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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW

ATTY. EDGAR B. PASCUA II


ATENEO DE DAVAO UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF LAW
The Bill of Rights is the bedrock of constitutional government. If people are stripped
naked of their rights as human beings, democracy cannot survive and government
becomes meaningless. This explains why the Bill of Rights, occupies a position of
primacy in the fundamental law way above the articles on governmental power.1
I. DUE PROCESS AND EQUAL PROTECTION AS LIMITATIONS ON
POLICE POWER, EMINENT DOMAIN, AND TAXATION
A. Fundamental Principles on Constitutional Law and the Bill of
Rights
a. THE BILL OF RIGHTS
INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM

BALANCES

GOVERNMENTAL

POWER

AND

State power is so vast that the protection of individual freedoms must be


guaranteed. Taxation, Eminent Domain and Police Power interfere with civil
liberties. Without the Bill of Rights, the exercise of these powers will be
unbridled. It guarantees that there are certain areas of a persons life,
liberty and property which governmental power may not touch. Any
governmental action in violation of the rights declared in the Bill of Rights is
void, so that the provisions of a Bill of Rights are self executing to this
extent. However, the legislature may enact laws to protect and enforce the
provisions of the Bill of Rights2. The Bill of Rights is a list of restrictions on
state power. It places boundaries on the controls of government and
creates an area of sufficient liberty for individual actions. It provides rights
to individuals to protect themselves from the encroaching power of
government.3
b. IN THE ABSENCE OF GOVERNMENTAL INTERFERENCE, THE LIBERTIES
GUARANTEED BY THE CONSTITUTION CANNOT BE INVOKED
The Court in the landmark case of People v. Marti (G.R. No. 81561 January
18, 1991) clarified the proper dimensions of the Bill of Rights.
That the Bill of Rights embodied in the Constitution is not meant to be
invoked against acts of private individuals finds support in the deliberations
of the Constitutional Commission. True, the liberties guaranteed by the
fundamental law of the land must always be subject to protection. But
protection against whom? Commissioner Bernas in his sponsorship speech
in the Bill of Rights answers the query which he himself posed, as follows:
"First, the general reflections. The protection of fundamental liberties in
the essence of constitutional democracy. Protection against whom?
Protection against the state. The Bill of Rights governs the relationship

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A.M. No. P-08-2519 November 19, 2008 (Formerly A.M. OCA IPI No. 05-2155-P) ANONYMOUS
LETTER-COMPLAINT AGAINST ATTY. MIGUEL MORALES, CLERK OF COURT, ETROPOLITAN
TRIAL COURT OF MANILA
2 Courts as a rule consider the provisions of the Constitution as self executing, rather than as
requiring future legislation for their enforcement. The reason is not difficult to discern. For if they are
not treated as self-executing, the mandate of the fundamental law ratified by the sovereign people
can be easily ignored and nullified by Congress. Suffused with wisdom of the ages is the unyielding
rule that legislative actions may give breath to constitutional rights but congressional inaction should
not suffocate them.
3 However, some believe that the Bill of Rights provided the resources by which government could
spread and increase its power.

between the individual and the state. Its concern is not the relation
between individuals, between a private individual and other individuals.
What the Bill of Rights does is to declare some forbidden zones in the
private sphere inaccessible to any power holder." (Sponsorship Speech
of Commissioner Bernas; Record of the Constitutional Commission, Vol.
1, p. 674; July 17,1986)
*Case: The petitioner, an international flight steward, was formally informed by PAL that
due to his inability to attain his ideal weight, "and considering the utmost leniency"
extended to him "which spanned a period covering a total of almost five (5) years," his
services were considered terminated "effective immediately
The Labor Arbiter ruled that petitioner was illegally dismissed and held that the weight
standards of PAL are reasonable in view of the nature of the job of petitioner. However,
the weight standards need not be complied with under pain of dismissal since his weight
did not hamper the performance of his duties. Assuming that it did, petitioner could be
transferred to other positions where his weight would not be a negative factor. Notably,
other overweight employees, i.e., Mr. Palacios, Mr. Cui, and Mr. Barrios, were promoted
instead of being disciplined.
The NLRC rendered judgment affirming the Labor Arbiter. By Decision the CA reversed
the NLRC.
As such, review was sought with the Court.
Rule: Petitioner claims that PAL is using passenger safety as a convenient excuse to
discriminate against him. To make his claim more believable, petitioner invokes the equal
protection clause guaranty of the Constitution. However, in the absence of governmental
interference, the liberties guaranteed by the Constitution cannot be invoked. Put
differently, the Bill of Rights is not meant to be invoked against acts of private individuals.
Indeed, the United States Supreme Court, in interpreting the Fourteenth Amendment,
which is the source of our equal protection guarantee, is consistent in saying that the
equal protection erects no shield against private conduct, however discriminatory or
wrongful. Private actions, no matter how egregious, cannot violate the equal protection
guarantee.
After a meticulous consideration of all arguments pro and con, We uphold the legality of
dismissal. Separation pay, however, should be awarded in favor of the employee as an act
of social justice or based on equity. This is so because his dismissal is not for serious
misconduct. Neither is it reflective of his moral character. G.R. No. 168081 October 17,
2008 ARMANDO G. YRASUEGUI vs. PHILIPPINE AIRLINES

However, Article 32 of the Civil Code affords the guarantee of protection to


individuals for such violations by any public officer or employee, or any
private individual, by directly or indirectly obstructing, defeating, violating
or in any manner impeding or impairing any of the rights and liberties of
another person.
Whether or not the defendant's act or omission
constitutes a criminal offense, the aggrieved party has a right to commence
an entirely separate and distinct civil action for damages, and for other
relief. Such civil action shall proceed independently of any criminal
prosecution (if the latter be instituted), and may be proved by a
preponderance of evidence. The indemnity shall include moral damages.
Exemplary damages may also be adjudicated.

The Revised Penal Code, Book Two, Title Two - CRIMES AGAINST THE FUNDAMENTAL
LAWS OF THE STATE

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Futher, any such violations of the Fundamental right of a citizen, by


another, may constitute a crime, which may be punishable by the Revised
Penal Code4, or other penal laws.

Please read however the earlier case of ZULUETA vs COURT OF APPEALS;


Case: Petitioner Cecilia Zulueta is the wife of private respondent Alfredo Martin. On March
26, 1982, petitioner entered the clinic of her husband, a doctor of medicine, and in the
presence of her mother, a driver and private respondent's secretary, forcibly opened the
drawers and cabinet in her husband's clinic and took 157 documents consisting of private
correspondence between Dr. Martin and his alleged paramours, greetings cards, cancelled
checks, diaries, Dr. Martin's passport, and photographs. The documents and papers were
seized for use in evidence in a case for legal separation and for disqualification from the
practice of medicine which petitioner had filed against her husband.
Rule: Indeed the documents and papers in question are 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 wife (who thinks herself
aggrieved by her husband's infidelity) 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 a]
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."
The intimacies between husband and wife do not justify any one of them in breaking the
drawers and cabinets of the other and in ransacking them for any telltale evidence of
marital infidelity. A person, by contracting marriage, does not shed his/her integrity or his
right to privacy as an individual and the constitutional protection is ever available to him or
to her. G.R. No. 107383 February 20, 1996 CECILIA ZULUETA vs COURT OF
APPEALS and ALFREDO MARTIN

c. HUMAN RIGHTS ENJOY A HIGHER PREFERENCE IN THE HIERARCHY OF


RIGHTS THAN PROPERTY RIGHTS, DEMANDING THAT DUE PROCESS IN
THE DEPRIVATION OF LIBERTY MUST COME BEFORE ITS TAKING AND
NOT AFTER
Hence, the order of rights, as enumerated in the law, it is expressed that
No person shall be deprived of (1) life, (2) liberty, or (3) property .
While the Bill of Rights also protects property rights, the primacy of human
rights over property rights is recognized.5 Because these freedoms are
"delicate and vulnerable, as well as supremely precious in our society" and
the "threat of sanctions may deter their exercise almost as potently as the
actual application of sanctions," they "need breathing space to survive,"
permitting government regulation only "with narrow specificity."6
Rule: Property and property rights can be lost thru prescription; but human rights are
imprescriptible. If human rights are extinguished by the passage of time, then the Bill of
Rights is a useless attempt to limit the power of government and ceases to be an
efficacious shield against the tyranny of officials, of majorities, of the influential and
powerful, and of oligarchs political, economic or otherwise. G.R. No. L-31195 June 5,
1973 PHILIPPINE BLOOMING MILLS vs. PHILIPPINE BLOOMING MILLS CO.

d. THE BILL OF RIGHTS ARE SELF EXECUTORY

5
6

March vs. Alabama, 326 U.S. 501, 509; Tucker vs. Texas, 326 U.S. 517, 519-520.
NACCP vs. Button (Jan. 14, 1963), 371 U.S. 415, 433, 9 L. Ed. 2nd 405, 418.

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*Thus, we have treated as self-executing the provisions in the Bill of Rights on arrests,
searches and seizures, the rights of a person under custodial investigation, the rights of an
accused, and the privilege against self-incrimination, It is recognized that legislation is
unnecessary to enable courts to effectuate constitutional provisions guaranteeing the
fundamental rights of life, liberty and the protection of property. The same treatment is
accorded to constitutional provisions forbidding the taking or damaging of property for

public use without just compensation. G.R. No. 122156 February 3, 1997 MANILA
PRINCE HOTEL vs. GSIS

B. Basic Principles on the Fundamental Powers of the State, their


Characteristics, Similarities,
and Distinctions, and their
Limitations
There are three inherent powers of government which the state imposes
with civl rights and liberties; (1) police power, (2) eminent domain, (3)
taxation. These are said to exist independently of the Constitution as
necessary attributes of sovereignty.
The provisions found in the law relating to the three inherent state powers,
taxation, eminent domain and police power, do not grant the authority to
the government, but limit a power which would otherwise be without limit.
Being inherent, state legislation need not even be made for their existence.
POLICE POWER
Police power is the power of the state to promote public welfare by
restraining and regulating the use of liberty and property. It is the most
pervasive, the least limitable, and the most demanding of the three
fundamental powers of the State.
The justification is found in the Latin maxims salus populi est suprema
lex (the welfare of the people is the supreme law) and sic utere tuo ut
alienum non laedas (so use your property as not to injure the property of
others). As an inherent attribute of sovereignty which virtually extends to
all public needs, police power grants a wide panoply of instruments through
which the State, as parens patriae, gives effect to a host of its regulatory
powers7
The concept of police power is well-established in this jurisdiction. It has
been defined as the "state authority to enact legislation that may interfere
with personal liberty or property in order to promote the general welfare."
As defined, it consists of
(1) an imposition of restraint upon liberty or property,
(2) in order to foster the common good.
It is not capable of an exact definition but has been, purposely, veiled in
general terms to underscore its all-comprehensive embrace.
Police power, while incapable of an exact definition, has been purposely
veiled in general terms to underscore its comprehensiveness to meet all
exigencies and provide enough room for an efficient and flexible response
as the conditions warrant.8 Police power is based upon the concept of
necessity of the State and its corresponding right to protect itself and its
people.9 Police power has been used as justification for numerous and
varied actions by the State. These range from the regulation of dance

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G.R. No. 159796 July 17, 2007 ROMEO P. GEROCHI, KATULONG NG BAYAN (KB) and
ENVIRONMENTALIST CONSUMERS NETWORK, INC. (ECN), Petitioners, vs. DEPARTMENT OF
ENERGY (DOE),
8 Ermita-Malate Hotel and Motel Operators Association, Inc. v. City Mayor of Manila, 127 Phil. 306
(1967).
9 JMM Promotion and Management Inc. v. Court of Appeals, 329 Phil. 87, 94 (1996) citing Rubi v.
Provincial Board of Mindoro, 39 Phil. 660 (1919).

halls,10 movie theaters,11 gas stations12 and cockpits.13 The awesome scope
of police power is best demonstrated by the fact that in its hundred or so
years of presence in our nations legal system, its use has rarely been
denied.14
"Its scope, ever-expanding to meet the exigencies of the times, even to
anticipate the future where it could be done, provides enough room for an
efficient and flexible response to conditions and circumstances thus
assuring the greatest benefits."
Rule: It must not be forgotten that police power is an inherent attribute of sovereignty. It
has been defined as the power vested by the Constitution in the legislature to make,
ordain, and establish all manner of wholesome and reasonable laws, statutes and
ordinances, either with penalties or without, not repugnant to the Constitution, as they shall
judge to be for the good and welfare of the commonwealth, and for the subjects of the
same. The power is plenary and its scope is vast and pervasive, reaching and justifying
measures for public health, public safety, public morals, and the general welfare. As an
obvious police power measure, Article 202 (2) must therefore be viewed in a constitutional
light. G.R. No. 169364 September 18, 2009 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, vs.
EVANGELINE SITON y SACIL

It finds no specific Constitutional grant for the plain reason that it does not
owe its origin to the Charter. Along with the taxing power and eminent
domain, it is inborn in the very fact of statehood and sovereignty. It is a
fundamental attribute of government that has enabled it to perform the
most vital functions of governance. Marshall, to whom the expression has
been credited, refers to it succinctly as the plenary power of the State "to
govern its citizens."
"The police power of the State ... is a power coextensive with selfprotection, and it is not inaptly termed the "law of overwhelming necessity."
It may be said to be that inherent and plenary power in the State which
enables it to prohibit all things hurtful to the comfort, safety, and welfare of
society."
It constitutes an implied limitation on the Bill of Rights. According to
Fernando, it is "rooted in the conception that men in organizing the state
and imposing upon its government limitations to safeguard constitutional
rights did not intend thereby to enable an individual citizen or a group of
citizens to obstruct unreasonably the enactment of such salutary measures
calculated to ensure communal peace, safety, good order, and welfare."
Significantly, the Bill of Rights itself does not purport to be an absolute
guaranty of individual rights and liberties "Even liberty itself, the greatest of
all rights, is not unrestricted license to act according to one's will." It is
subject to the far more overriding demands and requirements of the greater
number.
Notwithstanding its extensive sweep, police power is not without its own
limitations. For all its awesome consequences, it may not be exercised
arbitrarily or unreasonably. Otherwise, and in that event, it defeats the
purpose for which it is exercised, that is, to advance the public good. Thus,
when the power is used to further private interests at the expense of the

10

U.S. v. Rodriguez, 38 Phil. 759.


People v. Chan, 65 Phil. 611 (1938).
12 Javier v. Earnshaw, 64 Phil. 626 (1937).
13 Pedro v. Provincial Board of Rizal, 56 Phil. 123 (1931).
14 G.R. No. 122846 January 20, 2009 WHITE LIGHT CORPORATION, TITANIUM CORPORATION
vs. CITY OF MANILA, CASTRO, MAYOR ALFREDO S. LIM

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citizenry, there is a clear misuse of the power.15 The power is used to justify
public health measures public morals, and public safety.
For an ordinance, to be a police power measure, it must appear that the
interests of the public generally, as distinguished from those of a particular
class, require an interference with private rights and the means must be
reasonably necessary for the accomplishment of the purpose and not
unduly oppressive of private rights. It must also be evident that no other
alternative for the accomplishment of the purpose less intrusive of private
rights can work. More importantly, a reasonable relation must exist
between the purposes of the measure and the means employed for its
accomplishment, for even under the guise of protecting the public interest,
personal rights and those pertaining to private property will not be
permitted to be arbitrarily invaded.
The National Government, via Congress, exercises Police Power.
limited sense, the same is also exercised by the local government.

In a

TAXATION
A tax is a pecuniary contribution shall made by the persons liable, for the
support of government.
The power to tax is an incident of sovereignty and is unlimited in its range,
acknowledging in its very nature no limits, so that security against its abuse
is to be found only in the responsibility of the legislature which imposes the
tax on the constituency that is to pay it. It is based on the principle that
taxes are the lifeblood of the government, and their prompt and certain
availability is an imperious need. Thus, the theory behind the exercise of
the power to tax emanates from necessity; without taxes, government
cannot fulfill its mandate of promoting the general welfare and well-being of
the people.
Limitations on the Taxing Power;
1. The rule of taxation should be uniform
Uniformity of taxation, like the kindred concept of equal protection, merely requires that all
subjects or objects of taxation, similarly situated, are to be treated alike both in privileges
and liabilities (Juan Luna Subdivision vs. Sarmiento, 91 Phil. 371)

2. It should be equitable
Taxation is said to be equitable when its burden falls on those better able to pay. G.R.
Nos. L-49839-46 April 26, 1991 JOSE B. L. REYES vs.PEDRO ALMANZOR

3. Congress should evolve a progressive system of taxation


Taxation is progressive when its rate goes up depending on the resources of the person
affected.

15

G.R. No. 81958


June 30, 1988 PHILIPPINE ASSOCIATION OF SERVICE EXPORTERS,
INC., vs. HON. FRANKLIN M. DRILON

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4. The power to tax must be exercised for a public purpose because the
power exists for the general welfare

In accordance with the rule that the taxing power must be exercised for public purposes
only, money raised by taxation can be expended only for public purposes and not for the
advantage of private individuals. (85 C.J.S. pp. 645-64.)

5. The due process and equal protection clauses of the Constotution should
be observed.
Under the present provisions of the Tax Code and pursuant to elementary due process,
taxpayers must be informed in writing of the law and the facts upon which a tax
assessment is based; otherwise, the assessment is void. G.R. No. 159694 January 27,
2006 COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE vs.AZUCENA T. REYES
The taxing power has the authority to make a reasonable and natural classification for
purposes of taxation but the government's act must not be prompted by a spirit of hostility,
or at the very least discrimination that finds no support in reason. It suffices then that the
laws operate equally and uniformly on all persons under similar circumstances or that all
persons must be treated in the same manner, the conditions not being different both in the
privileges conferred and the liabilities imposed G.R. Nos. L-49839-46 April 26, 1991
JOSE B. L. REYES and EDMUNDO A. REYES vs. PEDRO ALMANZOR

EMINENT DOMAIN
Eminent domain is the right or power of a sovereign state to appropriate
private property to particular uses to promote public welfare. It is an
indispensable attribute of sovereignty; a power grounded in the primary
duty of government to serve the common need and advance the general
welfare. Thus, the right of eminent domain appertains to every independent
government without the necessity for constitutional recognition. The
provisions found in modern constitutions of civilized countries relating to
the taking of property for the public use do not by implication grant the
power to the government, but limit a power which would otherwise be
without limit. Thus, our own Constitution provides that "[p]rivate property
shall not be taken for public use without just Compensation;
Section 9. Private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation.
(Art III)

Furthermore, the due process and equal protection clauses


act as
additional safeguards against the arbitrary exercise of this governmental
power. As such it is provided that;
Section 1. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process
of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws. (Art III)

The power of eminent domain is essentially legislative in nature. It is firmly


settled, however, that such power may be validly delegated to local
government units, other public entities and public utilities, although the
scope of this delegated legislative power is necessarily narrower than that
of the delegating authority and may only be exercised in strict compliance
with the terms of the delegating law.16
Who can exercise this power of Eminent Domain?
The National Government
Congress
The Executive, pursuant to legislation
LGUs, pursuant to an ordinance

16

G.R. No. 135087


MANDALUYONG

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March 14, 2000 HEIRS OF ALBERTO SUGUITAN, vs. CITY OF

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1.
2.
3.
4.

5. Public utilities, as may be delegated by law


DISTINCTIONS OF THE POWERS
Police Power and Taxation - The conservative and pivotal distinction
between these two powers rests in the purpose for which the charge is
made.
*Case: On June 28, 2002, the Board of Directors of respondent Clark Development
Corporation (CDC) issued and approved Policy Guidelines on the Movement of Petroleum
Fuel to and from the Clark Special Economic Zone (CSEZ which provided, among others,
Accreditation Fee, Annual Inspection Fee, Royalty Fees, Gate Pass Fees.
Petitioner argues that CDC does not have any power to impose royalty fees on sale of fuel
inside the CSEZ on the basis of purely income generating functions and its exclusive right
to market and distribute goods inside the CSEZ. Such imposition of royalty fees for
revenue generating purposes would amount to a tax, which the respondents have no
power to impose. Petitioner stresses that the royalty fee imposed by CDC is not regulatory
in nature but a revenue generating measure to increase its profits and to further enhance
its exclusive right to market and distribute fuel in CSEZ.
On the part of the respondents, they argue that the purpose of the royalty fees is to
regulate the flow of fuel to and from the CSEZ. Such being its main purpose, and revenue
(if any) just an incidental product, the imposition cannot be considered a tax. It is their
position that the regulation is a valid exercise of police power since it is aimed at promoting
the general welfare of the public. They claim that being the administrator of the CSEZ,
CDC is responsible for the safe distribution of fuel products inside the CSEZ.
Rule: In distinguishing tax and regulation as a form of police power, the determining factor
is the purpose of the implemented measure. If the purpose is primarily to raise revenue,
then it will be deemed a tax even though the measure results in some form of regulation.
On the other hand, if the purpose is primarily to regulate, then it is deemed a regulation
and an exercise of the police power of the state, even though incidentally, revenue is
generated. The conservative and pivotal distinction between these two (2) powers rests in
the purpose for which the charge is made. If generation of revenue is the primary purpose
and regulation is merely incidental, the imposition is a tax; but if regulation is the primary
purpose, the fact that revenue is incidentally raised does not make the imposition a tax. In
the case at bar, we hold that the subject royalty fee was imposed primarily for regulatory
purposes, and not for the generation of income or profits as petitioner claims. G.R. No.
173863 September 15, 2010 CHEVRON PHILIPPINES, INC. (Formerly CALTEX
PHILIPPINES, INC.) vs. BASES CONVERSION DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY

If generation of revenue is the primary purpose and regulation is merely


incidental, the imposition is a tax; but if regulation is the primary purpose,
the fact that revenue is incidentally raised does not make the imposition a
tax
Police Power and Eminent Domain - Police power must be distinguished
from the power of eminent domain.

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*Case: The shopping malls operated or leased out by respondents have parking facilities
for all kinds of motor vehicles, either by way of parking spaces inside the mall buildings or
in separate buildings and/or adjacent lots that are solely devoted for use as parking
spaces. The parking tickets or cards issued by respondents to vehicle owners contain the

In the exercise of police power, there is a restriction of property interest to


promote public welfare or interest which involves no compensable taking.
When the power of eminent domain, however, is exercised, property
interest is appropriated and applied to some public purpose, necessitating
compensation therefor.

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stipulation that respondents shall not be responsible for any loss or damage to the vehicles
parked in respondents parking facilities.
After three public hearings, the Senate Committees on Trade and Commerce and on
Justice and Human Rights jointly issued Senate Committee Report No. 225 on 2 May
2000, in which they concluded:
In view of the foregoing, the Committees find that the collection of parking fees by
shopping malls is contrary to the National Building Code and is therefor [sic] illegal.
While it is true that the Code merely requires malls to provide parking spaces, without
specifying whether it is free or not, both Committees believe that the reasonable and
logical interpretation of the Code is that the parking spaces are for free. This
interpretation is not only reasonable and logical but finds support in the actual practice
in other countries like the United States of America where parking spaces owned and
operated by mall owners are free of charge.
Rule: Public Interest may have been the intent of the measure. But, without using the term
outright, the OSG is actually invoking police power to justify the regulation by the State,
through the DPWH Secretary and local building officials, of privately owned parking
facilities, including the collection by the owners/operators of such facilities of parking fees
from the public for the use thereof. The Court finds, however, that in totally prohibiting
respondents from collecting parking fees from the public for the use of the mall parking
facilities, the State would be acting beyond the bounds of police power.
Police power is the power of promoting the public welfare by restraining and regulating the
use of liberty and property. It is usually exerted in order to merely regulate the use and
enjoyment of the property of the owner. The power to regulate, however, does not include
the power to prohibit. A fortiori, the power to regulate does not include the power to
confiscate. Police power does not involve the taking or confiscation of property, with the
exception of a few cases where there is a necessity to confiscate private property in order
to destroy it for the purpose of protecting peace and order and of promoting the general
welfare; for instance, the confiscation of an illegally possessed article, such as opium and
firearms.
When there is a taking or confiscation of private property for public use, the State is no
longer exercising police power, but another of its inherent powers, namely, eminent
domain. Eminent domain enables the State to forcibly acquire private lands intended for
public use upon payment of just compensation to the owner.

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Although in the present case, title to and/or possession of the parking facilities remain/s
with respondents, the prohibition against their collection of parking fees from the public, for
the use of said facilities, is already tantamount to a taking or confiscation of their
properties. The State is not only requiring that respondents devote a portion of the latters
properties for use as parking spaces, but is also mandating that they give the public access
to said parking spaces for free. Such is already an excessive intrusion into the property
rights of respondents. Not only are they being deprived of the right to use a portion of their
properties as they wish, they are further prohibited from profiting from its use or even just
recovering therefrom the expenses for the maintenance and operation of the required
parking facilities.

Normally, of course, the power of eminent domain results in the taking or appropriation of
title to, and possession of, the expropriated property; but no cogent reason appears why
the said power may not be availed of only to impose a burden upon the owner of
condemned property, without loss of title and possession. It is a settled rule that neither
acquisition of title nor total destruction of value is essential to taking. It is usually in cases
where title remains with the private owner that inquiry should be made to determine
whether the impairment of a property is merely regulated or amounts to a compensable
taking. A regulation that deprives any person of the profitable use of his property
constitutes a taking and entitles him to compensation, unless the invasion of rights is so
slight as to permit the regulation to be justified under the police power. Similarly, a police
regulation that unreasonably restricts the right to use business property for business
purposes amounts to a taking of private property, and the owner may recover therefor.

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In conclusion, the total prohibition against the collection by respondents of parking fees
from persons who use the mall parking facilities has no basis in the National Building Code
or its IRR. The State also cannot impose the same prohibition by generally invoking police
power, since said prohibition amounts to a taking of respondents property without payment
of just compensation G.R. No. 177056 September 18, 2009 THE OFFICE OF THE
SOLICITOR GENERAL vs. AYALA LAND INCORPORATED

Taxation and Eminent Domain In taxation, what is taken is money. While


anything may be expropriated, it is awkward to take money and be justly
compensated with the same.
C. Due Process In General
Section 1. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process
of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws. (Art III)

Section 1 protects life liberty and property:


a. LIFE: Includes the right to be alive, or security against physical harm,
as well as the right to a good life.
Section 5. The maintenance of peace and order, the protection of life, liberty, and
property, and promotion of the general welfare are essential for the enjoyment by all
the people of the blessings of democracy. (Art II)
Section 11. The State values the dignity of every human person and guarantees full
respect for human rights. (Art II)
Section 9. The State shall promote a just and dynamic social order that will ensure the
prosperity and independence of the nation and free the people from poverty through
policies that provide adequate social services, promote full employment, a rising
standard of living, and an improved quality of life for all. (Art II)

It also includes the sanctity of family life and the right of the unborn.
Section 12. The State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and
strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution. It shall equally protect the
life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception. The natural and primary
right and duty of parents in the rearing of the youth for civic efficiency and the
development of moral character shall receive the support of the Government. (Art II)

b. PROPERTY:
Includes all kinds of property as found in the Civil Code, including vested
rights.17
It is a principle in American jurisprudence which, undoubtedly, is well-recognized in this
jurisdiction that one's employment, profession, trade or calling is a "property right," and the
wrongful interference therewith is an actionable wrong. The right is considered to be
property within the protection of a constitutional guaranty of due process of law.18

c. LIBERTY

Bernas
Callanta vs. Carnation Philippines, Inc 145 SCRA 268., cited in G.R. No. L-33237 April 15, 1988
GREGORIO T. CRESPO, in His Capacity as Mayor of Cabiao, Nueva Ecija vs. PROVINCIAL
BOARD OF NUEVA ECIJA and PEDRO T. WYCOCO
18

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This may refer to autonomy. Among the many liberties of a person, he may
likewise invoke his basic liberties of free speech and free press, freedom of
assembly and freedom of association.

In the hierarchy of civil liberties, the rights of free expression and of assembly occupy a
preferred position as they are essential to the preservation and vitality of our civil and
political institutions; and such priority "gives these liberties the sanctity and the sanction
not permitting dubious intrusions." G.R. No. L-31195 June 5, 1973 PHILIPPINE
BLOOMING MILLS vs. PHILIPPINE BLOOMING MILLS CO

In criminal cases, Deprivation of liberty does not only mean imprisonment.


Consider the matter of destierro.
DUE PROCESS - "Due process of law in each particular case means such
an exercise of the powers of the government as the settled maxims of law
permit and sanction, and under such safeguards for the protection of
individual rights as those maxims prescribe for the class of cases to which
the one in question belongs." Cooley, Const. Lim. 441
The essence of due process is distilled in the immortal cry of Themistocles
to Alcibiades "Strike but hear me first!"19 By "due process of law" we
mean "a law which hears before it condemns; which proceeds upon inquiry,
and renders judgment only after trial. ... ."20 "; or, as this Court has said, "
"Due process of law" contemplates notice and opportunity to be heard
before judgment is rendered, affecting one's person or property"21 And it
may not be amiss to mention here also that the "due process" clause of the
Constitution is designed to secure justice as a living reality; not to sacrifice
it by paying undue homage to formality. For substance must prevail over
form.22
ASPECTS OF DUE PROCESS: The due process guaranty has traditionally
been interpreted as imposing two related but distinct restrictions on
government, "PROCEDURAL DUE PROCESS" and "SUBSTANTIVE DUE
PROCESS."
Procedural due process refers to the procedures that the government must
follow before it deprives a person of life, liberty, or property. Procedural due
process concerns itself with government action adhering to the established
process when it makes an intrusion into the private sphere. Examples range
from the form of notice given to the level of formality of a hearing.
If due process were confined solely to its procedural aspects, there would
arise absurd situation of arbitrary government action, provided the proper
formalities are followed.
Substantive due process completes the protection envisioned by the due
process clause. It inquires whether the government has sufficient
justification for depriving a person of life, liberty, or property.
The question of substantive due process, moreso than most other fields of
law, has reflected dynamism in progressive legal thought tied with the
expanded acceptance of fundamental freedoms. Police power, traditionally
awesome as it may be, is now confronted with a more rigorous level of
analysis before it can be upheld. The vitality though of constitutional due
process has not been predicated on the frequency with which it has been
utilized to achieve a liberal result for, after all, the libertarian ends should

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G.R. No. 74457 March 20, 1987 RESTITUTO YNOT, vs. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT
4 Wheaton, U.S. 518, 581.
21 Lopez vs. Director of Lands, 47 Phil. 23, 32)." (Sicat vs. Reyes, L-11023, Dec. 14, 1956.
22 G.R. No. L-19118 January 30, 1965 MARIANO A. ALBERT vs. UNIVERSITY PUBLISHING CO.,
INC.,
20

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sometimes yield to the prerogatives of the State. Instead, the due process
clause has acquired potency because of the sophisticated methodology that
has emerged to determine the proper metes and bounds for its
application.23
REQUISITES OF PROCEDURAL DUE PROCESS
1. For JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS (Non-criminal Cases);
Due process of law implies that there must be24
a. There must be an impartial court or tribunal clothed with judicial power
to hear and determine the matter before it.
Thus, every litigant, including the State, is entitled to the cold neutrality of
an impartial judge which was explained in Javier vs. Commission on
Elections (144 SCRA 194 [1986]), in the following words:
This Court has repeatedly and consistently demanded "the cold neutrality of an impartial
judge" as the indispensable imperative of due process. To bolster that requirement, we
have held that the judge must not only be impartial but must also appear to be impartial as
an added assurance to the parties that his decision will be just. The litigants are entitled to
no less than that. They should be sure that when their rights are violated they can go to a
judge who shall give them justice. They must trust the judge, otherwise they will not go to
him at all. They must believe in his sense of fairness, otherwise they will not seek his
judgment. Without such confidence, there would be no point in invoking his action for the
justice they expect.

b. That JURISDICTION SHALL HAVE BEEN LAWFULLY ACQUIRED,


JURISDICTION simply means the power of the court to hear try and decide
a case. In its complete aspect, jurisdiction includes not only the powers to
hear and decide a case, but also the power to enforce the judgment. (14
Am. Jur. 363-364)
Jurisdiction25 is vested in the court, not in the judges. So, when a complaint or information
is filed before one branch or judge, jurisdiction does not attach to said branch or judge
alone, to the exclusion of the others. Trial may be had or proceedings may continue by and
before another branch or judge. G.R. No. L-14723 May 29, 1959 Norberto Lumpay, et
al. vs. Segundo Moscoso

c.

That the defendant shall have an OPPORTUNITY TO BE HEARD, and that

d. Judgment shall be rendered upon LAWFUL HEARING."


2. In ADMINISTRATIVE proceedings
In Administrative Proceedings, procedural due process has been recognized
to include the following "cardinal primary rights26" of due process which
must be accorded to parties in "trials and investigations of an

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G.R. No. 122846 January 20, 2009 WHITE LIGHT CORPORATION, TITANIUM CORPORATION
and STA. MESA TOURIST & DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION
vs. CITY OF MANILA,
24 El Banco Espaol Filipino vs. Palanca 37 Phil. 921
25 In Civil Cases - Jurisdiction over the person of the plaintiff is acquired from the moment he files
his complaint - Jurisdiction over the person of the defendant is acquired upon service on him of
coercive process in the manner provided by law; or by his voluntary submission to the jurisdiction of
the court
26 G.R. No. L-46496
February 27, 1940 ANG TIBAY, vs. THE COURT OF INDUSTRIAL
RELATIONS and NATIONAL LABOR UNION, INC.,

12

23

administrative character," which have since been observed and applied with
undeviating constancy.27
a. The right to a hearing, which includes the right to present one's case and
submit evidence in support thereof.
A hearing means that a party should be given a chance to adduce his evidence to support
his side of the case and that the evidence should be taken into account in the adjudication
of the controversy. "To be heard" does not mean verbal argumentation alone inasmuch as
one may be heard just as effectively through written explanations, submissions or
pleadings. Therefore, while the phrase "ample opportunity to be heard" may in fact include
an actual hearing, it is not limited to a formal hearing only.28
*Rule: We differ from SURNECOs stance that it was denied due process when the ERC
issued its questioned Orders. Administrative due process simply requires an opportunity to
explain ones side or to seek reconsideration of the action or ruling complained of. It means
being given the opportunity to be heard before judgment, and for this purpose, a formal
trial-type hearing is not even essential. It is enough that the parties are given a fair and
reasonable chance to demonstrate their respective positions and to present evidence in
support thereof.
Verily, the PPA confirmation necessitated a review of the electric cooperatives monthly
documentary submissions to substantiate their PPA charges. The cooperatives were duly
informed of the need for other required supporting documents and were allowed to submit
them accordingly. In fact, hearings were conducted. Moreover, the ERC conducted exit
conferences with the electric cooperatives representatives, SURNECO included, to
discuss preliminary figures and to double-check these figures for inaccuracies, if there
were any. In addition, after the issuance of the ERC Orders, the electric cooperatives were
allowed to file their respective motions for reconsideration. It cannot be gainsaid, therefore,
that SURNECO was not denied due process. G.R. No. 183626 October 4, 2010
SURIGAO DEL NORTE ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE, INC. (SURNECO) vs. ENERGY
REGULATORY COMMISSION

b. The tribunal must consider the evidence presented.


In the language of the court in Edwards vs. McCoy, 22 Phil., 598, "the
right to adduce evidence, without the corresponding duty on the part of the
board to consider it, is vain. Such right is conspicuously futile if the person
or persons to whom the evidence is presented can thrust it aside without
notice or consideration."
c. The decision must have something to support itself.
d. The evidence must be substantial.
It means such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind accept as adequate to support a
conclusion." (Appalachian Electric Power v. National Labor Relations Board, 4 Cir., 93
F. 2d 985, 989; National Labor Relations Board v. Thompson Products, 6 Cir., 97 F.
2d 13, 15; Ballston-Stillwater Knitting Co. v. National Labor Relations Board, 2 Cir.,
98 F. 2d 758, 760.) The assurance of a desirable flexibility in administrative procedure
does not go far as to justify orders without a basis in evidence having rational probative
force. Mere uncorroborated hearsay or rumor does not constitute substantial evidence.
(Consolidated Edison Co. v. National Labor Relations Board, 59 S. Ct. 206, 83 Law.
ed. No. 4, Adv. Op., p. 131.)"

Ang tibay v. C.I.R., 69 Phil. 635 (1940), per Laurel, J., See also Justice Isagani A. Cruz:
Constitutional Law, 1987 ed., pp. 111-112.
28 Gonzales v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 52789, 19 December 1980, 101 SCRA 752

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e. The decision must be rendered on the evidence presented at the


hearing, or at least contained in the record and disclosed to the parties
affected.

f. The tribunal or body or any of its judges must act on its or his own
independent consideration of the law and facts of the controversy and
not simply accept the views of a subordinate in arriving at a decision.
g. The board or body should, in all controversial questions, render its
decision in such a manner that the parties to the proceeding can know
the various issues involved, and the reason for the decision rendered.
Is notice and hearing required in administrative proceedings?
Yes, for quasi judicial proceedings.
executive or legislative functions.

But no so when in the exercise of

3. In LABOR Cases
Article 277 of the Labor Code provides:
Subject to the constitutional right of workers to security of tenure and their right to be
protected against dismissal except for a just or authorized cause and without prejudice
to the requirement of notice under Article 283 of this Code, the employer shall furnish
the workers whose employment is sought to be terminated a written notice containing a
statement of the causes for termination and shall afford the latter ample opportunity to
be heard and defend himself with the assistance of his representative if he so desires
in accordance with company rules and regulations promulgated pursuant to the
guidelines set by the Department of Labor and Employment. Any decision taken by the
employer shall be without prejudice to the right of the worker to contest the validity or
legality of his dismissal by filing a complaint with the regional branch of the National
Labor Relations Commission. The burden of proving that the termination was for a valid
or authorized cause shall rest on the employer.

And the Omnibus Rules Implementing the Labor Code require a hearing and
conference during which the employee concerned is given the opportunity
to respond to the charge, and present his evidence or rebut the evidence
presented against him. Thus Rule I, Section 2(d), provides:
Section 2. Security of Tenure.
(d) In all cases of termination of employment, the following standards of due process
shall be substantially observed:
For termination of employment based on just causes as defined in Article 282 of the
Labor Code:
(i) A written notice served on the employee specifying the ground or grounds for
termination, and giving said employee reasonable opportunity within which to explain
his side.
(ii) A hearing or conference during which the employee concerned, with the assistance
of counsel if he so desires, is given opportunity to respond to the charge, present his
evidence or rebut the evidence presented against him.

