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Professor: Atty. Rene B. Gorospe Source: Gorospe, Rene B. (2006). CONSTITUTIONAL LAW Notes and Readings on the Bill of Rights, Citizenship and Suffrage (Vol. 1 and 2). Quezon City: Rex Printing Company, Inc.

Chapter 1 The Fundamental Powers and the Bill of Rights

The Bill of Rights is a “charter of liberties for the individual and a limitation upon the power of the state.” The purpose is to protect the people against arbitrary and discriminatory use of political power.

Calalang v. Williams 70 Phil. 726 (1940)

Commonwealth Act No. 548 prohibits animal-drawn vehicles from passing along certain Manila streets during certain hours

Maximo Calalang assails its constitutionality on the ground that it is an unlawful interference with legitimate business or trade and abridge the right to personal liberty and freedom of locomotion

Held: No. It was passed in the exercise of the paramount police power of the state

Persons and property may be subjected to all kinds of restraints and burdens, in order to secure the general comfort, health, and prosperity of the state

Liberty should not be made to prevail over authority because then society will fall into anarchy. Neither should authority be made to prevail over liberty because then the individual will fall into slavery

The Fundamental Powers

They are inborn in the very fact of statehood and sovereignty. They are necessary and indispensable as there can be no effective government without them

They are all exercised primarily by the national legislature

Police Power

Eminent Domain


Maintenance of a healthy economic standard of society


Form of protection and benefits from the government

compensation for

the property



Regulates both

Affects only

liberty and

property rights


May be exercised only by the government

May be delegated to some other entities in the private sector

May be exercised only by the government

Property taken is destroyed

Property taken is meant for public use or purpose

Compensation not immediate; sometimes leaving the reward to be reaped through his recognition that he has done something for the public good

Receipt of market value of his property that is taken

Immediate and apparent in the form of protection and benefits derived from the use of taxes paid

Police Power

It has been defined as the ‘state authority to enact legislation that may interfere with personal liberty or property in order to promote the general welfare’

It includes: (1) an imposition or restraint upon liberty or property, (2) in order to foster the common good Being what it is, police power cannot stand still. It also has to adjust to the demands and realities of changing times

It may be delegated to the (1) President and (2) administrative boards as well as (3) the law-making body of municipal corporations or local government units. Once delegated, the agents can exercise only such legislative powers as are conferred on them by the national lawmaking body

Requisites -- lawful ends through lawful means

United States v. Toribio 15 Phil. 85 (1910)

Act No. 1147 regulates the registration, branding and slaughter of large cattle. The provisions of the said law requires, before large cattle may be slaughtered or killed for food at the municipal slaughterhouse, a permit be obtained from the Municipal Treasurer

Appellant was convicted of slaughtering an animal without the requisite permit

Appellant contends the constitutionality on the ground that it violates the provision the “no law shall be enacted which shall deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law”

Held: No. The act primarily seeks to protect the “large cattle” of the Philippine Islands against theft and to make easy the recovery and return of such cattle to their proper owners, when lost, strayed, or stolen

All property is acquired and held under the tacit condition that it shall not be so used as to injure the equal rights of others or greatly impair the public rights and interests of the community

Rights of property are subject to such reasonable limitations in their enjoyment as shall prevent them from being injurious xxx

Confronted by such conditions, there can be no doubt of the right of the Legislature to adopt reasonable measures for the preservation of work animals, even to the extent of prohibiting and penalizing what would, under ordinary conditions, be a perfectly legitimate and proper exercise of rights of ownership and control of the private property of the citizen

Police power v. Due process

Due process is the “embodiment of the sporting idea of fair play.” The minimum requirements of due process are notice and hearing which, generally speaking, may not be dispersed with because they are intended as a safeguard against official arbitrariness

Previous judicial hearing, however, may be omitted without violation of due process in view of the nature of the property involved or the urgency of the need to protect the general welfare from a clear and present danger

The protection of the general welfare is the particular function of the police power which both restrains and is restrained by due process

The justification is found in the venerable Latin maxims, Salus populi est suprema lex and Sic utere tuo ut alienum non laedas, which call for the subordination of individual interests to the benefit of the greater number

Ynot v. IAC

148 SCRA 569 (1987)

EO 626-A prohibited the interprovincial transportation of carabao (the poor man’s tractor) and carabeef and subjected carabao and carabeef transported in violation of its provisions to confiscation and forfeiture, to be distributed to charitable institutions xxx Whereas, the present conditions demand that the carabaos and buffaloes be conserved for the benefit of small farmers who rely on them for energy needs

Six carabaos transported by Ynot in a pump boat from Masbate to Iloilo were confiscated by a police station commander of Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo

Held: Yes. We find that the challenged measure is an invalid exercise of the police power because the method employed to conserve the carabaos is not reasonably necessary to the purpose of the law and, worse, is unduly oppressive. Due process is violated because the owner of the property confiscated is denied the right to be heard in his defense and is immediately condemned and punished

Police power is inherent in the state but not in municipal corporations. A valid delegation of police power may arise from express delegation, or be inferred from the mere fact of the creation of the municipal corporation

Binay v. Domingo

201 SCRA 508 (1991)

The Municipality of Makati approved Resolution No. 60 ratifying the ongoing Burial Assistance Program, extending financial assistance coming from the municipal treasury to bereaved families with gross family income of less than P2,000.00

The COA disapproved Resolution 60. It held that the resolution cannot be sustained as a legitimate exercise of the police power due to a lack of perceptible connection or relation between the objective sought to be attained and the alleged public safety, general welfare, etc. of the inhabitants of Makati, and, that the disbursement of funds was not for a public purpose since it was for the benefit of only a few individuals and not the whole or majority of the inhabitants of the Municipality

Held: Yes. The care for the poor is generally recognized as a public duty. The support for the poor has long been an accepted exercise of police power in the promotion of the common good. Resolution No. 60 is a paragon of the continuing program of our government towards social justice

COA is not attuned to the changing of the times. Public purpose is not unconstitutional merely because it incidentally benefits a limited number of persons

“The drift is towards social welfare legislation geared towards state policies to provide adequate social services, the promotion of the general welfare, social justice as well as human dignity and respect for human rights”

Police power is the power to prescribe regulations to promote health, morals, peace, education, good order or safety and general welfare of the people

Police Power v. General Welfare Clause

Police power may be delegated to and exercised by local government units through the so-called General Welfare Clause

Villacorta v. Bernardo 143 SCRA 480 (1986)

The Municipal Board of Dagupan City adopted Ordinance No. 22 seeking to regulate the subdivision plans over parcels of land located therein, which requires, among others, an approval from the City Engineer and payment of a service fee and a certification from the City Engineer

An action was brought against its constitutionality

Held: Yes. Ordinance No. 22 is null and void being in conflict with Section 44 of Act 496

So many excesses are attempted in the name of the police power


Police Power v. Vices

The power to tax (the power to destroy) cannot be allowed to defeat an instrumentality or creation of the very entity which has the inherent power to wield it

What is settled is that the matter of regulating, taxing or otherwise dealing with gambling is a State concern and hence, it is the sole prerogative of the State to retain it or delegate it to local governments

Basco v. PAGCOR 197 SCRA 52 (1991)

The PAGCOR was created by virtue of PD 1067-A (and PD 1869) and was granted a franchise “to establish, operate and maintain gambling casinos on land or water within the territorial jurisdiction of the Philippines”

Petitioners alleged that such law is “null and void” for being “contrary to morals, public policy and public order”; it further contends that its exemption from paying any tax is violative of the principle of local autonomy (waiver of right of City of Manila to impose tax)

Held: No. Gambling in all its forms, unless allowed by law, is generally prohibited. But the prohibition of gambling does not mean that the Government cannot regulate it in the exercise of its police power PAGCOR has a dual role, to operate and to regulate gambling casinos. The latter role is governmental, which places it in the category of an agency or instrumentality of the Government, thus, exempt form local taxes

Before: Tax Credit (Taxation & Eminent Domain exercised) After: Tax Deduction (Taxation & Police Power exercised)

Eminent Domain

It is an inherent power of the State that enables it to forcibly acquire private lands intended for public use upon payment of just compensation to the owner

In times of national emergency, the government temporarily takes over a public utility imbued with public interest pursuant to Article XII, Section 17 of the Constitution, it exercises police power and not its power of eminent domain. Accordingly the private entity-owner cannot claim any just compensation for the use of the said business and its properties

The police power being the most active power of the government and the due process being the broadest limitation on governmental power, the conflict between this power of government and the due process of the Constitution is oftentimes inevitable

City Government of QC v. Ericta 122 SCRA 759 (1983)

The Quezon City Council passed Ordinance No. 6118, S-64 regulating the establishment, maintenance and operation of private memorial type cemetery or burial ground. Section 9 of the said ordinance required that at least 6% of the total area of every memorial park cemetery must be set aside for charity burial, otherwise, such cemetery will be prohibited from selling memorial park lots

Himlayang Pilipino contends that Section 9 is not a valid exercise of police power

Held: Yes. The power to regulate does not include the power to prohibit. A fortiori, the power to regulate does not include the power to confiscate

Section 9 is not a mere police regulation but an outright confiscation. It deprives a person of his private property without due process of law, nay, even without compensation

Expropriation requires payment of just compensation

This is a power that may be exercised by entities other than the government itself or its subdivisions and instrumentalities. The private corporations serving the public, such as public utilities, may validly be delegated the power.

xxx those engaged in the supply of electricity, water, telecommunications services and some transportation firms whose services might require the acquisition of private property for the efficacious service to the public, may also be vested with the power of expropriation

Before a municipal corporation may exercise its power of eminent domain, it must be sanctioned and must not violate any law

Private lands, for purposes of socialized housing, rank last in the order of priority for acquisition, and expropriation proceedings are to be resorted to only after the other modes of acquisition have been exhausted

Eminent Domain v. Destruction by Necessity



Connotes taking

Speaks for itself--condemnation of a property as a means of self-defense

for use

or self-preservation

Entails payment of just compensation

The property is precisely destroyed as a way of promoting the greater welfare of the populace who might be endangered or otherwise placed in harm’s way

Primarily exercised by the government

May be exercised by private individuals


The power of the State to impose a charge or burden upon person, property, or property rights, for the use and support of the government

Taxation is a destructive power which interferes with the

personal and property rights of the people and takes from them

a portion of their property for the support of the government.

Tax statutes must be construed strictly against the government and liberally in favor of the taxpayer

Limitations on the Power to tax

The rule of taxation shall be uniform and equitable. The Congress shall evolve a progressive system of tax

Uniformity means that persons or things of the same class shall

be taxed at the same rate. It requires that all subjects or objects of taxation, similarly situated, are to be treated alike or put on equal footing both in privileges and liabilities Uniformity, however, is not equality, the latter term signifying that the taxes shall be strictly proportional to the relative value


the taxable property


is also an inherent limitation on the power to tax that the

proceeds be for public purpose. They could not be used for purely private purposes xxx the real purpose of taxation is the promotion of the common good

Taxation is said to be equitable when its burden falls on those better able to pay. Taxation is progressive when its rate goes up depending on the resources of the person affected

It is the strongest of all powers of government

The taxing power has the authority to make a reasonable and natural classification for purposes of taxation but the government’s act must not be prompted by a spirit of hostility, or at the very least discrimination that finds no support in reason

Taxes are the lifeblood of the government and so should be collected without unnecessary hindrance. However, such collection should be made in accordance with law xxx

Reyes v. Almanzor 196 SCRA 322 (1991)

Petitioners are owners of parcels of land in Manila which are leased and occupied as dwelling sites by tenants. RA 6359 was enacted prohibiting from increasing in monthly rentals of dwelling units and also disallowing the ejectment of lessees upon the expiration of the usual legal period (amended by PD 20). Thereafter, City Assessor of Manila increased tax rates.

Petitioners averred that the reassessments made were “excessive,

unwarranted, inequitable, confiscatory and unconstitutional”

Held: Yes. Public respondents would have this Court completely ignore the effects of the restrictions of the said law on the market value of properties within its coverage

Tax exemptions

xxx as broad as the power to tax

Like any other power, it is one that may not be exercised arbitrarily or whimsically

The Constitution declares outright that: “Charitable institutions, churches and parsonages or covenant appurtenant thereto, mosques, non-profit cemeteries, and all lands, buildings, and improvements, actually, directly, and exclusively used for religious, charitable, or educational purposes shall be exempt from taxation”

No law granting any tax exemption shall be passed without the concurrence of a majority of all the Members of the Congress Partnership among Fundamental Powers

Ermita-Malate Hotel and Motel Operators Association, Inc. v. City Mayor of Manila 20 SCRA 849 (1967)

The Municipal Board of the City of Manila enacted Ordinance No. 4670 regulating the operation of hotels and motels

Petitioners sought to invalidate the ordinance

Held: No. The presumption is all in favor of validity xxx The local legislative body, by enacting the ordinance, has in effect given notice that the regulations are essential to the well being of the people

Negatively put, police power is “that inherent and plenary power in the State which enables it to prohibit all that is hurtful to the comfort, safety, and welfare of society

There is no controlling and precise definition of due process. It furnishes though a standard to which governmental action should conform in order that deprivation of life, liberty or property, in each appropriate case, be valid

Taxation may be made to implement the state’s police power

may be made to implement the state’s police p ower The liberty of the citizen may

The liberty of the citizen may be restrained in the interest of the public health, or of the public order and safety, or otherwise within the proper scope of the police power

Association of Small Landowners of the Philippines v. Secretary of Agrarian Reform 175 SCRA 343 (1989)

PD No. 27 was enacted to provide for the compulsory acquisition of private lands for distribution among tenant-farmers (CARP)

The constitutionality of such law is challenged raising, among others, issues of due process and just compensation

Held: No. The taking contemplated is not a mere limitation of the use of the land. What is required is the surrender of the title to and the physical possession of the said excess and all beneficial

rights accruing to the owner in favor of the farmer-beneficiary, an exercise of the power of eminent domain

The power being exercised is eminent domain if the property involved is wholesome and intended for public use. Property condemned under the police power is noxious or intended for a noxious purpose which should be destroyed in the interest of public safety, morals, etc. The confiscation of such property is not compensable, unlike the taking of property under the power of expropriation, which requires the payment of just compensation to the owner

The Bill of Rights

As a Check on Governmental Powers Only

It governs the relationship between the individual and the State and its agent. The Bill of Rights only tempers governmental power and protects the individual against any aggression and unwarranted interference by any department of the government and its agencies

In the absence of governmental interference, the liberties guaranteed by the Constitution cannot be invoked against the State. It concerns not the relation between individuals, between a private individual and other individuals. What the Bill of Rights does is to declare some forbidden zones in the private sphere inaccessible to any power holder

People v. Marti 193 SCRA 57 (1991)

The appellant sought to have (4) gift -wrapped packages sent to a friend in Zurich, Switzerland through services of a forwarding company, the “Manila Packing and Export Forwarders.” Upon inspection of the box, dried leaves of marijuana were found in the packages

He questions the admissibility of the marijuana, contending that it was a product of an illegal search and seizure

Held: No. The evidence sought to be excluded was primarily discovered and obtained by a private person, acting in his private capacity and without the intervention and participation of State authorities

As a Yardstick of Validity and the Standards of Review

As a counterweight to the great powers of the government, the Bill of Rights would pose a constant standard of measurement to determine the validity of any governmental act which may limit rights and liberties, or intrude into privacies of persons, or otherwise impair their freedoms

Determining whether there is sufficient justification for the government’s action depends very much on the level of scrutiny or the standards of review used

Standards of review--the mere rationality deferential review standard, the middle-level review or intermediate review or heightened scrutiny standard, and the strict scrutiny standard

Strict scrutiny--used today to test the validity of laws dealing with the regulation of speech, gender, or race and facial challenges are allowed for this purpose; for determining the quality and the amount of governmental interest brought to justify the regulation of fundamental freedoms; focus is on the

presence of compelling, rather than substantial governmental interest and on the absence of less restrictive means for achieving that interest

Deferential review--laws are upheld if they rationally further a legitimate governmental interest, without the courts seriously inquiring into the substantiality of such interest and examining the alternative means by which the objectives could be achieved; the substantiality of the governmental interests is seriously looked into and the availability of less restrictive alternatives are considered

Rational Basis Test has been described as adopting a “deferential” attitude towards legislative classifications; it remains a primary standard for evaluating the constitutionality of a statute

Strict scrutiny is applied when the challenged statute either (1) classifies on the basis of inherent suspect characteristic or (2) infringes fundamental constitutional rights, i.e. the right to procreation, the right to marry, free speech, etc

Intermediate scrutiny or heightened scrutiny standard is applied when the challenged statute’s classification is based on either (1) gender or (2) legitimacy; Intensified mean Test, in which, the court should accept the legislative end, but should closely scrutinize its relationship to the classification made

What is important to bear in mind is this: To the extent that a particular liberty interest is considered more important and more valuable to society, to that extent must the courts utilize a more demanding and exacting standard with which to measure that governmental intrusion protected spheres

The Bill of Rights and the 1986 Interregnum

Can the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights exist when there is no constitution?

Republic v. Sandiganbayan 407 SCRA 10 (2003)

Major Gen. Josephus Q. Ramas, who was the Commanding General of the Philippine Army, was investigated by the PCGG through its AFP Anti-Graft Board for alleged ill-gotten and unexplained wealth, after which the PCGG filed a complaint for forfeiture under RA 1379

Elizabeth Dimaano, alleged to be Ramas’ mistress, was also later impleaded. The raiding team seized the items detailed in the seizure receipt together with other items not included in the search warrant xxx

The Sandiganbayan declared the properties confiscated xxx as illegally seized and therefore inadmissible xxx

[The Republic] asserts that the revolutionary government effectively withheld the operation of the 1973 Constitution which guaranteed private respondents’ exclusionary right

WON the revolutionary government was bound by the Bill of Rights of the 1973 Constitution during the interregnum xxx; WON the protection accorded to the individuals under the xxx (“Covenant”) and the xxx (“Declaration”) remained in effect during the interregnum

Held: No. The resulting government was indisputably a revolutionary government bound by no constitution or legal

limitations except treaty obligations that the revolutionary government, as the de jure government in the Philippines, assumed under international law

We hold that the Bill of Rights under the 1973 Constitution was not operative during the interregnum. However, we rule that the protection accorded to individuals under the Covenant and the Declaration remained in effect during the interregnum

xxx During the interregnum, a person could not invoke any exclusionary right under a Bill of Rights because there was neither a constitution nor a Bill of Rights during the interregnum

To hold that the Bill of Rights xxx remained operative during the interregnum would render void all sequestration orders issued by the PCGG before the adoption of the Freedom Constitution

Nevertheless, even during the interregnum the Filipino people continued to enjoy, under the Covenant and the Declaration, almost the same rights found in the Bill of Rights xxx

Clearly the raiding team exceeded its authority when it seized [such] items

Political, Civil, Economic and Other Rights

The Bill of Rights is basically about political and civil rights as contradistinguished from economic rights which are dealt with in the constitutional provisions on the national economy and patrimony, as well as in the provisions on social justice and human rights

Human rights can be understood to include those that relate to an individual’s social, economic, cultural, political and civil relations; the universally accepted traits and attributes of an individual, along with what is generally considered to be his inherent and inalienable rights, encompassing almost all aspects of life

What the law guarantees as human right in one country should be also guaranteed by law in all other countries












“Civil rights” refers to those rights that belong to every citizen of the state or country including the rights of property, marriage, equal protection of the law, freedom to contract, etc; those rights appertaining to a person by virtue of his citizenship in a state or community or the right of his being a member of society

“Political rights” are said to refer to the right to participate, directly or indirectly, in the establishment or administration of government, the right to suffrage, the right to hold public office, etc

“Natural rights” are those rights that appertain to man in right of his existence, i.e. the rights to freedom of thought, to freedom of religious belief, etc

American Bill of Rights -- The First Ten Amendments

The Philippine Bill of Rights has been basically patterned after the American Bill of Rights which is contained in the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution

Accordingly, in view of the Philippine reliance and reference every now and then to American case law on certain constitutional issues relative to the Bill of Rights, parallel

citations to the pertinent provisions of the US Bill of Rights have

to be made occasionally.

