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FIRST DIVISION

In his affidavit[3] executed on March 23, 1993 before SA Edward Villarta, Cruz declared that
he was the accused in Criminal Case No. 2154, charged with the crime of Frustrated
Murder. Respondent judge, after conducting the preliminary investigation of the case, decided

[A.M. No. MTJ-93-783. July 29, 1996]


OFFICE

OF

THE

COURT

ADMINISTRATOR, petitioner,

that the crime he committed was only physical injuries and so, respondent judge assumed
vs. JUDGE

FILOMENO

PASCUAL, respondent.

jurisdiction over the case. Cruz believed that he was made to understand by the respondent
that, in view of his favorable action, Cruz was to give to respondent the sum of
P2,000.00. Respondent judge is believed to be a drunkard and, in all probability, would need
money to serve his vice.

DECISION
In view of this statement, the NBI agents assigned to the case caused respondent judge to
HERMOSISIMA, JR., J.:
Intimating as to what the ideals of a good judge should be, Sir Francis Bacon wants judges
to remember that their office is jus dicere and not jus dare, to interpret law, and not to make law
or give law. They ought to be more learned than witty, more revered than plausible, and more
advised 3than confident. Above all things, INTEGRITY is their portion and proper virtue.[1]
The Constitution and the statutes, however, limit the legal qualifications of judges to only
three bare essentials: citizenship, age and experience. The virtues of probity, honesty,
temperance, impartiality and integrity, most often used to measure an aspirant to the bench, lose
their meaning in individual perception.
While people perceive judges to be above the ordinary run of men, they know that a perfect
judge, like a perfect priest, exists only in fantasy.
Thus, it does not come as a surprise that the integrity of respondent judge in this
administrative case stands challenged for committing acts of extortion or bribery.
The following antecedent facts appear on record:

be entrapped, for which reason, the judge was thought to have been caught in flagrante
delicto. NBI agents Villarta and Olazo filed the following report:
On 25 March 1993, at about 4:00 in the afternoon, CANDIDO CRUZ met with Judge
PASCUAL at the Colegio de Sta. Monica, near the Municipal Building of Angat, Bulacan, where
Subject is attending the graduation of his daughter. CANDIDO CRUZ told Judge PASCUAL that he
already had the P2,000.00 which he (Judge PASCUAL) is asking him. However, Judge PASCUAL
did not receive the money because according to him there were plenty of people around. He then
instructed CANDIDO CRUZ to see him (Judge PASCUAL) at his office the following day.
At about 8:30 in the morning of the following day (26 March 1993), CANDIDO CRUZ
proceeded to the office of Judge PASCUAL at the Municipal Trial Court of Angat, Bulacan, and
thereat handed to him four (4) pieces of P500.00 bills contained in a white mailing envelope
previously marked and glazed with fluorescent powder.
In the meantime, the Undersigned stayed outside the court room and after about 15 minutes,
CANDIDO CRUZ came out of the room and signaled to the Undersigned that Judge PASCUAL had
already received the marked money. The Undersigned immediately entered the room and informed
Subject about the entrapment. Subject denied having received anything from CANDIDO CRUZ, but
after a thorough search, the marked money was found inserted between the pages of a blue book
on top of his table.

Sometime in February, 1993, a certain Ceferino Tigas wrote a letter, addressed to Hon.
Reynaldo Suarez of the Office of the Court Administrator of the Supreme Court, charging that
irregularities and corruption were being committed by the respondent Presiding Judge of the
Municipal Trial Court of Angat, Bulacan.

Subject was invited to the Office of the NBI-NCR, Manila wherein he was subjected to ultra
violet light examination. After finding Subjects right hand for the presence of fluorescent powder,
he was booked, photographed and fingerprinted in accordance with our Standard Operating
Procedure (S.O.P.).

On March 10, 1993, the letter was referred to the National Bureau of Investigation in order
that an investigation on the alleged illegal and corrupt practices of the respondent may be
conducted. Ordered[2] to conduct a discreet investigation by the then NBI Director Epimaco
Velasco were: SA Edward Villarta, team leader, SI Reynaldo Olazo, HA Teofilo Galang, SI Florino
Javier and SI Jose Icasiano. They proceeded to Angat, Bulacan, in order to look for Ceferino
Tigas, the letter writer. Tigas, the NBI team realized was a fictitious character. In view of their
failure to find Tigas, they proceeded to the residence of Candido Cruz, an accused in respondents
sala.

On even date, the results of our investigation together with the person of Judge FILOMENO
PASCUAL was referred to the Inquest Prosecutor of the Office of the Special Prosecutor,
Ombudsman, with the recommendation that he be charged and prosecuted for Bribery as defined
and penalized under Article 210 of the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines. (Rollo, pp. 47-48.)
On May 11, 1994, by resolution of the Third Division of this Court, this case was referred
to Executive Judge Natividad G. Dizon for investigation, report and recommendation. [4]

In connection with this investigation, respondent filed a Memorandum, dated July 28,
1995, wherein respondent presented his version of the case:

Then, the accuseds humiliating experience began. Thereafter, despite the strident
protestations of the accused, the envelope, which came from the pocket of Cruzs polo shirt, was
placed on top of the table of the judge, pictures were taken, and the accused was arrested by the

Sometime in February 1993, one Ceferino Tigas, a fictitious person according to the NBI,

NBI agents.[5]

wrote a letter to Court Administrator Ernani Pao of the Supreme Court, alleging irregularities
committed by the accused. Deputy Court Administrator Reynaldo L. Suarez endorsed the letter
to the NBI Director requesting `discreet investigation of the Tigas letter. An NBI tandem of Agents

On August 11, 1995, Executive Judge Natividad G. Dizon submitted the following report
and recommendation:

Edward Villarta and Reynaldo Olazo proceeded to Angat, Bulacan, to investigate. Said tandems
assignment was merely to conduct discreet investigation supposedly, but it led to incriminatory
machinations, planting evidence, unlawful arrest, illegal search and seizure. They contacted
Candido Cruz who was mentioned in the letter. They, however, discovered that Ceferino Tigas,
the alleged letter writer, was an inexistent person, fictitious as shown by the synopsis report of
the NBI agents (Exhibit 8). Having contacted Candido Cruz, the NBI agents persuaded him to
participate in what they called `entrapment operation. The NBI agents prepared an affidavit,
then a supplementary affidavit and had them signed by Candido Cruz. They also went to the NBI
Headquarters and had four (4) P500 bills dusted with fluorescent powder which they used in
theoperation against the accused.
In the afternoon of March 25, 1993, the NBI, along with Candido Cruz, proceeded to the
municipal building of Angat, Bulacan, where the accused judge was holding office. However, they
learned that the accused judge was not in his office but was then attending the graduation rites of
his son at the nearby Colegio de Sta. Monica, and so they decided to move their operation to the
school grounds. The ceremonies had not yet begun. Candido Cruz saw the accused in one corner
of the compound and approached him. He tried to give the accused an envelope allegedly

The Investigating Judge respectfully submits her findings based on the evidence at hand.
As against the respondent judges denials, the undersigned submits that the sworn affidavits
of complainants and NBI Agents and documentary proofs attached to the records are more
convincing and nearer to the truth. They have no motive for fabricating this charge, except to bring
justice. Credence should be given to the testimony of the NBI Agents coming as it does from an
unpolluted source. These Agents had no reason to testify falsely against the respondent
judge. They were just doing their duty. On the other hand, the respondent judge had to protect
himself against the testimonial and technical/scientific evidence that he had received the envelope
and to reject its implications of such evidence.
Furthermore, his defense that he was just instigated to commit a crime is likewise
untenable. The principle evolved from the cases appears to be that in a prosecution for an offense
against the public welfare, such as accepting bribe, the defense of entrapment cannot be
successfully interposed; x x x.

containing money, but the judge refused to accept it and angrily drove Candido Cruz
away. Rebuffed, the NBI agents decided to reset their operation the following day.

One may well wonder over the manner the envelope containing the money was proffered to
the respondent judge as he narrated his story on how he got mad at Candido Cruz when he

At around 9:30 in the morning of March 26, 1993, the NBI agents and Candido Cruz
arrived at the municipal building of Angat, Bulacan. Cruz, as planned, entered the accused
judges chambers and placed an envelope, allegedly containing marked money, right on his

proffered the said envelope, how he threw, picked it up and placed it in the pocket of the latter and
how he drove him away. He even testified that it was just planted by the NBI Agents when the
latter allegedly placed the envelope inside a directory which was placed on top of a cabinet.

(judges) desk. He thought it was a pleading for filing and he told Candido Cruz to file it with the
office of the clerk of court at the adjacent room. Cruz replied that it was the money the judge

x x x. Why was he not surprised that somebody barged into his chamber or was he really

was asking for. Upon hearing the reply, the accused suddenly erupted in anger, he grabbed the

accustomed with people directly dealing or negotiating at his chamber, as what Cruz did, instead

envelope on the desk and hurled it to Cruz. The envelope fell on the floor, the accused picked it

of dealing with his staff. His angry words and his actuations, according to his testimony, were

up and inserted it inside the pocket of Cruzs polo shirt and drove him out of the chamber.

not convincing at all to show that he was that fuming mad at Candido Cruzs offer. More so, his
claim that NBI Agents connived with Candido Cruz just for their own personal glory was not even

Just seconds thereafter, agents Villarta and Olazo entered the door of the chamber which
door was open at that time. They introduced themselves and told the accused that the money

persuasive. His excuse of the presence of fluorescent powder on his hand was flimsy and
incredible.

that Cruz gave him was marked. Accused told them that he did not receive or accept money from
Cruz. But they proceeded to search the room, the table, its drawers, and every nook and cranny

The act of the respondent shows that he can be influenced by monetary considerations. This

of his room, including the pockets of the accuseds pants. After scouring the place, the agents

act of the respondent of demanding and receiving money from a party-litigant before his court

failed to find the envelope with the marked money. And so, one of the agents called for Candido

constitutes serious misconduct in office. It is this kind of gross and flaunting misconduct, no matter

Cruz who was waiting outside at a waiting shed fronting the municipal building, and asked him
where the envelope was. Cruz came back to the room and, together with agent Olazo,
approached the cabinet and said heto pala.

how nominal the amount involved on the part of those who are charged with the responsibility of
administering the law that will surely erode the peoples respect for law and lose faith and trust in
the courts which are expected to render fair and equal justice to all.

Such act go against Canons 2 and 3 of the Code of Judicial Conduct which state: A Judge
should avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all activities and a judge should

judge gave judgment to the effect that the crime committed by Candido Cruz was that of physical
injuries merely. He declared then that he had original jurisdiction to try the case.

perform official duties honestly, and with impartiality and diligence.


But, respondents action in this regard was perpetrated some time before Candido Cruz
xxx

xxx

xxx

was persuaded to participate in what they (the NBI agents) called entrapment operation. The
opportune time to bribe the respondent should have been before he acted in reducing Cruz

With the above, the Investigating Judge respectfully recommends that appropriate penalty
be imposed upon the respondent.
We find that the evidence on record does not warrant conviction.
We note that the only bases for the Report and Recommendation submitted by Executive
Judge Natividad G. Dizon consist of: The Complaint, the Answer, the Memorandum of the
respondent, and the transcript of stenographic notes of the hearing of the bribery case of
respondent judge at the Sandiganbayan. The respondent was, therefore, not afforded the right to
open trial wherein respondent can confront the witnesses against him and present evidence in
his defense.

demand that, if the respondent judge should be disciplined for grave misconduct or any graver
offense, the evidence against him should be competent and should be derived from direct
knowledge.

unlikely that respondent would ask for it on the date of the entrapment on March 26, 1993, the
favorable verdict having been rendered already.
It is significant to note that NBI Agent Olazo admitted [8] that, despite the fact that he
scoured the table of the respondent in search of the envelope, with marked money in it, no
envelope was found and so he had to call Candido Cruz who was already outside so that Cruz
can locate the envelope.
In view of these antecedents, we find reason to favorably consider the allegations of
respondent judge in his defense that, at around 9:30 oclock in the morning of March 26, 1993,
Candido Cruz, along with the NBI agents, went to the Municipal Building of Angat,

This lapse in due process is unfortunate. The Rules, even in an administrative cases,

[6]

criminal liability from Frustrated Murder to Physical Injuries. No bribe was asked then. It was

The Judiciary to which respondent belongs demands no less. Before any of its

members could be faulted, it should be only after due investigation and after presentation of
competent evidence, especially since the charge is penal in character. [7] The above-quoted Report
and Recommendation of the investigating judge had fallen short of the requirements of due
process.

Bulacan. Candido Cruz, alone, went inside respondent judges chambers, located thereat, and
placed before respondent judge an envelope containing marked money. Respondent judge
thought that what was placed before him was a pleading for filing and so, he told Candido Cruz
to file it with the Office of the Clerk of Court, that is, in a room adjacent to his
chambers. Candido Cruz replied that it was the money the judge was asking for. Upon hearing
this reply, respondent judge suddenly erupted in anger. He grabbed the envelope on the desk
and hurled it at Candido Cruz. The envelope fell on the floor. Respondent judge then picked it
up and inserted it inside the pocket of Cruz polo shirt and drove him out of his chambers. NBI
Agents Villarta and Olazo immediately entered the door of the judges chambers, introduced
themselves,

The evidence aforesaid admits of irreconcilable inconsistencies in the testimonies of


principal witness, Candido Cruz, and NBI Agent SI Reynaldo Olazo on several material points.

and

told

respondent

judge

that

the

money

that

Cruz

gave

him

was

marked. Respondent judge told them that he did not receive or accept money from Candido
Cruz. After respondent judge said this, the NBI Agents nevertheless proceeded to search the
room, examined tables, drawers, and every nook and cranny of respondents chambers, and the

It will be remembered that the charge was intimated by someone who must have had an ax
to grind against the respondent judge but who, by reason of cowardice or lack of evidence to put
up a righteous case, did not come out in the open and instead wrote an anonymous letter. The

pockets of the pants of respondent judge. Even after rigid search of the chambers of respondent,
the NBI Agents failed to find the envelope containing marked money allegedly given by Candido
Cruz to respondent judge.

letter-writer, naming himself as Ceferino Tigas, did not specify crimes committed or illegal acts
perpetrated but charged respondent with anomalies in general terms. Respondent judge could

Candido Cruz, who had gone down to the waiting shed, was called for by one of the

not have been expected to make a valid answer or to otherwise defend himself from such vague

agents. Candido Cruz

accusations.

money. Candido Cruz went back to the judges chambers and made the motions of conducting a

was asked as to the whereabouts of the envelope containing

search. Eventually, he went straight to the top of a cabinet and, in the manner of a magician,
While then NBI Director Epimaco Velasco, upon being apprised of the Tigas letter, ordered

produced the envelope with marked money, saying, heto pala.

the NBI investigating team to make a discreet investigation of respondent, the NBI team had
instead caused an instigation or the entrapment of respondent judge. Not having found letter-

Thereafter, photographs were taken of respondent judge who was humiliated no end by the

writer Tigas and concluding that no such person exists, they sought out an accused before

fact that the envelope with marked money was placed on top of his desk with respondent judge in

respondents court who could possibly be respondent judges virtual victim. Approached by the

front of it.

NBI team was Candido Cruz, a person who had been brought before the Municipal Trial Court of
Angat, Bulacan, for preliminary investigation on the charge of Frustrated Murder. Respondent

In his testimony before the Sandiganbayan, NBI Agent SI Reynaldo Olazo stated that the
marked money used in their entrapment operation actually came from Candido Cruz and not

he having been a participant in the operation. Gross mistakes on very important points not
easily forgotten are very strong indicia of the falsity of the story given by a witness.[14]

from the NBI;[9] and he was not able to see what actually transpired between Candido Cruz and
respondent judge inside the chambers of the judge. He was outside the judges chambers and
entered it only after Candido Cruz gave the signal that the money was already delivered by him to
the respondent.[10] Candido Cruz, on the other hand, testified that the marked money used in the
alleged entrapment operation was given to him by the NBI [11] and, when he went out of the judges
chambers after giving the money, he signaled to one, Col. Javier, who was then positioned
immediately outside the chambers.[12]
In view of the foregoing facts, it is easy to conclude that the acts of the NBI agents which
triggered the incident that transpired inside respondent judges chambers constituted instigation
and not entrapment as claimed by the prosecution. It is evident that Candido Cruz was induced
to act as he did in order to place respondent judge in a compromising situation, a situation which
was not brought about by any request of respondent judge. It is surprisingly strange that an
accused in a case would simply barge into the judges chambers without rhyme or reason, place

We reiterate the ruling in the case of Raquiza v. Castaneda, Jr.,[15] that:


The ground for the removal of a judicial officer should be established beyond reasonable
doubt. Such is the rule where the charges on which the removal is sought is misconduct in office,
willful neglect, corruption, incompetency, etc. The general rules in regard to admissibility of
evidence in criminal trials apply.
Reasonable doubt is the inability to let the judicial mind rest easy upon the certainty of
guilt after a thorough investigation of the whole evidence. [16] The principle of reasonable doubt
being applicable in the instant case, therefore, we find that the alleged act of bribery committed
by respondent has not been sufficiently and convincingly proven to warrant the imposition of any
penalty against respondent.

bribe money on top of the judges desk without so much as explaining what the money was
for. Respondent judges action on Candido Cruzs case which favored Cruz was effected long
before. We can believe the fact that, under the circumstances, respondent judge did react in

WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, respondent judge is hereby exonerated and the
administrative case against him is DISMISSED.

anger and threw the envelope at the accused Candido Cruz. The judge must have given back the
money to Candido Cruz and literally drove Cruz out of his chambers bringing the money with
him. This explains the reason why the NBI Agents notwithstanding a relentless search did not

SO ORDERED.

find the money inside the chambers. Four (4) NBI Agents made the search and they were unable

THIRD DIVISION

to find the envelope with the marked money in it. This fact NBI Agent Olazo in effect admitted
because he had to call back Candido Cruz in order to make Cruz divulge as to where the bribe
money was placed. When, after all, Candido Cruz produced the money when he went back to the

[Adm. Matter No. MTJ-00-1241. January 20, 2000]

judges chambers, it became obvious that the money when offered to respondent judge was not
received by the latter.
The foregoing set of facts smacks of unlawful prosecution and planting of evidence

ATTY. NAPOLEON S. VALENZUELA, complainant vs. JUDGE REYNALDO B.


BELLOSILLO, respondent

amounting to persecution. It is reprehensible to say the least that NBI agents should entrap the

DECISION

respondent judge by illegal means, besmirch his reputation by the planting of evidence against
him and make public the foregoing charges of bribery against him in the face of the unjustified
and illegal incriminatory machinations perpetrated by the NBI agents in connivance with Candido
Cruz.
We, thus, hold respondent Judge Filomeno Pascual blameless of the charge of bribery
against him.

PURISIMA, J.:
The Affidavit-Complaint dated October 17, 1997 of Attorney Napoleon S. Valenzuela charged
respondent Judge Reynaldo Blanco Bellosillo of Branch 34 of the Metropolitan Trial Court of
Quezon City with gross violation of the constitutional right of subject accused to assistance by
counsel of her own choice, gross misconduct, oppression, partiality and violation of the Code of

It should be noted that Candido Cruz insisted that he had participated in the alleged

Judicial Ethics; averring:

entrapment operation only because of the fact that the NBI agents made him believe that there
was an order therefor from the Supreme Court. [13] Considering that he is illiterate and is already
more than 70 years of age, it is understandable why he was easily persuaded by the NBI agents to
cooperate without need of any threat whatsoever. Inconsistencies in his testimony is likewise
attributed to his aforesaid personal circumstances for it does not jibe with practical experience
that a person telling the truth will still have to struggle to remember everything that transpired,

"2. That on September 4, 1997, I was hired as counsel for the accused in
Criminal Case No. 65382-86 entitled People of the Philippines vs. Ms.
Meriam V. Colapo for Violation of B.P. 22 which case is being heard before
Quezon City Metropolitan Trial Court Branch 34, presided by Hon. Judge
Reynaldo Blanco Bellosillo;

3. That subsequently, I then filed a Manifestation praying for the Honorable

Lawyer, Napoleon S. Valenzuela, a former PAO Employee, who allegedly

Court to allow the accused to post bail; a copy of the Manifestation is hereto

changed [sic] her unreasonably for the preparation of a mere Manifestation

attached as Annex A and A-1 and made as integral parts hereof;

To Post Bail;

4. That Judge Reynaldo Bellosillo as was his custom, talked to my client

2. That respondent could not have referred Complainants Accused Client

before granting bail for her provisional liberty inside his chambers and in my

Witness to tha [sic] PALAO knowing its Prohibitive Policy to also represent

absence;

Accused in BP 22 Cases as previously made clear by its Chief, Atty. Jose


Puhawan;

5. That the next day, September 5, 1997, my client Meriam Colapo informed
me that Judge Reynaldo B. Bellosillo had angrily ordered her to remove me

3. That out of delicadeza and in recognition of Complainants right to

as counsel and even suggested one Atty. Puhawan of the PALAO QUEZON

practice the law profession, respondent never talked to him about it;

CITY as my replacement; xxx


4. That the Motion to Withdraw filed by Complainant with the Conformity of
6. That as a consequence thereof, the undersigned had no recourse but to

his Accused Client Witness, Meriam V. Colapo, is a matter strictly just

file a Notice of Withdrawal with the conformity of my client Meriam V. Colapo

between the two of them, to which respondent was never a privy;

xxx;
5. That had Complainant been more prudent, he could have just verified
7. That although I was aghast and flabbergasted with the unfathomable

from the respondent the veracity of his clients statements which for legal

actuation of Judge Bellosillo, I can think of no reason what impelled him

intents and purposes are inadmissible for being hearsay, thus, this

with anger to order my client for my replacement;

unfounded time consuming Complaint could have been avoided;

7. [sic] That the actuation of Judge Reynaldo Blanco Bellosillo is certainly

6. That respondent discharges his functions with all integrity and good faith

oppressive, arrogant, and a gross misconduct affecting his integrity and

and without fear or favor knowing that justice must never be distorted as to

efficiency which merits a dismissal from the service;

do so would make even the wise blind and subvert tha [sic] cause of the
innocent;

8. That such despotic act of Judge Bellosillo is likewise indicative of


partiality and gross ignorance of the Constitution and the constitutional

xxx"[2]

right of accused Meriam Colapo to choose her own counsel to defend her in
court;

In the Resolution[3] issued on June 16, 1999, this Third Division referred the Complaint to the
Executive Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, for investigation, report and

9. That such arrogant act of Judge Bellosillo would certainly violate and kill

recommendation.

my right to earn and practice law;


On September 22, 1999, Executive Judge Perlita J. Tria Tirona sent in the following Report and
xxx."[1]

Recommendation, to wit:

The Answer, dated February 16, 1998, of respondent Judge denied the allegations of the

"Complainant alleged that: on September 4, 1997, he filed a motion praying

complaint, branded the same without any legal and factual basis; theorizing:

that his client Meriam V. Colapo accused in a BP 22 case then pending in


Metropolitan Trial Court, Branch 34, Quezon City, presided over at that time

"1. That when Complainants Accused Client and Witness, Meriam J. [sic]
Colapo, appeared before the undersigned respondent to post Bail she was
unassisted by Complainant-Counsel and upon inquiry informed that she is
allegedly changing him not having liked the idea of being referred by a
Metro-TC Branch 34 Personnel to its PAO Lawyer Joseph B. Sia, who
rejected her due to the Prohibitive policy of his office to represent an
Accused in BP 22 Cases and instead referred her to the Complainant-

by respondent, be allowed to post bail for her provisional liberty. Respondent


before acting on the Motion allegedly talked to the accused and ordered her
to replace her counsel, herein complainant, with Atty. Puhawan from PALAO,
Quezon City. Accused Colapo informed him of this incident and told him she
was terminating his services pursuant to the instructions of the respondent.

In deference to his clients wishes, complainant filed a Notice of Withdrawal

Respondent further stated that when he inquired from Ms. Colapo where her

of his appearance with his clients (Colapos) conformity.

lawyer was, Ms. Colapo, in a very disappointing mood said that she was
going to change her counsel because she did not like the idea of paying

According to complainant, he could not think of any reason for respondent


to order his client to replace him.
On cross examination, complainant stated that he worked with the Public
Attorneys Office for seven (7) to eight (8) years. He resigned in 1995.
Complainants wife used to be an officemate of respondent at the Public
Attorneys Office in Makati in 1988.

somebody who could not appear for her at the time she needed him most.
Later on he was informed of the notice of withdrawal filed by complainant
Napoleon Valenzuela with the conformity of his client Colapo. He did not
bother to read the withdrawal anymore because anyway it contained the
conformity of his client Colapo. It was only when he received the 1st
indorsement of the Court Administrator which contained the complaint and
the annexes to the complaint of Atty. Valenzuela that he came to read the
notice of withdrawal. Had he read the notice of withdrawal earlier, he could
have called them for a conference, and confront both of them, considering

Complainant admitted that his client Colapo was referred to him by Atty.

that the information given to him (complainant) by Colapo is different from

Sia, his friend, who is with the Public Attorneys Office (PAO) where he used

what appeared in the notice of withdrawal as counsel, filed by herein

to work. He is aware of the PAO/PALAO policy not to represent any person

complainant. Respondent likewise stated that in all honesty and good faith,

charged with BP 22. Complainant likewise admitted that he filed his notice

he honored the entry of appearance of the new counsel and dismissed the

of withdrawal on the basis of what his client Colapo told him. However, he

case against Ms. Colapo on the basis of the Affidavit of Desistance filed by

did not confront the respondent about it. He believed his client because she

the complaining witness in the case against Colapo.

was agitated. According to his client Colapo, respondent recommended Atty.


Puhawan and he right away filed his withdrawal as counsel.

On cross examination, respondent admitted that he talked to accused


Colapo before he approved the bail, who was then not assisted by her

At first, complainant stated that the affidavit of his client Colapo was

counsel, to find out if she is the one who appears in the picture attached to

prepared by the Notary Public Lino Soriano. Then he stated that he assisted

the bail bond, and to inform her of her undertaking under the bail, and

her in the preparation of the same.

when he inquired from Colapo where her lawyer was, she answered in a very
disappointed manner that she was going to change her counsel because she

Complainant further alleged that it was also on September 5, 1997 (when


his clients bond was approved) that Colapo informed him that respondent
wanted him changed as counsel.
However, in his Notice of Withdrawal as counsel which he filed in Court, he
stated that he was informed by his client Colapo on September 7, 1997,
which complainant again claims to be a typographical error.
Complainant further admitted that his Notice of Withdrawal was with the
conformity of his client Colapo.
No other witness was presented by the complainant.
Respondent Judge Bellosillo, testified that he does not personally know
Miriam [sic] Colapo. He first met her when she appeared before him in his
Court for the approval of her bail bond. She was allowed to post bail on the
basis of the manifestation filed by her counsel on record, complainant Atty.
Napoleon S. Valenzuela. At that time she was notassisted [sic] by her
counsel (complainant was absent) but he (respondent) allowed her just the
same to post bail because according to him he personally knows Colapos
counsel complainant Atty. Valenzuela.

did not like the idea of paying somebody who could not represent her at the
time she needed him most and because of the fact that she was referred to
one Atty. Sia of the PAO Office who in turn referred her (Colapo) to
complainant who allegedly charged her (complainant) so much for the
preparation of the manifestation.
Respondent likewise denied that he ever referred Ms. Colapo, complainants
client to the PALAO knowing fully well that the PALAO does not represent an
accused in a BP 22 case. Besides, according to respondent, it was none of
his business whether Colapo would want to change her counsel. He
(respondent) stated that he is not aware whether Atty. Gusapos, the lawyer
who replaced the complainant, is a PALAO lawyer since he used his private
or residential address when he entered his appearance."
Prescinding from the foregoing, Judge Tirona concluded:
"The undersigned finds the evidence adduced by the complainant
insufficient to substantiate his charges against respondent Judge Bellosillo.
The basis of complainants complaint is the affidavit of his client Meriam
Colapo to the effect that respondent Judge suggested to her (Meriam Colapo)

that she should change her counsel (herein complainant), and that

charge that respondent Judge Bellosillo pressured the latter to replace him as defense counsel.

respondent recommended Atty. Puhawan of the PALAO.

The affidavit[4] of Meriam Colapo cannot be given credence and is inadmissible without the said
affiant placed on the witness stand to give the respondent Judge an opportunity to test the

However, Meriam Colapo was not presented by complainant to testify


because she is presently in Brunei. While complainant claims that Meriam

veracity of affiants allegations.[5] An affidavit is hearsay unless the affiant is presented for crossexamination.[6]

Colapo is willing to testify, said willingness is not sufficient to lend credence


to the present charge since respondent has every right to cross examine said

Sans the testimony of witness Meriam Colapo, to corroborate complainants allegations and

witness.

submission, the case against the respondent judge cannot prosper. The employment or profession
of a person is a property right within the constitutional guaranty of due process of law.

It should likewise be noted that the lawyer who replaced complainant as


counsel for Meriam Colapo was not Atty. Puhawan, the lawyer allegedly
suggested by respondent but one Atty. Gusapos allegedly of the PALAO,

[7]

Respondent judge cannot therefore be adjudged guilty of the charges against him without

affording him a chance to confront the said witness, Meriam Colapo; otherwise, his right to due
process would be infringed.

although no evidence was presented by complainant to show that indeed


Atty. Gusapos is also with PALAO notwithstanding the fact that he promised

WHEREFORE, for insufficiency of evidence, the Complaint at bar against respondent Judge

to submit a certification from PALAO that Atty. Gusapos is indeed an

Reynaldo Blanco Bellosillo is hereby DISMISSED.

employee of said office.


If Meriam Colapo has to discharge complainant as allegedly suggested by

SO ORDERED.

respondent so as not to antagonize said respondent judge, why did they not

EN BANC

engage the services of Atty. Puhawan, the lawyer allegedly suggested by


respondent to take complainants place as counsel?

[G.R. No. 117565. November 18, 1997]

On the other hand, respondent in denying the charge, stated that he could
not have even suggested Atty. Puhawan of PALAO to take complainants place

ARSENIO P. LUMIQUED (deceased), Regional Director, DAR CAR, Represented by his

as counsel since PALAO lawyers are not allowed to represent an accused in a

Heirs, Francisca A. Lumiqued, May A. Lumiqued, Arlene A. Lumiqued and Richard

BP 22 case.

A. Lumiqued, petitioners, vs. Honorable APOLINIO G. EXEVEA, ERDOLFO V.


BALAJADIA and FELIX T. CABADING, ALL Members of Investigating Committee,

Besides, even complainant himself could see no reason why respondent

created by DOJ Order No. 145 on May 30, 1992; HON. FRANKLIN M. DRILON,

would suggest to Meriam Colapo to change complainant as counsel and

SECRETARY OF JUSTICE, HON. ANTONIO T. CARPIO, CHIEF Presidential Legal

instead to engage the services of Atty. Puhawan.

Adviser/Counsel; and HON. LEONARDO A. QUISIMBING, Senior Deputy Executive


Secretary of the Office of the President, and JEANNETTE OBAR-ZAMUDIO,

Thus, the only evidence of the complainant, which is the Affidavit of his
client Meriam Colapo, cannot be the basis of a finding of guilt even in an

Private Respondent, respondents.

administrative case.
In view of the foregoing, the undersigned respectfully recommends that the
charges against respondent Judge Reynaldo B. Bellosillo be dismissed for

DECISION
ROMERO, J.:

lack of evidence."
Does the due process clause encompass the right to be assisted by counsel
All the facts of the case studiedly considered, with a thorough evaluation of the records on hand,

during an administrative inquiry?

the Court finds merit in the findings and recommendations of Executive Judge Tirona, absent
any discernible basis for adjudging respondent Judge Bellosillo liable under the premises.

Arsenio P. Lumiqued was the Regional Director of the Department of Agrarian


Reform Cordillera Autonomous Region (DAR-CAR) until President Fidel V. Ramos

Apart from his testimony and affidavit-complaint, complainant did not adduce enough evidence to
prove his charges. He did not even present his primary witness, Meriam Colapo, to support the

dismissed him from that position pursuant to Administrative Order No. 52 dated May

12, 1993. In view of Lumiqueds death on May 19, 1994, his heirs instituted this

him, and were initiated by private respondent in connivance with a certain Benedict

petition for certiorari and mandamus, questioning such order.

Ballug of Tarlac and a certain Benigno Aquino III. He claimed that the apparent
weakness of the charge was bolstered by private respondents execution of an affidavit

The dismissal was the aftermath of three complaints filed by DAR-CAR Regional

of desistance.[5]

Cashier and private respondent Jeannette Obar-Zamudio with the Board of Discipline
of the DAR. The first affidavit-complaint dated November 16, 1989, [1] charged Lumiqued

Lumiqued admitted that his average daily gasoline consumption was 108.45

with malversation through falsification of official documents. From May to September

liters. He submitted, however, that such consumption was warranted as it was the

1989, Lumiqued allegedly committed at least 93 counts of falsification by padding

aggregate consumption of the five service vehicles issued under his name and intended

gasoline receipts. He even submitted a vulcanizing shop receipt worth P550.00 for

for the use of the Office of the Regional Director of the DAR. He added that the receipts

gasoline bought from the shop, and another receipt for P660.00 for a single vulcanizing

which were issued beyond his region were made in the course of his travels to Ifugao

job. With the use of falsified receipts, Lumiqued claimed and was reimbursed the sum

Province, the DAR Central Office in Diliman, Quezon City, and Laguna, where he

of P44,172.46. Private respondent added that Lumiqued seldom made field trips and

attended a seminar. Because these receipts were merely turned over to him by drivers

preferred to stay in the office, making it impossible for him to consume the nearly 120

for reimbursement, it was not his obligation but that of auditors and accountants to

liters of gasoline he claimed everyday.

determine whether they were falsified. He affixed his signature on the receipts only to
signify that the same were validly issued by the establishments concerned in order

In her second affidavit-complaint dated November 22, 1989,

private respondent

[2]

that official transactions of the DAR-CAR could be carried out.

accused Lumiqued with violation of Commission on Audit (COA) rules and regulations,
Explaining why a vulcanizing shop issued a gasoline receipt, Lumiqued said that

alleging that during the months of April, May, July, August, September and October,
amount

he and his companions were cruising along Santa Fe, Nueva Vizcaya on their way to

of P116,000.00. Lumiqued purportedly defrauded the government by deliberately

Ifugao when their service vehicle ran out of gas. Since it was almost midnight, they

concealing his unliquidated cash advances through the falsification of accounting

sought the help of the owner of a vulcanizing shop who readily furnished them with

entries in order not to reflect on `Cash advances of other officials under code 8-70-600

the gasoline they needed. The vulcanizing shop issued its own receipt so that they

of accounting rules.

could reimburse the cost of the gasoline. Domingo Lucero, the owner of said

1989,

he

made

unliquidated

cash

advances

in

the

total

vulcanizing shop, corroborated this explanation in an affidavit dated June 25, 1990.
The third affidavit-complaint dated December 15, 1989,

[3]

charged Lumiqued

with oppression and harassment. According to private respondent, her two previous
complaints prompted Lumiqued to retaliate by relieving her from her post as Regional
Cashier without just cause.
The three affidavit-complaints were referred in due course to the Department of
Justice (DOJ) for appropriate action. On May 20, 1992, Acting Justice Secretary
Eduardo G. Montenegro issued Department Order No. 145 creating a committee to
investigate the complaints against Lumiqued. The order appointed Regional State

[6]

With respect to the accusation that he sought reimbursement in the amount

of P660.00 for one vulcanizing job, Lumiqued submitted that the amount was actually
only P6.60. Any error committed in posting the amount in the books of the Regional
Office was not his personal error or accountability.
To refute private respondents allegation that he violated COA rules and
regulations in incurring unliquidated cash advances in the amount of P116,000.00,
Lumiqued presented a certification[7] of DAR-CAR Administrative Officer Deogracias F.
Almora that he had no outstanding cash advances on record as of December 31, 1989.

Prosecutor Apolinario Exevea as committee chairman with City Prosecutor Erdolfo


Balajadia and Provincial Prosecutor Felix Cabading as members. They were mandated

In disputing the charges of oppression and harassment against him, Lumiqued

to conduct an investigation within thirty days from receipt of the order, and to submit

contended that private respondent was not terminated from the service but was merely

their report and recommendation within fifteen days from its conclusion.

relieved of her duties due to her prolonged absences. While admitting that private
respondent filed the required applications for leave of absence, Lumiqued claimed that

The investigating committee accordingly issued a subpoena directing Lumiqued


to submit his counter-affidavit on or before June 17, 1992. Lumiqued, however, filed
instead an urgent motion to defer submission of his counter-affidavit pending actual
receipt of two of private respondents complaints. The committee granted the motion

the exigency of the service necessitated disapproval of her application for leave of
absence. He allegedly rejected her second application for leave of absence in view of her
failure to file the same immediately with the head office or upon her return to work. He
also asserted that no medical certificate supported her application for leave of absence.

and gave him a five-day extension.


