members of the Kuratong Baleleng was
prosecution of an offense or a crime which offense or crime was already committed or committed in relation to the office of the accused PNP officers which is essential to the
consummated at the time the treaty was ratified.” determination whether the case falls within the Sandiganbayan’s or Regional Trial Court’s
jurisdiction.

LACSON VS. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY [301 SCRA 298; G.R. NO. 128096; 20 JAN 1999]
Held: Petitioner and intervenors’ posture that Sections 4 and 7 of R.A. 8249 violate their right
to equal protection of the law is too shallow to deserve merit. No concrete evidence and
Facts: Eleven persons believed to be members of the Kuratong Baleleng gang, an organized convincing argument were presented to warrant such a declaration. Every classification made
crime syndicate involved in bank robberies, were slain by elements of the Anti-Bank Robbery by the law is presumed reasonable and the party who challenges the law must present proof
of arbitrariness. The classification is reasonable and not arbitrary when the following concur:
(1) it must rest on substantial distinction; (2) it must be germane to the purpose of the law; (3)
must not be limited to existing conditions only, and (4) must apply equally to all members of ISSUES:
the same class; all of which are present in this case. 8. Are the communications sought to be elicited by the three questions covered by
executive privilege?
Paragraph a of Section 4 provides that it shall apply “to all cases involving” certain public 9. Did the Senate Committees commit grave abuse of discretion in citing Neri in
officials and under the transitory provision in Section 7, to “all cases pending in any court.” contempt and ordering his arrest?
Contrary to petitioner and intervenors’ argument, the law is not particularly directed only to
the Kuratong Baleleng cases. The transitory provision does not only cover cases which are in HELD:
the Sandiganbayan but also in “any court.” 4. The SC said that the communications sought to be elicited by the three questions
are covered by the presidential communications privilege, which is one type of executive
There is nothing ex post facto in R.A. 8249. Ex post facto law, generally, provides retroactive privilege.
effect of penal laws. R.A. 8249 is not a penal law. It is a substantive law on jurisdiction which is Using the above elements of presidential communications elicited by the three (3) questions
not penal in character. Penal laws are those acts of the Legislature which prohibit certain acts are covered by the presidential communications privilege.
and establish penalties for their violations or those that define crimes and provide for their
punishment. R.A. 7975, as regards the Sandiganbayan’s jurisdiction, its mode of appeal and First, the communications relate to a “quintessential and non-delegable power” of the
other procedural matters, has been declared by the Court as not a penal law, but clearly a President, i.e. the power to enter into an executive agreement with other countries. This
procedural statute, one which prescribes rules of procedure by which courts applying laws of authority of the President to enter into executive agreements without the concurrence of the
all kinds can properly administer justice. Not being a penal law, the retroactive application of Legislature has traditionally been recognized in Philippine jurisprudence.
R.A. 8249 cannot be challenged as unconstitutional. Second, the communications are “received” by a close advisor of the President. Under the
“operational proximity” test, petitioner can be considered a close advisor, being a member of
In People vs. Montejo, it was held that an offense is said to have been committed in relation to President Arroyo’s cabinet.
the office if it is intimately connected with the office of the offender and perpetrated while he Third, there is no adequate showing of a compelling need that would justify the limitation of
was in the performance of his official functions. Such intimate relation must be alleged in the the privilege and of the unavailability of the information elsewhere by an appropriate
information which is essential in determining the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. However, investigating authority. the record is bereft of any categorical explanation from respondent
upon examination of the amended information, there was no specific allegation of facts that Committees to show a compelling or citical need for the answers to the three (3) questions in
the shooting of the victim by the said principal accused was intimately related to the discharge the enactment of a law.
of their official duties as police officers. Likewise, the amended information does not indicate
that the said accused arrested and investigated the victim and then killed the latter while in 2. Yes. The Supreme Court said that Senate Committees committed grave abuse of discretion
their custody. The stringent requirement that the charge set forth with such particularity as will in citing Neri in contempt. The following reason among others was given by the SC:
reasonably indicate the exact offense which the accused is alleged to have committed in There was a legitimate claim of executive privilege. For the claim to be properly invoked, there
relation to his office was not established. must be a formal claim by the President stating the “precise and certain reason”for preserving
confidentiality. The grounds relied upon by Executive Secretary Ermita are specific enough,
Consequently, for failure to show in the amended informations that the charge of murder was since what is required is only that an allegation be made “whether the information demanded
intimately connected with the discharge of official functions of the accused PNP officers, the involves military or diplomatic secrets, closed-door Cabinet meetings, etc.” The particular
offense charged in the subject criminal cases is plain murder and, therefore, within the ground must only be specified, and the following statement of grounds by Executive Secretary
exclusive original jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court and not the Sandiganbayan. Ermita satisfies the requirement. “The context in which executive privilege is being invoked is
that the information sought to br disclosed might impair our diplomatic as well as economic
relations with the People’s Republic of China.”
NERI VS SENATE COMMITTEE (2008)

Background: CENTER FOR PEOPLE G.R. No. 189546


This case is about the Senate investigation of anomalies concerning the NBN-ZTE project. EMPOWERMENT IN
During the hearings, former NEDA head Romulo Neri refused to answer certain questions GOVERNANCE,
involving his conversations with President Arroyo on the ground they are covered by executive
privilege. When the Senate cited him in contempt and ordered his arrest, Neri filed a case
against the Senate with the Supreme Court. On March 25, 2008, the SC ruled in favor of Neri
and upheld the claimof executive privilege.
This case concerns the duty of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to disclose the source determines the steps the machine will take when the polls are opened on election
code for the Automated Election System (AES) technologies it used in the 2010 national and morning.[2] (Underscoring supplied)
local elections.
On June 24, 2009 the COMELEC granted the request[3] for the source code of the PCOS and the
On May 26, 2009 petitioner Center for People Empowerment in Governance (CenPEG), a non- CCS, but denied that for the DCS, since the DCS was a system used in processing the Lists of
government organization,[1] wrote respondent COMELEC, requesting a copy of the source code Voters which is not part of the voting, counting and canvassing systems contemplated by R.A.
of the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) programs, the Board of Canvassers 9369. According to COMELEC, if the source code for the DCS were to be divulged, unscrupulous
Consolidation/Canvassing System (BOC CCS) programs for the municipal, provincial, national, individuals might change the program and pass off an illicit one that could benefit certain
and congressional canvass, the COMELEC server programs, and the source code of the in-house candidates or parties.
COMELEC programs called the Data Capturing System (DCS) utilities.
Still, the COMELEC apparently did not release even the kinds of source code that it said it was
CenPEG invoked the following pertinent portion of Section 12 of Republic Act (R.A.) 9369, which approving for release. Consequently, on July 13, 2009, CenPEG once more asked COMELEC for
provides: the source code of the PCOS, together with other documents, programs, and diagrams related
to the AES. CenPEG sent follow-up letters on July 17 and 20 and on August 24, 2009.
xxxx
On August 26, 2009 COMELEC replied that the source code CenPEG wanted did not yet exist for
Once an AES technology is selected for implementation, the Commission shall promptly make the reasons: 1) that it had not yet received the baseline source code of the provider,
the source code of that technology available and open to any interested political party or Smartmatic, since payment to it had been withheld as a result of a pending suit; 2) its
groups which may conduct their own review thereof. customization of the baseline source code was targeted for completion in November 2009 yet;
3) under Section 11 of R.A. 9369, the customized source code still had to be reviewed by an
Section 2(12) of R.A. 9369 describes the source code as the human readable instructions that established international certification entity, which review was expected to be completed by
define what the computer equipment will do. This has been explained in an article: the end of February 2010; and 4) only then would the AES be made available for review under
a controlled environment.
Source code is the human readable representation of the instructions that control the
operation of a computer. Computers are composed of hardware (the physical devices Rejecting COMELECs excuse, on October 5, 2009 CenPEG filed the present petition
themselves) and software (which controls the operation of the hardware). The software for mandamus, seeking to compel COMELEC to immediately make its source codes available to
instructs the computer how to operate; without software, the computer is useless. Source CenPEG and other interested parties.
code is the human readable form in which software is written by computer programmers.
Source code is usually written in a programming language that is arcane and COMELEC claimed in its comment that CenPEG did not have a clear, certain, and well-defined
incomprehensible to non-specialists but, to a computer programmer, the source code is the right that was enforceable by mandamus because COMELECs duty to make the source code
master blueprint that reveals and determines how the machine will behave. available presupposed that it already had the same. COMELEC restated the explanation it gave
in its August 26, 2009 letter to CenPEG.
Source code could be compared to a recipe: just as a cook follows the instructions in a recipe
step-by-step, so a computer executes the sequence of instructions found in the software In its manifestation and omnibus motion, CenPEG did not believe that the source code was still
source code. This is a reasonable analogy, but it is also imperfect. While a good cook will use unavailable considering that COMELEC had already awarded to an international certification
her discretion and common sense in following a recipe, a computer follows the instructions entity the review of the same and that COMELEC had already been field testing its PCOS and
in the source code in a mechanical and unfailingly literal way; thus, while errors in a recipe CCS machines.
might be noticed and corrected by the cook, errors in source code can be disastrous, because
the code is executed by the computer exactly as written, whether that was what the On February 10, 2010 COMELEC filed a manifestation, stating that it had already deposited on
programmer intended or not x x x. February 9, 2010 the source code to be used in the May 10, 2010 elections with the Bangko
Sentral ng Pilipinas. Required to comment on this, CenPEG said on February 22, 2010 that the
The source code in voting machines is in some ways analogous to the procedures provided to manifestation did not constitute compliance with Section 12 of R.A. 9369 but only with Section
election workers. Procedures are instructions that are provided to people; for instance, the 11 of R.A. 8436.
procedures provided to poll workers list a sequence of steps that poll workers should follow
to open the polls on election morning. Source code contains instructions, not for people, but In its earlier comment, COMELEC claimed, reiterating what it said in its August 26, 2009 letter
for the computers running the election; for instance, the source code for a voting machine to CenPEG, that it would make the source code available for review by the end of February
2010 under a controlled environment. Apparently, this review had not taken place and was
overtaken by the May 10, 2010 elections. Decision: Yes, necessarily their exercise to discuss matters affecting their welfare or involving
public interest is not subjected to previous restraint or subsequent punishment unless there be
On June 21, 2010 CenPEG filed a manifestation and omnibus motion, reiterating its prayer for a showing of clear and present danger to a substantive evil that the State has a right to prevent.
the issuance of a writ of mandamus in this case notwithstanding the fact that the elections for The peaceable character of an assembly could be lost, however, by an advocacy or disorder. If
which the subject source code was to be used had already been held. It claimed that the source assembly is to be held in school premises, permit must be sought from its school authorities
code remained important and relevant not only for compliance with the law, and the purpose who are devoid to deny such request. In granting such permit, there may be conditions as to
thereof, but especially in the backdrop of numerous admissions of errors and claims of fraud. the time and place of an assembly to avoid disruption of classes or stoppage of work of non-
academic personnel. However, in violation of terms, penalty incurred should not be
The Court finds the petition and this last manifestation meritorious. disproportionate to the offense.

