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POLITICAL LAW

Basis Even on the assumption that petitioner owns property,


he may still be an indigent considering his sworn
Free access to courts and quasi-judicial bodies and statement that he had no income. Under the standard set
adequate legal assistance shall not be denied to any forth in Acar v. Rosal as well as the recent legislations
person by reason of poverty (Sec. 11, Art. 3, 1987 heretofore adverted to, it is the income of a litigant that
Constitution). (1991, 2002 Bar) is the determinative factor. For, really, property may
have no income. It may even be a financial burden.
Right to free access to courts (Enaje v. Ramos, G.R. No. L-22109, January 30, 1970)
---
This right is the basis for Sec. 17, Rule 5 of the New Rules
of Court allowing litigation in forma pauperis. Those
protected include low paid employees, domestic
servants and laborers. (Cabangis v. Almeda Lopez, G.R. RIGHTS OF SUSPECTS
No. 47685, Sept. 20, 1940)

--- Miranda rights (1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 2000, 2001,


Q: The Municipal Trial Court denied Dexter’s petition 2005, 2009, 2012 Bar)
to litigate in forma pauperis on the ground that
Dexter has regular employment and sources of These are the rights to which a person under custodial
income thus cannot be classified as poor or pauper. investigation is entitled. These rights are:
Is the court’s order justified? 1. Right to remain silent (2013 Bar)
2. Right to competent and independent counsel,
A: NO. They need not be persons so poor that they must preferably of his own choice
be supported at public expense. It suffices that the 3. Right to be reminded that if he cannot afford
plaintiff is indigent. And the difference between paupers the services of counsel, he would be provided
and indigent persons is that the latter are persons who with one
have no property or sources of income sufficient for their 4. Right to be informed of his rights
support aside from their own labor though self- 5. Right against torture, force, violence, threat,
supporting when able to work and in employment. (Acar intimidation or any other means which vitiate
v. Rosal, G.R. No. L-21707, March 18, 1967) the free will
--- 6. Right against secret detention places, solitary,
--- incommunicado, or similar forms of detention
Q: The Good Shepherd Foundation, Inc. seeks to be 7. Right to have confessions or admissions
exempted from paying legal fees for its indigent and obtained in violation of these rights considered
underprivileged clients couching their claim on the inadmissible in evidence. (Miranda v Arizona,
free access clause embodied in Sec. 11, Art. III of the 384 U.S. 436, 1966) (2013 Bar)
Constitution. Is the contention tenable?
NOTE: Even if the person consents to answer questions
A: NO. The Court cannot grant exemption of payment of without the assistance of counsel, the moment he asks
legal fees to foundations/institutions working for for a lawyer at any point in the investigation, the
indigent and underprivileged people. According to Sec. interrogation must cease until an attorney is present.
19, Rule 141, Rules of Court, only
a natural party litigant may be regarded as an indigent The “Miranda Rights” are available to avoid involuntary
litigant that can be exempted from payment of legal fees. extrajudicial confession.
Exemption cannot be extended to the foundations even if
they are working for the indigent and underprivileged The purpose of providing counsel to a person under
people. (Re: Query of Mr. Roger C. Prioreschi Re exemption custodial investigation is to curb the police-state practice
from legal and filing fees of the Good Shepherd of extracting a confession that leads appellant to make
Foundation, Inc., A. M. No. 09-6-9-SC, Aug. 19, 2009) self-incriminating statements. (People v. Rapeza, G.R.
--- 169431, April 3, 2007)
---
Q: A pauper is known to have several parcels of land AVAILABILITY
but that for several years prior to the filing of the
complaint in the inferior court said parcels of land 1. During custodial investigation; or
had been divided and partitioned amongst his 2. As soon as the investigation ceases to be a general
children who had since been in possession thereof inquiry unto an unsolved crime and direction is
and paying the taxes thereon. Is he considered aimed upon a particular suspect, as when the
indigent? May he apply for free legal assistance? suspect who has been taken into police custody and
to whom the police would then direct interrogatory
A. Yes. Republic Act 6034 (An Act Providing questions which tend to elicit incriminating
Transportation and Other Allowances for Indigent statements. (2014 Bar)
Litigants), has defined the term "indigent" to refer to a
person "who has no visible means of income or whose NOTE: Sec. 2 of R.A. 7438 (An Act Defining Certain Rights
income is insufficient for the subsistence of his family." of Person Arrested, Detained or Under Custodial
Investigation and the Duties of the Arresting, Detaining

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BILL OF RIGHTS – RIGHTS OF THE ACCUSED
and Investigating Officers) provides that custodial 1. Right to remain silent
investigation shall include the practice of issuing an 2. Right to counsel
invitation to a person who is under investigation in
connection with an offense he is suspected to have NOTE: However, the right of the accused to be informed
committed of these rights is not subject to waiver; and

Rights during custodial investigation apply only against Requisites for valid waiver
testimonial compulsion and not when the body of the
accused is proposed to be examined (e.g. urine sample; 1. Made voluntarily, knowingly and intelligently
photographs; measurements; garments; shoes) which is 2. In writing
a purely mechanical act. 3. With the presence of counsel. (People v. Galit,
GR. No. L-51770, Mar. 20, 1985)
In the case of Galman v. Pamaran, G.R. Nos. 71208-09,
Aug. 30, 1985, it was held that the constitutional Admissibility as evidence of confessions given to
safeguard is applied notwithstanding that the person is news reporters and/or media and videotaped
not yet arrested or under detention at the time. confessions
However, Fr. Bernas has qualified this statement by
saying that jurisprudence under the 1987 Constitution Confessions given in response to a question by news
has consistently held, following the stricter view, that the reporters, not policemen, are admissible. Where the
rights begin to be available only when the person is suspect gave spontaneous answers to a televised
already in custody (People v. Ting Lan Uy, G.R. No. interview by several press reporters, his answers are
157399, Nov. 17, 2005). deemed to be voluntary and are admissible.

