Due Process of Law Cases

Article 3, sec. 1 of the 1987 Constitution declares:

“No Person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law”

This constitutional provision provides an encompassing and blanket right on the individual against possible abuses of the government and/or those who have power over the lives, property or liberty of others.

Serrano vs. Gallant Maritime Services (GR 167614)

concurring opinion by Justice Carpio:

The right to work and the right to earn a living necessarily includes the right to bargain for better terms in an employment contract and the right to enforce those terms. If protected property does not include these rights, then the right to work and the right to earn a living would become empty civil liberties the State can deprive persons of their right to work and their right to earn a living by depriving them of the right to negotiate for better terms and the right to enforce those terms.

The right to property is not absolute the prohibition against deprivation of property is qualified by the phrase without due process of law. Thus, the State may deprive persons of property through the exercise of police power. However, the deprivation must be done with due process. Substantive due process requires that the means employed in depriving persons of property must not be unduly oppressive.

Perez vs. PT&T (GR152048)

Respondents illegal act of dismissing petitioners was aggravated by their failure to observe due process. To meet the requirements of due process in the dismissal of an employee, an employer must furnish the worker with two written notices: (1) a written notice specifying the grounds for termination and giving to said employee a reasonable opportunity to explain his side and (2) another written notice indicating that, upon due consideration of all circumstances, grounds have been established to justify the employer’s decision to dismiss the employee.

Justice Brion concurring;

The ample opportunity required to be provided by the employer is similar in character to the process required in administrative proceedings where, as explained above, an actual hearing is not an absolute necessity. To be sure, it cannot refer to, or be compared with, the requirements of a judicial proceeding whose strict demands necessarily require a formal hearing.

Judicial declarations are rich to the effect that the essence of due process is simply an opportunity to be heard, or as applied to administrative proceedings, an opportunity to explain ones side. A formal or trial type hearing is not at all times and in all circumstances essential to due process, the requirements of which are satisfied where the parties are afforded fair and reasonable opportunity to explain their side in the controversy.

To recapitulate, the ample opportunity to be heard the Labor Code expressly requires does not mean an actual hearing in every dismissal action by the employer; whether an actual hearing would be required depends on the circumstances of each case as each particular situation demands. Thus, the identical rulings in King of Kings of Transport, Inc. vs. Mamac and R.B. Michael Press vs. Galit that an actual hearing is a mandatory requirement in employee dismissal should now be read with our present ruling in mind. The Department of Labor and Employment should as well be on notice that this ruling is the legally correct interpretation of Rule I, Section (2)(d)(ii) of Book VI of the Rules to Implement the Labor Code.

PO2 Ruel C. Montoya vs. Police director Reynaldo P Varilla (GR 180146)

Though procedural rules in administrative proceedings are less stringent and often applied more liberally, administrative proceedings are not exempt from basic and fundamental procedural principles, such as the right to due process in investigations and hearings. The right to substantive and procedural due process is applicable to administrative proceedings.

In particular, however, due process in administrative proceedings has also been recognized to include the following: (1) the right to actual or constructive notice of the institution of proceedings which may affect a respondents legal rights; (2) a real opportunity to be heard personally or with the assistance of counsel, to present witnesses and evidence in one’s favor, and to defend ones rights; (3) a tribunal vested with competent jurisdiction and so constituted as to afford a person charged administratively a reasonable guarantee of honesty as well as impartiality; and (4) a finding by said tribunal which is supported by substantial evidence submitted for consideration during the hearing or contained in the records or made known to the parties affected.

Esperida vs. Jurdo, Jr (GR 172538)

Sections 3 and 4, Rule 71 of the Rules of Court, specifically outlines the procedural requisites before the accused may be punished for indirect contempt. First, there must be an order requiring the respondent to show cause why he should not be cited for contempt. Second, the respondent must be given the opportunity to comment on the charge against him. Third, there must be a hearing and the court must investigate the charge and consider respondent’s answer. Finally, only if found guilty will respondent be punished accordingly. The law requires that there be a charge in writing, duly filed in court, and an opportunity given to the person charged to be heard by himself or counsel. What is most essential is that the alleged contemner be granted an opportunity to meet the charges against him and to be heard in his defenses. This is due process, which must be observed at all times.

Catacutan vs. PP(GR 175991)

Due process simply demands an opportunity to be heard. Due process is satisfied when the parties are afforded a fair and reasonable opportunity to explain their respective sides of the controversy. Where an opportunity to be heard either through oral arguments or through pleadings is accorded, there is no denial of procedural due process.

Guided by these established jurisprudential pronouncements, petitioner can hardly claim denial of his fundamental right to due process. Records show that petitioner was able to confront and cross-examine the witnesses against him, argue his case vigorously, and explain the merits of his defense. To reiterate, as long as a party was given the opportunity to defend his interests in due course, he cannot be said to have been denied due process of law for the opportunity to be heard is the better accepted norm of procedural due process.