The pertinent portion of Section 12 of R.A. 9369 is clear in that once an AES technology is
selected for implementation, the Commission shall promptly make the source code of that United Pepsi Cola v. Laguesma [G.R. No. 122226, March 25, 1998]
technology available and open to any interested political party or groups which may conduct
their own review thereof. The COMELEC has offered no reason not to comply with this FACTS: Petitioner union filed a petition for certification election on behalf of the route
requirement of the law. Indeed, its only excuse for not disclosing the source code was that it managers at Pepsi-Cola Products Philippines, Inc. However, its petition was denied by the med-
was not yet available when CenPEG asked for it and, subsequently, that the review had to be arbiter and, on appeal, by the Secretary of Labor and Employment, on the ground that the route
done, apparently for security reason, under a controlled environment. The elections had managers are managerial employees and, therefore, ineligible for union membership pursuant
passed and that reason is already stale. to Art. 245 of the Labor Code.
Petitioner brought this suit challenging the validity of the order of the Secretary of Labor and
WHEREFORE, the Court GRANTS the petition for mandamus and DIRECTS the COMELEC to Employment. Its petition was dismissed by the Third Division for lack of showing that
make the source codes for the AES technologies it selected for implementation pursuant to R.A. respondent committed grave abuse of discretion. But petitioner filed a motion for
9369 immediately available to CenPEG and all other interested political parties or groups for reconsideration, pressing for resolution its contention that the first sentence of Art. 245 of the
independent review. Labor Code, so far as it declares managerial employees to be ineligible to form, assist or join
unions, contravenes the constitution.
SO ORDERED. Citing the Court’s ruling in Nasipit Lumber Co. v. National Labor Relations Commission,
petitioner argues that previous administrative determinations of the NLRC do not have the
effect of res judicata in this case, because “labor relations proceedings” are “non-litigious and
summary in nature without regard to legal technicalities.”

ISSUE: W/N res judicata applies to administrative proceedings?


