Category Archives: Criminal Law

Illegal Interception of Computer Data, Warrant to Intercept (WICD): Rule on Cybercrime Warrants

Illegal interception of computer data is defined and penalized under the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012. The crime of “illegal interception” is the “interception made by technical means without right of any non-public transmission of computer data to, from, or within a computer system including electromagnetic emissions from a computer system carrying such computer data.” As far as the unauthorized intrusion into the computer system, this is akin to the Anti-Wiretapping Law and the Anti-Photo and Video Voyeurism Act of 2009, both of which are discussed below for easy reference.

Continue reading

Valid Warrantless Arrests in the Philippines

The Philippine Constitution emphatically provides that no person shall be deprived of liberty without due process of law and no warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge (Art. III, Secs. 1 and 2). As a general rule, no one can be arrested without a valid warrant, which is likewise true in search and seizure). There are three recognized exceptions to the constitutional prohibition on warrantless arrests. These valid warrantless arrests are: (a) In flagrante delicto arrests; (b) “Hot pursuit” arrests; and (c) Re-arrest of escaped prisoners. 

Continue reading

Posting of Bail during the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) Period

Courts are physically closed until 30 April 2020, but may still act on urgent matters through electronic means. The Office of the Court administrator issued OCA Circular No. 89-2020, pursuant to the directive of the Supreme Court (Administrative Circular No. 33-2020) to “ensure the proper implementation of (the said) Administrative Circular”. The Guidelines  are only temporary and “shall be in effect only during this duration of public health emergency”. 

Continue reading

Marital Rape in the Philippines

The issue of consent, or the lack of it, is essential in rape cases. In marriage, sexual community is a mutual right and obligation between husband and wife. Sexual intercourse is theoretically consensual, obligatory even, between husband and wife. Copulation is presumed between cohabiting husband and wife unless the contrary is proved. This is the argument of the accused in People vs. Jumawan (G.R. No. 187495, 21 April 2014). The extensive discussion on marital rape in this case warrants a near-verbatim reproduction of the Supreme Court’s decision. 

Continue reading

Hospitals Cannot Refuse Treating Patients in Emergency Situations

With the rapid rise of medical emergencies during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, concerns have been raised on the capacity of hospitals, clinics and and medical facilities to absorb the influx of patients. A number of hospitals already issued statements that they have exceeded their capacities. There are legitimate concerns about hospitals turning away patients by reason of overcapacity. 

Continue reading

Mandatory Wearing of Face Masks or Other Protective Equipment in Public Areas

The wearing of face masks is now mandatory in public areas (see Face Masks: Mandatory to be Worn when Going Outside the House), per  Resolution No. 18 dated 1 April 2020 of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF). To reinforce the mandatory nature of wearing face masks, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) also directed all Local Government Units (LGUs) to:

  • 1. Strictly implement the mandatory wearing of face masks by all residents in public areas, whenever they are allowed to go out of their homes, at all times. LGUs shall issue local ordinances, executive orders or advisories on the mandatory wearing of face masks, to include imposition of sanctions to non-compliant residents as may be appropriate. Due to the prevailing shortage of face mask supplies, wearing of improvised masks and other protective equipment, such as indigenous, reusable, homemade or do-it-yourself masks, face shields and handkerchiefs, that can reduce risks of local transmission of the virus shall be allowed. 
  • 2. Encourage their respective communities to ensure the supply of face masks or other protective equipment by preparing/devising their indigenous, reusable, homemade or do-it-yourself masks and face shields.
  • 3. Conduct regular monitoring and ensure compliance of the public to the mandatory wearing of face masks for the duration of the enhanced community quarantine.

Considering that there are confirmed positive cases in all regions nationwide, LGUs outside the ECQ areas are also encouraged to implement the above-stated measures to prevent further local transmission. 

[Per DILG Memorandum Circular No. 2020-071 dated 9 April 2020, addressed to all Provincial Governors, City and Municipal Mayors, Punong Barangays, members of the Sanggunian, DILG Regional Directors and officers, BARMM Minister of the Interior and Local Government, and all others concerned.]

Technical Malversation, Good Intentions and Quick Reaction in Government

There is an understandable expression of frustration, on the part of the public, over the DOH delay in the purchase and release of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other medical supplies/equipment needed to combat the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19). The agencies of the government, as well as the Local Government Units (LGUs), have calamity/emergency funds or quick reaction funds. There are times when funds allocated for a specific purpose or project is not enough and, when rapid action is needed in times of crises or emergencies, the responsible officer is faced with a sensitive issue. 

Continue reading