of 114

Criminal Law Case Digests

Published on May 2016 | Categories: Documents | Downloads: 16 | Comments: 0
297 views

Comments

Content

Narratives
Constitutional Law II
Michael Vernon Guerrero Mendiola 2005 Shared under Creative Commons AttributionNonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Philippines license.

Some Rights Reserved.

Table of Contents

Alvero vs. Dizon [GR L-342, 4 May 1946] … 1 People vs. Andre Marti [GR 81561, 18 January 1991] … 1 Bache & Co. (Phil.) Inc. vs. Ruiz [GR L-32409, 27 February 1971] … 2 Stonehill vs. Diokno [GR L-19550, 19 June 1967] … 4 Zurcher vs. Stanford Daily [436 US 547, 31 May 1978] ... 5 Wilson vs. Layne [526 US 603, 24 May 1999] … 6 Burgos v. Chief of Staff, AFP [GR 64261, 26 December 1984] … 8 Chandler vs. Miler [520 US 305, 15 April 1997] … 8 People vs. Chua Ho San [GR 128222, 17 June 1999] … 10 People vs. Molina [GR 133917, 19 February 2001] … 11 Solid Triangle Sales Corp. vs. Sitchon [GR 144309, 23 November 2001] … 12 People vs. Salanguit [GR 133254-55, 19 April 2001] … 14 Amarga vs. Abbas [GR L-8666, 28 March 1956] … 15 Sta. Rosa Mining Company vs. Assistant Provincial Fiscal Zabala [GR L-44723, 31 August 1987] … 16 People vs. Inting [GR 88919, 25 July 1990] … 17 Paderanga vs. Drilon [GR 96080, 19 April 1991] … 18 Pita vs. Court of Appeals [GR 80806, 5 October 1989] … 19 Abdula vs. Guiani [GR 118821, 18 February 2000] … 20 Pasion Vda. de Garcia vs. Locsin [GR 45950, 20 June 1938] … 22 Yee Sue Koy vs. Almeda [GR 47021, 15 June 1940] .. 23 Alvarez vs. Court of First Instance of Tayabas [GR 45358, 29 January 1937] … 24 Mata vs. Bayona [GR 50720, 26 March 1984] … 26 Olaez vs. People of the Philippines [GR 78347-49, 9 November 1987] … 26 Prudente vs. Dayrit [GR 82870, 14 December 1989] … 27 Chia vs. Acting Collector of Customs [GR L-43810, 26 September 1989] … 28 20th Century Fox Film Corporation vs. Court of Appeals [GR L-76649-51, 19 August 1988] … 29 Nolasco vs. Cruz Pano [GR L-69803, 8 October 1985] … 30 Paper Industries Corporation of the Philippines vs. Asuncion [GR 122092, 19 May 1999] … 32 Yousef Al-Ghoul vs. Court of Appeals [GR 126859, 4 September 2001] … 33 People v. Omaweng [GR 99050, 2 September 1992] … 34 People vs. Correa [GR 119246, 30 January 1998] … 35 People v. Ramos [GR 85401-02, 4 June 1990] … 36 People v. Barros [GR 90640, 29 March 1994] … 37 Veroy v. Layague [GR 95630, 18 June 1992] … 38 People vs. Damaso [GR 93516, 12 August 1992] … 39 Lopez vs. Commissioner of Customs [GR L-27968, 3 December 1975] … 41 Caballes vs. Court of Appeals [GR 136292, 15 January 2002] … 41 People vs. Asis [GR 142531, 15 October 2002] … 43 People vs. Tudtud [GR 144037, 26 September 2003] … 44 Chimel vs. California [395 US 752, 23 June 1969] … 46 People vs. dela Cruz [GR 83260, 18 April 1990] … 47 People v. Kalubiran [GR 84079, 6 May 1991] … 47 People v. Malmstedt [GR 91107, 19 June 1991] … 48 Espano vs. Court of Appeals [GR 120431, 1 April 1998] … 49 People vs. Tangliben [GR L-63630, 6 April 1990] … 50 People v. Che Chun Ting [GR 130568-69, 21 March 2000] … 51 People vs. Estrella [GR 138539-40, 21 January 2003] … 52 People vs. Libnao [GR 136860, 20 January 2003] … 54 People v. Musa [GR 96177, 27 January 1993] … 55 Padilla vs. Court of Appeals [GR 121917, 12 March 1997] … 56

People vs. Valdez [GR 129296, 25 September 2000] … 58 Arizona v. Hicks [480 US 321, 3 March 1987] … 60 People vs. Compacion [GR 124442, 20 July 2001] … 61 Roldan vs. Arca [GR L-25434, 25 July 1975] … 62 Hizon vs. Court of Appeals [GR 119619, 13 December 1996] … 64 People vs. Gatward [GRs 119772-73, 7 February 1997] … 66 People vs. Johnson [GR 138881, 18 December 2000] … 67 People vs. Suzuki [GR 120670, 23 October 2003] … 68 Bureau of Customs vs. Ogario [GR 138081, 30 March 2000] … 70 Terry vs. Ohio [392 US 1, 10 June 1968] … 71 People v. Solayao [GR 119220, 20 September 1996] … 72 Manalili v. CA [GR 113447, 9 October 1997] … 73 Malacat vs. Court of Appeals [GR 123595, 12 December 1997] … 74 Florida vs. J.L. [000 US 98-1993, 28 March 2000] … 76 People vs. Balingan [GR 105834, 13 February 1995] … 76 Asuncion vs. Court of Appeals [GR 125959, 1 February 1999] … 78 Papa vs. Mago [GR L-27360, 28 February 1968] … 79 People vs. CFI Rizal, Branch IX, Quezon City [GR L-41686, 17 November 1980] … 80 Whren v. United States [ 517 US 806 (No. 95-5841), 10 June 1996] … 82 Arkansas vs. Sullivan [000 US 00-262, 29 May 2001] … 83 People vs. de Gracia [GR 102009-10, 6 July 1994] … 84 Valmonte vs. de Villa [GR 83988, 24 May 1990] … 85 Aniag vs. Commission on Elections [GR 104961, 7 October 1994] … 87 People vs. Escano, Usana and Lopez [GR 129756-58, 28 January 2000] … 88 Camara vs. Municipal Court of the City and Country of San Francisco [387 US 523, 5 June 1967] … 89 In RE: Umil, Umil vs. Ramos [GR 81567, 9 July 1990] … 90 People vs. Sucro [GR 93239, 18 March 1991] … 91 People vs. Doria [GR 125299, 22 January 1999] … 92 People vs. Go [GR 116001, 14 March 2001]; also Go vs. Court of Appeals [GR 123943] … 94 People vs. de Guzman [GR 117952-53, 14 February 2001] … 96 People vs. Gerente [GR 95847-48, 10 March 1993] … 97 People vs. Sinoc [GR 113511-12, 1 July 1997] … 98 People vs. Baula [GR 132671, 15 November 2000] … 99 People vs. Cubcubin [GR 136267, 10 July 2001] … 101 People vs. Rodrigueza [GR 95902, 4 February 1992] … 102 Go vs. Court of Appeals [GR 101837, 11 February 1992] … 104 People vs. Calimlim [GR 123980, 30 August 2001] … 106 People vs. Enrile [GR 74189, 26 May 1993] … 107 People vs. Pasudag [GR 128822, 4 May 2001] … 108 People vs. Aminnudin [GR L-74860, 6 July 1988] .. 108 People vs. Plana [GR 128285, 27 November 2001] … 109 People vs. Conde [GR 113269, 10 April 2001] … 110 This collection contains ninety-two (92) cases summarized in this format by Michael Vernon M. Guerrero (as a senior law student) during the First Semester, school year 2005-2006 in the Political Law Review class under Dean Mariano Magsalin Jr. at the Arellano University School of Law (AUSL). Compiled as PDF, September 2012. Berne Guerrero entered AUSL in June 2002 and eventually graduated from AUSL in 2006. He passed the Philippine bar examinations immediately after (April 2007).

