Bar Q and A #21

The warrantless arrest is lawful.

There are two requirements before a warrantless arrest can be effected under Section 5(b), Rule 113, Rules of Court: (1) an offense has just been committed, and (2) the person making the arrest has personal knowledge of facts indicating that the person to be arrested has committed it.

Both requirements are present in the instant case. The first police team present in the Angola Commercial Center was able to witness the pay-off which effectively consummated the crime of kidnapping. Its team members all saw the kidnappers take the money from the car trunk. Such knowledge was then relayed to the other police officers comprising the second police team stationed in Amorsolo St. where the kidnappers were expected to pass.

It is sufficient for the arresting team that they were monitoring the pay-off for a number of hours long enough for them to be informed as to who the kidnappers were. This is equivalent to personal knowledge based on probable cause. (People v. Uyboco, G.R. No. 178039, January 19, 2011)

The drug testing of students of secondary and tertiary schools is valid.

There is no violation of the right to privacy. The essence of privacy is the right to be left alone. In context, the right to privacy means the right to be free from unwarranted exploitation of one's person or from intrusion into one's private activities in such a way as to cause humiliation to a person's ordinary sensibilities. The right to privacy yields to certain paramount rights of the public and defers to the state's exercise of police power.

The reduced expectation of privacy on the part of the employees, the compelling state concern likely to be met by the search, and the well - defined limits set forth in the law to properly guide authorities in the conduct of the random testing, the  challenged  drug test requirement is, under the limited context of the case, reasonable and, ergo, constitutional (Social Justice Society v. Dangerous Drugs Board, G.R. No. 157870 November 3, 2008)

According to the case of Adiong v. COMELEC. 207 SCRA 712, the prohibition is null and void on constitutional grounds. The regulation strikes at the freedom of an individual to express his preference and, by displaying it on his car, to convince others to agree with him. A sticker may be furnished by a candidate but once the car owner agrees to have it placed on his private vehicle, the expression becomes a statement by the owner, primarily his own and not of anybody else.

Moreover, the restriction as to where the decals and stickers should be posted is so broad that it encompasses even the citizen's private property, which in this case is a privately- owned vehicle. It deprived an individual to his right to property without due process of law.

I shall advise the students that the circular is void. The constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech and peaceful assembly extends to students within the premises of the Metro Manila State University (Malabanan v. Ramente 129 SCRA 359)

I shall also advise the students that their wearing of black T-shirts as a sign of protest is covered by their freedom of speech, because it is closely akin to free speech (Tinker v. Des Moines Community School District, 393 US 503)

The petition of Surveys Galore is meritorious. Freedom of speech and freedom of the press may be identified with the liberty to discuss publicly and truthfully any matter of public interest without censorship and punishment. There should be no previous restraint on the communication of views or subsequent liability whether in libel suits, prosecution for sedition, or action for damages,  or contempt proceedings unless there is a clear and present danger of substantive evil that Congress has a right to prevent (Chavez v. Gonzales, 545 SCRA 441). Freedom of speech should not be impaired through the exercise of the power  to  punish  for  contempt  of  court  unless  the statement in question is a serious and imminent threat to the administration of justice. Here, the publication of the result of the survey was not intended to degrade the judiciary (Cabansag v. Fernandez, 102 Phil. 152)

a.) Section 8, Article III of the Constitution allows employees in the public sector to form However, they cannot go on strike. As explained in Social Security System Employees Association v. CA, 175 SCRA 686, the terms and conditions of their employment are fixed by law.  Employees  in the public sector cannot strike to secure concessions from their employer.

b.) The teachers cannot claim that their right to peaceably assemble and petition for the redress of grievances has been According to Bangalisan v. CA, 276 SCRA 619, they can exercise this right without stoppage of classes.

1. YES, SM has a remedy. Under B.P. Blg. 880 (The Public Assembly Act of 1985), in the event of denial of the application for a permit, the applicant may contest the decision in an appropriate court of law. The court must decide within twenty-four (24) hours from the date of filing of the case. Said decision may be appealed to the appropriate court within forty- eight (48) hours after receipt of the same. In all cases, any decision may be appealed to the Supreme Court (Bayan Muna v. Ermita, G.R. No.169838, April 25, 2006).

2. NO, the availability of a freedom park does not justify the denial of the permit. It does imply that no permits are required for activities in freedom parks. Under B.P. Big. 880, the denial may be justified only if there is clear and convincing evidence that the public assembly will create a clear and present danger to public order, public safety, public convenience, public morals or public health (Bayan Muna v. Ermita, supra.).

3. NO, the requirement for a permit to hold a rally is not a prior restraint on freedom of speech and assembly. The Supreme Court has held that the permit requirement is valid, referring to it as regulation of the time, place, and manner of holding public assemblies, but not the content of the speech itself. Thus, there is no prior restraint, since the content of the speech is not relevant to the regulation (Bayan Muna v. Ermita, supra.).

4. The arrests are unlawful. What is prohibited and penalized under Sec.13(a) and 14(a) of
B.P. Big 880 is "the holding of any public assembly as defined in this Act by any leader or organizer without having first secured that written permit where a permit is required from the office concerned x x x Provided, however, that no person can be punished or held criminally liable for participating in or attending an otherwise peaceful assembly."

Thus, only the leader or organizer of the rally without a permit may be arrested without a warrant while the members may not be arrested, as they cannot be punished or held criminally liable for attending the rally. However, under Section 12 thereof, when the public assembly is held without a permit where a permit is required, the said public assembly may be peacefully dispersed.