In the same counter-affidavit, Lumiqued also claimed that private respondent
In his counter-affidavit dated June 23, 1992,

[4]

Lumiqued alleged, inter alia, that

the cases were filed against him to extort money from innocent public servants like

was corrupt and dishonest because a COA examination revealed that her cash
accountabilities

from

June

22

to

November

23,

1989,

were

short

by P30,406.87. Although private respondent immediately returned the amount on

stations where the respondent purchased gasoline. Annexes `G-1 to `G-15 show that the actual

January 18, 1990, the day following the completion of the cash examination,

average purchase made by the respondent is about 8.46 liters only at a purchase price of P50.00,

Lumiqued claimed that she should be relieved from her duties and assigned to jobs

in contrast to the receipts used by the respondent which reflects an average of 108.45 liters at a

that would not require handling of cash and money matters.

purchase price of P550.00. Here, the greed of the respondent is made manifest by his act of
claiming reimbursements of more than 10 times the value of what he actually spends. While only

Committee hearings on the complaints were conducted on July 3 and 10, 1992,
but Lumiqued was not assisted by counsel. On the second hearing date, he moved for
its resetting to July 17, 1992, to enable him to employ the services of counsel. The

15 of the gasoline receipts were ascertained to have been falsified, the motive, the pattern and the
scheme employed by the respondent in defrauding the government has, nevertheless, been
established.

committee granted the motion, but neither Lumiqued nor his counsel appeared on the
date he himself had chosen, so the committee deemed the case submitted for

That the gasoline receipts have been falsified was not rebutted by the respondent. In fact, he had

resolution.

in effect admitted that he had been claiming for the payment of an average consumption of
108.45 liters/day by justifying that this was being used by the 4 vehicles issued to his office.

On August 12, 1992, Lumiqued filed an urgent motion for additional hearing,
[8]

Besides he also admitted having signed the receipts.

alleging that he suffered a stroke on July 10, 1992. The motion was forwarded to the

Office of the State Prosecutor apparently because the investigation had already been

Respondents act in defrauding the government of a considerable sum of money by falsifying

terminated. In an order dated September 7, 1992, [9] State Prosecutor Zoila C. Montero

receipts constitutes not only Dishonesty of a high degree but also a criminal offense for

denied the motion, viz:

Malversation through Falsification of Official Documents.

The medical certificate given show(s) that respondent was discharged from the Sacred Heart

This committee likewise finds that the respondent have (sic) unliquidated cash advances in the

Hospital on July 17, 1992, the date of the hearing, which date was upon the request of

year 1989 which is in violation of established office and auditing rules. His cash advances

respondent (Lumiqued). The records do not disclose that respondent advised the Investigating

totalling to aboutP116,000.00 were properly documented. The requests for obligation of

committee of his confinement and inability to attend despite his discharge, either by himself or

allotments and the vouchers covering the amounts were all signed by him. The mere certification

thru counsel. The records likewise do not show that efforts were exerted to notify the Committee

issued by the Administrative Officer of the DAR-CAR cannot therefore rebut these concrete

of respondents condition on any reasonable date after July 17, 1992. It is herein noted that as

evidences (sic).

early as June 23, 1992, respondent was already being assisted by counsel.
On the third complaint, this committee likewise believes that the respondents act in relieving the
Moreover an evaluation of the counter-affidavit submitted reveal(s) the sufficiency, completeness

complainant of her functions as a Regional Cashier on December 1, 1989 was an act of

and thoroughness of the counter-affidavit together with the documentary evidence annexed

harassment. It is noted that this was done barely two weeks after the complainant filed charges

thereto, such that a judicious determination of the case based on the pleadings submitted is

against her (sic). The recommendation of Jose G. Medina of the Commission on Audit came only

already possible.

on May 11, 1990 or almost six months after the respondents order relieving the complainant was
issued. His act in harassing a subordinate employee in retaliation to a complaint she filed

Moreover, considering that the complaint-affidavit was filed as far back as November 16, 1989

constitute(s) Gross Misconduct on the part of the respondent who is a head of office.

yet, justice can not be delayed much longer.


The affidavits of Joseph In-uyay and Josefina Guting are of no help to the respondent. In fact,
Following the conclusion of the hearings, the investigating committee rendered a
report dated July 31, 1992,

[10]

finding Lumiqued liable for all the charges against him.

It made the following findings:


After a thorough evaluation of the evidences (sic) submitted by the parties, this committee finds
the evidence submitted by the complainant sufficient to establish the guilt of the respondent for
Gross Dishonesty and Grave Misconduct.
That most of the gasoline receipts used by the respondent in claiming for the reimbursement of
his gasoline expenses were falsified is clearly established by the 15 Certified Xerox Copies of the
duplicate receipts (Annexes G-1 to G-15) and the certifications issued by the different gasoline

this only show(s) that he is capable of giving bribes if only to have the cases against him
dismissed. He could not have given a certain Benigno Aquino III the sum of P10,000.00 for any
other purpose.
Accordingly, the investigating committee recommended Lumiqueds dismissal or
removal from office, without prejudice to the filing of the appropriate criminal charges
against him.
Acting on the report and recommendation, former Justice Secretary Franklin M.
Drilon adopted the same in his Memorandum to President Fidel V. Ramos dated
October 22, 1992. He added that the filing of the affidavit of desistance [11] would not
prevent the issuance of a resolution on the matter considering that what was at stake

was not only the violation of complainants (herein private respondents) personal

Treating the petition for appeal as a motion for the reconsideration of A.O. No.

rights but also the competence and fitness of the respondent (Lumiqued) to remain in

52, the OP, through Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Leonardo A. Quisumbing,

public office. He opined that, in fact, the evidence on record could call for a punitive

denied the same on August 31, 1993.

action against the respondent on the initiative of the DAR.


Undaunted, Lumiqued filed a second motion for reconsideration, alleging, among
On December 17, 1992, Lumiqued filed a motion for reconsideration of the

other things, that he was denied the constitutional right to counsel during the hearing.

findings of the Committee with the DOJ. [12] Undersecretary Ramon S. Esguerra

[19]

indorsed the motion to the investigating committee. [13] In a letter dated April 1, 1993,

died. On September 28, 1994,[21] Secretary Quisumbing denied the second motion for

On May 19, 1994,[20] however, before his motion could be resolved, Lumiqued

the three-member investigating committee informed Undersecretary Esguerra that the

reconsideration for lack of merit.

committee had no more authority to act on the same (motion for reconsideration)
considering that the matter has already been forwarded to the Office of the President
and that their authority under Department Order No. 145 ceased when they
transmitted their report to the DOJ.[14] Concurring with this view, Undersecretary
Esguerra informed Lumiqued that the investigating committee could no longer act on
his motion for reconsideration. He added that the motion was also prematurely filed
because the Office of the President (OP) had yet to act on Secretary Drilons
recommendation.[15]

Hence, the instant petition for certiorari and mandamus praying for the reversal
of the Report and Recommendation of the Investigating Committee, the October 22,
1992, Memorandum of then Justice Secretary Drilon, A.O. No. 52 issued by President
Ramos, and the orders of Secretary Quisumbing. In a nutshell, it prays for the
payment of retirement benefits and other benefits accorded to deceased Arsenio
Lumiqued by law, payable to his heirs; and the backwages from the period he was
dismissed from service up to the time of his death on May 19, 1994.[22]

On May 12, 1993, President Fidel V. Ramos himself issued Administrative Order
No. 52 (A.O. No. 52), [16] finding Lumiqued administratively liable for dishonesty in the
alteration of fifteen gasoline receipts, and dismissing him from the service, with
forfeiture of his retirement and other benefits. Thus:

Petitioners fault the investigating committee for its failure to inform Lumiqued of
his right to counsel during the hearing. They maintain that his right to counsel could
not be waived unless the waiver was in writing and in the presence of counsel. They
assert that the committee should have suspended the hearing and granted Lumiqued a
reasonable time within which to secure a counsel of his own. If suspension was not

That the receipts were merely turned over to him by his drivers and that the auditor and

possible, the committee should have appointed a counsel de oficio to assist him.

accountant of the DAR-CAR should be the ones to be held liable is untenable. The receipts in
question were signed by respondent for the purpose of attesting that those receipts were validly
issued by the commercial establishments and were properly disbursed and used in the official
business for which it was intended.

These arguments are untenable and misplaced. The right to counsel, which
cannot be waived unless the waiver is in writing and in the presence of counsel, is a
right afforded a suspect or an accused during custodial investigation. [23] It is not an
absolute right and may, thus, be invoked or rejected in a criminal proceeding and, with

This Office is not about to shift the blame for all these to the drivers employed by the DAR-CAR

more reason, in an administrative inquiry. In the case at bar, petitioners invoke

as respondent would want us to do.

the right of an accused in criminal proceedings to have competent and independent


counsel of his own choice. Lumiqued, however, was not accused of any crime in the

The OP, however, found that the charges of oppression and harassment, as well
as that of incurring unliquidated cash advances, were not satisfactorily established.
In a petition for appeal

[17]

addressed to President Ramos, Lumiqued prayed that

A.O. No. 52 be reconsidered and that he be reinstated to his former position with all
the benefits accorded to him by law and existing rules and regulations. This petition
was basically premised on the affidavit dated May 27, 1993, of a certain Dwight L.
Lumiqued, a former driver of the DAR-CAR, who confessed to having authored the
falsification of gasoline receipts and attested to petitioner Lumiqueds being an honest
man who had no premonition that the receipts he (Dwight) turned over to him were

proceedings below. The investigation conducted by the committee created by


Department Order No. 145 was for the purpose of determining if he could be
held administratively liable under the law for the complaints filed against him. The
order issued by Acting Secretary of Justice Montenegro states thus:
In the interest of the public service and pursuant to the provisions of existing laws, a Committee
to conduct the formal investigation of the administrative complaint for oppression, dishonesty,
disgraceful and immoral conduct, being notoriously undesirable and conduct prejudicial to the
best interest of the service against Mr. ARSENIO P. LUMIQUED, Regional Director, Department of
Agrarian Reform, Cordillera Autonomous Region, is hereby created x x x. [24]

altered.[18]
As such, the hearing conducted by the investigating committee was not part of a
criminal prosecution. This was even made more pronounced when, after finding
Lumiqued administratively liable, it hinted at the filing of criminal case for

malversation

through

falsification

of

public

documents

in

its

report

and

recommendation.

This

is

an administrative

case

against

Director

Lumiqued. Director

Lumiqued is present. The complainant is present, Janet ObarZamudio. Complainant has just been furnished with a copy of the

Petitioners misconception on the nature of the investigation

[25]

conducted

counter-affidavit of the respondent. Do you have a counsel, Director?

against Lumiqued appears to have been engendered by the fact that the DOJ
conducted it. While it is true that under the Administrative Code of 1987, the DOJ

DIR. LUMIQUED:

shall administer the criminal justice system in accordance with the accepted
processes thereof consisting in the investigation of the crimes, prosecution of offenders
and administration of the correctional system, [26] conducting criminal investigations is
not its sole function. By its power to perform such other functions as may be provided
by law,

[27]

prosecutors may be called upon to conduct administrative investigations.

Accordingly, the investigating committee created by Department Order No. 145 was
duty-bound to conduct the administrative investigation in accordance with the rules

I did not bring anybody, Sir, because when I went to see him, he told
me, Sir, that he has already set a hearing, morning and afternoon
today.
RSP EXEVEA:

therefor.
So, we will proceed with the hearing even without your counsel? You
While investigations conducted by an administrative body may at times be akin

are willing to proceed with the hearing even without your counsel?

to a criminal proceeding, the fact remains that under existing laws, a party in an
administrative inquiry may or may not be assisted by counsel, irrespective of the

DIR. LUMIQUED:

nature of the charges and of the respondents capacity to represent himself and no
duty rests on such a body to furnish the person being investigated with counsel. [28] In
an administrative proceeding such as the one that transpired below, a respondent
(such as Lumiqued) has the option of engaging the services of counsel or not. This is
clear
2260

from
[29]

the

provisions

of

Section

32,

Article

VII

of

Republic

Act

No.

(otherwise known as the Civil Service Act) and Section 39, paragraph 2, Rule

XIV (on discipline) of the Omnibus Rules Implementing Book V of Executive Order No.
292

[30]

Yes, I am confident . . .
CP BALAJADIA:
You are confident that you will be able to represent yourself?

(otherwise known as the Administrative Code of 1987). Excerpts from the

transcript of stenographic notes of the hearings attended by Lumiqued [31] clearly show

DIR. LUMIQUED:

that he was confident of his capacity and so opted to represent himself. Thus, the right
to counsel is not imperative in administrative investigations because such inquiries are
conducted merely to determine whether there are facts that merit disciplinary
measures against erring public officers and employees, with the purpose of
maintaining the dignity of government service.
Furthermore, petitioners reliance on Resolution No. 94-0521 of the Civil Service
Commission on the Uniform Procedure in the Conduct of Administrative Investigation

That is my concern.[35] (Underscoring supplied)


In the course of private respondents damaging testimony, the investigating
committee once again reminded Lumiqued of his need for a counsel. Thus:
CP BALAJADIA:

stating that a respondent in an administrative complaint must be informed of his


right to the assistance of a counsel of his choice, [32] is inappropriate. In the first place,

Q. (To Director Lumiqued) You really wish to go through with this

this resolution is applicable only to cases brought before the Civil Service Commission.

even without your counsel?

[33]

Secondly, said resolution, which is dated January 25, 1994, took effect fifteen days

following its publication in a newspaper of general circulation, [34] much later than the
July 1992 hearings of the investigating committee created by Department Order No.
145. Thirdly, the same committee was not remiss in the matter of reminding
Lumiqued of his right to counsel. Thus at the July 3, 1992, hearing, Lumiqued was

DIRECTOR LUMIQUED:
A. I think so, Sir.

repeatedly appraised of his option to secure services of counsel:


CP BALAJADIA:
RSP EXEVEA:

Let us make it of record that we have been warning you to proceed

We will not entertain any postponement. With or without counsel, we

with the assistance of counsel but you said that you can take care of

will proceed.

yourself so we have no other

alternative but to proceed.[36]

(Underscoring supplied)
Thereafter, the following colloquies transpired:

CP BALAJADIA:
Madam Witness, will you please submit the document which we asked
for and Director Lumiqued, if you have other witnesses, please bring

CP BALAJADIA:

them but reduce their testimonies in affidavit form so that we can


expedite with the proceedings.[37]

We will suspend in the meantime that we are waiting for the


supplemental affidavit you are going to present to us. Do you have any
request from the panel of investigators, Director Lumiqued?
DIRECTOR LUMIQUED:

At the hearing scheduled for July 10, 1992, Lumiqued still did not avail of the
services of counsel. Pertinent excerpts from said hearing follow:
FISCAL BALAJADIA:

I was not able to bring a lawyer since the lawyer I requested to assist

I notice also Mr. Chairman that the respondent is not being

me and was the one who prepared my counter-affidavit is already

represented by a counsel. The last time he was asked to invite his

engaged for a hearing and according to him he is engaged for the

lawyer in this investigation. May we know if he has a lawyer to

whole month of July.

represent him in this investigation?

RSP EXEVEA:
We cannot wait . . .

DIR. LUMIQUED:
There is none Sir because when I went to my lawyer, he told me that
he had set a case also at 9:30 in the other court and he told me if

CP BALAJADIA:
Why dont you engage the services of another counsel. The charges
against you are quite serious. We are not saying you are guilty already.
We are just apprehensive that you will go through this investigation

there is a possibility of having this case postponed anytime next week,


probably Wednesday so we will have good time (sic) of presenting the
affidavit.
FISCAL BALAJADIA:

without a counsel. We would like you to be protected legally in the


course of this investigation. Why dont you get the services of another

Are you moving for a postponement Director? May I throw this to the

counsel. There are plenty here in Baguio...

panel. The charges in this case are quite serious and he should be
given a chance to the assistance of a counsel/lawyer.

DIRECTOR LUMIQUED:
RSP EXEVEA:
I will try to see, Sir . . .
And is (sic) appearing that the supplemental-affidavit has been
CP BALAJADIA:
Please select your date now, we are only given one month to finish the
investigation, Director Lumiqued.
RSP EXEVEA:

furnished him only now and this has several documents attached to it
so I think we could grant him one last postponement considering that
he has already asked for an extension.
DIR. LUMIQUED:
Furthermore Sir, I am now being bothered by my heart ailment. [38]

The hearing was reset to July 17, 1992, the date when Lumiqued was released

The constitutional provision on due process safeguards life, liberty and property.

from the hospital. Prior to said date, however, Lumiqued did not inform the committee

[46]

of his confinement. Consequently, because the hearing could not push through on

held that a public office is not property within the sense of the constitutional

said date, and Lumiqued had already submitted his counter-affidavit, the committee

guarantee of due process of law for it is a public trust or agency. This jurisprudential

decided to wind up the proceedings. This did not mean, however, that Lumiqued was

pronoucement has been enshrined in the 1987 Constitution under Article XI, Section 1

short-changed in his right to due process.

on accountability of public officers, as follows:

Lumiqued, a Regional Director of a major department in the executive branch of

In the early case of Cornejo v. Gabriel and Provincial Board of Rizal

[47]

the Court

Section 1. Public office is a public trust. Public officers and employees must at all times be

the government, graduated from the University of the Philippines (Los Baos) with the

accountable to the people, serve them with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty, and efficiency,

degree of Bachelor of Science major in Agriculture, was a recipient of various

act with patriotism and justice, and lead modest lives.

scholarships and grants, and underwent training seminars both here and abroad.
[39]

Hence, he could have defended himself if need be, without the help of counsel, if

truth were on his side. This, apparently, was the thought he entertained during the
hearings he was able to attend. In his statement, That is my concern, one could
detect that it had been uttered testily, if not exasperatedly, because of the doubt or
skepticism implicit in the question, You are confident that you will be able to
represent yourself? despite his having positively asserted earlier, Yes, I am
confident. He was obviously convinced that he could ably represent himself. Beyond
repeatedly reminding him that he could avail himself of counsel and as often receiving

When the dispute concerns ones constitutional right to security of tenure,


however, public office is deemed analogous to property in a limited sense; hence, the
right to due process could rightfully be invoked. Nonetheless, the right to security of
tenure is not absolute. Of equal weight is the countervailing mandate of the
Constitution that all public officers and employees must serve with responsibility,
integrity, loyalty and efficiency.[48] In this case, it has been clearly shown that Lumiqued
did not live up to this constitutional precept.

the reply that he is confident of his ability to defend himself, the investigating
committee could not do more. One can lead a horse to water but cannot make him
drink.

The committees findings pinning culpability for the charges of dishonesty and
grave misconduct upon Lumiqued were not, as shown above, fraught with procedural
mischief. Its conclusions were founded on the evidence presented and evaluated as

The right to counsel is not indispensable to due process unless required by the
Constitution or the law. In Nera v. Auditor General,

[40]

the Court said:

facts. Well-settled in our jurisdiction is the doctrine that findings of fact of


administrative agencies must be respected as long as they are supported by
substantial evidence, even if such evidence is not overwhelming or preponderant.
[49]

The quantum of proof necessary for a finding of guilt in administrative cases is only

x x x. There is nothing in the Constitution that says that a party in a non-criminal proceeding is

substantial evidence or such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as

entitled to be represented by counsel and that, without such representation, he shall not be

adequate to support a conclusion.[50]

bound by such proceedings. The assistance of lawyers, while desirable, is not indispensable. The
legal profession was not engrafted in the due process clause such that without the participation
of its members, the safeguard is deemed ignored or violated. The ordinary citizen is not that
helpless that he cannot validly act at all except only with a lawyer at his side.

Consequently, the adoption by Secretary Drilon and the OP of the committees


recommendation of dismissal may not in any way be deemed tainted with arbitrariness
amounting to grave abuse of discretion. Government officials are presumed to perform
their functions with regularity. Strong evidence is not necessary to rebut that

In administrative proceedings, the essence of due process is simply the

presumption,[51] which petitioners have not successfully disputed in the instant case.

opportunity to explain ones side. One may be heard, not solely by verbal presentation
but also, and perhaps even much more creditably as it is more practicable than oral
arguments, through pleadings.[41] An actual hearing is not always an indispensable
aspect of due process.[42] As long as a party was given the opportunity to defend his
interests in due course, he cannot be said to have been denied due process of law, for
this opportunity to be heard is the very essence of due process.

[43]

Moreover, this

constitutional mandate is deemed satisfied if a person is granted an opportunity to


seek reconsideration of the action or ruling complained of.

[44]

Lumiqueds appeal and

his subsequent filing of motions for reconsideration cured whatever irregularity


attended the proceedings conducted by the committee. [45]

Dishonesty is a grave offense penalized by dismissal under Section 23 of Rule


XIV of the Omnibus Rules Implementing Book V of the Administrative Code of
1987. Under Section 9 of the same Rule, the penalty of dismissal carries with it
cancellation of eligibility, forfeiture of leave credits and retirement benefits, and the
disqualification for reemployment in the government service. The instant petition,
which is aimed primarily at the payment of retirement benefits and other benefits
plus backwages from the time of Lumiqueds dismissal until his demise, must,
therefore, fail.

WHEREFORE,

the

instant

petition

for certiorari and mandamus is

hereby

SO ORDERED.[4]

DISMISSED and Administrative Order No. 52 of the Office of the President is


AFFIRMED. Costs against petitioners.

The Antecedent Facts

SO ORDERED.

The facts, as found by Respondent Court, are as follows:


THIRD DIVISION

On September 17, 1990, then DECS Secretary Cario issued a return-to-work order to all public
school teachers who had participated in talk-outs and strikes on various dates during the period
September 26, 1990 to October 18, 1990. The mass action had been staged to demand payment

[G.R. No. 110379. November 28, 1997]

of 13th month differentials, clothing allowances and passage of a debt-cap bill in Congress,

HON. ARMAND FABELLA, in his capacity as SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF

among other things.

EDUCATION, CULTURE AND SPORTS; DR. NILO ROSAS, in his capacity as


REGIONAL DIRECTOR, DECS-NCR; DR. BIENVENIDO ICASIANO, in his capacity
as the SUPERINTENDENT OF THE QUEZON CITY SCHOOLS and DIVISION; ALMA
BELLA

O.

BAUTISTA,

AURORA

C.

VALENZUELA

and

TERESITA

V.

DIMAGMALIW, petitioners, vs. THE COURT OF APPEALS, ROSARITO A. SEPTIMO,


ERLINDA B. DE LEON, CLARISSA T. DIMAANO, WILFREDO N. BACANI, MARINA R.
VIVAR, VICTORIA S. UBALDO, JENNIE L. DOGWE, NORMA L. RONGCALES, EDITA
C. SEPTIMO, TERESITA E. EVANGELISTA, CATALINA R. FRAGANTE, REBECCA D.
BAGDOG, MARILYNNA C. KU, MARISSA M. SAMSON, HENEDINA B.CARILLO,
NICASIO C. BRAVO, RUTH F. LACANILAO, MIRASOL C. BALIGOD, FELISA S.
VILLACRUEL, MA. VIOLETA ELIZABETH Y. HERNANDEZ, ANTONIO C. OCAMPO,
ADRIANO S. VALENCIA and ELEUTERIO S. VARGAS, respondents.
DECISION
PANGANIBAN, J.:
Due process of law requires notice and hearing. Hearing, on the other hand, presupposes
a competent and impartial tribunal. The right to be heard and, ultimately, the right to due
process of law lose meaning in the absence of an independent, competent and impartial tribunal.
Statement of the Case
This principium is explained by this Court as it resolves this petition for review on certiorari
assailing the May 21, 1993 Decision [1] of the Court of Appeals[2] in CA-G.R. SP No. 29107 which
affirmed the trial courts decision,[3] as follows:
WHEREFORE, the decision appealed from is AFFIRMED and the appeal is DISMISSED.

On October 18, 1990, Secretary Cario filed administrative cases against herein petitionerappellees, who are teachers of the Mandaluyong High School. The charge sheets required
petitioner-appellees to explain in writing why they should not be punished for having taken part
in the mass action in violation of civil service laws and regulations, to wit:
1.

grave misconduct;

2.

gross neglect of duty;

3.

gross violation of Civil Service Law and rules on reasonable office regulations;

4.

refusal to perform official duty;

5.

conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service;

6.

absence without leave (AWOL)


At the same time, Secretary Cario ordered petitioner-appellee to be placed under

preventive suspension.
The charges were subsequently amended by DECS-NCR Regional Director Nilo Rosas on
November 7, 1990 to include the specific dates when petitioner-appellees allegedly took part in
the strike.
Administrative hearings started on December 20, 1990. Petitioner-appellees counsel
objected to the procedure adopted by the committee and demanded that he be furnished a copy
of the guidelines adopted by the committee for the investigation and imposition of penalties. As
he received no response from the committee, counsel walked out. Later, however, counsel, was
able to obtain a copy of the guidelines.

The Hon. Armand Fabella is hereby ORDERED substituted as respondent-appellant in place of


former Secretary Isidro Cario and henceforth this fact should be reflected in the title of this
case.

On April 10, 1991, the teachers filed a an injunctive suit (Civil Case No. 60675) with the

before this Court on said date and time, with a warning that should he fail to show up on said

Regional Trial Court in Quezon City, charging the committee appointed by Secretary Cario with

date, the Court will declare him as IN DEFAULT. Stated otherwise, for the said Pre-Trial

fraud and deceit and praying that it be stopped from further investigating them and from

Conference, the Court will not recognize any representative of his.

rendering any decision in the administrative case. However, the trial court denied them a
restraining order.

By agreement of the parties, the trial conference was reset on June 26, 1992. However,
Secretary Cario failed to appear in court on the date set. It was explained that he had to attend

They then amended their complaint and made it one for certiorari and mandamus. They

a conference in Maragondon, Cavite. Instead, he was represented by Atty. Reno Capinpin, while

alleged that the investigating committee was acting with grave abuse of discretion because its

the other respondents were represented by Atty. Jocelyn Pili. But the court just the same

guidelines for investigation place the burden of proof on them by requiring them to prove their

declared them as in default. The Solicitor General moved for a reconsideration, reiterating that

innocence instead of requiring Secretary Cario and his staff to adduce evidence to prove the

Cario could not personally come on June 26, 1992 because of prior commitment in Cavite. It

charges against the teachers.

was pointed out that Cario was represented by Atty. Reno Capinpin, while the other respondents
were represented by Atty. Jocelyn Pili, both of the DECS-NCR and that both had special powers of

On May 30, 1991, petitioner-appellee Adriano S. Valencia of the Ramon Magsaysay High
School filed a motion to intervene, alleging that he was in the same situation as petitioners since

attorney. But the Solicitor Generals motion for reconsideration was denied by the trial court. In
its order of July 15, 1992, the court stated:

he had likewise been charged and preventively suspended by respondent-appellant Cario for the
same grounds as the other petitioner-appellees and made to shoulder the burden of proving his

The Motion For Reconsideration dated July 3, 1992 filed by the respondents thru counsel, is

innocence under the committees guidelines. The trial court granted his motion on June 3, 1991

hereby DENIED for lack of merit. It appears too obvious that respondents simply did not want to

and allowed him to intervene.

comply with the lawful orders of the Court.

On June 11, 1991, the Solicitor General answered the petitioner for certiorari and
mandamus in behalf of respondent DECS Secretary. In the main he contended that, in

The respondents having lost their standing in Court, the Manifestation and Motion, dated July
3, 1992 filed by the Office of the Solicitor General is hereby DENIED due course.

accordance with the doctrine of primary resort, the trial court should not interfere in the
administrative proceedings.
The Solicitor General also asked the trial court to reconsider its order of June 3, 1991,
allowing petitioner-appellee Adriano S. Valencia to intervene in the case.
Meanwhile, the DECS investigating committee rendered a decision on August 6, 1991,
finding the petitioner-appellees guilty, as charged and ordering their immediate dismissal.
On August 15, 1991, the trial court dismissed the petition for certiorari and mandamus for
lack of merit. Petitioner-appellees moved for a reconsideration, but their motion was denied on
September 11, 1991.
The teachers then filed a petition for certiorari with the Supreme Court which, on February
18, 1992, issued a resolution en banc declaring void the trial courts order of dismissal and
reinstating petitioner-appellees action, even as it ordered the latters reinstatement pending
decision of their case.

SO ORDERED.
On July 3, 1992, the Solicitor General informed the trial court that Cario had ceased to
be DECS Secretary and asked for his substitution. But the court failed to act on his motion.
The hearing of the case was thereafter conducted ex parte with only the teachers allowed to
present their evidence.
On August 10, 1992, the trial court rendered a decision, in which it stated:
The Court is in full accord with petitioners contention that Rep. Act No. 4670 otherwise known
as the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers is the primary law that governs the conduct of
investigation in administrative cases filed against public school teachers, with Pres. Decree No.
807 as its supplemental law. Respondents erred in believing and contending that Rep. Act. No.
4670 has already been superseded by the applicable provisions of Pres. Decree No. 807 and Exec.
Order No. 292. Under the Rules of Statutory Construction, a special law, Rep. Act. No. 4670 in
the case at bar, is not regarded as having been replaced by a general law, Pres. Decree No. 807,

Accordingly, on March 25, 1992, the trial court set the case for hearing. June 8, 1992, it
issued a pre-trial order which reads:

unless the intent to repeal or alter the same is manifest. A perusal of Pres. Decree No. 807
reveals no such intention exists, hence, Rep. Act No. 4670 stands. In the event that there is
conflict between a special and a general law, the former shall prevail since it evidences the

As prayed for by Solicitor Bernard Hernandez, let this case be set for pre-trial conference on
June 17, 1992 at 1:30 p.m., so as to expedite the proceedings hereof. In which case, DECS
Secretary Isidro Cario, as the principal respondent, is hereby ordered to PERSONALLY APPEAR

legislators intent more clearly than that of the general statute and must be taken as an exception
to the General Act. The provision of Rep. Act No. 4670 therefore prevails over Pres. Decree No.
807 in the composition and selection of the members of the investigating

committee. Consequently, the committee tasked to investigate the charges filed against petitioners

As mentioned earlier, the Court of Appeals affirmed the RTC decision, holding in the main

was illegally constituted, their composition and appointment being violative of Sec. 9 of Rep. Act.

that private respondents were denied due process in the administrative proceedings instituted

No. 4670 hence all acts done by said body possess no legal color whatsoever.

against them.

Anent petitioners claim that their dismissal was effected without any formal investigation, the

Hence, this petition for review.[7]

Court, after consideration of the circumstances surrounding the case, finds such claim
meritorious. Although it cannot be gain said that respondents have a cause of action against the

The Issues

petitioner, the same is not sufficient reason to detract from the necessity of basic fair play. The
manner of dismissal of the teachers is tainted with illegality. It is a dismissal without due
process. While there was a semblance of investigation conducted by the respondents their

Before us, petitioners raise the following issues:

intention to dismiss petitioners was already manifest when it adopted a procedure provided for by
law, by shifting the burden of proof to the petitioners, knowing fully well that the teachers would

boycott the proceedings thereby giving them cause to render judgment ex-parte.
Whether or not Respondent Court of Appeals committed grave abuse of discretion in
The DISMISSAL therefore of the teachers is not justified, it being arbitrary and violative of the

holding in effect that private respondents were denied due process of law.

teachers right to due process. Due process must be observed in dismissing the teachers because
it affects not only their position but also their means of livelihood.
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the present petition is hereby GRANTED and all the
questioned orders/decisions of the respondents are hereby declared NULL and VOID and are
hereby SET ASIDE.

II
Whether or not Respondent Court of Appeals seriously erred and committed grave abuse of
discretion in applying strictly the provision of R.A. No. 4670 in the composition of the
investigating committee.

The reinstatement of all the petitioners to their former positions without loss of seniority and

III

promotional rights is hereby ORDERED.


The payment, if any, of all the petitioners back salaries, allowances, bonuses, and other benefits
and emoluments which may have accrued to them during the entire period of their preventive

Whether or not Respondent Court of Appeals committed grave abuse of discretion in


dismissing the appeal and in affirming the trial courts decision. [8]

suspension and/or dismissal from the service is hereby likewise ORDERED.


These issues, all closely related, boil down to a single question: whether private
SO ORDERED.

[5]

respondents were denied due process of law.


The Courts Ruling

From this adverse decision of the trial court, former DECS Secretary Isidro Cario filed an
appeal with the Court of Appeals raising the following grounds:

The petition is bereft of merit. We agree with the Court of Appeals that private respondents
I. The trial court seriously erred in declaring appellants as in default.
II. The trial court seriously erred in not ordering the proper substitution of parties.
III. The trial court seriously erred in holding that R.A. No. 4670, otherwise known
as Magna Carta for Public School Teachers, should govern the conduct of the
investigations conducted.
IV. The trial court seriously erred in ruling that the dismissal of the teachers are
without due process.[6]

were denied due process of law.


Denial of Due Process
At the outset, we must stress that we are tasked only to determine whether or not due
process of law was observed in the administrative proceedings against herein private
respondents. We note the Solicitor Generals extensive disquisition that government employees do
not have the right to strike. [9] On this point, the Court, in the case of Bangalisan vs. Court of
Appeals,[10] has recently pronounced, through Mr. Justice Florenz D. Regalado:

It is the settled rule in this jurisdiction that employees in the public service may not engage in

schoolteachers administrative cases should be composed of the school superintendent of the

strikes. While the Constitution recognizes the right of government employees to organize, they

division as chairman, a representative of the local or any existing provincial or national teachers

are prohibited from staging strikes, demonstrations mass leaves, walk-outs and other forms of

organization and a supervisor of the division. The pertinent provisions of RA 4670 read:

mass action which will result in temporary stoppage or disruption of public services. The right of
government employees to organize is limited only to the formation of unions or associations,
without including the right to strike.

Sec. 8.

Safeguards in Disciplinary Procedure. Every teacher shall enjoy equitable

safeguards at each stage of any disciplinary procedure and shall have:

More recently, in Jacinto vs. Court of Appeals,[11] the Court explained the schoolteachers
right to peaceful assembly vis-a-vis their right to mass protest:
Moreover, the petitioners here, except Merlinda Jacinto, were not penalized for the exercise of
their right to assemble peacefully and to petition the government for a redress of
grievances. Rather, the Civil Service Commission found them guilty of conduct prejudicial to the
best interest of the service for having absented themselves without proper authority, from their

a.

the right to be informed, in writing, of the charges;

b.

the right to full access to the evidence in the case;

c.

the right to defend himself and to be defended by a representative of his choice and/or by

his organization, adequate time being given to the teacher for the preparation of his defense; and

schools during regular school days, in order to participate in the mass protest, their absence
ineluctably resulting in the non-holding of classes and in the deprivation of students of

c.

education, for which they were responsible. Had petitioners availed themselves of their free time

disciplinary action being taken against a teacher during the pendency of his case.

the right to appeal to clearly designated authorities. No publicity shall be given to any

-- recess, after classes, weekends or holidays -- to dramatize their grievances and to dialogue with
the proper authorities within the bounds of law, no one -- not the DECS, the CSC or even this
Court -- could have held them liable for the valid exercise of their constitutionally guaranteed
rights. As it was, the temporary stoppage of classes resulting from their activity necessarily
disrupted public services, the very evil sought to be forestalled by the prohibition against strikes
by government workers. Their act by its nature was enjoined by the Civil Service law, rules and
regulations, for which they must, therefore, be made answerable.[12]

Sec. 9.

Administrative Charges. Administrative charges against a teacher shall be heard

initially by a committee composed of the corresponding School Superintendent of the Division or


a duly authorized representative who would at least have the rank of a division supervisor, where
the teacher belongs, as chairman, a representative of the local or, in its absence, any existing
provincial or national teachers organization and a supervisor of the Division, the last two to be
designated by the Director of Public Schools. The committee shall submit its findings, and
recommendations to the Director of Public Schools within thirty days from the termination of the

In the present case, however, the issue is not whether the private respondents engaged in
any prohibited activity which may warrant the imposition of disciplinary sanctions against them
as a result of administrative proceedings. As already observed, the resolution of this case

hearings: Provided, however, That where the school superintendent is the complainant or an
interested party, all the members of the committee shall be appointed by the Secretary of
Education.

revolves around the question of due process of law, not on the right of government workers to
strike. The issue is not whether private respondents may be punished for engaging in a
prohibited action but whether, in the course of the investigation of the alleged proscribed activity,
their right to due process has been violated. In short, before they can be investigated and meted
out any penalty, due process must first be observed.

The foregoing provisions implement the Declaration of Policy of the statute; that is, to
promote the terms of employment and career prospects of schoolteachers.
In the present case, the various committees formed by DECS to hear the administrative

In administrative proceedings, due process has been recognized to include the following:
(1) the right to actual or constructive notice of the institution of proceedings which may affect a
respondents legal rights; (2) a real opportunity to be heard personally or with the assistance of
counsel, to present witnesses and evidence in ones favor, and to defend ones rights; (3) a
tribunal vested with competent jurisdiction and so constituted as to afford a person charged
administratively a reasonable guarantee of honesty as well as impartiality; and (4) a finding by

charges against private respondents did not include a representative of the local or, in its
absence, any existing provincial or national teachers organization as required by Section 9 of RA
4670. Accordingly, these committees were deemed to have no competent jurisdiction. Thus, all
proceedings undertaken by them were necessarily void. They could not provide any basis for the
suspension or dismissal of private respondents. The inclusion of a representative of a teachers
organization in these committees was indispensable to ensure an impartial tribunal. It was this
requirement that would have given substance and meaning to the right to be heard. Indeed, in

said tribunal which is supported by substantial evidence submitted for consideration during

any proceeding, the essence of procedural due process is embodied in the basic requirement of

the hearing or contained in the records or made known to the parties affected.[13]

notice and a real opportunity to be heard.[14]

The legislature enacted a special law, RA 4670 known as the Magna Carta for Public School
Teachers,

which

specifically

covers

administrative

proceedings

involving

public

schoolteachers. Section 9 of said law expressly provides that the committee to hear public

Petitioners argue that the DECS complied with Section 9 of RA 4670, because all the
teachers who were members of the various committees are members of either the Quezon City

Secondary Teachers Federation or the Quezon City Elementary Teachers Federation [15] and are

b)

deemed to be the representatives of a teachers organization as required by Section 9 of RA 4670.

investigate and decide matters involving disciplinary action against officers and employees under

The heads of departments, agencies and instrumentalities xxx shall have jurisdiction to

their jurisdiction xxx .


