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2.

) No, the owner cannot garnish public


PART I: FREQUENTLY funds to satisfy his claim for payment.
ASKED QUESTIONS IN Section 7 of Act No. 3083 prohibits
execution upon any judgment against the
POLITICAL LAW government. As held in Republic v.
Villasor, the universal rule that where the
State gives its consent to be sued by private
STATE IMMUNITY FROM SUIT parties either by general or special law, it
may limit claimant’s action “only up the
Q: “X” filed a case against the Republic completion of proceedings anterior to the
of the Philippines for damages caused his stage of execution” and that the power of
yacht, which was rammed by a navy vessel. courts ends when the judgment is
rendered, since government funds and
The solicitor general moved to dismiss the properties may not be seized under writs of
case invoking state immunity from suit. execution or garnishment to satisfy such
Decide. judgments, is based on considerations of
public policy, the functions and public
A: The government cannot be sued for services rendered by the State cannot be
damages considering that the agency which allowed to be paralyzed or disrupted by the
caused the damages was the Philippine diversion of public funds from their
Navy. Under Art. 2180 of the Civil Code, legitimate and specific objects, as
the state consents to be sued for a quasi appropriated by law.
delict only when the damage is caused by
its special agents. Hence, the Solicitor
General’s motion should be granted and the Q: The Northern Luzon irrigation
suit brought by “X” be dismissed. Authority (NLIA) was established by a
legislative charter to strengthen the irrigation
systems that supply water to farms and
Q: A property owner filed an action commercial growers in the area. While the
directly in court against the Republic of the NLIA is able to generate revenues through its
Philippines seeding payment for a parcel of operation, it receives an annual appropriation
land which the national government utilized from congress. The NLIA is authorized to
for a road widening project. “exercise all the powers of a corporation
1.) Can the government invoke the under the Corporation Code.”
doctrine of non-suability of the Due to miscalculation by some of its
state? employees, there was a massive irrigation
2.) In connection with the preceding overflow causing a flash flood in Barrio
question, can the property owner Zanjera. A child drowned in the incident and
garnish public funds to satisfy his his parents now file suit against the NLIA for
claim for payment? damages.
May the NLIA validly invoke the immunity of
A: 1.) No, the government cannot the State from suit?
invoke the doctrine of state immunity from
suit. As held in Ministerio v. CFI of Cebu, A: No, the NLIA may not invoke the
when the government expropriates immunity of the State from suit, because,
property for public use without paying just as held in Fontanilla vs. Maliaman,
compensation, it cannot invoke its irrigation is a proprietary function.
immunity from the suit. Otherwise, the Besides, the NLIA has a juridical personality
right guaranteed in Section 9, Art. III of the separate and distinct form the government,
1987 Constitution that private property a suit against it is not a suit against the
shall not be taken for public use without State. Since the waiver of the immunity
just compensation will be rendered from suit is without qualification, as held in
nugatory. The doctrine of governmental Rayo v. CFI of Bulacan, the waiver includes
immunity from suit cannot serve as an an action based on a quasi-delict.
instrument for perpetrating an injustice on
a citizen. If there were compliance with Q: In February 1990, the Ministry of the
Section 9, Article III and observance of Army, Republic of Indonesia, awarded to
procedural regularity, the property owner Marikina Shoe Corporation, a Philippine
would not have filed the action in court. Corporation, a contract for the supply of
500,000 pairs of combat boots at U.S. $30
PER PAIR DELIVERED IN Jakarta on or before POLICY OF TRANSPARENCY IN
30 October 1990. Markina Shoe Corp. was MATTERS OF PUBLIC INTEREST
able to deliver only 200,000 pairs of combat
boots in Jakarta by 30 October 1990 and it
received payment for 100,000 pairs or a total Q: Does the 1987 Constitution provide
of U.S. $ 3,000,000. The Ministry of the Army for a policy of transparency in matters of
promised to pay for the other 100,000 pairs public interest? Explain.
already delivered as soon as the remaining
300,000 pairs of combat boots are delivered, A: Yes, the 1987 constitution provides
at which time the said 300,000 will also be for a policy of transparency in matters of
paid for. public interest. Section 28, Article II of the
Marikina Shoe Corporation failed to deliver 1987 Constitution provides:
any more combat boots. “Subject to reasonable conditions
On 1 June 1991, the Republic of Indonesia proscribed by law, the State adopts and
filed an action before the RTC of Pasig, Rizal, implements a policy of full disclosure of all
to compel Marikina Shoe Corp. to perform the its transactions involving public interest.”
balance of its obligations under the contract Section 7, Article III of the 1987
and for damages. In its Answer, Marikina constitution states:
Shoe Corporation sets up a counterclaim for “The right of the people to information on
U.S. $3,000,000.00 representing the payment matters of public concern shall be
for the 100,000 pairs of combat boots already recognized. Access to official records, and
delivered but unpaid. Indonesia moved to to documents, and papers pertaining to
dismiss the counterclaim, asserting that it is official acts, transactions, or decisions, as
entitled to sovereign immunity from suit. well as to government research data used
Decide the motion to dismiss. as basis for policy development, shall be
afforded to citizen, subject to such
A: The motion to dismiss the limitations as may be provided by law.”
counterclaim should be denied. The Section 20, Article VI of the 1987
counterclaim in this case is a compulsory Constitution reads:
counterclaim since it arises form the same “The records and books of account of the
contract involved in the complaint. As such Congress shall be preserved and be open to
it must be set up otherwise it will be the public in accordance with law, and such
barred. Above all, as held in Froilan v. Pan books shall be audited by the Commission
Oriental Shipping Co., by filing a complaint, on Audit which shall publish annually any
the state of Indonesia waived its immunity itemized list of amounts paid to and
from suit. It is not right that it can sue in expenses incurred for each member.”
the courts but it cannot be sued. The Under Section 17, Article XI of the 1987
defendant therefore acquires the right to Constitution, the sworn statement of
assets, liabilities and net worth of the
SAN BEDA COLLEGE OF LAW

set up a compulsory counterclaim against


it. President, the Vice-President, the Members
of the Cabinet, the Congress, the Supreme
Court, the Constitutional Commission and
Q: It is said that “waiver of immunity by other constitutional offices, and officers of
the State does not mean a concession of its the armed forces with general or flag rank
liability”. What are the implications of this filed upon their assumption office shall be
phrase? disclosed to the public in the manner
provided by law.
A: The phrase that waiver of immunity Section 21, Article XII of the Constitution
by the State does not mean a concession of declares:
liability means that by consenting to be “Information on foreign loans obtained or
sued, the State does not necessarily admit guaranteed by the government shall be
it is liable. As stated in Philippine Rock made available to the public”
Industries v. Board of Liquidators, in such As held in Valmonte v. Belmonte, these
a case the State is liable but the State provisions on public disclosures are
retains the right to raise all lawful intended to enhance the role of the
defenses. citizenry in governmental decision-making
as well as in checking abuse in government.

94
PROVISIONS INSTITUTIONALIZING
PEOPLE POWER A: No, these sales are not valid. Under
Section 8, Article XII of the Constitution,
Q: Is the concept of People Power only a natural-born citizen of the
recognized in the Constitution? Philippines who lost his Philippine
citizenship may acquire private land. Since
A: The concept of People Power is Andy Lim was a former naturalized Filipino
recognized in the Constitution. Under citizen, he is not qualified to acquire
Section 32, Article VI of the Constitution, private lands.
through initiative and referendum, the
people can directly propose and enact laws
or approve or reject any act or law or part Q: A and B leased their residential land
thereof passed by the Congress or local consisting of one thousand (1,000) square
legislative body after the registration of a meters to Peter Co, a Chinese citizen, for a
petition therefore signed by at least ten per period of fifty years. In 1992, before the
centum of the total number of registered term of the lease expired, Co asked A and B
voters, of which every legislative district to convey the land to him as the contract
must be represented by at least three per gave him the option to purchase said land if
centum of the registered voters thereof. he became a naturalized Filipino citizen. Co
Under Section 16, Article XIII of the took his oath as a Filipino in 1991.
Constitution, the right of the people and Was the contract of lease for a period of fifty
their organizations to effective and (50) years valid considering that the lessee
reasonable participation at all levels of was an alien?
social, political and economic decision-
making shall not be abridged. The State A: As held in Philippine Banking Corp.
shall, by law, facilitate the establishment of v. Lui She, the lease of a parcel of land with
adequate consultation mechanisms. an option to buy to an alien is a virtual
Under Section 2, Article XVII of the transfer of ownership to the alien and falls
Constitution, the people may directly within the scope of the prohibition in
propose amendments to the Constitution Section 7, Article XII of the Constitution
through initiative upon a petition of at least against the acquisition of private lands by
twelve per centum of the total number of aliens.
registered voters, of which every legislative
district must be represented by at least
three per centum of the registered voters TERRITORY, FISHERIES (Sec. 2, Art.
therein. XII; Sec. 7, Art. XIII)

LEASE OF LAND BY FOREIGNER Q: What is the basis of the Philippines’


claim to a part of the Spratly Islands?
Q: Can an alien be a lessee of a private
agricultural land in the Philippines? A: The basis of the Philippine claim is
effective occupation of a territory not
A: Yes, an alien can be a lessee of subject to the sovereignty of another state.
private agricultural land. As stated in The Japanese forces occupied the Spratly
Krivenko v. Register of Deeds of Manila, Island group during the Second World War.
aliens can lease private agricultural land, However, under the San Francisco Peace
because they are granted temporary rights Treaty of 1951 Japan formally renounced
only and this is not prohibited by the all right and claim to the Spratlys. The San
Constitution. Francisco Treaty or any other international
agreement however, did not designate any
beneficiary state following the Japanese
Q: Andy Lim, an ethnic Chinese, became renunciation of right. Subsequently, the
a naturalized Filipino in 1935. But later he Spratlys became terra nullius and was
lost his Filipino citizenship when he became a occupied by the Philippines in the title of
citizen of Canada in 1971. Wanting the best sovereignty. Philippine sovereignty was
of both worlds, he bought, in 1987, a displayed by open and public occupation of
residential lot in Forbes Park and a a number of islands by stationing of military
commercial lot in Binondo. Are these sales forces, by organizing a local government
valid? unit, and by awarding petroleum drilling
rights, among other political and judicial power includes the duty to
administrative acts. In 1978, it confirmed determine whether or not there has been a
its sovereign title by the promulgation of grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack
Presidential Decree NO. 1596, which or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any
declared the Kalayaan Island Group part of branch or instrumentality of the
the Philippines. Government, the Supreme Court has the
power to review the decisions of the HRET
IMPEACHMENT GROUNDS in case of grave abuse of discretion on its
part.
Q: Is cronyism a legal ground for the
impeachment of the President? APPROPRIATION LAW
A: Yes, cronyism is a legal ground for Q: Explain how the automatic
the impeachment of the President. Under appropriation of public funds for debt
Section 2, Article XI of the Constitution, servicing can be reconciled with Article VI,
betrayal of public trust is one of the Section 29(1) of the Constitution. Said
grounds for impeachment. This refers to provision says that “no money shall be paid
violation of the oath of office and includes out of the Treasury except in pursuance of an
cronyism which involves unduly favoring a appropriation made be law”.
crony to the prejudice of public interest. A: As stated in Guingona v. Carague,
the presidential decrees providing for the
appropriation of funds to pay the public
Q: What is impeachment, what are the debt do not violate Section 29(1), Article VI
grounds therefore, and who are the high of the Constitution. They provide for a
officials removable thereby? continuing appropriation, there is no
constitutional prohibition against this. The
A: Impeachment is a method by which presidential decrees appropriate as much
persons holding government positions of money as is needed to pay the principal,
high authority, prestige, and dignity and interest, taxes and other normal banking
with definite tenure may be removed from charges on the loan. Although no specific
office for causes closely related to their amounts are mentioned, the amounts are
conduct as public officials. certain because they can be computed from
The grounds for impeachment are culpable the books of the National Treasury.
violation of the Constitution, treason,
bribery, graft and corruption, other high
crimes and betrayal of public trust. The Q: Tawi-Tawi is a predominantly Moslem
officials removable by impeachment are the province. The Governor, the Vice-Governor,
President, Vice-President, the Members of and members of its Sangguniang Panlalawigan
SAN BEDA COLLEGE OF LAW

the Supreme Court, Members of the are all Moslems. Its budget provides the
Constitutional Commissions and the Governor with a certain amount as his
Ombudsman. discretionary funds. Recently, however, the
Sangguniang Panlalawigan passed a resolution
HOUSE OF appropriating P100,000 as a special
REPRESENTATIVES/SENATE discretionary fund of the Governor, to be
ELECTORAL TRIBUNAL spent by him in leading a pilgrimage of his
provincemates to Mecca, Saudi Arabia,
Islam’s holiest city.
Q: Article VI, Section 17 of the Philconsa, on constitutional grounds, has filed
constitution declares the House of suit to nullify the resolution of the
Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) to Sangguniang Panlalawigan giving the special
be the “sole judge” of all contests relating to discretionary fund to the Governor for the
the election returns and disqualifications of stated purpose. Decide.
members of the House of Representatives.
May the Supreme Court review decisions of A: The resolution is unconstitutional.
the HRET? First, it violates article VI, section 29(2) of
the Constitution which prohibits the
A: Yes, the case is justiciable. As appropriation of public money or property,
stated in Lazatin v. House of directly or indirectly, for the use, benefit
Representatives Electoral Tribunal, since or support of any system of religion, and

94
second, it contravenes article VI , sec. invasion or rebellion continues
25(6) which limits the appropriation of and public safety requires the
discretionary funds only for public extension;
purposes. The use of discretionary funds 6.) The Supreme court may review
for purely religious purpose is thus the factual sufficiency of the
unconstitutional, and the fact that the proclamation, and the Supreme
disbursement is made by resolution of a Court must decide the case
local legislative body and not by Congress within thirty days from the time
does not make it any less offensive to the it was filed;
Constitution. Above all, the resolution 7.) Martial law does not
constitutes a clear violation of the Non automatically suspend the
Establishment Clause (Art. III, Sec. 5) of the privilege of the writ of habeas
Constitution. corpus or the operation of the
Constitution. It does not
THE PRESIDENT’S POWER TO supplant the functioning of the
PROCLAIM MARTIAL LAW civil courts and of Congress.
Military courts have no
Q: Declaring a rebellion, hostile groups jurisdiction over civilians where
have opened and maintained armed conflicts civil courts are able to function.
on the islands of Sulu and Basilan.
a.) To quell this, can the President
place under martial law the
islands of Sulu and Basilan?
b.) What are the constitutional PARDONING POWER OF THE
safeguards on the exercise of the PRESIDENT
President’s power to proclaim
martial law? Q: The First Paragraph of Section 19 of
Article VII of the Constitution providing for
A: a.) If public safety requires it, the the pardoning power of the President,
President can place Sulu and Basilan under mentions reprieve, commutation, and
martial law since there is an actual pardon. Please define the three of them and
rebellion. Under Section 18, Article VII of differentiate one from the others.
the Constitution, the President can place
any part of the Philippines under martial A: The terms were defined and
law in case of rebellion, when public safety distinguished from one another in People v.
requires it. Vera as follows:
b.) The following are the Reprieve is a postponement of the
constitutional safeguards on the exercise of execution of a sentence to a day certain.
the power of the president to proclaim Commutation is a remission of a part of the
martial law: punishment, a substitution of less penalty
1.) There must be actual invasion for the one originally imposed.
or rebellion; A pardon, on the other hand, is an act of
2.) The duration of the grace, proceeding from the power
proclamation shall not exceed entrusted with the execution of the laws
sixty days; which exempts the individual on whom it is
3.) Within forty-eight hours, the bestowed from the punishment the law
president shall report his action inflicts for a crime he has committed.
to Congress. If Congress is not
in session, it must convene
within twenty-four hours; Q: Lucas, a ranking member of the NDF,
4.) Congress may by majority vote was captured by the police while about to
of all its members voting jointly board a passenger bus. Charged with
revoke the proclamation, and rebellion he pleaded not guilty when
the President cannot set aside arraigned. Before trial he was granted
the revocation; absolute pardon by the president to allow
5.) By the same vote and in the him to participate in the peace talks.
same manner, upon initiative of 1.) Is the pardon of the president
the President, Congress may valid?
extend the proclamation if the
2.) Assuming that the pardon is valid,
can Lucas reject it? A: The argument of the Vice-Governor
3.) Instead of a pardon, may the should be rejected. As held in Llamas v.
President grant the accused amnesty if Orbos, the power of executive clemency
favorably recommended by the National extends to administrative cases. In
Amnesty Commission? granting the power of executive clemency
4.) May the accused avail of the upon the President, Section 19, Article VII
benefits of amnesty despite the fact that he of the Constitution does not distinguish
continued to profess innocence? between criminal and administrative cases.
Section 19, Article VII excludes
A: 1.) The pardon is not valid. Under impeachment cases, which are not criminal
Section 19, Art. VII of the Constitution, cases, from the scope of the power of
pardon may be granted only after executive clemency. If this power may be
conviction by final judgment. exercised only in criminal cases, it would
2.) First Alternative Answer: have been unnecessary to exclude
Yes, Lucas can reject the pardon. impeachment cases from this scope. If the
As held in United States v. Wilson, President can grant pardons in criminal
acceptance is essential to complete the cases, with more reason he can grant
pardon and the pardon may be rejected by executive clemency in administrative cases,
the person to whom it is tendered, for it which are less serious.
may inflict consequences of greater
disgrace that those form which it purports INDEPENDENCE OF THE JUDICIARY
to relieve.
Second Alternative Answer:
No, Lucas cannot reject the pardon. Q: Name at least three constitutional
According to Biddle v. Perovich, acceptance safeguards to maintain judicial
is not necessary, for the grant of pardon independence.
involves a determination by the President
that public welfare will be better served by A: The following are the constitutional
inflicting less that what the judgment fixed. safeguards to maintain judicial
3.) The President may grant the accused independence:
amnesty. According to Barrioquinto v. 1.) The Supreme Court is a
Fernandez, amnesty may be granted before constitutional body and cannot
or after the institution of the criminal be abolished by mere
prosecution, provided the amnesty legislation.
proclamation is concurred in by a vote of 2.) The members of the Supreme
the majority of all the members of court cannot be removed except
Congress. by impeachment.
3.) The Supreme Court cannot be
SAN BEDA COLLEGE OF LAW

4.) No, the accused cannot avail of the


benefits of amnesty if he continues to deprived of its minimum
profess his innocence. In Vera v. People, jurisdiction prescribed in
since amnesty presupposes the commission Section 5, Article X of the
of a crime, it is inconsistent for an accused Constitution.
to seek forgiveness for something which he 4.) The appellate jurisdiction of the
claims he has not committed. Supreme Court cannot be
increased by law without its
advice and concurrence.
Q: Governor A was charged 5.) Appointees to the Judiciary are
administratively with oppression and was nominated by the Judicial and
placed under preventive suspension from Bar Council and are not subject
office during the pendency of his case. to confirmation by the
Found guilty of the charge, the President Commission on Appointments.
suspended him from office for ninety days. 6.) The Supreme Court has
Later, the President granted him clemency by administrative supervision over
reducing the period of his suspension to the all lower courts and their
period he has already served. The Vice- personnel.
Governor questioned the validity of the 7.) The Supreme Court has
exercise of executive clemency on the ground exclusive power to discipline
that it could be granted only in criminal, not judges of lower courts.
administrative cases. Resolve.

94
8.) The Members of the Judiciary Congress has found that foreign investments
have security of tenure, which are deterred by the uncertain investment
cannot be undermined by a law climate in the Philippines. One source of
reorganizing the Judiciary. such uncertainty is the heightened judicial
9.) Members of the Judiciary intervention in investment matters.
cannot be designated to any One such measure provides that “no court or
agency performing quasi-judicial administrative agency shall issue any
or administrative functions. restraining order or injunction against the
10.) The salaries of Members of the Central Bank: in the Bank’s exercise of its
Judiciary cannot be decreased regulatory power over specific foreign
during their continuance in office. exchange transactions.
11.) The Judiciary has fiscal Would this be a valid measure?
autonomy.
12.)The Supreme Court has A: Yes, the measure is valid. In
exclusive power to promulgate Mantruste Systems v. CA, the SC held that a
rules of pleading, practice and law prohibiting the issuance of an
procedure. injunction is valid, because under Section
13.)Only the Supreme Court can 2, Article VIII of the Constitution, the
temporarily assign judges to jurisdiction of the courts may be defined by
other stations. law.
14.)It is the Supreme Court who Alternative Answer:
appoints all officials and Since under Sections 1 and 5(2), Article VIII
employees of the Judiciary. of the Constitution, the courts are given
the power of judicial review, the measure
is void. Such power must be preserved.
Q: What do you understand by the The issuance of restraining orders and
mandate of the Constitution that the injunctions is in aid of the power of judicial
judiciary shall enjoy fiscal autonomy? Cite review.
constitutional provisions calculated to bring
about the realization of the said REQUIREMENTS OF JUDICIAL REVIEW
constitutional mandate.
Q: Give the two (2) requisites for the
A: Under Section 3, Article VIII of the judicial review of administrative
Constitution, the fiscal autonomy of the decision/actions, that is, when is an
Judiciary means that appropriations for the administrative action ripe for judicial review?
Judiciary may not be reduced by the
legislature below the amount appropriated A: The following are the conditions for
for the previous year and, after approval, ripeness for judicial review of an
shall be automatically and regularly administrative action:
released. 1.) The administrative action has
In Bengzon v. Drilon, the SC explained that already been fully completed
fiscal autonomy contemplates a guarantee and, therefore, is a final agency
of full flexibility to allocate and utilize action; and
resources with the wisdom and dispatch 2.) All administrative remedies
that the needs require. It recognizes the have been exhausted.
power and authority to deny, assess, and
collect fees, fix rates of compensation not
exceeding the highest rates authorized by Q: 1.) What is the difference, if any,
law for compensation and pay plans of the between the scope of judicial power under
government and allocate and disburse such the 1987 constitution on one hand, and the
sums as may be provided by law or 1935 and 1973 Constitutions on the other?
prescribed by it in the course of the 2.) Assume that the constitutional question
discharge of its functions. raised in a petition before the Supreme Court
is the lis mota of the case, give at least two
JUDICIAL POWER other requirements before the Court will
exercise its power of judicial review?
Q: Congress is considering new measures
to encourage foreign corporations to bring A: 1.) The scope of judicial power under
their investments to the Philippines. the 1987 Constitution is broader that its
scope under the 1935 and 1973 its officers, affidavits of the latter that they
Constitution because of the second are not members of the Communist Party,
paragraph of Section 1, Article VIII of the against the claim that the requirement
1987 Constitution, which states that it unduly curtailed freedom of assembly and
includes the duty to determine whether or association. The Court pointed out that the
not there has been a grave abuse of acquisition by a labor organization of legal
discretion amounting to lack or excess of personality and the enjoyment of certain
jurisdiction on the part of any branch or rights and privileges, which the
instrumentality of the Government. As Constitution does not guarantee. On the
held in the case of Marcos v. Manglapus, other hand, the requirement constitutes a
this provision limits resort to the political valid exercise of the State’s police power to
question doctrine and broadens the scope protect the public against abuse, fraud and
of juridical inquiry into areas which the impostors.
courts under the 1935 and the 1973 But the disqualification of members of the
Constitutions would normally have left to CPP and its military arm the NPA, from
the political departments to decide. being officers of a labor union would (1)
2.) According to Macasiano v. National nullify the amnesty granted by the
Housing Authority, in addition to the President with the concurrence, it may be
requirement that the constitutional assumed, of the majority of the members of
question raised be the lis mota of the case, Congress and (2) permit the condemnation
the following requisites must be present for of the former NPA members without
the exercise of the power of judicial judicial trial in a way that makes it contrary
review: to the prohibition against the enactment of
a.) There must be an actual case or bill of attainder and ex post facto law. The
controversy involving a conflict amnesty granted to the former NPAs
of legal rights susceptible of obliterated their offense and relieved them
judicial determination. of the punishment imposed by law. The
b.) The constitutional question must amendment would make them guilty of an
be raised by the proper party. act, that of having been former members of
c.) The constitutional question must the NPA, for which they have already been
be raised at the earliest forgiven by Presidential amnesty.
opportunity. For these reasons, I would advise the
d.) The decision of the association to work for the veto of the bill
constitutional question must be and, if it is not vetoed but becomes a law,
necessary to the determination challenge it in court.
of the case itself.

POLICE POWER Q: Undaunted by his three failures in the


SAN BEDA COLLEGE OF LAW

National Medical Admission Test (NMAT), Cruz


Q: Because of the marked increase in applied to take it again but he was refused
the incidence of labor strikes and of work because of an order of the DECS disallowing
stoppages in industrial establishments, flunkers form taking the test a fourth time.
Congress intending to help promote industrial Cruz filed suit assailing this rule raising the
peace, passed over the objections of militant constitutional grounds of accessible quality
labor unions, an amendment to the Labor education, academic freedom and equal
Code, providing that no person who is or has protection. The government opposes this,
been a member of the Communist Party may upholding the constitutionality of the rule on
serve as an officer of any labor organization the ground of exercise of police power.
in the country. An association of former NPAs Decide.
who had surrendered, availed of the
amnesty, and are presently leading quiet and A: As held in Department of
peaceful lives, comes to you asking what Education, Culture and Sports v. San Diego,
could be done against the amendment. What the rule is a valid exercise of police power
would you advise the association to do? to ensure that those admitted to the
medical profession are qualified. The
A: In PAFLU v. Sec. of Labor, the SC arguments of Cruz are not meritorious.
upheld the validity of sec. 23 of the The right to quality education and academic
Industrial Peace Act requiring labor unions freedom are not absolute. Under Section
to submit, within 60 days of the election of 5(3), Article XIV of the Constitution, the
right to choose a profession is subject to

94
fair, reasonable and equitable admission the improvements may not be equal to the
and academic requirements. The rule does cost of construction. The original cost of
not violate equal protection. There is a construction may be lower than the fair
substantial distinction between medical market value, since the cost of construction
students and other students. Unlike other at the time of expropriation may have
professions, the medical profession directly increased.
affects the lives of the people.

POWER OF EMINENT DOMAIN Q: Madlangbayan is the owner of a 500


square meter lot which was the birthplace of
Q: The City of Cebu passed an ordinance the founder of a religious sect who
proclaiming the expropriation of a ten (10) admittedly played an important role in
hectare property of C Company, which Philippine history and culture. The National
property is already a developed commercial Historical Commission (NHC) passed a
center. The City proposed to operate the resolution declaring it a national landmark
commercial center in order to finance a and on its recommendation the lot was
housing project for city employees in the subjected to expropriation proceedings. This
vacant portion of the said property. The was opposed by Madlangbayan on the
ordinance fixed the price of the land and the following grounds: a) that the lot is not a
value of the improvements to be paid C vast tract; b) that those to be benefited by
Company on the basis of the prevailing land the expropriation would only be the members
value and cost of construction. of the religious sect of its founder, and c)
1) As counsel for C Company, give that the NHC has not initiated the
two constitutional objections to expropriation of birthplaces of other more
the validity of the ordinance. deserving historical personalities. Resolve
2) As a judge, rule on the said the opposition.
objections.
A: The arguments of Madlangbayan are
A: 1) As counsel for C Company, I not meritorious. According to Manosca v.
will argue that the taking of the property is CA, the power of eminent domain is not
not for a public use and that the ordinance confined to expropriation of vast tracts of
cannot fix the compensation to be paid C the land. The expropriation of the lot to
Company, because this is a judicial question preserve it as the birthplace of the founder
that is for the courts to decide. of the religious sect because of his role in
2) As a judge, I will sustain the Philippine history and culture is for a public
contention that the taking of the property purpose, because public use is no longer
of C Company to operate the commercial restricted to the traditional concept. The
center established within it to finance a fact that the expropriation will benefit the
housing project for city employees is not members of the religious sect is merely
for a public use but for a private purpose. incidental. The fact that other birthplaces
As the Court indicated in a dictum in have not been expropriated is likewise not
Manotok v. National Housing Authority, the a valid basis for opposing the expropriation.
expropriation of a commercial center so As held in J.M. Tuason v. Land Tenure
that the profits derived from its operation Admin., the expropriating authority is not
can be used for housing projects is a taking required to adhere to the policy of “all or
for a private purpose. none”.
I will also sustain the contention that the
ordinance, even though it fixes the JUST COMPENSATION
compensation for the land on the basis of
the prevailing land value cannot really Q: In January 1984, Pasay City filed
displace judicial determination of the price expropriation proceedings against several
for the simple reason that many factors, landowners for the construction of an
some of them supervening, cannot possibly aqueduct for flood control in a barangay.
be considered by the legislature at the time Clearly, only the residents of that barangay
of enacting the ordinance. There is a would be benefited by the project.
greater reason for nullifying the use of the As compensation, the city offered to pay only
cost of construction in the ordinance as the amount declared by the owners in their
basis for compensation for the tax declarations which amount was lower
improvements. The fair market value of than the assessed value as determined by the
assessor. The landowners oppose the municipal parking lot. The Sangguniang
expropriation on the grounds that: Panlungsod appropriated P10 million for this
a) the same is not for public use; purpose but the Regional Trial Court fixed the
and compensation for the taking of the land at
b) assuming it is for public use, the P15 million.
compensation must be based on What legal remedy, if any, does Carlos Topico
the evidence presented in court have to recover the balance of P5 million for
and not, as provided in the taking of his land.
presidential decrees prescribing
payment of the value stated in A: The remedy of Topico is the levy on
the owner’s tax declarations or the patrimonial properties of the City of
the value determined by the Cebu. In Municipality of Paoay v. Manaois,
assessor, whichever is lower. the SC held:
If you were the judge, how would you “Property, however, which is patrimonial
rule on the issue? and which is held by a municipality in its
proprietary capacity as treated by the great
A: a) The contention that the weight of authority as the private asset of
taking of private property for the purpose the town and may be levied upon and sold
of constructing an aqueduct for flood under an ordinary execution.”
control is not for “public use” is untenable. If the City of Cebu does not have
The idea that “public use” means patrimonial properties, the remedy of
exclusively use by the public has been Topico is to file a petition for mandamus to
discarded. As long as the purpose of the compel it to appropriate money to satisfy
taking is public, the exercise of power of the judgment. In Municipality of Makati v.
eminent domain is justifiable. Whatever CA, the SC said:
may be beneficially employed for the “Where a municipality fails or refuses
general welfare satisfies the requirement of without justifiable reason to effect
public use. (Heirs of Juancho Ardona v. payment of a final money judgment
Reyes) rendered against it, the claimant may avail
of the remedy of mandamus in order to
b) But the contention that the compel the enactment a approval of the
Presidential Decrees providing that in necessary appropriation ordinance, and the
determining just compensation the value corresponding disbursement of municipal
stated by the owner in his tax declaration funds therefore.”
or that determined by the assessor,
whichever is lower, in unconstitutional is DUE PROCESS
correct. In EPZA v. Dulay, it was held that
this method prescribed for ascertaining just Q: Macabebe, Pampanga has several
SAN BEDA COLLEGE OF LAW

compensation constitutes an impermissible barrios along the Pampanga river. To service


encroachment on the prerogatives of the the needs of their residents, the municipality
courts. It tends to render courts inutile in has been operating a ferry service at the
a matter which, under the Constitution, is same river, for a number of years already.
reserved to them for final determination. Sometime in 1987, the municipality was
For although under the decrees the courts served a copy of an order from the Land
still have the power to determine just Transportation Franchising and Regulatory
compensation, their task is reduced to Board (LTFRB), granting a certificate of
simply determining the lower value of the public convenience to Mr. Macapinlac, a
property as declared either by the owner or resident of Macabebe, to operate ferry
by the assessor. “Just compensation” service across the same river and between
means the value of the property at the time the same barrios being serviced presently by
of the taking. Its determination requires the municipality’s ferry boats. A check of the
that all facts as to the condition of the records of the application of Macapinlac
property and its surroundings and its shows that the application was filed some
improvements and capabilities must be months before, set for hearing, and notices
considered, and this can only be done in a of such hearing were published in two
judicial proceeding. newspapers of general circulation in the town
of Macabebe, and in the province of
Pampanga. The municipality had never been
Q: The City of Cebu expropriated the directly served a copy of that notice of
property of Carlos Topico for use as a

94
hearing nor had the Sangguniang Bayan been provisional order and therefore it can only
requested by Macapinlac for any operation. be issued after appropriate notice and
The municipality immediately filed a motion hearing to affected parties. The ruling in
for reconsideration with the LTFRB which was Philippine Communications Satellite Corp.
denied. It went to the SC on a petition for v. Alcuaz, to the effect that an order
certiorari to nullify the order granting a provisionally reducing the rates which a
certificate of convenience to Macapinlac on public utility could charge, could be issued
the basis of denial of due process to the without previous notice and hearing,
municipality. Resolve. cannot apply.

A: The petition should be granted. As


a party directly affected by the operation Q: The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA)
of the ferry service, the Municipality of General Manager issued an administrative
Macabebe was entitled to be directly order to the effect that all existing regular
notified by the LTFRB of its proceedings appointments to harbor pilot positions shall
relative to Macapinlac’s application, even if remain valid only up to December 31 of the
the Municipality had not notified the LTFRB current year and that henceforth all
of the existence of the municipal ferry appointments to harbor pilot positions shall
service. Notice by publication was not be only for a term of one year from date of
enough. (Municipality of Echague v. effectivity, subject to yearly renewal or
Abellera) cancellation by the PPA after conduct of a
rigid evaluation of performance. Pilotage as
a profession may be practiced only by duly
Q: An ordinance of the City of Manila licensed individuals, who have to pass five
requires every alien desiring to obtain gov’t professional examinations.
employment of whatever kind, including The Harbor Pilot Association challenged the
casual and part-time employment, in the city validity of the said administrative order
to secure an employment permit from the arguing that it violated the pilot’s right to
City Mayor and to pay a work permit fee of exercise their profession and their right to
P500. Is the ordinance valid? due process of law and that the said
administrative order was issued without prior
A: No, the ordinance is not valid. In notice and hearing. The PPA countered that
Villegas v. Hiu Chiong Tsai Pao Ho, it was the administrative order was valid as it was
held that such an ordinance violates equal issued in the exercise of its administrative
protection. It failed to consider the valid control and supervision over harbor pilots
substantial differences among aliens under PPA’s legislative charter; and that in
required to pay the fee. The same amount issuing the order as a rule or regulation, it
is being collected from every employed was performing its executive or legislative,
alien, whether he is casual or permanent, and not a quasi-judicial function. Was there
part-time or full time. The ordinance also or was there no violation of the harbor pilots’
violates due process, because it does not right to exercise their profession and their
contain any standard to guide the mayor in right to due process?
the exercise of the power granted to him
by the ordinance. Thus, it confers upon him A: The right of the harbor pilots to due
unrestricted power to allow or prevent an process was violated. As held in Corona v.
activity which is lawful per se. United Harbor Pilots Assoc. of the Phil.,
Q: On July 29, 1991, the Energy pilotage as a profession is a property right
Regulatory Board (ERB), in response to the protected by the guarantee of due process.
public clamor, issued a resolution approving The pre-evaluation cancellation of the
and adopting a schedule for bringing down licenses of the harbor pilots every year is
the prices of petroleum products over a unreasonable and violated their right to
period of one (1) year starting August 15, substantive due process. The renewal is
1991, over the objection of the oil companies dependent on the evaluation after the
which claim that the period covered is too licenses have been cancelled. The issuance
long to prejudge and foresee. Is the of the administrative order also violated
resolution valid? procedural due process, since no prior
public hearing was conducted. As held in
A: No, the resolution is invalid since CIR v. CA, when a regulation is being issued
the ERB issued the resolution without under the quasi-legislative authority of an
hearing. The resolution here is not a administrative agency, the requirements of
notice, hearing and publication must be fines violates the equal protection clause of
observed. the Constitution. Decide.

EQUAL PROTECTION A: The petition should be granted,


because Article 39 of the Revised Penal
Q: Marina Neptunia, daughter of a sea Code is unconstitutional. In Tate v. Short,
captain and sister to four marine officers, the US Supreme Court held that the
applied to take examination for marine imposition of subsidiary imprisonment upon
officers but her application was rejected for a convict who is poor to pay a fine violates
the reason that the law regulating the equal protection, because economic status
practice of marine profession in the cannot serve as a valid basis for
Philippines specifically prescribes that “No distinguishing the duration of the
person shall be qualified for examination as imprisonment between a convict who is
marine officer unless he is male. able to pay the fine and a convict who is
Marina feels very aggrieved over the denial unable to pay it.
and has come to you for advice. She wants to
know whether the Board of Examiners had
any plausible or legal basis for rejecting her Q: An ordinance of the City of Manila
application. Explain. requires every alien desiring to obtain
employment of whatever kind, including
A: The disqualification of females from casual and part-time employment, in the city
the practice of marine profession to secure an employment permit from the
constitutes an invidious discrimination City Mayor and to pay a work permit fee of
condemned by the Equal Protection Clause P500. Is the ordinance valid?
of the Constitution (Art. IV, Sec.1). In the
United States, under a similar provision, A: No, the ordinance is not valid. In
while earlier decisions of the SC upheld the Villegas v. Hiu Chiong Tsai Pao Ho, it was
validity of a statute prohibiting women held that such an ordinance violates equal
from bartending unless she was the wife or protection. It failed to consider the valid
daughter of a male owner and denying substantial differences among aliens
women the right to practice law, recent required to pay the fee. The same amount
decisions have invalidated statutes or is being collected from every employed
regulations providing for differential alien, whether he is casual or permanent,
treatment of females based on part-time or full time. The ordinance also
stereotypical and inaccurate violates due process, because it does not
generalizations. The Court held that contain any standard to guide the mayor in
“classification based on sex, like the exercise of the power granted to him
classifications based on race, alienage or by the ordinance. Thus, it confers upon him
SAN BEDA COLLEGE OF LAW

national origin, are inherently suspect, and unrestricted power to allow or prevent an
must therefore be subjected to strict activity which is lawful per se.
judicial scrutiny. Furthermore, it violates
Sec. 14 Art II, which underscores the SEARCH AND SEIZURE
fundamental equality of men and women
before the law. Q: “X” a constabulary Officer, was
Q: “X” was sentenced to a penalty of 1 arrested pursuant to a lawful court order in
year and 5 months of prision correccional and Baguio City for murder. He was brought to
to pay a fine of P8,000 with subsidiary Manila where a warrantless search was
imprisonment in case of insolvency. After conducted in his official quarters at Camp
serving his prison term, “X” asked the Crame. The search team found and seized
Director of Prisions whether he could already the murder weapon in a drawer of “X”. Can
be released. “X” was asked to pay the fine of “X” claim that the search and seizure were
P8,000 and he said he could not afford it, illegal and move for exclusion from evidence
being an indigent. The Director informed him of the weapon seized?
he has to serve an additional prison term at
the rate of one day per eight pesos in A: Yes, “X” can do so. The
accordance with Article 39 of the Revised warrantless search cannot be justified as an
Penal Code. The lawyer of “X” filed a incident of a valid arrest, because
petition for habeas corpus contending that considerable time had elapsed after is
the further detention of his client for unpaid arrest in Baguio before the search of his

94
quarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City was is lawful fo search cars and vehicles leaving
made, and because the distance between the neighborhood. This situation is also
the place of arrest and the place of search similar to warrantless searches of moving
negates any claim that the place searched vehicles in customs areas, which have been
is within his “immediate control” so as to upheld.
justify the apprehension that he might
destroy or conceal evidence of crime
before a warrant can be obtained. In Q: Some police operatives, acting under
Nolasco v. Cruz Pano, the SC said that a a lawfully issued warrant for the purose of
warrantless search made after 30 minutes searching for firearms in the house of X
from the time of arrest and, in a place located at No. 10 Shaw Blvd, Pasig MM, found
several blocks away from the place of instead of firearms, ten kg of cocaine.
arrest is invalid. It held that a warrantless 1.) May the said police operatives
search is limited to the search of the lawfully seize the cocaine?
person of the arrestee at the time and 2.) May X successfully challenge the
incident to his arrest and for dangerous legality of the search on the
weapons or anything which may be used as ground that the peace officers
proof of the offense. did not inform him about his right
to remain silent and his right to
counsel?
Q: Pursuing reports that great quantities 3.) Suppose the peace officers were
of prohibited drugs are being smuggled at able to find unlicensed firearms
nighttime through the shores of Cavite, the in the house in an adjacent lot,
Southern Luzon Command set up checkpoints that is, No. 12 Shaw Blvd., which
at the end of the Cavite coastal road to is also owned by X. May they
search passing motor vehicles. A 19-year old lawfully seize the said unlicensed
boy, who finished fifth grade, while driving, firearms?
was stopped by the authorities at the
checkpoint. Without any objection from him, A: 1.) YES, the police operatives may
his car was inspected, and the search yielded lawfully seize the cocaine, because it is an
marijuana leaves hidden in the trunk item whose possession is prohibited by law,
compartment of the car. The prohibited drug it was in plainview and it was only
was promptly seized, and the boy was inadvertently discovered in the course of a
brought to the police station for questioning. lawful search. The possession of cocaine is
Was the search without warrant legal? prohibited by the Dangerous Drugs Act. As
held in Magoncia v. Palacio, an article
A: No, the search was not valid, whose possession is prohibited by law may
because there was no probable cause for be seized without the need of any search
conducting the search. As held in Almeda warrant if it was discovered during a lawful
v. US, while a moving vehicle can be search. The additional requirement laid
searched without a warrant, there must down in Roan v. Gonzales, that the
still be probable cause. In the case in discovery of the article must have been
question, there was nothing to indicate that made inadvertently was also satisfied in
marijuana leaves were hidden in the trunk this case.
of the car. The mere fact that the boy did 2.) NO, X cannot successfully challenge
not object to the inspection of the car does the legality of the search simply because
not constitute consent to the search. As the peace officers did not inform him about
ruled in People v. Barros, the failure to his right to remain silent and his right to
object to a warrantless search does not counsel. Section 12(1), Article III of the
constitute consent. Constitution provides:
“Any person under investigation for the
Alternative Answer: commission of an offense shall have the
YES, the requirement of probable cause right to be informed of his right to remain
differs from case to case. In this one, since silent and to have competent and
the police agents are confronted with large- independent counsel preferably of his own
scale smuggling of prohibited drugs, choice.”
existence of which is of public knowledge, For this provision to apply, a suspect must
they can set up checkpoints at strategic be under custodial investigation. There
places, in the same way that in a was no investigation involved in this case.
neighborhood where a child is kidnapped, it
3.) The unlicensed firearms stored at there was nothing to indicate that Antonio
12 Shaw Blvd. may lawfully be seized since had prohibited drugs inside the
their possession is illegal. As held in compartments of his car.
Magoncia v. Palacio, when an individual
possesses contraband, he is committing a
crime and he can be arrested without Q: a.) Crack officers of the Anti –
warrant and the contraband can be seized. Narcotics Unit were assigned on surveillance
of the environs of a cemetery where the sale
Alternative Answer: and use of dangerous drugs are rampant. A
NO. The search warrant was specific as to man with reddish and glassy eyes was walking
the place to be searched. There was no unsteadily moving towards them but veered
basis to search the adjacent house. away when he sensed the presence of
policemen. They approached him,
introduced themselves as police officers and
Q: During the recent elections, asked him what he had clenched in his hand.
checkpoints were set up to enforce the As he kept mum, the policemen pried his
election period ban on firearms. During one hand open and found a sachet of shabu, a
such routine search one night, while looking dangerous drug. Accordingly charged in
though an open window with a flashlight, the court, the accused objected to the admission
police saw firearms at the backseat of a car, in evidence of the dangerous drug because it
partially covered by papers and clothes. was the result of an illegal search and
a.) Antonio, owner and driver of the seizure. Rule on the objection.
car in question, was charged for b.) What are the instances when warrantless
violation of the firearms ban. searches may be effected?
Are the firearms admissible in
evidence against him? A: a.) The objection is untenable. In
b.) If, upon further inspection by the accordance with Manalili v. CA, since the
police, prohibited drugs were accused had red eyes and was walking
found inside the various unsteadily and the place is a known hang-
compartments of Antonio’s car, out of drug addicts, the police officers had
can the drugs be used in evidence sufficient reason to stop the accused and to
against Antonio if he is frisk him. Since shabu was actually found
prosecuted for possession of during the investigation, it could be seized
prohibited drugs? without the need for a search warrant.
b.) A warrantless search may be
A: a.) Yes, the firearms are admissible in effected in the following cases:
evidence, because they were validly 1.) Searches incidental to a lawful
seized. In Valmonte v. De Villa, the SC arrest;
SAN BEDA COLLEGE OF LAW

held that checkpoints may be set up to 2.) Searches of moving vehicles;


maintain peace and order for the benefit of 3.) Searches of prohibited articles
the public and checkpoints are a security in plain view;
measure against unauthorized firearms. 4.) Enforcement of customs law;
Since the search which resulted in the 5.) Consented searches;
discovery of the firearms was limited to a 6.) Stop and frisk
visual search of the car, it was reasonable. 7.) Routing searches at borders and
Because of the ban on firearms, the ports of entry;
possession of the firearms was prohibited. 8.) Searches of businesses in the
Since they were found in plain view in the exercise of visitorial powers to
course of a lawful search, in accordance enforce police regulations.
with Magoncia v. Palacio, they are
admissible in evidence.
b.) No, the drugs cannot be used in Q: A is an alien. State whether in the
evidence against Antonio if he is Philippines he is entitled to the right against
prosecuted for possession of prohibited illegal searches and seizures and against
drugs. The drugs were found after a more illegal arrests.
extensive search of the various
compartments of the car. As held in A: Aliens are entitled to the right
Valmonte v. De Villa, for such search to be against illegal searches and seizures and
valid, there must be a probable cause. In illegal arrests. As applied in People v. Chua
this case, there was no probable cause, as