International Bill of Rights

While the Bill of Rights as found in the Constitution is the primary basis for the determination if there is any violation of the rights of persons, it does not necessarily mean that such is the sole source of rights that may be recognized

The Court also considers the pertinent international conventions and declarations in trying to determine if there is a violation of a person’s rights

The most prominent of these is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The individual may still avail of the guarantees provided by the international instruments and covenants--from the so-called International Bill of Human Rights to some other declarations and conventions--to buttress whatever claims to freedom and liberty that he or she may have

The Bill of Rights, Vigilance and Government as Teacher

A close and literal construction deprives them of half their

efficacy, and leads to gradual depreciation of the right, as if it consisted more in sound than in substance. It is the duty of the courts to be watchful for the constitutional rights of the citizen, and against any stealthy encroachments thereon

The lead should come from the Government itself if ever it wants the citizens to follow and abide by its commands and demands

Decency, security, and liberty alike demand that government

officials shall be subjected to the same rules of conduct that are commands to the citizens. In a government of laws, existence

of the government will be imperiled if it fails to observe the law

scrupulously. Our government is the potent, the omnipresent


If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt

for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it

invites anarchy

The rights and guarantees may exist. But it takes some vigilance, some action on the part of the people in order that those guarantees may come to life and become part of the human spirit

Additional Cases (A) The Bill of Rights and the Fundamental Powers

A1. Beltran v. Secretary of Health 476 SCRA 168 (2005)

FACTS: Petitioners comprise the majority of the Board of Directors of the Philippine Association of Blood Banks, a duly registered non-stock and non-profit association composed of free standing blood banks. Public respondent Secretary of Health is being sued in his capacity as the public official directly involved and charged with the enforcement and implementation of RA 7719 or the

National Blood Service Act. Section 7 of RA 7719 provides phase- out of Commercial Blood Banks. Petitioners assail the constitutionality of the said provision on the ground, among others, that such represents undue delegation if not outright abdication of the police power of the state.

ISSUE: WON RA 7719 is a valid exercise of police power

HELD: Petitions dismissed. The court upholds the validity of RA


RATIO: The promotion of public health is a fundamental obligation of the State. The health of the people is a primordial governmental concern. RA 7719 was enacted in the exercise of the State’s police power in order to promote and preserve public health and safety. Police power of the state is validly exercised if (a) the interest of the public generally, as distinguished from those of a particular class, requires the interference of the State; and (b) the means employed are reasonably necessary to the attainment of the objective sought to be accomplished and not unduly oppressive upon individuals

Police power is the State authority to enact legislation that may interfere with personal liberty or property in order to promote the general welfare.

Thus, persons may be subject to certain kinds of restraints and burdens in order to secure the general welfare of the State and to its fundamental aim of government, the rights of the individual may be subordinated

A2. PHCAP v. Duque III 1

535 SCRA 265 (2007)

Health is a legitimate subject matter for regulation by the DOH (and certain other administrative agencies) in exercise of police powers delegated to it. The superiority of breastfeeding and correct information as to infant feeding and nutrition, as in this case, is infused with public interest and welfare. The DOH’s power under the Milk Code to control information regarding breastmilk vis-à-vis breastmilk substitutes is not absolute as the power to control does not encompass the power to absolutely prohibit the advertising, marketing, and promotion of breastmilk substitutes. Implementing rules and regulations imposing labeling requirements and limitations, as well as a prohibition against certain health and nutrition claims are inconsistent with the Milk Code.

Nonetheless, the DOH, in imposing an absolute prohibition on advertising, promotion, and marketing, the same went beyond its authority since the same was not within the provisions of the Milk Code itself.

A3. Carlos Superdrug Corp. v. DSWD

526 SCRA 130 (2007)

FACTS: Petitioners are domestic corporations and proprietors operating drugstores in the Philippines. Petitioners assail the constitutionality of Section 4(a) of RA 9257, otherwise known as the “Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2003.” Section 4(a) of RA 9257 grants twenty percent (20%) discount as privileges for the Senior Citizens. Petitioner contends that said law is unconstitutional because it constitutes deprivation of private property.

ISSUE: WON RA 9257 is unconstitutional

HELD: Petition is dismissed.

RATIO: The law is a legitimate exercise of police power which,

1 UST Golden Notes 2010, Political Law


similar to the power of eminent domain, has general welfare for its object.

Accordingly, it has been described as “the most essential, insistent and the least limitable of powers, extending as it does to all the great public needs.” It is the power vested in the legislature by the constitution to make, ordain, and establish all manner of wholesome and reasonable laws, statutes, and ordinances, either with penalties or without, not repugnant to the constitution, as they shall judge to be for the good and welfare of the commonwealth, and of the subjects of the same.”

For this reason, when the conditions so demand as determined by the legislature, property rights must bow to the primacy of police power because property rights, though sheltered by due process, must yield to general welfare.


586 SCRA 210 (2009)

The Court therefore strikes down the two percent threshold only in relation to the distribution of the additional seats as found in the second clause of Section 11 (b) of RA 7941. The two percent threshold presents an unwarranted obstacle to the full implementation of Section 5 (2), Article VI of the Constitution and prevents the attainment of the “broadest possible representation of party, sectoral or group interests in the House of Representatives”

A5. Mirasol v. DPWH

490 SCRA 318 (2006)

FACTS: Petitioners sought the declaration of nullity of certain administrative issuances of the DPWH for being inconsistent with RA 2000, entitled “Limited Access Highway Act.” Among others, is AO1 which requires motorcycles shall have an engine displacement of at least 400cc.

ISSUE: WON said administrative issuances are unconstitutional

HELD: Petition partly granted. It is the DOTC, not the DPWH, which has authority to regulate, restrict, or prohibit access to limited access facilities.

We find that AO1 does not impose unreasonable restrictions. It merely outlines several precautionary measures, to which toll way users must adhere. These rules were designed to ensure public safety and the uninhibited flow of traffic within limited access facilities. RATIO: The use of public highways by motor vehicles is subject to regulation as an exercise of the police power of the state. The police power is far-reaching in scope and is the “most essential, insistent and illimitable” of all government powers. The tendency is to extend rather than to restrict the use of police power. The sole standard in measuring its exercise is reasonableness.

A6. MMDA v. Viron Transportation Co., Inc.

530 SCRA 341 (2007)

FACTS: PGMA issued EO 179, which provided for the establishment of a Mass Transport System for Greater Manila. Pursuant to this EO, the Metro manila Council of the MMDA cited the need to remove the bus terminals located along major thoroughfares of Metro Manila. Respondents, provincial bus operators who had bus terminals that were threatened to be removed, alleges that EO should be declared unconstitutional and illegal for transgressing the possessory rights of owners and operators of public land transportation units over their respective terminals 3 ISSUE: WON EO 179 is a valid exercise of police power

2 UST Golden Notes 2010, Political Law

3 Stef Macapagal

HELD: Petition denied. EO 179 is null and void.

RATIO: MMDA has no police power, let alone legislative power. In light of the administrative nature of its powers and functions, the MMDA is devoid of authority to implement the Project as envisioned by the EO; hence it could not have been validly designated by the President to undertake the Project. It follows that the MMDA cannot validly order the elimination of the respondents’ terminals

Police power rests primarily with the legislature, such power may be delegated, as it is in fact increasingly being delegated. By virtue of a valid delegation, the power may be exercised by the President and administrative boards as well as by the lawmaking bodies of municipal corporations or local government under an express delegation by the LGC of 1991

Measures calculated to promote the safety and convenience of the people using the thoroughfares by the regulation of vehicular traffic present a proper subject for the exercise of police power

On Constitutional Law, “The true role of Constitutional Law is to effect an equilibrium between authority and liberty so that rights are exercised within the framework of the law and the laws are enacted with due deference to rights.”

A7. Yamane v. BA Lepanto Condominium Corporation

474 SCRA 258 (2005)

FACTS: Petitioner City Treasurer of Makati holds respondent, in a Notice of Assessment, liable to pay the correct business taxes, fees and charges totaling to P1.6M in which the respondents protested contending that condominium does not fall under the definition of a business, thus, they are not liable for such taxes

ISSUE: WON the City Treasurer of Makati may collect business taxes on condominium corporations

HELD: Petition denied. Accordingly, and with significant degree of comfort, we hold that condominium corporations are generally exempt from local business taxation under the LGC, irrespective of any local ordinance that seeks to declare otherwise.

RATIO: The power of the local government units to impose taxes within its territorial jurisdiction derives from the Constitution itself, which recognizes the power of these units “to create its own sources of revenue and to levy taxes, fees, and charges subject to such guidelines and limitations as the Congress may provide, consistent with the basic policy of local autonomy.”

A8. PPI v. Fertphil Corporation

548 SCRA 485 (2008)

FACTS: Petitioner and private respondent are private corporations incorporated under Philippine laws. They are both engaged in the importation and distribution of fertilizers, pesticides and agricultural chemicals. President Marcos issued LOI 1465 which provided, among others, for the imposition of a capital recovery component on the domestic sale of all grades of fertilizers in the Philippines. Pursuant to the LOI, private respondent paid P10 for every bag of fertilizer it sold in the domestic market to the Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority (FPA). After the 1986 Edsa Revolution, FPA voluntarily stopped the imposition of the P10 levy. Private respondent then demanded from petitioner a refund of the amounts it paid under LOI 1465

ISSUE: WON the issuance of LOI 1465 is a valid exercise of police power of the State

HELD: Petition denied. The RTC and the CA did not err in ruling against the constitutionality of the LOI


RATIO: Police power and the power of taxation are inherent powers of the State. These powers are distinct and have different tests for validity. Police power is the power of the State to enact legislation that may interfere with personal liberty or property in order to promote the general welfare, while the power of taxation is the power to levy taxes to be used for public purpose. The main purpose of police power is the regulation of a behavior or conduct, while taxation is revenue generation. The “lawful subjects” and “lawful means” tests are used to determine the validity of a law enacted under the police power. The power of taxation, on the other hand, is circumscribed by inherent and constitutional limitations.

An inherent limitation on the power of taxation is public purpose. Taxes are exacted only for a public purpose. They cannot be used for purely private purposes or for the exclusive benefit of private persons.

The power to tax exists for the general welfare; hence, implicit in its power is the limitation that it should be used only for a public purpose.

A9. Yrasuegui v. PAL

569 SCRA 467 (2008)

FACTS: Petitioner was a former international flight steward of PAL, herein respondent. Petitioner was dismissed because of his failure to adhere to the weight standards of the airline company. Petitioner claims that he was illegally dismissed.

ISSUE: WON petitioner was discriminated against when he was dismissed.

HELD: Petition denied.

RATIO: To make his claim more believable, petitioner invokes the equal protection clause guaranty of the Constitution. However, in the absence of governmental interference, the liberties guaranteed by the Constitution cannot be invoked. Put differently, the Bill of Rights is not meant to be invoked against acts of private individuals. Indeed, the US Supreme Court, in interpreting the 14 th Amendment, which is the source of our equal protection guarantee, is consistent in saying that the equal protection erects no shield against private conduct, however discriminatory or wrongful. Private actions, no matter how egregious, cannot violate the equal protection guarantee.

A10. Atienza, Jr. v. COMELEC

612 SCRA 761 (2010)

FACTS: Drilon, as president of the LP, announced his party’s withdrawal of support for the administration of PGMA. Petitioner, LP chairman, and a number of party members denounced Drilon’s move. In a party conference, petitioner moved to declare all positions in the LP’s ruling body vacant and elected new officers, with petitioner as LP president. Drilon filed a petition before the COMELEC and the latter nullified the elections. Eventually, Roxas was installed as the new LP president. Petitioners were deemed resigned for holding the illegal election of LP officers and were dropped from the roster of LP members.

ISSUE: WON respondents violated petitioners’ constitutional right to due process by the latter’s expulsion from the party.

HELD: Petition denied. The requirements of administrative due process do not apply to the internal affairs of political parties.

RATIO: The constitutional limitations on the exercise of the state’s powers are found in Article III of the Constitution or the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights, which guarantees against the taking of life, property, or liberty without due process under Section 1 is generally a limitation on the state’s powers in relation to the rights of its citizens. The right to due process is meant to protect

ordinary citizens against arbitrary government action, but not from acts committed by private individuals or entities.

The right to due process guards against unwarranted encroachment by the state into the fundamental rights of its citizens and cannot invoked in private controversies involving private parties.

The discipline of members by a political party does not involve the right to life, liberty or property within the meaning of the due process clause.

Chapter 2

Due Process

“No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.” 4

Due Process of Law


Life, Liberty and Property



Roe v. Wade 410 US 113, 35 L Ed 2d 147, 93 S Ct 705 (1973)

Caunca v. Salazar 82 Phil. 851, 1 SCUD 177 (1 January 1949)

Lupangco v. CA

160 SCRA 848 (1988)


Ayog v. Cusi, Jr

118 SCRA 492 (1982)

Public Office

Layno, Sr. v. Sandiganbayan

136 SCRA 536 (1985)


Corona v. United Harbor Pilots Association of the Philippines 283 SCRA 31 (1997)

Right-Privilege Dichotomy



The former come under the protection of the Due Process Clause

They are just by way of grant by the State

The American Supreme Court now has rejected the concept that constitutional rights turn upon whether a governmental benefit is characterized as a “right “ or as a “privilege.” Whether any procedural protections are due depends on the extent to which an individual will be “condemned to suffer grievous loss”



Hierarchy of Rights

The Due Process Clause protects “life, liberty and property”

PBMEO v. Philippine Blooming Mills Co., Inc. 51 SCRA 189 (1973)

PBMEO allegedly informed the respondent Company of the proposed demonstration. A day before the planned demonstration, the Company informed the workers that even as their right to demonstrate is recognized, the normal operations of the Company should not be unduly prejudiced

Company filed with the COR a complaint for violation of the CBA, particularly the “No Strike-No Lockout” clause

(2) The Bill of Rights is designed to preserve the ideals if liberty, equality and security “against assaults of opportunism, the expediency of the passing hour, the erosion of small encroachments, and the scorn and derision of those who have no patience with general principles

Held: Yes. The respondent is the one guilty of unfair labor practices. Because the refusal on the part of the respondent firm to permit all its employees and workers to join the mass demonstration against alleged police abuses and the subsequent separation of the eight (8) petitioners from the service constituted an unconstitutional restraint on their freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and freedom of petition for redress of grievances, the respondent firm committed, [among others], unfair labor practice for an employer “to interfere with, retrain or coerce employees on the exercise of their rights guaranteed in Section Three”

Property and property rights can be lost thru prescription; but human rights are imprescriptible

In the hierarchy of civil liberties, the rights of free expression and of assembly occupy a preferred position as they are essential to the preservation and vitality of our civil and political institutions; and such priority “gives these liberties the sanctity and the sanction not permitting dubious intrusions.”

As heretofore stated, the primacy of human rights over property rights has been sustained

xxx habeas corpus is the remedy to obtain the release of an

individual, who is convicted by final judgment through a forced confession, which violated his constitutional right against self- incrimination; or who is denied the right to present evidence in his defense as a deprivation of his liberty without due process of law, even after the accused has already served sentence for twenty-two years

The liberties of any person are the liberties of all of us

“When freedom of the mind is imperilled by law, it is freedom that commands a momentum of respect; when property is imperilled it is the lawmakers’ judgment that commands respect. This dual standard may not precisely reverse the presumption of constitutionality in civil liberties cases, but obviously it does set up a hierarchy of values within the due process clause.”

Related to the hierarchy of rights are the so-called “standards of review” discussed earlier in Chapter 1

The Two Faces or Components of Due Process -- Substantive and


It started off originally as simply a guarantee of procedural fairness

‘Due process law’ was originally used a shorthand expression for governmental proceedings according to the ‘law of the land’ as it existed at the time of those proceedings

The guaranties of due process, though having their roots in Magna Carta’s ‘per legem terrae’ and considered as procedural safeguards ‘against executive usurpation and tyranny,’ have in this country ‘become bulwarks also against arbitrary legislation’




The method or manner by which the law is enforced

Requires that the law itself, not merely the procedure by which the law would be enforced, is fair, reasonable, and just

Basically addressed to those who adjudicate






Revolves around the right to be heard

Implicates fundamental notions of fairness and justice

Focuses on rules that are established in order to ensure meaningful adjudications appurtenant thereto

Concerns itself with the law,

its essence,



concomitant efficacy

In other words, substantive due process looks to whether there is a sufficient justification for the government’s action

Procedural Due Process

Procedural due process is basically associated with the right to be notified and heard. This accordingly presupposes that one has been adequately and meaningfully informed of a case or matter in which his rights are involved and that jurisdiction has been validly acquired over him

‘Jurisdiction’ is the right to hear and determine, not to determine without hearing

That due process is the equivalent of law of the land which means ‘the general law; a law which hears before it condemns, which proceeds upon inquiry and renders judgment only after trial xxx that every citizen shall hold his life, liberty, property, and immunities under the protection of the general rules which govern society’

Classic procedural due process issues are concerned with what kind of notice and what form of hearing the government must provide when it takes a particular action

The fundamental requirement of due process is the opportunity to be heard ‘at a meaningful time and in a meaningful manner’

It is a well-established doctrine that rules of procedure may be modified at any time to become effective at once, so long as the change does not affect vested rights

Additional Cases (B) Due Process [14]

B1. Republic v. Cagandahan 565 SCRA 72 (2008)

Chapter 3 Equal Protection “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without
Chapter 3 Equal Protection “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without
Chapter 3 Equal Protection “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without
Chapter 3 Equal Protection “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without
Chapter 3 Equal Protection “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without
Chapter 3 Equal Protection “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without
Chapter 3 Equal Protection “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without
Chapter 3 Equal Protection “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without
Chapter 3 Equal Protection “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without
Chapter 3 Equal Protection “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without
Chapter 3 Equal Protection “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without
Chapter 3 Equal Protection “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without
Chapter 3 Equal Protection “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without

Chapter 3

Equal Protection

“No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws.” 5

The guarantee is against class legislation, or such legislation which denies rights to one which are accorded to others, or inflicts upon one individual a more severe penalty than is imposed upon another in like case offending

Equality of operation of statutes does not mean indiscriminate operation on persons merely as such, but on persons according to the circumstances surrounding them. It guarantees equality, not identity of rights

The equal protection of the law clause is against undue favor and individual or class privilege, as well as hostile discrimination or the oppression of inequality

It does not demand equality among residents; it merely requires that all persons shall be treated alike, under like circumstances and conditions both as privileges conferred and liabilities enforced

Requisites for Valid Classification

1. The classification is based on substantial distinctions which

make real differences

2. It is germane to the purpose of the law

3. It applies not only to present conditions but also to future

conditions which are substantially identical to those of the present

4. It applies equally to everyone or every member belonging to

the same class


People v. Cayat 68 Phil. 12 (1939)

The accused, Cayat, a native of Baguio, Benguet, Mountain Province, and a member of the non-Christian tribes, was found guilty of violating Act No. 1639 for having acquired and possessed one bottle of A-1-1 gin, an intoxicating liquor, which is not a native wine

Cayat challenges the constitutionality of Act 1639 on the grounds that it is discriminatory and denies equal protection of the laws xxx

HELD: No. Act 1639 satisfies all the requirements:

1. The ‘non-Christian tribes’ refers, not to religious belief, but to natives of the Philippine Islands of a low grade of civilization

2. It is designed to insure peace and order in and among the non-

Christian tribes xxx free use of highly intoxicating liquors by the non- Christian tribes have often resulted in lawlessness and crimes, thereby

hampering the efforts of the government to raise their standard of life and civilization

3. It is intended to apply at all times as long as those conditions exist

4. The Act applies equally to all members of the class

Ormoc Sugar Co., Inc. v. Treasurer of Ormoc City

22 SCRA 603 (1968)

The Municipal Board of Ormoc City passed Ordinance No. 4 imposing “on any and all products of centrifugal sugar milled at the Ormoc Sugar Company Inc., in Ormoc City a municipal tax equivalent to 1% per export sale to the United States of America and other foreign countries”

Petitioner alleged that the said ordinance is unconstitutional for being violative of the equal protection clause xxx insofar as Ormoc Sugar Co., Inc. is singled out

HELD: Yes. A perusal of the requisites instantly shows that the questioned ordinance does not meet them, for it taxes only centrifugal sugar produced and exported by the Ormoc Sugar Company, Inc. and none other The taxing ordinance should not be singular and exclusive as to exclude any subsequently established sugar central, of the same class as plaintiff, from the coverage of the tax. As it is now, even if later a similar company is set up, it cannot be subject to the tax because the ordinance expressly points only to Ormoc Sugar Company, Inc. as the entity to be levied upon

JM Tuason & Co., Inc. v. Land Tenure Administration

31 SCRA 413 (1970)

RA 2616 authorized the expropriation of the Tatalon Estate in Quezon City jointly owned by herein petitioner, Gregorio Araneta and Company, Inc. and Florencio Deudor

Petitioner sought to declare said RA unconstitutional as it is violative of the equal protection clause since it applies only to the Tatalon Estate and not to any other lands in Quezon City or elsewhere

HELD: No. The legislature is not required by the Constitution to adhere to the policy of ‘all or none.’ Thus, to reiterate, the invocation by the petitioner of equal protection clause is not attended with success


The equality of the sexes is something that the Constitution itself promotes. And this means basically having to treat women on equal footing with men even as it still maintains a special solicitude for them

Bradwell v. Illinois 83 US (16 Wall) 130, 21 L Ed 442 (1873)

Mrs. Myra Bradwell, residing in the State of Illinois, applied with the


Supreme Court of that State for a license to practice law. Mrs. Bradwell’s application for a license was refused, and it was stated as a sufficient reason that under the decision of the Supreme Court of Illinois, the applicant--“as a married woman would be bound neither by her express contracts nor by those implied contracts which is the policy of the law to create between attorney and client.”

