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FIRST DIVISION transmit to this Court the original record of case AC-G.R. No.

[G.R. No. 92625 : December 26, 1990.] SP-13912 (sic) immediately upon receipt of this Order." 4
192 SCRA 768
JOSE ORDA and IMELDA LOZADA, Petitioners, vs. THE In reply, the respondent Court of Appeals advised the trial court that
HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS and GxIL GALANG no records can be remanded because no expediente from the lower
Respondents. court was ever elevated. For this reason, petitioners filed with
DECISION respondent court on 21 April 1989 a Motion for Clarification of its
earlier decision alleging that CA-G.R. No. SP-13912 was an original
GANCAYCO, J.: action, not an appeal emanating from, or a special civil action to
assail, a case filed with the trial court, hence no record of the case can
The question presented in this case is whether or not the Court of be remanded because no expediente from the lower court was ever
Appeals may refer a petition for habeas corpus originally filed with it elevated to the Court of Appeals; that Special Proceedings No.
to the Regional Trial Court for a full-blown trial due to conflicting SP-719 (87) was dismissed for lack of jurisdiction and the order of
facts presented by the parties. dismissal has long become final and, moreover, herein petitioners
Originally, private respondent filed a petition for habeas corpus with were never brought to the jurisdiction of the trial court in said special
the Regional Trial Court of San Pablo City to regain custody of his proceedings, so much so that they have not even presented an answer
minor daughter, Joyce, who continued staying with her maternal or opposition in said special proceedings; and that a reinstatement of
grandparents, petitioners herein, her mother being already deceased at Special Proceedings No. SP-719 (87), over which the trial court had
the initiation of the action. The case was eventually dismissed for lost jurisdiction, may not be justified by virtue of the order of the
lack of jurisdiction because petitioners, as defendants therein, had Court of Appeals to remand CA-G.R. No. 13912 for trial on the
moved to Bataan and any writ of habeas corpus to be issued by the merits. 5
trial court may not be enforced against them. The Court of Appeals 6 resolved this motion on 6 June 1989 as
Subsequently, private respondent, on the basis of his being the sole follows:
surviving parent of his daughter, filed a petition for habeas corpus At the outset, it is necessary to point out that this Court entertained
with the respondent Court of Appeals docketed as CA-G.R. No. this petition for Habeas Corpus in the exercise of its original
13912-SP, an original action to compel petitioners to produce the jurisdiction over such case. Said petition is in no way connected with
body of minor Joyce Orda Galang and explain the basis of their the one dismissed by the lower court in SP-719 (87).
custody. Petitioners herein filed their Opposition/Answer 1 alleging
that private respondent abandoned his wife and child, had no source In their Motion for Clarification, [petitioners] appear to be confused
of livelihood and therefore could not support his daughter, they by this Court's directive remanding the case to the lower court.
prayed that care and custody of the child be awarded them.: rd
It should be noted that when this Court ordered the same, it did not
On 13 April 1988, respondent court issued its assailed decision, as mean the remanding of the records, but (the) referring (of) the case to
follows: the court a quo for appropriate action, it enjoying original and
concurrent jurisdiction with this Court over habeas corpus cases (B.P.
The conflicting thesis (sic), however, of petitioner [private 129).:-cralaw
respondent herein] and respondents [petitioners herein]
require a full-blown trial of the facts alleged by the parties. Judge Napoleon Flojo also appears to be mixed up as he issued an
This could be shown by the initial discussions aforestated. Order dated January 27, 1989, which inter alia require the Chief,
Archives Section of this Court "to transmit" to the Regional Trial
The records show that [private respondent] had already Court "the original record of case AC-G.R. No. 13912 immediately
filed a similar petition before the Regional Trial Court, upon receipt of this order." (p. 106, Rollo) (sic) But no records can be
Fourth Judicial Region, Branch 31, San Pablo City, on transmitted back to the lower court simply because no records were
November 23, 1987, in Special Proceedings No. SP-719 elevated in that, as aforesaid, the case was filed here as an original
(87). However, the writ was returned unserved as action.
[petitioners] ostensibly transferred their domicile at the
Philippine Refugee Processing Center at Barrio Sabang, The [petitioners] have manifested in their motion that they were not
Morong, Bataan. given an opportunity to answer or at least comment on the petition.
Now the same is in the lower court as directed in the decision sought
Inasmuch as [petitioners] have submitted to the jurisdiction to be clarified. Indeed, issues cannot be joined if the lower court will
of the Court by producing the body of the child, Joyce Orda deprive the [petitioners] (of) their right to respond to the petition.
Galang, and submitted their comments to the petition, the
trial on the merits could now proceed to determine who of WHEREFORE, for the sake of clarity the dispositive
the parties are entitled to the custody of the child. portion of the decision dated April 13, 1988 is hereby
MODIFIED to read as follows:
WHEREFORE, premises considered, this Court hereby
decides to REMAND this case to the Regional Trial Court, "WHEREFORE, premises considered, this Court
Branch 31, San Pablo City, for trial on the merits as to hereby decides to REFER this case to the
which of the parties are legally entitled to the custody of Regional Trial Court, Branch 31, San Pablo City,
the child, Joyce Orda Galang. for trial on the merits as to which of the parties
are legally entitled to the custody of the child,
In conformity with the foregoing decision the Regional Trial Court of
San Pablo City, the Hon. Napoleon R. Flojo presiding, before which
private respondent filed his first action, ordered the reinstatement of
Special Proceedings No. SP-719 (87) and scheduled the case for trial SO ORDERED." 7
on the merits. 3 Upon examination of the records of said case,
petitioners noted that only the order of dismissal of the same was in Both parties filed separate motions for reconsideration of the
the expediente of the case. They brought this matter to the attention foregoing resolution. Petitioners contended that respondent Court of
of the trial court which then issued an order dated 27 January 1989 Appeals had no authority to refer the case to the lower court for trial
directing the Chief, Archives Section of the Court of Appeals "to on the merits because said court, in the original habeas corpus case
filed by private respondent, had never acquired jurisdiction over their

Spec Pro | Rule 102 | Full text | !1

persons. Further, that respondent court had no power to order a case all the pleadings they filed in AC-G.R. SP No. 13912
docketed with the lower court without private respondent having paid (sic).
the docketing fee and filing an appropriate pleading therein. Private
respondent, on the other hand, also set forth similar contentions and 3. Respondent Court of Appeals erred, as it is without
prayed that trial on the merits be resumed by respondent Court. authority [to do so], in directing the Regional Trial
Court, Branch 31, San Pablo City, to assign the case a
The Court of Appeals 8 resolved both motions for reconsideration on new case number without requiring herein private
13 March 1990 as follows: respondent (as petitioner therein) to pay the docket fee
therefor. 10
We entertain no doubt that [petitioners] had never been
brought to the jurisdiction of the lower court in SP: PROC. There is merit in the contentions of petitioners.
No. SP-719 (87)and agree with the claim that the Order of
dismissal issued in said case had already become final and Essentially, petitioners argue that the Court of Appeals has no power
executory. But then, it must be pointed out again that with to issue the decision remanding the proceedings to the trial court and
the filing of another petition for habeas corpus before this the two subsequent resolutions clarifying the same.
Court (docketed as AC [sic] G.R. SP No. 13912), an The assailed decision and the two resolutions of the Court of Appeals
entirely new proceeding was commenced. Unlike the lower are not supported by law and the Rules of Court. The provisions of
court in the previous habeas corpus case, this Court the Judiciary Reorganization Act (B.P. Blg. 129) cited by the
acquired jurisdiction over the persons of [petitioners] upon respondent Court of Appeals in its resolution dated 13 March 1990
their filing of an Opposition/Answer on April 4, 1988 (p. are not in point. Sections 9(1) and 21 thereof merely provide that the
14, Rollo). Court of Appeals and Regional Trial Courts, respectively, exercise
Section 9[1] in relation to Section 21 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129 original jurisdiction to issue writs of habeas corpus, among others.
confers upon the Court of Appeals authority to try and decide habeas While recognizing the concurrent original jurisdiction of both courts
corpus cases concurrent with the Regional Trial Courts. Concurrent over habeas corpus cases as special proceedings, these provisions are
or coordinate jurisdiction has been defined as that which is possessed not authority for remanding or referring to the latter original actions
by a court together with another or others over the same subject filed with the former.
matter. Clearly, therefore, Batas Pambansa Blg. 129 provides the
On the contrary, the Court of Appeals is specifically given the power
basis for Us to refer AC (sic) G.R. SP No. 13912 to the lower court
to receive evidence and perform any and all acts necessary to resolve
for trial on the merits. With the referral of AC (sic) G.R. SP No.
factual issues raised in cases falling within its original jurisdiction. 11
13912, the jurisdiction which this Court acquired over the persons of
Furthermore, under the Supreme Court Resolution dated 11 February
[petitioners] was transferred to and conferred upon the Regional Trial
1983 implementing B.P. Blg. 129 pending the corresponding
Court, which necessarily must treat said case as a separate and
thorough revision of the Rules of Court, the Court of Appeals is
distinct proceeding from the one it earlier dismissed. This means that
authorized to conduct a trial or hearing to receive evidence and for
the Regional Trial Court must assign the referred case a new number,
the purpose shall observe the procedure prescribed for the trial courts.
but need not require the [private respondent] to remit the prescribed
12 Clearly, the Court of Appeals should not have remanded or
docketing fee inasmuch as the same had already been paid with this
referred the petition for a writ of habeas corpus to the trial court.: nad
Court. What the parties need to do though is to reproduce the
pleadings they filed in AC (sic) G.R. SP No. 13912 before the Finally, the questioned decision and resolutions go against the
Regional Trial Court in order for issues to be joined therein.- nad Revised Internal Rules of the Court of Appeals. 13 Under Rule 6,
Section 2(c) (5) thereof, the proper procedure is as follows:
Accordingly, the dispositive portion of the Decision dated April 13,
1988 is hereby further clarified to read thus: RULE 6
"WHEREFORE, premises considered, this Court hereby PROCEDURE IN SPECIAL CASES
decides to REFER this case to the regional Trial Court,
Branch 31, San Pablo City, for trial on the merits as to xxx
which of the parties are legally entitled to the custody of
the child, Joyce Orda Galang. FOR THIS PURPOSE, THE SEC. 2. Special Civil Action. — Original verified petitions
PARTIES ARE DIRECTED TO REPRODUCE ALL THE for Certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, habeas corpus, quo
PLEADINGS THEY FILED IN AC (sic) G.R. SP NO. warranto and other writs may be filed in the Court of
respondent] TO PAY THE DOCKETING FEE." c. Judicial Action. — The Court may either deny due
course or dismiss the petition outright, or require the
SO ORDERED. 9 private respondent or respondents to comment on the
In this special civil action for Certiorari petitioners assign the petition, or give due course thereto.
following as errors committed by the Court of Appeals: xxx
1. Respondent Court of Appeals erred, as it is without (5) If it appears that there is need for reception of evidence,
authority [to do so], in referring the original action for the Division to which the Justice to whom the case is
habeas corpus filed before it to the Regional Trial assigned for study and report belongs shall conduct the
Court, Branch 31, San Pablo City, for trial on the hearing. The Division shall have the power to perform any
merits to determine the issue as to which of the parties acts to resolve the factual issues raised in the case
are legally entitled to the custody of the child, its (Emphasis supplied.)
reliance on Section 9[1] in relation to Section 21 of
B.P. Blg. 21 being specious. Attention is also directed to the fact that the foregoing provision is
silent as to whether or not the hearing may be delegated, unlike that
2. Respondent Court of Appeals erred in ordering the of the provision on annulment of judgments, Section 1(c)(3) of the
parties to the original action for habeas corpus filed same Rule, where, on motion of the parties, referral of any of the
before it to reproduce before the Regional Trial Court issues to a Commissioner is allowed in accordance with Rule 33 of
the Rules of Court.

Spec Pro | Rule 102 | Full text | !2

Under the foregoing disquisition, the Court of Appeals was in error in
ordering the remand and later on the referral of the original petition
for habeas corpus filed with it to the Regional Trial Court. What
respondent court should have done was to conduct the reception of
evidence and pass upon the merits of the conflicting allegations of the
parties insofar as the petition for a writ of habeas corpus is
While We agree with the conclusion reached by respondent court that
the case requires a full-blown trial of the facts, the same should be
done in the context of the special proceedings for custody of minors
under Rule 99 of the Rules of Court, and not a remand or referral of
the original action for a writ of habeas corpus filed with the
respondent court. Parenthetically, the proper venue in this action is
the place where the petitioner therein resides. 14 Petitioners' third
assigned error is disposed of accordingly.
WHEREFORE, the petition for Certiorari is hereby GRANTED. The
assailed decision and resolutions of the respondent Court of Appeals
are SET ASIDE and a new one is rendered DISMISSING the petition
for habeas corpus WITHOUT PREJUDICE to the filing by private
respondent of the appropriate special proceedings to gain custody of
his minor child. Let copies of this decision be furnished all Members
of the respondent Court of Appeals. No costs.

Spec Pro | Rule 102 | Full text | !3

EN BANC never alleged that Aileen gave birth to a full-term nine-month old
baby, we gave credence to the prosecution's contention that she
G.R. No. 158802 November 17, 2004 prematurely gave birth to an eight-month old baby by normal
IN RE: THE WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS FOR REYNALDO delivery.9 Thus, we affirmed petitioner's conviction for rape, in a
DE VILLA (detained at the New Bilibid Prisons, Muntinlupa Decision the dispositive portion of which reads:
 WHEREFORE, the judgment of the Regional Trial Court,
JUNE DE VILLA, petitioner-relator, 
 finding accused-appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt
 of the crime of rape, is AFFIRMED with the
THE DIRECTOR, NEW BILIBID PRISONS, respondent. MODIFICATIONS that he is sentenced to suffer the
DECISION penalty of reclusión perpetua and ordered to pay the
offended party P50,000.00 as civil indemnity; P50,000.00
YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.: as moral damages; costs of the suit and to provide support
for the child Leahlyn Corales Mendoza.
This is a petition for the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus under
Rule 102 of the Rules of Court. Petitioner Reynaldo de Villa, joined SO ORDERED.10
by his son, petitioner-relator June de Villa, seeks a two-fold relief:
Three years after the promulgation of our Decision, we are once more
First, that respondent Director of Prisons justify the basis for the
faced with the question of Reynaldo de Villa's guilt or innocence.
imprisonment of petitioner Reynaldo de Villa; and second, that
petitioner be granted a new trial.1 These reliefs are sought on the Petitioner-relator in this case, June de Villa, is the son of Reynaldo.
basis of purportedly exculpatory evidence, gathered after performing He alleges that during the trial of the case, he was unaware that there
deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) testing on samples allegedly collected was a scientific test that could determine once and for all if Reynaldo
from the petitioner and a child born to the victim of the rape. was the father of the victim's child, Leahlyn. Petitioner-relator was
only informed during the pendency of the automatic review of
By final judgment dated February 1, 2001, in People of the
petitioner's case that DNA testing could resolve the issue of paternity.
Philippines v. Reynaldo de Villa,2 we found petitioner guilty of the
11 This information was apparently furnished by the Free Legal
rape of Aileen Mendoza, his niece by affinity; sentenced him to suffer
Assistance Group (FLAG) Anti-Death Penalty Task Force, which
the penalty of reclusión perpetua; and ordered him to pay the
took over as counsel for petitioner.
offended party civil indemnity, moral damages, costs of the suit, and
support for Leahlyn Corales Mendoza, the putative child born of the Thus, petitioner's brief in People v. de Villa sought the conduct of a
rape. Petitioner is currently serving his sentence at the New Bilibid blood type test and DNA test in order to determine the paternity of
Prison, Muntinlupa City. the child allegedly conceived as a result of the rape.12 This relief was
As summarized in our Decision dated February 1, 2001, Aileen implicitly denied in our Decision of February 21, 2001.
Mendoza charged petitioner Reynaldo de Villa with rape in an On March 16, 2001, Reynaldo de Villa filed a Motion for Partial
information dated January 9, 1995, filed with the Regional Trial Reconsideration of the Decision, wherein he once more prayed that
Court of Pasig City. When arraigned on January 26, 1995, petitioner DNA tests be conducted.13 The Motion was denied with finality in a
entered a plea of "not guilty."3 Resolution dated November 20, 2001.14 Hence, the Decision became
During the trial, the prosecution established that sometime in the final and executory on January 16, 2002.15
third week of April 1994, at about 10:00 in the morning, Aileen Petitioner-relator was undaunted by these challenges. Having been
Mendoza woke up in her family's rented room in Sagad, Pasig, Metro informed that DNA tests required a sample that could be extracted
Manila, to find petitioner on top of her. Aileen was then aged 12 from saliva, petitioner-relator asked Billy Joe de Villa, a grandson of
years and ten months. She was unable to shout for help because Reynaldo de Villa and a classmate of Leahlyn Mendoza, to ask
petitioner covered her mouth with a pillow and threatened to kill her. Leahlyn to spit into a new, sterile cup.16 Leahlyn readily agreed and
Aileen could not do anything but cry. Petitioner succeeded in did so. Billy Joe took the sample home and gave it to the petitioner-
inserting his penis inside her vagina. After making thrusting motions relator, who immediately labeled the cup as "Container A."
with his body, petitioner ejaculated. This encounter allegedly resulted
in Aileen's pregnancy, which was noticed by her mother, Leonila Petitioner-relator then gathered samples from four grandchildren of
Mendoza, sometime in November 1994. When confronted by her Reynaldo de Villa. These samples were placed in separate containers
mother, Aileen revealed that petitioner raped her. Aileen's parents with distinguishing labels and temporarily stored in a refrigerator
then brought her to the Pasig Police Station, where they lodged a prior to transport to the DNA Analysis Laboratory at the National
criminal complaint against petitioner.4 Science Research Institute (NSRI).17 During transport, the containers
containing the saliva samples were kept on ice.
Dr. Rosaline Cosidon, who examined Aileen, confirmed that she was
eight months pregnant and found in her hymen healed lacerations at Petitioner-relator requested the NSRI to conduct DNA testing on the
the 5:00 and 8:00 positions. On December 19, 1994, Aileen gave sample given by Leahlyn Mendoza, those given by the grandchildren
birth to a baby girl whom she named Leahlyn Mendoza.5 of Reynaldo de Villa, and that given by Reynaldo de Villa himself.
The identities of the donors of the samples, save for the sample given
In his defense, petitioner alleged that, at the time of the alleged rape, by Reynaldo de Villa, were not made known to the DNA Analysis
he was already 67 years old. Old age and sickness had rendered him Laboratory.18
incapable of having an erection. He further averred that Aileen's
family had been holding a grudge against him, which accounted for After testing, the DNA Laboratory rendered a preliminary report on
the criminal charges. Finally, he interposed the defense of alibi, March 21, 2003, which showed that Reynaldo de Villa could not have
claiming that at the time of the incident, he was in his hometown of sired any of the children whose samples were tested, due to the
San Luis, Batangas.6 absence of a match between the pertinent genetic markers in
petitioner's sample and those of any of the other samples, including
The trial court found petitioner guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the Leahlyn's.19
crime of qualified rape, and sentenced him to death, to indemnify the
victim in the amount of P50,000.00, to pay the costs of the suit and to Hence, in the instant petition for habeas corpus, petitioner argues as
support the child, Leahlyn Mendoza.7 follows:
On automatic review,8 we found that the date of birth of Aileen's DNA ANALYSIS ON PATERNITY SHOWS
child was medically consistent with the time of the rape. Since it was CONCLUSIVELY THAT PETITIONER DE VILLA IS

Spec Pro | Rule 102 | Full text | !4

NOT THE FATHER OF LEAHLYN MENDOZA; HIS the early case of Abriol v. Homeres,27 for example, this Court stated
CONVICTION FOR RAPE, BASED ON THE FACT the general rule that the writ of habeas corpus is not a writ of error,
THAT LEAHLYN WAS SIRED AS A RESULT OF THE and should not be thus used. The writ of habeas corpus, whereas
ALLEGED RAPE, CANNOT STAND AND MUST BE permitting a collateral challenge of the jurisdiction of the court or
SET ASIDE.20 tribunal issuing the process or judgment by which an individual is
deprived of his liberty, cannot be distorted by extending the inquiry to
xxx xxx xxx mere errors of trial courts acting squarely within their jurisdiction.28
A NEW TRIAL TO CONSIDER NEWLY DISCOVERED The reason for this is explained very simply in the case of Velasco v.
EVIDENCE IS PROPER AND MAY BE ORDERED BY Court of Appeals:29 a habeas corpus petition reaches the body, but
THIS COURT IN VIEW OF THE RESULTS OF THE not the record of the case. 30 A record must be allowed to remain
DNA TESTS CONDUCTED.21 extant, and cannot be revised, modified, altered or amended by the
simple expedient of resort to habeas corpus proceedings.
Considering that the issues are inter-twined, they shall be discussed
together. Clearly, mere errors of fact or law, which did not have the effect of
depriving the trial court of its jurisdiction over the case and the
In brief, petitioner relies upon the DNA evidence gathered subsequent person of the defendant, are not correctible in a petition for the
to the trial in order to re-litigate the factual issue of the paternity of issuance of the writ of habeas corpus; if at all, these errors must be
the child Leahlyn Mendoza. Petitioner alleges that this issue is corrected on certiorari or on appeal, in the form and manner
crucial, considering that his conviction in 2001 was based on the prescribed by law.31 In the past, this Court has disallowed the review
factual finding that he sired the said child. Since this paternity is now of a court's appreciation of the evidence in a petition for the issuance
conclusively disproved, he argues that the 2001 conviction must be of a writ of habeas corpus, as this is not the function of said writ.32 A
overturned. survey of our decisions in habeas corpus cases demonstrates that, in
general, the writ of habeas corpus is a high prerogative writ which
In essence, petitioner invokes the remedy of the writ of habeas corpus furnishes an extraordinary remedy; it may thus be invoked only under
to collaterally attack the 2001 Decision. The ancillary remedy of a extraordinary circumstances.33 We have been categorical in our
motion for new trial is resorted to solely to allow the presentation of pronouncements that the writ of habeas corpus is not to be used as a
what is alleged to be newly-discovered evidence. This Court is thus substitute for another, more proper remedy. Resort to the writ of
tasked to determine, first, the propriety of the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus is available only in the limited instances when a
habeas corpus to release an individual already convicted and serving judgment is rendered by a court or tribunal devoid of jurisdiction. If,
sentence by virtue of a final and executory judgment; and second, the for instance, it can be demonstrated that there was a deprivation of a
propriety of granting a new trial under the same factual scenario. constitutional right, the writ can be granted even after an individual
has been meted a sentence by final judgment.
The extraordinary writ of habeas corpus has long been a haven of
relief for those seeking liberty from any unwarranted denial of Thus, in the case of Chavez v. Court of Appeals,34 the writ of habeas
freedom of movement. Very broadly, the writ applies "to all cases of corpus was held to be available where an accused was deprived of the
illegal confinement or detention by which a person has been deprived constitutional right against self-incrimination. A defect so pronounced
of his liberty, or by which the rightful custody of any person has been as the denial of an accused's constitutional rights results in the
withheld from the person entitled thereto".22 Issuance of the writ absence or loss of jurisdiction, and therefore invalidates the trial and
necessitates that a person be illegally deprived of his liberty. In the the consequent conviction of the accused. That void judgment of
celebrated case of Villavicencio v. Lukban,23 we stated that "[a]ny conviction may be challenged by collateral attack, which precisely is
restraint which will preclude freedom of action is sufficient."24 the function of habeas corpus.35 Later, in Gumabon v. Director of the
Bureau of Prisons,36 this Court ruled that, once a deprivation of a
The most basic criterion for the issuance of the writ, therefore, is that constitutional right is shown to exist, the court that rendered the
the individual seeking such relief be illegally deprived of his freedom judgment is deemed ousted of jurisdiction and habeas corpus is the
of movement or placed under some form of illegal restraint. If an appropriate remedy to assail the legality of the detention.37 Although
individual's liberty is restrained via some legal process, the writ of in Feria v. Court of Appeals38 this Court was inclined to allow the
habeas corpus is unavailing. Concomitant to this principle, the writ of presentation of new evidence in a petition for the issuance of a writ of
habeas corpus cannot be used to directly assail a judgment rendered habeas corpus, this was an exceptional situation. In that case, we laid
by a competent court or tribunal which, having duly acquired down the general rule, which states that the burden of proving illegal
jurisdiction, was not deprived or ousted of this jurisdiction through restraint by the respondent rests on the petitioner who attacks such
some anomaly in the conduct of the proceedings. restraint. Where the return is not subject to exception, that is, where it
Thus, notwithstanding its historic function as the great writ of liberty, sets forth a process which, on its face, shows good ground for the
the writ of habeas corpus has very limited availability as a post- detention of the prisoner, it is incumbent on petitioner to allege and
conviction remedy. In the recent case of Feria v. Court of Appeals,25 prove new matter that tends to invalidate the apparent effect of such
we ruled that review of a judgment of conviction is allowed in a process.39
petition for the issuance of the writ of habeas corpus only in very In the recent case of Calvan v. Court of Appeals,40 we summarized
specific instances, such as when, as a consequence of a judicial the scope of review allowable in a petition for the issuance of the writ
proceeding, (a) there has been a deprivation of a constitutional right of habeas corpus. We ruled that the writ of habeas corpus, although
resulting in the restraint of a person; (b) the court had no jurisdiction not designed to interrupt the orderly administration of justice, can be
to impose the sentence; or (c) an excessive penalty has been imposed, invoked by the attendance of a special circumstance that requires
as such sentence is void as to such excess.26 immediate action. In such situations, the inquiry on a writ of habeas
In this instance, petitioner invokes the writ of habeas corpus to assail corpus would be addressed, not to errors committed by a court within
a final judgment of conviction, without, however, providing a legal its jurisdiction, but to the question of whether the proceeding or
ground on which to anchor his petition. In fine, petitioner alleges judgment under which a person has been restrained is a complete
neither the deprivation of a constitutional right, the absence of nullity. The probe may thus proceed to check on the power and
jurisdiction of the court imposing the sentence, or that an excessive authority, itself an equivalent test of jurisdiction, of the court or the
penalty has been imposed upon him. judge to render the order that so serves as the basis of imprisonment
or detention.41 It is the nullity of an assailed judgment of conviction
In fine, petitioner invokes the remedy of habeas corpus in order to which makes it susceptible to collateral attack through the filing of a
seek the review of findings of fact long passed upon with finality. petition for the issuance of the writ of habeas corpus.
This relief is far outside the scope of habeas corpus proceedings. In

Spec Pro | Rule 102 | Full text | !5

Upon a perusal of the records not merely of this case but of People v. victim's pregnancy and resultant childbirth are irrelevant in
de Villa, we find that the remedy of the writ of habeas corpus is determining whether or not she was raped. Pregnancy is not an
unavailing. essential element of the crime of rape. Whether the child which the
victim bore was fathered by the purported rapist, or by some
First, the denial of a constitutional right has not been alleged by unknown individual, is of no moment in determining an individual's
petitioner. As such, this Court is hard-pressed to find legal basis on guilt.
which to anchor the grant of a writ of habeas corpus. Much as this
Court sympathizes with petitioner's plea, a careful scrutiny of the In the instant case, however, we note that the grant of child support to
records does not reveal any constitutional right of which the Leahlyn Mendoza indicates that our Decision was based, at least in
petitioner was unduly deprived. small measure, on the victim's claim that the petitioner fathered her
child. This claim was given credence by the trial court, and, as a
We are aware that other jurisdictions have seen fit to grant the writ of finding of fact, was affirmed by this Court on automatic review.
habeas corpus in order to test claims that a defendant was denied
effective aid of counsel.42 In this instance, we note that the record is The fact of the child's paternity is now in issue, centrally relevant to
replete with errors committed by counsel, and it can be alleged that the civil award of child support. It is only tangentially related to the
the petitioner was, at trial, denied the effective aid of counsel. The issue of petitioner's guilt. However, if it can be conclusively
United States Supreme Court requires a defendant alleging determined that the petitioner did not sire Leahlyn Mendoza, this may
incompetent counsel to show that the attorney's performance was cast the shadow of reasonable doubt, and allow the acquittal of the
deficient under a reasonable standard, and additionally to show that petitioner on this basis.
the outcome of the trial would have been different with competent
counsel.43 The purpose of the right to effective assistance of counsel Be that as it may, it appears that the petitioner once more relies upon
is to ensure that the defendant receives a fair trial.44 erroneous legal grounds in resorting to the remedy of a motion for
new trial. A motion for new trial, under the Revised Rules of
The U.S. Supreme Court asserts that in judging any claim of Criminal Procedure, is available only for a limited period of time, and
ineffective assistance of counsel, one must examine whether for very limited grounds. Under Section 1, Rule 121, of the Revised
counsel's conduct undermined the proper functioning of the Rules of Criminal Procedure, a motion for new trial may be filed at
adversarial process to such an extent that the trial did not produce a any time before a judgment of conviction becomes final, that is,
fair and just result.45 The proper measure of attorney performance is within fifteen (15) days from its promulgation or notice. Upon
"reasonable" under the prevailing professional norms, and the finality of the judgment, therefore, a motion for new trial is no longer
defendant must show that the representation received fell below the an available remedy. Section 2 of Rule 121 enumerates the grounds
objective standard of reasonableness.46 For the petition to succeed, for a new trial:
the strong presumption that the counsel's conduct falls within the
wide range or reasonable professional assistance must be overcome. SEC. 2. Grounds for a new trial.—The court shall grant a
47 new trial on any of the following grounds:

In the case at bar, it appears that in the middle of the appeal, the (a) That errors of law or irregularities prejudicial to the
petitioner's counsel of record, a certain Atty. Alfonso G. Salvador, substantial rights of the accused have been committed
suddenly and inexplicably withdrew his appearance as counsel, during the trial;
giving the sole explanation that he was "leaving for the United States
(b) That new and material evidence has been discovered
for an indefinite period of time by virtue of a petition filed in his
which the accused could not with reasonable diligence have
favor."48 In the face of this abandonment, petitioner made an
discovered and produced at the trial and which if
impassioned plea that his lawyer be prevented from this withdrawal
introduced and admitted would probably change the
in a handwritten "Urgent Motion for Reconsideration and Opposition
of Counsel's Withdrawal of Appearance with Leave of Court"
received by this Court on September 14, 1999.49 Petitioner alleged In the case at bar, petitioner anchors his plea on the basis of
that his counsel's withdrawal is an "untimely and heartbreaking purportedly "newly-discovered evidence", i.e., the DNA test
event", considering that he had placed "all [his] trust and confidence subsequently conducted, allegedly excluding petitioner from the child
on [his counsel's] unquestionable integrity and dignity."50 purportedly fathered as a result of the rape.
While we are sympathetic to petitioner's plight, we do not, however, The decision sought to be reviewed in this petition for the issuance of
find that there was such negligence committed by his earlier counsel a writ of habeas corpus has long attained finality, and entry of
so as to amount to a denial of a constitutional right. There is likewise judgment was made as far back as January 16, 2002. Moreover, upon
no showing that the proceedings were tainted with any other an examination of the evidence presented by the petitioner, we do not
jurisdictional defect. find that the DNA evidence falls within the statutory or
jurisprudential definition of "newly- discovered evidence".
In fine, we find that petitioner invokes the remedy of the petition for
a writ of habeas corpus to seek a re-examination of the records of A motion for new trial based on newly-discovered evidence may be
People v. de Villa, without asserting any legal grounds therefor. For granted only if the following requisites are met: (a) that the evidence
all intents and purposes, petitioner seeks a reevaluation of the was discovered after trial; (b) that said evidence could not have been
evidentiary basis for his conviction. We are being asked to reexamine discovered and produced at the trial even with the exercise of
the weight and sufficiency of the evidence in this case, not on its reasonable diligence; (c) that it is material, not merely cumulative,
own, but in light of the new DNA evidence that the petitioner seeks to corroborative or impeaching; and (d) that the evidence is of such
present to this Court. This relief is outside the scope of a habeas weight that that, if admitted, it would probably change the judgment.
corpus petition. The petition for habeas corpus must, therefore, fail. 52 It is essential that the offering party exercised reasonable diligence
in seeking to locate the evidence before or during trial but
Coupled with the prayer for the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus, nonetheless failed to secure it.53
petitioner seeks a new trial to re-litigate the issue of the paternity of
the child Leahlyn Mendoza. In this instance, although the DNA evidence was undoubtedly
discovered after the trial, we nonetheless find that it does not meet
It must be stressed that the issue of Leahlyn Mendoza's paternity is
the criteria for "newly-discovered evidence" that would merit a new
not central to the issue of petitioner's guilt or innocence. The rape of
trial. Such evidence disproving paternity could have been discovered
the victim Aileen Mendoza is an entirely different question, separate
and produced at trial with the exercise of reasonable diligence.
and distinct from the question of the father of her child. Recently, in
the case of People v. Alberio,51 we ruled that the fact or not of the

Spec Pro | Rule 102 | Full text | !6

Petitioner-relator's claim that he was "unaware" of the existence of
DNA testing until the trial was concluded carries no weight with this
Court. Lack of knowledge of the existence of DNA testing speaks of
negligence, either on the part of petitioner, or on the part of
petitioner's counsel. In either instance, however, this negligence is
binding upon petitioner. It is a settled rule that a party cannot blame
his counsel for negligence when he himself was guilty of neglect.54
A client is bound by the acts of his counsel, including the latter's
mistakes and negligence.55 It is likewise settled that relief will not be
granted to a party who seeks to be relieved from the effects of the
judgment when the loss of the remedy at law was due to his own
negligence, or to a mistaken mode of procedure.56
Even with all of the compelling and persuasive scientific evidence
presented by petitioner and his counsel, we are not convinced that
Reynaldo de Villa is entitled to outright acquittal. As correctly
pointed out by the Solicitor General, even if it is conclusively proven
that Reynaldo de Villa is not the father of Leahlyn Mendoza, his
conviction could, in theory, still stand, with Aileen Mendoza's
testimony and positive identification as its bases.57 The Solicitor
General reiterates, and correctly so, that the pregnancy of the victim
has never been an element of the crime of rape.58 Therefore, the
DNA evidence has failed to conclusively prove to this Court that
Reynaldo de Villa should be discharged. Although petitioner claims
that conviction was based solely on a finding of paternity of the child
Leahlyn, this is not the case. Our conviction was based on the clear
and convincing testimonial evidence of the victim, which, given
credence by the trial court, was affirmed on appeal.
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the instant petition for
habeas corpus and new trial is DISMISSED for lack of merit.
No costs.