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*Rule: It should not be taken to mean, however, that holding an actual hearing or
conference is a condition sine qua non for compliance with the due process requirement in
case of termination of employment. For the test for the fair procedure guaranteed under the
above-quoted Article 277(b) of the Labor Code is not whether there has been a formal pretermination confrontation between the employer and the employee. The "ample opportunity

14

(iii) A written notice of termination served on the employee, indicating that upon due
consideration of all the circumstances, grounds have been established to justify his
termination.

to be heard" standard is neither synonymous nor similar to a formal hearing. To confine the
employees right to be heard to a solitary form narrows down that right.
The essence of due process is simply an opportunity to be heard or, as applied to
administrative proceedings, an opportunity to explain one's side or an opportunity to seek a
reconsideration of the action or ruling complained of. What the law prohibits is absolute
absence of the opportunity to be heard, hence, a party cannot feign denial of due process
where he had been afforded the opportunity to present his side. A formal or trial type
hearing is not at all times and in all instances essential to due process, the requirements of
which are satisfied where the parties are afforded fair and reasonable opportunity to
explain their side of the controversy. G.R. No. 180888 September 18, 2009 ROLANDO
PLACIDO and EDGARDO CARAGAY vs. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS
COMMISSION and PHILIPPINE LONG DISTANCE TELEPHONE COMPANY,
INCORPORATED

4. In School Disciplinary Proceedings


There are minimum standards which must be met to satisfy the demands of
procedural due process; and these are, that
1) the students must be informed in writing of the nature and cause of
any accusation against them;
2) they shall have the right to answer the charges against them, with
the assistance of counsel, if desired;
3) they shall be informed of the evidence against them;
4) they shall have the right to adduce evidence in their own behalf; and
5) the evidence must be duly considered by the investigating committee
or official designated by the school authorities to hear and decide the
case. 29
There is no right to confront the complainant. This is not ideal in the school
environment.
REQUISITES OF SUBSTANTIVE DUE PROCESS
The prohibition against arbitrary laws necessitates that;
a. The interests of the public generally as distinguished from those of a
particular class requires the interference by the government
b. The means employed are reasonably for the accomplishment of the
purpose and not unduly oppressive upon individuals30
Is publication essential in due process?
Case: As early as 1986, this Court in Taada v. Tuvera enunciated that publication is
indispensable in order that all statutes, including administrative rules that are intended to
enforce or implement existing laws, attain binding force and effect.

G.R. No. L-68288 July 11, 1986 DIOSDADO GUZMAN, ULYSSES URBIZTONDO, and ARIEL
RAMACULA, vs. NATIONAL UNIVERSITY and DOMINGO L. JHOCSON in his capacity as
President of National University
30 G.R. No. 74457 March 20, 1987 YNOT vs. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT

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We hold therefore that all statutes, including those of local application and private laws,
shall be published as a condition for their effectivity, which shall begin fifteen days after
publication unless a different effectivity date is fixed by the legislature.

Covered by this rule are presidential decrees and executive orders promulgated by the
President in the exercise of legislative powers whenever the same are validly delegated by
the legislature or, at present, directly conferred by the Constitution. Administrative rules
and regulations must also be published if their purpose is to enforce or implement existing
law pursuant also to a valid delegation. G.R. No. 173918 April 8, 2008 REPUBLIC OF
THE PHILIPPINES vs. PILIPINAS SHELL PETROLEUM CORPORATION
Case: Without such notice and publication, there would be no basis for the application of
the maxim "ignorantia legis non excusat." It would be the height of injustice to punish or
otherwise burden a citizen for the transgression of a law of which he had no notice
whatsoever, not even a constructive one.. Taada vs. Tuvera G.R. No. L-63915 April 24,
1985
Case: After a careful study of this provision and of the arguments of the parties, both on
the original petition and on the instant motion, we have come to the conclusion and so
hold, that the clause "unless it is otherwise provided" refers to the date of effectivity and not
to the requirement of publication itself, which cannot in any event be omitted. This clause
does not mean that the legislature may make the law effective immediately upon approval,
or on any other date, without its previous publication.
Publication is indispensable in every case, but the legislature may in its discretion provide
that the usual fifteen-day period shall be shortened or extended.
The term "laws" should refer to all laws and not only to those of general application, for
strictly speaking all laws relate to the people in general albeit there are some that do not
apply to them directly. An example is a law granting citizenship to a particular individual,
like a relative of President Marcos who was decreed instant naturalization. It surely cannot
be said that such a law does not affect the public although it unquestionably does not apply
directly to all the people. The subject of such law is a matter of public interest which any
member of the body politic may question in the political forums or, if he is a proper party,
even in the courts of justice. In fact, a law without any bearing on the public would be
invalid as an intrusion of privacy or as class legislation or as an ultra vires31 act of the
legislature. To be valid, the law must invariably affect the public interest even if it might be
directly applicable only to one individual, or some of the people only, and to the public as a
whole.
We hold therefore that all statutes, including those of local application and private laws,
shall be published as a condition for their effectivity, which shall begin fifteen days after
publication unless a different effectivity date is fixed by the legislature.
Covered by this rule are presidential decrees and executive orders promulgated by the
President in the exercise of legislative powers whenever the same are validly delegated by
the legislature or, at present, directly conferred by the Constitution. Administrative rules
and regulations must a also be published if their purpose is to enforce or implement
existing law pursuant also to a valid delegation.
Interpretative regulations and those merely internal in nature, that is, regulating only the
personnel of the administrative agency and not the public, need not be published. Neither
is publication required of the so-called letters of instructions issued by administrative
superiors concerning the rules or guidelines to be followed by their subordinates in the
performance of their duties.

31

Beyond the powers or if within the powers are not binding due to lack of consent of stakeholders

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Accordingly, even the charter of a city must be published notwithstanding that it applies to
only a portion of the national territory and directly affects only the inhabitants of that place.
All presidential decrees must be published, including even, say, those naming a public
place after a favored individual or exempting him from certain prohibitions or requirements.
The circulars issued by the Monetary Board must be published if they are meant not
merely to interpret but to "fill in the details" of the Central Bank Act which that body is
supposed to enforce.

However, no publication is required of the instructions issued by, say, the Minister of Social
Welfare on the case studies to be made in petitions for adoption or the rules laid down by
the head of a government agency on the assignments or workload of his personnel or the
wearing of office uniforms. Parenthetically, municipal ordinances are not covered by this
rule but by the Local Government Code.
We agree that publication must be in full or it is no publication at all since its purpose is to
inform the public of the contents of the laws. As correctly pointed out by the petitioners, the
mere mention of the number of the presidential decree, the title of such decree, its
whereabouts (e.g., "with Secretary Tuvera"), the supposed date of effectivity, and in a
mere supplement of the Official Gazette cannot satisfy the publication requirement. This is
not even substantial compliance. This was the manner, incidentally, in which the General
Appropriations Act for FY 1975, a presidential decree undeniably of general applicability
and interest, was "published" by the Marcos administration. The evident purpose was to
withhold rather than disclose information on this vital law.
Laws must come out in the open in the clear light of the sun instead of skulking in the
shadows with their dark, deep secrets. Mysterious pronouncements and rumored rules
cannot be recognized as binding unless their existence and contents are confirmed by a
valid publication intended to make full disclosure and give proper notice to the people. The
furtive law is like a scabbarded saber that cannot feint parry or cut unless the naked blade
is drawn.
It is hereby declared that all laws as above defined shall immediately upon their approval,
or as soon thereafter as possible, be published in full in the Official Gazette, to become
effective only after fifteen days from their publication, or on another date specified by the
legislature, in accordance with Article 2 of the Civil Code. Taada vs. Tuvera G.R. No. L63915 December 29, 1986

Note: Law: E.O. 200 June 18, 1987 Amending Article 2 of the Civil Code
Sec. 1. Laws shall take effect after fifteen days following the completion of their
publication either in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation in
the Philippines, unless it is otherwise provided.
The void-for-vagueness doctrine holds that a law is facially invalid if men of
common intelligence must necessarily guess at its meaning and differ as to
its application.
1) In criminal law, a declaration that a law is invalid because it is not
sufficiently clear. Laws are usually found void for vagueness if, after setting
some requirement or punishment, the law does not specify what is required
or what conduct is punishable.
2) A statute is also void for vagueness if a legislature's delegation of
authority to judges and/or administrators is so extensive that it would lead
to arbitrary prosecutions.32
Hence, to satisfy due process, statute [must] define the offense
[1] with sufficient definiteness that ordinary people can understand what
conduct is prohibited and

32

Page

* Rule: The void-for-vagueness doctrine holds that a law is facially invalid if men of
common intelligence must necessarily guess at its meaning and differ as to its application.
However, this Court has imposed certain limitations by which a criminal statute, as in the
Cornell University Law School, Legal Information Institute.

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[2] in a manner that does not encourage arbitrary and discriminatory


enforcement. Kolender v. Lawson , 461 U. S. 352

Atty. Edgar B. Pascua II

challenged law at bar, may be scrutinized. This Court has declared that facial invalidation
or an "on-its-face" invalidation of criminal statutes is not appropriate. We have so
enunciated in no uncertain terms in Romualdez v. Sandiganbayan, thus:
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.' As has been pointed out,
'vagueness challenges in the First Amendment context, like overbreadth challenges
typically produce facial invalidation, while statutes found vague as a matter of due process
typically are invalidated [only] 'as applied' to a particular defendant.'" (underscoring
supplied)
To this date, the Court has not declared any penal law unconstitutional on the ground of
ambiguity." While mentioned in passing in some cases, the void-for-vagueness concept
has yet to find direct application in our jurisdiction. In Yu Cong Eng v. Trinidad, the
Bookkeeping Act was found unconstitutional because it violated the equal protection
clause, not because it was vague. Adiong v. Comelec decreed as void a mere Comelec
Resolution, not a statute. Finally, Santiago v. Comelec held that a portion of RA 6735 was
unconstitutional because of undue delegation of legislative powers, not because of
vagueness.
Indeed, an "on-its-face" invalidation of criminal statutes would result in a mass acquittal of
parties whose cases may not have even reached the courts. Such invalidation would
constitute a departure from the usual requirement of "actual case and controversy" and
permit decisions to be made in a sterile abstract context having no factual concreteness.
In Younger v. Harris, this evil was aptly pointed out by the U.S. Supreme Court in these
words:
"[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."
For this reason, generally disfavored is an on-its-face invalidation of statutes, described as
a "manifestly strong medicine" to be employed "sparingly and only as a last resort." In
determining the constitutionality of a statute, therefore, its provisions that have allegedly
been violated must be examined in the light of the conduct with which the defendant has
been charged.

The rule established in our jurisdiction is, only statutes on free speech, religious freedom,
and other fundamental rights may be facially challenged. Under no case may ordinary
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An appropriate "as applied" challenge in the instant Petition should be limited only to
Section 45 (j) in relation to Sections 10 (g) and (j) of Republic Act No. 8189the provisions
upon which petitioners are charged. An expanded examination of the law covering
provisions which are alien to petitioners case would be antagonistic to the rudiment that for
judicial review to be exercised, there must be an existing case or controversy that is
appropriate or ripe for determination, and not conjectural or anticipatory.

18

Neither does the listing by Mr. Justice Tinga of what he condemns as offenses under
Republic Act No. 8189 convince this Court to overturn its ruling. What is crucial in this case
is the rule set in our case books and precedents that a facial challenge is not the proper
avenue to challenge the statute under consideration. In our Decision of 30 April 2008, we
enunciated that "the opinions of the dissent which seek to bring to the fore the purported
ambiguities of a long list of provisions in Republic Act No. 8189 can be deemed as a facial
challenge." On this matter, we held:

penal statutes be subjected to a facial challenge. The rationale is obvious. If a facial


challenge to a penal statute is permitted, the prosecution of crimes maybe hampered. No
prosecution would be possible. A strong criticism against employing a facial challenge in
the case of penal statutes, if the same is allowed, would effectively go against the grain of
the doctrinal requirement of an existing and concrete controversy before judicial power
may be appropriately exercised. A facial challenge against a penal statute is, at best,
amorphous and speculative. It would, essentially, force the court to consider third parties
who are not before it. As I have said in my opposition to the allowance of a facial challenge
to attack penal statutes, such a test will impair the States ability to deal with crime. If
warranted, there would be nothing that can hinder an accused from defeating the States
power to prosecute on a mere showing that, as applied to third parties, the penal statute is
vague or overbroad, notwithstanding that the law is clear as applied to him. G.R. No.
167011 December 11, 2008 SPOUSES CARLOS S. ROMUALDEZ and ERLINDA R.
ROMUALDEZ vs. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and DENNIS GARAY
*Case: Respondents Evangeline Siton and Krystel Kate Sagarano were charged with
vagrancy pursuant to Article 202 (2) of the Revised Penal Code in two separate
Informations dated November 18, 2003
Instead of submitting their counter-affidavits as directed, respondents filed separate
Motions to Quash on the ground that Article 202 (2) is unconstitutional for being vague and
overbroad.
The municipal trial court denied the motions and directed respondents anew to file their
respective counter-affidavits
Respondents filed an original petition for certiorari and prohibition with the Regional Trial
Court of Davao City, directly challenging the constitutionality of the anti-vagrancy law,
claiming that the definition of the crime of vagrancy under Article 202 (2), apart from being
vague, results as well in an arbitrary identification of violators, since the definition of the
crime includes in its coverage persons who are otherwise performing ordinary peaceful
acts. They likewise claimed that Article 202 (2) violated the equal protection clause under
the Constitution because it discriminates against the poor and unemployed, thus permitting
an arbitrary and unreasonable classification.
On July 29, 2005, the Regional Trial Court issued the assailed Order granting the petition,
the dispositive portion of which reads:
In declaring Article 202 (2) unconstitutional, the trial court opined that the law is vague and
it violated the equal protection clause. It held that the "void for vagueness" doctrine is
equally applicable in testing the validity of penal statutes. Citing Papachristou v. City of
Jacksonville, where an anti vagrancy ordinance was struck down as unconstitutional by the
Supreme Court of the United States.
Hence, this petition for review on certiorari raising the sole issue of:
WHETHER THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT COMMITTED A REVERSIBLE ERROR IN
DECLARING UNCONSTITUTIONAL ARTICLE 202 (2) OF THE REVISED PENAL CODE

Page

The power to define crimes and prescribe their corresponding penalties is legislative in
nature and inherent in the sovereign power of the state to maintain social order as an
aspect of police power. The legislature may even forbid and penalize acts formerly
considered innocent and lawful provided that no constitutional rights have been abridged.
However, in exercising its power to declare what acts constitute a crime, the legislature
must inform the citizen with reasonable precision what acts it intends to prohibit so that he
may have a certain understandable rule of conduct and know what acts it is his duty to
avoid. This requirement has come to be known as the void-for-vagueness doctrine which
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."

19

Rule: The Court finds for petitioner.

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Atty. Edgar B. Pascua II

In Spouses Romualdez v. COMELEC, the Court recognized the application of the void-forvagueness doctrine to criminal statutes in appropriate cases.
In the instant case, the assailed provision is paragraph (2), which defines a vagrant as any
person found loitering about public or semi-public buildings or places, or tramping or
wandering about the country or the streets without visible means of support. This provision
was based on the second clause of Section 1 of Act No. 519 which defined "vagrant" as
"every person found loitering about saloons or dramshops or gambling houses, or tramping
or straying through the country without visible means of support." The second clause was
essentially retained with the modification that the places under which the offense might be
committed is now expressed in general terms public or semi-public places.
The streets must be protected. Our people should never dread having to ply them each
day, or else we can never say that we have performed our task to our brothers and sisters.
We must rid the streets of the scourge of humanity, and restore order, peace, civility,
decency and morality in them.
This is exactly why we have public order laws, to which Article 202 (2) belongs. These laws
were crafted to maintain minimum standards of decency, morality and civility in human
society. These laws may be traced all the way back to ancient times, and today, they have
also come to be associated with the struggle to improve the citizens quality of life, which is
guaranteed by our Constitution. G.R. No. 169364 September 18, 2009 PEOPLE OF THE
PHILIPPINES vs. EVANGELINE SITON y SACIL33
*Rule: The possibility of abuse in the implementation of RA 9372 does not avail to take the
present petitions out of the realm of the surreal and merely imagined. Such possibility is
not peculiar to RA 9372 since the exercise of any power granted by law may be
abused. Allegations of abuse must be anchored on real events before courts may step in to
settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable.
A facial invalidation of a statute is allowed only in free speech cases, wherein certain rules
of constitutional litigation are rightly excepted
Petitioners assail for being intrinsically vague and impermissibly broad the definition of the
crime of terrorism under RA 9372 in that terms like "widespread and extraordinary fear and
panic among the populace" and "coerce the government to give in to an unlawful demand"
are nebulous, leaving law enforcement agencies with no standard to measure the
prohibited acts.
Respondents, through the OSG, counter that the doctrines of void-for-vagueness and
overbreadth find no application in the present case since these doctrines apply only to free
speech cases; and that RA 9372 regulates conduct, not speech.
For a jurisprudentially guided understanding of these doctrines, it is imperative to outline
the schools of thought on whether the void-for-vagueness and overbreadth doctrines are
equally applicable grounds to assail a penal statute.
Respondents interpret recent jurisprudence as slanting toward the idea of limiting the
application of the two doctrines to free speech cases. They particularly cite Romualdez v.
Hon. Sandiganbayan and Estrada v. Sandiganbayan.
The Court clarifies.
At issue in Romualdez v. Sandiganbayan was whether the word "intervene" in Section 5 of
the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act was intrinsically vague and impermissibly broad.
The Court stated that "the overbreadth and the vagueness doctrines have special
application only to free-speech cases," and are "not appropriate for testing the validity of

Article 202 (2) does not violate the equal protection clause; neither does it discriminate against
the poor and the unemployed. Offenders of public order laws are punished not for their status, as for
being poor or unemployed, but for conducting themselves under such circumstances as to endanger
the public peace or cause alarm and apprehension in the community. Being poor or unemployed is
not a license or a justification to act indecently or to engage in immoral conduct.

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Page

20

33

penal statutes." It added that, at any rate, the challenged provision, under which the therein
petitioner was charged, is not vague.
While in the subsequent case of Romualdez v. Commission on Elections, the Court stated
that a facial invalidation of criminal statutes is not appropriate, it nonetheless proceeded to
conduct a vagueness analysis, and concluded that the therein subject election
offense under the Voters Registration Act of 1996, with which the therein petitioners were
charged, is couched in precise language
The two Romualdez cases rely heavily on the Separate Opinion of Justice Vicente V.
Mendoza in the Estradacase, where the Court found the Anti-Plunder Law (Republic Act
No. 7080) clear and free from ambiguity respecting the definition of the crime of plunder.
The position taken by Justice Mendoza in Estrada relates these two doctrines to the
concept of a "facial" invalidation as opposed to an "as-applied" challenge. He basically
postulated that allegations that a penal statute is vague and overbroad do not justify a
facial review of its validity. The pertinent portion of the Concurring Opinion of Justice
Mendoza, which was quoted at length in the main Estrada decision, reads:
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."
The possible harm to society in permitting some unprotected speech 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.

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Atty. Edgar B. Pascua II

Page

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." As has been pointed out,
"vagueness challenges in the First Amendment context, like overbreadth challenges
typically produce facial invalidation, while statutes found vague as a matter of due process
typically are invalidated [only] 'as applied' to a particular defendant." Consequently, there is
no basis for petitioner's claim that this Court review the Anti-Plunder Law on its face and in
its entirety.

21

The overbreadth and vagueness doctrines 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 Amendment." In Broadrick v.
Oklahoma, 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." 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."

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. 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. But, as the U.S. Supreme Court pointed out
in Younger v. Harris
[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,
. . . ordinarily results in a kind of case that is wholly unsatisfactory for deciding
constitutional questions, whichever way they might be decided.
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," and is generally
disfavored. 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.
The confusion apparently stems from the interlocking relation of the overbreadth and
vagueness doctrines as grounds for a facial or as-applied challenge against a penal statute
(under a claim of violation of due process of law) or a speech regulation (under a claim of
abridgement of the freedom of speech and cognate rights).
To be sure, the doctrine of vagueness and the doctrine of overbreadth do not operate on
the same plane.
A statute or act suffers from the defect of vagueness 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 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
becomes
an
arbitrary
flexing
of
the
Government
muscle. The overbreadth doctrine, meanwhile, decrees that a governmental purpose to
control or prevent activities constitutionally subject to state regulations may not be
achieved by means which sweep unnecessarily broadly and thereby invade the area of
protected freedoms.
As distinguished from the vagueness doctrine, the overbreadth doctrine assumes that
individuals will understand what a statute prohibits and will accordingly refrain from that
behavior, even though some of it is protected.
A "facial" challenge is likewise different from an "as-applied" challenge.
Distinguished
from
an as-applied challenge
which
considers
only extant facts
affecting real litigants, a facial invalidation is an examination of the entire law, pinpointing
its flaws and defects, not only on the basis of its actual operation to the parties, but also on
the assumption or prediction that its very existence may cause others not before the court
to refrain from constitutionally protected speech or activities.

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Atty. Edgar B. Pascua II

Page

The allowance of a facial challenge in free speech cases is justified by the aim to avert the
"chilling effect" on protected speech, the exercise of which should not at all times be
abridged. As reflected earlier, this rationale is inapplicable to plain penal statutes that
generally bear an "in terrorem effect" in deterring socially harmful conduct. In fact, the
legislature may even forbid and penalize acts formerly considered innocent and lawful, so

22

Justice Mendoza accurately phrased the subtitle in his concurring opinion that the
vagueness and overbreadth doctrines, as grounds for a facial challenge, are not applicable
to penal laws. A litigant cannot thus successfully mount a facial challenge against a
criminal statute on either vagueness or overbreadth grounds.

long as it refrains from diminishing or dissuading the exercise of constitutionally protected


rights.
The Court reiterated that there are "critical limitations by which a criminal statute may be
challenged" and "underscored that an on-its-face invalidation of penal statutes x x x may
not be allowed."
[T]he rule established in our jurisdiction is, only statutes on free speech, religious freedom,
and other fundamental rights may be facially challenged. Under no case may ordinary
penal statutes be subjected to a facial challenge. The rationale is obvious. If a facial
challenge to a penal statute is permitted, the prosecution of crimes may be hampered. No
prosecution would be possible. A strong criticism against employing a facial challenge in
the case of penal statutes, if the same is allowed, would effectively go against the grain of
the doctrinal requirement of an existing and concrete controversy before judicial power
may be appropriately exercised. A facial challenge against a penal statute is, at best,
amorphous and speculative. It would, essentially, force the court to consider third parties
who are not before it. As I have said in my opposition to the allowance of a facial challenge
to attack penal statutes, such a test will impair the States ability to deal with crime. If
warranted, there would be nothing that can hinder an accused from defeating the States
power to prosecute on a mere showing that, as applied to third parties, the penal statute is
vague or overbroad, notwithstanding that the law is clear as applied to him.
It is settled, on the other hand, that the application of the overbreadth doctrine is limited to
a facial kind of challenge and, owing to the given rationale of a facial challenge, applicable
only to free speech cases.
By its nature, the overbreadth doctrine has to necessarily apply a facial type of invalidation
in order to plot areas of protected speech, inevitably almost always under situations not
before the court, that are impermissibly swept by the substantially overbroad regulation.
Otherwise stated, a statute cannot be properly analyzed for being substantially overbroad if
the court confines itself only to facts as applied to the litigants.
The most distinctive feature of the overbreadth technique is that it marks an exception to
some of the usual rules of constitutional litigation. Ordinarily, a particular litigant claims that
a statute is unconstitutional as applied to him or her; if the litigant prevails, the courts carve
away the unconstitutional aspects of the law by invalidating its improper applications on a
case to case basis. Moreover, challengers to a law are not permitted to raise the rights of
third parties and can only assert their own interests. In overbreadth analysis, those rules
give way; challenges are permitted to raise the rights of third parties; and the court
invalidates the entire statute "on its face," not merely "as applied for" so that the overbroad
law becomes unenforceable until a properly authorized court construes it more narrowly.
The factor that motivates courts to depart from the normal adjudicatory rules is the concern
with the "chilling;" deterrent effect of the overbroad statute on third parties not courageous
enough to bring suit. The Court assumes that an overbroad laws "very existence may
cause others not before the court to refrain from constitutionally protected speech or
expression." An overbreadth ruling is designed to remove that deterrent effect on the
speech of those third parties.
In restricting the overbreadth doctrine to free speech claims, the Court, in at least two
cases, observed that the US Supreme Court has not recognized an overbreadth doctrine
outside the limited context of the First Amendment, and that claims of facial overbreadth
have been entertained in cases involving statutes which, by their terms, seek to regulate
only spoken words. In Virginia v. Hicks, it was held that rarely, if ever, will an overbreadth
challenge succeed against a law or regulation that is not specifically addressed
to speech or speech-related conduct. Attacks on overly broad statutes are justified by the
"transcendent value to all society of constitutionally protected expression."

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Atty. Edgar B. Pascua II

Page

While Estrada did not apply the overbreadth doctrine, it did not preclude the operation of
the vagueness test on the Anti-Plunder Law as applied to the therein petitioner, finding,
however, that there was no basis to review the law "on its face and in its entirety." It

23

Since a penal statute may only be assailed for being vague as applied to petitioners,
a limited vagueness analysis of the definition of "terrorism" in RA 9372 is legally
impermissible absent an actual or imminent charge against them

stressed that "statutes found vague as a matter of due process typically are invalidated
only 'as applied' to a particular defendant."
American jurisprudence instructs that "vagueness challenges that do not involve the First
Amendment must be examined in light of the specific facts of the case at hand and not with
regard to the statute's facial validity."
For more than 125 years, the US Supreme Court has evaluated defendants claims that
criminal statutes are unconstitutionally vague, developing a doctrine hailed as "among the
most important guarantees of liberty under law."
In this jurisdiction, the void-for-vagueness doctrine asserted under the due process clause
has been utilized in examining the constitutionality of criminal statutes. In at least three
cases, the Court brought the doctrine into play in analyzing an ordinance penalizing the
non-payment of municipal tax on fishponds, the crime of illegal recruitment punishable
under Article 132(b) of the Labor Code, and the vagrancy provision under Article 202 (2) of
the Revised Penal Code. Notably, the petitioners in these three cases, similar to those in
the two Romualdez and Estrada cases, were actually charged with the therein assailed
penal statute, unlike in the present case.
There is no merit in the claim that RA 9372 regulates speech so as to permit a facial
analysis of its validity
From the definition of the crime of terrorism in the earlier cited Section 3 of RA 9372, the
following elements may be culled: (1) the offender commits an act punishable under any of
the cited provisions of the Revised Penal Code, or under any of the enumerated special
penal laws; (2) the commission of the predicate crime sows and creates a condition of
widespread and extraordinary fear and panic among the populace; and (3) the offender is
actuated by the desire to coerce the government to give in to an unlawful demand.
In insisting on a facial challenge on the invocation that the law penalizes speech,
petitioners contend that the element of "unlawful demand" in the definition of terrorism7
must necessarily be transmitted through some form of expression protected by the free
speech clause.
The argument does not persuade. What the law seeks to penalize is conduct, not speech.
Before a charge for terrorism may be filed under RA 9372, there must first be a predicate
crime actually committed to trigger the operation of the key qualifying phrases in the other
elements of the crime, including the coercion of the government to accede to an "unlawful
demand." Given the presence of the first element, any attempt at singling out or
highlighting the communicative component of the prohibition cannot recategorize the
unprotected conduct into a protected speech.
Petitioners notion on the transmission of message is entirely inaccurate, as it unduly
focuses on just one particle of an element of the crime. Almost every commission of a
crime entails some mincing of words on the part of the offender like in declaring to launch
overt criminal acts against a victim, in haggling on the amount of ransom or conditions, or
in negotiating a deceitful transaction. An analogy in one U.S. case illustrated that the fact
that the prohibition on discrimination in hiring on the basis of race will require an employer
to take down a sign reading "White Applicants Only" hardly means that the law should be
analyzed as one regulating speech rather than conduct.

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Page

[I]t is true that the agreements and course of conduct here were as in most instances
brought about through speaking or writing. But it has never been deemed an abridgement
of freedom of speech or press to make a course of conduct illegal merely because
the conduct was, in part, initiated, evidenced, or carried out by means of language, either
spoken, written, or printed. Such an expansive interpretation of the constitutional

24

Utterances not elemental but inevitably incidental to the doing of the criminal conduct alter
neither the intent of the law to punish socially harmful conduct nor the essence of the
whole act as conduct and not speech. This holds true a fortiori in the present case where
the expression figures only as an inevitable incident of making the element of coercion
perceptible.

guaranties of speech and press would make it practically impossible ever to enforce laws
against agreements in restraint of trade as well as many other agreements and
conspiracies deemed injurious to society.
Certain kinds of speech have been treated as unprotected conduct, because they merely
evidence a prohibited conduct. Since speech is not involved here, the Court cannot heed
the call for a facial analysis.1avvphi1 G.R. No. 178552 October 5, 2010, SOUTHERN
HEMISPHERE ENGAGEMENT NETWORK, INC. vs. ANTI-TERRORISM COUNCIL

D. Due Process and Police Power


The Decision in Ermita-Malate Hotel and Motel Operations Association, Inc.,
v. Hon. City Mayor of Manila34 Ermita-Malate concerned the City ordinance
requiring patrons to fill up a prescribed form stating personal information
such as name, gender, nationality, age, address and occupation before they
could be admitted to a motel, hotel or lodging house. This earlier ordinance
was precisely enacted to minimize certain practices deemed harmful to
public morals. According to the case;
Rule: The statute here questioned deals with a subject clearly within the scope of the
police power. We are asked to declare it void on the ground that the specific method of
regulation prescribed is unreasonable and hence deprives the plaintiff of due process of
law. As underlying questions of fact may condition the constitutionality of legislation of this
character, the presumption of constitutionality must prevail in the absence of some factual
foundation of record for overthrowing the statute." No such factual foundation being laid in
the present case, the lower court deciding the matter on the pleadings and the stipulation
of facts, the presumption of validity must prevail and the judgment against the ordinance
set aside.
Nor may petitioners assert with plausibility that on its face the ordinance is fatally defective
as being repugnant to the due process clause of the Constitution. The mantle of protection
associated with the due process guaranty does not cover petitioners. This particular
manifestation of a police power measure being specifically aimed to safeguard public
morals is immune from such imputation of nullity resting purely on conjecture and
unsupported by anything of substance. To hold otherwise would be to unduly restrict and
narrow the scope of police power which has been properly characterized as the most
essential, insistent and the least limitable of powers, extending as it does "to all the great
public needs." It would be, to paraphrase another leading decision, to destroy the very
purpose of the state if it could be deprived or allowed itself to be deprived of its
competence to promote public health, public morals, public safety and the general welfare.
Negatively put, police power is "that inherent and plenary power in the State which enables
it to prohibit all that is hurtful to the comfort, safety, and welfare of society. G.R. No. L24693
July 31, 1967 ERMITA-MALATE HOTEL AND MOTEL OPERATORS
ASSOCIATION, INC. vs.THE HONORABLE CITY MAYOR OF MANILA

In another case;
*Case: The Mayor of the City of Manila signed Manila City Ordinance No. 7774 entitled,
"An Ordinance Prohibiting Short-Time Admission, Short-Time Admission Rates, and WashUp Rate Schemes in Hotels, Motels, Inns, Lodging Houses, Pension Houses, and Similar
Establishments in the City of Manila" (the Ordinance).

34

Page

Rule: The test of a valid ordinance is well established. A long line of decisions
including has held that for an ordinance to be valid, it must not only be within the corporate
127 Phil. 306 (1967).

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25

Plaintiffs prayed that the Ordinance, insofar as it includes motels and inns as among its
prohibited establishments, be declared invalid and unconstitutional. MTDC claimed that as
owner and operator of the Victoria Court in Malate, Manila it was authorized by Presidential
Decree (P.D.) No. 259 to admit customers on a short time basis as well as to charge
customers wash up rates for stays of only three hours.

2016

Atty. Edgar B. Pascua II

powers of the local government unit to enact and pass according to the procedure
prescribed by law, it must also conform to the following substantive requirements:
(1) must not contravene the Constitution or any statute;
(2) must not be unfair or oppressive;
(3) must not be partial or discriminatory;
(4) must not prohibit but may regulate trade;
(5) must be general and consistent with public policy; and
(6) must not be unreasonable.
The Ordinance prohibits two specific and distinct business practices, namely wash rate
admissions and renting out a room more than twice a day. The ban is evidently sought to
be rooted in the police power as conferred on local government units by the Local
Government Code through such implements as the general welfare clause.
Police power, while incapable of an exact definition, has been purposely veiled in general
terms to underscore its comprehensiveness to meet all exigencies and provide enough
room for an efficient and flexible response as the conditions warrant. Police power is
based upon the concept of necessity of the State and its corresponding right to protect
itself and its people. Police power has been used as justification for numerous and varied
actions by the State. These range from the regulation of dance halls, movie theaters, gas
stations and cockpits. The awesome scope of police power is best demonstrated by the
fact that in its hundred or so years of presence in our nations legal system, its use has
rarely been denied.
The apparent goal of the Ordinance is to minimize if not eliminate the use of the covered
establishments for illicit sex, prostitution, drug use and alike. These goals, by themselves,
are unimpeachable and certainly fall within the ambit of the police power of the State. Yet
the desirability of these ends do not sanctify any and all means for their achievement.
Those means must align with the Constitution, and our emerging sophisticated analysis of
its guarantees to the people.
The primary constitutional question that confronts us is one of due process, as guaranteed
under Section 1, Article III of the Constitution. Due process evades a precise definition.
The purpose of the guaranty is to prevent arbitrary governmental encroachment against
the life, liberty and property of individuals. The due process guaranty serves as a
protection against arbitrary regulation or seizure. Even corporations and partnerships are
protected by the guaranty insofar as their property is concerned.
The question of substantive due process, moreso than most other fields of law, has
reflected dynamism in progressive legal thought tied with the expanded acceptance of
fundamental freedoms. Police power, traditionally awesome as it may be, is now
confronted with a more rigorous level of analysis before it can be upheld.
The vitality though of constitutional due process has not been predicated on the frequency
with which it has been utilized to achieve a liberal result for, after all, the libertarian ends
should sometimes yield to the prerogatives of the State. Instead, the due process clause
has acquired potency because of the sophisticated methodology that has emerged to
determine the proper metes and bounds for its application.

Page

That the Ordinance prevents the lawful uses of a wash rate depriving patrons of a product
and the petitioners of lucrative business ties in with another constitutional requisite for the
legitimacy of the Ordinance as a police power measure. It must appear that

26

If we were to take the myopic view that an Ordinance should be analyzed strictly as to its
effect only on the petitioners at bar, then it would seem that the only restraint imposed by
the law which we are capacitated to act upon is the injury to property sustained by the
petitioners, an injury that would warrant the application of the most deferential standard
the rational basis test. Yet as earlier stated, we recognize the capacity of the petitioners to
invoke as well the constitutional rights of their patrons those persons who would be
deprived of availing short time access or wash-up rates to the lodging establishments in
question.

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Atty. Edgar B. Pascua II

a. the interests of the public generally, as distinguished from those of a particular class,
require an interference with private rights and the means must be reasonably
necessary for the accomplishment of the purpose and not unduly oppressive of private
rights.
b. It must also be evident that no other alternative for the accomplishment of the purpose
less intrusive of private rights can work.
c. More importantly, a reasonable relation must exist between the purposes of the
measure and the means employed for its accomplishment, for even under the guise of
protecting the public interest, personal rights and those pertaining to private property
will not be permitted to be arbitrarily invaded.
Lacking a concurrence of these requisites, the police measure shall be struck down as an
arbitrary intrusion into private rights. As held in Morfe v. Mutuc, the exercise of police
power is subject to judicial review when life, liberty or property is affected. However, this is
not in any way meant to take it away from the vastness of State police power whose
exercise enjoys the presumption of validity.
Similar to the Comelec resolution requiring newspapers to donate advertising space to
candidates, this Ordinance is a blunt and heavy instrument The Ordinance makes no
distinction between places frequented by patrons engaged in illicit activities and patrons
engaged in legitimate actions. Thus it prevents legitimate use of places where illicit
activities are rare or even unheard of. A plain reading of section 3 of the Ordinance shows
it makes no classification of places of lodging, thus deems them all susceptible to illicit
patronage and subject them without exception to the unjustified prohibition.
The behavior which the Ordinance seeks to curtail is in fact already prohibited and could in
fact be diminished simply by applying existing laws. Less intrusive measures such as
curbing the proliferation of prostitutes and drug dealers through active police work would
be more effective in easing the situation. So would the strict enforcement of existing laws
and regulations penalizing prostitution and drug use. These measures would have minimal
intrusion on the businesses of the petitioners and other legitimate merchants. Further, it is
apparent that the Ordinance can easily be circumvented by merely paying the whole day
rate without any hindrance to those engaged in illicit activities. Moreover, drug dealers and
prostitutes can in fact collect "wash rates" from their clientele by charging their customers a
portion of the rent for motel rooms and even apartments. G.R. No. 122846 January 20,
2009 WHITE LIGHT CORPORATION, TITANIUM CORPORATION and STA. MESA
TOURIST & DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION vs. CITY OF MANILA
*Case: The respondent banks have shown no necessity for the writ of preliminary
injunction to prevent serious damage. The serious damage contemplated by the trial court
was the possibility of the imposition of sanctions upon respondent banks, even the
sanction of closure. Under the law, the sanction of closure could be imposed upon a bank
by the BSP even without notice and hearing. The apparent lack of procedural due process
would not result in the invalidity of action by the MB. This was the ruling in Central Bank of
the Philippines v. Court of Appeals. This "close now, hear later" scheme is grounded on
practical and legal considerations to prevent unwarranted dissipation of the banks assets
and as a valid exercise of police power to protect the depositors, creditors, stockholders,
and the general public. The writ of preliminary injunction cannot, thus, prevent the MB from
taking action, by preventing the submission of the ROEs and worse, by preventing the MB
from acting on such ROEs.