94
Ho San, these rights are available to all the purpose of enforcing the primary
persons, including aliens. requirements of decency or the security of
community life. Attacks on the gov’t, on
the other hand, cannot justify prior
Q: Armed with a search warrant, a team of restraints. For as has been pointed out,
policemen led by Inspector Trias entered a “the interest of society and the
compound and searched the house described maintenance of good government demand a
therein as No. 17 Speaker Perez St., Sta. full discussion of public affairs. Complete
Mesa Heights QC, owned by Ernani Pelets, for liberty to comment on the conduct of
a reported cache of firearms and public men is a scalpel in the case of free
ammunition. However, upon thorough search speech. The sharp incision of its probe
of the house, they found nothing. relieves the abscesses of officialdom. Men
Then, acting on a hunch, the police in public life may suffer under a hostile and
proceeded to a smaller house inside the same an unjust accusation; the wound can be
compound with address at No. 17-A Speaker assuaged with a balm of a clear
Perez St., entered it, and conducted a search conscience.”
therein over the objection of Mr. Pelets who LIBERTY OF ABODE
happened to be the same owner of the first
house. There, the police found the Q: Juan Casanova contracted Hansen’s
unlicensed firearms and ammunition they disease (leprosy) with open lesions. A law
were looking for. As a result, Mr. Pelets was requires that lepers be isolated upon petition
criminally charged in court with illegal of the City Health Officer. The wife of Juan
possession of firearms and ammunition. At wrote a letter to the City Health Officer to
the trial, he vehemently objected the have her formerly philandering husband
presentation of the evidence against him for confined in some isolated leprosarium. Juan
being inadmissible. Resolve. challenged the constitutionality of the law as
violating his liberty of abode. Will the suit
A: The contention of Ernani Pelets is prosper?
valid. As held in People v. CA, if the place
searched is different from that stated in the A: No, the suit will not prosper.
search warrant, the evidence seized Section 6, Article III of the
inadmissible. The police cannot modify the Constitution provides:
place to be searched as set out in the “The liberty of abode and of
search warrant. changing the same within the limits
FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION prescribed by law shall not be
impaired except upon lawful order of
Q: The Secretary of Transportation and the court.”
Communications has warned radio station The liberty of abode is subject to the police
operators against selling blocked time, on the power of the State. Requiring the
claim that the time covered thereby are segregation of lepers is a valid exercise of
often used by those buying them to attack police power. In Lorenzo v. Dir. Of
the present administration. Assume that the Health, the SC held:
department implements this warning and “Judicial notice will be taken of the
orders owners and operators of radio stations fact that leprosy is commonly
not to sell blocked time to interested parties believed to be an infectious disease
without prior clearance from the department. tending to cause one afflicted with
You are approached by an interested party it to be shunned and excluded from
affected adversely by that order of the society, and that compulsory
Secretary. What would you do regarding that segregation of lepers as a means of
ban on the sale of blocked time. preventing the spread of the
disease is supported by high
A: I would challenge its validity in scientific authority.”
court on the ground that it constitutes a
prior restraint of freedom of expression.
Such a limitation is valid only in exceptional Q: The military commander-in-charge of
cases, such as where the purpose is to the operation against rebel groups directed
prevent actual obstruction to recruitment the inhabitants of the island which would be
of service or the sailing dates of transports the target of attack by gov’t forces to
or the number and location of troops, or for evacuate the area and offered the residents
temporary military hamlet. Can the military Bantolan, Lanao del Sur ordered the
commander force the residents to transfer Postmaster of the town to intercept and open
their places of abode without court order? all mail addressed to and coming from Juan
Samson in the interest of the national
A: No, the military commander cannot security. Was the order of the Chief of Police
compel the residents to transfer their valid?
places of abode without a court order.
Under Section 6, Article III of the A: NO, the order was not valid because
Constitution, a lawful order of the court is there is no law which authorizes him to
required before the liberty of abode and of order the Postmaster to open the letters
changing the same can be impaired. addressed to and coming from Juan
Samson. An official in the Executive
PRIVACY OF COMMUNICATION AND Department cannot interfere with the
CORRESPONDENCE privacy of correspondence and
communication in the absence of a law
Q: While serving sentence in Muntinlupa authorizing him to do so or a lawful order
for the crime of theft, X stabbed dead one of of the court.
his guards. X was charged with murder.
During trial, the prosecution introduced as
evidence a letter written in prison by X to his Q: A has a telephone line with an
wife tending to establish that the crime of extension. One day, A was talking to B over
murder was the result of premeditation. The the phone. A conspired with his friend C,
letter was written voluntarily. In the course who was at the end of the extension line
of inspection, it was opened and read by a listening to A’s conversation with B in order
warden pursuant to the rules of discipline of to overhear and tape-record the conversation
the Bureau of Prisons and considering its wherein B confidentially admitted that with
contents, the letter was turned over to the evident premeditation, he (B) killed D for
prosecutor. The lawyer of X objected to the having cheated him in their business
presentation of the letter and moved for its partnership. B was not aware that the phone
return on the ground that it violates the right conversation was being tape-recorded.
of X against unlawful search and seizure. In the criminal case against B for murder, is
Decide. the tape-recorded conversation containing his
admission admissible in evidence?
A: The objection of the lawyer must be
sustained. Section 3(1), Article IV of the A: The tape-recorded admission is not
1987 Constitution provides: admissible in evidence. As held in Salcedo-
“The privacy of communication and Ortañez v. CA, Republic Act No. 4200
correspondence shall be inviolable makes the tape-recording of a telephone
SAN BEDA COLLEGE OF LAW

except upon lawful order of the conversation done without the


court, or when public safety or authorization of all the parties to the
order requires otherwise as conversation, inadmissible in evidence. In
prescribed by law.” addition, the taping of the conversation
There was no court order which authorized violated the guarantee of privacy of
the warden to read the letter of X. neither communications enunciated in Section 3,
is there any law specifically authorizing the Art. III of the Constitution.
Bureau of Prisons to read the letter of X.
Under Section 3(1), Art. III, to interfere MIRANDA RIGHTS, RIGHT TO
with any correspondence when there is no COUNSEL
court order, there must be a law
authorizing it in the interest of public Q: On October 1, 1985, Ramos was
safety or order. Hence the letter is arrested by a security guard because he
inadmissible. appeared to be “suspicious” and brought to a
police precinct where in the course of the
investigation he admitted he was the killer of
Q: The police had suspicions that Juan an unsolved homicide committed a week
Samson, member of the subversive New earlier. The proceedings of his investigation
Proletarian Army, was using the mail for were put in writing and dated October 1,
propaganda purposes in gaining new 1985, and the only participation of counsel
adherents to its cause. The Chief of Police of assigned to him was his mere presence and

94
signature on the statement. The admissibility membership in the legislative Yuan after
of the statement of Ramos was placed in their naturalization as citizens of the
issue but the prosecution claims that the Philippines. The prohibition does not apply
confession was taken on October 1, 1985 and in situations brought about by dual
the 1987 Constitution providing for the right citizenship such as the one involved in the
to counsel of choice and opportunity to problem. What constitutes “dual
retain, took effect only on February 2, 1987 allegiance” inimical to national interest is
and cannot be given retroactive effect. Rule and what the sanctions for such dual
on this. allegiance will be, sill still have to be
defined by law pending adoption of such
A: The confession of Ramos is not legislation, objection based on dual
admissible, since the counsel assigned to allegiance will be premature.
him did not advise him of his rights. The
fact that his confession was taken before
the effectivity of the 1987 Constitution is Q: Edwin Nicasio, born in the Philippines
of no moment. Even prior to the effectivity of Filipino parents and raised in the province
of the 1987 Constitution, the SC has of Nueva Ecija, ran for Governor of his home
already laid down strict rules on waiver of province. He won and he was sworn into
the rights during investigation in the case of office. It was recently revealed however,
Morales v. Ponce Enrile (April 26, 2003) that Nicasio is a naturalized American citizen.
1) Does he still possess Philippine
CITIZENSHIP citizenship?
2) If, instead, Nicasio had been born
Q: A was born in 1951 in the United (of the same set or parents) in
States of a Chinese father and a Filipina the United Sates and he thereby
mother. Under Chinese laws, A’s mother acquired American citizenship by
automatically became a Chinese national by birth, would your answer be
her marriage. In 1973, upon reaching the age different?
of majority, A elected Philippine citizenship.
However, A continued to reside in California A:
and to carry an American passport. He also 1) NO, Nicasio no longer possesses
paid allegiance to the Taipei government. In Philippine citizenship. As held in Frivaldo
the 1987 Philippine national elections, he was v. Comelec, by becoming a naturalized
elected Senator. His opponent moved to American citizen, Nicasio lost his Philippine
disqualify him on the grounds: citizenship. Under Section 1(1) of
1) That he was not a natural born Commonwealth Act No. 63, Philippine
citizen; and citizenship is lost by naturalization in a
2) That he had “dual allegiance” not foreign country.
only to the US but also to the 2) If he was born in the US, he would
Rep. of China. still be a citizen of the Philippines, since his
parents are Filipinos. Under section 1(2),
A: The Electoral contest must be those whose fathers or mothers are citizens
dismissed. of the Philippines are citizens of the
1) A is a natural born citizen. Art. IV, Philippines. As held in Aznar v. Comelec, a
Sec. 2 of the 1987 Constitution provides person who possesses both Philippine and
that “those who elect Philippine citizenship American citizenship is still a Filipino and
in accordance with par. 3, sec. 1 hereof does not lose it unless he renounces the
shall be deemed natural born citizens.” same.
The purpose of this provision is to equalize
the status of those who elected Philippine
citizenship before and those who did so Q: Ferdie immigrated to the United
after January 17, 1973 when the previous States in the 1980’s. thereafter, he visited
Constitution took effect. his hometown, Makahoy, every other year
2) The “dual allegiance” declared during town fiestas. In January 1993, Ferdie
inimical to national interest in Art. VI, Sec. came home and filed his certificate of
5 refers to the dual allegiance of some such candidacy for mayor of Makahoy. He won the
as naturalized Filipino citizens who elections. Joe, the defeated candidate,
maintain allegiance to the Nationalist China learned that Ferdie is a greencard holder
as shown in some cases by their which on its face identifies Ferdie as a
“resident alien” and on the back thereof is In the case of elective barangay officials, it
clearly printed: may be filed in the MTC; in the case of
“Person identified by this card is entitled to municipal officials, in the RTC; in the case
reside permanently and work in the United of elective provincial and city officials, in
States.” Joe filed a case to disqualify Ferdie the COMELEC; in the case of Senators or
from assuming the mayorship of Makahoy. Congressmen, in the House or Senate
1) Whether or not a green card is Electoral Tribunal; and in the case of the
proof that the holder is a President and Vice president, in the
permanent resident of the US. Presidential Electoral Tribunal.
2) Whether or not Ferdie’s act of
filing his certificate of candidacy ADMINISTRATIVE DUE PROCESS
constitutes waiver of his status as
a permanent resident of the US. Q: State whether the following city
ordinances are valid and give reasons in
A: 1) According to the ruling in Caasi v. support of your answers:
CA, a green card is proof that the holder is a) An ordinance prescribing the use
a permanent resident of the US, for it of the local dialect as medium of
identities the holder as a resident of the US instruction in the primary grades.
and states that the holder is entitled to b) An ordinance on business
reside permanently and work in the US. establishments to raise funds for
2) The filing of a certificate of the construction and
candidacy does not constitute waiver of the maintenance of roads in private
status of the holder of a green card as a subdivisions, which roads are
permanent resident of the US. As held in open for use by segments of the
Caasi v. CA, the waiver should be public who may have business
manifested by an act independent of and inside the subdivision.
prior to the filing of his certificate of c) An ordinance prohibiting
candidacy. barbershop operators from
rendering massage service to
PRE-PROCLAMATION CONTROVERSY their customers in a separate
room.
Q: In election law, what is a pre-
proclamation controversy? Where may it be A:
litigated with finality? After the ultimate a) The ordinance is invalid. The
winner has been duly proclaimed, does the Constitution provides in Art. XIV, Sec. 7 for
loser still have any remedy to the end that he the use of regional dialect as auxiliary
may finally obtain the position he aspired for medium of instruction. If the ordinance
in the election? prescribes the use of local dialect not as
SAN BEDA COLLEGE OF LAW

auxiliary but as exclusive language of


A: A pre-proclamation controversy instruction, then it is violative of the
refers to any question pertaining to or Constitution.
affecting the proceedings of the board of b) The ordinance is valid. The charge
canvassers which may be raised by any on the business establishments is not a tax
candidate or by any registered political but a special assessment. Hence, the
party or coalition of political parties before holding in Pascual v. Sec. of Public Works
the board or directly with the COMELEC, or that public funds cannot be appropriated
any matter raised under Secs. 233-236 of for the construction of roads in a private
the Omnibus Election Code in relation to subdivision does not apply. As held in
the preparation, transmission, receipt, Apostolic Prefect v. City Treas. Of Baguio,
custody or appreciation of the election special assessments may be charged to
returns. property owners benefited by public works,
The COMELEC has exclusive jurisdiction of because the essential difference between a
all pre-proclamation controversies. Its tax and such assessment is precisely that
decisions become executory after the lapse the latter is based wholly on benefits
of 5 days from receipt by the losing party of received.
the decision, unless restrained by the SC. c) The ordinance is valid. In Velasco
A loser may still bring an election contest v. Villegas, such ordinance was upheld on
concerning the election, returns, and the ground that it is a means of enabling
qualifications of the candidate proclaimed. the City of Manila to collect a fee for

94
operating massage clinics and of preventing
immorality.
PART II: SUGGESTED
ANSWERS TO THE 2004
POLITICAL LAW BAR EXAM
DOCTRINE OF PRIMARY
JURISDICTION AND EXHAUSTION OF I
ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES
A. The 1935,1973 and 1987 Constitutions
commonly provide that: “The judicial power
Q: shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in
1) Distinguish the doctrine of primary such lower courts as may be established by
jurisdiction from the doctrine of law.”
exhaustion of administrative What is the effect of the addition in the 1978
remedies. Constitution of the ff. provision: “Judicial
2) Does the failure to exhaust power includes the duty of the courts of
administrative remedies before filing justice to settle actual controversies
a case in court oust said court of involving rights which are legally demandable
jurisdiction to hear the case? and enforceable, and to determine whether
or not there has been grave abuse of
A: discretion amounting to lack or excess of
1) The doctrine of primary jurisdiction jurisdiction on the part of any branch or
and the doctrine of exhaustion of instrumentality of the government”?
administrative remedies both deal with the
proper relationships between the courts The effect of the addition broadened the
and administrative agencies. The doctrine judicial power to enable the courts of
of exhaustion of administrative remedies justice to review what was before
applies where a claim is cognizable in the forbidden territory, the discretion of the
first instance by an administrative agency political departments of the government.
alone. Judicial interference is withheld The extended power of the Court includes
until the administrative process has been the power to review even the political
complete As stated in Industrial Enterprises decisions of the executive and legislature
v. CA, the doctrine of primary jurisdiction and to declare their acts invalid for lack or
applies where a case is within the excess of jurisdiction for being tainted with
concurrent jurisdiction of the court and an grave abuse of discretion.
administrative agency but the In the illustrative case of Tanada
determination of the case requires the vs. Angara, which was a petition to annul
technical expertise of the administrative the Senate concurrence to the World Trade
agency. In such case, although the matter Organization Agreement, the Supreme
is within the jurisdiction of the court, it Court declared through Justice Panganiban:
must yield to the jurisdiction of the “In seeking to nullify an act of the Senate,
administrative agency. on the ground that it contravenes the
2) No, the failure to exhaust Constitution, the petition no doubt raises a
administrative remedies before filing a case justiciable controversy. Where an action of
in court does not oust the court of the legislative branch is seriously alleged to
jurisdiction to hear the case. As held in have infringed the Constitution, it becomes
Rosario v. CA, the failure to exhaust not only the right but in fact the duty of
administrative remedies does not affect the the judiciary to settle the dispute. The
jurisdiction of the court but results in the question thus interposed is judicial rather
lack of a cause of action, because the than political. The duty of the Constitution
condition precedent that must be satisfied is upheld”…this Court will not shirk, digress
before the action can be filed was not from or abandon its sacred duty and
fulfilled. authority to uphold the Constitution in
matters that involve grave abuse of
discretion brought before it appropriate
cases…

B. SDO was elected Congressman. Before the


end of his first year in office, he inflicted
physical injuries on a colleague, ETI, in the 4) The constitutive theory and the
course of a heated debate. Charges were declaratory theory concerning
filed in court against him as well as in the recognition of states.
House Ethics Committee. Later, the House of 5) The Wilson doctrine and the
Representatives, dividing along party lines, Estrada doctrine regarding
voted to expel him. Claiming that his recognition of governments.
expulsion was railroaded and tainted by
bribery, he filed a petition seeking a 1. Territorial water is defined by
declaration by the Supreme Court that the historic right or treaty limits while internal
House gravely abused its discretion and water is defined by the archipelago
violated the Constitution. He prayed that his doctrine. The territorial waters, as defined
expulsion be annulled and that he should be in the Convention on the Law of the Sea,
restored by the Speaker to his position as has a uniform breadth of 12 miles measured
Congressman. Is SDO’s petition before the from the lower water mark of the coast;
Supreme Court justiciable? Cite pertinent while the outermost points of our
issues for consideration. archipelago which are connected with
baselines and all waters comprised therein
The answer must be qualified. The petition are regarded as internal waters.
of SDO is generally a political one for it 2. The contiguous zone is the area
deals with an action by the separate branch which is known as the protective
of the government, which is the legislative jurisdiction and starts from 24th nautical
character. However, because of the mile from low water mark, while the EEZ is
extended power of the Supreme Court of the area which starts from 200th nautical
verifying if there has been any grave abuse mile from the low water mark. In the latter,
of discretion amounting to a lack or excess no state really has exclusive ownership of it
of jurisdiction on the part of the officer, but the state which has a valid claim on it
agency or branch of the government then according to the UN Convention on the Law
an issue originally political becomes of the Seas agreement has the right to
justiciable. In the case at bar, if there is explore and exploit its natural resources;
any truth to the allegation that the while in the former the coastal state may
expulsion of SDO has been railroaded and exercise the control necessary to a)
therefore has not been conducted with the prevent infringement of its customs, fiscal
requisite due process, then it becomes a immigration or sanitary regulations within
justiciable issue cognizable by the Court. As its territory b) punish infringement of the
stated in the case of Daza vs. Singson, above regulations within its territory or
where the issue presented to the Supreme territorial sea.
Court is justiciable rather than political 3. Flag state means a ship has the
where it involves the legality and not the nationality of the flag state it flies, but
SAN BEDA COLLEGE OF LAW

wisdom of the act complained of ….” “Even there must be a genuine link between the
if the question were political in nature, it state and the ship. (Article 91 of the
would still come within the Court’s powers Convention of the Law of the Sea.) Flag of
of review under the expanded jurisdiction convenience refers to a state with which a
conferred upon it by Article VIII, Sec. 1 of vessel is registered for various reasons such
the Constitution, which includes the as low or non-existent taxation or low
authority to determine whether grave operating costs although the ship has no
abuse of discretion amounting to lack or genuine link with that state. (Harris, Cases
excess of jurisdiction…” and Materilas on International Law, 5th
ed., 1998, p. 425.)
II 4. The constitutive theory is the minority
view which holds that recognition is the last
A. Distinguish briefly but clearly between: element that converts or constitutes the
entity being recognized into an
1)The territorial sea and the internal international person; while the declaratory
waters of the Philippines. theory is the majority view that recognition
2) The contiguous zone and exclusive affirms the pre-existing fact that the entity
economic zone. being recognized already possesses the
3) The flag state and the flag of status of an international person. In the
convenience. former recognition is regarded as
mandatory and legal and may be demanded
as a matter of right by any entity that can

94
establish its possession of the four essential he now contemplates public service but
elements of a state; while the latter without losing the flexibility to engage in
recognition is highly political and corporate affairs or participate in
discretionary. professional activities within ethical bounds.
5. In the Wilson or Tobar doctrine, a Taking into account the prohibitions and
government established by means inhibitions of public office whether Senator
revolution, civil war, coup d’ etat or other or Secretary, he turns to you for advice to
forms of internal violence will not be resolve his dilemma. What is your advice?
recognized until the freely elected Explain briefly.
representatives of the people have
organized a constitutional government, I shall advice JAR to run for Senator. As a
while in the Estrada doctrine any senator, he can retain his investments in
diplomatic representatives in a country his business, although he must make a full
where an upheaval has taken place will deal disclosure of his business and financial
or not deal with whatever government is in interests and notify the Senate of a
control therein at the time and either potential conflict of interest if he authors a
action shall not be taken as a judgment on bill. (Section 12, Article VI of the 1987
the legitimacy of the said government. Constitution.) He can continue practicing
law, but he cannot personally appear as
B. En route to the tuna fishing grounds in the counsel before any court of justice, the
Pacific Ocean, a vessel registered in Country Electoral Tribunals, or quasi-judicial or
TW entered the Balintang Channel north of other administrative bodies. (Section 14,
Babuyan Island and with special hooks and Article VI of the 1987 Constitution.)
nets dragged up red corrals found near
Batanes. By International Convention certain As a member of the Cabinet, JAR cannot
corals are protected species. Just before the directly or indirectly practice or participate
vessel reached the high seas, the Coast Guard in any business. He will have to divest
patrol intercepted the vessel and seized its himself of his investments in his business.
cargo including tuna. The master of the (Section 13, Article VII of the 1987
vessel and the owner of the cargo protested, Constitution.) In fact, the Constitutional
claiming the rights of transit passage and prohibition imposed on members of the
innocent passage, and sought recovery of the Cabinet covers both public and private
cargo and the release of the ship. Is the claim office or employment. (Civil Liberties
meritorious or not? Reason briefly. Union v. Executive Secretary, 194 SCRA
317 [1991]).
The claim of the master of the vessel and
the owner of the cargo is not meritorious. B. CTD, a Commissioner of the NLRC sports a
Although their claim of transit passage and No. 10 car plate. A disgruntled litigant filed a
innocent passage through the Balintang complaint against him for violation of the
Channel is tenable under the 1982 Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act before
Convention on the Law of the Sea, the fact the Ombudsman. CTD now seeks to enjoin the
that they attached special hooks and nets Ombudsman in a petition for prohibition,
to their vessel which dragged up red corrals alleging that he could be investigated only by
is reprehensible. The Balintang Channel is the Supreme Court under its power
considered part of our internal waters and supervision granted by the Constitution. He
thus is within the absolute jurisdiction of contends that under the law creating the
the Philippine government. Being so, no NLRC, he has the rank of a Justice of the
foreign vessel, merchant or otherwise, court of Appeals, and entitled to the
could exploit or explore any of our natural corresponding privileges. Hence, the
resources in any manner of doing so Ombudsman has no jurisdiction over the
without the consent of our government. complaint against him.
Should CTD’s petition be granted or
III dismissed? Reason briefly.

A. JAR faces a dilemma: should he accept a CTD’s petition should be dismissed. Section
Cabinet appointment now or run later for 21 of the Ombudsman Act vests the Office
Senator? Having succeeded in law practice as of the Ombudsman with disciplinary
well as prospered in private business where authority over all elective and appointive
he and his wife have substantial investments, officials of the government, except officials
who may be removed only by
impeachment, Members of Congress, and centum of the registered voters therein.
the Judiciary. While CTD has the rank of a However, an attempt to use this method
Justice of the Court of Appeals, he does not was struck down by the Supreme Court in
belong to the Judiciary but to the Executive the case of Santiago vs. COMELEC for lack
Department. This simply means that he has of the necessary implementing law.
the same compensation and privileges as a
Justice of the Court of Appeals. If the V
Supreme Court were to investigate CTD, it
would be performing a non-judicial A. The STAR, a national daily
function. This will violate the principle of newspaper, carried an exclusive report
separation of power. (Noblejas v. stating that Senator XX received a house and
Teehankee, 23 SCRA 405 [1968]). lot located at YY Street, Makati, in
consideration for his vote cutting cigarette
IV taxes by 50%. The Senator sued the STAR, its
reporter, editor and publisher for libel,
A. TCA, a Filipina medical technologist, left claiming the report was completely false and
in 1975 to work in ZOZ State. In 1988 she malicious. According to the Senator, there is
married ODH, a citizen of ZOZ. Pursuant to no YY Street in Makati, and the tax cut was
ZOZ’s law, by taking an oath of allegiance, only 20%. He claimed one million in damages.
she acquired her husband’s citizenship. The defendants denied “actual malice,”
ODH died in 2001, leaving her financially claiming privileged communication and
secure. She returned home in 2002, and absolute freedom of the press to report on
sought elective office in 2004 by running as public officials and matters of public
Mayor of APP, her hometown. Her opponent concern. If there was any error, the STAR said
sought to have her disqualified because of it would publish the correction promptly.
her ZOZ citizenship. She replied that although Is there “actual malice” in STAR’s reportage?
she acquired ZOZ’s citizenship because of her How is “actual malice” defined? Are the
marriage, she did not lose her Filipino defendants liable for damages?
citizenship. Both her parents, she said, are
Filipino citizens. FIRST ALTERNATIVE ANSWER
Is TCA qualified to run as Mayor? Since Senator XX is a public person and the
questioned imputation is directed against
TCA is NOT qualified to run as Mayor. him in his public capacity, in this case
Although she was a natural-born actual malice means the statement was
Filipino, her marriage to ODH and her act of made with knowledge that it was false or
taking an oath of allegiance to ZOZ State with reckless disregard of whether it was
made her lose her Filipino citizenship (C.A. false or not (Borjal v. Court of Appeals, 301
No 63). Therefore, she is not a Filipino SCRA 1 [1991}). Since there is no proof that
SAN BEDA COLLEGE OF LAW

citizen and is disqualified from running for the report was published with knowledge
Mayor. that it is false or with reckless disregard of
whether it was false or not, the defendants
B. An amendment or revision of the present are not liable for damages.
Constitution may be proposed by a
Constitutional Convention or by Congress SECOND ALTERNATIVE ANSWER
upon a vote of three-fourths of all its Since Senator XX is a public person and the
members. questioned imputation is directed against
Is there third way of proposing revisions of or him in his public capacity, in this case
amendments to the Constitution? If so, how? actual malice means the statements was
made with knowledge that it was false or
There is no third way of proposing revisions with reckless disregard of whether it was
to the present Constitution. As for false or not (Borjal v. Court of Appeals,
amendments, according to ART XVII, Sec 2 301 SCRA 1 [1991}). Since it is a matter off
of the 1987 Constitution, amendments to public knowledge that there is no YY Street
the Constitution may be directly proposed in Makati, the publication was made with
by the people through initiative upon reckless disregard of whether or not it was
petition of at least twelve (12) per centum false. The defendants may be held liable for
of the total number registered voters, of damages.
which every legislative district must be
represented by at least three (3) per

94
B. OZ lost five head of cattle which he Ombudsman the power to impose
reported to the police as stolen from his preventive suspension up to six months.
barn. He requested several neighbors, Preventive suspension may be imposed
including RR, for help in looking for the without any notice and hearing. It is merely
missing animals. After an extensive search, a preliminary step in an administrative
the police found two head in RR’s farm. RR investigation and is not the final
could not explain to the police how they got determination of the guilt of the officer
hidden in a remote area of his farm. concerned. (Garcia v. Mojica, 314 SCRA 207
Insisting on his innocence, RR consulted a [1999]).
lawyer who told him he has a right to be
presumed innocent under the Bill of Rights. B. For his part, the Ombudsman moved to
But there is another presumption – of theft dismiss WOW’s petition. According to the
arising from his unexplained possession of Ombudsman the evidence of guilt is strong,
stolen cattle – under the penal law. and petitioner failed to exhaust
Are the two presumptions capable of administrative remedies. WOW admitted
reconciliation in this case? If so, how can they he filed no motion for reconsideration, but
be reconciled? If not, which should prevail? only because the order suspending him
The two presumptions can be reconciled. immediately executory.
The presumption of innocence stands until Should the motion to dismiss be granted or
the contrary is proved. It may be overcome not? Discuss briefly.
by a contrary presumption founded on
human experience. The presumption that The motion to dismiss should be denied.
RR is the one who stole the cattle of OZ is Since the suspension of Director WOW was
logical, since he was found in possession of immediately executory, he would have
the stolen cattle. RR can prove his suffered irreparable injury had he tried to
innocence by presenting evidence to rebut exhaust administrative remedies before
the presumption. The burden of evidence is filing a petition in Court (University of the
shifted to RR, because how he came into Philippines Board of Regents v. Rasl, 200
possession of the cattle is peculiarly within SCRA 685 [1991]). Besides, the question
his knowledge. (Dizon-Pamintuan v. involved was purely legal. (Azarxon v.
People, 234 SCRA 63 [1994]). Bunagan, 399 SCRA 365 [2003]).

VI VII

Director WOW failed a lifestyle check MADAKO is a municipality composed of 80


conducted by the Ombudsman’s Office barangays, 30 west of Madako River and 50
because WOW’s assets were grossly east thereof. The 30 western barangays,
disproportionate to his salary and allowances. feeling left out of economic initiatives, wish
Moreover, some assets were not included in to constitute themselves into a new and
his Statement of Assets and Liabilities. He separate town to be called Masigla.
was charged of graft and corrupt practices A. Granting Masigla’s proponents
and pending the completion of investigations, succeed to secure a law in their favor, would
he was suspended from office for six months. a plebiscite be necessary or not? It is
necessary, who should vote or participate in
A. Aggrieved, WOW petitioned the Court the plebiscite? Discuss briefly.
of the Appeals to annul the preventive
suspension order on the ground that the A plebiscite is necessary, because it is
Ombudsman could only recommend but not required for the creation of a new
impose the suspension. Moreover, according municipality. (Section 10, Article X of the
to WOW, the suspension was imposed without 1987 Constitution.)
any notice and hearing, in violation of due
process. The voters of both Madako and Masigla
Is the petitioner’s contention meritorious? should participate in the plebiscite,
Discuss briefly. because both are directly affected by the
creation of Masigla. The territory of Madako
The contention of Director WOW is not will be reduced. (Tan v. Commission on
meritorious. The suspension meted out to Eections, 142 SCRA 727 [1986]).
him is preventive and not punitive. Section
24 of Republic Act No. 6770 grants the
B. Suppose that one year after Masigla 142369, February 11, 2003) it was held
was constituted as a municipality, the law that if the acts giving rise to a suit are
creating it was voided because of defects. those of a foreign government done by its
Would that invalidate the acts of the foreign agent, although not necessarily a
municipality and/or its municipal officers? diplomatic personage, but acting in his
Explain briefly. official capacity, the complaint could be
barred by the immunity of the foreign
Although the municipality cannot be sovereign from suit without its consent. In
considered a de facto corporation, because the case at bar, YZ was performing his
there is no valid law under which it was official function when he conducted
created, the acts of the municipality and of surveillance on drug exporters and
its officers will not be invalidated, because informed the local police who arrested
the existence of the law creating is an MBC. He was further performing his duties
operative fact before it was declared with the consent of the Philippine
unconstitutional. Hence, the previous acts government therefore the suit against YZ is
of the municipality and its officers should indeed against XX without its consent.
be given effect as a matter of fairness and
justice. (Municipality of Malabang v. B. EAP is a government corporation created
Benito, 27 SCRA {1969}). for the purpose of reclaiming lands, including
foreshore and submerged areas, as well as to
VIII develop, improve, acquire, lease and sell any
and al kinds of lands. A law was passed
A. MBC, an alien businessman dealing in transferring title to EAP of lands already
carpets and caviar, filed a suit against reclaimed in the foreshore and offshore areas
policemen and YZ, an attache of XX Embassy, of MM Bay, particularly the so-called Liberty
for damage because of malicious prosecution. Islands, as alienable and disposable lands of
MBC alleged that YZ concocted false and the public domain. Titles were duly issued in
malicious charges that he was engaged in EAP’s name.
drug trafficking, whereupon narcotics Subsequently, EAP entered into a joint
policemen conducted a “buy-bust” operation venture agreement (JVA) with ARI, a private
and without a warrant arrested him, searched foreign corporation, to develop Liberty
his house, and seized his money jewelry, then Islands. Additionally, the JVA provided for
detained and tortured him in violation of his the reclamation of 250 hectares of
civil and human rights as well as causing him, submerged land in the area surrounding
his family and business serious damages Liberty Islands and a portion of the area to be
amounting to two million pesos. MBC added reclaimed as the consideration for ARI”S role
that the trial court acquitted him of the drug and participation in the joint venture, upon
him of the drug charges. the approval by the Office of the President.
SAN BEDA COLLEGE OF LAW

Assailing the court’s jurisdiction: YZ In there any constitutional obstacle to the


now moves to dismiss the complaint, on the sale and transfer by EAP to ARI of both
ground that (1) he is an embassy officers portions as provided for in the JVA?
entitled to diplomatic immunity; and that (2)
the suit is really against his home state ARI cannot acquire a portion of the Liberty
without its consent. He presents diplomatic Islands because, although EAP has title to
notes from XX Embassy certifying that he is Liberty Islands and thus lands are alienable
an accredited embassy officer recognized by and disposable land, they cannot be sold,
the Philippine Government. He performs only leased, to private corporations. The
official duties, he says, on a mission to portion of the area to be reclaimed cannot
conduct surveillance on drug exporters and be sold and transferred to ARI because the
then inform local police officers who make seabed is inalienable land of the public
the actual arrest of the suspects. domain. (Section 3, Article XII of the 1987
Are the two grounds cited by YZ to dismiss Constitution; Chavez v. Public Estates
the suit tenable? Authority, 384 SRA 152 [2002]).

While the notes presented by YZ are not IX


enough to establish his diplomatic status
and diplomatic immunity, the suit against A. Former Governor PP of ADS province had
him is a suit against XX without its consent. dismissed several employees to scale down
In Municher v. Court of Appeals (G.R. No. the operations of his office. The employees

94
complained to the Merit Systems Protection distracting the attention of motorists may
Board, which ruled that the Civil Service rules be prohibited. Moreover, the abatement of
were violated when the employees were a nuisance pursuant to the exercise of
dismissed. The Civil Service Commission police power does not constitute taking of
affirmed the MPSB decision. ADS did not property and does not entitle the owner of
appeal and the order became final. the property to compensation.
Instead of complying immediately, BOP, the (ASSOCIATION OF SMALL LANDOWNERS IN
incumbent Governor of ADS, referred the THE PHILIPPINES, INC. V. SECRETARY OF
matter to the Commission on Audit, which AGRARIAN REFORM, 175 SCRA 343 [1989])
ruled that the amounts due are the personal
liabilities of the former Governor who X
dismissed the employees in bad faith. Thus,
ADS refused to pay. The final CSC decision, A. BNN Republic has a defense treaty with
however, did not find the former Governor in EVA Federation. According to the Republic’s
bad faith. The former Governor was likewise Secretary of Defense, the treaty allows
not heard on the question of his liability. exercises for the war on terrorism. The
Is ADS’ refusal justified? Can the COA disallow Majority Leader of the Senate contends that
the payment of backwages by ADS to the whether temporary or not, the basing of
dismissed employees due under a final CSC foreign troops however friendly is prohibited
decision? Decide. by the Constitution of BNN which provides
that, “No foreign bases shall be allowed in
NO, the refusal of ADS is not justified, and BNN territory.” In case there is indeed an
the Commission on Audit cannot disallow irreconcilable conflict between a provision of
the payment of backwages by ADS to the the treaty and a provision of the
dismissed employees. The COA cannot Constitution, in a jurisdiction and legal
make a ruling that it is the former governor system like our, which should prevail: the
who should be personally liable since the provision of the treaty or the Constitution?
former was not given the opportunity to be Why?
heard. In addition, the COA cannot set
aside a final decision of the Civil Service THE CONSTITUTION. In the case of Gonzales
Commission. The payment of backwages to v. Hechanova 9 SCRA 230, municipal law
illegally dismissed government employee is was upheld as against international law in
not an irregular, unnecessary, excessive, view of the separation of powers.
extravagant, or unconscionable Moreover, Section 592)(a), Article VIII of
expenditure. (UY V. COMMISSION ON the 1987 Constitution authorizes the
AUDIT, 328 SCRA 607) nullification of a treaty when it conflicts
with the Constitution.
B. The city of San Rafael passed an ordinance
authorizing the City mayor, assisted by the B. AVE ran for Congressman of QU province.
police, to remove all advertising signs However, his opponent, BART, was the one
displayed or exposed to public view in the proclaimed and seated as the winner of the
main city street, for being offensive to sight election by the COMELEC. AVE filed
or otherwise a nuisance. AM, whose seasonably a protest before HRET. After two
advertising agency owns and rents out many years, HET reversed the COMELEC’s decision
of the billboards ordered removed by the City and AVE was proclaimed finally as the duly
Mayor, claims that the City should pay for the elected Congressman. Thus he had only one
destroyed billboards at their current market year to serve in Congress.
value since the City has appropriated them 1. Can AVE collect salaries and allowances
for the public purpose of city beautification. from the government for the first two ears of
The Mayor refuses to pay, so AM is suing the his term as Congressman?
City and the Mayor for damages arising from 2. Should BART refund the government the
the taking of his property without due salaries and allowances he had received as
process nor just compensation. Will AM’s suit Congressman?
prosper? 3. What will happen to the bills that the de
facto officer alone authored and were
NO. The removal of the billboards is not an approved by the House of the Representative
exercise of the power of eminent domain while he was seated as Congressman?
but of police power. As enunciated in the
case of CHURHILLL & TAIT V. RAFFERTY,
33 Phil 580, billboards offensive to sight or
1. NO. The right to salary is based on the rights. The respondent stressed that unskilled
right to the office itself and accrues from workers also have the right to seek
the date of actual commencement. Since employment abroad. Is the assailed order
AVE had not occupied the position prior to unconstitutional as it violated the equal
his proclamation as the real winner of the protection clause?
election, the salary, allowances, and other
emoluments must go to the person who NO. Respondent suggests that the singling
occupied the same. (RODRIGUEZ V. TAN, out of entertainers and performing artists
91 Phil 724) under the assailed department orders
2. NO. There is no question that BART constitutes class legislation which violates
acted as a de facto officer during the time the equal protection clause of the
he held the office of Congressman; having Constitution. We do not agree.
thus duly proclaimed as Congressman, and The equal protection clause is
having assumed office as required by law, it directed principally against undue favor and
cannot be disputed that BART is entitled to individual or class privilege. It is not
compensation, emoluments and allowances intended to prohibit legislation which is
which our Constitution provides for the limited to the object to which it is directed
position. (RODRIGUEZ V. TAN, 91 Phil 724) or by the territory in which it is to operate.
3.Lawful acts of an officer de facto, so far It does not require absolute equality, but
as the rights of third persons are merely that all persons be treated alike
concerned, are, if done within the scope & under like conditions both as to privileges
by the apparent authority of the office, conferred and liabilities imposed. We have
considered as valid and binding as if he held, time and again, that the equal
were the officer legally elected and protection clause of the Constitution does
qualified for the office and full possession not forbid classification for so long as such
thereof. Therefore, the bills which BART classification is based on real and
alone authored and were approved by the substantial differences having a reasonable
House of Representatives are valid. (TAYKO relation to the subject of the particular
V. CAPISTRANO, 53 Phil 866; PEOPLE V. legislation. If classification is germane to
GARCIA, 313 SCRA 279 [1999]) the purpose of the law, concerns all
members of the class, and applies equally
to present and future conditions, the
classification does not violate the equal
PART III: BAR TYPE protection guarantee. (EXECUTIVE
SECRETARY vs. COURT OF APPEALS and
QUESTIONS ARCO-PHIL.), INC, G.R. No. 131719, May
25, 2004)
BILL OF RIGHTS
SAN BEDA COLLEGE OF LAW

