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Held: It is defined as the imposition of

comparable taxes in two or more states on


the same taxpayer in respect of the same
subject matter and for identical periods.
(Commissioner of Internal Revenue v.
S.C. Johnson and Son, Inc., 309 SCRA
87, 102, June 25, 1999)
What is the rationale for doing
away with international juridical
double taxation?
What are the
methods resorted to by tax treaties
to eliminate double taxation?

174.

Held: The apparent rationale for doing


away with double taxation is to encourage
the free flow of goods and services and the
movement of capital, technology and
persons between countries, conditions
deemed vital in creating robust and
dynamic economies. Foreign investments
will only thrive in a fairly predictable and
reasonable international investment climate
and the protection against double taxation
is crucial in creating such a climate.
Double taxation usually takes place when a
person is resident of a contracting state
and derives income from, or owns capital
in, the other contracting state and both
states impose tax on that income or capital.
In order to eliminate double taxation, a tax
treaty resorts to several methods. First, it
sets out the respective rights to tax of the
state of source or situs and of the state of
residence with regard to certain classes of
income or capital. In some cases, an
exclusive right to tax is conferred on one of
the contracting states; however, for other
items of income or capital, both states are
given the right to tax, although the amount
of tax that may be imposed by the state of
source is limited.
The second method for the elimination of
double taxation applies whenever the state
of source is given a full or limited right to
tax together with the state of residence. In
this case, the treaties make it incumbent
upon the state of residence to allow relief in
ELS: Political Law

order to avoid double taxation. There are


two methods of relief - the exemption
method and the credit method. In the
exemption method, the income or capital
which is taxable in the state of source or
situs is exempted in the state of residence,
although in some instances it may be taken
into account in determining the rate of tax
applicable to the taxpayer's remaining
income or capital. On the other hand, in
the credit method, although the income or
capital which is taxed in the state of source
is still taxable in the state of residence, the
tax paid in the former is credited against
the tax levied in the latter. The basic
difference between the two methods is that
in the exemption method, the focus is on
the income or capital itself, whereas the
credit method focuses upon the tax.
(Commissioner of Internal Revenue v.
S.C. Johnson and Son, Inc., 309 SCRA
87, 102-103, June 25, 1999)
What is the rationale for reducing
the tax rate in negotiating tax
treaties?

175.

Held:
In negotiating tax treaties, the
underlying rationale for reducing the tax
rate is that the Philippines will give up a
part of the tax in the expectation that the
tax given up for this particular investment is
not taxed by the other country.
(Commissioner of Internal Revenue v.
S.C. Johnson and Son, Inc., 309 SCRA
87, 103, June 25, 1999)
THE BILL OF RIGHTS
The Due Process Clause
Discuss the Due Process Clause.
Distinguish substantive due process
from procedural due process.

176.

Held: Section 1 of the Bill of Rights lays


down what is known as the due process
clause of the Constitution.

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In order to fall within the aegis of this


provision, two conditions must concur,
namely, that there is a deprivation and that
such deprivation is done without proper
observance of due process. When one
speaks of due process of law, however, a
distinction must be made between matters
of procedure and matters of substance. In
essence, procedural due process refers to
the method or manner by which the law is
enforced, while substantive due process
requires that the law itself, not merely the
procedures by which the law would be
enforced, is fair, reasonable, and just.
(Corona v. United Harbor Pilots
Association of the Phils., 283 SCRA 31,
Dec. 12, 1997 [Romero])
Respondents
United
Harbor
Pilots Association of the Philippines
argue that due process was not
observed in the adoption of PPA-AO
No. 04-92 which provides that: (a)ll
existing regular appointments which
have been previously issued by the
Bureau of Customs or the PPA shall
remain valid up to 31 December 1992
only, and (a)ll appointments to
harbor pilot positions in all pilotage
districts shall, henceforth, be only
for a term of one (1) year from date
of effectivity subject to renewal or
cancellation by the Philippine Ports
Authority after conduct of a rigid
evaluation
of
performance,
allegedly because no hearing was
conducted
whereby
relevant
government agencies and the
harbor pilots themselves could
ventilate their views.
They also
contended that the sole and
exclusive right to the exercise of
harbor pilotage by pilots has
become vested and can only be
withdrawn
or
shortened
by
observing
the
constitutional
mandate of due process of law.

177.

Held: They are obviously referring to the


procedural aspect of the enactment.
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Fortunately, the Court has maintained a


clear position in this regard, a stance it has
stressed in the recent case of Lumiqued v.
Hon. Exevea, where it declared that (a)s
long as a party was given the opportunity to
defend his interests in due course, he
cannot be said to have been denied due
process of law, for this opportunity to be
heard is the very essence of due process.
Moreover, this constitutional mandate is
deemed satisfied if a person is granted an
opportunity to seek reconsideration of the
action or ruling complained of.
In the case at bar, respondents questioned
PPA-AO No. 04-92 no less than four times
before the matter was finally elevated to
this Tribunal. Their arguments on this
score, however, failed to persuade. X x x
Neither does the fact that the pilots
themselves were not consulted in any way
taint the validity of the administrative order.
As a general rule, notice and hearing, as
the
fundamental
requirements
of
procedural due process, are essential only
when an administrative body exercises its
quasi-judicial function. In the performance
of its executive or legislative functions,
such as issuing rules and regulations, an
administrative body need not comply with
the requirements of notice and hearing.
Upon the other hand, it is also contended
that the sole and exclusive right to the
exercise of harbor pilotage by pilots is a
settled issue. Respondents aver that said
right has become vested and can only be
withdrawn or shortened by observing the
constitutional mandate of due process of
law. Their argument has thus shifted from
the procedural to one of substance. It is
here where PPA-AO No. 04-92 fails to
meet the condition set by the organic law.
Pilotage, just like other professions, may be
practiced only by duly licensed individuals.
Licensure is the granting of license
especially to practice a profession. It is
also the system of granting licenses (as for

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professional practice) in accordance with


established standards. A license is a right
or permission granted by some competent
authority to carry on a business or do an
act which, without such license, would be
illegal.
Before harbor pilots can earn a license to
practice their profession, they literally have
to pass through the proverbial eye of a
needle by taking, not one but five
examinations, each followed by actual
training and practice. X x x
Their license is granted in the form of an
appointment which allows them to engage
in pilotage until they retire at the age of 70
years. This is a vested right. Under the
terms of PPA-AO No. 04-92, [a]ll existing
regular appointments which have been
previously issued by the Bureau of
Customs or the PPA shall remain valid up
to 31 December 1992 only, and (a)ll
appointments to harbor pilot positions in all
pilotage districts shall, henceforth, be only
for a term of one (1) year from date of
effectivity subject to renewal or cancellation
by the Authority after conduct of a rigid
evaluation of performance.
It is readily apparent that PPA-AO No. 0492 unduly restricts the right of harbor pilots
to enjoy their profession before their
compulsory retirement. In the past, they
enjoyed a measure of security knowing that
after passing five examinations and
undergoing years of on-the-job training,
they would have a license which they could
use until their retirement, unless sooner
revoked by the PPA for mental or physical
unfitness. Under the new issuance, they
have to contend with an annual
cancellation of their license which can be
temporary or permanent depending on the
outcome of their performance evaluation.
Veteran pilots and neophytes alike are
suddenly confronted with one-year terms
which ipso facto expire at the end of that
period. Renewal of their license is now
dependent on a rigid evaluation of
ELS: Political Law

performance which is conducted only after


the license has already been cancelled.
Hence, the use of the term renewal. It is
this pre-evaluation cancellation which
primarily makes PPA-AO No. 04-92
unreasonable and constitutionally infirm. In
a real sense, it is a deprivation of property
without due process of law. (Corona v.
United Harbor Pilots Association of the
Phils., 283 SCRA 31, December 12, 1997
[Romero])
Does the due process clause
encompass the right to be assisted
by counsel during an administrative
inquiry?

178.

Held: The right to counsel, which cannot


be waived unless the waiver is in writing
and in the presence of counsel, is a right
afforded a suspect or an accused during
custodial investigation. It is not an absolute
right and may, thus, be invoked or rejected
in a criminal proceeding and, with more
reason, in an administrative inquiry. In the
case at bar, petitioners invoke the right of
an accused in criminal proceedings to have
competent and independent counsel of his
own choice. Lumiqued, however, was not
accused of any crime in the proceedings
below. The investigation conducted by the
committee x x x was for the sole purpose of
determining if he could be held
administratively liable under the law for the
complaints filed against him. x x x As such,
the hearing conducted by the investigating
committee was not part of a criminal
prosecution. X x x
While investigations conducted by an
administrative body may at times be akin to
a criminal proceeding, the fact remains that
under existing laws, a party in an
administrative inquiry may or may not be
assisted by counsel, irrespective of the
nature of the charges and of the
respondent's capacity to represent himself,
and no duty rests on such a body to furnish
the person being investigated with counsel.
In an administrative proceeding x x x a

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respondent x x x has the option of


engaging the services of counsel or not. x
x x Thus, the right to counsel is not
imperative in administrative investigations
because such inquiries are conducted
merely to determine whether there are
facts that merit disciplinary measures
against
erring
public
officers
and
employees, with the purpose of maintaining
the dignity of government service.
The right to counsel is not indispensable to
due process unless required by the
Constitution or the law. Lumiqued v.
Exevea, 282 SCRA 125, Nov. 18, 1997
[Romero])
Discuss the Void for Vagueness
Doctrine, and why is it repugnant to the
Constitution. Distinguish a perfectly
vague act from legislation couched in
imprecise language.
179.

Held: 1. Due process requires that the


terms of a penal statute must be sufficiently
explicit to inform those who are subject to it
what conduct on their part will render them
liable to its penalties. A criminal statute
that fails to give a person of ordinary
intelligence
fair
notice
that
his
contemplated conduct is forbidden by the
statute, or is so indefinite that it
encourages arbitrary and erratic arrests
and convictions, is void for vagueness.
The constitutional vice in a vague or
indefinite statute is the injustice to the
accused in placing him on trial for an
offense, the nature of which he is given no
fair warning.
We reiterated these principles in
People v. Nazario:
As a rule, a statute or act may be said to be
vague when it lacks comprehensible
standards
that
men
of
common
intelligence must necessarily guess at its
meaning and differ as to its application. It
is repugnant to the Constitution in two
respects: (1) it violates due process for
ELS: Political Law

failure to accord persons, especially the


parties targeted by it, fair notice of the
conduct to avoid; and (2) it leaves law
enforcers unbridled discretion in carrying
out its provisions and become an arbitrary
flexing of the Government muscle.
We added, however, that:
X x x the act must be utterly vague on its
face, that is to say, it cannot be clarified by
either a saving clause or by construction.
Thus, in Coates v. City of Cincinnati, the
U.S. Supreme Court struck down an
ordinance that had made it illegal for three
or more persons to assemble on any
sidewalk and there conduct themselves in
a manner annoying to persons passing by.
Clearly, the ordinance imposed no standard
at all because one may never know in
advance what annoys some people but
does not annoy others.
Coates highlights what has been referred
to as a perfectly vague act whose
obscurity is evident on its face. It is to be
distinguished, however, from legislation
coached in imprecise language but which
nonetheless specifies a standard though
defectively phrased in which case, it may
be saved by proper construction. X x x
(People v. Dela Piedra, 350 SCRA 163,
Jan. 24, 2001, 1st Div. [Kapunan])
2.
The doctrine has been
formulated in various ways, but is
commonly stated to the effect that a statute
establishing a criminal offense must define
the offense with sufficient definiteness that
persons of ordinary intelligence can
understand what conduct is prohibited by
the statute. It can only be invoked against
that specie of legislation that is utterly
vague on its face, i.e., that which cannot be
clarified either by a saving clause or by
construction.
A statute or act may be said to be
vague when it lacks comprehensible
standards that men of common intelligence

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must necessarily guess at its meaning and


differ in its application. In such instance,
the statute is repugnant to the Constitution
in two (2) respects it violated due process
for failure to accord persons, especially the
parties targeted by it, fair notice of what
conduct to avoid; and, it leaves law
enforcers unbridled discretion in carrying
out its provisions and becomes an arbitrary
flexing of the Government muscle. But the
doctrine does not apply as against
legislations that are merely couched in
imprecise language but which nonetheless
specify a standard though defectively
phrased; or to those that are apparently
ambiguous yet fairly applicable to certain
types of activities. The first may be saved
by proper construction, while no challenge
may be mounted as against the second
whenever directed against such activities.
With more reason, the doctrine cannot be
invoked where the assailed statute is clear
and free from ambiguity, as in this case.
The test in determining whether a
criminal statute is void for uncertainty is
whether
the
language
conveys
a
sufficiently definite warning as to the
proscribed conduct when measured by
common understanding and practice. It
must be stressed, however, that the
vagueness doctrine merely requires a
reasonable degree of certainty for the
statute to be upheld not absolute
precision or mathematical exactitude, as
petitioner seems to suggest. Flexibility,
rather than meticulous specificity, is
permissible as long as the metes and
bounds of the statute are clearly
delineated. An act will not be held invalid
merely because it might have been more
explicit in its wordings or detailed in its
provisions, especially where, because of
the nature of the act, it would be impossible
to provide all the details in advance as in all
other statutes. (Joseph Ejercito Estrada
v. Sandiganbayan [Third Division], G.R.
No. 148560, Nov. 19, 2001, En Banc
[Bellosillo])
ELS: Political Law

Does Article 13 (b) of the Labor


Code defining recruitment and
placement violate the due process
clause?

180.

Held: In support of her submission that


Article 13 (b) is void for vagueness,
appellant invokes People v. Panis, where
this Court x x x criticized the definition of
recruitment and placement x x x.
Appellant further argues that the acts that
constitute recruitment and placement
suffer from overbreadth since by merely
referring a person for employment, a
person may be convicted of illegal
recruitment.
These contentions cannot be sustained.
Appellants reliance on People v. Panis is
misplaced.
The issue in Panis was
whether, under the proviso of Article 13(b),
the crime of illegal recruitment could be
committed only whenever two or more
persons are in any manner promised or
offered any employment for a fee. The
Court held in the negative x x x.
X x x The Court, in Panis, merely
bemoaned the lack of records that would
help shed light on the meaning of the
proviso. The absence of such records
notwithstanding, the Court was able to
arrive at a reasonable interpretation of the
proviso by applying principles in criminal
law and drawing from the language and
intent of the law itself. Section 13(b),
therefore, is not a perfectly vague act
whose obscurity is evident on its face. If at
all, the proviso therein is merely couched in
imprecise language that was salvaged by
proper construction. It is not void for
vagueness.
Xxx
That Section 13(b) encompasses what
appellant
apparently
considers
as
customary and harmless acts such as

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labor or employment referral (referring


an applicant, for employment to a
prospective employer) does not render the
law overbroad.
Evidently, appellant
misapprehends concept of overbreadth.
A statute may be said to be overbroad
where it operates to inhibit the exercise of
individual
freedoms
affirmatively
guaranteed by the Constitution, such as the
freedom of speech or religion. A generally
worded statute, when construed to punish
conduct which cannot be constitutionally
punished is unconstitutionally vague to the
extent that it fails to give adequate warning
of
the
boundary
between
the
constitutionally
permissible
and
the
constitutionally impermissible applications
of the statute.
In Blo Umpar Adiong v. Commission on
Elections, for instance, we struck down as
void for overbreadth provisions prohibiting
the posting of election propaganda in any
place including private vehicles other
than in the common poster areas
sanctioned by the COMELEC. We held
that the challenged provisions not only
deprived the owner of the vehicle the use
of his property but also deprived the citizen
of his right to free speech and information.
The prohibition in Adiong, therefore, was so
broad that it covered even constitutionally
guaranteed rights and, hence, void for
overbreadth. In the present case, however,
appellant did not even specify what
constitutionally protected freedoms are
embraced by the definition of recruitment
and placement that would render the same
constitutionally overbroad.
(People v.
Dela Piedra, 350 SCRA 163, Jan. 24,
2001, 1st Div. [Kapunan])

of his violation. Section 2 is sufficiently


explicit in its description of the acts,
conduct and conditions required or
forbidden, and prescribes the elements of
the crime with reasonable certainty and
particularity. X x x
As long as the law affords some
comprehensible guide or rule that would
inform those who are subject to it what
conduct would render them liable to its
penalties, its validity would be sustained. It
must sufficiently guide the judge in its
application; the counsel, in defending one
charged with its violation; and more
importantly, the accused, in identifying the
realm of the proscribed conduct. Indeed, it
can be understood with little difficulty that
what the assailed statute punishes is the
act of a public officer in amassing or
accumulating ill-gotten wealth of at least
P50,000,000.00 through a series or
combination of acts enumerated in Sec. 1,
par. (d), of the Plunder Law.
In fact, the amended Information
itself closely tracks the language of the law,
indicating with reasonable certainty the
various elements of the offense which
petitioner is alleged to have committed x x
x.

181.

We discern nothing in the foregoing


that is vague or ambiguous as there is
obviously none that will confuse petitioner
in his defense. Although subject to proof,
these factual assertions clearly show that
the elements of the crime are easily
understood and provide adequate contrast
between the innocent and the prohibited
acts. Upon such unequivocal assertions,
petitioner is completely informed of the
accusations against him as to enable him
to prepare for an intelligent defense.

Held: As it is written, the Plunder


Law contains ascertainable standards and
well-defined parameters which would
enable the accused to determine the nature

Petitioner, however, bewails the


failure of the law to provide for the statutory
definition of the terms combination and
series in the key phrase a combination or
series of overt or criminal acts found in

Is
the
Plunder
Law
unconstitutional for being vague?

ELS: Political Law

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Sec. 1, par. (d), and Sec. 2, and the word


pattern in Sec. 4. These omissions,
according to petitioner, render the Plunder
Law
unconstitutional
for
being
impermissibly vague and overbroad and
deny him the right to be informed of the
nature and cause of the accusation against
him, hence, violative of his fundamental
right to due process.
The rationalization seems to us to
be pure sophistry. A statute is not rendered
uncertain and void merely because general
terms are used therein, or because of the
employment of terms without defining
them; much less do we have to define
every word we use. Besides, there is no
positive
constitutional
or
statutory
command requiring the legislature to define
each and every word in an enactment.
Congress is not restricted in the form of
expression of its will, and its inability to so
define the words employed in a statute will
not necessarily result in the vagueness or
ambiguity of the law so long as the
legislative will is clear, or at least, can be
gathered from the whole act, which is
distinctly expressed in the Plunder Law.
Moreover, it is a well-settled
principle of legal hermeneutics that words
of a statute will be interpreted in their
natural, plain and ordinary acceptation and
signification, unless it is evident that the
legislature intended a technical or special
legal meaning to those words.
The
intention of the lawmakers who are,
ordinarily, untrained philologists and
lexicographers to use statutory
phraseology in such a manner is always
presumed.
Thus, Websters New
Collegiate Dictionary contains the following
commonly accepted definition of the words
combination and series.
Combination the result or product of
combining; the act or process of combining.
To combine is to bring into such close
relationship as to obscure individual
characters.
ELS: Political Law

Series a number of things or events of


the same class coming one after another in
spatial and temporal succession.
That Congress intended the words
combination
and
series
to
be
understood in their popular meanings is
pristinely evident from the legislative
deliberations on the bill which eventually
became RA 7080 or the Plunder Law x x x.
Xxx
Thus when the Plunder Law speaks
of combination, it is referring to at least
two (2) acts falling under different
categories or enumeration provided in Sec.
1, par. (d), e.g., raids on the public treasury
in Sec. 1, par. (d), subpar. (1), and
fraudulent conveyance of assets belonging
to the National Government under Sec. 1,
par. (d), subpar. (3).
On the other hand, to constitute a
series there must be two (2) or more overt
or criminal acts falling under the same
category of enumeration found in Sec. 1,
par.
(d),
say,
misappropriation,
malversation and raids on the public
treasury, all of which fall under Sec. 1, par.
(d), subpar. (1). Verily, had the legislature
intended a technical or distinctive meaning
for combination and series, it would
have taken greater pains in specifically
providing for it in the law.
As for pattern, we agree with the
observations of the Sandiganbayan that
this term is sufficiently defined in Sec. 4, in
relation to Sec. 1, par. (d), and Sec. 2
x x x under Sec. 1 (d) of the law, a pattern
consists of at least a combination or
series of overt or criminal acts
enumerated in subsections (1) to (6) of
Sec. 1 (d). Secondly, pursuant to Sec. 2 of
the law, the pattern of overt or criminal acts
is directed towards a common purpose
or goal which is to enable the public

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officer to amass, accumulate or acquire


ill-gotten wealth. And thirdly, there must
either be an overall unlawful scheme or
conspiracy to achieve said common
goal. As commonly understood, the term
overall unlawful scheme indicates a
general plan of action or method which
the principal accused and public officer and
others conniving with him follow to achieve
the aforesaid common goal.
In the
alternative, if there is no such overall
scheme or where the schemes or methods
used by multiple accused vary, the overt or
criminal acts must form part of a
conspiracy to attain a common goal.
Xxx
Hence, it cannot plausibly be contended
that the law does not give a fair warning
and sufficient notice of what it seeks to
penalize.
Under the circumstances,
petitioners reliance on the void-forvagueness
doctrine
is
manifestly
misplaced.
Xxx
Moreover, we agree with, hence we
adopt, the observations of Mr. Justice
Vicente
V.
Mendoza
during
the
deliberations of the Court that the
allegations that the Plunder Law is vague
and overbroad do not justify a facial review
of its validity
The void-for-vagueness doctrine states that
a statute which either forbids or requires
the doing of an act in terms so vague that
men of common intelligence must
necessarily guess at its meaning and differ
as to its application violates the first
essential of due process of law. (Connally
v. General Constr. Co., 269 U.S. 385, 391,
70 L. Ed. 328 [1926] cited in Ermita-Malate
Hotel and Motel Operators Assn. v. City
Mayor, 20 SCRA 849, 867 [1967]) The
overbreadth doctrine, on the other hand,
decrees that a governmental purpose may
not be achieved by means which sweep
ELS: Political Law

unnecessarily broadly and thereby invade


the area of protected freedoms. (NAACP
v. Alabama, 377 U.S. 288, 307, 12, 2 L. Ed
325, 338 [1958]; Shelton v. Tucker, 364
U.S. 479, 5 L. Ed. 2d 231 [1960])
A facial challenge is allowed to be made to
a vague statute and to one which is
overbroad because of possible chilling
effect upon protected speech. The theory
is that [w]hen statutes regulate or
proscribe speech and no readily apparent
construction suggests itself as a vehicle for
rehabilitating the statutes in a single
prosecution, the transcendent value to all
society
of
constitutionally
protected
expression is deemed to justify allowing
attacks on overly broad statutes with no
requirement that the person making the
attack demonstrate that his own conduct
could not be regulated by a statute drawn
with narrow specificity. (Gooding v. Wilson,
405 U.S. 518, 521, 31 L. Ed. 2d 408, 413
[1972] [internal quotation marks omitted])
The possible harm to society in permitting
some unprotected speed to go unpunished
is outweighed by the possibility that the
protected speech of others may be
deterred and perceived grievances left to
fester because of possible inhibitory effects
of overly broad statutes.
This rationale does not apply to penal
statutes. Criminal statutes have general in
terrorem effect resulting from their very
existence, and, if facial challenge is
allowed for this reason alone, the State
may well be prevented from enacting laws
against socially harmful conduct. In the
area of criminal law, the law cannot take
chances as in the area of free speech.
The overbreadth and vagueness doctrine
then have special application only to free
speech cases. They are inapt for testing
the validity of penal statutes. As the U.S.
Supreme Court put it, in an opinion by
Chief Justice Rehnquist, we have not
recognized an overbreadth doctrine
outside the limited context of the First

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Amendment. In Broadwick v. Oklahoma


(413 U.S. 601, 612-613, 37 L Ed. 2d 830,
840-841 [1973]), the Court ruled that
claims of facial overbreadth have been
entertained in cases involving statutes
which, by their terms, seek to regulate only
spoken
words
and,
again,
that
overbreadth claims, if entertained at all,
have been curtailed when invoked against
ordinary criminal laws that are sought to be
applied to protected conduct. For this
reason, it has been held that a facial
challenge to a legislative act is the most
difficult challenge to mount successfully,
since the challenger must establish that no
set of circumstances exists under which the
Act would be valid. (United States v.
Salerno, supra.) As for the vagueness
doctrine, it is said that a litigant may
challenge a statute on its face only if it is
vague in all its possible applications. A
plaintiff who engages in some conduct that
is clearly proscribed cannot complain of the
vagueness of the law as applied to the
conduct of others. (Village of Hoffman
Estates v. Flipside, Hoffman Estates, Inc.,
455 U.S. 489, 494-95, 71 L Ed. 2d 362,
369 [1982])

Amendment context, like overbreadth


challenges
typically
produce
facial
invalidation, while statutes found to be
vague as a matter of due process typically
are invalidated [only] as applied to a
particular defendant. (G. Gunther & K.
Sullivan, Constitutional Law 1299 [2001])
Consequently, there is no basis for
petitioners claim that this Court review the
Anti-Plunder Law on its face and in its
entirety.

In sum, the doctrines of strict scrutiny,


overbreadth, and vagueness are analytical
tools developed for testing on their faces
statutes in free speech cases or, as they
are called in American law, First
Amendment cases. They cannot be made
to do service when what is involved is a
criminal statute. With respect to such
statute, the established rule is that one to
whom application of a statute is
constitutional will not be heard to attack the
statute on the ground that impliedly it might
also be taken as applying to other persons
or other situations in which its application
might be unconstitutional. (United States
v. Raines, 362 U.S. 17, 21, 4 L. Ed. 2d 524,
529 [1960]. The paradigmatic case is
Yazoo & Mississippi Valley RR. v. Jackson
Vinegar Co., 226 U.S. 217, 57 l. Ed. 193
[1912])
As has been pointed out,
vagueness challenges in the First

[T]he task of analyzing a proposed statute,


pinpointing its deficiencies, and requiring
correction of these deficiencies before the
statute is put into effect, is rarely if ever an
appropriate task for the judiciary. The
combination of the relative remoteness of
the controversy, the impact on the
legislative process of the relief sought, and
above all the speculative and amorphous
nature of the required line-by-line analysis
of detailed statutes, x x x ordinarily results
in a kind of case that is wholly
unsatisfactory for deciding constitutional
questions, whichever way they might be
decided.

ELS: Political Law

Indeed, on its face invalidation of statutes


results in striking them down entirely on the
ground that they might be applied to parties
not before the Court whose activities are
constitutionally protected (Id. at 1328). It
constitutes a departure from the case and
controversy requirement of the Constitution
and permits decisions to be made without
concrete factual settings and in sterile
abstract contexts (Constitution, Art. VIII,
Sections 1 and 5. Compare Angara v.
Electoral Commission, 63 Phil. 139, 158
[1936]). But, as the U.S. Supreme Court
pointed out in Younger v. Harris (401 U.S.
37, 52-53, 27 L. Ed. 2d 669, 680 [1971];
others omitted.)

For these reasons, on its face invalidation


of statutes has been described as
manifestly strong medicine, to be
employed sparingly and only as a last
resort, (Broadwick v. Oklahoma, 413 U.S.

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at 613, 37 L.Ed.2d at 841; National


Endowment for the Arts v. Finley, 524 U.S.
569, 580 [1998]) and is generally
disfavored (FW/PBS, Inc. v. City of Dallas,
493 U.S. 223, 107 L.Ed.2d 603 [1990];
Cruz v. Secretary of Environment and
Natural Resources, G.R. No. 135385, 6
December 2000 [Mendoza, J., Separate
Opinion]).
In
determining
the
constitutionality of a statute, therefore, its
provisions which are alleged to have been
violated in a case must be examined in the
light of the conduct with which the
defendant is charged (United States v.
National Dairy Prod. Corp., 372 U.S. 29,
32-33, 9 L.Ed.2d 561, 565-6 [1963])
In light of the foregoing disquisition,
it is evident that the purported ambiguity of
the Plunder Law, so tenaciously claimed
and argued at length by petitioner, is more
imagined than real. Ambiguity, where none
exists, cannot be created by dissecting
parts and words in the statute to furnish
support to critics who cavil at the want of
scientific precision in the law.
Every
provision of the law should be construed in
relation and with reference to every other
part. To be sure, it will take more than
nitpicking to overturn the well-entrenched
presumption of constitutionality and validity
of the Plunder Law. A fortiori, petitioner
cannot feign ignorance of what the Plunder
Law is all about. Being one of the Senators
who voted for its passage, petitioner must
be aware that the law was extensively
deliberated upon by the Senate and its
appropriate committees by reason of which
he even registered his affirmative vote with
full knowledge of its legal implications and
sound constitutional anchorage. (Joseph
Ejercito Estrada v. Sandiganbayan
[Third Division], G.R. No. 148560, Nov.
19, 2001, En Banc [Bellosillo])
Does an extraditee have the right
to notice and hearing during the
evaluation stage of an extradition
proceeding?

182.

ELS: Political Law

Held: Considering that in the case at bar,


the extradition proceeding is only at its
evaluation stage, the nature of the right
being claimed by the private respondent is
nebulous and the degree of prejudice he
will allegedly suffer is weak, we accord
greater weight to the interests espoused by
the government thru the petitioner
Secretary of Justice. X x x
In tilting the balance in favor of the
interests of the State, the Court stresses
that it is not ruling that the private
respondent has no right to due process at
all throughout the length and breadth of the
extradition proceedings. Procedural due
process requires a determination of what
process is due, when it is due, and the
degree of what is due. Stated otherwise, a
prior determination should be made as to
whether procedural protections are at all
due and when they are due, which in turn
depends on the extent to which an
individual will be "condemned to suffer
grievous loss." We have explained why an
extraditee has no right to notice and
hearing during the evaluation stage of the
extradition process. As aforesaid, P.D. No.
1069 which implements the RP-US
Extradition Treaty affords an extraditee
sufficient opportunity to meet the evidence
against him once the petition is filed in
court. The time for the extraditee to know
the basis of the request for his extradition
is merely moved to the filing in court of the
formal petition for extradition.
The
extraditee's right to know is momentarily
withheld during the evaluation stage of the
extradition process to accommodate the
more compelling interest of the State to
prevent escape of potential extraditees
which can be precipitated by premature
information of the basis of the request for
his extradition. No less compelling at that
stage of the extradition proceedings is the
need to be more deferential to the
judgment of a co-equal branch of the
government, the Executive, which has
been endowed by our Constitution with
greater power over matters involving our

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foreign relations. Needless to state, this


balance of interests is not a static but a
moving balance which can be adjusted as
the extradition process moves from the
administrative stage to the judicial stage
and to the execution stage depending on
factors that will come into play. In sum, we
rule that the temporary hold on private
respondent's privilege of notice and
hearing is a soft restraint on his right to due
process which will not deprive him of
fundamental fairness should he decide to
resist the request for his extradition to the
United States. There is no denial of due
process as long as fundamental fairness is
assured a party. (Secretary of Justice v.
Hon. Ralph C. Lantion, G.R. No. 139465,
Oct. 17, 2000, En Banc [Puno])
Will Mark Jimenezs detention
prior to the conclusion of the
extradition proceedings not amount to a
violation of his right to due process?
183.

documents after a determination that the


extradition request meets the requirements
of the law and the relevant treaty; (2) the
extradition judges independent prima facie
determination that his arrest will best serve
the ends of justice before the issuance of a
warrant for his arrest; and (3) his
opportunity, once he is under the courts
custody, to apply for bail as an exception to
the no-initial-bail rule.
It is also worth noting that before the
US government requested the extradition
of respondent, proceedings had already
been conducted in that country.
But
because he left the jurisdiction of the
requesting state before those proceedings
could be completed, it was hindered from
continuing with the due processes
prescribed under its laws. His invocation of
due process now had thus become hollow.
He already had that opportunity in the
requesting state; yet, instead of taking it, he
ran away.

Held:
Contrary to his contention, his
detention prior to the conclusion of the
extradition proceedings does not amount to
a violation of his right to due process. We
iterate the familiar doctrine that the
essence of due process is the opportunity
to be heard but, at the same time, point out
that the doctrine does not always call for a
prior opportunity to be heard. Where the
circumstances such as those present in
an extradition case call for it, a
subsequent opportunity to be heard is
enough. In the present case, respondent
will be given full opportunity to be heard
subsequently, when the extradition court
hears the Petition for Extradition. Hence,
there is no violation of his right to due
process and fundamental fairness.

In this light, would it be proper and


just for the government to increase the risk
of violating its treaty obligations in order to
accord Respondent Jimenez his personal
liberty in the span of time that it takes to
resolve the Petition for Extradition? His
supposed immediate deprivation of liberty
without due process that he had previously
shunned pales against the governments
interest in fulfilling its Extradition Treaty
obligations and in cooperating with the
world community in the suppression of
crime. Indeed, [c]onstitutional liberties do
not exist in a vacuum; the due process
rights accorded to individuals must be
carefully balanced against exigent and
palpable government interest.

Contrary to the contention of


Jimenez, we find no arbitrariness, either, in
the immediate deprivation of his liberty
prior to his being heard. That his arrest
and detention will not be arbitrary is
sufficiently ensured by (1) the DOJs filing
in court the Petition with its supporting

Too, we cannot allow our country to


be a haven for fugitives, cowards and
weaklings who, instead of facing the
consequences of their actions, choose to
run and hide. Hence, it would not be good
policy to increase the risk of violating our
treaty obligations if, through overprotection

ELS: Political Law

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or excessively liberal treatment, persons


sought to be extradited are able to evade
arrest or escape from our custody. In the
absence of any provision in the
Constitution, the law or the treaty
expressly guaranteeing the right to bail in
extradition proceedings, adopting the
practice of not granting them bail, as a
general rule, would be a step towards
deterring fugitives from coming to the
Philippines to hide from or evade their
prosecutors.
The denial of bail as a matter of
course in extradition cases falls into place
with and gives life to Article 14 (It states: If
the person sought consents in writing to
surrender to the Requesting State, the
Requested State may surrender the person
as expeditiously as possible without further
proceedings.) of the Treaty, since this
practice would encourage the accused to
voluntarily surrender to the requesting state
to cut short their detention here. Likewise,
their detention pending the resolution of
extradition proceedings would fall into
place with the emphasis of the Extradition
Law on the summary nature of extradition
cases and the need for their speedy
disposition. (Government of the United
States of America v. Hon. Guillermo
Purganan, G.R. No. 148571, Sept. 24,
2002, En Banc [Panganiban])
The Equal Protection Clause
Explain and discuss the equal
protection of the law clause.

184.

Held: 1. The equal protection of the law is


embraced in the concept of due process,
as every unfair discrimination offends the
requirements of justice and fair play. It has
nonetheless been embodied in a separate
clause in Article III, Sec. 1, of the
Constitution to provide for a more specific
guaranty against any form of undue
favoritism or hostility from the government.
Arbitrariness in general may be challenged
ELS: Political Law

on the basis of the due process clause.


But if the particular act assailed partakes of
an unwarranted partiality or prejudice, the
sharper weapon to cut it down is the equal
protection clause.
According to a long line of decisions, equal
protection simply requires that all persons
or things similarly situated should be
treated alike, both as to rights conferred
and responsibilities imposed.
Similar
subjects, in other words, should not be
treated differently, so as to give undue
favor to some and unjustly discriminate
against others.
The equal protection clause does not
require the universal application of the laws
on all persons or things without distinction.
This might in fact sometimes result in
unequal protection, as where, for example,
a law prohibiting mature books to all
persons, regardless of age, would benefit
the morals of the youth but violate the
liberty of adults. What the clause requires
is equality among equals as determined
according to a valid classification. By
classification is meant the grouping of
persons or things similar to each other in
certain particulars and different from all
others in these same particulars.
(Philippine Judges Association v.
Prado, 227 SCRA 703, 711-712, Nov. 11,
1993, En Banc [Cruz])
2. The equal protection clause exists to
prevent undue favor or privilege. It is
intended to eliminate discrimination and
oppression
based
on
inequality.
Recognizing the existence of real
difference among men, the equal protection
clause does not demand absolute equality.
It merely requires that all persons shall be
treated alike, under like circumstances and
conditions both as to the privileges
conferred and liabilities enforced. Thus,
the equal protection clause does not
absolutely forbid classifications x x x. If the
classification is based on real and
substantial differences; is germane to the

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purpose of the law; applies to all members


of the same class; and applies to current as
well as future conditions, the classification
may not be impugned as violating the
Constitution's equal protection guarantee.
A distinction based on real and reasonable
considerations related to a proper
legislative purpose x x x is neither
unreasonable, capricious nor unfounded.
(Himagan v. People, 237 SCRA 538, Oct.
7, 1994, En Banc [Kapunan])

1) The classification must rest on


substantial distinction;
2) The classification must be
germane to the purpose of the
law;
3) The classification must not be
limited to existing conditions
only; and
4) The classification must apply
equally to all members of the
same class.

