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Philippine Constitution – Article Iii Essay

Article III
Bill of rights – declaration and enumeration of a person’s right and privileges which the Constitution is designed to protect against violations
Basis: social importance accorded to the individual in a democratic or republican state

Classes of rights
1) Natural rights – right possessed by every citizen without being granted by the State for they are given to man by God Ex. Right to life, right to liability, right to property, right to love 2) Constitutional right – rights which are conferred and protected by the Constitution; cannot be taken away 3) Statutory rights – rights which are provided by laws promulgated by the law-making body and may be abolished by the same body Ex. Right to receive a minimum wage, right to adopt a child

Classification of constitutional rights
1) Political rights – rights of the citizens which give them the power to participate 2) Civil rights – rights which the law will enforce at the instance of private individuals for the purpose of their happiness 3) Social and economic rights – rights which are intended to insure the well-being and economic security of the individual 4) Rights of the accused – civil right intended for the protection of a person accused of any crime

State authority and individual freedom
1) State, an instrument to promote both individual and social welfare – promote the happiness and welfare of both the individual and the group Liberty – blessing without which life is a misery
Doctrine of laissez faire – “let people do as they choose” 2) Conflict between individual rights and group welfare – State as an instrument to enable both the individual and society together to attain their greater happiness 3) Balancing of individual and group rights and interests – there can be no absolute power and absolute liberty 4) Role of the Judiciary – balancing the interests of the individual and group welfare in
the adjudication of disputes that is fair and just Supreme Court – arbiters of the limits of governmental powers

Section 1. No person shall be deprived of life liberty, or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws
Due process of law – a person may be deprived by the State of his life, liberty, or property provided due process of law is observed; a fundamental principle of fairness in all legal matters, both civil and criminal, especially in the courts. Aspects of due process of law (has two-fold process)

1) Procedural due process – method or manner by which the law is enforced 2) Substantive due process – law should be “fair, reasonable, and just”

Procedural due process
1) In judicial proceedings
It requires:
a) Impartial court
b) Jurisdiction lawfully acquired over the person of the defendant c) Opportunity to be heard given the defendant
d) Judgement to be rendered after lawful hearing
2) In administrative proceedings – an offender may be arrested pending the filing of charges or an officer/employee may be suspended pending an investigation for violation

Substantive due process
1) Tax which is imposed for a private purpose constitutes a taking of property without due process as it is beyond the authority of the legislature to levy. The reason is that tax can be imposed only for a public purpose. “Ability to pay principle”

2) Taking of property for private use offends substantive due process.

Persons protected – all persons within the territorial jurisdiction of the
Philippines Life – something more than mere animal
Liberty – right of man to use his faculties with which he has been endowed by his Creator as long as he does not violate the law or the rights of others
Property – the right over a thing

What constitutes deprivation
1) Deprivation of life – extinction of human existence and various physical and mental attributes
2) Deprivation of liberty – unreasonable restriction on the liberty of others 3) Deprivation of property – property’s value is destroyed or impaired

Meaning of equal protection of the laws
* all persons subject to legislation should be treated alike * prohibits “class legislation” (discriminates against some and favors others) Reasonable classification permitted
* Persons/properties may be grouped into classes
No denial of the protection where under the law-
a) Foreign corporations are made to pay higher amount of taxes b) Certain professions are limited to persons of the ‘male’ sex c) Certain privileges for leaves to women are not extended to men d) Preference is given to Filipino citizens in the lease of public market stalls e) Different professions are taxed at different amounts

f) Employment of children is prohibited

Sec 2. Right of the people to be secure shall be inviolable; no warrant shall issue except determined personally by the judge
Search Warrant – order in writing, signed by a judge; search for certain personal Property
Warrant of arrest – a person is taken into custody
Scope of protection
1) Persons – protection applies to everybody
2) Houses – the protection is not limited to houses but extends to a garage, warehouse, shop… 3) Papers and effect – sealed letters and
packages

When search and seizure unreasonable – purely judicial question

Requisites for valid search warrant or warrant of arrest
1) Issued upon probable cause
2) Probable cause must be determined personally by the judge 3) Probable cause must be made after examination
4) Warrant must particularly describe the place to be searched or persons/things to be seized

