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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II

FINALS

FREEDOM OF RELIGION

- Any specific belief worship, conduct, etc., often involving a code of ethics and a philosophy.

SECTION 5. No law shall be made respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise
thereof. The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or
preference, shall forever be allowed. No religious test shall be required for the exercise of civil or
political rights.

Separation of church and state

 Strong fences make good neighbours. It is not only the State that is prohibited from interfering
in purely ecclesiastical affairs; the Church is likewise barred from meddling in purely secular
matters.
 The state cannot set up a church nor pass laws which aid one religion, or prefer one religion
over the other.

Art. VI, Sec. 29 (2) No public money or property shall be appropriated, applied, paid, or employed,
directly or indirectly, for the use, benefit, or support of any sect, church, denomination, sectarian
institution, or system of religion, or of any priest, preacher, minister, or other religious teacher, or
dignitary as such, except when such priest, preacher, minister, or dignitary is assigned to the armed
forces, or to any penal institution, or government orphanage or leprosarium.

Freedom to believe

The individual is free to believe or disbelieve as he pleases.

Freedom to act on one’s belief

But where the individual externalizes his beliefs in acts or omissions that affect the public, his freedom
to do so becomes subject to the authority of the State.

Note: Ang Ladlad case: Government neutrality in religious matters.

Doctrine of benevolent neutrality, with respect to these governmental actions, accommodation of


religion may be allowed, not to promote the government’s favoured form of religion but to allow
individuals and groups to exercise their religion without hindrance.

Tests:

1.Test of permissibility of religious freedom, whether it violates the establish institutions of society and
law;
2. Compelling state interest;

3. Grave and immediate danger.

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

- At once the instrument and the guaranty and bright consummate flower of all liberty.
- To be heard in a petition for redress of grievances.

Art. III, Sec 4. No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, or
the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances.

- Usually exercised through language, oral, and written. The freedom to speak includes the right
to be silent.

Art. III, Sec. 18. No person shall be detained solely by reason of his political beliefs and aspirations.

Elements:

1. Freedom from previous restraint or censorship;

2. Freedom from subsequent punishment.

Restraints:

Content neutral regulation if the speaker were told to be when or where he may speak. Subject to
intermediate approach.

Content-based if he were to be controlled in his actual speech, or what he may actually say. Treated
more suspect than above.

Exemption: Clear and present danger rule, the evil consequences sought to be prevented must
be substantive, extremely serious and the degree of imminence extremely high.

Freedom from censorship conditions the exercise of freedom of expression upon prior approval of the
government. Only those ideas acceptable to it are allowed to be disseminated; all others are restricted
or suppressed.

Freedom from punishment includes freedom after speech. Without this assurance, the citizen would
hesitate to speak for fear he might be provoking the vengeance of the officials he criticized.

- Subject to police power and may be properly regulated in the interest of public.
- Does not cover ideas offensive to public order or decency or the reputation of persons.

Criteria of liability: a. Clear and present danger rule; b. The dangerous tendency rule; and c. The
balancing test.
A. Clear and present danger rule, whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are such a
nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that the
State has a right to prevent. It is a question of proximity and degree.

- for the preservation of order and protection of the general welfare.

B. The dangerous tendency doctrine, if the uttered words create a dangerous tendency which the State
has a right to prevent, then such words are punishable. It is not necessary that some definite or
immediate acts of force, violence, or unlawfulness be advocated. It is sufficient that such acts be
advocated in general terms.

- it was not necessary to actually create the evil, a mere tendency is enough.

C. The balance of interest test, it is the duty of the court to determine which of the conflicting interests
demands the greater protection under the particular circumstances presented.

Assembly and Petition

- Power of local officials in this regard is only one of regulation and not prohibition. The most they
can do is indicate the time and conditions for their use.

