Moncado vs People’s Court – English Translation – Original
Evidence Law Moncado vs People’s Court – English Translation – Original...
Moncado vs People’s Court – English Translation – Original
In an original petition of certiorari, the appellant, accused of the crime of treason in criminal case No. 3522 of the People's Court, alleges that on April 4, 1945, at about 6 pm, he was arrested by members of the ICC of the United States Army at his residence at San Rafael Street, No. 199-A, Manila, without arrest warrant and was taken to Muntinglupa Prisons, Rizal; That a week later his wife, who had moved to his house-residence in Calle Rosario, No. 3, Ciudad de Quezon, was invited by several CIC members under Lieutenant Olves to register his house in the San Rafael Street; Who refused to follow them because they did not have a writ of record; Per as they assured that even without their presence they had to do the registration anyway, she accompanies them; That upon his arrival in the house, he saw that several effects were scattered on the floor among which several documents; That Lieutenant Olves informed her that she carried with her some documents to prove the guilt of her husband; That on June 27, 1946, the appellant filed a motion before the People's Court requesting the return of said documents stating that they had been obtained from his residence without a warrant of registration, and that court, with grave abuse of discretion or excess of Jurisdiction and following the doctrine seated in the matter of Alvero against Dizon (76 Phil., 637) denied; That unless this Court orders the Special Prosecutor to return them to the appellant, his constitutional rights guaranteed by the constitution would be violated. And because it has no other simple, quick and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law, it requests that this Court annul the order of the People's Court of July 9, 1946; (B) that said Court be required to order the return of such documents to the appellant; (C) that an injunction be issued prohibiting the Special Prosecutor to present them as evidence against the appellant in the matter of treason. These requests demonstrate that the documents are relevant evidence, in addition to being administrable because there is no rule that prevents it (Model Code of Evidence, 87). The appellant's contention that the decision in the case of Alvero v. Dizon (76 Phil., 637) is well founded is not applicable to the particular case. The documents in the Alvero affair were seized by the members of the CIC when the military government exercised its full function as an army of occupation. On April 11, 1945, when MacArthur, on behalf of the United States Government, had reinstated, on 27 February 1945, the Commonwealth with all its Powers and prerogatives (41 Off. Gaz., 86). The Commonwealth government was already exercising all its constitutional and legal powers without any limitation in the City of Manila. The President had not suspended constitutional guarantees. It is well established doctrine in the Philippines, the United States, England and Canada that the administration of evidence is not affected by the illegality of the means that the party has used to obtain it. It is a doctrine followed for many years "until it arose," said the Tribunal in Pueblo against Charles, "the fatal opinion of the majority in the case of Boyd v. US in 1885, which has exerted a pernicious influence In many States on subsidiary judicial opinions. " "The development of this doctrine of the Boyd v. US case was as follows: (a) Boyd's case remained unchallenged in its own court for twenty years, meanwhile receiving frequent disapproval in state courts (B) Then in Adams v. New York, in 1904, it was implicitly dismissed in the Federal Supreme Court, and the orthodox precedents registered in the courts of States (ante, 2183) were expressly (C) Then, after another twenty years, in 1914, in the case of Weeks v. US, the Federal Supreme Court moved in this epoch not by erroneous history, but by a lost sentimentality - back to the original doctrine of The Boyd case, but with one proviso, namely, that the illegality of the search and seizure should first have been directly litigated and established by a pre-trial motion for the return of the seized goods; And only then, the illegality could be noticed in the main trial and the evidence thus obtained should be excluded. ... "Under the authority of this doctrine of Weeks vs. U.S., and other decisions of the same school, the appellant exercises the present appeal, requesting the return of documents illegally removed by the members of the CIC. The Constitution recognizes the inviolability of individual rights in the following terms; "The right of the people to the security of their persons, dwellings, papers and effects against records and arrests, shall not be violated, unless for probable cause it was determined by the judge after examining under oath or affirmation to the complainant and witnesses Which I shall present, and with detailed description of the
site to be searched and of the persons to be apprehended or of the things to be seized. " (Title III, Article 1, paragraph 3) We concur with the Complainant's claim that, under these constitutional provisions, he had the right to have his house respected, his documents should not be seized by any authority or agent of authority, without a duly issued registration order. These constitutional limitations, however, do not go so far as to exclude as competent evidence documents obtained illegally or improperly from it. The Rules of Procedure of the Tribunals, Rule 123, determine which are the evidence to be excluded, which are admissible and competent and does not classify as evidence incompetent those illegally obtained. The fundamental law marked the limits as far as the executive, legislative and judicial powers can reach in the exercise of their foundations. The executive should not abuse his power, by violating the citizen's domicile or by improper seizure of his assets