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CHAPTER 14

THE IMPAIRMENT CLAUSE


No law impairing the obligation of contracts shall be passed.
Article III, Section 10 of the Constitution

PURPOSE
To safeguard the integrity of valid contractual agreements against unwarranted interference by the State.

DEFINITION OF A CONTRACT
1. Any lawful agreement on property or property rights, whether real or personal, tangible or intangible.
2. It does not cover:
a. License (merely a permit or privilege to do what otherwise would be unlawful and is not a contract
with the government)
b. Marriage contract (regarded as a social institution subject at all times to regulation by the legislature
and to change of the original conditions)
c. Public office (public office is a public trust)
EXCEPTION: Where the salary has already been earned, in which case it will be deemed a vested
property right that cannot be withdrawn or reduced.

LAW
Statutes enacted by the national legislature, executive orders and administrative regulations promulgated under a
valid delegation of power, and municipal ordinances passed by the local legislative bodies.

OBLIGATION
1. Viniculum juris, the tie that binds the parties to each other.
2. Obligation of contract law or duty which binds the parties to perform their undertaking or agreement according to
its terms and intent.

IMPAIRMENT
There is impairment when:
1. Retroactive
2. Anything that diminishes the efficacy of the contract
3. Right of a party is change to his prejudice
4. When a law:
a. Changes the terms of a contract between parties
b. Imposes new conditions
c. Dispenses those expressed
d. Authorizes for its satisfaction of something different from that provided in its terms.
NOTE: A mere change in PROCEDURAL REMEDIES which does not change the substance of the contract, and
which still leaves an efficacious remedy for enforcement DOES NOT impair the obligation of contracts.

LIMITATIONS
1. Police Power
- When a contract suffers from congenital infirmity, i.e. a contract which affects the public welfare
2. Eminent Domain
3. Power of Taxation
- Tax exemptions are not contractual and so may be revoked at will by the legislature.
EXCEPTION: Where a law grants a tax exemption in exchange for valuable consideration, such exemption is
considered a contract and cannot be repealed because of the impairment clause.

Stone
(1879)

Rutter

Mississippi

Esteban

A statute which subsequently outlaws gambling does not impair the obligation of contract. A
lottery charter is only a privilege which may be revoked by the exercise of the police power of
the state, gambling being an appropriate subject of regulation.
Police power may only be invoked against the impairment of contracts if:

(1953)

1. justified by an emergency furnished the proper occasion for the exercise of the
reserved power of the state
2. temporary in nature operation limited to the exigency which called it forth, which
period may be reduced by the court
3. exercised upon reasonable conditions
4. impairment refers only to remedy and not to substantive right
5. addressed to a legitimate purpose the protection of the basic interests of society

Ilusoria v CAR (1966)

Ortigas v Feati Bank


(1979)

The prohibition in the Constitution refers only to contracts with respect to property. It does not
apply to statutes relating to public subjects within the domain of the general legislative powers
of the state and involving the right and public welfare of the entire community affected by it.
A law which allows tenants to change their contracts from tenancy to leasehold system does
not impair the obligation of contracts because it was enacted pursuant to social justice
precepts of the constitution.
Zoning laws, promulgated in the exercise of police power, justify nullification of contractual
obligations.

CHAPTER 15
EX POST FACTO LAWS
No ex post facto law or bill of attainder shall be enacted.
Article III, Section 22 of the Constitution

EX POST FACTO LAWS


Prohibition against ex post facto laws is the equivalent of the impairment clause in criminal matters.

KINDS
1. One which makes an action done before the passing of the law, and which was innocent when done, criminal,
and punishes such action.
2. One which aggravates the crime or makes it greater than when it was committed.
3. One which changes the punishment and inflicts a greater punishment than that which the law annexed to the
crime when it was committed.
4. One which alters the legal rules of evidence and receives less testimony than the law required at the time of
the commission of the offense in order to convict the accused.
5. One which assumes to regulate civil rights and remedies only BUT, in effect, imposes a penalty or deprivation
of a right, which, when done, was lawful.
6. One which deprives a person accused of a crime of some lawful protection to which he has become entitled
such as the protection of a former conviction or acquittal, or a proclamation of amnesty.

CHARACTERISTICS (CPR)
1. Must refer to criminal matters
2. Prejudicial to the accused
3. Retroactive in application

BILL OF ATTAINDER
1. A legislative act that inflicts punishment without trial.
2. Essence is the substitution of legislative fiat for a judicial determination of guilt.
3. All bills of attainder are ex post facto laws.

ELEMENTS OF BILL OF ATTAINDER


1. There must be a law.
2. The law imposes a penal burden on a named individual or easily ascertainable members of a group.
3. There is a direct imposition of penal burden without judicial trial.

