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NOTES IN CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II FOR FINAL EXAM

Searches and seizures.


Sec. 2. Art. Ill: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and
effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any
purpose shall be inviolable, and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue, except
upon probable cause to be determined personally by a judge, after examination under
oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, particularly
describing the place to be searched, or the persons or things to the seized.
Scope of the protection.
The protection is available to all persons, including aliens, whether accused of a
crime or not. Artificial persons are also entitled to the guarantee, although they may be
required to open their books of accounts for examination by the State in the exercise of
police and taxing powers. (Moncada v. Peoples Court, 80 Phil 1.)
The right is personal; it may be invoked only by the person entitled to it [Stonehill
v. Diokno, 20 SCRA 383].
As such, the right may be waived [Lopez v. Commissioner of Customs, 68 SCRA
320], either expressly or impliedly [People v. Malasugui, infra.], but the waiver must be
made by the person whose right is invaded, not by one who is not duly authorized to effect
such waiver [People v. Damaso, 212 SCRA 457].
The right applies as a distraint directed only against the government
and its agencies tasked with the enforcement of the law. The protection cannot
extend to acts committed by private individuals so as to bring them within the ambit
of alleged unlawful intrusion by the government [People v. Marti, 193 SCRA 57].

Free access to courts.


Sec. 11. Art. Ill: Free access to the courts and quasi-judicial bodies and adequate legal
assistance shall not be denied to any person by reason of poverty.
1. This is a social justice provision, implemented by the Rules of Court provision
allowing pauper suits. Note the additional guarantee of adequate legal
assistance. Read also par. 5, Sec. 5, Art. VIII.

Miranda Doctrine.

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[Sec. 12. Art. Ill:

(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 vitiates the
free will shall be used against him. Secret detention places, solitary, incomunicado, 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.

Rights are available only during custodial investigation.


The rights guaranteed in Sec. 12, Art. Ill, exist only in custodial investigation or
in custody interrogation of accused persons [People v. Judge Ayson, 175 SCRA 216],
which has been defined as 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.
The rule begins to operate at once as soon as the investigation ceases to be, a
general inquiry into 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 [People v. de la Cruz,
G.R. No. 118866-68, September 17, 1997]. In De la Torre v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No.
102786, August 14, 1998, it was reiterated that the Miranda rights apply only from the
moment the investigating officer begins to ask questions for the purpose of eliciting
admissions, confessions or any information from the accused.
Thus, in People v. Baloloy, G.R. No. 140740, April 12, 2002, it was held that this
guarantee does not apply to a spontaneous statement, not elicited through questioning
by the authorities but given in an ordinary manner whereby the suspect orally admitted

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having committed the offense. Neither can it apply to admissions or confessions made by
a suspect before he was placed under custodial investigation. In this case, the narration
before the Barangay Captain prior to custodial investigation was admissible in evidence,
but not the admissions made before Judge Dicon, inasmuch as the questioning by the
judge was done after the suspect had been arrested and such questioning already
constituted custodial investigation.
In People v. Del Rosario, G.R. No. 127755, April 14, 1999, it was held that from
the time Del Rosario was invited for questioning at the house of the barangay captain,
he was already under effective custodial investigation. Because he was not apprised nor
made aware thereof by the investigating officers, and because the prosecution failed to
establish that Del Rosario had waived his right to remain silent, his verbal admissions
were inadmissible against him.
In People v. Ordono, G.R. No. 132154, June 29, 2000, the Supreme Court held
that custodial investigation began when the accused Ordono and Medina voluntarily went
to the Santol Police Station to confess, and the investigating officer started asking
questions to elicit information from them.
In People v. Lugod, G.R. No. 136253, February 21, 2001, it was held that the
accused should have been entitled to the Miranda rights, because even assuming that he
was not yet under interrogation at the time he was brought to the police station, his
confession was elicited by a police officer who promised to help him if he told the truth.
Furthermore, when he allegedly pointed out the body of the victim, the atmosphere was
highly intimidating and not conducive to a spontaneous response as the whole police
force and nearly 100 townspeople escorted him there. Not having the benefit of counsel
and not having been informed of his rights, the confession is inadmissible.
In People v. Pasudag, G.R. No. 128822, May 4, 2001, when the accused was
brought to the station and made to sign the confiscation (of the marijuana) report, he was
already under custodial investigation.
Police Line-up
A police line-up is not considered a part of any custodial inquest, because it
is conducted before that stage of investigation is reached [People v. Bravo, G.R.
No. 135562, November 22, 1999], People v. Amestuzo, G.R. No. 104383, July 12,
2001, reiterates this rule, because in a police line-up, the process has not yet
shifted from the investigatory to the accusatory stage, and it is usually the witness
or the complainant who is interrogated and who gives a statement in the course of
the line-up.
In People v. Piedad, G.R. No. 131923, December 5, 2002, it was held that the right to
counsel accrues only after an investigation ceases to be a general inquiry into an unsolved
crime and commences an interrogation aimed at a particular subject who has been taken
into custody and to whom the police would now propound questions.

