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Lucien Tran Van Nghia vs Liwag

This is a petition for the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus fled by Lucien
Tran Van Nghia alleging that he was arrested without warrant and deprived of
his liberty by respondent Commissioner of Immigration and Deportation (CID
and his agents!
"etitioner Lucien Tran Van Nghia is a #rench national admitted to the "hilippines as
temporary visitor and whose status was latter changed to that of an immigrant
based on his representation that he is fnancially capable and will invest in the
"hilippines! $owever% petitioner has not made any investment and has engaged
only in #rench tutoring and practice of acupressure!
&espondent received a sworn complaint accusing the petitioner of being an
undesirable alien for 'committing acts inimical to public safety and progress(! )n
*une +% +,-.% &espondent issued a mission order to a team of seven (. agents for
them 'to locate and bring sub/ect to Intelligence Division for proper disposition' and
'submit report!' )n *une 0% +,,-.% the aforementioned CID agents went to
petitioner1s residence to invite him to the CID head2uarters for verifcation of his
status but petitioner and his companion reportedly loc3ed themselves inside their
bedroom and refused to tal3 to the agents! Immigration agents sought the help of
the police% still refusing to tal3 and to be ta3en% a struggle ensued and the petitioner
was subdued!
4y reason of the in/uries he allegedly sustained when he was 'brutally
sei5ed' by the CID agents% petitioner% upon re2uest of the #rench consul% was
transferred from his detention cell at the immigration o6ce to the "hilippine
7eneral $ospital for urgent medical treatment! "etitioner1s counsel also fled
the instant petition for habeas corpus to avert the 'threatened removal' of
petitioner from "7$ and to 2uestion the validity of his detention by
respondent Commissioner!
I889:; the legality of the arrest and detention of petitioner by the Immigration
Commissioner preparatory to deportation proceedings!
&9LIN7; The particular circumstances obtaining in the case at bar have
seriously placed on doubt the legality and propriety of petitioner1s
apprehension by respondent Commissioner! #or unli3e in the $arvey case
where the warrantless capture of two suspected alien pedophiles was based
on probable cause ascertained only after close surveillance for a three<month
period during which their activities were monitored% herein petitioner was
'invited' by a combined team of CID agents and police o6cers at his
apartment unit on the strength of a mission order issued by the
Commissioner on Immigration based on a sworn complaint of a single
individual! The essential re2uisite of probable cause was conspicuously
4ut even assuming that the arrest of petitioner was not legal at the
beginning% certain events have supervened to render his petition moot and
academic or to otherwise cure whatever defect there was at the inception of
his arrest! #irstly% petitioner is no longer under confnement! "etitioner was
released upon the posting and approval of a personal bailbond! The general
rule in a number of cases is that the release% whether permanent or
temporary% of a detained person renders the petition for habeas corpus moot
and academic% unless there are restraints attached to his release which
precludes freedom of action% in which case the Court can still in2uire into the
nature of his involuntary restraint! =here a person continues to be unlawfully
denied one or more of his constitutional freedoms% where there is present a
denial of due process% where the restraints are not merely involuntary but
appear to be unnecessary% and where a deprivation of freedom originally
valid has% in the light of subse2uent developments% become arbitrary% the
person concerned or those applying in his behalf may still avail themselves
of the privilege of the writ!
"etitioner Lucien Tran Van Nghia is not similarly restrained! The only
condition in his bailbond is that ordinarily found in any other analogous
underta3ing% which is 'to appear and answer the complaint> will at all times
hold himself !!! amenable to the orders and processes of the Court> and after
conviction% he will surrender himself !!! in e?ecution of such /udgment !!! !'
8econdly% records show that formal deportation proceedings have been
initiated against petitioner before the 4oard of 8pecial In2uiry of the
The restraint (if any against petitioner1s person has therefore become
legal! The writ of habeas corpus has served its purpose!
=$:&:#)&:% the petition is DI8@I88:D!