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LAW 171 | CRIMINAL LAW REVIEWER not only at the final hearing, but also at the preliminary

Atty. Dan P. Calica | UP Law 1st Sem AY 18-19 investigation, if by confronting the witnesses for the
prosecution he can convince the court that the charges
INTRODUCTION are groundless. There is no justice in compelling him to
undergo the troubles of a final hearing if at the
A. Course Guidelines and Overview preliminary hearing the case can be terminated in his
favor.
B. Penological objectives NOTES:
1. The case doesn't specifically define what criminal
A.F. Tadiar, Philosophy of a Penal Code, 52 law is, but it's under that topic in the syllabus. In Reyes
Phil.L.J. 165 (1977) Book 1, I found this one sentence that can be
connected: "Court decisions are not sources of criminal
PART I: General Principles of Criminal Law law, because they merely explain the meaning of, and
apply, the law as enacted by the legislative branch of
A. Definitions the government." In the present case, the SC cited the
case of Saling Buhay v. Arellano in interpreting the
1. Criminal law provision of the Rules of Court, stating that "there is
nothing in it or any other law restricting the authority,
“Criminal law is that branch or division of law which inherent in a court of justice, to pursue a course of
defines crimes, treats of their nature, and provides for action reasonably calculated to bring out the truth."
their punishment.” [Luis B. Reyes, The Revised Penal
Code, Eighteenth Edition, 2012, at 1, citing 12 Cyc. 2. Another possible relation to the syllabus' topic is that
129] the syllabus also states that criminal law is
substantive because it defines the state’s right to
It is that branch of public substantive law which defines inflict punishment and the liability of the offenders. In
offenses and prescribes their penalties. It is the present case, it was stated in the dissent of J. Feria
substantive because it defines the state’s right to inflict that the right of the defendant to cross-examine the
punishment and the liability of the offenders. It is public prosecution's witnesses against him/her is a
law because it deals with the relation of the individual substantive right. J. Feria also said that since the rule
with the state. in question (Rule 108, Sec. 11 of the 1940 Rules of
Court) diminishes the said substantive right of the
Bustos v. Lucero, 81 Phil. 640 (1948) accused, the said provision should be declared as
SUMMARY: Pet. Bustos was the accused in a criminal NULL AND VOID. J. Feria further stated that the
case. During preliminary investigation, Bustos pleaded Supreme Court is not empowered, and therefore
not guilty. Bustos' counsel moved for the complainant cannot enact or promulgate substantive laws or rules,
to present her evidence so that she and her witnesses for it is obvious that rules which diminish, increase or
could be examined and cross-examined. The modify substantive rights, are substantive and not
prosecution objected to the motion, invoking Rule 108, adjective laws or rules concerning pleading, practice
Sec. 11 of the 1940 Rules of Court, which made no and procedure.
mention that the accused could examine the
complainant. Justice of the peace Court of Masantol 2. Crime
ruled that Bustos renounced his right to present
evidence. Bustos filed a motion with CFI Pampanga to Crime is an act committed or omitted in violation of a
remand case back to Masantol. Resp. CFI Judge public law forbidding or commanding it. [Reyes, supra,
Lucero denied Bustos' motion. A special civil action for at 1, citing I Bouvier’s Law Dictionary, Rawle’s Third
mandamus was filed by Bustos. SC ruled in favor of Revision, 729]
Resp. Judge Lucero, stating that Judge Lucero did
NOT commit GADALEJ in denying Bustos' motion. B. Nullum crimen nulla poena sine lege
DOCTRINE: The constitutional right of an accused to
be confronted by the witnesses against him does not 1. “Applicable here is a familiar maxim in criminal law:
apply to preliminary hearings; nor will the absence of a Nullum crimen nulla poena sine lege. There is no crime
preliminary examination be an infringement of his right where there is no law punishing it.” [Potenciana
to confront witnesses. Evangelista v. People, G.R. Nos. 108135-36, 14
DOCTRINES FROM THE DISSENTS: August 2000]
1. [J. Feria] The right granted by law upon a defendant
to be confronted with and cross-examine the witnesses -Case was about Tanduay's application for tax credit
for the prosecution in preliminary investigation as well with the BIR,claiming that it is only liable to pay specific
as in the trial of the case is a substantive right. taxes, and not ad valorem taxes.
2. [J. Perfecto] The accused must be afforded the -In the information, it was stated that the Petitioner
opportunities to have the charges against him quashed, caused undue injury to the Government and gave

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unwarranted benefits to Tanduay when they endorsed imposed - a penalty, to repeat, that can be fixed by the
approval of the claim for tax credit. Yet, she was legislative body, and the legislative body alone. So
convicted of issuing the certification without identifying constitutionalism mandates, with its stress on
the kinds of tax for which the TNCs stand and without jurisdictio rather than guvernaculum. The judiciary as
indicating whether Tanduay was really entitled to tax the dispenser of justice through law must be aware of
credit or not. Petitioner further contends that she was the limitation on its own power. [Concurring Opinion,
convicted of a supposed crime not punishable by law. Justice Fernando, People v. Cabural, G.R. No. 34105,
4 February 1983]
I: WON Evangelista was convicted due to an offense
NOT punishable by law? YES. Evangelista's MR is -Rape case of maid by Timoteo Cabural.
granted.
- Nothing more appropriately appertains to the
- R.A. 3019, Section 3(e), as amended, provides as legislative branch than the definition of a crime and the
one of its elements that the public officer should have prescription of the penalty to be imposed. That is not a
acted by causing any undue injury to any party, doctrine of recent vintage. It is traceable to United
including the Government, or by giving any private States v. Wiltberger, 9 an 1820 America. Supreme
party unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in Court opinion. No less than the eminent Chief Justice
the discharge of his functions. The use of the Marshall spoke for the Court. To quote his exact
disjunctive term "or" connotes that either act qualifies language: "The rule that penal laws are to be
as a violation of Section 3(e), or as aptly held in construed strictly is perhaps not much less old than
Santiago, as two different modes of committing the construction itself. It is founded on the tenderness of
offense. This does not however indicate that each the law for the rights of individuals; and on the plain
mode constitutes a distinct offense, but rather, that an principle that the power of punishment is vested in the
accused may be charged under either mode or under legislative, not in the judicial department. It is the
both. legislature, not the court, which is to define a crime,
• The certification can even be read as a and ordain its punishment."
recommendation of denial of the application. It lists -"Criminal statutes are to be strictly construed. No
down the confirmation receipts covering tax payments person should be brought within their terms who is not
by Tanduay for the covered period, during which clearly within them, nor should any act be pronounced
Tanduay alleges that it made erroneous ad valorem criminal which is not clearly made so by the statute."
tax payments, classified according to TNC numbers. 13 The same year, Justice Carson in United States v.
The tax payments therein are described only as falling Estapia 14 in rejecting the contention that the
under TNC No. 3011-0001 (specific tax) and TNC No. application of a penal provision even if not covered by
0000-0000 (unclassified taxes). its terms should be viewed by the judiciary as
-There are no tax payments classified as falling under commendable, conducive as it is to the repression of a
TNC No. 3023-2001, the code for ad valorem taxes. reprehensible practice" pointed out: "To this it should
- Petitioner further argues that her conviction was be sufficient answer to say that neither the executive
merely based on her alleged failure to identify with nor the judicial authorities are authorized to impose
certainty in her certification the kinds of taxes paid by fines and prison sentences in cases wherein such fines
Tanduay and to indicate what the TNCs stand for, and prison sentences are not clearly authorized by law,
which acts were different from those described in the and this without regard to the end sought to be
Information under which she was charged. Employees attained by the enforcement of such unauthorized
of the BIR were expected to know what the TNCs penalties."
stand for. If they do not, there is a "Handbook of Tax
Numeric Code of Revenue Sources" which they can 3. “Although courts must not remain indifferent to
consult. We find that petitioner’s omission to indicate public sentiments, in this case the general
what kind of taxes TNC Nos. 3011-0001 and 0000- condemnation of a hazing-related death, they are still
0000 stand for was not a criminal act. Applicable here bound to observe a fundamental principle in our
is the familiar maxim in criminal law: Nullum crimen criminal justice system – ‘[N]o act constitutes a crime…
nulla poena sine lege. There is no crime where there is unless it is made so by law.’ Nullum crimen, nulla
no law punishing it. poena sine lege. Even if an act is viewed by a large
section of the populace as immoral or injurious, it
2. The maxim Nullum crimen nulla poena sine lege has cannot be considered a crime, absent any law
its roots in history. It is in accordance with both prohibiting its commission. As interpreters of the law,
centuries of civil law and common law tradition. judges are called upon to set aside emotion, to resist
Moreover, it is an indispensable corollary to a regime being swayed by strong public sentiments, and to rule
of liberty enshrined in our Constitution. It is of the strictly based on the elements of the offense and the
essence then that while anti-social acts should be facts allowed in evidence.” [Artemio Villareal v.
penalized, there must be a clear definition of the People, G.R. Nos. 151258, 154954, 155101, 178057
punishable offense as well as the penalty that may be & 178080, 1 February 2012]

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President. So, what we want to discourage is the
-Hazing death of Lenny Villa (ALS Aquila Legis) so-called initial innocent act.
-Criminal liability shall be incurred [b]y any person -That is why there is need to institute this kind of
committing a felony (delito) although the wrongful act hazing. Ganiyan po ang nangyari. Ang fraternity o ang
done be different from that which he intended. sorority ay magre-recruit. Wala talaga silang
-Thus, once a person is found to have committed an intensiyong makamatay. Hindi ko na babanggitin at
initial felonious act, such as the unlawful infliction of buhay pa iyong kaso. Pero dito sa anim o pito na
physical injuries that results in the death of the victim, namatay nitong nakaraang taon, walang intensiyong
courts are required to automatically apply the legal patayin talaga iyong neophyte. So, kung maghihintay
framework governing the destruction of life. This rule is pa tayo, na saka lamang natin isasakdal ng murder
mandatory, and not subject to discretion. kung namatay na, ay after the fact ho iyon. Pero, kung
-In turn, the existence of malicious intent is necessary sasabihin natin sa mga kabataan na: Huwag ninyong
in order for conspiracy to attach. Article 8 of the gagawin iyong hazing. Iyan ay kasalanan at kung
Revised Penal Code which provides that conspiracy mamatay diyan, mataas ang penalty sa inyo.
exists when two or more persons come to an -
agreement concerning the commission of a felony and
decide to commit it is to be interpreted to refer only to 4. Sources of Philippine criminal law
felonies committed by means of dolo or malice. The a. The Revised Penal Code (Act No. 3815) and
phrase coming to an agreement connotes the amendments thereto
existence of a prefaced intent to cause injury to b. Special penal laws
another, an element present only in intentional c. Penal provisions in other laws
felonies. In culpable felonies or criminal negligence, d. Local ordinances
the injury inflicted on another is unintentional, the
wrong done being simply the result of an act performed 5. REV. PEN. CODE, art. 5, 21
without malice or criminal design.[126] Here, a person
performs an initial lawful deed; however, due to RPC Article 5. Duty of the court in connection with
negligence, imprudence, lack of foresight, or lack of acts which should be repressed but which are not
skill, the deed results in a wrongful act.[127] Verily, a covered by the law, and in cases of excessive
deliberate intent to do an unlawful act, which is a penalties. - Whenever a court has knowledge of any
requisite in conspiracy, is inconsistent with the idea of act which it may deem proper to repress and which is
a felony committed by means of culpa.[128] not punishable by law, it shall render the proper
-Based on the foregoing contextual background, and decision, and shall report to the Chief Executive,
absent further proof showing clear malicious intent, we through the Department of Justice, the reasons which
are constrained to rule that the specific animus induce the court to believe that said act should be
iniuriandi was not present in this case. Even if the made the subject of legislation. In the same way, the
specific acts of punching, kicking, paddling, and other court shall submit to the Chief Executive, through the
modes of inflicting physical pain were done voluntarily, Department of Justice, such statement as may be
freely, and with intelligence, thereby satisfying the deemed proper, without suspending the execution of
elements of freedom and intelligence in the felony of the sentence, when a strict enforcement of the
physical injuries, the fundamental ingredient of criminal provisions of this Code would result in the imposition of
intent was not proven beyond reasonable doubt. On a clearly excessive penalty, taking into consideration
the contrary, all that was proven was that the acts were the degree of malice and the injury caused by the
done pursuant to tradition. offense.
-SENATOR LINA. x x x Another point, Mr. President, is
this, and this is a very telling difference: When a RPC Article 21. Penalties that may be imposed. -
person or group of persons resort to hazing as a No felony shall be punishable by any penalty not
requirement for gaining entry into an organization, the prescribed by law prior to its commission.
intent to commit a wrong is not visible or is not present,
Mr. President. Whereas, in these specific crimes, Mr. United States v. Taylor (1914)
President, let us say there is death or there is F:
homicide, mutilation, if one files a case, then the 1) Carson Taylor was the ACTING editor, proprietor,
intention to commit a wrong has to be proven. But if manager, printer, and publisher of the Manila Daily
the crime of hazing is the basis, what is important is Bulletin. It has a large circulation in the PH and the US.
the result from the act of hazing. To me, that is the 2) This case was brought against him because a
basic difference and that is what will prevent or deter certain Ramon Sotelo, a lawyer and a private
the sororities or fraternities; that they should really individual, was allegedly defamed by Taylor in the
shun this activity called hazing. Because, initially, Sept. 25, 1913 issue of the Manila Daily Bulletin, which
these fraternities or sororities do not even consider imputed that Sotelo was involved in a conspiracy that
having a neophyte killed or maimed or that acts of caused a house at Calle O'donnell street to be burned
lasciviousness are even committed initially, Mr. to collect insurance on it.

