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XVI.

WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND WRIT OF Malang Salibo was in Saudi Arabia when the massacre
AMPARO happened. The authorities, however, apprehended and
detained him. He questioned the legality of his detention
A. WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS via Urgent Petition for Habeas Corpus before the CA,
maintaining that he is not the accused Batukan S. Malang.
1. IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION FOR The CA issued the writ, making it returnable to the judge
HABEAS CORPUS OF DATUKAN MALANG of RTC Taguig. After hearing of the Return, the trial court
SALIBO, DATUKAN MALANG granted Salibos petition and ordered his immediate
SALIBO, Petitioner, release from detention.
vs.
WARDEN, QUEZON CITY JAIL ANNEX, On appeal by the Warden, the CA reversed the RTC
BJMP BUILDING, CAMP BAGONG DIWA, ruling. The CA held that even assuming Salibo was not
TAGUIG CITY and all other persons acting on his the Batukan S. Malang named in the Alias Warrant of
behalf and/or having custody of DATUKAN Arrest, orderly course of trial must be pursued and the
MALANG SALIBO, Respondents. usual remedies exhausted before the writ of habeas corpus
may be invoked. Salibos proper remedy, according to the
CA, should have been a motion to quash information
FACTS and/or warrant of arrest.
Habeas corpus is the proper remedy for a person deprived
On the other hand, Salibo believes that the Warden erred
of liberty due to mistaken identity. In such cases, the in appealing the RTC decision before the CA. Salibo
person is not under any lawful process and is continuously argued that although the CA delegated to the RTC the
being illegally detained. authority to hear the Wardens Return, the RTCs ruling
should be deemed as the CA ruling, and hence, it should
This is a Petition for Review1 on Certiorari of the Court have been appealed directly before the SC.
of Appeals Decision2 reversing the Decision3 of the
Regional Trial Court, Branch 153, Pasig City (Taguig
ISSUE AND RULING
Hall of Justice) granting Datukan Malang Salibos
Petition for Habeas Corpus.
Issue 1: W/N Salibo properly availed the remedy of a
petition for writ of habeas corpus
From November 7, 2009 to December 19, 2009, Datukan
Malang Salibo (Salibo) and other Filipinos were allegedly
HELD: Yes. Habeas corpus is the remedy for a person
in Saudi Arabia for the Hajj Pilgrimage.4 "While in Saudi
deprived of liberty due to mistaken identity. In such cases,
Arabia, . . . Salibo visited and prayed in the cities of
the person is not under any lawful process and is
Medina, Mecca, Arpa, Mina and Jeddah."5 He returned to
continuously being illegally detained.
the Philippines on December 20, 2009.6
First, it was Butukan S. Malang, not Salibo, who was
On August 3, 2010, Salibo learned that police officers of
charged and accused in the Information and Alias Warrant
Datu Hofer Police Station in Maguindanao suspected him
of Arrest issued in the case of People vs Ampatuan. Based
to be Butukan S. Malang.7
on the evidences presented, Salibo sufficiently
established that he could not have been Butukan S.
Butukan S. Malang was one of the 197 accused of 57 Malang. Therefore, Salibo was not arrested by virtue of
counts of murder for allegedly participating in the
any warrant charging him of an offense, nor restrained
November 23, 2009 Maguindanao Massacre. He had a under a lawful process or an order of a court. Second,
pending warrant of arrest issued by the trial court in Salibo was not validly arrested without a warrant. When
People of the Philippines v. Datu Andal Ampatuan, Jr., et he was in the presence of authorities, he was neither
al. committing nor attempting to commit an offense, and the
police officers had no personal knowledge of any offense
When Datukan Malang Salibo learned that the police that he might have committed. Salibo was also not an
officers of Datu Hofer Police Station in Maguindanao escape prisoner.
suspected him to be Butukan S. Malang, he presented
himself to clear his name. Salibo presented to the police The police officers have deprived him of his liberty
pertinent portions of his passport, boarding passes and without due process of law. Therefore, Salibo correctly
other documents tending to prove that a certain Datukan availed himself of a Petition for Habeas Corpus.
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Issue 2: W/N a motion to quash information and/or decision where a court determines the legality of the
warrant of arrest is the proper remedy in cases where a restraint.
person with a mistaken identity is detained
Between the issuance of the writ and the final
HELD. No, the CAs contention is not correct. Salibos decision on the petition for its issuance, it is the
proper remedy is not a Motion to Quash Information issuance of the writ that is essential. The issuance of
and/or Warrant of Arrest. None of the grounds for filing
the writ sets in motion the speedy judicial inquiry on
a Motion to Quash Information apply to him. Even if
petitioner Salibo filed a Motion to Quash, the defect he the legality of any deprivation of liberty. Courts
alleged could not have been cured by mere amendment of shall liberally issue writs of habeas corpus even if the
the Information and/or Warrant of Arrest. Changing the petition for its issuance on its face is devoid of
name of the accused appearing in the Information and/or merit. Although the privilege of the writ of habeas
Warrant of Arrest from Butukan S. Malang to Datukan corpus may be suspended in cases of invasion,
Malang Salibo will not cure the lack of preliminary rebellion, or when the public safety requires it, the
investigation in this case. Likewise, a motion for writ itself may not be suspended.
reinvestigation will not cure the defect of lack of
preliminary investigation.

Issue 3: W/N the Warden correctly appealed the RTC


ruling on the Return before the CA

HELD: Yes. An application for a writ of habeas corpus


may be made through a petition filed before CA or any of
its members, the CA or any of its members in instances
authorized by law, or the RTC or any of its presiding
judges. The court or judge grants the writ and requires the
officer or person having custody of the person allegedly
restrained of liberty to file a return of the writ. A hearing
on the return of the writ is then conducted.

The return of the writ may be heard by a court apart from


that which issued the writ. Should the court issuing the
writ designate a lower court to which the writ is made
returnable, the lower court shall proceed to decide the
petition of habeas corpus. By virtue of the designation,
the lower court acquires the power and authority to
determine the merits of the petition for habeas corpus.
Therefore, the decision on the petition is a decision
appealable to the court that has appellate jurisdiction over
decisions of the lower court.

ADDITIONAL:

Distinction between the Writ vs the Final Decision


on Petition for the Issuance of the Writ

The writ of habeas corpus is different from the final


decision on the petition for the issuance of the
writ. It is the writ that commands the production of
the body of the person allegedly restrained of his or
her liberty. On the other hand, it is in the final
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B. WRIT OF AMPARO their movements or activities. Precisely because
respondents are being shielded from the perpetrators of
2. SECRETARY OF NATIONAL DEFENSE VS their abduction, they cannot be expected to show evidence
MANALO of overt acts of threat such as face-to-face intimidation or
written threats to their life, liberty and
The writ of amparo is a tool that gives voice to preys of security. Nonetheless, the circumstances of respondents
silent guns and prisoners behind secret walls. abduction, detention, torture and escape reasonably
support a conclusion that there is an apparent threat that
Facts:
they will again be abducted, tortured, and this time, even
Brothers Raymond and Reynaldo Manalo were abducted executed. These constitute threats to their liberty,
by military men belonging to the CAFGU on the security, and life, actionable through a petition for a writ
suspicion that they were members and supporters of the of amparo. Hence, the respondents right to security as
NPA. After 18 months of detention and torture, the freedom from threat is violated by the apparent threat to
brothers escaped. Ten days after their escape, they filed a their life, liberty and security of person. Their right to
Petition for Prohibition, Injunction, and Temporary security as a guarantee of protection by the government is
Restraining Order to stop the military officers and agents likewise violated by the ineffective investigation and
from depriving them of their right to liberty and other protection on the part of the military.
basic rights. While the said case was pending, the Rule on
In blatant violation of our hard-won guarantees to life,
the Writ of Amparo took effect on October 24, 2007. The
liberty and security, these rights are snuffed out from
Manalos subsequently filed a manifestation and omnibus
victims of extralegal killings and enforced
motion to treat their existing petition as amparo petition.
disappearances. The writ of amparo is a tool that gives
The Court of Appeals granted the privilege of the Writ of voice to preys of silent guns and prisoners behind secret
Amparo. The CA ordered the Secretary of National walls
Defense and the Chief of Staff of the AFP to furnish the
3. GEN. AVELINO I. RAZON, JR., et al. v.
Manalos and the court with all official and unofficial
MARY JEAN B. TAGITIS
investigation reports as to the Manalos custody, confirm
the present places of official assignment of two military The purpose of Writ of Amparo is to address
officials involved, and produce all medical reports and uncertainity. The framers of the Amparo Rule never
records of the Manalo brothers while under military intended Section 5(c) to be complete in every detail in
custody. The Secretary of National Defense and the Chief stating the threatened or actual violation of a victims
of Staff of the AFP appealed to the SC seeking to reverse rights
and set aside the decision promulgated by the CA.
Facts:
Issue:
Engineer Morced N. Tagitis, a consultant for the World
Whether the respondents should be granted the privilege Bank and the Senior Honorary Counselor for the Islamic
of the Writ of Amparo. Development Bank (IDB) Scholarship Programme, was
last seen in Jolo, Sulu. Kunnong and Muhammad
Ruling:
Abdulnazeir N. Matli, a UP professor of Muslim studies
YES. The possibility of respondents being executed and Tagitis fellow student counselor at the IDB, reported
stared them in the eye while they were in detention. With Tagitis disappearance to the Jolo Police Station.
their escape, this continuing threat to their life is apparent,
More than a month later, Mary Jean B. Tagitis, the wife
more so now that they have surfaced and implicated
of Morced, filed a Petition for the Writ of Amparo with
specific officers in the military not only in their own
the CA through her Attorney-in-Fact, Atty. Felipe P.
abduction and torture, but also in those of other persons
Arcilla. The petition was directed against the petitioners.
known to have disappeared.
In the petition, Tagitis alleged her husband was forcibly
Understandably, since their escape, respondents have taken by men believed to be police intelligence operatives
been under concealment and protection by private citizens and despite efforts to locate the whereabouts of Engr.
because of the threat to their life, liberty and security. The Tagitis, he was nowhere to be found. According to
threat vitiates their free will as they are forced to limit reliable information she received, subject Engr. Tagitis is

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in the custody of police intelligence operatives, situation of uncertainty; the petitioner may not be able to
specifically with the CIDG, PNP Zamboanga City, being describe with certainty how the victim exactly
held against his will in an earnest attempt of the police to disappeared, or who actually acted to kidnap, abduct or
involve and connect Engr. Tagitis with the different arrest him or her, or where the victim is detained, because
terrorist groups particularly the Jemaah Islamiyah or JI. these information may purposely be hidden or covered up
She further averred that she has exhausted all by those who caused the disappearance. In this type of
administrative avenues and remedies but to no avail, and situation, to require the level of specificity, detail and
under the circumstances, she has no other plain, speedy precision that the petitioners apparently want to read into
and adequate remedy to protect and get the release of her the Amparo Rule is to make this Rule a token gesture of
husband, Engr. Morced Tagitis, from the illegal clutches judicial concern for violations of the constitutional rights
of his captors, their intelligence operatives and the like to life, liberty and security.
which are in total violation of the subjects human and
constitutional rights, except the issuance of a Writ of The petition should likewise be read in its totality, rather
Amparo. than in terms of its isolated component parts, to determine
if the required elements namely, of the disappearance,
In their verified Return, the petitioners denied any the State or private action, and the actual or threatened
involvement in or knowledge of Tagitis alleged violations of the rights to life, liberty or security are
abduction. They argued that the allegations of the petition present.
were incomplete and did not constitute a cause of action
against them; were baseless, or at best speculative; and Owing to the summary nature of the proceedings for the
writ and to facilitate the resolution of the petition, the
were merely based on hearsay evidence. In addition, they
all claimed that they exhausted all means, particularly Amparo Rule incorporated the requirement for supporting
affidavits, with the annotation that these can be used as
taking pro-active measures to investigate, search and
locate Tagitis and to apprehend the persons responsible the affiants direct testimony. This requirement, however,
should not be read as an absolute one that necessarily
for his disappearance.
leads to the dismissal of the petition if not strictly
Issue: followed. Where, as in this case, the petitioner has
substantially complied with the requirement by
Whether the privilege of the Writ of Amparo should be submitting a verified petition sufficiently detailing the
extended to Engr. Morced Tagitis. facts relied upon, the strict need for the sworn statement
Ruling: that an affidavit represents is essentially fulfilled. The
failure to attach the required affidavits was fully cured
YES. The disappearance of Engr. Morced Tagitis is when the respondent and her witness (Mrs. Talbin)
classified as an enforced disappearance, thus the privilege personally testified in the CA hearings held to swear to
of the Writ of Amparo applies. There was no direct and flesh out the allegations of the petition. Thus, even on
evidence indicating how the victim actually disappeared. this point, the petition cannot be faulted
The direct evidence at hand only shows that Tagitis went
out of the ASY Pension House after depositing his room 4. BURGOS VS MACAPAGAL-ARROYO
key with the hotel desk and was never seen nor heard of
621 scra 481 (2010)
again. The undisputed conclusion, however, from all
concerned the petitioner, Tagitis colleagues and even around one oclock in the afternoon of April 28, 2007,
the police authorities is that Tagistis disappeared under Jonas Joseph T. Burgos a farmer advocate and a member
mysterious circumstances and was never seen again. of Kilusang Magbubukid sa Bulacan (a chapter of the
militant peasant organization Kilusang Magbubukid ng
The framers of the Amparo Rule never intended Section Pilipinas) was forcibly taken and abducted by a group of
5(c) to be complete in every detail in stating the four (4) men and a woman from the extension portion of
threatened or actual violation of a victims rights. As in Hapag Kainan Restaurant, located at the ground floor of
any other initiatory pleading, the pleader must of course Ever Gotesco Mall. On his way out of the restaurant,
state the ultimate facts constituting the cause of action, Jonas told the manager, Maam aktibista lang po
omitting the evidentiary details. In an Amparo petition, ako! When a security guard tried to intervene, after he
however, this requirement must be read in light of the noticed that the group was forcibly dragging a male
nature and purpose of the proceeding, which addresses a person out of the restaurant, he was told, Pare, pulis! The
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guard then backed off but was able to see that Jonas was General for violations of Articles 82, 96 and 97 of the
forced into the rear portion of a plain maroon colored Articles of War.
Toyota Revo. The guard then noted the plate number and
reported the incident to his superiors as well as to the Prior to Jonas abduction, Mudlongs 1991 Isuzu XLT
police on duty in the said mall. vehicle remained impounded at the 56th IBs
Headquarters. In May 2007, right after Jonas abduction
On April 30, 2007, the petitioner held a press conference was made public, it was discovered that plate number
and announced that her son Jonas was missing. That same TAB 194 of this 1991 Isuzu XLT vehicle was missing,
day, the petitioner sought confirmation from the guard if and the engine and other spare parts were cannibalized.
the person abducted was her son Jonas. Upon subsequent
police investigation and LTO verification, it was On direct examination, the petitioner testified before the
discovered that plate number was registered to a 1991 CA that the police was able to generate cartographic
Isuzu XLT vehicle owned by a certain Mauro B. sketches of two (one male and one female) of the
Mudlong. It was also later confirmed by employees of the abductors of Jonas based on its interview of
Department of Environment and Natural Resources eyewitnesses.[7]The petitioner narrated further that these
(DENR) that Mudlong was arrested and his 1991 Isuzu cartographic sketches were identified by State Prosecutor
XLT vehicle was seized on June 24, 2006 by Cpl. Castro Emmanuel Velasco of the Department of Justice (DOJ);
Bugalan and Pfc. Jose Villea of the 56thInfantry Battalion that when she went to see State Prosecutor Velasco
(IB) of the Philippine Army for transporting timber personally, he gave her five names who were allegedly
without permit. As agreed upon by the DENR employees involved in the abduction of Jonas (namely T/Sgt. Jason
Roxas, Cpl. Joana Francisco, M/Sgt. Aron Arroyo, and
and officers of the 56th IB, the vehicle with the license
plate no. TAB 194 was impounded in the 56th IB 1st Lt. Jaime Mendaros);[8] and that the information from
State Prosecutor Velascos sources corroborated the same
headquarters whose commanding officer at that time was
Lt. Col. Noel Clement. information she received earlier from her own
sources.[9] The petitioner also testified that nothing came
The established facts also show that Lt. Col. Clement and out of the information given by State Prosecutor Velasco
the soldiers of the 56th IB went on retraining at the because he was pulled out from the investigation by the
Headquarters of the First Scout Rangers Regiment (Camp DOJ Secretary,[10] and that the police, particularly P/Supt.
Tecson) in Brgy. Tartaro, San Miguel, Bulacan starting Jonnel C. Estomo, failed to investigate and act upon these
November 28, 2006. A left-behind force or a squad leads.[11]
remained in the camp of the 56th IB to secure the premises
and equipment as it awaited the arrival of the 69th IB, On August 30, 2007, P/Supt. Estomo (the lead
headed by Lt. Col. Edison Caga, which took over the investigator in the investigation conducted by the
56th IBs area of responsibility for the duration of the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and
retraining. The 69th IB arrived at Camp Tecson on Detection Group [PNP-CIDG]) testified before the CA
December 1, 2006, and remained there until March 7, that he did not investigate or look into the identities of the
2007, when the 56th IB returned. There was no formal cartographic sketches of the two abductors provided by
turnover or inventory of equipment and vehicles when the the PNP Criminal Investigation Unit, Quezon
69th IB arrived on December 1, 2006. City.[12] P/Supt. Estomo testified further that he showed
the photos of Cpl. Bugalan and Pfc.Villea to witness Larry
Meanwhile, on January 17, 2007, Lt. Col. Melquiades Marquez for identification but failed to show any photos
Feliciano took command of the 56th IB from Lt. Col. of the other officers and men of the 56th IB.[13] Finally,
Clement. The actual turnover of command took place P/Supt. Estomo also testified that he did not propound any
at Camp Tecson where the 56th IB was retraining. At the clarificatory questions regarding the disappearance of
time Jonas was abducted on April 28, 2007, Lt. Col. Jonas Burgos to Lt. Cols. Feliciano, Clement, and Caga
Feliciano was the 56th IBs commanding officer. Earlier, of the 56th IB who merely voluntarily submitted their
on March 23, 2007, 2nd Lt. Dick A. Abletes, a member of statements.[14]
the 56th IB, was caught on video talking to two persons, a
male and a female, at McDonalds Bocaue. In the video, On August 29, 2007, the PNP-CIDG presented Emerito
he was seen handing a document to the two persons. On Lipio @ KA TIBO/KA CRIS, Marlon D. Manuel @ KA
March 26, 2007, 2nd Lt. Abletes was arrested and charges CARLO, and Melissa Concepcion Reyes @ KA
were soon filed against him with the Judge Advocate LISA/RAMIL to support the theory that elements of the
New Peoples Army (NPA) perpetrated the abduction of
5
Jonas.[15] In his Sworn Statement, Lipio admitted that he mall; @KA JO left her at McDonalds and told her to wait
is a member of the Communist Party of the Philippines while he went to look for @KA RAMON. After an hour,
(CPP)/NPA and that the NPA was behind the abduction @KA JO arrived without @KA RAMON and told Reyes
of Jonas. Lipio revealed that Jonas is known as @KA to go home and just keep in touch through text
RAMON in the communist movement. He claimed messaging. Reyes alleged further that she has not heard
further that he and @KA RAMON belonged to the from @KA JO since
Bulacan Party Committee, assigned to the White Area
Committee doing intelligence work for the movement RULING
under the leadership of Delfin de Guzman @ KA BASTE, Considering the findings of the CA and our review of the
and that @KA RAMON was their political instructor and records of the present case, we conclude that the PNP and
head of the intelligence unit in the province.[16] the AFP have so far failed to conduct an exhaustive and
Sometime early April of 2007, Lipio was present in a meaningful investigation into the disappearance of Jonas
meeting between @KA BASTE and @KA RAMON. At Burgos, and to exercise the extraordinary diligence (in the
this meeting, the two had a heated argument. For this performance of their duties) that the Rule on the Writ
reason, @KA BASTE instructed Lipio to place @KA of Amparo requires. Because of these investigative
RAMON under surveillance as they suspected him of shortcomings, we cannot rule on the case until a more
pilfering funds from the party and of acting as a military meaningful investigation, using extraordinary diligence,
agent.[17] is undertaken.

