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G.R. No.

L-37007

July 20, 1987

(SGD.) VICENTE C. CALDONA


Assistant Provincial Fiscal

RAMON S. MILO, in his capacity as Assistant Provincial Fiscal of Pangasinan, and


ARMANDO VALDEZ,petitioners,

All the accused, including respondent Juan Tuvera, Sr., were arraigned and pleaded not guilty.

vs.
ANGELITO C. SALANGA, in his capacity as Judge of the Court of First Instance of

On April 4, 1973, Tuvera filed a motion to quash the information on the ground that the facts

Pangasinan (Branch IV), and JUAN TUVERA, SR., respondents.

charged do not constitute an offense and that the proofs adduced at the investigation are not

GANCAYCO, J.:
This is a petition for review on certiorari of an order of the Court of First Instance of
Pangasinan, Third Judicial District, in Criminal Case No. D-529 entitled "The People of the
Philippines versus Juan Tuvera, Sr., et al.," granting the motion to quash the information filed
by accused Juan Tuvera, Sr., herein respondent. The issue is whether a barrio captain can be

sufficient to support the filing of the information. Petitioner Assistant Provincial Fiscal Ramon
S. Milo filed an opposition thereto.
Finding that respondent Juan Tuvera, Sr. was not a public officer who can be charged with
Arbitrary Detention, respondent Judge Angelito C. Salanga granted the motion to quash in an
order dated April 25, 1973.

charged of arbitrary detention.

Hence, this petition.

The facts are as follows:

Arbitrary Detention is committed by a public officer who, without legal grounds, detains a

On October 12, 1972, an information for Arbitrary Detention was filed against Juan Tuvera,
Sr., Tomas Mendoza and Rodolfo Mangsat, in the Court of First Instance of Pangasinan, which

person.1 The elements of this crime are the following:


1. That the offender is a public officer or employee.

reads as follows:
2. That he detains a person.
The undersigned Assistant Provincial Fiscal accuses Juan Tuvera, Sr., Tomas Mendoza and
Rodolfo Mangsat alias Rudy, all of Manaoag, Pangasinan, of the crime of ARBITRARY

3. That the detention is without legal grounds.2

DETENTION, committed as follows:


The ground relied upon by private respondent Tuvera for his motion to quash the information
That on or about the 21st day of April 1973, at around 10:00 o'clock in the evening, in barrio

which was sustained by respondent Judge, is that the facts charged do not constitute an

Baguinay, Manaoag, Pangasinan, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable

offense,3 that is, that the facts alleged in the information do not constitute the elements of

Court, accused Juan Tuvera, Sr., a barrio captain, with the aid of some other private persons,

Arbitrary Detention.

namely Juan Tuvera, Jr., Bertillo Bataoil and one Dianong, maltreated one Armando Valdez by
hitting with butts of their guns and fists blows and immediately thereafter, without legal
grounds, with deliberate intent to deprive said Armando Valdez of his constitutional liberty,
accused Barrio captain Juan Tuvera, Sr., Cpl. Tomas Mendoza and Pat. Rodolfo Mangsat,
members of the police force of Mangsat, Pangasinan conspiring, confederating and helping one
another, did, then and there, willfully, unlawfully and feloniously, lodge and lock said Armando
Valdez inside the municipal jail of Manaoag, Pangasinan for about eleven (11) hours.(Emphasis
supplied.)
CONTRARY TO ARTICLE 124 of the R.P.C.
Dagupan City, October 12, 1972.

The Information charges Tuvera, a barrio captain, to have conspired with Cpl. Mendoza and
Pat. Mangsat, who are members of the police force of Manaoag, Pangasinan in detaining
petitioner Valdez for about eleven (11) hours in the municipal jail without legal ground. No
doubt the last two elements of the crime are present.
The only question is whether or not Tuvera, Sr., a barrio captain is a public officer who can be
liable for the crime of Arbitrary Detention.
The public officers liable for Arbitrary Detention must be vested with authority to detain or
order the detention of persons accused of a crime. Such public officers are the policemen and
other agents of the law, the judges or mayors.4

Respondent Judge Salanga did not consider private respondent Tuvera as such public officer

the barrio;18 to enforce all laws and ordinances which are operative within the barrio;19 and to

when the former made this finding in the questioned order:

organize and lead an emergency group whenever the same may be necessary for the
maintenance of peace and order within the barrio.20

Apparently, if Armando Valdez was ever jailed and detained more than six (6) hours, Juan
Tuvera, Sr., has nothing to do with the same because he is not in any way connected with the

In his treatise on Barrio Government Law and Administration, Professor Jose M. Aruego has

Police Force of Manaoag, Pangasinan. Granting that it was Tuvera, Sr., who ordered Valdez

this to say about the above-mentioned powers and duties of a Barrio Captain, to wit:

arrested, it was not he who detained and jailed him because he has no such authority vested
in him as a mere Barrio Captain of Barrio Baguinay, Manaoag, Pangasinan.

"Upon the barrio captain depends in the main the maintenance of public order in the barrio.
For public disorder therein, inevitably people blame him.

In line with the above finding of respondent Judge Salanga, private respondent Tuvera asserts
that the motion to quash was properly sustained for the following reasons: (1) That he did not
have the authority to make arrest, nor jail and detain petitioner Valdez as a mere barrio
captain;6 (2) That he is neither a peace officer nor a policeman,7(3) That he was not a public
official;8 (4) That he had nothing to do with the detention of petitioner Valdez;9 (5) That he is
not connected directly or indirectly in the administration of the Manaoag Police Force;10 (6)
That barrio captains on April 21, 1972 were not yet considered as persons in authority and
that it was only upon the promulgation of Presidential Decree No. 299 that Barrio Captain
and Heads of Barangays were decreed among those who are persons in authority; 11 and that
the proper charge was Illegal Detention and Not Arbitrary Detention.

12

"In the event that there be a disturbing act to said public order or a threat to disturb public
order, what can the barrio captain do? Understandably, he first resorts to peaceful measures.
He may take preventive measures like placing the offenders under surveillance and
persuading them, where possible, to behave well, but when necessary, he may subject them to
the full force of law.
"He is a peace officer in the barrio considered under the law as a person in authority. As
such, he may make arrest and detain persons within legal limits.21 (Emphasis supplied.)
One need not be a police officer to be chargeable with Arbitrary Detention. It is accepted that

We disagree.

other public officers like judges and mayors, who act with abuse of their functions, may be

Long before Presidential Decree 299 was signed into law, barrio lieutenants (who were later
named barrio captains and now barangay captains) were recognized as persons in authority.
In various cases, this Court deemed them as persons in authority, and convicted them of
Arbitrary Detention.

guilty of this crime.22 A perusal of the powers and function vested in mayors would show that
they are similar to those of a barrio captain 23 except that in the case of the latter, his
territorial jurisdiction is smaller. Having the same duty of maintaining peace and order, both
must be and are given the authority to detain or order detention. Noteworthy is the fact that
even private respondent Tuvera himself admitted that with the aid of his rural police, he as a
barrio captain, could have led the arrest of petitioner Valdez.24

In U.S. vs. Braganza,13 Martin Salibio, a barrio lieutenant, and Hilario Braganza, a municipal
councilor, arrested Father Feliciano Gomez while he was in his church. They made him pass
through the door of the vestry and afterwards took him to the municipal building. There, they
told him that he was under arrest. The priest had not committed any crime. The two public
officials were convicted of Arbitrary Detention.

From the foregoing, there is no doubt that a barrio captain, like private respondent Tuvera,
Sr., can be held liable for Arbitrary Detention.

14

In U.S. vs. Gellada,15 Geronimo Gellada, a barrio lieutenant, with the help of Filoteo Soliman,
bound and tied his houseboy Sixto Gentugas with a rope at around 6:00 p.m. and delivered
him to the justice of the peace. Sixto was detained during the whole night and until 9:00 a.m.
of the next day when he was ordered released by the justice of the peace because he had not
committed any crime, Gellada was convicted of Arbitrary Detention. 16
Under Republic Act No. 3590, otherwise known as The Revised Barrio Charter, the powers and
duties of a barrio captain include the following: to look after the maintenance of public order
in the barrio and to assist the municipal mayor and the municipal councilor in charge of the
district in the performance of their duties in such barrio; 17 to look after the general welfare of

Next, private respondent Tuvera, Sr. contends that the motion to quash was validly granted as
the facts and evidence on record show that there was no crime of Arbitrary Detention; 25 that
he only sought the aid and assistance of the Manaoag Police Force; 26 and that he only
accompanied petitioner Valdez to town for the latter's personal safety.27
Suffice it to say that the above allegations can only be raised as a defense at the trial as they
traverse what is alleged in the Information. We have repeatedly held that Courts, in resolving a
motion to quash, cannot consider facts contrary to those alleged in the information or which
do not appear on the face of the information. This is because a motion to quash is a
hypothetical admission of the facts alleged in the information. 28 Matters of defense cannot be
proved during the hearing of such a motion, except where the Rules expressly permit, such as
extinction of criminal liability, prescription, and former jeopardy. 29 In the case of U.S. vs.

Perez,30 this Court held that a motion to quash on the ground that the facts charged do not

About 8 o'clock on the night of September 6, 1908, the appellant, Isaac Samonte, and Basilio

constitute an offense cannot allege new facts not only different but diametrically opposed to

Rabe were together in the house of one Demetrio Pandeio in the barrio of Macalalong,

those alleged in the complaint. This rule admits of only one exception and that is when such

jurisdiction of Pitogo, Province of Tayabas. They both left the house and met shortly

facts are admitted by the prosecution.31lawphi1

afterwards in the street (Verdades) in said barrio. On meeting there they became engaged in a
quarrel, the appellant knocking or pushing Rabe down, then proceeded to maltreat him. At

Lastly, private respondent claims that by the lower court's granting of the motion to quash
jeopardy has already attached in his favor

32

on the ground that here, the case was dismissed

or otherwise terminated without his express consent.


Respondent's contention holds no water. An order granting a motion to quash, unlike one of
denial, is a final order. It is not merely interlocutory and is therefore immediately appealable.
The accused cannot claim double jeopardy as the dismissal was secured not only with his
consent but at his instance.33

this moment Rabe called "police! police!" Gregorio Glindo, a municipal policeman of Pitogo,
being a patrol duty that night in said barrio, hearing these words went to the scene, arriving
just as the offended party was getting up, and attempted to arrest the appellant, saying to
him: "In the name of the United States, don't move." The appellant, on seeing the policeman
and hearing this command, said: Don't come near, because I will take your life." The
policeman continued toward the appellant and when very near him the appellant struck at
the policeman with a knife. On account of this resistance the policeman could not arrest the
appellant at that time, so he went immediately to the house of the councilman of that barrio,
Demetrio Pandenio, and reported the matter. Pandenio ordered him to arrest the appellant. He
returned to obey this order, being followed by Pandenio. They found the appellant in a place

WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the Petition for certiorari is GRANTED. The questioned

called Mutingbayan. The policeman attempted to take hold of the appellant, but he resisted,

Order of April 25, 1973 in Criminal Case No. D-529 is hereby set aside. Let this case be

striking at the policeman again with his knife. The councilman then ordered the appellant to

remanded to the appropriate trial court for further proceedings. No pronouncement as to

submit himself, and on receiving this order the appellant said: "I do not recognize anyone,"

costs. SO ORDERED.

and struck at the councilman with the knife.

G.R. No. 5649

The appellant was not arrested on that night on account of this resistance. He did not lay

THE UNITED STATES, plaintiff-appellee,

hands on to touch with his knife either the policeman or the councilman, but he did refuse to

vs.

submit himself to the authorities, and resisted arrest. The policeman did not see the appellant

ISAAC SAMONTE, defendant-appellant.

knock the priest down, neither did he see him kick the said priest, but we heard the cries of
the priest calling for help, saying "police! police!" and when he arrived on the scene the priest

Godofredo Reyes, for appellant.


Attorney-General Villamor, for appellee.
TRENT, J.:
The defendant, Isaac Samonte, was tried in the Court of First Instance of the Province of
Tayabas on a charge of criminal attempt against an agent of the authorities, and sentenced to
one year eight months and twenty-one days of prision correctional, to pay a fine of P65, in case
of insolvency to suffer the corresponding subsidiary imprisonment, to the accessory penalties
provided in article 61 of the Penal Code, and to pay the costs. He appealed to this court.
Counsel for appellant insists, first, that the prosecution has failed to establish beyond a
reasonable doubt that the policeman, Gregorio Glindo, attempted to arrest the accused in
Verdales Street, the place where the trouble occurred; and, second that if said policeman did
attempt to arrest the defendant at this place he, not having a judicial warrant, was not, under
the circumstances, authorized to make the arrest which he attempted to make.

was getting up and freeing himself from the appellant. When the policeman heard these cries
for help he was only a very short distance some 6 or 8 brazas away, and when arrived
the trouble had not terminated, although no active fighting took place after his arrival. Under
these facts and circumstances it was the duty if this police officer to stop this disturbance by
placing the defendant under arrest.
Any officer in charged with the preservation of the public peace may arrest, without a
warrant, any person who is committing, or has committed, a breach of the peace in his
presence. (3 Cyc., 881; Carolina vs. McAfee, 10 L. R. A., 607; Commonwealth vs. Tobin, 11
Am., Rep., 375; People vs. Rounds, 35 N. W., 77; Douglas vs. Barber, 28 Atl. Rep., 805.)
An offense is committed in the presence or within the view of an officer, within the meaning of
the rule authorizing an arrest without a warrant, when the officer sees the offense, although
at a distance, or hears the disturbances created thereby and proceeds at once to the scene
thereof; of the offense is continuing, or has not been consummated, at the time the arrest is
made. (3 Cyc., 886; Ramseyvs. State, 17 S. E., 613; Dilger vs. Com., 11 S. W., 651; State vs.
McAfee, 12 S. E., 435; State vs. Williams, 15 S. E., 554; and Hawkins vs. Lutton, 70 N. W.,
483.)

In the case at bar Gregorio Glindo, being a peace officer, not only had authority to arrest the

heard, the petitioners were still detained or under arrest, and the city fiscal had not yet

defendant at that time, but it was his duty to do so, he having heard the priest call for help

released or filed against them an information with the proper courts justice.

and having arrived on the scene before the disturbance had finally ended.
This case has not been decided before this time because there was not a sufficient number of
Article 249 of the Penal Code provides that the following commit criminal attempt:

Justices to form a quorum in Manila, And it had to be transferred to the Supreme Court
acting in division here in Baguio for deliberation and decision. We have not until now an

xxx

xxx

official information as to the action taken by the office of the city fiscal on the complaint filed

xxx

by the Dumlao against the petitioners. But whatever night have been the action taken by said

2. Those who attack the authorities or their agents or employ force against them, or gravely
intimidate them, or offer an equally grave resistance while they are discharging the functions
of their office or on the occasion thereof.
Article 250 of the same code fixes the penalty to be imposed for those guilty of an attempt
against the authorities or their agents, as provided in the above article.

office, if there was any, we have to decide this case in order to lay down a ruling on the
question involved herein for the information and guidance in the future of the officers
concerned.
The principal question to be determined in the present case in order to decide whether or not
the petitioners are being illegally restrained of their liberty, is the following: Is the city fiscal of
manila a judicial authority within the meaning of the provisions of article 125 of the Revised
Penal Code?

The accused in this case, after an attempt had been made to arrest him by duly authorized
police officer in the discharge of his duty a such, offered grave resistance by refusing to
submit himself to arrest and by striking at the policeman with a knife, thereby attempting to a
personal injury. Although the policeman was not wounded or touched by the accused, these
facts do not receive him from criminal responsibility.
The penalty imposed by the court below being in accordance with the law and the proofs
presented, the same is hereby affirmed, with costs against the appellant. So ordered.
G.R. No. L-2128

May 12, 1948

Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code provides that "the penalties provided in the next
proceeding article shall be imposed upon the public officer or employee who shall detain any
person for some legal ground and shall fail to deliver such person to the proper judicial
authorities within the period of six hours."
Taking into consideration the history of the provisions of the above quoted article, the precept
of our Constitution guaranteeing individual liberty, and the provisions of Rules of Court
regarding arrest and habeas corpus, we are of the opinion that the words "judicial authority",
as used in said article, mean the courts of justices or judges of said courts vested with judicial
power to order the temporary detention or confinement of a person charged with having

MELENCIO SAYO and JOAQUIN MOSTERO, petitioners,


vs.

committed a public offense, that is, "the Supreme Court and such inferior courts as may be
established by law". (Section 1, Article VIII of the Constitution.)

THE CHIEF OF POLICE and THE OFFICER IN CHARGE OF MUNICIPAL JAIL, BOTH OF
CITY OF MANILA,respondents.
Enrique Q. Jabile for petitioners.
Acting City Fiscal A. P. Montesa, Assistant City Fiscal Arsenio Naawa and D. Guinto Lazaro for
respondents.
FERIA, J.:

Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code was substantially taken from article 202 of the old Penal
Code formerly in force of these Islands, which penalized a public officer other than a judicial
officer who, without warrant, "shall arrest a person upon a charge of crime and shall fail to
deliver such person to the judicial authority within twenty four hours after his arrest." There
was no doubt that a judicial authority therein referred to was the judge of a court of justice
empowered by law, after a proper investigation, to order the temporary commitment or
detention of the person arrested; and not the city fiscals or any other officers, who are not
authorized by law to do so. Because article 204, which complements said section 202, of the
same Code provided that "the penalty of suspension in its minimum and medium degrees

Upon complaint of Bernardino Malinao, charging the petitioners with having committed the
crime of robbery, Benjamin Dumlao, a policeman of the City of Manila, arrested the
petitioners on April 2, 1948, and presented a complaint against them with the fiscal's office of
Manila. Until April 7, 1948, when the petition for habeas corpusfiled with this Court was

shall be imposed upon the following persons: 1. Any judicial officer who, within the period
prescribed by the provisions of the law of criminal procedure in force, shall fail to release any
prisoner under arrest or to commit such prisoner formally by written order containing a
statement of the grounds upon which the same is based."

