Uploaded by vj hernandez

2005nr05-34 cons2poli-dueprocess

Constitutional Law II
Michael Vernon Guerrero Mendiola
Shared under Creative Commons AttributionNonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Philippines license.
Some Rights Reserved.
Table of Contents
Hurtado vs. People of State of California [110 U.S. 516, 3 March 1884] … 1
Villegas v. Hiu Chiong Tsai Pao Ho [GR L-29646, 10 Nov 1978] … 2
Rubi, et. al. vs. Provincial Board of Mindoro [GR 14078, 7 March 1919] … 3
Ople v. Torres [ GR 127685, 23 July 1998 ] … 4
Lawrence and Garner vs. Texas [539 US 558, 26 June 2003] … 4
Estrada v. Sandiganbayan [GR 148560, 19 November 2001] … 5
Tanada v. Tuvera [ GR L-63915, 29 December 1986] … 7
Philippine International Trading Corp. (PITC) v. Angeles [GR 108461, 21 October 1996] … 8
Pilipinas Kao v. CA [GR 105014, 18 December 2001] … 9
Republic vs. Express Telecommunications Co. Inc. (Extelcom) [GR 147096, 15 January 2002] … 10
Tanada v. Philippine Atomic Energy Commission [GR 70632, 11 February 1986] … 11
Anzaldo v. Clave [GR L-54597, 15 December 1982] … 12
Tumey vs. Ohio [273 US 510, 7 March 1927] … 13
People v. CA [GR 118882, 26 September 1996] … 14
Tabuena v. Sandiganbayan [GR 103501-03, 17 February 1997]; also Peralta v. Sandiganbayan [GR 103507] … 15
People v. Medenilla [GR 131638-39, 26 March 2001] … 16
ebb v. de Leon [GR 121234, 23 August 1995], also Gatchalian v. de Leon [GR 121245] … 16
People v. Sanchez [GR 121039-45, 18 October 2001] … 17
Summary Dismissal Board v. Torcita [GR 130442, 6 April 2000] ... 18
Justice Secretary v. Lantion [GR 139465, 17 October 2000] … 19
People v. Estrada [GR 130487, 19 June 2000] … 21
Lim vs. Court of Appeals [GR 111397, 12 August 2002] … 21
Rodriguez vs. Court of Appeals [GR 134278, 7 August 2002] … 23
Roxas vs. Vasquez [GR 114944, 19 June 2001] … 24
Philcomsat v. Alcuaz [GR 84818, 18 December 1989] … 25
Suntay v. People [GR L-9430, 29 June 1957] … 26
De Bisschop v. Galang [GR 18365, 31 May 1963] … 27
Var-Orient Shipping v. Achacoso [GR L-81805, 31 May 1988] … 28
Ang Tibay v. CIR [GR 46496, 27 February 1940] … 29
Montemayor v. Araneta University [GR L-44251, 31 May 1977] … 30
Meralco vs. PSC [GR L-13638-40, 30 June 1964] … 31
Ateneo v. CA [GR L-56180, 16 October 1986] … 33
Alcuaz v. PSBA [GR 76353, 2 May 1988] … 33
Non v. Dames [GR 89317, 20 May 1990] … 34
This collection contains thirty four (34) cases
summarized in this format by
Michael Vernon M. Guerrero (as a senior law student)
during the First Semester, school year 2005-2006
in the Political Law Review class
under Dean Mariano Magsalin Jr.
at the Arellano University School of Law (AUSL).
Compiled as PDF, September 2012.
Berne Guerrero entered AUSL in June 2002
and eventually graduated from AUSL in 2006.
He passed the Philippine bar examinations immediately after (April 2007).
Narratives (Berne Guerrero)
62 Hurtado vs. People of State of California [110 U.S. 516, 3 March 1884]
Matthews (J)
Facts: The constitution of the state of California adopted in 1879, in article 1, 8, provides as follows:
"Offenses heretofore required to be prosecuted by indictment, shall be prosecuted by information, after
examination and commitment by a magistrate, or by indictment, with or without such examination and
commitment, as may be prescribed by law. A grand jury shall be drawn and summoned at least once a year in
each county." In pursuance of the foregoing provision of the constitution, and of the several sections of the
penal Code of California, the district attorney of Sacramento county, on 20 February 1882, filed an
information against Joseph Hurtado, charging him with the crime of murder in the killing of one Jose Antonio
Stuardo. Upon this information, and without any previous investigation of the cause by any grand jury,
Hurtado was arraigned on 22 March 1882, and pleaded not guilty. A trial of the issue was thereafter had, and
on 7 May 1882, the jury rendered its verdict, in which it found Hurtado guilty of murder in the first degree.
On 5 June 1882, the superior court of Sacramento county rendered its judgment upon said verdict, that
Hurtado be punished by the infliction of death, and the day of his execution was fixed for 20 July 1882. From
this judgment an appeal was taken, and the supreme court of the State of California affirmed the judgment.
On 6 July 1883, the superior court of said county of Sacramento ordered that Hurtado be in court on 11 July
1883, in order that a day for the execution of the judgment in said cause should be fixed. In pursuance of said
order, Hurtado, with his counsel, appeared in court, and upon the court's inquiry, objected to the execution of
said judgment and to any order which the court might make fixing a day for the execution of the same, upon
the grounds (1) that it appeared upon the face of the judgment that Hurtado had never been legally, or
otherwise, indicted or presented by any grand jury, and that he was proceeded against by information made
and filed by the district attorney of the county of Sacramento, after examination and commitment by a
magistrate of the said county; (2) that the said proceedings, as well as the laws and constitution of California,
attempting to authorize them, and the alleged verdict of the jury, and judgment of the said superior court of
said county of Sacramento, were in conflict with and prohibited by Amendments 5 and 14 of the constitution
of the United States, and that they were therefore void; (3) that Hurtado had been held to answer for the said
crime of murder by the district attorney of the said county of Sacramento, upon an information filed by him,
and had been tried and illegally found guilty of the said crime, without any presentment or indictment of any
grand or other jury, and that the judgment rendered upon the alleged verdict of the jury in such case was and
is void, and if executed would deprive Hurtado of his life or liberty without due process of law. Thereupon the
court overruled the said objections, and fixed 13 August 1883, as the time for the execution of the sentence.
From this latter judgment, Hurtado appealed to the supreme court of the state. On 18 September 1883, the
supreme court of the state affirmed the said judgment. A review of which, by a writ of error, by the US
Supreme Court was allowed.
Issue: Whether Hurtado was denied due process by being tried and found guilty without being presented or
indicted by a grand jury.
Held: The clause of the 14th article of amendment to the constitution of the United States, provides that "Nor
shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law." The phrase is to be
construed by the usus loquendi of the constitution itself. The same words are contained in the 5th amendment.
That article makes specific and express provision for perpetuating the institution of the grand jury, so far as
relates to prosecutions for the more aggravated crimes under the laws of the United States. It declares that "no
person shall be held to answer for a capital or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or
indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia when in actual
service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in
jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall he be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself." It
then immediately adds: "nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law." The natural
and obvious inference is that, in the sense of the constitution, "due process of law" was not meant or intended
to include, ex vi termini, the institution and procedure of a grand jury in any case. The conclusion is equally
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 1 )
Narratives (Berne Guerrero)
irresistible, that when the same phrase was employed in the 14th amendment to restrain the action of the
states, it was used in the same sense and with no greater extent; and that if in the adoption of that amendment
it had been part of its purpose to perpetuate the institution of the grand jury in all the states, it would have
embodied, as did the 5th amendment, express declarations to that effect. Due process of law in the latter refers
to that law of the land which derives its authority from the legislative powers conferred upon congress by the
constitution of the United States, exercised within the limits therein prescribed, and interpreted according to
the principles of the common law. In the fourteenth amendment, by parity of reason, it refers to that law of the
land in each state which derives its authority from the inherent and reserved powers of the state, exerted
within the limits of those fundamental principles of liberty and justice which lie at the base of all our civil and
political institutions, and the greatest security for which resides in the right of the people to make their own
laws, and alter them at their pleasure. The 14th amendment does not profess to secure to all persons in the
United States the benefit of the same laws and the same remedies. Great diversities in these respects may exist
in two states separated only by an imaginary line. On one side of this line there may be a right of trial by jury,
and on the other side no such right. Each state prescribes its own modes of judicial proceeding. Further, any
legal proceeding enforced by public authority, whether sanctioned by age and custom, or newly devised in the
discretion of the legislative power in furtherance of the general public good, which regards and preserves
these principles of liberty and justice, must be held to be due process of law. Herein, the Court is unable to say
that the substitution for a presentment or indictment by a grand jury of the proceeding by information after
examination and commitment by a magistrate, certifying to the probable guilt of the defendant, with the right
on his part to the aid of counsel, and to the cross-examination of the witnesses produced for the prosecution,
is not due process of law. The Court found no error and thus affirmed the judgment of the supreme court of
63 Villegas v. Hiu Chiong Tsai Pao Ho [GR L-29646, 10 Nov 1978]
En Banc, Fernandez (J) : 4 concur, 3 concur in result, 1 took no part
Facts: On 22 February 1968, Ordinance 6537 (An ordinance making it unlawful for any person not a citizen
of the Philippines to be employed in any place of employment or to be engaged in any kind of trade, business
or occupation within the City of Manila without first securing an employment permit from the mayor of
Manila; and for other purposes) was passed by the Municipal Board of Manila and signed by Manila Mayor
Antonio J. Villegas on 27 March 1968. The Ordinance prohibits aliens from employment and trade in the City
of Manila without the requisite mayor’s permit; but excepting persons employed in the diplomatic or consular
missions of foreign countries, or in the technical assistance programs of both the Philippine Government and
any foreign government, and those working in their respective households, and members of religious orders
or congregations, sect or denomination, who are not paid monetarily or in kind. The permit fee is P50, and
the penalty is imprisonment of 3 to 6 months or fine of P100-200, or both. On 4 May 1968, Hiu Chiong Tsai
Pao Ho, who was employed in Manila, filed a petition, with the Court of First Instance (CFI) of Manila (Civil
Case 72797), praying for (1) the issuance of the writ of preliminary injunction and restraining order to stop
the implementation of the ordinance, and (2) judgment to declare the ordinance null and void. On 24 May
1968, Judge Francisco Arca (CFI Manila, Branch I) issued the writ of preliminary injunction and on 17
September 1968, the Judge rendered a decision declaring the ordinance null and void, and the preliminary
injunction is made permanent. Mayor Villegas filed a petition for certiorari to review the decision of the CFI.
Issue: Whether the Ordinance, requiring aliens - however economically situated - to secure working permits
from the City of Manila at a uniform fee of P50, is reasonable.
Held: The ordinance is arbitrary, oppressive and unreasonable, being applied only to aliens who are thus,
deprived of their rights to life, liberty and property and therefore, violates the due process and equal
protection clauses of the Constitution. Requiring a person, before he can be employed, to get a permit from
the City Mayor of Manila, who may withhold or refuse it at will is tantamount to denying him the basic right
of the people in the Philippines to engage in a means of livelihood. The shelter of protection under the due
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 2 )
Narratives (Berne Guerrero)
process and equal protection clause is given to all persons, both aliens and citizens. The ordinance does not
lay down any criterion or standard to guide the Mayor in the exercise of his discretion, thus conferring upon
the mayor arbitrary and unrestricted powers. The ordinance’s purpose is clearly to raise money under the
guise of regulation by exacting P50 from aliens who have been cleared for employment. The amount is
unreasonable and excessive because it fails to consider differences in situation among aliens required to pay
it, i.e. being casual, permanent, full-time, part-time, rank-an-file or executive.
64 Rubi, et. al. vs. Provincial Board of Mindoro [GR 14078, 7 March 1919]
En Banc, Malcolm (J): 3 concur
Facts: On 1 February 1917, the Provincial Board of Mindoro adopted Resolution 25 creating a reservation /
permanent settlement for Mangyans (Mangyanes) in an 800-hectare public land in the sitio of Tigbao on
Naujan Lake, and resolving that Mangyans may only solicit homesteads on the reservation provided that said
homestead applications be previously recommended by the provincial governor. On 21 February 1917, the
Secretary of Interior approved Resolution 25. On 4 December 1917, the provincial governor of Mindoro
issued Executive Order 2 which directed all Mangyans in the vicinities of the townships of Naujan and Pola
and the Mangyans east of the Baco River including those in the districts of Dulangan and Rubi's place in
Calapan, to take up their habitation on the site of Tigbao, Naujan Lake, not later than 31 December 1917, and
penalizing any Mangyan who refused to comply with the order with imprisonment of not exceeding 60 days,
in accordance with section 2759 of the Revised Administrative Code. Rubi and those living in his rancheria
have not fixed their dwellings within the reservation of Tigbao and are prosecuted in accordance with section
2759 of Act No. 2711. On the other hand, Doroteo Dabalos, was detained by the sheriff of Mindoro by virtue
of the provisions of Articles 2145 and 2759 of Act 2711, for having run away from the reservation. Rubi and
other Manguianes of the Province of Mindoro applied for writs of habeas corpus, alleging that the
Manguianes are being illegally deprived of their liberty by the provincial officials of that province.
Issue: Whether due process was followed in the restraint of the Manguianes’ liberty, either on their
confinement in reservations and/or imprisonment due to violation of Section 2145 of the Administrative Code
Held: None of the rights of the citizen can be taken away except by due process of law. The meaning of "due
process of law" is, that "every citizen shall hold his life, liberty, property, and immunities under the protection
of the general rules which govern society." To constitute "due process of law," a judicial proceeding is not
always necessary. In some instances, even a hearing and notice are not requisite, a rule which is especially
true where much must be left to the discretion of the administrative officers in applying a law to particular
cases. Neither is due process a stationary and blind sentinel of liberty. Any legal proceeding enforced by
public authority, whether sanctioned by age and custom, or newly devised in the discretion of the legislative
power, in furtherance of the public good, which regards and preserves these principles of liberty and justice,
must be held to be due process of law. Due process of law" means simply that "first, that there shall be a law
prescribed in harmony with the general powers of the legislative department of the Government; second, that
this law shall be reasonable in its operation; third, that it shall be enforced according to the regular methods of
procedure prescribed; and fourth, that it shall be applicable alike to all the citizens of the state or to all of a
class." What is due process of law depends on circumstances. It varies with the subject-matter and necessities
of the situation. The pledge that no person shall be denied the equal protection of the laws is not infringed by
a statute which is applicable to all of a class. The classification must have a reasonable basis and cannot be
purely arbitrary in nature. Herein, one cannot hold that the liberty of the citizen is unduly interfered with
when the degree of civilization of the Manguianes is considered. They are restrained for their own good and
the general good of the Philippines. Nor can one say that due process of law has not been followed. To go
back to our definition of due process of law and equal protection of the laws. There exists a law; the law
seems to be reasonable; it is enforced according to the regular methods of procedure prescribed; and it applies
alike to all of a class. Action pursuant to Section 2145 of the Administrative Code does not deprive a person
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 3 )
Narratives (Berne Guerrero)
of his liberty without due process of law and does not deny to him the equal protection of the laws, and that
confinement in reservations in accordance with said section does not constitute slavery and involuntary
servitude. We are further of the opinion that Section 2145 of the Administrative Code is a legitimate exertion
of the police power, somewhat analogous to the Indian policy of the United States. Rubi and the other
Manguianes are not unlawfully imprisoned or restrained of their liberty. Habeas corpus can, therefore, not
65 Ople v. Torres [ GR 127685, 23 July 1998 ]
En Banc, Puno (J) : 2 concur, 1 concurs in result
Facts: On 12 December 1996, President Fidel V. Ramos issued Administrative Order 308, entitled "Adoption
of a National Computerized Identification Reference System." It was published in 4 newspapers of general
circulation on 22 and 23 January 1997. On 24 January 1997, Senator Blas F. Ople, as a Senator, taxpayer and
member of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), filed instant petition against then Executive
Secretary Ruben Torres and the heads of the government agencies, who as members of the Inter-Agency
Coordinating Committee are charged with the implementation of Administrative Order 308.
Issue: Whether the Philippine President can issue an Administrative Order for the adoption of a National
Computerized Identification Reference System, independent of a legislative act.
Held: Administrative Order 308 establishes a system of identification that is all-encompassing in scope,
affects the life and liberty of every Filipino citizen and foreign resident, and more particularly, violates their
right to privacy. Such a system requires a delicate adjustment of various contending state policies: the
primacy of national security, the extent of privacy interest against dossier-gathering by government, the
choice of policies, etc. As said administrative order redefines the parameters of some basic rights of our
citizenry vis-a-vis the State as well as the line that separates the administrative power of the President to make
rules and the legislative power of Congress, it ought to be evident that it deals with a subject that should be
covered by law. The Order is a law, negating claims that it confers no right, imposes no duty, affords no
protection, and creates no office. Under it, a citizen cannot transact business with government agencies
delivering basic services to the people without the contemplated identification card. No citizen will refuse to
get this identification card for no one can avoid dealing with government. It is thus clear that without the ID, a
citizen will have difficulty exercising his rights and enjoying his privileges. Administrative Order 308 does
not merely implements the Administrative Code of 1987, but establishes for the first time a National
Computerized Identification Reference System. An administrative order is an ordinance issued by the
President which relates to specific aspects in the administrative operation of government. It must be in
harmony with the law and should be for the sole purpose of implementing the law and carrying out the
legislative policy. The authority to prescribe rules and regulations is not an independent source of power to
make laws. AO 308 was beyond the power of the President to issue.
66 Lawrence and Garner vs. Texas [539 US 558, 26 June 2003]
Kennedy (J): 4 concur, 1 filed concurring opinion, 2 filed dissenting opinions where 2 joined the
dissenting opinion of Scalia (J).