Furthermore, in the case of People v. Reyes, G.R. No. Videotaped confessions are admissible, where it is
178300, Mar. 17, 2009, the court held that: “The mantle of shown that the accused unburdened his guilt willingly,
protection afforded by the above-quoted provision openly and publicly in the presence of the newsmen.
covers the period from the time a person is taken into Such confessions do not form part of confessions in
custody for the investigation of his possible participation custodial investigations as it was not given to policemen
in the commission of a crime from the time he was but to media in attempt to solicit sympathy and
singled out as a suspect in the commission of the offense forgiveness from the public.
although not yet in custody.
However, due to inherent danger of these videotaped
Infraction of the rights of an accused during custodial confessions, they must be accepted with extreme
investigation or the so-called Miranda Rights render caution. They should be presumed involuntary, as there
inadmissible only the extrajudicial confession or may be connivance between the police and media men
admission made during such investigation. "The (People v. Endino, G.R. No. 133026, Feb. 20, 2001).
admissibility of other evidence, provided they are
relevant to the issue and is not otherwise excluded by NOTE: What the Constitution bars is the compulsory
law or rules, is not affected even if obtained or taken in disclosure of the incriminating facts or confessions. The
the course of custodial investigation." (Ho Wai Pang v. rights under Sec. 12 are guarantees to preclude the
People, G.R. No. 176229, Oct. 19, 2011) slightest use of coercion by the State, and not to prevent
the suspect from freely and voluntarily telling the truth.
Unavailability of Miranda Rights (People v. Andan, G.R. No. 116437, Mar. 3, 1997)

1. During a police line-up, unless admissions or Fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine
confessions are being elicited from the suspect
(Gamboa v. Cruz, G.R. No. L-56291, June 27, Once the primary source (the tree) is shown to have
1988). been unlawfully obtained, any secondary or derivative
2. During administrative investigations evidence (the fruit) derived from it is also inadmissible.
(Sebastian, Jr. v Garchitorena, G.R. No 114028).
3. Confessions made by an accused at the time he NOTE: The rule is based on the principle that evidence
voluntarily surrendered to the police or outside illegally obtained by the State should not be used to gain
the context of a formal investigation; (People v other evidence, because the originally illegally obtained
Baloloy, G.R. No 140740, April 12, 2002) and evidence taints all evidence subsequently obtained.
4. Statements made to a private person (People v
Tawat, G.R. No 62871, May 25, 1985). ---
5. Forensic investigation is not tantamount to Q: Ian Loy is in police custody. Bothered and
custodial investigation, therefore Miranda remorseful, he spontaneously admitted guilt and
rights is not applicable. (People v. Tranca, 235 that he is the one who killed Dr. Neil. Is his
SCRA 455, 1994) confession admissible?

WAIVER

Rights that may be waived

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POLITICAL LAW
A: YES. Ian Loy’s statement is a spontaneous statement.
It was not elicited through questioning by the RIGHTS OF THE ACCUSED
authorities. (People v. Cabiles, G.R. No. 112035, Jan. 16,
1998)
--- 1. Due process
--- 2. Be presumed innocent
Q: Mayor Pineda arrived and proceeded to the 3. Be heard by himself and counsel
investigation room. Upon seeing the mayor, 4. Be informed of the nature and cause of the
appellant Flores approached him and whispered a accusation against him
request to talk privately. The mayor led appellant to 5. A speedy, impartial and public trial
the office of the Chief of Police and there, Flores 6. Meet the witnesses face to face
broke down and said "Mayor, patawarin mo ako! I 7. Have compulsory process to secure the attendance
will tell you the truth. I am the one who killed of witnesses and production of evidence on his
Villaroman." The mayor opened the door of the room behalf
to let the public and media representatives witness 8. Against double jeopardy
the confession. The mayor first asked for a lawyer to 9. Bail
assist appellant but since no lawyer was available
she ordered the proceedings photographed and CRIMINAL DUE PROCESS
videotaped. In the presence of the mayor, the police,
representatives of the media and appellant's own Requisites of criminal due process (NO-CPJ)
wife and son, appellant confessed his guilt. His
confession was captured on videotape and covered 1. Accused is heard by a Court of competent
by the media nationwide. Did such uncounseled jurisdiction
confession violate the suspect’s constitutional 2. Accused is proceeded against under the orderly
rights? Processes of law
3. Accused is given Notice and Opportunity to be
A: NO. A confession given to the mayor may be admitted heard
in evidence if such confession by the suspect was given 4. Judgment must be rendered after lawful
to the mayor as a confidant and not as a law enforcement hearing
officer. In such a case, the uncounseled confession did
not violate the suspect’s constitutional rights. What the NOTE: This is also applicable not only to criminal cases,
constitution bars is the compulsory disclosure of but also to civil cases. Administrative cases follow
incriminating facts or confessions. The rights under Sec. different requisites.
12 are guarantees to preclude the slightest use of
coercion by the State and not to prevent the suspect from The right to appeal is neither a natural right nor part of
freely and voluntarily telling the truth. (People v. Andan, due process. It is a mere statutory right, but once given,
G.R. No. 116437, March 3, 1997) denial constitutes violation of due process.
---
--- RIGHT TO BAIL
Q: Accused Antonio Lauga was charged and convicted (1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1999, 2001, 2004, 2005,
of the crime of rape of his thirteen-year old daughter, 2006, 2008, 2009 Bar)
AAA. During the proceedings, Juan Paulo
Nepomuceno, a bantaybayan in the barangay, Bail
testified that the accused confessed that he had in
fact raped AAA. The trial court found him guilty of The security given for the release of a person in custody
the crime of rape. Lauga contends that the of law, furnished by him or a bondsman, conditioned
extrajudicial confession he made to Nepomuceno is upon his appearance before any court as required. (Sec.
inadmissible in evidence as it was made without 1, Rule 114, Rules of Court)
assistance of counsel. Is his contention tenable?
Rationale behind the right to bail
A: YES. A barangay bantaybayan is considered a public
officer and any extrajudicial confession made to him Bail is not granted to prevent the accused from
without the assistance of counsel is inadmissible in committing additional crimes. The purpose of bail is to
evidence as provided for under Sec. 12, Art. III of the guarantee the appearance of the accused at the trial, or
Constitution. (People v. Lauga, GR. No. 186228, March 15, whenever so required by the trial court. The amount of
2010) bail should be high enough to assure the presence of the
--- accused when so required, but it should be no higher
than is reasonably calculated to fulfill this purpose. Thus,
bail acts as a reconciling mechanism to accommodate
both the accused’s interest in his provisional liberty
before or during the trial, and the society’s interest in
assuring the accused’s presence at trial. (Enrile v.
Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 213847, Aug. 18, 2015)

