Facts: Petitioner was charged with violation of Section 2 (4) of the revised securities act. Respondent filed to cancel the passport of the petitioner and to issue a hold departure order. The RTC ordered the DFA to cancel petitioner’s passport, based on the finding that the petitioner has not been arraigned and there was evidence to show that the accused has left the country with out the knowledge and the permission of the court.
Issue: Whether or Not the right to travel may be impaired by order of the court.
Held: The bail bond posted by petitioner has been cancelled and warrant of arrest has been issued by reason that he failed to appear at his arraignments. There is a valid restriction on the right to travel, it is imposed that the accused must make himself available whenever the court requires his presence. A person facing criminal charges may be restrained by the Court from leaving the country or, if abroad, compelled to return (Constitutional Law, Cruz, Isagani A., 1987 Edition, p. 138). So it is also that “An accused released on bail may be re-arrested without the necessity of a warrant if he attempts to depart from the Philippines without prior permission of the Court where the case is pending (ibid., Sec. 20 [2nd par. ]).
Article III, Section 6 of the 1987 Constitution should be interpreted to mean that while the liberty of travel may be impaired even without Court Order, the appropriate executive officers or administrative authorities are not armed with arbitrary discretion to impose limitations. They can impose limits only on the basis of “national security, public safety, or public health” and “as may be provided by law,” a limitive phrase which did not appear in the 1973 text (The Constitution, Bernas, Joaquin G.,S.J., Vol. I, First Edition, 1987, p. 263). Apparently, the phraseology in the 1987 Constitution was a reaction to the ban on international travel imposed under the previous regime when there was a Travel Processing Center, which issued certificates of eligibility to travel upon application of an interested party (See Salonga vs. Hermoso & Travel Processing Center, No. 53622, 25 April 1980, 97 SCRA 121).
Holding an accused in a criminal case within the reach of the Courts by preventing his departure from the Philippines must be considered as a valid restriction on his right to travel so that he may be dealt with in accordance with law. The offended party in any criminal proceeding is the People of the Philippines. It is to their best interest that criminal prosecutions should run their course and proceed to finality without undue delay, with an accused holding himself amenable at all times to Court Orders and processes
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