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SSS v CA

THE FUNDS contributed to the Social Security System (SSS) are not only imbued with
public interest, they are part and parcel of the fruits of the workers labors pooled into one
enormous trust fund under the administration of the System designed to insure against the
vicissitudes and hazards of their working lives. In a very real sense, the trust funds are the
workers property which they could turn to when necessity beckons and are thus more
personal to them than the taxes they pay. It is therefore only fair and proper that charges
against the trust fund be strictly scrutinized for every lawful and judicious opportunity to
keep it intact and viable in the interest of enhancing the welfare of their true and ultimate
beneficiaries.
This is a petition for certiorari under Rule 64 of the 1997 Rules of Civil
Procedure praying that this Court assess against the workers social security fund the amount
of P5,000.00 as contract signing bonus of each official and employee of the SSS. The gratuity
emanated from the collective negotiation agreement (CNA) executed on 10 July 1996
between the Social Security Commission (SSC) in behalf of the SSS and the Alert and
Concerned Employees for Better SSS (ACCESS), the sole and exclusive negotiating agent
for employees of the SSS.[1]In particular, Art. XIII of the CNA provided As a gesture of good will and benevolence, the Management agrees that once the Collective
Negotiation Agreement is approved and signed by the parties, Management shall grant each
official and employee of the SYSTEM the amount of P5,000.00 as contract signing bonus.[2]
To fund this undertaking, the SSC allocated P15,000,000.00 in the budgetary appropriation of
the SSS.[3]
On 18 February 1997 the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) declared as
illegal the contract signing bonus which the CNA authorized to be distributed among the
personnel of the SSS.[4] On 1 July 1997 the SSS Corporate Auditor disallowed fund releases
for the signing bonus since it was an allowance in the form of additional compensation
prohibited by the Constitution.[5]
Two (2) years later, in a letter dated 29 September 1999, ACCESS appealed the
disallowance to the Commission on Audit (COA).[6] On 5 July 2001 despite the delay in the
filing of the appeal, a procedural matter which COA considered to be inconsequential, [7] COA
affirmed the disallowance and ruled that the grant of the signing bonus was improper. [8] It
held that the provision on the signing bonus in the CNA had no legal basis since Sec. 16
of RA 7658 (1989)[9] had repealed the authority of the SSC to fix the compensation of its
personnel.[10] Hence the instant petition which, curiously, was filed in the name of the Social
Security System (and not ACCESS) by authority of the officer-in-charge for the
SSS[11] through its legal staff.[12]
Petitioner SSS argues that a signing bonus may be granted upon the conclusion of
negotiations leading to the execution of a CNA where it is specifically authorized by law and
that in the case at bar such legal authority is found in Sec. 3, par. (c), of RA 1161 as amended
(Charter of the SSS) which allows the SSC to fix the compensation of its personnel. On the

other hand, respondent COA asserts that the authority of the SSC to fix the compensation of
its personnel has been repealed by Secs. 12 and 16 of RA 6758 and is therefore no longer
effective.
We find no legitimate and compelling reason to reverse the COA. To begin with, the
instant petition is fatally defective. It was filed in the name of the SSS although no directive
from the SSC authorized the instant suit and only the officer-in-charge in behalf of petitioner
executed the purported directive. Clearly, this is irregular since under Sec. 4, par. 10, in
relation to par. 7,[13] RA 1161 as amended by RA 8282 (The Social Security Act of 1997, which
was already effective[14] when the instant petition was filed), it is the SSC as a collegiate body
which has the power to approve, confirm, pass upon or review the action of the SSS to sue in
court. Moreover, the appearance of the internal legal staff of the SSS as counsel in the present
proceedings is similarly questionable because under both RA 1161 and RA 8282 it is the
Department of Justice (DoJ) that has the authority to act as counsel of the SSS. [15] It is well
settled that the legality of the representation of an unauthorized counsel may be raised at any
stage of the proceedings[16] and that such illicit representation produces no legal effect.
[17]
Since nothing in the case at bar shows that the approval or ratification of the SSC has been
undertaken in the manner prescribed by law and that the DoJ has not delegated the authority
to act as counsel and appear herein, the instant petition must necessarily fail. These
procedural deficiencies are serious matters which this Court cannot take lightly and simply
ignore since the SSS is in reality confessing judgment to charge expenditure against the trust
fund under its custodianship.
In Premium Marble Resources v. Court of Appeals[18] we held that no person, not even its
officers, could validly sue in behalf of a corporation in the absence of any resolution from the
governing body authorizing the filing of such suit. Moreover, where the corporate officers
power as an agent of the corporation did not derive from such resolution, it would
nonetheless be necessary to show a clear source of authority from the charter, the by-laws or
the implied acts of the governing body.[19] Unfortunately there is no palpable evidence in the
records to show that the officer-in-charge could all by himself order the filing of the instant
petition without the intervention of the SSC, nor that the legal staff of SSS could act as its
counsel and appear therein without the intervention of the DoJ. The power of attorney
supposedly authorizing this suit as well as the signature of the legal counsel appearing on the
signing page of the instant petition is therefore ineffectual.
Indeed we find no merit in the claim that the employees and officers of SSS are entitled
to the signing bonus provided for in the CNA. In the first place, the process of collective
negotiations in the public sector does not encompass terms and conditions of employment
requiring the appropriation of public funds Sec. 13. Terms and conditions of employment or improvements thereof, except those that are
fixed by law, may be the subject of negotiations between duly recognized employees
organizations and appropriate government authorities.[20]
More particularly -

Sec. 3. Those that require appropriation of funds, such as the following, are not negotiable:
(a) Increase in salary emoluments and other allowances not presently provided for by law; (b)
Facilities requiring capital outlays; (c) Car plan; (d) Provident fund; (e) Special
hospitalization, medical and dental services; (f) Rice/sugar/other subsidies; (g) Travel
expenses; (h) Increase in retirement benefits.
Sec. 4. Matters that involve the exercise of management prerogatives, such as the following,
are likewise not subject to negotiation: (a) Appointment; (b) Promotion; (c)
Assignment/Detail; (d) Reclassification/ upgrading of position; (e) Revision of compensation
structure; (f) Penalties imposed as a result of disciplinary actions; (g) Selection of personnel
to attend seminar, trainings, study grants; (h) Distribution of work load; (I) External
communication linkages.[21]
Petitioner however argues that the charter of SSS authorizes the SSC to fix the
compensation of its employees and officers so that in reality the signing bonus is merely the
fruit of the exercise of such fundamental power. On this issue, we have to explain the relevant
amendments to the SSS charter in relation to the passage of RA 6758 (1989) entitled An Act
Prescribing a Revised Compensation and Position Classification in the Government and for
other Purposes.
When the signing bonus was bestowed upon each employee and officer of the SSS on 10
July 1996, which was earlier approved by the SSC on 3 July 1996, the governing charter of
the SSS was RA 1161 as amended by Sec. 1, RA 2658, and Sec. 1, PD 735. Under this
amended statute, the SSC was empowered to appoint an actuary, and such other personnel as
may be deemed necessary and to fix their compensation. [22] The law also provided that the
personnel of the SSS shall be selected only from civil service eligibles and be subject to civil
service rules and regulations.[23]
On 9 August 1989 Congress passed RA 6758 which took effect on 1 July 1989.[24] Its goal
was to provide equal pay for substantially equal work and to base differences in pay upon
substantive differences in duties and responsibilities, and qualification requirements of the
positions.[25] Towards this end, RA 6758 provided for the consolidation of allowances and
compensation in the prescribed standardized salary rates except certain specified
allowances[26] and such other additional compensation as may be determined by the
Department of Budget and Management.[27] The law also repealed [a]ll laws, decrees,
executive orders, corporate charters, and other issuances or parts thereof, that exempt
agencies from the coverage of the System, or that authorize and fix position classification,
salaries, pay rates or allowances of specified positions, or groups of officials and employees
or of agencies, which are inconsistent with the System, including the proviso under Section 2
and Section 16 of Presidential Decree No. 985.[28]
Although it was the clear policy intent of RA 6758 to standardize salary rates among
government personnel, the Legislature under Secs. 12[29] and 17[30] of the law nonetheless saw
the need for equity and justice in adopting the policy of non-diminution of pay when it
authorized incumbents as of 1 July 1989 to receive salaries and/or allowances over and above
those authorized by RA 6758. In Philippine Ports Authority v. Commission on Audit[31] we
held that no financial or non-financial incentive could be awarded to employees of

government owned and controlled corporations aside from benefits which were being
received by incumbent officials and employees as of 1 July 1989. This Court also observed The consequential outcome, under sections 12 and 17, is that if the incumbent resigns or is
promoted to a higher position, his successor is no longer entitled to his predecessors RATA
privilege x x x or to the transition allowance x x x x [A]fter July 1, 1989, additional financial
incentives such as RATA may no longer be given by GOCCs with the exception of those
which were authorized to be continued under Section 12 of RA 6758.
Evidently, while RA 6758 intended to do away with multiple allowances and other
incentive packages and the resulting differences in compensation among government
personnel, the statute clearly did not revoke existing benefits being enjoyed by incumbents of
government positions at the time of the passage of RA 6758 by virtue of Secs. 12 and 17
thereof. In previous rulings of this Court, among the financial and non-financial incentives
which we allowed certain government employees to enjoy after the effectivity of RA
6758 were car plan benefits[32] and educational funding assistance[33] for incumbents of
existing positions as of 1 July 1989 until such gratuity packages were gradually phased out.
We have no doubt that RA 6758 modified, if not repealed, Sec. 3, par. (c), of RA 1161 as
amended, at least insofar as it concerned the authority of SSC to fix the compensation of SSS
employees and officers. This means that whatever salaries and other financial and nonfinancial inducements that the SSC was minded to fix for them, the compensation must
comply with the terms of RA 6758. Consequently, only the remuneration which was being
offered as of 1 July 1989, and which was then being enjoyed by incumbent SSS employees
and officers, could be availed of exclusively by the same employees and officers separate
from and independent of the prescribed standardized salary rates. Unfortunately, however, the
signing bonus in question did not qualify under Secs. 12 and 17 of RA 6758. It was nonexistent as of 1 July 1989 as it accrued only in 1996 when the CNA was entered into by and
between SSC and ACCESS. The signing bonus therefore could not have been included in the
salutary provisions of the statute nor would it be legal to disburse to the intended recipients.
Philippine International Trading Corporation v. Commission on Audit [34] is instructive on
this point. Like the SSS, the Philippine International Trading Corporation (PITC) is a
government-owned and controlled corporation which was created under PD 252 (1973)
primarily for the purpose of promoting and developing Philippine trade in pursuance of
national economic development. In the same judgment which affirmed the car financing
program and allied incentives being implemented prior to 1 July 1989 we held that the charter
of PITC was impliedly repealed by RA 6758 We deem it necessary though to resolve the third issue as to whether PITC is exempt from PD
985 as subsequently amended by RA 6758. According to petitioner, PITCs Revised Charter,
PD 1071 dated January 25, 1977, as amended by EO 756 dated December 29, 1981, and
further amended by EO 1067 dated November 25, 1985, expressly exempted PITC from the
Office of the Compensation and Position Classification (OCPC) rules and regulations.
Petitioner cites Section 28 of P.D. 1071; Section 6 of EO 756; and Section 3 of EO 1067.
According to the COA in its Decision No. 98-048 dated January 27, 1998, the exemption

granted to the PITC has been repealed and revoked by the repealing provisions of RA 6758,
particularly Section 16 thereof which provides:
Sec. 16. Repeal of Special Salary Laws and Regulations. - All laws, decrees, executive
orders, corporate charters, and other issuances or parts thereof, that exempt agencies from the
coverage of the System, or that authorize and fix position classifications, salaries, pay rates or
allowances of specified positions, or groups of officials, and employees or of agencies, which
are inconsistent with the System, including the proviso under Section 2 and Section 16 of PD
No. 985 are hereby repealed.
To this, [PITC] argues that RA 6758 which is a law of general application cannot repeal
provisions of the Revised Charter of PITC and its amendatory laws expressly exempting
PITC from OCPC coverage being special laws x x x x In the case at bar, the repeal by Section
16 of RA 6758 of all corporate charters that exempt agencies from the coverage of the System
was clear and expressed necessarily to achieve the purposes for which the law was enacted,
that is, the standardization of salaries of all employees in government owned and / or
controlled corporations to achieve equal pay for substantially equal work. Henceforth, PITC
should now be considered as covered by laws prescribing a compensation and position
classification system in the government including RA 6758. This is without prejudice,
however, as discussed above, to the non-diminution of pay of incumbents as of July 1, 1989
as provided in Sections 12 and 17 of said law.
So we also rule in the instant case involving the charter of the SSS or RA 1161 as amended.
The enactment of RA 8282 entitled The Social Security Act of 1997 does not change our
holding. While it is true that Sec. 3, par. (c), of RA 8282 expressly exempted the SSS from the
provisions of RA 6758 and RA 7430 (The Attrition Law of 1992) thus The Commission, upon the recommendation of the SSS President, shall appoint an actuary
and such other personnel as may be deemed necessary; fix their reasonable compensation,
allowances and other benefits x x x x [t]hat the personnel of the SSS shall be selected only
from civil service eligibles and be subject to civil service rules and regulations: Provided,
finally, That the SSS shall be exempt from the provisions of Republic Act No. 6758 and
Republic Act No. 7430,
it bears emphasis that RA 8282 took effect only on 23 May 1997, i.e., fifteen (15) days after
its complete publication in two (2) newspapers of general circulation on 7 May 1997 [35] and 8
May 1997.[36] It holds to reason that the prospective application of the statute renders
irrelevant to the case at bar whatever effects this exemption may have on the power of the
SSC to fix the compensation of SSS personnel. Ironically, RA 8282 in fact buttresses our
ruling that the signing bonus cannot escape the provisions of RA 6758. The need to expressly
stipulate the exemption of the SSS can only mean that prior to the effectivity of RA 8282, the
SSS was subject to RA 6758 and even RA 7430 for, otherwise, there would have been no
reason to rope in such provision in RA 8282.
This Court has been very consistent in characterizing the funds being administered by
SSS as a trust fund for the welfare and benefit of workers and employees in the private sector.