Although the above quoted provision of article 204 of the old Penal Code has not been

January 30, 1947, 43 Off. Gaz., 1214). The investigation which the city of fiscal of Manila

incorporated in the Revised Penal Code the import of said words judicial authority or officer

makes is not the preliminary investigation proper provided for in section 11, Rule 108, above

can not be construed as having been modified by the mere omission of said provision in the

quoted, to which all person charged with offenses cognizable by the Court of First Instance in

Revised Penal Code.

provinces are entitled, but it is a mere investigation made by the city fiscal for the purpose of
filing the corresponding information against the defendant with the proper municipal court or

Besides, section 1 (3), Article III, of our Constitution provides that "the right of the people to
be secure in their persons...against unreasonable seizure shall not be violated, and no
warrant [of arrest, detention or confinement] shall issue but upon probable cause, to be
determined by the judge after the examination under oath or affirmation of the complaint and
the witness he may produce." Under this constitutional precept no person may be deprived of

Court of First Instance of Manila if the result of the investigation so warrants, in order to
obtain or secure from the court a warrant of arrest of the defendant. It is provided by a law as
a substitute, in a certain sense, of the preliminary investigation proper to avoid or prevent a
hasty or malicious prosecution, since defendant charged with offenses triable by the courts in
the City of Manila are not entitled to a proper preliminary investigation.

his liberty, except by warrant of arrest or commitment issued upon probable cause by a judge
after examination of the complainant and his witness. And the judicial authority to whom the

The only executive officers authorized by law to make a proper preliminary investigation in

person arrested by a public officers must be surrendered can not be any other but court or

case of temporary absence of both the justice of the peace and the auxiliary justice of the

judge who alone is authorized to issue a warrant of commitment or provisional detention of

peace from the municipality, town or place, are the municipal mayors who are empowered in

the person arrested pending the trial of the case against the latter. Without such warrant of

such case to issue a warrant of arrest of the caused. (Section 3, Rule 108, in connection with

commitment, the detention of the person arrested for than six hours would be illegal and in

section 6, Rule 108, and section 2 of Rule 109.) The preliminary investigation which a city

violation of our Constitution.

fiscal may conduct under section 2, Rule 108, is the investigation referred to in the proceeding
paragraph.

Our conclusion is confirmed by section 17, Rule 109 of the Rules of court, which, referring to
the duty of an officer after arrest without warrant, provides that "a person making arrest for

Under the law, a complaint charging a person with the commission of an offense cognizable by

legal ground shall, without unnecessary delay, and within the time prescribed in the Revised

the courts of Manila is not filed with municipal court or the Court of First Instance of Manila,

Penal Code, take the person arrested to the proper court orjudge for such action for they may

because as above stated, the latter do not make or conduct a preliminary investigation proper.

deem proper to take;" and by section 11 of Rule 108, which reads that "after the arrest by the

The complaint must be made or filed with the city fiscal of Manila who, personally or through

defendant and his delivery to the Court, he shall be informed of the complaint or information

one of his assistants, makes the investigation, not for the purpose of ordering the arrest of the

filed against him. He shall also informed of the substance of the testimony and evidence

accused, but of filing with the proper court the necessary information against the accused if

presented against him, and, if he desires to testify or to present witnesses or evidence in his

the result of the investigation so warrants, and obtaining from the court a warrant of arrest or

favor, he may be allowed to do so. The testimony of the witnesses need not be reduced to

commitment of the accused.

writing but that of the defendant shall be taken in writing and subscribed by him.
When a person is arrested without warrant in cases permitted bylaw, the officer or person
And it is further corroborated by the provisions of section 1 and 4, Rule 102 of the Rules of

making the arrest should, as abovestated, without unnecessary delay take or surrender the

Court. According to the provision of said section, "a writ of habeas corpus shall extend any

person arrested, within the period of time prescribed in the Revised Penal Code, to the court

person to all cases of illegal confinement or detention by which any person is illegally deprived

or judge having jurisdiction to try or make a preliminary investigation of the offense (section

of his liberty"; and "if it appears that the person alleged to be restrained of his liberty is in the

17, Rule 109); and the court or judge shall try and decide the case if the court has original

custody of an officer under process issued by a court or judge, or by virtue of a judgement or

jurisdiction over the offense charged, or make the preliminary investigation if it is a justice of

order of a court of record, and that the court or judge had jurisdiction to issue the process,

the peace court having no original jurisdiction, and then transfer the case to the proper Court

render judgment, or make the order, the writ shall not be allowed. "Which a contrario

of First Instance in accordance with the provisions of section 13, Rule 108.

sensu means that, otherwise, the writ shall be allowed and the person detained shall be
released.

In the City of Manila, where complaints are not filed directly with the municipal court or the
Court of First Instance, the officer or person making the arrest without warrant shall

The judicial authority mentioned in section 125 of the Revised Penal Code can not be

surrender or take the person arrested to the city fiscal, and the latter shall make the

construed to include the fiscal of the City of Manila or any other city, because they cannot

investigation above mentioned and file, if proper, the corresponding information within the

issue a warrant of arrest or of commitment or temporary confinement of a person surrendered

time prescribed by section 125 of the Revised Penal Code, so that the court may issue a

to legalize the detention of a person arrested without warrant. (Section 7, Rule 108;

warrant of commitment for the temporary detention of the accused. And the city fiscal or his

Hashim vs. Boncan, 40 Off. Gaz. 13th Supp., p.13; Lino vs. Fugoso, L-1159, promulgated on

assistants shall make the investigation forthwith, unless it is materially impossible for them to

do so, because the testimony of the person or officer making the arrest without warrant is in

ANTONIO L. SANCHEZ, petitioner,

such cases ready and available, and shall, immediately after the investigation, either release

vs.

the person arrested or file the corresponding information. If the city fiscal has any doubt as to

The Honorable HARRIET O. DEMETRIOU (in her capacity as Presiding Judge of Regional

the probability of the defendant having committed the offense charged, or is not ready to file
the information on the strength of the testimony or evidence presented, he should release and
not detain the person arrested for a longer period than that prescribed in the Penal Code,
without prejudice to making or continuing the investigation and filing afterwards the proper
information against him with the court, in order to obtain or secure a warrant of his arrest. Of
course, for the purpose of determining the criminal liability of an officer detaining a person for

Trial Court, NCR, Branch 70, Pasig), The Honorable FRANKLIN DRILON (in his capacity
as Secretary of Justice), JOVENCITO R. ZUO, LEONARDO C. GUIYAB, CARLOS L. DE
LEON, RAMONCITO C. MISON, REYNALDO J. LUGTU, and RODRIGO P. LORENZO, the
last six respondents in their official capacities as members of the State Prosecutor's
Office), respondents.

more than six hours prescribed by the Revised Penal Code, the means of communication as
well as the hour of arrested and other circumstances, such as the time of surrender and the

Mario E. Ongkiko and Marciano P. Brion, Jr. for petitioner.

material possibility for the fiscal to make the investigation and file in time the necessary
information, must be taken into consideration.

The Solicitor General for respondents.

To consider the city fiscal as the judicial authority referred to in article 125 of the Revised
Penal Code, would be to authorize the detention of a person arrested without warrant for a
period longer than that permitted by law without any process issued by a court of competent
jurisdiction. The city fiscal, may not, after due investigation, find sufficient ground for filing an

CRUZ, J.:

information or prosecuting the person arrested and release him, after the latter had been
illegally detained for days or weeks without any process issued by a court or judge.

There is probably no more notorious person in the country today than Mayor Antonio L.
Sanchez of Calauan, Laguna, who stands accused of an unspeakable crime. On him, the

A peace officer has no power or authority to arrest a person without a warrant upon
complaint of the offended party or any other person, except in those cases expressly
authorized by law. What he or the complainant may do in such case is to file a complaint with
the city fiscal of Manila, or directly with the justice of the peace courts in municipalities and
other political subdivisions. If the City Fiscal has no authority, and he has not, to order the

verdict has already been rendered by many outraged persons who would immediately impose
on him an angry sentence. Yet, for all the prejudgments against him, he is under our
Constitution presumed innocent as long as the contrary has not been proved. Like any other
person accused of an offense, he is entitled to the full and vigilant protection of the Bill of
Rights.

arrest even if he finds, after due investigation, that there is a probability that a crime has been
committed and the accused is guilty thereof, a fortiori a police officer has no authority to

Sanchez has brought this petition to challenge the order of the respondent judge denying his

arrest and detain a person charged with an offense upon complaint of the offended party or

motion to quash the informations for rape with homicide filed against him and six other

other persons even though, after investigation, he becomes convinced that the accused is

persons. We shall treat it as we would any other suit filed by any litigant hoping to obtain a

guilty of the offense charged.

just and impartial judgment from this Court.

In view of all the foregoing, without making any pronouncement as to the responsibility of the

The pertinent facts are as follows:

officers who intervened in the detention of the petitioners, for the policeman Dumlao may have
acted in good faith, in the absence of a clear cut ruling on the matter in believing that he had
complied with the mandate of article 125 by delivering the petitioners within six hours to the
office of the city fiscal, and the latter might have ignored the fact that the petitioners were
being actually detained when the said policeman filed a complaint against them with the city
fiscal, we hold that the petitioners are being illegally restrained of their liberty, and their
release is hereby ordered unless they are now detained by virtue of a process issued by a
competent court of justice. So ordered.
G.R. Nos. 111771-77 November 9, 1993

On July 28, 1993, the Presidential Anti-Crime Commission requested the filing of appropriate
charges against several persons, including the petitioner, in connection with the rape-slay of
Mary Eileen Sarmenta and the killing of Allan Gomez.
Acting on this request, the Panel of State Prosecutors of the Department of Justice conducted
a preliminary investigation on August 9, 1993. Petitioner Sanchez was not present but was
represented by his counsel, Atty. Marciano Brion, Jr.

On August 12, 1993, PNP Commander Rex Piad issued an "invitation" to the petitioner

The petitioner argues that the seven informations filed against him should be quashed

requesting him to appear for investigation at Camp Vicente Lim in Canlubang, Laguna. It was

because: 1) he was denied the right to present evidence at the preliminary investigation; 2)

served on Sanchez in the morning of August 13,1993, and he was immediately taken to the

only the Ombudsman had the competence to conduct the investigation; 3) his warrantless

said camp.

arrest is illegal and the court has therefore not acquired jurisdiction over him, 4) he is being
charged with seven homicides arising from the death of only two persons; 5) the informations

At a confrontation that same day, Sanchez was positively identified by Aurelio Centeno, and
SPO III Vivencio Malabanan, who both executed confessions implicating him as a principal in

are discriminatory because they do not include Teofilo Alqueza and Edgardo Lavadia; and 6)
as a public officer, he can be tried for the offense only by the Sandiganbayan.

the rape-slay of Sarmenta and the killing of Gomez. The petitioner was then placed on "arrest
status" and taken to the Department of Justice in Manila.

The respondents submitted a Comment on the petition, to which we required a Reply from the
petitioner within a non-extendible period of five days. 1 The Reply was filed five days late.

The respondent prosecutors immediately conducted an inquest upon his arrival, with Atty.
Salvador Panelo as his counsel.
After the hearing, a warrant of arrest was served on Sanchez. This warrant was issued on
August 13, 1993, by Judge Enrico A. Lanzanas of the Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch
7, in connection with Criminal Cases Nos. 93-124634 to 93-124637 for violation of Section 8,

The

Court may consider his non-compliance an implied admission of the respondents' arguments
or a loss of interest in prosecuting his petition, which is a ground for its dismissal.
Nevertheless, we shall disregard this procedural lapse and proceed to discuss his petition on
the basis of the arguments before us.
The Preliminary Investigation.

in relation to Section 1, of R.A. No. 6713. Sanchez was forthwith taken to the CIS Detention
Center, Camp Crame, where he remains confined.

The records of the hearings held on August 9 and 13, 1993, belie the petitioner's contention
that he was not accorded the right to present counter-affidavits.

On August 16, 1993, the respondent prosecutors filed with the Regional Trial Court of
Calamba, Laguna, seven informations charging Antonio L. Sanchez, Luis Corcolon, Rogelio

During the preliminary investigation on August 9, 1993, the petitioner's counsel, Atty.

Corcolon, Pepito Kawit, Baldwin Brion, Jr., George Medialdea and Zoilo Ama with the rape

Marciano Brion, manifested that his client was waiving the presentation of a counter-affidavit,

and killing of Mary Eileen Sarmenta.

thus:

On August 26, 1993, Judge Eustaquio P. Sto. Domingo of that court issued a warrant for the

Atty. Brion, Jr.:

arrest of all the accused, including the petitioner, in connection with the said crime.
[W]e manifest that after reviewing them there is nothing to rebut or countermand all these
The respondent Secretary of Justice subsequently expressed his apprehension that the trial of

statements as far as Mayor Sanchez is concerned, We are not going to submit any counter-

the said cases might result in a miscarriage of justice because of the tense and partisan

affidavit.

atmosphere in Laguna in favor of the petitioner and the relationship of an employee, in the
trial court with one of the accused. This Court thereupon ordered the transfer of the venue of
the seven cases to Pasig, Metro Manila, where they were raffled to respondent Judge Harriet
Demetriou.
On September 10, 1993, the seven informations were amended to include the killing of Allan

ACSP Zuo to Atty. Brion:


xxx xxx xxx

Gomez as an aggravating circumstance.

Q. So far, there are no other statements.

On that same date, the petitioner filed a motion to quash the informations substantially on

A. If there is none then, we will not submit any counter-affidavit because we believe there is

the grounds now raised in this petition. On September 13, 1993, after oral arguments, the

nothing to rebut or countermand with all these statements.

respondent judge denied the motion. Sanchez then filed with this Court the instant petition
for certiorari and prohibition with prayer for a temporary restraining order/writ of injunction.

Q. So, you are waiving your submission of counter-affidavit?

A. Yes, your honor, unless there are other witnesses who will come up soon.

Section 3, Paragraph (d), Rule 112 of the Rules of Court, provides that if the respondent
cannot be subpoenaed or, if subpoenaed, does not submit counter-affidavits, the investigating

Nonetheless, the head of the Panel of Prosecutors, respondent Jovencito Zuo, told Atty. Brion

officer shall base his resolution on the evidence presented by the complainant.

that he could still file a counter-affidavit up to August 27, 1993. No such counter-affidavit was
Just as the accused may renounce the right to be present at the preliminary investigation 5, so

filed.

may he waive the right to present counter-affidavits or any other evidence in his defense.
During the hearing on August 1'3, 1993, respondent Zuo furnished the petitioner's counsel,
this time Atty. Salvador Panelo, with copies of the sworn statements of Centeno and

At any rate, it is settled that the absence of a preliminary investigation does not impair the

Malabanan, and told him he could submit counter-affidavits on or before August 27, 1993.

validity of the information or otherwise render the same defective and neither does it affect the

The following exchange ensued:

jurisdiction of the court over the case or constitute a ground for quashing the information. 6

ACSP Zuo:

If no preliminary investigation has been held, or if it is flawed, the trial court may, on motion
of the accused, order an investigation or reinvestigation and hold the proceedings in the
7

For the record, we are furnishing to you the sworn statement of witness Aurelio Centeno y

criminal case in abeyance.

Roxas and the sworn statement of SPO3 Vivencio Malabanan y Angeles.

or need for such a step. Finding no arbitrariness in her factual conclusions, we shall defer to

In the case at bar, however, the respondent judge saw no reason

her judgment.
Do I understand from you that you are again waiving the submission of counter-affidavit?
Jurisdiction of the Ombudsman
Atty. Panelo:
Invoking the case of Deloso v. Domingo,

the petitioner submits that the proceedings

conducted by the Department of Justice are null and void because it had no jurisdiction over

Yes.

the case. His claim is that it is the Office of the Ombudsman that is vested with the power to

ACSP Zuo:
So, insofar as the respondent, Mayor Antonio Sanchez is concerned, this case is submitted for
resolution.

conduct the investigation of all cases involving public officers like him, as the municipal
mayor of Calauan, Laguna.
The Ombudsman is indeed empowered under Section 15, paragraph (1) of R.A. 6770 to
investigate and prosecute, any illegal act or omission of any public official. However, as we
held only two years ago in the case ofAguinaldo v. Domagas,

this authority "is not an

On the other hand, there is no support for the petitioner's subsequent manifestation that his

exclusive authority but rather a shared or concurrent authority in. respect of the offense

counsel, Atty. Brion, was not notified of the inquest held on August 13, 1993, and that he was

charged."

not furnished with the affidavits sworn to on that date by Vivencio Malabanan and Aurelio
Centeno, or with their supplemental affidavits dated August 15, 1993. Moreover, the abovequoted excerpt shows that the petitioner's counsel at the hearing held on August 13, 1993,
was not Atty. Brion but Atty. Panelo.

Petitioners finally assert that the information and amended information filed in this case
needed the approval of the Ombudsman. It is not disputed that the information and amended
information here did not have the approval of the Ombudsman. However, we do not believe
that such approval was necessary at all. In Deloso v. Domingo, 191 SCRA. 545 (1990), the

The petitioner was present at that hearing and he never disowned Atty. Panelo as his counsel.