Spec Pro | Rule 102 | Full text | !7

FIRST DIVISION Code, an earnest effort to reach a compromise is an indispensable
G.R. No. 137359 September 13, 2004 condition precedent. Article 151 provides:
EDWIN N. TRIBIANA, petitioner, 

 No suit between members of the same family shall prosper
LOURDES M. TRIBIANA, respondent unless it should appear from the verified complaint or
DECISION petition that earnest efforts toward a compromise have been
made, but that the same have failed. If it is shown that no
CARPIO, J.: such efforts were in fact made, the case must be dismissed.
The Case This rule shall not apply to cases which may not be the subject of
This petition for review on certiorari1 seeks to reverse the Court of compromise under the Civil Code.
Appeals’ Resolutions2 dated 2 July 1998 and 18 January 1999 in CA-
G.R. SP No. 48049. The Court of Appeals affirmed the Order3 of the Edwin’s arguments do not persuade us.
Regional Trial Court, Branch 19, Bacoor, Cavite ("RTC"), denying It is true that the petition for habeas corpus filed by Lourdes failed to
petitioner Edwin N. Tribiana’s ("Edwin") motion to dismiss the allege that she resorted to compromise proceedings before filing the
petition for habeas corpus filed against him by respondent Lourdes petition. However, in her opposition to Edwin’s motion to dismiss,
Tribiana ("Lourdes"). Lourdes attached a Barangay Certification to File Action dated 1 May
Antecedent Facts 1998. Edwin does not dispute the authenticity of the Barangay
Edwin and Lourdes are husband and wife who have lived together Certification and its contents. This effectively established that the
since 1996 but formalized their union only on 28 October 1997. On parties tried to compromise but were unsuccessful in their efforts.
30 April 1998, Lourdes filed a petition for habeas corpus before the However, Edwin would have the petition dismissed despite the
RTC claiming that Edwin left their conjugal home with their existence of the Barangay Certification, which he does not even
daughter, Khriza Mae Tribiana ("Khriza"). Edwin has since deprived dispute.
Lourdes of lawful custody of Khriza who was then only one (1) year
and four (4) months of age. Later, it turned out that Khriza was being Evidently, Lourdes has complied with the condition precedent under
held by Edwin’s mother, Rosalina Tribiana ("Rosalina"). Edwin Article 151 of the Family Code. A dismissal under Section 1(j) of
moved to dismiss Lourdes’ petition on the ground that the petition Rule 16 is warranted only if there is a failure to comply with a
failed to allege that earnest efforts at a compromise were made before condition precedent. Given that the alleged defect is a mere failure to
its filing as required by Article 151 of the Family Code. allege compliance with a condition precedent, the proper solution is
On 20 May 1998, Lourdes filed her opposition to Edwin’s motion to not an outright dismissal of the action, but an amendment under
dismiss claiming that there were prior efforts at a compromise, which Section 1 of Rule 10 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure.5 It would
failed. Lourdes attached to her opposition a copy of the Certification have been a different matter if Edwin had asserted that no efforts to
to File Action from their Barangay dated 1 May 1998. arrive at a compromise have been made at all.
On 18 May 1998, the RTC denied Edwin’s motion to dismiss and In addition, the failure of a party to comply with a condition
reiterated a previous order requiring Edwin and his mother, Rosalina precedent is not a jurisdictional defect.6 Such defect does not place
to bring Khriza before the RTC. Upon denial of his motion for the controversy beyond the court’s power to resolve. If a party fails to
reconsideration, Edwin filed with the Court of Appeals a petition for raise such defect in a motion to dismiss, such defect is deemed
prohibition and certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Civil waived.7 Such defect is curable by amendment as a matter of right
Procedure. The appellate court denied Edwin’s petition on 2 July without leave of court, if made before the filing of a responsive
1998. The appellate court also denied Edwin’s motion for pleading.8 A motion to dismiss is not a responsive pleading.9 More
reconsideration. importantly, an amendment alleging compliance with a condition
precedent is not a jurisdictional matter. Neither does it alter the cause
Hence, this petition.
of action of a petition for habeas corpus. We have held that in cases
The Rulings of the RTC and the Court of Appeals where the defect consists of the failure to state compliance with a
The RTC denied Edwin’s motion to dismiss on the ground that the condition precedent, the trial court should order the amendment of
Certification to File Action attached by Lourdes to her opposition the complaint.10 Courts should be liberal in allowing amendments to
clearly indicates that the parties attempted to reach a compromise but pleadings to avoid multiplicity of suits and to present the real
failed. controversies between the parties.11
The Court of Appeals upheld the ruling of the RTC and added that Moreover, in a habeas corpus proceeding involving the welfare and
under Section 412 (b) (2) of the Local Government Code, custody of a child of tender age, the paramount concern is to resolve
conciliation proceedings before the barangay are not required in immediately the issue of who has legal custody of the child.
petitions for habeas corpus. Technicalities should not stand in the way of giving such child of
The Issue tender age full protection.12 This rule has sound statutory basis in
Article 213 of the Family Code, which states, "No child under seven
Edwin seeks a reversal and raises the following issue for resolution: years of age shall be separated from the mother unless the court finds
compelling reasons to order otherwise." In this case, the child
WHETHER THE TRIAL AND APPELLATE COURTS (Khriza) was only one year and four months when taken away from
TO COMPLY WITH THE CONDITION PRECEDENT The Court of Appeals dismissed Edwin’s contentions by citing as an
UNDER ARTICLE 151 OF THE FAMILY CODE. additional ground the exception in Section 412 (b) (2) of the Local
Government Code ("LGC") on barangay conciliation, which states:
The Ruling of the Court
(b) Where the parties may go directly to court. – the parties
The petition lacks merit. may go directly to court in the following instances:
Edwin argues that Lourdes’ failure to indicate in her petition for xxx
habeas corpus that the parties exerted prior efforts to reach a
compromise and that such efforts failed is a ground for the petition’s 2) Where a person has otherwise been deprived
dismissal under Section 1(j), Rule 16 of the 1997 Rules of Civil of personal liberty calling for habeas corpus
Procedure.4 Edwin maintains that under Article 151 of the Family proceedings;

Spec Pro | Rule 102 | Full text | !8

Under Rule 102 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, a
party may resort to a habeas corpus proceeding in two
instances. The first is when any person is deprived of
liberty either through illegal confinement or through
detention. The second instance is when custody of any
person is withheld from the person entitled to such custody.
The most common case falling under the second instance
involves children who are taken away from a parent by
another parent or by a relative. The case filed by Lourdes
falls under this category.
The barangay conciliation requirement in Section 412 of the LGC
does not apply to habeas corpus proceedings where a person is
"deprived of personal liberty." In such a case, Section 412 expressly
authorizes the parties "to go directly to court" without need of any
conciliation proceedings. There is deprivation of personal liberty
warranting a petition for habeas corpus where the "rightful custody of
any person is withheld from the person entitled thereto."13 Thus, the
Court of Appeals did not err when it dismissed Edwin’s contentions
on the additional ground that Section 412 exempts petitions for
habeas corpus from the barangay conciliation requirement.
The petition for certiorari filed by Edwin questioning the RTC’s
denial of his motion to dismiss merely states a blanket allegation of
"grave abuse of discretion." An order denying a motion to dismiss is
interlocutory and is not a proper subject of a petition for certiorari.14
Even in the face of an error of judgment on the part of a judge
denying the motion to dismiss, certiorari will not lie. Certiorari is not
a remedy to correct errors of procedure.15 The proper remedy against
an order denying a motion to dismiss is to file an answer and
interpose as affirmative defenses the objections raised in the motion
to dismiss. It is only in the presence of extraordinary circumstances
evincing a patent disregard of justice and fair play where resort to a
petition for certiorari is proper.16
The litigation of substantive issues must not rest on a prolonged
contest on technicalities. This is precisely what has happened in this
case. The circumstances are devoid of any hint of the slightest abuse
of discretion by the RTC or the Court of Appeals. A party must not be
allowed to delay litigation by the sheer expediency of filing a petition
for certiorari under Rule 65 based on scant allegations of grave abuse.
More importantly, any matter involving the custody of a child of
tender age deserves immediate resolution to protect the child’s

WHEREFORE, we DISMISS the instant petition for lack of merit.

We AFFIRM the Resolutions of the Court of Appeals dated 2 July
1998 and 18 January 1999 in CA-G.R. SP No. 48049. The Regional
Trial Court, Branch 19, Bacoor, Cavite is ordered to act with dispatch
in resolving the petition for habeas corpus pending before it. This

Spec Pro | Rule 102 | Full text | !9

EN BANC Petitioner's motion for reconsideration of the said Order
under challenge, having been denied by the assailed Order
of October 5, 1990, petitioners have come to this Court via
G.R. No. 104879 May 6, 1994 the instant petition, raising the sole issue:

capacity as Presiding Judge, Branch 131, Regional Trial Court of AN OFFENSE ALLEGEDLY COMMITTED
Presiding Judge, Branch 88, Regional Trial Court of Quezon AND TO ISSUE A WARRANT TO CONDUCT

Creative legal advocacy has provided this Court with another primae xxx xxx xxx
impressionis case through the present petition wherein the parties
Respondent Court of Appeals rendered judgment, 3 in effect
have formulated and now pose for resolution the following issue:
affirming that of the trial court, by denying due course to the petition
Whether or not a court may take cognizance of an application for a
for certiorari and lifting the temporary restraining order it had issued
search warrant in connection with an offense committed outside its
on November 29, 1990 in connection therewith. This judgment of
territorial boundary and, thereafter, issue the warrant to conduct a
respondent court is now impugned in and sought to be reversed
search on a place outside the court's supposed territorial jurisdiction.
through the present recourse before us.
We are not favorably impressed by the arguments adduced by
The factual background and judicial antecedents of this case are best
petitioners in support of their submissions. Their disquisitions
taken from the findings of respondent Court of Appeals 2 on which
postulate interpretative theories contrary to the letter and intent of the
there does not appear to be any dispute, to wit:
rules on search warrants and which could pose legal obstacles, if not
From the pleadings and supporting documents before the dangerous doctrines, in the area of law enforcement. Further, they fail
Court, it can be gathered that on March 22, 1990, 1st Lt. to validly distinguish, hence they do not convincingly delineate the
Absalon V. Salboro of the CAPCOM Northern Sector (now difference, between the matter of (1) the court which has the
Central Sector) filed with the Regional Trial Court of competence to issue a search warrant under a given set of facts, and
Kalookan City an application for search warrant. The (2) the permissible jurisdictional range in the enforcement of such
search warrant was sought for in connection with an search warrant vis-a-vis the court's territorial jurisdiction. These
alleged violation of P.D. 1866 (Illegal Possession of issues while effectively cognate are essentially discrete since the
Firearms and Ammunitions) perpetrated at No. 25 Newport resolution of one does not necessarily affect or preempt the other.
St., corner Marlboro St., Fairview, Quezon City. On March Accordingly, to avoid compounding the seeming confusion, these
23, 1990, respondent RTC Judge of Kalookan City issued questions shall be discussed seriatim.
Search Warrant No. 95-90. On the same day, at around 2:30
p.m., members of the CAPCOM, armed with subject search I
warrant, proceeded to the situs of the offense alluded to, Petitioners invoke the jurisdictional rules in the institution of criminal
where a labor seminar of the Ecumenical Institute for Labor actions to invalidate the search warrant issued by the Regional Trial
Education and Research (EILER) was then taking place. Court of Kalookan City because it is directed toward the seizure of
According to CAPCOM's "Inventory of Property Seized," firearms and ammunition allegedly cached illegally in Quezon City.
firearms, explosive materials and subversive documents, This theory is sought to be buttressed by the fact that the criminal
among others, were seized and taken during the search. case against petitioners for violation of Presidential Decree No. 1866
And all the sixty-one (61) persons found within the was subsequently filed in the latter court. The application for the
premises searched were brought to Camp Karingal, Quezon search warrant, it is claimed, was accordingly filed in a court of
City but most of them were later released, with the improper venue and since venue in criminal actions involves the
exception of the herein petitioners, EILER Instructors, who territorial jurisdiction of the court, such warrant is void for having
were indicated for violation of P.D. 1866 in Criminal Case been issued by a court without jurisdiction to do so.
No. Q-90-11757 before Branch 88 of the Regional Trial
Court of Quezon City, presided over by respondent Judge The basic flaw in this reasoning is in erroneously equating the
Tirso D.C. Velasco. application for and the obtention of a search warrant with the
institution and prosecution of a criminal action in a trial court. It
On July 10, 1990, petitioners presented a "Motion for would thus categorize what is only a special criminal process, the
Consolidation, Quashal of Search Warrant and For the power to issue which is inherent in all courts, as equivalent to a
Suppression of All Illegally Acquired Evidence" before the criminal action, jurisdiction over which is reposed in specific courts
Quezon City court; and a "Supplemental Motion to the of indicated competence. It ignores the fact that the requisites,
Motion for Consolidation, Quashal of Search Warrant and procedure and purpose for the issuance of a search warrant are
Exclusion of Evidence Illegally Obtained. completely different from those for the institution of a criminal
On September 21, 1990, the respondent Quezon City Judge action.
issued the challenged order, consolidating subject cases but For, indeed, a warrant, such as a warrant of arrest or a search warrant,
denying the prayer for the quashal of the search warrant merely constitutes process.4 A search warrant is defined in our
under attack, the validity of which warrant was upheld; jurisdiction as an order in writing issued in the name of the People of
opining that the same falls under the category of Writs and the Philippines signed by a judge and directed to a peace officer,
Processes, within the contemplation of paragraph 3(b) of commanding him to search for personal property and bring it before
the Interim Rules and Guidelines, and can be served not the court.5 A search warrant is in the nature of a criminal process akin
only within the territorial jurisdiction of the issuing court to a writ of discovery. It is a special and peculiar remedy, drastic in its
but anywhere in the judicial region of the issuing court nature, and made necessary because of a public necessity. 6
(National Capital Judicial Region);. . .

Spec Pro | Rule 102 | Full text | !10

In American jurisdictions, from which we have taken our jural Our Rules of Court, whether of the 1940, 1964 or the present vintage,
concept and provisions on search warrants, 7 such warrant is and, for that matter, the Judiciary Act of 1948 12 or the recent
definitively considered merely as a process, generally issued by a Judiciary Reorganization Act, 13 have never required the
court in the exercise of its ancillary jurisdiction, and not a criminal jurisdictional strictures that the petitioners' thesis would seek to be
action to be entertained by a court pursuant to its original jurisdiction. inferentially drawn from the silence of the reglementary provisions.
We emphasize this fact for purposes of both issues as formulated in On the contrary, we are of the view that said statutory omission was
this opinion, with the catalogue of authorities herein. both deliberate and significant. It cannot but mean that the
formulators of the Rules of Court, and even Congress itself, did not
Invariably, a judicial process is defined as a writ, warrant, subpoena, consider it proper or correct, on considerations of national policy and
or other formal writing issued by authority of law; also the means of the pragmatics of experience, to clamp a legal manacle on those who
accomplishing an end, including judicial proceedings, 8 or all writs, would ferret out the evidence of a crime. For us to now impose such
warrants, summonses, and orders of courts of justice or judicial conditions or restrictions, under the guise of judicial interpretation,
officers. 9 It is likewise held to include a writ, summons, or order may instead be reasonably construed as trenching on judicial
issued in a judicial proceeding to acquire jurisdiction of a person or legislation. It would be tantamount to a judicial act of engrafting
his property, to expedite the cause or enforce the judgment, 10 or a upon a law something that has been omitted but which someone
writ, warrant, mandate, or other process issuing from a court of believes ought to have been embraced therein. 14
justice. 11
Concededly, the problem of venue would be relatively easier to
2. It is clear, therefore, that a search warrant is merely a judicial resolve if a criminal case has already been filed in a particular court
process designed by the Rules to respond only to an incident in the and a search warrant is needed to secure evidence to be presented
main case, if one has already been instituted, or in anticipation therein. Obviously, the court trying the criminal case may properly
thereof. In the latter contingency, as in the case at bar, it would issue the warrant, upon proper application and due compliance with
involve some judicial clairvoyance to require observance of the rules the requisites therefor, since such application would only be an
as to where a criminal case may eventually be filed where, in the first incident in that case and which it can resolve in the exercise of its
place, no such action having as yet been instituted, it may ultimately ancillary jurisdiction. If the contraband articles are within its
be filed in a territorial jurisdiction other than that wherein the illegal territorial jurisdiction, there would appear to be no further
articles sought to be seized are then located. This is aside from the complications. The jurisdictional problem would resurrect, however,
consideration that a criminal action may be filed in different venues where such articles are outside its territorial jurisdiction, which aspect
under the rules for delitos continuados or in those instances where will be addressed hereafter.
different trial courts have concurrent original jurisdiction over the
same criminal offense. 3. Coming back to the first issue now under consideration,
petitioners, after discoursing on the respective territorial jurisdictions
In fact, to illustrate the gravity of the problem which petitioners' of the thirteen Regional Trial Courts which correspond to the thirteen
implausible position may create, we need not stray far from the judicial regions, 15 invite our attention to the fact that this Court,
provisions of Section 15, Rule 110 of the Rules of Court on the venue pursuant to its authority granted by

of criminal actions and which we quote: law, 16 has defined the territorial jurisdiction of each branch of a
Sec. 15. Place where action to be instituted. — Regional Trial Court 17 over which the particular branch concerned
shall exercise its

(a) Subject to existing laws, in all criminal prosecutions the authority. 18 From this, it is theorized that "only the branch of a
action shall be instituted and tried in the court of the Regional Trial Court which has jurisdiction over the place to be
municipality or territory wherein the offense was searched could grant an application for and issue a warrant to search
committed or any one of the essential ingredients thereof that place." Support for such position is sought to be drawn from
took place. issuances of this Court, that is, Circular No. 13 issued on October 1,
1985, as amended by Circular No. 19 on August 4, 1987.
(b) Where an offense is committed on a railroad train, in an
aircraft, or any other public or private vehicle while in the We reject that proposition. Firstly, it is evident that both circulars
course of its trip, the criminal action may be instituted and were not intended to be of general application to all instances
tried in the court of any municipality or territory where involving search warrants and in all courts as would be the case if
such train, aircraft or other vehicle passed during such trip, they had been adopted as part of the Rules of Court. These circulars
including the place of departure and arrival. were issued by the Court to meet a particular exigency, that is, as
emergency guidelines on applications for search warrants filed only
(c) Where an offense is committed on board a vessel in the in the courts of Metropolitan Manila and other courts with multiple
course of its voyage, the criminal action may be instituted salas and only with respect to violations of the Anti-Subversion Act,
and tried in the proper court of the first port of entry or of crimes against public order under the Revised Penal Code, illegal
any municipality or territory through which the vessel possession of firearms and/or ammunitions, and violations of the
passed during such voyage, subject to the generally Dangerous Drugs Act. In other words, the aforesaid theory on the
accepted principles of international law. court's jurisdiction to issue search warrants would not apply to single-
sala courts and other crimes. Accordingly, the rule sought by
(d) Other crimes committed outside of the Philippines but petitioners to be adopted by the Court would actually result in a
punishable therein under Article 2 of the Revised Penal bifurcated procedure which would be vulnerable to legal and
Code shall be cognizable by the proper court in which the constitutional objections.
charge is first filed. (14a)
For that matter, neither can we subscribe to petitioners' contention
It would be an exacting imposition upon the law enforcement that Administrative Order No. 3 of this Court, supposedly "defining
authorities or the prosecutorial agencies to unerringly determine the limits of the territorial jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Courts,"
where they should apply for a search warrant in view of the was the source of the subject matter jurisdiction of, as distinguished
uncertainties and possibilities as to the ultimate venue of a case under from the exercise of jurisdiction by, the courts. As earlier observed,
the foregoing rules. It would be doubly so if compliance with that this administrative order was issued pursuant to the provisions of
requirement would be under pain of nullification of said warrant Section 18 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, the pertinent portion of
should they file their application therefor in and obtain the same from which states:
what may later turn out to be a court not within the ambit of the
aforequoted Section 15. Sec. 18. Authority to define territory appurtenant to each
branch. — The Supreme Court shall define the territory

Spec Pro | Rule 102 | Full text | !11

over which a branch of the Regional Trial Court shall branch of the court with jurisdiction over the place to be searched
exercise its authority. The territory thus defined shall be can issue a warrant to search the same. It may be conceded, as a
deemed to be the territorial area of the branch concerned matter of policy, that where a criminal case is pending, the court
for purposes of determining the venue of all writs, wherein it was filed, or the assigned branch thereof, has primary
proceedings or actions, whether civil or criminal, . . . . jurisdiction to issue the search warrant; and where no such criminal
(Emphasis ours.) case has yet been filed, that the executive judges or their lawful
substitutes in the areas and for the offenses contemplated in Circular
Jurisdiction is conferred by substantive law, in this case Batas No. 19 shall have primary jurisdiction.
Pambansa Blg. 129, not by a procedural law and, much less, by an
administrative order or circular. The jurisdiction conferred by said This should not, however, mean that a court whose territorial
Act on regional trial courts and their judges is basically regional in jurisdiction does not embrace the place to be searched cannot issue a
scope. Thus, Section 17 thereof provides that "(e)very Regional Trial search warrant therefor, where the obtention of that search warrant is
Judge shall be appointed to a region which shall be his permanent necessitated and justified by compelling considerations of urgency,
station," and he "may be assigned by the Supreme Court to any subject, time and place. Conversely, neither should a search warrant
branch or city or municipality within the same region as public duly issued by a court which has jurisdiction over a pending criminal
interest may require, and such assignment shall not be deemed an case, or one issued by an executive judge or his lawful substitute
assignment to another station . . ." which, otherwise, would under the situations provided for by Circular No. 19, be denied
necessitate a new appointment for the judge. enforcement or nullified just because it was implemented outside the
court's territorial jurisdiction.
In fine, Administrative Order No. 3 and, in like manner, Circulars
Nos. 13 and 19, did not per se confer jurisdiction on the covered This brings us, accordingly, to the second issue on the permissible
regional trial court or its branches, such that non-observance thereof jurisdictional range of enforcement of search warrants.
would nullify their judicial acts. The administrative order merely
defines the limits of the administrative area within which a branch of II
the court may exercise its authority pursuant to the jurisdiction As stated in limine, the affiliated issue raised in this case is whether a
conferred by Batas Pambansa Blg. 129. The circulars only allocated branch of a regional trial court has the authority to issue a warrant for
to the three executive judges the administrative areas for which they the search of a place outside its territorial jurisdiction. Petitioners
may respectively issue search warrants under the special insistently answer the query in the negative. We hold otherwise.
circumstance contemplated therein, but likewise pursuant to the
jurisdiction vested in them by Batas Pambansa Blg, 129. 1. We repeat what we have earlier stressed: No law or rule imposes
such a limitation on search warrants, in the same manner that no
Secondly, and more importantly, we definitely cannot accept the
such restriction is provided for warrants of arrest. Parenthetically, in
conclusion that the grant of power to the courts mentioned therein, to
certain states within the American jurisdiction, there were limitations
entertain and issue search warrants where the place to be searched is
of the time wherein a warrant of arrest could be enforced. In our
within their territorial jurisdiction, was intended to exclude other
jurisdiction, no period is provided for the enforceability of warrants
courts from exercising the same power. It will readily be noted that
of arrest, and although within ten days from the delivery of the
Circular No. 19 was basically intended to provide prompt action on
warrant of arrest for execution a return thereon must be made to the
applications for search warrants. Its predecessor, Administrative
issuing judge, 19 said warrant does not become functus officio but is
Circular No. 13, had a number of requirements, principally a raffle of
enforceable indefinitely until the same is enforced or recalled. On the
the applications for search warrants, if they had been filed with the
other hand, the lifetime of a search warrant has been expressly set in
executive judge, among the judges within his administrative area.
our Rules at ten days 20 but there is no provision as to the extent of
Circular No. 19 eliminated, by amendment, that required raffle and
the territory wherein it may be enforced, provided it is implemented
ordered instead that such applications should immediately be "taken
on and within the premises specifically described therein which may
cognizance of and acted upon by the Executive Judges of the
or may not be within the territorial jurisdiction of the issuing court.
Regional Trial Court, Metropolitan Trial Court, and Municipal Trial
Court under whose jurisdiction the place to be searched is located," We make the foregoing comparative advertence to emphasize the fact
or by their substitutes enumerated therein. that when the law or rules would provide conditions, qualifications or
restrictions, they so state. Absent specific mention thereof, and the
Evidently, that particular provision of Circular No. 19 was never
same not being inferable by necessary implication from the statutory
intended to confer exclusive jurisdiction on said executive judges. In
provisions which are presumed to be complete and expressive of the
view of the fact, however, that they were themselves directed to
intendment of the framers, a contrary interpretation on whatever
personally act on the applications, instead of farming out the same
pretext should not be countenanced.
among the other judges as was the previous practice, it was but
necessary and practical to require them to so act only on applications A bit of legal history on this contestation will be helpful. The
involving search of places located within their respective territorial jurisdictional rule heretofore was that writs and processes of the so-
jurisdictions. The phrase above quoted was, therefore, in the nature of called inferior courts could be enforced outside the province only
an allocation in the assignment of applications among them, in with the approval of the former court of first instance. 21 Under the
recognition of human capabilities and limitations, and not a mandate Judiciary Reorganization Act, the enforcement of such writs and
for the exclusion of all other courts. In truth, Administrative Circular processes no longer needs the approval of the regional trial court. 22
No. 13 even specifically envisaged and anticipated the non- On the other hand, while, formerly, writs and processes of the then
exclusionary nature of that provision, thus: courts of first instance were enforceable throughout the Philippines,
23 under the Interim or Transitional Rules and Guidelines, certain
4. If, in the implementation of the search warrant properties specified writs issued by a regional trial court are now enforceable
are seized thereunder and the corresponding case is filed in only within its judicial region. In the interest of clarity and contrast, it
court, said case shall be distributed conformably with is necessary that said provision be set out in full:
Circular No. 7 dated September 23, 1974, of this Court, and
thereupon tried and decided by the judge to whom it has 3. Writs and processes. —
been assigned, and not necessarily by the judge who issued
the search warrant. (Emphasis supplied.) (a) Writs of certiorari, prohibition mandamus, quo
warranto, habeas corpus and injunction issued by a regional
It is, therefore, incorrect to say that only the court which has trial court may be enforced in any part of the region.
jurisdiction over the criminal case can issue the search warrant, as
would be the consequence of petitioners' position that only the

Spec Pro | Rule 102 | Full text | !12

(b) All other processes, whether issued by a regional trial necessitate the transportation of applicant's witnesses to and their
court or a metropolitan trial court, municipal trial court or examination in said places, with the attendant risk, danger and
municipal circuit trial court may be served anywhere in the expense. Also, a further well-founded precaution, obviously born of
Philippines, and, in the last three cases, without a experience and verifiable data, is articulated by the court a quo, as
certification by the judge of the regional trial court. quoted by respondent court:
(Emphasis ours.)
This court is of the further belief that the possible leakage
We feel that the foregoing provision is too clear to be further of information which is of utmost importance in the
belabored or enmeshed in unwarranted polemics. The rule issuance of a search warrant is secured (against) where the
enumerates the writs and processes which, even if issued by a issuing magistrate within the region does not hold court
regional trial court, are enforceable only within its judicial region. In sessions in the city or municipality, within the region,
contrast, it unqualifiedly provides that all other writs and processes, where the place to be searched is located. 28
regardless of which court issued the same, shall be enforceable
anywhere in the Philippines. As earlier demonstrated, a search The foregoing situations may also have obtained and were taken into
warrant is but a judicial process, not a criminal action. No legal account in the foreign judicial pronouncement that, in the absence of
provision, statutory or reglementary, expressly or impliedly provides statutory restrictions, a justice of the peace in one district of the
a jurisdictional or territorial limit on its area of enforceability. On the county may issue a search warrant to be served in another district of
contrary, the above-quoted provision of the interim Rules expressly the county and made returnable before the justice of still another
authorizes its enforcement anywhere in the country, since it is not district or another court having jurisdiction to deal with the matters
among the processes specified in paragraph (a) and there is no involved. 29 In the present state of our law on the matter, we find no
distinction or exception made regarding the processes contemplated such statutory restrictions both with respect to the court which can
 issue the search warrant and the enforcement thereof anywhere in the
paragraph (b). Philippines.