2. A Summary Deportation Order was issued


1. The Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos against respondent Herbert Markus Emil
Act of 1995, took effect on July 15, 1995. The Scheer, a German citizen holding a
Omnibus Rules and Regulations Implementing permanent resident status in the Philippines,
the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipino Act on the basis of Note Verbale No. 369/95 sent
of 1995 was, thereafter, published in the by the German Embassy to the Department of
Manila Bulletin. However, even before the Foreign Affairs, informing the latter that
law took effect, the Asian Recruitment Scheer was wanted by the German Federal
Council Philippine Chapter, Inc. (ARCO-Phil.) Police; that a warrant of arrest had been
filed, a petition for declaratory relief under issued against him; and that the respondent
Rule 63 of the Rules of Court with the will be served with an official document
Regional Trial Court to declare as requesting him to turn over his German
unconstitutional Section 6(g) and (i). passport to the Embassy which was
According to the respondent, Section 6(g) and invalidated. Scheer filed an Urgent Motion for
(i) discriminated against unskilled workers Reconsideration of the Order of the BOC but
and their families and, as such, violated the the latter did not resolve Scheer’s motion
equal protection clause, as well as Article II, and he was neither arrested nor deported.
Section 12 and Article XV, Sections 1 and 3(3) Meanwhile, the criminal case against the
of the Constitution. As the law encouraged respondent for physical injuries was dismissed
the deployment of skilled Filipino workers, by the German court and subsequently, the
only overseas skilled workers are granted German Embassy issued to the respondent a
regular passport. The BOC still failed to

94
resolve the respondent’s Motion and he required to first resolve the respondent's
remained and maintained his business in Urgent Motion for Reconsideration of the
Palawan, Philippines. Petitioner said Order, which was filed more than six
Commissioner Andrea Domingo assumed years before or on December 5, 1995. The
office. Despite information from the German BOC should have set the respondent's
Embassy that Scheer was not wanted by the motion for hearing to afford him a chance
German police, Scheer was apprehended by to be heard and adduce evidence in support
the Marine operatives and BID agents in his thereon. (Domingo vs. Scheer, G.R. No.
residence on orders of the petitioner. He was 154745. January 29, 2004)
held in custody in the BID Manila Office, and
petitioner commissioner refused to release 3. Before the Court is the petitioners' Motion
him. Scheer filed a petition for certiorari, for Reconsideration of the Resolution dated
prohibition and mandamus in the Court of May 28, 2002, remanding this case to the
Appeals against petitioner and the court Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Quezon City,
ruled in his favor. Petitioner now contests Branch 81, for the determination of several
this decision claiming inter alia that [a] BOC factual issues relative to the application of
did not commit grave abuse of discretion in Section 8 of Rule 117 of the Revised Rules of
issuing the Summary Deportation Order and Criminal Procedure on the dismissal of
[b] that Scheer’s arrest and detention was Criminal Cases Nos. Q-99-81679 to Q-99-
not premature, unwarranted or arbitrary. Are 81689 filed against the respondent and his co-
the contentions of petitioner correct? accused with the said court. In the aforesaid
criminal cases, the respondent and his co-
NO. [a] The BOC committed grave abuse of accused were charged with multiple murder
discretion in issuing the Summary for the shooting and killing of eleven male
Deportation Order. The settled rule is that persons bandied as members of the Kuratong
the entry or stay of aliens in the Philippines Baleleng Gang. The respondent opposed
is merely a privilege and a matter of grace; petitioners’ motion for reconsideration.
such privilege is not absolute nor The Court ruled in the Resolution
permanent and may be revoked. However, sought to be reconsidered that the
aliens may be expelled or deported from provisional dismissal of Criminal Cases Nos.
the Philippines only on grounds and in the Q-99-81679 to Q-99-81689 were with the
manner provided for by the Constitution, express consent of the respondent as he
the Immigration Act of 1940, as amended, himself moved for said provisional dismissal
and administrative issuances pursuant when he filed his motion for judicial
thereto. In this case, the BOC ordered the determination of probable cause and for
private respondent's deportation on examination of witnesses. The Court also
September 27, 1995 without even held therein that although Section 8, Rule
conducting summary deportation 117 of the Revised Rules of Criminal
proceedings. Section 37(c) of Procedure could be given retroactive effect,
Commonwealth Act No. 613, as amended, there is still a need to determine whether the
provides that “no alien shall be deported requirements for its application are
without being informed of the specific attendant.
grounds for deportation or without being The Court further held that the
given a hearing under rules of procedure to reckoning date of the two-year bar had to be
be prescribed by the Commissioner of first determined whether it shall be from the
Immigration.” The respondent was not date of the order of then Judge Agnir, Jr.
afforded any hearing at all nor was he dismissing the cases, or from the dates of
afforded a chance to refute the charges. He receipt thereof by the various offended
cannot, thus, be arrested and deported parties, or from the date of effectivity of the
without due process of law as required by new rule. Petitioners however argue that the
the Bill of Rights of the Constitution. time bar stated in the aforementioned rule
[b] The Court agrees that the Immigration should not be applied retroactively in the
Commissioner is mandated to implement a present case. May the time-bar in Section 8,
legal and valid Summary Deportation Order Rule 117 of the Revised Rules on Criminal
within a reasonable time. But in this case, Procedure be applied retroactively?
the arrest of the respondent in his house,
at near midnight, and his subsequent NO. In this case, the Court agrees with the
detention was premature, unwarranted and petitioners that the time-bar of two years
arbitrary. Under the basic rudiments of fair under the new rule should not be applied
play and due process, the petitioner was retroactively against the State.
In the new rule in question, as now Enterprise Store. In search of evidence for
construed by the Court, it has fixed a time- the crime of robbery with force upon things,
bar of one year or two years for the revival the accuser, together with two men who
of criminal cases provisionally dismissed claimed to be policemen, drew out their guns
with the express consent of the accused and barged into the house of Paulina
and with a priori notice to the offended Matillano, Elenito’s aunt. Over her vehement
party. The time-bar may appear, on first protests, Paulina Matillano consented to the
impression, unreasonable compared to the accuser’s entry into her house, as well as to
periods under Article 90 of the Revised the taking of the clothes, shoes and pieces of
Penal Code. However, in fixing the time- jewelry owned by her and her family. Was
bar, the Court balanced the societal the search and seizure valid?
interests and those of the accused for the
orderly and speedy disposition of criminal NO. Under Article III, Section 2 of the
cases with minimum prejudice to the State Constitution, "the right of the people to be
and the accused. It took into account the secure in their persons, houses, papers and
substantial rights of both the State and of effects against unreasonable searches and
the accused to due process. The Court seizures of whatever nature and for any
believed that the time limit is a reasonable purpose shall be inviolable." This provision
period for the State to revive provisionally protects not only those who appear to be
dismissed cases with the consent of the innocent but also those who appear to be
accused and notice to the offended parties. guilty, who must nevertheless be presumed
The Court agrees with the innocent until the contrary is proved. The
petitioners that to apply the time-bar general rule is that a search and seizure
retroactively so that the two-year period must be carried through or with judicial
commenced to run on March 31, 1999 when warrant; otherwise, such a search and
the public prosecutor received his copy of seizure becomes unconstitutional within
the resolution of Judge Agnir, Jr. dismissing the context of the constitutional provision.
the criminal cases is inconsistent with the Peace officers who effect a warrantless
intendment of the new rule. Instead of search cannot invoke regularity in the
giving the State two years to revive performance of official functions.
provisionally dismissed cases, the State had
considerably less than two years to do so. The right against unreasonable searches
Thus, Judge Agnir, Jr. dismissed Criminal and seizures is a personal right which may
Cases Nos. Q-99-81679 to Q-99-81689 on be waived expressly or impliedly. But a
March 29, 1999. The new rule took effect waiver by implication cannot be presumed.
on December 1, 2000. If the Court applied There must be clear and convincing
the new time-bar retroactively, the State evidence of an actual intention to
would have only one year and three months relinquish the right to constitute a waiver
SAN BEDA COLLEGE OF LAW

or until March 31, 2001 within which to of a constitutional right. There must be
revive these criminal cases. The period is proof of the following: (a) that the right
short of the two-year period fixed under exists; (b) that the person involved had
the new rule. On the other hand, if the knowledge, either actual or constructive, of
time limit is applied prospectively, the the existence of such right; and, (c) that
State would have two years from December the said person had an actual intention to
1, 2000 or until December 1, 2002 within relinquish the right. The waiver must be
which to revive the cases. This is in made voluntarily, knowingly and
consonance with the intendment of the intelligently. The Court indulges every
new rule in fixing the time-bar and thus reasonable presumption against any waiver
prevent injustice to the State and avoid of fundamental constitutional rights. The
absurd, unreasonable, oppressive, fact that the aggrieved person did not
injurious, and wrongful results in the object to the entry into her house by the
administration of justice. (PEOPLE vs. police officers does not amount to a
LACSON, G.R. No. 149453. April 1, 2003.) permission to make a search therein. A
peaceful submission to search and seizure
4. After being terminated from work, Elenito is not a consent or an invitation thereto,
Lariosa ‘s former employer discovered that but is merely a demonstration of regard for
he had lost P45,000.00 in cash. He suspected the supremacy of the law. (ELI LUI, ET AL
that Lariosa was the culprit because the vs. MATILLANO, G.R. NO. 141176, May
latter, as a former employee, had a duplicate 27,2004)
key to the side door of the United Products

94
5. NBI Agent Franklin M. Javier filed a sworn Moreover, the questioned warrant in this
application for search warrant before the RTC case is a scatter-shot warrant for having
of Iligan, Isabela, for the purpose of seizing been issued for more than one offense—
“undetermined number of fake land titles,” Falsification of Land Titles under Article
“blank forms of land titles kept inside the 171 and Article 213 of the Revised Penal
drawers of every table of employees of the Code, and violation of Rep. Act No. 3019,
Registry of Deeds,” and “undetermined otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and
number of land transfer transactions without Corrupt Practices Act. A warrant must be
the corresponding payment of documentary issued upon probable cause in connection
stamps and capital gains tax,” all of which with one specific offense. (Vallejo vs. Court
documents are being used or intended to be of Appeals, et al, G.R. No. 156413 April
used in the commission of a felony that is 14, 2004)
falsification of land titles under Article 171
RPC, Article 213 RPC and R.A. 3019. 6. Before the Court are two petitions for
Petitioner Ariel Vallejo, a lawyer in the certiorari filed by petitioner Edward Serapio,
Register of Deeds of Isabela, filed a motion to assailing the resolutions of the Third Division
quash the search warrant on the ground that of the Sandiganbayan denying his petition for
the questioned search warrant was in the bail, motion for a reinvestigation and motion
form of a general warrant for failure to to quash, and a petition for habeas corpus,
describe the persons or things to be seized all in relation to Criminal Case No. 26558 for
and was violative of the Constitution hence, plunder wherein petitioner is one of the
null and void. It was denied for lack of merit. accused together with former President
Vallejo filed a notice of appeal to the Court Joseph E. Estrada, Jose "Jinggoy" P. Estrada
of Appeals but such was denied on the ground and several others.
that the appealed order denying a motion to In the latter part of the year 2000,
quash the search warrant is interlocutory and Gov. Singson publicly accused then President
not appealable. May the technical rules be Joseph E. Estrada and his cohorts of engaging
relaxed in the case at bar and if so, was the in several illegal activities, including its
warrant issued by the RTC valid? operation on the illegal numbers game known
as jueteng. This triggered the filing with the
YES, the technical rules may be relaxed in Office of the Ombudsman of several criminal
the case at bar. This is in keeping with the complaints against Joseph Estrada, Jinggoy
principle that rules of procedure are mere Estrada and petitioner, together with other
tools designed to facilitate the attainment persons. The Office of the Ombudsman
of justice and that strict and rigid conducted a preliminary investigation of the
application of rules which would result in complaints and on April 4, 2001, issued a
technicalities that tend to frustrate rather joint resolution recommending, inter alia,
than promote substantial justice must that Joseph Estrada, petitioner and several
always be avoided. others be charged with the criminal offense
of plunder. On April 4, 2001, the Ombudsman
NO, the warrant issued by the RTC is not filed with the Sandiganbayan several
valid. The Constitution guarantees the right Informations against former President
to be free from unreasonable searches and Estrada, who earlier had resigned from his
seizures. The things to be seized must be post as President of the Republic of the
described with particularity. Technical Philippines. On April 18, 2001, the
precision of description is not required. It is Ombudsman filed an amended Information in
only necessary that there be reasonable said case charging Estrada and several co-
particularity and certainty as to the identity accused, including petitioner, with said
of the property to be searched for and crime. No bail was recommended for the
seized, so that the warrant shall not be a provisional release of all the accused,
mere roving commission. The terms including petitioner. On July 20, 2001,
expressly used in the warrant were too all petitioner filed with the Court a Petition for
embracing, with the obvious intent of Certiorari, docketed as G.R. No. 148769,
subjecting all the records pertaining to all alleging that the Sandiganbayan acted
the transactions of the petitioner's office at without or in excess of jurisdiction or with
the Register of Deeds to search and seizure. grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack
Such tenor of a seizure warrant or excess of jurisdiction in issuing its July 9,
contravenes the explicit command of the 2001 Resolution denying his motion to quash,
Constitution that there be a particular notwithstanding the fact that material
description of the things to be seized. inculpatory allegations of the amended
Information against him do not constitute the his co-accused are charged only with one
crime of plunder; and that he is charged, crime of plunder and not with the predicate
under the said amended Information, for acts or crimes of plunder. It bears stressing
more than one offense. ; Petitioner asserts that the predicate acts merely constitute
that he is charged under the amended acts of plunder and are not crimes separate
information of bribery and illegal gambling and independent of the crime of plunder.
and others. Petitioner claims that the Resultantly then, the petition is dismissed.
Sandiganbayan committed grave abuse of (b) Case law has it that the Supreme Court
discretion in denying his omnibus motion to does not interfere with the Ombudsman's
hold in abeyance the issuance of a warrant discretion in the conduct of preliminary
for his arrest as well as the proceedings in investigations. The Court ruled that in the
Criminal Case No. 26558; to conduct a performance of his task to determine
determination of probable cause; and to probable cause, the Ombudsman's
direct the Ombudsman to conduct a discretion is paramount. The Court has
reinvestigation of the charges him. Petitioner adopted a policy of non-interference in the
asseverates that the Ombudsman had totally conduct of preliminary investigations, and
disregarded exculpatory evidence and leaves to the investigating prosecutor
committed grave abuse of discretion in sufficient latitude of discretion in the
charging him with plunder. (a) Does the exercise of determination of what
amended Information against Serapio constitutes sufficient evidence as will
constitute the crime of plunder; and that he establish 'probable cause' for filing of
is charged, under the said amended information against the supposed offender."
Information, for more than one offense? (b) The Court has furthermore stated that the
Is it proper that the SC order the Ombudsman Ombudsman’s findings are factual in
to conduct a reinvestigation of the case? (c) nature. the Supreme Court is not a trier of
Should petitioner should first be arraigned facts, more so in the consideration of the
before the hearings of his petition for bail extraordinary writ of certiorari where
may be conducted; neither question of fact nor even of law are
entertained, but only questions of lack or
(a) No. The acts alleged in the information excess of jurisdiction or grave abuse of
are not charged as separate offenses but as discretion. The Sandiganbayan pointed out
predicate acts of the crime of plunder. It that petitioner filed a motion for
should be stressed that the Anti-Plunder reconsideration of the Ombudsman's
law specifically Section 1(d) thereof does resolution, but failed to show in his motion
not make any express reference to any that there were newly discovered
specific provision of laws, other than R.A. evidence, or that the preliminary
No. 7080, as amended, which investigation was tainted by errors of law or
coincidentally may penalize as a separate irregularities, which are the only grounds
SAN BEDA COLLEGE OF LAW

crime any of the overt or criminal acts for which a reconsideration of the
enumerated therein. The said acts which Ombudsman's resolution may be granted. It
form part of the combination or series of bears stressing that the right to a
act are described in their generic sense. preliminary investigation is not a
Thus, aside from 'malversation' of public constitutional right, but is merely a right
funds, the law also uses the generic terms conferred by statute. The absence of a
'misappropriation', 'conversion' or 'misuse' preliminary investigation does not impair
of said fund. The fact that the acts involved the validity of the Information or otherwise
may likewise be penalized under other laws render the same defective and neither does
is incidental. The said acts are mentioned it affect the jurisdiction of the court over
only as predicate acts of the crime of the case or constitute a ground for quashing
plunder and the allegations relative thereto the Information. If the lack of a
are not to be taken or to be understood as preliminary investigation does not render
allegations charging separate criminal the Information invalid nor affect the
offenses punished under the Revised Penal jurisdiction of the court over the case, with
Code, the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices more reason can it be said that the denial
Act and Code of Conduct and Ethical of a motion for reinvestigation cannot
Standards for Public Officials and invalidate the Information or oust the court
Employees." of its jurisdiction over the case. Neither
This Court agrees with the can it be said that petitioner had been
Sandiganbayan. It is clear on the face of the deprived of due process. He was afforded
amended Information that petitioner and the opportunity to refute the charges

94
against him during the preliminary of their constitutional and statutory right to
investigation. The purpose of a preliminary fully cross-examine Rodolfo. The Court
investigation is merely to determine agrees that the right to cross-examine is a
whether a crime has been committed and constitutional right anchored on due
whether there is probable cause to believe process. However, the right has always
that the person accused of the crime is been understood as requiring not
probably guilty thereof and should be held necessarily an actual cross-examination but
for trial.(SERAPIO vs. SANDIGANBAYAN; merely an opportunity to exercise the right
G.R. No. 149116. January 28, 2003) to cross-examine if desired. What is
(c). NO. The arraignment of an accused is proscribed by statutory norm and
not a prerequisite to the conduct of jurisprudential precept is the absence of
hearings on his petition for bail. A person is the opportunity to cross-examine. The
allowed to petition for bail as soon as he is right is a personal one and may be waived
deprived of his liberty by virtue of his expressly or impliedly. There is an implied
arrest or voluntary surrender. An accused waiver when the party was given the
need not wait for his arraignment before opportunity to confront and cross-examine
filing a petition for bail. In Lavides vs. an opposing witness but failed to take
Court of Appeals, this Court ruled on the advantage of it for reasons attributable to
issue of whether an accused must first be himself alone. If by his actuations, the
arraigned before he may be granted bail. . accused lost his opportunity to cross-
We held therein that "in cases where it is examine wholly or in part the witnesses
authorized, bail should be granted before against him, his right to cross-examine is
arraignment, otherwise the accused may be impliedly waived. The testimony given on
precluded from filing a motion to quash." direct examination of the witness will be
However, the foregoing pronouncement received or allowed to remain in the
should not be taken to mean that the record. (PEOPLE vs. ESCOTE, G.R. No.
hearing on a petition for bail should at all 140756, April 4, 2003)
times precede arraignment, because the
rule is that a person deprived of his liberty 8. Quirico Dagpin was accused of murder in
by virtue of his arrest or voluntary killing Nilo Caemare using a homemade
surrender may apply for bail as soon as he shotgun. The lower court found the accused
is deprived of his liberty, even before a guilty of murder and was sentenced to
complaint or information is filed against Reclusion Perpetua. Dagpin now questions
him. (SERAPIO vs. SANDIGANBAYAN; G.R. the decision of the trial court and averred
No. 148769. January 28, 2003.) that the trial court erred in convicting him of
the crime charged on the basis mainly of his
7. Information charging Juan Gonzales having been identified by Randy, Rona and
Escote, Jr. and Victor Acuyan with robbery Rena at the police station on March 27, 1996.
with homicide which took place on a He was not assisted by counsel when the
passenger bus was filed with the Regional three pointed to him as the culprit in the
Trial Court. The trial court rendered its police station. Hence, according to the
Decision judgment finding Juan and Victor appellant, such identification is inadmissible
guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime in evidence. Was the accused Dagpin’s
charged and meted on each of them the contention meritorious?
penalty of death. Juan and Victor contend
that the trial court committed a reversible NO. The appellant was not deprived of his
error in relying on the testimony of Rodolfo, right under the Constitution to be assisted
the bus conductor, for convicting them of the by counsel because the appellant was not
crime charged. They aver that although their subjected to a custodial investigation
counsel was able to initially cross-examine where he was identified by the
Rodolfo, the former failed to continue with prosecution’s witnesses in a police line-up.
and terminate his cross-examination of the Indeed, the appellant even denied that
said witness through no fault of his as the there was no police line-up and that he was
witness failed to appear in subsequent merely with the police officers when the
proceedings. Is petitioners’ contention prosecution’s witnesses arrived in the
correct? police station. (PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. vs.
QUIRICO E. DAGPIN, G.R. No. 149560. June
NO. There is no factual and legal basis for 10, 2004)
their claim that they were illegally deprived
CITIZENSHIP the said provision should be read into the
latter law as an integral part thereof, not
9. Petitioners Hubert Tan Co and Arlene Tan being inconsistent with its purpose. (Co et
Co filed with the RTC of Manila a petition for al. vs. Civil Register of Manila, G.R. No.
correction of entries in their certificates of 138496. February 23, 2004)
birth, to correct and change the entries in
their respective birth certificates as to the LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT
citizenship of their father Co Boon Peng, from
"Chinese" to "Filipino." The court dismissed 10. Congress enacted RA 9006, entitled An
the petition outright on the ground that the Act to Enhance the Holding of Free, Orderly,
petition was insufficient, solely because the Honest, Peaceful and Credible Elections
petitioners' father Co Boon Peng applied for through Fair Election Practices, with section
naturalization under LOI No. 270 and was 14 thereof repealing Section 67 of BP 881 or
conferred Philippine citizenship by the Omnibus Election Code, which provides
naturalization under PD No. 1055 and not for the ipso facto resignation of an elective
under Commonwealth Act (CA) No. 473, official upon filing of a Certificate of
reasoning out that the application of the so- Candidacy. RA 9006 was duly signed by then
called "pari materia" rule of construction Senate President Aquilino Pimentel, Jr. and
made by the petitioners is misplaced, as what then Speaker of the House of Representatives
should be applied in the instant case is the Feliciano R. Belmonte, Jr. and was duly
rule on strict construction of legislative certified by the Secretary of the Senate and
grants or franchise. The court stressed that the Secretary General of the House of
legislative grants, whether they be of Representatives and finally passed by both
property, rights or privileges, whether Houses on February 7, 2001. President Gloria
granted to corporations or individuals, must Macapagal-Arroyo signed Rep. Act No. 9006
be strictly construed against the grantee and into law on February 12, 2001.
in favor of the grantor. Was the court correct a. Is the law unconstitutional
in dismissing the petition? insofar as it repeals Section
67 of the Omnibus Election
NO. The rule on statutory construction Code; hence in violation of
provides that, “Statutes in pari materia the Constitution requiring
should be read and construed together every law to have only one
because enactments of the same legislature subject which should be
on the same subject are supposed to form expressed in its title?
part of one uniform system; later statutes b. Was there a violation of the
are supplementary or complementary to equal protection clause?
the earlier enactments and in the passage
of its acts the legislature is supposed to a. NO. The proscription is aimed against the
SAN BEDA COLLEGE OF LAW

have in mind the existing legislations on the evils of the so-called omnibus bills and log-
subject and to have enacted its new act rolling legislation as well as surreptitious
with reference thereto.” Statutes in pari and/or unconsidered encroaches. The
materia should be construed together to provision merely calls for all parts of an act
attain the purpose of an expressed national relating to its subject finding expression in
policy. While they provide for different its title. To determine whether there has
procedures, both statutes have the same been compliance with the constitutional
purpose and objective: to enable aliens requirement that the subject of an act shall
permanently residing in the Philippines, be expressed in its title, the Court laid
who, having demonstrated and developed down the rule that Constitutional provisions
love for and loyalty to the Philippines, as relating to the subject matter and titles of
well as affinity to the culture, tradition and statutes should not be so narrowly
ideals of the Filipino people, and construed as to cripple or impede the
contributed to the economic, social and power of legislation. The requirement that
cultural development of our country, to be the subject of an act shall be expressed in
integrated into the national fabric by being its title should receive a reasonable and not
granted Filipino citizenship. Clearly, LOI a technical construction. It is sufficient if
No. 270 and CA No. 473 are, as the the title be comprehensive enough
petitioners correctly posit, statutes in pari reasonably to include the general object
materia. Absent any express repeal of which a statute seeks to effect, without
Section 15 of CA No. 473 in LOI No. 270, expressing each and every end and means

94
necessary or convenient for the Benedicto Ernesto R. Bitonio to be the DOLE
accomplishing of that object. Mere details representative to the Board of Directors of
need not be set forth. The title need not be PEZA. As representative, the petitioner was
an abstract or index of the Act. receiving a per diem for every board meeting
b. The equal protection of the law clause is he attended during the years 1995 to 1997.
against undue favor and individual or class After a post audit of the PEZA’s disbursement
privilege, as well as hostile discrimination transactions, the COA disallowed the
or the oppression of inequality. It is not payment of per diems to the petitioner. The
intended to prohibit legislation which is uniform reason for the disallowance was that,
limited either in the object to which it is Cabinet members, their deputies and
directed or by territory within which it is to assistants holding other offices in addition to
operate. It does not demand absolute their primary office and receiving
equality among residents; it merely compensation therefore was declared
requires that all persons shall be treated unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in the
alike, under like circumstances and Civil Liberties Union vs. Executive Secretary.
conditions both as to privileges conferred The petitioner filed his motion for
and liabilities enforced. The equal reconsideration to the COA, positing that
protection clause is not infringed by officials given the rank equivalent to a
legislation which applies only to those Secretary, Undersecretary or Assistant
persons falling within a specified class, if it Secretary and other appointive officials
applies alike to all persons within such below the rank of Assistant Secretary are not
class, and reasonable grounds exist for covered by the prohibition. Did the COA
making a distinction between those who fall correctly disallow the per diems received by
within such class and those who do not. the petitioner?
Substantial distinctions clearly exist
between elective officials and appointive YES. It must be noted that the petitioner’s
officials. The former occupy their office by presence in the PEZA Board meetings is
virtue of the mandate of the electorate. solely by virtue of his capacity as
They are elected to an office for a definite representative of the Secretary of Labor.
term and may be removed therefrom only Since the Secretary of Labor is prohibited
upon stringent conditions. On the other from receiving compensation for his
hand, appointive officials hold their office additional office or employment, such
by virtue of their designation thereto by an prohibition likewise applies to the
appointing authority. Some appointive petitioner who sat in the Board only in
officials hold their office in a permanent behalf of the Secretary of Labor. The ex-
capacity and are entitled to security of officio position being actually and in legal
tenure while others serve at the pleasure contemplation part of the principal office,
of the appointing authority. Another it follows that the official concerned has no
substantial distinction between the two sets right to receive additional compensation for
of officials is that under Section 55, his services in the said position. The reason
Chapter 8, Title I, Subsection A. Civil is that these services are already paid for
Service Commission, Book V of the and covered by the compensation attached
Administrative Code of 1987 (Executive to his principal office. Whatever laws and
Order No. 292), appointive officials, as rules the member in the Board is covered,
officers and employees in the civil service, so is the representative; and whatever
are strictly prohibited from engaging in any prohibitions or restrictions the member is
partisan political activity or take part in any subjected, the representative is, likewise,
election except to vote. Under the same not exempted. (BITONIO VS. COA, G.R. NO.
provision, elective officials, or officers or 147392. MARCH 12, 2004)
employees holding political offices, are
obviously expressly allowed to take part in 12. Petitioner Bernando is an officer of the
political and electoral activities. (FARINAS Land Band of the Philippines, Baliuag Branch.
vs. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, G.R. NO. During that time he deposited P500,000 in his
147387, December 10, 2003) savings account in the said bank. However on
the same day he withdrew the same amount.
CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION Coincidentally, during that time he was also
an officer and one of the alleged
11. Acting Secretary Jose S. Brilliantes of the incorporators of Mackay Trading and
DOLE designated the petitioner Director Manpower Services Inc. He likewise executed
in his capacity as treasurer in trust of the said
company, falsely certifying that “… at least 13. Resolution No. 6712 “Instructions for the
25% of the authorized capital stock of the Electronic Transmission and Consolidation of
corporation has been subscribed and 25% of Advanced Results in the May 2004 Elections”
the total subscription has been paid and has been issued by respondent and which
received by me in cash or property…” herein petitioners seek to nullify. Petitioners,
Because of such action, LBP President Vistan voters and taxpayers, aside from alleging that
filed a formal charge against Bernardo there has been a grave abuse of discretion
charging him of gross neglect, grave amounting to a lack or excess of jurisdiction
misconduct, conduct prejudicial to the best pray for the issuance of a TRO and a writ of
interest of the bank and serious violation of prohibition to permanently enjoin said
CSC rules and regulations. Petitioner was respondent from enforcing and implementing
found guilty of said charges. The LBP, MSPB, the said resolution. The petitioner assails said
CSC, Court of Appeals all affirmed the said implementation of the said resolution on the
decision. However petitioner appealed to the following grounds: First, that any quick count
SC that he did not violate CSC Rules and with the use of the said automated system
Regulation pertaining to the prohibition of an and conducted by the COMELEC would in
official of GOCC in acting as an incorporator effect constitute a canvass of the votes of
of another corporation which had some the President and Vice-President, which not
transaction with the same GOCC without any only would be pre-emptive of the authority of
permit or authorization from the the Congress, but also would be lacking of
GOCC( which in this case is LBP). He likewise any Constitutional authority. Second, there
argued that the constitutional right of due would be constitutional violations with regard
process was denied in his case. Does Bernardo to financing the said project and its
fall under the above stated prohibition? Was operations including personnel. Third, the
he denied of the right of due process? petitioner and petitioners-in-intervention
contend that the assailed resolution
YES. The evidence on record shows that he encroaches upon the authority of NAMFREL,
was not only an incorporator, but was as the citizens' accredited arm, to conduct
also a member of the Board of the "unofficial" quick count as provided under
Directors and was, in fact, the pertinent election laws. Are grounds for
treasurer of MTMSI. Even after the nullification as set forth by the petitioners
incorporation of the MTMSI, the tenable? But preliminarily, do the petitioners
petitioner remained as a stockholder have locus standi?
and a member of the Board of
Directors. He was even elected YES. Since the implementation of the
treasurer of the corporation. He and assailed resolution obviously involves the
his wife signed check vouchers of the expenditure of funds, the petitioner and
corporation during the period of the petitioners-in-intervention, as
SAN BEDA COLLEGE OF LAW

November 16, 1986 to August 24, taxpayers, possess the requisite standing to
1987. Thus he violated the CSC Rules question its validity as they have sufficient
and Regulation on the said prohibition. interest in preventing the illegal
expenditure of money raised by taxation. In
NO. As held in T. H. Valderama & Sons, Inc. essence, taxpayers are allowed to sue
v. Drilon (181 SCRA 308), denial of due where there is a claim of illegal
process cannot be successfully invoked disbursement of public funds, or that public
where a party was given the chance to be money is being deflected to any improper
heard on his motion for reconsideration. In purpose, or where the petitioners seek to
the case at bar, assuming, in gratia restrain the respondent from wasting public
argumenti, that the CSC's initial decision funds through the enforcement of an
was defective as argued by petitioner, such invalid or unconstitutional law.
defect was nevertheless cured when
petitioner filed a Motion for YES. Speaking in a nutshell, the
Reconsideration and Supplemental Motion nullification of the said resolution must be
for Reconsideration. (BERNARDO V. CA, upheld in pursuance of the provisions of
CSC, LBP, G.R. No. 124261, May 27, 2004) the Constitution, the Omnibus Election
Code and other signification statutes. First,
COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS the assailed resolution usurps, under the
guise of an "unofficial" tabulation of
election results based on a copy of the
election returns, the sole and exclusive

94
authority of Congress to canvass the votes Even if, as claimed by the
for the election of President and Vice- petitioner, the sales in question were
President. Article VII, Section 4 of the entered into by him as the real vendee, the
Constitution. Second, The assailed said transactions are in violation of the
COMELEC resolution contravenes the Constitution; hence, are null and void ab
constitutional provision that "no money initio. A contract that violates the
shall be paid out of the treasury except in Constitution and the law, is null and void
pursuance of an appropriation made by and vests no rights and creates no
law." Third, the assailed resolution obligations. It produces no legal effect at
disregards existing laws which authorize all. The petitioner, being a party to an
solely the duly-accredited citizens' arm to illegal contract, cannot come into a court of
conduct the "unofficial" counting of votes. law and ask to have his illegal objective
Under Section 27 of Rep. Act No. 7166, as carried out. One who loses his money or
amended by Rep. Act No. 8173, 49 and property by knowingly engaging in a
reiterated in Section 18 of Rep. Act No. contract or transaction which involves his
8436, 50 the accredited citizen's arm — in own moral turpitude may not maintain an
this case, NAMFREL — is exclusively action for his losses. To him who moves in
authorized to use a copy of the election deliberation and premeditation, the law is
returns in the conduct of an "unofficial" unyielding. The law will not aid either party
counting of the votes, whether for the to an illegal contract or agreement; it
national or the local elections. No other leaves the parties where it finds them.
entity, including the respondent COMELEC Under Article 1412 of the New Civil Code,
itself, is authorized to use a copy of the the petitioner cannot have the subject
election returns for purposes of conducting properties deeded to him or allow him to
an "unofficial" count. (SIXTO S. recover the money he had spent for the
BRILLANTES, JR., et al. vs. COMELEC, G.R. purchase thereof. Equity as a rule will
No. 163193, June 15, 2004) follow the law and will not permit that to
be done indirectly which, because of public
NATIONAL ECONOMY AND policy, cannot be done directly. Where the
PATRIMONY wrong of one party equals that of the
other, the defendant is in the stronger
14. AF, an Australian citizen of German position . . . it signifies that in such a
descent, met EC, a Filipina. AF bought a situation, neither a court of equity nor a
building in Ermita, Manila for P20,000. since court of law will administer a remedy. The
AF knew that he was disqualified from owning rule is expressed in the maxims: EX DOLO
lands in the Philippines, he agreed that only ORITUR ACTIO and IN PARI DELICTO POTIOR
the name of EC would appear in the deed of EST CONDITIO DEFENDENTIS.
sale as the buyer of the property as well as in (FRENZEL vs. CATITO, G.R.NO. 143958,
the title covering the same. The relationship July 11,2003)
began to deteriorate. Shortly thereafter, AF
filed a complaint for recovery of real and 15. Royal Cargo Corporation is a stock
personal properties. Will the action prosper? corporation duly organized and existing under
and by virtue of Philippine laws, seventy
NO. Section 14, Article XIV of the 1973 percent (70%) of which is owned by Filipino
Constitution provides that save in cases of citizens and thirty percent (30%) by
hereditary succession, no private land shall foreigners. The President of the petitioner
be transferred or conveyed except to company is a foreign. On April 11, 1990, the
individuals, corporations, or associations petitioner applied for a renewal to operate
qualified to acquire or hold lands in the thereof for another five years. The Air
public domain. Lands of the public domain, Carrier Accounts System and Field Audit
which include private lands, may be Division of the respondent Board
transferred or conveyed only to individuals recommended the granting of the petition,
or entities qualified to acquire or hold provided that the position of president was
private lands or lands of the public domain. transferred within thirty days from notice
Aliens, whether individuals or corporations, thereof, otherwise the permit would be
have been disqualified from acquiring lands cancelled. During the pendency of the case,
of the public domain. Hence, they have also the petitioner's authority to operate as an
been disqualified from acquiring private international airfreight forwarder as applied
lands. for under the permit in question expired in
1995. The petitioner likewise affirmed to this
Court that the respondent Board had already industrial land. Agricultural lands are only
renewed the petitioner's authority to operate those lands which are arable or suitable
as an International Airfreight Forwarder for a lands that do not include commercial,
period of five (5) years up to April 12, 2005. industrial and residential lands; it covers all
Was the Filipinization requirement complied private lands devoted to or suitable for
with when the Board renewed the agriculture regardless of the agricultural
petitioner’s authority to operate in our products raised or that can be raised
country? thereon. But long before the law took
effect, the property subject of the suit had
YES. Clearly, the instant petition has already been reclassified and converted
become moot and academic. This is evident from agricultural to non-agricultural or
from the fact that the permit to operate as residential land by the several
an international airfreight forwarder the administrative agencies. Lands not devoted
respondent Board sought to withhold from to agricultural activity are outside the
the petitioner for failing to meet the coverage of CARL. These include lands
constitutional Filipinization requirement previously converted to non-agricultural
had already lapsed in 1995. Also, with the uses prior to the effectivity of CARL by
current renewal of the petitioner's government agencies other than
authority to operate, it is to be assumed respondent DAR. The power of the local
that it has finally decided to comply with government to convert or reclassify lands to
the citizenship requirement mandated by residential lands to non-agricultural lands
the constitution for its line of business. reclassified is not subject to the approval of
Under the circumstances, the dismissal of the Department of Agrarian Reform. When
the case is clearly warranted as the Agrarian Reform Minister Conrado F.
petitioner no longer has any legal interest Estrella confirmed the reclassification of
in the present case. (ROYAL CARGO CORP. the property by the Municipal Council of
vs. CIVIL AERONAUTICS BOARD, G.R. Nos. Carmona to non-agricultural land when he
103055-56. January 26, 2004) approved, on July 3, 1979, the application
of the private respondent/LDC for the
16. Respondent CAI undertook to develop its conversion of 35.80 hectares of the
75-hectare property into a residential and property covered by TCT No. 62972 into
industrial estate. The CAI filed an application non-agricultural land, he did so pursuant to
under Republic Act No. 3844 with the Office his authority under Rep. Act No. 3844, as
of the Minister of Agrarian Reform for the amended, by P.D. No. 815 and P.D. No.
conversion of a portion of the 75-hectare 946. (PASONG BAYABAS FARMERS ASSOC.
property consisting of 35.80 hectares covered ET AL. VS. COURT OF APPEALS ET AL., GR
by TCT No. 62972 from agricultural to NOS. 142359 & 142980, MAY 25, 2004)
residential. On July 3, 1979, then Minister of
SAN BEDA COLLEGE OF LAW

Agrarian Reform Conrado F. Estrella issued an OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN


Order granting the petition. The PBFAI-
KASAMA, representing the farmers-tenants, 17. After conducting a preliminary
filed a complaint for Maintenance of Peaceful investigation, the Graft Investigator prepared
Possession and Cultivation with Damages with a Resolution dated July 28, 1997 stating that
Prayer for the Issuance of a Temporary there was probable cause for violation of
Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction Section 3(g) of Republic Act 3019, and
before the Department of Agrarian Reform recommending the filing of an Information
Adjudication Board (DARAB), against the CAI. against the malefactors for said crime. On
The plaintiffs therein alleged that since 1961, October 22, 1997, the corresponding
its members had been in actual possession of Information was filed against said
the 27-hectare property. Is the property respondents with the SB. The SB found
subject of the suit covered by RA 6657, the probable cause for the issuance of warrants
Agrarian Reform Law (CARL)? for the arrest of respondents and accordingly,
arrest warrants were issued against them. On
NO. The petitioners contend that the the same day, respondents filed with the
property subject of the suit is agricultural Office of the Ombudsman a Motion for
land; hence, covered by the CARL. The Reconsideration of its resolution dated July
contention of the petitioners has no merit. 28, 1997 but the latter denied the motion for
Under the said law, agricultural lands refer reconsideration filed by respondents with the
to lands devoted to agriculture as conferred ratiocination that the filing of an Information
in the said law and not classified as

94
before the SB precluded said Office from still Information should be withdrawn and a
taking cognizance of said motion. Undaunted, criminal case should be dismissed, and to
respondents filed with the SB on November move for the withdrawal of such
24, 1997 a "Joint Motion for Information or dismissal of a criminal case,
Reconsideration/Reinvestigation" with the final disposition of the said motion and
respect to the findings of the Office of the of the case is addressed to the sound
Ombudsman in its Resolution dated July 28, discretion of the SB subject only to the
1997. Petitioner Salmingo opposed the said caveat that the action of the SB must not
motion and contended that it was in effect impair the substantial rights of the accused
and for all intents and purposes a second and of the right of the People to due
motion for reconsideration of the resolution process of law. (PEOPLE OF THE
of the Office of the Ombudsman dated July PHILIPPINES AND IGNACIO SALMINGO VS.
28, 1997. He averred that the filing of a VELEZ ET AL.,G.R. No. 138093. February
second motion for reconsideration was 19, 2003)
proscribed by Section 27 of Republic Act 6770
and Administrative Order No. 07 issued by the PUBLIC OFFICERS
Office of the Ombudsman implementing said
law. Is petitioner Salmingo’s contention 18. NR was arrested without a warrant of
correct? arrest and charged in the Office of the City
Prosecutor with violation of PD No. 1866
NO. Contrary to the contention of Salmingo, (possession of unlicensed firearm). Public
the SB did not violate Section 27 of Prosecutor ZCI conducted an inquest
Republic Act 6770 when it treated the investigation of the case and issued a
Motion for Reconsideration/Reinvestigation resolution recommending that the case be
of respondents as a motion for dismissed for lack of probable cause.
reconsideration under Section 27 of However, Regional State Prosecutor A
Republic Act 6770. The records show that decided to assume jurisdiction over the case
the Office of the Ombudsman approved the and to order the conduct of a new
resolution prepared by the Graft preliminary investigation thereof. RSP A
Investigator finding probable cause against designated the assistant regional state
respondents for violation of Section 3(e) of prosecutor to conduct the new preliminary
Republic Act 3019 on October 17, 1997. investigation. The Assistant Regional State
Consequently, respondents had five days Prosecutor issued a subpoena notifying NR of
from notice of said resolution within which the preliminary investigation not only for
to file their motion for reconsideration. violation of PD 1866 but also for the crimes of
Even assuming that respondents received "Violation of COMELEC Resolution No. 2323
the aforesaid resolution on October 17, (gun ban), possession of deadly weapon and
1997, they had until October 22, 1997 Malicious Mischief.
within which to file their motion for When served with the subpoena
reconsideration. However, the Office of the barely a week before the scheduled
Ombudsman filed the Information against preliminary investigation, NR counsel
respondents with the SB on October 22, forthwith filed with the RTC a petition for
1997, the last day for respondents to file prohibition with prayer for a temporary
their motion for reconsideration. Patently, restraining order or a writ of preliminary
the Office of the Ombudsman filed the injunction. NR alleged that under the 1987
Information prematurely, thus depriving Revised Administrative Code and PD 1275, a
respondents of their right to file their regional state prosecutor was vested only
motion for reconsideration as provided for with administrative supervision over the city
in Section 27 of Republic Act 6770. By its prosecutor and had no power to motu proprio
agreement, the Office of the Ombudsman review, revise, or modify the resolution of
merely corrected itself when it curtly the city prosecutor on the latter's conduct of
denied the motion for a preliminary or inquest investigation of a
reconsideration/reinvestigation filed by criminal complaint filed directly therewith. Is
respondents with the Office of the RSP A empowered to motu proprio take over
Ombudsman after receiving the resolution and conduct a preliminary investigation of a
of the Office of the Ombudsman dated July case after the inquest investigation thereof
28, 1997 on the sole ground that the had already been terminated and approved
Information had already been filed with the by city prosecutor.
SB. While the Office of the Ombudsman has
the discretion to determine whether an
NO. RSP A acted without authority and with Banc took cognizance of the petition and
grave abuse of discretion amounting to issued an order directing the Election Officer
excess or lack of jurisdiction when he took of Saguiran, to bring to and produce before
over motu proprio the preliminary the COMELEC Office in Manila the original
investigation of I.S. No. 95-043 and ordered VRRs of the questioned precincts for
a new preliminary investigation thereof; technical examination. In the same order, the
hence, his actuations were a nullity. COMELEC declared that contrary to
In this case, when RSP A motu proprio took petitioner's claims, the petition did not allege
over the preliminary investigation of the a pre-proclamation controversy. The
case after the same had already been Commission characterized the petition as one
dismissed by the city prosecutor and for the annulment of the election or
ordered the assistant regional state declaration of failure of election in the
prosecutor to conduct a preliminary municipality, a special action covered by Rule
investigation of the case, he exercised not 26 of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure.
only administrative supervision but control Accordingly, the COMELEC set aside the
over the city prosecutor in the performance docketing of the petition as a Special Case
of the latter's quasi-judicial functions. The (SPC) and ordered the re-docketing thereof as
office of the regional state prosecutor does a Special Action (SPA). After its examination
not conduct any preliminary investigation of the evidence submitted by JS, the
or prosecute any criminal case in court at COMELEC concluded that there was
all. The bulk of the work of the office of convincing proof of massive fraud in the
the regional state prosecutor consists of conduct of the elections in the four (4)
administrative supervision over city or precincts that necessitated a technical
provincial or city fiscals and their examination of the original copies of the
assistants. The authority of the regional VRRs and their comparison with the voters'
state prosecutors to prosecute or signatures and fingerprints. SM filed with the
investigate specific criminal cases within SC the instant special civil action for
the region pursuant to DO No. 318 can be certiorari under Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of
exercise only upon the directives of the Civil Procedure, as amended, praying for the
Secretary of Justice. No directive hast been reversal of the order of the COMELEC En
issued in this case.(AURILLO, JR. vs NOEL Banc. (a) whether or not SM’s recourse to SC
RABI, G.R. No. 120014. November 26, under Rule 65 is in order; and (b) whether or
2002). not the petition filed by JS with the COMELEC
ELECTION LAW is a pre-proclamation controversy or a
petition for the declaration of failure of
19. JS filed a petition with the COMELEC election.
against SM and the proclaimed Vice-Mayor
and Municipal Councilors, as well as the (a) YES. The assailed order of the COMELEC
SAN BEDA COLLEGE OF LAW

members of the Municipal Board of declaring JS’s petition to be one for


Canvassers, to annul the elections and the annulment of the elections or for a
proclamation of candidates in the declaration of a failure of elections in the
Municipality of Saguiaran. JS alleged that municipality and ordering the production of
there was a massive substitution of voters, the original copies of the VRRs for the
rampant and pervasive irregularities in voting technical examination is administrative in
procedures in Precincts Nos. 19, 20, 28 and nature. Rule 64, a procedural device for
29, and a failure of the Board of Election the review of final orders, resolutions or
Inspectors (BEI) to comply with Sections 28 decision of the COMELEC, does not
and 29 of COMELEC Resolution No. 3743 and foreclose recourse to this Court under Rule
Section 193 of the Omnibus Election Code, 65 from administrative orders of said
thus rendering the election process in those Commission issued in the exercise of its
precincts a sham and a mockery and the administrative function.
proclamation of the winning candidates a As a general rule, an administrative order
nullity. In his answer, SM denied the truth of of the COMELEC is not a proper subject of a
the material allegations in the petition and special civil action for certiorari. But when
averred that it raised a pre-proclamation the COMELEC acts capriciously or
controversy. SM further alleged that the whimsically, with grave abuse of discretion
grounds relied upon by JS would be proper in amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction
an election protest but not in a pre- in issuing such an order, the aggrieved
proclamation controversy. The COMELEC En party may seek redress from this Court via