Court held that the Ombudsman has authority to investigate charges of illegal or omissions

During the entire proceedings, he remained quiet and let this counsel speak and argue on his

on the part of any public official, i.e., any crime imputed to a public official. It must, however,

behalf. It was only in his tardy Reply that he has suddenly bestirred himself and would now

be pointed out that the authority of the Ombudsman to investigate "any [illegal] act or

question his representation by this lawyer as unauthorized and inofficious.

omission of any public official" (191 SCRA at 550) isnot an exclusive authority but rather a
shared or concurrent authority in respect of the offense here charged, i.e., the crime of
sedition. Thus, the non-involvement of the office of the Ombudsman in the present case does
not have any adverse legal consequence upon the authority the panel of prosecutors to file
and prosecute the information or amended information.

In fact, other investigatory agencies, of the government such as the Department of Justice, in

It may not be amiss to observe that under R.A. No. 7438, the requisites of a "custodial

connection with the charge of sedition,

10

and the Presidential Commission on Good

investigation" are applicable even to a person not formally arrested but merely "invited" for

Government, in ill-gotten wealth cases,

11

may conduct the investigation,

questioning.
It should likewise be noted that at Camp Vicente Lim, the petitioner was placed on "arrest

The Arrest

status" after he was pointed to by Centeno and Malabanan as the person who first raped Mary

Was petitioner Sanchez arrested on August 13, 1993?


"Arrest" is defined under Section 1, Rule 113 of the Rules of Court as the taking of a person
into custody in order that he may be bound to answer for the commission of an offense. Under
Section 2 of the same Rule, an arrest is effected by an actual restraint of the person to be
arrested or by his voluntary submission to the custody of the person making the arrest.
Application of actual force, manual touching of the body, physical restraint or a formal
declaration of arrest is not, required. It is enough that there be an intent on the part of one of
the parties to arrest the other and an intent onthe part of the other to submit, under the
belief and impression that submission is necessary.

12

The petitioner was taken to Camp Vicente Lim, Canlubang, Laguna, by virtue of a letterinvitation issued by PNP Commander Rex Piad requesting him to appear at the said camp for
investigation.
In Babst v. National Intelligence Board

13

this Court declared:

Be that as it may, it is not idle to note that ordinarily, an invitation to attend a hearing and
answer some questions, which the person invited may heed or refuse at his pleasure, is not
illegal or constitutionally objectionable. Under certain circumstances, however, such an
invitation can easily assume a different appearance. Thus, where the invitation comes from a
powerful group composed predominantly of ranking military officers issued at a time when the
country has just emerged from martial rule and when the suspension of the privilege of the
writ of habeas corpus has not entirely been lifted, and the designated interrogation site is a
military camp, the same can be easily taken,not as a strictly voluntary invitation which it
purports to be, but as an authoritative command which one can only defy at his peril. . . .
(Emphasis supplied)
In the case at bar, the invitation came from a high-ranking military official and the
investigation of Sanchez was to be made at a military camp. Although in the guise of a
request, it was obviously a command or an order of arrest that the petitioner could hardly he
expected to defy. In fact, apparently cowed by the "invitation," he went without protest (and in
informal clothes and slippers only) with the officers who had come to fetch him.

Eileen Sarmenta. Respondent Zuo himself acknowledged during the August 13, 1993
hearing that, on the basis of the sworn statements of the two state witnesses, petitioner had
been "arrested."
We agree with the petitioner that his arrest did not come under Section 5, Rule 113 of the
Rules of Court, providing as follows:
Sec. 5. Arrest without warrant; when lawful. A peace officer or a private person may,
without a warrant, arrest a person:
(a) When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or
is attempting to commit an offense;
(b) When an offense has in fact just been committed and he has personal knowledge of facts
indicating that the person to be arrested has committed it; and
(c) When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escapes from a penal establishment
or place where he is serving final judgment or temporarily confined while his case is pending,
or has escaped while being transferred from one confinement to another.
It is not denied that the arresting officers were not present when the petitioner allegedly
participated in the killing of Allan Gomez and the rape-slay of Mary Eileen Sarmenta. Neither
did they have any personal knowledge that the petitioner was responsible therefor because the
basis of the arrest was the sworn statements of Centeno and Malabanan. Moreover, as the
rape and killing of Sarmenta allegedly took place on June 28-June 29, 1993, or forty-six days
before the date of the arrest, it cannot be said that the offense had "in fact just been
committed" when the petitioner was arrested.
The original warrantless arrest of the petitioner was doubtless illegal. Nevertheless, the
Regional Trial Court lawfully acquired jurisdiction over the person of the petitioner by virtue of
the warrant of arrest it issued on August 26, 1993 against him and the other accused in
connection with the rape-slay cases. It was belated, to be sure, but it was nonetheless legal.
Even on the assumption that no warrant was issued at all, we find that the trial court still
lawfully acquired jurisdiction over the person of the petitioner. The rule is that if the accused
objects to the jurisdiction of the court over his person, he may move to quash the information,
but only on that ground. If, as in this case, the accused raises other grounds in the motion to

quash, he is deemed to have waived that objection and to have submitted his person to the

The petitioner submits that the seven informations charging seven separate homicides are

jurisdiction of that court. 14

absurd because the two victims in these cases could not have died seven times.

The Court notes that on August 13, 1993, after the petitioner was unlawfully arrested, Judge

This argument was correctly refuted by the Solicitor General in this wise:

Lanzanas issued a warrant of arrest against Antonio L. Sanchez in connection with Criminal
Cases Nos. 93-124634 to 93-124637 for violation of R.A No. 6713.

15

Pending the issuance of

Thus, where there are two or more offenders who commit rape, the homicide committed on

the warrant of arrest for the rape-slay cases, this first warrant served as the initial

the occasion or by reason of each rape, must be deemed as a constituent of the special

justification for his detention.

complex crime of rape with homicide. Therefore, there will be as many crimes of rape with
homicide as there are rapes committed.

The Court also adverts to its uniform ruling that the filing of charges, and the issuance of the
corresponding warrant of arrest, against a person invalidly detained will cure the defect of

In effect, the presence of homicide qualifies the crime of rape, thereby raising its penalty to

that detention or at least deny him the right to be released because of such

the highest degree. Thus, homicide committed on the occasion or by reason of rape, loses its

defect. * Applicable by analogy to the case at bar is Rule 102 Section 4 of the Rules of Court

character as an independent offense, but assumes a new character, and functions like a

that:

qualifying circumstance. However,by fiction of law, it merged with rape to constitute an


constituent element of a special complex crime of rape with homicide with a specific penalty

Sec, 4. When writ is not allowed or discharge authorized. If it appears that the person
alleged to be restrained of his liberty is in the custody of an officer under process issued by a

which is in the highest degree, i.e. death (reduced to reclusion perpetua with the suspension of
the application of the death penalty by the Constitution).

court or judge or by virtue of a judgment or order of a court of record, and that the court or
judge had jurisdiction to issue the process, render the judgment, or make the order, the writ

It is clearly provided in Rule 110 of the Rules of Court that:

shall not be allowed; or if the jurisdiction appears after the writ is allowed, the person shall
not be discharged by reason of any informality or defect in the process, judgment, or order.
Nor shall, anything in this rule be held to authorize the discharge of a person charged with or
convicted of an offense in the Philippines or of a person suffering imprisonment under lawful
judgment.
In one case,

Sec. 13. Duplicity of offense. A complaint or information must charge but one offense, except
only in those cases in which existing laws prescribe a simple punishment for various offenses.
Rape with homicide comes within the exception under R.A. 2632 and R.A. 4111, amending

16

the petitioner, sued on habeas corpus on the ground that she had been

arrested by virtue of a John Doe warrant. In their return, the respondents declared that a new
warrant specifically naming her had been issued, thus validating her detention. While
frowning at the tactics of the respondents, the Court said:

complies with the requirements of the Constitution and the Rules of Court regarding the
particular description of the person to be arrested. While the first warrant was unquestionably
void, being a general warrant, release of the petitioner for that reason will be a futile act as it
will be followed by her immediate re-arrest pursuant to the new and valid warrant, returning
her to the same prison she will just have left. This Court will not participate in such a
meaningless charade.

the Umil case.

18

The petitioner and his six co-accused are not charged with only one rape committed by him in
conspiracy with the other six. Each one of the seven accused is charged with having himself
raped Sarmenta instead of simply helping Sanchez in committing only one rape. In other

The, case has, indeed, become moot and academic inasmuch as the new warrant of arrest

The same doctrine has been consistently followed by the Court,

the Revised Penal Code.

words, the allegation of the prosecution is that the girl was raped seven times, with each of
the seven accused taking turns in abusing her with the assistance of the other six.
Afterwards, their lust satisfied, all seven of them decided to kill and thus silence Sarmenta.
Every one of the seven accused is being charged separately for actually raping Sarmenta and
later killing her instead of merely assisting the petitioner in raping and then slaying her. The
separate informations filed against each of them allege that each of the seven successive rapes
is complexed by the subsequent slaying of Sarmenta and aggravated by the killing of Allan

17

more recently in

Gomez by her seven attackers. The separate rapes were committed in succession by the seven
accused, culminating in the slaying of Sarmenta.
It is of course absurd to suggest that Mary Eileen Sarmenta and Allan Gomez were killed

The Informations

seven times, but the informations do not make such a suggestion. It is the petitioner who does
so and is thus hoist by his own petard.

The Alleged Discrimination

(1) Violations of Republic Act No. 3019, as amended, otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and
Corrupt Practices Act, Republic Act No. 1379, and Chapter II, Section 2, Title VII of the

The charge of discrimination against the petitioner because of the non-inclusion of Teofilo

Revised Penal Code:

Alqueza and Edgardo Lavadia in the informations must also be dismissed.


(2) Other offenses or felonies committed by public officers and employees in relation to their
While the prosecuting officer is required by law to charge all those who in his opinion, appear
to be guilty, he nevertheless cannot be compelled to include in the information a person
against whom he believes no sufficient evidence of guilt exists.

19

The appreciation of the

evidence involves the use of discretion on the part of the prosecutor, and we do not find in the
case at bar a clear showing by the petitioner of a grave abuse of such discretion.

office, including those employed in government-owned or controlled corporations, whether


simple or complexed with other crimes, where the penalty prescribed by law is higher
than prision correccional or imprisonment for six (6) years, or a fine of P6,000.00. . . .
(Emphasis supplied)

20

The crime of rape with homicide with which the petitioner stands charged obviously does not
The decision of the prosecutor may be reversed or modified by the Secretary of Justice or in
special cases by the President of the Philippines.

21

But even this Court cannot order the

prosecution of a person against whom the prosecutor does not find sufficient evidence to
support at least a prima facie case. The courts try and absolve or convict the accused but as a

fall under paragraph (1), which deals with graft and corruption cases. Neither is it covered by
paragraph (2) because it is not an offense committed in relation to the office of the petitioner.
In Montilla v, Hilario, 24 this Court described the "offense committed in relation to the office" as

rule have no part in the initial decision to prosecute him.

follows:

The possible exception is where there is an unmistakable showing of a grave abuse of

[T]he relation between the crime and the office contemplated by the Constitution is, in our

discretion that will justify judicial intrusion into the precincts of the executive. But in such a
case the proper remedy to call for such exception is a petition for mandamus, not certiorari or
prohibition.

22

Moreover, before resorting to this relief, the party seeking the inclusion of

another person as a co-accused in the same case must first avail itself of other adequate
remedies such as the filing of a motion for such inclusion. 23
At any rate, it is a preposterous contention that because no charges have been filed against
Alqueza and Lavadia, the charges against the petitioner and his co-accused should also be
dropped.
Jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan
The petitioner argued earlier that since most of the accused were incumbent public officials or
employees at the time of the alleged commission of the crimes, the cases against them should
come under the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan and not of the regular courts. This
contention was withdrawn in his Reply but we shall discuss it just the same for the guidance
of all those concerned.
Section 4, paragraph (a) of P.D. No, 1606, as amended by P.D. No.1861, provides:

opinion, direct and not accidental. To fall into the intent of the Constitution, the relation has
to be such that, in the legal sense, the offense cannot exist without the office. In other words,
the office must be a constituent element of the crime as defined in the statute, such as, for
instance, the crimes defined and punished in Chapter Two to Six, Title Seven, of the Revised
Penal Code.
Public office is not of the essence of murder. The taking of human life is either murder or
homicide whether done by a private citizen or public servant, and the penalty is the same
except when the perpetrator. being a public functionary took advantage of his office, as alleged
in this case, in which event the penalty is increased.
But the use or abuse of office does not adhere to the crime as an element; and even as an
aggravating circumstance, its materiality arises not from the allegations but on the proof, not
from the fact that the criminals are public officials but from the manner of the commission of
the crime
There is no direct relation between the commission of the crime of rape with homicide and the
petitioner's office as municipal mayor because public office is not an essential element of the
crime charged. The offense can stand independently of the office. Moreover, it is not even
alleged in the information that the commission of the crime charged was intimately connected
with the performance of the petitioner's official functions to make it fall under the exception
25

Sec. 4. Jurisdiction. The Sandiganbayan shall exercise:

laid down in People v. Montejo.

a) Exclusive original jurisdiction in all cases involving:

In that case, a city mayor and several detectives were charged with murder for the death of a
suspect as a result of a "third degree" investigation held at a police substation. The

appearance of a senator as their counsel was questioned by the prosecution on the ground

G.R. No. L-62992 September 28, 1984

that he was inhibited by the Constitution from representing them because they were accused
of an offense committed in relation to their office. The Court agreed. It held that even if their
position was not an essential ingredient of the offense, there was nevertheless an intimate
connection between the office and the offense, as alleged in the information, that brought it
within the definition of an offense "committed in relation to the public office."
As Chief Justice Concepcion said:
It is apparent from these allegations that, although public office is not an element of the crime
of murder in abstract, as committed by the main respondents herein, according to the
amended information, the offense therein charged is intimately connected with their respective
offices and was perpetrated while they were in the performance, though improper or irregular,

ARLENE BABST, ODETTE ALCANTARA CERES P. DOYO, JO ANN Q. MAGLIPON, DOMINI


TORREVILLAS

SUAREZ,

MAYUGA,

LORNA

SHEILA

KALAW-TIROL,

S.

CIELO

CORONEL,

BUENAVENTURA,
ET

SYLVIA

AL., petitioners,

vs.
NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE BOARD, SPECIAL COMMITTEE NO. 2, BRIG. GEN. WILFREDO
ESTRADA (ret.), COL. RENATO ECARMA, NBI ASST. DIRECTOR PONCIANO FERNANDO,
COL. BALBINO DIEGO, COL. GALILEO KINTANAR, COL. EUSTAQUIO PERALTA, ET
AL., respondents.
RESOLUTION

of their official functions. Indeed they had no personal motive to commit the crime and they
would not have committed it had they not held their aforesaid offices. The co-defendants of
respondent Leroy S. Brown, obeyed his instructions because he was their superior officer, as
Mayor of Basilan City. (Emphasis supplied).
We have read the informations in the case at bar and find no allegation therein that the crime
of rape with homicide imputed to the petitioner was connected with the discharge of his
functions as municipal mayor or that there is an "intimate connection" between the offense
and his office. It follows that the said crime, being an ordinary offense, is triable by the
regular courts and not the Sandiganbayan.
Conclusion

PLANA, J.:
This was originally a petition for prohibition with preliminary injunction which was
superseded by the amended and supplemental petition for prohibition with preliminary
injunction filed by petitioners on March 3, 1983, seeking to prohibit the respondents (a) from
issuing subpoenas or letters of invitation to petitioners and interrogating them, and (b) from
filing libel suits on matters that have been the subject of inquiry by respondent National
Intelligence Board (NIB).
Petitioners are columnists, feature article writers and reporters of various local publications.

As above demonstrated, all of the grounds invoked by the petitioner are not supported by the
facts and the applicable law and jurisprudence. They must, therefore, all be rejected. In
consequence, the respondent judge, who has started the trial of the criminal cases against the
petitioner and his co-accused, may proceed therewith without further hindrance.

At different dates since July, 1980, some of them have allegedly been summoned by military
authorities who have subjected them to sustained interrogation on various aspects of their
works, feelings, sentiments, beliefs, associations and even their private lives. Typical of the
letters received by the petitioners from respondent NIB is that addressed to petitioner Arlene
Babst, dated December 20,1982, which reads:

It remains to stress that the decision we make today is not a decision on the merits of the
criminal cases being tried below. These will have to be decided by the respondent judge in

Madam:

accordance with the evidence that is still being received. At this time, there is yet no basis for
judgment, only uninformed conjecture. The Court will caution against such irrelevant public
speculations as they can be based only on imperfect knowledge if not officious ignorance.
WHEREFORE, the petition is DISMISSED. The respondent judge is DIRECTED to continue

Pursuant to the authority vested in me by law, you are hereby requested to appear before this
Special Committee at Philippine Army Officer's Clubhouse, Fort Bonifacio, Metro Manila
(sketch attached), 9:00 A.M., December 22, 1982, to shed light on confidential matters being
looked into by this Committee.

with the trial of Criminal Cases Nos. 101141, 101142, 101143, 101144, 101145, 101146 and
101147 and to decide them with deliberate dispatch.

Your failure to appear on the specified date and place shall be considered as a waiver on your
part and this Committee will be constrained to proceed in accordance with law.

SO ORDERED.

Very truly yours,

Under the circumstances of the case, the petition cannot be granted.

(SGD.) WILFREDO C. ESTRADA

The assailed proceedings have come to an end. The acts sought to be prohibited (i.e., the

Brig. General, AFP (Ret.)

issuance of letters of invitation petition and subsequent interrogations) have therefore been

Chairman

abated, thereby rendering the petition moot and academic as regards the aforesaid matters.

