CONCEPT OF A BILL OF RIGHTS
It is a declaration and enumeration of a person’s rights and
privileges which the Constitution is designed to protect
against violation 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.
CLASSES OF RIGHTS
1. Natural Rights –those possessed by every citizen without being granted by the
State for they are given to man by God as human being created to His image that
he may live a happy life.
2. Constitutional Rights – conferred and protected by the Constitution.
3. Statutory Rights – provided by law, promulgated by the law-making body and
consequently may be abolished by the same body.
CLASSIFICATION OF CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS
1. Political Rights – the power to participate directly or indirectly in the
establishment or administration of the government.
2. Civil Rights – a law which secures private individuals for the purpose of securing
enjoyment of their means of happiness.
3. Social and Economic Rights – intended to insure the well – being and economic
security of an individual.
4. Rights of the Accused – intended for the protection of a person accused of any
STATE AUTHORITY AND INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM
1. State, an instrument to promote both individual and social welfare.
2. Conflict between individual rights and group welfare.
3. Balancing of individual and group rights and interests.
4. Role of the Judiciary.
SEC. 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.
MEANING OF DUE PROCESS OF LAWS
Any deprivation of life, liberty, or property by the State is with due process if it is done:
1. Under the authority of the law that is valid or the Constitution itself; and
2. After compliance with fair and reasonable methods of procedure required by law.
ASPECTS OF DUE PROCESS OF LAW
1. Procedural due process
a. In judicial proceedings
a1. An impartial court clothe by law with authority to hear and determine the
matter before it;
a2. Jurisdiction lawfully acquired over the person of the defendant or property
which is the subject matter of the proceeding;
a3. Opportunity to be heard given the defendant; and
a4. Judgment to be rendered after lawful hearing.
b. In administrative proceedings
1. Substantive due process
a. Thus a tax which is imposed for a private purpose constitutes a taking of
property without due process as it is beyond the authority of legislature
b. Likewise the taking of property for private use or without payment of just
compensation offends substantive due process.
PERSONS PROTECTED – All persons within the territorial Jurisdiction of the Philippines, without
regard to any difference of race, color, or nationality, including aliens.
MEANING OF LIFE – 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 – The right of man to use its faculties with which he has been endowed
by his Creator subject only to the limitations that he does not violate the law or the rights of
MEANING OF PROPERTY – The thing itself or the right over a thing.
WHAT CONSTITUTES DEPRIVATION?
1. Deprivation of life – the loss of any of the various physical and mental attributes which
man must have to live as a human being. It is the very foundation of human rights.
2. Deprivation of liberty – that one is unduly prevented from acting the way he wishes to
3. Deprivation of property – when its value is destroyed or its adaptability to some
particular use or its capability for enjoyment is impaired.
A. MEANING OF EQUAL PROTECTION OF THE LAW – signifies that all persons subject to
legislation should be treated alike under circumstances and conditions both in the privileges
conferred and liabilities imposed.
B. REASONABLE CLASSIFICATION PERMITTED
1. Foreign corporations are made to pay higher amount of taxes than that paid by
2. Certain professions are limited to persons of the male sex.
3. Certain privileges for leaves and shorter hours of labor extended o women are not
extended to men.
4. Preference is given to Filipino citizens in the lease of public market stalls.
5. Different professions are taxed at different amount.
6. Employment in factories of children under designated ages is prohibited.
C. SCOPE OF THE GUARANTEE
1. The guarantee of equal protection (and due process of law) on all the organs of
government and all the subordinate instrumentalities and subdivisions thereof, and
on the three inherent powers of government.
2. The guarantee is available to all persons.
3. It does not extend to rights which are political.
4. It is not also intended to enforce social equality.
SEC. 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 whatever purpose shall
be inviolable, and no search warrant or 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 witness he may produce and particularly describing the place to
be searched and the persons or things to be seized.
A. MEANING OF SEARCH WARRANT AND WARRANT OF ARREST
1. Search warrant – 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 a certain personal property and bring it before the court.
2. Warrant of arrest – a written order to arrest a person designated to take him in
custody in order that he may be bound to answer for the commission of an
B. SCOPE OF PROTECTION
1. Persons – applies to every citizen of the Philippines including aliens whether
accused of crime or not.