94
a special civil action for certiorari under the failure to submit the requisite
Rule 65 of the Rules. certification on non-forum shopping had
(b) NO. The petition before the COMELEC already been cured when the requisite
does not pose a pre-proclamation certification was filed on May 20, 1996 but
controversy. Pre-proclamation the MCTC denied the motion. B filed with the
controversies are properly limited to RTC a Petition for Certiorari, Prohibition and
challenges directed against the Board of Mandamus, for the nullification of the
Canvassers and proceedings before said aforesaid orders of the MCTC. RTC dismissed
Board relating to particular election returns the petition and denied the motion for
to which private respondent should have reconsideration. 1) Did MCTC err in dismissing
made specific verbal objections the election protest because it has
subsequently reduced to writing. The substantially comply with the requirements of
proceedings are summary in nature; thus, Administrative Circular 04-09. 2) Was the
the reception of evidence aliunde, e.g. the proper remedy from the assailed orders of
original copies of the VRRs, is proscribed. In the MCTC a petition for certiorari, prohibition
fine, in pre-proclamation proceedings, the and mandamus under Rule 65 of the Rules of
COMELEC is not to look beyond or behind Court instead of an appeal to the COMELEC.
election returns which are on their face
regular and authentic returns. Issues such 1. NO. Petitioner's reliance of the
as fraud or terrorism attendant to the pronouncement of this Court in Loyola vs.
election process, the resolution of which Court of Appeals, et al., is misplaced. In
would compel or necessitate the COMELEC said case, the protestant submitted the
to pierce the veil of election returns which requisite certification within the ten-day
appear to be prima facie regular, on their period for the filing of an election protest.
face, are anathema to a pre-proclamation In this case, petitioner submitted to the
controversy. Such issues should be posed MCTC the requisite certification only on
and resolved in a regular election protest May 20, 1996, long after the lapse of the
within the original jurisdiction of the ten-day period for her to file an election
Regional Trial Court. For, whenever protest. The submission by petitioner of the
irregularities, such as fraud, are asserted, requisite certificate after the reglementary
the proper course of action is an election ten-day period for the filing of an election
protest. Neither is private respondent's protest did not operate as a substantial
petition before the COMELEC one for compliance with the Circular.
declaration of a failure of elections. While 2. NO. The RTC correctly dismissed the
fraud is a ground to declare a failure of petition for certiorari for the added reason
election, such fraud must be one that that it had no appellate jurisdiction over
prevents or suspends the holding of an said petition. Section 49 of Resolution No.
election, including the preparation and 2824 of the COMELEC governing the
transmission of the election returns. barangay elections on May 6, 1996,
"Failure to elect" must be understood in its promulgated on February 6, 1996, provides
literal sense — which is, nobody emerges as that the COMELEC has appellate jurisdiction
a winner. (MACABAGO vs. COMELEC, G.R. over decisions of the MCTC or MTC on
No. 152163. November 18, 2002) election protests. MCTC did not commit
grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack
20. On May 9, 1996, B filed an election or excess of jurisdiction in dismissing the
protest with the 13th MCTC Loay, Bohol. protest for her failure to comply with
However, B failed to append to her election Administrative Circular 04-09. (BATOY vs
protest a certification of non-forum shopping RTC, G.R. No. 126833. February 17,
as mandated by Supreme Court 2003).
Administrative Circular No. 04-94. On May 20,
1996, petitioner submitted to the court the 21. A criminal complaint for violation of
requisite Certification of Non-Forum Shopping Section 261 (a) of the Omnibus Election Code
and filed an opposition to the motion to (vote selling) was filed against the witnesses
dismiss filed by C claiming that her failure to of Florentino A. Bautista. The Office of the
comply with Supreme Court Administrative Cavite Provincial Prosecutor conducted a
Circular No. 04-94 was merely a technical preliminary investigation of the complaint, in
deficiency. The MCTC granted the motion to his capacity as a deputy of the petitioner. On
dismiss of C and dismiss the election protest April 10, 2000, the Office of the Cavite
of B. The latter filed a motion for Provincial Prosecutor issued a resolution
reconsideration of said order, insisting that finding probable cause against the
respondents for violations of Section 261 (a) 22. Arsenio Latasa was elected mayor of the
and (b) of the Omnibus Election Code, and Municipality of Digos, Davao del Sur in the
filed separate Informations against them with elections of 1992, 1995 and 1998. During his
the RTC of Cavite. COMELEC, after due third term, the Municipality of Digos was
deliberation, resolved to defer the action and declared a component city, to be known as
referred the same to the Law Department for the City of Digos. This event also marked the
comment and recommendation. However, the end of petitioner's tenure as mayor of the
Provincial Prosecutor refused to give way to Municipality of Digos. However, under Section
the Legal Officer of the petitioner and even 53, Article IX of the Charter, petitioner was
opposed the said motion. Was the action of mandated to serve in a hold-over capacity as
the Provincial Prosecutor correct? mayor of the new City of Digos. Hence, he
took his oath as the city mayor.
NO. Under Article IX, Section 2(b) of the On February 28, 2001, petitioner filed
Constitution, the petitioner is empowered his certificate of candidacy for city mayor for
to investigate and, when appropriate, the May 14, 2001 elections. He stated therein
prosecute election offenses. The grant by that he is eligible therefor, and likewise
the Constitution to the petitioner of the disclosed that he had already served for three
express power to investigate and prosecute consecutive terms as mayor of the
election offenses is intended to enable the Municipality of Digos and is now running for
petitioner to assure the people of a fine, the first time for the position of city mayor.
orderly, honest, peaceful and credible Private respondent Romeo M. Sunga, also a
election. Under Section 265 of the Omnibus candidate for city mayor in the said
Election Code, the petitioner, through its elections, filed before the COMELEC a
duly authorized legal officers, has the Petition to Deny Due Course, Cancel
exclusive power to conduct preliminary Certificate of Candidacy and/or For
investigation of all election offenses Disqualification against petitioner Latasa
punishable under the Omnibus Election Sunga alleging therein that petitioner falsely
Code, and to prosecute the same. The represented in his certificate of candidacy
petitioner may avail of the assistance of the that he is eligible to run as mayor of Digos
prosecuting arms of the government. City since petitioner had already been
The prosecutors deputized by the elected and served for three consecutive
petitioner are subject to its authority, terms as mayor from 1992 to 2001.
control and supervision in respect of the a. Is petitioner Latasa disqualified
particular functions covered by such from running as City Mayor?
deputation. The acts of such deputies b. Who must be proclaimed City
within the lawful scope of their delegated Mayor?
authority are, in legal contemplation, the
acts of the petitioner itself. Such authority a. YES. Although the new city acquired a
SAN BEDA COLLEGE OF LAW

may be revoked or withdrawn any time by new corporate existence separate and
the petitioner, either expressly or distinct from that of the municipality. This
impliedly, when in its judgment such does not mean, however, that for the
revocation or withdrawal is necessary to purpose of applying the subject
protect the integrity of the process to Constitutional provision, the office of the
promote the common good, or where it municipal mayor would now be construed
believes that successful prosecution of the as a different local government post as that
case can be done by the petitioner. of the office of the city mayor. As stated
Moreover, being mere deputies or agents of earlier, the territorial jurisdiction of the
the petitioner, provincial or city City of Digos is the same as that of the
prosecutors deputized by the petitioner are municipality. Consequently, the inhabitants
expected to act in accord with and not of the municipality are the same as those in
contrary to or in derogation of the the city. These inhabitants are the same
resolutions, directives or orders of the group of voters who elected petitioner
petitioner in relation to election cases such Latasa to be their municipal mayor for
prosecutors are deputized to investigate three consecutive terms. These are also the
and prosecute. Otherwise, the only option same inhabitants over whom he held power
of such provincial or city prosecutor is to and authority as their chief executive for
seek relief from the petitioner as its nine years.
deputy. (COMELEC vs. HON. ESPANOL, G.R. b. This Court has consistently ruled that the
NO. 149164-73, December 10, 2003) fact that a plurality or a majority of the
votes are cast for an ineligible candidate at

94
a popular election, or that a candidate is election results in a failure to elect on
later declared to be disqualified to hold account of force majeure, violence,
office, does not entitle the candidate who terrorism, fraud or other analogous cases.
garnered the second highest number of In all instances there must have been a
votes to be declared elected. The same failure to elect. This is obvious in the first
merely results in making the winning two scenarios, where the election was not
candidate's election a nullity. In the held and where the election was
present case, moreover, 13,650 votes were suspended. As to the third scenario, the
cast for private respondent Sunga as against preparation and the transmission of the
the 25,335 votes cast for petitioner Latasa. election returns, which give rise to the
The second placer is obviously not the consequence of failure to elect, must as
choice of the people in that particular aforesaid be literally interpreted to mean
election. In any event, a permanent that "nobody emerged as a winner."
vacancy in the contested office is thereby Hence, before the COMELEC can act
created which should be filled by on a verified petition seeking to declare a
succession. (LATASA vs. COMELEC, G.R. failure of elections, two conditions must
NO. 154829, December 10, 2003) concur, namely, (1) no voting took place in
the precinct or precincts on the date fixed
23. AT filed a petition to declare failure of by law, or even if there was voting, the
elections in all the precincts in the election resulted in a failure to elect; and
Municipality of Luuk, Province of Sulu. Acting (2) the votes not cast would have affected
on said motion, COMELEC issued an order the result of the election. Note that the
suspending the proclamation of the winning cause of such failure of election could only
candidates. However, the Provincial Board of be any of the following: force majeure,
Canvassers was not served with a copy of the violence, terrorism, fraud or other
order. Consequently, the respondents were analogous causes. (TAN vs. COMELEC, G.R.
proclaimed as the winning candidates for the NO. 148575-76, December 10, 2003)
position of Governor, Vice-Governor and
Board Members. Is there a basis for filing an 24. During the May 14, 2001 elections, Bai
action for failure of elections? Susan A. Samad, Salipongan I. Dagloc and
Kennedy Dilangalen were among the
NO. In their amended petitions before the mayoralty candidates in the Municipality of
public respondent, it was substantially Kabuntalan, Province of Maguindanao. During
alleged that the respondents were the duly the canvassing of the election returns for the
proclaimed winning candidates; that the Municipality of Kabuntalan, Samad, Dagloc
elections in the Municipalities of Luuk, and Dilangalen filed their respective
Parang and Indanan, Province of Sulu, were objections and oppositions to the inclusion or
marred by massive substitution of voters, exclusion from the canvass of certain election
fraud, terrorism and other anomalies, returns from several precincts. Samad
impelling them to file their petitions contested the inclusion of the election
pursuant to Section 4 of Rep. Act No. 7166 returns from all of Brgy. Bagumbayan, on the
in relation to Section 6, Omnibus Election grounds that: (a) the returns were tampered
Code, and reiterated in Section 2, Rule 26 and falsified, and (b) the returns were
26 of the 1993 COMELEC Rules of prepared under duress, threats, coercion and
Procedure, as amended. But Section 6 of intimidation. COMELEC in its resolution
the Omnibus Election Code lays down three invalidated the Certificate of Canvass. Is the
instances where a failure of election may action of COMLELEC proper?
be declared, namely, (1) the election in any
polling place has not been held on the date NO. The policy consideration underlying the
fixed on account of force majeure, delimitation of both substantive ground and
violence, terrorism, fraud or other legal procedure is the policy to determine
analogous causes; (2) the election in any as quickly as possible the result of the
polling place has been suspended before election on the basis of the canvass. The
the hour fixed by law for the closing of the prevailing doctrine in this jurisdiction,
voting on account of force majeure, therefore, is that as long as the returns
violence, terrorism, fraud or other appear to be authentic, and duly
analogous causes; or (3) after the voting accomplished on their face, the Board of
and during the preparation and Canvassers cannot look beyond or behind
transmission of the election returns or in them to verify allegations of irregularities
the custody or canvass thereof, such in the casting and counting of the votes.
Outright exclusion of election
returns on the ground that they were NO. While it is true that the COMELEC is
fraudulently prepared by some members or vested with a broad power to enforce all
non-members of the BEI disenfranchises the election laws, the same is subject to the
voters. Hence, when election returns are right of the parties to due process. In this
found to be spurious or falsified, Section case, the petitioners had been proclaimed
235 of the Omnibus Election Code provides as the winning candidates and had assumed
the procedure which enables the COMELEC their office. Since then, they had been
to ascertain the will of the electorate. exercising their rights and performing their
The COMELEC, therefore, gravely duties as members of the Sangguniang
abused its discretion when it excluded Bayan of Palimbang, Sultan Kudarat. Their
outright the subject election returns after proclamation on May 20, 2001 enjoys the
finding that they were fraudulent returns. presumption of regularity and validity since
Instead, the COMELEC should have followed no contest or protest was even filed
the procedure laid down in Section 235 of assailing the same. The petitioners cannot
the Omnibus Election Code: ". . . The be removed from office without due
Commission shall then, after giving notice process of law. Due process in the
to all candidates concerned and after proceedings before the public respondent
satisfying itself that nothing in the ballot exercising its quasi-judicial functions,
box indicate that its identity and integrity requires due notice and hearing, among
have been violated, order the opening of others. Thus, although the COMELEC
the ballot box and, likewise after satisfying possesses, in appropriate cases, the power
itself that the integrity of the ballots to annul or suspend the proclamation of any
therein has been duly preserved shall order candidate, we also ruled in Fariñas vs.
the board of election inspectors to recount Commission on Elections, Reyes vs.
the votes of the candidates affected and Commission on Elections and Gallardo vs.
prepare a new return which shall then be Commission on Elections that the COMELEC
used by the board of canvassers as basis of is without power to partially or totally
the canvass." (DAGLOC vs. COMELEC, GR NO annul a proclamation or suspend the effects
154442-47, December 10, 2003) of a proclamation without notice and
hearing. (NAMIL, et.al. vs. COMELEC, et.al.
25. The petitioners and the private G.R. No. 150540. October 28, 2003)
respondents in the case are candidates for
the members of the Sangguniang ng Bayan
elections in Palimbang, Sultan, Kudarat. On
May 20, 2001, the Municipal Board of
PART IV: BAR-TYPE
Canvasser of Palimbang issued Certificate of QUESTIONS: BASED ON
Canvass of Votes and Proclamation (COCVP)
LOWER COURT
SAN BEDA COLLEGE OF LAW

No. 8031108 which contained, inter alia, the


petitioners as winners. The said candidates POLITICAL LAW
took their oath, and assumed their offices on
June 30, 2001 4 as members of the DECISIONS THAT HAVE
Sangguniang Bayan of Palimbang.
The next day, May 21, 2001, the
BEEN AFFIRMED BY
Municipal Board of Canvassers of Palimbang THE SC
issued COCVP No. 8031109 which listed the
private respondents as winners. The matter
was then investigated and resolved the issue REGIONAL TRIAL COURT:
finding that the private respondents were the 1. Mr. Marti, a foreigner, delivered a package
winning candidates. The COMELEC approved to the cargo forwarding business of Mr. Reyes
it. Petitioners’ questioned this contending so that it can be sent to the former’s friend
that they were not afforded due process. in Switzerland. Mr. Reyes sought to inspect
COMELEC on the other hand asserted that the the package but Mr. Marti refused. However
twin requirement of notice and hearing in before the package was delivered to the
annulment of proclamation is not applicable Bureau of Customs, Mr. Reyes conducted a
since the proclamation is null and void, citing final inspection of the packages in his
Utto vs. Commission on Elections. Was the possession, and he found marijuana in the
COMELEC correct in dispensing notice and package of Mr. Marti. He then informed the
hearing since the proclamation was null and NBI of what he found and invited them to his
void? place of business. Upon the NBI agents

94
arrival he open in their presence Mr. Marti’s between individuals, between a private
package and it was confirmed that it individual and other individuals. What the
contained marijuana leaves. Mr. Marti was Bill of Rights does is to declare some
charged of a violation of the Dangerous Drugs forbidden zones in the private sphere
Act. He was later convicted by then Judge inaccessible to any power holder. (PEOPLE
Callejo, Sr.(now Supreme Court Justice). Mr. VS. MARTI, G.R. No. 81561. January 18,
Marti contends that he was wrongfully 1991)
convicted of the crime, because the
contraband was obtained in violation of his 2: Marlo was immediately subjected to an
constitutional right against unreasonable interrogation upon his arrest in the house of
search and seizure. his friend in Tayabas, Quezon. He was then
A. Was the search conducted by Mr. Reyes, a brought to the Tayabas Police Station where
private person, a violation of Mr. Marti’s he was further questioned. And while on their
right? way to Manila, the arresting agents again
B. Was the search conducted converted into elicited incriminating information. In all
an illegal search by the mere presence of NBI three instances, he confessed to the
agents when the box was opened? commission of the crime and admitted his
C. Does the Bill of Rights govern the participation therein. In all those instances,
relationships between individuals? he was not assisted by counsel. He now
questions the admissibility of his extrajudicial
A. NO. The constitutional proscription confession contending that he was not
against unlawful searches and seizures appraised of his constitutional right to remain
could only be invoked against the State to silent and to counsel. On the other hand the
whom the restraint against arbitrary and prosecution contends that the constitutional
unreasonable exercise of power is imposed. infirmity was cured by the fact that the
If the search is made upon the Marlo’s lawyer was there when the extra
request of law enforcers, a warrant must judicial confession was signed.
generally be first secured if it is to pass the A. Would the failure to inform Marlo of his
test of constitutionality. However, if the constitutional rights and absence of his
search is made at the behest or initiative of lawyer render the extra judicial confession
the proprietor of a private establishment inadmissible?
for its own and private purposes, as in the B. Are the constitutional infirmities cured by
case at bar, and without the intervention of the belated arrival of Marlo’s lawyer?
police authorities, the right against
unreasonable search and seizure cannot be A. Yes. At the time a person is arrested, it
invoked for only the act of private shall be the duty of the arresting officer to
individual, not the law enforcers, is inform him of the reason for the arrest and
involved. In sum, the protection against he must be shown the warrant of arrest, if
unreasonable searches and seizures cannot any. He shall be informed of his
be extended to acts committed by private constitutional rights to remain silent and to
individuals so as to bring it within the ambit counsel, and that any statement he might
of alleged unlawful intrusion by the make could be used against him. The
government. person arrested shall have the right to
communicate with his lawyer, a relative, or
B. NO. The mere presence of the NBI anyone he chooses by the most expedient
agents did not convert the reasonable means — by telephone if possible — or by
search effected by Reyes into a warrantless letter or messenger. It shall be the
search and seizure proscribed by the responsibility of the arresting officer to see
Constitution. Merely to observe and look at to it that this is accomplished. No custodial
that which is in plain sight is not a search. investigation shall be conducted unless it
Having observed that which is open, where be in the presence of counsel engaged by
no trespass has been committed in aid the person arrested, by any person on his
thereof, is not search. Where the behalf, or appointed by the court upon
contraband articles are identified without a petition either of the detainee himself or
trespass on the part of the arresting officer, by anyone on his behalf . . . Any statement
there is not the search that is prohibited by obtained in violation of the procedure
the Constitution. herein laid down, whether exculpatory or
C. NO. The Bill of Rights governs the inculpatory, in whole or in part, shall be
relationship between the individual and the inadmissible in evidence.
state. Its concern is not the relation
B. NO. The belated arrival of the Marlo’s and prohibited drugs came from a
lawyer the following day even if prior to confidential informant, and therefore,
the actual signing of the uncounseled initially hearsay. Nevertheless, the
confession does not cure the defect for the surveillance and investigation he conducted
investigators were already able to extract on the basis of said confidential information
incriminatory statements from accused- enabled him to gain personal knowledge of
appellant. The operative act, it has been the illegal activities of Pedro. Hence, his
stressed, is when the police investigation is testimony was sufficient justification for
no longer a general inquiry into an unsolved the examining judge to conclude that there
crime but has begun to focus on a particular was probable cause for the issuance of a
suspect who has been taken into custody by search warrant. (CUPCUPIN VS. PEOPLE,
the police to carry out a process of G.R. No. 132389. November 19, 2002)
interrogation that lends itself to eliciting
incriminatory statements, and not the COURT OF APPEALS
signing by the suspect of his supposed
extrajudicial confession. Admissions 4. The NHA sought to expropriate the land
obtained during custodial interrogations owned by Isidro and the trial court found that
without the benefit of counsel although it has the right to expropriate the land.
later reduced to writing and signed in the Socialized housing has been recognized as
presence of counsel are still flawed under public use for purposes of exercising the
the Constitution. (PEOPLE VS. COMPIL, G.R. power of eminent domain. The trial court
No. 95028. May 15, 1995) fixed in an order that the just compensation
for the subject property to be P11,200.00 per
3. Based on a confidential information that square meter. However after sometime NHA
Pedro is engaged in selling shabu, and in moved that the expropriation proceedings be
possession of firearms and ammunitions dismissed citing that the implementation of
without the necessary license NBI Agent Tim, its socialized housing project was rendered
conducted a surveillance on the vicinity of impossible by the unconscionable value of the
Pedro's residence. After confirming said land sought to be expropriated, which the
confidential information, Agent Tim applied intended beneficiaries can not afford.
for the issuance of search warrants before A. What are the stages in
the Regional Trial Court of Manila. The court expropriation proceedings?
issued the search warrant applied for and the B. Can the State be compelled or
same was served. Illegal drugs and coerced by the courts to exercise the
unlicensed firearms were seized from Pedro’s power of eminent domain in the case
house. He now questions the legality of the at bar?
search warrant, claiming that the applicant, C. Are the funds of the NHA subject
Agent Tim, does not have personal knowledge to garnishment?
SAN BEDA COLLEGE OF LAW

of his alleged illegal activities and hence his


testimony is not sufficient for the issuance of A. Expropriation proceedings consists of two
the said warrants. Can it be said that Agent stages: first, condemnation of the property
Tim has personal knowledge sufficient to after it is determined that its acquisition will
justify the issuance of the search warrant? be for a public purpose or public use and,
second, the determination of just
YES. In determining probable cause in the compensation to be paid for the taking of
issuance of a search warrant, the oath private property to be made by the court
required must refer to the truth of the with the assistance of not more than three
facts within the personal knowledge of the commissioners.
applicant or his witnesses, because the B. Yes. The right of the plaintiff to dismiss
purpose thereof is to convince the an action with the consent of the court is
committing magistrate, not the individual, universally recognized with certain well-
making the affidavit and seeking the defined exceptions. The dismissal of an
issuance of the warrant, of the existence of action for eminent domain at the instance of
probable cause. the plaintiff during the pendency of the case
In the case at bar, NBI Agent Tim who is permissible. However the rule is different
applied for the issuance of Search Warrant, where the case had been decided and the
had personal knowledge of the judgment had already become final and
circumstances on which the warrants were executory.
based. Admittedly, Rejano's knowledge of
petitioner's illegal possession of firearms

94
Respondent landowners had already
been prejudiced by the expropriation case. CONSTITUTION OF THE PHILIPPINES
Petitioner NHA cannot be permitted to
institute condemnation proceedings against The grant to Congress as a Constituent
respondents only to abandon it later when it Assembly of such plenary authority to call a
finds the amount of just compensation constitutional convention includes, by virtue
unacceptable. It is arbitrary and capricious of the doctrine of necessary implication, all
for a government agency to initiate other powers essential to the effective
expropriation proceedings, seize a person's exercise of the principal power granted, such
property, allow the judgment of the court to as the power to fix the qualifications,
become final and executory and then refuse number, apportionment, and compensation of
to pay on the ground that there are no the delegates, as well as appropriation of
appropriations for the property earlier taken funds to meet expenses for the election of
and profitably used. We condemn in the delegates and for the operation of the
strongest possible terms the cavalier attitude Constitutional Convention itself, as well as all
of government officials who adopt such a other implementing details indispensable to a
despotic and irresponsible stance. fruitful convention.
C. Yes. The universal rule that where the While the authority to call a constitutional
State gives its consent to be sued by private convention is vested by the present
parties either by general or special law, it Constitution solely and exclusively in
may limit claimant's action "only up to the Congress acting as a Constituent Assembly,
completion of proceedings anterior to the the power to enact the implementing details
stage of execution" and that the power of the does not exclusively pertain to Congress
Courts ends when the judgment is rendered, acting as a Constituent Assembly. Such
since government funds and properties may implementing details are matters within the
not be seized under writs of execution or competence of Congress in the exercise of its
garnishment to satisfy such judgments, is comprehensive legislative power, which
based on obvious considerations of public power encompasses all matters not expressly
policy. Disbursements of public funds must be or be necessary implication withdrawn or
covered by the corresponding appropriation removed by the Constitution from the ambit
as required by law. of legislative action.
However, if the funds belong to a Consequently, when Congress, acting as a
public corporation or a government-owned or Constituent Assembly, omits to provide for
controlled corporation which is clothed with such implementing details after calling a
a personality of its own, separate and distinct constitutional convention, Congress, acting as
from that of the government, then its funds a legislative body, can enact the necessary
are not exempt from garnishment. This is so implementing legislation to fill in the gaps.
because when the government enters into (IMBONG V. COMELEC (35 SCRA 28 [1970])
commercial business, it abandons its
sovereign capacity and is to be treated like CONCEPT OF THE STATE
any other corporation.
The NHA having a juridical The absolute and permanent
personality separate and distinct from the allegiance of the inhabitants of a territory
government, the funds of such government- occupied by the enemy to their legitimate
owned and controlled corporations and non- government or sovereign is not abrogated or
corporate agency, although considered public severed by the enemy occupation, because
in character, are not exempt from the sovereignty of the government or
garnishment. (NHA VS. HEIRS OF sovereign de jure is not transferred thereby
GUIVELONDO & CA, G.R. NO. 154411. JUNE to the occupier, and if it is not transferred to
19, 2003) the occupant, it must necessarily remain
vested in the legitimate government. The
sovereignty vested in the titular government
(which is the supreme power which governs a
body politic or society which constitute the
PART V: DOCTRINES OF state) must be distinguished from the
exercise of the rights inherent thereto, and
LANDMARK CASES may be destroyed or severed and transferred
to another, but it cannot be suspended
without putting it out of existence or
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW
divesting the possessor thereof at least during tacitly given its consent to be sued only when
the so-called period of suspension. What may it enters into business contracts It does not
be suspended is the exercise of the rights of apply where the contract relates to the
sovereignty with the control and government exercise of its sovereign functions. (USA V.
of the territory occupied by the enemy passes RUIZ (136 SCRA 487 [1985])
temporarily to the occupant. As a corollary
of the conclusion that the sovereignty itself is The Labor Code, in relation to Act
not suspended and subsists during the enemy No. 3083, provides the legal basis for the
occupation, the allegiance of the inhabitants State liability but the prosecution,
to their legitimate government or sovereign enforcement or satisfaction thereof must still
subsists, and therefore, there is no such thing be pursued in accordance with the rules and
as suspended allegiance. LAUREL V. MISA (77 procedures laid down in C.A. 327, as
Phil 856 [1947]) amended by P.D. 1445. (DEPARTMENT OF
AGRICULTURE V. NLRC (227 SCRA 693
DOCTRINE OF STATE IMMUNITY [1993])

There seems to be a failure to Municipal corporations, for example,


distinguish between suability and liability and like provinces and cities, are agencies of the
a misconception that the two terms are State when they are engaged in governmental
synonymous. Suability depends on the functions and therefore should enjoy the
consent of the state to be sued, liability on sovereign immunity from suit. Nevertheless,
the applicable law and the established facts. they are subject to suit even in the
The circumstance that a state is suable does performance of such functions because their
not necessarily mean that it is liable; on the charter provided that they can sue and be
other hand, it can never be held liable if it sued.
does not first consent to be sued. Liability is A distinction should first be made
not conceded by the mere fact that the state between suability and liability. "Suability
has allowed itself to be sued. When the state depends on the consent of the state to be
does waive its sovereign immunity, it is only sued, liability on the applicable law and the
giving the plaintiff the chance to prove, if it established facts. The circumstance that a
can, that the defendant is liable. state is suable does not necessarily mean that
The said article (Article 2180, NCC) it is liable; on the other hand. it can never be
establishes a rule of liability, not suability. held liable if it does not first consent to be
The government may be held liable under this sued. Liability is not conceded by the mere
rule only if it first allows itself to be sued fact that the state has allowed itself to be
through any of the accepted forms of sued. When the state does waive its sovereign
consent. USA V. GUINTO (182 SCRA 644 immunity, it is only giving the plaintiff the
[1990]) chance to prove, if it can, that the defendant
SAN BEDA COLLEGE OF LAW

is liable." (United States of America v.


The traditional rule of State immunity Guinto, supra, p. 659-660) (MUNICIPALITY
exempts a State from being sued in the OF SAN FERNANDO, LA UNION V. FIRME
courts of another State without its consent or (195 SCRA 692 [1991])
waiver. This rule is a necessary consequence
of the principles of independence and FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES AND STATE
equality of States. However, the rules of POLICIES
International, Law are not petrified; they are
constantly developing and evolving. And As regards the question whether an
because the activities of states have international agreement may be invalidated
multiplied, it has been, necessary to by our courts, suffice it to say that the
distinguish them-between sovereign and Constitution of the Philippines has clearly
governmental acts (jure imperii) and private, settled it in the affirmative, by providing, in
commercial and proprietary acts (jure Section 2 of Article VIII thereof, that the
gestionis). Supreme Court may not be deprived "of its
The restrictive application of State immunity jurisdiction to review, revise, reverse,
is proper only when the proceedings arise out modify, or affirm on appeal, certiorari, or
of commercial transactions of the foreign writ of error, as the law or the rules of court
sovereign, its commercial activities or may provide, final judgments and decrees of
economic affairs. Stated differently, a State inferior courts in - (1) All cases in which the
may be said to have descended the level of constitutionality or validity of any treaty,
an individual and can thus be deemed to have law, ordinance, or executive order or

94
regulation is in question". In other words, our that their exploration, development and
Constitution authorizes the nullification of a utilization be equitably accessible to the
treaty, not only when it conflicts with the present as well as future generations.
fundamental law, but, also, when it runs Needless to say, every generation has a
counter to an act of Congress. (GONZALES V. responsibility to the next to preserve that
HECHANOVA (9 SCRA 230 [1963]) rhythm and harmony for the full enjoyment
of a balanced and healthful ecology. Put a
Social justice is "neither communism, little differently, the minors' assertion of
nor despotism, nor atomism, nor anarchy," their right to a sound environment
but the humanization of laws and the constitutes, at the same time, the
equalization of social and economic forces by performance of their obligation to ensure the
the State so that justice in its rational and protection of that right for the generations to
objectively secular conception may at least come. (OPOSA V. FACTORAN (224 SCRA 792
be approximated. Social justice means the [1993])
promotion of the welfare of all the people,
the adoption by the Government of measures Now, autonomy is either
calculated to insure economic stability of all decentralization of administration or
the competent elements of society, through decentralization of power. There is
the maintenance of a proper economic and decentralization of administration when the
social equilibrium in the interrelations of the central government delegates administrative
members of the community, constitutionally, powers to political subdivisions in order to
through the adoption of measures legally broaden the base of government power and in
justifiable, or extra-constitutionally, through the process to make local governments "more
the exercise of powers underlying the responsive and accountable," and "ensure
existence of all governments on the time- their fullest development as self-reliant
honored principle of salus populi est suprema communities and make them more effective
lex. partners in the pursuit of national
Social justice, therefore, must be development and social progress." At the
founded on the recognition of the necessity same time, it relieves the central government
of interdependence among divers and diverse of the burden of managing local affairs and
units of a society and of the protection that enables it to concentrate on national
should be equally and evenly extended to all concerns. The President exercises "general
groups as a combined force in our social and supervision" over them, but only to "ensure
economic life, consistent with the that local affairs are administered according
fundamental and paramount objective of the to law." He has no control over their acts in
state of promoting the health, comfort, and the sense that he can substitute their
quiet of all persons, and of bringing about judgments with his own.
"the greatest good to the greatest number. Decentralization of power, on the
(CALALANG V. WILLAMS (70 Phil 726 other hand, involves an abdication of political
[1940]) power in the favor of local governments units
declared to be autonomous. In that case, the
Petitioners minors assist that they autonomous government is free to chart its
represent their generation as well as own destiny and shape its future with
generations yet unborn. We find no difficulty minimum intervention from central
in ruling that they can, for themselves, the authorities. According to a constitutional
others of generation and for proceedings author, decentralization of power amounts to
class sum of their personality to sue in behalf "self-immolation," since in that event, the
of the succeeding generations can only be autonomous government becomes
based on the concept intergenerational accountable not to the central authorities but
responsibility insofar as the right to and to its constituency. LIMBONAS V. MANGELIN
healthful ecology is concerned. Such a right, (170 SCRA 786 [1989])
as hereinafter expounded, considers the
"rhythm and harmony of nature." Nature The authority to regulate the manner
means the created world in its entirety. Such of examining public records does not carry
rhythm and harmony indispensably include, with it the power to prohibit. A distinction
inter alia, the judicious disposition, has to be made between the discretion to
utilization, management, renewal and refuse outright the disclosure of or access to
conservation of the country's forest, mineral, a particular information and the authority to
land, waters, fisheries, wildlife, off-shore regulate the manner in which the access is to
areas and other natural resources to the end be afforded. The first is a limitstion upon the
availability of access to the information enforcement or administration of a law, it is
sought, which only the Legislature may essential, to forestall a violation of the
impose (Art. III, Sec. 6, 1987 Constitution). principle of separation of powers, that said
The second pertains to the government law: (a) be complete in itself - it must set
agency charged with the custody of public forth therein the policy to be executed,
records. Its authority to regulate access is to carried out or implemented by the delegate -
be exercised solely to the end that damage and (b) fix a standard - the limits of which
to, or loss of, public records may be avoided, are sufficiently determinate or determinable
undue interference with the duties of said - to which the delegate must conform in the
agencies may be prevented, and more performance of his functions. Indeed,
importantly, that the exercise of the same without a statutory declaration of policy, the
constitutional right by other persons shall be delegate would, in effect, make or formulate
assured. (LEGASPI V. CIVIL SERVICE such policy, which is the essence of every
COMMISSION (150 SCRA 530 [1987]) law; and, without the aforementioned
standard, there would be no means to
SEPARATION OF POWERS determine, with reasonable certainty,
whether the delegate has acted within or
While the doctrine of separation of beyond the scope of his authority. Hence, he
powers is a relative theory not to be could thereby arrogate upon himself the
enforced with pedantic rigor, the practical power, not only to make the law, but, also -
demands of government precluding its and this is worse - to unmake it, by adopting
doctrinaire application, it cannot justify a measures inconsistent with the end sought to
member of the judiciary being required to be attained by the Act of Congress, thus
assume a position or perform a duty nullifying the principle of separation of
nonjudicial in character. That is implicit in powers and the system of checks and
the principle. Otherwise there is a plain balances, and, consequently undermining the
departure from its command. The essence of very foundation of our Republican system.
the trust reposed in him is to decide. Only a (PELAEZ V. AUDITOR GENERAL (15 SCRA
higher court, as was emphasized by Justice 569 [1965])
Barredo, can pass on his actuation. He is not
a subordinate of an executive or legislative LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT
official, however eminent It is indispensable
that there be no exception to the rigidity of Residence, in its ordinary conception,
such a norm if he is, as expected, to be implies the factual relationship of an
confined to the task of adjudication. Fidelity individual to a certain place. It is the physical
to his sworn responsibility no less than the presence of a person In a given area,
maintenance of respect for the judiciary can community or country, The essential
be satisfied with nothing less. (IN RE distinction between residence and domicile in
SAN BEDA COLLEGE OF LAW

MANZANO (166 SCRA 248 [1988]) law is that residence involves the intent to
leave when the purpose for which the
The term "political question" resident has taken up his abode ends. One
connotes, in legal parlance, what it means in may seek a place for purposes such as
ordinary parlance, namely, a question of pleasure, business, or health. If a person's
policy. In other words, . . . it refers "to those intent be to remain, it becomes his domicile;
questions which, under the Constitution, are if his intent is to leave as soon as his purpose
to be decided by the people in their is established it is residence. It is thus, quite
sovereign capacity, or in regard to which full perfectly normal for an individual to have
discretionary authority has been delegated to different residences in various places.
the Legislature or executive branch of the However, a person can only have a single
Government." It is concerned with issues domicile, unless, for various reasons, he
dependent upon the wisdom, not legality, of successfully abandons his domicile in favor of
a particular measure. (TANADA V. CUENCO another domicile of choice. In Uytengsu vs.
(103 Phil 1051 [1965]) Republic, we laid this distinction quite
clearly.
"There is a difference between domicile
DELEGATION OF POWERS and residence. 'Residence is used to
indicate a place of abode, whether
Although Congress may delegate to permanent or temporary; 'domicile'
denotes a fixed permanent residence to
another branch of the government the power which, when absent, one has the
to fill in the details in the execution,