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to the publication. That relation may as well exist under
I: WON Taylor is guilty for libel? NO. some other name or denomination.

R: Corpuz v. People (2014)


-No act constitutes a crime in the PH unless it is made -3. Whether the Court may adjust penalties fixed by
so by law. law—NO. The Court here went into a long discussion
-Under Act. No. 277 of the US Phil. Commission, libel about the correct penalties to be imposed because
is defined and the particular conditions necessary to they were excessive, as based on the amount of
constitute it is stipulated, as well as the names of the damage measured by the value of money in 1932. It
persons that are guilty of such crime. decided that it could not modify the said range of
-ITC: The complaint of Sotelo alleged that Taylor was penalties as it would be judicial legislation. It would be
the acting editor etc. of the Manila Daily Bulletin. encroachment to remedy the legislature's failure in
-Sec. 6 of the Act states that "Every author, editor, or amending penalties through judcicial decisions. Article
proprietor of any book, newspaper, or serial publication 5 RPC provides that in case of excessive penalties, the
is chargeable with the publication of any words Court shall render the proper decision and report to the
contained in any part of said book or # of each Chief Executive reasons for legislative action
newspaper or serial as fully as if he were the author of
the same." RA 10951 (2016)
-Since the Act only punished the enumerated persons, -AN ACT ADJUSTING THE AMOUNT OR THE
unless Sotelo proves that Taylor was the actual VALUE OF PROPERTY AND DAMAGE ON WHICH A
author, editor, or proprietor, then Taylor cannot be held PENALTY IS BASED, AND THE FINES IMPOSED
liable as the acting editor of the Manila Daily Bulletin. UNDER THE REVISED PENAL CODE, AMENDING
-There is no proof that Taylor was the actual editor etc. FOR THE PURPOSE ACT NO. 3815, OTHERWISE
Hence, he must be acquitted of the crime of libel KNOWN AS “THE REVISED PENAL CODE”, AS
unless it's shown that Taylor, as the "manager" of the AMENDED
Bulletin, was directly responsible for the writing,
editing, or publishing of the matter in the libelous -Art. 9. Grave felonies, less grave felonies, and light
article. felonies. = P40k or arresto menor
-We do not desire to be understood in our conclusions -Art. 26. Fine. - When afflictive, correctional, or light
here as holding that the "manager" or the "printer" may penalty.
not, under certain conditions and proper proof, he held >Afflictive penalty if it exceends P1.2M
to be the "author, editor, or proprietor" of a newspaper. >Correctional penalty if it does NOT exceed
He may nominate himself as "manager" or "printer" P1.2M, but not less than P40k
simply, and be at the same time the "author, editor, or >Light penalty if less than P40k
proprietor" of the newspaper. He can not avoid
responsibility by using some other term or word, -Art. 114. Treason. = P4M
indicating his relation to the newspaper or the ~etc.
publication, when, as a matter of fact, he is the "author,
the editor, or the proprietor" of the same. His real C. State authority to punish crimes
relation to the said publication is a matter of proof.
-An examination into the character of the business and 1. The right to prosecute and punish crimes is an
the contract of his employment must be made for the attribute of sovereignty “Each State has the authority,
purpose of ascertaining definitely what his duties and under its police power, to define and punish crimes”
obligations are. His exact relation is always a matter of [People v. Santiago, 43 Phil. 120 (1922)]
proof. It is incumbent upon the prosecution is a case
like the present, to show that whatever title, name or “The right to prosecute and punish crimes is an
designation the defendant may bear, he was, in fact, attribute of sovereignty” [People v. Santiago, 43 Phil.
the "author, the editor, or the proprietor" of the 120 (1922)]
newspaper. If he was in fact the "author, editor, or
proprietor," he can not escape responsibility by calling -car accident case; Accused Santiago killed a 7yo boy.
the "manager" or "printer." It is the relation which he
bears to the publication and not the name or title he “The right and prosecution for a crime is one of the
has assumed, which is important in an investigation. attributes that by a natural law belong to the sovereign
He can not wear the toga of author of editor and hide power instinctively charged by the common will of the
his responsibility by giving himself some other name. members of the society to look after, guard and defend
While the terms "author, editor, and proprietor" of a the interests of the community, the individual and
newspaper are terms well defined, the particular words social rights and the liberties of every citizen and the
"author, editor, or proprietor" are not material or guaranty of the exercise of his rights.” [United States v.
important, further than that they are words which are Pablo, 35 Phil. 94 (1916)]
intended to show the relation of the responsible party

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- Policeman Andres Pablo raided a jueteng game. He “The power to define crimes and prescribe their
excluded from his testimony two other accused in corresponding penalties is legislative in nature and
exchange for money (20PHP). This was discovered by inherent in the sovereign power of the state to maintain
the provincial fiscal so he was charged with perjury in social order as an aspect of police power. The
violation of Arts. 318 – 324 of the Penal Code. His legislature may even forbid and penalize acts formerly
defense was that such articles were already repealed considered innocent and lawful provided that no
and so no crime of perjury existed when he committed constitutional rights have been abridged.”
the assailed act. The court convicted him nonetheless,
saying that the repeal was merely implied and as such d. Delegated legislative power to LGUs
the subsequent repeal of the repealing law, in effect,
reinstated the validity of the articles. (i) Rep. Act No. 7160 (1991):
- DOCTRINE: An old law which is impliedly repealed Sec. 16: General Welfare. - Every local government
by a newer law, after such newer law is subsequently unit shall exercise the powers expressly granted, those
repealed by another law (newest law), becomes re- necessarily implied therefrom, as well as powers
enacted and becomes effective again. necessary, appropriate, or incidental for its efficient
and effective governance, and those which are
2. Police power essential to the promotion of the general welfare.
Within their respective territorial jurisdictions, local
 People v. Evangeline Siton and Krystel Kate government units shall ensure and support, among
Sagarano, G.R. No. 169364, 18 September 2009 other things, the preservation and enrichment of
culture, promote health and safety, enhance the right
“Police power is an inherent attribute of sovereignty. It of the people to a balanced ecology, encourage and
has been defined as the power vested by the support the development of appropriate and self-reliant
Constitution in the legislature to make, ordain, and scientific and technological capabilities, improve public
establish all manner of wholesome and reasonable morals, enhance economic prosperity and social
laws, statutes and ordinances, either with penalties or justice, promote full employment among their
without, not repugnant to the Constitution, as they shall residents, maintain peace and order, and preserve the
judge to be for the good and welfare of the comfort and convenience of their inhabitants.
commonwealth, and for the subjects of the same. The
power is plenary and its scope is vast and pervasive, Sec. 48. Local Legislative Power. - Local legislative
reaching and justifying measures for public health, power shall be exercised by the sangguniang
public safety, public morals, and the general welfare.” panlalawigan for the province; the sangguniang
panlungsod for the city; the sangguniang bayan for the
-Re: Vagrancy provision in the RPC Art. 202 (2) and municipality; and the sangguniang barangay for the
WON it's Constitutional. (it is!) barangay.

b. CONST., art. II, sec. 5: The maintenance of peace Sec. 447(a)(1)(ii): (Sangguniang Bayan) Powers,
and order, the protection of life, liberty, and property, Duties, Functions and Compensation. - (a) The
and the promotion of the general welfare are essential sangguniang bayan, as the legislative body of the
for the enjoyment by all the people of the blessings of municipality, shall enact ordinances, approve
democracy. resolutions and appropriate funds for the general
welfare of the municipality and its inhabitants pursuant
3. Who exercises police power? to Section 16 of this Code and in the proper exercise of
the corporate powers of the municipality as provided
a. CONST., art. VI, sec. 1: The legislative power shall for under Section 22 of this Code, and shall: (1)
be vested in the Congress of the Philippines which Approve ordinances and pass resolutions necessary
shall consist of a Senate and a House of for an efficient and effective municipal government,
Representatives, except to the extent reserved to the and in this connection shall:
people by the provision on initiative and referendum. (ii) Maintain peace and order by enacting measures to
prevent and suppress lawlessness, disorder, riot,
b. CONST., art II, sec. 1: The Philippines is a violence, rebellion or sedition and impose penalties for
democratic and republican State. Sovereignty resides the violation of said ordinances;
in the people and all government authority emanates (iii) Approve ordinances imposing a fine not exceeding
from them. Two thousand five hundred pesos (P2,500.00) or an
imprisonment for a period not exceeding six (6)
c. [SUPRA]  People v. Evangeline Siton and months, or both in the discretion of the court, for the
Krystel Kate Sagarano, G.R. No. 169364, 18 violation of a municipal ordinance;
September 2009 (v) Enact ordinances intended to prevent, suppress
and impose appropriate penalties for habitual
drunkenness in public places, vagrancy, mendicancy,

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prostitution, establishment and maintenance of houses pollution, acceleration of eutrophication of rivers and
of ill repute, gambling and other prohibited games of lakes, or of ecological imbalance;
chance, fraudulent devices and ways to obtain money
or property, drug addiction, maintenance of drug dens, Sec. 468(a)(1)(ii): (Sangguniang Panlalawigan)-
drug pushing, juvenile delinquency, the printing, Powers, Duties, Functions and Compensation. (a) The
distribution or exhibition of obscene or pornographic sangguniang panlalawigan, as the legislative body of
materials or publications, and such other activities the province, shall enact ordinances, approve
inimical to the welfare and morals of the inhabitants of resolutions and appropriate funds for the general
the municipality; welfare of the province and its inhabitants pursuant to
(vi) Protect the environment and impose appropriate Section 16 of this Code in the proper exercise of the
penalties for acts which endanger the environment, corporate powers of the province as provided for under
such as dynamite fishing and other forms of Section 22 of this Code, and shall:
destructive fishing, illegal logging and smuggling of (1) Approve ordinances and pass resolutions
logs, smuggling of natural resources products and of necessary for an efficient and effective provincial
endangered species of flora and fauna, slash and burn government and, in this connection, shall:
farming, and such other activities which result in (ii) Maintain peace and order by enacting measures to
pollution, acceleration of eutrophication of rivers and prevent and suppress lawlessness, disorder, riot,
lakes, or of ecological imbalance; violence, rebellion or sedition and impose penalties for
the violation of said ordinances;
Sec. 458(a)(1)(ii): Sangguniang Panglungsod.- (iii) Approve ordinances imposing a fine not exceeding
Powers, Duties, Functions and Compensation. (a) The Five thousand pesos (P5,000.00) or imprisonment not
sangguniang panlungsod, as the legislative body of the exceeding one (1) year, or both in the discretion of the
city, shall enact ordinances, approve resolutions and court, for the violation of a provincial ordinance;
appropriate funds for the general welfare of the city (v) Enact ordinances intended to prevent, suppress
and its inhabitants pursuant to Section 16 of this Code and impose appropriate penalties for habitual
and in the proper exercise of the corporate powers of drunkenness in public places, vagrancy, mendicancy,
the city as provided for under Section 22 of this Code, prostitution, establishment and maintenance of houses
and shall: (1) Approve ordinances and pass resolutions of ill repute, gambling and other prohibited games of
necessary for an efficient and effective city chance, fraudulent devices and ways to obtain money
government, and in this connection, shall: or property, drug addiction, maintenance of drug dens,
(ii) Maintain peace and order by enacting measures to drug pushing, juvenile delinquency, the printing,
prevent and suppress lawlessness, disorder, riot, distribution or exhibition of obscene or pornographic
violence, rebellion or sedition and impose penalties for materials or publications, and other activities inimical to
violation of said ordinances; the welfare and morals of the inhabitants of the
province;
(iii) Approve ordinances imposing a fine not exceeding (vi) Protect the environment and impose appropriate
Five thousand pesos (P5,000.00) or an imprisonment penalties for acts which endanger the environment,
for a period not exceeding one (1) year, or both in the such as dynamite fishing and other forms of
discretion of the court, for the violation of a city destructive fishing, illegal logging and smuggling of
ordinance; logs, smuggling of natural resources products and of
(v) Enact ordinances intended to prevent, suppress endangered species of flora and fauna, slash and burn
and impose appropriate penalties for habitual farming, and such other activities which result in
drunkenness in public places, vagrancy, mendicancy, pollution acceleration of eutrophication of rivers and
prostitution, establishment and maintenance of houses lakes, or of ecological imbalance;
of ill repute, gambling and other prohibited games of
chance, fraudulent devices and ways to obtain money  (ii) Mayor Pablo Magtajas v. Pryce Properties
or property, drug addiction, maintenance of drug dens, Corp., G.R. No. 111097, 20 July 1994
drug pushing, juvenile delinquency, the printing,
distribution or exhibition of obscene or pornographic -RE: PAGCOR Casinos in CDO being contested by the
materials or publications, and such other activities LGU.
inimical to the welfare and morals of the inhabitants of
the city. Cagayan de Oro City, like other local political
(vi) Protect the environment and impose appropriate subdivisions, is empowered to enact ordinances for the
penalties for acts which endanger the environment, purposes indicated in the Local Government Code. It is
such as dynamite fishing and other forms of expressly vested with the police power under what is
destructive fishing, illegal logging and smuggling of known as the General Welfare Clause now embodied
logs, smuggling of natural resources products and of in Section 16 and Section 458 of the LGC. (see
endangered species of flora and fauna, slash and burn provisions above)
farming, and such other activities which result in