2. Houses – not limited to dwelling houses but extends to a garage, warehouse,
shop, store, office and even a safety deposit vault.
3. Papers and effect – include sealed letters and packages in the mail which may be
opened and examined only in pursuance of a valid search warrant.
C. WHEN SEARCH AND SEIZURE UNREASONABLE – In general, all illegal searches and
seizures are unreasonable while lawful ones are reasonable.
D. REQUISITES FOR VALID SEARCH WARRANT OR WARRANT OF ARREST
1. Issued upon probable cause.
2. The probable cause must be determined personally by the judge himself.
3. Such determination of the existence of probable cause must be made after
examination by the judge of the complainant and the witnesses he may
4. Must particularly describe the place to be searched and the persons or things
to be seized.
E. MEANING OF PROBABLE CAUSE – such facts and circumstances antecedent to the
issuance of a warrant sufficient in themselves to induce cautious man to rely upon them
and act in pursuance thereof.
F. SUFFICIENCY OF AFFIDAVIT UPON WHICH WARRANT IS BASED
1. Test of sufficiency affidavit – the true test of sufficiency of an affidavit to warrant
issuance to a search warrant is whether it had been drawn in a manner that
perjury could be charged thereon and affiant be held liable for damages caused in
case his declaration are found to be false.
2. Basis of affidavit – must be based on personal knowledge or information.
G. SUFFICIENCY OF DESCRIPTION
1. Place – A description of the place to be searched is sufficient if the officer wi th a
search warrant can, with reasonable effort, ascertain and identify the place
2. Person – As a rule, a warrant of arrest for the apprehension of an unnamed party
upon whom it is to be served is void except those cases where it contains a
description of the person or such as will enable the officer to identify the accused.
3. Property – is required to be specific only in so far as the circumstances will
H. RIGHT AGAINST UNREASONABLE SEARCH AND SEIZURE, PERSONAL
1. Proper party to invoke right – the legality of search and seizure can be contested
only by the party whose personal rights were involved.
2. Right subject to waver – Without proper search warrant, no public official has the
right to enter the premises of another without his consent for the purpose of
search and seizure.
I. WHEN SEARCH AND SEIZURE MAY BE MADE WITHOUT WARRANT
1. Where there is consent or waiver.
2. Where search is an incident to a lawful arrest.
3. In the case of contraband or forfeited goods being transported.
4. 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
6. Routinary searches usually made at the border or at ports of entry in the
interest of national security and for proper enforcement or customs and
J. WHEN ARREST MAY BE MADE WITHOUT WARRANT
1. When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually
committing, or is attempting to commit an offense.
2. When an offense has in fact just been committed and has been personal
knowledge of facts indicating that a person to be arrested has committed it.
3. When a person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped from a penal
establishment where he is serving final judgment or temporarily confined
while his case is pending, or has escaped while being transferred.
SEC. 3: (1) The privacy of communication and correspondence shall be inviolable except upon
lawful order of the court, or when public safety or order requires otherwise as prescribed by
(2) Any evidence obtained in violation of this or the preceding section shall be
inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding.
MEANING OF RIGHT OF PRIVACY – The right to be left alone.
BASIS AND PURPOSE OF THE RIGHT
1. Right existing in the state of nature.
2. Right designed to secure enjoyment of one’s private life.
RELATIONSHIP WITH RIGHT AGAINST UNREASONABLE SEARCHES AND SEIZURES
1. Aspect of right to be secure in one’s person.
2. Privacy of communication and correspondence
LIMITATIONS ON THE RIGHT OF PRIVACY OF COMMUNICATIONS
1. Permissible interference.
a. Upon lawful order of the court; or
b. When public safety or order requires otherwise as prescribed by law.
2. Intervention of the court.
EVIDENCE ILLEGALLY OBTAINED
1. Inadmissible – any evidence obtained in violation of the right against
unreasonable search and seizures and the right to privacy and communication.
2. Reason – its exclusion is the only practical way of enforcing the constitutional
3. Right of owner – the owner has the right that the articles seized be returned.
MEANING OF WRIT OF HABEAS DATA – is a judicial remedy available to any individual whose
right to privacy in life, liberty, or security is violated or threatened by an unlawful act or
omission of a public official or employee or of a private individual or entity engaged in
gathering, collecting, or storing of data or information regarding the person, family, home, and
correspondence of the aggrieved party.
