Abadia v CA; G.R. No. 105597; 23 Sep 1994; 236 SCRA 676

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Private respondent was arrested in connection with a coup attempt and was detained for months without charges. After a charge sheet was filed against him for violations of the Articles of War, he filed a petition for habeas corpus which was dismissed on the ground that a pre-trial investigation was already ongoing. Despite finding no evidence of his direct participation in the coup, the Pre-Trial Investigative Panel recommended that he be charged with conspiracy and proposal to commit rebellion or insurrection. He remained in detention despite all existing charges against him were later dismissed.

Whether or no private respondent, a military officer, is entitled to a writ of habeas corpus.

YES. The constitutional rights of the accused are clearly available to all citizens even in the absence of statutory enactment. They cannot be denied to certain individuals because of gaps in the alw for which they are not responsible. They cannot be taken away from certain individuals because of the nature of their vocation. Members of the military establishment do not waive individual rights on taking up military uniform. That they become subject to uniquely military rules and procedures does not imply that they agree to exclusively fall under the jurisdiction of only those rules and regulations and opt to stand apart from those rules which govern all of the country’s citizens.

Petition is DENIED.

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