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BILL OF RIGHTS – RIGHTS OF THE ACCUSED
NOTE: For purposes of admission to bail, the community; and (2) that there exist special,
determination of whether or not evidence of guilt is humanitarian and compelling circumstances. (Enrile v.
strong in criminal cases involving capital offenses, or Sandiganbayan, ibid.)
offenses punishable with reclusion perpetua or life ---
imprisonment lies within the discretion of the trial court.
But, as the Court has held in Concerned Citizens v. Elma, Constitutional provisions connected to right to bail
“such discretion may be exercised only after the hearing
called to ascertain the degree of guilt of the accused for a. The suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas
the purpose of whether or not he should be granted corpus does not impair the right to bail.
provisional liberty.” It is axiomatic, therefore, that bail b. Excessive bail is not required.
cannot be allowed when its grant is a matter of
discretion on the part of the trial court unless there has Instances when bail is a matter of right or of
been a hearing with notice to the Prosecution. The discretion
hearing, which may be either summary or otherwise, in
the discretion of the court, should primarily determine 1. Bail as a matter of right
whether or not the evidence of guilt against the accused a. Before or after conviction by the metropolitan
is strong. (Enrile v. Sandiganbayan, ibid.) and municipal trial courts, and
b. Before conviction by the RTC of an offense not
Application for bail in relation to challenging the punishable by death, reclusion perpetua or life
arrest imprisonment. (Sec. 4, Rule 114)
c. Before final conviction by all children in conflict
The application or admission of the accused to bail shall with the law for an offense not punishable by
not bar him from challenging both the validity of his reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment.
arrest or the legality of the warrant issued therefore,
provided that he raises them before he enters his plea. It 2. Bail as a matter of discretion
shall not likewise bar the accused from assailing the a. Upon conviction by the RTC of an offense not
regularity or questioning the absence of a preliminary punishable by death, reclusion perpetua or life
investigation of the charge against him provided the imprisonment
same is raised before he enters his plea. (Rule 114, Sec. b. Regardless of the stage of the criminal
26, Rules of Court) prosecution, a person charged with a capital
offense, or an offense punishable by reclusion
The following are entitled to bail: perpetua or life imprisonment, when evidence
of guilt is not strong; and
1. Persons charged with offenses punishable by c. A child in conflict with the law charged with an
death, reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment, offense punishable by death, reclusion perpetua
when evidence of guilt is not strong or life imprisonment when evidence of guilt is
2. Persons convicted by the trial court pending strong. (Sec. 28, A.M. No. 02-1-18-SC)
their appeal
3. Persons who are members of the AFP facing a NOTE: The prosecution cannot adduce evidence for the
court martial denial of bail where it is a matter of right. However
where the grant of bail is discretionary, the prosecution
--- may show proof to deny the bail.
Q: Sen. Enrile, who was indicted for plunder in
connection with the Pork Barrel Scam, applied for Grounds for denial of bail
bail arguing among others that he is not a flight risk,
and that his age and physical condition must be If the penalty imposed by the trial court is imprisonment
seriously considered. May he post bail? exceeding six (6) years, the accused shall be denied bail,
or his bail shall be cancelled upon a showing by the
A: YES. Enrile’s poor health justifies his admission to prosecution, with notice to the accused, of the following
bail. The Court is guided by the earlier mentioned or other similar circumstances:
principal purpose of bail, which is to guarantee the a. That he is a recidivist, quasi-recidivist, or
appearance of the accused at the trial, or whenever so habitual delinquent, or has committed the
required by the court. The Court is further mindful of the crime aggravated by the circumstance of
Philippines’ responsibility in the international reiteration;
community arising from the national commitment under b. That he has previously escaped from legal
the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to make confinement, evaded sentence, or violated the
available to every person under detention such remedies conditions of his bail without valid justification;
which safeguard their fundamental right to liberty. These c. That he committed the offense while under
remedies include the right to be admitted to bail. This probation, parole, or conditional pardon;
national commitment to uphold the fundamental human d. That the circumstances of his case indicate the
rights as well as value the worth and dignity of every probability of flight if released on bail; or
person has authorized the grant of bail not only to those e. That there is undue risk that he may commit
charged in criminal proceedings but also to extraditees another crime during the pendency of the
upon a clear and convincing showing: (1) that the appeal.
detainee will not be a flight risk or a danger to the

