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20. Lim vs Felix

Facts:

The fiscal filed four informations for murder against petitioners in Masbate. The SC
ordered a transfer of venue to Makati. Petitioners asked the court of Makati to order the
transmittal of the records of Preliminary Investigation to enable it to determine if there
was probable cause for their arrest. The court denied the motion and issued warrants
for the arrest of the petitioners.

Issue: Whether or not the issuance of the warrant was proper

Ruling:

No. If a judge relies solely on the certification of the prosecutor when the records are
not before him, he has not personally determined the existence of probable cause. The
determination was made by the prosecutor. The constitutional requirement has not
been satisfied. The judge does not have to personally examine the witnesses. However,
there should be a report and necessary documents supporting the certification of the
prosecutor. All these should be before the judge. The extent of the examination of the
report and the documents depend on the circumstances of each case. The judge
should exercise his sound discretion.

21. Manalili v CA

FACTS:
Narcotics officers were doing surveillance and chanced upon the accused in a
cemetery who seemed to be high on drugs. He tried to resist the police officers and
upon inquiry, found that the accused was possessing what seemed to be crushed
marijuana leaves.

ISSUE: WON there was an illegal search.

HELD: No. 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.
The landmark case of Terry vs. Ohio provides that “x x x (W)here a police officer
observes an unusual conduct which leads him reasonably to conclude in light of his
experience that criminal activity may be afoot and that the persons with whom he is
dealing may be armed and presently dangerous, where in the course of investigating
this behavior he identified himself as a policeman and 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
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area to conduct a carefully limited search of the outer clothing of such persons in an
attempt to discover weapons which might be used to assault him. Such a search is a
reasonable search under the Fourth Amendment, and any weapon seized may
properly be introduced in evidence against the person from whom they were taken.”

22. PP V SUCRO

Facts:

Pat. Fulgencio went to Arlie Regalado’s house at C. Quimpo to monitor activities of


Edison SUCRO (accused). Sucro was reported to be selling marijuana at a chapel 2
meters away from Regalado’s house. Sucro was monitored to have talked and
exchanged things three times. These activities are reported through radio to P/Lt.
Seraspi. A third buyer was transacting with appellant and was reported and later
identified as Ronnie Macabante. From that moment, P/Lt.Seraspi proceeded to the
area. While the police officers were at the Youth Hostel in Maagama St. Fulgencio told
Lt. Seraspi to intercept. Macabante was intercepted at Mabini and Maagama crossing
in front of Aklan Medical center. Macabante saw the police and threw a tea bag of
marijuana on the ground. Macabante admitted buying the marijuana from Sucro in
front of the chapel.

The police team intercepted and arrested SUCRO at the corner of C. Quimpo and
Veterans. Recovered were 19 sticks and 4 teabags of marijuana from a cart inside the
chapel and another teabag from Macabante.

Issue:

(1) Whether or Not arrest without warrant is lawful.

Held:

Search and seizures supported by a valid warrant of arrest is not an absolute rule. Rule
126, Sec 12 of Rules of Criminal Procedure provides that a person lawfully arrested may
be searched for dangerous weapons or anything, which may be used as proff of the
commission of an offense, without a search warrant.(People v. Castiller) The failure of
the police officers to secure a warrant stems from the fact that their knowledge
required from the surveillance was insufficient to fulfill requirements for its issuance.
However, warantless search and seizures are legal as long as PROBABLE CAUSE existed.
The police officers have personal knowledge of the actual commission of the crime
from the surveillance of the activities of the accused. As police officers were the ones
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conducting the surveillance, it is presumed that they are regularly in performance of


their duties

23 . PEOPLE V. ABE VALDEZ

Facts:

Accused was found guilty of violating the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972., An
extrajudicial confession was made as to the ownership of marijuana plants.

Issue:

WON the search was illegal?

HELD:

The marijuana plants seized were product of an illegal search because of the absence
of search warrant and are therefore inadmissible in evidence. The voluntary confession
of ownership of marijuana was in violation of the custodial rights because of the
absence of competent and independent counsel, and thus, inadmissible too. In sum,
both the object evidence and the testimonial evidence as to the appellant’s voluntary
confession of ownership of the prohibited plants relied upon to prove appellant’s guilt
failed to meet the test of constitutional competence. Without these, the prosecution’s
remaining evidence did not even approximate the quantum of evidence necessary to
warrant appellant’s conviction. Hence, the presumption of innocence on his favor
stands.

24. People vs Chua Ho San

Facts: In response to reports of rampant smuggling of firearms and other contraband,


Jim Lagasca Cid, as Chief of Police of the Bacnotan Police Station, of La Union began
patrolling the Bacnotan coastline with his officers. While monitoring the coastal area of
Barangay Bulala on 29 March 1995, he intercepted a radio call at around 12:45 p.m.
from Barangay Captain Juan Almoite of Barangay Tammocalao requesting police
assistance regarding an unfamiliar speedboat the latter had spotted, which looked
different from the boats ordinarily used by fisherfolk of the area and was poised to dock
at Tammocalao shores. Cid and 6 of his men led by his Chief Investigator, SPO1
Reynoso Badua, proceeded forthwith to Tammocalao beach, conferred with Almoite,
and observed that the speedboat ferried a lone male passenger. When the speedboat
landed, the male passenger alighted, and using both hands, carried what appeared a
multicolored strawbag, and walked towards the road. By this time, Almoite, Cid and
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Badua, the latter two conspicuous in their uniform and issued side-arms, became
suspicious of the man as he suddenly changed direction and broke into a run upon
seeing the approaching officers. Badua, prevented the man from fleeing by holding on
to his right arm. Although Cid introduced themselves as police officers, the man
appeared impassive. Speaking in English, then in Tagalog, and later in Ilocano, Cid then
requested the man to open his bag, but he seemed not to understand. Cid then
resorted to "sign language," motioning with his hands for the man to open the bag. The
man apparently understood and acceded to the request. A search of the bag yielded
several transparent plastic packets containing yellowish crystalline substances. As Cid
wished to proceed to the police station, he signaled the man to follow, but the latter
did not comprehend. Hence, Cid placed his arm around the shoulders of the man and
escorted the latter to the police headquarters. At the police station, Cid then "recited
and informed the man of his constitutional rights" to remain silent, to have the
assistance of a counsel, etc. Eliciting no response from the man, Cid ordered his men to
find a resident of the area who spoke Chinese to act as an interpreter. In the
meantime, Badua opened the bag and counted 29 plastic packets containing
yellowish crystalline substances. The interpreter, Mr. Go Ping Guan, finally arrived,
through whom the man was "apprised of his constitutional rights." When the policemen
asked the man several questions, he retreated to his obstinate reticence and merely
showed his ID with the name Chua Ho San printed thereon. Chua's bag and its contents
were sent to the PNP Crime Laboratory at Camp Diego Silang, Carlatan, San Fernando,
La Union for laboratory examination. In the meantime, Chua was detained at the
Bacnotan Police Station. Later, Police Chief Inspector and Forensic Chemist Theresa
Ann Bugayong Cid (wife of Cid), conducted a laboratory examination of 29 plastic
packets, adn in her Chemistry Report D-025-95, she stated that her qualitative
examination established the contents of the plastic packets, weighing 28.7 kilos, to be
positive of methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu, a regulated drug. Chua was
initially charged with illegal possession of methamphetamine hydrochloride before the
RTC (Criminal Case 4037). However, pursuant to the recommendation of the Office of
the Provincial Prosecutor of San Fernando, La Union, the information was subsequently
amended to allege that Chua was in violation of Section 15, Article III of RA 6425 as
amended by RA 7659 (illegal transport of a regulated drug). At his arraignment on 31
July 1995, where the amended complaint was read to him by a Fukien-speaking
interpreter, Chua entered a plea of not guilty. Trial finally ensued, with interpreters
assigned to Chua (upon the RTC's direct request to the Taipei Economic and Cultural
Office in the Philippines, after its failure to acquire one from the Department of Foreign
Affairs). Chua provided a completely different story, claiming that the bags belong to
his employer Cho Chu Rong, who he accompanied in the speedboat; that they
decided to dock when they were low on fuel and telephone battery; that the police,
with nary any spoken word but only gestures and hand movements, escorted him to
the precinct where he was handcuffed and tied to a chair; that the police, led by an
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officer, arrived with the motor engine of the speedboat and a bag, which they
presented to him; that the police inspected opened the bag, weighed the contents,
then proclaimed them as methamphetamine hydrochloride. In a decision promulgated
on 10 February 1997, the RTC convicted Chua for transporting 28.7 kilos of
methamphetamine hydrochloride without legal authority to do so. Chua prays for the
reversal of the RTC decision and his acquittal before the Supreme Court.

Issue: Whether persistent reports of rampant smuggling of firearm and other


contraband articles, Chua's watercraft differing in appearance from the usual fishing
boats that commonly cruise over the Bacnotan seas, Chua’s illegal entry into the
Philippines, Chua’s suspicious behavior, i.e. he attempted to flee when he saw the
police authorities, and the apparent ease by which Chua can return to and navigate
his speedboat with immediate dispatch towards the high seas, constitute "probable
cause."

Held: No. Enshrined in the Constitution is the inviolable right to privacy of home and
person. It explicitly ordains that people have the right to be secure in their persons,
houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever
nature and for any purpose. Inseparable, and not merely corollary or incidental to said
right and equally hallowed in and by the Constitution, is the exclusionary principle
which decrees that any evidence obtained in violation of said right is inadmissible for
any purpose inany proceeding. The Constitutional proscription against unreasonable
searches and seizures does not, of course, forestall reasonable searches and seizure.
This interdiction against warrantless searches and seizures, however, is not absolute and
such warrantless searches and seizures have long been deemed permissible by
jurisprudence. The Rules of Court recognize permissible warrantless arrests, to wit: (1)
arrests in flagrante delicto, (2) arrests effected in hot pursuit, and (3) arrests of escaped
prisoners. The prosecution and the defense painted extremely divergent versions of the
incident, but the Court is certain that Chua was arrested and his bag searched without
the benefit of a warrant. There are no facts on record reasonably suggestive or
demonstrative of Chua’s participation in an ongoing criminal enterprise that could
have spurred police officers from conducting the obtrusive search. The RTC never took
the pains of pointing to such facts, but predicated mainly its decision on the finding
that "accused was caught red-handed carrying the bagful of shabu when
apprehended." In short, there is no probable cause. Persistent reports of rampant
smuggling of firearm and other contraband articles, Chua's watercraft differing in
appearance from the usual fishing boats that commonly cruise over the Bacnotan seas,
Chua’s illegal entry into the Philippines, Chua’s suspicious behavior, i.e. he attempted to
flee when he saw the police authorities, and the apparent ease by which Chua can
return to and navigate his speedboat with immediate dispatch towards the high seas,
do not constitute "probable cause." None of the telltale clues, e.g., bag or package
emanating the pungent odor of marijuana or other prohibited drug, 20 confidential
report and/or positive identification by informers of courier(s) of prohibited drug and/or
the time and place where they will transport/deliver the same, suspicious demeanor or
behavior and suspicious bulge in the waist — accepted by the Court as sufficient to
justify a warrantless arrest exists in the case. There was no classified information that a
foreigner would disembark at Tammocalao beach bearing prohibited drug on the date
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in question. Chua was not identified as a drug courier by a police informer or agent.
The fact that the vessel that ferried him to shore bore no resemblance to the fishing
boats of the area did not automatically mark him as in the process of perpetrating an
offense. The search cannot therefore be denominated as incidental to an arrest. To
reiterate, the search was not incidental to an arrest. There was no warrant of arrest and
the warrantless arrest did not fall under the exemptions allowed by the Rules of Court as
already shown. From all indications, the search was nothing but a fishing expedition.
Casting aside the regulated substance as evidence, the same being the fruit of a
poisonous tree, the remaining evidence on record are insufficient, feeble and
ineffectual to sustain Chua’s conviction.

25. People v Tangliben

Facts: Patrolmen Silverio and Romeo Punzalan were conducting surveillance at the San
Fernando Victory Liner Terminal. At around 9:30pm they noticed a person, Medel
Tangliben, carrying a traveling bag who acted suspiciously. They confronted
him, inspected his bag, and there they found marijuana leaves. The accused was then
taken to the Police Headquarters for further investigations. The TC found Tangliben guilty
of violating sec.4 art. 2 of the RA 6425 or the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972.

Issue: Whether or Not there was an unlawful search due to lack of search warrant.

Held: No. Rule 113 sec. 5 provides the a peace officer or a private person may w/o
a warrant arrest a person when in his presence the person to be arrested has
committed, is committing, or is attempting to commit an offense.

In the present case, the accused was found to have been committing possession of
marijuana and can be therefore searched lawfully even without a search warrant.
Another reason is that this case poses urgency on the part of the arresting police
officers. It was found out that an informer pointed to the accused telling the policemen
that the accused was carrying marijuana. The police officers had to act quickly and
there was not enough time to secure a search warrant.

26. PP VS JOHNSON

Facts:

Leila Reyes Johnson was, at the time of the incident, 58 years old, a widow, and a
resident of Ocean Side, California, U.S.A. She is a former Filipino citizen who was
naturalized as an American on 16 June 1968 and had since been working as a
registered nurse, taking care of geriatric patients and those with Alzheimer's disease, in
convalescent homes in the United States. On 16 June 1998, she arrived in the Philippines
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to visit her son's family in Calamba, Laguna. She was due to fly back to the United
States on July 26. On July 25, she checked in at the Philippine Village Hotel to avoid the
traffic on the way to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and checked out at
5:30 p.m. the next day, 26 June 1998. At around 7:30 p.m. of that day, Olivia Ramirez
was on duty as a lady frisker at Gate 16 of the NAIA departure area. Her duty was to
frisk departing passengers, employees, and crew and check for weapons, bombs,
prohibited drugs, contrabandgoods, and explosives. When she frisked Johnson, a
departing passenger bound for the United States via Continental Airlines CS-912, she felt
something hard on the latter's abdominal area. Upon inquiry, Mrs. Johnson explained
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, Ramirez reported the
matter to her superior, SPO4 Reynaldo Embile, saying "Sir, hindi po ako naniniwalang
panty lang po iyon." She was directed to take Johnson to the nearest women's room for
inspection. Ramirez took Johnson to the rest room, accompanied by SPO1 Rizalina
Bernal. Embile stayed outside. Inside the women's room, Johnson was asked again by
Ramirez what the hard object on her stomach was and Johnson gave the same answer
she had previously given. Ramirez then asked her "to bring out the thing under her
girdle." Johnson brought out three plastic packs, which Ramirez then turned over to
Embile, outside the women's room. The confiscated packs contained a total of 580.2
grams of a substance which was found by NBI Chemist George de Lara to be
methamphetamine hydrochloride or "shabu." Embile took Johnson and the plastic
packs to the 1st Regional Aviation and Security Office (1st RASO) at the arrival area of
the NAIA, where Johnson's passport and ticket were taken and her luggage opened.
Pictures were taken and her personal belongings were itemized. Johnson was charged
for the possession of 3 plastic bages of methamphetamine hydrochloride, a regulated
drug, weighing a total of 580.2 grams; a violation of §16 of RA 6425 (Dangerous Drugs
Act), as amended by RA 7659. On 14 May 1999, the Regional Trial Court, Branch 110,
Pasay City, found Johnson guilty and sentenced her to suffer the penalty of reclusion
perpetua and to pay a fine of P500,000.00 and the costs of the suit. Johnson appealed.

Issue:

Whether the extensive search made on Johnson at the airport violates her right against
unreasonable search and seizure.

Held:

The constitutional right of the accused was not violated as she was never placed under
custodial investigation but was validly arrested without warrant pursuant to the
provisions of Section 5, Rule 113 of tie 1985 Rules of Criminal Procedure which provides
that "A peace officer or a private person may, without a warrant, arrest a person: (a)
when in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing,
or is attempting to commit an offense; (b) when an offense has in fact just been
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committed and person to be arrested has committed it; and xxx." The circumstances
surrounding the arrest of the accused falls in either paragraph (a) or (b) of the Rule
above cited, hence the allegation that she has been subjected to custodial
investigation is far from being accurate. The methamphetamine hydrochloride seized
from her during the routine frisk at the airport was acquired legitimately pursuant to
airport security procedures. 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 nation's airports. Passengers attempting to board an aircraft routinely pass
through metal detectors; their carry-on baggage as well as checked luggage is
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, travellers 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. The packs of methamphetamine hydrochloride having thus
been obtained through a valid warrantless search, they are admissible in evidence
against Johnson. Corollary, her subsequent arrest, although likewise without warrant,
was justified since it was effected upon the discovery and recovery of "shabu" in her
person in flagrante delicto.

27. People vs. Malmstedt

Facts: In an information filed against the accused- appellant Mikael Malmstead was
charged before the RTC of La Trinidad, Benguet, for violation of Section 4, Art. II of
Republic Act 6425, as amended, otherwise known as the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972,
as amended.

Accused Mikael Malmstedt, a Swedish national, entered the Philippines for the third
time in December 1988 as a tourist. He had visited the country sometime in 1982 and
1985.

In the evening of 7 May 1989, accused left for Baguio City. Upon his arrival thereat in
the morning of the following day, he took a bus to Sagada and stayed in that place for
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two (2) days. Then in the 7 in the morning of May 11, 1989, the accused went to
Nangonogan bus stop in Sagada.

At about 8: 00 o'clock in the morning of that same day (11 May 1989), Captain Alen
Vasco, the Commanding Officer of the First Regional Command (NARCOM) stationed
at Camp Dangwa, ordered his men to set up a temporary checkpoint at Kilometer 14,
Acop, Tublay, Mountain Province, for the purpose of checking all vehicles coming from
the Cordillera Region. The order to establish a checkpoint in the said area was
prompted by persistent reports that vehicles coming from Sagada were transporting
marijuana and other prohibited drugs. Moreover, information was received by the
Commanding Officer of NARCOM, that same morning that a Caucasian coming from
Sagada had in his possession prohibited drugs. The group composed of seven (7)
NARCOM officers, in coordination with Tublay Police Station, set up a checkpoint at the
designated area at about 10:00 o'clock in the morning and inspected all vehicles
coming from the Cordillera Region.

The two (2) NARCOM officers started their inspection from the front going towards the
rear of the bus. Accused who was the sole foreigner riding the bus was seated at the
rear thereof.