Right of Association

- Art. III, SECTION 8. The right of the people, including those employed in the public and private
sectors, to form unions, associations, or societies for purposes not contrary to law shall not be
abridged.
- Art. IX-B Sec. 1 (5). The right to self-organization shall not be denied to government employees.
 Government employees do not have the right to strike.
- Right to associate includes the right NOT to associate.

Access to information

Art. II. SECTION 28. Subject to reasonable conditions prescribed by law, the State adopts and
implements a policy of full public disclosure of all its transactions involving public interest.

- An informed citizenry is essential to the existence and proper functioning of any democracy.

Duty to disclose which is mandatory and covers only transactions involving public interest while the
duty to allow access has a broader scope of information involving any matter contained in
communications and public documents of the agency.

Art. III, SECTION 7. The right of the people to information on matters of public concern shall be
recognized. Access to official records, and to documents, and papers pertaining to official acts,
transactions, or decisions, as well as to government research data used as basis for policy development,
shall be afforded the citizen, subject to such limitations as may be provided by law.
- The duty to disclose cannot be discretionary on the part of the agencies. Does not carry with it
the authority to prohibit access.
- May be compelled by a writ of mandamus.

IMPAIRMENT CLAUSE

SECTION 10. No law impairing the obligation of contracts shall be passed.

- The purpose is to safeguard the integrity of valid contractual agreements against unwarranted
interference by the State.
- They should be respected and not tampered with by subsequent laws that will change the
intention of the parties or modify their rights and obligations.
- Not absolute.
- Does not cover licenses or franchise. Nor marriage contract.

To impair, the law must retroact so as to affect existing contracts concluded before its enactment.

Impairment is anything that diminishes the efficacy of the contract.

Limitations

A contract valid at the time of its execution may be legally modified or even completely invalidated by a
subsequent law in the exercise of the police power. To promote health, morals, peace, education, good
order, safety and general welfare.

- Police power is superior than impairment.


- Eminent domain and taxation may validly limit the clause.

EX POST FACTO LAW

SECTION 10. No law impairing the obligation of contracts shall be passed.

- One that would that would make a previous act criminal although it was not so at the time it
was committed.

Kinds:

1. Every law that makes criminal an act done before the passage of the law and which was innocent
when done, and punishes such an act;

2. Every law that aggravates a crime, or makes it greater than it was committed;
3. Every law that changes punishments, and inflicts greater punishment than the law annexed to the
crime when committed;

4. Every law that alters the legal rules of evidence, and receives less or different testimony than the law
required at the time of the commission of the offense, in order to convict the offender;

5. Every law which, assuming to regulate civil rights and remedies only, in effect imposes a penalty or
the deprivation of a right for something which when done was lawful;

6. Every law which deprives persons accused of crime of some lawful protection to which they have
become entitled, such as the protection of a former conviction or acquittal, or of a proclamation of
amnesty.

Characteristics

The law must:

1. refer to criminal matters;

2. be retroactive in application;

3. to the prejudice of the accused.

- not an ex post facto if it is not punitive but preventive.

- can never be ex post facto if it is prospective in application.

- remedial laws may be given retroactive effect there being no vested rights in the Rules. This is
merely procedural matters.

- even if retroactive, it will not be ex post facto if it does not operate to the disadvantage of the
accused.

- penal laws that favor a guilty person who is not a habitual criminal, shall be given retroactive
effect.

Bill of Attainder

- A legislative act that inflicts punishment without trial, its essence being the substitution of
legislative fiat for a judicial determination of guilt.
- Apply to either to named individuals or to easily ascertainable members of a group in such a way
as to inflict punishment on them without a judicial trial.
- Ancient instrument of tyranny.
- Usurpation of judicial power by legislative.

NON-IMPRISONMENT FOR DEBT


SECTION 20. No person shall be imprisoned for debt or non-payment of a poll tax.

- Motive is humanitarian.
- Added guaranty of the liberty of persons against their incarceration for the enforcement of
purely private debts because only of their misfortune of being poor.
- Can be validly punished in a criminal action if the contracted his debt through fraud.
- The act for which he is penalized is the deception he employed in securing the debt, not his
default in paying it.