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- The only question we can and shall resolve in this Constitution strengthening the policy of local
petition is the validity of Ordinance No. 3355 and autonomy. Without meaning to detract from that policy,
Ordinance No. 3375-93 as enacted by the we here confirm that Congress retains control of the
Sangguniang Panlungsod of Cagayan de Oro City. local government units although in significantly
And we shall do so only by the criteria laid down by law reduced degree now than under our previous
and not by our own convictions on the propriety of Constitutions. The power to create still includes the
gambling. The tests of a valid ordinance are well power to destroy. The power to grant still includes the
established. A long line of decisions 9 has held that to power to withhold or recall. True, there are certain
be valid, an ordinance must conform to the following notable innovations in the Constitution, like the direct
substantive requirements: conferment on the local government units of the power
1) It must not contravene the constitution or any to tax, 12 which cannot now be withdrawn by mere
statute. statute. By and large, however, the national legislature
2) It must not be unfair or oppressive. is still the principal of the local government units, which
3) It must not be partial or discriminatory. cannot defy its will or modify or violate it.
4) It must not prohibit but may regulate trade.
5) It must be general and consistent with public policy. - We hold that the power of PAGCOR to centralize and
6) It must not be unreasonable. regulate all games of chance, including casinos on
land and sea within the territorial jurisdiction of the
We begin by observing that under Sec. 458 of the Philippines, remains unimpaired. P.D. 1869 has not
Local Government Code, local government units are been modified by the Local Government Code, which
authorized to prevent or suppress, among others, empowers the local government units to prevent or
"gambling and other prohibited games of chance." suppress only those forms of gambling prohibited by
Obviously, this provision excludes games of chance law. Casino gambling is authorized by P.D. 1869. This
which are not prohibited but are in fact permitted by decree has the status of a statute that cannot be
law. amended or nullified by a mere ordinance. Hence, it
was not competent for the Sangguniang Panlungsod of
The petitioners are less than accurate in claiming that Cagayan de Oro City to enact Ordinance No. 3353
the Code could have excluded such games of chance prohibiting the use of buildings for the operation of a
but did not. In fact it does. The language of the section casino and Ordinance No. 3375-93 prohibiting the
is clear and unmistakable. Under the rule of noscitur a operation of casinos.
sociis, a word or phrase should be interpreted in
relation to, or given the same meaning of, words with -For all their praiseworthy motives, these ordinances
which it is associated. Accordingly, we conclude that are contrary to P.D. 1869 and the public policy
since the word "gambling" is associated with "and announced therein and are therefore ultra vires and
other prohibited games of chance," the word should be void.
read as referring to only illegal gambling which, like the
other prohibited games of chance, must be prevented 4. Limitations on power to enact penal legislation
or suppressed.
a. Due process and vageuness.
- The apparent flaw in the ordinances in question is
that they contravene P.D. 1869 and the public policy [SUPRA]  (i) People v. Evangeline Siton and
embodied therein insofar as they prevent PAGCOR Krystel Kate Sagarano
from exercising the power conferred on it to operate a
casino in Cagayan de Oro City. The petitioners have - Petitioner argues that every statute is presumed valid
an ingenious answer to this misgiving. They deny that and all reasonable doubts should be resolved in favor
it is the ordinances that have changed P.D. 1869 for an of its constitutionality; that, citing Romualdez v.
ordinance admittedly cannot prevail against a statute. Sandiganbayan,[ the overbreadth and vagueness
Their theory is that the change has been made by the doctrines have special application to free-speech
Local Government Code itself, which was also enacted cases only and are not appropriate for testing the
by the national lawmaking authority. In their view, the validity of penal statutes; that respondents failed to
decree has been, not really repealed by the Code, but overcome the presumed validity of the statute, failing
merely "modified pro tanto" in the sense that PAGCOR to prove that it was vague under the standards set out
cannot now operate a casino over the objection of the by the Courts; and that the State may regulate
local government unit concerned. This modification of individual conduct for the promotion of public welfare in
P.D. 1869 by the Local Government Code is the exercise of its police power.
permissible because one law can change or repeal -On the other hand, respondents argue against the
another law. limited application of the overbreadth and vagueness
- This basic relationship between the national doctrines. They insist that Article 202 (2) on its face
legislature and the local government units has not violates the constitutionally- guaranteed rights to due
been enfeebled by the new provisions in the process and the equal protection of the laws; that the

Alex Austria | 2018 7


due process vagueness standard, as distinguished invalid merely because it might have been more
from the free speech vagueness doctrine, is adequate explicit in its wordings or detailed in its provisions,
to declare Article 202 (2) unconstitutional and void on especially where, because of the nature of the act, it
its face; and that the presumption of constitutionality would be impossible to provide all the details in
was adequately overthrown. --The Court finds for advance as in all other statutes.
petitioner. The power to define crimes and prescribe
their corresponding penalties is legislative in nature - We discern nothing in the foregoing that is vague or
and inherent in the sovereign power of the state to ambiguous - as there is obviously none - that will
maintain social order as an aspect of police power. confuse petitioner in his defense. Although subject to
The legislature may even forbid and penalize acts proof, these factual assertions clearly show that the
formerly considered innocent and lawful provided that elements of the crime are easily understood and
no constitutional rights have been abridged. provide adequate contrast between the innocent and
-However, in exercising its power to declare what acts the prohibited acts. Upon such unequivocal assertions,
constitute a crime, the legislature must inform the petitioner is completely informed of the accusations
citizen with reasonable precision what acts it intends to against him as to enable him to prepare for an
prohibit so that he may have a certain understandable intelligent defense.
rule of conduct and know what acts it is his duty to - Petitioner, however, bewails the failure of the law to
avoid. provide for the statutory definition of the terms
-This requirement has come to be known as the "combination" and "series" in the key phrase "a
void-for- vagueness doctrine which states that a combination or series of overt or criminal acts" found in
statute which either forbids or requires the doing of an Sec. 1, par. (d), and Sec. 2, and the word "pattern" in
act in terms so vague that men of common intelligence Sec. 4. These omissions, according to petitioner,
must necessarily guess at its meaning and differ as to render the Plunder Law unconstitutional for being
its application, violates the first essential of due impermissibly vague and overbroad and deny him the
process of law. right to be informed of the nature and cause of the
accusation against him, hence, violative of his
 (ii) Estrada v. Sandiganbayan, 421 Phil. 290 fundamental right to due process.
(2001) - Hence, it cannot plausibly be contended that the law
does not give a fair warning and sufficient notice of
-RE: Erap questioning RA 7659, Anti-Plunder Law what it seeks to penalize. Under the circumstances,
SUMMARY: In 2001, the Ombudsman filed before the petitioner's reliance on the "void-for-vagueness"
Sandiganbayan eight separate Informations against doctrine is manifestly misplaced.
then President Joseph Estrada, including one for -The doctrine has been formulated in various ways, but
violation of the Plunder Law. Estrada, who as a is most commonly stated to the effect that a statute
senator voted for the passage of the law, posited that establishing a criminal offense must define the offense
the said penal law is unconstitutional because of three with sufficient definiteness that persons of ordinary
reasons: (a) it suffers from the vice of vagueness; (b) it intelligence can understand what conduct is prohibited
dispenses with the "reasonable doubt" standard in by the statute. It can only be invoked against that
criminal prosecutions; and, (c) it abolishes the element specie of legislation that is utterly vague on its face,
of mens rea in crimes already punishable under the i.e., that which cannot be clarified either by a saving
RPC. The SC held that the Plunder Law is clause or by construction.
constitutional because: (a) there is nothing vague or - A statute or act may be said to be vague when it
ambiguous about the Plunder Law; (b) that the same lacks comprehensible standards that men of common
law does not in any manner refashion the standard intelligence must necessarily guess at its meaning and
quantum of proof in the crime of plunder; and that (c) differ in its application. In such instance, the statute is
plunder is a malum in se which requires proof of repugnant to the Constitution in two (2) respects - it
criminal intent. violates due process for failure to accord persons,
especially the parties targeted by it, fair notice of what
DOCTRINE: The test in determining whether a criminal conduct to avoid; and, it leaves law enforcers unbridled
statute is void for uncertainty is whether the language discretion in carrying out its provisions and becomes
conveys a sufficiently definite warning as to the an arbitrary flexing of the Government muscle.
proscribed conduct when measured by common - But the doctrine does not apply as against
understanding and practice. It must be stressed, legislations that are merely couched in imprecise
however, that the "vagueness" doctrine merely language but which nonetheless specify a standard
requires a reasonable degree of certainty for the though defectively phrased; or to those that are
statute to be upheld - not absolute precision or apparently ambiguous yet fairly applicable to certain
mathematical exactitude, as petitioner seems to types of activities. The first may be "saved" by proper
suggest. Flexibility, rather than meticulous specificity, construction, while no challenge may be mounted as
is permissible as long as the metes and bounds of the against the second whenever directed against such
statute are clearly delineated. An act will not be held activities. With more reason, the doctrine cannot be

Alex Austria | 2018 8


invoked where the assailed statute is clear and free inapt for testing the validity of penal statutes. As the
from ambiguity, as in this case. U.S. Supreme Court put it, in an opinion by Chief
-The test in determining whether a criminal statute is Justice Rehnquist, "we have not recognized an
void for uncertainty is whether the language conveys a 'overbreadth' doctrine outside the limited context of the
sufficiently definite warning as to the proscribed First Amendment." In Broadrick v. Oklahoma,17 the
conduct when measured by common understanding Court ruled that "claims of facial overbreadth have
and practice. It must be stressed, however, that the been entertained in cases involving statutes which, by
"vagueness" doctrine merely requires a reasonable their terms, seek to regulate only spoken words" and,
degree of certainty for the statute to be upheld - not again, that "overbreadth claims, if entertained at all,
absolute precision or mathematical exactitude, as have been curtailed when invoked against ordinary
petitioner seems to suggest. Flexibility, rather than criminal laws that are sought to be applied to protected
meticulous specificity, is permissible as long as the conduct." For this reason, it has been held that "a
metes and bounds of the statute are clearly delineated. facial challenge to a legislative act is the most difficult
An act will not be held invalid merely because it might challenge to mount successfully, since the challenger
have been more explicit in its wordings or detailed in must establish that no set of circumstances exists
its provisions, especially where, because of the nature under which the Act would be valid."
of the act, it would be impossible to provide all the - As for the vagueness doctrine, it is said that a litigant
details in advance as in all other statutes. may challenge a statute on its face only if it is vague in
- Moreover, we agree with, hence we adopt, the all its possible applications. "A plaintiff who engages in
observations of Mr. Justice Vicente V. Mendoza during some conduct that is clearly proscribed cannot
the deliberations of the Court that the allegations that complain of the vagueness of the law as applied to the
the Plunder Law is vague and overbroad do not justify conduct of others."
a facial review of its validity - The void-for-vagueness - In sum, the doctrines of strict scrutiny, overbreadth,
doctrine states that "a statute which either forbids or and vagueness are analytical tools developed for
requires the doing of an act in terms so vague that testing "on their faces" statutes in free speech cases
men of common intelligence must necessarily guess at or, as they are called in American law, First
its meaning and differ as to its application, violates the Amendment cases. They cannot be made to do
first essential of due process of law." The overbreadth service when what is involved is a criminal statute.
doctrine, on the other hand, decrees that "a With respect to such statute, the established rule is
governmental purpose may not be achieved by means that "one to whom application of a statute is
which sweep unnecessarily broadly and thereby constitutional will not be heard to attack the statute on
invade the area of protected freedoms." the ground that impliedly it might also be taken as
- A facial challenge is allowed to be made to a vague applying to other persons or other situations in which
statute and to one which is overbroad because of its application might be unconstitutional."
possible "chilling effect" upon protected speech. The - As has been pointed out, "vagueness challenges in
theory is that "[w]hen statutes regulate or proscribe the First Amendment context, like overbreadth
speech and no readily apparent construction suggests challenges typically produce facial invalidation, while
itself as a vehicle for rehabilitating the statutes in a statutes found vague as a matter of due process
single prosecution, the transcendent value to all typically are invalidated [only] 'as applied' to a
society of constitutionally protected expression is particular defendant."
deemed to justify allowing attacks on overly broad - Consequently, there is no basis for petitioner's claim
statutes with no requirement that the person making that this Court review the Anti-Plunder Law on its face
the attack demonstrate that his own conduct could not and in its entirety. Indeed, "on its face" invalidation of
be regulated by a statute drawn with narrow statutes results in striking them down entirely on the
specificity." ground that they might be applied to parties not before
- The possible harm to society in permitting some the Court whose activities are constitutionally
unprotected speech to go unpunished is outweighed protected.
by the possibility that the protected speech of others
may be deterred and perceived grievances left to  (iii) Alfredo Romualdez v. Sandiganbayan, G.R.
fester because of possible inhibitory effects of overly No. 152259, 29 July 2004
broad statutes. This rationale does not apply to penal FACTS:
statutes. Criminal statutes have general in terrorem • An information was filed against Petitioner Alfredo
effect resulting from their very existence, and, if facial Romualdez before the Sandiganbayan for a violation of
challenge is allowed for this reason alone, the State RA 3019, Section 5.
may well be prevented from enacting laws against Section 5 provides: Section 5. Prohibition on certain
socially harmful conduct. In the area of criminal law, relatives. – It shall be unlawful for the spouse or for
the law cannot take chances as in the area of free any relative, by consanguinity or affinity, within the
speech. third civil degree, of the President of the Philippines,
-The overbreadth and vagueness doctrines then have the Vice-President of the Philippines, the President of
special application only to free speech cases. They are the Senate, or the Speaker of the House of