Lipio further averred that upon instruction of @KA From the records, we note that there are very
significant lapses in the handling of the investigation -
BASTE, he and a certain @KA CARLO proceeded to
Ever Gotesco Mall on April 28, 2007 to monitor the among them the PNP-CIDGs failure to identify the
reported meeting between @KA RAMON and other party cartographic sketches of two (one male and one female)
members. At one oclock in the afternoon, Lipio and @KA of the five abductors of Jonas based on their interview of
CARLO (who stationed themselves near the entrance/exit eyewitnesses to the abduction. This lapse is based on the
of the mall) saw a man, who they recognized as @KA information provided to the petitioner by no less than
RAMON, forcibly taken by four men, brought outside of State Prosecutor Emmanuel Velasco of the DOJ who
the mall, and shoved inside a Toyota Revo. Lipio further identified the persons who were possibly involved in the
alleged that he recognized two of the abductors as @KA abduction, namely: T/Sgt. Jason Roxas (Philippine
Army), Cpl. Maria Joana Francisco (Philippine Air
DANTE and @KA ENSO who he claims to be members
of the CPP/NPAs guerilla unit (RYG).[18] Force), M/Sgt. Aron Arroyo (Philippine Air Force), and
an alias T.L., all reportedly assigned with Military
In his Sworn Statement, Manuel affirmed and Intelligence Group 15 of Intelligence Service of the
substantiated Lipios statement that @KA RAMON and AFP.[24] No search and certification were ever made on
Jonas are one and the same person and that he is a member whether these persons were AFP personnel or in other
of the communist movement in Bulacan. Manuel also branches of the service, such as the Philippine Air
corroborated Lipios statement regarding the Force. As testified to by the petitioner, no significant
circumstances of the abduction of @KA RAMON at Ever follow through was also made by the PNP-CIDG in
Gotesco Mall on April 28, 2007; he confirmed that he and ascertaining the identities of the cartographic sketches of
@ KA TIBO witnessed the abduction.[19] two of the abductors despite the evidentiary leads
provided by State Prosecutor Velasco of the
Reyes, a rebel-returnee, provided in her Sworn Statement DOJ. Notably, the PNP-CIDG, as the lead investigating
additional material information regarding the agency in the present case, did not appear to have lifted a
disappearance of Jonas. Reyes alleged that she was finger to pursue these aspects of the case.
supposed to meet with @KA RAMON and another
comrade in the movement (whom she identified as @KA We note, too, that no independent investigation appeared
JO) to discuss the possibility of arranging a meeting with to have been made by the PNP-CIDG to inquire into the
a contact in the military. She averred that she met @KA veracity of Lipios and Manuels claims that Jonas was
JO at about 11:30 a.m. at the Baliaug Transit Terminal, abducted by a certain @KA DANTE and a certain @KA
Cubao enroute to Ever Gotesco mall where they would ENSO of the CPP/NPA guerilla unit RYG. The records
meet with a certain @KA RAMON. Reyes further do not indicate whether the PNP-CIDG conducted a
narrated that they arrived about noon at Ever Gotesco follow-up investigation to determine the identities and
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whereabouts of @KA Dante and @KA ENSO. These records, past and present, as well as further investigation,
omissions were aggravated by the CA finding that the the identities and whereabouts of @KA DANTE and
PNP has yet to refer any case for preliminary investigation @KA ENSO; and (e) undertaking all measures, in the
to the DOJ despite its representation before the CA that it investigation of the Burgos abduction that may be
had forwarded all pertinent and relevant documents to the necessary to live up to the extraordinary measures we
DOJ for the filing of appropriate charges against @KA require in addressing an enforced disappearance under the
DANTE and @KA ENSO. Rule on the Writ of Amparo.
Based on these considerations, we conclude that WHEREFORE, in the interest of justice and for the
further investigation and monitoring should be foregoing reasons, the Court RESOLVES to:
undertaken. While significant leads have been provided
to investigators, the investigations by the PNP-CIDG, the (1) DIRECT the Commission on Human Rights to
AFP Provost Marshal, and even the Commission on conduct appropriate investigative proceedings, including
Human Rights (CHR) have been less than complete. The field investigations acting as the Courts directly
PNP-CIDGs investigation particularly leaves much to be commissioned agency for purposes of the Rule on the
desired in terms of the extraordinary diligence that the Writ of Amparo - with the tasks of: (a) ascertaining the
Rule on the Writ of Amparo requires. For this reason, we identities of the cartographic sketches of two of the
resolve to refer the present case to the CHR as the Courts abductors as well as their whereabouts; (b) determining
directly commissioned agency tasked with the based on records, past and present, the identities and
continuation of the investigation of the Burgos abduction locations of the persons identified by State Prosecutor
Velasco alleged to be involved in the abduction of Jonas
and the gathering of evidence, with the obligation to
report its factual findings and recommendations to this namely: T/Sgt. Jason Roxas (Philippine Army), Cpl.
Maria Joana Francisco (Philippine Air Force), M/Sgt.
Court. We take into consideration in this regard that the
CHR is a specialized and independent agency created and Aron Arroyo (Philippine Air Force), and an alias T.L., all
reportedly assigned with Military Intelligence Group 15
empowered by the Constitution to investigate all forms of
human rights violations involving civil and political rights of Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the
Philippines; further proceedings and investigations, as
and to provide appropriate legal measures for the
protection of human rights of all persons within may be necessary, should be made to pursue the lead
the Philippines.[25] allegedly provided by State Prosecutor Velasco on the
identities of the possible abductors; (c) inquiring into the
Under this mandate, the CHR is tasked to conduct veracity of Lipios and Manuels claims that Jonas was
appropriate investigative proceedings, including field abducted by a certain @KA DANTE and @KA ENSO of
investigations acting as the Courts directly commissioned the CPP/NPA guerilla unit RYG; (d) determining based
agency for purposes of the Rule on the Writ on records, past and present, as well as further
of Amparowith the tasks of: (a) ascertaining the identities investigation, the identities and whereabouts of @KA
of the persons appearing in the cartographic sketches of DANTE and @KA ENSO; and (e) undertaking all
the two alleged abductors as well as their whereabouts; measures, in the investigation of the Burgos abduction,
(b) determining based on records, past and present, the that may be necessary to live up to the extraordinary
identities and locations of the persons identified by State measures we require in addressing an enforced
Prosecutor Velasco alleged to be involved in the disappearance under the Rule on the Writ of Amparo;
abduction of Jonas, namely: T/Sgt. Jason Roxas
(Philippine Army); Cpl. Maria Joana Francisco (2) REQUIRE the incumbent Chiefs of the Armed
(Philippine Air Force), M/Sgt. Aron Arroyo (Philippine Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National
Air Force), and an alias T.L., all reportedly assigned with Police to make available and to provide copies, to the
Military Intelligence Group 15 of Intelligence Service of Commission on Human Rights, of all documents and
the AFP; further proceedings and investigations, as may records in their possession and as the Commission on
be necessary, should be made to pursue the lead allegedly Human Rights may require, relevant to the case of Jonas
provided by State Prosecutor Velasco on the identities of Joseph T. Burgos, subject to reasonable regulations
the possible abductors; (c) inquiring into the veracity consistent with the Constitution and existing laws;
of Lipios and Manuels claims that Jonas was abducted by (3) DIRECT the PNP-CIDG and its incumbent Chief to
a certain @KA DANTE and @KA ENSO of the submit to the Commission on Human Rights the records
CPP/NPA guerilla unit RYG; (d) determining based on and results of the investigation the PNP-CIDG claimed to
7
have forwarded to the Department of Justice, which were 653 scra 512 (2011)
not included in their previous submissions to the
Commission on Human Rights, including such records as Facts/ Issues:
the Commission on Human Rights may require, pursuant In 2007, Jonas Burgos was abducted at about 1:30 pm by
to the authority granted under this Resolution; 4 armed men and a woman in civilian clothes while
(4) Further DIRECT the PNP-CIDG to provide direct having lunch at theHapagKainan Restaurant in Ever
investigative assistance to the Commission on Human Gotesco Mall, Quezon City.
Rights as it may require, pursuant to the authority granted On the same year, Jonass family files a complaint at
under this Resolution; the Commission on Human Rights alleging military
(5) AUTHORIZE the Commission on Human Rights to involvement in the abductionof Jonas after tracing the
license plate number of the vehicle used in the abduction
conduct a comprehensive and exhaustive investigation
that extends to all aspects of the case (not limited to the to a vehicle impounded in the 56th InfantryBattalion of
the Armed Forces of the Philippines. The Burgos family
specific directives as outlined above), as the extraordinary
measures the case may require under the Rule on the Writ also filed a complaint with the Intelligence Service of the
of Amparo; and ArmedForces of the Philippines, and Task Force-
USIG National Capital Region.
(6) REQUIRE the Commission on Human Rights to
submit to this Court a Report with its recommendations, The Burgos family files a petition for writ of habeas
copy furnished the petitioner, the incumbent Chiefs of the corpus in the Philippine Court of Appeals asking that the
AFP, the PNP and the PNP-CIDG, and all the government produceJonas to the court which was denied,
respondents, within ninety (90) days from receipt of this however, by the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
Resolution. Almost five years since the disappearance of Jonas
Burgos, the Burgos family concluded their presentation of
In light of the retirement of Lt. General Alexander Yano
and the reassignment of the other respondents who have witnesses andevidences for the Habeas Corpus Petition.
The defense shall start presenting their witnesses in May
all been impleaded in their official capacities, all
subsequent resolutions and actions from this Court 2012.
shall also be served on, and be directly enforceable by, In light of the latest developments on the abduction case
the incumbents of the impleaded offices/units whose of Jonas Burgos, the Supreme Court reviews the Court of
official action is necessary. The present respondents shall Appeals decision on the consolidated petitions of Edita
continue to be personally impleaded for purposes of the Burgos for Habeas Corpus, Contempt and Writ of
responsibilities and accountabilities they may have Amparo.
incurred during their incumbencies.
The assailed CA decision dismissed the petition for the
The dismissal of the petitions for Contempt and for the issuance of the Writ of Habeas Corpus; denied the
Issuance of a Writ of Amparo with respect to President petitioner's motion to declare the respondents in
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is hereby AFFIRMED Contempt; and partially granted the privilege of the
Writ of Amparo
Last 2010, the Supreme Court issued a resolution
ordering the Commission on Human Rights to continue
the investigation regardingthe abduction of Jonas Burgos.
The Court tasked the CHR to conduct further
investigations because of the lapses by the PNP-CIDG
In this same Resolution, we also affirmed the CA's
dismissal of the petitions for Contempt and for the
issuance of a Writ of Amparo with respect to President
Macapagal-Arroyo, as she is entitled as President to
immunity from suit.

8
March 15, 2011 The Commission on Human Rights e. Interview with VirgilioEustaquio, Chairman of the
submits its report to the Supreme Court Union Masses for Democracy and Justice (UMDJ),
revealed that the maleabductor of Jonas Burgos appearing
The Commission Submitted the following findings: in the cartographic sketch was among the raiders who
a. Based on the facts developed by evidence obtaining in abducted him and four others, identifiedas Jim Cabauatan,
this case, the CHR finds that the enforced disappearance Jose Curament, Ruben Dionisio and Dennis Ibona
of Jonas Joseph T. Burgos had transpired; and that his otherwise known as ERAP FIVE.
constitutional rights to life liberty and security were
violated by the Government havebeen fully determined.
ISSUE
b. In his SinumpaangSalaysay, Jeffrey had a clear
recollection of the face of HARRY AGAGEN WON the CHR report on the disappearance of Jonas
BALIAGA, JR. as one of the principal abductors, apart Burgos is sufficient enough for the SC to issue a final
from the faces of the two abductors in the cartographic ruling and to:
sketches that he described to the police, after he was
shown by the Team the pictures in the PMA Year Book 1) Issue a writ of Habeas corpus YES
of Batch Sanghaya 2000 and group pictures of men taken 2) Declare respondents in contempt NO
some yearsthereafter. The same group of pictures were
shown to detained former 56th IB Army trooper Edmond 3) Issue a writ of Amparo NO
M. Dag-uman (Dag-uman),who also positively identified
Lt. Harry Baliaga, Jr. Daguman's
SinumpaangSalaysay states that he came to know Lt. RULING
Baliaga as aCompany Commander in the 56th IB while
Courts Ruling on the AMPARO
he was still in the military service (with Serial No.
800693, from 1997 to 2002) also withthe 56th IB but 1. After reviewing the evidence in the present case, the
under 1Lt. UsmalikTayaban, the Commander of Bravo CA findings and our findings in our June 22, 2010
Company Resolution heretofore mentioned,including the recent
CHR findings that Lt. Harry A. Baliaga, Jr., (Lt. Baliaga)
c. Most if not all the actual abductors would have been
of the 56th Infantry Battalion, 7th Infantry Division,
identified had it not been for what is otherwise called as
Philippine Armyis one of the abductors of Jonas, we
evidentiary difficulties shamelessly put up by some police
resolve to hold in abeyance our ruling on the merits in
and military elites. The deliberate refusal of TJAG Roa to
the Amparo aspect of the present case and referthis case
provide the CHRwith the requested documents does not
back to the CA in order to allow Lt. Baliaga and the
only defy the Supreme Court directive to the AFP but ipso
present Amparo respondents to file their respective
facto created a disputablepresumption that AFP personnel
Comments on the CHR Reportwithin a non-extendible
were responsible for the abduction and that their superiors
period of fifteen (15) days from receipt of this Resolution.
would be found accountable, if notresponsible, for the
crime committed. This observation finds support in the 2. The Court of Appeals shall continue hearing on
disputable presumption " That evidence the Amparo petition.
willfullysuppressed would be adverse if produced."
(Paragraph (e), Section 3, Rule 131 on Burden of Proof 3. On the non-compliance of the Office of the Judge
and Presumptions, Revised Ruleson Evidence of the Advocate General (TJAG) to provide the CHR with
Rules of Court of the Philippines). copies of documents relevant to thecase of Jonas, and
thereby disobeyed our June 22, 2010 Resolution.
d. As regards the PNP CIDG, the positive identification
of former 56th IB officer Lt. HARRY A. BALIAGA, JR. 4. Acting on the CHR's recommendation and based on the
as one of the principal abductors has effectively crushed above considerations, we resolve to require General Roa
the theory of the CIDG witnesses that the NPAs abducted of TJAG, AFP, and theDeputy Chief of Staff
Jonas. Baliaga's true identity and affiliationwith the for Personnel, JI, AFP, at the time of our June 22, 2010
military have been established by overwhelming evidence Resolution, and then incumbent Chief of Staff, AFP,
corroborated by detained former Army trooper Dag-uman to show causeand explain, within a non-extendible period
of fifteen (15) days from receipt of this Resolution, why