During the inspection, CIC Galutan noticed a bulge on accused's waist. Suspecting the
bulge on accused's waist to be a gun, the officer asked for accused's passport and
other identification papers. When accused failed to comply, the officer required him to
bring out whatever it was that was bulging on his waist. The bulging object turned out
to be a pouch bag and when accused opened the same bag, as ordered, the officer
noticed four (4) suspicious-looking objects wrapped in brown packing tape, prompting
the officer to open one of the wrapped objects. The wrapped objects turned out to
contain hashish, a derivative of marijuana.

Thereafter, accused was invited outside the bus for questioning. But before he alighted
from the bus, accused stopped to get two (2) travelling bags from the luggage carrier.
Upon stepping out of the bus, the officers got the bags and opened them. A teddy
bear was found in each bag. Feeling the teddy bears, the officer noticed that there
were bulges inside the same which did not feel like foam stuffing. It was only after the
officers had opened the bags that accused finally presented his passport.
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Accused was then brought to the headquarters of the NARCOM at Camp Dangwa, La
Trinidad, Benguet for further investigation. At the investigation room, the officers
opened the teddy bears and they were found to also contain hashish. Representative
samples were taken from the hashish found among the personal effects of accused
and the same were brought to the PC Crime Laboratory for chemical analysis.

In the chemistry report, it was established that the objects examined were hashish. a
prohibited drug which is a derivative of marijuana. Thus, an information was filed
against accused for violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act.

ACCUSED’S DEFENSE

During the arraignment, accused entered a plea of "not guilty." For his defense, he
raised the issue of illegal search of his personal effects. He also claimed that the hashish
was planted by the NARCOM officers in his pouch bag and that the two (2) travelling
bags were not owned by him, but were merely entrusted to him by an Australian
couple whom he met in Sagada. He further claimed that the Australian couple
intended to take the same bus with him but because there were no more seats
available in said bus, they decided to take the next ride and asked accused to take
charge of the bags, and that they would meet each other at the Dangwa Station.

The trial court found the guilt of the accused Mikael Malmstedt established beyond
reasonable doubt.

Seeking the reversal of the decision of the trial court finding him guilty of the crime
charged, accused argues that the search of his personal effects was illegal because it
was made without a search warrant and, therefore, the prohibited drugs which were
discovered during the illegal search are not admissible as evidence against him.

Issue: Whether or Not the contention of the accused is valid, and therefore the RTC
ruling be reversed.

Held: The Constitution guarantees the right of the people to be secure in their persons,
houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures. However,
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where the search is made pursuant to a lawful arrest, there is no need to obtain a
search warrant. A lawful arrest without a warrant may be made by a peace officer or a
private person under the following circumstances.

Sec. 5 Arrest without warrant; when lawful. –– A peace officer or a private person may,
without a warrant, arrest a person:

(a) When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed is actually committing,
or is attempting to commit an offense;

(b) When an offense has in fact just been committed, and he has personal knowledge of
facts indicating that the person to be arrested has committed it; and

(c) When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped from a penal
establishment or place where he is serving final judgment or temporarily confined while
his case is pending, or has escaped while being transferred from one confinement to
another.

Accused was searched and arrested while transporting prohibited drugs (hashish). A
crime was actually being committed by the accused and he was caught in flagrante
delicto. Thus, the search made upon his personal effects falls squarely under paragraph
(1) of the foregoing provisions of law, which allow a warrantless search incident to a
lawful arrest. While it is true that the NARCOM officers were not armed with a search
warrant when the search was made over the personal effects of accused, however,
under the circumstances of the case, there was sufficient probable cause for said
officers to believe that accused was then and there committing a crime.

Probable cause has been defined as such facts and circumstances which could 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. Warrantless search of the personal effects of an accused has been
declared by this Court as valid, because of existence of probable cause, where the
smell of marijuana emanated from a plastic bag owned by the accused, 10 or where
the accused was acting suspiciously, 11 and attempted to flee.
12

The appealed judgment of conviction by the trial court is hereby affirmed. Costs
against the accused-appellant.

28. Valmonte vs. De Villa

Facts:

Petitioner questioned the legality of the establishment of checkpoints pursuant to Letter


of Instruction 02/87 on the ground that they authorized illegal searches.

Issue: Whether or not checkpoints authorize illegal searches.

Ruling:

No. The setting up of checkpoints is a security measure intended to enable the military
to pursue the mission of establishing effective territorial defense and maintaining peace
and order for the benefit of the public. Between the inherent right of the state to
protect its existence and promote public welfare and the right of an individual a
warrantless search which is reasonably conducted, the former should prevail. Where
the officer merely draws aside the curtain of a parked empty vehicle, looks into a
vehicle, or flashes a light in it, these do not constitute unreasonable searches.

29. People v De Gracia

Facts: The incidents involved in this case took place at the height of the coup d''etat
staged in December, 1989. Accused-appellant Rolando de Gracia was charged in two
separate informations for illegal possession of ammunition and explosives in furtherance
of rebellion, and for attempted homicide. Appellant was convicted for illegal
possession of firearms in furtherance of rebellion, but was acquitted of attempted
homicide. 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 six cartons of M-16 ammunition, five
bundles of C-4 dynamites, M-shells of different calibers, and "molotov" bombs 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. The team
arrested appellant. They were then made to sign an inventory, written in Tagalog, of the
explosives and ammunition confiscated by the raiding team. No search warrant was
secured by the raiding team. Accused was found guilty of illegal possession of firearms.
That judgment of conviction is now challenged before us in this appeal.

Issue: Whether or not there was a valid search and seizure in this case.
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Ruling: YES 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.

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. 19 Under such urgency and exigency of the moment, a search warrant
could lawfully be dispensed with.

30. SJS VS DDB AND PDEA

Facts:

Before the Court are 3 consolidated petitions assailing the constitutionality of Section 36
of RA 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 insofar as it requires
mandatory drug testing of candidates for public office, students of secondary and
tertiary schools, officers and employees of public and private offices, and persons
charged before the prosecutor’s office with certain offenses. According to Aquilino
Pimentel Jr., a senator of the RP and a candidate for re-election in May 2004
elections, said mandatory drug testing imposes an additional qualification for Senators
beyond that which are provided by the Constitution. No provision in the Constitution
authorizes the Congress or the COMELEC to expand the qualification requirements of
candidates for senator. Meanwhile, SJS contends that Section 36(c)(d)(f) and (g) are
constitutionally infirm as it constitutes undue delegation of legislative power when they
give unbridled discretion to schools and employers to determine the manner of drug
testing. It also violates the equal protection clause as it can be used to harass a student
or employee deemed undesirable. The constitutional right against unreasonable
searches is also breached. In addition to the abovementioned contentions, Atty.
Manuel J. Laserna, Jr., as a citizen and taxpayers maintains that said provision should be
struck down as unconstitutional for infringing on the constitutional right to privacy, the
right against unreasonable search and seizure, and the right against self-incrimination,
and for being contrary to the due process and equal protection guarantees.

Issue:

WON Section 36 (c), (d), (f) and (g) are unconstitutional


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Held:

Section 36 (c) and (d) are constitutional while (f) and (g) are not

The essence of privacy is the right to be left alone. In context, the right to privacy
means the right to be free from unwarranted exploitation of one's person or from
intrusion into one's private activities in such a way as to cause humiliation to a person's
ordinary sensibilities. And while there has been general agreement as to the basic
function of the guarantee against unwarranted search, "translation of the abstract
prohibition against‘unreasonable searches and seizures' into workable broad guidelines
for the decision of particular cases is a difficult task," to borrow from C. Camarav
Municipal Court. Authorities are agreed though that the right to privacy yields to certain
paramount rights of the public and defers to the state's exercise of police power. The
first factor to consider in the matter of reasonableness is the nature of the privacy
interest upon which the drug testing, which effects a search within the meaning of Sec.
2, Art. III of the Constitution intrudes. Just as defining as the first factor is the character of
the intrusion authorized by the challenged law. Reduced to a question form, is the
scope of the search or intrusion clearly set forth, or, as formulated in Ople v. Torres, is the
enabling law authorizing a search “narrowly drawn" or "narrowly focused"? To reiterate,
RA 9165 was enacted as a measure to stamp out illegal drug in the country and thus
protect the well- being of the citizens, especially the youth, from the deleterious effects
of dangerous drugs. Taking into account the foregoing factors, i.e., the reduced
expectation of privacy on the part of the employees, the compelling state concern
likely to be met by the search, and the well - defined limits set forth in the law to
properly guide authorities in the conduct of the random testing, we hold that the
challenged drug test requirement is, under the limited context of the case, reasonable
and, ergo, constitutional. Like their counterparts in the private sector, government
officials and employees also labour under reasonable supervision and restrictions
imposed by the Civil Service law and other laws on public officers, all enacted to
promote a high standard of ethics in the public service. And if RA 9165 passes the norm
of reasonableness for private employees, the more reason that it should pass the test for
civil servants, who, by constitutional command, are required to be accountable at all
times to the people and to serve them with utmost responsibility and efficiency.

Section 36. Authorized Drug Testing. – Authorized drug testing shall be done by any
government forensic laboratories or by any of the drug testing laboratories accredited
and monitored by the DOH to safeguard the quality of test results. The DOH shall take
steps in setting the price of the drug test with DOH accredited drug testing centers to
further reduce the cost of such drug test. The drug testing shall employ, among others,
two (2) testing methods, the screening test which will determine the positive result as
well as the type of the drug used and the confirmatory test which will confirm a positive
screening test. Drug test certificates issued by accredited drug testing centers shall be
15

valid for a one-year period from the date of issue which may be used for other
purposes. The following shall be subjected to undergo drug testing:

(a) Applicants for driver's license. – No driver's license shall be issued or renewed
to any person unless he/she presents a certification that he/she has undergone a
mandatory drug test and indicating thereon that he/she is free from the use of
dangerous drugs;

(b) Applicants for firearm's license and for permit to carry firearms outside of
residence. – All applicants for firearm's license and permit to carry firearms
outside of residence shall undergo a mandatory drug test to ensure that they are
free from the use of dangerous drugs: Provided, That all persons who by the
nature of their profession carry firearms shall undergo drug testing;

(c) Students of secondary and tertiary schools. – Students of secondary and


tertiary schools shall, pursuant to the related rules and regulations as contained
in the school's student handbook and with notice to the parents, undergo a
random drug testing: Provided, That all drug testing expenses whether in public
or private schools under this Section will be borne by the government;

(d) Officers and employees of public and private offices. – Officers and
employees of public and private offices, whether domestic or overseas, shall be
subjected to undergo a random drug test as contained in the company's work
rules and regulations, which shall be borne by the employer, for purposes of
reducing the risk in the workplace. Any officer or employee found positive for use
of dangerous drugs shall be dealt with administratively which shall be a ground
for suspension or termination, subject to the provisions of Article 282 of the Labor
Code and pertinent provisions of the Civil Service Law;

(e) Officers and members of the military, police and other law enforcement
agencies. – Officers and members of the military, police and other law
enforcement agencies shall undergo an annual mandatory drug test;

(f) All persons charged before the prosecutor's office with a criminal offense
having an imposable penalty of imprisonment of not less than six (6) years and
one (1) day shall have to undergo a mandatory drug test; and

(g) All candidates for public office whether appointed or elected both in the
national or local government shall undergo a mandatory drug test.

In addition to the above stated penalties in this Section, those found to be


positive for dangerous drugs use shall be subject to the provisions of Section 15 of
this Act.
16

31. Pollo vs David

FACTS:

[This case involves a search of office computer assigned to a government


employee who was then charged administratively and was eventually dismissed from
the service. The employee’s personal files stored in the computer were used by the
government employer as evidence of his misconduct.]

On January 3, 2007, an anonymous letter-complaint was received by the


respondent Civil Service Commission (CSC) Chairperson alleging that the “chief of the
Mamamayan muna hindi mamaya na division” of Civil Service Commission Regional
Office No. IV (CSC-ROIV) has been lawyering for public officials with pending cases in
the CSC. Chairperson David immediately formed a team with background in
information technology and issued a memorandum directing them “to back up all the
files in the computers found in the [CSC-ROIV] Mamamayan Muna (PALD) and Legal
divisions.”

The team proceeded at once to the CSC-ROIV office and backed up all files in
the hard disk of computers at the Public Assistance and Liaison Division (PALD) and the
Legal Services Division. This was witnessed by several employees. At around 10:00
p.m. of the same day, the investigating team finished their task. The next day, all the
computers in the PALD were sealed and secured. The diskettes containing the back-up
files sourced from the hard disk of PALD and LSD computers were then turned over to
Chairperson David. It was found that most of the files in the 17 diskettes containing files
copied from the computer assigned to and being used by the petitioner, numbering
about 40 to 42 documents, were draft pleadings or letters in connection with
administrative cases in the CSC and other tribunals. Chairperson David thus issued a
Show-Cause Order requiring the petitioner to submit his explanation or counter-affidavit
within five days from notice.

Petitioner filed his Comment, denying that he is the person referred to in the
anonymous letter-complaint. He asserted that he had protested the unlawful taking of
his computer done while he was on leave, citing the letter dated January 8, 2007
in which he informed Director Castillo of CSC-ROIV that the files in his computer were his
personal files and those of his sister, relatives, friends and some associates and that he is
not authorizing their sealing, copying, duplicating and printing as these would violate
his constitutional right to privacy and protection against self-incrimination and
warrantless search and seizure. He pointed out that though government property, the
temporary use and ownership of the computer issued under a Memorandum of Receipt
is ceded to the employee who may exercise all attributes of ownership, including its use
for personal purposes. In view of the illegal search, the files/documents copied from his
computer without his consent [are] thus inadmissible as evidence, being “fruits of a
poisonous tree.”

The CSC found prima facie case against the petitioner and charged him with
Dishonesty, Grave Misconduct, Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the
Service and Violation of R.A. No. 6713 (Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for
17

Public Officials and Employees). Petitioner then filed an Omnibus Motion (For
Reconsideration, to Dismiss and/or to Defer) assailing the formal charge as without basis
having proceeded from an illegal search, which is beyond the authority of the CSC
Chairman, such power pertaining solely to the court. The CSC denied this omnibus
motion.

On March 14, 2007, petitioner filed an Urgent Petition before the Court of
Appeals (CA) assailing both the January 11, 2007 Show-Cause Order and February 26,
2007 Resolution as having been issued with grave abuse of discretion amounting to
excess or total absence of jurisdiction. On July 24, 2007, the CSC issued a Resolution
finding petitioner GUILTY of Dishonesty, Grave Misconduct, Conduct Prejudicial to the
Best Interest of the Service and Violation of Republic Act 6713. He is meted the penalty
of DISMISSAL FROM THE SERVICE with all its accessory penalties. This Resolution was also
brought to the CA by herein petitioner.

By a Decision dated October 11, 2007, the CA dismissed the petitioner’s petition
for certiorari after finding no grave abuse of discretion committed by respondents CSC
officials. His motion for reconsideration having been denied by the CA, petitioner
brought this appeal before the Supreme Court.

ISSUE:

Was the search conducted on petitioner’s office computer and the copying of
his personal files without his knowledge and consent – alleged as a transgression on his
constitutional right to privacy – lawful?

HELD:

[The Supreme Court DENIED the petition and AFFIRMED the CA, which in turn
upheld the CSC resolution dismissing the petitioner from service. The High Tribunal held
that the search on petitioner’s office computer and the copying of his personal files
were both LAWFUL and DID NOT VIOLATE his constitutional right to privacy.]

The right to privacy has been accorded recognition in this jurisdiction as a facet
of the right protected by the guarantee against unreasonable search and seizure
under Section 2, Article III of the 1987 Constitution. The constitutional guarantee is not a
prohibition of all searches and seizures but only of “unreasonable” searches and
seizures.

32. The Secretary of National Defense v. Manalo

FACTS:
18

Brothers Raymond and Reynaldo Manalo were abducted by military men belonging to
the CAFGU on the suspicion that they were members and supporters of the NPA. After
18 months of detention and torture, the brothers escaped on August 13, 2007.

Ten days after their escape, they filed a Petition for Prohibition, Injunction, and
Temporary Restraining Order to stop the military officers and agents from depriving
them of their right to liberty and other basic rights. While the said case was pending, the
Rule on the Writ of Amparo took effect on October 24, 2007. The Manalos subsequently
filed a manifestation and omnibus motion to treat their existing petition as amparo
petition.

On December 26, 2007, the Court of Appeals granted the privilege of the writ of
amparo. The CA ordered the Secretary of National Defense and the Chief of Staff of
the AFP to furnish the Manalos and the court with all official and unofficial investigation
reports as to the Manalos’ custody, confirm the present places of official assignment of
two military officials involved, and produce all medical reports and records of the
Manalo brothers while under military custody. The Secretary of National Defense and
the Chief of Staff of the AFP appealed to the SC seeking to reverse and set aside the
decision promulgated by the CA.

Issue: Whether or not the issuance of the writ was proper

Ruling:

Yes. In upholding the CA decision, the Supreme Court ruled that there is a continuing
violation of the Manalos right to security. xxx The Writ of Amparo is the most potent
remedy available to any person whose right to life, liberty, and security has been
violated or is threatened with violation by an unlawful act or omission by public officials
or employees and by private individuals or entities. xxx Understandably, since their
escape, the Manalos have been under concealment and protection by private citizens
because of the threat to their life, liberty, and security. The circumstances of
respondents’ abduction, detention, torture and escape reasonably support a
conclusion that there is an apparent threat that they will again be abducted, tortured,
and this time, even executed. These constitute threats to their liberty, security, and life,
actionable through a petition for a writ of amparo,” the Court explained.

33. Robert Reyes v. Sec. Raul Gonzales

Facts: Petitioner was among those arrested in the Manila Peninsula Hotel siege on
November 30, 2007. In the morning of November 30, 2007, petitioner together with fifty
(50) others, were brought to Camp Crame to, conduct inquest proceedings to
ascertain whether or not there was probable cause to hold petitioner and the others for
trial on charges of Rebellion and/or Inciting to Rebellion.
19

On December 1, 2007, upon the request of DILG, respondent DOJ Secretary Raul
Gonzales issued Hold Departure Order (HDO) No. 45 ordering respondent Commissioner
of Immigration to include in the Hold Departure List of the Bureau of Immigration and
Deportation (BID) the name of petitioner and 49 others relative to the aforementioned
case in the interest of national security and public safety.

Later on, the case against rebellion was dismissed.

