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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW BILL OF RIGHTS

Dean Hilario Justino F. Morales


Bar Review Lecturer
Lex Patriae, Suprema Legis, Villasis Law Center, Great Minds, PhilJust
Magnificus Juris, CPRS, MLQU, Lex, Powerhaus, Premiere, SLU BarCom

Police Power
01. Define police power. What are the two tests, requisites or limitations for the valid exercise
of police power?
ANSWER: Police power is the power to make, ordain, and establish all manner of wholesome and reasonable
laws, statutes, ordinances whether with penalties or without, not repugnant to the Constitution, the good and
welfare of the commonwealth, and for the subjects of the same. (MMDA vs . Garin, GR No. 130230, April 15,
2005)
The two tests for the valid exercise of police power are: 1) Lawful Subject the interest of the public in
general, and not of a particular subject, requires an interference with private rights, and 2) Lawful Means- the
means adopted must be reasonably necessary for the accomplishment of the purpose It must not be unduly
oppressive upon individuals. (City of Manila vs. Laguio, GR No.118127, April 12, 2005)
02. Upon whom is police power lodged? May it be delegated? What are the limitations if the
exercise of police power is merely delegated?
ANSWER: Police power is lodged with the National Legislature which in turn may delegate it to local
government units. Congress has delegated police to the LGUs in the Local Government Code of 1991. The
other limitations if the exercise of police power is merely delegated are: 1) the delegation is by express
provision of law, 2) it must be exercised within the territorial limits of the delegate, and 3) such exercise is not
contrary to law.
03. Does the MMDA have the power to confiscate, suspend or revoke drivers licences?
ANSWER: NO. the MMDA does not have the power to confiscate, suspend or revoke drivers licences without a
traffic law or regulation validly enacted by the legislature or those of the local government units to whom
legislative powers have been delegated. Once there is such a law, MMDA is duty-bound to confiscate, suspend
or revoke drivers licences in the exercise of its mandate of transport and traffic management. License to
operate a motor vehicle is not a property, but a privilege granted by the state which may be suspended or
revoked by the state in the exercise of its police power, in the interest of public safety and welfare, subject to the
procedural requirements of due process. (MMDA vs . Garin, supra.)
04. The Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2003 grants to senior citizens 20% discount from all
establishments relative to the utilization of services in hotels and similar establishments as
well as purchases of medicines. State the nature or justification of the law.
ANSWER: The law is a legitimate exercise of police power which, similar to the power of eminent domain, has
the general welfare for its object. When conditions so demand as determined by the legislature, property rights
must bow to the primacy of police power because property rights, though sheltered by due process, must yield
to the general welfare. (Carlos Super Drug Corp. vs. DSWD, GR No. 166494, January 29, 2007)
Power of Eminent Domain
05. What is the power of eminent domain? What are the constitutional limitations in the exercise
of the power of eminent domain?
ANSWER: The power of eminent domain is the rightful authority, which exists in every sovereignty to
control and regulate those rights of public nature which pertain to its citizens in common, and to
appropriate and control individual property for the public benefit, as the public safety, necessity,
convenience, or welfare may demand. The exercise of the power of eminent domain is
constrained by two constitutional provisions: (1) that private property shall not be taken for
public use without just compensation under Article III, Section 9 on Bill of Rights and (2) the due
process clause which states that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without
due process of law also under Article III, Section 1. (Lagcao vs. Labra, GR No. 155746,
October 13, 2004)
06. Distinguish the power of eminent domain from police power.
ANSWER: In the exercise of the power of eminent domain, the taking of property is for public use while in the
exercise of police power, the taking is a mere incident to a valid regulation to promote public interest. In the
exercise of eminent domain, property or right of property is taken from the owner and transferred to a public
agency to be enjoyed by its as its own while in the exercise of police power, the taking of property or a right
therein is accomplished not by transfer of ownership but by destroying the property or impairing its value.
(1)
07. Distinguish the effects of the exercise of police power and the power of imminent domain in
relation to the right to private property.
ANSWER: In the exercise of police power, there is a limitation or restriction of property interests to promote
public welfare which involves no compensable taking. Compensation is necessary only when the states power
of eminent domain is exercised. In eminent domain, property is appropriated and applied to some public
purpose. Property condemned under the exercise of police power, on the other hand, is noxious or intended for
noxious or forbidden purpose, and consequently, is not compensable. The restriction imposed to protect lives,
public health and safety from danger is not a taking. It is merely the prohibition or abatement of noxious use
which interferes with paramount right of the public. (Social Justice Society vs. Atienza, 545 SCRA 92)
08. What are the additional limitations on the exercise of the power of eminent domain
by local government units?
ANSWER: 1) To be exercised only by the local chief executive, acting pursuant to a valid ordinance 2)
For public use or purpose or welfare, for the benefit of the poor and the landless 3) Only after a valid
and definite offer had been made to, and not accepted by, the owner.
09. May a barangay government expropriate a property which shall be used as a feeder road for
the benefit of the residents of Purok Paraiso, yet the Purok is within a private subdivision?
ANSWER: NO. The expropriation was intended for private purpose. It would benefit only the owners of the
subdivision who will be able to circumvent the commitment to provide road access to the
subdivision and relieved from spending their funds for a right of way. The intended expropriation
of private property for the benefit of a private individual is clearly proscribed by the Constitution,
declaring that it should be for public use or purpose. Likewise, public fund can be used only for
a public purpose. In this proposed condemnation, government funds would be employed for the
benefit of a private individual without any legal mooring. (Barangay Sindalan vs. CA, GR No.
150640, March 22, 2007)
10. Spouses H and W were the lessees of a parcel of land in Quezon City. A law was
enacted authorizing the national government to expropriate certain properties, among
others, for the extension of EDSA. The land leased by H and W was part of those
expropriated under the said law. They were not included in the expropriation
proceedings because they were mere lessees of the property, according to the
Solicitor General. To be entitled to just compensation, should the defendant be the
owner of the property expropriated?
ANSWER: NO. The defendants in an expropriation case are not limited to the owners of the property
condemned. They include all other persons, owning, occupying, or claiming to own the property. When a parcel
of land is taken by eminent domain, the owner of the fee is not necessarily the only person entitled to
compensation. A lessee, mortgagee, or a vendee in possession under an executory contract of the land has the
right to take part in the expropriation proceeding. If a person claiming an interest in the land sought to be
condemned is not made a party, he is given the right to intervene and lay claim to the compensation. (Knecht
vs. CA, GR No. 108015, May 20 1998)
Bill of Rights
11. What is the Bill of Rights? Can the Bill of Rights be invoked against private
individuals?
ANSWERS: It is a set of prescriptions setting forth the fundamental civil and political rights of the
individual, and imposing limitations on the powers of government as a means of securing the
enjoyment of those rights.
NO. In the absence of governmental interference, the liberties guaranteed by the Constitution
cannot be invoked. The Bill of Rights is not meant to be invoked against acts of private individuals.
(Yrasegui vs. PAL, Inc. GR No. 168081, October 17, 2008)
Concept of Due Process
12. What is due process? What are its purposes? Who are covered by the due process clause?
ANSWERS: There is no controlling and precise definition of due process but its standard may be described.
This standard may be described as responsiveness to the supremacy of reason, obedience to the dictates of
justice, and as such, it is a limitation upon the exercise of police power.
Among the purposes of the guaranty of the right to due process area: 1) to prevent governmental
encroachment against the life, liberty and property of individuals, and 2) to secure to all persons equal and
impartial justice and the benefit of the general law. (City of Manila vs. Laguio, supra.)
The guarantee serves as protection against arbitrary regulation, and private corporations and
partnerships are persons within the scope of the guaranty insofar as their property is concerned. (Ibid.)

13. Distinguish procedural from substantive due process and constitutional from statutory due
process.