Facts: Responding to a reported weapons disturbance in a private residence, Houston police entered John
Geddes Lawrence’s apartment and saw him and another adult man, Tyron Garner, engaging in a private,
consensual sexual act. Petitioners were arrested and convicted of deviate sexual intercourse in violation of a
Texas statute forbidding two persons of the same sex to engage in certain intimate sexual conduct. The two
were arrested, held in custody over night, and charged and convicted before a Justice of the Peace. The two
exercised their right to a trial de novo in Harris County Criminal Court. They challenged the statute as a
violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment and of a like provision of the Texas
Constitution. Those contentions were rejected. The two, having entered a plea of nolo contendere, were each
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 4 )
Narratives (Berne Guerrero)
fined $200 and assessed court costs of $141.25. The Court of Appeals for the Texas Fourteenth District
considered the two accused’s federal constitutional arguments under both the Equal Protection and Due
Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. After hearing the case en banc the court, in a divided opinion,
rejected the constitutional arguments and affirmed the convictions. The majority opinion indicated that the
Court of Appeals considered the US Supreme Court decision in Bowers v. Hardwick (478 US 186 [1986]), to
be controlling on the federal due process aspect of the case. The US Supreme Court granted certiorari (537
U. S. 1044 [2002], to consider 3 questions: (1) whether the criminal convictions under the Texas
“Homosexual Conduct” law violate the 14th Amendment guarantee of equal protection of laws; (2) Whether
the criminal convictions for adult consensual sexual intimacy in the home violate their vital interests in liberty
and privacy protected by the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment; and (3) Whether Bowers v.
Hardwick (478 US 186 [1986]), should be overruled.
Issue: Whether the statute and the Bower decision denies homosexual persons the autonomy of decisions
involving relationships available to heterosexual ones.
Held: The laws involved in Bowers and here are, to be sure, statutes that purport to do no more than prohibit
a particular sexual act. Their penalties and purposes, though, have more far-reaching consequences, touching
upon the most private human conduct, sexual behavior, and in the most private of places, the home. The
statutes do seek to control a personal relationship that, whether or not entitled to formal recognition in the law,
is within the liberty of persons to choose without being punished as criminals. This, as a general rule, should
counsel against attempts by the State, or a court, to define the meaning of the relationship or to set its
boundaries absent injury to a person or abuse of an institution the law protects. It suffices for us to
acknowledge that adults may choose to enter upon this relationship in the confines of their homes and their
own private lives and still retain their dignity as free persons. When sexuality finds overt expression in
intimate conduct with another person, the conduct can be but one element in a personal bond that is more
enduring. The liberty protected by the Constitution allows homosexual persons the right to make this choice.
Our laws and tradition afford constitutional protection to personal decisions relating to marriage, procreation,
contraception, family relationships, child rearing, and education. These matters, involving the most intimate
and personal choices a person may make in a lifetime, choices central to personal dignity and autonomy, are
central to the liberty protected by the 14th Amendment. At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own
concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life. Beliefs about these
matters could not define the attributes of personhood were they formed under compulsion of the State.
Persons in a homosexual relationship may seek autonomy for these purposes, just as heterosexual persons do.
The decision in Bowers would deny them this right. The case of Bowers was not correct when it was decided,
and it is not correct today. It ought not to remain binding precedent. Bowers v. Hardwick should be and now is
overruled. Thus, the judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Texas Fourteenth District is reversed, and the
case is remanded for further proceedings not inconsistent with the present opinion.
67 Estrada v. Sandiganbayan [GR 148560, 19 November 2001]
En Banc, Bellosillo (J) : 2 concur, 2 filed separate concurring opinions, 6 joined the concurring opinion of
Mendoza, 3 dissented in a separate opinion, 1 took no part
Facts: On 4 April 2001, the Office of the Ombudsman filed before the Sandiganbayan 8 separate
Informations, docketed as: (a) Criminal Case 26558, for violation of Republic Act (RA) 7080, as amended by
RA 7659; (b) Criminal Cases 26559 to 26562, inclusive, for violation of Sections 3, paragraph (a), 3,
paragraph (a), 3, paragraph (e), and 3, paragraph (e) of RA 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act),
respectively; (c) Criminal Case 26563, for violation of Section 7, paragraph (d), of RA 6713 (The Code of
Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees); (d) Criminal Case 26564, for Perjury
(Article. 183 of The Revised Penal Code); and, (e) Criminal Case 26565, for Illegal Use Of An Alias
(Commonwealth Act 142, as amended by RA 6085). On 11 April 2001, Joseph Estrada filed an Omnibus
Motion for the remand of the case to the Ombudsman for preliminary investigation with respect to
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 5 )
Narratives (Berne Guerrero)
specification "d" of the charges in the Information in Criminal Case 26558; and, for reconsideration /
reinvestigation of the offenses under specifications "a," "b," and "c" to give the accused an opportunity to file
counter-affidavits and other documents necessary to prove lack of probable cause. The grounds raised were
only lack of preliminary investigation, reconsideration / reinvestigation of offenses, and opportunity to prove
lack of probable cause. The purported ambiguity of the charges and the vagueness of the law under which
they are charged were never raised in that Omnibus Motion thus indicating the explicitness and
comprehensibility of the Plunder Law. On 25 April 2001, the Sandiganbayan, Third Division, issued a
Resolution in Criminal Case No. 26558 finding that "a probable cause for the offense of plunder exists to
justify the issuance of warrants for the arrest of the accused." On 25 June 2001 petitioner's motion for
reconsideration was denied by the Sandiganbayan. On 14 June 2001, Estrada moved to quash the Information
in Criminal Case 26558 on the ground that the facts alleged therein did not constitute an indictable offense
since the law on which it was based was unconstitutional for vagueness, and that the Amended Information
for Plunder charged more than one (1) offense. On 9 July 2001, the Sandiganbayan denied petitioner's Motion
to Quash.
Issue: Whether the Plunder law, and the information, are clear to inform Estrada of the accusations against
him as to enable him to prepare for an intelligent defense.
Held: As it is written, the Plunder Law contains ascertainable standards and well-defined parameters which
would enable the accused to determine the nature of his violation. Section 2 is sufficiently explicit in its
description of the acts, conduct and conditions required or forbidden, and prescribes the elements of the crime
with reasonable certainty and particularity. As long as the law affords some comprehensible guide or rule that
would inform those who are subject to it what conduct would render them liable to its penalties, its validity
will be sustained. It must sufficiently guide the judge in its application; the counsel, in defending one charged
with its violation; and more importantly, the accused, in identifying the realm of the proscribed conduct.
Indeed, it can be understood with little difficulty that what the assailed statute punishes is the act of a public
officer in amassing or accumulating ill-gotten wealth of at least P50,000,000.00 through a series or
combination of acts enumerated in Section 1, paragraph (d), of the Plunder Law. Herein, the amended
Information itself closely tracks the language of the law, indicating with reasonable certainty the various
elements of the offense which Estrada is alleged to have committed. There was nothing that is vague or
ambiguous that will confuse Estrada in his defense. Factual assertions clearly show that the elements of the
crime are easily understood and provide adequate contrast between the innocent and the prohibited acts. Upon
such unequivocal assertions, Estrada is completely informed of the accusations against him as to enable him
to prepare for an intelligent defense.
There is no basis for Estrada's claim that the Supreme Court review the Anti-Plunder Law on its face and in its
entirety. A facial challenge is allowed to be made to a vague statute and to one which is overbroad because of
possible "chilling effect" upon protected speech. The theory is that "[w]hen statutes regulate or proscribe
speech and no readily apparent construction suggests itself as a vehicle for rehabilitating the statutes in a
single prosecution, the transcendent value to all society of constitutionally protected expression is deemed to
justify allowing attacks on overly broad statutes with no requirement that the person making the attack
demonstrate that his own conduct could not be regulated by a statute drawn with narrow specificity." This
rationale does not apply to penal statutes. Criminal statutes have general in terrorem effect resulting from their
very existence, and, if facial challenge is allowed for this reason alone, the State may well be prevented from
enacting laws against socially harmful conduct. In the area of criminal law, the law cannot take chances as in
the area of free speech. The void-for-vagueness doctrine states that "a statute which either forbids or requires
the doing of an act in terms so vague that men of common intelligence must necessarily guess at its meaning
and differ as to its application, violates the first essential of due process of law." The overbreadth doctrine, on
the other hand, decrees that "a governmental purpose may not be achieved by means which sweep
unnecessarily broadly and thereby invade the area of protected freedoms." The doctrines of strict scrutiny,
overbreadth, and vagueness are analytical tools developed for testing "on their faces" statutes in free speech
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 6 )
Narratives (Berne Guerrero)
cases. "On its face" invalidation of statutes has been described as "manifestly strong medicine," to be
employed "sparingly and only as a last resort," and is generally disfavored.
68 Tanada v. Tuvera [ GR L-63915, 29 December 1986]
Resolution En Banc, Cruz (J) : 8 concur
Facts: Invoking the people's right to be informed on matters of public concern (Section 6, Article IV of the
1973 Philippine Constitution) as well as the principle that laws to be valid and enforceable must be published
in the Official Gazette or otherwise effectively promulgated, Lorenzo M. Tañada, Abraham F. Sarmiento, and
the Movement of Attorneys for Brotherhood, Integrity and Nationalism, Inc. [MABINI] sought a writ of
mandamus to compel Hon. Juan C. Tuvera, in his capacity as Executive Assistant to the President, Hon.
Joaquin Venus, in his capacity as Deputy Executive Assistant to the President, Melquiades P. De La Cruz, in
his capacity as Director, Malacañang Records Office, and Florendo S. Pablo, in his capacity as Director,
Bureau of Printing, to publish, and or cause the publication in the Official Gazette of various presidential
decrees, letters of instructions, general orders, proclamations, executive orders, letter of implementation and
administrative orders. On 24 April 1985, the Court affirmed the necessity for the publication to the Official
Gazette all unpublished presidential issuances which are of general application, and unless so published, they
shall have no binding force and effect. The decision was concurred only by 3 justices. Tanada, et. al. move for
reconsideration / clarification of the decision on various questions. They suggest that there should be no
distinction between laws of general applicability and those which are not; that publication means complete
publication; and that the publication must be made forthwith in the Official Gazette. The Solicitor General
avers that the motion is a request for advisory opinion. Meanwhile, the February EDSA Revolution took
place, which subsequently required the new Solicitor General to file a rejoinder on the issue (under Rule 3,
Section 18 of the Rules of Court).
Issue: Whether laws should be published in full and in the Official Gazette only.
Held: Omission of publication would offend due process insofar as it would deny the public knowledge of the
laws that are supposed to govern it. it is not unlikely that persons not aware of it would be prejudiced as a
result; and they would be so not because of a failure to comply with it but simply because they did not know
of its existence. Publication is required, even if their enactment is “otherwise provided” or effective
immediately. The term "laws" should refer to all laws and not only to those of general application, for strictly
speaking all laws relate to the people in general albeit there are some that do not apply to them directly. To be
valid, the law must invariably affect the public interest even if it might be directly applicable only to one
individual, or some of the people only, and not to the public as a whole. Publication requirements applies to
(1) all statutes, including those of local application and private laws; (2) presidential decrees and executive
orders promulgated by the President in the exercise of legislative powers whenever the same are validly
delegated by the legislature or directly conferred by the Constitution; (3) Administrative rules and regulations
for the purpose of enforcing or implementing existing law pursuant also to a valid delegation; (4) Charter of a
city notwithstanding that it applies to only a portion of the national territory and directly affects only the
inhabitants of that place; (5) Monetary Board circulars to "fill in the details" of the Central Bank Act which
that body is supposed to enforce. Publication requirements does not apply to (1) interpretative regulations and
those merely internal in nature, i.e. regulating only the personnel of the administrative agency and not the
public; (2) Letters of Instructions issued by administrative superiors concerning the rules or guidelines to be
followed by their subordinates in the performance of their duties; and (3) instructions of Ministry heads on
case studies. Further, publication must be in full or it is no publication at all since its purpose is to inform the
public of the contents of the laws. It should be published in the Official Gazette and not elsewhere. Even if
newspapers of general circulation could better perform the function of communicating the laws to the people
as such periodicals are more easily available, have a wider readership, and come out regularly, this kind of
publication is not the one required or authorized by existing law.
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 7 )
Narratives (Berne Guerrero)
Philippine International Trading Corp. (PITC) v. Angeles [GR 108461, 21 October 1996]
Second Division, Torres (J) : 4 concur
Facts: On 6 August 1973, the Philippine International Trading Corporation (PITC) was created as a
government owned or controlled corporation under Presidential Decree (PD) 252. On 9 May 1977, PD 1071
revised the provisions of PD 252, where the purposes and powers of the said governmental entity were
enumerated under Sections 5 and 6 thereof. On 9 August 1976, the late President Ferdinand Marcos issued
Letter of Instruction (LOI) 444, directing, inter alia, that trade (export or import of all commodities) between
the Philippines and any of the Socialist and other Centrally Planned Economy Countries (SOCPEC),
including the People's Republic of China (PROC) shall be undertaken or coursed through the PITC. After the
EDSA Revolution, or more specifically on 27 February 1987, then President Corazon C. Aquino promulgated
Executive Order (EO) 133 reorganizing the DTI empowering the said department to be the "primary
coordinative, promotive, facilitative and regulatory arm of the government for the country's trade, industry
and investment activities." The PITC was made one of DTI's line agencies. Sometime in April 1988,
following the State visit of President Aquino to the PROC, the Philippines and PROC entered into a
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) wherein the two countries agreed to make joint efforts within the
next five years to expand bilateral trade and to strive for a steady progress towards achieving a balance
between the value of their imports and exports during the period. Conformably with the MOU, the Philippines
and PROC entered into a Trade Protocol for the years 1989, 1990 and 1991, under which was specified the
commodities to be traded between them. On August 1989, PITC issued Administrative Order (AO) SOCPEC
89-08-01 under which, applications to the PITC for importation from China (PROC) must be accompanied by
a viable and confirmed Export Program of Philippine Products to PROC carried out by the importer himself
or through a tie-up with a legitimate importer in an amount equivalent to the value of the importation from
PROC being applied for or 1:1 ratio. Remington Industrial Sales Corp. and Firestone Ceramics, both domestic
corporations, organized and existing under Philippine-laws, individually applied for authority to import from
PROC with PITC. They were granted such authority. Subsequently, for failing to comply with their
undertakings to submit export credits equivalent to the value of their importations, further import applications
were withheld by PITC from Remington and Firestone, such that the latter were both barred from importing
goods from PROC. On 20 January 1992, Remington filed a Petition for Prohibition and Mandamus, with
prayer for issuance of Temporary Restraining Order and/or Writ of Preliminary Injunction against PITC in the
Regional Trial Court (RTC, Makati Branch 58). On 4 January 1993, Judge Zosimo Z. Angeles (Presiding
Judge) upheld the petition for prohibition and mandamus of Remington and Firestone (Civil Case 92-158),
and declaring PITC AO SOCPEC 89-08-01 and its regulations null, void, and unconstitutional. PITC filed the
petition seeking the reversal of Angeles’ decision.
Issue: Whether AO SOCPEC 89-08-01 binds Remington and Firestone.
Held: The PITC was legally empowered to issue Administrative Orders, as a valid exercise of a power
ancillary to legislation. Administrative Order SOCPEC 89-08-01 is not, however, a valid exercise of such
quasi-legislative power. The original AO issued on 30 August 1989, under which the respondents filed their
applications for importation, was not published in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general
circulation. The questioned Administrative Order, legally, until it is published, is invalid within the context of
Article 2 of Civil Code. The AO under consideration is one of those issuances which should be published for
its effectivity, since its purpose is to enforce and implement an existing law pursuant to a valid delegation, i.e.,
PD 1071, in relation to LOI 444 and EO 133. It was only on 30 March 1992 when the amendments to the said
Administrative Order were filed in the UP Law Center, and published in the National Administrative Register
as required by the Administrative Code of 1987.The fact that the amendments to AO SOCPEC 89 08-01 were
filed with, and published by the UP Law Center in the National Administrative Register, does not cure the
defect related to the effectivity of the Administrative Order. Further, the Administrative Order, without force
and effect due to the lack of publication, thus cannot exact any obligation from Remington and Firestone,
specifically, charges for the 0.5% Counter Export Development Service.
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 8 )
Narratives (Berne Guerrero)
70 Pilipinas Kao v. CA [GR 105014, 18 December 2001]
First Division, Kapunan (J) : 4 concur
Facts: Pilipinas Kao, Inc. is a corporation organized and existing under the laws of the Philippines, engaged
in multiple areas of registered activity, or has a number of projects registered with the Board of Investments
(BOI). Batas Pambansa 391 (Investment Policy Act of 1983) was enacted in 1983, providing, among others,
for tax incentives for new and expanding export producer. To avail itself of these tax incentives, the company
applied with BOI for registration of its expanded production capacity, which BOI approved on 8 January
1987. Each project was entitled to a certain set of incentives depending upon, among others, the law of
registration and the status and type of registration. These tax incentives apply only to the company’s
Certificate of Registration 87-1476 (Project 4) as new export producer, and Certificate of Registration 871247 (Project 3) as an expanding export producer (an expansion of the company's existing projects registered
under RA +6135). The initial application by company for tax credit incentives for the year 1987 was approved
by BOI substantially as applied for. But those applied for in 1988 and onwards were drastically reduced by
BOI with the adoption and application of a deductible "base figure" provided in its Tax Credit on Net Local
Content (NLC) and Net Value Earned (NVE) Manual of Operations. On 31 March 1989, company filed
applications for its 1988 tax credits on the NVE for P8,583,328.00 and on the NLC for P25,928,673.00 for a
grand total of P34,512,000.00. On 10 May 1990, the BOI Issued Board Resolution 188, series of 1990,
granting company's application for tax credit but only in the reduced amounts of P1,512,758 for NVE and
P2,631,018 for NLC for a grand total of P4,223,776. Notified of the BOI s decision, company requested for a
reconsideration. But before the BOI could act thereon, company again filed on 3 July 1990 its applications for
1989 tax credits on the NVE in the amount of P9,649,459 and on the NLC, P25,648,401, for a grand total of
P35,297,860. On 27 July 1990, the BOI denied company's request for reconsideration anent its 1988 tax
credit, the denial being communicated to company in a letter dated 1 August 1990 and received by the latter
on 15 August 1990.On 17 December 1990, company again moved for reconsideration of the BOI s letter
dated 1 August 1990, but the same was denied by the BOI in a letter dated 11 March 1991. On 11 March
1991, the BOI also advised company of the approval of its application for the year 1989 tax credit but only in
the reduced amounts of P3,441,473 (NVE) and P649,471 (NLC) for a grand total of P4,090,944. On 15 April
1991, and by registered mail, company then filed with the Honorable Supreme Court a motion for extension
of time to file petition pursuant to Article 82 of the Omnibus Investments Code; it likewise filed a second
motion for extension of time to file petition on 15 May 1991, both of which were not acted upon by the
Honorable Supreme Court. On 6 May 1991, however, the Supreme Court issued a resolution referring the
instant petition to the trial Court. The trial court, however, dismissed the petition for review "on technical and
substantive grounds"; ruling that the petition for review was filed beyond the 30 period of appeal set in Article
78 of PD 1789, as amended by BP 391. The Court of Appeals sustained the decision of the trial court and
sustained the reduction of credits on net value earned and net local content applied for by the company in
1988 and 1989. Consequently, the company filed petition to set aside decision of the Court of Appeals with
the Supreme Court.