On January 3, 2008, petitioner filed the instant petition claiming that despite the
dismissal of the rebellion case against petitioner, HDO No. 45 still subsists; that on
December 19, 2007, petitioner was held by BID officials at the NAIA as his name is
included in the Hold Departure List; that had it not been for the timely intervention of
petitioner’s counsel, petitioner would not have been able to take his scheduled flight to
Hong Kong; that on December 26, 2007, petitioner was able to fly back to the
Philippines from Hong Kong but every time petitioner would present himself at the NAIA
for his flights abroad, he stands to be detained and interrogated by BID officers
because of the continued inclusion of his name in the Hold Departure List; and that the
Secretary of Justice has not acted on his request for the lifting of HDO No. 45. Petitioner
further maintained that immediate recourse to the Supreme Court for the availment of
the writ is exigent as the continued restraint on petitioner’s right to travel is illegal.

The petition for a writ of amparo is filed against DOJ secretary on the ground that he
violated petitioner’s constitutional right to travel. Petitioner argues that the DOJ
Secretary has no power to issue a Hold Departure Order (HDO) and the subject HDO
No. 45 has no legal basis since Criminal Case No. 07-3126 has already been dismissed.

Issue: WON the Writ of amparo is the proper action to file in the case at bar?

Held: No. The petition for a writ of amparo is a remedy available to any person whose
right to life, liberty and security is violated or threatened with violation by an unlawful
act or omission of a public official or employee, or of a private individual or entity.

The writ shall cover extralegal killings and enforced disappearances or threats thereof.

the Amparo Rule in its present form is confined to only to two instances of "extralegal
killings" and "enforced disappearances," or to threats thereof. To start off with the basics,
the writ of amparo was originally conceived as a response to the extraordinary rise in
the number of killings and enforced disappearances, and to the perceived lack of
available and effective remedies to address these extraordinary concerns. It is intended
to address violations of or threats to the rights to life, liberty or security, as an
extraordinary and independent remedy beyond those available under the prevailing
Rules, or as a remedy supplemental to these Rules. What it is not, is a writ to protect
concerns that are purely property or commercial. Neither is it a writ that we shall issue
on amorphous and uncertain grounds.
20

34. MARYNETTE GAMBOA VS MARLOU CHAN

Facts:

Former Pres. Arroyo issued AO No. 275 creating the Zeñarosa Commision which was
forme to investigate the existence of private groups in the country in view of eliminating
and dismantling them permanently in the future. Upon conclusion of its investigation,
the Commission submitted a confidential report to the Office of the President.

Marynette Gamboa was the mayor of Dingras, Ilocos Norte, Gamboa alleged that the
PNP Ilocos Norte conducted surveillance operation against her and her aides, and
classified her as PAG coddler. Purportedly without the benefit of data verification, PNP
forwarded the information gathered on her to the commission, causing her inclusion in
the Report’s enumeration of individuals maintaining PAGs.

Gamboa’s association with the PAG was published and released in different forms of
media. Publicly tagging her as PAG coddler. Alleging that her right to privacy was
violated, Gamboa filed a petition before the RTC for the issuance of habeas data to
destroy the unverified reports from the PNP database and restrain PNP from forwarding
baseless reports against her. The RTC ruled that the inclusion violates her right to privacy.
However, the RTC dismissed the petition for writ of habeas data saying that Gamboa
failed to establish the source of information.

Issues:

WON the forwarding of information or intel report by PNP to the Commission was
violation of petitioner’s right to privacy.

Held:

Forwarding of the information or intel report gathered by the PNP to the Commission is
not an intrusion of petitioner’s right to privacy.

The Constitution explicitly mandates the dismantling of private armies and other armed
groups not recognized by the authority. It also provides for the establishment of one
police force that is national in scope in civilian in character, and is controlled by the
NAPOLCOM.

Taking into account these constitutional fiats, it is clear that the issuance of AO
275articulates a legitimate aim, which is to investigate the existence of PAGs and
ultimately dismantling them permanently. Pursuant to the state interest of dismantling
PAG, the PNP gathered information on suspected PAG coddlers. One of them was the
petitioner Gamboa.
21

This court holds that Gamboa was able to sufficiently establish that the data contained
in the Report listing her as PAG coddler came from the PNP. Contrary to the ruling of the
trial court, however the forwarding of the information by the PNP to the Commission
was not an unlawful act that iolated or threatened the right to privacy in life, liberty or
security. The PNP was rationally expected to forward and share intelligence regarding
the PAGs with body specifically created for the purpose of investigating the existence
of these notorious groups. Moreover the PNP was deputized by the Commission in the
fulfilment of the Commission’s mandate. The fact that the PNP released the information
to the Commission without prior communication to Gamboa and without affording her
the opportunity to refute the same cannot be interpreted as a violation or threat to her
privacy since that act is an inherent and crucial component of intelligence gathering
and investigation. Additionally, Gamboa herself admitted that the PNP had a validation
system, which was used to update information on individuals associated with PAGs and
to ensure that data mirrored the situation on the field. Thus safeguards were put in
place to make sure that the information collected maintained its integrity and
accuracy.

35. Navarro vs CA

Facts:

Stanley Jalbuena and Enrique “Ike” Lingan, who were reporters of the radio station
DWTI in Lucena City, went to the Entertainment City following reports that it was
showing nude dancers. Jalbuena took pictures when the woman removed her
brassieres. The manager of the Club went to them together with the guards to ask why
the pictures were taken. Then , they were threatened to be killed. So they went to the
police station to report the matter. However, the police officer Navarro sided the
personnel of the club. Navarro took his firearm and point it to Jalbuena. Lingan tried to
mediate however he had heated argument with Navarro and he was shot. Navarro
told his companion that put it on police blotter that it was Lingan who provoke him to
fight. However Jalbuena was able to record the conversation between Lingan and
Navarro and presented such in court.

Issue:

WON the recorded communication between Navarro and Lingan admissible?

Held:

Yes.
22

Any communication or spoken word, or the existence, contents, substance, purport,


effect, or meaning of the same or any part thereof, or any information therein
contained obtained or secured by any person in violation of the preceding sections of
this Act shall not be admissible in evidence in any judicial, quasi-judicial, legislative or
administrative hearing or investigation.

Thus, the law prohibits the overhearing, intercepting, or recording of private


communication. Since the exchange between petitioner Navarro and Lingan was not
private, its tape recording is not prohibited.
Nor is there any question that it was duly authenticated. A voice recording is
authenticated by the testimony of a witness (1) that he personally recorded the
conversation; (2) that the tape played in court was the one he recorded; and (3) that
the voices on the tape are those of the persons such are claimed to belong. In the
instant case, Jalbuena testified that he personally made the voice recording; that the
tape played in court was the one he recorded; and that the speakers on the tape were
petitioner Navarro and Lingan. A sufficient foundation was thus laid for the
authentication of the tape presented by the prosecution.

36. Ramirez vs CA

Facts: A civil case damages was filed by petitioner Socorro D. Ramirez in the Regional
Trial Court of Quezon City alleging that the private respondent, Ester S. Garcia, in a
confrontation in the latter's office, allegedly vexed, insulted and humiliated her in a
"hostile and furious mood" and in a manner offensive to petitioner's dignity and
personality," contrary to morals, good customs and public policy." 1

In support of her claim, petitioner produced a verbatim transcript of the event and
sought moral damages, attorney's fees and other expenses of litigation. As a result of
petitioner's recording of the event and alleging that the said act of secretly taping the
confrontation was illegal, private respondent filed a criminal case before the Regional
Trial Court of Pasay City for violation of Republic Act 4200.

Petitioner vigorously argues, as her "main and principal issue" 7 that the applicable
provision of Republic Act 4200 does not apply to the taping of a private conversation
by one of the parties to the conversation. She contends that the provision merely refers
to the unauthorized taping of a private conversation by a party other than those
involved in the communication. 8 In relation to this, petitioner avers that the substance
or content of the conversation must be alleged in the Information, otherwise the facts
charged would not constitute a violation of R.A. 4200. 9 Finally, petitioner agues that
R.A. 4200 penalizes the taping of a "private communication," not a "private
conversation" and that consequently, her act of secretly taping her conversation with
private respondent was not illegal under the said act.

Issue: WON there is a violation of R.A. 4200


23

Ruling: Yes. Section 1 of R.A. 4200 “clearly and unequivocally makes it illegal for any
person, not authorized by all the parties to any private communication to secretly
record such communication by means of a tape recorder. The law makes no distinction
as to whether the party sought to be penalized by the statute ought to be a party other
than or different from those involved in the private communication. The statute’s intent
to penalize all persons unauthorized to make such recording is underscored by the use
of the qualifier “any”. Consequently, …….even a (person) privy to a communication
who records his private conversation with another without the knowledge of the latter
(will) qualify as a “violator” under this provision of R.A. 4200.”

The Supreme Court held further that the nature of the conversations is immaterial to a
violation of the statute. It held that:

“The substance of the same need not be specifically alleged in the information. What
R.A. 4200 penalizes are the acts of secretly overhearing, intercepting or recording
private communications by means of the devices enumerated therein. The mere
allegation that an individual made a secret recording of a private communication by
means of a tape recorder would suffice to constitute an offense under Section 1 of R.A.
4200. As the Solicitor General pointed out in his COMMENT before the respondent court:
“Nowhere (in the said law) is it required that before one can be regarded as a violator,
the nature of the conversation, as well as its communication to a third person should be
professed.”

37. Zulueta V CA

Facts: Cecilia Zulueta is the wife of Dr. Alfredo Martin. On 26 March 1982, Zulueta
entered the clinic of her husband, a doctor of medicine, and in the presence of her
mother, a driver and Martin’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 Zulueta had filed against her husband. Dr. Martin brought
the action for recovery of the documents and papers and for damages against
Zulueta, with the Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch X. After trial, the trial court
rendered judgment for Martin, declaring him the capital/exclusive owner of the
properties described in paragraph 3 of Martin’s Complaint or those further described in
the Motion to Return and Suppress and ordering Zulueta and any person acting in her
behalf to a immediately return the properties to Dr. Martin and to pay him P5,000.00, as
nominal damages; P5,000.00, as moral damages and attorney’s fees; and to pay the
costs of the suit. On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the Regional
Trial Court. Zulueta filed the petition for review with the Supreme Court.
24

Issue: Whether the injunction declaring the privacy of communication and


correspondence to be inviolable apply even to the spouse of the aggrieved party.

Held: The documents and papers 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. The law
insures absolute freedom of communication between the spouses by making it
privileged. Neither husband nor wife may testify for or against the other without the
consent of the affected spouse while the marriage subsists. Neither may be examined
without the consent of the other as to any communication received in confidence by
one from the other during the marriage, save for specified exceptions. But one thing is
freedom of communication; quite another is a compulsion for each one to share what
one knows with the other. And this has nothing to do with the duty of fidelity that each
owes to the other.

38. WATEROUS DRUGS CORPORATION VS NLRC

Facts: Antonia Melodia Catolico was hired as a pharmacist by Waterous Drug


Corporation on 15 August 1988. On 31 July 1989, Catolico received a memorandum
from Waterous Vice President-General Manager Emma R. Co warning her not to
dispense medicine to employees chargeable to the latter's accounts because the
same was a prohibited practice. On the same date, Co issued another memorandum
to Catolico warning her not to negotiate with suppliers of medicine without consulting
the Purchasing Department, as this would impair the company's control of purchases
and, besides she was not authorized to deal directly with the suppliers. As regards the
first memorandum, Catolico did not deny her responsibility but explained that her act
was "due to negligence," since fellow employee Irene Soliven "obtained the medicines
in bad faith and through misrepresentation when she claimed that she was given a
charge slip by the Admitting Department, Catolico then asked the company to look
into the fraudulent activities of Soliven. In a memorandum 9 dated 21 November 1989,
Waterous Supervisor Luzviminda E. Bautro warned Catolico against the "rush delivery of
medicines without the proper documents." On 29 January 1990, Waterous Control Clerk
Eugenio Valdez informed Co that he noticed an irregularity involving Catolico and
Yung Shin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Valdez talked to Ms. Catolico regarding the check but
25

she denied having received it and that she is unaware of the overprice. However, upon
conversation with Ms. Saldana, EDRC Espana Pharmacy Clerk, she confirmed that the
check amounting to P640.00 was actually received by Ms. Catolico. As a matter of
fact, Ms. Catolico even asked Ms. Saldana if she opened the envelope containing the
check but Ms. Saldana answered her "talagang ganyan, bukas." It appears that the
amount in question (P640.00) had been pocketed by Ms. Catolico. Forthwith, in her
memorandum dated 31 January 1990, Co asked Catolico to explain, within 24 hours,
her side of the reported irregularity. Catolico asked for additional time to give her
explanation, and she was granted a 48-hour extension from 1 to 3 February 1990.
However, on 2 February 1990, she was informed that effective 6 February 1990 to 7
March 1990, she would be placed on preventive suspension to protect the interests of
the company. In a letter dated 2 February 1990, Catolico requested access to the file
containing Sales Invoice 266 for her to be able to make a satisfactory explanation. In
said letter she protested Saldaña's invasion of her privacy when Saldaña opened an
envelope addressed to Catolico. In a letter 15 to Co dated 10 February 1990, Catolico,
through her counsel, explained that the check she received from YSP was a Christmas
gift and not a "refund of overprice." She also averred that the preventive suspension
was ill motivated, as it sprang from an earlier incident between her and Co's secretary,
Irene Soliven. On 5 March 1990, Waterous Supervisor Luzviminda Bautro, issued a
memorandum notifying Catolico of her termination. On 5 May 1990, Catolico filed
before the Office of the Labor Arbiter a complaint for unfair labor practice, illegal
dismissal, and illegal suspension. In his decision of 10 May 1993, Labor Arbiter Alex
Arcadio Lopez found no proof of unfair labor practice against Waterous. Nevertheless,
he decided in favor of Catolico because Waterous failed to "prove what [they] alleged
as complainant's dishonesty," and to show that any investigation was conducted.
Hence, the dismissal was without just cause and due process. He thus declared the
dismissal and suspension illegal but disallowed reinstatement, as it would not be to the
best interest of the parties. Accordingly, he awarded separation pay to Catolico
computed at one-half month's pay for every year of service; back wages for one year;
and the additional sum of P2, 000.00 for illegal suspension "representing 30 days work";
for a total of P35, 401.86. Waterous seasonably appealed from the decision and urged
the NLRC to set it aside. In its decision of 30 September 1993, the NLRC affirmed the
findings of the Labor Arbiter on the ground that petitioners were not able to prove a just
cause for Catolico's dismissal from her employment. And thus dismissed the appeal for
lack of merit, but modified the dispositive portion of the appealed decision by deleting
the award for illegal suspension as the same was already included in the computation
of the aggregate of the awards in the amount of P35, 401.86. Their motion for
reconsideration having been denied, Waterous filed the special civil action for certiorari
with the Supreme Court.

Issue:
26

Whether Waterous’ act of opening an envelope from one of its regular suppliers is
contrary to the injunction against unreasonable search and seizure and a person’s right
to privacy of communication.

Held:

In light of the decision in the People v. Marti, the constitutional protection against
unreasonable searches and seizures refers to the immunity of one's person from
interference by government and cannot be extended to acts committed by private
individuals so as to bring it within the ambit of alleged unlawful intrusion by the
government. The Court finds 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 that the citizens have no
recourse against such assaults. On the contrary, such an invasion gives rise to both
criminal and civil liabilities. Herein, there was no violation of the right of privacy of
communication, and Waterous was justified in opening an envelope from one of its
regular suppliers as it could assume that the letter was a business communication in
which it had an interest. However, Catolico was denied due process. Procedural due
process requires that an employee be apprised of the charge against him, given
reasonable time to answer the charge, allowed amply opportunity to be heard and
defend himself, and assisted by a representative if the employee so desires. Ample
opportunity connotes every kind of assistance that management must accord the
employee to enable him to prepare adequately for his defense, including legal
representation. Although Catolico was given an opportunity to explain her side, she
was dismissed from the service in the memorandum of 5 March 1990 issued by her
Supervisor after receipt of her letter and that of her counsel. No hearing was ever
conducted after the issues were joined through said letters. The Supervisor's
memorandum spoke of "evidence in [Waterous] possession," which were not, however,
submitted. What the "evidence" other than the sales invoice and the check were, only
the Supervisor knew. Catolico's dismissal then was grounded on mere suspicion, which
in no case can justify an employee's dismissal. Suspicion is not among the valid causes
provided by the Labor Code for the termination of employment; and even the dismissal
of an employee for loss of trust and confidence must rest on substantial grounds and
not on the employer's arbitrariness, whims, caprices, or suspicion. Besides, Catolico was
not shown to be a managerial employee, to which class of employees the term "trust
and confidence" is restricted. Thus, the decision and resolution of the NLRC are affirmed
except as to its reason for upholding the Labor Arbiter's decision, viz., that the evidence
against Catolico was inadmissible for having been obtained in violation of her
constitutional rights of privacy of communication and against unreasonable searches
and seizures, which was set aside.
27

39. MARQUEZ vs. DESIERTO

FACTS:

In May 1998, petitioner Marquez received an Order from the Ombudsman Aniano A.
Desierto dated April 29, 1998, to produce several bank documents for purposes of
inspection in camera relative to various accounts maintained at Union Bank of the
Philippines (UBP) Julia Vargas Branch where petitioner was the branch manager. The
accounts to be inspected were involved in a case pending with the Ombudsman
entitled, Fact-Finding and Intelligence Bureau (FFIB) v. Amado Lagdameo, et. al, for
violation of RA 3019 Sec. 3 (e) and (g) relative to the Joint Venture Agreement between
the Public Estates Authority and AMARI. The Order was grounded on Section 15 of RA
6770 (Ombudsman Act of 1989) which provides, among others, the following powers,
functions and duties of the Ombudsman, to wit:
(8) Administer oaths, issue subpoena and subpoena duces tecum and take testimony in
any investigation or inquiry, including the power to examine and have access to bank
accounts and records;
(9) Punish for contempt in accordance with the Rules of Court and under the same
procedure and with the same penalties provided therein.
Clearly, the specific provision of R.A. 6770, a later legislation, modifies the law on the
Secrecy of Bank Deposits (R.A. 1405) and places the office of the Ombudsman in the
same footing as the courts of law in this regard.”
The basis of the Ombudsman in ordering an in camera inspection of the accounts was
a trail of managers checks (MCs) purchased by one George Trivinio, a respondent in
OMB-0-97-0411, pending with the office of the Ombudsman. It appeared that Trivinio
purchased on May 2 and 3, 1995, 51 MCs for a total amount of P272.1 Million at Traders
Royal Bank (TRB) UN Ave. Branch. Out of the 51 MCs, eleven 11 MCs in the amount of
P70.6M were deposited and credited to an account maintained at the UBP.
On May 26, 1998, the FFIB panel met with petitioner Marquez and Atty. Fe B. Macalino
at the bank’s main office in Makati City, for the purpose of allowing petitioner and Atty.
Macalino to view the checks furnished by TRB. After convincing themselves of the
veracity of the checks, Atty. Macalino advised Ms. Marquez to comply with the order of
the Ombudsman. Petitioner agreed to an in camera inspection set on June 3, 1998.
However, on June 4, 1998, Marquez wrote the Ombudsman that the accounts in
question could not readily be identified since the checks were issued in cash or bearer,
and asked for time to respond to the order. Marquez surmised that these accounts had
long been dormant, hence were not covered by the new account number generated
by the UB system, thus sought to verify from the Interbank records archives for the
whereabouts of these accounts.

