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DIGESTS

GALMAN V SANDIGANBAYAN 144 SCRA 392 (1986)

Facts: An investigating committee was created to determine the facts on the case involving the
assassination of Ninoy Aquino. It appears that majority and minority reports showed that they are
unconvinced on the participation of Galman as the assassin of late Sen. Aquino and branded him
instead as the fall guy as opposed to the military reports. Majority reports recommended the 26
military respondents as indictable for the premeditated killing of Aquino and Galman which the
Sandiganbayan did not give due consideration.
The office of the Tanod Bayan was originally preparing a resolution charging the 26 military
accused as principal to the crime against Aquino but was recalled upon the intervention of
President Marcos who insist on the innocence of the accused. Marcos however recommended the
filing of murder charge and to implement the acquittal as planned so that double jeopardy may be
invoked later on.
The petitioners filed an action for miscarriage of justice against the Sandiganbayan and gross
violation of constitutional rights of the petitioners for failure to exert genuine efforts in allowing
the prosecution to present vital documentary evidence and prayed for nullifying the bias
proceedings before the Sandiganbayan and ordering a re-trial before an impartial tribunal.
Issue: Whether or not there was due process in the acquittal of the accused from the charges against
them.
Held: The Supreme Court held that the prosecution was deprived of due process and fair
opportunity to prosecute and prove their case which grossly violates the due process clause. There
could be no double jeopardy since legal jeopardy attaches only (a) upon a valid indictment, (b)
before a competent court, (c) after arraignment, (d) a valid plea having been entered; and (e) the
case was dismissed or otherwise terminated without the express consent of the accused (People vs.
Ylagan, 58 Phil. 851). The lower court that rendered the judgment of acquittal was not competent
as it was ousted of its jurisdiction when it violated the right of the prosecution to due process. In
effect the first jeopardy was never terminated, and the remand of the criminal case for further
hearing and/or trial before the lower courts amounts merely to a continuation of the first jeopardy,
and does not expose the accused to a second jeopardy.
The court further contends that the previous trial was a mock trial where the authoritarian President
ordered the Sandiganbayan and Tanod Bayan to rig and closely monitor the trial which was
undertaken with due pressure to the judiciary. The court’s decision of acquittal is one void of
jurisdiction owing to its failure in observing due process during the trial therefore the judgment
was also deemed void and double jeopardy cannot be invoked. More so the trial was one vitiated
with lack of due process on the account of collusion between the lower court and Sandiganbayan
for the rendition of a pre-determined verdict of the accused.
The denial on the motion for reconsideration of the petitioners by the court was set aside and
rendered the decision of acquittal of the accused null and void. An order for a re-trial was granted.

ANG TIBAY v CIR

FACTS: Teodoro Toribio owns and operates Ang Tibay, a leather company which supplies the
Philippine Army. Due to alleged shortage of leather, Toribio caused the lay off of a number of his
employees. However, the National Labor Union, Inc. (NLU) questioned the validity of said lay off
as it averred that the said employees laid off were members of NLU while no members of the rival
labor union (National Worker’s Brotherhood) were laid off. NLU claims that NWB is a company
dominated union and Toribio was merely busting NLU.
The case reached the Court of Industrial Relations (CIR) where Toribio and NWB won.
Eventually, NLU went to the Supreme Court invoking its right for a new trial on the ground of
newly discovered evidence. The Supreme Court agreed with NLU. The Solicitor General, arguing
for the CIR, filed a motion for reconsideration.
ISSUE: Whether or not the National Labor Union, Inc. is entitled to a new trial.
HELD: Yes. The records show that the newly discovered evidence or documents obtained by
NLU, which they attached to their petition with the SC, were evidence so inaccessible to them at
the time of the trial that even with the exercise of due diligence they could not be expected to have
obtained them and offered as evidence in the Court of Industrial Relations. Further, the attached
documents and exhibits are of such far-reaching importance and effect that their admission would
necessarily mean the modification and reversal of the judgment rendered (said newly obtained
records include books of business/inventory accounts by Ang Tibay which were not previously
accessible but already existing).
The SC also outlined that administrative bodies, like the CIR, although not strictly bound by the
Rules of Court must also make sure that they comply to the requirements of due process. For
administrative bodies, due process can be complied with by observing the following:
(1) The right to a hearing which includes the right of the party interested or affected to present his
own case and submit evidence in support thereof.
(2) Not only must the party be given an opportunity to present his case and to adduce evidence
tending to establish the rights which he asserts but the tribunal must consider the evidence
presented.
(3) While the duty to deliberate does not impose the obligation to decide right, it does imply a
necessity which cannot be disregarded, namely, that of having something to support its decision.
A decision with absolutely nothing to support it is a nullity, a place when directly attached.
(4) Not only must there be some evidence to support a finding or conclusion but the evidence must
be “substantial.” Substantial evidence is more than a mere scintilla It means such relevant evidence
as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion.
(5) The decision must be rendered on the evidence presented at the hearing, or at least contained
in the record and disclosed to the parties affected.
(6) The administrative body or any of its judges, therefore, must act on its or his own independent
consideration of the law and facts of the controversy, and not simply accept the views of a
subordinate in arriving at a decision.
(7) The administrative body should, in all controversial questions, render its decision in such a
manner that the parties to the proceeding can know the various issues involved, and the reasons
for the decisions rendered. The performance of this duty is inseparable from the authority conferred
upon it

