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#1 CANLAS et al vs NAPICO HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION GR No. 182795 June 5, 2008Facts: Petitioners are settlers in a certain parcel of land situated in the Brgy. Manggahan, Pasig City. Their dwellings have either been demolished as of the time of filing of the petition, or is about to be demolished pursuant to a court judgment. Petitioners claim that respondents hold fraudulent and spurious titles. Thus, the petition for writ of amparo. The rule on writ of amparo is a remedy available to any person whose right to life, liberty and security is violated or threatened with violation by an unlawful act or omission of a public official or employee or of a private individual or entity. The writ shall cover extralegal killings or disappearances. Issue: WON the writ of amparo is a correct remedy for the petitioners. Held: No. The writ of amparo does not cover the cause of the petitioners. The threatened demolition of a dwelling by a virtue of a final judgment of the court is not included among the enumeration of rights covered by the writ. Their claim to their dwelling, assuming they still have any despite the final and executory judgment adverse to them, does not constitute right to life, liberty and security. There is, therefore, no legal basis for the issuance of the writ of amparo. Also, the factual and legal basis for petitioners claim to the land in question is not alleged at all in the petition. This new remedy of writ of amparo which is made available by this Court is intended for the protection of the highest possible rights of any person, which is his or her right to life, liberty and security. The Court will not spare any time or effort on its part in order to give priority to petitions of this nature. However, the Court will also not waste its precious time and effort on matters not covered by the writ. WHEREFORE, the petition is DISMISSED #2 G.R. No. 178920 October 15, 2007 SPO2 GERONIMO MANALO, SPO2 LEO MORCILLA, PO3 RICO M. LANDICHO, PO2 ROMEO MEDALLA, JR., SPO2 WILLIAM RELOS, JR., P/INSP. ROBERTO N. MARINDA, Petitioners, vs. HON. PNP CHIEF OSCAR CALDERON, HON. P/DIR. GEARY BARIAS, Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management, Camp Crame, HON. REGIONAL DIRECTOR, POLICE CHIEF SUPT. NICASIO J. RADOVAN, HON. POLICE SR. SUPT. AARON DEOCARES FIDEL, HON. POLICE SR. SUPT. LUISITO DE LEON,Respondents. DECISION REYES, J.: ANG isang petisyon para sa habeas corpus ay bibigyan daan lamang kung ito ay nagpapakita na ang nagpepetisyon ay ipinipiit o pinipigilan ang kalayaan nang labag sa batas. Ang mahigpit na pangangalaga at ang pag-monitor ng galaw o kinaroroonan ng mga pulis na sumasailalim sa imbestigasyon ng kanilang pamunuan ay hindi isang uri ng ipinagbabawal na pagpiit o pagpigil sa kanilang kalayaan. A petition for habeas corpus will be given due course only if it shows that petitioner is being detained or restrained of his liberty unlawfully. A restrictive custody and monitoring of movements or whereabouts of police officers under investigation by their superiors is not a form of illegal detention or restraint of liberty. Filed on August 7, 2007, this petition for the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus assails the restrictive custody and monitored movements of petitioners SPO2 Geronimo Manalo, PO3 Leo Morcilla, PO3 Rico M. Landicho, PO2 Romeo Medalla, Jr., SPO2 William Relos, Jr., PInsp. Roberto D. Marinda, by the Philippine National Police (PNP), Region 4-A, after they were implicated in the burning of an elementary school in Taysan, Batangas at the height of the May 2007 national and local elections. Petitioners were formerly police operatives assigned at the Regional Special Operations Group, PNP Region 4-A, Camp Vicente Lim, Calamba City, Laguna. When their petition was filed, they were detailed at the Regional Headquarters Support Group at the same Camp under a restrictive custody status. Respondents Oscar Calderon, Geary Barias, Nicasio Radovan, Aaron Deocares Fidel, and Luisito De Leon were, at the time of filing of the petition, the Chief of the PNP, the Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management, the Regional Director and Police Sr. Superintendents, respectively. The Facts The facts, as reflected in the petition and its annexes, are as follows: On May 15, 2007, at around 3:00 a.m., five unidentified malefactors bearing high-powered firearms suddenly appeared at the Barangay Pinagbayanan Elementary School in the Municipality of Taysan, Province of Batangas. Earlier, the entire school grounds were converted into a polling area for the 2007 national and local elections. The five armed men forcibly entered Polling Precinct 76-A, and poured 1 gasoline over a ballot box. Then they fired several rounds of ammunitions at the premises, setting it ablaze. The conflagration caused the death of a school teacher, Ritchel (Nellie) Banaag, who was then acting as an election supervisor. A poll watcher in the 2 person of Leticia (Letty) Ramos also perished while nine others were reportedly injured as a result of the fire. In the investigation that ensued, several eye-witnesses identified some of petitioners as the perpetrators of the school burning. The investigation also yielded that all six petitioners, who are all members of the PNP Regional Special Operations Group (PNP-RSOG), failed to timely respond to the 4 incident at the Pinagbayanan Elementary School. Acting on the report, the PNP hierarchy issued three successive memoranda dated May 18, May 22 and June 28, 2007, to wit: A. MEMORANDUM
FOR FROM SUBJECT : : : TDPRM TDIDM Order for Restrictive Custody of
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PCINSP ELPIDIO RAMIREZ, et al. DATE : May 18, 2007

------------------------------------------------------------1. Reference: Memo from TDIDM with subject: Special Report re Alleged Arson in Pinagbayanan Elementary School, Taysan, Batangas which was approved by the C, PNP. 2. This pertains to the investigation being conducted regarding the reported involvement of personnel from PRO 4A-RSOG in the fire incident in Pinagbayanan Elementary School, Taysan, Batangas on May 15, 2007 resulting in the death of two (2) teachers and wounding of several others. 3. In this connection, request issue orders putting in restrictive custody the following PNP personnel: PCINSP ELPIDIO A RAMIREZ PINSP RUEL C DELA CRUZ PINSP ROBERTO N MARINDA SPO2 William Relos, Jr. (SGD.) GEARY L. BARIAS Police Director5 B. MEMORANDUM To From Subject Date : : : : GD, RHSG Regional Director Monitoring of PCOs and PNCOs May 22, 2007

-------------------------------------------------------1. References: a. Verbal instruction of RD, PRO, CALABARZON, dated May 22, 2007; and b. S.O. No. 274 dated May 17, 2007, PRO, CALABARZON. 2. Above references pertains to the relief of PINSP ROBERTO D. MARINDA, SPO2 William D. Relos, SPO2 Leo V. Morcilla, SPO2 Geronimo R. Manalo, PO3 Rico M. Landicho and PO2 Romeo E. Medalla, Jr, from their respective unit assignment and subsequent reassignment to that office. 3. In connection thereof, subject PCO and PNCOs should be properly accounted from time to time taking into consideration the following: a. All their movements within camp should be monitored; b. When situation warrants their movement outside camp, they should be properly escorted on one-on-one basis; and c. A logbook should be maintained to record the accounting of said PCO and PNCOs, their place of destination, name of escort, Estimated Time of Departure (ETD) and Estimated Time of Return to Station (ETRS). 4. Further inform the Regional Director and the Command Group thru Chief, Regional Directorial Staff of any unusual incident or movement involving subject PCOs and PNCOs. 5. This Order takes effect immediately. BY AUTHORITY OF PCSUPT RADOVAN, JR.: (SGD.) AARON DEOCARES FIDEL, CSEE Police Senior Superintendent (DSC) Chief, Regional Directorial Staff6 C. MEMORANDUM FOR FROM SUBJECT : : : GD, RHSG 4A Chief, RPHRDD Order for Restrictive Custody of PINSP ROBERTO NAZ MARINDA and SPO2 William Dizon Relos, Jr. June 28, 2007

DATE

-----------------------------------------------------1. References a. Memorandum from TDPRM dated May 23, 2007; b. Memorandum from Chief, RLS 4A June 19, 2007 noted by RD, PRO 4A 2. This is in connection with the reported involvement of PRO 4A-RSOG personnel to the fire incident on May 15, 2007 at Pinagbayanan Elementary School, Taysan, Batangas 3. Please be informed that pursuant to reference 1.a., orders are being issued by this Office placing following named PNP personnel under Restrictive Custody (in view of the investigation being conducted against them) effective this date, namely: PINSP ROBERTO NAZ MARINDA SPO2 William Dizon Relos, Jr. 4. In this regard, inform concerned personnel and adjust your records accordingly. 5. For information and be guided accordingly. (SGD.) IRENEO DIZON BORDAS Police Senior Superintendent DSG Chief, RPHRDD7

Petitioners contend that the May 22, 2007 Memorandum "defines and circumscribes the scope of petitioners restrictive custody" status; that "although technically speaking, petitioners as PNP officer are not detained or imprisoned, their physical movements are, however, limited only within Camp Vicente Lim, Calamba City, Laguna; they cannot go home to their respective families and if they would leave Camp Vicente Lim they 9 need to be escorted;" "that petitioners restrictive custody status is illegal" and "not sanctioned by any existing provision of our constitution a nd 10 laws;" that "it is degrading," "summarily and arbitrarily imposed on the basis of mere suspicion and it actually makes PNP members enjoy lesser 11 rights than what are actually enjoyed by ordinary citizens."