2. This is but a necessary and inevitable consequence of the nature III

and purpose of a search warrant. The Court cannot be blind to the fact Concern is expressed over possible conflicts of jurisdiction (or, more
that it is extremely difficult, as it undeniably is, to detect or elicit accurately, in the exercise of jurisdiction) where the criminal case is
information regarding the existence and location of illegally pending in one court and the search warrant is issued by another court
possessed or prohibited articles. The Court is accordingly convinced for the seizure of personal property intended to be used as evidence in
that it should not make the requisites for the apprehension of the said criminal case. This arrangement is not unknown or without
culprits and the confiscation of such illicit items, once detected, more precedent in our jurisdiction. In fact, as hereinbefore noted, this very
onerous if not impossible by imposing further niceties of procedure situation was anticipated in Circular No. 13 of this Court under the
or substantive rules of jurisdiction through decisional dicta. For that limited scenario contemplated therein.
matter, we are unaware of any instance wherein a search warrant was
struck down on objections based on territorial jurisdiction. In the Nonetheless, to put such presentiments to rest, we lay down the
landmark case of Stonehill, et al. vs. Diokno, et al., 24 the searches in following policy guidelines:
the corporate offices in Manila and the residences in Makati of
therein petitioners were conducted pursuant to search warrants issued 1. The court wherein the criminal case is pending shall have primary
by the Quezon City and Pasig branches of the Court of First Instance jurisdiction to issue search warrants necessitated by and for purposes
of Rizal and by the Municipal Courts of Manila and Quezon City, 25 of said case. An application for a search warrant may be filed with
but the same were never challenged on jurisdictional grounds another court only under extreme and compelling circumstances that
although they were subsequently nullified for being general warrants. the applicant must prove to the satisfaction of the latter court which
may or may not give due course to the application depending on the
3. A clarion call supposedly of libertarian import is further sounded validity of the justification offered for not filing the same in the court
by petitioners, dubiously invoking the constitutional proscription with primary jurisdiction thereover.
against illegal searches and seizures. We do not believe that the
enforcement of a search warrant issued by a court outside the 2. When the latter court issues the search warrant, a motion to quash
territorial jurisdiction wherein the place to be searched is located the same may be filed in and shall be resolved by said court, without
would create a constitutional question. Nor are we swayed by the prejudice to any proper recourse to the appropriate higher court by
professed apprehension that the law enforcement authorities may the party aggrieved by the resolution of the issuing court. All grounds
resort to what could be a permutation of forum shopping, by filing an and objections then available, existent or known shall be raised in the
application for the warrant with a "friendly" court. It need merely be original or subsequent proceedings for the quashal of the warrant,
recalled that a search warrant is only a process, not an action. otherwise they shall be deemed waived.
Furthermore, the constitutional mandate is translated into specifically
enumerated safeguards in Rule 126 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal 3. Where no motion to quash the search warrant was filed in or
Procedure for the issuance of a search warrant, 26 and all these have resolved by the issuing court, the interested party may move in the
to be observed regardless of whatever court in whichever region is court where the criminal case is pending for the suppression as
importuned for or actually issues a search warrant. Said requirements, evidence of the personal property seized under the warrant if the
together with the ten-day lifetime of the warrant 27 would discourage same is offered therein for said purpose. Since two separate courts
resort to a court in another judicial region, not only because of the with different participations are involved in this situation, a motion to
distance but also the contingencies of travel and the danger involved, quash a search warrant and a motion to suppress evidence are
unless there are really compelling reasons for the authorities to do so. alternative and not cumulative remedies. In order to prevent forum
Besides, it does seem odd that such constitutional protests have not shopping, a motion to quash shall consequently be governed by the
been made against warrants of arrest which are enforceable omnibus motion rule, provided, however, that objections not
indefinitely and anywhere although they involve, not only property available, existent or known during the proceedings for the quashal of
and privacy, but persons and liberty. the warrant may be raised in the hearing of the motion to suppress.
The resolution of the court on the motion to suppress shall likewise
On the other hand, it is a matter of judicial knowledge that the be subject to any proper remedy in the appropriate higher court.
authorities have to contend now and then with local and national
criminal syndicates of considerable power and influence, political or 4. Where the court which issued the search warrant denies the motion
financial in nature, and so pervasive as to render foolhardy any to quash the same and is not otherwise prevented from further
attempt to obtain a search warrant in the very locale under their proceeding thereon, all personal property seized under the warrant
sphere of control. Nor should we overlook the fact that to do so will shall forthwith be transmitted by it to the court wherein the criminal

Spec Pro | Rule 102 | Full text | !13

case is pending, with the necessary safeguards and documentation
5. These guidelines shall likewise be observed where the same
criminal offense is charged in different informations or complaints
and filed in two or more courts with concurrent original jurisdiction
over the criminal action. Where the issue of which court will try the
case shall have been resolved, such court shall be considered as
vested with primary jurisdiction to act on applications for search
warrants incident to the criminal case.
WHEREFORE, on the foregoing premises, the instant petition is
DENIED and the assailed judgment of respondent Court of Appeals
in CA-G.R. SP No. 23533 is hereby AFFIRMED.

Spec Pro | Rule 102 | Full text | !14

SECOND DIVISION Meanwhile, on September 23, 1991, accused, thru counsel, filed a
G.R. No. 141443 August 30, 2000 Motion to Withdraw her application for land registration with the
RTC Q.C. (Br. 80) which was granted by the court in its Order dated
IN THE MATTER OF PETITION FOR THE PRIVILEGE OF September 25, 1991 (Exhs. "I" & "11").
AZUCENA L. GARCIA, petitioner. On October 4, 1991, Zuzuarregui wrote another letter this time to
Mrs. Brigida Llave, Technical Records Section of the Bureau of
DECISION Lands, NCR, Q.C. (Exh. "C") requesting for certification as to the
DE LEON, JR., J.: authenticity of the documents attached to the letter, namely Annex
"1" – xerox copy of Plan Psd-19954 of Lot 822-C in the name of
Azucena L. Garcia petitions this Court to issue a writ of habeas Domingo R. Locsin; Annex "2" – xerox copy of the technical
corpus in order "to free, relieve and exonerate her from the penalty of description of Lot 822-C-1, Psd-19954, also in the name of Domingo
imprisonment adjudged and imposed upon her, in gross violation of R. Locsin (Exh. "C-2"); and Annex "3" – xerox copy of the technical
her constitutional rights to due process of law and other fundamental description of Lot 822-C-2, Psd-19954, likewise in the name of
rights"1 pursuant to an allegedly void judgment rendered on April 20, Domingo R. Locsin (Exh. "C-3", all of which were appended to and
1995 by the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Quezon City, Branch 86, used in support of the above-mentioned application for administrative
in Criminal Case No. Q-94-53589. reconstitution. Said xerox copies of the plan and technical
descriptions were respectively referred to Brigida Llave of the
The antecedent facts, as found by the trial court, are as follows: Technical Records Section and Engr. Elpidio de Lara of the Technical
Services Section of the Bureau of Lands, for their Comments (Exh.
On October 27, 1989, herein accused, Azucena Locsin Garcia, filed "C-1").
an application for land registration with the Regional Trial Court of
Quezon City (Branch 80) docketed as LRC Case No. 89-007 In Llave’s reply of October 7, 1991 (Exh. "E"), she stated that the
covering two parcels of land identified as Lots Nos. 822-C-1 and alleged plan, Psd-19954, is non-existing in their files and called
822-C-2 with an area of 32,350 and 28,750 sq. m., respectively. attention to the fact that she has no signature over her stamped name
Appended to said application were the following documents, to wit: "Brigida R. Llave" on said plan. De Lara, for his part, in an inter–
(1) Tax Declaration No. 2273 with PIN-21-11773-1 for Lot 822-C-1; office memorandum dated October 14, 1991 (Exh. "D"), disputed the
(2) Tax Declaration No. 22732 with PIN-21-11773-2 for Lot 822- authenticity of the technical descriptions (Annexes "2" and "3" to the
C-2; Subdivision Plan Psd-19954; (4) Technical Description of Lot letter of Zuzuarregui) by stating that the signatures thereon are not his
822-C-1; and Technical Description of Lot 822-C-2. (T.S.N., April 1, 1994, p. 10.)
There is no evidence as to the proceedings taken, if any, in the said Based on the above developments tending to discredit the
application for land registration. It would appear, though, as borne authenticity and credibility of the documents presented by the
out by subsequent events, that said application was abandoned accused in support of her application for reconstitution with the LRA,
because on May 8, 1991 accused, who is the applicant in the land on complaint of Zuzuarregui, Benjamin Bustos caused a review of his
registration case, filed an application this time for administrative previous order giving due course to the reconstitution of TCT No.
reconstitution of Transfer Certificate of Title No. 308462 with the 308462 and on the basis of his findings, recalled and set aside, said
Land Registration Authority (Exh. "F"). Attached to the application previous order as far as TCT No. 308462 is concerned in a
for reconstitution, aside from the documents appended to the previous Supplemental Order dated October 8, 1991. From said Supplemental
application for land registration which were reproduced in the former, Order, herein accused interposed an appeal to the LRA Administrator.
were the owner’s copy of Transfer Certificate of Title No. 308462
(Exh. "N" for the prosecution which is similar to Exh. "2" for the On or about November 11, 1991, Zuzuarregui instituted a criminal
defense) in the name of the accused and Real Property Tax Bill- complaint with the Fiscal’s Office of Quezon City charging the herein
Receipts (Exhs. "12," "12-A" to "12-G"). accused of falsifying the technical descriptions and tax declarations
all issued in the name of Domingo R. Locsin, father of the accused.
On June 7, 1991, at the request of the accused, Edgardo Castro, Said complaint was dismissed in an order dated May 15, 1992. On
Deputy Register of Deeds of Quezon City, issued a certification (Exh. July 16, 1992, Zuzuarregui filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the
"B"; Exh. "1") stating that the original of TCT No. 308462 was Order dismissal (Exh. "14"").
among those burned during the fire that razed the Quezon City Hall
on June 11, 1988. xxx

On June 20, 1991 (not 1992 as appearing in the Information in Meanwhile, on August 14, 1992, Samuel C. Cleofe, Register of
Criminal Case No. Q-94-53589), TCT No. 308462 was ordered Deeds of Quezon City, in his reply to a letter from herein
reconstituted, along with other TCTs in the names of other applicants, complainant Zuzuarregui, stated that per verification from their
pursuant to Administrative Order No. Q-283(91) signed by Benjamin Control Log Book, TCT No. 308462 is not shown as among those
M. Bustos, Reconstituting Officer of the Land Registration Authority filed in their office (Exh. "A").
(Exh. "6").
On September 18, 1992, Zuzuarregui’s Motion for Reconsideration of
On September 10, 1991, complainant [Antonio de] Zuzuarregui wrote the order dismissing his criminal complaint against the accused was
the Quezon City Assessor’s Office (Exh. "L") requesting for granted in a resolution issued by Asst. City Prosecutor Dimaranan
certification as to the authenticity of Declaration of Real Property No. Vidal (Exh. "15"). Accordingly, herein accused was formally charged
2273, Property Index No. 21-11773-1 Piedad Estate (Exh. "L-1") and with three counts of falsification of public documents in three
Declaration of Real Property No. 22732, Property Index No. separate criminal informations filed with the RTC of Quezon City
21-11773-2, Piedad Estate ("Exh. L-2"), both issued in the name of and docketed as Criminal Cases Nos. 36490-92, the first being for
Domingo R. Locsin and purportedly signed by Jose C. Gonzales, then falsification of technical description of land and the other two being
acting City Assessor of Quezon City, because the lot embraced by the for falsification of Declarations of Real Property (Exhs. "13"; "13-B"
said declarations are allegedly within the boundary of said and 13-C").
complainant’s property per his TCT No. 181095.
In the meantime, upon request of certain Miguel V. Sison, Jr., Officer
In reply to the above letter, Q.C. City Assessor Constantino P. Rosas in Charge, Director IV, Office of the Executive Secretary, Presidential
wrote Zuzuarregui on September 11, 1991 stating that no such Action Center, Malacañang, the National Bureau of Investigation
records (Declarations of Real Property Nos. 2273 and 22732) exist in conducted an examination of both the specimen and questioned
their office and the same appear to be spurious (Exhs. "J" and "J-1"). signatures of Vicente Coloyan, former Register of Deeds of Quezon
City, the questioned signatures being those appearing on TCT No.

Spec Pro | Rule 102 | Full text | !15

308462. On March 9, 1993, Director Epimaco Velasco of the NBI Declaration of Real Property Nos. 22731 and 22732, respectively,
wrote Miguel V. Sison, Jr. (Exh. "3") transmitting copy of their forging the signatures therein of Jose C. Gonzales, and introducing or
findings contained in a Questioned Document Report No. 151-393, using the same in support of her application before the Land
dated March 9, 1993 (Exh. "4") signed by Rogelio G. Azores, Registration Administration (LRA).
Document Examiner IV of the NBI (Exh. "4-B"), as approved by
Arcadio A. Ramos, Chief of the Questioned Document Division In its Decision dated April 20, 1995, the trial court found petitioner
(Exh. "4-C") and noted by Manuel C. Roura, Deputy Director, guilty of three (3) counts of falsification of public documents.
Technical Services (Exh. "4-D"). The conclusion arrived at as per the Petitioner appealed to the Court of Appeals. The appellate court, and
Report is that the questioned and standard signatures of Vicenter [sic] subsequently this Court, affirmed petitioner’s conviction. Entry of
Coloyan were written by one and the same person. judgment was made on April 8, 1999.

On October 13, 1993, in response to a request of Rogelio Azores who In the instant petition, petitioner only questions the validity of the
rendered the above Questioned Document Report, Quezon City judgment rendered in Criminal Case No. Q-94-53589. She contends
Assosor [sic] Constantino P. Rosas issued a Certification (Exh. "K") that where proceedings were attended by violations of the
to the effect that Tax Declarations Nos. 22731 for Lot 822-C-1 Piedad constitutional rights of the accused, the judgment of conviction is
Estate and 22732 for Lot 822-C-2 "Piedad Estate, both in the name of void thereby warranting relief by the extraordinary legal remedy of
Domingo R. Locsin, do not appear in their Office Tax Map, Property habeas corpus. Hence, in her case, the fundamental unfairness of the
Index System as well as in the Assessment Roll. judgment, when viewed in light of the record, renders the same
subject to attack for being violative of her right to due process of law.
On April 15, 1994, Assistant Quezon City Assessor Benjamin Kasala Petitioner explains that this fundamental unfairness stems from the
issued still another Certification to the effect that per assessment omission and failure of the trial court, the prosecution and the defense
records of their office, there is no property whether land or counsel "to formally project into the evidentiary stream the evidence
improvement registered for taxation purposes in the name of accused decisive on the merits of the case, consisting of official
Garcia (Exh. "M"). determinations and findings3 on the genuineness and authenticity of
Vicente Coloyan’s signature on the owner’s copy of TCT No.
Meanwhile, Criminal Cases Nos. 36490-92 for falsification of public 308462, which underlay the different official acts of office holders
documents filed by the herein complainant against the herein accused participating in the proceeding on administrative reconstitution of the
were raffled to Branch 85 of this Court then presided by the original of said [TCT] No. 308462 of the Q.C. Register of Deeds."4
Honorable Benjamin P. Abesamis and subsequently by the Honorable
Judge Mariano M. Umali. In a decision penned by the latter, dated Petitioner explains that the disquisition of the trial judge was totally
May 17, 1994, the herein accused was acquitted of all the above silent on the official findings and determinations that Coloyan’s
charges on reasonable doubt (Exh. "16-C"). signature on the owner’s copy of the TCT No. 308462 was genuine.
Instead, the trial judge merely relied on the testimony of Coloyan that
On June 9, 1994, in the course of the trial of the present case, counsel the signature appearing on the photocopy of TCT No. 308462 is not
for the accused, Atty. Ciriaco O. Atienza, wrote the Land Registration his. Petitioner points out that the unfairness of such reliance becomes
Authority (Exh. "9") requesting, among others, clarification on the apparent when official determinations and findings as to the
finality of an order of reconstitution, apparently referring to the order genuineness of Coloyan’s signature on TCT No. 308462 are
of August 20, 1991 by Reconstituting Officer Bustos (Exh. "6," considered.
supra.) which was later set aside in a Supplemental Order of the same
officer dated October 8, 1991. x x x Petitioner then alleges that the prosecution failed to call the attention
of the trial court to these official determinations and findings which
On August 5, 1994, herein complainant wrote another letter-request constituted exculpatory evidence in her favor. Petitioner further faults
this time addressed to Mr. Ernesto Erive, Land Management Services the prosecution in willfully presenting Coloyan as a witness to
Chief of Surveys Division, Bureau of Lands (Exh. "V"), for the latter disclaim his signature notwithstanding indications in the record that
to certify as to the authenticity of the technical description of Lot he was hired and was possibly a corrupt witness. She maintains that
822-C-2, Psd-19954, in the name of Domingo Locsin attached to the "the prosecution should have exerted their best efforts to safeguard
letter-request which was one of the documents submitted by the the trial process against this type of witness, who from all reasonable
accused in support of her application for administrative indicators is a paid and perjured witness."5
reconstitution. In reply thereto, Erive wrote Zuzuarregui on August
18, 1994 (Exh. "U") informing the latter that their office (Department Petitioner likewise claims that she was denied due process of law by
of Environment and Natural resources, National Capital Region) has reason of her being represented by ineffective counsel. Petitioner
no record of Lot 822-C-2, Psd-19954 and, hence, said technical illustrates that her counsel failed to formally offer in evidence
description was not prepared by their office. exhibits, consisting of the official acts of the Register of Deeds of
Quezon City and officials of the LRA,6 for the specific purpose of
On September 30, 1994, the LRA Administrator Reynaldo Maulit proving the genuineness of Coloyan’s signature. Petitioner’s counsel
came out with a Resolution (Exh. "20") on the appeal interposed by also took no steps to bar Coloyan from being presented as a witness
the accused affirming the finality of LRA Administrative for the prosecution and was not especially alert to the danger or risk
Reconstitution Order No. Q-283(91) dated August 20, 1991 directing of a perjured witness. In this regard, petitioner maintains that her
the Register of Deeds of Quezon City to reconstitute, among others, counsel could have asked for a deferment of the trial to give him time
the original of TCT No. 308462 in the name of petitioner-appellant to make a full investigation of the circumstances attending the
Azucena L. Garcia, accused herein and, therefore, the Supplemental presentation of Coloyan as a witness.
Order dated October 8, 1991 could not have validly amended the
aforestated order of August 20, 1991. It added, however, that the Petitioner concludes that the foregoing arguments and precedents
reconstitution does not confirm nor adjudicate ownership over the warrant the grant of preliminary injunctive relief in the form of a
property subject thereof citing the case of Serra, Serra vs. Court of status quo order, and, after consideration of the merits of the case, a
Appeals, 195 SCRA 482 (Exh. "S").2 writ of habeas corpus annulling the judgment of conviction rendered
against her.
Thus, petitioner was charged in Criminal Case No. Q-94-53589 with
falsifying the entries in Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), on the other hand, states
308462, forging the signature therein of Vicente N. Coloyan, and that the writ of habeas corpus is a remedy available to a person who
introducing or using said TCT in support of her application for is illegally imprisoned or restrained of his liberty. Consequently, a
reconstitution of title. Similarly, in Criminal Case Nos. Q-94-53590 person discharged or out on bail, like petitioner, is not entitled to the
and Q-94-53591, petitioner was charged with falsifying the entries in writ.

Spec Pro | Rule 102 | Full text | !16

Furthermore, the ground invoked by petitioner pertains to the court based on the facts thus found. Under the statute, a commitment
appreciation of evidence, a matter which falls within the exclusive in due form based on a final judgment convicting and sentencing a
discretion and prerogative of the trial court. The OSG stresses that a defendant in a criminal case is conclusive evidence of the legality of
writ of habeas corpus can issue only for want of jurisdiction of the his detention under such commitment, unless it appears that the court
sentencing court, and cannot function as a writ of error. As such, the which pronounced the judgment was without jurisdiction or exceeded
writ will not lie to correct alleged mistakes of fact or of law its jurisdiction in imposing the penalty. Mere errors of fact or law,
committed by a court in the exercise of its functions. The OSG also which did not have the effect of depriving the trial court of its
points out that the ground invoked by petitioner is one which has jurisdiction over the cause and the person of the defendant, if
been considered, passed upon and found to be without merit not only corrected at all, must be corrected on appeal in the form and manner
by the Court of Appeals but by this Court as well. The OSG is of the prescribed by law.15
view that the instant petition is merely intended to delay the
administration of justice. As to the charge that the prosecution committed "manifest
prosecutorial misconduct," we find the same bereft of merit. First, the
We deny the petition. existence of exculpatory evidence is a matter of defense. As such, it is
principally the duty of the accused, not the prosecution, to bring its
The high prerogative writ of habeas corpus was devised and exists as existence to the attention of the court. Second, whether the Orders of
a speedy and effectual remedy to relieve persons from unlawful Reconstitution issued by the reconstitution officer and the LRA
restraint.7 Its object is to inquire into the legality of one’s detention, administrator on August 20, 1991 and September 30, 1994,
and if found illegal, to order the release of the detainee.8 However, it respectively, as well as the reconstituted TCT No. 308462 constitute
is equally well-settled that the writ will not issue where the person in sufficient evidence to exonerate petitioner from criminal liability,
whose behalf the writ is sought is out on bail,9 or is in the custody of involves appreciation and weighing of evidence, and for reasons
an officer under process issued by a court or judge or by virtue of a already stated, this Court is proscribed from again considering. Even
judgment or order of a court of record, and that the court or judge had petitioner’s accusation that Coloyan was a paid and perjured witness
jurisdiction to issue the process, render the judgment, or make the was not supported by evidence.
order.10 In the case at bar, therefore, petitioner can no longer seek
relief via a petition for habeas corpus having been convicted by final Similarly, apart from her bare allegations, petitioner offered no
judgment of the crime of falsification of public document and use convincing evidence to substantiate her claim that the ineffectiveness
thereof. Said judgment is already final and executory. Petitioner even of her counsel deprived her of her right to counsel. We specifically
discloses that entry of judgment was made on April 8, 1999, or eight note that petitioner’s own documentary evidence in support of the
(8) months prior to the filing of this petition. The OSG has also instant petition actually belies her allegation that her counsel failed to
pointed out that petitioner is still out on bail. To this petitioner merely adduce exculpatory evidence. Petitioner’s Formal Offer of Exhibits
replied that: before the trial court shows that among the evidence offered by her
counsel were the following:
For purposes of habeas corpus, "RESTRAINT" is not confined to
imprisonment or actual physical custody. Recent federal 1âwphi1
jurisprudence has extended this to accused under final conviction,
who are out on bail, and to convicts on parole. Such jurisprudence is Exhibit(s) Description(s) Purpose(s)
part of Anglo-American jueisprudence (sic), which is highly
persuasive in this jurisdiction because our law on Habeas Corpus is xxx xxx xxx
of Anglo-American origin.11 3, 4 and 4-A (a) NBI Director's (1) To prove that the NBI
4-B, 4-C and Letter dated March 9, examined TCT No. 308462
Even if we disregard the fact that petitioner is out on bail, the writ 4-D 1993, (Exh. 3) and the signature of Vicente
prayed for should not be granted. Indeed, we have held that once a transmitting to Hon. N. Coloyan

deprivation of a constitutional right is shown to exist, the court that Miguel V. Sison, Jr the 

NBI Questioned (2) To prove that the NBI
rendered the judgment is deemed ousted of jurisdiction and habeas Documents Report No. findings is that the signature
corpus is the appropriate remedy to assail the legality of his 151-393
 of Vicente N. Coloyan
detention.12 Petitioner, however, has failed to persuade this Court 
 appearing n (sic) TCT No.
that the proceedings before the trial court were attended by violations (b) Questioned NBI 308462 is written by one and
Documents Report No. the same Vicente N. Coloyan,
of her right to due process, or for that matter, other constitutional 151-391 dated March 9, Acting Register of Deeds,
rights. 1993 whose standard signatures
appear on various titles on file
It is apparent from the arguments advanced by petitioner that the with the Registry of Deeds,
purpose of this petition is to cause this Court to once again re- Quezon City

examine and pass judgment upon the trial court’s appreciation of the (3) to prove that this
evidence presented, especially the credibility of Coloyan as a witness. Questioned Documents
The Decision dated April 20, 1995 of the Court of Appeals, affirming Report No. 151-393 submitted
the disquisition of the Court of Appeals, and the Resolution dated by Document Examiner
Rogelio G. Azores was
October 27, 1998 of the Third Division of this Court, finding that no approved by NBI

reversible error was committed by the trial court, should have 

impressed upon petitioner that issues relating to the trial court’s (4) To prove that TCT No.
appreciation of the evidence have already been settled and thus, can 308462 is genuine, not
no longer be reviewed anew by this Court. As early as the 1913 case
of Trono Felipe v. Director of Prisons,13 we have laid down the rule xxx xxx xxx
that an application for habeas corpus cannot function as a writ of
error. We explained therein that:
But the writ of habeas corpus is not a remedy for the correction of
such errors.14 Court cannot, in habeas corpus proceedings, review
the record in a criminal case after judgment of conviction has been
rendered, and the defendants have entered on the execution of the
sentence imposed, to ascertain whether the facts found by the trial
court were in accordance with the evidence disclosed by the record,
or to pass upon the correctness of conclusions of law by the trial

Spec Pro | Rule 102 | Full text | !17

6 Adm. Reconstitution (1) To prove that the LRA
Order No. Q-283 (91) approved the Administrative
issued on August 20, Reconstitution of the
1991 by Land Accused's TCT No. 308462
Registration Authority for Lot 822-C-1 and Lot 822-
(LRA) through the C-2, Piedad Estate

Reconstitution Officer, 

Atty. Benjamin Busto (2) To prove that this Adm.
Reconstitution Order had
already acquired finality when
the reconstitution of TCT No.
308462 was recalled by Atty.

(3) To prove that TCT No.
308462 is genuine, not
falsified16 (Underscoring ours)

It appears, however, that these documents were among the official

acts repeatedly cited by petitioner as presupposing official
determination and findings that Coloyan’s signature on TCT No.
308462 was genuine and, therefore, allegedly constituted evidence
exempting petitioner from criminal liability. Petitioner faulted her
counsel in Criminal Case No. Q-94-53589 for being ineffective in
that her counsel allegedly failed to formally offer in evidence the said
documents but the record shows that her counsel did not fail to do so.
Significantly, it is not disputed that petitioner appealed the adverse
Decision or judgment of conviction dated April 20, 1995 of the RTC
of Quezon City to the Court of Appeals; that the Court of Appeals
and later this Court affirmed the conviction of the petitioner; and that
Entry of Judgment was made on August 8, 1999. The petitioner,
therefore, may not validly resort to this present petition for habeas
corpus in lieu of her lost or dismissed appeal in the said criminal
case. The petition of herein petitioner who is out on bail, appears to
be patently intended for delay.
WHEREFORE, petitioner Azucena L. Garcia, having failed to
establish sufficient cause to warrant issuance of a writ of habeas
corpus, the instant petition is hereby DENIED.