Probable cause – there is a good reason for believing that the law has been broken or a crime has been committed

Sufficiency of affidavit upon which warrant is based
1) Test of sufficiency affidavit – perjury could be charge for damages caused in case his declaration are found to be false 2) Basis of affidavit – must be based on personal knowledge or information

Sufficiency of description
1) Place
2) Person – “John Doe” or “Jane Doe” (person is unknown) 3) Property – must be specific
General warrant – not particularly describe the things to be seized

Rights against unreasonable search and seizure, personal
1) Proper party to invoke right – the seizure can be contested only by the party whose personal rights were involved
2) Right subject to waiver – without proper search warrant, no public official has the right to enter the premises of another

When search and seizure may be made without warrant
1) Where there is waiver
2) Search is incident to a lawful arrest
3) Forfeited goods are being transported to a verhicle
4) Articles prohibited by law is open to eye and hand
When arrest may be made without warrant
1) Had committed
2) Is committing
3) Will be committing

Sec 3. Privacy of communication shall be inviolable; evidence in violation shall be forbidden Right of privacy – right to be left alone

Basis and purpose of the right
1) Right existing in the state of nature – person’s inherent right to enjoy his private life 2) Right designed to secure enjoyment of one’s private life – accorded protection to secure the enjoyment by a person of his private life

Relationship with right against unreasonable searches and seizures 1) Aspect of right to be secure in one’s person – constitutional provision on the right of privacy implements the security of the citizen 2) Privacy of communication and correspondence

Limitations on the right of privacy of communictions
1) Permissible interference – allowed interfering on privacy Conditions:
a) Upon lawful order of the court
b) Public safety or order requires otherwise as prescribed by law 2) Intervention of the court
First limitation: issued search warrant
Second limitation: right is subject to the police power of the State

Evidence illegally obtained
1) Inadmissible – in any proceeding, judicial or administrative 2) Reason – exclusion is the only practical way of enforcing the constitutional guarantees 3) Right of owner – owner of evidence obtained illegally has a right to seize the articles

Writ of habeas corpus – the right of a citizen to obtain a writ of habeas corpus as a protection against illegal imprisonment Purpose of the writ – completes the legal armory and remedy of a citizen against violations * Secures the privacy of an individual

How writ operates – served upon the respondent who shall file an answer under oath with supporting affidavit
(affidavit – a sworn statement in writing made especially under oath or on affirmation before an authorized magistrate or officer)

Sec 4. No law shall be passed depriving freedom of speech
Freedom of speech, of expression, and of the press – right to freely utter and publish whatever one pleases without previous restraint Scope of terms “speech”, “expression” and “press” 1) Speech and expression – oral utterances such as protests as expression of opinion about subjects of public concern 2) Press – every sort of publications

Importance of the guarantee
1) Promotes growth of the individual and the nation – freedom of speech should be protected by the State 2) Makes possible, scrutiny of acts and conduct of public officials – public opinion must be enlightened 3) Insures a responsive and popular government – people must be able to voice their sentiments and aspirations so that they may become active participants

Freedom of expression not absolute
1) Subject to regulation by the State – in order for it to not be injurious 2) Subject one to liability when abused – any one who slanders another may be penalized

Justification for abridgement of freedom of speech and of the press 1) Clear and present danger rule – a speech will likely lead to an evil scheme 2) Application of rule

Right of assembly – right on the part of the citizens to meet peaceably for consultation in respect to public affairs
Right of petition – right of any person to apply to the appropriate branch of the government for redress of grievances

Relationship with freedom of speech and of the press
1) Complement of right of free speech
2) Application of clear and present danger rule

Sec 5. No law shall be made respecting an establishment of religion Religious freedom – right of man to worship God
Religion – all forms of belief in the existence of superior beings exercising power over human beings

Aspects of religious freedom
1) Separation of church and state
2) Freedom of religious prefession and worship

