Pita v. CA, 178 SCRA 362 (1989)
2. The Court of Appeals erred in affirming the decision of the trial court and, in effect, holding that the trial court could dismiss the case on its merits without any hearing thereon when what was submitted to it for resolution was merely the application of petitioner for the writ of preliminary injunction.
Whether or not the seizure was constitutional
No. As strongly stressed in Bagatsing, a case involving the delivery of a political speech, the presumption is that the speech may validly be said. The burden is on the State to demonstrate the existence of a danger, a danger that must not only be: (1) clear but also, (2) present, to justify State action to stop the speech. Meanwhile, the Government must allow it (the speech). It has no choice. However, if it acts notwithstanding that (absence of evidence of a clear and present danger), it must come to terms with, and be held accountable for, due process.
The Court is not convinced that the private respondents have shown the required proof to justify a ban and to warrant confiscation of the literature for which mandatory injunction had been sought below. First of all, they were not possessed of a lawful court order: (1) finding the said materials to be pornography, and (2) authorizing them to carry out a search and seizure, by way of a search warrant.
The fact that the former respondent Mayor's act was sanctioned by "police power" is no license to seize property in disregard of due process. In Philippine Service Exporters, Inc. v. Drilon, the Court defined police power as "state authority to enact legislation that may interfere with personal liberty or property in order to promote the general welfare ." Presidential Decrees Nos. 960 and 969 are, arguably, police power measures, but they are not, by themselves, authorities for high-handed acts. They do not exempt our law enforcers, in carrying out the decree of the twin presidential issuances (Mr. Marcos'), from the commandments of the Constitution, the right to due process of law and the right against unreasonable searches and seizures, specifically.