CHAPTER 16
NON-IMPRISONMENT FOR DEBT
No person shall be imprisoned for debt or non-payment of a poll tax.
Article III, Section 20 of the Constitution

HUMANITARIAN REASON
An added guaranty of the liberty of persons against their incarceration for the enforcement of purely private debts
because of their misfortune of being poor.

DEFINITION OF A DEBT
1. Any civil obligation arising from a contract, expressed or implied.
2. Resulting in any liability to pay in money.

CRIME
A debtor cannot be imprisoned for failure to pay his debt; however, he can be imprisoned if he had contracted his
debt through fraud.

SCOPE OF GUARANTY AGAINST IMPRISONMENT FOR NON-PAYMENT OF DEBT


1. If an accused fails to pay the fine imposed upon him, this may result in his subsidiary imprisonment because
his liability is ex delicto and not ex contractu
2. A FRAUDULENT debt may result in the imprisonment of the debtor if:
1. The fraudulent debt constitutes a crime such as estafa and
2. The accused has been duly convicted.

POLL TAX
A specified fixed sum levied upon every person belonging to a certain class without regard to his property or
occupation.
GENERAL RULE: Non-payment of taxes is punishable with imprisonment.
EXCEPTION: Failure to pay a poll tax

CHAPTER 17
INVOLUNTARY SERVITUDE
(1) No person shall be detained solely by reason of his political beliefs and aspirations.
(2) No involuntary servitude in any form shall exist except as a punishment for a crime
whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.
Article III, Section 18 of the Constitution

INVOLUNTARY SERVITUDE
1. The condition of one who is compelled by force, coercion, or imprisonment, and against his will, to labor for
another, whether he is paid or not.
2. Includes:
a. Slavery civil relation in which one man has absolute power over the life, fortune and liberty of
another
b. Peonage a condition of enforced servitude by which the servitor is restrained of his liberty and
compelled to labor in liquidation of some debt or obligation, real or pretended, against his will.

GENERAL RULE
No involuntary service in any form shall exist.

EXCEPTIONS
1. Punishment for a crime for which the party shall have been duly convicted (Sec. 18, Art. III)
2. Personal military or civil service in the interest of national defense (Sec. 4, Art. II)
3. Naval enlistment remain in service until the end of voyage so that the crew would not desert the ship,
making it difficult for the owners to recruit new hands to continue the voyage (Robertson vs Baldwin)
4. Posse comitatus in pursuit of persons who might have violated the law, the authorities might command all
male inhabitants of a certain age to assist them (US vs Pompeya)

5. Return to work order in industries affected with public interest (Kapisanan ng Manggagawa sa Kahoy vs
Gotamco)
6. Patria Potestas unemancipated minors are obliged to obey their parents so long as they are under parental
power and to observe respect and reverence to them always (Art. 311, Civil Code)

US vs Pompeya

Pollock vs
Williams

An act providing for the method by which the people of the town may be called upon to render
assistance for the protection of the public and the preservation of peace and good order is
constitutional. It was enacted in the exercise of the police power of the state and does not violate
the constitutional prohibition on involuntary servitude.
No indebtedness warrants a suspension of the right to be free from compulsory service, and no
state can make the quitting of work any component of a crime, or make criminal sanctions
available for holding unwilling persons to labor.

CHAPTER 18
THE WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS
The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended except in
cases of invasion or rebellion when the public safety requires it.
Article III, Section 15 of the Constitution

THE WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS


A writ issued by a court directed to a person detaining another commanding him to produce the body of the
prisoner:
1. at a designated time and place
2. with the day and cause of his caption and detention
3. to do, to submit to, and receive whatever the court or judge awarding the writ shall consider in his behalf.
NOTE:
a. The writ is a prerogative writ employed to test the validity of detention.
b. To secure the detainees release.
c. The action shall take precedence in the calendar of the court and must be acted upon immediately.

WHEN AVAILABLE
1. restoration of liberty of an individual subjected to physical restraint
2. may be availed of where, as a consequence of a judicial proceeding:
a. there has been deprivation of a constitutional right resulting in the restraint of the person
b. the court has no jurisdiction to impose the sentence, or
c. an excessive penalty has been imposed, since such sentence is void as to the excess.
3. May be extended to cases by which rightful custody of any person is withheld from the person entitled thereto
4. When moral restraint is exerted (Caunca vs Salazar)
5. Right was accorded a person was sentenced to a longer penalty than was subsequently meted out to another
person convicted of the same offense. (Gumabon vs Director of Prisons)
6. Unlawful denial of bail

WHEN NOT AVAILABLE


1. the person alleged to be restrained is in the custody of an officer under a process issued by the court which
has jurisdiction to do so
2. desaparecidos (disappeared persons) persons could not be found; remedy is to refer the matter to
Commission on Human Rights

PROCEDURE
1. Application for habeas corpus filed;
2. Court determines if the petition is proper;
3. If proper, the court issues the writ;
4. Orders the production of the person detained; and
5. Requires the respondent to justify the detention.