Aside from the interrogations, a criminal complaint for libel was filed by Brig. Gen. Artemio

Be that as it may, it is not Idle to note that ordinarily, an invitation to attend a hearing and

Tadiar, Jr. on February 9, 1983 with the Office of the City Fiscal, Manila, against petitioners

answer some questions, which the person invited may heed or refuse at his pleasure, is not

Domini Torrevillas-Suarez, editor of the Panorama, and Ma. Ceres Doyo based on an article

illegal or constitutionally objectionable. Under certain circumstances, however, such an

written by Doyo and published in the March 28, 1982 issue of the Panorama, on which the

invitation can easily assume a different appearance. Thus, where the invitation comes from a

author had been interrogated by respondents. The complaint included an staggering P10

powerful group composed predominantly of ranking military officers issued at a time when

million claim for damages. (An information for libel has since been filed with the Regional Trial

the country has just emerged from martial rule and when the suspension of the privilege of

Court of the National Capital Region against Suarez and Doyo.)

the writ of habeas corpus has not entirely been lifted and the designated interrogation site is a
military camp, the same can easily be taken, not as a strictly voluntary invitation which it

Petitioners maintain that the respondents have no jurisdiction over the proceedings which are
violative of the constitutional guarantee on free expression since they have the effect of
imposing restrictive guidelines and norms on mass media; that they are a punitive ordeal or
subsequent punishment of petitioners for lawful publications; that they amount to a system of
censorship, curtailing the "free flow of information and petition and opinion," indispensable to

purports to be, but as an authoritative command which one can only defy at his peril,
especially where, as in the instant case, the invitation carries the ominous seaming that
"failure to appear . . . shall be considered as a waiver . . . and this Committee will be
constrained to proceed in accordance with law." Fortunately, the NIB director general and
chairman saw the wisdom of terminating the proceedings and the unwelcome interrogation.

the right of the people to know matters of public concern guaranteed in Section 6 of Article IV
of the Constitution; and that they constitute intrusions into spheres of individual liberty.

Similarly, prohibition will not issue in respect of the libel charges now pending in court against

Regarding the libel charge against Suarez and Doyo, petitioners denounce the filing as

two of the petitioners and similar suits that might be filed.

instituted with intent to intimidate and based on illegally obtained evidence, referring to the
matters inquired into by respondents in previously conducted, allegedly illegal interrogations.

Firstly, the writ of prohibition is directed against a tribunal, board or person acting without or
in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion vis-a-vis certain proceedings pending

In their comment, respondents counter that no issue of jurisdiction exists since they do not

before it. The libel cases adverted to are not pending before respondent NIB or any other

pretend to exercise jurisdiction over the petitioners; that what respondents have sent to

respondent.

petitioners were neither subpoenas nor summonses, but mere invitations to dialogues which
were completely voluntary, without any compulsion employed on petitioners; that the
dialogues themselves were designed simply to elicit information and exchange Ideas and that
the expression of personal preferences and opinions by members of the respondent Board is
not equivalent to the imposition of norms and guidelines to be followed by petitioners. Relative
to the libel case, respondents contend that petitioners have no cause of action against
respondent Board since respondent General Tadiar is not a member of respondent Board and
has filed the libel case in his personal capacity; and the libel case is not pending before any of
the respondents. Furthermore, respondents aver that this case has been rendered moot and
academic because the proceedings before NIB Special Committee No. 2 (which conducted the
interrogations) have already been ordered terminated by General Fabian C. Ver in his capacity
as Director General and Chairman of the NIB, and said proceedings have in fact been
terminated.
The petition is premised upon the alleged illegality and unconstitutionality of the issuance by
respondent NIB to petitioners of letters of invitation, their subsequent interrogation, and the
filing of the aforementioned libel suit.

Secondly, the issue of validity of the libel, charges by reason of their alleged collision with
freedom of expression, is a matter that should be raised in the proper forum, i.e., before the
court where the libel cases are pending or where they may be filed. The same rule applies to
the issue of admissibility as evidence of matters that have been elicited in the course of an
inquiry or interrogation conducted by respondent NIB, which petitioners claim to have been
illegally obtained.
Finally, the right to seek redress when libeled is a personal and individual privilege of the
aggrieved party, and no one among the respondent officials has the authority to restrain any
of his subordinates who has been libeled from vindicating his right by instituting a libel suit.
Brig. Gen. Tadiar has filed the libel case against petitioners Suarez and Doyo in his personal
capacity. Moreover, he is not even a member of respondent NIB. And the NIB does not appear
to have anything to do with Gen. Tadiar's private right to complain of libel.
WHEREFORE, the petition is dismissed.

return that evening, Delfa, as early as 4:30 oclock a.m. of December 6, 1988 inquired on his

G.R. No. 117321. February 11, 1998]

whereabouts from relatives and friends. In the course of such inquiry, a certain Arnel
THE PEOPLE OF THE

PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. HERSON

TAN

VERZO, accused-appellant.
DECISION

Villarama revealed that the lifeless body of her husband was discovered on the diversion road
at Barangay Malinao in Atimonan. Forthwith, they proceeded to the said place and found him
sprawled on the ground with fourteen stab wounds in different parts of his body.
Meanwhile, relying on the information that an abandoned sidecar of a tricycle was sighted at
Barangay Malinao, Lucena Philippine National Police (PNP) led by Lt. Carlos Santos proceeded

ROMERO, J.:

to the scene of the crime and recovered a blue sidecar which they brought back with them to
their headquarters. Subsequently, Lt. Santos, Cpl. Numeriano Aguilar and Pat. Rolando

May the confession of an accused, given before a police investigator upon invitation and
without the benefit of counsel, be admissible in evidence against him?
Accused-appellant Herson Tan, along with Lito Amido, were charged with the crime of highway
robbery with murder before the Regional Trial Court, Branch 62, of Gumaca, Quezon
Province, under an information[1] dated February 8, 1989, which reads as follows:
That on or about the 5th day of December 1988, along the Maharlika Highway at Barangay
Tinandog, Municipality of Atimonan, Province of Quezon, Philippines, and within the
jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, conspiring and confederating
together and mutually helping each other, armed with bladed and pointed weapons, with
intent to gain, by means of force, violence, threats and intimidation, did then and there
wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously take, steal and carry away from one Freddie Saavedra, a
Honda TMX motorcycle with a sidecar bearing Plate No. DW 9961 valued at THIRTY
THOUSAND PESOS (P30,000.00) Philippine currency, belonging to the said Freddie Saavedra,
to the damage and prejudice of the latter in the aforesaid amount; and that on the occasion of
said robbery and by reason thereof, the said accused, with intent to kill, with evident
premeditation and treachery, and taking advantage of their superior strength and in
pursuance of their conspiracy, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously attack,

Alandy invited appellant in connection with the instant case and with respect to two other
robbery cases reported in Lucena City. During their conversation, appellant allegedly gave an
explicit account of what actually transpired in the case at bar. He narrated that he and coaccused Amido were responsible for the loss of the motorcycle and the consequent death of
Saavedra. Moreover, he averred that they sold the motorcycle to a certain Danny Teves of
Barrio Summit, Muntinlupa for a sum of P4,000.00. With the help of appellant as a guide,
the Lucena PNP immediately dispatched a team to retrieve the same.
After admitting that it was purchased from both the accused and upon failure to present any
document evidencing the purported sale, Teves voluntarily surrendered it to the police who
turned it over, together with the sidecar, to the Atimonan Police Station for safekeeping.
Lt. Carlos, on cross-examination, testified that when he invited appellant to their
headquarters, he had no warrant for his arrest. In the course thereof, he informed the latter
that he was a suspect, not only in the instant case, but also in two other robbery cases
allegedly committed in Lucena City. In the belief that they were merely conversing inside the
police station, he admitted that he did not inform appellant of his constitutional rights to
remain silent and to the assistance of counsel; nor did he reduce the supposed confession to
writing.[2]

assault and stab with the said weapon said Freddie Saavedra, thereby inflicting upon the
latter multiple stab wounds on the different parts of his body, which directly caused his

Appellant, on the other hand, alleged that he had no participation in the offense charged and

death.

contended that his only involvement in the matter was the referral of accused Amido to
Teves. He recounted that sometime in December 1988, Amido sought him at his house and

Contrary to law.
On arraignment, the accused pleaded not guilty to the charge.

told him that the motorcycle he was riding on was being offered for sale. Upon proof shown
that it was indeed registered under Amidos name, he accompanied the latter to Manila on
board the said motorcycle and they approached Antonio Carandang. The latter, thereafter,
brought them to a certain Perlita Aguilar and Danilo Teves with whom the sale was finally
consummated. He allegedly received P150.00 as his commission.

The relevant facts established by the prosecution are as follows:


Amido presented alibi as his defense. He alleged that although a tricycle driver by occupation,
On December 5, 1988, at about 7:00 oclock p.m., tricycle driver Freddie Saavedra went to see

he was at Barangay Malusak, Atimonan on the day in question, some seven kilometers from

his wife, Delfa, at Our Lady of Angels Academy in Atimonan, Quezon, where the latter is a

the town, busy assisting in the renovation of his mothers house. He narrated that the victim

third year high school student, to inform her that he will drive both accused to Barangay

was his friend and, therefore, he could not have participated in the gruesome death of the

Maligaya. It was the last time, however, that Freddie was seen alive. When the latter failed to

latter.

In a decision dated April 21, 1994, the trial court convicted appellant, the dispositive portion

Republic Act No. 7438 (R.A. No. 7438), [4] approved on May 15, 1992, reenforced the

of which reads:

constitutional mandate protecting the rights of persons under custodial investigation, a


pertinent provision[5] of which reads:

WHEREFORE, premised in the foregoing considerations, this Court finds Herson Tan GUILTY
beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Highway Robbery with Murder and hereby sentences

As used in this Act, custodial investigation shall include the practice of issuing an invitation

him to suffer an imprisonment of RECLUSION PERPETUA. He is further ordered to indemnify

to a person who is investigated in connection with an offense he is suspected to have

the family of the deceased in the amount of Thirty Thousand Pesos (P30,000.00).

committed, without prejudice to the liability of the inviting officer for any violation of law.

Due to insufficiency of evidence, Lito Amido is hereby ACQUITTED of the charges against him

Custodial investigation involves any questioning initiated by law enforcement authorities after

and the Provincial Warden of Quezon, Provincial Jail, Lucena City, is hereby ordered to release

a person is taken into custody or otherwise deprived of his freedom of action in any significant

from custody the person of said Lito Amido, unless he is being detained thereat for some other

manner. The rules on custodial investigation begin to operate as soon as the investigation

lawful cause.

ceases to be a general inquiry into an unsolved crime and begins to focus a particular
suspect, the suspect is taken into custody, and the police carries out a process of
interrogations that tends itself to eliciting incriminating statements that the rule begins to

SO ORDERED.[3]

operate.[6]

Appellant assails the finding of conviction despite failure of the prosecution to positively
identify him as the culprit of the crime and to present clear and convincing circumstantial
evidence that would overcome his innocence.

acquitted on the ground that his constitutional rights were violated.


It is well-settled that the Constitution abhors an uncounselled confession or admission and
whatever information is derived therefrom shall be regarded as inadmissible in evidence
against the confessant. Article III, Section 12, paragraphs (1) and (3) of the Constitution
provides:
xxx

investigating officer, the duty to explain those rights to the accused but also that there must
correspondingly be a meaningful communication to and understanding thereof by the

In light of the above facts and circumstances, the appealed decision is set aside and appellant

x x x

Furthermore, not only does the fundamental law impose, as a requisite function of the

xxx

accused. A mere perfunctory reading by the constable of such rights to the accused would
thus not suffice.[7]
Under the Constitution and existing law and jurisprudence, a confession to be admissible
must satisfy the following requirements: (1) it must be voluntary; (2) it must be made with the
assistance of competent and independent counsel; (3) it must be express; and (4) it must be in
writing.[8]
While the Constitution sanctions the waiver of the right to counsel, it must, however, be
voluntary, knowing and intelligent, and must be made in the presence and with the
assistance of counsel.[9] To reiterate, in People v. Javar,[10] it was ruled therein that any

Sec. 12. (1) Any person under investigation for the commission of an offense shall have the

statement obtained in violation of the constitution, whether exculpatory or inculpatory, in

right to be informed of his right to remain silent and to have competent and independent

whole or in part, shall be inadmissible in evidence. Even if the confession contains a grain of

counsel preferably of his own choice. If the person cannot afford the services of counsel, he

truth, if it was made without the assistance of counsel, it becomes inadmissible in evidence,

must be provided with one. These rights cannot be waived except in writing and in the

regardless of the absence of coercion or even if it had been voluntarily given.

presence of counsel.
The records of this case do not indicate that appellant was assisted by counsel when he made
xxx

xxx

xxx

such waiver, a finding evident from the testimony of Lt. Santos on cross-examination, thus:

(3) Any confession or admission obtained in violation of this or the preceding section shall be

inadmissible against him.

of the suspects in the robbery slain (sic) that took place in Atimonan on December 5, 1988?
A

Now, when you brought Herson Tan to the Headquarters, did you tell him that he is one

Yes, sir, and he was also suspect to the robbery case which was investigated at Lucena

Police Station. There were two (2) cases which were investigated on Herson Tan.

Now, so in addition to the Atimonan case, you also took Herson Tan to your custody in

connection with another case that happened in Lucena?

What

remains

of

the

conviction. Considering

evidence
the

for

the

circumstances

prosecution
attendant

is
in

inadequate
the

conduct

to
of

warrant

appellants

investigation which fell short of compliance with constitutional safeguards, we are constrained
A

Yes, sir.

to acquit the appellant.

And you happened to have Herson Tan in your list as suspect in both cases because

WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the decision of the Regional Trial Court of Gumaca,

Herson was previously incarcerated at Lucena City Jail in connection with a certain case, is it
not?

Quezon (Branch 62) is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Appellant HERSON TAN y VERZO is
hereby ACQUITTED of the crime charged and his immediate release from confinement is
hereby ordered, unless there is any other lawful cause for continued detention. Costs de

Yes, sir.

Just for curiosity sake, you invited him in your headquarters, is that what happened in

oficio.
SO ORDERED.

this case?
G.R. No. 14639
A

Yes, sir.

And it just happened that without applying third degree to him he gave you that

information?
A

Yes, sir.

Did you notify him of his constitutional right to counsel before you propounded questions

ZACARIAS VILLAVICENCIO, ET AL., petitioners,


vs.
JUSTO LUKBAN, ET AL., respondents.
Alfonso Mendoza for petitioners.
City Fiscal Diaz for respondents.
MALCOLM, J.:

to him?
The annals of juridical history fail to reveal a case quite as remarkable as the one which this
A

No, sir, because we are asking question only to him.

Before propounding question or information you sought to elicit from him, did you inform

him of his constitutional right not to testify against himself because he is a suspect in these
two (2) cases?

application for habeas corpus submits for decision. While hardly to be expected to be met with
in this modern epoch of triumphant democracy, yet, after all, the cause presents no great
difficulty if there is kept in the forefront of our minds the basic principles of popular
government, and if we give expression to the paramount purpose for which the courts, as an
independent power of such a government, were constituted. The primary question is - Shall
the judiciary permit a government of the men instead of a government of laws to be set up in
the Philippine Islands?

