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Caunca v. Salazar
GR NO. L-2690, January 01, 1949
Estelita Flores, who is an orphan and illiterate, is working to Julia Salazar, in which the latter is
running the Far Eastern Employment Bureau. Estrelita wanted to leave the house of Julia Salazar and to
go along with her cousin Bartolome Caunca, but Julia Salazar (resp) and Estrella Justro (resp) did not
allow Estrelita to leave without paying first the sum of P83.85 advanced for the fare and other
transportation expenses of Estelita from Buruanga to Manila.
Estrelita did not leave the house of Julia Salazar despite the fact that no physical force has been
used against her. Bartolome testified that Estrelita did not leave the house because the respondents
opposed about it. Moreover, due to Estrelitas low mentality and social superiority, the respondents have
successfully deprived Estelita of her personal liberty and of the freedom to go with her cousin.
From this, Bartolome, in behalf of Estrelita Flores, filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus.

WON an employment agency has the right to restrain and detain a maid without returning the
advance payment it gave?
No. An employment agency has no right to restrain and detain a maid without returning the
advance payment it gave.
In this case, Estelita is restrained of her personal liberty and not free to go with her cousin at her
An employment agency, regardless of the amount it may advance to a prospective employee has
no power to curtail the freedom of movement of said employee. The fact that power to control said
freedom may be an effective means of avoiding monetary losses to the agency is no reason for
jeopardizing a fundamental human right. The fortunes of business cannot be controlled by controlling a
fundamental human freedom. Human dignity is not a merchandise appropriate for commercial barters or
business bargains. Fundamental freedoms are beyond the province of commerce or any other business
A maid has the right to transfer to another residence even if she has not yet paid the amount
advanced for her transportation from the province, by an employment agency which was then effectively
detaining her because of the moral duress extended on her.


On the hypothesis that Estelita is really indebted in the amount of P83.85 is not a valid reason for
the respondents to obstruct, impede or interfere with Estelitas desire to leave the house of Julia Salazar
and to live in the residence of his cousin Bartolome. Said indebtedness would not in any way subtract an
iota from Estelitas fundamental right to have a free choice of abode.
Moreover, the fact that no physical force has been exerted to keep her in the house of Julia
Salazar or in the house of Julia Salazars cousin does not make less real the deprivation of Estelitas
personal freedom which includes the freedom of movement, freedom to transfer from one place to
another, freedom to choose ones residence.
Freedom may be lost due to external moral compulsion, to founded or groundless fear, to
erroneous belief in the existence of an imaginary power of an impostor to cause harm if not blindly
obeyed, to any other psychological element that may curtail the mental faculty of choice or the
unhampered exercise of the will. If the actual effect of such psychological spell is to place a person at the
mercy of another, the victim is entitled to the protection of courts of justice as much as the individual who
is illegally deprived of liberty by duress or physical coercion.
Therefore, the petition is granted and it is accordingly ordered that Estelita Flores be allowed to
go with her cousin Bartolome Caunca or to any place of her choice, and respondents are ordered not to
impede, obstruct or, in any way, interfere with such freedom of Estelita Flores.


Manotoc v. CA
G.R. No. L-62100 May 30, 1986
Ricardo L. Manotoc, Jr. (pet), has six pending criminal case for estafa and has a pending
disposition of the case involving the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The Securities and Exchange Commission requested the Commissioner of Immigration,
Edmundo Reyes, not to clear Manotoc (pet) for departure due to the pending disposition of the case
involving him. Such request was granted.
Manotoc (pet) filed before each of the trial courts a motion for permission to leave the country on
the ground that his trip to the United States is relative to his business transactions and opportunities.
However, such motion was denied by the court due to lack of urgency to approve such motion.
Moreover, the surety companies that filed the bail bonds in his behalf might claim that they could no
longer be held liable in their undertakings because it was the Court which allowed the accused to go
outside the territorial jurisdiction of the Philippine Court.
Manotoc (pet) filed a petition for certiorari and mandamus to the Court of Appeals to annul the
orders of denying his leave to travel abroad. However, such petition was also denied due to lack of merit.
Manotoc (pet) filed an instant petition for review on certiorari to the SC contending his right to bail
and that the court and the Securities and Exchange Commission which has no jurisdiction over his liberty,
could prevent him from exercising his constitutional right to travel.
WON a person facing a criminal indictment and provisionally released on bail have an
unrestricted right to travel.
No. A person facing a criminal indictment and provisionally released on bail have a restricted right
to travel.
Petitioner's contention is untenable
A court has the power to prohibit a person admitted to bail from leaving the Philippines. This is a
necessary consequence of the nature and function of a bail bond to secure a persons appearance when