NO PETITION FOR WRIT NEEDED IF


1. The person held is suspected for a crime covered by a proclamation suspending the privilege of the writ of
habeas corpus; and
2. In a place where the suspension of the privilege is effective.
NOTE: If a petition will still be filed under the two mentioned circumstances, the court will dismiss the petition.

WHO MAY SUSPEND THE PRIVILEGE


The President

GROUNDS FOR SUSPENSION OF THE PRIVILEGE


1. invasion or rebellion
2. when public safety requires it

Article VII, Section 18:


The President shall be the Commander-in-Chief of all armed forces of the Philippines and whenever it becomes
necessary, he may call out such armed forces to prevent or suppress lawless violence, invasion or rebellion. In
case of invasion or rebellion, when the public safety requires it, he may, for a period not exceeding sixty days,
suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus or place the Philippines or any part thereof under martial law.
Within forty-eight hours from the proclamation of martial law or the suspension of the privilege of the writ
of habeas corpus, the President shall submit a report in person or in writing to the Congress. The Congress,
voting jointly, by a vote of at least a majority of all its Members in regular or special session, may revoke such
proclamation or suspension, which revocation shall not be set aside by the President. Upon the initiative of the
President, the Congress may, in the same manner, extend such proclamation or suspension for a period to be
determined by the Congress, if the invasion or rebellion shall persist and public safety requires it.

The Congress, if not in session, shall, within twenty-four hours following such proclamation or suspension,
convene in accordance with its rules without need of a call.

The Supreme Court may review, in an appropriate proceeding filed by any citizen, the sufficiency of the factual
basis of the proclamation of martial law or the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus or the
extension thereof, and must promulgate its decision thereon within thirty days from its filing.

A state of martial law does not suspend the operation of the Constitution, nor supplant the functioning of the civil
courts or legislative assemblies, nor authorize the conferment of jurisdiction on military courts and agencies over
civilians where civil courts are able to function, nor automatically suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas
corpus.

The suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall apply only to persons judicially charged for
rebellion or offenses inherent in, or directly connected with, invasion.

During the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, any person thus arrested or detained shall be
judicially charged within three days, otherwise he shall be released.

LANSANG DOCTRINE (LANSANG v GARCIA)


1. Supreme Court has the power to inquire into the factual basis of the suspension of the privilege of the writ

2. Constitutionalized in Article VII, Sec. 18 of the Constitution.

WRITS OF AMPARO AND HABEAS DATA


1. The added complementary writs of habeas corpus by the Supreme Court in order to make the latter more
efficacious.
2. Writ of Amparo
Under this writ, the courts will be more diligent in the protection of the life and liberty, and security of the
desapareciado and can order the respondent to exert more and actual effort in locating the missing person
and showing that he is in good condition and has not been maltreated by authorities.
3. Writ of Habeas data
Intended to insure the human right to privacy requiring the respondent to produce the necessary information
to locate the missing person or such data about him that have been gathered in secret to support the
suspicion that he has been taken into custody in violation of his constitutional rights or, worse, has been
salvaged without benefit of lawful trial.

CHAPTER 19
SPEEDY DISPOSITION OF CASES
All persons shall have the right to a speedy disposition of their cases
before all judicial, quasi-judicial, or administrative bodies.
Article III, Section 16 of the Constitution

RELATED CONCEPTS AND PROVISIONS


1. Right to Speedy Trial (Article III, Section 14)
SPEEDY TRIAL
SPEEDY DISPOSITION OF CASES
Refers to trial phase only
Refers to disposition of cases (All phases)
Criminal cases only
Judicial, quasi-judicial or administrative proceedings
2. Periods for Decision for Courts (Article VIII, Section 15)
1. Supreme Court: 24 months from submission
2. All lower Collegiate Courts: 12 months unless reduced by the Supreme Court
3. All other Lower Courts: 3 months
3. Periods for Decision for Constitutional Commissions
60 days from the date of submission for decision or resolution (Article IX-A, Section 7)

FACTORS CONSIDERED IN DETERMINING WHETHER THE RIGHT IS VIOLATED


1. Length of delay
2. Reason of delay
3. Assertion of the right or failure to assert it
4. Prejudice caused by delay
REMEDY IN CASE THERE HAS BEEN UNREASONABLE DELAY IN RESOLUTION OF A CASE
Dismissal through mandamus

CHAPTER 20
RIGHTS OF THE ACCUSED
Criminal Process includes:
1. Investigation prior to the filing of charges.
2. Preliminary examination and investigation after charges are filed.
3. Period of trial.
1. CRIMINAL DUE PROCESS
(1) No person shall be held to answer for a criminal offense without due process of law.
Article III, Section 14 of the Constitution

Requirements:

1. Impartial and competent court in accordance with procedure prescribed by law.


2. Proper observance of all the rights accorded the accused under the Constitution and the applicable statutes
(Example of Statutory Right of the Accused: Right to Preliminary Investigation).