berneguerrero.wordpress.com

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

121 Alvero vs. Dizon [GR L-342, 4 May 1946] En Banc, de Joya (J): 4 concur, 4 acting justices concur Facts: On 12 February 1945, while the battle for Manila was raging, soldiers of the United States Army, accompanied by men of Filipino Guerrilla Forces, placed Aurelio S. Alvero under arrest, having been suspected of collaboration with the enemy, and seized and took certain papers from his house in Pasay, Rizal. On or about 4 October 1945, Alvero was accused of treason, in criminal case 3 of the People's Court; after which, on 1 December 1945, he filed a petition, demanding the return of the papers allegedly seized and taken from his house. Alvero also filed a petition for bail, at the hearing of which the prosecution presented certain papers and documents, which were admitted as part of its evidence, and said petition was denied. At the trial of the case on the merits, the prosecution again presented said papers and documents, which were admitted as part of its evidence, and were marked as exhibits. On 26 February 1946, the judges issued an order denying the petition for the return of the documents, and admitted as competent evidence the documents presented by the prosecution. On the same date that said order was issued, denying the petition for the return of said documents, Alvero asked for the reconsideration of said order, which was also denied. Alvero filed a petition for certiorari with injunction with the Supreme Court. Issue: Whether the documents seized by United States Army personnel at Alvero’s home can be used as evidence against the latter. Held: The right of officers and men of the United States Army to arrest Alvero, as a collaborationist suspect, and to seize his personal papers, without any search warrant, in the zone of military operations, is unquestionable, under the provisions of article 4, Chapter II, Section I, of the Regulations relative to the Laws and Customs of War on Land of the Hague Conventions of 1907, authorizing the seizure of military papers in the possession of prisoners of war; and also under the proclamation, dated 29 December 1944, issued by Gen. Douglas MacArthur, as Commander in Chief of the United States Army, declaring his purpose to remove certain citizens of the Philippines, who had voluntarily given aid and comfort to the enemy, in violation of the allegiance due the Governments of the United States and the Commonwealth of the Philippines, when apprehended, from any position of political and economic influence in the Philippines and to hold them in restraint for the duration of the war. The purpose of the constitutional provisions against unlawful searches and seizures is to prevent violations of private security in person and property, and unlawful invasions of the sanctity of the home, by officers of the law acting under legislative or judicial sanction, and to give remedy against such usurpations when attempted. But it does not prohibit the Government from taking advantage of unlawful searches made by a private person or under authority of state law. Herein, as the soldiers of the United States Army, that took and seized certain papers and documents from the residence of Alvero, were not acting as agents or on behalf of the Government of the Commonwealth of the Philippines; and that those papers and documents came into the possession of the authorities of the Commonwealth Government, through the Office of the CIC of the United States Army in Manila, the use and presentation of said papers and documents, as evidence for the prosecution against Alvero, at the trial of his case for treason, before the People's Court, cannot now be legally attacked, on the ground of unlawful or unreasonable searches and seizures, or on any other constitutional ground, as declared by the Supreme Court of the United States in similar cases. (See Burdeau vs. McDowell, 256 U. S., 465; Gambino vs. United States, 275 U. S., 310.) 122 People vs. Andre Marti [GR 81561, 18 January 1991] Third Division, Bidin (J): 3 concur Facts: On 14 August 1987, Andre Marti and his common-law wife, Shirley Reyes, went to the booth of the Manila Packing and Export Forwarders in the Pistang Pilipino Complex, Ermita, Manila, carrying with them 4 gift-wrapped packages. Anita Reyes (the proprietress and no relation to Shirley Reyes) attended to them. Marti informed Anita Reyes that he was sending the packages to a friend in Zurich, Switzerland. Marti filled up the contract necessary for the transaction, writing therein his name, passport number, the date of shipment
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 1 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

and the name and address of the consignee, namely, "WALTER FIERZ, Mattacketr II, 8052 Zurich, Switzerland." Anita Reyes did not inspect the packages as Marti refused, who assured the former that the packages simply contained books, cigars, and gloves and were gifts to his friend in Zurich. In view of Marti's representation, the 4 packages were then placed inside a brown corrugated box, with styro-foam placed at the bottom and on top of the packages, and sealed with masking tape. Before delivery of Marti's box to the Bureau of Customs and/or Bureau of Posts, Mr. Job Reyes (proprietor) and husband of Anita (Reyes), following standard operating procedure, opened the boxes for final inspection, where a peculiar odor emitted therefrom. Job pulled out a cellophane wrapper protruding from the opening of one of the gloves, and took several grams of the contents thereof. Job Reyes forthwith prepared a letter reporting the shipment to the NBI and requesting a laboratory examination of the samples he extracted from the cellophane wrapper. At the Narcotics Section of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), the box containing Marti's packages was opened, yielding dried marijuana leaves, or cake-like (bricks) dried marijuana leaves. The NBI agents made an inventory and took charge of the box and of the contents thereof, after signing a "Receipt" acknowledging custody of the said effects. Thereupon, the NBI agents tried to locate Marti but to no avail, inasmuch as the latter's stated address was the Manila Central Post Office. Thereafter, an Information was filed against Marti for violation of RA 6425, otherwise known as the Dangerous Drugs Act. After trial, the Special Criminal Court of Manila (Regional Trial Court, Branch XLIX) rendered the decision, convicting Marti of violation of Section 21 (b), Article IV in relation to Section 4, Article 11 and Section 2 (e)(i), Article 1 of Republic Act 6425, as amended, otherwise known as the Dangerous Drugs Act. Marti appealed. Issue: Whether an act of a private individual, allegedly in violation of the accused's constitutional rights, be invoked against the State. Held: In the absence of governmental interference, the liberties guaranteed by the Constitution cannot be invoked against the State. The contraband herein, having come into possession of the Government without the latter transgressing the accused's rights against unreasonable search and seizure, the Court sees no cogent reason why the same should not be admitted against him in the prosecution of the offense charged. The mere presence of the NBI agents did not convert the reasonable search effected by Reyes into a warrantless search and seizure proscribed by the Constitution. Merely to observe and look at that which is in plain sight is not a search. Having observed that which is open, where no trespass has been committed in aid thereof, is not search. Where the contraband articles are identified without a trespass on the part of the arresting officer, there is not the search that is prohibited by the constitution. The constitutional proscription against unlawful searches and seizures therefore applies as a restraint directed only against the government and its agencies tasked with the enforcement of the law. Thus, it could only be invoked against the State to whom the restraint against arbitrary and unreasonable exercise of power is imposed. If the search is made upon the request of law enforcers, a warrant must generally be first secured if it is to pass the test of constitutionality. However, if the search is made at the behest or initiative of the proprietor of a private establishment for its own and private purposes, as in the case at bar, and without the intervention of police authorities, the right against unreasonable search and seizure cannot be invoked for only the act of private individual, not the law enforcers, is involved. In sum, the protection against unreasonable searches and seizures cannot be extended to acts committed by private individuals so as to bring it within the ambit of alleged unlawful intrusion by the government. 123 Bache & Co. (Phil.) Inc. vs. Ruiz [GR L-32409, 27 February 1971] En Banc, Villamor (J): 7 concur, 1 filed a separate concurring opinion to which 1 concurs, 1 concurs in result Facts: On 24 February 1970, Misael P. Vera, Commissioner of Internal Revenue, wrote a letter addressed to Judge Vivencio M. Ruiz requesting the issuance of a search warrant against Bache & Co. (Phil.), Inc. and Frederick E. Seggerman for violation of Section 46(a) of the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC), in relation to all other pertinent provisions thereof, particularly Sections 53, 72, 73, 208 and 209, and authorizing
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 2 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