9
they should not be held in contempt ofthis Court for the Republic of thePhilippines, she should now be
defying our June 22, 2010 Resolution dropped as a party-respondent in these petitions
Habeas Corpus
1. In light of the new evidence, the Court hereby 5. NAVIA VS PARDICO
dismisses the Court of Appeals decision to dismiss the
habeas corpus petition. In an Amparo petition, proof of disappearance
alone is not enough. It is likewise essential to establish
2. For this purpose, we also order that Lt. Baliaga be that such disappearance was carried out with the direct
impleaded as a party to the habeas corpus petition and or indirect authorization, support or acquiescence of the
require him - together with theincumbent Chief of Staff, government.
AFP; the incumbent Commanding General, Philippine
Army; and the Commanding Officer of the 56th IB at the Facts:
timeof the disappearance of Jonas, Lt. Col. Feliciano - to
Due to a report from a certain Mrs. Emphasis that
produce the person of Jonas and to show cause why he
Enrique Lapore (Bong), and Benhur Pardico (Ben) were
should not be released fromdetention involved in removing a lamp from a post in Grand Royale
Petition of Contempt Subdivision, they were invited to the office of the security
department of Asian Land by Ruben Dio and Andrew
1. Two types of Contempt: Criminal contempt is "conduct Buising (petitioners), who both work as security guards at
directed against the authority and dignity of the court or a the Asian Land security department. After such
judge acting judicially; it is an act obstructing the investigation, Ben was never seen again. Petitioners
administration of justice which tends to bring the denied having custody of Ben. As a proof, they presented
court into disrepute or disrespect." On the other hand, their logbook stating that Ben was released the night he
civil contemptis the failure to do something ordered to be was invited and such logbook was signed by Ben, Bong
done by a court or a judge for the benefit of the opposing and Lolita M. Lapore. Due to the continued disappearance
of Ben, Virginia filed a Petition for Writ of Amparo before
party therein and is therefore, anoffense against the party
the RTC of Malolos City which issued an Order directing,
in whose behalf the violated order was made. If the
among others, the issuance of a Writ of Amparo and the
purpose is to punish, then it is criminal in nature; but if production of the body of Ben. Later, the RTC granted the
tocompensate, then it is civil. petition for Writ of Amparo. Petitioners filed a Motion for
2. In proceedings for criminal contempt, the defendant is Reconsideration which was denied. Hence, this petition.
presumed innocent and the burden is on the prosecution
Issue:
to prove the charges beyond reasonable doubt. The
presumption of innocence can be overcome only by proof
Whether the issuance of the Writ of Amparo is
of guilt beyond reasonable doubt, which meansproof to proper.
the satisfaction of the court and keeping in mind the
presumption of innocence that precludes everyreasonable Ruling:
hypothesis except that for which it is given. It is not
sufficient for the proof to establish a probability, even NO. For the protective Writ of Amparo to issue,
though strong, that thefact charged is more likely true than allegation and proof that the person subject thereof is
the contrary. It must establish the truth of the fact to a missing are not enough. The petitioner in an Amparo case
reasonable certainty and moral certainty- a certainty that has the burden of proving by substantial evidence the
convinces and satisfies the reason and conscience of those indispensable element of government participation. It is
who are to act upon it. essential to establish that such disappearance was carried
out with the direct or indirect authorization, support or
3. For the petitioner to succeed in her petition to declare acquiescence of the government. This indispensable
the respondents in contempt for filing false returns in the element of State participation is not present in this case.
habeas corpus proceedings before the CA, she has the The petition does not contain any allegation of State
burden of proving beyond reasonable doubt that the complicity, and none of the evidence presented tend to
respondents had custody of Jonas.4. In light of show that the government or any of its agents orchestrated
the dismissal of the petitions against President Gloria Bens disappearance. In fact, none of its agents, officials,
Macapagal-Arroyo who is no the longer the President of or employees were impleaded or implicated in Virginias
10
amparo petition whether as responsible or accountable on Certiorari via Rule 45 as enunciated in Section 19 of
persons. the Rule on the Writ of Amparo.
Under Section 1 of A.M. No. 07-9-12-SC a Writ of
Amparo may lie against a private individual or entity. But Issues:
even if the person sought to be held accountable or 1. Whether the appeal is proper.
responsible in an Amparo petition is a private individual
or entity, still, government involvement in the 2. Whether the insistence of the judge to file an answer is
disappearance remains an indispensable element. Here, appropriate.
petitioners are mere security guards at Grand Royale
Subdivision in Brgy. Lugam, Malolos City and their 3. Whether the holding of a hearing on the main case prior
principal, the Asian Land, is a private entity. They do not to the issuance of the writ and the filing of
work for the government and nothing has been presented
that would link or connect them to some covert police, Return is proper.
military or governmental operation. As discussed above,
to fall within the ambit of A.M. No. 07-9-12-SC in
Ruling:
relation to RA No. 9851, the disappearance must be
attended by some governmental involvement. This
1. NO. It is the Courts view that the "Decision"
hallmark of State participation differentiates an enforced
granting the writ of Amparo is not the judgment or final
disappearance case from an ordinary case of a missing
order contemplated under Rule 45. Hence, a Petition for
person
Review under Rule 45 may not yet be the proper remedy
at this time.
6. DE LIMA VS GATDULA
The "Decision" assailed by the petitioners could not be
the judgment or final order that is appealable under
Section 19 of the Rule on the Writ of Amparo. This is
The "Decision" under Section 19 of the Rule on Writ of
clear from the tenor of the dispositive portion of the
Amparo pertains to the issuance of the Writ of Amparo.
"Decision. This "Decision" pertained to the issuance of
the writ under Section 6 of the Rule on the Writ of
Amparo, not the judgment under Section 18. The
Facts: "Decision" is thus an interlocutory order, as suggested by
the fact that temporary protection, production and
Magtanggol B. Gatdula filed a Petition for the Issuance of inspection orders were given together with the decision.
a Writ of Amparo in the Regional Trial Court of Manila. The temporary protection, production and inspection
This case raffled to the sala of Judge Silvino T. Pampilo, orders are interim reliefs that may be granted by the court
Jr. The Amparo was directed against Justice Secretary upon filing of the petition but before final judgment is
Leila M. De Lima, Director Nonnatus R. Rojas and rendered.
Deputy Director Reynaldo O. Esmeralda of the National
Bureau of Investigation. Instead of deciding on whether
2. NO. It is the Return that serves as the
to issue a Writ of Amparo, the judge issued summons and
responsive pleading for petitions for the issuance of Writs
ordered De Lima, et al. to file an Answer. He also set the
of Amparo. The requirement to file an Answer is contrary
case for hearing. During that hearing, counsel for De
to the intention of the Court to provide a speedy remedy
Lima, et al. manifested that a Return, not an Answer, is
to those whose right to life, liberty and security are
appropriate for Amparo cases.
violated or are threatened to be violated. In utter disregard
of the Rule on the Writ of Amparo, Judge Pampilo insisted
In an Order, Judge Pampilo insisted that "since no writ
on issuing summons and requiring an Answer.
has been issued, return is not the required pleading but
answer". The judge noted that the Rules of Court apply
suppletorily in Amparo cases. He opined that the Revised It is clear from Section 1 of the 1991 Revised Rules of
Rules of Summary Procedure applied and thus required Summary Procedure that summary procedure only applies
an Answer. Judge Pampilo then proceeded to conduct a to MTC/MTCC/MCTCs. It is mind-boggling how this
hearing on the main case. Later, the RTC rendered a rule could possibly apply to proceedings in an RTC. Aside
"Decision" granting the issuance of the Writ of Amparo. from that, this Court limited the application of summary
It further denied the motion for reconsideration filed by procedure to certain civil and criminal cases. A writ of
De Lima, et al. De Lima then filed a Petition for Review Amparo is a special proceeding. It is a remedy by which

11
a party seeks to establish a status, a right or particular fact. NO. Section 1 of the Rule on the Writ of Amparo provides
It is not a civil nor a criminal action, hence, the application for the coverage of the Writ and when it should be availed.
of the Revised Rule on Summary Procedure is seriously The writ shall cover extralegal killings and enforced
misplaced. disappearances or threats thereof. In the case of Lozada,
Jr. v. Macapagal-Arroyo, the Supreme Court explicitly
3. NO. Without a Return, the issues could not declared that the Writ of Amparo is confined only to cases
have been properly joined. The procedural irregularities of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances, or
in the RTC affected the mode of appeal that petitioners to threats thereof.
used in elevating the matter to this Court. The Petition for
Review is not the proper remedy to assail the interlocutory Christina's directly accusing the respondents of forcibly
order denominated as "Decision" dated 20 March 2012 separating her from her child and placing the latter up for
adoption, supposedly without complying with the
necessary legal requisites to qualify the child for
7. CARAM VS SEGUI
adoption, clearly indicates that she is not searching for a
The writ of amparo is confined only to cases of lost child but asserting her parental authority over the
extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances, or to child and contesting custody over him. Since it is extant
threats thereof. from the pleadings filed that what is involved is the issue
of child custody and the exercise of parental rights over a
Facts: child, who, for all intents and purposes, has been legally
Ma. Christina Yusay Caram had a child with Marcelino considered a ward of the State, the Amparo rule cannot be
Gicano Constantino III as a result of their amorous properly applied
relationship. Later, the child was given up for adoption
without the knowledge of Marcelino. Due to the death of
Marcelino, Christina disclosed to Marcelinos family that 8. SANTIAGO VS TULFO
she and the deceased had a son that she gave up for
adoption. Thereafter, the family vowed to help her
recover and raise the baby. In the meantime, the DSWD,
through Secretary Esperanza I. Cabral issued a certificate
declaring Baby Julian as "Legally Available for
Adoption." Baby Julian was "matched" with the spouses
Vergel and Filomina Medina.
Christina who had changed her mind about the adoption,
wrote a letter to the DSWD asking for the suspension of
Baby Julians adoption proceedings. The request was
denied due to prescription and Christina was advised that
should she wish to reacquire her parental authority over
Baby Julian or halt the adoption process, she may bring
the matter to the regular courts as the reglementary period
for her to regain her parental rights had already lapsed
under Section 7 of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 9523.
Due to this, Christina filed a petition for the issuance of a
Writ of Amparo before the RTC of Quezon City. The RTC
dismissed the petition for issuance of a Writ of Amparo
and held that Christina availed of the wrong remedy to
regain custody of her child Baby Julian.
Issue: Whether a Petition for a Writ of Amparo is the
proper recourse for obtaining parental authority and
custody of a minor child.
Ruling:
12
XVII. SPEEDY DISPOSITION OF CASES Nr. PEV-665, Toyota Previa with Plate Nr. UDS-195,
1997 Honda Civic Car with Plate Nr. FEC 134, 1997
1. GARCIA VS. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY Mitsubishi L-300 Van with Plate Nr. FDZ 582 and 2001
FACTS: Toyota RAV 4 Utility Vehicle with Plate Nr. FEV-498,
conduct unbecoming an officer and gentleman.
On October 13, 2004, the Provost Martial General of the
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Col. Henry A. SPECIFICATION 2: In that MAJOR GENERAL
Galarpe, by command of Vice-Admiral De Los Reyes, CARLOS FLORES GARCIA 0-5820 ARMED FORCES
issued a Restriction to Quarters containing the following: OF THE PHILIPPINES, person subject to military law,
did, on or about 11 March 2003, knowingly, wrongfully
1. Pursuant to Article of War 70 and the directive of the and unlawfully fail to disclose/declare all his existing
Acting Chief of Staff, AFP to the undersigned dtd 12 assets in his Sworn Statement of Assets and Liabilities
October 2004, you are hereby placed under Restriction to and Net worth for the year 2002 as required by Republic
Quarters under guard pending investigation of your case. Act No. 3019, as amended in relation to Republic Act
2. You are further advised that you are not allowed to 6713, such as the following: his cash holdings with the
leave your quarters without the expressed permission Armed Forces Police Savings and Loans Association, Inc.
from the Acting Chief of Staff, AFP. (AFPSLAI) in the amount of six million five hundred
[thousand] pesos (P6,500,000.00); cash dividend received
3. In case you need immediate medical attention or form AFPSLAI in June 2002 and December 2002 in the
required by the circumstance to be confined in a hospital, total amount of one million four hundred thirty-five
you shall likewise be under guard. thousand pesos (1,435,000.00), dollar and peso deposits
with Land Bank of the Philippines, Allied Banking
Thereafter, a Charge Sheet dated October 27, 2004 was
Corporation, Banco de Oro Universal Bank, Bank of the
filed with the Special General Court Martial NR 2
Philippine Islands, United Coconut Planter's Bank and
presided by Maj. Gen. Emmanuel R. Teodosio, AFP,
Planter's Development Bank; motor vehicles registered
(Ret.), enumerating the following violations allegedly
under his and his wifes names such as 1998 Toyota Hilux
committed by petitioner:
Utility Vehicle with Plate Nr. WRY-843, Toyota Car with
CHARGE 1: VIOLATION OF THE 96TH ARTICLE OF Plate Nr. PEV-665, Toyota Previa with Plate Nr. UDS-
WAR (CONDUCT UNBECOMING AN OFFICER 195, 1997 Honda Civic Car with Plate Nr. FEC-134, 1997
AND GENTLEMAN). Mitsubishi L-300 Van with Plate Nr. FDZ-582, and 2001
Toyota RAV 4
SPECIFICATION 1: In that MAJOR GENERAL
CARLOS FLORES GARCIA 0-5820 ARMED FORCES Utility Vehicle with Plate Nr. FEV-498, conduct
OF THE PHILIPPINES, person subject to military law, unbecoming an officer and gentleman.
did, on or about 16 March 2004, knowingly, wrongfully
SPECIFICATION 3: In that MAJOR GENERAL
and unlawfully fail to disclose/declare all his existing
CARLOS FLORES GARCIA 0-5820 ARMED FORCES
assets in his Sworn Statement of Assets and Liabilities
OF THE PHILIPPINES, person subject to military law,
and Net Worth for the year 2003 as required by Republic
did, while in the active military service of the Armed
Act No. 3019, as amended in relation to Republic Act
Forces of the Philippines, knowingly, wrongfully and
6713, such as the following: cash holdings with the
unlawfully violate his solemn oath as a military officer to
Armed Forces Police Savings and Loans Association, Inc.
uphold the Constitution and serve the people with utmost
(AFPSLAI) in the amount of six million five hundred
loyalty by acquiring and holding the status of an
[thousand] pesos (P6,500,000.00); cash dividend received
immigrant/permanent residence of the United
from AFPSLAI from June 2003 to December 2003 in the
amount of one million three hundred sixty-five thousand States of America in violation of the State policy
pesos (P1,365,000.00); dollar peso deposits with Land governing public officers, thereby causing dishonor and
Bank of the Philippines, Allied Banking Corporation, disrespect to the military professional and seriously
Banco de Oro Universal Bank, Bank of Philippine compromises his position as an officer and exhibits him
Islands, United Coconut Planter's Bank and Planter's as morally unworthy to remain in the honorable
Development Bank; motor vehicles registered under his profession of arms.
and his wifes names such as 1998 Toyota Hilux Utility
Vehicle with Plate Nr. WRY-843, Toyota Car with Plate
13
CHARGE II: VIOLATION OF THE 97TH ARTICLE On Specification 1 of Charge 1 Guilty except the words
OF WAR (CONDUCT PREJUDICIAL TO GOOD dollar deposits with Land Bank of the Phils, dollar peso
ORDER AND MILITARY DISCIPLINE). deposits with Allied Bank, Banco de Oro, Universal
Bank, Bank of the Philippine Island, United Coconut
SPECIFICATION 1: In that MAJOR GENERAL Planters Bank and Planters Development Bank.
CARLOS FLORES GARCIA 0-5820 ARMED FORCES
OF THE PHILIPPINES, person subject to military law, On Specification 2 of Charge 1 Guilty except the words
did, on or about 16 March 2004, knowingly, wrongfully dollar deposits with Land Bank of the Phils, dollar peso
and unlawfully make untruthful statements under oath of deposits with Allied Bank, Banco de Oro, Universal
his true assets in his Statement of Assets and Liabilities Bank, Bank of the Philippine Island, United Coconut
and Net worth for the year 2003 as required by Republic Planters Bank and Planters Development Bank.
Act No. 3019, as amended in relation to Republic Act
6713, conduct prejudicial to good order and military On Specification 3 of Charge 1 Guilty
discipline. On Specification 1 of Charge 2 Guilty
SPECIFICATION NO. 2: In that MAJOR GENERAL On Specification 2 of Charge 2 Guilty
CARLOS FLORES GARCIA 0-5820 ARMED FORCES
OF THE PHILIPPINES, person subject to military law, And again in closed session upon secret written ballot 2/3
did, on or about 11 March 2003, knowingly, wrongfully all the members are present at the time the votes was taken
and unlawfully make untruthful statements under oath of concurrently sentences you to be dishonorably
his true assts in his Statement of Assets and Liabilities and [discharged] from the service, to forfeit all pay and
Net worth for the year 2002 as required by Republic Act allowances due and to become due and to be confined at
No. 3019, as amended in relation to Republic Act 6713, hard labor at such place the reviewing authority may
conduct prejudicial to good order and military discipline. direct for a period of two (2) years. So ordered.
(Emphases supplied)
Petitioner, upon arraignment on November 16, 2004,
pleaded not guilty on all the charges. Afterwards, in a document dated March 27, 2006, the
Staff Judge Advocate stated the following recommended
The Office of the Chief of Staff, through a Memorandum action:
directed the transfer of confinement of petitioner from his
quarters at Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo to the ISAFP IV. RECOMMENDED ACTION:
Detention Center. On the same day, petitioner, having The court, after evaluating the evidence, found accused:
reached the age of fifty-six (56), compulsorily retired GUILTY on Charge 1, GUILTY on Specification 1 on
from military service after availing of the provisions of Charge 1 except the words dollar deposits with Land
Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 1650, amending Sections Bank of the Philippines, dollar and peso deposits with
3 and 5 of P.D. 1638, which establishes a system of Allied Banking Corporation, Banco de Oro Universal
retirement for military personnel of the Armed Forces of Bank, Bank of the Philippine Islands, United Coconut
the Philippines. Planter's Bank and Planter's Development Bank;
Pursuant to a Resolution dated June 1, 2005 of the Second GUILTY on Charge 1, Specification 2 except the words
Division of the Sandiganbayan, petitioner was transferred dollar deposits with Land Bank of the Philippines, dollar
from the ISAFP Detention Center to the Camp Crame and peso deposits with Allied Banking Corporation,
Custodial Detention Center. Banco de Oro Universal Bank, Bank of the Philippine
Islands, United Coconut Planters Bank and Planter's
After trial, at the Special General Court Martial No. 2, on Development Bank; GUILTY on Specification 3 of
December 2, 2005, the findings or the After-Trial Charge 1; GUILTY on Charge 2 and all its specifications.
Report5of the same court was read to the petitioner. The The sentence imposed by the Special GCM is to be
report contains the following verdict and sentence: dishonorably discharged from the service, to forfeit all
MGEN CARLOS FLORES GARCIA 0-5820 AFP the pay and allowances due and to become due; and to be
court in closed session upon secret written ballot 2/3 of all confined at hard labor at such place the reviewing
the members present at the time the voting was taken authority may direct for a period of two (2) years. As it is,
the sentence is proper and legal. Recommend that the
concurring the following findings. Finds you:
sentence be approved. The PNP custodial facility in Camp