Issue: Whether the Board of Investment’s Manual of Operation, especially as to the NLC and NVE, binds
Pilipinas Kao, or the public as a whole.
Held: The Manual of Operations is not exempted from publication as it is not merely internal in nature,
regulating only the personnel of the administrative agency and not the public, nor is it a letter of instruction
issued by administrative superiors concerning the rules and guidelines to be followed by their subordinates in
the performance of their duties. The Manual of Operations affected the public in a substantial way.
Administrative rules and regulations must be published if their purpose is to enforce or implement existing
law pursuant to a valid delegation. The Manual of Operations was meant to enforce or implement B.P. Blg.
391, a law of general application. The absence of publication is a fatal omission that renders the Manual of
Operations void and of no effect (See Tanada v. Tuvera). Further, Section 17 of PD 1789, as amended by BP
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 9 )
Narratives (Berne Guerrero)
391, explicitly provides that the rules and regulations implementing the Investments Code take effect only
after due publication. Thus, the ''Tax Credit on NLC and NVE Manual of Operations" (Manual of Operations)
of BOI has no legal effect insofar as it adopts as a "base figure" for net value earned (NVE) the "highest
attained production volume" in the period preceding the registration of petitioner's additional or expanded
capacity; and (2) only the expanded or additional capacity of petitioner registered under BP 1789, as amended
by BP 391, is entitled to the tax credit provided therein, and not the pre-existing registered capacity.
Republic vs. Express Telecommunications Co. Inc. (Extelcom) [GR 147096, 15 January 2002];
also Bayan Telecommunications (Bayantel) Inc., vs. Express Telecommunications Co. [GR
First Division, Ynares-Santiago (J): 4 concur
Facts: On 29 December 1992, the International Communications Corporation (now Bayan
Telecommunications, Inc. or Bayantel) filed an application with the National Telecommunications
Commission (NTC) for a Certificate of Public Convenience or Necessity (CPCN, NTC Case 92-486) to
install, operate and maintain a digital Cellular Mobile Telephone System/Service (CMTS) with prayer for a
Provisional Authority (PA). Shortly thereafter, or on 22 January 1993, the NTC issued Memorandum Circular
4-1-93 directing all interested applicants for nationwide or regional CMTS to file their respective applications
before the Commission on or before 15 February 1993, and deferring the acceptance of any application filed
after said date until further orders. On 6 May 1993, and prior to the issuance of any notice of hearing by the
NTC with respect to Bayantel's original application, Bayantel filed an urgent ex-parte motion to admit an
amended application. On 17 May 1993, the notice of hearing issued by the NTC with respect to this amended
application was published in the Manila Chronicle. Copies of the application as well as the notice of hearing
were mailed to all affected parties. Subsequently, hearings were conducted on the amended application. But
before Bayantel could complete the presentation of its evidence, the NTC issued an Order dated 19 December
1993 stating that in view of the recent grant of 2 separate Provisional Authorities in favor of ISLACOM and
GMCR, Inc., which resulted in the closing out of all available frequencies for the service being applied for by
Bayantel, and in order that the case may not remain pending for an indefinite period of time, the case was
ordered archived without prejudice to its reinstatement if and when the requisite frequency becomes available.
On 17 May 1999, Bayantel filed an Ex-Parte Motion to Revive Case, citing the availability of new frequency
bands for CMTS operators. On 1 February 2000, the NTC granted BayanTel's motion to revive the latter's
application and set the case for hearings on February 9, 10, 15, 17 and 22, 2000. The NTC noted that the
application was ordered archived without prejudice to its reinstatement if and when the requisite frequency
shall become available. Express Telecommunication Co., Inc. (Extelcom) filed in NTC Case 92-486 an
Opposition (With Motion to Dismiss) praying for the dismissal of Bayantel's application; arguing that
Bayantel's motion sought the revival of an archived application filed almost 8 years ago, and thus, the
documentary evidence and the allegations of Bayantel in said application are all outdated and should no
longer be used as basis of the necessity for the proposed CMTS service. On 3 May 2000, the NTC issued an
Order granting in favor of Bayantel a provisional authority to operate CMTS service, applying Rule 15,
Section 3 of its 1978 Rules of Practice and Procedure. Extelcom filed with the Court of Appeals a petition for
certiorari and prohibition (CA-GR SP 58893), seeking the annulment of the Order reviving the application of
Bayantel, the Order granting Bayantel a provisional authority to construct, install, operate and maintain a
nationwide CMTS, and Memorandum Circular 9-3-2000 allocating frequency bands to new public
telecommunication entities which are authorized to install, operate and maintain CMTS. On 13 September
2000, the Court of Appeals granted the writs of certiorari and prohibition prayed for, annulling and setting
aside the NTC orders dated 1 February and 3 May 2000 in NTC Case 92-486, dismissing Bayantel's Amended
Application without prejudice to the filing of a new CMTS application. Bayantel and the NTC, the latter
being represented by the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), filed a motion for reconsideration of the
above decision. On the other hand, Extelcom filed a Motion for Partial Reconsideration, praying that NTC
Memorandum Circular 9-3-2000 be also declared null and void. On 9 February 2001, the Court of Appeals
issued a resolution denying all of the motions for reconsideration of the parties for lack of merit. Hence, the
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 10 )
Narratives (Berne Guerrero)
NTC and Bayantel filed their petitions for review on certiorari (GR 147096, and GR 147210 respectively). In
the present petition, Extelcom contends, among others, that the NTC should have applied the Revised Rules
which were filed with the Office of the National Administrative Register on 3 February 1993. These Revised
Rules deleted the phrase "on its own initiative;" accordingly, a provisional authority may be issued only upon
filing of the proper motion before the Commission. The NTC, on the other hand, issued a certification to the
effect that inasmuch as the 1993 Revised Rules have not been published in a newspaper of general circulation,
the NTC has been applying the 1978 Rules.
Issue: Whether the 1978 or 1993 NTC Rules of Practice and Procedure should govern in the approval of
Bayantel’s application.
Held: The absence of publication, coupled with the certification by the Commissioner of the NTC stating that
the NTC was still governed by the 1978 Rules, clearly indicate that the 1993 Revised Rules have not taken
effect at the time of the grant of the provisional authority to Bayantel. The fact that the 1993 Revised Rules
were filed with the UP Law Center on February 3, 1993 is of no moment. There is nothing in the
Administrative Code of 1987 which implies that the filing of the rules with the UP Law Center is the
operative act that gives the rules force and effect. The National Administrative Register is merely a bulletin of
codified rules and it is furnished only to the Office of the President, Congress, all appellate courts, the
National Library, other public offices or agencies as the Congress may select, and to other persons at a price
sufficient to cover publication and mailing or distribution costs. Still, publication in the Official Gazette or a
newspaper of general circulation is a condition sine qua non before statutes, rules or regulations can take
effect. The Rules of Practice and Procedure of the NTC, which implements Section 29 of the Public Service
Act (Commonwealth Act 146, as amended), fall squarely within the scope of these laws, as explicitly
mentioned in the case Tañada v. Tuvera. Administrative rules and regulations must be published if their
purpose is to enforce or implement existing law pursuant to a valid delegation. The only exceptions are
interpretative regulations, those merely internal in nature, or those so-called letters of instructions issued by
administrative superiors concerning the rules and guidelines to be followed by their subordinates in the
performance of their duties. Hence, the 1993 Revised Rules should be published in the Official Gazette or in a
newspaper of general circulation before it can take effect. Even the 1993 Revised Rules itself mandates that
said Rules shall take effect only after their publication in a newspaper of general circulation. In the absence of
such publication, therefore, it is the 1978 Rules that governs.
Tanada v. Philippine Atomic Energy Commission [GR 70632, 11 February 1986]; also Nuclear
Free Philippines Coalition v. Napocor [ GR L-68474]
Resolution En Banc, Plana (J) : 5 concur, 2 took no part
Facts: The Official Philippine Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) pamphlet, entitled "The Philippine
Nuclear Power Plant-1" was published in 1985 when Commissioners Manuel Eugenio, Quirino Navarro, and
Alejandro Ver Albano had already been appointed to their present positions. Other pamphlets entitled
"Nuclear Power – Safe, Clean, Economical, and Available," and “Nuclear Power Plant and Environmental
Safety” were issued earlier, but the majority of the Commissioners even then were already occupying
positions of responsibility in the PAEC. Commissioner Eugenio was Acting Chief of the PAEC Department
on Nuclear Technology and Engineering from June, 1980 to July, 1984; Commissioner Navarro was PAEC
Chief Science Research Specialist from May, 1980 to September, 1984; and Commissioner Albano was PAEC
Deputy Commissioner from March, 1980 to September, 1984. These pamphlets continued to be distributed by
PAEC as late as March 1985. Their official distribution continued after the filing of National Power
Corporation (Napocor)'s motion for conversion on 27 June 1984 and even after PAEC had issued its order
dated 26 February 1985 formally admitting the said motion for conversion. In GR 70632, the competence of
the PAEC Commissioners to pass judgment on the safety of the Philippine Nuclear Power Plant-1 (PNPP-1)
was questioned; (2) the validity of Napocor's motion/application for the conversion of its construction permit
into an operating license for PNPP-1 was assailed, and (3) PAEC Commissioners were charged with bias and
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 11 )
Narratives (Berne Guerrero)
Issue: Whether the PAEC Commissioner may sit in judgment in determining the safety of PNPP-1.
Held: The PAEC Commissioners would be acting with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of
jurisdiction were they to sit in judgment upon the safety of the plant, absent the requisite objectivity that must
characterize such an important inquiry because they already have prejudged the safety of PNPP-1. The PAEC
Commissioners cannot escape responsibility from the official pamphlets, which clearly indicate the
prejudgment that PNPP-1 is safe. The official distribution of the pamphlets continued when the
Commissioners had already been appointed to their present positions and and even after PAEC had issued its
order dated 26 February 1985 formally admitting Napocor’s motion for conversion.
73 Anzaldo v. Clave [GR L-54597, 15 December 1982]
Second Division, Aquino (J); 4 concur, 1 concur in result, 1 took no part
Facts: In 1974, the position of Science Research Supervisor II (Medical Research Department) became
vacant when the incumbent, Dr. Kintanar, became Director of the Biological Research Center of the National
Institute of Science and Technology (NIST). Dr. Anzaldo and Dr. Venzon were both next-in-rank to the vacant
position, both holding positions of Scientist Research Associate IV. Dr. Anzaldo finished BS Pharmacy (1950,
College of Pharmacy, UP), and MS Pharmacy (1962, CEU), Doctor of Pharmacy (1965, CEU). Aside from
her civil service eligibility as a pharmacist, she is a registered medical technologist and supervisor
(unassembled). She started working in the NIST in 1954 and has served for 28 years. On the other hand, Dr.
Venzon finished Medicine (1957, UST). She started working in the NIST in 1960 and has served for 21 years.
Dr. Anzaldo is senior to her in point of service. Dr. Quintin Kintanar recommended Dr. Venzon for the
position. Dr. Anzaldo protested against such recommendation, to which the NIST Reorganization Committee
found such protest to be valid and meritorious. Due to the impasse, the NIST Commissioner, however, did not
resolve the issue. The position was not filled up. Dr. Pedro Afable, Vice Chairman, later became OIC of the
NIST. He appointed Dr. Anzaldo to the position effective 4 January 1978, after thorough study and screening
of the qualifications of both doctors and upon recommendation of the NIST Staff Evaluation (88-61 votes).
The Civil Service Commission approved the appointment. Dr. Venzon appealed to the Office of the President
of the Philippines (addressed to Presidential Executive Assistant Jacobo Clave, who was concurrently the
Chairman of the CSC). The appeal was forwarded to the NIS OIC Jose P. Planas, who reiterated Dr. Afable’s
decision. The appeal-protest was later sent to the CSC. CSC Chairman Clave and Commissioner Jose A. Melo
recommended In Resolution 1178 dated 23 August 1979 that Dr. Venzon be appointed to the position, in
conflict with the 1978 appointment of Dr. Anzaldo which was duly attested and approved by the CSC. The
Resolution was made in pursuance to Section 19(6) of the Civil Service Decree of the Philippines (PD 807, 6
October 1975), which provides that "before deciding a contested appointment, the Office of the President
shall consult the Civil Service Commission." On 5 January 1980, after denial of her motion for the
reconsideration of the resolution, Dr. Anzaldo appealed to the Office of the President of the Philippines.
Presidential Executive Assistant Clave in his decision of 20 March 1980 revoked Dr. Anzaldo's appointment
and ruled that, "as recommended by the Civil Service Commission" (meaning Chairman Clave himself and
Commissioner Melo), Dr. Venzon should be appointed to the contested position but that Dr. Anzaldo's
appointment to the said position should be considered "valid and effective during the pendency" of Dr.
Venzon's protest. In a resolution dated 14 August 1980, Presidential Executive Assistant Clave denied Dr.
Anzaldo's motion for reconsideration. On 25 August 1980, Dr. Anzaldo filed in the Supreme Court the special
civil action of certiorari.
Issue: Whether CSC Commissioner Jacobo Clave can concur with the recommendation of the Presidential
Executive Assistant, who is himself, in the appointment of Dr. Venzon.
Held: The 20 March 1980 decision of Presidential Executive Assistant Clave implemented the 23 August
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 12 )
Narratives (Berne Guerrero)
1979 Resolution (1178) of Clave (as CSC Chairman), concurred with by Commissioner Melo, recommending
the appointment of Dr. Venzon as Science Research Supervisor II in place of Dr. Anzaldo. When Presidential
Executive Assistant Clave said in his decision that he was "inclined to concur in the recommendation of the
Civil Service Commission", what he meant was that he was concurring with Chairman Clave's
recommendation: he was concurring with himself . It is evident that Doctor Anzaldo was denied due process
of law when Presidential Executive Assistant Clave concurred with the recommendation of Chairman Clave
of the Civil Service Commission (See also Zambales Chromite Mining Co. vs. Court of Appeals). Common
sense and propriety dictate that the commissioner in the Civil Service Commission, who should be consulted
by the Office of the President, should be a person different from the person in the Office of the President who
would decide the appeal of the protestant in a contested appointment.
74 Tumey vs. Ohio [273 US 510, 7 March 1927]
Taft (CJ):
Facts: Tumey was arrested at White Oak, and was brought before Mayor Pugh, of the village of North
College Hill, charged with unlawfully possessing intoxicating liquor. He moved for his dismissal because of
the disqualification of the mayor to try him under the 14th Amendment. The mayor denied the motion,
proceeded to the trial, convicted Tumey of unlawfully possessing intoxicating liquor within Hamilton county
as charged, fined him $100, and ordered that he be imprisoned until the fine and costs were paid. Tumey
obtained a bill of exceptions and carried the case on error to the court of common pleas of Hamilton county.
That court heard the case and reversed the judgment, on the ground that the mayor was disqualified as
claimed. The state sought review by the Court of Appeals of the First Appellate District of Ohio, which
reversed the common pleas and affirmed the judgment of the mayor. On 4 May 1926, the state Supreme Court
refused Tumey's application to require the Court of Appeals to certify its record in the case. Tumey then filed
a petition in error in that court as of right, asking that the judgment of the mayor's court and of the appellate
court be reversed on constitutional grounds. On 11 May 1926, the Supreme Court adjudged that the petition
be dismissed for the reason that no debatable constitutional question was involved in the cause. The judgment
was then brought to the US Supreme Court upon a writ of error allowed by the Chief Justice of the state
Supreme Court, to which it was rightly directed.
Issue: Whether the pecuniary interest of the Mayor and his village, and the system of courts in prosecuting
violations of the Prohibition Act, renders the mayor disqualified from hearing the case.
