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Buck v.

Bell

274 U.S. 200

FACTS:

Carrie Buck is a feeble minded white woman who was committed to the State Colony
Epileptics and Feeble Minded. She is the daughter of a feeble minded mother in the same
institution, and the mother of an illegitimate feeble minded child. She was eighteen years old
at the time of the trial of her case in the latter part of 1924. An Act of Virginia, approved
March 20, 1924, recites that the health of the patient and the welfare of society may be
promoted in certain cases by the sterilization of mental defectives, under careful safeguard,
that the sterilization may be effected in males by vasectomy and in females by
salpingectomy, without serious pain or substantial danger to life; that the Commonwealth is
supporting in various institutions many defective persons who, if now discharged, would
become a menace, but, if incapable of procreating, might be discharged with safety and
become self-supporting with benefit to themselves and to society, and that experience has
shown that heredity plays an important part in the transmission of insanity, imbecility, etc. The
statute then enacts that, whenever the superintendent of certain institutions, including the
above-named State Colony, shall be of opinion that it is for the best interests of the patients
and of society that an inmate under his care should be sexually sterilized, he may have the
operation performed upon any patient afflicted with hereditary forms of insanity, imbecility,
etc., on complying with the very careful provisions by which the act protects the patients from
possible abuse.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the said statute authorizing compulsory sterilization of the mentally
retarded denies the due process and equal protection of the laws.

HELD:

The procedure can be no doubt had the due process of law. Carrie Buck is the
probable potential parent of socially inadequate offspring, likewise afflicted, the she may be
sexually sterilized without detriment to her general health, and that her welfare and that of
society will be promoted by her sterilization. We have seen more than once that the public
welfare may call upon the best citizens for their lives. It is better for all the world if, instead of
waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime or to let them starve for their imbecility,
society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind.
G.R. No. L-67766 August 14, 1985

ISIDRO T. HILDAWA vs. ENRILE

FACTS:

Petitioners Isidro T. Hildawa and Ricardo C. Valmonte in these Special Civil Actions
pray that a "preliminary injunction issue directing respondents to recall the crimebusters and
restraining them from fielding police teams or any of this sort with authority/license to kill and
after hearing, declaring the order of respondents fielding crimebusters null and void and
making the injunction permanent." They alleged that the formation and fielding of secret
marshals and/or crimebusters with absolute authority to kill thieves, holduppers, robbers,
pickpockets and slashers are violative of the provisions of the New Constitution under
Sections 1, 17,19, 20 and 21 of Article III (Bill of Rights).

ISSUE:

Whether or not the creation and deployment of special operations team to counter the
resurgence of criminality is violative of the provisions of the Constitution.

HELD:

The Supreme held that there is nothing wrong in the creation and deployment of
special operation teams to counter the resurgence of criminality, as there is nothing wrong in
the formation by the police of special teams/squads to prevent the proliferation of vices,
prostitution, drug addiction, pornography and the like. That is the basic job of the police. It is
the alleged use of violence in the implementation of the objectives of the special squads that
the court is concerned about. It is our way of life that a man is entitled to due process which
simply means that before he can be deprived of his life, liberty or property, he must be given
an opportunity to defend himself. Due process of law requires that the accused must be
heard in court of competent jurisdiction, proceeded against under the orderly process of law,
and only punished after inquiry and investigation, upon notice to him, with an opportunity to
be heard, and a judgment awarded within the authority of a constitutional law.
G.R. No. L-54558 May 22, 1987

EDUARDO B. OLAGUER, et al vs. MILITARY COMMISSION

FACTS:

On December 24, 1979, petitioners who are civilians were arrested by the military
authorities and initially detained at Camp Crame in Quezon City. They were subsequently
transferred to the detention center at Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan. Petitioners were
charged for subversion upon the recommendation of the respondent judge and the approval
of the respondent Minister of National Defense. Respondent Chief of Staff of the Armed
Forces of the Philippines created the respondent Military Commission No 34 to try tile
criminal case filed against the petitioners. An amended charge sheet was filed for seven (7)
offenses, namely: (1) unlawful possession of explosives and incendiary devices; (2)
conspiracy to assassinate President, and Mrs. Marcos; (3) conspiracy to assassinate cabinet
members Juan Ponce Enrile, Francisco Tatad and Vicente Paterno; (4) conspiracy to
assassinate Messrs. Arturo Tangco, Jose Roño and Onofre Corpus; (5) arson of nine
buildings; (6) attempted murder of Messrs. Leonardo Perez, Teodoro Valencia and Generals
Romeo Espino and Fabian Ver; and (7) conspiracy and proposal to commit rebellion, and
inciting to rebellion. Hence, the instant petition for prohibition and habeas corpus were being
filed by herein petitioners.