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POLITICAL LAW
The appellate court may, motu proprio or on motion of factors. (Cortes v. Judge Catral, A.M. No. RTJ-97-1387, Sept.
any party, review the resolution of the RTC after notice 10, 1997)
to the adverse party in either case. (Sec. 5, Rule 114, Rules
of Court) Reason why capital offenses when evidence of guilt is
strong are not bailable
NOTE: The right to bail is available from the very
moment of arrest (which may be before or after the filing Due to the gravity of the offenses committed, the
of formal charges in court) up to the time of conviction confinement of a person accused of said offenses insures
by final judgment (which means after appeal). No charge his attendance in the court proceedings than if he is
need be filed formally before one can file for bail, so long given provisional liberty on account of a bail posted by
as one is under arrest. (Heras Teehankee v. Rovira, G.R. him.
No. L-101, Dec. 20 1945)
Factors to be considered in setting the amount of bail
Scenarios where the penalty of the person applying
for bail is imprisonment exceeding six years 1. Financial ability of the accused to give bail
2. Nature and circumstances of offense
1. Absence of the circumstances enumerated in 3rd par., 3. Penalty for offense charged
sec. 5 of Rule 114. In this scenario, bail is a matter of 4. Character and reputation of accused
discretion. This means that, if none of the 5. Age and health of accused
circumstances mentioned in the third paragraph of 6. Weight of evidence against the accused
Sec. 5, Rule 114 is present, the appellate court has 7. Probability of the accused appearing in trial
the discretion to grant or deny bail. An application 8. Forfeiture of other bonds
for bail pending appeal may be denied even if the 9. Fact that accused was a fugitive from justice
bail-negating circumstances in the third paragraph when arrested
are absent. 10. Pendency of cases in which the accused is
under bond. (A.M. No. 12-11-2-SC, March 18,
NOTE: The discretionary nature of the grant of bail 2014)
pending appeal does not mean that bail should
automatically be granted absent any of the ---
circumstances mentioned in the third paragraph of Q: Manolet was arrested for child abuse. She filed a
Sec. 5, Rule 114 of the Rules of Court. (Jose Antonio petition for application of bail. The court granted her
Leviste v. CA, G.R.No. 189122, March 17, 2010) application with a condition that the approval of the
bail bonds shall be made only after her arraignment.
2. Existence of at least one of the said circumstances. Is the court’s order valid?
The appellate court exercises a more stringent
discretion, that is, to carefully ascertain whether any A: NO. The grant of bail should not be conditioned upon
of the enumerated circumstances in fact exists. If it prior arraignment of the accused. In cases where bail is
so determines, it has no other option except to deny authorized, bail should be granted before arraignment,
or revoke bail pending appeal. (Ibid.) otherwise the accused will be precluded from filing a
motion to quash which is to be done before arraignment.
In bail application, if the prosecutor interposes no If the information is quashed and the case is dismissed,
objection to the accused charged with capital there would be no need for the arraignment of the
offense, the judge may not grant the application accused. To condition the grant of bail on his arraignment
without court hearing would be to place him in a position where he has to
choose between (1) filing a motion to quash and thus
Judges are required to conduct hearings if the accused is delay his release until his motion can be resolved because
being charged with a capital offense. Absence of prior to its resolution, he cannot be arraigned, and (2)
objection from the prosecution is never a basis for the foregoing the filing of a motion to quash so that he can be
grant of bail in such cases, for the judge has no right to arraigned at once and thereafter be released on bail.
presume that the prosecutor knows what he is doing on These scenarios undermine the accused’s constitutional
account of familiarity with the case. (Joselito v. Narciso v. right not to be put on trial except upon valid complaint or
Flor Marle Sta. Romana-Cruz, G.R. No. 134504, March 17, information sufficient to charge him with a crime and his
2000) right to bail. (Lavides v. CA, G.R. No. 129670, Feb. 1, 2000)
---
NOTE: A hearing on the motion for bail must be
conducted by the judge to determine whether or not the NOTE: It should not be taken to mean that the hearing on
evidence of guilt is strong. (Baylon v. Judge Sison, A.M. No. a petition for bail should at all times precede
92-7-360-0, Apr. 6, 1995) arraignment, because the rule is that a person deprived of
his liberty by virtue of his arrest or voluntary surrender
Whether bail is a matter of right or of discretion, may apply for bail as soon as he is deprived of his liberty,
reasonable notice of hearing is required to be given the even before a complaint or information is filed against
prosecutor, or at least he must be asked for his him. (Serapio v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 148468, Jan. 28,
recommendation, because in fixing the amount of bail, 2003)
the judge is required to take into account a number of
PRESUMPTION OF INNOCENCE

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BILL OF RIGHTS – RIGHTS OF THE ACCUSED
husband's siblings. The Court finds such reason
Basis for her choice to flee acceptable. She did not
hide from the law but from those who would
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall be possibly do her harm. (People v. Samson, G.R.
presumed innocent until the contrary is proved. (Sec. No. 214883, Sept. 2, 2015)
14(2), Art 3, 1987 Constitution)
Equipoise rule
Every circumstance favoring the innocence of the
accused must be taken into account. The proof against When the evidence of both sides is equally balanced, the
him must survive the test of reason; the strongest constitutional presumption of innocence should tilt the
suspicion must not be permitted to sway judgment. scales in favor of the accused (Corpuz v. People, G.R. No.
(People v. Austria, G.R. No. 55109, Apr. 8, 1991) 74259, Feb. 14, 1991).

It can be invoked only by an individual accused of a RIGHT TO BE HEARD


criminal offense; a corporate entity has no personality to
invoke the same. Basis

The criminal accusation against a person must be Among the fundamental rights of the accused is the right
substantiated by proof beyond reasonable doubt. The to be heard by himself and counsel. Verily, this right is
Court should steadfastly safeguard his right to be even guaranteed by the Constitution itself. This right has
presumed innocent. Although his innocence could be been recognized and established in order to make sure
doubted, for his reputation in his community might not that justice is done to the accused. The rights of an
be lily-white or lustrous, he should not fear a conviction accused during trial are given paramount importance in
for any crime, least of all one as grave as drug pushing, our laws and rules on criminal procedure. (Moslares v.
unless the evidence against him was clear, competent Third division, CA, G.R. No. 129744, June 26, 1998)
and beyond reasonable doubt. Otherwise, the
presumption of innocence in his favor would be ---
rendered empty. (People v. Andaya, G.R. No. 183700, Oct. Q: In a murder case, Christian was convicted in the
13, 2014) trial court but was not given the right to testify and
to present additional evidence on his behalf. Is the
Rules regarding presumption of innocence conviction correct?