A. PURPOSE OF THE WRIT – to secure the privacy of an individual by way of regulating the
processing of personal information or data about him.
B. HOW WRIT OPERATES – Any aggrieved party may file a petition in court for the writ of
habeas data. The court shall issue the writ which shall be served upon the respondent
who shall file a written return under oath with supporting affidavits.
SEC. 4: No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press,
or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of
MEANING OF FREEDOM OF SPEECH, AND
EXPRESSION, AND OF THE PRESS – The right to
freely utter and publish whatever one pleases
without previous restraint, and to be protected
against any responsibility for so doing as long as
it does not violate the law, or injure someone’s
character, reputation, or business.
A. SCOPE OF FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION – the rights of assembly and petition, the right to
form associations or societies not contrary to the law, and the right to religious
B. SCOPE OF TERMS “SPEECH”, “EXPRESSION”, AND “PRESS”
1. “Speech” and “expression” cover any form of oral utterances such as protests as
expression of opinion about subjects of public concern.
2. The “press” covers any sort of publications as instruments for mass
C. IMPORTANCE OF THE GUARANTEE
1. Promotes growth of the individual and the nation.
2. Makes possible scrutiny of acts and conduct of public officials.
3. Insures a responsive and popular government.
D. FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION NOT ABSOLUTE
1. Subject to regulation by the state.
2. Subject one to liability when abused.
E. JUSTIFICATION FOR ABRIDGMENT OF FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND OF THE PRESS
1. Clear and present danger rule.
2. Application of rule.
F. MEANING OF RIGHT OF ASSEMBLY AND RIGHT OF PETITION
1. The right of assembly means the right on the part of the citizens to meet
peaceably for consultation in respect to public affairs.
2. The right of petition means the right of any person or group of persons, to apply
without fear of penalty to the appropriate branch or office of government for
redress of grievances.
G. RELATIONSHIP WITH FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND OF THE PRESS
1. Complement of right of free speech.
2. Application of clear and present danger rule.
SEC. 5: No law shall be made respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free
exercise thereof. The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship,
without discrimination or preference, shall forever be allowed. No religious test shall be
required for the exercise of civil or political rights.
MEANING OF RELIGIOUS FREEDOM - The right of a man to
worship God, and to entertain such religious views as appeal
to his individual conscience, without dictation or interference
by any person or power, civil or ecclesiastical.
MEANING OF RELIGION – all forms of belief in the existence of superior beings exercising
power over human beings and imposing rules of conduct with future state of rewards or
ASPECTS OF RELIGIOUS FREEDOM
1. The separation of Church and State.
2. The freedom of religious profession and worship.
FREEDOM OF RELIGIOUS PROFESSION AND WORSHIP
1. Freedom to believe in a religion.
2. Freedom to act in accordance with such belief.
RIGHT TO DISSEMINATE RELIGIOUS BELIEFS
1. Relationship with right to believe.
2. Justification for restraint of right.
LICENSE FEE OR TAX ON SALE OF RELIGIOUS ARTICLES
1. Permission or condition for exercise of right.
2. Imposition of financial burden after exercise of right.
RELIGIOUS TEST PROHIBITED
1. Meaning of terms
a. A religious test is one demanding the avowal or repudiation of a certain religious
beliefs before the performance of any act.
b. The expression of civil political rights (supra) is to be understood as including the
individual right safeguarded by the Constitution and statutory laws.
REASON FOR PROVISION – Without such prohibition, religious freedom becomes meaningless.
The State without such a bar, notwithstanding the doctrine of its separation from the Church,
could in fact accord preference to a religious organization.
SEC. 6: The liberty of abode and of changing the same within the limit prescribed by law shall
not be impaired except upon lawful order of the court. Neither shall the right to travel be
impaired in the interest of national security, public safety or public health, as may be
provided by law.
MEANING OF LIBERTY OF ABODE AND TRAVEL – It
is the right of a person to have his home in
whatever place chosen by him and thereafter to
change it at will, and to go where he pleases,
without interference of any source.
