A bill of rights may be defined as a declaration and enumeration of a person’s rights and privileges which the Constitution is designed to protect against violations by the government , or by individual or groups of individuals.
It is a charter of liberties for the individual and a limitation upon the power of the State.
Its basis is the social importance accorded to the individual in the democratic or republican state, the belief that every human being has intrinsic dignity and worth which must be respected and safeguarded
CLASSES OF RIGHTS
The rights that a citizen of a democratic state enjoys may be classified into:
Natural rights- They are those rights possessed by every citizen without being granted by the State for they are given to man by God as a human being created to His image so that he may live a happy life. Ex. Right to life and right to love
Constitutional rights- They are those rights which are conferred and protected by the Constitution. Since they are part of the fundamental law, they cannot be modified or taken away by the law –making body
Statutory rights- They are those rights which are provided by laws promulgated by the law –making body and, consequently, may be abolished by the same body. Ex. right to receive minimum wage and right to inherit property.
CLASSIFICATION OF CONSTITUIONAL RIGHTS
The rights secured by the Constitution may be classified as follows:
Political rights- They are such rights of the citizens which give them the power to participate, directly or indirectly, in the establishment or administration of the government. Ex. right of citizenship, right of suffrage and the right to information on matters of public concern.
Civil rights- They are those rights which the law will enforce at the instance of private individuals for the purpose of securing to them the enjoyment of their means of happiness. Ex. rights against involuntary servitude, liberty of abode, freedom of speech, of expression or of the press.
Social and economic right- They include those right s which are intended to insure the well-being and economic security of the individual. Ex. right to property, right to just compensation for private property taken for public use.
4. Rights of the accused- They are the (civil) rights intended for the protection of a person accused of any crime, like the right to presumption of innocence, right to a speedy , impartial, and public trial , and the right against cruel , degrading, or inhuman punishment .
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.
What is due process?
Any deprivation of life, liberty, or property is with due process if it is done under the authority of a law that is valid (i.e., not contrary to the Constitution) or of the Constitution itself, and after compliance with fair and reasonable methods of procedure prescribed by law.
ASPECTS OF DUE PROCESS OF LAW.
Procedural due process which refers to the method or manner by which the law is enforced. Daniel Webster’s famous definition: a procedure “which hears before it condemn, which proceed s upon inquiry, and renders judgment only after trial.” An indispensable requisite of this aspect of due process is the requirement of notice and hearing
Substantial due process which requires that the law itself, not merely the procedures by which the law would be enforced, is fair, reasonable, and just. In other words, no person shall be deprived of his life, liberty, or property for arbitrary reasons or on flimsy grounds.
PROCEDURAL DUE PROCESS.
1. In judicial proceedings-For the most part, procedural due process has its application in judicial proceedings, civil or criminal. It requires:
a. An impartial court clothed by law with authority to hear and determine the matter before it;
b. Jurisdiction lawfully acquired over the person of the defendant or property which is the subject matter of the proceeding;
c. Opportunity to be heard given the defendant; and
d. Judgment to be rendered after the lawful hearing.
2. In administrative proceedings- Due process, however, is not always judicial process. In certain proceedings of an administrative character, notice and hearing may be dispensed with, where because of public need or for practical reasons, the same is not feasible. Thus, an offender may be arrested pending the filing of charges, or an officer or employee may be suspended pending an investigation for violation of civil service rules and regulation.
Substantive due process.
Viewed in its substantive aspect, due process of law requires that the law in question affecting life, liberty, or property be a valid law, i.e., within the power of the law-making body to enact and is reasonable in its operation. Ex. taking of property for private use or without payment of just compensation offends substantive due process.
Meaning of life- Life, as protected by due process of law, means something more than mere animal existence. The prohibition against its deprivation without due process extends to all the limbs and faculties by which life is enjoyed.
Meaning of liberty- Liberty, as protected by due process of law, denotes not merely freedom from physical restraint e.g. imprisonment. It also embraces the right of man to use his faculties with which he has been endowed by his Creator subject only to the limitation that he does not violate the law or the rights of others.
Meaning of property- Property, as protected by due process of law, may refer to the thing itself or to the right over a thing. It includes the right to own, use, transmit and even to destroy, subject to the right of the State and of other persons.
MEANING OF EQUAL PROTECTION OF THE LAWS.
Equal protection of the laws signifies that:
“ all persons subject to legislation should be treated alike, under like circumstance and conditions both in the privileges conferred and liabilities imposed.”
What it prohibits is class legislation, which discriminates against some and favors others when both are similarly situated or circumstanced.
