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MOTION TO QUASH COME NOW DEFENDANTS, by counsel and unto this Honorable Court, most respect ully mo!

e to "uash the in ormation iled a#ainst the de endants on the #round o lac$ o %urisdiction o!er the sub%ect matter& ARGUMENTS De endants are indicted or committin# the crime o 'Unjust Vexation' that is punished under the Article ()*, +ara#raph ( o the ,e!ised +enal Code- Said pro!ision states that. 'Any other coercions or unjust vexations shall be punished by arresto menor or a ine ran#in# rom / pesos to (00 pesos, or both&' 1emphasis ours2 DEFENDANTS, HOWEVER, MOST RESPE TFU!!" SU#MIT THAT THIS HONORA#!E OURT !A $S %URISDI TION OVER THE

SU#%E T MATTER OF THE OFFENSE FOR THE REASON THAT ARTI !E &'(, PARAGRAPH & OF THE REVISED PENA! ODE THAT PUNISHES )UN%UST VE*ATIONS) ANNOT #E A #ASIS OF AN"

RIMINA! PROSE UTION FOR #EING NU!! AND VOID AND PATENT!" UN ONSTITUTIONA! ON ITS FA E #E AUSE OF THE FO!!OWING REASONS+ A, SAID PENA! PROVISION ONDEMNS NO SPE IFI OR DEFINITE A T OR OMISSION THUS FAI!ING TO DEFINE AN" RIME OR FE!ON"#, SAID PENA! PROVISION IS SO INDEFINITE, VAGUE AND OVER#ROAD AS NOT TO

ENA#!E IT TO #E $NOWN WHAT A T IS FOR#IDDEN, SU H VAGUENESS AND OVER#READTH RESU!T TO VIO!ATION OF THE DUE PRO ESS !AUSE AND THE RIGHT TO #E INFORMED OF THE NATURE OF THE OFFENSE HARGEDD, SU H VAGUENESS AND OVER#READTH !I$EWISE AMOUNT TO AN INVA!ID DE!EGATION #" ONGRESS OF !EGIS!ATIVE POWER TO THE OURTS TO DETERMINE WHAT A TS SHOU!D #E HE!D TO #E RIMINA! AND PUNISHA#!E. A RIMINA! OR PENA! !EGIS!ATION MUST !EAR!" DEFINE OR SPE IF" THE PARTI U!AR A T OR A TS PUNISHED 3t is a 4ell5established doctrine that a criminal or penal le#islation must clearly de ine or speci y the particular acts or omissions punished& As early as 6768, in the case o 9N3TED STATES :S& ;9;3N<, => +hil& *(/, our Honorable

Supreme Court had the occasion to hold that. '3n some o the States, as 4ell as in En#land, there e?ist 4hat are $no4n as common la4 o enses& In t/e P/i0i11ine Is0an2s no a3t is a 34i5e un0ess it is 5a2e so 67 statute& The state ha!in# the ri#ht to declare 4hat acts are criminal, 4ithin certain 4ell de ined limitations, has a ri#ht to speci y 4hat act or acts shall constitute a crime, as 4ell as 4hat act or acts shall constitute a crime, as 4ell as 4hat proo shall constitute prima acie e!idence o #uilt, and then to put upon the de endant the burden o sho4in# that such act or acts are innocent and are not committed 4ith any criminal intent or intention&' 1emphasis and underscorin# ours, cited in the airly recent case o Di@on5 +amintuan !& +eople o the +hilippines, <&,& No& 666>(8, Auly 66, 677>2 1emphasis and underscorin# ours2 T4o years later, this 4as ollo4ed by a scholarly e?position by Austice Aohnson in