Congress enacted R.A. No. 8189


which provides, in Section 44
thereof, that "No Election Officer
shall hold office in a particular city or
municipality for more than four (4)
years.
Any election officer who,
either at the time of the approval of
this Act or subsequent thereto, has
served for at least four (4) years in a
particular city or municipality shall
automatically be reassigned by the
Commission to a new station outside
the original congressional district."
Petitioners, who are City and
Municipal Election Officers, theorize
that Section 44 of RA 8189 is
violative of the "equal protection
clause" of the 1987 Constitution
because it singles out the City and
Municipal Election Officers of the
COMELEC
as
prohibited
from
holding office in the same city or
municipality for more than four (4)
years. They maintain that there is no
substantial distinction between them
and other COMELEC officials, and
therefore,
there
is
no
valid
classification to justify the objective
of the provision of law under attack.
Resolve.

After a careful study, the ineluctable


conclusion is that the classification under
Section 44 of RA 8189 satisfies the
aforestated requirements.

185.

Held: The Court is not persuaded by


petitioners' arguments.
The "equal
protection clause" of the 1987 Constitution
permits a valid classification under the
following conditions:

ELS: Political Law

The singling out of election officers in order


to "ensure the impartiality of election
officials
by
preventing
them
from
developing familiarity with the people of
their place of assignment" does not violate
the equal protection clause of the
Constitution.
In Lutz v. Araneta, it was held that "the
legislature is not required by the
Constitution to adhere to a policy of 'all or
none'". This is so for underinclusiveness is
not an argument against a valid
classification. It may be true that all other
officers of COMELEC referred to by
petitioners are exposed to the same evils
sought to be addressed by the statute.
However, in this case, it can be discerned
that the legislature thought the noble
purpose of the law would be sufficiently
served by breaking an important link in the
chain of corruption than by breaking up
each and every link thereof. Verily, under
Section 3(n) of RA 8189, election officers
are the highest officials or authorized
representatives of the COMELEC in a city
or municipality. It is safe to say that without
the complicity of such officials, large-scale
anomalies in the registration of voters can
hardly be carried out. (Agripino A. De
Guzman, Jr., et al. v. COMELEC (G.R.
No. 129118, July 19, 2000, en Banc
[Purisima])

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Are there substantial distinctions


between print media and broadcast
media to justify the requirement for
the latter to give free airtime to be
used by the Comelec to inform the
public of qualifications and program
of government of candidates and
political parties during the campaign
period? Discuss.

186.

Held: There are important differences in


the characteristics of the two media which
justify their differential treatment for free
speech purposes. Because of the physical
limitations of the broadcast spectrum, the
government must, of necessity, allocate
broadcast frequencies to those wishing to
use them. There is no similar justification
for government allocation and regulation of
the print media.
In the allocation of limited resources,
relevant conditions may validly be imposed
on the grantees or licensees. The reason
for this is that the government spends
public funds for the allocation and
regulation of the broadcast industry, which
it does not do in the case of print media.
To require radio and television broadcast
industry to provide free airtime for the
Comelec Time is a fair exchange for what
the industry gets.

Held: R.A. No. 7659 specifically provides


that [T]he death penalty shall be imposed
if the crime of rape is committed x x x when
the victim is a religious or a child below
seven (7) years old. Apparently, the death
penalty law makes no distinction. It applies
to all persons and to all classes of persons
rich or poor, educated or uneducated,
religious or non-religious. No particular
person or classes of persons are identified
by the law against whom the death penalty
shall be exclusively imposed. The law
punishes with death a person who shall
commit rape against a child below seven
years of age. Thus, the perpetration of
rape against a 5-year old girl does not
absolve or exempt an accused from the
imposition of the death penalty by the fact
that he is poor, uneducated, jobless, and
lacks catechetical instruction.
To hold
otherwise will not eliminate but promote
inequalities.
In Cecilleville Realty and Service
Corporation v. CA, the SC clarified that
compassion for the poor is an imperative of
every humane society but only when the
recipient is not a rascal claiming an
undeserved privilege. (People v. Jimmy
Mijano y Tamora, G.R. No. 129112, July
23, 1999, En Banc [Per Curiam])
The International School Alliance
of Educators (ISAE) questioned the
point-of-hire classification employed
by International School, Inc. to
justify distinction in salary rates
between foreign-hires and localhires, i.e., salary rates of foreignhires are higher by 25% than their
local counterparts, as discriminatory
and, therefore, violates the equal
protection clause. The International
School contended that this is
necessary in order to entice foreignhires to leave their domicile and
work here. Resolve.

188.

From another point of view, the SC has


also held that because of the unique and
pervasive influence of the broadcast media,
[n]ecessarily x x x the freedom of
television and radio broadcasting is
somewhat lesser in scope than the
freedom accorded to newspaper and print
media. (TELEBAP, Inc. v. COMELEC,
289 SCRA 337, April 21, 1998 [Mendoza])
Does the death penalty law (R.A.
No.
7659)
violate
the
equal
protection clause considering that,
in effect, it punishes only people
who are poor, uneducated, and
jobless?

187.

ELS: Political Law

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Held: That public policy abhors inequality


and discrimination is beyond contention.
Our Constitution and laws reflect the policy
against these evils. X x x
International law, which springs from
general principles of law, likewise
proscribes discrimination x x x.
The
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the
International Covenant on Economic,
Social and Cultural Rights, the International
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination, the Convention
against Discrimination in Education, the
Convention
(No.
111)
Concerning
Discrimination in Respect of Employment
and Occupation - all embody the general
principle against discrimination, the very
antithesis of fairness and justice. The
Philippines, through its Constitution, has
incorporated this principle as part of its
national laws.
[I]t would be an affront to both the spirit and
letter of these provisions if the State, in
spite of its primordial obligation to promote
and
ensure
equal
employment
opportunities, closes its eyes to unequal
and discriminatory terms and conditions of
employment x x x.
Discrimination, particularly in terms of
wages, is frowned upon by the Labor Code.
Article 135, for example, prohibits and
penalizes
the
payment
of
lesser
compensation to a female employee as
against a male employee for work of equal
value. Article 248 declares it an unfair
labor practice for an employer to
discriminate in regards to wages in order to
encourage or discourage membership in
any labor organization. X x x
The foregoing provisions impregnably
institutionalize in this jurisdiction the long
honored legal truism of Equal pay for
equal work.
Persons who work with
substantially equal qualifications, skill,
effort and responsibility, under similar
conditions, should be paid similar salaries.
ELS: Political Law

This rule applies to the School


(International School, Inc.), its "international
character" notwithstanding.
The School contends that petitioner has not
adduced evidence that local-hires perform
work equal to that of foreign-hires. The
Court finds this argument a little cavalier. If
an employer accords employees the same
position and rank, the presumption is that
these employees perform equal work. This
presumption is borne by logic and human
experience. If the employer pays one
employee less than the rest, it is not for
that employee to explain why he receives
less or why the others receive more. That
would be adding insult to injury. The
employer has discriminated against that
employee; it is for the employer to explain
why the employee is treated unfairly.
The employer in this case failed to
discharge this burden.
There is no
evidence here that foreign-hires perform
25% more efficiently or effectively than the
local-hires.
Both groups have similar
functions and responsibilities, which they
perform under similar working conditions.
The School cannot invoke the need to
entice foreign-hires to leave their domicile
to rationalize the distinction in salary rates
without violating the principle of equal work
for equal pay.
Xxx
While we recognize the need of the School
to attract foreign-hires, salaries should not
be used as an enticement to the prejudice
of local-hires. The local-hires perform the
same services as foreign-hires and they
ought to be paid the same salaries as the
latter.
For the same reason, the
"dislocation factor" and the foreign-hires'
limited tenure also cannot serve as valid
bases for the distinction in salary rates.
The dislocation factor and limited tenure
affecting foreign-hires are adequately
compensated by certain benefits accorded

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them which are not enjoyed by local-hires,


such as housing, transportation, shipping
costs, taxes and home leave travel
allowances.
The Constitution enjoins the State to
protect the rights of workers and promote
their welfare, to afford labor full
protection. The State, therefore, has the
right and duty to regulate the relations
between labor and capital. These relations
are not merely contractual but are so
impressed with public interest that labor
contracts, collective bargaining agreements
included, must yield to the common good.
Should such contracts contain stipulations
that are contrary to public policy, courts will
not hesitate to strike down these
stipulations.
In this case, we find the point-of-hire
classification employed by respondent
School to justify the distinction in the salary
rates of foreign-hires and local-hires to be
an invalid classification.
There is no
reasonable
distinction
between
the
services rendered by foreign-hires and
local-hires. The practice of the School of
according higher salaries to foreign-hires
contravenes public policy and, certainly,
does not deserve the sympathy of this
Court. (International School Alliance of
Educators (ISAE) v. Hon. Leonardo A.
Quisumbing, G.R. No. 128845, June 1,
2000, 1st Div. [Kapunan])
Accused-appellant Romeo G.
Jalosjos filed a motion before the
Court asking that he be allowed to
fully discharge the duties of a
Congressman, including attendance
at
legislative
sessions
and
committee meetings despite his
having been convicted in the first
instance of a non-bailable offense.
Does being an elective official result
in a substantial distinction that
allows different treatment? Is being
a
Congressman
a
substantial
differentiation which removes the

189.

ELS: Political Law

accused-appellant as a prisoner
from the same class as all persons
validly confined under law?
Held: In the ultimate analysis, the issue
before us boils down to a question of
constitutional equal protection.
Xxx
The performance of legitimate and even
essential duties by public officers has never
been an excuse to free a person validly in
prison.
The duties imposed by the
mandate of the people are multifarious.
The accused-appellant asserts that the
duty to legislate ranks highest in the
hierarchy of government. The accusedappellant is only one of 250 members of
the House of Representatives, not to
mention the 24 members of the Senate,
charged with the duties of legislation.
Congress continues to function well in the
physical absence of one or a few of its
members. Depending on the exigency of
Government that has to be addressed, the
President or the Supreme Court can also
be deemed the highest for that particular
duty.
The importance of a function
depends on the need for its exercise. The
duty of a mother to nurse her infant is most
compelling under the law of nature. A
doctor with unique skills has the duty to
save the lives of those with a particular
affliction. An elective governor has to serve
provincial constituents. A police officer
must maintain peace and order. Never had
the call of a particular duty lifted a prisoner
into a different classification from those
others who are validly restrained by law.
A strict scrutiny of classifications is
essential lest wittingly or otherwise,
insidious discriminations are made in favor
of or against groups or types of individuals.
The Court cannot validate badges of
inequality. The necessities imposed by
public welfare may justify exercise of
government authority to regulate even if

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thereby certain groups may plausibly assert


that their interests are disregarded.
We, therefore, find that election to the
position of Congressman is not a
reasonable classification in criminal law
enforcement. The functions and duties of
the office are not substantial distinctions
which lift him from the class of prisoners
interrupted in their freedom and restricted
in liberty of movement. Lawful arrest and
confinement are germane to the purposes
of the law and apply to all those belonging
to the same class.
Xxx
It can be seen from the foregoing that
incarceration, by its nature, changes an
individuals status in society.
Prison
officials have the difficult and often
thankless job of preserving the security in a
potentially explosive setting, as well as of
attempting to provide rehabilitation that
prepare inmates for re-entry into the social
mainstream.
Necessarily, both these
demands require the curtailment and
elimination of certain rights.
Premises considered, we are constrained
to rule against the accused-appellants
claim that re-election to public office gives
priority to any other right or interest,
including the police power of the State.
(People v. Jalosjos, 324 SCRA 689, Feb.
3, 2000, En Banc [Ynares-Santiago])
Appellant, who was charged with
Illegal Recruitment in the RTC of
Zamboanga City, invokes the equal
protection clause in her defense.
She points out that although the
evidence purportedly shows that
Jasmine Alejandro handed out
application forms and even received
Lourdes
Modestos
payment,
appellant was the only one criminally
charged. Alejandro, on the other
hand, remained scot-free. From this,
appellant
concludes
that
the

190.

ELS: Political Law

prosecution discriminated against


her on grounds of regional origins.
Appellant is a Cebuana while
Alejandro is a Zamboanguena, and
the alleged crime took place in
Zamboanga City.
Held: The argument has no merit.
The prosecution of one guilty while others
equally guilty are not prosecuted, however,
is not, by itself, a denial of the equal
protection of the laws. Where the official
action purports to be in conformity to the
statutory classification, an erroneous or
mistaken performance of the statutory duty,
although a violation of the statute, is not
without more a denial of the equal
protection of the laws.
The unlawful
administration by officers of a statute fair
on its face, resulting in its unequal
application to those who are entitled to be
treated alike, is not a denial of equal
protection, unless there is shown to be
present in it an element of intentional or
purposeful discrimination.
This may
appear on the face of the action taken with
respect to a particular class or person, or it
may only be shown by extrinsic evidence
showing a discriminatory design over
another not to be inferred from the action
itself. But a discriminatory purpose is not
presumed, there must be a showing of
clear and intentional discrimination.
Appellant has failed to show that, in
charging appellant in court, that there was
a clear and intentional discrimination on
the part of the prosecuting officials.
The discretion of who to prosecute
depends on the prosecutions sound
assessment whether the evidence before it
can justify a reasonable belief that a person
has committed an offense.
The
presumption is that the prosecuting officers
regularly performed their duties, and this
presumption can be overcome only by
proof to the contrary, not by mere
speculation. Indeed, appellant has not
presented any evidence to overcome this

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presumption. The mere allegation that


appellant, a Cebuana, was charged with
the commission of a crime, while a
Zamboanguena, the guilty party in
appellants eyes, was not, is insufficient to
support a conclusion that the prosecution
officers denied appellant equal protection
of the laws.

191.

There is also common sense practicality in


sustaining appellants prosecution.

Held: It must be stressed that the 1987


Constitution requires the judge to
determine probable cause personally, a
requirement which does not appear in the
corresponding provisions of our previous
constitutions. This emphasis evinces the
intent of the framers to place a greater
degree of responsibility upon trial judges
than that imposed under previous
Constitutions.

While all persons accused of crime are to


be treated on a basis of equality before the
law, it does not follow that they are to be
protected in the commission of crime. It
would be unconscionable, for instance, to
excuse a defendant guilty of murder
because others have murdered with
impunity.
The remedy for unequal
enforcement of the law in such instances
does not lie in the exoneration of the guilty
at the expense of society x x x. Protection
of the law will be extended to all persons
equally in the pursuit of their lawful
occupations, but no person has the right to
demand protection of the law in the
commission of a crime (People v.
Montgomery, 117 P.2d 437 [1941]).
Likewise,
[i]f the failure of prosecutors to enforce the
criminal laws as to some persons should
be converted into a defense for others
charged with crime, the result would be that
the trial of the district attorney for
nonfeasance would become an issue in the
trial of many persons charged with heinous
crimes and the enforcement of law would
suffer a complete breakdown (State v.
Hicks, 325 P.2d 794 [1958]).
(People v. Dela Piedra, 350 SCRA 163,
Jan. 24, 2001, 1st Div. [Kapunan])

Discuss
the
constitutional
requirement that a judge, in issuing
a warrant of arrest, must determine
probable
cause
personally.
Distinguish
determination
of
probable cause by the prosecutor
and determination of probable cause
by the judge.

In Soliven
pronounced:

v.

Makasiar,

this

Court

What the Constitution underscores is the


exclusive and personal responsibility of the
issuing judge to satisfy himself of the
existence of probable cause. In satisfying
himself of the existence of probable cause
for the issuance of a warrant of arrest, the
judge is not required to personally examine
the complainant and his witnesses.
Following
established
doctrine
and
procedure, he shall: (1) personally evaluate
the report and the supporting documents
submitted by the fiscal regarding the
existence of probable cause and, on the
basis thereof, issue a warrant of arrest; or
(2) if in the basis thereof he finds no
probable cause, he may disregard the
fiscals report and require the submission of
supporting affidavits of witnesses to aid him
in arriving at a conclusion as to the
existence of probable cause.
Ho v. People (Ibid.) summarizes existing
jurisprudence on the matter as follows:

The Right against Unreasonable


Searches and Seizures

ELS: Political Law

Lest we be too repetitive, we only wish to


emphasize three vital matters once more:
First, as held in Inting, the determination of

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probable cause by the prosecutor is for a


purpose different from that which is to be
made by the judge. Whether there is
reasonable ground to believe that the
accused is guilty of the offense charged
and should be held for trial is what the
prosecutor passes upon. The judge, on the
other hand, determines whether a warrant
of arrest should be issued against the
accused, i.e., whether there is a necessity
for placing him under immediate custody in
order not to frustrate the ends of justice.
Thus, even if both should base their
findings on one and the same proceeding
or evidence, there should be no confusion
as to their distinct objectives.
Second, since their objectives are different,
the judge cannot rely solely on the report of
the prosecutor in finding probable cause to
justify the issuance of a warrant of arrest.
Obviously
and
understandably,
the
contents of the prosecutors report will
support his own conclusion that there is
reason to charge the accused for an
offense and hold him for trial. However, the
judge must decide independently. Hence,
he must have supporting evidence, other
than the prosecutors bare report, upon
which to legally sustain his own findings on
the existence (or nonexistence) of probable
cause to issue an arrest order.
This
responsibility of determining personally and
independently
the
existence
or
nonexistence of probable cause is lodged
in him by no less than the most basic law of
the land. Parenthetically, the prosecutor
could ease the burden of the judge and
speed up the litigation process by
forwarding to the latter not only the
information and his bare resolution finding
probable cause, but also so much of the
records and the evidence on hand as to
enable the His Honor to make his personal
and separate judicial finding on whether to
issue a warrant of arrest.
Lastly, it is not required that the complete
or entire records of the case during the
preliminary investigation be submitted to
ELS: Political Law

and examined by the judge. We do not


intend to unduly burden trial courts by
obliging them to examine the complete
records of every case all the time simply for
the purpose of ordering the arrest of an
accused. What is required, rather, is that
the judge must have sufficient supporting
documents (such as the complaint,
affidavits,
counter-affidavits,
sworn
statements of witnesses or transcript of
stenographic notes, if any) upon which to
make his independent judgment or, at the
very least, upon which to verify the findings
of the prosecutor as to the existence of
probable cause. The point is: he cannot
rely solely and entirely on the prosecutors
recommendation, as Respondent Court did
in this case. Although the prosecutor
enjoys the legal presumption of regularity in
the performance of his official duties and
functions, which in turn gives his report the
presumption of accuracy, the Constitution,
we repeat, commands the judge to
personally determine probable cause in the
issuance of warrants of arrest. This Court
has consistently held that a judge fails in
his bounden duty if he relies merely on the
certification or the report of the
investigating officer. (Citations omitted)
In the case at bench, respondent admits
that he issued the questioned warrant as
there was no reason for (him) to doubt the
validity of the certification made by the
Assistant Prosecutor that a preliminary
investigation was conducted and that
probable cause was found to exist as
against those charged in the information
filed. The statement is an admission that
respondent relied solely and completely on
the certification made by the fiscal that
probable cause exists as against those
charged in the information and issued the
challenged warrant of arrest on the sole
basis of the prosecutors findings and
recommendations.
He adopted the
judgment of the prosecutor regarding the
existence of probable cause as his own.
(Abdula v. Guiani, 326 SCRA 1, Feb. 18,
2000, 3rd Div. [Gonzaga-Reyes])

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In an application for search


warrant,
the
application
was
accompanied by a sketch of the
compound at 516 San Jose de la
Montana St., Mabolo, Cebu City,
indicating the 2-storey residential
house of private respondent with a
large X enclosed in a square.
Within the same compound are
residences
of
other
people,
workshops, offices, factories and
warehouse.
The search warrant
issued, however, merely indicated
the address of the compound which
is 516 San Jose de la Montana St.,
Mabolo, Cebu City. Did this satisfy
the constitutional requirement under
Section 2, Article III that the place to
be searched must be particularly
described?

192.

Held:
This Court has held that the
applicant should particularly describe the
place to be searched and the person or
things to be seized, wherever and
whenever it is feasible. In the present
case, it must be noted that the application
for a search warrant was accompanied by
a sketch of the compound at 516 San Jose
de la Montana St., Mabolo, Cebu City. The
sketch indicated the 2-storey residential
house of private respondent with a large
"X" enclosed in a square. Within the same
compound are residences of other people,
workshops,
offices,
factories
and
warehouse. With this sketch as the guide,
it could have been very easy to describe
the residential house of private respondent
with sufficient particularity so as to
segregate it from the other buildings or
structures inside the same compound. But
the search warrant merely indicated the
address of the compound which is 516 San
Jose de la Montana St., Mabolo, Cebu City.
This description of the place to be
searched is too general and does not
pinpoint the specific house of private
respondent. Thus, the inadequacy of the
description of the residence of private
ELS: Political Law

respondent sought to be searched has


characterized the questioned search
warrant as a general warrant, which is
violative of the constitutional requirement.
(People v. Estrada, 296 SCRA 383, 400,
[Martinez])
Can the place to be searched, as
set out in the warrant, be amplified
or modified by the officers own
personal knowledge of the premises,
or the evidence they adduce in
support of their application for the
warrant?

193.

Held: Such a change is proscribed by the


Constitution which requires inter alia the
search warrant to particularly describe the
place to be searched as well as the
persons or things to be seized. It would
concede to police officers the power of
choosing the place to be searched, even if
it not be that delineated in the warrant. It
would open wide the door to abuse of the
search process, and grant to officers
executing a search warrant that discretion
which the Constitution has precisely
removed from them. The particularization
of the description of the place to be
searched may properly be done only by the
Judge, and only in the warrant itself; it
cannot be left to the discretion of the police
officers conducting the search.
It is neither fair nor licit to allow police
officers to search a place different from that
stated in the warrant on the claim that the
place actually searched although not that
specified in the warrant is exactly what
they had in view when they applied for the
warrant and had demarcated in their
supporting evidence. What is material in
determining the validity of a search is the
place stated in the warrant itself, not what
applicants had in their thoughts, or had
represented in the proofs they submitted to
the court issuing the warrant. (People v.
Court of Appeals, 291 SCRA 400, June
26, 1998 [Narvasa])

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Is a respondent in an Extradition
Proceeding entitled to notice and
hearing before the issuance of a
warrant of arrest?

194.

Held: Both parties cite Section 6 of PD


1069 in support of their arguments. X x x
Does this provision sanction RTC
Judge Purganans act of immediately
setting for hearing the issuance of a
warrant of arrest? We rule in the negative.
1. On the Basis of the Extradition
Law
It is significant to note that Section 6
of PD 1069, our Extradition Law, uses the
word immediate to qualify the arrest of the
accused.
This qualification would be
rendered nugatory by setting for hearing
the issuance of the arrest warrant. Hearing
entails sending notices to the opposing
parties, receiving facts and arguments from
them, and giving them time to prepare and
present such facts and arguments. Arrest
subsequent to a hearing can no longer be
considered immediate. The law could not
have intended the word as a mere
superfluity but, on the whole, as a means of
impairing a sense of urgency and swiftness
in the determination of whether a warrant of
arrest should be issued.
By using the phrase if it appears,
the law further conveys that accuracy is not
as important as speed at such early stage.
The trial court is not expected to make an
exhaustive determination to ferret out the
true and actual situation, immediately upon
the filing of the petition.
From the
knowledge and the material then available
to it, the court is expected merely to get a
good first impression a prima facie
finding sufficient to make a speedy initial
determination as regards the arrest and
detention of the accused.

We stress that the prima facie


existence of probable cause for hearing the
petition and, a priori, for issuing an arrest
warrant was already evident from the
Petition itself and its supporting documents.
Hence, after having already determined
therefrom that a prima facie finding did
exist, respondent judge gravely abused his
discretion when he set the matter for
hearing upon motion of Jimenez.
Moreover, the law specifies that the
court sets a hearing upon receipt of the
answer or upon failure of the accused to
answer after receiving the summons. In
connection with the matter of immediate
arrest, however, the word hearing is
notably absent from the provision.
Evidently, had the holding of a hearing at
that stage been intended, the law could
have easily so provided. It also bears
emphasizing at this point that extradition
proceedings are summary (See Sec. 9, PD
1069) in nature. Hence, the silence of the
Law and the Treaty leans to the more
reasonable interpretation that there is no
intention to punctuate with a hearing every
little step in the entire proceedings.
Xxx
Verily x x x sending to persons
sought to be extradited a notice of the
request for their arrest and setting it for
hearing at some future date would give
them ample opportunity to prepare and
execute an escape. Neither the Treaty nor
the Law could have intended that
consequence, for the very purpose of both
would have been defeated by the escape
of the accused from the requested state.
2. On the Basis of the Constitution
Even Section 2 of Article III of our
Constitution x x x does not require a notice
or a hearing before the issuance of a
warrant of arrest. X x x

Xxx
ELS: Political Law

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To determine probable cause for the


issuance
of
arrest
warrants,
the
Constitution itself requires only the
examination under oath or affirmation
of complainants and the witnesses they
may produce. There is no requirement to
notify and hear the accused before the
issuance of warrants of arrest.
In Ho v. People and in all the cases cited
therein, never was a judge required to go to
the extent of conducting a hearing just for
the purpose of personally determining
probable cause for the issuance of a
warrant of arrest. All we required was that
the judge must have sufficient supporting
documents upon which to make his
independent judgment, or at the very least,
upon which to verify the findings of the
prosecutor as to the existence of probable
cause.
In Webb v. De Leon, the Court categorically
stated that a judge was not supposed to
conduct a hearing before issuing a warrant
of arrest x x x.
At most, in cases of clear insufficiency of
evidence on record, judges merely further
examine complainants and their witnesses.
In the present case, validating the act of
respondent judge and instituting the
practice of hearing the accused and his
witnesses at this early stage would be
discordant with the rationale for the entire
system. If the accused were allowed to be
heard and necessarily to present evidence
during the prima facie determination for the
issuance of a warrant of arrest, what would
stop him from presenting his entire plethora
of defenses at this stage if he so desires
in his effort to negate a prima facie
finding? Such a procedure could convert
the determination of a prima facie case into
a full-blown trial of the entire proceedings
and possibly make trial of the main case
superfluous.
This scenario is also
anathema to the summary nature of
extraditions. (Government of the United
States of America v. Hon. Guillermo
ELS: Political Law

Purganan, G.R. No. 148571, Sept. 24,


2002, En Banc [Panganiban])
What is search incidental to a
lawful arrest? Discuss.

195.

Held: While a contemporaneous search of


a person arrested may be effected to
discover dangerous weapons or proofs or
implements used in the commission of the
crime and which search may extend to the
area within his immediate control where he
might gain possession of a weapon or
evidence he can destroy, a valid arrest
must precede the search. The process
cannot be reversed.
In a search incidental to a lawful arrest, as
the precedent arrest determines the validity
of the incidental search, the legality of the
arrest is questioned in a large majority of
these cases, e.g., whether an arrest was
merely used as a pretext for conducting a
search. In this instance, the law requires
that there be first a lawful arrest before a
search can be made the process cannot
be reversed. (Malacat v. Court of Appeals,
283 SCRA 159, 175 [1997])
(People v. Chua Ho San, 308 SCRA 432,
June 17, 1999, En Banc [Davide, Jr.,
C.J.])
What is the plain view
doctrine? What are its requisites?
Discuss.

196.

Held: 1. Objects falling in plain view of an


officer who has a right to be in the position
to have that view are subject to seizure
even without a search warrant and may be
introduced in evidence. The plain view
doctrine applies when the following
requisites concur: (a) the law enforcement
officer in search of the evidence has a prior
justification for an intrusion or is in a
position from which he can view a
particular area; (b) the discovery of the
evidence in plain view is inadvertent; (c) it
is immediately apparent to the officer that
the item he observes may be evidence of a

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crime, contraband or otherwise subject to


seizure. The law enforcement officer must
lawfully make an initial intrusion or properly
be in a position from which he can
particularly view the area. In the course of
such
lawful
intrusion,
he
came
inadvertently across a piece of evidence
incriminating the accused. The object must
be open to eye and hand and its discovery
inadvertent.
It is clear that an object is in plain view if
the object itself is plainly exposed to sight.
The difficulty arises when the object is
inside a closed container.
Where the
object seized was inside a closed package,
the object itself is not in plain view and
therefore cannot be seized without a
warrant.
However, if the package
proclaims its contents, whether by its
distinctive configuration, its transparency,
or if its contents are obvious to an
observer, then the contents are in plain
view and may be seized. In other words, if
the package is such that an experienced
observer could infer from its appearance
that it contains the prohibited article, then
the article is deemed in plain view. It must
be immediately apparent to the police that
the items that they observe may be
evidence of a crime, contraband or
otherwise subject to seizure. (People v.
Doria, 301 SCRA 668, Jan. 22, 1999, En
Banc [Puno, J.])
2. For the doctrine to apply, the following
elements must be present:
a) a prior valid intrusion based on
the valid warrantless arrest in
which the police are legally
present in the pursuit of their
official duties;
b) the evidence was inadvertently
discovered by the police who
have the right to be where they
are; and
c) the
evidence
must
be
immediately apparent; and
ELS: Political Law

d) plain view justified mere seizure


of evidence without further
search.
In the instant case, recall that PO2 Balut
testified that they first located the marijuana
plants before appellant was arrested
without a warrant. Hence, there was no
valid warrantless arrest which preceded the
search of appellants premises.
Note
further that the police team was dispatched
to appellants kaingin precisely to search
for and uproot the prohibited flora. The
seizure of evidence in plain view applies
only where the police officer is not
searching for evidence against the
accused, but inadvertently comes across
an incriminating object.
Clearly, their
discovery of the cannabis plants was not
inadvertent. We also note the testimony of
SPO2 Tipay that upon arriving at the area,
they first had to look around the area
before they could spot the illegal plants.
Patently, the seized marijuana plants were
not immediately apparent and further
search was needed.
In sum, the
marijuana plants in question were not in
plain view or open to eye and hand.
The plain view doctrine, thus, cannot be
made to apply.
Nor can we sustain the trial courts
conclusion that just because the marijuana
plants were found in an unfenced lot,
appellant could not invoke the protection
afforded
by
the
Charter
against
unreasonable searches by agents of the
State. The right against unreasonable
searches and seizures is the immunity of
ones person, which includes his residence,
his papers, and other possessions. The
guarantee refers to the right of personal
security of the individual. X x x, what is
sought to be protected against the States
unlawful intrusion are persons, not places.
To conclude otherwise would not only
mean swimming against the stream, it
would also lead to the absurd logic that for
a person to be immune against
unreasonable searches and seizures, he

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must be in his home or office, within a


fenced yard or a private place. The Bill of
Rights belongs as much to the person in
the street as to the individual in the
sanctuary of his bedroom. (People v. Abe
Valdez, G.R. No. 129296, Sept. 25, 2000,
En Banc [Quisumbing])
3. Considering its factual milieu, this case
falls squarely under the plain view doctrine.
When Spencer wrenched himself free from
the grasp of PO2 Gaviola, he instinctively
ran towards the house of appellant. The
members of the buy-bust team were
justified in running after him and entering
the house without a search warrant for they
were hot in the heels of a fleeing criminal.
Once inside the house, the police officers
cornered Spencer and recovered the buybust money from him. They also caught
appellant in flagrante delicto repacking the
marijuana bricks which were in full view on
top of a table. x x x.
Hence, appellants subsequent arrest was
likewise lawful, coming as it is within the
purview of Section 5(a) of Rule 113 of the
1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure x x x.
Section 5(a) is commonly referred to as the
rule on in flagrante delicto arrests. Here
two elements must concur: (1) the person
to be arrested must execute an overt act
indicating that he has just committed, is
actually committing, or is attempting to
commit a crime; and (2) such overt act is
done in the presence or within the view of
the arresting officer. Thus, when appellant
was seen repacking the marijuana, the
police officers were not only authorized but
also duty-bound to arrest him even without
a warrant. (People v. Elamparo, 329
SCRA 404, 414-415, March 31, 2000, 2 nd
Div. [Quisumbing])
What
search?

197.

is

ELS: Political Law

stop-and-frisk

Held: 1. In the landmark case of Terry v.


Ohio, a stop-and-frisk was defined as the
vernacular designation of the right of a
police officer to stop a citizen on the street,
interrogate him, and pat him for weapon(s):
x x x (W)here a police officer observes an
unusual conduct which leads him
reasonably to conclude in light of his
experience that criminal activity may be
afoot and that the persons with whom he is
dealing may be armed and presently
dangerous, where in the course of
investigating this behavior he identified
himself as a policeman and make
reasonable inquiries, and where nothing in
the initial stages of the encounter serves to
dispel his reasonable fear for his own or
others safety, he is entitled for the
protection of himself or others in the area to
conduct a carefully limited search of the
outer clothing of such persons in an
attempt to discover weapons which might
be used to assault him. Such a search is a
reasonable search under the Fourth
Amendment, and any weapon seized may
properly be introduced in evidence against
the person from whom they were taken.
(Herrera, A Handbook on Arrest, Search
and Seizure and Custodial Investigation,
1995 ed., p. 185; and Terry v. Ohio, supra,
p. 911)
In allowing such a search, the United
States Supreme Court held that the interest
of effective crime prevention and detection
allows a police officer to approach a
person, in appropriate circumstances and
manner, for purposes of investigating
possible criminal behavior even though
there is insufficient probable cause to make
an actual arrest.
In admitting in evidence two guns seized
during the stop-and-frisk, the US Supreme
Court held that what justified the limited
search was the more immediate interest of
the police officer in taking steps to assure
himself that the person with whom he was
dealing was not armed with a weapon that

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could unexpectedly and fatally be used


against him.
It did not, however, abandon the rule that
the police must, whenever practicable,
obtain advance judicial approval of
searches and seizures through the warrant
procedure, excused only by exigent
circumstances.
(Manalili v. CA, 280
SCRA 400, Oct. 9, 1997 [Panganiban])
2. We now proceed to the justification for
and allowable scope of a stop-and-frisk
as a limited protective search of outer
clothing for weapons, as laid down in
Terry, thus:
We merely hold today that where a police
officer observes unusual conduct which
leads him reasonably to conclude in light of
his experience that criminal activity may be
afoot and that the persons with whom he is
dealing may be armed and presently
dangerous, where in the course of
investigating this behavior he identifies
himself as a policeman and makes
reasonable inquiries, and where nothing in
the initial stages of the encounter serves to
dispel his reasonable fear for his own or
others safety, he is entitled for the
protection of himself and others in the area
to conduct a carefully limited search of the
outer clothing of such persons in an
attempt to discover weapons which might
be used to assault him. Such a search is a
reasonable search under the Fourth
Amendment (Terry, at 911. In fact, the
Court noted that the sole justification for a
stop-and-frisk was the protection of the
police officer and others nearby; while the
scope of the search conducted in the case
was limited to patting down the outer
clothing of petitioner and his companions,
the police officer did not place his hands in
their pockets nor under the outer surface of
their garments until he had felt weapons,
and then he merely reached for and
removed the guns. This did not constitute
a general exploratory search, Id.)
ELS: Political Law

Other notable points of Terry are that while


probable cause is not required to conduct a
stop-and-frisk, it nevertheless holds that
mere suspicion or a hunch will not validate
a stop-and-frisk. A genuine reason must
exist, in light of the police officers
experience and surrounding conditions, to
warrant the belief that the person detained
has weapons concealed about him.
Finally, a stop-and-frisk serves a two-fold
interest: (1) the general interest of effective
crime prevention and detection, which
underlies the recognition that a police
officer
may,
under
appropriate
circumstances and in an appropriate
manner, approach a person for purposes of
investigating possible criminal behavior
even without probable cause; and (2) the
more pressing interest of safety and selfpreservation which permit the police officer
to take steps to assure himself that the
person with whom he deals is not armed
with a deadly weapon that could
unexpectedly and fatally be used against
the police officer. (Malacat v. Court of
Appeals, 283 SCRA 159, Dec. 12, 1997
[Davide])
Are searches
valid? Discuss.