LIMITATIONS ON THE RIGHT
1. Permissible interference. – The right is qualified by the clauses “except upon lawful
order of the court” and “except in the interest of the national security, and public safety
or public health as may be provided by law.
2. Intervention of the court. – Note that under the second limitation, a court order is not
necessary. The determination of the proper executive officer (President) is subject to
A person whose liberty of abode is violated may petition for a writ of habeas corpus
against another holding him in detention.
SEC. 7: The right of the people to information on matters of public concern shall be
recognized. Access to official records, and to documents, and papers pertaining to official
acts, transactions, or decisions, as well as to government research data used as basis for
policy development, shall be afforded the citizen, subject to limitations as maybe provided by
Right to Information on matters of Public Concern
1. Access to official records for exercise of right.
2. Arguments in support of right.
3. Constitutionally or validity of implementing law.
Scope of the Right
1. The right embraces all public records.
2. It is limited to citizens only but is without prejudice to the right of aliens to have access
to records of cases where they are litigants; and
3. Its exercise is subject to such limitations as may be provided by law.
A. Limitations on the Right.
1. Public records excepted.
2. Burden on government to justify withholding of information.
SEC. 8: The right of the people including those employed in the public and private sectors, to
form unions, associations, or societies for purposes not contrary to law shall not be abridged.
MEANING OF RIGHT TO FORM ASSOCIATIONS -
is the freedom to organize or to be a member of
any group or association, union, or society, and
to adopt the rules which the members judge
most appropriate to achieve their purpose.
PURPOSE OF GUARANTEE
1. Undoubtedly, the purpose of the constitutional guarantee is to encourage the formation
of voluntary associations so that through the cooperative activities of individuals, the
welfare of the nation may be advance and the government may there by receive
assistance in its ever-increasing public service activities.
2. By enabling individuals to unite in the performance of tasks, which singly they would be
unable to accomplish, such associations relieve the government of a vast burden.
SEC. 9: Private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation.
Essential or inherent powers of government
1. Totality of governmental power - It is contained in three (3) great powers, namely:
power of eminent domain, police power, and
power of taxation.
2. Similarities - These powers are similar in the following respects:
a. They all rest upon necessity because there can be no effective government without them;
b. They are inherent in sovereignty; hence, they can be exercised even without being
expressly granted in the Constitution although the conditions for their exercise may be
regulated and limited by the Constitution and bylaw;
c. They are ways by which the State interferes with private rights and property;
d. They are all legislative in character; and
e. They all presuppose an equivalent compensation received, directly or indirectly, by the
person affected by the exercise of these powers by the government.
Meaning of Eminent Domain - is the right or power of the State or of those to whom the power
has been lawfully delegated to take private property for public use upon paying to the owner a
just compensation to be ascertained according to law.
Conditions for or limitations upon its exercise
1. Existence of public use.
2. Payment of just compensation.
3. Observance of due process of law in the taking.
Meaning of “taking”
1. Actual physical seizure not essential.
2. The “taking” must be direct.
Meaning of Police Power - has been referred to as the power of the State to enact such laws or
regulations in relation to persons and property as my promote public health, public morals,
public safety, and the general welfare and convince of the people.
Basis of police power
Based on two Latin maxims, salus populi suprema est lex (the welfare of the people is the
supreme law), and sic utere tuo ut alienum non laedas (so use your own as not to injure
A. Police power laws.
1. Public health
2. Public morals
3. Public safety
4. Public welfare and convenience
Meaning of taxation - is the power of the state to impose charge or burden upon persons,
property, or property rights, for the use and support of the government and to enable it to
discharge its appropriate functions.
Theory and basis of taxation
1. The power of taxation proceeds upon the theory that the existence of government is a
necessity that it cannot continue without means to pay its expenses, and that for these
means it has a right to compel all its citizens and property within its limits to contribute.
2. The basis of taxation is found in the reciprocal duties of protection and support between
the State and its inhabitants.
Meaning of taxes - are the enforced proportional contributions from persons and property
levied by the lawmaking body of the State by virtue of its sovereignty for the support of the
government and all public needs.
Distinctions among the three powers
1. As to authority which exercises the power.
2. As to purpose.
3. As to effect.
4. As to persons affected.
5. As to benefits received.
SEC. 10: No law impairing the obligation of contracts shall be passed.