There is also no denial of due process when the trial court did not allow petitioner to introduce as evidence the CA Decision in CA-G.R. SP No. 51795. It is well within the courts discretion to reject the presentation of evidence which it judiciously believes irrelevant and impertinent to the proceeding on hand. This is specially true when the evidence sought to be presented in a criminal proceeding as in this case, concerns an administrative matter.

Sofio vs. Valenzuela (GR 157810)

A decision that has acquired finality becomes immutable and unalterable and may no longer be modified in any respect even if the modification is intended to correct erroneous conclusions of fact or law and whether it will be made by the court that rendered it or by the highest court of the land. This doctrine of finality and immutability of judgments is grounded on fundamental considerations of public policy and sound practice to the effect that, at the risk of occasional error, the judgments of the courts must become final at some definite date set by law. The reason is that litigations must end and terminate sometime and somewhere; and it is essential for the effective and efficient administration of justice that once a judgment has become final the winning party should not be deprived of the fruits of the verdict.

Given this doctrine, courts must guard against any scheme calculated to bring about that result, and must frown upon any attempt to prolong controversies. The only exceptions to the general rule are: (a) the correction of clerical errors; (b) the so-called nunc pro tunc entries that cause no prejudice to any party; (c) void judgments; and (d) whenever circumstances transpire after the finality of the judgments rendering execution unjust and inequitable.

CIR vs. Metro Star Superama (GR 185371)

It is an elementary rule enshrined in the 1987 Constitution that no person shall be deprived of property without due process of law. In balancing the scales between the power of the State to tax and its inherent right to prosecute perceived transgressors of the law on one side, and the constitutional rights of a citizen to due process of law and the equal protection of the laws on the other, the scales must tilt in favor of the individual, for a citizens right is amply protected by the Bill of Rights under the Constitution.

RP vs, SandiganBayan (GR 152154)

Due process of law has two aspects: substantive and procedural due process. In order that a particular act may not be impugned as violative of the due process clause, there must be compliance with both substantive and the procedural requirements thereof.

In the present context, substantive due process refers to the intrinsic validity of a law that interferes with the rights of a person to his property. On the other hand, procedural due process means compliance with the procedures or steps, even periods, prescribed by the statute, in conformity with the standard of fair play and without arbitrariness on the part of those who are called upon to administer it.

Lim vs. CA (GR 111397)

Justice Carpio;

Lim has no authority to close down Bistros business or any business establishment in Manila without due process of law. Lim cannot take refuge under the Revised Charter of the City of Manila and the Local Government Code. There is no provision in these laws expressly or impliedly granting the mayor authority to close down private commercial establishments without notice and hearing, and even if there is, such provision would be void. The due process clause of the Constitution requires that Lim should have given Bistro an opportunity to rebut the allegations that it violated the conditions of its licenses and permits.

The regulatory powers granted to municipal corporations must always be exercised in accordance with law, with utmost observance of the rights of the people to due process and equal protection of the law. Such power cannot be exercised whimsically, arbitrarily or despotically. In the instant case, we find that Lim’s exercise of this power violated Bistros property rights that are protected under the due process clause of the Constitution.

Lim did not charge Bistro with any specific violation of the conditions of its business license or permits. Still, Lim closed down Bistros operations even before the expiration of its business license on December 31, 1992. Lim also refused to accept Bistros license application for 1993, in effect denying the application without examining whether it complies with legal prerequisites.

Lim’s zeal in his campaign against prostitution is commendable. The presumption is that he acted in good faith and was motivated by his concern for his constituents when he implemented his campaign against prostitution in the Ermita-Malate area. However, there is no excusing Lim for arbitrarily closing down, without due process of law, the business operations of Bistro. For this reason, the trial court properly restrained the acts of Lim.

Consequently, the Court of Appeals did not err in upholding the trial courts orders. The sole objective of a writ of preliminary injunction is to preserve the status quo until the merits of the case can be heard fully. It is generally availed of to prevent actual or threatened acts, until the merits of the case can be disposed of. In the instant case, the issuance of the writ of prohibitory preliminary injunction did not dispose of the main case for mandamus. The trial court issued the injunction in view of the disruptions and stoppage in Bistros operations as a consequence of Lim’s closure orders. The injunction was intended to maintain the status quo while the petition has not been resolved on the merits.

Duterte vs. SandiganBayan (GR 130191)

The right to preliminary investigation is not a mere formal right, it is a substantive right. To deny the accused of such right would be to deprive him of due process.

We find the long delay in the termination of the preliminary investigation by the Tanodbayan in the instant case to be violative of the constitutional right of the accused to due process. Substantial adherence to the requirements of the law governing the conduct of preliminary investigation, including substantial compliance with the time limitation prescribed by the law for the resolution of the case by the prosecutor, is part of the procedural due process constitutionally guaranteed by the fundamental law. Not only under the broad umbrella of the due process clause, but under the constitutional guarantee of speedy disposition of cases as embodied in Section 16 of the Bill of Rights (both in the 1973 and 1987 Constitution), the inordinate delay is violative of the petitioners constitutional rights. A delay of close to three (3) years can not be deemed reasonable or justifiable in the light of the circumstances obtaining in the case at bar.