198.

at

checkpoints

Held: This Court has ruled that not


all checkpoints are illegal. Those which are
warranted by the exigencies of public order
and are conducted in a way least intrusive
to motorists are allowed. For, admittedly,
routine checkpoints do intrude, to a certain
extent, on motorists right to free passage
without interruption, but it cannot be
denied that, as a rule, it involves only a
brief detention of travelers during which the
vehicles occupants are required to answer
a brief question or two. For as long as the
vehicle is neither searched nor its
occupants subjected to a body search, and
the inspection of the vehicle is limited to a
visual search, said routine checks cannot
be regarded as violative of an individuals
right against unreasonable search. In fact,
these routine checks, when conducted in a

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fixed area, are even less intrusive. (People


v. Usana, 323 SCRA 754, Jan. 28, 2000,
1st Div. [Davide, CJ])
Illustrative case of valid search at
checkpoint conducted to implement
the gun ban law during election. Is it
still necessary that checkpoints be
pre-announced?

199.

Held:
Accused-appellants assail the
manner by which the checkpoint in
question was conducted. They contend
that the checkpoint manned by elements of
the Makati Police should have been
announced. They also complain of its
having been conducted in an arbitrary and
discriminatory manner.
We take judicial notice of the
existence of the COMELEC resolution
imposing a gun ban during the election
period issued pursuant to Section 52(c) in
relation to Section 26(q) of the Omnibus
Election Code (Batas Pambansa Blg. 881).
The national and local elections in 1995
were held on 8 May, the second Monday of
the month. The incident, which happened
on 5 April 1995, was well within the election
period.
Xxx
The checkpoint herein conducted
was in pursuance of the gun ban enforced
by the COMELEC. The COMELEC would
be hard put to implement the ban if its
deputized agents were limited to a visual
search of pedestrians. It would also defeat
the purpose for which such ban was
instituted. Those who intend to bring a gun
during said period would know that they
only need a car to be able to easily
perpetrate their malicious designs.
The facts adduced do not constitute
a ground for a violation of the constitutional
rights of the accused against illegal search
and seizure. PO3 Suba admitted that they
were merely stopping cars they deemed
ELS: Political Law

suspicious, such as those whose windows


are heavily tinted just to see if the
passengers thereof were carrying guns. At
best they would merely direct their
flashlights inside the cars they would stop,
without opening the cars doors or
subjecting its passengers to a body search.
There is nothing discriminatory in this as
this is what the situation demands.
We see no need for checkpoints to
be announced x x x. Not only would it be
impractical, it would also forewarn those
who intend to violate the ban. Even so,
badges of legitimacy of checkpoints may
still be inferred from their fixed location and
the regularized manner in which they are
operated. (People v. Usana, 323 SCRA
754, Jan. 28, 2000, 1st Div. [Davide, CJ])
Do the ordinary rights against
unreasonable searches and seizures
apply to searches conducted at the
airport pursuant to routine airport
security procedures?

200.

Held: Persons may lose the protection of


the search and seizure clause by exposure
of their persons or property to the public in
a manner reflecting a lack of subjective
expectation of privacy, which expectation
society is prepared to recognize as
reasonable. Such recognition is implicit in
airport security procedures. With increased
concern over airplane hijacking and
terrorism has come increased security at
the nations airports.
Passengers
attempting to board an aircraft routinely
pass through metal detectors; their carryon baggage as well as checked luggage
are routinely subjected to x-ray scans.
Should these procedures suggest the
presence of suspicious objects, physical
searches are conducted to determine what
the objects are. There is little question that
such searches are reasonable, given their
minimal intrusiveness, the gravity of the
safety interests involved, and the reduced
privacy expectations associated with airline
travel. Indeed, travelers are often notified

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141

through airport public address systems,


signs, and notices in their airline tickets that
they are subject to search and, if any
prohibited materials or substances are
found, such would be subject to seizure.
These announcements place passengers
on notice that ordinary constitutional
protections against warrantless searches
and seizures do not apply to routine airport
procedures. (People v. Leila Johnson,
G.R. No. 138881, Dec. 18, 2000, 2 nd Div.
[Mendoza])
May the constitutional protection
against unreasonable searches and
seizures be extended to acts
committed by private individuals?

201.

Held: As held in People v. Marti, the


constitutional
protection
against
unreasonable searches and seizures refers
to the immunity of one's person from
interference by government and it cannot
be extended to acts committed by private
individuals so as to bring it within the ambit
of alleged unlawful intrusion. (People v.
Mendoza, 301 SCRA 66, Jan. 18, 1999,
1st Div. [Melo])
Should the seized drugs (which
are pharmaceutically correct but not
properly documented) subject of an
illegal search (because the applicant
failed to allege in the application for
search warrant that the subject
drugs for which she was applying for
search warrant were either fake,
misbranded,
adulterated,
or
unregistered,) be returned to the
owner?

202.

Ans.:
No.
Instead, they should be
promptly disposed of in the manner
provided by law in order to insure that the
same do not fall into the wrong hands who
might use the drugs underground. As
clarified in People v. Judge Estrella T.
Estrada (G.R No. 124461, June 26, 2000,
Spcl. 2nd Div. [Ynares-Santiago]):
ELS: Political Law

With the State's obligation to protect and


promote the right to health of the people
and instill health consciousness among
them (Article II, Section 15, 1987
Constitution), in order to develop a healthy
and alert citizenry (Article XIV, Section
19[1]), it became mandatory for the
government to supervise and control the
proliferation of drugs in the market. The
constitutional mandate that "the State shall
adopt an integrated and comprehensive
approach to health development which
shall endeavor to make essential goods,
health and other social services available
to all people at affordable cost" (Article XIII,
Section 11) cannot be neglected. This is
why "the State shall establish and maintain
an effective food and drug regulatory
system." (Article XIII, Section 12) The
BFAD is the government agency vested by
law to make a mandatory and authoritative
determination of the true therapeutic effect
of drugs because it involves technical skill
which is within its special competence.
The health of the citizenry should never be
compromised. To the layman, medicine is
a cure that may lead to better health.
If the seized 52 boxes of drugs are
pharmaceutically correct but not properly
documented, they should be promptly
disposed of in the manner provided by law
in order to ensure that the same do not fall
into the wrong hands who might use the
drugs underground. X x x. The policy of
the law enunciated in R.A. No. 8203 is to
protect the consumers as well as the
licensed businessmen. Foremost among
these consumers is the government itself
which procures medicines and distributes
them to the local communities through
direct assistance to the local health centers
or through outreach and charity programs.
Only with the proper government sanctions
can medicines and drugs circulate the
market. We cannot afford to take any risk,
for the life and health of the citizenry are as
precious as the existence of the State.

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142

Do Regional Trial Courts have


competence to pass upon the
validity or regularity of seizure and
forfeiture proceedings conducted by
the Bureau of Customs and to enjoin
or otherwise interfere with these
proceedings?

203.

Held: In Jao v. Court of Appeals, this


Court, reiterating its rulings x x x said:
There is no question that Regional Trial
Courts are devoid of any competence to
pass upon the validity or regularity of
seizure
and
forfeiture
proceedings
conducted by the Bureau of Customs and
to enjoin or otherwise interfere with these
proceedings. The Collector of Customs
sitting in seizure and forfeiture proceedings
has exclusive jurisdiction to hear and
determine all questions touching on the
seizure and forfeiture of dutiable goods.
The Regional Trial Courts are precluded
from assuming cognizance over such
matters even through petitions of certiorari,
prohibition or mandamus.
It is likewise well-settled that the provisions
of the Tariff and Customs Code and that of
Republic Act No. 1125, as amended,
otherwise known as An Act Creating the
Court of Tax Appeals, specify the proper
fora and procedure for the ventilation of
any legal objections or issues raised
concerning these proceedings.
Thus,
actions of the Collector of Customs are
appealable to the Commissioner of
Customs, whose decision, in turn, is
subject to the exclusive appellate
jurisdiction of the Court of Tax Appeals and
from there to the Court of Appeals.

export duties due the State, which enables


the government to carry out the functions it
has been instituted to perform.
Even if the seizure by the Collector of
Customs were illegal, x x x we have said
that such act does not deprive the Bureau
of Customs of jurisdiction thereon.
(Bureau of Customs v. Ogario, 329
SCRA 289, 296-298, March 30, 2000, 2nd
Div. [Mendoza])
Accused-appellant assails the
validity of his arrest and his
subsequent convictions for the two
crimes. Both the trial court and the
Court of Appeals found that the
arrest and subsequent seizure were
legal.

204.

Held: In the cases at bar, the police saw


the gun tucked in appellants waist when he
stood up. The gun was plainly visible. No
search was conducted as none was
necessary. Accused-appellant could not
show any license for the firearm, whether
at the time of his arrest or thereafter. Thus,
he was in effect committing a crime in the
presence of the police officers. No warrant
of arrest was necessary in such a situation,
it being one of the recognized exceptions
under the Rules.

As a consequence of appellants
valid warrantless arrest, he may be lawfully
searched for dangerous weapons or
anything which may be used as proof of the
commission of an offense, without a search
warrant, as provided in Rule 126, Section
12. This is a valid search incidental to a
lawful arrest. The subsequent discovery in
his car of drug paraphernalia and the
The rule that Regional Trial Courts have no
crystalline substance, which, was later
review powers over such proceedings is
identified as shabu, though in a distant
anchored upon the policy of placing no
place from where the illegal possession of
unnecessary
hindrance
on
the
firearm was committed, cannot be said to
governments drive, not only to prevent
have been made during an illegal search.
smuggling and other frauds upon Customs,
As such, the seized items do not fall within
but more importantly, to render effective
the exclusionary clause x x x. Hence, not
and efficient the collection of import and
being fruits of the poisonous tree x x x the
143
ELS: Political Law
Copy of Twenty19

objects found at the scene of the crime,


such as the firearm, the shabu and the
drug paraphernalia, can be used as
evidence against appellant. Besides, it has
been held that drugs discovered as a result
of a consented search is admissible in
evidence. (Citations omitted.) (People v.
Go, 354 SCRA 338, Mar. 14, 2001, 1 st Div.
[Ynares-Santiago])
Discuss the nature of an in
flagrante delicto warrantless arrest.
Illustrative case.

205.

Held: In the case at bar, the court a


quo anchored its judgment of conviction on
a finding that the warrantless arrest of
accused-appellants, and the subsequent
search conducted by the peace officers,
are valid because accused-appellants were
caught in flagrante delicto in possession of
prohibited drugs. This brings us to the
issue of whether or not the warrantless
arrest, search and seizure in the present
case fall within the recognized exceptions
to the warrant requirement.

the probable cause of guilt of the person to


be arrested.
A reasonable suspicion
therefore must be founded on probable
cause, coupled with good faith on the part
of the peace officers making the arrest.
As applied to in flagrante delicto
arrests, it is settled that reliable
information alone, absent any overt act
indicative of a felonious enterprise in the
presence and within the view of the
arresting officers, are not sufficient to
constitute probable cause that would justify
an in flagrante delicto arrest. Thus, in
People v. Aminnudin, it was held that the
accused-appellant was not, at the moment
of his arrest, committing a crime nor was it
shown that he was about to do so or that
he had just done so. What he was doing
was descending the gangplank of the M/V
Wilcon 9 and there was no outward
indication that called for his arrest. To all
appearances, he was like any of the other
passengers innocently disembarking from
the vessel. It was only when the informer
pointed to him as the carrier of the
marijuana that he suddenly became
suspect and so subject to apprehension.

In People v. Chua Ho San, the Court


held that in cases of in flagrante delicto
arrests, a peace officer or a private person
Likewise, in People v. Mengote, the
may, without a warrant, arrest a person
Court did not consider eyes x x x darting
when, in his presence, the person to be
from side to side x x x [while] holding x x x
arrested has committed, is actually
[ones] abdomen, in a crowded street at
committing, or is attempting to commit an
11:30 in the morning, as overt acts and
offense. The arresting office, therefore,
circumstances
sufficient
to
arouse
must have personal knowledge of such fact
suspicion and indicative of probable cause.
or, as a recent case law adverts to,
According to the Court, [b]y no stretch of
personal
knowledge
of
facts
or
the imagination could it have been inferred
circumstances convincingly indicative or
from these acts that an offense had just
constitutive of probable cause.
As
been committed, or was actually being
discussed in People v. Doria, probable
committed, or was at least being attempted
cause means an actual belief or
in [the arresting officers] presence. So
reasonable grounds of suspicion. The
also, in People v. Encinada, the Court ruled
grounds of suspicion are reasonable when,
that no probable cause is gleanable from
in the absence of actual belief of the
the act of riding a motorela while holding
arresting officers, the suspicion that the
two plastic baby chairs.
person to be arrested is probably guilty of
committing the offense, is based on actual
Then, too, in Malacat v. Court of
facts, i.e., supported by circumstances
Appeals, the trial court concluded that
sufficiently strong in themselves to create
petitioner was attempting to commit a crime
144
ELS: Political Law
Copy of Twenty19

as he was standing at the corner of Plaza


Miranda and Quezon Boulevard with his
eyes moving very fast and looking at
every person that come (sic) nearer (sic) to
them. In declaring the warrantless arrest
therein illegal, the Court said:
Here, there could have been no valid in
flagrante delicto arrest preceding the
search in light of the lack of personal
knowledge on the part of Yu, the arresting
officer, or an overt physical act, on the part
of petitioner, indicating that a crime had just
been committed, was being committed or
was going to be committed.
It went on to state that
Second, there was nothing in petitioners
behavior or conduct which could have
reasonably elicited even mere suspicion
other than that his eyes were moving very
fast an observation which leaves us
incredulous since Yu and his teammates
were nowhere near petitioner and it was
already 6:60 p.m., thus presumably dusk.
Petitioner and his companions were merely
standing at the corner and were not
creating any commotion or trouble x x x.
Third, there was at all no ground, probable
or otherwise, to believe that petitioner was
armed with a deadly weapon. None was
visible to Yu, for as he admitted, the
alleged grenade was discovered inside
the front waistline of petitioner, and from
all indications as to the distance between
Yu and petitioner, any telltale bulge,
assuming that petitioner was indeed hiding
a grenade, could not have been visible to
Yu.
Clearly, to constitute a valid in flagrante
delicto arrest, two requisites must concur:
(1) the person to be arrested must execute
an overt act indicating that he has just
committed, is actually committing, or is
attempting to commit a crime; and (2) such
overt act is done in the presence or within
the view of the arresting officer.
ELS: Political Law

In the case at bar, accused-appellants


manifested no outward indication that
would justify their arrest. In holding a bag
on board a trisikad, accused-appellants
could not be said to be committing,
attempting to commit or have committed a
crime.
It matters not that accusedappellant Molina responded Boss, if
possible we will settle this to the request of
SPO1 Pamplona to open the bag. Such
response which allegedly reinforced the
suspicion of the arresting officers that
accused-appellants were committing a
crime, is an equivocal statement which
standing alone will not constitute probable
cause to effect an in flagrante delicto
arrest. Note that were it not for SPO1
Marino Paguidopon (who did not participate
in the arrest but merely pointed accusedappellants to the arresting officers),
accused-appellants could not be subject of
any suspicion, reasonable or otherwise.
While SPO1 Paguidopon claimed that he
and his informer conducted a surveillance
of
accused-appellant
Mula,
SPO1
Paguidopon, however, admitted that he
only learned Mulas name and address
after the arrest. What is more, it is doubtful
if SPO1 Paguidopon indeed recognized
accused-appellant Mula. It is worthy to
note that, before the arrest, he was able to
see Mula in person only once, pinpointed to
him by his informer while they were on the
side of the road. These circumstances
could not have afforded SPO1 Paguidopon
a closer look at accused-appellant Mula,
considering that the latter was then driving
a motorcycle when SPO1 Paguidopon
caught a glimpse of him. With respect to
accused-appellant
Molina,
SPO1
Paguidopon admitted that he had never
seen him before the arrest.
This belies the claim of SPO1 Pamplona
that he knew the name of accusedappellants even before the arrest x x x.

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145

The aforesaid testimony of SPO1


Pamplona, therefore, is entirely baseless.
SPO1 Pamplona could not have learned
the name of accused-appellants from
SPO1 Paguidopon because Paguidopon
himself, who allegedly conducted the
surveillance, was not even aware of
accused-appellants name and address
prior to the arrest.
Evidently, SPO1 Paguidopon, who acted as
informer of the arresting officers, more so
the arresting officers themselves, could not
have been certain of accused-appellants
identity, and were, from all indications,
merely fishing for evidence at the time of
the arrest.
Compared to People v. Encinada, the
arresting officer in the said case knew
appellant Encinada even before the arrest
because of the latters illegal gambling
activities, thus, lending at least a
semblance of validity on the arrest effected
by the peace officers. Nevertheless, the
Court declared in said case that the
warrantless arrest and the consequent
search were illegal, holding that [t]he
prosecutions evidence did not show any
suspicious behavior when the appellant
disembarked from the ship or while he rode
the motorela. No act or fact demonstrating
a felonious enterprise could be ascribed to
appellant under such bare circumstances.
(People v. Encinada, supra.)
Moreover, it could not be said that
accused-appellants waived their right
against unreasonable searches and
seizure.
Implied acquiescence to the
search, if there was any, could not have
been more than mere passive conformity
given under intimidating or coercive
circumstances and is thus considered no
consent at all within the purview of the
constitutional guarantee.
Withal, the Court holds that the arrest of
accused-appellants does not fall under the
exceptions allowed by the rules. Hence,
ELS: Political Law

the search conducted on their person was


likewise illegal.
Consequently, the
marijuana seized by the peace officers
could not be admitted as evidence against
accused-appellants, and the Court is thus,
left with no choice but to find in favor of
accused-appellants. (People v. Molina,
352 SCRA 174, Feb. 19, 2001, En Banc
[Ynares-Santiago])
The Right to Privacy of Communications
and Correspondence
What is the Anti-Wire Tapping Act
(R.A. 4200)?

206.

Ans.:
R.A. 4200 is a special law
prohibiting and penalizing wire-tapping.
Section 1 thereof provides:
Sec. 1. It shall be unlawful for any person,
not being authorized by all the parties to
any private communication or spoken word,
to tap any wire or cable, or by using any
other device or arrangement, to secretly
overhear, intercept, or record such
communication or spoken word by using a
device commonly known as a dictaphone
or dictagraph or detectaphone or walkietalkie or tape-recorder, or however
otherwise described:
It shall also be unlawful for any person, be
he a participant or not in the act or acts
penalized in the next preceding sentence,
to knowingly possess any tape record, wire
record, disc record, or any other such
record, or copies thereof, of any
communication or spoken word secured
either before or after the effective date of
this Act in the manner prohibited by this
law; or to replay the same for any other
person or persons; or to communicate the
contents thereof, either verbally or in
writing, or to furnish transcriptions thereof,
whether complete or partial, to any other
person: Provided, That the use of such
record or any copies thereof as evidence in
any civil, criminal investigation or trial of

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146

offenses mentioned in section 3 hereof,


shall not be covered by this prohibition.
Section 4 thereof also provides:
Sec. 4. Any communication or spoken
word,
or
the
existence,
contents,
substance, purport, effect, or meaning of
the same or any part thereof, or any
information therein contained obtained or
secured by any person in violation of the
preceding sections of this Act shall not be
admissible in evidence in any judicial,
quasi-judicial, legislative or administrative
hearing or investigation.
Private respondent Rafael S.
Ortanez filed with the Regional Trial
Court of Quezon City a complaint for
annulment of marriage with damages
against his wife, herein petitioner,
Teresita
Salcedo-Ortanez,
on
grounds of lack of marriage license
and/or psychological incapacity of
the petitioner. Among the exhibits
offered by private respondent were
three (3) cassette tapes of alleged
telephone conversations between
petitioner and unidentified persons.
The trial court issued the assailed
order admitting all of the evidence
offered by private respondent,
including
tape
recordings
of
telephone
conversations
of
petitioner with unidentified persons.
These tape recordings were made
and
obtained
when
private
respondent allowed his friends from
the military to wire tap his home
telephone. Did the trial court act
properly when it admitted in
evidence said tape recordings?

207.

Held: Republic Act No. 4200 entitled An


Act to Prohibit and Penalize Wire Tapping
and Other Related Violations of the Privacy
of Communication, and For Other
Purposes expressly makes such tape
recordings inadmissible in evidence. x x x.
ELS: Political Law

Clearly, respondent trial court and Court of


Appeals failed to consider the afore-quoted
provisions of the law in admitting in
evidence the cassette tapes in question.
Absent a clear showing that both parties to
the telephone conversations allowed the
recording of the same, the inadmissibility of
the subject tapes is mandatory under Rep.
Act No. 4200.
Additionally, it should be mentioned that the
above-mentioned Republic Act in Section 2
thereof imposes a penalty of imprisonment
of not less than six (6) months and up to six
(6) years for violation of said Act.
(Salcedo-Ortanez v. Court of Appeals,
235 SCRA 111, Aug. 4, 1994 [Padilla])
Two local media men in Lucena
City went to the police station to
report alleged indecent show in one
night establishment in the City. At
the station, there was a heated
argument between police officer
Navarro and Lingan, one of the two
media men, which led to fisticuffs.
Lingan fell and his head hit the
pavement which caused his death.
During the trial, Jalbuena, the other
media man, testified. Presented in
evidence to confirm his testimony
was a voice recording he had made
of the heated discussion at the
police station between accused
police officer Navarro and the
deceased, Lingan, which was taken
without the knowledge of the two. Is
the voice recording admissible in
evidence in view of R.A. 4200, which
prohibits wire-tapping?

208.

Held: [J]albuenas testimony is confirmed


by the voice recording he had made. It
may be asked whether the tape is
admissible in view of R.A. No. 4200, which
prohibits wire tapping. The answer is in the
affirmative. x x x.
[T]he law prohibits the overhearing,
intercepting, or recording of private

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communications (Ramirez v. Court of


Appeals, 248 SCRA 590 [1995]). Since the
exchange between petitioner Navarro and
Lingan was not private, its tape recording is
not prohibited. (Felipe Navarro v. Court
of Appeals, G.R. No. 121087, Aug. 26,
1999, 2nd Div. [Mendoza])
The Right to Privacy
Is there a constitutional right to
privacy?

209.

Held: The essence of privacy is the right


to be let alone. In the 1965 case of
Griswold v. Connecticut (381 U.S. 479, 14
L. ed. 2D 510 [1965]), the United States
Supreme Court gave more substance to
the right of privacy when it ruled that the
right has a constitutional foundation. It held
that there is a right of privacy which can be
found within the penumbras of the First,
Third, Fourth, Fifth and Ninth Amendments
x x x. In the 1968 case of Morfe v. Mutuc
(22 SCRA 424, 444-445), we adopted the
Griswold ruling that there is a constitutional
right to privacy x x x.
Indeed, if we extend our judicial gaze we
will find that the right of privacy is
recognized and enshrined in several
provisions of our Constitution. (Morfe v.
Mutuc, 22 SCRA 424, 444 [1968]; Cortes,
The Constitutional Foundations of Privacy,
p. 18 [1970]). It is expressly recognized in
Section 3(1) of the Bill of Rights x x x.
Other facets of the right to privacy are
protected in various provisions of the Bill of
Rights (viz: Secs. 1, 2, 6, 8, and 17. (Ople
v. Torres, G.R. No. 127685, July 23, 1998
[Puno])
What are the zones of privacy
recognized and protected in our
laws?

210.

Held: The Civil Code provides that [e]very


person shall respect the dignity, personality,
privacy and peace of mind of his neighbors
ELS: Political Law

and other persons and punishes as


actionable torts several acts by a person of
meddling and prying into the privacy of
another. It also holds a public officer or
employee or any private individual liable for
damages for any violation of the rights and
liberties of another person, and recognizes
the privacy of letters and other private
communications. The Revised Penal Code
makes a crime the violation of secrets by
an officer, the revelation of trade and
industrial secrets, and trespass to dwelling.
Invasion of privacy is an offense in special
laws like the Anti-Wiretapping Law (R.A.
4200), the Secrecy of Bank Deposits (R.A.
1405) and the Intellectual Property Code
(R.A. 8293).
The Rules of Court on
privileged
communication
likewise
recognize the privacy of certain information
(Section 24, Rule 130[c], Revised Rules on
Evidence). (Ople v. Torres, G.R. No.
127685, July 23, 1998 [Puno])
Discuss
why
Administrative
Order No. 308 (issued by the
President prescribing for a National
ID system for all citizens to facilitate
business
transactions
with
government agencies engaged in the
delivery of basic services and social
security provisions) should be
declared unconstitutional.

211.

Held: We prescind from the premise that


the right to privacy is a fundamental right
guaranteed by the Constitution, hence, it is
the burden of government to show that
A.O. No. 308 is justified by some
compelling state interest and that it is
narrowly drawn.
A.O.
No. 308 is
predicated on two considerations: (1) the
need to provide our citizens and foreigners
with the facility to conveniently transact
business with basic service and social
security providers and other government
instrumentalities and (2) the need to
reduce, if not totally eradicate, fraudulent
transactions and misrepresentations by
persons seeking basic services.
It is
debatable whether these interests are

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compelling enough to warrant the issuance


of A.O. No. 308. But what is not arguable
is the broadness, the vagueness, the
overbreadth of A.O. No. 308 which if
implemented will put our peoples right to
privacy in clear and present danger.
The heart of A.O. No. 308 lies in its Section
4 which provides for a Population
Reference Number (PRN) as a common
reference number to establish a linkage
among concerned agencies through the
use of Biometrics Technology and
computer application designs.
It is noteworthy that A.O. No. 308 does not
state
what
specific
biological
characteristics
and
what
particular
biometrics technology shall be used to
identify people who will seek its coverage.
Considering the banquet of options
available to the implementors of A.O. No.
308, the fear that it threatens the right to
privacy of our people is not groundless.
A.O. No. 308 should also raise our
antennas for a further look will show that it
does not state whether encoding of data is
limited to biological information alone for
identification purposes. x x x. Clearly, the
indefiniteness of A.O. No. 308 can give the
government the roving authority to store
and retrieve information for a purpose
other than the identification of the
individual through his PRN.
The potential for misuse of the data to be
gathered under A.O. No. 308 cannot be
underplayed x x x. The more frequent the
use of the PRN, the better the chance of
building a huge and formidable information
base through the electronic linkage of the
files. The data may be gathered for gainful
and useful government purposes; but the
existence of this vast reservoir of personal
information constitutes a covert invitation to
misuse, a temptation that may be too great
for some of our authorities to resist.

ELS: Political Law

It is plain and we hold that A.O. No. 308


falls short of assuring that personal
information which will be gathered about
our people will only be processed for
unequivocally specified purposes. The lack
of proper safeguards in this regard of A.O.
No. 308 may interfere with the individuals
liberty of abode and travel by enabling
authorities to track down his movement; it
may also enable unscrupulous persons to
access
confidential
information
and
circumvent
the
right
against
selfincrimination; it may pave the way for
fishing expeditions by government
authorities and evade the right against
unreasonable searches and seizures. The
possibilities of abuse and misuse of the
PRN, biometrics and computer technology
are accentuated when we consider that the
individual lacks control over what can be
read or placed on his ID, much less verify
the correctness of the data encoded. They
threaten the very abuses that the Bill of
Rights seeks to prevent.
The ability of a sophisticated data center to
generate a comprehensive cradle-to-grave
dossier on an individual and transmit it over
a national network is one of the most
graphic threats of the computer revolution.
The computer is capable of producing a
comprehensive dossier on individuals out
of information given at different times and
for varied purposes. x x x. Retrieval of
stored data is simple. When information of
a privileged character finds its way into the
computer, it can be extracted together with
other data on the subject. Once extracted,
the information is putty in the hands of any
person. The end of privacy begins.
[T]he Court will not be true to its role as the
ultimate guardian of the peoples liberty if it
would not immediately smother the sparks
that endanger their rights but would rather
wait for the fire that could consume them.
[A]nd we now hold that when the integrity
of a fundamental right is at stake, this
Court will give the challenged law,

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administrative order, rule or regulation a


stricter scrutiny. It will not do for the
authorities to invoke the presumption of
regularity in the performance of official
duties. Nor is it enough for the authorities
to prove that their act is not irrational for a
basic right can be diminished, if not
defeated, even when the government does
not act irrationally. They must satisfactorily
show the presence of compelling state
interest and that the law, rule, or regulation
is narrowly drawn to preclude abuses. This
approach is demanded by the 1987
Constitution whose entire matrix is
designed to protect human rights and to
prevent authoritarianism. In case of doubt,
the least we can do is to lean towards the
stance that will not put in danger the rights
protected by the Constitution.
The right to privacy is one of the most
threatened rights of man living in a mass
society. The threats emanate from various
sources governments, journalists,
employers, social scientists, etc. In the
case at bar, the threat comes from the
executive branch of government which by
issuing A.O. No. 308 pressures the people
to surrender their privacy by giving
information about themselves on the
pretext that it will facilitate delivery of basic
services. Given the record-keeping power
of the computer, only the indifferent will fail
to perceive the danger that A.O. No. 308
gives the government the power to compile
a devastating dossier against unsuspecting
citizens.
x x x [W]e close with the
statement that the right to privacy was not
engraved in our Constitution for flattery.
(Ople v. Torres, G.R. No. 127685, July
23, 1998 [Puno])
Should in camera inspection of
bank accounts be allowed? If in the
affirmative,
under
what
circumstances should it be allowed?

212.

Held: The issue is whether petitioner may


be cited for indirect contempt for her failure
to produce the documents requested by the
ELS: Political Law

Ombudsman. And whether the order of the


Ombudsman to have an in camera
inspection of the questioned account is
allowed as an exception to the law on
secrecy of bank deposits (R.A. No. 1405).
An examination of the secrecy of bank
deposits law (R.A. No. 1405) would reveal
the following exceptions:
1) Where the depositor consents in
writing;
2) Impeachment cases;
3) By court order in bribery or
dereliction of duty cases against
public officials;
4) Deposit is subject of litigation;
5) Sec. 8, R.A. No. 3019, in cases
of unexplained wealth as held in
the case of PNB v. Gancayco
(122 Phil. 503, 508 [1965]).
The order of the Ombudsman to produce
for in camera inspection the subject
accounts with the Union Bank of the
Philippines, Julia Vargas Branch, is based
on a pending investigation at the Office of
the
Ombudsman
against
Amado
Lagdameo, et. al. for violation of R.A. No.
3019, Sec. 3 (e) and (g) relative to the Joint
Venture Agreement between the Public
Estates Authority and AMARI.
We rule that before an in camera
inspection may be allowed, there must be a
pending case before a court of competent
jurisdiction. Further, the account must be
clearly identified, the inspection limited to
the subject matter of the pending case
before the court of competent jurisdiction.
The bank personnel and the account holder
must be notified to be present during the
inspection, and such inspection may cover
only the account identified in the pending
case.
In Union Bank of the Philippines v. Court of
Appeals, we held that Section 2 of the Law
on Secrecy of Bank Deposits, as amended,

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declares bank deposits to be absolutely


confidential except:
1) In an examination made in the
course of a special or general
examination of a bank that is
specifically authorized by the
Monetary Board after being
satisfied that there is reasonable
ground to believe that a bank
fraud or serious irregularity has
been or is being committed and
that it is necessary to look into
the deposit to establish such
fraud or irregularity,
2) In an examination made by an
independent auditor hired by the
bank to conduct its regular audit
provided that the examination is
for audit purposes only and the
results thereof shall be for the
exclusive use of the bank,
3) Upon written permission of the
depositor,
4) In cases of impeachment,
5) Upon order of a competent court
in cases of bribery or dereliction
of duty of public officials, or
6) In cases where the money
deposited or invested is the
subject matter of the litigation.
In the case at bar, there is yet no pending
litigation before any court of competent
authority.
What is existing is an
investigation by the Office of the
Ombudsman. In short, what the Office of
the Ombudsman would wish to do is to fish
for additional evidence to formally charge
Amado Lagdameo, et. al., with the
Sandiganbayan. Clearly, there was no
pending case in court which would warrant
the opening of the bank account for
inspection. (Lourdes T. Marquez v. Hon.
Aniano A. Desierto, G.R. No. 135882,
June 27, 2001, En Banc [Pardo])
Freedom of Expression
ELS: Political Law

Distinguish
content-based
restrictions on free speech from
content-neutral restrictions, and
give example of each.

213.

Held:
Content-based restrictions are
imposed because of the content of the
speech and are, therefore, subject to the
clear-and-present danger test.
For
example, a rule such as that involved in
Sanidad
v.
Comelec,
prohibiting
columnists,
commentators,
and
announcers from campaigning either for or
against an issue in a plebiscite must have
compelling reason to support it, or it will not
pass muster under strict scrutiny. These
restrictions are censorial and therefore they
bear a heavy presumption of constitutional
invalidity. In addition, they will be tested for
possible overbreadth and vagueness.
Content-neutral restrictions, on the other
hand, like Sec. 11(b) of R.A. No. 6646,
which prohibits the sale or donation of print
space and air time to political candidates
during the campaign period, are not
concerned with the content of the speech.
These regulations need only a substantial
governmental interest to support them. A
deferential standard of review will suffice to
test their validity. The clear-and-present
danger rule is inappropriate as a test for
determining the constitutional validity of
laws, like Sec. 11(b) of R.A. No. 6646,
which are not concerned with the content of
political ads but only with their incidents.
To apply the clear-and-present danger test
to such regulatory measures would be like
using a sledgehammer to drive a nail when
a regular hammer is all that is needed.
The test for this difference in the level of
justification for the restriction of speech is
that content-based restrictions distort public
debate, have improper motivation, and are
usually imposed because of fear of how
people will react to a particular speech. No
such reasons underlie content-neutral
regulations, like regulation of time, place
and manner of holding public assemblies

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under B.P. Blg. 880, the Public Assembly


Act of 1985. (Osmena v. COMELEC, 288
SCRA 447, March 31, 1998 [Mendoza])

Does the conduct of exit poll by


ABS CBN present a clear and
present danger of destroying the
credibility and integrity of the
electoral process as it has the
tendency
to
sow
confusion
considering the randomness of
selecting interviewees, which further
makes the exit poll highly unreliable,
to justify the promulgation of a
Comelec resolution prohibiting the
same?

215.

What is the most influential test


for distinguishing content-based
from content-neutral regulations?

214.

Held: The United States Supreme Court x


x x held in United States v. O Brien:
[A] a governmental regulation is sufficiently
justified (1) if it is within the constitutional
power of the government; (2) if it furthers
an important or substantial governmental
interest; (3) if the governmental interest is
unrelated to the suppression of free
expression; and (4) if the incidental
restriction on alleged First Amendment
freedoms (of speech, expression and
press) is no greater than is essential to the
furtherance of that intesrst (391 U.S. 367,
20 L. Ed. 2df 692, 680 [1968] [bracketed
numbers added])
This is so far the most influential test for
distinguishing content-based from contentneutral regulations and is said to have
become canonical in the review of such
laws. (G. Gunther & K. Sullivan,
Constitutional Law 1217 [13th ed. 1997]). It
is noteworthy that the O Brien test has
been applied by this Court in at least two
cases (Adiong v. Comelec, 207 SCRA 712
[1992]; Osmena v. Comelec, supra.).
Under this test, even if a law furthers an
important or substantial governmental
interest, it should be invalidated if such
governmental interest is not unrelated to
the suppression of free expression.
Moreover, even if the purpose is unrelated
to the suppression of free speech, the law
should nevertheless be invalidated if the
restriction on freedom of expression is
greater than is necessary to achieve the
governmental purpose in question. (Social
Weather Stations, Inc. v. Comelec, G.R.
No. 147571, May 5, 2001, En Banc
[Mendoza])
ELS: Political Law

Held:
Such arguments are purely
speculative and clearly untenable. First, by
the very nature of a survey, the
interviewees or participants are selected at
random, so that the results will as much as
possible be representative or reflective of
the general sentiment or view of the
community or group polled. Second, the
survey result is not meant to replace or be
at par with the official Comelec count. It
consists merely of the opinion of the polling
group as to who the electorate in general
has probably voted for, based on the
limited data gathered from polled
individuals. Finally, not at stake are the
credibility and the integrity of the elections,
which are exercises that are separate and
independent from the exit polls.
The
holding and the reporting of the results of
exit polls cannot undermine those of the
elections, since the former is only part of
the latter. If at all, the outcome of one can
only be indicative of the other.
The COMELECs concern with the possible
noncommunicative effect of exit polls
disorder and confusion in the voting
centers does not justify a total ban on
them. Undoubtedly, the assailed Comelec
Resolution is too broad, since its
application is without qualification as to
whether the polling is disruptive or not.
There is no showing, however, that exit
polls or the means to interview voters
cause chaos in voting centers. Neither has
any evidence been presented proving that

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the presence of exit poll reporters near an


election precinct tends to create disorder or
confuse the voters.

and
surveys
affecting
local
candidates shall not be published
seven (7) days before an election.
The Social Weather Stations, Inc.
(SWS), a private non-stock, nonprofit social research institution
conducting surveys in various fields;
and
Kamahalan
Publishing
Corporation, publisher of the Manila
Standard, a newspaper of general
circulation,
which
features
newsworthy items of information
including
election
surveys,
challenged the constitutionality of
aforesaid provision as it constitutes
a prior restraint on the exercise of
freedom of speech without any clear
and present danger to justify such
restraint. Should the challenge be
sustained?