[37]

In United Christian Missionary v. Social Security Commission [38] we were unequivocal in


declaring the funds contributed to the Social Security System by compulsion of law as funds
belonging to the members which were merely held in trust by the government, and resolutely
imposed the duty upon the trustee to desist from any and all acts which would diminish the
property rights of owners and beneficiaries of the trust fund. Consistent with this declaration,
it would indeed be very reasonable to construe the authority of the SSC to provide for the
compensation of SSS personnel in accordance with the established rules governing the
remuneration of trustees x x x x the modern rule is to give the trustee a reasonable remuneration for his skill and
industry x x x x In deciding what is a reasonable compensation for a trustee the court will
consider the amount of income and capital received and disbursed, the pay customarily given
to agents or servants for similar work, the success or failure of the work of the trustee, any
unusual skill which the trustee had and used, the amount of risk and responsibility, the time
consumed, the character of the work done (whether routine or of unusual difficulty) and any
other factors which prove the worth of the trustees services to the cestuis x x x x The court
has power to make extraordinary compensation allowances, but will not do so unless the
trustee can prove that he has performed work beyond the ordinary duties of his office and has
engaged in especially arduous work.[39]
On the basis of the foregoing pronouncement, we do not find the signing bonus to be a
truly reasonable compensation. The gratuity was of course the SSCs gesture of good will and
benevolence for the conclusion of collective negotiations between SSC and ACCESS, as the
CNA would itself state, but for what objective? Agitation and propaganda which are so
commonly practiced in private sector labor-management relations have no place in the
bureaucracy and that only a peaceful collective negotiation which is concluded within a
reasonable time must be the standard for interaction in the public sector. This desired conduct
among civil servants should not come, we must stress, with a price tag which is what the
signing bonus appears to be.
WHEREFORE, the instant Petition for Certiorari under Rule 64, 1997 Rules of Civil
Procedure, is DISMISSED. The Decision No. 2001-123 of the Commission on Audit and
the Notice of Disallowance No. 97-002-0101 (96) of the Social Security System Corporate
Auditor prohibiting the payment of P5,000.00 signing bonus to each employee and officer of
the Social Security System as stipulated in Art. XIII of the Collective Negotiation Agreement
and as approved in Resolution No. 593 of the Social Security Commission are AFFIRMED.
No pronouncement as to costs.
SO ORDERED.
Davide, Jr., C.J., Puno, Vitug, Kapunan, Mendoza, Panganiban, Quisumbing, YnaresSantiago, Sandoval-Gutierrez, Carpio, Austria-Martinez, and Corona, JJ., concur.

Landingin v Republic
Facts: Manuel, the father minors Elaine, Elma and Eugene died and Amelia, their mother
went to Italy and remarried. These minors were in the custody of their paternal grandmother
Maria. Subsequently, the latter died. Their aunt Diwata filed a petition for adoption of these
minors. It was alleged that Amelia consented to the adoption orally. Diwata is only a
restaurant server but his brother Mariano, who earns substantial income, signified his
willingness and commitment to support the minors while in petitioners custody. The
Regional Trial Court granted the petition but the Court of Appeals reversed the same on the
ground of lack of consent of the biological mother of the minors. Hence, the petition.
Issues: 1. Whether or not the petitioner is entitled to adopt the minors without the written
consent of Amelia Ramos.
2. Whether or not petitioner is financially capable of supporting the adoptees.
Ruling: The Supreme Court ruled both issues in the negative.
1. The general requirement of consent and notice to the natural parents is intended to protect
the natural parental relationship from unwarranted interference by interlopers, and to insure
the opportunity to safeguard the best interests of the child in the manner of the proposed

adoption. Clearly, the written consent of the biological parents is indispensable for the
validity of a decree of adoption. Indeed, the natural right of a parent to his child requires that
his consent must be obtained before his parental rights and duties may be terminated and reestablished in adoptive parents. In this case, petitioner failed to submit the written consent of
Amelia Ramos to the adoption. Petitioner, nonetheless, argues that the written consent of the
biological mother is no longer necessary because when Amelias husband died in 1990, she
left for Italy and never came back. However, when Amelia left for Italy, she had not intended
to abandon her children, or to permanently sever their mother-child relationship. She was
merely impelled to leave the country by financial constraints. Yet, even while abroad, she did
not surrender or relinquish entirely her motherly obligations of rearing the children to her
now deceased mother-in-law, for, as claimed by Elaine herself, she consulted her mother,
Amelia, for serious personal problems. Likewise, Amelia continues to send financial support
to the children, though in minimal amounts as compared to what her affluent inlaws provide.
2. Given these limited facts, it is indeed doubtful whether petitioner will be able to
sufficiently handle the financial aspect of rearing the three children in the US. She only has a
part-time job, and she is rather of age. While petitioner claims that she has the financial
support and backing of her children and siblings, the OSG is correct in stating that the ability
to support the adoptees is personal to the adopter, as adoption only creates a legal relation
between the former and the latter. Moreover, the records do not prove nor support petitioners
allegation that her siblings and her children are financially able and that they are willing to
support the minors herein.

In the matter of the adoption of Stephanie Nathy Astorga Garcia, Honorato B. Catindig,
petitioner
FACTS:
Honorato Catindig filed a petition to adopt his minor illegitimate child Stephanie Nathy
Astorga Garcia. He prayed that the child's middle name Astorga be changed to Garcia, her
mother's surname, and that her surname Garcia be changed to Catindig, his surname.
Trial court granted the petition and declared Stephanie as his legitimate child and heir, and
pursuant to Art. 189 of the Family Code, she is now known as Stephanie Nathy Catindig.
Honorato filed a motion for clarification and/or reconsideration that Stephanie should be
allowed to use the surname Garcia as her middle name.
The Republic, through the OSG, agreed with Honorato for her relationship with her natural
mother should be maintained and preserved, to prevent any confusion and hardship in the
future, and under Article 189 she remains to be an intestate heir of her mother.
ISSUE:
Whether or not an illegitimate child, upon adoption by her natural father, use the surname of
her natural mother as her middle name.

RULING:
Yes. there is no law prohibiting an illegitimate child adopted by her natural father, like
Stephanie, to use, as middle name her mothers surname, we find no reason why she should
not be allowed to do so.
Article 176 of the Family Code, as amended by Republic Act No. 9255, (An Act Allowing
Illegitimate Children To Use The Surname Of Their Father) is silent as to what middle name
a child may use. Article 365 of the CC merely provides that an adopted child shall bear the
surname of the adopter. Article 189 of the Family Code, enumerating the legal effects of
adoption, is likewise silent on the matter.
Republic Act No. 8552, (Domestic Adoption Act of 1998) an legitimate child by virtue of her
adoption, Stephanie is entitled to all the rights provided by law to a legitimate child without
discrimination of any kind, including the right to bear the surname of her father and her
mother.

Isabelita S. Lahom v Jose Melvin Sibulo


FACTS:
A childless couple adopted the wife's nephew and brought him up as their own. In 1972, the
trial court granted the petition for adoption, and ordered the Civil Registrar to change the
name Jose Melvin Sibulo to Jose Melvin Lahom. Mrs. Lahom commenced a petition to
rescind the decree of adoption, in which she averred, that, despite the her pleas and that of her
husband, their adopted son refused to use their surname Lahom and continue to use Sibulo in
all his dealing and activities. Prior to the institution of the case, in 1998, RA No. 8552 went
into effect. The new statute deleted from the law the right of adopters to rescind a decree of
adoption (Section 19 of Article VI).
These turn of events revealing Jose's callous indifference, ingratitude and lack of care and
concern prompted Lahom to file a petition in Court in December 1999 to rescind the decree
of adoption previously issued way back on May 5, 1972. When Lahom filed said petition
there was already a new law on adoption, specifically R.A. 8552 also known as the Domestic
Adoption Act passed on March 22,1998, wherein it was provided that: "Adoption, being in
the interest of the child, shall not be subject to rescission by the adopter(s). However the

adopter(s) may disinherit the adoptee for causes provided in Article 919 of the Civil Code"
(Section 19).
ISSUE:
Whether or not the subject adoption still be revoked or rescinded by an adopter after the
effectivity of R.A. No. 8552, and if in the affirmative, whether or not the adopters action
prescribed.
RULING:
Jurisdiction of the court is determined by the statute in force at the time of the
commencement of the action. The controversy should be resolved in the light of the law
governing at the time the petition was filed. In this case, it was months after the effectivity of
RA 8552 that Lahom filed an action to revoke the decree of adoption granted in 1972. By
then the new law had already abrogated and repealed the right of the adopter under the Civil
Code and the family Code to rescind a decree of adoption. So the rescission of the adoption
decree, having been initiated by Lahom after RA 8552 had come into force, could no longer
be pursued.
Besides, even before the passage of RA8552, an action to set aside the adoption is subject to
the five year bar rule under Rule 100 of the Rules of Court and that the adopter would lose
the right to revoke the adoption decree after the lapse of that period. The exercise of the right
within a prescriptive period is a condition that could not fulfill the requirements of a vested
right entitled to protection. Rights are considered vested when the right to the enjoyment is a
present interest, absolute, unconditional and perfect or fixed and irrefutable. The concept of a
"vested right" is a consequence of the constitutional guarantee of due process that expresses a
present fixed interest which in right reason and natural justice is protected against arbitrary
state action. While adoption has often been referred to in the context of a "right", it is not
naturally innate or fundamental but rather a right merely created by statute. It is more of a
privilege that is governed by the state's determination on what it may deem to be for the best
interest and welfare of the child. Matters relating to adoption, including the withdrawal of the
right of the adopter to nullify the adoption decree, are subject to State regulation.
Concomitantly, a right of action given by a statute may be taken away at any time before it
has been exercised.
But an adopter, while barred from severing the legal ties of adoption, can always for valid
reasons cause the forfeiture of certain benefits otherwise accruing to an undeserving child,
like denying him his legitime, and by will and testament, may expressly exclude him from
having a share in the disposable portion of his estate.

Chin Ah Foo v Concepcion


FACTS:
- On November 15, 1927, one Chan Sam (alias Chin Ah Woo), was charged with the
murder of Chin Ah Kim.
- CFI decision: the accused is acquitted. However, he is required to be committed for
treatment in San Lazaro Hospital, in accordance with article 8 of the Penal Code, with
the admonition that the accused be not permitted to leave the said institution without
first obtaining the permission of the court.
- In compliance with this order, Chan Sam was confined for approximately two years in
San Lazaro Hospital. During this period, efforts to obtain his release were made by his
wife and father-in-law to have him proceed to Hongkong.
- The wife and children of the victim opposed, and contended that Chan Sam was still
insane, and that he had made threats that if he ever obtained his liberty he would kill

the wife and the children of the deceased and probably other members of his own
family who were living in Hongkong.
Doctors Domingo and De los Angeles examined the mental condition of Chan Sam.
After a report had been submitted, counsel for the oppositors challenged the
jurisdiction of the court.
However, the respondent judge Concepcion sustained the court's right to make an
order in the premises and allowed Chan Sam to leave the San Lazaro Hospital to be
taken to Hongkong.
Judge Concepcion used Article 8 of the Penal Code as basis in issuing his order of
release. It provides that among those exempt from criminal liability are:
1. An imbecile or lunatic, unless the latter has acted during the lucid interval.
When the imbecile or lunatic has committed an act which the law defines as a
grave felony, the court shall order his confinement in one of the asylums
established for persons thus afflicted, which he shall not be permitted to leave
without first obtaining the permission of the same court.
Petitioners argue that Section 1048 of the Administrative Code has superseded or
supplemented article 8 of the Penal Code, provides as to the discharge of a patient
from custody from a hospital for the insane. It reads:
When in the opinion of the Director of Health any patient in any Government
hospital or other place for the insane is temporarily or permanently cured, or
may be released without danger, he may discharge such patient, and shall
notify the Judge of the Court of First Instance who ordered the commitment, in
case the patient is confined by order of the court.