The Ombudsman, responding to the request of Marquez for time to comply with the
order, stated that UBP-Julia Vargas, not Interbank, was the depositary bank of the
28

subject TRB MCs as shown at its dorsal portion and as cleared by the Philippine Clearing
House. Notwithstanding the fact that the checks were payable to cash or bearer, the
name of the depositor(s) could easily be identified since the account numbers where
said checks were deposited were identified in the order.

Even assuming that the accounts were already classified as dormant accounts, the
bank was still required to preserve the records pertaining to the accounts within a
certain period of time as required by existing banking rules and regulations.
On June 16, 1998, the Ombudsman issued an order directing Marquez to produce the
bank documents relative to the accounts in issue, stating that her persistent refusal to
comply with the order is unjustified, was merely intended to delay the investigation of
the case, constitutes disobedience of or resistance to a lawful order issued by the office
and is punishable as Indirect Contempt under Section 3(b) of R.A. 6770.
On July 10, 1998, Marquez together with UBP filed a petition for declaratory relief,
prohibition and injunction with the Makati RTC against the Ombudsman allegedly
because the Ombudsman and other persons acting under his authority were
continuously harassing her to produce the bank documents relative to the accounts in
question. Moreover, on June 16, 1998, the Ombudsman issued another order stating
that unless she appeared before the FFIB with the documents requested, Marquez
would be charged with indirect contempt and obstruction of justice.

The lower court denied petitioner’s prayer for a temporary restraining order stating that
since petitioner failed to show prima facie evidence that the subject matter of the
investigation is outside the jurisdiction of the Office of the Ombudsman, no writ of
injunction may be issued by the RTC to delay the investigation pursuant to Section 14 of
the Ombudsman Act of 1989.

Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration but was denied.


On August 21, 1998, petitioner received a copy of the motion to cite her for contempt.
On August 31, 1998, petitioner filed with the Ombudsman an opposition to the motion
to cite her in contempt on the ground that the filing thereof was premature due to the
petition pending in the lower court. Petitioner likewise reiterated that she had no
intention to disobey the orders of the Ombudsman. However, she wanted to be
clarified as to how she would comply with the orders without her breaking any law,
particularly RA 1405.

ISSUES:

1. Whether or not Marquez may be cited for indirect contempt for her failure to
produce the documents requested by the Ombudsman.
2. Whether or not the order of the Ombudsman to have an in camera inspection of the
29

questioned account is allowed as an exception to the law on secrecy of bank deposits


(RA 1405).

HELD:

An examination of the secrecy of bank deposits law (RA 1405) would reveal the
following exceptions:
1. Where the depositor consents in writing;
2. Impeachment case;
3. By court order in bribery or dereliction of duty cases against public officials;
4. Deposit is subject of litigation;
5. Sec. 8, R. A. No. 3019, in cases of unexplained wealth as held in the case of PNB vs.
Gancayco

We rule that before an in camera inspection may be allowed, there must be a pending
case before a court of competent jurisdiction. Further, the account must be clearly
identified, the inspection limited to the subject matter of the pending case before the
court of competent jurisdiction. The bank personnel and the account holder must be
notified to be present during the inspection, and such inspection may cover only the
account identified in the pending case.

In Union Bank of the Philippines v. Court of Appeals, we held that “Section 2 of the Law
on Secrecy of Bank Deposits, as amended, declares bank deposits to be “absolutely
confidential” except:
(1) In an examination made in the course of a special or general examination of a bank
that is specifically authorized by the Monetary Board after being satisfied that there is
reasonable ground to believe that a bank fraud or serious irregularity has been or is
being committed and that it is necessary to look into the deposit to establish such fraud
or irregularity,
(2) In an examination made by an independent auditor hired by the bank to conduct
its regular audit provided that the examination is for audit purposes only and the results
thereof shall be for the exclusive use of the bank,
(3) Upon written permission of the depositor,
(4) In cases of impeachment,
(5) Upon order of a competent court in cases of bribery or dereliction of duty of public
officials, or
(6) In cases where the money deposited or invested is the subject matter of the
litigation”

In the case at bar, there is yet no pending litigation before any court of competent
authority. What is existing is an investigation by the office of the Ombudsman. In short,
30

what the Office of the Ombudsman would wish to do is to fish for additional evidence
to formally charge Amado Lagdameo, et. al., with the Sandiganbayan. Clearly, there
was no pending case in court which would warrant the opening of the bank account
for inspection.

Zones of privacy are recognized and protected in our laws. The Civil Code provides
that "every person shall respect the dignity, personality, privacy and peace of mind of
his neighbors and other persons" and punishes as actionable torts several acts for
meddling and prying into the privacy of another. It also holds a public officer or
employee or any private individual liable for damages for any violation of the rights and
liberties of another person, and recognizes the privacy of letters and other private
communications. The Revised Penal Code makes a crime of the violation of secrets by
an officer, the revelation of trade and industrial secrets, and trespass to dwelling.
Invasion of privacy is an offense in special laws like the Anti-Wiretapping Law, the
Secrecy of Bank Deposits Act, and the Intellectual Property Code.

Ombudsman is ordered to cease and desist from requiring Union Bank Manager
Lourdes T. Marquez, or anyone in her place to comply with the order dated October 14,
1998, and similar orders.

40. Ople vs Torres

Facts:

The petition at bar is an effort to prevent the shrinking of the right to privacy, which is
considered as "the most comprehensive of rights and the rightmost valued by civilized
men." Petitioner Ople prays that Administrative Order No. 308 entitled "Adoption of a
National Computerized Identification Reference System" be invalidated on two
important constitutional grounds, viz :(1)it is a usurpation of the power of Congress to
legislate, and(2)it impermissibly intrudes on our citizenry's protected zone of privacy. We
grant the petition for the rights sought to be vindicated by the petitioner need stronger
barriers against further erosion.

Issue: Whether or not A.O. No. 308 is an invasion of the right to privacy

Ruling:

Yes. In striking down A.O. 308, the SC emphasized that the Court is not per se against
the use of computers to accumulate, store, process, retrieve and transmit data to
improve our bureaucracy. The SC also emphasized that the right to privacy does not
bar all incursions into the right to individual privacy. This right merely requires that the
law be narrowly focused and a compelling interest justify such intrusions. Intrusions into
31

the right must be accompanied by proper safeguards and well-defined standards to


prevent unconstitutional invasions.

The right to privacy is a constitutional right, granted recognition independently of its


identification with liberty. It is recognized and enshrined in several provisions of our
Constitution, specifically in Sections 1, 2, 3 (1), 6, 8 and 17 of the Bill of Rights. Zones of
privacy are also recognized and protected in our laws, including certain provisions of
the Civil Code and the Revised Penal Code, as well as in special laws (e.g., Anti-
Wiretapping Law, the Secrecy of Bank Deposit Act and the Intellectual Property Code).

The right to privacy is a fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution. Thefore, it is


the burden of government to show that A.O. 308 is justified by some compelling state
interest and that it is narrowly drawn. The government failed to discharge this burden.

A.O. 308 is predicated on two considerations: (1) the need to provide our citizens and
foreigners with the facility to conveniently transact business with basic service and
social security providers and other government instrumentalities and (2) the need to
reduce, if not totally eradicate, fraudulent transactions and misrepresentations by
persons seeking basic services. While it is debatable whether these interests are
compelling enough to warrant the issuance of A.O. 308, it is not arguable that the
broadness, the vagueness, the overbreadth of A.O. 308, if implemented, will put our
people’s right to privacy in clear and present danger.

The heart of A.O. 308 lies in its Section 4 which provides for a Population Reference
Number (PRN) as a “common reference number to establish a linkage among
concerned agencies” through the use of “Biometrics Technology” and “computer
application designs.” Biometry or biometrics is “the science of the application of
statistical methods to biological facts; a mathematical analysis of biological data.” The
methods or forms of biological encoding include finger-scanning and retinal scanning,
as well as the method known as the “artificial nose” and the thermogram. A.O. 308
does not state what specific biological characteristics and what particular biometrics
technology shall be used.

Moreover, A.O. 308 does not state whether encoding of data is limited to biological
information alone for identification purposes. The Solicitor General’s claim that the
adoption of the Identification Reference System will contribute to the “generation of
population data for development planning” is an admission that the PRN will not be
used solely for identification but for the generation of other data with remote relation to
the avowed purposes of A.O. 308. The computer linkage gives other government
agencies access to the information, but there are no controls to guard against leakage
of information. When the access code of the control programs of the particular
computer system is broken, an intruder, without fear of sanction or penalty, can make
32

use of the data for whatever purpose, or worse, manipulate the data stored within the
system.

A.O. 308 falls short of assuring that personal information which will be gathered about
our people will only be processed for unequivocally specified purposes. The lack of
proper safeguards in this regard of A.O. 308 may interfere with the individual’s liberty of
abode and travel by enabling authorities to track down his movement; it may also
enable unscrupulous persons to access confidential information and circumvent the
right against self-incrimination; it may pave the way for “fishing expeditions” by
government authorities and evade the right against unreasonable searches and
seizures. The possibilities of abuse and misuse of the PRN, biometrics and computer
technology are accentuated when we consider that the individual lacks control over
what can be read or placed on his ID, much less verify the correctness of the data
encoded. They threaten the very abuses that the Bill of Rights seeks to prevent.

41. Telebap v Comelec

Facts: TELEBAP and GMA Network together filed a petition to challenge the validity of
Comelec Time due to the fact that said provisions: (1) have taken properties without
due process of law and without just compensation; (2) it denied the radio and television
broadcast companies the equal protection of the laws; and (3) that it is in excess of the
power given to the Comelec to regulate the operation of media communication or
information during election period.

Issue: WON there is a violation of freedom of expression

Held: No. Petitioners' argument is without merit, All broadcasting, whether by radio or by
television stations, is licensed by the government. Airwave frequencies have to be
allocated as there are more individuals who want to broadcast than there are
frequencies to assign. 9 A franchise is thus a privilege subject, among other things, to
amended by Congress in accordance with the constitutional provision that "any such
franchise or right granted . . . shall be subject to amendment, alteration or repeal by
the Congress when the common good so requires."

Indeed, provisions for COMELEC Time have been made by amendment of the
franchises of radio and television broadcast stations and, until the present case was
brought, such provisions had not been thought of as taking property without just
compensation. Art. XII, §11 of the Constitution authorizes the amendment of franchises
for "the common good." What better measure can be conceived for the common
good than one for free air time for the benefit not only of candidates but even more of
the public, particularly the voters, so that they will be fully informed of the issues in an
election? "[I]t is the right of the viewers and listeners, not the right of the broadcasters,
which is paramount."

Nor indeed can there be any constitutional objection to the requirement that
broadcast stations give free air time. Even in the United States, there are responsible
33

scholars who believe that government controls on broadcast media can


constitutionally be instituted to ensure diversity of views and attention to public affairs to
further the system of free expression. For this purpose, broadcast stations may be
required to give free air time to candidates in an election.

In truth, radio and television broadcasting companies, which are given franchises, do
not own the airwaves and frequencies through which they transmit broadcast signals
and images. They are merely given the temporary privilege of using them. Since a
franchise is a mere privilege, the exercise of the privilege may reasonably be burdened
with the performance by the grantee of some form of public service.

42. ABS-CBN VS COMELEC

Facts:

COMELEC came up with a resolution prohibiting the conduct of exit polls during
elections for the reason that exit polls have the tendency to cause confusion.

Issue:

Whether or not the resolution pass by the COMELEC curtails the freedom of expression?

Held:

Conducting exit polls and reporting their results are valid exercises of freedom of
speech and of the press. A limitation on them may be justified only by a danger of
such substantive character that the state has a right to prevent. The concern of the
COMELEC cannot be justified since there is no showing that exit polls cause chaos in
voting centers.

43. SWS vs Comelec

Facts:

Petitioner SWS and KPC states that it wishes to conduct an election survey throughout
the period of the elections and release to the media the results of such survey as well as
publish them directly. Petitioners argue that the restriction on the publication of election
survey results constitutes a prior restraint on the exercise of freedom of speech without
any clear and present danger to justify such restraint.

Issue:
34

Are the Comelec Resolutions prohibiting the holding of pre-polls and exit polls and the
dissemination of their results through mass media, valid and constitutional?

Ruling:

No. The Court held that Section (5)4 is invalid because (1) it imposes a prior restraint on
the freedom of expression, (2) it is a direct and total suppression of a category of
expression even though such suppression is only for a limited period, and (3) the
governmental interest sought to be promoted can be achieved by means other than
suppression of freedom of expression.
It has been held that "[mere] legislative preferences or beliefs respecting matters of
public convenience may well support regulation directed at other personal activities,
but be insufficient to justify such as diminishes the exercise of rights so vital to the
maintenance of democratic institutions.”

44. A. M. 10-04-03 SC Radio TV Coverage of the Trial in Sandiganbayan

45. Newsound Broadcasting Network v Hon. Cesar Dy

Facts: Newsounds Broadcasting Network, Inc. (“Newsounds”) and Consolidated


Broadcasting System, Inc. (“CBS”) are among the the broadcast stations operating
under Bombo Radyo Philippines. Among the stations run by Newsounds is Bombo Radyo
DZNC Cauayan (DZNC), an AM radio broadcast station operating out of Cauayan City,
Isabela.

Upon the renewal of mayor’s permit of DZNC, for them to continue to operate on
Cauayan city by reason that the land in which the radio station operate is not a
commercial land.

The DAR later on determine that the land has already been converted into commercial
lang, however, the office of the Mayor still refuses to issue permit, and upon the lapse of
the previous permit, ordered the closure of the establishment.

Hence this petition.

Issue: WON the action of the Mayor infringes the right of speech and expression of the
Petitioners.

Held: Yes. Free speech and free press may be identified with the liberty to discuss
publicly and truthfully any matter of public interest without censorship and punishment.
There is to be no previous restraint on the communication of views or subsequent liability
whether in libel suits, prosecution for sedition, or action for damages, or contempt
35

proceedings unless there be a clear and present danger of substantive evil that
Congress has a right to prevent.

Without taking into account any extenuating circumstances that may favor the
respondents, we can identify the bare acts of closing the radio stations or preventing
their operations as an act of prior restraint against speech, expression or of the press.
Prior restraint refers to official governmental restrictions on the press or other forms of
expression in advance of actual publication or dissemination. While any system of prior
restraint comes to court bearing a heavy burden against its constitutionality, not all prior
restraints on speech are invalid.

The actions taken by respondents are colored with legal authority, under the powers of
local governments vested in the Local Government Code (LGC), or more generally, the
police powers of the State. We do not doubt that Local Government Units (LGU) are
capacitated to enact ordinances requiring the obtention of licenses or permits by
businesses, a term defined elsewhere in the LGC as “trade or commercial activity
regularly engaged in as a means of livelihood or with a view to profit.” However,
expression in media such as print or the Internet is not burdened by such requirements
as congressional franchises or administrative licenses which bear upon broadcast
media. Broadcast is hampered by its utilization of the finite resources of the
electromagnetic spectrum, which long ago necessitated government intervention and
administration to allow for the orderly allocation of bandwidth, with broadcasters
agreeing in turn to be subjected to regulation. There is no issue herein that calls into
question the authority under law of petitioners to engage in broadcasting activity, yet
these circumstances are well worth pointing out if only to provide the correct
perspective that broadcast media enjoys a somewhat lesser degree of constitutional
protection than print media or the Internet.

46. HECTOR VILLANUEVA VS PDI

Facts:

Petitioner was one of the mayoralty candidates in Bais, NegrosOriental during the May
11, 1992 elections.

Two days before the elections, or on May 9, 1992, respondent


Manila Daily Bulletin Publishing Corporation (Manila Bulletin) published the following
story:

The Comelec has disqualified Hector G. Villanueva as Lakas-NUCD candidate for


mayor of Bais City for having been convicted in three administrative cases for grave
abuse of authority and harassment in 1987, while he was officer-in-charge of the
mayor’s office of Bais City.

A day before the elections or on May 10, 1992, respondent Philippine Daily Inquirer, Inc.
(PDI) also came out with a similar story, to wit:
36

The Comelec has disqualified Hector G. Villanueva as Lakas-NUCD candidate for


mayor of Bais City for having been convicted in three administrative cases for grave
abuse of authority and harassment in 1987, while he was officer-in-charge of the
mayor’s office of Bais City.

On May 11, 1992, the national and local elections were held as scheduled. When results
came out, it turned out that petitioner failed in his mayoralty bid.

Believing that his defeat was caused by the publication of the above-quoted stories,
petitioner sued respondents PDI and Manila Bulletin as well as their publishers and
editors for damages before the RTC of Bais City. He alleged that the articles were
maliciously timed to defeat him.

Issue:

WON the statements issued by the Respondents falls under the protection of freedom of
expression.

Held:

This court ruled finding the respondents entitled to the protection of the rules
concerning qualified privilege, growing out of constitutional guaranties in our Bill of
Rights. We cannot punish journalists including publishers for an honest endeavor to
serve the public when moved by a sense of civic duty and prodded by their sense of
responsibility as news media to report what they perceived to be a genuine report. The
newspapers should be given such leeway and tolerance as to enable them to
courageously and effectively perform their important role in our democracy. In the
preparation of stories, press reporters and edition usually have to race with their
deadlines; and consistently with good faith and reasonable care, they should not be
held to account, to a point of suppression, for honest mistakes or imperfection in the
choice of words.

The rule on privileged communication had its genesis not in the nation’s penal code but
in the Bill of Rights of the Constitution guaranteeing freedom of speech and of the
press. As early as 1918, in United States v. Cañete, this Court ruled that publications
which are privileged for reasons of public policy are protected by the constitutional
guaranty of freedom of speech.

