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Republic Vs.

Sandiganbayan
Separate Opinions

Recit-ready
Puno, J. - Considering that the right against unreasonable search and seizure is a natural right, the government cannot
claim that private respondent Dimaano is not entitled to the right for the reason alone that there was no constitution
granting the right at the time the search was conducted. This right of the private respondent precedes the constitution,
and does not depend on positive law. It is part of natural rights.
Vitug, J. - The Bill of Rights, during the interregnum remained in force and effect not only because it was so
recognized by the 1986 People Power but also because the new government was bound by international law to respect
the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Tinga, J. - The Bill of Rights in the 1973 Constitution would still be in force, independently of the Freedom
Constitution, or at least the provisions thereof proscribing unreasonable search and seizure and excluding evidence in
violation of the proscription because the Freedom Constitution bestowed uninterrupted operability to the Bill of Rights
in the 1973 Constitution.

Main Points
1. Puno, J.
Disagreement is not that the Bill of Rights was not operative at that time, but with the conclusion that the private
respondent has lost and cannot invoke the right against unreasonable search and seizure and the exclusionary right.
The crucial issue for resolution is whether she can invoke these rights in the absence of a constitution under the
extraordinary circumstances after the 1986 EDSA Revolution.
It is widely accepted that under natural law, the right of revolution is an inherent right of the people. Under this same
natural law, private respondent Dimaano has a right against unreasonable search and seizure and to exclude evidence
obtained as a consequence of such illegal act.
Two ideas are fundamental in the constitution: the regulation of the form of government and the securing of the
liberties of the people. But while the constitution guarantees and protects the fundamental rights of the people, it
should be stressed that it does not create them. Designed for their protection in the enjoyment of the rights and powers
which they possessed before the Constitution was made, it is but the framework of the political government, and
necessarily based upon the preexisting condition of laws, rights, habits and modes of thought.
Natural law is thus to be understood not as a residual source of constitutional rights but instead, as the reasoning that
implied the necessity to sacrifice natural liberty to government in a written constitution. Natural law and natural rights
were concepts that explained and justified written constitutions.
With the establishment of civil government and a constitution, there arises a conceptual distinction between natural
rights and civil rights, difficult though to define their scope and delineation. Natural rights are those rights that
appertain to man in right of his existence while civil rights are those that appertain to man in right of his being a
member of society. The distinction between natural and civil rights are not well-defined but we can derive that
natural rights exist prior to constitutions, and may be contained in and guaranteed by them.
The right against unreasonable search and seizure is a core right implicit in the natural right to life, liberty and
property. Our well-settled jurisprudence that the right against unreasonable search and seizure protects the peoples
rights to security of person and property, to the sanctity of the home, and to privacy is a recognition of this
proposition.
Natural right is a right inherent in the right to life, liberty and property; it is a right appertain(ing) to man in right of
his existence, a right that belongs to man by virtue of his nature and depends upon his personality, and not merely
a civil right created and protected by positive law.
Considering that the right against unreasonable search and seizure is a natural right, the government cannot claim that
private respondent Dimaano is not entitled to the right for the reason alone that there was no constitution granting the
right at the time the search was conducted. This right of the private respondent precedes the constitution, and does not
depend on positive law. It is part of natural rights.
The right to the exclusion of evidence illegally seized is a freedom implicit in the concept of ordered liberty for it is
a necessary part of the guarantee against unreasonable searches and seizures, which in turn is an essential part of the
right to privacy that the Constitution protects. Thus, the exclusionary rule is likewise a natural right that private
respondent Dimaano can invoke even in the absence of a constitution guaranteeing such right.
The unnaturalness of the 1986 EDSA revolution cannot dilute nor defeat the natural rights of man, rights that antedate
constitutions, rights that have been the beacon lights of the law since the Greek civilization.

2. Vitug, J.
The revolution at EDSA has not resulted to a radical change, only the personalities changed but not a change of
structures that can imply the consequent abrogation of the fundamental law.
The proclamations issued, as well as the Provisional Constitution, have revealed the new governments recognition of
and its intention to preserve the provisions of the 1973 Constitution on individual rights.
Proclamation No. 3 contains and attests to the new governments commitment to the restoration of democracy and
protection of basic rights by announcing that certain provisions of the Constitution, including the Bill of Rights,
remain in force and effect. This is an acknowledgment by the Aquino government of the continued existence, subject
to its exclusions, of the 1973 Charter.
The Philippine Supreme Court has also acknowledged the binding force of the Universal Declaration. The
Declaration, as an authoritative listing of human rights, has become a basic component of international customary
law, indeed binding all states and not only members of the United Nations.
The Bill of Rights, during the interregnum remained in force and effect not only because it was so recognized by the
1986 People Power but also because the new government was bound by international law to respect the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights.
There would appear to be nothing irregular in the issuance of the warrant in question; it was its implementation that
failed to accord with that warrant. The Sandiganbayans decision, directing turn of the illegally seized items, and
ordering the remand of the case to the Ombudsman for appropriate action is warranted.

2. Tinga, J.
The Bill of Rights in the Constitution, the Universal Declaration and the International Covenant, great documents of
liberty and human rights all, are founded on natural law.
The juridical basis for the nullification of the question confiscation is the Freedom Constitution since it made the Bill
of Rights in the 1973 Constitution operable from the incipiency of the Aquino government.
It was the unmistakable thrust of the Freedom Constitution to bestow uninterrupted operability to the Bill of Rights in
the 1973 Constitution. Proc. No. 3 which ordained the Freedom Constitution adverts the protection of basic rights of
the people. For another, the Freedom Constitution in Article 1, Section 1 mandates that the Bill of Rights and other
provisions of the Freedom Constitution specified therein remain in force and effect and are hereby adopted in toto as
part of this Provisional Constitution.
Even if it is supposed that the Freedom Constitution had no retroactive effect or it did not extend the effectivity of the
Bill of Rights in the 1973 Constitution, still there would be no void in the municipal or domestic law at the time as far
as the observance of fundamental rights is concerned. The Bill of Rights in the 1973 Constitution would still be in
force, independently of the Freedom Constitution, or at least the provisions thereof proscribing unreasonable search
and seizure and excluding evidence in violation of the proscription.
While arguably the due process clause was not observed in the case of the sequestration orders issued by the
Presidential Commission on Good Government, the fact remains that by and large, the Aquino Government elected
and managed to uphold and honor the Bill of Rights.