Guilty until proven innocent: A study on the constitutionality of civil forfeiture without prior criminal charge

Date of Publication


Document Type

Bachelor's Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Legal Management

Subject Categories

Civil Law | Property Law and Real Estate


Ramon V. Del Rosario College of Business


Commercial Law

Thesis Adviser

Christopher E. Cruz

Defense Panel Chair

Edward P. Chico

Defense Panel Member

Lily Ann M. Padaen
Michael David B. Azucena


This research will look into, and then seek to resolve the constitutional conflicts in the Rules on Civil Forfeiture (Sec 27 and 28), allowing a proceeding for civil forfeiture to prosper without prior criminal charge or conviction of an individual, allegedly possessing ill-gotten wealth.

As it is believed that a civil forfeiture proceeding is intimately connected with a criminal proceeding convicting the possessor of ill-gotten wealth with a crime (e.g. money laundering), it will be anchored on the right of the accused, as granted by the 1987 Philippine Constitution, stating that a person should be assured due process of law and declaring that one should be deemed innocent until proven guilty. It will also make use of principles and theories related to legal philosophy in order to facilitate further discussions on whether justice is properly administered through the present practice of civil forfeiture.

In order to provide a deeper insight into the constitutionality of civil forfeiture, the study will first look into the original intent of forfeiture-related laws by tracing its roots through existing Philippine laws and jurisprudence. Also, it will clarify the difference between civil forfeiture and related legal terms, such as preliminary injunction and preliminary attachment. It will then review the concepts of forfeiture as discussed in journals, and studies conducted prior. Discussions of these concepts will have a simultaneous discourse on selected schools of thought in legal philosophy.

Finally, this study seeks to understand civil forfeiture through seeing how it has evolved over time, and how it has responded to the call of justice in the changing times.

Abstract Format






Accession Number


Shelf Location

Archives, The Learning Commons, 12F, Henry Sy Sr. Hall

Physical Description

69 leaves, illustrations, 29 cm.



Embargo Period


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