47. GSIS vs Villavisa

Facts:
37

Villaviza, et al, went to the Investigation Unit, wearing red shirts, to witness a
public hearing. They assembled at the said office to express support to Velasco,
their Union President, who pledged to defend them against any oppression by
the GSIS management. In which they considered it as an exercise of their
freedom of expression, a constitutionally guaranteed right. However Garcia,
upon learning such asked them to explain in writing why they should not be
charged of Grave Misconduct and/or Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of
the Service. None of them replied so they were suspended.

Issue:

WHETHER AN UNRULY MASS GATHERING OF TWENTY EMPLOYEES, LASTING


FOR MORE THAN AN HOUR DURING OFFICE HOURS, INSIDE OFFICE PREMISES
AND WITHIN A UNIT TASKED TO HEAR AN ADMINISTRATIVE CASE, TO PROTEST
THE PROHIBITION AGAINST THE APPEARANCE OF THEIR LEADER AS COUNSEL
IN THE SAID ADMINISTRATIVE CASE, FALLS WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE
CONSTITUTIONAL GUARANTEE TO FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AND PEACEFUL
ASSEMBLY.

Held:

In this case, CSC found that the acts of respondents in going to the GSIS-IU office
wearing red shirts to witness a public hearing do not amount to a concerted activity or
mass action proscribed above. CSC even added that their actuations can be
deemed an exercise of their constitutional right to freedom of expression. The CA
found no cogent reason to deviate therefrom.

As defined in Section 5 of CSC Resolution No. 02-1316 which serves to regulate


the political rights of those in the government service, the concerted activity or mass
action proscribed must be coupled with the “intent of effecting work stoppage or
service disruption in order to realize their demands of force concession.” Wearing
similarly colored shirts, attending a public hearing at the GSIS-IU office, bringing with
them recording gadgets, clenching their fists, some even badmouthing the guards and
PGM Garcia, are acts not constitutive of an (i) intent to effect work stoppage or service
disruption and (ii) for the purpose of realizing their demands of force concession.

Precisely, the limitations or qualifications found in Section 5 of CSC Resolution No.


02-1316 are there to temper and focus the application of such prohibition. Not all
38

collective activity or mass undertaking of government employees is prohibited.


Otherwise, we would be totally depriving our brothers and sisters in the government
service of their constitutional right to freedom of expression.

Thus, respondents’ freedom of speech and of expression remains intact, and


CSC’s Resolution No. 02-1316 defining what a prohibited concerted activity or mass
action has only tempered or regulated these rights. Measured against that definition,
respondents’ actuations did not amount to a prohibited concerted activity or mass
action. The CSC and the CA were both correct in arriving at said conclusion.

48. Soriano vs MTRCB

Facts: Petitioner Eliseo F. Soriano, a television evangelist, hosted the Ang Dating Daan, a
popular television ministry aired nationwide everyday from 10:00 p.m. to midnight over
public television. The program carried a “general patronage” rating from the Movie
and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB).

The Ang Dating Daan’s rivalry with another religious television program,
the Iglesia ni Cristo’s Ang Tamang Daan, is well known. The hosts of the two shows have
regularly engaged in verbal sparring on air, hurling accusations and counter-
accusations with respect to their opposing religious beliefs and practices.

It appears that in his program Ang Tamang Daan, Michael M. Sandoval


(Michael) of the Iglesia ni Cristo attacked petitioner Soriano of the Ang Dating Daan for
alleged inconsistencies in his Bible teachings. Michael compared spliced recordings of
Soriano’s statements, matched with subtitles of his utterances, to demonstrate those
inconsistencies. On August 10, 2004, in an apparent reaction to what he perceived as
a malicious attack against him by the rival television program, Soriano accused
Michael of prostituting himself with his fabricated presentations.

Michael and seven other ministers of the Iglesia ni Cristo lodged a complaint against
petitioner Soriano before the MTRCB.

Before us is this motion of petitioner Eliseo F. Soriano for reconsideration of the Decision
of the Court dated April 29, 2009, modifying that of the Movie and Television Review
and Classification Board (MTRCB) by imposing the penalty of three-month suspension
on the television show Ang Dating Daan, instead of on petitioner Soriano, as host of that
program.
39

Petitioner seeks reconsideration on the following grounds or issues: (1) the suspension
thus meted out to the program constitutes prior restraint; (2) the Court erred in ruling
that his utterances[1] did not constitute exercise of religion; (3) the Court erred in finding
the language used as offensive and obscene; (4) the Court should have applied its
policy of non-interference in cases of conflict between religious groups; and (5) the
Court erred in penalizing the television program for the acts of petitioner.

Issue: WON the petition has merit

Ruling: No. the sanction imposed on the TV program in question does not, under the
factual milieu of the case, constitute prior restraint, but partakes of the nature of
subsequent punishment for past violation committed by petitioner in the course of the
broadcast of the program on August 10, 2004. To be sure, petitioner has not contested
the fact of his having made statements on the air that were contextually violative of the
program’s “G” rating. To merit a “G” rating, the program must be “suitable for all
ages,” which, in turn, means that the “material for television [does not], in the judgment
of the [MTRCB], x x x contain anything unsuitable for children and minors, and may be
viewed without adult guidance or supervision.”[3] As previously discussed by the Court,
the vulgar language petitioner used on prime-time television can in no way be
characterized as suitable for all ages, and is wholly inappropriate for children.

Petitioner next harps on the primacy of his freedoms, referring particularly to the
exercise of his religious beliefs and profession, as presiding minister of his flock, over the
right and duty of the state as parens patriae. Petitioner’s position may be accorded
some cogency, but for the fact that it fails to consider that the medium he used to
make his statements was a television broadcast, which is accessible to children of
virtually all ages. As already laid down in the Decision subject of this recourse, the
interest of the government in protecting children who may be subjected to petitioner’s
invectives must take precedence over his desire to air publicly his dirty laundry. The
public soapbox that is television must be guarded by the state, which purpose the
MTRCB serves, and has served, in suspending Ang Dating Daan for petitioner’s
statements. As emphasized in Gonzalez v. Kalaw Katigbak,[4] the freedom of broadcast
media is, in terms of degree of protection it deserves, lesser in scope, especially as
regards television, which reaches every home where there is a set, and where children
will likely be among the avid viewers of the programs shown. The same case also laid
the basis for the classification system of the MTRCB when it stated, “It cannot be denied
though that the State as parens patriae is called upon to manifest an attitude of caring
for the welfare of the young.”

Contrary to petitioner’s impression, the Court has, in fact, considered the factual
antecedents of and his motive in making his utterances, and has found those
40

circumstances wanting as defense for violating the program’s “G” rating. Consider the
following excerpts from the Court’s Decision:

There is nothing in petitioner’s statements subject of the complaints expressing


any particular religious belief, nothing furthering his avowed evangelical
mission. The fact that he came out with his statements in a televised bible
exposition program does not automatically accord them the character of a
religious discourse. Plain and simple insults directed at another person cannot be
elevated to the status of religious speech. Even petitioner’s attempts to place his
words in context show that he was moved by anger and the need to seek
retribution, not by any religious conviction. His claim, assuming itsveracity,
that some INC ministers distorted his statements respecting
amounts Ang Dating Daan owed to a TV station does not convert the foul
language used in retaliation as religious speech. We cannot accept that
petitioner made his statements in defense of his reputation and religion, as they
constitute no intelligible defense or refutation of the alleged lies being spread by
a rival religious group. They simply illustrate that petitioner had descended to the
level of name-calling and foul-language discourse. Petitioner could have chosen
to contradict and disprove his detractors, but opted for the low road.

The penalty imposed is on the program, not on petitioner.

49. Southern Hemisphere Engagement Network v. anti- terrorism council

Facts: This case consists of 6 petitions challenging the constitutionality of RA 9372, “An
Act to Secure the State and Protect our People from Terrorism,” aka Human Security
Act of 2007.

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.

On the other hand, OSG claim that the vagueness theory and overbreadth theory
cannot be applied in the case at bar, since they are only applicable in questioning the
constitutionality or legality of laws and acts which involves freedom of speech and
expression.

Issue: WON the overbreadth and void for vagueness theory are only applicable in
cases involving freedom of speech and expression and not on penal statute.
41

Held: YEs. 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.

The overbreadth and vagueness doctrines then have special application only to free
speech cases. They are inapt for testing the validity of penal statutes. 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. The
allowance of a facial challenge to attack penal statutes, such a test will impair the
State’s ability to deal with crime. If warranted, there would be nothing that can hinder
an accused from defeating the State’s 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.

50. BAYAN KARAPATAN VS ERMITA

Facts:

The petitioners, Bayan, et al., alleged that they are citizens and taxpayers of the
Philippines and that their right as organizations and individuals were violated when the
rally they participated in on October 6, 2005 was violently dispersed by policemen
implementing Batas Pambansa No. 880.

Petitioners contended that Batas Pambansa No. 880 is clearly a violation of the
Constitution and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and other
human rights treaties of which the Philippines is a signatory. They argue that B.P. No. 880
requires a permit before one can stage a public assembly regardless of the presence or
absence of a clear and present danger. It also curtails the choice of venue and is thus
repugnant to the freedom of expression clause as the time and place of a public
42

assembly form part of the message which the expression is sought. Furthermore, it is not
content-neutral as it does not apply to mass actions in support of the government. The
words “lawful cause,” “opinion,” “protesting or influencing” suggest the exposition of
some cause not espoused by the government. Also, the phrase “maximum tolerance”
shows that the law applies to assemblies against the government because they are
being tolerated. As a content-based legislation, it cannot pass the strict scrutiny test.
This petition and two other petitions were ordered to be consolidated on February 14,
2006. During the course of oral arguments, the petitioners, in the interest of a speedy
resolution of the petitions, withdrew the portions of their petitions raising factual issues,
particularly those raising the issue of whether B.P. No. 880 and/or CPR is void as applied
to the rallies of September 20, October 4, 5 and 6, 2005.

Issue:

Whether the Calibrated Pre-emptive response and the Batas Pambansa No. 880,
specifically Sections 4, 5, 6, 12, 13(a) and 14(a) violates Art. III Sec. 4 of the Philippine
Constitution as it causes a disturbing effect on the exercise by the people of the right to
peaceably assemble.

Held:

Section 4 of Article III of the Philippine Constitution provides that no law shall be passed
abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, or the right of the
people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances.
The right to peaceably assemble and petition for redress of grievances, together with
freedom of speech, of expression, and of the press, is a right that enjoys dominance in
the sphere of constitutional protection. For this rights represent the very basis of a
functional democratic polity, without which all the other rights would be meaningless
and unprotected.

However, it must be remembered that the right, while sacrosanct, is not absolute. It may
be regulated that it shall not be injurious to the equal enjoyment of others having equal
rights, nor injurious to the rights of the community or society. The power to regulate the
exercise of such and other constitutional rights is termed the sovereign “police power,”
which is the power to prescribe regulations, to promote the health, morals, peace,
education, good order or safety, and general welfare of the people.

B.P. No 880 is not an absolute ban of public assemblies but a restriction that simply
regulates the time, place and manner of the assemblies. B.P. No. 880 thus readily shows
that it refers to all kinds of public assemblies that would use public places. The reference
to “lawful cause” does not make it content-based because assemblies really have to
be for lawful causes, otherwise they would not be “peaceable” and entitled to
43

protection. Neither the words “opinion,” “protesting,” and “influencing” in of grievances


come from the wording of the Constitution, so its use cannot be avoided. Finally,
maximum tolerance is for the protection and benefit of all rallyist and is independent of
the content of the expression in the rally.

Furthermore, the permit can only be denied on the ground of clear and present danger
to public order, public safety, public convenience, public morals or public health. This is
a recognized exception to the exercise of the rights even under the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights and The International Covenant on Civil and Political
Rights.

Wherefore, the petitions are GRANTED in part, and respondents, more particularly the
Secretary of the Interior and Local Governments, are DIRECTED to take all necessary
steps for the immediate compliance with Section 15 of Batas Pambansa No. 880
through the establishment or designation of at least one suitable freedom park or plaza
in every city and municipality of the country. After thirty (30) days from the finality of this
Decision, subject to the giving of advance notices, no prior permit shall be required to
exercise the right to peaceably assemble and petition in the public parks or plaza in
every city or municipality that has not yet complied with section 15 of the law.
Furthermore, Calibrated pre-emptive response (CPR), insofar as it would purport to differ
from or be in lieu of maximum tolerance, is NULL and VOID and respondents are
ENJOINED to REFRAIN from using it and to STRICTLY OBSERVE the requirements of
maximum tolerance, The petitions are DISMISSED in all other respects, and the
constitutionality of Batas Pambansa No. 880 is SUSTAINED.

51. IBP vs Atienza

Facts:

IBP filed with the Office of the City Mayor of Manila an application for a permit to rally
at thefoot of Mendiola Bridge. The mayor issued a permit allowing the IBP to stage a
rally on givendate but indicated therein Plaza Miranda as the venue, instead of
Mendiola Bridge. The rally pushed through at Mendiola Bridge. A criminal action
was thereafter instituted against Cadiz for violating the Public Assembly Act in staging
a rally at a venue not indicated in the permit.

Issue: Can the mayor validly change the venue of the permit without informing the
applicant?

Held:
44

The Supreme Court held that in modifying the permit outright, respondent Mayor
gravely abusedhis discretion when he did not immediately inform the IBP who should
have been heard first onthe matter of his perceived imminent and grave danger of a
substantive evil that may warrant thechanging of the venue. The opportunity to
be heard precedes the action on the permit, since theapplicant may directly go to
court after an unfavorable action on the permit. Respondent mayor failed to indicate
how he had arrived at modifying the terms of the permit against the standard of a clear
and present danger test which is an indispensable condition to such modification.
Nothingin the issued permit adverts to an imminent and grave danger of a substantive
evil, which“blank” denial or modification would, when granted imprimatur as the
appellate court wouldhave it, render illusory any judicial scrutiny thereof.

52. BATAS PAMBANSA BLG. 880

AN ACT ENSURING THE FREE EXERCISE BY THE PEOPLE OF THEIR RIGHT PEACEABLY TO
ASSEMBLE AND PETITION THE GOVERNMENT FOR OTHER PURPOSES

Section 1. Title - This Act shall be known as "The Public Assembly Act of 1985."

Section 2. Declaration of policy - The constitutional right of the people peaceably to


assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances is essential and vital to
the strength and stability of the State. To this end, the State shall ensure the free
exercise of such right without prejudice to the rights of others to life, liberty and equal
protection of the law.

Section 3. Definition of terms - For purposes of this Act:

(a) "Public assembly" means any rally, demonstration, march, parade, procession or any
other form of mass or concerted action held in a public place for the purpose of
presenting a lawful cause; or expressing an opinion to the general public on any
particular issue; or protesting or influencing any state of affairs whether political,
economic or social; or petitioning the government for redress of grievances.

The processions, rallies, parades, demonstrations, public meetings and assemblages for
religious purposes shall be governed by local ordinances: Provided, however, That the
declaration of policy as provided in Section 2 of this Act shall be faithfully observed.

The definition herein contained shall not include picketing and other concerted action
in strike areas by workers and employees resulting from a labor dispute as defined by
45

the Labor Code, its implementing rules and regulations, and by the Batas Pambansa
Bilang 227.

(b) "Public place" shall include any highway, boulevard, avenue, road, street, bridge or
other thoroughfare, park, plaza, square, and/or any open space of public ownership
where the people are allowed access.

(c) "Maximum tolerance" means the highest degree of restraint that the military, police
and other peace keeping authorities shall observe during a public assembly or in the
dispersal of the same.

(d) "Modification of permit" shall include the change of the place and time of the
public assembly, rerouting of the parade or street march, the volume of loud-speakers
or sound system and similar changes.

Section 4. Permit when required and when not required - A written permit shall be
required for any person or persons to organize and hold a public assembly in a public
place. However, no permit shall be required if the public assembly shall be done or
made in a freedom park duly established by law or ordinance or in private property, in
which case only the consent of the owner or the one entitled to its legal possession is
required, or in the campus of a government-owned and operated educational
institution which shall be subject to the rules and regulations of said educational
institution. Political meetings or rallies held during any election campaign period as
provided for by law are not covered by this Act.

Section 5. Application requirements - All applications for a permit shall comply with the
following guidelines:

(a) The applications shall be in writing and shall include the names of the leaders or
organizers; the purpose of such public assembly; the date, time and duration thereof,
and place or streets to be used for the intended activity; and the probable number of
persons participating, the transport and the public address systems to be used.

(b) The application shall incorporate the duty and responsibility of applicant under
Section 8 hereof.

(c) The application shall be filed with the office of the mayor of the city or municipality
in whose jurisdiction the intended activity is to be held, at least five (5) working days
before the scheduled public assembly.

(d) Upon receipt of the application, which must be duly acknowledged in writing, the
office of the city or municipal mayor shall cause the same to immediately be posted at
a conspicuous place in the city or municipal building.

Section 6. Action to be taken on the application -


46

(a) It shall be the duty of the mayor or any official acting in his behalf to issue or grant a
permit unless there is clear and convincing evidence that the public assembly will
create a clear and present danger to public order, public safety, public convenience,
public morals or public health.

(b) The mayor or any official acting in his behalf shall act on the application within two
(2) working days from the date the application was filed, failing which, the permit shall
be deemed granted. Should for any reason the mayor or any official acting in his
behalf refuse to accept the application for a permit, said application shall be posted
by the applicant on the premises of the office of the mayor and shall be deemed to
have been filed.

(c) If the mayor is of the view that there is imminent and grave danger of a substantive
evil warranting the denial or modification of the permit, he shall immediately inform the
applicant who must be heard on the matter.

(d) The action on the permit shall be in writing and served on the application within
twenty-four hours.

(e) If the mayor or any official acting in his behalf denies the application or modifies the
terms thereof in his permit, the applicant may contest the decision in an appropriate
court of law.

(f) In case suit is brought before the Metropolitan Trial Court, the Municipal Trial Court,
the Municipal Circuit Trial Court, the Regional Trial Court, or the Intermediate Appellate
Court, its decisions may be appealed to the appropriate court within forty-eight (48)
hours after receipt of the same. No appeal bond and record on appeal shall be
required. A decision granting such permit or modifying it in terms satisfactory to the
applicant shall, be immediately executory.