We disagree. Mere membership of said teachers in their respective teachers organizations
does not ipso facto make them authorized representatives of such organizations as contemplated

Sec. 38,. Procedure in Administrative Cases Against Non-Presidential Appointees. -

by Section 9 of RA 4670. Under this section, the teachers organization possesses the right to
indicate its choice of representative to be included by the DECS in the investigating
committee. Such right to designate cannot be usurped by the secretary of education or the
director of public schools or their underlings. In the instant case, there is no dispute that none
of the teachers appointed by the DECS as members of its investigating committee was ever
designated or authorized by a teachers organization as its representative in said committee.

expressly repealed by the general law PD 807, which was enacted later, nor has it been shown to
be inconsistent with the latter. It is a fundamental rule of statutory construction that repeals by
implication are not favored. An implied repeal will not be allowed unless it is convincingly and
unambiguously demonstrated that the two laws are so clearly repugnant and patently
inconsistent that they cannot co-exist. This is based on the rationale that the will of the
cannot

be

overturned

by

the

judicial

function

of

construction

and

interpretation. Courts cannot take the place of Congress in repealing statutes. Their function is
to try to harmonize, as much as possible, seeming conflicts in the laws and resolve doubts in
favor of their validity and co-existence.

[17]

Thus, a subsequent general law does not repeal a prior

special law, unless the intent to repeal or alter is manifest, although the terms of the general law
are broad enough to include the cases embraced in the special law.

Administrative Proceedings may be commenced against a subordinate officer or the

employee by the head of department or officer of equivalent rank, or head of local government, or
chiefs of agencies, or regional directors, or upon sworn, written complaint of any other persons.
There is really no repugnance between the Civil Service Decree and the Magna Carta for Public

Contrary to petitioners asseverations,[16] RA 4670 is applicable to this case. It has not been

legislature

a)

[18]

The aforementioned Section 9 of RA 4670, therefore, reflects the legislative intent to impose
a standard and a separate set of procedural requirements in connection with administrative
proceedings involving public schoolteachers. Clearly, private respondents right to due process of
law requires compliance with these requirements laid down by RA 4670. Verba legis non est
recedendum.

School Teachers. Although the Civil Service Decree gives the head of department or the regional
director jurisdiction to investigate and decide disciplinary matters, the fact is that such power is
exercised through committees. In cases involving public school teachers, the Magna Carta
provides that the committee be constituted as follows:
Sec. 9. Administrative Charges. - Administrative charges against a teacher shall be heard initially
by a committee composed of the corresponding School Superintendent of the Division or a duly
authorized representative who would at least have the rank of a division supervisor, where the
teacher belongs, as chairman, a representative of the local or, in its absence, any existing
provincial or national teachers organization and a supervisor of the Division, the last two to be
designated by the Director of Public Schools. The committee shall submit its findings, and
recommendations to the Director of Public Schools within thirty days from the termination of the
hearings: Provided, however, that where the school superintendent is the complainant or an
interested party, all the members of the committee shall be appointed by the Secretary of
Education.
Indeed, in the case at bar, neither the DECS [s]ecretary nor the DECS-NCR regional director
personally conducted the investigation but entrusted it to a committee composed of a division
supervisor, secondary and elementary school teachers, and consultants. But there was no

Hence, Respondent Court of Appeals, through Mr. Justice Vicente V. Mendoza who is now a
member of this Court, perceptively and correctly stated:
Respondent-appellants argue that the Magna Carta has been superseded by the Civil Service
Decree (P.D. No. 807) and that pursuant to the latter law the head of a department, like the
DECS secretary, or a regional director, like the respondent-appellant Nilo Rosas, can file
administrative charges against a subordinate, investigate him and take disciplinary action against
him if warranted by his findings. Respondent-appellants cite in support of their argument the
following provisions of the Civil Service Decree (P.D. No. 807):
Sec. 37. Disciplinary Jurisdiction. --

representative of a teachers organization. This is a serious flaw in the composition of the


committee because the provision for the representation of a teachers organization is intended by
law for the protection of the rights of teachers facing administrative charges.
There is thus nothing in the Magna Carta that is in any way inconsistent with the Civil Service
Decree insofar as procedures for investigation is concerned. To the contrary, the Civil Service
Decree, [S]ec. 38(b) affirms the Magna Carta by providing that the respondent in an
administrative case may ask for a formal investigation, which was what the teachers did in this
case by questioning the absence of a representative of a teachers organization in the investigating
committee.
The administrative committee considered the teachers to have waived their right to a hearing
after the latters counsel walked out of the preliminary hearing. The committee should not have

xxx

xxx

xxx

made such a ruling because the walk out was staged in protest against the procedures of the
committee and its refusal to give the teachers counsel a copy of the guidelines. The committee
concluded its investigation and ordered the dismissal of the teachers without giving the teachers

the right to full access of the evidence against them and the opportunity to defend

THE SUMMARY DISMISSAL BOARD AND THE REGIONAL APPELLATE BOARD, PNP, REGION

themselves. Its predisposition to find petitioner-appellees guilty of the charges was in fact noted

VI, ILOILO CITY, petitioners,

by the Supreme Court when in its resolution in G.R. No. 101943 (Rosario Septimo v. Judge
Martin Villarama, Jr.) it stated:

vs.
C/INSP. LAZARO TORCITA, respondent.

The facts and issues in this case are similar to the facts and issues in Hon. Isidro Cario, et al. v.
Hon. Carlos C. Ofilada, et al. G.R. No. 100206, August 22, 1961.
As in the Cario v. Ofilada case, the officials of the Department of Culture and Education are
predisposed to summarily hold the petitioners guilty of the charges against them. In fact, in this
case Secretary Cario, without awaiting formal administrative procedures and on the basis of
reports and implied admissions found the petitioners guilty as charged and dismissed them
from the service in separate decisions dated May 16, 1991 and August 6, 1991. The teachers
went to court. The Court dismissed the case.[19]

Before us is a Petition for Review by way of Certiorari of the Decision of the Court of Appeals1 in
CA-G.R. SP No. 43872, which set aside the Decision of the Regional Director (RD) of the
Philippine National Police (PNP) of Iloilo City, through its Summary Dismissal Board (SDB),
suspending herein respondent C/Insp. Lazaro Torcita from the service for twenty (20) days for
"Simple Irregularity in the Performance of Duty under Section 41 of R.A. 6975."
The antecedents are as follows:

Furthermore, this Court sees no valid reason to disregard the factual findings and
conclusions of the Court of Appeals. It is not our function to assess and evaluate all over again
the evidence, testimonial and documentary, adduced by the parties particularly where, such as
here, the findings of both the trial court and the appellate court coincide.

GONZAGA-REYES, J.:

On July 6, 1994, the following verified complaints were filed against C/Insp. Lazaro Torcita,
herein respondent, by Manuel Puey, Jesus Puey, Alex Edwin del Rosario:

[20]

1) Administrative Case Nr. SDHB "B6"-94-01- for Conduct Unbecoming of a Police


It is as clear as day to us that the Court of Appeals committed no reversible error in

Officer filed by Jesus H. Puey in a complaint dated June 25, 1994;

affirming the trial courts decision setting aside the questioned orders of petitioners; and ordering
the unqualified reinstatement of private respondents and the payment to them of salaries,

2) Admin. Case Nr. SDHB "B6"-94-02- for Grave Threats filed by Jesus H. Puey;

allowances, bonuses and other benefits that accrued to their benefit during the entire duration of
their suspension or dismissal.[21] Because the administrative proceedings involved in this case are
void, no delinquency or misconduct may be imputed to private respondents. Moreover, the
suspension or dismissal meted on them is baseless. Private respondents should, as a
consequence, be reinstated[22] and awarded all monetary benefits that may have accrued to them
during the period of their unjustified suspension or dismissal. [23] This Court will never
countenance a denial of the fundamental right to due process, which is a cornerstone of our legal

3) Admin. Case Nr. SDHB "B6"-94-03 for Abuse of Authority and Illegal Search filed by
Jesus H. Puey;
4) Admin. Case Nr. SDHB "B6"-94-04 for Abuse of Authority and Violation of Domicile
filed by Jesus H. Puey;

system.
5) Admin. Case Nr. SDHB "B6"-94-05 for Abuse of Authority and Violation of
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the petition is hereby DENIED for its utter failure to
show any reversible error on the part of the Court of Appeals. The assailed Decision is
thusAFFIRMED.

6) Admin. Case Nr. SDHB "B6" -94-06 for Conduct Unbecoming of a Police Officer filed
by Manuel H. Puey;

SO ORDERED.

7) Admin. Case Nr. SDHB "B6" -94-07 for Illegal Search filed by Manuel H. Puey;
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila
THIRD DIVISION

G.R. No. 130442

COMELEC Gun Ban filed by Jesus H. Puey;

April 6, 2000

8) Admin. Case Nr. SDHB "B6" -94-08 for Grave Abuse of Authority and Violation of
Domicile filed by Manuel Puey;
9) Admin. Case Nr. SDHB "B6" -94-09 for Abuse of Authority and Violation of
COMELEC Gun Ban filed by Manuel Puey;

10) Admin. Case Nr. SDHB "B6" -94-10 for Conduct Unbecoming of a Police Officer

for he was in the performance of his official duties in pursuing the suspect who

filed by Alex Edwin del Rosario;

committed a crime in his presence;

11) Admin. Case Nr. SDHB "B6" -94-11 for Abuse of Authority and Grave Threats filed

From the affidavits of the witnesses and testimonies presented by the complainants

by Alex Edwin del Rosario;

and the counter affidavits and the counter testimonies of the respondent, the ISSUE
before the Board is whether the respondent is guilty of Conduct Unbecoming of a Police

12) Admin. Case Nr. SDHB "B6" -94-12 for Abuse of Authority and Violation of
COMELEC Gun Ban filed by Alex Edwin del Rosario.
The twelve administrative complaints were the subject of administrative hearings before the
Summary Dismissal Board of the PNP. At the pre-trial, the parties and their respective counsels
agreed that the twelve cases shall be consolidated into one "major complaint" for "conduct
unbecoming of a police officer" under Par. e, Sec. 3, Rule II, Memorandum Circular No. 92-006
pursuant to RA 69752 . The statement of the case by the Summary Dismissal Board is as follows:
That sometime last April 26, 1994, after attending the birthday party of Miss Jessie
Vasquez Alex Edwin del Rosario, together with Rosita Bistal, Carmen Braganza and

Officer under Republic Act 6975 as implemented by Memorandum Circular 92-006 of


the National Police Commission under Rule II Section 3, Paragraph C, committed thru
a series of illegal acts consisting of Grave Threats, Illegal Search, Abuse of Authority,
Violation of Domicile and Violation of COMELEC Gun Ban.
The complainant presented documentary evidence and witnesses Congressman Manuel Puey,
Rosita Bistal, Alex Edwin del Rosario and Reynaldo Consejo. Respondent Torcita testified in his
behalf and presented Nehru Java, a member of the PNP Cadiz, who was with him during the
incident in question.
The Summary Dismissal Board made the following findings of facts:

Cristita Dawa boarded Mazda pick up with plate nr. HHP-808 and driven by Reynaldo
Consejo, proceeded towards the direction of Cadiz City.

That sometime last April 26, 1994, at about 10:30 in the evening, a red Cortina Ford,
driven by C/Insp. Lazaro H. Torcita, with his aide, PO2 Nehru Java, in the front seat

While nearing Crossing Cadiz in the vicinity of Sitio Puting Tubig, the aforementioned
Mazda pick-up driven by Consejo overtook a red Cortina Ford driven by Major Lazaro
Torcita; That on board the motor vehicle driven by Torcita were three females sitted at
the back;
That Major Lazaro Torcita signaled the passengers of the Mazda pick-up to stop,
however, the driver of the Mazda pick-up refused to abide by the signal and instead
accelerated and proceeded to Hda. Aimee without stopping.
That upon reaching Hda. Aimee Major Lazaro Torcita, entered the compound and was
approached by two persons in civilian clothes which prevented him from further
proceeding; Moments after, the patrol car of Cadiz PNP arrived and together with Major
Torcita, approached Jesus H. Puey and Alex Edwin del Rosario, inquiring as to the
identity of the persons who accosted him;
The complainants alleged that Major Torcita approached and entered the compound of
Hda. Aimee, very drunk, with back-up vehicle full of armed policemen, confronted
Jesus H. Puey and Alex Edwin del Rosario as who stopped him at the gate, shouting in
a very, very loud voice, invectives and remarks;
That such act of Major Lazaro Torcita constitute Conduct Unbecoming of an Officer not
worth of respect;
In his answer, the respondent, Lazaro R. Torcita, while admitting that he entered the
premises of the complainants, the same was done on a regular, lawful and proper way

and his wife with two ladies at the backseat, were overtaken by a mazda pick-up, in the
vicinity of Sitio Puting Tubig, about 10 kilometers from crossing Cadiz, owned by
Congressman Manuel Puey and driven Reynaldo Consejo with four (4) passengers in
the persons of Alex Edwin del Rosario, the executive assistant and financial analyst of
Congressman Puey, three (3) helpers employed under the Congressman, namely, Rosita
Bistal, Carmen Braganza and Cristina Dawa;
That both parties came from the Municipality of Victorias where they attended some
social functions on the occasion of the town fiesta;
After the mazda pick-up has overtaken the red Cortina Ford, it accelerated speed and
proceeded to Hda. Aimee, a sugarcane plantation in Cadiz City, also owned by
Congressman Manuel Puey; The red Cortina Ford followed also at high speed until it
reached Hda. Aimee where C/Insp. Torcita and PO2 Java alighted and the
confrontation with Alex Edwin del Rosario and Jesus Puey, occurred;
The Complainant tried to establish the fact that nothing unusual occurred or
transpired between the parties in the vicinity of Sitio Puting Tubig and that Torcita has
no business pursuing them; However the Board is more inclined to give credence to the
affidavits (exhibit 5 & 6) and the testimony of C/Insp. Torcita that a vehicular collision
almost took place due to reckless driving of the driver of the mazda pick-up;
That it was the duty inherent to the position as Chief of Police of Cadiz City and as
deputy of the Land Transportation Office to enforce traffic rules and regulation to
prevent chaos and accidents in roads and highways of the country (exhibit 13); This

observation is further bolstered by the testimony of Reynaldo Consejo, the driver of the

credential, had published a news item about the presence of armed security personnel

mazda pick-up, that he was able to overtake the red Cortina Ford only after the latter

of Congressman Manuel Puey exhibit 14); This evidence give more credence to the fact

car hit the shoulder of the road and after overtaking he increased his speed (tsn page

that there were really armed men in the premises where the aforementioned incident

131, August 30, 1994);

happened; That this is corroborated further by the affidavit of PO2 Nehru Java (exhibit
17);

This sudden increase in speed of a driver involved in a vehicular accident is a classic


move for one who wants a fast get away from the scene, to escape responsibility;

This observation of the Board that there were really armed men in the premises of
Hda. Aimee, is further enhance by the fact that Major Torcita felt their presence when

Further, Alex Edwin del Rosario testified that upon reaching Hda. Aimee, he instructed
the guard to be on look-out for a car might be following them and might enter the
compound (TSN page 70 August 30, 1994 ). This conduct would show that witness is
anticipating that red Cortina Ford would follow them because of the incident in Sitio
Puting Tubig which could have ended in a vehicular collision and finally no proof was

he desisted from further entering the compound, a feeling which was developed and
nurtured by years of living under combat conditions and finally the Board also feels
that the presence of armed persons in the offices and properties of high government
officials is accepted as a necessary consequence for their protection due to the greater
risks they are expose to;

presented to show that no other reason exist as to why C/Insp. Torcita would pursue
the Mazda pick up other than near occurrence of a vehicular collision;

That because of the incident in Sitio Puting Tubig which was further aggravated by the
confrontation near the gate of the compound of Hda. Aimee, C/Insp. Torcita upon the

The Complainant presented the Joint-Affidavit of Rosita Bistal and Reynaldo Consejo
and the Affidavit of Alex Edwin del Rosario, jointly taken, may be considered as proof

arrival of the back-up force of PNP Cadiz City, proceeded to the place where Capt.
Jesus Puey and Alex Edwin del Rosario were; This fact is not disputed by the parties;

that C/Insp. Torcita has committed act or series of acts that would constitute Grave
Threat, Illegal Search, Abuse of Authority, Violation of Domicile and Violation of

xxx

xxx

xxx

COMELEC Resolutions regarding the gun ban, thus CONDUCT UNBECOMING OF A


POLICE OFFICER;

Chief Insp. Lazaro Torcita does not deny having taken alcoholic drink; However, not to
the point of drunkness; The Board is more inclined to believe this allegation for no

That in the Joint-Affidavit of Rosita Bistal and Reynaldo Consejo (exhibit c; exhibit 2),

sane person will risks the life of a member of his family by deliberately driving when he

Bistal attempted to establish the fact that C/Insp. Torcita and PO2 Java illegally

is mentally and physically incapable; Further, C/Insp. Torcita was able to drive from

entered the gate of the compound but were stopped by the guards armed with cane

Victorias to Cadiz City, a distance of forty kilometers, on a dark night and raining and

stick or batuta, however in her testimony given during the hearing (tsn page 32,

was able to avoid collision of the vehicles involved by sheer reflex action despite the

August 30, 1994) she stated that she did not know what transpired between the two

admitted fact that his tire hit the shoulder of the road;

men approaching and the guards near the gate because she, together with her
companions, were busy unloading kitchen utensil from the pick-up to the kitchen and
Consejo categorically stated that this portion of their affidavit, specifically paragraph 7,
is NOT TRUE; Alex Edwin del Rosario, in his testimony given in the hearing,
corroborated this fact that he also did not see or hear what happened for he was in
some distance away and he cannot see them clearly (TSN page 73, August 30, 1994);

Further, at the time Chief Inspector Torcita entered the compound he was fully aware
of the presence of armed men and reacted to this by exercising prudence while
approaching the compound of Hda. Aimee; The foregoing facts would show that
C/Insp. Torcita was in full command of his senses and was not affected by the
numbing effect of alcohol for a drunk person does not show any caution and behaves
irrationaly.

The only piece of evidence presented in connection with the incident which happened
near the gate of the compound is the affidavit of C/Insp. Torcita and his testimony
given in the hearing of the case that when he was walking towards the compound
together with his aide, PO2 Nehru Java, two armed civilian guards stopped and
threatened him; He identified himself however, the same had no effect, and PO2 Java
whispered that there are armed men around them and that it is dangerous for them to
continue. That at this point, they radioed for back-up; Since no proof to the contrary
was presented by the Complainant nor was there any witness or witnesses presented
to rebut this allegations, the Board had no other choice except to consider these
allegations as proof; (Exhibit 5 & 6); The Board also resolve to take note that a
metropolitan newspaper with nationwide circulation and with unquestionable

The Board did not find sufficient evidence to establish that Torcita threatened anybody with a
gun, nor that a serious confrontation took place between the parties. The Board also found that
there was no sufficient evidence that the urinating incident took place, and held that the charges
of violation of domicile and illegal search were not proven. The Board found that Lazaro Torcita
was "in the performance of his official duties when the incident happened; however, he committed
a breach of internal discipline by taking alcoholic drinks while in the performance of same. The
dispositive portion of the decision of the Board reads:
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the Complaint for CONDUCT UNBECOMING
OF A POLICE OFFICER under Memo Cir. Nr. 92-006 pursuant to Sec. 42, RA 6975, be

DISMISSED for lack of sufficient evidence, however finds C/Insp. Lazaro R. Torcita to

In his comment, respondent Torcita insists that his right to due process of law was "corrosively

have committed SIMPLE IRREGULARITY IN THE PERFORMANCE OF DUTY under Sec.

abridged and impaired", and pleads for an affirmance of the decision of the Court of Appeals.

41, RA 6975, in relation to NAPOLCOM Memo Cir. Nr. 91-002 and is hereby ORDERED
SUSPENDED for twenty days (20) and forfeiture of salary for the same period of time
effective upon receipt of this Decision under Rule 7, Section 2, Sub-par. b of the same
Memo Circular.
Torcita appealed his conviction to the Regional Appellate Board of the PNP, Region VI, Iloilo City,
but the appeal was dismissed for lack of jurisdiction; Thus,

The appeal has no merit. The Court of Appeals did not err in affirming the decision of the trial
court granting the petition for certiorari.
The administrative disciplinary machinery for dealing with complaints or charges against any
member of the Philippine National Police (PNP) is laid down in Republic Act No. 6975, otherwise
known as the "Department of the Interior and Local Government Act of 1990." This law defines
the summary dismissal powers of the PNP Chief and Regional Directors, among others in cases,

Under the applicable provisions of Section 45 of R. A. 6975, however, the disciplinary

"where the respondent is guilty of conduct unbecoming of a police officer." 5 Memorandum

action imposed by the Regional Director upon a PNP member shall be final and

Circular No. 92-006 prescribes the "Rules and Regulations in the conduct of summary dismissal

executory except those involving demotion in rank or dismissal from the service. The

proceedings against erring PNP members" and defines conduct unbecoming of a police officer

appealed decision being that of suspension from the service with corresponding

under Section 3 (c), Rule II, as follows:

forfeiture of pay only the same is not subject to review by this Board. 3
"Conduct unbecoming of a police officer" refers to any behavior or action of a PNP
Whereupon, C/Insp. Torcita filed a petition for certiorari in the regional trial court of Iloilo City,

member, irrespective of rank, done in his official capacity, which, in dishonoring or

Branch 31, questioning the legality of the conviction of an offense for which he was not charged,

otherwise disgracing himself as a PNP member, seriously compromise his character

"which conviction is a nullity because of the lack of procedural due process of law."

and standing as a gentleman in such a manner as to indicate his vitiated or corrupt


state of moral character; it may also refer to acts or behavior of any PNP member in an

Public respondent filed a motion to dismiss, which was denied. The regional trial court granted
the petition forcertiorari and annulled the dispositive portion of the questioned decision insofar as
it found Torcita guilty of simple irregularity in the performance of duty.
Public respondent appealed from the above-mentioned decision of the regional trial court, by
petition of review to the Court of Appeals, which affirmed the same for the reason that the
respondent could not have been guilty of irregularity considering that "the twelve (12) cases
treated as Conduct Unbecoming of a Police Officer were eventually dismissed."
The instant petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 seeks the reversal of the aforesaid
decision of the Court of Appeals on the following grounds:
1 THE OFFENSE OF "SIMPLE IRREGULARITY IN THE PERFORMANCE OF DUTY" IS
NECESSARILY INCLUDED IN THE CHARGE OF "CONDUCT UNBECOMING OF A
POLICE OFFICER."
2 THE DECISION OF THE SUMMARY DISMISSAL BOARD (SDB) AND THE
NAPOLCOM REGIONAL APPELLATE BOARD HAS BECOME FINAL AND EXECUTORY.4

unofficial or private capacity which, in dishonoring or disgracing himself personally as


a gentleman, seriously compromises his position as a PNP member and exhibits
himself as morally unworthy to remain as a member of the organization.
On the other hand, the acts constituting "simple irregularity in the performance of duty" are
defined in Memorandum Circular No. 91-002. It is a light offense, incurred, among others, by a
member of the PNP who shall, among others, be found to "have the odor or smell of alcohol on his
breath while on duty, or possess alcoholic beverages on his person, police vehicle, post or office."
(Sec. 2. A, Rule VI).
As above-stated, the Summary Dismissal Board absolved the C/Insp. Torcita of the consolidated
charge of "conduct unbecoming of a police officer" but found him guilty of simple irregularity in
the performance of duty under Sec. 41, R.A. No. 6975, in relation to Napolcom Memorandum
Circular No. 91-002 and imposed a penalty of suspension for twenty (20) days and forfeiture of
salary for the same period.
We are unable to sustain the theory of the petitioners that the definition of "conduct unbecoming
of a police officer" as earlier granted, is broad enough to include any act of an officer which tends
to bring dishonor and disgrace to the PNP organization, and that there is "no legal prohibition"
which would prevent the Summary Dismissal Board from finding petitioner guilty of the lesser

The petitioners submit that the offense of "Conduct Unbecoming of a Police Officer" is broad

offense. While the definition of the more serious offense is broad, and almost all-encompassing a

enough to include any act of an officer which tends to bring dishonor and disgrace to the PNP

finding of guilt for an offense, no matter how light, for which one is not properly charged and tried

organization, and Simple Irregularity in the Performance of Duty is one act which brings such

cannot be countenanced without violating the rudimentary requirements of due process.

disgrace and dishonor as contemplated by law. Moreover, the dismissal has become final and
executory and the trial court erred when it proceeded with the petition in violation of the doctrine
of primary jurisdiction.

The series of twelve complaints filed against C/Insp. Torcita were solely based on the incident
that occurred on April 26, 1994 at about 11:00 o'clock in the evening, wherein Torcita, who was

off-duty and was in civilian clothes, riding in his private vehicle with members of his family,

findings referring to this particular offense. As it turned out, the dismissal Board believed his

chased another vehicle which overtook his car in a reckless manner and in violation of the Traffic

allegation that he was not drunk and found that he was in full command of his senses where he

Code; the hot pursuit ended at the Hacienda Aimee, where he allegedly entered the place without

tried to apprehend the driver of the maroon Mazda pick-up. Although Torcita did not deny that he

lawful warrant and while inside, belligerently shouted invectives, challenging everyone to a fight,

had taken a shot of alcoholic drink at the party which he attended before the incident, the

pointed his gun at somebody and urinated in full view of the persons therein. The Dismissal

records show that he was then off-duty and the party was at the Municipality of Victorias, which

Board found the above charges unsubstantiated and held that Torcita was in the performance of

was outside of his area of police jurisdiction. On the other hand, the hot pursuit incident

official duty when the incidents happened. "However, he committed breach of internal discipline

occurred while he was on in his way home to Cadiz City with the members of his family. As

by taking alcoholic drinks while in the performance of same."

observed by the Dismissal Board itself, the hot pursuit was motivated by the duty "inherent to
the position as Chief of Police of Cadiz City and as Deputy of the Land Transportation Office to

It is glaringly apparent from a reading of the titles of the twelve administrative cases filed against
C/Insp. Torcita, earlier quoted, that none of the charges or offenses mentioned or made reference
to the specific act of being drunk while in the performance of official duty. The records do not
bear out the specific acts or conduct constituting the charge/offense in the twelve cases which
were consolidated at the pre-hearing conference into a single case of "Conduct Unbecoming of a

enforce traffic rules and regulations, to prevent chaos and accidents in roads and highways"
(Decision, p. 76). The Court of Appeals correctly pointed out that even if he was prosecuted for
irregular performance of duty, he could not have been found to have the odor or smell of alcohol
while in the performance of duty because he was not on duty at the time that he had a taste of
liquor; he was on a private trip fetching his wife.

Police Officer." Thus, the Board defined the issue before the Board as "whether the respondent is
guilty of conduct unbecoming of a police officer under Republic Act 6975, as implemented by

Premises considered, we hold that the Court of Appeals correctly found that the decision of the

Memorandum Circular No. 92-006 of the National Police Commission under Rule II, Section 3,

petitioners Board was rendered without or in excess of jurisdiction, as respondent Torcita was

Paragraph c, committed though a series of illegal acts consisting of grave threats, illegal search,

found guilty of an offense for which he was not properly charged. A decision is void for lack of due

abuse of authority, violation of domicile or violation of Comelec Gunban." Notably, there is no

process if, as a result, a party is deprived of the opportunity of being heard (Palu-ay vs. CA, 293

indication or warning at all in the summary dismissal proceedings that C/Insp. Torcita was also

SCRA 358). A void judgment never acquires finality (Heirs of Mayor Nemencio Galvez vs. CA 255

being charged with breach of internal discipline consisting of taking alcoholic drinks while in the

SCRA 672; Fortich vs. Corona, 298 SCRA 678). Hence, aforementioned decision cannot be

performance of his duties.

deemed to have become final and executory.

The omission is fatal to the validity of the judgment finding him guilty of the offense for which he

WHEREFORE, the assailed decision dated September l, 1997 of the Court of Appeals is

was not notified nor charged.1a\^/phi1 Summary dismissal proceedings are governed by specific

AFFIRMED and the instant petition is DISMISSED.

requirements of notification of the charges together with copies of affidavits and other
attachments supporting the complaints, and the filing of an answer, together with supporting
documents. It is true that consistent with its summary nature, the duration of the hearing is

SO ORDERED.1

limited, and the manner of conducting the hearing is summary, in that sworn statements may
take the place of oral testimonies of witnesses, cross-examination is confined only to material and

FIRST DIVISION

relevant matters, and prolonged arguments and dilatory proceedings shall not be entertained.
(Section 4, Memorandum Circular No. 92-006). However, notification of the charges contemplates
that respondent be informed of the specific charges against him. Torcita was entitled to know that
he was being charged with being drunk while in the performance of duty, so that he could
traverse the accusation squarely and adduce evidence in his defense. Although he was given an
opportunity to be heard on the multiple and broad charges initially filed against him, the absence

OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN,


Represented by Hon. SIMEON V.
MARCELO,

of specification of the offense for which he was eventually found guilty is not a proper observance

G.R. No. 164460


Present:

Petitioner,

Panganiban, CJ,

of due process. There can be no short-cut to the legal process (Alonte vs. Savellano Jr., 287 SCRA
245).
It is a requirement of due process that the parties be informed of how the litigation was decided
with an explanation of the factual and legal reasons that led to the conclusions of the Court (ABD

- versus -

Overseas Manpower Corp. vs. NLRC, 286 SCRA 454). Memorandum Circular No. 92-006
specifically prescribes that the decision shall contain "a brief statement of the material facts and
the findings of the summary dismissal authority as well as the disposition thereof" (Sec. 6). The
cursory conclusion of the Dismissal Board that Torcita "committed breach of internal discipline
by taking drinks while in the performance of same" should have been substantiated by factual

Chair

man,

YnaresSantiago,
Austria-Martinez,
Callejo, Sr. and
Chico-Nazario, JJ
Promulgated:

CARMENCITA D. CORONEL,

Respondent.

June 27, 2006

x -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- x

DECISION

PANGANIBAN, CJ:

I
n administrative cases, a finding of guilt must be supported by substantial evidence. In the
present case, an unauthenticated photocopy of an alleged receipt does not constitute substantial
evidence to show that respondent is guilty of dishonesty. In fact, absent any authentication, the
photocopy is inadmissible in evidence; at the very least, it has no probative value.

The Case

Before us is a Petition for Review [1] under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, assailing the August
28, 2003 Decision[2] and the June 28, 2004 Resolution of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-GR SP
No. 77047.[3] The CA Decision nullified petitioners Order of Disapproval dated March 23, 2001,
[4]

while the CA Resolution denied petitioners Motion for Reconsideration. [5] The challenged

Decision disposed thus:


WHEREFORE, premises considered, and in view of all the
foregoing, the petition is GIVEN DUE COURSE. The Disapproval by
[Petitioner] Ombudsman on the March 23, 200[1] [[6]] Order of Graft
Investigation Officer I Grace H. Morales, granting the motion for
reconsideration
of
[Respondent]Carmencita D. Coronel is ANNULLED
and
SET
ASIDE for having been done with grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. Consequently, the

March [7], 200[1][[7]] Order of Graft Investigation Officer I Grace H.


Morales
exonerating
[Respondent] Carmencita D. Coronel is
herebyREINSTATED and AFFIRMED.[8]

The Facts

According to the CA, the facts are as follows:


[Respondent] Carmencita D. Coronel is a Senior Accounting
Processor
B
with
Salary
Grade
10
of
the Linamon Water
District, Lanao del Norte. OnSeptember 26, 1997, the Board of Directors
of Linamon Water District, by virtue of Resolution No. 056[,] Series of 1997,
designated [respondent] as Officer-in-Charge, effective October 1, 1997 until
a General Manager shall have been appointed.
In the morning of October 14, 1998, [respondent] called for a meeting
the officers of the different Water Districts in Lanao del Norte
and Lanao del Sur, as well as their advisors from the Local Water Utilities
Administration (LWUA). Since it was nearing lunchtime, the group opted to
continue
their
meeting
atMarvillas Store
at Barangay Bunuun, Iligan City. The luncheon meeting, attended by more or less ten (10)
persons, was presided over by Advisor RhodoraGumban of the LWUA. As
the host of the said meeting, [respondent] paid for the lunch in the amount
of One Thousand Two [H]undred Thirteen [P]esos(P1,213.00), as shown in
cash Invoice No. 0736 dated October 14, 1998.
On November 13, 1998, [respondent] claimed for reimbursement of
her expenses covered by Voucher No. 98-11-23, chargeable against the
representation and entertainment account of her office. That very same day,
the voucher was approved and [respondent] got her reimbursement in the
amount of One Thousand Two [H]undred Thirteen [P]esos (P1,213.00).
On November 17, 1998, Pedro C. Sausal, Jr. was appointed General
Manager of Linamon Water District. On February 1999, he filed with the
Office of the Ombudsman-Mindanao a sworn letter-complaint against herein
[respondent] for dishonesty. The case was docketed as Case No. OMB-MINADM 99-044. The complaint alleges that [respondent] falsified the cash
invoice she submitted for reimbursement by making it appear that the
luncheon bill was for One Thousand Two [H]undred Thirteen
[P]esos (P1,213.00) when in fact, it was only Two [H]undred Thirteen
[P]esos (P213.00), as reflected in the photocopy of the original duplicate of
cash invoice No. 0736 dated October 14, 1998.
On November 27, 2000, Grace H. Morales, Graft Investigation Officer
I of the OMB-Mindanao, Davao City, rendered a decision, approved by the
then Ombudsman Aniano A. Desierto on December 29, 2000, the dispositive
portion of which readsWHEREFORE, premises considered, this
office finds and so holds that respondent
CARMENCITA D. CORONEL is guilty of DISHONESTY
and is hereby DISMISSED from the service, with
forfeiture of all leave credits and retirement benefits,
pursuant to Section 22 (a) in relation to Sec. 9 of Rule
XIV of the Omnibus Rules Implementing Book V of

the Administrative Code of 1987. She is disqualified


from re-employment in the national and local
governments, as well as in any agency, including
government-owned or controlled corporations. Let a
copy of this decision be entered in the personal
records of respondent.
SO DECIDED.
On January 10, 2001, the Office of the Ombudsman, Manila,
issued an order directing the General Manager of Linamon Water
District, Lanao del Norte, to implement the decision dated November 27,
2000.
[Respondent] filed her motion for reconsideration dated February
2, 2001. On March 7, 2001, Graft Investigation Officer I Grace H. Morales
issued an Order, the decretal portion of which statesWHEREFORE, premises considered, the
Motion for reconsideration is granted and the Decision
of this Office dated November 27, 2000 dismissing from
the
service
respondent Carmencita D. Coronel is
hereby SET ASIDE.
xxx

xxx

On March
23,
2001,
Ombudsman Aniano Desierto DISAPPROVED the above
[9]
marginal note, the original decision stands.

xxx
[Petitioner]
order with a

Originally, Respondent Coronel filed before this Court a Rule 65 Petition,[10] seeking the

and administrative bodies, should clearly and distinctly state the facts and the law on which they

nullification of petitioners Disapproval Order for having deprived her of due process. In that

are based. The CA cited Eballa v. Paas,[17] in which the Supreme Court had denounced some

case,[11] we said that the Petition should have been denied outright. After all, in Fabian

judges practice of merely noting down their orders on the margin of the motions before them. [18]

v. Desierto,[12] this Court held that appeals from the decisions of the Office of the Ombudsman
(OMB) in administrative disciplinary cases should be taken to the CA under Rule 43 of the Rules

Hence, this Petition.[19]

of Court. In that case, though, we ruled that in the interest of justice, there was a need to
Issues

suspend the application of Fabian and Circular AM No. 99-2-02-SC. We considered respondents
Petition then as a petition for review under Rule 43 and referred it to the CA for adjudication on

Petitioner raises the following issues in its Memorandum:

the merits.[13]
I

Ruling of the Court of Appeals

Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in holding that respondent was
not guilty of falsifying the amount written in the receipt.
II

The appellate court nullified petitioners Disapproval Order and reinstated the March 7,

Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in holding that it was grave
injustice for then Ombudsman Desierto not to have considered the evidence
presented by respondent in her Motion for Reconsideration.

2001 Order of Graft Investigation Officer I Grace H. Morales, who exonerated respondent from the
charge of dishonesty.
The CA took cognizance of the corroborating Affidavits [14] submitted by respondent for

III
Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in holding that respondent was
denied due process.
IV

the first time through her Motion for Reconsideration [15] before the ombudsman. The CA held that
those pieces of evidence adequately supported her innocence. The court a quo reiterated the
investigating officers finding that her administrative liability for dishonesty had not been proven.

Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in holding that it was grave
injustice for then Ombudsman Desierto not to give any justification in
disapproving the Order of Dismissal by GIO Grace H. Morales.[20]

Further, the appellate court said that the OMBs disapproval was tainted with grave
Going over petitioners arguments, the issues may be reduced to the following:
abuse of discretion.[16] First, petitioner ombudsman did not consider the credible evidence
presented by respondent in her Motion for Reconsideration. Second, he did not give any
1.

Whether petitioners Disapproval Order, expressed as a marginal notation, was a

justification for his disapproval of the investigating officers ruling. This shortcoming was in
valid decision or order
contravention of the constitutional mandate that all decisions, even if rendered by quasi-judicial

2.

Whether the investigating officer committed an error in admitting respondents


new evidence

3.

Whether respondent was guilty of dishonesty.

The Courts Ruling

The Petition is partly meritorious.

