Writ of habeas corpus, Bill of Rights

1. Concept

a. Coverage

All cases of illegal confinement or detention. Except as otherwise expressly provided by law, the writ of habeas corpus shall extend to all cases of illegal confinement or detention by which any person is deprived of his liberty, or by which the rightful custody of any person is withheld from the person entitled thereto. (Section 1, Rule 102, Rules of Court)

1) Restraint of liberty

A prime specification of an application for a writ of habeas corpus is restraint of liberty. The essential object and purpose of the writ of habeas corpus is to inquire into all manner of involuntary restraint as distinguished from voluntary, and to relieve a person therefrom if such restraint is illegal. Any restraint that will preclude freedom of action is sufficient. The rule is that if a person alleged to be restrained of his liberty is in the custody of an officer under process issued by a court or judge, or by virtue of a judgment or order of a court of record, the writ of habeas corpus will not be allowed. (In Re: Issuance of a Writ of Habeas Corpus of Inmates Reyes, et al., En Banc, G.R. No. 251954, 10 June 2020)

2) If liberty is restrained by legal process

Concomitantly, if a person's liberty is restrained by some legal process, the writ of habeas corpus is unavailing. The writ cannot be used to directly assail a judgment rendered by a competent court or tribunal which, having duly acquired jurisdiction, was not ousted of this jurisdiction through ...


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