Rule 114, Section 1 of the Rules of Court defines bail as the security required and given for the
release of a person who is in the custody of the law, that he will appear before any court in which his
appearance may be required as stipulated in the bail bond or recognizance.
The condition imposed upon petitioner to make himself available at all times whenever the court
requires his presence operates as a valid restriction on his right to travel.
In People vs. Uy Tuising , the result of the obligation assumed by appellee (surety) to hold the
accused amenable at all times to the orders and processes of the lower court, was to prohibit said
accused from leaving the jurisdiction of the Philippines, because, otherwise, said orders and processes
will be nugatory, and inasmuch as the jurisdiction of the courts from which they issued does not extend
beyond that of the Philippines they would have no binding force outside of said jurisdiction.
If the accused were allowed to leave the Philippines without sufficient reason, he may be placed
beyond the reach of the courts.
Moreover, the SC held that the petitioner cannot used the Shepherd case, because he fails to
satisfy the trial courts and the appellate court of the urgency of his travel, the duration thereof, as well as
the consent of his surety to the proposed travel .
The SC held that there is no abuse of judicial discretion in their having denied petitioner's motion
for permission to leave the country, in much the same way, albeit with contrary results.
The constitutional right to travel being invoked by petitioner is not an absolute right. Section 5,
Article IV of the 1973 Constitution states:
The liberty of abode and of travel shall not be impaired except upon lawful order of the
court, or when necessary in the interest of national security, public safety or public health.
THEREFORE, the petition for review is dismissed.


Marcos v. Manglapus
G.R. No. 88211 September 15, 1989
Ferdinand E. Marcos was deposed from the presidency via the non-violent "people power"
revolution and forced into exile. In his deathbed, Ferdinand Marcos wanted to return to the Philipppines to
die. But Mrs. Aquino refuse to allow Marcos and his family to return on the Philippines due to the
consequences that his return will served as a threat on the stability of the government and the rising of the
The petitioners file a petition for mandamus and prohibition to seek the issuance of their travel
documents and to enjoin the implementation of the President's decision to bar their return to the
The petitioners contend that the President has no power to impair their liberty of abode or their
right to travel because only a court has the power to do so within the limits prescribed by law and that no
law has authorized her to do so. They also asserted that their right to return to the Philippines is
guaranteed under the international law, specifically, Art. 13 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and
Art. 12 of International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
However, the respondents argued that the issue in this case involves a political question which is
non-justiciable. Moreover, it is for the primacy of the right of the State to national security over individual
rights based on Sec. 4 and 5 of Art. 2 of the Phil. Constitution. The decision to ban the return of the
Marcoses is due to national security and public safety.
WON in the exercise of the powers granted by the Constitution, the President may prohibit the
Marcoses from returning to the Philippines.
Yes. The President may prohibit the Marcoses from returning to the Philippines. Such prohibition
is not an act of grave abuse of discretion.

The individual right involved is not the right to travel from the Philippines to other countries or
within the Philippines. These are what the right to travel would normally connote. Essentially, the right
involved is the right to return to one's country, a totally distinct right under international law, independent
from although related to the right to travel.