1. The prosecution has the burden to prove the A: NO. An accused has the constitutional right “to be
guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt. heard by himself and counsel” and the right “to testify as
(People v. Colcol., Jr., 219 SCRA 107, February 19, a witness in his own behalf “. The denial of such rights is
1993) a denial of due process. The constitutional right of the
2. The prosecution must rely on the strength of its accused to be heard in his defense is inviolate. “No court
evidence and not in the weakness of the of justice under our system of government has the power
defense. (People v. Solis, 182 SCRA 182, February to deprive him of that right.”(People v. Lumague, G.R. No.
14, 1990) L-53586)
3. Conviction of an accused must be based on the ---
strength of the prosecution evidence and not on
the weakness or absence of evidence of the ASSISTANCE OF COUNSEL
defense. (People v. Mirondo, G.R. No. 210841,
Oct. 14, 2015) Right to assistance of counsel
4. The prosecution bears the burden to overcome
such presumption. If the prosecution fails to The right of a person under investigation is to have a
discharge this burden, the accused deserves a “competent and independent counsel preferably of his
judgment of acquittal. (Delariva v. People, G.R. own choice”. The purpose is to preclude the slightest
No. 212940, Sept. 16, 2015) coercion as would lead the accused to admit something
5. Generally, flight, in the absence of a credible else. (People v. Evanoria, 209 SCRA 577, June 8, 1992)
explanation, would be a circumstance from
which an inference of guilt might be The accused must be amply accorded legal assistance
established, for a truly innocent person would extended by a counsel who commits himself to the cause
normally grasp the first available opportunity of the defense and acts accordingly; an efficient and truly
to defend himself and assert his innocence. It decisive legal assistance, and not simply a perfunctory
has been held, however, that non-flight may not representation. (People v. Bermas, G.R. No. 120420, Apr.
be construed as an indication of innocence 21, 1999)
either. There is no law or dictum holding that
staying put is proof of innocence, for the Court NOTE: While investigations conducted by an
is not blind to the cunning ways of a wolf administrative body may at times be akin to a criminal
which, after a kill, may feign innocence and proceeding, the fact remains that, under existing laws, a
choose not to flee. In Cristina's case, she party in an administrative inquiry may or may not be
explained that she took flight for fear of her assisted by counsel, irrespective of the nature of the
safety because of possible retaliation from her charges and of petitioner’s capacity to represent herself,

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131 FACULTY OF CIVIL LAW
POLITICAL LAW
and no duty rests on such body to furnish the person the trial cannot be waived, because “even the most
being investigated with counsel. The right to counsel is intelligent or educated man may have no skill in the
not always imperative in administrative investigations science of law, particularly in the rules of procedure, and
because such inquiries are conducted merely to without counsel, he may be convicted not because he is
determine whether there are facts that merit the guilty but because he does not know how to establish his
imposition of disciplinary measures against erring public innocence.”
officers and employees, with the purpose of maintaining
the dignity of government service. (Carbonel v. CSC, G.R. ---
No. 187689, Sept. 7, 2010) Q: Mao was criminally charged in court. He hired
Justin as counsel who handles high-profile clients.
NOTE: Assistance of counsel is not mandatory in a police Due to his many clients, Justin cannot attend the
line-up. (1993, 1997, 2012 Bar) hearing of the case of Mao. He requested many times
to have the hearings postponed. The case dragged on
The right to counsel commences from the moment the slowly. Judge Oliver Punay, in his desire to finish the
investigating officer starts to ask questions to illicit case as early as practicable under the continuous
information or confession or admission. (Gamboa v. trial system, appointed a counsel de officio and
Judge Cruz, GR. No. L-56291, June 27, 1988) withdrew the counsel de parte. Is the action of the
judge valid?
A PAO lawyer can be considered an independent
counsel within the contemplation of Sec 12, Art III, A: YES. The appointment of counsel de officio under such
1987 Constitution circumstances is not proscribed under the Constitution.
The preferential discretion is not absolute as would
A PAO lawyer can be considered an independent counsel enable an accused to choose a particular counsel to the
within the contemplation of the Constitution considering exclusion of others equally capable. The choice of
that he is not a special counsel, public or private counsel by the accused in a criminal prosecution is not a
prosecutor, counsel of the police, or a municipal attorney plenary one. If the counsel deliberately makes himself
whose interest is admittedly adverse of the accused- scarce the court is not precluded from appointing a
appellant. Thus, the assistance of a PAO lawyer satisfies counsel de officio whom it considers competent and
the constitutional requirement of a competent and independent to enable the trial to proceed until the
independent counsel for the accused. (People v. Bacor, counsel of choice enters his appearance. Otherwise the
GR. No. 122895, April 30, 1999) pace of criminal prosecution will entirely be dictated by
the accused to the detriment of the eventual resolution
--- of the case. (People v. Larranaga, G.R. No. 138874-75, Feb.
Q: Several individuals were tried and convicted of 3, 2004)
Piracy in Philippine Waters as defined in PD 532. ---
However, it was discovered that the lawyer, Ms.
Cantos, who represented them was not a member of RIGHT TO BE INFORMED OF THE NATURE AND
the bar although evidence shows that she was CAUSE OF ACCUSATION
knowledgeable in the rules of legal procedure. The
accused now allege that their conviction should be Purpose
set aside since they were deprived of due process.
Are they correct? 1. To furnish the accused with such a description of
the charge against him as will enable him to make
A: NO. Sec. 1 of Rule 115 of the Revised Rules of Criminal his defense
Procedure states that "upon motion, the accused may be 2. To avail himself of his conviction or acquittal for
allowed to defend himself in person when it sufficiently protection against further prosecution for the same
appears to the court that he can properly protect his cause
rights without the assistance of counsel." By analogy, but 3. To inform the court of the facts alleged so that it
without prejudice to the sanctions imposed by law for may decide whether they are sufficient in law to
the illegal practice of law, it is amply shown that the support a conviction, if one should be had. (US v.
rights of accused were sufficiently and properly Karelsen G.R. No. 1376, Jan. 21, 1904)
protected by the appearance of Ms. Cantos. An
examination of the record will show that she knew the
technical rules of procedure. Hence, there was a valid
waiver of the right to sufficient representation during
the trial, considering that it was unequivocally,
knowingly, and intelligently made and with the full
assistance of a bona fide lawyer, Atty. Dani Lacap.
Accordingly, denial of due process cannot be successfully
invoked where a valid waiver of rights has been made.
(People v. Tulin, G.R. 111709, Aug. 30, 2001)
---