Alex Austria | 2018 9


Representatives, to intervene, directly or indirectly, in • Thus, the Court held that the assailed provision is not
any business, transaction, contract or application with vague.
the Government: - Section 5 of the Anti-Graft Law is constitutional. It
Provided, That this section shall not apply to any penalizes certain presidential relatives who intervene,
person who, prior to the assumption of office of any of directly or indirectly, in any business, transaction,
the above officials to whom he is related, has been contract or application with the Government. This
already dealing with the Government along the same provision is not vague or impermissibly broad, because
line of business, nor to any transaction, contract or it can easily be understood with the use of simple
application already existing or pending at the time of statutory construction. Neither may the constitutionality
such assumption of public office, nor to any application of a criminal statute such as this be challenged on the
filed by him the approval of which is not discretionary basis of the overbreadth and the void-for-vagueness
on the part of the official or officials concerned but doctrines, which apply only to free-speech cases.
depends upon compliance with requisites provided by - It is best to stress at the outset that the
law, or rules or regulations issued pursuant to law, nor overbreadth[20] and the vagueness doctrines have
to any act lawfully performed in an official capacity or special application only to free-speech cases. They are
in the exercise of a profession. not appropriate for testing the validity of penal statutes.
• Before the Supreme Court, petitioner argued that RA Mr. Justice Vicente V. Mendoza explained the reason
3019, Section 5 was unconstitutional because its as follows: A facial challenge is allowed to be made to
vagueness violates the due process right of an a vague statute and to one which is overbroad
individual to be informed of the nature and the cause of because of possible chilling effect upon protected
the accusation against him. ISSUE: • Whether RA speech. The theory is that [w]hen statutes regulate or
3019, Sec. 5 is unconstitutional for vagueness proscribe speech and no readily apparent construction
RULING: Facial challenges allowed only in free suggests itself as a vehicle for rehabilitating the
speech cases statutes in a single prosecution, the transcendent value
• The overbreadth and void-for-vagueness doctrines to all society of constitutionally protected expression is
apply only to free speech cases. It is because of the deemed to justify allowing attacks on overly broad
potential chilling effect of vague statutes on protected statutes with no requirement that the person making
speech that a facial challenge is allowed. the attack demonstrate that his own conduct could not
• This rationale does not apply to penal statutes. be regulated by a statute drawn with narrow specificity.
Criminal statutes generally have an in terrorem effect The possible harm to society in permitting some
on proscribed conduct and to allow facial challenges unprotected speech to go unpunished is outweighed
will essentially prevent the State from enacting laws by the possibility that the protected speech of others
against socially harmful conduct. may be deterred and perceived grievances left to
• As conduct, not speech is the subject of RA 3019, the fester because of possible inhibitory effects of overly
constitutionality of the statute shall be based as broad statutes. This rationale does not apply to penal
applied to the defendant (i.e. not facially). Vague statutes. Criminal statutes have general in terrorem
statutes, standard effect resulting from their very existence, and, if facial
• A statute is vague when it lacks comprehensible challenge is allowed for this reason alone, the State
standards that men of common intelligence must may well be prevented from enacting laws against
guess as its meaning and differ in its application. In socially harmful conduct. In the area of criminal law,
such instances, the statute is repugnant to the the law cannot take chances as in the area of free
Constitution in two respects: speech. xx x x xx x x x In sum, the doctrines of strict
(1) it violates due process for failure to accord persons, scrutiny, overbreadth, and vagueness are analytical
especially the parties targeted by it, fair notice of what tools developed for testing on their faces statutes in
conduct to avoid; and free speech cases or, as they are called in American
(2) it leaves law enforcers unbridled discretion in law, First Amendment cases. They cannot be made to
carrying out its provisions. do service when what is involved is a criminal statute.
• A statute is utterly vague on its face when it cannot With respect to such statute, the established rule is
be clarified by a saving clause or by construction. RA that one to whom application of a statute is
3019 is not unconstitutional for vagueness • Petitioner constitutional will not be heard to attack the statute on
claims that the phrase “to intervene directly or the ground that impliedly it might also be taken as
indirectly in any business [or] transaction […] with the applying to other persons or other situations in which
Government” is vague. Specifically, he harps on the its application might be unconstitutional. As has been
term intervene as the statute does not specify which pointed out, vagueness challenges in the First
acts are punishable under the term. Amendment context, like overbreadth challenges
• However, the SC, agreeing with the OSG, ruled that typically produce facial invalidation, while statutes
the statute is not vague as a verba legis construction found vague as a matter of due process typically are
clarifies the meaning. The term intervene should be invalidated [only] as applied to a particular
understood in its ordinary meaning, that is to come defendant.[22] (underscoring supplied) To this date,
between. the Court has not declared any penal law

Alex Austria | 2018 10


unconstitutional on the ground of ambiguity. [23] While special application only to free speech cases. They are
mentioned in passing in some cases, the inapt for testing the validity of penal statutes.
void-for-vagueness concept has yet to find direct -Since a penal statute may only be assailed for
application in our jurisdiction. being vague as applied to petitioners, a limited
vagueness analysis of the definition of “terrorism”
 (iv) Southern Hemisphere Engagement Network, in RA 9372 is legally impossible absent an actual
Inc. v. Anti-Terrorism Council, G.R. Nos. 178552, or imminent chargeagainst them.
178554, 178581, 178890, 179157 & 179461, October - The doctrine of vagueness and the doctrine of
5, 2010, 632 SCRA 146 overbreadth do not operate on the same plane.
-A statute or acts suffers from the defect of vagueness
FACTS: when:
> It lacks comprehensible standards that men of
 This case consists of 6 petitions challenging common intelligence must necessarily guess at its
the constitutionality of RA 9372, “An Act to meaning and differ as to its application. It is repugnant
Secure the State and Protect our People from to the Constitution in 2 ways:
Terrorism,” aka Human Security Act of 2007. 1) Violates due process for failure to accord fair notice
 Petitioner-organizations assert locus standion of conduct to avoid
the basis of being suspected “communist 2) Leaves law enforcers unbridled discretion in
fronts” by the government, whereas individual carrying out its provisions and becomes an arbitrary
petitioners invoke the “transcendental flexing of the Government muscle.
importance” doctrine and their status as 3) The overbreadth doctrine decrees that a
citizens and taxpayers. governmental purpose to control or prevent activities
 KARAPATAN, Hustisya, Desaparecidos, constitutionally subject to state regulations may not be
SELDA, EMJP, and PCR allege they have achieved by means, which sweep unnecessarily
been subjected to “close security surveillance broadly and thereby invade the area of protected
by state security forces,” their members freedoms.
followed by “suspicious persons” and “vehicles -A “facial” challenge is likewise different from an
with dark windshields,” and their offices “as applied” challenge.
monitored by “men with military build.” They > “As applied” challenge considers only extant facts
likewise claim they have been branded as affecting real litigants.
“enemies of the State.” > “Facial” challenge is an examination of the entire law,
pinpointing its flaws and defects, not only on the basis
DOCTRINE: The doctrines of void-for-vagueness and of its actual operation to the parties, but also on the
overbreadth find no application in the present case assumption or prediction that its very existence may
since these doctrines apply only to free speech cases cause others not before the court to refrain from
and that RA 9372 regulates conduct, not speech. constitutionally protected speech or activities.
- Romualdez v. Sandiganbayan: The overbreadth and > Under no case may ordinary penal statutes be
the vagueness doctrines have special application only subjected to a facial challenge. If facial challenge to a
to free speech cases, and are not appropriate for penal statute is permitted, the prosecution of crimes
testing the validity of penal statutes. may be hampered. No prosecution would be possible.
- Romualdez v. COMELEC:A facial invalidation of - There is no merit in the claim that RA 9372
criminal statutes is not appropriate, but the Court regulates speech so as to permit a facial analysis
nonetheless proceeded to conduct a vagueness of its validity.
analysis, and concluded that the therein subject >Section 3 of RA 9372 provides the following elements
election offense under the Voter’s Registration Act of of the crime of terrorism:
1996, with which the therein petitioners were charged, > Offender commits an act punishable under RPC and
is couched in precise language. the enumerated special penal laws;
- The aforementioned cases rely heavily on Justice > Commission of the predicate crime sows and creates
Mendoza’s Separate Opinion in the Estrada case: a condition of widespread and extraordinary fear and
Allegations that a penal statute is vague and overbroad panic among the populace;
do not justify a facial review of its validity. A facial > The offender is actuated by the desire to coerce the
challenge is allowed to be made to a vague statute and government to give in to an unlawful demand.
to one, which is overbroad because of possible - Petitioners contend that the element of “unlawful
chilling effect upon protected speech. This rationale demand” in the definition of terrorism must necessarily
does not apply to penal statutes. Criminal statutes be transmitted through some form of expression
have general in terrorem effect. If facial challenge is protected by the free speech clause. The argument
allowed, the State may well be prevented from does not persuade. What RA 9372 seeks to penalize is
enacting laws against socially harmful conduct. conduct, not speech.
Overbreadth and vagueness doctrines then have -Petitioners’ notion on the transmission of message is
entirely inaccurate, as it unduly focuses on just one

Alex Austria | 2018 11


particle of an element of the crime. Almost every Art. 366. Application of laws enacted prior to this
commission of a crime entails some mincing of words Code. — Without prejudice to the provisions contained
on the part of offender. -- in Article 22 of this Code, felonies and misdemeanors,
- Utterances not elemental but inevitably incidental committed prior to the date of effectiveness of this
to the doing of the criminal conduct alter neither Code shall be punished in accordance with the Code
the intent of the law to punish socially harmful or Acts in force at the time of their commission.
conduct nor the essence of the whole act as
conduct and not speech.  (iv) Pesigan v. Angeles, 129 SCRA 174 (1984)

b. Effectivity of penal laws Facts: In the evening of April 2, 1982, Anselmo


Pesigan and Marcelo Pesigan who were carabao
(i) CIV. CODE, art. 2: Laws shall take effect after dealers transported 26 of the said animals and a calf
fifteen days following the completion of their from Sipocot, Camarines Sur with Batangas as the
publication in the Official Gazette, unless it is otherwise destination using an Isuzu ten-wheeler truck. They had
provided. This Code shall take effect one year after the necessary certificates and permits to be allowed
such publication. the transport. However, they were stopped on the road
at Basud, Camarines Norte by town police station
(ii) Exec. Order No. 292 (Revised Admin Code) commander Lieutenant Zenarosa and provincial
veterinarian Dr. Miranda who confiscated the carabaos
 Sec. 18: When Laws Take Effect. - Laws shall take based on EO No. 626-A which bans the transport of
effect after fifteen (15) days following the completion of carabaos from one province to another. Dr. Miranda
their publication in the Official Gazette or in a distributed the carabos among farmers of Basud and
newspaper of general circulation, unless it is otherwise from the Vinzons municipal nursery. Petitioners filed an
provided. action for replevin which was dismissed for lack of
cause of action. Petitioners appealed. Issue: Whether
 Sec. 24: Contents. - There shall be published in the or not EO No. 626-A is enforceable before its
Official Gazette all legislative acts and resolutions of a publication in the Official Gazette
public nature; all executive and administrative Held: No.
issuances of general application; decisions or -EO No. 626-A, while issued on October 25, 1980
abstracts of decisions of the Supreme Court and the should not be enforced in this case as it was only
Court of Appeals, or other courts of similar rank, as published June 14, 1982 in the Official Gazette, more
may be deemed by said courts of sufficient importance than two months later, and it only became effective 15
to be so published; such documents or classes of days thereafter as provided by Art. 2 of the Civil Code.
documents as may be required so to be published by -Publication is necessary to apprise the public of the
law; and such documents or classes of documents as contents of the regulations and make the said
the President shall determine from time to time to have penalties binding on the persons affected thereby. The
general application or which he may authorize so to be carabaos were ordered to be returned to the Pesigans
published. but they are now bound to EO No. 292 and cannot
transport it to Batangas.
 C.A. No. 638 (1941) -Dr. Miranda and Lt. Zenarosa acted in good faith in
ordering the forfeiture and dispersal of the carabaos.
- Respondents Miranda and Zenarosa are ordered to
(iii) REV. PEN. CODE restore the carabaos, with the requisite documents, to
the petitioners, who as owners are entitled to possess
 Article 1. Time when Act takes effect. - This Code the same, with the right to dispose of them in Basud or
shall take effect on the first day of January, nineteen Sipocot, Camarines Sur.
hundred and thirty-two.
 (v) Tañada v. Tuvera, 136 SCRA 27 (1985)
Art. 21. Penalties that may be imposed. — No felony
shall be punishable by any penalty not prescribed by The case is a petition to review the decision of the
law prior to its commission. Executive Assistant to the President. The petitioners
seek a writ of mandamus to compel respondent public
Art. 22. Retroactive effect of penal laws. — Penal officials to publish, and/or cause the publication in the
Laws shall have a retroactive effect insofar as they Official Gazette of various presidential decrees, letters
favor the persons guilty of a felony, who is not a of instructions, general orders, proclamations,
habitual criminal, as this term is defined in Rule 5 of executive orders, letter of implementation and
Article 62 of this Code, although at the time of the administrative orders. The petitioners invoked the
publication of such laws a final sentence has been people’s right to be informed on matters of public
pronounced and the convict is serving the same. concern, a right recognized in Section 6, Article VI of
the 1973 Philippine Constitution; as well as the