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Thus, in People v. Dagpin, G.R. No. 149560, June 10, 2004, where three
eyewitnesses identified the accused at the police station as the person who shot the victim
at the scene of the crime, the accused cannot claim that he was deprived of his
constitutional rights even if he was without counsel at the time, because he was not yet
then under custodial investigation.
However, in People v. Escordial, G.R. Nos. 138934-35, January 16, 2002, where the
accused, having become the focus of attention by the police after he had been pointed to
by a certain Ramie as the possible perpetrator of the crime, it was held that when the out-
of-court identification was conducted by the police, the accused was already under
custodial investigation.

An out-of-court identification may be made in a show-up (where the accused is


brought face to face with the witness for identification), or in a police line-up (where the
suspect is identified by a witness from a group of persons gathered for that purpose).
During custodial investigation, these types of identification have been recognized as
critical confrontations of the accused by the prosecution, necessitating the presence of
counsel for the accused. This is because the result of these pre-trial proceedings might
well settle the fate of the accused and reduce the trial to a mere formality. Thus, any
identification of an uncounseled accused made in a police line-up or in a show-up after the
start of custodial investigation is inadmissible in evidence against him [People v.
Escordial, supra.].
Investigations not considered custodial interrogation. A person under normal audit
investigation is not under custodial investigation, because an audit examiner can hardly
be deemed to be the law enforcement officer contemplated in the rule [Navallo v.
Sandiganbayan, 234 SCRA 175]. Because the Court Administrator is not a law enforcement
officer, an investigation conducted by him does not constitute custodial investigation
within the contemplation of the constitutional guarantee [Office of the Court Administrator
v. Sumilang, 271 SCRA 316].
Neither is the investigation conducted by an employer deemed custodial inquest
which will entitle the employee to the Miranda rights [Manuel v. N.C. Construction Supply,
G.R. No. 127553, November 28, 1997], An investigation conducted by the Civil Service
Commission involving fake eligibility is not custodial investigation [Remolona v. Civil
Service Commission, G.R. No. 137473, August 02, 2001].
In People v. Manzano, G.R. No. 86555, November 16, 1993, it was held that when an
arrested person signs a booking sheet and an arrest report at the police station, he does
not admit the commission of an offense nor confess to any incriminating circumstance.
The booking sheet is no more than a record of arrest and a statement on how the arrest
was made. It is simply a police report, and it has no probative value as an extrajudicial
statement of the person being detained. The signing by the accused of the booking sheet
and the arrest report is not a part of custodial investigation.
In People v. Endino, G.R. No. 133026, February 20, 2001, the Supreme Court ruled
that the admission of the videotaped confession is proper. The interview was recorded on

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video and it showed accused unburdening his guilt willingly, openly and publicly in the
presence of newsmen. Such confession does not form part of custodial investigation as it
was not given to police officers but to media men in an attempt to solicit sympathy and
forgiveness from the public. There was no showing that the interview was coerced or
against his will. However, because of the inherent danger in the use of television as a
medium for admitting Ones guilt, courts are reminded that extreme caution must be taken
in further admitting similar confessions.
Spontaneous statements, or those not elicited through questioning by law
enforcement officers, but given in an ordinary manner where the appellant verbally admits
to having committed the offense, are admissible [People v. Guillermo, G.R. No. 147786,
January 20, 2004].
What rights are available.

