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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Arnault v. Nazareno, G.R. No. L-3820, July 18, 1950

DECISION
(En Banc)

OZAETA, J.:

I. THE FACTS

The Senate investigated the purchase by the government of two parcels of land,
known as Buenavista and Tambobong estates. An intriguing question that the Senate
sought to resolve was the apparent irregularity of the governments payment to one Ernest
Burt, a non-resident American citizen, of the total sum of Php1.5 million for his alleged
interest in the two estates that only amounted to Php20,000.00, which he seemed to have
forfeited anyway long before. The Senate sought to determine who were responsible for
and who benefited from the transaction at the expense of the government.

Petitioner Jean Arnault, who acted as agent of Ernest Burt in the subject
transactions, was one of the witnesses summoned by the Senate to its hearings. In the
course of the investigation, the petitioner repeatedly refused to divulge the name of the
person to whom he gave the amount of Php440,000.00, which he withdrew from the Php1.5 Blog Archive
million proceeds pertaining to Ernest Burt.
2012 (26)
Arnault was therefore cited in contempt by the Senate and was committed to the July (8)
custody of the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms for imprisonment until he answers the questions. Arnault v. Nazareno, G.R. No. L-
He thereafter filed a petition for habeas corpus directly with the Supreme Court questioning 3820, July 18, 195...
the validity of his detention. In re Garcia, G.R. No. _____, August
15, 1961
II. THE ISSUE Tatad v. Executive Secretary, G.R.
No. 124360, Nov...
1. Did the Senate have the power to punish the petitioner for contempt for refusing Angara v. Electoral Commission,
to reveal the name of the person to whom he gave the Php440,000.00? G.R. No. L-45081, ...
2. Did the Senate have the authority to commit petitioner for contempt for a term
Bayan v. Zamora, G.R. No. 138570,
beyond its period of legislative session? October 10, 2000...
3. May the petitioner rightfully invoke his right against self-incrimination?
Taada, et al., v. Angara, et al., G.R.
No. 118295...
III. THE RULING
Kuroda v. Jalandoni, G.R. No. L-
2662, March 26, 19...
[The Court DENIED the petition for habeas corpus filed by Arnault.]
Manila Prince Hotel v. GSIS, G.R.
No. 122156, Febr...
1. Yes, the Senate had the power to punish the petitioner for contempt for
refusing to reveal the name of the person to whom he gave the Php440,000.00. April (1)
March (3)
Although there is no provision in the [1935] Constitution expressly investing either
House of Congress with power to make investigations and exact testimony to the end that it February (11)
may exercise its legislative functions as to be implied. In other words, the power of inquiry January (3)
with process to enforce it is an essential and appropriate auxiliary to the legislative
function. A legislative body cannot legislate wisely or effectively in the absence of 2011 (11)
information respecting the conditions which the legislation is intended to effect or change; Followers
and where the legislative body does not itself possess the requisite information which is
not infrequently true recourse must be had to others who do possess it. Experience has
shown that mere requests for such information are often unavailing, and also that
information which is volunteered is not always accurate or complete; so some means of
compulsion is essential to obtain what is needed.