Alex Austria | 2018 12


principle that laws to be valid and enforceable must be guidelines to be followed by their subordinates in the
published in the Official Gazette or otherwise performance of their duties
effectively promulgated.
• “We hold therefore that all statutes, including those
The respondents posit that the case should be of local application and private laws, shall be
dismissed on the ground that petitioners have no legal published as a condition for their effectivity, which
personality or standing to bring the petition. According shall begin fifteen days after publication unless a
to respondents, there is absence of showing that the different effectivity date is fixed by the legislature.”
petitioners are personally and directly affected or • Publication must be in full or it is no publication
prejudiced by the alleged non-publication of the at all since its purpose is to inform the public of
presidential issuances in question. Furthermore, they the contents of the laws.
argue, said petitioners are without the requisite legal
personality to institute the mandamus proceeding, they Covered by this rule are presidential decrees and
not being “aggrieved parties” within the meaning of executive orders promulgated by the President in the
Section 3, Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. exercise of legislative powers whenever the same are
In addition, respondents contend that publication in the validly delegated by the legislature or, at present,
Official Gazette is not a sine qua non requirement for directly conferred by the Constitution. administrative
the effectivity of laws where the laws themselves rules and regulations must a also be published if their
provide for their own effectivity dates. purpose is to enforce or implement existing law
pursuant also to a valid delegation.
The clear object of publication is to give the general
public adequate notice of the various laws which are to ON THE MEANING OF THE PHRASE “UNLESS
regulate their actions and conduct as citizens. Without OTHERWISE PROVIDED”
such notice and publication, there would be no basis The clause "unless it is otherwise provided" refers to
for the application of the maxim ignorantia legis non the date of effectivity and not to the requirement of
excusat. It would be the height of injustice to punish or publication itself, which cannot in any event be omitted.
burden a citizen for the transgression of a law which he This clause does not mean that the legislature may
had no notice whatsoever. make the law effective immediately upon approval, or
on any other date, without its previous publication.
The publication of all presidential issuances “of public
nature” or “of general applicability” is mandated by law. 2) W/N publication in the Official Gazette need not
Obviously, presidential decrees that provide for fines, be made considering its erratic releases and
forfeitures or penalties for their violation or otherwise limited readership — COURT CANNOT RULE
impose a burden on the people, such as tax and UPON THE WISDOM OF THE LAW.
revenue measures, fall within this category. Other
presidential issuances which apply only to particular • The Court’s task is merely to interpret and apply the
persons or class of persons, such as administrative law as conceived and approved by the political
and executive orders, need not be published on the departments of the government in accordance with
assumption that they have been circularized to all the prescribed procedure.

concerned.
“Consequently, we have no choice but to pronounce
Petition is GRANTED. Court ordered respondents to
that under Article 2 of the Civil Code, the publication
publish in the OG all unpublished presidential
of laws must be made in the Official Gazett and not
issuances which are of general application, and unless
so published, shall have no legal binding force and elsewhere, as a requirement for their effectivity after
effect. fifteen days from such publication or after a different
period provided by the legislature.”
 (vi) Tañada v. Tuvera, 146 SCRA 446 (1986) • “We also hold that the publication must be made
forthwith or at least as soon as possible, to give
1) W/N publication is required for all laws to be effect to the law pursuant to the said Article 2. There
effective regardless of nature or applicability — is that possibility, of course, although not suggested
YES by the parties that a law could be rendered
The term "laws" should refer to all laws and not only to unenforceable by a mere refusal of the executive,
those of general application, for strictly speaking all for whatever reason, to cause its publication as
laws relate to the people in general albeit there are required. This is a matter, however, that we do not
some that do not apply to them directly. need to examine at this time.”
• ONLY EXCEPTIONS: Interpretative regulations and
 (vii) Nagkakaisang Maralita ng Sitio Masigasig,
those merely internal in nature, that is, regulating
Inc. V. Military Shrine Service Philippine Veterans
only the personnel of the administrative agency and
Affairs Office, G.R. No. 187587, 5 June 2013
not the public, or letters of instructions issued by
administrative superiors concerning the rules or
Alex Austria | 2018 13
Summary: [RE: CLASSIFICATION OF LANDS IN Petitioner filed a petition to the SC questioning the
BGC AND MCKINLEY HILL] President Marcos issued validity of RA 6132, Sec. 8(a) as to the prohibition of
Proclamation No. 2476, which declared barangays in allowing any political group to support a candidate to
Lower Bicutan, Upper Bicutan, and Signal Village open the 1971 Constitutional Convention. Petitioner
for disposition. The Proclamation included a contended that the Act was an ex post facto law. SC
handwritten addendum likewise declaring barangays denied the petition.
in Western Bicutan open for disposition, but this
addendum was not published in the Official Gazette. An ex post facto law is one which:.
Petitioners occupied lots in Western Bicutan and (1) Makes criminal an act done before the
sought to have them reclassified as alienable and passage of the law and which was innocent
disposable, pursuant to PN 2476’s addendum. The when done, and punishes such an act;
Court held that these lands could not be reclassified as (2) Aggravates a crime, or makes it greater
such, because the addendum was never published than it was, when committed;
and therefore never took effect. (3) Changes the punishment and inflicts a
greater punishment than the law annexed to
Ratio: The requirement of publication is the crime when committed;
indispensable to give effect to the law, unless the (4) Alters the legal rules of evidence, and
law itself has otherwise provided. The phrase authorizes conviction upon less or different
“unless otherwise provided” refers to a different testimony than the law required at the time of
effectivity date other than after 15 days following the commission of the offense;
the completion of the law’s publication in the (5) Assuming to regulate civil rights and
Official Gazette, but does not imply that the remedies only, in effect imposes penalty or
requirement of publication may be dispensed with. deprivation of a right for something which
All statutes, including those of local application when done was lawful; and
and private laws, shall be published as a condition (6) Deprives a person accused of a crime of
for their effectivity, which shall begin fifteen days some lawful protection to which he has
after publication unless a different effectivity date become entitled, such as the protection of a
is fixed by the legislature. former conviction or acquittal, or a
proclamation of amnesty.
 The requirement of publication is
indispensable to give effect to the law, IN THIS CASE: Even if RA 6132's Sec. 18 penalizes a
unless the law itself has otherwise violation of any provision of the said law, including Sec.
provided. The phrase “unless otherwise 8(a), the penalty is imposed only for acts committed
provided” refers to a different effectivity after the approval of the law, and not those
date other than after 15 days following the perpetrated prior thereto.
completion of the law’s publication in the 4. There is nothing in the Act that indicates that Secs.
Official Gazette, but does not imply that the 8(a) and 18, or any other provision, shall apply to acts
requirement of publication may be carried out prior to its approval.
dispensed with. 5. Sec. 23 of the Act directs that the entire law shall be
 As held in Tañada v. Tuvera: Publication is effective upon its approval. (The Act was approved
indispensable in every case, but the legislature on August 24, 1970.)
may in its discretion provide that the usual
fifteen-day period shall be shortened or  (iv) People v. Villaraza, 81 SCRA 95 (1978)
extended.
 We hold therefore that all statutes, including Facts:
those of local application and private laws, An assistant city fiscal charged Caesar Puerto with
shall be published as a condition for their estafa in the city court of Cagayan de Oro City for
effectivity, which shall begin fifteen days after having issued on October 16, 1974 two bouncing
publication unless a different effectivity date is checks. City Judge Rolando R. Villaraza in his order
fixed by the legislature. March 31, 1976 noted that the accused had waived the
second stage of the preliminary investigation and
c. Ex-post facto law directed that the case be elevated, for trial, to the Court
of First Instance or the Circuit Criminal Court. The CFI
(i) CONST. (1987), art. III, sec. 22: No ex post facto returned the case to the city court because in its
law or bill of attainder shall be enacted. opinion the case falls within the concurrent jurisdiction
of the two courts and, the city court, as the first court
(ii) REV. PEN. CODE, art. 1, 22 (supra) which took cognizance of the case, should try it.
Respondent city judge still directed the re-elevation of
 (iii) In re. Kay Villegas Kami, Inc., 35 SCRA 429 the case, saying that the case falls within the exclusive
(1970) original jurisdiction of the Court of First Instance

Alex Austria | 2018 14


because estafa committed by the accused is punishes such action, is an ex post facto law. In the
punishable by prision mayor medium under present case Act No. 2655 made an act which had
Presidential Decree No. 818 which took effect on been done before the law was adopted, a criminal act,
October 22, 1975 and which amended article 315 of and to make said Act applicable to the act complained
the Revised Penal Code. of would be to give it an ex post facto operation. The
Issue: Whether or not the CFI has exclusive Legislature is prohibited from adopting a law which will
jurisdiction over the estafa case make an act done before its adoption a crime. A law
Held/Ratio: No. CFI order affirmed. may be given a retroactive effect in civil action,
 The estafa imputed to Caesar Puerto is providing it is curative in character, but ex post facto
punishable under article 315 of the Revised laws are absolutely prohibited unless its retroactive
Penal Code by arresto mayor maximum to effect is favorable to the defendant.
prision correccional minimum or four months
and one day to two years and four months. d. Bill of attainder
The penalty of prision mayor medium, or eight
years and one day to ten years, imposed by (i) CONST. (1987), art. III, sec. 22 (SUPRA)
Presidential Decree No. 818, applies only to
swindling by means of issuing bouncing  (ii) People v. Ferrer, 48 SCRA 382 (1972)
checks which was committed on or after
October 22, 1975. That increased penalty Facts:
does not apply to the estafa committed by The Anti-Subversion Act outlaws the Communist Party
Puerto on October 16, 1974. To apply it to of the Philippines and other "subversive associations,"
Puerto would make the decree an ex post and punishes any person who "knowingly, willfully and
facto law. Its retroactive application is by overt acts affiliates himself with, becomes or
prohibited by articles 21 and 22 of the remains a member" of the Party or of any other similar
Revised Penal Code and section 12, Article "subversive" organization.
IV of the Constitution.
 Section 87 of the Judiciary Law, as amended On March 5, 1970 a criminal complaint for violation of
by Republic Acts Nos. 2613 and 3828, section 4 of the Anti-Subversion Act was filed against
provides that "judges of city courts shall have the respondent Feliciano Co in CFI Tarlac for being an
like jurisdiction as the Court of First Instance to officer of the Communist Party of the Philippines and
try parties charged with an offense committed being an instructor in the Mao Tse Tung University. Co
within their respective jurisdictions, in which moved to quash on the ground that the Anti-
the penalty provided by law does not exceed Subversion Act is a bill of attainder. Meanwhile, on
prision correccional or imprisonment for not May 25, 1970, another criminal complaint was filed
more than six years or fine not exceeding six with the same court, sharing the respondent Nilo
thousand pesos or both." Tayag and five others with subversion. On July 21,
1970 Tayag moved to quash, impugning the validity of
 (v) U.S. v. Diaz-Conde, 42 Phil. 766 (1922) the statute on the grounds that (1) it is a bill of
attainder; (2) it is vague; (3) it embraces more than one
-RE: Retroactivity of the Usury law subject not expressed in the title thereof; and (4) it
denied him the equal protection of the laws.
-A law imposing a new penalty, or a new liability or
disability, or giving a new right of action, must not be The Anti-Subversion Act was condemned by the CFI
construed as having a retroactive effect. It is an as a bill of attainder because it "tars and feathers" the
elementary rule of contract that the laws in force at the Communist Party of the Philippines as a "continuing
time the contract was made must govern its menace to the freedom and security of the country; its
interpretation and application. Laws must be construed existence, a 'clear, present and grave danger to the
prospectively and not retrospectively. If a contract is security of the Philippines.'" By means of the Act, the
legal at its inception, it cannot be rendered illegal by trial court said, Congress usurped "the powers of the
any subsequent legislation. If that were permitted then judge," and assumed "judicial magistracy by
the obligations of a contract might be impaired, which pronouncing the guilt of the CCP without any of the
is prohibited by the organic law of the Philippine forms or safeguards of judicial trial." According to the
Islands. (U.S. vs. Constantino Tan Quingco Chua, 39 trial court, "if the only issue [to be determined] is
Phil., 552; Aguilar vs. Rubiato and Gonzales Vila, 40 whether or not the accused is a knowing and voluntary
Phil., 570.) member, the law is still a bill of attainder because it
has expressly created a presumption of organizational
-Ex post facto laws, unless they are favorable to the guilt which the accused can never hope to overthrow.
defendant, are prohibited in this jurisdiction. Every law The trial court declared the statute void on the grounds
that makes an action, done before the passage of the that it is a bill of attainder and that it is vague and
law, and which was innocent when done, criminal, and