Freedom of religious profession and worship
1) Freedom to believe in a religion
2) Freedom to act in accordance with such belief
Right to disseminate religious beliefs
1) Relationship with right to believe – right to disseminate religious beliefs and information 2) Justification for restraint of right
License fee or tax on sale of religious articles
1) Permission or condition for exercise of right
2) Imposition of financial burden after exercise of right Religious test prohibited
1) Meaning of terms
a) Religious test – one demanding the affirmation or contradiction of certain religious beliefs before the performance of any act b) ‘civil’ or ‘political’ rights including the individual rights 2) Reason for provision – without prohibition, religious freedom becomes meaningless

Sec 6. Liberty of abode and travel
* Right of a person to have his home in whatever place chosen by him Limitations on the right
1) Permissible interference – lawmaking body may provide observance of curfew ours, commitment of mentally deranged persons to a mental institutions, confinement to a hospital, arrest and detention of the accused 2) Intervention of the court – a court order is not necessary Sec 7. Right of the people to information on matters of public concern shall be recognized 1) Access to official records for exercise of right

2) Arguments in support of right
a) The sovereign people have the right of access to records of their government b) Enable the people to participate more effectively in governmental affairs c) It will make denunciation of government more factual, responsible, effective d) Provide a deterrent to the commission of venalities

e) Reduce public suspicion of officials
3) Constitutionality or validity of implementing law

Scope of the right
1) The right embraces all public records
2) It is limited to citizens only
3) Its exercise is subject to such limitations as may be provided by law

Limitations on the right
1) Public records excepted – public records are declared confidential 2) Burden on government to justify withholding of information – healthy balance between the need to afford protection to vital secrets and safeguarding the basic right of the people

Sec 8. Right to form associations – freedom to organize any group Purposes of the guarantee
1) Encourage the formation of voluntary associations
2) The needs of the social body seek satisfaction in one form or the other Limitation on the right – depriving of forming a group when it shows imminent danger

Sec 9. Private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation Essential or inherent powers of government
1) Totality of government power – contained in 3 great powers (power of eminent domain, police power, and power of taxation)
2) Similarities
Eminent domain – right of the State to take private property for public use upon paying to the owner a just compensation

Conditions for or limitations upon its exercise
1) Existence of public use – beneficially employed for the community 2) Payment of just compensation
3) Observance of due process of law in the taking

Meaning of ‘taking’
1) Actual physical seizure not essential – physical seizure or appropriation of the property, and destruction or impairment
2) The ‘taking’ must be direct

Police power – power of the State to enact such laws in relation to persons and property as may promote public health…and convenience of the people Basis of police power – ‘the welfare of the people is the supreme law, so use your own as not to injure another’s property’

Illustrations of police power laws
1) Public health – medical profession
2) Public morals – punishing vagrancy and prostitution
3) Public safety – requiring a license for the right to drive motor vehicles 4) General welfare and convenience – requiring compulsory registration of lands

Taxation – power of the State to impose charge or burden upon persons and property for the use and support of the government
Theory and basis of taxation
1) Power: Government cannot continue without means to pay its existence, it has right to compel citizens and property within its limits to contribute
2) Basis: Protection and support between the State and its inhabitants Taxes – enforced proportional contributions from persons and property; financial burdens or charges imposed by the government

Distinction among the three powers
1) As to authority which exercises the power – taxation and police power: government Eminent domain: public service companies
2) As to purpose – taxation: support for government
Eminent domain: for public use
Police power: purpose of promoting the general welfare
3) As to effect – taxation: money -> public funds
Eminent domain: right -> property
Police power: no such transfer
4) As to persons affected – taxation and police power: community Eminent domain: individual 5) As to benefits received – taxation: receives equivalent tax in the form of benefits Eminent domain: compensation

Police power: compensation is not immediate

Sec 10. No law impairing the obligation of contracts shall be passed Obligation of a contract – law which binds the parties to perform their agreement according to its terms
Law – includes executive and administrative orders of the President Contract – obligation of which is secured against impairment under the Constitution Purpose of non-impairment prohibition
1) Protect creditors, to assure the fulfilment of lawful promises, and to guard the integrity of contractual obligations

Sec15. Writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended except in cases of invasion

How writ operates
Privilege of the writ – further order from the court to release an individual if it finds his detention without legal cause or authority


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