14
Crame, Quezon City, is the appropriate place of Philippines versus Major General Carlos Flores Garcia
confinement. The period of confinement from 18 October AFP:
2004 shall be credited in his favor and deducted from the
two (2) years to which the accused was sentenced. Thus, a) To be dishonorable discharged from the service;
confinement will expire on 18 October 2006. Considering b) To forfeit all pay and allowances due and to become
that the period left not served is less than one (1) year, due; and
confinement at the National Penitentiary is no longer
appropriate. c) To be confined for a period of two (2) years in a
penitentiary.
4. To carry this recommendation into effect, a draft
"ACTION OF THE REVIEWING AUTHORITY" is FURTHER, pursuant to the 48th and 49th Articles of War,
hereto attached. the sentence on Major General Carlos Flores Garcia AFP
shall not be remitted/mitigated by any previous
In an undated document, the AFP Board of Military confinement. Major General Carlos Flores Garcia AFP
Review recommended the following action: shall serve the foregoing sentence effective on this date.
8. RECOMMENDED ACTION: DONE, in the City of Manila, this 9th day of September,
A. Only so much of the sentence as provides for the in the year of our Lord, Two Thousand and Eleven.
mandatory penalty of dismissal from the military service Consequently, on September 15, 2011, respondent
and forfeiture of pay and allowances due and to become Secretary of National Defense Voltaire T. Gazmin, issued
due for the offenses of violation of AW 96 (Conduct a Memorandum to the Chief of Staff, AFP for strict
Unbecoming an Officer and a Gentleman) and for implementation, the Confirmation of Sentence in the
violation of AW 97 (Conduct Prejudicial to Good Order Court Martial Case of People of the Philippines Versus
and Military Discipline) be imposed upon the Accused. Major General Carlos Flores Garcia AFP.
B. The records of the instant case should be forwarded to On September 16, 2011, petitioner was arrested and
the President thru the Chief of Staff and the Secretary of detained, and continues to be detained at the National
National Defense, for final review pursuant to AW 47, the Penitentiary, Maximum Security, Bureau of Corrections,
Accused herein being a General Officer whose case needs Muntinlupa City.
confirmation by the President.
Aggrieved, petitioner filed with this Court the present
C. To effectuate the foregoing, attached for CSAFP's petition for certiorari and petition for habeas corpus,
signature/approval is a proposed 1st alternatively. However, this Court, in its Resolution dated
Indorsement to the President, thru the Secretary of October 10, 2011, denied the petition for habeas corpus.
National Defense, recommending approval of the Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration dated
attached prepared "ACTION OF THE PRESIDENT." November 15, 2011, but was denied by this Court on
December 12, 2011.
After six (6) years and two (2) months of preventive
confinement, on December 16, 2010, petitioner was RULING:
released from the Camp Crame Detention Center. In the present case, there is no question that petitioner
The Office of the President, or the President as raised the violation against his own right to speedy
Commander-in-Chief of the AFP and acting as the disposition only when the respondent trial judge reset the
Confirming Authority under the Articles of War, case for rehearing. It is fair to assume that he would have
confirmed the sentence imposed by the Court Martial just continued to sleep on his right a situation amounting
against petitioner. The Confirmation of Sentence, reads in to laches had the respondent judge not taken the
part: initiative of determining the non-completion of the
records and of ordering the remedy precisely so he could
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BENIGNO S. AQUINO III, the dispose of the case. The matter could have taken a
President as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of different dimension if during all those ten years between
the Philippines, do hereby confirm the sentence imposed 1979 when accused filed his memorandum and 1989
by the Court Martial in the case of People of the when the case was reraffled, the accused showed signs of
asserting his right which was granted him in 1987 when
15
the new constitution took effect, or at least made some probable cause against petitioners for violation of Section
overt act (like a motion for early disposition or a motion 3(e) of Republic Act 3019, otherwise known as Anti-
to compel the stenographer to transcribe stenographic Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. The Information
notes) that he was not waiving it. As it is, his silence prepared and signed by Caares was submitted to Deputy
would have to be interpreted as a waiver of such right. Ombudsman for the Visayas Primo Miro who
recommended the approval of the Information on June 5,
While this Court recognizes the right to speedy 2003. However, the final approval of Acting Ombudsman
disposition quite distinctly from the right to a speedy trial, Orlando Casimiro came only on May 21, 2009, and on
and although this Court has always zealously espoused June 19, 2009, the Information was filed before the
protection from oppressive and vexatious delays not Sandiganbayan.
attributable to the party involved, at the same time, we
hold that a party's individual rights should not work Coscolluela filed a Motion to Quash on July 9, 2009,
against and preclude the people's equally important right arguing that his constitutional right to speedy disposition
to public justice. In the instant case, three people died as of cases was violated as the criminal charges against him
a result of the crash of the airplane that the accused was were resolved only after almost eight (8) years since the
flying. It appears to us that the delay in the disposition of complaint was instituted. Nacionales, Malvas and
the case prejudiced not just the accused but the people as Amugod later adopted Coscolluelas motion. An
well. Since the accused has completely failed to assert his Opposition to Motion to Quash dated August 27, 2009,
right seasonably and inasmuch as the respondent judge was filed by the respondents on the ground that the
was not in a position to dispose of the case on the merits Information has to go through careful review and revision
due to the absence of factual basis, we hold it proper and before its final approval.
equitable to give the parties fair opportunity to obtain (and
The Sandiganbayan denied petitioners Motion to Quash
the court to dispense) substantial justice in the premises.
in a Resolution dated October 6, 2009 for lack of merit. It
Time runs against the slothful and those who neglect their held that the period of delay cannot be deemed as
rights. In fact, the delay in the confirmation of his inordinate and petitioners constitutional right to speedy
sentence was to his own advantage, because without the disposition of cases was not violated. On November 6 and
confirmation from the President, his sentence cannot be 9, 2009, petitioners filed their respective Motions for
served. Reconsideration, which were later denied by the
Sandiganbayan in its Resolution dated February 10, 2010,
for lack of merit.
2. COSCOLLUELLA VS. SANDIGANBAYAN Hence, these consolidated Petitions for Certiorari.
Facts:
Issue:
Coscolluela served as governor of the Province of Negros Whether the Sandiganbayan gravely abused its discretion
Occidental for three full terms which ended on June 30, in finding that petitioners right to speedy disposition of
2001. During his tenure, Nacionales served as his Special cases was not violated.
Projects Division Head, Amugod as Nacionales
subordinate and Malvas as Provincial Health Officer. Held:
On November 9, 2001, a letter-complaint from Peoples The petitions are meritorious. The Court holds that
Graftwatch was received by the Office of the petitioners right to a speedy disposition of their criminal
Ombudsman, requesting for assistance to investigate the case had been violated due to the following grounds:
anomalous purchase of medical and agricultural
equipment for the province in the amount of P First, it is observed that the preliminary investigation
20,000,000.00. After the Case Building Team of the proceedings took a protracted amount of time to
Office of the Ombudsman conducted its investigation, a complete;
Final Evaluation Report dated April 16, 2002 upgraded Second, the delay in the Ombudsman resolution of the
the complaint into a criminal case against petitioners. case largely remains unjustified;
A Resolution dated March 27, 2003, was prepared by
Graft Investigation Officer Butch Caares, finding

16
Third, the Court deems that petitioners cannot be faulted
for their alleged failure to assert their right to speedy
disposition of cases; and
Fourth, the Court finally recognizes the prejudice caused
to the petitioners by the lengthy delay in the proceedings
against them.
Perforce, the October 6, 2009 and February 10, 2010
Resolutions of Sandiganbayan must be set aside and the
criminal case against petitioners be dismissed. The
acquittal of the petitioners does not necessarily follow that
petitioners are entirely exculpated from any civil liability
as provided for by Section 2, Rule 111 of the Rules of
Court, unless the judgment of acquittal explicitly declares
that the act or omission from which the civil liability may
arise did not exist.
Moreover, the Court is unable to make a definite
pronouncement as to whether petitioners indeed
committed the acts or omissions from which any civil
liability on their part might arise as prescribed under
Section 2, Rule 120 of the Rules of Court, thus, the
Province is not precluded from instituting a subsequent
civil case based on the delict if only to recover the amount
of P 20, 000, 000.00 in public funds attributable to
petitioners alleged malfeasance.

17
XVIII. SELF INCRIMINATION CLAUSE constitutional provision, while the Supreme Court of
Nevada could go so far as to require the defendant to roll
A. GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS up his sleeve in order to disclose tattoo marks, and while
1. VILLAFLOR VS. SUMMERS the Supreme Court of the Philippine Islands could permit
substances taken from the person of an accused to be
FACTS: offered in evidence, none of these even approach in
In a criminal case pending before the CFI of apparent harshness an order to make a woman, possibly
Manila, EMETERIA VILLAFLOR and FLORENTINO innocent, to disclose her body in all of its sanctity to the
SOUINGCO are charged with the crime of adultery. On gaze of strangers. We can only consistently consent to the
this case coming on for trial before the Hon. Pedro retention of a principle which would permit of such a
Concepcion, Judge of First Instance, upon the petition of result by adhering steadfastly to the proposition that the
the assistant fiscal for the city of Manila, the court ordered purpose of the constitutional provision was and is merely
the defendant Villaflor, petitioner herein, to submit her to prohibit testimonial compulsion.
body to the examination of one or two competent doctors
to determine if she was pregnant or not. The accused Here in the Philippines, being in the agreeable state of
refused to obey the order on the ground that such breaking new ground, we would rather desire our
examination of her person was a violation of the decision to rest on a strong foundation of reason and
constitutional provision relating to self- justice than on a weak one of blind adherence to tradition
incrimination. Thereupon she was found in contempt of and precedent. Moreover, we believe that an unbiased
court and was ordered to be imprisoned in Bilibid Prison consideration of the history of the constitutional provision
until she should permit the medical examination required will disclose that our conclusion is in exact accord with
by the court. the causes which led to its adoption.
The sole legal issue arising from the facts is whether the
compelling of a woman to permit her body to be examined Perhaps the best way to test the correctness of our position
by physicians to determine if she is pregnant, violates that is to go back once more to elementals and ponder on what
portion of the Philippine Bill of Rights and that portion of is the prime purpose of a criminal trial. As we view it,
the Code of Criminal Procedure which find their origin in the object of having criminal laws is to purge the
the Constitution of the United States, providing that no community of persons who violate the laws to the great
person shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a prejudice of their fellow men. Criminal procedure, the
witness against himself. rules of evidence, and constitutional provisions, are then
provided not to protect the guilty but to protect the
Counsel for petitioner argues that such bodily exhibition innocent. No rule is intended to be so rigid as to
is an infringement of the constitutional provision; the embarrass the administration of justice in its endeavor to
representative of the city fiscal contends that it is not an ascertain the truth. No accused person should be afraid of
infringement of the constitutional provision. The trial the use of any method which will tend to establish the
judge in the instant case has held with the fiscal; while it truth. For instance, under the facts before us, to use
is brought to our notice that a judge of the same court has torture to make the defendant admit her guilt might only
held on an identical question as contended for by the result in inducing her to tell a falsehood. But no evidence
attorney for the accused and petitioner. of physical facts can for any substantial reason be held to
be detrimental to the accused except in so far as the truth
is to be avoided in order to acquit a guilty person.
ISSUE: WON compelling a woman to be examined by
physicians to determine if she is pregnant violates her
right against self-incrimination. Obviously a stirring plea can be made showing that under
the due process of law clause of the Constitution every
RULING: Here before us is presented what would seem
person has a natural and inherent right to the possession
to be the most extreme case which could be
and control of his own body. It is extremely abhorrent to
imagined. While the United States Supreme Court could
one's sense of decency and propriety to have to decide that
nonchalantly decree that testimony that an accused person
such inviolability of the person, particularly of a woman,
put on a blouse and it fitted him is not a violation of the
can be invaded by exposure to another's gaze. As Mr.
18
Justice Gray in Union Pacific Railway absolute terms, it should, nevertheless, be understood as
Co. vs.Botsford said, "To compel any one, and especially subject to the limitations herein mentioned, and therefore
a woman, to lay bare the body, or to submit to the touch legal. The writ of habeas corpus prayed for is hereby
of a stranger, without lawful authority, is an indignity, an denied. The costs shall be taxed against, the petitioner.
assault, and a trespass." Conceded, and yet, as well
suggested by the same court, even superior to the 2. FRANCISCO BELTRAN v. FELIX SAMSON,
complete immunity of a person to be let alone is the Judge of the Second Judicial District, and
interest which the public has in the orderly administration FRANCISCO JOSE, Provincial Fiscal of Isabela
of justice. Unfortunately, all too frequently the modesty G.R. No. 32025, September 23, 1929, Romualdez, J.
of witnesses is shocked by forcing them to answer,
without any mental evasion, questions which are put to The act of writing for the purpose of comparing a
them; and such a tendency to degrade the witness in persons handwriting constitutes evidence against himself
public estimation does not exempt him from the duty of within the scope and meaning of the right against self-
disclosure. Between a sacrifice of the ascertainment of incrimination.
truth to personal considerations, between a disregard of Facts:
the public welfare for refined notions of delicacy, law and
justice cannot hesitate. Petitioner Beltran complains that respondent Judge
Samson ordered him to appear before the provincial fiscal
Fully conscious that we are resolving a most extreme case to take dictation in his own handwriting from the latter.
in a sense, which on first impression is a shock to one's The order was given upon petition of Fiscal Jose for the
sensibilities, we must nevertheless enforce the purpose of comparing the Beltran's handwriting and
constitutional provision in this jurisdiction in accord with determining whether or not it is he who wrote certain
the policy and reason thereof, undeterred by merely documents supposed to be falsified.
sentimental influences. Once again we lay down the rule
Issue:
that
Whether the writing from the fiscal's dictation by
the constitutional guaranty, that no person shall be
the petitioner for the purpose of comparing the latter's
compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against
handwriting constitutes evidence against himself within
himself, is limited to a prohibition against compulsory
the scope and meaning of the right against self-
testimonial self-incrimination. The corollary to the
incrimination.
proposition is that, on a proper showing and under an
order of the trial court, an ocular inspection of the Ruling:
body of the accused is permissible.
YES. Writing is something more than moving the body,
or the hands, or the fingers; writing is not a purely
mechanical act, because it requires the application of
The proviso is that torture or force shall be
intelligence and attention; and in the case at bar writing
avoided. Whether facts fall within or without the rule
means that the petitioner herein is to furnish a means to
with its corollary and proviso must, of course, be decided
determine whether or not he is the falsifier, as the petition
as cases arise.
of the respondent fiscal clearly states.
It is a reasonable presumption that in an examination by The Court ruled that purposes of the constitutional
reputable and disinterested physicians due care will be privilege, there is a similarity between one who is
taken not to use violence and not to embarrass the patient compelled to produce a document, and one who is
any more than is absolutely necessary. Indeed, no compelled to furnish a specimen of his handwriting, for in
objection to the physical examination being made by the both cases, the witness is required to furnish evidence
family doctor of the accused or by doctor of the same sex against himself. The present case is more serious than that
can be seen. of compelling the production of documents or chattels,
because here the witness is compelled to write and create,
Although the order of the trial judge, acceding to the by means of the act of writing, evidence which does not
request of the assistant fiscal for an examination of the exist, and which may identify him as the falsifier.
person of the defendant by physicians was phrased in
19
3. ARNEL L. AGUSTIN v. HON. COURT OF Judgment of conviction was for qualified theft of a motor
APPEALS and MINOR MARTIN JOSE vehicle (thunderbird car together with accessories)
PROLLAMANTE, represented by his
An information was filed against the accused together
mother/guardian FE ANGELA PROLLAMANTE
with other accused, that they conspired, with intent to gain
The kernel of the right against self-incrimination is not and abuse of confidence without the consent of owner Dy
against all compulsion, but against testimonial Lim, took the vehicle.
compulsion. It does not apply where the evidence sought
All the accused plead not guilty.
to be excluded is not an incrimination but as part of object
evidence. During the trial, the fiscal grecia (prosecution) asked
roger Chavez to be the first witness. Counsel of the
Facts:
accused opposed. Fiscal Grecia contends that the accused
Fe Angela and her son Martin Prollamante sued Martins (Chavez) will only be an ordinary witness not an state
alleged biological father, Arnel L. Agustin, for support witness. Counsel of accused answer that it will only
and support pendente lite before the Regional Trial Court incriminate his client. But the jugde ruled in favor of the
(RTC) of Quezon City, Branch 106. For his part, Agustin fiscal on the grounds that (1) the right of the prosecution
denied being the father of the child. Later, Fe and Martin to ask anybody to act as witness on the witness stand
moved for the issuance of an order directing all the parties including the accused (2) If there should be any question
to submit themselves to DNA paternity testing pursuant that is incriminating then that is the time for counsel to
to Rule 28 of the Rules of Court. Arnel opposed said interpose his objection and the court will sustain him if
motion by invoking his constitutional right against self- and when the court feels that the answer of this witness to
incrimination. The trial court ordered the parties to submit the question would incriminate him. (3) Counsel has all
themselves to DNA paternity testing at the expense of the the assurance that the court will not require the witness to
applicants. The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court. answer questions which would incriminate him.
Thus, this petition.
Prosecution version of what happened:
Issue:
Chavez saw Lee driving the thunderbird(car) and
Whether DNA paternity testing can be considered as a asked if it is for sale. Lee answered yes. Chavez met
violation of the constitutional right against self- Sumilang and informed about the car. The two went to
incrimination. Asistio and made a plan to capitalize on Romeo Vasquez'
reputation as a wealthy movie star, introduce him as a
Ruling:
buyer to someone who was selling a car and, after the
NO. The kernel of the right is not against all compulsion, deed of sale is signed, by trickery to run away with the
but against testimonial compulsion. The right against self- car. Asistio would then register it, sell it to a third person
incrimination is simply against the legal process of for a profit. Chavez known to be a car agent was included
extracting from the lips of the accused an admission of in the plan. He furnished the name of Johnson Lee who
guilt. It does not apply where the evidence sought to be was selling his Thunderbird. Chavez arranged the meeting
excluded is not an incrimination but as part of object with Lee. They agreed on the price and went to Dy Sunk
evidence. which is the registered owner of the car. Deed of sale was
drawn and signed by Sumilang. At Eugene's, a man
4. CHAVEZ VS. COURT OF APPEALS approached Sumilang with a note which stated that the
FACTS: money was ready at the Dalisay Theater. Sumilang then
wrote on the same note that the money should be brought
This is a petition for habeas corpus. Petitioner invoking to the restaurant. At the same time he requested Lee to
jurisdiction of the Supreme Court that he is entitled to be exhibit the deed of sale of the car to the note bearer. The
freed from imprisonment upon ground that trial which two Chinese were left alone in the restaurant. The two
resulted his conviction, HE WAS DENIED OF HIS Chinese could not locate Sumilang and Chavez. They
CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT NOT TO BE went out to the place where the Thunderbird was parked,
COMPELLED TO TESTIFY AGAINST HIMSELF. found that it was gone. They then immediately reported