Alex Austria | 2018 15


overboard, and dismissed the informations against the validity of section 23 (b) of the Industrial Peace
two accused. The Government appealed. Act, requiring labor unions to file with the Department
of Labor affidavits of union officers "to the effect that
1) W/N The Anti-Subversion Act is a Bill of they are not members of the Communist Party and that
Attainder — NO they are not members of any organization which
- The constitutional ban against bills of attainder serves teaches the overthrow of the Government by force or
to implement the principle of separation of powers by by any illegal or unconstitutional method," was upheld
confining legislatures to rule-making and thereby by this Court.
forestalling legislative usurpation of the judicial
function. The singling out of a definite class, the Indeed, it is only when a statute applies either to
imposition of a burden on it, and a legislative intent, named individuals or to easily ascertainable members
suffice to make a statute as a bill of attainder. of a group in such a way as to inflict punishment on
them without a judicial trial does it become a bill of
- ITC: When the Act is viewed in its actual operation, it attainder.
will be seen that it does not specify the Communist
Party of the Philippines or the members thereof for the In the Philippines the character of the Communist
purpose of punishment. What it does is simply to Party has been the object of continuing scrutiny by this
declare the Party to be an organized conspiracy for the Court. In 1932 we found the Communist Party of the
overthrow of the Government for the purposes of the Philippines to be an illegal association. In 1969 we
prohibition, stated in section 4, against membership in again found that the objective of the Party was the
the outlawed organization. The term "Communist Party "overthrow of the Philippine Government by armed
of the Philippines" issued solely for definitional struggle and to establish in the Philippines a
purposes. The Act applies not only to the CPP but also communist form of government similar to that of Soviet
to "any other organization having the same purpose Russia and Red China." In Lansang vs. Garcia, the
and their successors." Its focus is not on individuals SC noted the growth of the CPP and the organization
but on conduct. of Communist fronts among youth organizations such
as the Kabataang Makabayan (KM) and the
- Were the Anti-Subversion Act a bill of attainder, it emergence of the New People's Army. The SC held:
would be totally unnecessary to charge Communists in "We entertain, therefore, no doubts about the
court, as the law alone, without more, would suffice to existence of a sizeable group of men who have
secure their punishment. But the undeniable fact is that publicly risen in arms to overthrow the government and
their guilt still has to be judicially established. have thus been and still are engaged in rebellion
against the Government of the Philippines.
As to the claim that under the statute organizational
guilt is nonetheless imputed despite the requirement of Nor is it enough that the statute specify persons or
proof of knowing membership in the Party, suffice it to groups in order that it may fall within the ambit of the
say that is precisely the nature of conspiracy, which prohibition against bills of attainder. It is also
has been referred to as a "dragnet device" whereby all necessary that it must apply retroactively and reach
who participate in the criminal covenant are liable. The past conduct. This requirement follows from the nature
contention would be correct if the statute were of a bill of attainder as a legislative adjudication of guilt.
construed as punishing mere membership devoid of As Justice Frankfurter observed, "frequently a bill of
any specific intent to further the unlawful goals of the attainder was ... doubly objectionable because of its ex
Party. But the statute specifically required that post facto features. This is the historic explanation for
membership must be knowing or active, with uniting the two mischiefs in one clause — 'No Bill of
specific intent to further the illegal objectives of Attainder or ex post facto law shall be passed.' ...
the Party. That is what section 4 means when it Therefore, if [a statute] is a bill of attainder it is
requires that membership, to be unlawful, must be also an ex post facto law. But if it is not an ex post
shown to have been acquired "knowingly, willfully and facto law, the reasons that establish that it is not
by overt acts." The ingredient of specific intent to are persuasive that it cannot be a bill of attainder."
pursue the unlawful goals of the Party must be shown
by "overt acts." This constitutes an element of Section 4 thereof expressly states that the prohibition
"membership" distinct from the ingredient of guilty therein applies only to acts committed "After the
knowledge. The former requires proof of direct approval of this Act." Only those who "knowingly,
participation in the organization's unlawful activities, willfully and by overt acts affiliate themselves with,
while the latter requires proof of mere adherence to the become or remain members of the Communist
organization's illegal objectives. Party of the Philippines and/or its successors or of
any subversive association “after June 20, 1957,
- Even assuming, however, that the Act specifies are punished. Those who were members of the Party
individuals and not activities, this feature is not enough or of any other subversive association at the time of
to render it a bill of attainder. In the Philippines the the enactment of the law, were given the opportunity of

Alex Austria | 2018 16


purging themselves of liability by renouncing in writing
and under oath their membership in the Party. The law Sec. 16: All persons shall have the right to a speedy
expressly provides that such renunciation shall operate disposition of their cases before all judicial, quasi-
to exempt such persons from penal liability. The judicial, or administrative bodies.
penalties prescribed are therefore not inescapable.
Sec. 17: No person shall be compelled to be a
5. Other Constitutional and statutory limitations witness against himself.
and the rights of the accused
Sec. 18: (1) No person shall be detained solely by
a. CONST. (1987), art. III: BILL OF RIGHTS reason of his political beliefs and aspirations.
(2) No involuntary servitude in any form shall exist
Sec. 1: No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or except as a punishment for a crime whereof the party
property without due process of law, nor shall any shall have been duly convicted.
person be denied the equal protection of the laws.
Sec. 19: (1) Excessive fines shall not be imposed,
Sec. 12: nor cruel, degrading or inhuman punishment inflicted.
(1) Any person under investigation for the commission Neither shall death penalty be imposed, unless, for
of an offense shall have the right to be informed of his compelling reasons involving heinous crimes, the
right to remain silent and to have competent and Congress hereafter provides for it. Any death penalty
independent counsel preferably of his own choice. If already imposed shall be reduced to reclusion
the person cannot afford the services of counsel, he perpetua.
must be provided with one. These rights cannot be (2) The employment of physical, psychological, or
waived except in writing and in the presence of degrading punishment against any prisoner or
counsel. detainee or the use of substandard or inadequate
(2) No torture, force, violence, threat, intimidation, or penal facilities under subhuman conditions shall be
any other means which vitiate the free will shall be dealt with by law.
used against him. Secret detention places, solitary,
incommunicado, or other similar forms of detention are Sec. 20: No person shall be imprisoned for debt or
prohibited. non-payment of a poll tax.
(3) Any confession or admission obtained in violation
of this or Section 17 hereof shall be inadmissible in Sec. 21: No person shall be twice put in jeopardy of
evidence against him. punishment for the same offense. If an act is punished
(4) The law shall provide for penal and civil sanctions by a law and an ordinance, conviction or acquittal
for violations of this section as well as compensation to under either shall constitute a bar to another
and rehabilitation of victims of torture or similar prosecution for the same act.
practices, and their families.
b. RULES OF COURT, Rule 115: RIGHTS OF
Sec. 13: All persons, except those charged with ACCUSED SECTION 1. Rights of accused at the
offenses punishable by reclusion perpetua when trial.—In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall be
evidence of guilt is strong, shall, before conviction, be entitled to the following rights:
bailable by sufficient sureties, or be released on (a) To be presumed innocent until the contrary is
recognizance as may be provided by law. The right to proved beyond reasonable doubt.
bail shall not be impaired even when the privilege of (b) To be informed of the nature and cause of the
the writ of habeas corpus is suspended. Excessive bail accusation against him.
shall not be required. (c) To be present and defend in person and by counsel
at every stage of the proceedings, from arraignment to
Sec. 14: (1) No person shall be held to answer for a promulgation of the judgment.
criminal offense without due process of law. The accused may, however, waive his presence at the
(2) In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall be trial pursuant to the stipulations set forth in his tail,
presumed innocent until the contrary is proved, and unless his presence is specifically ordered by the court
shall enjoy the right to be heard by himself and for purposes of identification. The absence of the
counsel, to be informed of the nature and cause of the accused without justifiable cause at the trial of which
accusation against him, to have a speedy, impartial, he had notice shall be considered a waiver of his right
and public trial, to meet the witnesses face to face, and to be present thereat. When an accused under custody
to have compulsory process to secure the attendance escapes, he shall be deemed to have waived his right
of witnesses and the production of evidence in his to be present on all subsequent trial dates until custody
behalf. However, after arraignment, trial may proceed over him is regained. Upon motion, the accused may
notwithstanding the absence of the accused provided be allowed to defend himself in person when it
that he has been duly notified and his failure to appear sufficiently appears to the court that he can properly
is unjustifiable. protect his rights without the assistance of counsel.

Alex Austria | 2018 17


(d) To testify as a witness in his own behalf but subject of the Philippines with intent to defraud such foreign
to cross-examination on matters covered by direct government or the Government of the Philippines, or
examination. His silence shall not in any manner any person, or in such pretended character shall
prejudice him. demand or obtain, or attempt to obtain from person or
(e) To be exempt from being compelled to be a witness from said foreign government or the Government of the
against himself. Philippines, or from any officer thereof, any money,
(f) To confront and cross-examine the witnesses paper, document, or other thing, of value, shall be
against him at the trial. Either party may utilize as part fined not more than five thousand pesos, or shall be
of its evidence the testimony of a witness who is imprisoned for not more than five years, or both, in
deceased, out of or can not with due diligence be addition to the penalties that may be imposed under
found in the Philippines, unavailable, or otherwise the Revised Penal Code.
unable to testify, given in another case or proceeding,
judicial or administrative, involving the same parties Section 2. Any person, other than a diplomatic or
and subject matter, the adverse party having the consular officer or attaché, who shall act in the
opportunity to cross-examine him. Republic of the Philippines as an agent of a foreign
(g) To have compulsory process issued to secure the government without prior notification to, and
attendance of witnesses and production of other registration with, the Secretary of Foreign Affairs shall
evidence in his behalf. be fined not more than five thousand pesos, or
(h) To have speedy, impartial and public trial. imprisoned not more than five years, or both, aside
(i) To appeal in all cases allowed and in the manner from other penalties that may be imposed by law.
prescribed by law.
Section 3. Any person, who with intent to deceive or
D. Characteristics of criminal law
mislead, within the jurisdiction of the Republic, wear
any naval, military, police, or other official uniform,
1. General
decoration, or regalia of any foreign State, nation or
government with which the Republic of the Philippines
a. CONST. (1987), art. VI, sec. 1. The legislative
is at peace, or any uniform, decoration or regalia so
power shall be vested in the Congress of the
nearly resembling the same as to be calculated to
Philippines which shall consist of a Senate and a deceive, unless such wearing thereof be authorized by
House of Representatives, except to the extent such State, nation, or government, shall upon
reserved to the people by the provision on initiative
conviction, be punished by a fine not exceeding two
and referendum.
hundred pesos or imprisonment not exceeding six
months, or by both such fine and
b. CIV. CODE, art. 14. Penal laws and those of public imprisonment.1awphil-itc-alf
security and safety shall be obligatory upon all who live
or sojourn in the Philippine territory, subject to the
principles of public international law and to treaty Section 4. Any writ or process sued out or prosecuted
stipulations. by any person in any court of the Republic of the
Philippines, or by any judge or justice, whereby the
c. Agreement Between the Government of the person of any ambassador or public minister of any
Republic of the Philippines and the Government of foreign State, authorized and received as such by the
the United States of America Regarding the President, or any domestic or domestic servant of any
Treatment of United States Armed Forces Visiting such ambassador or minister is arrested or imprisoned,
the Philippines, 10 February 1998 (Visiting Forces or his goods or chattels are distrained, seized, or
Agreement) attached, shall be deemed void, and every person by
whom the same is obtained or prosecuted, whether as
d. REP. ACT NO. 75 party or as attorney, and every officer concerned in
executing it, shall upon conviction, be punished by
imprisonment for not more than three years and a fine
AN ACT TO PENALIZE ACTS WHICH WOULD
of not exceeding two hundred pesos in the discretion
IMPAIR THE PROPER OBSERVANCE BY THE
of the court.
REPUBLIC AND INHABITANTS OF THE
PHILIPPINES OF THE IMMUNITIES, RIGHT, AND
PRIVILEGES OF DULY ACCREDITED FOREIGN Section 5. The provisions of section four hereof shall
DIPLOMATIC AND CONSULAR AGENTS IN THE not apply to any case where the person against whom
PHILIPPINES the process is issued is a citizen or inhabitant of the
Republic of the Philippines, in the service of an
ambassador or a public minister, and the process is
Section 1. Any person who shall falsely assume and
founded upon a debt contracted before he entered
take upon himself to act as a diplomatic, consular, or
upon such service; nor shall the said section apply to
any other official of a foreign government duly
any case where the person against whom the process
accredited as such to the Government of the Republic
Alex Austria | 2018 18
is issued is a domestic servant of an ambassador or a penalized under the Revised Penal Code other special
public minister, unless the name of the servant has, penal laws, or local government ordinances regardless
before the issuing thereof, been registered in the of whether or not civilians are co-accused, victims, or
Department of Foreign Affairs, and transmitted by the offended parties which may be natural or juridical
Secretary of Foreign Affairs to the Chief of Police of persons, shall be tried by the proper civil court except
the City of Manila, who shall upon receipt thereof post when the offense, as determined before arraignment
the same in some public place in his office. All persons by the civil court, is service-connected, in which case
shall have resort to the list of names so posted in the the offense shall be tried by court-martial: provided,
office of the Chief of Police, and take copies without that the President of the Philippines may, in the
fee. interest of justice, order or direct at any time before
arraignment that any such crimes or offenses be tried
Section 6. Any person who assaults, strikes, wounds, by the proper civil courts.
imprisons or in any other manner offers violence to the
person of an ambassador or a public minister, in As used in this Section, service-connected crimes or
violation of the law of nations, shall be imprisoned not offenses shall be limited to those defined in Articles 54
more than three years, and fined not exceeding two to 70, Articles 72 to 92, and Articles 95 to 97 of
hundred pesos, in the discretion of the court, in Commonwealth Act No. 408, as amended.
addition to the penalties that may be imposed under
the Revised Penal Code. In imposing the penalty for such crimes or offenses,
the court-martial may take into consideration the
Section 7. The provisions of this Act shall be penalty prescribed thereforee in the Revised Penal
applicable only in case where the country of the Code, other special laws, or local government
diplomatic or consular representative adversely ordinances.
affected has provided for similar protection to duly
accredited diplomatic or consular representatives of Section 2. Subject to the provisions of Section 1
the Republic of the Philippines by prescribing like or hereof, all cases filed or pending for filing with court-
similar penalties for like or similar offenses herein martial or other similar bodies, except those where the
contained.itc-alf accused had already been arraigned, shall within thirty
(30) days following the effectivity of this Act transferred
Section 8. This Act shall take effect upon its approval. to the proper civil courts: provided, that the Chief of the
Armed Forces of the Philippines shall, upon petition
Approved: October 21, 1946 before commencement of trial and with the written
consent of the accused, order the transfer of such
excepted case or cases to the proper civil courts for
e. REP. ACT NO. 7055 Cf. PRES. DECREE No. 1850 trial and resolution.