ATENEO vs CA
Facts: Juan Ramon Guanzon was a student-boarder at Cervini hall who hurled abuses and laid
hand to the cafeteria server. This was witnessed by several boarders. The university investigated
the slapping incident and decided to expel Guanzon. He opted instead to apply for honourable
dismissal which was granted. Upon learning of the incident, his parents lodged a complaint for
damages with CFI on the ground of unfair trial. The university denied this and justified that such
behaviour of the student is subject to be sanctioned by the school and that the university has the
sole prerogative and authority at any time to drop from the school a student found to be undesirable
in order to preserve and maintain its integrity and discipline. Lower court decided in favour of the
Guanzon. CA initially reversed the LC decision. Upon motion for reconsideration of the Guanzons,
CA reversed it’s own decision. Ateneo was compelled to ask for review of the said decision.

Issue: Whether or not Guanzon was denied due process on the ground of unfair trial?

Decision: Petition granted. Juan Ramon himself appeared before the Board of Discipline. He
admitted the slapping incident. He was given notice of the proceedings; he actually appeared to
present his side; the investigating board acted fairly and objectively; and all requisites of
administrative due process were met. The court does not share the view that there was no due
process because the parents of Guanzon was not given any notice of the proceedings. He, who at
the time was 18 years of age, was already a college student, intelligent and mature enough to know
his responsibilities. He is assumed to have reported this serious matter to his parents. The fact that
he chose to remain silent and did not inform them about his case, not even when he went home to
Bacolod City for his Christmas vacation, was not the fault of the petitioner university.

ALCUAZ VS PSBA

Facts:Petitioners are all bonafide students of the Philippine School of Business Administration,
Quezon City, while respondents, are the Philippine School of Business Administration. Tthe
students of the respondent school had already agreed on certain matters which would govern their
activities within the school (Rollo, p. 75). Among the agreements reached at that time were that
on The exercise of student's democratic rights, it has been agreed that protest actions can be
conducted any day as long as they meet the certain requirements like it being done at certain times
etc.

School’s stand: the administration of PSBA that it will not allow the students to directly participate
in the policy-making body of the school, as this is provided by law. However, the administration
will be open to suggestions and questions, especially those regarding tuition fee increases and other
policies that directly affect us.

In spite of the above-stated agreement, petitioners felt the need to hold dialogues. Among others
they demanded the negotiation of a new agreement, which demand was turned down by the school,
resulting in mass assemblies and barricades of school entrances. During the regular enrollment
period, petitioners and other students similarly situated were allegedly blacklisted and denied
admission for the second semester.

The motion of petitioners to compel respondents to readmit or re-enroll herein petitioners was
denied except in the case of three (3) student petitioners cleared by the investigating committee
and who had been recommended to be readmitted or re-enrolled. This court further stated that the
reason for the non-enrollment of the others is that the results of the investigation conducted
indicate prima facie the violation by the majority of the petitioners of the rules and regulations of
respondent school

Petitioners allege that they have been deprived of procedural due process which requires that there
be due notice and hear hearing and of substantive due process which requires that the person or
body to conduct the investigation be competent to act and decide free from bias or prejudice. In
the same manner, intervenors-teachers claim that their constitutional right to due process has been
violated when they were summarily dismissed without affording them the opportunity to be heard.

Held:

There was no deprivation of due process.