the case o 3n re. ,& MCC9;;OCH D3CB, =) +hil& >6, April 68, 676), 4here he stated that. '? ? ? 3n the +hilippine 3slands no act is a crime unless it is made so by la4& T/e 0a8 5ust s1e3i97 t/e 1a4ti3u0a4 a3t o4 a3ts 3onstitutin: t/e 34i5e& 3 that 4ere not so, the inhabitants could not $no4 4hen they 4ould be liable to be arrested, tried and punished& Other4ise the mandatory pro!isions o the la4, that all criminal la4s shall be prescribed, 4ould pro!e to be a pit all and a snare& The inhabitants o the +hilippine 3slands, 4hether citi@ens, deni@ens or riendly aliens, ha!e a ri#ht to $no4, in ad!ance o arrest, trial and punishment, the particular acts or 4hich they may be so tried& They cannot be arrested and tried, and then be in ormed or the irst time that their acts ha!e been subse"uently made a crime, and be punished there or& ? ? ?' 1emphasis and underscorin# ours2 Austice 1later Chie Austice2 Fernando in his concurrin# opinion in the case o +EO+;E !& CAC9,A;, <&,& No& ;5=>60/, February >, 67)=, also made a similar obser!ation, statin# that. 'The ma?im Nullum crimen nulla poena sine lege has its roots in history& 3t is in accordance 4ith both centuries o ci!il la4 and common la4 tradition& Moreo!er, it is an indispensable corollary to a re#ime o liberty enshrined in our Constitution& 3t is o the essence then that 4hile anti5 social acts should be penali@ed, t/e4e 5ust 6e a 30ea4 2e9inition o9 t/e 1unis/a60e o99ense as 4ell as the penalty that may be imposed 5 a penalty, to repeat, that can be i?ed by the le#islati!e body, and the le#islati!e body alone& So constitutionalism mandates, 4ith its stress on %urisdictio rather than #u!ernaculum& The %udiciary as the dispenser o %ustice throu#h la4 must be a4are o the limitation on its o4n po4er&' 1emphasis and underscorin# ours2 The rationale o said doctrine that a criminal or penal le#islation must clearly de ine or speci y the particular act or acts punished is ably e?plained by the 9nited

Stated Supreme Court in the case o ;ANDETTA !& STATE OF NEW AE,SEE, =08 9&S& >/6, 4here it held that. '? ? ? 3t is the statute, not the accusation under it, that prescribes the rule to #o!ern conduct and 4arns a#ainst trans#ression& ? ? ? No one may be re"uired at peril o li e, liberty or property to speculate as to the meanin# o penal statutes& A00 a4e entit0e2 to 6e in9o45e2 as to 8/at t/e State 3o55an2s o4 9o46i2s. ? ? ?' 1emphasis and underscorin# ours2 ARTI !E &'(, PAR. & OF THE REVISED PENA! ODE ONDEMNS NO SPE IFI A T OR OMISSION; THEREFORE, IT DOES NOT DEFINE AN" RIME OR FE!ON" +ara#raph ( o Article ()* o the ,e!ised +enal Code does not de ine, much less speci y, the acts constitutin# or deemed included in the term 'unjust vexations' resultin# to ma$in# the said pro!ision a sort o a '3at3/<a00' pro!ision patently o ensi!e to the due process clauseThe ri#ht to de ine and punish crimes is an attribute o so!erei#nty& Each State has the authority, under its police po4er, to de ine and punish crimes and to lay do4n the rules o criminal procedure& +ursuant to this po4er to de ine and punish crimes, the State may not punish an act as a crime unless it is irst de ined in a criminal statute so that the people 4ill be ore4arned as to 4hat act is punishable or not& T/e 1eo10e 3annot 6e 0e9t :uessin: at t/e 5eanin: o9 34i5ina0 statutesMoreo!er, Article = o the ,e!ised +enal Code de ines FE;ON3ES 1delitos2 as 'a3ts