20
its loss to the police. Much later, the NBI recovered the Petitioner was enveloped by a coercive force; they
already repainted car and impounded it. Chavez, deprived him of his will to resist; they foreclosed choice.
Sumilang and Asistio converged that same day at Barrio With all these, we have no hesitancy in saying that
Fiesta, a restaurant at Highway 54 near the Balintawak petitioner was forced to testify to incriminate himself, in
monument in Caloocan. There, Asistio handed to full breach of his constitutional right to remain silent. It
Sumilang P1,000.00 cash and a golf set worth P800.00 as cannot be said now that he has waived his right. He did
the latter's share in the transaction. On the 14th of not volunteer to take the stand and in his own defense; he
November, the registration of the car was transferred in did not offer himself as a witness; on the contrary, he
the name of Sumilang in Cavite City, and three days later, claimed the right upon being called to testify.
in the name of Asistio in Caloocan.
There is no waiver of the privilege. "To be effective, a
Sumilangs verson (one of the accused): waiver must be certain and unequivocal, and intelligently,
understandably, and willingly made; such waiver
Sumilang saw Chavez at gas station and told following only where liberty of choice has been fully
about the Thunderbird. They raised the money. Chavez accorded. After a claim a witness cannot properly be held
went to Sumilang house and asked if he was ready for the to have waived his privilege on vague and uncertain
rest of money. He affirmed. At Eugenes Sumilang saw evidence
Pascual and warned Chavez was a smart agent and
advised that Sumilang should be careful. Then the deed of The course which petitioner takes is correct. Habeas
sale was executed. Two or three days after, Asistio offered corpus is a high prerogative writ. 31 It is traditionally
to buy the car of Sumilang and tendered the down considered as an exceptional remedy to release a person
payment. whose liberty is illegally restrained such as when the
accused's constitutional rights are disregarded. A void
Trial court gave credence to the testimony of Sumilang. judgment is in legal effect no judgment. By it no rights
As to Chavez, his testimony established his guilt beyond are divested. From it no rights can be obtained. Being
reasonable doubt and branded him Self confessed worthless in itself, all proceedings founded upon it are
culprit. equally worthless.
Trial court decision: freed all other accused except Supreme Court decision: Petition granted. Accused must
Chavez who was found guilty beyond reasonable doubt. be discharge.
Chavez appealed to the Court of appeals but it was
dismissed.
5. CABAL VS. KAPUNAN JR.
ISSUE:
FACTS:
Whether or not constitutional right of Chavez against self
incrimination had been violated? Col. Jose C. Maristela filed with the Secretary of National
Defense a letter-complaint charging petitioner Manuel
HELD: Cabal, then Chief of Staff of the AFP, with "graft, corrupt
Petitioner claims that there was a violation of right against practices, unexplained wealth, and other equally
self incrimation. reprehensible acts". The President of the Philippines
created a committee to investigate the charge of
Compulsion as it is understood here does not necessarily unexplained wealth. The Committee ordered petitioner
connote the use of violence; it may be the product of herein to take the witness stand in the administrative
unintentional statements. Pressure which operates to proceeding and be sworn to as witness for Maristela, in
overbear his will, disable him from making a free and support of his aforementioned charge of unexplained
rational choice, or impair his capacity for rational wealth. Petitioner objected to the order of the Committee,
judgment would in our opinion be sufficient invoking his constitutional right against self-
incrimination. The Committee insisted that petitioner take
During the trial, the petitioner declined to be a witness but
the witness stand and be sworn to, subject to his right to
the judge had impliedly forced him by saying that the
refuse to answer such questions as may be incriminatory.
prosecution has the right and that his testimony will not
This notwithstanding, petitioner respectfully refused to be
be used against him.
sworn to as a witness to take the witness stand.
21
The Committee referred the matter to the Fiscal of pursued to the extent of requiring self-incrimination will
Manila, for such action as he may deem proper. The City not justify the refusal to answer questions. However,
Fiscal filed with the Court of First Instance of Manila a where the position of the witness is virtually that of an
"charge" of contempt for failing to obey the order of the accused on trial, it would appear that he may invoke the
Committee to take the witness stand. The "charge" was privilege in support of a blanket refusal to answer any and
assigned to the sala of respondent judge Kapunan. all questions.
Petitioner filed with respondent Judge a motion to quash,
which was denied. Hence this petition for certiorari and Note: It is not disputed that the accused in a criminal case
prohibition. may refuse, not only to answer incriminatory questions,
but, also, to take the witness stand.
ISSUE: Whether or not the Committee's order requiring
petitioner to take the witness stand violates his
constitutional right against self-incrimination.
6. PASCUAL, JR. VS. BOARD OF MEDICAL
HELD: Yes. EXAMINERS
Although the said Committee was created to investigate Facts:
the administrative charge of unexplained wealth, it seems
that the purpose of the charge against petitioner is to apply Petitioner Arsenio Pascual, Jr. filed an action for
the provisions of the Anti-Graft Law, which authorizes prohibition against the Board of Medical Examiners. It
the forfeiture to the State of property of a public officer or was alleged therein that at the initial hearing of an
employee which is manifestly out of proportion to his administrative case for alleged immorality, counsel for
salary as such public officer or employee and his other complainants announced that he would present as his first
lawful income and the income from legitimately acquired witness the petitioner. Thereupon, petitioner,
property. However, such forfeiture has been held to through counsel, made of record his objection, relying on
partake of the nature of a penalty. As a consequence, the constitutional right to be exempt from being a witness
proceedings for forfeiture of property are deemed against himself. Petitioner then alleged that to compel him
criminal or penal, and, hence, the exemption of to take the witness stand, the Board of Examiners was
defendants in criminal case from the obligation to be guilty, at the very least, of grave abuse of discretion
witnesses against themselves are applicable thereto. for failure to respect the constitutional right against self-
incrimination.
No person shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a
witness against himself. This prohibition against The answer of respondent Board, while admitting the
compelling a person to take the stand as a witness against facts stressed that it could call petitioner to the witness
himself applies to criminal, quasi-criminal, and penal stand and interrogate him, the right against self-
proceedings, including a proceeding civil in form for incrimination being available only when a question
forfeiture of property by reason of the commission of an calling for an incriminating answer is asked of a witness.
offense, but not a proceeding in which the penalty They likewise alleged that the right against self-
recoverable is civil or remedial in nature. incrimination cannot be availed of in an administrative
hearing.
The privilege of a witness not to incriminate himself is not
infringed by merely asking the witness a question which Petitioner was sustained by the lower court in his plea that
he refuses to answer. The privilege is simply an option of he could not be compelled to be the first witness of the
refusal, and not a prohibition of inquiry. A question is not complainants, he being the party proceeded against in an
improper merely because the answer may tend to administrative charge for malpractice. Hence, this appeal
incriminate but, where a witness exercises his by respondent Board.
constitutional right not to answer, a question by counsel
as to whether the reason for refusing to answer is because Issue:
the answer may tend to incriminate the witness is Whether or Not compelling petitioner to be the first
improper. witness of the complainants violates the Self-
Incrimination Clause.
The possibility that the examination of the witness will be

22
Held: surrounding the killing and conduct exhaustive
investigation of all aspects of the tragedy.
The Supreme Court held that in an administrative hearing
against a medical practitioner for alleged malpractice, Upon the termination of the investigation, private
respondent Board of Medical Examiners cannot, respondents were charged as accessories. In the course of
consistently with the self-incrimination clause, compel the trial, the Prosecution marked and offered as part of its
the person proceeded against to take the witness stand evidence, the individual testimonies of private
without his consent. The Court found for the petitioner in respondents before the Agrava Board. Private
accordance with the well-settled principle that "the respondents objected to the admission of said exhibits
accused in a criminal case may refuse, not only to answer contending that its admission will be in derogation of his
incriminatory questions, but, also, to take the witness constitutional right against self-incrimination and
stand." If petitioner would be compelled to testify against violative of the immunity granted by P.D. 1886. For their
himself, he could suffer not the forfeiture of property but part, TANODBAYAN contended that the immunity
the revocation of his license as a medical practitioner. The relied upon by the private respondents in support of their
constitutional guarantee protects as well the right to motions to exclude their respective testimonies, was not
silence: "The accused has a perfect right to remain silent available to them because of their failure to invoke their
and his silence cannot be used as a presumption of his right against self-incrimination before the ad hoc Fact
guilt." It is the right of a defendant to forego testimony, to Finding Board.
remain silent, unless he chooses to take the witness stand
with undiluted, unfettered exercise of his own free Issue:
genuine will." Whether the testimonies given by private
respondents who did not invoke their rights against self-
The reason for this constitutional guarantee, along with incrimination before the Agrava Board are admissible.
other rights granted an accused, stands for a belief that
while crime should not go unpunished and that the truth Ruling:
must be revealed, such desirable objectives should not be NO. Their continued testifying may be construed as a
accomplished according to means or methods offensive to waiver of their rights to remain silent and not to be
the high sense of respect accorded the human personality. compelled to be a witness against themselves if they have
More and more in line with the democratic creed, the the option to do so. But in the light of the first portion of
deference accorded an individual even those suspected of Section 5 of P.D. 1886 and the awesome contempt power
the most heinous crimes is given due weight. The of the Board to punish any refusal to testify or produce
constitutional foundation underlying the privilege is the evidence, the Court is not persuaded that when they
respect a government ... must accord to the dignity and testified, they voluntarily waived their constitutional
integrity of its citizens. rights not to be compelled to be a witness against
themselves much less their right to remain silent.
Furthermore, the privilege has consistently been held to
B. IMMUNITY STATUTES extend to all proceedings sanctioned by law and to all
cases in which punishment is sought to be visited upon a
7) GALMAN V. PAMARAN
witness, whether a party or not. If in a mere forfeiture
The individual testimonies of respondents in a case case where only property rights were involved, "the right
cannot be admitted against them in all criminal not to be compelled to be a witness against himself" is
proceeding. This is true regardless of absence of claim of secured in favor of the defendant, then with more reason
constitutional privilege or of the presence of a grant of it cannot be denied to a person facing investigation before
immunity by law. a Fact Finding Board where his life and liberty, by reason
of the statements to be given by him, hang on the balance.
Facts:
Decidedly then, the right "not to be compelled to testify
Due to the death of Former Senator Benigno S. Aquino, against himself" applies to the herein private respondents
Jr. and Rolando Galman, P.D. 1886 was promulgated notwithstanding that the proceedings before the Agrava
creating an ad hoc Fact Finding Board (Agrava Board) Board is not, in its strictest sense, a criminal case for it is
which is tasked to determine the facts and circumstances

23
not the character of the suit involved but the nature of the YES. Contrary to the ruling of the respondent court, the
proceedings that controls. failure of petitioners to testify in the RICO cases against
the Marcoses in New York cannot nullify their immunity.
8) PLACIDO L. MAPA, JR., and J. LORENZO
VERGARA v. SANDIGANBAYAN They have satisfied the requirements both of the law and
the parties' implementing agreements. Under section 5 of
Immunity statues, in effect, compels a person to disclose E.O. No. 14, as amended, their duty was to give
information which such person may otherwise refuse to information to the prosecution, and they did.
disclose on the ground of his right against self-
incrimination. Those given the privilege of immunity paid Under their Memorandum of Agreement, they promised
a high price for it the surrender of their precious right to make themselves available as witnesses in the said
to be silent. Our hierarchy of values demands that the RICO cases, and they did.
right against self-incrimination and the right to be silent
should be accorded greater respect and protection. Their failure to testify was not of their own making. It was
brought about by the decision of the US prosecutors who
FACTS: may have thought that their evidence was enough to
convict the Marcoses.
To insure the conviction of the Marcoses for the violation
of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act Since petitioners' failure to testify was not of their own
(RICO), the prosecution solicited the testimonies of choosing nor was it due to any fault of their own, justice
witnesses. Among these witnesses were petitioners and equity forbid that they be penalized by the withdrawal
Vergara and Mapa who were then facing charges for of their immunity.
violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act
The right against self-incrimination was stripped of its
(R.A. 3019) with the Sandiganbayan.
absoluteness. Immunity statutes in varying shapes were
Later, the Philippine Government, through the PCGG, enacted which would allow government to compel a
and the petitioners agreed in writing to make themselves witness to testify despite his plea of the right against self-
available as a witness in exchange of immunity from incrimination.
investigation, prosecution and punishment for any offense
with reference to which their testimony and information To insulate these statutes from the virus of
are given, including any offense and commission of unconstitutionality, a witness is given what has come to
be known as transactional or a use-derivative-use
which any information, directly or indirectly derived from
such testimony or other information is used as basis immunity.
thereof, except a prosecution for perjury and/or giving Quite clearly, these immunity statutes are not a bonanza
false testimony. from government. Those given the privilege of immunity
Likewise, the agreement states that cases both civil and paid a high price for it the surrender of their precious
criminal which the Republic filed or intends to file against right to be silent.
Mapa and Vergara shall be dismissed or they shall be Our hierarchy of values demands that the right against
exclude as party defendant or respondent. self-incrimination and the right to be silent should be
The petitioners complied with their respective accorded greater respect and protection.
undertaking. But despite their availability and willingness Laws that tend to erode the force of these preeminent
to testify, the US prosecutors decided not to call them to rights must necessarily be given a liberal interpretation in
the witness stand. As a result, the case against Marcos was favor of the individual. The government has a right to
dismissed. Later, petitioners moved to dismiss the cases solve crimes but it must do it, rightly.
against them before the Sandiganbayan however it was
denied. Hence this petition.
ISSUE:
Whether Sandiganbayan committed grave abuse of
discretion when it denied petitioners' motion to dismiss.
RULING:
24
9) TANCHANCO v. SANDIGANBAYAN other act revealed by him in the course of his cooperation
with the PCGG.
The decision to grant immunity from prosecution
is a deliberate renunciation of the right of the State to The Sandiganbayan had not given a careful consideration
prosecute all who appear to be guilty of having committed to the Cooperation Agreement when it ruled on the motion
a crime to obtain the conviction of the more guilty to dismiss.
criminals, who, otherwise, will probably elude the long
arm of the law. It resorted to generalizations such as the offenses are not
related to or connected with the testimony or information
Facts: furnished by Tanchanco or the subject matter of the
informations are NFA funds and the records do not
Tanchanco served as NFA Administrator during indicate that they have any relation whatsoever to the ill-
the presidency of Ferdinand Marcos. Tanchanco and the
gotten wealth of the Marcoses or their cronies.
PCGG entered into a Cooperation Agreement, occasioned
by the desire of Tanchanco to cooperate with the Yet from the results of the investigations that led to the
government in the location and pursuit of government institution of the charges, it is clear that the cases against
properties purloined by Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos, Tanchanco arose from the following acts or irregularities:
their agents and others. The Agreement provides that (1) the transfer of NFA funds either to Tanchanco's
Tanchanco shall provide complete truthful disclosures to personal account, the account of "Oplan Wag-Wag", or a
any inquiries in connection with the investigations. private institution; (2) the failure to account for several
classes of funds received by Tanchanco, including
In exchange, the Philippines shall not bring any civil or discretionary funds, amounts contributed to the Food
criminal charges against Tanchanco arising from (a) Production and Nutrition Fund, and other donations.
Service in or for the Marcos government; (b) any other
actions revealed by Tanchanco pursuant to his It is clear that the PCGG had precisely investigated the
cooperation. anomalous transfer of NFA funds during the Marcos
Administration, particularly the use of discretionary or
However, 22 Informations were filed with the
intelligence funds of the NFA, and that Tanchanco had
Sandiganbayan against Tanchanco. Tanchanco filed a given information relating to such investigation.
Motion to Quash all 22 cases since he was granted
immunity based on the Cooperation Agreement. The scope of the Cooperation Agreement itself precludes
the prosecution of Tanchanco under the subject charges.
The Sandiganbayan denied the motion declaring that the The Cooperation Agreement, validly undertaken between
charges could not be considered as falling within the
the PCGG and Tanchanco as it was, precludes the
immunity granted to Tanchanco as the offenses were not prosecution of Tanchanco under the subject charges.
related or connected to the testimony or information
furnished by Tanchanco in a proceeding concerning the The Sandiganbayan acted with grave abuse of discretion
recovery of the purported ill-gotten wealth of the in refusing to dismiss the charges despite its lack of
Marcoses. jurisdiction to continue hearing the cases against
Tanchanco.
Issue: Whether the Sandiganbayan acted with grave
abuse of discretion in refusing to dismiss the charges
despite its lack of jurisdiction due to the Cooperation
Agreement.
Ruling:
YES. The undertakings expressed by the
Philippine government through the PCGG in the
Cooperation Agreement are quite clear-cut, even if broad
in scope. It seemingly encompasses three classes of
actions committed by Tanchanco: those committed while
he was in the service of the Marcos government; those
committed in behalf of the Marcos government; and any

25
C. INCRIMINATION IN FOREIGN
JURISDICTIONS
10) UNITED STATES V. BALSYS
Facts of the case
Aloyzas Balsys was subpoenaed by the Justice
Department's Office of Special Investigations (OSI) to
testify about his wartime activities between 1940 and
1944 and his subsequent immigration to the United States.
Fearing prosecution by a foreign nation, Balsys refused
the subpoena by claiming his Fifth Amendment privilege
against self-incrimination. On appeal from an appellate
court's reversal of a district court ruling granting OSI's
subpoena enforcement petition, the Supreme Court
granted the United States certiorari.
Question
Is fear of foreign prosecution sufficient grounds to justify
the invocation of the Firth Amendment privilege against
self-incrimination?
Conclusion
No. In a 7-to-2 decision, the Court held that although
resident aliens are entitled to the same Fifth Amendment
protections as citizen "persons" the risk of their
deportation is not sufficient to sustain a self-incrimination
privilege intended to apply only to the United States
government. The Court explained that since the Fifth
Amendment does not bind foreign governments, and that
would not be subject to domestic enforcement of
immunity-for-testimony deals, one could not assert a self-
incrimination protection against possible prosecution at
their hands.