No, sir, because we were just conversing.[11] (Underscoring supplied)


Omitting much extraneous matter, of no moment to these proceedings, but which might prove

The evidence for the prosecution shows that when appellant was invited for questioning at the

profitable reading for other departments of the government, the facts are these: The Mayor of

police headquarters, he allegedly admitted his participation in the crime. This will not suffice

the city of Manila, Justo Lukban, for the best of all reasons, to exterminate vice, ordered the

to convict him, however, of said crime. The constitutional rights of appellant, particularly the

segregated district for women of ill repute, which had been permitted for a number of years in

right to remain silent and to counsel, are impregnable from the moment he is investigated in

the city of Manila, closed. Between October 16 and October 25, 1918, the women were kept

connection with an offense he is suspected to have committed, even if the same be initiated by

confined to their houses in the district by the police. Presumably, during this period, the city

mere invitation. This Court values liberty and will always insist on the observance of basic

authorities quietly perfected arrangements with the Bureau of Labor for sending the women to

constitutional rights as a condition sine qua non against the awesome investigative and

Davao, Mindanao, as laborers; with some government office for the use of the coastguard

prosecutory powers of government.[12]

cutters Corregidor and Negros, and with the Constabulary for a guard of soldiers. At any rate,
about midnight of October 25, the police, acting pursuant to orders from the chief of police,
Anton Hohmann and the Mayor of the city of Manila, Justo Lukban, descended upon the

houses, hustled some 170 inmates into patrol wagons, and placed them aboard the steamers

Before the date mentioned, seven of the women had returned to Manila at their own expense.

that awaited their arrival. The women were given no opportunity to collect their belongings,

On motion of counsel for petitioners, their testimony was taken before the clerk of the

and apparently were under the impression that they were being taken to a police station for

Supreme Court sitting as commissioners. On the day named in the order, December 2nd,

an investigation. They had no knowledge that they were destined for a life in Mindanao. They

1918, none of the persons in whose behalf the writ was issued were produced in court by the

had not been asked if they wished to depart from that region and had neither directly nor

respondents. It has been shown that three of those who had been able to come back to Manila

indirectly given their consent to the deportation. The involuntary guests were received on

through their own efforts, were notified by the police and the secret service to appear before

board the steamers by a representative of the Bureau of Labor and a detachment of

the court. The fiscal appeared, repeated the facts more comprehensively, reiterated the stand

Constabulary soldiers. The two steamers with their unwilling passengers sailed for Davao

taken by him when pleading to the original petition copied a telegram from the Mayor of the

during the night of October 25.

city of Manila to the provincial governor of Davao and the answer thereto, and telegrams that
had passed between the Director of Labor and the attorney for that Bureau then in Davao,

The vessels reached their destination at Davao on October 29. The women were landed and
receipted for as laborers by Francisco Sales, provincial governor of Davao, and by Feliciano
Yigo and Rafael Castillo. The governor and the hacendero Yigo, who appear as parties in
the case, had no previous notification that the women were prostitutes who had been expelled
from the city of Manila. The further happenings to these women and the serious charges
growing out of alleged ill-treatment are of public interest, but are not essential to the
disposition of this case. Suffice it to say, generally, that some of the women married, others
assumed more or less clandestine relations with men, others went to work in different
capacities, others assumed a life unknown and disappeared, and a goodly portion found
means to return to Manila.
To turn back in our narrative, just about the time the Corregidor and the Negros were putting
in to Davao, the attorney for the relatives and friends of a considerable number of the
deportees presented an application for habeas corpus to a member of the Supreme Court.
Subsequently, the application, through stipulation of the parties, was made to include all of
the women who were sent away from Manila to Davao and, as the same questions concerned
them all, the application will be considered as including them. The application set forth the
salient facts, which need not be repeated, and alleged that the women were illegally restrained
of their liberty by Justo Lukban, Mayor of the city of Manila, Anton Hohmann, chief of police
of the city of Manila, and by certain unknown parties. The writ was made returnable before
the full court. The city fiscal appeared for the respondents, Lukban and Hohmann, admitted
certain facts relative to sequestration and deportation, and prayed that the writ should not be
granted because the petitioners were not proper parties, because the action should have been
begun in the Court of First Instance for Davao, Department of Mindanao and Sulu, because
the respondents did not have any of the women under their custody or control, and because
their jurisdiction did not extend beyond the boundaries of the city of Manila. According to an
exhibit attached to the answer of the fiscal, the 170 women were destined to be laborers, at
good salaries, on the haciendas of Yigo and Governor Sales. In open court, the fiscal
admitted, in answer to question of a member of the court, that these women had been sent
out of Manila without their consent. The court awarded the writ, in an order of November 4,
that directed Justo Lukban, Mayor of the city of Manila, Anton Hohmann, chief of police of the
city of Manila, Francisco Sales, governor of the province of Davao, and Feliciano Yigo, an
hacendero of Davao, to bring before the court the persons therein named, alleged to be
deprived of their liberty, on December 2, 1918.

and offered certain affidavits showing that the women were contained with their life in
Mindanao and did not wish to return to Manila. Respondents Sales answered alleging that it
was not possible to fulfill the order of the Supreme Court because the women had never been
under his control, because they were at liberty in the Province of Davao, and because they
had married or signed contracts as laborers. Respondent Yigo answered alleging that he did
not have any of the women under his control and that therefore it was impossible for him to
obey the mandate. The court, after due deliberation, on December 10, 1918, promulgated a
second order, which related that the respondents had not complied with the original order to
the satisfaction of the court nor explained their failure to do so, and therefore directed that
those of the women not in Manila be brought before the court by respondents Lukban,
Hohmann, Sales, and Yigo on January 13, 1919, unless the women should, in written
statements voluntarily made before the judge of first instance of Davao or the clerk of that
court, renounce the right, or unless the respondents should demonstrate some other legal
motives that made compliance impossible. It was further stated that the question of whether
the respondents were in contempt of court would later be decided and the reasons for the
order announced in the final decision.
Before January 13, 1919, further testimony including that of a number of the women, of
certain detectives and policemen, and of the provincial governor of Davao, was taken before
the clerk of the Supreme Court sitting as commissioner and the clerk of the Court of First
Instance of Davao acting in the same capacity. On January 13, 1919, the respondents
technically presented before the Court the women who had returned to the city through their
own efforts and eight others who had been brought to Manila by the respondents. Attorneys
for the respondents, by their returns, once again recounted the facts and further endeavored
to account for all of the persons involved in the habeas corpus. In substance, it was stated
that the respondents, through their representatives and agents, had succeeded in bringing
from Davao with their consent eight women; that eighty-one women were found in Davao who,
on notice that if they desired they could return to Manila, transportation fee, renounced the
right through sworn statements; that fifty-nine had already returned to Manila by other
means, and that despite all efforts to find them twenty-six could not be located. Both counsel
for petitioners and the city fiscal were permitted to submit memoranda. The first formally
asked the court to find Justo Lukban, Mayor of the city of Manila, Anton Hohmann, chief of
police of the city of Manila, Jose Rodriguez and Fernando Ordax, members of the police force
of the city of Manila, Feliciano Yigo, an hacendero of Davao, Modesto Joaquin, the attorney
for the Bureau of Labor, and Anacleto Diaz, fiscal of the city of Manila, in contempt of court.

The city fiscal requested that the replica al memorandum de los recurridos, (reply to

either inherent or express. Much less, therefore, has the executive of a municipality, who acts

respondents' memorandum) dated January 25, 1919, be struck from the record.

within a sphere of delegated powers. If the mayor and the chief of police could, at their mere
behest or even for the most praiseworthy of motives, render the liberty of the citizen so

In the second order, the court promised to give the reasons for granting the writ of habeas
corpus in the final decision. We will now proceed to do so.
One fact, and one fact only, need be recalled - these one hundred and seventy women were
isolated from society, and then at night, without their consent and without any opportunity to
consult with friends or to defend their rights, were forcibly hustled on board steamers for
transportation to regions unknown. Despite the feeble attempt to prove that the women left
voluntarily and gladly, that such was not the case is shown by the mere fact that the presence
of the police and the constabulary was deemed necessary and that these officers of the law
chose the shades of night to cloak their secret and stealthy acts. Indeed, this is a fact
impossible to refute and practically admitted by the respondents.
With this situation, a court would next expect to resolve the question - By authority of what
law did the Mayor and the Chief of Police presume to act in deporting by duress these persons
from Manila to another distant locality within the Philippine Islands? We turn to the statutes
and we find -

insecure, then the presidents and chiefs of police of one thousand other municipalities of the
Philippines have the same privilege. If these officials can take to themselves such power, then
any other official can do the same. And if any official can exercise the power, then all persons
would have just as much right to do so. And if a prostitute could be sent against her wishes
and under no law from one locality to another within the country, then officialdom can hold
the same club over the head of any citizen.
Law defines power. Centuries ago Magna Charta decreed that - "No freeman shall be taken, or
imprisoned, or be disseized of his freehold, or liberties, or free customs, or be outlawed, or
exiled, or any other wise destroyed; nor will we pass upon him nor condemn him, but by
lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land. We will sell to no man, we will not deny
or defer to any man either justice or right." (Magna Charta, 9 Hen., 111, 1225, Cap. 29; 1 eng.
stat. at Large, 7.) No official, no matter how high, is above the law. The courts are the forum
which functionate to safeguard individual liberty and to punish official transgressors. "The
law," said Justice Miller, delivering the opinion of the Supreme Court of the United States, "is
the only supreme power in our system of government, and every man who by accepting office
participates in its functions is only the more strongly bound to submit to that supremacy, and
to observe the limitations which it imposes upon the exercise of the authority which it gives."

Alien prostitutes can be expelled from the Philippine Islands in conformity with an Act of

(U.S. vs. Lee [1882], 106 U.S., 196, 220.) "The very idea," said Justice Matthews of the same

congress. The Governor-General can order the eviction of undesirable aliens after a hearing

high tribunal in another case, "that one man may be compelled to hold his life, or the means

from the Islands. Act No. 519 of the Philippine Commission and section 733 of the Revised

of living, or any material right essential to the enjoyment of life, at the mere will of another,

Ordinances of the city of Manila provide for the conviction and punishment by a court of

seems to be intolerable in any country where freedom prevails, as being the essence of slavery

justice of any person who is a common prostitute. Act No. 899 authorizes the return of any

itself." (Yick Wo vs. Hopkins [1886], 118 U.S., 356, 370.) All this explains the motive in issuing

citizen of the United States, who may have been convicted of vagrancy, to the homeland. New

the writ of habeas corpus, and makes clear why we said in the very beginning that the

York and other States have statutes providing for the commitment to the House of Refuge of

primary question was whether the courts should permit a government of men or a

women convicted of being common prostitutes. Always a law! Even when the health

government of laws to be established in the Philippine Islands.

authorities compel vaccination, or establish a quarantine, or place a leprous person in the


Culion leper colony, it is done pursuant to some law or order. But one can search in vain for
any law, order, or regulation, which even hints at the right of the Mayor of the city of Manila or
the chief of police of that city to force citizens of the Philippine Islands - and these women
despite their being in a sense lepers of society are nevertheless not chattels but Philippine
citizens protected by the same constitutional guaranties as are other citizens - to change their
domicile from Manila to another locality. On the contrary, Philippine penal law specifically
punishes any public officer who, not being expressly authorized by law or regulation, compels

What are the remedies of the unhappy victims of official oppression? The remedies of the
citizen are three: (1) Civil action; (2) criminal action, and (3) habeas corpus.
The first is an optional but rather slow process by which the aggrieved party may recoup
money damages. It may still rest with the parties in interest to pursue such an action, but it
was never intended effectively and promptly to meet any such situation as that now before us.

any person to change his residence.


As to criminal responsibility, it is true that the Penal Code in force in these Islands provides:
In other countries, as in Spain and Japan, the privilege of domicile is deemed so important as
to be found in the Bill of Rights of the Constitution. Under the American constitutional

Any public officer not thereunto authorized by law or by regulations of a general character in

system, liberty of abode is a principle so deeply imbedded in jurisprudence and considered so

force in the Philippines who shall banish any person to a place more than two hundred

elementary in nature as not even to require a constitutional sanction. Even the Governor-

kilometers distant from his domicile, except it be by virtue of the judgment of a court, shall be

General of the Philippine Islands, even the President of the United States, who has often been

punished by a fine of not less than three hundred and twenty-five and not more than three

said to exercise more power than any king or potentate, has no such arbitrary prerogative,

thousand two hundred and fifty pesetas.

Any public officer not thereunto expressly authorized by law or by regulation of a general

Supreme Court or before an inferior court rests in the discretion of the Supreme Court and is

character in force in the Philippines who shall compel any person to change his domicile or

dependent on the particular circumstances. In this instance it was not shown that the Court

residence shall suffer the penalty of destierro and a fine of not less than six hundred and

of First Instance of Davao was in session, or that the women had any means by which to

twenty-five and not more than six thousand two hundred and fifty pesetas. (Art. 211.)

advance their plea before that court. On the other hand, it was shown that the petitioners
with their attorneys, and the two original respondents with their attorney, were in Manila; it

We entertain no doubt but that, if, after due investigation, the proper prosecuting officers find
that any public officer has violated this provision of law, these prosecutors will institute and
press a criminal prosecution just as vigorously as they have defended the same official in this
action. Nevertheless, that the act may be a crime and that the persons guilty thereof can be
proceeded against, is no bar to the instant proceedings. To quote the words of Judge Cooley in
a case which will later be referred to - "It would be a monstrous anomaly in the law if to an

was shown that the case involved parties situated in different parts of the Islands; it was
shown that the women might still be imprisoned or restrained of their liberty; and it was
shown that if the writ was to accomplish its purpose, it must be taken cognizance of and
decided immediately by the appellate court. The failure of the superior court to consider the
application and then to grant the writ would have amounted to a denial of the benefits of the
writ.

application by one unlawfully confined, ta be restored to his liberty, it could be a sufficient


answer that the confinement was a crime, and therefore might be continued indefinitely until

The last argument of the fiscal is more plausible and more difficult to meet. When the writ

the guilty party was tried and punished therefor by the slow process of criminal procedure."

was prayed for, says counsel, the parties in whose behalf it was asked were under no restraint;

(In the matter of Jackson [1867], 15 Mich., 416, 434.) The writ of habeas corpus was devised

the women, it is claimed, were free in Davao, and the jurisdiction of the mayor and the chief of

and exists as a speedy and effectual remedy to relieve persons from unlawful restraint, and as

police did not extend beyond the city limits. At first blush, this is a tenable position. On closer

the best and only sufficient defense of personal freedom. Any further rights of the parties are

examination, acceptance of such dictum is found to be perversive of the first principles of the

left untouched by decision on the writ, whose principal purpose is to set the individual at

writ of habeas corpus.

liberty.
A prime specification of an application for a writ of habeas corpus is restraint of liberty. The
Granted that habeas corpus is the proper remedy, respondents have raised three specific

essential object and purpose of the writ of habeas corpus is to inquire into all manner of

objections to its issuance in this instance. The fiscal has argued (l) that there is a defect in

involuntary restraint as distinguished from voluntary, and to relieve a person therefrom if

parties petitioners, (2) that the Supreme Court should not a assume jurisdiction, and (3) that

such restraint is illegal. Any restraint which will preclude freedom of action is sufficient. The

the person in question are not restrained of their liberty by respondents. It was finally

forcible taking of these women from Manila by officials of that city, who handed them over to

suggested that the jurisdiction of the Mayor and the chief of police of the city of Manila only

other parties, who deposited them in a distant region, deprived these women of freedom of

extends to the city limits and that perforce they could not bring the women from Davao.

locomotion just as effectively as if they had been imprisoned. Placed in Davao without either
money or personal belongings, they were prevented from exercising the liberty of going when

The first defense was not presented with any vigor by counsel. The petitioners were relatives
and friends of the deportees. The way the expulsion was conducted by the city officials made
it impossible for the women to sign a petition for habeas corpus. It was consequently proper

and where they pleased. The restraint of liberty which began in Manila continued until the
aggrieved parties were returned to Manila and released or until they freely and truly waived
his right.

for the writ to be submitted by persons in their behalf. (Code of Criminal Procedure, sec.
78; Code of Civil Procedure, sec. 527.) The law, in its zealous regard for personal liberty, even

Consider for a moment what an agreement with such a defense would mean. The chief

makes it the duty of a court or judge to grant a writ of habeas corpus if there is evidence that

executive of any municipality in the Philippines could forcibly and illegally take a private

within the court's jurisdiction a person is unjustly imprisoned or restrained of his liberty,

citizen and place him beyond the boundaries of the municipality, and then, when called upon

though no application be made therefor. (Code of Criminal Procedure, sec. 93.) Petitioners had

to defend his official action, could calmly fold his hands and claim that the person was under

standing in court.

no restraint and that he, the official, had no jurisdiction over this other municipality. We
believe the true principle should be that, if the respondent is within the jurisdiction of the

The fiscal next contended that the writ should have been asked for in the Court of First
Instance of Davao or should have been made returnable before that court. It is a general rule
of good practice that, to avoid unnecessary expense and inconvenience, petitions for habeas
corpus should be presented to the nearest judge of the court of first instance. But this is not a
hard and fast rule. The writ of habeas corpus may be granted by the Supreme Court or any
judge thereof enforcible anywhere in the Philippine Islands. (Code of Criminal Procedure, sec.
79; Code of Civil Procedure, sec. 526.) Whether the writ shall be made returnable before the

court and has it in his power to obey the order of the court and thus to undo the wrong that
he has inflicted, he should be compelled to do so. Even if the party to whom the writ is
addressed has illegally parted with the custody of a person before the application for the writ
is no reason why the writ should not issue. If the mayor and the chief of police, acting under
no authority of law, could deport these women from the city of Manila to Davao, the same
officials must necessarily have the same means to return them from Davao to Manila. The
respondents, within the reach of process, may not be permitted to restrain a fellow citizen of

her liberty by forcing her to change her domicile and to avow the act with impunity in the

former except through the latter. The officer or person who serves it does not unbar the prison

courts, while the person who has lost her birthright of liberty has no effective recourse. The

doors, and set the prisoner free, but the court relieves him by compelling the oppressor to

great writ of liberty may not thus be easily evaded.

release his constraint. The whole force of the writ is spent upon the respondent, and if he fails
to obey it, the means to be resorted to for the purposes of compulsion are fine and

It must be that some such question has heretofore been presented to the courts for decision.
Nevertheless, strange as it may seem, a close examination of the authorities fails to reveal any
analogous case. Certain decisions of respectable courts are however very persuasive in nature.
A question came before the Supreme Court of the State of Michigan at an early date as to
whether or not a writ of habeas corpus would issue from the Supreme Court to a person
within the jurisdiction of the State to bring into the State a minor child under guardianship in
the State, who has been and continues to be detained in another State. The membership of
the Michigan Supreme Court at this time was notable. It was composed of Martin, chief
justice, and Cooley, Campbell, and Christiancy, justices. On the question presented the court
was equally divided. Campbell, J., with whom concurred Martin, C. J., held that the writ
should be quashed. Cooley, J., one of the most distinguished American judges and law-

imprisonment. This is the ordinary mode of affording relief, and if any other means are
resorted to, they are only auxiliary to those which are usual. The place of confinement is,
therefore, not important to the relief, if the guilty party is within reach of process, so that by
the power of the court he can be compelled to release his grasp. The difficulty of affording
redress is not increased by the confinement being beyond the limits of the state, except as
greater distance may affect it. The important question is, where the power of control
exercised? And I am aware of no other remedy. (In the matter of Jackson [1867], 15 Mich.,
416.)
The opinion of Judge Cooley has since been accepted as authoritative by other courts. (Rivers
vs. Mitchell [1881], 57 Iowa, 193; Breene vs. People [1911], Colo., 117 Pac. Rep., 1000; Ex
parte Young [1892], 50 Fed., 526.)