xxx xxx xxx

[W]e find that the question for the refusal to answer which the petitioner was held in
contempt by the Senate is pertinent to the matter under inquiry. In fact, this is not and
cannot be disputed. Senate Resolution No. 8, the validity of which is not challenged by the About Me
petitioner, requires the Special Committee, among other things, to determine the parties
Edgardo Luardo Jr.
responsible for the Buenavista and Tambobong estates deal, and it is obvious that the name
Follow 37
of the person to whom the witness gave the P440,000 involved in said deal is pertinent to
that determination it is in fact the very thing sought to be determined. The contention is View my complete profile
not that the question is impertinent to the subject of the inquiry but that it has no relation or
materiality to any proposed legislation. We have already indicated that it is not necessary
for the legislative body to show that every question propounded to a witness is material to
any proposed or possible legislation; what is required is that is that it be pertinent to the Labels
matter under inquiry.
2011 bar exam results (1)
xxx xxx xxx 20th century fox v. CA (1)
3 readings on separate days (1)
If the subject of investigation before the committee is within the range of legitimate 349 pepsi crowns case (1)
legislative inquiry and the proposed testimony of the witness called relates to that subject, abadilla 5 (1)
obedience, to its process may be enforced by the committee by imprisonment. actual case or controversy (1)
alibi (1)
2. YES, the Senate had the authority to commit petitioner for contempt for a
angara v. electoral commission (1)
term beyond its period of legislative session.
ARMM elections (1)
We find no sound reason to limit the power of the legislative body to punish for arnault v. nazareno (1)
contempt to the end of every session and not to the end of the last session terminating the arroyo v. de lima (1)
existence of that body. The very reason for the exercise of the power to punish for contempt bar exams (1)
is to enable the legislative body to perform its constitutional function without impediment or bayan v. zamora (1)
obstruction. Legislative functions may be and in practice are performed during recess by
cacho-olivares v. ermita (1)
duly constituted committees charged with the duty of performing investigations or
chavez v. gonzales and ntc (1)
conducting hearing relative to any proposed legislation. To deny to such committees the
checkpoints case (1)
power of inquiry with process to enforce it would be to defeat the very purpose for which
that the power is recognized in the legislative body as an essential and appropriate auxiliary china bank v. CA (1)
to is legislative function. It is but logical to say that the power of self-preservation is columbia pictures v. flores (1)
coexistent with the life to be preserved. combinations and restraint of trade (1)
comprehensive agrarian reform program
But the resolution of commitment here in question was adopted by the Senate, (2)
which is a continuing body and which does not cease exist upon the periodical dissolution of constitutionality of checkpoints (2)
the Congress . . . There is no limit as to time to the Senates power to punish for contempt contempt power of senate (1)
in cases where that power may constitutionally be exerted as in the present case.
control test (1)
custodial investigation (1)
3. NO, the petitioner may NOT rightfully invoke his right against self-
david v. arroyo (1)
incrimination.
decision in in re charges of plagiarism v.
justice del castillo (1)
Since according to the witness himself the transaction was legal, and that he gave
the [P440,000.00] to a representative of Burt in compliance with the latters verbal delegation of power (1)
instruction, we find no basis upon which to sustain his claim that to reveal the name of that dissent of justice ma. lourdes sereno (1)
person might incriminate him. There is no conflict of authorities on the applicable rule, to wit: economic protectionism (1)
election synchronization (1)
Generally, the question whether testimony is privileged is for the determination of the Court. At equity structure in public utilities (1)
least, it is not enough for the witness to say that the answer will incriminate him as he is not the sole judge
exclusionary rule (1)
of his liability. The danger of self-incrimination must appear reasonable and real to the court, from all the
filipino first policy (2)
circumstances, and from the whole case, as well as from his general conception of the relations of the
foreign military troops in the phils. (1)
witness. Upon the facts thus developed, it is the province of the court to determine whether a direct answer
to a question may criminate or not. . . The fact that the testimony of a witness may tend to show that he fortun v. arroyo (1)
has violated the law is not sufficient to entitle him to claim the protection of the constitutional provision freedom of expression (1)
against self-incrimination, unless he is at the same time liable to prosecution and punishment for such freedom of religion (1)
violation. The witness cannot assert his privilege by reason of some fanciful excuse, for protection against freedom of speech (1)
an imaginary danger, or to secure immunity to a third person.
freedom of the press (3)
gamboa v. teves (1)
It is the province of the trial judge to determine from all the facts and circumstances of the case
general warrant (1)
whether the witness is justified in refusing to answer. A witness is not relieved from answering merely on
globalization (1)
his own declaration that an answer might incriminate him, but rather it is for the trial judge to decide that GMA TRO (1)
question. grosjean v. american press (1)
hacienda luisita (2)
Posted by Edgardo Luardo Jr. at 9:46 PM hello garci (1)
Recommend this on Google HLI v. PARC decision july 5 2011 (1)
Labels: arnault v. nazareno, contempt power of senate, inherent powers, investigation in aid of HLI v. PARC resolution nov. 22 2011 (1)
legislation, right against self-incrimination holdover of elected ARMM officials (1)
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1 comment:
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The Senate are always conducting investigations regarding the biggest controversies in ineligibility of the President to run for re-
the Philippines but still I don't know if justice have been served to those who are convicted election (1)
guilty. Anyways, one of the best law firms I know is NDV Law Offices. inherent powers (1)
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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Arnault v. Nazareno, G.R. No

OZAETA, J.:

I. THE FACTS

The Senate investigated the pu


known as Buenavista and Tambobong
sought to resolve was the apparent irreg
Burt, a non-resident American citizen,
interest in the two estates that only amo
forfeited anyway long before. The Sena
and who benefited from the transaction a

Petitioner Jean Arnault, who


transactions, was one of the witnesses
course of the investigation, the petition
person to whom he gave the amount of P
million proceeds pertaining to

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