ISSUE: Whether or not a judge has authority to unilaterally discharge an insane person he
has committed in a hospital or asylum.
RULING/RATIO: NO. Judge Concepcion erred
- An examination of article 8, paragraph 1, of the Penal Code discloses that the
permission of the court who orders the confinement of one accused of a grave felony
in an insane asylum is a prerequisite for obtaining release from the institution. The
respondent judge has based his action in this case on this provision of the law. On the
other hand, section 1048 of the Administrative Code grants to the Director of Health
authority to say when a patient may be discharged from an insane asylum.
- Implied repeal of provisions of law is frowned upon. It is likewise a canon of statutory
construction that when two portions of the law can be construed so that both can stand
together, this should be done.
- In this respect, the court believes that the authority of the courts can be sustained in
cases where the courts take action, while the authority of the Director of Health can be
sustained in other cases not falling within the jurisdiction of the courts. This latter
construction is reinforced by that portion of section 1048 of the Administrative Code
which requires the Director of Health to notify the Judge of First Instance who
ordered the commitment, in case the patient is confined by order of the court.
- The following represents our deductions and conclusions. Article 8 of the Penal Code
has not been impliedly repealed by section 1048 of the Administrative Code.
- Article 8 of the Penal Code and section 1048 of the Administrative Code can be
construed so that both can stand together. Considering article 8 of the Penal Code as
in force and construing this article and section 1048 of the Administrative Code, we
think that the Attorney-General was right in expressing the opinion that the Director
of Health was without power to release, without proper judicial authority, any person

confined by order of the court in an asylum pursuant to the provisions of article 8 of


the Penal Code.
We think also that the converse proposition is equally tenable, and is that any person
confined by order of the court in an asylum in accordance with article 8 of the Penal
Code cannot be discharged from custody in an insane asylum until the views of the
Director of Health have been ascertained as to whether or not the person is
temporarily or permanently cured or may be released without danger.
In other words, the powers of the courts and the Director of Health are
complementary each with the other. As a practical observation, it may further be said
that it is well to adopt all reasonable precautions to ascertain if a person confined in an
asylum as insane should be permitted to leave the asylum, and this can best be
accomplished through the joint efforts of the courts and the Director of Health in
proper cases.
Judge Concepcion acted patiently and cautiously in the matters which came before
him, yet he exceeded his authority when he issued his orders of December 26, 1929,
and March 17, 1930, without first having before him the opinion of the Director of
Health.

Moncupa v Enrile
Facts: Efren C. Moncupa, together with others, was arrested on 22 April 1982 at about 10:50
p.m. at the corner of D. Tuazon Street and Quezon Avenue, Quezon City. Moncupa was
brought to MIG-15 Camp Bago Bantay, Quezon City where he was detained. On 23 April
1982, on the allegation that he was a National Democratic Front (NDF) staff member, a
Presidential Commitment Order (PCO) was issued against him and 8 other persons. After two
separate investigations, conducted first, by Lieutenant Colonel Gerardo Lantoria, Jr., Chief of
Task Force Makabansa Investigation Group and second, by Investigating Fiscal Amado
Costales of Quezon City, it was ascertained that Moncupa was not a member of any
subversive organization. Both investigators recommended the prosecution of Moncupa only
for illegal possession of firearms and illegal possession of subversive documents under
Presidential Decree 33. Consequently, two separate informations were filed against Moncupa,
one, for illegal possession of firearms before the Court of First Instance of Rizal and the other

for violation of PD 33 before the City Court of Quezon City. Against the other accused,
however, the cases filed were for violation of PD 885 as amended. Moncupa was excluded
from the charge under the Revised Anti-Subversion Law. Moncupa's arraignment and further
proceedings have not been pursued, and yet, Moncupa's motions for bail were denied by the
lower court. Moncupa filed a petition for the writ of habeas corpus. Juan Ponce Enrile, Fabian
C. Ver, Galileo Kintanar, Fernando Gorospe, and Jose Castro contend that the petition has
become moot and academic must necessarily be denied, as Moncupa may have been released
from his detention cell (i.e. temporary release).
Issue: Whether the petition for the writ of habeas corpus has become moot and academic in
view of Moncupa's temporary release.
Held: Attached to Moncupa's temporary release are restrictions imposed on him, i.e. (1) His
freedom of movement is curtailed by the condition that petitioner gets the approval of
respondents for any travel outside Metro Manila. (2) His liberty of abode is restricted because
prior approval of respondents is also required in case petitioner wants to change his place of
residence. (3) His freedom of speech is muffled by the prohibition that he should not
"participate in any interview conducted by any local or foreign mass media representatives
nor give any press release or information that is inimical to the interest of national security."
(4) He is required to report regularly to respondents or their representatives. The reservation
of the military in the form of restrictions attached to the temporary release constitute
restraints on the liberty of Moncupa. Such restrictions limit the freedom of movement of
Moncupa. It is not physical restraint alone which is inquired into by the writ of habeas
corpus. In the light of the ruling in Villavicencio vs. Lukban, which held that "a prime
specification of an application for a writ of habeas corpus is restraint of liberty. The essential
object and purpose of the writ of habeas corpus is to inquire into all manner of involuntary
restraint as distinguished from voluntary, and to relieve a person therefrom if such restraint is
illegal. Any restraint which will preclude freedom of action is sufficient," the present petition
for habeas corpus has not become moot and academic. A release that renders a petition for a
writ of habeas corpus moot and academic must be one which is free from involuntary
restraints. Where a person continues to be unlawfully denied one or more of his constitutional
freedoms, where there is present a denial of due process, where the restraints are not merely
involuntary but appear to be unnecessary, and where a deprivation of freedom originally valid
has, in the light of subsequent developments, become arbitrary, the person concerned or those
applying in his behalf may still avail themselves of the privilege of the writ.

Glenn Caballes y Chua v CA


Before us is a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Revised Rules of Court filed by
the petitioner for the nullification of the Resolution of the Court of Appeals [1] which
dismissed his petition for the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus for his release from
detention despite the pendency of People of the Philippines v. Glenn Caballes[2] for rape, and
its resolution denying his motion for reconsideration thereof.
The antecedents are as follows:
On November 19, 2001, petitioner Glenn Chua Caballes was charged with rape of a
minor in the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Malabon City. The case was docketed as Criminal

Case No. 25756-MN and raffled to Branch 169, presided by Judge Emmanuel D. Laurea.
Because the petitioner was charged with a non-bailable offense, he was detained.
The petitioner was arraigned on February 7, 2002 and pleaded not guilty to the offense
charged. The prosecution presented two (2) witnesses, namely, Venice Vera Pio, the private
complainant, and her mother. The petitioner, through counsel, commenced his crossexamination of Pio, but failed to complete the same. In January 2003, the petitioner engaged
the services of a new counsel, Atty. Noel S. Sorreda, who entered his appearance as defense
counsel.[3]
During the trial of February 26, 2003, the petitioner continued his cross-examination of Pio
but still failed to terminate the same. The trial was set on March 6, 2003 for the petitioner to
terminate his cross-examination of Pio. However, due to the illness of the private prosecutor,
the trial on the said date did not proceed. The trial was further reset to March 17, 2003 during
which the petitioner continued with his cross-examination of the private complainant.
Thereafter, the continuation of trial was set on April 3, 21, and 30, 2003. On April 3, 2003,
the petitioner concluded his cross-examination of Pio. The prosecution declared that its next
witness would be Dr. Jose Arnel Marquez, the Medico-Legal Officer of the Philippine
National Police (PNP) Crime Laboratory, who had conducted a medico-legal examination of
the private complainant, but stated that he had not been subpoenad. The prosecution prayed
for the cancellation of the trial scheduled on April 21, 2003 to give the prosecution time to
secure and cause the service of a subpoena duces tecum on him. The petitioner conformed to
the motion of the prosecution.
On April 28, 2003, the petitioner filed a petition for bail.[4]
The trial of April 30, 2003 did not proceed because the petitioners counsel filed a
Manifestation[5] that his presence was required in an execution sale in Cavite. The said
counsel manifested that he reserved his right to cross-examine any witness the prosecution
would present in case trial would proceed on that date; on the other hand, in the event that the
trial court would cancel the trial, he would be available in May 2003 and during the first half
of June 2003.
The trial court reset the hearing of the case to 8:30 a.m. of June 19, 2003 and gave the
prosecution ten (10) days to file its opposition [6] to the petitioners petition for bail. It likewise
ordered the issuance of a subpoena to Dr. Jose Arnel Marquez to require him to attend the
trial on the said date.
On May 5, 2003, the petitioner filed a motion [7] seeking an earlier trial date, invoking his
right to speedy trial under the Speedy Trial Act of 1998. He also filed a motion for the urgent
resolution of his petition for bail.[8]
On May 12, 2003, the petitioner filed another motion [9] praying that the hearing
scheduled on June 19, 2003 be moved to an earlier date, preferably on May 26, 28 or 29,
2003. In the meantime, the prosecution filed its comment/opposition[10] to the petitioners
petition for bail.

On May 13, 2003, the court issued an Order [11] declaring that the petition for bail was
submitted for its resolution and denying the petitioners motion for an earlier trial date. On
June 16, 2003, the trial court issued its Order[12] denying the petition for bail, on its finding
that the evidence of guilt against the petitioner was strong.
During the trial of June 19, 2003, Dr. Marquez failed to appear before the court because,
in the meantime, he had been assigned to the Eastern Police District and failed to receive
thesubpoena issued to him by the court. The prosecution prayed for continuance, but the
petitioner objected and invoked his right to speedy trial. The court, nevertheless, granted the
motion and reset the trial to July 17, 2003.
On June 27, 2003, the court issued a subpoena duces tecum/ad testificandum to Dr. Jose
Arnel Marquez requiring him to appear for the trial set on July 17, 2003.[13]
On July 4, 2003, the petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the courts Order
dated June 16, 2003 denying his petition for bail. His motion was set for hearing, also on July
17, 2003. However, the petitioner preempted the resolution of his motion for reconsideration
and filed a Motion to Dismiss[14] the case on July 11, 2003 on the ground that his right to
speedy trial had been violated. He made the following allegations:
1. The hearings in the instant case have more often than not been scheduled more than one
month apart;
2. In the hearing on April 30, 2003, in particular, the day before undersigned counsel had
filed a Manifestation stating inter alia that his available dates for the next hearing may be any
Monday, Wednesday or Thursday for the whole of May 2003 and the first half of June 2003,
except on May 14 and 21 yet Atty. Manalaysay asked for the next hearing on June 19 which
is already outside or beyond the dates mentioned in the manifestation, and which was more
than 1-1/2 months away, but which the Honorable Court nonetheless granted;
3. Atty. Manalaysay has never been able to present any good cause as to how come he was
not able to present Dr. Marquez on April 30, 2003, and then again on June 19, 2003; and as
aforesaid, his absence on March 6, 2003 has not been supported by any medical certificate;
4. The first hearing in the instant case was held on June 13, 2002, thus it has now been more
than one year, or close to 400 days ago since trial started; neither has there been any
authorization from the Supreme Court that the trial period may exceed 180 days;
5. There has been no statement by the Honorable Court in any of its orders granting
continuance that the ends of justice served by taking such action outweigh the best interest of
the public and the accused in a speedy trial;
6. As above stated, it appears that the prosecution made a false statement before the
Honorable Court in claiming they had asked Dr. Marquez to testify in the June 19, 2003
hearing, when in fact they had not.[15]