First Issue:
Validity of the Disapproval Order

The notation does not deny respondent of her right to due process. In administrative
proceedings, the essence of due process lies simply in the opportunity to explain ones side or to
seek reconsideration of the action or ruling complained of. What is proscribed is the absolute

Respondent maintains that Ombudsman Desiertos marginal notation -- which reads, The
lack of notice or hearing.[29]
original decision stands -- was violative of her right to due process for failing to state the basis
for the action.[21]
In this case, respondent was given every opportunity to be heard. Significantly, her
intelligible pleadings before the CA and this Court indicate that she knew the bases for the
On the other hand, petitioner counters that the marginal notation met constitutional
ombudsmans Decision. In fact, she very ably pinpointed its alleged errors that she thought
standards. Citing Olivarez v. Sandiganbayan,[22] the OMB maintains that by referring to the
would merit our review. Not having been left in the dark as to how it was reached, respondents
original Decision, the notation adopts the findings of fact and law already discussed. [23]
insistence on a denial of due process has no legal leg to stand on.

We agree with petitioner. We held in Olivarez[24] that the ombudsmans disapproval orders
written as marginal notations were valid, even if they did not specifically spell out their factual

Second Issue:
Admission of New Evidence

and evidentiary basis.[25] Indeed, this doctrine was first established in Cruz v. People[26] and has
consistently been followed in recent cases. [27] In the present controversy, it is worthwhile to quote
a relevant portion of our ruling in Olivarez:
It may be true that, on the face thereof, the marginal notes seem to lack
any factual or evidentiary basis for failure to specifically spell out the
same. However, that is not all there is to it. What is actually involved here is a
situation wherein, on the bases of the same findings of fact of the investigating
prosecutors, respondent special prosecutors were of the opinion that, contrary to
the formers recommendation, petitioner is probably guilty of the offense
charged. Obviously, therefore, since it is merely a review of the conclusions
arrived at by the investigating prosecutor, another or a new preliminary
investigation is no longer necessary.[28]

The subject notation, The original decision stands, was a valid resolution. It actually
adopted the factual and legal conclusions of the original Decision. Hence, respondent should find
her bearings from that holding.

Petitioner cites Section 8 of Rule III of the Office of the Ombudsmans Rules of Procedure
(Administrative Order No. 07), which provides that a motion for reconsideration may be filed if a
newly discovered evidence would materially affect the order or decision. He then posits that the
Affidavits of the restaurant proprietor and the members of the luncheon meeting, as well as the
Certification of the barangay captain, could not qualify as newly discovered evidence. These were
allegedly available and could have been readily produced by respondent with reasonable diligence
during the administrative adjudication of the case.[30]

On the other hand, respondent cites Samala v. CA[31] to support her claim that rules of
procedure must not be strictly applied to frustrate substantial justice. [32]

Newly discovered evidence refers to that which already exists prior to or during a trial,
but whose existence is not known to the offering litigant; or, though known, could not have been
secured and presented during the trial despite reasonable diligence. [33] What is essential for a
particular piece of evidence to be properly regarded as newly discovered is that the offering

District, Lanao del Sur, MR. BEDE G. GATA, of the Local Water Utilities
Administration, of Balara, Quezon City, and that of MS. RHODORA V. GUMBAN,
also of LWUA, Quezon City, Philippines, [a] Certification issued by
the Punong Barangay of Buru-un, Iligan City, certifying as to the reasonableness
of the price paid by the respondent, in relation to the number of persons present
during that luncheon meeting, in relation to the prevailing price then for meals
in
that
area
which
is
a
tourist
destination
in
the
City
ofIligan. The aforecited documents are herein simultaneously appended and
marked as Annexes C, D, E, F, and G, respectively. [38]

party exercised reasonable diligence in seeking to locate the evidence before or during the trial,
but nonetheless failed to secure it. Thus, a party who knows of the existence of specific pieces of
evidence cannot offer them as newly discovered without any explanation for not presenting

We are convinced that the Affidavits do not constitute newly discovered evidence.
Respondent did not prove that, even with reasonable diligence, she could not have obtained them

them earlier.[34]

during the investigation. There is no showing whatsoever that her corroborating witnesses

Petitioner is correct in saying that the evidence presented by respondent in support of


her

Motion

for

Reconsideration

should

not

have

been

considered. Her

Motion

for

Reconsideration[35] did not explain the belated presentation of her corroborating affidavits, but it
merely contained the following statements:
2. On the basis of the aforecited decision, the respondent hereby
invoke (sic) this Motion for Reconsideration, anchored principally on the ground
that, this Office committed serious errors in [its] findings of fact and law, which
if left uncorrected will be prejudicial to the interest of the herein
respondent. The respondent has also discovered new evidence, which if
considered, will materially affect the decision, which is being sought to be
reconsidered.[36]
The seriousness and the adverse consequential impact of the
decision of this Office as against the herein respondent, compelled the latter to
clarify facts and things with MR. MARIANO MARZO[,] JR., who is the owner
of Marvillas By the Sea, the same business establishment who (sic) issued Cash
Invoice Receipt No. 0736, dated October 14, 1998, which is the gist (sic) of the
complainants cause on the alleged tampering of receipt which (sic) he accused
respondent to have committed the same.
After some initial backgrounder of the case, MR. MARIANO MARZO[,]
JR., personally volunteered to execute and sign a SWORN STATEMENT, before
the Office of the City Prosecutor, of the City of Iligan, detailing every fact as to
the real truth of the matter, the substance of which is reflected in his SWORN
STATEMENT x x x[.][37]
Additionally, in support and in order to corroborate the Sworn
Statement of Mr. Mariano Marzo, Jr., the affidavits of MR. CEDRIC D.
LAGUERTA, General Manager of Kauswagan Water District, Lanao del Norte,
MR.
ROMEO
J.
ANGELES,
General
Manager
of Wao Water

hesitated or declined to give their testimonies.

As it is, the additional evidence offered by Coronel amount to no more than forgotten
evidence, the belated uncovering of which would not have justified a reconsideration of the case.
Forgotten evidence refers to evidence already in existence or available before or during a trial;
known to and obtainable by the party offering it; and could have been presented and offered in a
seasonable manner, were it not for the sheer oversight or forgetfulness of the party or the
counsel.[39] Presentation of forgotten evidence is disallowed, because it results in a piecemeal
presentation of evidence, a procedure that is not in accord with orderly justice [40] and serves only
to delay the proceedings. A contrary ruling may open the floodgates to an endless review of
decisions, whether through a motion for reconsideration or for a new trial, in the guise of newly
discovered evidence.

Third Issue:
Absence of Substantial Evidence

Notwithstanding the inadmissibility of the forgotten evidence of respondent, there is a


basis for reversing the ombudsmans November 27, 2000Decision[41] and for affirming the CA
Decision[42] exonerating her. We find the evidence presented by the complainant insufficient to
support his serious charge that she was dishonest.

Although sufficiency or insufficiency of evidence is a question of fact and is not

The

complainants

evidence

to

prove

falsification

consisted

of

an

generally subject to review by this Court, the instant case falls under the recognized

unauthenticated[45] photocopy of the original duplicate. He could have obtained an affidavit from

exceptions. The original Decision of the ombudsman was not supported by the evidence, but was

the restaurant proprietor or employee who had issued the receipt, in order to attest to its due

grounded entirely on speculations, surmises and conjectures.

execution and authenticity. Absent any proof of due execution and authenticity, the alleged
photocopy of the original duplicate of OR No. 0736 does not convince us that it is an accurate

The evidence of the prosecution consisted merely of the original Official Receipt (OR)

reflection of the actual bill incurred.

No. 0736, and a photocopy of the original duplicate of that receipt. The first was a bill for P1,213;
and the latter, for P213. Both pieces of evidence refer to one and the same Official Receipt; yet,
they

contain

different

amounts. Obviously,

one

of

them

was

While this Court adheres to a liberal view of the conduct of proceedings before

falsified. Unfortunately,

administrative agencies, it also consistently requires some proof of authenticity or reliability as a

Complainant Sausal, Jr., failed to prove that it was indeed respondents receipt that was

condition for the admission of documents. Absent any such proof of authenticity, the photocopy

falsified. As it stands, we do not know for certain if the number 1 was inserted in OR No. 0736

of the original duplicate should be considered inadmissible and, hence, without probative value.

or was deleted from the unauthenticated photocopy of the original duplicate. The evidence is

[46]

equivocal. Besides, given that there were 8 to 10 attendees in the luncheon meeting, a bill
of P1,213 for meals was not entirely improbable, even in 1998.

Given the flimsy charge and the paucity of the evidence against respondent, there is no
need for her to present additional evidence to vindicate herself. The Office of the Ombudsman
should have dismissed the Administrative Complaint against her in the first place. Clearly, her

In administrative cases, the quantum of proof necessary for a finding of guilt is

guilt was not proven by substantial evidence.

substantial evidence;[43] that is, such relevant evidence that a reasonable mind might accept as
WHEREFORE,

adequate to support a conclusion.[44] In the instant case, the complainant did not present

the

Petition

is DENIED. Respondent Carmencita D. Coronel is

evidence to support his theory that the photocopy of the original duplicate reflected the true

hereby EXONERATED of the charge against her for lack of substantial evidence. No pronouncement as to

amount, or that OR No. 0736 had indeed been falsified. That oversight was fatal to the discharge

costs.

of his burden of proof. A reasonable mind will not carelessly jump to the conclusion that

SO ORDERED.

respondent is the guilty party.


EN BANC
[G.R. No. 139465. January 18, 2000]

SECRETARY OF JUSTICE, petitioner, vs. HON. RALPH C. LANTION, Presiding Judge,

A)......18 USC 371 (Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud the United

Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch 25, and MARK B.

States; two [2] counts; Maximum Penalty 5 years on each count);

JIMENEZ,respondents.
B)......26 USC 7201 (Attempt to evade or defeat tax; four [4] counts;
DECISION
MELO, J.:
The individual citizen is but a speck of particle or molecule vis--vis the vast and overwhelming
powers of government. His only guarantee against oppression and tyranny are his fundamental
liberties under the Bill of Rights which shield him in times of need. The Court is now called to

Maximum Penalty 5 years on each count);


C)......18 USC 1343 (Fraud by wire, radio, or television; two [2] counts;
Maximum Penalty 5 years on each count);
D)......18 USC 1001 (False statement or entries; six [6] counts; Maximum
Penalty 5 years on each count);

decide whether to uphold a citizens basic due process rights, or the governments ironclad duties
under a treaty. The bugle sounds and this Court must once again act as the faithful guardian of
the fundamental writ.

E)......2 USC 441f (Election contributions in name of another; thirty-three [33]


counts; Maximum Penalty less than one year).

The petition at our doorstep is cast against the following factual backdrop:
On January 13, 1977, then President Ferdinand E. Marcos issued Presidential Decree No. 1069
"Prescribing the Procedure for the Extradition of Persons Who Have Committed Crimes in a
Foreign Country". The Decree is founded on: the doctrine of incorporation under the
Constitution; the mutual concern for the suppression of crime both in the state where it was
committed and the state where the criminal may have escaped; the extradition treaty with the
Republic of Indonesia and the intention of the Philippines to enter into similar treaties with other
interested countries; and the need for rules to guide the executive department and the courts in
the proper implementation of said treaties.
On November 13, 1994, then Secretary of Justice Franklin M. Drilon, representing the
Government of the Republic of the Philippines, signed in Manila the "Extradition Treaty Between
the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Government of the United States of
America" (hereinafter referred to as the RP-US Extradition Treaty). The Senate, by way of
Resolution No. 11, expressed its concurrence in the ratification of said treaty. It also expressed its
concurrence in the Diplomatic Notes correcting Paragraph (5)(a), Article 7 thereof (on the
admissibility of the documents accompanying an extradition request upon certification by the
principal diplomatic or consular officer of the requested state resident in the Requesting
State).
On June 18, 1999, the Department of Justice received from the Department of Foreign Affairs U.
S. Note Verbale No. 0522 containing a request for the extradition of private respondent Mark
Jimenez to the United States. Attached to the Note Verbale were the Grand Jury Indictment, the
warrant of arrest issued by the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida, and other
supporting documents for said extradition. Based on the papers submitted, private respondent
appears to be charged in the United States with violation of the following provisions of the United
States Code (USC):

(p. 14, Rollo.)


On the same day, petitioner issued Department Order No. 249 designating and authorizing a
panel of attorneys to take charge of and to handle the case pursuant to Section 5(1) of
Presidential Decree No. 1069. Accordingly, the panel began with the "technical evaluation and
assessment" of the extradition request and the documents in support thereof. The panel found
that the "official English translation of some documents in Spanish were not attached to the
request and that there are some other matters that needed to be addressed" (p. 15,
Rollo).
Pending evaluation of the aforestated extradition documents, private respondent, through
counsel, wrote a letter dated July 1, 1999 addressed to petitioner requesting copies of the official
extradition request from the U. S. Government, as well as all documents and papers submitted
therewith; and that he be given ample time to comment on the request after he shall have
received copies of the requested papers. Private respondent also requested that the proceedings
on the matter be held in abeyance in the meantime.
Later, private respondent requested that preliminarily, he be given at least a copy of, or access to,
the request of the United States Government, and after receiving a copy of the Diplomatic Note, a
period of time to amplify on his request.
In response to private respondents July 1, 1999 letter, petitioner, in a reply-letter dated July 13,
1999 (but received by private respondent only on August 4, 1999), denied the foregoing requests
for the following reasons:
1. We find it premature to furnish you with copies of the extradition request
and supporting documents from the United States Government, pending
evaluation by this Department of the sufficiency of the extradition
documents submitted in accordance with the provisions of the extradition

treaty and our extradition law. Article 7 of the Extradition Treaty between

Such was the state of affairs when, on August 6, 1999, private respondent filed with the Regional

the Philippines and the United States enumerates the documentary

Trial Court of the National Capital Judicial Region a petition against the Secretary of Justice, the

requirements and establishes the procedures under which the documents

Secretary of Foreign Affairs, and the Director of the National Bureau of Investigation,

submitted shall be received and admitted as evidence. Evidentiary

for mandamus (to compel herein petitioner to furnish private respondent the extradition

requirements under our domestic law are also set forth in Section 4 of P.D.

documents, to give him access thereto, and to afford him an opportunity to comment on, or

No. 1069.

oppose, the extradition request, and thereafter to evaluate the request impartially, fairly and
objectively); certiorari (to set aside herein petitioners letter dated July 13, 1999); and prohibition

Evaluation by this Department of the aforementioned documents is not a


preliminary investigation nor akin to preliminary investigation of criminal
cases. We merely determine whether the procedures and requirements
under the relevant law and treaty have been complied with by the
Requesting Government. The constitutionally guaranteed rights of the

(to restrain petitioner from considering the extradition request and from filing an extradition
petition in court; and to enjoin the Secretary of Foreign Affairs and the Director of the NBI from
performing any act directed to the extradition of private respondent to the United States), with an
application for the issuance of a temporary restraining order and a writ of preliminary injunction
(pp. 104-105, Rollo).

accused in all criminal prosecutions are therefore not available.


The aforementioned petition was docketed as Civil Case No. 99-94684 and thereafter raffled to
It is only after the filing of the petition for extradition when the person
sought to be extradited will be furnished by the court with copies of the

Branch 25 of said regional trial court stationed in Manila which is presided over by the Honorable
Ralph C. Lantion.

petition, request and extradition documents and this Department will not
pose any objection to a request for ample time to evaluate said

After due notice to the parties, the case was heard on August 9, 1999. Petitioner, who appeared

documents.

in his own behalf, moved that he be given ample time to file a memorandum, but the same was
denied.

2. The formal request for extradition of the United States contains grand
jury information and documents obtained through grand jury process

On August 10, 1999, respondent judge issued an order dated the previous day, disposing:

covered by strict secrecy rules under United States law. The United States
had to secure orders from the concerned District Courts authorizing the
United States to disclose certain grand jury information to Philippine
government and law enforcement personnel for the purpose of extradition of
Mr. Jimenez. Any further disclosure of the said information is not
authorized by the United States District Courts. In this particular
extradition request the United States Government requested the Philippine
Government to prevent unauthorized disclosure of the subject information.
This Departments denial of your request is consistent with Article 7 of the
RP-US Extradition Treaty which provides that the Philippine Government
must represent the interests of the United States in any proceedings arising
out of a request for extradition. The Department of Justice under P.D. No.
1069 is the counsel of the foreign governments in all extradition requests.
3. This Department is not in a position to hold in abeyance proceedings in
connection with an extradition request. Article 26 of the Vienna Convention
on the Law of Treaties, to which we are a party provides that "[E]very treaty
in force is binding upon the parties to it and must be performed by them in
good faith". Extradition is a tool of criminal law enforcement and to be
effective, requests for extradition or surrender of accused or convicted

WHEREFORE, this Court hereby Orders the respondents, namely: the


Secretary of Justice, the Secretary of Foreign Affairs and the Director of the
National Bureau of Investigation, their agents and/or representatives to
maintain the status quo by refraining from committing the acts complained
of; from conducting further proceedings in connection with the request of
the United States Government for the extradition of the petitioner; from
filing the corresponding Petition with a Regional Trial court; and from
performing any act directed to the extradition of the petitioner to the United
States, for a period of twenty (20) days from service on respondents of this
Order, pursuant to Section 5, Rule 58 of the 1997 Rules of Court.
The hearing as to whether or not this Court shall issue the preliminary
injunction, as agreed upon by the counsels for the parties herein, is set on
August 17, 1999 at 9:00 oclock in the morning. The respondents are,
likewise, ordered to file their written comment and/or opposition to the
issuance of a Preliminary Injunction on or before said date.
SO ORDERED.

persons must be processed expeditiously.


(pp. 110-111, Rollo.)
(pp. 77-78, Rollo.)
Forthwith, petitioner initiated the instant proceedings, arguing that:

PUBLIC RESPONDENT ACTED WITHOUT OR IN EXCESS OF

assailed order dated August 9, 1999 issued by public respondent in Civil

JURISDICTION OR WITH GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO

Case No. 99-94684.

LACK OR EXCESS OF JURISDICTION IN ISSUING THE TEMPORARY


RESTRAINING ORDER BECAUSE:

GIVEN by the Honorable HILARIO G. DAVIDE, JR., Chief Justice, Supreme


Court of the Philippines, this 17th day of August 1999.

I.
(pp. 120-121, Rollo.)
BY ORDERING HEREIN PETITIONER TO REFRAIN FROM COMMITTING
THE ACTS COMPLAINED OF, I. E., TO DESIST FROM REFUSING PRIVATE
RESPONDENT ACCESS TO THE OFFICIAL EXTRADITION REQUEST AND
DOCUMENTS AND FROM DENYING PRIVATE RESPONDENT AN
OPPORTUNITY TO FILE A COMMENT ON, OR OPPOSITION TO, THE
REQUEST, THE MAIN PRAYER FOR A WRIT OF MANDAMUS IN THE
PETITION FOR MANDAMUS, CERTIORARI AND PROHIBITION WAS, IN
EFFECT, GRANTED SO AS TO CONSTITUTE AN ADJUDICATION ON THE
MERITS OF THE MANDAMUS ISSUES;

The case was heard on oral argument on August 31, 1999, after which the parties, as directed,
filed their respective memoranda.
From the pleadings of the opposing parties, both procedural and substantive issues are patent.
However, a review of these issues as well as the extensive arguments of both parties, compel us to
delineate the focal point raised by the pleadings: During the evaluation stage of the extradition
proceedings, is private respondent entitled to the two basic due process rights of notice and
hearing? An affirmative answer would necessarily render the proceedings at the trial court, moot
and academic (the issues of which are substantially the same as those before us now), while a

II.

negative resolution would call for the immediate lifting of the TRO issued by this Court dated
August 24, 1999, thus allowing petitioner to fast-track the process leading to the filing of the

PETITIONER WAS UNQUALIFIEDLY PREVENTED FROM PERFORMING


LEGAL DUTIES UNDER THE EXTRADITION TREATY AND THE PHILIPPINE
EXTRADITION LAW;

extradition petition with the proper regional trial court. Corollarily, in the event that private
respondent is adjudged entitled to basic due process rights at the evaluation stage of the
extradition proceedings, would this entitlement constitute a breach of the legal commitments and
obligations of the Philippine Government under the RP-US Extradition Treaty? And assuming
that the result would indeed be a breach, is there any conflict between private respondents basic

III.

due process rights and the provisions of the RP-US Extradition Treaty?

THE PETITION FOR (MANDAMUS), CERTIORARI AND PROHIBITION IS, ON


ITS FACE, FORMALLY AND SUBSTANTIALLY DEFICIENT; AND

The issues having transcendental importance, the Court has elected to go directly into the
substantive merits of the case, brushing aside peripheral procedural matters which concern the
proceedings in Civil Case No. 99-94684, particularly the propriety of the filing of the petition

IV.

therein, and of the issuance of the TRO of August 17, 1999 by the trial court.

PRIVATE RESPONDENT HAS NO RIGHT IN ESSE THAT NEEDS

To be sure, the issues call for a review of the extradition procedure. The RP-US Extradition Treaty

PROTECTION AND ENFORCEMENT, AND WILL NOT SUFFER ANY

which was executed only on November 13, 1994, ushered into force the implementing provisions

IRREPARABLE INJURY.

of Presidential Decree No. 1069, also called as the Philippine Extradition Law. Section 2(a) thereof
defines extradition as "the removal of an accused from the Philippines with the object of placing
(pp. 19-20, Rollo.)

On August 17, 1999, the Court required private respondent to file his comment. Also issued, as
prayed for, was a temporary restraining order (TRO) providing:
NOW, THEREFORE, effective immediately and continuing until further
orders from this Court, You, Respondent Judge Ralph C. Lantion, your
agents, representatives or any person or persons acting in your place or
stead are hereby ORDERED to CEASE and DESIST from enforcing the

him at the disposal of foreign authorities to enable the requesting state or government to hold
him in connection with any criminal investigation directed against him or the execution of a
penalty imposed on him under the penal or criminal law of the requesting state or government."
The portions of the Decree relevant to the instant case which involves a charged and not
convicted individual, are abstracted as follows:
The Extradition Request
The request is made by the Foreign Diplomat of the Requesting State, addressed to the Secretary
of Foreign Affairs, and shall be accompanied by:

1. The original or an authentic copy of the criminal charge and the warrant of arrest issued by

5. A statement of the provisions of the law describing any time limit on the prosecution or the

the authority of the Requesting State having jurisdiction over the matter, or some other

execution of punishment for the offense;

instruments having equivalent legal force;


6. Documents, statements, or other types of information specified in paragraph 3 or paragraph 4
2. A recital of the acts for which extradition is requested, with the fullest particulars as to the

of said Article, as applicable.

name and identity of the accused, his whereabouts in the Philippines, if known, the acts or
omissions complained of, and the time and place of the commission of these

(Paragraph 2, Article 7, Presidential Decree No. 1069.)

acts;
3. The text of the applicable law or a statement of the contents of said law, and the designation or
description of the offense by the law, sufficient for evaluation of the request; and
4. Such other documents or information in support of the request.
(Section 4, Presidential Decree No. 1069.)

7. Such evidence as, according to the law of the Requested State, would provide probable cause
for his arrest and committal for trial if the offense had been committed there;
8. A copy of the warrant or order of arrest issued by a judge or other competent authority; and
9. A copy of the charging document.
(Paragraph 3, ibid.)

Section 5 of the Presidential Decree, which sets forth the duty of the Secretary of Foreign Affairs,
pertinently provides:

The executive authority (Secretary of Foreign Affairs) must also see to it that the accompanying
. . . (1) Unless it appears to the Secretary of Foreign Affairs that the request
fails to meet the requirements of this law and the relevant treaty or
convention, he shall forward the request together with the related
documents to the Secretary of Justice, who shall immediately designate and
authorize an attorney in his office to take charge of the case.

The above provision shows only too clearly that the executive authority given the task of
evaluating the sufficiency of the request and the supporting documents is the Secretary of
Foreign Affairs. What then is the coverage of this task?
In accordance with Paragraphs 2 and 3, Article 7 of the RP-US Extradition Treaty, the executive
authority must ascertain whether or not the request is supported by:
1. Documents, statements, or other types of information which describe the identity and probable
location of the person sought;

documents received in support of the request had been certified by the principal diplomatic or
consular officer of the Requested State resident in the Requesting State (Embassy Note No. 052
from U. S. Embassy; Embassy Note No. 951309 from the Department of Foreign Affairs).
In this light, Paragraph 3, Article 3 of the Treaty provides that "[e]xtradition shall not be granted
if the executive authority of the Requested State determines that the request is politically
motivated, or that the offense is a military offense which is not punishable under non-military
penal legislation."
The Extradition Petition
Upon a finding made by the Secretary of Foreign Affairs that the extradition request and its
supporting documents are sufficient and complete in form and substance, he shall deliver the
same to the Secretary of Justice, who shall immediately designate and authorize an attorney in
his office to take charge of the case (Paragraph [1], Section 5, P. D. No. 1069). The lawyer
designated shall then file a written petition with the proper regional trial court of the province or
city, with a prayer that the court take the extradition request under consideration (Paragraph

2. A statement of the facts of the offense and the procedural history of the case;

[2], ibid.).

3. A statement of the provisions of the law describing the essential elements of the offense for

The presiding judge of the regional trial court, upon receipt of the petition for extradition, shall,

which extradition is requested;

as soon as practicable, issue an order summoning the prospective extraditee to appear and to
answer the petition on the day and hour fixed in the order. The judge may issue a warrant of

4. A statement of the provisions of law describing the punishment for the


offense;

arrest if it appears that the immediate arrest and temporary detention of the accused will best
serve the ends of justice (Paragraph [1], Section 6, ibid.), particularly to prevent the flight of the
prospective extraditee.

The Extradition Hearing

Extradition Law and the RP-US Extradition Treaty. Petitioner ratiocinates in this connection that
although the Department of Justice had no obligation to evaluate the extradition documents, the

The Extradition Law does not specifically indicate whether the extradition proceeding is criminal,
civil, or a special proceeding. Nevertheless, Paragraph [1], Section 9 thereof provides that in the
hearing of the extradition petition, the provisions of the Rules of Court, insofar as practicable and
not inconsistent with the summary nature of the proceedings, shall apply. During the hearing,
Section 8 of the Decree provides that the attorney having charge of the case may, upon
application by the Requesting State, represent the latter throughout the proceedings.
Upon conclusion of the hearing, the court shall render a decision granting the extradition and
giving the reasons therefor upon a showing of the existence of a prima facie case, or dismiss the
petition (Section 10, ibid.). Said decision is appealable to the Court of Appeals, whose decision
shall be final and immediately executory (Section 12, ibid.). The provisions of the Rules of Court
governing appeal in criminal cases in the Court of Appeals shall apply in the aforementioned
appeal, except for the required 15-day period to file brief (Section 13, ibid.).
The trial court determines whether or not the offense mentioned in the petition is extraditable
based on the application of the dual criminality rule and other conditions mentioned in Article 2
of the RP-US Extradition Treaty. The trial court also determines whether or not the offense for
which extradition is requested is a political one (Paragraph [1], Article 3, RP-US Extradition
Treaty).
With the foregoing abstract of the extradition proceedings as backdrop, the following query
presents itself: What is the nature of the role of the Department of Justice at the evaluation stage
of the extradition proceedings?
A strict observance of the Extradition Law indicates that the only duty of the Secretary of Justice
is to file the extradition petition after the request and all the supporting papers are forwarded to
him by the Secretary of Foreign Affairs. It is the latter official who is authorized to evaluate the
extradition papers, to assure their sufficiency, and under Paragraph [3], Article 3 of the Treaty, to
determine whether or not the request is politically motivated, or that the offense is a military
offense which is not punishable under non-military penal legislation. Ipso facto, as expressly
provided in Paragraph [1], Section 5 of the Extradition Law, the Secretary of Justice has the
ministerial duty of filing the extradition papers.
However, looking at the factual milieu of the case before us, it would appear that there was failure
to abide by the provisions of Presidential Decree No. 1069. For while it is true that the extradition
request was delivered to the Department of Foreign Affairs on June 17, 1999, the following day or
less than 24 hours later, the Department of Justice received the request, apparently without the
Department of Foreign Affairs discharging its duty of thoroughly evaluating the same and its
accompanying documents. The statement of an assistant secretary at the Department of Foreign
Affairs that his Department, in this regard, is merely acting as a post office, for which reason he
simply forwarded the request to the Department of Justice, indicates the magnitude of the error
of the Department of Foreign Affairs in taking lightly its responsibilities. Thereafter, the
Department of Justice took it upon itself to determine the completeness of the documents and to
evaluate the same to find out whether they comply with the requirements laid down in the

Department also had to go over them so as to be able to prepare an extradition petition (tsn,
August 31, 1999, pp. 24-25). Notably, it was also at this stage where private respondent insisted
on the following: (1) the right to be furnished the request and the supporting papers; (2) the right
to be heard which consists in having a reasonable period of time to oppose the request, and to
present evidence in support of the opposition; and (3) that the evaluation proceedings be held in
abeyance pending the filing of private respondent's opposition to the request.
The two Departments seem to have misread the scope of their duties and authority, one
abdicating its powers and the other enlarging its commission. The Department of Foreign Affairs,
moreover, has, through the Solicitor General, filed a manifestation that it is adopting the instant
petition as its own, indirectly conveying the message that if it were to evaluate the extradition
request, it would not allow private respondent to participate in the process of evaluation.
Plainly then, the record cannot support the presumption of regularity that the Department of
Foreign Affairs thoroughly reviewed the extradition request and supporting documents and that it
arrived at a well-founded judgment that the request and its annexed documents satisfy the
requirements of law. The Secretary of Justice, eminent as he is in the field of law, could not
privately review the papers all by himself. He had to officially constitute a panel of attorneys. How
then could the DFA Secretary or his undersecretary, in less than one day, make the more
authoritative determination?
The evaluation process, just like the extradition proceedings proper, belongs to a class by itself. It
is sui generis. It is not a criminal investigation, but it is also erroneous to say that it is purely an
exercise of ministerial functions. At such stage, the executive authority has the power: (a) to make
a technical assessment of the completeness and sufficiency of the extradition papers; (b) to
outrightly deny the request if on its face and on the face of the supporting documents the crimes
indicated are not extraditable; and (c) to make a determination whether or not the request is
politically motivated, or that the offense is a military one which is not punishable under nonmilitary penal legislation (tsn, August 31, 1999, pp. 28-29; Article 2 & and Paragraph [3], Article
3, RP-US Extradition Treaty). Hence, said process may be characterized as an investigative or
inquisitorial process in contrast to a proceeding conducted in the exercise of an administrative
bodys quasi-judicial power.
In administrative law, a quasi-judicial proceeding involves: (a) taking and evaluation of evidence;
(b) determining facts based upon the evidence presented; and (c) rendering an order or decision
supported by the facts proved (De Leon, Administrative Law: Text and Cases, 1993 ed., p. 198,
citing Morgan vs. United States, 304 U.S. 1). Inquisitorial power, which is also known as
examining or investigatory power, is one of the determinative powers of an administrative body
which better enables it to exercise its quasi-judicial authority (Cruz, Phil. Administrative Law,
1996 ed., p. 26). This power allows the administrative body to inspect the records and premises,
and investigate the activities, of persons or entities coming under its jurisdiction (Ibid., p. 27), or
to require disclosure of information by means of accounts, records, reports, testimony of
witnesses, production of documents, or otherwise (De Leon, op. cit., p. 64).

The power of investigation consists in gathering, organizing, and analyzing evidence, which is a

Because of these possible consequences, we conclude that the evaluation process is akin to an

useful aid or tool in an administrative agencys performance of its rule-making or quasi-judicial

administrative agency conducting an investigative proceeding, the consequences of which are

functions. Notably, investigation is indispensable to prosecution.

essentially criminal since such technical assessment sets off or commences the procedure for,
and ultimately, the deprivation of liberty of a prospective extraditee. As described by petitioner

In Ruperto v. Torres (100 Phil. 1098 [1957], unreported), the Court had occasion to rule on the
functions of an investigatory body with the sole power of investigation. It does not exercise judicial
functions and its power is limited to investigating the facts and making findings in respect
thereto. The Court laid down the test of determining whether an administrative body is exercising
judicial functions or merely investigatory functions: Adjudication signifies the exercise of power
and authority to adjudicate upon the rights and obligations of the parties before it. Hence, if the
only purpose for investigation is to evaluate evidence submitted before it based on the facts and
circumstances presented to it, and if the agency is not authorized to make a final pronouncement
affecting the parties, then there is an absence of judicial discretion and

himself, this is a "tool" for criminal law enforcement (p. 78, Rollo). In essence, therefore, the
evaluation process partakes of the nature of a criminal investigation. In a number of cases, we
had occasion to make available to a respondent in an administrative case or investigation certain
constitutional rights that are ordinarily available only in criminal prosecutions. Further, as
pointed out by Mr. Justice Mendoza during the oral arguments, there are rights formerly available
only at the trial stage that had been advanced to an earlier stage in the proceedings, such as the
right to counsel and the right against self-incrimination (tsn, August 31, 1999, p. 135;Escobedo
vs. Illinois, 378 U.S. 478; Gideon vs. Wainwright, 372 U.S. 335; Miranda vs. Arizona, 384 U.S.
436).

judgment.
In Pascual v. Board of Medical Examiners (28 SCRA 344 [1969]), we held that the right against
The above description in Ruperto applies to an administrative body authorized to evaluate
extradition documents. The body has no power to adjudicate in regard to the rights and
obligations of both the Requesting State and the prospective extraditee. Its only power is to
determine whether the papers comply with the requirements of the law and the treaty and,
therefore, sufficient to be the basis of an extradition petition. Such finding is thus merely initial
and not final. The body has no power to determine whether or not the extradition should be
effected. That is the role of the court. The bodys power is limited to an initial finding of whether

self-incrimination under Section 17, Article III of the 1987 Constitution which is ordinarily
available only in criminal prosecutions, extends to administrative proceedings which possess a
criminal or penal aspect, such as an administrative investigation of a licensed physician who is
charged with immorality, which could result in his loss of the privilege to practice medicine if
found guilty. The Court, citing the earlier case of Cabal vs. Kapunan (6 SCRA 1059 [1962]),
pointed out that the revocation of ones license as a medical practitioner, is an even greater
deprivation than forfeiture of property.

or not the extradition petition can be filed in court.


Cabal vs. Kapunan (supra) involved an administrative charge of unexplained wealth against a
It is to be noted, however, that in contrast to ordinary investigations, the evaluation procedure is
characterized by certain peculiarities. Primarily, it sets into motion the wheels of the extradition
process. Ultimately, it may result in the deprivation of liberty of the prospective extraditee. This
deprivation can be effected at two stages: First, the provisional arrest of the prospective extraditee
pending the submission of the request. This is so because the Treaty provides that in case of
urgency, a contracting party may request the provisional arrest of the person sought pending
presentation of the request (Paragraph [1], Article 9, RP-US Extradition Treaty), but he shall be
automatically discharged after 60 days if no request is submitted (Paragraph 4). Presidential
Decree No. 1069 provides for a shorter period of 20 days after which the arrested person could be
discharged (Section 20[d]). Logically, although the Extradition Law is silent on this respect, the
provisions only mean that once a request is forwarded to the Requested State, the prospective

respondent which was filed under Republic Act No. 1379, or the Anti-Graft Law. Again, we therein
ruled that since the investigation may result in forfeiture of property, the administrative
proceedings are deemed criminal or penal, and such forfeiture partakes the nature of a penalty.
There is also the earlier case ofAlmeda, Sr. vs. Perez (5 SCRA 970 [1962]), where the Court, citing
American jurisprudence, laid down the test to determine whether a proceeding is civil or
criminal: If the proceeding is under a statute such that if an indictment is presented the
forfeiture can be included in the criminal case, such proceeding is criminal in nature, although it
may be civil in form; and where it must be gathered from the statute that the action is meant to
be criminal in its nature, it cannot be considered as civil. If, however, the proceeding does not
involve the conviction of the wrongdoer for the offense charged, the proceeding is civil in
nature.

extraditee may be continuously detained, or if not, subsequently rearrested (Paragraph [5], Article
9, RP-US Extradition Treaty), for he will only be discharged if no request is submitted. Practically,

The cases mentioned above refer to an impending threat of deprivation of ones property or

the purpose of this detention is to prevent his possible flight from the Requested State. Second,

property right. No less is this true, but even more so in the case before us, involving as it does

the temporary arrest of the prospective extraditee during the pendency of the extradition petition

the possible deprivation of liberty, which, based on the hierarchy of constitutionally protected

in court (Section 6, Presidential Decree No. 1069).

rights, is placed second only to life itself and enjoys precedence over property, for while forfeited
property can be returned or replaced, the time spent in incarceration is irretrievable and beyond

Clearly, there is an impending threat to a prospective extraditees liberty as early as during the

recompense.

evaluation stage. It is not only an imagined threat to his liberty, but a very imminent
one.

By comparison, a favorable action in an extradition request exposes a person to eventual


extradition to a foreign country, thus saliently exhibiting the criminal or penal aspect of the
process. In this sense, the evaluation procedure is akin to a preliminary investigation since both

procedures may have the same result the arrest and imprisonment of the respondent or the

True to the mandate of the due process clause, the basic rights of notice and hearing pervade not

person charged. Similar to the evaluation stage of extradition proceedings, a preliminary

only in criminal and civil proceedings, but in administrative proceedings as well. Non-observance

investigation, which may result in the filing of an information against the respondent, can

of these rights will invalidate the proceedings. Individuals are entitled to be notified of any

possibly lead to his arrest, and to the deprivation of his liberty.

pending case affecting their interests, and upon notice, they may claim the right to appear
therein and present their side and to refute the position of the opposing parties (Cruz, Phil.