and documents; The legislator must not approve laws that make illusory the sacred of the home and the courts must punish the violators of the constitution, regardless of whether they are civil servants or not. As President Lumpkin said in Williams v. States, 28 S.E., 624: As we understand it, the main, if not the sole, purpose of our constitutional inhibitions against unreasonable searches and seizures, was to place a salutary restriction upon the powers of government. That is to say, we believe the framers of the constitutions of the United States and of this and other states merely sought to provide against any attempt, by legislation or otherwise, to authorize, justify, or declare lawful, any unreasonable search or seizure. This wise restriction was intended to operate upon legislative bodies, so as to render ineffectual any effort to legalize by statute what the people expressly stipulated could in no event be made lawful; upon executives, so that no law violative of this constitutional inhibition should ever be enforced; and upon the judiciary, so as to render it the duty of the courts to denounce as unlawful every unreasonable search and seizure, whether confessedly without any color of authority, or sought to be justified under the guise of legislative sanction. For the misconduct of private persons, acting upon their individual responsibility and of their own volition, surely none of the three divisions of government is responsible. If an official, or a mere petty agent of the state, exceeds or abuses the authority with which he is clothed, he is to be deemed as acting, not for the state, but for himself only; and therefore he alone, and not the state, should be held accountable for his acts. If the constitutional rights of a citizen are invaded by a mere individual, the most that any branch of government can do is to afford the citizen such redress as a possible, and bring the wrongdoer to account for his unlawful conduct. . . . . We believe that the authors of the Philippine constitution have never had the slightest idea of granting immunity from punishment to anyone who violates the sanctity of the home, or to any criminal offender, solely because the evidence against him has been obtained illegally. The healthy, juto and orderly procedure is to punish according to Article 128 of the Revised Penal Code the individual who, under the guise of a public official, without an order of registration, improperly defiles the domicile of a citizen and seizes his papers and That such citizen be punished also if he is guilty of a crime, regardless of whether the proof of his guilt has been obtained illegally. The medium used in the acquisition of the document does not alter its probative value. So in Stevenson Vs. Earnest, 80, Ill. 513, it was said: "It is contemplated, and such ought ever to be the fact, that the records of courts remain permanently in the places assigned by the law for their custody. (Noun), which means that it is not possible to obtain the proof of the existence of a person, If he could not, then he would not have been able to do so, but he would not have been able to do so. The Court, but otherwise free from suspicion, be hold incompetent? "In Com v. Dana, 2 Metc., 329. Court:" Admitting that the lottery tickets and materials were illegally seized, still this is no legal objection to the admission of them in evidence. If the search warrant where illegal, or if the officer serving the warrant exceeded his authority, the party on whose complaint the warrant issued, or the officer, would be responsible for the wrong done. But this is no good reason for excluding the papers seized, the evidence, if they were pertinent to the issue, as they unquestionably were. When papers are offered in evidence, the Court may take no notice of how they were obtained, whether lawfully or unlawfully, nor would they form a collateral issue to determine that question. The Complainant cites the Bureau v. McDowell in the following terms:
Certain books, papers, memoranda, etc., of McDowell's private property were stolen by certain persons who were interested in the investigation of the Grand Jury against Mcdowell for certain offenses alleged to have been committed in connection with fraudulent use Of the mail. These documents and shrines were later delivered to Burdeau by the people who had them rabaod. Burdeau was the special assistant to the Attorney-General of the United States, who was to have the direction and control of the United States, which was to have the direction and control of prosecution before the Grand Jury. McDowell tried to prevent Burdeau from using such books and documents by a motion he had made in that regard. Burdeau opposed the motion, claiming that he had the right to use those papers. The Supreme Court of the United States upheld the contention of Burdeau, saying: "We know of the main constitutional which requires the government to surrender the papers under such circumstances. "The papers having come into possession of the government without a violation of petitioner's rights by governmental authority, we see no reason why the individuals unconnected with the government may have wrongly taken them, should prevent them from being held for prosecuting an Offense where the documents are of incriminatory character. " (Burdeau vs. McDowell.) "Would our Supreme Court adopt the doctrine that is announced in this decision? We submit that this is a bad rule of law, and to our humble opinion, our Court should not adopt it." The Complainant then cites decisions of some Supreme State Courts that have not adopted this doctrine of the Federal Supreme Court. It is not weird. Each court adopts its own criteria. But of the 45 States of the American Union - according to Judge Cardozo in his decision issued in 1926, in People vs. Defore, 150 NE, 585 - fourteen adopted the heterodox doctrine of Weeks and 31 rejected it, and according to Wigmore, in 1940, fourteen years later, six more states, 37 in all, including Hawaii and Puerto Rico, rejected