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Estrada v.

Sandiganbayan
Joseph Ejercito Estrada is questioning whether or not the Plunder Law (RA 7080
amended by RA 7659) is unconstitutional for being a) vague, b) that the Plunder Law
requires less evidence for proving the predicate crimes of plunder and therefore
violates the rights of the accused to due process, and c) Whether Plunder as defined
in RA 7080 is a malum prohibitum, and if so, whether it is within the power of
Congress to so classify it. The Plunder law is constitutional.
Doctrine:
A statute or act may be said to be vague when it lacks comprehensible
standards that men of common intelligence must necessarily guess at its
meaning and differ in its application.

In such instance, the statute is

repugnant to the Constitution in two (2) respects - it violates due process for
failure to accord persons, especially the parties targeted by it, fair notice of
what conduct to avoid; and, it leaves law enforcers unbridled discretion in
carrying out its provisions and becomes an arbitrary flexing of the
Government muscle.
Void-for-vagueness doctrine - "a statute which either forbids or requires the
doing of an act in terms so vague that men of common intelligence must
necessarily guess at its meaning and differ as to its application, violates the
first essential of due process of law. Overbreadth doctrine- decrees that "a
governmental purpose may not be achieved by means which sweep
unnecessarily broadly and thereby invade the area of protected freedoms."
In a criminal prosecution for plunder, as in all other crimes, the accused
always has in his favor the presumption of innocence which is guaranteed by
the Bill of Rights, and unless the State succeeds in demonstrating by proof
beyond reasonable doubt that culpability lies, the accused is entitled to an
acquittal. The use of the "reasonable doubt" standard is indispensable to
command the respect and confidence of the community in the application of
criminal law. This "reasonable doubt" standard has acquired such exalted

stature in the realm of constitutional law as it gives life to the Due Process

Clause which protects the accused against conviction except upon proof
beyond reasonable doubt of every fact necessary to constitute the crime with
which he is charged.

Bel-Air Association v. IAC


The Mayor of Makati directed Bel-Air Village Association (BAVA) to open several
streets to the general public, after a series of developments in zoning regulations. All
streets were voluntarily opened except Jupiter St. Municipal officials force-opened
the gates of said street for public use. The area ceased to be purely residential.
Action for damages was brought against Ayala Corporation and BAVA for alleged
breach of contract, to maintain the purely residential status of the area along with
other cases which were all dismissed.
Doctrines:
The records do not establish the existence of such a purported commitment
(the wall). For one, the subdivision plans submitted did not mention anything
about it. For another, there is nothing in the "deed restrictions" that would
point to any covenant regarding the construction of a wall. There is no
representation or promise whatsoever therein to that effect.
Court cannot hold Ayala Corporation liable for damages for a commitment it
did not make, much less for alleged resort to machinations in evading it.
It is not that restrictive easements are invalid or ineffective. As far as the BelAir subdivision itself is concerned, they are valid and enforceable. But they
are, like all contracts, subject to the overriding demands, needs, and interests
of the greater number as the State may determine in the legitimate exercise
of police power. Our jurisdiction guarantees sanctity of contract and is said to
be the "law between the contracting parties, but while it is so, it cannot

contravene 'law, morals, good customs, public order, or public policy. Above
all, it cannot be raised as a deterrent to police power, designed precisely to
promote health, safety, peace, and enhance the common good, at the
expense of contractual rights, whenever necessary. The "non-impairment"
guaranty of the Constitution is secondary to the more compelling interests of
general welfare.