Spec Pro | Rule 102 | Full text | !18

EN BANC The issue to be resolved is whether or not the instant petition has
become moot and academic in view of the petitioner's temporary
G.R. No. L-63345 January 30, 1986 release.
EFREN C. MONCUPA, petitioner, 
 It is to be noted that attached to the petitioner's temporary release are
 restrictions imposed on him. These are:
KINTANAR, FERNANDO GOROSPE, AND JOSE CASTRO, 1) His freedom of movement is curtailed by the condition that
respondents. petitioner gets the approval of respondents for any travel outside
Metro Manila.
As early as 1919, in the leading case of Villavicencio v. Lukban (39 2) His liberty of abode is restricted because prior approval of
Phil. 778, 790), this Court ruled: respondents is also required in case petitioner wants to change his
place of residence.
A prime specification of al application for a writ of habeas
corpus is restraint of liberty. The essential object and 3) His freedom of speech is muffled by the prohibition that he should
purpose of the writ of habeas corpus is to inquire into all not "participate in any interview conducted by any local or foreign
manner of involuntary restraint as distinguished from mass media representatives nor give any press release or information
voluntary, and to relieve a person therefrom if such restraint that is inimical to the interest of national security."
is illegal. Any restraint which will preclude freedom of 4) He is required to report regularly to respondents or their
action is sufficient. ... representatives.
This latitudinarian scope of the writ of habeas-corpus has, in law, The petitioner argues that although admittedly his temporary release
remained undiminished up to the present. The respondents' is an improvement upon his actual detention, the restrictions imposed
contention that the petition has become moot and academic must by the respondents constitute an involuntary and illegal restraint on
necessarily be denied. Efren C. Moncupa may have been released his freedom.
from his detention cell. The restraints attached to his temporary
release, however, preclude freedom of action and under the The petitioner stresses that his temporary release did not render the
Villavicencio v. Lukban rule warrant this Court's inquiry into the instant petitioner moot and academic but that "it merely shifted the
nature of his involuntary restraint and our relieving him of such inquiry from the legality of his actual detention to the legality of the
restraints as may be illegal. conditions imposed by the respondents."
Petitioner Efren C. Moncupa, together with others, was arrested on We agree with the petitioner.
April 22, 1982 at about 10:50 P.M., at the corner of D. Street and
Quezon Avenue, Quezon City. Moncupa D. Tuazon was brought to The reservation of the military in the form of restrictions attached to
MIG-15 Camp Bago Bantay, Quezon City where he was detained. On the temporary release of the petitioner constitute restraints on the
April 23, 1982, on the allegation that he was a National Democratic liberty of Mr. Moncupa. Such restrictions limit the freedom of
Front (NDF) staff member, a Presidential Commitment Order (PCO) movement of the petitioner. It is not physical restraint alone which is
was issued against him and eight (8) other persons. inquired into by the writ of habeas corpus.

After two separate investigations, conducted first, by Lieutenant In Villavicencio v. Lukban, the women who had been illegally seized
Colonel Gerardo Lantoria, Jr., Chief of Task Force Makabansa and transported against their will to Davao were no longer under any
Investigation Group and second, by Investigating Fiscal Amado official restraint. Unlike petitioner Moncupa, they were free to
Costales of Quezon City, it was ascertained that the petitioner was not change their domicile without asking for official permission. Indeed,
a member of any subversive organization. Both investigators some of them managed to return to Manila. Yet, the Court condemned
recommended the prosecution of the petitioner only for illegal the involuntary restraints caused by the official action, fined the
possession of firearms and illegal possession of subversive Mayor of Manila and expressed the hope that its "decision may serve
documents under Presidential Decree No. 33. to bulwark the fortifications of an orderly government of laws and to
protect individual liberty from Megal encroachment."
Consequently, two separate informations were filed against the
petitioner, one, for illegal possession of firearms before the Court of In the light of the above ruling, the present petition for habeas corpus
First Instance of Rizal and the other for violation of P.D. 33 before has not become moot and academic. Other precedents for such a
the City Court of Quezon City. Against the other accused, however, conclusion are not wanting.
the cases filed were for violation of P.D. 885 as amended.
The decision in Caunca v. Salazar (82 Phil. 851) states:
Significantly, the petitioner was excluded from the charge under the
Revised Anti-Subversion Law. During the pendency of this petition, An employment agency, regardless of the amount it may
it is significant that his arraignment and further proceedings have not advance to a prospective employee or maid, has absolutely
been pursued. And yet, the petitioner's motions for bail were denied no power to curtail her freedom of movement. The fact that
by the lower court. no physical force has been exerted to keep her in the house
of the respondent does not make less real the deprivation of
Hence, the petitioner filed the instant petition.
her personal freedom of movement, freedom to transfer
The respondents, in their return of the writ justified the validity of from one place to another, from to choose one's residence.
petitioner's detention on the ground that the privilege of the writ had Freedom may be lost due to external moral compulsion, to
been suspended as to the petitioner. However, on August 30, 1983, founded or groundless fear, to erroneous belief in the
the respondents filed a motion to dismiss stating that on May 11, existence of the will. If the actual effect of such
1983, the petitioner was temporarily released from detention on psychological spell is to place a person at the mercy of
orders of the Minister temporary of National Defense with the another, the victim is entitled to the protection of courts of
approval of the President. The respondents stated. "Since the justice as much as the individual who is illigally deprived
petitioner is free and no longer under the custody of the respondents, of liberty by deprived or physical coercion.
the present petition for habeas corpus may be deemed moot and
In Tibo v. The Provincial Commander (85 SCRA 564), this Court
academic as in similar cases.

Spec Pro | Rule 102 | Full text | !19

Although the release in the custody of the Deputy Minister
did not signify that petitioners could once again enjoy their
full freedom, the application could have been dismissed, as
it could be withdrawn by the parties themselves. That is a
purely voluntary act. When the hearing was held on
September 7, 1978, it turned out that counsel for petitioner
Bonifacio V. Tupaz could have academic in a hasty manner
when he set forth the above allegations in his manifestation
of August 30, 1978, for Attorney Jose C. Espinas, who
appeared for petitioners, while conceding that there was
such a release from confinement, also alleged that it was
conditioned on their restricting their activities as labor
union leaders to the premises of the Trade Unions of the
Philippines and ABSOLUTE Services, presumably in
Macaraig as well as the Ministry of labor. As the voting
was to take place in the business firm in Bataan, the acts set
would nullify whatever efforts they could have exerted. To
that extent, and with the prohibition against their going to
Bataan, the restraint on liberty was undeniable. If so, the
moot and academic character of the petition was far from
More recently, we had occasion to rule squarely on whether or not a
temporary release from detention renders the petition for writ of
habeas corpus moot and academic. As in this case of Moncupa, the
petitioners in Toyoto, et al v. Hon. Fidel Ramos, et al, G.R. No.
69270, October 15, 1985, were temporarily released from detention.
The respondents filed a motion to dismiss the petition for habeas
corpus on the ground that the petitioners had been temporarily
released and their case had, therefore, become moot and academic.
The petitioners insisted, however, that their case may be considered
moot and academic only "if their release would be permanent." In
ruling for the petitioners, we said:
Ordinarily, a petition for habeas corpus becomes moot and
academic when the restraint on the liberty of the petitioners
is lifted either temporarily or permanently. We have so held
in a number of cases. But the instant case presents a
different situation. The question to be resolved is whether
the State can reserve the power to re-arrest a person for an
offense after a court of competent jurisdiction has absolved
him of the offense. An affirmative answer is the one
suggested by the respondents because the release of the
petitioners being merely 'temporary' it follows that they can
be re-arrested at anytime despite their acquittal by a court
of competent jurisdiction. We hold that such a reservation
is repugnant to the government of laws and not of men
principle. Under this principle the moment a person is
acquitted on a criminal charge he can no longer be detained
or re-arrested for the same offense. This concept is so basic
and elementary that it needs no elaboration.
In effect the principle is clear. A release that renders a petition for a
writ of habeas corpus moot and academic must be one which is free
from involuntary restraints. Where a person continues to be
unlawfully denied one or more of his constitutional freedoms, where
there is present a denial of due process, where the restraints are not
merely involuntary but appear to be unnecessary, and where a
deprivation of freedom originally valid has, in the light of subsequent
developments, become arbitrary, the person concerned or those
applying in his behalf may still avail themselves of the privilege of
the writ.
The respondents have failed to show why the writ may not issue and
why the restraints on the petitioner's freedom of movement should
not be lifted.

WHEREFORE, the PETITION is GRANTED. The conditions

attached to the temporary release of the petitioner are declared null
and void. The temporary release of the petitioner is declared
ABSOLUTE. No costs,

Spec Pro | Rule 102 | Full text | !20

EN BANC the women were illegally restrained of their liberty by Justo Lukban,
Mayor of the city of Manila, Anton Hohmann, chief of police of the
G.R. No. L-14639 March 25, 1919 city of Manila, and by certain unknown parties. The writ was made
 returnable before the full court. The city fiscal appeared for the
 respondents, Lukban and Hohmann, admitted certain facts relative to
JUSTO LUKBAN, ET AL., respondents. sequestration and deportation, and prayed that the writ should not be
granted because the petitioners were not proper parties, because the
MALCOLM, J.: action should have been begun in the Court of First Instance for
Davao, Department of Mindanao and Sulu, because the respondents
The annals of juridical history fail to reveal a case quite as did not have any of the women under their custody or control, and
remarkable as the one which this application for habeas corpus because their jurisdiction did not extend beyond the boundaries of the
submits for decision. While hardly to be expected to be met with in city of Manila. According to an exhibit attached to the answer of the
this modern epoch of triumphant democracy, yet, after all, the cause fiscal, the 170 women were destined to be laborers, at good salaries,
presents no great difficulty if there is kept in the forefront of our on the haciendas of Yñigo and Governor Sales. In open court, the
minds the basic principles of popular government, and if we give fiscal admitted, in answer to question of a member of the court, that
expression to the paramount purpose for which the courts, as an these women had been sent out of Manila without their consent. The
independent power of such a government, were constituted. The court awarded the writ, in an order of November 4, that directed Justo
primary question is — Shall the judiciary permit a government of the Lukban, Mayor of the city of Manila, Anton Hohmann, chief of
men instead of a government of laws to be set up in the Philippine police of the city of Manila, Francisco Sales, governor of the
Islands? province of Davao, and Feliciano Yñigo, an hacendero of Davao, to
bring before the court the persons therein named, alleged to be
Omitting much extraneous matter, of no moment to these deprived of their liberty, on December 2, 1918.
proceedings, but which might prove profitable reading for other
departments of the government, the facts are these: The Mayor of the Before the date mentioned, seven of the women had returned to
city of Manila, Justo Lukban, for the best of all reasons, to Manila at their own expense. On motion of counsel for petitioners,
exterminate vice, ordered the segregated district for women of ill their testimony was taken before the clerk of the Supreme Court
repute, which had been permitted for a number of years in the city of sitting as commissioners. On the day named in the order, December
Manila, closed. Between October 16 and October 25, 1918, the 2nd, 1918, none of the persons in whose behalf the writ was issued
women were kept confined to their houses in the district by the were produced in court by the respondents. It has been shown that
police. Presumably, during this period, the city authorities quietly three of those who had been able to come back to Manila through
perfected arrangements with the Bureau of Labor for sending the their own efforts, were notified by the police and the secret service to
women to Davao, Mindanao, as laborers; with some government appear before the court. The fiscal appeared, repeated the facts more
office for the use of the coastguard cutters Corregidor and Negros, comprehensively, reiterated the stand taken by him when pleading to
and with the Constabulary for a guard of soldiers. At any rate, about the original petition copied a telegram from the Mayor of the city of
midnight of October 25, the police, acting pursuant to orders from the Manila to the provincial governor of Davao and the answer thereto,
chief of police, Anton Hohmann and the Mayor of the city of Manila, and telegrams that had passed between the Director of Labor and the
Justo Lukban, descended upon the houses, hustled some 170 inmates attorney for that Bureau then in Davao, and offered certain affidavits
into patrol wagons, and placed them aboard the steamers that awaited showing that the women were contained with their life in Mindanao
their arrival. The women were given no opportunity to collect their and did not wish to return to Manila. Respondents Sales answered
belongings, and apparently were under the impression that they were alleging that it was not possible to fulfill the order of the Supreme
being taken to a police station for an investigation. They had no Court because the women had never been under his control, because
knowledge that they were destined for a life in Mindanao. They had they were at liberty in the Province of Davao, and because they had
not been asked if they wished to depart from that region and had married or signed contracts as laborers. Respondent Yñigo answered
neither directly nor indirectly given their consent to the deportation. alleging that he did not have any of the women under his control and
The involuntary guests were received on board the steamers by a that therefore it was impossible for him to obey the mandate. The
representative of the Bureau of Labor and a detachment of court, after due deliberation, on December 10, 1918, promulgated a
Constabulary soldiers. The two steamers with their unwilling second order, which related that the respondents had not complied
passengers sailed for Davao during the night of October 25. with the original order to the satisfaction of the court nor explained
their failure to do so, and therefore directed that those of the women
The vessels reached their destination at Davao on October 29. The not in Manila be brought before the court by respondents Lukban,
women were landed and receipted for as laborers by Francisco Sales, Hohmann, Sales, and Yñigo on January 13, 1919, unless the women
provincial governor of Davao, and by Feliciano Yñigo and Rafael should, in written statements voluntarily made before the judge of
Castillo. The governor and the hacendero Yñigo, who appear as first instance of Davao or the clerk of that court, renounce the right,
parties in the case, had no previous notification that the women were or unless the respondents should demonstrate some other legal
prostitutes who had been expelled from the city of Manila. The motives that made compliance impossible. It was further stated that
further happenings to these women and the serious charges growing the question of whether the respondents were in contempt of court
out of alleged ill-treatment are of public interest, but are not essential would later be decided and the reasons for the order announced in the
to the disposition of this case. Suffice it to say, generally, that some of final decision.
the women married, others assumed more or less clandestine relations
with men, others went to work in different capacities, others assumed Before January 13, 1919, further testimony including that of a
a life unknown and disappeared, and a goodly portion found means to number of the women, of certain detectives and policemen, and of the
return to Manila. provincial governor of Davao, was taken before the clerk of the
Supreme Court sitting as commissioner and the clerk of the Court of
To turn back in our narrative, just about the time the Corregidor and First Instance of Davao acting in the same capacity. On January 13,
the Negros were putting in to Davao, the attorney for the relatives and 1919, the respondents technically presented before the Court the
friends of a considerable number of the deportees presented an women who had returned to the city through their own efforts and
application for habeas corpus to a member of the Supreme Court. eight others who had been brought to Manila by the respondents.
Subsequently, the application, through stipulation of the parties, was Attorneys for the respondents, by their returns, once again recounted
made to include all of the women who were sent away from Manila the facts and further endeavored to account for all of the persons
to Davao and, as the same questions concerned them all, the involved in the habeas corpus. In substance, it was stated that the
application will be considered as including them. The application set respondents, through their representatives and agents, had succeeded
forth the salient facts, which need not be repeated, and alleged that in bringing from Davao with their consent eight women; that eighty-

Spec Pro | Rule 102 | Full text | !21

one women were found in Davao who, on notice that if they desired mere behest or even for the most praiseworthy of motives, render the
they could return to Manila, transportation fee, renounced the right liberty of the citizen so insecure, then the presidents and chiefs of
through sworn statements; that fifty-nine had already returned to police of one thousand other municipalities of the Philippines have
Manila by other means, and that despite all efforts to find them the same privilege. If these officials can take to themselves such
twenty-six could not be located. Both counsel for petitioners and the power, then any other official can do the same. And if any official can
city fiscal were permitted to submit memoranda. The first formally exercise the power, then all persons would have just as much right to
asked the court to find Justo Lukban, Mayor of the city of Manila, do so. And if a prostitute could be sent against her wishes and under
Anton Hohmann, chief of police of the city of Manila, Jose no law from one locality to another within the country, then
Rodriguez and Fernando Ordax, members of the police force of the officialdom can hold the same club over the head of any citizen.
city of Manila, Feliciano Yñigo, an hacendero of Davao, Modesto
Joaquin, the attorney for the Bureau of Labor, and Anacleto Diaz, Law defines power. Centuries ago Magna Charta decreed that — "No
fiscal of the city of Manila, in contempt of court. The city fiscal freeman shall be taken, or imprisoned, or be disseized of his freehold,
requested that the replica al memorandum de los recurridos, (reply to or liberties, or free customs, or be outlawed, or exiled, or any other
respondents' memorandum) dated January 25, 1919, be struck from wise destroyed; nor will we pass upon him nor condemn him, but by
the record. lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land. We will sell to
no man, we will not deny or defer to any man either justice or
In the second order, the court promised to give the reasons for right." (Magna Charta, 9 Hen., 111, 1225, Cap. 29; 1 eng. stat. at
granting the writ of habeas corpus in the final decision. We will now Large, 7.) No official, no matter how high, is above the law. The
proceed to do so. courts are the forum which functionate to safeguard individual liberty
and to punish official transgressors. "The law," said Justice Miller,
One fact, and one fact only, need be recalled — these one hundred delivering the opinion of the Supreme Court of the United States, "is
and seventy women were isolated from society, and then at night, the only supreme power in our system of government, and every man
without their consent and without any opportunity to consult with who by accepting office participates in its functions is only the more
friends or to defend their rights, were forcibly hustled on board strongly bound to submit to that supremacy, and to observe the
steamers for transportation to regions unknown. Despite the feeble limitations which it imposes upon the exercise of the authority which
attempt to prove that the women left voluntarily and gladly, that such it gives." (U.S. vs. Lee [1882], 106 U.S., 196, 220.) "The very idea,"
was not the case is shown by the mere fact that the presence of the said Justice Matthews of the same high tribunal in another case, "that
police and the constabulary was deemed necessary and that these one man may be compelled to hold his life, or the means of living, or
officers of the law chose the shades of night to cloak their secret and any material right essential to the enjoyment of life, at the mere will
stealthy acts. Indeed, this is a fact impossible to refute and practically of another, seems to be intolerable in any country where freedom
admitted by the respondents. prevails, as being the essence of slavery itself." (Yick Wo vs. Hopkins
With this situation, a court would next expect to resolve the question [1886], 118 U.S., 356, 370.) All this explains the motive in issuing
— By authority of what law did the Mayor and the Chief of Police the writ of habeas corpus, and makes clear why we said in the very
presume to act in deporting by duress these persons from Manila to beginning that the primary question was whether the courts should
another distant locality within the Philippine Islands? We turn to the permit a government of men or a government of laws to be
statutes and we find — established in the Philippine Islands.

Alien prostitutes can be expelled from the Philippine Islands in What are the remedies of the unhappy victims of official oppression?
conformity with an Act of congress. The Governor-General can order The remedies of the citizen are three: (1) Civil action; (2) criminal
the eviction of undesirable aliens after a hearing from the Islands. Act action, and (3) habeas corpus.
No. 519 of the Philippine Commission and section 733 of the Revised The first is an optional but rather slow process by which the
Ordinances of the city of Manila provide for the conviction and aggrieved party may recoup money damages. It may still rest with the
punishment by a court of justice of any person who is a common parties in interest to pursue such an action, but it was never intended
prostitute. Act No. 899 authorizes the return of any citizen of the effectively and promptly to meet any such situation as that now
United States, who may have been convicted of vagrancy, to the before us.
homeland. New York and other States have statutes providing for the
commitment to the House of Refuge of women convicted of being As to criminal responsibility, it is true that the Penal Code in force in
common prostitutes. Always a law! Even when the health authorities these Islands provides:
compel vaccination, or establish a quarantine, or place a leprous
person in the Culion leper colony, it is done pursuant to some law or Any public officer not thereunto authorized by law or by
order. But one can search in vain for any law, order, or regulation, regulations of a general character in force in the Philippines
which even hints at the right of the Mayor of the city of Manila or the who shall banish any person to a place more than two
chief of police of that city to force citizens of the Philippine Islands hundred kilometers distant from his domicile, except it be
— and these women despite their being in a sense lepers of society by virtue of the judgment of a court, shall be punished by a
are nevertheless not chattels but Philippine citizens protected by the fine of not less than three hundred and twenty-five and not
same constitutional guaranties as are other citizens — to change their more than three thousand two hundred and fifty pesetas.
domicile from Manila to another locality. On the contrary, Philippine
Any public officer not thereunto expressly authorized by
penal law specifically punishes any public officer who, not being
law or by regulation of a general character in force in the
expressly authorized by law or regulation, compels any person to
Philippines who shall compel any person to change his
change his residence.
domicile or residence shall suffer the penalty of destierro
In other countries, as in Spain and Japan, the privilege of domicile is and a fine of not less than six hundred and twenty-five and
deemed so important as to be found in the Bill of Rights of the not more than six thousand two hundred and fifty pesetas.
Constitution. Under the American constitutional system, liberty of (Art. 211.)
abode is a principle so deeply imbedded in jurisprudence and We entertain no doubt but that, if, after due investigation, the proper
considered so elementary in nature as not even to require a prosecuting officers find that any public officer has violated this
constitutional sanction. Even the Governor-General of the Philippine provision of law, these prosecutors will institute and press a criminal
Islands, even the President of the United States, who has often been prosecution just as vigorously as they have defended the same official
said to exercise more power than any king or potentate, has no such in this action. Nevertheless, that the act may be a crime and that the
arbitrary prerogative, either inherent or express. Much less, therefore, persons guilty thereof can be proceeded against, is no bar to the
has the executive of a municipality, who acts within a sphere of instant proceedings. To quote the words of Judge Cooley in a case
delegated powers. If the mayor and the chief of police could, at their

Spec Pro | Rule 102 | Full text | !22

which will later be referred to — "It would be a monstrous anomaly such restraint is illegal. Any restraint which will preclude freedom of
in the law if to an application by one unlawfully confined, ta be action is sufficient. The forcible taking of these women from Manila
restored to his liberty, it could be a sufficient answer that the by officials of that city, who handed them over to other parties, who
confinement was a crime, and therefore might be continued deposited them in a distant region, deprived these women of freedom
indefinitely until the guilty party was tried and punished therefor by of locomotion just as effectively as if they had been imprisoned.
the slow process of criminal procedure." (In the matter of Jackson Placed in Davao without either money or personal belongings, they
[1867], 15 Mich., 416, 434.) The writ of habeas corpus was devised were prevented from exercising the liberty of going when and where
and exists as a speedy and effectual remedy to relieve persons from they pleased. The restraint of liberty which began in Manila
unlawful restraint, and as the best and only sufficient defense of continued until the aggrieved parties were returned to Manila and
personal freedom. Any further rights of the parties are left untouched released or until they freely and truly waived his right.
by decision on the writ, whose principal purpose is to set the
individual at liberty. Consider for a moment what an agreement with such a defense would
mean. The chief executive of any municipality in the Philippines
Granted that habeas corpus is the proper remedy, respondents have could forcibly and illegally take a private citizen and place him
raised three specific objections to its issuance in this instance. The beyond the boundaries of the municipality, and then, when called
fiscal has argued (l) that there is a defect in parties petitioners, (2) upon to defend his official action, could calmly fold his hands and
that the Supreme Court should not a assume jurisdiction, and (3) that claim that the person was under no restraint and that he, the official,
the person in question are not restrained of their liberty by had no jurisdiction over this other municipality. We believe the true
respondents. It was finally suggested that the jurisdiction of the principle should be that, if the respondent is within the jurisdiction of
Mayor and the chief of police of the city of Manila only extends to the court and has it in his power to obey the order of the court and
the city limits and that perforce they could not bring the women from thus to undo the wrong that he has inflicted, he should be compelled
Davao. to do so. Even if the party to whom the writ is addressed has illegally
parted with the custody of a person before the application for the writ
The first defense was not presented with any vigor by counsel. The is no reason why the writ should not issue. If the mayor and the chief
petitioners were relatives and friends of the deportees. The way the of police, acting under no authority of law, could deport these women
expulsion was conducted by the city officials made it impossible for from the city of Manila to Davao, the same officials must necessarily
the women to sign a petition for habeas corpus. It was consequently have the same means to return them from Davao to Manila. The
proper for the writ to be submitted by persons in their behalf. (Code respondents, within the reach of process, may not be permitted to
of Criminal Procedure, sec. 78; Code of Civil Procedure, sec. 527.) restrain a fellow citizen of her liberty by forcing her to change her
The law, in its zealous regard for personal liberty, even makes it the domicile and to avow the act with impunity in the courts, while the
duty of a court or judge to grant a writ of habeas corpus if there is person who has lost her birthright of liberty has no effective recourse.
evidence that within the court's jurisdiction a person is unjustly The great writ of liberty may not thus be easily evaded.
imprisoned or restrained of his liberty, though no application be made
therefor. (Code of Criminal Procedure, sec. 93.) Petitioners had It must be that some such question has heretofore been presented to
standing in court. the courts for decision. Nevertheless, strange as it may seem, a close
examination of the authorities fails to reveal any analogous case.
The fiscal next contended that the writ should have been asked for in Certain decisions of respectable courts are however very persuasive
the Court of First Instance of Davao or should have been made in nature.
returnable before that court. It is a general rule of good practice that,
to avoid unnecessary expense and inconvenience, petitions for A question came before the Supreme Court of the State of Michigan
habeas corpus should be presented to the nearest judge of the court of at an early date as to whether or not a writ of habeas corpus would
first instance. But this is not a hard and fast rule. The writ of habeas issue from the Supreme Court to a person within the jurisdiction of
corpus may be granted by the Supreme Court or any judge thereof the State to bring into the State a minor child under guardianship in
enforcible anywhere in the Philippine Islands. (Code of Criminal the State, who has been and continues to be detained in another State.
Procedure, sec. 79; Code of Civil Procedure, sec. 526.) Whether the The membership of the Michigan Supreme Court at this time was
writ shall be made returnable before the Supreme Court or before an notable. It was composed of Martin, chief justice, and Cooley,
inferior court rests in the discretion of the Supreme Court and is Campbell, and Christiancy, justices. On the question presented the
dependent on the particular circumstances. In this instance it was not court was equally divided. Campbell, J., with whom concurred
shown that the Court of First Instance of Davao was in session, or Martin, C. J., held that the writ should be quashed. Cooley, J., one of
that the women had any means by which to advance their plea before the most distinguished American judges and law-writers, with whom
that court. On the other hand, it was shown that the petitioners with concurred Christiancy, J., held that the writ should issue. Since the
their attorneys, and the two original respondents with their attorney, opinion of Justice Campbell was predicated to a large extent on his
were in Manila; it was shown that the case involved parties situated conception of the English decisions, and since, as will hereafter
in different parts of the Islands; it was shown that the women might appear, the English courts have taken a contrary view, only the
still be imprisoned or restrained of their liberty; and it was shown that following eloquent passages from the opinion of Justice Cooley are
if the writ was to accomplish its purpose, it must be taken cognizance quoted:
of and decided immediately by the appellate court. The failure of the
superior court to consider the application and then to grant the writ I have not yet seen sufficient reason to doubt the power of
would have amounted to a denial of the benefits of the writ. this court to issue the present writ on the petition which
was laid before us. . . .
The last argument of the fiscal is more plausible and more difficult to
meet. When the writ was prayed for, says counsel, the parties in It would be strange indeed if, at this late day, after the
whose behalf it was asked were under no restraint; the women, it is eulogiums of six centuries and a half have been expended
claimed, were free in Davao, and the jurisdiction of the mayor and upon the Magna Charta, and rivers of blood shed for its
the chief of police did not extend beyond the city limits. At first establishment; after its many confirmations, until Coke
blush, this is a tenable position. On closer examination, acceptance of could declare in his speech on the petition of right that
such dictum is found to be perversive of the first principles of the "Magna Charta was such a fellow that he will have no
writ of habeas corpus. sovereign," and after the extension of its benefits and
securities by the petition of right, bill of rights and habeas
A prime specification of an application for a writ of habeas corpus is corpus acts, it should now be discovered that evasion of
restraint of liberty. The essential object and purpose of the writ of that great clause for the protection of personal liberty,
habeas corpus is to inquire into all manner of involuntary restraint as which is the life and soul of the whole instrument, is so
distinguished from voluntary, and to relieve a person therefrom if easy as is claimed here. If it is so, it is important that it be