o4 o5issions' punishable by la4& Article ()*, +ar& ( o the ,e!ised +enal Code condemns no speci ic act or omissionF THE,EFO,E, 3T DOES NOT DEF3NE ANE C,3ME O, FE;ONEF +hilippine Aurisprudence is replete 4ith e?amples that 4ould readily sho4 that Art& ()*, +ar& ( o the ,e!ised +enal Code has not been used to prosecute a 4ell5 de ined or speci ic criminal act& 3nstead, it 4as used as a 'catch5all' pro!ision to prosecute acts 4hich are not e?pressly made criminal by any other pro!ision o the ,e!ised +enal Code& T/is is anat/e5a to 34i5ina0 2ue 14o3ess t/at 4e=ui4es noti3e o9 8/at s1e3i9i3 a3t o4 o5ission is 1unis/e2 67 0a8 An e?amination o the annals o our %urisprudence 4ould li$e4ise sho4 that Art& ()*, par& ( o the ,e!ised +enal Code has not been used to punish a speci ic act. a2 3n +eople !& ,eyes, 80 +hil& =87, Au#ust (=, 67=>, accused 4ere ound #uilty o unjust vexation by their act o disturbin# or interruptin# a ceremony o a reli#ious characterb2 3n ;ino !& Fu#oso, ** +hil& 7)=, Aanuary =0, 67>*, it 4as used to prosecute the accused o unjust vexation committed by stoppin# the %eep dri!en by the complainant in a threatenin# attitude and 4ithout any %ust cause there or and tellin# him to stop dri!in# or the City o Manila 4hile the stri$e o city laborers 4as still #oin# onc2 3n +eople !& ,eyes, 7) +hil& 8>8, March (=, 67/8, it 4as held that the act o sei@in#, ta$in# and holdin# possession o passen#er %eep belon#in# to complainant, 4ithout the $no4led#e and consent o the latter, or the purpose o ans4erin# or the debt o the said o4ner,

constitutes unjust vexationd2 3n +eople !& Ean#a, 600 +hil& =)/, No!ember (), 67/8, accused 4as con!icted o unjust vexation or the act o compellin# the complainant to do somethin# a#ainst his 4ill, by holdin# the latter around the nec$ and dra##in# him rom the latterGs residence to the police outposte2 3n +eople !& Abuy, <&,& No& ;56*868, May =0, 678(, the accused 4as prosecuted or unjust vexation or the act o embracin# and ta$in# hold o the 4rist o the complainant2 3n +eople !& Carreon, <&,& No& ;56*7(0, May =0, 678(, accused 4as con!icted o unjust vexation by the act o threatenin# the complainant by holdin# and pushin# his shoulder and utterin# to the latter in a threatenin# tone the ollo4in# 4ords. 'What inspection did you ma$e to my sister in the mountain 4hen you are not connected 4ith the Cureau o EducationH'#2 3n +eople !& <ilo, <&,& No& ;56)(0(, April =0, 678>, the Court held that the absence o an alle#ation o 'le4d desi#n' in a complaint or acts o lasci!iousness con!erts the act into unjust vexationh2 3n Andal !& +eople o the +hilippines, <&,& No& ;5(7)6>, March (), 6787, accused 4ere ound #uilty o unjust vexation under an in ormation char#in# them 4ith the o ense o o endin# reli#ious eelin#s, by the per ormance o acts notoriously o ensi!e to the eelin#s o the aith uli2 3n +eople !& Mara!illa, <&,& No& ;5>*8>8, September 67, 67)), a accused 4as con!icted o unjust vexation or the act o #rabbin# the le t breast o the complainant a#ainst her 4ill- and

%2 ,ecently in B4an !& Court o Appeals, <&,& No& 66=008, No!ember (=, (000, the act o abruptly cuttin# o the electric, 4ater pipe and telephone lines o a business establishment causin# interruption o its business operations durin# pea$ hours 4as held as unjust vexationFrom the abo!e5cited cases, it clearly appears that Art& ()*, par& ( o the ,e!ised +enal Code does not punish a speci ic act& 3nstead, any and all $ind o acts that are not speci ically co!ered by any other pro!ision o the ,e!ised +enal Code and 4hich may cause annoyance, irritation, vexation, torment, distress or disturbance to the mind o the person to 4hom it is directed may be punished as unjust vexationART. &'(, PAR. & OF THE REVISED PENA! ODE SUFFERS FROM A ONGENITA! DEFE T OF VAGUENESS AND MUST #E STRI $EN DOWN The term 'unjust vexation' is a hi#hly imprecise and relati!e term that has no common la4 meanin# or settled de inition by prior %udicial or administrati!e precedents- Thus, or its !a#ueness and o!erbreadth, said pro!ision !iolates due process in that it does not #i!e air 4arnin# or su icient notice o 4hat it see$s to penali@eThis $ind o challen#e to the constitutionality o a penal statute on #round o !a#ueness and o!erbreadth is not entirely no!el in our %urisdiction& 3n an en banc decision in the case o <ONDA;ES !& COME;EC, <&,& No& ;5(*)==, April 6), 6787, re. Constitutionality o ,epublic Act No& >))0, our Honorable Supreme

