Morano v Vivo; G.R. No. L-22196; 30 Jun 1967; 20 SCRA 562

in Legal Chyme by

A Chinese citizen and her son were permitted into the Philippines under a temporary visitor’s visa for two (2) months, but managed to stay in the country for thirty (30) years after obtaining several extensions. The Commissioner of Immigration ordered them to leave the country with a warning that upon their failure to comply, a warrant of arrest will be issued against them.

Whether or not the Commissioner of Immigration may validly issue warrants of arrest.

YES. The constitutional limitation contemplates an order of arrest in the exercise of judicial power as a step preliminary or incidental to prosecution or proceedings for a given offense or administrative action, not as a measure indispensable to carry out a valid decision by a competent official, such as a legal order of deportation, issued by the Commissioner of Immigration, in pursuance of a valid legislation. The determination of the propriety of deportation is not a prosecution for, or a conviction of, crime; nor is the deportation a punishment, even though the facts underlying the decision may constitute a crime under local law. The proceeding is in effect simply a refusal by the government to harbor persons whom it does not want. The coincidence of local penal law with the policy of Congress is purely accidental, and, though supported by the same facts, a criminal prosecution and a proceeding for deportation are separate and independent. In consequence, the constitutional guarantee set forth in Section 1 (3), Article III of the Constitution aforesaid, requiring that the issue of probable cause be determined by a judge, does not extend to deportation proceedings.

Decision appealed from is AFFIRMED.

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