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Republic vs. Sandiganbayan 4.

On Aug 1 1987, the PCGG filed a petition for forfeiture under RA 1379
G.R. No. 104768 | July 21, 2003 | J. Carpio against Ramas, which the SolGen amended to include Dimaano as co-
respondent. Ramas denied he owned the house/lot in Cebu worth P700k,
Nature: Petition for review on certiorari of the resolutions of the Sandiganbayan. and that his house in La Vista was proportional to his income.
5. On March 3, 1986, The Philippine Constabulary (PC) served at Dimaano’s
SUMMARY: Five days after the People Power Revolution, a warrant for the residence a search warrant captioned “Illegal Possession of Firearms and
seizure of illegal firearms from the home of Elizabeth Dimaano, mistress of an Ammunition.”
AFP General, was issued. The PC seized, aside from a paltry number of firearms, 6. The PC also confiscated military equipment, money amounting to
jewelry, land titles, and cash. The PCGG began investigations on the general for P2,870,000.00 and $50,000 US Dollar, land titles, and jewelry in addition to
graft and corruption charges. Over the course of the investigation, the PCGG was the contents of the warrant.
unable to find evidence, and the Sandiganbayan acquitted the defendants on for 7. It was found that Elizabeth Dimaano, a secretary, could not have legally
lack of evidence, and the inadmissibility of evidence obtained via illegal search afforded the goods confiscated. She was found to be the mistress of Major
and seizure leading to the current motion. General Josephus Ramas.
DOCTRINE: During the interregnum, the directives and orders of the 8. During the court proceedings in the Sandiganbayan, the petitioners (PCGG)
revolutionary government were the supreme law because no constitution limited could not get enough evidence for a conviction and so moved for
the extent and scope of such directives and orders. With the abrogation of the postponement several times.
1973 Constitution by the successful revolution, there was no municipal law 9. The Sandiganbayan got fed up, new evidence was never presented and
higher than the directives and orders of the revolutionary government. Thus, warned they would take drastic action if this kept continuing. Ramas filed a
during the interregnum, a person could not invoke any exclusionary right under motion to dismiss based on the ruling of Republic v Migrino, which showed
a Bill of Rights because there was neither a constitution nor a Bill of Rights that the PCGG does not have jurisdiction to investigate military officers just
during the interregnum. because they held a military position without showing they are
“subordinates” of former Pres Marcos.
FACTS: 10. The Sandiganbayan acquitted the defendants, based on the ruling, the lack of
evidence, and the inadmissibility of evidence obtained via illegal search and
1. Upon assuming office after the success of EDSA Revolution, President seizure leading to the current motion.
Corazon Aquino issued Executive Order No. 1, creating the Presidential
Commission on Good Governance (PCGG). Under EO No. 1, the PCGG is ISSUES/RATIO:
tasked to recover all ill-gotten wealth of Ferdinand Marcos and his family
and associates. EO No. 1 vests on PCGG the following powers: 1. W/N the Bill of Rights of the 1973 Constitution was active during the
a. Conduct investigation as may be necessary to accomplish and carry interregnum after the People Power Revolution? – NO
out the purposes of this order
b. Promulgate rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry out No. The Bill of Rights was not active during the interregnum, the 1973
the purpose of this order Constitution having been discarded by the Revolutionary Government. During
2. PCGG Chairman Jovito R. Salonga created an AFP Anti-Graft Board to the interregnum (after the effective takeover of power by the revolutionary gov’t
investigate the unexplained wealth and corrupt practices of AFP personnel. up to Mar 24 1986, the adoption of the Provisional Constitution) the 1973
One such report was the alleged unexplained wealth and corrupt practices of Constitution was not in force and the revolutionary gov’t was not bound by the
Major General Josephus Ramas. Bill of Rights. In fact, if the Bill was operative, it would render all sequestration