MALABANAN V. RAMENTO
HELD: YES. The doctrine of res judicata certainly applies to adversary administrative
Facts: Petitioners were officers of the Supreme Student Council of Respondent University. They proceedings. As early as 1956, in Brillantes v. Castro, the Court sustained the dismissal of an
sought and were granted by the school authorities a permit to hold a meeting from 8am to action by a trial court on the basis of a prior administrative determination of the same case by
12am. Pursuant to such permit, along with other students, they held a general assembly at the the Wage Administration Service, applying the principle of res judicata. Recently, in Abad v.
Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science (VMAS) Basketball Court. The place indicated in such NLRC the Court applied the related doctrine of stare decisis in holding that the prior
permit, not in the basketball court as therein stated, but at the second floor lobby. At such determination that certain jobs at the Atlantic Gulf and Pacific Co. were project employments
gathering, they manifested in vehement and vigorous language their opposition to the was binding in another case involving another group of employees of the same
proposed merger of the Institute of Animal Science. They continued their language severely company. Indeed, in Nasipit Lumber Co., this Court clarified toward the end of its opinion that
critical of the university authorities and using megaphones in the process. There was, as a “the doctrine of res judicata applies . . . to judicial or quasi judicial proceedings and not to the
result, disturbance of classes being held. Also, non academic employees within hearing exercise of administrative powers.” Proceedings for certification election are quasi judicial in
distance, stopped their work because of noise created. They were asked to explain why they nature and, therefore, decisions rendered in such proceedings can attain finality.
should not be held liable for holding an assembly. At the very least, the principle of finality of administrative determination compels respect for
the finding of the Secretary of Labor that route managers are managerial employees as defined
Issue: Whether or not the suspension of students for one academic year was violative of the by law in the absence of anything to show that such determination is without substantial
constitutional rights of freedom of assembly and free speech? evidence to support it. Nonetheless, the Court, concerned that employees who are otherwise
supervisors may wittingly or unwittingly be classified as managerial personnel and thus denied Puerto Azul Land, Inc. (PALI) is the owner and developer of the Puerto Azul Complex situated
the right of self- organization, has decided to review the record of this case. in Ternate, Cavite. In order to finance its operations, it obtained loans from various banks.
However, PALI was unable to keep up with the payment of its obligations, both current and
Acosta vs. Court of Appeals those that were about to fall due. One of its creditors, the Export and Industry Bank (EIB) – later
substituted by Pacific Wide Realty and Development Corporation (PWRDC) – filed foreclosure
Facts: Petitioners are teachers from different public schools in Metro Manila. On various dates proceedings on PALIs mortgaged properties. PALI filed a petition for suspension of payments
in September and October 1990, petitioners did not report for work and instead, participated and rehabilitation, accompanied by a proposed rehabilitation plan and three (3) nominees for
in mass actions by public school teachers at the Liwasang Bonifacio for the purpose of the appointment of a rehabilitation receiver.
petitioning the government for redress of their grievances.
Petitioners were administratively On December 13, 2005, the RTC rendered a Decision approving PALIs petition for suspension
charged with such offenses as grave misconduct, gross neglect of duty, gross violation of civil of payments and rehabilitation.
service law, rules and regulations and reasonable office regulations, refusal to perform official In G.R. No. 178768
duty, gross insubordination, conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service and absence On March 3, 2005, EIB filed an urgent motion to order PALI and/or the mortgagor
without official leave. Petitioners failed to answer these charges. Following the investigations TUI/rehabilitation receiver to pay all the taxes due on Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No.
conducted by the DECS Investigating committees, Secretary Cariño found petitioners guilty as 133164. EIB claimed that the property covered by TCT No. 133164, registered in the name of
charged and ordered their immediate dismissal from the service. Petitioners appealed and the TUI, was one of the properties used to secure PALI’s loan from EIB.
CSC modified the said orders of Secretary Cariño to six (6) months suspension without pay.
 PALI opposed the motion, arguing that the rehabilitation courts stay order stopped the
Appeal to CA: Denied enforcement of all claims, whether for money or otherwise, against a debtor, its guarantors,
and its sureties not solidarily liable to the debtor; thus, TCT No. 133164 was covered by the stay
ISSUE: Whether Petitioner’s participation in the mass actions was an exercise of their order.
constitutional rights to peaceably assemble and petition the government for redress of The court reiterated that TCT No. 133164, under the name of TUI, was excluded from the stay
grievances order. In order to protect the interest of EIB as creditor of PALI, it may foreclose TCT No. 133164
and settle the delinquency taxes of third-party mortgagor TUI with the local government
HELD: These ‘mass actions’ were to all intents and purposes a strike; they constituted a of Pasay City.
concerted and unauthorized stoppage of, or absence from, work which it was the teachers’ PALI filed with the CA a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, ascribing
sworn duty to perform, undertaken for essentially economic reasons. grave abuse of discretion on the part of the rehabilitation court in allowing the foreclosure of
The ability to strike is not essential to the right of association. In the absence of statute, public a mortgage constituted over the property of an accommodation mortgagor, to secure the loan
employees do not have the right to engage in concerted work stoppages for any purpose. obligations of a corporation seeking relief in a rehabilitation proceeding.
On July 27, 2009, the Court ordered the consolidation of the two petitions.
Further, herein petitioners, are being penalized not because they exercised their right of
peaceable assembly and petition for redress of grievances but because of their successive ISSUE
unauthorized and unilateral absences which produced adverse effects upon their students for whether the terms of the rehabilitation plan are unreasonable and in violation of the non-
whose education they are responsible.
As aptly stated by the Solicitor General, “It is not the impairment clause
exercise by the petitioners of their constitutional right to peaceably assemble that was RULING
punished, but the manner in which they exercised such right which resulted in the temporary No. The terms of the rehabilitation plan are reasonable and does not violate the non-
stoppage or disruption of public service and classes in various public schools in Metro Manila. impairment clause
For, indeed, there are efficient and non-disruptive avenues, other than the mass actions in Under the Rules of Procedure on Corporate Rehabilitation, rehabilitation is defined as the
question, whereby petitioners could petition the government for redress of grievances.” restoration of the debtor to a position of successful operation and solvency, if it is shown that
It bears stressing that suspension of public services, however temporary, will inevitably derail its continuance of operation is economically feasible and its creditors can recover by way of the
services to the public, which is one of the reasons why the right to strike is denied government present value of payments projected in the plan, more if the corporation continues as a going
employees. It may be conceded that the petitioners had valid grievances and noble intentions concern than if it is immediately liquidated.
in staging the “mass actions,” but that will not justify their absences to the prejudice of innocent We find nothing onerous in the terms of PALIs rehabilitation plan. The restructuring of the
school children. Their righteous indignation does not legalize an illegal work stoppage. debts of PALI is part and parcel of its rehabilitation. Moreover, per findings of fact of the RTC
and as affirmed by the CA, the restructuring of the debts of PALI would not be prejudicial to the
67. Pacific Wide Realty and Dev’t Corp vs. Puerto Azul Land, Inc. interest of PWRDC as a secured creditor.

FACTS: We also find no merit in PWRDCs contention that there is a violation of the impairment clause.
In G.R. No. 180893 Section 10, Article III of the Constitution mandates that no law impairing the obligations of
contract shall be passed. This case does not involve a law or an executive issuance declaring
the modification of the contract among debtor PALI, its creditors and its accommodation 1952 - Timber License Agreement (TLA) 43 was issued to PICOP1. TLA is valid for 25 years or
mortgagors. Thus, the non-impairment clause may not be invoked. until 1977 and renewable for another 25 years. It was issued under the condition, among
others, that the DENR may amend or alter the description of the boundaries in the area covered
by the license agreement.
1969 – President Marcos signed the 1969 Document purported to be Presidential Warranty in
response to the request of the Board of Investments of PICOP for a warranty on the boundaries
ALVAREZ vs PICOP
the concession area under TLA 43.
1977 - TLA 43 (valid from 1952-1977) was renewed for another 25 years or until 2002.
December 3, 2009 1999 - DENR Administrative Order (DAO) No. 99-53 was issued providing for the conversion of
TLA to Integrated Forest Management Agreement2 (IFMA).This is a late response to the change
SUMMARY: in the
1 PICOP is a predecessor-in-interest of Bislig Bay Lumber Company, Inc (BBLCI) 2 A production-
In 1952, TLA 43 was issued to PICOP. It was valid for 25 years and renewable for sharing contract entered into by and between the DENR and a qualified applicant wherein the
another 25 years and with a condition that DENR can amend the boundaries covered by the DENR grants to the latter the exclusive right to develop, manage, protect and utilize a specified
license. Upon request of the board of investors if PICOP, President Marcos signed 1969 area of forestland and forest resource therein for a period of 25 years and may be renewed for
Document purportedly a Presidential Warrranty assuring PICOP of the boundaries convered by another 25- year period, consistent with the principle of sustainable development and in
the TLA. However, PICOP claimed that such warranty is a contract which guarantees perpetual
renewal of its license. In 1999, DAO 99-53 was issued providing for the conversion of TLA to
IFMA. PICOP applied for the conversion of its TLA which was already subsisting since 1952 and constitutional provisions on natural resources from the 1973 Constitution, which allowed the
was already renewed once in 1977. Without negotiating further with the DENR, PICOP filed a granting of licenses to private entities, to the present 1987 Constitution, which provides for co-
mandamus with RTC of Manila to compel DENR Sec Alvarez to issue the IFMA they are applying production, joint venture, or production-sharing agreements as the permissible schemes
for insisting that there should be automatic conversion, the 1969 Document is a contract and wherein private entities may participate in the utilization of forest products.
that it has complied with all the legal requirements for the conversion of its TLA to IFMA. RTC 10. Since the granting of timber licenses ceased to be a permissible scheme for the
granted the mandamus. CA affirmed. SC reversed. Hence, this motion for reconsideration. participation of private entities under the present Constitution, their operations should have
It was held that there is no law enjoining the DENR to issue the IFMA applied for because it is ceased upon the issuance of DAO No. 99-53, the rule regulating the schemes under the present
discretionary upon the Secretary after proper evaluation. The 1969 Document is also not a Constitution. This would be iniquitous to those with existing TLAs that would not have expired
contract but a mere reassurance of the boundaries of TLA 43. It cannot be construed to grant yet as of the issuance of DAO No. 99-53, especially those with new TLAs that were originally set
perpetual renewal of license because that would contravene Sec 2, Article 12 of the to expire after 10 or even 20 or more years. 