HELD: No. The right to control and regulate the granting of license to practice law in the courts of a State is one of the powers which are not transferred for its protection to the Federal government, and its exercise is in no manner governed or controlled by citizenship of the United States in the party seeking such license

Michael M. v. Superior Court 450 US 464, 67 L Ed 2d 437, 101 S Ct 1200 (1981)

Petitioner, then a 17-year-old male, was charged with violating Clifornia’s “statutory rape” law, which defines unlawful sexual intercourse as “an act of sexual intercourse accomplished with a female not the wife of the perpetrator, where the female is under the age of 18 years.”

Petitioner contends that the law “discriminates on the basis of sex, because only females may be victims and only males may violate the section”

HELD: No. The justification for the statute offered by the State and accepted by the Supreme Court of California, is that the legislature sought to prevent illegitimate teenage pregnancies

Geosaert v. Cleary

335 US 464, 93 L Ed 163, 69 S Ct 198 (1948)

A Michigan law forbade any female to act as a bartender unless she be “the wife or daughter of the male owner” of a licensed liquor establishment

HELD: While Michigan may deny to all women opportunities for bartending, Michigan cannot play favourites among women without rhyme or reasons.

Philippine Association of Service Exporters, Inc. v. Drilon 163 SCRA 386 (1988)

Petitioner, PASEI, a firm “engaged principally in the recruitment of Filipino workers, male and female, for overseas placement,” challenges the constitutional validity of Department Order No. 1 of the DOLE “Guidelines Governing the Temporary Suspension of Deployment of Filipino Domestic and Household Workers” for “discrimination against males or females” and for “not applying to all Filipino workers but only to domestic helpers and females with similar skills”

HELD: No. As a matter of judicial notice, the Court is well aware of the unhappy plight that has befallen our female labor force abroad, especially domestic servants, amid exploitative working conditions marked by, in not a few cases, physical and personal abuse

Tuan Anh Nguyen v. Immigration and Naturalization Service

522 US 53 150 L Ed 2d, 121 S Ct 2053 (2001)

Tuan Anh Nguyen was born out of wedlock in Vietnem to a Vietnamese mother and an American Father.

Petitioner claims that § 1409--which imposes a set of requirements on the children of citizen fathers born abroad and out of wedlock to a non- citizen mother that are not imposed under like circumstances when the citizen parent is the mother--violates equal protection

HELD: No. The challenged classification serves ‘important governmental objectives and that the discriminatory means employed’ are ‘substantially related to the achievement of those objectives’

Stanley v. Illinois

405 US 645, 31L Ed 2d 551, 92 S Ct 1208 (1972)

Under the [challenged] scheme, the children of unmarried fathers, upon the death of the mother, are declared dependents without any hearing on parental fitness and without proof of neglect, though such hearing and proof are required before the State assumes custody of children of married or divorced parents and unmarried mothers

HELD: Yes. Stanley’s claim in the state courts and here us that failure to afford him a hearing on his parental qualifications while extending it to other parents denied him equal protection of the laws. We have concluded that all Illinois parents are constitutionally entitled to a hearing on their fitness before their children are removed from their custody. It follows that denying such a hearing to Stanley and those like him while granting it to other Illinois parents is inescapably contrary to the Equal Protection Clause

Marriage and Legitimacy

GSIS v. Montesclaros 434 SCRA 441 (2004)

Nicolas Montesclaros, 72-year old widower, married Milagros Orbiso, then 43 years old. GSIS approved Nicolas’ application for retirement granting a lump sum payment of annuity for the first five years and a monthly annuity thereafter. Nicolas died. Milagros filed with the GSIS a claim of survivorship pension. GSIS denied the claim because under Section 18 of PD 1146, the surviving spouse has no right to survivorship pension if the surviving spouse contracted the marriage with the pensioner within three years before the pensioner qualified for the pension

HELD: Yes. We hold that the proviso is unconstitutional because it violates the due process clause. The proviso is also discriminatory and denies equal protection of the law. The proviso in question does not satisfy these requirements. The object of the prohibition is vague. There is no reasonable connection between the means employed and the purpose intended (“deathbed marriages”)

Labine v. Vincent

401 US 532, 28 L Ed 2d 288, 91 S Ct 1971 (1971)

Ezra Vincent died intestate, survive only by collateral relations and an illegitimate minor daughter, whose guardian sued to have her declared Vincent’s sole heir

Appellant contends that Louisiana’s intestate succession laws that bar an illegitimate child from sharing equally with legitimate children in the father’s estate constitutes an invidious discrimination violative of the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Constitution

HELD: No. To further strengthen and preserve family ties, Louisiana regulates the disposition of property upon the death of a family man


A classification based on age could very well be justified depending on particular subject matter which may require a sense of maturity and responsibility, or vigor, health or strength

Dumlao v. COMELEC 95 SCRA 392 (1980)

Section4 of BP 52 disqualifies “any retired elective provincial, city or municipal official who has received payment of the retirement benefits to which he is entitled under the law and who shall have been 65 years of age at the commencement of the term of office to which he seeks to be elected” to run for the same elective local office from which he has retired

Petitioner contends that it is discriminatory and contrary to the equal protection and due process guarantees of the Constitution

HELD: No. The purpose of the law is to allow the emergence of younger blood in local governments. It is within the competence of the legislature to prescribe qualifications for one who desires to become a candidate for office provided they are reasonable, as in this case

Method or Mode of Dying

Vacco v. Quill 521 US 793, 138 L Ed 2d 834, 117 S Ct 2293 (1997)

In New York, as in most States, it is a crime to aid another to commit or attempt suicide, but patients may refuse even lifesaving medical treatment. Respondents are physicians who practice in New York

Respondents’ claim that the distinction between refusing lifesaving medical treatment and assisted suicide is “arbitrary” and “irrational”

HELD: No. The overwhelming majority of the state legislatures have drawn a clear line between assisting suicide and withdrawing or permitting the refusal of unwanted lifesaving medical treatment by prohibiting the former and permitting the latter.

Academic Performance

Academic ratings could very well determine how a student gets classified or accepted

Tablarin v. Gutierrez

152 SCRA 730 (1987)

The petitioners sought admission into colleges or schools of medicine for the school year 1987-1988. However, petitioners either did not take or did not successfully take the National Medical Admission Test (NMAT) required by the Board of Medical Education which is administered by private respondent Center for Educational Measurement (CEM)

Petitioners alleged that it is violative of the Equal Protection Clause by reason of the yearly changes in the cut-off scores for successful applicants

HELD: No. We conclude that prescribing the NMAT and requiring certain minimum scores therein as a condition for admission to medical schools in the Philippines do not constitute an unconstitutional imposition

Nationality and Alienage

The Constitution itself has made classifications based on citizenship, such a in the political field

Ichong v. Hernandez

101 Phil. 1155 (1957)

RA No. 1180 “An Act to Regulate the Retail Business” prohibits persons, not citizens of the Philippines, and associations, partnerships, or corporations the capital of which are not wholly owned by citizens of the Philippines, from engaging directly or indirectly in the retail trade unless such aliens have actually been engaged in said business on 15 May 1954

Petitioner attacks the constitutionality of the Act contending that it denies to alien residents the equal protection of the laws and deprives them of their liberty and property without due process of law

HELD: No. The difference in status between citizens and aliens constitutes a basis for reasonable classification in the exercise of police power. Resuming what we have set forth above we hold that the

disputed law was enacted to remedy a real actual threat and danger to national economy posed by alien domination and control of the retail business and free citizens and country from such dominance and control

Office and Employment

One’s office, occupation or employment may also provide basis for some differences in treatment, such as whether it is in the public or private sector

It has also been held that elective officials may be treated differently from appointive officials with respect to the effect of the filing of their certificates of candidacy, i.e., while the latter may be deemed resigned, the former may still hold on to their positions

Nuñez v. Sandiganbayan 111 SCRA 433 (1982)

Petitioner, accused before the Sandiganbayan of Estafa through Falsification of Public and Commercial Documents, assails the validity of PD 1486, as amended by PD 1606, which created the Sandiganbayan

The Snadiganbayan proceedings violates petitioner’s right to equal protection, because--appeal as a matter of right became minimized into a mere matter of discretion;--appeal likewise was shrunk and limited only to questions of law, excluding a review of the facts and trial evidence; and there is only one chance to appeal conviction, by certiorari to the Supreme Court, instead of the traditional two chances; while other estafa indictees are entitled to appeal as a matter of right covering both law and facts and to two appellate courts

HELD: No. The general guarantees of the Bill of Rights, included among which are the due process of law and equal protection clauses must “give way to a specific provision”

International School Alliance of Educators v. Quisumbing 333 SCRA 13 (2000)

The School hires both foreign and local teachers as members of its faculty, classifying the same into two: (1) foreign-hires and (2) local- hires. Foreign-hires are then granted certain benefits not accorded local-hires.

Petitioner contested the difference in salary rates between foreign and local-hires

HELD: No. There is no reasonable distinction between the services rendered by foreign-hires and local-hires. The practice of the School of according higher salaries to foreign-hires contravenes public policy and, certainly, does not deserve the sympathy of this Court

Crimes and Punishments

Different offenses could not possibly be meted the same penalty but crimes of the same nature should be treated no differently

Skinner v. Oklahoma 316 US 535, 86 L Ed 1655, 62 S Ct 1110 (1942)

Oklahoma’s Habitual Criminal Sterilization Act provides for the sterilization, by vasectomy or salpingectomy, of “habitual criminals.” Petitioner, convicted of the crimes of stealing chickens, and robbery with firearms twice, challenged the constitutionality of the Act but the Oklahoma Supreme Court sustained the Act

HELD: The equal protection clause does not prevent the legislature from recognizing “degrees of evil”

People v. Ching Kuan

74 Phil. 23 (1942)

Ching Kuan was accused of violating section 86 of the Revised Ordinances of the City of Manila in that he constructed a 297-square- meter building of strong materials in the district of Tondo without the proper permit from the city engineer

Petitioner alleged the unconstitutionality of Article 66 of the revised Penal Code which permits the court to take into consideration the wealth and means of the culprit in the imposition of fines

HELD: No. It may seem paradoxical, but the truth is that the codal provision in question, in authorizing the imposition of unequal fines, aims precisely at equality before the law

People v. Jalosjos

324 SCRA 689 (2000)

the accused-appellant, Romeo F. Jalosjos is a member of Congress, confined at the national penitentiary while his conviction for statutory rape on two counts and acts of lasciviousness on six counts is pending appeal

Petitioner filed a motion asking that he be allowed to fully discharge the duties of a Congressman, including attendance at legislative sessions and committee meetings despite his having been convicted in the first instance of a non-bailable offense. This he primarily anchors on the “mandate of sovereign will”

HELD: No. Allowing the accused-appellant to attend congressional meeting for five (5) days or more in a week will virtually make him a free man with all the privilege appurtenant to his position

People v. Vera

65 Phil. 56 (1937)

Mariano Cu Unjieng applied for probation. Respondent Judge denied the application for probation

HELD: Yes. In the case at bar, the resultant inequality may be said to flow from the unwarranted delegation of legislative power, although perhaps this is not necessarily the result in every case

One province may appropriate the necessary fund to defray the salary of a probation officer, while another province may refuse or fail to do so. In such a case, the Probation Act would be in operation in the former province but not in the latter. this means that a person otherwise coming within the purview of the law would be liable to enjoy the benefits of probation in one province while another person similarly situated in another province would be denied those same benefits

This basic individual right sheltered by the Constitution is a restraint on all three grand departments of our government and in the subordinate instrumentalities and subdivisions thereof, and on many constitutional powers, like the police power, taxation and eminent domain

Central Bank Employees Association, Inc v. BSP

446 SCRA 299 (2004)

The thrust of the petitioner’s challenge is that the proviso (on exemption from the coverage of the Salary Standardization Law) makes an unconstitutional cut between two classes of employees in the BSP

HELD: Yes. It is clear in the legislative deliberations that the exemption of officers (SG 20 and above) from the SSL was intended to address the BSP’s lack of competitiveness in terms of attracting competent officers and executives. It was not intended to discriminate against the rank- and-file.

In the case at bar, the challenged proviso operates on the basis of the salary grade or officer-employee status. It is akin to a distinction based on economic class and status, with the higher grades as recipients of a benefit specifically withheld from the lower grades

Inverse Equal Protection

“All persons or things differently situated should be treated differently”

Philippine Judges Association v. Prado

227 SCRA 703 (1993)

The petitioners, members of the lower courts who feel that their official functions as judges will be prejudiced by the withdrawal of the franking privilege of the Judiciary [while retaining the same for the President of the Philippines, et. al.], assail the constitutionality of Section 35 of RA 7354 as implemented by the Philippine Postal Commission [as discriminatory]

HELD: Yes. The respondents are in effect saying that the franking privilege should be extended to only those who do not need it very much, if at all, but not to those who need it badly.

Equalizing Illegality

What is illegal is plainly against the law and the fact that others were able to get away with it is no justification to provide equal chances for others under the Equal Protection Clause

Alunan III v. Mirasol

276 SCRA 501 (1997)

The DILG through then Secretary Rafael M. Alunan III, issued a letter- resolution exempting the City of Manila from holding election for the SK on the ground that the election previously held on 26 May 1990 was to be considered he first under the newly enacted LGC Private respondents claimed equal protection clause violation

HELD: No. Even assuming that only barangays in Manila were not permitted to hold SK elections on December 4, 1992 while the rest of the 5,000 barangays were allowed even if KB elections had already been held there before, this fact does not give the youth voters in the 897 Manila barangays ground for complaint because what the other barangays did was contrary to law. There is no discrimination here

Delegated Discrimination

A violation of the guarantee of equal protection may be seen on the face of the law itself, or perceived and felt in the manner in which what pretends to be a just and fair regulation is actually utilized as a tool to camouflage a discriminatory act

Affirmative Action--A Case of Compensatory Discrimination

Affirmative action is a sort of reverse discrimination in the sense that minorities have been discriminated against in the past, are given preference in certain areas, like employment and layoff, as well as admission to educational institutions

Classifications necessarily mean making distinctions. And grouping people or things always raises the issue as to whether there is too much or there is too little in it

There should be no hesitation in using the equal protection clause as a major cutting edge to eliminate every conceivable irrational discrimination in our society


Additional Cases (C) Equal Protection

C1. Serrano v. Gallant Maritime Services, Inc.

582 SCRA 254 (2009)

Antonio Serrano, a Filipino seafarer, claims that the last clause in the 5 th paragraph of Section 10, RA 8042 deprives them of equal protection and denies them due process, for it treats OFWs differently from local Filipino workers

Petitioner was hired by Gallant Maritime Services, Inc. and Marlow Navigation Co., Ltd. under a POEA approved Contract of Employment. He as constrained to accept a downgraded employment contract for the position of Second Officer with a monthly salary of $1,000.00, upon the assurance and representation of respondents that he would be made Chief Officer by the end of April 1993. Respondents did not deliver. Hence, petitioner refused to stay on as Second Officer and was repatriated to the Philippines on May 26, 1998.

Petitioner filed with the Labor Arbiter a Complaint against respondents for constructive dismissal and for payment of his money claims in the total amount of $26,442.73. The dismissal was declared illegal; and awarding him monetary benefits amounting to $8,770.00 based on the salary period of three months only (in accordance with the 5 th paragraph of Section 10, RA 8042)

HELD: Yes. Section 18, Article II and Section 3, Article XIII accord all members of the labor sector, without distinction as to place of deployment, full protection of their rights and welfare xxx All monetary benefits should be equally enjoyed by workers of similar category, while all monetary obligations should be borne by them in equal degree; none should be denied the protection of the laws which is enjoyed by, or spared the burden imposed on, others in like circumstances

The subject clause has a discriminatory intent against, and an invidious impact on, OFWs

C2. Santos v. People

563 SCRA 341 (2008)

Criminal prosecution was recommended against MS. JUDY ANNE LUMAGUI SANTOS for substantial underdeclaration of income, which constitutes as prima facie evidence of false or fraudulent return

The information is void ab initio, being violative of due process and the equal protection of the laws

HELD: No. Petitioner cannot aver that she has been denied equal protection of the laws. Recognizing the existence of real differences among men, the equal protection does not demand absolute equality. It merely requires that all persons shall be treated alike, under like circumstances and conditions, both as to the privileges conferred and liabilities enforced

The only basis for petitioner’s claim of denial of equal protection of the laws was the dismissal of the charges against Velasquez while those against her were not

C3. Nicolas v. Romulo

578 SCRA 438 (2009)

Lance Corporal (L/CPL) Daniel Smith is a member of the United States Armed Forces. He was charged with the crime of rape committed against a Filipina, petitioner herein, sometime on November 1, 2005

Petitioners argue that to allow the transfer of custody of an accused to a foreign power is to provide for a different rule of procedure for that accused, which also violates the equal protection clause of the Constitution

HELD: No. The equal protection clause is not violated, because there is a substantial basis for a different treatment of a member of a foreign military armed forces allowed to enter our territory and all other accused

The rule in international law is that a foreign armed forces allowed to enter one’s territory is immune from local jurisdiction, except to the extent agreed upon

Chapter 4 Searches and Seizures

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable, and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.” 6

This constitutional guarantee is a liberty safeguard that prohibits and directs. While laying down the general rule against unreasonable searches and seizures, it also provides the guidelines for acceptable conduct on the part of government authorities in regard to any intrusion into or invasion of the people’s right “to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects”

It has also been held that the warrant is not meant to authorize fishing expeditions

The finding of evidence cannot be the immediate reason for issuing a search warrant. To use a search warrant for this purpose would be ‘unreasonable’ use of the remedy by search warrant, which is prohibited by law

It assures one’s entitlement to privacy and right to be left alone and do whatever he wishes within bounds without having to be subjected to the prying eyes of Big Brother

The embodiment of a “spiritual concept: the belief that to value the privacy of home and person and to afford its constitutional protection against the long reach of government in no less than to value human dignity, and that his privacy must not be disturbed except in case of overriding social need, and then only under stringent procedural safeguards”

The privacy of the home has always been regarded by civilized nations as one of the most sacred personal rights to which men are entitled “A man’s home is his castle,” has become a maxim among the civilized people of the earth

The right extends to all persons, including aliens. So are corporations also included within its protection, though to a lesser extent

Requirements for Issuance of Warrants

1. There should be a search warrant or warrant of arrest

2. Probable cause supported the issuance of such warrant



3. Such probable cause had been determined personally by a

judge 4. The judge personally examined the complaint and his


5. The place to be searched and the persons or to be seized

have been particularly described

The Constitution requires that [the judge] carefully determine the basis for the issuance of such warrant in order that the protection declared be not set at naught

The test of sufficiency of an affidavit or testimony to justify the issuance of a warrant is whether the affiant or the witness could be held for perjury and made liable for damages in case his statements are false

Nature of Search Warrants Proceedings

A search warrant proceeding is, in no sense, a criminal action or

the commencement of a prosecution. The proceeding is not one against any person, but is solely for the discovery and to get possession of personal property. It is a special and peculiar remedy, drastic in nature, and made necessary because of public necessity

Determination of Probable Cause

This responsibility of determining such cause has been vested solely in judges, a duty which cannot be delegated to anybody else

If the determination is done by one directly interested in law

enforcement the process would very likely be tainted and clouded by his need to produce result in line with his job, and,

in the process, obscure some other considerations which would

otherwise be seen and appreciated by one not similarly


Roan v. Gonzales 145 SCRA 687 (1986)

FACTS: Petitioner challenged the admission of one Colt Magnum revolver and 18 live bullets which were found after a search in his house pursuant to a search warrant issued by the respondent judge, which warrant he also assails. None of the articles listed in the warrant was discovered during the search. However, the officers conducting the search found in the premises the revolver and the bullets which they confiscated. They are now the bases of the charge against the petitioner.