26
XIX. POLITICAL PRISONERS AND The authority to establish such rules and
INVOLUNTARY SERVITUDE regulations for the conduct of all persons as may
be conducive to the public interest.
1) U.S. V. POMPEYA Blackstone, in his valuable commentaries on the common
laws, defines police power as "the defenses, regulations,
- A Municipal Ordinance was enacted by the Province of
and domestic order of the country, whereby the
Iloilo pursuant to the provisions of Act No. 1309,
inhabitants of a state, like members of a well-governed
the specific purpose of which is to require each able-
family, are bound to conform their general behaviour
bodied male resident of the municipality, between the
to the rules of propriety, good neighborhood, and
ages of 18 and 55, as well as each householder when so
good manners, and to be decent, industrious, and
required by the president, to assist in the maintenance of
inoffensive in their respective stations."
peace and good order in the community, by apprehending
ladrones, etc., as well as by giving information of the
The police power of the state may be said to embrace
existence of such persons in the locality. The amendment
the whole system of internal regulation, by which the
contains a punishment for those who may be called upon
state seeks not only to preserve public order and
for such service, and who refuse to render the same.
to prevent offenses against the state, but also to establish,
for the intercourse of citizen with citizen, those rules of
A complaint was filed by the prosecuting attorney of the
good manners and good neighborhood, which are
Province of Iloilo against Pompeya with violation of the
calculated to prevent a conflict of rights, and to
said ordinance for failing to render service on patrol duty
insure to each the uninterrupted enjoyment of his
required under the same defendant argued that the
own, so far as is reasonably consistent, with a like
municipal ordinance alleged to be violated is
enjoyment of the rights of others. The police power of
unconstitutional because it is repugnant to the Organic
the state includes not only the public health and safety,
Act of the Philippines, which guarantees the liberty of the
but also the public welfare, protection against
citizens
impositions, and generally the public's best best interest.
ISSUE:
It so extensive and all pervading, that the courts refuse to
lay down a general rule defining it, but decide each
whether or not the ordinance upon which said complaint
specific case on its merits
was based is constitutional.
It will also be noted that the law authorizing the president
HELD: Yes
of the municipality to call upon persons, imposes certain
conditions as prerequisites:
The right or power conferred upon the municipalities by
Act No. 1309 falls within the police power of the state and
(1) The person called upon to render such services must
the state was fully authorized and justified in
be an able-bodied male resident of the municipality;
conferring the same upon the municipalities of
(2) he must be between the ages of 18 and 55[50], and
the Philippine Islands and that, therefore, the
(3) certain conditions must exist requiring the services of
provisions of said Act are constitutional andnot in
such persons
violation nor in derogation of the rights of the persons
affected thereby
It will not contended that a nonresident of the
municipality would be liable for his refusal to obey the
Police power has been defined as the power of the
call of the president; neither can it be logically contended
government, inherent in every sovereign, and cannot be
that one under the age of 18 or over the age of 55 [50]
limited.
would incur the penalty of the law by his refusal to obey
the command of the president.
The power vested in the legislature to make such laws as
they shall judge to be for the good of the state and its
Moreover, the persons liable for the service mentioned in
subjects.
the law cannot be called upon at the mere whim or caprice
of the president.
The power to govern men and things, extending to the
protection of the lives, limbs, health, comfort, and quiet
There must be some just and reasonable ground, at least
of all persons, and the protection of all property within
sufficient in the mind of a reasonable man, before the
the state.
president can call upon the the persons for the service

27
mentioned in the law. The law does not apply to all W/N said law is in violation of the provisions of the
persons. Philippine Bill in depriving citizens of their rights therein
guaranteed
The law does not apply to every condition. The law
applies to special persons and special conditions HELD:

A complaint based upon such a law, in order to be free Is the assailed municipal ordinance a violation of the
from objection under a demurrer, must show that the Philippine Bill?
person charged belongs to the class of persons to
which the law is applicable The municipal ordinance was enacted pursuant to the
provisions of Act No. 1309, the specific purpose of which
Even admitting all of the facts in the complaint in the is to require each able-bodied male resident of the
present case, the court would be unable to impose the municipality, between the ages of 18 and 55, as well as
punishment provided for by law, because it does not show each householder when so required by the president, to
(a) that the defendant was a male citizen of the assist in the maintenance of peace and good order in the
municipality; community, by apprehending ladrones, etc., as well as by
(b) that he was an able-bodied citizen; giving information of the existence of such persons in the
(c) that he was not under 18years of age nor over 55 [50]; locality. The amendment contains a punishment for those
nor (d) that conditions existed which justified the who may be called upon for such service, and who refuse
president of the municipality in calling upon him for the to render the same.
services mentioned in the law
The question asked by the Supreme Court is whether there
ANOTHER VERSION: is anything in the law, organic or otherwise, in force in the
Philippine Islands, which prohibits the central
U.S. V. POMPEYA Government, or any governmental entity connected
therewith, from adopting or enacting rules and regulations
- police power of the state for the maintenance of peace and good government?
- "general welfare" clause
In answering this, the Supreme Court cited the tribal
FACTS: relations of the primitive man, the feudal system, the days
of the "hundreds" -- all of which support the idea of an
This case is regarding the complaint filed by the ancient obligation of the individual to assist in the
prosecuting attorney of the Province of Iloilo, charging protection of the peace and good order of his community.
Silvestre Pompeya with violation of the municipal
ordinance of Iloilo for willfully, illegally, and criminally The Supreme Court held that the power exercised under
and without justifiable motive failing to render service on the provisions of Act No. 1309 falls within the police
patrol duty, required under said municipal ordinance. power of the state and that the state was fully authorized
and justified in conferring the same upon the
Upon arraignment, Pompeya presented a demurrer, municipalities of the Philippine Islands and that,
stating that the acts charged in the complaint do not therefore, the provisions of the said Act are constitutional
constitute a crime and that the municipal ordinance is and not in violation nor in derogation of the rights of the
unconstitutional for being repugnant to the Organic Act persons affected thereby.
of the Philippines, which guarantees the liberty of the
citizens. Is there a cause of action?

The trial judge sustained said demurrer and ordered the The complain is unable to show (a) that the defendant was
dismissal of the complaint. a male citizen of the municipality; (b) that he was an able-
bodied citizen; (c) that he was not under 18 years of age
Hence, this appeal. nor over 55; nor (d) that conditions existed which justified
the president of the municipality in calling upon him for
ISSUE: the services mentioned in the law.

W/N the facts stated in the complaint are sufficient to "For all of the foregoing reasons, the judgment of the
show a cause of action under the said law lower court is hereby affirmed, with costs. So ordered."

28
XX. EXCESSIVE FINES AND CRUEL punishment and which does not serve justice to the society
PUNISHMENTS and to the victims too. This was also replicated in the case
of McDonald v. Commonwealth. Furthermore, it is vital
1) WEEMS V. UNITED STATES to realize that as time changes and new dawns emerge
Facts with regard to the respect of human rights and realization
of human dignity, new conditions and intents must also be
Weems had been posted in Philippines as an officer of the upheld by the law. The law, therefore, must be able to be
Bureau of the Coast Guard. He was sent there by the applied in a much wider application by the judiciary more
United States government because he had met the than the mischief that the legislature intended to cure.
qualifications to be appointed as such. However, he was Therefore, the language used in the statute should not be
charged with fraud. He was sentenced according to the used to undermine the progressive nature that laws have
Philippine penal code to 15 years on prison life with hard acquired after many years of consistent reforms and
labor. He was also in chains most of the time. He was deliberations.
fined and lost all his rights after imprisonment. He
appealed on the grounds of unusual punishment and
cruelty against his person.
2) PEOPLE V. ECHEGARAY
Issues FACTS:
The question before the court was what constituted
unusual and cruel punishment? The court was also to The SC rendered a decision in the instant case affirming
determine whether the sentenced handed to the accused the conviction of the accused-appellant for the crime of
raping his ten-year old daughter. The crime having been
was cruel punishment for the offence committed? Were
committed sometime in April, 1994, during which time
the government agencies to be deterred from carrying out
Republic Act (R.A.) No. 7659, commonly known as the
this punishment as handed down by the court? Death Penalty Law, was already in effect, accused-
Rule appellant was inevitably meted out the supreme penalty
of death.
The punishment meted towards an individual must be
proportionate to the crime that the accused has been found The accused-appellant timely filed a Motion for
guilty for. Moreover, the provision of legislations and Reconsideration which focused on the sinister motive of
constitution should be interpreted progressively in light of the victim's grandmother that precipitated the filing of the
enlightening the administration of justice and attaining alleged false accusation of rape against the accused. This
human justice. Moreover the 8th amendment should be was dismissed.
upheld.
On August 6, 1996, accused-appellant discharged the
Application defense counsel, Atty. Julian R. Vitug, and retained the
services of the Anti-Death Penalty Task Force of the Free
The Supreme Court held that the sentence handed to the Legal Assistance Group of the Philippines.
accused was indeed cruel and an unusual punishment.
The court reasoned in line with the proportionality A supplemental Motion for Reconsideration prepared by
principle that has been enshrined in the Eighth the FLAG on behalf of accused-appellant.
Amendment. The sentence should be proportionate to the
crime committed otherwise the court will be meting out In sum, the Supplemental Motion for Reconsideration
an injustice at the table of where justice is served. raises three (3) main issues: (1) mixed factual and legal
Moreover, the court also sought to have a clear definition matters relating to the trial proceedings and findings; (2)
of what entails cruel and unusual punishment. In the alleged incompetence of accused-appellant's former
ordinary sense of the word, this constitutes inhuman and counsel; and (3) purely legal question of the
constitutionality of R.A. No. 7659.
degrading treatment.
Conclusion ISSUE: Whether or not Article III, Section 19 (1)
absolutely abolished the death penalty.
Other scholars have also argued that long-term
imprisonment also constitutes a form of cruel and unusual

29
RATIO: Pursuant to this constitutional mandate, the Senate
proceeded to a two-step process consisting of: first, the
One of the indispensable powers of the state is the power decision, as a matter of policy, to re-impose the death
to secure society against threatened and actual penalty or not; and second, the vote to pass on the third
evil. Pursuant to this, the legislative arm of government reading the bill re-imposing the death penalty for
enacts criminal laws that define and punish illegal acts compelling reasons involving heinous crimes.
that may be committed by its own subjects, the
executive agencies enforce these laws, and the judiciary With seventeen (17) affirmative votes and seven (7)
tries and sentences the criminals in accordance with these negative votes and no abstention, the Chair declared that
laws. the Senate has voted to re-incorporate death as a penalty
in the scale of penalties as provided in the Revised Penal
The opposition to the death penalty uniformly took the Code.
form of a constitutional question of whether or not the
death penalty is a cruel, unjust, excessive or unusual The import of this amendment is unmistakable. By
punishment in violation of the constitutional proscription this amendment, the death penalty was not
against cruel and unusual punishments. completely abolished by the 1987 Constitution. Rather, it
merely suspended the death penalty and
Harden- "The penalty complained of is neither cruel, gave Congress the discretion to review it at the propitious
unjust nor excessive. In Ex-parte Kemmler, 136 U.S., time.
436, the United States Supreme Court said that
'punishments are cruel when they involve torture or a We have no doubt, therefore, that insofar as the element
lingering death, but the punishment of death is not cruel, of heinousness is concerned, R.A. No. 7659 has correctly
within the meaning of that word as used in the identified crimes warranting the mandatory penalty of
constitution. It implies there something inhuman and death. As to the other crimes in R.A. No. 7659 punished
barbarous, something more than the mere extinguishment by reclusion perpetua to death, they are admittingly no
of life. less abominable than those mandatorily penalized by
death.
Limaco- "x x x there are quite a number of people who
honestly believe that the supreme penalty is either morally The proper time to determine their heinousness in
wrong or unwise or ineffective. However, as long as that contemplation of law, is when on automatic review, we
penalty remains in the statute books, and as long as our are called to pass on a death sentence involving crimes
criminal law provides for its imposition in certain cases, punishable by reclusion perpetua to death under R.A. No.
it is the duty of judicial officers to respect and apply the 7659, with the trial court meting out the death sentence in
law regardless of their private opinions," exercise of judicial discretion. This is not to say,
however, that the aggravating circumstances under the
Munoz- A reading of Section 19 (1) of Article III will Revised Penal Code need be additionally alleged as
readily show that there is really nothing therein which establishing the heinousness of the crime for the trial court
expressly declares the abolition of the death penalty. The to validly impose the death penalty in the crimes under
provision merely says that the death penalty shall not be R.A. No. 7659 which are punished with the flexible
imposed unless for compelling reasons involving heinous penalty of reclusion perpetua to death.
crimes the Congress hereafter provides for it and, if
already imposed, shall be reduced to reclusion A studious comparison of the legislative proceedings in
perpetua. The language, while rather awkward, is still the Senate and in the House of Representatives reveals
plain enough that, while both Chambers were not wanting of oppositors
to the death penalty, the Lower House seemed less
Nothing is more defining of the true content of Article III, quarrelsome about the form of the death penalty bill as a
Section 19 (1) of the 1987 Constitution than the form in special law specifying certain heinous crimes without
which the legislature took the initiative in re-imposing the regard to the provisions of the Revised Penal Code and
death penalty. more unified in the perception of what crimes are heinous
and that the fact of their very heinousness involves the
The Senate never doubted its power as vested in it by the compulsion and the imperative to suppress, if not
constitution, to enact legislation re-imposing the death completely eradicate, their occurrence.
penalty for compelling reasons involving heinous crimes.

30
Be it the foregoing general statement of Representative manifestation in the form of a higher incidence of crime
Sanchez or the following details of the nature of the should first be perceived and statistically proven
heinous crimes enumerated in House Bill No. 62 by following the suspension of the death penalty.
Representative Miguel L. Romero of Negros Oriental,
there was clearly, among the hundred or so re- Neither does the said provision require that the death
impositionists in the Lower House, no doubt as to their penalty be resorted to as a last recourse when all other
cause. criminal reforms have failed to abate criminality in
society.
Article III, Section 19 (1) of the 1987 Constitution plainly
vests in Congress the power to re-impose the death It is immaterial and irrelevant that R.A. No. 7659 cites
penalty "for compelling reasons involving heinous that there has been an "alarming upsurge of such crimes",
crimes". This power is not subsumed in the plenary for the same was never intended by said law to be the
legislative power of Congress, for it is subject to a clear yardstick to determine the existence of compelling
showing of "compelling reasons involving heinous reasons involving heinous crimes.
crimes."
Fittingly, thus, what R.A. No. 7659 states is that "the
The constitutional exercise of this limited power to re- Congress, in the interest of justice, public order and rule
impose the death penalty entails (1) of law, and the need to rationalize and harmonize the
that Congress define or describe what is meant by penal sanctions for heinous crimes, finds compelling
heinous crimes; (2) that Congress specify and penalize reasons to impose the death penalty for said crimes."
by death, only crimes that qualify as heinous in
accordance with the definition or description set in the
death penalty bill and/or designate crimes punishable 3) ATKINS V. VIRGINIA
by reclusion perpetua to death in which latter case,
death can only be imposed upon the attendance of Brief Fact Summary. Atkins contention was that the
circumstances duly proven in court that characterize execution of a mentally retarded criminal is a cruel and
the crime to be heinous in accordance with the unusual punishment which contravenes the Eighth
definition or description set in the death penalty bill; Amendment. He made this contention when he was
and (3) that Congress, in enacting this death penalty sentenced to death for committing murder. Atkins (D) had
bill be singularly motivated by "compelling reasons an IQ 0f 59 at the time of his conviction.
involving heinous crimes."
Synopsis of Rule of Law. Under the Eighth Amendment,
It is specifically against the foregoing capital crimes that the capital punishment of a mentally retarded convict is
the test of heinousness must be squarely applied. cruel and unusual.