A student once admitted by the school is considered enrolled for one semester. It is provided in
the Manual of Regulations for Private Schools, that the "written contracts" required for college
teachers are for 'one semester." It is thus evident that after the close of the first semester, the PSBA-
QC no longer has any existing contract either with the students or with the intervening teachers.
Such being the case, the charge of denial of due process is untenable. It is a time-honored principle
that contracts are respected as the law between the contracting parties.•1àw> The contract having
been terminated, there is no more contract to speak of. The school cannot be compelled to enter
into another contract with said students and teachers.

This Court has stressed, that due process in disciplinary cases involving students does not entail
proceedings and hearings similar to those prescribed for actions and proceedings in courts of
justice.

Such proceedings may be summary and cross-examination is not even an essential part thereof.
Accordingly, the minimum standards laid down by the Court to meet the demands of procedural
due process are: (1) the students must be informed in writing of the nature and cause of any
accusation against them; (2) they shall have the right to answer the charges against them, with the
assistance of counsel, if desired: (3) they shall be informed of the evidence against them; (4) they
shall have the right to adduce evidence in their own behalf and (5) the evidence must be duly
considered by the investigating committee or official designated by the school authorities to hear
and decide the case (Guzman vs. National University)

Tested under said standards, the records show that the proceedings in the case at bar, at the outset
satisfied conditions No. 1 and 2, but, without a hearing, conditions No. 3, 4 and 5 had evidently
not been completed with.

The right of the school to refuse re-enrollment of students for academic delinquency and violation
of disciplinary regulations has always been recognized by this Court. The Manual of Regulations
for Private Schools considers academic delinquency and violation of disciplinary regulations vs as
valid grounds for refusing re-enrollment of students. The opposite view would do violence to the
academic freedom enjoyed by the school and enshrined under the Constitution.

PREMISES CONSIDERED, the petition is hereby DISMISSED

ESTRADA V. SANDIGANBAYAN G.R. NO. 14560, 36 SCRA 394 (NOVEMBER 19, 2001)

Facts:
Joseph Ejercito Estrada (Estrada), the highest-ranking official to be prosecuted under RA 7080
(An Act Defining and Penalizing the Crime of Plunder) as amended by RA 7659.

Estrada wishes to impress the Court that the assailed law is so defectively fashioned that it crosses
that thin but distinct line which divides the valid from the constitutionality infirm. That there was
a clear violations of the fundamental rights of the accused to due process and to be informed of the
nature and cause of the accusation.

Issue/s:
- Whether or not the Plunder Law is unconstitutional for being vague.
- Whether or not Plunder Law requires less evidence for providing the predicate crimes of
plunder and therefore violates the rights of the accused to due process.
- Whether Plunder as defined in RA 7080 is a malum prohibitum.

Ruling:

1. No. A statute is not rendered uncertain and void merely because general terms are used therein, or
because of the employment of terms without defining them. There is no positive constitutional or
statutory command requiring the legislature to define each and every word in an enactment.
Congress’ inability to so define the words employed in a statute will not necessary result in the
vagueness or ambiguity of the law so long as the legislative will is clear, or at least, can be gathered
from the whole act, which is distinctly expressed in the Plunder Law.
It is a well-settled principle of legal hermeneutics that words of a statute will be interpreted in their
natural, plain, and ordinary acceptation and signification, unless it is evident that the legislature
intended a technical or special legal meaning to those words.
Every provision of the law should be construed in relation and with reference to every other part.
There was nothing vague or ambiguous in the provisions of R.A. 7080

2. No. The legislature did not in any manner refashion the standard quantum of proof in the crime of
plunder. The burden still remains with the prosecution to prove beyond any iota of doubt every
fact or element necessary to constitute a crime.
What the prosecution needs to prove beyond reasonable doubt is only a number of acts sufficient
to form a combination or series which would constitute a pattern and involving an amount of at
least P50,000,000.00. There is no need to prove each and every other act alleged in the information
to have been committed by the accused in furtherance of the overall unlawful scheme or conspiracy
to amass, accumulate or acquire ill-gotten wealth.