Held: All questions of judicial qualification may not involve constitutional validity. Thus matters of kinship,
personal bias, state policy, remoteness of interest would seem generally to be matters merely of legislative
discretion. But it certainly violates the 14th Amendment and deprives a defendant in a criminal case of due
process of law to subject his liberty or property to the judgment of a court, the judge of which has a direct,
personal, substantial pecuniary interest in reaching a conclusion against him in his case. Herein, the mayor
has authority, which he exercised in the case, to order that the person sentenced to pay a fine shall remain in
prison until the fine and costs are paid. The mayor thus has a direct personal pecuniary interest in convicting
the defendant who came before him for trial, in the $12 of costs imposed in his behalf, which he would not
have received if the defendant had been acquitted. This was not exceptional, but was the result of the normal
operation of the law and the ordinance. The system by which an inferior judge is paid for his service only
when he convicts the defendant has not become so embedded by custom in the general practice, either at
common law or in this country, that it can be regarded as due process of law, unless the costs usually imposed
are so small that they may be properly ignored as within the maxim "de minimis non curat lex." The Court
cannot regard the prospect of receipt or loss of such an emolument in each case as a minute, remote, trifling,
or insignificant interest. It is certainly not fair to each defendant brought before the mayor for the careful and
judicial consideration of his guilt or innocence that the prospect of such a prospective loss by the mayor
should weigh against his acquittal. But the pecuniary interest of the mayor in the result of his judgment is not
the only reason for holding that due process of law is denied to the defendant here. The statutes were drawn to
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 13 )
Narratives (Berne Guerrero)
stimulate small municipalities, in the country part of counties in which there are large cities, to organize and
maintain courts to try persons accused of violations of the Prohibition Act everywhere in the county. The
inducement is offered of dividing between the state and the village the large fines provided by the law for its
violations. The trial is to be had before a mayor without a jury, without opportunity for retrial, and with a
review confined to questions of law presented by a bill of exceptions, with no opportunity by the reviewing
court to set aside the judgment on the weighing of evidence, unless it should appear to be so manifestly
against the evidence as to indicate mistake, bias, or willful disregard of duty by the trial court. Thus, no matter
what the evidence was against him, the defendant had the right to have an impartial judge. He seasonably
raised the objection, and was entitled to halt the trial because of the disqualification of the judge, which
existed both because of his direct pecuniary interest in the outcome, and because of his official motive to
convict and to graduate the fine to help the financial needs of the village. There were thus presented at the
outset both features of the disqualification. The judgment of the Supreme Court of Ohio is reversed, and the
cause remanded for further proceedings not inconsistent with the present opinion.
75 People v. CA [GR 118882, 26 September 1996]
Resolution of Third Division, Melo (J); 4 concur
Facts: The are no preliminary facts provided regarding CA-GR SP No. 31733, "People vs. Hon. Pedro S.
Espina et al." (in Court of Appeals), Criminal Case 93-01-38, "People vs. Cristeta Reyes, et al.," and Criminal
Case 93-01-39, "People of the Philippines vs. Jane C. Go" (both in RTC branch presided by Judge Pedro
Espina, Branch 7, RTC, 8th Judicial Region: Tacloban) in the present resolution; except the fact that Jane Go
is the principal accused in the killing of her husband Dominador Go. The Office of the Solicitor General filed
a petition for review with urgent prayer for a writ of preliminary injunction and/or restraining order to annul
and set aside the decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-GR SP 31733 in so far as it denied People’s prayer
for the inhibition of Judge Espina in hearing Criminal cases 93-01-38 and 93-01-39, and enjoining the judge
from conducting further proceedings in such criminal cases, before the Supreme Court. On 3 April 1995, the
Court resolved to require Cristeta Reyes and Roger Doctora, Johny Santos and Antonio Alegro, and Jane C.
Go to comment within 10 days from notice, to issue the temporary restraining order prayed for, and to enjoin
Judge Pedro S. Espina from taking further action in Criminal Cases 93-01-38 and 93-01-39 until further
orders from the Court. Reyes, Doctora, Santos, Alegro, and Go failed to file their respective comments within
the reglementary period, nor within the second deadline. As the latter are already in detention and that
sanction relating to delay in the submission of the comments may not amount to much, and as not to unduly
delay the disposition of Criminal Cases 93-01-38 and 93-01-39, the Court resolved to dispense with the
latter's comments and to proceed with the disposition of the petition.
Issue: Whether the decision of a Judge favorable to the accused in a different special civil proceeding is
enough basis to render the Judge to be partial or bias in the present criminal case.
Held: One of the essential requirements of procedural due process in a judicial proceeding is that there must
be an impartial court or tribunal clothed with judicial power to hear and determine the matter before it. Thus,
every litigant, including the State, is entitled to the cold neutrality of an impartial judge. The judge must not
only be impartial but must also appear to be impartial as an added assurance to the parties that his decision
will be just. They should be sure that when their rights are violated they can go to a judge who shall give them
justice. They must believe in his sense of fairness, otherwise they will not seek his judgment. Due process is
intended to insure that confidence by requiring compliance with the rudiments of fair play. Fair play calls for
equal justice. There cannot be equal justice where a suitor approaches a court already committed to the other
party and with a judgment already made and waiting only to be formalized after the litigants shall have
undergone the charade of a formal hearing. The Judge will reach his conclusions only after all the evidence is
in and all the arguments are filed, on the basis of the established facts and the pertinent law. Herein, Judge
Pedro Espina cannot be considered to adequately possess such cold neutrality of an impartial judge as to fairly
assess both the evidence to be adduced by the prosecution and the defense in view of his previous decision in
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 14 )
Narratives (Berne Guerrero)
Special Civil Action 92-11-219 wherein he enjoined the preliminary investigation at the Regional State
Prosecutor's Office level against Jane Go, the principal accused in the killing of her husband Dominador Go.
Judge Espina's decision in favor of Jane Go serves as sufficient and reasonable basis for the prosecution to
seriously doubt his impartiality in handling the criminal cases. It would have been more prudent for Judge
Espina to have voluntarily inhibited himself from hearing the criminal cases.
Tabuena v. Sandiganbayan [GR 103501-03, 17 February 1997]; also Peralta v. Sandiganbayan
[GR 103507]
En Banc, Francisco (J) : 4 concur, 3 concur pro hac vice, 1 took no part
Facts: Then President Marcos instructed Luis Tabuena over the phone to pay directly to the president's office
and in cash what the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) owes the Philippine National
Construction Corporation (PNCC), pursuant to the 7 January 1985 memorandum of then Minister Trade and
Industry Roberto Ongpin. Tabuena agreed. About a week later, Tabuena received from Mrs. Fe Roa-Gimenez,
then private secretary of Marcos, a Presidential Memorandum dated 8 January 1986 reiterating in black and
white such verbal instruction. In obedience to President Marcos' verbal instruction and memorandum,
Tabuena, with the help of Gerardo G. Dabao and Adolfo Peralta, caused the release of P55 Million of MIAA
funds by means of three (3) withdrawals. On 10 January 1986, the first withdrawal was made for P25
Million, following a letter of even date signed by Tabuena and Dabao requesting the PNB extension office at
the MIAA the depository branch of MIAA funds, to issue a manager's check for said amount payable to
Tabuena. The check was encashed, however, at the PNB Villamor Branch. Dabao and the cashier of the PNB
Villamor branch counted the money after which, Tabuena took delivery thereof. The P25 Million in cash was
delivered on the same day to the office of Mrs. Gimenez. Mrs. Gimenez did not issue any receipt for the
money received. Similar circumstances surrounded the second withdrawal/encashment and delivery of
another P25 Million, made on 16 January 1986. The third and last withdrawal was made on 31 January 1986
for P5 Million. Peralta was Tabuena's co-signatory to the letter- request for a manager's check for this amount.
Peralta accompanied Tabuena to the PNB Villamor branch as Tabuena requested him to do the counting of the
P5 Million. After the counting, the money was loaded in the trunk of Tabuena's car. Peralta did not go with
Tabuena to deliver the money to Mrs. Gimenez' office. It was only upon delivery of the P5 Million that Mrs.
Gimenez issued a receipt for all the amounts she received from Tabuena. The receipt was dated January 30,
1986. Tabuena and Peralta were charged for malversation of funds, while Dabao remained at large. One of the
justices of the Sandiganbayan actively took part in the questioning of a defense witness and of the accused
themselves; the volume of the questions asked were more the combined questions of the counsels. On 12
October 1990, they were found guilty beyond reasonable doubt. Tabuena and Peralta filed separate petitions
for review, appealing the Sandiganbayan decision dated 12 October 19990 and the Resolution of 20
December 1991.
Issue: Whether Tabuena and Peralta were denied due process by the active participation of a Sandiganbayan
justice in the questioning witnesses in the trial.
Held: Due process requires no less than the cold neutrality of an impartial judge. Bolstering this requirement,
we have added that the judge must not only be impartial but must also appear to be impartial, to give added
assurance to the parties that his decision will be just. The parties are entitled to no less than this, as a
minimum guaranty of due process. Our courts should refrain from showing any semblance of one-sided or
more or less partial attitude in order not to create any false impression in the minds of the litigants. For
obvious reasons, it is the bounden duty of all to strive for the preservation of the people's faith in our courts.
Respect for the Constitution is more important than securing a conviction based on a violation of the rights of
the accused. The Court was struck by the way the Sandiganbayan actively took part in the questioning of a
defense witness and of the accused themselves, as shown in the records. The volume of questions hurled by
the Sandiganbayan was more the combined questions of the counsels. More importantly, the questions of the
court were in the nature of cross examinations characteristic of confrontation, probing and insinuation. We
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 15 )
Narratives (Berne Guerrero)
have not adopted in this country the practice of making the presiding judge the chief inquisitor. It is better to
observe our time-honored custom of orderly judicial procedure, even at the expense of occasional delays. The
impartiality of the judge; his avoidance of the appearance of becoming the advocate of either one side or the
other of the pending controversy is a fundamental and essential rule of special importance in criminal cases.
77 People v. Medenilla [GR 131638-39, 26 March 2001]
First Division, Kapunan (J) : 4 concur
Facts: On 16 April 1996, Loreto Medenilla y Doria was caught for illegal possession and unlawfully selling
5.08g of shabu (Criminal Case 3618-D), was in unlawful possession of 4 transparent plastic bags of shabu
weighing 200.45g (Criminal Case 3619-D) in Mandaluyong City. Versions of facts leading to the arrest are
conflicting; the prosecution alleging buy-bust operations, while defense claim illegal arrest, search and
seizure. Arraigned on 25 June 1996, Medenilla pleaded not guilty. The judge therein, for the purpose of
clarification, propounded a question upon a witness during the trial. On 26 November 1997, the Regional
Trial Court of Pasig (Branch 262) found Medenilla, in Criminal Cases 3618-D and 3619-D, guilty beyond
reasonable doubt of violating Sections 15 and 16 of RA 6425, as amended (Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972).
Issue: Whether judges are allowed to asked clarificatory questions.
Held: A single noted instance of questioning cannot justify a claim that the trial judge was biased. The Court
have exhaustively examined the transcript of stenographic notes and determined that the trial judge was more
than equitable in presiding over the hearings of this case. Moreover, a judge is not prohibited from
propounding clarificatory questions on a witness if the purpose of which is to arrive at a proper and just
determination of the case. “The trial judge must be accorded a reasonable leeway in putting such questions to
witnesses as may be essential to elicit relevant facts to make the record speak the truth. It cannot be taken
against him if the clarificatory questions he propounds happen to reveal certain truths which tend to destroy
the theory of one party.
Webb v. de Leon [GR 121234, 23 August 1995], also Gatchalian v. de Leon [GR 121245], and
Lejano v. de Leon [GR 121297]
Second Division, Puno (J) : 2 concur, 1 on leave
Facts: This was a highly-publicized case (dubbed as Vizconde Massacre, and involves a son of a Philippine
Senator). On 19 June 1994, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) filed with the Department of Justice
(DOJ) a letter-complaint charging petitioners Hubert Webb, Michael Gatchalian. Antonio J. Lejano and 6
other persons, with the crime of Rape with Homicide. Forthwith, the DOJ formed a panel of prosecutors
headed by Assistant Chief State prosecutor Jovencito R. Zuño to conduct the preliminary investigation of
those charged with the rape and killing on 30 June 1991 of Carmela N. Vizconde, her mother Estrellita
Nicolas-Vizoonde, and sister Anne Marie Jennifer in their home at Parañaque. During the preliminary
investigation, the NBI presented the sworn statements of Maria Jessica Alfaro, 2 former housemaids of the
Webb family, Carlos Cristobal (a plane passenger), Lolita Birrer (live-in partner of Biong), 2 of Vizconde’s
maids, Normal White (a security guard) and Manciano Gatmaitan (an engineer). The NBI also submitted the
autopsy report involving Estrellita (12 stab wounds), Carmela (9 stab wounds), and Jennifer (19 stab
wounds); and the genital examination of Carmela confirming the presence of spermatozoa. The NBI
submitted photocopies of the documents requested by Webb in his Motion for Production and Examination of
Evidence and Documents, granted by the DOJ Panel. Webb claimed during the preliminary investigation that
he did not commit the crime as he went to the United States on 1 March 1991 and returned to the Philippines
on 27 October 1992. The others — Fernandez, Gatchalian, Lejano, Estrada, Rodriguez and Biong —
submitted sworn statements, responses, and a motion to dismiss denying their complicity in the rape-killing of
the Vizcondes. Only Filart and Ventura failed to file their counter-affidavits though they were served with
subpoena in their last known address. On 8 August 1995, the DOJ Panel issued a 26-page Resolution "finding
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 16 )
Narratives (Berne Guerrero)
probable cause to hold respondents for trial" and recommending that an Information for rape with homicide
be filed against Webb, et. al. On the same date, it filed the corresponding Information against Webb, et. al.
with the RTC Parañaque. Docketed as Criminal Case 95-404 and raffled to Branch 258 presided by Judge
Zosimo V. Escano. It was, however, Judge Raul de Leon, pairing judge of Judge Escano, who issued the
warrants of arrest against Webb, et. al. On 11 August 1995, Judge Escano voluntarily inhibited himself from
the case to avoid any suspicion about his impartiality considering his employment with the NBI before his
appointment to the bench. The case was re-raffled to branch 274, presided by Judge Amelita Tolentino who
issued new warrants of arrest against Webb, et. al. On 11 August 1995, Webb voluntarily surrendered to the
police authorities at Camp Ricardo Papa Sr., in Taguig. Webb, et. al. filed petitions for the issuance of the
extraordinary writs of certiorari, prohibition and mandamus with application for temporary restraining order
and preliminary injunction with the Supreme Court to: (1) annul and set aside the Warrants of Arrest issued
against petitioners by respondent Judges Raul E. de Leon and Amelita Tolentino in Criminal Case No. 95404; (2) enjoin the respondents from conducting any proceeding in the aforementioned criminal case; and (3)
dismiss said criminal case or include Jessica Alfaro as one of the accused therein. Gatchalian and Lejano
likewise gave themselves up to the authorities after filing their petitions before the Court.
Issue: Whether the attendant publicity of the case deprived Webb, et.al, of their right to fair trial.
Held: Pervasive and prejudicial publicity under certain circumstances can deprive an accused of his due
process right to fair trial. Herein, however, nothing in the records that will prove that the tone and content of
the publicity that attended the investigation of petitioners fatally infected the fairness and impartiality of the
DOJ Panel. The DOJ Panel is composed of an Assistant Chief State Prosecutor and Senior State Prosecutors;
and their long experience in criminal investigation is a factor to consider in determining whether they can
easily be blinded by the klieg lights of publicity. At no instance in the case did Webb, et. al. seek the
disqualification of any member of the DOJ Panel on the ground of bias resulting from their bombardment of
prejudicial publicity. Further , on the contention of the denial of their constitutional right to due process and
violation of their right to an impartial investigation, records show that the DOJ Panel did not conduct the
preliminary investigation with indecent haste. Webb, et. al. were given fair opportunity to prove lack of
probable cause against them. Still, the Supreme Court reminds a trial judge in high profile criminal cases of
his/her duty to control publicity prejudicial to the fair administration of justice. The ability to dispense
impartial justice is an issue in every trial and in every criminal prosecution, the judiciary always stands as a
silent accused. More than convicting the guilty and acquitting the innocent, the business of the judiciary is to
assure fulfillment of the promise that justice shall be done and is done, and that is the only way for the
judiciary to get an acquittal from the bar of public opinion.
79 People v. Sanchez [GR 121039-45, 18 October 2001]
Resolution of First Division, Melo (J) : 3 concur
Facts: (The Sarmenta-Gomez rape-slay) On 28 June 1993, Luis and Rogelio "Boy" Corcolon approached
Eileen Sarmenta and Allan Gomez, forcibly took the two and loaded them at the back of the latter's van,
which was parked in front of Café Amalia, Agrix Complex, Los Banos, Laguna. George Medialdea, Zoilo
Ama, Baldwin Brion and Pepito Kawit also boarded the van while Aurelio Centeno and Vicencio Malabanan,
who were also with the group, stayed in the ambulance. Both vehicles then headed for Erais Farm situated in
Barangay Curba, which was owned by Mayor Antonio Sanchez of Calauan, Laguna. The two youngsters were
then brought inside the resthouse where Eileen was taken to the Mayor’s room. Allan was badly beaten up by
Luis, Boy, Ama and Medialdea and thereafter thrown out of the resthouse. At around 1:00 a.m. of the next
day, a crying Eileen was dragged out of the resthouse by Luis and Medialdea – her hair disheveled, mouth
covered by a handkerchief, hands still tied and stripped of her shorts. Eileen and Allan were then loaded in the
Tamaraw van by Medialdea, et. al. and headed for Calauan, followed closely by the ambulance. En route to
Calauan, gunfire was heard from the van. The van pulled over whereupon Kawit dragged Allan, whose head
was already drenched in blood, out of the vehicle onto the road and finished him off with a single gunshot
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 17 )
Narratives (Berne Guerrero)
from his armalite. The ambulance and van then sped away. Upon reaching a sugarcane field in Sitio Paputok,
Kilometro 74 of Barangay Mabacan, Eileen was gang-raped by Luis Corcolon, Medialdea, Rogelio Corcolon,
Ama, Brion and Kawit. After Kawit’s turn, Luis Corcolon shot Eileen with his baby armalite. Moments later,
all 8 men boarded the ambulance and proceeded to Calauan, leaving the Tamaraw van with Eileen’s remains
behind. Initially, the crime was attributed to one Kit Alqueza, a son of a feared general (Dictador Alqueza).