(g) All cases filed in court under this Section shall be decided within twenty-four (24)
hours from date of filing. Cases filed hereunder shall be immediately endorsed to the
executive judge for disposition or, in his absence, to the next in rank.

(h) In all cases, any decision may be appealed to the Supreme Court.

(i) Telegraphic appeals to be followed by formal appeals are hereby allowed.

Section 7. Use of public thoroughfare - Should the proposed public assembly involve the
use, for an appreciable length of time, of any public highway, boulevard, avenue, road
or street, the mayor or any official acting in his behalf may, to prevent grave public
inconvenience, designate the route thereof which is convenient to the participants or
reroute the vehicular traffic to another direction so that there will be no serious or undue
interference with the free flow of commerce and trade.
47

Section 8. Responsibility of applicant - It shall be the duty and responsibility of the


leaders and organizers of a public assembly to take all reasonable measures and steps
to the end that the intended public assembly shall be conducted peacefully in
accordance with the terms of the permit. These shall include but not be limited to the
following:

(a) To inform the participants of their responsibility under the permit;

(b) To police the ranks of the demonstrators in order to prevent non-demonstrators from
disrupting the lawful activities of the public assembly;

(c) To confer with local government officials concerned and law enforcers to the end
that the public assembly may be held peacefully;

(d) To see to it that the public assembly undertaken shall not go beyond the time stated
in the permit; and

(e) To take positive steps that demonstrators do not molest any person or do any act
unduly interfering with the rights of other persons not participating in the public
assembly.

Section 9. Non-interference by law enforcement authorities - Law enforcement


agencies shall not interfere with the holding of a public assembly. However, to
adequately ensure public safety, a law enforcement contingent under the command
of a responsible police officer may be detailed and stationed in a place at least one
hundred (100) meter away from the area of activity ready to maintain peace and
order at all times.

Section 10. Police assistance when requested - It shall be imperative for law
enforcement agencies, when their assistance is requested by the leaders or organizers,
to perform their duties always mindful that their responsibility to provide proper
protection to those exercising their right peaceably to assemble and the freedom of
expression is primordial. Towards this end, law enforcement agencies shall observe the
following guidelines:

(a) Members of the law enforcement contingent who deal with the demonstrators shall
be in complete uniform with their nameplates and units to which they belong displayed
prominently on the front and dorsal parts of their uniform and must observe the policy
of "maximum tolerance" as herein defined;

(b) The members of the law enforcement contingent shall not carry any kind of firearms
but may be equipped with baton or riot sticks, shields, crash helmets with visor, gas
masks, boots or ankle high shoes with shin guards;
48

(c) Tear gas, smoke grenades, water cannons, or any similar anti-riot device shall not be
used unless the public assembly is attended by actual violence or serious threats of
violence, or deliberate destruction of property.

Section 11. Dispersal of public assembly with permit - No public assembly with a permit
shall be dispersed. However, when an assembly becomes violent, the police may
disperse such public assembly as follows:

(a) At the first sign of impending violence, the ranking officer of the law enforcement
contingent shall call the attention of the leaders of the public assembly and ask the
latter to prevent any possible disturbance;

(b) If actual violence starts to a point where rocks or other harmful objects from the
participants are thrown at the police or at the non-participants, or at any property
causing damage to such property, the ranking officer of the law enforcement
contingent shall audibly warn the participants that if the disturbance persists, the public
assembly will be dispersed;

(c) If the violence or disturbances prevailing as stated in the preceding subparagraph


should not stop or abate, the ranking officer of the law enforcement contingent shall
audibly issue a warning to the participants of the public assembly, and after allowing a
reasonable period of time to lapse, shall immediately order it to forthwith disperse;

(d) No arrest of any leader, organizer or participant shall also be made during the
public assembly unless he violates during the assembly a law, statute, ordinance or any
provision of this Act. Such arrest shall be governed by Article 125 of the Revised Penal
Code, as amended:

(e) Isolated acts or incidents of disorder or branch of the peace during the public
assembly shall not constitute a group for dispersal.

Section 12. Dispersal of public assembly without permit - When the public assembly is
held without a permit where a permit is required, the said public assembly may be
peacefully dispersed.

Section 13. Prohibited acts - The following shall constitute violations of this Act:

(a) The holding of any public assembly as defined in this Act by any leader or organizer
without having first secured that written permit where a permit is required from the
office concerned, or the use of such permit for such purposes in any place other than
those set out in said permit: Provided, however, That no person can be punished or held
criminally liable for participating in or attending an otherwise peaceful assembly;

(b) Arbitrary and unjustified denial or modification of a permit in violation of the


provisions of this Act by the mayor or any other official acting in his behalf.
49

(c) The unjustified and arbitrary refusal to accept or acknowledge receipt of the
application for a permit by the mayor or any official acting in his behalf;

(d) Obstructing, impeding, disrupting or otherwise denying the exercise of the right to
peaceful assembly;

(e) The unnecessary firing of firearms by a member of any law enforcement agency or
any person to disperse the public assembly;

(f) Acts in violation of Section 10 hereof;

(g) Acts described hereunder if committed within one hundred (100) meters from the
area of activity of the public assembly or on the occasion thereof;

1. the carrying of a deadly or offensive weapon or device such as firearm, pillbox,


bomb, and the like;

2. the carrying of a bladed weapon and the like;

3 the malicious burning of any object in the streets or thoroughfares;

4. the carrying of firearms by members of the law enforcement unit;

5. the interfering with or intentionally disturbing the holding of a public assembly by the
use of a motor vehicle, its horns and loud sound systems.

Section 14. Penalties - Any person found guilty and convicted of any of the prohibited
acts defined in the immediately preceding Section shall be punished as follows:

(a) violation of subparagraph (a) shall be punished by imprisonment of one month and
one day to six months;

(b) violations of subparagraphs (b), (c), (d), (e), (f), and item 4, subparagraph (g) shall
be punished by imprisonment of six months and one day to six years;

(c) violation of item 1, subparagraph (g) shall be punished by imprisonment of six


months and one day to six years without prejudice to prosecution under Presidential
Decree No. 1866;

(d) violations of item 2, item 3, or item 5 of subparagraph (g) shall be punished by


imprisonment of one day to thirty days.

Section 15. Freedom parks - Every city and municipality in the country shall within six
months after the effectivity of this Act establish or designate at least one suitable
"freedom park" or mall in their respective jurisdictions which, as far as practicable, shall
be centrally located within the poblacion where demonstrations and meetings may be
held at any time without the need of any prior permit.
50

In the cities and municipalities of Metropolitan Manila, the respective mayors shall
establish the freedom parks within the period of six months from the effectivity of this
Act.

Section 16. Constitutionality - Should any provision of this Act be declared invalid or
unconstitutional, the validity or constitutionality of the other provisions shall not be
affected thereby.

Section 17. Repealing clause - All laws, decrees, letters of instructions, resolutions, orders,
ordinances or parts thereof which are inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are
hereby repealed, amended, or modified accordingly.

Section 18. Effectivity - This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

Approved, October 22, 1985.

53. Estrada v excritor

FACTS: Soledad Escritor is a court interpreter since 1999 in the RTC of Las Pinas City.
Alejandro Estrada, the complainant, wrote to Judge Jose F. Caoibes, presiding judge of
Branch 253, RTC of Las Pinas City, requesting for an investigation of rumors that Escritor
has been living with Luciano Quilapio Jr., a man not her husband, and had eventually
begotten a son. Escritor’s husband, who had lived with another woman, died a year
before she entered into the judiciary. On the other hand, Quilapio is still legally married
to another woman. Estrada is not related to either Escritor or Quilapio and is not a
resident of Las Pinas but of Bacoor, Cavite. According to the complainant, respondent
should not be allowed to remain employed in the judiciary for it will appear as if the
court allows such act.

Escritor is a member of the religious sect known as the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the
Watch Tower and Bible Tract Society where her conjugal arrangement with Quilapio is
in conformity with their religious beliefs. After ten years of living together, she executed
on July 28, 1991 a “Declaration of Pledging Faithfulness” which was approved by the
congregation. Such declaration is effective when legal impediments render it
impossible for a couple to legalize their union. Gregorio, Salazar, a member of the
Jehovah’s Witnesses since 1985 and has been a presiding minister since 1991, testified
and explained the import of and procedures for executing the declaration which was
completely executed by Escritor and Quilapio’s in Atimonan, Quezon and was signed
by three witnesses and recorded in Watch Tower Central Office.

ISSUE: Whether or not respondent should be found guilty of the administrative charge of
“gross and immoral conduct” and be penalized by the State for such conjugal
arrangement.

HELD: A distinction between public and secular morality and religious morality should be
kept in mind. The jurisdiction of the Court extends only to public and secular morality.
51

The Court states that our Constitution adheres the benevolent neutrality approach that
gives room for accommodation of religious exercises as required by the Free Exercise
Clause. This benevolent neutrality could allow for accommodation of morality based on
religion, provided it does not offend compelling state interests.

The state’s interest is the preservation of the integrity of the judiciary by maintaining
among its ranks a high standard of morality and decency. “There is nothing in the
OCA’s (Office of the Court Administrator) memorandum to the Court that demonstrates
how this interest is so compelling that it should override respondent’s plea of religious
freedom. Indeed, it is inappropriate for the complainant, a private person, to present
evidence on the compelling interest of the state. The burden of evidence should be
discharged by the proper agency of the government which is the Office of the Solicitor
General”.

In order to properly settle the case at bar, it is essential that the government be given
an opportunity to demonstrate the compelling state interest it seeks to uphold in
opposing the respondent’s position that her conjugal arrangement is not immoral and
punishable as it is within the scope of free exercise protection. The Court could not
prohibit and punish her conduct where the Free Exercise Clause protects it, since this
would be an unconstitutional encroachment of her right to religious freedom.
Furthermore, the court cannot simply take a passing look at respondent’s claim of
religious freedom but must also apply the “compelling state interest” test.

54. SORIANO VS LAGUARDIA

Facts:

On August 10, 2004, at around 10:00 p.m., petitioner, as host of the program Ang Dating
Daan, aired on UNTV 37, made obscene remarks against INC. 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. Respondent Michael M.
Sandoval, who felt directly alluded to in petitioner’s remark, was then a minister of INC
and a regular host of the TV program Ang Tamang Daan.

Issue:

Are Soriano’s statements during the televised “Ang Dating Daan” part of the
religious discourse and within the protection of Section 5, Art.III? (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
52

putang babae yan. Sabi ng lola ko masahol pa sa putang babae yan. Sobra
ang kasinungalingan ng mga demonyong ito)

Held:

No. Under the circumstances obtaining in this case, therefore, and considering the
adverse effect of petitioner’s utterances on the viewers’ fundamental rights as well as
petitioner’s clear violation of his duty as a public trustee, the MTRCB properly suspended
him from appearing in Ang Dating Daan for three months.

Furthermore, it cannot be properly asserted that petitioner’s suspension was an undue


curtailment of his right to freedom of speech either as a prior restraint or as a
subsequent punishment. Aside from the reasons given above (re the paramount of
viewers rights, the public trusteeship character of a broadcaster’s role and the power of
the State to regulate broadcast media), a requirement that indecent language be
avoided has its primary effect on the form, rather than the content, of serious
communication. There are few, if any, thoughts that cannot be expressed by the use of
less offensive language.

55. Austria vs NLRC

Facts:

Private respondent Central Philippine Union Mission Corporation of the Seventh Day
Adventists (SDA) is a religious corporation under Philippine law and is represented by
the other private respondents. Petitioner was a pastor of SDA until 1991, when his
services were terminated.Austria worked with SDA for 28 years. On various occasions
from August to October 1991, Austria received several communications from Mr.
Ibesate, treasurer of the Negros Mission, asking the former to admit accountability and
responsibility for the church tithes and offerings collected by his wife, Thelma Austria, in
his district and to remit the same to the Negros Mission.In his answer, petitioner said that
he should not be made accountable since it was private respondent Pastor Buhat and
Mr. Ibesate who authorized his wife to collect the tithes and offerings since he was very
sick to do the collecting at that time. Thereafter, petitioner went to the office of Pastor
Buhat, president of the Negros Mission, and asked for a convention to settle the dispute
between petitioner and Pastor Rodrigo. Pastor Buhat denied the request of petitioner
because there was no quorum. The two exchanged heated arguments until petitioner
left the office. However, while on his way out, he heard Pastor Buhat saying,
"Pastor daw inisog na ina iya (Pador you are talking tough)´ which prompted him to go
back and overturn Pastor Buhat¶s table, scatter books in the office, bang Buhat¶s
attaché case and throw the phone. Petitioner received a letter inviting him and his wife
to attend the meeting to discuss the non-remittance of church collection and the
53

events that transpired between him and Pastor Buhat. A fact-finding committee was
created to investigate petitioner. Subsequently, petitioner received a letter of dismissal
citing misappropriation of denominational funds, willful breach of trust, serious
misconduct, gross and habitual neglect of duties, and commission of an offense
against the person of employer's duly authorized representative, as grounds for the
termination of his services 1) Petitioner filed a complaint with the Labor Arbiter for illegal
dismissal. = decision rendered in favor of petitioner 2) SDA appealed to NLRC = decision
rendered in favor of respondent3) Petitioner filed motion for reconsideration =
reinstated decision of Labor Arbiter 4) SDA filed motion for reconsideration = decision
rendered in favor of respondent Hence, this recourse to the court by the petitioner.

Issue:

WON the termination of the services of petitioner is an ecclesiastical affair, and, as


such, involves the separation of church and state;

Held:
The principle of separation of church and state finds no application in this case.
The rationale of the principle of the separation of church and state is summed up in
the familiar saying, “Strong fences make good neighbors.”[17] The idea advocated by
this principle is to delineate the boundaries between the two institutions and thus avoid
encroachments by one against the other because of a misunderstanding of the limits of
their respective exclusive jurisdictions.[18] The demarcation line calls on the entities to
“render therefore unto Ceasar the things that are Ceasar’s and unto God the things
that are God’s.”[19] While the State is prohibited from interfering in purely ecclesiastical
affairs, the Church is likewise barred from meddling in purely secular matters. [20]
The case at bar does not concern an ecclesiastical or purely religious affair as to
bar the State from taking cognizance of the same. An ecclesiastical affair is “one that
concerns doctrine, creed, or form or worship of the church, or the adoption and
enforcement within a religious association of needful laws and regulations for the
government of the membership, and the power of excluding from such associations
those deemed unworthy of membership.[21] Based on this definition, an ecclesiastical
affair involves the relationship between the church and its members and relate to
matters of faith, religious doctrines, worship and governance of the congregation. To
be concrete, examples of this so-called ecclesiastical affairs to which the State cannot
meddle are proceedings for excommunication, ordinations of religious ministers,
administration of sacraments and other activities with which attached religious
significance. The case at bar does not even remotely concern any of the abovecited
examples. While the matter at hand relates to the church and its religious minister it
does not ipso facto give the case a religious significance. Simply stated, what is
involved here is the relationship of the church as an employer and the minister as an
employee. It is purely secular and has no relation whatsoever with the practice of faith,
worship or doctrines of the church. In this case, petitioner was not excommunicated or
expelled from the membership of the SDA but was terminated from
employment. Indeed, the matter of terminating an employee, which is purely secular in
54

nature, is different from the ecclesiastical act of expelling a member from the religious
congregation

56. Islamic Da’was Council of the Phils vs. Exec. Sec

Facts: Petitioner Islamic Da'wah Council of the Philippines, Inc. (IDCP) is a corporation
that operates under Department of Social Welfare and Development, a non-
governmental organization that extends voluntary services to the Filipino people,
especially to Muslim communities. It claims to be a federation of national Islamic
organizations and an active member of international organizations such as the
Regional Islamic Da'wah Council of Southeast Asia and the Pacific (RISEAP) and The
World Assembly of Muslim Youth. The RISEAP accredited petitioner to issue halal
certifications in the Philippines. Thus, among the functions petitioner carries out is to
conduct seminars, orient manufacturers on halal food and issue halal certifications to
qualified products and manufacturers.

Petitioner alleges that, the actual need to certify food products as halal and also due
to halal food producers' request, petitioner formulated in 1995 internal rules and
procedures based on the Qur'an and the Sunnah for the analysis of food, inspection
thereof and issuance of halal certifications. In that same year, petitioner began to issue,
for a fee, certifications to qualified products and food manufacturers. Petitioner even
adopted for use on its halal certificates a distinct sign or logo registered in the Philippine
Patent Office.

On 2001, respondent Office of the Executive Secretary issued EO 465 creating the
Philippine Halal Certification Scheme and designating respondent OMA to oversee its
implementation. Under the EO, respondent OMA has the exclusive authority to issue
halal certificates and perform other related regulatory activities.

Issue: Whether or Not EO violates the constitutional provision on the separation of


Church and State.

Held: It is unconstitutional for the government to formulate policies and guidelines on


the halal certification scheme because said scheme is a function only religious
organizations, entity or scholars can lawfully and validly perform for the Muslims.
According to petitioner, a food product becomes halal only after the performance of
Islamic religious ritual and prayer. Thus, only practicing Muslims are qualified to slaughter
animals for food. A government agency like herein respondent OMA cannot therefore
perform a religious function like certifying qualified food products as halal. Without
doubt, classifying a food product as halal is a religious function because the standards
used are drawn from the Qur'an and Islamic beliefs. By giving OMA the exclusive power
to classify food products as halal, EO 46 encroached on the religious freedom of Muslim
55

organizations like herein petitioner to interpret for Filipino Muslims what food products
are fit for Muslim consumption. Also, by arrogating to itself the task of issuing halal
certifications, the State has in effect forced Muslims to accept its own interpretation of
the Qur'an and Sunnah on halal food.

In the case at bar, we find no compelling justification for the government to deprive
Muslim organizations, like herein petitioner, of their religious right to classify a product as
halal, even on the premise that the health of Muslim Filipinos can be effectively
protected by assigning to OMA the exclusive power to issue halal certifications. The
protection and promotion of the muslim Filipinos' right to health are already provided
for in existing laws and ministered to by government agencies charged with ensuring
that food products released in the market are fit for human consumption, properly
labeled and safe. Unlike EO 46, these laws do not encroach on the religious freedom of
Muslims.