Revenue Examiner Rodolfo de Leon to make and file the application for search warrant which was attached to the letter. In the afternoon of the following day, De Leon and his witness, Arturo Logronio, went to the Court of First Instance (CFI) of Rizal. They brought with them the following papers: Vera's letter-request; an application for search warrant already filled up but still unsigned by De Leon; an affidavit of Logronio subscribed before De Leon; a deposition in printed form of Logronio already accomplished and signed by him but not yet subscribed; and a search warrant already accomplished but still unsigned by Judge. At that time the Judge was hearing a certain case; so, by means of a note, he instructed his Deputy Clerk of Court to take the depositions of De Leon and Logronio. After the session had adjourned, the Judge was informed that the depositions had already been taken. The stenographer, upon request of the Judge, read to him her stenographic notes; and thereafter, the Judge asked Logronio to take the oath and warned him that if his deposition was found to be false and without legal basis, he could be charged for perjury. The Judge signed de Leon's application for search warrant and Logronio's deposition. Search Warrant 2-M-70 was then signed by Judge and accordingly issued. 3 days later (a Saturday), the BIR agents served the search warrant to the corporation and Seggerman at the offices of the corporation on Ayala Avenue, Makati, Rizal. The corporation's lawyers protested the search on the ground that no formal complaint or transcript of testimony was attached to the warrant. The agents nevertheless proceeded with their search which yielded 6 boxes of documents. On 3 March 1970, the corporation and Seggerman filed a petition with the Court of First Instance (CFI) of Rizal praying that the search warrant be quashed, dissolved or recalled, that preliminary prohibitory and mandatory writs of injunction be issued, that the search warrant be declared null and void, and that Vera, Logronio, de Leon, et. al., be ordered to pay the corporation and Seggerman, jointly and severally, damages and attorney's fees. After hearing and on 29 July 1970, the court issued an order dismissing the petition for dissolution of the search warrant. In the meantime, or on 16 April 1970, the Bureau of Internal Revenue made tax assessments on the corporation in the total sum of P2,594,729.97, partly, if not entirely, based on the documents thus seized. The corporation and Seggerman filed an action for certiorari, prohibition, and mandamus. Issue: Whether the corporation has the right to contest the legality of the seizure of documents from its office. Held: The legality of a seizure can be contested only by the party whose rights have been impaired thereby, and that the objection to an unlawful search and seizure is purely personal and cannot be availed of by third parties. In Stonehill, et al. vs. Diokno, et al. (GR L-19550, 19 June 1967; 20 SCRA 383) the Supreme Court impliedly recognized the right of a corporation to object against unreasonable searches and seizures; holding that the corporations have their respective personalities, separate and distinct from the personality of the corporate officers, regardless of the amount of shares of stock or the interest of each of them in said corporations, whatever, the offices they hold therein may be; and that the corporate officers therefore may not validly object to the use in evidence against them of the documents, papers and things seized from the offices and premises of the corporations, since the right to object to the admission of said papers in evidence belongs exclusively to the corporations, to whom the seized effects belong, and may not be invoked by the corporate officers in proceedings against them in their individual capacity. The distinction between the Stonehill case and the present case is that: in the former case, only the officers of the various corporations in whose offices documents, papers and effects were searched and seized were the petitioners; while in the latter, the corporation to whom the seized documents belong, and whose rights have thereby been impaired, is itself a petitioner. On that score, the corporation herein stands on a different footing from the corporations in Stonehill. Moreover, herein, the search warrant was void inasmuch as First, there was no personal examination conducted by the Judge of the complainant (De Leon) and his witness (Logronio). The Judge did not ask either of the two any question the answer to which could possibly be the basis for determining whether or not there was probable cause against Bache & Co. and Seggerman. The participation of the Judge in the proceedings which led to the issuance of Search Warrant 2-M-70 was thus limited to listening to the stenographer's readings of her notes, to a few words of warning against the commission of perjury, and to administering the oath to the complainant and his witness. This cannot be consider a personal examination. Second, the search warrant was issued for more than one specific offense. The search warrant was issued for at least 4 distinct offenses under the Tax Code. The first is the violation of Section 46(a), Section 72 and
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 3 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

Section 73 (the filing of income tax returns), which are interrelated. The second is the violation of Section 53 (withholding of income taxes at source). The third is the violation of Section 208 (unlawful pursuit of business or occupation); and the fourth is the violation of Section 209 (failure to make a return of receipts, sales, business or gross value of output actually removed or to pay the tax due thereon). Even in their classification the 6 provisions are embraced in 2 different titles: Sections 46(a), 53, 72 and 73 are under Title II (Income Tax); while Sections 208 and 209 are under Title V (Privilege Tax on Business and Occupation). Lastly, the search warrant does not particularly describe the things to be seized. Search Warrant No. 2-M-70 tends to defeat the major objective of the Bill of Rights, i.e., the elimination of general warrants, for the language used therein is so all-embracing as to include all conceivable records of the corporation, which, if seized, could possibly render its business inoperative. Thus, Search Warrant 2-M-70 is null and void. 124 Stonehill vs. Diokno [GR L-19550, 19 June 1967] En Banc, Concepcion (CJ): 6 concur Facts: Upon application of the officers of the government, Special Prosecutors Pedro D. Cenzon, Efren I. Plana and Manuel Villareal Jr. and Assistant Fiscal Manases G. Reyes; Judge Amado Roan (Municipal Court of Manila), Judge Roman Cansino (Municipal Court of Manila), Judge Hermogenes Caluag (Court of First Instance of Rizal-Quezon City Branch), and Judge Damian Jimenez (Municipal Court of Quezon City) issued, on different dates, a total of 42 search warrants against Harry S. Stonehill, Robert P. Brooks, HJohn J. Brooks, and Karl Beck, and/or the corporations of which they were officers, directed to any peace officer, to search the said persons and/or the premises of their offices, warehouses and/or residences, and to seize and take possession of the following personal property to wit: "Books of accounts, financial records, vouchers, correspondence, receipts, ledgers, journals, portfolios, credit journals, typewriters, and other documents and/or papers showing all business transactions including disbursements receipts, balance sheets and profit and loss statements and Bobbins (cigarette wrappers)" as "the subject of the offense; stolen or embezzled and proceeds or fruits of the offense," or "used or intended to be used as the means of committing the offense," which is described in the applications adverted to above as "violation of Central Bank Laws, Tariff and Customs Laws, Internal Revenue (Code) and the Revised Penal Code." Alleging that the search warrants are null and void, as contravening the Constitution and the Rules of Court, Stonehill, et. al. filed with the Supreme Court the original action for certiorari, prohibition, mandamus and injunction. On 22 March 1962, the Supreme Court issued the writ of preliminary injunction prayed for in the petition. However, by resolution dated 29 June 1962, the writ was partially lifted or dissolved, insofar as the papers, documents and things seized from the offices of the corporations are concerned; but, the injunction was maintained as regards the papers, documents and things found and seized in the residences of Stonehill, et. al. Issue: Whether Stonehill, et. al. can assail the legality of the contested warrants that allowed seizure of documents, papers and other effects in the corporate offices, and other places besides their residences. Held: Stonehill, et. al. maintained that the search warrants are in the nature of general warrants and that, accordingly, the seizures effected upon the authority thereof are null and void. No warrant shall issue but upon probable cause, to be determined by the judge in the manner set forth in said provision; and the warrant shall particularly describe the things to be seized. None of these requirements has been complied with in the contested warrants. The grave violation of the Constitution made in the application for the contested search warrants was compounded by the description therein made of the effects to be searched for and seized. The warrants authorized the search for and seizure of records pertaining to all business transactions of Stonehill, et. al., regardless of whether the transactions were legal or illegal. The warrants sanctioned the seizure of all records of the corporate officers and the corporations, whatever their nature, thus openly contravening the explicit command of our Bill of Rights — that the things to be seized be particularly described — as well as tending to defeat its major objective: the elimination of general warrants. However, the documents, papers, and things seized under the alleged authority of the warrants in question may be split into (2) major groups, namely: (a) those found and seized in the offices of the corporations and (b) those found seized in the
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 4 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