HELD: To be valid, the search warrant must be supported by probable cause to be determined by the judge or some other authorized office after examining the complainant and the witnesses he may produce. No less important, there must be a specific description of the place to be searched and the things to be searched to prevent arbitrary and indiscriminate use of the warrant. Probable cause, in the case of Burgos V. Chief of Staff refers to “such facts and circumstances which would lead a reasonably discreet and prudent man to believe that an offense has been committed and the objects sought in connection with the offense are in the place sought to be searched. As held in a long line of decision, the probable cause must refer to only one specific offense. The petitioner has claimed that no deposition was taken by the respondent judge , however, this is not entirely true because depositions were taken of the complainants 2 witnesses in addition to the affidavit executed by them. However, there is still the question of the sufficiency of their deposition. A study of one of the depositions of the witnesses, who claimed that their intelligence informers show that they were suspicious of the petitioner because he was a follower of the

opposition candidate. This should have put the judge on guard as to the motivations of the witnesses and alerted him of possible misrepresentations from them. One may wonder why it did not occur to the respondent judge to ask how the witnesses would be so certain even to the caliber of the guns, or how far he was from the window or whether it was on the first or second floor, or why his presence was not noticed at all, or if the acts related were really done openly, in the full view of the witnesses, considering that these acts were against the law. These would have been judicious questions that were omitted and instead, the declarations of the witnesses were readily accepted and the search warrant sought was issued forthwith. The above discussed defects have rendered the search warrant invalid. Nonetheless, the Solicitor general argues that whatever defect there was, was waived when the petitioner voluntarily submitted to the search and manifested his conformity in writing. We do not agree because what we see here is pressure exerted by the military authorities, who coerced the petitioner to sign the supposed waiver was a guaranty against a possible challenge later to the validity of the search they were conducting. Confronted with the armed presence of the military and the presumptive authority of the writ, the petitioner had no choice but to submit. The respondents argued that the possession of colt magnum pistols and 18 live bullets are illegal per se, being malum prohibitum, hence it could be taken even without a warrant. The SC held that it does not follow that because an offense is malum prohibitum, the subject thereof is necessarily illegal per se. Motive is immaterial in mala prohibita but the subjects of this kind of offense may not be summarily seized because they are prohibited. A search warrant is still necessary. WHEREFORE, the search warrant issued by the respondent judge is declared null and void.

Bache and Co (Phil.) v.Ruiz 37 SCRA 823 (1971)

FACTS: The Commissioner of Internal Revenue wrote the respondent judge requesting the issuance of the search warrant against petitioners for violating Sec. 46 (a) of the National Internal Revenue Code. The following day, National Revenue examiner De Leon and his witness, Logronio, went to the court together with documents i.e. application for search warrant, affidavits, and other documents already filled out but unsigned. At that time, Judge Ruiz was hearing a certain case and so he simply instructed the deputy clerk of court to take their depositions. After the session adjourned, the judge asked for the stenographer to read to him the stenographic notes and without propounding any questions, asked Logronio to take the oath and warned him that is his deposition was found to be false, he would be charged with perjury. The search warrant was then signed and BIR agents served the same on the petitioners’ office. Petitioner’s lawyers protested on the ground that no formal complaint or transcript of testimony was attached to the warrant. Nevertheless, the agents proceeded with the search which yielded 6 boxes of documents. Hence, this petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus to declare the search warrant void.

HELD: The petition should be granted because the respondent judge failed to personally examine the complainant and his witness. As provided in the Constitution and the Rules of Court, the examination of the complainant and witness he may produce shall be conducted by the judge himself and not by others. The participation of the judge in the proceedings which led the to the issuance of the search warrant was thus limited to listening to the stenographer’s reading her notes, to a few words of warning against the commission of perjury and to administering the oath to the complainant and his witness. This cannot be considered a personal examination. The reading of the stenographic notes to respondent judge did not constitute sufficient compliance with the constitutional mandate and the rule for by that manner respondent judge did not have the opportunity to observe the demeanor of the complainant and his witness, and to propound initial and follow up questions which the judicial mind on account of its training, was in the best position to conceive. These were important in arriving at a sound inference on the all important question of whether or not there was probable cause. Petition is granted, search warrant is declared null and void.

Particularity of Description and General Warrants

Notwithstanding the authority granted by a warrant, resulting search or seizure may still be violative of the guarantee if such instrument is in the nature of a general warrant, or one which practically authorizes a blanket search or seizure, a roving authority of officers serving it to look everywhere and get anything that may be associated with what is being sought, “authorizing searches in any place for anything

The general warrants, whereby any officer or messenger may be commenced to search suspected places without evidence of a fact committed, or to seize any person or persons not named, or whose offense is not particularly described and supported by evidence, are grievous and oppressive, and ought not to be granted

To obviate and prevent an avenue for abuse and arbitrary exercise of power, the Constitution specifically requires particularity of description of things or people to be searched and seized

The warrant may be said to particularly describe the things to be seized when the description therein is as specific as the circumstances will ordinarily allow, or when the description expresses conclusion of fact--not of law--by which the warrant officer may be guided in making the search and seizure, or when the things described are limited to those which bear direct relation to the offense for which the warrant if being issued

Stonehill v Diokno 20 SCRA 383 (1967)

FACTS; Upon application of the respondents-prosecutors, several judges issued on several dates, a total of 42 search warrants against the petitioners and/or corporations of which they are officers, to search the persons above named and/or premises of their offices, warehouses and/or residences, and to seize and take possession of certain personal properties i.e. books of accounts, ledgers, financial records, vouchers , correspondences and other documents and/or papers showing all business transactions as the subjects of the offense. Petitioners alleged that said warrants are null and void because, inter alia, they do not describe with particularity the documents, books and things to be seized. Hence, this petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus.

HELD: The documents, papers and things under the alleged authority of the warrants in question may be split into 2 major groups, namely a) those found and seized in the offices of the aforementioned corporations and b) those found seized in the residences of petitioners herein. As regards the first group, we hold that the petitioners have no cause of action to assail the legality of the contest warrants and of the seizures made for the simple reason that said corporations have their respective personalities, separate and distinct from the personality of petitioners, It is well settled that the legality of the seizure can be contested only by the party whose rights have been impaired and that the objection to the unlawful search is purely personal and cannot be availed of by third parties. With respect to the documents, papers and things seized in the residences of the petitioners, the respondent prosecutors are restrained from using them in evidence against the petitioners. In connection with the documents, papers and things , 2 important questions need to be settled 1) whether the search warrants in questions and the search and seizures made under the authority thereof are valid or not and 2) if the answer to the preceding questions is in the negative, whether said documents, papers and things may be used in evidence against petitioners herein. Petitioners maintain that the search warrants are in the nature of general warrants an that accordingly the seizures effected are null and void. We agree. 2 points must be stressed in connection with this constitutional mandate

namely 1) that no warrant shall issue but upon probable cause, to be determined by the judge in the manner set forth in said provision and 2) that the warrant shall particularly describe the things to be seized. None of these requirements has been complied with in the contested warrants. Relying on the Moncado doctrine, the respondents petitioners maintain that even if the search and seizures were unconstitutional, the documents, papers and things thus seized are admissible in evidence against petitioners. We are unanimously in the opinion that this position be abandoned. Common law jurisdictions have already given up in this approach and eventually adopt the exclusionary rule realizing that this is the only practical means of enforcing the constitutional injunction against unreasonable searches and seizures.

Central Bank v. Morfe 20 SCRA 507 (1967)

FACTS: Respondent is a non stock corporation, the main purpose of which is to encourage and implement savings and thrift among its members and to extend financial assistance in the form of loans. CB then published an announcement that such associations and others similar in nature have never been authorized to engage in the banking business. Moreover, CB directed the investigation and gathering of evidences on the activities of such associations which are operating contrary to law. Thereafter, a member of the intelligence division of CB filed a verified application for a search warrant alleging that after close observation and personal investigation, the organization is illegally engaged in banking activities. A search warrant was issued. Petitioner filed an action to annul the said search warrant on the grounds that it is a roving commission, general in its terms and the use of the word “and others” in the search warrant permits the unreasonable search and seizure of documents which have no relation whatsoever to any specific criminal act.

HELD: It is to noted that the action taken by CB is predicated on the theory that the organization is illegally engaged in banking. The respondent judge found the searches and seizure in question to be unreasonable because the depositions given in support of the search warrant states that the deponent personally knows threat the premises of the organization were being used unlawfully for banking purposes. He deduced that the deponent know specific baking transaction of the petitioner with specific persons and then concluded that said deponent could have if he really knew of actual violation of the law applied for a search want to search and seize only books. To authorize and seize all the records without referred to specific alleged victims of the purported illegal banking transactions would be to harass the petitioners.

The aforementioned order would seem to assume that an illegal banking transaction of the kind contemplated in the contested action of the offices of the bank, must always connote the existence of a “victim” If this term is used to denote a party whose interests have been actually injured, the assumption is not necessarily justified. The law requiring compliance with certain requirements before anybody can engage in banking obviously seeks to protect the public against actual, as well as potential, injury.

It is true that such funds referred to are their savings and the depositors thereof are members, but even a cursory examination of said documents will readily show that anybody can be a depositors and thus be a participating member. Hence, it is open to the public. Moreover, the power to so dispose of the funds is placed exclusive authority of the founding members and participating members are expressly denied the right to vote or be voted for. This situation is fraught, precisely with the very dangers or evils which RA 337 seeks to forestall, by exacting compliance with the requirements of said act, before the transaction in question could be undertaken. WHEREFORE, the order is hereby annulled.

A search warrant may be partially void, such as when it provided for the search and seizure of items which have not been testified to during the application for such warrant

The constitutional requirement of reasonable particularity of the things to be seized is primarily meant to enable the law enforcers serving the warrant to: (1) readily identify the properties to e seized and this prevent them from seizing the wrong items; and (2) leave said peace officers with no discretion regarding the articles to be seized and thus prevent unreasonable searches and seizures

The rule is that a description of a place to be searched is sufficient if the officer with the warrant can, with reasonable effort, ascertain and identify the place intended and distinguish it from other places in the community

“John Doe” Warrants

The warrant should, as a rule, identify the person whose place is to be searched, or the individual to be arrested. It may happen, however, that the name could not be readily ascertained, in which event some description sufficient to identify the person may be resorted. If the description contains enough details so that the officer serving the warrant would have no difficulty identifying the person, then the warrant would be considered valid

People v. Veloso 48 Phil. 169 (1925)

FACTS: Manila police, armed with a search warrant, raided the Parliamentary Club, an establishment managed by Jose Ma. Veloso, a member of the House of Representatives, acting on reliable information that said club was actually a gambling house. They apprehended nearly 50 people, including Veloso. Veloso asked what they wanted and was shown the search warrant; he read it and told the police that he was Representative Veloso and not John Doe (since the name of Veloso did not appear in the search warrant but instead the pseudonym John Doe was used), and that the police had no right to search the establishment.

The police noticed that Veloso’s pockets were bulging as if containing gambling utensils and as such they required him to show the evidence they are searching for. After five minutes of conversation (with Veloso constantly refusing to be searched all the while), the officers’ patience reached its limit and one of them took hold of Veloso who promptly retaliated, injuring the officer quite severely. It took two officers to restrain Veloso, and with that, it was found that gambling utensils really were in his pockets.

All of the persons apprehended Veloso included were arrested, promptly searched and taken to the patrol wagons. Veloso again refused to obey and shouted offensive epithets against the police department, resisting so tenaciously that it took three policemen were needed to place him in the patrol wagon. Because of his actions, Veloso was charged and convicted of the crime of resistance to agents of the authority (governed by Art. 252 of the Penal Code back then). On appeal, Veloso held on to the proposition that his resistance was justifiable on account of the illegality of the John Doe search warrant.

ISSUE: WON the search warrant and the arrest of Veloso were valid.

HELD: YES. Both the affidavit for the search warrant and the search warrant itself described the address of the building where the Parliamentary Club is. That sufficed as a sufficient designation of the premises to be searched. As the search warrant stated that John Doe had gambling utensils in his possession in the building occupied by him (which, of course, is the building where the Parliamentary Club is) and as that John Doe was Jose Ma. Veloso, the manager of the club, the police could identify John Doe as Jose Mar. Veloso without difficulty.

Pangandaman v. Casar

159 SCRA 599 (1988)

FACTS: A shooting incident occurred in Lanao del Sur which left at least five persons dead and two others wounded. In the course of events, a warrant of arrest was issued against 64 persons: 14 (the petitioners in this case) who were identified by three witnesses, and 50 John Does.

ISSUE: WON the warrant of arrest is valid; i.e. “Can a court issue a warrant of arrest against an unknown accused?”

HELD: NO, it is not valid as far as the 50 John Does are concerned (as for the 14 petitioners in this case, it’s an entirely different story because their names and identities are already known; the warrant of arrest is valid as regards to them). The warrant in question is of the nature of a general warrant, one of a class of writs long prescribed as unconstitutional and once anathematized as “totally subversive of the liberty of he subject.” Clearly violative of the constitutional injunction that warrants of arrest should particularly describe the person or persons to be seized, the warrant as against unidentified subjects will be considered as null and void.

Service Warrants - Time, Place and Manner

The time must not be one which is intrusive or violative of one’s privacy, like at the middle of the night

As for place, the warrant limits the area that may be searched and the warrant could not be utilized as authority to search everywhere until the item or articles sought for are found


otherwise abusive










It could be served out at any time within its ten-day lifetime, and if its object or purpose cannot be accomplished in one day, the same may be continued the following day or days until completed

Being armed with a warrant does not give leeway to a law enforcement officer in doing whatever he wants without regard to the time, place, and manner of execution of the warrant.

1. The time must not also be one which is intrusive or violative of one’s privacy (e.g. in the middle of the night). It’s also a given that what is considered as reasonable time in one locality may not be deemed the same way in another.

2. As for place, the warrant limits the area that may be searched and the warrant could not be utilized as authority to search everywhere until the items or articles sought for are found.

3. Lastly, the manner of execution should not be oppressive or otherwise abusive.

Q: May the implementation of search warrants be done on different days? A: Yes, it could be served at any time within its 10-day lifetime. If its purpose cannot be accomplished in one day, it may be continued in the next following day/s until completed.

Q: May the search warrant be used or a different purpose on each day? A: No. A warrant can no longer be utilized as authority to make another search once the items specified in it have already been seized.

People v. Court of Appeals

347 SCRA 453 (2000)

FACTS: Private respondent Ortiz was arrested carrying a pistol and shabu. Soon after his arrest a search warrant was obtained from the MTC of Parañaque commanding the PNP officers “to make an immediate search at any reasonable hour of day or night of the house/s, closed receptacles and premises above-described and


forthwith seize and take possession” of the property subject of the

to abuse of the search process, and grant to officers executing a search warrant that discretion which the Constitution has precisely removed from them. The particularization of the description of the place to be searched may properly be done only by the Judge, and only in the warrant itself; it cannot be left to the discretion of the police officers conducting the search.

offense described (that is, unlicensed firearms a Baby armalite M-16,


shotgun, a pistol cal. 45 and the like). Armed with the warrant, the

police accompanied by a representative of the MTC judge and a barangay security officer – went to Ortiz’s residence at about 7:30 PM to search the premises, which resulted in the seizure of several

unlicensed firearms and ammunition. Ortiz was subsequently charged with illegal possession of firearms; he moved to quash the search warrant but the trial court denied it. The Court of Appeals (hereinafter CA) reversed, holding as inadmissible in evidence the seized firearms and ammunition.

ISSUE: WON the CA a quo erred in holding that the firearms and ammunition seized from private respondent’s house are inadmissible as evidence for being the fruits of an illegal search.


Wilson v. Layne 526 US 603, 143 L Ed 2d 818, 119 S Ct 1692 (1999)

There is a warrant of arrest for the petitioner’s son in their home. Respondents, deputy federal marshals and local sheriff’s deputies, invited the Washington Post (reporter and photographer) as part of Marshal’s Service “ride-along” policy.


Warrant was silent about the media ride-along.

HELD: YES. In this case, there is no illegal search. The general rule is that search warrants must be served in the daytime. However, when the application asserts that the property is on the person or place ordered to be searched, a search at any reasonable hour of the day and night can be ordered. As to whether the time during which the search was executed was unreasonable or not, the Supreme Court (hereinafter SC) stated that the exact time of the execution of the warrant should be left at the discretion of the law enforcement officers. Judicial notice may be taken not just from the realities of law enforcement but also the prevailing conditions in the place to be searched. As such, the SC deemed that 7:30 PM was a reasonable time, taking notice that said time in a suburban subdivision in Metro Manila in an hour at which the residents are still up and about.

6:45 am petitioners were still in bed. Husband wearing pair of briefs ran to the living room to investigate discovering 5 men wearing street clothes with guns in their living room. The respondents, believing him to be the person sought by the warrant, immediately subdued him on the floor.

Wife follows wearing only nightgown saw her husband being restrained by the armed officers.

Reporters observed and photographed the incident BUT WERE NOT INVOLVED IN THE EXECUTION OF THE WARRANT. The newspaper NEVER published the photographs.


People v. Court of Appeals 291 SCRA 400 (1998)

After a protective sweep of the house revealed that the petitioner’s son is not in the house, the officers left.

FACTS: Quezon City police have procured a search warrant against Azfar Hussain who had allegedly in his possession firearms and explosives at Abigail Variety Store (hereinafter AVS) in Bulacan. However, the next day, the search warrant against Hussain was served not at AVS but at the adjacent apartment (hereinafter Apartment 1), resulting in the arrest of four Pakistani nationals and the seizure of their personal belongings, papers and effects, including cash (apparently quite a lot, too) which was never mentioned in the warrant.


sued the officers in their personal capacities for money



court denied on basis of qualified immunity.


of Appeals declined to decide whether it is a violation of the 4th

amendment but concluded that because no court had held at the time of the search that media presence during a police entry into a residence constituted such a violation, the right alleged was NOT “CLEARLY ESTABLISHED” and thus the respondents are entitle to qualified immunity

Included allegedly among those taken were a piece of dynamite stick, two pieces of C-4-type explosives and one fragmentation grenade, along with some firearms and ingredients for explosives. On arraignment, the four Pakistani nationals pleaded not guilty and submitted a motion to quash the search warrant and declare the evidence obtained by the police officers as inadmissible; the trial court granted the motion. The People brought forth a petition for certiorari but the CA dismissed it, basing on the proposition that the place actually searched was different and distinct from the place described in the search warrant.

ISSUE: WON a search warrant was validly issued as regards the apartment in which private respondents were then actually residing (or, put differently, WON the apartment had been specifically described in the warrant).

CHIEF JUSTICE REHNQUIST delivered the opinion of the court. such a media ride-along does VIOLATE the 4 th amendment. BUT

……… because the state of the law was not clearly established at that time

the search in this case took place, the officers are entitled to the defense of qualified immunity.

Petitioners sued the federal officials under Bivens (Hanlon v. Bivens 525 US 981, [1988]) and the state officials under §1983. Both allows a plaintiff to seek money damages from government officials who have violated the 4 th amendment. But government officials are shielded from liability for civil damages insofar as their conduct does not violate CLEARLY ESTABLISHED statutory or constitutional right of which a reasonable person would have known. (Harlow v. Fitzgerald 457 US 800, [1982])

HELD: NO. (The SC noted that the discrepancy concerning the premises to be searched appeared to have resulted from the police officers’ own faulty description of said premises in their application for the search warrant, which was exactly what the Judge of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court reproduced at AVS. The Judge also made the scope of the search more particular and restrictive by his admonition in the warrant that the search be “limited only to the premises herein described”.) The place to be searched, as set out in the warrant, cannot be amplified or

modified by the officers’ own personal knowledge of the premises, or the evidence they adduced in support of their application for the warrant. Such a change is proscribed by the Constitution which requires inter alia the search warrant to particularly describe the place to be searched as well as the persons or things to be seized. It would concede to police officers the power of choosing the place to be searched, even

The court evaluating a claim for immunity Must first determine whether the alleged right was clearly established at the time of alleged violation. (Conn v. Gabbert 525 US 286 [1999])

In 1604 an English court made the now-famous observation that “the house of everyone is to him as his castle and fortress, as well for his defense against injury and violence, as for his repose”

“The law of England has so particular and tender a regard to the immunity of a man’s house, that it stiles in its castle, and will never suffer it to be violated with impunity………….from this reason no doors may be broken to execute any civil process; though, in criminal cases, the public safety supersedes the private.” William Blackstone


it not be that delineated in the warrant. It would open wide the door

The 4 th amendment: “ the right of the people to be secured of their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable search and

seizures shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Respondents concede that the reporters did not assist them in their task. But they are there to assert that the officers should be able to exercise reasonable discretion, for good public relations, and also could serve as to minimize abuse of the officers. Own purpose of the Reporters, and the fact that it is not the officers who kept the photographs, though in some cases, presences of 3rd parties are justifiable, this is not.

The court held that it is a violation of the 4 th amendment for police to bring members of the media or other 3 rd parties into a home during the execution of a warrant when the presence of the third parties in the house was not in aid of the execution of the warrant.

It is not unreasonable for the respondents at that time to believe that bringing media along is lawful.

It is common practice to them. And there is no persuasive authority yet on the case.

-judgment of CA is affirmed ……………


Outright entry also is not justified

knock and announce rule (US) Rule 126, section 7 of the rules of criminal procedure (Philippines)

Sec7. Right to break door or window to effect search the officer, if refused admittance to the place of directed search after giving notice of his purpose and authority, may break open any outer or inner door or window of a house or any part of a house or anything therein to execute the warrant or liberate himself or any person lawfully aiding him when unlawfully detained therein.