BP 22 punished the act of issuing a worthless check and putting them in circulations and not the non
payment thereof.

Poll tax

- A specific fixed sum levied upon every person belonging to a certain class without regard to his
property or occupation.
o E.G. CEDULA

INVOLUNTARY SERVITUDE

SECTION 18. (1) No person shall be detained solely by reason of his political beliefs and aspirations.

(2) No involuntary servitude in any form shall exist except as a punishment for a crime whereof the party
shall have been duly convicted.

- the condition of one who is compelled by force, coercion, or imprisonment, and against his
will, to labor for another, whether he is paid or not.

Slavery is civil relation in which one man has absolute power over the life, fortune, and liberty of
another.

Peonage is a condition of enforced servitude by which the servitor is restrained of his liberty and
compelled to labor in liquidation of some debt or obligation, real or pretended, against his will.

Exceptions:

- malefactors may be validly punished with imprisonment and compelled to work in atonement
for their crimes.

- he may not refuse to do so if the position is intended for the defense of the State as provided
in Art. II,SECTION 4. The prime duty of the Government is to serve and protect the people. The
Government may call upon the people to defend the State and, in the fulfillment thereof, all citizens
may be required, under conditions provided by law, to render personal military or civil service.
- a person enlisted in the service of a merchant vessel may be compelled to remain aboard until
the end of the voyage.

- service under posse comitatus for apprehension of criminals. Justified under police power.

- striking workers, pending dispute, to prevent disruption to the detriment of the public.

- minors under the patria potestas are obliged to obey their parents.

WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS

- a prerogative writ of liberty employed to test the validity of a person’s detention.

- the writ is directed to the person detaining another, commanding him to produce the body.

- to relieve a person from unlawful restraint.

- can be invoked in jurisdictional cases.

SECTION 18. The President shall be the Commander-in-Chief of all armed forces of the Philippines and
whenever it becomes necessary, he may call out such armed forces to prevent or suppress lawless
violence, invasion or rebellion. In case of invasion or rebellion, when the public safety requires it, he
may, for a period not exceeding sixty days, suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus or place
the Philippines or any part thereof under martial law. Within forty-eight hours from the proclamation
of martial law or the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, the President shall
submit a report in person or in writing to the Congress. The Congress, voting jointly, by a vote of at
least a majority of all its Members in regular or special session, may revoke such proclamation or
suspension, which revocation shall not be set aside by the President. Upon the initiative of the President,
the Congress may, in the same manner, extend such proclamation or suspension for a period to be
determined by the Congress, if the invasion or rebellion shall persist and public safety requires it.

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

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

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

The suspension of the privilege of the writ shall apply only to persons judicially charged for rebellion or
offenses inherent in or directly connected with the invasion.
During the suspension of the privilege of the writ, any person thus arrested or detained shall be
judicially charged within three days, otherwise he shall be released.

Writ of Amparo

- can order the respondent to exert more and actual effort in locating the missing person and
showing that he is in good condition and has not been maltreated by the authorities to provide more
protection than habeas corpus.

- available to person whose life, liberty, and security is violated by unlawful act or omission of a
public or private individual or entity.

- covers extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances or threats.

- threat must be actual and inevitable.

- the President can be held liable under the doctrine of command responsibility.

Provided: a.) there exist superior subordinate relationship; b.) the superior knew; c.) the
superior failed to act.

Writ of habeas data

- intended to insure that the human right to privacy by requiring respondent to produce the
necessary information to locate the missing person or such data about him that have been gathered in
secret to support the suspicion that he has been taken into custody in violation of his constitutional
rights.

SPEEDY DISPOSITION OF CASES

SECTION 16. All persons shall have the right to a speedy disposition of their cases before all judicial,
quasi-judicial, or administrative bodies.

SECTION 15. (1) All cases or matters filed after the effectivity of this Constitution must be decided or
resolved within twenty-four months from date of submission for the Supreme Court, and, unless
reduced by the Supreme Court, twelve months for all lower collegiate courts, and three months for all
other lower courts.