residences of Stonehill, et. al. As regards the first group, Stonehill, et. al. have no cause of action to assail the legality of the contested warrants and of the seizures made in pursuance thereof, for the simple reason that said corporations have their respective personalities, separate and distinct from the personality of Stonehill, et. al., regardless of the amount of shares of stock or of the interest of each of them in said corporations, and whatever the offices they hold therein may be. Indeed, it is well settled that the legality of a seizure can be contested only by the party whose rights have been impaired thereby, and that the objection to an unlawful search and seizure is purely personal and cannot be availed of by third parties. Consequently, Stonehill, et. al. may not validly object to the use in evidence against them of the documents, papers and things seized from the offices and premises of the corporations adverted to above, since the right to object to the admission of said papers in evidence belongs exclusively to the corporations, to whom the seized effects belong, and may not be invoked by the corporate officers in proceedings against them in their individual capacity. With respect to the documents, papers and things seized in the residences of Stonehill, et. al., the 29 June 1962 Resolution of the Supreme Court, denying the lifting of the writ of preliminary injunction previously issued by the Court on the documents, papers and things seized in the residences, in effect, restrained the prosecutors from using them in evidence against Stonehill, et. al. Thus, the Court held that the warrants for the search of 3 residences are null and void; that the searches and seizures therein made are illegal; that the writ of preliminary injunction heretofore issued, in connection with the documents, papers and other effects thus seized in said residences is made permanent, that the writs prayed for are granted, insofar as the documents, papers and other effects so seized in the residences are concerned; and that the petition herein is dismissed and the writs prayed for denied, as regards the documents, papers and other effects seized in the 29 places, offices and other premises. 125 Zurcher vs. Stanford Daily [436 US 547, 31 May 1978] White (J): 3 concur, 1 filed a separate concurring opinion, 2 filed separate dissenting opinions, to which 1 joined, 1 took no part. Facts: On 9 April 1971, officers of the Palo Alto Police Department and of the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department responded to a call from the director of the Stanford University Hospital requesting the removal of a large group of demonstrators who had seized the hospital's administrative offices and occupied them since the previous afternoon. After several futile efforts to persuade the demonstrators to leave peacefully, more drastic measures were employed. The police chose to force their way in at the west end of the corridor. As they did so, a group of demonstrators emerged through the doors at the east end and, armed with sticks and clubs, attacked the group of nine police officers stationed there. All nine were injured. The officers themselves were able to identify only two of their assailants, but one of them did see at least one person photographing the assault at the east doors. On April 11 (Sunday), a special edition of the Stanford Daily (Daily), a student newspaper published at Stanford University, carried articles and photographs devoted to the hospital protest and the violent clash between demonstrators and police. The photographs carried the byline of a Daily staff member and indicated that he had been at the east end of the hospital hallway where he could have photographed the assault on the 9 officers. The next day, the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office secured a warrant from the Municipal Court for an immediate search of the Daily's offices for negatives, film, and pictures showing the events and occurrences at the hospital on the evening of April 9. The warrant issued on a finding of "just, probable and reasonable cause for believing that: Negatives and photographs and films, evidence material and relevant to the identity of the perpetrators of felonies, to wit, Battery on a Peace Officer, and Assault with Deadly Weapon, will be located [on the premises of the Daily]." The warrant affidavit contained no allegation or indication that members of the Daily staff were in any way involved in unlawful acts at the hospital. The search pursuant to the warrant was conducted later that day by 4 police officers and took place in the presence of some members of the Daily staff. The Daily's photographic laboratories, filing cabinets, desks, and wastepaper baskets were searched. Locked drawers and rooms were not opened. The search revealed only the photographs that had already been published on April 11, and no materials were removed from the Daily's office. A month later the Daily and various members of its staff brought a civil action in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California seeking
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 5 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

declaratory and injunctive relief under 42 U.S.C. 1983 against the police officers who conducted the search, the chief of police, the district attorney and one of his deputies, and the judge who had issued the warrant. The complaint alleged that the search of the Daily's office had deprived respondents under color of state law of rights secured to them by the First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution. The District Court denied the request for an injunction but, on the newspaper staff's motion for summary judgment, granted declaratory relief. The court did not question the existence of probable cause to believe that a crime had been committed and to believe that relevant evidence would be found on the Daily's premises. It held, however, that the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments forbade the issuance of a warrant to search for materials in possession of one not suspected of crime unless there is probable cause to believe, based on facts presented in a sworn affidavit, that a subpoena duces tecum would be impracticable. The District Court further held that where the innocent object of the search is a newspaper, First Amendment interests are also involved and that such a search is constitutionally permissible "only in the rare circumstance where there is a clear showing that (1) important materials will be destroyed or removed from the jurisdiction; and (2) a restraining order would be futile." Since these preconditions to a valid warrant had not been satisfied, the search of the Daily's offices was declared to have been illegal. The Court of Appeals affirmed per curiam, adopting the opinion of the District Court. Zurcher, et. al. filed a petition for certiorari. Issue: Whether the Fourth Amendment is to be construed and applied to the "third party" search, the recurring situation where state authorities have probable cause to believe that fruits, instrumentalities, or other evidence of crime is located on identified property but do not then have probable cause to believe that the owner or possessor of the property is himself implicated in the crime that has occurred or is occurring. Held: First, a State is not prevented by the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments from issuing a warrant to search for evidence simply because the owner or possessor of the place to be searched is not reasonably suspected of criminal involvement. The critical element in a reasonable search is not that the property owner is suspected of crime but that there is reasonable cause to believe that the "things" to be searched for and seized are located on the property to which entry is sought. Second, the District Court's new rule denying search warrants against third parties and insisting on subpoenas would undermine law enforcement efforts since search warrants are often used early in an investigation before all the perpetrators of a crime have been identified; and the seemingly blameless third party may be implicated. The delay in employing a subpoena duces tecum could easily result in disappearance of the evidence. Nor would the cause of privacy be served since search warrants are more difficult to obtain than subpoenas. Lastly, properly administered, the preconditions for a search warrant (probable cause, specificity with respect to the place to be searched and the things to be seized, and overall reasonableness), which must be applied with particular exactitude when First Amendment interests would be endangered by the search, are adequate safeguards against the interference with the press' ability to gather, analyze, and disseminate news that respondents claim would ensue from use of warrants for third-party searches of newspaper offices. 126 Wilson vs. Layne [526 US 603, 24 May 1999] Rehnquist (CJ): Facts: In early 1992, the Attorney General of the United States approved "Operation Gunsmoke," a special national fugitive apprehension program in which United States Marshals worked with state and local police to apprehend dangerous criminals. This effective program ultimately resulted in over 3,000 arrests in 40 metropolitan areas. One of the dangerous fugitives identified as a target of "Operation Gunsmoke" was Dominic Wilson, the son of Charles and Geraldine Wilson. Dominic Wilson had violated his probation on previous felony charges of robbery, theft, and assault with intent to rob, and the police computer listed "caution indicators" that he was likely to be armed, to resist arrest, and to "assault police." The computer also listed his address as 909 North StoneStreet Avenue in Rockville, Maryland. Unknown to the police, this was actually the home of Dominic Wilson's parents. Thus, in April 1992, the Circuit Court for Montgomery County issued three arrest warrants for Dominic Wilson, one for each of his probation violations. The
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 6 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

