Bar Q and A #18

As held in People v. Marti (G.R. No. 81561, January 18, 1991), the constitution, in laying down the principles of the government and fundamental liberties of the people, does not govern relationships between individuals. Thus, if the search is made at the behest or initiative of the proprietor of a private establishment for its own and private purposes and without the intervention of police authorities, the right against unreasonable search and seizure cannot be invoked for only the act of private individuals, not the law enforcers, is involved. In sum, the protection against unreasonable searches and seizures cannot be extended to acts committed by PRIVATE INDIVIDUALS so as to bring it within the ambit of alleged unlawful intrusion by the government. Accordingly, the letter and check are admissible in evidence. (Waterous Drug Corp. v. NLRC, G.R. No. 113271, October 16, 1997)

a.) Destilleria Felipe Segundo cannot claim that its constitutional rights were infringed. In this case, a private association formed by advertising companies for self-regulation was the one who ordered that the advertisement be pulled out, because Destilleria did not comply with the association’s ethical guidelines. The guarantee of freedom of speech is a limitation on state action and not on the action of private parties (Lloyd Corporation v. Tanner, 407 US 551). The mass media are private enterprises, and their refusal to accept any advertisement does not violate freedom of speech (Times- Picayune Publishing Company v. United States, 345 US 594; Columbia Broadcasting System, Inc. v. Democrat Control Committee, 412 US 94).

b.) The government-owned and controlled corporations and the government nominees in sequestered corporation cannot block any advertising funds allocated for any newspaper, radio or television station which carries the advertisements of Destilleria Felipe Segundo. Since they are government entities and officers, they are bound by the guarantee of freedom of speech. Freedom of speech extends to commercial advertisements (Metromedia, Inc. v. San Diego, 453 US 400). The mere fact that an advertisement is offensive cannot justify its suppression (Carey v. Population Services International, 431 US 678). The blocking of advertising funds is a threat intended to prevent the exercise of the freedom of speech of Destilleria Felipe Segundo through the fear of consequences. Such a threat qualifies as prior restraint. (Rosden, The Law of Advertising, Vol I, pp. 5-13)

a.) Substantive due process requires that the law itself, not merely the procedures by which the law would be enforced, is fair, reasonable, and It is violated when it is unreasonable or unduly oppressive. For example, Presidential Decree No. 1717, which cancelled all the mortgages and liens of a debtor, was considered unconstitutional for being oppressive. Likewise, as stated in Ermita- Malate Hotel and Motel Operators Association, Inc. v. City Mayor of Manila, 20 SCRA 849, a law which is vague so that men of common intelligence must guess at its meaning and differ as to its application violates substantive due process.

b.) Procedural due process refers to the method or manner by which the law is In State Prosecutors v. Muro, 236 SCRA 505, it was held that the dismissal of a case without the benefit of a hearing and without any notice to the prosecution violated due process. Likewise, as held in People v. Court of Appeals, 262  SCRA 452, the lack of impartiality of the judge who will decide a case violates procedural due process.

The Police Commission is not bound by the findings of the City Fiscal. In Mangubat v. de Castro, 163 SCRA 608, it was held that the Police Commission is not prohibited from making its own findings on the basis of its own evaluation of the records. Likewise, the protestation of lack of due process is not well grounded, since the hearings before the Municipal Board and the City Fiscal offered Gatdula the chance to be heard. There is no denial of due process if the decision was rendered on the basis of evidence contained in the record and disclosed to the parties affected.

a. Torre was constructively dismissed, as held in Equitable Banking Corporation National Labor Relations Commission, 273 SCRA 352. Allowing an employee to report for work without being assigned any work constitutes constructive dismissal.

b.) Torre is correct in saying that he was not given the chance to be The meetings in the nature of consultations and conferences cannot be considered as valid substitutes for the proper observance of notice and hearing.

The right of the harbor pilots to due process was violated. As held in Corona v. United Harbor Pilots Association of the Philippines, 283 SCRA 31 pilotage as a   profession is a   property right protected by the guarantee of due process. The pre-evaluation cancellation of the licenses of the harbor pilots every year is unreasonable and violated their right to substantive due process. The renewal is dependent on the evaluation after the licenses have been cancelled. The issuance of the administrative order also violated procedural due process, since no prior public hearing was conducted. As held in CIR v. CA, 261 SCRA 237, when a regulation is being issued under the quasi-legislative authority of an administrative agency, the requirements of notice, hearing and publication must be observed.

The teachers were deprived of due process of law. Under Section 9 of the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers, one of the members of the committee must be a teacher who is a representative of the local, or in its absence, any existing provincial or national organization of teachers. According to Fabella v. CA, 283 SCRA 256, to be considered the authorized representative of such organization, the teacher must be chosen by the organization itself and not by the Secretary of Education, Culture and Sports. Since in administrative proceedings, due process requires that the tribunal be vested with jurisdiction and be so constituted as to afford a person charged administratively a reasonable guarantee of impartiality, if the teacher who is a member of the committee was not appointed in accordance with the law, any proceeding before it is tainted with deprivation of procedural due process.

The ordinance is void. As held in Balacuit v. CFI of Agusan del Norte, 163 SCRA 182, the ordinance is unreasonable. It deprives the sellers of the tickets of their property without due process. A ticket is a property right and may be sold for such price as the owner of it can obtain. There is nothing pernicious in charging children the same price as adults.

a.) The Executive Order is constitutionally It violates the guarantee of due process and equal protection. Due process includes the right to decisional privacy, which refers to the ability to make one’s own decisions and to act on those decisions, free from governmental or other unwanted interference. Forbidding the use of artificial methods of contraception infringes on the freedom of choice in matters of marriage and family life (Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 US 415). Moreover, the Executive Order violates equal protection as it discriminates against poor women in the city who cannot afford to pay private clinics.

b.) The acts of the City Mayor may be attributed to the Philippines under the principle of state Article 26 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political rights requires that Philippine law shall prohibit any discrimination and shall guarantee to all persons equal and effective protection against discrimination on any ground such as social origin, birth or other status. The Executive Order of the City Mayor discriminates against poor women.

c.) The Commission on  Human  Rights  cannot order the City Mayor to stop the implementation of his Executive Order, because it has no power to issue writs of injunction (Export Processing Zone Authority v. Commission on Human Rights, 208 SCRA 125)

The circular is valid. The circular is based on a desire to make police officers easily recognizable to the members of the public or to inculcate spirit  de corps which such similarity is felt to inculcate within the police force. Either one is a sufficient rational justification for the circular (Kelley v. Johnson 425 US 238)