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Petitioners further posit that what is only sanctioned is preventive suspension under which they can enjoy liberty and go home to their families pending administrative investigation. Hence, they urge, this practice by the PNP organization should be put to a stop. In support of their petition, petitioners principally rely on the case of Moncupa v. Enrile, et al., where it was essentially held that the writ of habeas corpus applies to all cases of illegal confinement or detention by which any person is deprived of his liberty. The ruling holds true even if petitioners are released but continue to be denied one or more of his constitutional freedoms, where there is present a denial of due process, where the restraints are not merely involuntary but appear to be unnecessary, and where a deprivation of freedom, originally valid has, in the light of subsequent developments, become arbitrary. They also cite Villavicencio v. Lukban, where certain women were illegally transported against their will from Manila to Davao. There they were forced to change their domicile and some of them returned to Manila. Yet, this Court condemned the involuntary restraints on petitioners, fined the City Mayor of Manila and hoped the decision would serve to bulwark the fortifications of an orderly government of laws and to protect individual liberty from illegal encroachment. Petitioners thus pray that a writ of habeas corpus be issued, commanding the respondents to produce the bodies of petitioners before the Court, to explain the lawful cause of their detention and deprivation of physical liberties and, thereafter, for this Court to adjudge their restrictive custody status as illegal and to set them free. Without necessarily giving due course to the petition, the Court required respondents to comment. In lieu of a comment, the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) manifested that by Memorandum Order of August 30, 2007, respondent Radovan, Director of PNP Regional Office 4-A, has recalled, effective immediately, the assailed restrictive custody order embodied in the two Memoranda dated May 22 and June 28, 2007. In view of the recall, it is prayed that the petition be dismissed on ground of mootness. Issues Two critical issues are thus posed for our determination. One, by petitioners, on whether or not they are unlawfully detained or restrained of their liberty under their restrictive custody status. Two, by respondents, on whether the Court should dismiss the petition on the sole ground of mootness, the assailed orders having been recalled, or proceed to decide the petition on the merits. We shall resolve them in the reverse order, dealing with the procedural ahead of the substantive question. Our Ruling I. This Court, By Way Of Exceptions, Decides Moot Issues Notwithstanding the mootness of the issues on restrictive custody and monitoring of movements of petitioners, We opt to resolve them given (a) the paramount public interest involved, (b) their susceptibility of recurring yet evading review and (c) the imperative need to educate the police community on the matter. Sa kabila ng pagiging akademiko na lamang ng mga isyu tungkol sa mahigpit na pangangalaga (restrictive custody) at pagmonitor ng galaw (monitoring of movements) ng nagpepetisyon, dedesisyunan namin ito (a) dahil sa nangingibabaw na interes ng madla na nakapaloob dito, (b) dahil sa posibilidad na maaaring maulit ang pangyayari at (c) dahil kailangang maturuan ang kapulisan tungkol dito. The release of petitioners by respondents in a petition for habeas corpus does not automatically abate a decision on the case. Similarly, a recall of the custody order challenged by petitioners will not necessarily call for a dismissal on the ground of mootness alone. Although the general rule is mootness of the issue warrants a dismissal, there are well-defined exceptions. In the habeas corpus case of Aquino, Jr. v. Enrile, twenty-six (26) petitioners were released from custody and one withdrew during the pendency of the petition. The fact that the petition was rendered moot and academic did not prevent this Court in the exercise of its symbolic function from promulgating one of the most voluminous decisions ever. Even petitioners cite Tibo v. The Provincial Commander and Toyoto, et al. v. Ramos, et al., where respondents filed a motion to dismiss the petition for habeas corpus on the ground that petitioners had been temporarily released and their case had, therefore, become moot and academic. This Court, as in Moncupa, chose to decide the said cases. The Court sustained petitioners plea that their case be considered moot and academic only "if their release would be permanent." In Acop, et al. v. Guingona, Jr., petitioning PNP officers questioned, via petition for injunction, the legality of the admission of SPO2 delos Reyes and SPO2 dela Cruz into the Witness Protection Program. Petitioners contended that under Section 3(d) of R.A. No. 6981, law enforcement officers like the said SPO2 are disqualified from being admitted into the program, though they may be testifying against other law enforcement officers. In its comment, the OSG claimed that the petition lacked merit and that the same was rendered moot and academic because the coverage of SPO2 delos Reyes and SPO2 dela Cruz under the program was already terminated on December 3, 1997 and August 23, 1998, respectively, as evidenced by the letter of the Director of the Program addressed to the OSG, dated February 10, 1999. In their comment, private respondents SPO2 delos Reyes and SPO2 dela Cruz agreed with the OSG. Denying the OSG motion, this Court held: Indeed, prayers a) and b) above had been rendered moot and academic by reason of the release of SPO2 delos Reyes and SPO2 dela Cruz from the coverage of the Program. However, we find it necessary to resolve the merits of the principal issue raised for a proper disposition of prayer c) and for future guidance of both bench and bar as to the application of Sections 3(d) and 4 of R. A. No. 6981. As we have ruled in Alunan III vs. Mirasol, and Viola vs. Alunan III, courts will decide a question otherwise moot and academic if it is capable of repetition, yet evading review. (Emphasis supplied) This Court then sustained the RTC observation that law enforcement officers may be admitted into the Witness Protection Program in cases where they are witnesses in legislative investigations.
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In the recent landmark cases of David, et al. v. Arroyo, et al., involving seven petitions for certiorari and prohibition, the President lifted the declaration of a state of national emergency during the pendency of the suits. In effect, Presidential Proclamation No. 1017 and General Order No. 5 were withdrawn. The OSG thus moved and prayed for the dismissal of the petitions, arguing there is no more justiciable controversy as the issue has been mooted. This Court denied the motion and proceeded to declare the constitutional infirmity of the Presidential issuances. On the issue of mootness, the Court summed up the four exceptions to the rule, thus: The moot and academic principle is not a magical formula that can automatically dissuade the courts in resolving a case. Courts will decide cases, otherwise moot and academic, if: first, there is a grave violation of the Constitution;second, the exceptional character of the situation and the paramount public interest is involved; third, when constitutional issue raised requires formulation of controlling principles to guide the bench, the bar, and the public; and fourth, the case is capable of repetition yet evading review. All the foregoing exceptions are present here and justify this Courts assumption of jurisdiction over the instant petitio ns. Petitioners alleged that the issuance of PP 1017 and G.O. No. 5 violates the Constitution. There is no question that the issues being raised affect the public interest, involving as they do the peoples basic rights to freedom of expression, of assembl y and of the press. Moreover, the Court has the duty to formulate guiding and controlling constitutional precepts, doctrines or rules. It has the symbolic function of educating the bench and the bar, and in the present petitions, the military and the police, on the extent of the protection given by constitutional guarantees. And lastly, respondents contested actions are capable of repetition. Certainly, the petitions are subject to judicial review. (Emphasis supplied). Evidently, the triple reasons We advanced at the start of Our ruling are justified under the foregoing exceptions. Every bad, unusual incident where police officers figure in generates public interest and people watch what will be done or not done to them. Lack of disciplinary steps taken against them erode public confidence in the police institution. As petitioners themselves assert, the restrictive custody of policemen under investigation is an existing practice, hence, the issue is bound to crop up every now and then. The matter is capable of repetition or susceptible of recurrence. It better be resolved now for the education and guidance of all concerned. II. There Is No Illegal Restraint In The Restrictive Custody and Monitored Movements Of Police Officers Under Investigation The high prerogative writ of habeas corpus, whose origin is traced to antiquity, was devised and exists as a speedy and effectual remedy to relieve 20 persons from unlawful restraint and as the best and efficient defense of personal freedom. Ang mataas na pinapahalagahang writ of habeas corpus, na ang pinagmulan ay nuon pa mang matandang panahon, ay ginawa at umiiral bilang kagyat at mabisang lunas upang paalpasin ang tao sa labag sa batas na pagkakapigil at bilang pinakamaigi at mahusay na sanggalang ng sariling kalayaan. The main thrust of the special proceeding of habeas corpus is to inquire into the legality of one's detention. More specifically, its vital purpose is to obtain immediate relief from illegal confinement, to liberate those who may be imprisoned without sufficient cause and to deliver them from 21 unlawful custody. Only if the Court is satisfied that a person is unlawfully restrained of his liberty will a petition for habeas corpus be granted and the person detained 22 released from confinement. If respondents are not detaining nor restraining the applicants or the person in whose behalf the petition for habeas 23 corpus is filed, the petition should perforce be dismissed. Ang kahilingan para sa habeas corpus ay maari lamang pagbigyan at ang taong pinipigilan ay pawawalan sa pagkapiit kung masisiyahan ang Hukuman na labag sa batas ang pagkakait sa kanya ng kalayaan. Kung hindi ipinipiit o pinipigilan ang mga taong naghain ng kahilingan para sa habeas corpus o ang mga kinakatawan nila, ang petisyon ay dapat pawalang saysay. Measured by the foregoing yardstick, the petition, on its face, fails to convince us that petitioners are actually and unlawfully detained and 24 restrained of their liberty. Sombong v. Court of Appeals, et al. teaches us that for the writ of habeas corpus to issue, the restraint of liberty must be in the nature of an illegal and involuntary deprivation of freedom of action. More importantly, the prime specification of an application for a 25 writ of habeas corpus is an actual and effective, and not merely nominal or moral, illegal restraint of liberty. To the mind of the Court, petitioners are not illegally and involuntarily deprived of their freedom of action. Walang illegal na pagpipigil o pagkakait ng kalayaan sa nagpepetisyon. Firstly, the assailed memoranda dated May 22, 2007, June 28, 2007 and May 18, 2007, decreeing the monitoring of their movements cannot, by any stretch of the imagination, be considered as a form of curtailment of their freedom guaranteed under our Constitution. Ang ipag-utos na subaybayan ang kanilang mga kilos ay hindi maituturing na pagbabawas ng kanilang kalayaan na ginagarantiyahan sa ilalim ng ating Konstitusyon. Perusing the assailed memoranda, it is evident that petitioners are not actually detained or restrained of their liberties. What was ordered by the PNP is that their movements, inside and outside camp be monitored in the following manner, to wit: a. All their movements within camp should be monitored; b. When situation warrants their movement outside camp, they should be properly escorted on one-on-one basis; and c. A logbook should be maintained to record the accounting of said PCO and PNCOs, their place of destination, name of escort, Estimated 29 Time of Departure (ETD) and Estimated Time of Return to Station (ETRS). It is crystal-clear that petitioners are free to go in and out of Camp Vicente Lim as they please. The only limitation imposed upon them is that their movements within the premises of the camp shall be monitored; that they have to be escorted whenever the circumstances warrant that they leave the camp; and that their estimated time of departure and arrival shall be entered in a logbook. Even petitioners themselves admit they are 30 not actually detained or imprisoned. Secondly, the "restrictive custody" complained of by petitioners is, at best, nominal restraint which is beyond the ambit of habeas corpus. It is neither actual nor effective restraint that would call for the grant of the remedy prayed for. It is a permissible precautionary measure to assure the PNP authorities that the police officers concerned are always accounted for. Ang restrictive custody o mahigpit na pangangalaga, na inirereklamo
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ng mga nagpetisyon, ay bahagyang paghihigpit lamang na labas sa saklaw ng habeas corpus. Itoy hindi aktuwal o mabisang pagpigil para mangailangan ng remedyong hinihiling. Itoy isang pinapayagang hakbang ng pag-iingat upang makatiyak ang pamunuan ng PNP na ang mga naturang pulis ay maaring iprisinta anumang sandali. If said custodial procedure were not taken, respondent police superiors themselves would have been exposed to charges of conspiracy, negligence or laxity in the enforcement of internal discipline. If petitioners get lost or are able to go abroad or figure in another untoward incident, respondents would have to explain why they did not observe the needed precaution, else they would also be administratively liable. Thirdly, petitioners reliance on Moncupa is misplaced. In said case, petitioner was ordered released by respondent but his release was saddled with restrictions. There, petitioner was required to secure prior approvalfor: (a) any travel outside Metro Manila; and (b) a change in residence. His freedom of speech was likewise muffled by a prohibition on granting interviews to local or foreign media. He was likewise ordered to report 32 regularly to respondent. In the case at bench, no restrictions in the nature of those imposed in Moncupa exist.1wphi1 To reiterate, petitioners are merely held to account for their movements inside and outside the camps premi ses. They are not required to secure prior approval before they can move out of the camp, only that each of them be accompanied by an escort and their time of departure and arrival noted. Ang mga nagpepetisyon ay pinipigil lamang upang masubaybayan ang kanilang ikinikilos sa loob at labas ng kampo. Hindi nila kailangan ang permiso bago makalabas ng kampo, kailangan lang na may kasamang bantay at ang kanilang pag-alis at pagbalik ay nakatala. Fourthly, Republic Act (R.A.) No. 6975 (DILG Act of 1990), as amended by R.A. No. 8551 (PNP Reform and Reorganization Act of 1998), clearly provides that members of the police force are subject to the administrative disciplinary machinery of the PNP. Section 41(b) of the said law enumerates the disciplinary actions, including restrictive custody that may be imposed by duly designated supervisors and equivalent officers of the PNP as a matter of internal discipline, to wit: (b) Internal Discipline. On dealing with minor offenses involving internal discipline found to have been committed by any regular member of their respective commands, the duly designated supervisors and equivalent officers of the PNP shall, after due notice and summary hearing, exercise disciplinary powers as follows: (1) Chiefs of police or equivalent supervisors may summarily impose the administrative punishment of admonition or reprimand; restriction to specified limits; withholding of privileges; forfeiture of salary or suspension; or any of the combination of the foregoing: Provided, That, in all cases, the total period shall not exceed fifteen (15) days; (2) Provincial directors or equivalent supervisors may summarily impose administrative punishment of admonition or reprimand; restrictive custody; withholding of privileges; forfeiture of salary or suspension, or any combination of the foregoing: Provided, That, in all cases, the total period shall not exceed thirty (30) days; (3) Police regional directors or equivalent supervisors shall have the power to impose upon any member the disciplinary punishment of dismissal from the service. He may also impose the administrative punishment of admonition or reprimand; restrictive custody; withholding of privileges; suspension or forfeiture of salary; demotion; or any combination of the foregoing: Provided, That, in all cases, the total period shall not exceed sixty (60) days; (4) The Chief of the PNP shall have the power to impose the disciplinary punishment of dismissal from the service; suspension or forfeiture of salary; or any combination thereof for a period not exceeding one hundred eighty (180) days: Provided, further, That the chief of the PNP shall have the authority to place police personnel under restrictive custody during the pendency of a grave administrative case filed against him or even after the filing of a criminal complaint, grave in nature, against such police 33 personnel. (Emphasis supplied) It can be gleaned from the memoranda issued by the PNP hierarchy that an investigation is being conducted on the reported involvement of police personnel from PRO 4A-RSOG in the fire that gutted the Pinagbayanan Elementary School, Taysan, Batangas during the wee hours of May 15, 2007. The initial investigation report appended to the petition discloses that all petitioners are members of the Region 4 Special Operations Group who failed to timely respond to the incident. Some are even tagged by key eyewitnesses as the primary suspects in the burning of the school. As a result of the blaze, two persons, including a school teacher performing election duties, were killed. The incident sparked a national uproar, and rightly so, considering that it was a direct attack on the countrys already much-maligned electoral process. Evidently, the PNP is well within its authority to relieve petitioners from their former positions and place them under tight watch, at least until the termination of the said investigation. Clearly, placing police officers facing a grave administrative case under restrictive custody is a disciplinary measure authorized under the PNP law. Malinaw na ang paglalagay sa mahigpit na pangangalaga sa mga pulis na nahaharap sa isang grabeng kasong administratibo ay isang pandisiplinang hakbang na pinahihintulutan ng batas ng PNP. Thus, petitioners claim that their restrictive custody is an illegal practice "not sanctioned by an y existing provision of our constitution and laws" is not true. It must necessarily fail. Lastly, petitioners contend that by placing them under restrictive custody, they are made to suffer lesser rights than those enjoyed by private 34 citizens. On this score, the Courts pronouncement in Canson, et al. v. Hidalgo, et al. is categorical. It was held there that although the PNP is civilian in character, its members are subject to the disciplinary authority of the Chief, Philippine National Police, under the National Police Commission. Courts cannot, by injunction, review, overrule or otherwise interfere with valid acts of police officials. The police organization must 35 observe self-discipline and obey a chain of command under civilian officials. Elsewise stated, police officers are not similarly situated with ordinary civil service employees. The PNP has its own administrative disciplinary mechanism different from those of other government employees. Sa ibang salita, ang kapulisan ay hindi katulad ng karaniwang kawani ng pamahalaan. Ang PNP ay may sariling mekanismo ng pagdisiplina na kaiba sa ipinatutupad sa ibang empleyado ng gobyerno. In Fianza v. The Peoples Law Enforcement Board, et al.,
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we ruled:

x x x although respondent policemen continue to be citizens, as public respondents contend, they are not the "private citizens" referred to in the laws cited above. Clearly, the term "private citizens" does not ordinarily include men in uniform, such as the respondent PNP men. This is

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particularly evident in the PNP law which uses the term "members of the PNP" as well as "private citizens" to refer to different groups of persons and not interchangeably. The "plain meaning rule" or verba legis in statutory construction is applicable in this situation. When the words of a statute are clear, plain and free from ambiguity, it must be given its interpretation. The term "private citizen" in the PNP Law and PLEB Rules is used in its common signification and was not meant to refer to the members of the PNP, such as respondent policemen. In sum, petitioners are unable to discharge their burden of showing that they are entitled to the issuance of the writ prayed for. The petition fails to show on its face that they are unlawfully deprived of their liberties guaranteed and enshrined in the Constitution. No unlawful restraint is foisted on them by the PNP authorities under the questioned memoranda. The ultimate purpose of the writ of habeas corpus is to relieve a person from unlawful restraint. The writ cannot and will not issue absent a showing that petitioners are deprived of their liberty. Neither can it relieve petitioners, who are police officers, from the valid exercise of prescribed discipline over them by the PNP leadership. Ang pangunahing layunin ng writ o utos ng habeas corpus ay ang pagsaklolo sa isang tao mula sa pagkapiit o pagkapigil nang lisya sa batas. Ang writ ay hindi makakamit kung walang pagkakait ng kalayaan. Hindi rin ito mapanghahawakan ng mga nagpepetisyong kapulisan upang makaiwas sa takdang paraan ng pagdisiplina sa kanila ng mga pinuno ng PNP. WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED DUE COURSE and DISMISSED. SO ORDERED. #3 HUBERT J. P. WEBB, VS. HONORABLE RAUL E. DE LEON G.R. No. 121234, August 23, 1995 FACTS: On June 19, 1994, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) filed with the Department of Justice a letter-complaint charging petitioners Hubert Webb, Michael Gatchalian, Antonio J. Lejano and six (6) other persons with the crime of Rape and Homicide of Carmela N. Vizconde, her mother Estrellita Nicolas-Vizconde, and her sister Anne Marie Jennifer in their home at Number 80 W. Vinzons, St., BF Homes Paranaque, Metro Manila on June 30, 1991. Forthwith, the Department of Justice formed a panel of prosecutors headed by Assistant Chief State Prosecutor Jovencio R. Zuno to conduct the preliminary investigation. ARGUMENTS: Petitioners fault the DOJ Panel for its finding of probable cause. They assail the credibility of Jessica Alfaro as inherently weak and uncorroborated due to the inconsistencies between her April 28, 1995 and May 22, 1995 sworn statements. They criticize the procedure followed by the DOJ Panel when it did not examine witnesses to clarify the alleged inconsistencies. Petitioners charge that respondent Judge Raul de Leon and, later, respondent Judge Amelita Tolentino issued warrants of arrest against them without conducting the required preliminary examination. Petitioners complain about the denial of their constitutional right to due process and violation of their right to an impartial investigation. They also assail the prejudicial publicity that attended their preliminary investigation. ISSUES: 1. Whether or not the DOJ Panel likewise gravely abused its discretion in holding that there is probable cause to charge them with the crime of rape and homicide 2. Whether or not respondent Judges de Leon and Tolentino gravely abused their discretion when they failed to conduct a preliminary examination before issuing warrants of arrest against them 3. Whether or not the DOJ Panel denied them their constitutional right to due process during their preliminary investigation 4. Whether or not the DOJ Panel unlawfully intruded into judicial prerogative when it failed to charge Jessica Alfaro in the information as an accused. HELD: 1. NO. 2. NO. 3.NO. There is no merit in this contention because petitioners were given all the opportunities to be heard. 4. NO. REASONS: 1. The Court ruled that the DOJ Panel did not gravely abuse its discretion when it found probable cause against the petitioners. A probable cause needs only to rest on evidence showing that more likely than not, a crime has been committed and was committed by the suspects. Probable cause need not be based on clear and convincing evidence of guilt, neither on evidence establishing guilt beyond reasonable doubt and definitely, not on evidence establishing absolute certainty of guilt. 2. The Court ruled that respondent judges did not gravely abuse their discretion. In arrest cases, there must be a probable cause that a crime has been committed and that the person to be arrested committed it. Section 6 of Rule 112 simply provides that upon filing of an information, the Regional Trial Court may issue a warrant for the accused. Clearly the, our laws repudiate the submission of petitioners that respondent judges should have conducted searching examination of witnesses before issuing warrants of arrest against them. 3. The DOJ Panel precisely ordered the parties to adduce more evidence in their behalf and for the panel to study the evidence submitted more fully.

