Habeas Corpus Cases II

Ampatuan vs. Judge Macaraig (GR: 182497)

In general, the purpose of the writ of habeas corpus is to determine whether or not a particular person is legally held. A prime specification of an application for a writ of habeas corpus, in fact, is an actual and effective, and not merely nominal or moral, illegal restraint of liberty. The writ of habeas corpus was devised and exists as a speedy and effectual remedy to relieve persons from unlawful restraint, and as the best and only sufficient defense of personal freedom. 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.

In passing upon a petition for habeas corpus, a court or judge must first inquire into whether the petitioner is being restrained of his liberty. If he is not, the writ will be refused. Inquiry into the cause of detention will proceed only where such restraint exists. If the alleged cause is thereafter found to be unlawful, then the writ should be granted and the petitioner discharged. Needless to state, if otherwise, again the writ will be refused

Go vs. Dimagiba (GR: 151876)

In his Petition for habeas corpus, respondent raised the same arguments that he had invoked in the said Motions. We believe that his resort to this extraordinary remedy was a procedural infirmity. The remedy should have been an appeal of the MTCC Order denying his Motions, in which he should have prayed that the execution of the judgment be stayed. But he effectively misused the action he had chosen, obviously with the intent of finding a favorable court. His Petition for a writ of habeas corpus was clearly an attempt to reopen a case that had already become final and executory. Such an action deplorably amounted to forum shopping. Respondent should have resorted to the proper, available remedy instead of instituting a different action in another forum.

Feria vs. CA (GR: 122954)

The mere loss or destruction of the records of a criminal case subsequent to conviction of the accused will not render the judgment of conviction void, nor will it warrant the release of the convict by virtue of a writ of habeas corpus. The proper remedy is the reconstitution of judicial records which is as much a duty of the prosecution as of the defense.

Contreras vs. Judge Solis (GR:A.M. RTJ-94-1266)

When the court where the criminal case was filed is without jurisdiction, the authority of the court to hold the accused in confinement pending trial is a valid subject of a petition for habeas corpus. Where the petitioner is held upon a judicial order, the writ will lie where the order is void because the court issuing it had no jurisdiction over the crime charged or over the person accused where the latter had challenged on time, the jurisdiction of the court over his person (Francisco, p. 665, Rules of Court in the Philippines Vol. V-B; citing the case of Banayo vs. President of San Pablo, 2 Phil. 413; Collins vs. Wolfe, 4 Phil. 534; Malinao et al. vs. Peterson, No. L-16464 July 26, 1960). But this remedy should not be secured before a court of equal rank in order to avoid undue interference upon the functions of another branch unless the former court has declared itself to be without jurisdiction, as in the instant case.

Jackson vs. Macalino (GR: 139255)

The term court includes quasi-judicial bodies like the Deportation Board of the Bureau of Immigration.

Even if the arrest of a person is illegal, supervening events may bar his release or discharge from custody. What is to be inquired into is the legality of his detention as of, at the earliest, the filing of the application for a writ of habeas corpus, for even if the detention is at its inception illegal, it may, by reason of same supervening events such as the instances mentioned in Section 4, Rule 102, be no longer illegal at the time of the filing of the application. Any such supervening events are the issuance of a judicial process preventing the discharge of the detained person.




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