Moreover, the prohibition incidentally


prevents the collection of exit poll data and
their use for any purpose. The valuable
information and ideas that could be derived
from them, based on the voters answers to
the survey questions will forever remain
unknown and unexplored. Unless the ban
is restrained, candidates, researchers,
social scientists and the electorate in
general would be deprived of studies on
the impact of current events and of
election-day and other factors on voters
choices.
The absolute ban imposed by the Comelec
cannot, therefore, be justified. It does not
leave open any alternative channel of
communication to gather the type of
information obtained through exit polling.
On the other hand, there are other valid
and reasonable ways and means to
achieve the Comelec end of avoiding or
minimizing disorder and confusion that may
be brought about by exit surveys.
With foregoing premises, it is concluded
that the interest of the state in reducing
disruption is outweighed by the drastic
abridgment
of
the
constitutionally
guaranteed rights of the media and the
electorate. Quite the contrary, instead of
disrupting elections, exit polls properly
conducted and publicized can be vital
tools for the holding of honest, orderly,
peaceful and credible elections; and for the
elimination of election-fixing, fraud and
other
electoral
ills .
(ABS-CBN
Broadcasting Corporation v. COMELEC,
G.R. No. 133486, Jan. 28, 2000, En Banc
[Panganiban])
Section 5.4 of R.A. No. 9006 (Fair
Election Act)
which
provides:
Surveys
affecting
national
candidates shall not be published
fifteen (15) days before an election

216.

ELS: Political Law

Held: For reason hereunder given, we


hold that Section 5.4 of R.A. No. 9006
constitutes an unconstitutional abridgment
of freedom of speech, expression, and the
press.
To be sure, Section 5.4 lays a prior restraint
on freedom of speech, expression, and the
press by prohibiting the publication of
election survey results affecting candidates
within the prescribed periods of fifteen (15)
days immediately preceding a national
election and seven (7) days before a local
election. Because of the preferred status
of the constitutional rights of speech,
expression, and the press, such a measure
is vitiated by a weighty presumption of
invalidity. Indeed, any system of prior
restraints of expression comes to this Court
bearing a heavy presumption against its
constitutional validity x x x.
The
Government thus carries a heavy burden
of showing justification for the enforcement
of such restraint. There is thus a reversal
of the normal presumption of validity that
inheres in every legislation.
Nor may it be argued that because of Art.
IX-C, Sec. 4 of the Constitution, which

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gives the Comelec supervisory power to


regulate the enjoyment or utilization of
franchise for the operation of media of
communication,
no
presumption
of
invalidity attaches to a measure like Sec.
5.4.
For as we have pointed out in
sustaining the ban on media political
advertisements, the grant of power to the
Comelec under Art. IX-C, Sec. 4 is limited
to ensuring equal opportunity, time, space,
and the right to reply as well as uniform
and reasonable rates of charges for the
use of such media facilities for public
information campaigns and forums among
candidates.
Xxx
Nor can the ban on election surveys be
justified on the ground that there are other
countries x x x which similarly impose
restrictions on the publication of election
surveys.
At best this survey is
inconclusive. It is noteworthy that in the
United States no restriction on the
publication of election survey results exists.
It cannot be argued that this is because the
United States is a mature democracy.
Neither are there laws imposing an
embargo on survey results, even for a
limited period, in other countries. x x x.
What test should then be employed to
determine the constitutional validity of
Section 5.4? The United States Supreme
Court x x x held in United States v. O
Brien:
[A] government regulation is sufficiently
justified (1) if it is within the constitutional
power of the government; (2) if it furthers
an important or substantial governmental
interest; (3) if the governmental interest is
unrelated to the suppression of free
expression; and (4) if the incidental
restriction on alleged First Amendment
freedoms (of speech, expression and
press) is no greater than is essential to the
furtherance of that interest (391 U.S. 367,
ELS: Political Law

20 L. Ed. 2d 692, 680 [1968] [bracketed


numbers added]).
This is so far the most influential test for
distinguishing content-based from contentneutral regulations and is said to have
become canonical in the review of such
laws. It is noteworthy that the O Brien test
has been applied by this Court in at least
two cases (Adiong v. Comelec; Osmena v.
Comelec).
Under this test, even if a law furthers an
important or substantial governmental
interest, it should be invalidated if such
governmental interest is not unrelated to
the suppression of free expression.
Moreover, even if the purpose is unrelated
to the suppression of free speech, the law
should nevertheless be invalidated if the
restriction on freedom of expression is
greater than is necessary to achieve the
governmental purpose in question.
Our inquiry should accordingly focus on
these two considerations as applied to Sec.
5.4.
First. Sec. 5.4 fails to meet criterion (3) of
the O Brien test because the causal
connection of expression to the asserted
governmental interest makes such interest
not unrelated to the suppression of free
expression. By prohibiting the publication
of election survey results because of the
possibility that such publication might
undermine the integrity of the election, Sec.
5.4 actually suppresses a whole class of
expression, while allowing the expression
of opinion concerning the same subject
matter by newspaper columnists, radio and
TV commentators, armchair theorists, and
other opinion makers. In effect, Sec. 5.4
shows a bias for a particular subject matter,
if not viewpoint, by preferring personal
opinion to statistical results.
The
constitutional guarantee of freedom of
expression means that the government
has no power to restrict expression
because of its message, its ideas, its

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subject matter, or its contents.


The
inhibition of speech should be upheld only
if the expression falls within one of the few
unprotected categories dealt with in
Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire, thus:
There are certain well-defined and narrowly
limited classes of speech, the prevention
and punishment of which have never been
thought to raise any Constitutional problem.
These include the lewd and obscene, the
profane, the libelous, and the insulting or
fighting words those which by their very
utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an
immediate breach of the peace. [S]uch
utterances are no essential part of any
exposition of ideas, and are of such slight
social value as a step to truth that any
benefit that may be derived from them is
clearly outweighed by the social interest in
order and morality.
Nor is there justification for the prior
restraint which Sec. 5.4 lays on protected
speech. In Near v. Minnesota, it was held:
[T]he protection even as to previous
restraint is not absolutely unlimited. But
the limitation has been recognized only in
exceptional cases x x x. No one would
question but that a government might
prevent actual obstruction to its recruiting
service or the publication of the sailing
dates of transports or the number and
location of troops. On similar grounds, the
primary requirements of decency may be
enforced against obscene publications.
The security of the community life may be
protected against incitements to acts of
violence and the overthrow by force of
orderly government x x x.
Thus, x x x the prohibition imposed by Sec.
5.4 cannot be justified on the ground that it
is only for a limited period and is only
incidental. The prohibition may be for a
limited time, but the curtailment of the right
of expression is direct, absolute, and
substantial.
It constitutes a total
suppression of a category of speech and is
ELS: Political Law

not made less so because it is only for a


period of fifteen (15) days immediately
before a national election and seven (7)
days immediately before a local election.
This sufficiently distinguishes Sec. 5.4 from
R.A. No. 6646, Sec. 11(b), which this Court
found to be valid in National Press Club v.
Comelec, and Osmena v. Comelec. For
the ban imposed by R.A. No. 6646, Sec.
11(b) is not only authorized by a specific
constitutional provision (Art. IX-C, Sec. 4),
but it also provided an alternative so that,
as this Court pointed out in Osmena, there
was actually no ban but only a substitution
of media advertisements by the Comelec
space, and Comelec hour.
Second. Even if the governmental interest
sought to be promoted is unrelated to the
suppression of speech and the resulting
restriction of free expression is only
incidental, Sec. 5.4 nonetheless fails to
meet criterion (4) of the O Brien test,
namely, that the restriction be not greater
than is necessary to further the
governmental interest. As already stated,
Sec. 5.4. aims at the prevention of lastminute pressure on voters, the creation of
bandwagon effect, junking of weak or
losing candidates, and resort to the form
of election cheating called dagdag-bawas.
Praiseworthy as these aims of the
regulation might be, they cannot be
attained at the sacrifice of the fundamental
right of expression, when such aim can be
more narrowly pursued by punishing
unlawful acts, rather than speech because
of apprehension that such speech creates
the danger of such evils. Thus, under the
Administrative Code of 1987 (Bk. V, Tit. I,
Subtit. C, Ch 1, Sec. 3[1]), the Comelec is
given the power:
To stop any illegal activity, or confiscate,
tear down, and stop any unlawful, libelous,
misleading or false election propaganda,
after due notice and hearing.

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This is surely a less restrictive means than


the prohibition contained in Sec. 5.4.
Pursuant to this power of the Comelec, it
can confiscate bogus survey results
calculated to mislead voters. Candidates
can have their own surveys conducted. No
right of reply can be invoked by others. No
principle of equality is involved. It is a free
market to which each candidate brings his
ideas. As for the purpose of the law to
prevent bandwagon effects, it is doubtful
whether the Government can deal with this
natural-enough tendency of some voters.
Some voters want to be identified with the
winners. Some are susceptible to the
herd mentality. Can these be legitimately
prohibited by suppressing the publication of
survey results which are a form of
expression? It has been held that [mere]
legislative preferences or beliefs respecting
matters of public convenience may well
support regulation directed at other
personal activities, but be insufficient to
justify such as diminishes the exercise of
rights so vital to the maintenance of
democratic institutions.
To summarize then, we hold that Sec. 5.4.
is invalid because (1) it imposes a prior
restraint on the freedom of expression, (2)
it is a direct and total suppression of a
category of expression even though such
suppression is only for a limited period, and
(3) the governmental interest sought to be
promoted can be achieved by means other
than the suppression of freedom of
expression. (Social Weather Stations,
Inc., v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 147571, May
5, 2001, En Banc [Mendoza])
The question for determination in
this case is the liability for libel of a
citizen who denounces a barangay
official for misconduct in office. The
Regional Trial Court of Manila x x x
found petitioner guilty x x x on the
ground that petitioner failed to prove
the truth of the charges and that he was
motivated by vengeance in uttering the
defamatory statement.
217.

ELS: Political Law

Held: The decision appealed from should


be reversed.
In denouncing the barangay chairman in
this case, petitioner and the other residents
of the Tondo Foreshore Area were not only
acting in their self-interest but engaging in
the performance of a civic duty to see to it
that public duty is discharged faithfully and
well by those on whom such duty is
incumbent. The recognition of this right
and duty of every citizen in a democracy is
inconsistent with any requirement placing
on him the burden of proving that he acted
with good motives and for justifiable ends.
For that matter, even if the defamatory
statement is false, no liability can attach if it
relates to official conduct, unless the public
official concerned proves that the
statement was made with actual malice
that is, with knowledge that it was false or
with reckless disregard of whether it was
false or not. This is the gist of the ruling in
the landmark case of New York Times v.
Sullivan, which this Court has cited with
approval in several of its own decisions.
This is the rule of actual malice. In this
case, the prosecution failed to prove not
only that the charges made by petitioner
were false but also that petitioner made
them with knowledge of their falsity or with
reckless disregard of whether they were
false or not.
A rule placing on the accused the burden of
showing the truth of allegations of official
misconduct and/or good motives and
justifiable ends for making such allegations
would not only be contrary to Art. 361 of the
Revised Penal Code. It would, above all,
infringe on the constitutionally guaranteed
freedom of expression. Such a rule would
deter citizens from performing their duties
as
members
of
a
self-governing
community.
Without free speech and
assembly, discussions of our most abiding
concerns as a nation would be stifled. As
Justice Brandies has said, public

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discussion is a political duty and the


greatest menace to freedom is an inert
people. (Whitney v. California) (Vasquez
v. Court of Appeals, 314 SCRA 460,
Sept. 15, 1999, En Banc [Mendoza])
Discuss the "doctrine of fair
comment" as a valid defense in an
action for libel or slander.

218.

Held: Fair commentaries on matters of


public interest are privileged and constitute
a valid defense in an action for libel or
slander. The doctrine of fair comment
means that while in general every
discreditable imputation publicly made is
deemed false, because every man is
presumed innocent until his guilt is
judicially proved, and every false
imputation
is
deemed
malicious,
nevertheless, when the discreditable
imputation is directed against a public
person in his public capacity, it is not
necessarily actionable. In order that such
discreditable imputation to a public official
may be actionable, it must either be a false
allegation of fact or a comment based on a
false supposition. If the comment is an
expression
of
opinion,
based
on
established facts, then it is immaterial that
the opinion happens to be mistaken, as
long as it might reasonably be inferred from
the facts. (Borjal v. CA, 301 SCRA 1,
Jan. 14, 1999, 2nd Div. [Bellosillo])
What is the raison detre for the
New York Times v. Sullivan (376 US
254) holding that honest criticisms
on the conduct of public officials and
public figures are insulated from
libel judgments?

reckless disregard of whether it was false


or not.
The raison detre for the New York Times
doctrine was that to require critics of official
conduct to guarantee the truth of all their
factual assertions on pain of libel
judgments would lead to self-censorship,
since would-be critics would be deterred
from voicing out their criticisms even if such
were believed to be true, or were in fact
true, because of doubt whether it could be
proved or because of fear of the expense
of having to prove it. (Borjal v. CA, 301
SCRA 1, Jan. 14, 1999, 2nd Div.
[Bellosillo])
Columnist Art Borjal of The
Philippine Star wrote in his column
that petitioner (private respondent),
the
Executive
Director
and
Spokesman of the FNCLT (First
National
Conference
on
Land
Transportation), a joint project of the
government and the private sector to
raise funds to improve the state of
land transportation in the country,
engaged in shady and anomalous
deals. He was sued for damages
arising from libel by petitioner
(private
respondent)
and
subsequently found liable by the trial
court and made to pay damages. On
appeal, the SC reversed applying the
doctrine of fair comment.

220.

219.

Held:
The guarantees of freedom of
speech and press prohibit a public official
or public figure from recovering damages
for a defamatory falsehood relating to his
official conduct unless he proves that the
statement was made with actual malice,
i.e., with knowledge that it was false or with
ELS: Political Law

Held: [W]e deem private respondent a


public figure within the purview of the New
York Times ruling. X x x
The FNCLT (First National Conference on
Land Transportation) was an undertaking
infused with public interest.
It was
promoted as a joint project of the
government and the private sector, and
organized by top government officials and
prominent businessmen. For this reason, it
attracted media mileage and drew public
attention not only to the conference itself
but to the personalities behind as well. As

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its Executive Director and spokesman,


private respondent consequently assumed
the status of a public figure.
But even assuming ex-gratia argumenti
that private respondent, despite the
position he occupied in the FNCLT, would
not qualify as a public figure, it does not
necessarily follow that he could not validly
be the subject of a public comment even if
he was not a public official or at least a
public figure, for he could be, as long as he
was involved in a public issue. If a matter
is a subject of public or general interest, it
cannot suddenly become less so merely
because a private individual is involved or
because in some sense the individual did
not voluntarily choose to become involved.
The publics primary interest is in the event;
the public focus is on the conduct of the
participant and the content, effect and
significance of the conduct, not the
participants prior anonymity or notoriety.
(Borjal v. CA, 301 SCRA 1, Jan. 14, 1999,
2nd Div. [Bellosillo])
Who is a public figure, and
therefore
subject
to
public
comment?

221.

Held: At any rate, we have also defined


public figure in Ayers Production Pty., Ltd.
v. Capulong as
X x x a person who, by his
accomplishments, fame, mode of living, or
by adopting a profession or calling which
gives the public a legitimate interest in his
doings, his affairs and his character, has
become a public personage. He is, in
other words, a celebrity. Obviously, to be
included in this category are those who
have achieved some degree of reputation
by appearing before the public, as in the
case of an actor, a professional baseball
player, a pugilist, or any other entertainer.
The list is, however, broader than this. It
includes public officers, famous inventors
and explorers, war heroes and even
ordinary soldiers, infant prodigy, and no
ELS: Political Law

less a personage than the Great Exalted


Ruler of the lodge. It includes, in short,
anyone who has arrived at a position where
the public attention is focused upon him as
a person. (Borjal v. CA, 301 SCRA 1, Jan.
14, 1999, 2nd Div. [Bellosillo])
What are the types of privileged
communications?

222.

Held: A privileged communication may be


either absolutely privileged or qualifiedly
privileged.
Absolutely
privileged
communications are those which are not
actionable even if the author acted in bad
faith. An example is found in Sec. 11, Art.
VI, of the 1987 Constitution which exempts
a member of Congress from liability for any
speech or debate in the Congress or in any
Committee thereof. Upon the other hand,
qualifiedly
privileged
communications
containing defamatory imputations are not
actionable unless found to have been
made without good intention or justifiable
motive.
To this genre belong private
communications and fair and true report
without any comments or remarks.
(Borjal v. CA, 301 SCRA 1, Jan. 14, 1999,
2nd Div. [Bellosillo])
Is the enumeration of qualifiedly
privileged communications under
Article 354 of the Revised Penal
Code exclusive?

223.

Held:
Indisputably, petitioner Borjals
questioned writings are not within the
exceptions of Art. 354 of The Revised
Penal Code for x x x they are neither
private communications nor fair and true
report without any comments or remarks.
However, this does not necessarily mean
that they are not privileged. To be sure, the
enumeration under Art. 354 is not an
exclusive list of qualifiedly privileged
communications since fair commentaries
on matters of public interest are likewise
privileged. (Borjal v. CA, 301 SCRA 1,
Jan. 14, 1999, 2nd Div. [Bellosillo])

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Discuss the origin of the rule on


privileged communication.
Did it
originate in the nations penal laws,
or in the Bill of Rights guaranteeing
freedom of speech and of the press?

224.

Held:
The
rule
on
privileged
communications had its genesis not in the
nations penal code but in the Bill of Rights
of the Constitution guaranteeing freedom of
speech and of the press. As early as 1918,
in United States v. Canete (38 Phil. 253,
265 [1918]), this Court ruled that
publications which are privileged for
reasons of public policy are protected by
the constitutional guaranty of freedom of
speech. This constitutional right cannot be
abolished by the mere failure of the
legislature to give it express recognition in
the statute punishing libel. (Borjal v. CA,
301 SCRA 1, Jan. 14, 1999, 2nd Div.
[Bellosillo])
The Office of the Mayor of Las
Pinas refused to issue permit to
petitioners to hold rally a rally in
front of the Justice Hall of Las Pinas
on the ground that it was prohibited
under Supreme Court En Banc
Resolution dated July 7,1998 in A.M.
No.
98-7-02-SC,
entitled,
"Re:
Guidelines on the Conduct of
Demonstrations, Pickets, Rallies and
Other Similar Gatherings in the
Vicinity of the Supreme Court and All
Other Courts."
Petitioners thus
initiated the instant proceedings.
They submit that the Supreme Court
gravely abused its discretion and/or
acted without or in excess of
jurisdiction in promulgating those
guidelines.

225.

Held: We shall first dwell on the critical


argument made by petitioners that the rules
constitute an abridgment of the people's
aggregate rights of free speech, free
expression,
peaceful
assembly
and
petitioning government for redress of
grievances citing Sec. 4, Article III of the
ELS: Political Law

1987 Constitution that no law shall be


passed abridging them.
It is true that the safeguarding of the
people's freedom of expression to the end
that individuals may speak as they think on
matters vital to them and that falsehoods
may be exposed through the processes of
education and discussion, is essential to
free government. But freedom of speech
and expression despite its indispensability
has its limitations. It has never been
understood as the absolute right to speak
whenever, however, and wherever one
pleases, for the manner, place, and time of
public discussion can be constitutionally
controlled. [T]he better policy is not liberty
untamed but liberty regulated by law where
every freedom is exercised in accordance
with law and with due regard for the rights
of others.
Conventional wisdom tells us that the
realities of life in a complex society
preclude an absolutist interpretation of
freedom of expression where it does not
involve pure speech but speech plus
physical actions like picketing. There are
other significant societal values that must
be accommodated and when they clash,
they must all be weighed with the
promotion of the general welfare of the
people as the ultimate objective.
In
balancing these values, this Court has
accorded freedom of expression a
preferred position in light of its more
comparative importance.
Hence, our
rulings now musty in years hold that only
the narrowest time, place and manner
regulations that are specifically tailored to
serve an important governmental interest
may justify the application of the balancing
of interests test in derogation of the
people's right of free speech and
expression. Where said regulations do not
aim particularly at the evils within the
allowable areas of state control but, on the
contrary, sweep within their ambit other
activities as to operate as an overhanging
threat to free discussion, or where upon

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their face they are so vague, indefinite, or


inexact as to permit punishment of the fair
use of the right of free speech, such
regulations are void.
Prescinding from this premise, the Court
reiterates that judicial independence and
the fair and orderly administration of justice
constitute
paramount
governmental
interests that can justify the regulation of
the public's right of free speech and
peaceful assembly in the vicinity of
courthouses. In the case of In Re: Emil P.
Jurado, the Court pronounced in no
uncertain terms that:
x x x freedom of expression needs on
occasion to be adjusted to and
accommodated with the requirements of
equally important public interests. One of
these fundamental public interests is the
maintenance of the integrity and orderly
functioning of the administration of justice.
There is no antinomy between free
expression and the integrity of the system
of administering justice. For the protection
and maintenance of freedom of expression
itself can be secured only within the context
of a functioning and orderly system of
dispensing justice, within the context, in
other words, of viable independent
institutions for delivery of justice which are
accepted by the general community. x x x
(In Re: Emil P. Jurado, 243 SCRA 299,
323-324 [1995])
It is sadly observed that judicial
independence
and
the
orderly
administration of justice have been
threatened not only by contemptuous acts
inside, but also by irascible demonstrations
outside, the courthouses. They wittingly or
unwittingly, spoil the ideal of sober, nonpartisan proceedings before a cold and
neutral judge. Even in the United States, a
prohibition
against
picketing
and
demonstrating in or near courthouses, has
been ruled as valid and constitutional
notwithstanding its limiting effect on the
ELS: Political Law

exercise by the public of their liberties. X x


x
The administration of justice must not only
be fair but must also appear to be fair and it
is the duty of this Court to eliminate
everything that will diminish if not destroy
this judicial desideratum. To be sure, there
will be grievances against our justice
system for there can be no perfect system
of justice but these grievances must be
ventilated through appropriate petitions,
motions or other pleadings. Such a mode
is in keeping with the respect due to the
courts as vessels of justice and is
necessary if judges are to dispose their
business in a fair fashion.
It is the
traditional conviction of every civilized
society that courts must be insulated from
every extraneous influence in their
decisions. The facts of a case should be
determined upon evidence produced in
court, and should be uninfluenced by bias,
prejudice or sympathies. (In Re: Petition
to Annul En Banc Resolution A.M. 98-702-SC - Ricardo C. Valmonte and Union
of
Lawyers
and
Advocates
for
Transparency in Government [ULAT],
G.R. No. 134621, Sept. 29, 1998)
Did the Supreme Court commit an
act
of
judicial
legislation
in
promulgating En Banc Resolution
A.M. 98-7-02-SC, entitled, Re:
Guidelines on the Conduct of
Demonstrations, Pickets, Rallies and
Other Similar Gatherings in the
Vicinity of the Supreme Court and All
Other Courts?

226.

Held: Petitioners also claim that this Court


committed an act of judicial legislation in
promulgating the assailed resolution. They
charge that this Court amended provisions
of Batas Pambansa (B.P.) Blg. 880,
otherwise known as the Public Assembly
Act, by converting the sidewalks and
streets within a radius of two hundred (200)
meters from every courthouse from a public
forum place into a no rally zone. Thus,

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they accuse this Court of x x x violating the


principle of separation of powers.
We reject these low watts arguments.
Public places historically associated with
the free exercise of expressive activities,
such as streets, sidewalks, and parks, are
considered, without more, to be public fora.
In other words, it is not any law that can
imbue such places with the public nature
inherent in them. But even in such public
fora, it is settled jurisprudence that the
government may restrict speech plus
activities and enforce reasonable time,
place, and manner regulations as long as
the restrictions are content-neutral, are
narrowly tailored to serve a significant
governmental interest, and leave open
ample
alternative
channels
of
communication.
Contrary
therefore
to
petitioners
impression, B.P. Blg. 880 did not establish
streets and sidewalks, among other places,
as public fora. A close look at the law will
reveal that it in fact prescribes reasonable
time, place, and manner regulations. Thus,
it requires a written permit for the holding of
public assemblies in public places subject,
even, to the right of the mayor to modify the
place and time of the public assembly, to
impose a rerouting of the parade or street
march, to limit the volume of loud speakers
or sound system and to prescribe other
appropriate restrictions on the conduct of
the public assembly.
The existence of B.P. Blg. 880, however,
does not preclude this Court from
promulgating rules regulating conduct of
demonstrations in the vicinity of courts to
assure our people of an impartial and
orderly administration of justice as
mandated by the Constitution. To insulate
the judiciary from mob pressure, friendly or
otherwise, and isolate it from public
hysteria, this Court merely moved away the
situs of mass actions within a 200-meter
radius from every courthouse. In fine, B.P.
Blg. 880 imposes general restrictions to the
ELS: Political Law

time, place and manner of conducting


concerted actions. On the other hand, the
resolution of this Court regulating
demonstrations adds specific restrictions
as they involve judicial independence and
the orderly administration of justice. There
is thus no discrepancy between the two
sets of regulatory measures. Simply put,
B.P. Blg. 880 and the assailed resolution
complement each other.
We so hold
following the rule in legal hermeneutics that
an apparent conflict between a court rule
and a statutory provision should be
harmonized and both should be given
effect if possible. (In Re: Petition to
Annul En Banc Resolution A.M. 98-7-02SC - Ricardo C. Valmonte and Union of
Lawyers
and
Advocates
for
Transparency in Government [ULAT],
G.R. No. 134621, Sept. 29, 1998)
Should live media coverage of
court proceedings be allowed?

227.

Held: The propriety of granting or denying


permission to the media to broadcast,
record, or photograph court proceedings
involves
weighing
the
constitutional
guarantees of freedom of the press, the
right of the public to information and the
right to public trial, on the one hand, and on
the other hand, the due process rights of
the defendant and the inherent and
constitutional power of the courts to control
their proceedings in order to permit the fair
and impartial administration of justice.
Collaterally, it also raises issues on the
nature of the media, particularly television
and its role in society, and of the impact of
new technologies on law.
Xxx
Courts do not discriminate against radio
and television media by forbidding the
broadcasting or televising of a trial while
permitting the newspaper reporter access
to the courtroom, since a television or news
reporter has the same privilege, as the
news reporter is not permitted to bring his

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typewriter or
courtroom.

printing

press

into

the

In Estes v. Texas, the United States


Supreme Court held that television
coverage of judicial proceedings involves
an inherent denial of due process rights of
a criminal defendant. Voting 5-4, the Court
through Mr. Justice Clark, identified four (4)
areas of potential prejudice which might
arise from the impact of the cameras on the
jury, witnesses, the trial judge and the
defendant. The decision in part pertinently
stated:
Experience likewise has established the
prejudicial effect of telecasting on
witnesses. Witnesses might be frightened,
play to the camera, or become nervous.
They are subject to extraordinary out-ofcourt influences which might affect their
testimony.
Also, telecasting not only
increases the trial judge's responsibility to
avoid actual prejudice to the defendant; it
may as well affect his own performance.
Judges are human beings also and are
subject to the same psychological reactions
as laymen. For the defendant, telecasting
is a form of mental harassment and
subjects him to excessive public exposure
and distracts him from the effective
presentation of his defense.

due process of law are denied the


defendant and a defendant in a criminal
proceeding should not be forced to run a
gauntlet of reporters and photographers
each time he enters or leaves the
courtroom.
Considering the prejudice it poses to the
defendant's right to due process as well as
to the fair and orderly administration of
justice, and considering further that the
freedom of the press and the right of the
people to information may be served and
satisfied by less distracting, degrading and
prejudicial means, live radio and television
coverage of court proceedings shall not be
allowed. Video footages of court hearings
for news purposes shall be restricted and
limited to shots of the courtroom, the
judicial officers, the parties and their
counsel taken prior to the commencement
of official proceedings. No video shots or
photographs shall be permitted during the
trial proper. (Supreme Court En Banc
Resolution Re: Live TV and Radio
Coverage of the Hearing of President
Corazon C. Aquino's Libel Case, dated
Oct. 22, 1991)
Should the Court allow live media
coverage of the anticipated trial of
the plunder and other criminal cases
filed against former President
Joseph E. Estrada before the
Sandiganbayan in order to assure
the public of full transparency in the
proceedings of an unprecedented
case in our history as requested by
the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster
ng Pilipinas?

228.

The television camera is a powerful


weapon which intentionally or inadvertently
can destroy an accused and his case in the
eyes of the public.
Representatives of the press have no
special standing to apply for a writ of
mandate to compel a court to permit them
to attend a trial, since within the courtroom
a reporter's constitutional rights are no
greater than those of any other member of
the public.
Massive intrusion of
representatives of the news media into the
trial itself can so alter or destroy the
constitutionally
necessary
judicial
atmosphere and decorum that the
requirements of impartiality imposed by
ELS: Political Law

Held: The propriety of granting or denying


the instant petition involve the weighing out
of the constitutional guarantees of freedom
of the press and the right to public
information, on the one hand, and the
fundamental rights of the accused, on the
other hand, along with the constitutional
power of a court to control its proceedings
in ensuring a fair and impartial trial.

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When these rights race against one


another, jurisprudence tells us that the right
of the accused must be preferred to win.
With the possibility of losing not only the
precious liberty but also the very life of an
accused, it behooves all to make absolutely
certain that an accused receives a verdict
solely on the basis of a just and
dispassionate judgment, a verdict that
would come only after the presentation of
credible evidence testified to by unbiased
witnesses unswayed by any kind of
pressure, whether open or subtle, in
proceedings that are devoid of histrionics
that might detract from its basic aim to
ferret veritable facts free from improper
influence, and decreed by a judge with an
unprejudiced mind, unbridled by running
emotions or passions.
Due process guarantees the accused a
presumption of innocence until the contrary
is proved in a trial that is not lifted above its
individual settings nor made an object of
publics
attention
and
where
the
conclusions reached are induced not by
any outside force or influence but only by
evidence and argument given in open
court, where fitting dignity and calm
ambiance is demanded.
Witnesses and judges may very well be
men and women of fortitude, able to thrive
in hardy climate, with every reason to
presume firmness of mind and resolute
endurance, but it must also be conceded
that television can work profound changes
in the behavior of the people it focuses on.
Even while it may be difficult to quantify the
influence, or pressure that media can bring
to bear on them directly and through the
shaping of public opinion, it is a fact,
nonetheless, that, indeed, it does so in so
many ways and in varying degrees. The
conscious or unconscious effect that such
a coverage may have on the testimony of
witnesses and the decision of judges
cannot be evaluated but, it can likewise be
ELS: Political Law

said, it is not at all unlikely for a vote of guilt


or innocence to yield to it. It might be
farcical to build around them an
impregnable armor against the influence of
the most powerful media of public opinion.
To say that actual prejudice should first be
present would leave to near nirvana the
subtle threats to justice that a disturbance
of the mind so indispensable to the calm
and deliberate dispensation of justice can
create. The effect of television may escape
the ordinary means of proof, but it is not
far-fetched for it to gradually erode our
basal conception of a trial such as we know
it now.
An accused has a right to a public trial but
it is a right that belongs to him, more than
anyone else, where his life or liberty can be
held critically in balance. A public trial aims
to ensure that he is fairly dealt with and
would not be unjustly condemned and that
his rights are not compromised in secret
conclaves of long ago. A public trial is not
synonymous with publicized trial; it only
implies that the court doors must be open
to those who wish to come, sit in the
available seats, conduct themselves with
decorum and observe the trial process. In
the constitutional sense, a courtroom
should have enough facilities for a
reasonable number of the public to observe
the proceedings, not too small as to render
the openness negligible and not too large
as to distract the trial participants from their
proper functions, who shall then be totally
free to report what they have observed
during the proceedings.
The courts recognize the constitutionally
embodied freedom of the press and the
right to public information. It also approves
of medias exalted power to provide the
most accurate and comprehensive means
of conveying the proceedings to the public
and in acquainting the public with the
judicial process in action; nevertheless,
within the courthouse, the overriding
consideration is still the paramount right of

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the accused to due process which must


never be allowed to suffer diminution in its
constitutional proportions. Justice Clark
thusly pronounced, while a maximum
freedom must be allowed the press in
carrying out the important function of
informing the public in a democratic
society, its exercise must necessarily be
subject to the maintenance of absolute
fairness in the judicial process.
Xxx
The Integrated Bar of the Philippines x x x
expressed its own concern on the live
television and radio coverage of the
criminal trials of Mr. Estrada; to
paraphrase: Live television and radio
coverage can negate the rule on exclusion
of witnesses during the hearings intended
to assure a fair trial; at stake in the criminal
trial is not only the life and liberty of the
accused but the very credibility of the
Philippine criminal justice system, and live
television and radio coverage of the trial
could allow the hooting throng to arrogate
unto themselves the task of judging the
guilt of the accused, such that the verdict of
the court will be acceptable only if popular;
and live television and radio coverage of
the trial will not subserve the ends of justice
but will only pander to the desire for
publicity of a few grandstanding lawyers.
Xxx
Unlike other government offices, courts do
not express the popular will of the people in
any sense which, instead, are tasked to
only adjudicate controversies on the basis
of what alone is submitted before them. A
trial is not a free trade of ideas. Nor is a
competing market of thoughts the known
test of truth in a courtroom. (Re: Request
Radio-TV coverage of the Trial in the
Sandiganbayan of the Plunder Cases
against the former President Joseph E.
Estrada, A.M. No. 01-4-03-SC, June 29,
2001, En Banc [Vitug])
ELS: Political Law

Freedom of Religion
Discuss the two aspects of
freedom of religion.

229.

Held: 1. The right to religious profession


and worship has a two-fold aspect, viz.,
freedom to believe and freedom to act on
one's belief. The first is absolute as long
as the belief is confined within the realm of
thought.
The second is subject to
regulation where the belief is translated into
external acts that affect the public welfare.
(Iglesia Ni Cristo v. CA, 259 SCRA 529,
July 26, 1996 [Puno])
2. The constitutional inhibition of legislation
on the subject of religion has a double
aspect. On the one hand, it forestalls
compulsion by law of the acceptance of
any creed or the practice of any form of
worship.
Freedom of conscience and
freedom to adhere to such religious
organization or form of worship as the
individual may choose cannot be restricted
by law. On the other hand, it safeguards
the free exercise of the chosen form of
religion. Thus, the Constitution embraces
two concepts, that is, freedom to believe
and freedom to act. The first is absolute
but, in the nature of things, the second
cannot be. Conduct remains subject to
regulation for the protection of society. The
freedom to act must have appropriate
definitions to preserve the enforcement of
that protection. In every case, the power to
regulate must be so exercised, in attaining
a permissible end, as not to unduly infringe
on the protected freedom.
Whence, even the exercise of religion may
be regulated, at some slight inconvenience,
in order that the State may protect its
citizens from injury. X x x
It does not follow, therefore, from the
constitutional guarantees of the free
exercise of religion that everything which
may be so called can be tolerated. It has

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been said that a law advancing a legitimate


governmental interest is not necessarily
invalid as one interfering with the free
exercise of religion merely because it also
incidentally has a detrimental effect on the
adherents of one or more religion.
(Centeno v. Villalon-Pornillos, 236 SCRA
197, Sept. 1, 1994 [Regalado])
Discuss why the Gerona ruling
(justifying the expulsion from public
schools of children of Jehovahs
Witnesses who refuse to salute the
flag and sing the national anthem
during flag ceremony as prescribed
by the Flag Salute Law) should be
abandoned.

230.

