LAW 109 : CRIMINAL LAW 1 DIGESTS SECRETARY OF JUSTICE v. LANTION [322 SCRA 160 (2000)] Nature: Petition for review of a decision of the Manila RTC Facts: On June 18, 1999 the Department of Justice received from the Department of Foreign Affairs a request for the extradition of private respondent Mark Jimenez to the U.S. The Grand Jury Indictment, the warrant for his arrest, and other supporting documents for said extradition were attached along with the request. Charges include: 1. Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud the US 2. Attempt to evade or defeat tax 3. Fraud by wire, radio, or television 4. False statement or entries 5. Election contribution in name of another The Department of Justice (DOJ), through a designated panel proceeded with the technical evaluation and assessment of the extradition treaty which they found having matters needed to be addressed. Respondent, then requested for copies of all the documents included in the extradition request and for him to be given ample time to assess it. The Secretary of Justice denied request on the ff. grounds: 1. He found it premature to secure him copies prior to the completion of the evaluation. At that point in time, the DOJ is in the process of evaluating whether the procedures and requirements under the relevant law (PD 1069—Philippine Extradition Law) and treaty (RP-US Extradition Treaty) have been complied with by the Requesting Government. Evaluation by the DOJ of the documents is not a preliminary investigation like in criminal cases making the constitutionally guaranteed rights of the accused in criminal prosecution inapplicable. 2. The U.S. requested for the prevention of unauthorized disclosure of the information in the documents. 3. Finally, country is bound to Vienna convention on law of treaties such that every treaty in force is binding upon the parties. The respondent filed for petition of mandamus, certiorari, and prohibition. The RTC of NCR ruled in favor of the respondent. Secretary of Justice was made to issue a copy of the requested papers, as well as conducting further proceedings. Issues: 1. WON private is respondent entitled to the two basic due process rights of notice and hearing Yes. §2(a) of PD 1086 defines extradition as “the removal of an accused from the Philippines with the object of placing him at the disposal of foreign authorities to enable the requesting state or government to hold him in connection with any criminal investigation directed against him in connection with any criminal investigation directed against him or the execution of a penalty imposed on him under the penal or criminal law of the requesting state or government.” Although the inquisitorial power exercised by the DOJ as an administrative agency due to the failure of the DFA to comply lacks any judicial discretion, it primarily sets the wheels for the extradition process which may ultimately result in the deprivation of the liberty of the prospective extradite. This deprivation can be effected at two stages: The provisional arrest of the prospective extradite pending the submission of the request & the temporary arrest of the prospective extradite during the pendency of the extradition petition in court. Clearly, there’s an impending threat to a
prospective extraditee’s liberty as early as during the evaluation stage. Because of such consequences, the evaluation process is akin to an administrative agency conducting an investigative proceeding, the consequences of which are essentially criminal since such technical assessment sets off or commences the procedure for & ultimately the deprivation of liberty of a prospective extradite. In essence, therefore, the evaluation process partakes of the nature of a criminal investigation. There are certain constitutional rights that are ordinarily available only in criminal prosecution. But the Court has ruled in other cases that where the investigation of an administrative proceeding may result in forfeiture of life,...
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