writers, with whom concurred Christiancy, J., held that the writ should issue. Since the
opinion of Justice Campbell was predicated to a large extent on his conception of the English

The English courts have given careful consideration to the subject. Thus, a child had been

decisions, and since, as will hereafter appear, the English courts have taken a contrary view,

taken out of English by the respondent. A writ of habeas corpus was issued by the Queen's

only the following eloquent passages from the opinion of Justice Cooley are quoted:

Bench Division upon the application of the mother and her husband directing the defendant
to produce the child. The judge at chambers gave defendant until a certain date to produce

I have not yet seen sufficient reason to doubt the power of this court to issue the present writ
on the petition which was laid before us. . . .
It would be strange indeed if, at this late day, after the eulogiums of six centuries and a half
have been expended upon the Magna Charta, and rivers of blood shed for its establishment;
after its many confirmations, until Coke could declare in his speech on the petition of right
that "Magna Charta was such a fellow that he will have no sovereign," and after the extension
of its benefits and securities by the petition of right, bill of rights and habeas corpus acts, it
should now be discovered that evasion of that great clause for the protection of personal
liberty, which is the life and soul of the whole instrument, is so easy as is claimed here. If it is
so, it is important that it be determined without delay, that the legislature may apply the
proper remedy, as I can not doubt they would, on the subject being brought to their
notice. . . .
The second proposition - that the statutory provisions are confined to the case of
imprisonment within the state - seems to me to be based upon a misconception as to the
source of our jurisdiction. It was never the case in England that the court of king's bench
derived its jurisdiction to issue and enforce this writ from the statute. Statutes were not
passed to give the right, but to compel the observance of rights which existed. . . .

the child, but he did not do so. His return stated that the child before the issuance of the writ
had been handed over by him to another; that it was no longer in his custody or control, and
that it was impossible for him to obey the writ. He was found in contempt of court. On appeal,
the court, through Lord Esher, M. R., said:
A writ of habeas corpus was ordered to issue, and was issued on January 22. That writ
commanded the defendant to have the body of the child before a judge in chambers at the
Royal Courts of Justice immediately after the receipt of the writ, together with the cause of her
being taken and detained. That is a command to bring the child before the judge and must be
obeyed, unless some lawful reason can be shown to excuse the nonproduction of the child. If it
could be shown that by reason of his having lawfully parted with the possession of the child
before the issuing of the writ, the defendant had no longer power to produce the child, that
might be an answer; but in the absence of any lawful reason he is bound to produce the child,
and, if he does not, he is in contempt of the Court for not obeying the writ without lawful
excuse. Many efforts have been made in argument to shift the question of contempt to some
anterior period for the purpose of showing that what was done at some time prior to the writ
cannot be a contempt. But the question is not as to what was done before the issue of the
writ. The question is whether there has been a contempt in disobeying the writ it was issued
by not producing the child in obedience to its commands. (The Queen vs. Bernardo [1889], 23
Q. B. D., 305. See also to the same effect the Irish case of In re Matthews, 12 Ir. Com. Law
Rep. [N. S.], 233; The Queen vs. Barnardo, Gossage's Case [1890], 24 Q. B. D., 283.)

The important fact to be observed in regard to the mode of procedure upon this writ is, that it
is directed to and served upon, not the person confined, but his jailor. It does not reach the

A decision coming from the Federal Courts is also of interest. A habeas corpus was directed to

ordinary diligence a considerable number of the women, at least sixty, could have been

the defendant to have before the circuit court of the District of Columbia three colored

brought back to Manila is demonstrated to be found in the municipality of Davao, and that

persons, with the cause of their detention. Davis, in his return to the writ, stated on oath that

about this number either returned at their own expense or were produced at the second

he had purchased the negroes as slaves in the city of Washington; that, as he believed, they

hearing by the respondents.

were removed beyond the District of Columbia before the service of the writ of habeas corpus,
and that they were then beyond his control and out of his custody. The evidence tended to
show that Davis had removed the negroes because he suspected they would apply for a writ of
habeas corpus. The court held the return to be evasive and insufficient, and that Davis was
bound to produce the negroes, and Davis being present in court, and refusing to produce
them, ordered that he be committed to the custody of the marshall until he should produce
the negroes, or be otherwise discharged in due course of law. The court afterwards ordered
that Davis be released upon the production of two of the negroes, for one of the negroes had
run away and been lodged in jail in Maryland. Davis produced the two negroes on the last day
of the term. (United States vs. Davis [1839], 5 Cranch C.C., 622, Fed. Cas. No. 14926. See also
Robb vs. Connolly [1883], 111 U.S., 624; Church on Habeas, 2nd ed., p. 170.)

The court, at the time the return to its first order was made, would have been warranted
summarily in finding the respondents guilty of contempt of court, and in sending them to jail
until they obeyed the order. Their excuses for the non-production of the persons were far from
sufficient. The, authorities cited herein pertaining to somewhat similar facts all tend to
indicate with what exactitude a habeas corpus writ must be fulfilled. For example, in
Gossage's case, supra, the Magistrate in referring to an earlier decision of the Court, said: "We
thought that, having brought about that state of things by his own illegal act, he must take
the consequences; and we said that he was bound to use every effort to get the child back;
that he must do much more than write letters for the purpose; that he must advertise in
America, and even if necessary himself go after the child, and do everything that mortal man
could do in the matter; and that the court would only accept clear proof of an absolute

We find, therefore, both on reason and authority, that no one of the defense offered by the

impossibility by way of excuse." In other words, the return did not show that every possible

respondents constituted a legitimate bar to the granting of the writ of habeas corpus.

effort to produce the women was made by the respondents. That the court forebore at this
time to take drastic action was because it did not wish to see presented to the public gaze the

There remains to be considered whether the respondent complied with the two orders of the
Supreme Court awarding the writ of habeas corpus, and if it be found that they did not,

spectacle of a clash between executive officials and the judiciary, and because it desired to
give the respondents another chance to demonstrate their good faith and to mitigate their

whether the contempt should be punished or be taken as purged.

wrong.

The first order, it will be recalled, directed Justo Lukban, Anton Hohmann, Francisco Sales,

In response to the second order of the court, the respondents appear to have become more

and Feliciano Yigo to present the persons named in the writ before the court on December 2,
1918. The order was dated November 4, 1918. The respondents were thus given ample time,
practically one month, to comply with the writ. As far as the record discloses, the Mayor of the
city of Manila waited until the 21st of November before sending a telegram to the provincial
governor of Davao. According to the response of the attorney for the Bureau of Labor to the
telegram of his chief, there were then in Davao women who desired to return to Manila, but
who should not be permitted to do so because of having contracted debts. The half-hearted
effort naturally resulted in none of the parties in question being brought before the court on
the day named.
For the respondents to have fulfilled the court's order, three optional courses were open: (1)
They could have produced the bodies of the persons according to the command of the writ; or
(2) they could have shown by affidavit that on account of sickness or infirmity those persons

zealous and to have shown a better spirit. Agents were dispatched to Mindanao, placards were
posted, the constabulary and the municipal police joined in rounding up the women, and a
steamer with free transportation to Manila was provided. While charges and counter-charges
in such a bitterly contested case are to be expected, and while a critical reading of the record
might reveal a failure of literal fulfillment with our mandate, we come to conclude that there is
a substantial compliance with it. Our finding to this effect may be influenced somewhat by
our sincere desire to see this unhappy incident finally closed. If any wrong is now being
perpetrated in Davao, it should receive an executive investigation. If any particular individual
is still restrained of her liberty, it can be made the object of separate habeas corpus
proceedings.
Since the writ has already been granted, and since we find a substantial compliance with it,
nothing further in this connection remains to be done.

could not safely be brought before the court; or (3) they could have presented affidavits to
show that the parties in question or their attorney waived the right to be present. (Code of

The attorney for the petitioners asks that we find in contempt of court Justo Lukban, Mayor of

Criminal Procedure, sec. 87.) They did not produce the bodies of the persons in whose behalf

the city of Manila, Anton Hohmann, chief of police of the city of Manila, Jose Rodriguez, and

the writ was granted; they did not show impossibility of performance; and they did not present

Fernando Ordax, members of the police force of the city of Manila, Modesto Joaquin, the

writings that waived the right to be present by those interested. Instead a few stereotyped

attorney for the Bureau of Labor, Feliciano Yigo, an hacendero of Davao, and Anacleto Diaz,

affidavits purporting to show that the women were contended with their life in Davao, some of

Fiscal of the city of Manila.

which have since been repudiated by the signers, were appended to the return. That through

The power to punish for contempt of court should be exercised on the preservative and not on

In resume - as before stated, no further action on the writ of habeas corpus is necessary. The

the vindictive principle. Only occasionally should the court invoke its inherent power in order

respondents Hohmann, Rodriguez, Ordax, Joaquin, Yigo, and Diaz are found not to be in

to retain that respect without which the administration of justice must falter or fail.

contempt of court. Respondent Lukban is found in contempt of court and shall pay into the

Nevertheless when one is commanded to produce a certain person and does not do so, and

office of the clerk of the Supreme Court within five days the sum of one hundred pesos (P100).

does not offer a valid excuse, a court must, to vindicate its authority, adjudge the respondent

The motion of the fiscal of the city of Manila to strike from the record the Replica al

to be guilty of contempt, and must order him either imprisoned or fined. An officer's failure to

Memorandum de los Recurridos of January 25, 1919, is granted. Costs shall be taxed against

produce the body of a person in obedience to a writ of habeas corpus when he has power to do

respondents. So ordered.

so, is a contempt committed in the face of the court. (Ex parte Sterns [1888], 77 Cal., 156; In
re Patterson [1888], 99 N. C., 407.)

In concluding this tedious and disagreeable task, may we not be permitted to express the
hope that this decision may serve to bulwark the fortifications of an orderly government of

With all the facts and circumstances in mind, and with judicial regard for human

laws and to protect individual liberty from illegal encroachment.

imperfections, we cannot say that any of the respondents, with the possible exception of the
first named, has flatly disobeyed the court by acting in opposition to its authority.
Respondents Hohmann, Rodriguez, Ordax, and Joaquin only followed the orders of their
chiefs, and while, under the law of public officers, this does not exonerate them entirely, it is
nevertheless a powerful mitigating circumstance. The hacendero Yigo appears to have been

G.R. No. 88211 September 15, 1989


FERDINAND E. MARCOS, IMELDA R. MARCOS, FERDINAND R. MARCOS, JR., IRENE M.

drawn into the case through a misconstruction by counsel of telegraphic communications.

ARANETA, IMEE MANOTOC, TOMAS MANOTOC, GREGORIO ARANETA, PACIFICO E.

The city fiscal, Anacleto Diaz, would seem to have done no more than to fulfill his duty as the

MARCOS,

legal representative of the city government. Finding him innocent of any disrespect to the

(PHILCONSA), represented by its President, CONRADO F. ESTRELLA, petitioners,

court, his counter-motion to strike from the record the memorandum of attorney for the

vs.

petitioners, which brings him into this undesirable position, must be granted. When all is said

HONORABLE RAUL MANGLAPUS, CATALINO MACARAIG, SEDFREY ORDOEZ, MIRIAM

and done, as far as this record discloses, the official who was primarily responsible for the
unlawful deportation, who ordered the police to accomplish the same, who made
arrangements for the steamers and the constabulary, who conducted the negotiations with
the Bureau of Labor, and who later, as the head of the city government, had it within his
power to facilitate the return of the unfortunate women to Manila, was Justo Lukban, the

NICANOR

YIGUEZ

and

PHILIPPINE

CONSTITUTION

ASSOCIATION

DEFENSOR SANTIAGO, FIDEL RAMOS, RENATO DE VILLA, in their capacity as


Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Executive Secretary, Secretary of Justice, Immigration
Commissioner,

Secretary

of

National

Defense

and

Chief

of

Staff,

respectively, respondents.

Mayor of the city of Manila. His intention to suppress the social evil was commendable. His
methods were unlawful. His regard for the writ of habeas corpus issued by the court was only
tardily and reluctantly acknowledged.
CORTES, J.:
It would be possible to turn to the provisions of section 546 of the Code of Civil Procedure,
which relates to the penalty for disobeying the writ, and in pursuance thereof to require
respondent Lukban to forfeit to the parties aggrieved as much as P400 each, which would
reach to many thousands of pesos, and in addition to deal with him as for a contempt. Some
members of the court are inclined to this stern view. It would also be possible to find that
since respondent Lukban did comply substantially with the second order of the court, he has
purged his contempt of the first order. Some members of the court are inclined to this merciful
view. Between the two extremes appears to lie the correct finding. The failure of respondent
Lukban to obey the first mandate of the court tended to belittle and embarrass the
administration of justice to such an extent that his later activity may be considered only as
extenuating his conduct. A nominal fine will at once command such respect without being
unduly oppressive - such an amount is P100.

Before the Court is a contreversy of grave national importance. While ostensibly only legal
issues are involved, the Court's decision in this case would undeniably have a profound effect
on the political, economic and other aspects of national life.
We recall that in February 1986, Ferdinand E. Marcos was deposed from the presidency via
the non-violent "people power" revolution and forced into exile. In his stead, Corazon C.
Aquino was declared President of the Republic under a revolutionary government. Her
ascension to and consilidation of power have not been unchallenged. The failed Manila Hotel
coup in 1986 led by political leaders of Mr. Marcos, the takeover of television station Channel
7 by rebel troops led by Col. Canlas with the support of "Marcos loyalists" and the
unseccessful plot of the Marcos spouses to surreptitiously return from Hawii with mercenaries
aboard an aircraft chartered by a Lebanese arms dealer [Manila Bulletin, January 30, 1987]
awakened the nation to the capacity of the Marcoses to stir trouble even from afar and to the

fanaticism and blind loyalty of their followers in the country. The ratification of the 1987

Th issue is basically one of power: whether or not, in the exercise of the powers granted by the

Constitution enshrined the victory of "people power" and also clearly reinforced the

Constitution, the President may prohibit the Marcoses from returning to the Philippines.

constitutional moorings of Mrs. Aquino's presidency. This did not, however, stop bloody
challenges to the government. On August 28, 1987, Col. Gregorio Honasan, one of the major
players in the February Revolution, led a failed coup that left scores of people, both
combatants and civilians, dead. There were several other armed sorties of lesser significance,
but the message they conveyed was the same a split in the ranks of the military
establishment that thraetened civilian supremacy over military and brought to the fore the
realization that civilian government could be at the mercy of a fractious military.
But the armed threats to the Government were not only found in misguided elements and

According to the petitioners, the resolution of the case would depend on the resolution of the
following issues:
1. Does the President have the power to bar the return of former President Marcos and family
to the Philippines?
a. Is this a political question?

among rabid followers of Mr. Marcos. There are also the communist insurgency and the
seccessionist movement in Mindanao which gained ground during the rule of Mr. Marcos, to

2. Assuming that the President has the power to bar former President Marcos and his family

the extent that the communists have set up a parallel government of their own on the areas

from returning to the Philippines, in the interest of "national security, public safety or public

they effectively control while the separatist are virtually free to move about in armed bands.

health

There has been no let up on this groups' determination to wrest power from the govermnent.
Not only through resort to arms but also to through the use of propaganda have they been
successful in dreating chaos and destabilizing the country.

a. Has the President made a finding that the return of former President Marcos and his family
to the Philippines is a clear and present danger to national security, public safety or public
health?

Nor are the woes of the Republic purely political. The accumulated foreign debt and the
plunder of the nation attributed to Mr. Marcos and his cronies left the economy devastated.
The efforts at economic recovery, three years after Mrs. Aquino assumed office, have yet to
show concrete results in alleviating the poverty of the masses, while the recovery of the illgotten wealth of the Marcoses has remained elusive.
Now, Mr. Marcos, in his deathbed, has signified his wish to return to the Philipppines to die.
But Mrs. Aquino, considering the dire consequences to the nation of his return at a time when
the stability of government is threatened from various directions and the economy is just

b. Assuming that she has made that finding


(1) Have the requirements of due process been complied with in making such finding?
(2) Has there been prior notice to petitioners?
(3) Has there been a hearing?

beginning to rise and move forward, has stood firmly on the decision to bar the return of Mr.
Marcos and his family.

(4) Assuming that notice and hearing may be dispensed with, has the President's decision,
including the grounds upon which it was based, been made known to petitioners so that they

The Petition

may controvert the same?

This case is unique. It should not create a precedent, for the case of a dictator forced out of

c. Is the President's determination that the return of former President Marcos and his family

office and into exile after causing twenty years of political, economic and social havoc in the

to the Philippines is a clear and present danger to national security, public safety, or public

country and who within the short space of three years seeks to return, is in a class by itself.

health a political question?

This petition for mandamus and prohibition asks the Courts to order the respondents to issue

d. Assuming that the Court may inquire as to whether the return of former President Marcos

travel documents to Mr. Marcos and the immediate members of his family and to enjoin the

and his family is a clear and present danger to national security, public safety, or public

implementation of the President's decision to bar their return to the Philippines.

health, have respondents established such fact?

The Issue

3. Have the respondents, therefore, in implementing the President's decision to bar the return
of former President Marcos and his family, acted and would be acting without jurisdiction, or

in excess of jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion, in performing any act which would

2) Everyone shall be free to leave any country, including his own.

effectively bar the return of former President Marcos and his family to the Philippines?
[Memorandum for Petitioners, pp. 5-7; Rollo, pp. 234-236.1

3) The above-mentioned rights shall not be subject to any restrictions except those which are
provided by law, are necessary to protect national security, public order (order public), public

The case for petitioners is founded on the assertion that the right of the Marcoses to return to

health or morals or the rights and freedoms of others, and are consistent with the other rights

the Philippines is guaranteed under the following provisions of the Bill of Rights, to wit:

recognized in the present Covenant.