Thus, the Universal Declaration of Humans Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights treat the right to freedom of movement and abode within the territory of a state, the right to
leave a country, and the right to enter one's country as separate and distinct rights.
The right to return to one's country is not among the rights specifically guaranteed in the Bill of
Rights, which treats only of the liberty of abode and the right to travel, but it is our well-considered view
that the right to return may be considered, as a generally accepted principle of international law and,
under our Constitution, is part of the law of the land [Art. II, Sec. 2 of the Constitution.] However, it is
distinct and separate from the right to travel and enjoys a different protection under the International
Covenant of Civil and Political Rights, i.e., against being "arbitrarily deprived" thereof [Art. 12 (4).]
Petitioners contention that the President has no power to impair their liberty of abode or their
right to travel because only a court has the power to do so within the limits prescribed by law and that no
law has authorized her to do so is not correct.
The resolution by the Court of the well-debated issue of whether or not there can be limitations on
the right to travel in the absence of legislation to that effect is rendered unnecessary.
The SC held that the powers of the President cannot be said to be limited only to the specific
powers enumerated in the Constitution. In other words, executive power is more than the sum of specific
powers so enumerated.
In the exercise of presidential functions, in drawing a plan of government, and in directing
implementing action for these plans, or from another point of view, in making any decision as President of
the Republic, the President has to consider the principles that "[t]he prime duty of the Government is to
serve and protect the people" and that "[t]he maintenance of peace and order,the protection of life, liberty,
and property, and the promotion of the general welfare are essential for the enjoyment by all the people of
the blessings of democracy." [Art. II, Secs. 4 and 5.].
The President is constrained to consider these basic principles under the constitution in arriving
at a decision on banning the Marcoses to return to the Philippines. More than that, having sworn to defend
and uphold the Constitution, the President has the obligation under the Constitution to protect the people,
promote their welfare and advance the national interest.
The Sc held that the request or demand of the Marcoses to be allowed to return to the Philippines
cannot be considered in the light solely of the constitutional provisions guaranteeing liberty of abode and
the right to travel, subject to certain exceptions, or of case law which clearly never contemplated situations
even remotely similar to the present one. It must be treated as a matter that is appropriately addressed to
those residual unstated powers of the President which are implicit in and correlative to the paramount duty
residing in that office to safeguard and protect general welfare. In that context, such request or demand
should submit to the exercise of a broader discretion on the part of the President to determine whether it
must be granted or denied.


Moreover, as to the extent of review whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government,
the SC did not agree with the Solicitor General that the issue constitutes a political question which is
beyond the jurisdiction of the Court to decide.
There is nothing in the case that precludes our determination thereof on the political question
The SC found there were factual bases that exist for the President's decision..
The Court cannot close its eyes to the documented history of the efforts of the Marcose's and
their followers to destabilize the country bolsters the conclusion that the return of the Marcoses at this
time would only exacerbate and intensify the violence directed against the State and instigate more chaos.
The President cannot be said to have acted arbitrarily and capriciously and whimsically in
determining that the return of the Marcoses poses a serious threat to the national interest and welfare and
in prohibiting their return. Protection of the people is the essence of the duty of government. The
preservation of the State the fruition of the people's sovereignty is an obligation in the highest order. The
President, sworn to preserve and defend the Constitution and to see the faithful execution the laws,
cannot shirk from that responsibility.
Moreover, the country is only now beginning to recover from the hardships brought about by the
plunder of the economy attributed to the Marcoses and their close associates and relatives, many of
whom are still here in the Philippines in a position to destabilize the country, while the Government has
barely scratched the surface, so to speak, in its efforts to recover the enormous wealth stashed away by
the Marcoses in foreign jurisdictions. Then, the SC cannot ignore the continually increasing burden
imposed on the economy by the excessive foreign borrowing during the Marcos regime.
The President has determined that the destabilization caused by the return of the Marcoses would
wipe away the gains achieved during the past few years and lead to total economic collapse.
WHEREFORE, the President did not act arbitrarily or with grave abuse of discretion in
determining that the return of former President Marcos and his family at the present time and under
present circumstances poses a serious threat to national interest and welfare and in prohibiting their
return to the Philippines, the instant petition is hereby DISMISSED.


Philippine Association of Service Exporters v. Drilon
G.R. No. 81958 June 30, 1988
Philippine Association of Service Exporters, Inc. (PASEI) (pet), a firm engaged in the recruitment
of Filipino workers for overseas placement, challenges the constitutional validity of Dept. Order No. 1
(1998) of DOLE entitled Guidelines Governing the Temporary Suspension of Deployment of Filipino
Domestic and Household Workers. They file a petition for certiorari on the ground that such order is a
discrimination against males because it only applies to domestic helpers and females with similar skills.
Moreover, it also violates the right to travel and it is an invalid exercise of the lawmaking power.
Furthermore, to supplement the petition, they also invoke Section 3, of Article 8, of the Constitution,
providing for worker participation "in policy and decision-making processes affecting their rights and
benefits as may be provided by law." Such order was passed in the absence of prior consultations and it
is in violation of the Charter's non-impairment clause.
The Solicitor General filed a Comment informing the Court that the respondent Labor Secretary
lifted the deployment ban in the states of Iraq, Jordan, Qatar, Canada, Hongkong, United States, Italy,
Norway, Austria, and Switzerland.
WON Dept. Order No. 1 of DOLE is valid under the Constitution.
Yes. Dept. Order No. 1 of DOLE is valid under the Constitution.