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It is well-settled that the closure of a bank may be considered as an exercise of police


power. The action of the MB on this matter is final and executory. Such exercise may
nonetheless be subject to judicial inquiry and can be set aside if found to be in excess of
jurisdiction or with such grave abuse of discretion as to amount to lack or excess of
jurisdiction. G.R. No. 184778 October 2, 2009 BANGKO SENTRAL NG PILIPINAS

27

The trial court required the MB to respect the respondent banks right to due process by
allowing the respondent banks to view the ROEs and act upon them to forestall any
sanctions the MB might impose. Such procedure has no basis in law and does in fact
violate the "close now, hear later" doctrine. We held in Rural Bank of San Miguel, Inc. v.
Monetary Board, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas:

MONETARY BOARD and CHUCHI FONACIER vs. HON. NINA G. ANTONIOVALENZUELA

E. Due Process and Eminent Domain


Section 9. Private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation.
Art III
*Rule: When there is a taking or confiscation of private property for public use, the State is
no longer exercising police power, but another of its inherent powers, namely, eminent
domain. Eminent domain enables the State to forcibly acquire private lands intended for
public use upon payment of just compensation to the owner.
Normally, of course, the power of eminent domain results in the taking or appropriation of
title to, and possession of, the expropriated property; but no cogent reason appears why
the said power may not be availed of only to impose a burden upon the owner of
condemned property, without loss of title and possession. It is a settled rule that neither
acquisition of title nor total destruction of value is essential to taking. It is usually in cases
where title remains with the private owner that inquiry should be made to determine
whether the impairment of a property is merely regulated or amounts to a compensable
taking. A regulation that deprives any person of the profitable use of his property
constitutes a taking and entitles him to compensation, unless the invasion of rights is so
slight as to permit the regulation to be justified under the police power. Similarly, a police
regulation that unreasonably restricts the right to use business property for business
purposes amounts to a taking of private property, and the owner may recover therefor.
Although in the present case, title to and/or possession of the parking facilities remain/s
with respondents, the prohibition against their collection of parking fees from the public, for
the use of said facilities, is already tantamount to a taking or confiscation of their
properties. The State is not only requiring that respondents devote a portion of the latters
properties for use as parking spaces, but is also mandating that they give the public access
to said parking spaces for free. Such is already an excessive intrusion into the property
rights of respondents. Not only are they being deprived of the right to use a portion of their
properties as they wish, they are further prohibited from profiting from its use or even just
recovering therefrom the expenses for the maintenance and operation of the required
parking facilities. G.R. No. 177056 September 18, 2009 THE OFFICE OF THE
SOLICITOR GENERAL vs. AYALA LAND INCORPORATED, ROBINSON'S LAND
CORPORATION, SHANGRI-LA PLAZA CORPORATION

The Local Government Code provides that a local government unit may,
a. through its chief executive and
b. acting pursuant to an ordinance,
exercise the power of eminent domain;
a. for public use, or purpose, or welfare for the benefit of the poor and the
landless,
b. upon payment of just compensation, pursuant to the provisions of the
Constitution and pertinent laws:

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a. That the power of eminent domain may not be exercised unless a valid
and definite offer has been previously made to the owner, and such offer
was not accepted:
b. That the local government unit may immediately take possession of the
property upon the filing of the expropriation proceedings and upon
making a deposit with the proper court of at least fifteen percent (15%)
of the fair market value of the property based on the current tax
declaration of the property to be expropriated.

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Provided, however,

c. That the amount to be paid for the expropriated property shall be


determined by the proper court, based on the fair market value of the
property.
Two stages of exporppriation proceedings
1. Determination of the authority of the plaintiff to exercise the power of
eminent domain and the propriety of its exercise in the context of the
facts involved in the suit.
This ends with an order, if not of dismissal of the action, of
condemnation [or order of expropriation] declaring that the plaintiff has
the lawful right to take the property sought to be condemned, for the
public use or purpose described in the complaint, upon the payment of
just compensation to be determined as of the date of the filing of the
complaint; and
2. Determination by the court of the just compensation for the property
sought to be taken.
Cases:
*Case: The Sangguniang Panglungsod of Cebu City enacted City Ordinance No. 1519,
giving authority to the City Mayor to expropriate one-half (portion (2,856 square meters) of
[the spouses Ortegas land (which is occupied by the squatters), and appropriating for that
purpose the amount of P3,284,400.00 or at the price of P1,150.00 per square meter.
Pursuant to said ordinance, Cebu City filed a Complaint for Eminent Domain before the
Regional Trial Court, Cebu City against the spouses Ortega,
The RTC issued an order declaring that Cebu City "has the lawful right to take the property
subject of the instant case, for public use or purpose described in the complaint upon
payment of just compensation."
Based on the recommendation of the appointed Commissioners the RTC issued another
Order, fixing the value of the land subject to expropriation at P11,000.00 per square meter
and ordering Cebu City to pay Spouses Ortega the sum of P31,416,000.00 as just
compensation for the expropriated portion of Lot No. 310-B.
The Decision of the RTC became final and executory because of Cebu Citys failure to
perfect an appeal on time, and a Writ of Execution was issued on September 17, 1999 to
enforce the courts judgment.
Cebu City filed an Omnibus Motion to Stay Execution, Modification of Judgment and
Withdrawal of the Case, contending that the price set by the RTC as just compensation to
be paid to [the Spouses Ortega] is way beyond the reach of its intended beneficiaries for its
socialized housing program.
Rule: Expropriation proceedings speak of two (2) stages, i.e.:
1. Determination of the authority of the plaintiff to exercise the power of eminent domain
and the propriety of its exercise in the context of the facts involved in the suit. This ends
with an order, if not of dismissal of the action, of condemnation [or order of expropriation]
declaring that the plaintiff has the lawful right to take the property sought to be condemned,
for the public use or purpose described in the complaint, upon the payment of just
compensation to be determined as of the date of the filing of the complaint; and

Page

We held in the recent case of Republic v. Phil-Ville Development and Housing


Corporation5 that:

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2. Determination by the court of the just compensation for the property sought to be taken.

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[A]n order of expropriation denotes the end of the first stage of expropriation. Its end then
paves the way for the second stagethe determination of just compensation, and,
ultimately, payment. An order of expropriation puts an end to any ambiguity regarding the
right of the petitioner to condemn the respondents properties. Because an order of
expropriation merely determines the authority to exercise the power of eminent domain and
the propriety of such exercise, its issuance does not hinge on the payment of just
compensation. After all, there would be no point in determining just compensation if, in the
first place, the plaintiffs right to expropriate the property was not first clearly established.
Conversely, as is evident from the foregoing, an order by the trial court fixing just
compensation does not affect a prior order of expropriation. As applied to the case at bar,
Cebu City can no longer ask for modification of the judgment, much less, withdraw its
complaint, after it failed to appeal even the first stage of the expropriation proceedings.
The determination of "just compensation" in eminent domain cases is a judicial function.
The executive department or the legislature may make the initial determinations but when
a party claims a violation of the guarantee in the Bill of Rights that private property may not
be taken for public use without just compensation, no statute, decree, or executive order
can mandate that its own determination shall prevail over the courts findings. Much less
can the courts be precluded from looking into the "just-ness" of the decreed compensation.
G.R. No. 181562-63 October 2, 2009 SPOUSES CIRIACO and ARMINDA ORTEGA vs.
CITY OF CEBU
*Case: Fil-Homes Realty and Development Corporation and Magdiwang Realty
Corporation, co-owners of two lots situated in Sucat, Paraaque City and covered by
Transfer Certificates of Title Nos. 21712 and 21713, filed a complaint for unlawful detainer
against petitioners with the MTC.
During the pendency of the case, the City of Paraaque filed expropriation proceedings
covering the lots before the Regional Trial Court of Paraaque with the intention of
establishing a socialized housing project therein for distribution to the occupants including
petitioners. A writ of possession was consequently issued and a Certificate of Turn-over
given to the City.
Branch 77 of the MeTC, by Decision rendered judgment in the unlawful detainer case
against petitioners.
The RTC went on to rule that the issuance of a writ of possession in favor of the City bars
the continuation of the unlawful detainer proceedings, and since the judgment had already
been rendered in the expropriation proceedings which effectively turned over the lots to the
City, the MeTC has no jurisdiction to "disregard the . . . final judgment and writ of
possession" due to non-payment of just compensation:
The Writ of Possession shows that possession over the properties subject of this case had
already been given to the City of Paraaque since January 19, 2006 after they were
expropriated. It is serious error for the court a quo to rule in the unlawful detainer case that
Magdiwang Realty Corporation and Fil-Homes Realty and Development Corporation could
still be given possession of the properties which were already expropriated in favor of the
City of Paraaque.
Rule: In the exercise of the power of eminent domain, the State expropriates private
property for public use upon payment of just compensation. A socialized housing project
falls within the ambit of public use as it is in furtherance of the constitutional provisions on
social justice.

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SEC. 19. Eminent Domain. A local government unit may, through its chief executive
and acting pursuant to an ordinance, exercise the power of eminent domain for public
use, or purpose, or welfare for the benefit of the poor and the landless, upon payment
of just compensation, pursuant to the provisions of the Constitution and pertinent laws:
Provided, however, That the power of eminent domain may not be exercised unless a
valid and definite offer has been previously made to the owner, and such offer was not

30

The exercise of expropriation by a local government unit is covered by Section 19 of the


Local Government Code (LGC):

accepted: Provided, further, That the local government unit may immediately take
possession of the property upon the filing of the expropriation proceedings and upon
making a deposit with the proper court of at least fifteen percent (15%) of the fair
market value of the property based on the current tax declaration of the property to be
expropriated: Provided, finally, That the amount to be paid for the expropriated property
shall be determined by the proper court, based on the fair market value of the property.
Expropriation of lands consists of two stages:
The first is concerned with the determination of the authority of the plaintiff to exercise the
power of eminent domain and the propriety of its exercise in the context of the facts
involved in the suit. It ends with an order, if not of dismissal of the action, "of condemnation
declaring that the plaintiff has a lawful right to take the property sought to be condemned,
for the public use or purpose described in the complaint, upon the payment of just
compensation to be determined as of the date of the filing of the complaint x x x.
The second phase of the eminent domain action is concerned with the determination by
the court of "the just compensation for the property sought to be taken." This is done by the
court with the assistance of not more than three (3) commissioners x x x .
It is only upon the completion of these two stages that expropriation is said to have been
completed. The process is not complete until payment of just compensation. Accordingly,
the issuance of the writ of possession in this case does not write finis to the expropriation
proceedings. To effectuate the transfer of ownership, it is necessary to pay the property
owners the final just compensation. Even if the lots are eventually transferred to the City, it
is non sequitur for petitioners to claim that they are automatically entitled to be
beneficiaries thereof. For certain requirements must be met and complied with before they
can be considered to be beneficiaries. G.R. No. 189239 November 24, 2010 SPOUSES
LETICIA & JOSE ERVIN ABAD vs. FIL-HOMES REALTY and DEVELOPMENT
CORPORATION and MAGDIWANG REALTY CORPORATION
Case: In December 1978, respondent Rosalina Libo-on accomplished a letter of intent
signifying her willingness to sell to UPV the 40,133-square meter property situated at Miagao, Iloilo registered in her name . Forthwith, a Deed of Definite Sale was executed by the
parties whereby Rosalina, with the conformity of her then tenant, Vicente Libo-on, sold the
subject parcel in favor of UPV for the stated consideration. As a consequence, UPV
immediately took possession of the property and, in line with its educational development
plan, started building thereon road networks, infrastructure and school facilities.
On 4 January 1980, however, Rosalina wrote a letter, informing UPV that she was
rescinding the sale of the subject parcel on the ground that she was no longer the owner of
the property in view of her 5 September 1978 conveyance thereof by way of barter or
exchange in favor of respondents Rodolfo Legaspi, Sr., Querobin Legaspi,8 Ofelia
Legaspi-Muela, Purisima Legaspi Vda. De Mondejar, Vicente Legaspi, Rodolfo Legaspi II
and the Spouses Rosalina and Dominador Libo-on, among others. UPV subsequently
learned that Lot 1 was subdivided into ten lots denominated and later registered in the
names of respondents.

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On 2 September 1991, the RTC issued an order granting petitioners motion to allow UPV
to continue its possession of the subject parcel upon deposit with the Iloilo Provincial
Treasurer of the sum of P50,070.00, representing the provisional valuation of the property.
In their answer dated 16 December 1991, however, respondents averred that petitioners
right of expropriation should only be limited to the three lots covered by Transfer Certificate
of Title (TCT) Nos. T-8193, 8194 and 8196

31

On 8 August 1991, petitioner, thru UPV, filed against respondents the complaint for
eminent domain.. Petitioner alleged, among other matters, that the subject parcel is within
the approved and delineated campus of the UPV which had well-established its presence
in the area by building its laboratories, classrooms, faculty and student centers, among
other facilities; and, that it had been constrained to resort to expropriation in view of the
failure of its efforts to negotiate with respondents for the retention of the property on which
it constructed considerable improvements already being used for academic purposes. UPV
sought confirmation of its right of condemnation as well as the fixing of the just
compensation for the property

Finding no opposition to petitioners motion for a declaration on its right to expropriate the
same, the RTC issued an order of condemnation upholding UPVs right to expropriate said
three parcels.
Considering that the foregoing condemnation order covered only three (3) of the ten (10)
lots comprising the subject property, petitioner moved for the continuation of the
condemnation proceedings insofar as the remaining seven lots were concerned. On 17
November 2003, the RTC further issued the herein assailed condemnation order of the
same date, upholding petitioners authority to expropriate the remaining seven lots
comprising the property except such area therein as is occupied by the Villa Marina Beach
resort and which [respondent] Rodolfo L. Legaspi, Sr. has been operating a business.
Petitioner and UPV filed motions for reconsideration of the foregoing order on the ground
that the exclusion of the Villa Marina Beach Resort area from the condemned lots is bereft
of legal basis and contrary to the evidence presented in the case which showed that the
same is an integral part of the UPVs developmental plan for research and educational use.
Said motion was denied.
Aggrieved, petitioner filed the Rule 65 petition for certiorari and mandamus docketed
before the CA
Rule: We find the petition impressed with merit. Expropriation or the exercise of the power
of eminent domain is the inherent right of the state and of those entities to which the power
has been lawfully delegated to condemn private property to public use upon payment of
just compensation. Governed by Rule 67 of the Rules of Court, the proceedings therefor
consist of two (2) stages: (a) the condemnation of the property after it is determined that its
acquisition will be for a public purpose or public use; and, (b) the determination of just
compensation to be paid for the taking of private property to be made by the court with the
assistance of not more than three commissioners.
The RTC compounded its error when, acting on the motions for reconsideration filed by the
parties, it issued the assailed Order, denying petitioners right of expropriation over Lot
Nos. 21609-A, 21609-D, 21609-F, 21609-G, 21609-H, 21609-I and 21609-J, on the ground
that the same were already used by respondents for their businesses and/or residences.
Subject to the direct constitutional qualification that "private property shall not be taken for
public use without just compensation," the power of eminent domain is, after all, the
ultimate right of the sovereign power to appropriate any property within its territorial
sovereignty for a public purpose thru a method that partakes the nature of a compulsory
sale. The fact that said lots are being utilized by respondents Legaspis for their own private
purposes is, consequently, not a valid reason to deny exercise of the right of expropriation,
for as long as the taking is for a public purpose and just compensation is paid.
In sum, we find the RTC gravely abused its discretion when, without stating the factual and
legal bases therefor, it issued the assailed condemnation order, excluding the area
occupied by the Villa Marina Resort from petitioners exercise of its right of expropriation
G.R. No. 177611 April 18, 2012 REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES (UNIVERSITY OF
THE PHILIPPINES) vs. RODOLFO L. LEGASPI, SR., et al

F. Equal Protection
The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep
under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.
- The Red Lily, Chapter 7 (1894) by Anatole France, French novelist (1844-1924)

35

Page

32

The equality it guarantees is legal equality, or as it is usually put, the


equality of all persons before the law 35 The principle of the requirement
of equal protection of law applies to all persons similarly situated.

Bernas

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Case: The equal protection of the laws is a guaranty against any form of undue favoritism
or hostility from the government. It is embraced under the due process concept and simply
requires that, in the application of the law, "all persons or things similarly situated should
be treated alike, both as to rights conferred and responsibilities imposed." The equal
protection clause, however, is not absolute but subject to reasonable classification so that
aggrupations bearing substantial distinctions may be treated differently from each other.
This we ruled in Farinas v. Executive Secretary, wherein we further stated that
The equal protection of the law clause is against undue favor and individual or class
privilege, as well as hostile discrimination or the oppression of inequality. It is not intended
to prohibit legislation which is limited either in the object to which it is directed or by territory
within which it is to operate. It does not demand absolute equality among residents; it
merely requires that all persons shall be treated alike, under like circumstances and
conditions both as to privileges conferred and liabilities enforced. The equal protection
clause is not infringed by legislation which applies only to those persons falling within a
specified class, if it applies alike to all persons within such class, and reasonable grounds
exist for making a distinction between those who fall within such class and those who do
not. G.R. No. 196425 July 24, 2012 PROSPERO A. PICHAY JR. vs. OFFICE OF THE
DEPUTY EXECUTIVE SECRETARY

1. Economic Equality
a. FREE ACCESS:
Section 11. Free access to the courts and quasi-judicial bodies and adequate legal
assistance shall not be denied to any person by reason of poverty. (Art III)

b. LEGAL AID
Section 5. The Supreme Court shall have the following powers: xxx
(5) Promulgate rules concerning the protection and enforcement of constitutional
rights, pleading, practice, and procedure in all courts, the admission to the practice of
law, the integrated bar, and legal assistance to the under-privileged. Such rules shall
provide a simplified and inexpensive procedure for the speedy disposition of cases,
shall be uniform for all courts of the same grade, and shall not diminish, increase, or
modify substantive rights. Rules of procedure of special courts and quasi-judicial
bodies shall remain effective unless disapproved by the Supreme Court. (Art VIII)

c. MARINE RESOURCES
Section 2. xxx
The State shall protect the nations marine wealth in its archipelagic waters, territorial
sea, and exclusive economic zone, and reserve its use and enjoyment exclusively to
Filipino citizens.
The Congress may, by law, allow small-scale utilization of natural resources by
Filipino citizens, as well as cooperative fish farming, with priority to subsistence
fishermen and fish workers in rivers, lakes, bays, and lagoons. xxx (ArtXII)

d. NATIONALIZATION

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In the grant of rights, privileges, and concessions covering the national economy and
patrimony, the State shall give preference to qualified Filipinos.

33

Section 10. The Congress shall, upon recommendation of the economic and planning
agency, when the national interest dictates, reserve to citizens of the Philippines or to
corporations or associations at least sixty per centum of whose capital is owned by
such citizens, or such higher percentage as Congress may prescribe, certain areas of
investments. The Congress shall enact measures that will encourage the formation
and operation of enterprises whose capital is wholly owned by Filipinos.

The State shall regulate and exercise authority over foreign investments within its
national jurisdiction and in accordance with its national goals and priorities. (Art XII)

e. SOCIAL JUSTICE
Section 1. The Congress shall give highest priority to the enactment of measures
that protect and enhance the right of all the people to human dignity, reduce social,
economic, and political inequalities, and remove cultural inequities by equitably
diffusing wealth and political power for the common good.
To this end, the State shall regulate the acquisition, ownership, use, and disposition
of property and its increments. (Art XIII)
Section 2. The promotion of social justice shall include the commitment to create
economic opportunities based on freedom of initiative and self-reliance. (Art XIII)

"Social justice is "neither communism, nor despositism, nor atomism, nor


anarchy," but the humanization of laws and the equalization of social and
economic forces by the State so that justice in its rational and objectively
secular conception may at least be approximated. Social justice means the
promotion of the welfare of all the people, the adoption by the
Government of measures calculated to insure economic stability of all the
component elements of society, through the maintenance of a proper
economic and social equilibrium in the interrelations of the members of
the community, constitutionally, through the adoption of measures legally
justifiable, or extra-constitutionally, through the exercise of powers
underlying the existence of all governments on the time-honored principle
of salus populi est suprema lex."36
Social justice does not condone whaty is wrong. - The policy of social
justice is not intended to countenance wrongdoing simply because it is
committed by the underprivileged. At best, it may mitigate the penalty but
it certainly will not condone the offense. Compassion for the poor is an
imperative of every humane society but only when the recipient is not a
rascal claiming an undeserved privilege. Social justice cannot be permitted
to be refuge of scoundrels any more than can equity be an impediment to
the punishment of the guilty. Those who invoke social justice may do so
only if their hands are clean and their motives blameless and not simply
because they happen to be poor. This great policy of our Constitution is
not meant for the protection of those who have proved they are not
worthy of it. 37
Rule: In exceptional cases, however, the Court has granted separation pay to a legally
dismissed employee as an act of "social justice" or on "equitable grounds." In both
instances, it is required that the dismissal (1) was not for serious misconduct; and (2) did
not reflect on the moral character of the employee.
In the leading case of Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company v. NLRC (247 Phil.
641 (1988).), we laid down the rule that separation pay shall be allowed as a measure of
social justice only in the instances where the employee is validly dismissed for causes
other than serious misconduct reflecting his moral character. We clarified that:

Calalang v. Williams , G.R. No. 47800, 02 December 1940, 70 Phil. 726, 734-735.
G.R. No. 201701 June 3, 2013, UNILEVER PHILIPPINES, INC., vs. MARIA RUBY M. RIVERA,
citing . Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. vs. NLRC, 247 Phil. 641, 649-650 (1988).
37

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36

34

We hold that henceforth separation pay shall be allowed as a measure of social justice
only in those instances where the employee is validly dismissed for causes other than
serious misconduct or those reflecting on his moral character. Where the reason for the
valid dismissal is, for example, habitual intoxication or an offense involving moral turpitude,

like theft or illicit sexual relations with a fellow worker, the employer may not be required to
give the dismissed employee separation pay, or financial assistance, or whatever other
name it is called, on the ground of social justice.
A contrary rule would, as the petitioner correctly argues, have the effect, of rewarding
rather than punishing the erring employee for his offense. And we do not agree that the
punishment is his dismissal only and that the separation pay has nothing to do with the
wrong he has committed. Of course it has. Indeed, if the employee who steals from the
company is granted separation pay even as he is validly dismissed, it is not unlikely that he
will commit a similar offense in his next employment because he thinks he can expect a
like leniency if he is again found out. This kind of misplaced compassion is not going to do
labor in general any good as it will encourage the infiltration of its ranks by those who do
not deserve the protection and concern of the Constitution.
The policy of social justice is not intended to countenance wrongdoing simply because it is
committed by the underprivileged. At best[,] it may mitigate the penalty but it certainly will
not condone the offense. Compassion for the poor is an imperative of every humane
society but only when the recipient is not a rascal claiming an undeserved privilege. Social
justice cannot be permitted to be refuge of scoundrels any more than can equity be an
impediment to the punishment of the guilty. Those who invoke social justice may do so
only if their hands are clean and their motives blameless and not simply because they
happen to be poor. This great policy of our Constitution is not meant for the protection of
those who have proved they are not worthy of it, like the workers who have tainted the
cause of labor with the blemishes of their own character (Id. at 649-650.). G.R. No. 188747
January 29, 2014 MANILA WATER COMPANY vs. CARLITO DEL ROSARIO

f. PROTECTION TO LABOR
Section 3. The State shall afford full protection to labor, local and overseas,
organized and unorganized, and promote full employment and equality of
employment opportunities for all.
It shall guarantee the rights of all workers to self-organization, collective bargaining
and negotiations, and peaceful concerted activities, including the right to strike in
accordance with law. They shall be entitled to security of tenure, humane conditions
of work, and a living wage. They shall also participate in policy and decision-making
processes affecting their rights and benefits as may be provided by law.
The State shall promote the principle of shared responsibility between workers and
employers and the preferential use of voluntary modes in settling disputes, including
conciliation, and shall enforce their mutual compliance therewith to foster industrial
peace.
The State shall regulate the relations between workers and employers, recognizing
the right of labor to its just share in the fruits of production and the right of enterprises
to reasonable returns to investments, and to expansion and growth. (Art XIII)

Please note however that the Constitutional policy of providing full


protection to labor is not intended to oppress or destroy management
(Capili vs. NLRC, 270 SCRA 488[1997]." Also, in Atlas Fertilizer
Corporation vs. NLRC, 273 SCRA 549 [1997], the Highest Magistrate
declared that "The law, in protecting the rights of the laborers, authorizes
neither oppression nor self-destruction of the employer."

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Popular control is hinged on the value that we give to people as selfdetermining agents who should have a say on issues that effect their lives,
particularly on making life-plans. Political equality is founded on the
assumption that everyone (or at least every adult) has an equal capacity for
self-determination, and, therefore, an equal right to influence collective

35

2. Political Equality

decisions, and to have their interests considered when these decisions are
made 38
a. Constitutional Basis
Section 10. Bona fide candidates for any public office shall be free from any form of
harassment and discrimination. (Art IX)
Section 1. The Congress shall give highest priority to the enactment of measures that
protect and enhance the right of all the people to human dignity, reduce social,
economic, and political inequalities, and remove cultural inequities by equitably diffusing
wealth and political power for the common good.
To this end, the State shall regulate the acquisition, ownership, use, and disposition of
property and its increments. (Art XIII)
Section 4. The Commission may, during the election period, supervise or regulate the
enjoyment or utilization of all franchises or permits for the operation of transportation and
other public utilities, media of communication or information, all grants, special privileges,
or concessions granted by the Government or any subdivision, agency, or instrumentality
thereof, including any government-owned or controlled corporation or its subsidiary. Such
supervision or regulation shall aim to ensure equal opportunity, time, and space, and the
right to reply, including reasonable, equal rates therefor, for public information campaigns
and forums among candidates in connection with the objective of holding free, orderly,
honest, peaceful, and credible elections (Art IX C)
Section 26. The State shall guarantee equal access to opportunities for public service, and
prohibit political dynasties as may be defined by law (Art 2)

b. Cases:
*Case: Petitioner Dumlao specifically questions the constitutionality of section 4 of Batas
Pambansa Blg. 52 as discriminatory and contrary to the equal protection and due
process guarantees of the Constitution. Said Section 4 provides:
Sec. 4.
Special Disqualification in addition to violation of section 10 of Art. XI I-C
of the Constitution and disqualification mentioned in existing laws, which are hereby
declared as disqualification for any of the elective officials enumerated in section 1
hereof.
Any retired elective provincial city or municipal official who has received payment of
the retirement benefits to which he is entitled under the law, and who shall have been
6,5 years of age at the commencement of the term of office to which he seeks to be
elected shall not be qualified to run for the same elective local office from which he
has retired
Petitioner Dumlao alleges that the aforecited provision is directed insidiously against him,
and that the classification provided therein is based on "purely arbitrary grounds and,
therefore, class legislation."
Rule: Petitioner Dumlao's contention that section 4 of BP Blg. 52 is discriminatory
against him personally is belied by the fact that several petitions for the disqualification of
other candidates for local positions based on the challenged provision have already been
filed with the COMELEC. This tellingly overthrows Dumlao's contention of intentional or
purposeful discrimination.

(Saward, M., Democratic Theory an Indices of Democratization; in Defining and Measuring


Democracy, David Beetham, ed., Human Rights Centre, University of Essex, Colchester/Charter 88
Trust, London, 1993, p. 7).

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Page

38

36

The assertion that Section 4 of BP Blg. 52 is contrary to the safer guard of equal
protection is neither well taken. The constitutional guarantee of equal protection of the
laws is subject to rational classification. If the groupings are based on reasonable and

real differentiations, one class can be treated and regulated differently from another
class. For purposes of public service, employees 65 years of age, have been validly
classified differently from younger employees. Employees attaining that age are subject
to compulsory retirement, while those of younger ages are not so compulsorily retirable.
In respect of election to provincial, city, or municipal positions, to require that candidates
should not be more than 65 years of age at the time they assume office, if applicable to
everyone, might or might not be a reasonable classification although, as the Solicitor
General has intimated, a good policy of the law would be to promote the emergence of
younger blood in our political elective echelons. On the other hand, it might be that
persons more than 65 years old may also be good elective local officials.
The tiredness of the retiree for government work is present, and what is emphatically
significant is that the retired employee has already declared himself tired and unavailable
for the same government work, but, which, by virtue of a change of mind, he would like to
assume again. It is for this very reason that inequality will neither result from the
application of the challenged provision. Just as that provision does not deny equal
protection neither does it permit of such denial (see People vs. Vera, 65 Phil. 56 [1933]).
Persons similarly situated are sinlilarly treated.
In fine, it bears reiteration that the equal protection clause does not forbid all legal
classification. What is proscribes is a classification which is arbitrary and unreasonable.
That constitutional guarantee is not violated by a reasonable classification based upon
substantial distinctions, where the classification is germane to the purpose of the law and
applies to all Chose belonging to the same class (Peralta vs. Comelec, 82 SCRA 30
[1978] citing Felwa vs. Salas, 18 SCRA 606 [1966]; Rafael v. Embroidery and Apparel
Control and Inspection Board, 21 SCRA 336 [1967]; Inchong etc., et al. vs. Hernandez
101 Phil. 1155 [1957]). The purpose of the law is to allow the emergence of younger
blood in local governments. The classification in question being pursuant to that purpose,
it cannot be considered invalid "even it at times, it may be susceptible to the objection
that it is marred by theoretical inconsistencies" (Chief Justice Fernando, The Constitution
of the Philippines, 1977 ed., p. 547). G.R. No. L-52245 January 22, 1980 PATRICIO
DUMLAO vs. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS
*Case: The questioned law mandates that an appointive official who files his certificate of
candidacy is deemed resigned. It does not apply to elective officials. Does this violate the
equal protection clause of the Constitution?
Rule: The equal protection of the law clause in the Constitution is not absolute, but is
subject to reasonable classification. If the groupings are characterized by substantial
distinctions that make real differences, one class may be treated and regulated differently
from the other. The Court has explained the nature of the equal protection guarantee in
this manner:

Page

Substantial distinctions clearly exist between elective officials and appointive officials.
The former occupy their office by virtue of the mandate of the electorate. They are
elected to an office for a definite term and may be removed therefrom only upon stringent
conditions. On the other hand, appointive officials hold their office by virtue of their
designation thereto by an appointing authority. Some appointive officials hold their office
in a permanent capacity and are entitled to security of tenure while others serve at the
pleasure of the appointing authority.

37

The equal protection of the law clause is against undue favor and individual or class
privilege, as well as hostile discrimination or the oppression of inequality. It is not
intended to prohibit legislation which is limited either in the object to which it is
directed or by territory within which it is to operate. It does not demand absolute
equality among residents; it merely requires that all persons shall be treated alike,
under like circumstances and conditions both as to privileges conferred and liabilities
enforced. The equal protection clause is not infringed by legislation which applies
only to those persons falling within a specified class, if it applies alike to all persons
within such class, and reasonable grounds exist for making a distinction between
those who fall within such class and those who do not.

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Atty. Edgar B. Pascua II

Another substantial distinction between the two sets of officials is that under Section 55,
Chapter 8, Title I, Subsection A. Civil Service Commission, Book V of the Administrative
Code of 1987 (Executive Order No. 292), appointive officials, as officers and employees
in the civil service, are strictly prohibited from engaging in any partisan political activity or
take (sic) part in any election except to vote. Under the same provision, elective officials,
or officers or employees holding political offices, are obviously expressly allowed to take
part in political and electoral activities.
By repealing Section 67 but retaining Section 66 of the Omnibus Election Code, the
legislators deemed it proper to treat these two classes of officials differently with respect
to the effect on their tenure in the office of the filing of the certificates of candidacy for
any position other than those occupied by them. Again, it is not within the power of the
Court to pass upon or look into the wisdom of this classification.
Since the classification justifying Section 14 of Rep. Act No. 9006, i.e., elected officials
vis--vis appointive officials, is anchored upon material and significant distinctions and all
the persons belonging under the same classification are similarly treated, the equal
protection clause of the Constitution is, thus, not infringed. G.R. No. 189698 February
22, 2010 ELEAZAR P. QUINTO and GERINO A. TOLENTINO, JR. vs. COMMISSION
ON ELECTIONS
*Case: Ang Ladlad which was denied accreditation by COMELEC, argued that the denial
of accreditation, insofar as it justified the exclusion by using religious dogma, violated the
constitutional guarantees against the establishment of religion. Petitioner also claimed
that the Assailed Resolutions contravened its constitutional rights to privacy, freedom of
speech and assembly, and equal protection of laws, as well as constituted violations of
the Philippines international obligations against discrimination based on sexual
orientation.
Rule: Despite the absolutism of Article III, Section 1 of our Constitution, which provides
"nor shall any person be denied equal protection of the laws," courts have never
interpreted the provision as an absolute prohibition on classification. "Equality," said
Aristotle, "consists in the same treatment of similar persons." The equal protection clause
guarantees that no person or class of persons shall be deprived of the same protection of
laws which is enjoyed by other persons or other classes in the same place and in like
circumstances.
Recent jurisprudence has affirmed that if a law neither burdens a fundamental right nor
targets a suspect class, we will uphold the classification as long as it bears a rational
relationship to some legitimate government end. In Central Bank Employees Association,
Inc. v. Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas, we declared that "[i]n our jurisdiction, the standard of
analysis of equal protection challenges x x x have followed the rational basis test,
coupled with a deferential attitude to legislative classifications and a reluctance to
invalidate a law unless there is a showing of a clear and unequivocal breach of the
Constitution."

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Page

From the standpoint of the political process, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender
have the same interest in participating in the party-list system on the same basis as other
political parties similarly situated. State intrusion in this case is equally burdensome.
Hence, laws of general application should apply with equal force to LGBTs, and they
deserve to participate in the party-list system on the same basis as other marginalized
and under-represented sectors.

38

The COMELEC posits that the majority of the Philippine population considers
homosexual conduct as immoral and unacceptable, and this constitutes sufficient reason
to disqualify the petitioner. Unfortunately for the respondent, the Philippine electorate has
expressed no such belief. No law exists to criminalize homosexual behavior or
expressions or parties about homosexual behavior. Indeed, even if we were to assume
that public opinion is as the COMELEC describes it, the asserted state interest here
that is, moral disapproval of an unpopular minority is not a legitimate state interest that
is sufficient to satisfy rational basis review under the equal protection clause. The
COMELECs differentiation, and its unsubstantiated claim that Ang Ladlad cannot
contribute to the formulation of legislation that would benefit the nation, furthers no
legitimate state interest other than disapproval of or dislike for a disfavored group.