Petitioners reliance on Wright vs. Court of Appeals (235 SCRA 241 [1992]) (p. 8, Petitioners

Administrative Law, 1996 ed., p. 64).

Memorandum) that the extradition treaty is neither a piece of criminal legislation nor a criminal
procedural statute is not well-taken. Wright is not authority for petitioners conclusion that his

In a preliminary investigation which is an administrative investigatory proceeding, Section 3, Rule

preliminary processing is not akin to a preliminary investigation. The characterization of a treaty

112 of the Rules of Court guarantees the respondents basic due process rights, granting him the

in Wright was in reference to the applicability of the prohibition against an ex post facto law. It

right to be furnished a copy of the complaint, the affidavits, and other supporting documents,

had nothing to do with the denial of the right to notice, information, and hearing.

and the right to submit counter-affidavits and other supporting documents within ten days from
receipt thereof. Moreover, the respondent shall have the right to examine all other evidence

As early as 1884, the United States Supreme Court ruled that "any legal proceeding enforced by

submitted by the complainant.

public authority, whether sanctioned by age or custom, or newly devised in the discretion of the
legislative power, in furtherance of the general public good, which regards and preserves these

These twin rights may, however, be considered dispensable in certain instances, such as:

principles of liberty and justice, must be held to be due process of law" (Hurtado vs. California,
110 U.S. 516). Compliance with due process requirements cannot be deemed non-compliance
with treaty commitments.

1. In proceedings where there is an urgent need for immediate action, like the summary
abatement of a nuisance per se (Article 704, Civil Code), the preventive suspension of a public
servant facing administrative charges (Section 63, Local Government Code, B. P. Blg. 337), the

The United States and the Philippines share a mutual concern about the suppression and

padlocking of filthy restaurants or theaters showing obscene movies or like establishments which

punishment of crime in their respective jurisdictions. At the same time, both States accord

are immediate threats to public health and decency, and the cancellation of a passport of a

common due process protection to their respective citizens.

person sought for criminal prosecution;

The due process clauses in the American and Philippine Constitutions are not only worded in

2. Where there is tentativeness of administrative action, that is, where the respondent is not

exactly identical language and terminology, but more importantly, they are alike in what their

precluded from enjoying the right to notice and hearing at a later time without prejudice to the

respective Supreme Courts have expounded as the spirit with which the provisions are informed

person affected, such as the summary distraint and levy of the property of a delinquent taxpayer,

and impressed, the elasticity in their interpretation, their dynamic and resilient character which

and the replacement of a temporary appointee; and

make them capable of meeting every modern problem, and their having been designed from
earliest time to the present to meet the exigencies of an undefined and expanding future. The
requirements of due process are interpreted in both the United States and the Philippines as not
denying to the law the capacity for progress and improvement. Toward this effect and in order to
avoid the confines of a legal straitjacket, the courts instead prefer to have the meaning of the due
process clause "gradually ascertained by the process of inclusion and exclusion in the course of
the decisions of cases as they arise" (Twining vs. New Jersey, 211 U.S. 78). Capsulized, it refers to
"the embodiment of the sporting idea of fair play" (Ermita-Malate Hotel and Motel Owners
Association vs. City Mayor of Manila, 20 SCRA 849 [1967]). It relates to certain immutable
principles of justice which inhere in the very idea of free government (Holden vs. Hardy, 169 U.S.

3. Where the twin rights have previously been offered but the right to exercise them had not been
claimed.
Applying the above principles to the case at bar, the query may be asked: Does the evaluation
stage of the extradition proceedings fall under any of the described situations mentioned above?
Let us take a brief look at the nature of American extradition proceedings which are quite
noteworthy considering that the subject treaty involves the U.S. Government.

366).
American jurisprudence distinguishes between interstate rendition or extradition which is based
Due process is comprised of two components substantive due process which requires the
intrinsic validity of the law in interfering with the rights of the person to his life, liberty, or
property, and procedural due process which consists of the two basic rights of notice and
hearing, as well as the guarantee of being heard by an impartial and competent tribunal (Cruz,
Constitutional Law, 1993 Ed., pp. 102-106).

on the Extradition Clause in the U.S. Constitution (Art. IV, 2 cl 2), and international extradition
proceedings. In interstate rendition or extradition, the governor of the asylum state has the duty
to deliver the fugitive to the demanding state. The Extradition Clause and the implementing
statute are given a liberal construction to carry out their manifest purpose, which is to effect the
return as swiftly as possible of persons for trial to the state in which they have been charged with
crime (31A Am Jur 2d 754-755). In order to achieve extradition of an alleged fugitive, the
requisition papers or the demand must be in proper form, and all the elements or jurisdictional

facts essential to the extradition must appear on the face of the papers, such as the allegation

4. At the hearing, the court must determine whether the person arrested is extraditable to the

that the person demanded was in the demanding state at the time the offense charged was

foreign country. The court must also determine that (a) it has jurisdiction over the defendant and

committed, and that the person demanded is charged with the commission of the crime or that

jurisdiction to conduct the hearing; (b) the defendant is being sought for offenses for which the

prosecution has been begun in the demanding state before some court or magistrate

applicable treaty permits extradition; and (c) there is probable cause to believe that the defendant

(35 C.J.S. 406-407). The extradition documents are then filed with the governor of the asylum

is the person sought and that he committed the offenses charged (Ibid.)

state, and must contain such papers and documents prescribed by statute, which essentially
include a copy of the instrument charging the person demanded with a crime, such as an
indictment or an affidavit made before a magistrate. Statutory requirements with respect to said
charging instrument or papers are mandatory since said papers are necessary in order to confer
jurisdiction on the governor of the asylum state to effect the extradition (35 C.J.S. 408-410). A
statutory provision requiring duplicate copies of the indictment, information, affidavit,

5. The judge or magistrate judge is vested with jurisdiction to certify extraditability after having
received a "complaint made under oath, charging any person found within his jurisdiction" with
having committed any of the crimes provided for by the governing treaty in the country
requesting extradition (Ibid.) [In this regard, it is noted that a long line of American decisions
pronounce that international extradition proceedings partake of the character of a preliminary

or judgment of conviction or sentence and other instruments accompanying the demand

examination before a committing magistrate, rather than a trial of the guilt or innocence of the

or requisitions be furnished and delivered to the fugitive or his attorney is directory.

alleged fugitive (31A Am Jur 2d 826).]

However, the right being such a basic one has been held to be a right mandatory on
demand (Ibid., p. 410, citing Ex parte Moore, 256 S.W. 2d 103, 158 Tex. Cr. 407 and Ex parte

6. If the court decides that the elements necessary for extradition are present, it incorporates its

Tucker, Cr., 324, S.W.2d 853).

determinations in factual findings and conclusions of law and certifies the persons
extraditability. The court then forwards this certification of extraditability to the Department of

In international proceedings, extradition treaties generally provide for the presentation to the
executive authority of the Requested State of a requisition or demand for the return of the alleged

State for disposition by the Secretary of State. The ultimate decision whether to surrender an
individual rests with the Secretary of State (18 U.S.C. 3186).

offender, and the designation of the particular officer having authority to act in behalf of the
demanding nation (31A Am Jur 2d 815).

7. The subject of an extradition request may not litigate questions concerning the motives of the
requesting government in seeking his extradition. However, a person facing extradition may

In petitioners memorandum filed on September 15, 1999, he attached thereto a letter dated
September 13, 1999 from the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, summarizing

present whatever information he deems relevant to the Secretary of State, who makes the final
determination whether to surrender an individual to the foreign government concerned.

the U.S. extradition procedures and principles, which are basically governed by a combination of
treaties (with special reference to the RP-US Extradition Treaty), federal statutes, and judicial

From the foregoing, it may be observed that in the United States, extradition begins and ends

decisions, to wit:

with one entity the Department of State which has the power to evaluate the request and the
extradition documents in the beginning, and, in the person of the Secretary of State, the power to

1. All requests for extradition are transmitted through the diplomatic channel. In urgent cases,
requests for the provisional arrest of an individual may be made directly by the Philippine
Department of Justice to the U.S. Department of Justice, and vice-versa. In the event of a
provisional arrest, a formal request for extradition is transmitted subsequently through the
diplomatic channel.
2. The Department of State forwards the incoming Philippine extradition request to the
Department of Justice. Before doing so, the Department of State prepares a declaration
confirming that a formal request has been made, that the treaty is in full force and effect, that
under Article 17 thereof the parties provide reciprocal legal representation in extradition
proceedings, that the offenses are covered as extraditable offenses under Article 2 thereof, and
that the documents have been authenticated in accordance with the federal statute that ensures

act or not to act on the courts determination of extraditability. In the Philippine setting, it is the
Department of Foreign Affairs which should make the initial evaluation of the request, and having
satisfied itself on the points earlier mentioned (see pp. 10-12), then forwards the request to the
Department of Justice for the preparation and filing of the petition for extradition. Sadly, however,
the Department of Foreign Affairs, in the instant case, perfunctorily turned over the request to
the Department of Justice which has taken over the task of evaluating the request as well as
thereafter, if so warranted, preparing, filing, and prosecuting the petition for
extradition.
Private respondent asks what prejudice will be caused to the U.S. Government should the person
sought to be extradited be given due process rights by the Philippines in the evaluation stage. He
emphasizes that petitioners primary concern is the possible delay in the evaluation process.

admissibility at any subsequent extradition hearing.


We agree with private respondents citation of an American Supreme Court ruling:
3. A judge or magistrate judge is authorized to issue a warrant for the arrest of the prospective
extraditee (18 U.S.C. 3184). Said judge or magistrate is authorized to hold a hearing to consider

The establishment of prompt efficacious procedures to achieve legitimate

the evidence offered in support of the extradition request (Ibid.)

state ends is a proper state interest worthy of cognizance in constitutional


adjudication. But the Constitution recognizes higher values than speed and

efficiency. Indeed, one might fairly say of the Bill of Rights in general, and

request to the Department of Justice for the filing of the extradition petition since non-compliance

the Due Process Clause, in particular, that they were designed to protect the

with the aforesaid requirements will not vest our government with jurisdiction to effect the

fragile values of a vulnerable citizenry from the overbearing concern for

extradition.

efficiency and efficacy that may characterize praiseworthy government


officials no less, and perhaps more, than mediocre ones.

In this light, it should be observed that the Department of Justice exerted notable efforts in
assuring compliance with the requirements of the law and the treaty since it even informed the

(Stanley vs. Illinois, 404 U.S. 645, 656)

U.S. Government of certain problems in the extradition papers (such as those that are in Spanish
and without the official English translation, and those that are not properly authenticated). In

The United States, no doubt, shares the same interest as the Philippine
Government that no right that of liberty secured not only by the Bills of
Rights of the Philippines Constitution but of the United States as well, is
sacrificed at the altar of expediency.
(pp. 40-41, Private Respondents Memorandum.)
In the Philippine context, this Courts ruling is invoked:

fact, petitioner even admits that consultation meetings are still supposed to take place between
the lawyers in his Department and those from the U.S. Justice Department. With the meticulous
nature of the evaluation, which cannot just be completed in an abbreviated period of time due to
its intricacies, how then can we say that it is a proceeding that urgently necessitates immediate
and prompt action where notice and hearing can be dispensed with?
Worthy of inquiry is the issue of whether or not there is tentativeness of administrative action. Is
private respondent precluded from enjoying the right to notice and hearing at a later time without
prejudice to him? Here lies the peculiarity and deviant characteristic of the evaluation procedure.
On one hand, there is yet no extraditee, but ironically on the other, it results in an administrative

One of the basic principles of the democratic system is that where the rights

determination which, if adverse to the person involved, may cause his immediate incarceration.

of the individual are concerned, the end does not justify the means. It is not

The grant of the request shall lead to the filing of the extradition petition in court. The "accused"

enough that there be a valid objective; it is also necessary that the means

(as Section 2[c] of Presidential Decree No. 1069 calls him), faces the threat of arrest, not only

employed to pursue it be in keeping with the Constitution. Mere expediency

after the extradition petition is filed in court, but even during the evaluation proceeding itself by

will not excuse constitutional shortcuts. There is no question that not even

virtue of the provisional arrest allowed under the treaty and the implementing law. The prejudice

the strongest moral conviction or the most urgent public need, subject only

to the "accused" is thus blatant and manifest.

to a few notable exceptions, will excuse the bypassing of an individuals


rights. It is no exaggeration to say that a person invoking a right guaranteed
under Article III of the Constitution is a majority of one even as against the
rest of the nation who would deny him that right (Association of Small
Landowners in the Philippines, Inc. vs. Secretary of Agrarian Reform, 175
SCRA 343, 375-376 [1989]).
There can be no dispute over petitioners argument that extradition is a tool of criminal law
enforcement. To be effective, requests for extradition or the surrender of accused or convicted
persons must be processed expeditiously. Nevertheless, accelerated or fast-tracked proceedings
and adherence to fair procedures are, however, not always incompatible. They do not always clash
in discord. Summary does not mean precipitous haste. It does not carry a disregard of the basic
principles inherent in "ordered liberty."
Is there really an urgent need for immediate action at the evaluation stage? At that point, there is
no extraditee yet in the strict sense of the word. Extradition may or may not occur. In interstate
extradition, the governor of the asylum state may not, in the absence of mandatory statute, be
compelled to act favorably (37 C.J.S. 387) since after a close evaluation of the extradition papers,
he may hold that federal and statutory requirements, which are significantly jurisdictional, have
not been met (31 Am Jur 2d 819). Similarly, under an extradition treaty, the executive authority
of the requested state has the power to deny the behest from the requesting state. Accordingly, if
after a careful examination of the extradition documents the Secretary of Foreign Affairs finds
that the request fails to meet the requirements of the law and the treaty, he shall not forward the

Plainly, the notice and hearing requirements of administrative due process cannot be dispensed
with and shelved aside.
Apart from the due process clause of the Constitution, private respondent likewise invokes
Section 7 of Article III which reads:
Sec. 7. The right of the people to information on matters of public concern
shall be recognized. Access to official records, and to documents and papers
pertaining to official acts, transactions, or decisions, as well as to
government research data used as basis for policy development, shall be
afforded the citizen, subject to such limitations as may be provided by law.
The above provision guarantees political rights which are available to citizens of the Philippines,
namely: (1) the right to information on matters of public concern, and (2) the corollary right of
access to official records and documents. The general right guaranteed by said provision is the
right to information on matters of public concern. In its implementation, the right of access to
official records is likewise conferred. These cognate or related rights are "subject to limitations as
may be provided by law" (Bernas, The 1987 Phil. Constitution A Reviewer-Primer, 1997 ed., p.
104) and rely on the premise that ultimately it is an informed and critical public opinion which
alone can protect the values of democratic government (Ibid.).

Petitioner argues that the matters covered by private respondents letter-request dated July 1,

First and foremost, let us categorically say that this is not the proper time to pass upon the

1999 do not fall under the guarantee of the foregoing provision since the matters contained in the

constitutionality of the provisions of the RP-US Extradition Treaty nor the Extradition Law

documents requested are not of public concern. On the other hand, private respondent argues

implementing the same. We limit ourselves only to the effect of the grant of the basic rights of

that the distinction between matters vested with public interest and matters which are of purely

notice and hearing to private respondent on foreign relations.

private interest only becomes material when a third person, who is not directly affected by the
matters requested, invokes the right to information. However, if the person invoking the right is
the one directly affected thereby, his right to information becomes absolute.

The rule of pacta sunt servanda, one of the oldest and most fundamental maxims of international
law, requires the parties to a treaty to keep their agreement therein in good faith. The observance
of our country's legal duties under a treaty is also compelled by Section 2, Article II of the

The concept of matters of public concern escapes exact definition. Strictly speaking, every act of a

Constitution which provides that "[t]he Philippines renounces war as an instrument of national

public officer in the conduct of the governmental process is a matter of public concern (Bernas,

policy, adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land,

The 1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines, 1996 ed., p. 336). This concept

and adheres to the policy of peace, equality, justice, freedom, cooperation and amity with all

embraces a broad spectrum of subjects which the public may want to know, either because these

nations." Under the doctrine of incorporation, rules of international law form part of the law of

directly affect their lives or simply because such matters arouse the interest of an ordinary citizen

the land and no further legislative action is needed to make such rules applicable in the domestic

(Legaspi v. Civil Service Commission, 150 SCRA 530 [1987]). Hence, the real party in interest is

sphere (Salonga & Yap, Public International Law, 1992 ed., p. 12).

the people and any citizen has "standing".


The doctrine of incorporation is applied whenever municipal tribunals (or local courts) are
When the individual himself is involved in official government action because said action has a

confronted with situations in which there appears to be a conflict between a rule of international

direct bearing on his life, and may either cause him some kind of deprivation or injury, he

law and the provisions of the constitution or statute of the local state. Efforts should first be

actually invokes the basic right to be notified under Section 1 of the Bill of Rights and not exactly

exerted to harmonize them, so as to give effect to both since it is to be presumed that municipal

the right to information on matters of public concern. As to an accused in a criminal proceeding,

law was enacted with proper regard for the generally accepted principles of international law in

he invokes Section 14, particularly the right to be informed of the nature and cause of the

observance of the Incorporation Clause in the above-cited constitutional provision

accusation against him.

(Cruz, Philippine Political Law, 1996 ed., p. 55). In a situation, however, where the conflict is
irreconcilable and a choice has to be made between a rule of international law and municipal law,

The right to information is implemented by the right of access to information within the control of
the government (Bernas, The 1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines, 1996 ed., p.
337). Such information may be contained in official records, and in documents and papers
pertaining to official acts, transactions, or decisions.
In the case at bar, the papers requested by private respondent pertain to official government
action from the U. S. Government. No official action from our country has yet been taken.
Moreover, the papers have some relation to matters of foreign relations with the U. S.
Government. Consequently, if a third party invokes this constitutional provision, stating that the
extradition papers are matters of public concern since they may result in the extradition of a
Filipino, we are afraid that the balance must be tilted, at such particular time, in favor of the
interests necessary for the proper functioning of the government. During the evaluation
procedure, no official governmental action of our own government has as yet been done; hence
the invocation of the right is premature. Later, and in contrast, records of the extradition hearing
would already fall under matters of public concern, because our government by then shall have
already made an official decision to grant the extradition request. The extradition of a fellow
Filipino would be forthcoming.
We now pass upon the final issue pertinent to the subject matter of the instant controversy:
Would private respondents entitlement to notice and hearing during the evaluation stage of the
proceedings constitute a breach of the legal duties of the Philippine Government under the RPExtradition Treaty? Assuming the answer is in the affirmative, is there really a conflict between
the treaty and the due process clause in the Constitution?

jurisprudence dictates that municipal law should be upheld by the municipal courts (Ichong vs.
Hernandez, 101 Phil. 1155 [1957]; Gonzales vs. Hechanova, 9 SCRA 230 [1963]; In re: Garcia, 2
SCRA 984 [1961]) for the reason that such courts are organs of municipal law and are
accordingly bound by it in all circumstances (Salonga & Yap, op. cit., p. 13). The fact that
international law has been made part of the law of the land does not pertain to or imply the
primacy of international law over national or municipal law in the municipal sphere. The doctrine
of incorporation, as applied in most countries, decrees that rules of international law are given
equal standing with, but are not superior to, national legislative enactments. Accordingly, the
principle lex posterior derogat priori takes effect a treaty may repeal a statute and a statute may
repeal a treaty. In states where the constitution is the highest law of the land, such as the
Republic of the Philippines, both statutes and treaties may be invalidated if they are in conflict
with the constitution (Ibid.).
In the case at bar, is there really a conflict between international law and municipal or national
law? En contrario, these two components of the law of the land are not pitted against each other.
There is no occasion to choose which of the two should be upheld. Instead, we see a void in the
provisions of the RP-US Extradition Treaty, as implemented by Presidential Decree No. 1069, as
regards the basic due process rights of a prospective extraditee at the evaluation stage of
extradition proceedings. From the procedures earlier abstracted, after the filing of the extradition
petition and during the judicial determination of the propriety of extradition, the rights of notice
and hearing are clearly granted to the prospective extraditee. However, prior thereto, the law is
silent as to these rights. Reference to the U.S. extradition procedures also manifests this silence.

Petitioner interprets this silence as unavailability of these rights. Consequently, he describes the

impaired even when the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is suspended " Can petitioner

evaluation procedure as an "ex parte technical assessment" of the sufficiency of the extradition

validly argue that since these contraventions are by virtue of a treaty and hence affecting foreign

request and the supporting documents.

relations, the aforestated guarantees in the Bill of Rights could thus be subservient thereto?

We disagree.
The basic principles of administrative law instruct us that "the essence of due process in
In the absence of a law or principle of law, we must apply the rules of fair play. An application of
the basic twin due process rights of notice and hearing will not go against the treaty or the
implementing law. Neither the Treaty nor the Extradition Law precludes these rights from a
prospective extraditee. Similarly, American jurisprudence and procedures on extradition pose no
proscription. In fact, in interstate extradition proceedings as explained above, the prospective
extraditee may even request for copies of the extradition documents from the governor of the
asylum state, and if he does, his right to be supplied the same becomes a demandable right
(35 C.J.S. 410).
Petitioner contends that the United States requested the Philippine Government to prevent
unauthorized disclosure of confidential information. Hence, the secrecy surrounding the action of
the Department of Justice Panel of Attorneys. The confidentiality argument is, however,
overturned by petitioners revelation that everything it refuses to make available at this stage

administrative proceedings is an opportunity to explain ones side or an opportunity to seek


reconsideration of the actions or ruling complained of (Mirano vs. NLRC, 270 SCRA 96
[1997]; Padilla vs. NLRC, 273 SCRA 457 [1997]; PLDT vs. NLRC, 276 SCRA 1 [1997]; Helpmate,
Inc. vs. NLRC, 276 SCRA 315 [1997];Aquinas School vs. Magnaye, 278 SCRA 602 [1997]; Jamer
vs. NLRC, 278 SCRA 632 [1997]). In essence, procedural due process refers to the method or
manner by which the law is enforced (Corona vs. United Harbor Pilots Association of the Phils., 283
SCRA 31 [1997]). This Court will not tolerate the least disregard of constitutional guarantees in
the enforcement of a law or treaty. Petitioners fears that the Requesting State may have valid
objections to the Requested States non-performance of its commitments under the Extradition
Treaty are insubstantial and should not be given paramount consideration.
How then do we implement the RP-US Extradition Treaty? Do we limit ourselves to the four
corners of Presidential Decree No. 1069?

would be obtainable during trial. The Department of Justice states that the U.S. District Court
concerned has authorized the disclosure of certain grand jury information. If the information is

Of analogous application are the rulings in Government Service Insurance System vs. Court of

truly confidential, the veil of secrecy cannot be lifted at any stage of the extradition proceedings.

Appeals (201 SCRA 661 [1991]) and Go vs. National Police Commission (271 SCRA 447 [1997])

Not even during trial.

where we ruled that in summary proceedings under Presidential Decree No. 807 (Providing for
the Organization of the Civil Service Commission in Accordance with Provisions of the

A libertarian approach is thus called for under the premises.


One will search in vain the RP-US Extradition Treaty, the Extradition Law, as well as American
jurisprudence and procedures on extradition, for any prohibition against the conferment of the
two basic due process rights of notice and hearing during the evaluation stage of the extradition
proceedings. We have to consider similar situations in jurisprudence for an application by
analogy.
Earlier, we stated that there are similarities between the evaluation process and a preliminary
investigation since both procedures may result in the arrest of the respondent or the prospective
extraditee. In the evaluation process, a provisional arrest is even allowed by the Treaty and the
Extradition Law (Article 9, RP-US Extradition Treaty; Sec. 20, Presidential Decree No. 1069).
Following petitioners theory, because there is no provision of its availability, does this imply that
for a period of time, the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is suspended, despite Section 15,
Article III of the Constitution which states that "[t]he privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall
not be suspended except in cases of invasion or rebellion when the public safety requires it"?
Petitioners theory would also infer that bail is not available during the arrest of the prospective
extraditee when the extradition petition has already been filed in court since Presidential Decree
No. 1069 does not provide therefor, notwithstanding Section 13, Article III of the Constitution
which provides that "[a]ll persons, except those charged with offenses punishable by reclusion
perpetua when evidence of guilt is strong, shall, before conviction, be bailable by sufficient
sureties, or be released on recognizance as may be provided by law. The right to bail shall not be

Constitution, Prescribing its Powers and Functions and for Other Purposes), and Presidential
Decree No. 971 (Providing Legal Assistance for Members of the Integrated National Police who
may be charged for Service-Connected Offenses and Improving the Disciplinary System in the
Integrated National Police, Appropriating Funds Therefor and for other purposes), as amended by
Presidential Decree No. 1707, although summary dismissals may be effected without the
necessity of a formal investigation, the minimum requirements of due process still operate. As
held in GSIS vs. Court of Appeals:
... [I]t is clear to us that what the opening sentence of Section 40 is saying is
that an employee may be removed or dismissed even without formal
investigation, in certain instances. It is equally clear to us that an employee
must be informed of the charges preferred against him, and that the normal
way by which the employee is so informed is by furnishing him with a copy
of the charges against him. This is a basic procedural requirement that a
statute cannot dispense with and still remain consistent with the
constitutional provision on due process. The second minimum requirement
is that the employee charged with some misfeasance or malfeasance must
have a reasonable opportunity to present his side of the matter, that is to
say, his defenses against the charges levelled against him and to present
evidence in support of his defenses.
(at p. 671)

Said summary dismissal proceedings are also non-litigious in nature, yet we upheld the due

PANGANIBAN, J.:

process rights of the respondent.


In the case at bar, private respondent does not only face a clear and present danger of loss of
property or employment, but of liberty itself, which may eventually lead to his forcible
banishment to a foreign land. The convergence of petitioners favorable action on the extradition
request and the deprivation of private respondents liberty is easily comprehensible.
We have ruled time and again that this Courts equity jurisdiction, which is aptly described as
"justice outside legality," may be availed of only in the absence of, and never against, statutory

In extradition proceedings, are prospective extraditees entitled to notice and


hearing before warrants for their arrest can be issued? Equally important, are they entitled to
the right to bail and provisional liberty while the extradition proceedings are pending? In
general, the answer to these two novel questions is No. The explanation of and the reasons for,
as well as the exceptions to, this rule are laid out in this Decision.

The Case

law or judicial pronouncements (Smith Bell & Co., Inc. vs. Court of Appeals, 267 SCRA 530
[1997]; David-Chan vs. Court of Appeals, 268 SCRA 677 [1997]). The constitutional issue in the
case at bar does not even call for "justice outside legality," since private respondents due process
rights, although not guaranteed by statute or by treaty, are protected by constitutional
guarantees. We would not be true to the organic law of the land if we choose strict construction
over guarantees against the deprivation of liberty. That would not be in keeping with the
principles of democracy on which our Constitution is premised.
Verily, as one traverses treacherous waters of conflicting and opposing currents of liberty and
government authority, he must ever hold the oar of freedom in the stronger arm, lest an errant
and wayward course be laid.
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing premises, the instant petition is hereby DISMISSED for
lack of merit. Petitioner is ordered to furnish private respondent copies of the extradition request
and its supporting papers, and to grant him a reasonable period within which to file his comment
with supporting evidence. The incidents in Civil Case No. 99-94684 having been rendered moot
and academic by this decision, the same is hereby ordered dismissed.

Before us is a Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, seeking to void
and set aside the Orders dated May 23, 2001 [1] and July 3, 2001 [2] issued by the Regional Trial
Court (RTC) of Manila, Branch 42. [3] The first assailed Order set for hearing petitioners
application for the issuance of a warrant for the arrest of Respondent Mark B. Jimenez.
The second challenged Order, on the other hand, directed the issuance of a warrant, but at
the same time granted bail to Jimenez. The dispositive portion of the Order reads as follows:
WHEREFORE, in the light of the foregoing, the [Court] finds probable cause against respondent
Mark Jimenez. Accordingly let a Warrant for the arrest of the respondent be
issued. Consequently and taking into consideration Section 9, Rule 114 of the Revised Rules of
Criminal Procedure, this Court fixes the reasonable amount of bail for respondents temporary
liberty at ONE MILLION PESOS (Php 1,000,000.00), the same to be paid in cash.
Furthermore respondent is directed to immediately surrender to this Court his passport and the
Bureau of Immigration and Deportation is likewise directed to include the name of the
respondent in its Hold Departure List.[4]
Essentially, the Petition prays for the lifting of the bail Order, the cancellation of the bond,
and the taking of Jimenez into legal custody.

SO ORDERED.
EN BANC

The Facts

[G.R. No. 148571. September 24, 2002]

GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, represented by the Philippine


Department of Justice, petitioner, vs. Hon. GUILLERMO G. PURGANAN, Morales,
and Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch 42; and MARK B.
JIMENEZ a.k.a. MARIO BATACAN CRESPO,respondents.
DECISION

This Petition is really a sequel to GR No. 139465 entitled Secretary of Justice v. Ralph C.
Lantion.[5]
Pursuant to the existing RP-US Extradition Treaty, [6] the United States Government,
through diplomatic channels, sent to the Philippine Government Note Verbale No. 0522 dated
June 16, 1999, supplemented by Note Nos. 0597, 0720 and 0809 and accompanied by duly
authenticated documents requesting the extradition of Mark B. Jimenez, also known as Mario
Batacan Crespo. Upon receipt of the Notes and documents, the secretary of foreign affairs (SFA)
transmitted them to the secretary of justice (SOJ) for appropriate action, pursuant to Section 5 of
Presidential Decree (PD) No. 1069, also known as the Extradition Law.
Upon learning of the request for his extradition, Jimenez sought and was granted a
Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) by the RTC of Manila, Branch 25. [7] The TRO prohibited the

Department of Justice (DOJ) from filing with the RTC a petition for his extradition. The validity of
the TRO was, however, assailed by the SOJ in a Petition before this Court in the said GR No.
139465. Initially, the Court -- by a vote of 9-6 -- dismissed the Petition. The SOJ was ordered
to furnish private respondent copies of the extradition request and its supporting papers and to
grant the latter a reasonable period within which to file a comment and supporting evidence. [8]
Acting on the Motion for Reconsideration filed by the SOJ, this Court issued its October 17,
2000 Resolution.[9] By an identical vote of 9-6 -- after three justices changed their votes -- it
reconsidered and reversed its earlier Decision. It held that private respondent was bereft of the
right to notice and hearing during the evaluation stage of the extradition process. This
Resolution has become final and executory.
Finding no more legal obstacle, the Government of the United States of America,
represented by the Philippine DOJ, filed with the RTC on May 18, 2001, the appropriate Petition
for Extradition which was docketed as Extradition Case No. 01192061. The Petition alleged, inter
alia, that Jimenez was the subject of an arrest warrant issued by the United States District Court
for the Southern District of Florida on April 15, 1999. The warrant had been issued in
connection with the following charges in Indictment No. 99-00281 CR-SEITZ: (1) conspiracy to
defraud the United States and to commit certain offenses in violation of Title 18 US Code Section
371; (2) tax evasion, in violation of Title 26 US Code Section 7201; (3) wire fraud, in violation of
Title 18 US Code Sections 1343 and 2; (4) false statements, in violation of Title 18 US Code
Sections 1001 and 2; and (5) illegal campaign contributions, in violation of Title 2 US Code
Sections 441b, 441f and 437g(d) and Title 18 US Code Section 2. In order to prevent the flight of
Jimenez, the Petition prayed for the issuance of an order for his immediate arrest pursuant to
Section 6 of PD No. 1069.
Before the RTC could act on the Petition, Respondent Jimenez filed before it an Urgent
Manifestation/Ex-Parte Motion,[10] which prayed that petitioners application for an arrest
warrant be set for hearing.
In its assailed May 23, 2001 Order, the RTC granted the Motion of Jimenez and set the
case for hearing on June 5, 2001. In that hearing, petitioner manifested its reservations on the
procedure adopted by the trial court allowing the accused in an extradition case to be heard prior
to the issuance of a warrant of arrest.

The public respondent acted without or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in adopting a procedure of first hearing a
potential extraditee before issuing an arrest warrant under Section 6 of PD No. 1069.
II.
The public respondent acted without or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in granting the prayer for bail and in
allowing Jimenez to go on provisional liberty because:
1. An extradition court has no power to authorize bail, in the absence of any law that provides
for such power.
2. Section 13, Article III (right to bail clause) of the 1987 Philippine Constitution and Section 4,
Rule 114 (Bail) of the Rules of Court, as amended, which [were] relied upon, cannot be used as
bases for allowing bail in extradition proceedings.
3. The presumption is against bail in extradition proceedings or proceedings leading to
extradition.
4. On the assumption that bail is available in extradition proceedings or proceedings leading to
extradition, bail is not a matter of right but only of discretion upon clear showing by the applicant
of the existence of special circumstances.
5. Assuming that bail is a matter of discretion in extradition proceedings, the public respondent
received no evidence of special circumstances which may justify release on bail.
6. The risk that Jimenez will flee is high, and no special circumstance exists that will engender a
well-founded belief that he will not flee.

After the hearing, the court a quo required the parties to submit their respective
memoranda. In his Memorandum, Jimenez sought an alternative prayer: that in case a warrant
should issue, he be allowed to post bail in the amount of P100,000.

7. The conditions attached to the grant of bail are ineffectual and do not ensure compliance by
the Philippines with its obligations under the RP-US Extradition Treaty.

The alternative prayer of Jimenez was also set for hearing on June 15, 2001. Thereafter,
the court below issued its questioned July 3, 2001 Order, directing the issuance of a warrant for
his arrest and fixing bail for his temporary liberty at one million pesos in cash. [11] After he had
surrendered his passport and posted the required cash bond, Jimenez was granted provisional
liberty via the challenged Order dated July 4, 2001.[12]

8. The Court of Appeals Resolution promulgated on May 10, 2001 in the case entitled Eduardo
T. Rodriguez et al. vs. The Hon. Presiding Judge, RTC, Branch 17, Manila, CA-G.R. SP No. 64589,
relied upon by the public respondent in granting bail, had been recalled before the issuance of
the subject bail orders.[14]

Hence, this Petition.[13]

Issues

In sum, the substantive questions that this Court will address are: (1) whether Jimenez is
entitled to notice and hearing before a warrant for his arrest can be issued, and (2) whether he is
entitled to bail and to provisional liberty while the extradition proceedings are
pending. Preliminarily, we shall take up the alleged prematurity of the Petition for Certiorari
arising from petitioners failure to file a Motion for Reconsideration in the RTC and to seek relief
in the Court of Appeals (CA), instead of in this Court. [15] We shall also preliminarily discuss five
extradition postulates that will guide us in disposing of the substantive issues.

Petitioner presents the following issues for the consideration of this Court:
I.

The Courts Ruling

The Petition is meritorious.

Preliminary Matters

Alleged Prematurity of Present Petition


Petitioner submits the following justifications for not filing a Motion for Reconsideration in
the Extradition Court: (1) the issues were fully considered by such court after requiring the
parties to submit their respective memoranda and position papers on the matter and thus, the
filing of a reconsideration motion would serve no useful purpose; (2) the assailed orders are a
patent nullity, absent factual and legal basis therefor; and (3) the need for relief is extremely
urgent, as the passage of sufficient time would give Jimenez ample opportunity to escape and
avoid extradition; and (4) the issues raised are purely of law.[16]
For resorting directly to this Court instead of the CA, petitioner submits the following
reasons: (1) even if the petition is lodged with the Court of Appeals and such appellate court
takes cognizance of the issues and decides them, the parties would still bring the matter to this
Honorable Court to have the issues resolved once and for all [and] to have a binding precedent
that all lower courts ought to follow; (2) the Honorable Court of Appeals had in one case [17] ruled
on the issue by disallowing bail but the court below refused to recognize the decision as a judicial
guide and all other courts might likewise adopt the same attitude of refusal; and (3) there are
pending issues on bail both in the extradition courts and the Court of Appeals, which, unless
guided by the decision that this Honorable Court will render in this case, would resolve to grant
bail in favor of the potential extraditees and would give them opportunity to flee and thus, cause
adverse effect on the ability of the Philippines to comply with its obligations under existing
extradition treaties.[18]
As a general rule, a petition for certiorari before a higher court will not prosper unless the
inferior court has been given, through a motion for reconsideration, a chance to correct the errors
imputed to it. This rule, though, has certain exceptions: (1) when the issue raised is purely of
law, (2) when public interest is involved, or (3) in case of urgency. [19] As a fourth exception, the
Court has also ruled that the filing of a motion for reconsideration before availment of the remedy
of certiorari is not a sine qua non, when the questions raised are the same as those that have
already been squarely argued and exhaustively passed upon by the lower court. [20] Aside from
being of this nature, the issues in the present case also involve pure questions of law that are of
public interest. Hence, a motion for reconsideration may be dispensed with.
Likewise, this Court has allowed a direct invocation of its original jurisdiction to issue writs
of certiorari when there are special and important reasons therefor. [21] In Fortich v. Corona[22]we
stated:
[T]he Supreme Court has the full discretionary power to take cognizance of the petition filed
directly [before] it if compelling reasons, or the nature and importance of the issues raised,
warrant. This has been the judicial policy to be observed and which has been reiterated in
subsequent cases, namely: Uy vs. Contreras, et. al., Torres vs. Arranz, Bercero vs. De Guzman,
and, Advincula vs. Legaspi, et. al. As we have further stated in Cuaresma:
x x x. A direct invocation of the Supreme Courts original jurisdiction to issue these writs should
be allowed only when there are special and important reasons therefor, clearly and specifically set
out in the petition. This is established policy. x x x.