ANSWER: Procedural due process is essentially directed at officers who adjudicate while substantive due
process is directed basically at those who enact the laws. Procedural due process refers to the guarantees of
fairness in the process of determining whether aright, liberty or freedom is to be impaired while substantive due
process goes to the very power of the authorities to come up with rules.
(2)
Constitutional due process when violated would lead to the nullity of the action made, while statutory
due process would not necessarily nullify the action made, depending on what the statute itself provides.
Due Process and Preliminary Investigation
14. A respondent claim denial of due process when she was given the opportunity to file her
affidavits and other pleadings and submit evidence before the DOJ during the preliminary
investigation of her case and before the Information was filed against her. Decide.
ANSWER: There is no denial of due process. Due process is merely an opportunity to be heard. In addition,
preliminary investigation conducted by the DOJ is merely inquisitorial. It is not a trial of the case on the merits.
Its sole purpose is to determine whether a crime has been committed and whether the respondent therein is
probably guilty of the crime. It is not the occasion to the full and exhaustive display of the parties evidence.
Hence, if the investigating prosecutor is already satisfied that he can reasonably determine the existence of
probable cause based on the parties evidence thus presented, he may terminate the proceedings and resolve
the case. (Santos vs. People, GR No. 173176, August 26, 2008)
15. Is there a violation of the right due process if members of a faction of the Liberal Party
were expelled from said party in a meeting where they were not even notified nor given the
chance to be heard?
ANSWER: NO. Due process could be invoked only before tribunals created by the State through which
governmental acts or functions are performed. The right to due process guards against unwarranted
encroachment by the State into fundamental rights and cannot be invoked in private controversies involving
private rights. (Atienza vs. COMELEC, February 16, 2010)
Overbreadth Doctrine and Void for Vagueness Doctrine
16. Define/explain briefly the following doctrines:
(1) Overbreadth Doctrine (2) Void for Vagueness Doctrine
(1) The Overbreadth Doctrine states that a governmental purpose may not be achieved by means which
sweep unnecessarily broadly and thereby invade the area of protected freedoms. In David vs. Ermita,
the Supreme Court prevented the government, pursuant to Presidential Proclamation 1017 and
General Order No. 5, from hunting down terrorists since acts of terrorism had not been defined and
made punishable by Congress.
(2) The Void for Vagueness Doctrine which renders a law invalid if men of common intelligence must
necessarily guess at its meaning and differ as to its application. Thus, a statute may be rendered void
if its terms are uncertain or not sufficiently definite rendering it incomprehensible to ordinary people
and thereby making the enforcement of the law arbitrary and subject to abuse. Such a vague or
ambiguous piece of legislation is repugnant to the Constitution in two respects: 1) it violates due
process for failure to accord persons fair notice of what conduct to avoid and 2) it leaves law enforcers
unbridled discretion in carrying out its provision. The doctrine provides a rule to the effect that a
statute establishing a criminal offense must define the offense with sufficient definiteness that persons
of ordinary intelligence can understand what conduct is condemned.
17. R challenges the validity of Section 5 of RA 3019, a penal statute on the ground that the act
constituting the offense is allegedly vague and impermissibly broad and thus violated due
process right of individual to be informed of the nature and cause of accusation against him.
Will his suit prosper?
ANSWER: NO. overbreadth and vagueness doctrine have special application only to free speech cases. They
are not appropriate for testing the validity of penal statutes. When the allegation in the information is vague or
indefinite, the remedy of the accused is not a motion to quash, but a motion for a bill of particulars. (Romualdez
vs. Sandiganbayan, 435 SCRA 371)
A statute or regulation is considered void for overbreadth when it offends the constitutional principle
that a governmental purpose to control or prevent activities constitutionally subject to State regulation may not
be achieved by means that sweep unnecessarily broadly and thereby invade the area of protected freedoms.
(Chavez vs. COMELEC, 437 SCRA 415)
18. What is the effect of an on its face invalidation of criminal statutes? What is the test in
determining whether a criminal statute is void?
ANSWER: The test in determining whether a criminal statute is void for uncertainty is whether the language
conveys a sufficiently definite warning as to the proscribed conduct when measured by common understanding
and practice. The vagueness doctrine merely requires a reasonable degree of certainty for the statute to be
upheld not absolute precision or mathematical exactitude.
Facial invalidation or an on its face invalidation of criminal statutes is not appropriate because it
would result in a mass acquittal of parties whose cases may not have even reached the courts. Such
invalidation would constitute a departure from the usual requirement of actual case and controversy and
permit decisions to be made in a sterile abstract context having no factual concreteness. The test in determining
whether a criminal statute is void for uncertainty is whether the language conveys a sufficiently definite warning
as to the proscribed conduct when measured by common understanding and practice. The vagueness doctrine
merely requires a reasonable degree of certainty for the statute to be upheld not absolute precision or
mathematical exactitude. (Romualdez vs. Sandiganbayan, supra.)
(3)
Concept of Equal Protection
19. What is your understanding of the equal protection clause? Does it take way from the State
the power to classify? What are the requisites of valid classification?
ANSWER: The guaranty to equal protection and uniformity is satisfied 1) when the laws operate uniformly on all
persons under similar circumstances, and 2) all persons are treated in the same manner in terms of both
privileges conferred and liabilities imposed, the conditions not being different, and that favoritism and
preference are not allowed.
NO. The equal protection clause does not take away from the state the power to classify in the
adoption of police power laws, but admits of the exercise of the wide scope of discretion in that regards and
avoids what is done only when it is without any reasonable basis, and therefore is purely arbitrary. (Re: Request
for the grant of Special Distortion Allowance, A.M. No. 03-11-25-SC, October 1, 2004)
The requisites of valid classification are: 1) there must substantial distinctions which must make for
real differences; 2) the classification must be germane to the issue; 3) it must apply not only to existing
conditions but future conditions as well; and 4) it must be applicable to all members of the same class. (People
vs. Vera, 65 Phil 56)

Judicial Standards of Review


20. What is the so-called Rational Basis Test? Strict Scrutiny Test? Intermediate Scrutiny Test?
ANSWER: The rational basis test is the minimum level of scrutiny that all government actions challenged under
the equal protection clause must meet. The strict scrutiny test is used in discriminations based on race or those
which result in violations of fundamental rights. Under this test, to be valid the classification the classification
must promote a compelling state interest. The intermediate scrutiny test is used in discriminations based on
gender or illegitimacy of children. Under this test, the classification must be substantially related to an important
government objective.
21. The petitioners assail the validity of Administrative order No. 1, which prohibited
motorcycles on limited access highways on the basis of RA 2000 (Limited Access Highway
Act). The petitioner seeks redress from the motorcycle ban under the equal protection
clause, because AO 1 singled out motorcycles. Decide.
ANSWER: There is a real and substantial distinction between a motorcycle and other motor vehicles. Not all
motorized vehicles are created equal real and substantial differences exist between a motorcycle and other
forms of transport sufficient to justify its classification among those prohibited from plying the toll ways. (Mirasol
vs. DPWH, GR No. 158793, June 8, 2006)
22. Does a city ordinance that prohibit motels and inns in the Ermita-Malate area but not outside
of this area violate the equal protection clause?
ANSWER: YES. A city ordinance violates the equal protection clause where it prohibits motels and inns but not
pension houses, hotels, lodging houses or other similar establishments despite the fact that these
establishments are all similarly situated. Furthermore, it prohibits the business and operation of motels in the
Ermita-Malate area but not outside of this area. There is no valid classification because a noxious
establishment does not become any less noxious if located outside the area. (City of Manila vs
.Laguio, supra.)
Search and Seizure; Probable Cause
23. What are the requisites for issuing a search warrant? What are the two kinds of probable
cause? What are the requisites in the determination of the existence of probable cause?
