G.R. No. 139465 – 322 SCRA 160 – Political Law – Due Process – Right to be informed of the charges
Mark Jimenez was charged of multiple crimes ranging from tax evasion to wire tapping to conspiracy to defraud the USA. Jimenez was then wanted in the US. The US government, pursuant to the RP-US extradition treaty requested to have Jimenez be extradited there. Jimenez requested for a copy of the complaint against him as well as the extradition request by the USA. The DOJ sec refused to provide him copy thereof advising that it is still premature to give him so and that it is not a preliminary investigation hence he is not entitled to receive such copies. Jimenez sued the DOJ Sec and the lower court ruled in favor of Jimenez.
ISSUE: Whether or not Jimenez is deprived of due process.
HELD: The SC affirmed the ruling of the lower court. The case against Jimenez refer to an impending threat of deprivation of one’s property or property right. Involving as it does the possible deprivation of liberty, which, based on the hierarchy of constitutionally protected rights, is placed second only to life itself and enjoys precedence over property, for while forfeited property can be returned or replaced, the time spent in incarceration is irretrievable and beyond recompense.