Spec Pro | Rule 102 | Full text | !23

determined without delay, that the legislature may apply the in obedience to its commands. (The Queen vs. Bernardo
proper remedy, as I can not doubt they would, on the [1889], 23 Q. B. D., 305. See also to the same effect the
subject being brought to their notice. . . . Irish case of In re Matthews, 12 Ir. Com. Law Rep. [N. S.],
233; The Queen vs. Barnardo, Gossage's Case [1890], 24
The second proposition — that the statutory provisions are Q. B. D., 283.)
confined to the case of imprisonment within the state —
seems to me to be based upon a misconception as to the A decision coming from the Federal Courts is also of interest. A
source of our jurisdiction. It was never the case in England habeas corpus was directed to the defendant to have before the
that the court of king's bench derived its jurisdiction to circuit court of the District of Columbia three colored persons, with
issue and enforce this writ from the statute. Statutes were the cause of their detention. Davis, in his return to the writ, stated on
not passed to give the right, but to compel the observance oath that he had purchased the negroes as slaves in the city of
of rights which existed. . . . Washington; that, as he believed, they were removed beyond the
District of Columbia before the service of the writ of habeas corpus,
The important fact to be observed in regard to the mode of and that they were then beyond his control and out of his custody.
procedure upon this writ is, that it is directed to and served The evidence tended to show that Davis had removed the negroes
upon, not the person confined, but his jailor. It does not because he suspected they would apply for a writ of habeas corpus.
reach the former except through the latter. The officer or The court held the return to be evasive and insufficient, and that
person who serves it does not unbar the prison doors, and Davis was bound to produce the negroes, and Davis being present in
set the prisoner free, but the court relieves him by court, and refusing to produce them, ordered that he be committed to
compelling the oppressor to release his constraint. The the custody of the marshall until he should produce the negroes, or be
whole force of the writ is spent upon the respondent, and if otherwise discharged in due course of law. The court afterwards
he fails to obey it, the means to be resorted to for the ordered that Davis be released upon the production of two of the
purposes of compulsion are fine and imprisonment. This is negroes, for one of the negroes had run away and been lodged in jail
the ordinary mode of affording relief, and if any other in Maryland. Davis produced the two negroes on the last day of the
means are resorted to, they are only auxiliary to those term. (United States vs. Davis [1839], 5 Cranch C.C., 622, Fed. Cas.
which are usual. The place of confinement is, therefore, not No. 14926. See also Robb vs. Connolly [1883], 111 U.S., 624;
important to the relief, if the guilty party is within reach of Church on Habeas, 2nd ed., p. 170.)
process, so that by the power of the court he can be
compelled to release his grasp. The difficulty of affording We find, therefore, both on reason and authority, that no one of the
redress is not increased by the confinement being beyond defense offered by the respondents constituted a legitimate bar to the
the limits of the state, except as greater distance may affect granting of the writ of habeas corpus.
it. The important question is, where the power of control
exercised? And I am aware of no other remedy. (In the There remains to be considered whether the respondent complied
matter of Jackson [1867], 15 Mich., 416.) with the two orders of the Supreme Court awarding the writ of
habeas corpus, and if it be found that they did not, whether the
The opinion of Judge Cooley has since been accepted as authoritative contempt should be punished or be taken as purged.
by other courts. (Rivers vs. Mitchell [1881], 57 Iowa, 193; Breene vs.
People [1911], Colo., 117 Pac. Rep., 1000; Ex parte Young [1892], The first order, it will be recalled, directed Justo Lukban, Anton
50 Fed., 526.) Hohmann, Francisco Sales, and Feliciano Yñigo to present the
persons named in the writ before the court on December 2, 1918. The
The English courts have given careful consideration to the subject. order was dated November 4, 1918. The respondents were thus given
Thus, a child had been taken out of English by the respondent. A writ ample time, practically one month, to comply with the writ. As far as
of habeas corpus was issued by the Queen's Bench Division upon the the record discloses, the Mayor of the city of Manila waited until the
application of the mother and her husband directing the defendant to 21st of November before sending a telegram to the provincial
produce the child. The judge at chambers gave defendant until a governor of Davao. According to the response of the attorney for the
certain date to produce the child, but he did not do so. His return Bureau of Labor to the telegram of his chief, there were then in
stated that the child before the issuance of the writ had been handed Davao women who desired to return to Manila, but who should not
over by him to another; that it was no longer in his custody or be permitted to do so because of having contracted debts. The half-
control, and that it was impossible for him to obey the writ. He was hearted effort naturally resulted in none of the parties in question
found in contempt of court. On appeal, the court, through Lord Esher, being brought before the court on the day named.
M. R., said:
For the respondents to have fulfilled the court's order, three optional
A writ of habeas corpus was ordered to issue, and was courses were open: (1) They could have produced the bodies of the
issued on January 22. That writ commanded the defendant persons according to the command of the writ; or (2) they could have
to have the body of the child before a judge in chambers at shown by affidavit that on account of sickness or infirmity those
the Royal Courts of Justice immediately after the receipt of persons could not safely be brought before the court; or (3) they
the writ, together with the cause of her being taken and could have presented affidavits to show that the parties in question or
detained. That is a command to bring the child before the their attorney waived the right to be present. (Code of Criminal
judge and must be obeyed, unless some lawful reason can Procedure, sec. 87.) They did not produce the bodies of the persons in
be shown to excuse the nonproduction of the child. If it whose behalf the writ was granted; they did not show impossibility of
could be shown that by reason of his having lawfully parted performance; and they did not present writings that waived the right
with the possession of the child before the issuing of the to be present by those interested. Instead a few stereotyped affidavits
writ, the defendant had no longer power to produce the purporting to show that the women were contended with their life in
child, that might be an answer; but in the absence of any Davao, some of which have since been repudiated by the signers,
lawful reason he is bound to produce the child, and, if he were appended to the return. That through ordinary diligence a
does not, he is in contempt of the Court for not obeying the considerable number of the women, at least sixty, could have been
writ without lawful excuse. Many efforts have been made in brought back to Manila is demonstrated to be found in the
argument to shift the question of contempt to some anterior municipality of Davao, and that about this number either returned at
period for the purpose of showing that what was done at their own expense or were produced at the second hearing by the
some time prior to the writ cannot be a contempt. But the respondents.
question is not as to what was done before the issue of the
writ. The question is whether there has been a contempt in The court, at the time the return to its first order was made, would
disobeying the writ it was issued by not producing the child have been warranted summarily in finding the respondents guilty of

Spec Pro | Rule 102 | Full text | !24

contempt of court, and in sending them to jail until they obeyed the his counter-motion to strike from the record the memorandum of
order. Their excuses for the non-production of the persons were far attorney for the petitioners, which brings him into this undesirable
from sufficient. The, authorities cited herein pertaining to somewhat position, must be granted. When all is said and done, as far as this
similar facts all tend to indicate with what exactitude a habeas corpus record discloses, the official who was primarily responsible for the
writ must be fulfilled. For example, in Gossage's case, supra, the unlawful deportation, who ordered the police to accomplish the same,
Magistrate in referring to an earlier decision of the Court, said: "We who made arrangements for the steamers and the constabulary, who
thought that, having brought about that state of things by his own conducted the negotiations with the Bureau of Labor, and who later,
illegal act, he must take the consequences; and we said that he was as the head of the city government, had it within his power to
bound to use every effort to get the child back; that he must do much facilitate the return of the unfortunate women to Manila, was Justo
more than write letters for the purpose; that he must advertise in Lukban, the Mayor of the city of Manila. His intention to suppress
America, and even if necessary himself go after the child, and do the social evil was commendable. His methods were unlawful. His
everything that mortal man could do in the matter; and that the court regard for the writ of habeas corpus issued by the court was only
would only accept clear proof of an absolute impossibility by way of tardily and reluctantly acknowledged.
excuse." In other words, the return did not show that every possible
effort to produce the women was made by the respondents. That the It would be possible to turn to the provisions of section 546 of the
court forebore at this time to take drastic action was because it did Code of Civil Procedure, which relates to the penalty for disobeying
not wish to see presented to the public gaze the spectacle of a clash the writ, and in pursuance thereof to require respondent Lukban to
between executive officials and the judiciary, and because it desired forfeit to the parties aggrieved as much as P400 each, which would
to give the respondents another chance to demonstrate their good reach to many thousands of pesos, and in addition to deal with him as
faith and to mitigate their wrong. for a contempt. Some members of the court are inclined to this stern
view. It would also be possible to find that since respondent Lukban
In response to the second order of the court, the respondents appear did comply substantially with the second order of the court, he has
to have become more zealous and to have shown a better spirit. purged his contempt of the first order. Some members of the court are
Agents were dispatched to Mindanao, placards were posted, the inclined to this merciful view. Between the two extremes appears to
constabulary and the municipal police joined in rounding up the lie the correct finding. The failure of respondent Lukban to obey the
women, and a steamer with free transportation to Manila was first mandate of the court tended to belittle and embarrass the
provided. While charges and counter-charges in such a bitterly administration of justice to such an extent that his later activity may
contested case are to be expected, and while a critical reading of the be considered only as extenuating his conduct. A nominal fine will at
record might reveal a failure of literal fulfillment with our mandate, once command such respect without being unduly oppressive — such
we come to conclude that there is a substantial compliance with it. an amount is P100.
Our finding to this effect may be influenced somewhat by our sincere
desire to see this unhappy incident finally closed. If any wrong is In resume — as before stated, no further action on the writ of habeas
now being perpetrated in Davao, it should receive an executive corpus is necessary. The respondents Hohmann, Rodriguez, Ordax,
investigation. If any particular individual is still restrained of her Joaquin, Yñigo, and Diaz are found not to be in contempt of court.
liberty, it can be made the object of separate habeas corpus Respondent Lukban is found in contempt of court and shall pay into
proceedings. the office of the clerk of the Supreme Court within five days the sum
of one hundred pesos (P100). The motion of the fiscal of the city of
Since the writ has already been granted, and since we find a Manila to strike from the record the Replica al Memorandum de los
substantial compliance with it, nothing further in this connection Recurridos of January 25, 1919, is granted. Costs shall be taxed
remains to be done. against respondents. So ordered.
The attorney for the petitioners asks that we find in contempt of court In concluding this tedious and disagreeable task, may we not be
Justo Lukban, Mayor of the city of Manila, Anton Hohmann, chief of permitted to express the hope that this decision may serve to bulwark
police of the city of Manila, Jose Rodriguez, and Fernando Ordax, the fortifications of an orderly government of laws and to protect
members of the police force of the city of Manila, Modesto Joaquin, individual liberty from illegal encroachment.
the attorney for the Bureau of Labor, Feliciano Yñigo, an hacendero
of Davao, and Anacleto Diaz, Fiscal of the city of Manila.
The power to punish for contempt of court should be exercised on the
preservative and not on the vindictive principle. Only occasionally
should the court invoke its inherent power in order to retain that
respect without which the administration of justice must falter or fail.
Nevertheless when one is commanded to produce a certain person
and does not do so, and does not offer a valid excuse, a court must, to
vindicate its authority, adjudge the respondent to be guilty of
contempt, and must order him either imprisoned or fined. An officer's
failure to produce the body of a person in obedience to a writ of
habeas corpus when he has power to do so, is a contempt committed
in the face of the court. (Ex parte Sterns [1888], 77 Cal., 156; In re
Patterson [1888], 99 N. C., 407.)

With all the facts and circumstances in mind, and with judicial regard
for human imperfections, we cannot say that any of the respondents,
with the possible exception of the first named, has flatly disobeyed
the court by acting in opposition to its authority. Respondents
Hohmann, Rodriguez, Ordax, and Joaquin only followed the orders
of their chiefs, and while, under the law of public officers, this does
not exonerate them entirely, it is nevertheless a powerful mitigating
circumstance. The hacendero Yñigo appears to have been drawn into
the case through a misconstruction by counsel of telegraphic
communications. The city fiscal, Anacleto Diaz, would seem to have
done no more than to fulfill his duty as the legal representative of the
city government. Finding him innocent of any disrespect to the court,

Spec Pro | Rule 102 | Full text | !25

EN BANC Customs on July 23, 1920, is not the peremptory writ of habeas
corpus, unconditionally commanding the respondent to have the body
G.R. No. L-16779 March 30, 1921 of the detained person before the court at a time and place therein
LEE YICK HON, petitioner-appellee, 
 specified. The requisites of the peremptory writ of habeas corpus are
 stated in section 533 of the Code of Civil Procedure; and appropriate
THE INSULAR COLLECTOR OF CUSTOMS, defendant- forms are supplied in section 534 of said Code and in section 82 of
appellant. General Orders, No. 58. The order served in the case before us was
merely a preliminary citation requiring the respondent to appear and
STREET, J.: show cause why the peremptory writ should not be granted. The
practice of issuing a preliminary citation of this character, upon
This is an appeal by the Insular Collector of Customs from the action applications for the writ of habeas corpus, has, as all legal
of the Court of First Instance of Manila in imposing upon him a fine practitioners are aware, become common in our courts; and upon
of P50 for an alleged contempt of court. The circumstances connected considerations of practical convenience, the usage has must be
with the incident which gave rise to the proceeding are these: commend it, in cases where the necessity for the immediate issuance
of the peremptory writ is not manifest. Nevertheless in a case like
It appears that on July 23, 1920, a petition for the writ of habeas that now before us, it is necessary to take account of the difference
corpus was filed in the Court of First Instance of Manila by one Lee between the preliminary citation and the real writ of habeas corpus;
Yick Hon, alleging he had lately arrived from China at the port of and when advertence is had to this point, and the actual terms of the
Manila with a view to entering the Philippine Islands, but was citation are considered, it is at one obvious that the appellant did not
presented from so doing by the Insular Collector of Customs, who put himself in contempt by allowing Lee Yick Hon to be deported.
was detaining him for deportation. Upon the presiding in Sala IV of
said court, cited the collector to appear and show cause in writing Of course if the judge issuing the citation had his attention directed to
why the writ of habeas corpus should not be issued as prayed. This the fact that the deportation of Lee Yick Hon was imminent, and there
citation was served at about 11 a.m., at which house arrangement had had been any reason to fear that the Collector of Customs might
already been perfected for the deportation of Lee Yick Hon on a boat proceed with his deportation notwithstanding the service of the bare
scheduled to leave Manila for Hongkong at noon on the same day; citation, his Honor could have penned a few additional words, adding
and either by oversight or design the Insular Collector failed to to the citation an admonition to the effect that the petitioner should
contermand the order for his embarcation on that boat. The result was not be deported until his application for the writ of habeas corpus
that Lee Yick Hon was deported within two or three hours after the should be heard. If a temporary restraining order of that kind had
Insular Collector had been served with the citation to show cause in been issued, it would no doubt have been respected.
the habeas corpus proceeding. Thereupon contempt proceedings
were instituted against the Insular Collector, with the result already In proceeding against a person alleged to be guilty of contempt of
stated. court, it is not to be forgotten that such proceedings are commonly
treated as criminal in their nature even when the acts complained of
We are of the opinion that the action of the lower court in imposing are incidents of civil actions. For this reason the mode of procedure
fine on the appellant cannot be sustained; and the judgment must and rules of evidence in contempt proceedings are assimilated as far
accordingly be reserved. as practicable to those adapted to criminal prosecutions. (6 R. C. L.,
p. 530.) Moreover, it is well settled that a person cannot be held liable
The conditions under which a person can be punished for contempt for contempt in the violation of an injunction or in fact of any judicial
are precisely defined in sections 231 and 232 of the Code of Civil order unless the act which is forbidden or required to be done is
Procedure; and unless the reprobated conduct legitimately falls under clearly and exactly defined, so as to leave no reasonable doubt or
those provisions, it cannot be punished as for contempt. The first of uncertainty as to what specific act or thing is forbidden or required.
these sections contemplates misbehavior in the presence of the court (U.S. vs. Atchison, etc., R. Co., 146 Fed., 176, 183.) A party cannot
or so near the court of judge as to obstruct the administration of be punished for contempt in failing to do something not specified in
justice. With this situation we are not here concerned, as the act the order. (13 C. J., 15.) In the case before us, the deportation of the
which constitutes the alleged contempt was committed away from the petitioner was not forbidden by any order of the court, and hence that
presence of the court and if punishable at all, it falls under subsection act cannot be considered as disobedience to the court.
(1) of section 232, wherein it is declared that nay person may be
punished as for contempt who is guilty of "disobedience of or Upon principle the point is clear; and although no case exactly
resistance to a lawful writ, process, order, judgment, or command of identical with the present one has been called to our attention from
the court or injunction granted by a court or judge." the decisions of American courts, something very similar is found in
Ex parte Lake (37 Tex. Crim. Rep. 656; 66 Am. St. Rep. 848). The
In this case before us, if it be asked what lawful writ, process, order, facts involved in that case were these: One Edwards had been
judgment or command of the court or judge below was disobeyed or charged with the commission of a criminal offense in Oklahoma, but
resisted by the appellant, the answer must be: None whatever. The he fled to the State of Texas; and upon requisition from the Governor
citation that was served upon the appellant required him to appear at of Oklahoma, a warrant was issued by the Governor of Texas for his
a stated time in the Court of First Instance of Manila and show cause arrest in that State. Upon his being arrested, application was made in
if any there might be, why the writ prayed for should not issue. That his behalf before on of the Texas courts for the writ of habeas corpus
citation was literally complied with when, on July 30, 1920, the to secure his release. During the period when the propriety of
Attorney-General, on behalf of the Insular Collector, filed his answer, granting the writ was under consideration in said court, one Lake, the
wherein it was in effect stated that the case of Lee Yick Hon had been legally appointed extradition agent, acting under the authority of a
regularly passed upon by the special Board of Inquiry, and that it had proper warrant issued by the Governor of Texas, obtained the custody
been found that he had entered the Philippine Islands in contravention of Edwards from the sheriff who had him in charge and hurriedly
of the Immigration and Exclusion Acts, wherefore the Insular departed with the prisoner for Oklahoma. The result was that the
Collector had ordered his deportation. That answer, so far as appears proceedings upon the application for the writ habeas corpus were
in this case, has not been found to be false or insufficient; and the frustrated and the writ was in fact never issued — as occurred in the
sole ground relied upon to sustain the judgment finding the appellant case now before us. The judge before whom the application for the
guilty to contempt is that by allowing Lee Yick Hon to be deported writ of habeas corpus was pending thereupon caused Lake to be
under the conditions stated he has frustrated the possible issuance of arrested and fined him 50 dollars for the supposed contempt. It was
the writ of habeas corpus for which application had been made. held by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals that his action could not
At this point attention should be directed to the fact that the order to be sustained and the judgment was reversed.
show cause, a copy of which was served on the Insular Collector of

Spec Pro | Rule 102 | Full text | !26

Among the reasons stated for this decision was the fact that the
alleged contemner has disobeyed no order issued by the judge, for
there was none of any character made in the case, "and there was no
order, decree, writ, or any other process in existence, forbidding him
form doing just what he did". Speaking further of this aspect of the
case, the court said: "We have found no case authorizing punishment
by contempt for such conduct as is attributed to Lake, and we believe
none can be found. The authorities have been closely and
exhaustively examined, and the rule deducible therefrom, is that
unless the court has jurisdiction of the supposed contemner, or some
order, decree, or process has been resisted or disobeyed, the court has
no jurisdiction to punish for contempt. Jurisdiction over the party will
not confer power to punish for contempt unless some order, decree,
or process has been disobeyed or the party is guilty of some act of the
nature of malpractice in the case, or has disobeyed the reasonable
rules of the court". (Ex parte Lake, supra.)
The considerations found in that decision are applicable to the case
now before us and corroborate the conclusion to be inevitably drawn
form our own provisions relative to contempt, namely, that the
deportation of Lee Yick Hon by the Insular Collector under the
circumstances stated was not a contempt of court.
Judgment is reversed and the defendant absolved, with costs de
oficio. So ordered.

Spec Pro | Rule 102 | Full text | !27

THIRD DIVISION 1999 x x x."4 Dated February 15, 1999, it was received by the RTC
on February 16, 1999 at 9:45 a.m.
G.R. No. 137571 September 21, 2000
Petitioner filed an "Opposition," claiming that the Notice had been
TUNG CHIN HUI, petitioner, 
 filed beyond the 48-hour reglementary period for filing appeals in
 habeas corpus cases as prescribed by the pre-1997 Rules of Court.
RUFUS B. RODRIGUEZ, Commissioner of Immigration; and Although respondents alleged that they had received the said Order
the BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS, Bureau of Immigration on February 15, 1999, petitioner contended that they had in fact
and Deportation, respondents. received it on February 11, 1999, "as evidenced by the receipt of the
DECISION service thereof and by the Sheriff’s Return."5

PANGANIBAN, J.: In an Order dated February 18, 1999, the RTC rejected petitioner’s
contention and granted due course to the Notice of Appeal.
Provisions that were not reproduced in the 1997 Rules of Civil
Petitioner then filed a Motion for Reconsideration, arguing this time
Procedure are deemed repealed. Hence, having been omitted from the
that the Notice should be rejected because it had referred not to the
1997 Rules, deemed already repealed is Section 18, Rule 41 of the
RTC Decision but to the January 29, 1999 Order denying
pre-1997 Rules of Court, which had theretofore provided for a 48-
reconsideration. In its assailed March 2, 1999 Order, the trial court
hour reglementary period within which to appeal habeas corpus
denied his Motion.
cases. Accordingly, the period for perfecting appeals in said cases and
ordinary civil actions is now uniform -- 15 days from notice of the Hence, this Petition raising pure questions of law.6 In a Resolution
judgment or order. dated March 22, 1999, this Court issued a Temporary Restraining
Order "directing the respondents to cease and desist from deporting
The Case
the petitioner x x x until further orders."7
Before us is a Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of
Court, assailing the March 2, 1999 Order1 of the Regional Trial The Issues
Court (RTC) of Manila (Branch 26) in Special Proceedings No. Petitioner submits the following issues for our consideration:8
98-92014. The challenged Order reads in full as follows:2
"(a) Is the reglementary period to appeal [a] habeas corpus
"For resolution is a Motion For Reconsideration filed by petitioner [case] now 15 days from notice of judgment as contended
thru counsel with comment/opposition thereto filed by respondents by [the] lower court?
thru counsel.
"(b) Is the reglementary period to appeal [a] habeas corpus
"After careful consideration of the grounds relied upon by both [case] still 48 hours from notice of judgment as provided
parties, this Court finds for the respondents. The Notice of Appeal for in Section 18, Rule 41 of the Revised Rules of Court?
filed by the respondents is actually fo[r] the Court Decision dated or
January 7, 1999 and not for [the] Court Order dated January 29,
1999. "(c) Is the provision of Sec. 1, sub-paragraph (a) of Rule 41
of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure -- prohibiting appeal
"In view of the foregoing, the Motion for Reconsideration filed by from an Order denying a motion for reconsideration -
petitioner is hereby DENIED for lack of merit. mandatory or merely discretionary on the part of the lower
"Meanwhile, the Branch Clerk of Court is hereby ordered to
immediately transmit the record of the instant case to the Honorable "(d) Are petitions for writs of habeas corpus already
Court of Appeals within ten (10) days from today." brought down to the level of ordinary cases despite the fact
The Facts that in habeas corpus the liberty of persons illegally
detained is involved?"
From the records and the pleadings of the parties, the following facts
appear undisputed. In the main, the Court will resolve whether the Notice of Appeal was
seasonably filed. In the process, it will determine the applicable
After obtaining a visa at the Philippine Embassy in Singapore, reglementary period for filing an appeal in habeas corpus cases.
petitioner, a "Taiwanese citizen,"3 arrived in this country on
November 5, 1998. The Court’s Ruling
The Petition is not meritorious.
On November 15, 1998, he was arrested by several policemen, who
subsequently turned him over to the Bureau of Immigration and Main Issue: Reglementary Period for Appealing
Deportation (BID). Thereafter, on November 25, 1998, the BID
Board of Commissioners, after finding him guilty of possessing a Habeas Corpus Cases
tampered passport earlier canceled by Taiwanese authorities, ordered
his summary deportation. Petitioner contends that the Notice of Appeal was late because
respondents filed it only on February 16, 1999, five days after they
On December 11, 1998, petitioner filed before the RTC of Manila a had received the Order denying the Motion for Reconsideration on
Petition for Habeas Corpus on the ground that his detention was February 11, 1999.9 He argues that the reglementary period for filing
illegal. After respondents filed a Return of Writ controverting his an appeal is 48 hours, as prescribed in Section 18 of Rule 41 of the
claim, the trial court issued a Decision dated January 7, 1999, pre-1997 Rules of Court, which reads as follows:
granting his Petition and ordering his release from custody.
"SEC. 18. Appeal in habeas corpus cases, how taken. - An appeal in
On January 11, 1999, respondents filed a Motion for Reconsideration, habeas corpus cases shall be perfected by filing with the clerk of
which was denied by the trial court in an Order dated January 29, court or the judge who rendered the judgment, within forty-eight (48)
1999. hours from notice of such judgment, a statement that the person
making it appeals therefrom."
Respondents then filed a "[N]otice of [A]ppeal from the judgment of
the Honorable Court in the above-stated case, dated January 29, The argument is devoid of merit, because the foregoing provision
1999, a copy of which was received by the Bureau on February 11, was omitted from and thereby repealed by the 1997 Revised Rules of
1999 and was received by the undersigned counsel on February 15, Court, which completely replaced Rules 1 to 71. The well-settled rule

Spec Pro | Rule 102 | Full text | !28

of statutory construction is that provisions of an old law that were not "decision."22 Furthermore, the wrong date of the appealed judgment
reproduced in the revision thereof covering the same subject are may be attributed merely to inadvertence. Such error should not, by
deemed repealed and discarded.10 The omission shows the intention itself, deprive respondents of their right to appeal. Time and time
of the rule-making body, the Supreme Court in this case,11 "to again, it has been held that courts should proceed with caution so as
abrogate those provisions of the old laws that are not reproduced in not to deprive a party of this right.23 They are encouraged to hear the
the revised statute or code."12 merits of appealed cases; hence, the dismissal of an appeal on
grounds of technicality is generally frowned upon.24 Indeed, the
Clearly then, the reglementary period for filing an appeal in a habeas postulates of justice and fairness demand that all litigants be afforded
corpus case is now similar to that in ordinary civil actions13 and is the opportunity for a full disposition of their disputes, free as much as
governed by Section 3, Rule 41 of the 1997 Rules of Court, which legally possible from the constraints of technicalities.25 To rule
provides: otherwise is to let technicality triumph over substantial justice.
"SEC. 3. Period of ordinary appeal. -- The appeal shall be taken Indeed, "the real essence of justice does not emanate from quibblings
within fifteen (15) days from notice of the judgment or final order over patchwork legal technicality."26
appealed from. Where a record on appeal is required, the appellant Other Matters
shall file a notice of appeal and a record on appeal within thirty (30)
days from notice of the judgment or final order. Petitioner insists that the Order deporting him is invalid, as he was
not given notice or hearing.27 We reject this argument because it
"The period of appeal shall be interrupted by a timely motion for new properly pertains to the appeal before the CA, not in these
trial or reconsideration.1âwphi1 No motion for extension of time to proceedings instituted merely to determine the timeliness of the
file a motion for new trial or reconsideration shall be allowed." Notice of Appeal.
In this light, the appeal was seasonably filed within the 15-day Likewise, we reject the submission of the Office of the Solicitor
reglementary period. General that the promulgation of the CA Decision resolving the
appeal rendered the present case moot and academic.28 It should be
Stare Decisis
stressed that the validity of the proceedings before the appellate court
Petitioner insists, however, that the "application of Section 18, Rule ultimately hinges on the issue before us: whether the Notice of
41 under the Revised Rules of Court must be maintained under the Appeal was seasonably filed.
doctrine of stare decisis."14 , Thus he urges the Court to apply
WHEREFORE, the Petition is DENIED and the assailed Order
precedents that held that the 48-hour period for perfecting an appeal
AFFIRMED. The Temporary Restraining Order issued by the Court is
was mandatory and jurisdictional. He specifically cites Saulo v. Cruz,
hereby immediately LIFTED. No pronouncement as to costs.
15 Garcia v. Echiverri16 and Elepante v. Madayag.17
The principle cited by petitioner is an abbreviated form of the maxim SO ORDERED.
"Stare decisis, et non quieta movere."18 That is, "When the court has
once laid down a principle of law as applicable to a certain state of
facts, it will adhere to that principle and apply it to all future cases
where the facts are substantially the same."19 This principle assures
certainty and stability in our legal system.20 It should be stressed that
stare decisis presupposes that the facts of the precedent and the case
to which it is applied are substantially the same. In this case, there is
one crucial difference. All the incidents of the present controversy
occurred when the 1997 Revised Rules of Court was already in
effect. On the other hand, all the cited precedents had been resolved
under the pre-1997 Rules. Accordingly, stare decisis cannot compel
this Court to apply to the present case the alleged precedents decided
during the regime of the pre-1997 Rules. The cited cases applied a
specific provision of the Rules in effect at the time. But because that
provision had already been repealed when the facts under present
consideration occurred, the Court can no longer rely on those cases.
Indeed, to rule otherwise is to bar the effectivity of the 1997
amendments, which conflict with jurisprudence decided under an old
and repealed rule. Verily, petitioner’s contention effectively precludes
changes and freezes our procedural rules.
Subject of the Notice of Appeal
As earlier observed, the Notice of Appeal referred to the "judgment
of the Honorable Court in the above-stated case, dated January 29,
1999." Petitioner now argues that the Notice was improper because it
referred to the Order denying respondents’ Motion for
Reconsideration, not the Decision itself which was dated January 7,
1999. He cites Section 1 of Rule 41 of the 1997 Rules, which
provides that an order denying a motion for a new trial or a
reconsideration may not be appealed.21

Respondents, on the other hand, claim that because the Notice of

Appeal contained the word "judgment," their clear intent was to
appeal the Decision.
We agree with respondents. In referring to the trial court’s
"judgment," respondents were clearly appealing the January 7, 1999
Decision. Had they thought otherwise, they would have referred to
the "Order." Indeed, "judgment" is normally synonymous with

Spec Pro | Rule 102 | Full text | !29

SECOND DIVISION Chinese father and Filipina mother, elected Philippine citizenship in
accordance with Article IV, Section 1, paragraph 411 of the 1935
G.R. No. 167569 September 4, 2009 Constitution and Commonwealth Act No. 62512 (Com. Act No. 625),
CARLOS T. GO, SR., Petitioner, 
 as evidenced by his having taken the Oath of Allegiance on July 11,
 1950 and having executed an Affidavit of Election of Philippine
LUIS T. RAMOS, Respondent. citizenship on July 12, 1950. Although the said oath and affidavit
were registered only on September 11, 1956, the reason behind such
x - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -x late registration was sufficiently explained in an affidavit. Jimmy
added that he had even voted in the 1952 and 1955 elections.13 He
G.R. No. 167570 denied that his father arrived in the Philippines as an undocumented
alien, alleging that his father has no record of arrival in this country
JIMMY T. GO, Petitioner, 
 as alleged in the complaint-affidavit precisely because his father was
 born and raised in the Philippines, and in fact, speaks fluent Ilonggo
LUIS T. RAMOS, Respondent. and Tagalog.14
x - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -x With regard to the erroneous entry in his birth certificate that he is
G.R. No. 171946 "FChinese," he maintained that such was not of his own doing, but
may be attributed to the employees of the Local Civil Registrar’s
HON. ALIPIO F. FERNANDEZ, JR., in his capacity as the Office who might have relied on his Chinese-sounding surname when
Commissioner of the BUREAU OF IMMIGRATION; ATTY. making the said entry. He asserted that the said office has control
FAISAL HUSSIN and ANSARI M. MACAAYAN, in their over his birth certificate; thus, if his father’s citizenship appears to be
capacity as Intelligence Officers of the BUREAU OF handwritten, it may have been changed when the employees of that
IMMIGRATION, Petitioners, 
 office realized that his father has already taken his oath as a Filipino.
 15 As regards the entry in his siblings’ certificates of birth, particularly
JIMMY T. GO a.k.a. JAIME T. GAISANO, Respondent. Juliet Go and Carlos Go, Jr., that their father is Chinese, Jimmy
averred that the entry was erroneous because it was made without
DECISION prior consultation with his father.16
QUISUMBING, J.: In a Resolution17 dated February 14, 2001, Associate Commissioner
Linda L. Malenab-Hornilla dismissed the complaint for deportation
Before us are three petitions. G.R. Nos. 167569 and 167570 are
against Jimmy. Associate Commissioner Hornilla affirmed the
petitions for review on certiorari to set aside the October 25, 2004
findings of the National Bureau of Investigation tasked to investigate
Decision1 and February 16, 2005 Resolution2 of the Court of Appeals
the case that Jimmy’s father elected Filipino citizenship in
in CA-G.R. SP No. 85143 that affirmed the Decision3 dated January
accordance with the provisions of the 1935 Philippine Constitution.
6, 2004 and Order4 dated May 3, 2004 of the Regional Trial Court
By operation of law, therefore, the citizenship of Carlos was
(RTC) of Pasig City, Branch 167 in SCA No. 2218 upholding the
transmitted to Jimmy, making him a Filipino as well.
preparation and filing of deportation charges against Jimmy T. Go,
the corresponding Charge Sheet5 dated July 3, 2001, and the On March 8, 2001,18 the Board of Commissioners (Board) reversed
deportation proceedings thereunder conducted. said dismissal, holding that Carlos’ election of Philippine citizenship
was made out of time. Finding Jimmy’s claim to Philippine
On the other hand, G.R. No. 171946, also a petition for review on
citizenship in serious doubt by reason of his father’s questionable
certiorari, seeks to set aside the December 8, 2005 Decision6 and
election thereof, the Board directed the preparation and filing of the
March 13, 2006 Resolution7 of the appellate court in CA-G.R. SP No.
appropriate deportation charges against Jimmy.
On July 3, 2001, the corresponding Charge Sheet was filed against
Considering that the three cases arose from the same factual milieu,
Jimmy, charging him of violating Section 37(a)(9)19 in relation to
the Court resolved to consolidate G.R. Nos. 167570 and 167569 with
Section 45(c)20 of Com. Act No. 613, otherwise known as The
G.R. No. 171946 per Resolution8 dated February 26, 2007.
Philippine Immigration Act of 1940,21 as amended, committed as
These petitions stemmed from the complaint-affidavit9 for follows:
deportation initiated by Luis T. Ramos before the Bureau of
Immigration and Deportation (now Bureau of Immigration) against xxxx
Jimmy T. Go alleging that the latter is an illegal and undesirable 1. That Respondent was born on October 25, 1952 in Iloilo
alien. Luis alleged that while Jimmy represents himself as a Filipino City, as evidenced by a copy of his birth certificate wherein
citizen, Jimmy’s personal circumstances and other records indicate his citizenship was recorded as "Chinese";
that he is not so. To prove his contention, Luis presented the birth
certificate of Jimmy, issued by the Office of the Civil Registrar of 2. That Respondent through some stealth machinations was
Iloilo City, which indicated Jimmy’s citizenship as "FChinese." Luis able to subsequently cover up his true and actual
argued that although it appears from Jimmy’s birth certificate that his citizenship as Chinese and illegally acquired a Philippine
parents, Carlos and Rosario Tan, are Filipinos, the document seems to Passport under the name JAIME T. GAISANO, with the
be tampered, because only the citizenship of Carlos appears to be use of falsified documents and untruthful declarations, in
handwritten while all the other entries were typewritten. He also violation of the above-cited provisions of the Immigration
averred that in September 1989 or thereabout, Jimmy, through stealth, Act[;]
machination and scheming managed to cover up his true citizenship,
and with the use of falsified documents and untruthful declarations, 3. That [R]espondent being an alien, has formally and
was able to procure a Philippine passport from the Department of officially represent[ed] and introduce[d] himself as a citizen
Foreign Affairs. of the Philippines, for fraudulent purposes and in order to
evade any requirements of the immigration laws, also in
Jimmy refuted the allegations in his counter-affidavit,10 averring that violation of said law.
the complaint for deportation initiated by Luis was merely a
harassment case designed to oust him of his rightful share in their CONTRARY TO LAW.22
business dealings. Jimmy maintained that there is no truth to the On November 9, 2001, Carlos and Jimmy filed a petition for
allegation that he is an alien, and insisted that he is a natural-born certiorari and prohibition23 with application for injunctive reliefs
Filipino. Jimmy alleged that his father Carlos, who was the son of a