We believe, however, that the elements of heinousness Facts. Atkins Daryl (D) was sentenced to death for
and compulsion are inseparable and are, in fact, shooting a patron of an automated teller machine and for
interspersed with each other. robbery, after he was found guilty of abduction, capital
murder and armed robbery. A verdict of mildly mentally
Because the subject crimes are either so revolting and retarded pertaining to the health of Atkins (D), was given
debasing as to violate the most minimum of the human by a forensic psychologist. This verdict of the
standards of decency or its effects, repercussions, psychologist was based on the interview he had with
implications and consequences so destructive, Atkins (D) and with others who knew him, review of
destabilizing, debilitating, or aggravating in the context of school and court records of other crimes and a standard
our socio-political and economic agenda as a developing intelligence test which showed that Atkins (D) had a full
nation, these crimes must be frustrated, curtailed and scale IQ of 59. Atkins (D) however appealed against the
altogether eradicated. ruling of the trial court on the ground that sentencing a
mentally retarded criminal to death was a cruel and
Article III, Section 19 (1) of the 1987 Constitution simply unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment.
states that congress, for compelling reasons involving
heinous crimes, may re-impose the death penalty.
Issue. Under the Eighth Amendment, is the capital
punishment of a mentally retarded convict cruel and
Nothing in the said provision imposes a requirement that
unusual?
for a death penalty bill to be valid, a positive

31
Held. (Stevens, J.) Yes. Under the Eighth Amendment, that means he was in the lowest one percentile in
the capital punishment of a mentally retarded convict is intelligence.
cruel and unusual. Mentally retarded persons should be
tried and punished when they commit crimes once they The jury sentenced Atkins to death, but the Virginia
meet the laws requirement. Mentally retarded persons do Supreme Court ordered a second sentencing hearing
not act with the level of moral culpability that because the trial court had used a misleading verdict form.
characterizes the most serious adult criminal conduct
because of their disabilities in the areas of reasoning, At the re-sentencing, the State presented an expert rebuttal
control of impulses and judgment. witness, who expressed the opinion that Atkins was not
mentally retarded, but rather was of average intelligence,
Hence, the enactment of the federal government which at least, and diagnosable as having antisocial personality
exempts the mentally retarded from execution has disorder. The jury again sentenced Atkins to death.
provided a strong evidence in which the society view the
The Supreme Court of Virginia affirmed the imposition
mentally retarded offenders as less culpable than the
of the death penalty, and relying on the holding in Penry
average criminal.
rejected the contention that Atkins thus could not be
sentenced to death.
The mentally retarded persons disposition often portrays
that they lack remorse for their crimes and they are also The court was not willing to commute Atkins' sentence
poor witnesses because they are not capable of assisting of death to life imprisonment merely because of his IQ
their counsel. Reversed and remanded. score. However, dissenters concluded that the
imposition of the sentence of death upon a criminal
Dissent. (Scalia, J) the decision taken in this case as no defendant who has the mental age of a child between the
ground in the Eighth Amendments text or history, no
ages of 9 and 12 is excessive.
ground in contemporary attitudes towards the death
penalty, relies on nothing more than the personal Because of the gravity of the concerns expressed by the
preferences of the members of todays majority and the dissenters, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari.
Courts death-is-different jurisprudence is taken to the
extreme. So, not making use of the death penalty belongs Issue Presented to the Court:
to the legislatures and abolishing it one small increment
at a time should not be sought by this Court. Is the execution of a defendant with mental retardation
cruel and unusual punishment prohibited by the Eighth
Discussion. the Supreme Court in Atkins observed that Amendment?
the execution of mentally retarded criminals in the states Outcome of the Case:
that permitted it was not common and also noted that the
practice of such executions has become truly unusual In its reasoning the Court confirms the previous opinions
and developing a national consensus against it was fair. that a punishment is excessive if it is not graduated and
proportioned to the offense and that such claim should be
ANOTHER VERSION: judged by evolving standards of decency.
Atkins v. Virgina Proportionality review under those evolving standards
should be informed by objective factors, the most reliable
Facts and Procedural History: of which legislation enacted by states.
Petitioner was convicted of abduction, armed robbery, In particular, the large number of States prohibiting the
and capital murder.
execution of mentally retarded persons (and the complete
In the penalty stage, a forensic psychologist who had absence of legislation reinstating such executions)
evaluated Atkins before trial concluded that he was provides powerful evidence that today society views
mildly mentally retarded. His conclusion was based on mentally retarded offenders as categorically less culpable
interviews with people who knew Atkins, a review of than the average criminal.
school and court records, and the administration of a
standard intelligence test, which indicated that Atkins had
a full scale IQ of 59. Compared to the population at large,

32
The Court, next, makes an independent evaluation of the ISSUES and RULING
issue and agrees with the legislative consensus for the
following two reasons. Can the court admit as evidence a photocopy of
document without violating the best evidence rule
First, retribution and deterrence of capital crimes, (only original documents, as a general rule, is
principal justifications for the death penalty, do not apply admissible as evidence)?
to mentally retarded offenders. Second, mentally retarded
defendants face a special risk of wrongful execution Yes. The established doctrine is that when a party failed
because of the possibility that they will unwittingly to interpose a timely objection to evidence at the time they
confess to crimes they did not commit, their lesser ability were offered in evidence, such objection shall be
to give their counsel meaningful assistance, and the facts considered as waived.
that they are typically poor witnesses and that their Here, Corpuz never objected to the admissibility of the
demeanor may create an unwarranted impression of lack said evidence at the time it was identified, marked and
of remorse for their crimes. testified upon in court by Tangcoy. Corpuz also failed to
Holding: Executions of mentally retarded criminals are raise an objection in his Comment to the prosecutions
cruel and unusual punishments prohibited by the Eighth formal offer of evidence and even admitted having signed
Amendment. the said receipt.
Is the date of occurrence of time material in estafa
cases with abuse of confidence?
4) CORPUZ V. PEOPLE
No. It is true that the gravamen of the crime of estafa with
FACTS: abuse of confidence under Article 315, paragraph 1,
subparagraph (b) of the RPC is the appropriation or
Accused Corpuz received from complainant Tangcoy conversion of money or property received to the prejudice
pieces of jewelry with an obligation to sell the same and of the owner and that the time of occurrence is not a
remit the proceeds of the sale or to return the same if not material ingredient of the crime. Hence, the exclusion of
sold, after the expiration of 30 days. the period and the wrong date of the occurrence of the
The period expired without Corpuz remitting anything to crime, as reflected in the Information, do not make the
Tangcoy. latter fatally defective.

When Corpuz and Tangcoy met, Corpuz promised that he Further, the following satisfies the sufficiency of
will pay, but to no avail. information:

Tangcoy filed a case for estafa with abuse of confidence 1. The designation of the offense by the statute;
against Corpuz. 2. The acts or omissions complained of as constituting the
Corpuz argued as follows: offense;

a. The proof submitted by Tangcoy (receipt) is 3. The name of the offended party; and
inadmissible for being a mere photocopy.
4. The approximate time of the commission of the offense,
b. The information was defective because the date when and the place wherein the offense was committed.
the jewelry should be returned and the date when crime The 4th element is satisfied. Even though the information
occurred is different from the one testified to by Tangcoy.
indicates that the time of offense was committed on or
c. Fourth element of estafa or demand is not proved. about the 5th of July 1991, such is not fatal to the
prosecutions cause considering that Section 11 of the
d. Sole testimony of Tangcoy is not sufficient for same Rule requires a statement of the precise time only
conviction when the same is a material ingredient of the offense.
What is the form of demand required in estafa with
abuse of confidence? Note first that the elements of
estafa with abuse of confidence are as follows:

33
(a) that money, goods or other personal property is unanimity on this question and since the issues are of first
received by the offender in trust, or on commission, or for impression, they decided to refer the case to the Court en
administration, or under any other obligation involving banc for consideration and resolution. Thus, several amici
the duty to make delivery of, or to return the same; curiae were invited at the behest of the Court to give their
academic opinions on the matter. Among those that
(b) that there be misappropriation or conversion of such graciously complied were Dean Jose Manuel Diokno,
money or property by the offender or denial on his part of Dean Sedfrey M. Candelaria, Professor Alfredo F. Tadiar,
such receipt; the Senate President, and the Speaker of the House of
(c) that such misappropriation or conversion or denial is Representatives. The parties were later heard on oral
to the prejudice of another; and arguments before the Court en banc, with Atty. Mario L.
Bautista appearing as counsel de oficio of the petitioner.
(d) that there is a demand made by the offended party on
the offender. After a thorough consideration of the arguments
presented on the matter, this Court finds the following:
No specific type of proof is required to show that there
was demand. Demand need not even be formal; it may be There seems to be a perceived injustice brought about by
verbal. The specific word demand need not even be the range of penalties that the courts continue to impose
used to show that it has indeed been made upon the person on crimes against property committed today, based on the
charged, since even a mere query as to the whereabouts of amount of damage measured by the value of money eighty
the money [in this case, property], would be tantamount years ago in 1932. However, this Court cannot modify the
to a demand. said range of penalties because that would constitute
judicial legislation. What the legislature's perceived
In Tubb v. People, where the complainant merely verbally failure in amending the penalties provided for in the said
inquired about the money entrusted to the accused, the crimes cannot be remedied through this Court's decisions,
query was tantamount to a demand. as that would be encroaching upon the power of another
May a sole witness be considered credible? branch of the government. This, however, does not render
the whole situation without any remedy. It can be
Yes. Note first that settled is the rule that in assessing the appropriately presumed that the framers of the Revised
credibility of witnesses, SC gives great respect to the Penal Code (RPC) had anticipated this matter by
evaluation of the trial court for it had the unique including Article 5, which reads:
opportunity to observe the demeanor of witnesses and
their deportment on the witness stand, an opportunity ART. 5. Duty of the court in connection with acts which
denied the appellate courts, which merely rely on the should be repressed but which are not covered by the law,
records of the case. and in cases of excessive penalties. - Whenever a court
has knowledge of any act which it may deem proper to
The assessment by the trial court is even conclusive and repress and which is not punishable by law, it shall render
binding if not tainted with arbitrariness or oversight of the proper decision, and shall report to the Chief
some fact or circumstance of weight and influence, Executive, through the Department of Justice, the reasons
especially when such finding is affirmed by the CA. Truth which induce the court to believe that said act should be
is established not by the number of witnesses, but by the made the subject of penal legislation.
quality of their testimonies, for in determining the value
and credibility of evidence, the witnesses are to be In the same way, the court shall submit to the Chief
weighed not numbered. Executive, through the Department of Justice, such
statement as may be deemed proper, without suspending
ABOUT THE PENALTY: the execution of the sentence, when a strict enforcement
of the provisions of this Code would result in the
As regards the penalty, while this Court's Third Division
imposition of a clearly excessive penalty, taking into
was deliberating on this case, the question of the
consideration the degree of malice and the injury caused
continued validity of imposing on persons convicted of
by the offense.18
crimes involving property came up. The legislature
apparently pegged these penalties to the value of the
money and property in 1930 when it enacted the Revised
Penal Code. Since the members of the division reached no
34
The first paragraph of the above provision clearly states The second paragraph of Art. 5 is an application of the
that for acts bourne out of a case which is not punishable humanitarian principle that justice must be tempered with
by law and the court finds it proper to repress, the remedy mercy. Generally, the courts have nothing to do with the
is to render the proper decision and thereafter, report to wisdom or justness of the penalties fixed by law.
the Chief Executive, through the Department of Justice, "Whether or not the penalties prescribed by law upon
the reasons why the same act should be the subject of conviction of violations of particular statutes are too
penal legislation. The premise here is that a deplorable act severe or are not severe enough, are questions as to which
is present but is not the subject of any penal legislation, commentators on the law may fairly differ; but it is the
thus, the court is tasked to inform the Chief Executive of duty of the courts to enforce the will of the legislator in
the need to make that act punishable by law through all cases unless it clearly appears that a given penalty falls
legislation. The second paragraph is similar to the first within the prohibited class of excessive fines or cruel and
except for the situation wherein the act is already unusual punishment." A petition for clemency should be
punishable by law but the corresponding penalty is addressed to the Chief Executive.22
deemed by the court as excessive. The remedy therefore,
as in the first paragraph is not to suspend the execution of There is an opinion that the penalties provided for in
crimes against property be based on the current inflation
the sentence but to submit to the Chief Executive the
reasons why the court considers the said penalty to be rate or at the ratio of P1.00 is equal to P100.00 . However,
non-commensurate with the act committed. Again, the it would be dangerous as this would result in
court is tasked to inform the Chief Executive, this time, of uncertainties, as opposed to the definite imposition of the
the need for a legislation to provide the proper penalty. penalties. It must be remembered that the economy
fluctuates and if the proposed imposition of the penalties
In his book, Commentaries on the Revised Penal Code,19 in crimes against property be adopted, the penalties will
Guillermo B. Guevara opined that in Article 5, the duty of not cease to change, thus, making the RPC, a self-
the court is merely to report to the Chief Executive, with amending law. Had the framers of the RPC intended that
a recommendation for an amendment or modification of to be so, it should have provided the same, instead, it
the legal provisions which it believes to be harsh. Thus: included the earlier cited Article 5 as a remedy. It is also
improper to presume why the present legislature has not
This provision is based under the legal maxim "nullum made any moves to amend the subject penalties in order
crimen, nulla poena sige lege," that is, that there can exist to conform with the present times. For all we know, the
no punishable act except those previously and specifically legislature intends to retain the same penalties in order to
provided for by penal statute. deter the further commission of those punishable acts
No matter how reprehensible an act is, if the law-making which have increased tremendously through the years. In
body does not deem it necessary to prohibit its fact, in recent moves of the legislature, it is apparent that
perpetration with penal sanction, the Court of justice will it aims to broaden the coverage of those who violate penal
be entirely powerless to punish such act. laws. In the crime of Plunder, from its original minimum
amount of P100,000,000.00 plundered, the legislature
Under the provisions of this article the Court cannot lowered it to P50,000,000.00. In the same way, the
suspend the execution of a sentence on the ground that the legislature lowered the threshold amount upon which the
strict enforcement of the provisions of this Code would Anti-Money Laundering Act may apply, from
cause excessive or harsh penalty. All that the Court could P1,000,000.00 to P500,000.00.
do in such eventuality is to report the matter to the Chief
Executive with a recommendation for an amendment or It is also worth noting that in the crimes of Theft and
modification of the legal provisions which it believes to Estafa, the present penalties do not seem to be excessive
be harsh.20 compared to the proposed imposition of their
corresponding penalties. In Theft, the provisions state
Anent the non-suspension of the execution of the that:
sentence, retired Chief Justice Ramon C. Aquino and
retired Associate Justice Carolina C. Grio-Aquino, in Art. 309. Penalties. Any person guilty of theft shall be
their book, The Revised Penal Code,21 echoed the above- punished by:
cited commentary, thus:

35
1. The penalty of prision mayor in its minimum and almost the same as the penalty proposed. In fact, after the
medium periods, if the value of the thing stolen is more application of the Indeterminate Sentence Law under the
than 12,000 pesos but does not exceed 22,000 pesos, but existing law, the minimum penalty is still lowered by one
if the value of the thing stolen exceeds the latter amount degree; hence, the minimum penalty is arresto mayor in
the penalty shall be the maximum period of the one its medium period to maximum period (2 months and 1
prescribed in this paragraph, and one year for each day to 6 months), making the offender qualified for
additional ten thousand pesos, but the total of the penalty pardon or parole after serving the said minimum period
which may be imposed shall not exceed twenty years. In and may even apply for probation. Moreover, under the
such cases, and in connection with the accessory penalties proposal, the minimum penalty after applying the
which may be imposed and for the purpose of the other Indeterminate Sentence Law is arresto menor in its
provisions of this Code, the penalty shall be termed maximum period to arresto mayor in its minimum period
prision mayor or reclusion temporal, as the case may be. (21 days to 2 months) is not too far from the minimum
period under the existing law. Thus, it would seem that
2. The penalty of prision correccional in its medium and the present penalty imposed under the law is not at all
maximum periods, if the value of the thing stolen is more excessive. The same is also true in the crime of Estafa.23
than 6,000 pesos but does not exceed 12,000 pesos.
Moreover, if we apply the ratio of 1:100, as suggested to
3. The penalty of prision correccional in its minimum and the value of the thing stolen in the crime of Theft and the
medium periods, if the value of the property stolen is more damage caused in the crime of Estafa, the gap between the
than 200 pesos but does not exceed 6,000 pesos. minimum and the maximum amounts, which is the basis
4. Arresto mayor in its medium period to prision of determining the proper penalty to be imposed, would
correccional in its minimum period, if the value of the be too wide and the penalty imposable would no longer
property stolen is over 50 pesos but does not exceed 200 be commensurate to the act committed and the value of
pesos. the thing stolen or the damage caused:

5. Arresto mayor to its full extent, if such value is over 5 I. Article 309, or the penalties for the crime of Theft, the
pesos but does not exceed 50 pesos. value would be modified but the penalties are not
changed:
6. Arresto mayor in its minimum and medium periods, if
such value does not exceed 5 pesos. 1. P12,000.00 to P22,000.00 will become P1,200,000.00
to P2,200,000.00, punished by prision mayor minimum to
7. Arresto menor or a fine not exceeding 200 pesos, if the prision mayor medium (6 years and 1 day to 10 years).
theft is committed under the circumstances enumerated in
paragraph 3 of the next preceding article and the value of 2. P6,000.00 to P12,000.00 will become P600,000.00 to
the thing stolen does not exceed 5 pesos. If such value P1,200,000.00, punished by prision correccional medium
exceeds said amount, the provision of any of the five and to prision correccional maximum (2 years, 4 months
preceding subdivisions shall be made applicable. and 1 day to 6 years).24

8. Arresto menor in its minimum period or a fine not 3. P200.00 to P6,000.00 will become P20,000.00 to
exceeding 50 pesos, when the value of the thing stolen is P600,000.00, punishable by prision correccional
not over 5 pesos, and the offender shall have acted under minimum to prision correccional medium (6 months and
the impulse of hunger, poverty, or the difficulty of earning 1 day to 4 years and 2 months).
a livelihood for the support of himself or his family. 4. P50.00 to P200.00 will become P5,000.00 to
In a case wherein the value of the thing stolen is P20,000.00, punishable by arresto mayor medium to
P6,000.00, the above-provision states that the penalty is prision correccional minimum (2 months and 1 day to 2
prision correccional in its minimum and medium periods years and 4 months).
(6 months and 1 day to 4 years and 2 months). Applying 5. P5.00 to P50.00 will become P500.00 to P5,000.00,
the proposal, if the value of the thing stolen is P6,000.00, punishable by arresto mayor (1 month and 1 day to 6
the penalty is imprisonment of arresto mayor in its months).
medium period to prision correccional minimum period
(2 months and 1 day to 2 years and 4 months). It would
seem that under the present law, the penalty imposed is