NOTE: In Flores v. Ruiz, G.R. No. L-35707, May 31, 1979,


the Supreme Court held that the right to counsel during

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BILL OF RIGHTS – RIGHTS OF THE ACCUSED

Requisites for properly informing the accused of the RIGHT TO SPEEDY, IMPARTIAL AND PUBLIC TRIAL
nature and cause of accusation
Right to speedy trial (2000, 2001 Bar)
1. Information must state the name of the accused
2. Designation given to the offense by statute The term “speedy” means free from vexatious, capricious
3. Statement of the acts or omission so and oppressive delays.
complained of as constituting the offense
4. Name of the offended party In determining whether the accused's right to speedy
5. Approximate time and date of commission of trial was violated, the delay should be considered in view
the offense of the entirety of the proceedings. The factors to balance
6. Place where offense was committed are the following:
7. Every element of the offense must be alleged in (a) duration of the delay;
the complaint or information (b) reason therefor;
(c) assertion of the right or failure to assert it; and
NOTE: The purpose of an Information is to afford an (d) prejudice caused by such delay.
accused his right to be informed of the nature and cause Mere mathematical reckoning of the time involved would
of the accusation against him. It is in pursuit of this not suffice as the realities of everyday life must be
purpose that the Rules of Court require that the regarded in judicial proceedings. (Saldariega v.
Information allege the ultimate facts constituting the Panganiban, G.R. Nos. 211933 & 211960, April 15, 2015)
elements of the crime charged. Details that do not go into
the core of the crime need not be included in the NOTE: The denial of the right to speedy trial is a ground
Information, but may be presented during trial. The rule for acquittal.
that evidence must be presented to establish the
existence of the elements of a crime to the point of moral The right to speedy trial [Sec. 14 (2)] particularly refers
certainty is only for purposes of conviction. It finds no to criminal prosecutions which are at the trial stage,
application in the determination of whether or not an while the right to speedy disposition of cases (Sec. 16)
Information is sufficient to warrant the trial of an applies to all cases before judicial, quasi-judicial or
accused (People v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 160619, Sept. administrative bodies.
9, 2015)
Right to impartial trial
It is not necessary for the information to allege the date
and time of the commission of the crime with exactitude Impartial trial means that the accused is entitled to cold
unless such date and time are essential ingredients of the neutrality of an impartial judge, one who is free from
offenses charged. (People v. Nuyok, G.R. No. 195424, June interest or bias.
15, 2015)
Speedy Disposition of Cases
Determination of the real nature of the crime
The right to speedy disposition of cases is different from
Description, not designation of the offense, is controlling. the right to speedy trial to the extent that the former
The real nature of the crime charged is determined from applies to all cases, whether judicial, quasi-judicial, or
the recital of facts in the information. It is neither administrative cases (Art. III, Sec. 16, 1987 Constitution);
determined based on the caption or preamble thereof whereas, the latter applies to criminal cases only. [Art.
nor from the specification of the provision of the law III, Sec. 14 (2), 1987 Constitution]
allegedly violated.
Violation
NOTE: The accused cannot be convicted thereof if the
information fails to allege the material elements of the The right to a speedy disposition of a case, like the right
offense even if the prosecution is able to present to a speedy trial, is deemed violated only when the
evidence during the trial with respect to such elements. proceedings are attended by vexatious, capricious, and
oppressive delays; or when unjustified postponements of
The right to be informed of the nature and cause of the trial are asked for and secured; or even without
accusation cannot be waived. However, the defense may cause or justifiable motive, a long period of time is
waive the right to enter a plea and let the court enter a allowed to elapse without the party having his case tried
plea of “not guilty”. (Roquero v. Chancellor of UP-Manila, G.R. No. 181851,
March 9, 2010).
Variance doctrine
Right to public trial
In spite of the difference between the crime that was
charged and that which was eventually proved, the GR:
accused may still be convicted of whatever offense that 1. Trial must be public in order to prevent possible
was proved even if not specifically set out in the abuses which may be committed against the
information provided it is necessarily included in the accused.
crime charged. (Teves v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 154182, 2. The attendance at the trial is open to all,
Dec. 17, 2004) irrespective of their relationship to the accused.