It bears stressing that our finding that COMELECs act of differentiating LGBTs from
heterosexuals insofar as the party-list system is concerned does not imply that any other
law distinguishing between heterosexuals and homosexuals under different
circumstances would similarly fail. We disagree with the OSGs position that
homosexuals are a class in themselves for the purposes of the equal protection clause.
We are not prepared to single out homosexuals as a separate class meriting special or
differentiated treatment. We have not received sufficient evidence to this effect, and it is
simply unnecessary to make such a ruling today. Petitioner itself has merely demanded
that it be recognized under the same basis as all other groups similarly situated, and that
the COMELEC made "an unwarranted and impermissible classification not justified by
the circumstances of the case."
WHEREFORE, the Petition is hereby GRANTED. The Resolutions of the Commission on
Elections dated November 11, 2009 and December 16, 2009 in SPP No. 09-228 (PL) are
hereby SET ASIDE. The Commission on Elections is directed to GRANT petitioners
application for party-list accreditation. G.R. No. 190582 April 8, 2010 ANG LADLAD
LGBT PARTY vs. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS
3. Social Equality
Section 1. The Congress shall give highest priority to the enactment of measures that
protect and enhance the right of all the people to human dignity, reduce social,
economic, and political inequalities, and remove cultural inequities by equitably
diffusing wealth and political power for the common good.
To this end, the State shall regulate the acquisition, ownership, use, and disposition
of property and its increments. (Art XIII)
Rule: The act of respondent NHA in entering into a contract with a real estate developer
for the construction of low cost housing on the expropriated lots to be sold to qualified
low income beneficiaries cannot be taken to mean as a deviation from the stated public
purpose of their taking. Jurisprudence has it that the expropriation of private land for slum
clearance and urban development is for a public purpose even if the developed area is
later sold to private homeowners, commercials firms, entertainment and service
companies, and other private concerns.
Moreover, the Constitution itself allows the State to undertake, for the common good and
in cooperation with the private sector, a continuing program of urban land reform and
housing which will make at affordable cost decent housing and basic services to
underprivileged and homeless citizens in urban centers and resettlement areas. The
expropriation of private property for the purpose of socialized housing for the
marginalized sector is in furtherance of the social justice provision under Section 1,
Article XIII of the Constitution which provides that:
"SECTION 1. The Congress shall give highest priority to the enactment of measures
that protect and enhance the right of all the people to human dignity, reduce social,
economic, and political inequalities, and remove cultural inequities by equitably
diffusing wealth and political power for the common good.
To this end, the State shall require the acquisition, ownership, use and disposition of
property and its increments."
It follows that the low cost housing project of respondent NHA on the expropriated lots is
compliant with the "public use" requirement. G.R. No. 147511 January 20, 2003
MARINA Z. REYES vs. NATIONAL HOUSING AUTHORITY

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*Case: Petitioner was among the group of more than 300 heavily armed soldiers led by
junior officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) which stormed into the
Oakwood Premier Apartments in Makati City and publicly demanded the resignation of
the President and key national officials. In the aftermath of this eventful episode dubbed

39

4. Other Cases on Equal Protection

as the "Oakwood Incident," petitioner Antonio F. Trillanes IV was charged, along with his
comrades, with coup detat.
Close to four years later, petitioner, who has remained in detention, threw his hat in the
political arena and won a seat in the Senate with a six-year term commencing at noon on
June 30, 2007.
Petitioner now pleads for the same liberal treatment accorded certain detention prisoners
who have also been charged with non-bailable offenses, like former President Joseph
Estrada and former Governor Nur Misuari who were allowed to attend "social functions."
Finding no rhyme and reason in the denial of the more serious request to perform the
duties of a Senator, petitioner harps on an alleged violation of the equal protection
clause.
In arguing against maintaining double standards in the treatment of detention prisoners,
petitioner expressly admits that he intentionally did not seek preferential treatment in the
form of being placed under Senate custody or house arrest, yet he at the same time,
gripes about the granting of house arrest to others.
Rule: Emergency or compelling temporary leaves from imprisonment are allowed to all
prisoners, at the discretion of the authorities or upon court orders. That this discretion
was gravely abused, petitioner failed to establish. In fact, the trial court previously
allowed petitioner to register as a voter in December 2006, file his certificate of candidacy
in February 2007, cast his vote on May 14, 2007, be proclaimed as senator-elect, and
take his oath of office on June 29, 2007. In a seeming attempt to bind or twist the hands
of the trial court lest it be accused of taking a complete turn-around, petitioner largely
banks on these prior grants to him and insists on unending concessions and blanket
authorizations.
Petitioners position fails. On the generality and permanence of his requests alone,
petitioners case fails to compare with the species of allowable leaves. Jaloslos succinctly
expounds:
x x x Allowing accused-appellant to attend congressional sessions and committee
meetings for five (5) days or more in a week will virtually make him a free man with all the
privileges appurtenant to his position. Such an aberrant situation not only elevates
accused-appellants status to that of a special class, it also would be a mockery of the
purposes of the correction system. G.R. No. 179817 June 27, 2008 ANTONIO F.
TRILLANES IV vs. HON. OSCAR PIMENTEL
*Rule: A legislative classification that is reasonable does not offend the constitutional
guaranty of the equal protection of the laws. The classification is considered valid and
reasonable provided that:
(1) it rests on substantial distinctions;
(2) it is germane to the purpose of the law;
(3) it applies, all things being equal, to both present and future conditions; and
(4) it applies equally to all those belonging to the same class.
Uniformity of taxation, like the kindred concept of equal protection, merely requires that
all subjects or objects of taxation, similarly situated, are to be treated alike both in
privileges and liabilities. Uniformity does not forfend classification as long as: (1) the
standards that are used therefor are substantial and not arbitrary, (2) the categorization
is germane to achieve the legislative purpose, (3) the law applies, all things being equal,
to both present and future conditions, and (4) the classification applies equally well to all
those belonging to the same class G.R. No. 163583
April 15, 2009 BRITISH
AMERICAN TOBACCO vs. JOSE ISIDRO N. CAMACHO

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Page

Lehitimong anak ng demonyo; sinungaling; Gago ka talaga Michael, masahol ka pa sa


putang babae o di ba. Yung putang babae ang gumagana lang doon yung ibaba, [dito]
kay Michael ang gumagana ang itaas, o di ba! O, masahol pa sa putang babae yan. Sabi

40

*Case : Petitioner, as host of the program Ang Dating Daan, aired on UNTV 37, made
the following remarks:

ng lola ko masahol pa sa putang babae yan. Sobra ang kasinungalingan ng mga


demonyong ito. x x x
Two days after, before the MTRCB, separate but almost identical affidavit-complaints
were lodged by Jessie L. Galapon and seven other private respondents, all members of
the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC), against petitioner in connection with the above broadcast.
After a preliminary conference in which petitioner appeared, the MTRCB, by Order
preventively suspended the showing of Ang Dating Daan program for 20 days, in
accordance with Section 3(d) of Presidential Decree No. (PD) 1986, creating the
MTRCB, in relation to Sec. 3, Chapter XIII of the 2004 Implementing Rules and
Regulations (IRR) of PD 1986 and Sec. 7, Rule VII of the MTRCB Rules of Procedure.5
The same order also set the case for preliminary investigation.
Petitioner faults the MTRCB for denying him his right to the equal protection of the law,
arguing that, owing to the preventive suspension order, he was unable to answer the
criticisms coming from the INC ministers.
Rule: Petitioners position does not persuade. The equal protection clause demands that
"all persons subject to legislation should be treated alike, under like circumstances and
conditions both in the privileges conferred and liabilities imposed." It guards against
undue favor and individual privilege as well as hostile discrimination. Surely, petitioner
cannot, under the premises, place himself in the same shoes as the INC ministers, who,
for one, are not facing administrative complaints before the MTRCB. For another, he
offers no proof that the said ministers, in their TV programs, use language similar to that
which he used in his own, necessitating the MTRCBs disciplinary action. If the
immediate result of the preventive suspension order is that petitioner remains temporarily
gagged and is unable to answer his critics, this does not become a deprivation of the
equal protection guarantee. The Court need not belabor the fact that the circumstances
of petitioner, as host of Ang Dating Daan, on one hand, and the INC ministers, as hosts
of Ang Tamang Daan, on the other, are, within the purview of this case, simply too
different to even consider whether or not there is a prima facie indication of oppressive
inequality. G.R. No. 164785 April 29, 2009 ELISEO F. SORIANO vs. MA. CONSOLIZA
P. LAGUARDIA
*Case: This petition for prohibition seeks to prevent respondents from implementing and
enforcing Republic Act (RA) 93352 (Attrition Act of 2005) which intends to encourage BIR
and BOC officials and employees to exceed their revenue targets by providing a system of
rewards and sanctions through the creation of a Rewards and Incentives Fund and a
Revenue Performance Evaluation Board.
Petitioners, invoking their right as taxpayers filed this petition challenging the
constitutionality of RA 9335, tax reform legislation. They contend that, by establishing a
system of rewards and incentives, the law "transform[s] the officials and employees of the
BIR and the BOC into mercenaries and bounty hunters" as they will do their best only in
consideration of such rewards. Thus, the system of rewards and incentives invites
corruption and undermines the constitutionally mandated duty of these officials and
employees to serve the people with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty and efficiency.
Petitioners also claim that limiting the scope of the system of rewards and incentives only
to officials and employees of the BIR and the BOC violates the constitutional guarantee of
equal protection. There is no valid basis for classification or distinction as to why such a
system should not apply to officials and employees of all other government agencies.

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The guaranty of equal protection of the laws is not a guaranty of equality in the
application of the laws upon all citizens of the [S]tate. It is not, therefore, a requirement,
in order to avoid the constitutional prohibition against inequality, that every man,

41

Rule: Equality guaranteed under the equal protection clause is equality under the same
conditions and among persons similarly situated; it is equality among equals, not similarity
of treatment of persons who are classified based on substantial differences in relation to
the object to be accomplished. When things or persons are different in fact or
circumstance, they may be treated in law differently. In Victoriano v. Elizalde Rope
Workers Union, this Court declared:

woman and child should be affected alike by a statute. Equality of operation of statutes
does not mean indiscriminate operation on persons merely as such, but on persons
according to the circumstances surrounding them. It guarantees equality, not identity of
rights. The Constitution does not require that things which are different in fact be
treated in law as though they were the same. The equal protection clause does not
forbid discrimination as to things that are different. It does not prohibit legislation which
is limited either in the object to which it is directed or by the territory within which it is to
operate.
The equal protection of the laws clause of the Constitution allows classification.
Classification in law, as in the other departments of knowledge or practice, is the grouping
of things in speculation or practice because they agree with one another in certain
particulars. A law is not invalid because of simple inequality. The very idea of classification
is that of inequality, so that it goes without saying that the mere fact of inequality in no
manner determines the matter of constitutionality. All that is required of a valid
classification is that it be reasonable, which means that the classification should be based
on substantial distinctions which make for real differences, that it must be germane to the
purpose of the law; that it must not be limited to existing conditions only; and that it must
apply equally to each member of the class. This Court has held that the standard is
satisfied if the classification or distinction is based on a reasonable foundation or rational
basis and is not palpably arbitrary.
In the exercise of its power to make classifications for the purpose of enacting laws over
matters within its jurisdiction, the state is recognized as enjoying a wide range of discretion.
It is not necessary that the classification be based on scientific or marked differences of
things or in their relation. Neither is it necessary that the classification be made with
mathematical nicety. Hence, legislative classification may in many cases properly rest on
narrow distinctions, for the equal protection guaranty does not preclude the legislature from
recognizing degrees of evil or harm, and legislation is addressed to evils as they may
appear.
The equal protection clause recognizes a valid classification, that is, a classification that
has a reasonable foundation or rational basis and not arbitrary. With respect to RA 9335,
its expressed public policy is the optimization of the revenue-generation capability and
collection of the BIR and the BOC.23 Since the subject of the law is the revenuegeneration capability and collection of the BIR and the BOC, the incentives and/or
sanctions provided in the law should logically pertain to the said agencies. Moreover, the
law concerns only the BIR and the BOC because they have the common distinct primary
function of generating revenues for the national government through the collection of taxes,
customs duties, fees and charges.
The BIR performs the following functions:
(1) Assess and collect all taxes, fees and charges and account for all revenues collected;
On the other hand, the BOC has the following functions:
(1) Collect custom duties, taxes and the corresponding fees, charges and penalties;
(2) Account for all customs revenues collected;

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*Case: Petitioner is an association of real estate developers and builders in the


Philippines. It impleaded former Executive Secretary Alberto Romulo, then acting
Secretary of Finance Juanita D. Amatong and then Commissioner of Internal Revenue
Guillermo Parayno, Jr. as respondents.

42

Both the BIR and the BOC are bureaus under the DOF. They principally perform the
special function of being the instrumentalities through which the State exercises one of its
great inherent functions taxation. Indubitably, such substantial distinction is germane and
intimately related to the purpose of the law. Hence, the classification and treatment
accorded to the BIR and the BOC under RA 9335 fully satisfy the demands of equal
protection. ABAKADA vs. HON. CESAR V. PURISIMA G.R. No. 66715, August 14,
2008

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Petitioner assails the validity of the imposition of minimum corporate income tax (MCIT)
on corporations and creditable withholding tax (CWT) on sales of real properties
classified as ordinary assets.
Rule: There is no Violation of Equal Protection
Petitioner claims that the revenue regulations are violative of the equal protection clause
because the CWT is being levied only on real estate enterprises. Specifically, petitioner
points out that manufacturing enterprises are not similarly imposed a CWT on their sales,
even if their manner of doing business is not much different from that of a real estate
enterprise. Like a manufacturing concern, a real estate business is involved in a
continuous process of production and it incurs costs and expenditures on a regular basis.
The only difference is that "goods" produced by the real estate business are house and
lot units.
Again, we disagree. The equal protection clause under the Constitution means that "no
person or class of persons shall be deprived of the same protection of laws which is
enjoyed by other persons or other classes in the same place and in like circumstances."
Stated differently, all persons belonging to the same class shall be taxed alike. It follows
that the guaranty of the equal protection of the laws is not violated by legislation based
on a reasonable classification. Classification, to be valid, must (1) rest on substantial
distinctions; (2) be germane to the purpose of the law; (3) not be limited to existing
conditions only and (4) apply equally to all members of the same class.
The taxing power has the authority to make reasonable classifications for purposes of
taxation. Inequalities which result from a singling out of one particular class for taxation,
or exemption, infringe no constitutional limitation. The real estate industry is, by itself, a
class and can be validly treated differently from other business enterprises.
Petitioner, in insisting that its industry should be treated similarly as manufacturing
enterprises, fails to realize that what distinguishes the real estate business from other
manufacturing enterprises, for purposes of the imposition of the CWT, is not their
production processes but the prices of their goods sold and the number of transactions
involved. The income from the sale of a real property is bigger and its frequency of
transaction limited, making it less cumbersome for the parties to comply with the
withholding tax scheme.
On the other hand, each manufacturing enterprise may have tens of thousands of
transactions with several thousand customers every month involving both minimal and
substantial amounts. To require the customers of manufacturing enterprises, at present,
to withhold the taxes on each of their transactions with their tens or hundreds of suppliers
may result in an inefficient and unmanageable system of taxation and may well defeat
the purpose of the withholding tax system.
Petitioner counters that there are other businesses wherein expensive items are also
sold infrequently, e.g. heavy equipment, jewelry, furniture, appliance and other capital
goods yet these are not similarly subjected to the CWT. As already discussed, the
Secretary may adopt any reasonable method to carry out its functions. Under Section
57(B), it may choose what to subject to CWT.
A reading of Section 2.57.2 (M) of RR 2-98 will also show that petitioners argument is
not accurate. The sales of manufacturers who have clients within the top 5,000
corporations, as specified by the BIR, are also subject to CWT for their transactions with
said 5,000 corporations. G.R. No. 160756 March 9, 2010 CHAMBER OF REAL
ESTATE AND BUILDERS' ASSOCIATIONS, INC., vs. THE HON. EXECUTIVE
SECRETARY ALBERTO ROMULO

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Page

E.O. No. 1 violates the equal protection clause as it selectively targets for investigation
and prosecution officials and personnel of the previous administration as if corruption is

43

*Case: Barely a month after the issuance of Executive Order No. 1, the petitioners asked
the Court to declare it unconstitutional and to enjoin the PTC from performing its
functions

their peculiar species even as it excludes those of the other administrations, past and
present, who may be indictable.
Rule: Although the purpose of the Truth Commission falls within the investigative power
of the President, the Court finds difficulty in upholding the constitutionality of Executive
Order No. 1 in view of its apparent transgression of the equal protection clause enshrined
in Section 1, Article III (Bill of Rights) of the 1987 Constitution. Section 1 reads:
Section 1. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process
of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws.
The petitioners assail Executive Order No. 1 because it is violative of this constitutional
safeguard. They contend that it does not apply equally to all members of the same class
such that the intent of singling out the "previous administration" as its sole object makes
the PTC an "adventure in partisan hostility." Thus, in order to be accorded with validity,
the commission must also cover reports of graft and corruption in virtually all
administrations previous to that of former President Arroyo.
Concept of the Equal Protection Clause: One of the basic principles on which this
government was founded is that of the equality of right which is embodied in Section 1,
Article III of the 1987 Constitution. The equal protection of the laws is embraced in the
concept of due process, as every unfair discrimination offends the requirements of justice
and fair play. It has been embodied in a separate clause, however, to provide for a more
specific guaranty against any form of undue favoritism or hostility from the government.
Arbitrariness in general may be challenged 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." It "requires public bodies and institutions to treat
similarly situated individuals in a similar manner." "The purpose of the equal
protection clause is to secure every person within a states jurisdiction against
intentional and arbitrary discrimination, whether occasioned by the express terms of a
statue or by its improper execution through the states duly constituted authorities."
"In other words, the concept of equal justice under the law requires the state to
govern impartially, and it may not draw distinctions between individuals solely on
differences that are irrelevant to a legitimate governmental objective."
The equal protection clause is aimed at all official state actions, not just those of the
legislature. Its inhibitions cover all the departments of the government including the
political and executive departments, and extend to all actions of a state denying equal
protection of the laws, through whatever agency or whatever guise is taken.

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Atty. Edgar B. Pascua II

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For a classification to meet the requirements of constitutionality, it must include or


embrace all persons who naturally belong to the class. "The classification will be
regarded as invalid if all the members of the class are not similarly treated, both as to
rights conferred and obligations imposed. It is not necessary that the classification be
made with absolute symmetry, in the sense that the members of the class should
possess the same characteristics in equal degree. Substantial similarity will suffice; and
as long as this is achieved, all those covered by the classification are to be treated
equally. The mere fact that an individual belonging to a class differs from the other
members, as long as that class is substantially distinguishable from all others, does not
justify the non-application of the law to him."

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It, however, does not require the universal application of the laws to all persons or things
without distinction. What it simply requires is equality among equals as determined
according to a valid classification. Indeed, the equal protection clause permits
classification. Such classification, however, to be valid must pass the test of
reasonableness. The test has four requisites: (1) The classification rests on substantial
distinctions; (2) It is germane to the purpose of the law; (3) It is not limited to existing
conditions only; and (4) It applies equally to all members of the same class. "Superficial
differences do not make for a valid classification."

The classification must not be based on existing circumstances only, or so constituted as


to preclude addition to the number included in the class. It must be of such a nature as to
embrace all those who may thereafter be in similar circumstances and conditions. It must
not leave out or "underinclude" those that should otherwise fall into a certain
classification. As elucidated in Victoriano v. Elizalde Rope Workers' Union and reiterated
in a long line of cases,
The guaranty of equal protection of the laws is not a guaranty of equality in the
application of the laws upon all citizens of the state. It is not, therefore, a requirement, in
order to avoid the constitutional prohibition against inequality, that every man, woman
and child should be affected alike by a statute. Equality of operation of statutes does not
mean indiscriminate operation on persons merely as such, but on persons according to
the circumstances surrounding them. It guarantees equality, not identity of rights. The
Constitution does not require that things which are different in fact be treated in law as
though they were the same. The equal protection clause does not forbid discrimination
as to things that are different. It does not prohibit legislation which is limited either in the
object to which it is directed or by the territory within which it is to operate.
The equal protection of the laws clause of the Constitution allows classification.
Classification in law, as in the other departments of knowledge or practice, is the
grouping of things in speculation or practice because they agree with one another in
certain particulars. A law is not invalid because of simple inequality. The very idea of
classification is that of inequality, so that it goes without saying that the mere fact of
inequality in no manner determines the matter of constitutionality. All that is required of a
valid classification is that it be reasonable, which means that the classification should be
based on substantial distinctions which make for real differences, that it must be
germane to the purpose of the law; that it must not be limited to existing conditions only;
and that it must apply equally to each member of the class. This Court has held that the
standard is satisfied if the classification or distinction is based on a reasonable
foundation or rational basis and is not palpably arbitrary.
Applying these precepts to this case, Executive Order No. 1 should be struck down as
violative of the equal protection clause. The clear mandate of the envisioned truth
commission is to investigate and find out the truth "concerning the reported cases of graft
and corruption during the previous administration" only. The intent to single out the
previous administration is plain, patent and manifest.
In this regard, it must be borne in mind that the Arroyo administration is but just a
member of a class, that is, a class of past administrations. It is not a class of its own. Not
to include past administrations similarly situated constitutes arbitrariness which the equal
protection clause cannot sanction. Such discriminating differentiation clearly reverberates
to label the commission as a vehicle for vindictiveness and selective retribution.
Though the OSG enumerates several differences between the Arroyo administration and
other past administrations, these distinctions are not substantial enough to merit the
restriction of the investigation to the "previous administration" only. The reports of
widespread corruption in the Arroyo administration cannot be taken as basis for
distinguishing said administration from earlier administrations which were also blemished
by similar widespread reports of impropriety. They are not inherent in, and do not inure
solely to, the Arroyo administration. As Justice Isagani Cruz put it, "Superficial
differences do not make for a valid classification."

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The probability that there would be difficulty in unearthing evidence or that the earlier
reports involving the earlier administrations were already inquired into is beside the point.
Obviously, deceased presidents and cases which have already prescribed can no longer
be the subjects of inquiry by the PTC. Neither is the PTC expected to conduct

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The public needs to be enlightened why Executive Order No. 1 chooses to limit the
scope of the intended investigation to the previous administration only. The OSG
ventures to opine that "to include other past administrations, at this point, may
unnecessarily overburden the commission and lead it to lose its effectiveness." The
reason given is specious. It is without doubt irrelevant to the legitimate and noble
objective of the PTC to stamp out or "end corruption and the evil it breeds."

simultaneous investigations of previous administrations, given the bodys limited time and
resources. "The law does not require the impossible" (Lex non cogit ad impossibilia).
Given the foregoing physical and legal impossibility, the Court logically recognizes the
unfeasibility of investigating almost a centurys worth of graft cases. However, the fact
remains that Executive Order No. 1 suffers from arbitrary classification. The PTC, to be
true to its mandate of searching for the truth, must not exclude the other past
administrations. The PTC must, at least, have the authority to investigate all past
administrations. While reasonable prioritization is permitted, it should not be arbitrary lest
it be struck down for being unconstitutional. In the often quoted language of Yick Wo v.
Hopkins,
Though the law itself be fair on its face and impartial in appearance, yet, if applied
and administered by public authority with an evil eye and an unequal hand, so as
practically to make unjust and illegal discriminations between persons in similar
circumstances, material to their rights, the denial of equal justice is still within the
prohibition of the constitution.
It could be argued that considering that the PTC is an ad hoc body, its scope is limited.
The Court, however, is of the considered view that although its focus is restricted, the
constitutional guarantee of equal protection under the laws should not in any way be
circumvented. The Constitution is the fundamental and paramount law of the nation to
which all other laws must conform and in accordance with which all private rights
determined and all public authority administered. Laws that do not conform to the
Constitution should be stricken down for being unconstitutional. While the thrust of the
PTC is specific, that is, for investigation of acts of graft and corruption, Executive Order
No. 1, to survive, must be read together with the provisions of the Constitution. To
exclude the earlier administrations in the guise of "substantial distinctions" would only
confirm the petitioners lament that the subject executive order is only an "adventure in
partisan hostility." In the case of US v. Cyprian, it was written: "A rather limited number of
such classifications have routinely been held or assumed to be arbitrary; those include:
race, national origin, gender, political activity or membership in a political party, union
activity or membership in a labor union, or more generally the exercise of first
amendment rights."
To reiterate, in order for a classification to meet the requirements of constitutionality, it
must include or embrace all persons who naturally belong to the class. "Such a
classification must not be based on existing circumstances only, or so constituted as to
preclude additions to the number included within a class, but must be of such a nature as
to embrace all those who may thereafter be in similar circumstances and conditions.
Furthermore, all who are in situations and circumstances which are relative to the
discriminatory legislation and which are indistinguishable from those of the members of
the class must be brought under the influence of the law and treated by it in the same
way as are the members of the class."

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In Executive Order No. 1, however, there is no inadvertence. That the previous


administration was picked out was deliberate and intentional as can be gleaned from the
fact that it was underscored at least three times in the assailed executive order. It must
be noted that Executive Order No. 1 does not even mention any particular act, event or
report to be focused on unlike the investigative commissions created in the past. "The
equal protection clause is violated by purposeful and intentional discrimination."

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The Court is not unaware that "mere underinclusiveness is not fatal to the validity of a
law under the equal protection clause." "Legislation is not unconstitutional merely
because it is not all-embracing and does not include all the evils within its reach." It has
been written that a regulation challenged under the equal protection clause is not devoid
of a rational predicate simply because it happens to be incomplete. In several instances,
the underinclusiveness was not considered a valid reason to strike down a law or
regulation where the purpose can be attained in future legislations or regulations. These
cases refer to the "step by step" process. "With regard to equal protection claims, a
legislature does not run the risk of losing the entire remedial scheme simply because it
fails, through inadvertence or otherwise, to cover every evil that might conceivably have
been attacked."

To disprove petitioners contention that there is deliberate discrimination, the OSG


clarifies that the commission does not only confine itself to cases of large scale graft and
corruption committed during the previous administration. The OSG points to Section 17
of Executive Order No. 1, which provides:
SECTION 17. Special Provision Concerning Mandate. If and when in the judgment of
the President there is a need to expand the mandate of the Commission as defined in
Section 1 hereof to include the investigation of cases and instances of graft and
corruption during the prior administrations, such mandate may be so extended
accordingly by way of a supplemental Executive Order.
The Court is not convinced. Although Section 17 allows the President the discretion to
expand the scope of investigations of the PTC so as to include the acts of graft and
corruption committed in other past administrations, it does not guarantee that they would
be covered in the future. Such expanded mandate of the commission will still depend on
the whim and caprice of the President. If he would decide not to include them, the
section would then be meaningless. This will only fortify the fears of the petitioners that
the Executive Order No. 1 was "crafted to tailor-fit the prosecution of officials and
personalities of the Arroyo administration." G.R. No. 192935 December 7, 2010
LOUIS "BAROK" C. BIRAOGO vs. THE PHILIPPINE TRUTH COMMISSION OF 2010
*Case: Contending that the enactment and implementation of R.A. No. 9335 (Attrition
Act of 2005,) are tainted with constitutional infirmities in violation of the fundamental
rights of its members, petitioner directly filed the present petition against respondents
Issue: Whether R.A. No. 9335 and its IRR violate the rights of Petitioners members to:
equal protection of laws,
Rule: We resolve the issue in the negative. Equal protection simply provides that all
persons or things similarly situated should be treated in a similar manner, both as to
rights conferred and responsibilities imposed. The purpose of the equal protection
clause is to secure every person within a states jurisdiction against intentional and
arbitrary discrimination, whether occasioned by the express terms of a statute or by its
improper execution through the states duly constituted authorities. In other words, the
concept of equal justice under the law requires the state to govern impartially, and it
may not draw distinctions between individuals solely on differences that are irrelevant to
a legitimate governmental objective.
Both the BIR and the BOC are bureaus under the DOF. They principally perform the
special function of being the instrumentalities through which the State exercises one of
its great inherent functions taxation. Indubitably, such substantial distinction is
germane and intimately related to the purpose of the law. Hence, the classification and
treatment accorded to the BIR and the BOC under RA [No.] 9335 fully satisfy the
demands of equal protection. G.R. No. 181704 December 6, 2011 BUREAU OF
CUSTOMS EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION (BOCEA) vs. HON. MARGARITO B. TEVES
*Case: On 7 November 2003, petitioner Commissioner of Customs issued CMO 272003. Under the Memorandum, for tariff purposes, wheat was classified according to the
following: (1) importer or consignee; (2) country of origin; and (3) port of discharge. The
regulation provided an exclusive list of corporations, ports of discharge, commodity
descriptions and countries of origin. Depending on these factors, wheat would be
classified either as food grade or feed grade. The corresponding tariff for food grade
wheat was 3%, for feed grade, 7%.
Respondent claimed that the equal protection clause of the Constitution was violated
when the regulation treated non-flour millers differently from flour millers for no reason at
all.

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The equal protection clause means that no person or class of persons shall be deprived
of the same protection of laws enjoyed by other persons or other classes in the same
place in like circumstances. Thus, the guarantee of the equal protection of laws is not

47

Rule: We hold that CMO 27-2003 is unconstitutional for being violative of the equal
protection clause of the Constitution.

violated if there is a reasonable classification. For a classification to be reasonable, it


must be shown that (1) it rests on substantial distinctions; (2) it is germane to the
purpose of the law; (3) it is not limited to existing conditions only; and (4) it applies
equally to all members of the same class. Unfortunately, CMO 27-2003 does not meet
these requirements. We do not see how the quality of wheat is affected by who imports
it, where it is discharged, or which country it came from.
Thus, on the one hand, even if other millers excluded from CMO 27-2003 have imported
food grade wheat, the product would still be declared as feed grade wheat, a
classification subjecting them to 7% tariff. On the other hand, even if the importers listed
under CMO 27-2003 have imported feed grade wheat, they would only be made to pay
3% tariff, thus depriving the state of the taxes due. The regulation, therefore, does not
become disadvantageous to respondent only, but even to the state.
It is also not clear how the regulation intends to "monitor more closely wheat
importations and thus prevent their misclassification." A careful study of CMO 27-2003
shows that it not only fails to achieve this end, but results in the opposite. The
application of the regulation forecloses the possibility that other corporations that are
excluded from the list import food grade wheat; at the same time, it creates an
assumption that those who meet the criteria do not import feed grade wheat. In the first
case, importers are unnecessarily burdened to prove the classification of their wheat
imports; while in the second, the state carries that burden. Petitioner Commissioner of
Customs also went beyond his powers when the regulation limited the customs officers
duties mandated by Section 1403 of the Tariff and Customs Law, as amended.
In summary, petitioners violated respondents right to due process in the issuance of
CMO 27-2003 when they failed to observe the requirements under the Revised
Administrative Code. Petitioners likewise violated respondents right to equal protection
of laws when they provided for an unreasonable classification in the application of the
regulation. G.R. No. 179579 February 1, 2012 COMMISSIONER OF CUSTOMS and
the DISTRICT COLLECTOR OF THE PORT OF SUBIC vs. HYPERMIX FEEDS
CORPORATION
Case: A husband is now before the Court assailing the constitutionality of R.A. 9262 as
being violative of the equal protection clause.
Rule: R.A. 9262 does not violate the guaranty of equal protection of the laws.
Equal protection simply requires that all persons or things similarly situated should be
treated alike, both as to rights conferred and responsibilities imposed. The oft-repeated
disquisition in the early case of Victoriano v. Elizalde Rope Workers' Union (158 Phil. 60,
86-87 - 1974)is instructive:

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The equal protection of the laws clause of the Constitution allows classification.
Classification in law, as in the other departments of knowledge or practice, is the
grouping of things in speculation or practice because they agree with one another in
certain particulars. A law is not invalid because of simple inequality. The very idea of
classification is that of inequality, so that it goes without saying that the mere fact of
inequality in no manner determines the matter of constitutionality. All that is required of
a valid classification is that it be reasonable, which means that the classification should
be based on substantial distinctions which make for real differences; that it must be
germane to the purpose of the law; that it must not be limited to existing conditions

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The guaranty of equal protection of the laws is not a guaranty of equality in the
application of the laws upon all citizens of the state. It is not, therefore, a requirement,
in order to avoid the constitutional prohibition against inequality, that every man,
woman and child should be affected alike by a statute. Equality of operation of statutes
does not mean indiscriminate operation on persons merely as such, but on persons
according to the circumstances surrounding them. It guarantees equality, not identity of
rights. The Constitution does not require that things which are different in fact be
treated in law as though they were the same. The equal protection clause does not
forbid discrimination as to things that are different. It does not prohibit legislation which
is limited either in the object to which it is directed or by the territory within which it is to
operate.

only; and that it must apply equally to each member of the class. This Court has held
that the standard is satisfied if the classification or distinction is based on a reasonable
foundation or rational basis and is not palpably arbitrary.
Measured against the foregoing jurisprudential yardstick, we find that R.A. 9262 is based
on a valid classification as shall hereinafter be discussed and, as such, did not violate the
equal protection clause by favoring women over men as victims of violence and abuse to
whom the State extends its protection.
I. R.A. 9262 rests on substantial distinctions.
The unequal power relationship between women and men; the fact that women are
more likely than men to be victims of violence; and the widespread gender bias and
prejudice against women all make for real differences justifying the classification under
the law.
A. Unequal power relationship between men and women
Violence against women (VAW) is deemed to be closely linked with the unequal
power relationship between women and men otherwise known as "gender-based
violence". Societal norms and traditions dictate people to think men are the leaders,
pursuers, providers, and take on dominant roles in society while women are
nurturers, men's companions and supporters, and take on subordinate roles in
society. This perception leads to men gaining more power over women. With power
comes the need to control to retain that power. And VAW is a form of men's
expression of controlling women to retain powe
B. Women are the "usual" and "most likely" victims of violence.
At the time of the presentation of Senate Bill No. 2723, official statistics on violence
against women and children show that
x x x physical injuries had the highest number of cases at 5,058 in 2002
representing 55.63% of total cases reported (9,903). And for the first semester of
2003, there were 2,381 reported cases out of 4,354 cases which represent 54.31%.
xxx (T)he total number of women in especially difficult circumstances served by the
Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for the year 2002, there
are 1,417 physically abused/maltreated cases out of the total of 5,608 cases. xxx
(T)here are 1,091 DSWD cases out of a total number of 3,471 cases for the first
semester of 2003. Female violence comprised more than 90% of all forms of abuse
and violence and more than 90% of these reported cases were committed by the
women's intimate partners such as their husbands and live-in partners.
C. Gender bias and prejudices
From the initial report to the police through prosecution, trial, and sentencing,
crimes against women are often treated differently and less seriously than other
crimes. The widespread gender bias against victims of rape or domestic violence,
subjecting them to "double victimization" first at the hands of the offender and
then of the legal system.
Whenever violence occurs in the family, the police treat it as a private matter and
advise the parties to settle the conflict themselves. Once the complainant brings the
case to the prosecutor, the latter is hesitant to file the complaint for fear that it might
later be withdrawn. This lack of response or reluctance to be involved by the police
and prosecution reinforces the escalating, recurring and often serious nature of
domestic violence.

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Sadly, our own courts, as well, have exhibited prejudices and biases against our
women.

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II. The classification is germane to the purpose of the law.

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The distinction between men and women is germane to the purpose of R.A. 9262,
which is to address violence committed against women and children, spelled out in its
Declaration of Policy, as follows:
SEC. 2. Declaration of Policy. It is hereby declared that the State values the
dignity of women and children and guarantees full respect for human rights. The
State also recognizes the need to protect the family and its members particularly
women and children, from violence and threats to their personal safety and
security.
Towards this end, the State shall exert efforts to address violence committed
against women and children in keeping with the fundamental freedoms guaranteed
under the Constitution and the provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against
Women, Convention on the Rights of the Child and other international human rights
instruments of which the Philippines is a party.
III. The classification is not limited to existing conditions only, and apply equally to all
members
Moreover, the application of R.A. 9262 is not limited to the existing conditions when it
was promulgated, but to future conditions as well, for as long as the safety and security
of women and their children are threatened by violence and abuse.
R.A. 9262 applies equally to all women and children who suffer violence and abuse.
Section 3 thereof defines VAWC as:
x x x any act or a series of acts committed by any person against a woman who is
his wife, former wife, or against a woman with whom the person has or had a
sexual or dating relationship, or with whom he has a common child, or against her
child whether legitimate or illegitimate, within or without the family abode, which
result in or is likely to result in physical, sexual, psychological harm or suffering, or
economic abuse including threats of such acts, battery, assault, coercion,
harassment or arbitrary deprivation of liberty. It includes, but is not limited to, the
following acts:
A. "Physical Violence" refers to acts that include bodily or physical harm;
B. "Sexual violence" refers to an act which is sexual in nature, committed against a
woman or her child. It includes, but is not limited to:
a) rape, sexual harassment, acts of lasciviousness, treating a woman or her
child as a sex object, making demeaning and sexually suggestive remarks,
physically attacking the sexual parts of the victim's body, forcing her/him to
watch obscene publications and indecent shows or forcing the woman or her
child to do indecent acts and/or make films thereof, forcing the wife and
mistress/lover to live in the conjugal home or sleep together in the same room
with the abuser;
b) acts causing or attempting to cause the victim to engage in any sexual
activity by force, threat of force, physical or other harm or threat of physical or
other harm or coercion;

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C. "Psychological violence" refers to acts or omissions causing or likely to cause


mental or emotional suffering of the victim such as but not limited to intimidation,
harassment, stalking, damage to property, public ridicule or humiliation, repeated
verbal abuse and marital infidelity. It includes causing or allowing the victim to
witness the physical, sexual or psychological abuse of a member of the family to
which the victim belongs, or to witness pornography in any form or to witness
abusive injury to pets or to unlawful or unwanted deprivation of the right to custody
and/or visitation of common children.

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c) Prostituting the woman or child.

D. "Economic abuse" refers to acts that make or attempt to make a woman


financially dependent which includes, but is not limited to the following:
1. withdrawal of financial support or preventing the victim from engaging in any
legitimate profession, occupation, business or activity, except in cases wherein
the other spouse/partner objects on valid, serious and moral grounds as defined
in Article 73 of the Family Code;
2. deprivation or threat of deprivation of financial resources and the right to the
use and enjoyment of the conjugal, community or property owned in common;
3. destroying household property;
4. controlling the victims' own money or properties or solely controlling the
conjugal money or properties.
It should be stressed that the acts enumerated in the aforequoted provision are
attributable to research that has exposed the dimensions and dynamics of battery.
The acts described here are also found in the U.N. Declaration on the Elimination of
Violence Against Women. Hence, the argument advanced by petitioner that the
definition of what constitutes abuse removes the difference between violent action
and simple marital tiffs is tenuous.
There is nothing in the definition of VAWC that is vague and ambiguous that will
confuse petitioner in his defense. The acts enumerated above are easily
understood and provide adequate contrast between the innocent and the prohibited
acts. They are worded with sufficient definiteness that persons of ordinary
intelligence can understand what conduct is prohibited, and need not guess at its
meaning nor differ in its application. Yet, petitioner insists that phrases like
"depriving or threatening to deprive the woman or her child of a legal right," "solely
controlling the conjugal or common money or properties," "marital infidelity," and
"causing mental or emotional anguish" are so vague that they make every quarrel a
case of spousal abuse. However, we have stressed 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.
There is likewise no merit to the contention that R.A. 9262 singles out the husband or
father as the culprit. As defined above, VAWC may likewise be committed "against a
woman with whom the person has or had a sexual or dating relationship." Clearly, the
use of the gender-neutral word "person" who has or had a sexual or dating relationship
with the woman encompasses even lesbian relationships. Moreover, while the law
provides that the offender be related or connected to the victim by marriage, former
marriage, or a sexual or dating relationship, it does not preclude the application of the
principle of conspiracy under the Revised Penal Code (RPC). Thus, in the case of GoTan v. Spouses Tan, the parents-in-law of Sharica Mari L. Go-Tan, the victim, were held
to be proper respondents in the case filed by the latter upon the allegation that they and
their son (Go-Tan's husband) had community of design and purpose in tormenting her by
giving her insufficient financial support; harassing and pressuring her to be ejected from
the family home; and in repeatedly abusing her verbally, emotionally, mentally and
physically. G.R. No. 179267
June 25, 2013 JESUS C. GARCIA vs. THE
HONORABLE RAY ALAN T. DRILON

II. REQUIREMENTS FOR FAIR PROCEDURE

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Section 2. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and
effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any
purpose shall be inviolable, and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue

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A. Arrests, searches and Seizures, Privacy of Communications

except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after


examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may
produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or
things to be seized. (Art III)
Section 3. 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.
Any evidence obtained in violation of this or the preceding section shall be
inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding. (Art III)39
1. Requirements for Search Warrants
Rule: The Bill of Rights is the bedrock of constitutional government. If people are stripped
naked of their rights as human beings, democracy cannot survive and government
becomes meaningless. This explains why the Bill of Rights, contained as it is in Article III of
the Constitution, occupies a position of primacy in the fundamental law way above the
articles on governmental power.
The right against unreasonable search and seizure in turn is at the top of the hierarchy of
rights, next only to, if not on the same plane as, the right to life, liberty and property, which
is protected by the due process clause. This is as it should be for, as stressed by a couple
of noted freedom advocates, the right to personal security which, along with the right to
privacy, is the foundation of the right against unreasonable search and seizure "includes
the right to exist, and the right to enjoyment of life while existing."
Unreasonable searches and seizures are the menace against which the constitutional
guarantees afford full protection. While the power to search and seize may at times be
necessary to the public welfare, still it may be exercised and the law enforced without
transgressing the constitutional rights of the citizens, for the enforcement of no statute is of
sufficient importance to justify indifference to the basic principles of government A.M. No.
P-08-2519 November 19, 2008 (Formerly A.M. OCA IPI No. 05-2155-P) ANONYMOUS
LETTER-COMPLAINT AGAINST ATTY. MIGUEL MORALES, CLERK OF COURT,
METROPOLITAN TRIAL COURT OF MANILA
RULE 126, Rules of Court
Search and Seizure
Section 1. Search warrant defined. A search warrant is an order in writing issued in the name of the People of the
Philippines, signed by a judge and directed to a peace officer, commanding him to search for personal property described
therein and bring it before the court.
Section 2. Court where application for search warrant shall be filed. An application for search warrant shall be filed with
the following:
a) Any court within whose territorial jurisdiction a crime was committed.
b) For compelling reasons stated in the application, any court within the judicial region where the crime was
committed if the place of the commission of the crime is known, or any court within the judicial region where the
warrant shall be enforced.
However, if the criminal action has already been filed, the application shall only be made in the court where the criminal
action is pending.
Section 3. Personal property to be seized. A search warrant may be issued for the search and seizure of personal
property:
(a) Subject of the offense;
(b) Stolen or embezzled and other proceeds, or fruits of the offense; or

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There is no question that evidence obtained as a result of an illegal search or seizure is


inadmissible in any proceeding for any purpose. That is the absolute prohibition of Article III, Section
3(2), of the Constitution. This is the celebrated exclusionary rule based on the justification given by
Judge Learned Hand that "only in case the prosecution, which itself controls the seizing officials,
knows that it cannot profit by their wrong will the wrong be repressed."