warrants were each addressed to "any duly authorized peace officer," and commanded such officers to arrest him and bring him "immediately" before the Circuit Court to answer an indictment as to his probation violation. The warrants made no mention of media presence or assistance. In the early morning hours of 16 April 1992, a Gunsmoke team of Deputy United States Marshals and Montgomery County Police officers assembled to execute the Dominic Wilson warrants. The team was accompanied by a reporter and a photographer from the Washington Post, who had been invited by the Marshals to accompany them on their mission as part of a Marshal's Service ride-along policy. At 6:45 a.m., the officers, with media representatives in tow, entered the dwelling at 909 North StoneStreet Avenue in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Rockville. Charles and Geraldine Wilson were still in bed when they heard the officers enter the home. Charles Wilson, dressed only in a pair of briefs, ran into the living room to investigate. Discovering at least 5 men in street clothes with guns in his living room, he angrily demanded that they state their business, and repeatedly cursed the officers. Believing him to be an angry Dominic Wilson, the officers quickly subdued him on the floor. Geraldine Wilson next entered the living room to investigate, wearing only a nightgown. She observed her husband being restrained by the armed officers. When their protective sweep was completed, the officers learned that Dominic Wilson was not in the house, and they departed. During the time that the officers were in the home, the Washington Post photographer took numerous pictures. The print reporter was also apparently in the living room observing the confrontation between the police and Charles Wilson. At no time, however, were the reporters involved in the execution of the arrest warrant. Charles and Geraldine Wilson sued the law enforcement officials in their personal capacities for money damages, and contended that the officers' actions in bringing members of the media to observe and record the attempted execution of the arrest warrant violated their Fourth Amendment rights. The District Court denied the police officers' motion for summary judgment on the basis of qualified immunity. On interlocutory appeal to the Court of Appeals, a divided panel reversed and held that the officers were entitled to qualified immunity. The case was twice reheard en banc, where a divided Court of Appeals again upheld the defense of qualified immunity. The Court of Appeals declined to decide whether the actions of the police violated the Fourth Amendment. It concluded instead that because no court had held (at the time of the search) that media presence during a police entry into a residence violated the Fourth Amendment, the right allegedly violated by petitioners was not "clearly established" and thus qualified immunity was proper. 141 F. 3d 111 (CA4 1998). Five judges dissented, arguing that the officers' actions did violate the Fourth Amendment, and that the clearly established protections of the Fourth Amendment were violated. Issue: Whether the police officers were justified to bring along the Washington Post reporters in the execution of the warrant inside the house of Charles and Geraldine Wilson. Held: No. Although the officers undoubtedly were entitled to enter the Wilson home in order to execute the arrest warrant for Dominic Wilson, they were not entitled to bring a newspaper reporter and a photographer with them. While it does not mean that every police action while inside a home must be explicitly authorized by the text of the warrant (Fourth Amendment allows temporary detainer of homeowner while police search the home pursuant to warrant), the Fourth Amendment does require that police actions in execution of a warrant be related to the objectives of the authorized intrusion (The purposes justifying a police search strictly limit the permissible extent of the search). Certainly the presence of reporters inside the home was not related to the objectives of the authorized intrusion. Inasmuch as that the reporters did not engage in the execution of the warrant and did not assist the police in their task, the reporters were not present for any reason related to the justification for police entry into the home--the apprehension of Dominic Wilson. This is not a case in which the presence of the third parties directly aided in the execution of the warrant. Where the police enter a home under the authority of a warrant to search for stolen property, the presence of third parties for the purpose of identifying the stolen property has long been approved by this Court and our common-law tradition. The claim of the officers, that the presence of the Washington Post reporters in the Wilsons' home nonetheless served a number of legitimate law enforcement purposes ignores, the importance of the right of residential privacy at the core of the Fourth Amendment. It may well be that media ride-alongs further the law enforcement objectives of the police in a general sense, but that is not the same as furthering the purposes of
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 7 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

the search. Were such generalized "law enforcement objectives" themselves sufficient to trump the Fourth Amendment, the protections guaranteed by that Amendment's text would be significantly watered down. Although it may be claimed the presence of third parties could serve in some situations to minimize police abuses and protect suspects, and also to protect the safety of the officers, such a situation is significantly different from the media presence in this case, where the Washington Post reporters in the Wilsons' home were working on a story for their own purposes. Taken in their entirety, the reasons advanced by the officers fall short of justifying the presence of media inside a home. Thus, it is a violation of the Fourth Amendment for police to bring members of the media or other third parties into a home during the execution of a warrant when the presence of the third parties in the home was not in aid of the execution of the warrant. 127 Burgos v. Chief of Staff, AFP [GR 64261, 26 December 1984] En Banc, Escolin (J): 10 concur, 1 took no part Facts: On 7 December 1982, Judge Ernani Cruz-Paño, Executive Judge of the then CFI Rizal [Quezon City], issued 2 search warrants where the premises at 19, Road 3, Project 6, Quezon City, and 784 Units C & D, RMS Building, Quezon Avenue, Quezon City, business addresses of the "Metropolitan Mail" and "We Forum" newspapers, respectively, were searched, and office and printing machines, equipment, paraphernalia, motor vehicles and other articles used in the printing, publication and distribution of the said newspapers, as well as numerous papers, documents, books and other written literature alleged to be in the possession and control of Jose Burgos, Jr. publisher-editor of the "We Forum" newspaper, were seized. A petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus with preliminary mandatory and prohibitory injunction was filed after 6 months following the raid to question the validity of said search warrants, and to enjoin the Judge Advocate General of the AFP, the city fiscal of Quezon City, et.al. from using the articles seized as evidence in Criminal Case Q022782 of the RTC Quezon City (People v. Burgos). Issue: Whether allegations of possession and printing of subversive materials may be the basis of the issuance of search warrants. Held: Section 3 provides that no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined by the judge, or such other responsible officer as may be authorized by law, after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized. Probable cause for a search is defined as such facts and circumstances which would lead a reasonably discreet and prudent man to believe that an offense has been committed and that the objects sought in connection with the offense are in the place sought to be searched. In mandating that "no warrant shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined by the judge, after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce”; the Constitution requires no less than personal knowledge by the complainant or his witnesses of the facts upon which the issuance of a search warrant may be justified. Herein, a statement in the effect that Burgos "is in possession or has in his control printing equipment and other paraphernalia, news publications and other documents which were used and are all continuously being used as a means of committing the offense of subversion punishable under PD 885, as amended" is a mere conclusion of law and does not satisfy the requirements of probable cause. Bereft of such particulars as would justify a finding of the existence of probable cause, said allegation cannot serve as basis for the issuance of a search warrant. Further, when the search warrant applied for is directed against a newspaper publisher or editor in connection with the publication of subversive materials, the application and/or its supporting affidavits must contain a specification, stating with particularity the alleged subversive material he has published or is intending to publish. Mere generalization will not suffice. 128 Chandler vs. Miler [520 US 305, 15 April 1997] Ginsburg (J): 6 concur, 1 filed separate dissenting opinion.

Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 8 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

Facts: The Libertarian Party nominated Walker L. Chandler for the office of Lieutenant Governor, Sharon T. Harris for the office of Commissioner of Agriculture, and James D. Walker for the office of member of the General Assembly. In May 1994, about one month before the deadline for submission of the certificates required by §21-2-140, Chandler, Harris, and Walker filed an action in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. They asserted, inter alia, that the drug tests required by §21-2-140 violated their rights under the First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, naming Governor Zell D. Miller and two other state officials involved in the administration of §21-2-140, as defendants. Chandler, et .al. requested declaratory and injunctive relief barring enforcement of the statute. In June 1994, the District Court denied Chandlers' motion for a preliminary injunction. The provision in the statute of the State of Georgia required candidates for designated state offices to certify that they have taken a drug test and that the test result was negative. Chandler, et. al. apparently submitted to the drug tests, obtained the certificates required by §21-2-140, and appeared on the ballot. After the 1994 election, the parties jointly moved for the entry of final judgment on stipulated facts. In January 1995, the District Court entered final judgment for Miller, et. al. A divided Eleventh Circuit panel, relying on the US Court's precedents sustaining drug testing programs for student athletes, customs employees, and railway employees, the United States affirmed and judged the Georgia's law to be constitutional. Issue: Whether the suspicionless searches, required in Georgia’s drug testing for candidates for public offices, is reasonable. Held: Georgia's drug testing requirement, imposed by law and enforced by state officials, effects a search within the meaning of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments. (Collection and testing of urine to meet Georgia's certification statute "constitutes a search subject to the demands of the Fourth Amendment"). As explained in Skinner, government ordered "collection and testing of urine intrudes upon expectations of privacy that society has long recognized as reasonable." (Skinner and Von Raab, 489 U.S., at 617). To be reasonable under the Fourth Amendment, a search ordinarily must be based on individualized suspicion of wrongdoing. But particularized exceptions to the main rule are sometimes warranted based on "special needs, beyond the normal need for law enforcement." When such "special needs"--concerns other than crime detection--are alleged in justification of a Fourth Amendment intrusion, courts must undertake a context specific inquiry, examining closely the competing private and public interests advanced by the parties. In limited circumstances, where the privacy interests implicated by the search are minimal, and where an important governmental interest furthered by the intrusion would be placed in jeopardy by a requirement of individualized suspicion, a search may be reasonable despite the absence of such suspicion. Our precedents establish that the proffered special need for drug testing must be substantial--important enough to override the individual's acknowledged privacy interest, sufficiently vital to suppress the Fourth Amendment's normal requirement of individualized suspicion. Miller, et. al.'s defense of the statute rests primarily on the incompatibility of unlawful drug use with holding high state office; but notably lacking therein is any indication of a concrete danger demanding departure from the Fourth Amendment's main rule, and nothing in the record hints that the hazards Miller, et. al., broadly describe (i.e. the use of illegal drugs draws into question an official's judgment and integrity; jeopardizes the discharge of public functions, including antidrug law enforcement efforts; and undermines public confidence and trust in elected officials) are real and not simply hypothetical for Georgia's polity. Further, Georgia's certification requirement is not well designed to identify candidates who violate antidrug laws; nor is the scheme a credible means to deter illicit drug users from seeking election to state office. What is left, after close review of Georgia's scheme, is the image the State seeks to project. By requiring candidates for public office to submit to drug testing, Georgia displays its commitment to the struggle against drug abuse. The need revealed, in short, is symbolic, not "special," as that term draws meaning from our case law. Thus, however well meant, the candidate drug test Georgia has devised diminishes personal privacy for a symbol's sake. The Fourth Amendment shields society against that state action. In fine, where the risk to public safety is substantial and real, blanket suspicionless searches calibrated to the risk may rank as "reasonable." But where, as herein, public safety is not genuinely in jeopardy, the Fourth Amendment precludes the suspicionless search, no matter how conveniently arranged.
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 9 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

129 People vs. Chua Ho San [GR 128222, 17 June 1999] En Banc, Davide Jr. (CJ): 13 concur, 1 on leave Facts: In response to reports of rampant smuggling of firearms and other contraband, Jim Lagasca Cid, as Chief of Police of the Bacnotan Police Station, of La Union began patrolling the Bacnotan coastline with his officers. While monitoring the coastal area of Barangay Bulala on 29 March 1995, he intercepted a radio call at around 12:45 p.m. from Barangay Captain Juan Almoite of Barangay Tammocalao requesting police assistance regarding an unfamiliar speedboat the latter had spotted, which looked different from the boats ordinarily used by fisherfolk of the area and was poised to dock at Tammocalao shores. Cid and 6 of his men led by his Chief Investigator, SPO1 Reynoso Badua, proceeded forthwith to Tammocalao beach, conferred with Almoite, and observed that the speedboat ferried a lone male passenger. When the speedboat landed, the male passenger alighted, and using both hands, carried what appeared a multicolored strawbag, and walked towards the road. By this time, Almoite, Cid and Badua, the latter two conspicuous in their uniform and issued side-arms, became suspicious of the man as he suddenly changed direction and broke into a run upon seeing the approaching officers. Badua, prevented the man from fleeing by holding on to his right arm. Although Cid introduced themselves as police officers, the man appeared impassive. Speaking in English, then in Tagalog, and later in Ilocano, Cid then requested the man to open his bag, but he seemed not to understand. Cid then resorted to "sign language," motioning with his hands for the man to open the bag. The man apparently understood and acceded to the request. A search of the bag yielded several transparent plastic packets containing yellowish crystalline substances. As Cid wished to proceed to the police station, he signaled the man to follow, but the latter did not comprehend. Hence, Cid placed his arm around the shoulders of the man and escorted the latter to the police headquarters. At the police station, Cid then "recited and informed the man of his constitutional rights" to remain silent, to have the assistance of a counsel, etc. Eliciting no response from the man, Cid ordered his men to find a resident of the area who spoke Chinese to act as an interpreter. In the meantime, Badua opened the bag and counted 29 plastic packets containing yellowish crystalline substances. The interpreter, Mr. Go Ping Guan, finally arrived, through whom the man was "apprised of his constitutional rights." When the policemen asked the man several questions, he retreated to his obstinate reticence and merely showed his ID with the name Chua Ho San printed thereon. Chua's bag and its contents were sent to the PNP Crime Laboratory at Camp Diego Silang, Carlatan, San Fernando, La Union for laboratory examination. In the meantime, Chua was detained at the Bacnotan Police Station. Later, Police Chief Inspector and Forensic Chemist Theresa Ann Bugayong Cid (wife of Cid), conducted a laboratory examination of 29 plastic packets, adn in her Chemistry Report D-025-95, she stated that her qualitative examination established the contents of the plastic packets, weighing 28.7 kilos, to be positive of methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu, a regulated drug. Chua was initially charged with illegal possession of methamphetamine hydrochloride before the RTC (Criminal Case 4037). However, pursuant to the recommendation of the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor of San Fernando, La Union, the information was subsequently amended to allege that Chua was in violation of Section 15, Article III of RA 6425 as amended by RA 7659 (illegal transport of a regulated drug). At his arraignment on 31 July 1995, where the amended complaint was read to him by a Fukien-speaking interpreter, Chua entered a plea of not guilty. Trial finally ensued, with interpreters assigned to Chua (upon the RTC's direct request to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines, after its failure to acquire one from the Department of Foreign Affairs). Chua provided a completely different story, claiming that the bags belong to his employer Cho Chu Rong, who he accompanied in the speedboat; that they decided to dock when they were low on fuel and telephone battery; that the police, with nary any spoken word but only gestures and hand movements, escorted him to the precinct where he was handcuffed and tied to a chair; that the police, led by an officer, arrived with the motor engine of the speedboat and a bag, which they presented to him; that the police inspected opened the bag, weighed the contents, then proclaimed them as methamphetamine hydrochloride. In a decision promulgated on 10 February 1997, the RTC convicted Chua for transporting 28.7 kilos of methamphetamine hydrochloride without legal authority to do so. Chua prays for the reversal of the RTC decision and his acquittal before the Supreme Court.
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 10 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