(2) A case or matter shall be deemed submitted for decision or resolution upon the filing of the last
pending, brief, or memorandum required by the Rules of Court or by the court itself.
(3) Upon the expiration of the corresponding period, a certification to this effect signed by the Chief
Justice or the presiding judge shall forthwith be issued and a copy thereof attached to the record of the
case or matter, and served upon the parties. The certification shall state why a decision or resolution has
not been rendered or issued within said period.

(4) Despite the expiration of the applicable mandatory period, the court, without prejudice to such
responsibility as may have been incurred in consequence thereof, shall decide or resolve the case or
matter submitted thereto for determination, without further delay.

- regardless of the nature of the case; not limited to the accused in criminal proceedings but
extends to all parties, be it civil or administrative, either judicial or quasi-judicial.

- agencies may be compelled by mandamus.

- may be deemed waived if not seasonably invoked before the trial court and generally, not be
raised on appeal.

- occurs when such delays would be unreasonable, arbitrary and oppressive, and tend to render
rights nugatory.

RIGHTS OF THE ACCUSED

SECTION 14. (1) No person shall be held to answer for a criminal offense without due process of law.

- covers criminal cases only.

- requires accused that he be tried by an impartial and competent court.

 Preliminary investigation is conducted by the prosecutor.

- a mistrial may be declared if it prevent the accused from freely making his defense or the judge
from freely arriving at his decision.

- laws not published.

- denial of appeal.

Self-incrimination

SECTION 17. No person shall be compelled to be a witness against himself.

- intended to prevent the State, with all its coercive powers, from extracting from the suspect
testimony that may convict him.

- available in all proceedings.

- only questions that tend to incriminate the witness.


Exceptions: 1. pass criminality; and 2.where he has been granted immunity.

- testimonial compulsion only. Not an exclusion of his body as evidence when it may be material.

E.G. physical examinations of the body is valid.

* Specimen of handwriting is incriminating because it is not a purely mechanical act


because it requires application of intelligence and attention.

- this right may be waived either directly or by failure to invoke it, provided the waiver is certain
and unequivocal and intelligently, understandingly and willingly made.

E.G. by duces tecum, voluntarily surrenders an incriminating paper; or an accused who


takes the witness stand and offers testimony on his behalf.

Custodial Investigation

SECTION 12. (1) Any person under investigation for the commission of an offense shall have the right to
be informed of his right to remain silent and to have competent and independent counsel preferably of
his own choice. If the person cannot afford the services of counsel, he must be provided with one. These
rights cannot be waived except in writing and in the presence of counsel.

(2) No torture, force, violence, threat, intimidation, or any other means which vitiate the free will shall
be used against him. Secret detention places, solitary, incommunicado, or other similar forms of
detention are prohibited.

(3) Any confession or admission obtained in violation of this or Section 17 hereof shall be inadmissible in
evidence against him.

(4) The law shall provide for penal and civil sanctions for violations of this section as well as
compensation to and rehabilitation of victims of torture or similar practices, and their families.

- questioning initiated by law enforcement officers after a person has been taken into custody or
otherwise deprived of his freedom of action in any significant way.

- begins when there is no general inquiry into an unsolved crime and the investigation has
started to focus on a particular person as a suspect.

- inadmissible if the statements, without assistance of counsel, during preliminary investigation


is made.

Exception: resource person during hearings conducted by Congress.

*right to counsel is not required in administrative proceedings.


* administrative investigations are not covered by the provision.

Extrajudicial confession, to be admissible:

1. Voluntary; 2. with assistance of counsel; 3. in writing; and 4. express.

Miranda vs. Arizona - right to be silent and be informed of the accusations against him.

- competent and independent counsel, preferably of his own choice. Effective and vigilant
counsel.

Police line-up is not part of the custodial investigation. Therefore, the right to counsel cannot
be invoked yet.