ANSWER: A search warrant shall not issue but 1) upon probable clause 2) in connection with one specific
offense a) to be determined personally by the judge b) after examination under oath or affirmation of i) the
complainant ii) the witness he may produce, and 3) particularly describing a) the place to be searched and b)
the things to be seized i) anywhere in the Philippines.
The two kinds of probable cause are: 1) the executive determination of probable cause by the
Prosecutor where he determines whether to file a criminal in court or not; and 2) judicial determination of
probable cause to be done by the judge for the purpose of issuing a warrant of arrest against the accused.
( Leviste v. Judge Alameda, August 3, 2010)
Under the Constitution and the Rules of Court, the issuance of a search warrant is justified only upon a
finding of probable cause. In determining the existence of probable cause, it is required that: (1) the judge
must examine the complainant of his witness personally; (2) the examination must be under oath; and (3)
the examination must be reduced in writing in the form of searching questions and answers. In People vs.
Mamaril, GR No. 147607, January 22, 2004, the records only show the existence of an application for search
warrant, the affidavits of complainants witnesses and return of the search warrant. The prosecution failed to
prove that the issuing judge put into writing his examination of the applicant and his witnesses in the form of
searching questions and answers before issuance of the search warrant, rendering the search warrant invalid
and the evidence seized pursuant thereto is inadmissible.

24. May the constitutional protection against unreasonable searches and seizures be extended
to acts committed by private individuals?
ANSWER: NO. As held in People vs. Marti, 193 SCRA 57, the constitutional protection against unreasonable
searches and seizures refers to the immunity of ones person from interference by government and it cannot be
(4)
extended to acts committed by private individuals so as to bring it within the ambit of alleged unlawful intrusion.
(People vs. Mendoza, 301 SCRA 66)
25. What are the instances of valid warrantless searches and seizures?
ANSWER: 1) search incident to a lawful arrest 2) when it involves prohibited articles in plain view.
3) search of a moving vehicle 4) consented warrantless search 5) customs searches 6) searches without
warrant of automobiles 7) Stop and frisk 8) Exigent and emergency circumstances . (People vs. Nuevas,
GR No. 170233, Feb. 22, 2007)
26. What is probable cause in warrantless arrest?
ANSWER: Probable cause means an actual belief or reasonable ground of suspicion. Thus, there is no
personal knowledge of facts where the police officers merely relied on information given to them by others
such as a report of the killing, information from a witness who saw the killing, the physical description given of
the last man who saw the victim fitting the person arrested and information where this man lived. (People vs.
Cubcubin, GR No. 136267,July 10, 2001)
27. What is the plain view doctrine?
ANSWER: Objects falling within the plain view of an officer who has a right to be in the position to have that
view are subject to seizure even without search warrant and may be introduced in evidence.
28. What is the Fruit of the Poisoned Tree Doctrine?
ANSWER: Evidence obtained from illegal search and seizure shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any
proceedings. [Art. III, Sec. 3(2)]
29. EJ sought the assistance of police officers NM and ER regarding a shooting incident. The
police officers immediately responded to said complaint by proceeding to 5 th Avenue St. where they
found a white taxi. While approaching the said vehicle, two armed men, one of them C, alighted
therefrom, fired their guns towards the responding police officers and ran away. The lawmen chased
them and they were subdued. PO NM recovered from C a black bag containing two bricks of dried
marijuana fruiting tops and a magazine of super 38 stainless with ammos while PO ER recovered
from Cs companion a .38 revolver. C was charged and subsequently convicted of illegally
possessing dangerous drugs. C questions the admissibility of the marijuana found in his possession
on the ground that it was discovered via an illegal search not having been within the apprehending
officers plain view. Decide.
ANSWER: The Plain View Doctrine is actually the exception to the inadmissibility of evidenced
obtained in a warrantless search incident to a law arrest outside the suspects person and premises
under his immediate control. The Doctrine thus finds no applicability in Cs situation because the police
officers purposely search him upon his arrest. The police officers did not inadvertently come across
the black bag, which was in Cs possession; they deliberately opened it as part of the search incident
to Cs lawful arrest. (People v. Calantiao, GR No. 203984, June 28 2014; 727 SCRA 20)
30. Can the place to be searched, as set out in the warrant, be amplified or modified by the
officers own personal knowledge of the premises, or the evidence they adduce in support of
their application for warrant?
ANSWER: NO. Such a change is proscribed by the Constitution which requires inter alia the search warrant to
particularly describe the place to be searched as well as the persons or things to be seized. It would concede to
the police officers the power of choosing the place to be searched, even if it not be that delineated in the
warrant. It would open wide the door to abuse of the search process, and grant to officers executing a search
warrant that discretion which the Constitution has precisely removed from them. The particularization of the
description of the place to be searched may properly be done only by the judge, and only in the warrant itself; it
cannot be left to the discretion of the police officers conducting the search. (People vs. CA, 291 SCRA 400)
Right to Privacy & Reasonable Expectation of Privacy Test
31. (1) Define right to privacy.
(2) Does the installation of a revolving camera by an owner of an adjacent lot
overlooking the fenced side lot of a neighbor where there is an on-going
construction violate the latters right to privacy?
ANSWERS:
(5) The right to privacy is defined as the right of an individual to be free from unwarranted
exploitation of ones person or from intrusion into ones private activities in such a way as to
cause humiliation to a persons ordinary sensibilities. It is the right to be free from unwarranted
publicity, or to live without interference by the public in matters in which the public is not
necessarily concerned. Simply put, the right to privacy is the right to be let alone.
The Bill of Rights guarantees the peoples right to privacy and protects them against the States
abuse of power. In this regard, the State recognizes the right of the people to be secure in their
houses. No one, not even the State, except in case of overriding social need and then only under the
stringent procedural safeguards, can disturb them in the privacy of their homes.
(5)
(2) The phrase prying into the privacy of anothers residence covers places, locations, or even
situations which an individual considers as private. The application of Article 26 (1) of the Civil Code is
not limited only to residence. A business office is entitled to the same privacy when the public is
excluded therefrom and only such individuals as are allowed to enter may come in.
In ascertaining whether there is a violation of the right to privacy, courts use the reasonable
expectation of privacy test. This test determines whether a person has reasonable expectation of
privacy and whether the expectation has been violated. The installation of video surveillance should
not cover places where there is reasonable expectation of privacy, unless consent of the individual,
whose right to privacy would be affected, was obtained. Nor should these cameras be used to pry into
the privacy of anothers residence or business office as it would be no different from eavesdropping,
which is a crime under RA 4200 of the Anti Wiretapping Law. (Hing v. Choachuy Sr, GR No. 179736,
June 26, 2013; 669 SCRA 667)
OSN Expectation of Privacy
32. AAA and BBB, students of a high school in Cebu City, and about to go into a beach party, took
digital pictures of themselves from waist up and in brassieres drinking hard liquor, smoking
cigarettes, along with several others. These pictures were then uploaded by CCC on her Facebook
profile. The uploaded picture were shown to Mylene, a computer teacher at the school who reported
the matter to, and showed the pictures through the Facebook profile of one of the students to Rose,
the schools Discipline-In-Charge. After investigation, the school was able to identify the students
who violated the schools Student Handbook. The erring students were subsequently barred from
joining the commencement exercises.
The parents of the students then filed a Petition for Issuance of Writ of Habeas Data for the
following reasons: the photos of the children were merely taken for posterity; the privacy settings of
their childrens Facebook accounts was set at Friends Only, thus they have a reasonable
expectation of privacy; respondents being school officials ought to know that the girls whose privacy
were violated were the victims in this case; the photos belong to the girls thus cannot be reproduced
without their consent. Mylene violated that right by saving digital copies of the pictures and
subsequently showing it to the school officials; the violation happened at the school premises; and
the data were boldly shown and attached by the respondents in their memorandum in the civil case.
Was there a violation of the students right to privacy by the school officials? Reasons.