3. The Board recommended Ramas’ prosecution for violating RA 3019 (Anti- orders issued by the PCGG as void.
Graft & Corrupt Practices Act) & RA 1379 (The Act of Forfeiture of
Unlawfully Acquired Property), with the following pieces of evidence: However, the protection accorded to individuals under the Covenant and the
a. That he owned a house and lot in Cebu City worth Php700k. Declaration remained in effect during the interregnum. During the interregnum,
b. That his mistress, Dimaano, had equipment and communication the directives and orders of the revolutionary government were the supreme law
facilities in her house from the military because no constitution limited the extent and scope of such directives and
c. That his mistress had Php2.8m and $50k worth of cash in her house, orders. With the abrogation of the 1973 Constitution by the successful revolution,
when she was unemployed there was no municipal law higher than the directives and orders of the
revolutionary government. Thus, during the interregnum, a person could not
invoke any exclusionary right under a Bill of Rights because there was neither a He goes on to explain the history of the natural right, how its name changed over
constitution nor a Bill of Rights during the interregnum. the years from natural to human, and how it is fundamental to our constitutional
theory: “at the core of constitutionalism is a strong concern for individual right”.
It was only upon the adoption of the Provisional Constitution on 25 March 1986 He notes that “the Filipinos are a freedom-loving race with high regard for their
that the directives and orders of the revolutionary government became subject to fundamental and natural rights.”
a higher municipal law that, if contravened, rendered such directives and orders
void. The Provisional Constitution adopted verbatim the Bill of Rights of the He then explains the history of the right against unreasonable search and seizure;
1973 Constitution. The Provisional Constitution served as a self-limitation by the how it helped spark the American Revolution, its implementation as the Fourth
revolutionary government to avoid abuses of the absolute powers entrusted to it Amendment of the American Constitution, and its adaptation to a Filipino mind
by the people. set in the Jones Law and our own Constitutions.

2. W/N the protection accorded to individuals under the International The right against unreasonable search and seizure is a part of the rights to “Life,
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (“Covenant”) and the Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” mentioned in the American Declaration
Universal Declaration of Human Rights (“Declaration”) remained in of Independence as an inherent facet of liberty. These rights are the inherent, core
effect during the interregnum? –YES rights that make up the American, and thus Filipino, Bill of Rights, and as such
are ingrained in the fabric of Filipino society.
Yes. The State assumed responsibility for the compliance of the Covenant
(ICCPR) which still outlawed illegal search and seizure. Further, the PCGG had Finally, Justice Puno closes with the statement that under Proclamation No. 1 by
no jurisdiction to investigate the case under E.O. 1 which established it. the Aquino government, the goal of the revolution was “to do justice to the
Protection accorded to individuals according to the International Covenant on numerous victims of human rights violations” which amounted to a positive law
Civil and Political Rights & the Universal Declaration of Human Rights were declaration guaranteeing natural rights, but that even without it, Miss Dimaano
still in effect. can always invoke her natural right against unreasonable search and seizure as a
fundamental and natural right that is not granted by a piece of paper but by her
a. As the de jure Gov’t, the Revolutionary Gov’t assumed the existence as a human being. Thus, the right against illegal search and seizures
responsibility of maintaining the state’s good faith to comply with still operates by virtue of natural law, meaning it is inherent by virtue of human
the Covenant which the Philippines is signatory to. nature.
b. Art 2(1) of the Covenant binds requires each signatory State “to
respect and ensure to all individuals within its territory and subject
Vitug, J. (Separate, Concurring)
to its jurisdiction the rights recognized in the present Covenant”.
Agrees except believes the Bill of Rights to be in effect during the interregnum
RULING: Petition is dismissed and the case is remanded to the Ombudsman for not only because it was recognized by the 1986 Revolution but also because the
appropriate action. new gov’t was bound by int’l law and therefore obligated to respect the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Also, Pres Aquino proclaimed:
SEPARATE OPINIONS: “President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by the
Puno, J. (Concurring) constitution…” in her early proclamations refer thusly to the 1973 Constitution.