Bail

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

Bail is the security given for the release of a person in custody of the law, furnished by him or a
bondsman, conditioned upon his appearance before any court as may be required by law.

- only persons under detention may petition for bail.

- any person in custody who is not yet charged in court may apply for bail.

Exception: offense punishable by reclusion perpetua.

Exception: if the evidence of guilt is not strong, he is entitled to bail.

- hearing on bail is separate and distinct from the initial hearing to determine probable cause.

- accused may not be released on bail if accused has confessed to the crime.

- may be held in the course of trial. A separate hearing is not indispensable.

Judge should consider in the granting of bail in fixing the reasonable amount:

1. The financial ability of the accused;


2. The nature and circumstances of the offense;
3. The penalty for the offense charged;
4. The character and reputation of the accused;
5. His age and health;
6. The weight of the evidence against him;
7. The probability of other bonds by him;
8. The fact that he was a fugitive from justice when arrested; and
9. The pendency of other cases in which he is under bond.

Tough on bail pending appeal policy, when accused is convicted by RTC and it is matter of discretion.

- filing petition for bail does not constitute a waiver of the right to question the validity of his
arrest.

Presumption of Innocence

Sec. 14 (a). In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall be presumed innocent until the contrary is
proved . . .

- conviction will depend not on the weakness of his defense but on the strength of the
prosecution.

- unexplained flight may lead to inference of guilt.

Right to be heard

and shall enjoy the right to be heard by himself and counsel . . .

- begins from the time a person is taken into custody.

- the right has never been considered subject in criminal proceedings.

Exception: may be waived during custodial investigation (Art III, Sec.12(1))

Nature and cause of accusation

to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him . . .

- defendant is entitled to know the nature and cause of the accusation against him so he can
adequately prepare for his defense.

- it must be clearly charged in the complaint or information.

Threefold purpose:

1. To furnish the accused with such description of the charged against him as will enable him to make
his defense;
2. To avail himself of his conviction or acquittal for protection against a further prosecution for the same
offense;
3. To inform the court of the facts alleged, so that it may decide whether they are sufficient in law to
support conviction.
Test: if it enables a person of common understanding to know the charge against him and the court to
render judgment properly.

* the real nature of the criminal charge is determined not from the caption or preamble of the
Information, or from the specification of the provision of law alleged to have been violated, which are
mere conclusions of law, but by the actual recital of the facts in the complaint or information.

Arraignment is indispensable in bringing the accused to court in notifying him of the nature and cause of
accusations against him.

Conditions that trial court must observe to obviate an improvident plea of guilt by the accused:

1. It must conduct a searching inquiry into the voluntariness and full comprehension by the accused of
the consequences of his plea;

2. It must require the prosecution to present evidence to prove the guilt of the accused and the precise
degree of his culpability;

3. It must ask the accused whether he desires to present evidence on his behalf, and allow him to do so
if so desires.

- accused must object upon his arraignment or during trial the right to question sufficiency of an
Information otherwise, it is waived.

Trial

to have a speedy, impartial, and public trial . . .

- a judge must not only be impartial but must also appear as impartial.

A speedy trial means one free from vexatious, capricious and oppressive delays.

- this right begins from the filing of Information.

Factors:

1. The length of the delay;

2. The reasons for the delay;

3. The assertion or failure to assert such right by the accused; and

4. The prejudiced caused by the delay.

- arraignment shall be held within 30 days from the date the court acquires jurisdiction over the
person of the accused.

- right to be present at trial may be waived.


Trial in absentia

after arraignment, trial may proceed notwithstanding the absence of the accused provided that he has
been duly notified and his failure to appear is unjustifiable.

Requisites:

1. The accused has already been arraigned;

2. He has been duly notified of the trial;

3. His failure to appear is unjustified.

- 30day period is granted to the bondsman to produce the accused otherwise accused’s status
will be fugitive.

Right of confrontation

to meet the witnesses face to face

- to preserve the right of the accused to test the recollection of the witnesses in the exercise of
the right to cross-examination.