Section 1. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law,

4) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of the right to enter his own country.

nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws.
On the other hand, the respondents' principal argument is that the issue in this case involves
xxx xxx xxx

a political question which is non-justiciable. According to the Solicitor General:

Section 6. The liberty of abode and of changing the same within the limits prescribed by law

As petitioners couch it, the question involved is simply whether or not petitioners Ferdinand E.

shall not be impaired except upon lawful order of the court. Neither shall the right to travel be

Marcos and his family have the right to travel and liberty of abode. Petitioners invoke these

impaired except in the interest of national security, public safety, or public health, as may be

constitutional rights in vacuo without reference to attendant circumstances.

provided by law.
Respondents submit that in its proper formulation, the issue is whether or not petitioners
The petitioners contend that the President is without power to impair the liberty of abode of

Ferdinand E. Marcos and family have the right to return to the Philippines and reside here at

the Marcoses because only a court may do so "within the limits prescribed by law." Nor may

this time in the face of the determination by the President that such return and residence will

the President impair their right to travel because no law has authorized her to do so. They

endanger national security and public safety.

advance the view that before the right to travel may be impaired by any authority or agency of
the government, there must be legislation to that effect.

It may be conceded that as formulated by petitioners, the question is not a political question
as it involves merely a determination of what the law provides on the matter and application

The petitioners further assert that under international law, the right of Mr. Marcos and his

thereof to petitioners Ferdinand E. Marcos and family. But when the question is whether the

family to return to the Philippines is guaranteed.

two rights claimed by petitioners Ferdinand E. Marcos and family impinge on or collide with
the more primordial and transcendental right of the State to security and safety of its

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides:

nationals, the question becomes political and this Honorable Court can not consider it.

Article 13. (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the

There are thus gradations to the question, to wit:

borders of each state.


Do petitioners Ferdinand E. Marcos and family have the right to return to the Philippines and
(2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his

reestablish their residence here? This is clearly a justiciable question which this Honorable

country.

Court can decide.

Likewise, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which had been ratified by

Do petitioners Ferdinand E. Marcos and family have their right to return to the Philippines

the Philippines, provides:


Article 12
1) Everyone lawfully within the territory of a State shall, within that territory, have the right to
liberty of movement and freedom to choose his residence.

and reestablish their residence here even if their return and residence here will endanger
national security and public safety? this is still a justiciable question which this Honorable
Court can decide.
Is there danger to national security and public safety if petitioners Ferdinand E. Marcos and
family shall return to the Philippines and establish their residence here? This is now a
political question which this Honorable Court can not decide for it falls within the exclusive

authority and competence of the President of the Philippines. [Memorandum for Respondents,

residence within the borders of each state" [Art. 13(l)] separately from the "right to leave any

pp. 9-11; Rollo, pp. 297-299.]

country, including his own, and to return to his country." [Art. 13(2).] On the other hand, the
Covenant guarantees the "right to liberty of movement and freedom to choose his residence"

Respondents argue for the primacy of the right of the State to national security over individual
rights. In support thereof, they cite Article II of the Constitution, to wit:
Section 4. The prime duty of the Government is to serve and protect the people. The
Government may call upon the people to defend the State and, in the fulfillment thereof, all
citizens may be required, under conditions provided by law, to render personal, military, or
civil service.
Section 5. The maintenance of peace and order, the protection of life, liberty, and property,
and the promotion of the general welfare are essential for the enjoyment by all the people of
the blessings of democracy.

[Art. 12(l)] and the right to "be free to leave any country, including his own." [Art. 12(2)] which
rights may be restricted by such laws as "are necessary to protect national security, public
order, public health or morals or enter qqqs own country" of which one cannot be "arbitrarily
deprived." [Art. 12(4).] It would therefore be inappropriate to construe the limitations to the
right to return to one's country in the same context as those pertaining to the liberty of abode
and the right to travel.
The right to return to one's country is not among the rights specifically guaranteed in the Bill
of Rights, which treats only of the liberty of abode and the right to travel, but it is our wellconsidered view that the right to return may be considered, as a generally accepted principle
of international law and, under our Constitution, is part of the law of the land [Art. II, Sec. 2
of the Constitution.] However, it is distinct and separate from the right to travel and enjoys a
different protection under the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights, i.e., against

Respondents also point out that the decision to ban Mr. Marcos and family from returning to

being "arbitrarily deprived" thereof [Art. 12 (4).]

the Philippines for reasons of national security and public safety has international precedents.
Rafael Trujillo of the Dominican Republic, Anastacio Somoza Jr. of Nicaragua, Jorge Ubico of
Guatemala, Fulgencio batista of Cuba, King Farouk of Egypt, Maximiliano Hernandez
Martinez of El Salvador, and Marcos Perez Jimenez of Venezuela were among the deposed
dictators whose return to their homelands was prevented by their governments. [See
Statement of Foreign Affairs Secretary Raul S. Manglapus, quoted in Memorandum for
Respondents, pp. 26-32; Rollo, pp. 314-319.]
The parties are in agreement that the underlying issue is one of the scope of presidential
power and its limits. We, however, view this issue in a different light. Although we give due
weight to the parties' formulation of the issues, we are not bound by its narrow confines in
arriving at a solution to the controversy.
At the outset, we must state that it would not do to view the case within the confines of the
right to travel and the import of the decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court in the leading cases
of Kent v. Dulles [357 U.S. 116, 78 SCt 1113, 2 L Ed. 2d 1204] and Haig v. Agee [453 U.S. 280,
101 SCt 2766, 69 L Ed. 2d 640) which affirmed the right to travel and recognized exceptions
to the exercise thereof, respectively.

Thus, the rulings in the cases Kent and Haig which refer to the issuance of passports for the
purpose of effectively exercising the right to travel are not determinative of this case and are
only tangentially material insofar as they relate to a conflict between executive action and the
exercise of a protected right. The issue before the Court is novel and without precedent in
Philippine, and even in American jurisprudence.
Consequently, resolution by the Court of the well-debated issue of whether or not there can be
limitations on the right to travel in the absence of legislation to that effect is rendered
unnecessary. An appropriate case for its resolution will have to be awaited.
Having clarified the substance of the legal issue, we find now a need to explain the
methodology for its resolution. Our resolution of the issue will involve a two-tiered approach.
We shall first resolve whether or not the President has the power under the Constitution, to
bar the Marcoses from returning to the Philippines. Then, we shall determine, pursuant to the
express power of the Court under the Constitution in Article VIII, Section 1, whether or not
the President acted arbitrarily or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
jurisdiction when she determined that the return of the Marcose's to the Philippines poses a
serious threat to national interest and welfare and decided to bar their return.

It must be emphasized that the individual right involved is not the right to travel from the
Philippines to other countries or within the Philippines. These are what the right to travel
would normally connote. Essentially, the right involved is the right to return to one's country,
a totally distinct right under international law, independent from although related to the right
to travel. Thus, the Universal Declaration of Humans Rights and the International Covenant
on Civil and Political Rights treat the right to freedom of movement and abode within the
territory of a state, the right to leave a country, and the right to enter one's country as
separate and distinct rights. The Declaration speaks of the "right to freedom of movement and

Executive Power
The 1987 Constitution has fully restored the separation of powers of the three great branches
of government. To recall the words of Justice Laurel in Angara v. Electoral Commission [63
Phil. 139 (1936)], "the Constitution has blocked but with deft strokes and in bold lines,
allotment of power to the executive, the legislative and the judicial departments of the

government." [At 157.1 Thus, the 1987 Constitution explicitly provides that "[the legislative

We encounter this characteristic of Article 11 in its opening words: "The executive power shall

power shall be vested in the Congress of the Philippines" Art VI, Sec. 11, "[t]he executive power

be vested in a President of the United States of America." . . .. [ The President: Office and

shall bevested in the President of the Philippines" [Art. VII, Sec. 11, and "[te judicial power

Powers, 17871957, pp. 3-4.]

shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be established by law"
[Art. VIII, Sec. 1.] These provisions not only establish a separation of powers by actual division
[Angara v. Electoral Commission, supra] but also confer plenary legislative, executive and
judicial powers subject only to limitations provided in the Constitution. For as the Supreme
Court in Ocampo v. Cabangis [15 Phil. 626 (1910)] pointed out "a grant of the legislative power
means a grant of all legislative power; and a grant of the judicial power means a grant of all
the judicial power which may be exercised under the government." [At 631-632.1 If this can be
said of the legislative power which is exercised by two chambers with a combined membership

Reviewing how the powers of the U.S. President were exercised by the different persons who
held the office from Washington to the early 1900's, and the swing from the presidency by
commission to Lincoln's dictatorship, he concluded that "what the presidency is at any
particular moment depends in important measure on who is President." [At 30.]
This view is shared by Schlesinger who wrote in The Imperial Presidency:

of more than two hundred members and of the judicial power which is vested in a hierarchy of
courts, it can equally be said of the executive power which is vested in one official the

For the American Presidency was a peculiarly personal institution. it remained of course, an

President.

agency of government subject to unvarying demands and duties no remained, of cas


President. But, more than most agencies of government, it changed shape, intensity and ethos

As stated above, the Constitution provides that "[t]he executive power shall be vested in the
President of the Philippines." [Art. VII, Sec. 1]. However, it does not define what is meant by
executive power" although in the same article it touches on the exercise of certain powers by
the President, i.e., the power of control over all executive departments, bureaus and offices,
the power to execute the laws, the appointing power, the powers under the commander-inchief clause, the power to grant reprieves, commutations and pardons, the power to grant
amnesty with the concurrence of Congress, the power to contract or guarantee foreign loans,
the power to enter into treaties or international agreements, the power to submit the budget to
Congress, and the power to address Congress [Art. VII, Sec. 14-23].
The inevitable question then arises: by enumerating certain powers of the President did the
framers of the Constitution intend that the President shall exercise those specific powers and
no other? Are these se enumerated powers the breadth and scope of "executive power"?
Petitioners advance the view that the President's powers are limited to those specifically
enumerated in the 1987 Constitution. Thus, they assert: "The President has enumerated
powers, and what is not enumerated is impliedly denied to her. Inclusion unius est exclusio
alterius[Memorandum for Petitioners, p. 4- Rollo p. 233.1 This argument brings to mind the
institution of the U.S. Presidency after which ours is legally patterned.**
Corwin, in his monumental volume on the President of the United States grappled with the
same problem. He said:
Article II is the most loosely drawn chapter of the Constitution. To those who think that a
constitution ought to settle everything beforehand it should be a nightmare; by the same
token, to those who think that constitution makers ought to leave considerable leeway for the
future play of political forces, it should be a vision realized.

according to the man in charge. Each President's distinctive temperament and character, his
values, standards, style, his habits, expectations, Idiosyncrasies, compulsions, phobias recast
the WhiteHouse and pervaded the entire government. The executive branch, said Clark
Clifford, was a chameleon, taking its color from the character and personality of the President.
The thrust of the office, its impact on the constitutional order, therefore altered from President
to President. Above all, the way each President understood it as his personal obligation to
inform and involve the Congress, to earn and hold the confidence of the electorate and to
render an accounting to the nation and posterity determined whether he strengthened or
weakened the constitutional order. [At 212- 213.]
We do not say that the presidency is what Mrs. Aquino says it is or what she does but, rather,
that the consideration of tradition and the development of presidential power under the
different constitutions are essential for a complete understanding of the extent of and
limitations to the President's powers under the 1987 Constitution. The 1935 Constitution
created a strong President with explicitly broader powers than the U.S. President. The 1973
Constitution attempted to modify the system of government into the parliamentary type, with
the President as a mere figurehead, but through numerous amendments, the President
became even more powerful, to the point that he was also the de facto Legislature. The 1987
Constitution, however, brought back the presidential system of government and restored the
separation of legislative, executive and judicial powers by their actual distribution among
three distinct branches of government with provision for checks and balances.
It would not be accurate, however, to state that "executive power" is the power to enforce the
laws, for the President is head of state as well as head of government and whatever powers
inhere in such positions pertain to the office unless the Constitution itself withholds it.
Furthermore, the Constitution itself provides that the execution of the laws is only one of the
powers of the President. It also grants the President other powers that do not involve the
execution of any provision of law, e.g., his power over the country's foreign relations.

On these premises, we hold the view that although the 1987 Constitution imposes limitations

order,the protection of life, liberty, and property, and the promotion of the general welfare are

on the exercise ofspecific powers of the President, it maintains intact what is traditionally

essential for the enjoyment by all the people of the blessings of democracy." [Art. II, Secs. 4

considered as within the scope of "executive power." Corollarily, the powers of the President

and 5.]

cannot be said to be limited only to the specific powers enumerated in the Constitution. In
other words, executive power is more than the sum of specific powers so enumerated,

Admittedly, service and protection of the people, the maintenance of peace and order, the
protection of life, liberty and property, and the promotion of the general welfare are essentially

It has been advanced that whatever power inherent in the government that is neither

ideals to guide governmental action. But such does not mean that they are empty words.

legislative nor judicial has to be executive. Thus, in the landmark decision of Springer v.

Thus, in the exercise of presidential functions, in drawing a plan of government, and in

Government of the Philippine Islands, 277 U.S. 189 (1928), on the issue of who between the

directing implementing action for these plans, or from another point of view, in making any

Governor-General of the Philippines and the Legislature may vote the shares of stock held by

decision as President of the Republic, the President has to consider these principles, among

the Government to elect directors in the National Coal Company and the Philippine National

other things, and adhere to them.

Bank, the U.S. Supreme Court, in upholding the power of the Governor-General to do so, said:
Faced with the problem of whether or not the time is right to allow the Marcoses to return to
...Here the members of the legislature who constitute a majority of the "board" and

the Philippines, the President is, under the Constitution, constrained to consider these basic

"committee" respectively, are not charged with the performance of any legislative functions or

principles in arriving at a decision. More than that, having sworn to defend and uphold the

with the doing of anything which is in aid of performance of any such functions by the

Constitution, the President has the obligation under the Constitution to protect the people,

legislature. Putting aside for the moment the question whether the duties devolved upon these

promote their welfare and advance the national interest. It must be borne in mind that the

members are vested by the Organic Act in the Governor-General, it is clear that they are not

Constitution, aside from being an allocation of power is also a social contract whereby the

legislative in character, and still more clear that they are not judicial. The fact that they do not

people have surrendered their sovereign powers to the State for the common good. Hence, lest

fall within the authority of either of these two constitutes logical ground for concluding that they

the officers of the Government exercising the powers delegated by the people forget and the

do fall within that of the remaining one among which the powers of government are divided ....

servants of the people become rulers, the Constitution reminds everyone that "[s]overeignty

[At 202-203; Emphasis supplied.]

resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them." [Art. II, Sec. 1.]

We are not unmindful of Justice Holmes' strong dissent. But in his enduring words of dissent

The resolution of the problem is made difficult because the persons who seek to return to the

we find reinforcement for the view that it would indeed be a folly to construe the powers of a

country are the deposed dictator and his family at whose door the travails of the country are

branch of government to embrace only what are specifically mentioned in the Constitution:

laid and from whom billions of dollars believed to be ill-gotten wealth are sought to be
recovered. The constitutional guarantees they invoke are neither absolute nor inflexible. For

The great ordinances of the Constitution do not establish and divide fields of black and white.
Even the more specific of them are found to terminate in a penumbra shading gradually from
one extreme to the other. ....
xxx xxx xxx
It does not seem to need argument to show that however we may disguise it by veiling words
we do not and cannot carry out the distinction between legislative and executive action with
mathematical precision and divide the branches into watertight compartments, were it ever so
desirable to do so, which I am far from believing that it is, or that the Constitution requires.
[At 210- 211.]

the exercise of even the preferred freedoms of speech and ofexpression, although couched in
absolute terms, admits of limits and must be adjusted to the requirements of equally
important public interests [Zaldivar v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. Nos. 79690-707, October 7,
1981.]
To the President, the problem is one of balancing the general welfare and the common good
against the exercise of rights of certain individuals. The power involved is the President's
residual power to protect the general welfare of the people. It is founded on the duty of the
President, as steward of the people. To paraphrase Theodore Roosevelt, it is not only the power
of the President but also his duty to do anything not forbidden by the Constitution or the laws
that the needs of the nation demand [See Corwin, supra, at 153]. It is a power borne by the
President's duty to preserve and defend the Constitution. It also may be viewed as a power
implicit in the President's duty to take care that the laws are faithfully executed

The Power Involved

[see Hyman, The American President, where the author advances the view that an allowance of
discretionary power is unavoidable in any government and is best lodged in the President].

The Constitution declares among the guiding principles that "[t]he prime duty of
theGovernment is to serve and protect the people" and that "[t]he maintenance of peace and

More particularly, this case calls for the exercise of the President's powers as protector of the

normally left to the political departments to decide. But nonetheless there remain issues

peace. Rossiter The American Presidency].The power of the President to keep the peace is not

beyond the Court's jurisdiction the determination of which is exclusively for the President, for

limited merely to exercising the commander-in-chief powers in times of emergency or to

Congress or for the people themselves through a plebiscite or referendum. We cannot, for

leading the State against external and internal threats to its existence. The President is not

example, question the President's recognition of a foreign government, no matter how

only clothed with extraordinary powers in times of emergency, but is also tasked with

premature or improvident such action may appear. We cannot set aside a presidential pardon

attending to the day-to-day problems of maintaining peace and order and ensuring domestic

though it may appear to us that the beneficiary is totally undeserving of the grant. Nor can we

tranquility in times when no foreign foe appears on the horizon. Wide discretion, within the

amend the Constitution under the guise of resolving a dispute brought before us because the

bounds of law, in fulfilling presidential duties in times of peace is not in any way diminished

power is reserved to the people.

by the relative want of an emergency specified in the commander-in-chief provision. For in


making the President commander-in-chief the enumeration of powers that follow cannot be
said to exclude the President's exercising as Commander-in- Chief powers short of the calling
of the armed forces, or suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus or declaring
martial law, in order to keep the peace, and maintain public order and security.