ISSUE:

Whether or not military commissions or tribunals have the jurisdiction to try civilians for
offenses allegedly committed during martial law when civil courts are open and functioning.

HELD:

The Supreme Court held that the military tribunals had no jurisdiction to try cases of
civilians, which fell under the competence of the ordinary civil courts even during the period of
martial law. The judgments of the military tribunals in these cases were, therefore, invalidated
and the petitioners released.

Due process of law demands that in all criminal prosecutions (where the accused
stands to lose either his life or his liberty), the accused shall be entitled to, among others, a
trial. The trial contemplated by the due process clause of the Constitution, in relation to the
Charter as a whole, is a trial by judicial process, not by executive or military process. Military
commissions or tribunals, by whatever name they are called, are not courts within the
Philippine judicial system.
G.R. No. 102420 December 20, 1994

PROSPERO A. OLIVAS vs. OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN

FACTS:

Petitioner, Major Gen. Prospero A. Olivas, was Commanding General of the PC Metrocom.
He was retired from the Armed Forces of the Philippines effective February 26, 1986. Shortly
thereafter letters were sent to the Presidential Commission on Good Government, some of
them anonymous, charging him with violations of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act
(Rep. Act No. 3019) and the Unexplained Wealth Act (Rep. Act No. 1379). The letters were
referred to the New Armed Forces of the Philippines Anti-Graft Board which the PCGG had
created for the purpose of investigating cases of unexplained wealth and corrupt practices
against AFP personnel, whether retired or in the active service. After due hearings, the Board
recommended that the case against petitioner be provisionally dismissed without prejudice to
its revival should new evidence be found. However, the PCGG disapproved the findings and
recommendation of the AFP Anti-Graft Board and ordered a review of the case. Findings of
the PCGG disclosed that petitioner had failed to file his income tax returns for the years 1978,
1979, 1980, 1981, 1984, and 1985, with the consequence of invalidating the computation
made by the AFP Anti-Graft Board of respondent's unexplained wealth and significantly
increasing it from P32,725.00 to P1,477,044.54. The Office of the Ombudsman issued the
assailed order of the PCGG. Hence, this petition for certiorari and prohibition.

ISSUE:

Whether the petitioner may be compelled to file his counter-affidavit notwithstanding


the fact that no sworn complaint or affidavit has been filed against him.

HELD:

The Supreme Court ruled that the lack of a complaint and affidavits cannot be excused
on the plea that this case originated in anonymous letters sent to the PCGG. Because of
leads furnished by those letters it would seem that the PCGG has found sufficient evidence
justifying its demand to petitioner to explain. It is incumbent upon it as complainant to reduce
the evidence into affidavits. It is only after the PCGG has submitted its affidavits and other
documents that petitioner may be required to explain, also under oath. It is from such
affidavits and counter-affidavits that respondents can then determine whether there is
probable cause for bringing the case in court against petitioner.

This is a requirement not only of Rule II, § 4(a) of respondents' Rules of Procedure but
also of due process in adversary proceedings. While those engaged in the investigation of
graft and corruption in the government must be able to respond swiftly to complaints
concerning public office, they must at the same time take care that their investigation is not
used to harass or wreak vengeance on those in public office. This was an abiding concern of
the Constitutional Commission to which we must show equal concern.
G.R. No. 103395 November 22, 1993

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,


vs.
EXEQUIEL ANISCAL, alias Ekil, and MANSUETO REDULLA, alias Chito, accused.

MANSUETO REDULLA, accused-appellant.

FACTS:

Accused appellant together with accused Aniscal were charged and convicted by the
Regional Trial Court for robbery with homicide for the death of Juana Bañocia Vda. de Valles.
The principal witness for the prosecution was Pedro Ramones, a long-time resident of
Maribojoc. He related during the trial that he had just come from a cockfight derby at the
Maribojoc Cockfight Arena and was on his way to the nearby wharf at around 9:00 in the
evening of March 16,1990 when, with a flashlight, he spotted Wilfredo Aniscal walking along
the concrete fence separating the victim's house from that of her neighbor. Shortly thereafter,
he saw accused Exequiel Aniscal and appellant emerge from the direction of the victim's
residence, with the former clutching what looked like a dark-colored bag. The two then
jumped over the concrete fence and, upon joining Wilfredo, the trio scampered away and
vanished into the darkness of the night.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the accused-appellant is guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime
charged.