The concept of police power is well-established in this jurisdiction. It has been defined as the
"state authority to enact legislation that may interfere with personal liberty or property in order to promote
the general welfare." As defined, it consists of (1) an imposition of restraint upon liberty or property, (2) in
order to foster the common good. It is not capable of an exact definition but has been, purposely, veiled in
general terms to underscore its all-comprehensive embrace.
"The police power of the State ... is a power coextensive with self- protection, and it is not inaptly
termed the "law of overwhelming necessity." It may be said to be that inherent and plenary power in the
State which enables it to prohibit all things hurtful to the comfort, safety, and welfare of society."


Notwithstanding its extensive sweep, police power is not without its own limitations. For all its
awesome consequences, it may not be exercised arbitrarily or unreasonably. Otherwise, and in that event,
it defeats the purpose for which it is exercised, that is, to advance the public good. Thus, when the power
is used to further private interests at the expense of the citizenry, there is a clear misuse of the power.
As a general rule, official acts enjoy a presumed validity.


In the absence of clear and convincing

evidence to the contrary, the presumption logically stands.

The petitioner has shown no satisfactory reason why the contested measure should be nullified.
There is no question that Department Order No. 1 applies only to "female contract workers,"


but it does

not thereby make an undue discrimination between the sexes. It is well-settled that "equality before the
law" under the Constitution 15 does not import a perfect Identity of rights among all men and women. It
admits of classifications, provided that:

(1) such classifications rest on substantial distinctions;

(2) they are germane to the purposes of the law;
(3) they are not confined to existing conditions; and
(4) they apply equally to all members of the same class.


The Court is satisfied that the classification made-the preference for female workers rests on
substantial distinctions.
As a matter of judicial notice, the Court is well aware of the unhappy plight that has befallen our
female labor force abroad, especially domestic servants, amid exploitative working conditions marked by,
in not a few cases, physical and personal abuse. The sordid tales of maltreatment suffered by migrant
Filipina workers, even rape and various forms of torture, confirmed by testimonies of returning workers,
are compelling motives for urgent Government action. As precisely the caretaker of Constitutional rights,
the Court is called upon to protect victims of exploitation. In fulfilling that duty, the Court sustains the
Government's efforts.
The same, however, cannot be said of our male workers. In the first place, there is no evidence
that, except perhaps for isolated instances, our men abroad have been afflicted with an Identical
predicament. The petitioner has proffered no argument that the Government should act similarly with
respect to male workers. The Court, of course, is not impressing some male chauvinistic notion that men
are superior to women. What the Court is saying is that it was largely a matter of evidence (that women
domestic workers are being ill-treated abroad in massive instances) and not upon some fanciful or


arbitrary yardstick that the Government acted in this case. It is evidence capable indeed of
unquestionable demonstration and evidence this Court accepts. The Court cannot, however, say the
same thing as far as men are concerned. There is simply no evidence to justify such an inference. Suffice
it to state, then, that insofar as classifications are concerned, this Court is content that distinctions are
borne by the evidence. Discrimination in this case is justified.
The Court finds, finally, the impugned guidelines to be applicable to all female domestic overseas
workers. That it does not apply to "all Filipina workers"


is not an argument for unconstitutionality.

It is incorrect to say that Department Order No. 1 prescribes a total ban on overseas deployment.
From scattered provisions of the Order, it is evident that such a total ban has hot been contemplated.
The consequence the deployment ban has on the right to travel does not impair the right. The
right to travel is subject, among other things, to the requirements of "public safety," "as may be provided
by law." 25 Department Order No. 1 is a valid implementation of the Labor Code, in particular, its basic
policy to "afford protection to labor," 26pursuant to the respondent Department of Labor's rule-making
authority vested in it by the Labor Code.