Court had the occasion to rule that the terms 'election campai#n' and 'partisan political acti!ity' 4hich are punished in said ,&A& >))0 4ould ha!e been !oid or their !a#ueness 4ere it not or the e?press enumeration o the acts deemed included in the said terms& The Supreme Court held. 'The limitation on the period o 'election campai#n' or 'partisan political acti!ity' calls or a more intensi!e scrutiny& Accordin# to ,epublic Act No& >))0. '3t is unla4 ul or any person 4hether or not a !oter or candidate, or or any #roup or association o persons, 4hether or not a political party or political committee, to en#a#e in an election campai#n or partisan political acti!ity e?cept durin# the period o one hundred t4enty days immediately precedin# an election in!ol!in# a public o ice !oted or at lar#e and ninety days immediately precedin# an election or any other electi!e public o ice& The term GcandidateG re ers to any person aspirin# or or see$in# an electi!e public o ice re#ardless o 4hether or not said person has already iled his certi icate o candidacy or has been nominated by any political party as its candidate& The term Gelection campai#nG o Gpartisan political acti!ityG re ers to acts desi#ned to ha!e a candidate elected or not or promote the candidacy o a person or persons to a public o ice & & &' 'I9 t/at is a00 t/e4e is to t/at 14ovision, it su99e4s 94o5 t/e 9ata0 3onstitutiona0 in9i45it7 o9 va:ueness an2 5a7 6e st4i3>en 2o8n& ? ? ?' ??? ??? ???

'There are still constitutional "uestions o a serious character then to be aced& The practices 4hich the act identi ies 4ith 'election campai#n' or 'partisan political acti!ity' must be such that they are ree rom the taint o bein# !iolati!e o ree speech, ree press, reedom o assembly, and reedom o association& What remo!es the stin# rom constitutional ob%ection o !a#ueness is the enumeration o the acts deemed included in the terms 'election campai#n' or 'partisan political acti!ity&' 1emphasis and underscorin# ours2 Article ()*, par& ( o the ,e!ised +enal Code punishes ' unjust vexations' and that

is all there is to itF As such, applyin# the incontestable lo#ic o the Supreme Court in said case o <ONDA;ES !& COME;EC 4ould lead us to the inescapable conclusion that said penal pro!ision su ers constitutional in irmity o !a#ueness and must be stric$en do4n3n the case o CONNA;;E :& <ENE,A; CONST,9CT3ON CO&, (87 9&S& =)/, cited by our o4n Supreme Court en banc in the case o Ermita5Malate Hotel and Motel Operators Assn&, 3nc& !& City Mayor o Manila, <&,& No& ;5(>87=, Auly =6, 678*2, the 9nited States Supreme Court ruled. 'That the terms o a penal statute creatin# a ne4 o ense must be su iciently e?plicit to in orm those 4ho are sub%ect to it 4hat conduct on their part 4ill render them liable to its penalties is a 4ell5reco#ni@ed re"uirement, consonant ali$e 4ith ordinary notions o air play and the settled rules o la4- and a statute 8/i3/ eit/e4 9o46i2s o4 4e=ui4es t/e 2oin: o9 an a3t in te45s so va:ue t/at 5en o9 3o55on inte00i:en3e 5ust ne3essa4i07 :uess at its 5eanin: an2 2i99e4 as to its a110i3ation vio0ates t/e 9i4st essentia0 o9 2ue 14o3ess o9 0a8&' 1emphasis and underscorin# ours2 3n act, it is 4orst in the case o the (nd +ara#raph o Article ()* o the ,e!ised +enal Code because it punishes 'unjust vexations' 4ithout e!en de inin# or enumeratin# the acts constitutin# the said crime thus lea!in# men o common intelli#ence necessarily #uessin# at its meanin# and di erin# as to its application in complete disre#ard o constitutional due processOur Supreme Court in the case o 9&S& !& NA< TAN< HO, >= +hil& 6, held that one cannot be con!icted o a !iolation o a la4 that ails to set up an ascertainable standard o #uilt& Said rulin# cites the landmar$ case o 9&S& !& ;& COHEN rom the atal