ANSWER: NONE. Before one can have an expectation of privacy in his or her Online Social Network (OSN)
activity it is first necessary that said user, manifest the intention to keep certain post private, through the
employment of measures to prevent access thereto or to limit is visibility. And this intention can materialize in
cyberspace through the utilization of the OSNs privacy tools. In other words, utilization of this privacy tools is
the manifestation, in cyber world, of the users invocation of his or her right to informational privacy. Also,
respondents were mere recipients of what were posted. They did not resort to any unlawful means of gathering
the information as it was voluntarily given to them by persons who had legitimate access to the said posts.
Clearly, the fault, if any, lies with the friends of the mines. (Vivares v. St. Theresas College, GR No. 202666,
September 29, 2014)
Privacy of Communication
33. ANDREA and MONICA had confrontation in the latters office. ANDREA secretly taped the
conversation. The conversation between them bordered on humiliating and vexing the personality
and dignity of MONICA for which she filed a civil case for damages. During the hearing ANDREA
produced the recorded tape t o prove that MONICA indeed insulted her.
MONICA, in a countersuit filed a criminal case against ANDREA for violation of RA 4200
which prohibits and penalizes wire tapping and other violations of private communications. ANDREA
moved to dismiss the criminal case on the ground that the allegations do not constitute an offense
and that the taping of conversation between the parties is not covered by RA 4200. The trial court
granted said motion which decision was reversed by the Court of Appeals. ANDREA elevated the
case to the Supreme Court on certiorari. Is ANDREA liable for violation of RA 4200? Decide.
ANSWER: YES. Section 1 of RA 4200 clearly and unequivocably prohibits any person, not authorized by all
the parties to any private conversation, to secretly tape record any communication by means of a
tape recorder. Congressional records support the view that the intention of the lawmakers in
enacting RA 4200 is to make illegal any unauthorized tape recording of private conversation or
communication taken by either of the parties themselves or third persons. Absent a clear showing
that both parties to the telephone conversations allowed the recording of the same, the
inadmissibility of the subject tapes is mandatory under RA 4200. (Ramirez vs. CA, 248 SCRA
590 and Salcedo-Ortanez vs. CA, 235 SCRA 111)
In Mamba vs. Judge Garcia, A.M. No. MTJ-96-1110, June 25, 2001, the Supreme Court likewise ruled
that the investigating judges reliance on the tape-recorded conversation is erroneous. The recording of private
conversation, without the consent of the parties, contravenes the provisions of RA 4200, otherwise known as
the Anti-Wire Tapping Law, and renders the same inadmissible in evidence in any proceeding. The law covers
even those recorded by persons privy to the conversation, as in this case.
(6)
34. Can a detention prisoner validly invoke his right to privacy of communication guaranteed
under Section 3 of the Bill of Rights?
ANSWER: I qualify. While letters containing confidential communication between detainees and their lawyers
enjoy a limited protection in that prison officials can open and inspect the mail for contraband but could not read
the contents thereof without violating the inmates right to correspondence, letters folded but not in a sealed
envelope and are not confidential communication between the detainees and their lawyers, the officials of the
ISAFP Detention Center could read the letters. If the letters are marked confidential communication between
detainees and their lawyers, the detention officials should not read the letters but only open the envelopes for
inspection in the presence of the detainees. (Alejano vs. Cabuay, 468 SCRA 188)
Right to Privacy and Right Against Self-incrimination
35. Does a Senate Committee inquiry violate Philcomsat Holding Corporation and Standard
Charter Banks right to privacy and right against self-incrimination?
ANSWER: NO. Since the inquiry focused on the acts committed in the discharge of their duties as officers and
directors of said corporations, they have no reasonable expectation of privacy on matters involving their offices
in a corporation where the government has interest. Such matters are of public concern and over which the
people have the right to information. This goes to show that the right to privacy is not absolute where there is an
overriding compelling state interest.(Sabio vs. Gordon, 504 SCRA 704) Employing the rational basis relationship
test, as laid down in Morfe vs. Mutuc, 22 SCRA 424, there is no infringement on the individuals right to privacy
as the requirement to disclose information is for valid purpose, in this case, to ensure that the government
agencies involved in regulating banking transactions adequately protect the public who invest in foreign
securities. Suffice it to say that this purpose constitutes a reason compelling enough to proceed with the
assailed legislative investigation. (Standard Charter Bank vs. Senate Committee on Banks, GR 167173,
December 27, 2007)
The right against self-incrimination may be invoked by the said directors and officers of the
corporations only when the incriminating question is being asked, since they have no way of knowing in
advance the nature or effect of the questions to be asked of them. That this right may possibly violated or
abused is no ground for denying the Senate Committees their power of inquiry. When this power is abused, it
may be presented before the courts. What is important is that the Senate Committees have sufficient Rules to
guide them when the right against self-incrimination is invoked. (Sabio vs. Gordon, supra.) An accused
occupies a different tier of protection from an ordinary witness. Whereas an ordinary witness may be compelled
to take the witness stand and claim the privilege as each question requiring an incriminating answer is shot at
him, an accused may altogether refuse to take the witness stand and refuse to answer any questions. In this
case, petitioners neither stand as accused in criminal case nor will they be subjected by the respondent to any
penalty by reason of their testimonies. Hence, they cannot altogether decline appearing before respondent,
although they may invoke the privilege when a question calling for an incriminating answer is propounded.
(Standard Charter Bank vs. Senate Committee, supra)
Right to Privacy and the Human Security Act
36. May police authorities listen to, intercept and record any communication of as person
without violating the right to privacy?
ANSWER: YES. Under RA 9372, a law enforcement official and the members of his team, may upon written
order of the Court of Appeals, listen to, intercept and record, with the use of any mode, form or kind or type of
electronic or other surveillance equipment, any communication, message, conversation between members of a
judicially declared and outlawed organization or group of persons or of any person charged with or suspected of
the crime of terrorism or conspiracy to commit terrorism. The surveillance, interception and recording of
communications, however, between lawyers and clients, doctors and patients, journalists and their sources and
confidential business correspondence shall not be authorized.
Freedom of Expression
37. What is the scope of protected freedom of expression under the Constitution? What are the
forms of protected speech?
ANSWERS: 1) Freedom of speech 2) Freedom of the press 3) Right to form associations not contrary to law
4) Right of assembly and to petition the government 5) Right to access to information on matters of public
concern and 6) Freedom of religion
Protected speech includes every form of expression, whether oral, written, tape or disc recorded. It
includes motion pictures as well as what is known as symbolic speech such as wearing of armband as a symbol
of protest. Peaceful picketing has also been included within the coverage of protected speech.
38. What are the four aspects of freedom of speech and press? What are the limitations on the
freedom of expression?
ANSWERS: 1) Freedom from censorship or prior restraint 2) Freedom from subsequent punishment 3)
Freedom of access to information 4) Freedom of circulation.
Among the limitations in the exercise of freedom of expression are: 1) Laws against libel, slander and
obscenity as they are contrary to public policy 2) Laws against sedition 3) acts violative of the right to privacy
of an individual 4) Fraudulent matters 5) Legislative immunities 6) Advocacy of imminent lawless conduct
and 7) Fighting words.
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Freedom of expression must be exercised within the bounds of laws enacted for the promotion of
social interests as well as the protection of other equally important individual rights. Freedom of expression
implies only the right to reach a willing audience but not the right to compel others to listen, see or read.
39. Distinguish content-based restraint from content-neutral regulation.
ANSWER: Content-based restraints are given the strictest scrutiny because of their inherent and invasive
impact. They bear a heavy presumption against its unconstitutionality and thus measured against the clear and
present danger rule giving the government a heavy burden to show justification for the imposition of such
restraint. Content-neutral regulations are not subject to the strictest form of judicial scrutiny but only an
intermediate review. Substantial government interest is required for their validity.
40. What is the so-called Doctrine of Fair Comment?
ANSWER: The Doctrine of Fair Comment postulates that while as a general rule, every discreditable public
imputation is false because every man is presumed innocent, thus every false imputation is deemed malicious.