it, maintaining Orthodox doctrine . (8 Wigmore on Evidence, 3rd Ed., Pp. 5-11) And after considering the various decisions of the two schools, Cardozo made these keen observations on the Weeks doctrine: We are confirmed in this conclusion when we reflect how far-reaching in its effect upon society the new consequences would be. The pettiest peace officer would have it in his power, through over-zeal or indiscretions, to confer immunity upon an offender for crimes the most flagitious. A room is searched against the law, and the body of a murdered man is found. If the place of discovery may not be proved, the other circumstances may be insufficient to connect the defendant with the crime. The privacy of the home has been infringed, and the murder goes free. Another search, once more against the law, discloses counterfeit money or the implements of forgery. The absence of a warrant means the freedom of the forger. Like instances can be multiplied. Let us consider the present case. If the documents whose development requests the appellant, prove their guilt of the crime of treason, why does the State have to return them and get rid of the accusation? Is not this consenting and validating the crime? Does it not constitute a judicial approval of the commission of crimes, that of violation of the domicile of the accused committed by the members of the CIC and of treason committed by the appellant? Such a practice would encourage crime rather than prevent its commission. In addition, obtaining the documents does not alter their probative value. If a writ of registration had been mediated, the documents would be admissible evidence. There is no statutory or statutory provision to release the accused from any criminal liability because there was no writ of record. The public vindicta demands that the violators of the penal law be punished. To release the culprit for the simple fact that the evidence against him has not been legally obtained is to punish the crime judicially. Let's consider a case: Juan who witnesses a murder, gets the murderer's knife rapturous, and with which he orders him to be arrested and leads him to the presidency of the town. On the way he meets Peter who intercedes for the murderer; Juan, by a misunderstood sentimentality, returns the dagger and helps the accused to make disappear any vestige of the crime not to be discovered. John and Peter, not only commit unworthy acts of citizenship, but must be punished by concealers (art 19, cod., P.X.). The public will never understand why these two individuals should be punished and, instead, A court, under the Weeks doctrine, can order the return of the stolen document that proves the guilt of a defendant and release the defendant and the one who stole the document.
Another case. On suspicion of such a man, Jose is arrested by two policemen when he joins the tribune where senior officials of the executive, legislative and judicial authorities are assembled together with the diplomatic representatives of the friendly nations to witness the anniversary of independence; In his pocket they find a bomb that is capable of flying the whole podium. Two other policemen, after learning of the arrest, seize Jose's house and find documents that reveal that he has received orders from a foreign organization to police the entire high-ranking government personnel at the earliest opportunity. The police have no warrant for arrest, nor a writ of registration. Is it fair that at Jose's motion in the criminal case against him, the court orders the return of documents proving his crime? Would not anarchy be encouraged with such a practice? The court would play the sad role of helping those who wish to undermine the foundations of our institutes. In U.S. Snyder, 278 Fed., 650, the Court said: "To hold that no criminal can, in any case, be arrested and searched for the evidence and tokens of his crime without a warrant, would be to leave society, to a great extent , At the mercy of the shrewdest, the most expert, and the most depraved of criminals, facilitating their escape in many instances. " And in People vs. Mayen, 205 Pac., 435, it was said: "Upon what theory can it be held that such proceeding (for the return of the articles) is an incident of the trial, in such a sense that the ruling thereon goes up on appeal as The right of the defendant is not to exclude the incriminating documents from evidence to which he is accused. Civil right in no way involved in the criminal case The right of the defendant is not to exclude the incriminating documents from evidence, but to recover the possession of articles which were wrongly taken from him. The property by the State or whereas it was the invasion of his premises and the taking of his goods that constituted the offense irrespective of what was taken or what was used of it, and the law having declared that the articles taken are competent and admissible Evidence, notwithstanding the unlawful search and seizure, how the circumstance that the court erred in an independent proceeding for the return of the property on the defendant's demand add anything to or detract from the violation of the constitutional rights defendant in the unlawful search and seizure? The Constitutional and the laws of the land are not solicitous to persons charged with crime in their efforts to conceal or sequester evidence of their iniquity. (8 Wig., 37.) The theory of Weeks vs. U.S. that subverts the rules of evidence not acceptable in this jurisdiction: it is contrary to the sense of justice and order and sound administration of justice. The orthodox doctrine is imposed by its proven consistency through many years. It should not be abandoned if constitutional rights are to be respected and not desecrated. The culprits must receive their proper punishment, even if the evidence against them has been obtained illegally. 2 And those who in violation of the law and the Constitution take undue possession of such pureas must also be punished. This is how the law rules, majestic and unblemished.