HELD:

The Supreme Court held that after a careful evaluation of the circumstances of the
case at bar, said evidence cannot persuade us, with the inner strength of moral certainty, to,
conclude that appellant's guilt has been proved beyond peradventure of a reasonable doubt.
It is true that the rules of evidence do not require that proof of guilt be established solely by
direct evidence. Conviction may also rest upon circumstantial evidence alone but, in such
case, it becomes incumbent upon the court called to assess such evidence to cautiously
determine if the circumstances composing the same consists of an unbroken chain which
leads said court to fairly and reasonably conclude that the accused had authored the crime to
the exclusion of all others.

It is basic that for the circumstantial evidence to become the basis of a judgment of
conviction the following requisites must concur, namely: (1) there must be more than one
circumstance; (2) the inference must be based on proven facts; and (3) the combination of all
the circumstances produces a conviction beyond reasonable doubt of the guilt of the
accused. It is likewise fundamental that where the inculpatory facts and circumstances are
capable of two or more explanations, one of which is consistent with the innocence of the
accused and the other consistent with his guilt, an acquittal should be in order, for then the
evidence would not be sufficient to meet the test of moral certainty required in a finding of
guilt.

In fine, the evidence adduced by the prosecution has clearly failed to meet the rigid
and exacting requirements of proof beyond reasonable doubt. While it is true that alibi, a
jaded artifice long regarded by the courts as frail because of the facility with which it can be
concocted, was the defense set up by the appellant, a reversal of the trial court's findings is
nevertheless in order. A conviction must rest not upon the weakness of the evidence for the
defense but upon the strength and forceful stroke of the prosecution's own evidence.
G.R. No. 74145 June 17, 1987

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,


vs.
ZOSIMO CRISOLOGO, alias "AMANG", defendant-appellant.

FACTS:

Zosimo Crisologo alias “Amang”, a deaf-mute, was charged for robbery and homicide
committed on 1 May 1976 in Calamagoy, Poblacion Magsaysay, Davao del Sur. Accused
was allegedly informed of the charged against him through sign language but apparently no
sign language expert or representative was available. The accused through a counsel de
oficio waived the reading of the information and pleaded not guilty. Trial proceeded without
any evidence being presented on his part. Finally, without the services of an expert in sign
language ever being utilized at any stage of the proceedings, the accused was found guilty
beyond reasonable doubt of robbery with homicide and sentenced to die by electrocution.
Executive clemency was recommended, however, in view of the accused's infirmity and his
nearly ten-year detention as a suspect.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the accused was given due process of law and the insufficiency of the
purely circumstantial evidence presented to overcome the constitutional presumption of
innocence be in his favor.

HELD:

The Supreme Court held that the absence of an interpreter in sign language who could
have conveyed to the accused, a deaf-mute, the full facts of the offense with which he was
charged and who could also have communicated the accused's own version of the
circumstances which led to his implication in the crime, deprived the accused of a full and fair
trial and a reasonable opportunity to defend himself. Not even the accused's final plea of not
guilty can excuse these inherently unjust circumstances.

The absence of a qualified interpreter in sign language and of any other means,
whether in writing or otherwise, to inform the accused of the charges against him denied the
accused his fundamental right to due process of law. The accuracy and fairness of the factual
process by which the guilt or innocence of the accused was determined was not
safeguarded. The accused could not be said to have enjoyed the right to be heard by himself
and counsel, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him in the
proceedings where his life and liberty were at stake.

The Constitution of this state expressly provides that an accused has a right to be
heard by himself and counsel, also, to demand the nature and cause of the accusation;
against him, and, further to be confronted by the witnesses, who are to testify against him. In
constructing this constitutional provision it needs no discussion in deciding that all this must
be done in a manner by which the accused can know, the nature and the cause of the
accusation he is called upon to answer, and all necessary means must be provided, and the
law so contemplates, that the accused must not only be confronted by the witnesses against
him, but he must be accorded all necessary means to know and understand the testimony
given by said witnesses, and must be placed in a condition where he can make his plea rebut
such testimony, and give his own version of the transaction upon which the accusation is
based.
G.R. No. L-55177 February 27, 1987

PEOPLE vs. RUBEN MANALO

FACTS:

Appellant Ruben Manalo, a prisoner and a member of the BCJ (Batang City Jail) gang
serving sentence in the National Bilibid Prison, attacked Dela Cruz, a member of the Sigue
Sigue Sputnik gang, with a knife, inflicting two fatal stabwounds on the latter's back.
Immediately after the stabbing, appellant voluntarily surrendered to the prison authorities and
handed over the fan knife (balisong) he used in killing dela Cruz. Accused was convicted for
murder attended by treachery and evident premeditation and aggravated by quasi-recidivism.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the accused was deprived of his constitutional rights to due process,
by reason of the lower court's partiality, bias and lack of objectivity during the trial.