Meaning of obligation of a contract - is the law or duty which binds the parties to perform their
agreement according to its terms or intent, if it is not contrary to law, morals, good customs,
public order, or public policy.
Scope of terms “law” and “contract”
1. The law, the enactment of which is prohibited, includes executive and administrative
orders of the President, administrative orders issued by heads of departments, and
ordinance enacted by local governments.
2. The contract, the obligation of which is secured against impairment under the
Constitution, includes contracts entered into by the government.
Purpose of non-impairment prohibition
The prohibition is intended to protect creditors, to assure the fulfillment of lawful
promises, and to guard the integrity of contractual obligations.
Freedom to contract not absolute
The freedom of contract is necessarily limited by the exercise of the police power of the
State in the interest of general welfare and especially in view of the explicit provisions in the
Constitution with reference to the promotion of social justice.
SEC. 11: Free access to the courts and quasi-judicial bodies and adequate legal assistance
shall not be denied to any person by reason of poverty.
Constitutional rights of the accused in criminal cases
1. The right to adequate legal assistance.
2. The right, when under investigation for
the commission of an offense to be informed of his
right to remain silent and to have counsel.
3. The right against the use of torture,
force, violence, threat, intimidation or any other
means which vitiates the free will.
4. The right against being held in secret, incommunicado, or similar forms of solitary
5. The right to bail and against excessive bail.
6. The right to due process of law.
7. The right to presumption of innocence.
8. The right to be heard by himself and counsel.
9. The right to be performed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him.
10. The right to have a speedy, impartial, and public trial.
11. The rights to meet the witnesses face to face.
12. The right to have compulsory process to secure the attendance of witnesses and the
production of evidence in his behalf.
13. The right against self-incrimination.
14. The right against detention by reason of political beliefs and aspirations.
15. The right against excessive fines.
16. The right against cruel, degrading or inhuman punishment.
17. The right against infliction of the death penalty except for heinous crimes; and
18. The right against double jeopardy.
Reasons for constitutional safeguards
1. A criminal case, an unequal contest.
2. Criminal accusation, a very serious matter.
3. Protection of innocent, the underlying purpose.
A. Right to free access to the courts of quasi-judicial bodies.
B. Right to adequate legal assistance.
SEC. 12: (1) Any person under investigation for the commission of an offense shall have the
right to be informed of his right to remain silent and to have competent and independent
counsel preferably of his own choice. If the person cannot afford the services of counsel, he
must be provided with one. These rights cannot be waived except in writing and in the
presence of counsel.
(2) No torture, force, violence, threat, intimidation, or any other means which vitiate
the free will shall be used against him. Secret detention places, solitary, incommunicado, or
other similar forms of detention are prohibited.
(3) Any confession or admission obtained in violation of this or Section 17 hereof shall
be inadmissible in evidence against him.
(4) The law shall provide for penal and civil sanctions for violations of this section as
well as compensation to the rehabilitation of victims of torture or similar practices, and their
Rights of person under investigation
1. To be informed of his right to remain silent.
2. To have competent and independent counsel preferably of his own choice or to be provided
3. Against the use of torture, force, violence, threat, intimidation or any other means which
vitiates the free will.
4. Against being held in secret, incommunicado, or similar forms of solitary detention.
1. Effect of violation of the rights.
2. When rights can be invoked.
3. Waiver of right of silence and to counsel.
SEC. 13: All persons, except those charged with offenses punishable by reclusion perpetua
when evidence of guilt is strong, shall, before conviction, be bail able by sufficient sureties, or
be released on recognizance as may be provided by law. The right to bail shall not be
impaired even when the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is suspended. Excessive bail
shall not be required.
MEANING OF BAIL - is the security required by a court and given for the provisional or
temporary release of a person who is in the custody of the law conditioned upon his
appearance before any court as required under the conditions specified.
Purpose and form of Bail
1. The purpose of requiring bail is to relieve the accused from imprisonment until his
conviction and yet secure his appearance at the trials.
2. It may be in the form of cash deposit, property bond, bond secured from a surety
company, or recognizance.
MEANING OF CAPITAL OFFENSE - for purposes of the above provision, is an offense which,
under the law existing at the time of its commissions, and at the time f the application to be
admitted to bail, may be punished with reclusion perpetua, life imprisonment, or death.