An exception, however, is when the discreditable imputation is directed against a public person in his public
capacity, such is not necessarily actionable. For it to be actionable, it must be shown that there is a false
allegation of facts or comment based on false supposition. However, if the comment is an expression of an
opinion, based on established facts, it is immaterial whether the opinion happens to be mistaken, as long as it
might reasonably be inferred from facts. (Borjal vs. CA, GR No. 126466, January 14, 1999)
41. The National Telecommunications Commission issued this press release: NTC GIVES FAIR
WARNING TO RADIO AND TELEVISION OWNERS TO OBSERVE ANTI-WIRETAPPING
LAW AND PERTINENT CIRCULARS ON PROGRAM STANDARDS. Petitioner Chavez filed
a petition alleging that the acts of respondents are violation of the freedom on expression
and of the press, and the right of the people on information on matters of public concern.
ANSWER: It is clear that the challenged acts in the case at bar need to be subjected to the clear and present
danger rule, as they are content-based restrictions. The acts of the respondents focused solely on but one
subject a specific content- fixed as these were on the alleged tape conversation between the President and a
COMELEC official. Undoubtedly, these did not merely provide regulations as to the time, place or manner of the
dissemination of speech and expression. The records of the case at bar, however are confused and confusing,
and respondents evidence fall short of satisfying the clear and present danger test. (Chavez vs. Gonzalez, GR
No. 168338, February 15, 2008)
42. Is freedom of speech and expression affected by RA 9372?
ANSWER: YES. Section 26 of the Human Security Act provides that persons who have been charged with
terrorism or conspiracy to commit terrorism even if they have been granted bail because the evidence of guilt
is not strong can be prohibited from using any cellular phones, computers, or other means of communication
with people outside their residence.
43. What is hecklers Veto?
ANSWER: It is an impermissible content-based restriction on speech where the speech is prohibited due to an
anticipated disorderly or violent reaction of the audience.
44. A tarpaulin was posted by the Diocese of Bacolod within a private compound housing the
San Sebastian Cathedral of Bacolod containing the heading Conscience Vote and lists
candidates as either (Anti-RH) Team Buhay with a check mark, or Pro-RH) Team Patay
with an X mark. The tarpaulin was neither sponsored nor paid for by any candidate. The
COMELEC Law Department issued a letter ordering the immediate removal of the tarpaulin
as it will be constrained to file an election offense against the Diocese. Is the order of the
COMELEC Law Department valid?
ANSWER: NO. While respondent COMELEC cited the Constitution, laws and jurisprudence to support their
position that they had the power to regulate the tarpaulin, however, all these provisions pertain to candidates
and political parties. Petitioners are not candidates. Neither do they belong to any political party. COMELEC
does not have the authority to regulate the enjoyment of the preferred right to freedom of expression exercised
by a non-candidate in this case. Regulation of election paraphernalia will still be constitutionally valid if it
reaches into speech of persons who are not candidates or who do not speak as members of a political party if
they are not candidates, only if what is regulated is declarative speech that, taken as a whole, has for its
principal object the endorsement of a candidate only. The regulation (a) should be provided by law,
(b)reasonable, (c) narrowly tailored to meet the objective of enhancing the opportunity of all candidates to be
heard and considering the primacy of the guarantee of free expression, and (d) demonstrably the least
restrictive means to achieve that object. The regulation must only be with respect to the time, place and manner
of the rendition of the message. In no situation may the speech be prohibited or censored on the basis of its
content. For this purpose, it will not matter whether the speech is made with or on private property.
The present case also involves ones right to property. Even though the tarpaulin is seen by the public,
it remains the private property of petitioners. Freedom of expression can be intimately related with the right to
property. There may be no expression when there is no place where expression may be made. COMELECs
infringement upon petitioners property rights as in the present case also reaches out to infringement of their
fundamental right to speech. (The Diocese of Bacolod vs. COMELEC, GR No. 205728, January 21, 2015)
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Freedom of Religion
45. Explain briefly the two constitutional guarantees of religious freedom, i.e., Establishment
Clause and Free Exercise Clause, in relation to the RH Law.
ANSWER: The Establishment Clause principally prohibits the State from sponsoring any religion or favouring
any religion as against other religions. It mandates a strict neutrality in the affairs of religious groups.
Essentially, it prohibits the establishment of a state religion and the use of public resources for the support or
prohibition of a religion. The basis of the Free Exercise Clause is the respect for the inviolability of the human
conscience. Under this part of religious freedom guarantee, the State is prohibited from unduly interfering with
the outside manifestation of ones belief and faith.
Moreover, the guarantee of religious freedom is necessarily intertwined with the right of free speech, it
being an externalization of ones thought and conscience. This in turn includes the right to be silent. With the
constitutional guarantee of religious freedom follows the protection that should be afforded to individuals in
communicating their beliefs to others as well as the protection for being simply silent. The Bill of Rights
guarantees the liberty of the individual to utter what is in his mind and the liberty not to utter what is not in his
mind. While the RH Law seeks to provide freedom of choice through informed consent, freedom of choice
guarantees the liberty of the religious conscience and prohibits any degree of compulsion or burden, whether
direct or indirect, in the practice of ones religion. (Imbong v. Ochoa, GR No.204819, April 8, 2014)
46. Are the following provisions of the Reproductive Health Law constitutional? Cite a principle
of law to support your answers.

(1) A requirement for would-be spouses to attend a seminar on parenthood and family
planning as a condition for the issuance of a marriage license. (4 pts.)
(2) Before undergoing tubal ligation or vasectomy, a requirement of a spousal consent in
case of married persons, provided that in case of disagreement the decision of the one
undergoing the procedure shall prevail. (4 pts.)
(3) Imposing to health providers public or private, the duty to refer the patient seeking
reproductive health services to another medical practitioner, if the same is in conflict
with their religious beliefs and moral convictions. (4 pts.)
ANSWERS: (1) CONSTITUTIONAL. The requirement is a reasonable exercise of police power by the
government. A cursory reading of the assailed provision bares that religious freedom of the petitioners are not
at all violated. All the law requires is for would-be spouses to attend a seminar on parenthood, family planning,
breastfeeding and infant nutrition. It does not even mandate the type of family planning methods to be included
in the seminar, whether they be natural or artificial. As correctly noted by the OSG, those who received any
information during their attendance in the required seminars are not compelled to accept the information given
to them, are completely free to reject the information given to them, are completely free to reject the information
they find unacceptable, and retain the freedom to decide on matters of family life without the intervention of the
State. (Imbong v. Ochoa, GR No.204819, April 8, 2014)
(2) UNCONSTITUTIONAL. By their very nature they should require mutual consent and decision between the
husband and the wife as they affect issues intimately related to the founding of a family. The Constitution
spouses the State shall defend the right of the spouses to found a family One person cannot found a family.
The right, therefore , is shared by both spouses. The RH Law cannot be allowed to infringe upon this mutual
decision-making. By giving absolute authority to the spouse who undergo a procedure, and barring the other
spouse from participating in the decision would drive a wedge between the husband and wife, possibly resulting
in bitter animosity, and endanger the marriage and the family, all for the sake of reducing the population. This
would be a marked departure from the policy of the State to protect marriage as an inviolable institution.
Decision-making involving a reproductive health procedure is a private matter which belongs to the
couple, not just one of them. Any decision they would reach would affect their future as a family because the
size of the family or the number of their children significantly matters. The decision whether or not to undergo
the procedure belongs exclusively to, and shared by, both spouses as a cohesive unit as they chart their own
destiny. It is a constitutionally guaranteed right. Unless it prejudices the State, which has not shown any
compelling interest, the State should see to it that they chart their destiny together as one family. (Imbong v.