Constitution. Regarding the adminsitrative requirements, the Court held that PICOP submitted 11. The DENR thus inserted a provision in DAO No. 99-53 allowing these TLA holders to
the forest protection and reforestation plans and paid forest charges. PICOP is required to finish the period of their TLAs, but this time as IFMAs, without the rigors of going through a new
submit the NCIP certification mandated by RA 8371. Also, the approval of the Sangunians of application, which they have probably just gone through a few years ago. 
PICOP filed with the
ALL local government units (Surigao del Sur, Agusan del Sur, Compostela Valley and Davao DENR an application to have its TLA 43 converted into an IFMA. In the middle of the processing
Oriental) concerned. The approval of Surigao del Sur cannot be deemed as sufficient of PICOP’s application, however, PICOP refused to attend further meetings with the DENR.
compliance. Instead, on 2 September 2002, PICOP filed before the RTC of Quezon City a Petition for
Mandamus against then DENR Secretary Heherson T. Alvarez. PICOP seeks the issuance of a
DOCTRINE: The approval of the Sanggunian concerned is required by law, not because the local privileged writ of mandamus to compel the DENR Secretary to sign, execute and deliver an
government has control over such project, but because the local government has the duty to IFMA to PICOP. 
PICOP based its action on the 1969 Document which it claimed to be an
protect its constituents and their stake in the implementation of the project. Again, Section 26 enforceable contract protected by the non-impairment clause of the Constitution, and asserted
states that it applies to projects that "may cause pollution, climatic change, depletion of non- that it has complied with all the legal and constitutional requirements for the issuance of IFMA.
renewable resources, loss of crop land, rangeland, or forest cover, and extinction of animal or 
Among the requirements are (1) a consultation with and approval from the Sanggunian
plant species." The local government should thus represent the communities in such area, the concerned under Sections 26 
accordance with an approved CDMP, and under which both
very people who will be affected by flooding, landslides or even climatic change if the project parties share in its produce. (DAO 99-53) 

is not properly regulated, and who likewise have a stake in the resources in the area, and and 27 of the Local Government Code; and (2) a Certification from the National Commission on
deserve to be adequately compensated when these resources are exploited. Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) that the concession area does not overlap with any ancestral
domain. PICOP’s TLA No. 43 traverses the length and breadth of Surigao del Sur, Agusan del
FACTS: Sur, Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental. However, it secured only the approval of the
Sangunian of Surigao del Sur. PICOP claimed that it did not need to secure the certification from public service; and that, since VAT was never factored into the formula for computing toll fees,
NCIP because the subject lands are not ancestral domain its imposition would violate the non-impairment clause of the constitution.
RTC granted the Petition for Mandamus and award damages to PICOP. Upon motion for
reconsideration filed by DENR Secretary Alvarez, the damages awarded was deleted. The government avers that the NIRC imposes VAT on all kinds of services of franchise grantees,
CA affirmed RTC decision. Motion for reconsideration was denied.
Upon petition for review, including tollway operations; that the Court should seek the meaning and intent of the law from
the Supreme Court reversed the ruling of the the words used in the statute; and that the imposition of VAT on tollway operations has been
lower courts. Hence, this motion for reconsideration the subject as early as 2003 of several BIR rulings and circulars.

ISSUES and RULINGS: The government also argues that petitioners have no right to invoke the non-impairment of
contracts clause since they clearly have no personal interest in existing toll operating
1. Can the Court compel DENR to issue the IFMA applied for by PICOP? NO agreements (TOAs) between the government and tollway operators. At any rate, the non-
This issue hinges on these issues: impairment clause cannot limit the State's sovereign taxing power which is generally read into
5. Is there a law specifically enjoining the issuance of IFMA by the DENR? NO 
 contracts.
6. Is the 1969 Document a contract recognized under the non-impairment clause? NO.

 Issue:
7. Does the 1969 Document specifically enjoin the government to issue the IFMA? NO.
It is a mere assurance that the boundaries under TLA 43 will not be altered 
 May toll fees collected by tollway operators be subjected to VAT (Are tollway operations a
8. franchise and/or a service that is subject to VAT)?
9. 2. Did PICOP comply with all the administrative and statutory requirements for the
issuance of an IFMA? NO 
This issue hinges on these issues: Factual sub-issues 
 Ruling:
10. Did PICOP submit the required Five-Year Forest Protection Plan and Seven-Year
Reforestation Plan? YES 
 When a tollway operator takes a toll fee from a motorist, the fee is in effect for the latter's use
of the tollway facilities over which the operator enjoys private proprietary rights that its
11. Did PICOP pay all forest charges? YES 
Legal sub-issues 

contract and the law recognize. In this sense, the tollway operator is no different from the
12. Is PICOP required to acquire a Certification from the NCIP that the concession area
service providers under Section 108 who allow others to use their properties or facilities for a
does not overlap with any ancestral domain? YES 

fee.
13. Is PICOP required to consult with and acquire an approval from the Sanggunian
concerned under Sections 26 and 27 of the Local Government Code? YES, and it has to be from
Tollway operators are franchise grantees and they do not belong to exceptions that Section 119
all province concerned and not just Surigao del Sur. 

spares from the payment of VAT. The word "franchise" broadly covers government grants of a
special right to do an act or series of acts of public concern. Tollway operators are, owing to the
nature and object of their business, "franchise grantees." The construction, operation, and
maintenance of toll facilities on public improvements are activities of public consequence that
necessarily require a special grant of authority from the state.

A tax is imposed under the taxing power of the government principally for the purpose of raising
Diaz vs. Secretary of Finance (2011)
revenues to fund public expenditures. Toll fees, on the other hand, are collected by private
tollway operators as reimbursement for the costs and expenses incurred in the construction,
Facts:
maintenance and operation of the tollways, as well as to assure them a reasonable margin of
income. Although toll fees are charged for the use of public facilities, therefore, they are not
Petitioners Renato V. Diaz and Aurora Ma. F. Timbol (petitioners) filed this petition for
government exactions that can be properly treated as a tax. Taxes may be imposed only by the
declaratory relief assailing the validity of the impending imposition of value-added tax (VAT) by
government under its sovereign authority, toll fees may be demanded by either the
the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) on the collections of tollway operators. Court treated the
government or private individuals or entities, as an attribute of ownership.
case as one of prohibition.
People vs. Galit
Petitioners hold the view that Congress did not, when it enacted the NIRC, intend to include
[GR 51770, 20 March 1985]
toll fees within the meaning of "sale of services" that are subject to VAT; that a toll fee is a
"user's tax," not a sale of services; that to impose VAT on toll fees would amount to a tax on
Facts:
In August 23, 1977, Mrs. Natividad Fernando was found dead in her bedroom as a Facts: On 5 August 1994 the decomposing body of a 15 year old girl named Shirley Victore was
result of 7 wounds inflicted in her body. More than 2 weeks thereafter, the police authorities found among the bushes near a bridge in Barangay Poblacion, Santol, La Union who three (3)
of Montalban picked up defendant-appellant, Francisco Galit on suspicion of the murder on the days before was reported missing. According to a post-mortem examination conducted by Dr.
occasion of a robbery. When the case was referred to the NBI, NBI Agent Flores conducted a Arturo Llavore, a medico-legal officer of the NBI, the victim was raped and strangled to death.
preliminary interview of the suspect who allegedly gave evasive answers to his questions. The Unidentified sources pointed to Pacito Ordoo and Apolonio Medina as the authors of the crime.
following day, Francisco Galit allegedly voluntarily executed a “Salaysay” admitting his However, for lack of evidence then directly linking them to the crime, they were allowed to go
participation in the commission of the crime and implicating two other persons as his home. On 10 August 1994 the accused Pacito Ordoo and Apolonio Medina returned to the
companions. In reality, Galit had been obtained and interrogated almost continuously for 5 police station one after another and acknowledged that they had indeed committed the crime.
days, but to no avail as he consistently maintained his innocence. The investigating officers Acting on their admission, the police immediately conducted an investigation and put their
began to maul him and to torture him physically. Galit admitted what the investigating officers confessions in writing. The investigators however could not at once get the services of a lawyer
wanted him to admit to the crime and he signed the confession they prepared. Galit was to assist the two (2) accused in the course of the investigation because there were no practicing
charged with the Crime of Robbery with Homicide, was found guilty with the sentence of death lawyers in the Municipality of Santol, a remote town of the Province of La Union. The
penalty. Hence, the automatic review. investigation was conducted with the Parish Priest, the Municipal Mayor, the Chief of Police
and other police officers of Santol, La Union, in attendance to listen to and witness the giving
Issue: of the voluntary statements of the two (2) suspects who admitted their participation in the
Whether or not a monosyllabic answer to a long question suffices as a voluntary crime.
admission that may be used against the accused?
Issue: whether or not their confession is inadmissible due to the lack of counsel to assist them
Held:
during custodial investigation
Herein, the only evidence against Galit is his alleged confession. A long question
followed by a monosyllabic answer does not satisfy the requirements of the law that the Held: Under the Constitution and the rules laid down pursuant to law and jurisprudence, a
accused be informed of his rights under the Constitution and our laws. Instead there should be confession to be admissible in evidence must satisfy four (4) fundamental requirements: (a) the
several short and clear questions and every right explained in simple words in a dialect or confession must be voluntary; (b) the confession must be made with the assistance of
language known to the person under investigation. Galit is from Samar and there is no showing competent and independent counsel; (c) the confession must be express; and, (d) the
that he understands Tagalog. Moreover, at the time of his arrest, Galit was not permitted to confession must be in writing. Among all these requirements none is accorded the greatest
communicate with his lawyer, a relative, or a friend. In fact, his sisters and other relatives did respect than an accused's right to counsel to adequately protect him in his ignorance and
not know that he had been brought to the NBI for investigation and it was only about two weeks shield him from the otherwise condemning nature of a custodial investigation. The person
after he had executed the salaysay that his relatives were allowed to visit him. His statement being interrogated must be assisted by counsel to avoid the pernicious practice of extorting
does not even contain any waiver of right to counsel and yet during the investigation he was false or coerced admissions or confessions from the lips of the person undergoing interrogation
not assisted by one. At the supposed reenactment, again Galit was not assisted by counsel of for the commission of the offense. Hence, if there is no counsel at the start of the custodial
his choice. These constitute gross violations of his rights. investigation any statement elicited from the accused is inadmissible in evidence against him.
Trial courts are cautioned to look carefully into the circumstances surrounding the This exclusionary rule is premised on the presumption that the defendant is thrust into an
taking of any confession, especially where the prisoner claims having been maltreated into unfamiliar atmosphere and runs through menacing police interrogation procedures where the
giving one. Where there is any doubt as to the voluntariness, the same must be rejected in toto. potentiality for compulsion, physical and psychological, is forcefully apparent.