MISTRIAL may be declared if shown that proceedings were held under circumstances as would prevent the
accused from freely making his defense or the judge from freely arriving at his decision.

When a law not published and a person is impleaded for violation of such law -- violation of due process

When appeal is permitted by law but there is denial thereof -- violation of due process

2. SELF-INCRIMINATION
No person shall be compelled to be a witness against himself.
Article III, Section 17 of the Constitution

Based on:
1. HUMANITARIAN reasons it is intended to prevent the State, with all its coercive powers, from extracting
from the suspect testimony that may convict him.
2. PRACTICAL reasons a person subjected to such compulsion is likely to perjure himself for his own
protection.

Available to:
Criminal prosecutions, government proceedings, including civil actions and administrative or legislative
investigations.

May be claimed by:


1. ACCUSED at all times; there is a reasonable assumption that the purpose of his interrogation will be to
incriminate him.
2. WITNESS only when an incriminating question is asked, since the witness has no way of knowing in
advance the nature or effect of the question to be put to him
He cannot invoke right to self-incrimination when:
a. The question is relevant and otherwise allowed even if the answer may tend to incriminate him or
subject him to civil liability.
b. the question relates to past criminality for which the witness can no longer be prosecuted
c. He has been previously granted immunity under a validly enacted statute.

Only natural persons can invoke this right. Judicial persons are subject to the visitorial powers of the state in order
to determine compliance with the conditions of the charter granted to them.

SCOPE
1. Testimonial Compulsion
2. Production of Documents, Papers and Chattels.
EXCEPTION: when books of accounts are to be examined in the exercise of police power and power of
taxation.

What is PROHIBITED is the use of physical or moral compulsion to extort communication from the witness or to
otherwise elicit evidence which would not exist were it not for the actions compelled from the witness.

The right does NOT PROHIBIT the examination of the body of the accused or the use of findings with respect to
his body as physical evidence. Hence, the fingerprinting of an accused would not violate the right against selfincrimination. However, obtaining a sample of the handwriting of the accused would violate this right if he is
charged for falsification.

The accused cannot be compelled to produce a private document in his possession which might tend to
incriminate him. However, a third person in custody of the document may be compelled to produce it.

WAIVER:
Either:
1. Directly, or
2. By failure to invoke it PROVIDED the waiver is certain and unequivocal and intelligently and willingly made.

3. CUSTODIAL INVESTIGATION
(1) Any person under investigation for the commission of an offense shall have the right to be 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 provided with one. These rights cannot be waived except in writing and in the
presence of counsel.
(2) No torture, force, violence, threat, intimidation, or any other means which vitiate the free will shall be used against him.
Secret detention places, solitary, incommunicado, or other similar forms of detention are prohibited.
(3) Any confession or admission obtained in violation of this or Section 17 hereof shall be inadmissible in evidence against
him.
(4) The law shall provide for penal and civil sanctions for violations of this section as well as compensation to and
rehabilitation of victims of torture or similar practices, and their families.
Article III, Section 12 of the Constitution

Landmark case of Miranda v Arizona. Also called the Miranda Doctrine.

CUSTODIAL INVESTIGATION, DEFINED


1. Any questioning initiated by law enforcement officers after a person has been taken into custody or otherwise
deprived of his freedom of action in any significant way.
2. BEGINS as soon as the investigation is no longer a general inquiry unto an unsolved crime, and direction is
then aimed upon a particular suspect who has been taken into custody and to whom the police would then
direct interrogatory questions which tend to elicit incriminating statements.
3. Shall include the practice of issuing an INVITATION to a person who is investigated in connection with an
offense he is suspected to have committed, without prejudice to the liability of the inviting officer for any
violation of law.

EXTRAJUDICIAL CONFESSION IS ADMISSIBLE WHEN


1. Voluntary
2. With assistance of counsel
3. In writing, and
4. Express

RIGHTS UNDER CUSTODIAL INVESTIGATION


1. To be informed of right to remain silent and to counsel
2. To be reminded that if he waives his right to remain silent, anything he says can and will be used against him
3. To remain silent
4. To have competent and independent counsel preferably of own choice
5. To be provided with counsel if the person cannot afford the services of one
6. No torture, force, violence, threat, intimidation or any other means which vitiate the free will shall be used
against him
7. Secret detention places, solitary, incommunicado, or other similar forms of detention are prohibited
8. Confessions or admissions obtained in violation of these rights are inadmissible as evidence ( exclusionary
rule)

WHAT RIGHTS MAY BE WAIVED


1. Right to remain silent
2. Right to Counsel

WHAT RIGHTS THAT CANNOT BE WAIVED***


1. Right to be informed of his right to remain silent and to counsel
2. Right to counsel when making the waiver of the right to remain silent or to counsel
*** waiver must be in writing and in the presence of counsel

Right to counsel de parte is not unlimited. Accused cannot repeatedly ask for postponement. He must be provided
with counsel de oficio.