Ochoa, GR No.204819, April 8, 2014)
(3) UNCONSTITUTIONAL. In case of conflict between the religious beliefs and moral convictions of
individuals, on one hand, and the interest of the State, on the other, to provide access information on
reproductive health products, services, procedures and methods to enable the people to determine the timing,
number and spacing of the birth of their children, the Court is of the strong view that religious freedom of health
providers, whether public or private, should be accorded primacy. Accordingly, a conscientious objector, should
be exempt from the compliance the mandates of the RH Law. If he would be compelled to act contrary to his
religious belief and conviction, it would be violative of the principle of non-coercion enshrined in the
constitutional right to free exercise of religion. VALID EXCEPTION: While generally healthcare service providers
cannot be forced to render reproductive health care procedures if doing it would contravene their religious
beliefs, an exception must be made in life-threatening cases that require the performance of emergency
procedures. In this situations, the right of life of the mother should be given preference, considering that a
referral by a medical practitioner would amount to a denial of service, resulting to unnecessarily placing the life
of a mother in grave danger. (Imbong v. Ochoa, GR No.204819, April 8, 2014)
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Separation of Church & State
47. Can the courts, in the performance of their judicial functions, exercise control over church
authorities in the performance of their discretionary and official functions?
ANSWER: NO. The expulsion/excommunication of members of a religious institution or organization is a matter
best left to the discretion of the officials, and laws and canons, of said institution/organization. It is not for
the courts to exercise control over church authorities in the performance of their discretionary and official
functions. In disputes involving religious institution or organization, there is one area which the Court should
not touch: doctrinal and disciplinary matters. The amendments of the constitution, re-statement of articles of
religion and abandonment of faith or abjuration alleged by the appellant, having to do with faith, practice,
doctrine, form of worship, ecclesiastical law, custom and rule of a church and having reference to the power of
excluding from the church those allegedly unworthy of membership, are unquestionably ecclesiastical matters
which are outside the province of civil courts. (Taruc vs. Cruz, 453 SCRA 123)
48. What do you understand by the Doctrine of BENEVOLENT NEUTRALITY or
ACCOMMODATION?
ANSWER: The doctrine believes that the wall of separation that divides the church and the state is meant to
protect the church from the state. The principle recognizes that the state is not hostile to religion because it
plays an important role in public life. It believes that the wall of separation does not require the state to be
adversary, rather, the state must be neutral in its relations with groups or religious believers and non-believers.
Under the doctrine, accommodation of religion may be allowed not to promote the governments favored form
of religion, but to allow individuals and groups to exercise their religion without hindrance. Thus, the
Philippine Constitution provides for tax exemption of church properties, salary of religious officers in
government institutions, and optional religious instructions in public schools. The adoption of the benevolent
neutrality-accommodation approach does not mean that the Court ought to grant exemption every time a free
exercise claim comes before it. (Estrada vs. Escritor, 492 SCRA 1)
Liberty of Abode & Travel
49. What are the limitations on liberty of abode? What are the limitations on the right to travel?
ANSWER: The limitation on the liberty of abode is upon lawful order of the court while on the right to travel is in
the interest of national security, public safety or public health, as may be provided by law. (Art. III, Sec. 6)
50. Is the right to travel affected by the Human Security Act?
ANSWER: YES. Section 26 of the law provides that persons who have been charged with terrorism or
conspiracy to commit terrorism even if they have been granted bail because the evidence of guilt is not strong
can be detained under house arrest; restricted from travelling; and/or upon application of the prosecutor, the
suspects right to travel shall be limited to the municipality or city where he resides or the case is pending, in the
interest of national security and public safety. These restrictions shall be terminated upon acquittal of the
accused; or the dismissal of the case filed against him; or earlier upon the discretion of the court or upon motion
of the prosecutor.
Right to Information
51. Does the COMELEC have the constitutional duty to disclose and release the names of
the nominees of the party-list groups.
ANSWER: YES. The right to information is a public right where the real parties in interest are the public or the
citizens. The right to information is limited to matters of public concern and is further subject to such limitations
as may be provided by law. Also, the policy of public disclosure on Art. II Sec. 28, is confined to transactions
involving public interest and is subject to reasonable conditions prescribed by law. However, no national
security is involved in the disclosure of the names of the nominees of the party-list groups in question. (Bantay
RA 7941 vs. COMELEC, GR No. 177271, May 4, 2007)
52. Are the offers made by the Philippine and Japanese governments during the negotiations of
the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA) covered by the executive
privilege on diplomatic communications?
ANSWER: YES. In Akbayan Citizens Action Party vs. Aquino, GR No. 170516,July 16, 2008, it was held that the
Japanese representatives submitted their offers with the understanding that historic confidentiality would
govern the same and that they continue to be privilege even after the agreement has been published.
Disclosing these offers could impair the ability of the Philippines to deal not only with Japan but with other
foreign governments in future negotiations. A ruling that Philippines offers in treaty negotiation should now be
open to public scrutiny would discourage future Philippine representatives from frankly expressing their views
during negotiations. The diplomatic negotiation privilege bears a close resemblance to the deliberative process
and presidential communication privilege.
53. What are the limitations on the right to information?
Some of the recognized limitations on the right to information as enumerated by jurisprudence are 1)
national security matters, including state secrets regarding military, diplomatic and other national security
concerns, and information on inter-government exchanges prior to the conclusion of treaties and executive
agreements; 2) trade secrets and banking transactions, pursuant to the Intellectual Property Code and other
related laws, and to the Secrecy of Bank Deposits Act; 3) criminal matters or classified law enforcement
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matters, such as those relating to the apprehension, the prosecution and the detention of criminals, which
courts may not inquire into prior to such arrests, detention, and prosecution; and 4)) other confidential matters,
including diplomatic correspondence, closed-door cabinet meetings and executive sessions of Congress, and
internal deliberations of the Supreme Court.
Right to Form Associations
54. Does the right the right to strike form a part of the freedom of expression?
ANSWER: NO. The claim that the right to strike is a part of the freedom of expression and the right to peacefully
assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances, and should thus, be recognized even in the
case of government employees, was rejected by the Supreme Court in (GSIS vs. Kapisanan ng Mga
Manggagawa sa GSIS, GR No. 170132, December 6, 2006)
Non-impairment Clause
55. What is the non-impairment clause?
ANSWER: The non-impairment clause is a constitutional prohibition for Congress and Sanggunians to enact a
law or ordinance which changes the terms of a legal contract between parties, either in the time or mode of
performance, or imposes new conditions, or dispenses with those expressed or authorizes for its satisfaction
something different from that provided in its term. It impairs the obligation of a contract and is therefore null and
void. To constitute impairment, the law must affect a change in the rights of the parties with reference to its other
and not with respect to non-parties. (PHILRECA v. The Secretary, DILG, GR No. 143076, June 10, 2003)
56. United BF Homeowners Associations, Inc., questions the constitutionality of a zoning
ordinance reclassifying certain portions of BF Homes Paranaque from residential to
commercial zone because it impairs the contracts between the developer and the lot buyers.
One of the promises of the developer is that the property shall be used for residential
purposes only. Is the ordinance violative of the non-impairment clause in the Bill of Rights?
ANSWER: NO. The Court has upheld in several cases the superiority of police power over the non-impairment
clause. The constitutional guarantee of non-impairment of contracts is limited by the exercise of police power of
the State, in the interest of public health, safety, morals and general welfare. (United BF Homeowners
Associations, Inc. vs. The City Mayor, Paranaque City) In Ortigas & Co. vs. Feati Bank and Trust Co., 94 SCRA
533, The Court held that contractual restrictions on the use of property could not prevail over the reasonable
exercise of police power through zoning regulations.
Right to Remain Silent and to Counsel
57. What is custodial investigation? What are the rights of a person under custodial
investigation?
ANSWER: Custodial investigation is the stage of police investigation 1) when a person is taken into custody and
2) is singled out as a suspect in the commission of the crime under investigation and 3) the police officers begin
to ask questions on a) the suspects participation therein and b) which tend to elicit an admission. (People vs.