Dr. Jose Arnel Marquez had apparently still not received the subpoena issued by the trial
court, because of which the prosecution again failed to present him as a witness during the
trial of July 17, 2003. The prosecution prayed for continuance, to which the petitioner
vigorously objected. The court, however, granted the motion and reset the trial to August 11,
2003.[16]
On July 24, 2003, Judge Laurea issued an Order [17] inhibiting himself from hearing the
case to avoid being misunderstood, to preserve his reputation for probity and objectivity and
to live up to the ideal impartial administration of justice. The case was re-raffled to Branch
170, presided by Judge Benjamin T. Antonio, who calendared the case for trial on September
8, 2003. Nevertheless, on August 11, 2003, the petitioner filed a Motion for
Reconsideration[18] of Judge Laureas Order dated July 24, 2003, which the latter denied, on
the finding that no cogent reason was presented to reconsider the same.[19]
During the hearing on September 8, 2003, Judge Antonio granted the private prosecutors
motion to be given five (5) days within which to oppose the petitioners motion to dismiss.
Judge Antonio also set the trial on September 18, 2003.[20] On the latter date, the trial court
issued an Omnibus Order[21] denying the petitioners motion to dismiss. The trial court
reasoned that there was no violation of the petitioners right to speedy trial, considering that
the apparent delays could not be attributed to the fault of the prosecution alone. The trial
court noted that the petitioner also sought Postponements of the trials.
Anent the motion for reconsideration of the courts Order dated June 16, 2003 which
denied the petition for bail, the trial court considered the same as having been abandoned by
the petitioner upon the filing of his motion to dismiss the case without waiting for the
resolution of his motion for reconsideration on his petition for bail.
The petitioner then filed with the Court of Appeals (CA) a Petition for Habeas
Corpus and/or Certiorari and Prohibition.[22] On October 2, 2003, the CA issued a Resolution
requiring the petitioner to inform the court of his choice of remedy within five (5) days from
notice thereof. In compliance therewith, the petitioner filed a manifestation with the appellate
court that he had chosen his petition to be treated as a petition for habeas corpus without
prejudice to the concomitant application of certiorari if the court considered the same
necessary or appropriate to give effect to the writ of habeas corpus.
The petitioner averred that (a) he was deprived of his right to a speedy trial and his
constitutional right to a speedy disposition of the case; (b) Judge Laurea erred in inhibiting
himself from the case; (c) the trial court committed grave abuse of its discretion in denying
his petition for bail; and (d) Judge Antonio had prejudged the case against him.
On December 9, 2003, the CA issued its assailed Resolution dismissing the petition, viz:
WHEREFORE, for being the wrong or improper remedy, the PETITION FOR HABEAS
CORPUS is DISMISSED.
SO ORDERED.[23]

According to the appellate court, while the petitioner manifested his preference that his
petition be treated as a petition for habeas corpus, the same was not the proper remedy to
review and examine the proceedings before the trial court and as a relief from the petitioners
perceived oppressive situation in the trial court. The CA further emphasized that a writ
ofhabeas corpus is not a writ of error; that it could not exercise its certiorari jurisdiction over
the acts or omission of the respondent judge as a concomitant remedy; and that the remedy
forhabeas corpus and certiorari are different in nature, scope and purpose. The appellate court
declared that the petitioner failed to present any evidence to prove that there was any
intentional or deliberate delay caused to prejudice him; nor was there any malice in the
failure of the prosecution to promptly serve the subpoena duces tecum/ad testificandum to its
witnesses. The court also noted that the resetting of petitioners case may also be attributed to
the voluminous work of the RTC involved.
The petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration of the said decision contending that (a)
the congestion of the trial courts calendar is not a valid ground for continuance of the trial;
(b) the trial court failed to secure an extension of time of the trial period from the Supreme
Court; (c) the trial court should have given a precedence to the case, the charge therein being
a heinous crime; (d) his petition for a writ of habeas corpus was proper because his continued
detention had become illegal, following the prosecutor and the trial courts violation of his
right to a speedy trial, and the trial courts denial of his motion to dismiss the case and his
petition for bail which was tainted with grave abuse of discretion; and (e) a writ of habeas
corpus may be issued with the writ of certiorari for the purpose of review. However, the CA
denied the petitioners motion for lack of merit.
The petitioner filed a petition for certiorari in this Court under Rule 65 of the Rules of
Court reiterating the grounds contained in his motion for reconsideration of the CA decision.
The petitioner averred that the appellate court committed grave abuse of discretion amounting
to excess or lack of jurisdiction in rendering its resolution, as well as the resolution denying
his motion for reconsideration thereof.
In its comment on the petition, the Office of the Solicitor General submits that a petition
for a writ of habeas corpus is not the proper remedy to assail the trial courts order denying
his petition for bail, motion to dismiss the case, and Judge Laureas order of inhibition. The
OSG posits that the petitioner was not deprived of his constitutional right to a speedy
disposition of his case as well as under the Speedy Trial Act.
The issues for resolution are the following: (a) whether or not the decision of the CA is
already final and executory; (b) whether the proper remedy from the appellate courts denial
of a petitioner for a writ if habeas corpus is a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the
Rules of Court; and (c) if in the affirmative, whether or not the petitioner is entitled to the
issuance of the writ.
On the first issue, we find and so rule that the petitioners recourse to this Court via a
petition for certiorari from the decision of the CA dismissing his petition for a writ of habeas
corpusis inappropriate. Section 39 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129 provides that the period for
appeal from the judgment of any court in habeas corpus cases shall be forty-eight (48) hours
from notice of the judgment appealed from. While the said provision was not incorporated in

the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, this Court approved Administrative Matter No. 01-1-03SC amending Section 3, Rule 41of the said Rules, which took effect on July 15, 2001, thus:
SEC. 3. Period of ordinary appeal; appeal in habeas corpus cases.The appeal shall be taken
within fifteen (15) days from notice of the judgment or final order appealed from. Where a
record on appeal is required, the appellant shall file a notice of appeal and a record on appeal
within thirty (30) days from notice of the judgment or final order. However, an appeal
in habeas corpus cases shall be taken within forty-eight (48) hours from notice of the
judgment or final order appealed from.
The period of appeal shall be interrupted by a timely motion for new trial or reconsideration.
No motion for extension of time to file a motion for new trial or reconsideration shall be
allowed.
Following the rule, the petitioner should have appealed to this Court from the CA
decision denying his petition for a writ of habeas corpus, as well as the denial of his motion
for reconsideration thereof; instead, the petitioner filed a petition for certiorari under Rule 65
of the Rules of Court, as amended. The well-settled rule is that certiorari is not available
where the aggrieved partys remedy of appeal is plain, speedy and adequate in the ordinary
course, the reason being that certiorari cannot co-exist with an appeal or any other adequate
remedy. The existence and availability of the right to appeal are antithetical to the availment
of the special civil action for certiorari. These two remedies are mutually exclusive. [24] An
appeal in this case would still have been a speedy and adequate remedy. Consequently, when
the petitioner filed his petition in this Court, the decision of the CA was already final and
executory.
It bears stressing that a decision in a habeas corpus action stands in no different position
than with any other proceeding and if the appealed decision is to be reviewed by an appellate
court, the remedy is by writ of error because the error committed by the court is an error of
judgment and not an error of jurisdiction.[25]
Besides, as correctly held by the CA, a writ of habeas corpus is not the proper remedy to
assail the trial courts denial of the petitioners motion to dismiss the case, the denial of the
petition for bail, as well as the voluntary inhibition of Judge Laurea.
A petition for the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus is a special proceeding governed
by Rule 102 of the Rules of Court, as amended. In Ex Parte Billings,[26] it was held
that habeas corpus is that of a civil proceeding in character. It seeks the enforcement of civil
rights. Resorting to the writ is not to inquire into the criminal act of which the complaint is
made, but into the right of liberty, notwithstanding the act and the immediate purpose to be
served is relief from illegal restraint. The rule applies even when instituted to arrest a criminal
prosecution and secure freedom. When a prisoner petitions for a writ of habeas corpus, he
thereby commences a suit and prosecutes a case in that court.[27]
Habeas corpus is not in the nature of a writ of error; nor intended as substitute for the
trial courts function.[28] It cannot take the place of appeal, certiorari or writ of error. The writ
cannot be used to investigate and consider questions of error that might be raised relating to

procedure or on the merits. The inquiry in a habeas corpus proceeding is addressed to the
question of whether the proceedings and the assailed order are, for any reason, null and void.
[29]
The writ is not ordinarily granted where the law provides for other remedies in the regular
course, and in the absence of exceptional circumstances. Moreover, habeas corpus should not
be granted in advance of trial.[30] The orderly course of trial must be pursued and the usual
remedies exhausted before resorting to the writ where exceptional circumstances are extant.
In another case, it was held that habeas corpus cannot be issued as a writ of error or as a
means of reviewing errors of law and irregularities not involving the questions of jurisdiction
occurring during the course of the trial, subject to the caveat that constitutional safeguards of
human life and liberty must be preserved, and not destroyed. [31] It has also been held that
where restraint is under legal process, mere errors and irregularities, which do not render the
proceedings void, are not grounds for relief by habeas corpus because in such cases, the
restraint is not illegal.[32]
Habeas corpus is a summary remedy. It is analogous to a proceeding in rem when
instituted for the sole purpose of having the person of restraint presented before the judge in
order that the cause of his detention may be inquired into and his statements final. [33] The writ
of habeas corpus does not act upon the prisoner who seeks relief, but upon the person who
holds him in what is alleged to be the unlawful authority.[34] Hence, the only parties before the
court are the petitioner (prisoner) and the person holding the petitioner in custody, and the
only question to be resolved is whether the custodian has authority to deprive the petitioner of
his liberty.[35] The writ may be denied if the petitioner fails to show facts that he is entitled
theretoex merito justicias.[36]
A writ of habeas corpus, which is regarded as a palladium of liberty is a prerogative writ
which does not issue as a matter of right but in the sound discretion of the court or judge. It,
is, however, a writ of right on proper formalities being made by proof. [37] Resort to the writ is
to inquire into the criminal act of which a complaint is made but unto the right of liberty,
notwithstanding the act, and the immediate purpose to be served is relief from illegal
restraint.[38] The primary, if not the only object of the writ of habeas corpus ad
subjuciendum is to determine the legality of the restraint under which a person is held.[39]
Our review of the petitioners material averments in his petition before the CA reveals
that it was a petition for habeas corpus or, in the alternative, a petition for a writ of certiorari
The petitioner assailed therein the orders of the trial court denying his petition for bail and his
motion to dismiss on the ground that he was deprived of his right to a speedy disposition of
the case against him, and questioned Judge Laureas order of inhibition. We agree with the CA
that a petition for a writ of habeas corpus cannot be joined with the special civil action for
certiorari because the two remedies are governed by a different set of rules. Rule 2, Section
5(b) of the Rules of Court mandates that the joinder of causes of action shall not include
special actions or actions governed by special rules, thus proscribing the joinder of a special
proceeding with a special civil action.
We also agree with the ruling of the CA that a petition for a writ of habeas corpus is a
remedy different from the special civil action of certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of
Court, as amended. The writ of habeas corpus is a collateral attack on the processes, orders,
or judgment of the trial court, while certiorari is a direct attack of said processes, orders, or

judgment on the ground of lack of jurisdiction or grave abuse of discretion amounting to


excess or lack of jurisdiction. A writ of certiorari reaches only jurisdictional errors. It has no
other use, except to bring before the court a record material to be considered in exercising
jurisdiction. A writ of certiorari reaches the record. On the other hand, a writ of habeas
corpus reaches the body but not the record; it also reaches jurisdictional matters but does not
reach the record. However, when jurisdiction is obtained by the issuance of a writ of habeas
corpus, to bring the body of the person whose liberty is involved into court, and if it is
necessary, to provide the record upon which the detention is based, that may be accomplished
by using a writ of certiorari as an ancillary proceeding, i.e., it is subordinate to or in aid of the
primary action for the purpose of impeaching the record. When a writ of certiorari is issued as
the foundation of jurisdiction to bring it and direct upon the validity of a judicial
determination by any body or officer, jurisdictional questions only are reached, and such
questions pertaining to the detention made by the officer or body particularly complained of.
[40]

The petitioner manifested to the appellate court that his petition should be treated as a
petition for habeas corpus. Even then, the CA rightly dismissed the petition because the
petitioner failed to establish his right to the writ. The records show that the petitioner was
charged with rape punishable by reclusion perpetua and was detained based on the said
charge; hence, if the evidence of his guilt is strong, he shall not be admitted to bail regardless
of the stage of the criminal prosecution.[41] There is no question that the trial court had
jurisdiction over the offense charged and over the person of the petitioner. The jail warden
has the authority and, in fact, is mandated to detain the petitioner until granted bail by the
court, or the case against him dismissed, or until he is acquitted after trial. The petitioner
failed to establish that his incarceration pendente lite was illegal, and likewise failed to
establish exceptional circumstances warranting the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus by the
appellate court.
In Galvez v. Court of Appeals,[42] the Court ruled that a petition for habeas corpus is not
the proper remedy to assail the denial thereof:
The original jurisdiction to grant or deny bail rested with said respondent. The correct course
was for petitioner to invoke that jurisdiction by filing a petition to be admitted to bail,
claiming a right to bail per se by reason of the weakness of the evidence against him. Only
after that remedy was denied by the trial court should the review jurisdiction of this Court
have been invoked, and even then, not without first applying to the Court of Appeals if
appropriate relief was also available there.[43]
The remedy of the petitioner from the Order of the trial court denying his petition for
bail was to file a petition for certiorari in the CA if the trial court committed a grave abuse of
its discretion amounting to excess or lack of jurisdiction in issuing the said order.[44] If the
petitioner had done so, his petition would have been granted because as gleaned from the
assailed order of the trial court, it failed to summarize the testimonies of the private
complainant and that of her mother. Hence, such order is invalid. [45] The trial court would
have had to issue another order containing the summary of the testimonies of the private
complainant and her mother, including its findings and conclusions. However, the petitioner
would still not be entitled to be released from detention in the meantime.