RA 7309: victims of unjust imprisonment may file their claims with the Board of Claims under DOJ

HEARSAY EXCEPTION: any of several deviations from the hearsay rule; allowing the admission of otherwise
inadmissible statements because the circumstances surrounding the statements provide a basis for considering
the statements reliable.

RES GESTAE: The declaration of the accused acknowledging guilt made to the police desk officer after the crime
was committed may be given in evidence against him by the police officer to whom the admission was made, as
part of the res gestae.

TERMINATION OF RIGHTS UNDER CUSTODIAL INVESTIGATION: When Charges are filed against the
accused (in such case, Sections 14 and 17 come into play).

4. BAIL
All persons, except those charged with offenses punishable by reclusion perpetua when evidence of guilt
is strong, shall, before conviction, be bailable by sufficient sureties, or be released on recognizance
as may be provided by law. The right to bail shall not be impaired even when the privilege of the
writ of habeas corpus is suspended. Excessive bail shall not be required.
Article III, Section 13 of the Constitution

BAIL DEFINED
Security given for the release of a person in custody of law, furnished by him or a bondsman, to guaranty his
appearance before any court as may be required.

FORMS
1. Corporate Surety
2. Property Bond
3. Cash Deposit
4. Recognizance

WHO MAY INVOKE: a person under detention even if no formal charges have yet been filed (Rule 114, Rules of
Court)

WHO ARE NOT ENTITLED


1. Persons charged with offenses PUNISHABLE by RECLUSION PERPETUA or DEATH, when evidence of guilt
is strong
2. Persons CONVICTED by the trial court. Bail is only discretionary pending appeal.
3. Persons who are members of the AFP facing a court martial.

OTHER RIGHTS IN RELATION TO BAIL


1. The right to bail shall NOT be impaired even when the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is suspended.
2. Excessive bail shall not be required.

FACTORS IN FIXING AMOUNT OF BAIL


1. Ability to post bail
2. Nature of the offense
3. Penalty imposed by law
4. Character and reputation of the accused
5. Health of the accused
6. Strength of the evidence
7. Probability of appearing at the trial
8. Forfeiture of previous bail bonds
9. Whether accused was a fugitive from justice when arrested
10. If accused is under bond in other cases

IMPLICIT LIMITATIONS ON THE RIGHT TO BAIL


1. The person claiming the right must be in actual detention or custody of the law.
2. The constitutional right is available only in criminal cases, not, e.g. in deportation and extradition proceedings.
Note:
1. Right to bail is not available in the military.

2. Apart from bail, a person may attain provisional liberty through recognizance.
5. PRESUMPTION OF INNOCENCE
(1) No person shall be held to answer for a criminal offense without due process of law.
(2) In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall be presumed innocent until the contrary is proved, and shall enjoy the
right to be heard by himself and counsel, to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him, to have a
speedy, impartial, and public trial, to meet the witnesses face to face, and to have compulsory process to secure the
attendance of witnesses and the production of evidence in his behalf. However, after arraignment, trial may proceed
notwithstanding the absence of the accused provided that he has been duly notified and his failure to appear is
unjustifiable.
Article III, Section 14 of the Constitution

Burden of proof to establish the guilt of the accused is with the prosecution.

Conviction depends on the strength of prosecution, not on the weakness of the defense.

The presumption may be overcome by contrary presumption based on the experience of human conduct. (e.g
unexplained flight may lead to an inference of guilt, as the wicked flee when no man pursueth, but the righteous
are as bold as a lion.)

The constitutional presumption will not apply as long as there is some rational connection between the fact proved
and the ultimate fact presumed, and the inference of one fact from proof of another shall not be so unreasonable
as to be a purely arbitrary mandate. Cooley

No inference of guilt may be drawn against an accused for his failure to make a statement of any sort.

EQUIPOISE RULE evidence of both sides are equally balanced, in which case the constitutional presumption of
innocence should tilt the scales in favor of the accused.

6. RIGHT TO BE HEARD BY HIMSELF AND COUNSEL


Indispensable in any criminal prosecution where the stakes are the liberty or even the life of the accused

ASISTANCE OF COUNSEL begins from the time a person is taken into custody and placed under investigation
for the commission of a crime.
This is not subject to waiver.
1. Right to counsel means the right to EFFECTIVE REPRESENTATION.
2. If the accused appears at arraignment without counsel, the judge must:
a. Inform the accused that he has a right to a counsel before arraignment
b. Ask the accused if he desires the aid of counsel
c. If the accused desires counsel, but cannot afford one, a counsel de oficio must be appointed
d. If the accused desires to obtain his own counsel, the court must give him a reasonable time to get
one.