94
intention of returning. A man may have a The Constitution expressly grants to the
residence in one place and a domicile in House of Representatives the prerogative,
another. Residence is not domicile, but within constitutionally defined limits, to
domicile is residence coupled with the choose from among its district and party-list
intention to remain for an unlimited time.
A man can have but one domicile for the
representatives those who may occupy the
same purpose at any time, but he may seats allotted to the House in the HRET and
have numerous places of residence. His the CA. Section 18, Article VI of the
place of residence is generally his place Constitution explicitly confers on the Senate
of domicile, but it is not by any means and on the House the authority to elect
necessarily so since no length of among their members those who would fill
residence without intention of remaining the 12 seats for Senators and 12 seats for
will constitute domicile." House members in the Commission on
For political purposes the concepts of Appointments. Under Section 17, Article VI of
residence and domicile are dictated by the the Constitution, each chamber of Congress
peculiar criteria of political laws. As these exercises the power to choose, within
concepts have evolved in our election law, constitutionally defined limits, who among
what has clearly and unequivocally emerged their members would occupy the allotted 6
is the fact that residence for election seats of each chamber’s respective electoral
purposes is used synonymously with domicile. tribunal. Thus, even assuming that party-list
(ROMUALDEZ-MARCOS V. COMELEC (248 representatives comprise a sufficient number
SCRA 300 [1995]) and have agreed to designate common
nominees to the HRET and the CA, their
In case of vacancy in the Senate or in primary recourse clearly rests with the House
the House of Representatives, a special of Representatives and not with this Court.
election may be called to fill such vacancy in Under Sections 17 and 18, Article VI of the
the manner prescribed by law, but the Constitution, party-list representatives must
Senator or Member of the House of first show to the House that they possess the
Representatives thus elected shall serve only required numerical strength to be entitled to
for the unexpired term. seats in the HRET and the CA. Only if the
In case a vacancy arises in Congress House fails to comply with the directive of
at least one year before the expiration of the the Constitution on proportional
term, Section 2 of R.A. No. 6645, as representation of political parties in the
amended, requires COMELEC: (1) to call a HRET and the CA can the party-list
special election by fixing the date of the representatives seek recourse to this Court
special election, which shall not be earlier under its power of judicial review.
than sixty (60) days nor later than ninety (90) The discretion of the House to choose
after the occurrence of the vacancy but in its members to the HRET and the CA is not
case of a vacancy in the Senate, the special absolute, being subject to the mandatory
election shall be held simultaneously with the constitutional rule on proportional
next succeeding regular election; and (2) to representation. However, under the doctrine
give notice to the voters of, among other of separation of powers, the Court may not
things, the office or offices to be voted for. interfere with the exercise by the House of
An election held at the time thus this constitutionally mandated duty, absent a
prescribed is not invalidated by the fact that clear violation of the Constitution or grave
the body charged by law with the duty of abuse of discretion amounting to lack or
calling the election failed to do so. excess of jurisdiction. Otherwise, ‘the
The test in determining the validity doctrine of separation of powers calls for
of a special election in relation to the failure each branch of government to be left alone
to give notice of the special election is to discharge its duties as it sees fit. Neither
whether the want of notice has resulted in can the Court speculate on what action the
misleading a sufficient number of voters as House may take if party-list representatives
would change the result of the special are duly nominated for membership in the
election. If the lack of official notice misled a HRET and the CA. (SENATOR AQUILINO Q.
substantial number of voters who wrongly PIMENTEL, JR., et al. V. HOUSE OF
believed that there was no special election to REPRESENTATIVES ELECTORAL TRIBUNAL,
fill a vacancy, a choice by a small percentage et al. (G.R. No. 141489, November 29,
of voters would be void. (ARTURO 2002)
TOLENTINO VS. COMMISSION ON
ELECTIONS, G.R. No.14334, January 21, That the framers of the 1987
2004) Constitution intended to restore fully to the
Electoral Tribunals exclusive jurisdiction over the Senate may propose an entirely new bill
all contests relating to the election, returns as a substitute measure.
and qualifications of its Members, consonant As to what Presidential certification
with the return to the separation of powers can accomplish, we have already explained in
of the three branches of government under the main decision that the phrase “except
the presidential system, is too evident to when the President certifies to the necessity
escape attention. The new Constitution has of its immediate enactment, etc." in Article
substantially retained the COMELEC's purely VI, Section 26 (2) qualifies not only the
administrative powers, namely, the exclusive requirement that "printed copies [of a bill] in
authority to enforce and administer all laws its final form [must be] distributed to the
and regulations relative to the conduct of an members three days before its passage" but
election, plebiscite, initiative, referendum, also the requirement that before a bill can
and recall; to decide, except those involving become a law it must have passed "three
the right to vote, all questions affecting readings on separate days."
elections; to deputize law enforcement Apparently, the members of the
agencies and government instrumentalities Senate believed that there was an urgent
for election purposes; to register political need for consideration of S. No. 1630,
parties and accredit citizens' arms; to file in because they responded to the call of the
court petitions for inclusion and exclusion of President by voting on the bill on second and
voters and prosecute, where appropriate, third readings on the same day. While the
violations of election laws [Art. IX(C), Sec. judicial department is not bound by the
2(l), (3)-(6)], as well as its rule-making Senate's acceptance of the President's
power. In this sense, and with regard to these certification, the respect due coequal
areas of election law, the provisions of the departments of the government in matters
Omnibus Election Code are fully applicable, committed to them by the Constitution and
except where specific legislation provides the absence of a clear showing of grave abuse
otherwise. But the same cannot be said with of discretion caution a stay of the Judicial
regard to the jurisdiction of the COMELEC to hand.
hear and decide election contests. This has The purpose for which three readings
been trimmed down under the 1987 on separate days is required is said to be two-
Constitution. Whereas the 1973 Constitution fold- (1) to inform the members of Congress
vested the COMELEC with jurisdiction to be of what. they must vote on and (2) to give
the sole judge of all contests relating to the them notice that a measure is progressing
elections, returns and qualifications of all through the enacting process- thus enabling
Members of the Batasang Pambansa and them and others interested in the measure to
elective provincial and city officials [Art. prepare their positions with reference to it.
XII(C), Sec. 2(2)], the 1987 Constitution, To require every end and means
while lodging in the COMELEC exclusive necessary for the accomplishment of the
SAN BEDA COLLEGE OF LAW

original jurisdiction over all contests relating general objectives of the statute to be
to the elections, returns and qualifications of expressed in its title would not only be
all elective regional, provincial and city unreasonable but would actually render
officials and appellate jurisdiction over legislation impossible. As has been correctly
contests relating to the election of municipal explained in Philippine Judges Association v.
and barangay officials [Art. IX(C), Sec. 2(2)], Prado (227 SCRA 703 [1993]):
expressly makes the Electoral Tribunals of The details of a legislative act need
the Senate and the House of Representatives not be specifically stated in its title, but
the sole judge of all contests relating to the matter germane to the subject as
election, returns and qualifications of their expressed in the title, and adopted to the
accomplishment of the object in view,
respective Members [Art. VI, Sec. 17]. may properly be included in the act.
(LAZATIN V. HRET (168 SCRA 391 [1988]) Thus, it is proper to create in the same
act the machinery by which the act is to
While Article VI, Section 24 provides be enforced, to prescribe the penalties
that all appropriation, revenue or tariff bills, for its infraction, and to remove obstacles
bills authorizing increase of the public debt, in the way of its execution. If such
bills of local application, and private bills matters are properly connected with the
must "originate exclusively in the House of subject as expressed in the title, it is
Representatives," it also adds, "but the unnecessary that they should also have
special mention in the title, (Southern
Senate may propose or concur with Pac. Co. v. Bartine, 170 Fed, 725)
amendments." In the exercise of this power,

94
(TOLENTINO V. SECRETARY OF initiated (1) if there is a finding by the House
FINANCE (235 SCRA 630 [1994]) Committee on Justice that the verified
complaint and/or resolution is sufficient in
Enshrined in the 1987 Philippine substance, or (2) once the House itself
Constitution is the mandate that “no money affirms or overturns the finding of the
shall be paid out of the Treasury except in Committee on Justice that the verified
pursuance of an appropriation made by law.” complaint and/or resolution is not sufficient
Thus, in the execution of government in substance (3) by the filing or endorsement
contracts, the precise import of this before the Secretary General of the House of
constitutional restriction is to require the Representatives of a verified complaint or a
various agencies to limit their expenditures resolution of impeachment by at least 1/3 of
within the appropriations made by law for the members of the House. These rules
each fiscal year. clearly contravene Section 3(5) of Article XI
Complementary to the foregoing since the rules give the term “initiate” a
constitutional injunction are pertinent different meaning.
provisions of law and administrative issuances Having concluded that the initiation
that are designed to effectuate the above takes place by the act of filing of the
provision in a detailed manner (Sections 46 impeachment complaint and referral to the
and 47, Chapter 8, Subtitle B, Title I, Book V, House Committee on Justice, the initial
Administrative Code of 1987). action taken thereon, the meaning of Section
It is quite evident from the tenor of the 3(5) of Article XI becomes clear. Once an
language of the law that the existence of impeachment complaint has been initiated in
appropriations and the availability of funds the foregoing manner, another may not be
are indispensable pre-requisites to or filed against the same official within a one-
conditions sine qua non for the execution of year period following Article XI, Section 3(5)
government contracts. The obvious intent is of the Constitution.
to impose such conditions as a priori In fine, considering that the first
requisites to the validity of the proposed impeachment complaint, was filed by former
contract. Using this as our premise, we President Estrada against Chief Justice Hilario
cannot accede to PHOTKINA’s contention that G. Davide Jr., along with seven associate
there is already a perfected contract. While justices of this court on June 2003 and
we held in Metropolitan Manila Development referred to the House Committee on Justice
Authority vs. Jancom Environmental on August 5,2003, the second impeachment
Corporation that “the effect of an unqualified complaint filed by Representative Gilberto C.
acceptance of the offer or proposal of the Teodoro, Jr. and Felix William Fuentabella
bidder is to perfect a contract, upon notice against the Chief Justice on October 23, 2003
of the award to the bidder,” however, such violates the constitutional prohibition against
statement would be inconsequential in a the initiation of impeachment proceedings
government where the acceptance referred against the same impeachable officer within
to is yet to meet certain conditions. To hold one year. (FRANCISCO JR., ET AL. VS.
otherwise is to allow a public officer to HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ET AL. (G.R.
execute a binding contract that would No. 161634, March 3, 2004)
obligate the government in an amount in
excess of the appropriations made for the EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT
purpose for which the contract was
attempted to be made. This is a dangerous Since the evident purpose of the
precedent. (COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS vs. framers of the 1987Constitution is to impose
QUIJANO-PADILLA (G.R. No. 151992, a stricter prohibition on the President, Vice-
September 18, 2002) President, members of the Cabinet, their
deputies and assistants with respect to
Consulting the records of the holding multiple offices or employment in the
Constitutional Convention, according to Fr. government during their tenure, the
Bernas S.J. , under Art. XI Sec 3 (5), the exception to this prohibition must be read
proceeding is initiated or begins when a with equal severity. On its face, the language
verified complaint is filed and referred to the of Section 13, Article VII is prohibitory so that
Committee on Justice for further action. This it must be understood as intended to be a
is the interpretation adopted by the framers positive and unequivocal negation of the
of the fundamental law. Under sections 16 privilege of holding multiple government
and 17 of Rule V of the House Impeachment offices or employment. Verily, wherever the
Rules, impeachment proceedings are deemed language used in the constitution is
prohibitory, it is to be understood as in appoint officers whom he (the President) may
tended to be a positive and unequivocal be authorized by law to appoint is already
negation. The phrase "unless otherwise vested in the President, without need of
provided in this Constitution" must be given a confirmation by the Commission on
literal interpretation to refer only to those Appointments, in the second sentence of the
particular in stances cited in the Constitution same Sec. 16, Article VII.
itself, to wit: the Vice-President being Therefore, the third sentence of Sec.
appointed as a member of the Cabinet under 16, Article VII could have stated merely that,
Section 3, par. (2), Article VII; or acting as in the case of lower-ranked officers, the
President in those instances provided under Congress may by law vest their appointment
Section 7, pars. (2) and (3), Article VII; and, in the President, in the courts, or in the
the Secretary of Justice being ex-officio heads of various departments of the
member of the Judicial and Bar Council by government. In short, the word "alone" in the
virtue of Section 8 (1), Article VIII. third sentence of Sec. 16, Article-VII of the
The prohibition against holding dual 1987 Constitution, as a literal import from
or multiple offices or employment under the last part of par. 3, section 10, Article VII
Section 13, Article VII of the Constitution of the 1935 Constitution, appears to be
must not, however, be construed as applying redundant in the light of the second sentence
to posts occupied by the Executive officials of Sec. 16, Article VII. And, this redundancy
specified therein without additional cannot prevail over the clear and positive
compensation in an ex-officio capacity as intent of the framers of the 1987 Constitution
provided by law and as required by the that presidential appointments, except those
primary functions of said officials' office. The mentioned in the first sentence of Sec. 16,
reason is that these posts do no comprise Article VII, are not subject to confirmation by
"any other office within the contemplation of the Commission on Appointments.
the constitutional prohibition but are Coming now to the immediate
properly an imposition of additional duties question before the Court, it is evident that
and functions on said officials. To the position of Commissioner of the Bureau of
characterize these posts otherwise would Customs (a bureau head) is not one of those
lead to absurd consequences. within the first group of appointments where
The term ex-officio means "from the consent of the Commission on
office; by virtue of office." It refers to an Appointments is required. As a matter of
"authority derived from official character fact, as already pointed out, while the 1935
merely, not expressly conferred upon the Constitution includes "heads of bureaus"
individual character, but rather annexed to among those officers whose appointments
the official position." Ex-officio likewise need the consent of the Commission on
denotes an "act done in an official character, Appointments, the 1987 Constitution, on the
or as a consequence of office, and without other hand, deliberately excluded the
SAN BEDA COLLEGE OF LAW

any other appointment or authority than that position of "heads of bureaus" from
conferred by the office." An ex-officio appointments that need the consent
member of a board is one who is a member (confirmation) of the Commission on
by virtue of his title to a certain office, and Appointments. (SARMIENTO V. MISON (156
without further warrant or appointment. SCRA 549 [1987])
(CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION V. EXECUTIVE
SECRETARY (194 SCRA 317 [1991])

In the 1987 Constitution, however, as


already pointed out, the clear and expressed
intent of its framers was to exclude
presidential appointments from confirmation
by the Commission on Appointments, except
appointments to offices expressly mentioned
in the first sentence of Sec. 16, Article VII.
Consequently, there was no reason to use in
the third sentence of Sec, 16, Article VII the
word "alone" after the word "President" in
providing that Congress may by law vest the
appointment of lower-ranked officers in the
President alone, or in the courts, or in the
heads of departments, because the power to

94
An ad interim appointment is a withhold its consent to the appointment as
permanent appointment because it takes required by the Constitution.
effect immediately and can no longer be An ad interim appointment that has
withdrawn by the President once the lapsed by inaction of the Commission on
appointee has qualified into office. The fact Appointments does not constitute a term of
that it is subject to confirmation by the office. The period from the time the ad
Commission on Appointments does not alter interim appointment is made to the time it
its permanent character. The term "ad lapses is neither a fixed term nor an
interim appointment", as used in letters of unexpired term. To hold otherwise would
appointment signed by the President, means mean that the President by his unilateral
a permanent appointment made by the action could start and complete the running
President in the meantime that Congress is of a term of office in the COMELEC without
in recess. It does not mean a temporary the consent of the Commission on
appointment that can be withdrawn or Appointments. This interpretation renders
revoked at any time. In other words, he also inutile the confirming power of the
enjoys the constitutional protection that Commission on Appointments. (MA. J.
"[n]o officer or employee in the civil service ANGELINA G. MATIBAG, vs. ALFREDO L.
shall be removed or suspended except for BENIPAYO, et al. (G.R. No. 149036, April 2,
cause provided by law." 2002)
Under the second paragraph of
Section 16, Article VII of the Constitution, the An officer in control lays down the
President can choose either of two modes in rules in the doing of an act. If they are not
appointing officials who are subject to followed, he may, in his discretion, order the
confirmation by the Commission on act undone or re-done by his subordinate or
Appointments. First, while Congress is in he may even decide to do it himself.
session, the President may nominate the Supervision does not cover such authority.
prospective appointee, and pending consent The supervisor or superintendent merely sees
of the Commission on Appointments, the to it that the rules are followed, but he
nominee cannot qualify and assume office. himself does not lay down such rates, nor
Second, during the recess of Congress, the does he have the discretion to modify or
President may extend an ad interim replace them. If the rules are not observed,
appointment which allows the appointee to he may order the work done or re-done but
immediately qualify and assume office. only to conform to the prescribed rules. He
Whether the President chooses to nominate may not prescribe his own manner for the
the prospective appointee or extend an ad doing of the act. He has no judgment on this
interim appointment is a matter within the matter except to see to it that he rules are
prerogative of the President because the followed. (DRILON V. LIM (235 SCRA 135
Constitution grants her that power. This [1994])
Court cannot inquire into the propriety of the
choice made by the President in the exercise Due process of law demands that in
of her constitutional power, absent grave all criminal prosecutions (where the accused
abuse of discretion amounting to lack or stands to lose either his life or his liberty),
excess of jurisdiction on her part, which has the accused shall be entitled to, among
not been shown in the instant case. others, a trial.37 The trial contemplated by
There is no dispute that an ad interim the due process clause of the Constitution, in
appointee disapproved by the Commission on relation to the Charter as a whole, is a trial
Appointments can no longer be extended a by judicial process, not by executive or
new appointment. The disapproval is a final military process. Military commissions or
decision of the Commission on Appointments tribunals, by whatever name they are called,
in the exercise of its checking power on the are not courts within the Philippine judicial
appointing authority of the President. system. As explained by Justice Teehankee in
However, an ad interim appointment that is his separate dissenting opinion "x x x Civilians
by-passed because of lack of time or failure like (the) petitioner placed on trial for civil
of the Commission on Appointments to offenses under general law are entitled to
organize is another matter. A by-passed trial by judicial process, not by executive or
appointment is one that has not been finally military process.
acted upon on the merits by the Commission
on Appointments at the close of the session "Judicial power is vested by the
of Congress. There is no final decision by the Constitution exclusively in the Supreme
Commission on Appointments to give or Court and in such inferior courts as are
duly established by law. Judicial power moral stain. It involves forgiveness and not
exists only in the courts, which have forgetfulness.
'exclusive power to hear and determine The better considered cases regard
those matters which affect the life or full pardon (at least one not based on the
liberty or property of a citizen.'
"Since we are not enemy-occupied
offender's innocence) as relieving the party
territory nor are we under a military from all the punitive consequences of his
government and even on the premise that criminal act, including the disqualifications or
martial law continues in force, the disabilities based on the finding of guilt. But
military tribunals cannot try and exercise it relieves him from nothing more. "To say,
jurisdiction over civilians for civil offenses how. ever, that the offender is a 'new mare,
committed by them which are properly and' as innocent as if he had never committed
cognizable by the civil courts that have the offense;' is to ignore the difference
remained open and have been regularly between the crime and the criminal. A person
functioning.”
adjudged guilty of an offense is a convicted
Moreover, military tribunals pertain
criminal, though pardoned; he may be
to the Executive Department of the
deserving of punishment, though left
Government and are simply instrumentalities
unpunished; and the law may regard him as
of the executive power, provided by the
more dangerous to society than one never
legislature for the President as Commander-
found guilty of crime, though it places no
in-Chief to aid him in properly commanding
restraints upon him following his conviction."
the army and navy and enforcing discipline
A pardon looks to the future. It is not
therein, and utilized under his orders or those
retrospective. It makes no amends for the
of his authorized military representatives.
past. It affords no relief for what has been
Following the principle of separation of
suffered by the offender. It does not impose
powers underlying the existing constitutional
upon the government any obligation to make
organization of the Government of the
reparation for what has been suffered. "Since
Philippines, the power and the duty of
the offense has been established by judicial
interpreting the laws (as when an individual
proceedings, that which has been done or
should be considered to have violated the
suffered while they were in force is presumed
law) is primarily a function of the judiciary.
to have been rightfully done and justly
It is not, and it cannot be the function of the
suffered, and no satisfaction for it can be
Executive Department, through the military
required." (MONSANTO V. FACTORAN (170
authorities. And as long as the civil courts in
SCRA 190 [1989])
the land remain open and are regularly
functioning, as they do so today and as they
Section 18, Article VII does not
did during the period of martial law in the
expressly prohibit the President from
country, military tribunals cannot try and
declaring a state of rebellion. Note that the
exercise jurisdiction over civilians for
Constitution vests the President not only with
offenses committed by them and which are
SAN BEDA COLLEGE OF LAW

Commander-in-Chief powers but, first and


properly cognizable by the civil courts. To
foremost, with Executive powers.
have it otherwise would be a violation of the
Section 1, Article VII of the 1987
constitutional right to due process of the
Philippine Constitution states:
civilian concerned. (OLAGUER V. MILITARY
“The executive power shall be vested
COMMISSION NO. 34 (150 SCRA 144 [1987])
in the President….” As if by
exposition, Section 17 of the same
The modern trend of authorities now
Article provides: “He shall ensure
rejects the unduly broad language of the
that the laws be faithfully
Garland case (reputed to be perhaps the most
executed.”
extreme statement which has been made on
Thus, the President’s authority to
the effects of a pardon). To our mind, this is
declare a state of rebellion springs in the
the more realistic approach. While a pardon
main from her powers as chief executive and,
has generally been regarded as blotting out
at the same time, draws strength from her
the existence of guilt so that in the eye of
Commander-in-Chief powers.
the law the offender is as innocent as though
It is not disputed that the President
he never committed the offense, it does not
has full discretionary power to call out the
operate for all purposes. The very essence of
armed forces and to determine the necessity
a pardon is forgiveness or remission of guilt.
for the exercise of such power. While the
Pardon implies guilt. It does not erase the
Court may examine whether the power was
fact of the commission of the crime and the
exercised within constitutional limits or in a
conviction thereof. It does not wash out the
manner constituting grave abuse of

94
discretion, none of the petitioners here have, Appointments. That is not a political question
by way of proof, supported their assertion because, as Chief Justice Concepcion
that the President acted without factual explained in Tañada v. Cuenco:
basis. . . . the term "political question"
The argument that the declaration of connotes, in legal parlance, what it
a state of rebellion amounts to a declaration means in ordinary parlance, namely, a
of martial law and, therefore, is a question of policy. In other words, . . . it
refers "to those questions which, under
circumvention of the report requirement, is a the Constitution, are to be decided by the
leap of logic. There is no indication that people in their sovereign capacity, or in
military tribunals have replaced civil courts in regard to which full discretionary
the “theater of war” or that military authority has been delegated to the
authorities have taken over the functions of Legislature or executive branch of the
civil government. There is no allegation of Government." It is concerned with issues
curtailment of civil or political rights. There dependent upon the wisdom, not legality,
is no indication that the President has of a particular measure.
exercised judicial and legislative powers. In Even if we were to assume that the
short, there is no illustration that the issue presented before us was political in
President has attempted to exercise or has nature, we would still not be precluded from
exercised martial law powers. resolving it under the expanded jurisdiction
Nor by any stretch of the imagination conferred upon us that now covers, in proper
can the declaration constitute an indirect cases, even the political question. Article VII,
exercise of emergency powers, which Section 1, of the Constitution clearly
exercise depends upon a grant of Congress provides:
pursuant to Section 23 (2), Article VI of the Section 1. The judicial power shall be
vested in one Supreme Court and in such
Constitution: lower courts as may be established by
Sec. 23. (1) …. law.
(2) In times of war or other national Judicial power includes the duty of
emergency, the Congress may, by law, the courts of justice to settle actual
authorize the President, for a limited controversies involving rights which are
period and subject to such restrictions as legally demandable and enforceable, and
it may prescribe, to exercise powers to determine whether or not there has
necessary and proper to carry out a been a grave abuse of discretion
declared national policy. Unless sooner amounting to lack or excess of
withdrawn by resolution of the Congress, jurisdiction on the part of any branch or
such powers shall cease upon the next instrumentality of the Government.
adjournment thereof.
(DAZA V. SINGSON (180 SCRA 496
The petitions do not cite a specific [1989])
instance where the President has attempted
to or has exercised powers beyond her In line with the liberal policy of this
powers as Chief Executive or as Commander- Court on locus standi, ordinary taxpayers,
in-Chief. The President, in declaring a state members of Congress, and even association of
of rebellion and in calling out the armed planters, and non-profit civic organizations
forces, was merely exercising a wedding of were allowed to initiate and prosecute
her Chief Executive and Commander-in- actions before this Court to question the
Chief powers. These are purely executive constitutionality or validity of laws, acts,
powers, vested on the President by Sections 1 decisions, rulings, or orders of various
and 18, Article VII, as opposed to the government agencies or instrumentalities.
delegated legislative powers contemplated by We find the instant petition to be of
Section 23 (2), Article VI. (SANLAKAS vs. transcendental importance to the public. The
EXECUTIVE SECRETARY ANGELO REYES ET. issues it raised are of paramount public
AL (G.R. No. 159085. February 3, 2004) interest and of a category even higher than
those involved in many of the aforecited
JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT cases. The ramifications of such issues
immeasurably affect the social, economic,
Our finding is that what is before us is and moral wellbeing of the people even in
not a discretionary act of the House of the remotest barangays of the country and
Representatives that may not be reviewed by the counter-productive and retrogressive
us because it is political in nature. What is effects of the envisioned on-line lottery
involved here is the legality, not the wisdom, system are as staggering as the billions in
of the act of that chamber in removing the pesos it is expected to raise. The legal
petitioner from the Commission on
standing then of the petitioners deserves Not every action filed by a taxpayer
recognition and, in the exercise of its sound can qualify to challenge the legality of
discretion, this Court hereby brushes aside official acts done by the government. A
the procedural barrier which the respondents taxpayer's suit can prosper only if the
tried to take advantage of. (KILOSBAYAN, governmental acts being questioned involve
INC. V. GUINGONA, JR. (232 SCRA 110 disbursement of public funds upon the theory
[1994]) that the expenditure of public funds by an
officer of the state for the purpose of
The rule is settled that no question administering an unconstitutional act
involving the constitutionality or validity of a constitutes a misapplication of such funds,
law or governmental act may be heard and which may be, enjoined at the request of a
decided by the court unless there is taxpayer. (JOYA V. PCGG (225 SCRA 596
compliance with the legal requisites for [1993])
judicial inquiry, namely: that the question
must be raised by the proper party; that CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION
there must be an actual case or controversy;
that the question must be raised at the Appointment is an essentially
earliest possible opportunity; and, that the discretionary power and must be performed
decision on the constitutional or legal by the officer in which it is vested according
question must be necessary to the to his best lights, the only condition being
determination of the case itself. But the that the appointee should possess the
most important are the first two (2) qualifications required by law. If he does,
requisites. then the appointment cannot be faulted on
On the first requisite, we have held the ground that there are others better
that one having no right or interest to protest qualified who should have been preferred.
cannot invoke the jurisdiction of the court as This is a political question involving
party-plaintiff in an action. This is premised considerations of wisdom which only the
on Sec. 2, Rule 3, of the Rules of Court which appointing authority can decide. (LUEGO V.
provides that every action must be CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION (143 SCRA 327
prosecuted and defended in the name of the [1986])
real party-in-interest, and that all persons
having interest in the subject of the action It is well-settled that when the
and in obtaining the relief demanded shall be appointee is qualified, as in this case, and all
joined as plaintiffs. The Court will exercise the other legal requirements are satisfied,
its power of judicial review only if the case is the Commission has no alternative but to
brought before it by a party who, has the attest to the appointment in accordance with
legal standing to raise the constitutional or the Civil Service Law. The Commission has no
legal question. "Legal standing" means a authority to revoke an appointment on the
SAN BEDA COLLEGE OF LAW

personal and substantial interest in the case ground that another person is more qualified
such that the party has sustained or will for a particular position. It also has no
sustain direct injury as a result of the authority to direct the appointment of a
governmental act that is being challenged. substitute of its choice. To do so would be an
The term "interest" is material interest, an encroachment on the discretion vested upon
interest in issue and to be affected by the the appointing authority. An appointment is
decree, as distinguished from mere interest essentially within the discretionary power of
in the question involved, or a mere incidental whomsoever it is vested, subject to the only
interest. Moreover, the interest of the party condition that the appointee should possess
plaintiff must be personal and not one based the qualifications required by law. (CENTRAL
on a desire to vindicate the constitutional BANK V. CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION (171
right of some third and unrelated party. SCRA 744)
There are certain instances however
when this Court has allowed exceptions to The view that an elective official may
the rule on legal standing, as when a citizen be appointed to another post if allowed by
brings a case for mandamus to procure the law or by the primary functions of his office,
enforcement of a public duty for the ignores the clear-cut difference in the
fulfillment of a public right recognized by the wording of the two (2) paragraphs of Sec. 7,
Constitution, and when a taxpayer questions Art. IX-B, of the Constitution. While the
the validity of a governmental act authorizing second paragraph authorizes holding of
the disbursement of public funds. multiple offices by an appointive official
when allowed by law or by the primary

94
functions of his position, the first paragraph appealable, [Article IX, (C), Section 2(2),
appears to be more stringent by not providing paragraph 2 of the Constitution] does not
any exception to the rule against preclude a recourse to this Court by way of a
appointment or designation of an elective special civil action of certiorari. (GALIDO V.
official to other government posts, except as COMELEC [1991])
are particularly recognized in the
Constitution itself, e.g., the President as It is clear from Section 3, Article IX-C
head of the economic and planning agency; of the 1987 Constitution that election cases
the Vice-President, who may be appointed include pre-proclamation controversies, and
Member of the Cabinet; and, a member of all such cases must first be heard and decided
Congress who may be designated ex officio by a Division of the Commission. The
member of the Judicial and Bar Council. Commission, sitting en banc, does not have
The distinction between the first and the authority to hear and decide the same at
second paragraphs of Sec. 7, Art. IX-B, was the first instance. In the COMELEC RULES OF
not accidental when drawn, and not without PROCEDURE, pre-proclamation cases are
reason. It was purposely sought by the classified as Special Cases and, in compliance
drafters of the Constitution as shown in their with the above provision of the Constitution,
deliberation. The distinction being clear, the the two (2) Divisions of the Commission are
exemption allowed to appointive officials in vested with the authority to hear and decide
the second paragraph cannot be extended to these Special Cases.2 Rule 27 thereof governs
elective officials who are governed by the Special Cases; specifically, Section 9 of the
first paragraph. said Rule provides that appeals from rulings
This argument is apparently based on of the Board of Canvassers are cognizable by
a wrong premise. Congress did not any of the Divisions to which they are
contemplate making the subject SBMA posts assigned and not by the Commission en banc.
as ex officio or automatically attached to the (SARMIENTO V. COMELEC (212 SCRA 307
Office of the Mayor of Olongapo City without [1992])
need of appointment. The phrase "shah be
appointed" unquestionably shows the intent Conformably to those provisions of
to make the SBMA posts appointive and not the Constitution [Art. IX-C, Sec. 2 (2) and Art.
merely adjunct to the post of Mayor of IX-A, Sec. 7] all election cases, including pre-
Olongapo City. Had it been the legislative proclamation controversies, must be decided
intent to make the subject positions ex by the COMELEC in division. Should a party be
officio, Congress would have, at least, dissatisfied with the decision, he may file a
avoided the word "appointed" and, instead, motion for reconsideration before the
"ex officio" would have been used. (FLORES COMELEC en banc. It is, therefore, the
V. DRILON (223 SCRA 568 [1993]) decision, order or ruling of the COMELEC en
banc that, in accordance with Art. IX, A, Sec.
COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS 7, "may be brought to the Supreme Court on
certiorari." (REYES V. RTC OF ORIENTAL
We now hold that the last paragraph MINDORO (244 SCRA 41 [1995])
of Section 50 of B. P. Blg. 697 providing as
follows: “The Commission is vested with The COMELEC has the power to promulgate
exclusive authority to hear and decide the necessary rules and regulations to
petitions for certiorari, prohibition and enforce and administer election laws. This
mandamus involving election cases,” remains power includes the determination, within the
in full force and effect but only in such cases parameters fixed by law, of appropriate
where, under paragraph (2), Section 1, periods for the accomplishment of certain
Article IX-C of the Constitution, it has pre-election acts like filing petitions for
exclusive appellate jurisdiction. Simply put, registration under the party-list system. This
the COMELEC has the authority to issue the is exactly what the COMELEC did when it
extraordinary writs of certiorari, prohibition, issued its Resolution No. 6320 declaring
and mandamus only in aid of its appellate September 30, 2003, as the deadline for filing
jurisdiction. (RELAMPAGOS V. CUMBA (243 petitions for registration under the party-list
SCRA 690 [1995]) system. Considering these, as well as the
multifarious pre-election activities that the
The fact that decisions, final orders Comelec is mandated to undertake, the
or rulings of the Commission on Elections in issuance of its Resolution No. 6320 cannot be
contests involving elective municipal and considered tainted with grave abuse of
barangay offices are final, executory and not
discretion. (AKLAT vs. COMELEC (G.R. No. (PHILIPPINE AIR LINES V. COA (245 SCRA 39
162203 April 14, 2004) [1995])

LOGAL GOVERNMENT

COMMISSION ON AUDIT Not only historical examination but


textual analysis as well supports the ruling of
Both the 1973 and 1987 Constitutions the COMELEC that Art. X, Section 8
conferred upon the COA a more active role contemplates service by local officials for
and invested it with broader and more three consecutive terms as a result of
extensive powers. These were not meant to election. The first sentence speaks of "the
make it a toothless tiger, but a dynamic, term of office of elective local officials" and
effective, efficient and independent watch bars "such official[s]" from serving for more
dog of the Government. than three consecutive terms. The second
In determining whether an sentence, in explaining when an elective
expenditure of a Government agency or local official may be deemed to have served
instrumentality such as the NPC is irregular, his full term of office, states that "voluntary
unnecessary, excessive, extravagant or renunciation of the office for any length of
unconscionable, the COA should not be bound time shall not be considered as an
by the opinion of the legal counsel of said interruption in the continuity of his service
agency or instrumentality which may have for the full term for which he was elected."
been the basis for the questioned The term served must therefore be one "for
disbursement; otherwise, it would indeed be. which [the official concerned] was elected."
come a toothless tiger and its auditing The purpose of this provision is to prevent a
function would be a meaningless and futile circumvention of the limitation on the
exercise. Its beacon lights then should be number of terms an elective local official
nothing more than the pertinent laws and its may serve. Conversely, if he is not serving a
rules and regulations. term for which he was elected because he is
The COA, both under the 1973 and simply continuing the service of the official
1987 Constitutions, is a collegial body. It he succeeds, such official cannot be
must resolve cases presented to it as such. Its considered to have fully served the term
General Counsel cannot act for the notwithstanding his voluntary renunciation of
Commission for he is not even a office prior to its expiration. (BORJA, JR. V.
Commissioner thereof. He can only offer legal COMELEC (295 SCRA 157 [1998])
advice or render an opinion in order to aid
the COA in the resolution of a case or a legal NATIONAL ECONOMY AND PATRIMONY
question. (OROCIO V. COMMISSION ON
AUDIT (213 SCRA 109 [1992]) The Philippine Mining Act of 1995 is
SAN BEDA COLLEGE OF LAW

Constitutional. From the deliberations of the


The COA is clothed under Section Constitutional Convention, the Court
2(2), Article IX-D of the 1987 Constitution concluded that agreements involving either
with the "exclusive authority, subject to the technical or financial assistance are in fact
limitations in this Article, to define the scope service contracts, but unlike those of the
of its audit and examination, establish the 1973 variety, the new ones are between
techniques and methods required therefore, foreign corporations acting as contractors on
and promulgate accounting and auditing the one hand; and the on the other, the
rules, and regulations including those for the government as the principal or “owner” of
prevention and disallowance of irregular, the works. As written by the framers and
unnecessary, excessive, extravagant or ratified and adopted by the people, the
unconscionable expenditures, or uses of Constitution allows the continued use of
government funds and properties." The service contracts with foreign corporations—
authority granted under this constitutional as contractors who would invest in and
provision, being broad and comprehensive operate and manage extractive enterprises,
enough, enables COA to adopt as its own, subject to full control and supervision of the
simply by reiteration or by reference, without State.
the necessity of re-promulgation, already The concept of control adopted in
existing rules and regulations. It may also Section 2 of Article XII must be taken to mean
expand the coverage thereof to agencies or less than dictatorial, all-encompassing
instrumentalities under its audit jurisdiction. control; but nevertheless, sufficient to give
the State the power to direct, restrain,

94
regulate and govern the affairs of the important of these are the due process clause
extractive enterprises. Control by the State and the equal protection clause. These
must be on the macro-level, through the constitutional guarantees which embody the
establishment of policies, guidelines, essence of individual liberty and freedom in
regulations, industry standards and similar democracies, are not limited to citizens alone
measures that would enable the government but are admittedly universal in their
to control the conduct of affairs in various application, without regard to any
enterprises and restrain activities deemed differences of race, of color, or of
not desirable or beneficial. nationality. (Yick Wo vs. Hopkins, 30, L. ed.
The end in view is ensuring that these 220, 226.)
enterprises contribute to the economic Upon a consideration of all the facts and
development and general welfare of the circumstances, the disputed law is not the
country, conserve, the environment, and product of racial hostility, prejudice or
uplift the well-being of the affected local discrimination, but the expression of the
communities. Such concept would be legitimate desire and determination of the
compatible with permitting the foreign people, thru their authorized
contractor sufficient and reasonable representatives, to free the nation from the
management authority over the enterprise it economic situation that has unfortunately
invested in. been saddled upon it rightly or wrongly, to its
The Court has weighed carefully the disadvantage. The law is clearly in the
rights and interests of all concerned, and interest of the public, nay of the national
decided for the greater good of the greatest security itself, and indisputably falls within
number. Justice for all, not just for some. the scope of police power, thru which and by
Justice for the present and the future, not which the State insures its existence and
just for the here and now. (LA BUGAL – security and the supreme welfare of its
B’LAAN TRIBAL ASSOCIATION, INC. VS. citizens. (ICHONG V. HERNANDEZ (101 Phil
RAMOS (G.R. No. 127882. December 1, 1155 [1957])
2004)
PIATCO is not entitled to any
POLICE POWER compensation. Section 5.10(c), Article V of
the ARCA clearly obligates the government in
It has been said the police power is so the exercise of its police power to
far - reaching in scope, that it has become compensate respondent PIATCO and this
almost impossible to limit its sweep. As it obligation is offensive to the Constitution.
derives its existence from the very existence Police power cannot be diminished, let alone
of the State itself, it does not need to be defeated by any contract for its paramount
expressed or defined in its scope; it is said to consideration is public welfare and interest.
be co-extensive with self-protection and Section 17, Article XII of the 1987
survival, and as such it is the most positive Constitution grants the State in times of
and active of all governmental processes, the national emergency the right to temporarily
most essential, insistent and illimitable. take over the operation of any business
Especially is it so under a modern democratic affected with public interest. This right is an
framework where the demands of society and exercise of police power which is one of the
of nations have multiplied to almost inherent powers of the State. Police power
unimaginable proportions; the field and scope has been defined as the "state authority to
of police power has become almost enact legislation that may interfere with
boundless, just as the fields of public interest personal liberty or property in order to
and public welfare have become almost all- promote the general welfare." It consists of
embracing and have transcended human two essential elements. First, it is an
foresight. Otherwise stated, as we cannot imposition of restraint upon liberty or
foresee the needs and demands of public property. Second, the power is exercised for
interest and welfare in this constantly the benefit of the common good. Its
changing and progressive world, so we cannot definition in elastic terms underscores its all-
delimit beforehand the extent or scope of encompassing and comprehensive embrace. It
police power by which and through which the is and still is the “most essential, insistent,
State seeks to attain or achieve interest or and illimitable” of the State’s powers. It is
welfare. So it is that Constitutions do not familiar knowledge that unlike the power of
define the scope or extent of the police eminent domain, police power is exercised
power of the State; what they do is to set without provision for just compensation for
forth the limitations thereof. The most its paramount consideration is public welfare.
It is also settled that public interest on the constitutional rights did not intend thereby to
occasion of a national emergency is the enable an individual citizen or a group of
primary consideration when the government citizens to obstruct unreasonably the
decides to temporarily take over or direct the enactment of such salutary measures
operation of a public utility or a business calculated to ensure communal peace,
affected with public interest. The nature and safety, good order, and welfare."
extent of the emergency is the measure of Significantly, the Bill of Rights itself does not
the duration of the takeover as well as the purport to be an absolute guaranty of
terms thereof. It is the State that prescribes individual rights and liberties "Even liberty
such reasonable terms which will guide the itself, the greatest of all rights, is not
implementation of the temporary takeover as unrestricted license to act according to one's
dictated by the exigencies of the time. This will." It is subject to the far more overriding
power of the State cannot be negated by any demands and requirements of the greater
party nor should its exercise be a source of number.
obligation for the State. (AGAN vs. Notwithstanding its extensive sweep,
PHILIPPINE INTERNATIONAL AIR TERMINALS police power is not without its own
CO (G.R. No. 155001. January 21, 2004) limitations. For all its awesome
The concept of police power is well- consequences, it may not be exercised
established in this jurisdiction. It has been arbitrarily or unreasonably. Otherwise, and in
defined as the "state authority to enact that event, it defeats the purpose for which
legislation that may interfere with personal it is exercised, that is, to advance the public
liberty or property in order to promote the good. Thus, when the power is used to
general welfare." As defined, it consists of (1) further private interests at the expense of
an imposition of restraint upon liberty or the citizenry, there is a clear misuse of the
property, (2) in order to foster the common power. (PHILIPPINE ASSOCIATION OF
good. It is not capable of an exact definition SERVICE EXPORTERS, INC. V. DRILON (163
but has been, purposely, veiled in general SCRA 386 [1988])
terms to underscore its all-comprehensive
embrace. Every restriction upon the use of
"Its scope, ever-expanding to meet property imposed in the exercise of the
the exigencies of the times, even to police power deprives the owner of some
anticipate the future where it could be done, right theretofore enjoyed, and is, in that
provides enough room for an efficient and sense, an abridgment by the State of rights in
flexible response to conditions and property without making compensation. But
circumstances thus assuring the greatest restriction imposed to protect the public
benefits." health, safety or morals from dangers
It finds no specific Constitutional threatened is not a taking. The restriction
grant for the plain reason that it does not here in question is merely the prohibition of a
SAN BEDA COLLEGE OF LAW

owe its origin to the Charter. Along with the noxious use. The property so restricted
taxing power and eminent domain, it is remains in the possession of its owner. The
inborn in the very fact of statehood and state does not appropriate it or make any use
sovereignty. It is a fundamental attribute of of it. The state merely prevents the owner
government that has enabled it to perform from making a use which interferes with
the most vital functions of governance. paramount rights of the public. Whenever the
Marshall, to whom the expression has been use prohibited ceases to be noxious-as it may
credited, refers to it succinctly as the plenary because of further changes in local or social
power of the State "to govern its citizens." conditions-the restriction will have to be
"The police power of the State ... is a removed and the owner will again be free to
power coextensive with self-protection, and enjoy his property as heretofore.
it is not inaptly termed the 'law of over- (ASSOCIATION OF SMALL LANDOWNERS OF
whelming necessity.' It may be said to be that THE PHILIPPINES V. SECRETARY OF DAR
inherent and plenary power in the State (175 SCRA 343 [1989])
which enables it to prohibit all things hurtful
to the comfort, safety, and welfare of To justify the State in thus
society." interposing its authority in behalf of the
It constitutes an implied limitation on public, it must appear, first, that the
the Bill of Rights. According to Fernando, it is interests of the public generally, as
"rooted in the conception that men in distinguished from those of a particular class,
organizing the state and imposing upon its require such interference; and second, that
government limitations to safeguard the means are reasonably necessary for the