It bears stressing that under the second paragraph of Section 1, Rule 137 [46] of the Rules
of Court, the voluntary inhibition of a Judge is addressed to his sound discretion for just or
valid reasons, the primary consideration being that the peoples faith in the courts of justice is
not impaired.[47] The petitioner should have thus filed a petition for certiorari and/or
prohibition in the CA, instead of a petition for habeas corpus.
In cases where the right of the accused to a speedy trial is violated by the prosecution,
the remedy lies in the procedure provided for under Republic Act No. 8493, as implemented
by Rule 119 of the 2000 Rules of Criminal Procedure. Section 8 of the said Rule provides:
SEC. 8. Sanctions. In any case in which private counsel for the accused, the public attorney,
or the prosecutor:
(a) Knowingly allows the case to be set for trial without disclosing that a necessary witness
would be unavailable for trial;
(b) Files a motion solely for delay which he knows is totally frivolous and without merit;
(c) Makes a statement for the purpose of obtaining continuance which he knows to be false
and which is material to the granting of a continuance; or
(d) Willfully fails to proceed to trial without justification consistent with the provisions
hereof, the court may punish such counsel, attorney, or prosecutor, as follows:
(1) By imposing on a counsel privately retained in connection with the defense of an accused,
a fine not exceeding twenty thousand pesos (P20,000.00);
(2) By imposing on any appointed counsel de oficio, public attorney, or prosecutor a fine not
exceeding five thousand pesos (P5,000.00); and
(3) By denying any defense counsel or prosecutor the right to practice before the court trying
the case for a period not exceeding thirty (30) days. The punishment provided for by this
section shall be without prejudice to any appropriate criminal action or other sanction
authorized under these Rules.
If the trial court acted with grave abuse of its discretion amounting to excess of lack of
jurisdiction in granting the prosecutions motion for the resetting of the trial over the
petitioners objections, the more appropriate remedy would have been to file a petition for
certiorari and/or a petition for mandamus to compel the trial court to comply with the
timeline provided for by the said Rule for trial and termination of the case.
It was inappropriate for the petitioner to file a petition for habeas corpus assailing the
trial courts order denying his motion to dismiss the case for failure to comply with the
timeline provided for by the said Rules. Reading and evaluating the assailed Order of the trial
court dated September 18, 2000, it cannot be gainsaid that the court violated the right of the
petitioner to speedy trial. Thus:

The instant motion is anchored on the alleged violation of and/or to enforce the right of the
accused to speedy trial. In invoking such right, the accused contends that the failure of the
prosecution to present the medico-legal officer who examined the victim on two (2)
occasions, and the non-appearance of the private prosecutor on one occasion caused undue
delay in the proceedings of this case.
The prosecution vigorously opposed the Motion to Dismiss and claimed that since the
prosecution has not yet rested its case, the Court may not be able to appreciate the merits of
the instant motion in the light of the unfinished presentation of evidence for the prosecution
and that the grounds relied by the defense do not touch on the sufficiency of the prosecutions
evidence to prove the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt, but rather on the alleged
delay and failure to present Dr. Jose Arnel Marquez of the PNP Crime Laboratory.
After due consideration, the Court finds the instant motion untenable. The alleged delay and
failure to present the medico-legal officer cannot be attributed to the fault of the prosecution
and/or the Court. The prosecution and the Court cannot encroach on the right of the medicolegal officer to appear inasmuch as his schedule conflicted with the hearings set for his
appearance. Moreover, delays assailed by defense counsel that violated accused right to
speedy trial are not all at the instance of the prosecution. In fact, the defense, contributed to
the delay since the former defense counsel and even the present defense counsel sought
postponements of the hearings.
Be that as it may, despite the non-presentation of the medico-legal officer, the Court (Branch
169) proceeded in resolving the Petition for Bail of the accused (albeit unfavorable to the
cause of the accused) on the basis of the sole testimony of the complainant, which is backed
up by several jurisprudence to this effect. The defense, filed a Motion for Reconsideration of
said denial after he has filed a Motion to Dismiss. The filing of these pleadings adds to the
delay until the Presiding Judge who denied the Petition for Bail voluntarily inhibited himself
from this case. Then when the Motion to Dismiss was set for hearing, the Court, in an attempt
to expedite the proceedings, suggested for the parties to stipulate on the medical findings of
the medico-legal officer so as to dispense with his presentation. Defense counsel, however,
would not want to enter into such a stipulation. Hence, another delay.[48]
We agree with the petitioner that a petition for the issuance of a writ of habeas
corpus may be filed if one is deprived of his right to a speedy disposition of the case under
Article IV, Section 16 of the 1987 Constitution and of his right to due process. [49] However,
the petitioner never invoked in the trial court his constitutional right to a speedy disposition
of the case against him. What he invoked was his right to a speedy trial under Rule 119 of the
2000 Rules of Criminal Procedure. He invoked his constitutional right to a speedy disposition
of the case against him, for the first time, only in the Court of Appeals when he filed his
petition for habeas corpus.
Even then, the petitioner failed to establish his claim that he was deprived of his right to
a speedy disposition of the case. In Marilyn Corpuz, et al., v. Sandiganbayan,[50] the Court
had the occasion to state

The right of the accused to a speedy trial and to a speedy disposition of the case against him
was designed to prevent the oppression of the citizen by holding criminal prosecution
suspended over him for an indefinite time, and to prevent delays in the administration of
justice by mandating the courts to proceed with reasonable dispatch in the trial of criminal
cases. Such right to a speedy trial and a speedy disposition of a case is violated only when the
proceeding is attended by vexatious, capricious and oppressive delays. The inquiry as to
whether or not an accused has been denied such right is not susceptible by precise
qualification. The concept of a speedy disposition is a relative term and must necessarily be a
flexible concept.
While justice is administered with dispatch, the essential ingredient is orderly, expeditious
and not mere speed. It cannot be definitely said how long is too long in a system where
justice is supposed to be swift, but deliberate. It is consistent with delays and depends upon
circumstances. It secures rights to the accused, but it does not preclude the rights of public
justice. Also, it must be borne in mind that the rights given to the accused by the Constitution
and the Rules of Court are shields, not weapons; hence, courts are to give meaning to that
intent.
The Court emphasized in the same case that:
A balancing test of applying societal interests and the rights of the accused necessarily
compels the court to approach speedy trial cases on an ad hoc basis.
In determining whether the accused has been deprived of his right to a speedy disposition of
the case and to a speedy trial, four factors must be considered: (a) length of delay; (b) the
reason for the delay; (c) the defendants assertion of his right; and (d) prejudice to the
defendant. Prejudice should be assessed in the light of the interest of the defendant that the
speedy trial was designed to protect, namely: to prevent oppressive pre-trial incarceration; to
minimize anxiety and concerns of the accused to trial; and to limit the Possibility that his
defense will be impaired. Of these, the most serious is the last, because the inability of a
defendant adequately to prepare his case skews the fairness of the entire system. There is also
prejudice if the defense witnesses are unable to recall accurately the events of the distant past.
Even if the accused is not imprisoned prior to trial, he is still disadvantaged by restraints on
his liberty and by living under a cloud of anxiety, suspicion and often, hostility. His financial
resources may be drained, his association is curtailed, and he is subjected to public obloquy.
Delay is a two-edged sword. It is the government that bears the burden of proving its case
beyond reasonable doubt. The passage of time may make it difficult or impossible for the
government to carry its burden. The Constitution and the Rules do not require impossibilities
or extraordinary efforts, diligence or exertion from courts or the prosecutor, nor contemplate
that such right shall deprive the State of a reasonable opportunity of fairly prosecuting
criminals. As held in Williams v. United States, for the government to sustain its right to try
the accused despite a delay, it must show two things: (a) that the accused suffered no serious
prejudice beyond that which ensued from the ordinary and inevitable delay; and (b) that there
was no more delay than is reasonably attributable to the ordinary processes of justice.

Closely related to the length of delay is the reason or justification of the State for such delay.
Different weights should be assigned to different reasons or justifications invoked by the
State. For instance, a deliberate attempt to delay the trial in order to hamper or prejudice the
defense should be weighted heavily against the State. Also, it is improper for the prosecutor
to intentionally delay to gain some tactical advantage over the defendant or to harass or
prejudice him. On the other hand, the heavy case load of the prosecution or a missing witness
should be weighted less heavily against the State.
In this case, the petitioner was arraigned on February 7, 2002. In the meantime, he was
able to present only two witnesses. The petitioner failed to terminate the cross-examination of
the private complainant by the year 2002. The Court cannot determine the reason for the
delay because the records of the RTC are not before it. Neither of the parties made any
explanation for the delay; nor is there any showing that the counsel of the petitioner
complained about the delay. Aside from the petitioners claim that the private prosecutor failed
to give good cause for his failure to present Dr. Jose Arnel Marquez during the trial dates
April 30, 2003 and June 19, 2003, as well as to substantiate his absence during the trial of
March 6, 2003 with a medical certificate, the petitioner failed to support his claim in his
pleadings before the CA and in this Court. On the other hand, the counsel of the petitioner
was absent during the trial on April 30, 2003 because he had to attend an execution sale in
Cavite. The petitioners counsel gave priority to the execution sale and asked for a resetting
despite the fact that his client, the petitioner, was detained for a quasi-heinous crime. While it
is true that the trial was reset to June 19, 2003, or more than one month from April 30, 2003,
the petitioners counsel himself manifested that he was available for trial during the first half
of June 2003. There was a difference of only four (4) days from the trial date set by the court
and the available dates suggested by the petitioners counsel. It bears stressing that trial dates
cannot be set solely at the convenience of the petitioners counsel. The trial dates available in
the calendar of the court and of the prosecutor must also be taken into account.
Hence, it cannot be said that the petitioner was deprived of his right to a speedy
disposition of the case simply because the private prosecutor failed to submit a medical
certificate for his absence during the trial of March 6, 2003. The petitioner could have asked
the court to cite the private prosecutor in contempt of court for his failure to submit the said
certificate; he failed to do so. Moreover, the petitioner failed to establish any serious
prejudice by the delay of the trial, and that the State deliberately delayed the trial to prejudice
him.
IN LIGHT OF ALL THE FOREGOING, the petition is DENIED for lack of merit. No
costs.
SO ORDERED.
Puno, (Chairman), Austria-Martinez, Tinga, and Chico-Nazario, JJ., concur.

Thornton v Thornton

This is a petition to review, under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, the July 5, 2002
resolution[1] of the Court of Appeals, Sixteenth Division, in CA G.R. SP No. 70501 dismissing
the petition for habeas corpus on the grounds of lack of jurisdiction and lack of substance.
The dispositive portion[2] read:
WHEREFORE, the Court DISMISSES the petition for habeas corpus
on the grounds that: a) this Court has no jurisdiction over the subject matter of
the petition; and b) the petition is not sufficient in substance.
Petitioner, an American, and respondent, a Filipino, were married on August 28, 1998 in the
Catholic Evangelical Church at United Nations Avenue, Manila. A year later, respondent gave
birth to a baby girl whom they named Sequeira Jennifer Delle Francisco Thornton.
However, after three years, respondent grew restless and bored as a plain housewife. She
wanted to return to her old job as a guest relations officer in a nightclub, with the freedom to
go out with her friends. In fact, whenever petitioner was out of the country, respondent was
also often out with her friends, leaving her daughter in the care of the househelp.
Petitioner admonished respondent about her irresponsibility but she continued her carefree
ways. On December 7, 2001, respondent left the family home with her daughter Sequiera
without notifying her husband. She told the servants that she was bringing Sequiera to Purok
Marikit, Sta. Clara, Lamitan, Basilan Province.
Petitioner filed a petition for habeas corpus in the designated Family Court in Makati City but
this was dismissed, presumably because of the allegation that the child was in Basilan.
Petitioner then went to Basilan to ascertain the whereabouts of respondent and their daughter.
However, he did not find them there and the barangay office of Sta. Clara, Lamitan, Basilan,
issued a certification[3] that respondent was no longer residing there.
Petitioner gave up his search when he got hold of respondents cellular phone bills showing
calls from different places such as Cavite, Nueva Ecija, Metro Manila and other provinces.
Petitioner then filed another petition for habeas corpus, this time in the Court of Appeals
which could issue a writ of habeas corpus enforceable in the entire country.
However, the petition was denied by the Court of Appeals on the ground that it did not have
jurisdiction over the case. It ruled that since RA 8369 (The Family Courts Act of 1997) gave
family courts exclusive original jurisdiction over petitions for habeas corpus, it impliedly
repealed RA 7902 (An Act Expanding the Jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals) and Batas
Pambansa 129 (The Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980):
Under Sec. 9 (1), BP 129 (1981) the Intermediate Appellate Court
(now Court of Appeals) has jurisdiction to issue a writ of habeas corpus
whether or not in aid of its appellate jurisdiction. This conferment of
jurisdiction was re-stated in Sec. 1, RA 7902 (1995), an act expanding the
jurisdiction of this Court. This jurisdiction finds its procedural expression in
Sec. 1, Rule 102 of the Rules of Court.
In 1997, RA 8369 otherwise known as Family Courts Act was enacted. It
provides:

Sec. 5. Jurisdiction of Family Court. The Family Courts shall


have exclusive original jurisdiction to hear and decide the
following cases:
xxx xxx xxx
b. Petition for guardianship, custody of children,
habeas corpus in relation to the latter.
The vital question is, did RA 8369 impliedly repeal BP 129 and RA 7902
insofar as the jurisdiction of this Court to issue writ of habeas corpus in
custody of minor cases is concerned? The simple answer is, yes, it did,
because there is no other meaning of the word exclusive than to constitute the
Family Court as the sole court which can issue said writ. If a court other than
the Family Court also possesses the same competence, then the jurisdiction of
the former is not exclusive but concurrent and such an interpretation is
contrary to the simple and clear wording of RA 8369.
Petitioner argues that unless this Court assumes jurisdiction over a petition for
habeas corpus involving custody of minors, a respondent can easily evade the
service of a writ of habeas corpus on him or her by just moving out of the
region over which the Regional Trial Court issuing the writ has territorial
jurisdiction. That may be so but then jurisdiction is conferred by law. In the
absence of a law conferring such jurisdiction in this Court, it cannot exercise it
even if it is demanded by expediency or necessity.
Whether RA 8369 is a good or unwise law is not within the authority of this
Court or any court for that matter to determine. The enactment of a law on
jurisdiction is within the exclusive domain of the legislature. When there is a
perceived defect in the law, the remedy is not to be sought form the courts but
only from the legislature.
The only issue before us therefore is whether the Court of Appeals has jurisdiction to issue
writs of habeas corpus in cases involving custody of minors in the light of the provision in
RA 8369 giving family courts exclusive original jurisdiction over such petitions.
In his comment, the Solicitor General points out that Section 20 of the Rule on Custody of
Minors and Writ of Habeas Corpus in Relation to Custody of Minors (A.M. No. 03-04-04SC, effective May 15, 2003) has rendered the issue moot. Section 20 of the rule provides that
a petition for habeas corpus may be filed in the Supreme Court, [4] Court of Appeals, or with
any of its members and, if so granted, the writ shall be enforceable anywhere in the
Philippines.[5]
The petition is granted.
The Court of Appeals should take cognizance of the case since there is nothing in RA
8369 that revoked its jurisdiction to issue writs of habeas corpus involving the custody of
minors.
The Court of Appeals opines that RA 8369 impliedly repealed RA 7902 and BP 129 since, by
giving family courts exclusive jurisdiction over habeas corpus cases, the lawmakers intended

it to be the sole court which can issue writs of habeas corpus. To the court a quo, the word
exclusive apparently cannot be construed any other way.
We disagree with the CAs reasoning because it will result in an iniquitous situation, leaving
individuals like petitioner without legal recourse in obtaining custody of their children.
Individuals who do not know the whereabouts of minors they are looking for would be
helpless since they cannot seek redress from family courts whose writs are enforceable only
in their respective territorial jurisdictions. Thus, if a minor is being transferred from one place
to another, which seems to be the case here, the petitioner in a habeas corpus case will be left
without legal remedy. This lack of recourse could not have been the intention of the
lawmakers when they passed the Family Courts Act of 1997. As observed by the Solicitor
General:
Under the Family Courts Act of 1997, the avowed policy of the State is to
protect the rights and promote the welfare of children. The creation of the
Family Court is geared towards addressing three major issues regarding
childrens welfare cases, as expressed by the legislators during the
deliberations for the law. The legislative intent behind giving Family Courts
exclusive and original jurisdiction over such cases was to avoid further
clogging of regular court dockets, ensure greater sensitivity and specialization
in view of the nature of the case and the parties, as well as to guarantee that
the privacy of the children party to the case remains protected.
The primordial consideration is the welfare and best interests of the child. We rule
therefore that RA 8369 did not divest the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court of their
jurisdiction over habeas corpus cases involving the custody of minors. Again, to quote the
Solicitor General:
To allow the Court of Appeals to exercise jurisdiction over the petition for
habeas corpus involving a minor child whose whereabouts are uncertain and
transient will not result in one of the situations that the legislature seeks to
avoid. First, the welfare of the child is paramount. Second, the ex parte nature
of habeas corpus proceedings will not result in disruption of the childs privacy
and emotional well-being; whereas to deprive the appellate court of
jurisdiction will result in the evil sought to be avoided by the legislature: the
childs welfare and well being will be prejudiced.
This is not the first time that this Court construed the word exclusive as not foreclosing resort
to another jurisdiction. As correctly cited by the Solicitor General, in Floresca vs. Philex
Mining Corporation,[6] the heirs of miners killed in a work-related accident were allowed to
file suit in the regular courts even if, under the Workmens Compensation Act, the Workmens
Compensation Commissioner had exclusive jurisdiction over such cases.
We agree with the observations of the Solicitor General that:
While Floresca involved a cause of action different from the case at bar. it
supports petitioners submission that the word exclusive in the Family Courts
Act of 1997 may not connote automatic foreclosure of the jurisdiction of other
courts over habeas corpus cases involving minors. In the same manner that the
remedies in the Floresca case were selective, the jurisdiction of the Court of
Appeals and Family Court in the case at bar is concurrent. The Family Court

can issue writs of habeas corpus enforceable only within its territorial
jurisdiction. On the other hand, in cases where the territorial jurisdiction for
the enforcement of the writ cannot be determined with certainty, the Court of
Appeals can issue the same writ enforceable throughout the Philippines, as
provided in Sec. 2, Rule 102 of the Revised Rules of Court, thus:
The Writ of Habeas Corpus may be granted by the Supreme
Court, or any member thereof, on any day and at any time, or
by the Court of Appeals or any member thereof in the instances
authorized by law, and if so granted it shall be enforceable
anywhere in the Philippines, and may be made returnable
before the court or any member thereof, or before a Court of
First Instance, or any judge thereof for hearing and decision on
the merits. It may also be granted by a Court of First Instance,
or a judge thereof, on any day and at any time, and returnable
before himself, enforceable only within his judicial
district. (Emphasis supplied)
In ruling that the Commissioners exclusive jurisdiction did not foreclose resort to the
regular courts for damages, this Court, in the sameFloresca case, said that it was merely
applying and giving effect to the constitutional guarantees of social justice in the 1935 and
1973 Constitutions and implemented by the Civil Code. It also applied the well-established
rule that what is controlling is the spirit and intent, not the letter, of the law:
Idolatrous reverence for the law sacrifices the human being. The spirit
of the law insures mans survival and ennobles him. In the words of
Shakespeare, the letter of the law killeth; its spirit giveth life.
xxx xxx xxx
It is therefore patent that giving effect to the social justice guarantees
of the Constitution, as implemented by the provisions of the New Civil Code,
is not an exercise of the power of law-making, but is rendering obedience to
the mandates of the fundamental law and the implementing legislation
aforementioned.
Language is rarely so free from ambiguity as to be incapable of being used in more
than one sense. Sometimes, what the legislature actually had in mind is not accurately
reflected in the language of a statute, and its literal interpretation may render it meaningless,
lead to absurdity, injustice or contradiction.[7] In the case at bar, a literal interpretation of the
word exclusive will result in grave injustice and negate the policy to protect the rights and
promote the welfare of children[8] under the Constitution and the United Nations Convention
on the Rights of the Child. This mandate must prevail over legal technicalities and serve as
the guiding principle in construing the provisions of RA 8369.
Moreover, settled is the rule in statutory construction that implied repeals are not
favored:
The two laws must be absolutely incompatible, and a clear finding
thereof must surface, before the inference of implied repeal may be drawn.
The rule is expressed in the maxim, interpretare et concordare leqibus est
optimus interpretendi, i.e., every statute must be so interpreted and brought

into accord with other laws as to form a uniform system of jurisprudence. The
fundament is that the legislature should be presumed to have known the
existing laws on the subject and not have enacted conflicting statutes. Hence,
all doubts must be resolved against any implied repeal, and all efforts should
be exerted in order to harmonize and give effect to all laws on the subject.[9]
The provisions of RA 8369 reveal no manifest intent to revoke the jurisdiction of the
Court of Appeals and Supreme Court to issue writs of habeas corpus relating to the custody of
minors. Further, it cannot be said that the provisions of RA 8369, RA 7092 and BP 129 are
absolutely incompatible since RA 8369 does not prohibit the Court of Appeals and the
Supreme
Court
from
issuing
writs
of
habeas
corpus
in
cases
involvingthe custody of minors. Thus, the provisions of
RA
8369 must be read in harmony with RA 7029 and BP 129 that family courts have
concurrent jurisdiction with the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court in petitions for
habeas corpus where the custody of minors is at issue.
In any case, whatever uncertainty there was has been settled with the adoption of A.M. No.
03-03-04-SC Re: Rule on Custody of Minors and Writ of Habeas Corpus in Relation to
Custody of Minors. Section 20 of the rule provides that:
Section 20. Petition for writ of habeas corpus.- A verified petition for a
writ of habeas corpus involving custody of minors shall be filed with the
Family Court. The writ shall be enforceable within its judicial region to which
the Family Court belongs.
xxx xxx xxx
The petition may likewise be filed with the Supreme Court, Court of
Appeals, or with any of its members and, if so granted, the writ shall be
enforceable anywhere in the Philippines. The writ may be made returnable to a
Family Court or to any regular court within the region where the petitioner
resides or where the minor may be found for hearing and decision on the
merits. (Emphasis Ours)
From the foregoing, there is no doubt that the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court
have concurrent jurisdiction with family courts in habeas corpus cases where the custody of
minors is involved.
One final note. Requiring the serving officer to search for the child all over the country
is not an unreasonable availment of a remedy which the Court of Appeals cited as a ground
for dismissing the petition. As explained by the Solicitor General:[10]
That the serving officer will have to search for the child all over the
country does not represent an insurmountable or unreasonable obstacle, since
such a task is no more different from or difficult than the duty of the peace
officer in effecting a warrant of arrest, since the latter is likewise enforceable
anywhere within the Philippines.
WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby GRANTED. The petition for habeas corpus in
CA-G.R.-SP-No. 70501 is hereby REINSTATED andREMANDED to the Court of Appeals,
Sixteenth Division. SO ORDERED.

Madrinan v Madrinan
SUMMARY:
The husband petitioner took 3 of his children from their home
so the wife files for a writ of habeas corpus with the CA. The
husband is questioning the jurisdiction of the CA because
according to him under Section 5(b) of RA 8369, family
courts have exclusive original jurisdiction to hear and decide
the petition for habeas corpus filed by respondent wife. The
Supreme Court ruled in a previous jurisprudence that the
Court of Appeals should have cognizance of this case since
there is nothing in RA 8369 that revoked its jurisdiction to
issue writs of habeas corpus involving the custody of minors.
RA 8369 did not divest the Court of Appeals and the Supreme
Court of their jurisdiction over habeas corpus cases involving
the custody of minors.
DOCTRINE: Court of Appeals and Supreme Court has
concurrent jurisdiction with the family courts of Habeas
Corpus involving custody of minors.
FACTS:
Petitioner Felipe N. Madrian and respondent Francisca R. Madrian were married with three
sons and a daughter
After a bitter quarrel petitioner left their home and took their three sons with him to Albay
and subsequently to Laguna.
Thus respondent wife filed a petition for habeas corpus of their 3 sons in the CA,
Petitioner husband filed a memorandum alleging that the wife is unfit and he also questioned
the jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals claiming that under Section 5(b) of RA 8369
(otherwise known as the "Family Courts Act of 1997") family courts have exclusive
original jurisdiction to hear and decide the petition for habeas corpus filed by
respondent wife.
The CA rendered a decision asserting its authority to take cognizance of the petition and
ruling that, under Article 213 of the Family Code, respondent wife was entitled to the custody
of 2 minor sons who were at that time aged six and four, subject to the visitation rights of
husband. With respect to Ronnick (the eldest) who was then eight years old, the court ruled
that his custody should be determined by the proper family court in a special proceeding on
custody of minors under Rule 99 of the Rules of Court.
Hence this petition of husband.