HELD:

The Supreme Court held that a severe examination by a trial judge of some of the
witnesses for the defense in an effort to develop the truth and to get at the real facts affords
no justification for a charge in counsel's brief on appeal that he has assisted the prosecution
with an evident desire to secure a conviction or that he had intimidated the witness for the
defense. It is not only the right but often times the duty of a trial judge to examine witnesses
when it appears to be necessary for the elucidation of the record. Under the system of legal
procedure in vogue in this jurisdiction, where the trial court is judge of both the law and the
facts, it is oftentimes expedient or necessary in the due and faithful administration of justice
for the presiding judge in the exercise of a sound discretion to reexamine a witness in order
that his judgment when rendered may rest upon a full and clear understanding of the facts.
GALMAN VS. SANDIGANBAYAN [144 SCRA 43; G.R. NO.72670; 12 SEP 1986]

Thursday, February 12, 2009 Posted by Coffeeholic Writes


Labels: Case Digests, Political Law

Facts: Assassination of former Senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino, Jr. He was killed from his
plane that had just landed at the Manila International Airport. His brain was smashed by a
bullet fired point-blank into the back of his head by an assassin. The military investigators
reported within a span of three hours that the man who shot Aquino (whose identity was then
supposed to be unknown and was revealed only days later as Rolando Galman) was a
communist-hired gunman, and that the military escorts gunned him down in turn.

President was constrained to create a Fact Finding Board to investigate due to large masses
of people who joined in the ten-day period of national mourning yearning for the truth, justice
and freedom.

The fact is that both majority and minority reports were one in rejecting the military version
stating that "the evidence shows to the contrary that Rolando Galman had no subversive
affiliations. Only the soldiers in the staircase with Sen. Aquino could have shot him; that
Ninoy's assassination was the product of a military conspiracy, not a communist plot. Only
difference between the two reports is that the majority report found all the twenty-six private
respondents above-named in the title of the case involved in the military conspiracy; " while
the chairman's minority report would exclude nineteen of them.

Then Pres. Marcos stated that evidence shows that Galman was the killer.

Petitioners pray for issuance of a TRO enjoining respondent court from rendering a decision
in the two criminal cases before it, the Court resolved by nine-to-two votes 11 to issue the
restraining order prayed for. The Court also granted petitioners a five-day period to file a reply
to respondents' separate comments and respondent Tanodbayan a three-day period to
submit a copy of his 84-page memorandum for the prosecution.

But ten days later, the Court by the same nine-to-two-vote ratio in reverse, resolved to
dismiss the petition and to lift the TRO issued ten days earlier enjoining the Sandiganbayan
from rendering its decision. The same Court majority denied petitioners' motion for a new 5-
day period counted from receipt of respondent Tanodbayan's memorandum for the
prosecution (which apparently was not served on them).

Thus, petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration, alleging that the dismissal did not indicate
the legal ground for such action and urging that the case be set for a full hearing on the
merits that the people are entitled to due process.

However, respondent Sandiganbayan issued its decision acquitting all the accused of the
crime charged, declaring them innocent and totally absolving them of any civil liability.
Respondents submitted that with the Sandiganbayan's verdict of acquittal, the instant case
had become moot and academic. Thereafter, same Court majority denied petitioners' motion
for reconsideration for lack of merit.

Hence, petitioners filed their motion to admit their second motion for reconsideration alleging
that respondents committed serious irregularities constituting mistrial and resulting in
miscarriage of justice and gross violation of the constitutional rights of the petitioners and the
sovereign people of the Philippines to due process of law.

Issues:

(1) Whether or not petitioner was deprived of his rights as an accused.

(2) Whether or not there was a violation of the double jeopardy clause.
Held: Petitioners' second motion for reconsideration is granted and ordering a re-trial of the
said cases which should be conducted with deliberate dispatch and with careful regard for the
requirements of due process.

Deputy Tanodbayan Manuel Herrera (made his expose 15 months later when former Pres.
was no longer around) affirmed the allegations in the second motion for reconsideration that
he revealed that the Sandiganbayan Justices and Tanodbayan prosecutors were ordered by
Marcos to whitewash the Aquino-Galman murder case. Malacañang wanted dismissal to the
extent that a prepared resolution was sent to the Investigating Panel. Malacañang
Conference planned a scenario of trial where the former President ordered then that the
resolution be revised by categorizing the participation of each respondent; decided that the
presiding justice, Justice Pamaran, (First Division) would personally handle the trial. A
conference was held in an inner room of the Palace. Only the First Lady and Presidential
Legal Assistant Justice Lazaro were with the President. The conferees were told to take the
back door in going to the room where the meeting was held, presumably to escape notice by
the visitors in the reception hall waiting to see the President. During the conference, and after
an agreement was reached, Pres. Marcos told them 'Okay, mag moro-moro na lamang kayo;'
and that on their way out of the room Pres. Marcos expressed his thanks to the group and
uttered 'I know how to reciprocate'.