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39

(c) Used or intended to be used as the means of committing an offense.


Section 4. Requisites for issuing search warrant. A search warrant shall not issue except upon probable cause in
connection with one specific offense to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation
of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the things
to be seized which may be anywhere in the Philippines.
Section 5. Examination of complainant; record. The judge must, before issuing the warrant, personally examine in the
form of searching questions and answers, in writing and under oath, the complainant and the witnesses he may produce
on facts personally known to them and attach to the record their sworn statements, together with the affidavits submitted.
Section 6. Issuance and form of search warrant. If the judge is satisfied of the existence of facts upon which the
application is based or that there is probable cause to believe that they exist, he shall issue the warrant, which must be
substantially in the form prescribed by these Rules.
Section 7. Right to break door or window to effect search. The officer, if refused admittance to the place of directed
search after giving notice of his purpose and authority, may break open any outer or inner door or window of a house or
any part of a house or anything therein to execute the warrant or liberate himself or any person lawfully aiding him when
unlawfully detained therein.
Section 8. Search of house, room, or premise to be made in presence of two witnesses. No search of a house, room,
or any other premise shall be made except in the presence of the lawful occupant thereof or any member of his family or
in the absence of the latter, two witnesses of sufficient age and discretion residing in the same locality.
Section 9. Time of making search. The warrant must direct that it be served in the day time, unless the affidavit asserts
that the property is on the person or in the place ordered to be searched, in which case a direction may be inserted that it
be served at any time of the day or night.
Section 10. Validity of search warrant. A search warrant shall be valid for ten (10) days from its date. Thereafter it shall
be void.
Section 11. Receipt for the property seized. The officer seizing property under the warrant must give a detailed receipt
for the same to the lawful occupant of the premises in whose presence the search and seizure were made, or in the
absence of such occupant, must, in the presence of at least two witnesses of sufficient age and discretion residing in the
same locality, leave a receipt in the place in which he found the seized property.
Section 12. Delivery of property and inventory thereof to court; return and proceedings thereon.
(a) The officer must forthwith deliver the property seized to the judge who issued the warrant, together with a true
inventory thereof duly verified under oath.
(b) Ten (10) days after issuance of the search warrant, the issuing judge shall ascertain if the return has been made, and
if none, shall summon the person to whom the warrant was issued and require him to explain why no return was made. If
the return has been made, the judge shall ascertain whether section 11 of this Rule has been complained with and shall
require that the property seized be delivered to him. The judge shall see to it that subsection (a) hereof has been complied
with.
(c) The return on the search warrant shall be filed and kept by the custodian of the log book on search warrants who shall
enter therein the date of the return, the result, and other actions of the judge.
A violation of this section shall constitute contempt of court.(11a)
Section 13. Search incident to lawful arrest. A person lawfully arrested may be searched for dangerous weapons or
anything which may have been used or constitute proof in the commission of an offense without a search warrant.

40

Page

What is a Search Warrant? - A search warrant is an order in writing issued


in the name of the People of the Philippines, signed by a judge and directed
to a peace officer, commanding him to search for personal property
described therein and bring it before the court.40

Section 1. Search warrant defined., Rule 126, Rules of Court

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2016

53

Section 14. Motion to quash a search warrant or to suppress evidence; where to file. A motion to quash a search
warrant and/or to suppress evidence obtained thereby may be filed in and acted upon only by the court where the
action has been instituted. If no criminal action has been instituted, the motion may be filed in and resolved by the court
that issued the search warrant. However, if such court failed to resolve the motion and a criminal case is subsequent
filed in another court, the motion shall be resolved by the latter court.

Atty. Edgar B. Pascua II

Where is the application filed? An application for search warrant shall be


filed with the following:
a) Any court within whose territorial jurisdiction a crime was committed.
b) For compelling reasons stated in the application, any court within the
judicial region where the crime was committed if the place of the
commission of the crime is known, or any court within the judicial region
where the warrant shall be enforced.
However, if the criminal action has already been filed, the application shall
only be made in the court where the criminal action is pending.41
What are the requisites for the issuance of a search warrant? - A search
warrant shall not issue except
a. upon probable cause
such facts and circumstances which would lead a reasonable discreet and prudent
man to believe that an offense has been committed and that the objects sought in
connection with the offense are in the place sought to be searched.

b. in connection with one specific offense


c. (probable cause) to be determined personally by the judge after
examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the
witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to be
searched and the things to be seized which may be anywhere in the
Philippines42
The judge must, before issuing the warrant, personally examine in the form
of searching questions and answers, in writing and under oath, the
complainant and the witnesses he may produce on facts personally known
to them and attach to the record their sworn statements, together with the
affidavits submitted.43
Examination Under Oath or Affirmation
Rule: The oath required must refer to the truth of the facts within the personal knowledge
of the petitioner or his witnesses, because the purpose thereof is to convince the
committing magistrate, not the individual making the affidavit and seeking the issuance of
the warrant, of the existence of probable cause The true test of sufficiency of an affidavit
to warrant issuance of a search warrant is whether it has been drawn in such a manner
that perjury could be charged thereon and affiant be held liable for damages caused
G.R. No. L-45358 January 29, 1937 NARCISO ALVAREZ vs. CFI

Particularly describing the things to be seized

54

Rule: A search warrant may be said to particularly describe the things to be seized when
the description therein is as specific as the circumstances will ordinarily allow (People v.
Rubio, 57 Phil. 384); or when the description expresses a conclusion of fact not of law
by which the warrant officer may be guided in making the search and seizure (idem.,
dissent of Abad Santos, J.); or when the things described are limited to those which bear
direct relation to the offense for which the warrant is being issued Bache & Co. (Phil.),
Inc. vs. Ruiz, 37 SCRA 823

41

Page

Section 2. Court where application for search warrant shall be filed.


Section 4. Requisites for issuing search warrant.
43 Section 5. Examination of complainant; record.
42

Constitutional Law

2016

Atty. Edgar B. Pascua II

The constitutional requirement of reasonable particularity of description of


the things to be seized is primarily meant to enable the law enforcers
serving the warrant to:
(1) readily identify the properties to be seized and thus prevent them
from seizing the wrong items44; and
(2) leave said peace officers with no discretion regarding the articles to be
seized and thus prevent unreasonable searches and seizures.45
What the Constitution seeks to avoid are search warrants of broad or
general characterization or sweeping descriptions, which will authorize
police officers to undertake a fishing expedition to seize and confiscate
any and all kinds of evidence or articles relating to an offense.46
However, it is not required that technical precision of description be
required47, particularly, where by the nature of the goods to be seized,
their description must be rather general, since the requirement of a
technical description would mean that no warrant could issue.48
Rule: The things to be seized must be described with particularity. Technical precision of
description is not required. It is only necessary that there be reasonable particularity and
certainty as to the identity of the property to be searched for and seized, so that the
warrant shall not be a mere roving commission. Indeed, the law does not require that the
things to be seized must be described in precise and minute detail as to leave no room
for doubt on the part of the searching authorities. If this were the rule, it would be virtually
impossible for the applicants to obtain a warrant as they would not know exactly what
kind of things to look for. Any description of the place or thing to be searched that will
enable the officer making the search with reasonable certainty to locate such place or
thing is sufficient. Vallejo v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 156413, 14 April 2004, 427
SCRA 658.

Particularly describing the place to be searched


The particularity of the description of the place to be searched is required
"wherever and whenever it is feasible. (People v. Veloso, 48 Phil. 169,
1925).
*Case: Accused-appellant insists that the items allegedly seized from her house are
inadmissible as evidence because the Search Warrant issued for her house was invalid
for failing to comply with the constitutional and statutory requirements. Accused-appellant
specifically pointed out, among others, that the Search Warrant failed to particularly
describe the place to be searched because the house was a two-storey building
composed of several rooms.
Rule: A description of the place to be searched is sufficient if the officer serving the
warrant can, with reasonable effort, ascertain and identify the place intended and
distinguish it from other places in the community. A designation or description that points
out the place to be searched to the exclusion of all others, and on inquiry unerringly leads
the peace officers to it, satisfies the constitutional requirement of definiteness. In the
case at bar, the address and description of the place to be searched in the Search
Warrant was specific enough. There was only one house located at the stated address,
which was accused-appellants residence, consisting of a structure with two floors and
composed of several rooms. G.R. No. 176066 August 11, 2010 PEOPLE OF THE
PHILIPPINES, vs. ESTELA TUAN y BALUDDA

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Atty. Edgar B. Pascua II

Page

People v. Two Roulette Wheels and Tables, 326 III. App. 143, 61 NE 2d 277, 281 (1945).
People v. Aruta, 288 SCRA 626, 650 (1998).
46 People v. Del Rosario, 234 SCRA 246, 253 (1994).
47 US v. Quantity of Extracts, Bottles, Etc., (DC Fla) 54 F2d 643, 644 (1931).
48 People v. Kahn, 256 Ill. App. 415, 419 (1930)
45

55

44

Upon Probable Cause


*Rule: The contention of the accused-appellant, as asserted through the Public
Attorneys Office, is that the issued search warrant was not based on probable cause.
The accused-appellant relied heavily on its argument that SPO4 Gotidoc, as the
applicant of the search warrant, did not testify on facts personally known to him but
simply relied on stories that the accused- appellant was peddling illegal drugs.
The requisites for the issuance of a search warrant are: (1) probable cause is present;
(2) such probable cause must be determined personally by the judge; (3) the judge must
examine, in writing and under oath or affirmation, the complainant and the witnesses he
or she may produce; (4) the applicant and the witnesses testify on the facts personally
known to them; and (5) the warrant specifically describes the place to be searched and
the things to be seized.
On the other hand, probable cause means such facts and circumstances which would
lead a reasonable discreet and prudent man to believe that an offense has been
committed and that the objects sought in connection with the offense are in the place
sought to be searched.
Section 6, Rule 126 of the Rules on Criminal Procedure provides that:
If the judge is satisfied of the existence of facts upon which the application is based
or that there is probable cause to believe that they exist, he shall issue the warrant,
which must be substantially in the form prescribed by these Rules.
There is no general formula or fixed rule for the determination of probable cause since
the same must be decided in light of the conditions obtaining in given situations and its
existence depends to a large degree upon the findings or opinion of the judge
conducting the examination.
It is presumed that a judicial function has been regularly performed, absent a showing to
the contrary. A magistrates determination of a probable cause for the issuance of a
search warrant is paid with great deference by a reviewing court, as long as there was
substantial basis for that determination.
The defenses reliance of the quoted testimony of the police officer alone, without any
other evidence to show that there was indeed lack of personal knowledge, is insufficient
to overturn the finding of the trial court. The accused-appellant, having failed to present
substantial rebuttal evidence to defeat the presumption of regularity of duty of the
issuing judge, will not be sustained by this Court. G.R. No. 171980 October 6, 2010
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. OLIVE RUBIO MAMARIL
*Case: Petitioner argues that there was substantial basis for the findings of facts and
circumstances, which led the issuing court to determine and conclude that the offense of
robbery had been committed by the respondents. Petitioner insists that there was
probable cause, which justified the issuing judge to issue the questioned search
warrants. Petitioner maintains that the RTC issued the search warrants after
determining the existence of probable cause based on the Sinumpaang Salaysay of
the affiants and the testimonies given by them during the hearing of the applications for
search warrant.

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Atty. Edgar B. Pascua II

Page

The validity of the issuance of a search warrant rests upon the following factors: (1) it
must be issued upon probable cause; (2) the probable cause must be determined by the
judge himself and not by the applicant or any other person; (3) in the determination of
probable cause, the judge must examine, under oath or affirmation, the complainant and
such witnesses as the latter may produce; and (4) the warrant issued must particularly
describe the place to be searched and persons or things to be seized.

56

Rule: The sole issue to be determined in the instant action is whether or not there was
probable cause warranting the issuance by RTC of the subject search warrants. We
answer in the affirmative

Jurisprudence dictates that probable cause, as a condition for the issuance of a search
warrant, is such reasons supported by facts and circumstances as will warrant a
cautious man to believe that his action and the means taken in prosecuting it are legally
just and proper. Probable cause requires facts and circumstances that would lead a
reasonably prudent man to believe that an offense has been committed and that the
objects sought in connection with that offense are in the place to be searched..
The determination of probable cause does not call for the application of rules and
standards of proof that a judgment of conviction requires after trial on the merits. As
implied by the words themselves, "probable cause" is concerned with probability, not
absolute or even moral certainty. The prosecution need not present at this stage proof
beyond reasonable doubt. The standards of judgment are those of a reasonably prudent
man, not the exacting calibrations of a judge after a full-blown trial.
The power to issue search warrants is exclusively vested in the trial judges in the
exercise of their judicial functions. A finding of probable cause, which would merit the
issuance of a search warrant, needs only to rest on evidence showing that, more likely
than not, a crime has been committed and that it was committed by the accused. The
determination of whether probable cause exists as to justify the issuance of a search
warrant is best left to the sound discretion of a judge. Apparent in the case at bar and
as aptly found by the RTC judge, there was probable cause justifying the issuance of
the search warrants. This was established by the Sinumpaang Salaysay and the
testimonies, consisting of no less than 37 pages, given by witnesses who had personal
knowledge of facts indicating that the crime of robbery had been committed and that the
objects sought in connection with the offense were in the place sought to be searched.
The facts narrated by the witnesses while under oath, when they were asked by the
examining judge, were sufficient justification for the issuance of the subject search
warrants. G.R. No. 174570 February 22, 2010 ROMER SY TAN vs. SY TIONG GUE,
FELICIDAD CHAN SY, SY CHIM, SY TIONG SAN, SY YU BUN, SY YU SHIONG, SY
YU SAN, and BRYAN SY LIM

As to ownership of the property seized


*Case: The case all started when Respondents sent a letter to the NBI requesting, on
behalf of their clients Shellane Dealers Association, Inc., Petron Gasul Dealers
Association, Inc., and Totalgaz Dealers Association, Inc., for the surveillance,
investigation, and apprehension of persons or establishments in Pasig City that are
engaged in alleged illegal trading of petroleum products and underfilling of branded LPG
cylinders in violation of Batas Pambansa Blg. (BP) 33,8 as amended by Presidential
Decree No. (PD) 1865.
The NBIs test-buy yielded positive results for violations of BP 33, Section 2(a) in relation
to Secs. 3(c) and 4, i.e., refilling branded LPG cylinders without authority; and Sec. 2(c)
in relation to Sec. 4, i.e., underdelivery or underfilling of LPG cylinders. Thus, on April 28,
2004, Agent De Jemil filed an Application for Search Warrant (With Request for
Temporary Custody of the Seized Items)14 before the Regional Trial Court in Pasig City.
The NBI served the warrants the next day or on April 29, 2004 resulting in the seizure of
several items from Omnis premises. Petitioners profess that the seized LPG were owned
by their custumers.

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Atty. Edgar B. Pascua II

Page

Rule: The ownership of the seized branded LPG cylinders, allegedly owned by Omni
customers as petitioners adamantly profess, is of no consequence The law does not
require that the property to be seized should be owned by the person against whom the
search warrants is directed. Ownership, therefore, is of no consequence, and it is
sufficient that the person against whom the warrant is directed has control or possession
of the property sought to be seized. Petitioners cannot deny that the seized LPG
cylinders were in the possession of Omni, found as they were inside the Omni
compound. G.R. No. 182147 December 15, 2010 ARNEL U. TY, MARIE ANTONETTE
TY, JASON ONG, WILLY DY, and ALVIN TY vs. NBI SUPERVISING AGENT MARVIN
E. DE JEMIL, PETRON GASUL DEALERS ASSOCIATION, and TOTALGAZ
DEALERS ASSOCIATION

57

Were the petitioners rights violated?

Search of Files on a Computer


*Case: This case involves a search of office computer assigned to a government
employee who was charged administratively and eventually dismissed from the service,
following an unsigned letter-complaint addressed to respondent CSC Chairperson Karina
Constantino-David as to the unauthorized practice of law of the Petitoner. The said
employees personal files stored in the computer were used by the government employer
as evidence of misconduct.
What was found from the files and copied from the computer assigned to and being used
by the petitioner, numbering about 40 to documents, were draft pleadings or letters in
connection with administrative cases in the CSC and other tribunals.
Respondent observed that most of the foregoing files are drafts of legal pleadings or
documents that are related to or connected with administrative cases that may broadly
be lumped as pending either in the CSCRO No. IV, the CSC-NCR, the CSC-Central
Office or other tribunals. It is also of note that most of these draft pleadings are for and
on behalves of parties, who are facing charges as respondents in administrative cases.
This gives rise to the inference that the one who prepared them was knowingly,
deliberately and willfully aiding and advancing interests adverse and inimical to the
interest of the CSC as the central personnel agency of the government tasked to
discipline misfeasance and malfeasance in the government service. The number of
pleadings so prepared further demonstrates that such person is not merely engaged in
an isolated practice but pursues it with seeming regularity. It would also be the height of
naivete or credulity, and certainly against common human experience, to believe that the
person concerned had engaged in this customary practice without any consideration, and
in fact, one of the retrieved files appears to insinuate the collection of fees. That these
draft pleadings were obtained from the computer assigned to Pollo invariably raises the
presumption that he was the one responsible or had a hand in their drafting or
preparation since the computer of origin was within his direct control and disposition
Squarely raised by the petitioner is the legality of the search conducted on his office
computer and the copying of his personal files without his knowledge and consent,
alleged as a transgression on his constitutional right to privacy.
Rule: Following the guidelines in the case of OConnor v. Ortega (480 U.S. 709 (1987).
1) Did petitioner have a reasonable expectation of privacy in his office and computer
files?49; and (2) Reasonableness. Was the search authorized by the CSC Chair, the
copying of the contents of the hard drive on petitioners computer reasonable in its
inception and scope50?
We answer the first in the negative. Petitioner failed to prove that he had an actual
(subjective) expectation of privacy either in his office or government-issued computer
which contained his personal files. Petitioner did not allege that he had a separate
enclosed office which he did not share with anyone, or that his office was always locked
x x Public employees expectations of privacy in their offices, desks, and file cabinets, like similar
expectations of employees in the private sector, may be reduced by virtue of actual office practices
and procedures, or by legitimate regulation. x x x The employees expectation of privacy must be
assessed in the context of the employment relation. An office is seldom a private enclave free from
entry by supervisors, other employees, and business and personal invitees. Instead, in many cases
offices are continually entered by fellow employees and other visitors during the workday for
conferences, consultations, and other work-related visits. Simply put, it is the nature of government
offices that others such as fellow employees, supervisors, consensual visitors, and the general
public may have frequent access to an individuals office. We agree with JUSTICE SCALIA that
"[c]onstitutional protection against unreasonable searches by the government does not disappear
merely because the government has the right to make reasonable intrusions in its capacity as
employer," x x x but some government offices may be so open to fellow employees or the public that
no expectation of privacy is reasonable. x x x Given the great variety of work environments in the
public sector, the question of whether an employee has a reasonable expectation of privacy must be
addressed on a case-by-case basis
50 W]hat is reasonable depends on the context within which a search takes place. x x x Thus, we
must determine the appropriate standard of reasonableness applicable to the search. In the case of
searches conducted by a public employer, we must balance the invasion of the employees
legitimate expectations of privacy against the governments need for supervision, control, and the
efficient operation of the workplace.

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Atty. Edgar B. Pascua II

Page

58

49

and not open to other employees or visitors. Neither did he allege that he used
passwords or adopted any means to prevent other employees from accessing his
computer files. On the contrary, he submits that being in the public assistance office of
the CSC-ROIV, he normally would have visitors in his office like friends, associates and
even unknown people, whom he even allowed to use his computer which to him seemed
a trivial request. He described his office as "full of people, his friends, unknown people"
and that in the past 22 years he had been discharging his functions at the PALD, he is
"personally assisting incoming clients, receiving documents, drafting cases on appeals, in
charge of accomplishment report, Mamamayan Muna Program, Public Sector Unionism,
Correction of name, accreditation of service, and hardly had anytime for himself alone,
that in fact he stays in the office as a paying customer." Under this scenario, it can
hardly be deduced that petitioner had such expectation of privacy that society would
recognize as reasonable.
Moreover, even assuming arguendo, in the absence of allegation or proof of the
aforementioned factual circumstances, that petitioner had at least a subjective
expectation of privacy in his computer as he claims, such is negated by the presence of
policy regulating the use of office computers (Office Memorandum No. 10, S. 2002
"Computer Use Policy (CUP)", to wit
1. The Computer Resources are the property of the Civil Service Commission
and may be used only for legitimate business purposes.
xxx
5. Waiver of privacy rights. Users expressly waive any right to privacy in anything they
create, store, send, or receive on the computer through the Internet or any other
computer network. Users understand that the CSC may use human or automated
means to monitor the use of its Computer Resources.
xxx
6. Non-exclusivity of Computer Resources. A computer resource is not a personal
property or for the exclusive use of a User to whom a memorandum of receipt (MR)
has been issued. It can be shared or operated by other users. However, he is
accountable therefor and must insure its care and maintenance.
xxx
13. Passwords do not imply privacy. Use of passwords to gain access to the
computer system or to encode particular files or messages does not imply that Users
have an expectation of privacy in the material they create or receive on the computer
system.
The CSC in this case had implemented a policy that put its employees on notice that they
have no expectation of privacy in anything they create, store, send or receive on the
office computers, and that the CSC may monitor the use of the computer resources using
both automated or human means. This implies that on-the-spot inspections may be done
to ensure that the computer resources were used only for such legitimate business
purposes.
As to the second point of inquiry on the reasonableness of the search conducted on
petitioners computer, we answer in the affirmative.

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Atty. Edgar B. Pascua II

Page

A search by a government employer of an employees office is justified at inception when


there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that it will turn up evidence that the
employee is guilty of work-related misconduct.

59

The search of petitioners computer files was conducted in connection with investigation
of work-related misconduct prompted by an anonymous letter-complaint addressed to
Chairperson David regarding anomalies in the CSC-ROIV where the head of the
Mamamayan Muna Hindi Mamaya Na division is supposedly "lawyering" for individuals
with pending cases in the CSC. Chairperson David stated in her sworn affidavit:

Under the facts obtaining, the search conducted on petitioners computer was justified at
its inception and scope. We quote with approval the CSCs discussion on the
reasonableness of its actions, consistent as it were with the guidelines established by
OConnor:
Even conceding for a moment that there is no such administrative policy, there is no
doubt in the mind of the Commission that the search of Pollos computer has successfully
passed the test of reasonableness for warrantless searches in the workplace as
enunciated in the above-discussed American authorities. It bears emphasis that the
Commission pursued the search in its capacity as a government employer and that it was
undertaken in connection with an investigation involving a work-related misconduct, one
of the circumstances exempted from the warrant requirement. At the inception of the
search, a complaint was received recounting that a certain division chief in the CSCRO
No. IV was "lawyering" for parties having pending cases with the said regional office or in
the Commission. The nature of the imputation was serious, as it was grievously
disturbing. If, indeed, a CSC employee was found to be furtively engaged in the practice
of "lawyering" for parties with pending cases before the Commission would be a highly
repugnant scenario, then such a case would have shattering repercussions. It would
undeniably cast clouds of doubt upon the institutional integrity of the Commission as a
quasi-judicial agency, and in the process, render it less effective in fulfilling its mandate
as an impartial and objective dispenser of administrative justice. It is settled that a court
or an administrative tribunal must not only be actually impartial but must be seen to be
so, otherwise the general public would not have any trust and confidence in it.
Considering the damaging nature of the accusation, the Commission had to act fast, if
only to arrest or limit any possible adverse consequence or fall-out. Thus, on the same
date that the complaint was received, a search was forthwith conducted involving the
computer resources in the concerned regional office. That it was the computers that were
subjected to the search was justified since these furnished the easiest means for an
employee to encode and store documents. Indeed, the computers would be a likely
starting point in ferreting out incriminating evidence. Concomitantly, the ephemeral
nature of computer files, that is, they could easily be destroyed at a click of a button,
necessitated drastic and immediate action. Pointedly, to impose the need to comply with
the probable cause requirement would invariably defeat the purpose of the wok-related
investigation.
Worthy to mention, too, is the fact that the Commission effected the warrantless search
in an open and transparent manner. Officials and some employees of the regional office,
who happened to be in the vicinity, were on hand to observe the process until its
completion. In addition, the respondent himself was duly notified, through text
messaging, of the search and the concomitant retrieval of files from his computer.
All in all, the Commission is convinced that the warrantless search done on computer
assigned to Pollo was not, in any way, vitiated with unconstitutionality. It was a
reasonable exercise of the managerial prerogative of the Commission as an employer
aimed at ensuring its operational effectiveness and efficiency by going after the workrelated misfeasance of its employees. Consequently, the evidence derived from the
questioned search are deemed admissible.53 G.R. No. 181881
October 18, 2011
BRICCIO "Ricky" A. POLLO vs. CHAIRPERSON KARINA CONSTANTINO-DAVID

What is the duration of the validity of the search warrant? - A search


warrant shall be valid for ten (10) days from its date. Thereafter it shall
be void.51
2.

Warrantless Searches

51

Page

The 1987 Constitution states that a search and consequent seizure must
be carried out with a judicial warrant; otherwise, it becomes unreasonable
Section 10. Validity of search warrant.

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Can Searches be done without a warrant? Yes, there are instances of valid
warrantless searches.

2016

Atty. Edgar B. Pascua II

and any evidence obtained therefrom shall be inadmissible for any


purpose in any proceeding52. Said proscription, however, admits of
exceptions, namely:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.

Warrantless search incidental to a lawful arrest;


Search of evidence in "plain view;"
Search of a moving vehicle;
Consented warrantless search;
Customs search;
Stop and Frisk; and
Exigent and emergency circumstances53.

What constitutes a reasonable or unreasonable warrantless search or


seizure is purely a judicial question, determinable from the uniqueness of
the circumstances involved, including the purpose of the search or
seizure, the presence or absence of probable cause, the manner in which
the search and seizure was made, the place or thing searched, and the
character of the articles procured.54
a. Search of moving vehicles;
Such warrantless searches find its rationale in the case of Carroll v. United
State, 267 U.S. 131, p. 543 (1924).
The Carroll doctrine recognized the distinctive feature of a warrantless
search of a ship motorboat, wagon, or automobile for contraband goods
where it is not practicable to secure a warrant because the vehicle can be
quickly moved out of the locality or jurisdiction in which the warrant must
be sough.
*Case: On 10 January 1992, pursuant to the "Gun Ban," Mr. Serapio P. Taccad, Sergeantat-Arms, House of Representatives, wrote petitioner who was then Congressman of the 1st
District of Bulacan requesting the return of the two (2) firearms issued to him by the House
of Representatives. Upon being advised of the request on 13 January 1992 by his staff,
petitioner immediately instructed his driver, Ernesto Arellano, to pick up the firearms from
petitioner's house at Valle Verde and return them to Congress.
Meanwhile, at about five o'clock in the afternoon of the same day, the Philippine National
Police (PNP) headed by Senior Superintendent Danilo Cordero set up a checkpoint outside
the Batasan Complex some twenty (20) meters away from its entrance. About thirty
minutes later, the policemen manning the outpost flagged down the car driven by Arellano
as it approached the checkpoint. They searched the car and found the firearms neatly
packed in their gun cases and placed in a bag in the trunk of the car. Arellano was then
apprehended and detained. He explained that he was ordered by petitioner to get the
firearms from the house and return them to Sergeant-at-Arms Taccad of the House of
Representatives.
Thereafter, the police referred Arellano's case to the Office of the City Prosecutor for
inquest. Eventually, after the matter was explained, the Office of the City Prosecutor issued
a resolution which, among other matters, recommended that the case against Arellano be
dismissed and that the "unofficial" charge against petitioner be also dismissed.

Section 2 and 3 (2), Article III of the 1987 Constitution.


People v. Nuevas, G.R. No. 170233, February 22, 2007, 516 SCRA 463, 475-476 citing People v.
Tudtud, 458 Phil. 752, 771 (2003).
54 People v. Nuevas, id. at 476.
53

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52

61

Nevertheless, upon recommendation of its Law Department, COMELEC issued Resolution


directing the filing of information against petitioner and Arellano for violation of the
Omnibus Election Code, in relation to Sec. 32 of R.A. No. 7166; 7 and petitioner to show
cause why he should not be disqualified from running for an elective position.

Petitioner strongly protests against the manner by which the PNP conducted the search.
According to him, without a warrant and without informing the driver of his fundamental
rights the policemen searched his car. The firearms were not tucked in the waist nor within
the immediate reach of Arellano but were neatly packed in their gun cases and wrapped in
a bag kept in the trunk of the car. Thus, the search of his car that yielded the evidence for
the prosecution was clearly violative of Secs. 2 and 3, par. (2), Art. III, of the Constitution.
Rule: Petitioner contends that the guns were not tucked in Arellano's waist nor placed
within his reach, and that they were neatly packed in gun cases and placed inside a bag at
the back of the car. Significantly, COMELEC did not rebut this claim. The records do not
show that the manner by which the package was bundled led the PNP to suspect that it
contained firearms. There was no mention either of any report regarding any nervous,
suspicious or unnatural reaction from Arellano when the car was stopped and searched.
Given these circumstances and relying on its visual observation, the PNP could not
thoroughly search the car lawfully as well as the package without violating the
constitutional injunction.
As a rule, a valid search must be authorized by a search warrant duly issued by an
appropriate authority. However, this is not absolute. Aside from a search incident to a
lawful arrest, a warrantless search had been upheld in cases of moving vehicles and the
seizure of evidence in plain view, as well as the search conducted at police or military
checkpoints which we declared are not illegal per se, and stressed that the warrantless
search is not violative of the Constitution for as long as the vehicle is neither searched nor
its occupants subjected to a body search, and the inspection of the vehicle is merely
limited to a visual search.
An extensive search (of the vehiclewithout warrant could only be resorted to if the officers
conducting the search had reasonable or probable cause to believe before the search that
either the motorist was a law offender or that they would find the instrumentality or
evidence pertaining to the commission of a crime in the vehicle to be searched. The
existence of probable cause justifying the warrantless search is determined by the facts of
each case
In the case at bench, we find that the checkpoint was set up twenty (20) meters from the
entrance to the Batasan Complex to enforce ResolutionNo. 2327. There was no evidence
to show that the policemen were impelled to do so because of a confidential report leading
them to reasonably believe that certain motorists matching the description furnished by
their informant were engaged in gunrunning, transporting firearms or in organizing special
strike forces. Nor, as adverted to earlier, was there any indication from the package or
behavior of Arellano that could have triggered the suspicion of the policemen. Absent such
justifying circumstances specifically pointing to the culpability of petitioner and Arellano, the
search could not be valid. The action then of the policemen unreasonably intruded into
petitioner's privacy and the security of his property, in violation of Sec. 2, Art. III, of the
Constitution. Consequently, the firearms obtained in violation of petitioner's right against
warrantless search cannot be admitted for any purpose in any proceeding.

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Atty. Edgar B. Pascua II

Page

*Case: At around 2:30 p.m. of September 6, 1998, SPO2 Alberto Ngina of the Philippine
National Police (PNP) Tublay Station received an information from a confidential agent that
a jeepney with Plate No. AYB 117 at Km. 96, Atok, Benguet was loaded with Benguet pine
lumber.

62

In the case of petitioner, only his driver was at the car at that time it was stopped for
inspection. As conceded by COMELEC, driver Arellano did not know the purpose of the
checkpoint. In the face of fourteen (14) armed policemen conducting the operation, driver
Arellano being alone and a mere employee of petitioner could not have marshalled the
strength and the courage to protest against the extensive search conducted in the vehicle.
In such scenario, the "implied acquiescence," if there was any, could not be more than a
mere passive conformity on Arellano's part to the search, and "consent" given under
intimidating or coercive circumstances is no consent within the purview of the constitutional
guaranty. G.R. No. 104961 October 7, 1994, CONGRESSMAN FRANCISCO B. ANIAG,
JR. vs. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE SPECIAL
TASK FORCE

SPO2 Ngina immediately relayed the information to SPO4 Rentao Quitoriano and SPO1
Domingo Pulig. They then swiftly established a checkpoint in Acop, Tublay, Benguet.
At around 4:00 p.m. of the same day, the PNP operatives spotted the jeepney heading
toward La Trinidad. They flagged it down but it did not stop. Hence, they chased the
vehicle up to Shilan, La Trinidad where it finally halted.
The police saw five persons inside the jeepney then loaded with assorted vegetables, like
womboc and chili.
When SPO4 Quitoriano lifted a womboc, he found some pieces of lumber under it. The
driver and his companions admitted they have no permit to transport the lumber. The
police immediately arrested and investigated petitioners, Marso Insiong Dumpit, Armando
Palasi, and Ben Arinos. Only petitioners were charged with violation of Section 68 of the
Revised Forestry Code.
Hence, the instant petition raising the sole issue of whether the police officers have a
probable cause to believe that the subject vehicle was loaded with illegal cargo and that,
therefore, it can be stopped and searched without a warrant.
Rule: We recall that at around 2:30 p.m. of September 6, 1998, a confidential informer
disclosed to SPO2 Ngina that a passenger jeepney with Plate No. AYB 117 loaded with
Benguet pine lumber was at Km. 96, Atok, Benguet. The lumber was covered with
assorted vegetables. A PNP roadblock was then placed in Acop, Tublay, Benguet to
intercept the jeepney. At around 4:00 p.m. of that same day, the police spotted the vehicle.
They flagged it down but it did not stop, forcing the police to chase it until it reached Shilan,
La Trinidad. A search of the vehicle disclosed several pieces of Benguet pine lumber.
Petitioners could not produce the required DENR permit to cut and transport the same.
In People v. Vinecarao, we ruled that where a vehicle sped away after noticing a
checkpoint and even after having been flagged down by police officers, in an apparent
attempt to dissuade the police from proceeding with their inspection, there exists probable
cause to justify a reasonable belief on the part of the law enforcers that the persons on
board said vehicle were officers of the law or that the vehicle contained objects which were
instruments of some offense. This ruling squarely applies to the present case. Verily, the
Court of Appeals did not err in holding that respondent judge did not commit grave abuse
of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when she ruled that the warrantless
search is valid and that the lumber seized is admissible in evidence against petitioners.
G.R. No. 148117 March 22, 2007 MABINI EPIE, JR. and RODRIGO PALASI vs. THE
HON. NELSONIDA T. ULAT-MARREDO, Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court,
Branch 10, La Trinidad, Benguet and THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

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Page

Respondent argues that as he questioned the validity of his arrest and the admissibility of
the evidence presented against him. He contends that at the time of his warrantless arrest,
he was merely driving within Marville Subdivision. He had not committed, was not
committing, and was not about to commit any crime which could have justified his
apprehension.

63

*Case: In the morning of 7 March 1999, the Antipolo City Police Station received through
telephone, a confidential information that a Gemini car bearing plate number PFC 411
would deliver an unspecified amount of shabu in Marville Subdivision, Antipolo City. Acting
on said tip, Antipolo City Chief of Police Major Rene Quintana dispatched a team of
policemen to the area to conduct a surveillance. When the team arrived in Marville
Subdivision, they saw the said Gemini car and immediately flagged it down. The driver of
the car pulled to a stop and opened a window of said vehicle giving the policemen the
opportunity to identify themselves as members of the Antipolo City Police Station. It was
then that PO1 Manuel Padlan saw a gun tucked on appellants waist. PO1 Padlan inquired
about the gun and appellant allegedly replied it did not belong to him nor could he produce
any pertinent document relating to said firearm. This prompted PO3 Bueno to order
appellant to get down from the car. As soon as appellant stepped down from the vehicle,
PO3 Bueno saw five plastic sachets on the drivers seat, the contents of which appellant
allegedly admitted to be shabu. Appellant was thereafter immediately brought to the police
station. Hence, the charge.

Rule: In the case of People v. Lo Ho Wing, this Court had the occasion to elucidate on the
rationale for the exemption of searches of moving vehicles from the requirement of search
warrant, thus:
[T]he rules governing search and seizure have over the years been steadily liberalized
whenever a moving vehicle is the object of the search on the basis of practicality. This
is so considering that before a warrant could be obtained, the place, things and
persons to be searched must be described to the satisfaction of the issuing judge a
requirement which borders on the impossible in the case of smuggling effected by the
use of a moving vehicle that can transport contraband from one place to another with
impunity. We might add that a warrantless search of a moving vehicle is justified on
the ground that "it is not practicable to secure a warrant because the vehicle can be
quickly moved out of the locality or jurisdiction in which the warrant must be sought."
Nevertheless, the exception from securing a search warrant when it comes to moving
vehicles does not give the police authorities unbridled discretion to conduct a warrantless
search of an automobile. To do so would render the aforementioned constitutional
stipulations inutile and expose the citizenry to indiscriminate police distrust which could
amount to outright harassment. Surely, the policy consideration behind the exemption of
search of moving vehicles does not encompass such arbitrariness on the part of the police
authorities. In recognition of the possible abuse, jurisprudence dictates that at all times, it is
required that probable cause exist in order to justify the warrantless search of a vehicle
In Caballes v. Court of Appeals, the term "probable cause" was explained to mean
[A] reasonable ground of suspicion supported by circumstances sufficiently strong in
themselves to warrant a cautious mans belief that the person accused is guilty of the
offense with which he is charged; or the existence of such facts and circumstances
which could lead a reasonably discreet and prudent man to believe that an offense has
been committed and that the items, articles or objects sought in connection with said
offense or subject to seizure and destruction by law is in the place to be searched. The
required probable cause that will justify a warrantless search and seizure is not
determined by a fixed formula but is resolved according to the facts of the case.
When a vehicle is flagged down and subjected to an extensive search, such a warrantless
search has been held to be valid as long as the officers conducting the search have
reasonable or probable cause to believe prior to the search that they would find the
instrumentality or evidence pertaining to a crime, in the vehicle to be searched.
In this case, we hold that the police had probable cause to effect the warrantless search
of the Gemini car driven by appellant. A confidential informer tipped them off that said car
was going to deliver shabu at Marville Subdivision. Pursuing said lead, the Antipolo City
police sent a team to Marville Subdivision to monitor said vehicle. The information
provided by the informer turned out to be correct as, indeed, the Gemini car was spotted
in the place where it was said to be bringing shabu. When they stopped the car, they saw
a gun tucked in appellants waist. Appellant did not have any document to support his
possession of said firearm which all the more strengthened the polices suspicion. After he
was told to step out of the car, they found on the drivers seat plastic sachets containing
white powdery substance. These circumstances, taken together, are sufficient to establish
probable cause for the warrantless search of the Gemini car and the eventual admission
into evidence of the plastic packets against appellant.