94
accomplishment of the purpose, and not Article XII, section 17 of the 1987
unduly oppressive upon individuals. Constitution envisions a situation wherein the
n the light of the tests mentioned exigencies of the times necessitate the
above, we hold with the Toribio Case that the government to "temporarily take over or
carabao, as the poor man's tractor, so to direct the operation of any privately owned
speak, has a direct relevance to the public public utility or business affected with public
welfare and so is a lawful subject of interest." It is the welfare and interest of the
Executive Order No. 626. The method chosen public which is the paramount consideration
in the basic measure is also reasonably in determining whether or not to temporarily
necessary for the purpose sought to be take over a particular business. Clearly, the
achieved and not unduly oppressive upon State in effecting the temporary takeover is
individuals, again following the above-cited exercising its police power. Police power is
doctrine. There is no doubt that by banning the "most essential, insistent, and illimitable
the slaughter of these animals except where of powers." Its exercise therefore must not be
they are at least seven years old if male and unreasonably hampered nor its exercise be a
eleven years old if female upon issuance of source of obligation by the government in the
the necessary permit, the executive order absence of damage due to arbitrariness of its
will be conserving those still fit for farm work exercise. Thus, requiring the government to
or breeding and preventing their improvident pay reasonable compensation for the
depletion. reasonable use of the property pursuant to
But while conceding that the the operation of the business contravenes the
amendatory measure has the same lawful Constitution. (DEMOSTHENES P. AGAN, JR.,
subject as the original executive order, we et al. vs. PHILIPPINE INTERNATIONAL AIR
cannot say with equal certainty that it TERMINALS CO., INC., et al. (G.R. No.
complies with the second requirement, viz., 155001, May 5, 2003)
that there be a lawful method. We note that
to strengthen the original measure, Executive POWER OF EMINENT DOMAIN
Order No. 626-A imposes an absolute ban not
on the slaughter of the carabaos but on their To the extent that the measures
movement, providing that "no carabao, under challenge merely prescribe retention
regardless of age, sex, physical condition or limits for landowners, there is an exercise of
purpose (sic) and no carabeef shall be the police power for the regulation of private
transported from one province to another." property in accordance with the Constitution.
The object of the prohibition escapes us. The But where, to carry out such regulation, it
reasonable connection between the means becomes necessary to deprive such owners of
employed and the purpose sought to be whatever lands they may own in excess of the
achieved by the questioned measure is maximum area allowed; there is definitely a
missing. taking under the power of eminent domain
We do not see how the prohibition of for which Payment of just compensation is
the inter-provincial transport of carabaos can imperative. The taking contemplated is not a
prevent their indiscriminate slaughter, mere limitation of the use of the land. What
considering that they can be killed anywhere, is required is the surrender of the title to and
with no less difficulty in one province than in the physical possession of the said excess and
another. Obviously, retaining the carabaos in all beneficial rights accruing to the owner in
one province will not prevent their slaughter favor of the farmer-beneficiary. This is
there, any more than moving them to another definitely an exercise not of the police power
province will make it easier to kill them them but of the power of eminent domain.
As for the carabeef, the prohibition is made The medium of payment of
to apply to it as otherwise, so says executive compensation is ready money or cash. The
order, it could be easily circumvented by condemnor cannot compel the owner to
simply killing the animal. Perhaps so, accept anything but money, nor can the
however, if the movement of the live animal owner compel or require the condemnor to
for the purpose of preventing their slaughter pay him on any other basis than the value of
cannot be prohibited, it should follow that the property in money at the time and in the
there is no reason either to prohibit their manner prescribed by the Constitution and
transfer as, not to be flippant, dead meat. the statutes. When the power of eminent
(YNOT V. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE domain is resorted to, there must be a
COURT (148 SCRA 659 [1987]) standard medium of payment, binding upon
both parties, and the law has fixed that
standard as money in cash.
What we deal with here is a commissioners under Rule 67 of the Rules of
revolutionary kind of expropriation. The Court. Moreover, the need to satisfy the due
expropriation before us affects all private process clause in the taking of private
agricultural lands whenever found and of property is seemingly fulfilled since it cannot
whatever kind as long as they are in excess of be said that a judicial proceeding was not
the maximum retention limits allowed their had before the actual taking. However, the
owners. This kind of expropriation is intended strict application of the decrees during the
for the benefit not only of a particular proceedings would be nothing short of a mere
community or of a small segment of the formality or charade as the court has only to
population but of the entire Filipino nation, choose between the valuation of the owner
from all levels of our society, from the and that of the assessor, and its choice is
impoverished farmer to the land-glutted always limited to the lower of the two. The
owner. Its purpose does not cover only the court cannot exercise its discretion or
whole territory of this country but goes independence in determining what is just or
beyond in time to the foreseeable future, fair. Even a grade school pupil could
which it hopes to secure and edify with the substitute for the judge insofar as the
vision and the sacrifice of the present determination of constitutional just
generation of Filipinos. Generations yet to compensation is concerned. (EPZA V. DULAY
come are as involved in this program as we (149 SCRA 305 [1987])
are today, although hopefully only as
beneficiaries of a richer and more fulfilling The "public use" requirement for a
life we will guarantee to them tomorrow valid exercise of the power of eminent
through our thoughtfulness today. And, domain is a flexible and evolving concept
finally, let it not be forgotten that it is no influenced by changing conditions. In this
less than the Constitution itself that has jurisdiction, the statutory and judicial trend
ordained this revolution in the farms, calling has been summarized as follows: The taking
for "a just distribution" among the farmers of to be valid must be for public use. There was
lands that have heretofore been the prison of a time when it was felt that a literal meaning
their dreams but can now become the key at should be attached to such a requirement.
least to their deliverance. Whatever project is undertaken must be for
Such a program will involve not mere the public to enjoy, as in the case of streets
millions of pesos. The cost will be or parks. Otherwise, expropriation is not
tremendous. Considering the vast areas of allowable. It is not anymore. As long as the
land subject to expropriation under the laws purpose of the taking is public, then the
before us, we estimate that hundreds of power of eminent domain comes into play, As
billions of pesos will be needed, far more just noted, the constitution in at least two
indeed than the amount of P50 billion initially cases, to remove any doubt, determines what
appropriated, which is already staggering as is public use. One is the expropriation of land
SAN BEDA COLLEGE OF LAW

it is by our present standards. Such amount is to be subdivided into small lots for resale at
in fact not even fully available at this time. cost to individuals. The other is in the
(ASSOCIATION OF SMALL LANDOWNERS OF transfer, through the exercise of this power,
THE PHILIPPINES V. SECRETARY OF DAR, of utilities and other private enterprise to the
supra. government. It is accurate to state then that
at present whatever may be beneficially
The method of ascertaining just employed for the general welfare satisfies
compensation under the aforecited decrees the requirement of public use. (SUMULONG V
constitutes impermissible encroachment on GUERRERO (154 SCRA 161 [1987])
judicial prerogatives. It tends to render this
Court inutile in a matter which under this POWER OF TAXATION
Constitution is reserved to it for final
determination. Once it is conceded, as it must, that
Thus, although in an expropriation the protection and promotion of the sugar
proceeding the court technically would still industry is a matter of public concern, it
have the power to determine the just follows that the Legislature may determine
compensation for the property, following the within reasonable bounds what is necessary
applicable decrees, its task would be for its protection and expedient for its
relegated to simply stating the lower value of promotion. Here, the legislative discretion
the property as declared either by the owner must be allowed full play, subject only to the
or the assessor. As a necessary consequence, test of reasonableness; and it is not
it would be useless for the court to appoint contended that the means provided in section

94
6 of the law (above quoted) bear no relation facilities which are incidental to and
to the objective pursued or are oppressive in reasonably necessary for the accomplishment
character. If objective and methods are alike of the main purposes. Otherwise stated, the
constitutionally valid, no reason is seen why use of the school building or lot for
the state may not levy taxes to raise funds commercial purposes is neither contemplated
for their prosecution and attainment. by law, nor by jurisprudence. Thus, while the
Taxation may be made the implement of the use of the second floor of the main building
state's police power. in the case at bar for residential purposes of
That the tax to be levied should the Director and his family, may find
burden the sugar producers themselves can justification under the concept of incidental
hardly be a ground of complaint; indeed, it use, which is complimentary to the main or
appears rational that the tax be obtained primary educational purpose, the lease of the
precisely from those who are to be benefited first floor thereof to the Northern Marketing
from the expenditure of the funds derived Corporation cannot by any stretch of the
from it. At any rate, it is inherent in the imagination be considered incidental to the
power to tax that a state be free to select purpose of education. (ABRA VALLEY
the subjects of taxation, and it has been COLLEGE V. AQUINO (162 SCRA 106
repeatedly held that "inequalities which [1988])
result from a singling out of one particular
class for taxation, or exemption infringe no DUE PROCESS OF LAW
constitutional limitation.” (LUTZ V.
ARANETA (98 Phil 148 [1955]) The meaning of "due process of law"
is, that "every citizen shall hold his life,
The phrase "exclusively used for liberty, property, and immunities under the
educational purposes" was further clarified by protection of the general rules which govern
this Court in the cases of Herrera vs. Quezon society." To constitute "due process of law,"
City Board of Assessment Appeals, 3 SCRA 186 as has been often held, a judicial proceeding
[19611 and Commissioner of Internal Revenue is not always necessary. In some instances,
vs. Bishop of the Missionary District, 14 SCRA even a hearing and notice are not requisite, a
991 [1965], thus "Moreover, the exemption in rule which is especially true where much
favor of property used exclusively for must be left to the discretion of the
charitable or educational purposes is 'not administrative officers in applying a law to
limited to property actually indispensable' particular cases. (See McGehee, Due Process
therefore (Cooley on Taxation, Vol. 2, p. of Law, p. 371.) Neither is due process a
1430), but extends to facilities which are stationary and blind sentinel of liberty. "Any
incidental to and reasonably necessary for legal proceeding enforced by public
the accomplishment of said purposes, such as authority, whether sanctioned by age and
in the case of hospitals, 'a school for training custom, or newly devised in the discretion of
nurses, a nurses' home, property use to the legislative power in furtherance of the
provide housing facilities for interns, resident public good which regards and preserves
doctors, superintendents, and other members these principles of liberty and justice must be
of the hospital staff and recreational held to be due process of law." (Hurtado vs.
facilities for student nurses, interns, and California [1883], 110 U. S., 516.) "Due
residents' (84 CJS 6621), such as 'Athletic process of law" means simply * * * "first, that
fields' including 'a firm used for the inmates there shall be a law prescribed in harmony
of the institution.'" (Cooley on Taxation, Vol. with the general powers of the legislative
2, p. 1430). department of the Government; second, that
The test of exemption from taxation this law shall be reasonable in its operation;
is the use of the property for purposes third, that it shall be enforced according to
mentioned in the Constitution (Apostolic the regular methods of procedure prescribed;
Prefect v. City Treasurer of Baguio, 71 Phil. and fourth, that it shall be applicable alike to
547 [1941]). all the citizens of the state or to all of a
It must be stressed however, that class." (U. S. vs. Ling Su Fan [1908], 10 Phil.,
while this Court allows a more liberal and 104), affirmed on appeal to the United States
non-restrictive interpretation of the phrase Supreme Court.1) "What is due process of law
"exclusively used for educational purposes" as depends on circumstances it varies with the
provided for in Article VI, Section 22, subject-matter and necessities of the
paragraph 3 of the 1935 Philippine situation." (Moyer vs. Peabody [1909], 212 U.
Constitution, reasonable emphasis has always S., 82.) (RUBI V. PROVINCIAL BOARD OF
been made that exemption extends to MINDORO (39 Phil 660 [1919])
citizen shall be protected by the rudimentary
The due process clause has to do with requirements of fair play."
the reasonableness of legislation enacted in (2) Not only must the party be given
pursuance of the police power. Is there public an opportunity to present his case and to
interest, a public purpose; is public welfare adduce evidence tending to establish the
involved? Is the Act reasonably necessary for rights which he asserts but the tribunal must
the accomplishment of the legislature's consider the evidence presented. In the
purpose; is it not unreasonable, arbitrary or language of this Court in Edwards vs. McCoy,
oppressive? Is there sufficient foundation or 22 Phil., 598, "the right to adduce evidence,
reason in connection with the matter without the corresponding duty on the part of
involved; or has there not been a capricious the board to consider it, is vain. Such right is
use of the legislative power? Can the aims conspicuously futile if the person or persons
conceived be achieved by the means used, or to whom the evidence is presented can thrust
is it not merely an unjustified interference it aside without notice or consideration."
with private interest? These are the questions (3) "While the duty to deliberate does
that we ask when the due process test is not impose the obligation to decide right, it
applied. does imply a necessity which cannot be
To justify the state in thus disregarded, namely, that of having
interposing its authority in behalf of the something to support its decision. A decision
public, it must appear, first, that the with absolutely nothing to support it is a
interests of the public generally, as nullity, a place when directly attached." This
distinguished from those of a particular class, principle emanates from the more
require such interference; and second, that fundamental principle that the genius of
the means are reasonably necessary for the constitutional government is contrary to the
accomplishment of the purpose, and not vesting of unlimited power anywhere. Law is
unduly oppressive upon individuals. both a grant and a limitation upon power.
The law in question is deemed (4) Not only must there be some
absolutely necessary to bring about the evidence to support a finding or conclusion,
desired legislative objective, i.e., to free but the evidence must be "substantial.
national economy from alien control and "Substantial evidence is more than a mere
dominance. It is not necessarily unreasonable scintilla. It means such relevant evidence as a
because it affects private rights and reasonable mind might accept as adequate to
privileges (11 Am. Jur. pp. 1080-1081.) The support a conclusion."
test of reasonableness of a law is the The statute provides that 'the rules of
appropriateness or adequacy under all evidence prevailing in courts of law and
circumstances of the means adopted to carry equity shall not be controlling.' The obvious
out its purpose into effect (Id.) Judged by purpose of this and similar provisions is to
this test, disputed legislation, which is not free administrative boards from the
SAN BEDA COLLEGE OF LAW

merely reasonable but actually necessary, compulsion of technical rules so that the
must be considered not to have infringed the mere admission of matter which would be
constitutional limitation of reasonableness. deemed incompetent in judicial proceedings
(ICHONG V. HERNANDEZ, supra.) would not invalidate the administrative
The fact, however, that the Court of order. But this assurance of a desirable
Industrial Relations may be said to be free flexibility in administrative procedure does
from the rigidity of certain procedural not go so far as to justify orders without a
requirements does not mean that it can, in basis in evidence having rational probative
justiciable cases coming before it, entirely force. Mere uncorroborated hearsay or rumor
ignore or disregard the fundamental and does not constitute substantial evidence.
essential requirements of due process in trials (5) The decision must be rendered on
and investigations of an administrative the evidence presented at the hearing, or at
character. There are cardinal primary rights least contained in the record and disclosed to
which must be respected even in proceedings the parties affected. Only by confining the
of this character: administrative tribunal to the evidence
(1) The first of these rights is the disclosed to the parties, can the latter be
right to a hearing, which includes the right of protected in their right to know and meet the
the party interested or affected to present case against them. It should not, however,
his own case and submit evidence in support detract from their duty actively to see that
thereof. In the language of Chief Justice the law is enforced, and for that purpose, to
Hughes, "the liberty and property of the use the authorized legal methods of securing
evidence and informing itself of facts

94
material and relevant to the controversy. to hear and decide the case. (ATENEO DE
Boards of inquiry may be appointed for the MANILA UNIVERSITY V. CAPULONG (222
purpose of investigating and determining the SCRA 644 [1993])
facts in any given case, but their report and
decision are only advisory. (Section 9, EQUAL PROTECTION CLAUSE
Commonwealth Act No. 103.) The Court of
Industrial Relations may refer any industrial It is clear that in section 11 of the
or agricultural dispute or any matter under its Probation Act creates a situation in which
consideration or advisement to a local board discrimination and inequality are permitted
of inquiry, a provincial fiscal, a justice of the or allowed. There are, to be sure, abundant
peace or any public official in any part of the authorities requiring actual denial of the
Philippines for investigation, report and equal protection of the law before court
recommendation, and may delegate to such should assume the task of setting aside a law
board or public official such powers and vulnerable on that score, but premises and
functions as the said Court of Industrial circumstances considered, we are of the
Relations may deem necessary, but such opinion that section 11 of Act No. 4221
delegation shall not affect the exercise of the permits of the denial of the equal protection
Court itself of any of its powers. (Section 10, of the law and is on that account bad. We see
ibid.) no difference between a law which permits of
(6) The Court of Industrial Relations such denial. A law may appear to be fair on
or any of its judges, therefore, must act on its face and impartial in appearance, yet, if it
its or his own independent consideration of permits of unjust and illegal discrimination, it
the law and facts of the controversy, and not is within the constitutional prohibitions. In
simply accept the views of a subordinate in other words, statutes may be adjudged
arriving at a decision. It may be that the unconstitutional because of their effect in
volume of work is such that it is literally operation. If the law has the effect of
impossible for the titular heads of the Court denying the equal protection of the law it is
of Industrial Relations personally to decide all unconstitutional. Under section 11 of the
controversies coming before them. In the Probation Act, not only may said Act be in
United States the difficulty is solved with the force in one or several provinces and not be
enactment of statutory authority authorizing in force in other provinces, but one province
examiners or other subordinates to render may appropriate for the salary of the
final decision, with right to appeal to board probation officer of a given year — and have
or commission, but in our case there is no probation during that year — and thereafter
such statutory authority. decline to make further appropriation, and
(7) The Court of Industrial Relations have no probation is subsequent years. While
should, in all controversial questions, render this situation goes rather to the abuse of
its decision in such a manner that the parties discretion which delegation implies, it is here
to the proceeding can know the various issues indicated to show that the Probation Act
involved, and the reasons for the decisions sanctions a situation which is intolerable in a
rendered. The performance of this duty is government of laws, and to prove how easy it
inseparable from the authority conferred is, under the Act, to make the guaranty of
upon it. (ANG TIBAY, et al. V. COURT OF the equality clause but "a rope of sand".
INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS, et al. (69 Phil 635 (PEOPLE V. VERA (65 Phil 56 [1937]
[1940])
The equal protection of the law
The minimum standards to be clause is against undue favor and individual
satisfied in the imposition of disciplinary or class privilege, as well as hostile
sanctions in academic institutions, are as discrimination or the oppression of
follows: (1) the students must be informed in inequality. It is not intended to prohibit
writing of the nature and cause of any legislation, which is limited either in the
accusations against them; (2) that they shall object to which it is directed or by territory
have the right to answer the charges against within which is to operate. It does not
them with the assistance of counsel, if demand absolute equality among residents; it
desired; (3) they shall be informed of the merely requires that all persons shall be
evidence against them; (4) they shall have treated alike, under like circumstances and
the right to adduce evidence in their own conditions both as to privileges conferred and
behalf; and (5) the evidence must be duly liabilities enforced. The equal protection
considered by the investigating committee or clause is not infringed by legislation which
official designated by the school authorities applies only to those persons falling within a
specified class, if it applies alike to all The addition of the word "personally"
persons within such class, and reasonable after the word "determined" and the deletion
grounds exists for making a distinction of the grant of authority by the 1973
between those who fall within such class and Constitution to issue warrants to "other
those who do not. responsible officers as may be authorized by
Aliens are under no special law", has apparently convinced petitioner
constitutional protection which forbids a Beltran that the Constitution now requires
classification otherwise justified simply the judge to personally examine the
because the limitation of the class falls along complainant and his witnesses in his
the lines of nationality. That would be determination of probable cause for the
requiring a higher degree of protection for issuance of warrants of arrest. This is not an
aliens as a class than for similar classes than accurate interpretation.
for similar classes of American citizens. What the Constitution underscores is
Broadly speaking, the difference in status the exclusive and personal responsibility of
between citizens and aliens constitutes a the issuing judge to satisfy himself of the
basis for reasonable classification in the existence of probable cause. In satisfying
exercise of police power. himself of the existence of probable cause for
Aliens do not naturally possess the the issuance of a warrant of arrest, the judge
sympathetic consideration and regard for the is not required to personally examine the
customers with whom they come in daily complainant and his witnesses. Following
contact, nor the patriotic desire to help established doctrine and procedure, he shall:
bolster the nation's economy, except in so far (1) personally evaluate the report and the
as it enhances their profit, nor the loyalty supporting documents submitted by the fiscal
and allegiance which the national owes to the regarding the existence of probable cause
land. These limitations on the qualifications and, on the basis thereof, issue a warrant of
of the aliens have been shown on many arrest; or (2) if on the basis thereof he finds
occasions and instances, especially in times no probable cause, he may disregard the
of crisis and emergency. (ICHONG V. fiscal's report and require the submission of
HERNANDEZ, supra.) supporting affidavits of witnesses to aid him
in arriving at a conclusion as to the existence
The equal protection clause is of probable cause.
directed principally against undue favor and Sound policy dictates this procedure,
individual or class privilege. It is not intended otherwise judges would be unduly laden with
to prohibit legislation which is limited to the the preliminary examination and investigation
object to which it is directed or by the of criminal complaints instead of
territory in which it is to operate. It does not concentrating on hearing and deciding cases
require absolute equality, but merely that all filed before their courts. (SOLIVEN V.
persons be treated alike under like conditions MAKASIAR (167 SCRA 393 [1988])
SAN BEDA COLLEGE OF LAW

both as to privileges conferred and liabilities


imposed. That petitioners were not "caught in
We have held, time and again, that the act" does not make their arrest illegal.
the equal protection clause of the Petitioners were found with young boys in
Constitution does not forbid classification for their respective rooms, the ones with John
so long as such classification is based on real Sherman being naked, Under those
and substantial differences having a circumstances the CID agents had reasonable
reasonable relation to the subject of the grounds to believe that petitioners had
particular legislation. If classification is committed "pedophilia" defined as "psycho-
germane to the purpose of the law, concerns sexual perversion involving children" (Kraft-
all members of the class, and applies equally Ebbing Psychopatia Sexualis, p. 555;
to present and future conditions, the "Paraphilia (or unusual sexual activity) in
classification does not violate the equal which children are the preferred sexual
protection guarantee. (JMM PROMOTION object" (Webster's Third New International
AND MANAGEMENT, INC., et al. V. COURT Dictionary, 1971 ed., p. 1665) [Solicitor
OF APPEALS, et al. 260 SCRA 319 [1996]) General's Return of the Writ, on p. 10]. While
not a crime under the Revised Penal Code, it
is behavior offensive to public morals and
violative of the declared policy of the State
SEARCHES AND SEIZURES to promote and protect the physical, moral,
spiritual, and social well-being of our youth
(Article II, Section 13, 1987 Constitution).

94
At any rate, the filing by petitioners of a law, which allow a warrantless search
petition to be released on bail should be incident to a lawful arrest.
considered as a waiver of any irregularity While it is true that the NARCOM
attending their arrest and estops them from officers were not armed with a search
questioning its validity. (HARVEY V. warrant when the search was made over the
SANTIAGO (162 SCRA 840 [1988]) personal effects of accused, however, under
the circumstances of the case, there was
The crimes of insurrection or sufficient probable cause for said officers to
rebellion, subversion, conspiracy or proposal believe that accused was then and there
to commit such crimes, and other crimes and committing a crime.
offenses committed in the furtherance, on Probable cause has been defined as
the occasion thereof, or incident thereto, or such facts and circumstances which could
in connection therewith under Presidential lead a reasonable, discreet and prudent man
Proclamation No. 2045, are all in the nature to believe that an offense has been
of continuing offenses which set them apart committed, and that the objects sought in
from the common offenses, aside from their connection with the offense are in the place
essentially involving a massive conspiracy of sought to be searched. The required probable
nationwide magnitude. cause that will -justify a warrantless search
The arrest of persons involved in the and seizure is not determined by any fixed
rebellion whether as its fighting armed formula but is resolved according to the facts
elements, or for committing non-violent acts of each case.
but in furtherance of the rebellion, is more Warrantless search of the personal
an act of capturing them in the course of an effects of an accused has been declared by
armed conflict, to quell the rebellion, than this Court as valid, because of existence of
for the purpose of immediately prosecuting probable cause, where the smell of marijuana
them in court for a statutory offense. The emanated from a plastic bag owned by the
arrest, therefore, need not follow the usual accused, or where the accused was acting
procedure in the prosecution of offenses suspiciously, and attempted to flee. (PEOPLE
which requires the determination by a judge V. MALMSTEDT (198 SCRA 401 [1991])
of the existence of probable cause before the
issuance of a judicial warrant of arrest and We do not believe that the
the granting of bail if the offense is bailable. warrantless "arrest" or detention of petitioner
Obviously, the absence of a judicial warrant in the instant case falls within the terms of
is no legal impediment to arresting or Section 5 of Rule 113 of the 1985 Rules on
capturing persons committing overt acts of Criminal Procedure. Petitioner's "arrest' took
violence against government forces, or any place six (6) days after the shooting of
other milder acts but equally in pursuance of Maguan. The "arresting" officers obviously
the rebellious movement. The arrest or were not present, within the meaning of
capture is thus impelled by the exigencies of Section 5(a), at the time petitioner had
the situation that involves the very survival of allegedly shot Maguan. Neither could the
society and its government and duly "arrest" effected six (6) days after the
constituted authorities. If killing and other shooting be reasonably regarded as effected .
acts of violence against the rebels find when [the shooting had] in fact just been
justification in the exigencies of armed committed" within the meaning of Section
hostilities which is of the essence of waging a 5(b). Moreover, none of the "arresting"
rebellion or insurrection, most assuredly so in officers had any "personal knowledge" of facts
case of invasion, merely seizing their persons indicating that petitioner was the gunman
and detaining them while any of these who had shot Maguan. The information upon
contingencies continues cannot be less which the police acted had been derived
justified. (UMIL V. RAMOS (187 SCRA 311 from statements made by alleged
[1990]) eyewitnesses to the shooting-one stated that
Petitioner was the gunman; another was able
Accused was searched and arrested to take down the alleged gunman's car's plate
while transporting prohibited drugs (hashish). number which turned out to be registered in
A crime was actually being committed by the petitioner's wife's name. That information did
accused and he was caught inflagrante not, however, constitute "personal
delicto. Thus, the search made upon his knowledge." (GO V. COURT OF APPEALS
personal effects falls squarely under (206 SCRA 138 [1992])
paragraph (1) of the foregoing provisions of
The setting up of the questioned which could lead a reasonably discreet and
checkpoints in Valenzuela (and probably in prudent man to believe that an offense has
other areas) may be considered as a security been committed and that the items, articles
measure to enable the NCRDC to pursue its or objects sought in connection with said
mission of establishing effective territorial offense or subject to seizure and destruction
defense and maintaining peace and order for by law is in the place to be searched. The
the benefit of the public. Checkpoints may required probable cause that will justify a
also be regarded as measures to thwart plots warrantless search and seizure is not
to destabilize the government, in the interest determined by a fixed formula but is resolved
of public security. In this connection, the according to the facts of each case.
Court may take judicial notice of the shift to One such form of search of moving
urban centers and their suburbs of the vehicles is the "stop-and-search" without
insurgency movement, so clearly reflected in warrant at military or police checkpoints
the increased killings in cities of police and which has been declared to be not illegal per
military men by NPA "sparrow units," not to se, for as long as it is warranted by the
mention the abundance of 5 Section 8, 79 exigencies of public order and conducted in a
C.J.S. 786. unlicensed firearms and the way least intrusive to motorists. A checkpoint
alarming rise in lawlessness and violence in may either be a mere routine inspection or it
such urban centers, not all of which are may involve an extensive search.
reported in media, most likely brought about Routine inspections are not regarded
by deteriorating economic conditions-which as violative of an individual's right against
all sum up to what one can rightly consider, unreasonable search. The search which is
at the very least, as abnormal times. normally permissible in this instance is
Between the inherent right of the state to limited to the following instances: (1) where
protect its existence and promote public the officer merely draws aside the curtain of
welfare and an individual's right against a a vacant vehicle which is parked on the
warrantless search which is however public fair grounds; (2) simply looks into a
reasonably conducted, the former should vehicle; (3) flashes a light therein without
prevail. opening the car's doors; (4) where the
True, the manning of checkpoints by occupants are not subjected to a physical or
the military is susceptible of abuse by the body search; (5) where the inspection of the
men in uniform, in the same manner that all vehicles is limited to a visual search or visual
governmental power is susceptible of abuse. inspection; and (6) where the routine check is
But, at the cost of occasional inconvenience, conducted in a fixed area.
discomfort and even irritation to the citizen, None of the foregoing circumstances
the checkpoints during these abnormal times, is obtaining in the case at bar. The police
when conducted within reasonable limits, are officers did not merely conduct a visual
part of the price we pay for an orderly search or visual inspection of herein
SAN BEDA COLLEGE OF LAW

society and a peaceful community. petitioner's vehicle. They had to reach inside
(VALMONTE V DE VILLA (185 SCRA 665 the vehicle, lift the kakawati leaves and look
[1989]) inside the sacks before they were able to see
the cable wires. It cannot be considered a
The mere mobility of these vehicles, simple routine check.
however, does not give the police officers The fact that the vehicle looked
unlimited discretion to conduct suspicious simply because it is not common
indiscriminate searches without warrants if for such to be covered with kakawati leaves
made within the interior of the territory and does not constitute "probable cause" as would
in the absence of probable cause. Still and justify the conduct of a search without a
all, the important thing is that there was warrant.
probable cause to conduct the warrantless Jurisprudence is to the effect that an
search, which must still be present in such a object is in plain view if the object itself is
case. plainly exposed to sight. Where the object
Although the term eludes exact seized was inside a closed package, the
definition, probable cause signifies a object itself is not in plain view and
reasonable ground of suspicion supported by therefore cannot be seized without a
circumstances sufficiently strong in warrant. However, if the package proclaims
themselves to warrant a cautious man's belief its contents, whether by its distinctive
that the person accused is guilty of the configuration, its transparency, or if its
offense with which he is charged; or the contents are obvious to an observer, then the
existence of such facts and circumstances contents are in plain view and may be seized.

94
In other words, if the package is such that an
experienced observer could infer from its Petitioner's contention that the
appearance that it contains the prohibited phrase "private communication" in Section I
article, then the article is deemed in plain of R. A. 4200 does not include private
view. It must be immediately apparent to the conversations" narrows the ordinary meaning
police that the items that they observe may of the word "communication" to a point of
be evidence of a crime, contraband or absurdity. The word communicate comes
otherwise subject to seizure. from the latin word communicare, meaning
It is clear from the records of this "to share or to Impart." In its ordinary
case that the cable wires were not exposed signification, communication connotes the
to sight because they were placed in sacks act of sharing or imparting, as in a
and covered with leaves. The articles were conversation, or signifies the "process by
neither transparent nor immediately which meanings or thoughts are shared
apparent to the police authorities. They had between individuals through a common
no clue as to what was hidden underneath system of symbols (as language signs or
the leaves and branches. As a matter of fact, gestures)." These definitions are broad
they had to ask petitioner what was loaded in enough to include verbal or non-verbal,
his vehicle. In such a case, it has been held written or expressive communications of
that the object is not in plain view which "meanings or thoughts" which are likely to
could have justified mere seizure of the include the emotionally-charged exchange,
articles without further search. on February 22,1988, between petitioner and
Doubtless, the constitutional private respondent, in the privacy of the
immunity against unreasonable searches and latter's office. Any doubts about the
seizures is a personal right which may be legislative body's meaning of the phrase
waived. The consent must be voluntary in "private communication" are, furthermore,
order to validate an otherwise illegal put to rest by the fact that the terms
detention and search, i.e., the consent is "conversation" and communication" were
unequivocal, specific, and intelligently given, interchangeably used by Senator Tañada in
uncontaminated by any duress or coercion. his Explanatory Note to the bill.
Hence, consent to a search is not to be lightly At has been said that innocent people
inferred, but must be shown by clear and have nothing to fear from their conversations
convincing evidence. The question whether a being overheard. But this statement ignores
consent to a search was in fact voluntary is a the usual nature of conversations as well as
question of fact to be determined from the the undeniable fact that most, if not all.
totality of all the circumstances. Relevant to Civilized people have some aspects of their
this determination are the following lives they do not wish to expose. Free
characteristics of the person giving consent conversations are often characterized by
and the environment in which consent is exaggerations, obscenity, agreeable
given: (1) the age of the defendant; (2) falsehoods, and the expression of anti-social
whether he was in a public or secluded desires of views not intended to be taken
location; (3) whether he objected to the seriously. The right to the privacy of
search or passively looked on; (4) the Communication, among others, has expressly
education and intelligence of the defendant; been assured by our Constitution, Needless to
(5) the presence of coercive police state here, the framers of our Constitution
procedures; (6) the defendant's belief that no must have recognized the nature of
incriminating evidence will be found; (7) the conversations between individuals and the
nature of the police questioning; (8) the significance of man's spiritual nature. of his
environment in which the questioning took feelings and of his intellect. They must have
place; and (9) the possibly vulnerable known that part of the pleasures and
subjective state of the person consenting. It satisfactions of life are to be found in the un-
is the State which has the burden of proving, audited and free exchange of communication
by clear and positive testimony, that the between individuals----- free from every
necessary consent was obtained and that it justifiable intrusion by whatever means."
was freely and voluntarily given. (RUDY (RAMIREZ V. COURT OF APPEALS (248 SCRA
CABALLES V. COURT OF APPEALS and 590 [1995])
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES (G.R. No.
136292 January 15, 2002) The right to privacy is a fundamental
right guaranteed by the Constitution hence, it
PRIVACY OF COMMUNICATION AND is the burden of government to show that
CORRESPONDENCE A.O. No. 308 is justified by some compelling
state interest and that it is narrowly drawn. various sources - governments, journalists,
A.O. No. 308 is predicated on two employers, social scientists, etc. In the case
considerations: (1) the need to provide our at bar, the threat comes from the executive
citizens and foreigners with the facility to branch of government which by issuing A.O.
conveniently transact business with basic No. 308 pressures the people to surrender
service and social security providers and their privacy by giving information about
other government instrumentalities and (2) themselves on the pretext that it will
the need to reduce, if not totally eradicate, facilitate delivery of basic services. Given the
fraudulent transactions and record-keeping power of the computer, only
misrepresentations by persons seeking basic the indifferent will fail to perceive the
services. It is debatable whether these danger that A.O. No. 308 gives the
interests are compelling enough to warrant government the power to compile a
the issuance of A.O. No. 308. But what is not devastating dossier against unsuspecting
arguable is the broadness, the vagueness; the citizens. It is timely to take note of the well-
overbreadth of A.O. No. 308 which if worded warning of Kalvin, Jr., "the disturbing
implemented will put our people's right to result could be that everyone will live
privacy in clear and present danger. burdened by an unerasable record of his past
It is plain and we hold that A.O. No. and his limitations. In a way, the threat is
308 falls short of assuring that personal that because of its record-keeping, the
information which will be gathered about our society will have lost its benign capacity to
people will only be processed for forget." (OPLE V. TORRES (293 SCRA 141
unequivocally specified purposes. The lack of [1998])
proper safeguards in this regard of A.O. No.
308 may interfere with the individual's liberty FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
of abode and travel by enabling authorities to
track down his movement; it may also enable Freedom of speech and of expression,
unscrupulous persons to access confidential like all constitutional freedoms, is not
information and circumvent the right against absolute and that freedom of expression
self-incrimination; it may pave the way for needs on occasion to be adjusted and to and
"fishing expeditions" by government accommodated with the requirements of
authorities and evade the right against equally important public interests. One of
unreasonable searches and seizures. The these fundamental public interests is the
possibilities of abuse and misuse of the PRN, maintenance of the integrity and orderly
biometrics and computer technology are functioning of the administration of justice.
accentuated when we consider that the There is no antimony between free
individual lacks control over what can be read expression and the integrity of the system of
or placed on his ID, much less verify the administering justice. For the protection and
correctness of the data encoded. They maintenance of freedom of expression itself
SAN BEDA COLLEGE OF LAW

threaten the very abuses that the Bill of can be secured only within the context of a
Rights seeks to prevent. functioning and orderly system of dispensing
The ability of a sophisticated data justice, within the context, in other words, of
center to generate a comprehensive cradle- viable independent institutions for delivery of
to-grave dossier on an individual and transmit justice which are accepted by the general
it over a national network is one of the most community. As Mr. Justice Frankfurter put it:
graphic threats of the computer revolution. “A free press is not to be preferred to an
The computer is capable of producing a independent judiciary, nor an
comprehensive dossier on individuals out of independent judiciary to a free press.
information given at different times and for Neither has primacy over the other; both
are indispensable to a free society. The
varied purposes. It can continue adding to freedom of the press in itself presupposes
the stored data and keeping the information an independent judiciary through which
up to date. Retrieval of stored data is simple. that freedom may, if necessary, be
When information of a privileged character vindicated. And one of the potent means
finds its way into the computer, it can be for assuring judges their independence is
extracted together with other data on the a free press.”
subject. Once extracted, the information is Mr. Justice Malcolm of this Court
putty in the hands of any person. The end of expressed the same thought in the
privacy begins. following terms:
“The Organic Act wisely guarantees
The right to privacy is one of the freedom of speech and press. This
most threatened rights of man living in a constitutional right must be protected in
mass society. The threats emanate from

94
its fullest extent. The Court has actionable, it must, either be a false
heretofore given evidence of its tolerant allegation of fact or a comment based on a
regard for charges under the Libel Law false supposition. If the comment is an
which come dangerously close to its expression of opinion, based on established
violation. We shall continue in this
chosen path. The liberty of the citizens
facts, then it is immaterial that the opinion
must be preserved in all of its happens to be mistaken, as long as it might
completeness. But license or abuse of reasonably be inferred from the facts.
liberty of the press and of the citizens (BORJA V. COURT OF APPEALS (301 SCRA 1
should not be confused with liberty in its [1999])
true sense. As important as is the
maintenance of an unmuzzled press and Free speech, like free press, may be
the free exercise o the rights of the of identified with the liberty to discuss publicly
citizens is the maintenance of the and truthfully any matter of public concern
independence of the Judiciary. Respect
without censorship or punishment. There is to
for the Judiciary cannot be had if persons
are privileged to scorn a resolution of the be then no previous restraint on the
court adopted for good purposes, and if communication of views or subsequent
such persons are to be permitted by liability whether in libel suits, prosecution for
subterranean means to diffuse inaccurate sedition, or action for damages, or contempt
accounts of confidential proceedings to proceedings unless there be a "clear and
the embarrassment of the parties and the present danger of a substantive evil that [the
court.” (IN RE: EMIL P. JURADO (243 State] has a right to prevent." Freedom of
SCRA 299 [1995]) assembly connotes the right of the people to
meet peaceably for consultation and
A "public figure" is a person who, by
discussion of matters of public concern. It is
his accomplishments, fame, mode of living,
entitled to be accorded the utmost deference
or by adopting a profession or calling which
and respect. It is not to be limited, much less
gives the public a legitimate interest in his
denied, except on a showing, as is the case
doings, his affairs and his character, has
with freedom of expression, of a clear and
become a 'public personage.' He is, in other
present danger of a substantive evil that the
words, a celebrity. Obviously, to be included
state has a right to prevent. Even prior to the
in this category are those who have achieved
1935 Constitution, Justice Malcolm had
some degree of reputation by appearing
occasion to stress that it is a necessary
before the public, as in the case of an actor,
consequence of our republican institutions
a professional baseball player, a pugilist, or
and complements the right of free speech. To
any other entertainer. The list is, however,
paraphrase the opinion of Justice Rutledge,
broader than this. It includes public officers,
speaking for the majority of the American
famous inventors and explorers, war heroes
Supreme Court in Thomas v. Collins, it was
and even ordinary soldiers, infant prodigy,
not by accident or coincidence that the rights
and no less a personage than the Great
to freedom of speech and of the press were
Exalted Ruler of the lodge. It includes, in
coupled in a single guarantee with the rights
short, anyone who has arrived at a position
of the people peaceably to assemble and to
where the public attention is focused upon
petition the government for redress of
him as a person. (AYERS PRODUCTIONS
grievances. All these rights, while not
PTY., LTD. V. CAPULONG (160 SCRA 861
identical, are inseparable.
[1988])
The sole justification for a limitation
on the exercise of this right, so fundamental
Fair commentaries on matters of
to the maintenance of democratic
public interest are privileged and constitute a
institutions, is the danger, of a character
valid defense in an action for libel or slander.
both grave and imminent of a serious evil to
The doctrine of fair comment means that
public safety, public morals, public health, or
while in general every, discreditable
any other legitimate public interest.
imputation publicly made is deemed false,
Nowhere is the rationale that
because every man is presumed innocent
underlies the freedom of expression and
until his guilt is judicially proved, and every
peaceable assembly better expressed than in
false imputation is deemed malicious,
this excerpt from an opinion of Justice
nevertheless, when the discreditable
Frankfurter: "It must never be forgotten,
imputation is directed against a public person
however, that the Bill of Rights was the child
in his public capacity, it is not necessarily
of the Enlightenment. Back of the guaranty of
actionable. In order that such discreditable
free speech lay faith in the power of an
imputation to a public official may be
appeal to reason by all the peaceful means
for gaining access to the mind. It was in order
to avert force and explosions due to In the case of Willis Cox vs. State of
restrictions upon rational modes of New Hampshire, 312 U.S., 569, the statute of
communication that the guaranty of free New Hampshire P.L. Chap. 145, section 2,
speech was given a generous scope. But providing that "no parade or procession upon
utterance in a context of violence can lose its any ground abutting thereon, shall be
significance as an appeal to reason and permitted unless a special license therefore
become part of an instrument of force. Such shall first be obtained from the select men of
utterance was not meant to be sheltered by the town or from licensing committee," was
the Constitution." construed by the Supreme Court of New
What was rightfully stressed is the Hampshire as not conferring upon the
abandonment of reason, the utterance, licensing board unfettered discretion to
whether verbal or printed being in a context refuse to grant the license, and held valid.
of violence. It must always be remembered And the Supreme Court of the United States
that this right likewise provides for a safety in its decision (1941) penned by Chief Justice
valve, allowing parties the opportunity to Hughes firming the judgment of the State
give vent to their views, even if contrary to Supreme Court, held that " a statute requiring
the prevailing climate of opinion. For if the persons using the public streets for a parade
peaceful means of communication cannot be or procession to procure a special license
availed of, resort to non-peaceful means may therefore from the local authorities is not an
he the only alternative. Nor is this the sole unconstitutional abridgement of the rights of
reason for the expression of dissent. It means assembly or a freedom of speech and press,
more than just the right to be heard of the where, as the statute is construed by the
person who feels aggrieved or who is state courts, the licensing authorities are
dissatisfied with things as they are. Its value strictly limited, in the issuance of licenses, to
may lie in the fact that there may be a consideration, the time, place, and manner
something worth hearing from the dissenter. of the parade and procession, with a view to
That is to ensure a true ferment of ideas. conserving the public convenience and of
There are, of course, well-defined limits. affording an opportunity to provide proper
What is guaranteed is peaceable assembly. policing and are not invested with arbitrary
One may not advocate disorder in the name discretion to issue or refuse license, ... ."
of protest, much less preach rebellion under We can not construe the ordinance
the cloak of dissent. The Constitution frowns under consideration as conferring upon the
on disorder or tumult attending a rally or Mayor power to grant or refuse to grant the
assembly. Resort to force is ruled out and permit, which would be tantamount to
outbreaks of violence to be avoided. The authorizing him to prohibit the use of the
utmost calm though, is not required. As streets and other public places for holding of
pointed out in an early Philippine case, meetings, parades or processions, because
SAN BEDA COLLEGE OF LAW

penned in 1907 to be precise, United States such a construction would make the
v. Apurado: "It is rather to be expected that ordinance invalid and void or violative of the
more or less disorder will mark the public constitutional limitations. As the Municipal
assembly of the people to protest against Boards is empowered only to regulate the use
grievances whether real or imaginary, of streets, parks, and the other public places,
because on such occasions feeling is always and the word "regulate," as used in section
wrought to a high pitch of excitement, and 2444 of the Revised Administrative Code,
the greater the grievance and the more means and includes the power to control, to
intense the feeling, the less perfect, as a govern, and to restrain, but can not be
rule, will be the disciplinary control of the construed a synonymous with construed
leaders over their irresponsible followers." It "suppressed" or "prohibit" (Kwong Sing vs. City
bears repeating that for the constitutional of Manila, 41 Phil., 103), the Municipal Board
right to be invoked, riotous conduct, injury to can not grant the Mayor a power that it does
property, and acts of vandalism must be not have. Besides, the powers and duties of
avoided. To give free rein to one's destructive the Mayor as the Chief Executive of the City
urges is to call for condemnation. It is to are executive and one of them is "to comply
make a mockery of the high estate occupied with and enforce and give the necessary
by intellectual liberty in our scheme of orders for the faithful performance and
values. (REYES V. BAGATSING (125 SCRA execution of laws and ordinances" (section
553 [1983]) 2434 [b] of the Revised Administrative Code),
the legislative police power of the Municipal
ASSEMBLY AND PETITION Board to enact ordinances regulating