Further, being armed with a warrant does not also justify outright entry or barging into the place to be searched. In the U.S., there is the so-called “knock and announce” rule whereby an officer executing a warrant must knock and introduce himself and announce his purpose and only in exceptional circumstances may he dispense with the same, as when his safety is at stake, or there is danger of the evidence being destroyed

Warrantless Searches and Seizures

The recognized exceptions to the warrant requirement include:

1. Search incident to a lawful arrest

2. Evidence in plain view

3. Search of moving vehicles

4. Customs search

5. Stop and frisk

6. Exigent and emergency circumstances

7. Consented search

Search Incident to Lawful Arrest

This is primarily justified by the need to ensure the safety of the arresting officers against any possible harm arising from the use by the arrested individual of any weapon that he might have concealed in his person or which is within immediate reach as well as the need to preserve evidence that might otherwise be destroyed

This exception requires that there must be a lawful arrest which precedes the search, the search must be contemporaneous with the arrest, and the area searched is within the immediate control of the person arrested

Nolasco v. Paño

139 SCRA 152 (1985)

Aguilar-Roque was one of the accused in the criminal case for rebellion before Special Military Commission No.1, and also one of the accused in a criminal case for subversion before the Military Commission no. 25.

She and Nolasco was arrested at the intersection of

Mayon street and Piy Margal Street, Quezon City at 11:30 am. At noon on the same day, elements of the Constabulary Security Group

searched the premises at 239-B mayon Street, Quezon City.

….August 6, 1984

….The search resulted in the seizure of428 documents and written materials, and additionally a portable typewriter, and 2 wooden boxes, making 431 items in all, and the arrest of Tolentino, the person in charge of the premises.

… Aguilar-Roque raised the issue of inadmissibility of evidence obtained pursuant to the search warrant.

… Judge Paňo admitted to the amended Return and ruled that the

seized documents be subject to disposition of the tribunal trying the case against the respondent.

…Petitioners filed the instant petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus to annul and set aside the



search warrant issued by the respondent Judge Paňo


his Order admitting the Amended Return and granting the Motion to Retain Seized Items


Order of the judge in the subversive documents case denying petitioner’s Motion to Suppress.


of person’s right and public interest.

Petitioners principally argue that Search warrant is void because it is a general warrant since it did not sufficiently describe with particularity the things subject of the search and seizure, and that probable cause had not been properly established for lack of searching questions propounded to the applicant’s witness. The SC held the warrants void, but did not order the return of the seized items. Temporary restraining order enjoining the respondents from introducing evidence obtained pursuant to the search warrant in the subversive documents case is made permanent, personalties seized may be retained by the CSG for possible introduction as evidence in Criminal case no. SMC 1-1. Pending before Special Military Commission No. 1, without prejudice to petitioner Mila Aguilar-Roque objecting to their relevance and asking said Commission to return to her any and all irrelevant documents and articles.

Teehankee, J., concurring and dissenting:

Search warrant = void Warrantless search = still void because she was arrested on board a public vehicle. Warrantless search cannot be made in a place other than the place of arrest.

Resolution on Motion for Reconsideration

147 SCRA 509 (1987)

The solicitor general, on behalf of public respondents, “in deference to the dissenting opinion of then SC Justice (now Chief Justice) Claudio Teehankee,” now offer no further objection to a declaration that the subject search is illegal and to the return of the seized items to the petitioners. Respondents state, however, that they cannot agree to having the arrest of petitioners declared illegal

Search warrant =void

Temporary restraining order enjoining the respondents from introducing evidence obtained pursuant to the search warrant in the subversive documents case is made permanent.

Personalities seized by virtue of the illegal search warrant are hereby ordered returned to petitioners.

People v. Leangsiri 252 SCRA 213 (1996)

Leangsiri was arrested at the arrival area of NAIA bringing 8225.31 grams of heroin hidden under the false bottom of a black suitcase. Informed of the authorities that he is to deliver the contraband to 3 people at the Las Palmas Hotel in Manila.

An entrapment was devised by NARCOM (narcotics command) and agents of the bureau of customs then ensued.

The 3 were arrested.

They learned that Amidu stays at room 413 of the same hotel. While Omogbolahan and Bhola were billeted at Royal Palm Hotel.










Amidu’s room.

Got there a piece of paper with the name Suchinda Leangsiri written on it tucked within the pages of his telephone and address book. And other possessions were confiscated.

NARCOM went to Royal Palm Hotel. Coordinated with security officers of the hotel who stood as witnesses when they entered and searched the room. They yielded 2 black suitcases, each with false bottoms and both smaller than that confiscated from Leangsiri. The appellants were convicted of conspiring to transport heroin.

Whether or not the piece of paper found in the room of Amidu is admissible as evidence.

Revised Rules of Court provides that a person lawfully arrested may be searched for dangerous weapons or anything which may be used as proof of the commission of an offense, without a search warrant.

Strict application of the exception that such warrantless search obviously cannot be made at a place other than the place of arrest.

Immediate Control testwas enunciated in the American case of Chimel

searched the entire

house and things found were allowed to be admitted as evidence. But

the SC reversed the conviction and held that the search went far beyond his person and the area from which he might have obtained either a weapon or something that could have been used as evidence against him.)

vs. State of California. (Arrested at his house

The exception obtains when the plain view doctrine applies.

In the case a car, appellants were arrested in room 504 of the Las Palmas Hotel. The piece of paper bearing the name of leangsiri obtained in room 413 of the same hotel found through warrantless search is illegal and the piece of paper is held to be inadmissible as evidence against the appellants. The inadmissibility of the paper as evidence will not however exculpate the appellants. Its exclusion does not destroy the prosecutor’s case against the appellants. The remaining evidence still established their guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

Johnson v. US 333 U.S. 10, 92 L Ed, 436, 68 S Ct 367 (1948)

Petitioner challenges her conviction on four counts charging violation of federal narcotic laws on the ground that there were violations of her Fourth Amendment rights.

FACTS: Detective Belland received information from a confidential informer that unknown persons were smoking opium in a hotel. The detective called for federal narcotic agents and went to the hotel with such agents. The agents, who are experienced in narcotic work recognized the smell of opium. The odor led them to Room 1. As Belland went to the door and introduced himself, there was a slight delay in the door before the defendant open the door. The defendant, a woman, stepped back and admitted the officers. Belland then told her about the opium smell, the defendant denied that there is such a smell. Belland told her to consider herself under arrest because they were going to search the room. The officers found opium and smoking apparatus, the latter being warm, apparently from recent use. The defendant objected to the admission of the evidence but the District Court refused to suppress the same. She was convicted and the Court of Appeals affirmed.

ISSUE: Whether or not there was a violation of a valid search and seizure (Specifically yung sa violation ng fourth amendment rights.)

Decision: Search and arrest not valid.

Rationale: No reason for not obtaining a search warrant except inconvenience to the officers and some slight delay necessary to prepare papers and present the evidence to magistrate. There are no convincing reasons to bypass the constitutional requirement. No evidence or contraband was threatened with removal or destruction, except perhaps the fumes which suppose in time will disappear. The evidence of their existence before the search was adequate and the testimony of the officers to that effect would not perish from the delay of getting a warrant.

Since it was a search without warrant, it could be valid only if for a crime committed in the presence of the arresting officer for a felony of which he had reasonable cause to believe defendant guilty. The arresting officer did not have probable cause to arrest petitioner until he had entered her room and found her to be the sole occupant.

An officer gaining access to private living quarters under color of his office and of the law which he personifies must then have valid basis in law for the intrusion. Valid basis is lacking.

Plain View Doctrine

Under this exception, contraband in plain view of officers who have a right to be in that place where they are and see the contraband have the right to seize it without having to secure a warrant


1. Prior justification for the entry or intrusion

2. Inadvertent discovery of the evidence

3. Immediate apparent illegality of the item as evidence of a

crime, contraband or otherwise subject to seizure

4. Plain view justifies mere seizure of evidence without further


People v. Musa 217 SCRA 597 (1993)

In a buy-bust operation, a poseur buyer went to the house of Musa (Present in the house of Musa: a boy, two women, one of which is his wife) and asked for marijuana. After receiving the 20 Php marked money, Musa gave the marijuana to the “buyer”, the “buyer” went to the Narcotics Command and showed them marijuana. NARCOM team then rushed to the buyer’s house. The marked money could not be found. Musa said that he has given the money to his wife na wala na dun nung panahon nay un. Apparently, two team members went to a kitchen and noticed a “cellophane colored white and stripe hanging at the corner of the kitchen.” The two asked Musa but Musa did not answer. They opened it and found dried marijuana leaves. Musa was convicted of selling marijuana.


ISSUE: Whether or not the evidence was admissible.

Decision: No it’s not. (Under the Plain View Doctrine)

Rationale: In a buy bust operation, the authorities may seize the marked money found on the person of the pusher immediately after the arrest even without arrest and search warrants. Apparently, the NARCOM agents searched the person of the appellant after arresting him in his house but found nothing. That’s the time they searched the whole house and found the plastic bag hanging in the corner which contains the marijuana.

The warrantless search and seizure, as an incident to a suspect’s lawful arrest, may extend beyond the person of the one arrested to include the premises or surroundings under his immediate control. Objects in the “plain view” of an officer who has the right to be in the position to have that view are subject to seizure and may be presented as evidence.


People v. Doria 301 SCRA 668 (1999)

Buy-bust operation.

View of the Prosection: PO3 Manlangit acted as the buyer, gave 1600 pesos to Doria who thereafter told the former to wait for him as he went to get the marijuana from his associate. After an hour, Doria gave PO3 an object wrapped in plastic and gave it to PO3 who forthwith arrested Doria. Marked money could not be found so they went to the associate’s house. PO3 was standing by the door and saw a box which has something wrapped in plastic which appear to be what just like what Doria gave him. As PO3’s suspicion aroused, he entered Neneth’s house and took hold of the box. Other officers recovered the marked money bills from Neneth. Defense denies these allegations.

ISSUE: Whether or not what happened is a reasonable seizure.(Plain view doctrine again)

Decision: no.

Rationale: It is clear that an object is in plain view if the object itself is plainly exposed to sight. Standing by the door of appellant Gaddao’s house, PO3 Manlangit had a view of the interior of the said house. Two and a half meters away was the dining table and underneath it was a carton box. The box was partially open and revealed something wrapped in plastic. In a cross examination, Manlangit admitted that he merely presumed the contents to be marijuana because it had the same plastic wrapping as the “buy-bust” marijuana. A close scrutiny of the records reveals that the plastic wrapper was not colorless and transparent as to clearly manifest its contents to a viewer. The marijuana was not in plain view and its seizure without requisite search warrant was in violation of the law and the constitution.

People v. Salanguit 356 SCRA 683

Police officers went to Salanguit’s house with a search warrant for shabu. When they knocked on the door, no one opened the door. They heard people panicking so they forced the door open and entered the house. After showing the warrant, they searched the house, they found

12 small plastic bags containing and paper clip bags containing shabu and two bricks of dried leaves which appeared to be marijuana. The accused was charged with the unlawful possession of shabu and marijuana. Accused was convicted. On appeal, he questions the validity of the search warrant and the seizure of the bricks of marijuana.

ISSUE: whether or not the seizure of the latter drug (marijuana) was justified on the ground that the drug was seized within the plain view of the searching party.

Decision: Not justified. The decision of the trial court was reversed and set aside. Accused is acquitted. Rationale: For the plain view doctrine to apply, there must be: (a) prior justification, (b) inadvertent discovery of the evidence, (c) immediate apparent illegality of the evidence before the police.

The question is whether these requisites have been complied with. (Hindi, lalo na yung a at b)

The only justification for an intrusion by the police is the conduct of a search pursuant to accused appellant’s lawful arrest for possession of shabu. The police failed to allege in this case the time when the marijuana was found; whether or prior to, or contemporaneous with, the shabu subject of the warrant, or whether it was recovered on accused-appellant’s person or in an area within his immediate control. Its recovery, therefore, presumably during the search conducted after the shabu, had been recovered from the cabinet. Moreover, the marijuana was in the form of two bricks wrapped in newsprint. Not being in a transparent container, the contents wrapped in newsprint could not have been readily discernible as marijuana. The recovery of marijuana is INVALID. It is inadmissible in evidence against accused and- appellant.

Search of Moving Vehicles

If a warrant were first required before a car may be searched, it may only be an exercise in futility as by the time the warrant is issued the vehicle to be searched may have been driven to some far away and unknown places

One has a lesser expectation of privacy in a motor vehicle because its function is transportation, and it seldom serves as one’s residence or as the repository of personal effects. A car has little capacity for escaping public scrutiny. It travels public thoroughfares where both its occupants and its contents are in plain view

Related to this kind of searches is the issue of checkpoints where the rule is that only visual searches or inspection may be had unless there is justifiable reason for conducting a more extended search

The Court differentiated the checkpoint--which was primarily intended to determine if the vehicle’s occupants were committing a crime--from an “information-seeking” checkpoint where police stop vehicles and ask the occupants for help in providing information about a crime that has been committed by others. This latter form was considered valid

People vs. Barros 231 SCRA 557 (1994)

FACTS: 2 police officers while riding a bus saw a man(Barros) carrying a carton and placed it under his seat. When the officers reached their destination, they informed another policeman to inspect the carton carried by Barros. When the said policeman inspected the carton, he found that it contained marijuana. When asked whether he owned the carton of marijuana, he denied the same. But later on admitted the ownership of such after the bus driver affirmed Barros’ ownership. He was charged for the violation of the Dangerous Drug Act of 1972. The


trial court convicted him. On appeal he claims that, among others, his Constitutional right; against unreasonable search and seizures was violated by the police authorities.

ISSUE: whether or not the act of the policemen constitutes unreasonable search and seizures?

HELD: there was an unreasonable search and seizures.

General rule, a search and seizure must be carried out through a judicial warrant.

Exceptions (1): in case of moving vehicles, warrant less search can be conducted because it is not practicable to secure a judicial warrant before searching the same since such can be quickly moved out of the locality or jurisdiction in which the warrant may be sought.

Limitations for the exception:

a. it is limited only to routine checks, that is, the vehicle are neither really searched not their occupants subject to physical or body searches, the examination of the vehicles being limited to visual inspection.

Exception (2): if there is probable cause.

In the case at bar, there was no probable cause for the policemen to suspect that the carton he carried contained marijuana. Neither did the carton emanate a distinct smell as that of marijuana. Nor did Barros act suspiciously while boarding the bus. It did not indicate nor suggest the presence of any such probable cause.

Waiver of unlawful search and seizure… to constitute a waiver, it must appear first that the right exists; second, that the person involved had knowledge, actual or constructive, of the existence if such right; last, the person had an actual intention to relinquish the right. The fact that the accused failed to object to the entry to his house does not amount to permission to make a search therein.

Ruling: Barros is acquitted.

Caballes v. Court of Appeals 373 SCRA 221 (2002)

FACTS: 2 policemen, while performing a routine patrol, spotted a passenger jeep covered with “kakawati” leaves driven by the appellant. The policemen stopped the jeep, and when asked what was loaded on such, the appellant did not answer appearing pale and nervous. They checked the cargo and discovered that it contained aluminum/galvanized conductor wires exclusively owned by NPC(national power corporation) He was convicted of theft. However on appeal, he raised the validity of the warrantless search and the admissibility of the evidence thus obtained.

ISSUE: whether or not police officers who were on routine patrol, merely on “suspicion” that “it might contain smuggled goods,” constitutes probable cause that will justify warrantless search and seizure?

HELD: there is no probable cause and therefore illegal.

The mere mobility of vehicles, does not give the police officers unlimited discretion to conduct indiscriminate searches without warrant if made within the interior of the territory and the absence of probable cause.

Probable cause signifies a reasonable ground of suspicion supported by circumstances sufficiently strong, in themselves, to warrant a cautious man’s belief that the person accused is guilty of the offense with which he is charged. The required probable cause will justify a warrantless search and seizure is not determined by a fixed formula but is resolved according to the facts of each case.

“stop-and-search” without warrant at military or police checkpoint

which has been declared no to be illegal per se, for as long as it is warranted by the exigencies of public order and conducted in a way least intrusive to the motorists.

Routine inspections are not regarded as violative of an individual’s right against unreasonable search. Limitations of routine inspections:

a. Where the police officer merely draws aside the curtain of a vacant vehicle which is parked on the public fair grounds.

b. Simply looks into a vehicle

c. Flashes a light therein without opening the car’s door

d. Where the occupants are not subjected to a physical or body search

e. Where the inspection of vehicles is limited to a visual search or inspection

f. Routine check is conducted in a fixed area

None of the following circumstances are present in the case at bar. The police did not merely conducted a visual inspection of the vehicle, they had to reach inside the vehicle…it is not considered a simple routine check.

The fact that the vehicle looked suspicious simply because it is not common for such to be covered with “kakawati” leaves does not constitute probable cause as would justify the conduct of a search without warrant.

Rule: accused is acquitted.

Valmonte v. De Villa

178 SCRA 221 (1989)

FACTS: certain checkpoints in certain parts of Valenzuela and other cities were set-up by the NCRDC which some of its residents complain because they claim they are violation of their right against search and seizures. Furthermore, they claim they are worried of being harassed and of their safety being placed in arbitrary, capricious and whimsical disposition of the military. The checkpoints by the military have been issued to maintain, among others, peace and order.

ISSUE: whether the military checkpoints are constitutional and not an infringement upon the right from warrantless search and seizures?

HELD: there was no issue to begin with because the petitioners are not the real party in interest. It was ruled that petitioners who do not allege that any of their rights were violated are not qualified to bring action as real party in interest. In the case at hand, no proof to show that, in the course of the routine checks, the military indeed committed specific violations of petitioner’s right against unlawful search and seizure or other rights.

Between the inherent right of the state to protect its existence and promote public welfare and an individual’s right against a warrantless search, which is however reasonably conducted, the former should prevail.

Rule: petition dismissed.

Anag, Jr. v. COMELEC

237 SCRA 424 (1994)

FACTS: COMELEC issued resolution 2323 otherwise known as the “Gun Ban.” Pursuant to such resolution, the petitioner instructed his driver to immediately send his gun that was given to him by the House of Representatives. Following such order, the driver immediately went to Manila. At about 20 meters from the Batasang Pambansa, police authorities conducted a checkpoint. About 14 men search the car driven by the driver, thus the gun that was to be delivered was seized and he was charge for the violation of the gun ban.

ISSUE: whether or not the search and seizure of the gun was in violation of an individual’s right against warrantless search?

HELD: It was a violation of such right, since there were no justifying


circumstances specifically pointing the culpability of the petitioner and his driver, therefore, the search was invalid. The action of the policemen unreasonably intruded to the privacy and the security of his property. Consequently, the firearms obtained in the search cannot be admitted as evidence for any purposes of proceeding.

The submissive actions of the driver with regards to the search, seems like a waiver of the need for a warrant to search. However, considering the circumstance wherein 14 armed men who were there to search the vehicle, without his master, herein petitioner, thus he is in no way capable of resisting such actions.

Aniag, Jr. Vs Comission on Elections

237 SCRA 424 (1994)

FACTS: In the preparation for the synchronized election for the national and local elections in 1992. COMELEC issued resolution No. 2323 also known as “Gun Ban” containing rules and regulations on bearing, carrying and transporting of firearms or other deadly weapons. COMELEC also issued resolution No. 2327 providing disqualification of candidates engaged in gunrunning, using and transporting of firearms, organizing special strike forces, and establishing spot checkpoints.

A congressman of 1 st district of Bulacan was compelled to return 2

firearms issued to him by the House of Representatives. Petitioner instructs his driver Arellano to pick the firearms and return it to the congress. In the same day PNP set up a check point outside Batasan, where Arellano was stop and searched finding the two firearms

properly packed. Arellano was detained and the firearms confiscated. Later Arellano was released and the petitioner was invited to give light

to the situation. Petitioner explained that Arellano did not commit any

crime and that the driver actually complying with the law apprehended

by returning the firearms to the congress.

ISSUE: W/N such search and seizure is a violation to the constitutional right to due process.

HELD: Extensive search without warrant could only be resorted to if the officers conducting the search had reasonable or probable cause. In the case at hand there was no evidence to show that the policeman were impelled to do such, for there is no confidential report leading them to reasonably believe that certain motorist is engage in gunrunning. Therefore the search could not be valid.

People v. Usana

323 SCRA 754 (2000)

FACTS: During the COMELEC gun ban period, policemen set up a check point at the corner of Senator Gil Puyat Ave. Those manning said checkpoint, check merely those they found to be suspicious an

imposing merely a running stop on others. Past midnight they stopped

a KIA Pride driven car by Escano with two passengers with it namely

Usana and Lopez. One of the Policemen saw a long firearm on the lap

of Usana who was seated at the passenger seat. The three were brought to the police station together with the car. The car was searched and found within is hashish.

ISSUE: W/N such search and seizures is a violation of the constitutional rights of the accused.

HELD: Court ruled that not all checkpoints are illegal. Those which are warranted by exigencies of public order and are conducted in a way least intrusive to motorists are allowed. As long as the inspection is limited to a visual searched it cannot be regarded as violative of individual’s right against unreasonable searched. There are six recognize exceptions to warrant requirement 1) searched incidental to an arrest 2) searched moving vehicles 3) evidence in plain view 4) custom searches 5) consented warrantless searched and 6) stop frisk situations. Therefore checkpoint conducted was in pursuance of the gun ban enforced by the COMELEC.