Issue: Whether persistent reports of rampant smuggling of firearm and other contraband articles, Chua's watercraft differing in appearance from the usual fishing boats that commonly cruise over the Bacnotan seas, Chua’s illegal entry into the Philippines, Chua’s suspicious behavior, i.e. he attempted to flee when he saw the police authorities, and the apparent ease by which Chua can return to and navigate his speedboat with immediate dispatch towards the high seas, constitute "probable cause." Held: No. Enshrined in the Constitution is the inviolable right to privacy of home and person. It explicitly ordains that people have the right to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose. Inseparable, and not merely corollary or incidental to said right and equally hallowed in and by the Constitution, is the exclusionary principle which decrees that any evidence obtained in violation of said right is inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding. The Constitutional proscription against unreasonable searches and seizures does not, of course, forestall reasonable searches and seizure. This interdiction against warrantless searches and seizures, however, is not absolute and such warrantless searches and seizures have long been deemed permissible by jurisprudence. The Rules of Court recognize permissible warrantless arrests, to wit: (1) arrests in flagrante delicto, (2) arrests effected in hot pursuit, and (3) arrests of escaped prisoners. The prosecution and the defense painted extremely divergent versions of the incident, but the Court is certain that Chua was arrested and his bag searched without the benefit of a warrant. There are no facts on record reasonably suggestive or demonstrative of Chua’s participation in an ongoing criminal enterprise that could have spurred police officers from conducting the obtrusive search. The RTC never took the pains of pointing to such facts, but predicated mainly its decision on the finding that "accused was caught red-handed carrying the bagful of shabu when apprehended." In short, there is no probable cause. Persistent reports of rampant smuggling of firearm and other contraband articles, Chua's watercraft differing in appearance from the usual fishing boats that commonly cruise over the Bacnotan seas, Chua’s illegal entry into the Philippines, Chua’s suspicious behavior, i.e. he attempted to flee when he saw the police authorities, and the apparent ease by which Chua can return to and navigate his speedboat with immediate dispatch towards the high seas, do not constitute "probable cause." None of the telltale clues, e.g., bag or package emanating the pungent odor of marijuana or other prohibited drug, 20 confidential report and/or positive identification by informers of courier(s) of prohibited drug and/or the time and place where they will transport/deliver the same, suspicious demeanor or behavior and suspicious bulge in the waist — accepted by the Court as sufficient to justify a warrantless arrest exists in the case. There was no classified information that a foreigner would disembark at Tammocalao beach bearing prohibited drug on the date in question. Chua was not identified as a drug courier by a police informer or agent. The fact that the vessel that ferried him to shore bore no resemblance to the fishing boats of the area did not automatically mark him as in the process of perpetrating an offense. The search cannot therefore be denominated as incidental to an arrest. To reiterate, the search was not incidental to an arrest. There was no warrant of arrest and the warrantless arrest did not fall under the exemptions allowed by the Rules of Court as already shown. From all indications, the search was nothing but a fishing expedition. Casting aside the regulated substance as evidence, the same being the fruit of a poisonous tree, the remaining evidence on record are insufficient, feeble and ineffectual to sustain Chua’s conviction. 130 People vs. Molina [GR 133917, 19 February 2001] En Banc, Ynares-Santiago (J): 14 concur Facts: Sometime in June 1996, SPO1 Marino Paguidopon, then a member of the Philippine National Police (PNP) detailed at Precinct No. 3, Matina, Davao City, received an information regarding the presence of an alleged marijuana pusher in Davao City. The first time he came to see the said marijuana pusher in person was during the first week of July 1996. SPO1 Paguidopon was then with his informer when a motorcycle passed by. His informer pointed to the motorcycle driver, Gregorio Mula y Malagura (@"Boboy"), as the pusher. As to Nasario Molina y Manamat (@ "Bobong"), SPO1 Paguidopon had no occasion to see him prior to 8 August 1996. At about 7:30 a.m. of 8 August 1996, SPO1 Paguidopon received an information that the alleged pusher
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 11 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

will be passing at NHA, Maa, Davao City any time that morning. Consequently, at around 8:00 a.m. he called for assistance at the PNP, Precinct 3, Matina, Davao City, which immediately dispatched the team of SPO4 Dionisio Cloribel (team leader), SPO2 Paguidopon (brother of SPO1 Marino Paguidopon), and SPO1 Pamplona, to proceed to the house of SPO1 Marino Paguidopon where they would wait for the alleged pusher to pass by. At around 9:30 a.m., while the team were positioned in the house of SPO1 Paguidopon, a "trisikad" carrying Mula and Molina passed by. At that instance, SPO1 Paguidopon pointed to Mula and Molina as the pushers. Thereupon, the team boarded their vehicle and overtook the "trisikad." SPO1 Paguidopon was left in his house, 30 meters from where Mula and Molina were accosted. The police officers then ordered the "trisikad" to stop. At that point, Mula, who was holding a black bag, handed the same to Molina. Subsequently, SPO1 Pamplona introduced himself as a police officer and asked Molina to open the bag. Molina replied, "Boss, if possible we will settle this." SPO1 Pamplona insisted on opening the bag, which revealed dried marijuana leaves inside. Thereafter, Mula and Molina were handcuffed by the police officers. On 6 December 1996, the accused Mula and Molina, through counsel, jointly filed a Demurrer to Evidence, contending that the marijuana allegedly seized from them is inadmissible as evidence for having been obtained in violation of their constitutional right against unreasonable searches and seizures. The demurrer was denied by the trial court. A motion for reconsideration was filed by the accused, but this was likewise denied. The accused waived presentation of evidence and opted to file a joint memorandum. On 25 April 1997, the trial court rendered the decision, finding the accused guilty of the offense charged, and sentenced both to suffer the penalty of death by lethal injection. Pursuant to Article 47 of the Revised Penal Code and Rule 122, Section 10 of the Rules of Court, the case was elevated to the Supreme Court on automatic review. Issue: Whether Mula and Molina manifested outward indication that would justify their arrest, and the seizure of prohibited drugs that were in their possession. Held: The fundamental law of the land mandates that searches and seizures be carried out in a reasonable fashion, that is, by virtue or on the strength of a search warrant predicated upon the existence of a probable cause. Complementary to the foregoing provision is the exclusionary rule enshrined under Article III, Section 3, paragraph 2, which bolsters and solidifies the protection against unreasonable searches and seizures. The foregoing constitutional proscription, however, is not without exceptions. Search and seizure may be made without a warrant and the evidence obtained therefrom may be admissible in the following instances: (1) search incident to a lawful arrest; (2) search of a moving motor vehicle; (3) search in violation of customs laws; (4) seizure of evidence in plain view; (5) when the accused himself waives his right against unreasonable searches and seizures; and (6) stop and frisk situations (Terry search). The first exception (search incidental to a lawful arrest) includes a valid warrantless search and seizure pursuant to an equally valid warrantless arrest which must precede the search. Still, the law requires that there be first a lawful arrest before a search can be made — the process cannot be reversed. Herein, Mula and Molina manifested no outward indication that would justify their arrest. In holding a bag on board a trisikad, they could not be said to be committing, attempting to commit or have committed a crime. It matters not that Molina responded "Boss, if possible we will settle this" to the request of SPO1 Pamplona to open the bag. Such response which allegedly reinforced the "suspicion" of the arresting officers that Mula and Molina were committing a crime, is an equivocal statement which standing alone will not constitute probable cause to effect an in flagrante delicto arrest. Note that were it not for SPO1 Marino Paguidopon, Mula and Molina could not be the subject of any suspicion, reasonable or otherwise. Further, it would appear that the names and addresses of Mula and Molina came to the knowledge of SPO1 Paguidopon only after they were arrested, and such cannot lend a semblance of validity on the arrest effected by the peace officers. Withal, the Court holds that the arrest of Mula and Molina does not fall under the exceptions allowed by the rules. Hence, the search conducted on their person was likewise illegal. Consequently, the marijuana seized by the peace officers could not be admitted as evidence against them. 131 Solid Triangle Sales Corp. vs. Sitchon [GR 144309, 23 November 2001]
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 12 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