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4. Petitioners argument lacks appeal for it lies on the faulty assumption that the decision whom to prosecute is a judicial function, the sole prerogative of the courts and beyond executive and legislative interference. In truth, the prosecution of crimes appertains to the executive department of government whose principal power and responsibility is to see that our laws are faithfully executed. A necessary component of this power is the right to prosecute their violators (See R.A. No. 6981 and section 9 of Rule 119 for legal basis). With regard to the inconsistencies of the sworn statements of Jessica Alfaro, the Court believes that these have been sufficiently explained and there is no showing that the inconsistencies were deliberately made to distort the truth. With regard to the petitioners complaint about the prejudicial publicity that attended their preliminary investigation, the Court f inds nothing in the records that will prove that the tone and content of the publicity that attended the investigation of petitioners fatally infected the fairness and impartiality of the DOJ Panel. Petitioners cannot just rely on the subliminal effects of publicity on the sense of fairness of the DOJ Panel, for these are basically unbeknown and beyond knowing. #4 G.R. No. 143591 May 5, 2010 TEODORO C. BORLONGAN, JR., CORAZON M. BEJASA, ARTURO E. MANUEL, JR., ERIC L. LEE, P. SIERVO H. DIZON, BENJAMIN DE LEON, DELFIN C. GONZALES, JR., and BEN YU LIM, JR., Petitioners, vs. MAGDALENO M. PEA and HON. MANUEL Q. LIMSIACO, JR., as Judge Designate of the Municipal Trial Court in Cities, Bago City, Respondents. DECISION PEREZ, J.: The pivotal issue in this case is whether or not the Court of Appeals, in its Decision dated 20 June 2000 in CA-G.R. SP No. 49666, is correct when it dismissed the petition for certiorari filed by petitioners Teodoro C. Borlongan, Jr., Corazon M. Bejasa, Arturo E. Manuel, Jr., Benjamin de Leon, P. Siervo H. Dizon, Delfin C. Gonzales, Jr., Eric L. Lee and Ben Yu Lim, Jr., and ruled that the Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC), Bago City, did not gravely abuse its discretion in denying the motion for reinvestigation and recall of the warrants of arrest in Criminal Case Nos. 6683, 6684, 6685, and 6686. The factual antecedents of the case are as follows: Respondent Atty. Magdaleno M. Pea (Atty. Pea) instituted a civil case for recovery of agents c ompensation and expenses, damages, and 2 attorneys fees against Urban Bank and herein petitioners, before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Negros Occidental, Bago City. The case was 3 raffled to Branch 62 and was docketed as Civil Case No. 754. Atty. Pea anchored his claim for compensation on the Contract of Agency allegedly entered into with the petitioners, wherein the former undertook to perform such acts necessary to prevent any intruder and squatter from 4 unlawfully occupying Urban Banks property located along Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City. Petitioners filed a Motion to Dismiss arguing that they 5 never appointed the respondent as agent or counsel. Attached to the motion were the following documents: 1) a Letter dated 19 December 1994 signed by Herman Ponce and Julie Abad on behalf of Isabela Sugar Company, Inc. (ISCI), the original owner of the subject property; 2) an unsigned 6 7 Letter dated 7 December 1994 addressed to Corazon Bejasa from Marilyn G. Ong; 3) a Letter dated 9 December 1994 addressed to Teodoro 8 Borlongan, Jr. and signed by Marilyn G. Ong; and 4) a Memorandum dated 20 November 1994 from Enrique Montilla III. Said documents were presented in an attempt to show that the respondent was appointed as agent by ISCI and not by Urban Bank or by the petitioners. In view of the introduction of the above-mentioned documents, Atty. Pea filed his Complaint-Affidavit with the Office of the City Prosecutor, 10 Bago City. He claimed that said documents were falsified because the alleged signatories did not actually affix their signatures, and the signatories 11 were neither stockholders nor officers and employees of ISCI. Worse, petitioners introduced said documents as evidence before the RTC knowing that they were falsified. In a Resolution dated 24 September 1998, the City Prosecutor found probable cause for the indictment of petitioners for four (4) counts of the crime of Introducing Falsified Documents, penalized by the second paragraph of Article 172 of the Revised Penal Code. The City Prosecutor concluded that the documents were falsified because the alleged signatories untruthfully stated that ISCI was the principal of the respondent; that petitioners knew that the documents were falsified considering that the signatories were mere dummies; and that the documents formed part of the record of Civil Case No. 754 where they were used by petitioners as evidence in support of their motion to dismiss, and then adopted in their 13 14 answer and in their Pre-Trial Brief. Subsequently, the corresponding Informations were filed with the MTCC, Bago City. The cases were docketed 15 as Criminal Case Nos. 6683, 6684, 6685, and 6686. Thereafter, Judge Primitivo Blanca issued the warrants for the arrest of the petitioners. On 1 October 1998, petitioners filed an Omnibus Motion to Quash, Recall Warrants of Arrest and/or For Reinvestigation. Petitioners insisted that they were denied due process because of the non-observance of the proper procedure on preliminary investigation prescribed in the Rules of Court. Specifically, they claimed that they were not afforded the right to submit their counter-affidavit. Then they argued that since no such counter-affidavit and supporting documents were submitted by the petitioners, the trial judge merely relied on the complaint-affidavit and attachments of the respondent in issuing the warrants of arrest, also in contravention with the Rules of Court. Petitioners further prayed that the information be quashed for lack of probable cause. Moreover, one of the accused, i.e., Ben Lim, Jr., is not even a director of Urban Bank, contrary to what complainant stated. Lastly, petitioners posited that the criminal cases should have been suspended on the ground that the issue being threshed out in the civil case is a prejudicial question. In an Order dated 13 November 1998, the MTCC denied the omnibus motion primarily on the ground that preliminary investigation was not available in the instant case which fell within the jurisdiction of the first-level court. The court, likewise, upheld the validity of the warrant of arrest, saying that it was issued in accordance with the Rules of Court. Besides, the court added, petitioners could no longer question the validity of the warrant since they already posted bail. The court also believed that the issue involved in the civil case was not a prejudicial question, and, thus, denied the prayer for suspension of the criminal proceedings. Lastly, the court was convinced that the Informations contained all the facts necessary to constitute an offense.
17 16 12 9 1

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Petitioners immediately instituted a special civil action for Certiorari and Prohibition with Prayer for Writ of Preliminary Injunction and Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) before the Court of Appeals, ascribing grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of 18 the MTCC in issuing and not recalling the warrants of arrest, reiterating the arguments in their omnibus motion. They, likewise, questioned the courts conclusion that by posting bail, petitioners already waived their right to assail the validity of the warrants of arr est. On 20 June 2000, the Court of Appeals dismissed the petition. Thus, petitioners filed the instant petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, raising the following issues: A. Where the offense charged in a criminal complaint is not cognizable by the Regional Trial Court and not covered by the Rule on Summary Procedure, is the finding of probable cause required for the filing of an Information in court? If the allegations in the complaint-affidavit do not establish probable cause, should not the investigating prosecutor dismiss the complaint, or at the very least, require the respondent to submit his counter-affidavit? B. Can a complaint-affidavit containing matters which are not within the personal knowledge of the complainant be sufficient basis for the finding of probable cause? C. Where there is offense charged in a criminal complaint is not cognizable by the Regional Trial Court and not covered by the Rule on Summary Procedure, and the record of the preliminary investigation does not show the existence of probable cause, should not the judge refuse to issue a warrant of arrest and dismiss the criminal case, or at the very least, require the accused to submit his counter-affidavit in order to aid the judge in determining the existence of probable cause? D. Can a criminal prosecution be restrained? E. Can this Honorable Court itself determine the existence of probable cause?
20 19