Held: Our task here is extremely difficult,


for the 30-year old decision of this court in
Gerona upholding the flag salute law and
approving the expulsion of students who
refuse to obey it, is not lightly to be trifled
with.
It is somewhat ironic however, that after the
Gerona ruling had received legislative
cachet by its incorporation in the
Administrative Code of 1987, the present
Court believes that the time has come to
reexamine it. The idea that one may be
compelled to salute the flag, sing the
national anthem, and recite the patriotic
pledge, during a flag ceremony on pain of
being dismissed from ones job or of being
expelled from school, is alien to the
conscience of the present generation of
Filipinos who cut their teeth on the Bill of
Rights which guarantees their rights to free
speech (The flag salute, singing the
national anthem and reciting the patriotic
pledge are all forms of utterances.) and the
free exercise of religious profession and
worship.
Religious freedom is a fundamental right
which is entitled to the highest priority and
the amplest protection among human
rights, for it involves the relationship of man
to his Creator.
ELS: Political Law

Xxx
Petitioners stress x x x that while they do
not take part in the compulsory flag
ceremony, they do not engage in external
acts or behavior that would offend their
countrymen who believe in expressing their
love of country through the observance of
the flag ceremony. They quietly stand at
attention during the flag ceremony to show
their respect for the rights of those who
choose to participate in the solemn
proceedings. Since they do not engage in
disruptive behavior, there is no warrant for
their expulsion.
The sole justification for a prior restraint or
limitation on the exercise of religious
freedom (according to the late Chief
Justice Claudio Teehankee in his
dissenting opinion in German v. Barangan,
135 SCRA 514, 517) is the existence of a
grave and present danger of a character
both grave and imminent, of a serious evil
to public safety, public morals, public health
or any other legitimate public interest, that
the State has a right (and duty) to prevent.
Absent such a threat to public safety, the
expulsion of the petitioners from the
schools is not justified.
The situation that the
predicted in Gerona that:

Court

directly

[T]he flag ceremony will become a thing of


the past or perhaps conducted with very
few participants, and the time will come
when we would have citizens untaught and
uninculcated in and not imbued with
reverence for the flag and love of country,
admiration for national heroes, and
patriotism a pathetic, even tragic
situation, and all because a small portion of
the school population imposed its will,
demanded and was granted an exemption.
has not come to pass.
We are not
persuaded that by exempting the
Jehovahs Witnesses from saluting the flag,

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singing the national anthem and reciting


the patriotic pledge, this religious group
which admittedly comprises a small
portion of the school population will shake
up our part of the globe and suddenly
produce
a
nation
untaught
and
uninculcated in and unimbued with
reverence for the flag, patriotism, love of
country and admiration for national heroes.
After all, what the petitioners seek only is
exemption from the flag ceremony, not
exclusion from the public schools where
they may study the Constitution, the
democratic way of life and form of
government, and learn not only the arts,
sciences, Philippine history and culture but
also receive training for a vocation or
profession and be taught the virtues of
patriotism, respect for human rights,
appreciation for national heroes, the rights
and duties of citizenship, and moral and
spiritual values (Sec. 3[2], Art. XIV, 1987
Constitution) as part of the curricula.
Expelling or banning the petitioners from
Philippine schools will bring about the very
situation that this Court had feared in
Gerona. Forcing a small religious group,
through the iron hand of the law, to
participate in a ceremony that violates their
religious beliefs, will hardly be conducive to
love of country or respect for duly
constituted authorities.
Xxx
Moreover, the expulsion of members of
Jehovahs Witnesses from the schools
where they are enrolled will violate their
right as Philippine citizens, under the 1987
Constitution, to receive free education, for it
is the duty of the State to protect and
promote the right of all citizens to quality
education x x x and to make such
education accessible to all (Sec. 1, Art.
XIV).

between their employer and a union


because it would violate the teaching of
their church not to join any labor group x x
x.
Xxx
We hold that a similar exemption may be
accorded to the Jehovahs Witnesses with
regard to the observance of the flag
ceremony out of respect for their religious
beliefs, however bizarre those beliefs may
seem to others. Nevertheless, their right
not to participate in the flag ceremony does
not give them a right to disrupt such
patriotic exercises.
Paraphrasing the
warning cited by this Court in Non v.
Dames II, while the highest regard must be
afforded their right to the free exercise of
their religion, this should not be taken to
mean that school authorities are powerless
to discipline them if they should commit
breaches of the peace by actions that
offend the sensibilities, both religious and
patriotic, of other persons. If they quietly
stand at attention during the flag ceremony
while their classmates and teachers salute
the flag, sing the national anthem and
recite the patriotic pledge, we do not see
how such conduct may possibly disturb the
peace, or pose a grave and present
danger of a serious evil to public safety,
public morals, public health or any other
legitimate public interest that the State has
a right (and duty) to prevent. (Ebralinag
v. The Division Superintendent of
Schools of Cebu, 219 SCRA 256, 269273, March 1, 1993, En Banc [GrinoAquino])

In Victoriano v. Elizalde Rope Workers


Union, we upheld the exemption of
members of the Iglesia Ni Cristo, from the
coverage of a closed shop agreement
ELS: Political Law

A pre-taped TV program of the


Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) was submitted
to the MTRCB for review. The latter
classified it as rated X because it
was shown to be attacking another
religion.
The INC protested by
claiming that its religious freedom is
per se beyond review by the MTRCB.
Should this contention be upheld?

231.

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Held: The Iglesia Ni Cristo's postulate that


its religious freedom is per se beyond
review by the MTRCB should be rejected.
Its public broadcast on TV of its religious
programs brings it out of the bosom of
internal belief. Television is a medium that
reaches even the eyes and ears of
children. The exercise of religious freedom
can be regulated by the State when it will
bring about the clear and present danger of
a substantive evil which the State is dutybound to prevent, i.e., serious detriment to
the more overriding interest of public
health, public morals, or public welfare. A
laissez faire policy on the exercise of
religion can be seductive to the liberal mind
but history counsels the Court against its
blind adoption as religion is and continues
to be a volatile area of concern in our
society today. For sure, we shall continue
to subject any act pinching the space for
the free exercise of religion to a heightened
scrutiny but we shall not leave its rational
exercise to the irrationality of man. For
when religion divides and its exercise
destroys, the State should not stand still.
(Iglesia Ni Cristo v. CA, 259 SCRA 529,
July 26, 1996 [Puno])
Did the MTRCB act correctly
when it rated X the Iglesia Ni
Cristo's pre-taped TV program
simply because it was found to be
attacking another religion?

232.

Held: The MTRCB may disagree with the


criticisms of other religions by the Iglesia Ni
Cristo but that gives it no excuse to
interdict such criticisms, however unclean
they may be. Under our constitutional
scheme, it is not the task of the State to
favor any religion by protecting it against an
attack by another religion.
Religious
dogma and beliefs are often at war and to
preserve peace among their followers,
especially the fanatics, the establishment
clause of freedom of religion prohibits the
State from leaning towards any religion.
Vis--vis religious differences, the State
enjoys no banquet of options. Neutrality
ELS: Political Law

alone is its fixed and immovable stance. In


fine, the MTRCB cannot squelch the
speech of the INC simply because it
attacks another religion. In a State where
there ought to be no difference between
the appearance and the reality of freedom
of religion, the remedy against bad
theology is better theology. The bedrock of
freedom of religion is freedom of thought
and it is best served by encouraging the
marketplace of dueling ideas. When the
luxury of time permits, the marketplace of
ideas demands that speech should be met
by more speech for it is the spark of
opposite speech, the heat of colliding
ideas, that can fan the embers of truth.
(Iglesia Ni Cristo v. CA, 259 SCRA 529,
July 26, 1996 [Puno])
Is solicitation for the construction
of a church covered by P.D. No. 1564
and, therefore, punishable if done
without the necessary permit for
solicitation from the DSWD?

233.

Held: First. Solicitation of contributions for


the construction of a church is not
solicitation for charitable or public welfare
purpose but for a religious purpose, and a
religious purpose is not necessarily a
charitable or public welfare purpose. A
fund campaign for the construction or
repair of a church is not like fund drives for
needy families or victims of calamity or for
the construction of a civic center and the
like. Like solicitation of subscription to
religious magazines, it is part of the
propagation
of
religious
faith
or
evangelization. Such solicitation calls upon
the virtue of faith, not of charity, save as
those solicited for money or aid may not
belong to the same religion as the solicitor.
Such solicitation does not engage the
philanthropic as much as the religious
fervor of the person who is solicited for
contribution.
Second. The purpose of the Decree is to
protect the public against fraud in view of
the proliferation of fund campaigns for

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charity and other civic projects. On the


other hand, since religious fund drives are
usually conducted among those belonging
to the same religion, the need for public
protection against fraudulent solicitations
does not exist in as great a degree as does
the need for protection with respect to
solicitations for charity or civic projects as
to justify state regulation.
Third. To require a government permit
before solicitation for religious purpose may
be allowed is to lay a prior restraint on the
free exercise of religion. Such restraint, if
allowed, may well justify requiring a permit
before a church can make Sunday
collections or enforce tithing.
But in
American Bible Society v. City of Manila,
we precisely held that an ordinance
requiring payment of a license fee before
one may engage in business could not be
applied to the appellant's sale of bibles
because that would impose a condition on
the exercise of a constitutional right. It is
for the same reason that religious rallies
are exempted from the requirement of prior
permit for public assemblies and other uses
of public parks and streets (B.P. Blg. 880,
Sec. 3[a]). To read the Decree, therefore,
as including within its reach solicitations for
religious purposes would be to construe it
in a manner that it violates the Free
Exercise of Religion Clause of the
Constitution x x x. (Concurring Opinion,
Mendoza, V.V., J., in Centeno v. VillalonPornillos, 236 SCRA 197, Sept. 1, 1994)
What is a purely ecclesiastical
affair to which the State can not
meddle?

234.

Held: An ecclesiastical affair is one that


concerns doctrine, creed, or form of
worship of the church, or the adoption and
enforcement within a religious association
of needful laws and regulations for the
government of the membership, and the
power of excluding from such associations
those deemed not worthy of membership.
Based on this definition, an ecclesiastical
ELS: Political Law

affair involves the relationship between the


church and its members and relate to
matters of faith, religious doctrines, worship
and governance of the congregation. To be
concrete, examples of this so-called
ecclesiastical affairs to which the State
cannot meddle are proceedings for
excommunication, ordinations of religious
ministers, administration of sacraments and
other activities with attached religious
significance. (Pastor Dionisio V. Austria
v. NLRC, G.R. No. 124382, Aug. 16, 1999,
1st Div. [Kapunan])
Petitioner is a religious minister
of the Seventh Day Adventist (SDA).
He was dismissed because of
alleged
misappropriation
of
denominational funds, willful breach
of trust, serious misconduct, gross
and habitual neglect of duties and
commission of an offense against
the person of his employers duly
authorized representative. He filed
an illegal termination case against
the SDA before the labor arbiter. The
SDA filed a motion to dismiss
invoking the doctrine of separation
of Church and State. Should the
motion be granted?

235.

Held:
Where what is involved is the
relationship of the church as an employer
and the minister as an employee and has
no relation whatsoever with the practice of
faith, worship or doctrines of the church,
i.e., the minister was not excommunicated
or expelled from the membership of the
congregation but was terminated from
employment, it is a purely secular affair.
Consequently, the suit may not be
dismissed invoking the doctrine of
separation of church and the state.
(Pastor Dionisio V. Austria v. NLRC, G.R.
No. 124382, Aug. 16, 1999, 1 st Div.
[Kapunan])
The Right of the People to Information
on Matters of Public Concern

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Discuss the scope of the right to


information on matters of public
concern.

236.

Held: In Valmonte v. Belmonte, Jr., the


Court emphasized that the information
sought must be matters of public concern,
access to which may be limited by law.
Similarly, the state policy of full public
disclosure extends only to transactions
involving public interest and may also be
subject
to
reasonable
conditions
prescribed by law. As to the meanings of
the terms public interest and public
concern, the Court, in Legaspi v. Civil
Service Commission, elucidated:
In determining whether or not a particular
information is of public concern there is no
rigid test which can be applied. Public
concern like public interest is a term that
eludes exact definition.
Both terms
embrace a broad spectrum of subjects
which the public may want to know, either
because these directly affect their lives, or
simply because such matters naturally
arouse the interest of an ordinary citizen.
In the final analysis, it is for the courts to
determine on a case by case basis whether
the matter at issue is of interest or
importance, as it relates to or affects the
public.
Considered a public concern in the abovementioned case was the legitimate
concern of citizens to ensure that
government positions requiring civil service
eligibility are occupied only by persons who
are eligibles. So was the need to give the
general public adequate notification of
various laws that regulate and affect the
actions and conduct of citizens, as held in
Tanada. Likewise did the public nature of
the loanable funds of the GSIS and the
public office held by the alleged borrowers
(members of the defunct Batasang
Pambansa) qualify the information sought
in Valmonte as matters of public interest
and concern.
In Aquino-Sarmiento v.
ELS: Political Law

Morato, the Court also held that official acts


of public officers done in pursuit of their
official functions are public in character;
hence, the records pertaining to such
official acts and decisions are within the
ambit of the constitutional right of access to
public records.
Under Republic Act No. 6713, public
officials and employees are mandated to
provide information on their policies and
procedures in clear and understandable
language, [and] ensure openness of
information, public consultations and
hearing whenever appropriate x x x,
except when otherwise provided by law or
when required by the public interest. In
particular, the law mandates free public
access, at reasonable hours, to the annual
performance reports of offices and
agencies of government and governmentowned or controlled corporations; and the
statements of assets, liabilities and
financial disclosures of all public officials
and employees.
In general, writings coming into the hands
of public officers in connection with their
official functions must be accessible to the
public, consistent with the policy of
transparency of governmental affairs. This
principle is aimed at affording the people
an opportunity to determine whether those
to whom they have entrusted the affairs of
the government are honestly, faithfully and
competently performing their functions as
public servants. Undeniably, the essence
of democracy lies in the free-flow of
thought; but thoughts and ideas must be
well-informed so that the public would gain
a better perspective of vital issues
confronting them and, thus, be able to
criticize as well as participate in the affairs
of the government in a responsible,
reasonable
and
effective
manner.
Certainly, it is by ensuring an unfettered
and uninhibited exchange of ideas among
a well-informed public that a government
remains responsive to the changes desired

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by the people. (Chavez v. PCGG, 299


SCRA 744, Dec. 9, 1998, [Panganiban])
What are some of the recognized
restrictions to the right of the people
to information on matters of public
concern?

237.

Held: In Chavez v. PCGG (299 SCRA


744, Dec. 9, 1998 [Panganiban]), the SC
enumerated the recognized restrictions to
the right of the people to information on
matters of public concern, as follows:
1) National security matters and
intelligence information.
This
jurisdiction
recognizes
the
common law holding that there is
a governmental privilege against
public disclosure with respect to
state secrets regarding military,
diplomatic and other national
security matters.
Likewise,
information on inter-government
exchanges
prior
to
the
conclusion of treaties and
executive agreements may be
subject to reasonable safeguards
for the sake of national interest;
2) Trade or industrial secrets
(pursuant to the Intellectual
Property Code [R.A. No. 8293,
approved on June 6, 1997] and
other related laws) and banking
transactions (pursuant to the
Secrecy of Bank Deposits Act
[R.A. No. 1405, as amended]);
3) Criminal matters, such as those
relating to the apprehension, the
prosecution and the detention of
criminals, which courts may not
inquire into prior to such arrest,
detention and prosecution;
4) Other confidential information.
The Ethical Standards Act (R.A.
No. 6713, enacted on February
20, 1989) further prohibits public
officials and employees from
using or divulging confidential or
classified information officially
ELS: Political Law

known to them by reason of their


office and not made available to
the public. (Sec. 7[c], ibid.)
Other acknowledged limitations
to information access include
diplomatic
correspondence,
closed door Cabinet meetings
and executive sessions of either
house of Congress, as well as
the internal deliberations of the
Supreme Court.
238.
Is the recovery of the alleged illgotten wealth of the Marcoses a
matter of public concern subject to
this right?
Held: With such pronouncements of our
government x x x there is no doubt that the
recovery of the Marcoses alleged ill-gotten
wealth is a matter of public concern and
imbued with public interest. We may also
add that ill-gotten wealth refers to assets
and properties purportedly acquired,
directly or indirectly, by former President
Marcos, his immediate family, relatives and
close associates through or as a result of
their improper or illegal use of government
funds or properties; or their having taken
undue advantage of their public office; or
their use of powers, influences or
relationships, resulting in their unjust
enrichment and causing grave damage and
prejudice to the Filipino people and the
Republic of the Philippines. Clearly, the
assets and properties referred to
supposedly originated from the government
itself.
To all intents and purposes,
therefore, they belong to the people. As
such, upon reconveyance they will be
returned to the public treasury, subject only
to the satisfaction of positive claims of
certain persons as may be adjudged by
competent courts.
Another declared
overriding consideration for the expeditious
recovery of ill-gotten wealth is that it may
be used for national economic recovery.
We believe the foregoing disquisition
settles the question of whether petitioner
has a right to respondents' disclosure of

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any agreement that may be arrived at


concerning the Marcoses purported illgotten wealth. (Chavez v. PCGG, 299
SCRA 744, Dec. 9, 1998 [Panganiban])
Freedom of Association
Does the right of civil servants to
organize include their right to strike?
Clarify.

239.

Held: Specifically, the right of civil servants


to organize themselves was positively
recognized in Association of Court of
Appeals Employees (ACAE) v. FerrerCalleja. But, as in the exercise of the rights
of free expression and of assembly, there
are standards for allowable limitations such
as the legitimacy of the purposes of the
association, the overriding considerations
of national security and the preservation of
democratic institutions.
As regards the right to strike, the
Constitution itself qualifies its exercise with
the proviso in accordance with law. This
is a clear manifestation that the state may,
by law, regulate the use of this right, or
even deny certain sectors such right.
Executive Order No. 180 which provides
guidelines for the exercise of the right of
government workers to organize, for
instance, implicitly endorsed an earlier
CSC circular which enjoins under pain of
administrative sanctions, all government
officers and employees from staging
strikes, demonstrations, mass leaves,
walkouts and other forms of mass action
which will result in temporary stoppage or
disruption of public service (CSC
Memorandum Circular No. 6, s. 1987,
dated April 21, 1987) by stating that the
Civil Service law and rules governing
concerted activities and strikes in the
government service shall be observed.
It is also settled in jurisprudence that, in
general, workers in the public sector do not
enjoy the right to strike.
Alliance of
Concerned Government Workers v.
ELS: Political Law

Minister of Labor and Employment


rationalized the proscription thus:
The general rule in the past and up to the
present is that the terms and conditions of
employment in the Government, including
any political subdivision or instrumentality
thereof are governed by law. x x x. Since
the terms and conditions of government
employment are fixed by law, government
workers cannot use the same weapons
employed by the workers in the private
sector to secure concessions from their
employers. The principle behind labor
unionism in private industry is that
industrial peace cannot be secured through
compulsion by law. Relations between
private employers and their employees rest
on an essentially voluntary basis. Subject
to the minimum requirements of wage laws
and other labor and welfare legislation, the
terms and conditions of employment in the
unionized private sector are settled through
the process of collective bargaining. In
government employment, however, it is the
legislature and, where properly given
delegated power, the administrative heads
of government which fix the terms and
conditions of employment. And this is
effected through statutes or administrative
circulars, rules, and regulations, not
through collective bargaining agreements.
After delving into the intent of the framers
of the Constitution, the Court affirmed the
above rule in Social Security System
Employees Association (SSSEA) v. Court
of Appeals and explained:
Government employees may, therefore,
through their unions or associations, either
petition the Congress for the betterment of
the terms and conditions of employment
which are within the ambit of legislation or
negotiate with the appropriate government
agencies for the improvement of those
which are not fixed by law. If there be any
unresolved grievances, the dispute may be
referred to the Public Sector LaborManagement Council for appropriate

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action. But employees in the civil service


may not resort to strikes, walkouts and
other temporary work stoppages, like
workers in the private sector, to pressure
the Government to accede to their
demands. As now provided under Sec. 4,
Rule III of the Rules and Regulations to
Govern the Exercise of the Right of
Government
Employees
to
SelfOrganization, which took effect after the
instant dispute arose, [t]he terms and
conditions
of
employment
in
the
government,
including
any
political
subdivision or instrumentality thereof and
government-owned
and
controlled
corporations with original charters are
governed by law and employees therein
shall not strike for the purpose of securing
changes [thereto].
(Jacinto v. Court of Appeals, 281 SCRA
657,
Nov.
14,
1997,
En
Banc
[Panganiban])
Petitioners
public
school
teachers walked out of their classes
and engaged in mass actions during
certain dates in September 1990
protesting the alleged unlawful
withholding of their salaries and
other economic benefits. They also
raised national issues, such as the
removal of US bases and the
repudiation of foreign debts, in their
mass actions.
They refused to
return to work despite orders to do
so and subsequently were found
guilty of conduct prejudicial to the
best interests of the service for
having absented themselves without
proper authority, from their schools
during regular school days, and
penalized. They denied that they
engaged in strike but claimed that
they
merely
exercised
a
constitutionally guaranteed right
the right to peaceably assemble and
petition the government for redress
of grievances - and, therefore,
should not have been penalized.
Should their contention be upheld?

Held:
Petitioners, who are public
schoolteachers and thus government
employees, do not seek to establish that
they have a right to strike. Rather, they
tenaciously insist that their absences
during certain dates in September 1990
were a valid exercise of their constitutional
right to engage in peaceful assembly to
petition the government for a redress of
grievances. They claim that their gathering
was not a strike, therefore, their
participation therein did not constitute any
offense. MPSTA v. Laguio and ACT v.
Carino, in which this Court declared that
these mass actions were to all intents and
purposes a strike; they constituted a
concerted and unauthorized stoppage of,
or absence from, work which it was the
teachers duty to perform, undertaken for
essentially economic reasons, should not
principally resolve the present case, as the
underlying facts are allegedly not identical.

240.

ELS: Political Law

Strike, as defined by law, means any


temporary stoppage of work done by the
concerted action of employees as a result
of an industrial or labor dispute. A labor
dispute includes any controversy or matter
concerning terms and conditions of
employment; or the association or
representation of persons in negotiating,
fixing, maintaining, changing or arranging
the terms and conditions of employment,
regardless of whether the disputants stand
in the proximate relation of employers and
employees. With these premises, we now
evaluate the circumstances of the instant
petition.
It cannot be denied that the mass action or
assembly staged by the petitioners resulted
in the non-holding of classes in several
public schools during the corresponding
period. Petitioners do not dispute that the
grievances for which they sought redress
concerned the alleged failure of public
authorities - essentially, their employers to fully and justly implement certain laws
and measures intended to benefit them

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materially x x x. And probably to clothe


their action with permissible character, they
also raised national issues such as the
removal of the U.S. bases and the
repudiation of foreign debt. In Balingasan
v. Court of Appeals, however, this Court
said that the fact that the conventional term
strike was not used by the participants to
describe their common course of action
was insignificant, since the substance of
the situation, and not its appearance, was
deemed controlling.
Moreover, the petitioners here x x x were
not penalized for the exercise of their right
to assemble peacefully and to petition the
government for a redress of grievances.
Rather, the Civil Service Commission
found them guilty of conduct prejudicial to
the best interest of the service for having
absented themselves without proper
authority, from their schools during regular
school days, in order to participate in the
mass protest, their absence ineluctably
resulting in the non-holding of classes and
in the deprivation of students of education,
for which they were responsible. Had
petitioners availed themselves of their free
time - recess, after classes, weekends or
holidays - to dramatize their grievances
and to dialogue with the proper authorities
within the bounds of law, no one - not the
DECS, the CSC or even this Court - could
have held them liable for the valid exercise
of their constitutionally guaranteed rights.
As it was, the temporary stoppage of
classes resulting from their activity
necessarily disrupted public services, the
very evil sought to be forestalled by the
prohibition against strikes by government
workers. Their act by their nature was
enjoined by the Civil Service law, rules and
regulations, for which they must, therefore,
be made answerable. (Jacinto v. CA, 281
SCRA 657, Nov. 14, 1997, En Banc
[Panganiban])
The Non-Impairment Clause

ELS: Political Law

Is the constitutional prohibition


against impairing contractual
obligations absolute?

241.

Held: 1. Nor is there merit in the claim


that the resolution and memorandum
circular violate the contract clause of the
Bill of Rights.
The executive order creating the POEA
was enacted to further implement the social
justice provisions of the 1973 Constitution,
which have been greatly enhanced and
expanded in the 1987 Constitution by
placing them under a separate Article
(Article XIII). The Article on Social Justice
was aptly described as the heart of the
new Charter by the President of the 1986
Constitutional Commission, retired Justice
Cecilia Munoz Palma. Social justice is
identified with the broad scope of the police
power of the state and requires the
extensive use of such power. x x x.
The constitutional prohibition against
impairing contractual obligations is not
absolute and is not to be read with literal
exactness. It is restricted to contracts with
respect to property or some object of value
and which confer rights that may be
asserted in a court of justice; it has no
application to statutes relating to public
subjects within the domain of the general
legislative powers of the State and
involving the public rights and public
welfare of the entire community affected by
it. It does not prevent a proper exercise by
the State of its police power by enacting
regulations reasonably necessary to secure
the health, safety, morals, comfort, or
general welfare of the community, even
though contracts may thereby be affected,
for such matters cannot be placed by
contract beyond the power of the State to
regulate and control them.
Verily, the freedom to contract is not
absolute; all contracts and all rights are
subject to the police power of the State and
not only may regulations which affect them

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be established by the State, but all such


regulations must be subject to change from
time to time, as the general well-being of
the community may require, or as the
circumstances may change, or as
experience
may
demonstrate
the
necessity. And under the Civil Code,
contracts of labor are explicitly subject to
the police power of the State because they
are not ordinary contracts but are
impressed with public interest. Article 1700
thereof expressly provides:
Art. 1700. The relations between capital
and labor are not merely contractual. They
are so impressed with public interest that
labor contracts must yield to the common
good.
Therefore, such contracts are
subject to the special laws on labor unions,
collective bargaining, strikes and lockouts,
closed shop, wages, working conditions,
hours of labor and similar subjects.
The
challenged
resolution
and
memorandum
circular
being
valid
implementations of E.O. No. 797 (Creating
the POEA), which was enacted under the
police power of the State, they cannot be
struck down on the ground that they violate
the contract clause. To hold otherwise is to
alter
long-established
constitutional
doctrine and to subordinate the police
power to the contract clause.
(The
Conference
of
Maritime
Manning
Agencies, Inc. v. POEA, 243 SCRA 666,
April 21, 1995 [Davide, Jr.])
2. Petitioners pray that the present action
should be barred, because private
respondents have voluntarily executed
quitclaims and releases and received their
separation pay. Petitioners claim that the
present suit is a grave derogation of the
fundamental principle that obligations
arising from a valid contract have the force
of law between the parties and must be
complied with in good faith.
The Court disagrees. Jurisprudence holds
that the constitutional guarantee of nonELS: Political Law

impairment of contract is subject to the


police power of the state and to reasonable
legislative regulations promoting health,
morals, safety and welfare.
Not all
quitclaims are per se invalid or against
public policy, except (1) where there is
clear proof that the waiver was wangled
from an unsuspecting or gullible person, or
(2) where the terms of settlement are
unconscionable on their face. In these
cases, the law will step in to annul the
questionable transactions. Such quitclaim
and release agreements are regarded as
ineffective to bar the workers from claiming
the full measure of their legal rights.
In the case at bar, the private respondents
agreed to the quitclaim and release in
consideration of their separation pay.
Since they were dismissed allegedly for
business losses, they are entitled to
separation pay under Article 283 of the
Labor Code. And since there was thus no
extra consideration for the private
respondents to give up their employment,
such undertakings cannot be allowed to bar
the action for illegal dismissal. (BogoMedellin
Sugarcane
Planters
Association, Inc. v. NLRC, 296 SCRA
108, 124, [Panganiban])
3.
Only slightly less abstract but
nonetheless hypothetical is the contention
of CREBA that the imposition of the VAT on
the sales and leases of real estate by virtue
of contracts entered prior to the effectivity
of the law would violate the constitutional
provision that No law impairing the
obligation of contracts shall be passed. It
is enough to say that the parties to a
contract cannot, through the exercise of
prophetic discernment, fetter the exercise
of the taxing power of the State. For not
only are existing laws read into contracts in
order to fix obligations as between parties,
but the reservation of essential attributes of
sovereign power is also read into contracts
as a basic postulate of the legal order. The
policy of protecting contracts against
impairment presupposes the maintenance

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174

of a government which retains adequate


authority to secure the peace and good
order of society.
In truth, the Contract Clause has never
been thought as a limitation on the exercise
of the State's power of taxation save only
where a tax exemption has been granted
for a valid consideration. x x x. (Tolentino
v. Secretary of Finance, 235 SCRA 630,
685-686, Aug. 25, 1994, En Banc
[Mendoza])
4. Since timber licenses are not contracts,
the non-impairment clause x x x cannot be
invoked.
X x x, even if it is to be assumed that the
same are contracts, the instant case does
not involve a law or even an executive
issuance declaring the cancellation or
modification of existing timber licenses.
Hence, the non-impairment clause cannot
as yet be invoked. Nevertheless, granting
further that a law has actually been passed
mandating cancellations or modifications,
the same cannot still be stigmatized as a
violation of the non-impairment clause.
This is because by its very nature and
purpose, such a law could have only been
passed in the exercise of the police power
of the state for the purpose of advancing
the right of the people to a balanced and
healthful ecology, promoting their health
and enhancing their general welfare. x x x.
In short, the non-impairment clause must
yield to the police power of the state.
Finally, it is difficult to imagine x x x how the
non-impairment clause could apply with
respect to the prayer to enjoin the
respondent Secretary from receiving,
accepting,
processing,
renewing
or
approving new timber license for, save in
cases of renewal, no contract would have
as yet existed in the other instances.
Moreover, with respect to renewal, the
holder is not entitled to it as a matter of
ELS: Political Law

right. (Oposa v. Factoran, Jr., 224 SCRA


792 [1993])
5. Anent petitioners contention that the
forcible refund of incentive benefits is an
unconstitutional impairment of a contractual
obligation, suffice it to state that [n]ot all
contracts entered into by the government
will operate as a waiver of its non-suability;
distinction must be made between its
sovereign and proprietary acts. The acts
involved in this case are governmental.
Besides, the Court is in agreement with the
Solicitor General that the incentive pay or
benefit is in the nature of a bonus which is
not a demandable or enforceable
obligation.
(Blaquera v. Alcala, 295
SCRA 366, 446, Sept. 11, 1998, En Banc
[Purisima])
The In-Custodial Investigation Rights of
an Accused Person
State the procedure, guidelines
and duties which the arresting,
detaining, inviting, or investigating
officer or his companions must do
and observe at the time of making an
arrest and again at and during the
time of the custodial interrogation.

242.

Held:
Lastly, considering the heavy
penalty of death and in order to ensure that
the
evidence against an accused were
obtained through lawful means, the Court,
as guardian of the rights of the people lays
down the procedure, guidelines and duties
which the arresting, detaining, inviting, or
investigating officer or his companions
must do and observe at the time of making
an arrest and again at and during the time
of the custodial interrogation in accordance
with the Constitution, jurisprudence and
Republic Act No. 7438 (An Act Defining
Certain Rights of Person Arrested,
Detained or Under Custodial Investigation
as well as the Duties of the Arresting,
Detaining, and Investigating Officers and
Providing Penalties for Violations Thereof).
It is high-time to educate our law-

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175

unavailability of prosecution witnesses who


could not be found or located, the criminal case
was pending trial for a period of seven years.
Upon motion of accused Erning who invoked
his right to speedy trial, the court dismissed the
case.
Eventually, the prosecution witnesses surfaced,
and a criminal case for homicide, involving the
same incident was filed anew against Erning.
Accused Erning moved for dismissal of the
case on the ground of double jeopardy. The
prosecution objected, submitting the reason
that it was not able to present the said
witnesses earlier because the latter went into
hiding out of fear. Resolve the motion. (5%)
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
The motion should be granted. As held in Caes
us. Intermediate Appellate Court, 179 SCRA 54
(1989), the dismissal of a criminal case
predicated on the right of the accused to a
speedy trial amounts to an acquittal for failure
of the prosecution to prove his guilt and bars his
subsequent prosecution for the same offense.
Double Jeopardy (2002)
No IX. A Tamaraw FX driven by Asiong
Cascasero, who was drunk, sideswiped a
pedestrian along EDSA in Makati City, resulting
in physical injuries to the latter. The public
prosecutor filed two separate informations
against Cascasero, the first for reckless
imprudence resulting in physical injuries under
the Revised Penal Code, and the second for
violation of an ordinance of Makati City
prohibiting and penalizing driving under the
influence of liquor.
Cascasero was arraigned, tried and convicted
for reckless imprudence resulting in physical
injuries under the Revised Penal Code. With
regard to the second case (i.e., violation of the
city ordinance), upon being arraigned, he filed a
motion to quash the information invoking his
right against double jeopardy. He contended
that, under Art. III, Section 21 of the
Constitution, if an act is punished by a law and
an ordinance, conviction or acquittal under
either shall constitute a bar to another
prosecution for the same act He argued that the
two criminal charges against him stemmed from
the same act of driving allegedly under the
influence of liquor which caused the accident.
Was there double jeopardy? Explain your
answer (5%)
FIRST ALTERNATIVE ANSWER:
Yes, there is double jeopardy. Under the
second sentence of Article III, Section 21 of the
Constitution, if an act is punished by a law and

an ordinance, conviction or acquittal under


either shall constitute a bar to another
prosecution for the same act. In this case, the
same act is involved in the two cases. The
reckless imprudence which resulted in physical
injuries arose from the same act of driving
under the influence of liquor. In Yap v. Lutero,
G.R. No. L-12669, April 30, 1959, the Supreme
Court held that an accused who was acquitted
of driving recklessly in violation of an ordinance
could not be prosecuted for damage to property
through reckless imprudence because the two
charges were based on the same act. In People
v, Relova, 148 SCRA 292 (1987), it was held
that when there is identity in the act punished
by a law and an ordinance, conviction or
acquittal under either shall bar prosecution
under the other.
SECOND ALTERNATIVE ANSWER:
There is no double jeopardy because the act
penalized under the Revised Penal Code is
different from the act penalized by the
ordinance of Makati City. The Revised Penal
Code penalizes reckless imprudence resulting
in physical injuries, while the ordinance of
Makati City penalizes driving under the
influence of liquor.
Double Jeopardy; Requisites (1999)
B. What are the requisites of double jeopardy?
(2%)
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
As held in Cuison v. Court of Appeals, 289
SCRA 159, for a claim of double jeopardy to
prosper, the following requisites must concur:
(1) a first jeopardy has attached;
(2) the first jeopardy was validly terminated; and
(3) the second is for the same offense.
A first jeopardy attaches:
1. upon a valid complaint or information;
2. before a competent court;
3. after arraignment;
4. a valid entry of plea; and
5. the dismissal or termination of the case
without the express consent of the accused.
Due Process; Absence of Denial (1999)
No VIII - B.
On April 6, 1963, Police Officer
Mario Gatdula was charged by the Mayor with
Grave Misconduct and Violation of Law before
the Municipal Board. The Board investigated
Gatdula but before the case could be decided,
the City charter was approved. The City Fiscal,
citing Section 30 of the city charter, asserted
that he was authorized thereunder to
investigate city officers and employees.
The
case against Gatdula was then forwarded to

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33

him, and a re-investigation was conducted. The


office of the Fiscal subsequently recommended
dismissal. On January 11, 1966, the City Mayor
returned the records of the case to the City
Fiscal for the submission of an appropriate
resolution but no resolution was submitted. On
March 3, 1968, the City Fiscal transmitted the
records to the City Mayor recommending that
final action thereon be made by the City Board
of Investigators (CBI). Although the CBI did
not conduct an investigation, the records show
that both the Municipal Board and the Fiscal's
Office exhaustively heard the case with both
parties afforded ample opportunity to adduce
their evidence and argue their cause.
The
Police Commission found Gatdula guilty on the
basis of the records forwarded by the CBI.
Gatdula challenged the adverse decision of the
Police Commission theorizing that he was
deprived
of due process. Questions: Is the
Police Commission bound by the findings of the
City Fiscal? Is Gatdula's protestation of lack or
non-observance of due process well-grounded?
Explain your answers. (4%)
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
The Police Commission is not bound by the
findings of the City Fiscal. In Mangubat v. de
Castro, 163 SCRA 608, it was held that the
Police Commission is not prohibited from
making its own findings on the basis of its own
evaluation of the records. Likewise, the
protestation of lack of due process is not wellgrounded, since the hearings before the
Municipal Board and the City Fiscal offered
Gatdula the chance to be heard. There is no
denial of due process if the decision was
rendered on the basis of evidence contained in
the record and disclosed to the parties affected.
Due Process; Deportation (1994)
No. 9: A complaint was filed by Intelligence
agents of the Bureau of Immigration and
Deportation (BID) against Stevie, a German
national, for his deportation as an undesirable
alien. The Immigration Commissioner directed
the Special Board of Inquiry to conduct an
Investigation. At the said Investigation, a lawyer
from the Legal Department of the BID
presented as witnesses the three Intelligence
agents who filed the complaint. On the basis of
the findings, report and recommendation of the
Board
of
Special
Inquiry,
the
BID
Commissioners unanimously voted for Stevie's
deportation. Stevie's lawyer questioned the
deportation order
1) On the ground that Stevie was denied due
process because the BID Commissioners who
rendered the decision were not the ones who

received the evidence, in violation of the "He


who decides must hear" rule. Is he correct?
2) On the ground that there was a violation of
due process because the complainants, the
prosecutor and the hearing officers were all
subordinates of the BID Commissioners who
rendered the deportation decision. Is he
correct?
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
1) No, Stevie is not correct. As held in Adamson
A Adamson, Inc. vs. Amores, 152 SCRA 237,
administrative due process does not require
that the actual taking of testimony or the
presentation of evidence before the same
officer who will decide the case.
In American Tobacco Co. v. Director of Patents,
67 SCRA 287, the Supreme Court has ruled
that so long as the actual decision on the merits
of the cases is made by the officer authorized
by law to decide, the power to hold a hearing on
the basis of which his decision will be made can
be delegated and is not offensive to due
process. The Court noted that: "As long as a
party is not deprived of his right to present his
own case and submit evidence in support
thereof, and the decision is supported by the
evidence in the record, there is no question that
the requirements of due process and fair trial
are fully met. In short, there is no abrogation of
responsibility on the part of the officer
concerned as the actual decision remains with
and is made by said officer. It is, however,
required that to give the substance of a hearing,
which is for the purpose of making
determinations upon evidence the officer who
makes the determinations must consider and
appraise the evidence which justifies them.
2) No, Stevie was not denied due process
simply because the complainants, the
prosecutor, and the hearing officers were all
subordinates of the Commissioner of the
Bureau of Immigration and Deportation. In
accordance with the ruling in Erianger &
Galinger, Inc. vs. Court of Industrial Relations,
110 Phil. 470, the findings of the subordinates
are not conclusive upon the Commissioners,
who have the discretion to accept or reject
them. What is important is that Stevie was not
deprived of his right to present his own case
and submit evidence in support thereof, the
decision is supported by substantial evidence,
and the commissioners acted on their own
independent consideration of the law and facts
of the case, and did not simply accept the views
of their subordinates in arriving at a decision.