36
6. P5.00 will become P500.00, punishable by arresto at the time the law was promulgated, conditions that no
mayor minimum to arresto mayor medium. longer exist today.
II. Article 315, or the penalties for the crime of Estafa, the Assuming that the Court submits to the argument of Dean
value would also be modified but the penalties are not Diokno and declares the incremental penalty in Article
changed, as follows: 315 unconstitutional for violating the equal protection
clause, what then is the penalty that should be applied in
1st. P12,000.00 to P22,000.00, will become case the amount of the thing subject matter of the crime
P1,200,000.00 to P2,200,000.00, punishable by prision exceeds P22,000.00? It seems that the proposition poses
correccional maximum to prision mayor minimum (4 more questions than answers, which leads us even more
years, 2 months and 1 day to 8 years).25 to conclude that the appropriate remedy is to refer these
2nd. P6,000.00 to P12,000.00 will become P600,000.00 matters to Congress for them to exercise their inherent
to P1,200,000.00, punishable by prision correccional power to legislate laws.
minimum to prision correccional medium (6 months and
Even Dean Diokno was of the opinion that if the Court
1 day to 4 years and 2 months).26 declares the IPR unconstitutional, the remedy is to go to
3rd. P200.00 to P6,000.00 will become P20,000.00 to Congress.
P600,000.00, punishable by arresto mayor maximum to
prision correccional minimum (4 months and 1 day to 2 Dean Diokno also contends that Article 315 of the
years and 4 months). Revised Penal Code constitutes cruel and unusual
punishment. Citing Solem v. Helm,30 Dean Diokno avers
4th. P200.00 will become P20,000.00, punishable by that the United States Federal Supreme Court has
arresto mayor maximum (4 months and 1 day to 6 expanded the application of a similar Constitutional
months). provision prohibiting cruel and unusual punishment, to
the duration of the penalty, and not just its form. The court
An argument raised by Dean Jose Manuel I. Diokno, one therein ruled that three things must be done to decide
of our esteemed amici curiae, is that the incremental whether a sentence is proportional to a specific crime,
penalty provided under Article 315 of the RPC violates viz.; (1) Compare the nature and gravity of the offense,
the Equal Protection Clause. and the harshness of the penalty; (2) Compare the
sentences imposed on other criminals in the same
The equal protection clause requires equality among jurisdiction, i.e., whether more serious crimes are subject
equals, which is determined according to a valid to the same penalty or to less serious penalties; and (3)
classification. The test developed by jurisprudence here Compare the sentences imposed for commission of the
and yonder is that of reasonableness,27 which has four same crime in other jurisdictions.
requisites:
However, the case of Solem v. Helm cannot be applied in
(1) The classification rests on substantial distinctions;
the present case, because in Solem what respondent
(2) It is germane to the purposes of the law; therein deemed cruel was the penalty imposed by the state
court of South Dakota after it took into account the latters
(3) It is not limited to existing conditions only; and recidivist statute and not the original penalty for uttering
a "no account" check. Normally, the maximum
(4) It applies equally to all members of the same class.28 punishment for the crime would have been five years
According to Dean Diokno, the Incremental Penalty Rule imprisonment and a $5,000.00 fine. Nonetheless,
(IPR) does not rest on substantial distinctions as respondent was sentenced to life imprisonment without
the possibility of parole under South Dakotas recidivist
P10,000.00 may have been substantial in the past, but it is
statute because of his six prior felony convictions. Surely,
not so today, which violates the first requisite; the IPR
the factual antecedents of Solem are different from the
was devised so that those who commit estafa involving present controversy.
higher amounts would receive heavier penalties;
however, this is no longer achieved, because a person who With respect to the crime of Qualified Theft, however, it
steals P142,000.00 would receive the same penalty as is true that the imposable penalty for the offense is high.
someone who steals hundreds of millions, which violates Nevertheless, the rationale for the imposition of a higher
the second requisite; and, the IPR violates requisite no. 3, penalty against a domestic servant is the fact that in the
considering that the IPR is limited to existing conditions commission of the crime, the helper will essentially
37
gravely abuse the trust and confidence reposed upon her The failure of a public officer to have duly forthcoming
by her employer. After accepting and allowing the helper any public funds or property with which he is chargeable,
to be a member of the household, thus entrusting upon upon demand by any duly authorized officer, shall be
such person the protection and safekeeping of the prima facie evidence that he has put such missing funds
employers loved ones and properties, a subsequent or property to personal use.
betrayal of that trust is so repulsive as to warrant the
necessity of imposing a higher penalty to deter the The above-provisions contemplate a situation wherein the
commission of such wrongful acts. Government loses money due to the unlawful acts of the
offender. Thus, following the proposal, if the amount
There are other crimes where the penalty of fine and/or malversed is P200.00 (under the existing law), the amount
imprisonment are dependent on the subject matter of the now becomes P20,000.00 and the penalty is prision
crime and which, by adopting the proposal, may create correccional in its medium and maximum periods (2 years
serious implications. For example, in the crime of 4 months and 1 day to 6 years). The penalty may not be
Malversation, the penalty imposed depends on the amount commensurate to the act of embezzlement of P20,000.00
of the money malversed by the public official, thus: compared to the acts committed by public officials
punishable by a special law, i.e., Republic Act No. 3019
Art. 217. Malversation of public funds or property; or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, specifically
Presumption of malversation. Any public officer who, Section 3,31 wherein the injury caused to the government
by reason of the duties of his office, is accountable for is not generally defined by any monetary amount, the
public funds or property, shall appropriate the same or penalty (6 years and 1 month to 15 years)32 under the
shall take or misappropriate or shall consent, through Anti-Graft Law will now become higher. This should not
abandonment or negligence, shall permit any other person be the case, because in the crime of malversation, the
to take such public funds, or property, wholly or partially, public official takes advantage of his public position to
or shall otherwise be guilty of the misappropriation or embezzle the fund or property of the government
malversation of such funds or property, shall suffer: entrusted to him.

1. The penalty of prision correccional in its The said inequity is also apparent in the crime of Robbery
medium and maximum periods, if the amount with force upon things (inhabited or uninhabited) where
involved in the misappropriation or malversation the value of the thing unlawfully taken and the act of
does not exceed two hundred pesos. unlawful entry are the bases of the penalty imposable, and
also, in Malicious Mischief, where the penalty of
2. The penalty of prision mayor in its minimum imprisonment or fine is dependent on the cost of the
and medium periods, if the amount involved is damage caused.
more than two hundred pesos but does not exceed
six thousand pesos. In Robbery with force upon things (inhabited or
uninhabited), if we increase the value of the thing
3. The penalty of prision mayor in its maximum unlawfully taken, as proposed in the ponencia, the sole
period to reclusion temporal in its minimum basis of the penalty will now be the value of the thing
period, if the amount involved is more than six unlawfully taken and no longer the element of force
thousand pesos but is less than twelve thousand employed in entering the premises. It may likewise cause
pesos. an inequity between the crime of Qualified Trespass to
Dwelling under Article 280, and this kind of robbery
4. The penalty of reclusion temporal, in its because the former is punishable by prision correccional
medium and maximum periods, if the amount in its medium and maximum periods (2 years, 4 months
involved is more than twelve thousand pesos but and 1 day to 6 years) and a fine not exceeding P1,000.00
is less than twenty-two thousand pesos. If the (P100,000.00 now if the ratio is 1:100) where entrance to
amount exceeds the latter, the penalty shall be the premises is with violence or intimidation, which is the
reclusion temporal in its maximum period to main justification of the penalty. Whereas in the crime of
reclusion perpetua. Robbery with force upon things, it is punished with a
penalty of prision mayor (6 years and 1 day to 12 years)
In all cases, persons guilty of malversation shall also if the intruder is unarmed without the penalty of Fine
suffer the penalty of perpetual special disqualification and despite the fact that it is not merely the illegal entry that
a fine equal to the amount of the funds malversed or equal is the basis of the penalty but likewise the unlawful taking.
to the total value of the property embezzled.
38
In our jurisdiction, civil indemnity is awarded to the different from the proper penalty that should be imposed.
offended party as a kind of monetary restitution or Such drastic twist in the application of the law has no legal
compensation to the victim for the damage or infraction basis and directly runs counter to what the law provides.
that was done to the latter by the accused, which in a sense
only covers the civil aspect. Precisely, it is civil It should be noted that the death penalty was reintroduced
indemnity. Thus, in a crime where a person dies, in in the dispensation of criminal justice by the Ramos
addition to the penalty of imprisonment imposed to the Administration by virtue of Republic Act No. 765940 in
offender, the accused is also ordered to pay the victim a December 1993. The said law has been questioned before
sum of money as restitution. Clearly, this award of civil this Court. There is, arguably, no punishment more cruel
indemnity due to the death of the victim could not be than that of death. Yet still, from the time the death
contemplated as akin to the value of a thing that is penalty was re-imposed until its lifting in June 2006 by
unlawfully taken which is the basis in the imposition of Republic Act No. 9346,41 the Court did not impede the
the proper penalty in certain crimes. Thus, the reasoning imposition of the death penalty on the ground that it is a
in increasing the value of civil indemnity awarded in some "cruel punishment" within the purview of Section 19
offense cannot be the same reasoning that would sustain (1),42 Article III of the Constitution. Ultimately, it was
through an act of Congress suspending the imposition of
the adoption of the suggested ratio. Also, it is apparent
from Article 2206 that the law only imposes a minimum the death penalty that led to its non-imposition and not via
amount for awards of civil indemnity, which is P3,000.00. the intervention of the Court.
The law did not provide for a ceiling. Thus, although the Even if the imposable penalty amounts to cruel
minimum amount for the award cannot be changed, punishment, the Court cannot declare the provision of the
increasing the amount awarded as civil indemnity can be law from which the proper penalty emanates
validly modified and increased when the present unconstitutional in the present action. Not only is it
circumstance warrants it. Corollarily, moral damages violative of due process, considering that the State and the
under Article 222039 of the Civil Code also does not fix concerned parties were not given the opportunity to
the amount of damages that can be awarded. It is comment on the subject matter, it is settled that the
discretionary upon the court, depending on the mental constitutionality of a statute cannot be attacked
anguish or the suffering of the private offended party. The collaterally because constitutionality issues must be
amount of moral damages can, in relation to civil pleaded directly and not collaterally,43 more so in the
indemnity, be adjusted so long as it does not exceed the present controversy wherein the issues never touched
award of civil indemnity. upon the constitutionality of any of the provisions of the
In addition, some may view the penalty provided by law Revised Penal Code.
for the offense committed as tantamount to cruel Besides, it has long been held that the prohibition of cruel
punishment. However, all penalties are generally harsh, and unusual punishments is generally aimed at the form
being punitive in nature. Whether or not they are or character of the punishment rather than its severity in
excessive or amount to cruel punishment is a matter that respect of duration or amount, and applies to punishments
should be left to lawmakers. It is the prerogative of the which public sentiment has regarded as cruel or obsolete,
courts to apply the law, especially when they are clear and for instance, those inflicted at the whipping post, or in the
not subject to any other interpretation than that which is pillory, burning at the stake, breaking on the wheel,
plainly written. disemboweling, and the like. Fine and imprisonment
Similar to the argument of Dean Diokno, one of Justice would not thus be within the prohibition.44
Antonio Carpios opinions is that the incremental penalty It takes more than merely being harsh, excessive, out of
provision should be declared unconstitutional and that the proportion, or severe for a penalty to be obnoxious to the
courts should only impose the penalty corresponding to Constitution. The fact that the punishment authorized by
the amount of P22,000.00, regardless if the actual amount the statute is severe does not make it cruel and unusual.
involved exceeds P22,000.00. As suggested, however, Expressed in other terms, it has been held that to come
from now until the law is properly amended by Congress, under the ban, the punishment must be "flagrantly and
all crimes of Estafa will no longer be punished by the plainly oppressive," "wholly disproportionate to the
appropriate penalty. A conundrum in the regular course of nature of the offense as to shock the moral sense of the
criminal justice would occur when every accused community."45
convicted of the crime of estafa will be meted penalties
39
Cruel as it may be, as discussed above, it is for the a kind of monetary restitution. It is truly based on the
Congress to amend the law and adapt it to our modern value of money. The same cannot be said on penalties
time. because, as earlier stated, penalties are not only based on
the value of money, but on several other factors. Further,
The solution to the present controversy could not be since the law is silent as to the maximum amount that can
solved by merely adjusting the questioned monetary be awarded and only pegged the minimum sum,
values to the present value of money based only on the increasing the amount granted as civil indemnity is not
current inflation rate. There are other factors and variables proscribed. Thus, it can be adjusted in light of current
that need to be taken into consideration, researched, and conditions.
deliberated upon before the said values could be
accurately and properly adjusted.
The effects on the society, the injured party, the accused, Now, with regard to the penalty imposed in the present
its socio-economic impact, and the likes must be case, the CA modified the ruling of the RTC. The RTC
painstakingly evaluated and weighed upon in order to imposed the indeterminate penalty of four (4) years and
arrive at a wholistic change that all of us believe should two (2) months of prision correccional in its medium
be made to our existing law. Dejectedly, the Court is ill- period, as minimum, to fourteen (14) years and eight (8)
equipped, has no resources, and lacks sufficient personnel months of reclusion temporal in its minimum period, as
to conduct public hearings and sponsor studies and maximum. However, the CA imposed the indeterminate
surveys to validly effect these changes in our Revised penalty of four (4) years and two (2) months of prision
Penal Code. This function clearly and appropriately correccional, as minimum, to eight (8) years of prision
belongs to Congress. Even Professor Tadiar concedes to mayor, as maximum, plus one (1) year for each additional
this conclusion, to wit: P10,000.00, or a total of seven (7) years.
Finally, the opinion advanced by Chief Justice Maria In computing the penalty for this type of estafa, this
Lourdes P. A. Sereno echoes the view that the role of the Court's ruling in Cosme, Jr. v. People48 is highly
Court is not merely to dispense justice, but also the active instructive, thus:
duty to prevent injustice. Thus, in order to prevent
injustice in the present controversy, the Court should not With respect to the imposable penalty, Article 315 of the
impose an obsolete penalty pegged eighty three years ago, Revised Penal Code provides:
but consider the proposed ratio of 1:100 as simply ART. 315 Swindling (estafa). - Any person who shall
compensating for inflation. Furthermore, the Court has in defraud another by any of the means mentioned
the past taken into consideration "changed conditions" or hereinbelow shall be punished by:
"significant changes in circumstances" in its decisions.
1st. The penalty of prision correccional in its maximum
Similarly, the Chief Justice is of the view that the Court is period to prision mayor in its minimum period, if the
not delving into the validity of the substance of a statute. amount of the fraud is over 12,000 but does not exceed
The issue is no different from the Courts adjustment of 22,000 pesos, and if such amount exceeds the latter sum,
indemnity in crimes against persons, which the Court had the penalty provided in this paragraph shall be imposed in
previously adjusted in light of current times, like in the its maximum period, adding one year for each additional
case of People v. Pantoja.47 Besides, Article 10 of the 10,000 pesos; but the total penalty which may be imposed
Civil Code mandates a presumption that the lawmaking shall not exceed twenty years. In such case, and in
body intended right and justice to prevail. connection with the accessory penalties which may be
With due respect to the opinions and proposals advanced imposed and for the purpose of the other provisions of this
by the Chief Justice and my Colleagues, all the proposals Code, the penalty shall be termed prision mayor or
ultimately lead to prohibited judicial legislation. Short of reclusion temporal, as the case may be.
being repetitious and as extensively discussed above, it is The penalty prescribed by Article 315 is composed of
truly beyond the powers of the Court to legislate laws, only two, not three, periods, in which case, Article 65 of
such immense power belongs to Congress and the Court the same Code requires the division of the time included
should refrain from crossing this clear-cut divide. With in the penalty into three equal portions of time included in
regard to civil indemnity, as elucidated before, this refers the penalty prescribed, forming one period of each of the
to civil liability which is awarded to the offended party as three portions. Applying the latter provisions, the
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maximum, medium and minimum periods of the penalty March 22, 2007 and Resolution dated September 5, 2007
prescribed are: of the Court of Appeals, which affirmed with
modification the Decision dated July 30, 2004 of the
Maximum - 6 years, 8 months, 21 days to 8 years Regional Trial Court, Branch 46, San Fernando City,
Medium - 5 years, 5 months, 11 days to 6 years, 8 months, finding petitioner guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the
20 days crime of Estafa under Article 315, paragraph (1), sub-
paragraph (b) of the Revised Penal Code, are hereby
Minimum - 4 years, 2 months, 1 day to 5 years, 5 months, AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION that the penalty
10 days49 imposed is the indeterminate penalty of imprisonment
To compute the maximum period of the prescribed ranging from THREE (3) YEARS, TWO (2) MONTHS
penalty, prisin correccional maximum to prisin mayor and ELEVEN DAYS of prision correccional, as
minimum should be divided into three equal portions of minimum, to FIFTEEN (15) YEARS of reclusion
time each of which portion shall be deemed to form one temporal as maximum.
period in accordance with Article 6550 of the RPC.51 In Pursuant to Article 5 of the Revised Penal Code, let a
the present case, the amount involved is P98,000.00, Copy of this Decision be furnished the President of the
which exceeds P22,000.00, thus, the maximum penalty Republic of the Philippines, through the Department of
imposable should be within the maximum period of 6 Justice.
years, 8 months and 21 days to 8 years of prision mayor.
Article 315 also states that a period of one year shall be Also, let a copy of this Decision be furnished the President
added to the penalty for every additional P10,000.00 of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of
defrauded in excess of P22,000.00, but in no case shall the Representatives.
total penalty which may be imposed exceed 20 years. SO ORDERED.
Considering that the amount of P98,000.00 is P76,000.00
more than the P22,000.00 ceiling set by law, then, adding
one year for each additional P10,000.00, the maximum
period of 6 years, 8 months and 21 days to 8 years of
prision mayor minimum would be increased by 7 years.
Taking the maximum of the prescribed penalty, which is
8 years, plus an additional 7 years, the maximum of the
indeterminate penalty is 15 years.
Applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law, since the
penalty prescribed by law for the estafa charge against
petitioner is prision correccional maximum to prision
mayor minimum, the penalty next lower would then be
prision correccional in its minimum and medium periods
Thus, the minimum term of the indeterminate sentence
should be anywhere from 6 months and 1 day to 4 years
and 2 months.
One final note, the Court should give Congress a chance
to perform its primordial duty of lawmaking. The Court
should not pre-empt Congress and usurp its inherent
powers of making and enacting laws. While it may be the
most expeditious approach, a short cut by judicial fiat is a
dangerous proposition, lest the Court dare trespass on
prohibited judicial legislation.
WHEREFORE, the Petition for Review on Certiorari
dated November 5, 2007 of petitioner Lito Corpuz is
hereby DENIED. Consequently, the Decision dated
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