On the other hand, respondent contends that the issues raised by the petitioners had already become moot and academic when the latter posted bail and were already arraigned. On 2 August 2000, this Court issued a TRO enjoining the judge of the MTCC from proceeding in any manner with Criminal Case Nos. 6683 to 6686, effective during the entire period that the case is pending before, or until further orders of, this Court. We will first discuss the issue of mootness. The issues raised by the petitioners have not been mooted by the fact that they had posted bail and were already arraigned. It appears from the records that upon the issuance of the warrant of arrest, petitioners immediately posted bail as they wanted to avoid embarrassment, being then the officers of Urban Bank. On the scheduled date for the arraignment, despite the petitioners ref usal to enter a plea, the court a quo entered a plea of "Not Guilty" for them. The erstwhile ruling of this Court was that posting of bail constitutes a waiver of any irregularity in the issuance of a warrant of arrest, that has already been superseded by Section 26, Rule 114 of the Revised Rule of Criminal Procedure. The principle that the accused is precluded from questioning the legality of the arrest after arraignment is true only if he voluntarily enters his plea and participates during trial, without previously 22 invoking his objections thereto. As held in Okabe v. Hon. Gutierrez:
23 21

It bears stressing that Section 26, Rule 114 of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure is a new one, intended to modify previous rulings of this Court that an application for bail or the admission to bail by the accused shall be considered as a waiver of his right to assail the warrant issued for his arrest on the legalities or irregularities thereon. The new rule has reverted to the ruling of this Court in People v. Red. The new rule is curative in nature because precisely, it was designed to supply defects and curb evils in procedural rules. Hence, the rules governing curative statutes are applicable. Curative statutes are by their essence retroactive in application. Besides, procedural rules as a general rule operate retroactively, even without express provisions to that effect, to cases pending at the time of their effectivity, in other words to actions yet undetermined at the time of their effectivity. Before the appellate court rendered its decision on January 31, 2001, the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure was already in effect. It behoved the appellate court to have applied the same in resolving the petitioners petition for certiorari and her motion for partial reconsideration.1avvphi1 Moreover, considering the conduct of the petitioner after posting her personal bail bond, it cannot be argued that she waived her right to question the finding of probable cause and to assail the warrant of arrest issued against her by the respondent judge. There must be clear and convincing proof that the petitioner had an actual intention to relinquish her right to question the existence of probable cause. When the only proof of intention rests on what a party does, his act should be so manifestly consistent with, and indicative of, an intent to voluntarily and unequivocally relinquish the particular right that no other explanation of his conduct is possible. x x x. Herein petitioners filed the Omnibus Motion to Quash, Recall Warrants of Arrest and/or For Reinvestigation on the same day that they posted bail. 24 Their bail bonds likewise expressly contained a stipulation that they were not waiving their right to question the validity of their arrest. On the date of their arraignment, petitioners refused to enter their plea due to the fact that the issue on the legality of their arrest is still pending with the Court. Thus, when the court a quo entered a plea of not guilty for them, there was no valid waiver of their right to preclude them from raising the same with the Court of Appeals or this Court. The posting of bail bond was a matter of imperative necessity to avert their incarceration; it should 25 not be deemed as a waiver of their right to assail their arrest. The ruling to which we have returned in People v. Red stated:

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x x x The present defendants were arrested towards the end of January, 1929, on the Island and Province of Marinduque by order of the judge of the Court of First Instance of Lucena, Tayabas, at a time when there were no court sessions being held in Marinduque. In view of these circumstances and the number of the accused, it may properly be held that the furnishing of the bond was prompted by the sheer necessity of not remaining in detention, and in no way implied their waiver of any right, such as the summary examination of the case before their detention. That they had no intention of waiving this right is clear from their motion of January 23, 1929, the same day on which they furnished a bond, and the fact that they renewed this petition on February 23, 1929, praying for the stay of their arrest for lack of the summary examination; the first motion being denied by the court on January 24, 1929 (G.R. No. 33708, page 8), and the second remaining undecided, but with an order to have it presented in Boac, Marinduque. Therefore, the defendants herein cannot be said to have waived the right granted to them by section 13, General Order No. 58, as amended by Act No. 3042. The rest of the issues raised by the petitioners may be grouped into two, which are: (1) the procedural aspect, i.e., whether the prosecution and the court a quo properly observed the required procedure in the instant case, and, (2) the substantive aspect, which is whether there was probable cause to pursue the criminal cases to trial. The procedural aspect: Petitioners contend that they were denied due process as they were unable to submit their counter-affidavits and were not accorded the right to a preliminary investigation. Considering that the complaint of Atty. Pea was filed in September 1998, the rule then applicable was the 1985 Rules of Criminal Procedure. The provisions of the 1985 Rules of Criminal Procedure relevant to the issue are Sections 1, 3(a) and 9(a) of Rule 112, to wit: Section 1. Definition. Preliminary investigation is an inquiry or proceeding for the purpose of determining whether there is sufficient ground to engender a well founded belief that a crime cognizable by the Regional Trial Court has been committed and that the respondent is probably guilty thereof, and should be held for trial. Sec. 3. Procedure. Except as provided for in Section 7 hereof, no complaint or information for an offense cognizable by the Regional Trial Court shall be filed without a preliminary investigation having been first conducted in the following manner: (a) The complaint shall state the known address of the respondent and be accompanied by affidavits of the complainant and his witnesses as well as other supporting documents, in such number of copies as there are respondents, plus two (2) copies for the official file. The said affidavits shall be sworn to before any fiscal, state prosecutor or government official authorized to administer oath, or, in their absence or unavailability, a notary public, who must certify that he personally examined the affiants and that he is satisfied that they voluntarily executed and understood their affidavits. Sec. 9. Cases not falling under the original jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Courts nor covered by the Rule on Summary Procedure. (a) Where filed with the fiscal. If the complaint is filed directly with the fiscal or state prosecutor, the procedure outlined in Section 3(a) of this Rule shall be observed. The fiscal shall take appropriate action based on the affidavits and other supporting documents submitted by the complainant. (underscoring supplied) The crime to which petitioners were charged was defined and penalized under second paragraph of Article 172 in relation to Article 171 of the Revised Penal Code. Art. 172. Falsification by private individual and use of falsified documents. The penalty of prision correccional in its medium and maximum periods and a fine of not more than P5,000 pesos shall be imposed upon: 1. Any private individual who shall commit any of the falsifications enumerated in the next preceding article in any public or official document or letter of exchange or any other kind of commercial document; and 2. Any person who, to the damage of a third party, or with the intent to cause such damage, shall in any private document commit any of the acts of falsification enumerated in the next preceding article. Any person who shall knowingly introduce in evidence in any judicial proceeding or to the damage of another or who, with the intent to cause such damage, shall use any of the false documents embraced in the next preceding article or in any of the foregoing subdivisions of this article, shall be punished by the penalty next lower in degree. Prision correccional in its medium and maximum periods translates to imprisonment of 2 years, 4 months and 1 day. The next lower in degree to prision correccional is arresto mayor in its maximum period to prision correccional in its minimum period which translates to 4 months and 1 day to 27 28 2 years and 4 months of imprisonment. Since the crime committed is not covered by the Rules of Summary Procedure, the case falls within the exclusive jurisdiction of the first level courts but applying the ordinary rules. In such instance, preliminary investigation as defined in Section 1, Rule 112 of the 1985 Rules of Criminal Procedure is not applicable since such section covers only crimes cognizable by the RTC. That which is stated in Section 9(a) is the applicable rule. Under this Rule, while probable cause should first be determined before an information may be filed in court, the prosecutor is not mandated to require the respondent to submit his counter-affidavits to oppose the complaint. In the determination of probable cause, the prosecutor may solely rely on the complaint, affidavits and other supporting documents submitted by the complainant. If he does not find probable cause, the prosecutor may dismiss outright the complaint or if he finds probable cause or sufficient reason to proceed with the case, he shall issue a resolution and file the corresponding information. The complaint of respondent, verbatim, is as follows: COMPLAINT AFFIDAVIT
26