Pavillare, GR No. 129970, April 5, 2000)
The Miranda rights of a person under custodial investigation are the right 1) to be informed of his
right to remain silent, 2) to have competent and independent counsel preferably of his own choice and the right
to be informed of such rights. If the person cannot afford the services of counsel, he must be provided with one.
These rights, except the right to be informed of such rights, cannot be waived except in writing and in the
presence of counsel. (People vs. Naag, GR No. 123860, January 20, 2000)
The person under custodial investigation must be informed in a language known to and understood by
him of the reason for the arrest and he must be shown the warrant of arrest, if any. (People vs. Mahinay, GR
No. 122485, February 1, 1999)
Exclusionary Rule
58. Does the exclusionary rule under paragraph 2, Section 12 of the Bill of Right apply to
admissions made in an administrative investigation? What about extrajudicial statements
made before an employer?
ANSWER: NO. The exclusionary rule under paragraph (2), Section 12 of the Bill of Rights applies only to
admissions made in a criminal investigation but not to those made in an administrative investigation.
Admissions made by a respondent during an administrative investigation may be used as evidence to justify his
dismissal. As such, the hearing conducted by the investigating authority is not part of criminal prosecution. The
right to counsel attaches only upon the start of a custodial investigation. The right to counsel under Section 12
of the Bill of Rights is meant to protect a suspect in a criminal case under custodial investigation. (Remolana vs.
CSC, 362 SCRA 304)
NO. Admissions made during the course of administrative investigation by an employer (Philippine
Airlines) do not come within the purview of Section 12. The protective mantle of the constitutional provision also
does not extend to admissions or confessions made to a radio announcer who was not part of the investigation,
or even to a mayor approached as a personal confidante and not in his official capacity. The right exist only in
custodial investigations, or in-custody custody interrogation of accused persons. And, by custodial
interrogation is meant 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. (People vs. Ayson, 175 SCRA
216; People vs. Tin Lan Uy, 475 SCRA 248: Astudillo vs. People, GR No. 159734, Nov. 30, 2006)
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Right to Bail
59. What is bail? What are the forms of bail?
ANSWER: Bail is a security given for the release of a person in custody of the law, furnished by him or a
bondsman, to guarantee his appearance before any court as required under the conditions hereinafter
specified. (Sec. 1, Rule 114, ROC)
Bail may be in the form of corporate surety, property bond, cash deposit or recognizance.
60. When is bail a matter of right?
ANSWER: All persons in custody shall be admitted to bail as a matter of right, with sufficient sureties, or be
released on recognizance as prescribed by law of the Rules of Court 1) before conviction by the Metropolitan
Trial Court, Municipal Trial Court, Municipal Trial Court in Cities, or Municipal Circuit Trial Court, and 2) before
conviction by the Regional Trial Court of an offense not punishable by death, reclusion perpetua or life
imprisonment. (Sec. 4, Rule 114, ROC)
61. When is bail matter of discretion? In what court can the application for bail be filed?
ANSWER: Upon conviction by the Regional Trial Court of an offense not punishable by death, reclusion
perpetua or life imprisonment, the court, on application, admission to bail is discretionary. xxx Should the court
grant the application, the accused may be allowed provisional liberty during the pendency of the appeal under
the same bail subject to the consent of the bondsman. (Sec. 5, Rule 114)

Whenever the grant of bail is a matter of discretion, or the accused seeks to be released on
recognizance, the application can only be filed in the court where the case is pending, whether on preliminary
investigation, trial, or appeal. (Sec. 17, Rule 114)
62. Explain the concept of discretionary bail pending appeal after conviction for non-capital
offense.
ANSWER: The discretion to extend bail during the course of the appeal should be exercised with grave caution
and for strong reasons, considering that the accused has been in fact convicted by the trial court. Reason: Bail
should be granted only when it is uncertain whether the accused is guilty or innocent, and therefore, where that
uncertainty is removed by conviction it would, generally speaking be absurd to admit bail. From another point of
view, it may be properly argued that the probability of ultimate punishment is so enhanced by the conviction that
the accused is more likely to escape if liberated on bail than before conviction. (Yap, Jr. vs. CA, GR No.
141529)
63. Is hearing mandatory when the accused is charged with an offense punishable by reclusion
perpetua, or life imprisonment?
ANSWER: YES. The judge shall conduct a hearing whether summary or otherwise, not only to take into account
the guidelines set forth under the Rules for the grant of bail, but primarily to determine the existence of strong
evidence of guilt or lack of it, against the accused, only for purposes of the bail. If evidence of guilt is not strong,
bail becomes a matter of right.
Presumption of Innocence
64. Are the signatures of the accused on the boxes and on the plastic bags tantamount to
uncounselled extrajudicial confessions and therefore inadmissible in evidence?
ANSWER: YES. They are not sanctioned by the Bill of Rights and are therefore inadmissible as evidence. The
fact that all of the accused are foreign nationals does not preclude application of the Exclusionary rule
because the constitutional guarantee embodied in the Bill of Rights are given and extends to all persons, both
aliens and citizens. (People vs. Wong Chuen Ming, GR No. 112801-11, April 12, 1996) The accused have the
constitutional presumption of innocence.
Right to Speedy Trial
65. When is the right to speedy trial deemed violated?
ANSWER: Mere mathematical reckoning of time involved is not sufficient in determining violation of right to
speedy trial. It is violated only when the proceedings is attended by vexatious, capricious and oppressive delays
or when unjustified postponements of the trial are asked and secured, or when without cause or unjustifiable
motive, along period of time is allowed to lapse without the party having his case tried. (Ty-Dazo vs.
Sandiganbayan, GR No. 143885-86, January 21, 2002)
Suspension of the Writ of Habeas Corpus
66. What is writ of habeas corpus? When may the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus be
suspended? To whom may the suspension be applied?
ANSWERS: The writ of habeas corpus is issued when one is either deprived of liberty or is wrongfully
being prevented from exercising legal custody over another person.
In case of invasion or rebellion, when the public safety requires it, the President may suspend the
privilege of the writ of habeas corpus. (Art. III, Sec. 15, PC)
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, any person thus arrested or detained shall be judicially released within three days,
otherwise he shall be released. (Art. VII, Sec. 18, 5th and 6th pars. PC)
67. What is the Writ of Amparo? Writ of Habeas Data?
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ANSWERS: The Writ of Amparo is a special constitutional writ or order issued by a court to protect or enforce a
constitutional right (other than physical liberty which is already covered by the writ of habeas corpus) in
consonance with the power of the Supreme Court to adopt rules to protect or enforce constitutional rights,
including life, liberty and security. The writ is confined only to cases of extrajudicial killings and enforced
disappearances and it must be shown and proved by substantial evidence that the disappearance was carried
out by, or with authorization, support or acquiescence by the State. In the Philippines, the remedy resorted to
by relatives of missing persons is the petition for the writ of habeas corpus. While petitions for habeas corpus
just ended up with state agents saying the missing person was not in their custody, under the writ of Amparo, it
is not enough for officials to say that. The writ compels state agents to look for the missing person. And if the
court finds that the officials did not exert enough effort in finding the person, it can hold them liable.
The Writ of Habeas Data is an independent and summary remedy designed to protect the image,
privacy, honor, information and freedom of information of an individual, and to provide a forum to enforce ones
right to the truth and to informational privacy. It includes the right of a person (1) to access registries (data
bank); (2) right to complement information contained in the registries and (3) the right to rectification of said
registries. It is a legal process by which an individual may petition, through courts, that government present to
the petitioner all information gathered by government on his person, and demand that said data be corrected if
erroneous, or totally destroyed if ridiculous.
Right Against Self-Incrimination
68. What is the scope of the right against self-incrimination? What are the mechanical acts that,
without the use of intelligence, do not fall within the scope of the protection?