ISSUE: Petitioner husband challenges the jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals over the
petition for habeas corpus and insists that jurisdiction over the case is lodged in the family
courts under RA 8369. He invokes Section 5(b) of RA 8369:
Section 5. Jurisdiction of Family Courts. The Family Courts shall have exclusive original
jurisdiction to hear and decide the following cases:
xxx

xxx

xxx

b) Petitions for guardianship, custody of children, habeas corpus in relation to the latter;
xxx

xxx

xxx

SC RATIO: Petitioner husband is wrong.


1

In Thornton v. Thornton, this Court resolved the issue of the Court of Appeals
jurisdiction to issue writs of habeas corpus in cases involving custody of minors in
the light of the provision in RA 8369 giving family courts exclusive original
jurisdiction over such petitions:

The Court of Appeals should take cognizance of the case since there is nothing in RA
8369 that revoked its jurisdiction to issue writs of habeas corpus involving the custody of
minors.
SC rule therefore that RA 8369 did not divest the Court of Appeals and the Supreme
Court of their jurisdiction over habeas corpus cases involving the custody of minors.
The provisions of RA 8369 reveal no manifest intent to revoke the jurisdiction of the Court of
Appeals and Supreme Court to issue writs of habeas corpus relating to the custody of minors.
Further, it cannot be said that the provisions of RA 8369, RA 7092 [An Act Expanding the
Jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals] and BP 129 [The Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980]
are absolutely incompatible since RA 8369 does not prohibit the Court of Appeals and the
Supreme Court from issuing writs of habeas corpus in cases involving the custody of minors.
Thus, the provisions of RA 8369 must be read in harmony with RA 7029 and BP 129 that
family courts have concurrent jurisdiction with the Court of Appeals and the Supreme
Court in petitions for habeas corpus where the custody of minors is at issue.
2

The jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals over petitions for habeas corpus was further
affirmed by A.M. No. 03-03-04-SC (April 22, 2004) in Re: Rule on Custody of
Minors and Writ of Habeas Corpus in Relation to Custody of Minors:

In any case, whatever uncertainty there was has been settled with the adoption of A.M.
No. 03-03-04-SC Re: Rule on Custody of Minors and Writ of Habeas Corpus in Relation
to Custody of Minors. Section 20 of the rule provides that:

Section 20. Petition for writ of habeas corpus. A verified petition for a writ of habeas
corpus involving custody of minors shall be filed with the Family Court. The writ shall be
enforceable within its judicial region to which the Family Court belongs.
The petition may likewise be filed with the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, or with any
of its members and, if so granted, the writ shall be enforceable anywhere in the
Philippines. The writ may be made returnable to a Family Court or to any regular court
within the region where the petitioner resides or where the minor may be found for hearing
and decision on the merits.
From the foregoing, there is no doubt that the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court have
concurrent jurisdiction with family courts in habeas corpus cases where the custody of
minors is involved.9 (emphases supplied)1avvphi1
3

SC notes that after petitioner moved out of their Paraaque residence on May 18,
2002, he twice transferred his sons to provinces covered by different judicial regions.
This situation is what the Thornton interpretation of RA 8369s provision on
jurisdiction precisely addressed:

[The reasoning that by giving family courts exclusive jurisdiction over habeas corpus cases,
the lawmakers intended them to be the sole courts which can issue writs of habeas corpus]
will result in an iniquitous situation, leaving individuals like [respondent] without legal
recourse in obtaining custody of their children. Individuals who do not know the whereabouts
of minors they are looking for would be helpless since they cannot seek redress from family
courts whose writs are enforceable only in their respective territorial jurisdictions. Thus, if a
minor is being transferred from one place to another, which seems to be the case here,
the petitioner in a habeas corpus case will be left without legal remedy. This lack of
recourse could not have been the intention of the lawmakers when they passed [RA
8369].
4

Moreover, a careful reading of Section 5(b) of RA 8369 reveals that family courts are
vested with original exclusive jurisdiction in custody cases, not in habeas corpus
cases. Writs of habeas corpus which may be issued exclusively by family courts
under Section 5(b) of RA 8369 pertain to the ancillary remedy that may be availed of
in conjunction with a petition for custody of minors under Rule 99 of the Rules of
Court. In other words, the issuance of the writ is merely ancillary to the custody case
pending before the family court. The writ must be issued by the same court to avoid
splitting of jurisdiction, conflicting decisions, interference by a co-equal court and
judicial instability.

The rule therefore is: when by law jurisdiction is conferred on a court or judicial officer, all
auxiliary writs, processes and other means necessary to carry it into effect may be employed
by such court or officer.11 Once a court acquires jurisdiction over the subject matter of a case,
it does so to the exclusion of all other courts, including related incidents and ancillary
matters.
RULING: Petition is denied.

Barredo v Vinarao
This is a petition for the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus. Petitioner Samuel
Barredo y Golani prays for his release from the maximum security compound of the New
Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City on the ground that he has already served the sentence
imposed on him in Criminal Case Nos. Q-92-38559 and Q-92-38560.
Criminal Case No. Q-92-38559[1] was for carnapping[2] while Criminal Case No. Q92-38560 was for illegal possession of firearms. [3] Both cases were filed in the Regional Trial
Court (RTC) of Quezon City, Branch 103.[4]
The cases were tried jointly. After trial, the court rendered a joint decision finding
petitioner guilty of both charges. Relevant parts of the dispositive portion read:
ACCORDINGLY, judgment is hereby rendered in Q-92-38559 finding
Samuel Barredo,[5] xxx GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt xxx of the crime of
Carnapping aggravated and qualified by the frustrated killing of Ciriaco
Rosales and [he is] hereby sentenced to undergo an imprisonment term of
THIRTY (30) YEARS;
xxx xxx xxx
In Q-92-38560, Samuel Barredo is hereby found GUILTY as principal
beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of violation of P.D. 1866 and he is
hereby sentenced to an imprisonment term of EIGHTEEN (18) YEARS and
ONE (1) DAY of Reclusion Temporal.
xxx xxx xxx
SO ORDERED.[6]
No appeal was made, hence, the decision became final and executory.
Petitioner was committed to the custody of the Quezon City Jail (as detention
prisoner) on March 15, 1993.[7] After conviction, he was transferred to and confined at the
maximum security compound of the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City on July 23,
1994[8] where he is now still detained.

According to petitioner, as of August 2, 2004, he already served a total of 18 years.


He claims that, on October 9, 2001, the Board of Pardons and Parole passed a resolution
recommending the commutation of his sentence to a period of from 15 to 20 years. He further
points out that, based on the Bureau of Corrections revised computation table for determining
the time to be credited prisoners for good conduct while serving sentence, he should only
serve 14 years, 9 months and 18 days. Thus, this petition.
Is petitioner entitled to the writ of habeas corpus? No.

WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS WILL NOT


ISSUE IF DETENTION IS BY VIRTUE OF
VALID JUDGMENT
The writ of habeas corpus applies to all cases of illegal confinement, detention or
deprivation of liberty.[9] It was devised as a speedy and effective remedy to relieve persons
from unlawful restraint.[10] More specifically, it is a remedy to obtain immediate relief for
those who may have been illegally confined or imprisoned without sufficient cause and thus
deliver them from unlawful custody.[11] It is therefore a writ of inquiry intended to test the
circumstances under which a person is detained.[12]
The writ may not be availed of when the person in custody is under a judicial process
or by virtue of a valid judgment. [13] However, the writ may be allowed as a post-conviction
remedy when the proceedings leading to the conviction were attended by any of the following
exceptional circumstances:
(1)
there was a deprivation of a constitutional right resulting in the restraint
of a person;
(2)
the court had no jurisdiction to impose the sentence or
(3)
the imposed penalty was excessive, thus voiding the sentence as to such
excess.[14]
The rule is that if a person alleged to be restrained of his liberty is in custody of an officer
under process issued by a court or judge or by virtue of a judgment or order of a court of
record the writ of habeas corpus will not be allowed. [15] Thus, Section 4, Rule 102 of the
Rules of Court provides:
Sec. 4. When writ not allowed or discharge authorized. If it appears that the
person alleged to be restrained of his liberty is in the custody of an
officer under process issued by a court or judge or by virtue of a
judgment or order of a court of record, and that the court or judge had
jurisdiction to issue the process, render the judgment, or make the
order, the writ shall not be allowed; or if the jurisdiction appears after the
writ is allowed, the person shall not be discharged by reason of any
informality or defect in the process, judgment, or order. Nor shall anything
in this rule be held to authorize the discharge of a person charged with or

convicted of an offense in the Philippines, or of a person suffering


imprisonment under lawful judgment. (emphasis supplied)
Petitioner was detained pursuant to a final judgment of the Quezon City RTC convicting him
for the crimes of carnapping and illegal possession of firearms. He is therefore not entitled to
the writ of habeas corpus.
SENTENCE IS VOID INSOFAR AS IT
FAILED
TO
IMPOSE
AN
INDETERMINATE
SENTENCE
As correctly pointed out by the Solicitor General, however, the trial court erred in
imposing a straight penalty of imprisonment for 30 years in the carnapping case. The
sentence imposed by the trial court deprived petitioner of the benefits of the Indeterminate
Sentence Law.[16] Hence, it was void insofar as it failed to impose an indeterminate sentence.
Since the crime was committed by means of violence against or intimidation of
persons, the imposable penalty under the Anti-Carnapping Act of 1972 was imprisonment for
not less than 17 years and 4 months and not more than 30 years. [17] Furthermore, pursuant to
the Indeterminate Sentence Law, the court should have imposed an indeterminate sentence
with a maximum term not exceeding the maximum fixed by the special penal law and a
minimum term not less than the minimum term prescribed by the same law.[18] Therefore, the
proper imposable penalty is imprisonment not for 30 years but for an indeterminate sentence
of 17 years and 4 months as minimum to 30 years as maximum.[19]
REDUCTION OF PENALTY UNDER
AMENDATORY LAW SHOULD BE
APPLIED RETROACTIVELY
Petitioner is likewise entitled to a reduction of the penalty imposed upon him in the
illegal possession of firearms case in view of the passage of RA 8294. The law reduced the
penalty for simple illegal possession of firearms to prision correccional in its maximum
period and a fine of not less than P15,000. Being favorable to petitioner, RA 8294 should be
applied retroactively to benefit him.[20] Further applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law, the
proper imposable penalty is imprisonment for 4 years, 2 months and 1 day as minimum to 6
years as maximum.[21]
PETITIONER HAS NOT YET SERVED
THE PENALTIES IMPOSED ON HIM
Petitioner has to serve the penalties imposed on him successively in the order of their
severity.[22] Hence, he has to first serve the more severe penalty, i.e., that imposed in the
carnapping case: imprisonment for 17 years and 4 months as minimum to 30 years as
maximum. Only after he has served this will he commence serving the less severe penalty

imposed in the illegal possession of firearms case: imprisonment for 4 years, 2 months and 1
day as minimum to 6 years as maximum.[23]
Per the certification issued by the Bureau of Corrections, [24] as of April 3, 2007,
petitioner has served a total of 18 years, 4 months and 26 days, inclusive of his good conduct
time allowance and preventive imprisonment. Thus, while he has already served the
minimum penalty in the carnapping case, he has not yet served the minimum penalty in the
illegal possession of firearms case. Consequently, petitioner is not entitled to the issuance of a
writ of habeas corpus. Neither is he eligible for parole because only prisoners who have
served the minimum penalty imposed on them may be released on parole on such terms and
conditions as may be prescribed by the Board of Pardons and Parole.[25]
Petitioners claim that the Board of Pardons and Parole passed a resolution
recommending the commutation of his sentence does not justify the issuance of the writ of
habeas corpus. Commutation of sentence is a prerogative of the Chief Executive. [26] Hence,
even if petitioners claim were true, the recommendation of the Bureau of Pardons and Parole
was just that, a mere recommendation. Until and unless approved by the President, there is no
commutation to speak of.
Accordingly, the petition is hereby DENIED.
Costs against petitioner.
SO ORDERED.