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I, MAGDALENO M. PEA, Filipino, of legal age, with address at Brgy. Ubay, Pulupandan, Negros Occidental, after having been sworn in accordance with law hereby depose and state: 1. I am the Plaintiff in Civil Case No. 754 pending with the Regional Trial Court of Bago City entitled "Atty. Magdaleno M. Pea v. Urban Bank, et al" Impleaded therein as defendants of the board of the bank, namely, Teodoro Borlongan, Delfin Gonzales, Jr., Benjamin De Leon, P. Siervo Dizon, Eric Lee, Ben Lim Jr., Corazon Bejasa and Arturo Manuel.(underlining ours) 2. I filed the said case to collect my fees as agent of Urban Bank, Inc.(hereinafter referred to as the "bank") in ridding a certain parcel of land in Pasay City of squatters and intruders. A certified true copy of the Complaint in the said case is hereto attached as Annex "A". 3. In the Motion to Dismiss dated 12 March 1996 (a certified true copy of which is attached as Annex "B"), Answer dated 28 October 1996 (Annex "C"), and Pre-Trial Brief dated 28 January 1997 (Annex "D") filed by the bank and the respondent members of the board, the said respondents used as evidence the following documents: a. Letter dated 19 December 1994 supposedly signed by a certain Herman Ponce and Julie Abad for Isabela Sugar Company (ISC) (a copy of which is attached as Annex "E"), which states: December 19, 1994 Urban Bank Urban Avenue, Makati Metro Manila Gentlemen: This has reference to your property located among Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City which you purchased from Isabela Sugar Company under a Deed of Absolute Sale executed on December 1, 1994. In line with our warranties as the Seller of the said property and our undertaking to deliver to you the full and actual possession and control of said property, free from tenants, occupants or squatters and from any obstruction or impediment to the free use and occupancy of the property and to prevent the former tenants or occupants from entering or returning to the premises. In view of the transfer of ownership of the property to Urban Bank, it may be necessary for Urban Bank to appoint Atty. Pea likewise as its authorized representative for purposes of holding/maintaining continued possession of the said property and to represent Urban Bank in any court action that may be instituted for the abovementioned purposes. It is understood that any attorneys fees, cost of litigation and any other charges or expenses that may be incurred relative to the exercise by Atty. Pea of his abovementioned duties shall be for the account of Isabela Sugar Company and any loss or damage that may be incurred to third parties shall be answerable by Isabela Sugar Company. Very truly yours, Isabela Sugar Company By: HERMAN PONCE JULIE ABAD b. Memorandum dated 7 December 1994 supposedly executed by a certain Marilyn Ong on behalf of ISC, a copy of which is hereto attached as annex "F", which states: December 7, 1994 To: ATTY. CORA BEJASA From: MARILYN G. ONG RE: ISABELA SUGAR CO., INC. Atty. Magdaleno M. Pea, who has been assigned by Isabela Sugar Company inc. to take charge of inspecting the tenants would like to request an authority similar to this from the Bank to new owners. Can you please issue something like this today as he (unreadable) this. b. Letter dated 9 December 1994 supposedly executed by the same Marilyn Ong, a copy of which is hereto attached as Annex "G", which states: December 9, 1994 Atty. Ted Borlongan URBAN BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES MAKATI, METRO MANILA Attention: Mr. Ted Borlongan Dear Mr. Borlongan I would like to request for an authority from Urban Bank per attached immediately as the tenants are questioning authority of the people who are helping us to take possession of the property. Marilyn Ong c. Memorandum dated 20 November 1994, copy of which is attached as annex "H", which states: MEMORANDUM To: Atty. Magadaleno M. Pea Director

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From: Enrique C. Montilla III President Date: 20 November 1994 You are hereby directed to recover and take possession of the property of the corporation situated at Roxas Boulevard covered by TCT No. 5382 of the Registry of Deeds for Pasay City, immediately upon the expiration of the contract of lease over the said property on 29 November 1994. For this purpose, you are authorized to engage the services of security guards to protect the property against intruders. You may also engage the services of a lawyer in case there is a need to go to court to protect the said property of the corporation. In addition, you may take whatever steps or measures are necessary to ensure our continued possession of the property. ENRIQUE C. MONTILLA III President 4. The respondent member of the board of the bank used and introduced the aforestated documents as evidence in the civil case knowing that the same are falsified. They used thae said documents to justify their refusal to pay my agents fees, to my damage and prejudice. 5. The 19 December 1994 letter (Annex E") is a falsified document, in that the person who supposedly executed the letter on behalf of ISC, a certain Herman Ponce and Julie Abad did not actually affix their signatures on the document. The execution of the letter was merely simulated by making it appear that Ponce and Abad executed the letter on behalf of ISC when they did not in fact do so. 6. No persons by the name of Herman Ponce and Julie Abad were ever stockholders, officers, employees or representatives of ISC. In the letter, Herman Ponce was represented to be the President of ISC and Julie Abad, the Corporate Secretary. However, as of 19 December 1994, the real President of plaintiff was Enrique Montilla, III and Cristina Montilla was the Corporate Secretary. A copy of the Minutes of the Regular Meeting of ISC for the year 1994, during which Montilla, et al. Were elected is hereto attached as Annex "I". On the otherhand, a list of the stockholders of ISC on or about the time of the transaction is attached as Annex "J". 7. The same holds true with respect to the Memorandum dated 7 December 1994 and athe letter dated 9 December 1994 allegedly written by a ceratin Marilyn Ong. Nobody by the said name was ever a stockholder of ISC. 8. Lastly, with respect to the supposed Memorandum issued by Enrique Montilla, III his signature thereon was merely forged by respondents. Enrique Montilla III, did not affix his signature on any such document. 9. I am executing this affidavit for the purpose of charging Teodoro C. Borlongan, Corazon M. Bejasa and Arturo E. Manuel, Delfin C. Gonzales Jr., Benjamin L. De Leon, P. Siervo H. Dizon and Eric Lee, with the crime of use of falsified documents under Artilce 172, paragraph 2, of the Revised Penal Code.(underlining ours) 10. I am likewise executing this affidavit for whatever legal purpose it may serve. FURTHER AFFIANT SAYETH NAUGHT. Sgd. MAGDALENO M. PEA It is evident that in the affidavit-complaint, specifically in paragraph 1, respondent merely introduced and identified "the board of the bank, namely, Teodoro Borlongan, Jr., Delfin Gonzales, Jr., Benjamin De Leon, P. Siervo Dizon, Eric Lee, Ben Lim, Jr., Corazon Bejasa and Arturo Manuel, Sr." However, in the accusatory portion of the complaint which is paragraph number 9, Mr. Ben Lim, Jr. was not included among those charged with the crime of use of falsified documents under Article 172, paragraph 2, of the Revised Penal Code. The omission indicates that respondent did not intend to criminally implicate Mr. Ben Lim, Jr., even as he was acknowledged to be a member of the board. And there was no explanation in the Resolution and Information by the City Prosecutor why Mr. Ben Lim, Jr. was included. Moreover, as can be gleaned from the body of the complaint and the specific averments therein, Mr. Ben Lim, Jr. was never mentioned. The City Prosecutor should have cautiously reviewed the complaint to determine whether there were inconsistencies which ought to have been brought to the attention of the respondent or, on his own, considered for due evaluation. It is a big mistake to bring a man to trial for a crime he did not commit. Prosecutors are endowed with ample powers in order that they may properly fulfill their assigned role in the administration of justice. It should be realized, however, that when a man is hailed to court on a criminal charge, it brings in its wake problems not only for the accused but for his family as well. Therefore, it behooves a prosecutor to weigh the evidence carefully and to deliberate thereon to determine the existence of a prima facie 29 case before filing the information in court. Anything less would be a dereliction of duty . Atty. Pea, in his Second Manifestation dated 16 June 1999, averred that petitioners, including Mr. Ben Lim, Jr., were already estopped from raising the fact that Mr. Ben Lim, Jr. was not a member of the board of directors of Urban Bank, as the latter participated and appeared through counsel in Civil Case No. 754 without raising any opposition. However, this does not detract from the fact that the City Prosecutor, as previously discussed, did not carefully scrutinize the complaint of Atty. Pea, which did not charge Mr. Ben Lim, Jr. of any crime. What tainted the procedure further was that the Judge issued a warrant for the arrest of the petitioners, including, Mr. Ben Lim, Jr. despite the filing of the Omnibus Motion to Quash, Recall Warrants of Arrest and/or For Reinvestigation raising among others the issue that Mr. Ben Lim, Jr., was not even a member of the board of directors. With the filing of the motion, the judge is put on alert that an innocent person may have been 31 included in the complaint. In the Order dated 13 November 1998, in denying the motion to quash, Judge Primitivo Blanca ruled that: Courts in resolving a motion to quash cannot consider facts contrary to those alleged in the information or which do not appear on the face of the information because said motion is hypothethical admission of the facts alleged in the information x x x. (citations omitted.) We cannot accept as mere oversight the mistake of respondent judge since it was at the expense of liberty. This cannot be condoned. In the issuance of a warrant of arrest, the mandate of the Constitution is for the judge to personally determine the existence of probable cause: Section 2, Article III of the Constitution provides:
30

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Section 2. 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. Corollary thereto, Section 9(b) of the 1985 Rules of Criminal Procedure provides: Sec. 9. Cases not falling under the original jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Courts nor covered by the Rule on Summary Procedure. (a) x x x. (b) Where filed directly with the Municipal Trial Court. If the complaint or information is filed directly with the Municipal Trial Court, the procedure provided for in Section 3(a) of this Rule shall likewise be observed. If the judge finds no sufficient ground to hold the respondent for trial, he shall dismiss the complaint or information. Otherwise, he shall issue a warrant of arrest after personally examining in writing and under oath the complainant and his witnesses in the form of searching questions and answers. Enshrined in our Constitution is the rule that "[n]o x x x 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 x x x the 32 33 persons x x x to be seized." Interpreting the words "personal determination," we said in Soliven v. Makasiar that it does not thereby mean that judges are obliged to conduct the personal examination of the complainant and his witnesses themselves. To require thus would be to unduly laden them with preliminary examinations and investigations of criminal complaints instead of concentrating on hearing and deciding cases filed before them. Rather, what is emphasized merely is the exclusive and personal responsibility of the issuing judge to satisfy himself as to the existence of probable cause. To this end, he may: (a) 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; or (b) 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. What he is never allowed to do is to follow blindly the prosecutor's bare certification as to the existence of probable cause. Much more is required by the constitutional provision. Judges have to go over the report, the affidavits, the transcript of stenographic notes if any, and other documents supporting the prosecutor's certification. Although the extent of the judge's personal examination depends on the circumstances of each case, to be sure, he cannot just rely on the bare certification alone but must go beyond it. This is because the warrant of arrest issues not on the strength of 34 the certification standing alone but because of the records which sustain it. He should even call for the complainant and the witnesses to answer 35 the court's probing questions when the circumstances warrant. An arrest without a probable cause is an unreasonable seizure of a person, and violates the privacy of persons which ought not to be intruded by 36 the State. Measured against the constitutional mandate and established rulings, there was here a clear abdication of the judicial function and a clear indication that the judge blindly followed the certification of a city prosecutor as to the existence of probable cause for the issuance of a warrant of arrest with respect to all of the petitioners. The careless inclusion of Mr. Ben Lim, Jr., in the warrant of arrest gives flesh to the bone of contention 37 of petitioners that the instant case is a matter of persecution rather than prosecution. On this ground, this Court may enjoin the criminal cases against petitioners. As a general rule, criminal prosecutions cannot be enjoined. However, there are recognized exceptions which, as summarized 38 in Brocka v. Enrile, are: a. To afford adequate protection to the constitutional rights of the accused; c. When there is a prejudicial question which is sub judice;
41 42 43 39 40