The petitioner assumes that it is unreasonable simply because

of its impact on the right to travel, but as we have stated, the right itself is not absolute. The disputed
Order is a valid qualification thereto.
Neither is there merit in the contention that Department Order No. 1 constitutes an invalid
exercise of legislative power. It is true that police power is the domain of the legislature, but it does not
mean that such an authority may not be lawfully delegated. As we have mentioned, the Labor Code itself
vests the Department of Labor and Employment with rulemaking powers in the enforcement whereof.
The Court finds furthermore that the Government has not indiscriminately made use of its
authority. It is not contested that it has in fact removed the prohibition with respect to certain countries as
manifested by the Solicitor General.
The non-impairment clause of the Constitution, invoked by the petitioner, must yield to the loftier
purposes targetted by the Government.


Freedom of contract and enterprise, like all other freedoms, is

not free from restrictions, more so in this jurisdiction, where laissez faire has never been fully accepted as
a controlling economic way of life.
WHEREFORE, the petition is DISMISSED.


Rubi v. Provincial Board of Mindoro
G.R. No. L-14078 March 7, 1919
The provincial board of Mindoro adopted resolution No. 25 wherein non-Christian inhabitants
(uncivilized tribes/ Mangyanes) will be directed to take up their habitation on sites on unoccupied public
lands. It is resolved that under section 2077 of the Administrative Code, 800 hectares of public land in the
sitio of Tigbao on Naujan Lake be selected as a site for the permanent settlement of Mangyanes
inMindoro. Further, Mangyans may only solicit homesteads on this reservation providing that
saidhomestead applications are previously recommended by the provincial governor.
In that case, pursuant to Section 2145 of the Revised Administrative Code, all the Mangyans in
thetownships of Naujan and Pola and the Mangyans east of the Baco River including those in thedistricts
of Dulangan and Rubi's place in Calapan, were ordered to take up their habitation on thesite of Tigbao,
Naujan Lake. Also, that any Mangyan who shall refuse to comply with this order shallupon conviction be
imprisoned not exceed in sixty days, in accordance with section 2759 of the revised Administrative Code.
The said resolution and the executive order were necessary measures for the protection of the
Mangyanes of Mindoro as well as the protection of public forests in which they roam, and to introduce
civilized customs among them.
Rubi and those living in his rancheria have not fixed their dwelling within the reservation of Tigbao
and are liable to be punished in accordance with section 2759 of Act No. 2711.
The Manguianes used out a writ of habeas corpus to the SC, alleging that they are deprived of
their liberty, Rubi and his companions are said to be held on the reservation against their will, and
Dabalos is said to be held under the custody of the provincial sheriff in the prison at Calapan for having
run away form the reservation.
Petitioners also challenge the validity of this Section 2145 of the Administrative Code.
WON Section 2145 of the Administrative Code deprive a person of his liberty of abode.
WON Section 2145 of the Administrative Code of 1917 is constitutional.

1. The SC held that the said section does not deprive a person of his liberty without due
process of law and does not deny to him the equal protection of the laws. Moreover, the
confinement in reservations in accordance with said section does not constitute slavery
and involuntary servitude.


One cannot hold that the liberty of the citizen is unduly interfered without when the degree of
civilization of the Manguianes is considered. They are restrained for their own good and the general
good of the Philippines. Nor can one say that due process of law has not been followed. To go back
to our definition of due process of law and equal protection of the law, there exists a law ; the law
seems to be reasonable; it is enforced according to the regular methods of procedure prescribed;
and it applies alike to all of a class.
Liberty regulated by law." Implied in the term is restraint by law for the good of the individual
and for the greater good of the peace and order of society and the general well-being. The right of
the individual is necessarily subject to reasonable restraint by general law for the common good. The
Liberty of the citizens may be restrained in the interest of the public health, or of the public order and
safety, or otherwise within the proper scope of the police power.
Due process of law" means simply . . . "first, that there shall be a law prescribed in harmony
with the general powers of the legislative department of the Government; second, that this law shall
be reasonable in its operation; third, that it shall be enforced according to the regular methods of
procedure prescribed; and fourth, that it shall be applicable alike to all the citizens of the state or to
all of a class."
The pledge that no person shall be denied the equal protection of the laws is not infringed by
a statute which is applicable to all of a class. The classification must have a reasonable basis and
cannot be purely arbitrary in nature.
To go back to our definition of due process of law and equal protection of the laws, there exists a
law; the law seems to be reasonable; it is enforced according to the regular methods of procedure
prescribed; and it applies alike to all of a class.
2. Section 2145 of the Administrative Code of 1917 is constitutional and a legitimate

exercise of the police power.