In the matter of the petition for habeas corpus, Engr. Ashraf Kunting
This is a petition for the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus directing Police Chief
Superintendent Ismael R. Rafanan and General Robert Delfin, 1 Philippine National Police
(PNP) Intelligence Chief, to bring petitioner Ashraf Kunting before this Court and show
cause why he is illegally detained.
The antecedents are as follows:
On October 19, 2001, petitioner Kunting was arrested in Malaysia for violation of the
Malaysian Internal Security Act. On June 12, 2003, the Royal Malaysian Police in Kuala
Lumpur, Malaysia, turned over Kunting to the PNP-IG and Task Force Salinglahi pursuant to
warrants for his arrest issued by the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Isabela City, Basilan,
Branch 2, Ninth Judicial Region. Kunting was charged with four counts of Kidnapping for
Ransom and Serious Illegal Detention with the RTC under separate Amended Informations,
docketed as Criminal Case Nos. 3674-1187, 3537-1129, 3608-1164, and 3611-1165.
Petitioner was immediately flown to the Philippines and brought to the PNP-IG at Camp
Crame for booking and custodial investigation.
In a letter dated July 3, 2003, Atty. Guillermo G. Danipog, Jr., Police Superintendent and
Chief of the Legal Affairs Division, PNP-IG, informed the Branch Clerk of Court of the RTC
that Kunting was already in the custody of the PNP-IG. Atty. Danipog requested for
Kuntings temporary detention at the PNP-IG, Camp Crame, Quezon City due to the high
security risks involved and prayed for the issuance of a corresponding commitment order.
In a letter dated July 9, 2003, Emilio F. Enriquez, Acting Clerk of Court of the RTC, replied
to the request of Atty. Danipog, thus:
xxx
The undersigned referred the matter to Hon. Danilo M. Bucoy, Presiding Judge of this Court,
who issued the Alias Warrant of Arrest in the herein mentioned case (Criminal Case No.
3674-1187) and per his instruction, accused As[h]raf Kunting y Barreto [may be] temporarily

detained thereat by virtue of the Alias Warrant of Arrest issued in this case, however
considering that the accused is a high security risk, he should be brought to Isabela, Basilan
as soon as the necessary security escort can be provided for his transfer, where the proper
commitment order can be issued as the herein mentioned case is about to be submitted by the
prosecution.
Thank you ever so much for your usual cooperation extended to the Court.2
On September 15, 2003, the RTC issued an Order directing the Police Superintendent and
Chief, Legal Affairs Division, PNP-IG, to immediately turn over Kunting to the trial court
since Kunting filed an Urgent Motion for Reinvestigation.
On November 5, 2003, PNP-IG Director Arturo C. Lomibao wrote a letter to Chief State
Prosecutor Jovencito R. Zuo, Department of Justice (DOJ), requesting for representation and
a motion to be filed for the transfer of the venue of the trial from Isabela City, Basilan to
Pasig City, for the following reasons: (1) Several intelligence reports have been received by
the PNP-IG stating that utmost effort will be exerted by the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) to
recover the custody of Kunting from the PNP considering his importance to the ASG; and (2)
there is a big possibility that Kunting may be recovered by the ASG if he will be detained in
Basilan due to inadequate security facility in the municipal jail and its proximity to the area
of operation of the ASG.
On August 13, 2004, the RTC rendered a decision against petitioners co-accused in the
consolidated Criminal Case Nos. 3608-1164, 3537-1129, 3674-1187, and 3611-1165, finding
17 of the accused, who were tried, guilty of the crime/s charged.
On February 11, 2005, the RTC issued an Order denying Kuntings Motion to Set Case for
Preliminary Investigation since the PNP-IG has not turned over Kunting. The trial court
reiterated its Order dated September 15, 2003, directing the Police Superintendent and Chief,
Legal Affairs Division, PNP-IG, to turn over Kunting to the court.1avvphil.net
In a letter dated February 22, 2005, Police Chief Superintendent Ismael R. Rafanan reiterated
the request to Chief State Prosecutor Jovencito R. Zuo to facilitate the transfer of the venue
of the trial of Kuntings case, citing the same grounds in the previous letter. He added that if
Kunting had been transferred to Isabela City, Basilan, he could have been one of the escapees
in a jail break that occurred on April 10, 2004 as suspected ASG members were able to go
scot-free.
On March 15, 2005, Police Inspector Amado L. Barbasa, Jr., OIC, Legal Affairs Division,
PNP-IG, filed with the RTC a Motion to Defer Implementation of the Order dated February
11, 2005, citing, among other grounds, the existence of a pending motion for the transfer of
the venue of the trial of Criminal Case No. 3537-1129 against Kunting, which was allegedly
filed by the DOJ before this Court. Police Inspector Barbasa prayed that the Order of the RTC
dated February 11, 2005, directing the turnover of Kunting to the court, be suspended until
the motion for the transfer of venue is resolved.

On March 14, 2005, Kunting, by counsel, filed this petition for the issuance of a writ
of habeas corpus. Kunting stated that he has been restrained of his liberty since June 12, 2003
by the PNP-IG led by Police Chief Superintendent Ismael Rafanan and assisted by PNP
Intelligence Chief, General Robert Delfin. He alleged that he was never informed of the
charges filed against him until he requested his family to research in Zamboanga City. It was
discovered in the RTC of Isabela City, Basilan that his name appeared in the list of accused
who allegedly participated in the kidnapping incident which occurred on June 2, 2001 in
Lamitan, Basilan.
Kunting asserted that he never participated in the kidnapping incident, so he promptly filed
an Urgent Motion for Reinvestigation on September 8, 2003. He was aware that the PNP-IG
requested Chief State Prosecutor Jovencito R. Zuo for representation to file a motion with
this Court for the transfer of venue of his case from Isabela City, Basilan to Pasig City.
Having no further information on the status of his case, he filed a Motion to Set Case for
Preliminary Investigation on January 26, 2005. He stated that since no action was taken by
the trial court or the DOJ, he filed this petition to put an end to his illegal detention classified
in the records as "for safekeeping purposes only."
The main issue is whether the petition for habeas corpus can prosper.
Under Section 1, Rule 102 of the Rules of Court, the writ of habeas corpus extends to "all
case of illegal confinement or detention by which any person is deprived of his liberty, or by
which the rightful custody of any person is withheld from the person entitled thereto." The
remedy of habeas corpus has one objective: to inquire into the cause of detention of a
person,3 and if found illegal, the court orders the release of the detainee. 4 If, however, the
detention is proven lawful, then the habeas corpus proceedings terminate.5
Section 4, Rule 102 of the Rules of Court provides when the writ is not allowed:
SEC. 4. When writ not allowed or discharge authorized.If it appears that the person alleged
to be restrained of his liberty is in the custody of an officer under process issued by a court
or judge or by virtue of a judgment or order of a court of record, and that the court or judge
had jurisdiction to issue the process, render the judgment, or make the order, the writ shall not
be allowed; or if the jurisdiction appears after the writ is allowed, the person shall not be
discharged by reason of any informality or defect in the process, judgment, or order. Nor
shall anything in this rule be held to authorize the discharge of a person charged with or
convicted of an offense in the Philippines, or of a person suffering imprisonment under
lawful judgment.6
In this case, Kuntings detention by the PNP-IG was under process issued by the RTC. He
was arrested by the PNP by virtue of the alias order of arrest issued by Judge Danilo M.
Bucoy, RTC, Branch 2, Isabela City, Basilan. His temporary detention at PNP-IG, Camp
Crame, Quezon City, was thus authorized by the trial court.1avvphil.net
Moreover, Kunting was charged with four counts of Kidnapping for Ransom and Serious
Illegal Detention in Criminal Case Nos. 3608-1164, 3537-1129, 3674-1187, and 3611-1165.
In accordance with the last sentence of Section 4 above, the writ cannot be issued and

Kunting cannot be discharged since he has been charged with a criminal offense. Bernarte v.
Court of Appeals7 holds that "once the person detained is duly charged in court, he may no
longer question his detention by a petition for the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus."
Nevertheless, this Court notes that the RTC in its Order dated February 11, 2005 reiterated its
Order dated September 15, 2003, directing the Police Superintendent and Chief, Legal Affairs
Division, PNP-IG, Camp Crame, Quezon City, to turn over Kunting to the court. TThe trial
court has been waiting for two years for the PNP-IG to turn over the person of Kunting for
the trial of his case. The PNP-IG has delayed the turn over because it is waiting for the DOJ
to request for the transfer of venue of the trial of the case from Isabela City, Basilan to Pasig
City. In the absence of evidence that the DOJ has indeed filed a motion for the transfer of
venue, In its Comment, the Office of the Solicitor General stated that the PNP-IG is presently
awaiting the resolution of the Motion for Transfer of Venue it requested from the DOJ. In this
regard, t the Police Chief Superintendent is, therefore, directed to take positive steps towards
action on said motion.comply with the Order of the trial court, dated February 11, 2005, to
turn over the body of petitioner Kunting to the trial court..
WHEREFORE, the instant petition for habeas corpus is hereby DISMISSED.
No costs.
SO ORDERED.
Marie Antonette Abigail C. Salientes v Loran SD Abanilla/
Petitioner: Marie Antonette Abigail C. Salientes, Orlando B. Salientes, and Rosario C.
Salientes
Respondent: Loran S.D. Abanilla, Honorable Judge Pedro Sabundayo, Jr., Regional
Trial Court, Branch 203, Muntinlupa City.
Ponente: Quisumbing, J.

Short Facts and Doctrine/s: Loran and Marie are the parents of minor Lorenzo. They lived
together with the parents of Marie. Due to in-laws problems Loran suggested they move to
their own house. Marie refused but Loran left anyway. Marie and her parents prevented Loran
from seeing his son. Loran filed this case for habeas corpus. Marie contends that the petition
for Habeas Corpus is not the appropriate remedy and that she is entitled, under Art. 213 of the
Family Code, to the custody of the minor. Habeas Corpus may be resorted to in cases where
rightful custody is withheld from a person entitled thereto. Under Article 211 of the Family
Code, respondent Loran and petitioner Marie have joint parental authority over their son and
consequently joint custody. In the present case, private respondents cause of action is the
deprivation of his right to see his child as alleged in his petition. Hence, the remedy of habeas
corpus is available to him. Article 213 of the Family Code deals with the judicial adjudication
of the custody and serves as a guideline for the proper award of custody by the court. It is not
a basis for preventing the father to see his own child.

Facts:

Loran Abanilla (Loran) and Marie Antonette Abigail Salientes (Marie) are the parents of
the minor Lorenzo Emmanuel Abanilla, who was at the time two years old.
The couple lived together with Maries parents, petitioners Orlando and Rosario
Salientes. Due to in-laws problems, Loran suggested that they transfer to their own house.
Marie refused. Loran left anyway and was thereafter prevented from seeing his son.
Loran filed a petition for Habeas Corpus and Custody in the RTC of Muntinlupa City.
The court ordered Marie and her parents to produce and bring before the court the body of
the minor Lorenzo in order to show cause why the said child should not be discharged
from restraint.
Marie moved for a reconsideration of the above order which was denied
She then filed a petition for certiorari with the CA which was also dismissed. The CA
held that the order of the RTC did not award to anyone the custody of the Lorenzo, the
order merely directs petitioners to produce the Lorenzo in order for the trial court to
conduct a full inquiry in the matter of his custody. This is a mere interlocutory order
which is not appealable.
Hence this appeal by certiorari.
Marie and her parents contend that the order is contrary to Article 213 of the Family Code
which provides that no child under seven years of age shall be separated from the mother
unless the court finds compelling reasons to order otherwise. They maintain that Loran
has failed to present any evidence of any compelling reason.
They also argue, that assuming that there were compelling reasons, the proper remedy of
Loran was not habeas corpus but a simple action for custody. They assert that habeas
corpus is unavailable against the mother who, under the law, has the right of custody of
the minor.
Loran, on the other hand argues that Art. 213 applies only to the second part of his
petition regarding the custody of his son. It does not address the first part, which pertains
to his right as the father to see his son. He asserts that a writ of habeas corpus is available
against any person who restrains the minors right to see his father and vice versa. He also
asserts that the complaints filed by Marie were merely for delay.
Loran also maintains that, under the law, both him and Marie share custody of Lorenzo
and when Marie is out of the country, as required by her job as an international flight
stewardess, he should have the custody of Lorenzo and not the maternal grandparents.

Issue:
W/N Habeas Corpus was the appropriate remedy.

Ruling:
Yes.
Ratio:
Habeas Corpus may be resorted to in cases where rightful custody is withheld from a person
entitled thereto.

Under Article 211 of the Family Code, respondent Loran and petitioner Marie
Antonette have joint parental authority over their son and consequently joint custody.
Although the couple is separated de facto, the issue of custody has yet to be
adjudicated by the court. In the absence of a juridical grant of custody to one parent,
both parents are still entitled to the custody of their child.
In the present case, private respondents cause of action is the deprivation of his right
to see his child as alleged in his petition. Hence, the remedy of habeas corpus is
available to him.
In a petition for habeas corpus, the childs welfare is the supreme consideration. The
Child and Youth Welfare Code unequivocally provides that in all questions regarding
the care and custody, among others, of the child, his welfare shall be the paramount
consideration.
The order of the court to produce the body of the minor before the court was merely
in line with the directive contained in Section 9 of A.M. 03-04-04-SC.
Moreover, Article 213 of the Family Code deals with the judicial adjudication of the
custody and serves as a guideline for the proper award of custody by the court. It is
not a basis for preventing the father to see his own child.

Disposition: WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The Decision dated November 10,
2003 and the Resolution dated March 19, 2004 of the CA in CA-G.R. SP No. 75680 are
AFFIRMED. Costs against petitioners. SO ORDERED.