Pursuant to said judicial policy, we resolve to take primary jurisdiction over the present petition
in the interest of speedy justice and to avoid future litigations so as to promptly put an end to the
present controversy which, as correctly observed by petitioners, has sparked national interest
because of the magnitude of the problem created by the issuance of the assailed
resolution. Moreover, x x x requiring the petitioners to file their petition first with the Court of
Appeals would only result in a waste of time and money.
That the Court has the power to set aside its own rules in the higher interests of justice is wellentrenched in our jurisprudence. We reiterate what we said in Piczon vs. Court of Appeals:[23]
Be it remembered that rules of procedure are but mere tools designed to facilitate the attainment
of justice. Their strict and rigid application, which would result in technicalities that tend to
frustrate rather than promote substantial justice, must always be avoided. Time and again, this
Court has suspended its own rules and excepted a particular case from their operation whenever
the higher interests of justice so require. In the instant petition, we forego a lengthy disquisition
of the proper procedure that should have been taken by the parties involved and proceed directly
to the merits of the case.
In a number of other exceptional cases,[24] we held as follows:
This Court has original jurisdiction, concurrent with that of Regional Trial Courts and the Court
of Appeals, over petitions for certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, quo warranto and habeas corpus,
and we entertain direct resort to us in cases where special and important reasons or exceptional
and compelling circumstances justify the same.
In the interest of justice and to settle once and for all the important issue of bail in
extradition proceedings, we deem it best to take cognizance of the present case. Such
proceedings constitute a matter of first impression over which there is, as yet, no local
jurisprudence to guide lower courts.
Five Postulates of Extradition
The substantive issues raised in this case require an interpretation or construction of the
treaty and the law on extradition. A cardinal rule in the interpretation of a treaty or a law is to
ascertain and give effect to its intent. [25] Since PD 1069 is intended as a guide for the
implementation of extradition treaties to which the Philippines is a signatory, [26] understanding
certain postulates of extradition will aid us in properly deciding the issues raised here.
1. Extradition Is a Major Instrument for the Suppression of Crime.
First, extradition treaties are entered into for the purpose of suppressing crime [27] by
facilitating the arrest and the custodial transfer[28] of a fugitive[29] from one state to the other.
With the advent of easier and faster means of international travel, the flight of affluent
criminals from one country to another for the purpose of committing crime and evading
prosecution has become more frequent. Accordingly, governments are adjusting their methods of
dealing with criminals and crimes that transcend international boundaries.
Today, a majority of nations in the world community have come to look upon extradition as
the major effective instrument of international co-operation in the suppression of crime.[30] It is the
only regular system that has been devised to return fugitives to the jurisdiction of a court
competent to try them in accordance with municipal and international law. [31]

An important practical effect x x x of the recognition of the principle that criminals should be
restored to a jurisdiction competent to try and punish them is that the number of criminals
seeking refuge abroad will be reduced. For to the extent that efficient means of detection and the
threat of punishment play a significant role in the deterrence of crime within the territorial limits
of a State, so the existence of effective extradition arrangements and the consequent certainty of
return to the locus delicti commissi play a corresponding role in the deterrence of flight abroad in
order to escape the consequence of crime. x x x. From an absence of extradition arrangements
flight abroad by the ingenious criminal receives direct encouragement and thus indirectly does
the commission of crime itself.[32]
In Secretary v. Lantion[33] we explained:
The Philippines also has a national interest to help in suppressing crimes and one way to do it is
to facilitate the extradition of persons covered by treaties duly entered [into] by our
government. More and more, crimes are becoming the concern of one world. Laws involving
crimes and crime prevention are undergoing universalization. One manifest purpose of this trend
towards globalization is to deny easy refuge to a criminal whose activities threaten the peace and
progress of civilized countries. It is to the great interest of the Philippines to be part of this
irreversible movement in light of its vulnerability to crimes, especially transnational crimes.
Indeed, in this era of globalization, easier and faster international travel, and an expanding
ring of international crimes and criminals, we cannot afford to be an isolationist state. We need
to cooperate with other states in order to improve our chances of suppressing crime in our own
country.
2. The Requesting State Will Accord Due Process to the Accused
Second, an extradition treaty presupposes that both parties thereto have examined, and
that both accept and trust, each others legal system and judicial process. [34] More pointedly, our
duly authorized representatives signature on an extradition treaty signifies our confidence in the
capacity and the willingness of the other state to protect the basic rights of the person sought to
be extradited.[35] That signature signifies our full faith that the accused will be given, upon
extradition to the requesting state, all relevant and basic rights in the criminal proceedings that
will take place therein; otherwise, the treaty would not have been signed, or would have been
directly attacked for its unconstitutionality.
3. The Proceedings Are Sui Generis
Third, as pointed out in Secretary of Justice v. Lantion,[36] extradition proceedings are not
criminal in nature. In criminal proceedings, the constitutional rights of the accused are at fore;
in extradition which is sui generis -- in a class by itself -- they are not.
An extradition [proceeding] is sui generis. It is not a criminal proceeding which will call into
operation all the rights of an accused as guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. To begin with, the
process of extradition does not involve the determination of the guilt or innocence of an
accused. His guilt or innocence will be adjudged in the court of the state where he will be
extradited. Hence, as a rule, constitutional rights that are only relevant to determine the guilt or
innocence of an accused cannot be invoked by an extraditee x x x.
xxx xxx

xxx

There are other differences between an extradition proceeding and a criminal proceeding. An
extradition proceeding is summary in nature while criminal proceedings involve a full-blown
trial. In contradistinction to a criminal proceeding, the rules of evidence in an extradition
proceeding allow admission of evidence under less stringent standards. In terms of the quantum
of evidence to be satisfied, a criminal case requires proof beyond reasonable doubt for conviction
while a fugitive may be ordered extradited upon showing of the existence of a prima facie
case. Finally, unlike in a criminal case where judgment becomes executory upon being rendered
final, in an extradition proceeding, our courts may adjudge an individual extraditable but the
President has the final discretion to extradite him. The United States adheres to a similar
practice whereby the Secretary of State exercises wide discretion in balancing the equities of the
case and the demands of the nations foreign relations before making the ultimate decision to
extradite.
Given the foregoing, it is evident that the extradition court is not called upon to ascertain
the guilt or the innocence of the person sought to be extradited. [37] Such determination during the
extradition proceedings will only result in needless duplication and delay. Extradition is merely a
measure of international judicial assistance through which a person charged with or convicted of
a crime is restored to a jurisdiction with the best claim to try that person. It is not part of the
function of the assisting authorities to enter into questions that are the prerogative of that
jurisdiction.[38] The ultimate purpose of extradition proceedings in court is only to determine
whether the extradition request complies with the Extradition Treaty, and whether the person
sought is extraditable.[39]
4. Compliance Shall Be in Good Faith.
Fourth, our executive branch of government voluntarily entered into the Extradition Treaty,
and our legislative branch ratified it. Hence, the Treaty carries the presumption that its
implementation will serve the national interest.
Fulfilling our obligations under the Extradition Treaty promotes comity [40]with the
requesting state. On the other hand, failure to fulfill our obligations thereunder paints a bad
image of our country before the world community. Such failure would discourage other states
from entering into treaties with us, particularly an extradition treaty that hinges on reciprocity. [41]
Verily, we are bound by pacta sunt servanda to comply in good faith with our obligations
under the Treaty.[42] This principle requires that we deliver the accused to the requesting country
if the conditions precedent to extradition, as set forth in the Treaty, are satisfied. In other words,
[t]he demanding government, when it has done all that the treaty and the law require it to do, is
entitled to the delivery of the accused on the issue of the proper warrant, and the other
government is under obligation to make the surrender. [43] Accordingly, the Philippines must be
ready and in a position to deliver the accused, should it be found proper.
5. There Is an Underlying Risk of Flight
Fifth, persons to be extradited are presumed to be flight risks. This prima facie
presumption finds reinforcement in the experience [44] of the executive branch: nothing short of
confinement can ensure that the accused will not flee the jurisdiction of the requested state in
order to thwart their extradition to the requesting state.
The present extradition case further validates the premise that persons sought to be
extradited have a propensity to flee. Indeed, extradition hearings would not even begin, if only
the accused were willing to submit to trial in the requesting country. [45] Prior acts of herein
respondent -- (1) leaving the requesting state right before the conclusion of his indictment
proceedings there; and (2) remaining in the requested state despite learning that the requesting
state is seeking his return and that the crimes he is charged with are bailable -eloquently speak of his aversion to the processes in the requesting state, as well as his

predisposition to avoid them at all cost. These circumstances point to an ever-present,


underlying high risk of flight. He has demonstrated that he has the capacity and the will to
flee. Having fled once, what is there to stop him, given sufficient opportunity, from fleeing a
second time?

By using the phrase if it appears, the law further conveys that accuracy is not as
important as speed at such early stage. The trial court is not expected to make
an exhaustivedetermination to ferret out the true and actual situation, immediately upon the
filing of the petition. From the knowledge and the material then available to it, the court is
expected merely to get a good first impression -- a prima facie finding -- sufficient to make a
speedy initial determination as regards the arrest and detention of the accused.

First Substantive Issue:


Is Respondent Entitled to Notice and Hearing
Before the Issuance of a Warrant of Arrest?

Attached to the Petition for Extradition, with a Certificate of Authentication among others,
were the following: (1) Annex H, the Affidavit executed on May 26, 1999 by Mr. Michael E. Savage
-- trial attorney in the Campaign Financing Task Force of the Criminal Division of the US
Department of Justice; (2) Annexes H to G, evidentiary Appendices of various exhibits that
constituted evidence of the crimes charged in the Indictment, with Exhibits 1 to 120 (duly
authenticated exhibits that constituted evidence of the crimes charged in the Indictment); (3)
Annex BB, the Exhibit I Appendix of Witness [excerpts] Statements Referenced in the Affidavit of
Angela Byers and enclosed Statements in two volumes; (4) Annex GG, the Exhibit J Table of
Contents for Supplemental Evidentiary Appendix with enclosed Exhibits 121 to 132; and (5)
Annex MM, the Exhibit L Appendix of Witness [excerpts] Statements Referenced in the Affidavit
of Betty Steward and enclosed Statements in two volumes. [49]

Petitioner contends that the procedure adopted by the RTC --informing the accused, a
fugitive from justice, that an Extradition Petition has been filed against him, and that petitioner is
seeking his arrest -- gives him notice to escape and to avoid extradition. Moreover, petitioner
pleads that such procedure may set a dangerous precedent, in that those sought to be extradited
-- including terrorists, mass murderers and war criminals -- may invoke it in future extradition
cases.
On the other hand, Respondent Jimenez argues that he should not be hurriedly and
arbitrarily deprived of his constitutional right to liberty without due process. He further asserts
that there is as yet no specific law or rule setting forth the procedure prior to the issuance of a
warrant of arrest, after the petition for extradition has been filed in court; ergo, the formulation of
that procedure is within the discretion of the presiding judge.
Both parties cite Section 6 of PD 1069 in support of their arguments. It states:
SEC. 6. Issuance of Summons; Temporary Arrest; Hearing, Service of Notices.- (1) Immediately
upon receipt of the petition, the presiding judge of the court shall, as soon as practicable,
summon the accused to appear and to answer the petition on the day and hour fixed in the
order. [H]e may issue a warrant for the immediate arrest of the accused which may be
served any where within the Philippines if it appears to the presiding judge that the
immediate arrest and temporary detention of the accused will best serve the ends of
justice. Upon receipt of the answer, or should the accused after having received the summons
fail to answer within the time fixed, the presiding judge shall hear the case or set another date for
the hearing thereof.
(2) The order and notice as well as a copy of the warrant of arrest, if issued, shall be promptly
served each upon the accused and the attorney having charge of the case. (Emphasis ours)
Does this provision sanction RTC Judge Purganans act of immediately setting for hearing
the issuance of a warrant of arrest? We rule in the negative.
1. On the Basis of the Extradition Law
It is significant to note that Section 6 of PD 1069, our Extradition Law, uses the word
immediate to qualify the arrest of the accused. This qualification would be rendered nugatory
by setting for hearing the issuance of the arrest warrant. Hearing entails sending notices to the
opposing parties,[46] receiving facts and arguments[47] from them,[48] and giving them time to
prepare and present such facts and arguments. Arrest subsequent to a hearing can no longer be
considered immediate. The law could not have intended the word as a mere superfluity but, on
the whole, as a means of imparting a sense of urgency and swiftness in the determination of
whether a warrant of arrest should be issued.

It is evident that respondent judge could have already gotten an impression from these
records adequate for him to make an initial determination of whether the accused was someone
who should immediately be arrested in order to best serve the ends of justice. He could have
determined whether such facts and circumstances existed as would lead a reasonably discreet
and prudent person to believe that the extradition request was prima facie meritorious. In point
of fact, he actually concluded from these supporting documents that probable
cause did exist. In the second questioned Order, he stated:
In the instant petition, the documents sent by the US Government in support of [its] request for
extradition of herein respondent are enough to convince the Court of the existence of probable
cause to proceed with the hearing against the extraditee.[50]
We stress that the prima facie existence of probable cause for hearing the petition and, a
priori, for issuing an arrest warrant was already evident from the Petition itself and its supporting
documents. Hence, after having already determined therefrom that a prima facie finding did
exist, respondent judge gravely abused his discretion when he set the matter for hearing upon
motion of Jimenez.[51]
Moreover, the law specifies that the court sets a hearing upon receipt of the answer or
upon failure of the accused to answer after receiving the summons. In connection with the
matter of immediate arrest, however, the word hearing is notably absent from the
provision. Evidently, had the holding of a hearing at that stage been intended, the law could have
easily so provided. It also bears emphasizing at this point that extradition proceedings are
summary[52]in nature. Hence, the silence of the Law and the Treaty leans to the more reasonable
interpretation that there is no intention to punctuate with a hearing every little step in the entire
proceedings.
It is taken for granted that the contracting parties intend something reasonable and something
not inconsistent with generally recognized principles of International Law, nor with previous
treaty obligations towards third States. If, therefore, the meaning of a treaty is ambiguous, the
reasonable meaning is to be preferred to the unreasonable, the more reasonable to the less
reasonable x x x .[53]

Verily, as argued by petitioner, sending to persons sought to be extradited a notice of the


request for their arrest and setting it for hearing at some future date would give them ample
opportunity to prepare and execute an escape. Neither the Treaty nor the Law could have
intended that consequence, for the very purpose of both would have been defeated by the escape
of the accused from the requested state.
2. On the Basis of the Constitution
Even Section 2 of Article III of our Constitution, which is invoked by Jimenez, does not
require a notice or a hearing before the issuance of a warrant of arrest. It provides:
Sec. 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.
To determine probable cause for the issuance of arrest warrants, the Constitution itself
requires only the examination -- under oath or affirmation -- of complainants and the witnesses
they may produce. There is no requirement to notify and hear the accused before the issuance of
warrants of arrest.
In Ho v. People[54] and in all the cases cited therein, never was a judge required to go to the
extent of conducting a hearing just for the purpose of personally determining probable cause for
the issuance of a warrant of arrest. All we required was 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. [55]
In Webb v. De Leon,[56] the Court categorically stated that a judge was not supposed to
conduct a hearing before issuing a warrant of arrest:
Again, we stress that before issuing warrants of arrest, judges merely determine personally the
probability, not the certainty of guilt of an accused. In doing so, judges do not conduct a de novo
hearing to determine the existence of probable cause. They just personally review the initial
determination of the prosecutor finding a probable cause to see if it is supported by substantial
evidence.
At most, in cases of clear insufficiency of evidence on record, judges merely further
examine complainants and their witnesses.[57] In the present case, validating the act of respondent
judge and instituting the practice of hearing the accused and his witnesses at this early stage
would be discordant with the rationale for the entire system. If the accused were allowed to be
heard and necessarily to present evidence during the prima facie determination for the issuance
of a warrant of arrest, what would stop him from presenting his entire plethora of defenses at this
stage -- if he so desires -- in his effort to negate a prima facie finding? Such a procedure could
convert the determination of a prima facie case into a full-blown trial of the entire proceedings
and possibly make trial of the main case superfluous. This scenario is also anathema to the
summary nature of extraditions.
That the case under consideration is an extradition and not a criminal action is not
sufficient to justify the adoption of a set of procedures more protective of the accused. If a
different procedure were called for at all, a more restrictive one -- not the opposite -- would be
justified in view of respondents demonstrated predisposition to flee.

Since this is a matter of first impression, we deem it wise to restate the proper procedure:
Upon receipt of a petition for extradition and its supporting documents, the judge must
study them and make, as soon as possible, a prima facie finding whether (a) they are sufficient in
form and substance, (b) they show compliance with the Extradition Treaty and Law, and (c) the
person sought is extraditable. At his discretion, the judge may require the submission of further
documentation or may personally examine the affiants and witnesses of the petitioner. If, in spite
of this study and examination, no prima facie finding[58] is possible, the petition may be dismissed
at the discretion of the judge.
On the other hand, if the presence of a prima facie case is determined, then the magistrate
must immediately issue a warrant for the arrest of the extraditee, who is at the same time
summoned to answer the petition and to appear at scheduled summary hearings. Prior to the
issuance of the warrant, the judge must not inform or notify the potential extraditee of the
pendency of the petition, lest the latter be given the opportunity to escape and frustrate the
proceedings. In our opinion, the foregoing procedure will best serve the ends of justice in
extradition cases.

Second Substantive Issue:


Is Respondent Entitled to Bail?

Article III, Section 13 of the Constitution, is worded as follows:


Art. III, Sec. 13. All persons, except those charged with offenses punishable by reclusion
perpetua when evidence of guilt is strong, shall, before conviction, be bailable by sufficient
sureties, or be released on recognizance as may be provided by law. The right to bail shall not be
impaired even when the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is suspended. Excessive bail shall
not be required.
Respondent Mark B. Jimenez maintains that this constitutional provision secures the right
to bail of all persons, including those sought to be extradited. Supposedly, the only exceptions
are the ones charged with offenses punishable with reclusion perpetua, when evidence of guilt is
strong. He also alleges the relevance to the present case of Section 4 [59] of Rule 114 of the Rules
of Court which, insofar as practicable and consistent with the summary nature of extradition
proceedings, shall also apply according to Section 9 of PD 1069.
On the other hand, petitioner claims that there is no provision in the Philippine
Constitution granting the right to bail to a person who is the subject of an extradition request
and arrest warrant.
Extradition Different from Ordinary Criminal Proceedings
We agree with petitioner. As suggested by the use of the word conviction, the
constitutional provision on bail quoted above, as well as Section 4 of Rule 114 of the Rules of
Court, applies only when a person has been arrested and detained for violation of Philippine
criminal laws. It does not apply to extradition proceedings, because extradition courts do not
render judgments of conviction or acquittal.
Moreover, the constitutional right to bail flows from the presumption of innocence in favor
of every accused who should not be subjected to the loss of freedom as thereafter he would be
entitled to acquittal, unless his guilt be proved beyond reasonable doubt. [60] It follows that the

constitutional provision on bail will not apply to a case like extradition, where the presumption of
innocence is not at issue.
The provision in the Constitution stating that the right to bail shall not be impaired even
when the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is suspended does not detract from the rule that
the constitutional right to bail is available only in criminal proceedings. It must be noted that the
suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus finds application only to persons
judicially charged for rebellion or offenses inherent in or directly connected with
invasion.[61] Hence, the second sentence in the constitutional provision on bail merely
emphasizes the right to bail in criminal proceedings for the aforementioned offenses. It cannot be
taken to mean that the right is available even in extradition proceedings that are not criminal in
nature.
That the offenses for which Jimenez is sought to be extradited are bailable in the United
States is not an argument to grant him one in the present case. To stress, extradition
proceedings are separate and distinct from the trial for the offenses for which he is charged. He
should apply for bail before the courts trying the criminal cases against him, not before the
extradition court.
No Violation of Due Process
Respondent Jimenez cites the foreign case Paretti[62] in arguing that, constitutionally,
[n]o one shall be deprived of x x x liberty x x x without due process of law.
Contrary to his contention, his detention prior to the conclusion of the extradition
proceedings does not amount to a violation of his right to due process. We iterate the familiar
doctrine that the essence of due process is the opportunity to be heard [63] but, at the same time,
point out that the doctrine does not always call for a prior opportunity to be heard.[64] Where the
circumstances -- such as those present in an extradition case -- call for it,
a subsequent opportunity to be heard is enough. [65] In the present case, respondent will be given
full opportunity to be heard subsequently, when the extradition court hears the Petition for
Extradition. Hence, there is no violation of his right to due process and fundamental fairness.
Contrary to the contention of Jimenez, we find no arbitrariness, either, in the immediate
deprivation of his liberty prior to his being heard. That his arrest and detention will not be
arbitrary is sufficiently ensured by (1) the DOJs filing in court the Petition with its supporting
documents after a determination that the extradition request meets the requirements of the law
and the relevant treaty; (2) the extradition judges independent prima facie determination that his
arrest will best serve the ends of justice before the issuance of a warrant for his arrest; and (3)
his opportunity, once he is under the courts custody, to apply for bail as an exception to the noinitial-bail rule.
It is also worth noting that before the US government requested the extradition of
respondent, proceedings had already been conducted in that country. But because he left the
jurisdiction of the requesting state before those proceedings could be completed, it was hindered
from continuing with the due processes prescribed under its laws. His invocation of due process
now has thus become hollow. He already had that opportunity in the requesting state; yet,
instead of taking it, he ran away.
In this light, would it be proper and just for the government to increase the risk of violating
its treaty obligations in order to accord Respondent Jimenez his personal liberty in the span of
time that it takes to resolve the Petition for Extradition? His supposed immediate deprivation of
liberty without the due process that he had previously shunned pales against the governments
interest in fulfilling its Extradition Treaty obligations and in cooperating with the world
community in the suppression of crime. Indeed, [c]onstitutional liberties do not exist in a
vacuum; the due process rights accorded to individuals must be carefully balanced against
exigent and palpable government interests.[66]

Too, we cannot allow our country to be a haven for fugitives, cowards and weaklings who,
instead of facing the consequences of their actions, choose to run and hide. Hence, it would not
be good policy to increase the risk of violating our treaty obligations if, through overprotection or
excessively liberal treatment, persons sought to be extradited are able to evade arrest or escape
from our custody. In the absence of any provision -- in the Constitution, the law or the treaty -expressly guaranteeing the right to bail in extradition proceedings, adopting the practice of not
granting them bail, as a general rule, would be a step towards deterring fugitives from coming to
the Philippines to hide from or evade their prosecutors.
The denial of bail as a matter of course in extradition cases falls into place with and gives
life to Article 14[67] of the Treaty, since this practice would encourage the accused to voluntarily
surrender to the requesting state to cut short their detention here. Likewise, their detention
pending the resolution of extradition proceedings would fall into place with the emphasis of the
Extradition Law on the summary nature of extradition cases and the need for their speedy
disposition.

Exceptions to the No Bail Rule

The rule, we repeat, is that bail is not a matter of right in extradition cases. However, the
judiciary has the constitutional duty to curb grave abuse of discretion [68] and tyranny, as well as
the power to promulgate rules to protect and enforce constitutional rights. [69] Furthermore, we
believe that the right to due process is broad enough to include the grant of basic fairness to
extraditees. Indeed, the right to due process extends to the life, liberty or property
of every person. It is dynamic and resilient, adaptable to every situation calling for its
application.[70]
Accordingly and to best serve the ends of justice, we believe and so hold that, after a
potential extraditee has been arrested or placed under the custody of the law, bail may be applied
for and granted as an exception, only upon a clear and convincing showing (1) that, once granted
bail, the applicant will not be a flight risk or a danger to the community; and (2) that there exist
special, humanitarian and compelling circumstances [71] including, as a matter of reciprocity,
those cited by the highest court in the requesting state when it grants provisional liberty in
extradition cases therein.
Since this exception has no express or specific statutory basis, and since it is derived
essentially from general principles of justice and fairness, the applicant bears the burden of
proving the above two-tiered requirement with clarity, precision and emphatic forcefulness. The
Court realizes that extradition is basically an executive, not a judicial, responsibility arising from
the presidential power to conduct foreign relations. In its barest concept, it partakes of the
nature of police assistance amongst states, which is not normally a judicial prerogative. Hence,
any intrusion by the courts into the exercise of this power should be characterized by caution, so
that the vital international and bilateral interests of our country will not be unreasonably
impeded or compromised. In short, while this Court is ever protective of the sporting idea of fair
play, it also recognizes the limits of its own prerogatives and the need to fulfill international
obligations.
Along this line, Jimenez contends that there are special circumstances that are compelling
enough for the Court to grant his request for provisional release on bail. We have carefully
examined these circumstances and shall now discuss them.
1. Alleged Disenfranchisement

While his extradition was pending, Respondent Jimenez was elected as a member of the
House of Representatives. On that basis, he claims that his detention will disenfranchise his
Manila district of 600,000 residents. We are not persuaded. In People v. Jalosjos,[72] the Court
has already debunked the disenfranchisement argument when it ruled thus:
When the voters of his district elected the accused-appellant to Congress, they did so with full
awareness of the limitations on his freedom of action. They did so with the knowledge that he
could achieve only such legislative results which he could accomplish within the confines of
prison. To give a more drastic illustration, if voters elect a person with full knowledge that he is
suffering from a terminal illness, they do so knowing that at any time, he may no longer serve his
full term in office.
In the ultimate analysis, the issue before us boils down to a question of constitutional equal
protection.
The Constitution guarantees: x x x nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of
laws. This simply means that all persons similarly situated shall be treated alike both in rights
enjoyed and responsibilities imposed. The organs of government may not show any undue
favoritism or hostility to any person. Neither partiality nor prejudice shall be displayed.
Does being an elective official result in a substantial distinction that allows different
treatment? Is being a Congressman a substantial differentiation which removes the accusedappellant as a prisoner from the same class as all persons validly confined under law?
The performance of legitimate and even essential duties by public officers has never been an
excuse to free a person validly [from] prison. The duties imposed by the mandate of the people
are multifarious. The accused-appellant asserts that the duty to legislate ranks highest in the
hierarchy of government. The accused-appellant is only one of 250 members of the House of
Representatives, not to mention the 24 members of the Senate, charged with the duties of
legislation. Congress continues to function well in the physical absence of one or a few of its
members. Depending on the exigency of Government that has to be addressed, the President or
the Supreme Court can also be deemed the highest for that particular duty. The importance of a
function depends on the need for its exercise. The duty of a mother to nurse her infant is most
compelling under the law of nature. A doctor with unique skills has the duty to save the lives of
those with a particular affliction. An elective governor has to serve provincial constituents. A
police officer must maintain peace and order. Never has the call of a particular duty lifted a
prisoner into a different classification from those others who are validly restrained by law.
A strict scrutiny of classifications is essential lest[,] wittingly or otherwise, insidious
discriminations are made in favor of or against groups or types of individuals.
The Court cannot validate badges of inequality. The necessities imposed by public welfare may
justify exercise of government authority to regulate even if thereby certain groups may plausibly
assert that their interests are disregarded.
We, therefore, find that election to the position of Congressman is not a reasonable classification
in criminal law enforcement. The functions and duties of the office are not substantial
distinctions which lift him from the class of prisoners interrupted in their freedom and restricted
in liberty of movement. Lawful arrest and confinement are germane to the purposes of the law
and apply to all those belonging to the same class. [73]

It must be noted that even before private respondent ran for and won a congressional seat
in Manila, it was already of public knowledge that the United States was requesting his
extradition. Hence, his constituents were or should have been prepared for the consequences of
the extradition case against their representative, including his detention pending the final
resolution of the case. Premises considered and in line with Jalosjos, we are constrained to rule
against his claim that his election to public office is by itself a compelling reason to grant him
bail.
2. Anticipated Delay
Respondent Jimenez further contends that because the extradition proceedings are
lengthy, it would be unfair to confine him during the pendency of the case. Again we are not
convinced. We must emphasize that extradition cases are summary in nature. They are resorted
to merely to determine whether the extradition petition and its annexes conform to the
Extradition Treaty, not to determine guilt or innocence. Neither is it, as a rule, intended to
address issues relevant to the constitutional rights available to the accused in a criminal action.
We are not overruling the possibility that petitioner may, in bad faith, unduly delay the
proceedings. This is quite another matter that is not at issue here. Thus, any further discussion
of this point would be merely anticipatory and academic.
However, if the delay is due to maneuverings of respondent, with all the more reason would
the grant of bail not be justified. Giving premium to delay by considering it as a special
circumstance for the grant of bail would be tantamount to giving him the power to grant bail to
himself. It would also encourage him to stretch out and unreasonably delay the extradition
proceedings even more. This we cannot allow.
3. Not a Flight Risk?
Jimenez further claims that he is not a flight risk. To support this claim, he stresses that
he learned of the extradition request in June 1999; yet, he has not fled the country. True, he has
not actually fled during the preliminary stages of the request for his extradition. Yet, this fact
cannot be taken to mean that he will not flee as the process moves forward to its conclusion, as
he hears the footsteps of the requesting government inching closer and closer. That he has not
yet fled from the Philippines cannot be taken to mean that he will stand his ground and still be
within reach of our government if and when it matters; that is, upon the resolution of the Petition
for Extradition.
In any event, it is settled that bail may be applied for and granted by the trial court at
anytime after the applicant has been taken into custody and prior to judgment, even after bail
has been previously denied. In the present case, the extradition court may continue hearing
evidence on the application for bail, which may be granted in accordance with the guidelines in
this Decision.

Brief Refutation of Dissents

The proposal to remand this case to the extradition court, we believe, is totally
unnecessary; in fact, it is a cop-out. The parties -- in particular, Respondent Jimenez -- have
been given more than sufficient opportunity both by the trial court and this Court to discuss
fully and exhaustively private respondents claim to bail. As already stated, the RTC set for
hearing not only petitioners application for an arrest warrant, but also private respondents
prayer for temporary liberty. Thereafter required by the RTC were memoranda on the arrest, then
position papers on the application for bail, both of which were separately filed by the parties.

This Court has meticulously pored over the Petition, the Comment, the Reply, the lengthy
Memoranda and the Position Papers of both parties. Additionally, it has patiently heard them in
Oral Arguments, a procedure not normally observed in the great majority of cases in this
Tribunal. Moreover, after the Memos had been submitted, the parties -- particularly the potential
extraditee -- have bombarded this Court with additional pleadings -- entitled Manifestations by
both parties and Counter-Manifestation by private respondent -- in which the main topic was
Mr. Jimenezs plea for bail.

4. Immediately upon receipt of the petition for extradition and its supporting documents,
the judge shall make a prima facie finding whether the petition is sufficient in form and
substance, whether it complies with the Extradition Treaty and Law, and whether the person
sought is extraditable. The magistrate has discretion to require the petitioner to submit further
documentation, or to personally examine the affiants or witnesses. If convinced that a prima
facie case exists, the judge immediately issues a warrant for the arrest of the potential extraditee
and summons him or her to answer and to appear at scheduled hearings on the petition.

A remand would mean that this long, tedious process would be repeated in its
entirety. The trial court would again hear factual and evidentiary matters. Be it noted, however,
that, in all his voluminous pleadings and verbal propositions, private respondent has not asked
for a remand. Evidently, even he realizes that there is absolutely no need to rehear factual
matters. Indeed, the inadequacy lies not in the factual presentation of Mr. Jimenez. Rather, it lies
in his legal arguments. Remanding the case will not solve this utter lack of persuasion and
strength in his legal reasoning.

5. After being taken into custody, potential extraditees may apply for bail. Since the
applicants have a history of absconding, they have the burden of showing that (a) there is no
flight risk and no danger to the community; and (b) there exist special, humanitarian or
compelling circumstances. The grounds used by the highest court in the requesting state for the
grant of bail therein may be considered, under the principle of reciprocity as a special
circumstance. In extradition cases, bail is not a matter of right; it is subject to judicial discretion
in the context of the peculiar facts of each case.

In short, this Court -- as shown by this Decision and the spirited Concurring, Separate
and Dissenting Opinions written by the learned justices themselves -- has exhaustively
deliberated and carefully passed upon all relevant questions in this case. Thus, a remand will
not serve any useful purpose; it will only further delay these already very delayed proceedings,
[74]
which our Extradition Law requires to be summary in character. What we need now is prudent
and deliberate speed, not unnecessary and convoluted delay. What is needed is a firm decision
on the merits, not a circuitous cop-out.

6. Potential extraditees are entitled to the rights to due process and to fundamental
fairness. Due
process
does
not
always
call
for
a prior opportunity
to
be
heard. A subsequentopportunity is sufficient due to the flight risk involved. Indeed, available
during the hearings on the petition and the answer is the full chance to be heard and to enjoy
fundamental fairness that is compatible with the summary nature of extradition.

Then, there is also the suggestion that this Court is allegedly disregarding basic freedoms
when a case is one of extradition. We believe that this charge is not only baseless, but also
unfair. Suffice it to say that, in its length and breath, this Decision has taken special cognizance
of the rights to due process and fundamental fairness of potential extraditees.

Summation

As we draw to a close, it is now time to summarize and stress these ten points:
1. The ultimate purpose of extradition proceedings is to determine whether the request
expressed in the petition, supported by its annexes and the evidence that may be adduced during
the hearing of the petition, complies with the Extradition Treaty and Law; and whether the
person sought is extraditable. The proceedings are intended merely to assist the requesting state
in bringing the accused -- or the fugitive who has illegally escaped -- back to its territory, so that
the criminal process may proceed therein.
2. By entering into an extradition treaty, the Philippines is deemed to have reposed its trust
in the reliability or soundness of the legal and judicial system of its treaty partner, as well as in
the ability and the willingness of the latter to grant basic rights to the accused in the pending
criminal case therein.
3. By nature then, extradition proceedings are not equivalent to a criminal case in which
guilt or innocence is determined. Consequently, an extradition case is not one in which the
constitutional rights of the accused are necessarily available. It is more akin, if at all, to a courts
request to police authorities for the arrest of the accused who is at large or has escaped detention
or jumped bail. Having once escaped the jurisdiction of the requesting state, the reasonable
prima facie presumption is that the person would escape again if given the opportunity.

7. This Court will always remain a protector of human rights, a bastion of liberty, a
bulwark of democracy and the conscience of society. But it is also well aware of the limitations of
its authority and of the need for respect for the prerogatives of the other co-equal and coindependent organs of government.
8. We realize that extradition is essentially an executive, not a judicial, responsibility
arising out of the presidential power to conduct foreign relations and to implement
treaties. Thus, the Executive Department of government has broad discretion in its duty and
power of implementation.
9. On the other hand, courts merely perform oversight functions and exercise review
authority to prevent or excise grave abuse and tyranny. They should not allow contortions, delays
and over-due process every little step of the way, lest these summary extradition proceedings
become not only inutile but also sources of international embarrassment due to our inability to
comply in good faith with a treaty partners simple request to return a fugitive. Worse, our
country should not be converted into a dubious haven where fugitives and escapees can
unreasonably delay, mummify, mock, frustrate, checkmate and defeat the quest for bilateral
justice and international cooperation.
10. At bottom, extradition proceedings should be conducted with all deliberate speed
to determine compliance with the Extradition Treaty and Law; and, while safeguarding
basic
individual
rights,
to
avoid
the
legalistic contortions, delays and technicalities that may negate that purpose.
WHEREFORE, the Petition is GRANTED. The assailed RTC Order dated May 23, 2001 is
hereby declared NULL and VOID, while the challenged Order dated July 3, 2001 is SET
ASIDE insofar as it granted bail to Respondent Mark Jimenez. The bail bond posted by private
respondent is CANCELLED. The Regional Trial Court of Manila is directed to conduct the
extradition proceedings before it, with all deliberate speed pursuant to the spirit and the letter of
our Extradition Treaty with the United States as well as our Extradition Law. No costs.
SO ORDERED.

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila

On September 13, 1999, the DOJ received from the Hong Kong Department of Justice a request
for the provisional arrest of private respondent. The DOJ then forwarded the request to the
National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) which, in turn, filed with the RTC of Manila, Branch 19 an
application for the provisional arrest of private respondent.