Justice Puno’s dissent does not stem from the ineffectivity of the Bill of Rights,
but from the holding that without it, the people are without their rights. He Under Proclamations 2 and 3, the new government has acknowledged the
argues that as human beings, we are gifted with certain natural inalienable continued effectivity of certain portions of the 1973 constitution. Specifically,
rights; the constitution guarantees and protects these rights, but it does not create Proclamation 3 expressly mentions Article IV (The Bill of Rights) as in full force
them. This is inherent in the concept of a government deriving its power from the and effect during the interregnum. The UN ICCPR was also in effect at the time,
will of the people: the central purpose of a government is to protect and preserve similarly stated in the main opinion.
the individual’s natural rights. When a government violates the rights it was
established to protect, it gives up any authority to be obeyed by its constituents.
Tinga, J. (Separate opinion)
Justice Tinga clarifies that the majority opinion subscribes to positivist theory, International Convenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) Article 17
while Justice Puno subscribes to natural law doctrine. He states that these two 1. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his
theories are not at odds with each other in the case at bar, and that they are privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his honour
united in the Freedom Constitution, which he believes is the basis for the and reputation.
dismissal of the evidence obtained via illegal search and seizure. 2. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or
attacks.
The 1973 Constitution and therefore the Bill of Rights are supposed to be given
retroactive application given the 1986 Freedom Constitution’s unmistakable Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution
thrust to bestow an uninterrupted operability of the Bill of Rights in the 1973 The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects,
Constitution. against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no
Even if it is supposed that the Freedom Constitution had no retroactive effect or warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation,
it did not extend the effectivity of the Bill of Rights in the 1973 Constitution, still and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to
there would be no void in the municipal or domestic law at the time as far as the be seized.
observance of fundamental rights is concerned. The Bill of Rights in the 1973
Constitution would still be in force, independently of the Freedom Constitution, Proclamation 3 (Provisional Constitution), Section 1 (eff. March 25, 1986)
or at least the provisions thereof proscribing unreasonable search and seizure The provisions of ARTICLE I (National Territory), ARTICLE III (Citizenship),
and excluding evidence in violation of the proscription. ARTICLE IV (Bill of Rights), ARTICLE V (Duties and Obligations of Citizens),
and ARTICLE VI (Suffrage) of the 1973 Constitution, as amended, remain in the
NOTES: force and effect and are hereby adopted in toto as part of this Provisional
Constitution.
Interregnum – a period when normal government is suspended, especially
between successive reigns or regimes 1973 Constitution, Article IV, Section 3
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects
In this case Interregnum [one month interregnum between February 26 and against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any
March 24, 1986] - is, after the actual and effective takeover of power by the purpose shall not be violated, and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall
revolutionary government following the cessation of resistance by loyalist forces issue except upon probable cause to be determined by the judge, or such other
up to 24 March 1986 (immediately before the adoption of the Freedom responsible officer as may be authorized by law, after examination under oath or
Constitution) affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and
particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be
Republic vs Migrino 189 SCRA 289 seized.
Under Migrino, the Supreme Court held that the PCGG does not have
jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute military officers by reason of mere 1987 Constitution Article III Section 2
position without showing that they are subordinates of President Marcos. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects
against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any
Related Provisions: purpose shall be inviolable, and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue
Executive Order 1, Section 2 except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after
The Commission shall be charged with the task of assisting the President in examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he
regard to the following matters: may produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the
a) The recovery of all ill-gotten wealth accumulated by the former President persons or things to be seized.
Ferdinand E. Marcos, his immediate family, relatives, subordinates and close
associates Proclamation 1
xxx ...
b) The investigation ... as the President may assign to the Commission from time I pledge to do justice to the numerous victims of human rights violations.
to time. xxx ...
Proclamation 2
... by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Constitution and the Filipino
people ...