57. Velarde v Social Justice Society

Facts:
-On January 28, 2003, SJS filed a Petition for Declaratory Relief before the RTC-
Manila against Velarde and his co-respondents Eminence, Jaime Cardinal Sin,
Executive Minister Eraño Manalo, Brother Eddie Villanueva and Brother Eliseo F.
Soriano.
-SJS, a registered political party, sought the interpretation of
several constitutional provisions, specifically on the separation of church and
state; and a declaratory judgment on the constitutionality of the acts of
religious leaders endorsing a candidate for an elective office, or urging or
requiring the members of their flock to vote for a specifiedcandidate.
-The petitioner filed a Motion to dismiss before the trial court owing to the fact
that alleged that the questioned SJS Petition did not state a cause of action
and that there was no justiciable controversy.
-The trial court’s junked the Velarde petitions under certain reasons:
o It said that it had jurisdiction over the SJS petition, because in praying for
a determination as to whether the actions imputed to the respondents
were violative of Article II, Section 6 of the Fundamental Law, the
petition has raised only a question of law.
o It then proceeded to a lengthy discussion of the issue raised in the
Petition – the separation of church and state – even tracing, to some
extent, the historical background of the principle. Through its discourse,
the court quipped at some point that the "endorsement of specific
candidates in an election to any public office is a clear violation of the
separation clause."
-The trial court’s essay did not contain a statement of facts and a dispositive
portion, however. Due to thisaberration, Velarde and Soriano filed separate
Motions for Reconsideration before the trial court owing to these facts.
56

-The lower court denied these Motions. Hence, this petition for review.

Issues: May religious leaders like herein petitioner, Bro. Mike Velarde, be prohibited from
endorsing candidates for public office? Corollarily, may they be banned from
campaigning against said candidates? (Not answered in the affirmative)

Ruling: The court cannot determine the issue because of procedural and technical
errors on the pronouncement of judgment appealed from.

58. TARUC VS BISHOP DELA CRUZ

Facts:

Petitioners were lay members of the Philippine Independent Church (PIC). On June 28,
1993, Bishop de la Cruz declared petitioners expelled/excommunicated from the
Philippine Independent Church. Because of the order of expulsion/excommunication,
petitioners filed a complaint for damages with preliminary injunction against Bishop de
la Cruz before the Regional Trial Court.They contended that their expulsion was illegal
because it was done without trial thus violating their right to due process of law.

Issue:

Whether or not there was a violation of religious rights in this case?

Held:

No. The expulsion/excommunication of members of a religious institution/organization is


a matter best left to the discretion of the officials, and the laws and canons, of said
institution/organization. It is not for the courts to exercise control over church authorities
in the performance of their discretionary and official functions. Rather, it is for the
members of religious institutions/organizations to conform to just church regulations.
“Civil Courts will not interfere in the internal affairs of a religious organization except for
the protection of civil or property rights. Those rights may be the subject of litigation in a
civil court, and the courts have jurisdiction to determine controverted claims to the title,
use, or possession of church property.” Obviously, there was no violation of a civil right in
the present case.

59. CHAVEZ vs PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION ON GOOD GOVERNMENT

Facts:
57

-Petitioner Francisco I Chavez (in his capacity as taxpayer, citizen and a former
government official) initiated this original action seeking(1) to prohibit and “enjoin
respondents [PCGG and its chairman] from privately entering into, perfecting and/or
executing any agreement with the heirs of the late President Ferdinand E.Marcos . .
. relating to and concerning the properties and assets of Ferdinand Marcos located in
the Philippines and/or abroad — including the so-called Marcos gold hoard"; and(2) to
“compel respondent[s] to make public all negotiations and agreement, be
theyongoing or perfected, and all documents related to or relating to such
negotiations andagreement between the PCGG and the Marcos heirs."-Chavez is the
same person initiated the prosecution of the Marcoses and their cronies whocommitted
unmitigated plunder of the public treasury and the systematic subjugation of
thecountry's economy; he says that what impelled him to bring this action were several
newsreports 2 bannered in a number of broadsheets sometime in September 1997.
These news itemsreferred to (1) the alleged discovery of billions of dollars of Marcos
assets deposited in variouscoded accounts in Swiss banks; and (2) the reported
execution of a compromise, between thegovernment (through PCGG) and the Marcos
heirs, on how to split or share these assets.-PETITIONER DEMANDS that respondents make
public any and all negotiations and agreementspertaining to PCGG's task of
recovering the Marcoses' ill-gotten wealth. He claims that anycompromise on
the alleged billions of ill-gotten wealth involves an issue of "paramount publicinterest,"
since it has a "debilitating effect on the country's economy" that would be
greatlyprejudicial to the national interest of the Filipino people. Hence, the people in
general have aright to know the transactions or deals being contrived and effected by
the government.-RESPONDENT ANSWERS that they do not deny forging a compromise
agreement with theMarcos heirs. They claim, though, that petitioner's action is
premature, because there is noshowing that he has asked the PCGG to disclose the
negotiations and the Agreements. And evenif he has, PCGG may not yet be
compelled to make any disclosure, since the proposed terms andconditions of the
Agreements have not become effective and binding.-PETITIONER INVOKES

Sec. 7 [Article III]. The right of the people to information on matters of public concern
shall berecognized. Access to official records, and to documents, and papers
pertaining to official acts,transactions, or decisions, as well as to government research
data used as basis for policy development,shall be afforded the citizen, subject to such
limitations as may be provided by law.Sec. 28 [Article II]. Subject to reasonable
conditions prescribed by law, the State adopts and implements a policy of full public
disclosure of all its transactions involving public interest.

RESPONDENT ANSWERS that the above constitutional provisions refer to completed


andoperative official acts, not to those still being considered.

Issue:
58

Whether or not the Court could require the PCGG to disclose to the public the details
of any agreement, perfected or not, with the Marcoses.

Ruling: “

WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The General and Supplemental Agreementdated


December 28, 1993, which PCGG and the Marcos heirs entered into are hereby
declaredNULL AND VOID for being contrary to law and the Constitution. Respondent
PCGG, its officers andall government functionaries and officials who are or may be
directly ot indirectly involved in therecovery of the alleged ill-gotten wealth of the
Marcoses and their associates are DIRECTED todisclose to the public the terms of any
proposed compromise settlment, as well as the finalagreement, relating to such
alleged ill-gotten wealth, in accordance with the discussionsembodied in this Decision.
No pronouncement as to cost.”

RD:-

The "information" and the "transactions" referred to in the subject provisions of


the Constitutionhave as yet no defined scope and extent. There are no specific laws
prescribing the exactlimitations within which the right may be exercised or the
correlative state duty may be obliged.However, the following are some of
the recognized restrictions:(1) national security matters and intelligence information-
there is a governmental privilege against public disclosure with respect to state
secretsregarding military, diplomatic and other national security matters. 24 But where
there isno need to protect such state secrets, the privilege may not be invoked to
withholddocuments and other information, 25 provided that they are examined "in
strictconfidence" and given "scrupulous protection."(2) trade secrets and banking
transactions-trade or industrial secrets (pursuant to the Intellectual Property Code 27
and other relatedlaws) as well as banking transactions (pursuant to the Secrecy of Bank
Deposits Act 28)are also exempted from compulsory disclosure(3) criminal matters- Also
excluded are classified law enforcement matters, such as those relating
to theapprehension, the prosecution and the detention of criminals, which courts
neither maynor inquire into prior to such arrest, detention and prosecution. Efforts at
effective lawenforcement would be seriously jeopardized by free public access to, for
example, policeinformation regarding rescue operations, the whereabouts of fugitives,
or leads on covertcriminal activities.(4) other confidential information.

60. Chaves vs Public Estates Authority

Facts: President Marcos through a presidential decree created PEA, which was
tasked with the development, improvement, and acquisition, lease, and sale of all
59

kinds of lands. The then president also transferred to PEA the foreshore and offshore
lands of Manila Bay under the Manila-Cavite Coastal Road and Reclamation Project.

Thereafter, PEA was granted patent to the reclaimed areas of land and then,
years later, PEA entered into a JVA with AMARI for the development of the Freedom
Islands. These two entered into a joint venture in the absence of any public
bidding.

Later, a privilege speech was given by Senator President Maceda


denouncing the JVA as the grandmother of all scams. An investigation was conducted
and it was concluded that the lands that PEA was conveying to AMARI were lands of
the public domain; the certificates of title over the

Freedom Islands were void; and the JVA itself was illegal. This prompted Ramos to form
an investigatory committee on the legality of the JVA.

Petitioner now comes and contends that the government stands to lose billions
by the conveyance or sale of the reclaimed areas to AMARI. He also asked for
the full disclosure of the renegotiations happening between the parties.

Issue: WHETHER THE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO INFORMATION INCLUDES OFFICIAL


INFORMATION ON ON-GOING NEGOTIATIONS BEFORE A FINAL AGREEMENT

Ruling: Yes. AMARI argues there must first be a consummated contract before
petitioner can invoke the right. Requiring government officials to reveal their
deliberations at the pre-decisional stage will degrade the quality of decision-making in
government agencies. Government officials will hesitate to express their real sentiments
during deliberations if there is immediate public dissemination of their discussions,
putting them under all kinds of pressure before they decide.

We must first distinguish between information the law on public bidding requires PEA to
disclose publicly, and information the constitutional right to information requires PEA to
release to the public. Before the consummation of the contract, PEA must, on its own
and without demand from anyone, disclose to the public matters relating to the
disposition of its property. These include the size, location, technical description and
nature of the property being disposed of, the terms and conditions of the disposition,
the parties qualified to bid, the minimum price and similar information. PEA must
prepare all these data and disclose them to the public at the start of the disposition
process, long before the consummation of the contract, because the Government
Auditing Code requires public bidding. If PEA fails to make this disclosure, any citizen
can demand from PEA this information at any time during the bidding process.

Information, however, on on-going evaluation or review of bids or proposals being


undertaken by the bidding or review committee is not immediately accessible under
60

the right to information. While the evaluation or review is still on-going, there are no
“official acts, transactions, or decisions” on the bids or proposals. However, once the
committee makes its official recommendation, there arises a “definite proposition” on
the part of the government. From this moment, the public’s right to information
attaches, and any citizen can access all the non-proprietary information leading to
such definite proposition. In Chavez v. PCGG,[33] the Court ruled as follows:

“Considering the intent of the framers of the Constitution, we believe that it is


incumbent upon the PCGG and its officers, as well as other government
representatives, to disclose sufficient public information on any proposed settlement
they have decided to take up with the ostensible owners and holders of ill-gotten
wealth. Such information, though, must pertain to definite propositions of the
government, not necessarily to intra-agency or inter-agency recommendations or
communications during the stage when common assertions are still in the process of
being formulated or are in the “exploratory” stage. There is need, of course, to observe
the same restrictions on disclosure of information in general, as discussed earlier – such
as on matters involving national security, diplomatic or foreign relations, intelligence
and other classified information.” (Emphasis supplied)

Contrary to AMARI’s contention, the commissioners of the 1986 Constitutional


Commission understood that the right to information “contemplates inclusion of
negotiations leading to the consummation of the transaction.” Certainly, a
consummated contract is not a requirement for the exercise of the right to
information. Otherwise, the people can never exercise the right if no contract is
consummated, and if one is consummated, it may be too late for the public to expose
its defects.

Requiring a consummated contract will keep the public in the dark until the contract,
which may be grossly disadvantageous to the government or even illegal, becomes
a fait accompli. This negates the State policy of full transparency on matters of public
concern, a situation which the framers of the Constitution could not have
intended. Such a requirement will prevent the citizenry from participating in the public
discussion of any proposed contract, effectively truncating a basic right enshrined in
the Bill of Rights. We can allow neither an emasculation of a constitutional right, nor a
retreat by the State of its avowed “policy of full disclosure of all its transactions involving
public interest.”

The right covers three categories of information which are “matters of public concern,”
namely: (1) official records; (2) documents and papers pertaining to official acts,
transactions and decisions; and (3) government research data used in formulating
policies. The first category refers to any document that is part of the public records in
the custody of government agencies or officials. The second category refers to
documents and papers recording, evidencing, establishing, confirming, supporting,
61

justifying or explaining official acts, transactions or decisions of government agencies or


officials. The third category refers to research data, whether raw, collated or
processed, owned by the government and used in formulating government policies.

The information that petitioner may access on the renegotiation of the JVA includes
evaluation reports, recommendations, legal and expert opinions, minutes of meetings,
terms of reference and other documents attached to such reports or minutes, all
relating to the JVA. However, the right to information does not compel PEA to prepare
lists, abstracts, summaries and the like relating to the renegotiation of the JVA. [34] The
right only affords access to records, documents and papers, which means the
opportunity to inspect and copy them. One who exercises the right must copy the
records, documents and papers at his expense. The exercise of the right is also subject
to reasonable regulations to protect the integrity of the public records and to minimize
disruption to government operations, like rules specifying when and how to conduct
the inspection and copying.[35]

The constitutional right to information includes official information on on-going


negotiations before a final contract. The information, however, must constitute definite
propositions by the government and should not cover recognized exceptions like
privileged information, military and diplomatic secrets and similar matters affecting
national security and public order. Congress has also prescribed other limitations on
the right to information in several legislations.

61. Neri v Senate committee on accountability

FACTS: On April 21, 2007, the Department of Transportation and Communication


(DOTC) entered into a contract with Zhong Xing Telecommunications Equipment (ZTE)
for the supply of equipment and services for the National Broadband Network (NBN)
Project in the amount of U.S. $ 329,481,290 (approximately P16 Billion Pesos). The Project
was to be financed by the People’s Republic of China.
The Senate passed various resolutions relative to the NBN deal. In the September 18,
2007 hearing Jose de Venecia III testified that several high executive officials and
power brokers were using their influence to push the approval of the NBN Project by the
NEDA.
Neri, the head of NEDA, was then invited to testify before the Senate Blue Ribbon. He
appeared in one hearing wherein he was interrogated for 11 hrs and during which he
admitted that Abalos of COMELEC tried to bribe him with P200M in exchange for his
approval of the NBN project. He further narrated that he informed President Arroyo
about the bribery attempt and that she instructed him not to accept the bribe.

However, when probed further on what they discussed about the NBN Project,
petitioner refused to answer, invoking “executive privilege”. In particular, he refused to
answer the questions on:
(a) whether or not President Arroyo followed up the NBN Project,
62

(b) whether or not she directed him to prioritize it, and


(c) whether or not she directed him to approve.
He later refused to attend the other hearings and Ermita sent a letter to the senate
averring that the communications between GMA and Neri are privileged and that the
jurisprudence laid down in Senate vs Ermita be applied. He was cited in contempt of
respondent committees and an order for his arrest and detention until such time that he
would appear and give his testimony.

ISSUE: Are the communications elicited by the subject three (3) questions covered by
executive privilege?

HELD: The communications are covered by executive privilege

The revocation of EO 464 (advised executive officials and employees to follow and
abide by the Constitution, existing laws and jurisprudence, including, among others, the
case of Senate v. Ermita when they are invited to legislative inquiries in aid of
legislation.), does not in any way diminish the concept of executive privilege. This is
because this concept has Constitutional underpinnings.

The claim of executive privilege is highly recognized in cases where the subject of
inquiry relates to a power textually committed by the Constitution to the President, such
as the area of military and foreign relations. Under our Constitution, the President is the
repository of the commander-in-chief, appointing, pardoning, and diplomatic powers.
Consistent with the doctrine of separation of powers, the information relating to these
powers may enjoy greater confidentiality than others.
Several jurisprudence cited provide the elements of presidential communications
privilege:
1) The protected communication must relate to a “quintessential and non-delegable
presidential power.”
2) The communication must be authored or “solicited and received” by a close advisor
of the President or the President himself. The judicial test is that an advisor must be in
“operational proximity” with the President.

3) The presidential communications privilege remains a qualified privilege that may be


overcome by a showing of adequate need, such that the information sought “likely
contains important evidence” and by the unavailability of the information elsewhere by
an appropriate investigating authority.

In the case at bar, Executive Secretary Ermita premised his claim of executive privilege
on the ground that the communications elicited by the three (3) questions “fall under
conversation and correspondence between the President and public officials”
necessary in “her executive and policy decision-making process” and, that “the
information sought to be disclosed might impair our diplomatic as well as economic
relations with the People’s Republic of China.” Simply put, the bases are presidential
communications privilege and executive privilege on matters relating to diplomacy or
foreign relations.

Using the above elements, we are convinced that, indeed, the communications
elicited by the three (3) questions are covered by the presidential communications
63

privilege. First, the communications relate to a “quintessential and non-delegable


power” of the President, i.e. the power to enter into an executive agreement with other
countries. This authority of the President to enter into executive agreements without the
concurrence of the Legislature has traditionally been recognized in Philippine
jurisprudence. Second, the communications are “received” by a close advisor of the
President. Under the “operational proximity” test, petitioner can be considered a close
advisor, being a member of President Arroyo’s cabinet. And third, there is no adequate
showing of a compelling need that would justify the limitation of the privilege and of the
unavailability of the information elsewhere by an appropriate investigating authority.

Respondent Committees further contend that the grant of petitioner’s claim of


executive privilege violates the constitutional provisions on the right of the people to
information on matters of public concern.50 We might have agreed with such
contention if petitioner did not appear before them at all. But petitioner made himself
available to them during the September 26 hearing, where he was questioned for
eleven (11) hours. Not only that, he expressly manifested his willingness to answer more
questions from the Senators, with the exception only of those covered by his claim of
executive privilege.

The right to public information, like any other right, is subject to limitation. Section 7 of
Article III provides:
The right of the people to information on matters of public concern shall be recognized.
Access to official records, and to documents, and papers pertaining to official acts,
transactions, or decisions, as well as to government research data used as basis for
policy development, shall be afforded the citizen, subject to such limitations as may be
provided by law.

62. CENTER FOR PEOPLE EMPOWERMENT VS COMELEC

Facts:

COMELEC failed to provide plaintiffs with the source code of identified canvass
machines despite repeated requests and demands. CenPEG is now praying for the
issuance of a writ of mandamus, despite the lapse of the May 2010 elections, claiming
that the
sourcecode remained important and relevant "not only for compliance with the law, a
nd thepurpose thereof, but especially in the backdrop of numerous admissions of errors
and claims of fraud."

Issue:

WON COMELEC could be compelled to release the source code to CenPEG.

Held:
64

YES. Pertinent portion of Section 12 of R.A. 9369 is clear in that "once an AES technology
is selected for implementation, the Commission shall promptly make the source code of
that technology available and open to any interested political party or groups which
may conduct their own review thereof."- The COMELEC has offered no reason not to
comply with this requirement of the law. Indeed, its only excuse for not disclosing the
source code was that it was not yet available when CenPEG asked for it and,
subsequently, that the review had to be done, apparently for security
reason, "under a controlled environment." The elections had passed and that reason is
already stale.