Spec Pro | Rule 102 | Full text | !30

before the RTC of Pasig City, Branch 167, docketed as SCA No. acted without or in excess of jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of
2218, seeking to annul and set aside the March 8, 2001 Resolution of discretion. Moreover, the appellate court found that due process was
the Board of Commissioners, the Charge Sheet, and the proceedings properly observed in the proceedings before the Board, contrary to
had therein. In essence, they challenged the jurisdiction of the Board the claim of Jimmy.
to continue with the deportation proceedings.
Unfazed with the said ruling, they moved for reconsideration. Their
In the interim, the Board issued a Decision24 dated April 17, 2002, in motion having been denied,33 Carlos and Jimmy each filed a petition
BSI-D.C. No. ADD-01-117, ordering the apprehension and for review on certiorari before this Court, respectively docketed as
deportation of Jimmy. The dispositive portion of the decision reads: G.R. Nos. 167569 and 167570.
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the Board of Meanwhile, in view of the dismissal of CA-G.R. SP. No. 85143,
Commissioners hereby Orders the apprehension of respondent Bureau of Immigration Commissioner Alipio F. Fernandez, Jr. issued
JIMMY T. GO @ JAIME T. GAISANO and that he be then deported Warrant of Deportation No. AFF-04-00334 dated November 16, 2004
to CHINA of which he is a citizen, without prejudice, however, to the to carry out the April 17, 2002 Decision in BSI-D.C. No.
continuation of any and all criminal and other proceedings that are ADD-01-117. This resulted in the apprehension and detention of
pending in court or before the prosecution arm of the Philippine Jimmy at the Bureau of Immigration Bicutan Detention Center,
Government, if any. And that upon expulsion, he is thereby ordered pending his deportation to China.35
barred from entry into the Philippines.
On account of his detention, Jimmy once again filed a petition for
SO ORDERED.25 habeas corpus36 before the RTC of Pasig City, Branch 167, docketed
as SP. Proc. No. 11507 assailing his apprehension and detention
In view of the said Decision, Carlos and Jimmy filed on June 13, despite the pendency of his appeal and his release on recognizance.
2002 a supplemental petition for certiorari and prohibition26 before
the trial court and reiterated their application for injunctive reliefs. In an Order37 dated December 6, 2004, the trial court dismissed the
The trial court issued a writ of preliminary prohibitory injunction said petition ruling that the remedy of habeas corpus cannot be
pending litigation on the main issue, enjoining the Bureau from availed of to obtain an order of release once a deportation order has
enforcing the April 17, 2002 Decision.27 Later, however, the trial already been issued by the Bureau. Jimmy moved for reconsideration
court dissolved the writ in a Decision28 dated January 6, 2004 as a of the Order, but this was also denied by the trial court in an Order38
consequence of the dismissal of the petition. dated December 28, 2004.

Carlos and Jimmy moved for reconsideration. But their motion was Jimmy assailed the Orders of the trial court in a petition for certiorari
likewise denied.29 and prohibition before the appellate court, docketed as CA-G.R. No.
88277. The Court of Appeals granted the petition and enjoined the
Following the dismissal of the petition in SCA No. 2218, the Board deportation of Jimmy until the issue of his citizenship is settled with
issued a warrant of deportation30 which led to the apprehension of finality by the court. The Court of Appeals held as follows:
Jimmy. Jimmy commenced a petition for habeas corpus, but the same
was eventually dismissed by reason of his provisional release on bail. xxxx
…the issuance of a warrant to arrest and deport the petitioner without
Carlos and Jimmy then questioned the Decision in SCA No. 2218 as any proof whatsoever of his violation of the bail conditions [that he
well as the Resolution denying their motion for reconsideration by was previously granted] is arbitrary, inequitable and unjust, for the
way of a petition for certiorari before the Court of Appeals, docketed policies governing the grant of his bail should likewise apply in the
as CA-G.R. SP No. 85143. They imputed grave abuse of discretion cancellation of the said bail. Although a deportation proceeding does
by the trial court for passing upon their citizenship, claiming that not partake of the nature of a criminal action, yet considering that it is
what they asked for in their petition was merely the nullification of such a harsh and extraordinary administrative proceeding affecting
the March 8, 2001 Resolution and the charge sheet. the freedom and liberty of a person who all his life has always lived
in the Philippines, where he has established his family and business
The appellate tribunal dismissed the petition.32 It did not find merit in interests, one who appears to be not completely devoid of any claim
their argument that the issue of citizenship should proceed only to Filipino citizenship, being the son of a Filipina, whose father is
before the proper court in an independent action, and that neither the alleged to also have elected to be a Filipino, the constitutional right of
Bureau nor the Board has jurisdiction over individuals who were born such person to due process cannot be peremptorily dismissed or
in the Philippines and have exercised the rights of Filipino citizens. ignored altogether, and indeed should not be denied. If it later turns
The appellate tribunal also rejected their claim that they enjoy the out that the petitioner is a Filipino after all, then the overly eager
presumption of being Filipino citizens. Immigration authorities would have expelled and relegated to
The Court of Appeals held that the Board has the exclusive authority statelessness one who might in fact be a Filipino by blood.
and jurisdiction to try and hear cases against an alleged alien, and in xxxx
the process, determine their citizenship.
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the petition with reference
The appellate court agreed with the trial court that the principle of jus to the Warrant of Deportation issued by the BID is hereby
soli was never extended to the Philippines; hence, could not be made GRANTED. The Bureau of Immigration and Deportation, through
a ground to one’s claim of Philippine citizenship. Like the trial court, Commissioner Alipio F. Fernandez, Jr., Atty. Faizal Hussin and
the appellate tribunal found that Carlos failed to elect Philippine Ansari Maca Ayan, and any of their deputized agents, are ENJOINED
citizenship within the reasonable period of three years upon reaching from deporting petitioner Jimmy T. Go, a.k.a. Jaime T. Gaisano, until
the age of majority. Furthermore, it held that the belated submission the issue of petitioner’s citizenship is finally settled by the courts of
to the local civil registry of the affidavit of election and oath of justice.
allegiance in September 1956 was defective because the affidavit of
election was executed after the oath of allegiance, and the delay of SO ORDERED.39
several years before their filing with the proper office was not
satisfactorily explained. Their motion for reconsideration40 having been denied on March 13,
2006, Hon. Alipio Fernandez, in his capacity as the Commissioner of
The course of action taken by the trial court was also approved by the the Bureau of Immigration, and Atty. Faisal Hussin and Ansari M.
appellate tribunal. The Court of Appeals stated that the trial court Macaayan, in their capacity as Intelligence Officers of the Bureau of
necessarily had to rule on the substantial and legal bases warranting Immigration, are before this Court as petitioners in G.R. No. 171946.
the deportation proceeding in order to determine whether the Board

Spec Pro | Rule 102 | Full text | !31

The parties have raised the following grounds for their respective The arguments raised by Carlos and Jimmy in their respective
petitions: petitions are merely a rehash of the arguments they adduced before
the appellate tribunal and the trial court. Once again, they raised the
G.R. No. 167569 same argument of prescription. As to Carlos, it is his position that
I. being recognized by the government to have acquired Philippine
THE PROCEEDINGS HAD BEFORE THE BUREAU OF citizenship, evidenced by the Certificate of Election issued to him on
IMMIGRATION AND DEPORTATION (B.I.D.) ARE NULL AND September 11, 1956, his citizenship could no longer be questioned at
VOID FOR ITS FAILURE TO IMPLEAD AN INDISPENSABLE this late date. As for Jimmy, he contends that the Board’s cause of
PARTY IN THE PERSON OF PETITIONER CARLOS GO, SR. action to deport him has prescribed for the simple reason that his
arrest was not made within five (5) years from the time the cause of
action arose, which according to him commenced in 1989 when he
was alleged to have illegally acquired a Philippine passport.
FULL BLOWN TRIAL UNDER THE MORE RIGID RULES OF In any event, they argue that the deportation proceeding should be
EVIDENCE PRESCRIBED IN COURT PROCEEDINGS SHOULD nullified altogether for failure to implead Carlos as an indispensable
HAVE BEEN CONDUCTED TO DETERMINE HIS FILIPINO party therein. Jimmy posits that the deportation case against him was
CITIZENSHIP AND NOT THROUGH MERE "SUMMARY made to depend upon the citizenship of his father, Carlos, in that the
PROCEEDINGS" SUCH AS THE ONE HAD BEFORE THE B.I.D. Board found justification to order his deportation by declaring that
AS WELL AS IN THE COURT A QUO. his father is a Chinese citizen even though the latter was never made
III. a party in the deportation proceedings. They argue that the Board
A FILIPINO CITIZEN IS NOT REQUIRED TO ELECT could not simply strip Carlos of his citizenship just so they could
PHILIPPINE CITIZENSHIP. question the citizenship of Jimmy. To do so without affording Carlos
IV. the opportunity to adduce evidence to prove his claim to Philippine
ASSUMING CARLOS GO, SR. STILL NEEDS TO ELECT citizenship would be the height of injustice. For failing to accord him
PHILIPPINE CITIZENSHIP, HE HAD COMPLIED WITH ALL the requisite due process, the whole proceeding should perforce be
PETITIONER CARLOS GO, SR. ENJOYS THE "PRESUMPTION While they concede that the Board has jurisdiction to hear cases
OF CITIZENSHIP." against an alleged alien, they insist that judicial intervention may be
VI. resorted to when the claim to citizenship is so substantial that there
RESPONDENT’S "CAUSE OF ACTION" HAD LONG are reasonable grounds to believe that the claim is correct, like in this
PRESCRIBED.41 case. Their claim to Philippine citizenship, they said, is clearly shown
by the fact that they were born, had been raised and had lived in this
G.R. No. 167570
country all their lives; they speak fluent Tagalog and Ilonggo; they
engage in businesses reserved solely for Filipinos; they exercise their
THE PROCEEDINGS HAD BEFORE THE BUREAU OF right to suffrage; they enjoy the rights and privileges accorded only to
IMMIGRATION AND DEPORTATION (B.I.D.) ARE NULL AND citizens; and they have no record of any Alien Certificate of
VOID FOR ITS FAILURE TO IMPLEAD AN INDISPENSABLE Registration. More importantly, they contend that they were validly
PARTY IN THE PERSON OF PETITIONER’S FATHER, CARLOS issued Philippine passports. They further posit that the judicial
GO, SR. intervention required is not merely a judicial review of the
II. proceedings below, but a full-blown, adversarial, trial-type
THE DEPORTATION PROCEEDINGS BEFORE THE B.I.D. ARE proceedings where the rules of evidence are strictly observed.
PROCESS. Considering that his citizenship affects that of his son, Carlos opted
III. to present controverting arguments to sustain his claim to Philippine
THE B.I.D.’S CAUSE OF ACTION AGAINST HEREIN citizenship, notwithstanding the fact that according to him, he was
PETITIONER JIMMY T. GO HAD ALREADY PRESCRIBED. never impleaded in the deportation proceedings.
… GIVEN THE SUBSTANTIAL EVIDENCE TO PROVE HEREIN Carlos takes exception to the ruling of the appellate court that the
PETITIONER’S FILIPINO CITIZENSHIP, A FULL BLOWN doctrine of jus soli failed to accord him Philippine citizenship for the
TRIAL UNDER THE MORE RIGID RULES OF EVIDENCE reason that the same was never extended to the Philippines. He insists
PRESCRIBED IN COURT PROCEEDINGS SHOULD HAVE that if his Philippine citizenship is not recognized by said doctrine, it
BEEN CONDUCTED TO DETERMINE HIS FILIPINO is nonetheless recognized by the laws enforced prior to the 1935
CITIZENSHIP AND NOT THROUGH MERE "SUMMARY Constitution, particularly the Philippine Bill of 190244 and the
PROCEEDINGS" SUCH AS THE ONE HAD BEFORE THE B.I.D. Philippine Autonomy Act of August 29, 1916 (Jones Law of 1916).45
According to Carlos, the Philippine Bill of 1902 and the Jones Law
G.R. No. 171946 of 1916 deemed all inhabitants of the Philippine Islands as well as
THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED ON A QUESTION OF LAW their children born after the passage of said laws to be citizens of the
IN ENJOINING RESPONDENT’S DEPORTATION.43 Philippines. Because his father, Go Yin An, was a resident of the
Philippines at the time of the passage of the Jones Law of 1916, he
Succinctly stated, the issues for our resolution are: (a) whether the (Carlos) undoubtedly acquired his father’s citizenship. Article IV,
cause of action of the Bureau against Carlos and Jimmy had first paragraph, of the 1935 Constitution therefore applies to him.
prescribed; (b) whether the deportation proceedings are null and void Said constitutional provision reads:
for failure to implead Carlos as an indispensable party therein; (c)
whether the evidence adduced by Carlos and Jimmy to prove their ARTICLE IV. Citizenship
claim to Philippine citizenship is substantial and sufficient to oust the SECTION 1. The following are citizens of the Philippines:
Board of its jurisdiction from continuing with the deportation
proceedings in order to give way to a formal judicial action to pass (1) Those who are citizens of the Philippine Islands at the time of the
upon the issue of alienage; (d) whether due process was properly adoption of this Constitution.
observed in the proceedings before the Board; and (e) whether the
petition for habeas corpus should be dismissed. xxxx

Spec Pro | Rule 102 | Full text | !32

Even assuming that his father remained as a Chinese, Carlos also whom no final determination can be had of an action, and who shall
claims that he followed the citizenship of his Filipina mother, being be joined either as plaintiff or defendant.54 To be indispensable, a
an illegitimate son, and that he even validly elected Philippine person must first be a real party in interest, that is, one who stands to
citizenship when he complied with all the requirements of Com. Act be benefited or injured by the judgment of the suit, or the party
No. 625. He submits that what is being disputed is not whether he entitled to the avails of the suit.55 Carlos clearly is not an
complied with Com. Act No. 625, but rather, the timeliness of his indispensable party as he does not stand to be benefited or injured by
compliance. He stresses that the 3-year compliance period following the judgment of the suit. What is sought is the deportation of Jimmy
the interpretation given by Cuenco v. Secretary of Justice46 to Article on the ground that he is an alien. Hence, the principal issue that will
IV, Section 1(4) of the 1935 Constitution and Com. Act No. 625 be decided on is the propriety of his deportation. To recall, Jimmy
when election must be made, is not an inflexible rule. He reasoned claims that he is a Filipino under Section 1(3),56 Article IV of the
that the same decision held that such period may be extended under 1935 Constitution because Carlos, his father, is allegedly a citizen.57
certain circumstances, as when the person concerned has always Since his citizenship hinges on that of his father’s, it becomes
considered himself a Filipino, like in his case.47 necessary to pass upon the citizenship of the latter. However,
whatever will be the findings as to Carlos’ citizenship will in no way
We deny the appeal of Carlos and Jimmy for lack of merit. prejudice him.
Carlos and Jimmy’s claim that the cause of action of the Bureau has Citizenship proceedings, as aforestated, are a class of its own, in that,
prescribed is untenable. Cases involving issues on citizenship are sui unlike other cases, res judicata does not obtain as a matter of course.
generis. Once the citizenship of an individual is put into question, it In a long line of decisions, this Court said that every time the
necessarily has to be threshed out and decided upon. In the case of citizenship of a person is material or indispensable in a judicial or
Frivaldo v. Commission on Elections,48 we said that decisions administrative case, whatever the corresponding court or
declaring the acquisition or denial of citizenship cannot govern a administrative authority decides therein as to such citizenship is
person’s future status with finality. This is because a person may generally not considered as res judicata; hence, it has to be threshed
subsequently reacquire, or for that matter, lose his citizenship under out again and again as the occasion may demand.58 Res judicata may
any of the modes recognized by law for the purpose.49 Indeed, if the be applied in cases of citizenship only if the following concur:
issue of one’s citizenship, after it has been passed upon by the courts,
leaves it still open to future adjudication, then there is more reason 1. a person’s citizenship must be raised as a material issue
why the government should not be precluded from questioning one’s in a controversy where said person is a party;
claim to Philippine citizenship, especially so when the same has
never been threshed out by any tribunal. 2. the Solicitor General or his authorized representative
took active part in the resolution thereof; and
Jimmy’s invocation of prescription also does not persuade us. Section
37 (b) of Com. Act No. 613 states: 3. the finding or citizenship is affirmed by this Court.59

Section 37. … In the event that the citizenship of Carlos will be questioned, or his
deportation sought, the same has to be ascertained once again as the
xxxx decision which will be rendered hereinafter shall have no preclusive
effect upon his citizenship. As neither injury nor benefit will redound
(b) Deportation may be effected under clauses 2, 7, 8, 11 and 12 of upon Carlos, he cannot be said to be an indispensable party in this
this section at any time after entry, but shall not be effected under any case.
other clause unless the arrest in the deportation proceedings is made
within five years after the cause of deportation arises…. There can be no question that the Board has the authority to hear and
determine the deportation case against a deportee and in the process
xxxx determine also the question of citizenship raised by him.60 However,
As shown in the Charge Sheet, Jimmy was charged for violation of this Court, following American jurisprudence, laid down the
Section 37(a)(9),50 in relation to Section 45(e)51 of Com. Act No. 613. exception to the primary jurisdiction enjoyed by the deportation
From the foregoing provision, his deportation may be effected only if board in the case of Chua Hiong v. Deportation Board61 wherein we
his arrest is made within 5 years from the time the cause for stressed that judicial determination is permitted in cases when the
deportation arose. The court a quo is correct when it ruled that the 5- courts themselves believe that there is substantial evidence
year period should be counted only from July 18, 2000, the time supporting the claim of citizenship, so substantial that there are
when Luis filed his complaint for deportation. It is the legal reasonable grounds for the belief that the claim is correct.62
possibility of bringing the action which determines the starting point Moreover, when the evidence submitted by a deportee is conclusive
for the computation of the period of prescription.52 Additionally, of his citizenship, the right to immediate review should also be
Section 2 of Act No. 3326,53 as amended, entitled "An Act to recognized and the courts shall promptly enjoin the deportation
Establish Periods of Prescription for Violations Penalized by Special proceedings.63
Acts and Municipal Ordinances and to Provide When Prescription While we are mindful that resort to the courts may be had, the same
Shall Begin to Run," provides: should be allowed only in the sound discretion of a competent court
Sec. 2. Prescription shall begin to run from the day of the commission in proper proceedings.64 After all, the Board’s jurisdiction is not
of the violation of the law, and if the same be not known at the time, divested by the mere claim of citizenship.65 Moreover, a deportee
from the discovery thereof and the institution of judicial proceedings who claims to be a citizen and not therefore subject to deportation has
for its investigation and punishment. the right to have his citizenship reviewed by the courts, after the
deportation proceedings.66 The decision of the Board on the question
xxxx is, of course, not final but subject to review by the courts.671avvphi1

The counting could not logically start in 1989 when his passport was After a careful evaluation of the evidence, the appellate court was not
issued because the government was unaware that he was not a convinced that the same was sufficient to oust the Board of its
Filipino citizen. Had the government been aware at such time that he jurisdiction to continue with the deportation proceedings considering
was not a Filipino citizen or there were certain anomalies attending that what were presented particularly the birth certificates of Jimmy,
his application for such passport, it would have denied his as well as those of his siblings, Juliet Go and Carlos Go, Jr. indicate
application. that they are Chinese citizens. Furthermore, like the Board, it found
the election of Carlos of Philippine citizenship, which was offered as
As to the issue of whether Carlos is an indispensable party, we additional proof of his claim, irregular as it was not made on time.
reiterate that an indispensable party is a party in interest without

Spec Pro | Rule 102 | Full text | !33

We find no cogent reason to overturn the above findings of the extension of the 3-year period. The fact that Carlos exercised his right
appellate tribunal. The question of whether substantial evidence had of suffrage in 1952 and 1955 does not demonstrate such belief,
been presented to allow immediate recourse to the regular courts is a considering that the acts were done after he elected Philippine
question of fact which is beyond this Court’s power of review for it is citizenship. On the other hand, the mere fact that he was able to vote
not a trier of facts.68 None of the exceptions69 in which this Court does not validate his irregular election of Philippine citizenship. At
may resolve factual issues has been shown to exist in this case. Even most, his registration as a voter indicates his desire to exercise a right
if we evaluate their arguments and the evidence they presented once appertaining exclusively to Filipino citizens but does not alter his real
again, the same conclusion will still be reached. citizenship, which, in this jurisdiction, is determined by blood (jus
sanguinis). The exercise of the rights and privileges granted only to
One of the arguments raised to sustain Carlos’ claim to Philippine Filipinos is not conclusive proof of citizenship, because a person may
citizenship is the doctrine of jus soli, or the doctrine or principle of misrepresent himself to be a Filipino and thus enjoy the rights and
citizenship by place of birth. To recall, both the trial court and the privileges of citizens of this country.79
Court of Appeals ruled that the doctrine of jus soli was never
extended to the Philippines. We agree. The doctrine of jus soli was It is incumbent upon one who claims Philippine citizenship to prove
for a time the prevailing rule in the acquisition of one’s citizenship.70 to the satisfaction of the court that he is really a Filipino. No
However, the Supreme Court abandoned the principle of jus soli in presumption can be indulged in favor of the claimant of Philippine
the case of Tan Chong v. Secretary of Labor.71 Since then, said citizenship, and any doubt regarding citizenship must be resolved in
doctrine only benefited those who were individually declared to be favor of the state.80
citizens of the Philippines by a final court decision on the mistaken
application of jus soli.72 As Carlos and Jimmy neither showed conclusive proof of their
citizenship nor presented substantial proof of the same, we have no
Neither will the Philippine Bill of 190273 nor the Jones Law of 191674 choice but to sustain the Board’s jurisdiction over the deportation
make Carlos a citizen of the Philippines. His bare claim that his proceedings. This is not to say that we are ruling that they are not
father, Go Yin An, was a resident of the Philippines at the time of the Filipinos, for that is not what we are called upon to do. This Court
passage of the said laws, without any supporting evidence whatsoever necessarily has to pass upon the issue of citizenship only to determine
will not suffice. whether the proceedings may be enjoined in order to give way to a
judicial determination of the same. And we are of the opinion that
It is a settled rule that only legitimate children follow the citizenship said proceedings should not be enjoined.
of the father and that illegitimate children are under the parental
authority of the mother and follow her nationality.75 Moreover, we In our considered view, the allegation of Jimmy that due process was
have also ruled that an illegitimate child of a Filipina need not not observed in the deportation proceedings must likewise fail.
perform any act to confer upon him all the rights and privileges
attached to citizens of the Philippines; he automatically becomes a Deportation proceedings are administrative in character, summary in
citizen himself.76 However, it is our considered view that absent any nature, and need not be conducted strictly in accordance with the
evidence proving that Carlos is indeed an illegitimate son of a rules of ordinary court proceedings.81 The essence of due process is
Filipina, the aforestated established rule could not be applied to him. simply an opportunity to be heard, or as applied to administrative
proceedings, an opportunity to explain one’s side or an opportunity to
As to the question of whether the election of Philippine citizenship seek reconsideration of the action or ruling complained of.82 As long
conferred on Carlos Filipino citizenship, we find that the appellate as the parties are given the opportunity to be heard before judgment is
court correctly found that it did not. rendered, the demands of due process are sufficiently met.83 Although
Jimmy was not furnished with a copy of the subject Resolution and
Com. Act No. 625 which was enacted pursuant to Section 1(4), Charge Sheet as alleged by him, the trial court found that he was
Article IV of the 1935 Constitution, prescribes the procedure that given ample opportunity to explain his side and present controverting
should be followed in order to make a valid election of Philippine evidence, thus:
citizenship. Under Section 1 thereof, legitimate children born of
Filipino mothers may elect Philippine citizenship by expressing such x x x It must be stressed that after receiving the Order dated
intention "in a statement to be signed and sworn to by the party September 11, 2001 signed by BSI Chief Ronaldo P. Ledesma on
concerned before any officer authorized to administer oaths, and shall October 4, 2001, petitioner Jimmy T. Go admitted that when his
be filed with the nearest civil registry. The said party shall representative went to the B.I.D. to inquire about the said Order, the
accompany the aforesaid statement with the oath of allegiance to the latter chanced upon the Resolution dated February 14, 2001 and
Constitution and the Government of the Philippines."77 March 8, 2001 as well as the Charge Sheet dated July 3, 2001. Hence
on October 5, 2001, he filed a "Motion for Extension of Time to File
However, the 1935 Constitution and Com. Act No. 625 did not Memorandum" and as such, was allowed by Ronaldo P. Ledesma an
prescribe a time period within which the election of Philippine extension of ten (10) days to submit his required memorandum. x x
citizenship should be made. The 1935 Charter only provides that the x84
election should be made "upon reaching the age of majority." The age
of majority then commenced upon reaching 21 years. In the opinions This circumstance satisfies the demands of administrative due
of the then Secretary of Justice on cases involving the validity of process.
election of Philippine citizenship, this dilemma was resolved by
basing the time period on the decisions of this Court prior to the As regards the petition in G.R. No. 171946, petitioners contend that
effectivity of the 1935 Constitution. In these decisions, the proper the appellate tribunal erred in enjoining Jimmy’s deportation.85
period for electing Philippine citizenship was, in turn, based on the Petitioners question the remedy availed of by Jimmy. They argue that
pronouncements of the Department of State of the United States the existence of the remedy of an ordinary appeal proscribes the
Government to the effect that the election should be made within a filing of the petition for certiorari as was done in this case. They point
"reasonable time" after attaining the age of majority. The phrase out that the appeal period in habeas corpus cases is only 48 hours,
"reasonable time" has been interpreted to mean that the election compared to a special civil action under Rule 65 of the Rules of
should be made within three (3) years from reaching the age of Court which is 60 days. This clearly shows that an ordinary appeal is
majority.78 the more plain, speedy and adequate remedy; hence, it must be the
It is true that we said that the 3-year period for electing Philippine one availed of.86 Since the decision of the trial court was not properly
citizenship may be extended as when the person has always regarded appealed, the same may be said to have attained finality, and may no
himself as a Filipino. Be that as it may, it is our considered view that longer be disturbed.87
not a single circumstance was sufficiently shown meriting the

Spec Pro | Rule 102 | Full text | !34

They maintain that the dismissal of the petition for habeas corpus by Once a person detained is duly charged in court, he may no longer
the trial court was proper. A petition for habeas corpus has for its question his detention through a petition for issuance of a writ of
purpose only the determination of whether or not there is a lawful habeas corpus. His remedy would be to quash the information and/or
ground for Jimmy’s apprehension and continued detention. They urge the warrant of arrest duly issued. The writ of habeas corpus should
that the decision of the Board dated April 17, 2002 that ordered not be allowed after the party sought to be released had been charged
Jimmy’s deportation has already attained finality by reason of the before any court. The term "court" in this context includes quasi-
belated appeal taken by Jimmy from the said decision on April 2, judicial bodies of governmental agencies authorized to order the
2004 before the Office of the President, or after almost two years person’s confinement, like the Deportation Board of the Bureau of
from the time the decision was rendered. Said decision of the Board, Immigration.100 Likewise, the cancellation of his bail cannot be
they insist, is the lawful ground that sanctions Jimmy’s apprehension assailed via a petition for habeas corpus. When an alien is detained by
and detention.88 the Bureau of Immigration for deportation pursuant to an order of
deportation by the Deportation Board, the Regional Trial Courts have
Petitioners in G.R. No. 171946 also argue that Jimmy cannot rely on no power to release such alien on bail even in habeas corpus
the bail on recognizance he was previously granted to question his proceedings because there is no law authorizing it.101
subsequent apprehension and detention. Under the Philippine
Immigration Act of 1940, the power to grant bail can only be Given that Jimmy has been duly charged before the Board, and in
exercised while the alien is still under investigation, and not when the fact ordered arrested pending his deportation, coupled by this Court’s
order of deportation had already been issued by the Board.89 Hence, pronouncement that the Board was not ousted of its jurisdiction to
the bail granted was irregular as it has no legal basis. Furthermore, continue with the deportation proceedings, the petition for habeas
they said the petition for habeas corpus necessarily has to be corpus is rendered moot and academic. This being so, we find it
dismissed because the same is no longer proper once the applicant unnecessary to touch on the other arguments advanced by
thereof has been charged before the Board, which is the case with respondents regarding the same subject.
Jimmy.90 Nonetheless, they claim that the habeas corpus case is
rendered moot and academic as Jimmy is no longer being detained.91 WHEREFORE, the petitions in G.R. Nos. 167569 and 167570 are
DENIED. The Decision dated October 25, 2004 and Resolution dated
On the other hand, Jimmy counters that the instant petition for February 16, 2005 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 85143
certiorari and prohibition is the most appropriate, speedy and are AFFIRMED. The petition in G.R. No. 171946 is hereby
adequate remedy in spite of the availability of ordinary appeal GRANTED. The Decision dated December 8, 2005 and Resolution
considering that what is involved in this case is his cherished liberty. dated March 13, 2006 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No.
Grave abuse of discretion on the part of the petitioners in ordering his 88277 are REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The December 6, 2004 and
arrest and detention, he argues, all the more justifies the avails of the December 28, 2004 Orders of the Regional Trial Court of Pasig City,
extraordinary writ.92 Contrary to the petitioners’ stand, Jimmy argues Branch 167 are hereby REINSTATED.
that the April 17, 2002 Decision of the Board has not attained finality
owing to the availability of various remedies, one of which is an No pronouncement as to costs.
appeal, and in fact is actually void because it was rendered without SO ORDERED.
due process.93 He also insists that the bail issued to him is valid and
effective until the final determination of his citizenship before the
proper courts.94 Moreover, he maintains that the petition for habeas
corpus was proper since its object is to inquire into the legality of
one’s detention, and if found illegal, to order the release of the
detainee.95 As in his petition in G.R. No. 167570, Jimmy also
contends that the proceedings before the Board is void for failure to
implead therein his father, and that he should have been given a full
blown trial before a regular court where he can prove his citizenship.