<,OCE,E CO&, (// 9&S& )6, 4here the 9nited States Supreme Court in stri$in# do4n Section > o the Federal Food Control Act o Au#ust 60, 676*, as amended, as unconstitutional, stated that. 'The sole remainin# in"uiry, there ore, is the certainty or uncertainty o the te?t in "uestion, that is, 4hether the 4ords Gthat it is hereby made unla4 ul or any person 4ill ully &&& to ma$e any unjust or unreasonable rate or char#e in handlin# or dealin# in or 4ith any necessaries,G constituted a i?in# by Con#ress o an ascertainable standard o #uilt and are ade"uate to in orm persons accused o !iolation thereo o the nature and cause o the accusation a#ainst them& That they are not, 4e are o opinion, so clearly results rom their mere statement as to render elaboration on the sub%ect 4holly unnecessary& O#SERVE THAT THE SE TION FOR#IDS NO SPE IFI OR DEFINITE A T& 3t con ines the sub%ect matter o the in!esti#ation 4hich it authori@es to no element essentially inherin# in the transaction as to 4hich it pro!ides& 3t lea!es open, there ore, the 4idest concei!able in"uiry, the scope o 4hich no one can oresee and the result o 4hich no one can oreshado4 or ade"uately #uard a#ainst& 3n act, 4e see no reason to doubt the soundness o the obser!ation o the court belo4 in its opinion to the e ect that, to atte51t to en9o43e t/e se3tion 8ou02 6e t/e exa3t e=uiva0ent o9 an e99o4t to 3a447 out a statute 8/i3/ in te45s 5e4e07 1ena0i?e2 an2 1unis/e2 a00 a3ts 2et4i5enta0 to t/e 1u60i3 inte4est 8/en unjust an2 un4easona60e in t/e esti5ation o9 t/e 3ou4t ? ? ?' 1emphasis and underscorin# ours2 ,ecently, in COATES !& C3TE OF C3NC3NNAT3, >0( 9&S& 866, the 9nited States Supreme Court passed upon the issue o constitutionality o a Cincinnati, Ohio, ordinance that pro!ides that. '3t shall be unla4 ul or three or more persons to assemble, e?cept at a public meetin# o citi@ens, on any o the side4al$s, street corners, !acant lots, or mouths o alleys, and there conduct themsel!es in a manner anno7in: to persons passin# by, or occupants o ad%acent buildin#s& Whoe!er !iolates any o the pro!isions o this section shall be ined not e?ceedin# i ty dollars 1I/0&002,

or be imprisoned not less than one 162 nor more than thirty 1=02 days or both&' Section 7065;8, Code o Ordinances o the City o Cincinnati& 1emphasis and underscorin# ours2 3n hammerin# do4n the constitutionality o the abo!e5cited Cincinnati, Ohio ordinance in its landmar$ decision, the 9nited States Supreme Court held that. ' on2u3t t/at anno7s so5e 1eo10e 2oes not anno7 ot/e4s& Thus, the ordinance is !a#ue, not in the sense that it re"uires a person to con orm his conduct to an imprecise but comprehensible normati!e standard, but rather in the sense that no stan2a42 o9 3on2u3t is s1e3i9ie2 at a00& As a result, 'men o common intelli#ence must necessarily #uess at its meanin#&' Connally !& <eneral Construction Co&, (87 9&S& =)/, =76 '3t is said that the ordinance is broad enou#h to encompass many types o conduct clearly 4ithin the cityGs constitutional po4er to prohibit& And so, indeed, it is& The city is ree to pre!ent people rom bloc$in# side4al$s, obstructin# tra ic, litterin# streets, committin# assaults, or en#a#in# in countless other orms o antisocial conduct& 3t can do so throu#h the enactment and en orcement o ordinances directed 4ith reasonable speci icity to4ard the conduct to be prohibited& 3t cannot constitutionally do so throu#h the enactment and en orcement o an ordinance 4hose !iolation may entirely depend upon 4hether or not a policeman is annoyed& ' 1emphasis and underscorin# ours2 Same thin#s can be said o Art& ()*, par& ( o the ,e!ised +enal Code that punishes 'unjust vexations&' As pre!iously sho4n, the term 'unjust vexations' is broad enou#h to encompass many types o acts or conduct& Cut 4hile these acts o types o conduct are 4ithin the StateGs police po4er to prohibit and punish, it cannot ho4e!er constitutionally do so 4hen its !iolation may entirely depend upon 4hether or not another is !e?ed or annoyed by said act or conduct and 4hether or not said act or conduct is unjust is the estimation o the court-