(SECTION 12. "Once an AES technology is selected for implementation, the Commission
shall promptly make the source code of that technology available and open to any
interested political party or groups which may conduct their own review thereof.")

63. In Re: Edillon

Facts:

The respondent Marcial A. Edillon is a duly licensed practicing attorney in the


Philippines. The IBP Board of Governors recommended to the Court the removal of the
name of the respondent from its Roll of Attorneys for “stubborn refusal to pay his
membership dues” to the IBP since the latter’s constitution notwithstanding due notice.

Edilion contends that the provision providing for the IBP dues constitute an invasion of
his constitutional rights in the sense that he is being compelled, as a pre-condition to
maintaining his status as a lawyer in good standing, to be a member of the IBP and to
pay the corresponding dues, and that as a consequence of this compelled financial
support of the said organization to which he is admittedly personally antagonistic, he is
being deprived of the rights to liberty and property guaranteed to him by the
Constitution. Hence, the respondent concludes, the above provisions of the Court Rule
and of the IBP By-Laws are void and of no legal force and effect.

Issue:

WON the payment of IBP dues suffers constitutional infirmity? NO

Held:

All legislation directing the integration of the Bar have been uniformly and universally
sustained as a valid exercise of the police power over an important profession.

The practice of law is not a vested right but a privilege, a privilege moreover clothed
with public interest because a lawyer owes substantial duties not only to his client, but
65

also to his brethren in the profession, to the courts, and to the nation, and takes part in
one of the most important functions of the State — the administration of justice — as an
officer of the court.

When the respondent Edillon entered upon the legal profession, his practice of law and
his exercise of the said profession, which affect the society at large, were (and are)
subject to the power of the body politic to require him to conform to such regulations
as might be established by the proper authorities for the common good, even to the
extent of interfering with some of his liberties. If he did not wish to submit himself to such
reasonable interference and regulation, he should not have clothed the public with an
interest in his concerns.

To compel a lawyer to be a member of the Integrated Bar is not violative of his


constitutional freedom to associate. 6

Bar integration does not compel the lawyer to associate with anyone. He is free to
attend or not attend the meetings of his Integrated Bar Chapter or vote or refuse to
vote in its elections as he chooses. The only compulsion to which he is subjected is the
payment of annual dues. The Supreme Court, in order to further the State’s legitimate
interest in elevating the quality of professional legal services, may require that the cost
of improving the profession in this fashion be shared by the subjects and beneficiaries of
the regulatory program — the lawyers.

Such compulsion is justified as an exercise of the police power of the State. Why? The
right to practise law before the courts of this country should be and is a matter subject
to regulation and inquiry. And, if the power to impose the fee as a regulatory measure is
recognize, then a penalty designed to enforce its payment, which penalty may be
avoided altogether by payment, is not void as unreasonable or arbitrary.

64. Malabanan vs Ramento

Facts: hold a meeting from 8:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M, on August 27, 1982. Pursuant to such
permit, along with other students, they held a general assembly at the Veterinary
Medicine and Animal Science basketball court (VMAS), the place indicated in such
permit, not in the basketball court as therein stated but at the second floor lobby. At
such gathering they manifested in vehement and vigorous language their opposition to
the proposed merger of the Institute of Animal Science with the Institute of Agriculture.
The same day, they marched toward the Life Science Building and continued their rally.
It was outside the area covered by their permit. Even they rallied beyond the period
allowed. They were asked to explain on the same day why they should not be held
liable for holding an illegal assembly. Then on September 9, 1982, they were informed
that they were under preventive suspension for their failure to explain the holding of an
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illegal assembly. The validity thereof was challenged by petitioners both before the
Court of First Instance of Rizal against private respondents and before the Ministry of
Education, Culture, and Sports. Respondent Ramento found petitioners guilty of the
charge of illegal assembly which was characterized by the violation of the permit
granted resulting in the disturbance of classes and oral defamation. The penalty was
suspension for one academic year.

Issue: Whether on the facts as disclosed resulting in the disciplinary action and the
penalty imposed, there was an infringement of the right to peaceable assembly and its
cognate right of free speech.

Held: Yes. Student leaders are likely to be assertive and dogmatic. They would be
ineffective if during a rally they speak in the guarded and judicious language of the
academe. But with the activity taking place in the school premises and during the
daytime, no clear and present danger of public disorder is discernible. This is without
prejudice to the taking of disciplinary action for conduct, "materially disrupts classwork
or involves substantial disorder or invasion of the rights of others."

The rights to peaceable assembly and free speech are guaranteed students of
educational institutions. Necessarily, their exercise to discuss matters affecting their
welfare or involving public interest is not to be subjected to previous restraint or
subsequent punishment unless there be a showing of a clear and present danger to a
substantive evil that the state, has a right to present. As a corollary, the utmost leeway
and scope is accorded the content of the placards displayed or utterances made. The
peaceable character of an assembly could be lost, however, by an advocacy of
disorder under the name of dissent, whatever grievances that may be aired being
susceptible to correction through the ways of the law. If the assembly is to be held in
school premises, permit must be sought from its school authorities, who are devoid of
the power to deny such request arbitrarily or unreasonably. In granting such permit,
there may be conditions as to the time and place of the assembly to avoid disruption of
classes or stoppage of work of the non-academic personnel. Even if, however, there be
violations of its terms, the penalty incurred should not be disproportionate to the
offense.

65. United Pepsi Cola v Laguesma

FACTS: Petitioner is a union of supervisory employees. It appears that on March 20, 1995
the union filed a petition for certification election on behalf of the route managers at
Pepsi-Cola Products Philippines, Inc. However, its petition was denied by the
m ed-arbiter and, on appeal , by the Secretary of Labor and Employment, on
the ground that the route managers are managerial employees and, therefore,
ineligible for union membership under the first sentence of Art. 245 of the Labor Code,
which provides:
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Managerial employees are not eligible to join, assist or form any


labor organization. Supervisory employees shall not be eligible for membership in
a labor organization of the rank-and-file employees but may join, assist or form
separate labor organizations of their own.

Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration, pressing for resolution its contention that
the first sentence of Art. 245 of the Labor Code, so far as it declares managerial
employees to be ineligible to form, assist or join unions, contravenes Art. III, 8 of the
Constitution which provides: The right of the peopl e, incl uding those em pl oyed
in the publ ic and private sectors, to form unions, associations, or societies for
purposes not contrary to law shall not be abridged.

ISSUES
1) whether or not the route managers at Pepsi-Cola Products Philippines, Inc. are
managerial employees and

2) whether or not Art. 245, insofar as it prohibits managerial employees from forming,
joining or assisting labor unions, violates Art. III, 8 of the Constitution.

RULING:

1) Y ES. The route m anagers cannot thus poss ibl y be cl assified as m ere
supervisors because their work does not only involve, but goes far beyond, the
simple direction or supervision of operating employees to accomplish objectives set by
those above them. They are not mere functionaries with simple oversight functions but
business administrators in their own right.supervisory em pl oyees are those who, in
the interest of the em pl oyer, effectively recommend such managerial actions if
the exercise of such authority is not merely routinary or clerical in nature but requires
the use of independent judgm ent." Thus, their
onl y power is to recomm end. Certainl y, the route managers in this case more
than merely recommend effective management action. They perform operational,
human resource, financial and marketing functions for the company, all of which
involve the laying down of operating policies for themselves and their teams

2)NO. The real intent of Art. III, 8 is evident in Lerum ’s proposal . The
Comm ission intended the absolute right to organize of government workers,
supervisory employees, and security guards to be constitutionally guaranteed. By
implication, no similar absolute constitutional right to organize for labor purposes should
be deemed to have been granted to top-level and middle managers. Nor is the
guarantee of organizational right in Art. III, 8 infringed by a ban against
m anagerial employees forming a union. The right guaranteed in Art. III, 8 is subject
to the condition that its exercise should be for purposes "not contrary to law."
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66. ACOSTA VS CA

Facts:

Petitioners are teachers from different public schools in Metro Manila. On various dates
in September and October 1990, petitioners did not report for work and instead,
participated in mass actions by public school teachers at the Liwasang Bonifacio for
the purpose of petitioning the government for redress of their grievances. Petitioners
were administratively charged with such offenses as grave misconduct, gross neglect of
duty, gross violation of civil service law, rules and regulations and reasonable office
regulations, refusal to perform official duty, gross insubordination, conduct prejudicial to
the best interest of the service and absence without official leave. Petitioners failed to
answer these charges. Following the investigations conducted by the DECS
Investigating committees, Secretary Cariño found petitioners guilty as charged and
ordered their immediate dismissal from the service. Petitioners appealed and the CSC
modified the said orders of Secretary Cariño to six (6) months suspension without pay.
Appeal to CA: Denied

ISSUE:

Whether Petitioner’s participation in the mass actions was an exercise of their


constitutional rights to peaceably assemble and petition the government for redress of
grievances

HELD:

These ‘mass actions’ were to all intents and purposes a strike; they constituted a
concerted and unauthorized stoppage of, or absence from, work which it was the
teachers’ sworn duty to perform, undertaken for essentially economic reasons.

The ability to strike is not essential to the right of association. In the absence of statute,
public employees do not have the right to engage in concerted work stoppages for
any purpose.

Further, herein petitioners, are being penalized not because they exercised their right of
peaceable assembly and petition for redress of grievances but because of their
successive unauthorized and unilateral absences which produced adverse effects
upon their students for whose education they are responsible.
As aptly stated by the Solicitor General, “It is not the exercise by the petitioners of their
constitutional right to peaceably assemble that was punished, but the manner in which
they exercised such right which resulted in the temporary stoppage or disruption of
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public service and classes in various public schools in Metro Manila. For, indeed, there
are efficient and non-disruptive avenues, other than the mass actions in question,
whereby petitioners could petition the government for redress of grievances.”

It bears stressing that suspension of public services, however temporary, will inevitably
derail services to the public, which is one of the reasons why the right to strike is denied
government employees. It may be conceded that the petitioners had valid grievances
and noble intentions in staging the “mass actions,” but that will not justify their absences
to the prejudice of innocent school children. Their righteous indignation does not
legalize an illegal work stoppage.

67. PACIFIC WIDE REALTY AND DEVELOPMENTCORPORATION vs. PUERTO AZUL LAND, INC.

Facts:

Puerto Azul Land, Inc. (PALI) is the owner and developer of the Puerto Azul Complex
situated in Ternate, Cavite. Its business involves the development of Puerto Azul into a
satellite city with residential areas, resort, tourism and retail commercial centers with
recreational areas. In order to finance
its operations, it obtained loans from various banks.
PALI and its accommodation mortgagors, However Problems occurred in stock
exchange that PALI could not pay their debts. One of its creditors, the Export and
Industry Bank (EIB), later substituted by Pacific Wide Realty and Development
Corporation (PWRDC), filed foreclosure proceedings on PALI’s mortgaged properties.

The Decision provides: (1) The creditors shall have, as first option, the right to be paid
with real estate properties being offered by the petitioner in dacion en pago; (2)
Creditors who will not opt for dacion shall be paid in accordance with the restructuring
of the obligations as recommended by the
Receiver.Finding the terms of the rehabilitation plan and thequalifications of the appoin
ted rehabilitation receiver unacceptable, EIB appealed and demand for foreclosure
to CA but denied.

Issue:

Whether the terms of the rehabilitation plan are unreasonable and in violation of the
non-impairment clause.

Held:
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We find nothing onerous in the terms of PALI’s rehabilitation plan. The Interim Rules
on Corporate Rehabilitation provides for means of execution of the rehabilitation plan,
which may include, among others, the conversion of the debts or any portion thereof to
equity, restructuring of the debts, dacion en pago, or sale of assets or of the controlling
interest.

The restructuring of the debts of PALI is part and parcel of its rehabilitation. The
restructuring of the debts of PALI would not be prejudicial to the interest of PWRDC as a
secured creditor. Enlightening is the observation of the CA in this regard, viz.:

There is nothing unreasonable or onerous about the 50% reduction


of the principal amount when, as found by the court a quo, a Special
Purpose Vehicle (SPV) acquired the credits of PALI from its creditors at
deep discounts of as much as 85%. Meaning, PALI’s creditors accepted
only 15% of their credit’s value. Stated otherwise, if PALI’s creditors are in a
position to accept 15% of their credit’s value, with more reason that they
should be able to accept 50% thereof as full settlement by their debtor.

We also find no merit in PWRDC’s contention that there is a violation of the


impairment clause. Section 10, Article III of the Constitution mandates that no law
impairing the obligations of contract shall be passed. This case does not involve a law
or an executive issuance declaring the modification of the contract among debtor
PALI, its creditors and its accommodation mortgagors. Thus, the non-impairment clause
may not be invoked. Furthermore, as held in Oposa v. Factoran, Jr. even assuming that
the same may be invoked, the non-impairment clause must yield to the police power of
the State. Property rights and contractual rights are not absolute. The constitutional
guaranty of non-impairment of obligations is limited by the exercise of the police power
of the State for the common good of the general public.

Successful rehabilitation of a distressed corporation will benefit its debtors,


creditors, employees, and the economy in general. The court may approve a
rehabilitation plan even over the opposition of creditors holding a majority of the total
liabilities of the debtor if, in its judgment, the rehabilitation of the debtor is feasible and
the opposition of the creditors is manifestly unreasonable. The rehabilitation plan, once
approved, is binding upon the debtor and all persons who may be affected by it,
including the creditors, whether or not such persons have participated in the
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proceedings or have opposed the plan or whether or not their claims have been
scheduled.

68. Alvarez vs PICOP Resource Inc.

Facts:

PICOP filed with the DENR an application to have its Timber License Agreement (TLA)
No. 43converted into an IFMA.PICOP filed before the (RTC) City a Petition for
Mandamus against then DENR Sec Alvarez for unlawfully refusing and/or neglecting to
sign and execute the IFMA contract of PICOP even as the latter has complied with all
the legal requirements for the automatic conversion of TLA No. 43, as amended, into an
IFMA. The cause of action of PICOP Resources, Inc. (PICOP) in its Petition for Mandamus
with the trial court is clear: the government is bound by contract, a 1969 Document
signed by then President Ferdinand Marcos, to enter into an Integrated Forest
Management Agreement (IFMA) with PICOP.

Issue:

Whether the 1969 Document is a contract recognized under the non-impairment clause
by which the government may be bound (for the issuance of the IFMA)

Held:

NO. Our definitive ruling in Oposa v. Factoran that a timber license is not a contract
within the purview of the non-impairment clause is edifying. We declared:

Needless to say, all licenses may thus be revoked or rescinded by executive action. It is
not a contract, property or a property right protected by the due process clause of the
Constitution.

Since timber licenses are not contracts, the non-impairment clause, which reads: "SEC.
10. No law impairing the obligation of contracts shall be passed." cannot be invoked.
The Presidential Warranty cannot, in any manner, be construed as a contractual
undertaking assuring PICOP of exclusive possession and enjoyment of its concession
areas. Such an interpretation would result in the complete abdication by the State in
favor of PICOP of the sovereign power to control and supervise the exploration,
development and utilization of the natural resources in the area.
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69. Renato Diaz v sec. of Finance

Facts: Petitioners Renato V. Diaz and Aurora Ma. F. Timbol (petitioners) filed this petition
for declaratory rel ief assail ing the val idity of the im pending im position of
val ue-added tax (V AT) by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) on
the coll ections of toll way operators. Court treated the case as one
of prohibition. Petitioners hold the view that Congress did not, when it enacted the NIRC,
intend to include toll fees within the meaning of "sale of services" that are subject to
VAT; that a toll fee is a "user's tax," not a sal e of services; that to im pose V AT on
toll fees woul d am ount to a tax on publ ic service; and that, since VAT was
never factored into the formula for computing toll fees, its imposition would violate the
non-impairment clause of the constitution. The governm ent avers that the NIRC im poses
V AT on all kinds of services of franchise grantees, including toll way operations;
that the Court should seek the meaning and intent of the law from the words used in
the statute; and that the imposition of VAT on toll way operations has been the subject
as early as 2003 of several BIR rulings and circulars. The government also argues that
petitioners have no right to invoke the non-impairment of contracts cl ause since they
cl earl y have no personal interest in existing toll
operating agreem ents (TOAs) between the government and toll way operators. At
any rate, the non-impairment clause cannot limit the State's sovereign taxing power which is
generally read into contracts.

Issue: May petitioners have a right to invoke the non-impairment of contracts cl ause

Ruling: No. Petitioner has no personality to invoke the non-impairment of contract clause
on behalf of private investors in the tollway projects. She will neither be prejudiced by
nor be affected by the alleged diminution in return of investments that may result from
the VAT imposition. She has no interest at all in the profits to be earned under the TOAs.
The interest in and right to recover investments solely belongs to the private tollway
investors.

Besides, her allegation that the private investors’ rate of recovery will be adversely
affected by imposing VAT on tollway operations is purely speculative. Equally
presumptuous is her assertion that a stipulation in the TOAs known as the Material
Adverse Grantor Action will be activated if VAT is thus imposed. The Court cannot rule
on matters that are manifestly conjectural. Neither can it prohibit the State from
exercising its sovereign taxing power based on uncertain, prophetic grounds.

When a toll way operator takes a toll fee from a motorist, the fee is in effect for the
latter's use of the toll way facilities over which the operator enjoys private proprietary
rights that its contract and the law recognize. In this sense, the toll way operator is no
different from the service providers under Section108 who allow others to use their
properties or facilities for a fee. Toll way operators are franchise grantees and they do
not belong to exceptions that Section 119 spares from the payment of VAT. The word
"franchise" broadly covers government grants of a special right to do an act or series of
acts of public concern. Toll way operators are, owing to the nature and object of their
business, "franchise grantees." The construction, operation, and maintenance of toll
facilities on public improvements are activities of public consequence that necessarily
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require a special grant of authority from the state. A tax is im posed under the
taxing power of the governm ent principall y for the purpose of raising
revenues to fund publ ic expenditures. Toll fees, on the other hand, are
coll ected by private toll way operators as reimbursement for the costs and
expenses incurred in the construction, maintenance and operation of the toll ways, as
well as to assure them a reasonable margin of income. Although toll fees are charged
for the use of public facilities, therefore, they are not government exactions that can be
properly treated as a tax. Taxes m ay be im posed onl y by the
g o v e r n m e n t u n d e r i t s s o v e r e i g n authority, toll fees may be demanded by
either the government or private individuals or entities, as an attribute of ownership.