There is nothing in the case before us that precludes our determination thereof on the
political question doctrine. The deliberations of the Constitutional Commission cited by
petitioners show that the framers intended to widen the scope of judicial review but they did
not intend courts of justice to settle all actual controversies before them. When political
questions are involved, the Constitution limits the determination to whether or not there has

That the President has the power under the Constitution to bar the Marcose's from returning

been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of the

has been recognized by memembers of the Legislature, and is manifested by the Resolution

official whose action is being questioned. If grave abuse is not established, the Court will not

proposed in the House of Representatives and signed by 103 of its members urging the

substitute its judgment for that of the official concerned and decide a matter which by its

President to allow Mr. Marcos to return to the Philippines "as a genuine unselfish gesture for

nature or by law is for the latter alone to decide. In this light, it would appear clear that the

true national reconciliation and as irrevocable proof of our collective adherence to

second paragraph of Article VIII, Section 1 of the Constitution, defining "judicial power," which

uncompromising respect for human rights under the Constitution and our laws." [House

specifically empowers the courts to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of

Resolution No. 1342, Rollo, p. 321.1 The Resolution does not question the President's power to

discretion on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the government, incorporates in the

bar the Marcoses from returning to the Philippines, rather, it appeals to the President's sense

fundamental law the ruling inLansang v. Garcia [G.R. No. L-33964, December 11, 1971, 42

of compassion to allow a man to come home to die in his country.

SCRA 4481 that:]

What we are saying in effect is that the request or demand of the Marcoses to be allowed to

Article VII of the [1935] Constitution vests in the Executive the power to suspend the privilege

return to the Philippines cannot be considered in the light solely of the constitutional

of the writ of habeas corpus under specified conditions. Pursuant to the principle of

provisions guaranteeing liberty of abode and the right to travel, subject to certain exceptions,

separation of powers underlying our system of government, the Executive is supreme within

or of case law which clearly never contemplated situations even remotely similar to the present

his own sphere. However, the separation of powers, under the Constitution, is not absolute.

one. It must be treated as a matter that is appropriately addressed to those residual unstated

What is more, it goes hand in hand with the system of checks and balances, under which the

powers of the President which are implicit in and correlative to the paramount duty residing in

Executive is supreme, as regards the suspension of the privilege, but only if and when he acts

that office to safeguard and protect general welfare. In that context, such request or demand

within the sphere alloted to him by the Basic Law, and the authority to determine whether or

should submit to the exercise of a broader discretion on the part of the President to determine

not he has so acted is vested in the Judicial Department, which, in this respect, is, in turn,

whether it must be granted or denied.

constitutionally supreme. In the exercise of such authority, the function of the Court is merely
to check not to supplant the Executive, or to ascertain merely whether he has gone beyond

The Extent of Review


Under the Constitution, judicial power includes the duty to determine whether or not there
has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of
any branch or instrumentality of the Government." [Art. VIII, Sec. 1] Given this wording, we
cannot agree with the Solicitor General that the issue constitutes a political question which is
beyond the jurisdiction of the Court to decide.
The present Constitution limits resort to the political question doctrine and broadens the
scope of judicial inquiry into areas which the Court, under previous constitutions, would have

the constitutional limits of his jurisdiction, not to exercise the power vested in him or to
determine the wisdom of his act [At 479-480.]
Accordingly, the question for the Court to determine is whether or not there exist factual bases
for the President to conclude that it was in the national interest to bar the return of the
Marcoses to the Philippines. If such postulates do exist, it cannot be said that she has acted,
or acts, arbitrarily or that she has gravely abused her discretion in deciding to bar their
return.

We find that from the pleadings filed by the parties, from their oral arguments, and the facts

The President has determined that the destabilization caused by the return of the Marcoses

revealed during the briefing in chambers by the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the

would wipe away the gains achieved during the past few years and lead to total economic

Philippines and the National Security Adviser, wherein petitioners and respondents were

collapse. Given what is within our individual and common knowledge of the state of the

represented, there exist factual bases for the President's decision..

economy, we cannot argue with that determination.

The Court cannot close its eyes to present realities and pretend that the country is not

WHEREFORE, and it being our well-considered opinion that the President did not act

besieged from within by a well-organized communist insurgency, a separatist movement in

arbitrarily or with grave abuse of discretion in determining that the return of former President

Mindanao, rightist conspiracies to grab power, urban terrorism, the murder with impunity of

Marcos and his family at the present time and under present circumstances poses a serious

military men, police officers and civilian officials, to mention only a few. The documented

threat to national interest and welfare and in prohibiting their return to the Philippines, the

history of the efforts of the Marcose's and their followers to destabilize the country, as earlier

instant petition is hereby DISMISSED.

narrated in this ponencia bolsters the conclusion that the return of the Marcoses at this time
would only exacerbate and intensify the violence directed against the State and instigate more
chaos.
As divergent and discordant forces, the enemies of the State may be contained. The military
establishment has given assurances that it could handle the threats posed by particular
groups. But it is the catalytic effect of the return of the Marcoses that may prove to be the

SO ORDERED.
G.R. No. L-37007
July 20, 1987
FACTS

proverbial final straw that would break the camel's back. With these before her, the President
cannot be said to have acted arbitrarily and capriciously and whimsically in determining that
the return of the Marcoses poses a serious threat to the national interest and welfare and in
prohibiting their return.
It will not do to argue that if the return of the Marcoses to the Philippines will cause the
escalation of violence against the State, that would be the time for the President to step in and
exercise the commander-in-chief powers granted her by the Constitution to suppress or stamp
out such violence. The State, acting through the Government, is not precluded from taking
pre- emptive action against threats to its existence if, though still nascent they are perceived
as apt to become serious and direct. Protection of the people is the essence of the duty of
government. The preservation of the State the fruition of the people's sovereignty is an

An information for Arbitrary Detention was filed against herein private respondent
(accused Barrio Captain Tuvera, Sr.) and some other private persons for maltreating
petitioner Valdez by hitting him with butts of their guns and fist blows. Immediately
thereafter, without legal grounds and with deliberate intent to deprive the latter of his
constitutional liberty, accused respondent and two members of the police force of Mangsat
conspired and helped one another in lodging and locking petitioner inside the municipal
jail of Manaoag, Pangasinan for about eleven (11) hours.

obligation in the highest order. The President, sworn to preserve and defend the Constitution
and to see the faithful execution the laws, cannot shirk from that responsibility.
Accused-respondent then filed a motion to quash the information on the ground that the
We cannot also lose sight of the fact that the country is only now beginning to recover from
the hardships brought about by the plunder of the economy attributed to the Marcoses and
their close associates and relatives, many of whom are still here in the Philippines in a
position to destabilize the country, while the Government has barely scratched the surface, so
to speak, in its efforts to recover the enormous wealth stashed away by the Marcoses in
foreign jurisdictions. Then, We cannot ignore the continually increasing burden imposed on
the economy by the excessive foreign borrowing during the Marcos regime, which stifles and
stagnates development and is one of the root causes of widespread poverty and all its
attendant ills. The resulting precarious state of our economy is of common knowledge and is
easily within the ambit of judicial notice.

facts charged do not constitute the elements of said crime and that the proofs adduced at
the investigation are not sufficient to support the filing of the information. Petitioner Asst.
Provincial Fiscal Milo filed an opposition thereto. Consequently, averring that accusedrespondent was not a public officer who can be charged with Arbitrary Detention,
respondent Judge Salanga granted the motion to quash in an order. Hence, this petition.

ISSUE: Whether or not accused-respondent, being a Barrio Captain, can be liable for the
crime of Arbitrary Detention.

many crimes of rape with homicide as there are rapes committed. In effect, the presence
of homicide qualifies the crime of rape, thereby raising its penalty to the highest degree.
Thus, homicide committed on the occasion or by reason of rape, loses its character as an

HELD Yes. The public officers liable for Arbitrary Detention must be vested with authority
to detain or order the detention of persons accused of a crime. One need not be a police
officer to be chargeable with Arbitrary Detention. It is accepted that other public officers

independent offense, but assumes a new character, and functions like a qualifying
circumstance. However,by fiction of law, it merged with rape to constitute an constituent
element of a special complex crime of rape with homicide with a specific penalty which is in
the highest degree. The petitioner and his six co-accused are not charged with only one rape

like judges and mayors, who act with abuse of their functions, may be guilty of this crime.

committed by him in conspiracy with the other six. Each one of the seven accused is charged

A perusal of the powers and function vested in mayors would show that they are similar to

with having himself raped Sarmenta instead of simply helping Sanchez in committing only one

those of a barrio captain except that in the case of the latter, his territorial jurisdiction is

rape. In other words, the allegation of the prosecution is that the girl was raped seven times,

smaller. Having the same duty of maintaining peace and order, both must be and are given
the authority to detain or order detention. Noteworthy is the fact that even private
respondent Tuvera himself admitted that with the aid of his rural police, he as a barrio
captain, could have led the arrest of petitioner Valdez.

Facts: Information was filed against several people including the petitioner in relation with the
rape-slay of Mary Eileen Sarmenta and the killing of Allan Gomez. Sanchez has brought the

with each of the seven accused taking turns in abusing her with the assistance of the other
six. Afterwards, their lust satisfied, all seven of them decided to kill and thus silence
Sarmenta. Every one of the seven accused is being charged separately for actually raping
Sarmenta and later killing her instead of merely assisting the petitioner in raping and then
slaying her. The separate informations filed against each of them allege that each of the seven
successive rapes is complexed by the subsequent slaying of Sarmenta and aggravated by the
killing of Allan Gomez by her seven attackers. The separate rapes were committed
in succession by the seven accused, culminating in the slaying of Sarmenta.

petition to challenge the order of the respondent judge denying his motion to quash the
information for rape with homicide filed against him and six other persons on the ground he is

VILLAVICENCIO VS LUKBAN

being charged with sevenhomicides arising from the death of only two persons. The petitioner
submits that the seven informations charging seven separatehomicides are absurd because
the two victims in these cases could not have died seven times.

Issue: Whether or not the court acted properly on denying the petition of Sanchez to quash on
the grounds that he is being charged with seven homicides arising from the death of only two
persons.

Held: The court ruled that where there are two or more offenders who commit rape,
the homicide committed on the occasion or by reason of each rape, must be deemed as a
constituent of the special complex crime of rape with homicide. Therefore, there will be as

Issue:
The writ of Habeas Corpus was filed by the petitioner, with the prayer that the respondent
produce around 170 women whom Justo Lukban et, al deported to Davao. Liberty of abode
was also raised versus the power of the executive of the Municipality in deporting the women
without their knowledge in his capacity as Mayor.
Facts:
Justo Lukban as Manila City's Mayor together with Anton Hohmann, the city's Chief of Police,
took custody of about 170 women at the night of October 25 beyond the latters consent and
knowledge and thereafter were shipped to Mindanao specifically in Davao where they were
signed as laborers. Said women are inmates of the houses of prostitution situated in Gardenia
Street, in the district of Sampaloc.
That when the petitioner filed for habeas corpus, the respondent moved to dismiss the case
saying that those women were already out of their jurisdiction and that , it should be filed in
the city of Davao instead.
The court ruled in favor of the petitioner with the instructions;

For the respondents to have fulfilled the court's order, three optional courses were open: (1)
They could have produced the bodies of the persons according to the command of the writ; or
(2) they could have shown by affidavit that on account of sickness or infirmity those persons
could not safely be brought before the court; or (3) they could have presented affidavits to
show that the parties in question or their attorney waived the right to be present.
Held:
The court concluded the case by granting the parties aggrieved the sum of 400 pesos each,
plus 100 pesos for nominal damage due to contempt of court. Reasoning further that if the
chief executive of any municipality in the Philippines could forcibly and illegally take a private
citizen and place him beyond the boundaries of the municipality, and then, when called upon
to defend his official action, could calmly fold his hands and claim that the person was under
no restraint and that he, the official, had no jurisdiction over this other municipality.
We believe the true principle should be that, if the respondent is within the jurisdiction of the
court and has it in his power to obey the order of the court and thus to undo the wrong that
he has inflicted, he should be compelled to do so. Even if the party to whom the writ is
addressed has illegally parted with the custody of a person before the application for the writ
is no reason why the writ should not issue. If the mayor and the chief of police, acting under
no authority of law, could deport these women from the city of Manila to Davao, the same
officials must necessarily have the same means to return them from Davao to Manila. The
respondents, within the reach of process, may not be permitted to restrain a fellow citizen of
her liberty by forcing her to change her domicile and to avow the act with impunity in the
courts, while the person who has lost her birthright of liberty has no effective recourse. The
great writ of liberty may not thus be easily evaded.

maintaining peace and order and ensuring domestic tranquility in times when no foreign foe
appears on the horizon. The documented history of the efforts of the Marcoses and their
followers to destabilize the country bolsters the conclusion that their return at this time would
only exacerbate and intensify the violence directed against the state and instigate more chaos.
The State, acting through the Government, is not precluded from taking preemptive actions
against threats to its existence if, though still nascent they are perceived as apt to become
serious and direct protection of the people is the essence of the duty of the government.
The Supreme Court held that the President did not act arbitrarily or with grave abuse of
discretion in determining the return of the petitioners at the present time and under present
circumstances poses a serious threat to national interest and welfare prohibiting their return
to the Philippines. The petition is DISMISSED.

ZALDIVAR VS SANDIGANBAYAN
Facts: The case stemmed from the resolution of the Supreme Court stopping the respondent
from investigating graft cases involving Antique Gov. Enrique Zaldivar. The Court ruled that
since the adoption of the 1987 Constitution, respondents powers as Tanodbayan have been

MARCOS VS MANGLAPUS
Facts:

After Ferdinand Marcos was deposed from the presidency, he and his family fled to Hawaii.
Now in his deathbed, petitioners are asking the court to order the respondents to issue their
travel documents and enjoin the implementation of the Presidents decision to bar their return

superseded by the creation of the Office of the Ombudsman, he however becomes the Special
Prosecutor of the State, and can only conduct an investigation and file cases only when so
authorized by the Ombudsman. A motion for reconsideration was filed by the respondent
wherein he included statements which were unrelated in the Issue raised in the Court. This
include: (a)That he had been approached twice by a leading member of the court and he was
asked to 'go slow on Zaldivar and 'not to be too hard on him; (b) That he "was approached and

to the Philippines. Petitioners contend under the provision of the Bill of Rights that the

asked to refrain from investigating the COA report on illegal disbursements in the Supreme

President is without power to impair their liberty of abode because only a court may do so

Court because 'it will embarass the Court;" and (c) that in several instances, the undersigned

within the limits prescribed by law. Nor, according to the petitioners, may the President

respondent was called over the phone by a leading member of the Court and was asked to

impair their right to travel because no law has authorized her to do so.

dismiss the cases against two Members of the Court." Statements of the respondent saying
that the SCs order '"heightens the people's apprehension over the justice system in this

Issue: Does the president have the power to bar the Marcoses from returning to the

country, especially because the people have been thinking that only the small fly can get it

Philippines?

while big fishes go scot-free was publicized in leading newspapers.

Ruling: The President has the obligation, under the Constitution to protect the people,

Now, the Court Resolved to require respondent to explain in writing why he should not be

promote their welfare and advance national interest. This case calls for the exercise of the
Presidents power as protector of the peace. The president is not only clothed with
extraordinary powers in times of emergency, but is also tasked with day-to-day problems of

punished for contempt of court for making such public statements reported in the media.
Respondent then sought to get some members of the Court to inhibit themselves in the

resolution of the Zaldivar case for alleged bias and prejudice against him. A little later, he in

Court which penalizes a variety of contumacious conduct including: "any improper conduct

effect asked the whole Court to inhibit itself from passing upon the Issue involved in

tending, directly or indirectly, to impede, obstruct or degrade the administration of justice."

proceeding and to pass on responsibility for this matter to the Integrated Bar of the
Philippines, upon the ground that respondent cannot expect due process from this Court, that

Under either the "clear and present danger" test or the "balancing-of-interest test," the Court

the Court has become incapable of judging him impartially and fairly. The Court found

held that the statements made by respondent Gonzalez are of such a nature and were made in

respondent guilty of contempt of court and indefinitely suspended from the practice of law.

such a manner and under such circumstances, as to transcend the permissible limits of free

Now, he assails said conviction, invoking his freedom of speech. Counsel for respondent urges

speech. What is here at stake is the authority of the Supreme Court to confront and prevent a

that it is error "for this Court to apply the "visible tendency" rule rather than the "clear and

"substantive evil" consisting not only of the obstruction of a free and fair hearing of a

present danger" rule in disciplinary and contempt charges."

particular case but also the avoidance of the broader evil of the degradation of the judicial
system of a country and the destruction of the standards of professional conduct required

Issue: Whether or Not there was a violation of the freedom of speech/expression.

from members of the bar and officers of the courts, which has some implications to the
society.

Held: There was no violation. The Court did not purport to announce a new doctrine of
"visible tendency," it was simply paraphrasing Section 3 (d) of Rule 71 of the Revised Rules of