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Atty. Edgar B. Pascua II

Page

*Case: The San Gabriel Police Station of San Gabriel, La Union, conducted a checkpoint
near the police station at the poblacion to intercept a suspected transportation of
marijuana from Barangay Balbalayang, San Gabriel, La Union. When the checkpoint did
not yield any suspect or marijuana, the Chief of Police instructed PO2 Pallayoc to proceed
to Barangay Balbalayang to conduct surveillance operation.

64

In any case, appellant failed to timely object to the admissibility of the evidence against
him on the ground that the same was obtained through a warrantless search. His failure
amounts to a waiver of the objection on the legality of the search and the admissibility of
the evidence obtained by the police. It was only proper for the trial court to admit said
evidence. G.R. No. 175783 September 3, 2007 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs.
BERNARDO TUAZON Y NICOLAS

At dawn the day following, in Barangay Balbalayang, PO2 Pallayoc met with a secret
agent of the Barangay Intelligence Network who informed him that a baggage of
marijuana had been loaded on a passenger jeepney that was about to leave for the
poblacion. The agent mentioned three (3) bags and one (1) blue plastic bag. Further, the
agent described a backpack bag with an "O.K." marking. PO2 Pallayoc then boarded the
said jeepney and positioned himself on top thereof. While the vehicle was in motion, he
found the black backpack with an "O.K." marking and peeked inside its contents. PO2
Pallayoc found bricks of marijuana wrapped in newspapers. He then asked the other
passengers on top of the jeepney about the owner of the bag, but no one knew.
When the jeepney reached the poblacion, PO2 Pallayoc alighted together with the other
passengers. Unfortunately, he did not notice who took the black backpack from atop the
jeepney. He only realized a few moments later that the said bag and three (3) other bags,
including a blue plastic bag, were already being carried away by two (2) women. He
caught up with the women and introduced himself as a policeman. He told them that they
were under arrest, but one of the women got away.
PO2 Pallayoc brought the woman, who was later identified as herein accused-appellant
and the bags to the police station. At the police station, the investigators contacted the
Mayor of San Gabriel to witness the opening of the bags. When the Mayor arrived about
fifteen (15) minutes later, the bags were opened and three (3) bricks of marijuana
wrapped in newspaper, two (2) round bundles of marijuana, and two (2) bricks of
marijuana fruiting tops, all wrapped in a newspaper, were recovered.
Convicted, Accused goes to the Supreme Court. Appellants main argument before the
CA centered on the inadmissibility of the evidence used against her. She claims that her
constitutional right against unreasonable searches was flagrantly violated by the
apprehending officer.
Rule:: Law and jurisprudence have laid down the instances when a warrantless search is
valid. Among them are:
xxx
3. Search of a moving vehicle. Highly regulated by the government, the vehicle's inherent
mobility reduces expectation of privacy especially when its transit in public thoroughfares
furnishes a highly reasonable suspicion amounting to probable cause that the occupant
committed a criminal activity;
xxx
Over the years, the rules governing search and seizure have been steadily liberalized
whenever a moving vehicle is the object of the search on the basis of practicality. This is
so considering that before a warrant could be obtained, the place, things and persons to
be searched must be described to the satisfaction of the issuing judge a requirement
which borders on the impossible in instances where moving vehicle is used to transport
contraband from one place to another with impunity.

It is well to remember that on October 26, 2005, the night before appellants arrest, the
police received information that marijuana was to be transported from Barangay
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Atty. Edgar B. Pascua II

Page

The vehicle that carried the contraband or prohibited drugs was about to leave. PO2
Pallayoc had to make a quick decision and act fast. It would be unreasonable to require
him to procure a warrant before conducting the search under the circumstances. Time
was of the essence in this case. The searching officer had no time to obtain a warrant.
Indeed, he only had enough time to board the vehicle before the same left for its
destination.

65

This exception is easy to understand. A search warrant may readily be obtained when the
search is made in a store, dwelling house or other immobile structure. But it is
impracticable to obtain a warrant when the search is conducted on a mobile ship, on an
aircraft, or in other motor vehicles since they can quickly be moved out of the locality or
jurisdiction where the warrant must be sought.

Balbalayang, and had set up a checkpoint around the area to intercept the suspects. At
dawn of October 27, 2005, PO2 Pallayoc met the secret agent from the Barangay
Intelligence Network, who informed him that a baggage of marijuana was loaded on a
passenger jeepney about to leave for the poblacion. Thus, PO2 Pallayoc had probable
cause to search the packages allegedly containing illegal drugs. G.R. No. 188611 June
16, 2010 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, vs. BELEN MARIACOS

b. When the search is merely incidental to a valid arrest


A person lawfully arrested may be searched for dangerous weapons or
anything which may have been used or constitute proof in the commission
of an offense without a search warrant.55
Rule: Even assuming that appellant did not give his consent for the police to search the
car, they can still validly do so by virtue of a search incident to a lawful arrest under
Section 13, Rule 126 of the Rules of Court which states:
SEC. 13. Search incident to lawful arrest. A person lawfully arrested may be
searched for dangerous weapons or anything which may have been used or
constitute proof in the commission of an offense without a search warrant.
In lawful arrests, it becomes both the duty and the right of the apprehending officers to
conduct a warrantless search not only on the person of the suspect, but also in the
permissible area within the latter's reach. Otherwise stated, a valid arrest allows the
seizure of evidence or dangerous weapons either on the person of the one arrested or
within the area of his immediate control. The phrase "within the area of his immediate
control" means the area from within which he might gain possession of a weapon or
destructible evidence. Therefore, it is only but expected and legally so for the police to
search his car as he was driving it when he was arrested. G.R. No. 178039 January
19, 2011 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. ERNESTO UYBOCO y RAMOS
*Case: Accused was arrested after a buy bust operation. The Police thereafter recovered
two (2) plastic sachets from Sings pocket. They also got the marked money from the
accused.
Issue: Whether or not the accused-appellant was illegally arrested and as such, the
sachets of shabu allegedly recovered from him are inadmissible in evidence.
Rule: Accused-appellant contends his arrest was illegal, making the sachets of shabu
allegedly recovered from him inadmissible in evidence. Accused-appellants claim is
devoid of merit for it is a well-established rule that an arrest made after an entrapment
operation does not require a warrant inasmuch as it is considered a valid "warrantless
arrest," in line with the provisions of Rule 113, Section 5(a) of the Revised Rules of Court.

55

Page

*Case: Ching vigorously insists that on the day he was arrested, a group of men swooped
down upon him and dragged him from his sisters apartment unit and took him to a vehicle
where his captors demanded a huge amount of money from him, and after his refusal to
heed to their demands, he was tortured and his captors planted evidence against him.
Without the said buy-bust or entrapment operation, there was no valid basis for his
warrantless arrest. Hence, the operatives violated his constitutional right against
warrantless arrest. He also claims that the search done in the apartment unit was illegal
since such was effected following an illegal arrest.

Section 13. Search incident to lawful arrest.

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66

Considering that the legitimacy of the buy-bust operation is beyond question, the
subsequent warrantless arrest and warrantless search and seizure, were permissible. The
search, clearly being incident to a lawful arrest, needed no warrant for its validity. Thus,
contrary to accused-appellant's contention, the contraband seized from him, having been
obtained as a result of the buy-bust operation to which the defense failed to impute any
irregularity, was correctly admitted in evidence. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs.
NARCISO AGULAY y LOPEZ G.R. No. 181747

2016

Atty. Edgar B. Pascua II

Ching finds the buy-bust incredulous, as an illegal transaction such as sale of shabu could
not have been done in a crowded place and during busy hours of the day. Thus, the
charge was fabricated by the police officers.
Rule: Once again this Court stresses that a buy-bust operation is a legally effective and
proven procedure, sanctioned by law at that, for apprehending drug peddlers and
distributors. It is often utilized by law enforcers for the purpose of trapping and capturing
lawbreakers in the execution of their nefarious activities. This Court, of course, is not
unaware that in some instances law enforcers resort to the practice of planting evidence
to extract information or even to harass civilians. But the defense of frame-up in drug
cases requires strong and convincing evidence because of the presumption that the law
enforcement agencies acted in the regular performance of their official duties. Moreover,
the defense of denial or frame-up, like alibi, has been viewed by the court with disfavor for
it can just as easily be concocted and is a common and standard defense ploy in most
prosecutions for violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act.
In the case under consideration, there is no evidence of any improper motive on the part
of the police officers who apprehended Ching. His allegations that the police officers beat
him up in their attempt to extract money from him is belied by the absence of any proof to
that effect. He did not present any medical record that he was physically abused. If the
police officers indeed tried to extort money from Ching by beating him up, he could have
filed the proper charges against the erring police officers. The fact that no administrative
or criminal charges were filed lends cogency to the conclusion that the alleged frame-up
was merely concocted as a defense ploy. In addition, if indeed the supposed disinterested
witnesses of the defense, i.e., the pedicab driver and the vendor, really saw Ching being
forcibly dragged by unidentified men, they could have at least informed the local
authorities of such fact. This they did not do. Thus, the story of the defense is simply
implausible.
Having established that the buy-bust operation is factual and legitimate, the subsequent
warrantless arrest of Ching and as well as the warrantless seizure of the illegal drugs was
permissible,
As to Chings contention that the buy-bust operation is improbable since no person
possessed of his wit would close a 2.1 million-peso deal in broad daylight and in a
crowded place, this Court finds the same unavailing.
This Court observed in many cases that drug pushers sell their prohibited articles to any
prospective customer, be he a stranger or not, in private as well as in public places, even
in the daytime. Indeed, drug pushers have become increasingly daring, dangerous and,
worse, openly defiant of the law. Hence, what matters is not the time and venue of the
sale, but the fact of agreement and the acts constituting sale and delivery of the prohibited
drugs. CHING V. PEOPLE, G.R. No. 177237, 17 October 2008, 569 SCRA 711

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Atty. Edgar B. Pascua II

Page

On the following day, appellant called up the agent and informed him that he was on
board a Genesis bus and would arrive in Baler, Aurora, anytime of the day wearing a red
and white striped T-shirt. The team members then posted themselves along the national
highway in Baler, Aurora. At around 3:00 p.m. of the same day, a Genesis bus arrived in
Baler. When appellant alighted from the bus, the confidential agent pointed to him as the
person he transacted with earlier. Having alighted from the bus, appellant stood near the
highway and waited for a tricycle that would bring him to his final destination. As appellant
was about to board a tricycle, the team approached him and invited him to the police
station on suspicion of carrying shabu. Appellant immediately denied the accusation, but
as he pulled out his hands from his pants pocket, a white envelope slipped therefrom
which, when opened, yielded a small sachet containing the suspected drug.

67

*Case: A confidential agent of the police transacted through cellular phone with appellant
for the purchase of shabu. The agent later reported the transaction to the police
authorities who immediately formed a team composed of member of the Philippine Drug
Enforcement Agency (PDEA), the Intelligence group of the Philippine Army and the local
police force to apprehend the appellant. The agent gave the police appellants name,
together with his physical description. He also assured them that appellant would arrive in
Baler, Aurora the following day.

The team then brought appellant to the police station for investigation. The confiscated
specimen was turned over to Police Inspector Rogelio Sarenas De Vera who marked it
with his initials and with appellants name. The field test and laboratory examinations on
the contents of the confiscated sachet yielded positive results for methamphetamine
hydrochloride.
The RTC rendered a Joint Judgment convicting appellant of Violation of Section 5, Article
II, R.A. 9165. Hence this appeal.
Accused questions the admissibility of the confiscated sachet on the ground that it was
the fruit of the poisonous tree.
Rule: What constitutes a reasonable or unreasonable warrantless search or seizure is
purely a judicial question, determinable from the uniqueness of the circumstances
involved, including the purpose of the search or seizure, the presence or absence of
probable cause, the manner in which the search and seizure was made, the place or thing
searched, and the character of the articles procured.
Recent jurisprudence holds that in searches incident to a lawful arrest, the arrest must
precede the search; generally, the process cannot be reversed. Nevertheless, a search
substantially contemporaneous with an arrest can precede the arrest if the police have
probable cause to make the arrest at the outset of the search. Thus, given the factual
milieu of the case, we have to determine whether the police officers had probable cause
to arrest appellant. Although probable cause eludes exact and concrete definition, it
ordinarily signifies a reasonable ground of suspicion supported by circumstances
sufficiently strong in themselves to warrant a cautious man to believe that the person
accused is guilty of the offense with which he is charged.
Clearly, what prompted the police to apprehend appellant, even without a warrant, was
the tip given by the informant that appellant would arrive in Baler, Aurora carrying shabu.
This circumstance gives rise to another question: whether that information, by itself, is
sufficient probable cause to effect a valid warrantless arrest.
The long standing rule in this jurisdiction is that "reliable information" alone is not sufficient
to justify a warrantless arrest. The rule requires, in addition, that the accused perform
some overt act that would indicate that he has committed, is actually committing, or is
attempting to commit an offense. We find no cogent reason to depart from this wellestablished doctrine.
The instant case is similar to People v. Aruta,56 People v. Tudtud57, and People v.
Nuevas58.
In People v. Aruta, a police officer was tipped off by his informant that a certain "Aling
Rosa" would be arriving from Baguio City the following day with a large volume of
marijuana. Acting on said tip, the police assembled a team and deployed themselves
near the Philippine National Bank (PNB) in Olongapo City. While thus positioned, a
Victory Liner Bus stopped in front of the PNB building where two females and a man
got off. The informant then pointed to the team members the woman, "Aling Rosa," who
was then carrying a traveling bag. Thereafter, the team approached her and introduced
themselves. When asked about the contents of her bag, she handed it to the
apprehending officers. Upon inspection, the bag was found to contain dried marijuana
leaves.

68

The facts in People v. Tudtud show that in July and August, 1999, the Toril Police
Station, Davao City, received a report from a civilian asset that the neighbors of a
certain Noel Tudtud (Tudtud) were complaining that the latter was responsible for the
proliferation of marijuana in the area. Reacting to the report, the Intelligence Section
conducted surveillance. For five days, they gathered information and learned that
Tudtud was involved in illegal drugs. On August 1, 1999, the civilian asset informed the
police that Tudtud had headed to Cotabato and would be back later that day with a new
56

Page

351 Phil. 868, 880 (1998)


458 Phil. 752 (2003)
58 G.R. No. 170233
57

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stock of marijuana. At around 4:00 p.m. that same day, a team of police officers posted
themselves to await Tudtuds arrival. At 8:00 p.m., two men disembarked from a bus
and helped each other carry a carton. The police officers approached the suspects and
asked if they could see the contents of the box which yielded marijuana leaves.
In People v. Nuevas, the police officers received information that a certain male
person, more or less 54" in height, 25 to 30 years old, with a tattoo mark on the upper
right hand, and usually wearing a sando and maong pants, would make a delivery of
marijuana leaves. While conducting stationary surveillance and monitoring of illegal
drug trafficking, they saw the accused who fit the description, carrying a plastic bag.
The police accosted the accused and informed him that they were police officers. Upon
inspection of the plastic bag carried by the accused, the bag contained marijuana dried
leaves and bricks wrapped in a blue cloth. In his bid to escape charges, the accused
disclosed where two other male persons would make a delivery of marijuana leaves.
Upon seeing the two male persons, later identified as Reynaldo Din and Fernando
Inocencio, the police approached them, introduced themselves as police officers, then
inspected the bag they were carrying. Upon inspection, the contents of the bag turned
out to be marijuana leaves.
In all of these cases, we refused to validate the warrantless search precisely because there
was no adequate probable cause. We required the showing of some overt act indicative of
the criminal design.
As in the above cases, appellant herein was not committing a crime in the presence of the
police officers. Neither did the arresting officers have personal knowledge of facts
indicating that the person to be arrested had committed, was committing, or about to
commit an offense. At the time of the arrest, appellant had just alighted from the Gemini
bus and was waiting for a tricycle. Appellant was not acting in any suspicious manner that
would engender a reasonable ground for the police officers to suspect and conclude that
he was committing or intending to commit a crime. Were it not for the information given by
the informant, appellant would not have been apprehended and no search would have
been made, and consequently, the sachet of shabu would not have been confiscated.
Neither were the arresting officers impelled by any urgency that would allow them to do
away with the requisite warrant. As testified to by Police Officer 1 Aurelio Iniwan, a member
of the arresting team, their office received the "tipped information" on May 19, 2003. They
likewise learned from the informant not only the appellants physical description but also
his name. Although it was not certain that appellant would arrive on the same day (May
19), there was an assurance that he would be there the following day (May 20). Clearly,
the police had ample opportunity to apply for a warrant.
Obviously, this is an instance of seizure of the "fruit of the poisonous tree," hence, the
confiscated item is inadmissible in evidence consonant with Article III, Section 3(2) of the
1987 Constitution, "any evidence obtained in violation of this or the preceding section shall
be inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding." G.R. No. 186529 August 3, 2010
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. JACK RACHO y RAQUERO
*Case: A confidential informant arrived at the Station Drug Enforcement Unit (SDEU) of the
Pasig City Police Station to report the alleged peddling of illegal drugs of live-in couple
Botong and Malou, later identified as appellants Rolando Araneta y Abella and Marilou
Santos y Tantay, at Barangay Putol, Rosario, Pasig City. SPO4 de Lara immediately
formed a team to confirm the veracity of the informants report and conduct a buy-bust
operation. Before dispatching the team, SPO4 de Lara briefed them as to the alleged
illegal activities of the couple and gave their description.

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The informants and PO2 Damasco went near the appellants who were standing just
outside their house. The informant and appellants exchanged greetings. After a short
conversation, Botong went inside their house. The informant introduced PO2 Damasco to

69

The team arrived at the target place around 4:10 in the morning. They positioned
themselves some 20-30 meters from the alley where appellants were allegedly staying.
Instructions were given to the informant to locate the appellants. After several minutes, the
informant came back and confirmed the presence of appellants at ROTC Street, Putol,
Bgy. Rosario, Pasig City. Thereafter, the team proceeded to the said location.

Malou by saying, "I-score itong kaibigan ko. Baka meron ka dyan." Malou then asked PO2
Damasco, "I-score ka na ba." After Malou asked PO2 Damasco, "Magkano," the latter
immediately gave her the marked P100 bill.
Malou called Botong and when the latter came out, Malou handed to him the marked
money. Botong then gave Malou a plastic sachet which she handed to PO2 Damasco.
After examining the plastic sachet, PO2 Damasco immediately gave the pre-arranged
signal to the other members of the team who thereafter rushed to the scene. PO2
Damasco arrested Malou while SPO2 Zigapan arrested Botong.
SPO2 Zigapan recovered from Botong the marked P100 bill and after frisking him, the
police officer found in Botongs pocket one plastic sachet of what looked like marijuana and
eight plastic sachets containing white crystalline substance.
The laboratory tests gave a positive result of the presence of methampethamine
hydrochloride or what is locally known as shabu on the contents of nine (9) sachets and
marijuana on one (1) sachet.
Rule: Absent any convincing countervailing evidence, the presumption is that the members
of the buy-bust team performed their duties in a regular manner. It was certainly a job well
done. Hence, the Court gives full faith and credit to the testimonies of the prosecution
witnesses.
The Court also holds that the seized items were admissible. A search warrant or warrant of
arrest was not needed because it was a buy-bust operation and the accused were caught
in flagrante delicto in possession of, and selling, dangerous drugs to the poseur-buyer. It
was definitely legal for the buy-bust team to arrest, and search, them on the spot because
a buy-bust operation is a justifiable mode of apprehending drug pushers. A buy-bust
operation is a form of entrapment whereby ways and means are resorted to for the
purpose of trapping and capturing the lawbreakers in the execution of their criminal plan. In
this jurisdiction, the operation is legal and has been proven to be an effective method of
apprehending drug peddlers, provided due regard to constitutional and legal safeguards is
undertaken
When carried out with due regard for constitutional and legal safeguards, it is a judicially
sanctioned method of apprehending those involved in illegal drug activities. It is a valid
form of entrapment, as the idea to commit a crime comes not from the police officers but
from the accused himself. The accused is caught in the act and must be apprehended on
the spot. From the very nature of a buy-bust operation, the absence of a warrant does not
make the arrest illegal.
The illegal drugs seized were not the "fruit of the poisonous tree" as the defense would like
this Court to believe. The seizure made by the buy-bust team falls under a search
incidental to a lawful arrest under Rule 126, Sec. 13 of the Rules of Court, which
pertinently provides:
A person lawfully arrested may be searched for dangerous weapons or anything which
may have been used or constitute proof in the commission of an offense without a search
warrant.

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*Case: PO2 Emmanuel L. Alteza, who was then assigned at the Sub-Station 1 of the Naga
City Police Station as a traffic enforcer, substantially testified that on March 10, 2003 at
around 3:00 oclock in the morning, he saw the accused, who was coming from the
direction of Panganiban Drive and going to Diversion Road, Naga City, driving a
motorcycle without a helmet; that this prompted him to flag down the accused for violating
a municipal ordinance which requires all motorcycle drivers to wear helmet (sic) while
driving said motor vehicle; that he invited the accused to come inside their sub-station
since the place where he flagged down the accused is almost in front of the said substation; that while he and SPO1 Rayford Brillante were issuing a citation ticket for violation

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Since the buy-bust operation was established as legitimate, it follows that the search was
also valid, and a warrant was likewise not needed to conduct it. G.R. No. 191064 October
20, 2010 People of the Philippines vs. Rolando A. Araneta and Marilou T. Santos

of municipal ordinance, he noticed that the accused was uneasy and kept on getting
something from his jacket; that he was alerted and so, he told the accused to take out the
contents of the pocket of his jacket as the latter may have a weapon inside it; that the
accused obliged and slowly put out the contents of the pocket of his jacket which was a
nickel-like tin or metal container about two (2) to three (3) inches in size, including two (2)
cellphones, one (1) pair of scissors and one (1) Swiss knife; that upon seeing the said
container, he asked the accused to open it; that after the accused opened the container, he
noticed a cartoon cover and something beneath it; and that upon his instruction, the
accused spilled out the contents of the container on the table which turned out to be four
(4) plastic sachets, the two (2) of which were empty while the other two (2) contained
suspected shabu. As such Petitioner was arrested and subjected to court action.
When the case reached the Supreme Court, Petitioner claimed that there was no lawful
search and seizure, because there was no lawful arrest. He claims that the finding that
there was a lawful arrest was erroneous, since he was not even issued a citation ticket or
charged with violation of the city ordinance. Even assuming there was a valid arrest, he
claims that he had never consented to the search conducted upon him.
Rule: We find the Petition to be impressed with merit, but not for the particular reasons
alleged.
First, there was no valid arrest of petitioner. When he was flagged down for committing a
traffic violation, he was not, ipso facto and solely for this reason, arrested. Under R.A.
4136, or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code, the general procedure for dealing with
a traffic violation is not the arrest of the offender, but the confiscation of the drivers license
of the latter:
At the time that he was waiting for PO3 Alteza to write his citation ticket, petitioner could
not be said to have been "under arrest." There was no intention on the part of PO3 Alteza
to arrest him, deprive him of his liberty, or take him into custody. Prior to the issuance of
the ticket, the period during which petitioner was at the police station may be characterized
merely as waiting time. In fact, as found by the trial court, PO3 Alteza himself testified that
the only reason they went to the police sub-station was that petitioner had been flagged
down "almost in front" of that place. Hence, it was only for the sake of convenience that
they were waiting there. There was no intention to take petitioner into custody.
Even if one were to work under the assumption that petitioner was deemed "arrested" upon
being flagged down for a traffic violation and while awaiting the issuance of his ticket, then
the requirements for a valid arrest were not complied with.
This Court has held that at the time a person is arrested, it shall be the duty of the arresting
officer to inform the latter of the reason for the arrest and must show that person the
warrant of arrest, if any. Persons shall be informed of their constitutional rights to remain
silent and to counsel, and that any statement they might make could be used against them
Second, there being no valid arrest, the warrantless search that resulted from it was
likewise illegal. G.R. No. 197788 February 29, 2012 RODEL LUZ y ONG, vs. PEOPLE
OF THE PHILIPPINES

c. Evidence in plain view;

(b)
(c)

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;
the discovery of the evidence in plain view is inadvertent; and
it is immediately apparent to the officer that the item he observes
may be evidence of a crime, contraband or otherwise subject to
seizure.

*Case: The prosecution showed that three days prior to the May 11, 1998 national and
local elections, the Philippine National Police (PNP) of Pagadian City, created a team
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(a)

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The "plain view" doctrine applies when the following requisites concur:

composed of seven policemen with a directive to establish and man a checkpoint in


Barangay Danlugan at said city, for the purpose of enforcing the Gun Ban.
At about 10:30 in the morning, a red Tamaraw FX trying to pass through the check point
was stopped by the team and directed to park at the side of the road. As the occupants
within the vehicle could not be seen through its tinted windows, SPO1 Requejo, a member
of the team, knocked on the vehicles window and requested the occupants to step down
for a routine inspection. The eight occupants, which included the accused-appellant
Abenes who is the Barangay Chairman of Tawagan Norte, Labangan, Zamboanga Del
Sur, alighted from the vehicle. At this juncture, SPO1 Requejo and SPO3 Pascua noticed
that a holstered firearm was tucked at the right waist of Abenes. The firearm was readily
visible to the policemen; it was not covered by the shirt worn by Abenes. Abenes was then
asked by SPO3 Pascua whether he had a license and authority to carry the firearm, and
whether his possession was exempted from the Gun Ban being enforced by the
COMELEC. Accused answered in the affirmative. The policemen then demanded for the
pertinent documents to be shown to support Abenes claim. He could not show any.
Hence, SPO1 Requejo confiscated Abenes firearm.
A certification dated May 18, 1998 from the Firearms and Explosives License Processing
Section of the PNP, Pagadian City disclosed that Abenes is not a registered nor a licensed
firearm holder
Rule: In the instant case, the firearm was seized from the petitioner when in plain view, the
policemen saw it tucked into his waist uncovered by his shirt.
Under the plain view doctrine, objects falling in the "plain view" of an officer who has a right
to be in the position to have that view are subject to seizure and may be presented as
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; and
(c) it is immediately apparent to the officer that the item he observes may be evidence of a
crime, contraband or otherwise subject to seizure.
All the foregoing requirements are present in the instant case. The law enforcement
officers lawfully made an initial intrusion because of the enforcement of the Gun Ban and
were properly in a position from which they particularly viewed the area. In the course of
such lawful intrusion, the policemen came inadvertently across a piece of evidence
incriminating the petitioner where they saw the gun tucked into his waist. The gun was in
plain view and discovered inadvertently when the petitioner alighted from the vehicle. G.R.
No. 156320
February 14, 2007 RODOLFO ABENES y GACUTAN vs. THE HON.
COURT OF APPEALS and PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES
*Case: On the basis of an informants tip, police officers proceeded at around 4:00 p.m. on
December 10, 2002 to Bayanihan St., Malibay, Pasay City to conduct surveillance on the
activities of an alleged notorious snatcher operating in the area known only as "Ryan."

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After apprising petitioner of her constitutional rights, the policeman confiscated the plastic
sachet on which he marked her initials "SRE." With the seized item, petitioner was brought
for investigation to a Pasay City Police Station

72

As one of the policemen alighted from the private vehicle that brought him to the target
area, he glanced in the direction of petitioner who was standing three meters away and
seen placing inside a yellow cigarette case what appeared to be a small heat-sealed
transparent plastic sachet containing white substance. While he was not sure what the
plastic sachet contained, he became suspicious when petitioner started acting strangely as
he began to approach her. He then introduced himself as a police officer to petitioner and
inquired about the plastic sachet she was placing inside her cigarette case. Instead of
replying, however, petitioner attempted to flee to her house nearby but was timely
restrained the officer who then requested her to take out the transparent plastic sachet
from the cigarette case.

In fine, petitioner claimed that the evidence against her was "planted," stemming from an
all too obvious attempt by the police officers to extort money from her and her family.
The trial court found petitioner guilty of illegal possession of Methylamphetamine
Hydrochloride or shabu.
Rule: Appellants conviction stands. The circumstances under which petitioner was
arrested indeed engender the belief that a search on her was warranted. Recall that the
police officers were on a surveillance operation as part of their law enforcement efforts.
When PO1 Cruzin saw petitioner placing a plastic sachet containing white crystalline
substance into her cigarette case, it was in his plain view. Given his training as a law
enforcement officer, it was instinctive on his part to be drawn to curiosity and to approach
her. That petitioner reacted by attempting to flee after he introduced himself as a police
officer and inquired about the contents of the plastic sachet all the more pricked his
curiosity. G.R. No. 182010
August 25, 2010 SUSAN ESQUILLO Y ROMINES vs
.PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES
*Case: A concerned citizen entered the precinct and reported that a pot session was going
on in the house of accused Gonzales in Trinidad Subdivision, Dagupan City. Upon receipt
of the report, policemen and members of the SWAT team headed to the house of
Gonzales was located.
As the police officers entered the gate of the house, they saw accused Doria coming out of
the side door and immediately arrested him. Inside the house, they saw accused
Gonzales, the other co-accused. The four were surprised by the presence of the police. In
front of them were open plastic sachets (containing shabu residue), pieces of rolled used
aluminum foil and pieces of used aluminum foil. The accused were arrested and brought
to the police precinct.
Rule: It cannor be said that the subject items were seized in plain view. The elements of
plain view are: (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; (c) the
evidence must be immediately apparent; and, (d) "plain view" justified mere seizure of
evidence without further search.
The evidence was not inadvertently discovered as the police officers intentionally entered
the house with no prior surveillance or investigation before they discovered the accused
with the subject items.
The apprehending officers should have first conducted a surveillance considering that the
identity and address of one of the accused were already ascertained. After conducting the
surveillance and determining the existence of probable cause, then a search warrant
should have been secured prior to effecting arrest and seizure. The arrest being illegal, the
ensuing search as a result thereof is likewise illegal. Evidence procured on the occasion of
an unreasonable search and seizure is deemed tainted for being the proverbial fruit of a
poisonous tree and should be excluded. The subject items seized during the illegal arrest
are thus inadmissible. The drug, being the very corpus delicti of the crime of illegal
possession of dangerous drugs, its inadmissibility thus precludes conviction, and calls for
the acquittal of the accused. G.R. No. 191366 December 13, 2010 PEOPLE OF THE
PHILIPPINES vs. ARNOLD MARTINEZ

d. Stop And Frisk Rule;

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73

The Stop and Frisk Rule was taken by the SC from a leading American case,
TERRY VS. STATE OF OHIO (392 US 1, 20 L Ed 2d 889, 88 S Ct 1868) cited
in the case of PEOPLE VS. MALMSTEDT (198 SCRA 401) and POSADAS VS.
CA (180 SCRA 283)

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In the landmark case of Terry vs. 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)59:
. . . (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 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 and any weapon seized may properly be introduced in
evidence against the person from whom they were taken.
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. This was the legitimate
investigative function which Officer McFadden discharged in that case, when
he approached petitioner and his companion whom he observed to have
hovered alternately about a street corner for an extended period of time,
while not waiting for anyone; paused to stare in the same store window
roughly 24 times; and conferred with a third person. It would have been
sloppy police work for an officer of 30 years experience to have failed to
investigate this behavior further.
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 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.
*Facts Patrolmen members of the INP of the Davao Metrodiscom were conducting a
surveillance along Magallanes, St., Davao City. While they were within the premises of the
Rizal Memorial Colleges, they spotted petitioner carrying a "buri" bag and acting
suspiciously. They approached the petitioner and identified themselves as members of the
INP. Petitioner attempted to flee but was stopped by the two. They then checked the "buri"
bag of the petitioner where they found a caliber .38 Smith & Wesson revolver, and some
rounds of live ammunition, as well as a smoke grenade,. Petitioner was brought to the
police station for further investigation. He was prosecuted for illegal possession of firearms
and ammunitions in the RTC of Davao City wherein after a plea of not guilty, and trial on
the merits, a decision was rendered finding petitioner guilty.

59

Also known as Terry Search

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However, there are many instances where a warrant and seizure can be effected without
necessarily being preceded by an arrest, foremost of which is the "stop and search"
without a search warrant

74

Rule: At the time the peace officers in this case identified themselves and apprehended
the petitioner as he attempted to flee they did not know that he had committed, or was
actually committing the offense of illegal possession of firearms and ammunitions. They
just suspected that he was hiding something in the buri bag. They did now know what its
contents were. The said circumstances did not justify an arrest without a warrant.

It is too much indeed to require the police officers to search the bag in the possession of
the petitioner only after they shall have obtained a search warrant for the purpose. Such an
exercise may prove to be useless, futile and much too late. The probable cause is that
when the petitioner acted suspiciously and attempted to flee with the buri bag there was a
probable cause that he was concealing something illegal in the bag and it was the right and
duty of the police officers to inspect the same60 G.R. No. 89139 August 2, 1990 ROMEO
POSADAS y ZAMORA vs.THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS and THE PEOPLE
OF THE PHILIPPINES
*Facts The incident occurred shortly before noon of August 8, 1987, after the Western
Police District received a telephone call from an informer that there were three suspiciouslooking persons at the corner of Juan Luna and North Bay Boulevard in Tondo, Manila. A
surveillance team of plainclothesmen was forthwith dispatched to the place. As later
narrated at the trial by Patrolmen Rolando Mercado and Alberto Juan, they there saw two
men "looking from side to side," one of whom was holding his abdomen. They approached
these persons and identified themselves as policemen, whereupon the two tried to run
away but were unable to escape because the other lawmen had surrounded them. The
suspects were then searched. One of them, who turned out to be the accused-appellant,
was found with a .38 caliber Smith and Wesson revolver with six live bullets in the
chamber. His companion, later identified as Nicanor Morellos, had a fan knife secreted in
his front right pants pocket. The weapons were taken from them. Mengote and Morellos
were then turned over to police headquarters for investigation by the Intelligence Division.
Rule: At the time of the arrest in question, the accused-appellant was merely "looking from
side to side" and "holding his abdomen," according to the arresting officers themselves.
There was apparently no offense that had just been committed or was being actually
committed or at least being attempted by Mengote in their presence.
These are certainly not sinister acts. And the setting of the arrest made them less so, if at
all. It might have been different if Mengote bad been apprehended at an ungodly hour and
in a place where he had no reason to be, like a darkened alley at 3 o'clock in the morning.
But he was arrested at 11:30 in the morning and in a crowded street shortly after alighting
from a passenger jeep with his companion. He was not skulking in the shadows but
walking in the clear light of day. There was nothing clandestine about his being on that
street at that busy hour in the blaze of the noonday sun.
On the other hand, there could have been a number of reasons, all of them innocent, why
his eyes were darting from side to side and be was holding his abdomen. If they excited
suspicion in the minds of the arresting officers, as the prosecution suggests, it has
nevertheless not been shown what their suspicion was all about. In fact, the policemen
themselves testified that they were dispatched to that place only because of the telephone
call from the informer that there were "suspicious-looking" persons in that vicinity who were
about to commit a robbery at North Bay Boulevard. The caller did not explain why he
thought the men looked suspicious nor did he elaborate on the impending crime. G.R. No.
87059June 22, 1992 THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. ROGELIO MENGOTE y
TEJAS
*Case: Policemen from the Anti-Narcotics Unit of the Kalookan City Police Station were
conducting a surveillance along A. Mabini street, Kalookan City. They then chanced upon
A quoted from the case This is illustrated in the case of Terry vs. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968). In this
case, two men repeatedly walked past a store window and returned to a spot where they apparently
conferred with a third man. This aroused the suspicion of a police officer. To the experienced officer,
the behaviour of the men indicated that they were sizing up the store for an armed robbery. When
the police officer approached the men and asked them for their names, they mumbled a reply.
Whereupon, the officer grabbed one of them, spun him around and frisked him. Finding a concealed
weapon in one, he did the same to the other two and found another weapon. In the prosecution for
the offense of carrying a concealed weapon, the defense of illegal search and seizure was put up.
The United States Supreme Court held that "a police officer may in appropriate circumstances and
in an appropriate manner approach a person for the purpose of investigating possible criminal
behaviour even though there is no probable cause to make an arrest." In such a situation, it is
reasonable for an officer rather than simply to shrug his shoulder and allow a crime to occur, to stop
a suspicious individual briefly in order to determine his identity or maintain the status quo while
obtaining more information. . . .