ANSWER: The scope of the right includes 1) prohibition against testimonial evidence and 2) prohibition against
act that require use of intelligence, such as providing handwriting for comparison.
Some acts which are not covered by the right against self-incrimination are: 1) Fingerprinting,
photographing and paraffin testing, physical examination; 2) Physical examination of a woman accused of
adultery to determine if she is pregnant; 3) Undergoing ultra-violet rays examination to determine presence of
fluorescent powder on the hands; 4) Subpoena directing government officials top produce official documents or
public records in their custody; and 5) Fitting the accused foot over a foot print, putting on a pair of trousers,
shoes, etc.
69. Can an accused invoke the right against self-incrimination? What about ordinary witnesses?
ANSWER: An accused is exempt from being compelled to be a witness against himself [Sec 1 (e), Rule 115,
ROC], so he could validly refuse to take the witness stand.
An ordinary witness who is not the accused may be compelled to testify. However, he could claim the
privilege against self-incrimination and refuse to answer only as each question requiring an incriminatory
answer is propounded to him. (Badiong vs. Gonzales, 94 SCRA 906)
Double Jeopardy
70. What is the concept of double jeopardy?
ANSWER: When an accused 1) has been convicted or acquitted, or 2) the case against him dismissed or
otherwise terminated a)without his consent b) by a court of competent jurisdiction, c) upon a valid complaint or
other formal charge sufficient in form and substance to sustain a conviction and 3)after the accused had
pleaded guilty to the charge, 4) the conviction or acquittal of the accused or the dismissal of the case shall be a
bar to another prosecution a) for the offense charged, or b) for any attempt to commit the same or frustration
thereof, or c) for any offense which necessarily includes or is necessarily included in the offense charged in the
former complaint or information. 1st par. Sec. 7, Rule 117 ROC)
71. What are the protection afforded by the right against double jeopardy?
ANSWER: 1) Against a second prosecution for the same offense after acquittal
2) Against a second prosecution for the same offense after conviction
3) Against multiple punishments for the same offense
72. What are the requisites for double jeopardy? What are the proofs that the first jeopardy had
attached?
ANSWER: Requisites:1) the first jeopardy must have attached prior to the second; 2) the first jeopardy must
have been validly terminated; 3) the second jeopardy must be a) for the same offense; b) the second offense
includes or is necessarily included in the offense charged in the first information, or is 3) an attempt to commit
the same or is a frustration thereof. (Cudia vs. CA, GR No. 110315, January 16, 1998)
Proofs: 1) court of competent jurisdiction; 2) valid complaint or information 3) arraignment; 4) valid
plea; and 5) the defendant was acquitted or convicted or the case was dismissed or otherwise terminated
without the express consent of the accused. (Cudia vs. CA, supra.)
73. Is there double jeopardy if acquittal violates due process?
ANSWER: NONE. The only instance when double jeopardy will not attach is when the trial court acted with
grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction due to a violation of due process, ie, that
the prosecution was denied the opportunity to present its case, in which case certiorari may be resorted to cure
an abusive denial. In that extraordinary proceeding it must be clearly demonstrated that the trial court blatantly
abused its authority to a point so grave as to deprive it of its very power to dispense justice. (People vs.
Sandiganbayan, GR No. 140633, February, 2002)
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74. Is there double jeopardy upon a conviction for violation of Anti-Graft Law and a subsequent
charge for falsification of public documents?
ANSWER: NONE. One of the elements of double jeopardy that is missing is that the second jeopardy
(falsification of public documents) must be for the same offense as that in the first (Anti-Graft and Corrupt
Practices). The crime of falsification of public documents is not necessarily included in Anti-Graft and Corrupt
Practices. They have different elements. The guilt or innocence of the accused in the anti-graft case does not
hinge on the validity or falsity of the documents which is the subject of the falsification. Furthermore, it is clear
that the Sandiganbayan did not rule on the validity or falsity of the public documents. (Suero vs. People, GR
No. 156408, January 31, 2005)
75. When it became manifest before the judgment that a mistake has been made in charging the
proper offense against A, the first charge was dismissed to pave the way for the filing of the
proper offense. Does the filing of the proper offense constitute double jeopardy?
ANSWER: No. The dismissal of the first case will not give rise to double jeopardy inasmuch as the proper
offense was not the one charged against A in such case. The filing of the proper offense, therefore, does not
constitute double jeopardy. (Gonzales vs. Court of Appeals, 232 SCRA 667)
76. What is the so-called Finality-of-Acquittal Doctrine?
ANSWER: The doctrine is a safeguard against double jeopardy where verdicts of acquittal are to be regarded
as absolutely final and irreviewable. In the absence of a finding of mistrial, i.e., the criminal trial was a sham, a
judgment of acquittal is final and unappealable on the ground of double jeopardy whether it happens at the trial
court level or at the Court of Appeals. In People vs. CA, GR No. 142051, February 24, 2004, the special civil
action of certiorari seeking a review and reversal of decision acquitting an accused on ground of grave abuse of
discretion is not proper. If the petition, regardless of its nomenclature, merely calls for an ordinary review of the
findings of the court a quo, without demonstrating that the lower court blatantly abused its authority to a point so
grave as to deprive it of its very power to dispense justice, the constitutional right against double jeopardy would
be violated. Such recourse is tantamount to converting the petition for certiorari into an appeal, contrary to the
express injunction of the Constitution, the R of Court and prevailing jurisprudence on double jeopardy. (Ibid.)
77. What is the effect when an accused appeals from the sentence of the trial court?
ANSWER: An appeal in a criminal case opens the entire case for review on any question including one not
raised by the parties. When an accuse appeals from the sentence of the trial court, he or she waives the
constitutional safeguard against double jeopardy and throws the whole case open to the review of the appellate
court, which is then called upon to render judgment as law and justice dictates. An appeal confers upon the
appellate court jurisdiction to examine the records, revise the judgment appealed from, increase (or reduce) the
penalty, and cite the proper provision of the penal law. The appellate court may, and generally does, look into
the entire records to ensure that no fact of weight or substance has been overlooked, misapprehended, or
misapplied by the trial court. (Geroche v. People, GR No. 179080, November 26, 2014)
No ExPost Facto Law
78. What is ex post facto law? What are the characteristics of ex-post facto law?
ANSWER: Ex post facto law which penalizes a person for having committed an act which was not punishable at
the time of its commission. Such retroactive application violates a persons right to due process.
An ex post facto law is one that 1) Makes an act done before the passage of the law and which was
innocent when done, and punishes such an act; 2) Aggravates a crime, or makes it greater that it was, when
committed; 3) Changes the punishment and inflicts a greater punishment than the law annexed to the crime
when committed; 4) Alters the legal rules of evidence, authorizes conviction upon less or different testimony
than the law required at the time of the commission of the offense; 5) Assuming to regulate civil rights and
remedies only, in effect imposes penalty or deprivation of a right for something which when done was lawful;
and 6) 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.
The prohibition against ex post facto law applies only to penal laws which are given retroactive effect.
Penal law is one that prescribes a criminal penalty imposable in a criminal trial. A law is also penal if it
prescribes a burden equivalent to a criminal penalty (eg. disqualification from the practice of a profession) even
if such burden is imposed in an administrative proceeding (Pascual vs. Board of Medical Examiners, 28 SCRA
344)
79. Australia and the Philippines entered into an extradition treaty. The treaty provided that
extradition may be granted irrespective of the date when the offense was committed. Australia asked
that WRIGHT be extradited for swindling and perjury committed before the treaty took effect.
WRIGHT argued that his extradition for offenses committed before the effectivity of the extradition
treaty violates the prohibition against ex post facto laws. Decide.
ANSWER: The prohibition against ex post facto laws applies to penal laws only. The extradition treaty is not a
criminal statute. (Wright vs. Court of Appeals, 235 SCRA 341)
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