The rights under the Miranda Doctrine which a person under custodial investigation is
entitled to are:
a) To remain silent. If the suspect refuses to give a statement, no adverse inference
shall be made from his refusal to answer questions.

b) To competent and independent counsel [preferably of his own choice] at all


stages of the investigation [People v. Hassan, 157 SCRA 261; People v. Layuso, 175 SCRA
47]. If he cannot afford the services of counsel, he must be provided (by the Government)
with one.)
The right to counsel is intended to preclude the slightest coercion as would lead
the accused to admit something false. In Gamboa v. Cruz, 162 SCRA 642, the Supreme
Court held that the right to counsel attaches upon the start of the investigation, i.e., when
the investigating officer starts to ask questions to elicit information and/or confessions or
admissions from the respondent. At that point, the person being interrogated must be
assisted by counsel to avoid the pernicious practice of extorting false or coerced
admissions from the lips of the person undergoing investigation.
The lawyer, however, should never prevent an accused from freely and voluntarily
telling the truth [People v. Enanoria, 209 SCRA 577; People v. Continente, G.R. No. 100801,
August 25, 2000].
Indeed, as an officer of the Court, it is an attorneys duty, first and foremost, to seek
the truth. However, counsel should be able, throughout the investigation, to explain the
nature of the questions by conferring with his client and halting the investigation should
the need arise. The duty of the lawyer includes ensuring that the suspect under custodial
investigation is aware that the right of an accused to remain silent may be invoked at any
time [People v. Sayaboc, G.R. No. 147201, January 15, 2004], Thus, where the lawyer
merely affixed his signature to the confession as saksi, or as witness, and he testified
that he had not assisted the accused when the latter was investigated by the police, the

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extra-judicial confession is inadmissible in evidence [People v. Peralta, G.R. No. 145176,
March 30, 2004].
When the accused is brought to the police station only to be identified by a witness,
technically, he is not yet under custodial investigation [People v. Hatton, 210 SCRA 1],
Thus, in People v. Buntan, 221 SCRA 421, inasmuch as all that the police
investigator did was to show the suspect the victims sister and the latters sworn
statement identifying him as one of the two suspects in the killing, and the police had not
started questioning, interrogating or exacting a confession from the suspect, the right to
counsel may not yet be validly invoked.
However, in People v. Bolanos, 211 SCRA 262, where, while being conducted to the
police station on board the police jeep, the accused made an extrajudicial confession that
he had killed the victim. Inasmuch as the un-counselled confession was the sole basis of
the judgment of conviction, it was held that the trial court committed a reversible error.
While on board the police jeep, the accused was deemed to have been already under
custodial investigation, and should have been informed of his rights.

The Miranda rights are available only during custodial investigation that is,
from the moment the investigating officer begins to ask questions for the purpose
of eliciting admissions, confessions or any information from the accused.
therefore, it is proper that he was only informed of his right at the police station.
Under Section 2(b) of Republic Act No. 7438, it is sufficient that the language
used was known to and understood by him.

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Bail
In the present case, JC is charged with murder which has a penalty of
reclusion perpetua, hence he cannot be allowed bail. However, should the evidence
of guilt be found weak after hearing, the court may in its discretion, fix bail for
temporary liberty.
Under our law, bail is not a matter of right if the felony or offense committed
has an imposable penalty of reclusion perpetua or higher and the evidence of guilt
is strong.

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