Luis and Rogelio Corcolon were also implicated therein. However, further investigation, and forensic
findings, pointed to the group of Mayor Sanchez. Centeno and Malabanan bolstered the prosecution's theory.
On 11 March 1995, Judge Harriet O. Demetriou of the Regional Trial Court (Pasig City, Branch 70) found
Mayor Sanchez, Medialdea, Ama, Brion, Luis Corcolon, Rogelio Corcolon and Kawit guilty beyond
reasonable doubt of the crime of rape with homicide, ordering them to pay Eileen Sarmenta the amount of
P50,000 and additionally, the amount of P700,000.00 to the heirs of Eileen Sarmenta and Allan Gomez as
additional indemnity. On 25 January 1999, the Supreme Court, through Justice Martinez, affirmed in toto the
judgment of conviction rendered by the trial court. Antonio Sanchez, Zoilo Ama, Baldwin Brion and Pepito
Kawit seasonably filed their respective motions for reconsideration. The Office of the Solicitor General filed
its Comment on 6 December 1999. Sanchez avers that he is a victim of trial and conviction by publicity,
besides claims that principal witness Centeno and Malabanan lack credibility, that the testimony of his 13year old daughter should have been given full faith and credit, and that the gargantuan damages awarded have
no factual and legal bases. Ama, Brion and Kawit maintain that Centeno and Malabanan were sufficiently
impeached by their inconsistent statements pertain to material and crucial points of the events at issue, besides
that independent and disinterested witnesses have destroyed the prosecution’s version of events. On 2
February 1999, Justice Martinez retired in accordance with AM 99-8-09. The motions for reconsideration was
assigned to Justice Melo for study and preparation of the appropriate action on 18 September 2001.
Issue: Whether the publicity of the case impaired the impartiality of the judge handling the case.
Held: Pervasive publicity is not per se prejudicial to the right of an accused to fair trial. The mere fact that the
trial of Mayor Sanchez, et. al., was given a day-to-day, gavel-to-gavel coverage does not by itself prove that
publicity so permeated the mind of the trial judge and impaired his impartiality. The right of an accused to a
fair trial is not incompatible to a free press. Responsible reporting enhances an accused's right to a fair trial.
The press does not simply publish information about trials but guards against the miscarriage of justice by
subjecting the police, prosecutors, and judicial processes to extensive public scrutiny and criticism. Our
judges are learned in the law and trained to disregard off-court evidence and on camera performances of
parties to a litigation. Their mere exposure to publications and publicity stunts does not per se fatally infect
their impartiality. To warrant a finding of prejudicial publicity, there must be allegation and proof that the
judges have been unduly influenced by the barrage of publicity. Records herein do not show that the trial
judge developed actual bias against Mayor Sanchez, et. al., as a consequence of the extensive media coverage
of the pre-trial and trial of his case. The totality of circumstances of the case does not prove that the trial judge
acquired a fixed position as a result of prejudicial publicity which is incapable of change even by evidence
presented during the trial. Mayor Sanchez, et. al., has the burden to prove this actual bias and he has not
discharged the burden.
80 Summary Dismissal Board v. Torcita [GR 130442, 6 April 2000]
Third division, Gonzaga-Reyes (J): 4 concur
Facts: On 26 April 1994, a red Cortina Ford, driven by C/Insp. Lazaro Torcita, with his aide, PO2 Java, in the
front seat and his wife with two ladies at the backseat, were overtaken by a Mazda pick-up owned by
Congressman Manuel Puey and driven by one Reynaldo Consejo with four (4) passengers in the persons of
Alex Edwin del Rosario, Rosita Bistal, Carmen Braganza and Cristina Dawa. After the Mazda pick-up has
overtaken the red Cortina Ford, and after a vehicular collision almost took place, it accelerated speed and
proceeded to Hacienda Aimee, a sugarcane plantation owned by the congressman. The red Cortina Ford
followed also at high speed until it reached the hacienda where Torcita and Java alighted and the
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 18 )
Narratives (Berne Guerrero)
confrontation with del Rosario and Jesus Puey occurred. Torcita identified himself but the same had no effect.
PO2 Java whispered to him that there are armed men around them and that it is dangerous for them to
continue. That at this point, they radioed for back-up. Torcita,upon the arrival of the back-up force of PNP
Cadiz City, proceeded to the place where Capt. Jesus Puey and Alex Edwin del Rosario were. On 6 July 1994,
12 verified administrative complaints were filed against Torcita for Conduct Unbecoming of a Police Officer,
Illegal Search, Grave Abuse of Authority and Violation of Domicile, and Abuse of Authority and Violation of
COMELEC Gun Ban. The 12 administrative complaints were consolidated into 1 major complaint for
conduct unbecoming of a police officer. The Summary Dismissal Board, however, did not find sufficient
evidence to establish that Torcita threatened anybody with a gun, nor that a serious confrontation took place
between the parties, nor that the urinating incident took place, and held that the charges of violation of
domicile and illegal search were not proven. Still, while the Board found that Torcita was "in the performance
of his official duties" when the incident happened, he allegedly committed a simple irregularity in
performance of duty (for being in the influence of alcohol while in performance of duty) and was suspended
for 20 days and salary suspended for the same period of time. Torcita appealed his conviction to the Regional
Appellate Board of the Philippine National Police (PNP, Region VI, Iloilo City), but the appeal was dismissed
for lack of jurisdiction. Whereupon, Torcita filed a petition for certiorari in the Regional Trial Court of Iloilo
City (Branch 31), questioning the legality of the conviction of an offense for which he was not charged (lack
of procedural due process of law). The Board filed a motion to dismiss, which was denied. The RTC granted
the petition for certiorari and annulled the dispositive portion of the questioned decision insofar as it found
Torcita guilty of simple irregularity in the performance of duty. The Board appealed from the RTC decision,
by petition of review to the Court of Appeals, which affirmed the same for the reason that the respondent
could not have been guilty of irregularity considering that the 12 cases were eventually dismissed. The Board
filed the petition for review on certiorari before the Supreme Court.
Issue: Whether Torcita may be proceeded against or suspended for breach of internal discipline, when the
original charges against him were for Conduct Unbecoming of a Police Officer, Illegal Search, Grave Abuse
of Authority and Violation of Domicile, and Abuse of Authority and Violation of COMELEC Gun Ban.
Held: Notification of the charges contemplates that the respondent be informed of the specific charges against
him. The absence of specification of the offense for which he was eventually found guilty is not a proper
observance of due process. There can be no short-cut to the legal process. While the definition of the more
serious offense is broad, and almost all-encompassing a finding of guilt for an offense, no matter how light,
for which one is not properly charged and tried cannot be countenanced without violating the rudimentary
requirements of due process. Herein, the 12 administrative cases filed against Torcita did not include charges
or offenses mentioned or made reference to the specific act of being drunk while in the performance of
official duty. There is no indication or warning at all in the summary dismissal proceedings that Torcita was
also being charged with breach of internal discipline consisting of taking alcoholic drinks while in the
performance of his duties. The omission is fatal to the validity of the judgment finding him guilty of the
offense for which he was not notified nor charged. Further, the cursory conclusion of the Dismissal Board that
Torcita "committed breach of internal discipline by taking drinks while in the performance of same" should
have been substantiated by factual findings referring to this particular offense. Even if he was prosecuted for
irregular performance of duty, he could not have been found to have the odor or smell of alcohol while in the
performance of duty because he was not on duty at the time that he had a taste of liquor; he was on a private
trip fetching his wife.
81 Justice Secretary v. Lantion [GR 139465, 17 October 2000]
Resolution En Banc, Puno (J): 6 concur, 1 dissents, 1 concurs based on prior opinion, 1 concurs in result
Facts: On 13 January 1977, then President Ferdinand E. Marcos issued Presidential Decree 1069 "Prescribing
the Procedure for the Extradition of Persons Who Have Committed Crimes in a Foreign Country". On 13
November 1994, then Secretary of Justice Franklin M. Drilon, representing the Government of the Republic
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 19 )
Narratives (Berne Guerrero)
of the Philippines, signed in Manila the "Extradition Treaty Between the Government of the Republic of the
Philippines and the Government of the United States of America. "The Senate, by way of Resolution 11,
expressed its concurrence in the ratification of said treaty. It also expressed its concurrence in the Diplomatic
Notes correcting Paragraph (5)(a), Article 7 thereof (on the admissibility of the documents accompanying an
extradition request upon certification by the principal diplomatic or consular officer of the requested state
resident in the Requesting State). On 18 June 1999, the Department of Justice received from the Department
of Foreign Affairs U. S. Note Verbale 0522 containing a request for the extradition of Mark Jimenez to the
United States. Attached to the Note Verbale were the Grand Jury Indictment, the warrant of arrest issued by
the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida, and other supporting documents for said extradition.
Jimenez was charged in the United States for violation of (a) 18 USC 371 (Conspiracy to commit offense or
to defraud the United States, 2 counts), (b) 26 USC 7201 (Attempt to evade or defeat tax, 4 counts), (c) 18
USC 1343 (Fraud by wire, radio, or television, 2 counts), (d) 18 USC 1001 (False statement or entries, 6
counts), and (E) 2 USC 441f (Election contributions in name of another; 33 counts). On the same day, the
Secretary issued Department Order 249 designating and authorizing a panel of attorneys to take charge of and
to handle the case. Pending evaluation of the aforestated extradition documents, Jimenez (on 1 July 1999)
requested copies of the official extradition request from the US Government, as well as all documents and
papers submitted therewith, and that he be given ample time to comment on the request after he shall have
received copies of the requested papers. The Secretary denied the request. On 6 August 1999, Jimenez filed
with the Regional Trial Court a petition against the Secretary of Justice, the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, and
the Director of the National Bureau of Investigation, for mandamus (to compel the Justice Secretary to furnish
Jimenez the extradition documents, to give him access thereto, and to afford him an opportunity to comment
on, or oppose, the extradition request, and thereafter to evaluate the request impartially, fairly and
objectively); certiorari (to set aside the Justice Secretary’s letter dated 13 July 1999); and prohibition (to
restrain the Justice Secretary from considering the extradition request and from filing an extradition petition
in court; and to enjoin the Secretary of Foreign Affairs and the Director of the NBI from performing any act
directed to the extradition of Jimenez to the United States), with an application for the issuance of a
temporary restraining order and a writ of preliminary injunction. The trial court ruled in favor of Jimenez. The
Secretary filed a petition for certiorari before the Supreme Court. On 18 January 2000, by a vote of 9-6, the
Supreme Court dismissed the petition and ordered the Justice Secretary to furnish Jimenez copies of the
extradition request and its supporting papers and to grant him a reasonable period within which to file his
comment with supporting evidence. On 3 February 2000, the Secretary timely filed an Urgent Motion for
Issue: Whether Jimenez had the right to notice and hearing during the evaluation stage of an extradition
Held: Presidential Decree (PD) 1069 which implements the RP-US Extradition Treaty provides the time
when an extraditee shall be furnished a copy of the petition for extradition as well as its supporting papers,
i.e., after the filing of the petition for extradition in the extradition court (Section 6). It is of judicial notice that
the summons includes the petition for extradition which will be answered by the extraditee. There is no
provision in the Treaty and in PD 1069 which gives an extraditee the right to demand from the Justice
Secretary copies of the extradition request from the US government and its supporting documents and to
comment thereon while the request is still undergoing evaluation. The DFA and the DOJ, as well as the US
government, maintained that the Treaty and PD 1069 do not grant the extraditee a right to notice and hearing
during the evaluation stage of an extradition process. It is neither an international practice to afford a potential
extraditee with a copy of the extradition papers during the evaluation stage of the extradition process. Jimenez
is, thus, bereft of the right to notice and hearing during the extradition process’ evaluation stage. Further, as an
extradition proceeding is not criminal in character and the evaluation stage in an extradition proceeding is not
akin to a preliminary investigation, the due process safeguards in the latter do not necessarily apply to the
former. The procedural due process required by a given set of circumstances "must begin with a determination
of the precise nature of the government function involved as well as the private interest that has been affected
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 20 )
Narratives (Berne Guerrero)
by governmental action." The concept of due process is flexible for "not all situations calling for procedural
safeguards call for the same kind of procedure." Thus, the temporary hold on Jimenez's privilege of notice and
hearing is a soft restraint on his right to due process which will not deprive him of fundamental fairness
should he decide to resist the request for his extradition to the US. There is no denial of due process as long as
fundamental fairness is assured a party.
82 People v. Estrada [GR 130487, 19 June 2000]
En Banc, Puno (J): 13 concur, 1 on official leave
Facts: On 27 December 27, 1994, Roberto Estrada y Lopez sat at the bishop’s chair while the sacrament of
confirmation was being performed at the St. John’s Cathedral, Dagupan City. Rogelio Mararac, the security
guard at the cathedral, was summoned by some churchgoers. Mararac went near Estrada and told him to
vacate the Bishop's chair. Mararac twice tapped Estrada’s hand with his nightstick. When Mararac was about
to strike again, Estrada drew a knife from his back, lunged at Mararac and stabbed him, hitting him below his
left throat. Mararac fell. Wounded and bleeding, Mararac slowly dragged himself down the altar. SP01
Conrado Francisco received a report of the commotion inside the cathedral, went inside the cathedral,
approached Estrada who was sitting on the chair, and advised the latter to drop his knife. Estrada obeyed.
However, when Chief Inspector Wendy Rosario, Deputy Police Chief, who was also at the confirmation rites,
went near Estrada, Estrada embraced Rosario and two wrestled with each other. Rosario was able to subdue
Estrada. Estrada was brought to the police station and placed in jail. Maranac expired a few minutes after
arrival at the hospital. On 29 December 1994, Estrada was charged with the crime of murder for the killing of
Mararac. On 6 January 1995, at the arraignment, the Public Attorney's Office, filed an "Urgent Motion to
Suspend Arraignment and to Commit Accused to Psychiatric Ward at Baguio General Hospital." It was
alleged that Estrada could not properly and intelligently enter a plea because he was suffering from a mental
defect; that before the commission of the crime, he was confined at the psychiatric ward of the Baguio
General Hospital in Baguio City. The motion was opposed by the City Prosecutor. The trial court, motu
proprio, propounded several questions on Estrada. Finding that the questions were understood and answered
by him "intelligently," the court denied the motion that same day. The arraignment proceeded and a plea of
not guilty was entered by the court on Estrada's behalf. On 23 June 1997, the trial court (RTC Dagupan City,
Branch 44, Criminal Case 94-00860-D) rendered a decision upholding the prosecution evidence and found
Estrada guilty of the crime charged and thereby sentenced him to death, and ordered him to pay P50,000 for
indemnity, P18,870 for actual expenses, and P100,000 as moral damages. Estrada’s counsel appealed.
Issue: Whether a mental examination of the accused should be made before the accused may be subjected to
Held: The rule barring trial or sentence of an insane person is for the protection of the accused, rather than of
the public. It has been held that it is inhuman to require an accused disabled by act of God to make a just
defense for his life or liberty. To put a legally incompetent person on trial or to convict and sentence him is a
violation of the constitutional rights to a fair trial and due process of law. Section 12, Rule 116 of the 1985
Rules on Criminal Procedure speaks of a "mental examination." An intelligent determination of an accused's
capacity for rational understanding ought to rest on a deeper and more comprehensive diagnosis of his mental
condition than laymen can make through observation of his overt behavior. Once a medical or psychiatric
diagnosis is made, then can the legal question of incompetency be determined by the trial court. By depriving
appellant of a mental examination, the trial court effectively deprived appellant of a fair trial. The trial court's
negligence was a violation of the basic requirements of due process; and for this reason, the proceedings
before the said court must be nullified.
83 Lim vs. Court of Appeals [GR 111397, 12 August 2002]
Third Division, Carpio (J): 2 concur, 1 on leave
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 21 )
Narratives (Berne Guerrero)
Facts: On 7 December 1992, Bistro Pigalle Inc. filed before the trial court a petition for mandamus and
prohibition, with prayer for temporary restraining order or writ of preliminary injunction, against Alfredo Lim
in his capacity as Mayor of the City of Manila. The Bistro filed the case because policemen under Lim’s
instructions inspected and investigated the Bistro’s license as well as the work permits and health certificates
of its staff. This caused the stoppage of work in the Bistro’s night club and restaurant operations (i.e. the New
Bangkok Club and the Exotic Garden Restaurant). Lim also refused to accept the Bistro’s application for a
business license, as well as the work permit applications of the Bistro’s staff, for the year 1993. Acting on the
Bistro’s application for injunctive relief, the trial court issued the temporary restraining order on 29 December
1992, ordering Lim and/or his agents to refrain from inspecting or otherwise interfering in the operation of the
establishments of the Bistro. At the hearing, the parties submitted their evidence in support of their respective
positions. On 20 January 1993, the trial court granted the Bistro’s application for a writ of prohibitory
preliminary injunction. However, despite the trial court’s order, Lim still issued a closure order on the Bistro’s
operations effective 23 January 1993, even sending policemen to carry out his closure order. Lim insisted that
the power of a mayor to inspect and investigate commercial establishments and their staff is implicit in the
statutory power of the city mayor to issue, suspend or revoke business permits and licenses. This statutory
power is expressly provided for in Section 11 (l), Article II of the Revised Charter of the City of Manila and
in Section 455, paragraph 3 (iv) of the Local Government Code of 1991. On 25 January 1993, the Bistro filed
an "Urgent Motion for Contempt" against Lim and the policemen who stopped the Bistro’s operations on
January 23, 1993. At the hearing of the motion for contempt on 29 January 1993, the Bistro withdrew its
motion on condition that Lim would respect the court’s injunction. However, on February 12, 13, 15, 26 and
27, and on March 1 and 2, 1993, Lim, acting through his agents and policemen, again disrupted the Bistro’s
business operations. Meanwhile, on 17 February 1993, Lim filed a motion to dissolve the injunctive order and
to dismiss the case. The trial court denied Lim’s motion to dissolve the injunction and to dismiss the case in
an order dated 2 March 1993. On 10 March 1993, Lim filed with the Court of Appeals a petition for certiorari,
prohibition and mandamus against the Bistro and Judge Wilfredo Reyes. The Court of Appeals sustained the
RTC orders in a decision on 25 March 1993, and denied Lim's motion for reconsideration in a resolution
dated 13 July 1993. On 1 July 1993, Manila City Ordinance 778314 took effect. On the same day, Lim
ordered the Western Police District Command to permanently close down the operations of the Bistro, which
order the police implemented at once. Lim filed the petition for review on certiorari before the Supreme
Issue: Whether the Bistro should be given an opportunity to rebut the allegations that it violated the
conditions of its licenses and permits.