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Due Process; Forfeiture Proceedings (1993)


No. 14: The S/S "Masoy" of Panamanian
registry, while moored at the South Harbor, was
found to have contraband goods on board. The
Customs Team found out that the vessel did not
have the required ship's permit and shipping
documents. The vessel and its cargo were held
and a warrant of Seizure and Detention was
issued after due investigation. In the course of
the forfeiture proceedings, the ship captain and
the ship's resident agent executed sworn
statements before the Custom legal officer
admitting that contraband cargo were found
aboard the vessel. The shipping lines object to
the admission of the statements as evidence
contending that during their execution, the
captain and the shipping agent were not
assisted by counsel, in violation of due process.
Decide.
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
The admission of the statements of the captain
and the shipping agent as evidence did not
violate due process even if they were not
assisted by counsel. In Feeder International
Line, Pts. Ltd. v. Court of Appeals, 197 SCRA
842, It was held that the assistance of counsel
is not indispensable to due process in forfeiture
proceedings since such proceedings are not
criminal in nature.
Moreover, the strict rules of evidence and
procedure will not apply in administrative
proceedings like seizure and forfeiture
proceedings. What is important is that the
parties are afforded the opportunity to be heard
and the decision of the administrative authority
is based on substantial evidence.
Due Process; Media Coverage during
Hearing (1996)
No 2: At the trial of a rape case where the
victim-complainant
was
a
well
known
personality while the accused was a popular
movie star, a TV station was allowed by the trial
judge to televise the entire proceedings like the
O.J. Simpson trial. The accused objected to the
TV coverage and petitioned the Supreme Court
to prohibit the said coverage.
As the Supreme Court, how would you rule on
the petition? Explain.
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
The Supreme Court should grant the petition. In
its Resolution dated October 22, 1991, the
Supreme Court prohibited live radio and
television coverage of court proceedings to
protect the right of the parties to due process,
to prevent the distraction of the participants in

the proceedings, and in the last analysis to


avoid a miscarriage of justice.
Due Process; Meeting vs. Hearing (1999)
No VIII - C.
On November 7, 1990, nine
lawyers of the Legal Department of Y Bank who
were all under Fred Torre, sent a complaint to
management accusing Torre of abusive
conduct and mismanagement. Furnished with
a copy of the complaint, Torre denied the
charges.
Two days later, the lawyers and
Torre were called to a conference in the office
of the Board Chairman to give their respective
sides of the controversy. However, no
agreement was reached thereat. Bank Director
Romulo Moret was tasked to look further into
the matter. He met with the lawyers together
with Torre several times but to no avail. Moret
then submitted a report sustaining the charges
of the lawyers.
The Board Chairman wrote
Torre to inform him that the bank had chosen
the compassionate option of "waiting" for
Torre's resignation. Torre was asked, without
being dismissed, to turn over the documents of
all cases handled by him to another official of
the bank but Torre refused to resign and
requested for a "full hearing". Days later, he
reiterated his request for a "full hearing",
claiming that he had been "constructively
dismissed". Moret assured Torre that he is "free
to remain in the employ of the bank" even if he
has no particular work assignment. After
another request for a "full hearing" was ignored,
Torre filed a complaint with the arbitration
branch of NLRC for illegal dismissal. Reacting
thereto, the bank terminated the services of
Torre. Questions: (a) Was Torre "constructively
dismissed" before he filed his complaint? (b)
Given the multiple meetings held among the
bank officials, the lawyers and Torre, is it
correct for him to say that he was not given an
opportunity to be heard? Explain your answers.
(4%)
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
a) Torre was constructively dismissed, as held
in Equitable Banking Corporation v. National
Labor Relations Commission, 273 SCRA 352.
Allowing an employee to report for work without
being
assigned
any
work
constitutes
constructive dismissal.
b) Torre is correct in saying that he was not
given the chance to be heard. The meetings in
the nature of consultations and conferences
cannot be considered as valid substitutes for
the proper observance of notice and hearing.
Due Process; Notice by Publication (1988)

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35

No. 9: Macabebe, Pampanga has several


barrios along the Pampanga river. To service
the needs of their residentst the municipality
has been operating a ferry service at the same
river, for a number of years already.
Sometime in 1987, the municipality was served
a copy of an order from the Land Tansportation
Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB),
granting a certificate of public convenience to
Mr. Ricardo Macapinlac, a resident of
Macabebe, to operate ferry service across the
same river and between the same barrios being
serviced presently by the municipality's ferry
boats. A check of the records of the application
of Macapinlac shows that the application was
filed some months before, set for hearing, and
notices of such hearing were published in two
newspapers of general circulation in the town of
Macabebe, and in the province of Pampanga.
The municipality had never been directly served
a copy of that notice of hearing nor had the
Sangguniang Bayan been requested by
Macapinlac for any operate. The municipality
immediately filed a motion for reconsideration
with the LTFRB which was denied. It went to
the Supreme Court on a petition for certiorari to
nullify the order granting a certificate of public
convenience to Macapinlac on two grounds:
1. Denial of due process to the municipality;
2. For failure of Macapinlac to secure approval
of the Sangguniang Bayan for him to
operate a ferry service in Macabebe,
Resolve the two points in the petition with
reasons.
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
The petition for certiorari should be granted,
1. As a party directly affected by the operation
of the ferry service, the Municipality of
Macabebe, Pampanga was entitled to be
directly notified by the LTFRB of its
proceedings
relative
to
Macapinlac's
application, even if the Municipality had not
notified the LTFRB of the existence of the
municipal ferry service. Notice by publication
was not enough. (Municipality of Echague v.
Abellera, 146 SCRA 180 (1986)).
2. Where a ferry operation lies entirely within
the municipality, the prior approval of the
Municipal government is necessary. ....
Due Process; Permit to Carry Firearm
Outside Residence (Q6-2006)
3. Does a Permit to Carry Firearm Outside
Residence (PTCFOR) constitute a property
right protected by the Constitution? (2.5%)
SUGGESTED ANSWER:

No, it is not a property right under the due


process clause of the Constitution. Just like
ordinary licenses in other regulated fields, it
may be revoked any time. It does not confer an
absolute right, but only a personal privilege,
subject to restrictions. A licensee takes his
license subject to such conditions as the
Legislature sees fit to impose, and may be
revoked at its pleasure without depriving the
licensee of any property (Chavez v. Romulo,
G.R. No. 157036, June 9, 2004).
Due Process; PPA-Pilots (2001)
No XIII - The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA)
General Manager issued an administrative
order to the effect that all existing regular
appointments to harbor pilot positions shall
remain valid only up to December 31 of the
current year and that henceforth all
appointments to harbor pilot positions shall be
only for a term of one year from date of
effectivity, subject to yearly renewal or
cancellation by the PPA after conduct of a rigid
evaluation of performance. Pilotage as a
profession may be practiced only by duly
licensed individuals, who have to pass five
government professional examinations.
The Harbor Pilot Association challenged the
validity of said administrative order arguing that
it violated the harbor pilots' right to exercise
their profession and their right to due process of
law and that the said administrative order was
issued without prior notice and hearing. The
PPA countered that the administrative order
was valid as it was issued in the exercise of its
administrative control and supervision over
harbor pilots under PPA's legislative charter,
and that in issuing the order as a rule or
regulation, it was performing its executive or
legislative, and not a quasi-Judicial function.
Due process of law is classified into two kinds,
namely,
procedural
due
process
and
substantive due process of law. Was there, or,
was there no violation of the harbor pilots' right
to exercise their profession and their right to
due process of law? (5%)
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
The right of the harbor pilots to due process
was violated. Am held in Corona vs. United
Harbor Pilots Association of the Philippines,
283 SCRA 31 (1997) pilotage as a profession is
a property right protected by the guarantee of
due process. The pre-evaluation cancellation of
the licenses of the harbor pilots every year is
unreasonable and violated their right to
substantive due process. The renewal is

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36

dependent on the evaluation after the licenses


have been cancelled. The issuance of the
administrative order also violated procedural
due process, since no prior public hearing was
conducted. As hold in Commissioner of Internal
Revenue vs. Court of Appeals, 261 SCRA 237
(1998), when a regulation is being issued under
the
quasi-legislative
authority
of
an
administrative agency, the requirements of
notice, hearing and publication must be
observed.
Due Process; Procedural vs. Substantive
(1999)
No VIII - A. Give examples of acts of the state
which infringe the due process clause:
1. in its substantive aspect and (1%)
2. in its procedural aspect? (1%)
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
1.)
A law violates substantive due process
when it is unreasonable or unduly oppressive.
For example, Presidential Decree No. 1717,
which cancelled all the mortgages and liens of a
debtor, was considered unconstitutional for
being oppressive.
Likewise, as stated in
Ermita-Malate Hotel and Motel Operators
Association, Inc. v. City Mayor of Manila, 20
SCRA 849, a law which is vague so that men of
common intelligence must guess at its meaning
and differ as to its application violates
substantive due process. As held in Tanada v.
Tuvera, 146 SCRA 446, due process requires
that the law be published.
2.) In State Prosecutors v. Muro, 236 SCRA
505, it was held that the dismissal of a case
without the benefit of a hearing and without any
notice to the prosecution violated due process.
Likewise, as held in People v. Court of Appeals,
262 SCRA 452, the lack of impartiality of the
judge who will decide a case violates
procedural due process.
Due Process; Provisional Order (1991)
No 7 - On 29 July 1991. the Energy Regulatory
Board (ERB), in response to public clamor,
issued a resolution approving and adopting a
schedule for bringing down the prices of
petroleum products over a period of one (1)
year starting 15 August 1991, over the objection
of the oil companies which claim that the period
covered is too long to prejudge and foresee. Is
the resolution valid?
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
No, the resolution is invalid, since the Energy
Regulatory Board issued the resolution without
a hearing. The resolution here is not a
provisional order and therefore it can only be

issued after appropriate notice and hearing to


affected parties. The ruling in Philippine
Communications Satellite Corporation vs.
Alcuaz, 180 SCRA 218, to the effect that an
order provisionally reducing the rates which a
public utility could charge, could be issued
without previous notice and hearing, cannot
apply.
Due Process; Public School Teachers (2002)
No X - Ten public school teachers of Caloocan
City left their classrooms to join a strike, which
lasted for one month, to ask for teachers'
benefits.
The Department of Education, Culture and
Sports charged them administratively, for which
reason they were required to answer and
formally investigated by a committee composed
of the Division Superintendent of Schools as
Chairman, the Division Supervisor as member
and a teacher, as another member. On the
basis of the evidence adduced at the formal
investigation which amply established their
guilt, the Director rendered a decision meting
out to them the penalty of removal from office.
The decision was affirmed by the DECS
Secretary and the Civil Service Commission.
On appeal, they reiterated the arguments they
raised before the administrative bodies, namely:
(b) They were deprived of due process of law
as the Investigating Committee was improperly
constituted because it did not include a teacher
in representation of the teachers' organization
as required by the Magna Carta for Public
School Teachers (R.A. No. 4670, Sec. 9).
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
The teachers were deprived of due process of
law. Under Section 9 of the Magna Carta for
Public School Teachers, one of the members of
the committee must be a teacher who is a
representative of the local, or in its absence,
any existing provincial or national organization
of teachers. According to Fabella v. Court of
Appeals, 283 SCRA 256 (1997), to be
considered the authorized representative of
such organization, the teacher must be chosen
by the organization itself and not by the
Secretary of Education, Culture and Sports.
Since in administrative proceedings, due
process requires that the tribunal be vested with
jurisdiction and be so constituted as to afford a
person charged administratively a reasonable
guarantee of impartiality, if the teacher who is a
member of the committee was not appointed in
accordance with the law, any proceeding before

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37

it is tainted with deprivation of procedural due


process.
Due Process; Radio Station (1987)
No. XIV: In the morning of August 28, 1987,
during the height of the fighting at Channel 4
and Camelot Hotel, the military closed Radio
Station XX, which was excitedly reporting the
successes of the rebels and movements
towards Manila and troops friendly to the
rebels. The reports were correct and factual. On
October 6, 1987, after normalcy had returned
and the Government had full control of the
situation, the National Telecommunications
Commission, without notice and hearing, but
merely on the basis of the report of the military,
cancelled the franchise of station XX.
Discuss the legality of:
(b) The cancellation of the franchise of the
station on October 6, 1987.
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
The cancellation of the franchise of the station
on October 6, 1987, without prior notice and
hearing, is void. As held in Eastern
Broadcasting Corp. (DYRE) v. Dans, 137 SCRA
647 (1985), the cardinal primary requirements
in administrative proceedings (one of which is
that the parties must first be heard) as laid
down in Ang Tibay v. CIR, 69 Phil. 635 (1940)
must be observed in closing a radio station
because radio broadcasts are a form of
constitutionally-protected expression.
Due Process; Represented by a Non-Lawyer
(1988)
No. 5: Norberto Malasmas was accused of
estafa before the Regional Trial Court of
Manila. After the trial, he was found guilty. On
appeal, his conviction was affirmed by the Court
of Appeals. After the records of his case had
been remanded to the Regional Trial Court for
execution, and after the latter Court had set the
date for the promulgation of judgment, the
accused filed a motion with the Court of
Appeals to set aside the entry of judgment, and
to remand the case to the Regional Trial Court
for new trial on the ground that he had just
discovered that "Atty. Leonilo Maporma" whom
he had chosen and who had acted as his
counsel before the trial court and the Court of
Appeals, is not a lawyer. Resolved the motion
of the accused with reasons.
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
The motion should be granted and the entry of
judgment should be set aside. An accused is
entitled to be heard by himself or counsel. (Art.
III, sec. 14(2)). Unless he is represented by an
attorney, there is a great danger that any

defense presented in his behalf will be


inadequate considering the legal requisite and
skill needed in court proceedings. There would
certainly be a denial of due process. (Delgado
v. Court of Appeals, 145 SCRA 357 (1986)).
Due Process; Substantive (2003)
2003 No XII - The municipal council of the
municipality of Guagua, Pampanga, passed an
ordinance penalizing any person or entity
engaged in the business of selling tickets to
movies or other public exhibitions, games or
performances which would charge children
between 7 and 12 years of age the full price of
admission tickets instead of only one-half of the
amount thereof. Would you hold the ordinance
a valid exercise of legislative power by the
municipality? Why?
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
The ordinance is void. As held in Balacuit v.
Court of First Instance of Agusan del Norte. 163
SCRA 182 [1988], the ordinance is
unreasonable. It deprives the sellers of the
tickets of their property without due process. A
ticket is a property right and may be sold for
such price as the owner of it can obtain. There
is nothing pernicious in charging children the
same price as adults.
Due Process; Suspension of Driver's
License (1992)
No, 3; Congress is considering a law against
drunken driving. Under the legislation, police
authorities may ask any driver to take a
"breathalyzer test", wherein the driver exhales
several times into a device which can determine
whether he has been driving under the
influence of alcohol. The results of the test can
be used, in any legal proceeding against him.
Furthermore, declaring that the issuance of a
driver's license gives rise only to a privilege to
drive motor vehicles on public roads, the law
provides that a driver who refuses to take the
test shall be automatically subject to a 90-day
suspension of his driver's license,
Cite two [2] possible constitutional objections to
this law. Resolve the objections and explain
whether any such infirmities can be cured.
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
Possible objections to the law are that requiring
a driver to take the breathalyzer test will violate
his right against self-incrimination, that
providing for the suspension of his driver's
license without any hearing violates due
process, and that the proposed law will violate
the right against unreasonable searches and
seizures, because it allows police authorities to

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38

require a drive to take the breathalyzer test


even if there is no probable cause
ALTERNATIVE ANSWER:
Requiring a driver to take a breathalyzer test
does not violate his right against selfincrimination, because he is not being
compelled to give testimonial evidence. He is
merely being asked to submit to a physical test.
This is not covered by the constitutional
guarantee against self-incrimination. Thus, in
South Dakota vs. Neville, 459 U.S. 553, it was
held for this reason that requiring a driver to
take a blood-alcohol test is valid.
As held in Mackey vs. Afontrya 443 U.S. 1,
because of compelling government interest in
safety along the streets, the license of a driver
who refuses to take the breathalyzer test may
be suspended immediately pending a postsuspension hearing, but there must be a
provision for a post-suspension hearing. Thus,
to
save
the
proposed
law
from
unconstitutionally on the ground of denial of due
process, it should provide for an immediate
hearing upon suspension of the driver's license.
The proposed law violates the right against
unreasonable searches and seizures. It will
authorize police authorities to stop any driver
and ask him to take the breathalyzer test even
in the absence of a probable cause.
Due Process; Urgent Public Need (1987)
No. II: The Manila Transportation Company
applied for upward adjustment of its rates
before the Transportation Regulatory Board.
Pending the petition, the TRB, without previous
hearing, granted a general nationwide
provisional increase of rates. In another Order,
TRB required the company to pay the unpaid
supervisory fees collectible under the Public
Service Law. After due notice and hearing, on
the basis of the evidence presented by Manila
Transportation Company and the Oppositors,
TRB issued an Order reducing the rates applied
for by one-fourth.
Characterize the powers exercised by the TRB
in this case and determine whether under the
present
constitutional
system
the
Transportation Regulatory Board can be validly
conferred the powers exercised by it in issuing
the Orders given above. Explain.
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
The orders in this case involve the exercise of
judicial function by an administrative agency,
and therefore, as a general rule, the cardinal
primary rights enumerated in Ang Tibay v. CIR,
69 Phil. 635 (1940) must be observed. In Vigart

Electric Light Co, v. PSC, 10 SCRA 46 (1964) it


was held that a rate order, which applies
exclusively to a particular party and is
predicated on a finding of fact, partakes of the
nature of a quasi judicial, rather than legislative,
function.
The first order, granting a provisional rate
increase without hearing, is valid if justified by
URGENT PUBLIC NEED, such as increase in
the cost of fuel. The power of the Public Service
Commission to grant such increase was upheld
in several cases. (Silva v. Ocampo, 90 Phil. 777
(1952); Halili v. PSC, 92 Phil. 1036(1953))
The second order requiring the company to pay
unpaid supervisory fees under the Public
Service Act cannot be sustained. The company
has a right to be heard, before it may be
ordered to pay. (Ang Tibay v. CIR, 69 Phil. 635
(1940))
The third order can be justified. The fact that
the TRB has allowed a provisional rate increase
does not bind it to make the order permanent if
the evidence later submitted does not justify
increase but, on the contrary, warrants the
reduction of rates.
Eminent Domain; Garnishment (1994)
No. 14: The Municipality of Antipolo, Rizal,
expropriated the property of Juan Reyes for use
as a public market. The Municipal Council
appropriated Pl,000,000.00 for the purchase of
the lot but the Regional Trial Court, on the basis
of the evidence, fixed the value at
P2,000,000.00.
1) What legal action can Juan Reyes take to
collect the balance?
2) Can Juan Reyes ask the Regional Trial
Court to garnish the Municipality's account
with the Land Bank?
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
1)
To collect the balance of Judgment, as
stated in Tan Toco vs. Municipal Counsel of
Iloilo, 49 Phil. 52, Juan Reyes may levy on
patrimonial properties of the Municipality of
Antipolo. If it has no patrimonial properties, in
accordance with the Municipality of Makati vs.
Court of Appeals, 190 SCRA 206, the remedy
of Juan Reyes is to file a petition for mandamus
to compel the Municipality of Antipolo to
appropriate the necessary funds to satisfy the
judgment.
2)
Pursuant to the ruling in Pasay City
Government vs. Court of First Instance of
Manila, 132 SCRA 156, since the Municipality
of Antipolo has appropriated P1,000,000 to pay

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39

for the lot, its bank account may be garnished


but up to this amount only.
Eminent Domain; Garnishment (1998)
No VI - 2, If the City of Cebu has money in
bank, can it be garnished? [2%]
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
2.
No, the money of the City of Cebu in the
bank cannot be garnished if it came from public
funds. As held in Municipality of Makati vs.
Court of Appeals, 190 SCRA 206, 212, public
funds are exempted from garnishment.
Eminent Domain; immunity from suit (2001)
No III - The Republic of the Philippines, through
the Department of Public Works and Highways
(DPWH), constructed a new highway linking
Metro Manila and Quezon province, and which
major thoroughfare traversed the land owned
by Mang Pandoy. The government neither filed
any expropriation proceedings nor paid any
compensation to Mang Pandoy for the land thus
taken and used as a public road.
Mang Pandoy filed a suit against the
government to compel payment for the value of
his land. The DPWH filed a motion to dismiss
the case on the ground that the State is
immune from suit. Mang Pandoy filed an
opposition.
Resolve the motion. (5%)
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
The motion to dismiss should be denied. As
held in Amigable v. Cuenca, 43 SCRA 300
(1972), when the Government expropriates
private property without paying compensation, it
is deemed to have waived its immunity from
suit. Otherwise, the constitutional guarantee
that private property shall not be taken for
public
use
without
payment
of
just
compensation will be rendered nugatory.
Eminent Domain; Indirect Public Benefit
(1990)
No. 2: The City of Cebu passed an ordinance
proclaiming the expropriation of a ten (10)
hectare property of C Company, which property
is already a developed commercial center. The
City proposed to operate the commercial center
in order to finance a housing project for city
employees in the vacant portion of the said
property. The ordinance fixed the price of the
land and the value of the improvements to be
paid C Company on the basis of the prevailing
land value and cost of construction.
(1) As counsel for C Company, give two
constitutional objections to the validity of
the ordinance.

(2) As the judge, rule on the said objections.


SUGGESTED ANSWER:
(1) As counsel for C Company, I will argue that
the taking of the property is not for a public use
and that the ordinance cannot fix the
compensation to be paid C Company, because
this is a judicial question that is for the courts to
decide.
(2) As judge, I will sustain the contention that
the taking of the property of C Company to
operate the commercial center established
within it to finance a housing project for city
employees is not for a public use but for a
private purpose. As the Court indicated in a
dictum in Manotok. v. National Housing
Authority, 150 SCRA 89, that the expropriation
of a commercial center so that the profits
derived from its operation can be used for
housing projects is a taking for a private
purpose.
I will also sustain the contention that the
ordinance, even though it fixes the
compensation for the land on the basis of the
prevailing land value cannot really displace
judicial determination of the price for the simple
reason that many factors, some of them
supervening, cannot possibly be considered by
the legislature at the time of enacting the
ordinance. There is greater reason for nullifying
the use of the cost of construction in the
ordinance as basis for compensation for the
improvements. The fair market value of the
improvements may not be equal to the cost of
construction. The original cost of construction
may be lower than the fair market value, since
the cost of construction at the time of
expropriation may have increased.
ALTERNATIVE ANSWER:
The taking of the commercial center is justified
by the concept of indirect public benefit since its
operation is intended for the development of the
vacant portion for socialized housing, which is
clearly a public purpose.
Eminent Domain; Just Compensation (1988)
No. 8: Mr. Roland Rivera is the owner of four
lots sought to be expropriated by the Export
Processing Zone Authority for the expansion of
the export processing zone at Baguio City. The
same parcels of land had been valued by the
Assessor at P120.00 per square meter, while
Mr. Rivera had previously fixed the market
value of the same at P100 per square meter.
The Regional Trial Court decided for
expropriation and ordered the payment to Mr.
Rivera at the rate of P100 a square meter

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40

pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 1533,


providing that in determining just compensation
for private property acquired through eminent
domain proceedings, the compensation to be
paid shall not exceed the value declared by the
owner or determined by the Assessor, pursuant
to the Real Property Tax Code, whichever value
is lower, prior to the recommendation or
decision of the appropriate government office to
acquire the property.
Mr. Rivera appealed, insisting that just
compensation for his property should be
determined by Commissioners who could
evaluate all evidence on the real value of the
property, at the time of its taking by the
government. He maintains that the lower court
erred in relying on Presidential Decree No,
1533, which he claims is unconstitutional.
How would you decide the appeal? Explain
your answer.
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
The decision of the lower court should be
reversed. In EPZA v, Dulay, 149 SCRA 305
(1987) the Supreme Court declared PD No.
1533 to be an unconstitutional encroachment
on the prerogatives of the judiciary. It was
explained that although a court would
technically have the power to determine the just
compensation for property under the Decree,
the court's task would be relegated to simply
stating the lower value of the property as
declared either by the owner or by the
assessor. Just compensation means the value
of the property at the time of the taking. It
means a fair and full equivalent for the loss
sustained.
To
determine
it
requires
consideration of the condition of the property
and its surrounding, its improvements and
capabilities.
Eminent Domain; Just Compensation (1989)
No, 6: A law provides that in the event of
expropriation, the amount to be paid to a
landowner as compensation shall be either the
sworn valuation made by the owner or the
official assessment thereof, whichever is lower.
Can the landowner successfully challenge the
law in court? Discuss briefly your answer.
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
Yes, the landowner can successfully challenge
the law in court. According to the decision in
Export Processing Zone Authority vs. Dulay,
149 SCRA 305, such a law is unconstitutional.
First of all, it violates due process, because it
denies to the landowner the opportunity to
prove that the valuation in the tax declaration is

wrong. Secondly, the determination of just


compensation in expropriation cases is a
judicial function. Since under Section 9, Article
III of the 1987 Constitution private property shall
not be taken for public use without just
compensation, no law can mandate that its
determination as to the just compensation shall
prevail over the findings of the court.
Eminent Domain; Just Compensation (1998)
No VI. The City of Cebu expropriated the
property of Carlos Topico for use as a municipal
parking lot. The Sangguniang Panlungsod
appropriated P10 million for this purpose but
the Regional Trial Court fixed the compensation
for the taking of the land at P15 million.
1. What legal remedy, if any, does Carlos
Topico have to recover the balance of P5
million for the taking of his land? [3%]
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
1.
The remedy of Carlos Toplco is to levy on
the patrimonial properties of the City of Cebu. In
Municipality of Paoay vs Manaois, 86 Phil 629.
632, the Supreme Court held:
"Property, however, which is patrimonial
and which is held by a municipality in its
proprietary capacity as treated by the
great weight of authority as the private
asset of the town and may be levied upon
and sold under an ordinary execution."
If the City of Cebu does not have patrimonial
properties, the remedy of Carlos Topico is to file
a petition for mandamus to compel it to
appropriate money to satisfy the Judgment. In
Municipality Makati vs. Court of Appeals, 190
SCRA 206, 213. the Supreme Court said:
"Where a municipality falls or refuses,
without justifiable reason, to effect
payment of a final money judgment
rendered against it, the claimant may
avail of the remedy of mandamus in order
to compel the enactment and approval of
the necessary appropriation ordinance,
and the corresponding disbursement of
municipal funds therefor."
ALTERNATIVE ANSWER:
1.
He can file the money claim with the
Commission on Audit.
Eminent Domain; Legal Interest (1993)
No, 5: In expropriation proceedings:
1) What legal interest should be used in the
computation of interest on just compensation?
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
As held in National Power Corporation vs.
Angas. 208 SCRA 542, in accordance with
Article 2209 of the Civil Code, the legal interest

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41

should be SIX per cent (6%) a year. Central


Bank Circular No. 416, which increased the
legal interest to twelve percent (12%) a year is
not applicable to the expropriation of property
and is limited to loans, since its issuance is
based on Presidential Decree No, 116, which
amended the Usury Law.
Eminent Domain; Non-observance of the
policy of "all or none" (2000)
No VIII. Madlangbayan is the owner of a 500
square meter lot which was the birthplace of the
founder of a religious sect who admittedly
played an important role in Philippine history
and
culture.
The
National
Historical
Commission (NHC) passed a resolution
declaring it a national landmark and on its
recommendation the lot was subjected to
expropriation proceedings. This was opposed
by Madlangbayan on the following grounds: a)
that the lot is not a vast tract; b) that those to be
benefited by the expropriation would only be the
members of the religious sect of its founder,
and c) that the NHC has not initiated the
expropriation of birthplaces of other more
deserving historical personalities. Resolve the
opposition raised by Madlangbayan. (5%)
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
The arguments of Madlangbayan are not
meritorious. According to Manosca v. Court of
Appeals, 252 SCRA 412 (1996), the power of
eminent domain is not confined to expropriation
of vast tracts of the land. The expropriation of
the lot to preserve it as the birthplace of the
founder of the religious sect because of his role
in Philippine history and culture is for a public
purpose, because public use is no longer
restricted to the traditional concept. The fact
that the expropriation will benefit the members
of the religious sect is merely incidental. The
fact that other birthplaces have not been
expropriated is likewise not a valid basis for
opposing the expropriation. As held in J.M.
Tuason and Company, Inc. v. Land Tenure
Administration, 31 SCRA 413 (1970), the
expropriating authority is not required to adhere
to the policy of "all or none".
Eminent Domain; Power to Exercise (2005)
(10-2) The Sangguniang Bayan of the
Municipality of Santa, Ilocos Sur passed
Resolution No. 1 authorizing its Mayor to initiate
a petition for the expropriation of a lot owned by
Christina as site for its municipal sports center.
This was approved by the Mayor. However, the
Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Ilocos Sur
disapproved the Resolution as there might still

be other available lots in Santa for a sports


center.
Nonetheless, the Municipality of Santa, through
its Mayor, filed a complaint for eminent domain.
Christina opposed this on the following
grounds:
1. the Municipality of Santa has no power to
expropriate;
2. Resolution No. 1 has been voided since the
Sangguniang Panlalawigan disapproved it
for being arbitrary; and
3. the Municipality of Santa has other and
better lots for that purpose.
Resolve the case with reasons. (5%)
SUGGESTED ANSWERS:
a) Under Section 19 of R.A. No. 7160, the
power of eminent domain is explicitly
granted to the municipality, but must be
exercised through an ordinance rather than
through
a
resolution.
(Municipality
ofParanaque v. V.M. Realty Corp., G.R. No.
127820, July 20, 1998)
b) The Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Ilocos
Sur was without the authority to disapprove
Resolution No. 1 as the municipality clearly
has the power to exercise the right of
eminent domain and its Sangguniang
Bayan the capacity to promulgate said
resolution. The only ground upon which a
provincial board may declare any municipal
resolution, ordinance or order invalid is
when such resolution, ordinance or order is
beyond the powers conferred upon the
council or president making the same. Such
is not the situation in this case. (Moday v.
Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 107916,
February 20, 1997)
c) The question of whether there is genuine
necessity for the expropriation of Christina's
lot or whether the municipality has other
and better lots for the purpose is a matter
that will have to be resolved by the Court
upon presentation of evidence by the
parties to the case.
Eminent Domain; Public Use (1987)
No. XVI: In January 1984, Pasay City filed
expropriation proceedings against several
landowners for the construction of an aqueduct
for flood control in a barangay. Clearly, only the
residents of that barangay would be benefited
by the project.
As compensation, the city offered to pay only
the amount declared by the owners in their tax

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42

declarations, which amount was lower than the


assessed value as determined by the assessor.
The landowners oppose the expropriation on
the grounds that:
(a) the same is not for public use; and
(b) assuming it is for public use, the
compensation must be based on the
evidence presented in court and not, as
provided in presidential decrees prescribing
payment of the value stated in the owner's
tax declarations or the value determined by
the assessor, whichever is lower.
If you were judge, how would you rule on the
issue? Why?
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
(a) The contention that the taking of private
property for the purpose of constructing an
aqueduct for flood control is not for public use"
is untenable- The idea that "PUBLIC USE"
means exclusively use by the public has been
discarded. As long as the purpose of the taking
is public, the exercise of power of eminent
domain is justifiable. Whatever may be
beneficially employed for the general welfare
satisfies the requirement of public use. (Heirs of
Juancho Ardona v. Reyes, 123 SCR A 220 (1983))

(b) But the contention that the Presidential


Decrees providing that in determining just
compensation the value stated by the owner in
his tax declaration or that determined by the
assessor,
whichever
is
lower,
in
unconstitutional is correct. In EPZA v. Dulay.
G.R. No. 59603, April 29, 1987, it was held that
this method prescribed for ascertaining just
compensation constitutes an impermissible
encroachment on the prerogatives of courts. It
tends to render courts inutile in a matter which,
under the Constitution, is reserved to them for
final determination. For although under the
decrees the courts still have the power to
determine just compensation, their task is
reduced to simply determining the lower value
of the property as declared either by the owner
or by the assessor. "JUST COMPENSATION"
means the value of the property at the time of
the taking. Its determination requires that all
facts as to the condition of the property and its
surroundings and its improvements and
capabilities must be considered, and this can
only be done in a judicial proceeding.
Eminent Domain; Socialized Housing (1996)
No. 4 - The City of Pasig initiated expropriation
proceedings on a one-hectare lot which is part
of a ten-hectare parcel of land devoted to the
growing of vegetables. The purpose of the

expropriation is to use the land as a relocation


site for 200 families squatting along the Pasig
river.
a) Can the owner of the property oppose the
expropriation on the ground that only 200
out of the more than 10,000 squatter
families in Pasig City will benefit from the
expropriation? Explain.
b) Can the Department of Agrarian Reform
require the City of Pasig to first secure
authority from said Department before
converting the use of the land from
agricultural to housing? Explain.
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
a) No, the owner of the property cannot oppose
the expropriation on the ground that only 200
out of more than 10,000 squatter families in
Pasig City will benefit from the expropriation. As
held in Philippine Columbian Association vs.
Pants, 228 SCRA 668, the acquisition of private
property for socialized housing is for public use
and the fact that only a few and not everyone
will benefit from the expropriation does not
detract from the nature of the public use.
b) No, the Department of Agrarian Reform
cannot require Pasig City to first secure
authority from it before converting the use of the
land from agricultural to residential. According
to Province of Camarines Sur vs. Court of
Appeals, 222 SCRA 173, there is no provision
in the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law
which subjects the expropriation of agricultural
lands by local government units to the control of
the Department of Agrarian Reform and to
require approval from the Department of
Agrarian Reform will mean that it is not the local
government unit but the Department of Agrarian
Reform who will determine whether or not the
expropriation is for a public use.
Eminent Domain; Writ of Possession (1993)
No, 5: In expropriation proceedings: Can the
judge validly withhold issuance of the writ of
possession until full payment of the final value
of the expropriated property?
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
No, the judge cannot validly withhold the
issuance of the writ of possession until full
payment of the final value of the expropriated
property. As held in National Power Corporation
vs. Jocson, 206 SCRA 520. it is the rninisterial
duty of the Judge to issue the writ of
possession upon deposit of the provisional
value of the expropriated property with the
National or Provincial Treasurer.
ALTERNATIVE ANSWER:

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43

(per Dondee) in Republic vs. Gingoyon, GR


no. 166429, Dec. 19, 2005, the SC held that RA
8974 now requires full payment before the
State may exercise proprietary rights in an
expropriation proceeding and making the
previous ruling obiter dictum.
Equal Protection; Alien Employment (1989)
No 18: An ordinance of the City of Manila
requires every alien desiring to obtain
employment of whatever kind, including casual
and part-time employment, in the city to secure
an employment permit from the City Mayor and
to pay a work permit fee of P500. Is the
ordinance valid?
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
No, the ordinance is not valid. In Villegas vs.
Hiu Chiong Tsai Pao Ho, 86 SCRA 270, it was
held that such an ordinance violates equal
protection. It failed to consider the valid
substantial differences among the aliens
required to pay the fee. The same among it
being collected from every employed alien,
whether he is casual or permanent, part-time or
full-time. The ordinance also violates due
process, because it does not contain any
standard to guide the mayor in the exercise of
the power granted to him by the ordinance.
Thus, it confers upon him unrestricted power to
allow or prevent an activity which is lawful per
se.
Equal Protection; Invidious Discrimination
(1987)
No. VI: Marina Neptunia, daughter of a sea
captain and sister to four marine officers
decided as a child to follow in her father's
footsteps. In her growing up years she was as
much at home on board a boat as she was in
the family home by the sea. In time she earned
a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine
Transportation, major in Navigation and
Seamanship. She served her apprenticeship for
a year in a merchant marine vessel registered
for foreign trade and another year on a
merchant marine vessel registered for
coastwise trade. But to become a full-fledged
marine officer she had to pass the appropriate
board examinations before she could get her
professional license and registration. She
applied in January 1986 to take examination for
marine officers but her application was rejected
for the reason that the law Regulating the
Practice of Marine Profession in the Philippines
(Pres. Dec. No. 97 (1973) ) specifically
prescribes that "No person shall be qualified for
examination as marine officer unless he is:

Marina feels very aggrieved over the denial and


has come to you for advice. She wants to know:
(1) Whether the Board of Examiners had any
plausible or legal basis for rejecting her
application in 1986. Explain briefly.
(2) Whether the 1987 Constitution guarantees
her the right to admission to take the
coming January 1988 marine officers
examinations. Explain and cite relevant
provisions.
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
(a) The disqualification of females from the
practice of marine profession constitutes as
invidious discrimination condemned by the
Equal Protection Clause of that Constitution
(Art. IV, Sec. 1) In the United States, under a
similar provision, while earlier decisions of the
Supreme Court upheld the validity of a statute
prohibiting women from bartending unless she
was the wife or daughter of a male owner
(Goesart v. Cleary, 335 U.S. 464 (1948) and denying
to women the right to practice law (Bradwell v.
State, 83 U.S. (16 Wall) 130 (1873), recent decisions
have invalidated statutes or regulations
providing for differential treatment of females
based on nothing stereotypical and inaccurate
generalizations.
The
Court
held
that
"classification based on sex, like classifications
based upon race, alienage, or national origin,
are inherently suspect, and must therefore be
subjected to strict judicial scrutiny." Accordingly,
the Court invalidated a statute permitting a male
serviceman to claim his spouse as a dependent
to obtain increased quarter allowance,
regardless of whether the wife is actually
dependent on him, while denying the same right
to a servicewoman unless her husband was in
fact dependent on her for over one half of his
support. (Frontierro v Richardson, 411 U.S. 687
(1973); Accord Craig, v. Boren, 429 U.S. 190 (1976)

(providing for sale of beer to males under 21


and to females under 18); Reed v. Reed. 404
U.S. 71 (1971) (preference given to men over
women for appointment as administrators of
estates invalid).
(b) In addition to the Equal Protection Clause,
the 1987 Constitution now requires the State to
"ensure the fundamental equality before the law
of women and men" (Art II, Sec. 14) and to
provide them with "such facilities and
opportunities that will enhance their welfare and
enable them to realize their full potential in the
service of the nation." (Art. XIII, Sec. 14). These
provisions put in serious doubt the validity of
PD 97 limiting the practice of marine profession
to males.