3. No. It is malum in se. The legislative declaration in RA No. 7659 that plunder is a heinous offense
implies that it is a malum in se. For when the acts punished are inherently immoral or inherently
wrong, they are mala in se and it does not matter that such acts are punished in a special law,
especially since in the case of plunder that predicate crimes are mainly mala in se.
Its abomination lies in the significance and implications of the subject criminal acts in the scheme
of the larger socio-political and economic context in which the state finds itself to be struggling to
develop and provide for its poor and underprivileged masses. Reeling from decades of corrupt
tyrannical rule that bankrupted the government and impoverished the population, the Philippine
Government must muster the political will to dismantle the culture of corruption, dishonesty, green
and syndicated criminality that so deeply entrenched itself in the structures of society and the
psyche of the populace. [With the government] terribly lacking the money to provide even the
most basic services to its people, any form of misappropriation or misapplication of government
funds translates to an actual threat to the very existence of government, and in turn, the very
survival of people it governs over.
Note:

 A statute establishing a criminal offense must define the offense with sufficient definiteness that
persons of ordinary intelligence can understand what conduct is prohibited by the statute. It can
only be invoked against the specie of legislation that is utterly vague on its face, i.e., that which
cannot be clarified either by a saving clause or by construction.
 The “Reasonable Doubt” standard has acquired such exalted statute in the realm of constitutional
law as it gives life to the Due Process Clause which protects the accused against conviction except
upon proof beyond reasonable doubt of every fact necessary to constitute the crime with which he
is charged.

 A statute or act may be said to be vague when it lack comprehensible standards that men of
common intelligence must necessarily guess at its meaning and differ in its application. In such
instance, the statute is repugnant to the Constitution in two (2) respects it violates due process for
failure to accord persons, especially the parties targeted by it, fair notice of what conduct to avoid;
and it leaves law enforcers unbridled discretion in carrying out its provisions and becomes an
arbitrary flexing of the Government muscle. The first may be “saved” by proper construction,
while no challenge may be mounted as against the second whenever directed against such
activities.

The test in determining whether a criminal statute is void for uncertainty is whether the language
conveys a sufficiently definite warning as to the proscribed conduct when measured by common
understanding and practice. It must be stressed, however, that the “vagueness” doctrine merely
requires a reasonable degree of certainty for the statute to be upheld – not absolute precision or
mathematical exactitude.
A facial challenge is allowed to be made to a vague statute and to one which is overbroad because
of possible “chilling effect” upon protected speech. The theory is that “[w]hen statutes regulate or
proscribe speech and no readily apparent construction suggests itself as a vehicle for rehabilitating
the statutes in a single prosecution, the transcendent value of all society of constitutionally
protected expression is deemed to justify along attacks on overly broad statutes with no
requirement that the persons making the attack demonstrate that his own conduct could not be
regulated by a statute draw with narrow specificity. The possible harm to society in permitting
some unprotected speech to go unpunished is outweighed by the possibility that the protected
speech of others may be deterred and perceived grievances left to fester because of possible
inhibitory effects of overly broad statutes.
This do not apply to penal statutes. Criminal statutes have general in terorrem effect resulting from
their very existence, and, if facial challenge is allowed for this reason alone, the State may well be
prevented from enacting laws against socially harmful conduct. In the area of criminal law, the
law cannot take chances as in the area of free speech.

REGINA ONGSIAKO REYES vs. COMELEC and JOSEPH SOCORRO B. TAN

FACTS: A petition to cancel the Certificate of Candidacy (COC) was filed against the petitioner,
Regina Reyes on the ground that it contained material misrepresentations, specifically:

- That she is single when she is married.


- That she is a resident of Marinduque when allegedly she is a resident of Batangas and
Quezon City.
- That her date of birth is 3 July 1964 when other documents show that her birthdate is either
8 July 1959 or 3 July 1960;
- That she is a permanent resident or an immigrant in the US; and
- That she is a Filipino citizen when she is, in fact, an American citizen.

During the course of the proceedings, COMELEC found newly evidence indicating that Reyes is
an American citizen and a holder of a U.S. passport, as well as using a U.S. Passport in her various
travels abroad. Pursuant to the evidences found, COMELEC cancelled latter’s COC. On May 2013
elections, Reyes was proclaimed the winner and subsequently, took her oath of office on June 05,
2013. On that same day, the COMELEC issued a certificate of finality for the cancellation of the
COC of Reyes.
ISSUE: Whether COMELEC committed a violation of petitioner’s right to due process of law.

HELD: There was no denial of due process in the case as Reyes was given every opportunity to
argue her case before the COMELEC. From the time the latter rendered its resolution, Reyes had
a period of five (5) months to adduce evidence. Unfortunately, she did not avail herself of the
opportunity given her. Due process does not necessarily mean or require a hearing, but simply an
opportunity or right to be heard. Deprivation of due process cannot be successfully invoked where
a party was given the chance to be heard on his motion for reconsideration.

Petition is dismissed.