b. When necessary for the orderly administration of justice or to avoid oppression or multiplicity of actions; d. When the acts of the officer are without or in excess of authority; f. When double jeopardy is clearly apparent;
44 45 46 47

e. Where the prosecution is under an invalid law, ordinance or regulation; g. Where the court had 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; and j. When there is clearly no prima facie case against the accused and a motion to quash on that ground has been denied. The substantive aspect: Petitioners were charged with violation of par. 2, Article 172 of the Revised Penal Code or Introduction of Falsified Document in a judicial proceeding. The elements of the offense are as follows: 1. That the offender knew that a document was falsified by another person. 2. That the false document is embraced in Article 171 or in any subdivisions Nos. 1 or 2 of Article 172. 3. That he introduced said document in evidence in any judicial proceeding.
49 48

The falsity of the document and the defendants knowledge of its falsity are essential elements of the offense. The Office of the City Prosecutor filed the Informations against the petitioners on the basis of the Complaint-Affidavit of respondent Atty. Pea, attached to which were the documents contained in the Motion to Dismiss filed by the petitioners in Civil Case No. 754. Also included as attachments to the complaint were the Answers, Pre-Trial Brief, the alleged falsified documents, copy of the regular meetings of ISCI during the election of the Board of Directors and 50 the list of ISCI Stockholders. Based on these documents and the complaint-affidavit of Atty. Pea, the City Prosecutor concluded that probable cause for the prosecution of the charges existed. On the strength of the same documents, the trial court issued the warrants of arrest.

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This Court, however, cannot find these documents sufficient to support the existence of probable cause. Probable cause is such set of facts and circumstances as would lead a reasonably discreet and prudent man to believe that the offense charged in the Information or any offense included therein has been committed by the person sought to be arrested. In determining probable cause, the average man weighs the facts and circumstances without restoring to the calibrations of the rules of evidence of which he has no technical knowledge. He relies on common sense. A finding of probable cause needs only to rest on evidence showing that, more likely than not, a crime has been committed and that it was committed by the accused. Probable cause demands more than suspicion; it requires less than evidence that 51 would justify conviction. As enunciated in Baltazar v. People, the task of the presiding judge when the Information is filed with the court is first and foremost to determine the existence or non-existence of probable cause for the arrest of the accused. The purpose of the mandate of the judge to first determine probable cause for the arrest of the accused is to insulate from the very start those 53 falsely charged with crimes from the tribulations, expenses and anxiety of a public trial. We do not see how it can be concluded that the documents mentioned by respondent in his complaint-affidavit were falsified. In his complaint, Atty. Pea stated that Herman Ponce, Julie Abad and Marilyn Ong, the alleged signatories of the questioned letters, did not actually affix their 54 signatures therein; and that they were not actually officers or stockholders of ISCI. He further claimed that Enrique Montillas signature appearing 55 in another memorandum addressed to respondent was forged. These averments are mere assertions which are insufficient to warrant the filing of the complaint or worse the issuance of warrants of arrest. These averments cannot be considered as proceeding from the personal knowledge of herein respondent who failed to, basically, allege that he was present at the time of the execution of the documents. Neither was there any mention in the complaint-affidavit that herein respondent was familiar with the signatures of the mentioned signatories to be able to conclude that they were forged. What Atty. Pea actually stated were but sweeping assertions that the signatories are mere dummies of ISCI and that they are not in fact officers, stockholders or representatives of the corporation. Again, there is no indication that the assertion was based on the personal knowledge of the affiant. The reason for the requirement that affidavits must be based on personal knowledge is to guard against hearsay evidence. A witness, therefore, may not testify as what he merely learned from others either because he was told or read or heard the same. Such testimony is considered hearsay 56 and may not be received as proof of the truth of what he has learned. Hearsay is not limited to oral testimony or statements; the general rule 57 that excludes hearsay as evidence applies to written, as well as oral statements. The requirement of personal knowledge should have been strictly applied considering that herein petitioners were not given the opportunity to rebut the complainants allegation through counter-affidavits. Quite noticeable is the fact that in the letter dated 19 December 1994 of Herman Ponce and Julie Abad, neither of the two made the representation that they were the president or secretary of ISCI. It was only Atty. Pea who asserted that the two made such representation. He alleged that Marilyn Ong was never a stockholder of ISCI but he did not present the stock and transfer book of ISCI. And, there was neither allegation nor proof that Marilyn Ong was not connected to ISCI in any other way.lawphil Moreover, even if Marilyn Ong was not a stockholder of ISCI, such would not prove that the documents she signed were falsified. The Court may not be compelled to pass upon the correctness of the exercise of the public prosecutors function without any showing of grave 58 abuse of discretion or manifest error in his findings. Considering, however, that the prosecution and the court a quo committed manifest errors in their findings of probable cause, this Court therefore annuls their findings. Our pronouncement in Jimenez v. Jimenez as reiterated in Baltazar v. People is apropos: It is x x x imperative upon the fiscal or the judge as the case may be, to relieve the accused from the pain of going through a trial once it is ascertained that the evidence is insufficient to sustain a prima facie case or that no probable cause exists to form a sufficient belief as to the guilt of the accused. Although there is no general formula or fixed rule for the determination of probable cause since the same must be decided in the light of the conditions obtaining in given situations and its existence depends to a large degree upon the finding or opinion of the judge conducting the examination, such a finding should not disregard the facts before the judge nor run counter to the clear dictates of reasons. The judge or fiscal, therefore, should not go on with the prosecution in the hope that some credible evidence might later turn up during trial for this would be a flagrant violation of a basic right which the courts are created to uphold. It bears repeating that the judiciary lives up to its mission by visualizing and not denigrating constitutional rights. So it has been before. It should continue to be so. On the foregoing discussion, we find that the Court of Appeals erred in affirming the findings of the prosecutor as well as the court a quo as to the existence of probable cause. The criminal complaint against the petitioners should be dismissed. WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby GRANTED. The Decision of the Court of Appeals dated 20 June 2000, in CA-G.R. SP No. 49666, is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The Temporary Restraining Order dated 2 August 2000 is hereby made permanent. Accordingly, the Municipal Trial Court in Cities, Negros Occidental, Bago City, is hereby DIRECTED to DISMISS Criminal Case Nos. 6683, 6684, 6685 and 6686. SO ORDERED. Footnotes
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59

Per Raffle dated 27 April 2010, Associate Justice Martin S. Villarama, Jr., is designated an additional member in place of Associate Justice Roberto A. Abad who inhibited himself due to close association with one of the parties. ** Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno was originally designated as an additional member per raffle dated 15 February 2010 in lieu of Associate Justice Antonio T. Carpio who inhibited himself due to a related case. However, per Special Order No. 836 dated 12 April 2010, Associate Justice Jose Catral Mendoza is designated an additional member of the Second Division, whether Regular or Special, relative to cases wherein Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno was designated as additional member in view of the Chief Justice forthcoming retirement. 1 Penned by Associate Justice Romeo A. Brawner with Associate Justices Quirino D. Abad Santos, Jr. and Andres B. Reyes, Jr. concurring; rollo, pp. 50-60. 2 Id. at 61-66. 3 The contract was allegedly confirmed in a letter addressed to the respondent, the pertinent portion of which reads: xxxx