People vs. Lugod


[GR 136253, 21 February 2001]
G.R. No. 132154 June 29, 2000
Facts: A case of rape with homicide was filed against the accused, Clemente John Lugod, for
allegedly raping the eight-year old girl victim, Nairube J. Ramos and dumping her dead body in
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES
the grassy coconut plantation area.
vs On September 15, 1997 at around 7:00 p.m., Helen Ramos, the victim’s mother, was
asleep in her house together with her husband and their children, Nimrod, Neres and Nairube.
PACITO ORDOO and APOLONIO MEDINA At around 12:30 a.m., they noticed that Nairube was gone. The backdoor of their house was
left open where a pair of slippers that did not belong to the family was found. In the morning,
the police began their search for Nairube wherein a panty belonging to the victim was found,
as well as a black collared shirt belonging to the accused, Lugod. Witnesses testified that both of said Tubon and took away several personal properties belonging to Tubon. He was likewise
slippers and the shirt were worn by Lugod. Lugod was then brought to the police station where indicted for Arson for setting the victim’s house on fire.
he was temporarily incarcerated. Although he admitted to SPO2 Gallardo that he raped and
killed Nairube, Lugud refused to make a statement regarding the same.
After finding the burnt house and charred body of Tubon, Baranggay Captain Pagao confronted
On September 19, 1997, the Vice-Mayor visited the accused in his cell. In the course
Taboga, and the latter readily admitted that he killed Tubon and set her house on fire, causing
of his conversation with Lugod, Lugod allegedly confessed to the commission of the offense.
the whole house, including the dead body of the old woman, to be burned.
Lugod was charged for rape with homicide. After trial, Lugod was found guilty and was
sentenced to death. Hence, the automatic review.
Taboga was brought to the police station for further investigation. Mr. Mario Contaoi, a radio
Issue: Whether or not Lugod’s alleged confession can be used against him? announcer of DZNS, went to Police Station to interview the suspect. Again, Taboga admitted
killing the deceased and setting her and her house on fire.
Held: At the time of his arrest, records reveal that accused-appellant was not informed of his
constitutional rights to remain silent and his rights to counsel. There is also no evidence to Upon arraignment, accused-appellant entered separate pleas of "Not Guilty" to the crimes
indicate that he intended to waive these rights. Consequently, the accused-appellant’s act of charged and interposed an alibi. Accused-appellant also claimed that he was maltreated by the
confessing to SPO2 Gallardo that he raped and killed Nairube without the assistance of counsel policemen and forced to admit the crime. Regarding his admission to radio announcer Contaoi,
cannot be used against him for having transgressed accused-appellant’s rights under the Bill of he narrated that the interview was held inside the investigation room of the police station
Rights. This is a basic tenet of our Constitution which cannot be disregarded or ignored no where policemen were present and that the reporter acted as an agent for the prosecution.
matter how brutal the crime committed may be. Thus, he had to admit the crimes because he was afraid of the policemen.

Even if we were to assume that accused-appellant was not yet under interrogation
and thus, not entitled to his constitutional rights at the time he was brought to the police The RTC rendered judgment finding him guilty beyond reasonable doubt of both crimes.
station, the acts of accused-appellant subsequent to his apprehension cannot be characterized
as having been voluntarily made considering the peculiar circumstances surrounding his ISSUE: Whether or not confession made by the accused to a radio reporter, a private person,
detention. Amidst such a highly coercive atmosphere, accused-appellant’s claim that he was can be admitted as evidence against him.
beaten up and maltreated by the police officers raises a very serious doubt as to the
voluntariness of his alleged confession. HELD:

In addition, the records do not support the confession allegedly made by the Yes.
accused-appellant to the Mayor and Vice-Mayor of Cavinti. Records show that the Mayor of
Cavinti did not testify in the criminal trial. Moreover, the testimony of the Vice-Mayor with There is nothing in the record to show that the radio announcer colluded with the police
respect to the alleged confession made by the accused-appellant is not conclusive. authorities to elicit inculpatory evidence against accused-appellant. Neither is there anything
on record which even remotely suggests that the radio announcer was instructed by the police
As can be seen from the testimony of the Vice-Mayor, accused-appellant merely to extract information from him on the details of the crimes. Indeed, the reporter even asked
responded to the ambiguous questions that the Vice-Mayor propounded to him. He did not permission from the officer-in-charge to interview accused-appellant. Nor was the information
state in certain and categorical terms that he raped and killed Nairube. In fact, the Vice-Mayor obtained under duress. In fact, accused-appellant was very much aware of what was going
admitted that the accused-appellant did not tell him that he raped and killed Nairube. on. The records also show that accused-appellant not only confessed to the radio reporter but
to several others.

Accused-appellant failed to present convincing evidence to substantiate his claim that he was
PEOPLE VS TABOGA maltreated and compelled to confess. Where the defendants did not present evidence of
compulsion or duress or violence on their persons; where they failed to complain to the officers
FACTS: who administered the oaths; where they did not institute any criminal or administrative action
against their alleged intimidators for maltreatment; where there appeared to be no marks of
violence, on their bodies and where they did not have themselves examined by a reputable
Edralin Taboga was charged with Robbery with Homicide in an Information which reads that
physician to buttress their claim, all these should be considered as factors indicating the
with intent to gain, and with violence against persons, entered the house of one Francisca
voluntariness of the confession.
Tubon, and once inside, with treachery and abuse of superior strength, assault, attacked and
stabbed Tubon, thereby inflicting upon her mortal wounds which necessarily caused the death
The RTC did not err in admitting in evidence accused-appellant's taped confession. Such custody of the police authorities, who had already taken the statement of the witnesses who
confession did not form part of custodial investigation. It was not given to police officers but to were then before Judge Dicon for the administration of their oaths on their statements.
a media man in an apparent attempt to elicit sympathy. The record even discloses that accused- At any rate, while it is true that Juanito’s extrajudicial confession before Judge Dicon was made
appellant admitted to the Baranggay Captain that he clubbed and stabbed the victim even without the advice and assistance of counsel and hence inadmissible in evidence, it could
before the police started investigating him at the police station. Besides, if he had indeed been however be treated as a verbal admission of the accused, which could be established through
forced into confessing, he could have easily asked help from the newsman. the testimonies of the persons who heard it or who conducted the investigation of the accused.