Almeida Sanchez v. United States 413 US 266, 37 L Ed 2d 596, 93 S Ct 2535 (1973)

FACTS: Mexican and holder of a valid work permit, was stopped by the Border Patrol on a state highway 78 in California and hi car was thoroughly searched. The point where the petitioner was stopped, the road meanders north as well as east. But nowhere does the road reach the Mexican border, and at all points it lies north of US 80 a major east west highway entirely within the United States that connects the Southwest with the west coast. It is obvious that the Border Patrol had no search warrant, and that there was no probable cause of any kind for the search. Marihuana was uncovered from the search. The only asserted justification is 287a3 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 66 Stat. 233 8 U.S.C. 1357a3, that provides for warrantless searches of automobiles and other conveyances within reasonable distance from any external boundary of United States.

ISSUE: W/N the Border Patrol search is constitutional

HELD: No claim is made nor could one be that the search of the petitioner’s car was constitutional under any previous decision of this court involving the search of an automobile. The search in this case was conducted in the unfettered discretion of the members of the Border Patrol without warrant, probable cause or consent. Search on a California road that lies at all points at least 20 miles north of the Mexican border was a wholly of different sort. In the absence of a probable cause search violated the right to be free from unreasonable search and seizures.

United States v, Brigoni

422 US 873 (1975)

Case involving the not the Border Patrol but to question the occupants about their citizenship and immigration status. The officer may question the driver and passengers about their citizenship and immigration status.

United States v. Martinez Fuente

428 US 543 (1976)

Brief questioning is consistent with the fourth amendments, thus not need ne authorized by warrant.

Customs Searches

Items which are imported and which are to be subjected to payment of customs duties are not considered as properly within the territory of the taxing authority if the appropriate taxes have not yet been paid

“Search and seizure without search warrant of vessels and air crafts for violations of the customs laws have been the traditional exception to the constitutional requirement of a search warrant, because the vessel can be quickly moved out of the locality or jurisdiction in which the search warrant must be sought before such warrant could be secured; hence it is not practicable to require a search warrant before search or seizure can be constitutionally effected

Papa v. Mago 22 SCRA 857 (1968)

FACTS: Counter intelligence unit of the Manila Police Department misdeclared that a certain shipment of personal effects would be release from the customs zone pier in manila. When the trucks left the vicinity other counter intelligence group seize the said trucks.

ISSUE: W/N such act by the counter intelligence of Manila Police prejudiced the right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure.

HELD: 2d section of the Act of March 3, 1815 it was made lawful for


customs offices not only to board and search vessels within their own and adjoining examine any vehicle beast or person which is suspected which are introduce contrary to the law. In the instant case the petitioner could not question the search for their only complain they were just intercepted without any search warrant. But even if there is a search there is still authority to the effect that no search warrant would be needed under the circumstances obtaining in the instant case. Thus freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures is construed as to recognize the difference between search in the dwelling and search of a ship, motorboat, wagon or automobile where it is not practicable to secure a search warrant. For the reason a vehicle could quickly move out.

Stop and Frisk Exception - The Terry Patdown

In certain situations, a police officer on the beat may observe

certain unusual and suspicious activity which his training and

experience would indicate that something wrong is afoot. He need not wait for an explicit criminal conduct be manifested before he may take action. In such an instance, he may approach the suspicious person and undertake a limited check--

a stop and frisk--patting down the outside clothing of the

person for possibly concealed weapons. This is justified by the

need to act expeditiously in a case where a minute’s delay may prove dangerous if not disastrous

A Terry stop must be justified at its inception and ‘reasonably

related in scope to the circumstances which justified’ the initial


The reasonableness of seizures that are less intrusive than a

traditional arrest depends ‘on a balance between the public interest and the individual’s right to personal security from arbitrary interference by law officers’

Terry v. Ohio 392 U. S. 1, 20 L Ed 2d 889 S Ct 1868 (1968)

FACTS: A Cleveland police officer (Martin McFadden) observed two unidentified men on a street corner in his beat. As the officer watched, the men took turns walking a short distance down the sidewalk and peering in a particular store window. After each circuit, the men would appear to confer about something. This occurred a total of twenty-four times (according to the Supreme Court opinion; McFadden's earlier testimony indicates the men walked to the store and peered through the window approximately 3-5 times each).

McFadden watched as the men were briefly joined by a third person who left quickly. The suspicious activity caused McFadden to suspect the men were planning to rob the store.

After the third individual left, the men began walking away in the direction of the store. McFadden followed and observed from a distance until they met up with the third party. McFadden then approached the group, identified himself as police, and asked the men's names.

The men mumbled something unintelligible, at which point McFadden turned one of the suspects and patted down the outside of his clothing. In the process, the officer found a gun in the pocket of the suspect's jacket. He then directed all three men to enter a store with their hands raised, and proceeded to pat down the other two suspects, recovering a revolver from one. The three were taken to the local police station, where two were charged with carrying a concealed weapon.

ISSUE: Whether it is always unreasonable for a policeman to seize a person and subject him to a limited search for weapons unless there is probable cause for an arrest.

HELD: The Court held that the stop, or seizure, and frisk, or search, was valid when a "reasonably prudent officer" has cause to believe a limited

search is warranted for his and others' safety.

In delivering the opinion of the Court, Chief Justice Warren stated:

"Where a reasonably prudent officer is warranted in the circumstances of a given case in believing that his safety or that of others is endangered, he may make a reasonable search for weapons of the person believed by him to be armed and dangerous regardless of whether he has probable cause to arrest that individual for crime or the absolute certainty that the individual is armed. "(a) Though the police must, whenever practicable, secure a warrant to make a search and seizure, that procedure cannot be followed where swift action based upon on-the-spot observations of the officer on the beat is required."

The majority of the Court concluded the "stop and frisk" technique was constitutional as long as the action could be rationally justified by circumstances.

Adams v. Williams 407 US 143, 32 L Ed 2d 612, 92 S Ct 1921 (1972)

FACTS: While on duty, a police officer was approached by a reliable informant who told the officer that a person sitting in a nearby car, i.e., the defendant, was carrying drugs and a gun. The officer went to defendant’s car and grabbed a gun from exactly the same place where the informant said the gun would be. Then the officer searched the car and found additional weapons and drugs.

ISSUE: Can the officer rely on information obtained from a reliable informant for reasonable suspicion for a search?

HELD: Yes. The Court held that the officer had reasonable suspicion to conduct the search. Here, the Court noted that the officer had reasonable suspicion because the officer knew the informant to be reliable. Thus, the officer had reason to believe that the suspect was armed and dangerous and he could constitutionally frisk the suspect for weapons.

Malacat v. Court of appeals 283 SCRA 159 (1997)

FACTS: On 27 August 1990, at about 6:30 p.m., allegedly in response to bomb threats reported seven days earlier, Rodolfo Yu of the Western Police District, Metropolitan Police Force of the Integrated National Police, Police Station No. 3, Quiapo, Manila, was on foot patrol with three other police officers (all of them in uniform) along Quezon Boulevard, Quiapo, Manila, near the Mercury Drug store at Plaza Miranda. They chanced upon two groups of Muslim-looking men, with each group, comprised of three to four men, posted at opposite sides

of the corner of Quezon Boulevard near the Mercury Drug Store. These

men were acting suspiciously with “their eyes moving very fast.” Yu and his companions positioned themselves at strategic points and observed both groups for about 30 minutes. The police officers then approached one group of men, who then fled in different directions. As the policemen gave chase, Yu caught up with and apprehended Sammy Malacat y Mandar. Upon searching Malacat, Yu found a fragmentation grenade tucked inside the latter’s “front waist line.” Yu’s companion, police officer Rogelio Malibiran, apprehended Abdul Casan from whom

a .38 caliber revolver was recovered. Malacat was charged with

violating Section 3 of Presidential Decree 1866. The trial court ruled that the warrantless search and seizure of Malacat was akin to a “stop and frisk,” where a “warrant and seizure can be effected without necessarily being preceded by an arrest” and “whose object is either to maintain the status quo momentarily while the police officer seeks to obtain more information”; and that the seizure of the grenade from

Malacat was incidental to a lawful arrest. The trial court thus found Malacat guilty of the crime of illegal possession of explosives under Section 3 of PD 1866.

ISSUE: Whether the search made on Malacat is valid, pursuant to the exception of “stop and frisk.”

HELD: The general rule as regards arrests, searches and seizures is that


a warrant is needed in order to validly effect the same. The Constitutional prohibition against unreasonable arrests, searches and seizures refers to those effected without a validly issued warrant, subject to certain exceptions. As

regards valid warrantless arrests, these are found in Section 5, Rule 113 of theRules of Court. A warrantless arrest under the circumstances contemplated under Section 5(a) has been denominated as one “in flagrante delicto,” while that under Section 5(b) has been described as

a “hot pursuit” arrest. Turning to valid warrantless searches, they are limited to the following: (1) customs searches; (2) search of moving

vehicles; (3) seizure of evidence in plain view; (4) consent searches; (5)

a search incidental to a lawful arrest; and (6) a “stop and frisk.” The

concepts of a “stop-and-frisk” and of a search incidental to a lawful arrest must not be confused. These two types of warrantless searches differ in terms of the requisite quantum of proof before they may be validly effected and in their allowable scope. In a search incidental to a lawful arrest, as the precedent arrest determines the validity of the

incidental search. Here, there could have been no valid in flagrante delicto or hot pursuit arrest preceding the search in light of the lack of personal knowledge on the part of Yu, the arresting officer, or an overt physical act, on the part of Malacat, indicating that a crime had just been committed, was being committed or was going to be committed. Plainly, the search conducted on Malacat could not have been one incidental to a lawful arrest. On the other hand, while probable cause is not required to conduct a “stop and frisk,” it nevertheless holds that mere suspicion or a hunch will not validate a “stop and frisk.” Here, there are at least three (3) reasons why the “stop-and-frisk” was invalid: First, there is grave doubts as to Yu’s claim that Malacat was a member of the group which attempted to bomb Plaza Miranda 2 days earlier. This claim is neither supported by any police report or record nor corroborated by any other police officer who allegedly chased that group. Second, there was nothing in Malacat’s behavior or conduct which could have reasonably elicited even mere suspicion other than that his eyes were “moving very fast” — an observation which leaves us incredulous since Yu and his teammates were nowhere near Malacat and it was already 6:30 p.m., thus presumably dusk. Malacat and his companions were merely standing at the corner and were not creating any commotion or trouble. Third, there was at all no ground, probable or otherwise, to believe that Malacat was armed with a deadly weapon. None was visible to Yu, for as he admitted, the alleged grenade was “discovered” “inside the front waistline” of Malacat, and from all indications as to the distance between Yu and Malacat, any telltale bulge, assuming that Malacat was indeed hiding a grenade, could not have been visible to Yu. What is unequivocal then are blatant violations of Malacat’s rights solemnly guaranteed in Sections 2 and 12(1) of Article III of the Constitution.

Exigent and Emergency Circumstances

The Court justified the warrantless search by reason of the “urgency and exigency of the moment”

People v. De Gracia 233 SCRA 716 (1994)

FACTS: The incidents involved in this case took place at the height of the coup d’état staged in December, 1989. Accused-appellant Rolando de Gracia was charged in two separate informations for illegal possession of ammunition and explosives in furtherance of rebellion, and for attempted homicide. Appellant was convicted for illegal possession of firearms in furtherance of rebellion, but was acquitted of attempted homicide. Surveillance was undertaken by the military along EDSA because of intelligence reports & nbsp; &n bsp; about a coup. Members of the team were engaged by rebels in gunfire killing one member of the team. A searching team raided the Eurocar Sales Office. They were able to find and confiscate six cartons of M-16 ammunition, five bundles of C-4 dynamites, M-shells of different calibers, and "molotov" bombs inside one of the rooms belonging to a certain Col. Matillano. De Gracia was seen inside the office of Col. Matillano, holding a C-4 and suspiciously peeping through a door. The team arrested appellant. They were then made to sign an inventory, written in Tagalog, of the explosives and ammunition confiscated by the raiding

team. No search warrant was secured by the raiding team. Accused was found guilty of illegal possession of firearms.

ISSUE: Whether or not there was a valid search and seizure in this case.

Ruling: YES. It is admitted that the military operatives who raided the Eurocar Sales Office were not armed with a search warrant at that time. The raid was actually precipitated by intelligence reports that said office was being used as headquarters by the RAM. Prior to the raid, there was a surveillance conducted on the premises wherein the surveillance team was fired at by a group of men coming from the Eurocar building. When the military operatives raided the place, the occupants thereof refused to open the door despite requests for them to do so, thereby compelling the former to break into the office. The Eurocar Sales Office is obviously not a gun store and it is definitely not an armory or arsenal which are the usual depositories for explosives and ammunition. It is primarily and solely engaged in the sale of automobiles. The presence of an unusual quantity of high-powered firearms and explosives could not be justifiably or even colorably explained. In addition, there was general chaos and disorder at that time because of simultaneous and intense firing within the vicinity of the office and in the nearby Camp Aguinaldo which was under attack by rebel forces. The courts in the surrounding areas were obviously closed and, for that matter, the building and houses therein were deserted. Under the foregoing circumstances, it is our considered opinion that the instant case falls under one of the exceptions to the prohibition against a warrantless search. In the first place, the military operatives, taking into account the facts obtaining in this case, had reasonable ground to believe that a crime was being committed. There was consequently more than sufficient probable cause to warrant their action. Furthermore, under the situation then prevailing, the raiding team had no opportunity to apply for and secure a search warrant from the courts. Under such urgency and exigency of the moment, a search warrant could lawfully be dispensed with.

Consented Searches

Where the person to be searched acquiesces in the search of his person or property, then obviously no warrant need be procured. He in effect waives his right to otherwise have a warrant justify the invasion of his liberty and privacy

It should not be presumed from a person’s silence that he waived the illegality of a search

Such a passive conformity given under coercive or intimidating circumstances is considered no consent at all within the purview of the constitutional guarantee

Consent must be made voluntarily, knowingly and intelligently


1. It must appear first that the right exists

2. The person involved had knowledge, actual or constructive,

of the existence of such right

3. Said person had an actual intention to relinquish the right

Consent to a search is not to be lightly inferred but must be shown by clear and convincing evidence

Relevant to this determination are the following characteristics of the person giving consent and the environment In which consent is given:

1. The age of the defendant

2. Whether he was in public or secluded location

3. Whether he objected to the search of passively looked on

4. The education and intelligence of the defendant

5. The presence of coercive police procedures

6. The defendant’s belief that no incriminating evidence will be found


The nature of the police questioning



The environment in which the questioning took place












It is the State which has the burden of proving, by clear and positive testimony, that the necessary consent was obtained and that it was freely and voluntarily given

United States v. Drayton 536 U.S. 194, 153 L Ed 2d 242, 122 S Ct 2105 (2002)

At a scheduled stop, police officers board the bus as part of a routine drug and weapons interdiction effort. Lang approached the respondents Drayton and Brown who were seated together, he declared that the police were looking for drugs and weapons and asked if the respondents had any bags. Lang searched the bag with Brown’s consent, the bag revealed no contraband. The officer noticed that both respondents were wearing heavy jackets and baggy pants despite the warm weather. He asked Brown whether he minded if Lang checked his person. Brown agreed, and a pat-down revealed hard objects similar to drug packages in both thigh areas. Brown was arrested. Same thing happened to Drayton. A further search revealed that respondents had taped cocaine between their shorts.

Respondents moved to suppress the cocaine on the ground that the pat-down searches was invalid. Lang did not inform the respondents (passengers in that bus) of their right to refuse to cooperate.

Although Officer Lang did not inform respondents’ right to refuse the search, he did request permission to search, and the totality of the circumstances indicates that their consent was voluntary, so the searches were reasonable. The Court has rejected in specific terms the suggestion that police officers must always inform citizens of their right to refuse when seeking permission to conduct a warrantless consent search. While knowledge of the right to refuse consent is one factor to be taken into account, the government need not establish such knowledge as sine qua non of an effective consent.

Airport Searches

Correlated to the lessened expectation of privacy which a passenger must necessarily have to recognize and accept, part of the price for traveling in a mode of transportation that has special concerns for safety and security

People v. Johnson 348 SCRA 526 (2000)

Leila Johnson was about to fly back to USA. At NAIA departure area, Olivia Ramirez, the lady in charge of frisking deporting passengers frisked Johnson. Ramirez felt something hard on Johnson’s abdominal area. Upon inquiry, Johnson explained she needed to wear girdle as she had undergone an operation. Not satisfied with the explanation and with the consent of her superior, took Johnson to the lady’s room for inspection. Ramirez asked her to bring out the thing under her girdle. Johnson brought out three plastic bags, which when examined turned out to be methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu). She was taken to the to the Security office where her passport and ticket were taken.

She questions the legality of the warrantless search conducted at her person.

Persons may lose the protection of the search and seizure clause by exposure of their persons or property to the public in a manner reflecting a lack of subjective expectation of privacy, which expectation society is prepared to recognize as reasonable. Such recognition is implicit in airport security procedures. Travellers are often notified through airport public address systems, signs, and notices in their

online tickets(Sec.9 RA 6235) that they are subject to search and, if any prohibited materials or substances are found, such would be subject to seizure. These announcements place passengers on notice that ordinary constitutional protections against warrantless searches and seizures do NOT apply to routine airport passengers.

The Terry search or the “stop and frisk” situation refers to a case where a police officer approaches a person who is acting suspiciously, for the purpose of investigating possibly criminal behavior in line with the general interest of effective crime prevention and detection. To assure himself that the person with whim he is dealing is not armed with a weapon that could unexpectedly and fatally be used against him, he could validly conduct a carefully limited search of the outer clothing of such person to discover weapons which might be used to assault him

Miscellaneous Searches and Seizures

Extends to non-tangible things and other forms of searches and seizures involving alcohol and drug testing, for instance, or transportation and communication, as well as in electronically enhanced intrusions


Alih v. Castro


SCRA 279 (1987)

In 1984, two hundred (200) Philippine marines and elements of the home defense forces conducted “zona” 7 . The initial reaction of the people in the compound was to resist invasion with a burst of gunfire no one was hurt; intended to warn the intruders. Unfortunately, the situation aggravated. The soldiers returned fire and a bloody shoout- out followed, resulting to a number of casualties. The besieged compound surrendered the next morning, sixteen (16) male occupants were arrested, finger-printed, paraffin-tested, and photographed over their objection. The military also inventoried and confiscated nine M16 rifles, an M14 rifle, and nine rifle grenades, and several round of ammunitions found in the premises.

The precarious state of Zamboanga City at the time in question certainly did not excuse the non-observance of the constitutional guaranty against unreasonable searches and seizures. The record does not disclose that the petitioners were wanted criminals or fugitives from justice. At the time of the zona they were merely suspected of the mayor’s slaying and had not in fact even been investigated for it. Search of petitioners’ premises is declared illegal and all articles seized as a result thereof are inadmissible evidence against the petitioners in any proceedings. However, said articles shall remain in custodia legis pending the determination of legality of such.

Guazon v. De Villa

181 SCRA 623 (1990)

Petitioners, claiming to be bona fide residents of Metro Manila and taxpayers and leaders in their respective communities, seek to prohibit the military and police officers represented by public respondents from conducting “Areal Target Zonings” or “Saturation Drives” in Metro Manila. Saturation Drives were conducted in 1987in several critical areas pinpointed by police and military as places where the subversives were hiding. The petitioners claim that the saturation drives follow a common pattern of human rights abuses.

The petition is REMANDED to the RTCs of Manila, Malabon, and Pasay. The remedy is not an original action for prohibition brought through a taxpayers’ suit. (1)No proper parties. Where one victim complains and not one violator is properly charged, the problem is not initially for SC. It is basically one for the executive departments and for trial courts. (2) There is no proof. A method of pinpointing human rights abuses and identifying violators is necessary.

7 Zona- military operation raid of a compound in search of loose firearms, ammunition and other explosives.


In the meantime and in the prima facie showing that some abuses were

probably committed and could be committed during future police actions, banging on walls, kicking in of doors, violation of residences,

etc. are temporarily restrained.

Oliver v. United States 466 US 170 (1984)

Whether the open fields doctrine permits police officers to enter and search marijuana fields without warrant where the fields are secluded and contain “no trespassing” signs.

Reports that marijuana was being raised on the farm of oliver, two narcotics agents went to the farm to investigate. They entered the farm gate that has no trespassing sign and found a field of marijuana 1 mile away from his house.

SC: as sated in Hester vs US, the government’s intrusion upon open fields is not one of those “unreasonable” searches proscribed in the fourth amendment. The amendment does not protect the merely subjective expectation of privacy but only those expectations that society is prepare to recognize as reasonable. That an individual may not legitimately demand privacy for activities conducted out of doors in fields, except in the area immediately surrounding the home. An individual has no legitimate expectation that open fields will be free from warrantless intrusion by the government.