94
reasonably the exercise of the fundamental another public place. It is an indispensable
personal rights of the citizens in the streets condition to such refusal or modification that
and other public places, can not be delegated the clear and present danger test be the
to the Mayor or any other officer by standard for the decision reached. If he is of
conferring upon him unregulated discretion or the view that there is such an imminent and
without laying down rules to guide and grave danger of a substantive evil, the
control his action by which its impartial applicants must be heard on the matter.
execution can be secured or partiality and Thereafter, his decision, whether favorable
oppression prevented. (PRIMICIAS V. or adverse, must be transmitted to them at
FUGOSO (80 Phil 71 [1948]) the earliest opportunity. Thus if so minded,
they can have recourse to the proper judicial
It is settled law that as to public authority. Free speech and peaceable
places, especially so as to parks and streets, assembly, along with the other intellectual
there is freedom of access. Nor is their use freedoms, are highly ranked in our scheme of
dependent on who is the applicant for the constitutional values. It cannot be too
permit, whether an individual or a group, If it strongly stressed that on the judiciary, - even
were, then the freedom of access becomes more so than on the other departments rests
discriminatory access, giving rise to an equal the grave and delicate responsibility of
protection question. The principle under assuring respect for and deference to such
American doctrines was given utterance by preferred rights. No verbal formula, no
Chief Justice Hughes in these words: "The sanctifying phrase can, of course, dispense
question, if the Tights of free speech and with what has been so felicitously termed by
peaceable assembly are to be preserved, is Justice Holmes "as the sovereign prerogative
not as to the auspices under which the of judgment." Nonetheless, the presumption
meeting is held but as to its put pose; not as must be to incline the weight of the scales of
to the relations of the speakers, but whether justice on the side of such rights, enjoying as
their utterances transcend the bounds of the they do precedence and primacy. (REYES V.
freedom of speech which the Constitution BAGATSING, supra.)
protects." There could be danger to public
peace and safety if such a gathering were FREEDOM OF RELIGION
marked by turbulence. That would deprive it
of its peaceful character. Even then, only the Respondent should not be found
guilty parties should be held accountable. It guilty of gross and immoral conduct without
is true that the licensing official, here considering her right to religious freedom. In
respondent Mayor, is not devoid of discretion a catena of cases, the Court has ruled that
in determining whether or not a permit would government employees engaged in illicit
be granted. It is not, however, unfettered relations are guilty of disgraceful and
discretion. While prudence requires that immoral conduct" for which he/she may be
there be a realistic appraisal not of what may held administratively liable. However, there
possibly occur but of what may probably is a distinguishing factor that sets the case at
occur, given all the relevant circumstances, bar apart from precedents, i.e., as a defense,
still the assumption especially so where the respondent involves religious freedom since
assembly is scheduled for a specific public her religion, the Jehovah's Witnesses, has,
place is that the permit must be for the after thorough investigation, allowed her
assembly being held there. The exercise of conjugal arrangement with Quilapio based on
such a right, in the language of Justice the church's religious beliefs and practices.
Roberts, speaking for the American Supreme This distinguishing factor compels the Court
Court, is not to be "abridged on the plea that to apply the religious clauses to the case at
it may be exercised in some other place." bar. The public morality expressed in the law
The applicants for a permit to hold an is necessarily secular for in our constitutional
assembly should inform the licensing order, the religion clauses prohibit the state
authority of the date, the public place where from establishing a religion, including the
and the time when it will take place. If it morality it sanctions. The morality referred
were a private place, only the consent of the to in the law is public and necessarily
owner or the one entitled to its legal secular, not religious. Expansive religious
possession is required. Such application freedom therefore requires that government
should be filed well ahead in time to enable be neutral in matters of religion;
the public official concerned to appraise governmental reliance upon religious
whether there may be valid objections to the justification is inconsistent with this policy of
grant of the permit or to its grant but at neutrality. In other words, government
action, including its proscription of keeping her religious practice and family on
immorality as expressed in criminal law like the other hand, puts a burden on her free
concubinage, must have a secular purpose. exercise of religion. The second step is to
That is, the government proscribes this ascertain respondent's sincerity in her
conduct because it is "detrimental (or religious belief. Respondent appears to be
dangerous) to those conditions upon which sincere in her religious belief and practice
depend the existence and progress of human and is not merely using the "Declaration of
society" and not because the conduct is Pledging Faithfulness" to avoid punishment
proscribed by the beliefs of one religion or for immorality. The Declaration was issued to
the other. Recognizing the religious nature of her by her congregation after ten years of
the Filipinos and the elevating influence of living together with her partner, Quilapio,
religion in society, however, the Philippine and ten years before she entered the
constitution's religion clauses prescribe not a judiciary. Ministers from her congregation
strict but a benevolent neutrality. testified on the authenticity of the Jehovah's
Benevolent neutrality recognizes that Witnesses' practice of securing a Declaration
government must pursue its secular goals and and their doctrinal or scriptural basis for such
interests but at the same time strives to a practice. (ESTRADA vs. ESCRITOR (A.M.
uphold religious liberty to the greatest extent No. P-02-1651. August 4, 2003)
possible within flexible constitutional limits.
Thus, although the morality contemplated by Freedom of religion has been
laws is secular, benevolent neutrality could accorded a preferred status by the framers of
allow for accommodation of morality based our fundamental laws, past and present. We
on religion, provided it does not offend have affirmed this preferred status well
compelling state interests. aware that it is "designed to protect the
Only one conduct is in question broadest possible liberty of conscience, to
before this Court, i.e., the conjugal allow each man to believe as his conscience
arrangement of a government employee directs, to profess his beliefs, and to live as
whose partner is legally married to another he believes he ought to live, consistent with
which Philippine law and jurisprudence the liberty of others and with the common
consider both immoral and illegal. Whether good." We have also laboriously defined in
an act is immoral within the meaning of the our jurisprudence the intersecting umbras
statute is not to be determined by and penumbras of the right to religious
respondent's concept of morality. The law profession and worship. To quote the
provides the standard. The foregoing summation of Mr. Justice Isagani Cruz, our
discussion on the doctrine of religious well-known constitutionalist:
freedom, however, shows that with Religious Profession and Worship. The
benevolent neutrality as a framework, the right to religious profession and worship
Court cannot simply reject respondent's plea has a twofold aspect, viz., freedom to
believe and freedom to act on one's
SAN BEDA COLLEGE OF LAW

of religious freedom without even subjecting


beliefs. The first is absolute as long as
it to the "compelling state interest" test that the belief is confined within the realm of
would balance her freedom with the thought. The second is subject to
paramount interests of the state. The case at regulation where the belief is translated
bar being one of first impression, we now into external acts that affect the public
subject the respondent's claim of religious welfare.
freedom to the "compelling state interest" (1) Freedom to Believe. The individual is
test from a benevolent neutrality stance — free to believe (or disbelieve) as he
i.e. entertaining the possibility that pleases concerning the hereafter. He may
respondent's claim to religious freedom indulge his own theories about life and
death, worship any god he chooses, or
'would warrant carving out an exception from none at all; embrace or reject any
the Civil Service Law; necessarily, her religion: acknowledge the divinity of God
defense of religious freedom will be or of any being that appeals to his
unavailing should the government succeed in reverence; recognize or deny the
demonstrating a more compelling state immortality of his soul - in fact, cherish
interest. In applying the test, the first any religious conviction as he and he
inquiry is whether respondent's right to alone sees fit. However absurd his beliefs
religious freedom has been burdened. There may be to others, even if they be hostile
is no doubt that choosing between keeping and heretical to the majority. he has full
freedom to believe as he pleases. He may
her employment and abandoning her religious
not be required to prove his beliefs. He
belief and practice and family on the one may not be punished for his inability to
hand, and giving up her employment and

94
do so. Religion, after all, is a matter of thought and it is best served by encouraging
faith. Men may believe what they cannot the marketplace of dueling ideas. When the
prove.' Every one has a right to his beliefs luxury of time permits, the marketplace of
and he may not be called to account ideas demands that speech should be met by
because he cannot prove what he
believes.
more speech for it is the spark of opposite
(2) Freedom to Act on One's Beliefs. But speech, the heat of colliding ideas that can
where the individual externalizes his fan the embers of truth. (IGLESIA NI CRISTO
beliefs in acts or omissions that affect V. CA (259 SCRA 529 [1996])
the public, his freedom to do so becomes
subject to the authority of the State. As The constitutional guaranty of free
great as this liberty may be, religious exercise and enjoyment of religious
freedom, like all the other rights profession and worship carries with it the
guaranteed in the Constitution, can be right to disseminate religious information.
enjoyed only with a proper regard for the
Any restraint of such right can be justified
rights of others. It is error to think that
the mere invocation of religious freedom like other restraints on freedom of expression
will stalemate the State and render it on the ground that there is a clear and
impotent in protecting the general present danger of any substantive evil which
welfare. The inherent police power can the State has the right to prevent.
be exercised to prevent religious (AMERICAN BIBLE SOCIETY V. CITY OF
practices inimical to society. And this is MANILA (101 Phil 385 [1957])
true even if such practices are pursued
out of sincere religious conviction and The idea that one may be compelled
not merely for the purpose of evading the
to salute the flag, sing the national anthem,
reasonable requirements or prohibitions
of the law. and recite the patriotic pledge, during a flag
ceremony on pain of being dismissed from
The Court iterates the rule that the one's job or of being expelled from school, is
exercise of religious freedom can be alien to the conscience of the present
regulated by the State when it will bring generation of Filipinos who cut their teeth on
about the clear and present danger of some the Bill of Right which guarantees their rights
substantive evil which the State is duty bound to free speech**and the free exercise of
to prevent, i.e., serious detriment to the religious profession and worship (Sec. 5,
more overriding interest of public health, Article III, 1987 Constitution; Article IV,
public morals, or public welfare, A laissez Section 8, 1973 Constitution Article III,
faire policy on the exercise of religion can be Section 1[7], 1935 Constitution). (EBRALINAG
seductive to the liberal mind but history V. DIVISION SUPERINTENDENT OF CEBU
counsels the Court against its blind adoption (219 SCRA 256 [1993])
as religion is and continues to be a volatile
area of concern in our country today. LIBERTY OF ABODE AND TRAVEL
Under our constitutional scheme, it is
not the task of the State to favor any religion Article III, Section 6 of the 1987
by protecting it against an attack by another Constitution should be interpreted to mean
religion. Religious dogmas and beliefs are that while the liberty of travel may be
often at war and to preserve peace among impaired even without Court Order, the
their followers, especially the fanatics, the appropriate executive officers or
establishment clause of freedom of religion administrative authorities are not armed with
prohibits the State from leaning towards any arbitrary discretion to impose limitations.
religion. Vis-a-vis religious differences, the They can impose limits only on the basis of
State enjoys no banquet of options. "national security, public safety, or public
Neutrality alone is its fixed and immovable health" and "as may be provided by law," a
stance. In fine, respondent board cannot limitive phrase which did not appear in the
squelch the speech of petitioner Iglesia ni 1973 text. Apparently, the phraseology in the
Cristo simply because it attacks other 1987 Constitution was a reaction to the ban
religions, even if said religion happens to be on international travel imposed under the
the most numerous church in our country. In previous regime when there was a Travel
a State where there ought to be no Processing Center, which issued certificates
difference between the appearance and the of eligibility to travel upon application of an
reality of freedom of religion, the remedy interested party.
against bad theology is better theology. The Article III, Section 6 of the 1987
bedrock of freedom of religion is freedom of Constitution should by no means be construed
as delimiting the inherent power of the
Courts to use all means necessary to carry term that eludes exact definition. Both terms
their orders into effect in criminal cases embrace a broad spectrum of subjects which
pending before them. When by law the public may want to know, either because
jurisdiction is conferred on a Court or judicial these directly affect their lives, or simply
officer, all auxiliary writs, process and other because such matters naturally arouse the
means necessary to carry it into effect may interest of an ordinary citizen. In the final
be employed by such Court or officer (Rule analysis, it is for the courts to determine in a
135, Section 6, Rules of Court). (SILVERIO V. case by case basis whether the matter at
COURT OF APPEALS (G.R No. 94284, April issue is of interest or importance, as it
8, 1991) relates to or affects the public. (LEGASPI V.
CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION (150 SCRA 530
[1987])

With the possibility of losing not only


RIGHT TO INFORMATION the precious liberty but also the very life of
an accused, it behooves all to make
The incorporation in the Constitution absolutely certain that an accused receives a
of a guarantee of access to information of verdict solely on the basis of a just and
public concern is a recognition of the dispassionate judgment, a verdict that would
essentiality of the free flow of ideas and come only after the presentation of credible
information in a democracy (Baldoza v. evidence testified to by unbiased witnesses
Dimaano, Adm. Matter No. 1120-MJ, May 5, unswayed by any kind of pressure, whether
1976, 17 SCRA 14). In the same way that free open or subtle, in proceedings that are
discussion enables members of society to devoid of histrionics that might detract from
cope with the exigencies of their time its basic aim to ferret veritable facts free
(Thornhill vs. Alabama, 310 U.S. 88, 102 from improper influence, and decreed by a
119391), access to information of general judge with an unprejudiced mind, unbridled
interest aids the people in democratic by running emotions or passions.
decision-making (87 Harvard Law Review Due process guarantees the accused a
1505 [1974] by giving them a better presumption of innocence until the contrary
perspective of the vital issues confronting is proved in a trial that is not lifted above its
the nation. individual settings nor made an object of
But the constitutional guarantee to public's attention and where the conclusions
information on matters of public concern is reached are induced not by any outside force
not absolute. It does not open every door to or influence but only by evidence and
any and all information. Under the argument given in open court, where fitting
Constitution, access to official records, dignity and calm ambiance is demanded.
papers, etc., are "subject to limitations as Witnesses and judges may very well
SAN BEDA COLLEGE OF LAW

may be provided by law" (Art. 111, Sec. 7, be men and women of fortitude, able to
second sentence). The law may therefore thrive in hardy climate, with every reason to
exempt certain types of information from presume firmness of mind and resolute
public scrutiny, such as those affecting endurance, but it must also be conceded that
national security (Journal No. 90, September "television can work profound changes in the
23, 1986, p. 10; and Journal No. 91, behavior of the people it focuses on. Even
September 24, 1986, p. 32, 1986 while it may be difficult to quantify the
Constitutional Commission). It follows that, influence, or pressure that media can bring to
in every case, the availability of access to a bear on them directly and through the
particular public record must be shaping of public opinion, it is a fact,
circumscribed by the nature of the nonetheless, that, indeed, it does so in so
information sought, i.e., (a) being of public many ways and in varying degrees. The
concern or one that involves public interest, conscious or unconscious effect that such a
and, (b) not being exempted by law from the coverage may have on the testimony of
operation of the constitutional guarantee. witnesses and the decision of judges cannot
The threshold question is, therefore, be evaluated but, it can likewise be said, it is
whether or not the information sought is of not at all unlikely for a vote of guilt or
public interest or public concern. innocence to yield to it. It might be farcical
In determining whether or not a to build around them an impregnable armor
particular information is of public concern against the influence of the most powerful
there is no rigid test which can be applied. media of public opinion.
"Public concern" like "public interest" is a

94
To say that actual prejudice should
first be present would leave to near nirvana The constitutional right to information
the subtle threats to justice that a includes information on on-going negotiations
disturbance of the mind so indispensable to before final judgment as stated in Article III,
the calm and deliberate dispensation of Sec. 7 and in Article II, Sec 28 of the
justice can create. The effect of television Constitution. These twin provisions of the
may escape the ordinary means of proof, but Constitution seek to promote transparency in
it is not far-fetched for it to gradually erode policy making and in operations of the
our basal conception of a trial such as we government, as well as provide the people
know it now. sufficient information to exercise effectively
An accused has a right to a public other constitutional rights. This is because a
trial but it is a right that belongs to him, consummated contract is not a requirement
more than anyone else, where his life or for the exercise of the right to information.
liberty can be held critically in balance. A Otherwise, the people can never exercise the
public trial aims to ensure that he is fairly right if no contract is consummated, and if
dealt with and would not be unjustly one is consummated, it may be too late for
condemned and that his rights are not the public to expose its defects. (FRANCISCO
compromised in secrete conclaves of long I. CHAVEZ V. PUBLIC ESTATES AUTHORITY
ago. A public trial is not synonymous with and AMARI COASTAL BAY DEVELOPMENT
publicized trial; it only implies that the court CO. (G.R. No. 133250, July 9, 2002)
doors must be open to those who wish to
come, sit in the available seats, conduct RIGHT TO FORM ASSOCIATIONS
themselves with decorum and observe the
trial process. In the constitutional sense, a Considering that under the 1987
courtroom should have enough facilities for a Constitution "[t]he civil service embraces all
reasonable number of the public to observe branches, subdivisions, instrumentalities, and
the proceedings, not too small as to render agencies of the Government, including
the openness negligible and not too large as government-owned or controlled corporations
to distract the trial participants from their with original charters" [Art. IX(B), Sec. 2(1);
proper functions, who shall then be totally see also Sec. 1 of E.O. No. 180 where the
free to report what they have observed employees in the civil service are
during the proceedings. denominated as "government employees"] and
The courts recognize the that the SSS is one such government-
constitutionally embodied freedom of the controlled corporation with an original
press and the right to public information. It charter, having been created under R.A. No.
also approves of media's exalted power to 1161, its employees are part of the civil
provide the most accurate and service [NASECO v. NLRC, G.R. Nos. 69870 &
comprehensive means of conveying the 70295, November 24, 1988] and are covered
proceedings to the public and in acquainting by the Civil Service Commission's
the public with the judicial process in action; memorandum prohibiting strikes.
nevertheless, within the courthouse, the The statement of the Court in
overriding consideration is still the Alliance of Government Workers v. Minister of
paramount right of the accused to due Labor and Employment [G.R. No. 60403,
process which must never be allowed to August 3, 1:983, 124 SCRA 1] is relevant as it
suffer diminution in its constitutional furnishes the rationale for distinguishing
proportions. Justice Clark thusly between workers in the private sector and
pronounced, "while a maximum freedom must government employees with regard to the
be allowed the press in carrying out the right to strike:
important function of informing the public in The general rule in the past and up to
a democratic society, its exercise must the present is that "the terms and conditions
necessarily be subject to the maintenance of of employment in the Government, including
absolute fairness in the judicial process." any political subdivision or instrumentality
(RE: REQUEST RADIO-TV COVERAGE OF thereof are governed by law" (Section 11, the
THE TRIAL IN THE SANDIGANBAYAN OF THE Industrial Peace Act, RA. No. 876, as
PLUNDER CASES AGAINST THE FORMER amended and Article 277, the Labor Code,
PRESIDENT JOSEPH E. ESTRADA SECRETARY P.D. No. 442, as amended). Since the terms
OF JUSTICE HERNANDO PEREZ, et, al. vs. and conditions of government employment
JOSEPH E. ESTRADA and INTEGRATED BAR are fixed by law, government workers cannot
OF THE PHILIPPINES (A.M. No. 01-4-03-SC, use the same weapons employed by workers
June 29, 2001) in the private sector to secure concessions
from their employers. The principle behind attributes of sovereign power are read
labor unionism in private industry is that into contracts agreed upon by the
industrial peace cannot be secured through parties. Thus
compulsion by law. Relations between private "Not only are existing laws read into
contracts in order to fix obligations as
employers and their employees rest on an between the parties, but the reservation
essentially voluntary basis. Subject to the of essential attributes of sovereign power
minimum requirements of wage laws and is also read into contacts as a postulate
other labor and welfare legislation, the terms of the legal order. The policy of
and conditions of employment in the protecting contracts against impairments
unionized private sector are settled through presupposes the maintenance of a
the process of collective bargaining. In government by virtue of which
government employment, however, it is the contractual relations are worthwhile-a
legislature and, where properly given government which retains adequate
authority to secure the peace and good
delegated power, the administrative heads of order of society."
government which fix the terms and (ORTIGAS & CO. V. FEATI BANK (94
conditions of employment. And this is SCRA 533 [1979])
effected through statutes or administrative
circulars, rules, and regulations, not through CUSTODIAL INVESTIGATION
collective bargaining agreements. (SSS
EMPLOYEES’ ASSOCIATION V. CA (175 SCRA An out-of-court identification of an
686 [1989]) accused can be made in various ways. In a
show-up, the accused alone is brought face to
face with the witness for identification, while
NON-IMPAIRMENT CLAUSE in a police line-up, the suspect is identified
by a witness from a group of persons
While non-impairment of contracts is gathered for that purpose. During custodial
constitutionally guaranteed, the rule is not investigation, these types of identification
absolute since it has to be reconciled with have been recognized as "critical
the legitimate exercise of police power, i.e., confrontations of the accused by the
"the power to prescribe regulations to prosecution" which necessitate the presence
promote the health, morals, peace, of counsel for the accused. This is because
education, good order or safety and general the results of these pre-trial proceedings
welfare of the people. "might well settle the accused's fate and
The need for reconciling the non-impairment reduce the trial itself to a mere formality."
clause of the Constitution and the valid We have thus ruled that any identification of
exercise of police power may also be gleaned an uncounseled accused made in a police
from Helvering v. Davis wherein Mr. Justice line-up, or in a show-up for that matter, after
Cardozo, speaking for the Court, resolved the the start of the custodial investigation is
SAN BEDA COLLEGE OF LAW

conflict "between one welfare and another, inadmissible as evidence against him.
between particular and general," thus- The inadmissibility of these out-of-court
"Nor is the concept of the general welfare
static. Needs that were narrow or
identifications does not render the in-court
parochial a century ago may be identification of accused-appellant
interwoven in our day with the well-being inadmissible for being the "fruits of the
of the nation. What is critical or urgent poisonous tree." (PEOPLE OF THE
changes with the times." PHILIPPINES vs. ANTHONY ESCORDIAL (G.R.
The motives behind the passage of the No. 138935-35, January 16, 2002)
questioned resolution being reasonable,
and it being a "legitimate response to a
felt public need," not whimsical or
oppressive, the non-impairment of
contracts clause of the Constitution will
not bar the municipality's proper exercise
of the power. Now Chief Justice
Fernando puts it aptly when he declared:
"Police power legislation then is not likely
to succumb to the challenge that thereby
contractual rights are rendered
nugatory."
Furthermore, We restated in Philippine
American Life Ins. Co. v. Auditor General
that laws and reservation of essential

94
CRIMINAL DUE PROCESS Court, in People v. Castillo, speaking through
Justice De Joya and following the language of
This Court has acknowledged the right of a the American Supreme Court, identified due
trial judge to question witnesses with a view process with the accused having "been heard
to satisfying his mind upon any material point in a court of competent jurisdiction, and
which presents itself during the trial of a case proceeded against under the orderly
over which he presides." But not only should processes of law, and only punished after
his examination be limited to asking inquiry., and investigation, upon notice to
"clarificatory" questions, the right should be him, with an opportunity to be heard, and a
sparingly and judiciously used; for the rule is judgment awarded with the authority of a
that the court should stay out of it as much constitutional law, * * *." An arraignment
as possible, neither interfering nor thus becomes indispensable as the means "for
intervening in the conduct of the trial.' Here, bringing the accused into court and notifying
these limitations were not observed. Hardly him of the cause he is required to meet * * *"
in fact can one avoid the impression that the Its importance was stressed by Justice
Sandiganbayan had allied itself with, or to be Moreland as early as 1916 in the leading case
more precise, had taken the cudgels for the of United States v. Binayoh. He pointed out
prosecution in proving the case against that upon the accused being arraigned, 'there
Tabuena and Peralta when the Justices cross- is a duty laid by the Code [now the Rules of
examined the witnesses, their cross- Court] upon the court to inform [him] of
examinations supplementing those made by certain rights and to extend to him, on his
Prosecutor Viernes and far exceeding the demand, certain others. This duty is an
latter's questions in length. The "cold affirmative one which the court, on its own
neutrality of an impartial judge" requirement motion, must perform, unless waived." To
of due process was certainly denied Tabuena emphasize its importance, he added: "No
and Peralta when the court, with its such duty, however, is laid on the court with
overzealousness, assumed the dual role of regard to the rights of the accused which he
magistrate and advocate. In this connection, may be entitled to exercise during the trial.
the observation made in the Dissenting Those are rights which he must assert himself
Opinion to the effect that the majority of this and the benefits of which he himself must
Court was "unduly disturbed" with the number demand. In other words, in the arraignment
of court questions alone, is quite inaccurate. the court must act of its own violation, * * *.'
A substantial portion of the TSN was In the terse and apt language of the Solicitor
incorporated in the majority opinion not to General: "Arraignment is an indispensable
focus on "numbers" alone, but more requirement in any criminal prosecution"
importantly to show that the court questions Procedural due process demands no less.
were in the interest of the prosecution and Nor is it only the due process
which thus depart from that common guarantee that calls for the accused being
standard of fairness and impartiality. In fact, duly arraigned. As noted, it is at that stage
it is very difficult to be, upon review of the where in the mode and manner required by
records, confronted with "numbers" without the Rules, an accused, for the first time, is
necessarily realizing the partiality of the granted the opportunity to know the precise
Court. (LUIS A. TABUENA VS. HONORABLE charge that confronts him. It is imperative
SANDIGANBAYAN, and THE PEOPLE OF THE that he is thus made fully aware of possible
PHILIPPINES (G.R. No. 103501-03, February loss of freedom, even of his life, depending
17, 1997) on the nature of the crime imputed to him.
At the very least then, he must be, fully
RIGHT TO BE INFORMED OF THE NATURE informed of why the prosecuting arm of the
AND CAUSE OF ACCUSATION state is mobilized against him. An
arraignment serves that purpose. Thereafter,
The procedural due process mandate he is no longer in the dark. It is true, the
of the Constitution requires that the accused complaint or information may not be worded
be arraigned so that he may be informed as with sufficient clarity. He would be in a much
to why be was indicted and what penal worse position though if he does not even
offense he has to face, to be convicted only have such an opportunity to plead to the
on a showing that his guilt is shown beyond charge. With his counsel by his side, he is
reasonable doubt with full opportunity to thus in a position to enter his plea with full
disprove the evidence against him. Moreover, knowledge of the consequences. He is not
the sentence to be imposed in such a case is even required to do so immediately. He may
to be in accordance with a valid law. This move to quash. What is thus evident is that
an arraignment assures that he be fully
acquainted with the nature of the crime RIGHT AGAINST SELF-INCRIMINATION
imputed to him and the circumstances under
which it is allegedly committed. It is thus a The rights intended to be protected
vital aspect of the constitutional rights by the constitutional provision that no man
guaranteed him. It is not useless formality, accused of crime shall be compelled to be a
much less an idle ceremony. (BORJA V witness against himself is so sacred, and the
MENDOZA (77 SCRA 422 [1977]) pressure toward their relaxation so great
when the suspicion of guilt is strong and the
SUSPENSION OF THE PRIVILEGE OF THE evidence obscure, that it is the duty of courts
WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS liberally to construe the prohibition in favor
of personal rights, and to refuse to permit
The members of the Court are now any steps, tending toward their invasion.
unanimous in the conviction that it has the Hence, there is the well-established doctrine
authority to inquire into the existence of said that the constitutional inhibition is directed
factual bases in order to determine the not merely to giving of oral testimony, but
constitutional sufficiency thereof (the embraces as wall the furnishing of evidence
suspension of the privilege of the writ). by other means than by word of mouth, the
Indeed, the grant of power to divulging, in short, of any fact which the
suspend the privilege is neither absolute nor accused has a right to hold secret.
unqualified. The authority conferred by the We say that, for the purposes of the
Constitution, both under the Bill of Rights and constitutional privilege, there is a similarity
under the Executive Department, is limited between one who is compelled to produce a
and conditional. The precept in the Bill of document, and one who is compelled to
Rights establishes a general rule, as well as furnish a specimen of his handwriting, for in
an exception thereto. What is more, it both cases, the witness is required to furnish
postulates the former in the negative, evidence against himself.
evidently to stress its importance, by And we say that the present case is
providing that "(t)he privilege of the writ of more serious than that of compelling the
habeas corpus shall not be suspended x x x." production of documents or chattels, because
It is only by way of exception that it permits here the witness is compelled to write and
the suspension of the privilege "in cases of create, by means of the act of writing,
invasion, insurrection, or rebellion" - or, evidence which does not exist, and which
under Art. VII of the Constitution, "imminent may identify him as the falsifier. (BELTRAN
danger thereof' - "when the public safety V. SAMSON (53 Phil 570 [1929])
requires it, in any of which events the same
may be suspended wherever during such In the language of Justice Douglas:
period the necessity for such suspension shall "We conclude... that the Self-Incrimination
SAN BEDA COLLEGE OF LAW

exist." Far from being full and plenary, the Clause of the Fifth Amendment has been
authority to suspend the privilege of the writ absorbed in the Fourteenth, that it extends
is thus circumscribed, confined and its protection to lawyers as well as to other
restricted, not only by the prescribed setting individuals, and that it should not be watered
or the conditions essential to its existence, down by imposing the dishonor of disbarment
but, also, as regards the time when and the and the deprivation of a livelihood as a price
place where it may be exercised. These for asserting it." We reiterate that such a
factors and the aforementioned setting or principle is equally applicable to a
conditions mark, establish and define the proceeding that could possibly result in the
extent, the confines and the limits of said loss of the privilege to practice the medical
power, beyond which it does not exist. And, profession.
like the limitations and restrictions imposed The appeal apparently proceeds on
by the Fundamental Law upon the legislative the mistaken assumption by respondent Board
department, adherence thereto and and intervenors-appellants that the
compliance therewith may, within proper constitutional guarantee against self-
bounds, be inquired into by courts of justice. incrimination should be limited to allowing a
Otherwise, the explicit constitutional witness to object to questions the answers to
provisions thereon would be meaningless. which could lead to a penal liability being
Surely, the framers of our Constitution could subsequently incurred. It is true that one
not have intended to engage in such a aspect of such a right, to follow the language
wasteful exercise in futility. (LANSANG V. of another American decision, is the
GARICA (42 SCRA 448 [1971]) protection against "any disclosures which the

94
witness may reasonably apprehend could be requires no further analysis or
used in a criminal prosecution or which could discussion;
lead to other evidence that might be so 2) It is not possible to be sure, based
used." If that were all there is then it on the results of the test, whether
becomes diluted. the samples have similar DNA
The constitutional guarantee protects types (inconclusive). This might
as well the right to silence. As far back as occur for a variety of reasons
1905, we had occasion to declare: "The including degradation,
accused has a perfect right to remain silent contamination, or failure of some
and his silence cannot be used as a aspect of the protocol. Various
presumption of his guilt." Only last year, in parts of the analysis might then be
Chavez v. Court of Appeals, speaking through repeated with the same or a
Justice Sanchez, we reaffirmed the doctrine different sample, to obtain a more
anew that is the right of a defendant "to conclusive result; or
forego testimony, to remain silent, unless he 3) The samples are similar, and could
chooses to take the witness stand-with have originated from the same
undiluted, unfettered exercise of his own source (inclusion). In such a case,
free genuine will." the samples are found to be
Why it should be thus is not difficult similar, the analyst proceeds to
to discern. The constitutional guarantee, determine the statistical
along with other rights granted an accused, significance of the similarity.
stands for a belief that while crime should n assessing the probative value of DNA
not go unpunished and that the truth must be evidence, therefore, courts should consider,
revealed, such desirable objectives should among others things, the following data: how
not be accomplished according to means or the samples were collected, how they were
methods offensive to the high sense of handled, the possibility of contamination of
respect accorded the human personality. the samples, the procedure followed in
More and more in line with the democratic analyzing the samples, whether the proper
creed, the deference accorded an individual standards and procedures were followed in
even those suspected of the most heinous conducting the tests, and the qualification of
crimes is given due weight. To quote from the analyst who conducted the tests.
Chief Justice Warren, "the constitutional (PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. GERRICO
foundation underlying the privilege is the VALLEJO (G.R. No. 144656, May 9, 2002)
respect a government . . . must accord to the
dignity and integrity of its citizens." INVOLUNTARY SERVITUDE
(PASCUAL V MEDICAL BOARD OF EXAMINERS
(28 SCRA 345 [1969]) This ancient obligation of the
DNA is an organic substance found in individual to assist in the protection of the
a person's cells which contains his or her peace and good order of his community is still
genetic code. Except for identical twins, each recognized in all well-organized governments
person's DNA profile is distinct and unique. in the "posse comitatus" (power of the
When a crime is committed, material county, poder del condado). (Book 1 Cooley's
is collected from the scene of the crime or Blackstone's Commentaries, 343; Book 4,
from the victim's body for the suspect's DNA. 122.) Under this power, those persons in the
This is the evidence sample. The evidence state, county, or town who were charged
sample is then matched with the reference with the maintenance of peace and good
sample taken from the suspect and the order were bound, ex officio, to pursue and
victim. to take all persons who had violated the law.
The purpose of DNA testing is to For that purpose they might command all the
ascertain whether an association exists male inhabitants of a certain age to assist
between the evidence sample and the them. This power is called "posse comitatus"
reference sample. The samples collected are (power of the county). This was a right well
subjected to various chemical processes to recognized at common law. Act No. 1309 is a
establish their profile. The test may yield statutory recognition of such common-law
three possible results: right. Said Act attempts simply to designate
1) The samples are different and the cases and the method when and by which
therefore must have originated the people of the town (pueblo) may be
from different sources (exclusion). called upon to render assistance for the
This conclusion is absolute and protection of the public and the preservation
of peace and good order. It is an exercise of
the police power of the state. (THE UNITED be no violation of a right against
STATES V. SILVESTRE POMPEYA (G.R. No. imprisonment for non-payment of a debt.
10255, August 6, 1915) Trust receipts are indispensable
contracts in international and domestic
PROHIBITED PUNISHMENT business transactions. The prevalent use of
trust receipts, the danger of their misuse
What is cruel and unusual "is not and/or misappropriation of the goods or
fastened to the obsolete but may acquire proceeds realized from the sale of goods,
meaning as public opinion becomes documents or instruments held in trust for
enlightened by a humane justice" and "must entruster-banks, and the need for regulation
draw its meaning from the evolving standards of trust receipt transactions to safeguard the
of decency that mark the progress of a rights and enforce the obligations of the
maturing society." Indeed, "[o]ther (U.S.) parties involved are the main thrusts of P.D.
courts have focused on 'standards of decency' 115. As correctly observed by the Solicitor
finding that the widespread use of lethal General, P.D, 115, like Batas Pambansa Blg.
injections indicates that it comports with 22, punishes the act "not as an offense
contemporary norms." The primary indicator against property, but as an offense against
of society's standard of decency with regard public order.x x x The misuse of trust
to capital punishment is the response of the receipts therefore should be deterred to
country's legislatures to the sanction. Hence, prevent any possible havoc in trade circles
for as long as the death penalty remains in and the banking community (citing Lozano v.
our statute books and meets the most Martinez, 146 SCRA 323 [1986]; Rollo, p. 57)
stringent requirements provided by the It is in the context of upholding public
Constitution, we must confine our inquiry to interest that the law now specifically
the legality of R.A. No. 8177, whose designates a breach of a trust receipt
constitutionality we duly sustain in the face agreement to be an act that "shall" make one
of petitioner's challenge. We find that the liable for estafa.
legislature's substitution of the mode of The offense is punished as a malum
carrying out the death penalty from prohibitum regardless of the existence. of
electrocution to lethal injection infringes no intent or malice. A mere failure to deliver
constitutional rights of petitioner herein. the proceeds of the sale or the goods if not
(ECHEGARAY V. SECRETARY OF JUSTICE sold, constitutes a criminal offense that
(297 SCRA 754 [1998]) causes prejudice not only to another, but
more to the public interest. (PEOPLE V.
NON-IMPRISONMENT FOR DEBT NITAFAN (G.R. No. 81559, April 6,1992)

A trust receipt arrangement does not DOUBLE JEOPARDY


involve a simple loan transaction between a
SAN BEDA COLLEGE OF LAW

creditor and a debtor- importer. Apart from a In People of the Philippines versus
loan feature, the trust receipt arrangement Hon. Maximiano C. Asuncion, et al., G.R. Nos.
has a security feature that is covered by the 83837-42, April 22, 1992, Justice Nocon said
trust receipt itself. (Vintola v. Insular Bank that:
of Asia and America, 151 SCRA 578 [1987]) " . . . according to a long line of cases, in
That second feature is what provides the order that a defendant nay successfully
much needed financial assistance to our allege former jeopardy, it is necessary
traders in the importation or purchase of that he had previously been (1) convicted
or (2) acquitted, or (3) in jeopardy of
goods or merchandise through the use of being convicted of the offense charged,
those goods or merchandise as collateral for that is, that the former case against him
the advancements made by a bank. (Same v. for the same offense has been dismissed
People, supra). The title of the bank to the or otherwise terminated without his
security is the one sought to be protected express consent, by a court of competent
and not the loan which is a separate and jurisdiction, upon a valid complaint or
distinct agreement. information, and after the defendent had
The Trust Receipts Law punishes the pleaded to the charge. "
dishonesty and abuse of confidence in the Withal, the mere filing of two
handling of money or goods to the prejudice informations charging the same offense is
of another regardless of whether the latter is not an appropriate basis for the invocation of
the owner or not. The law does not seek to double jeopardy since the first jeopardy has
enforce payment of the loan. Thus, there can not yet set in by a previous conviction,
acquittal or termination of the case without

94
the consent the accused (People vs. statute. If the two charges are based on one
Miraflores, 115 SCRA 586 [1982]; Nierras vs. and the same act, conviction or acquittal
Dacuycuy,181 SCRA 8 [1990]). under either the law or the ordinance shall
Moreover, it appears that private bar a prosecution under the other.
respondent herein had not yet been arraigned Incidentally, such conviction or acquittal is
in the previous case for estafa. Thus, there is not indispensable to sustain the plea of
that other missing link, so to speak, in the double jeopardy of punishment for the same
case at bar which was precisely the same offense. So long as jeopardy has attached
reason utilized by Justice Davide, Jr. in under one of the information charging said
Lamera vs. Court of Appeals (198 SCRA 186 offense, the defense may be availed of in the
[1991]) when he brushed aside the claim of other case involving the same offense, even if
double jeopardy of the accused therein who there has been neither conviction nor
was arraigned in the previous case only after acquittal in either case.
the judgment of conviction was promulgated Where the offenses charged are
in the other case. The ponente cited a penalized either by different sections of the
plethora of cases in support of the same statute or by different statutes, the
proposition that arraignment of the accused important inquiry relates to the identity of
in the previous case is a condition sine qua offenses charged- the constitutional
non for double jeopardy to attach (at page protection against double jeopardy is
13; People vs. Ylagan, 58 Phil. 851; People available only where an identity is shown to
vs. Consulta, 70 SCRA 277; Andres v. Cacdac, exist between the earlier and the subsequent
113 SCRA 216; People vs. Bocar, at al., 132 offenses charged. In contrast, where one
SCRA 166; Gaspar vs. Sandiganbayan, 144 offense is charged under a municipal
SCRA 415) and echoed the requisites of legal ordinance while the other is penalized by a
jeopardy as announced in People vs. Bocar statute, the critical inquiry is to the identity
thus: of the acts which the accused is said to have
"Legal jeopardy attaches only (a) upon a committed. and which are alleged to have
valid indictment, (b) before a competent given rise to the two offenses: the
court, (c) after arraignment, (d) a valid constitutional protection against double
plea having been entered, and (e) the jeopardy is available so long as the acts
ease was dismissed or otherwise
terminated without the express consent
which constitute or have given rise to the
of the accused." (PEOPLE V. JUDGE
first offense under a municipal ordinance are
PINEDA (G.R. No. 44205, February the same acts which constitute or have given
11, 1993) rise to the offense charged under a statute.
The question may be raised why one
Our Bill of Rights deals with two (2) rule should exist where two offenses under
kinds of double jeopardy. The first sentence two different sections of the same statute or
of clause 20, section 1, Article III of the under different statutes are charged, and
Constitution, ordains that "no person shall be another rule for the situation where one
twice put in jeopardy of punishment for the offense is charged under a municipal
same offense" The second sentence of said ordinance and another offense under a
clause provides that "if an act is punishable national statute. If the second sentence of
by a law and an ordinance, conviction or the double jeopardy provision had not been
acquittal under either shall constitute a bar written into the Constitution, conviction or
to another prosecution for the same act." acquittal under a municipal ordinance would
Thus, the first sentence prohibits double never constitute a bar to another prosecution
jeopardy of punishment for the same offense, for the same act under a national statute. An
whereas the second contemplates double offense penalized by municipal ordinance is,
jeopardy of punishment for the same act. by definition, different from an offense under
Under the first sentence, one may be twice a statute. The two offenses would never
put in jeopardy of punishment of the same constitute the same offense having been
act, provided that he is charged with promulgated by different rule-making
different offenses, or the offense charged in authorities-though one be subordinate to the
one case is not included in, or does not other-and the plea of double jeopardy would
include, the crime charged in the other case. never lie. The discussions during the 1934-
The second sentence applies, even if the 1935 Constitutional Convention show that the
offenses charged are not the same, owing to second sentence was inserted precisely for
the fact that one constitutes a violation of an the purpose of extending the constitutional
ordinance and the other a violation of a protection against double jeopardy to a
situation which would not otherwise be justified by said act or omission, by
covered by the first sentence. simply adding or subtracting essential
The question of identity or lack of elements. (PEOPLE V. JUDGE
identity of offenses is addressed by examining RELOVA (148 SCRA 292 [1987])
the essential elements of each of the two
offenses charged, as such elements are set Section 8, Rule 117 of the
out in the respective legislative definitions of Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure
the offenses involved. The question of reads:
identity of the acts which are claimed to Sec. 8. Provisional dismissal. – A case
shall not be provisionally dismissed
have generated liability both under a except with the express consent of the
municipal ordinance and a national statute accused and with notice to the offended
must be addressed, in the first instance, by party.
examining the location of such acts in time The provisional dismissal of offenses
and space. When the acts of the accused as punishable by imprisonment not
set out in the two informations are so related exceeding six (6) years or a fine of any
to each other in time and space as to be amount, or both, shall become
reasonably regarded as having taken place on permanent one (1) year after issuance of
the same occasion and where those acts have the order without the case having been
revived. With respect to offenses
been moved by one and the same, or a punishable by imprisonment of more than
continuing, intent or voluntary design or six (6) years, their provisional dismissal
negligence, such acts may be appropriately shall become permanent two (2) years
characterized as an integral whole capable of after issuance of the order without the
giving rise to penal liability simultaneously case having been revived.
under different legal enactments (a municipal Having invoked said rule before the
ordinance and a national statute). petitioners-panel of prosecutors and before
It is perhaps important to note that the Court of Appeals, the respondent is
the rule limiting the constitutional protection burdened to establish the essential requisites
against double jeopardy to a subsequent of the first paragraph thereof, namely:
prosecution for the same offense is not to be 1.the prosecution with the
understood with absolute literalness. The express conformity of the
identity of offenses that must be shown need accused or the accused moves
not be absolute identity: the first and second for a provisional (sin perjuicio)
offenses may be regarded as the "same dismissal of the case; or both
offense" where the second offense necessarily the prosecution and the
includes the first offense or is necessarily accused move for a provisional
included in such first offense or where the dismissal of the case;
second offense is an attempt to commit the 2.the offended party is notified
first or a frustration thereof.14 Thus, for the of the motion for a provisional
SAN BEDA COLLEGE OF LAW

constitutional plea of double jeopardy to be dismissal of the case;


available, not all the technical elements 3.the court issues an order
constituting the first offense need be present granting the motion and
in the technical definition of the second dismissing the case
offense. The law here seeks to prevent provisionally;
harassment of an accused person by multiple 4.the public prosecutor is served
prosecutions for offenses which though with a copy of the order of
different from one another are nonetheless provisional dismissal of the
each constituted by a common set or case.
overlapping sets of technical elements. As The foregoing requirements are
Associate Justice and later Chief Justice conditions sine qua non to the application of
Ricardo Paras cautioned in People vs. del the time-bar in the second paragraph of the
Carmen, et al., 88 Phil. 51 (1951): new rule. The raison d’ etre for the
"While the rule against double jeopardy requirement of the express consent of the
prohibits prosecution for the same accused to a provisional dismissal of a
offense, it seems elementary that an criminal case is to bar him from subsequently
accused should be shielded against being
asserting that the revival of the criminal case
prosecuted for several offenses made out
from a single act. Othemise, an unlawful
will place him in double jeopardy for the
act or omission may give rise to several same offense or for an offense necessarily
prosecutions depending upon the ability included therein.
of the prosecuting officer to imagine or Although the second paragraph of the
concoct as many offenses as can be new rule states that the order of dismissal