People of the Philippines vs. Juanito Baloloy, G.R. No. 140740, April 12, 2002 Narciso vs. Cruz

Facts: Facts: After a preliminary investigation, Narciso Cruz was charged with the crime of parricide
On August 3, 1996, the body of Genelyn Camacho was found at the waterfalls of Barangay for allegedly killing his wife. He was thereby detained. He then filed a motion for reinvestigation
Inasagan, Aurora, Zamboanga del Sur. The body was discovered by Juanito Baloloy. and to lift warrant of arrest.
Barangay Captain Ceniza testified that during Genelyn’s wake Juanito voluntarily told her the Also, Cruz filed an ex-parte motion for bail. The prosecutor made no objection. The
circumstances surrounding the incident and how he raped Genelyn which led to the latter’s motion was granted on the same day, allowing the accused to post bail at P150,000.
death. Flor Cruz, sister of the deceased wife, filed a Motion to lift order allowing accused to post
Ceniza then turned over Juanito to a policeman who brought him to the police station, and took bail.
the affidavits of the witnesses. The following day, a complaint was filed against Juanito.
On August 4, 1996, several people came to the courtroom of Presiding Judge Celestino V. Dicon Issue: Is the grant of bail valid?
to swear to their affidavits before him. Judge Dicon asked Juanito several questions where the
latter spontaneously narrated how he killed Genelyn and dropped her body into the precipice. Ruling:
During his investigation by the police officers and by Judge Dicon, Juanito was never assisted No. Cruz was charged with parricide which is punishable by reclusion perpetua. When
by a lawyer. the penalty prescribed by law is reclusion perpetua, a hearing must be conducted by the trial
Juanito was charged with the crime of rape with homicide. Subsequently, the trial court judge before the bail can be granted. Without such hearing, the order granting bail is void for
convicted Juanito of rape with homicide and imposed on him the penalty of death. having been issued with grave abuse of discretion.
Issue: In the case, there was no basis for the granting of the bail. No hearing was conducted on
Whether or not the trial court erred in admitting the alleged confession of the accused Juanito the application for bail – summary or otherwise. The CA even found that only 10 minutes had
Baloloy to Barangay Captain Ceniza and Judge Dicon and its admissibility. elapsed between the filing of the Motion and the granting of bail. Such lapse of time could not
Ruling: be deemed sufficient for the trial court to receive and evaluate any evidence.
It has been held that the constitutional provision on custodial investigation does not apply to a Even if the prosecutor did not object to the motion, the judge still had no basis to grant
spontaneous statement, not elicited through questioning by the authorities but given in an the bail. The judge had no reason to presume that that prosecutor knew what he was doing. It
ordinary manner whereby the suspect orally admits having committed the crime. Neither can is
it apply to admissions or confessions made by a suspect in the commission of a crime before he the judge’s duty first to determine if evidence of guilt is strong before bail is granted.
is placed under investigation. What the Constitution bars is the compulsory disclosure of
incriminating facts or confessions. The rights under Section 12 of the Constitution are Defensor-Santiago v Vasquez; G.R. Nos. 99289-90; 27 Jan 1993; 217 SCRA 633
guaranteed to preclude the slightest use of coercion by the state as would lead the accused to
admit something false, not to prevent him from freely and voluntarily telling the truth. FACTS:
Petitioner posted a cash bond for her provisionary liberty in connection with an
In the instant case, Juanito voluntarily narrated to Ceniza, in a spontaneous answer and freely information filed against her for violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. The
and voluntarily given in an ordinary manner, that he raped Genelyn. It was given before he was Sandiganbayan issued a hold-departure order after it was revealed in the media that she
arrested or placed under custody for investigation in connection with the commission of the intended to leave the country to study.
offense. ISSUE(S):
Whether or not the hold-departure order violates petitioner’s right to travel.
However, as far as the custodial investigation of Judge Dicon is concerned, the conduct of such RULING:
NO. The hold-departure order is but an exercise of the court’s inherent power to
was in violation of the constitutional rights of Juanito. It is settled that at the moment the preserve and to maintain the effectiveness of its jurisdiction over the case and the person of
accused voluntarily surrenders to, or is arrested by, the police officers, the custodial the accused. Under the obligations assumed by petitioner in her bail bond she holds herself
investigation is deemed to have started. So, he could not thenceforth be asked about his amenable at all times to the orders and processes of the court, she may legally be prohibited
complicity in the offense without the assistance of counsel. Judge Dicon’s claim that no from leaving the country during the pendency of the case.
complaint has yet been filed and that neither was he conducting a preliminary investigation Petition is DENIED for lack of merit.
deserves scant consideration. The fact remains that at that time, Juanito was already under the
Elvira Agullo, petitioner, vs. Sandiganbayan and People of the Philippines, respondents, G.R. of the prosecution’s evidence. This course of action is impermissible for the evidence of the
No. 132926. July 20, 2001 prosecution clearly cannot sustain a conviction in an unprejudiced mind.
“The constitutional presumption of innocence is not an empty platitude meant only
Facts: to embellish the Bill of Rights. Its purpose is to balance the scales in what would otherwise be
an uneven contest between the lone individual pitted against the People of the Philippines and
On July 14, 1986, an audit conducted by Ignacio Gerez, Auditing Examiner III, all the resources at their command. Its inexorable mandate is that, for all the authority and
discovered a cash shortage of P26,404.26 on Elvira Agullo’s accountability. Subsequently, she influence of the prosecution, the accused must be acquitted and set free if his guilt cannot be
was charged with malversation of public funds. proved beyond the whisper of doubt.”
Upon arraignment, accused Agullo, assisted by counsel de officio, pleaded not The decision of the Sandiganbayan and its Resolution are hereby reversed and set
guilty to the charge, after which the Sandiganbayan conducted a pre-trial on 11 February 1990. aside. Petitioner Elvira Agullo is hereby acquitted on grounds of reasonable doubt.
Agullo admitted in effect the fact of shortage in the amount stated in the
Information. Notwithstanding, Agullo persistently professed her innocence of the charge and
categorically denied having malversed or converted the public funds in question. People of the Philippines vs Sergio Bato and Abraham Bato,
At the witness stand, Agullo narrated that on October 22, 1985, burdened with the G.R. No. 113804, January 16, 1998
thought that she failed to give the salary of the permanent employees, she went to report for
work despite not feeling well. However, while walking on the street, she collapsed and lost Facts:
consciousness. She awakened in a hospital bed of St. Pauls Hospital where she was confined for
over a week. Hence, she lost the subject amount in a fortuitous event. The two accused were charged with murder.
The Sandiganbayan struck down the defense as incredible and without basis and On January 15, 1990, the accused were arraigned in the Waray dialect which they
rendered its decision, convicting Agullo of the crime of malversation of public funds, understood and spoke. Assisted by Counsel Benjamin Pore, both pleaded not guilty.
ratiocinating principally that no evidence has been presented linking the loss of the government Aside from the doctor who conducted the post mortem examination, the only other
funds with the alleged sudden heart attack of the accused. witness for the prosecution was Ernesto Jr. who was only able to establish the following
circumstances: (1) that the Bato brothers invited the victim and his son for a drink; (2) after two
Issue: hours of drinking, said brothers suddenly tied the hands of the older Flores and took him away;