Considering the arguments and contentions of the parties, we find the

petition in G.R. No. 171946 meritorious.a1f
We have held in a litany of cases that the extraordinary remedies of
certiorari, prohibition and mandamus are available only when there is
no appeal or any plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary
course of law. The writ of certiorari does not lie where an appeal may
be taken or where another adequate remedy is available for the
correction of the error.97

The petitioners correctly argue that appeal should have been the
remedy availed of as it is more plain, speedy and adequate. The 48-
hour appeal period demonstrates the adequacy of such remedy in that
no unnecessary time will be wasted before the decision will be re-
A petition for the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus is a special
proceeding governed by Rule 102 of the Revised Rules of Court. The
objective of the writ is to determine whether the confinement or
detention is valid or lawful. If it is, the writ cannot be issued. What is
to be inquired into is the legality of a person’s detention as of, at the
earliest, the filing of the application for the writ of habeas corpus, for
even if the detention is at its inception illegal, it may, by reason of
some supervening events, such as the instances mentioned in Section
498 of Rule 102, be no longer illegal at the time of the filing of the

Spec Pro | Rule 102 | Full text | !35

THIRD DIVISION 2011 Order as well as the Alias Writ during the preliminary
investigation of the kidnapping case.7
G.R. No. 210636 July 28, 2014
Following this development, petitioner, by way of special
MA. HAZELINA A. TUJANMILITANTE IN BEHALF OF THE appearance, moved for the quashal of the writ and prayed before the
 RTC Caloocan for the dismissal of the habeas corpus petition,8
 claiming, among others, that she was not personally served with
RAQUEL M. CADA-DEAPERA, Respondent. summons. Thus, as argued by petitioner, jurisdiction over her and
DECISION Criselda’sperson was not acquired by the RTCCaloocan.

VELASCO, JR., J.: Ruling of the Trial Court

On January 20, 2012, the RTC-Caloocan issued an Order denying
Nature of the Case
petitioner’s omnibus motion, citing Saulo v. Brig. Gen. Cruz,9 where
Before Us is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the the Court held that a writ of habeas corpus, being an extraordinary
Rules of Court with prayer for injunctive relief seeking the reversal process requiring immediate proceeding and action, plays a role
of the Court of Appeals (CA) Decision1 dated May 17, 2013 as well somewhat comparable to a summons in ordinary civil actions, in that,
as its Resolution dated December 27, 2013 in CA-G.R. SP No. by service of said writ, the Court acquires jurisdiction over the person
123759. In the main, petitioner questions the jurisdiction of the of the respondent, as petitioner herein.10
Regional Trial Court, Branch 130 in Caloocan City (RTC-Caloocan)
Moreover, personal service, the RTC said, does not necessarily
to hear and decide a special civil action for habeas corpus in relation
require that service be made exclusively at petitioner’s given address,
to the custody of a minor residing in Quezon City.
for service may be made elsewhere or wherever she may be found for
The Facts as long as she was handed a copy of the court process in person by
anyone authorized by law. Since the sheriff was able to personally
On March 24, 2011, respondent Raquel M. Cada-Deapera filed serve petitioner a copy of the writ, albeit in Quezon City, the RTC-
before the R TC-Caloocan a verified petition for writ of habeas Caloocan validly acquired jurisdiction over her person.11 The
corpus, docketed as Special Civil Action Case No. C-4344. In the dispositive portion of the Order reads:
said petition, respondent demanded the immediate issuance of the
special writ, directing petitioner Ma. Hazelina Tujan-Militante to WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Very Urgent Motion
produce before the court respondent's biological daughter, minor (Motion to Quash Alias Writ; Motion to Dismiss)filed by respondent
Criselda M. Cada (Criselda), and to return to her the custody over the Ma. Hazelina Tujan-Militante dated August 11, 2011 is hereby
child. Additionally, respondent indicated that petitioner has three (3) DENIED for lack of merit.
known addresses where she can be served with summons and other
court processes, to wit: (1) 24 Bangkal St., Amparo Village, In the meantime, respondent Ma. Hazelina Tujan-Militante is hereby
Novaliches, Caloocan City; (2) 118B K9Street, Kamias, Quezon directed to appear and bring Criselda Martinez Cada before this Court
City; and (3) her office at the Ombudsman-Office of the Special on February 10, 2012 at 8:30 o’clock in the morning.
Prosecutor, 5th Floor, Sandiganbayan, Centennial Building, SO ORDERED.12
Commonwealth Avenue cor. Batasan Road, Quezon City.2
Aggrieved, petitioner, via certiorari to the CA, assailed the issued
The next day, on March 25, 2011, the RTC-Caloocan issued a writ of Order.
habeas corpus, ordering petitioner to bring the child to court on
March 28, 2011. Despite diligent efforts and several attempts, Ruling of the Court of Appeals
however, the Sheriff was unsuccessful in personally serving
petitioner copies of the habeas corpus petition and of the writ. Over a year later, the CA, in the challenged Decision dated May 17,
Instead, on March 29, 2011, the Sheriff left copies of the court 2013,13 dismissed the petition for certiorari in the following wise:
processes at petitioner’s Caloocan residence, as witnessed by
WHEREFORE, the instant petition is hereby DISMISSED for lack of
respondent’s counsel and barangay officials.3 Nevertheless, petitioner
merit. The Regional Trial Court, Branch 130 of Caloocan City is
failed to appear at the scheduled hearings before the RTC-Caloocan.
DIRECTED to proceed with due dispatch in Spec. Proc. Case No.
Meanwhile, on March 31, 2011, petitioner filed a Petition for C-4344 for Habeas Corpus, giving utmost consideration tothe best
Guardianship over the person of Criselda before the RTC, Branch 89 interest of the now nearly 14-year old child.
in Quezon City (RTC-Quezon City). Respondent filed a Motion to SO ORDERED.14
Dismiss the petition for guardianship on the ground of litis pendentia,
among others. Thereafter, or on June 3, 2011, respondent filed a In so ruling, the CA held that jurisdiction was properly laid when
criminal case for kidnapping before the Office of the City Prosecutor respondent filed the habeas corpus petition before the designated
– Quezon City against petitioner and her counsel. Family Court in Caloocan City.15 It also relied on the certification
issued by the punong barangay of Brgy. 179, Caloocan City, stating
On July 12, 2011, the RTC-Quezon City granted respondent’s motion that petitioner is a bona fide resident thereof, as well as the medical
and dismissed the guardianship case due to the pendency of the certificate issued by Criselda’s doctor on April 1, 2011, indicating
habeas corpuspetition before RTC-Caloocan.4 that her address is "Amparo Village, KC."16 Anent the RTC-
The falloof the Order reads: Caloocan’s jurisdiction, the appellate court ruled that service of
summons is not required under Section 20 of A.M. No. 03-04-04-SC,
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing,the subject motion is hereby otherwise known as the Rules on Custody of Minors and Habeas
GRANTED.Accordingly, the case is hereby DISMISSED. Corpus in Relation to Custody of Minors. According tothe CA, the
rules on summons contemplated in ordinary civil actions have no
SO ORDERED.5 place in petitions for the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus, it being
a special proceeding.17
Then, on August 4, 2011, Raquel moved for the ex parte issuance of
an alias writ of habeas corpus before the RTC-Caloocan, which was Petitioner sought reconsideration ofthe above Decision but the same
granted by the trial court on August 8, 2011. On even date, the court was denied by the CA in its December 27, 2013 Resolution.1âwphi1
directed the Sheriff to serve the alias writ upon petitioner at the
Office of the Assistant City Prosecutor of Quezon City on August 10, Hence, this Petition.
2011.6 In compliance, the Sheriff served petitioner the August 8,

Spec Pro | Rule 102 | Full text | !36

The Issues xxxx
At the core of this controversy isthe issue of whether or not the RTC The National Capital Judicial Region, consisting of the cities of
Caloocan has jurisdiction over the habeascorpus petition filed by Manila, Quezon, Pasay, Caloocan and Mandaluyong, and the
respondent and, assuming arguendo it does, whether or not it validly municipalities of Navotas, Malabon, San Juan, Makati, Pasig,
acquired jurisdiction over petitioner and the person of Criselda. Pateros, Taguig, Marikina, Parañaque, Las Piñas, Muntinlupa, and
Likewise pivotal is the enforce ability of the writ issued by RTC- Valenzuela. (emphasis ours)
Caloocan in Quezon City where petitioner was served a copy thereof.
In view of the afore-quoted provision,it is indubitable that the filing
The Court’s Ruling of a petition for the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus before a
family court in any of the cities enumerated is proper as long as the
The petition lacks merit. The RTC-Caloocan correctly took writ is sought to be enforced within the National Capital Judicial
cognizance of the habeas corpus petition. Subsequently, it acquired Region, as here.
jurisdiction over petitioner when the latter was served with a copy of
the writ in Quezon City. In the case at bar, respondent filed the petition before the family court
of Caloocan City. Since Caloocan City and Quezon City both belong
The RTC-Caloocan has jurisdiction over the habeas corpus to the same judicial region, the writ issued by the RTC-Caloocan can
proceeding still be implemented in Quezon City. Whether petitioner resides in the
former or the latter is immaterial in view of the above rule.
Arguing that the RTC-Caloocan lacked jurisdiction over the case,
petitioner relies on Section 3 of A.M. No. 03-04-04-SC and maintains Anent petitioner’s insistence on the application of Section 3 of A.M.
that the habeas corpus petition should have been filed before the No. 03-04-04-SC, a plain reading of said provision reveals that the
family court that has jurisdiction over her place of residence or that of provision invoked only applies to petitions for custody of minors, and
the minor or wherever the minor may be found.18 As to respondent, not to habeas corpus petitions. Thus:
she asserts, among others, that the applicable rule is not Section 3 but
Section 20 of A.M. No. 03-04-04-SC.19 Section 3. Where to file petition.- The petition for custody of minors
shall be filed with the Family Court of the province or city where the
We find for respondent. petitioner resides or where the minormay be found. (emphasis added)
In the case at bar, what respondent filed was a petition for the Lastly, as regards petitioner’s assertion that the summons was
issuance of a writ of habeas corpus under Section 20 of A.M. No. improperly served, suffice it to state thatservice of summons, to begin
03-04-04-SC and Rule 102 of the Rules of Court.20 As provided: with, is not required in a habeas corpus petition, be it under Rule 102
Section 20. Petition for writ of habeas corpus.- A verified petition for of the Rules of Court or A.M. No. 03-04-04-SC. As held in Saulo v.
a writ of habeas corpus involving custody of minors shall be filed Cruz, a writ of habeas corpus plays a role somewhat comparable to a
with the Family Court. The writ shall beenforceable within its summons, in ordinary civil actions, in that, by service of said writ, the
judicial region to which the Family Court belongs. court acquires jurisdiction over the person of the respondent.22

However, the petition may be filed with the regular court in the In view of the foregoing, We need not belabor the other issues raised.
absence of the presiding judge of the Family Court, provided, WHEREFORE, the instant petition is DENIED. The Court of
however, that the regular court shall refer the case tothe Family Court Appeals Decision dated May 1 7, 2013 and its Resolution dated
as soon as its presiding judge returns to duty. December 27, 2013 are AFFIRMED.
The petition may also be filed with the appropriate regular courts in No pronouncement as to costs.
places where there are no Family Courts.
The writ issued by the Family Court or the regular court shall be
enforceable in the judicial region where they belong.
The petition may likewise be filed with the Supreme Court, Court of
Appeals, or with any of its members and, if so granted,the writ shall
be enforceable anywhere in the Philippines. The writ may be made
returnable to a Family Court or to any regular court within the region
where the petitioner resides or where the minor may be found for
hearing and decision on the merits.
Upon return of the writ, the court shall decide the issue on custody of
minors. The appellate court, or the member thereof, issuing the writ
shall be furnished a copy of the decision. (emphasis added)
Considering that the writ is made enforceable within a judicial
region, petitions for the issuance of the writ of habeas corpus,
whether they be filed under Rule 102 of the Rules of Court
orpursuant to Section 20 of A.M. No. 03-04-04-SC, may therefore be
filed withany of the proper RTCs within the judicial region where
enforcement thereof is sought.21

On this point, Section 13 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129 (BP 129),

otherwise known as the Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980, finds
relevance. Said provision, which contains the enumeration of judicial
regions in the country, states:
Section 13. Creation of Regional Trial Courts. – There are hereby
created thirteen Regional Trial Courts, one for each of the following
judicial regions:

Spec Pro | Rule 102 | Full text | !37

G.R. No. 197597, April 08, 2015 In the Resolution19 dated September 21, 2010, the Court of Appeals
issued a Writ of Habeas Corpus, making the Writ returnable to the
IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION FOR HABEAS Second Vice Executive Judge of the Regional Trial Court, Pasig City
CORPUS OF DATUKAN MALANG SALIBO, DATUKAN (Taguig Hall of Justice).20 The Court of Appeals ordered the Warden
MALANG SALIBO, Petitioner, v. WARDEN, QUEZON CITY of the Quezon City Jail Annex to file a Return of the Writ one day
JAIL ANNEX, BJMP BUILDING, CAMP BAGONG DIWA, before the scheduled hearing and produce the person of Salibo at the
TAGUIG CITY AND ALL OTHER PERSONS ACTING ON HIS 10:00 a.m. hearing set on September 27, 2010.21


MALANG SALIBO, Respondents. Proceedings before the trial court


On September 27, 2010, the jail guards of the Quezon City Jail
LEONEN, J.: Annex brought Salibo before the trial court. The Warden, however,
failed to file a Return one day before the hearing. He also appeared
Habeas corpus is the proper remedy for a person deprived of liberty without counsel during the hearing.22

due to mistaken identity. In such cases, the person is not under any 

lawful process and is continuously being illegally detained.
 Thus, the trial court canceled the hearing and reset it to September

 29, 2010 at 2:00 p.m.23

This is a Petition for Review1 on Certiorari of the Court of Appeals 

Decision2 reversing the Decision3 of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 

153, Pasig City (Taguig Hall of Justice) granting Datukan Malang On September 28, 2010, the Warden filed the Return of the Writ.
Salibo's Petition for Habeas Corpus.
 However, during the September 29, 2010 hearing on the Return, the

 Warden appeared with Atty. Romeo L. Villante, Jr., Legal Officer/
From November 7, 2009 to December 19, 2009, Datukan Malang Administering Officer of the Bureau of Jail Management and
Salibo (Salibo) and other Filipinos were allegedly in Saudi Arabia for Penology.24

the Hajj Pilgrimage.4 "While in Saudi Arabia, . . . Salibo visited and 

prayed in the cities of Medina, Mecca, Arpa, Mina and Jeddah."5 He Salibo questioned the appearance of Atty. Romeo L. Villante, Jr. on
returned to the Philippines on December 20, 2009.6
 behalf of the Warden and argued that only the Office of the Solicitor

 General has the authority to appear on behalf of a respondent in a
On August 3, 2010, Salibo learned that police officers of Datu Hofer habeas corpus proceeding.25

Police Station in Maguindanao suspected him to be Butukan S. 

 The September 29, 2010 hearing, therefore, was canceled. The trial

 court reset the hearing on the Return to October 1, 2010 at 9:00 a.m.26

Butukan S. Malang was one of the 197 accused of 57 counts of 

murder for allegedly participating in the November 23, 2009 The Return was finally heard on October 1, 2010. Assistant Solicitors
Maguindanao Massacre. He had a pending warrant of arrest issued by Noel Salo and Isar Pepito appeared on behalf of the Warden of the
the trial court in People of the Philippines v. Datu Andal Ampatuan, Quezon City Jail Annex and argued that Salibo's Petition for Habeas
Jr., et al.8
 Corpus should be dismissed. Since Salibo was charged under a valid

 Information and Warrant of Arrest, a petition for habeas corpus was
Salibo presented himself before the police officers of Datu Hofer "no longer availing."27

Police Station to clear his name. There, he explained that he was not 

Butukan S. Malang and that he could not have participated in the Salibo countered that the Information, Amended Information,
November 23, 2009 Maguindanao Massacre because he was in Saudi Warrant of Arrest, and Alias Warrant of Arrest referred to by the
Arabia at that time.9
 Warden all point to Butukan S. Malang, not Datukan Malang Salibo,

 as accused. Reiterating that he was not Butukan S. Malang and that
To support his allegations, Salibo presented to the police "pertinent he was in Saudi Arabia on the day of the Maguindanao Massacre,
portions of his passport, boarding passes and other documents"10 Salibo pleaded the trial court to order his release from detention.28

tending to prove that a certain Datukan Malang Salibo was in Saudi 

Arabia from November 7 to December 19, 2009.11
 The trial court found that Salibo was not "judicially charged"29 under

 any resolution, information, or amended information. The Resolution,
The police officers initially assured Salibo that they would not arrest Information, and Amended Information presented in court did not
him because he was not Butukan S. Malang.12
 charge Datukan Malang Salibo as an accused. He was also not validly

 arrested as there was no Warrant of Arrest or Alias Warrant of Arrest
Afterwards, however, the police officers apprehended Salibo and tore against Datukan Malang Salibo. Salibo, the trial court ruled, was not
off page two of his passport that evidenced his departure for Saudi restrained of his liberty under process issued by a court.30

Arabia on November 7, 2009. They then detained Salibo at the Datu 

Hofer Police Station for about three (3) days.13

 The trial court was likewise convinced that Salibo was not the
The police officers transferred Salibo to the Criminal Investigation Butukan S. Malang charged with murder in connection with the
and Detection Group in Cotabato City, where he was detained for Maguindanao Massacre. The National Bureau of Investigation
another 10 days. While in Cotabato City, the Criminal Investigation Clearance dated August 27, 2009 showed that Salibo has not been
and Detention Group allegedly made him sign and affix his charged of any crime as of the date of the certificate.31 A Philippine
thumbprint on documents.14
 passport bearing Salibo's picture showed the name "Datukan Malang


On August 20, 2010, Salibo was finally transferred to the Quezon 

City Jail Annex, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology Building, Moreover, the trial court said that Salibo "established that [he] was
Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City, where he is currently detained.15
 out of the country"33 from November 7, 2009 to December 19, 2009.

 This fact was supported by a Certification34 from Saudi Arabian
On September 17, 2010, Salibo filed before the Court of Appeals the Airlines confirming Salibo's departure from and arrival in Manila on
Urgent Petition for Habeas Corpus16 questioning the legality of his board its flights.35 A Flight Manifest issued by the Bureau of
detention and deprivation of his liberty.17 He maintained that he is not Immigration and Saudi Arabian Airlines Ticket No. 0652113 also
the accused Butukan S. Malang.18
 showed this fact.36


Spec Pro | Rule 102 | Full text | !38

Thus, in the Decision dated October 29, 2010, the trial court granted Appeals or any of its members in instances authorized by law,51 or
Salibo's Petition for Habeas Corpus and ordered his immediate the Regional Trial Court or any of its presiding judges.52 The court or
release from detention.
 judge grants the writ and requires the officer or person having

 custody of the person allegedly restrained of liberty to file a return of
Proceedings before the Court of Appeals
 the writ.53 A hearing on the return of the writ is then conducted.54


On appeal37 by the Warden, however, the Court of Appeals reversed The return of the writ may be heard by a court apart from that which
and set aside the trial court's Decision.38 Through its Decision dated issued the writ.55 Should the court issuing the writ designate a lower
April 19, 2011, the Court of Appeals dismissed Salibo's Petition for court to which the writ is made returnable, the lower court shall
Habeas Corpus.
 proceed to decide the petition of habeas corpus. By virtue of the

 designation, the lower court "acquire[s] the power and authority to
Contrary to the trial court's finding, the Court of Appeals found that determine the merits of the [petition for habeas corpus.]"56 Therefore,
Salibo's arrest and subsequent detention were made under a valid the decision on the petition is a decision appealable to the court that
Information and Warrant of Arrest.39 Even assuming that Salibo was has appellate jurisdiction over decisions of the lower court.57

not the Butukan S. Malang named in the Alias Warrant of Arrest, the 

Court of Appeals said that "[t]he orderly course of trial must be In Saulo v. Brig. Gen. Cruz, etc,58 "a petition for habeas corpus was
pursued and the usual remedies exhausted before the writ [of habeas filed before this Court . . . [o]n behalf of. . . Alfredo B. Saulo
corpus] may be invoked[.]"40 According to the Court of Appeals, [(Saulo)]."59 This court issued a Writ of Habeas Corpus and ordered
Salibo's proper remedy was a Motion to Quash Information and/or respondent Commanding General of the Philippine Constabulary to
Warrant of Arrest.41
 file a Return of the Writ. This court made the Writ returnable to the

 Court of First Instance of Manila.60

Salibo filed a Motion for Reconsideration,42 which the Court of 

Appeals denied in the Resolution43 dated July 6, 2011.
 After hearing the Commanding General on the Return, the Court of

 First Instance denied Saulo's Petition for Habeas Corpus.61

Proceedings before this court

 Saulo appealed before this court, arguing that the Court of First
On July 28, 2011,44 petitioner Salibo filed before this court the Instance heard the Petition for Habeas Corpus "not by virtue of its
Petition for Review (With Urgent Application for a Writ of original jurisdiction but merely delegation[.]"62 Consequently, "this
 Court should have the final say regarding the issues raised in the

 petition, and only [this court's decision] . . . should be regarded as
Mandatory Injunction). Respondent Warden filed a Comment,45 after operative."63

which petitioner Salibo filed a Reply.46

 This court rejected Sciulo's argument and stated that his "logic is

 more apparent than real."64 It ruled that when a superior court issues a
Petitioner Salibo maintains that he is not the Butukan S. Malang writ of habeas corpus, the superior court only resolves whether the
charged with 57 counts of murder before the Regional Trial Court, respondent should be ordered to show cause why the petitioner or the
Branch 221, Quezon City. Thus, contrary to the Court of Appeals' person in whose behalf the petition was filed was being detained or
finding, he, Datukan Malang Salibo, was not duly charged in court. deprived of his or her liberty.65 However, once the superior court
He is being illegally deprived of his liberty and, therefore, his proper makes the writ returnable to a lower court as allowed by the Rules of
remedy is a Petition for Habeas Corpus.47
 Court, the lower court designated "does not thereby become merely a

 recommendatory body, whose findings and conclusion[s] are devoid
Petitioner Salibo adds that respondent Warden erred in appealing the of effect[.]"66 The decision on the petition for habeas corpus is a
Decision of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 153, Pasig City before decision of the lower court, not of the superior court.

the Court of Appeals. Although the Court of Appeals delegated to the 

trial court the authority to hear respondent Warden on the Return, the In Medina v. Gen. Yan,67 Fortunato Medina (Medina) filed before this
trial court's Decision should be deemed a Decision of the Court of court a Petition for Habeas Corpus. This court issued a Writ of
Appeals. Therefore, respondent Warden should have directly filed his Habeas Corpus, making it returnable to the Court of First Instance of
appeal before this court.48
 Rizal, Quezon City. After trial on the merits, the Court of First

 Instance granted Medina's Petition for Habeas Corpus and ordered
As for respondent Warden, he maintains that petitioner Salibo was that Medina be released from detention.68

duly charged in court. Even assuming that he is not the Butukan S. 

Malang named in the Alias Warrant of Arrest, petitioner Salibo The Office of the Solicitor General filed a Notice of Appeal before
should have pursued the ordinary remedy of a Motion to Quash the Court of Appeals.69

Information, not a Petition for Habeas Corpus.49

 Atty. Amelito Mutuc, counsel for Medina, filed before the Court of
The issues for our resolution are:
 Appeals a "Motion for Certification of Appeal to the Supreme Court."

 The Court of Appeals, however, denied the Motion.70

First, whether the Decision of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 153, 

Pasig City on petitioner Salibo's Petition for Habeas Corpus was This court ruled that the Court of Appeals correctly denied the
appealable to the Court of Appeals; and Second, whether petitioner "Motion for Certification of Appeal to the Supreme Court," citing
Salibo's proper remedy is to file a Petition for Habeas Corpus.
 Saulo as legal basis.71 The Court of First Instance of Rizal, in

 deciding Medina's Petition for Habeas Corpus, "acquired the power
We grant the Petition.cralawlawlibrary and authority to determine the merits of the case[.]"72 Consequently,
the decision of the Court of First Instance of Rizal on Medina's
I Petition for Habeas Corpus was appealable to the Court of Appeals.73


Contrary to petitioner Salibo's claim, respondent Warden correctly In this case, petitioner Salibo filed his Petition for Habeas Corpus
appealed before the Court of Appeals.
 before the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals issued a Writ of

 Habeas Corpus, making it returnable to the Regional Trial Court,
An application for a writ of habeas corpus may be made through a Branch 153, Pasig City. The trial court then heard respondent Warden
petition filed before this court or any of its members,50 the Court of on his Return and decided the Petition on the merits.

Spec Pro | Rule 102 | Full text | !39

Applying Saulo and Medina, we rule that the trial court "acquired the Tigbao. Under the Resolution, Mangyans who refused to establish
power and authority to determine the merits"74 of petitioner Salibo's themselves in the Tigbao reservation were imprisoned.97

Petition. The decision on the Petition for Habeas Corpus, therefore, 

was the decision of the trial court, not of the Court of Appeals. Since An application for habeas corpus was filed before this court on behalf
the Court of Appeals is the court with appellate jurisdiction over of Rubi and all the other Mangyans being held in the reservation.98
decisions of trial courts,75 respondent Warden correctly filed the Since the application questioned the legality of deprivation of liberty
appeal before the Court of Appeals.cralawlawlibrary of Rubi and the other Mangyans, this court issued a Writ of Habeas
Corpus and ordered the Provincial Board of Mindoro to make a
II Return of the Writ.99


Called the "great writ of liberty[,]"76
the writ of habeas corpus "was A Writ of Habeas Corpus was likewise issued in Villavicencio v.
devised and exists as a speedy and effectual remedy to relieve Lukban.100 "[T]o exterminate vice,"101 Mayor Justo Lukban of Manila
persons from unlawful restraint, and as the best and only sufficient ordered the brothels in Manila closed. The female sex workers
defense of personal freedom."77 The remedy of habeas corpus is previously employed by these brothels were rounded up and placed in
extraordinary78 and summary79 in nature, consistent with the law's ships bound for Davao. The women were expelled from Manila and
"zealous regard for personal liberty."80
 deported to Davao without their consent.102


Under Rule 102, Section 1 of the Rules of Court, the writ of habeas On application by relatives and friends of some of the deported
corpus "shall extend to all cases of illegal confinement or detention women, this court issued a Writ of Habeas Corpus and ordered Mayor
by which any person is deprived of his liberty, or by which the Justo Lukban, among others, to make a Return of the Writ. Mayor
rightful custody of any person is withheld from the person entitled Justo Lukban, however, failed to make a Return, arguing that he did
thereto."81 The primary purpose of the writ "is to inquire into all not have custody of the women.103

manner of involuntary restraint as distinguished from voluntary, and 

to relieve a person therefrom if such restraint is illegal."82 "Any This court cited Mayor Justo Lukban in contempt of court for failure
restraint which will preclude freedom of action is sufficient."83
 to make a Return of the Writ.104 As to the legality of his acts, this

 court ruled that Mayor Justo Lukban illegally deprived the women he
The nature of the restraint of liberty need not be related to any had deported to Davao of their liberty, specifically, of their privilege
offense so as to entitle a person to the efficient remedy of habeas of domicile.105 It said that the women, "despite their being in a sense
corpus. It may be availed of as a post-conviction remedy84 or when lepers of society[,] are nevertheless not chattels but Philippine
there is an alleged violation of the liberty of abode.85 In other words, citizens protected by the same constitutional guaranties as are other
habeas corpus effectively substantiates the implied autonomy of citizens[.]"106 The women had the right "to change their domicile
citizens constitutionally protected in the right to liberty in Article III, from Manila to another locality."107

Section 1 of the Constitution.86 Habeas corpus being a remedy for a 

constitutional right, courts must apply a conscientious and deliberate The writ of habeas corpus is different from the final decision on the
level of scrutiny so that the substantive right to liberty will not be petition for the issuance of the writ. It is the writ that commands the
further curtailed in the labyrinth of other processes.87
 production of the body of the person allegedly restrained of his or her

 liberty. On the other hand, it is in the final decision where a court
In Gumabon, et al. v. Director of the Bureau of Prisons,88 Mario determines the legality of the restraint.