Held: From the language of Section 11 (l), Article II of the Revised Charter of the City of Manila and Section
455 (3) (iv) of the Local Government Code, it is clear that the power of the mayor to issue business licenses
and permits necessarily includes the corollary power to suspend, revoke or even refuse to issue the same.
However, the power to suspend or revoke these licenses and permits is expressly premised on the violation of
the conditions of these permits and licenses. The laws specifically refer to the "violation of the condition(s)"
on which the licenses and permits were issued. Similarly, the power to refuse to issue such licenses and
permits is premised on non-compliance with the prerequisites for the issuance of such licenses and permits.
The mayor must observe due process in exercising these powers, which means that the mayor must give the
applicant or licensee notice and opportunity to be heard. True, the mayor has the power to inspect and
investigate private commercial establishments for any violation of the conditions of their licenses and permits.
However, the mayor has no power to order a police raid on these establishments in the guise of inspecting or
investigating these commercial establishments. Lim has no authority to close down Bistro’s business or any
business establishment in Manila without due process of law. Lim cannot take refuge under the Revised
Charter of the City of Manila and the Local Government Code. There is no provision in these laws expressly
or impliedly granting the mayor authority to close down private commercial establishments without notice
and hearing, and even if there is, such provision would be void. The due process clause of the Constitution
requires that Lim should have given the Bistro an opportunity to rebut the allegations that it violated the
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 22 )
Narratives (Berne Guerrero)
conditions of its licenses and permits.
84 Rodriguez vs. Court of Appeals [GR 134278, 7 August 2002]
Second Division, Quisumbing (J): 3 concur
Facts: On 24 May 1990, the Philippine Constabulary-Integrated National Police (PC-INP), now Philippine
National Police or PNP, launched OPLAN AJAX to minimize, if not entirely eliminate, the extortion activities
of traffic policemen at the vicinity of Guadalupe Bridge, Makati, Metro Manila. On 5 July 1990, at about 3:00
p.m., two operatives of OPLAN AJAX, namely, 2LT Federico Bulanday, PC and Intelligence Agent Angelito
C. Leoncio, both members of the Counter-Intelligence Group (CIG), were on board a car with Plate No.
NDK-238. They were traveling along J.P. Rizal Street, Makati, when they were flagged down by 3 policemen
in uniform. These were PFC Rodolfo Rodriguez, PFC Arsenio Silungan, and PFC Rolando Pilandi, who were
members of the Metropolitan Traffic Command assigned with the Makati Police Station. Upon pulling up,
Bulanday and Leoncio were informed by the 3 policemen that they had violated traffic regulations, and
demanded money. Bulanday and Leoncio handed over cash amounting to P100 consisting of two P20 bills,
one P10 bill, and one P50 bill which were marked with ultraviolet fluorescent powder. On seeing what
happened, other CIG operatives who were behind the vehicle of Bulanday and Leoncio immediately swooped
down on the 3 policemen, but where they were able to arrest only Rodriguez and Silungan. PFC Pilandi was
able to escape by commandeering a private vehicle at gunpoint. An administrative case for grave misconduct
was subsequently filed against Rodriguez, Silungan, and Pilandi, who was at large, with the National Police
Commission or NAPOLCOM (Administrative Case 90-80, the case was assigned to Atty. Narzal B. Mallares
as hearing officer). A second administrative case was filed with NAPOLCOM against the 3 erring police
officers for their summary dismissal. A charge for robbery/extortion was filed with Headquarters, PC-INP
(Administrative Case 01-91 and assigned to P/Major Efren Santos as Summary Hearing Officer). On 7
February 1991, then PNP Chief Major General Cesar P. Nazareno issued Special Order 35 summarily
dismissing Rodriguez, Silungan, and Pilandi from the police force. On 27 March 1991, Rodriguez appealed
the summary dismissal to the NAPOLCOM National Appellate Board. He alleged that the summary dismissal
proceedings violated his right to due process, and claimed that only a preliminary inquiry had been conducted
by the NAPOLCOM hearing officer and that he had not been afforded a chance to present his side. In the
meantime, the case against Rodriguez and his companions for robbery/extortion was filed by PC-INP with the
public prosecutor’s office of Makati. The investigating prosecutor, however, subsequently recommended the
dismissal of the complaint on the ground that “the scenarios of the arresting officers left so much to be
desired.” On 5 November 1992, the NAPOLCOM National Appellate Board dismissed Rodriguez' appeal in
the summary dismissal case. On 29 March 1993, Rodriguez filed a motion for reconsideration, but the
NAPOLCOM denied it on 11 March 1996. Aggrieved, Rodriguez elevated his case to the Court of Appeals by
way of certiorari and mandamus. On 22 October 1997, the appellate court denied the petition for lack of
merit. Rodriguez filed a motion for reconsideration of the appellate court’s decision, but it was denied on 27
May 21998. On 13 July 1998, Rodriguez filed the petition for review.
Issue: Whether Rodriguez was afforded due process by the NAPOLCOM.
Held: Where a police officer is dismissed by the PNP Director General and the dismissal is affirmed by the
NAPOLCOM National Appellate Board, the proper remedy is to appeal the dismissal with the DILG
Secretary. That the NAPOLCOM Chairman is also the DILG Secretary is of no moment, for under the
aforecited laws and regulations, only the DILG Secretary can act on the appeal. Should the DILG Secretary’s
decision prove adverse to appellant, then he as the aggrieved party may bring an appeal to the Civil Service
Commission. In instances where the CSC denies the appeal, the remedy under Republic Act 7902 would be to
appeal the adverse decision to the Court of Appeals. Neither certiorari nor mandamus can substitute for appeal
where the latter is the proper remedy. The extraordinary remedies of certiorari, prohibition, and mandamus
will lie only when there is no appeal or any plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law.
Herein, Rodriguez had three opportunities to appeal the decision of the NAPOLCOM. He chose not to avail
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 23 )
Narratives (Berne Guerrero)
of them, but instead opted to file an action for certiorari and mandamus with the appellate court. The Court of
Appeals committed no reversible error of law in dismissing petitioner’s special civil action for certiorari and
mandamus. Rodriguez cannot now claim that he was not afforded due process by the NAPOLCOM. In
administrative proceedings, the filing of charges and giving reasonable opportunity for the person so charged
to answer the accusations against him constitute the minimum requirements of due process. The essence of
administrative due process is the opportunity to be heard. As long as a party was given the opportunity to
defend his interests in due course, he was not denied due process.
85 Roxas vs. Vasquez [GR 114944, 19 June 2001]
First Division, Ynares-Santiago (J): 4 concur
Facts: Manuel C. Roxas and Ahmed S. Nacpil were Chairman and Member, respectively, of the Bids and
Awards Committee of the PC-INP. Sometime in September 1990, the PC-INP invited bids for the supply
purchase of 65 units of fire trucks, and accordingly, the public bidding was held on 14 September 1990. The
lowest bidder, Aeolus Philippines, was disqualified since its fire trucks had a water tank capacity of only
1,800 liters, far below the required 3,785 liter capacity. After ocular inspections made by a A Technical
Evaluation Committee, two fire trucks, namely Morita Isuzu and Nikki-Hino, were recommended. The Bids
and Awards Committee, however, voted to award the contract in favor of the Korean company CISC, which
offered Ssangyong fire trucks. To avoid the possibility of failure to bid, the Bids and Awards Committee
reviewed its recommendations, and thus limited its choice to the two brands recommended by Gen.
Tanchanco and, by majority vote, elected Nikki-Hino of the Tahei Co., Ltd. as the lower bidder. Thereafter,
the Contract of Purchase and Sale of 65 units of Nikki-Hino fire trucks was executed between Gen. Nazareno,
on behalf of the PC-INP, and Tahei Company, Ltd. The corresponding Purchase Order was then prepared.
Pursuant to a disbursement voucher, the PNP paid Tahei Co., Ltd. the amount of P167,335,177.24,
representing marginal deposit for the 65 units of fire truck. The Disbursement Voucher showed that, while the
bid price of Tahei Co. was only P2,292,784.00 per unit, the price appearing on the Purchase Order was
P2,585,562.00 per unit. Hence, there was a discrepancy of P292,778.00 per unit of fire truck, or a total of
P19,030,570.00 for all 65 fire trucks. The Commission on Audit discovered the irregularities in the bidding,
awarding and purchase of the 65 fire trucks, thus prompting then DILG Secretary Rafael Alunan III to file a
complaint on 12 February 1993 for violation of Section 3 (e) of Republic Act 3019 before the Ombudsman,
against (1) Dir. Gen. Cesar Nazareno, PNP, (2) Dep. Dir. Manuel Roxas, PNP, (3) Fire Marshal Mario
Tanchanco, (4) Fire B/Gen. Diosdado Godoy (Ret.), (5) P/Sr. Supt. Ahmed Nacpil, PNP, (6) P/Supt. Juhan
Kairan, PNP, (7) Insp. Reynaldo Osea, PNP, (8) Dep. Dir. Gen. Gerardo Flores, PNP, (9) Dir. Nicasio
Custodio, PNP, (10) Supt. Obedio Espeña, PNP, (11) Former DILG Secretary Luis Santos, and (12) Ms.
Generosa Ramirez. The Deputy Ombudsman for the Military conducted a preliminary investigation where the
accused submitted their respective counter-affidavits. On 19 March 1993, it recommended the indictment of
all, except Generosa Ramirez. On review, the Office of the Special Prosecutor Review Committee
recommended the dismissal of the complaints against Roxas, Nacpil, Codoy, Kairan and Ramirez. This latter
recommendation was approved by the Special Prosecutor and the Ombudsman in a Memorandum dated 15
April 1993. Accordingly, the appropriate Information was filed by the Ombudsman before the Sandiganbayan
(Criminal Case 18956), against Nazareno, Flores, Tanchanco, Custodio, Osea, Espena and Santos. Roxas,
Nacpil, Codoy, Kairan and Ramirez were not included among the accused. However, upon motion of
Generals Flores and Tanchanco, a reinvestigation was conducted by the Office of the Special Prosecutor. On
19 October 1993, without any notice to or participation of Roxas and Nacpil, the Office of the Special
Prosecutor issued an Order, dismissing the charges against Flores and Tanchanco, and recommending that
Roxas, Nacpil, and Kairan be likewise indicted. Deputy Special Prosecutor Jose de Ferrer voted for the
approval of the recommendation, while Special Prosecutor Aniano A. Desierto dissented. Ombudsman
Conrado M. Vasquez approved the recommendation. Roxas and Nacpil, together with Kairan, filed a Motion
for Reconsideration. The Review Committee of the Office of the Special Prosecutor recommended that the
Motion be granted and the charge against the movants be dismissed. However, Deputy Special Prosecutor de
Ferrer and Ombudsman Vasquez disapproved the recommendation in the second assailed Order dated 10
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 24 )
Narratives (Berne Guerrero)
February 1994. Thus, on 27 March 1994, the Office of the Ombudsman filed an Amended Information with
respondent Sandiganbayan, impleading Roxas and Nacpil as additional accused. Roxas and Nacpil filed a
petition for certiorari and prohibition before the Supreme Court.
Issue:Whether the lack of notice to Roxas and Nacpil at the reinvestigation render the issuance of Office of
the Ombudsman null and void.
Held: It is not material either that no new matter or evidence was presented during the reinvestigation of the
case. It should be stressed that reinvestigation, as the word itself implies, is merely a repeat investigation of
the case. New matters or evidence are not prerequisites for a reinvestigation, which is simply a chance for the
prosecutor, or in this case the Office of the Ombudsman, to review and re-evaluate its findings and the
evidence already submitted. Neither do the lack of notice to, or participation of, Roxas and Nacpil at the
reinvestigation render the questioned issuances of Office of the Ombudsman null and void. At any rate, Roxas
and Nacpil cannot argue that they have been deprived of due process. The rule is well established that due
process is satisfied when the parties are afforded fair and reasonable opportunity to explain their side of the
controversy or an opportunity to move for a reconsideration of the action or ruling complained of. Herein, the
record clearly shows that petitioners not only filed their respective Counter-Affidavits during the preliminary
investigation, they also filed separate Motions for Reconsideration of the 19 October 1993 Order of the
Ombudsman impleading them as accused in Criminal Case 18956.
86 Philcomsat v. Alcuaz [GR 84818, 18 December 1989]
En Banc, Regalado (J): 12 concur, 1 took no part
Facts: By virtue of Republic Act 5514, the Philippine Communications Satellite Corporation
(PHILCOMSAT) was granted "a franchise to establish, construct, maintain and operate in the Philippines, at
such places as the grantee may select, station or stations and associated equipment and facilities for
international satellite communications," the authority to "construct and operate such ground facilities as
needed to deliver telecommunications services from the communications satellite system and ground terminal
or terminals." By designation of the Republic of the Philippines, it is also the sole signatory for the
Philippines in the Agreement and the Operating Agreement relating to the International Telecommunications
Satellite Organization (INTELSAT), as well as in the Convention and the Operating Agreement of the
International Maritime Satellite Organization (INMARSAT), which two global commercial
telecommunications satellite corporations were collectively established by various states in line with the
principles set forth in Resolution 1721 (XVI) of the United Nations’s General Assembly. Since 1968, It has
been leasing its satellite circuits to PLDT, Philippine Global Communications, Eastern Telecom, Globe
Mackay Cable and Radio Corp. ITT, and Capitol Wireless or their predecessors-in-interest. The satellite
services thus provided by PHILCOMSAT enable said international carriers to serve the public with
indispensable communication services, such as overseas telephone, telex, facsimile, telegrams, high speed
data, live television in full color, and television standard conversion from European to American or vice versa.
It was exempt from the jurisdiction of the then Public Service Commission, now National
Telecommunications Commission (NTC). However, pursuant to Executive Order (EO) 196 issued on 17 June
1987, it was placed under the jurisdiction, control and regulation of NTC, including all its facilities and
services and the fixing of rates. Implementing said executive order, NTC required PHILCOMSAT to apply for
the requisite certificate of public convenience and necessity covering its facilities and the services it renders,
as well as the corresponding authority to charge rates therefor. On 9 September 1987, PHILCOMSAT filed
with NTC an application for authority to continue operating and maintaining the same facilities it has been
continuously operating and maintaining since 1967, to continue providing the international satellite
communications services it has likewise been providing since 1967, and to charge the current rates applied for
in rendering such services. Pending hearing, it also applied for a provisional authority so that it can continue
to operate and maintain the facilities, provide the services and charge therefor the aforesaid rates therein
applied for. On 16 September 1987, PHILCOMSAT was granted a provisional authority to continue operating
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 25 )
Narratives (Berne Guerrero)
its existing facilities, to render the services it was then offering, and to charge the rates it was then charging.
This authority was valid for 6 months from the date of said order. When said provisional authority expired on
17 March 1988, it was extended for another 6 months, or up to 16 September 1988. Thereafter, the NTC
further extended the provisional authority of PHILCOMSAT for another 6 months, counted from 16
September 1988, but it directed PHILCOMSAT to charge modified reduced rates through a reduction of 15%
on the present authorized rates. PHILCOMSAT assailed said order.
Issue: Whether the NTC is not required to provide notice and hearing to PHILCOMSAT in its rate-fixing
order, which fixed a temporary rate pending final determination of PHILCOMSAT’s application.
Held: The NTC, in the exercise of its rate-fixing power, is limited by the requirements of public safety, public
interest, reasonable feasibility and reasonable rates, which conjointly more than satisfy the requirements of a
valid delegation of legislative power. The NTC order violates procedural due process because it was issued
motu proprio, without notice to PHILCOMSAT and without the benefit of a hearing. Said order was based
merely on an "initial evaluation," which is a unilateral evaluation, but had PHILCOMSAT been given an
opportunity to present its side before the order in question was issued, the confiscatory nature of the rate
reduction and the consequent deterioration of the public service could have been shown and demonstrated to
NTC. The order pertains exclusively to PHILCOMSAT and to no other. Reduction of rates was made without
affording PHILCOMSAT the benefit of an explanation as to what particular aspect or aspects of the financial
statements warranted a corresponding rate reduction. PHILCOMSAT was not even afforded the opportunity
to cross-examine the inspector who issued the report on which NTC based its questioned order. While the
NTC may fix a temporary rate pending final determination of the application of PHILCOMSAT, such ratefixing order, temporary though it may be, is not exempt from the statutory procedural requirements of notice
and hearing, as well as the requirement of reasonableness. Assuming that such power is vested in NTC, it may
not exercise the same in an arbitrary and confiscatory manner. Categorizing such an order as temporary in
nature does not perforce entail the applicability of a different rule of statutory procedure than would otherwise
be applied to any other order on the same matter unless otherwise provided by the applicable law. NTC has no
authority to make such order without first giving PHILCOMSAT a hearing, whether the order be temporary or
permanent, and it is immaterial whether the same is made upon a complaint, a summary investigation, or upon
the commission's own motion.