The said resolution is
1. for the advancement of the non-Christian people of the province;
2. for educating the Manguianes through obliging them to live in a permanent
3. for the protection of the Manguianes;
4. for the protection of the public forests
5. for the necessity of introducing civilized customs among the Manguianes.
The measure is necessary both in the interest of the public as owner of the lands about
which they are roving and for the proper accomplishment of the purposes and objectives of the
Therefore petitioners are not unlawfully imprisoned or restrained of their liberty. Habeas
corpus should not be issued.


Silverio v. CA
G.R. No. 94284 April 8, 1991

Ricardo Silverio (pet) was charged in violation of Section 20 (4) of the Revised Securities
Act. In due time, he posted bail for his provisional liberty.
After more than two (2) years after the filing of the information, People of the Philippines
(resp) filed an Urgent ex parte Motion to cancel the passport and to issue a hold-departure Order
against Silverio (pet) on the ground that he had gone abroad several times without the necessary
Court approval resulting in postponements of the arraignment and scheduled hearings.

RTC then issued an order directing the DFA to cancel the passport or to deny his
application and the Commission on Immigration to prevent Silverio from leaving the country.
Such order was based on the RTCs finding that Silverio has not been arraigned and
never appeared in court on the scheduled date of his arraignment, and Silverio has been
going out of the country without the court's knowledge and permission.
Petitioner contends that respondent Court of Appeals erred in not finding that the
Trial Court committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction in issuing
its Orders, dated 4 April and 28 July 1988, (1) on the basis of facts allegedly patently
erroneous, claiming that the scheduled arraignments could not be held because there was a
pending Motion to Quash the Information; and (2) finding that the right to travel can be
impaired upon lawful order of the Court, even on grounds other than the "interest of national
security, public safety or public health."

1. WON the scheduled arraignments could not be held because there was a
pending Motion to Quash the Information
2. Won the right to travel can be impaired upon lawful order of the Court, even on
grounds other than the "interest of national security, public safety or public health.
1. No. The scheduled arraignments can be held.

Although the date of the filing of the Motion to Quash has been omitted by Petitioner, it is
apparent that it was filed long after the filing of the Information in 1985 and only after several
arraignments had already been scheduled and cancelled due to Petitioner's nonappearance. The bond posted by accused Silverio had been cancelled twice and warrants of
arrest had been issued against him due to his failure to appear at scheduled
arraignments.The Court makes the observation that it has given accused Silverio more than
enough consideration. The limit had long been reached.


2. Yes. the right to travel can be impaired upon lawful order of the Court .

The SC held that the foregoing condition imposed upon an accused to make himself
available at all times whenever the Court requires his presence operates as a valid restriction of his
right to travel. A person facing criminal charges may be restrained by the Court from leaving the
country or, if abroad, compelled to return. "An accused released on bail may be re-arrested without
the necessity of a warrant if he attempts to depart from the Philippines without prior permission of
the Court where the case is pending.
Article III, Section 6 of the 1987 Constitution should be interpreted to mean that while the
liberty of travel may be impaired even without Court Order, the appropriate executive officers or
administrative authorities are not armed with arbitrary discretion to impose limitations. They can
impose limits only on the basis of "national security, public safety, or public health" and "as may be
provided by law.
It should not be construed as delimiting the inherent power of the Courts to use all means
necessary to carry their orders into effect in criminal cases pending before them. When by law
jurisdiction is conferred on a Court or judicial officer, all auxillary writs, process and other means
necessary to carry it into effect may be employed by such Court or officer.
Petitioner is facing a criminal charge. He has posted bail but has violated the conditions
thereof by failing to appear before the Court when required. Warrants for his arrest have been
issued. Those orders and processes would be rendered nugatory if an accused were to be allowed
to leave or to remain, at his pleasure, outside the territorial confines of the country. Holding an
accused in a criminal case within the reach of the Courts by preventing his departure from the
Philippines must be considered as a valid restriction on his right to travel so that he may be dealt
with in accordance with law.
WHEREFORE, the judgment under review is hereby AFFIRMED.