SEC. 14: (1) No person shall be held to answer for a criminal offense without due process of
(2) In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall be presumed innocent until the
contrary is proved, and shall enjoy the right to be heard by himself and counsel, to be
informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him, to have a speedy, impartial,
and public trial, to meet the witnesses face to face, and to have compulsory process to secure
the attendance of witnesses and the production of evidence in his behalf. However, after
arraignment, trial may proceed notwithstanding the absence of the accused: Provided that he
has been duly notified and his failure to appear is unjustifiable.
SEC. 15: The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended except in cases of
invasion or rebellion, when the public safety requires it.
Meaning of writ of habeas corpus
The writ of habeas corpus is an order issued by a court of competent of jurisdiction,
directed to the person detaining another, commanding him to produce the body of the prisoner
at a designated time and place, and to show sufficient cause for holding I custody the individual
Purpose of the writ
It has for its purpose to inquire into all manner of involuntary restraint or detention as
distinguished from voluntary and to relieve a person there from if such restraint i s found illegal.
The writ is the proper remedy court to release y in each and every case of detention without
legal cause or authority. Its principal purpose then is to set the individual liberty.
How writ operates
The writ is the order from the court requiring a person detaining another to show cause
for the detention, while the privilege of the writ is the further order from the court to release
an individual if it finds his detention without legal cause or authority.
This is how the writ of habeas corpus operates to safeguard the liberty of a person.
The prisoner or any person in his behalf petitions the proper court, which immediately
issues the writ. It is sent to the person having another in his custody. Such person is ordered to
produce the prisoner in court at specified time together with an explanation of the cause of
detention, called the return. After the order is obeyed, the judge scrutinizes the return and then
decides whether it shows that imprisonment is authorized by law. If so, the prisoner is
remanded-sent back custody. If, not he is set free at once by the judge.
Suspension of the privilege of the writ
The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus (not the writ itself) may be suspended by the
president (Art. VII, Sec 18) in case only of invasion or rebellion, when public safety requires it.
Consequently, the person under detention by the government may not obtain his liberty by its
While the person detained must still be produced in court, the official or person
detaining him may ask the court not to continue the proceeding any further as the privilege of
the writ as to that particular person seeking release has been suspended. Unlike cases where
the privilege of the writ is available and in full force and effect, the judge thus may be
prevented in the event of suspension from determining whether or not the detention is
authorized by law. But the Supreme Court is empowered to inquire, in an appropriate
proceeding filed by any citizen, whether or not there was factual basis to justify the suspension
by the president of the privilege.
The suspension of privilege of the writ enables the State “ to hold in preventive imprisonment
pending investigation and trial of persons who plot against it or commit acts that endanger its
very existence” (see Sec 13). Thus, the suspension in effect, sanctions are allows arrest and
seizures without warrants issued by courts. This topic is further discussed under Article VII
(Executive Department), Sec 18.
Writ of Amparo
The writ of habeas corpus is not to be confused with the writ of Amparo. Now, families
of victims of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances (or any qualified person or
entity) can invoke the writ when the right to life, liberty, or security of a person is violated or
threatened with violation by an unlawful act or omission of a public official or employee or of a
private individual or entity.
This special writ prohibits respondents (those required to answer or respond to the
complaint against them) from using the defense of simple denial.
They will have to produce documents or evidence to support claims that they did not violates
the right to life, liberty and security of the aggrieved party. Even before a petition for this writ is
resolved, the court may issue any of the following orders to safeguard one’s right to life, liberty
and security: temporary protection order to secure the safety of the aggrieved party and any
member of the immediate family; inspection order for the purpose of inspecting, measuring,
surveying or photographing property or operation thereof; production order requiring the
production of designated documents, papers, etc. and witness protection order for admission of
witness to the Witness Protection, Security and Benefit Program.
SEC. 16: All persons shall have the right to a speedy disposition of their cases before all
judicial, quasi-judicial, or administrative bodies.
Right to speedy disposition of cases
(1) The above provision upholds the time-honored tradition of speedy justice for as stated in
the old dictum - "Justice delayed is justice denied." Its express inclusion was in response to the
common charge against the perennial delay in the administration of justice which in the past
has plagued our judicial system.