87 Suntay v. People [GR L-9430, 29 June 1957]
En Banc, Padilla (J) : 9 concur
Facts: On 26 June 1954, Dr. Antonio Nubla, father of Alicia Nubla, a minor of 16 years, filed a verified
complaint against Emilio Suntay in the Office of the City Attorney of Quezon City, alleging that on or about
21 June 21954, the accused took Alicia Nubla from St. Paul's College in Quezon City with lewd design and
took her to somewhere near the University of the Philippines (UP) compound in Diliman and was then able to
have carnal knowledge of her. On 15 December 1954, after an investigation, an Assistant City Attorney
recommended to the City Attorney of Quezon City that the complaint be dismissed for lack of merit. On 23
December 1954 attorney for the complainant addressed a letter to the City Attorney of Quezon City wherein
he took exception to the recommendation of the Assistant City Attorney referred to and urged that a complaint
for seduction be filed against Suntay. On 10 January 1955, Suntay applied for and was granted a passport by
the Department of Foreign Affairs (5981 [A39184]). On 20 January 1955, Suntay left the Philippines for San
Francisco, California, where he is at present enrolled in school. On 31 January 1955, Alicia Nubla subscribed
and swore to a complaint charging Suntay with seduction which was filed, in the Court of First Instance (CFI)
Quezon City, after preliminary investigation had been conducted (Criminal case Q-1596). On 9 February
1955 the private prosecutor filed a motion praying the Court to issue an order "directing such government
agencies as may be concerned, particularly the National Bureau of Investigation and the Department of
Foreign Affairs, for the purpose of having the accused brought back to the Philippines so that he may be dealt
with in accordance with law." On 10 February 1955 the Court granted the motion. On 7 March 1955 the
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 26 )
Narratives (Berne Guerrero)
Secretary cabled the Ambassador to the United States instructing him to order the Consul General in San
Francisco to cancel the passport issued to Suntay and to compel him to return to the Philippines to answer the
criminal charges against him. However, this order was not implemented or carried out in view of the
commencement of this proceedings in order that the issues raised may be judicially resolved. On 5 July 1955,
Suntay’s counsel wrote to the Secretary requesting that the action taken by him be reconsidered, and filed in
the criminal case a motion praying that the Court reconsider its order of 10 February 1955. On 7 July 1955,
the Secretary denied counsel's request and on 15 July 1955 the Court denied the motion for reconsideration.
Suntay filed the petition for a writ of certiorari.
Issue: Whether Suntay should be accorded notice and hearing before his passport may be cancelled.
Held: Due process does not necessarily mean or require a hearing. When discretion is exercised by an officer
vested with it upon an undisputed fact, such as the filing of a serious criminal charge against the passport
holder, hearing may be dispensed with by such officer as a prerequisite to the cancellation of his passport;
lack of such hearing does not violate the due process of law clause of the Constitution; and the exercise of the
discretion vested in him cannot be deemed whimsical and capricious because of the absence of such hearing.
If hearing should always be held in order to comply with the due process of law clause of the Constitution,
then a writ of preliminary injunction issued ex parte would be violative of the said clause. Hearing would
have been proper and necessary if the reason for the withdrawal or cancellation of the passport were not clear
but doubtful. But where the holder of a passport is facing a criminal charge in our courts and left the country
to evade criminal prosecution, the Secretary for Foreign Affairs, in the exercise of his discretion (Section 25,
EO 1, S. 1946, 42 OG 1400) to revoke a passport already issued, cannot be held to have acted whimsically or
capriciously in withdrawing and cancelling such passport. Suntay’s suddenly leaving the country in such a
convenient time, can reasonably be interpreted to mean as a deliberate attempt on his part to flee from justice,
and, therefore, he cannot now be heard to complain if the strong arm of the law should join together to bring
him back to justice.
88 De Bisschop v. Galang [GR 18365, 31 May 1963]
En Banc, Reyes JBL (J): 10 concur, 1 took no part
Facts: George de Bisschop, an American citizen, was allowed to stay in this country for 3 years, expiring 1
August 1959, as a prearranged employee of the Bissmag Production, Inc., of which he is president and
general manager. He applied for extension of stay with the Bureau of Immigration, in a letter dated 10 July
1959. In view, however, of confidential and damaging reports of the Immigration Office, Benjamin de Mesa,
to the effect that the Bissmag Production, Inc., is more of a gambling front than the enterprise for promotions
of local and imported shows that it purports to be, and that de Bisschop is suspected of having evaded
payment of his income tax, the Commissioner of Immigration (Emilio L. Galang), in a communication of 10
September 1959, advised him that his application for extension of stay as a prearranged employee has been
denied by the Board of Commissioners, and that he should depart within 5 days. Thereafter, counsel of de
Bisschop requested for a copy of the adverse decision of said Board, but the legal officer of the Bureau of
Immigration replied that, pursuant to immigration practice and procedure and as is usual in such cases where
the result is a vote for denial, for reasons of practicability and expediency, no formal decision, order or
resolution is promulgated by the Board. Thereafter, Mr. Bisschop was simply advised of said denial as per
letter dated 10 September 1959. No request for reinvestigation was made with the Bureau of Immigration.
Instead, to forestall his arrest and the filing of the corresponding deportation proceedings, de Bisschop filed
the case on 18 September 1959. Pending resolution of the main case for prohibition, a writ of preliminary
injunction was issued ex-parte by the Court of First Instance (CFI) Manila (with Judge Antonio Canizares
presiding, Civil Case 41477) on the same day ordering the Commissioner of Immigration to desist from
arresting and detaining de Bisschop. During the hearing, only documentary evidence were presented. On 27
March 1961, the lower court granted the petition for prohibition and ordered the Commissioner of
Immigration to desist and refrain from arresting and expelling de Bisschop from the Philippines unless and
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 27 )
Narratives (Berne Guerrero)
until proper and legal proceedings are conducted by the Board of Commissioners of the Bureau of
Immigrations in connection with the application for extension of stay filed by de Bisschop with said Board.
The Commissioner of Immigration appealed.
Issue: Whether the right to notice and hearing is essential to due process in administrative proceedings, and
whether the Board of Commissioners are required to render written decisions on petitions for extension of
Held: The administration of immigration laws is the primary and exclusive responsibility of the Executive
branch of the government. Extension of stay of aliens is purely discretionary on the part of immigration
authorities. Since CA 613 (Philippines Immigration Act of 1940) is silent as to the procedure to be followed in
these cases, the Courts are inclined to uphold the argument that courts have no jurisdiction to review the
purely administrative practice of immigration authorities of not granting formal hearings in certain cases as
the circumstances may warrant, for reasons of practicability and expediency. This would not violate the due
process clause as, in the case at bar, the letter of appellant-commissioner advising de Bisschop to depart in 5
days is a mere formality, a preliminary step, and, therefore, far from final, because, as alleged in paragraph 7
of appellant's answer to the complaint, the "requirement to leave before the start of the deportation
proceedings is only an advice to the party that unless he departs voluntarily, the State will be compelled to
take steps for his expulsion". It is already a settled rule in this jurisdiction that a day in court is not a matter of
right in administrative proceedings. Further, the immigration laws specifically enumerate when the decisions
of the Board of Commissioners shall be in writing, to wit: (1) in cases of appeal from a decision of the Board
of Special Inquiry as to matters of admission or exclusion of aliens, as provided in Section 27(c) of the
Immigration Act; and (2) the decision of the Board of Commissioners in cases of deportation under Section
37, paragraph (a) and (c). There is nothing in the immigration law which provides that the Board of
Commissioners must render written decisions on petitions for extension of stay. Section 8 of the Immigration
Act merely refers to the number of “votes” necessary to constitute the decision of said Board.
89 Var-Orient Shipping v. Achacoso [GR L-81805, 31 May 1988]
First division, Grino-Aquino (J): 4 concur
Facts: Var-Orient Shipping Co. Inc. and Comninos Bros. filed a complaint with the Workers' Assistance and
Adjudication Office (WAAO), Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) against the Edgar T.
Bunyog, Vedasto Navarro, Eugenio Capalad, Raul Tumasis, Antonio Tanio-an, Celestino Cason, Danilo
Manela and Roberto Genesis, crew members of the MPV "Silver Reefer," for having allegedly violated their
Contracts of Employment with them, which supposedly resulted in damages arising from the interdiction of
the vessel by the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) at Kiel Canal, Germany, in March 1986.
After joinder of the issues, the case was heard on 4 March 1987 with both parties required to submit
memoranda. Only the seamen submitted memoranda. On 10 June 1987, the seamen filed a motion to resolve,
which the companies' counsel did not oppose. Thus, on the basis of the pleadings and memoranda, Achacoso
rendered a decision on 9 September 1987 ordering (1) the dismissal of the case with a reprimand and against
Navarro, Capalad, Tumasis, Tanio-an, Cagon, Manela and Genesis, against the commission of the same or
similar offense otherwise it shall be dealt with more severe penalty; (2) exclusion of Llanes from the case; (3)
reprimanding Var-Orient Shipping Co. for failure to comply with its obligations pursuant to POEA rules and
regulations and warning against committing the same or a similar offense otherwise it shall be dealt with more
severely; (4) archiving the case of Arsolon, A. dela Cruz, Montero and D. de la Cruz with their names
included in the POEA watchlist until they shall have voluntarily submitted themselves to WAAO’s
jurisdiction; (5) payment by the companies jointly and severally, unto Navarro, Capalad, Tumasis, Tanio-an,
Cason, Manela and Genesis the amount of P1,550.59 each, representing deductions from allotments, plus
P1,000.00 as and for attorney's fees; and (6) payment by the companies jointly and severally unto Bunyog the
amount of US$4,680.00 or its peso equivalent at the time of payment representing his salaries for the
unserved portion of his employment contract plus P4,000.00 as and for attorney's fees; to be tendered thru
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 28 )
Narratives (Berne Guerrero)
WAAO, 10 days from receipt of the decision. A copy of the decision was sent by registered mail and delivered
by the postman to the companies' counsel, then Attorney Francisco B. Figura through the receptionist, Marlyn
Aquino on 21 September 1987. Atty. Figura alleged he did not receive the envelope containing the decision.
The companies allegedly learned about the decision only when the writ of execution was served on them on
20 November 1987 by National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) Deputy Sheriff Rene Masilungan and
Attorney Wilfredo Ong. Previously, on 19 October 1987, the seamen filed "Motion for Execution of
Decision," the companies' counsel did not oppose. On 23 November 1987, the companies, through new
counsel, Atty. Quintin Aseron, Jr., filed an "Urgent Motion to Recall Writ of Execution" on the ground that the
decision had not been received by them, hence, it was not yet final and executory. On 19 January 1988, the
POEA Administrator (Tomas D. Achacoso). In due time, the companies filed the petition for certiorari.
Issue: Whether the decision of the POEA administrator has been received, rendering said decision final and
Held: The essence of due process is simply an opportunity to be heard, or, as applied to administrative
proceedings, an opportunity to explain one's side, or an opportunity to seek a reconsideration of the action or
ruling complained of. Herein, the parties agreed that they would file their respective memoranda at the 4
March 1987 hearing and thereafter consider the case submitted for decision. This procedure is authorized by
law to expedite the settlement of labor disputes. Atty. Figura's affidavit involving that he has not received the
decision is self-serving. The companies failed to submit an affidavit of the receptionist Marlyn Aquino
explaining what she did with the decision which she received for Atty. Figura. Under the circumstances, the
Administrator's ruling that the decision had been properly served on companies' counsel and that it is now
final and unappealable, should be sustained. The issuance of the writ of execution is therefore not premature.
90 Ang Tibay v. CIR [GR 46496, 27 February 1940]
En Banc, Laurel (J): 6 concur
Facts: Toribio Teodoro, the manager and proprietor of Ang Tibay, laid off 89 laborers, who were members of
the National Labor Union (NLU), due to alleged shortages of leather materials. The National Labor Union
filed a complaint for unfair labor practice against Ang Tibay, alleging therein, among others, that Toribio
dominates the National Workers’ Brotherhood (NWB) of Ang Tibay, another union in the company, and that
Toribio discriminated against the NLU and unjustly favoring the NWB, which he allegedly dominated. The
Court of Industrial Relations ruled in favor of NLU, due to the failure of Ang Tibay to present records of the
Bureau of Customs and Books of Accounts of native dealers in leather and thus to disprove NLU’s allegation
that the lack of leather materials as a scheme to discharge NLU members. The Supreme Court, however,
reversed the decision, finding no substantial evidence that the 89 workers were dismissed due to their union
affiliation or activities. Thus, the Solicitor General, in behalf of the Court of Industrial Relations filed a
motion for reconsideration, while the NLU filed a motion for new trial, praying that the case be remanded to
the Court of Industrial Relations.
Issue: Whether the CIR’s freedom from the rigidity of procedural requirements prescribe special
requirements of due process in administrative cases.
Held: The Court of Industrial Relations (CIR) is not narrowly constrained by technical rules of procedure,
and the Act requires it to "act according to justice and equity and substantial merits of the case, without regard
to technicalities or legal forms and shall not be bound by any technical rules of legal evidence but may inform
its mind in such manner as it may deem just and equitable." The fact, however, that the CIR may be said to be
free from the rigidity of certain procedural requirements does not mean that it can, in justiciable cases coming
before it, entirely ignore or disregard the fundamental and essential requirements of due process in trials and
investigations of an administrative character. There are cardinal primary rights which must be respected even
in proceedings of this character, to wit:
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 29 )
Narratives (Berne Guerrero)
a. Right to a hearing which includes the right of the party interested or affected to present his own case and
submit evidence in support thereof. The liberty and property of the citizen shall be protected by the
rudimentary requirements of fair play.
b. The tribunal must consider the evidence presented, after the party is given an opportunity to present his
case and to adduce evidence tending to establish the rights which he asserts. The right to adduce evidence,
without the corresponding duty on the part of the board to consider it, is vain. Such right is conspicuously
futile if the person or persons to whom the evidence is presented can thrust it aside without notice or
c. Wile the duty to deliberate does not impose the obligation to decide right, it does imply a necessity which
cannot be disregarded, namely, that of having something to support its decision. A decision with
absolutely nothing to support it is a nullity, a place when directly attached. This principle emanates from
the more fundamental principle that the genius of constitutional government is contrary to the vesting of
unlimited power anywhere. Law is both a grant and a limitation upon power.
d. Not only must there be some evidence to support a finding or conclusion but the evidence must be
"substantial." Substantial evidence is more than a mere scintilla. It means such relevant evidence as a
reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion." The statute provides that 'the rules of
evidence prevailing in courts of law and equity shall not be controlling.' The obvious purpose of this and
similar provisions is to free administrative boards from the compulsion of technical rules so that the mere
admission of matter which would be deemed incompetent in judicial proceedings would not invalidate the
administrative order. But this assurance of a desirable flexibility in administrative procedure does not go
so far as to justify orders without a basis in evidence having rational probative force. Mere
uncorroborated hearsay or rumor does not constitute substantial evidence.
e. The decision must be rendered on the evidence presented at the hearing, or at least contained in the record
and disclosed to the parties affected. Only by confining the administrative tribunal to the evidence
disclosed to the parties, can the latter be protected in their right to know and meet the case against them. It
should not, however, detract from their duty actively to see that the law is enforced, and for that purpose,
to use the authorized legal methods of securing evidence and informing itself of facts material and
relevant to the controversy. Boards of inquiry may be appointed for the purpose of investigating and
determining the facts in any given case, but their report and decision are only advisory. (Section 9, CA
103.) The CIR may refer any industrial or agricultural dispute of any matter under its consideration or
advisement to a local board of inquiry, a provincial fiscal, a justice of the peace or any public official in
any part of the Philippines for investigation, report and recommendation, and may delegate to such board
or public official such powers and functions as the CIR may deem necessary, but such delegation shall not
affect the exercise of the Court itself of any of its powers (Section 10)
f. The CIR or any of its judges, therefore, must act on its or his own independent consideration of the law
and facts of the controversy, and not simply accept the views of a subordinate in arriving at a decision. It
may be that the volume of work is such that it is literally impossible for the titular heads of the CIR
personally to decide all controversies coming before them. There is no statutory authority to authorize
examiners or other subordinates to render final decision, with right to appeal to board or commission, to
solve the difficulty.
g. The CIR should, in all controversial questions, render its decision in such a manner that the parties to the
proceeding can know the various issues involved, and the reasons for the decisions rendered. The
performance of this duty is inseparable from the authority conferred upon it.
91 Montemayor v. Araneta University [GR L-44251, 31 May 1977]
Second Division, Fernando (J): 4 concur, 1 on leave.
Facts: Felix Montemayor was a full-time professor of Araneta University Foundation (AUF), serving as head
of its Humanities and Psychology Department. On 17 April 1974, a complaint for immorality lodged against
him by the Chaplain of the AUF for alleged immorality. Its then President, Dr. Juan Salcedo, Jr., created a
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 30 )
Narratives (Berne Guerrero)
committee to investigate such charge. The accusation centered on conversations on sex and immoral advances
committed against the person of Leonardo de Lara. The first hearing, which took place on 24 April 1974, was
attended by Montemayor as well as the complainant with his two witnesses. Montemayor sought the
postponement of the investigation to 3 May 1974, which was granted. On 28 May 1974, he filed a motion to
dismiss or to hold the hearing in abeyance, and on 17 June 1974, he filed an affidavit to sustain his defense.