SECTION 2. THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO BE SECURE IN THEIR PERSONS, HOUSES, PAPERS, AND EFFECTS AGAINST UNREASONABLE SEARCHES AND SEIZURES OF WHATEVER NATURE AND FOR ANY PURPOSE SHALL BE INVIOLABLE, AND NO SEARCH WARRANT OF ARREST SHALL ISSUE EXCEPT UPON PROBABLE CAUSE TO BE DETERMINED PERSONALLY BY THE JUDGE AFTER EXAMINATION UNDER OATH OR AFFIRMATION OF THE COMPLAINANT AND THE WITNESSES HE MAY PRODUCE, AND PARTICULARLY DESCRIBING THE PLACE TO BE SEARCHED AND THE PERSONS OR THINGS TO BE SEIZED.
MEANING OF SEARCH WARRANT AND WARRANT OF ARREST
A search warrant is an order in writing , issued in the name of the People of the Philippines, signed by a judge and directed to a peace officer, commanding him to search for certain personal property and bring it before the court.
If the command is to arrest a person designated, i.e., to take him into custody in order that he may bound to answer for the commission of an offense, the written order is called warrant of arrest.
SCOPE OF THE PROTECTION.
Persons.- The protection applies to everybody, to citizens as well as aliens in the Philippines, whether accused of crime or not. Corporations are also entitled to the protection.
Houses.- The protection is not limited to dwelling houses but extends to a garage, warehouse, shop, store, office , and even a safety deposit vault. It does not extend, however, to the open spaces and fields belonging to one.
Papers and effect.- They include sealed letters and packages in the mail which may be opened and examined only in pursuance of a valid search warrant.
WHAT CONSTITUTES A REASONABLE OR UNREASONABLE SEARCH OR SEIZURE IN ANY PARTICULAR CASE IS A PURELY JUDICIAL QUESTION (I.E., ONLY COURTS ARE EMPOWERED TO RULE UPON), DETERMINABLE FROM A CONSIDERATION OF THE CIRCUMSRTANCES INVOLVED.
REQUISITES FOR VALID SEARCH WARRANT OR WARRANT OF ARREST
It must be issued upon probable cause;
The probable cause must be determined personally by the judge himself,
Such determination of the existence of probable cause must be made after examination by the judge of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce; and
The warrant must particularly describe the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized
The law prohibits the issuance of a search warrant for more than one specific offense .
MEANING OF PROBABLE CAUSE.
By probable cause is meant such facts and circumstances antecedent to the issuance of a warrant sufficient in themselves to induce a cautious man to rely upon them and act in pursuance thereof.
It presupposes the introduction of competent proof that the party against whom a warrant is sought to be issued has performed particular acts, or committed specific omissions, violating a given provision of our criminal laws.
WHEN SEARCH AND SEIZURE MAY BE MADE WITHOUT WARRANT
In the following instances:
Where there is consent or waiver,
Where search is an incident to a lawful arrest,
In the case of contraband or forfeited goods being transported by ship automobile, or other vehicle, where the officer making it has reasonable cause for believing that the latter contains them, in view of the difficulty attendant to securing a search warrant,
Where, without a search, the possession of articles prohibited by law is disclosed to plain view or is open to eye and hand
(5) As an incident of inspection, supervision and regulation in the exercise of police power such as inspection of restaurants by health officers, of factories by labor inspectors, etc. The same thing may be said of inspection of books of accounts by revenue examiners, and
(6) Routinary searches usually made at the border or at ports of entry in the interest of national security and for the proper enforcement of customs and immigration laws.
WHEN ARREST MAY BE MADE WITHOUT WARRANT.
A peace officer or private person may, without a warrant, arrest a person:
When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense;
When an offense has in fact just been committed and he has personal knowledge of facts indicating that the person to be arrested has committed it ; and
When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped from a penal establishment or place where he is serving final judgment or temporarily confined while his case is pending, or has escaped while being transferred from one confinement to another.
SECTION 3. (1) THE PRIVACY OF COMMUNICATION AND CORRESPONDENCE SHALL BE INVIOLABLE EXCEPT UPON LAWFUL ORDER OF THE COURT, OR WHEN PUBLIC SAFETY OR ORDER RERQUIRES OTHERWISE AS PRESCRIBED BY LAW.
(2) ANY EVIDENCE OBTAINED IN VIOLATION OF THIS OR THE PRECEDING SECTION SHALL BE INADMISSIBLE FOR ANY PURPOSE IN ANY PROCEEDING.