EN BANC
On September 23, 1999, the RTC, Branch 19, Manila issued an Order of Arrest against private
G.R. No. 153675

April 19, 2007

GOVERNMENT OF HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION, represented by the


Philippine Department of Justice, Petitioner,
vs.
HON. FELIXBERTO T. OLALIA, JR. and JUAN ANTONIO MUOZ, Respondents.
DECISION
SANDOVAL-GUTIERREZ, J.:
For our resolution is the instant Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil
Procedure, as amended, seeking to nullify the two Orders of the Regional Trial Court (RTC),
Branch 8, Manila (presided by respondent Judge Felixberto T. Olalia, Jr.) issued in Civil Case No.
99-95773. These are: (1) the Order dated December 20, 2001 allowing Juan Antonio Muoz,
private respondent, to post bail; and (2) the Order dated April 10, 2002 denying the motion to
vacate the said Order of December 20, 2001 filed by the Government of Hong Kong Special
Administrative Region, represented by the Philippine Department of Justice (DOJ), petitioner. The
petition alleges that both Orders were issued by respondent judge with grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction as there is no provision in the Constitution granting
bail to a potential extraditee.
The facts are:
On January 30, 1995, the Republic of the Philippines and the then British Crown Colony of Hong
Kong signed an "Agreement for the Surrender of Accused and Convicted Persons." It took effect
on June 20, 1997.
On July 1, 1997, Hong Kong reverted back to the Peoples Republic of China and became the
Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
Private respondent Muoz was charged before the Hong Kong Court with three (3) counts of the
offense of "accepting an advantage as agent," in violation of Section 9 (1) (a) of the Prevention of
Bribery Ordinance, Cap. 201 of Hong Kong. He also faces seven (7) counts of the offense of
conspiracy to defraud, penalized by the common law of Hong Kong. On August 23, 1997 and
October 25, 1999, warrants of arrest were issued against him. If convicted, he faces a jail term of
seven (7) to fourteen (14) years for each charge.

respondent. That same day, the NBI agents arrested and detained him.
On October 14, 1999, private respondent filed with the Court of Appeals a petition for certiorari,
prohibition andmandamus with application for preliminary mandatory injunction and/or writ
of habeas corpus questioning the validity of the Order of Arrest.
On November 9, 1999, the Court of Appeals rendered its Decision declaring the Order of Arrest
void.
On November 12, 1999, the DOJ filed with this Court a petition for review on certiorari, docketed
as G.R. No. 140520, praying that the Decision of the Court of Appeals be reversed.
On December 18, 2000, this Court rendered a Decision granting the petition of the DOJ and
sustaining the validity of the Order of Arrest against private respondent. The Decision became
final and executory on April 10, 2001.
Meanwhile, as early as November 22, 1999, petitioner Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
filed with the RTC of Manila a petition for the extradition of private respondent, docketed as Civil
Case No. 99-95733, raffled off to Branch 10, presided by Judge Ricardo Bernardo, Jr. For his
part, private respondent filed, in the same case,-a petition for bail which was opposed by
petitioner.
After hearing, or on October 8, 2001, Judge Bernardo, Jr. issued an Order denying the petition
for bail, holding that there is no Philippine law granting bail in extradition cases and that private
respondent is a high "flight risk."
On October 22, 2001, Judge Bernardo, Jr. inhibited himself from further hearing Civil Case No.
99-95733. It was then raffled off to Branch 8 presided by respondent judge.
On October 30, 2001, private respondent filed a motion for reconsideration of the Order denying
his application for bail. This was granted by respondent judge in an Order dated December 20,
2001 allowing private respondent to post bail, thus:
In conclusion, this Court will not contribute to accuseds further erosion of civil liberties. The
petition for bail is granted subject to the following conditions:
1. Bail is set at Php750,000.00 in cash with the condition that accused hereby
undertakes that he will appear and answer the issues raised in these proceedings and

will at all times hold himself amenable to orders and processes of this Court, will

through then Associate Justice Artemio V. Panganiban, later Chief Justice, held that the

further appear for judgment. If accused fails in this undertaking, the cash bond will be

constitutional provision on bail does not apply to extradition proceedings. It is "available only in

forfeited in favor of the government;

criminal proceedings," thus:

2. Accused must surrender his valid passport to this Court;

x x x. As suggested by the use of the word "conviction," the constitutional provision on bail quoted
above, as well as Section 4, Rule 114 of the Rules of Court, applies only when a person has been

3. The Department of Justice is given immediate notice and discretion of filing its own

arrested and detained for violation of Philippine criminal laws. It does not apply to extradition

motion for hold departure order before this Court even in extradition proceeding; and

proceedings because extradition courts do not render judgments of conviction or acquittal.

4. Accused is required to report to the government prosecutors handling this case or if

Moreover, the constitutional right to bail "flows from the presumption of innocence in favor of

they so desire to the nearest office, at any time and day of the week; and if they further
desire, manifest before this Court to require that all the assets of accused, real and
personal, be filed with this Court soonest, with the condition that if the accused flees
from his undertaking, said assets be forfeited in favor of the government and that the
corresponding lien/annotation be noted therein accordingly.
SO ORDERED.
On December 21, 2001, petitioner filed an urgent motion to vacate the above Order, but it was
denied by respondent judge in his Order dated April 10, 2002.
Hence, the instant petition. Petitioner alleged that the trial court committed grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in admitting private respondent to bail; that
there is nothing in the Constitution or statutory law providing that a potential extraditee has a
right to bail, the right being limited solely to criminal proceedings.
In his comment on the petition, private respondent maintained that the right to bail guaranteed
under the Bill of Rights extends to a prospective extraditee; and that extradition is a harsh
process resulting in a prolonged deprivation of ones liberty.

every accused who should not be subjected to the loss of freedom as thereafter he would be
entitled to acquittal, unless his guilt be proved beyond reasonable doubt" (De la Camara v. Enage,
41 SCRA 1, 6, September 17, 1971, per Fernando,J., later CJ). It follows that the constitutional
provision on bail will not apply to a case like extradition, where the presumption of innocence is
not at issue.
The provision in the Constitution stating that the "right to bail shall not be impaired even when
the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is suspended" does not detract from the rule that the
constitutional right to bail is available only in criminal proceedings. It must be noted that the
suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpusfinds application "only to persons
judicially charged for rebellion or offenses inherent in or directly connected with invasion" (Sec.
18, Art. VIII, Constitution). Hence, the second sentence in the constitutional provision on bail
merely emphasizes the right to bail in criminal proceedings for the aforementioned offenses. It
cannot be taken to mean that the right is available even in extradition proceedings that are not
criminal in nature.
At first glance, the above ruling applies squarely to private respondents case. However, this Court
cannot ignore the following trends in international law: (1) the growing importance of the
individual person in public international law who, in the 20th century, has gradually attained
global recognition; (2) the higher value now being given to human rights in the international
sphere; (3) the corresponding duty of countries to observe these universal human rights in

Section 13, Article III of the Constitution provides that the right to bail shall not be impaired,

fulfilling their treaty obligations; and (4) the duty of this Court to balance the rights of the

thus:

individual under our fundamental law, on one hand, and the law on extradition, on the other.

Sec. 13. All persons, except those charged with offenses punishable by reclusion perpetua when

The modern trend in public international law is the primacy placed on the worth of the

evidence of guilt is strong, shall, before conviction, be bailable by sufficient sureties, or be

individual person and the sanctity of human rights. Slowly, the recognition that the individual

released on recognizance as may be provided by law. The right to bail shall not be impaired even

person may properly be a subject of international law is now taking root. The vulnerable doctrine

when the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is suspended. Excessive bail shall not be required.

that the subjects of international law are limited only to states was dramatically eroded towards
the second half of the past century. For one, the Nuremberg and Tokyo trials after World War II

Jurisprudence on extradition is but in its infancy in this jurisdiction. Nonetheless, this is not the
first time that this Court has an occasion to resolve the question of whether a prospective
extraditee may be granted bail.
In Government of United States of America v. Hon. Guillermo G. Purganan, Presiding Judge, RTC of
Manila, Branch 42, and Mark B. Jimenez, a.k.a. Mario Batacan Crespo,1 this Court, speaking

resulted in the unprecedented spectacle of individual defendants for acts characterized as


violations of the laws of war, crimes against peace, and crimes against humanity. Recently, under
the Nuremberg principle, Serbian leaders have been persecuted for war crimes and crimes
against humanity committed in the former Yugoslavia. These significant events show that the
individual person is now a valid subject of international law.

On a more positive note, also after World War II, both international organizations and states gave

The 1909 case of US v. Go-Sioco5 is illustrative. In this case, a Chinese facing deportation for

recognition and importance to human rights. Thus, on December 10, 1948, the United Nations

failure to secure the necessary certificate of registration was granted bail pending his appeal.

General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in which the right to life,

After noting that the prospective deportee had committed no crime, the Court opined that "To

liberty and all the other fundamental rights of every person were proclaimed. While not a

refuse him bail is to treat him as a person who has committed the most serious crime known to

treaty, the principles contained in the said Declaration are now recognized as customarily

law;" and that while deportation is not a criminal proceeding, some of the machinery used "is the

binding upon the members of the international community. Thus, in Mejoff v. Director of

machinery of criminal law." Thus, the provisions relating to bail was applied to deportation

Prisons, this Court, in granting bail to a prospective deportee, held that under the
2

proceedings.

Constitution, the principles set forth in that Declaration are part of the law of the land. In
3

1966, the UN General Assembly also adopted the International Covenant on Civil and Political

In Mejoff v. Director of Prisons6 and Chirskoff v. Commission of Immigration,7 this Court ruled that

Rights which the Philippines signed and ratified. Fundamental among the rights enshrined

foreign nationals against whom no formal criminal charges have been filed may be released on

therein are the rights of every person to life, liberty, and due process.

bail pending the finality of an order of deportation. As previously stated, the Court
in Mejoff relied upon the Universal declaration of Human Rights in sustaining the detainees right

The Philippines, along with the other members of the family of nations, committed to uphold the

to bail.

fundamental human rights as well as value the worth and dignity of every person. This
commitment is enshrined in Section II, Article II of our Constitution which provides: "The State

If bail can be granted in deportation cases, we see no justification why it should not also be

values the dignity of every human person and guarantees full respect for human rights." The

allowed in extradition cases. Likewise, considering that the Universal Declaration of Human

Philippines, therefore, has the responsibility of protecting and promoting the right of every person

Rights applies to deportation cases, there is no reason why it cannot be invoked in extradition

to liberty and due process, ensuring that those detained or arrested can participate in the

cases. After all, both are administrative proceedings where the innocence or guilt of the person

proceedings before a court, to enable it to decide without delay on the legality of the detention

detained is not in issue.

and order their release if justified. In other words, the Philippine authorities are under obligation
to make available to every person under detention such remedies which safeguard their
fundamental right to liberty. These remedies include the right to be admitted to bail. While this
Court in Purganan limited the exercise of the right to bail to criminal proceedings, however, in
light of the various international treaties giving recognition and protection to human rights,
particularly the right to life and liberty, a reexamination of this Courts ruling in Purganan is in
order.
First, we note that the exercise of the States power to deprive an individual of his
liberty is not necessarily limited to criminal proceedings. Respondents in
administrative proceedings, such as deportation and quarantine,4 have likewise been
detained.
Second, to limit bail to criminal proceedings would be to close our eyes to our
jurisprudential history. Philippine jurisprudence has not limited the exercise of the
right to bail to criminal proceedings only. This Court has admitted to bail persons who
are not involved in criminal proceedings. In fact, bail has been allowed in this
jurisdiction to persons in detention during the pendency of administrative proceedings,
taking into cognizance the obligation of the Philippines under international
conventions to uphold human rights.

Clearly, the right of a prospective extraditee to apply for bail in this jurisdiction must be viewed in
the light of the various treaty obligations of the Philippines concerning respect for the promotion
and protection of human rights. Under these treaties, the presumption lies in favor of human
liberty. Thus, the Philippines should see to it that the right to liberty of every individual is not
impaired.
Section 2(a) of Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 1069 (The Philippine Extradition Law) defines
"extradition" as "the removal of an accused from the Philippines with the object of placing him at
the disposal of foreign authorities to enable the requesting state or government to hold him in
connection with any criminal investigation directed against him or the execution of a penalty
imposed on him under the penal or criminal law of the requesting state or government."
Extradition has thus been characterized as the right of a foreign power, created by treaty, to
demand the surrender of one accused or convicted of a crime within its territorial jurisdiction,
and the correlative duty of the other state to surrender him to the demanding state. 8 It is not a
criminal proceeding.9 Even if the potential extraditee is a criminal, an extradition proceeding is
not by its nature criminal, for it is not punishment for a crime, even though such punishment
may follow extradition.10 It is sui generis, tracing its existence wholly to treaty obligations between
different nations.11 It is not a trial to determine the guilt or innocence of the potential
extraditee.12 Nor is it a full-blown civil action, but one that is merely administrative in
character.13 Its object is to prevent the escape of a person accused or convicted of a crime and to
secure his return to the state from which he fled, for the purpose of trial or punishment. 14
But while extradition is not a criminal proceeding, it is characterized by the following: (a) it
entails a deprivation of liberty on the part of the potential extraditee and (b) the means

employed to attain the purpose of extradition is also "the machinery of criminal law." This

An extradition proceeding being sui generis, the standard of proof required in granting or denying

is shown by Section 6 of P.D. No. 1069 (The Philippine Extradition Law) which mandates the

bail can neither be the proof beyond reasonable doubt in criminal cases nor the standard of proof

"immediate arrest and temporary detention of the accused" if such "will best serve the

of preponderance of evidence in civil cases. While administrative in character, the standard of

interest of justice." We further note that Section 20 allows the requesting state "in case of
urgency" to ask for the "provisional arrest of the accused, pending receipt of the request for
extradition;" and that release from provisional arrest "shall not prejudice re-arrest and
extradition of the accused if a request for extradition is received subsequently."
Obviously, an extradition proceeding, while ostensibly administrative, bears all earmarks of a
criminal process. A potential extraditee may be subjected to arrest, to a prolonged restraint
of liberty, and forced to transfer to the demanding state following the
proceedings. "Temporary detention" may be a necessary step in the process of extradition, but
the length of time of the detention should be reasonable.
Records show that private respondent was arrested on September 23, 1999, and remained
incarcerated until December 20, 2001, when the trial court ordered his admission to bail. In
other words, he had been detained for over two (2) years without having been convicted of
any crime. By any standard, such an extended period of detention is a serious deprivation of his
fundamental right to liberty. In fact, it was this prolonged deprivation of liberty which prompted
the extradition court to grant him bail.
While our extradition law does not provide for the grant of bail to an extraditee, however, there is
no provision prohibiting him or her from filing a motion for bail, a right to due process under the
Constitution.

substantial evidence used in administrative cases cannot likewise apply given the object of
extradition law which is to prevent the prospective extraditee from fleeing our jurisdiction. In his
Separate Opinion in Purganan, then Associate Justice, now Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno,
proposed that a new standard which he termed "clear and convincing evidence" should be
used in granting bail in extradition cases. According to him, this standard should be lower
than proof beyond reasonable doubt but higher than preponderance of evidence. The potential
extraditee must prove by "clear and convincing evidence" that he is not a flight risk and will abide
with all the orders and processes of the extradition court.
In this case, there is no showing that private respondent presented evidence to show that he is
not a flight risk. Consequently, this case should be remanded to the trial court to determine
whether private respondent may be granted bail on the basis of "clear and convincing evidence."
WHEREFORE, we DISMISS the petition. This case is REMANDED to the trial court to determine
whether private respondent is entitled to bail on the basis of "clear and convincing evidence." If
not, the trial court should order the cancellation of his bail bond and his immediate detention;
and thereafter, conduct the extradition proceedings with dispatch.
SO ORDERED.
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT

The applicable standard of due process, however, should not be the same as that in criminal
proceedings. In the latter, the standard of due process is premised on the presumption of
innocence of the accused. As Purganancorrectly points out, it is from this major premise that the
ancillary presumption in favor of admitting to bail arises. Bearing in mind the purpose of
extradition proceedings, the premise behind the issuance of the arrest warrant and the
"temporary detention" is the possibility of flight of the potential extraditee. This is based on the
assumption that such extraditee is a fugitive from justice.15 Given the foregoing, the prospective
extraditee thus bears the onus probandi of showing that he or she is not a flight risk and should
be granted bail.
The time-honored principle of pacta sunt servanda demands that the Philippines honor its
obligations under the Extradition Treaty it entered into with the Hong Kong Special
Administrative Region. Failure to comply with these obligations is a setback in our foreign
relations and defeats the purpose of extradition. However, it does not necessarily mean that in

Manila
EN BANC
G.R. No. L-68288 July 11, 1986
DIOSDADO GUZMAN, ULYSSES URBIZTONDO, and ARIEL RAMACULA, petitioners,
vs.
NATIONAL UNIVERSITY and DOMINGO L. JHOCSON in his capacity as President of National
University,respondents.
Efren H. Mercado and Haydee Yorac for petitioners.
Samson S. Alcantara for respondents.

keeping with its treaty obligations, the Philippines should diminish a potential extraditees rights
to life, liberty, and due process. More so, where these rights are guaranteed, not only by our
Constitution, but also by international conventions, to which the Philippines is a party. We
should not, therefore, deprive an extraditee of his right to apply for bail, provided that a certain
standard for the grant is satisfactorily met.

NARVASA, J.:
Petitioners Diosdado Guzman, Ulysses Urbiztondo and Ariel Ramacula, students of respondent
National University, have come to this Court to seek relief from what they describe as their

school's "continued and persistent refusal to allow them to enrol." In their petition "for

Respondents close their comment with the following assertions, to wit:

extraordinary legal and equitable remedies with prayer for preliminary mandatory injunction"
dated August 7, 1984, they allege:

1) By their actuations, petitioners must be deemed to have forfeited their privilege, if any, to seek
enrollment in respondent university. The rights of respondent university, as an institution of

1) that respondent University's avowed reason for its refusal to re-enroll them in their respective

higher learning, must also be respected. It is also beyond comprehension why petitioners, who

courses is "the latter's participation in peaceful mass actions within the premises of the

continually despise and villify respondent university and its officials and faculty members, should

University.

persist in seeking enrollment in an institution that they hate.

2) that this "attitude of the (University) is simply a continuation of its cavalier if not hostile

2) Under the circumstances, and without regard to legal technicalities, it is not to the best

attitude to the student's exercise of their basic constitutional and human rights already recorded

interest of all concerned that petitioners be allowed to enroll in respondent university.

in Rockie C. San Juan vs. National University, S.C. G.R. No. 65443 (1983) and its utter contempt
for the principle of due process of law to the prejudice of petitioners;" and

3) In any event, petitioners' enrollment being on the semestral basis, respondents cannot be
compelled to enroll them after the end of the semester.

3) that "in effect petitioners are subjected to the extreme penalty of expulsion without cause or if
there be any, without being informed of such cause and without being afforded the opportunity to
defend themselves. Berina v. Philippine Maritime Institute (117 SCRA 581 [1983]).
In the comment filed on September 24, 1986 for respondent University and its President

On October 2, 1984 this Court issued a resolution reading as follows:


... Acting on the Comment submitted by respondent, the Court Resolved to NOTE the same and
to require a REPLY to such Comment. The Court further Resolved to ISSUE a MANDATORY

pursuant to this Court's requirement therefor 1 , respondents make the claim:

INJUNCTION, enjoining respondent to allow the enrolment of petitioners for the coming semester

1) that "petitioners' failure to enroll for the first semester of the school year 1984-1985 is due to

with their right to lawful defense recognized and respected. As regards petitioner Diosdado

without prejudice to any disciplinary proceeding to which any or all of them may be subjected

their own fault and not because of their allegedexercise of their constitutional and human rights;"

Guzman, even if it be a fact that there is a pending criminal charge against him for malicious

2) that petitioner Urbiztondo, sought to re-enroll only on July 5, 1986 "when the enrollment

continuation of any disciplinary proceeding against him, that he be allowed to resume his studies

mischief, the Court nonetheless is of the opinion that, as above-noted, without prejudice to the

period was already closed;"

in the meanwhile. As shown in Annex 2 of the petition itself, Mr. Juan P. Guzman, father of said

3) that as regards petitioner Guzman, his "academic showing" was "poor", "due to his activities in

grievance petitioner Guzman may have would be ventilated in a lawful and peaceful manner.

leading boycotts of classes"; that when his father was notified of this development sometime in
August, 1982, the latter had demanded that his son "reform or else we will recall him to the
province"; that Guzman was one of the petitioners in G.R. No. 65443 entitled "Rockie San Juan, et
al. vs. National University, et al.," at the hearing of which on November 23, 1983 this Court had
admonished "the students involved (to) take advantage and make the most of the opportunity
given to them to study;" that Guzman "however continued to lead or actively participate in
activities within the university premises, conducted without prior permit from school authorities,
that disturbed or disrupted classes therein;" that moreover, Guzman "is facing criminal charges
for malicious mischief before the Metropolitan Trial Court of Manila (Crim. Case No. 066446) in
connection with the destruction of properties of respondent University on September 12, 1983 ",
and "is also one of the defendants in Civil Case No. 8320483 of the Regional Trial Court of Manila
entitled 'National University, Inc. vs. Rockie San Juan et al.' for damages arising from destruction

petitioner, is extending full cooperation with petitioners to assure that whatever protest or

Petitioners' REPLY inter alia


1) denied that Urbiztondo attempted to enroll only on July 5, 1984 (when enrollment was already
closed), it being alleged that "while he did try to enroll that day, he also attempted to do so several
times before that date, all to no avail, because respondents ... persistently refused to allow him to
do so" respondents' ostensible reason being that Urbiztondo (had) participated in mass actions ...
within the school premises," although there were no existing disciplinary charge against
petitioner Urbiztondo" at the time;
2) asserted that "neither the text nor the context of the resolution

justifies the conclusion that

"petitioners' right to exercise their constitutional freedoms" had thereby been restricted or limited;

of university properties

and

4) that as regards petitioner Ramacula, like Guzman "he continued to lead or actively participate,

3) alleged that "the holding of activities (mass action) in the school premises without the

contrary to the spirit of the Resolution dated November 23, 1983 of this ... Court (in G.R. No.
65443 in which he was also one of the petitioners) and to university rules and regulations, within
university premises but without permit from university officials in activities that disturbed or
disrupted classes;" and
5) that petitioners have "failures in their records, (and) are not of good scholastic standing. "

permission of the school ... can be explained by the fact that the respondents persistently refused
to issue such permit repeatedly sought by the students. "
On November 23, 1984, this Court promulgated another resolution, this time reading as follows:

... The Court, after considering the pleadings filed and deliberating on the issues raised in the

standards which must be met to satisfy the demands of procedural due process; and these are,

petition for extraordinary legal and equitable remedies with prayer for preliminary mandatory

that (1) the students must be informed in writing of the nature and cause of any accusation

injunction as well as the respondents' comment on the petition and the reply of counsel for

against them; (2) they shag have the right to answer the charges against them, with the

petitioners to the respondents' comment, Resolved to (a) give DUE COURSE to the petition; (b)

assistance of counsel, if desired; (3) they shall be informed of the evidence against them; (4) they

consider the respondents' comment as ANSWER to the petition; and (c) require the parties to file

shall have the right to adduce evidence in their own behalf; and (5) the evidence must be duly

their respective MEMORANDA within twenty (20) days from notice. ... .

considered by the investigating committee or official designated by the school authorities to hear
and decide the case.

Immediately apparent from a reading of respondents' comment and memorandum is the fact that
they had never conducted proceedings of any sort to determine whether or not petitioners-

WHEREFORE, the petition is granted and the respondents are directed to allow the petitioners to

students had indeed led or participated "in activities within the university premises, conducted
without prior permit from school authorities, that disturbed or disrupted classes therein"

re-enroll or otherwise continue with their respective courses, without prejudice to any
disciplinary proceedings to which any or all of them may be subjected in accordance with the

or

perpetrated acts of "vandalism, coercion and intimidation, slander, noise barrage and other acts
showing disdain for and defiance of University authority."

Parenthetically, the pendency of a civil

case for damages and a criminal case for malicious mischief against petitioner Guzman, cannot,
without more, furnish sufficient warrant for his expulsion or debarment from re-enrollment. Also
apparent is the omission of respondents to cite this Court to any duly published rule of theirs by
which students may be expelled or refused re-enrollment for poor scholastic standing.
Under the Education Act of 1982,

freely choose their field of study subject to existing curricula and to continue their course therein
up to graduation, except in case of academic deficiency, or violation of disciplinary
regulations." 6Petitioners were being denied this right, or being disciplined, without due process,
in violation of the admonition in the Manual of Regulations for Private Schools

that "(n)o penalty

shall be imposed upon any student except for cause as defined in ... (the) Manual and/or in the
school rules and regulations as duly promulgated and only after due investigation shall have been
conducted."

This Court is therefore constrained, as in Berina v. Philippine Maritime Institute,

SO ORDERED.
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila

the petitioners, as students, have the right among others "to

standards herein set forth.

to

declare illegal this act of respondents of imposing sanctions on students without due

EN BANC
G.R. No.76353 September 29,1989
SOPHIA ALCUAZ, MA. CECILIA ALINDAYU, BERNADETTE ANG, IRNA ANONAS, MA.
REMEDIOS BALTAZAR, CORAZON BUNDOC, JOHN CARMONA, ANNA SHEILA DINOSO,
RAFAEL ENCARNACION, ANNALIZA EVIDENTE, FRANCIS FERNANDO, ZENNY GUDITO,
EDGAR LIBERATO, JULIET LIPORADA, GABRIEL MONDRAGON, JOSE MARIA PACKING,

investigation.

DOMINIC PETILLA, MA. SHALINA PITOY, SEVERINO RAMOS, VICTOR SANTIAGO,

Educational institutions of course have the power to "adopt and enforce such rules as may be

the PHILIPPINE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION (Q.C.) similarly

deemed expedient for ... (its) government, ... (this being)" incident to the very object of

situated,petitioners,

CAROLINA SARMIENTO, FERDINAND TORRES, RICARDO VENTIGAN and other students of

incorporation, and indispensable to the successful management of the college."

10

The rules may

include those governing student discipline. Indeed, the maintenance of "good school discipline" is
a duty specifically enjoined on "every private school" by the Manual of Regulations for Private
Schools;

11

and in this connection, the Manual further provides that-

... The school rules governing discipline and the corresponding sanctions therefor must be clearly
specified and defined in writing and made known to the students and/or their parents or
guardians. Schools shall have the authority and prerogative to promulgate such rules and
regulations as they may deem necessary from time to time effective as of the date of their
promulgation unless otherwise specified.

12

But, to repeat, the imposition of disciplinary sanctions requires observance of procedural due
process. And it bears stressing that due process in disciplinary cases involving students does not
entail proceedings and hearings similar to those prescribed for actions and proceedings in courts
of justice. The proceedings in student discipline cases may be summary; and cross-examination
is not, 'contrary to petitioners' view, an essential part thereof. There are withal minimum

vs.
PHILIPPINE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION, Quezon City Branch (PSBA), DR.
JUAN D. LIM, in his capacity as President and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of PSBA,
ATTY. BENJAMIN P. PAULINO, in his capacity as Vice- President for Admission and
Registration, MR. RUBEN ESTRELLA, in his capacity as Officer-in-Charge, MR. RAMON
AGAPAY, in his capacity as Director of the Office of Student Affairs and MR. ROMEO
RAFER, in his capacity as Chief Security of PSBA, respondents.
RESOLUTION
PARAS, J.:
On May 2, 1988, this Court through its Second Division rendered a Decision in the instant case
which prodded the Intervenor Union (hereinafter referred to as the Union) to file a motion for
reconsideration. Its argument hinges on the pronouncement that

x x x. Likewise, it is provided in the Manual, that the "written contracts" required for college

must always be conducted peacefully, and without resort to intimidation, coercion, or violence.

teachers are for one semester. It is thus evident that after the close of the first semester, the

Academic freedom in all its forms, demands the full display of discipline. To hold otherwise would

PSBA-QC no longer has any existing contract either with the students or with intervening

be to subvert freedom into degenerate license.

teachers. Such being the case, charge of denial of due process is untenable. It is time-honored
principle that contracts are respected as the law between the contracting parties. x x x (p. 12,
Decision, italics supplied).(p. 874-875, Rollo)

SO ORDERED.
Republic of the Philippines

with the allegedly inevitable consequence of extenuating the pernicious practice of management

SUPREME COURT

to arbitrarily and wantonly terminate teachers simply because their contracts of employment

Manila

have already lapsed.


EN BANC
The motion likewise points out the fact that two of the faculty members, namely Mr. Asser (Bong)
Tamayo, and Mr. Rene Encarnacion, supposedly found guilty by the Investigating Committee
headed by Mr. Antonio M. Magtalas (p. 342, Rollo), had been issued permanent appointments
(not mere temporary contracts) by no less than the President of the School himself. The

G.R. No. 89317 May 20, 1990

appointment of Mr. Asser (Bong) Tamayo dated August 9, 1986 (p. 887, Rollo) can attest to this
ARIEL NON, REX MAGANA, ALVIN AGURA, NORMANDY OCCIANO, JORGE DAYAON,

claim.
It is on the basis of the foregoing that We hereby amend Our previous statements on the matter.
In a recent Decision,

this Court had the opportunity to quite emphatically enunciate the precept

that full-time teachers who have rendered three (3) years of satisfactory service shall be
considered permanent (par. 75 of the Manual of Regulations for Private Schools). Thus, having
attained a permanent status, they cannot be removed from office except for just cause and after
due process.
Now applying the same principle in the case at bar, Mr. Asser (Bong) Tamayo having stayed in the
Philippine School of Business Administration, Quezon City Branch (PSBA, for brevity) for three
and one-half (3 1/2) years (in a full-time capacity) may be deemed a permanent faculty member

LOURDES BANARES, BARTOLOME IBASCO, EMMANUEL BARBA, SONNY MORENO,


GIOVANI PALMA, JOSELITO VILLALON, LUIS SANTOS, and DANIEL TORRES, petitioners,
vs.
HON. SANCHO DANES II, in his capacity as the Presiding Judge of 5th Regional Trial Court,
Br. 38, Daet, Camarines Norte; and MABINI COLLEGES, INC., represented by its president
ROMULO ADEVA and by the chairman of the Board of Trustees, JUSTO
LUKBAN, respondents.
Antonio A. Ayo Jr. and Soliman M. Santos, Jr., for petitioners
Pedro A. Venida Agustin A. Ferrer and Gil F. Echaro for private respondents.

provided, of course, the services rendered have been satisfactory to the school. However, because
the investigation showed that Mr. Tamayo had participated in the unlawful demonstration, his
services cannot be deemed satisfactory.
In the case of Mr. Rene Encarnacion, and Mr. Severino Cortes, Jr. who taught in PSBA for two
and one-half (2 1/2) years and one and one-half (1 1/2) years respectively, to them a permanent
status cannot be accorded for failure to meet the minimum requirement of three (3) years set by
the aforementioned Manual of Regulations. Of equal importance, at this point, is the fact that the
letter of appointment had been extended only to Mr. Tamayo and not to Mr. Encarnacion, neither
to Mr. Cortes, Jr.
WHEREFORE, for the reasons adverted to hereinabove, the motion for reconsideration, except
insofar as We have made the aforementioned clarificatory statements about the tenure of fulltime teachers and professors, is hereby DENIED.
In conclusion, We wish to reiterate that while We value the right of students to complete their
education in the school or university of their choice, and while We fully respect their right to
resort to rallies and demonstrations for the redress of their grievances and as a part of their
freedom of speech and their right to assemble, still such rallies, demonstrations, and assemblies

CORTES, J.:
Petitioners urge the Court en banc to review and reverse the doctrine laid down in Alcuaz, et
al. v. Philippine School of Business Administration, et al., G.R. No. 76353, May 2, 1988, 161 SCRA
7, to the effect that a college student, once admitted by the school, is considered enrolled only for
one semester and, hence, may be refused readmission after the semester is over, as the contract
between the student and the school is deemed terminated.
Petitioners, students in private respondent Mabini Colleges, Inc. in Daet, Camarines Norte, were
not allowed to re-enroll by the school for the academic year 1988-1989 for leading or participating
in student mass actions against the school in the preceding semester. The subject of the protests
is not, however, made clear in the pleadings.
Petitioners filed a petition in the court a quo seeking their readmission or re-enrollment to the
school, but the trial court dismissed the petition in an order dated August 8, 1988; the
dispositive portion of which reads:

WHEREFORE, premises considered, and the fact that the ruling in the Alcuaz vs. PSBA is exactly

3. I will respect my Alma Matter the Mabini College, which I represent and see to it that I conduct

on the point at issue in this case but the authority of the school regarding admission of students,

myself in such a manner that the college wig not be put to a bad light;

save as a matter of compassionate equity when any of the petitioners would, at the least,
qualify for re-enrollment, this petition is hereby DISMISSED.

xxx xxx xxx

SO ORDERED. [Rollo, p. 12-A.]

9. I will not release false or unauthorized announcement which tend to cause confusion or
disrupt the normal appreciation of the college.

A motion for reconsideration was filed, but this was denied by the trial court on February 24,
1989 in this wise:

Moreover, a clear legal right must first be established for a petition for mandamus to prosper (Sec.
3, Rule 65). It being a mere privilege and not a legal right for a student to be enrolled or

Perhaps many will agree with the critical comment of Joaquin G. Bernas S.J., and that really

reenrolled, respondent Mabini College is free to admit or not admit the petitioners for re-

there must be a better way of treating students and teachers than the manner ruled (not

enrollment in view of the academic freedom enjoyed by the school in accordance with the

suggested) by the Supreme Court, the Termination of Contract at the end of the semester, that is.

Supreme Court rulings in the cases of Garcia vs. Faculty [Admission Committee] (G.R. No. 40779,
November 28, 1975) and Tangonon vs. Pano, et al. (L-45157, June 27, 1985).

But applicable rule in the case is that enunciated by the Supreme Court in the case of Sophia
Alcuaz, et al. vs. Philippine School of Business Administration, Quezon City Branch (PSBA), et al.,

WHEREFORE, premises and jurisprudence considered, and for lack of merit, the motion for

G.R. No. 76353, May 2, 1988; that of the termination at the end of the semester, reason for the

reconsideration of the order of this Court dated August 8, 1988 is hereby DENIED.

critical comments of Joaquin G. Bernas and Doods Santos, who both do not agree with the
ruling.

SO ORDERED. [Rollo pp. 15-16.]

Petitioners' claim of lack of due process cannot prosper in view of their failure to specifically deny

Hence, petitioners filed the instant petition for certiorari with prayer for preliminary mandatory

respondent's affirmative defenses that "they were given all the chances to air their grievances on

injunction.

February 9, 10, 16, and 18, 1988, and also on February 22, 1988 during which they were
represented by Atty. Jose L. Lapak" and that on February 22, 1988, the date of the resumption of
classes at Mabini College, petitioners continued their rally picketing, even though without any
renewal permit, physically coercing students not to attend their classes, thereby disrupting the
scheduled classes and depriving a great majority of students of their right to be present in their

The case was originally assigned to the Second Division of the Court, which resolved on April 10,
1989 to refer the case to the Court of Appeals for proper determination and disposition. The
Court of Appeals ordered respondents to comment on the petition and set the application for
issuance of a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction for hearing. After considering the

classes.

comment and hearing the injunction application, the Court of Appeals resolved on May 22, 1989

Against this backdrop, it must be noted that the petitioners waived their privilege to be admitted

raised.

for re-enrollment with respondent college when they adopted, signed, and used its enrollment

to certify the case back to the Supreme Court considering that only pure questions of law were

form for the first semester of school year 1988-89. Said form specifically states that:

The case was assigned to the Third Division of the Court, which then transferred it to the

The Mabini College reserves the right to deny admission of students whose scholarship and

September 14, 1989, the Court en bancaccepted the case and required respondents to comment.

Court en banc on August 21, 1989 considering that the issues raised are jurisdictional. On

attendance are unsatisfactory and to require withdrawal of students whose conduct discredits the
institution and/or whose activities unduly disrupts or interfere with the efficient operation of the

Respondents filed their comment on November 13, 1989. Petitioners were required to reply. As

college. Students, therefore, are required to behave in accord with the Mabini College code of

reply, they filed a pleading entitled "Counter-Comment," to which respondents filed a rejoinder

conduct and discipline.

entitled "Reply to Counter-Comment To this petitioners filed a "Rejoinder to Reply."

In addition, for the same semester, petitioners duly signed pledges which among others uniformly

The issues having been joined, the case was deemed submitted.

reads:
In consideration of my admission to the Mabini College and of my privileges as student of this
institution, I hereby pledge/ promise under oath to abide and comply with all the rules and
regulations laid down by competent authorities in the College Department or School in which I

At the heart of the controversy is the doctrine encapsuled in the following excerpt from Alcuaz:
It is beyond dispute that a student once admitted by the school is considered enrolled for one
semester. It is provided in Paragraph 137 Manual of Regulations for Private Schools, that when a

am enrolled. Specifically:

college student registers in a school, it is understood that he is enrolling for the entire semester.

xxx xxx xxx

are for "one semester." It is thus evident that after the close of the first semester, the PSBA-QC no

Likewise, it is provided in the Manual, that the "written contracts" required for college teachers

longer has any existing contract either with the students or with the intervening teachers. Such

right to speech and assembly as exercised by students vis-a-vis the right of school officials to

being the case, the charge of denial of due process is untenable. It is a time-honored principle

discipline them.

that contracts are respected as the law between the contracting parties (Henson vs. Intermediate
Appellate Court, et al., G.R. No. 72456, February 19, 1987, citing: Castro vs. Court of Appeals,

Thus, although respondent judge believed himself bound by the ruling in Alcuaz [Order dated

99 SCRA 722; Escano vs. Court of Appeals, 100 SCRA 197). The contract having been terminated,

August 8, 1988;Rollo, pp. 1212-A], he actually viewed the issue as a conflict between students'

there is no more contract to speak of. The school cannot be compelled to enter into another contract

rights and the school's power to discipline them, to wit:

with said students and teachers. "The courts, be they the original trial court or the appellate
court, have no power to make contracts for the parties.' (Henson vs. Intermediate Appellate

Students should not be denied their constitutional and statutory right to education, and there is

Court, et al., supra). [At 161 SCRA 17-18; Emphasis supplied.]

such denial when students are expelled or barred from enrollment for the exercise of their right to

In Alcuaz, the Second Division of the Court dismissed the petition filed by the students, who were

the requirements of due process. Also, it is understandable for student leaders to let loose

barred from re-enrolling after they led mass assemblies and put up barricades, but it added that

extremely critical and, at times, vitriolic language against school authorities during a student

"in the light of compassionate equity, students who were, in view of the absence of academic

rally.

deficiencies, scheduled to graduate during the school year when this petition was filed, should be
allowed to re-enroll and to graduate in due time." [At 161 SCRA 22.] Mr. Justice Sarmiento

free speech and peaceable assembly and/or subjected to disciplinary action without abiding with

But the right of students is no license and not without limit . . . [Order of February 24,

dissented from the majority opinion.

1989; Rollo, p. 13.]