(3) the following day, the body of the victim, which sustained several hack and stab wounds,
Whether or not the Sandiganbayan undoubtedly disregarded or overlooked certain was recovered about five kilometers away from where he was last seen by the witness.
evidence of substance which bear considerable weight in the adjudication of Agullo’s guilt or On the other hand, the accused raised the defense of denial. They maintained that
the affirmation of her constitutional right to be presumed innocent until proven otherwise. their identification as the alleged perpetrators of Ernesto’s murder is merely an afterthought,
necessitated by a death of strong evidence on the part of the prosecution. They presented as
Ruling: witness Pfc. Benjamin Montanejos, who affirmed that the entry he made in the police
blotter did not mention the accused as suspects to the crime. He further testified that it was
In the case before us, the Sandiganbayan undoubtedly disregarded or overlooked the barangay captain who reported the incident to the police, contradicting the claim of Ernesto
certain evidence of substance which, to a large extent, bear considerable weight in the Jr. that he did so.
adjudication of petitioner’s guilt or the affirmation of her constitutional right to be presumed After due trial, the trial court rendered a decision convicting the accused.
innocent until proven otherwise.
Upon thorough scrutiny of the evidence adduced by both prosecution and defense,
we hold that Agullo has satisfactorily overcome and rebutted by competent proof, the prima Issue:
facie evidence of conversion so as to exonerate her from the charge of malversation. To this
end, petitioner presented evidence that satisfactorily prove that not a single centavo of the Whether or not the court erred in finding there was positive identification of the
missing funds was used for her own personal benefit or gain. accused, a violation of their right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.
True enough, the evidence adduced by the defense reveals sufficient circumstances
to establish the strongest degree of probability that the public funds subject of the criminal Ruling:
indictment for malversation was lost during that fateful day of October 22, 1985, where Agullo
suffered a stroke on the streets as she was then on her way to the MPWH Regional Office. The conviction of Appellant Abraham Bato is based on circumstantial evidence
Notably, the Sandiganbayan, in convicting petitioner, obviously relied more on the gleaned from the sole testimony of the son of the deceased. While it is true that in the absence
flaws and deficiencies in the evidence presented by the defense, not on the strength and merit of direct proof, a judgment of conviction based on circumstantial evidence can be upheld only
if the circumstances proven constitute an unbroken chain leading to one fair and reasonable
conclusion that the defendants are guilty, to the exclusion of any other conclusion. The the burden to overcome such presumption of innocence by presenting the quantum of
circumstances proved must be concordant with each other, consistent with the hypothesis that evidence required. The courts are required to put the prosecution evidence through the
the accused is guilty and, at the same time, inconsistent with any hypothesis other than that of crucible of a severe testing.
guilt. As a corollary to the constitutional precept that the accused is presumed innocent until When the circumstances are capable of two or more inferences, as in this case, one
the contrary is proved, a conviction based on circumstantial evidence must exclude each and of which is consistent with innocence and the other is compatible with guilt, the presumption
every hypothesis consistent with his innocence. of innocence must prevail, and the court must acquit.
In this case, there is absolutely no evidence of what transpired during the interval The duty to prove the guilt of an accused is reposed in the State. Law enforcers and
of the acussed tying the hands of the victim up to the time his body was discovered. The public officers have the duty to preserve the chain of custody over the seized drugs. This
prosecution, in effect, asked the courts merely to guess or to surmise that the accused must guarantee of the integrity of the evidence to be used against an accused goes to the very heart
have killed the victim during such interregnum. of his fundamental rights. In a prosecution for violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act, the
In the instant case, the totality of the prosecution evidence does not constitute an existence of the dangerous drug is a condition sine qua non for conviction. The dangerous drug
unbroken chain leading beyond reasonable doubt to the guilt of the accused. is the very corpus delicti of the crime.
The Constitution mandates that an accused shall be presumed innocent until the The identity of the prohibited drug must be established with moral certainty. Apart
contrary is proven beyond reasonable doubt. Where the State fails to meet the quantum of from showing that the elements of possession or sale are present, the fact that the substance
proof required to overcome the constitutional presumption, the accused is entitled to an illegally possessed and sold in the first place is the same substance offered in court as exhibit
acquittal regardless of the weakness or even the absence of his defense. By constitutional fiat, must likewise be established with the same degree of certitude as that needed to sustain a
the burden of proof is accordingly vested on the prosecution. guilty verdict. The corpus delicti should be identified with unwavering exactitude.
The state failed to present sufficient evidence to overturn the constitutional In this case, it was admitted that it was SPO3 Yadao, the assigned investigator, who
presumption of innocence, hence, the assailed Decision is reversed and set aside and Abraham marked the seized items, and only upon seeing the items for the first time at the police station.
Bato is acquitted on reasonable doubt. Moreover, there was no physical inventory made or photographs of the seized items taken
under the circumstances. There was also no mention that representatives from the media and
People of the Philippines vs Ronaldo de Guzman, G.R. No. 186498, March 26, 2010 from the DOJ, and any elected official, were present during this inventory. The prosecution
never explained the reasons for these lapses. Thus, we find no justifiable ground for such non-
Facts: compliance.
Readily apparent in the prosecution’s evidence, likewise, is a gaping hole in the chain
Ronaldo de Guzman was charged with Illegal Sale of Dangerous Drugs, punishable of custody of the seized illegal drugs. The length of time that lapsed from the seizure of the
under Republic Act (R.A.) No. 9165. items from De Guzman until they were given to the investigating officer for marking is too long
Through a buy-bust operation, accused was arrested and brought to the police to be inconsequential. And it took yet more time before the same were submitted to the PNP
station. Crime Laboratory, and without any clear explanation on who had custody in the meantime. This
At the police station, De Guzman and the items seized during the buy-bust operation vacuum in the chain of custody of the seized items cannot simply be brushed aside.
were turned over to the police investigator who entered the incident in the police blotter. He These circumstances cast a strong shadow of doubt on the identity and integrity of
then placed his initials on the packets of suspected shabu, which were later submitted to the the evidence presented before the court.
Philippine National Police (PNP) Crime Laboratory. Confirmatory tests revealed that the Indeed, the prosecution’s failure to prove that the specimen submitted for
substance in the packets that appellant handed to SPO1 Llanillo was indeed shabu. laboratory examination was the same one allegedly seized from appellant is fatal to the
At the trial, appellant denied the charges against him. The trial court found De prosecution’s case. Hence, Ronaldo de Guzman is acquitted of the crime charged.
Guzman guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime charged and such conviction was affirmed
by the Court of Appeals.
People of the Philippines, plaintiff-appellee, vs. Eloy Magsi et al., defendants, Teodoro del
Issue: Rosario, defendant- appellant, G.R. No. L-32888, August 12, 1983

