“The doctrine of overbreadth applies generally to statutes that infringe upon freedom of speech.” – Justice Kapunan, in his dissenting opinion on Estrada vs Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 148560, November 2001
“The application of the overbreadth doctrine is limited to a facial kind of challenge and, owing to the given rationale of a facial challenge, applicable only to free speech cases.” – Southern Hemisphere Engagement Network, Inc. Cs Anti Terrorism Council, 632 SCRA 146
“The overbreadth and the vagueness doctrines have special application only to free-speech cases,” and are “not appropriate for testing the validity of penal statutes.” – Romualdez vs. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 152259, July 2004
The “void-for-vagueness” doctrine holds that a law is facially invalid if men of common intelligence must necessarily guess at its meaning and differ as to its application. – David v. Macapagal-Arroyo, supra., cited in Romualdez v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 167011, April 30, 2008
The Supreme Court held that the doctrine can only be invoked against that species of legislation that is utterly vague on its face, i.e., that which cannot be clarified either by a saving clause or by construction. – Estrada v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 148560, November 19, 2001
The void-for-vagueness doctrine cannot be used to impugn the validity of a criminal statute using “facial challenge” but it may be used to invalidate a criminal statute “as applied” to a particular defendant.
No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws. – 1987 Constitution, Art. III, Sec. 1
Due process means: 1. There shall be a law prescribed in harmony with the general powers of the legislature; 2. It shall be reasonable in its operation; 3. It shall be enforced according to the regular methods of procedure prescribed; and 4. It shall be applicable alike to all citizens of the State or to all of a class. – People v. Cayat, G.R. No. L-45987, May 5, 1939
This writ is a remedy available to any person whose constitutional right to a balanced and healthful ecology is violated, or threatened with violation by an unlawful act or omission of a public official or employee, or private individual or entity, involving environmental damage of such magnitude as to prejudice the life, health or property of inhabitants in two or more cities or provinces. – Rule 7, Rules of Procedure for Environmental Cases
The writ of Kalikasan is a legal remedy from the Philippines, from its Article II Section 16 of 1987 Constitution, “The State shall protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature.”
The petition for a writ of Amparo is a remedy available to any person whose right to life, liberty and security is violated or threatened with violation by an unlawful act or omission of a public official or employee, or of a private individual or entity. The writ shall cover extralegal killings and enforced disappearances or threats thereof. – The Rule on the Writ of Amparo, A.M. No. 07-09-12-SC
The writ of Amparo serves both preventive and curative roles in addressing the problem of extralegal killings and enforced disappearances. It is preventive in that it breaks the expectation of impunity in the commission of these offenses; it is curative in that it facilitates the subsequent punishment of perpetrators as it will inevitably yield leads to subsequent investigation and action. In the long run, the goal of both the preventive and curative roles is to deter the further commission of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances. – The Secretary of National Defense, et al, vs. Manalo, G.R. No. 180906, October 7, 2008
The Philippines is a republic with a presidential form of government wherein power is equally divided among its three branches: Legislative (authorized to make laws), Executive (carries out laws), and Judicial (evaluates laws).
To what habeas corpus extends. – Except as otherwise expressly provided by law, the writ of habeas corpus shall extend to all cases 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. – Section 1, Rule 102, Revised Rules of Court
A writ requiring a person under arrest to be brought before a judge or into court, especially to secure the person’s release unless lawful grounds are shown for their detention. – Oxford Dictionary
A writ of habeas corpus (which literally means to “produce the body”) is a court order demanding that a public official (such as a warden) deliver an imprisoned individual to the court and show a valid reason for that person’s detention. – Criminal.FindLaw.com
Generality means that the criminal law of the country governs all persons who lives or sojourns in the Philippines (Article 14, NCC), subject to certain exceptions brought about by international agreement. Ambassadors, chiefs of states and other diplomatic officials are immune from the application of penal laws when they are in the country where they are assigned (People vs. Galacgac, CA., 54 O.G. 1027). Acts performed should be in official capacity and performance of his duty (G.R. No. 125865. January 28, 2000).
Territoriality means that the penal laws of the country have force and effect only within the National Territory of the Philippines, subject to certain exceptions brought about by international agreements and practice. The territory of the country is not limited to the land where its sovereignty resides but includes also its atmosphere, its interior waters and maritime zone, including those outside of its jurisdiction as provided in Article 2, paragraphs 1-5 of RPC.
Prospectivity means the law acts or omissions will only be subject to a penal law if they are committed after a penal law had already taken effect. Vice-versa, this act or omission which has been committed before the effectivity of a penal law could not be penalized by such penal law. Exception: (1) when new statute it is favorable to the accused and (2) the accused is not a habitual delinquent (Article 22 of RPC).
Mala in se (“evil in itself”) – A crime or an act that is inherently immoral, such as murder, arson or rape. [Black’s Law Dictionary, 9th Ed.]
Mala prohibita (“prohibited evil”) – An act that is a crime merely because it is prohibited by statute, although the act itself is not necessarily immoral. [Black’s Law Dictionary, 9th Ed.]
Violations of the Revised Penal Code are referred to as malum in se, which literally means, that the act is inherently evil or bad or per se wrongful. On the other hand, violations of Special Laws are ‘generally’ referred to as malum prohibitum.
A common misconception is that all mala in se crimes are found in the Revised Penal Code (RPC), while all mala prohibita crimes are provided by special penal laws. In reality, however, there may be mala in se crimes under special laws, such as plunder under R.A. No. 7080, as amended. Similarly, there may be mala prohibita crimes defined in the RPC, such as technical malversation.
The better approach to distinguish between mala in se and mala prohibita crimes is the determination of the inherent immorality or vileness of the penalized act. If the punishable act or omission is immoral in itself, then it is a crime mala in se, -on the contrary, if it is not immoral in itself, but there is a statute prohibiting its commission b)”. reasons of public policy, then it is mala prohibita.
In the final analysis, whether or not a crime involves moral turpitude is ultimately a question of fact and frequently depends on all the circumstances surrounding the violation of the statute.