August 2012 Philippine Supreme Court Decisions on Political Law

Here are select August 2012 rulings of the Supreme Court of the Philippines on political law:

Constitutional law

Bill of rights; due process.  Due process, as a constitutional precept, does not always and in all situations require a trial-type proceeding.  It is satisfied when a person is notified of the charge against him and given an opportunity to explain or defend himself.  In administrative proceedings, the filing of charges and giving reasonable opportunity for the person so charged to answer the accusations against him constitute the minimum requirements of due process.  More often, this opportunity is conferred through written pleadings that the parties submit to present their charges and defenses.  But as long as a party is given the opportunity to defend his or her interests in due course, said party is not denied due process.  …  Since petitioner was given the opportunity to defend himself from the charges against him, as in fact he submitted a Counter-Affidavit with the PAGC, though he failed to comply with the order for the submission of position paper, he cannot complain of denial of due process.  Dr. Fernando A. Melendres M.D., Executive Director of the Lung Center of the Philippines [LCP] vs. President Anti-Graft Commission, et al., G.R. No. 163859, August 15, 2012.

Bill of rights; unreasonable searches; exclusionary rule Section 2, Article III of the Constitution mandates that a search and seizure must be carried out through or on the strength of a judicial warrant predicated upon the existence of probable cause, absent which such search and seizure becomes “unreasonable” within the meaning of said constitutional provision.  Evidence obtained and confiscated on the occasion of such an unreasonable search and seizure is tainted and should be excluded for being the proverbial fruit of a poisonous tree.  In the language of the fundamental law, it shall be inadmissible in evidence for any purpose in any proceeding.  Margarita Ambre Y Cayuni v. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 191532, August 15, 2012.

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