Dumlao v COMELEC; 95 SCRA 392

in Legal Chyme by

Congress enacted Batas Pambansa Blg. 52, Section 4 of which disqualifies any person who has committed any act of disloyalty to the State to be a candidate for any of the offices covered by the statute or to participate in any partisan political activity therein, provided, “that the filing of charges for the commission of such crimes before a civil court or military tribunal after preliminary investigation shall be prima facie evidence of such fact.”

Whether or not Paragraph 2, Section 4, Batas Pambansa Blg. 52 violates the constitutional presumption of innocence.

YES. An accusation, according to the fundamental law, is not synonymous with guilt. The challenged proviso contravenes the constitutional presumption of innocence, as a candidate is disqualified from running from public office on the ground alone that charges have been filed against him before a civil or military tribunal. It condemns before one is fully heard.

Portion of Paragraph 2, Section 4, Batas Pambansa Blg. 52 is declared NULL AND VOID.

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