A motion for reconsideration was filed by the dismissed teachers in Alcuaz. The students did not

1. The Student Does Not Shed His Constitutionally Protected Rights at the Schoolgate.

move for reconsideration. The Court en banc, to which the case had been transferred, denied the
motion for reconsideration in a Resolution dated September 29, 1989, but added as an obiter

Central to the democratic tradition which we cherish is the recognition and protection of the

dictum:

rights of free speech and assembly. Thus, our Constitution provides:

In conclusion, We wish to reiterate that while We value the right of students to complete their

Sec. 4. No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, or

education in the school or university of their choice, and while We fully respect their right to
resort to rallies and demonstrations for the redress of their grievances and as part of their
freedom of speech and their right to assemble, still such rallies, demonstrations, and assemblies
must always be conducted peacefully, and without resort to intimidation, coercion, or violence.
Academic freedom in all its forms, demands the full display of discipline. To hold otherwise would
be to subvert freedom into degenerate license.
The majority's failure to expressly repudiate the "termination of contract" doctrine enunciated in
the decision provoked several dissents on that issue. Although seven (7) members of the
Court * disagreed with the Second Division's dismissal of the students petition, a definitive ruling
on the issue could not have been made because no timely motion for reconsideration was filed by
the students. (As stated above, the motion for reconsideration was filed by the dismissed
teachers.)
Be that as it may, the reassessment of the doctrine laid down in Alcuaz, insofar as it allowed
schools to bar the readmission or re-enrollment of students on the ground of termination of
contract, shall be made in this case where the issue is squarely raised by petitioners [Petition, p.
4; Rollo, p. 5].
Initially, the case at bar must be put in the proper perspective. This is not a simple case of a
school refusing readmission or re-enrollment of returning students. Undisputed is the fact that
the refusal to readmit or re-enroll petitioners was decided upon and implemented by school
authorities as a reaction to student mass actions directed against the school. Petitioners are
students of respondent school who, after leading and participating in student protests, were
denied readmission or re-enrollment for the next semester. This is a case that focuses on the

the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of
grievances. [Art. III.]
This guarantee is not peculiar to the 1987 Constitution. A similar provision was found in the
1973 Constitution, as amended [Art. VI, sec. 9], the 1935 Constitution, as amended [Art. III, sec.
81, the Philippine Autonomy Act (Jones Law) [Sec. 3, para. 13], and the Philippine Bill of 1902
[Sec. 15, para. 13]. Thus, as early as 1907, the Court inPeople v. Apurado, 7 Phil. 422, upheld the
right to speech and assembly to overturn a conviction for sedition. It said:
Section 5 of the Act No. 292 is as follows:
All persons who rise publicly and tumultuously in order to attain by force or outside of legal
methods any of the following objects are guilty of sedition:
xxx xxx xxx
2. To prevent the Insular Government, or any provincial or municipal government or any public
official, from freely exercising its or his duties or the due execution of any judicial or
administrative order.
But this law must not be interpreted so as to abridge "the freedom of speech" or "the right of the
people peaceably to assemble and petition the Government for redress of grievances" guaranteed
by the express provisions of section 5 of "the Philippine Bill."
xxx xxx xxx

It is rather to be expected that more or less disorder will mark the public assembly of the people

of an illegal assembly in front of the Life Science Building. The validity thereof was challenged by

to protest against grievances whether real or imaginary, because on such occasions feeling is

petitioners both before the Court of First Instance of Rizal in a petition for mandamuswith

always wrought to a high pitch of excitement, and the greater the grievance and the more intense

damages against private respondents and before the Ministry of Education, Culture, and Sports.

the feeling, the less perfect, as a rule, will be the disciplinary control of the leaders over their

On October 20, 1982, respondent Ramento, as Director of the National Capital Region, found

irresponsible followers. But if the prosecution be permitted to seize upon every instance of such

petitioners guilty of the charge of having violated par. 146(c) of the Manual for Private Schools

disorderly conduct by individual members of a crowd as an excuse to characterize the assembly

more specifically their holding of an illegal assembly which was characterized by the violation of

as a seditious and tumultuous rising against the authorities, then the right to assemble and to

the permit granted resulting in the disturbance of classes and oral defamation. The penalty was

petition for redress of grievances would become a delusion and a snare and the attempt to

suspension for one academic year. . . . [At pp. 363-364.]

exercise it on the most righteous occasion and in the most peaceable manner would expose all
those who took part therein to the severest and most unmerited punishment, if the purposes

The Court found the penalty imposed on the students too severe and reduced it to a one-week

which they sought to attain did not happen to be pleasing to the prosecuting authorities. If

suspension.

instances of disorderly conduct occur on such occasions, the guilty individuals should be sought
out and punished therefor, but the utmost discretion must be exercise in drawing the line

The rule laid down in Malabanan was applied with equal force in three other en banc decisions of

between disorderly and seditious conduct and between an essentially peaceable assembly and a

the Court.

tumultuous uprising. [At pp. 424, 426.]

In Villar v. Technological Institute of the Philippines, G.R. No. 69198, April 17, 1985, 135 SCRA

That the protection to the cognate rights of speech and assembly guaranteed by the Constitution

706, the Court reiterated that the exercise of the freedom of assembly could not be a basis for

is similarly available to students is well-settled in our jurisdiction. In the leading case

barring students from enrolling. It enjoined the school and its officials from acts of surveillance,

of Malabanan v. Ramento, G.R. No. 62270, May 21, 1984, 129 SCRA 359, the Court, speaking

blacklisting, suspension and refusal to re-enroll. But the Court allowed the non-enrollment of

through Mr. Chief Justice Fernando in an en bancdecision, declared:

students who clearly incurred marked academic deficiency, with the following caveat:

xxx xxx xxx

xxx xxx xxx

4. Petitioners invoke their rights to peaceable assembly and free speech. They are entitled to do

4. The academic freedom enjoyed by ''institutions of higher learning" includes the right to set

so. They enjoy like the rest of the citizens the freedom to express their views and communicate

academic standards to determine under what circumstances failing grades suffice for the

their thoughts to those disposed to listen in gatherings such as was held in this case. They do

expulsion of students. Once it has done so, however, that standard should be followed

not, to borrow from the opinion of Justice Fortas in Tinker v. Des Moines Community School

meticulously. It cannot be utilized to discriminate against those students who exercise their

District, "shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse

constitutional rights to peaceable assembly and free speech. If it does so, then there is a

gate." While therefore, the authority of educational institutions over the conduct of students must

legitimate grievance by the students thus prejudiced, their right to the equal protection clause

be recognized, it cannot go so far as to be violative of constitutional safeguards. [At pp. 367-368.]

being disregarded. [At p. 711.]

The facts in Malabanan are only too familiar in the genre of cases involving student mass actions:

In Arreza v. Gregorio Araneta University Foundation, G.R. No. 62297, June 19, 1985, 137 SCRA

. . . Petitioners were officers of the Supreme Student Council of respondent [Gregorio Araneta]

infliction of the highly- disproportionate penalty of denial of enrollment and the consequent

University. They sought and were granted by the school authorities a permit to hold a meeting

failure of senior students to graduate, if in the exercise of the cognate rights of free speech and

from 8:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. on August 27, 1982. Pursuant to such permit, along with other

peaceable assembly, improper conduct could be attributed to them. [At p. 98].

94, a case arising from almost the same facts as those in Malabanan, the Court rejected "the

students, they held a general assembly at the Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science (VMAS)
the place indicated in such permit, not in the basketball court as therein stated but at the

In Guzman v. National University, G.R. No. 68288, July 11, 1986, 142 SCRA 699, respondent

respond floor lobby. At such gathering they manifested in vehement and vigorous language their

school was directed to allow the petitioning students to re-enroll or otherwise continue with their

opposition to the proposed merger of the Institute of Animal Science with the Institute of

respective courses, without prejudice to any disciplinary proceedings that may be conducted in

Agriculture. At 10:30 A.M., the same day, they marched toward the Life Science building and

connection with their participation in the protests that led to the stoppage of classes.

continued their rally. It was outside the area covered by their permit. They continued their
demonstration, giving utterance to language severely critical of the University authorities and
using megaphones in the process. There was, as a result, disturbance of the classes being held.
Also, the non-academic employees, within hearing distance, stopped their work because of the
noise created. They were asked to explain on the same day why they should not be held liable for
holding an illegal assembly. Then on September 9, 1982, they were informed through a
memorandum that they were under preventive suspension for their failure to explain the holding

2. Permissible Limitations on Student Exercise of Constitutional Rights Within the School.


While the highest regard must be afforded the exercise of the rights to free speech and assembly,
this should not be taken to mean that school authorities are virtually powerless to discipline
students. This was made clear by the Court in Malabanan, when it echoed Tinker v. Des Moines
Community School District, 393 US 503, 514: "But conduct by the student, in class or out of it,

which for any reason whether it stems from time, place, or type of behavior materially

Constitution to education and the grant to the State of supervisory and regulatory powers over all

disrupts classwork or involves substantial disorder or invasion of the rights of others is, of

educational institutions [See Art. XIV, secs. 1-2, 4(1)].

course, not immunized by the constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech."


Respondent school cannot justify its actions by relying on Paragraph 137 of the Manual of
Thus, in Malabanan, the Court said:

Regulations for Private Schools, which provides that "[w]hen a student registers in a school, it is
understood that he is enrolling . . . for the entire semester for collegiate courses," which the Court

xxx xxx xxx


8. It does not follow, however, that petitioners can be totally absolved for the events that

in Alcuaz construed as authority for schools to refuse enrollment to a student on the ground that
his contract, which has a term of one semester, has already expired.

transpired. Admittedly, there was a violation of the terms of the permit. The rally was held at a

The "termination of contract" theory does not even find support in the Manual. Paragraph 137

place other than that specified, in the second floor lobby, rather than the basketball court, of the

merely clarifies that a college student enrolls for the entire semester. It serves to protect schools

(VMAS) building of the University. Moreover, it was continued longer than the period allowed.

wherein tuition fees are collected and paid on an installment basis, i.e. collection and payment of

According to the decision of respondent Ramento, the "concerted activity [referring to such

the downpayment upon enrollment and the balance before examinations. Thus, even if a student

assembly went on until 5:30 p.m." Private respondents could thus, take disciplinary action. . . .

does not complete the semester for which he was enrolled, but has stayed on for more than two

[ At pp. 370-371].

weeks, he may be required to pay his tuition fees for the whole semester before he is given his

But, as stated in Guzman, the imposition of disciplinary sanctions requires observance of

credentials for transfer. This is the import of Paragraph 137, subsumed under Section VII on
Tuition and Other Fees, which in its totality provides:

procedural due process. Thus:


137. When a student registers in a school, it is understood that he is enrolling for the entire
. . . There are withal minimum standards which must be met to satisfy the demands of

school year for elementary and secondary courses, and for the entire semester for collegiate

procedural due process; and these are, that (1) the students must be informed in writing of the

courses. A student who transfers or otherwise withdraws, in writing, within two weeks after the

nature and cause of any accusation against them; (2) they shall have the right to answer the

beginning of classes and who has already paid the pertinent tuition and other school fees in full

charges against them, with the assistance of counsel, if desired; (3) they shall be informed of the

or for any length of time longer than one month may be charged ten per cent of the total amount

evidence against them; (4) they shall have the right to adduce evidence in their own behalf; and

due for the term if he withdraws within the first week of classes, or twenty per cent if within the

(5) the evidence must be duly considered by the investigating committee or official designated by

second week of classes, regardless of whether or not he has actually attended classes. The

the school authorities to hear and decide the case. [At pp. 706-707].

student may be charged all the school fees in full if he withdraws anytime after the second week

Moreover, the penalty imposed must be proportionate to the offense committed. As stated
in Malabanan, "[i]f the concept of proportionality between the offense committed and sanction
imposed is not followed, an element of arbitrariness intrudes." [At p. 371].
3. Circumventing Established Doctrine.
Malabanan was decided by the Court in 1984. Since then, student mass actions have escalated
not only because of political events that unfurled but also because of the constantly raging
controversy over increases in tuition fees. But the over-eager hands of some school authorities
were not effectively tied down by the ruling inMalabanan. Instead of suspending or expelling
student leaders who fell into disfavor with school authorities, a new variation of the same
stratagem was adopted by the latter: refusing the students readmission or re-enrollment on
grounds not related to, their alleged misconduct of "illegal assembly" in leading or participating in

of classes. However, if the transfer or withdrawal is due to a justifiable reason, the student shall
be charged the pertinent fees only up to and including the last month of attendance.
Clearly, in no way may Paragraph 137 be construed to mean that the student shall be enrolled for
only one semester, and that after that semester is over his re-enrollment is dependent solely on
the sound discretion of the school. On the contrary, the Manual recognizes the right of the
student to be enrolled in his course for the entire period he is expected to complete it. Thus,
Paragraph 107 states:
Every student has the right to enrol in any school, college or university upon meeting its specific
requirement and reasonable regulation: Provided, that except in the case of academic delinquency
and violation of disciplinary regulation, the student is presumed to be qualified for enrolment for
the entire period he is expected to complete his course without prejudice to his right to transfer.

student mass actions directed against the school. Thus, the spate of expulsions or exclusions due

This "presumption" has been translated into a right in Batas Pambansa Blg. 232, the "Education

to "academic deficiency."

Act of 1982." Section 9 of this act provides:

4. The Nature of the Contract Between a School and its Student.

Sec. 9. Rights of Students in School. In addition to other rights, and subject to the limitations

The Court, in Alcuaz, anchored its decision on the "termination of contract" theory. But it must
be repeatedly emphasized that the contract between the school and the student is not an
ordinary contract. It is imbued with public interest, considering the high priority given by the

prescribed by law and regulations, students and pupils in all schools shall enjoy the following
rights:
xxx xxx xxx

2. The right to freely choose their field of study subject to existing curricula and to continue their

The Court finds no cogent basis for the protestations of petitioners that they were deprived of due

course therein up to graduation, except in cases of academic deficiency, or violation of

process of law and that the investigation conducted was far from impartial and fair. On the

disciplinary regulations.

contrary, what appear from the record is that the charges against petitioners were adequately
established in an appropriate investigation. The imputation of bias and partiality is not supported

xxx xxx xxx

by the record. . . .

5. Academic Freedom Not a Ground for Denying Students' Rights.

Moreover, Licup, far from adopting the "termination of contract" theory in Alcuaz, impliedly

Respondent judge, in his order dated February 24, 1989, stated that "respondent Mabini College

rejected it, to wit:

is free to admit or not admit the petitioners for re-enrollment in view of the academic freedom

While it is true that the students are entitled to the right to pursue their education, the USC as

enjoyed by the school" [Rollo, p. 16]. To support this conclusion, he cited the cases of Garcia

an educational institution is also entitled to pursue its academic freedom and in the process has

v. The Faculty Admission Committee, Loyola School of Theology, G.R. No. L-40779, November 28,

the concommitant right to see to it that this freedom is not jeopardized.

1975, 68 SCRA 277, and Tangonan v. Pano, G.R. No. L-45157, June 27, 1985, 137 SCRA 245,
where the Court emphasized the institutions' discretion on the admission and enrollment of

True, an institution of learning has a contractual obligation to afford its students a fair opportunity

students as a major component of the academic freedom guaranteed to institutions of higher

to complete the course they seek to pursue. However, when a student commits a serious breach of

learning.

discipline or fails to maintain the required academic standard, he forfeits his contractual right;
and the court should not review the discretion of university authorities. (Emphasis supplied.)

These cases involve different facts and issues. In Garcia, the issue was whether a female lay
student has a clear legal right to compel a seminary for the priesthood to admit her for

7. The Instant Case.

theological studies leading to a degree. InTangonan, the issue was whether a nursing student,
who was admitted on probation and who has failed in her nursing subjects, may compel her

To justify the school's action, respondents, in their Comment dated November 12, 1989, quoting

school to readmit her for enrollment.

from their answer filed in the trial court, allege that of the thirteen (13) petitioners eight (8) have
incurred failing grades, to wit:

Moreover, respondent judge loses sight of the Court's unequivocal statement in Villar that the
right of an institution of higher learning to set academic standards cannot be utilized to

a) Ariel Non has not only failed in four (4) subjects but also failed to cause the submission of

discriminate against students who exercise their constitutional rights to speech and assembly, for

Form 137 which is a pre-requisite to his re- enrollment and to his continuing as a student of

otherwise there win be a violation of their right to equal protection [At p. 711]

Mabini;

6. Capitol Medical Center and Licup.

b) Rex Magana not only has failed in one (1) subject but also has incomplete grades in four (4)
subjects as well as no grades in two (2) subjects;

In support of the action taken by respondent judge, private respondents cite the recent cases
of Capitol Medical Center, Inc. v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 82499, October 13, 1989, and Licup
v. University of San Carlos, G.R. No. 85839, October 19, 1989, both decided by the First Division
of the Court.
We find the issues raised and resolved in these two decisions dissimilar from the issues in the

c) Elvin Agura failed in two (2) subjects and has three (3) incomplete grades;
d) Emmanuel Barba has failed in one (1) subject, and has to still take CMT 1 1 to 22. He is
already enrolled at Ago Foundation;

present case.

e) Joselito Villalon has incomplete grades in nine (9) subjects;

In Capitol Medical Center, the Court upheld the decision of the school authorities to close down

f) Luis Santos has failed in one (1) subject;

the school because of problems emanating from a labor dispute between the school and its
faculty. The Court ruled that the students had no clear legal right to demand the reopening of the

g) George Dayaon has failed in four (4) subjects and has to remove the incomplete grade in one (1)

school.

subject;

On the other hand, in Licup the issue resolved was whether or not the students were afforded

h) Daniel Torres has failed in five (5) subjects, has to remove incomplete grades in five (5) more

procedural due process before disciplinary action was taken against them. Thus, the Court
stated:

objects and has no grade in one (1) subject. [Rollo, p. 79.]


Petitioners have not denied this, but have countered this allegation as follows:
xxx xxx xxx

(11) Petitioners were and are prepared to show, among others, that:

With regard to petitioner Emmanuel Barba who respondents claim has enrolled in Ago
Foundation, such fact alone, if true, will not bar him from seeking readmission in respondent

a) Three of the 13 of them were graduating. (Admitted in the Answer.)

school.

b) Their academic deficiencies, if any, do not warrant non- readmission. (The Answer indicates

However, these should not be taken to mean that no disciplinary action could have been taken

only 8 of the 13 as with deficiencies.)

against petitioners for breach of discipline if the facts had so warranted. In line with the Court's

c) Their breach of discipline, if any, was not serious.


d) The improper conduct attributed to them was during the exercise of the cognate rights of free
speech and peaceable assembly, particularly a February 1988 student rally. (The crux of the
matter, as shown even in the Answer.)
e) There was no due investigation that could serve as basis for disciplinary action. (In effect,
admitted in the Answer; even Alcuaz required due process.)
f) Respondents admit students with worse deficiencies a clear case of discrimination against
petitioners for their role in the student rally. (An equal protection question.)
g) Respondent school is their choice institution near their places of residence which they can
afford to pay for tertiary education, of which they have already lost one-and-a-half school-years
in itself punishment enough. [Rollo, p. 86].
Clearly, the five (5) students who did not incur failing marks, namely, Normandy Occiano,
Lourdes Banares, Bartolome Ibasco, Sonny Moreno and Giovani Palma, were refused reenrollment without just cause and, hence, should be allowed to re-enroll.
On the other hand, it does not appear that the petitioners were afforded due process, in the
manner expressed inGuzman, before they were refused re-enrollment. In fact, it would appear
from the pleadings that the decision to refuse them re-enrollment because of failing grades was a
mere afterthought. It is not denied that what incurred the ire of the school authorities was the
student mass actions conducted in February 1988 and which were led and/or participated in by
petitioners. Certainly, excluding students because of failing grades when the cause for the action
taken against them undeniably related to possible breaches of discipline not only is a denial of

ruling in Malabanan, petitioners could have been subjected to disciplinary proceedings in


connection with the February 1988 mass actions. But the penalty that could have been imposed
must be commensurate to the offense committed and, as set forth inGuzman, it must be imposed
only after the requirements of procedural due process have been complied with. This is explicit
from the Manual of Regulations for Private Schools, which provides in Paragraph 145 that "[n]o
penalty shall be imposed upon any student, except for cause as defined in this Manual and/or in
the school's rules and regulations duly promulgated and only after due investigation shall have
been conducted."
But this matter of disciplinary proceedings and the imposition of administrative sanctions have
become moot and academic. Petitioners, who have been refused readmission or re-enrollment and
who have been effectively excluded from respondent school for four (4) semesters, have already
been more than sufficiently penalized for any breach of discipline they might have committed
when they led and participated in the mass actions that, according to respondents, resulted in
the disruption of classes. To still subject them to disciplinary proceedings would serve no useful
purpose and would only further aggravate the strained relations between petitioners and the
officials of respondent school which necessarily resulted from the heated legal battle here, in the
Court of Appeals and before the trial court.
WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The orders of respondent judge dated August 8, 1988
and February 24, 1989 are hereby ANNULLED. Respondent Mabini College is ORDERED to
readmit and to allow the re- enrollment of petitioners, if they are still so minded, without
prejudice to its taking the appropriate action as to petitioners Ariel Non, Joselito Villalon, George
(Jorge) Dayaon and Daniel Torres, if it is shown by their records (Form 137) that they have failed
to satisfy the school's prescribed academic standards.
SO ORDERED.

due process but also constitutes a violation of the basic tenets of fair play.
Moreover, of the eight (8) students with failing grades, some have only one or two failures, namely,
Rex Magana, Elvin Agura, Emmanuel Barba, and Luis Santos. Certainly, their failures cannot be
considered marked academic deficiency within the context of the Court's decision in Villar.
Then, as to the students who incurred several failing grades, namely, Ariel Non, Joselito Villalon,
George (Jorge) Dayaon, and Daniel Torres, it is not clear from respondents' enumeration whether
the failures were incurred in only one semester or through the course of several semesters of

SECRETARY OF JUSTICE v. LANTION


October 26, 2012 1 Comment

study in the school. Neither are the academic standards of respondent school, from which we can
gauge whether or not these students are academically deficient, alleged by respondents. Thus,

FACTS:

while the prerogative of schools to set academic standards is recognized, we cannot affirm

Secretary Of Justice Franklin Drilon, representing the Government of the Republic of the

respondent school's action as to petitioners Non, Villalon, Dayaon and Torres because of

Philippines, signed in Manila the extradition Treaty Between the Government of the Philippines

insufficient information.

and the Government of the U.S.A. The Philippine Senate ratified the said Treaty.

On June 18, 1999, the Department of Justice received from the Department of Foreign Affairs

The fact that international law has been made part of the law of the land does not pertain to or

U.S Note Verbale No. 0522 containing a request for the extradition of private respondent Mark

imply the primacy of international law over national or municipal law in the municipal sphere.

Jiminez to the United States.

The doctrine of incorporation, as applied in most countries, decrees that rules of international

On the same day petitioner designate and authorizing a panel of attorneys to take charge of and

law are given equal standing with, but are not superior to, national legislative enactments.

to handle the case. Pending evaluation of the aforestated extradition documents, Mark Jiminez

Accordingly, the principle lex posterior derogate priori takes effect a treaty may repeal a statute

through counsel, wrote a letter to Justice Secretary requesting copies of the official extradition

and a statute may repeal a treaty. In states where the Constitution is the highest law of the land,

request from the U.S Government and that he be given ample time to comment on the request

such as the Republic of the Philippines, both statutes and treaties may be invalidated if they are

after he shall have received copies of the requested papers but the petitioner denied the request

in conflict with the constitution

for the consistency of Article 7 of the RP-US Extradition Treaty stated in Article 7 that the
Philippine Government must present the interests of the United States in any proceedings arising

Government of the USA v. Hon. Purganan

out of a request for extradition.

GR. NO. 148571 Sept. 24 2002


PANGANIBAN, J.

ISSUE: Whether or not to uphold a citizens basic due process rights or the governments ironclad
duties under a treaty.
RULING: Petition dismissed.

Lessons: Extradition Process, Bail on Extradition, Right of Due Process and Fundamental

The human rights of person, whether citizen or alien , and the rights of the accused guaranteed

Fairness in Extradition

in our Constitution should take precedence over treaty rights claimed by a contracting state. The
duties of the government to the individual deserve preferential consideration when they collide

Laws: Bill of Rights, PD 1069, US-Phil Extradition Treaty

with its treaty obligations to the government of another state. This is so although we recognize
treaties as a source of binding obligations under generally accepted principles of international law

FACTS:

incorporated in our Constitution as part of the law of the land.


The doctrine of incorporation is applied whenever municipal tribunals are confronted with

Petition is a sequel to the case Sec. of Justice v. Hon. Lantion. The Secretary was ordered to

situation in which there appears to be a conflict between a rule of international law and the

furnish Mr. Jimenez copies of the extradition request and its supporting papers and to grant the

provision of the constitution or statute of the local state.

latter a reasonable period within which to file a comment and supporting evidence. But, on
motion for reconsideration by the Sec. of Justice, it reversed its decision but held that the Mr.

Petitioner (Secretary of Justice) is ordered to furnish Mark Jimenez copies of the extradition

Jimenez was bereft of the right to notice and hearing during the evaluation stage of the

request and its supporting papers, and to grant him (Mark Jimenez) a reasonable period within

extradition process. On May 18, 2001, the Government of the USA, represented by the Philippine

which to file his comment with supporting evidence.

Department of Justice, filed with the RTC, the Petition for Extradition praying for the issuance of

Under the Doctrine of Incorporation, rules of international law form part of the law of the land
and no further legislative action is needed to make such rules applicable in the domestic sphere.
The doctrine of incorporation is applied whenever municipal tribunals are confronted with
situations in which there appears to be a conflict between a rule of international law and the
provisions of the constitution or statute of the local state.
Efforts should first be exerted to harmonize them, so as to give effect to both since it is to be

an order for his immediate arrest pursuant to Sec. 6 of PD 1069 in order to prevent the flight of
Jimenez. Before the RTC could act on the petition, Mr. Jimenez filed before it an
Urgent Manifestation/Ex-Parte Motion praying for his application for an arrest warrant be set
for hearing. After the hearing, as required by the court, Mr. Jimenez submitted his
Memorandum. Therein seeking an alternative prayer that in case a warrant should issue, he be
allowed to post bail in the amount of P100,000. The court ordered the issuance of a warrant for
his arrest and fixing bail for his temporary liberty at P1M in cash. After he had surrendered
his passport and posted the required cash bond, Jimenez was granted provisional liberty.

presumed that municipal law was enacted with proper regard for the generally accepted
principles of international law in observance of the incorporation clause in the above cited
constitutional provision.
In a situation, however, where the conflict is irreconcilable and a choice has to be made between
a rule of international law and a municipal law, jurisprudence dictates that municipal law should
be upheld by the municipal courts, for the reason that such courts are organs of municipal law
and are accordingly bound by it in all circumstances.

Government of the USA filed a petition for Certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court to set
aside the order for the issuance of a warrant for his arrest and fixing bail for his temporary
liberty at P1M in cash which the court deems best to take cognizance as there is still no local
jurisprudence to guide lower court.
ISSUES:
i.

Whether or NOT Hon. Purganan acted without or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse

of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in adopting a procedure of first hearing a


potential extraditee before issuing an arrest warrant under Section 6 of PD No. 1069
ii.

Whether or NOT Hon. Purganan acted without or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave

abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in granting the prayer for bail

as Section 4 of Rule 114 of the Rules of Court, applies only when a person has been arrested and

iii.

detained for violation of Philippine criminal laws. It does not apply to extradition proceedings,

Whether or NOT there is a violation of due process

because extradition courts do not render judgments of conviction or acquittal. Moreover, the
HELD: Petition is GRANTED. Bail bond posted is CANCELLED. Regional Trial Court of
Manila is directed to conduct the extradition proceedings before it.

constitutional right to bail flows from the presumption of innocence in favor of every accused
who should not be subjected to the loss of freedom as thereafter he would be entitled to acquittal,
unless his guilt be proved beyond reasonable doubt. In extradition, the presumption of innocence

i.

YES.

is not at issue. The provision in the Constitution stating that the right to bail shall not be
impaired even when the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is suspended finds application

By using the phrase if it appears, the law further conveys that accuracy is not as

only to persons judicially charged for rebellion or offenses inherent in or directly connected with

important as speed at such early stage. From the knowledge and the material then available to

invasion.

it, the court is expected merely to get a good first impression or a prima facie finding sufficient to
make a speedy initial determination as regards the arrest and detention of the accused. The

That the offenses for which Jimenez is sought to be extradited are bailable in the United States

prima facie existence of probable cause for hearing the petition and, a priori, for issuing an arrest

is not an argument to grant him one in the present case. Extradition proceedings are separate

warrant was already evident from the Petition itself and its supporting documents. Hence, after

and distinct from the trial for the offenses for which he is charged. He should apply for bail

having already determined therefrom that a prima facie finding did exist, respondent judge

before the courts trying the criminal cases against him, not before the extradition court.

gravely abused his discretion when he set the matter for hearing upon motion of Jimenez. The
silence of the Law and the Treaty leans to the more reasonable interpretation that there is no

Exceptions to the No Bail Rule

intention to punctuate with a hearing every little step in the entire proceedings. It also bears

Bail is not a matter of right in extradition cases. It is subject to judicial discretion in the

emphasizing at this point that extradition proceedings are summary in nature. Sending to

context of the peculiar facts of each case. Bail may be applied for and granted as an exception,

persons sought to be extradited a notice of the request for their arrest and setting it for hearing at

only upon a clear and convincing showing

some future date would give them ample opportunity to prepare and execute an escape which

1)

neither the Treaty nor the Law could have intended.

and
2)

Even Section 2 of Article III of our Constitution, which is invoked by Jimenez, does not require
a notice or a hearing before the issuance of a warrant of arrest. To determine probable cause for

that, once granted bail, the applicant will not be a flight risk or a danger to the community;
that there exist special, humanitarian and compelling circumstances including, as a matter

of reciprocity, those cited by the highest court in the requesting state when it grants provisional
liberty in extradition cases therein

the issuance of arrest warrants, the Constitution itself requires only the examination under oath
or affirmation of complainants and the witnesses they may produce.

Since this exception has no express or specific statutory basis, and since it is derived
essentially from general principles of justice and fairness, the applicant bears the burden of

The Proper Procedure to Best Serve The Ends Of Justice In Extradition Cases

proving the above two-tiered requirement with clarity, precision and emphatic forcefulness.

Upon receipt of a petition for extradition and its supporting documents, the judge must study
them and make, as soon as possible, a prima facie finding whether
a)

It must be noted that even before private respondent ran for and won a congressional seat in

they are sufficient in form and substance

Manila, it was already of public knowledge that the United States was requesting his extradition.

b)

they show compliance with the Extradition Treaty and Law

Therefore, his constituents were or should have been prepared for the consequences of the

c)

the person sought is extraditable

extradition case. Thus, the court ruled against his claim that his election to public office is by
itself a compelling reason to grant him bail.

At his discretion, the judge may require the submission of further documentation or may
personally examine the affiants and witnesses of the petitioner. If, in spite of this study and

Giving premium to delay by considering it as a special circumstance for the grant of bail would

examination, no prima facie finding is possible, the petition may be dismissed at the discretion of

be tantamount to giving him the power to grant bail to himself. It would also encourage him to

the judge. On the other hand, if the presence of a prima facie case is determined, then the

stretch out and unreasonably delay the extradition proceedings even more. Extradition

magistrate must immediately issue a warrant for the arrest of the extraditee, who is at the same

proceedings should be conducted with all deliberate speed to determine compliance with the

time summoned to answer the petition and to appear at scheduledsummary hearings. Prior to

Extradition Treaty and Law; and, while safeguarding basic individual rights, to avoid the legalistic

the issuance of the warrant, the judge must not inform or notify the potential extraditee of the

contortions, delays and technicalities that may negate that purpose.

pendency of the petition, lest the latter be given the opportunity to escape and frustrate the
proceedings.

That he has not yet fled from the Philippines cannot be taken to mean that he will stand his
ground and still be within reach of our government if and when it matters; that is, upon the

ii.

Yes.

The constitutional provision on bail on Article III, Section 13 of the Constitution, as well

resolution of the Petition for Extradition.


iii.

NO.

person. The ultimate purpose of extradition proceedings in court is only to determine whether
Potential extraditees are entitled to the rights to due process and to fundamental fairness. The
doctrine of right to due process and fundamental fairness does not always call for a prior

the extradition request complies with the Extradition Treaty, and whether the person sought is
extraditable.

opportunity to be heard. A subsequent opportunity to be heard is enough. He will be given full


opportunity to be heard subsequently, when the extradition court hears the Petition for

4)

Compliance Shall Be in Good Faith.

Extradition. Indeed, available during the hearings on the petition and the answer is the full
chance to be heard and to enjoy fundamental fairness that is compatible with the summary

We are bound by pacta sunt servanda to comply in good faith with our obligations

nature of extradition.

under the Treaty. Accordingly, the Philippines must be ready and in a position to deliver the
accused, should it be found proper

It is also worth noting that before the US government requested the extradition of respondent,
proceedings had already been conducted in that country. He already had that opportunity in the

5)

There Is an Underlying Risk of Flight

requesting state; yet, instead of taking it, he ran away.


Indeed, extradition hearings would not even begin, if only the accused were
Other Doctrines:

willing to submit to trial in the requesting country. Prior acts of herein respondent:
a)

Five Postulates of Extradition

and

1)

b)

Extradition Is a Major Instrument for the Suppression of Crime

leaving the requesting state right before the conclusion of his indictment proceedings there;
remaining in the requested state despite learning that the requesting state is seeking his

return and that the crimes he is charged with are bailable


In this era of globalization, easier and faster international travel, and an expanding ring of
international crimes and criminals, we cannot afford to be an isolationist state. We need to

Extradition is Essentially Executive

cooperate with other states in order to improve our chances of suppressing crime in our own

Extradition is essentially an executive, not a judicial, responsibility arising out of the presidential

country.

power to conduct foreign relations and to implement treaties. Thus, the Executive Department of
government has broad discretion in its duty and power of implementation.

2)

The Requesting State Will Accord Due Process to the Accused

By entering into an extradition treaty, the Philippines is deemed to have reposed its trust
in the reliability or soundness of the legal and judicial system of its treaty partner, as well as in

Hong Kong v. OlaliaG.R. No. 153675Facts

the ability and the willingness of the latter to grant basic rights to the accused in the pending
criminal case therein.
3)

The Proceedings Are Sui Generis

An extradition proceeding is sui generis:


a)

It is not a criminal proceeding which will call into operation all the rights of an accused as

guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. It does not involve the determination of the guilt or innocence of
an accused. His guilt or innocence will be adjudged in the court of the state where he will be
extradited.
b)

An extradition proceeding is summary in nature while criminal proceedings involve a full-

blown trial.
c)

The

Philippines and Hong Kong signed an Agreement for the Surrender of Accused andConvicted
Persons.Private respondent Muoz was charged before the Hong Kong Court. Department of
Justice(DOJ) received from the Hong Kong Department of Justice a request for the provisional
arrest of privaterespondent Muoz. The DOJ then forwarded the request to the National Bureau
of Investigation (NBI)which, in turn, filed with the RTC of Manila, Branch 19 an application for
the provisional arrest of privaterespondent. The NBI agents arrested and detained him.Muoz
filed a petition for bail which was denied by Judge Bernardo, Jr.

In terms of the quantum of evidence to be satisfied, a criminal case requires proof beyond

reasonable doubt for conviction while a fugitive may be ordered extradited upon showing of the
existence of a prima facie case
d)

Unlike in a criminal case where judgment becomes executory upon being rendered final, in

an extradition proceeding, our courts may adjudge an individual extraditable but the President

holding that there is noPhilippine law granting bail in extradition cases and that private
respondent is a high flight risk. After Judge Bernardo, Jr. inhibited himself from further hearing

has the final discretion to extradite him.

the case, it was then raffled off to Branch 8 presided by respondent judge. Private respondent

Extradition is merely a measure of international judicial assistance through which a person

granted by respondent judge.

charged with or convicted of a crime is restored to a jurisdiction with the best claim to try that

filed a motion for reconsideration of the Order denyinghis application for bail and this was

ISSUE
Whether or not the trial court committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess
of jurisdiction in allowing private respondent to bail?
HELD
No, the trial court did not commit grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess

We should not, therefore, deprive an extraditee of his right to apply for bail, provided that
acertain standard for the grant is satisfactorily met.
In his Separate Opinion in
Purganan
, thenAssociate Justice, now Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno, proposed that a new standard which

of jurisdiction in allowing private respondent to bail.Accordingly, although the time-

he termedclear and convincing evidence should be used in granting bail in extradition

honored principle of

cases. According to him,this standard should be lower than proof beyond reasonable doubt but
higher than preponderance of evidence. The potential extraditee must prove by clear and

pacta sunt servanda


demands that thePhilippines honor its obligations under the Extradition Treaty it entered into
with the Hong Kong SpecialAdministrative Region it does not necessarily mean that in keeping
with its treaty obligations, thePhilippines should diminish a potential extraditees rights to life,
liberty, and due process

convincing evidence that he is not a flightrisk and will abide with all the orders and processes of
the extradition court.In this case, there is no showing that private respondent presented evidence
to show that he is nota flight risk. Consequently, this case should be remanded to the trial court
to determine whether privaterespondent may be granted bail on the basis of clear
and convincing evidence.

guaranteed bythe Constitution


WHEREFORE, we DISMISS the petition. This case is REMANDED to the trial court to
. More so, where these rights are guaranteed, not only by our Constitution, but also

determinewhether private respondent is entitled to bail on the basis of clear and convincing

byinternational conventions, particularly

evidence. If not, thetrial court should order the cancellation of his bail bond and his immediate
detention; and thereafter,conduct the extradition proceedings with dispatch.

the Universal Declaration of Human Rights


, to which thePhilippines is a party.