RA 7055: Section 3. Presidential Decrees Nos. 1822, 1822-A,


1850 and 1952, and all acts, general orders, executive
June 20, 1991 orders, and other presidential issuances, rules and
regulations inconsistent with this Act are hereby
repealed or amended accordingly.
AN ACT STRENGTHENING CIVILIAN SUPREMACY
OVER THE MILITARY RETURNING TO THE CIVIL
Section 4. This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days
COURTS THE JURISDICTION OVER CERTAIN
OFFENSES INVOLVING MEMBERS OF THE following its publication in the Official Gazette or in at
ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES, OTHER least two (2) newspapers of general circulation.
PERSONS SUBJECT TO MILITARY LAW, AND THE
MEMBERS OF THE PHILIPPINE NATIONAL Approved: June 20, 1991.
POLICE, REPEALING FOR THE PURPOSE
CERTAIN PRESIDENTIAL DECREES PD 1850

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of PROVIDING FOR THE TRIAL BY COURTS-MARTIAL
Representatives of the Philippines in Congress OF MEMBERS OF THE INTEGRATED NATIONAL
assembled:: POLICE AND FURTHER DEFINING THE
JURISDICTION OF COURTS-MARTIAL OVER
Section 1. Members of the Armed Forces of the MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE
Philippines and other persons subject to military law, PHILIPPINES
including members of the citizens Armed Forces
Geographical Units, who commit crimes or offenses

Alex Austria | 2018 19


WHEREAS, under Section 12, Article XV of the SECTION 2. Segregation of Criminal Cases of Armed
Constitution, the State shall establish and maintain an Forces and Integrated National Police from Civilian Co-
integrated national police force whose organization, accused. – In cases where there are two or more
administration, and operation shall be provided by law; accused one or some of whom is or are civilian(s), the
case against the latter shall be segregated from
WHEREAS, under and pursuant to existing laws, the accused Armed Forces of Integrated National Police
various municipal/city police and fire departments and member, and filed with the appropriate civil court for
jails have been integrated into law-enforcement units trial in accordance with existing
under the operational control and organization set-up laws; Provided, however, that should such civilian
of the Philippine Constabulary; accused waive in writing civil court jurisdiction and
submit himself to court-martial jurisdiction, then the
WHEREAS, in the interest of discipline and public whole case involving members of the Armed Forces or
the Integrated National Police as well as the civilian(s)
service, it is desirable that members of the Integrated
shall be referred for trial to a court-martial.
National Police be subject to trial by courts-martial
under Commonwealth Act No. 408, as amended,
otherwise known as the “Articles of War for the Armed SECTION 3. Appointing Authorities. –
Forces of the Philippines,” for all crimes of offenses
which are heretofore cognizable by the civil courts; (a) Where uniformed member(s) of the Integrated
National Police are charged. – The President of the
WHEREAS, as a complementary measure, there is a Philippines and the Chief of Constabulary/Director
need to clarify existing provisions of law relating to General, Integrated National Police are hereby
jurisdiction of courts-martial and the empowered to appoint general, special and summary
Tanodbayan/Sandiganbayan and the regular civil courts-martial for the trial of uniformed members of the
courts over crimes and offenses committed by Integrated National Police. The Constabulary Regional
members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines; Commanders/Directors, Integrated National Police
may appoint special and summary courts-martial, and
NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E, MARCOS, when empowered by the President, they may also
President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers appoint general courts-martial. Other subordinate field
commanders of the Philippine Constabulary/Integrated
vested in me by the Constitution, do hereby order and
National Police may appoint summary courts-martial
decree:
when empowered by the President.
SECTION 1. Court-Martial Jurisdiction over Integrated
National Police and Members of the Armed Forces. – (b) Where military personnel and Integrated National
Police members are commonly charged. – The court-
Any provision of law to the contrary notwithstanding –
martial shall be appointed by the appointing authorities
(a) uniformed members of the Integrated National
specified in Articles 8, 9, 10 and 11 of Commonwealth
Police who commit any crime or offense cognizable by
the civil courts shall henceforth be exclusively tried by Act No. 408, as amended.
courts-martial pursuant to and in accordance with
Commonwealth Act No. 408, as amended, otherwise SECTION 4. Composition of Courts-Martial. –
known as the Articles of War; (b) all persons subject to Membership, whether military personnel or Integrated
military law under Article 2 of the aforecited Articles of National Police members, in a general or special court-
War who commit any crime or offense shall be martial for the trial of a member of the Integrated
exclusively tried by courts-martial or their case National Police shall be in a ratio as determined by the
disposed of under the said Articles of War; Provided, appointing authority; Provided, however, that the
that, in either of the aforementioned situations, the number of Integrated National Police personnel
case shall be disposed of or tried by the proper civil or detailed shall not be less than one-third of the total
judicial authorities when court-martial jurisdiction over membership of the court.
the offense has prescribed under Article 38 of
Commonwealth Act Numbered 408, as amended, or SECTION 5. Administrative Action. – Court-martial
court-martial jurisdiction over the person of the action against uniformed personnel of the Integrated
accused military or Integrated National Police National Police as herein provided shall not preclude
personnel can no longer be exercised by virtue of their the taking of administrative action against said
separation from the active service without jurisdiction personnel as may be warranted pursuant to the
having duly attached beforehand unless otherwise provisions of existing law.
provided by law.
SECTION 6. Transitory Provisions. – All cases pending
As used herein, the term uniformed members of the before the civil courts against military personnel in the
Integrated National Police shall refer to police officers, active service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines
policemen, firemen and jail guards. or against Integrated National Police personnel where,

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on the effective date of this Decree, the accused have  (i) United States v. Sweet, 1 Phil. 18 (1901)
been arraigned, shall continue to be tried and decided S: Sweet was employed by the United States military
by said civil courts. All other cases against such who committed an offense against a POW. His case is
personnel shall be tried by courts-martial or disposed filed with the CFI, who is given original jurisdiction in all
of pursuant to this Decree. criminal cases for which a penalty of more than 6
months is imposed. He is now contending that the
SECTION 7. Promulgation of Rules. – The Chief of courts are without jurisdiction because he was “acting
Staff, AFP shall formulate rules and regulations in the line of duty.”
necessary to carry out the provisions of this Decree,
which shall, upon recommendation of the Minister of ISSUES AND RATIO
National Defense, be subject to the approval of the 1. WON this case is within the jurisdiction of the
President. CFI.
Yes. By Act No. 136 of the US-Phil Commission, the
CFIs are given original jurisdiction in all criminal cases
SECTION 8. Appropriations. – The amount of two
in which a penalty more than 6 months imprisonment
million pesos (P2,000,000.00) is hereby authorized to
or a fine greater than $100 may be imposed.
be appropriated out of the funds in the National
Treasury not otherwise appropriated to carry out the Furthermore, CFIs have jurisdiction to try offenders
purpose of this Decree and, thereafter, such amounts charged with violation of the Penal Code within their
territorial limits, regardless of the military character of
as may be necessary for this purpose shall be included
the accused. The defendant and his acts are within the
in the annual appropriation of the Integrated National
jurisdiction of the CFI because he failed to prove that
Police.
he was indeed acting in the line of duty.
2. WON an assault committed by a soldier or
SECTION 9. Repealing Clause. – All laws, rules and military employee upon a prisoner of war is not an
regulations, or portions thereof, which are contrary to, offense under the penal code?
or inconsistent with, the provisions of this Decree, are Yes. Though assault by military officer against a POW
hereby repealed or modified accordingly. is not in the RPC, physical assault charges may be
pressed under the RPC.
SECTION 10. Effectivity. – This Decree shall take 3. Assuming that it is an offence under the penal
effect immediately. code, whether or not the military character
sustained by the person charged with the offence
Done in the City of Manila, this 4th day of October, the at the time of its commission exempts him from
year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and eighty-two. the ordinary jurisdiction of the civil tribunals?
No. The application of the general principle that the
f. CONST., art. VI, sec. 11 and art. XI, sec. 2 jurisdiction of the civil tribunals is unaffected by the
military or other special character brought before them
Art. VI, Sec. 11. A Senator or Member of the House for trial (R.A. No. 7055). Appellant claims that the act
of Representatives shall, in all offenses punishable by was servicebut this cannot affect the right of the Civil
not more than six years imprisonment, be privileged Court to takes jurisdiction of the case.”
from arrest while the Congress is in session. No Dispositive: Judgment affirmed.
Member shall be questioned nor be held liable in any “An offense charged against a military officer in
other place for any speech or debate in the Congress consequence of an act done in obedience to an order
or in any committee thereof. is clearly shown on the face, where such offense is
against the military law, is not within the jurisdiction of
Art. XI, Sec. 2. The President, the Vice-President, the courts of the Civil Government.” ––Per Cooper, J.,
the Members of the Supreme Court, the Members of concurring
the Constitutional Commissions, and the Ombudsman
may be removed from office, on impeachment for, and  (ii) Liang v. People, 323 SCRA 692 (2000)
conviction of, culpable violation of the Constitution,
treason, bribery, graft and corruption, other high SUMMARY: Liang accused his co-worker of theft and
crimes, or betrayal of public trust. All other public was charged with two counts of slander. The DFA sent
officers and employees may be removed from office as an “office of protocol” communication saying that Liang
provided by law, but not by impeachment. was covered by immunity under the Headquarters
Agreement between the ADB and the PH government.
g. Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations The MeTC judge dismissed the two charges, but the
(1961) and Vienna Convention on Consular RTC reversed the MeTC and ordered Liang’s arrest.
Relations (1963) Liang appeals to the SC for his acquittal but the SC
dismissed, saying that the DFA communication was
h. Cases: not binding regarding his immunity.