Oliver : circumstances may indicate reasonable expectations of privacy were violated, it should be decided case to case basis. Sc: no. it will make it difficult for the policeman to discern the scope of his authority; it also creates a danger that constitutional rights will be arbitrarily and inequitably enforced.

“no trespassing” sign and fences do not effectively bar the public from viewing open fields and do not demonstrate that the expectation of privacy was legitimate. The test is whether the intrusion of the government infringes upon the personal and societal values protected by the fourth finds no basis for concluding that a police inspection of open fields accomplishes such infringement.

People v. Valdez 341 SCRA 25 (2000)

A tip was given about a plantation of marijuana allegedly owned by

valdez. The police were instructed to uproot the plants and arrest cultivator. They found him in a nipa hut then looked around and saw marihuana plant He admitted ownership but later on alleged that he only admitted ownership out of fear.

General rule: search and seizure nust be carried on a judicial warrant. Otherwise, it is unreasonable. They first located the marijuana before appellant was arrested without

a warrant. There was no valid warrantless arrest which preceeded the

search of appellant’s premises. The seizure of evidence in plain view applies only where the police officer is not searching for evidence against the accused, but inadvertently comes across an incriminating object. The marijuana plants were not in plain view because further search was needed. There was illegal search and seizure thus the plant cannot b admitted as evidence against him. The confession of ownership without a counsel is also violative of the bill of rights.

Administrative and Other Searches

Searches and seizures by government employers or supervisors of the private property of their employees are subject to the restraints of the Fourth Amendment

Public employees’ expectations of privacy in their offices, desks, and file cabinets, like similar expectations of employees in private sector, may be reduced by virtue of actual office practices and procedures, or by legitimate regulation

In our view, requiring an employer to obtain warrant whenever the employer wishes to enter an employee’s office, desk, or file cabinets for a work-related purpose would seriously disrupt the routine conduct of business and would be unduly burdensome

Camara v. Municipal Court Of The City And Country Of San Francisco 387 US 523 (1967)

Appellant was charged with violating san Francisco housing code for refusing after 3 efforts by inspectors to secure his consent, to allow warrantless inspection of the ground floor quarters which he leased and whose residential used allegedly violated the apartment’s permit. He argued that the sec503 of housing code is contrary to the 4 th and 14 th amendments in that it authorizes municipal officials to enter private dwelling without a search warrant and without probable cause to believe that a violation of the code exist.

Administrative searches are significant intrusions upon the interest protected by the 4 th amendment that such searches when authorized and conducted without a warrant; lack the traditional safeguards which the 4 th amendment guarantees to the individual.

The warrant procedure is designed to guarantee that decision to search private property is justified by a reasonable governmental interest. The ultimate standard is the reasonableness.

Area inspection is “reasonable search of private property within the meaning of the 4 th amendment. It is obvious that “probable cause” to issue warrant to inspect must exist if reasonable legislative or administrative standards are satisfied.

However, there was no emergency demanding immediate access; they

in fact made 3 trips to obtain consent. Yet no warrant was obtained and thus the appellant was unable t verify either the need for or

Appellant has constitutional right to

insist them to obtain a warrant to search.

appropriate limits of inspection

Alcohol, Drugs and Related Tests

Requiring a person to submit urine or blood, or to undergo breathalyzer testing for the purpose of determining whether he is under the influence of alcohol or drugs are considered a species of search that is governed by the constitutional proscription against unreasonable searches and seizures. This means, generally, that such a search may only be had pursuant to a probable cause, or an individualized suspicion

Canine “Sniff Test”

While this may also implicate the privacy interest of the owner, this is deemed as not approaching constitutional dimensions so as to rule out the practice

“A sniff by a dog that simply walks around a car is much less intrusive than a typical search”

The “Special Needs” Exception

Under this exception, the Court upheld an extended warrantless search of a student’s purse after a report of smoking in the school lavatory and following the student’s denial of said report

Our precedents establish that the proffered special need for drug testing must be substantial--important enough to override the individual’s acknowledged privacy interest, sufficiently vital

to suppress the Fourth Amendment’s normal requirement of individualized suspicion

Warrantless Arrest

These arrests without warrant are justified by the fact that the person to be arrested is caught in the act (in flagrante delicto), is apprehended pursuant to a hot pursuit, or is an escaped prisoner

In Flagrante Delicto

Under this exception, the arrest is justified by the very fact that the crime is committed or is about to be committed in the very presence of the person making the arrest

There is no more need for a warrant as the culprit is caught red- handed

“Reliable information” alone is not sufficient to justify a warrantless arrest under Section 5(a), Rule 113. The rule requires, in addition, that the accused perform such overt act that would indicate that he has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense


1. The person to be arrested must execute an overt act indicating he has just committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit a crime 2. Such overt act is done in the presence or within the view of the arresting officer

People v. Burgos 144 SCRA 1 (1986)

Cesar masalmok personally and voluntarily surrendered to the authorities and gave intelligence information that he was forcibly recruited by Burgos using a firearm. They found the accused plowing his field, he denied possessing firearm. His wife pointed where the gun was then the accused showed subversive documents that were allegedly issued to him by a team leader of NPA. He was convicted of the crime of illegal possession of firearm in furtherance of subversion.

In the constitutional provision against wanton and unreasonable invasion of privacy and liberty of a citizen, his person, property papers and effects, What is sought to be guarded is a man’s prerogative to choose who is allowed entry to his residence.

Under rule112, the officer arresting a person who has just committed, is committing or is about to commit an offense must have a personal knowledge of that fact. There is no personal knowledge in this case, it came from masalmok and the location of gun was given by the wife. At the time of his arrest, he was not in actual possession of the firearm and the documents. Neither was he committing any act subversive.

The right of a person to be secure against unreasonable seizure of his body and any deprivation of liberty is most basic and fundamental. The statute granting exceptions should be strictly construed.

In arrest without a warrant, it is not enough that there is a reasonable ground to believe that the person to be arrested has committed a crime. A crime must in fact or actually have been committed first. The fact of commission must be undisputed. The test of reasonable ground applies only to the identity of perpetrator.

No compelling reason for haste and not secure warrant of arrest. Arrest of the accused while he was plowing is illegal. The arrest was unlawful, the search and seizure is likewise not legal since these are mere incidents of a valid arrest.

Umil v. Ramos

187 SCRA 311 (1990)

Dural, a member of the NPA liquidation squad responsible for killing 2 soldiers on Jan. 31, 1988, was arrested on Feb. 1, while being treated for a gunshot in a hospital. Dural was arrested for being a member of the NPA, an outlawed subversive organization. Subversion as a continuing offense, the arrest without warrant is justified.

The case filed involves subversion and illegal possession of firearm and ammunition. On Aug. 17, 1988, the lower court found them guilty of the charge.

Resolution on the Motion for Reconsideration

202 SCRA 292 (1991)

The court’s decision on July 9, 1990 rules that the arrest of Dural without warrant is justified because under Section 5 (a) Rule 113, Dural was committing an offense, when arrested, because he was a member of the NPA. Sec 5 (b), Rule 113 of the Rules of Court requires 2 conditions for a valid arrest without warrant:

1) That the person arrested had just committed an offense 2) That the arresting officer or the private person has personal knowledge of facts (based on probable cause)

Accordingly, the motion for reconsideration of the decision dated July 9 is denied.

People v. Aminnudin 163 SCRA 40 (1988)

Aminnudin was arrested after disembarking from M/V Wilcon. Police officers received a tip that he was carrying marijuana, and conducted a warrantless search and arrest. The only justification was the tip received 2 days before the arrest. The accused-appellant was not caught inflagrante nor was a crime to be committed or had just been committed to justify the warrantless arrest under Rule 113 of the Rules of Court.

Without the evidence of marijuana allegedly seized from Aminnudin, the case of prosecution shall fall. The evidence cannot be admitted for the simple fact that the marijuana was seized illegally.

State of Rebellion

In quelling or suppressing the rebellion, the authorities may only resort to warrantless arrests of persons suspected of rebellion, as provided under Section 5, Rule 113 of the Rules of Court, if the circumstances so warrant

Sanlakas v. Executive Secretary

421 SCRA 656 (2004)

On July 27, 2003, some 300 junior officers and enlisted men of the AFP, armed with ammunitions and explosives stormed into the Oakwood Apartments in Makati City. Bewailing the corruption in the AFP, the soldiers demanded for the resignation of high officials, including the President. The President then issued Proclamation No. 427 and General Order No. 4 declaring a “state of rebellion” and calling out the AF to suppress the rebellion. On Aug. 1, 2003, Proclamation No. 435 lifted the declaration of the state of rebellion. Several petitions were filed challenging the validity of the Proclamation, the President’s authority and the consequence of such declaration, specially in relation to the arrest of those implicated in the rebellion.

The mere declaration of the state of rebellion cannot diminish or violate constitutionally protected rights. Simple declaration of the state of rebellion does not suspend the operation of the constitution or automatically suspend the privilege of writ of habeas corpus.

Hot Pursuit

When a crime has just been committed, the law enforcers ordinarily would have to try to get the culprit as soon as possible before he eludes them

They may be in possession of enough information or knowledge by which to identify their quarry and make the arrest before their job would become more difficult through the passage of time

Go v. CA 206 SCRA 138 (1992)

FACTS: Rolito Go, petitioner, was driving in the opposite direction along

a one-way street in San Juan Metro Manila, when he nearly bumped

into Eldon Maguan’s car. Petitioner got out of his car, shot Maguan, and left. A security guard nearby was able to take down the plate number of Go’s car then the police came at the crime scene. After obtaining information from (1) the verification of LTO that the car was registered under the petitioner’s wife’s name, (2) the impression of the credit card used by him in the bakeshop where he went before the incident happened, and (3) the positive identification of the guard therein, the police launched a manhunt. 6 days after the incident, Go, with 2 lawyers, presented himself to the San Juan police station for verification. He was then detained and the police filed a complaint for frustrated homicide in the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor of Rizal. The Prosecutor filed before the RTC, an information for murder instead of frustrated homicide, since Maguan died after a few days. Nevertheless, petitioner was allowed to bail. The RTC judge (1) recalled the bail, and gave petitioner 48 hrs from receipt of the Order to surrender, (2) recalled and cancelled the Order which granted the leave of the Prosecutor to conduct preliminary investigation, and (3) treated as petition for bail the petitioner’s motion for immediate release and preliminary investigation and set it for hearing.

Petitioner then filed for a petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus before the SC, contending that the information was null and void because no preliminary investigation has been previously conducted. The SC remanded the petition to the CA wherein petitioner was found not guilty since he refused to enter to a plea. The CA dismissed the petitions and held that Go’s warrantless arrest was valid because the (1) offense was ‘’freshly committed’’, (2) his identity was established through investigation, (3) when he showed up, there was an existing manhunt and (4) there were witnesses.

ISSUE: WON a lawful warrantless arrest had been effected by the San Juan police in respect of petitioner

HELD: The reliance of the petitioner and the Solicitor General in Umil v. Ramos, is misplaced since in the said case, it was held that warrantless arrests made from 1- 14 days after the actual commission of the crime

is legal in as much as such crime is a continuing crime. In the case at

bar, the crime committed was that of murder and cannot be considered as a continuing crime since it was commenced and completed at once.

The warrantless arrest in this case does not fall under Sec. 5 of Rule 113 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure. Since the police arrested petitioner 6 days after the shooting incident, it is apparent that the ‘’arresting officers’’ were not present during such incident and therefore cannot be also regarded as one which ‘’…had just been committed’’.

Likewise, the said officers do not have ‘’personal knowledge’’ of the facts indicating that petitioner was the gunman. The information derived from eyewitnesses did not constitute ‘’personal knowledge’’. Thus, there was no lawful warrantless arrest.

Petitioner was not arrested at all. He walked in, with 2 lawyers, and placed himself at the police disposal without stating the he is surrendering. When the police filed complaint for frustrated homicide

with the Prosecutor, the latter should have immediately scheduled a preliminary investigation to determine whether there was a probable cause for charging petitioner. Since petitioner had not been arrested, with or without warrant, he was entitled to be released immediately and concerned only to his appearance in the preliminary investigation.

Posadas v. Ombudsman 341 SCRA 388 (2000)

FACTS: Dennis Venturina, a member of Sigma Rho at UP was killed in a rumble between his fraternity & another on Dec. 8, 1994. Roger Posadas, petitioner, and the chancellor of UP Diliman, asked the NBI for the identification & apprehension of the suspects. Respondent Dizon, the Chief of the Special operations group of the NBI and his men went to UP and upon the basis of the identification by 2 eyewitnesses, attempted to arrest Taparan and Narag who were members of the other fraternity, as suspects but they just came to the UP police station for a peace talk between their fraternities. Posadas objected because the NBI agents do not have warrants of arrest and he & his lawyer promised to take the 2 to the NBI office the next day. However, the next day, they were not surrendered & have apparently escaped. Dizon filed to the Office of the Prosecutor a complaint charging Petitioner for violating PD 1829 which states that obstruction of the apprehension & prosecution of criminal offenders is unlawful. Prosecutor recommended for dismissal but was disapproved and was ordered by the Ombudsman to proceed with the prosecution in Sandiganbayan.

Issues: (1) WON the attempted warrantless arrest of the student suspects by the NBI could be validly made; (2) WON there was probable cause for prosecuting petitioner for violation of PD 1829


(1) Negative. Art.3 Sec.2 of the Constitution:

No arrest may be made except in the case of a warrant issued by a judge after examining the complainant and the witnesses he may produce after finding probable cause to believe that the person to be arrested has committed the crime. The case does not fall within the exceptions provided in Rule 113 Sec. 5 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure since neither the arresting officers witnessed the crime being committed nor the students are fugitives from justice or prisoners who had escaped from confinement.

The respondents invoked the ruling in People vs. Tonog,Jr wherein the accused therein voluntarily went with the police after being invited and the arresting officer found bloodstains on the pants of the accused which made the former conclude that the latter is the suspect and the arrest was also made on the day when the crime was committed. Thus, Tonog case is not applicable in the case at bar since the NBI agents tried to arrest Taparan & Narag 4 day after the commission of the crime, they had no personal knowledge about the suspects to indicate that they are guilty and they had obtained the information merely from eyewitnesses, which is insufficient to justify a warrantless arrest. Their attempt to arrest Taparan and Narag without a warrant was illegal for their failure to comply with constitutional and procedural requirements.

(2) As petitioners are also being prosecuted under PD 1829, it is a rule that a criminal prosecution cannot be enjoined but it has been held that respect for the citizen's right to be free from arbitrary arrest and punishment and unwarranted and vexation prosecution is more impt. than criminal procedure. As held in Venus vs. Desierto that the Court does not interfere with the discretion of the Ombudsman in the determination of the existence of a reasonable ground to believe that a crime has been committed. The exceptions as stated in Brocka vs. Enrile are as follows: (a)to afford protection to the constitutional rights of the accused, (b) when necessary for the orderly administration of justice or to avoid oppression or multiplicity of actions, (c) when there is a prejudicial question which is sub judice, (d)where the acts of the officer are without or in excess of authority, (e) where the prosecution is under an invalid law, ordinance or regulation, (f)when double jeopardy is clearly apparent, (g) where the court has no jurisdiction over the offense, (h) where it is a case of persecution rather than


prosecution, (i) where the charges are manifestly false and motivated by the lust for vengeance, (j) where there is clearly no prima facie case against the accused and a motion to quash on that ground has been denied, and (k) preliminary injunction has been issued by the SC to prevent the threatened unlawful arrest of the petitioners.

In the case at bar, PD 1829 was not violated since petitioner had a right to prevent the arrest bec. it was illegal.

It was found out however by the Office of the Ombudsman that the intervention by the petitioners allowed the escape of Taparan and Narag. However, the student suspect, a certain Joel Carlo Denosta, was not one of those who were attempted to be arrested by the NBI.

The NBI agents are at fault bec. they were unable to arrest Taparan and Narag. If they believed the information given to them, they should have applied first for a warrant before attempting to arrest.

Sanchez v. Demetriou 227 SCRA 627 (1993)

FACTS: Petitioner Sanchez, mayor of Calauan, Laguna, and other 6 people were accused of rape with homicide. Charges were filed against them in connection with the rape-slay of Mary Eileen Sarmenta and the killing of Allan Gomez. Preliminary investigation was conducted as petitioner was represented by his counsel. The PNP sent petitioner an invitation requesting him to appear for an investigation. When he was taken to the camp, he was positively identified by 2 witnesses. He was later placed on "arrest status" and taken to DOJ in Manila. An inquest was conducted upon his arrival and a warrant of arrest was issued after the hearing. He remained confined in Camp Crame while information charges were filed with the others who were accused. A warrant arrest was then issued and the SC ordered the transfer of such case to Pasig City, M. Manila. Petitioner filed motion to quash the information since his warrantless arrest was illegal and the court has no jurisdiction over him. However, Judge Demetriou denied the petition.

Issues: (1) WON petitioner’s warrantless arrest was illegal; (2) WON the court has no jurisdiction over him

HELD: (1) The warrantless arrest was illegal. The arresting officers were not present during the commission of the alleged crime and they have no personal knowledge that petitioner is responsible because their basis was the statement by the witnesses. However, (2) the RTC has jurisdiction over him because it issued a warrant arrest against him and the others. It was delayed, but legal though.

Probable Cause for Issuance of Warrants of Arrest and Role of Judges

What is required is that the judge must have sufficient supporting documents upon which to make his independent judgment, or at the very least, upon which to verify the findings of the prosecutor as to the existence of probable cause

If the judge disagrees, or finds the evidence insufficient, contrary to the conclusions of the prosecutor, the judge should not dismiss the case but instead require the fiscal to present additional evidence to show probable cause

The Court explained that the issuance of a warrant is not a mere ministerial function. It calls for the exercise of judicial discretion on the part of the issuing magistrate

“While before, it was mandatory for the investigating Judge to issue a warrant for the arrest of the accused if he found probable cause, the rule now is that the investigating Judge’s power to order the arrest of the accused is limited to instances in which there is a necessity for placing him in custody ‘in order not to frustrate the ends of justice.’ The arrest of the accused

can be ordered only in the event that the prosecutor files the case and the Judge of the Regional Trial Court finds probable cause for the issuance of the warrant of arrest”

Lim, Sr. v. Felix

194 SCRA 292 (1991)

FACTS: Vicente Lim, petitioner, was one of those who were charged with multiple murder with frustrated murder in connection with the ambush of Masbate Congressman Espinosa and his bodyguards (only one survived) in the domestic airport of the said province Preliminary investigation was conducted and the RTC judge was able to find a probable cause for the issuance of the warrant of arrest. The Fiscal ruled that the crime of the suspects must be murder for each of the 4 victims killed and physical injuries for the survivor. The Fiscal however filed 4 separate Informations for murder against the 12 accused, with no bail. As the petition for change of venue by Lim was granted by the SC, the cases were transferred to Judge Felix of Makati. Petitioner filed

a motion and manifestation for the transmittal of initial records of

preliminary investigation for the best enlightenment of the court in its determination of the existence of a probable cause based on the Constitutional mandate that “no warrant shall issue unless the issuing magistrate have been personally convinced of such probable cause’’ but it was opposed by the prosecution & denied by the respondent court. It later issued warrants of arrest against the petitioner and the others who were accused.

ISSUE: WON a judge may issue a warrant of arrest without bail by simply relying on the prosecution's certification & recommendation that a probable cause exists

HELD: A judge may rely on the fiscal’s certification of the existence of probable cause and issue a warrant of arrest. However, such certification does not bind the judge to come out with the warrant of arrest (Placer vs. Villanueva 126 SCRA 463 [1983]).

The judge must have a personal determination of the existence of a probable cause for a warrant of arrest to be issued, but it does not necessarily mean that he must personally examine the complaint (Soliven vs. Makasiar 167 SCRA 393 [1988].

The determination of probable cause is a function of the judge. Preliminary investigation is done by the prosecutor and does not bind the judge. Also, there must be distinction between (1) the preliminary inquiry which determines the probable cause for the issuance of the

warrant of arrest and (2) the preliminary investigation which ascertains

if the offender should be held for trial or be released (People v. Honorable Enrique Inting GR No. 88919, July 25 1990).

RTC judges no longer have authority to conduct preliminary investigations (Castillo v. Villaluz 171 SCRA 39 [1989]).

The judge may rely on the COMELEC's resolution to file for the information in the same way that he may rely on the Prosecutor's certification (People v Delgado GR Nos. 93419-32, Sept. 18, 1990.

*The constitutional mandate has not been satisfied and the judge committed a grave abuse of discretion for relying solely on the Prosecutor's certification where all the records of investigation are in Masbate. He has not personally determined the probable cause but it was the Provincial Prosecutor who had done such.

The extent of reliance depends on the circumstances of each case and subject to the sound discretion of the judge. But when he issues a warrant of arrest without evidence before him, he abuses such discretion.