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60

a male person in front of the cemetery who appeared high on drugs. The male person was
observed to have reddish eyes and to be walking in a swaying manner. When this male
person tried to avoid the policemen, the latter approached him and introduced themselves
as police officers. The policemen then asked the male person what he was holding in his
hands. The male person tried to resist. They asked the male person if he could see what
said male person had in his hands. The latter showed the wallet and allowed the officers to
examine the same. They then took the wallet and examined it. Therein was found
suspected crushed marijuana residue inside.
Rule: 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 weapons. It has been
held as one of the exceptions to the general rule against searches without warrant. In the
case at hand, Patrolman Espiritu and his companions observed during their surveillance
that appellant had red eyes and was wobbling like a drunk along the Caloocan City
Cemetery, which according to police information was a popular hangout of drug addicts.
From his experience as a member of the Anti-Narcotics Unit of the Caloocan City Police,
such suspicious behavior was characteristic of drug addicts who were "high." The
policemen therefore had sufficient reason to stop petitioner to investigate if he was actually
high on drugs. During such investigation, they found marijuana in petitioner's possession:
G.R. No. 113447 October 9, 1997 ALAIN MANALILI y DIZON vs. COURT OF APPEALS
and PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES
*Case: In her present petition, petitioner assails the appellate courts application of the
"stop-and-frisk" principle in light of PO1 Cruzins failure to justify his suspicion that a crime
was being committed, he having merely noticed her placing something inside a cigarette
case which could hardly be deemed suspicious. To petitioner, such legal principle could
only be invoked if there were overt acts constituting unusual conduct that would arouse the
suspicion
Rule: Elucidating on what includes "stop-and-frisk" operation and how it is to be carried
out, the Court in People v. Chua held:
. . . the act of a police officer to stop a citizen on the street, interrogate him, and pat him for
weapon(s) or contraband. The police officer should properly introduce himself and make
initial inquiries, approach and restrain a person who manifests unusual and suspicious
conduct, in order to check the latters outer clothing for possibly concealed weapons. The
apprehending police officer must have a genuine reason, in accordance with the police
officers experience and the surrounding conditions, to warrant the belief that the person to
be held has weapons (or contraband) concealed about him. It should therefore be
emphasized that a search and seizure should precede the arrest for this principle to apply.
What is, therefore, essential is that a genuine reason must exist, in light of the police
officers experience and surrounding conditions, to warrant the belief that the person who
manifests unusual suspicious conduct has weapons or contraband concealed about him.
Such a "stop-and-frisk" practice serves a dual purpose:
(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

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From these standards, the Court finds that the questioned act of the police officers
constituted a valid "stop-and-frisk" operation. The search/seizure of the suspected shabu
initially noticed in petitioners possession - later voluntarily exhibited to the police operative
- was undertaken after she was interrogated on what she placed inside a cigarette case,
and after PO1 Cruzin introduced himself to petitioner as a police officer. And, at the time of
her arrest, petitioner was exhibiting suspicious behavior and in fact attempted to flee after
the police officer had identified himself. G.R. No. 182010 August 25, 2010 SUSAN
ESQUILLO Y ROMINES vs .PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

76

(2) the more pressing interest of safety and self-preservation 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.

e. Consented search / Express waiver


*Case: The petitioners question the admissibility in evidence of the articles seized in
violation of their constitutional right against unreasonable search and seizure.
Petitioners aver that while they concede that Capt. Obrero had permission from Ma.
Luisa Veroy to break open the door of their residence, it was merely for the purpose of
ascertaining thereat the presence of the alleged "rebel" soldiers. The permission did not
include any authority to conduct a room to room search once inside the house. The
items taken were, therefore, products of an illegal search, violative of their constitutional
rights As such, they are inadmissible in evidence against them.
Rule: The reason for searching the house of herein petitioners is that it was reportedly
being used as a hideout and recruitment center for rebel soldiers. While Capt. Obrero
was able to enter the compound, he did not enter the house because he did not have a
search warrant and the owners were not present. This shows that he himself recognized
the need for a search warrant, hence, he did not persist in entering the house but rather
contacted the Veroys to seek permission to enter the same. Permission was indeed
granted by Ma. Luisa Veroy to enter the house but only to ascertain the presence of
rebel soldiers. Under the circumstances it is undeniable that the police officers had
ample time to procure a search warrant but did not.
In a number of cases decided by this Court, (Guazon v. De Villa, supra.; People v.
Aminnudin, G.R. No. L-74869, July 6, 1988 [163 SCRA 402]; Alih v. Castro, G.R. No. L69401, June 23, 1987 [151 SCRA 279]), warrantless searches were declared illegal
because the officials conducting the search had every opportunity to secure a search
Warrant. The objects seized, being products of illegal searches, were inadmissible in
evidence in the criminal actions subsequently instituted against the accused-appellants
(People v. Cendana, G.R. No. 84715, October 17, 1990 [190 SCRA 538]). G.R. No. L95630 June 18, 1992 SPOUSES LEOPOLDO and MA. LUISA VEROY vs. THE HON.
WILLIAM L. LAYAGUE
*Rule:: Indeed, the constitutional immunity against unreasonable searches and seizures
is a personal right which may be waived. However, it must be seen that the consent to
the search was voluntary in order to validate an otherwise illegal detention and search,
i.e., the consent was unequivocal, specific, and intelligently given, uncontaminated by
any duress or coercion. The consent to a search is not to be lightly inferred, but must be
shown by clear and convincing evidence. The question whether a consent to a search
was in fact voluntary is a question of fact to be determined from the totality of all the
circumstances.
Relevant to this determination are the following characteristics of the person giving
consent and the environment in which consent is given:
(1) the age of the defendant;
(2) whether he was in a public or secluded location;
(3) whether he objected to the search or passively looked on;
(4) the education and intelligence of the defendant;
(5) the presence of coercive police procedures;
(6) the defendant's belief that no incriminating evidence will be found;
(7) the nature of the police questioning;
(8) the environment in which the questioning took place; and
(9) the possibly vulnerable subjective state of the person consenting.

Page

There is reason to believe that Nuevas indeed willingly submitted the plastic bag with
the incriminating contents to the police officers. It can be seen that in his desperate
attempt to exculpate himself from any criminal liability, Nuevas cooperated with the
police, gave them the plastic bag and even revealed his associates, offering himself as
an informant. His actuations were consistent with the lamentable human inclination to
find excuses, blame others and save oneself even at the cost of others lives. Thus, the
Court would have affirmed Nuevass conviction had he not withdrawn his appeal.
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77

It is the State which has the burden of proving, by clear and positive testimony, that the
necessary consent was obtained and that it was freely and voluntarily given.

However, with respect to the search conducted in the case of Din, the Court finds that
no such consent had actually been given The prosecution failed to clearly show that Din
intentionally surrendered his right against unreasonable searches. While it may not be
contrary to human nature for one to be jolted into surrendering something incriminating
to authorities, Famis and Cablings testimonies do not show that Din was in such a state
of mind or condition. Fami and Cabling did not testify on Dins composurewhether he
felt surprised or frightened at the timewhich fact we find necessary to provide basis for
the surrender of the bag. There was no mention of any permission made by the police
officers to get or search the bag or of any consent given by Din for the officers to search
it. It is worthy to note that in cases where the Court upheld the validity of consented
search, the police authorities expressly asked, in no uncertain terms, for the consent of
the accused to be searched. And the consent of the accused was established by clear
and positive proof.
Neither can Dins silence at the time be construed as an implied acquiescence to the
warrantless search. G.R. No. 170233 February 22, 2007 THE PEOPLE OF THE
PHILIPPINES vs. JESUS NUEVAS y GARCIA, REYNALDO DIN y GONZAGA, and
FERNANDO INOCENCIO y ABADEOS
*Rule: The evidence in this case shows that at the time of their arrest, accusedappellants were caught in flagrante carrying/transporting dried marijuana leaves in their
traveling bags. PO3 Masanggue and SPO1 Blanco need not even open Dequinas
traveling bag to determine its content because when the latter noticed the police officers
presence, she walked briskly away and in her hurry, accidentally dropped her traveling
bag, causing the zipper to open and exposed the dried marijuana bricks therein. Since a
crime was then actually being committed by the accused-appellants, their warrantless
arrest was legally justified, and the following warrantless search of their traveling bags
was allowable as incidental to their lawful arrest.
Besides, accused-appellants did not raise any protest when they, together with their
bags containing marijuana, were brought to the police station for investigation and
subsequent prosecution. In People v. Fernandez, we ruled that:
When one voluntarily submits to a search or consents to have it made of his person
or premises, he is precluded from later complaining thereof. x x x. The right to be
secure from unreasonable search may, like every right, be waived and such waiver
may be made either expressly or impliedly.
WHEREFORE, the instant appeal is DENIED. G.R. No. 177570 January 19, 2011
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. NELIDA DEQUINA Y DIMAPANAN, JOSELITO
JUNDOC Y JAPITANA & NORA JINGABO Y CRUZ,
*Case: Following a ransom pay off., elements of the police tailed the subject vehicle.
until it reached Dasmarias Village in Makati. They continuously followed the car inside
the village. When said car slowed down, they blocked it and immediately approached
the vehicle. They introduced themselves as police officers and accosted the suspect,
who turned out to be appellant. Appellant suddenly pulled a .38 caliber revolver and a
scuffle took place. They managed to subdue appellant and handcuffed him. Appellant
was requested to open the compartment and a gray bag was found inside. P/Supt. Cruz
saw money, jewelry and a gun inside the bag. Appellant was then brought to Camp
Crame for questioning.

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Atty. Edgar B. Pascua II

Page

Case: On March 16, 2005, DCA Dela Cruz conducted a spot investigation was
conducted by DCA Dela Cruz together with four NBI agents, a crime photographer and
a support staff. The team was able to access the personal computer of Atty. Morales

78

Rule: the search conducted inside the car of appellant was legal because the latter
consented to such search as testified by P/Supt. Cruz. Even assuming that appellant did
not give his consent for the police to search the car, they can still validly do so by virtue
of a search incident to a lawful arrest under Section 13, Rule 126 of the Rules of Court/
G.R. No. 178039 January 19, 2011 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. ERNESTO
UYBOCO y RAMOS

and print two documents (pleadings) stored in its hard drive evidencing his alleged
misconduct.
Atty. Morales, in defense, argues that since the pleadings were acquired from his
personal computer which DCA Dela Cruz confiscated without any valid search and
seizure order, such evidence should be considered as the fruits of a poisonous tree as it
violated his right to privacy.
The finding of guilt or exoneration of Atty. Morales hinges on this very crucial question:
Are the pleadings found in Atty. Morales's personal computer admissible in the present
administrative case against him?
Rule: Enshrined in our Constitution is the inviolable right of the people to be secure in
their persons and properties against unreasonable searches and seizures, which is
provided for under Section 2, Article III thereof. The exclusionary rule under Section
3(2), Article III of the Constitution also bars the admission of evidence obtained in
violation of such right. The fact that the present case is administrative in nature does not
render the above principle inoperative. As expounded in Zulueta v. Court of Appeals,
any violation of the aforestated constitutional right renders the evidence obtained
inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding.
There are exceptions to this rule one of which is consented warrantless search.
DCA Dela Cruz in his report claims that that they were able to obtain the subject
pleadings with the consent of Atty. Morales
Consent to a search is not to be lightly inferred and must be shown by clear and
convincing evidence. It must be voluntary in order to validate an otherwise illegal
search; that is, the consent must be unequivocal, specific, intelligently given and
uncontaminated by any duress or coercion. The burden of proving, by clear and positive
testimony, that the necessary consent was obtained and that it was freely and
voluntarily given lies with the State. Acquiescence in the loss of fundamental rights is
not to be presumed and courts indulge every reasonable presumption against waiver of
fundamental constitutional rights.
To constitute a valid consent or waiver of the constitutional guarantee against obtrusive
searches, it must be shown that
(1) the right exists;
(2) that the person involved had knowledge, either actual or constructive, of the
existence of such right; and
(3) the said person had an actual intention to relinquish the right.
In this case, what is missing is a showing that Atty. Morales had an actual intention to
relinquish his right. While he may have agreed to the opening of his personal computer
and the printing of files therefrom, in the presence of DCA Dela Cruz, his staff and some
NBI agents during the March 16, 2005 spot investigation, it is also of record that Atty.
Morales immediately filed an administrative case against said persons questioning the
validity of the investigation, specifically invoking his constitutional right against
unreasonable search and seizure.

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79

While Atty. Morales may have fallen short of the exacting standards required of every
court employee, unfortunately, the Court cannot use the evidence obtained from his
personal computer against him for it violated his constitutional right. And as there is no
other evidence, apart from the pleadings, retrieved from the unduly confiscated personal
computer of Atty. Morales, to hold him administratively liable, the Court has no choice
but to dismiss the charges herein against him for insufficiency of evidence. A.M. No. P08-2519 November 19, 2008 (Formerly A.M. OCA IPI No. 05-2155-P) ANONYMOUS
LETTER-COMPLAINT AGAINST ATTY. MIGUEL MORALES, CLERK OF COURT,
METROPOLITAN TRIAL COURT OF MANILA

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Atty. Edgar B. Pascua II

f. Customs searches61;
*Case: The facts are as follows: On December 9, 1998, Felipe A. Bartolome, District
Collector of Customs of Cebu, issued a Warrant of Seizure and Detention of 25,000 bags
of rice, bearing the name of SNOWMAN, Milled in Palawan" shipped on board the M/V
"Alberto", which was then docketed at Pier 6 in Cebu City. The warrant was issued on the
basis of the report of the Economic Intelligence and Investigation Bureau (EIIB), Region VII
that the rice had been illegally imported. The report stated that the rice was landed in
Palawan by a foreign vessel and then placed in sacks marked "SNOWMAN," Milled in
Palawan." It was then shipped to Cebu City on board the vessel M/V "Alberto." Forfeiture
proceedings were started in the customs office in Cebu, docketed as Cebu Seizure
Identification Case No. 17-98.
On December 10, 1998, respondent Mark Montelibano, the consignee of the sacks of rice,
and his buyer, respondent Elson Ogario, filed a complaint for injunction Was the seizure
legal?
Rule: 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.
The rule that Regional Trial Courts have no review powers over such proceedings is
anchored upon the policy of placing no unnecessary hindrance on the government's drive,
not only to prevent smuggling and other frauds upon Customs, but more importantly, to
render effective and efficient the collection of import and 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, which has yet to be proven,
we have said that such act does not deprive the Bureau of Customs of jurisdiction thereon.
Respondents overlook the fact, however, that under the law, the question of whether
probable cause exists for the seizure of the subject sacks of rice is not for the Regional
Trial Court to determine. The customs authorities do not have to prove to the satisfaction of
the court that the articles on board a vessel were imported from abroad or are intended to
be shipped abroad before they may exercise the power to effect customs' searches,
seizures, or arrests provided by law and continue with the administrative hearings. G.R.
No. 138081 March 30, 2000 THE BUREAU OF CUSTOMS (BOC) and THE ECONOMIC
INTELLIGENCE AND INVESTIGATION BUREAU (EIIB) vs. NELSON OGARIO and
MARK MONTELIBANO
*Rule The search and seizure of goods, suspected to have been introduced into the
country in violation of customs laws, is one of the seven doctrinally accepted exceptions to
the constitutional provision. Such provision mandates that no search or seizure shall be
made except by virtue of a warrant issued by a judge who has personally determined the
existence of probable cause.

A search warrant is required for a search on a dwelling house even for custom searches.
Searches in borders and ports of entry for customs / tarrif purposes need no warrant nor probable
cause.

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Page

61

80

Under the Tariff and Customs Code, a search, seizure and arrest may be made even
without a warrant for purposes of enforcing customs and tariff laws. Without mention of the

need to priorly obtain a judicial warrant, the Code specifically allows police authorities to
enter, pass through or search any land, enclosure, warehouse, store or building that is not
a dwelling house; and also to inspect, search and examine any vessel or aircraft and any
trunk, package, box or envelope or any person on board; or to stop and search and
examine any vehicle, beast or person suspected of holding or conveying any dutiable or
prohibited article introduced into the Philippines contrary to law. G.R. No. 147817 August
12, 2004 FELICISIMO RIETA vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES
*Rule: In Papa vs. Mago involving a customs search, we held that law enforcers who are
tasked to effect the enforcement of the customs and tariff laws are authorized to search
and seize, without a search warrant, any article, cargo or other movable property when
there is reasonable cause to suspect that the said items have been introduced into the
Philippines in violation of the tariff and customs law. They may likewise conduct a
warrantless search of any vehicle or person suspected of holding or conveying the said
articles, as in the case at bar.
In short, Mago clearly recognizes the power of the State to foil any fraudulent schemes
resorted to by importers who evade payment of customs duties. The Governments policy
to combat the serious malady of smuggling cannot be reduced to futility and impotence on
the ground that dutiable articles on which the duty has not been paid are entitled to the
same Constitutional protection as an individuals private papers and effects. Here, we see
no reason not to apply this State policy which we have continued to affirm. G.R. No.
146706. July 15, 2005 TOMAS SALVADOR vs.THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

g. Exigent searches or searches during emergency circumstances


*Case: Surveillance was undertaken by the military along EDSA because of intelligence
reports about a coup. Members of the team were engaged by rebels in gunfire killing one
member of the team. A searching team raided the Eurocar Sales Office. They were able to
find and confiscate some ammunitions inside one of the rooms belonging to a certain Col.
Matillano. De Gracia was seen inside the office of Col. Matillano, holding a C-4 and
suspiciously peeping through a door.
Issue: Whether or not there was a valid search and seizure

Page

Under the foregoing circumstances, it is our considered opinion that the instant case falls
under one of the exceptions to the prohibition against a warrantless search. In the first
place, the military operatives, taking into account the facts obtaining in this case, had
reasonable ground to believe that a crime was being committed. There was consequently
more than sufficient probable cause to warrant their action. Furthermore, under the
situation then prevailing, the raiding team had no opportunity to apply for and secure a
search warrant from the courts. The trial judge himself manifested that on December 5,
1989 when the raid was conducted, his court was closed. Under such urgency and
exigency of the moment, a search warrant could lawfully be dispensed with. G. R. Nos.
102009-10 July 6, 1994 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. ROLANDO DE GRACIA,
CHITO HENSON and JOHN DOES, accused. ROLANDO DE GRACIA

81

Rule: It is admitted that the military operatives who raided the Eurocar Sales Office were
not armed with a search warrant at that time. The raid was actually precipitated by
intelligence reports that said office was being used as headquarters by the RAM. Prior to
the raid, there was a surveillance conducted on the premises wherein the surveillance
team was fired at by a group of men coming from the Eurocar building. When the military
operatives raided the place, the occupants thereof refused to open the door despite
requests for them to do so, thereby compelling the former to break into the office. The
Eurocar Sales Office is obviously not a gun store and it is definitely not an armory or
arsenal which are the usual depositories for explosives and ammunition. It is primarily and
solely engaged in the sale of automobiles. The presence of an unusual quantity of highpowered firearms and explosives could not be justifiably or even colorably explained. In
addition, there was general chaos and disorder at that time because of simultaneous and
intense firing within the vicinity of the office and in the nearby Camp Aguinaldo which was
under attack by rebel forces. The courts in the surrounding areas were obviously closed
and, for that matter, the building and houses therein were deserted.

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Atty. Edgar B. Pascua II

See also People v. Tudtud, G.R. No. 144037, September 26, 2003, 412 SCRA 142,
153-154; Caballes v. Court of Appeals, 424 Phil. 263, 277 (2002); People v. Sevilla,
139-140; People v. Aruta, 351 Phil. 868, 879-880 (1998).
h. By Private persons
*Case: Andre Marti and his wife went to Manila Packing and Export Forwarders, carrying
with them four gift wrapped packages to be delivered to his friend in Zurich, Switzerland.
Anita Reyes (wife of the proprietor) asked if she could inspect the packages, however,
Marti refused assuring that it only contained books, cigars and gloves as gift to his friend.
Before delivery to Bureau of Customs/Posts, the proprietor Job Reyes, following standard
operating procedure, opened the boxes for final inspection. When he opened Marti's
boxes, a particular odor emitted therefrom and he soon found out that the boxes contained
dried marijuana leaves. He reported the incident to the NBI who acknowledged custody of
the incident. Marti was convicted for violation of R.A. 6425, otherwise known as the
Dangerous Drugs Act.
Rule: The case at bar assumes a peculiar character since the evidence sought to be
excluded was primarily discovered and obtained by a private person, acting in a private
capacity and without the intervention and participation of State authorities. Under the
circumstances, can accused/appellant validly claim that his constitutional right against
unreasonable searches and seizure has been violated? Stated otherwise, may an act of a
private individual, allegedly in violation of appellant's constitutional rights, be invoked
against the State?
We hold in the negative. In the absence of governmental interference, the liberties
guaranteed by the Constitution cannot be invoked against the State.
The contraband in the case at bar having come into possession of the Government without
the latter transgressing appellant's rights against unreasonable search and seizure, the
Court sees no cogent reason why the same should not be admitted against him in the
prosecution of the offense charged. G.R. No. 81561 January 18, 1991 PEOPLE OF THE
PHILIPPINES vs. ANDRE MARTI
*Rule: As regards the constitutional violation upon which the NLRC anchored its decision,
we find no reason to revise the doctrine laid down in People vs. Marti that the Bill of Rights
does not protect citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures perpetrated by private
individuals. It is not true, as counsel for Catolico claims, that the citizens have no recourse
against such assaults. On the contrary, and as said counsel admits, such an invasion gives
rise to both criminal and civil liabilities. G.R. No. 113271 October 16, 1997 WATEROUS
DRUG CORPORATION and MS. EMMA CO vs. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS
COMMISSION and ANTONIA MELODIA CATOLICO
*Case: Accused was found by his daughter hiding a gun under the bed immediately after
the incident when the latter heard 3 gunshots from the other room of the house.
Incidentally, the wife of the accused was found dead in the same house. Moments after,
the father of the deceased wife went to the house and retrieved memorandum order for the
gun allegedly used for the killing, owned by the accused. This evidence was used by the
prosecution.

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Atty. Edgar B. Pascua II

Page

The Solicitor General is correct in explaining that such rights applies as a restraint directed
only against the government and its agencies. The case in point is People vs. Marti (193
SCRA 57 [1991]) where this Court had the occasion to rule that 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.

82

Rule: The possession of the fatal gun by accused-appellant is established by the


memorandum receipt signed by accused-appellant himself and a mission order authorizing
him to carry the said weapon But accused-appellant claims that these documents were
illegally procured in grave violation of his constitutional right to privacy of communication
and papers, and/or his right against unreasonable search and seizure

In the instant case, the memorandum receipt and mission order were discovered by
accused-appellant's father-in-law Alipio Eusebio, a private citizen. Certainly, a search
warrant is dispensable G.R. No. 109279 January 18, 1999 PEOPLE OF THE
PHILIPPINES vs. OCTAVIO MENDOZA y LANDICHO
*Case: An interisland passenger ship, M/V Super Ferry 5, sailed from Manila to Iligan City.
At about 3:00 a.m. on March 13, 1999, the vessel was about to dock at the port of Iligan
City when its security officer, Mark Diesmo, received a complaint from passenger Lorena
Canoy about her missing jewelry. Canoy suspected one of her co-passengers at cabin no.
106 as the culprit. Diesmo and four (4) other members of the vessel security force
accompanied Canoy to search for the suspect whom they later found at the economy
section. The suspect was identified as the accused, Basher Bongcarawan. The accused
was informed of the complaint and was invited to go back to cabin no. 106. With his
consent, he was bodily searched, but no jewelry was found. He was then escorted by two
(2) security agents back to the economy section to get his baggage. The accused took a
Samsonite suitcase and brought this back to the cabin. When requested by the security,
the accused opened the suitcase, revealing a brown bag and small plastic packs
containing white crystalline substance. Suspecting the substance to be "shabu," the
security personnel immediately reported the matter to the ship captain and took pictures of
the accused beside the suitcase and its contents.
Rule: Whenever this right is challenged, an individual may choose between invoking the
constitutional protection or waiving his right by giving consent to the search and seizure. It
should be stressed, however, that protection is against transgression committed by the
government or its agent. As held by this Court in the case of People v. Marti, [i]n the
absence of governmental interference, liberties guaranteed by the Constitution cannot be
invoked against the State."The constitutional proscription against unlawful searches and
seizures applies as a restraint directed only against the government and its agencies
tasked with the enforcement of the law. Thus, it could only be invoked against the State to
whom the restraint against arbitrary and unreasonable exercise of power is imposed.
In the case before us, the baggage of the accused-appellant was searched by the vessel
security personnel. It was only after they found "shabu" inside the suitcase that they called
the Philippine Coast Guard for assistance. The search and seizure of the suitcase and the
contraband items was therefore carried out without government intervention, and hence,
the constitutional protection against unreasonable search and seizure does not apply.
There is no merit in the contention of the accused-appellant that the search and seizure
performed by the vessel security personnel should be considered as one conducted by the
police authorities for like the latter, the former are armed and tasked to maintain peace and
order. The vessel security officer in the case at bar is a private employee and does not
discharge any governmental function. In contrast, police officers are agents of the state
tasked with the sovereign function of enforcement of the law. Historically and until now, it is
against them and other agents of the state that the protection against unreasonable
searches and seizures may be invoked. G.R. No. 143944 July 11, 2002 THE PEOPLE
OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. BASHER BONGCARAWAN y MACARAMBON

Page

*Case: This case involves accused-appellant Leila Johnson, who was also a departing
passenger bound for the United States via Continental Airlines CS-912. Olivia Ramirez
was then the frisker on duty, whose task was to frisk departing passengers, employees
and crew to check for weapons, bombs, prohibited drugs, contraband goods and
explosives. When Olivia frisked Leila, the former felt something hard on the latters
abdominal area. Upon inquiry, Leila explained that she needed to wear two panty girdles,
as she had just undergone an operation as a result of an ectopic pregnancy. Not satisfied
with the explanation, Olivia reported the matter to her superior, who then directed her to
take Leila to the nearest womens room for inspection. In the comfort room, Leila was
asked "to bring out the thing under her girdle." She acceded and brought out three plastic
packs which contained a total of 580.2 grams of methamphetamine hydrochloride or
shabu. This Court ruled that the packs of "methamphetamine hydrochloride" seized during
the routine frisk at the airport was acquired legitimately pursuant to airport security
procedures and are therefore admissible in evidence against Leila. Corollarily, her
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Atty. Edgar B. Pascua II

83

i. Airport Security

subsequent arrest, although likewise without warrant, was justified, since it was effected
upon the discovery and recovery of shabu in her person flagrante delicto. The Court held
in this wise:
Rule: 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
carry-on 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 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. 348
SCRA 526 [2000]. People v. Johnson also cited in G.R. No. 148825 December 27,
2002 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. SUSAN CANTON

j. Jail Safety
Rule: We find in order the search of the bag of Felicidad Macabare, at the time she was
visiting her husband who was a detainee. PO3 Sevillano testified, this search is part of
police standard operating procedure, and is recognized as part of precautionary
measures by the police to safeguard the safety of the detainees as well as the over-all
security of the jail premises G.R. No. 113269 April 10, 2001 PEOPLE OF THE
PHILIPPINES vs. OSCAR CONDE y LUTOC, ALLAN ATIS

Others: instances when a warrantless search and seizure is valid, to wit:


a. Searches of vessels and aircraft for violation of immigration, customs,
and drug laws
b. Searches of automobiles at borders or constructive borders;
c. Searches of buildings and premises to enforce fire, sanitary, and
building regulations;
3.

Checkpoints and Areal target Zonings

a. Checkpoints
*Case: On 20 January 1987, the National Capital Region District Command (NCRDC)
was activated pursuant to Letter of Instruction 02/87 of the Philippine General
Headquarters, AFP, with the mission of conducting security operations within its area of
responsibility and peripheral areas, for the purpose of establishing an effective territorial
defense, maintaining peace and order, and providing an atmosphere conducive to the
social, economic and political development of the National Capital Region. As part of its
duty to maintain peace and order, the NCRDC installed checkpoints in various parts of
Valenzuela, Metro Manila.

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84

Petitioners aver that, because of the installation of said checkpoints, the residents of
Valenzuela are worried of being harassed and of their safety being placed at the
arbitrary, capricious and whimsical disposition of the military manning the checkpoints,
considering that their cars and vehicles are being subjected to regular searches and
check-ups, especially at night or at dawn, without the benefit of a search warrant and/or
court order

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Atty. Edgar B. Pascua II

Petitioners contend that the said checkpoints give the respondents a blanket authority to
make searches and/or seizures without search warrant or court order in violation of the
Constitution;
Issue: Whether or not checkpoints searches and/or seizures without search warrant or
court order is in violation of the Constitution;
Held: Petitioner Valmonte's general allegation to the effect that he had been stopped and
searched without a search warrant by the military manning the checkpoints, without
more, i.e., without stating the details of the incidents which amount to a violation of his
right against unlawful search and seizure, is not sufficient to enable the Court to
determine whether there was a violation of Valmonte's right against unlawful search and
seizure. Not all searches and seizures are prohibited. Those which are reasonable are
not forbidden. A reasonable search is not to be determined by any fixed formula but is to
be resolved according to the facts of each case.
Between the inherent right of the state to protect its existence and promote public welfare
and an individual's right against a warrantless search which is however reasonably
conducted, the former should prevail.
True, the manning of checkpoints by the military is susceptible of abuse by the men in
uniform, in the same manner that all governmental power is susceptible of abuse. But, at
the cost of occasional inconvenience, discomfort and even irritation to the citizen, the
checkpoints during these abnormal times, when conducted within reasonable limits, are
part of the price we pay for an orderly society and a peaceful community.62 G.R. No.
83988 September 29, 1989 RICARDO C. VALMONTE AND UNION OF LAWYERS
AND ADVOCATES FOR PEOPLE'S RIGHTS (ULAP) vs. GEN. RENATO DE VILLA
AND NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION DISTRICT COMMAND
*Case: Petitioners have filed the instant motion and supplemental motion for
reconsideration of the Court's decision dated 29 September 1989.
Rule: It should be stated, at the outset, that nowhere in the questioned decision did this
Court legalize all checkpoints, i.e. at all times and under all circumstances. What the
Court declared is, that checkpoints are not illegal per se. Thus, under exceptional
circumstances, as where the survival of organized government is on the balance, or
where the lives and safety of the people are in grave peril, checkpoints may be allowed
and installed by the government. Implicit in this proposition is, that when the situation
clears and such grave perils are removed, checkpoints will have absolutely no reason to
remain.
One must concede to the basic right of the (government) to defend itself from its enemies
and, while in power, to pursue its program of government intended for public welfare; and
in the pursuit of those objectives, the government has the equal right, under its police
power, to select the reasonable means and methods for best achieving them. The
checkpoint is evidently one of such means it has selected.
Admittedly, the routine checkpoint stop does intrude, to a certain extent, on motorist's
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 vehicle's occupants are
required to answer a brief question or two.
For as long as

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The setting up of the questioned checkpoints in Valenzuela (and probably in other areas) may be
considered as a security measure to enable the NCRDC to pursue its mission of establishing
effective territorial defense and maintaining peace and order for the benefit of the public.
Checkpoints may also be regarded as measures to thwart plots to destabilize the government, in the
interest of public security. In this connection, the Court may take judicial notice of the shift to urban
centers and their suburbs of the insurgency movement, so clearly reflected in the increased killings
in cities of police and military men by NPA "sparrow units," not to mention the abundance of
unlicensed firearms and the alarming rise in lawlessness and violence in such urban centers, not all
of which are reported in media, most likely brought about by deteriorating economic conditions
which all sum up to what one can rightly consider, at the very least, as abnormal times

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62

a. the vehicle is neither searched nor its occupants subjected to a body search, and
b. the inspection of the vehicle is limited to a visual search
said routine checks cannot be regarded as violative of an individual's right against
unreasonable search. These routine checks, when conducted in a fixed area, are even
less intrusive
In any situation, where abuse marks the operation of a checkpoint, the citizen is not
helpless. For the military is not above but subject to the law. And the courts exist to see
that the law is supreme. Soldiers, including those who man checkpoints, who abuse their
authority act beyond the scope of their authority and are, therefore, liable criminally and
civilly for their abusive acts; G.R. No. 83988 May 24, 1990 RICARDO C. VALMONTE
AND UNION OF LAWYERS AND ADVOCATES FOR PEOPLES'S RIGHTS (ULAP) vs.
GEN. RENATO DE VILLA AND NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION DISTRICT COMMAND
*Case: A private jeep driven by Bocalan was stopped at a police checkpoint in Cavite
City for routine inspection. With Bocalan were his Fernandez and Exala. Pfc. Galang, a
member of the inspection team, went near the jeep and asked the occupants if there
were firearms inside. They answered in the negative. Pfc. Galang proceeded to inspect
the vehicle by beaming a flashlight inside. He then noticed a black leather bag measuring
about a foot wide and two feet long with its sides bulging. When he asked what it
contained, there was deadening silence from the accused. Instead, they suddenly
became fidgety. Suspicious, Pfc. Galang ordered the bag opened, which was found out
to contain marijuana.
Rule: There are indeed instances where search and seizure can be effected without
necessarily being preceded by an arrest. An illustration would be the "stop-and-search"
without a warrant at military or police checkpoints, the constitutionality of which has
already been upheld by this Court. Vehicles are generally allowed to pass through these
checkpoints after a routine inspection and answering a few questions. If vehicles are
stopped and extensively searched it is because of some probable cause which justifies a
reasonable belief of those manning the checkpoints that either the motorist is a lawoffender or the contents of the vehicle are or have been instruments in the commission of
an offense. The case before Us is an incident to or an offshoot of a lawful "stop-andsearch" at a military or police checkpoint. Their submissive stance after the discovery of
the bag of marijuana, as well as the absence of any protest on their part when arrested,
not only casts serious doubt on their professed innocence but also confirms their
acquiescence to the search. Clearly then, there was waiver of the right against
unreasonable search and seizure. G.R. No. 76005. April 23, 1993. PEOPLE OF THE
PHILIPPINES vs. RODELIO C. EXALA, RESTITUTO B. BOCALAN and JAIME P.
FERNANDEZ, RESTITUTO B. BOCALAN
*Rule: 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 fixed area, are even less intrusive.

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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 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

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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.

subjecting its passengers to a body search. There is nothing discriminatory in this as this
is what the situation demands. G.R. No. 156320 February 14, 2007 RODOLFO
ABENES y GACUTAN vs. HE HON. COURT OF APPEALS and PEOPLE OF THE
PHILIPPINES

b. Areal target Zonings


*Case: This is a petition for prohibition with preliminary injunction to prohibit the military
and police officers represented by public respondents from conducting "Areal Target
Zonings" or "Saturation Drives" in Metro Manila.
According to the petitioners, the "areal target zonings" or saturation drives" are in critical
areas pinpointed by the military and police as places where the subversives are hiding.
The petitioners claim that the saturation drives follow a common pattern of human rights
abuses.
The respondents have legal authority to conduct saturation drives. And second, they
allege that the accusations of the petitioners about a deliberate disregard for human
rights are total lies.
Rule: There can be no question that under ordinary circumstances, the police action of
the nature described by the petitioners would be illegal and blantantly violative of the
express guarantees of the Bill of Rights. If the military and the police must conduct
concerted campaigns to flush out and catch criminal elements, such drives must be
consistent with the constitutional and statutory rights of all the people affected by such
actions.
There is, of course, nothing in the Constitution which denies the authority of the Chief
Executive, invoked by the Solicitor General, to order police actions to stop unabated
criminality, rising lawlessness, and alarming communist activities. The Constitution
grants to Government the power to seek and cripple subversive movements which would
bring down constituted authority and substitute a regime where individual liberties are
suppressed as a matter of policy in the name of security of the State. However, all police
actions are governed by the limitations of the Bill of Rights. The Government cannot
adopt the same reprehensible methods of authoritarian systems both of the right and of
the left, the enlargement of whose spheres of influence it is trying hard to suppress. Our
democratic institutions may still be fragile but they are not in the least bit strengthened
through violations of the constitutional protections which are their distinguishing features.
The individual's right to immunity from such invasion of his body was considered as "far
outweighed by the value of its deterrent effect" on the evil sought to be avoided by the
police action.
It is clear, therefore, that the nature of the affirmative relief hinges closely on the
determination of the exact facts surrounding a particular case.
The violations of human rights alleged by the petitioners are serious. If an orderly
procedure ascertains their truth, not only a writ of prohibition but criminal prosecutions
would immediately issue as a matter of course. A persistent pattern of wholesale and
gross abuse of civil liberties, as alleged in the petition, has no place in civilized society.

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It is clear from the pleadings of both petitioners and respondents, however, that there
was no rebellion or criminal activity similar to that of the attempted coup d' etats. There
appears to have been no impediment to securing search warrants or warrants of arrest
before any houses were searched or individuals roused from sleep were arrested. There
is no strong showing that the objectives sought to be attained by the "areal zoning" could
not be achieved even as the rights of squatter and low income families are fully
protected.

87

The areal target zonings in this petition were intended to flush out subversives and
criminal elements particularly because of the blatant assassinations of public officers and
police officials by elements supposedly coddled by the communities where the "drives"
were conducted.

Where a violation of human rights specifically guaranteed by the Constitution is involved,


it is the duty of the court to stop the transgression and state where even the awesome
power of the state may not encroach upon the rights of the individual. It is the duty of the
court to take remedial action even in cases such as the present petition where the
petitioners do not complain that they were victims of the police actions, where no names
of any of the thousands of alleged victims are given, and where the prayer is a general
one to stop all police "saturation drives," as long as the Court is convinced that the event
actually happened. G.R. No. 80508 January 30, 1990 EDDIE GUAZON, et al vs.MAJ.
GEN. RENATO DE VILLA

4. What may be seized


A search warrant may be issued for the search and seizure of personal
property:
(a) Subject of the offense;
(b) Stolen or embezzled and other proceeds, or fruits of the offense; or
(c) Used or intended to be used as the means of committing an offense 63.
5. Remedies in case of violation
a. Exclusionary Rule
Any evidence obtained in violation of this or the preceding section shall be
inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding.64

There is no question that evidence obtained as a result of an illegal search


or seizure is inadmissible in any proceeding for any purpose. That is the
absolute prohibition of Article III, Section 3(2), of the Constitution. This is
the celebrated exclusionary rule based on the justification given by Judge
Learned Hand that "only in case the prosecution, which itself controls the
seizing officials, knows that it cannot profit by their wrong will the wrong be
repressed."
*Case:: Upon application of the officers of the government several judges issued, on
different dates, a total of 42 search warrants against petitioners herein, directed to the any
peace officer, to search the persons above-named .and residences, and to seize and
take possession of the following personal property to wit:
Books of accounts, financial records, vouchers, correspondence, receipts, ledgers,
journals, portfolios, credit journals, typewriters, and other documents and/or papers
showing all business transactions including disbursements receipts, balance sheets
and profit and loss statements and Bobbins (cigarette wrappers).
as "the subject of the offense; stolen or embezzled and proceeds or fruits of the offense,"
or "used or intended to be used as the means of committing the offense," which is
described in the applications adverted to above as "violation of Central Bank Laws, Tariff
and Customs Laws, Internal Revenue (Code) and the Revised Penal Code."

63
64

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Two points must be stressed in connection with this constitutional mandate, namely: (1)
that no warrant shall issue but upon probable cause, to be determined by the judge in the
manner set forth in said provision; and (2) that the warrant shall particularly describe the
things to be seized. None of these requirements has been complied with in the contested
warrants
Section 3. Personal property to be seized., Rule 126
Art III section 3 Par 2

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Rule: Here, two (2) important questions need be settled, namely: (1) whether the search
warrants in question, and the searches and seizures made under the authority thereof, are
valid or not, and (2) if the answer to the preceding question is in the negative, whether said
documents, papers and things may be used in evidence against petitioners herein.