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This is to confirm the engagement of your services as the authorized representative of Urban Bank, specifically to hold and maintain possession of our above [-]captioned property and to protect the same from former tenants, occupants or any other person who are threatening to return to the said property and/or interfere with your possession of the said property for and in our behalf. You are likewise authorized to represent Urban Bank in any court action that you may institute to carry out your aforementioned duties, and to prevent any intruder, squatter or any other person not otherwise authorized in writing by Urban Bank from entering or staying in the premises. Id. at 69. 4 Id. at 72-87. 5 Id. at 96. 6 Id. at 97. 7 Id. at 98. 8 Id. at 99. Also at CA rollo, p. 304. 9 Id. at 106-109. 10 The case was docketed as I.S. Case No. 9248. 11 Rollo, p. 108. 12 The dispositive portion of which reads: Wherefore, In view of all the foregoing, undersigned finds probable cause that the crime of Introducing Falsified Documents in evidence under par. 2, Article 172, Revised Penal Code (4 counts) had been committed and that respondents Teodoro Borlongan, Jr., Delfin Gonzalez, Jr., Benjamin de Leon, P. Siervo Dizon, Eric Lee, Ben Lim, Jr., Corazon Bejasa, and Arturo Manuel are probably guilty. Let Information be filed with the Municipal Trial Court in Cities, City of Bago, Philippines. SO RESOLVED. (Id. at 110-114). 13 Id. at 113-114. 14 Id. at 115-122. 15 Id. at 123-126. 16 Id. at 127-142. 17 The dispositive portion reads: WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Omnibus Motion to Quash, Recall Warrants of Arrest and/or For reinvestigation is hereby denied. Set arraignment of the accused on December 1, 1998 at 8:30 oclock in the morning. SO ORDERED. (Id. at 143-150.) 18 Id. at 151-186. 19 Id. at 50-60. 20 Id. at 13-14. 21 Id. at 518-522. 22 People v. Vallejo, 461 Phil. 672, 686 (2003); People v. Palijon, 397 Phil. 545, 556 (2000). 23 473 Phil. 758, 776-777 (2004). 24 CA rollo, pp. 902-903. 25 55 Phil. 706, 711 (1931). 26 Luis B. Reyes, The Revised Penal Code, Criminal Law, Fourteenth Edition, Revised 1998, Appendix "A," Table No. 15, p. 1010. 27 Id. at 1008. 28 (1) Violations of traffic laws, rules and regulations; (2) Violations of the rental law; (3) Violations of municipal or city ordinances; (4) All other criminal cases where the penalty prescribed by law for the offense charged is imprisonment not exceeding six months, or a fine not exceeding one thousand pesos (P1,000.00), or both, irrespective of other imposable penalties, accessory or otherwise, or of the civil liability arising therefrom: Provided, however, That in offenses involving damage to property through criminal negligence, this Rule shall govern where the imposable fine does not exceed ten thousand pesos (P10,000.00). This Rule shall not apply to a civil case where the plaintiffs cause of action is pleaded in the same complaint with another cause of action subject to the ordinary procedure; nor to a criminal case where the offense charged is necessarily related to another criminal case subject to the ordinary procedure. 29 Sales v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 143802, 16 November 2001, 369 SCRA 293, 305 citing Bernardo v. Mendoza, G.R. No. L-37876, 25 May 1979, 90 SCRA 214, 220; Vda. De Jacob v. Puno, G.R. Nos. L-61554-55, 31 July 1984, 131 SCRA 144, 149. 30 Rollo, pp. 368-372. 31 Id. at 148. 32 Article III, Section 2, Philippine Constitution. 33 G.R. No. 82585, 14 November 1988, 167 SCRA 393, 406. 34 Lim, Sr. v. Felix, G.R. Nos. 94054-57, 19 February 1991, 194 SCRA 292, 305. 35 Id. at 306. 36 Yee Sue Koy v. Almeda, 70 Phil. 141, 146-147 (1940). 37 Rollo, pp. 41-42. 38 G.R. Nos. 69863-65, 10 December 1990, 192 SCRA 183, 188. 39 Hernandez v. Albano, 125 Phil. 513 (1967). 40 Dimayuga v. Fernandez, 43 Phil. 304, 306-307 (1922); Hernandez v. Albano, id.; Fortun v. Labang, 192 Phil. 125, 133 (1981). 41 De Leon v. Mabanag, 70 Phil. 202 (1940). 42 Planas v. Gil, 67 Phil. 62, 75 (1939). 43 Young v. Rafferty, 33 Phil. 556, 562 (1916); Yu Cong Eng v. Trinidad, 47 Phil. 385, 389 (1925). 44 Sangalang v. People, 109 Phil. 1140, 1142 (1960). 45 Lopez v. City Judge, G.R. No. L-25795, 29 October 1966, 18 SCRA 616, 620-621. 46 Rustia v. Ocampo, CA G.R. No. 4760, 25 March 1960. 47 Recto v. Castelo, 18 L.J. [1953], cited in Rano v. Alvenia, CA-G.R. No. 30720-R, 8 October 1962; Guingona, Jr. v. City Fiscal of Manila, 213 Phil. 516, 524-525 (1984). 48 Salonga v. Cruz Pao, G.R. No. L-59524, 18 February 1985, 134 SCRA 438, 448-450. 49 JBL Reyes, Revised Penal Code, Criminal Book Two, Fourteenth Edition, Revised, 1998 ed., p. 246. 50 Rollo, pp. 110-114. 51 People v. Aruta, 351 Phil. 868, 880 (1998). 52 G.R. No. 174016, 28 July 2008, 560 SCRA 278, 293-294. 53 Baltazar v. People, supra note 52 at 294 citing Okabe v. Gutierrez, supra note 23 at 781. 54 Rollo, pp. 108-109. 55 Id. at 109. 56 Sec. 36, Rule 130, Rules on Evidence. See also D.M. Consunji, Inc. v. Court of Appeals, 409 Phil. 275, 285 (2001). 57 31A C.J.S. Evidence 194. See also Philippine Home Assurance Corp. v. Court of Appeals, 327 Phil. 255, 267-268 (1996) cited in D.M. Consunji, Inc. v. Court of Appeals, id. at 285. 58 Ang v. Lucero, G.R. No. 143169, 21 January 2005, 449 SCRA 157, 168. 59 G.R. No. 158148, 30 June 2005, 462 SCRA 516, 528-529.

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#5 REPUBLIC V. JUDGE EUGENIO G.R. NO. 174629, 14 FEBRUARY 2008 FACTS: After the Agan v. PIATCO ruling, a series of investigations concerning the award of the NAIA 3contracts to PIATCO were undertaken by the Ombudsman and the Compliance and Investigation Staff (CIS) of the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC). The OSG wrote AMLC requesting AMLCs assistance In obtaining more evidence to completely reveal thefinancial trail of corruption surrounding the NAIA 3Project , and also noting that the Republic was resently defending itself in two international arbitration cases. The CIS conducted an intelligence database search on the financial transactions of certain individualsinvolved in the award, including Alvarez (Chairman of the PreQualification Bids and Awards TechnicalCommittee). By this time, Alvarez had already beencharged by the Ombudsman with violation of Section 3(J)of the Anti Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. 1 The search revealed that Alvarez maintained 8 bank accounts with 6 different banks The AMLC issued a resolution authorizing its Executive Director to sign and verify an application to inquire into the deposits or investments of Alvarez et al. and to authorize the AMLC Secretariat to conduct an inquiry once the RTC grants the application. The rationale for the resolution was founded on the findings of the CIS that amounts were transferred from a Hong Kong bank account to bank accounts in the Philippines maintained by respondents The Resolution also noted that byawarding the contract to PIATCO (despite its lack of financial capacity) Alvarez violated Section 3(E) of the Anti Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. 2 The MAKATI RTC rendered an Order granting the AMLC the authority to inquire and examine the subject bank accounts of Alvarez et al. In response to a letter of Special Prosecutor VillaIgnacio,AMLC issued a Resolution authorizing its ExecutiveDirector to inquire into and examine the accounts of Alvarez, PIATCO, and several other entities involved in the nullified contract. AMLC filed an application before the MANILA RTC to inquire into the accounts alleged as 1 Sec. 3. Corrupt practices of public officers. - In addition to acts or omissions of public officers already penalized by existing law, the following shall constitute corrupt practices of any public officer and are hereby declared to be unlawful:(j) Knowingly approving or granting any license, permit, privilege or benefit in favor of any person not qualified for or not legally entitled to such license, permit, privilege or advantage, or of a mere representative or dummy of one who is not so qualified or entitled. 2 (e) Causing any undue injury to any party, including theGovernment, or giving any private party any unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of his officialadministrative or judicial functions through manifest partiality,evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence. This provision shall apply to officers and employees of offices or government corporations charged with the grant of licenses or permits or other concessions. having been used to facilitate corruption in the NAIA 3Project. The ex parte application was granted and the MANILA RTC issued a bank inquiry order. Alvarez alleged that he fortuitously learned of the bank inquiry order, which was issued following an ex parte application, and he argued that nothing in the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA) authorized the AMLC to seek the authority to inquire into bank accounts ex parte. After several motions, manifestations, orders and resolutions the case went up to the SC. Alvarez et al.s position: The AMLA, being a substantive penal statute, has no retroactive effect and the bank inquiry order could not apply to deposits or investments opened prior to the effectivity of the AMLA (17 October 2001). The subject bank accounts, opened in1989 to 1990, could not be the subject of the bank inquiry order without violating the constitutional prohibition against ex post facto laws. 3 ISSUE: Whether or not the proscription against ex post facto laws applies to Section 11 of the AMLA (a provision which does not provide a penal sanction BUT which merely authorizes the inspection of suspect accounts and deposits). 4 HELD: YES. It is clear that no person may be prosecuted under the PENAL provisions of the AMLA for acts committed prior to the enactment of the law (17 October2001).With respect to the AUTHORITY TO INSPECT, it should be noted that an ex post facto law is one that (among others) deprives a person accused of a crime of some lawful protection to which he has become entitled, such as the protection of a former conviction or acquittal, or a proclamation of amnesty. PRIOR to the AMLA: (1) The fact that bank accounts were involved in activities later on enumerated in the law did not, by itself, remove such accounts from the shelter of absolute confidentiality.(2) In order that bank accounts could be examined, there was need to secure either the written permission of the depositor OR a court order authorizing such examination, assuming that they were involved in cases of bribery or dereliction of duty of public officials, or in a case where the money deposited or invested was itself the subject matter of the litigation. 3 Please read the original for the other issues aside from Art. 3,22. 4 Section 11. Authority to inquire into Bank Deposits. Notwithstanding the provisions of Republic Act No. 1405, asamended; Republic Act No. 6426, as amended; Republic Act No.8791, and other laws, the AMLC may inquire into or examine any particular deposit or investment with any banking institution or non-bank financial institution upon order of any competent court in cases of violation of this Act when it has been established that there is probable cause that the deposits or

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investments involve dare in any way related to a money laundering offense: Provided, That this provision shall not apply to deposits and investments made prior to the effectivity of this Act