Two-fold purpose:

1. To afford the accused an opportunity to test the testimony of the witnesses by cross-examination;
and

2. To allow the judge to observe the deportment of witnesses.

Compulsory process

and to have compulsory process to secure the attendance of witnesses and the production of evidence
in his behalf

- accused is entitled to the issuance of subpoena for the purpose of compelling the witnesses
and the production of evidence that he may need for his defense.

Prohibited punishments

SECTION 19. (1) Excessive fines shall not be imposed, nor cruel, degrading or inhuman punishment
inflicted. Neither shall death penalty be imposed, unless, for compelling reasons involving heinous
crimes, the Congress hereafter provides for it. Any death penalty already imposed shall be reduced to
reclusion perpetua.
(2) The employment of physical, psychological, or degrading punishment against any prisoner or
detainee or the use of substandard or inadequate penal facilities under subhuman conditions shall be
dealt with by law.

- penalty must be inhuman and barbarous and shocking to the conscience.

- requires equivalence between the degree of the offense and the degree of the penalty.

- proportionate

- in determination of fines, the judge must take into consideration the financial condition of the
convict.

Double jeopardy

SECTION 21. No person shall be twice put in jeopardy of punishment for the same offense. If an act is
punished by a law and an ordinance, conviction or acquittal under either shall constitute a bar to
another prosecution for the same act.

- prohibits the prosecution again of any person for a crime of which he has previously been
acquitted or convicted.

- no application in administrative cases.

Requisites:

1. A valid complaint or information;


2. Filed before a competent court;
3. To which the defendant had pleaded;
4. Of which he had been previously acquitted or convicted or which was dismissed or otherwise
terminated without his express consent.

* consent must be express and this includes mere silence or failure to object to the dismissal.

When with express consent considered acquittal:

1. Based on insufficiency of the evidence of the prosecution;

2. Denial of his right to a speedy trial.

Instance where accused barred from invoking double jeopardy: when trial court acted with grave
abused of discretion.

Doctrine of supervening events, the accused may be prosecuted for another offense if a
subsequent development changes the character of the first indictment under which he may
have already been charged or convicted.
E.g. a person convicted of physical injuries may still be prosecuted for homicide if the
victim dies later.

Inseparable offenses, where one offense is inseparable from one another and proceeds the
same act, they cannot be subject of separate prosecutions.

Kinds of double jeopardy:

1. No person shall be twice put in jeopardy of punishment for the same offense.

2. If an act is punished by a law and an ordinance, conviction or acquittal under either shall constitute a
bar to another prosecution for the same act.

CITIZENS OF THE PHILIPPINES

- if born out of wedlock, the child is a citizen

Election, available only to Filipino mother’s child born before the 1973 Constitution

1. A statement of election under oath;

2. An oath of allegiance to the Constitution and government; and

3. Registration of election and of the oath with the nearest civil registry.

Naturalization, process which a foreigner acquires citizenship.

Direct is effected: a.) individual proceedings, usually judicial, under general naturalization
laws; b.) by special act of the legislature; c.) by collective change of nationality as a result of
cession or subjugation; and d.) by adoption of orphan minors as nationals of the State where
they are born.

Derivative is conferred: a.) on the wife of the naturalized husband; b.) on the minor children of
the naturalized parent; and c.) on the alien woman upon marriage to a national.

Procedure

Judicial

- at least one year before he files his petition for naturalization, the applicants shall file
with the OSG a declaration of his intention to be a citizen;

- filing with the RTC where he resided for at least 10 years.

- upon receipts, the clerk of court shall publish in the O.G. and in 1 newspaper once a
week for 3 consecutive weeks and post notices thereof and of the hearing.
- at least 6 months after the last publication, but in no case within 30 days before any
election, the hearing shall begin, at which the petitioner shall establish all the
allegations of his petition, to be corroborated by at least two credible witnesses.
Republic is represented by the OSG.