Villavicencio v. Lukban
G.R. No. L-14639 March 25, 1919

Justo Lukban, the Mayir of Manila, ordered for the best of all reasons, to exterminate vice,
ordered the segregated district for women of ill repute
The women were kept confined to their houses in the district by the police. They also
planned to send these women to Davao, Mindanao, as laborers.
In pursuant to the order of Mayor Lukban and Anton Hohmann (chief of police), the police,
hustled 170 women into patrol wagons without the opportunity to collect their belongings, and
without the knowledge that they will be destined in Mindanao for life. They were deprived to give
their consent to the deportation.
The relatives and friends of the deportees, through their attorney, filed an application
for habeas corpus alleging the certain facts and that the women were illegally restrained of their
liberty by Justo Lukban, Anton Hohmann, and by certain unknown parties.
The writ was made returnable before the full court.
Lukban and Hohmann, admitted certain facts relative to sequestration and deportation, and
prayed that the writ should not be granted because:
1. the petitioners were not proper parties;
2. the action should have been begun in the Court of First Instance for Davao, Department of
Mindanao and Sulu;
3. the respondents did not have any of the women under their custody or control;
4. their jurisdiction did not extend beyond the boundaries of the city of Manila.
In open court, the fiscal admitted that these women had been sent out of Manila without their
The court awarded the writ and directed Justo Lukban, Anton Hohmann, Francisco Sales
(governor of the province of Davao) and Feliciano Yigo (an hacendero of Davao) to bring those
women before the court.
However, only seven of the women had returned to Manila at their own expense and testifies
before the court.
The fiscal reasoned that the women were contained with their life in Mindanao and did not wish
to return to Manila.
Respondents Sales alleged that it was impossible for them to follow the order of the Supreme
Court because the women had never been under his control, because they were at liberty in the
Province of Davao, and because they had married or signed contracts as laborers.


Respondent Yigo alleged that he did not have any of the women under his control and that
therefore it was impossible for him to obey the mandate.
The court promulgated a second order and directed that those of the women not in Manila be
brought before the court by respondents Lukban, Hohmann, Sales, and Yigo, unless the women
voluntary renounce their right through written statements before the judge of first instance of Davao
or the clerk of that court, or unless the respondents should demonstrate some other legal motives
that made compliance impossible.
The respondents had succeeded in bringing 8 women from Davao with their consent. Moreover,
81 women were found in Davao and inform them that they can return to Manila to renounced their
rights; 59 women returned to Manila by their own means, and that they cannot find the other twentysix women.
Both counsel for petitioners and the city fiscal were permitted to submit memoranda. The consel
of petitioners formally asked the court to find the respondents in contempt of court. The city fiscal
requested that the replica al memorandum de los recurridos, (reply to respondents' memorandum)
dated January 25, 1919, be struck from the record.
Whether or not the respondents had authority to deport the women to Davao
The respondents had no authority to deport the women. There is no law expressly authorizing his

No official, no matter how high, is above the law. The courts are the forum which function to
safeguard individual liberty and to punish official transgressors. This is the motive in issuing the writ
of habeas corpus.
If the mayor and the chief of police could deport the women, they must have the means to return
them from Davao to Manila. The respondents may not be permitted to restrain a fellow citizen of her
liberty by forcing her to change her domicile and to avow the act with impunity in the courts. The great

writ of liberty may not thus be easily evaded.

The SC found the defense of the respondents does not constituted a legitimate bar to the
granting of the writ of habeas corpus.
Mayor Lukbans intention to suppress the social evil was commendable. However, his
methods were unlawful. His regard for the writ of habeas corpus issued by the court was only tardily
and reluctantly acknowledged.
Therefore, the respondents, Hohmann, Rodriguez, Ordax, Joaquin, Yigo, and Diaz are
found not to be in contempt of court. However, Lukban is found in contempt of court due to his failure
to obey the first mandate of the court.