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Issue:Whether or not the said OCA Circular restricts the right to travelRuling:No. Although the right to travel is guaranteed by the Constitution, the exercise ofsuch right is not absolute. Section 6, Article III of the 1987 Constitution allows restrictionson one’s right to travel provided that such restriction is in the interest of national security,public safety or public health as may be provided by law. This, however, should by no meansbe construed as limiting the Court’s inherent power of administrative supervision overlower courts. OCA Circular No. 49-2003 does not restrict but merely regulates, by providingguidelines to be complied by judges and court personnel, before they can go on leave totravel abroad. To “restrict” is to restrain or prohibit a person from doing something; to“regulate” is to govern or direct according to rule. To ensure management of court docketsand to avoid disruption in the administration of justice, OCA Circular No. 49-2003 requires ajudge who wishes to travel abroad to submit, together with his application for leave ofabsence duly recommended for approval by his Executive Judge, a certification from theStatistics Division, Court Management Office of the OCA, as to the condition of his docket,based on his Certificate of Service for the month immediately preceding the date of hisintended travel, that he has decided and resolved all cases or incidents within three (3)months from date of submission, pursuant to Section 15(1) and (2), Article VIII of the 1987Constitution.FERDINAND E. MARCOS, ET AL. VS. HONORABLE RAUL MANGLAPUS, ET AL.G.R. NO. 88211, SEPTEMBER 15, 1989, CORTES, J.The right to return to one's country is not among the rights specifically guaranteed inthe Bill of Rights, which treats only of the liberty of abode and the right to travel, but it is ourwell-considered view that the right to return may be considered, as a generally accepted100 | P a g e
Political Law Reviewprinciple of international law and, under our Constitution, is part of the law of the land [Art. II,Sec. 2 of the Constitution.] However, it is distinct and separate from the right to travel andenjoys a different protection under the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights, i.e.,against being "arbitrarily deprived" thereof [Art. 12 (4).]Facts:This case involves a petition of mandamus and prohibition asking the court to orderthe respondents Secretary of Foreign Affairs, etc. to issue travel documents to formerPresident Marcos and the immediate members of his family and to enjoin theimplementation of the President's decision to bar their return to the Philippines. Petitionersassert that the right of the Marcoses to return in the Philippines is guaranteed by the Bill ofRights, specifically Sections 1 and 6. They contended that Pres. Aquino is without power toimpair the liberty of abode of the Marcoses because only a court may do so within the limitsprescribed by law. Nor the President may impair their right to travel because no law hasauthorized her to do so. They further assert that under international law, their right to