94
shall become permanent one year after the different testimony than the law required at
issuance thereof without the case having the time of the commission of the offense in
been revived, the provision should be order to convict the defendant; or (e) Every
construed to mean that the order of dismissal law which, in relation to the offense or its
shall become permanent one year after consequences, alters the situation of a person
service of the order of dismissal on the public to his disadvantage. This Court added two
prosecutor who has control of the prosecution more to the list, namely: (f) that which
without the criminal case having been assumes to regulate civil rights and remedies
revived. The public prosecutor cannot be only but in effect imposes a penalty or
expected to comply with the timeline unless deprivation of a right which when done was
he is served with a copy of the order of lawful; or (g) deprives a person accused of
dismissal. crime of some lawful protection to which he
Express consent to a provisional has become entitled, such as the protection
dismissal is given either viva voce or in of a former conviction or acquittal or a
writing. It is a positive, direct, unequivocal proclamation of amnesty.
consent requiring no inference or implication Ex post facto law, generally, prohibits
to supply its meaning. Where the accused retrospectively of penal laws.46 R.A. 8249 is
writes on the motion of a prosecutor for a not a penal law. It is a substantive law on
provisional dismissal of the case “No jurisdiction which is not penal in character.
objection” or “With my conformity,” the Penal laws are those acts of the Legislature
writing amounts to express consent of the which prohibit certain acts and establish
accused to a provisional dismissal of the case. penalties for their violations; or those that
The mere inaction or silence of the accused define crimes, treat of their nature, and
to a motion for a provisional dismissal of the provide for their punishment. R.A. 7975,
case or his failure to object to a provisional which amended P.D. 1606 as regards the
dismissal does not amount to express Sandiganbayan's jurisdiction, its mode of
consent. appeal and other procedural matters, has
A motion of the accused for a been declared by the Court as not a penal
provisional dismissal of a case is an express law, but clearly a procedural statute, i.e. one
consent to such provisional dismissal. If a which prescribes rules of procedure by which
criminal case is provisionally dismissed with courts applying laws of all kinds can properly
the express consent of the accused, the case administer justice. Not being a penal law, the
may be revived only within the periods retroactive application of R.A. 8249 cannot
provided in the new rule. On the other hand, be challenged as unconstitutional.
if a criminal case is provisionally dismissed Petitioner's and intervenors'
without the express consent of the accused or contention that their right to a two-tiered
over his objection, the new rule would not appeal which they acquired under R.A. 7975
apply. The case may be revived or re-filed has been diluted by the enactment of R.A.
even beyond the prescribed periods subject 8249, is incorrect. The same contention has
to the right of the accused to oppose the already been rejected by the, court several
same on the ground of double jeopardy or times considering that the right to appeal is
that such revival or re-filing is barred by the not a natural right but statutory in nature
statute of limitations. (PEOPLE OF THE that can be regulated by law. The mode of
PHILIPPINES, et al. vs. PANFILO M. LACSON procedure provided for in the statutory right
(G.R. No. 149453, April 1, 2003) of appeal is not included in the prohibition
against ex post facto laws. R.A. 8249 pertains
EX POST FACTO LAW AND BILLOF only to matters of procedure, and being
ATTAINDER merely an amendatory statute it does not
partake the nature of an ex post facto law. It
In Calder v. Bull, an ex post facto law does not mete out a penalty and, therefore,
is one - (a) which makes an act done criminal does not come within the prohibition.
before the passing of the law and which was Moreover, the law did not alter the
innocent when committed, and punishes such rules of evidence or the mode of trial. It has
action; or (b) which aggravates a crime or been ruled that adjective statutes may be
makes it greater than when it was made applicable to actions pending and
committed; or (c) which changes the unresolved at the time of their passage.
punishment and inflicts a greater punishment (LACSON V. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, et al.
than the law annexed to the crime when it (301 SCRA 298 [1999])
was committed; or (d) which alters the legal
rules of evidence and receives less or
CITIZENSHIP disqualification mentioned in Section 4 of
C.A. 473.
There are two ways of acquiring Repatriation, on the other hand, may
citizenship: (1) by birth, and (2) by be had under various statutes by those who
naturalization. These ways of acquiring lost their citizenship due to: (1) desertion of
citizenship correspond to the two kinds of the armed forces; services in the armed
citizens: the natural-born citizen, and the forces of the allied forces in World War II; (3)
naturalized citizen. A person who at the time service in the Armed Forces of the United
of his birth is a citizen of a particular States at any other time, (4) marriage of a
country, is a natural-born citizen thereof. Filipino woman to an alien; and (5) political
As defined in the same Constitution, economic necessity.
natural-born citizens "are those citizens of As distinguished from the lengthy
the Philippines from birth without having to process of naturalization, repatriation simply
perform any act to acquire or perfect his consists of the taking of an oath of allegiance
Philippine citizenship." to the Republic of the Philippine and
On the other hand, naturalized registering said oath in the Local Civil
citizens are those who have become Filipino Registry of the place where the person
citizens through naturalization, generally concerned resides or last resided.
under Commonwealth Act No. 473, otherwise In Angat v. Republic, we held:
known as the Revised Naturalization Law, xxx. Parenthetically, under these
which repealed the former Naturalization statutes [referring to RA Nos. 965 and
Law (Act No. 2927), and by Republic Act No. 2630], the person desiring to reacquire
530. To be naturalized, an applicant has to Philippine citizenship would not even be
required to file a petition in court, and
prove that he possesses all the qualifications all that he had to do was to take an oath
and none of the disqualification provided by of allegiance to the Republic of the
law to become a Filipino citizen. The decision Philippines and to register that fact with
granting Philippine citizenship becomes the civil registry in the place of his
executory only after two (2) years from its residence or where he had last resided in
promulgation when the court is satisfied that the Philippines.
during the intervening period, the applicant Moreover, repatriation results in the
has (1) not left the Philippines; (2) has recovery of the original nationality. This
dedicated himself to a lawful calling or means that a naturalized Filipino who lost his
profession; (3) has not been convicted of any citizenship will be restored to his prior status
offense or violation of Government as a naturalized Filipino citizen. On the other
promulgated rules; or (4) committed any act hand, if he was originally a natural-born
prejudicial to the interest of the nation or citizen before he lost his Philippine
contrary to any Government announced citizenship, he will be restored to his former
policies. status as a natural-born Filipino.
As correctly explained by the HRET in
SAN BEDA COLLEGE OF LAW

Filipino citizens who have lost their


citizenship may however reacquire the same its decision, the term "natural-born citizen"
in the manner provided by law. was first defined in Article III, Section 4 of
Commonwealth Act. No. (C.A. No. 63), the 1973 Constitution as follows:
enumerates the three modes by which Sec. 4. A natural-born citizen is one who
Philippine citizenship may be reacquired by a is a citizen of the Philippines from birth
former citizen: (1) by naturalization, (2) by without having to perform any act to
acquire or perfect his Philippine
repatriation, and (3) by direct act of citizenship.
Congress. Two requisites must concur for a
Naturalization is mode for both person to be considered as such: (1) a person
acquisition and reacquisition of Philippine must be a Filipino citizen birth and (2) he
citizenship. As a mode of initially acquiring does not have to perform any act to obtain or
Philippine citizenship, naturalization is perfect his Philippine citizenship.
governed by Commonwealth Act No. 473, as Under the 1973 Constitution
amended. On the other hand, naturalization definition, there were two categories of
as a mode for reacquiring Philippine Filipino citizens which were not considered
citizenship is governed by Commonwealth Act natural-born: (1) those who were naturalized
No. 63. Under this law, a former Filipino and (2) those born before January 17, 1973,
citizen who wishes to reacquire Philippine of Filipino mothers who, upon reaching the
citizenship must possess certain age of majority, elected Philippine
qualifications17 and none of the citizenship. Those "naturalized citizens" were

94
not considered natural-born obviously residence upon his death in 1954, in the
because they were not Filipino at birth and absence of any other evidence, could have
had to perform an act to acquire Philippine well been his place of residence before
citizenship. Those born of Filipino mothers death, such that Lorenzo Pou would have
before the effectively of the 1973 benefited from the “en masse Filipinization”
Constitution were likewise not considered that the Philippine Bill had effected in 1902.
natural-born because they also had to That citizenship (of Lorenzo Pou), if
perform an act to perfect their Philippines acquired, would thereby extend to his son,
citizenship. Allan F. Poe, father of respondent FPJ. The
The present Constitution, however, 1935 Constitution, during which regime
now consider those born of Filipino mothers respondent FPJ has seen first light, confers
before the effectivity of the 1973 citizenship to all persons whose fathers are
Constitution and who elected Philippine Filipino citizens regardless of whether such
citizenship upon reaching the majority age as children are legitimate or illegitimate.
natural-born. After defining who re natural- But while the totality of the evidence
born citizens, Section 2 of Article IV adds a may not establish conclusively that
sentence: "Those who elect Philippine respondent FPJ is a natural-born citizen of
citizenship in accordance with paragraph (3), the Philippines, the evidence on hand still
Section 1 hereof shall be deemed natural- would preponderate in his favor enough to
born citizens." Consequently, only naturalized hold that he cannot be held guilty of having
Filipinos are considered not natural-born made a material misrepresentation in his
citizens. It is apparent from the enumeration certificate of candidacy in violation of
of who are citizens under the present Section 78, in relation to Section 74, of the
Constitution that there are only two classes Omnibus Election Code. Petitioner has utterly
of citizens: (1) those who are natural-born failed to substantiate his case before the
and (2) those who are naturalized in Court, notwithstanding the ample opportunity
accordance with law. A citizen who is not a given to the parties to present their position
naturalized Filipino, i.e., did not have to and evidence, and to prove whether or not
undergo the process of naturalization to there has been material misrepresentation,
obtain Philippine citizenship, necessarily is which, as so ruled in Romualdez-Marcos vs.
natural-born Filipino. Noteworthy is the COMELEC 248 SCRA 300 (1995) must not only
absence in said enumeration of a separate be material, but also deliberate and willful.
category for persons who, after losing TECSON v. COMELEC, RONALD ALLAN KELLY
Philippine citizenship, subsequently reacquire POE and VICTORINO X. FORNIER (G.R. No.
it. The reason therefor is clear: as to such 161634. March 3, 2004)
persons, they would either be natural-born or ADMINISTRATIVE LAW
naturalized depending on the reasons for the
loss of their citizenship and the mode It should be understandable that when an
prescribed by the applicable law for the administrative rule is merely interpretative in
reacquisition thereof. (BENGZON V. HRET nature, its applicability needs nothing further
and CRUZ (357 SCRA 545 [2001]) than its bare issuance for it gives no real
consequence more than what the law itself
The question whether grave abuse of has already prescribed. When, upon the
discretion has been committed by the other hand, the administrative rule goes
COMELEC, it is necessary to take on the beyond merely providing for the means that
matter of whether or not respondent FPJ is a can facilitate or render least cumbersome the
natural-born citizen, which, in turn, implementation of the law but substantially
depended on whether or not the father of adds to or increases the burden of those
respondent, Allan F. Poe, would have himself governed, it behooves the agency to accord
been a Filipino citizen and, in the at least to those directly affected a chance to
affirmative, whether or not the alleged be heard, and thereafter, to be duly
illegitimacy of respondent prevents him from informed, before that new issuance is given
taking after the Filipino citizenship of his force and effect of law. (COMMISSIONER OF
putative father. Any conclusion on the INTERNAL REVENUE V. COURT OF APPEALS
Filipino citizenship of Lorenzo Pou could only (261 SCRA 236)
be drawn from the presumption that having
died in 1954 at 84 years old, Lorenzo would In recent years, it has been the
have been born sometime in the year 1870, jurisprudential trend to apply the doctrine of
when the Philippines was under Spanish rule, primary jurisdiction in many cases involving
and that San Carlos, Pangasinan, his place of matters that demand the special competence
of administrative agencies. It may occur that court's intervention is fatal to one's cause of
the Court has jurisdiction to take cognizance action. Accordingly, absent any finding of
of a particular case, which means that the waiver or estoppel the case is susceptible of
matter involved is also judicial in character. dismissal for lack of cause of action. This
However, if the case is such that its doctrine of exhaustion of administrative
determination requires the expertise, remedies was not without its practical and
specialized skills and knowledge of the proper legal reasons, for one thing, availment of
administrative bodies because technical administrative remedy entails lesser expenses
matters or intricate questions of facts are and provides for a speedier disposition of
involved, then relief must first be obtained in controversies. it is no less true to state that
an administrative proceeding before a the courts of justice for reasons of comity
remedy will be supplied by the courts even and convenience will shy away from a dispute
though the matter is within the proper until the system of administrative redress has
jurisdiction of a court. This is the doctrine of been completed and complied with so as to
primary jurisdiction. It applies "where a claim give the administrative agency concerned
is originally cognizable in the courts, and every opportunity to correct its error and to
comes into play whenever enforcement of the dispose of the case. However, we are not
claim requires the resolution of issues which, amiss to reiterate that the principle of
under a regulatory scheme, have been placed exhaustion of administrative remedies as
within the special competence of an tested by a battery of cases is not an ironclad
administrative body; in such case the judicial rule. This doctrine is a relative one and its
process is suspended pending referral of such flexibility is called upon by the peculiarity
issues to the administrative body for its view" and uniqueness of the factual and
(United States v. Western Pacific Railroad circumstantial settings of a case. Hence, it is
Co., 352 U.S. 59). disregarded (1) when there is a violation of
Clearly, the doctrine of primary due process, (2) when the issue involved is
jurisdiction finds application in this case purely a legal question, (3) when the
since the question of what coal areas should administrative action is patently illegal
be exploited and developed and which entity amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction,
should be granted coal operating contracts (4) when there is estoppel on the part of the
over said areas involves a technical administrative agency concerned, (5) when
determination by the BED as the there is irreparable injury, (6) when the
administrative agency in possession of the respondent is a department secretary whose
specialized expertise to act on the matter. acts as an alter ego of the President bears
The Trial Court does not have the the implied and assumed approval of the
competence to decide matters concerning latter, (7) when to require exhaustion of
activities relative to the exploration, administrative remedies would be
exploitation, development and extraction of unreasonable, (8) when it would amount to a
SAN BEDA COLLEGE OF LAW

mineral resources like coal. These issues nullification of a claim20 (9) when the
preclude an initial judicial determination. It subject matter is a private land in land case
behooves the courts to stand aside even when proceedings, (10) when the rule does not
apparently they have statutory power to provide a plain, speedy and adequate
proceed in recognition of the primary remedy, and (11) when there are
jurisdiction of an administrative agency. circumstances indicating the urgency of
(INDUSTRIAL ENTERPRISES, INC. V. COURT judicial intervention. (PAAT V. COURT OF
OF APPEALS (184 SCRA 426 [1990]) APPEALS (266 SCRA 167 [1997])

This Court in a long line of cases has Equally well accepted, as a corollary rule to
consistently held that before a party is the control powers of the President, is the
allowed to seek the intervention of the court, “Doctrine of Qualified Political Agency.” As
it is a precondition that he should have the President cannot be expected to exercise
availed of all the means of administrative his control powers all at the same time and in
processes afforded him. Hence, if a remedy person, he will have to delegate some of
within the administrative machinery can still them to his Cabinet members. Under this
be resorted to by giving the administrative doctrine, which recognizes the establishment
officer concerned every opportunity to of a single executive, “all executive and
decide on a matter that comes within his administrative organizations are adjuncts of
jurisdiction then such remedy should be the Executive Department, the heads of the
exhausted first before court's judicial power various executive departments are assistants
can be sought. The premature invocation of and agents of the Chief Executive, and,

94
except in cases where the Chief Executive is case of Borromeo v. Mariano, “there is no
required by the Constitution or law to act in power in this country which can compel a
person or the exigencies of the situation man to accept an office.” (LACSON V.
demand that he act personally, the ROMERO (84 Phil 740)
multifarious executive and administrative
functions of the Chief Executive are It is the general rule "that the rightful
performed by and through the executive incumbent of a public office may recover
departments, and the acts of the Secretaries from all officer de facto the salary received
of such departments, performed and by the latter during the time of his wrongful
promulgated in the regular course of tenure, even though he entered into the
business, are, unless disapproved or office in good faith and. under color of title."
reprobated by the Chief Executive, The resulting hardship occasioned by the
presumptively the acts of the Chief operation of this rule to the de facto officer
Executive.” (CARPIO V. EXECUTIVE who did actual work is recognized; but it is
SECRETARY (206 SCRA 290) far more, cogently acknowledged that the de
facto doctrine has been formulated not for
LAW ON PUBLIC OFFICERS the for the protection of the de facto officer
principally, but rather for the protection of
The Civil Service Commission is not the public and individuals who get involved in
empowered to determine the kind or nature the official acts of persons discharging the
of the appointment extended by the duties of an office without being lawful
appointing officer, its authority being limited officers. The question of compensation
to approving or reviewing the appointment in involves different principles and concepts
the light of the requirements of the Civil however. Here, It Is possession of title, not of
Service Law. When the appointee is qualified the office, that is decisive, A de facto
and all other legal requirements were officer, not having good title, takes the
satisfied, the Commission has no choice but salaries at his risk and must therefore
to attest to the appointment in accordance account to the de lure officer for whatever
with Civil Service Laws. amount of salary he received during the
Appointment is an essentially discretionary period of his wrongful retention of the public
power and must be performed by the officer office. (MONROY V. COURT OF APPEALS (20
in which it is vested according to his best SCRA 620)
lights, the only condition being that the
appointee should possess the qualifications A public office is the right authority
required by law. If he does, then the and duty, created and conferred by law, by
appointment cannot be faulted on the ground which for a given period, either fixed by law
that there are others better qualified who or enduring at the pleasure of the creating
should have been preferred. This is a power, an individual is invested with some
political question involving considerations of portion of the sovereign function of
wisdom which only the appointing authority government, to be exercised by him for the
can decide. (LUEGO V. CIVIL SERVICE benefit of the public. The individual so
COMMISSION (143 SCRA 327) invested is a public officer.
Admittedly, the act of Congress in
The appointment to a government post like creating a public office, defining its powers,
that of a provincial fiscal to be complete functions and fixing the "term" or the period
involves several steps. First, comes the during which the officer may claim to hold
nomination by the President. Then to make the office as of right and the "tenure" or the
that nomination valid and permanent, the term during which the incumbent actually
Commission on Appointments has to confirm holds the office, is a valid and constitutional
said nomination. The last step thereof is the exercise of legislative power (Article VI,
acceptance thereof by the appointee by his section 1, Constitution of the Philippines;
assumption of office. The first 2 steps, Jover vs. Borra, G. R. No. L6782, July 25,
nomination and confirmation, constitute a 1953; Nueno vs. Angeles, 76 Phil., 12; Francia
mere offer of a post. They are acts of the vs. Pecson and Subido, 47 Off. Gaz., 12 Supp.
Executive and Legislative departments of the p. 296). In the exercise of that power,
Government. But the last necessary step to Congress enacted Republic Act No. 603 on
make the appointment complete and April 11, 1951, creating the City of Roxas and
effective rests solely with the appointee providing, among others for the position of
himself. He may or may not accept the Vice-Mayor and its tenure or period during
appointment or nomination. As held in the which the incumbent Vice-Mayor holds office
at the pleasure of the President (section&, office, and its acceptance by competent and
article II, Republic Act No. 603). lawful authority.
So, the logical inference from the Verily, a “courtesy resignation”
above quoted excerpt of the decision of, this cannot properly be interpreted as resignation
Court promulgated long after the decision in the legal sense for it is not necessarily a
rendered in the case of De los Santos vs. reflection of a public official’s intention to
Mallare, supra, is that Congress can legally surrender his position. Rather, it manifests
and constitutionally make the tenure of his submission to the will of the appointing
certain officials dependent. upon the authority and the appointing power. (ORTIZ
pleasure of the President. V. COMELEC (162 SCRA 812)
The pervading error of the
respondents lies in the fact that they insist on Nothing is better settled in our law
the act of the President in designating than that the abolition of an office within the
petitioner Alba in the place of respondent competence of a legitimate body if done in
Alajar as one of removal. The replacement of good faith suffers from no infirmity. In Cruz
respondent Alajar is not removal, but an v. Primicias, Jr., it was held that “valid
expiration of its tenure, which is one of the abolition of offices is neither removal nor
ordinary modes of terminating official separation of the incumbents. . . . And, of
relations. On this score, section 2545 of the course, if the abolition is void, the incumbent
Revised Administrative Code which was is deemed never to have ceased to hold
declared inoperative in the Santos vs. Mallare office. The preliminary question laid at rest,
case, is different from section 8 of Republic we pass to the merits of the case. As well-
Act No. 603, Section 2545 refers to removal settled as the rule that. the abolition of an
at pleasure while section 8 of Republic Act office does not amount to an illegal removal
No. 603 refers to holding office at the of its incumbent is the principle that, in
pleasure of the President. order to be valid, the abolition must be made
Clearly, what is involved here is not in good faith."
the question of removal, or whether legal Removal is, of course, to be
cause should precede or not that removal. distinguished from termination by virtue of
What is involved here is the creation of an the abolition of the office. There can be no
office and the tenure of such office, which tenure to a non-existent office. After the
has been made expressly dependent upon the abolition, there is in law no occupant. In case
pleasure of the President. of removal, there is an office with an
Even assuming-for the moment that occupant who would thereby lose his
the act of replacing Alajar constitutes position. It is in that sense that from the
removal, the act itself is valid and lawful, for standpoint of strict law, the question of any
under section 8 of Republic Act No. 603, no impairment of security of tenure does not
fixity of tenure has been provided for, and arise. Nonetheless, for the incumbents of
SAN BEDA COLLEGE OF LAW

the pleasure of the President has been inferior courts abolished, the effect is one of
exercised in accordance with the policy laid separation. As to its effect, no distinction
down by Congress therein. (ALBA, et al. V. exists between removal and the abolition of
EVANGELISTA et al. (100 Phil 683) the office. Realistically, it is devoid of
significance. He ceases to be a member of
Resignation as the "act of giving up or the judiciary. In the implementation of the
the act of an officer by which he declines his assailed legislation, therefore, it would be in
office and renounces the further right to use accordance with accepted principles of
it. It is an expression of the incumbent in constitutional construction that as far as
some form, express or implied, of the incumbent justices and judges are concerned,
intention to surrender, renounce, and this Court be consulted and that its view be
relinquish the office and the acceptance by accorded the fullest consideration. (DE LA
competence and lawful authority." To LLANA V. ALBA (112 SCRA 294 [1982])
constitute a complete and operative
resignation from public office, the officer ELECTION LAW
must show a clear intention to relinquish or
surrender his position accompanied by the act Sound policy dictates that public
of relinquishment. Resignation implies an elective offices are filled by those who have
expression of the incumbent in some form, received the highest number of votes cast in
express or implied, of the intention to the election for that office, and it is a
surrender, renounce and relinquish the fundamental idea in all republican forms of
government that no one can be declared

94
elected and no measure can be declared the number of votes their fancy dictated; and
carried unless he or it receives a majority or so the return was literally a "manufactured",
plurality of the legal votes cast in the "fabricated" return. Or maybe because
election. (20 Corpus Juris 2nd, S 243, p. 676.) persons other than voters, were permitted to
The fact that the candidate who take part and vote; or because registered
obtained the highest number of votes is later voters cast more than one ballot each, or
declared to be disqualified or not eligible for because those in charge of the tally sheet
the office to which he was elected does not falsified their counts.
necessarily entitle the candidate who Hence, as the Mitchell decision
obtained the second highest number of votes concluded, the returns were "not true returns
to be declared the winner of the elective . . . but simply manufactured evidences of an
office. The votes cast for a dead, attempt to defeat the popular will." All these
disqualified, or non-eligible person may not possibilities and/or probabilities were plain
be valid to vote the winner into office or fraudulent practices, resulting in
maintain him there. However, in the absence misrepresentation of the election outcome.
of a statute which dearly asserts a contrary "Manufactured" was the word used.
political and legislative policy on the matter, "Fabricated" or "false" could as well have
if the votes were cast in the sincere belief been employed.
that the candidate was alive, qualified, or The same ratio decidendi applies to
eligible, they should not be treated as stray, the situation in the precincts herein
void or meaningless. (LABO V. COMELEC mentioned. These returns were obviously
(G.R. No. 86564, August 1, 1989) false or fabricated-prima facie. Let us take
for example, precinct No. 3 of Andong, Lanao
It must be noted that this is not an del Sur. There were 648 registered voters.
instance wherein one return gives to one According to such return all the eight
candidate all the votes in the precinct, even candidates of the Liberal Party got 648 each,
as it gives exactly zero to the other. This is and the eight Nacionalista candidates got
not a case where some senatorial candidates exactly zero. We hold such return to be
obtain zero exactly, while some others evidently fraudulent or false because of the
receive a few scattered votes. Here, all the inherent improbability of such a result-
eight candidates of one party garnered all the against statistical probabilities-specially
votes, each of them receiving exactly the because at least one vote should have been
same number; whereas all the eight received by the Nacionalista candidates, i.
candidates of the other party got precisely e., the vote of the Nacionalista inspector. It
nothing. is, of course, "possible" that such inspector
The main point to remember is that did not like his party's senatorial line-up; but
there is no blockvoting nowadays. it is not probable that he disliked all of such
What happened to the vote of the candidates, and it is not likely that he
Nacionalista inspector? There was one in favored all the eight candidates of the Liberal
every precinct. Evidently, either he became a Party. Therefore, most probably, he was
traitor to his party, or was made to sign a made to sign an obviously false return. or
false return by force or other illegal means. If else he betrayed his party, in which case, the
he signed voluntarily, but in breach of faith, election therein- if any-was no more than a
the Nacionalista inspector betrayed his party; barefaced fraud and a brazen contempt of
and, any voting or counting of ballots therein, the Popular polls.
was a sham and a mockery of the national It is strongly urged that the results
suffrage. reported in these returns are quite "possible",
Hence, denying prima facie bearing in mind the religious or political
recognition to such returns on the ground control of some leaders in the localities
that they are manifestly fabricated or affected.
falsified, would constitute a practical We say possible, not probable. It is
approach to the Commission's mission to possible to win the sweepstakes ten times;
insure free and honest elections. but not probable. Anyway, judges are not
In Mitchell vs. Stevens, the returns disposed to believe that such "control" has
showed a noticeable excess of votes over the proved so powerful as to convert the electors
number of registered voters, and the court into mere sheep or robots voting as ordered.
rejected the returns as obviously Their reason and conscience to believe that
"manufactured". Why? The excess could have 100%, of the voters in such precincts objectly
been due to the fact that, disregarding all yet lawfully surrendered their precious
pertinent data, the election officers wrote freedom to choose the senators of this
Republic. (LAGUMBAY V. COMELEC (16 SCRA same and proclamation of the winning
175 [1966]) candidates.
“x x x To expand the issues beyond those
Under the present state of our enumerated under Sec. 243 and allow a
recount/reappreciation of votes in every
election laws, the COMELEC has been granted instance where a claim of misdeclaration
precisely the power to annul elections. of stray votes is made would open the
Section 4 of Republic Act No. 7166, otherwise floodgates to such claims and paralyze
known as, "The Synchronized Elections Law of canvass and proclamation proceedings,
1991," provides that the COMELEC sitting, En given the propensity of the loser to
Banc by a majority vote of its members may demand a recount. The law and public
decide, among others, the declaration of policy mandate that all pre-proclamation
failure of election and the calling of special controversies shall be heard summarily by
elections as provided in Section 6 of the the Commission after due notice and
hearing and just as summarily decided x x
Omnibus Election Code. x."
The COMELEC may exercise such The policy consideration underlying
power motu proprio or upon a verified the delimitation both of substantive ground
petition. The hearing of the case shall be and procedure is the policy to determine as
summary in nature, and the COMELEC may quickly as possible the result of the election
delegate to its lawyers the power to hear the on the basis of canvass. Thus, in the case of
case and to receive evidence. In the case of Dipatuan vs. Commission on Elections, we
Mitmug vs. Commission on Elections, we held categorically ruled that in a pre-proclamation
that before COMELEC can act on a verified controversy, COMELEC is not to look beyond
petition seeking to declare a failure of or behind election returns which are on their
election, two (2) conditions must concur: face regular and authentic returns. A party
first, no voting has taken place in the seeking to raise issues resolution of which
precincts concerned on the date fixed by law would compel or necessitate COMELEC to
or, even if there were voting, the election pierce the veil of election returns which are
nevertheless resulted in a failure to elect; prima facie regular on their face, has his
and second, the votes not cast would affect proper remedy in a regular election protest.
the result of the election.31 We must add, By their nature, and given the obvious public
however, that the cause of such failure of interest in the speedy determination of the
election should have been any of the results of elections, pre-proclamation
following: force majeure, violence, controversies are to be resolved in summary
terrorism, fraud or other analogous causes. proceedings without the need to present
This is an important consideration for, where evidence aliunde and certainly without
the propriety of a pre-proclamation having to go through voluminous documents
controversy ends, there may begin the realm and subjecting them to meticulous technical
of a special action for declaration of failure examinations which take up considerable
SAN BEDA COLLEGE OF LAW

of elections. time.
It was held in the case of Sanchez v. The prevailing doctrine in this
Comelec (153 SCRA 68), it was held that: jurisdiction, therefore, is that as long as the
“The enumeration therein (Section 243,
Omnibus Election Code) of the issues that
returns appear to be authentic and duly
may be raised in pre-proclamation accomplished on their face, the Board of
controversy, is restrictive and exclusive. Canvassers cannot look beyond or behind
In the absence of any clear showing or them to verify allegations of irregularities in
proof that the election returns canvassed the casting or the counting of the votes.
are incomplete or contain material Corollarily, technical examination of voting
defects (Sec. 234), appear to have been paraphernalia involving analysis and
tampered with, falsified or prepared comparison of voters' signatures and
under duress (Sec. 235) and/or contain thumbprints thereon is prohibited in pre-
discrepancies in the votes credited to any
candidate, the difference of which
proclamation cases which are mandated by
affects the result of the election (Sec. law to be expeditiously resolved without
236), which are the only instances where involving evidence aliunde and examination
a pre-proclamation recount may be of voluminous documents which take up much
resorted to, granted the preservation of time and cause delay in defeat of the public
the integrity of the ballot box and its policy underlying the summary nature of pre-
contents x x x. The complete election proclamation controversies.
returns whose authenticity is not in While, however, the COMELEC is
question, must be prima facie considered restricted, in pre-proclamation cases, to an
valid for the purpose of canvassing the

94
examination of the election returns on their province of Negros del Norte. Plain and
face and is without jurisdiction to go beyond simple logic will demonstrate than that two
or behind them and investigate election political units would be affected. The first
irregularities, the COMELEC is duty bound to would be the parent province of Negros
investigate allegations of fraud, terrorism, Occidental because its boundaries would be
violence and other analogous causes in substantially altered. The other affected
actions for annulment of election results or entity would be composed of those in the
for declaration of failure of elections, as the area subtracted from the mother province to
Omnibus Election Code denominates the constitute the proposed province of Negros
same. Thus, the COMELEC, in the case of del Norte.
actions for annulment of election results or We find no way to reconcile the
declaration of failure of elections, may holding of a plebiscite that should conform to
conduct technical examination of election said constitutional requirement but
documents and compare and analyze voters' eliminates the participation of either of these
signatures and fingerprints in order to two component political units. No amount of
determine whether or not the elections had rhetorical flourishes can justify exclusion of
indeed been free, honest and clean. Needless the parent province in the plebiscite because
to say, a pre -proclamation controversy is not of an alleged intent on the part of the
the same as an action for annulment of authors and implementors of the challenged
election results or declaration of failure of statute to carry out what is claimed to be a
elections. (LOONG V. COMELEC (257 SCRA mandate to guarantee and promote autonomy
2) of local government units. The alleged good
intentions cannot prevail and overrule the
LAW ON PUBLIC CORPORATIONS cardinal precept that what our Constitution
categorically directs to be done or imposes as
After three consecutive terms, an a requirement must first be observed,
elective local official cannot seek immediate respected and complied with. No one should
reelection for a fourth term. The prohibited be allowed to pay homage to a supposed
election refers to the next regular election fundamental policy intended to guarantee
for the same office following the end of the and promote autonomy of local government
third consecutive term. Any subsequent units but at the same time transgress, ignore
election, like a recall election, is no longer and disregard what the Constitution
covered by the prohibition for two reasons. commands in Article XI Section 3 thereof.
First, a subsequent election like a recall (TAN V. COMELEC (142 SCRA 727)
election is no longer an immediate reelection
after three consecutive terms. Second, the The tests of a valid ordinance are
intervening period constitutes an involuntary well established. A long line of decisions' has
interruption in the continuity of service. held that to be valid, an ordinance must
In the case of Hagedorn, his candidacy in the conform to the following substantive
recall election is not an immediate reelection requirements: 1) It must not contravene the
after his third consecutive term. The constitution or any statute; 2) It must not be
immediate reelection that the Constitution unfair or oppressive; 3) It must not be partial
barred Hagedorn from seeking referred to the or discriminatory; 4) It must not prohibit but
regular elections. (VICTORINO DENNIS M. may regulate trade; 5) It must be general and
SOCRATES vs. COMELEC, et al.(G.R. No. consistent with public policy; 6) It must not
154512, November 12, 2002) be unreasonable.
The rationale of the requirement that
It can be plainly seen that the the ordinances should not contravene a
aforecited constitutional provision makes it statute is obvious. Municipal governments are
imperative that there be first obtained "the only agents of the national government. Local
approval of a majority of votes in the councils exercise only delegated legislative
plebiscite in the unit or units affected" powers conferred on them by Congress ,is the
whenever a province is created, divided or national lawmaking body. The delegate
merged and there is substantial alteration of cannot he superior to the principal or
the boundaries. It is thus inescapable to exercise powers higher than those of the
conclude that the boundaries of the existing latter. It is a heresy to suggest that the local
province of Negros Occidental would government units can undo the acts of
necessarily be substantially altered by the Congress, from which they have derived their
division of its existing boundaries in order power in the first place, arid negate by mere
that there can be created the proposed new ordinance the mandate of the statute.
Municipal corporations owe their Revenue funds shall not be paid out of
origin to, and derive their powers and rights any public treasury or depository except
wholly from the legislature. It breathes into in pursuance of an appropriation law or
them the breath of life, without which they other specific statutory authority.
cannot exist. As it creates, so it may destroy. Consequently, public funds may be disbursed
As it may destroy, it may abridge and control. not only pursuant to an appropriation law,
Unless there is some constitutional limitation but also in pursuance of other specific
on the right, the legislature might, by a statutory authority, i.e., Section 84 of PD
single act, and if we can suppose it capable 1445. Thus, when a contract is entered into
of so great a folly and so great a wrong, by a city mayor pursuant to specific statutory
sweep from existence all of the municipal authority, the law, i.e., PD 1445 allows the
corporations in the state, and the corporation disbursement of funds from any public
could not prevent it. We know of no treasury or depository therefore. It can thus
limitation on the right so far as to the be plainly seen that the law invoked by
corporation themselves are concerned. They petitioner Quezon City itself provides that an
are, so to phrase it, the mere tenants at will appropriation law is not the only authority
of the legislature. upon which public funds shall be disbursed.
This basic relationship between the Furthermore, then Mayor Brigido Simon, Jr.
national legislature and the local government did not enter into the subject contract
units has not been enfeebled by the new without legal authority. The Local
provisions in the Constitution strengthening Government Code of 1983, or B.P. Blg. 337,
the policy of local autonomy. Without which was then in force, specifically and
meaning to detract from that policy, we here exclusively empowered the city mayor to
confirm that Congress retains control of the “represent the city in its business
local government units although in transactions, and sign all warrants drawn on
significantly reduced degree now than under the city treasury and all bonds, contracts and
our previous Constitutions. The power to obligations of the city.” Such power granted
create still includes the power to destroy. to the city mayor by B.P. Blg. 337 was not
The power to grant still includes the power to qualified nor restricted by any prior action or
withhold or recall. True, there are certain authority of the city council. We note that
notable innovations in the Constitution, like while the subsequent Local Government Code
the direct conferment on the local of 1991, which took effect after the
government units of the power to tax,12 execution of the subject contracts, provides
which cannot now be withdrawn by mere that the mayor’s representation must be
statute. By and large, however, the national “upon authority of the sangguniang
legislature is still the principal of the local panlungsod or pursuant to law or ordinance,”
government units, which cannot defy its will there was no such qualification under the old
or modify or violate it. (MAGTAJAS V. PRYCE code. (QUEZON CITY V. LEXBER
INCORPORATED (G.R. No. 141616, March
SAN BEDA COLLEGE OF LAW

PROPERTIES CORPORATION (G.R. No.


111097, July 20, 1994) 15, 2001)

There is no denying that Sections 85 Anent the issue of whether or not the
and 86 of P.D. 1445 (Auditing Code of the municipality is liable for the torts committed
Philippines) provide that contracts involving by its employee, the test of liability of the
expenditure of public funds: 1) can be municipality depends on whether or not the
entered into only when there is an driver, acting in behalf of the municipality, is
appropriation therefore; and 2) must be performing governmental or proprietary
certified by the proper accounting functions. As emphasized in the case of Torio
official/agency that funds have been duly v. Pontanilla (G.R. No. L-29993, October 23,
appropriated for the purpose, which 1978. 85 SCRA 599, 606), the distinction of
certification shall be attached to and become powers becomes important for purposes of
an integral part of the proposed contact. determining the liability of the municipality
However, the very same Presidential for the sets of its agents which result in an
Decree No. 1445, which is the cornerstone of injury to third persons.
petitioner’s arguments, does not provide that It has already been remarked that
the absence of an appropriation law ipso municipal corporations are suable because
facto makes a contract entered into by a their charters grant them the competence to
local government unit null and void. Section sue and be sued. Nevertheless, they are
84 of the statute specifically provides: generally not liable for torts committed by
them in the discharge of governmental

94
functions and can be held answerable only if judgment against an official would require
it can be shown that they were acting in a the state itself to perform an affirmative act
proprietary capacity. In permitting such to satisfy the award, such as the
entities to be sued, the State merely gives appropriation of the amount needed to pay
the claimant the right to show that the the damages decreed against him, the suit
defendant was not acting in its governmental must be regarded as being against the state
capacity when the injury was committed or itself, although it has not been formally
that the case comes under the exceptions impleaded.
recognized by law. Failing this, the claimant A foreign agent, operating within a
cannot recover. (Cruz, supra, p. 44.) territory, can be cloaked with immunity from
In the case at bar, the driver of the suit but only as long as it can be established
dump truck of the municipality insists that that he is acting within the directives of the
"he was on his way to the Naguilian river to sending state. The consent of the host state
get a load of sand and gravel for the repair of is an indispensable requirement of basic
San Fernando's municipal streets." (Rollo, p. courtesy between the two sovereigns.
29.) (KHOSROW MINUCHER vs. HON. COURT OF
In the absence of any evidence to the APPEALS, et. al. (G.R. No. 142396,
contrary, the regularity of the performance February 11, 2003)
of official duty is presumed pursuant to
Section 3(m) of Rule 131 of the Revised Rules The mere entering into a contract by
of Court. Hence, We rule that the driver of a foreign State with a private party cannot be
the dump truck was performing duties or construed as the ultimate test of whether or
tasks pertaining to his office. not it is an act jure imperii or jure gestionis.
We already stressed in the case of Such act is only the start of the inquiry. Is
Palafox, at. al. v. Province of Ilocos Norte, the foreign State engaged in the regular
the District Engineer, and the Provincial conduct of business? If the foreign State is
Treasurer (102 Phil 1186) that "the not engaged regularly in business or
construction or maintenance of roads in commercial activity, and in this case it has
which the truck and the driver worked at the not been shown to be so engaged, the
time of the accident are admittedly particular act or transaction must then be
governmental activities." (MUNICIPALITY OF tested by its nature. If the act is in pursuit of
SAN FERNANDO, LA UNION V. FIRME, supra. a sovereign activity, or an incident thereof,
then it is an act jure imperii.
PUBLIC INTERNATIONAL LAW Hence, the existence alone of a paragraph in
a contract stating that any legal action
The precept that a State cannot be arising out of the agreement shall be settled
sued in the courts of a foreign state is a long- according to the laws of the Philippines and
standing rule of customary international law by a specified court of the Philippines is not
then closely identified with the personal necessarily a waiver of sovereign immunity
immunity of a foreign sovereign from suit from suit. The aforesaid provision contains
and, with the emergence of democratic language not necessarily inconsistent with
states, made to attach not just to the person sovereign immunity. On the other hand, such
of the head of state, or his representative, provision may also be meant to apply where
but also distinctly to the state itself in its the sovereign partly elects to sue in the local
sovereign capacity. If the acts giving rise to a courts, or otherwise waives its immunity by
suit are those of a foreign government done any subsequent act. The applicability of the
by its foreign agent, although not necessarily Philippine laws must be deemed to include
a diplomatic personage, but acting in his Philippine laws in its totality, including the
official capacity, the complaint could be principle recognizing sovereign immunity.
barred by the immunity of the foreign Submission by the foreign State to local
sovereign from suit without its consent. jurisdiction must be clear and unequivocal.
Suing a representative of a state is believed It must be given explicitly or by necessary
to be, in effect, suing the state itself. The implication. (REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA vs.
proscription is not accorded for the benefit of VINZON (G.R. No. 154705, June 26, 2003)
an individual but for the State, in whose
service he is, under the maxim — par in
parem, non habet imperium — that all
states are sovereign equals and cannot
assert jurisdiction over one another. The
implication, in broad terms, is that if the