BASECO (Bataan Shipyard and Engineering Co. Inc.) challenged the PCGG sequestration orders issued in accordance with EOs 1 and 2 of President Cory Aquino. PCGG was directed to (1) sequester the BASECO and 8 other companies with minimum disruption, (2) produce certain documents, (3) terminate services to BASECO executives. BASECO contends, among others, that such sequestration is a violation against its right against self-incrimination and unreasonable searches and seizures.
Is PCGG’s sequestration order against BASECO a violation of BASECO’s right against self-incrimination and unreasonable searches and seizures?
- Right against self-incrimination has no application to juridical persons.
- Corporations cannot refuse incriminating questions because it is vested with special privileges and franchises by the government, and they must show their hand when charged.
- Moreover, no search was undertaken by the PCGG, so BASECO cannot invoke its right against self-incrimination.
- Corporations are a creation of the State, for public benefit
- Its rights are only preserved to it so long as it obeys the laws of its creation.
- It would be a strange anomaly to hold that a state could not inquire whether its franchises/privileges granted were abused, and cannot demand the production of the corporate books and papers for that purpose.