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DOCTRINE: Slandering a person could not possibly be domain, interior waters, maritime zone, and airspace of
covered by the Headquarters Agreement or even the the Philippines:
Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations because (2) to individual persons who, although physically
the commission of a crime is not part of official outside the territorial limits of the Philippines, commit,
functions which are covered by relative immunity. conspire or plot to commit any of the crimes defined
and punished in this Act inside the territorial limits of
Read also Annotation on “Various Categories of the Philippines;
Diplomatic Immunity from Local Jurisdiction” in (3) to individual persons who, although physically
323 SCRA 699-715 (2000) outside the territorial limits of the Philippines, commit
any of the said crimes on board Philippine ship or
 (iii) Schneckenburger v. Moran, 63 Phil. 249 Philippine airship;
(1936) (4) to individual persons who commit any of said
crimes within any embassy, consulate, or diplomatic
S: Petitioner was duly accredited honorary consul of premiscs belonging to or occupied by the Philippine
Uruguay at Manila. He was subsequently charged with government in an official capacity;
the crime of falsification of private documents. He (5) to individual persons who, although physically
questioned the jurisdiction of the court on the ground outside the territorial limits of the Philippines, commit
that both under the Constitution of the US and the said crimes against Philippine citizens or persons of
Constitution of the Philippines, the Court of First Philippine descent, where their citizenship or ethnicity
Instance (“CFI”) had no jurisdiction to try him. was a factor in the commission of the crime; and
(6) to individual persons who, although physically
D: A consul is not entitled to the privileges and outside the territorial limits of the Philippines, commit
immunities of an ambassador or minister, but is subject said crimes directly against the Philippine government.
to the laws and regulations of the country to which he
is accredited. A consul is not exempt from criminal e. REP. ACT NO. 10173 (Data Privacy Act of 2012),
prosecution for violations of the laws of the country to sec. 6: Extraterritorial Application. – This Act applies to
which he resides. an act done or practice engaged in and outside of the
Philippines by an entity if:
 (iv) Khosrow Minucher v. Court of Appeals, G.R. (a) The act, practice or processing relates to personal
No. 142396, 11 February 2003 information about a Philippine citizen or a resident;
(b) The entity has a link with the Philippines, and the
2. Territorial entity is processing personal information in the
Philippines or even if the processing is outside the
a. REV. PEN. CODE, art. 2. Laws shall take effect Philippines as long as it is about Philippine citizens or
after fifteen days following the completion of their residents such as, but not limited to, the following:
publication in the Official Gazette, unless it is otherwise (1) A contract is entered in the Philippines;
provided. This Code shall take effect one year after (2) A juridical entity unincorporated in the Philippines
such publication. but has central management and control in the
country; and
b. CONST. (1987), art. I National Territory. The (3) An entity that has a branch, agency, office or
national territory comprises the Philippine archipelago, subsidiary in the Philippines and the parent or affiliate
with all the islands and waters embraced therein, and of the Philippine entity has access to personal
all other territories over which the Philippines has information; and
sovereignty or jurisdiction, consisting of its terrestrial, (c) The entity has other links in the Philippines such as,
fluvial, and aerial domains, including its territorial sea, but not limited to:
the seabed, the subsoil, the insular shelves, and other (1) The entity carries on business in the Philippines;
submarine areas. The waters around, between, and and
connecting the islands of the archipelago, regardless (2) The personal information was collected or held by
of their breadth and dimensions, form part of the an entity in the Philippines.
internal waters of the Philippines.
f. United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea
c. Visiting Forces Agreement, art. V (UNCLOS), art. 2, 3, 27, 29-33, 46-49, 55

d. REP. ACT NO. 9372 (Human Security Act of UNCLOS Article 2: Legal status of the territorial
2007), sec. 58: Subject to the provision of an existing sea, of the air space over the territorial sea and of its
treaty of which the Philippines is a signatory and to any bed and subsoil 1. The sovereignty of a coastal State
contrary provision of any law of preferential application, extends, beyond its land territory and internal waters
the provisions of this Act shall apply: and, in the case of an archipelagic State, its
(1) to individual persons who commit any of the crimes archipelagic waters, to an adjacent belt of sea,
defined and punished in this Act within the terrestrial described as the territorial sea. 2. This sovereignty

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extends to the air space over the territorial sea as well external marks distinguishing such ships of its
as to its bed and subsoil. 3. The sovereignty over the nationality, under the command of an officer duly
territorial sea is exercised subject to this Convention commissioned by the government of the State and
and to other rules of international law. whose name appears in the appropriate service list or
its equivalent, and manned by a crew which is under
UNCLOS Article: 3 Breadth of the territorial sea regular armed forces discipline.
Every State has the right to establish the breadth of its
territorial sea up to a limit not exceeding 12 nautical UNCLOS Article 30 Non-compliance by warships
miles, measured from baselines determined in with the laws and regulations of the coastal State If any
accordance with this Convention. warship does not comply with the laws and regulations
of the coastal State concerning passage through the
UNCLOS Article 27: Criminal jurisdiction on board a territorial sea and disregards any request for
foreign ship compliance therewith which is made to it, the coastal
1. The criminal jurisdiction of the coastal State should State may require it to leave the territorial sea
not be exercised on board a foreign ship passing immediately.
through the territorial sea to arrest any person or to
conduct any investigation in connection with any crime UNCLOS Article 31 Responsibility of the flag State
committed on board the ship during its passage, save for damage caused by a warship or other government
only in the following cases: ship operated for non-commercial purposes The flag
(a) if the consequences of the crime extend to the State shall bear international responsibility for any loss
coastal State; or damage to the coastal State resulting from the non-
(b) if the crime is of a kind to disturb the peace of the compliance by a warship or other government ship
country or the good order of the territorial sea; (c) if the operated for non-commercial purposes with the laws
assistance of the local authorities has been requested and regulations of the coastal State concerning
by the master of the ship or by a diplomatic agent or passage through the territorial sea or with the
consular officer of the flag State; or provisions of this Convention or other rules of
(d) if such measures are necessary for the suppression international law.
of illicit traffic in narcotic drugs or psychotropic
substances. UNCLOS Article 32 Immunities of warships and
other government ships operated for non-commercial
2. The above provisions do not affect the right of the purposes With such exceptions as are contained in
coastal State to take any steps authorized by its laws subsection A and in articles 30 and 31, nothing in this
for the purpose of an arrest or investigation on board a Convention affects the immunities of warships and
foreign ship passing through the territorial sea after other government ships operated for non-commercial
leaving internal waters. purposes.
3. In the cases provided for in paragraphs 1 and 2, the
coastal State shall, if the master so requests, notify a UNCLOS Article 33 Contiguous zone -
diplomatic agent or consular officer of the flag State 1. In a zone contiguous to its territorial sea, described
before taking any steps, and shall facilitate contact as the contiguous zone, the coastal State may
between such agent or officer and the ship's crew. In exercise the control necessary to:
cases of emergency this notification may be (a) prevent infringement of its customs, fiscal,
communicated while the measures are being taken. immigration or sanitary laws and regulations within its
territory or territorial sea;
4. In considering whether or in what manner an arrest (b) punish infringement of the above laws and
should be made, the local authorities shall have due regulations committed within its territory or territorial
regard to the interests of navigation. sea.
2. The contiguous zone may not extend beyond 24
5. Except as provided in Part XII or with respect to nautical miles from the baselines from which the
violations of laws and regulations adopted in breadth of the territorial sea is measured.
accordance with Part V, the coastal State may not take
any steps on board a foreign ship passing through the UNCLOS Article 46 Use of terms For the purposes
territorial sea to arrest any person or to conduct any of this Convention:
investigation in connection with any crime committed (a) "archipelagic State" means a State constituted
before the ship entered the territorial sea, if the ship, wholly by one or more archipelagos and may include
proceeding from a foreign port, is only passing through other islands;
the territorial sea without entering internal waters. (b) "archipelago" means a group of islands, including
parts of islands, interconnecting waters and other
UNCLOS Article 29 Definition of warships For the natural features which are so closely interrelated that
purposes of this Convention, "warship" means a ship such islands, waters and other natural features form an
belonging to the armed forces of a State bearing the

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intrinsic geographical, economic and political entity, or measured from archipelagic baselines drawn in
which historically have been regarded as such. accordance with article 47.

UNCLOS Article 47 Archipelagic baselines UNCLOS Article 49 Legal status of archipelagic


1. An archipelagic State may draw straight archipelagic waters, of the air space over archipelagic waters and
baselines joining the outermost points of the outermost of their bed and subsoil
islands and drying reefs of the archipelago provided 1. The sovereignty of an archipelagic State extends to
that within such baselines are included the main the waters enclosed by the archipelagic baselines
islands and an area in which the ratio of the area of the drawn in accordance with article 47, described as
water to the area of the land, including atolls, is archipelagic waters, regardless of their depth or
between 1 to 1 and 9 to 1. distance from the coast.
2. The length of such baselines shall not exceed 100 2. This sovereignty extends to the air space over the
nautical miles, except that up to 3 per cent of the total archipelagic waters, as well as to their bed and subsoil,
number of baselines enclosing any archipelago may and the resources contained therein.
exceed that length, up to a maximum length of 125 3. This sovereignty is exercised subject to this Part.
nautical miles. 4. The regime of archipelagic sea lanes passage
3. The drawing of such baselines shall not depart to established in this Part shall not in other respects
any appreciable extent from the general configuration affect the status of the archipelagic waters, including
of the archipelago. the sea lanes, or the exercise by the archipelagic State
4. Such baselines shall not be drawn to and from low- of its sovereignty over such waters and their air space,
tide elevations, unless lighthouses or similar bed and subsoil, and the resources contained therein.
installations which are permanently above sea level
have been built on them or where a low-tide elevation UNCLOS Article 55 Specific legal regime of the
is situated wholly or partly at a distance not exceeding exclusive economic zone The exclusive economic
the breadth of the territorial sea from the nearest zone is an area beyond and adjacent to the territorial
island. sea, subject to the specific legal regime established in
5. The system of such baselines shall not be applied this Part, under which the rights and jurisdiction of the
by an archipelagic State in such a manner as to cut off coastal State and the rights and freedoms of other
from the high seas or the exclusive economic zone the States are governed by the relevant provisions of this
territorial sea of another State. Convention.
6. If a part of the archipelagic waters of an archipelagic
State lies between two parts of an immediately g. Cases:
adjacent neighbouring State, existing rights and all
other legitimate interests which the latter State has  (i) Miquiabas v. Commanding General, 80 Phil.
traditionally exercised in such waters and all rights 262 (1948)
stipulated by agreement between those States shall
continue and be respected.  (ii) United States v. Bull, 15 Phil. 7 (1910)
7. For the purpose of computing the ratio of water to
land under paragraph l, land areas may include waters  (iii) United States v. Look Chaw, 18 Phil. 573
lying within the fringing reefs of islands and atolls, (1910)
including that part of a steep-sided oceanic plateau
which is enclosed or nearly enclosed by a chain of  (iv) United States v. Ah Sing, 36 Phil. 978 (1917)
limestone islands and drying reefs lying on the
perimeter of the plateau.  (v) People v. Wong Cheng, 46 Phil. 729 (1922)
8. The baselines drawn in accordance with this article
shall be shown on charts of a scale or scales adequate  (vi) People v. Lo-lo & Saraw, 43 Phil. 19 (1922)
for ascertaining their position. Alternatively, lists of
geographical coordinates of points, specifying the 3. Prospective
geodetic datum, may be substituted.
9. The archipelagic State shall give due publicity to a. REV. PEN. CODE, arts. 1, 21, 22
such charts or lists of geographical coordinates and
shall deposit a copy of each such chart or list with the  RPC 1. Time when Act takes effect. - This Code
Secretary-General of the United Nations shall take effect on the first day of January, nineteen
hundred and thirty-two.
UNCLOS Article 48 Measurement of the breadth of
the territorial sea, the contiguous zone, the exclusive  RPC 21. Penalties that may be imposed. — No
economic zone and the continental shelf The breadth felony shall be punishable by any penalty not
of the territorial sea, the contiguous zone, the exclusive prescribed by law prior to its commission.
economic zone and the continental shelf shall be

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 RPC 22. Retroactive effect of penal laws. — Penal publication of such laws a final sentence has been
Laws shall have a retroactive effect insofar as they pronounced and the convict is serving the same.
favor the persons guilty of a felony, who is not a
habitual criminal, as this term is defined in Rule 5 of 4. Prescribed, but undeserved, penalties
Article 62 of this Code, although at the time of the
publication of such laws a final sentence has been REV. PEN. CODE, art. 5, 2nd par.
pronounced and the convict is serving the same.
Article 5. Duty of the court in connection with acts
b. CIV. CODE, art. 4. Laws shall have no retroactive which should be repressed but which are not
effect, unless the contrary is provided. covered by the law, and in cases of excessive
penalties. - Whenever a court has knowledge of any
c. Cases:
act which it may deem proper to repress and which
is not punishable by law, it shall render the proper
 (i) People v. Ringor, 320 SCRA 342 (1999)
decision, and shall report to the Chief Executive,
 (ii) In Re: Kay Villegas Kami, Inc., supra through the Department of Justice, the reasons
which induce the court to believe that said act
 (iii) Gumabon v. Director of Prisons, 37 SCRA should be made the subject of legislation.
420 (1971)
In the same way, the court shall submit to the Chief
 (iv) People v. Pimentel, 288 SCRA 542 (1998) Executive, through the Department of Justice, such
statement as may be deemed proper, without
E. Construction/Interpretation of Penal Laws suspending the execution of the sentence, when a
strict enforcement of the provisions of this Code
1. Strict construction against the State and liberally would result in the imposition of a clearly excessive
in favor of the accused penalty, taking into consideration the degree of
malice and the injury caused by the offense.
CONST. (1987), art. III, sec. 14(2)
5. Effects of repeal/amendment of penal law
(2) In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall be
presumed innocent until the contrary is proved, and
a. Tuates v. Bersamin, G.R. No. 138962, 4 October
shall enjoy the right to be heard by himself and
2002
counsel, to be informed of the nature and cause of the
accusation against him, to have a speedy, impartial,
b. Benedicto v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 125359,
and public trial, to meet the witnesses face to face, and
4 September 2001
to have compulsory process to secure the attendance
of witnesses and the production of evidence in his
c. People v. Garcia, supra
behalf. However, after arraignment, trial may proceed
notwithstanding the absence of the accused provided
that he has been duly notified and his failure to appear
is unjustifiable.

 People v. Garcia, 85 Phil. 651 (1950)

2. Spanish text of the Revised Penal Code prevails


over its English transaction

 People v. Manaba, 58 Phil. 665 (1933)

3. Retroactive application if favorable to the


accused

REV. PEN. CODE, art. 22

Article 22. Retroactive effect of penal laws. - Penal


Laws shall have a retroactive effect insofar as they
favor the persons guilty of a felony, who is not a
habitual criminal, as this term is defined in Rule 5 of
Article 62 of this Code, although at the time of the

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