(2) The right to a speedy disposition of cases can be invoked only after the termination of the
trial or hearing of case.
(3) Under the present Constitution, the Supreme Court, all lowers delegate courts, and all other
lower courts are required to decide or resolve cases within a certain period of time.
(4) The provision contemplates the disposition of cases involving private interests not only
before judicial bodies, but also before quasi-judicial.
SEC. 17: No person shall be compelled to be a witness against himself.
Right against self-incrimination
No person shall be compelled to be a witness against himself. This is a protection
against self-incrimination which may expose a person to a criminal liability. It is founded on
(1) Public Policy, because if the party is thus required to testify he would be placed under the
strongest temptation to commit the crime of perjury; and
(2) Humanity, because it prevents the extortion of confession by duress.
The constitutional guarantee protects as well the right of the accused to silence, and his
silence, meaning, his failure or refusal to testify may not be used as presumption of guilt or
taken as evidence against him.
Scope of Guarantee
The right against self-incrimination applies in criminal cases as well as in civil,
administrative, and legislative proceeding where the fact asked for is a criminal one. It protects
one whether he is a party or a witness.
SEC. 18: (1) No person shall be detained solely by reason of his political beliefs and
(2) No involuntary servitude in any form shall exist except as a punishment for a crime
whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.
RIGHT AGAINST DETENTION SOLELY BY REASON OF POLITICAL BELIEFS AND ASPIRATIONS
1. Incarceration without charges of “political prisoners”.
2. Suspension of privilege of writ of habeas corpus even after lifting of martial law.
3. Prohibition a guarantee against having “prisoners of conscience.”
MEANING OF INVOLUNTARY SERVITUDE – A condition of enforced, compulsory service of one to
EXCEPTIONS OF PROHIBITIONS
1. When the involuntary servitude is imposed as a punishment for a crime.
2. When personal military or civil service is required of citizens.
3. To injunctions requiring striking laborers to return to work.
4. To exceptional service.
5. To exercise by parents of their authority.
6. When there is a proper exercise of the police power of the State.
SEC. 19: (1) Excessive fines shall not be imposed, nor cruel, degrading or inhuman punishment
inflicted. Neither shall death penalty be imposed, unless, for compelling reasons involving
heinous crimes, the Congress hereafter provides for it. Any death penalty already imposed
shall be reduced to reclusion perpetua.
(2) The employment of physical, psychological, or degrading punishment against any
prisoner or detainee or the use of substandard or inadequate penal facilities under subhuman
conditions shall be dealt with by law.
SEC. 20: No person shall be imprisoned for debt or non-payment of a poll tax.
MEANING OF DEBT - as intended to be covered by the constitutional guarantee, means any
liability to pay money arising out of a contract, express or implied.
MEANING OF POLL TAXES - is a tax of a fixed amount imposed on individuals residing within a
specified territory, whether citizens or not, without regard to their property or the occupation
in which they may be engaged.
SEC. 21: No person shall be twice put in jeopardy of punishment for the same offense. If an
act is punished by a law and an ordinance, conviction or acquittal under either shall
constitute a bar to another prosecution for the same act.
MEANING OF RIGHTS AGAINST DOUBLE JEOPARDY - means that when a person is charged with
an offense and the case is terminated either by acquittal or conviction or in any other manner
without the express consent of the accused, the latter cannot again be charged with the same
or identical offense.
SEC. 22: No ex post facto law or bill of attainder shall be enacted.
MEANING OF EX POST FACTO LAW
Makes an act done before the passage of the law ,innocent when done, criminal, and
punishes such act; or
Aggravates a crime or makes it greater than when it was committed; or
Changes the punishment and inflicts a greater punishment than what a law annexed to
the crime when committed; or
Alters the legal rules of evidence, and receives less testimony than or different testimony
from what the law required at the time of the commission of the offense, in order to
convict the offender.
CHARACTERISTIC OF EX POST FACTO LAW
Ex post facto laws relate to penal or criminal matters only.
They are retroactive in their operation; and
They are deprive persons accused of crime of some protection or defense previously
available, to their disadvantage.
MEANING OF BILL OF ATTAINDER - is a legislative act which inflicts punishment without judicial