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133 FACULTY OF CIVIL LAW
POLITICAL LAW

XPN: If the evidence to be adduced is “offensive to Ad Testificandum vs. Duces Tecum


decency or public morals,” the public may be excluded.
AD TESTIFICANDUM DUCES TECUM
NOTE: Under Sec. 21, Rule 119 of the Rules of Criminal A process directed to a person The person is also
Procedure it is provided that the judge may motu proprio requiring him to attend and to required to bring
exclude the public from the court room when the testify at the hearing or trial of an with him any books,
evidence to be adduced is offensive to decency and action, or at any investigation documents, or other
public morals. conducted by competent things under his
authority, or for the taking of his control.
In a constitutional sense, public trial is not synonymous deposition.
with publicized trial. The right to a public trial belongs to
the accused. The requirement of a public trial is satisfied NOTE: The subpoena duces tecum shall contain a
by the opportunity of the members of the public and the reasonable description of the books, documents or
press to attend the trial and to report what they have things demanded which must appear to the court as
observed. The accused’s right to a public trial should not prima facie relevant.
be confused with the freedom of the press and the
public’s right to know as a justification for allowing the Requirements for the exercise of the right to secure
live broadcast of the trial. The tendency of a high profile attendance of witness
case like the subject case to generate undue publicity
with its concomitant undesirable effects weighs heavily 1. The witness is really material
against broadcasting the trial. Moreover, the fact that the 2. The attendance of the witness was previously
accused has legal remedies after the fact is of no obtained
moment, since the damage has been done and may be 3. The witness will be available at the time desired
irreparable. It must be pointed out that the fundamental 4. No similar evidence could be obtained
right to due process of the accused cannot be afforded
after the fact but must be protected at the first instance. NOTE: Right to cross-examine is demandable only
(In Re: Petition for Radio and Television Coverage of the during trials. Thus, it cannot be availed of during
Multiple Murder Cases against Maguindanao Governor preliminary investigations.
Zaldy Ampatuan, A.M. No. 10-11-5-SC, Oct. 23, 2012)
Principal exceptions to the right of confrontation
RIGHT OF CONFRONTATION
1. of dying declarations and all exceptions to the
Purpose hearsay rule
2. Trial in absentia under Sec.14 (2) of Art. III of
1. To afford the accused an opportunity to test the the Constitution
testimony of a witness by cross-examination; 3. With respect to child testimony
2. To allow the judge to observe the deportment
of the witness. TRIAL IN ABSENTIA

If the failure of the accused to cross-examine a witness is Trials in absentia allows the accused to be absent at the
due to his own fault or was not due to the fault of the
prosecution, the testimony of the witness should not be trial. (Lavides v. CA, G.R. No. 129670, Feb. 1, 2000)
excluded.
Elements of trials in absentia
The affidavits of witnesses who are not presented during
trial are inadmissible for being hearsay. The accused is 1. Accused has been validly arraigned
denied the opportunity to cross-examine the witnesses. 2. Accused has been duly notified of the dates of
hearing
NOTE: Depositions are admissible under circumstances 3. Failure to appear is unjustifiable
provided by the Rules of Court.
The presence of the accused is mandatory in the
RIGHT TO COMPULSORY PROCESS TO SECURE following instances
ATTENDANCE OF WITNESS AND PRODUCTION OF
EVIDENCE 1. During arraignment and plea
2. During trial, for identification, unless the
Means available to the parties to compel the accused has already stipulated on his identity
attendance of witnesses and the production of during the pre-trial and that he is the one who
documents and things needed in the prosecution or will be identified by the witnesses as the
defense of a case accused in the criminal case
3. During promulgation of sentence, unless for a
1. Subpoena ad testificandum and subpoena duces light offense (Ibid.).
tecum
2. Depositions and other modes of discovery
3. Perpetuation of testimonies

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BILL OF RIGHTS – WRITS OF HABEAS CORPUS, AMPARO, HABEAS DATA, AND KALIKASAN

If the detainee’s incarceration is by virtue of a judicial


NOTE: While the accused is entitled to be present during order in relation to criminal cases subsequently filed
promulgation of judgment, the absence of his counsel against them, the remedy of habeas corpus no longer lies.
during such promulgation does not affect its validity. (Ilagan v. Enrile, G.R. No. 70748, Oct. 21, 1985)

Promulgation of judgment in absentia is valid Requisites for the suspension of the privilege of the
provided the following are present writ of habeas corpus

1. Judgment be recorded in the criminal docket 1. There must be an actual invasion or rebellion;
2. Copy be served upon accused or counsel and
2. Public safety requires the suspension
NOTE: Recording the decision in the criminal docket of
the court satisfies the requirement of notifying the The writ applies only to persons judicially charged for
accused of the decision wherever he may be. (Estrada v. rebellion or offenses inherent in or directly connected
People, G.R. No. 162371, Aug. 25, 2005) with invasion and anyone arrested or detained during
suspension must be charged within 3 days. Otherwise, he
should be released.
WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS

WRIT OF AMPARO, HABEAS DATA


The writ of habeas corpus is a writ directed to the person AND KALIKASAN
detaining another, commanding him to produce the body
of the detainee at a designated time and place, and to
show the cause of his detention. WRIT OF AMPARO
(1991, 2013 Bar)
Called the “great writ of liberty”, the writ of habeas
corpus “was devised and exists as a speedy and effectual A remedy available to any person who’s right to life,
remedy to relieve persons from unlawful restraint, and liberty, and security has been violated or is threatened
as the best and only sufficient defense of personal with violation by an unlawful act or omission of a public
freedom.” The remedy of habeas corpus is extraordinary official or employee, or of a private individual or entity.
and summary in nature, consistent with the law’s The writ covers extralegal killings and enforced
“zealous regard for personal liberty.” (In the Matter of the disappearances or threats thereof. (Sec.1, Rule on Writ of
Petition for Habeas Corpus of Datukan Malang Salibo, G.R. Amparo)
No. 197597, April 8, 2015)
Applicability
Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus
Writ of Amparo does not apply to a child custody case
The right to have an immediate determination of the
legality of the deprivation of physical liberty. When what is involved is the issue of child custody and
the exercise of parental rights over a child, who, for all
When Available intents and purposes, has been legally considered a ward
of the State, the Amparo rule cannot be properly applied.
For a person deprived of liberty due to mistaken identity. To reiterate, the privilege of the writ of amparo is a
In such cases, the person is not under any lawful process remedy available to victims of extra-judicial killings and
and is continuously being illegally detained. (In the enforced disappearances or threats of a similar nature,
Matter of the Petition for Habeas Corpus of Datukan regardless of whether the perpetrator of the unlawful act
Malang Salibo, ibid.) or omission is a public official or employee or a private
individual. It is envisioned basically to protect and
It may be availed of as a post-conviction remedy or when guarantee the right to life, liberty and security of
there is an alleged violation of the liberty of abode (Ibid.). persons, free from fears and threats that vitiate the
quality of life. (Yusay v. Segui, G.R. No. 193652, Aug. 5,
It may not be used as a means of obtaining evidence on 2014)
the whereabouts of a person, or as a means of finding out
who has specifically abducted or caused the Writ of Amparo does not cover the Constitutional right to
disappearance of a certain person. When forcible taking travel. (Reyes v. Gonzales, G.R. No. 182161, Dec. 3, 2009)
and disappearance – not arrest and detention – have
been alleged, the proper remedy is not habeas corpus Applicable even though petitioners already escaped
proceedings, but criminal investigation and proceedings. detention
Habeas corpus generally applies to all cases of illegal
confinement or detention by which any person is In case were the victims of abduction were able to
deprived of his liberty or by which the rightful custody of escape, it should be stressed that they are now free from
any person is withheld from the person entitled thereto. captivity not because they were released by virtue of a
(Martinez v. Mendoza, G.R. No. 153795, Aug. 17, 2006) lawful order or voluntarily freed by their abductors.
Understandably, since their escape, they have been
under concealment and protection by private citizens

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135 FACULTY OF CIVIL LAW
POLITICAL LAW
because of the threat to their life, liberty and security. Interim reliefs, No interim
The threat vitiates their free will as they are forced to such as reliefs
limit their movements or activities. Precisely because temporary
they are being shielded from the perpetrators of their protection order,
As to
abduction, they cannot be expected to show evidence of witness
availability of
overt acts of threat such as face-to-face intimidation or protection order,
interim reliefs
written threats to their life, liberty and security. inspection order
Nonetheless, the circumstances of their abduction, and production
detention, torture and escape reasonably support a order, are
conclusion that there is an apparent threat that they will available
again be abducted, tortured, and this time, even Covers acts Limited to
executed. These constitute threats to their liberty, which violate or cases involving
security, and life, actionable through a petition for a Writ As to acts threaten to actual violation
of Amparo. (Sec. of National Defense and AFP Chief of Staff covered violate the right of right to
v. Manalo, G.R. No. 180906, Oct. 7, 2008) to life, liberty liberty
and security
Extralegal killings General denial is Mere denial is
As to not allowed; a ground for
Killings committed without due process of law, i.e., allowability of detailed return dismissal of the
without legal safeguards or judicial proceedings. denial is required of the petition
respondent
Enforced disappearance No presumption Presumption of
As to of regularity; regular
Arrest, detention, abduction or any other form of applicability of must prove performance of
deprivation of liberty committed by agents of the State presumption of
or by persons or groups of persons acting with the observance of official duty is
authorization, support or acquiescence of the State, regularity extraordinary applicable
followed by a refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of diligence
liberty or by concealment of the fate or whereabouts of Enforceable Only
the disappeared person, which places such person anywhere in the enforceable
outside the protection of the law. [Sec. 3(b), R.A. 10353] As to Philippines anywhere in
enforceability the Phil. if filed
As clarified in Navia, with the enactment of R.A. No. 9851 with the CA or
[should now be read as R.A. No. 10353], the Amparo Rule SC justice
is now a procedural law anchored, not only on the Exempted from Not exempted
constitutional rights to life, liberty and security, but on a As to payment
payment of
concrete statutory definition as well of what an ‘enforced of docket fees
docket fees
or involuntary disappearance’ is. Therefore, A.M. No. 07- Release of Release of
9-12-SC’s reference to enforced disappearances should detained person detained
be construed to mean the enforced or involuntary As to effect of
does not render person renders
disappearance of persons contemplated in Section 3(g) release of
the petition it moot and
of R.A. No. 9851 [should now be read as Sec. 3(b), R.A. detained person
moot and academic
10353]. Meaning, in probing enforced disappearance academic
cases, courts should read A.M. No. 07-9-12-SC in relation
to R.A. No. 9851[should now be read as R.A. No. 10353]. ---
Guided by the parameters of R.A. No. 9851 [should now Q: Engr. Peregrina disappeared one day and his wife
be read as R.A. No. 10353], we can readily discern that filed a petition for the Writ of Amparo with the CA
Ku’s circumstance does not come under the statutory directed against the PNP, claiming that the
definition of an enforced or involuntary disappearance. “unexplained uncooperative behavior” of the
Indeed, Ku was arrested by agents of the BI, but there respondents request for help and their failure and
was no refusal on the part of the BI to acknowledge such refusal to extend assistance in locating the
arrest nor was there any refusal to give information on whereabouts of Peregrina were indicative of their
the whereabouts of Ku. Neither can it be said that the BI actual physical possession and custody of the
had any intention to remove Ku from the protection of missing engineer.” The PNP was held responsible for
the law for a prolonged time. (Mison v. Gallegos, G. R. No. the “enforced disappearance” of Engr. Peregrina. Is
210759, June 23, 2015) this valid?
Main advantages of the Writ of Amparo over the Writ A: YES. The government in general, through the PNP and
of Habeas Corpus the PNP-CIDG, and in particular, the Chiefs of these
organizations together with Col. Kasim, should be held
WRIT OF fully accountable for the enforced disappearance of
WRIT OF
BASIS HABEAS Peregrina. Given their mandates, the PNP and the PNP-
AMPARO
CORPUS CIDG officials and members were the ones who were
remiss in their duties when the government completely
failed to exercise extraordinary diligence that the

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