ARTI !E &'(, PAR. & OF THE REVISED PENA! ODE IS AN INVA!ID DE!EGATION OF THE !EGIS!ATIVE POWER TO DEFINE WHAT A TS SHOU!D #E HE!D TO #E RIMINA! AND PUNISHA#!E The ailure o Art& ()*, par& ( o the ,e!ised +enal Code to de ine or speci y the act or omission that it punishes li$e4ise amounts to an in!alid dele#ation by Con#ress o le#islati!e po4er to the courts to determine 4hat acts should be held to be criminal and punishable- Potestas delegata non delegare potest& What has been dele#ated cannot be dele#ated& This doctrine is based on the ethical principle that such as dele#ated po4er constitutes not only a ri#ht but a duty to be per ormed by the dele#ate throu#h the instrumentality o his o4n %ud#ment and not throu#h the inter!enin# mind o another 19nited States !& Carrias, 66 +hil& =(*, ==02Con#ress alone has po4er to de ine crimes& This po4er as an attribute o so!erei#nty may not be dele#ated to the courts& When a criminal le#islation lea!es the halls o Con#ress, it must be complete in itsel in that it must clearly de ine and speci y the acts or omissions deemed punishable- and 4hen it reaches the courts, there must be nothin# le t or the latter to do, e?cept to determine 4hether person or persons indicted are #uilty o committin# the said acts or omissions de ined and made punishable by Con#ress& Other4ise, borro4in# the immortal 4ords o Austice 3sa#ani Cru@ in Enot !& 3ntermediate Appellate Court 16>) SC,A 8/72, the la4 becomes a 'ro!in# commission,' a 4ide and s4eepin# authority that is not 'canali@ed 4ithin ban$s that $eep it rom o!er lo4in#,' in short a clearly

pro li#ate and there ore in!alid dele#ation o le#islati!e po4ersArt& ()*, par& ( o the ,e!ised +enal Code ails to set an immutable and ascertainable standard o #uilt, but lea!es such standard to the !ariant and chan#in# !ie4s and notions o di erent %ud#es or courts 4hich are called upon to en orce it& 3nstead o de inin# the speci ic acts or omissions punished, it lea!es to the courts the po4er to determine 4hat acts or types o conduct constitute 'unjust vexation&' Moreo!er, liability under the said pro!ision is also made dependent upon the !aryin# de#rees o sensibility and emotions o people& 3t depends upon 4hether or not another is !e?ed or annoyed by said act or conduct& As pre!iously intimated, one cannot be con!icted o a !iolation o a la4 that ails to set up an immutable and an ascertainable standard o #uilt& ON !USION 3n !ie4 o all the ore#oin#, De endants submit that Art& ()*, par& ( o the ,e!ised +enal Code that punishes 'unjust vexations' is unconstitutional on its ace or its atal ailure to orbid a speci ic or de inite act or conduct resultin# to its con#enital !a#ueness and o!erbreadth 4hich are anathema to constitutional due process and the ri#ht to be in ormed o the nature o the o ense char#edMoreo!er, by lea!in# it to the %udiciary to determine the '%ustness' or ' unjustness' o an act or conduct that is not clearly de ined or speci ied by la4 constitutes a i?in# by Con#ress o an unascertainable standard o #uilt and there ore an in!alid dele#ation, i not an abdication, o le#islati!e po4er-

There ore, the conclusion is ine!itable that Art& ()*, par& ( o the ,e!ised +enal Code, bein# acially unconstitutional, cannot be a basis o any criminal

prosecution& As such, there is no o ense to spea$ o and conse"uently, this Honorable Court cannot ac"uire any %urisdiction 4hatsoe!er to try the de endants o the char#e o 'unjust vexation&'

PRA"ER WHEREFORE, it !ie4 o all the ore#oin#, it is most respect ully prayed that the in ormation be "uashed, and de endants dischar#ed& Other relie %ust and e"uitable are li$e4ise prayed or& JJJJJJJJJJJJJ, +hilippines, JJDateJJ&

B,3ST3NE S& FE;3K Counsel or the De endant ,oll No& /6)*8 3C+ ;i etime Member No& 0*=86

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