On 8 July 1974, the report and recommendation of the investigating committee came, and was adverse to
Montemayor. The recommendation was for his demotion in rank by one degree. On 5 August 1974, Salcedo
adopted such recommendation and thereafter referred the same to the Board of Trustees of the AUF for
appropriate action. On 8 November 1974, new charges were filed by Professor Luis R. Almazan, one Jaime
Castañeda, and Jesus Martinez against Montemayor for conduct unbecoming of a faculty member. Another
committee was appointed. Montemayor moved to postpone the hearing set for 18 and 19 November 1974, but
was denied. The hearing proceeded in his absence. On 5 December 1974, the Committee submitted its report
finding the charges against Montemayor to have been sufficiently established and recommending to the
President and the Board of Trustees of the AUF his separation from the University, in accordance with
Sections 116 and 351 of the Manual of Policies of the University. On 10 December 1974, his dismissal was
ordered effective 15 November 1974, the date of his preventive suspension. On 12 December 1974, the
University filed with the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) a report of his suspension and
application for clearance to terminate his employment. Meanwhile, on 21 November 1974, Montemayor in
turn lodged a complaint with the NLRC against AUF for reinstatement and payment of back wages and
salaries, with all the privileges, benefits and increments attendant thereto. There was a motion to dismiss on
the part of the latter. Both the labor arbiter and the NLRC found in favor of Montemayor. He was ordered
reinstated to his former position with back wages and without loss of seniority and other privileges.
Montemayor's complaint for unfair labor practice was, however, dismissed. AUF appealed to the Secretary of
Labor who, on 14 July 1976, set aside the Commission's order for his reinstatement, finding Montemayor's
dismissal justified. The AUF was, however, required to pay Montemayor the amount of P14,480.00
representing the latter's accrued back wages which the former voluntarily offered to extend him. Dissatisfied
with the Secretary's decision, Montemayor filed a petition for certiorari.
Issue: Whether Montemayor was absolutely denied of due process in the proceedings relating to his dismissal
from AUF.
Held: In procedural due process, there must be a hearing before condemnation, with the investigation to
proceed in an orderly manner, and judgment to be rendered only after such inquiry. Academic due process, a
term coined, is a system of procedure designed to yield the best possible judgment when an adverse decision
against a professor may be the consequence with stress on the clear, orderly, and fair way of reaching a
conclusion. Every university or college teacher should be entitled before dismissal or demotion, to have the
charges against him stated in writing, in specific terms and to have a fair trial on these charges before a
special or permanent judicial committee of the faculty or by the faculty at large. At such trial the teacher
accused should have full opportunity to present evidence. Herein, the procedure followed in the first
investigation of Montemayor (June 1974) satisfied the procedure due process requisite. The second
investigation (November 1974), however, did not. The motion for postponement therein was denied, the
hearing proceeded as scheduled in the absence of Montemayor, and the committee lost no time in submitting
its report finding the charges against Montemayor to have been sufficiently established and recommending his
removal. The deficiency, however, was remedied, as Montemayor was able to present his case before the
Labor Commission. Denial of due process happened only in the proceeding he had before the investigating
committees and not in the proceedings before the NLRC wherein he was given the fullest opportunity to
present his case, the latter being the subject matter of the petition for certiorari. Montemayor was afforded his
day in court.
Meralco vs. PSC [GR L-13638-40, 30 June 1964]
En Banc, Paredes (J): 8 concur, 2 took no part
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 31 )
Narratives (Berne Guerrero)
Facts: On 10 March 1955, the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) filed two applications with the Public
Service Commission (PSC), one, for revision and reduction of its rates for commercial and other nonresidential customers for general lighting, heating and/or power purposes (PSC Case 85889) and the other for
revision and reduction of its residential meter rate, schedule RM-3 (PSC Case 85890). These applications
were approved by the PSC in a decision rendered on 24 September 1955. On 24 August 1955, the Meralco
filed another application for revision and reduction of its general power rate, Schedule GP-2 (PSC Case
89293), which was provisionally approved on 31 August 1955. Previous to these applications, Meralco filed 7
other applications for revision and reduction rates. On 9 June 1954, upon petition of Dr. Pedro Gil, the
Commission requested the Auditor General to cause an audit and examination of Meralco's books of accounts.
The General Auditing Office (GAO) examined and audited the books and under date of 11 May 1956, it
presented a report which was submitted to the Commission on 28 May 1956. On 30 May 1956, the PSC, thru
Commissioner Feliciano Ocampo, reset the hearing of the cases for 22 June 1956 "for the purpose of
considering such further revision of applicant's rates as may be found reasonable." On said date, the parties
appeared and Atty. Venancio L. de Peralta, Technical Assistant and Chief of the Finance and Rate Division of
the PSC, who was duly authorized to receive the evidence of the parties, announced that the hearing was an
"informal hearing", and its purpose was to hear any remarks or statements of the parties and to define the
issues "so that at the hearing we know exactly what are disputed at this informal hearing". Dr. Pedro Gil
submitted the 3 cases on the report of the GAO dated 11 May 1956 and on a letter dated 7 June 1956 he sent
to the Commission, in which he asked the Commission, inter alia, to allow the Meralco "a rate of return of
only 8% on its invested capital.". The Solicitor General submitted the case on the same report and letter of Dr.
Gil and on a letter-report addressed by the Deputy Auditor General to the Commission on 21 November 1955.
Other parties made common cause with Dr. Gil. Meralco was given by the Commission a period of 30 days
within which to file an answer, specifying its objections to the report of the GAO. On 31 July 1956, the
Meralco filed its answer to the GAO's report, specifying its objection, and prayed that the cases be reset for
hearing to enable the parties to present their proofs. Without having (1) first reset the said 3 cases for hearing;
(2) Without having given the Meralco an opportunity, as requested by it, to cross-examine the officers of the
GAO who prepared the report dated May 11, 1956, on which report the Commission based its decision; and
(3) Without having given the Meralco an opportunity, as requested by it, to present evidence in support of its
answer to refute the facts alleged in said report and controverted by Meralco, on 27 December 1957, the PSC
handed down a decision, granting the petition for the reduction of rates. The motion for reconsideration and to
set aside decision, filed on 14 January 1958 by Meralco, was denied by the Commission on a 2 to 1 vote, on 3
March 1958. Meralco filed the petition for review with preliminary injunction before the Supreme Court.
Issue: Whether the informal hearing held 22 June 1956 serves the purpose of “proper notice and hearing” in
administrative cases.
Held: The record shows that no hearing was held. On 22 June 1956, parties appeared before "Attorney
Vivencio L. Peralta, Technical Assistant, and Chief, Finance and Rate Division, Public Service Commission,
who was duly authorized to receive the evidence of the parties", and the record shows that the hearing held
before the said Commissioner was merely an informal hearing because, using his own words, "I said at the
beginning that this is only preliminary because I want that the parties could come to some kind of
understanding." Meralco has not been given its day in court. The decision of 27 December 1957 was not
promulgated "upon proper notice and hearing", as required by law, and that therefore it can not serve as a
legal basis for requiring the Meralco to put in effect the reductions ordered in the decision. It is the cardinal
right of a party in trials and administrative proceedings to be heard, which includes the right of the party
interested or affected to present his own case and submit evidence in support thereof and to have such
evidence presented considered by the tribunal. Even if the Commission is not bound by the rules of judicial
proceedings, it must how its head to the constitutional mandate that no person shall be deprived of right
without due process of law, which binds not only the government of the Republic, but also each and everyone
of its branches, agencies, etc. Due process of law guarantees notice and opportunities to be heard to persons
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 32 )
Narratives (Berne Guerrero)
who would be affected by the order or act contemplated.
93 Ateneo v. CA [GR L-56180, 16 October 1986]
Second Division, Gutierrez (J): 4 concur, 1 took no part
Facts: On 12 December 1967, Juan Ramon Guanzon (from Bacolod, son of Romeo Guanzon and Teresita
Regalado), first year student of AdMU Loyola Heights, and boarder at the Cervini Hall) struck at the left
temple of Carmelita Mateo, a waitress in the Cervini Hall cafeteria. Other boarders held him from striking
again, but the boarders hid the incident from Fr. Campbell. The university conducted an investigation of the
slapping incident. On the basis of the investigation results, Juan Ramon was dismissed from the university.
The dismissal of Juan Ramon triggered off the filing of a complaint for damages by his parents against the
university in the then Court of First Instance (CFI) of Negros Occidental at Bacolod City. The complaint
states that Juan Ramon was expelled from school without giving him a fair trial in violation of his right to due
process and that they are prominent and well known residents of Bacolod City, with the unceremonious
expulsion of their son causing them actual, moral, and exemplary damages as well as attorney's fees. In its
answer, the university denied the material allegations of the complaint and justified the dismissal of Juan
Ramon on the ground that his unbecoming behavior is contrary to good morals, proper decorum, and civility,
that such behavior subjected him as a student to the university's disciplinary regulations' action and sanction
and that the university has the sole prerogative and authority at any time to drop from the school a student
found to be undesirable in order to preserve and maintain its integrity and discipline so indispensable for its
existence as an institution of learning. After due trial, the lower court found for the Guanzons and ordered the
university to pay them P92.00 as actual damages; P50,000.00 as moral damages; P5,000.00 as attorney's fees
and to pay the costs of the suit. Upon appeal to the Court of Appeals by the university, the trial court's
decision was initially reversed and set aside. However, upon motion for reconsideration filed by the
Guanzons, the appellate court reversed its decision and set it aside through a special division of five. The
motion for reconsideration had to be referred to a special division of five in view of the failure to reach
unanimity on the resolution of the motion, the vote of the regular division having become 2 to 1. Hence, the
University filed a petition for review before the Supreme Court.
Issue: Whether the absence of notice to the dismissed student’s parents negates the compliance of the
requirements of administrative due process.
Held: Besides the administrative body undertaking a fair and objective investigation of the incident, due
process in administrative proceedings also requires consideration of the evidence presented and the existence
of evidence to support the decision. Herein, the original Court of Appeals decision (penned by Justice
Gancayco) showed that the procedures in the expulsion case were fair, open, exhaustive, and adequate. There
were nothing in the records to reverse the findings in the reconsideration. Clearly, there was absolutely no
indication of malice, fraud, and improper or wilful motives or conduct on the part of the Ateneo de Manila
University. Juan Ramon was given notice of the proceedings. He actually appeared to present his side. The
investigating board acted fairly and objectively. All requisites of administrative due process were met. It
cannot be negated by the fact that the parents of Juan Ramon were not given any notice of the proceedings.
Juan Ramon, who at the time was 18 years of age, was already a college student, intelligent and mature
enough to know his responsibilities. He was fully cognizant of the gravity of the offense he committed as he
asked if he could be expelled for what he did. When informed about the 19 December 1967 meeting of the
Board of Discipline, he was asked to seek advice and assistance from his guardian and or parents. The fact
that he chose to remain silent and did not inform them about his case, not even when he went home to
Bacolod City for his Christmas vacation, was not the fault of the University.
94 Alcuaz v. PSBA [GR 76353, 2 May 1988]
Second division, Paras (J): 3 concur.
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 33 )
Narratives (Berne Guerrero)
Facts: Sophia Alcuaz, Ma. Cecilia Alindayu, Bernadette Ang, Irna Anonas, Ma. Remedios Baltazar, Corazon
Bundoc, John Carmona, Anna Shiela Dinoso, Rafael Encarnacion, et. al., are all bonafide students of the
Philippine School of Business Administration (PSBA) Quezon City. As early as 22 March 1986, the students
and the PSBA, Q.C. had already agreed on certain matters which would govern their activities within the
school. In spite of the agreement, the students felt the need to hold dialogues. Among others they demanded
the negotiation of a new agreement, which demand was turned down by the school, resulting in mass
assemblies and barricades of school entrances. Subsequently dialogues proved futile. Finally, on 8 October
1996, the students received uniform letters from PSBA giving them 3 days to explain why the school should
not take/mete out any administrative sanction on their direct participation and/or conspiring with others in the
commission of tumultuous and anarchic acts on October 2, 3, and 7. On 22 October 1982, the letter was
answered by the counsel for the students in a reply letter. During the regular enrollment period, the students
were allegedly blacklisted and denied admission for the second semester of SY 1986-1987. On 28 October
1986 the President of the Student Council filed a complaint with the Director of the Ministry of Education,
Culture and Sports (MECS) against the PSBA for barring the enrollment of the Student Council Officers and
student leaders. Simultaneously on the same date, the student council wrote the President, Board of Trustees,
requesting for a written statement of the schools final decision regarding their enrollment. Another demand
letter was made by Counsel for the students Atty. Alan Romullo Yap, also to the President, Board of Trustees,
to enroll his clients within 48 hours. All these notwithstanding, no relief appeared to be forthcoming. The
students filed a petition for review on certiorari and prohibition with preliminary mandatory injunction.
Issue: Whether the students were deprived of due process in the refusal of PSBA to readmit them.
Held: After the close of the first semester, the PSBA-QC no longer has any existing contract either with the
students or with the intervening teachers. The contract having been terminated, there is no more contract to
speak of. The school cannot be compelled to enter into another contract with said students and teachers. The
right of the school to refuse re-enrollment of students for academic delinquency and violation of disciplinary
regulations has always been recognized by the Court, as it is sanctioned by law. Section 107 of the Manual of
Regulations for Private Schools considers academic delinquency and violation of disciplinary regulations as
valid grounds for refusing re-enrollment of students. Due process in disciplinary cases involving students
does not entail proceedings and hearings similar to those prescribed for actions and proceedings in courts of
justice. Such proceedings may be summary and cross-examination is not even an essential part thereof.
Accordingly, the minimum standards laid down by the Court to meet the demands of procedural due process
are: (1) the students must be informed in writing of the nature and cause of any accusation against them; (2)
they shall have the right to answer the charges against them, with the assistance of counsel, if desired: (3) they
shall be informed of the evidence against them; (4) they shall have the right to adduce evidence in their own
behalf; and (5) the evidence must be duly considered by the investigating committee or official designated by
the school authorities to hear and decide the case. Herein, conditions 3, 4 and 5 had not been complied with.
The Court, however, ordered an investigation to be conducted by the school authorities in the interest of
justice. Further, it is well settled that by reason of their special knowledge and expertise gained from the
handling of specific matters falling under their respective jurisdictions, the Court ordinarily accords respect if
not finality to factual findings of administrative tribunals, unless the factual findings are not supported by
evidence; where the findings are vitiated by fraud, imposition or collusion; where the procedure which led to
the factual findings is irregular; when palpable errors are committed; or when a grave abuse of discretion,
arbitrariness, or capriciousness is manifest. Herein, a careful scrutiny of the Report and Recommendation of
the Special Investigating Committee shows it does not fall under any of the above exceptions. Thus, the
Supreme Court dismissed the petition, but in the light of compassionate equity, students who were, in view of
the absence of academic deficiencies, scheduled to graduate during the school year when the petition was
filed, should be allowed to re-enroll and to graduate in due time.
95 Non v. Dames [GR 89317, 20 May 1990]
En Banc, Cortes (J): 10 concur, 1 on leave.
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 34 )
Narratives (Berne Guerrero)
Facts: Ariel Non, Rex Magana, Alvin Agura, Normandy Occiano, Jorge Dayaon, Lourdes Banares, Bartolome
Ibasco, Emmanuel Barba, Sonny Moreno. Giovani Palma, Joselito Villalon, Luis Santos and Daniel Torres,
students in Mabini Colleges, Inc. in Daet, Camarines Norte, were not allowed to re-enroll by the school for
the academic year 1988-1989 for leading or participating in student mass actions against the school in the
preceding semester. They thus filed a petition in the Regional Trial Court of Daet (Branch 38) seeking their
readmission or re-enrollment to the school, but the trial court dismissed the petition in an order dated 8
August 1988. A motion for reconsideration was filed, but this was denied by the trial court on 24 February
1989; stating that they waived-their privilege to be admitted for re-enrollment with respondent college when
they adopted, signed, and used its enrollment form for the first semester of school year 1988-89. In addition,
for the same semester, they duly signed pledges "to abide and comply with all the rules and regulations laid
down by competent authorities in the College Department or School in which I am enrolled." Hence, the
affected students filed the petition for certiorari with prayer for preliminary mandatory injunction before the
Supreme Court.
Issue: Whether the school exclude students because of failing grades when the cause for the action taken
against them relates to possible breaches of discipline.
Held: The contract between the school and the student is not an ordinary contract. It is imbued with public
interest, considering the high priority given by the Constitution to education and the grant to the State of
supervisory and regulatory powers over all educational institutions. The authority for schools to refuse
enrollment to a student on the ground that his contract, which has a term of one semester, has already expired,
cannot be justified. Still, institutions' discretion on the admission and enrollment of students as a major
component of the academic freedom guaranteed to institutions of higher learning. The right of an institution
of higher learning to set academic standards, however, cannot be utilized to discriminate against students who
exercise their constitutional rights to speech and assembly, for otherwise there will be a violation of their right
to equal protection. Thus, an institution of learning has a contractual obligation to afford its students a fair
opportunity to complete the course they seek to pursue. However, when a student commits a serious breach of
discipline or fails to maintain the required academic standard, he forfeits his contractual right; and the court
should not review the discretion of university authorities. Excluding students because of failing grades when
the cause for the action taken against them undeniably related to possible breaches of discipline not only is a
denial of due process but also constitutes a violation of the basic tenets of fair play. Further, the failures in one
or two subjects by some cannot be considered marked academic deficiency. Neither can the academic
deficiency be gauged from the academic standards of the school due to insufficiency of information. Herein,
the students could have been subjected to disciplinary proceedings in connection with the mass actions, but
the penalty that could have been imposed must be commensurate to the offense committed and it must be
imposed only after the requirements of procedural due process have been complied with (Paragraph 145,
Manual of Regulations for Private Schools). But this matter of disciplinary proceedings and the imposition of
administrative sanctions have become moot and academic; as the students have been refused readmission or
re-enrollment and have been effectively excluded from for 4 semesters, have already been more than
sufficiently penalized for any breach of discipline they might have committed when they led and participated
in the mass actions that resulted in the disruption of classes. To still subject them to disciplinary proceedings
would serve no useful purpose and would only further aggravate the strained relations between the students
and the officials of the school which necessarily resulted from the heated legal battle.
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 35 )