Webb v. De Leon

247 SCRA 652 (1995)

FACTS: The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) filed with the Department of Justice a letter-complaint charging petitioners Hubert

Webb, Michael Gatchalian, Antonio Lejano and six (6) other persons, with the crime of Rape
Webb, Michael Gatchalian, Antonio Lejano and six (6) other persons,
with the crime of Rape with Homicide. Meanwhile, petitioner Webb
claimed during the preliminary investigation that he did not commit the
crime as he went to the United States on March 1, 1991 and returned
to the Philippines on October 27, 1992. Thereafter, the DOJ Panel
issued a 26-page Resolution “finding probable cause to hold
respondents for trial” and recommending that an Information for rape
with homicide be filed against petitioners and their co-respondents. It
then filed the corresponding Information against petitioners and their
co-accused with the Regional Trial Court. Respondent judge issued
warrants of arrest. Petitioner Webb voluntarily surrendered to police
authorities. Petitioners Gatchalian and Lejano likewise gave themselves
up to the authorities after filing their petitions before the Supreme
ISSUE: “Whether or not the warrants of arrest issued by respondent
Judge Raul de Leon and later, respondent Judge Amelita Tolentino met
the constitutional requirement of probable cause”.
The Constitution, the Rules of Court, and our case law
repudiates the submission of petitioners that respondent
judges should have conducted “searching examination of
witnesses” before issuing warrants of arrest against them.
The Court also rejects the petitioner’s contention that a
judge must first issue an order of arrest before issuing a
warrant of arrest. There is no law or rule requiring the
issuance of an Order of Arrest prior to a warrant of arrest.
DOJ Panel’s 26-page report, testimonies of witnesses and
counter- affidavits of petitioners satisfied both respondent
judges that there is probable cause in issuing said warrants
of arrest.
Before issuing warrants of arrest, judges merely determine
of the accused. They just personally review the initial
determination of the prosecutor finding a probable cause to
see if it is supported by substantial evidence.
In search cases:
Items sought are in fact seizable by virtue of their being
connected with criminal activity.
The items will be found in the place to be searched.
In arrest cases:
The person to be arrested committed it.
*”Upon filing of an information the Regional Trial Court may issue a
warrant for the arrest of the accused.”

Talingdan v. Eduarte 366 SCRA 559 (2001)

FACTS: Petitioner, a private practitioner, charged respondent Judge Eduarte, with improvidently issuing a warrant of arrest in a criminal case for libel without the requisite preliminary investigation being first conducted by the Office of the Public Prosecutor. He alleged that sometime in April 2000, elements of PNP stormed into his residence to arrest him and his client on the strength of a Warrant of Arrest issued by respondent Judge. Complainant then filed a Very urgent Motion to Quash and/or Set Aside Warrant of Arrest and Direct Prosecutor’s Office to Conduct Preliminary Examination since they had not been previously notified of the charge against them and no preliminary investigation was ever conducted by the public prosecutor’s office yet. The respondent granted the motion and recalled the warrant of arrest, admitting that he issued the same under the mistaken belief that a preliminary investigation had already been conducted and an information filed in court. Thus, when he saw the Warrant of Arrest, he signed the same honestly thinking that the Criminal Docket Clerk had faithfully complied first with her duty of going over the records of the case.

HELD: Respondent’s issuance of Warrant of Arrest was in violation of the constitutional requirement of personal determination as to the existence of probable cause.

REASON: “No warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing xxx the persons xxx to be seized.” (Section 2, Article III 1987 Constitution)

The phrase “personal determination” emphasizes the EXCLUSIVE and PERSONAL RESPONSIBILTY of the issuing judge to satisfy himself as to the existence of probable cause. The Warrant of Arrest issues not on the strength of the certification standing alone but because of the records that sustain it. In the case at bench, there was not even a prosecutor’s certification to rely upon since no information had even been filed yet in court. Respondent cannot exculpate himself from administrative liability by contending that the mistake was entirely attributable to the Criminal Docket clerk who failed to faithfully comply with her ‘duty” of going over the records of the criminal case and ensuring first that an information had already been filed in court before preparing the warrant of arrest.

* Options available to the judge upon personal determination of probable cause:

(1) Personally evaluate the report and the supporting documents submitted by the prosecutor regarding the existence of probable cause, and on the basis thereof, issue a warrant of arrest. (2) If on the basis thereof he finds no probable cause, disregard the prosecutor’s report and require the submission of supporting affidavits of witnesses to aid him in determining its existence.

Administrative Warrants

The Constitution is explicit that it is only a judge who can issue warrants

The 1973 Charter allowed such other “responsible officer as may be authorized by law” to determine probable cause

Qua Chee Gan v. Deportation Board 9 SCRA 27 (1963)

FACTS: Petitioners were charged before the Deportation Board of having purchased US Dollars in the total amount of $130,000.00 without the necessary license from the Central Bank of the Philippines, and of clandestinely remitting the same to Hong Kong. A warrant of arrest of said aliens was issued by the presiding member of the Deportation Board. Petitioners filed a motion to dismiss the charges against them in the Deportation Board on the grounds of lack of jurisdiction and that the charges do not constitute legal basis for deportation. The lower court held that the Board has the power to issue warrants of arrest and fix the amount of the bond for the temporary release of the alien.



“Whether or not the President has the power to deport aliens and consequently, the validity of delegation to the Deportation Board of the ancillary power to investigate”


“Whether or not the President’s power to conduct investigation carries with it the power to order the arrest of the alien complained of”

* Pertinent Laws:

CA No. 613 (Immigration Act of 1940) Commissioner of Immigration was empowered to effect the arrest and expulsion of an alien, after previous determination by the Board of Commissioners of the existence of grounds therefore. Section 69 of Act No. 2711 (Revised Administrative Code) Lays down the procedure to be observed should there be deportation




* Order of Deportation-The return to his country of an alien who has broken the conditions upon which he could continue to reside within our borders.


The charges against the herein petitioners constitute in effect an act of profiteering, hoarding or blackmarketing of US dollars an economic sabotage which is a ground for deportation. There seems to be no doubt that the President’s power of investigation may be delegated. This is clear from a reading of Section 69 of the Revised Administrative Code which provides for a “prior investigation, conducted by said Executive (the President) or his authorized agent.”

Exclusionary Rule - The Fruit of the Poisonous Tree Doctrine

In the past it was held that sanctions against erring law enforcers would be enough vindication of a violated right while allowing the results of such an unreasonable search and seizure to be admissible in evidence


Section 69 of the Revised Administrative Code, upon whose authority the President’s power to deport is predicated, does not provide for the exercise of the power to arrest. An implied grant of power, considering that no express authority was granted by the law on the matter under discussion, that would serve as a curtailment or limitation upon the fundamental right of a person, such as his security to life and liberty, must be viewed with caution. Then, a delegation of that implied power must be REJECTED as inimical to the liberties of the people.

A fruit of an illegal or unconstitutional act could not and should not be given any form of legitimacy by its admission in evidence

Along with the discarding of the old rule came the demise of the so-called Silver Platter Doctrine which allowed federal judicial use of evidence seized in violation of the Constitution by state agents

It is said that the exclusionary rule has three purposes:

*The Executive Order insofar as it empowers the Deportation Board to issue warrant of arrest upon the filing of formal charges against an alien or aliens and to fix bond and prescribe the conditions for the temporary release of said aliens, is declared ILLEGAL. The order of arrest issued by the respondent Deportation Board is declared NULL AND VOID.

First, the rule is calculated to prevent, not repair. Its purpose is to deter--to compel respect for constitutional guaranty in the only effective available way--by removing the incentive to disregard it.

Harvey v. Defensor-Santiago 162 SCRA 840 (1988)

FACTS: Petitioners were apprehended from their respective residences on February 27 1988 by agents of the Commission on Immigration and Deportation (CID) by virtue of Mission Orders issued by Commissioner Miriam Defensor-Santiago. Petitioners were among the twenty-two (22) suspected alien pedophiles who were rounded up after three months of close surveillance by CID agents. Seized during the apprehension were photo negatives, pictures, posters and other literature advertising the child prostitutes. After being denied bail, petitioners availed a petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus.

HELD: The petition is dismissed and the Writ of Habeas Corpus is denied.


*Probable Cause such facts and circumstances antecedent to the issuance of the warrant that in themselves are sufficient to induce a cautious man to rely on them and act in pursuance thereof. In this case, the arrest of petitioners was based on probable cause determined after close surveillance for three (3) months during which period their activities were monitored. The existence of probable cause justified the seizure of the photo negatives, photographs and posters without warrant. Those articles were seized as an incident to a lawful arrest and therefore, admissible in evidence. The requirement of probable cause, to be determined by a Judge does not extend to deportation proceedings. What is essential is that there should be a specific charge against the alien intended to be arrested and deported, that a fair hearing be conducted with the assistance of counsel, if desired, and that the charge should be substantiated by competent evidence. In deportation proceedings, the right to bail is not a matter of right but a matter of discretion on the part of the Commissioner of Immigration and Deportation. The power to deport aliens is an act of State, an act done by and under the authority of the sovereign power. Writ of habeas corpus will not be granted when the confinement is or has become legal, although such confinement was illegal from the beginning.

*Deportation proceedings are administrative in character. An order of deportation is never construed as a punishment. It is preventive, not a penal process.

Second, the “imperative of judicial integrity,” i.e., that the courts do not become “accomplices in the willful disobedience of a Constitution they are sworn to uphold…by permitting unhindered governmental use of the fruits of such invasions…A ruling admitting evidence in a criminal trial…has the necessary effect of legitimizing the conduct which produced the evidence, while an application of the exclusionary rule withholds the constitutional imprimatur”

Third, that “of assuring the people--all potential victim of unlawful government conduct--that the government would not profit from its lawless behavior, thus minimizing the risk of seriously undermining popular trust in government”

No man is to be convicted on unconstitutional evidence

Silverthorne Lumber Co., Inc. v. United States 251 US 385, 64 L Ed 319, 40 S Ct 182 (1920)

Facts: Indictment was filed against Frederick W. Silverthorne and his father, who were arrested at their home. Representatives of Department of Justice and the United States marshal without authority go to the office of the company, made a clean sweep of all the books, papers and documents found and directed all employees to the office of the district attorney of US. Photographs and copies of material papers were made, and a new indictment was framed based upon the knowledge thus obtained. The District Court ordered the return of the originals, but impounded the photographs and copies. Subpoenas to produce the originals then were served, and on the refusal of the plaintiffs in error to produce them, the Court made an order that the subpoena should be compiled with. Contempt was filed against the corporation and its owner

Issue: W/N there is an infringement of constitutional rights of the parties under the Fourth Amendment which constitutes indictment?

Ratio: Taken from the dissenting opinion of CJ Holmes: The protection of the Constitution covers physical possession, but not any advantages that the government can gain over the object of its pursuit by doing a forbidden act.

If knowledge of them is gained from an independent source they may be proved like any others, but the knowledge gained by the Government’s own wrong cannot be used by it in the way proposed

Additional Sanctions for Violations of the Guarantee

In addition to the exclusionary rule as a means of deterrence, the erring officers may also be subjected to criminal and civil liabilities for violating the constitutional proscription against unreasonable searches and seizures

MHP Garments, Inc. v. Court of Appeals 236 SCRA 227 (1994)

Facts: MHP Garments, Inc was awarded to be the exclusive franchiser to sell and distribute official Boy Scouts uniforms, supplies, badges and insignias by the Boy Scouts of the Philippines. MHP has been given the authority to “undertake or cause to be taken the prosecution in court of all illegal sources of scout uniforms and other scouting supplies.” In October 1983, petitioner received information that the private respondents (Agnes Villa Cruz, Mirasol Lugatiman and Gertrudes Gonzales) are selling unauthorized Boy Scout items and paraphernalia. The petitioner, who was tasked to conduct surveillance and report, together with two Philippine Constabulary officers (PC), went to the respondents store and without warrant, seized boy and girl scouts’ pants, dresses and suits which are on display. The respondents files a criminal complaint for unfair competition, but was dismissed by the Provincial Fiscal of Rizal, then later order returned the seized items to the respondent. But seized items were not immediately returned, thus private respondents personally went to the petitioner’s place of business to recover the goods. Not all goods were returned and the items that were returned were of that inferior quality.








Ruling: Search and seizure is illegal





Ratio: The constitutional protection of our people against unreasonable search and seizure is not merely a pleasing platitude. It vouchsafes our right to privacy and dignity against undesirable intrusions committed by any public officer or private individual. An infringement of this right justifies an award for damages. *Section 2, Article III of the 1987 Constitution protects not only those who appear to be innocent but those who appear guilty, but are nevertheless to be presumed innocent until the contrary is proved. *There is a progression of time between the receipt of information and the raid of the stores of private respondents. It shows sufficient time for the petitioners and the PC raiding party to apply for a judicial warrant.

Citing case of “Lim vs. Ponce de Leon”, recovery of damages for violation of constitutional rights and liberties from public officer or private individual as provided under Art. 32 of the Civil Code, in relation to Article 2219 (6) of the same code. Recovery for Moral damages

*Art. 32 of the Civil Code make the persons who are directly, as well as indirectly responsible for the transgression joint tortfeasors. *Neither can it be said that only those shown to have participated “directly” should be held liable. Art. 32 of the Civil Code encompasses within the ambit of its provisions those directly, as well as indirectly, responsible for its violations. *Petitioners miserably failed to report the unlawful peddling of scouting goods to the Boy Scouts of the Phil. for the proper application of a warrant. *Moral damages are not awarded to penalize the defendant but to compensate the plaintiff for the injuries he may have suffered.

The wantonness of the wrongful seizure justifies the award of exemplary damages. It will also serve as a stern reminder to all and sundry that the constitutional protection against unreasonable search and seizure is a virile reality and not a mere burst of rhetoric. The all

encompassing protection extends against intrusions directly done both government and indirectly by private entities.

GROH v. Ramirez 540 U.S. 552, 257 L Ed 2d 1068, 124 S Ct 1284 (2004)

Facts: The petitioner, a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agent, prepared and signed an application for a warrant to search the respondent’s ranch for specified weapons, explosives and records which is based on the information of a concerned citizen. Application was supported by the petitioner’s affidavit that such items are there together with a warrant form he has completed. The Magistrate (judge) signed the warrant form even it did not identity any of the items that the petitioner intended to seize. The description of the “person or property” described respondents’ two story blue house rather than the alleged stockpile of firearms. The petitioner led federal and local law enforcement officers to the ranch the next day but found no illegal weapons or explosives, then left the copy of the warrant but not the application. Respondents sued petitioner in violation of the Fourth Amendment.

Issue: (1) W/N the search violated the Fourth Amendment; (2) W/N is entitled to qualified immunity, given the Magistrate Judge, relying on an affidavit that particularly described the items in question; found probable cause to conduct the search.

Ruling: Affirmed (decision of the Court of Appeals). Warrant is invalid


*Warrant was plainly invalid. *Fourth Amendment states: no Warrants shall issue, but upon the probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be search and the persons or things to be seized *The warrant complied with 1 st three of the requirements:

-based on probable cause -supported by sworn affidavit -particularly described the place of search *Warrant failed in particularity, because it did not provide description of the type of evidence sought. *Fourth Amendment by its terms requires particularity in the warrant, not in supporting documents. *The stated description of items to be seized in the warrant “single dwelling residence…blue in color” did not describe the items to be seized at all. *The mere fact that the Magistrate issued a warrant does not necessarily establish that he agreed that the scope of the search should be as broad as the affiant’s request. Even though petitioner acted with restraint in conducting the search, “inescapable fact is that this restraint was imposed by the agents themselves, not by a judicial officer” (Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347 [1967]). *Purpose of the particularity requirement is not limited to the prevention of general searches. *Petitioner did not have in his possession a warrant particularly describing the things he intended to seize; proceeding with the search was clearly “unreasonable” under the Fourth Amendment. *No reasonable officer could believe that a warrant that plainly did not comply with that requirement was valid. *“If the law was clearly established, the immunity defense ordinarily should fail, since a reasonably competent public official should know the law governing his conduct” (Harlow v. Fritzgerald, 457 U.S> 800, 818-819 [1982]) *Petitioner himself prepared the warrant and cannot reasonably relied on the Magistrate’s assurance that the warrant contained an adequate description of the things to be seize and was therefore valid. (Cf. Sheppard, 468 U.S., at 989-990)

“The uniformly applied rule is that a search conducted pursuant to a warrant that fails to conform to the particularity requirement of the Fourth Amendment is unconstitutional” (Cf. Sheppard, 468 U.S., at 988, n. 5)

Extra-territorial Reach of the Guarantee

The Court held that the Fourth Amendment does not have extraterritorial effect sp as to cover searches made in another country involving non-American citizen. The social impact is only between the government and those governed, including aliens who have gone into the territory of the United States and developed substantial connections with that country. Thus, if the person affected is a citizen, it might be an entirely different matter

United States v. Verdugo-Urquidez 494 U.S. 259, 108 Led 2d 222, 110 S Ct 1056 (1990)

Facts: Respondent is a citizen and resident of Mexico. He was believed by the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to be one of the leaders of a large and violent organization in Mexico that smuggles narcotics into the United States. He was apprehended by the Mexican Police and transported him to United States Border Patrol station in Calexico, California, then arrested by the United States Marshals and moved him to a correctional center in San Diego, California, pending his trial. DEA agents, working with Mexican officials, with Director General of the Mexican Federal Judicial Police (MFJP), authorizing the searches, searched his Mexican residences in Mexicali and San Felipe and seized certain documents. The search of his residence uncovered a tally sheet, which the Government believes reflects the quantities of marijuana smuggled by the respondent into the United States. District Court granted respondent’s motion to suppress the evidence, concluding that the Fourth Amendment applied to the searches and DEA agents had failed to justify searching of the premises without a warrant. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Court, divided panel, held that American citizens tried abroad by United States military officials were entitled to Fifth and Sixth Amendment protections The court concluded that the Constitution imposes substantive constraints on the Federal Government, even it operates abroad. (citing Reid v. Covert, 354 U.S. 1, [1957]). Majority assumed that illegal aliens in the United States have Fourth Amendment rights. (relying on INS v. Lopez-Mendoza, 468 U.S. 1032 [1984]). Majority recognized that American search warrant would be no legal validity in Mexico, but it is deemed sufficient that a warrant would have “substantial constitutional value in this country”, because it would reflect a magistrate’s determination that there existed probable cause to search and would define the scope of the search.

Issue: W/N Fourth Amendment applies to the search and seizure by the United States agents of property that is owned by a non-resident alien and located in a foreign country.

Ruling: Reversed (Decision of the Court of Appeals)


*The Fourth Amendment operates in a different manner that the Fifth Amendment, because the Fifth Amendment guaranteed the privilege against self-incrimination, which is a fundamental trial right of criminal defendants, which the constitutional violation will occur only at trial. *As suggested by Madison, “the driving force behind the adoption of the Amendment was widespread hostility among the former Colonists to the issuance of writs of assistance empowering revenue officers to search suspected places for smuggled goods and general search warrants permitting the search of private houses, often to uncover papers that might be used to convict persons of libel. (Boyd v. United States, 116 U.S. 616, 625 626, [1886]) *Purpose for the Amendment was to protect the people of the United States against arbitrary action by their own Government; it was never suggested to be intended to restrain the actions of the Federal Government against aliens outside of the United States. *Not every constitutional provision applies to governmental activity even where the United States has sovereign power. *Congress was not required to adopt “a system of laws which shall include the right of trial by jury and that the Constitution does not without legislation and its own force, carry such right to territory so situated.

Only “fundamental” constitutional rights are guaranteed to inhabitants

of those territories.

Scientific and Technological Advancements and the Search and Seizure Clause

As technology advances, the level of reasonably expected privacy decreases. The measure of protection granted by the reasonable expectation diminishes as relevant technology becomes more widely accepted

In this area, again the courts would have to see how the constitutional guarantee of privacy could be adjusted to meet modern needs and demands, for as always there would be the never-ending push and pull between the need of government to maintain its role as protector against equally modernizing criminal elements and the constant demand to safeguard enduring liberty interests

Klyllo v. US 533 US 27, 150 L Ed 2d 94, 121 S Ct 2038 (2001)

Suspicious that marijuana was being grown in petitioner Kyllo`s home in

a triplex, agents used a thermal imaging device to scan the triplex to

determine if the amount of heat emanating from it was consistent with the high intensity lamps typically used for indoor marijuana growth.

Kyllo was indicated on a federal drug charge of manufacturing marijuana, he unsuccessfully moved to suppress the evidence seized from his home and then entered a conditional guilty plea.

This case presents the question whether the use of a thermal imaging device aimed at a private home from a public street detect relative amounts of heat within the home constitutes a “search” within the meaning of the fourth amendment.

The fourth amendment is to be construed in the light of what was deemed an unreasonable search and seizure when it was adopted, and

in a manner which will conserve public interest as well as interests and

rights of individual citizens.