7. NATURE AND CAUSE OF ACCUSATION


Article III, Section 14 of the Constitution, supra

PURPOSES OF THE RIGHT


1. To furnish the accused with a description of the charge against him as will enable him to make his defenses.
2. To avail himself of his conviction or acquittal against a further prosecution for the same cause.
3. To inform the court of the facts alleged.

CONTROLLING FACTOR
The description and not the designation of the offense is controlling. (The real nature of the crime charged is
determined from the recital of facts in the information. It is not determined based on the caption or preamble
thereof nor from the specification of the provision of law allegedly violated.)

If the information fails to allege the material elements of the offense, the accused cannot be convicted thereof
even if the prosecution is able to present evidence during the trial with respect to such elements.

VOID FOR VAGUENESS RULE accused is denied the right to be informed of the charge against him and to
due process as well, where the statute itself is couched in such indefinite language that it is not possible for men
of ordinary intelligence to determine therefrom what acts or omissions are punished and hence, shall be avoided.

Estrada vs Sandiganbayan: the doctrine merely requires a reasonable degree of certainty and not absolute
precision or mathematical exactitude.

8. THE TRIAL
FACTORS IN DETERMINING WHETHER THERE IS VIOLATION
1. Time expired from the filing of the information
2. Length of delay involved
3. Reasons for the delay
4. Assertion or non-assertion of the right by the accused
5. Prejudice caused to the defendant.

EFFECT OF DISMISSAL BASED ON VIOLATION OF THIS RIGHT


If the dismissal is valid, it amounts to an acquittal and can be used as basis to claim double jeopardy. This would
be the effect even if the dismissal was made with the consent of the accused

REMEDY IF THE RIGHT IS VIOLATED


1. He can move for the dismissal of the case.
2. If he is detained, he can file a petition for the issuance of writ of habeas corpus.

SPEEDY TRIAL
1. Free from vexatious, capricious and oppressive delays
2. To relieve the accused from needless anxieties before sentence is pronounced upon him

IMPARTIAL TRIAL
The accused is entitled to the cold neutrality of an impartial judge. It is an element of due process.

PUBLIC TRIAL
1. The attendance at the trial is open to all irrespective of their relationship to the accused. However, if the
evidence to be adduced is offensive to decency or public morals, the public may be excluded.
2. The right of the accused to a public trial is not violated if the hearings are conducted on Saturdays, either with
the consent of the accused or if failed to object thereto.

RIGHT TO BE PRESENT AT TRIAL


A. The right to be present covers the period from ARRAIGNMENT to PROMULGATION of sentence.
B.

Trial may proceed notwithstanding absence of accused, provided 3 requisites are met. Note, that TRIAL IN
ABSENTIA is allowed only if the accused has been validly arraigned.
1. Accused has already been arraigned
2. Accused has been duly notified of the trial; and
3. His failure to appear is unjustifiable.

C. The accused may waive the right to be present at the trial by not showing up. However, the court can still
compel the attendance of the accused if necessary for identification purposes. EXCEPTION: If the accused,
after arraignment, has stipulated that he is indeed the person charged with the offense and named in the
information, and that any time a witness refers to a name by which he is known, the witness is to be
understood as referring to him.
D. Trial in Absentia is mandatory upon the court whenever the accused has been arraigned.
E.

There is also Promulgation in Absentia (only in cases of light offenses)

While the accused is entitled to be present during promulgation of judgment, the absence of his counsel during
such promulgation does not affect its validity

The trial in absentia does not abrogate the provisions of the Rules of Court regarding forfeiture of bail bond if the
accused fails to appear at his trial.

A court has the power to prohibit a person admitted to bail from leaving the Philippines as this is a necessary
consequence of the nature and function of a bail bond

9. THE RIGHT OF CONFRONTATION


To meet the witnesses face to face

PURPOSES OF THE RIGHT


1. To afford the accused an opportunity to cross-examine the witness
2. To allow the judge the opportunity to observe the deportment of the witness

FAILURE OF THE ACCUSED TO CROSS-EXAMINE A WITNESS


If the failure of the accused to cross-examine a witness is due to his own fault or was not due to the fault of the
prosecution, the testimony of the witness should be excluded.

WHEN THE RIGHT TO CROSS-EXAMINE IS DEMANDABLE


It is demandable only during trials. Thus, it cannot be availed of during preliminary investigations.

PRINCIPAL EXCEPTIONS TO THIS RIGHT


1. The admissibility of dying declarations
2. Trial in absentia under Section 14(2)
- With respect to child testimony

Testimony of witness who was not cross-examined is not admissible as evidence for being hearsay.

If a prosecution witness dies before his cross-examination can be completed, his direct testimony cannot be
stricken off the record, provided the material points of his direct testimony had been covered on cross.