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44

Equal Protection; Invidious Discrimination


(1987)
No. 10: "X", a son of a rich family, applied for
enrolment with the San Carlos Seminary in
Mandaluyong, Metro Manila. Because he had
been previously expelled from another
seminary for scholastic deficiency, the Rector of
San Carlos Seminary denied the application
without giving any grounds for the denial. After
"X" was refused admission, the Rector admitted
another applicant, who is the son of a poor
farmer who was also academically deficient.
(a) Prepare a short argument citing rules, laws,
or constitutional provisions in support of "X's"
motion for reconsideration of the denial of his
application.
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
The refusal of the seminary to admit "X"
constitutes invidious discrimination, violative of
the Equal Protection Clause (Art. III, Sec. 1) of
the Constitution. The fact, that the other
applicant is the son of a poor farmer does not
make the discrimination any less invidious since
the other applicant is also academically
deficient. The reverse discrimination practiced
by the seminary cannot be justified because
unlike the race problem in America, poverty is
not a condition of inferiority needing redress.
Equal Protection; Police Power (2000)
No IV. Undaunted by his three failures in the
National Medical Admission Test (NMAT), Cruz
applied to take it again but he was refused
because of an order of the Department of
Education, Culture and Sports (DECS)
disallowing flunkers from taking the test a fourth
time. Cruz filed suit assailing this rule raising
the constitutional grounds of accessible quality
education, academic freedom and equal
protection. The government opposes this,
upholding the constitutionality of the rule on the
ground of exercise of police power. Decide the
case discussing the grounds raised. (5%)
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
As held in Department of Education, Culture
and Sports v. San Diego,180 SCRA 533 (1989),
the rule is a valid exercise of police power to
ensure that those admitted to the medical
profession are qualified. The arguments of Cruz
are not meritorious. The right to quality
education and academic freedom are not
absolute. Under Section 5(3), Article XIV of the
Constitution, the right to choose a profession is
subject to fair, reasonable and equitable
admission and academic requirements. The
rule does not violate equal protection. There is
a substantial distinction between medical
students and other students. Unlike other

professions, the medical profession directly


affects the lives of the people.
Equal Protection; Right to Education (1994)
No. 12; The Department of Education, Culture
and Sports Issued a circular disqualifying
anyone who fails for the fourth time in the
National Entrance Tests from admission to a
College of Dentistry. X who was thus
disqualified, questions the constitutionality of
the circular.
1) Did the circular deprive her of her
constitutional right to education?
2) Did the circular violate the equal protection
clause of the Constitution?
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
1) No, because it is a permissive limitation to
right to education, as it is intended to ensure
that only those who are qualified to be dentists
are admitted for enrollment....
2) No, the circular did not violate the equal
protection clause of the Constitution. There is a
substantial distinction between dentistry
students and other students. The dental
profession directly affects the lives and health
of people. Other professions do not involve the
same delicate responsibility and need not be
similarly treated. This is in accordance with the
ruling in Department of Education, Culture and
Sports vs. San Diego, 180 SCRA 533.
Equal Protection; Subsidiary Imprisonment
(1989)
No. 4: "X" was sentenced to a penalty of 1 year
and 5 months of prision correctional and to pay
a fine of P8,000.00, with subsidiary
imprisonment in case of solvency. After serving
his prison term, "X" asked the Director of
Prisons whether he could already be released.
"X" was asked to pay the fine of P5,000.00 and
he said he could not afford it, being an indigent.
The Director informed him he has to serve an
additional prison term at the rate of one day per
eight pesos in accordance with Article 39 of the
Revised Penal Code, The lawyer of "X" filed a
petition for habeas corpus contending that the
further incarceration of his client for unpaid
fines violates the equal protection clause of the
Constitution. Decide.
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
(1) The petition should be granted, because
Article 39 of the Revised Penal Code is
unconstitutional. In Tate vs. Short, 401 U.S.
395, the United States Supreme Court held that
imposition of subsidiary imprisonment upon a
convict who is too poor to pay a fine violates
equal protection, because economic status

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45

cannot serve as a valid basis for distinguishing


the duration of the imprisonment between a
convict who is able to pay the fine and a convict
who is unable to pay it.
(2) On the other hand, in United States ex rel.
Privitera vs. Kross, 239 F Supp 118, it was held
that the imposition of subsidiary imprisonment
for inability to pay a fine does not violate equal
protection, because the punishment should be
tailored to fit the individual, and equal protection
does not compel the eradication of every
disadvantage caused by indigence. The
decision was affirmed by the United States
Circuit Court of Appeals in 345 F2d 533, and
the United States Supreme Court denied the
petition for certiorari in 382 U.S. 911. This
ruling was adopted by the Illinois Supreme
Court in People vs. Williams, 31 ALR3d 920.
Freedom of Expression; Censorship (2003)
No IX - May the COMELEC (COMELEC)
prohibit the posting of decals and stickers on
"mobile" places, public or private, such as on a
private vehicle, and limit their location only to
the authorized posting areas that the
COMELEC itself fixes? Explain.
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
According to Adiong v. COMELEC. 207 SCRA
712 [1992], the prohibition is unconstitutional. It
curtails the freedom of expression of individuals
who wish to express their preference for a
candidate by posting decals and stickers on
their cars and to convince others to agree with
them. It is also overbroad, because it
encompasses private property and constitutes
deprivation of property without due process of
law. Ownership of property includes the right to
use. The prohibition is censorship, which
cannot be justified.
Freedom of Expression; Prior Restraint
(1988)
No. 16: The Secretary of Transportation and
Communications has warned radio station
operators against selling blocked time, on the
claim that the time covered thereby are often
used by those buying them to attack the
present administration. Assume that the
department implements this warning and orders
owners and operators of radio stations not to
sell blocked time to interested parties without
prior clearance from the Department of
Transportation and Communications.
You are approached by an interested party
affected adversely by that order of the
Secretary
of
Transportation
and

Communications. What would you do regarding


that ban on the sale of blocked time? Explain
your answer.
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
I would challenge its validity in court on the
ground that it constitutes a prior restraint on
freedom of expression. Such a limitation is valid
only in exceptional cases, such as where the
purpose is to prevent actual obstruction to
recruitment of service or the sailing dates of
transports or the number and location of troops,
or for the purpose of enforcing the primary
requirements of decency or the security of
community life. (Near v. Minnesota, 283 U.S,
697 (1931)). Attacks on the government, on the
other hand, cannot justify prior restraints. For as
has been pointed out, "the interest of society
and the maintenance of good government
demand a full discussion of public affairs.
Complete liberty to comment on the conduct of
public men is a scalpel in the case of free
speech. The sharp incision of its probe relieves
the abscesses of officialdom. Men in public life
may suffer under a hostile and an unjust
accusation; the wound can be assuaged with
the balm of a clear conscience," (United States
v Bustos, 37 Phil. 741 (1918)).
The parties adversely affected may also
disregard the regulation as being on its face
void. As has been held, "any system of prior
restraints of expression comes to the court
bearing a heavy presumption against its
constitutional validity," and the government
"thus carries a heavy burden of showing
justification for the imposition of such a
restraint." (New York Times Co. v. United
States, 403 U.S. 713 (1971)).
The usual presumption of validity that inheres in
legislation is reversed in the case of laws
imposing prior restraint on freedom of
expression.
Freedom of Religion; Convicted Prisoners
(1989)
No. 5: "X" is serving his prison sentence in
Muntinlupa. He belongs to a religious sect that
prohibits the eating of meat. He asked the
Director of Prisons that he be served with
meatless diet. The Director refused and "X"
sued the Director for damages for violating his
religious freedom. Decide.
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
Yes, the Director of Prison is liable under Article
32 of the Civil Code for violating the religious
freedom of "X". According to the decision of the
United States Supreme Court in the case of

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46

O'Lone vs. Estate of Shabazz, 107 S. Ct. 2400,


convicted prisoners retain their right to free
exercise of religion. At the same time, lawful
incarceration brings about necessary limitations
of many privileges and rights justified by the
considerations underlying the penal system. In
considering the appropriate balance between
these two factors, reasonableness should be
the test. Accommodation to religious freedom
can be made if it will not involve sacrificing the
interests of security and it will have no impact
on the allocation of the resources of the
penitentiary. In this case, providing "X" with a
meatless diet will not create a security problem
or unduly increase the cost of food being
served to the prisoners. In fact, in the case of O'
Lone vs. Estate of Shabazz, it was noted that
the Moslem prisoners were being given a
different meal whenever pork would be served.
ALTERNATIVE ANSWER:
The suit should be dismissed. The Free
Exercise Clause of the Constitution is
essentially a restraint on governmental
interference with the right of individuals to
worship as they please. It is not a mandate to
the state to take positive, affirmative action to
enable the individual to enjoy his freedom. It
would have been different had the Director of
Prisons prohibited meatless diets in the penal
institution.
Freedom of Religion; Limitations (1998)
No XV. - A religious organization has a weekly
television program. The program presents and
propagates its religious, doctrines, and
compares their practices with those of other
religions.
As the Movie and Television Review and
Classification Board (MTRCB) found as
offensive several episodes of the program
which attacked other religions, the MTRCB
required the organization to submit its tapes for
review prior to airing.
The religious organization brought the case to
court on the ground that the action of the
MTRCB suppresses its freedom of speech and
interferes with its right to free exercise of
religion. Decide. [5%]
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
The religious organization cannot invoke
freedom of speech and freedom of religion as
grounds for refusing to submit the tapes to the
Movie and Television Review and Classification
Board for review prior to airing. When the
religious organization started presenting its
program over television, it went into the realm

of action. The right to act on one's religious


belief is not absolute and is subject to police
power for the protection of the general welfare.
Hence the tapes may be required to be
reviewed prior to airing.
In Iglesia ni Cristo vs. Court of Appeals, 259
SCRA 529, 544, the Supreme Court held:
"We thus reject petitioner's postulate that Its
religious program is per se beyond review by
the respondent Board. Its public broadcast
on TV of its religious program brings it out of
the bosom of internal belief. Television is a
medium that reaches even the eyes and ears
of children. The Court reiterates the rule that
the exercise of religions freedom can be
regulated by the State when it will bring
about the CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER
of some substantive evil which the State is
duty bound to prevent, i.e., serious detriment
to the mere overriding Interest of public
health, public morals, or public welfare."
However, the Movie and Television Review and
Classification Board cannot ban the tapes on
the ground that they attacked other religions. In
Iglesia ni Cristo vs. Court of Appeals,. 259
SCRA 529, 547, the Supreme Court held:
"Even a side glance at Section 3 of PD No.
1986 will reveal that it is not among the
grounds to justify an order prohibiting the
broadcast of petitioner's television program."
Moreover, the broadcasts do not give rise to
a clear and present danger of a substantive
evil. In the case of Iglesia ni Cristo vs. Court
of Appeals, 259 SCRA 529, 549:
"Prior restraint on speech, including the
religious speech, cannot be justified by
hypothetical fears but only by the showing of
a substantive and imminent evil which has
taken the reality already on the ground."
Freedom of Religion; Flag Salute (1997)
No. 12: Section 28. Title VI, Chapter 9, of the
Administrative Code of 1987 requires all
educational institutions to observe a simple and
dignified flag ceremony, including the playing or
singing of the Philippine National Anthem,
pursuant to rules to be promulgated by the
Secretary of Education. Culture and Sports,
The refusal of a teacher, student or pupil to
attend or participate in the flag ceremony is a
ground for dismissal after due investigation.
The Secretary of Education Culture and Sports
issued a memorandum implementing said
provision of law. As ordered, the flag ceremony

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47

would be held on Mondays at 7:30 a.m. during


class days. A group of teachers, students and
pupils requested the Secretary that they be
exempted from attending the flag ceremony on
the ground that attendance thereto was against
their religious belief. The Secretary denied the
request. The teachers, students and pupils
concerned went to Court to have the
memorandum circular declared null and void.
Decide the case.
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
The teachers and the students should be
exempted from the flag ceremony. As held in
Ebralinag vs. Division Superintendent of
Schools of Cebu, 251 SCRA 569. to compel
them to participate in the flag ceremony will
violate their freedom of religion. Freedom of
religion cannot be impaired except upon the
showing of a clear and present danger of a
substantive evil which the State has a right to
prevent. The refusal of the teachers and the
students to participate in the flag ceremony
does not pose a clear and present danger.
Freedom of Religion; Flag Salute (2003)
No III - Children who are members of a religious
sect have been expelled from their respective
public schools for refusing, on account of their
religious beliefs, to take part in the flag
ceremony which includes playing by a band or
singing the national anthem, saluting the
Philippine flag and reciting the patriotic pledge.
The students and their parents assail the
expulsion on the ground that the school
authorities have acted in violation of their right
to free public education, freedom of speech,
and religious freedom and worship. Decide the
case.
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
The students cannot be expelled from school.
As held in Ebralinag v. The Division
Superintendent of Schools of Cebu. 219 SCRA
256 [1993], to compel students to take part in
the flag ceremony when it is against their
religious beliefs will violate their religious
freedom. Their expulsion also violates the duty
of the State under Article XIV, Section 1 of the
Constitution to protect and promote the right of
all citizens to quality education and make such
education accessible to all.
Freedom of Religion; Non-Establishment
Clause (1988)
No. 7: - Tawi-Tawi is a predominantly Moslem
province. The Governor, the Vice-Governor,
and members of its Sang-guniang Panlalawigan
are all Moslems. Its budget provides the
Governor with a certain amount as his

discretionary funds. Recently, however, the


Sangguniang Panlalawigan passed a resolution
appropriating
P100,000
as
a
special
discretionary fund of the Governor to be spent
by him in leading a pilgrimage of his
provincemates to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Islam's
holiest city.
Philconsa, on constitutional grounds, has filed
suit to nullify the resolution of the Sangguniang
Panlalawigan giving the special discretionary
fund to the Governor for the stated purpose.
How would you decide the case? Give your
reasons.
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
The resolution is unconstitutional First, it
violates art. VI, sec. 29(2) of the Constitution
which prohibits the appropriation of public
money or property, directly or indirectly, for the
use, benefit or support of any system of
religion, and, second, it contravenes art. VI,
sec, 25(6) which limits the appropriation of
discretionary funds only for public purposes.
The use of discretionary funds for purely
religious purpose is thus unconstitutional, and
the fact that the disbursement is made by
resolution of a local legislative body and not by
Congress does not make it any less offensive to
the Constitution. Above all, the resolution
constitutes a clear violation of the Nonestablishment Clause (art. III, sec. 5) of the
Constitution.
Freedom of Religion; Non-Establishment
Clause (1992)
No. 10: Recognizing the value of education in
making the Philippine labor market attractive to
foreign investment, the Department of
Education, Culture and Sports offers subsidies
to accredited colleges and universities in order
to promote quality tertiary education. The DECS
grants a subsidy to a Catholic school which
requires its students to take at least 3 hours a
week of religious instruction.
a) Is the subsidy permissible? Explain,
b) Presuming that you answer in the negative,
would it make a difference if the subsidy
were given solely in the form of laboratory
equipment in chemistry and physics?
c) Presume, on the other hand, that the
subsidy is given in the form of scholarship
vouchers given directly to the student and
which the student can use for paying tuition
in any accredited school of his choice,
whether religious or non-sectarian.
Will
your answer be different?
SUGGESTED ANSWER:

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48

a) No, the subsidy is not permissible. It will


foster religion, since the school gives religious
instructions to its students. Besides, it will
violate the prohibition in Section 29[2J, Article
VI of the Constitution against the use of public
funds to aid religion. In Lemon vs Kurtzman.
403 U.S. 602, it was held that financial
assistance to a sectarian school violates the
prohibition against the establishment of religion
if it fosters an excessive government
entanglement with religion. Since the school
requires its students to take at least three hours
a week of religious instructions, to ensure that
the financial assistance will not be used for
religious purposes, the government will have to
conduct a continuing surveillance. This involves
excessive entanglement with religion.
b)
If the assistance would be in the form of
laboratory equipment in chemistry and physics,
it will be valid. The purpose of the assistance is
secular, i.e., the improvement of the quality of
tertiary education.
Any benefit to religion is
merely incidental.
Since the equipment can
only be used for a secular purpose, it is
religiously neutral.
As held in Tilton vs.
Richardson, 403 U.S. 672, it will not involve
excessive government entanglement with
religion, for the use of the equipment will not
require surveillance.
c)
In general, the giving of scholarship
vouchers to students is valid.
Section
2(3),
Article
XIV
of
the Constitution
requires the State to establish a system of
subsidies to deserving students in both public
and private schools. However, the law is vague
and over-broad. Under it, a student who wants
to study for the priesthood can apply for the
subsidy and use it for his studies. This will
involve using public funds to aid religion.
Freedom of Religion; Non-Establishment
Clause (1997)
No. 4: Upon request of a group of overseas
contract workers in Brunei, Rev. Father Juan de
la Cruz, a Roman Catholic priest, was sent to
that country by the President of the Philippines
to minister to their spiritual needs. The travel
expenses, per diems, clothing allowance and
monthly stipend of P5,000 were ordered
charged against the President's discretionary
fund. Upon post audit of the vouchers therefor,
the Commission on Audit refused approval
thereof claiming that the expenditures were in
violation of the Constitution.

Was the Commission on Audit correct in


disallowing the vouchers in question?
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
Yes, the Commission on Audit was correct in
disallowing the expenditures. Section 29(2),
Article VI of the Constitution prohibits the
expenditure of public funds for the use, benefit,
or support of any priest. The only exception is
when the priest is assigned to the armed forces,
or to any penal institution or government
orphanage or leprosarium. The sending of a
priest to minister to the spiritual needs of
overseas contract workers does not fall within
the scope of any of the exceptions.
Freedom of Speech; Ban on Tobacco AD
(1992)
No. 1: Congress passes a law prohibiting
television stations from airing any commercial
advertisement which promotes tobacco or in
any way glamorizes the consumption of
tobacco products.
This legislation was passed in response to
findings by the Department of Health about the
alarming rise in lung diseases in the country.
The World Health Organization has also
reported that U.S. tobacco companies haveshifted marketing efforts to the Third World due
to dwindling sales in the health-conscious
American market.
Cowboy Levy's, a Jeans company, recently
released an advertisement featuring model
Richard Burgos wearing Levy's jackets and
jeans and holding a pack of Marlboro
cigarettes.
The Asian Broadcasting Network (ABN), a
privately owned television station, refuses to air
the advertisement in compliance with the law.
a) Assume that such refusal abridges the
freedom of speech. Does the constitutional
prohibition against the abridgement of the
freedom of speech apply to acts done by
ABN, a private corporation? Explain.
b) May Cowboy Levy's, a private corporation,
invoke the free speech guarantee in its
favor? Explain.
c) Regardless of your answers above, decide
the constitutionality of the law in question.
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
a) The constitutional prohibition against the
freedom of speech does not apply to ABN, a
private corporation. As stated in Hudgens vs.
National Labor Relations Board, 424 U.S. 507,
the constitutional guarantee of freedom of
speech is a guarantee only against

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49

abridgement by the government. It does not


therefore apply against private parties.
ALTERNATIVE ANSWER:
Since ABN has a franchise, it may be
considered an agent of the government by
complying with the law and refusing to air the
advertisement, it aligned itself with the
government. Thus it rendered itself liable for a
lawsuit which is based on abridgement of the
freedom of speech. Under Article 32 of the Civil
Code, even private parties may be liable for
damages for impairment of the freedom of
speech.
b)
Cowboy Levy's may invoke the
constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech
in its favor. In First National Bank of Boston vs.
Bellotti, 435 U.S. 765, it was ruled that this
guarantee extends to corporations. In Virginia
State Board of Pharmacy vs. Virginia Citizens
Consumer Council Inc., 425 U.S. 748, it was held

that this right extends to commercial


advertisements. In Ayer Productions Pty, Ltd. vs.
Capulong, 160 SCRA 861, the Supreme Court held
that even if the production of a film is a
commercial activity that is expected to yield
profits, it is covered by the guarantee of
freedom of speech.
c)
The law is constitutional.
exercise of police power, ....

It is a valid

Freedom of the Press; Actual Malice (2004)


(5-a) The STAR, a national daily newspaper,
carried an exclusive report stating that Senator
XX received a house and lot located at YY
Street, Makati, in consideration for his vote
cutting cigarette taxes by 50%. The Senator
sued the STAR, its reporter, editor and
publisher for libel, claiming the report was
completely false and malicious. According to
the Senator, there is no YY Street in Makati,
and the tax cut was only 20%. He claimed one
million pesos in damages. The defendants
denied "actual malice," claiming privileged
communication and absolute freedom of the
press to report on public officials and matters of
public concern. If there was any error, the
STAR said it would publish the correction
promptly. Is there "actual malice" in STAR'S
reportage? How is "actual malice" defined? Are
the defendants liable for damages? (5%)
FIRST ALTERNATIVE ANSWER:
Since Senator XX is a public person and the
questioned imputation is directed against him in
his public capacity, in this case actual malice
means the statement was made with

knowledge that it was false or with reckless


disregard of whether it was false or not (Borja v.
Court of Appeals, 301 SCRA 1 /1999). Since
there is no proof that the report was published
with knowledge that it is false or with reckless
disregard of whether it was false or not, the
defendants are not liable for damage.
SECOND ALTERNATIVE ANSWER:
Since Senator XX is a public person and the
questioned imputation is directed against him in
his public capacity, in this case actual malice
means the statement was made with
knowledge that it was false or with reckless
disregard of whether it was false or not (Borjal
v. Court of Appeals, 301 SCRA 1 /1999]). Since
it is a matter of public knowledge that there is
no YY Street in Makati, the publication was
made with reckless disregard of whether or not
it is false. The defendants may be held liable for
damages.
Freedom of the Press; Wartime Censorship
(1987)
No. XIV: In the morning of August 28, 1987,
during the height of -the fighting at Channel 4
and Camelot Hotel, the military closed Radio
Station XX, which was excitedly reporting the
successes of the rebels and movements
towards Manila and troops friendly to the
rebels. The reports were correct and factual. On
October 6, 1987, after normalcy had returned
and the Government had full control of the
situation, the National Telecommunications
Commission, without notice and hearing, but
merely on the basis of the report of the military,
cancelled the franchise of station XX.
Discuss the legality of:
(a) The action taken against the station on
August 28, 1987;
(b) The cancellation of the franchise of the
station on October 6, 1987.
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
(a) The closing down of Radio Station XX
during the fighting is permissible. With respect
news media, wartime censorship has been
upheld on the ground that "when a nation is at
war many things that might be said in time of
peace are such a hindrance to its efforts that
their utterance will not be endured so long as
men fight and that no Court could regard them
as protected by any constitutional right." The
security of community life may be protected
against incitements to acts of violence and the
overthrow by force of orderly government.
(Near v. Minnesota, 283 U.S. 697 (1931),
quoting Justice Holme's opinion in Schenck v.
United States, 249 U.S. 47 (1919); New York

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50

Times v. United States, 403 U.S. 713 (1971) )


With greater reason then may censorship in
times of emergency be justified in the case of
broadcast media since their freedom is
somewhat lesser in scope. The impact of the
vibrant speech, as Justice Gutierrez said, is
forceful and immediate. Unlike readers of the
printed work, a radio audience has lesser
opportunity to cogitate, analyze and reject the
utterance. (Eastern Broadcasting Corp (DYRE)
v, Dans, 137 SCRA 647 (1985) ). In FCC v.
Pacifica Foundation, 438 U.S. 726 (1978), it
was held that "of all forms of communication, it
is broadcasting which has received the most
limited First Amendment Protection."
Impairment Clause; Basic Human Rights
(1992)
No. 2: Sheila, an actress, signed a two-year
contract with Solidaridad Films, The film
company undertook to promote her career and
to feature her as the leading lady in at least four
movies. In turn, Sheila promised that, for the
duration of the contract, she shall not get
married or have a baby; otherwise, she shall be
liable to refund to the film company a portion of
its promotion expenses.
a) Does this contract impair, or impinge upon,
any constitutionally protected liberty of
Sheila? Explain.
b) If Solidaridad Films tries to enforce this
contract judicially, will this constitutionally
protected liberty prevail? Explain.
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
a) Yes, the contract impairs the right of Sheila
to marry and to procreate. The case of Loving
vs. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 and Zablocki vs.
Redhail 434 U.S. 374 recognized the right to
marry is a basic civil right. Likewise, the case
of Skinner vs Oklahoma, 316 U.S. 535
recognized that the right to procreate is a basic
civil right. These rights are part of the liberty
protected by the due process clause in Section
1. Article 1 of the Constitution.
b) Yes, the constitutionally protected liberty of
Sheila will prevail, because it involves basic
human rights.
The waiver of these basic
human rights is void. What Solidaridad Films
is seeking to recover are promotion expenses.
These involve property rights. As held in
Philippine
Blooming
Mills
Employees
Organization vs. Philippine Blooming Mills, Inc.,
51 SCRA 189, civil rights are superior to
property rights.
ALTERNATIVE ANSWER;
The waiver of the right to marry and the right to
procreate is valid. Enforcement of the contract

does not entail enforcement of the stipulation


not to marry and not to have a baby. It is limited
to a refund of a portion of the promotion
expenses incurred by Solidaridad Films.
Involuntary Servitude (1993)
No. 16; - Joy, an RTC stenographer, retired at
the age of 65. She left unfinished the
transcription of her notes in a criminal case
which was on appeal. The Court of Appeals
ordered Joy to transcribe her notes. She
refused to comply with the order reasoning that
she was no longer in the government service.
The CA declared Joy in contempt of court and
she was incarcerated. Joy filed a petition for
habeas corpus arguing that her incarceration is
tantamount to illegal detention and to require
her to work sans compensation would be
involuntary servitude. Decide.
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
Joy can be incarcerated for contempt of court
for refusing to transcribe her stenographic
notes. As held In Adoracion v. Gatmaitan, 64
SCRA 132, her incarceration does not
constitute illegal detention. It is lawful, because
it is the consequence of her disobedience of the
court order. Neither can she claim that to
require her to work without compensation is
tantamount to involuntary servitude. Since
courts have the Inherent power to Issue such
orders as are necessary for the administration
of Justice, the Court of Appeals may order her
to transcribe her stenographic notes even if she
is no longer In the government service.
Liberty of Abode; Limitations (1998)
No VIII - Juan Casanova contracted Hansen's
disease (leprosy) with open lesions. A law
requires that lepers be isolated upon petition of
the City Health Officer. The wife of Juan
Casanova wrote a letter to the City Health
Officer to have her formerly philandering
husband confined in some isolated leprosarium.
Juan Casanova challenged the constitutionality
of the law as violating his liberty of abode. Will
the suit prosper? [5%]
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
No, the suit will not prosper. Section 6, Article III
of the Constitution provides:
"The liberty of abode and of changing
the same within the limits prescribed by
law shall not be impaired except upon
lawful order of the court."
The liberty of abode is subject to the police
power of the State. Requiring the segregation of
lepers is a valid exercise of police power. In

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51

Lorenzo us. Director of Health. 50 Phil 595,


598, the Supreme Court held:
"Judicial notice will be taken of the fact that
leprosy is commonly believed to be an
infectious disease tending to cause one
afflicted with it to be shunned and excluded
from society, and that compulsory
segregation of lepers as a means of
preventing the spread of the disease is
supported by high scientific authority."
Liberty of Abode; Temporary (1996)
No 2: The military commander-in charge of the
operation against rebel groups directed the
inhabitants of the island which would be the
target of attack by government forces to
evacuate the area and offered the residents
temporary military hamlet.
Can the military commander force the residents
to transfer their places of abode without a court
order? Explain.
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
No, the military commander cannot compel the
residents to transfer their places of abode
without a court order. Under Section 6, Article
III of the Constitution, a lawful order of the court
is required before the liberty of abode and of
changing the same can be impaired.
ALTERNATIVE ANSWER;
Yes, the military commander can compel the
residents to transfer their places of abode
without a court order. If there is no reasonable
time to get a court order and the change of
abode is merely temporary, because of the
exigency, this exercise of police power may be
justified.
Non-Imprisonment for Non-Payment of Debt
(1993)
No 12: Sec. 13 of PD 115 (Trust Receipts Law)
provides that when the entrustee in a trust
receipt agreement fails to deliver the proceeds
of the sale or to return the goods if not sold to
the entrustee-bank, the entrustee is liable for
estafa under the RPC. Does this provision not
violate the constitutional right against
imprisonment for non-payment of a debt?
Explain.
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
No, Section 13 of Presidential Decree No. 115
does not violate the constitutional right against
imprisonment for non-payment of a debt. As
held in Lee vs. Rodil, 175 SCRA 100, the
criminal liability arises from the violation of the
trust receipt, which is separate and distinct from
the loan secured by it. Penalizing such an act is

a valid exercise of police power. (See also


People vs. Nitafan, 207 SCRA 730)
Police Power; Abatement of Nuisance (2004)
(9-b) The City of San Rafael passed an
ordinance authorizing the City Mayor, assisted
by the police, to remove all advertising signs
displayed or exposed to public view in the main
city street, for being offensive to sight or
otherwise a nuisance. AM, whose advertising
agency owns and rents out many of the
billboards ordered removed by the City Mayor,
claims that the City should pay for the
destroyed billboards at their current market
value since the City has appropriated them for
the public purpose of city beautification. The
Mayor refuses to pay, so AM is suing the City
and the Mayor for damages arising from the
taking of his property without due process nor
just compensation. Will AM prosper? Reason
briefly. (5%)
FIRST ALTERNATIVE ANSWER:
The suit of AM will not prosper. The removal of
the billboards is not an exercise of the power of
eminent domain but of police power (Churchill
v. Rafferty, 32 Phil. 580 [19150- The abatement
of a nuisance in the exercise of police power
does not constitute taking of property and does
not entitle the owner of the property involved to
compensation.
(Association
of
Small
Landowners in the Philippines, Inc. v. Secretary
of Agrarian Reform, 175 SCRA 343 [1989]).
SECOND ALTERNATIVE ANSWER:
The removal of the billboards for the purpose of
beautification permanently deprived AM of the
right to use his property and amounts to its
taking. Consequently, he should be paid just
compensation. (People v. Fajardo, 104 Phil. 443
11958]).
Police Power; Ban on Tobacco AD (1992)
No. 1: Congress passes a law prohibiting
television stations from airing any commercial
advertisement which promotes tobacco or in
any way glamorizes the consumption of
tobacco products.
This legislation was passed in response to
findings by the Department of Health about the
alarming rise in lung diseases in the country.
The World Health Organization has also
reported that U.S. tobacco companies haveshifted marketing efforts to the Third World due
to dwindling sales in the health-conscious
American market,

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52

Cowboy Levy's, a Jeans company, recently


released an advertisement featuring model
Richard Burgos wearing Levy's jackets and
jeans and holding a pack of Marlboro
cigarettes.

of the ordinance is a valid exercise of police


power. It is hazardous to health and comfort to
use the lot for residential purposes, since a
highway crosses the subdivision and the area
has become commercial.

The Asian Broadcasting Network (ABN), a


privately owned television station, refuses to air
the advertisement in compliance with the law.
Decide the constitutionality of the law in
question.
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
The law is constitutional. It is a valid exercise
of police power, because smoking is harmful to
health. In Posadas de Puerto Rico Associates
vs. Tourism Company of Puerto Rico, 478 U.S.
328, it was ruled that a law prohibiting certain
types of advertisements is valid if it was
adopted in the interest of the health, safety,
and welfare of the people.
In Capital
Broadcasting Company us. Mitchell 333 F Supp
582, a law making it unlawful to advertise
cigarettes on any medium of electronic
communication was upheld.
The United
States Supreme Court summarily sustained
this ruling in Capita! Broadcasting Company us,
Acting Attorney General 405 U.S. 1000. The
law in question was enacted on the basis of the
legislative finding that there is a need to protect
public health, because smoking causes lung
diseases. Cowboy Levy's has not overthrown
this finding.

Police Power; Zoning Ordinance vs. NonImpairment of Contracts (2001)


No XVIII In the deeds of sale to, and in the land
titles of homeowners of a residential subdivision
in Pasig City, there are restrictions annotated
therein to the effect that only residential houses
or structures may be built or constructed on the
lots. However, the City Council of Pasig
enacted an ordinance amending the existing
zoning ordinance by changing the zone
classification in that place from purely
residential to commercial.