Atty. Edgar B. Pascua II

In other words, no specific offense had been alleged in said applications. The averments
thereof with respect to the offense committed were abstract. As a consequence, it was
impossible for the judges who issued the warrants to have found the existence of probable
cause, for the same presupposes the introduction of competent proof that the party against
whom it is sought has performed particular acts, or committed specific omissions, violating
a given provision of our criminal laws. As a matter of fact, the applications involved in this
case do not allege any specific acts performed by herein petitioners. It would be the legal
heresy, of the highest order, to convict anybody of a "violation of Central Bank Laws, Tariff
and Customs Laws, Internal Revenue (Code) and Revised Penal Code," as alleged in
the aforementioned applications without reference to any determinate provision of said
laws
As we understand it, the reason for the exclusion of evidence competent as such, which
has been unlawfully acquired, is that exclusion is the only practical way of enforcing the
constitutional privilege. In earlier times the action of trespass against the offending official
may have been protection enough; but that is true no longer. Only in case the prosecution
which itself controls the seizing officials, knows that it cannot profit by their wrong will that
wrong be repressed. G.R. No. L-19550
June 19, 1967 HARRY S. STONEHILL,
ROBERT P. BROOKS, JOHN J. BROOKS and KARL BECK vs. HON. JOSE W.
DIOKNO

b. Civil Action for Damages


Any public officer or employee, or any private individual, who directly or indirectly
obstructs, defeats, violates or in any manner impedes or impairs any of the following
rights and liberties of another person shall be liable to the latter for damages:
xxx
(9) The right to be secure in one's person, house, papers, and effects against
unreasonable searches and seizures;
xxx
(11) The privacy of communication and correspondence;
In any of the cases referred to in this article, whether or not the defendant's act or
omission constitutes a criminal offense, the aggrieved party has a right to commence
an entirely separate and distinct civil action for damages, and for other relief. Such
civil action shall proceed independently of any criminal prosecution (if the latter be
instituted), and mat be proved by a preponderance of evidence.
The indemnity shall include moral damages. Exemplary damages may also be
adjudicated.
The responsibility herein set forth is not demandable from a judge unless his act or
omission constitutes a violation of the Penal Code or other penal statute. 65
Rule: [T]he decisive factor in this case, in our view, is the language of Article 32. The
law speaks of an officer or employee or person "directly or indirectly" responsible for the
violation of the constitutional rights and liberties of another. Thus, it is not the actor alone
(i.e., the one directly responsible) who must answer for damages under Article 32; the
person indirectly responsible has also to answer for the damages or injury caused to the
aggrieved party.

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While it would certainly be too naive to expect that violators of human rights would easily
be deterred by the prospect of facing damages suits, it should nonetheless be made
clear in no uncertain terms that Article 32 of the Civil Code makes the persons who are
directly, as well as indirectly, responsible for the transgression joint tortfeasors.

Article 32, New Civil Code

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[N]either can it be said that only those shown to have participated "directly" should be
held liable. Article 32 of the Civil Code encompasses within the ambit of its provisions
those directly, as well as indirectly, responsible for its violations. No. L-69866, April 15,
1988, 160 SCRA 590 Aberca vs. Ver, also cited in G.R. No. 141176 May 27, 2004
ELI LUI and LEO ROJAS vs. SPOUSES EULOGIO and PAULINA MATILLANO
Case: In this case, the Governor General, upon request of the consul general of
the Imperial Government of China, ordered the deportation of certain Chinese
nationals Subsequently, he and two other officials who acted on his orders to
deport and prevent the return to the Philippines of these aliens were sued for
damages. An inferior court upon application of the aliens seeking reentry into the
Philippines issued injunction to prevent their being sent back once more to China.
The Supreme Court dismissed the actions brought by the aliens and on appeal
the U.S. Supreme Court upheld this decision. At the time the Governor-General issued
his order, there was no statute giving him the power to deport. Not until suits for
damages had been brought did the legislature enact a measure approving,
ratifying, and affirming his action.
Rule: It may be argued, that the present action is one to recover damages against the
Governor and the others mentioned in the cause, for the illegal acts performed by them,
and not an action for the purpose of in any way controlling or restraining or interfering
with their political or discretionary duties. No one can be held legally responsible in
damages or otherwise for doing in a legal manner what he had authority, under the law,
to do. Therefore, if the Governor-General had authority, under the law, to deport or expel
the defendants, and the circumstances justifying the deportation and the method of
carrying it out are left to him, then he can not be held liable for damages for the exercise
of this power. Moreover, if the courts are without authority to interfere in any manner, for
the purpose of controlling or interfering with the exercise of the political powers vested in
the chief executive authority of the Government, then it must follow that the courts can
not intervene for the purpose of declaring that he is liable in damages for the exercise of
this authority.
If it be true that the Government of the Philippine Islands is a government invested with
"all the military,. civil, and judicial powers necessary to govern the Philippine Islands until
otherwise provided by Congress" and that the Governor-General is invested with certain
important political duties and powers, in the exercise of which he may use his own
discretion, and is accountable only to his superiors in his political character and to his
own conscience, and without authority to interfere in the control of such powers, for any
purpose, then it must follow that the courts can not take jurisdiction in any case against
him which has for its purpose the declaration that such acts are illegal and that he is, in
consequence, liable for damages. To allow such an action would, in the lost effective way
possible, subject the executive and political departments of the Government to the
absolute control of the judiciary. Of course, it will be observed that we are here treating
only with the political and purely executive duties in dealing with the political rights of
aliens. The conclusions herein reached should not be extended to cases where vested
rights are involved. That question must be left for future consideration. G.R. No. L-6157
July 30, 1910 W. CAMERON FORBES, J. E. HARDING, and C. R. TROWBRIDGE vs.
CHUOCO TIACO (alias CHOA TEA) and A. S. CROSSFIELD)

c. Criminal Cases under the Revised Penal Code

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If the offense be committed in the night-time, or if any papers or effects not


constituting evidence of a crime be not returned immediately after the search made
by the offender, the penalty shall be prision correccional in its medium and maximum
periods.

90

Art. 128. Violation of domicile. The penalty of prision correccional in its minimum
period shall be imposed upon any public officer or employee who, not being
authorized by judicial order, shall enter any dwelling against the will of the owner
thereof, search papers or other effects found therein without the previous consent of
such owner, or having surreptitiously entered said dwelling, and being required to
leave the premises, shall refuse to do so.

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Art. 129. Search warrants maliciously obtained and abuse in the service of those
legally obtained. In addition to the liability attaching to the offender for the
commission of any other offense, the penalty of arresto mayor in its maximum period
to prision correccional in its minimum period and a fine not exceeding P1,000 pesos
shall be imposed upon any public officer or employee who shall procure a search
warrant without just cause, or, having legally procured the same, shall exceed his
authority or use unnecessary severity in executing the same.
Art. 130. Searching domicile without witnesses. The penalty of arresto mayor in its
medium and maximum periods shall be imposed upon a public officer or employee
who, in cases where a search is proper, shall search the domicile, papers or other
belongings of any person, in the absence of the latter, any member of his family, or in
their default, without the presence of two witnesses residing in the same locality.66

6. Arrests
Nature and Requirements for Issuance of a Warrant
RULE 113 Rules of Court
Arrest
Section 1. Definition of arrest. - Arrest is the taking of a person into custody in order that he may be bound to answer for
the commission of an offense.
Section 2. Arrest; how made. - An arrest is made by an actual restraint of a person to be arrested, or by his submission
to the custody of the person making the arrest.
No violence or unnecessary force shall be used in making an arrest. The person arrested shall not be subject to a
greater restraint than is necessary for his detention.
Section 3. Duty of arresting officer. - It shall be the duty of the officer executing the warrant to arrest the accused and to
deliver him to the nearest police station or jail without unnecessary delay.
Section 4. Execution of warrant. - The head of the office to whom the warrant of arrest was delivered for execution shall
cause the warrant to be executed within ten (10) days from its receipt. Within ten (10) days after the expiration of the
period, the officer to whom it was assigned for execution shall make a report to the judge who issued the warrant. In
case of his failure to execute the warrant, he shall state the reasons therefor.
Section 5. Arrest without warrant; when lawful. A peace officer or a private person may, without a warrant, arrest a
person:
(a) When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit
an offense;
(b) When an offense has just been committed, and he has probable cause to believe based on personal knowledge of
facts or circumstances that the person to be arrested has committed it; and
(c) When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped from a penal establishment or place where he is
serving final judgment or is temporarily confined while his case is pending, or has escaped while being transferred from
one confinement to another.
In cases falling under paragraph (a) and (b) above, the person arrested without a warrant shall be forthwith delivered to
the nearest police station or jail and shall be proceeded against in accordance with section 7 of Rule 112.

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Before the complaint or information is filed, the person arrested may ask for a preliminary investigation in
accordance with this Rule, but he must sign a waiver of the provisions of Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code, as
amended, in the presence of his counsel. Notwithstanding the waiver, he may apply for bail and the investigation
must be terminated within fifteen (15) days from its inception.

Revised Penal Code

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Rule 112. Section 7. When accused lawfully arrested without warrant. When a person is lawfully arrested
without a warrant involving an offense which requires a preliminary investigation, the complaint or information may
be filed by a prosecutor without need of such investigation provided an inquest has been conducted in accordance
with existing rules. In the absence or unavailability of an inquest prosecutor, the complaint may be filed by the
offended party or a peace office directly with the proper court on the basis of the affidavit of the offended party or
arresting officer or person.

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Atty. Edgar B. Pascua II

After the filing of the complaint or information in court without a preliminary investigation, the accused may, within
five (5) days from the time he learns of its filing, ask for a preliminary investigation with the same right to adduce
evidence in his defense as provided in this Rule. (7a; sec. 2, R.A. No. 7438)
Section 6. Time of making arrest. - An arrest may be made on any day and at any time of the day or night.
Section 7. Method of arrest by officer by virtue of warrant. - When making an arrest by virtue of a warrant, the officer
shall inform the person to be arrested of the cause of the arrest and of the fact that a warrant has been issued for his
arrest, except when he flees or forcibly resists before the officer has opportunity to so inform him, or when the giving of
such information will imperil the arrest. The officer need not have the warrant in his possession at the time of the arrest
but after the arrest, if the person arrested so requires, the warrant shall be shown to him as soon as practicable. (7a)
Section 8. Method of arrest by officer without warrant. - When making an arrest without a warrant, the officer shall
inform the person to be arrested of his authority and the cause of the arrest, unless the latter is either engaged in the
commission of an offense, is pursued immediately after its commission, has escaped, flees or forcibly resists before the
officer has opportunity so to inform him, or when the giving of such information will imperil the arrest. (8a)
Section 9. Method of arrest by private person. - When making an arrest, a private person shall inform the person to be
arrested of the intention to arrest him and cause of the arrest, unless the latter is either engaged in the commission of
an offense, is pursued immediately after its commission, or has escaped, flees, or forcibly resists before the person
making the arrest has opportunity to so inform him, or when the giving of such information will imperil the arrest. (9a)
Section 10. Officer may summon assistance. - An officer making a lawful arrest may orally summon as many persons
as he deems necessary to assist him in effecting the arrest. Every person so summoned by an officer shall assist him in
effecting the arrest when he can render such assistance without detriment to himself.
Section 11. Right of officer to break into building or enclosure. - An officer, in order to make an arrest either by virtue of
a warrant, or without a warrant as provided in section 5, may break into any building or enclosure where the person to
be arrested is or is reasonably believed to be, if he is refused admittance thereto, after announcing his authority and
purpose.
Section 12. Right to break out from building or enclosure. - Whenever an officer has entered the building or enclosure in
accordance with the preceding section, he may break out therefrom when necessary to liberate himself.
Section 13. Arrest after escape or rescue. - If a person lawfully arrested escapes or is rescued, any person may
immediately pursue or retake him without a warrant at any time and in any place within the Philippines.
Section 14. Right of attorney or relative to visit person arrested. - Any member of the Philippine Bar shall, at the request
of the person arrested or of another acting in his behalf, have the right to visit and confer privately with such person in
the jail or any other place of custody at any hour of the day or night. Subject to reasonable regulations, a relative of the
person arrested can also exercise the same right.

General Distinctions between Search Warrant and Warant of


Arrest
1. Probable Cause:
Probability of guilt of a specific offender need not be established in search
warrants, unlike that of the warrant of arrest.
Specifically, probable cause to warrant arrest requires "such facts and
circumstances which would lead a reasonably discreet and prudent man to believe
that an offense has been committed by the person sought to be arrested." (Webb vs.
De Leon, 247 SCRA 653 [1995])
The "probable cause" for a valid search warrant, has been defined "as such facts
and circumstances which would lead a reasonably discreet and prudent man to
believe that an offense has been committed, and that objects sought in connection
with the offense are in the place sought to be searched". Prudente vs. Dayrit, G.R.
No. 82870, December 14, 1989

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For warrants of arrest, the judge need not conduct a personal examination
of the applicant and his witnesses, he may rely on affidavits of the
witnesses, as well as the findings of the prosecutor. Personal searching

92

2. Personal Examination

questions to the applicant and his witnesses are generally required for
search warrants.
Rule: 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 on the basis thereof he finds
no probable cause, he may disregard the fiscal's 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. Sound policy dictates this procedure; otherwise judges would be
unduly laden with the preliminary examination and investigation of criminal complaints
instead of concentrating on hearing and deciding cases filed before their courts. G.R. No.
82585 November 14, 1988 MAXIMO V. SOLIVEN, ANTONIO V. ROCES, FREDERICK
K. AGCAOLI, and GODOFREDO L. MANZANAS vs. THE HON. RAMON P.
MAKASIAR
Rule: The Constitution prohibits the issuance of search warrants or warrants of arrest
where the judge has not personally determined the existence of probable cause. The
phrase "upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination
under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce" allows a
determination of probable cause by the judge ex parte. G.R. No. 197293 April 21, 2014
ALFREDO C. MENDOZA vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES AND JUNO CARS, INC

3. Validity. A search warrant shall be valid for ten (10) days from its
date. Thereafter it shall be void. Arrest warrants do not become stale.
4. When served. Search warrants must direct that it be served in the day
time, unless the affidavit asserts that the property is on the person or
in the place ordered to be searched, in which case a direction may be
inserted that it be served at any time of the day or night. An arrest
may be made on any day and at any time of the day or night.
Particularity of Description in Warrants of Arrest
Rule: John Doe warrants should be the exception and not the rule. The police should
particularly describe the place to be searched and the person or things to be seized,
wherever and whenever it is feasible. The police should not be hindered in the
performance of their duties, which are difficult enough of performance under the best of
conditions, by superficial adherence to technicality or farfetched judicial interference.
Such a warrant must, in addition, contain the best descriptio personae possible to be
obtained of the person or persons to be apprehended, and this description must be
sufficient to indicate clearly the proper person or persons upon whom the warrant is to be
served; and should state his personal appearance and peculiarities, give his occupation
and place of residence, and any other circumstances by means of which he can be
identified. G.R. No. L-23051 October 20, 1925 THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES
ISLANDS vs. JOSE MA. VELOSO

Probable Cause for Warrants of Arrest


The determination of probable cause: executive and judicial

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Once the information has been filed, the judge shall then "personally evaluate the
resolution of the prosecutor and its supporting evidence" to determine whether there is

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Rule: (T)he conduct of the preliminary investigation and the subsequent determination of
the existence of probable cause lie solely within the discretion of the public prosecutor. If
upon evaluation of the evidence, the prosecutor finds sufficient basis to find probable
cause, he or she shall then cause the filing of the information with the court.

probable cause to issue a warrant of arrest. At this stage, a judicial determination of


probable cause exists.
In People v. Castillo and Mejia, (607 Phil. 754 (2009) this court has stated:
There are two kinds of determination of probable cause: executive and judicial. The
executive determination of probable cause is one made during preliminary
investigation. It is a function that properly pertains to the public prosecutor who is
given a broad discretion to determine whether probable cause exists and to charge
those whom he believes to have committed the crime as defined by law and thus
should be held for trial. Otherwise stated, such official has the quasi-judicial authority
to determine whether or not a criminal case must be filed in court. Whether or not that
function has been correctly discharged by the public prosecutor, i.e., whether or not
he has made a correct ascertainment of the existence of probable cause in a case, is
a matter that the trial court itself does not and may not be compelled to pass upon.
The judicial determination of probable cause, on the other hand, is one made by the
judge to ascertain whether a warrant of arrest should be issued against the accused.
The judge must satisfy himself that based on the evidence submitted, there is
necessity for placing the accused under custody in order not to frustrate the ends of
justice. If the judge finds no probable cause, the judge cannot be forced to issue the
arrest warrant.
The difference is clear: The executive determination of probable cause concerns itself
with whether there is enough evidence to support an Information being filed. The judicial
determination of probable cause, on the other hand, determines whether a warrant of
arrest should be issued. In People v. Inting:
x x x Judges and Prosecutors alike should distinguish the preliminary inquiry which
determines probable cause for the issuance of a warrant of arrest from the
preliminary investigation proper which ascertains whether the offender should be held
for trial or released. Even if the two inquiries are conducted in the course of one and
the same proceeding, there should be no confusion about the objectives. The
determination of probable cause for the warrant of arrest is made by the Judge. The
preliminary investigation properwhether or not there is reasonable ground to
believe that the accused is guilty of the offense charged and, therefore, whether or
not he should be subjected to the expense, rigors and embarrassment of trialis the
function of the Prosecutor.
While it is within the trial courts discretion to make an independent assessment of the
evidence on hand, it is only for the purpose of determining whether a warrant of arrest
should be issued. The judge does not act as an appellate court of the prosecutor and has
no capacity to review the prosecutors determination of probable cause; rather, the judge
makes a determination of probable cause independent of the prosecutors finding. G.R.
No. 197293 April 21, 2014 ALFREDO C. MENDOZA vs. PEOPLE OF THE
PHILIPPINES AND JUNO CARS, INC.

Page

*Case: The facts, according to the prosecution, showed that in the morning of October 20,
2002, an informant tipped off the Drug Enforcement Unit of the Marikina Police Station that
wanted drug pusher Wifredo Loilo alias "Boy Bicol" was at his nipa hut hideout in San
Mateo, Rizal. A team was organized to arrest Boy Bicol. Once there, they saw Boy Bicol by
a table talking with accused-appellant. They shouted "Boy Bicol sumuko ka na may
warrant of arrest ka. (Surrender yourself Boy Bicol you have a warrant of arrest.)" Upon
hearing this, Boy Bicol engaged them in a shootout and was fatally shot. Accusedappellant (Dela Cruz) was seen holding a shotgun through a window. He dropped his
shotgun when a police officer pointed his firearm at him. The team entered the nipa hut
and apprehended accused-appellant. They saw a plastic bag of suspected shabu, a digital
weighing scale, drug paraphernalia, ammunition, and magazines lying on the table. PO1
Calanoga, Jr. put the markings "CVDC," the initials of accused-appellant, on the bag
containing the seized drug.

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General Concepts: Some Cases:

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Accused-appellant was subsequently arrested. The substance seized from the hideout was
sent to the Philippine National Police crime laboratory for examination and tested positive
for methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu. He was thus separately indicted for violation
of RA 9165 and for illegal possession of firearm.
The RTC acquitted accused-appellant of illegal possession of firearm and ammunition but
convicted him of possession of dangerous drugs.
Accused appealed to the CA. The CA sustained accused-appellant's conviction.
Rule: In the instant case, however, there is no question that accused-appellant was not the
owner of the nipa hut that was subject of the buy-bust operation. He did not have dominion
or control over the nipa hut. Neither was accused-appellant a tenant or occupant of the
nipa hut, a fact not disputed by the prosecution. The target of the operation was Boy Bicol.
Accused-appellant was merely a guest of Boy Bicol.
The trial court cannot assume, based on the prosecution's evidence, that accusedappellant was part of a gang dealing in illegal activities. Apart from his presence in Boy
Bicol's nipa hut, the prosecution was not able to show his participation in any drug-dealing.
He was not even in possession of drugs in his person. He was merely found inside a room
with shabu, not as the room's owner or occupant but as a guest. While he allegedly pointed
a firearm at the buy-bust team, the prosecution curiously failed to produce the firearm that
accused-appellant supposedly used.
Since accused-appellant was not in possession of the illegal drugs in Boy Bicol's nipa hut,
his subsequent arrest was also invalid.
The warrantless arrest of accused-appellant was effected under Sec. 5(a), arrest of a
suspect in flagrante delicto. For this type of warrantless arrest to be valid, 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.
Accused-appellant's act of pointing a firearm at the buy-bust team would have been
sufficient basis for his arrest in flagrante delicto; however, the prosecution was not able to
adequately prove that accused-appellant was committing an offense. Although accusedappellant merely denied possessing the firearm, the prosecution's charge was weak
absent the presentation of the alleged firearm. He was eventually acquitted by the trial
court because of this gaffe. His arrest, independent of the buy-bust operation targeting Boy
Bicol, was therefore not lawful as he was not proved to be committing any offense.
In sum, we find that there is insufficient evidence to show accused-appellant's guilt beyond
reasonable doubt. Having ruled on the lack of material or constructive possession by
accused-appellant of the seized shabu and his succeeding illegal arrest, we deem it
unnecessary to deal with the other issue raised. People v. Dela Cruz, G.R. No. 182348,
November 20, 2008, 571 SCRA 469, 475
*Case: Branch 86 of the Quezon City RTC, by Decision of October 9, 2000, found Pepino
and Daisy Balaan guilty beyond reasonable doubt as principal and accomplice,
respectively, of the crime of kidnapping.

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Pepino assails his conviction on, in the main, the following grounds: lack of positive proof
that he actually participated in the crime; error in appreciating against him the alleged
confession-letter of the now deceased Pelinio; and the illegality of his arrest

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Co-accused Daisy Balaan, having failed to attend the promulgation of judgment, a warrant
for her arrest was issued. It appears that she has remained at-large. Despite her flight, she
moved for reconsideration of the decision which the trial court, by Order of January 9,
2001,denied. She thereafter filed a notice of appeal which was given due course by the
trial court.

Rule: As for Balaan: Since she, without proferring any justifiable cause, failed to attend the
promulgation of judgment and continues to be a fugitive from justice to date, her appeal
must be dismissed. So Section 6 of Rule 120 of the Revised Rules of Court instructs:
SEC. 6. Promulgation of judgment.The judgment is promulgated by reading it in the
presence of the accused and any judge of the court in which it was rendered. However,
if the conviction is for a light offense, the judgment may be pronounced in the presence
of his counsel or representative. When the judge is absent or outside the province or
city, the judgment may be promulgated by the clerk of court.
x x x x.
If the judgment is for conviction and the failure of the accused to appear was without
justifiable cause, he shall lose the remedies available in these Rules against the
judgment and the court shall order his arrest. Within fifteen (15) days from
promulgation of judgment, however, the accused may surrender and file a motion for
leave of court to avail of these remedies. He shall state the reasons for his absence at
the scheduled promulgation and if he proves that his absence was for a justifiable
cause, he shall be allowed to avail of said remedies within fifteen (15) days from notice.
As for Pepino: The damaging evidence against Pepino notwithstanding, he did not at all
offer any controverting evidence. He merely relied on the alleged illegality of his arrest to
escape criminal liability
It is settled that any irregularity attending the arrest of an accused should be timely raised
in a motion to quash the Information at any time before arraignment, failing which he is
deemed to have waived. Since Pepino did not raise such alleged irregularity early on, he
is now estopped. G.R. No. 183479, June 29, 2010 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs.
JERRY R. PEPINO and DAISY M. BALAAN
Case: PO2 Emmanuel L. Alteza,, a traffic enforcer, testified that, he saw the accused, who
was coming from the direction of Panganiban Drive and going to Diversion Road, Naga
City, driving a motorcycle without a helmet; that this prompted him to flag down the
accused for violating a municipal ordinance which requires all motorcycle drivers to wear
helmet; that he invited the accused to come inside their sub-station since the place where
he flagged down the accused is almost in front of the said sub-station; that while he and
SPO1 Rayford Brillante were issuing a citation ticket for violation of municipal ordinance,
he noticed that the accused was uneasy and kept on getting something from his jacket;
that he was alerted and so, he told the accused to take out the contents of the pocket of his
jacket as the latter may have a weapon inside it; that the accused obliged and slowly put
out the contents of the pocket of his jacket which was a nickel-like tin or metal container
about two (2) to three (3) inches in size, including two (2) cellphones, one (1) pair of
scissors and one (1) Swiss knife; that upon seeing the said container, he asked the
accused to open it; that after the accused opened the container, he noticed a cartoon cover
and something beneath it; and that upon his instruction, the accused spilled out the
contents of the container on the table which turned out to be four (4) plastic sachets, the
two (2) of which were empty while the other two (2) contained suspected shabu
Was there a valid search incident to an arrest?
Rule: Under the Rules of Court, a warrant of arrest need not be issued if the information or
charge was filed for an offense penalized by a fine only. It may be stated as a corollary that
neither can a warrantless arrest be made for such an offense.

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Even if one were to work under the assumption that petitioner was deemed "arrested" upon
being flagged down for a traffic violation and while awaiting the issuance of his ticket, then
the requirements for a valid arrest were not complied with.

96

This ruling does not imply that there can be no arrest for a traffic violation. Certainly, when
there is intent on the part of the police officer to deprive the motorist of liberty, or to take
the latter into custody, the former may be deemed to have arrested the motorist. In this
case, however, the officers issuance (or intent to issue) a traffic citation ticket negates the
possibility of an arrest for the same violation.

This Court has held that at the time a person is arrested, it shall be the duty of the arresting
officer to inform the latter of the reason for the arrest and must show that person the
warrant of arrest, if any. Persons shall be informed of their constitutional rights to remain
silent and to counsel, and that any statement they might make could be used against them.
It may also be noted that in this case, these constitutional requirements were complied with
by the police officers only after petitioner had been arrested for illegal possession of
dangerous drugs.
In Berkemer, the U.S. Court also noted that the Miranda warnings must also be given to a
person apprehended due to a traffic violation:
The purposes of the safeguards prescribed by Miranda are to ensure that the police do not
coerce or trick captive suspects into confessing, to relieve the "inherently compelling
pressures" "generated by the custodial setting itself," "which work to undermine the
individuals will to resist," and as much as possible to free courts from the task of
scrutinizing individual cases to try to determine, after the fact, whether particular
confessions were voluntary. Those purposes are implicated as much by in-custody
questioning of persons suspected of misdemeanors as they are by questioning of persons
suspected of felonies.
If it were true that petitioner was already deemed "arrested" when he was flagged down for
a traffic violation and while he waiting for his ticket, then there would have been no need
for him to be arrested for a second timeafter the police officers allegedly discovered the
drugsas he was already in their custody. G.R. No. 197788 February 29, 2012 Rodel
Luz y Ong vs. People of the Philippines

7. Warrantless Arrests
Arrest without warrant; when lawful.67 - A peace officer or a private person may,
without a warrant, arrest a person:
(a) When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually
committing, or is attempting to commit an offense68;
(b) When an offense has just been committed, and he has probable cause to believe
based on personal knowledge of facts or circumstances that the person to be
arrested has committed it69; and
(c) When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped from a penal
establishment or place where he is serving final judgment or is temporarily confined
while his case is pending, or has escaped while being transferred from one
confinement to another.
In cases falling under paragraph (a) and (b) above, the person arrested without a
warrant shall be forthwith delivered to the nearest police station or jail and shall be
proceeded against in accordance with section 7 of Rule 11270.

In our jurisdiction, early rulings of the Court have acknowledged the


validity of warrantless arrests. The Court based these rulings on the
67

Section 5., Rule 113


In flagrante delicto
69 Possibly Hot Pursuit
70 When a person is lawfully arrested without a warrant involving an offense which requires a
preliminary investigation, the complaint or information may be filed by a prosecutor without need of
such investigation provided an inquest has been conducted in accordance with existing rules. In the
absence or unavailability of an inquest prosecutor, the complaint may be filed by the offended party
or a peace office directly with the proper court on the basis of the affidavit of the offended party or
arresting officer or person (Section 7., Rule 112)
Inquest Proceedings - is the informal and summary investigation conducted by an inquest
prosecutor in criminal cases involving a person arrested, without the benefit of a warrant issued by
the court, and thereafter detained, for the purpose of determining whether or not the warrantless
arrest is valid, said arrested person should remain under custody, and be correspondingly charged
in court.

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68

common law of America and England that, according to the Court, were
not different from the Spanish laws. These court rulings likewise justified
warrantless arrests based on the provisions of separate laws then existing
in the Philippines.
In 1905, the Court held in The United States v. Wilson that Section 3737
of Act No. 183, or the Charter of Manila, defined the arresting officer's
power to arrest without a warrant, at least insofar as the City of Manila
was concerned.
In The United States v. Vallejo71, et al., the Court held that in the absence
of any provisions under statutes or local ordinances, a police officer who
held similar functions as those of the officers established under the
common law of England and America, also had the power to arrest
without a warrant in the Philippines.
The Court also ruled in The United States v. Santos72 that the rules on
warrantless arrest were based on common sense and reason. It further
held that warrantless arrest found support under the then Administrative
Code which directed municipal policemen to exercise vigilance in the
prevention of public offenses.73
In The United States v. Fortaleza74, the Court applied Rules 27, 28, 29 and
3043 of the Provisional Law for the Application of the Penal Code which
were provisions taken from the Spanish Law.
These rules were subsequently established and incorporated in our Rules
of Court and jurisprudence.75
a. Cases
*Case: On August 23, 1999, a civilian informant, reported the drug trading activities of
appellant to Police Chief Inspector Ablang. Alonzo narrated that appellant agreed to sell
him 200 grams of shabu for P70,000.00 on a 50% cash and 50% credit basis. The sale
was to take place in front of the Mercado Hospital in Tanauan, Batangas, on August 27,
1999 at 11:30 p.m. Ablang formed a team to conduct the buy-bust operation.
On August 27, 1999, the team proceeded to Mercado Hospital. The team members
immediately took strategic positions. Alonzo stayed in an eatery in front of the hospital.
71

G.R. No. 4367


G.R. No. 12779 September 10, 1917
73 The Common Law rule as to the arrest without warrant of suspicious night-walkers is of particular
interest. Blackstone says, "Watchmen, either those appointed by the statute of Winchester (13 Edw.
I, c. 4) to keep watch and ward in all towns from sun-setting to sun-rising, or such as are mere
assistants to be constable, may virtute offici (by virtue of their office) arrest all offenders, and
particularly night-walkers, and commit them to custody till the morning." (II Cooley's Blackstone, p.
1445.) The cases hold that a peace officer might arrest and detain in prison for examination persons
walking in the street at night whom there is reasonable ground to suspect of felony, although there
is no proof of a felony having been committed: but the arrest would be illegal if the person so
arrested was innocent and there were no reasonable grounds of suspicion to mislead the officer.
(Miles vs. Weston [1871], 60 Ill., 361, citing English decisions.) The reason of the rule is apparent.
Good people do not ordinarily lurk about streets and uninhabited premises at midnight. Citizens
must be protected from annoyance and crime. Prevention of crimes is just as commendatory as the
capture of criminals. Surely the officers must not be forced to await the commission of robbery or
other felony. The rule is supported by the necessities of life.
The foregoing are the applicable principles of the American and English Common Law as to the
powers of peace officers. The principles of the Spanish law are not essentially different. (See. U. S.
vs. Sanchez [1914], 27 Phil. Rep., 442.) Both rest upon the same foundation of reason and common
sense.
74 G.R. No. L-4596 January 13, 1909
75 G.R. No. 182601
November 10, 2014JOEY M. PESTILOS, DWIGHT MACAPANAS et al vs.
MORENO GENEROSO and PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES,

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72

Agojo arrived at 11:30 p.m. aboard a white Mitsubishi Lancer. Appellant then approached
Alonzo to ask if the latter had the money. Alonzo handed appellant the marked money.
Appellant took a VHS box from his car and handed it to Alonzo. Appellant and Alonzo then
walked along the hospital gate near the emergency room. Appellant then entered the
hospital.
Alonzo examined the VHS box then took off his cap to signal the buy-bust team. The buybust team immediately proceeded to the scene. Alonzo told the team that appellant had
entered the hospital. Alonzo handed the VHS box to Ablang. Upon examination, the box
was found to contain four (4) plastic bags of a crystalline substance which the team
suspected was shabu. Ablang instructed Salazar to inform the appellant that his car had
been bumped.
Appellant then exited from the hospital via the emergency room door. Salazar introduced
himself as a policeman and attempted to arrest him. Appellant resisted, but the other team
members handcuffed appellant. The team recovered P10,000.00 of the buy-bust money.
Ablang opened appellants Lancer and recovered a .45 caliber pistol containing seven (7)
bullets and a Panasonic cellular phone from the passenger seat.
Issue: Was Accused legally arrested?
Rule: Appellants assertion that he was framed-up has no merit. In almost every case
involving a buy-bust operation, the accused puts up the defense of frame-up. This court
has repeatedly emphasized that the defense of "frame-up" is viewed with disfavor, since
the defense is easily concocted and is a common ploy of the accused. Therefore, clear and
convincing evidence of the frame-up must be shown for such a defense to be given merit.
In this case, appellant points to the arrest not being in flagrante delicto, the existence of
discrepancies in the serial numbers of the buy-bust money and a prior attempt to frame
him up as proofs of the frame-up. However, the fact that the arrest was not in flagrante
delicto is of no consequence. The arrest was validly executed pursuant to Section 5,
paragraph (b) of Rule 113 of the Rules of Court, (Arrest without warrant; when lawful b.
When an offense has in fact been committed and he has personal knowledge of facts
indicating that the person to be arrested has committed it):
From the spot where the buy-bust team was, they definitely witnessed the sale of shabu
took place. So, too, there was a large measure of immediacy between the time of
commission of the offense and the time of the arrest. G.R. No. 181318 April 16, 2009
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. GERMAN AGOJO y LUNA
*Case: Members of the Mayors Action Command (MAC) of Mandaluyong City, were on
routine patrol along M. Cruz St., Barangay Mauway, when they chanced upon two
individuals chanting and in the act of exchanging something. The police officers introduced
themselves and then inquired from petitioner what he was holding. Petitioner took out from
his possession three strips of aluminum foil which PO3 Garcia confiscated. PO3
Sotomayor also found on petitioner a plastic sachet which contained white crystalline
substance which looked like tawas. Suspecting that the substance was "shabu", he
confiscated the plastic sachet. Petitioner and his companion, who was later identified as
Clarito Yanson (Clarito), were brought to the MAC station at the Criminal Investigation
Division (CID) for investigation. After laboratory examination, the contents of the plastic
sachet weighing 0.03 gram were found positive for Methamphetamine Hydrochloride or
shabu, a regulated drug. The test on the three strips of aluminum foil also yielded positive
for traces of shabu.

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Issue: Petitioner challenges the legality of his warrantless arrest by asserting that at the
time he was apprehended, he was not committing or attempting to commit an offense.
Petitioner argues that since his arrest was illegal, the eventual search on his person was
also unlawful.

99

On the basis thereof, petitioner was correspondingly charged with illegal possession of
dangerous drugs. Clarito, on the other hand, was further investigated by the City
Prosecutors Office. They were convicted both on trial and on appeal.

Rule: Our own review discloses sufficient evidence that the warrantless arrest of petitioner
was effected under Section 5(a), or the arrest of a suspect in flagrante delicto. The MAC
team witnessed petitioner handing a piece of plastic sachet to Clarito. Arousing their
suspicion that the sachet contains shabu, team members PO3 Garcia and PO3 Sotomayor
alighted from their motorcycles and approached them. Clarito was not able to completely
get hold of the plastic sachet because of their arrival. At the first opportunity, the team
members introduced themselves. Upon inquiry by PO3 Garcia what petitioner was holding,
the latter presented three strips of aluminum foil which the former confiscated. At a
distance, PO3 Sotomayor saw petitioner in possession of the plastic sachet which contains
white crystalline substance. There and then, petitioner and Clarito were apprehended and
brought to the CID for investigation. After laboratory examination, the white crystalline
substance placed inside the plastic sachet was found positive for methamphetamine
hydrochloride or shabu, a regulated drug.
Under these circumstances, we entertain no doubt that petitioner was arrested in flagrante
delicto as he was then committing a crime, violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act, within the
view of the arresting team. Thus, his case comes under the exception to the rule requiring
a warrant before effecting an arrest. Consequently, the results of the attendant search and
seizure were admissible in evidence to prove his guilt of the offense charged.
Jurisprudence is settled that the arresting officer in a legitimate warrantless arrest has the
authority to search on the belongings of the offender and confiscate those that may be
used to prove the commission of the offense. x x x Rebellion v. People, G.R. No. 175700,
July 5, 2010, 623 SCRA 343, 348.
*Case: A concerned citizen entered the precinct and reported that a pot session was going
on in the house of accused Rafael Gonzales in Trinidad Subdivision, Dagupan City. Upon
receipt of the report, policemen and members of SWAT team headed to the house of
Gonzales was located.
As the police officers entered the gate of the house, they saw accused Orlando Doria
coming out of the side door and immediately arrested him. Inside the house, they saw
accused Gonzales, the other co-accused. The four were surprised by the presence of the
police. In front of them were open plastic sachets (containing shabu residue), pieces of
rolled used aluminum foil and pieces of used aluminum foil. The accused were arrested
and brought to the police precinct.
Rule: Indeed, the accused is estopped from assailing the legality of his arrest if he fails to
raise such issue before arraignment. However, this waiver is limited only to the arrest. The
legality of an arrest affects only the jurisdiction of the court over the person of the accused.
A waiver of an illegal warrantless arrest does not carry with it a waiver of the inadmissibility
of evidence seized during the illegal warrantless arrest.
This case would appear to fall under either a warrantless search incidental to a lawful
arrest or a plain view search, both of which require a lawful arrest in order to be considered
valid exceptions to the constitutional guarantee. Rule 113 of the Revised Rules of Criminal
Procedure provides for the circumstances under which a warrantless arrest is lawful.

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It has been held that personal knowledge of facts in arrests without warrant must be based
upon probable cause, which means an actual belief or reasonable grounds of suspicion.
The grounds of suspicion are reasonable when the suspicion, that the person to be
arrested is probably guilty of committing an offense, is based on actual facts, that is,
supported by circumstances sufficiently strong in themselves to create the probable cause
of guilt of the person to be arrested. G.R. No. 191366 December 13, 2010 PEOPLE OF

100

A review of the facts reveal that the arrest of the accused was illegal and the subject items
were confiscated as an incident thereof. According to the testimony of the apprehending
officers, they proceeded to, and entered, the house of accused Gonzales based solely on
the report of a concerned citizen that a pot session was going on in said house. Their
arrest is illegal. First, the arresting officers had no personal knowledge that at the time of
their arrest, accused-appellants had just committed, were committing, or were about to
commit a crime. Second, the arresting officers had no personal knowledge that a crime
was committed nor did they have any reasonable ground to believe that accusedappellants committed it. Third, accused-appellants were not prisoners who have escaped
from a penal establishment.