Bar Q and A #19

No, it is not a property right under the due process clause of the Constitution. Just like ordinary licenses in other regulated fields, it may be revoked any time. It does not confer an absolute right, but only a personal privilege, subject to restrictions. A licensee takes his license subject to such conditions as the Legislature sees fit to impose, and may be revoked at its pleasure without depriving the licensee of any property (Chavez v. Romulo, G.R. No. 157036, June 9, 2004).

The hierarchy of civil liberties means that freedom of expression and the rights of peaceful assembly are superior to property rights (Philippine Blooming Mills v. Philippine Blooming Mills, 51 SCRA 189)

A statute is vague when it lacks comprehensible standards that men of common intelligence guess as to its meaning and differ as to its application. It applies to both free speech cases and penal statutes. However, a facial challenge on the ground of vagueness can be made only in free speech cases. It does not apply to penal statutes (Southern Hemisphere Engagement Network, Inc. v. Anti-Terrorism Council, 632 SCRA 146)

While the overbreadth doctrine decrees that a governmental purpose may not be achieved by means in a statute which sweep unnecessary broadly and thereby invades the area of protected freedom. A statute is void for vagueness when it forbids or requires the doing of an act in terms so vague that men of common intelligence cannot necessarily guess at its meaning and differ as to its application (Estrada v. Sandiganbayan, 369 SCRA 394 [2001])

NO, the circular did not violate the equal protection clause of the Constitution. There is a substantial distinction between dentistry students and other students. The dental profession directly affects the lives and health of people. Other professions do not involve the same delicate responsibility and need not be similarly treated.

As held in Department of Education, Culture and Sports v. San Diego, 180 SCRA 533, the rule is a valid exercise of police power to ensure that those admitted to the medical profession are  qualified. The arguments of Cruz are not meritorious. The right to quality education and academic freedom are not absolute. Under Section 5(3), Article XIV of the Constitution, the right to choose a profession is subject to fair, reasonable and equitable admission and academic requirements. The rule does not violate equal protection. There is a substantial distinction between medical students and other students. Unlike other professions, the medical profession directly affects the lives of the people.

a.) The three levels of test applied in equal protection cases are as follow:

First, the STRICT SCRUTINY TEST which is applied when the legislative classification disadvantages a subject class or impinges upon a fundamental right, the statute must fall unless the government can show that the classification serves a compelling governmental interest.

Second, the INTERMEDIATE SCRUTINY TEST,  when the classification, while not facially invidious,  gives rise to recurring constitutional difficulties or disadvantages a quasi-suspect class. The law must not only further an important government interest and be related to that interest. The justification must be genuine and must not depend on broad generalizations.

Lastly, the RATIONALITY TEST, if neither the strict nor the intermediate scrutiny is appropriate, the statute will be tested for mere rationality. The presumption is in favor of the classification, the reasonableness and fairness of state action and of legitimate grounds of distinction.

b.) Classification on the basis of sexual orientation is a quasi-subject classification that prompts intermediate Sexual orientation has no relation to a person’s ability to contribute to society. The discrimination that distinguishes the gays and lesbian persons are beyond their control. The group lacks sufficient political strength to bring an end to discrimination through political mean (Ang Ladlad v. COMELEC, 618 SCRA 32 [2010]).

a.) The law does not violate the equal protection It is based on substantial distinctions. The unequal power relationshio betwwen women and men, the greater likelihood for women than men to be victims of violence, and the widespread gender bias and prejudice against women all make for real differences. (Garcia v. Drilon, 699 SCRA 352 [2013])

b.) The grant of authority to the Barangay Chairman to issue a Barangay Protection Order is a purely executive function pursuant to his duty to enforce all laws and ordinances and to maintain public (Garcia v. Drilon, 599 SCRA 352 [2013])

Aliens are entitled to the right against illegal searches and seizures and illegal arrests. As applied in People v. Chua Ho San, 307 SCRA 432, these rights are available to all persons, including aliens.