The right to confrontation may be waived.

10. COMPULSORY PROCESS


The accused is entitled to the issuance of subpoena ad testificandum and subpoena duces tecum for the purpose
of compelling the attendance of witness and the production of evidence that he may need for his defense.

Failure to obey punishable as contempt of court.

There are exceptional circumstances when the defendant may ask for conditional examination, provided the
expected testimony is material of any witness under circumstances that would make him unavailable from
attending the trial.

11. PROHIBITED PUNISHMENTS


When is a penalty cruel, degrading and inhuman?
1. A penalty is cruel and inhuman if it involves torture or lingering suffering. Ex. Being drawn and quartered.
2. A penalty is degrading if it exposes a person to public humiliation. Ex. Being tarred and feathered, then
paraded throughout town.

STANDARDS USED
1. The punishment must not be so severe as to be degrading to the dignity of human beings.
2. It must not be applied arbitrarily.
3. It must not be unacceptable to contemporary society.
4. It must not be excessive, i.e. it must serve a penal purpose more effectively than a less severe punishment
would.

EXCESSIVE FINE
A fine is excessive, when under any circumstance, it is disproportionate to the offense.
Note: Fr. Bernas says that the accused cannot be convicted of the crime to which the punishment is attached if
the court finds that the punishment is cruel, degrading or inhuman.
Reason: Without a valid penalty, the law is not a penal law.

12. DOUBLE JEOPARDY


No person shall be twice put in jeopardy of punishment for the same offense. If an act is punished by a law and an
ordinance, conviction or acquittal under either shall constitute a bar to another prosecution for the same act.
Article III, Section 21 of the Constitution
2 Kinds of Double Jeopardy:
1. When a person is put twice in jeopardy of punishment for the same offense (1st sentence of Section 21)
2. When a law and an ordinance punish the same act (2nd sentence of Sec. 21)

I.
SAME OFFENSE
Requisites for a valid defense of double jeopardy: [ATS]
1. [A] First jeopardy must have attached prior to the second.
2. [T] The first jeopardy must have terminated.
3. [S] The second jeopardy must be for the same offense as that in the first.

When does jeopardy ATTACH: (1st requisite) [CICAV]


1. [C] A person is charged
2. [I] Under a complaint or information sufficient in form and substance to sustain a conviction
3. [C] Before a court of competent jurisdiction
4. [A] After the person is arraigned
5. [V] Such person enters a valid plea.

When does jeopardy NOT attach:


1. If information does not charge any offense
2. If, upon pleading guilty, the accused presents evidence of complete self-defense, and the court thereafter
acquits him without entering a new plea of not guilty for accused.
3. If the information for an offense cognizable by the RTC is filed with the MTC.
4. If a complaint filed for preliminary investigation is dismissed.

When does first jeopardy TERMINATE: (2ND REQUISITE)


1. Acquittal
2. Conviction
3. Dismissal W/O the EXPRESS consent of the accused
4. Dismissal on the merits.

Examples of termination of jeopardy:


1. Dismissal based on violation of the right to a speedy trial. This amounts to an acquittal.
2. Dismissal based on a demurrer to evidence. This is a dismissal on the merits.
3. Dismissal on motion of the prosecution, subsequent to a motion for reinvestigation filed by the accused.
4. Discharge of an accused to be a state witness. This amounts to an acquittal.

When can the PROSECUTION appeal from an order of dismissal:


1. If dismissal is on motion of the accused. Exception: If motion is based on violation of the right to a speedy trial
or on a demurrer to evidence.
2. If dismissal does NOT amount to an acquittal or dismissal on the merits
3. If the question to be passed upon is purely legal.
4. If the dismissal violates the right of due process of the prosecution.
5. If the dismissal was made with grave abuse of discretion. (Certiorari is applicable only when correcting errors of
jurisdiction, but not in order to correct findings or conclusions of the court)

What are considered to be the SAME OFFENSE:


1. Exact identity between the offenses charged in the first and second cases.
2. One offense is an attempt to commit or a frustration of the other offense.

3. One offense is necessarily included or necessary includes the other.


Note: where a single act results in the violation of different laws or different provisions of the same law, the
prosecution for one will not bar the other so long as none of the exceptions apply.
II. SAME ACT
Double jeopardy will result if the act punishable under the law and the ordinance are the same. For there to be double
jeopardy, it is not necessary that the offense be the same.

SUPERVENING FACTS
1. Under the Rules of Court, a conviction for an offense will not bar a prosecution for an offense which
necessarily includes the offense charged in the former information where:
a. The graver offense developed due to a supervening fact arising from the same act or omission
constituting the former charge.
b. The facts constituting the graver offense became known or were discovered only after the filing of the
former information.
c. The plea of guilty to the lesser offense was made without the consent of the fiscal and the offended
party.
2. Under 1.b., if the facts could have been discovered by the prosecution but were not discovered because of
the prosecutions incompetence, it would not be considered a supervening event.