The Court then said that the then President (code-named Olympus) had stage-managed in
and from Malacañang Palace "a scripted and predetermined manner of handling and
disposing of the Aquino-Galman murder case;" and that "the prosecution in the Aquino-
Galman case and the Justices who tried and decided the same acted under the compulsion
of some pressure which proved to be beyond their capacity to resist. Also predetermined the
final outcome of the case" of total absolution of the twenty-six respondents-accused of all
criminal and civil liability. Pres. Marcos came up with a public statement aired over television
that Senator Aquino was killed not by his military escorts, but by a communist hired gun. It
was, therefore, not a source of wonder that President Marcos would want the case disposed
of in a manner consistent with his announced theory thereof which, at the same time, would
clear his name and his administration of any suspected guilty participation in the
assassination. such a procedure would be a better arrangement because, if the accused are
charged in court and subsequently acquitted, they may claim the benefit of the doctrine of
double jeopardy and thereby avoid another prosecution if some other witnesses shall appear
when President Marcos is no longer in office.

More so was there suppression of vital evidence and harassment of witnesses. The
disappearance of witnesses two weeks after Ninoy's assassination. According to J. Herrera,
"nobody was looking for these persons because they said Marcos was in power. The
assignment of the case to Presiding Justice Pamaran; no evidence at all that the assignment
was indeed by virtue of a regular raffle, except the uncorroborated testimony of Justice
Pamaran himself. The custody of the accused and their confinement in a military camp,
instead of in a civilian jail. The monitoring of proceedings and developments from
Malacañang and by Malacañang personnel. The partiality of Sandiganbayan betrayed by its
decision: That President Marcos had wanted all of the twenty-six accused to be acquitted
may not be denied. In rendering its decision, the Sandiganbayan overdid itself in favoring the
presidential directive. Its bias and partiality in favor of the accused was clearly obvious. The
evidence presented by the prosecution was totally ignored and disregarded.

The record shows that the then President misused the overwhelming resources of the
government and his authoritarian powers to corrupt and make a mockery of the judicial
process in the Aquino-Galman murder cases. "This is the evil of one-man rule at its very
worst." Our Penal Code penalizes "any executive officer who shall address any order or
suggestion to any judicial authority with respect to any case or business coming within the
exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of justice."

Impartial court is the very essence of due process of law. This criminal collusion as to the
handling and treatment of the cases by public respondents at the secret Malacañang
conference (and revealed only after fifteen months by Justice Manuel Herrera) completely
disqualified respondent Sandiganbayan and voided ab initio its verdict. The courts would
have no reason to exist if they were allowed to be used as mere tools of injustice, deception
and duplicity to subvert and suppress the truth. More so, in the case at bar where the people
and the world are entitled to know the truth, and the integrity of our judicial system is at stake.

There was no double jeopardy. Courts' Resolution of acquittal was a void judgment for having
been issued without jurisdiction. No double jeopardy attaches, therefore. A void judgment is,
in legal effect, no judgment at all. By it no rights are divested. It neither binds nor bars
anyone. All acts and all claims flowing out of it are void.

Motion to Disqualify/Inhibit should have been resolved ahead. In this case, petitioners' motion
for reconsideration of the abrupt dismissal of their petition and lifting of the TRO enjoining the
Sandiganbayan from rendering its decision had been taken cognizance of by the Court which
had required the respondents', including the Sandiganbayan's, comments. Although no
restraining order was issued anew, respondent Sandiganbayan should not have precipitately
issued its decision of total absolution of all the accused pending the final action of this Court.
All of the acts of the respondent judge manifest grave abuse of discretion on his part
amounting to lack of jurisdiction which substantively prejudiced the petitioner.

With the declaration of nullity of the proceedings, the cases must now be tried before an
impartial court with an unbiased prosecutor. Respondents accused must now face trial for the
crimes charged against them before an impartial court with an unbiased prosecutor with all
due process.

The function of the appointing authority with the mandate of the people, under our system of
government, is to fill the public posts. Justices and judges must ever realize that they have no
constituency, serve no majority nor minority but serve only the public interest as they see it in
accordance with their oath of office, guided only the Constitution and their own conscience
and honor.