Gumabon (Gumabon), Bias Bagolbagol (Bagolbagol), Gaudencio 

Agapito (Agapito), Epifanio Padua (Padua), and Paterno Palmares Between the issuance of the writ and the final decision on the petition
(Palmares) were convicted of the complex crime of rebellion with for its issuance, it is the issuance of the writ that is essential. The
murder. They commenced serving their respective sentences of issuance of the writ sets in motion the speedy judicial inquiry on the
reclusion perpetua.89
 legality of any deprivation of liberty. Courts shall liberally issue writs

 of habeas corpus even if the petition for its issuance "on [its] face [is]
While Gumabon, Bagolbagol, Agapito, Padua, and Palmares were devoid of merit[.]"108 Although the privilege of the writ of habeas
serving their sentences, this court promulgated People v. Hernandez90 corpus may be suspended in cases of invasion, rebellion, or when the
in 1956, ruling that the complex crime of rebellion with murder does public safety requires it,109 the writ itself may not be suspended.110
not exist.91

Based on the Hernandez ruling, Gumabon, Bagolbagol, Agapito, 

Padua, and Palmares filed a Petition for Habeas Corpus. They prayed It is true that a writ of habeas corpus may no longer be issued if the
for their release from incarceration and argued that the Hernandez person allegedly deprived of liberty is restrained under a lawful
doctrine must retroactively apply to them.92
 process or order of the court.111 The restraint then has become legal,

 112 and the remedy of habeas corpus is rendered moot and academic.
This court ruled that Gumabon, Bagolbagol, Agapito, Padua, and 113 Rule 102, Section 4 of the Rules of Court
Palmares properly availed of a petition for habeas corpus.93 Citing provides:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary
Harris v. Nelson,94 this court said:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary
SEC. 4. When writ not allowed or discharge authorized.—If it
[T]he writ of habeas corpus is the fundamental instrument for appears that the person alleged to be restrained of his liberty is in the
safeguarding individual freedom against arbitrary and lawless state custody of an officer under process issued by a court or judge or by
action. . . . The scope and flexibility of the writ — its capacity to virtue of a judgment or order of a court of record, and that the court
reach all manner of illegal detention — its ability to cut through or judge had jurisdiction to issue the process, render the judgment, or
barriers of form and procedural mazes — have always been make the order, the writ shall not be allowed; or if the jurisdiction
emphasized and jealously guarded by courts and lawmakers. The appears after the writ is allowed, the person shall not be discharged
very nature of the writ demands that it be administered with the by reason of any informality or defect in the process, judgment, or
initiative and flexibility essential to insure that miscarriages of justice order. Nor shall anything in this rule be held to authorize the
within its reach are surfaced and corrected.95cralawlawlibrary discharge of a person charged with or convicted of an offense in the
Philippines, or of a person suffering imprisonment under lawful
In Rubi v. Provincial Board of Mindoro,96 the Provincial Board of judgment.
Mindoro issued Resolution No. 25, Series of 1917. The Resolution
ordered the Mangyans removed from their native habitat and In Ilagan v. Hon. Ponce Enrile,114 elements of the Philippine
compelled them to permanently settle in an 800-hectare reservation in Constabulary-Integrated National Police arrested Atty. Laurente C.

Spec Pro | Rule 102 | Full text | !40

Ilagan (Atty. Ilagan) by virtue of a Mission Order allegedly issued by cases subsequently filed against them before the Regional Trial Court
then Minister of National Defense, Juan Ponce Enrile (Minister of Davao City, the remedy of habeas corpus no longer lies. The Writ
Enrile). On the day of Atty. Ilagan's arrest,115 from the Integrated Bar had served its purpose.128 (Citations omitted)
of the Philippines Davao Chapter visited Atty. Ilagan in Camp
Catitipan, where he was detained.115
 This court likewise dismissed the Petitions for habeas corpus in Umil

 v. Ramos.129 Roberto Umil, Rolando Dural, Renato Villanueva,
Among Atty. Ilagan's visitors was Atty. Antonio Arellano (Atty. Amelia Roque, Wilfredo Buenaobra, Atty. Domingo Anonuevo,
Arellano). Atty. Arellano, however, no longer left Camp Catitipan as Ramon Casiple, Vicky A. Ocaya, Deogracias Espiritu, and Narciso B.
the military detained and arrested him based on an unsigned Mission Nazareno were all arrested without a warrant for their alleged
 membership in the Communist Party of the Philippines/New People's


Three (3) days after the arrest of Attys. Ilagan and Arellano, the 

military informed the Integrated Bar of the Philippines Davao During the pendency of the habeas corpus proceedings, however,
Chapter of the impending arrest of Atty. Marcos Risonar (Atty. Informations against them were filed before this court. The filing of
Risonar). To verify his arrest papers, Atty. Risonar went to Camp the Informations, according to this court, rendered the Petitions for
Catitipan. Like Atty. Arellano, the military did not allow Atty. habeas corpus moot and academic, thus:
Risonar to leave. He was arrested based on a Mission Order signed
by General Echavarria, Regional Unified Commander.117
 It is to be noted that, in all the petitions here considered, criminal

 charges have been filed in the proper courts against the petitioners.
The Integrated Bar of the Philippines, the Free Legal Assistance The rule is, that if a person alleged to be restrained of his liberty is in
Group, and the Movement of Attorneys for Brotherhood, Integrity the custody of an officer under process issued by a court or judge,
and Nationalism filed before this court a Petition for Habeas Corpus and that the court or judge had jurisdiction to issue the process or
in behalf of Attys. Ilagan, Arellano, and Risonar.118
 make the order, or if such person is charged before any court, the writ

 of habeas corpus will not be allowed.132 (Emphasis in the original)
This court issued a Writ of Habeas Corpus and required Minister
Enrile, Armed Forces of the Philippines Acting Chief of Staff In such cases, instead of availing themselves of the extraordinary
Lieutenant General Fidel V. Ramos (General Ramos), and Philippine remedy of a petition for habeas corpus, persons restrained under a
Constabulary-Integrated National Police Regional Commander lawful process or order of the court must pursue the orderly course of
Brigadier General Dionisio Tan-Gatue (General Tan-Gatue) to make a trial and exhaust the usual remedies.133 This ordinary remedy is to file
Return of the Writ.119 This court set the hearing on the Return on May a motion to quash the information or the warrant of arrest.134

23, 1985.120

 At any time before a plea is entered,135 the accused may file a motion
In their Return, Minister Enrile, General Ramos, and General Tan- to quash complaint or information based on any of the grounds
Gatue contended that the privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus was enumerated in Rule 117, Section 3 of the Rules of
suspended as to Attys. Ilagan, Arellano, and Risonar by virtue of Court:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary
Proclamation No. 2045-A.121 The lawyers, according to respondents,
allegedly "played active roles in organizing mass actions of the SEC. 3. Grounds.—The accused may move to quash the complaint or
Communist Party of the Philippines and the National Democratic information on any of the following

After hearing respondents on their Return, this court ordered the (a) That the facts charged do not constitute an offense;
temporary release of Attys. Ilagan, Arellano, and Risonar on the
recognizance of their counsels, retired Chief Justice Roberto
Concepcion and retired Associate Justice Jose B.L. Reyes.123
 (b) That the court trying the case has no jurisdiction over the offense charged;

Instead of releasing Attys. Ilagan, Arellano, and Risonar, however,
Minister Enrile, General Ramos, and General Tan-Gatue filed a (c) That the court trying the case has no jurisdiction over the person of the accused;.
Motion for Reconsideration.124 They filed an Urgent Manifestation/
Motion stating that Informations for rebellion were filed against
Attys. Ilagan, Arellano, and Risonar. They prayed that this court (d) That the officer who filed the information had no authority to do so;
dismiss the Petition for Habeas Corpus for being moot and academic.

(e) That it does not conform substantially to the prescribed form;
The Integrated Bar of the Philippines, the Free Legal Assistance
Group, and the Movement of Attorneys for Brotherhood, Integrity
and Nationalism opposed the motion. According to them, no
(f) That more than one offense is charged except when a single punishment for
preliminary investigation was conducted before the filing of the various offenses is prescribed by law;
Information. Attys. Ilagan, Arellano, and Risonar were deprived of
their right to due process. Consequently, the Information was void.126

(g) That the criminal action or liability has been extinguished;
This court dismissed the Petition for Habeas Corpus, ruling that it
became moot and academic with the filing of the Information against
Attys. Ilagan, Arellano, and Risonar in court:
127ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary (h) That it contains averments which, if true, would constitute a legal excuse or
justification; and
As contended by respondents, the petition herein has been rendered
moot and academic by virtue of the filing of an Information against
them for Rebellion, a capital offense, before the Regional Trial Court (i) That the accused has been previously convicted or acquitted of the offense
of Davao City and the issuance of a Warrant of Arrest against them. charged, or the case against him was dismissed or otherwise terminated without
his express consent.
The function of the special proceeding of habeas corpus is to inquire
into the legality of one's detention. Now that the detained attorneys'
incarceration is by virtue of a judicial order in relation to criminal

Spec Pro | Rule 102 | Full text | !41

In filing a motion to quash, the accused "assails the validity of a liberty without due process of law, for which a petition for habeas
criminal complaint or information filed against him [or her] for corpus may be issued.

insufficiency on its face in point of law, or for defects which are 

apparent in the face of the information."136 If the accused avails The arrest of petitioner Salibo is similar to the arrest of Atty. Risonar
himself or herself of a motion to quash, the accused "hypothetical[ly] in the "disturbing"143 case of Ilagan.144 Like petitioner Salibo, Atty.
admits the facts alleged in the information."137 "Evidence aliunde or Risonar went to Camp Catitipan to verify and contest any arrest
matters extrinsic from the information are not to be papers against him. Then and there, Atty. Risonar was arrested
 without a warrant. In his dissenting opinion in Ilagan,145 Justice

 Claudio Teehankee stated that the lack of preliminary investigation
"If the motion to quash is based on an alleged defect of the complaint deprived Atty. Risonar, together with Attys. Ilagan and Arellano, of
or information which can be cured by amendment, the court shall his right to due process of law — a ground for the grant of a petition
order [the] amendment [of the complaint or information]."139 If the for habeas corpus:146

motion to quash is based on the ground that the facts alleged in the 

complaint or information do not constitute an offense, the trial court The majority decision holds that the filing of the information without
shall give the prosecution "an opportunity to correct the defect by preliminary investigation falls within the exceptions of Rule 112, sec.
amendment."140 If after amendment, the complaint or information 7 and Rule 113, sec. 5 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure.
still suffers from the same defect, the trial court shall quash the Again, this is erroneous premise. The fiscal misinvoked and
complaint or information.141 misapplied the cited rules. The petitioners are not persons "lawfully
arrested without a warrant." The fiscal could not rely on the stale and
IV inoperative PDA of January 25, 1985. Otherwise, the rules would be

 rendered nugatory, if all that was needed was to get a PDA and then
However, Ilagan142 and Umil do not apply to this case. Petitioner serve it at one's whim and caprice when the very issuance of the PDA
Salibo was not arrested by virtue of any warrant charging him of an is premised on its imperative urgency and necessity as declared by
offense. He was not restrained under a lawful process or an order of a the President himself. The majority decision then relies on Rule 113,
court. He was illegally deprived of his liberty, and, therefore, Sec. 5 which authorizes arrests without warrant by a citizen or by a
correctly availed himself of a Petition for Habeas Corpus.
 police officer who witnessed the arrestee in flagrante delicto, viz. in

 the act of committing the offense. Quite obviously, the arrest was not
The Information and Alias Warrant of Arrest issued by the Regional a citizen's arrest nor were they caught in flagrante delicto violating
Trial Court, Branch 221, Quezon City in People of the Philippines v. the law. In fact, this Court in promulgating the 1985 Rules on
Datu Andal Ampatuan, Jr., et al. charged and accused Butukan S. Criminal Procedure have tightened and made the rules more strict.
Malang, not Datukan Malang Salibo, of 57 counts of murder in Thus, the Rule now requires that an offense "has in fact just been
connection with the Maguindanao Massacre.
 committed." This connotes immediacy in point of time and excludes

 cases under the old rule where an offense "has in fact been
Furthermore, petitioner Salibo was not validly arrested without a committed" no matter how long ago. Similarly, the arrestor must
warrant. Rule 113, Section 5 of the Rules of Court enumerates the have "personal knowledge of facts indicating that the [arrestee] has
instances when a warrantless arrest may be committed it" (instead of just "reasonable ground to believe that the
made:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary [arrestee] has committed it" under the old rule). Clearly, then, an
information could not just be filed against the petitioners without due
SEC. 5. Arrest without warrant; when lawful.—A peace officer or a process and preliminary investigation.147 (Emphasis in the original,
private person may, without a warrant, arrest a citation omitted)


Petitioner Salibo's proper remedy is not a Motion to Quash
(a) When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually Information and/or Warrant of Arrest. None of the grounds for filing
committing, or is attempting to commit an offense; a Motion to Quash Information apply to him. Even if petitioner
Salibo filed a Motion to Quash, the defect he alleged could not have
been cured by mere amendment of the Information and/or Warrant of
(b) When an offense has just been committed and he has probable cause to believe Arrest. Changing the name of the accused appearing in the
based on- personal knowledge of facts or circumstances that the person to be Information and/or Warrant of Arrest from "Butukan S. Malang" to
arrested has committed it; "Datukan Malang Salibo" will not cure the lack of preliminary
investigation in this case.

(c) When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped from a penal A motion for reinvestigation will' not cure the defect of lack of
establishment or place where he is serving final judgment or is temporarily preliminary investigation. The Information and Alias Warrant of
confined while his case is pending, or has escaped while being transferred from
one confinement to another. Arrest were issued on the premise that Butukan S. Malang and
Datukan Malang Salibo are the same person. There is evidence,
In cases falling under paragraphs (a) and (b) above, the person however, that the person detained by virtue of these processes is not
arrested without a warrant shall be forthwith delivered to the nearest Butukan S. Malang but another person named Datukan Malang
police station or jail and shall be proceeded against in accordance Salibo.

with section 7 of Rule 112. 

Petitioner Salibo presented in evidence his Philippine passport,148 his
It is undisputed that petitioner Salibo presented himself before the identification card from the Office on Muslim Affairs,149 his Tax
Datu Hofer Police Station to clear his name and to prove that he is Identification Number card,150 and clearance from the National
not the accused Butukan S. Malang. When petitioner Salibo was in Bureau of Investigation151 all bearing his picture and indicating the
the presence of the police officers of Datu Hofer Police Station, he name "Datukan Malang Salibo." None of these government-issued
was neither committing nor attempting to commit an offense. The documents showed that petitioner Salibo used the alias "Butukan S.
police officers had no personal knowledge of any offense that he Malang."

might have committed. Petitioner Salibo was also not an escapee 

 Moreover, there is evidence that petitioner Salibo was not in the

 country on November 23, 2009 when the Maguindanao Massacre
The police officers, therefore, had no probable cause to arrest occurred.

petitioner Salibo without a warrant. They deprived him of his right to 

A Certification152 from the Bureau of Immigration states that

Spec Pro | Rule 102 | Full text | !42

petitioner Salibo departed for Saudi Arabia on November 7, 2009 and
arrived in the Philippines only on December 20, 2009. A
Certification153 from Saudi Arabian Airlines attests that petitioner
Salibo departed for Saudi Arabia on board Saudi Arabian Airlines
Flight SV869 on November 7, 2009 and that he arrived in the
Philippines on board Saudi Arabian Airlines SV870 on December 20,

People of the Philippines v. Datu Andal Ampatuan, Jr., et al. is
probably the most complex case pending in our courts. The case
involves 57 victims154 and 197 accused, two (2) of which have
become state witnesses.155 As of November 23, 2014, 111 of the
accused have been arraigned, and 70 have filed petitions for bail of
which 42 have already been resolved.156 To require petitioner Salibo
to undergo trial would be to further illegally deprive him of his
liberty. Urgency dictates that we resolve his Petition in his favor
given the strong evidence that he is not Butukan S. Malang.

In ordering petitioner Salibo's release, we are prejudging neither his
guilt nor his innocence. However, between a citizen who has shown
that he was illegally deprived of his liberty without due process of
law and the government that has all the "manpower and the resources
at [its] command"157 to properly indict a citizen but failed to do so,
we will rule in favor of the citizen.

Should the government choose to prosecute petitioner Salibo, it must
pursue the proper remedies against him as provided in our Rules.
Until then, we rule that petitioner Salibo is illegally deprived of his
liberty. His Petition for Habeas Corpus must be granted.cralawred

WHEREFORE, the Petition for Review on Certiorari is
GRANTED. The Court of Appeals Decision dated April 19, 2011 is
REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Respondent Warden, Quezon City
Jail Annex, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology Building,
Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig, is ORDERED to immediately
RELEASE petitioner Datukan Maiang Salibo from detention.

The Letter of the Court of Appeals elevating the records of the case to
this court is hereby NOTED.


Spec Pro | Rule 102 | Full text | !43

FIRST DIVISION fourteen (14) years and nine (9) months, would add up to thirty-four
(34) years and four (4) months, or more than his alleged reduced
June 15, 2016 sentence of thirty (30) years:21
G.R. No. 211269
RUBEN E. TIU, Petitioner, 
 01 October 1999 – 01 October 2001 20 days 24 months
HON. NATIVIDAD G. DIZON, Acting Chairperson of the Board
of Pardons and Parole, HON. FRANKLIN JESUS BUCAYU, 01 October 2002 – 01 October 2005 23 days 36 months
Director of the Bureau of Corrections, HON. SECRETARY 01 October 2006 – 01 October 2010 25 days 178 months
LEILA M. DE LIMA of the Department of Justice, HON.
PAQUITO N. OCHOA JR., the Executive Secretary, Respondents. 01 October 2011 – 01 July 2014 30 days 44 months

PERLAS-BERNABE, J.: He argues that, since he was granted a "colonist status" by then
Before the Court is a petition for habeas corpus 1 filed by petitioner Director of Corrections Gaudencio S. Pangilinan (Director of
Ruben E. Tiu (petitioner), who is detained at the Sablayan Prison and Corrections Pangilinan) on December 21, 2011, as contained in
Penal Farm in Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro, seeking his immediate Correction's Order No. 015-5-2012,22 his sentence was automatically
release from prison on the strength of his conditional pardon without reduced to thirty (30) years 23 pursuant to Section 7 (b), Chapter 3,
parole conditions, as well as the automatic reduction of his sentence Part II, Book I of the Bureau of Corrections Operating Manual
by virtue of his status as a penal colonist.2 (BuCor-OM), the pertinent portions of which read as follows:

The Facts SECTION 7. Privileges of a colonist. - A colonist shall have the

following privileges:
On June 16, 2000, petitioner and two others 3 were found guilty
beyond reasonable doubt by the Regional Trial Court of Makati City, a. credit of an additional GCTA of five (5) days
Branch 143, of selling, delivering, and giving away to a poseur-buyer for each calendar month while he retains said
1,977 grams of methamphetamine hydrochloride, commonly known classification aside from the regular GCTA
as "shabu," a regulated drug, without authority of law or authorized under Article 97 of the Revised Penal
corresponding license therefor.4 Consequently, they were sentenced Code;
to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua and to pay the fine of b. automatic reduction of the life sentence
₱10,000,000.00 each. 5 Their conviction, which was affirmed by the imposed on the colonist to a sentence of thirty
Court in a Decision 6 dated March 10, 2004, became final and (30) years;
executory on July 29, 2004.7
x x x x (Emphasis and underscoring supplied)
On March 24, 2009, the Board of Pardons and Parole (BPP) issued
Resolution No. 022-3-098 recommending the grant of executive To bolster his claim of reduction of sentence, petitioner cites 24
clemency to petitioner, among many others. On June 3, 2010, acting Sections 5 and 7 of Act No. 2489, 25 which provide for automatic
on said recommendation, then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo modification of sentence from life imprisonment to thirty (30) years
(PGMA) granted 9 him "conditional pardon without parole for prisoners receiving and retaining the classification of penal
conditions," 10 but was, nonetheless, still "subject to the conditions colonists or trusties. He theorizes26 that, although said law requires
indicated in [the individual pardon papers]." 11 It turned out, executive approval for such classification, his colonist status was
however, that no such papers were issued in petitioner's favor. Thus, nonetheless "regularly awarded" by the Director of Corrections
petitioner repeatedly requested12 for a certificate of conditional whose authority to so classify him as such is derived from Section 6,
pardon without parole conditions from the Legal Affairs Office of the Chapter 3, Part II, Book I of the BuCor-OM. The aforementioned
Office of the President (OP), but said requests were denied by Deputy provisions read:
Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs Michael G. Aguinaldo (Deputy
Executive Secretary Aguinaldo) in three (3) separate letters dated Provisions in Act No. 2489
March 13, 2013, 13 August 12, 2013, 14 and August 14, 2013, 15 Section 5. Prisoners serving sentences of life imprisonment receiving
informing petitioner that the records of his case were referred back to and retaining the classification of penal colonists or trusties will
the BPP. Respondent Natividad G. Dizon, Chairman of the BPP, automatically have the sentence of life imprisonment modified to a
confirmed in a letter16 dated September 5, 2013 that: (a) petitioner's sentence of thirty years when receiving the executive approval for
Certificate of Conditional Pardon without Parole Conditions was not this classification upon which the regular credit now authorized by
signed by PGMA; (b) consequently, the documents relative to law and special credit authorized in the preceding paragraph, for
petitioner's case were returned to the BPP; and (c) the BPP had good conduct, may be made.
resolved to defer action thereon pending compliance with all the
basic requirements for executive clemency.17 Section 7. The provisions of this Act as applied in the case of penal
colonists and trusties may, by executive approval and upon
In the meantime, President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III signed into recommendation of the Director of Prisons [(now Director of
law Republic Act No. (RA) 10592, 18 which, subject to its Corrections)], be made applicable to all first-class workmen
provisions, would substantially increase the Good Conduct Time confined in Bilibid Prison who have earned the privilege of
Allowance (GCTA) of qualified inmates. Thus, on July 27, 2013, classification as penal colonists or trusties by serving one-fifth of the
petitioner's carpeta was returned to the Bureau of Corrections in time sentence as imposed by the court, or seven years in the case of a
Muntinlupa City for the re-computation of his time served.19 life-sentenced prisoner, in
On July 7, 2014, petitioner filed the instant Amended Petition for
addition to the compensation allowed, if any of such first-class
Habeas Corpus, 20 insisting on the efficacy and enforceability of his
workmen shall by written petition elect to remain in the industrial
conditional pardon without parole conditions, which allegedly
division at Bilibid Prison: Provided, That no prisoner shall receive
necessitates his release from prison. Further, he claims that he is
the benefit of this section during the first two years of imprisonment
entitled to nineteen (19) years and seven (7) months of GCTA,
unless authorized by the Director of Prisons [(now Director of
computed hereafter, which, when tacked to his actual service of

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Corrections)] for special reasons. (Emphases and underscoring The executive clemency extended by PGMA on June 3, 2010 to a
supplied) number of prisoners including petitioner was made "subject to the
conditions indicated in the corresponding documents."39 It is
Section 6, Chapter 3, Part II, Book I of the BuCor-OM undisputed, however, that no individual pardon papers were issued in
Section 6. Colonist. - The Director may, upon the recommendation petitioner's favour, thereby rendering the grant of executive clemency
of the Classification Board. classify an inmate who has the to him as incomplete and ineffective, as clarified by Deputy
following qualifications as a colonist: Executive Secretary Aguinaldo. 40 The necessity for the individual
pardon papers is best explained by the nature of a conditional pardon,
a. be at least a first class inmate and has served one (1) year which is "a contract between the sovereign power or the Chief
immediately preceding the completion of the period specified in the Executive and the convicted criminal to the effect that the former will
following qualifications; release the latter subject to the condition that if he does not comply
with the terms of the pardon, he will be recommitted to prison to
b. has served imprisonment with good conduct for a period serve the unexpired portion of the sentence or an additional one. By
equivalent to one fifth (1/5) of the maximum term of his prison the pardonee's consent to the terms stipulated in this contract, the
sentence, or seven (7) years in the case of a life sentence. (Emphasis pardonee has thereby placed himself under the supervision of the
and underscoring supplied) Chief Executive or his delegate who is duty-bound to see to it that the
pardonee complies with the terms and conditions of the pardon."41
Finally, petitioner invokes Section 527 of RA 10592, which provides The individual pardon papers, therefore, contain the terms and
that the time allowances for good conduct once granted shall not be conditions of the contract of pardon, the compliance of which is
revoked.28He further proposes that RA 10592 be given retroactive essential to the pardonee's freedom from recommitment to prison.
effect in light of the liberal construction provided for in the rules to
favor detained or convicted prisoners like him.29 Notably, when the records of petitioner's case were referred back to
the BPP, it required compliance first with all the basic requirements
On the other hand, herein respondents, through the Office of the for executive clemency before acting thereon.42 This is not to say,
Solicitor General (OSG), maintain30 that a prisoner serving a however, that petitioner's pardon papers may not have been issued
sentence of life imprisonment receiving and retaining classification as due to non-compliance with the requirements, which is a matter that
a penal colonist will automatically have his sentence modified to the Court shall not, and could not, resolve here. This is because the
thirty (30) years of imprisonment only "when receiving the grant of pardon and the determination of the terms and conditions of
executive approval for this classification." 31 However, petitioner a conditional pardon are purely executive acts which are not subject
failed to obtain such executive approval. They argue further against to judicial scrutiny.43
petitioner's reliance on the BuCor-OM, which is a mere
administrative rule or regulation that cannot amend Act No. 2489 by Second. As correctly argued by the OSG, the conferment by the
abridging or expanding its scope. 32 Petitioner's colonist status Director of Corrections of a colonist status to petitioner did not
granted merely by the Director of Corrections, without executive operate to reduce the latter's sentence. Section 5 of Act No. 2489 is
approval, did not modify his sentence. 33 Hence, there being no clear and unambiguous: "[p]risoners serving sentences of life
unlawful restraint, no writ of habeas corpus should be issued in his imprisonment receiving and retaining the classification of penal
favor. colonists or trusties will automatically have the sentence of life
imprisonment modified to a sentence of thirty years when receiving
The Issue Before the Court the executive approval for this classification upon which the regular
The essential issue for the Court's resolution is whether or not a writ credit now authorized by law and special credit authorized in the
of habeas corpus should be issued in favor of petitioner.1âwphi1 preceding paragraph, for good conduct, may be made."44

The Court's Ruling The wording of the law is such that the act of classification as a
penal colonist or trustie is separate from and necessarily precedes
The petition lacks merit. the act of approval by the Executive. Under Section 6, Chapter 3,
Part II, Book I of the BuCor-OM quoted earlier, the Director of
The object of the writ of habeas corpus is to inquire into the Corrections may, upon the recommendation of the Classification
legality of the detention, and, if the detention is found to be Board45 of the Bureau of Corrections, classify an inmate as a
illegal, to require the release of the detainee. Well-settled is the rule colonist. It is crucial, however, that the prisoner not only receives, but
that the writ will not issue where the person in whose behalf the writ retains such classification, because the grant of a colonist status may,
is sought is in the custody of an officer under process issued by a for cause, be revoked at any time by the Superintendent with the
court or judge with jurisdiction or by virtue of a judgment or order of approval of the Director of Corrections pursuant to Section 946 of the
a court of record.34 The writ is denied if the petitioner fails to show same Chapter. It is the classification of the penal colonist and trustie
facts that he is entitled thereto ex merito justicias.35 of the Director of Corrections which subsequently receives executive
In this case, petitioner is serving sentence by virtue of a final
judgment convicting him of the offense of selling and delivering The foregoing is bolstered by the fact that the reduction of a
prohibited drugs defined and penalized under Section 15, Article III prisoner's sentence is a partial pardon,47 and our Constitution
of RA 6425,36 as amended by RA 7659. 37 He failed to show, reposes in the President the power and the exclusive prerogative
however, that his further incarceration is no longer lawful and that he to extend the same.48 The 1987 Constitution, specifically under
is entitled to relief under a writ of habeas corpus. Section 19, Article VII thereof, provides that the President possesses
the power to grant pardons, along with other acts of executive
First. Petitioner's insistence on the efficacy and enforceability of the
clemency, 49 which petitioner explicitly recognized by applying for
conditional pardon without parole conditions granted to him by
commutation of sentence even during the pendency of his request for
PGMA on June 3, 2010 deserves scant consideration.
the implementation of the conditional pardon. 50 Section 19, Article
It must be emphasized that pardon is an act of grace, proceeding from VII of the 1987 Constitution reads:
the power entrusted with the execution of the laws, which exempts
the individual, on whom it is bestowed, from the punishment the law Section 19. Except in cases of impeachment, or as otherwise provided
inflicts for a crime he has committed. It is the private, though official in this Constitution, the President may grant reprieves, commutations,
act of the executive magistrate, delivered to the individual for whose and pardons, and remit fines and forfeitures, after conviction by final
benefit it is intended and not communicated officially to the court. A judgment.
pardon is a deed, to the validity of which delivery is essential.38

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He shall also have the power to grant amnesty with the concurrence
of a majority of all the Members of the Congress.
It has long been recognized that the exercise of the pardoning power,
notwithstanding the judicial determination of guilt of the accused,
demands the exclusive exercise by the President of the
constitutionally vested power. 51 Stated otherwise, since the Chief
Executive is required by the Constitution to act in person, he may not
delegate the authority to pardon prisoners under the doctrine of
qualified political agency, which "essentially postulates that the heads
of the various executive departments are the alter egos of the
President, and, thus, the actions taken by such heads in the
performance of their official duties are deemed the acts of the
President unless the President himself should disapprove such
In sum, there being no unlawful restraint on petitioner's liberty, no
relief under a writ of habeas corpus can be granted to him.
WHEREFORE, the petition is DISMISSED.

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