Police Power; Zoning Ordinance vs. NonImpairment of Contracts (1989)


No. 12: Pedro bought a parcel of land from
Smart Corporation, a realty firm engaged in
developing and selling lots to the public. One of
the restrictions in the deed of sale which was
annotated in the title is that the lot shall be used
by the buyer exclusively for residential
purposes. A main highway having been
constructed across the subdivision, the area
became commercial in nature. The municipality
later passed a zoning ordinance declaring the
area as a commercial bank building on his lot.
Smart Corporation went to court to stop the
construction as violative of the building
restrictions imposed by it. The corporation
contends that the zoning ordinance cannot
nullify the contractual obligation assumed by
the buyer. Decide the case.
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
The case must be dismissed. As held in Ortigas
and Company, Limited Partnership vs. FEATIi
Bank and Trust Company, 94 SCRA 533, such
a restriction in the contract cannot prevail over
the zoning ordinance, because the enactment

"A", a lot owner, sold his lot to a banking firm


and the latter started constructing a commercial
building on the lot to house a bank inside the
subdivision. The subdivision owner and the
homeowners' association filed a case in court to
stop the construction of the building for banking
business purposes and to respect the
restrictions embodied in the deed of sale by the
subdivision developer to the lot owners, as well
as the annotation in the titles.
If you were the Judge, how would you resolve
the case? (5%)
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
If I were the judge, I would dismiss the case. As
held in Ortigas and Company Limited
Partnership vs. FEATI Bank and Trust
Company. 94 SCRA 633 (1979), the zoning
ordinance is a valid exercise of police power
and prevails over the contractual stipulation
restricting the use of the lot to residential
purposes.
Privacy of Communication (2001)
No XII - "A" has a telephone line with an
extension. One day, "A" was talking to "B" over
the telephone. "A" conspired with his friend "C",
who was at the end of the extension line
listening to "A's" telephone conversation with
"B" in order to overhear and tape-record the
conversation
wherein
"B"
confidentially
admitted that with evident premeditation, he (B)
killed "D" for having cheated him in their
business partnership. "B" was not aware that
the telephone conversation was being taperecorded.

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53

In the criminal case against "B" for murder, is


the tape-recorded conversation containing his
admission admissible in evidence? Why? (5%)
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
The tape-recorded conversation is not
admissible in evidence. As held in SalcedoOrtanez vs. Court of Appeals, 235 SCRA 111
(1994). Republic Act No. 4200 makes the taperecording of a telephone conversation done
without the authorization of all the parties to the
conversation, inadmissible in evidence. In
addition, the taping of the conversation violated
the guarantee of privacy of communications
enunciated in Section 3, Article III of the
Constitution.
Privacy of Correspondence (1998)
No VII. - The police had suspicions that Juan
Samson, member of the subversive New
Proletarian Army, was using the mail for
propaganda purposes in gaining new adherents
to its cause. The Chief of Police of Bantolan,
Lanao del Sur ordered the Postmaster of the
town to intercept and open all mail addressed to
and coming from Juan Samson in the interest of
the national security. Was the order of the Chief
of Police valid? (5%)
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
No, the order of the Chief of Police is not valid,
because there is no law which authorizes him to
order the Postmaster to open the letters
addressed to and coming from Juan Samson.
An official in the Executive Department cannot
interfere with the privacy of correspondence
and communication in the absence of a law
authorizing him to do so or a lawful order of the
court. Section 3(1), Article III of the Constitution
provides:
"The privacy of communication and
correspondence shall be inviolable
except upon lawful order of the court, or
when public safety or order requires
otherwise as prescribed by law."
Privacy of Correspondence; Jail (1989)
No. 8: While serving sentence in Muntinlupa for
the crime of theft, "X" stabbed dead one of his
guards, "X" was charged with murder. During
his trial, the prosecution introduced as evidence
a letter written in prison by "X" to his wife
tending to establish that the crime of murder
was the result of premeditation. The letter was
written voluntarily. In the course of inspection, it
was opened and read by a warden pursuant to
the rules of discipline of the Bureau of Prisons
and considering its contents, the letter was
turned over to the prosecutor. The lawyer of "X"
objected to the presentation of the letter and

moved for its return on the ground that it


violates the right of "X" against unlawful search
and seizure. Decide.
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
The objection of the lawyer must be sustained,
Section 3(1), Article IV of the 1987 Constitution
provides:
"The
privacy
of
communication
and
correspondence shall be inviolable except
upon lawful order of the court, or when public
safety or order requires otherwise as
prescribed by law."
There was no court order which authorized the
warden to read the letter of "X". Neither is there
any law specifically authorizing the Bureau of
Prisons to read the letter of "X", Under Section
3(1), Article III of the 1987 Constitution, to
interfere with any correspondence when there
is no court order, there must be a law
authorizing it in the interest of public safety or
order.
The ruling of the United States Supreme Court
in the case of Stroud vs. United States, 251
U.S. 15 is not applicable here, because Section
3(1), Article III of the 1987 Constitution has no
counterpart in the American Constitution.
Hence, in accordance with Section 3(2), Article
III of the 1987 Constitution, the letter is
inadmissible in evidence.
ALTERNATIVE ANSWER:
The objection of the lawyer must be overruled.
In Hudson vs. Palmer, 468 U.S. 517, it was held
that the constitutional prohibition against illegal
searches and seizures does not extend to the
confines of the prison. In Stroud vs. United
States, 251 U.S. 15, the United States Supreme
Court held that letters voluntarily written by a
prisoner and examined by the warden which
contained incriminatory statements were
admissible in evidence. Their inspection by the
prison authorities did not violate the
constitutional
prohibition
against
illegal
searches and seizures. This is an established
practice reasonably designed to promote
discipline within the penitentiary.
Right to Assembly; Permit Application;
Freedom Parks (Q2-2006)
The Samahan ng mga Mahihirap (SM) filed with
the Office of the City Mayor of Manila an
application for permit to hold a rally on Mendiola
Street on September 5, 2006 from 10:00 a.m. to
3:00 p.m. to protest the political killings of
journalists. However, the City Mayor denied
their application on the ground that a rally at the

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54

time and place applied for will block the traffic in


the San Miguel and Quiapo Districts. He
suggested the Liwasang Bonifacio, which has
been designated a Freedom Park, as venue for
the rally.
1.

Does the SM have a remedy to contest


the denial of its application for a permit?
(2.5%)
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
Yes, SM has a remedy. Under B.P. Big. 880
(The Public Assembly Act of 1985), in the event
of denial of the application for a permit, the
applicant may contest the decision in an
appropriate court of law. The court must decide
within twenty-four (24) hours from the date of
filing of the case. Said decision may be
appealed to the appropriate court within fortyeight (48) hours after receipt of the same. In all
cases, any decision may be appealed to the
Supreme Court (Bayan Muna v. Ermita, G.R.
No. 169838, April 25, 2006).
2.

Does the availability of a Freedom Park


justify the denial of SM's application for a
permit? (2.5%)
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
No, the availability of a freedom park does not
justify the denial of the permit. It does imply that
no permits are required for activities in freedom
parks. Under B.P. Big. 880, the denial may be
justified only if there is clear and convincing
evidence that the public assembly will create a
clear and present danger to public order, public
safety, public convenience, public morals or
public health (Bayan Muna v. Ermita, G.R. No.
169838, April 25, 2006).
Is the requirement to apply for a permit to
hold a rally a prior restraint on freedom of
speech and assembly? (2.5%)
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
No, the requirement for a permit to hold a rally
is not a prior restraint on freedom of speech
and assembly. The Supreme Court has held
that the permit requirement is valid, referring to
it as regulation of the time, place, and manner
of holding public assemblies, but not the
content of the speech itself. Thus, there is no
prior restraint, since the content of the speech
is not relevant to the regulation (Bayan Muna v.
Ermita, G.R. No. 169838, April 25, 2006).

SUGGESTED ANSWER:
The arrests are unlawful. What is prohibited and
penalized under Sec. 13 (a) and 14 (a) of B.P.
Big 880 is "the holding of any public assembly
as defined in this Act by any leader or organizer
without having first secured that written permit
where a permit is required from the office
concerned x x x Provided, however, that no
person can be punished or held criminally liable
for participating in or attending an otherwise
peaceful assembly."
Thus, only the leader or organizer of the rally
without a permit may be arrested without a
warrant while the members may not be
arrested, as they can not be punished or held
criminally liable for attending the rally. However,
under Section 12 thereof, when the public
assembly is held without a permit where a
permit is required, the said public assembly
may be peacefully dispersed.
Right to Assembly; Permit Requirements
(1992)
No. 4: Olympia Academy, a private university,
issued a student regulation for maintaining
order in the school campus and to ensure that
academic activities shall be conducted
effectively.
Henceforth,
every
student
organization
intending to hold any symposium, convocation,
rally or any assembly within school property
and involving at least 20 people must file, for
the prior approval of the Dean of Students, an
Application setting forth the time, place,
expected size of the group, and the subjectmatter and purpose of the assembly.

3.

4.

Assuming that despite the denial of SM's


application for a permit, its members hold
a rally, prompting the police to arrest
them. Are the arrests without judicial
warrants lawful? (2.5%)

The League of Nationalist Students questions


the validity of the new regulation. Resolve.
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
The regulation is valid. As held In Rarnento us.
Mal-abanan, 129 SCRA 359, if an assembly will
be held by students in school premises, permit
must be sought from the school authorities, who
are devoid of the power to deny such request
arbitrarily or unreasonably. In granting such
permit, there may be conditions as to the time
and place of the assembly to avoid disruption of
classes or stoppage of work of the nonacademic personnel.
Right to Assembly; Public Teachers (2000)
No XII - Public school teachers staged for days
mass actions at the Department of Education,
Culture and Sports to press for the immediate
grant of their demand for additional pay. The

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55

DECS Secretary issued to them a notice of the


illegality of their unauthorized action, ordered
them to immediately return to work, and warned
them of imposable sanctions. They ignored this
and continued with their mass action. The
DECS Secretary issued orders for their
preventive suspension without pay and charged
the teachers with gross misconduct and gross
neglect of duty for unauthorized abandonment
of teaching posts and absences without leave.
a) Are employees in the public sector allowed
to form unions? To strike? Why? (3%)
b) The teachers claim that their right to
peaceably assemble and petition the
government for redress of grievances has
been curtailed.
Are they correct? Why?
(2%)
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
a) Section 8, Article III of the Constitution allows
employees in the public sector to form unions.
However, they cannot go on strike. As
explained in Social Security System Employees
Association v. Court of Appeals. 175 SCRA 686
[1989], the terms and conditions of their
employment are fixed by law. Employees in
the public sector cannot strike to secure
concessions from their employer.
b. The teachers cannot claim that their right to
peaceably assemble and petition for the
redress of grievances has been curtailed.
According to Bangalisan v. Court of Appeals.
276 SCRA 619 (1997), they can exercise this
right without stoppage of classes.
Right to Assembly; Public Teachers (2002)
No X - Ten public school teachers of Caloocan
City left their classrooms to join a strike, which
lasted for one month, to ask for teachers'
benefits.
The Department of Education, Culture and
Sports charged them administratively, for which
reason they were required to answer and
formally investigated by a committee composed
of the Division Superintendent of Schools as
Chairman, the Division Supervisor as member
and a teacher, as another member. On the
basis of the evidence adduced at the formal
investigation which amply established their
guilt, the Director rendered a decision meting
out to them the penalty of removal from office.
The decision was affirmed by the DECS
Secretary and the Civil Service Commission.
On appeal, they reiterated the arguments they
raised before the administrative bodies, namely:

(a) Their strike was an exercise of their


constitutional right to peaceful assembly and to
petition the government for redress of
grievances.
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
(a)
According to De la Cruz v. Court of
Appeals, 305 SCRA 303 (1999), the argument
of the teachers that they were merely exercising
their constitutional right to peaceful assembly
and to petition the government for redress of
grievance cannot be sustained, because such
rights must be exercised within reasonable
limits. When such rights were exercised on
regular school days instead of during the free
time of the teachers, the teachers committed
acts prejudicial to the best interests of the
service.
Right to Travel; Order of Arrest (1991)
No. 6: Mr. Esteban Krony, a Filipino citizen, is
arrested for the crime of smuggling. He posts
bail for his release. Subsequently, he jumps bail
and is about to leave the country when the
Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) cancels
his passport. He sues the DFA, claiming
violation of his freedom to travel, citing the new
provision in the Bill of Rights of the 1987
Constitution, to wit: "Neither shall the right to
travel be impaired except in the interest of
national security, public safety, or public health,
as may be provided by law. Decide the case.
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
The case should be dismissed. Any person
under an order of arrest is under restraint and
therefore he can not claim the right to travel. If
he is admitted to bail his freedom of movement
is confined within the country. Therefore, if he
subsequently jumps bail, he cannot demand
passport which in effect will facilitate his escape
from the country; he is in fact liable to be
arrested anytime. Indeed, the right to travel
under the Constitution presupposes that the
individual is under no restraint such as that
which would follow from the fact that one has a
pending criminal case and has been placed
under arrest.
Rights of the Accused; Counsel of his
Choice (Q8-2005)
(1) Mariano was arrested by the NBI as a
suspect in the shopping mall bombings.
Advised of his rights, Mariano asked for the
assistance of his relative, Atty. Santos. The
NBI noticed that Atty. Santos was
inexperienced, incompetent and inattentive.
Deeming him unsuited to protect the rights
of Mariano, the NBI dismissed Atty. Santos.
Appointed in his place was Atty. Barroso, a

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56

height and weight, his photographs, fingerprints


comparison and the results of the paraffin test,
asserting that these were taken in violation of
his right against self-incrimination. Rule on the
objection. (2%)
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
b) The objection of Borja is not tenable. As held
in People v. Paynor, 261 SCRA 615 (1996), the
rights guaranteed by Section 12, Article in of
the Constitution applies only against testimonial
evidence. An accused may be compelled to be
photographed or measured, his garments may
be removed, and his body may be examined.
Rights of the Accused; Self-Incrimination
(Q7-2006)
Select the best answer and explain.
1. An accused's right against self-incrimination
is violated in the following cases: (5%)
a. When he is ordered by the trial court to
undergo a paraffin test to prove he is guilty
of murder;
b. When he is compelled to produce his
bankbooks to be used as evidence against
his father charged with plunder;
c. When he is ordered to produce a sample of
his handwriting to be used as evidence that
he is the author of a letter wherein he
agreed to kill the victim;
d. When the president of a corporation is subpoenaed to produce certain documents as
proofs he is guilty of illegal recruitment.
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
The best answer is c) when he is ordered to
produce a sample of his handwriting to be used
as evidence that he is the author of a letter
wherein he agreed to kill the victim. Under
Article HI, Section 17 of the 1987 Constitution,
"no person shall be compelled to be a witness
against himself." Since the provision prohibits
compulsory testimonial incrimination, it does not
matter whether the testimony is taken by oral or
written means as either way it involves the USE
OF INTELLECTUAL FACULTIES. The purpose
of the privilege is to avoid and prohibit thereby
the repetition and recurrence of compelling a
person, in a criminal or any other case, to
furnish the missing evidence necessary for his
conviction (Bermudez v. Castillo, Per Rec. No.
714-A, July 26, 1937; Beltran v. Samson, G.R.
No. 32025, September 23,1929).
Searches and Seizure; Private Individuals
(Q8-2005)
(2) Emilio had long suspected that Alvin, his
employee, had been passing trade secrets
to his competitor, Randy, but he had no

proof. One day, Emilio broke open the desk


of Alvin and discovered a letter wherein
Randy thanked Alvin for having passed on
to him vital trade secrets of Emilio.
Enclosed in the letter was a check for
P50,000.00 drawn against the account of
Randy and payable to Alvin. Emilio then
dismissed Alvin from his employment.
Emilio's proof of Alvin's perfidy are the said
letter and check which are objected to as
inadmissible for having been obtained
through an illegal search. Alvin filed a suit
assailing his dismissal.
Rule on the admissibility of the letter and
check. (5%)
ALTERNATIVE ANSWER:
As held in People v. Marti (G.R. No. 81561,
January 18, 1991), the constitution, in laying
down the principles of the government and
fundamental liberties of the people, does not
govern relationships between individuals. Thus,
if the search is made at the behest or initiative
of the proprietor of a private establishment for
its own and private purposes and without the
intervention of police authorities, the right
against unreasonable search and seizure
cannot be invoked for only the act of private
individuals, not the law enforcers, is involved. In
sum, the protection against unreasonable
searches and seizures cannot be extended to
acts committed by PRIVATE INDIVIDUALS so
as to bring it within the ambit of alleged unlawful
intrusion by the government. Accordingly, the
letter and check are admissible in evidence.
(Waterous Drug Corp. v. NLRC, G.R. No.
113271, October 16, 1997)
ALTERNATIVE ANSWER:
The letter is inadmissible in evidence. The
constitutional injunction declaring the privacy of
communication and correspondence to be
inviolable is no less applicable simply because
it is the employer who is the party against
whom the constitutional provision is to be
enforced. The only exception to the prohibition
in the Constitution is if there is a lawful order
from the court or when public safety or order
requires otherwise, as prescribed by law. Any
violation of this provision renders the evidence
obtained inadmissible for any purpose in any
proceeding. (Zulueta v. Court of Appeals, G.R.
No. 107383, February 20, 1996)
Searches and Seizures; Aliens (2001)
No IV - A is an alien. State whether, in the
Philippines, he: Is entitled to the right against

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61

illegal searches and seizures and against illegal


arrests. (2%)
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
Aliens are entitled to the right against illegal
searches and seizures and illegal arrests. As
applied in People v. Chua Ho San, 307 SCRA
432 (1999), these rights are available to all
persons, including aliens.
Searches and Seizures; Breathalyzer Test
(1992)
No, 3; Congress is considering a law against
drunken driving. Under the legislation, police
authorities may ask any driver to take a
"breathalyzer test", wherein the driver exhales
several times into a device which can determine
whether he has been driving under the
influence of alcohol. The results of the test can
be used, in any legal proceeding against him.
Furthermore, declaring that the issuance of a
driver's license gives rise only to a privilege to
drive motor vehicles on public roads, the law
provides that a driver who refuses to take the
test shall be automatically subject to a 90-day
suspension of his driver's license,
Cite two [2] possible constitutional objections to
this law. Resolve the objections and explain
whether any such infirmities can be cured.
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
Possible objections to the law are that requiring
a driver to take the breathalyzer test will violate
his right against self-incrimination, that
providing for the suspension of his driver's
license without any hearing violates due
process, and that the proposed law will violate
the right against unreasonable searches and
seizures, because it allows police authorities to
require a drive to take the breathalyzer test
even if there is no probable cause
Requiring a driver to take a breathalyzer test
does not violate his right against selfincrimination, because he is not being
compelled to give testimonial evidence. He is
merely being asked to submit to a physical test.
This is not covered by the constitutional
guarantee against self-incrimination. Thus, in
South Dakota vs. Neville, 459 U.S. 553, it was
held for this reason that requiring a driver to
take a blood-alcohol test is valid.
As held in Mackey vs. Afontrya 443 U.S. 1,
because of compelling government interest in
safety along the streets, the license of a driver
who refuses to take the breathalyzer test may
be suspended immediately pending a postsuspension hearing, but there must be a
provision for a post-suspension hearing. Thus,

to
save
the
proposed
law
from
unconstitutionally on the ground of denial of due
process, it should provide for an immediate
hearing upon suspension of the driver's license.
The proposed law violates the right against
unreasonable searches and seizures. It will
authorize police authorities to stop any driver
and ask him to take the breathalyzer test even
in the absence of a probable cause.
Searches and Seizures; Immediate Control
(1987)
No. III: "X" a Constabulary Officer, was arrested
pursuant to a lawful court order in Baguio City
for murder. He was brought to Manila where a
warrantless search was conducted in his official
quarters at Camp Crame, The search team
found and seized the murder weapon in a
drawer of "X". Can "X" claim that the search
and seizure were illegal and move for exclusion
from evidence of the weapon seized? Explain.
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
Yes, "X" can do so. The warrantless search
cannot be justified as an incident of a valid
arrest, because considerable time had elapsed
after his arrest in Baguio before the search of
his quarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City was
made, and because the distance between the
place of arrest and the place of search negates
any claim that the place searched is within his
"immediate control" so as to justify the
apprehension that he might destroy or conceal
evidence of crime before a warrant can be
obtained. (Chimel v. California, 395 U.S. 752
(1969) ) in Nolasco v. Cruz Pano, 147 SCRA
509 (1987), the Supreme Court reconsidered its
previous decision holding that a warrantless
search, made after 30 minutes from the time of
arrest, and, in a place several blocks away from
the place of arrest, was valid. It held that a
warrantless search is limited to the search of
the person of the arrestee at the time and
incident to his arrest and for dangerous
weapons or anything which may be used as
proof of the offense. A contrary rule would
justify the police in procuring a warrant of arrest
and, by virtue thereof, not only arrest the
person but also search his dwelling. A warrant
requires that all facts as to the condition of the
property and its surroundings and its
improvements and capabilities must be
considered, and this can only be done in a
judicial proceeding.
Searches and Seizures; Incidental to Valid
Search (1990)
No. 9; Some police operatives, acting under a
lawfully issued warrant for the purpose of

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searching for firearms in the House of X located


at No. 10 Shaw Boulevard, Pasig, Metro
Manila, found, instead of firearms, ten
kilograms of cocaine.
(1)
May the said police operatives lawfully
seize the cocaine? Explain your answer.
(2)
May X successfully challenge the legality
of the search on the ground that the
peace officers did not inform him about
his right to remain silent and his right to
counsel? Explain your answer.
(3)
Suppose the peace officers were able to
find unlicensed firearms in the house in
an adjacent lot, that is. No, 12 Shaw
Boulevard, which is also owned by X.
May they lawfully seize the said
unlicensed firearms?
Explain your
answer.
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
(1) Yes, the police operatives may lawfully
seize the cocaine, because it is an item whose
possession is prohibited by law, it was in plain
view and it was only inadvertently discovered in
the course of a lawful search. The possession
of cocaine is prohibited by Section 8 of the
Dangerous Drugs Act. As held in Magoncia v.
Palacio, 80 Phil. 770, an article whose
possession is prohibited by law may be seized
without the need of any search warrant if it was
discovered during a lawful search. The
additional requirement laid down in Roan v.
Gonzales, 145 SCRA 687 that the discovery of
the article must have been made inadvertently
was also satisfied in this case.
(2) No, X cannot successfully challenge the
legality of the search simply because the peace
officers did not inform him about his right to
remain silent and his right to counsel. Section
12(1), Article III of the 1987 Constitution
provides: "Any person under investigation for
the commission of an offense shall have the
right to be informed of his right to remain silent
and to have competent and independent
counsel preferably of his own choice."
As held in People v. Dy, 158 SCRA 111. for
this provision to apply, a suspect must be
under investigation. There was no
investigation involved in this case.
(3) The unlicensed firearms stored at 12 Shaw
Boulevard may lawfully be seized since their
possession is illegal. As held in Magoncia a
Palacio, 80 Phil. 770, when an individual
possesses contraband (unlicensed firearms
belong to this category), he is committing a
crime and he can be arrested without a warrant
and the contraband can be seized.

ALTERNATIVE ANSWER:
In accordance with the rulings in Uy Keytin v,
Villareal, 42 Phil. 886 and People v. Sy Juco,
64 Phil. 667, the unlicensed firearms found in
the house at 12 Shaw Boulevard may not be
lawfully seized, since they were not included in
the description of the articles to be seized by
virtue of the search warrant. The search
warrant described the articles to be seized as
firearms in the house of X located at 10 Shaw
Boulevard.
Searches and Seizures; Place of Search
(2001)
No XI - Armed with a search and seizure
warrant, a team of policemen led by Inspector
Trias entered a compound and searched the
house described therein as No. 17 Speaker
Perez St., Sta. Mesa Heights, Quezon City,
owned by Mr. Ernani Pelets, for a reported
cache of firearms and ammunition. However,
upon thorough search of the house, the police
found nothing.
Then, acting on a hunch, the policemen
proceeded to a smaller house inside the same
compound with address at No. 17-A Speaker
Perez St., entered it, and conducted a search
therein over the objection of Mr. Pelets who
happened to be the same owner of the first
house. There, the police found the unlicensed
firearms and ammunition they were looking for.
As a result. Mr. Ernani Pelets was criminally
charged in court with Illegal possession of
firearms and ammunition as penalized under
P.D. 1866, as amended by RA. 8294. At the
trial, he vehemently objected to the
presentation of the evidence against him for
being inadmissible. Is Mr. Emani Pelet's
contention valid or not? Why? (5%)
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
The contention of Ernani Pelet is valid. As held
in People vs. Court of Appeals, 291SCRA 400
(1993), if the place searched is different from
that stated in the search warrant, the evidence
seized is inadmissible. The policeman cannot
modify the place to be searched as set out in
the search warrant.
Searches and Seizures; search made by a
private citizen (1993)
No. 4: Larry was an overnight guest in a motel.
After he checked out the following day, the
chambermaid found an attache case which she
surmised was left behind by Larry. She turned it
over to the manager who, to determine the
name and address of the owner, opened the
attache case and saw packages which had a

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63

peculiar smell and upon squeezing felt like


dried leaves. His curiosity aroused, the
manager made an opening on one of the
packages and took several grams of the
contents thereof. He took the packages to the
NBI, and in the presence of agents, opened the
packages, the contents of which upon
laboratory examination, turned out to be
marijuana
flowering
tops,
Larry
was
subsequently found, brought to the NBI Office
where he admitted ownership of the attache
case and the packages. He was made to sign a
receipt for the packages. Larry was charged in
court for possession of prohibited drugs. He
was convicted. On appeal, he now poses the
following issues:
1) The packages are inadmissible in evidence
being the product of an illegal search and
seizure; .
2) Neither is the receipt he signed admissible,
his rights under custodial investigation not
having been observed. Decide.
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
On the assumption that the issues were timely
raised the answers are as follows:
1) The packages are admissible in evidence.
The one who opened the packages was the
manager of the motel without any interference
of the agents of the National Bureau of
Investigation. As held in People vs. Marti, 193
SCRA 57, the constitutional right against
unreasonable searches and seizures refers to
unwarranted intrusion by the government and
does not operate as a restraint upon private
individuals.
2) The receipt is not admissible in evidence. ...
Searches and Seizures; search made by a
private citizen (2002)
No VIII. One day a passenger bus conductor
found a man's handbag left in the bus. When
the conductor opened the bag, he found inside
a catling card with the owner's name (Dante
Galang) and address, a few hundred peso bills,
and a small plastic bag containing a white
powdery substance. He brought the powdery
substance to the National Bureau of
Investigation for laboratory examination and it
was determined to be methamphetamine
hydrochloride or shabu, a prohibited drug.
Dante Galang was subsequently traced and
found and brought to the NBI Office where he
admitted ownership of the handbag and its
contents. In the course of the interrogation by
NBI agents, and without the presence and
assistance of counsel, Galang was made to
sign a receipt for the plastic bag and its shabu
contents. Galang was charged with illegal

possession of prohibited drugs and was


convicted.
On appeal he contends that (1) The plastic bag and its contents are
inadmissible in evidence being the product
of an illegal search and seizure; (3%) and
(2) The receipt he signed is also inadmissible
as his rights under custodial investigation
were not observed. (2%)
Decide the case with reasons.
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
A.
The plastic bag and its contents are
admissible in evidence, since it was not the
National Bureau of Investigation but the bus
conductor who opened the bag and brought it to
the National Bureau of Investigation. As held
In People v. Marti, 193 SCRA 57 (1991), the
constitutional right against unreasonable search
and seizure is a restraint upon the government.
It does not apply so as to require exclusion of
evidence which came into the possession of the
Government through a search made by a
private citizen.
B. It is inadmissible....
Searches and Seizures; Valid Warrantless
Search (2000)
a)
Crack officers of the Anti-Narcotics Unit
were assigned on surveillance of the environs
of a cemetery where the sale and use of
dangerous drugs are rampant. A man with
reddish and glassy eyes was walking unsteadily
moving towards them but veered away when he
sensed the presence of policemen. They
approached him, introduced themselves as
police officers and asked him what he had
clenched in his hand. As he kept mum, the
policemen pried his hand open and found a
sachet of shabu, a dangerous drug. Accordingly
charged in court, the accused objected to the
admission in evidence of the dangerous drug
because it was the result of an illegal search
and seizure. Rule on the objection. (3%)
b)
What are the instances when warrantless
searches may be effected? (2%)
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
a)
The objection is not tenable. In
accordance with Manalili v. Court of Appeals,
280 SCRA 400 (1997). since the accused had
red eyes and was walking unsteadily and the
place is a known hang-out of drug addicts, the
police officers had sufficient reason to stop the
accused and to frisk him. Since shabu was
actually found during the investigation, it could
be seized without the need for a search
warrant.

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64

b)
A warrantless search may be effected in
the following cases:
a) Searches incidental to a lawful arrest:
b) Searches of moving vehicles;
c) Searches of prohibited articles in plain view:
d) Enforcement of customs law;
e) Consented searches;
f) Stop and frisk (People v. Monaco, 285
SCRA 703 [1998]);
g) Routine searches at borders and ports of
entry (United States v. Ramsey, 431 U.S.
606 [1977]); and
h) Searches of businesses in the exercise of
visitorial powers to enforce police
regulations (New York v. Burger, 482 U.S.
691 (1987]).
Searches and Seizures; Visual Search (1992)
No. 5: During the recent elections, checkpoints
were set up to enforce the election period ban
on firearms.
During one such routine search one night, while
looking through an open window with a
flashlight, the police saw firearms at the
backseat of a car partially covered by papers
and clothes.
Antonio, owner and driver of the car in question,
was charged for violation of the firearms
ban.
Are the firearms admissible in
evidence against him? Explain.
If, upon further inspection by the police,
prohibited drugs were found inside the
various compartments of Antonio's car,
can the drugs be used in evidence
against Antonio if he is prosecuted for
possession of prohibited drugs? Explain.
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
a)
Yes, the firearms are admissible in
evidence, because they were validly seized. In
Valmonte vs. De Villa, 178 SCRA 211 and 185
SCRA 665, the Supreme Court held that
checkpoints may be set up to maintain peace
and order for the benefit of the public and
checkpoints are a security measure against
unauthorized firearms. Since the search which
resulted in the discovery of the firearms was
limited to a visual search of the car, it was
reasonable. Because of the ban on firearms,
the possession of the firearms was prohibited.
Since they were found in plain view in the
course of a lawful search, in accordance with
the decision in Magancia vs. Palacio, 80 Phil.
770, they are admissible in evidence.
b) No, the drugs cannot be used in evidence
against Antonio if he is prosecuted for
possession of prohibited drugs. The drugs

were found after a more extensive search of the


various compartments of the car. As held in
Valmonte vs. De Villa, 185 SCRA 665, for such
a search to be valid, there must be a probable
cause. In this case, there was no probable
cause, as there was nothing to indicate that
Antonio had prohibited drugs inside the
compartments of his car.
Searches and Seizures; Waiver of Consent
(1989)
No. 7: Pursuing reports that great quantities of
prohibited drugs are being smuggled at
nighttime through the shores of Cavite, the
Southern Luzon Command set up checkpoints
at the end of the Cavite coastal road to search
passing motor vehicles. A 19-year old boy, who
finished fifth grade, while driving, was stopped
by the authorities at the checkpoint. Without
any objection from him, his car was inspected,
and the search yielded marijuana leaves hidden
in the trunk compartment of the car. The
prohibited drug was promptly seized, and the
boy was brought to the police station for
questioning. Was the search without warrant
legal?
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
No, the search was not valid, because there
was no probable cause for conducting the
search. As held in Almeda Sanchez vs. United
States, 413 U.S. 266, while a moving vehicle
can be searched without a warrant, there must
still be probable cause. In the case in question,
there was nothing to indicate that marijuana
leaves were hidden in the trunk of the car. The
mere fact that the boy did not object to the
inspection of the car does not constitute
consent to the search. As ruled in People vs.
Burgos, 144 SCRA 1, the failure to object to a
warrantless search does not constitute consent,
especially in the light of the fact.
ALTERNATIVE ANSWER:
Yes. The requirement of probable cause differs
from case to case. In this one, since the
police agents are confronted with large-scale
smuggling of prohibited drugs, existence of
which is of public knowledge, they can set up
checkpoints at strategic places, in the same
way that of in a neighborhood a child is
kidnapped, it is lawful to search cars and
vehicles leaving the neighborhood or village:
This situation is also similar to warrantless
searches of moving vehicles in customs area,
which searches have been upheld. (Papa vs.
Mago, 22 SCRA 857 (1968). The rule is based
on practical necessity.

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Searches and Seizures; Warrantless Arrests


(1993)
No. 9: Johann learned that the police were
looking for him in connection with the rape of an
18-year old girl, a neighbor. He went to the
police station a week later and presented
himself to the desk sergeant. Coincidentally. the
rape victim was in the premises executing an
extrajudicial statement. Johann, along with six
(6) other suspects, were placed in a police lineup and the girl pointed to him as the rapist.
Johann was arrested and locked up in a cell.
Johann was charged with rape in court but prior
to arraignment invoked his right to preliminary
investigation. This was denied by the judge,
and thus, trial proceeded. After the prosecution
presented several witnesses, Johann through
counsel, invoked the right to bail and filed a
motion therefor, which was denied outright by
the Judge. Johann now files a petition for
certiorari before the Court of Appeals arguing
that: His arrest was not in accordance with law.
Decide.
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
Yes, the warrantless arrest of Johann was not
in accordance with law. As held in Go v. Court
of Appeals, 206 SCRA 138, his case does not
fall under the Instances in Rule 113, sec. 5 (a)
of the 1985 Rules of Criminal Procedure
authorizing warrantless arrests. It cannot be
considered a valid warrantless arrest because
Johann did not commit a crime in the presence
of the police officers, since they were not
present when Johann had allegedly raped his
neighbor. Neither can It be considered an arrest
under Rule 113 sec. 5 (b) which allows an
arrest without a warrant to be made when a
crime has in fact just been committed and the
person making the arrest has personal
knowledge offsets indicating that the person to
be arrested committed it. Since Johann was
arrested a week after the alleged rape, it cannot
be deemed to be a crime which "has just been
committed". Nor did the police officers who
arrested him have personal knowledge of facts
indicating that Johann raped his neighbor.

equipment. The warrant particularly describes


the electronic equipment and specifies the
provisions of the Tariff and Customs Code
which were violated by the importation.

Searches and Seizures; Warrants of Arrest


(1991)
No. 8: On the basis of a verified report and
confidential information that various electronic
equipment, which were illegally imported into
the Philippines, were found in the bodega of the
Tikasan Corporation located at 1002 Binakayan
St., Cebu City, the Collector of Customs of
Cebu issued, in the morning of 2 January 1988,
a Warrant of Seizure and Detention against the
corporation for the seizure of the electronic

ARTICLE IV

The warrant was served and implemented in


the afternoon of 2 January 1988 by Customs
policemen who then seized the described
equipment. The inventory of the seized articles
was signed by the Secretary of the Tikasan
Corporation. The following day, a hearing
officer in the Office of the Collector of Customs
conducted a hearing on the confiscation of the
equipment.
Two days thereafter, the corporation filed with
the Supreme Court a petition for certiorari,
prohibition and mandamus to set aside the
warrant, enjoin the Collector and his agents
from further proceeding with the forfeiture
hearing and to secure the return of the
confiscated equipment, alleging therein that the
warrant issued is null and void for the reason
that, pursuant to Section 2 of Article III of the
1987 Constitution, only a judge may issue a
search warrant. In his comment to the petition,
the Collector of Customs, through the Office of
the Solicitor General, contends that he is
authorized under the Tariff and Custom Code to
order the seizure of the equipment whose
duties and taxes were not paid and that the
corporation did not exhaust administrative
remedies. Should the petition be granted?
Decide.
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
The petition should not be granted. Under Secs.
2205 and 2208 of the Tariff and Customs Code,
customs officials are authorized to enter any
warehouse, not used as dwelling, for the
purpose of seizing any article which is subject
to forfeiture. For this purpose they need no
warrant issued by a court. As stated in Viduya
vs. Berdiago, 73 SCRA 553. for centuries the
seizure of goods by customs officials to enforce
the customs laws without need of a search
warrant has been recognized.

Citizenship

Action for Cancellation; Prescription &


Effect of Death (1994)
No. 7: - Enzo, a Chinese national, was granted
Philippine citizenship in a decision rendered by
the Court of First Instance of Pampanga on
January 10, 1956. He took his oath of office on
June 5, 1959. In 1970, the Solicitor General
filed a petition to cancel his citizenship on the
ground that in July 1969 the Court of Tax
Appeals found that Enzo had cheated the
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