Bar Q and A #25

a. To collect the balance of Judgment, as stated in Tan Toco v. Municipal Council of lloilo, 49 Phil. 52, Juan Reyes may levy on patrimonial properties of the Municipality of Antipolo. If it has no patrimonial properties in accordance with the Municipality of Makati v. Court of Appeals, 190 SCRA 206, the remedy of Juan Reyes is to file a petition for mandamus to compel the Municipality of Antipolo to appropriate the necessary funds to satisfy the judgment.

b. Pursuant to the ruling in Pasay Government v. Court of First Instance of Manila, 132 SCRA 156, since the Municipality of Antipolo has appropriated P1,000,000 to pay for the lot, its bank account may be garnished but up to this amount only.

As held in National Power Corporation v. Angas, 208 SCRA 542, in accordance with Article 2209 of the Civil Code, the legal interest should be 6% a year. Central Bank Circular No. 416, which increased the legal interest to 12% a year is not applicable to the expropriation of property and is limited to loans, since its issuance is based on Presidential Decree No. 116, which amended the Usury Law.

Farmerjoe’s demand for payment is justified and cannot be considered as prescribed. His demand for payment is an action for the payment of just compensation and not an action for damages as provided in the Charter of the

National Power and Grid Corporation. It partakes of the nature of a reverse eminent domain proceeding (or inverse condemnation proceeding)  wherein claims for just compensation for property taken can be made and pursued (NPC v. Vda. De Capin, 569 SCRA 648; NPC v. Heirs of Sangkay, 656 SCRA 60)

Ariston was already under custodial investigation when he confessed to the police. It is admitted that the police failed to inform him of his constitutional rights when he was investigated and interrogated. His confession to the police is therefore inadmissible in evidence.

His confession before the mayor, however, is admissible. While it may be true that a mayor has “operational supervision and control” over the local police and may arguably be deemed a law enforcement officer for purposes of applying Section 12(1) and (3) of Article III of the Constitution, Ariston’s confession to the mayor, as described in the problem, was not made in response to any interrogation by the latter. In fact, the mayor did not appear as having questioned Ariston at all. No police authority ordered Ariston to talk to the mayor. It was he himself who spontaneously, freely and voluntarily sought the mayor for a private meeting. The mayor did not know that he was going to confess his guilt to him. When he talked with the mayor as a confidant and not as a law enforcement officer, his uncounselled confession to the Mayor did not violate his constitutional rights.

His confession to the media can likewise be properly admitted. The confessions were made in response to questions by news reporters, not by the police or any other investigating officer. Statements spontaneously made by suspects to news reporters during televised interviews are deemed voluntary and are admissible in evidence (People v. Andan, G.R. No. 116437, March 3, 1997)

The defense of Paulyn is bereft of merit. It is axiomatic that constitutional rights of a person under investigation for the commission of an offense under Section 12(1), Article III of the Constitution begins when there is no longer a general inquiry into an unresolved crime and the investigation has stated to focus on a particular person as a suspect., i.e., when the police investigator starts interrogating ot exacting a confession from the suspect in connection with an alleged offense. When she was invited for questioning by the Makati City Police Department and she volunteered information, she was not yet a suspect.

a.) NO, the identification of Danny, a private person, by an eyewitness during the line-up cannot be excluded in In accordance with the ruling in People v. Hatton, 210 SCRA 1, the accused is not entitled to be assisted by counsel during a police line-up, because it is not part of custodial investigation since he was not being questioned but was merely being asked to exhibit his body for identification by a witness.

b.) No. Danny cannot ask that his confession to a newspaper reporter should be excluded in evidence. As held in People v. Bernardo, 220 SCRA 31, such an admission was not made during a custodial interrogation but a voluntary statement made to the media.

a.) The fact that the police officer gave him the Miranda warning in halting English does not detract from its validity. Under Section 2(b) of RA 7438, it is sufficient that the language used was known to and understood by him. William need not be given the Miranda warning before the investigation started. William was not denied his Miranda rights. It is not practical to require the police officer to provide a lawyer of his own choice from the United States (Gamboa v. Cruz, 162 SCRA 642)

b.) William should not be granted bail as a matter of right.   He is subject to Philippine criminal jurisdiction, therefore, his right to bail must be determined on the basis of Section 13, Article III of the Constitution.

a. Brown is not entitled to counsel during the police line-up. He was not yet being asked to answer for a criminal offense. (Garaboa v. Cruz, 162 SCRA 642)

b. Brown would be entitled to the assistance of a lawyer. He was already considered as a suspect and was therefore entitled to the right under custodial investigation. (People v. Legaspi, 331 SCRA 95.)

c. The Miranda warning means that a person in custody who will be interrogated must be informed of the following:

1. He has right to remain silent;
2. Anything said can be used as evidence against him;
3. He has the right to have counsel during the investigation; and
4. He must be informed that if he is indigent, a lawyer will be appointed to represent him. (Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S 436)

The court was wrong in relying on the silence of Arnold during the police investigation and during the trial. Under Article III, Section 12 of the 1987 Constitution, he had the right to remain silent. His silence cannot be taken as a tacit admission; otherwise, his right to remain silent would be rendered nugatory. Considering that his right against self-incrimination protects his right to remain silent, he cannot be penalized for exercising it (People v. Galvez, G.R. No. 157221, March 30, 2007, 519 SCRA 521)

If I were the judge, I would rule that the confession is inadmissible. First, the rights under investigation in Section 12, Article III of the Constitution are applicable to any person under investigation for the commission of an offense. The investigation began when a policeman told Edward that several witnesses pointed to him as the shooter, because it started to focus on him as a suspect (People v. Labtan, 320 SCRA 140)