EFFECT OF APPEAL BY THE ACCUSED:


IF the accused appeals his conviction, he WAIVES his right to plead double jeopardy. The whole case will be
open to review by the appellate court. Such court may even increase the penalties imposed on the accused by
the trial court.

CHAPTER 21
FREE ACCESS TO COURTS

Free access to the courts and quasi-judicial bodies and adequate


legal assistance shall not be denied to any person by reason of poverty.
Article III, Section 11 of the Constitution

Social Justice Provision, implemented by the Rules of Court provision allowing pauper suits
Additional guarantee: Adequate legal assistance

CHAPTER 22
CITIZENS OF THE PHILIPPINES
Section 1. The following are citizens of the Philippines:
(1) Those who are citizens of the Philippines at the time of the adoption of this Constitution;
(2) Those whose fathers or mothers are citizens of the Philippines;
(3) Those born before January 17, 1973, of Filipino mothers, who elect Philippine citizenship upon reaching the age
of majority; and
(4) Those who are naturalized in accordance with law.
Section 2. Natural-born citizens are those who are citizens of the Philippines from birth without having to perform any act
to acquire or perfect their Philippine citizenship. Those who elect Philippine citizenship in accordance with paragraph (3),
Section 1 hereof shall be deemed natural-born citizens.
Section 3. Philippine citizenship may be lost or reacquired in the manner provided by law.
Section 4. Citizens of the Philippines who marry aliens shall retain their citizenship, unless by their act or omission they
are deemed, under the law, to have renounced it.
Section 5. Dual allegiance of citizens is inimical to the national interest and shall be dealt with by law.
Article IV of the Constitution

WHO ARE CITIZENS OF THE PHILIPPINES

1. Those who are citizens of the Philippines at the time of the adoption of the 1987 Constitution
2. Those whose fathers or mothers are citizens of the Philippines.
3. Those born before January 17, 1973 of Filipino mothers, who elect Philippine citizenship upon reaching the
age of majority.
4. Those who are naturalized in accordance with law.

MODES OF ACQUIRING CITIZENSHIP


1. Jus Soli acquisition of citizenship on the basis of place of birth
2. Jus Sanguinis acquisition of citizenship on the basis of blood relationship
3. Naturalization the legal act of adopting an alien and clothing him with the privilege of a native-born citizen.
Note: The Philippines follows #1 and #3.

ELECTION OF CITIZENSHIP UNDER THE 1987 CONSTITUTION


Prior to the 1973 Constitution, if a Filipina married an alien, she lost her Filipino citizenship. Hence, her child
would have to elect Filipino citizenship upon reaching the age of majority. Under the 1973 Constitution, however,
children born of Filipino mothers were already considered Filipinos. Therefore, the provision on election of
citizenship under the 1987 Constitution only applies to those persons who were born under the 1935 Constitution.
In order for the children to elect Filipino citizenship, the mothers must have been Filipinos at the time of their
marriage. So, if your mother was a Filipina who married an alien under the 1935 constitution and you were born
before January 17, 1973, you can elect Filipino citizenship upon reaching the age of majority.

WHEN MUST THE ELECTION BE MADE


The election must be made within a reasonable period after reaching the age of majority.

EFFECTS OF NATURALIZATION
1. The legitimate minor children of the naturalized father become Filipinos as well.
2. The wife also becomes a Filipino citizen, provided that she does not have any disqualification which would bar
her from being naturalized.

NATURAL-BORN CITIZENS
1. Citizens of the Philippines from birth who do not need to perform any act to acquire or perfect their Philippine
citizenship.
2. Those who elect Philippine citizenship under Art. IV, Sec. 1(3) of 1987 Constitution.

MARRIAGE OF FILIPINO WITH AN ALIEN


1. General Rule: The Filipino RETAINS Philippine citizenship
2. Exception: If, by their act or omission they are deemed, under the law, to have renounced it.

EXAMPLES OF RENUNCIATION OF PHILIPPINE CITIZENSHIP


1. Voluntarily obtaining foreign passport
2. Pledging allegiance to another country (ex. by becoming a naturalized citizen of another country)

RE-ACQUISITION OF CITIZENSHIP
Natural-born Filipinos who are deemed to have lost their citizenship may re-acquire the same via repatriation
proceedings. This involves taking an oath of allegiance and filing the same with the civil registry.

HOW MAY ONE LOSE CITIZENSHIP


1. By naturalization in a foreign country
2. By express renunciation of citizenship
3. By subscribing oath or allegiance to a foreign Constitution
4. By serving in the armed forces of an enemy country
5. By being a deserter of the armed forces of ones country

HOW MAY ONE REACQUIRE CITIZENSHIP


1. By direct act of Congress
2. By naturalization
3. By repatriation