Whether or not the unbroken chain of custody of the evidence necessary for the
accused’s conviction was duly established. Facts:

Ruling: Eloy Magsi, Juan Ponce, Perfecto Arce, Gerardo Flores, Opring Olazo, Teodoro del
Rosario and Peter Doe where accused of attacking, assaulting and shooting Jesus Gallardo
The Constitution mandates that an accused in a criminal case shall be presumed causing the latter’s death.
innocent until the contrary is proven beyond reasonable doubt. The prosecution is laden with
On August 20, 1970, defendat-appellant was apprehended and was scheduled for
arraignment.
Altogether, this case was set and rescheduled for six (6) times. Of the six hearing Facts:
dates, accused at two instances entered a qualified plea of guilty.
Recorded proceedings showed that de officio counsel Atty. Rivera and accused were Rolando Rivera was charged of willfully, unlawfully and feloniously, and maliciously
hardly afforded by the Court any opportunity to discuss the case together, and the qualified having carnal knowledge of his 13 year old daughter, Erlanie D. Rivera, against the latters will
plea of guilty resulted from the Court’s prodding rather than from accused's spontaneous and without her consent.
volition. At the second instance the Court knew accused's prior plea of guilty by alleged duress During arraignment on September 30, 1997, the accused, duly assisted by
employed on him by the other accused. Accused's allegation of duress prompted his lawyer to counsel de oficio, pleaded not guilty to the crime charged and trial was held.
move for the resetting of the case for the study and presentation of possible mitigating The prosecution presented as its witnesses complainant Erlanie Rivera, her aunt,
circumstances. Subsequently, several resetting of the hearing of the case happened until Marietta Pagtalunan, and Dr. Demetria Barin, who conducted the physical examination of
October 19, 1970 when Atty. Cariaso outrightly informed the Court that the accused was ready complainant.
to enter an unqualified plea of guilty and hearing was conducted that day. The defense also presented its evidence and accused, his sister, Concepcion Sayo,
Based on accused's plea of guilty without any evidence for the prosecution on any and Natividad Pinlac, Records Officer of the Escolastica Romero District Hospital were
of the alleged aggravating circumstances nor accused's evidence on duress, the Court rendered presented as witnesses. Accused denied that he raped Erlanie Rivera. He alleged that the rape
its decision the next day finding the accused guilty of the offense charged. charge was filed against him because his wife had a paramour and resented him because he
hurt her. The defense presented a letter to accused written by his wife, asking him to sign a
Issue: document so that she could attend to it before he got out of prison. The defense also offered
as evidence a document, designated as Waiver of Rights, signed by accused, in which he
Whether or not the Trial Court erred in not making an inquiry as to the extent of the acknowledged that he was a tenant of a parcel of land and that he waived and voluntarily
force applied by Eloy Magsi and his companions upon the accused Teodoro del Rosario, when surrendered his right over the said landholding to a certain Ponciano Miguel, a cousin of his
they ordered him to kill Jesus Gallardo, thus, not affording the accused the right to be heard. wife. He said that he signed the document because his wife’s relatives promised him that he
would get out of prison after signing the document. Another witness for the defense was
Ruling: Concepcion Sayo, accused’s sister, who testified that accused stayed in their house during the
entire month of March, except in March 19, 1997. The last defense witness was Natividad
In a long line of cases, the Court has long been commenting on the necessity for Pinlac, Records Officer of the Escolastica Romero District Hospital, who identified a
strict and substantial compliance with every court’s obligation to an accused. Thus, “while there certification, dated April 29, 1999, in which it was stated that Zaira Rivera was confined at that
is no law requiring it, yet in every case under the plea of guilty where the penalty may be death, hospital from March 1 to March 2, 1997.
it is advisable for the court to call witnesses for the purpose of establishing the guilt and the On June 22, 1999, the trial court rendered a decision finding the accused guilty
degree of culpability of the defendant” and “the Court should be sure that the defendant fully beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of rape as charged.
understands the nature of the charges preferred against him and the character of the
punishment to be imposed before sentencing him...”. Issue:
In the case at bar, the Court could have complied, as it failed to do so the first time,
with its bounden duty to apprise and advise the accused of the seriousness of the charges, the Whether or not the court failed to consider the evidence of the Accused and
meaning of the qualifying and modifying circumstances, and gravity of the penalty that may be ruled with partiality in violation of the accused’s right to be heard.
imposed on him despite the plea of guilty, as well as received prosecution's evidence on the
alleged aggravating circumstances attendant to the commission of the offense charged. But Ruling:
these considerations notwithstanding, sans any evidence whatsoever from the prosecution nor
from the defense, after Atty. Cariaso's manifestation, and its trite queries addressed to the Accused pointed out that trial judge’s questions propounded to him during his cross-
accused whether he confirmed the same or not, the Court proceeded to decide the case. examination was an indication of the latter’s partiality for the prosecution.
The conduct of the court a quo taken in the light of the foregoing decisions clearly Where the trial court is judge both of the law and of the facts, it is oftentimes
established the fact that it had been remiss in its duties to the herein accused, who was necessary in the due and faithful administration of justice for the presiding judge to re-examine
convicted on an improvident plea of guilty. The case is remanded to the Court a quo for a witness so that his judgment, when rendered, may rest upon a full and clear understanding
rearrangement and further proceedings. of the facts. The trial judge merely wanted to clarify certain points relating to the defense of
accused-appellant and not to establish his guilt. It is a judge’s prerogative to ask questions to
ferret out the truth. It cannot be taken against him if the questions he propounds reveals
People of the Philippines vs. Rolando Rivera, G.R. No. 139180, July 31, 2001 certain truths which, in turn, tend to destroy the theory of one party. “Trial judges in this
jurisdiction are judges of both the law and the facts, and they would be negligent in the The RTC committed a very serious error in promulgating a decision after denying the
performance of their duties if they permitted a miscarriage of justice as a result of a failure to demurrer to evidence filed by appellant upon prior leave of court, without first giving appellant
propound a proper question to a witness which might develop some material bearing upon the the opportunity to present his evidence.
outcome. In the exercise of sound discretion, he may put such question to the witness as will
enable him to formulate a sound opinion as to the ability or the willingness of the witness to If the court denies the motion for dismissal, the accused may adduce evidence in his
tell the truth. A judge may examine or cross-examine a witness. He may propound clarificatory defense. When the accused filed such motion to dismiss without express leave of court, he
questions to test the credibility of the witness and to extract the truth. He may seek to draw waives the right to present evidence and submits the case for judgment on the basis of the
out relevant and material testimony though that testimony may tend to support or rebut the evidence for the prosecution.
position taken by one or the other party…”.
The decision of the Regional Trial Court finding accused-appellant guilty of the crime Contrary to the RTC’s assertion in its decision that the demurrer to evidence was
of rape is affirmed. denied, the records of the case do not reveal that there was any prior order denying appellant’s
demurrer to evidence before the rendition of the assailed judgment. Evidently, the trial court
violated the provisions of Section 15, Rule 119 of the Rules on Criminal Procedure. Appellant
People of the Philippines vs. Oscar Alcanzado, G.R. No. 138335, May 20, 2004 had filed a motion for leave to file a demurrer to evidence which was granted by the RTC and
therefore upon denial of his demurrer, if indeed it was denied, the trial court should have given
Facts: appellant the opportunity to present his evidence. Equally astonishing is the fact that
appellant’s counsel did not raise said irregularity as an issue in the RTC or in this Court. In effect,
Oscar Alcanzado was accused of Murder. appellant has not been accorded due process.

On the early morning of June 17, 1998, the Barangay Tanods of Bel-Air, while on Due to the procedural unfairness and complete miscarriage of justice in the handling
duty, heard two (2) shots; when they investigated they found a dead body of the victim of the proceedings in the RTC, a remand of the case for reception of defense evidence is
with two (2) gunshot wounds inside the storeroom of TGIF American Bar being guarded by the warranted. The constitutional right of the accused to be heard on his defense has been violated.
accused. The accused, who was the security guard of the TGIF, surrendered his service firearm
to policeman Bagon which was found to have spent two (2) spent shells. The ballistic report People vs. Bayya
states that the two (2) spent shells were fired from the gun surrendered by the accused to
policeman Bagon. FACTS:
During arraignment, accused pleaded not guilty and trial on the merits ensued.
There was no eye-witness to the shooting incident. The RTC relied principally on the admission Some time in 1994, when victim was still 12 years old, her father, the accused, forced her at
of accused to the police officer that he shot the unknown victim when he surrendered his the point of a knife to have sexual intercourse with him. He repeated the bestial act in their
service firearm. The prosecution rested its case on October 13, 1998. Upon motion of appellant, house about twice a week afterwards, and then later used her four (4) times a month, the last
the RTC issued an Order dated November 10, 1998 allowing appellant to file a demurrer to she remembered being on July 5, 1995.
evidence. On November 19, 1998, appellant filed his Demurrer to Evidence which was opposed
by the prosecution. The accused opted to file demurrer to evidence which was denied by the During the trial, appellant unhesitatingly admitted having carnal knowledge of his daughter
Court, instead of testifying and could have explained what really happened and why he twice but theorized that he was "out of his mind" when he committed the incestous rape. In
surrendered his service firearm. On April 22, 1999, the RTC promulgated herein assailed view of the facts established, the trial court rendered judgment of conviction, sentencing
decision convicting appellant. appellant to suffer the ultimate penalty of death.

Issue: Upon appeal, appellant questioned thepenalty imposed under R.A. 7659, considering that the
Information filed against him was silent about the applicability of the same. He alleged denial
Whether or not the court erred in convicting the accused without any admission on of his constitutional right to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him.
his part or despite a broken chain of incriminating circumstances which constitutes a violation
of the accused’s constitutional right to be heard. ISSUE:

Ruling: Whether or not there was a transgression of appellant's right to be informed of the nature and
cause of accusation against him
HELD:

A careful perusal of the Information indicting the appellant reveals a crucial omission in its
averments of the minority of the victim. The objectives of the defendant's right to be informed
are: (1) to furnish the accused with such a description of the charge against him as will enable
him to make the defense; (2) to avail himself of his conviction or acquittal for protection against
further prosecution for the same cause; and (3) to inform the court of the facts alleged, so that
it may decide whether the are sufficient in law to support a conviction, if one should be had.

The Information does not allege the minority of the victim although the same was proven
during trial as borne by the records. It matters not how conclusive and convincing evidence of
guilt may be, but an accused cannot be convicted of any offense not charged in the Complaint
or Information on which he is tried or therein necessarily included.

The Information charges nothing more than simple rape as absent are the special qualifying
circumstances of relationship and minority which had the capacity of increasing the penalty by
degrees.

"WHEREFORE, the judgment of conviction under review is AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATION
that appelant LODRIGO BAYYA is adjudged guilty of simple rape and is sentenced to suffer the
penalty of reclusion perpetua...."