First Division, Kapunan (J): 4 concur Facts: Both Sanly and Solid Triangle sell genuine Mitsubishi products. Solid Triangle acquires its goods from Japan on the basis of its exclusive distributorship with Mitsubishi Corporation. While Sanly buys its goods from Hongkong, claiming it is a parallel importer (one which imports, distributes, and sells genuine products in the market, independently of an exclusive distributorship or agency agreement with the manufacturer), not an unfair competitor. On 28 January 1999, Judge Apolinario D. Bruselas, Jr., Presiding Judge of RTC, Branch 93, Quezon City, upon application of the Economic Intelligence and Investigation Bureau (EIIB), issued Search Warrant 3324 (99) against Sanly Corporation (Sanly), for violation of Section 168 of RA 8293 (unfair competition). By virtue of Search Warrant, EIIB agents seized 451 boxes of Mitsubishi photographic color paper from Sanly. Forthwith, Solid Triangle, through Robert Sitchon, its Marketing and Communication Manager, filed with the Office of the City Prosecutor, Quezon City, an affidavit complaint for unfair competition against the members of the Board of Sanly and LWT Co., Inc. (LWT) [IS 1-99-2870], alleging that ERA Radio and Electrical Supply (ERA), owned and operated by LWT, is in conspiracy with Sanly in selling and/or distributing Mitsubishi brand photo paper to the damage and prejudice of Solid Triangle, which claims to be the sole and exclusive distributor thereof, pursuant to an agreement with the Mitsubishi Corporation. On 4 February 1999, Solid Triangle filed with Judge Bruselas' sala an urgent ex parte motion for the transfer of custody of the seized Mitsubishi photo color paper stored in the office of EIIB. On 8 February 1999, Sanly, LWT and ERA moved to quash the search warrant which was denied by Judge Bruselas in an order dated 5 March 1999. Sanly, LWT and ERA filed a motion for reconsideration which was granted by Judge Bruselas on 18 March 1999, where the latter hekd that there is doubt whether the act complained of (unfair competition) is criminal in nature. Solid Triangle filed a motion for reconsideration contending that the quashal of the search warrant is not proper considering the pendency of the preliminary investigation in IS 199-2870 for unfair competition wherein the seized items will be used as evidence. On 26 March 1999, Judge Bruselas issued an order denying Solid Triangle's motion for reconsideration. Meanwhile, on 29 March 1999, Solid Triangle filed with Branch 91 of the same Court, presided by Judge Lita S. Tolentino-Genilo (Civil Case Q-99-37206) for damages and injunction with prayer for writs of preliminary injunction and attachment against Sanly, LWT and ERA. On 31 March 1999, Judge Genilo denied Solid Triangle's application for a preliminary attachment on the ground that the application is not supported with an affidavit by the applicant, through its authorized officer, who personally knows the facts. Meanwhile, on 20 April 1999, Judge Bruselas issued an order, directing the (1) EIIB, Sitchon and Solid Triangle to divulge and report to the court the exact location of the warehouse where the goods subject of the proceeding were kept within 72 hours from receipt thereof; (2) Sitchon and Solid Triangle to appear and show cause why they should not be held in contempt of court for failure to obey a lawful order of the court at a hearing for the purpose on 12 May 1999 at 8:30 a.m.; (3) the Deputy Sheriff of the Court to take custody of the seized goods and cause their delivery to the person from whom the goods were seized without further loss of time. Solid Triangle filed a petition for certiorari before the Court of Appeals on 26 April 1999, and the latter issued a temporary restraining order to prevent Judge Bruselas from implementing the Order dated 20 April 1999. On 6 July 1999, the Court of Appeals rendered judgment initially granting certiorari, and held that the quashing of the warrant deprived the prosecution of vital evidence to determine probable cause. Upon motion by Sanly, etc., however, the Court of Appeals reversed itself. In its "Amendatory Decision," the appellate court held that there was no probable cause for the issuance of the search warrant, and accordingly, held that the evidence obtained by virtue of said warrant was inadmissible in the preliminary investigation. Hence, the petition by Solid Triangle. Issue: Whether the court that issued the warrant may resolve the motions to suppress evidence while a preliminary investigation is ongoing. Held: The proceedings for the issuance/quashal of a search warrant before a court on the one hand, and the preliminary investigation before an authorized officer on the other, are proceedings entirely independent of each other. One is not bound by the other's finding as regards the existence of a crime. The purpose of each proceeding differs from the other. The first is to determine whether a warrant should issue or be quashed, and
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 13 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

the second, whether an information should be filed in court. Section 14, Rule 126, expressly provides that a motion to quash a search warrant and/or to suppress evidence obtained thereby may be filed in and acted upon only by the court where the action has been instituted. Under the same section, the court which issued the search warrant may be prevented from resolving a motion to quash or suppress evidence only when a criminal case is subsequently filed in another court, in which case, the motion is to be resolved by the latter court. It is therefore puerile to argue that the court that issued the warrant cannot entertain motions to suppress evidence while a preliminary investigation is ongoing. Such erroneous interpretation would place a person whose property has been seized by virtue of an invalid warrant without a remedy while the goods procured by virtue thereof are subject of a preliminary investigation. Nevertheless, the evidence presented before the trial court does not prove unfair competition under Section 168 of the Intellectual Property Code. Sanly Corporation did not pass off the subject goods as that of another. Indeed, it admits that the goods are genuine Mitsubishi photographic paper, which it purchased from a supplier in Hong Kong. Assuming that the acts of Sanly, etc. to make "it appear that they were duly authorized to sell or distribute Mitsubishi Photo Paper in the Philippines" constitutes a crime, there is no proof to establish such an allegation. The court, thus, ordered Solid Triangle and EIIB to return to Sanly Corporation the 451 boxes of Mitsubishi photographic color paper seized by virtue of Search Warrant 3324 (99) issued by the Quezon City Regional Trial Court, Branch 93. 132 People vs. Salanguit [GR 133254-55, 19 April 2001] Second Division, Mendoza (J): 4 concur Facts: On 26 December 1995, Sr. Insp. Aguilar applied for a warrant in the Regional Trial Court, Branch 90, Dasmariñias, Cavite, to search the residence of Robert Salanguit y Ko on Binhagan St., Novaliches, Quezon City. He presented as his witness SPO1 Edmund Badua, who testified that as a poseur-buyer, he was able to purchase 2.12 grams of shabu from Salanguit. The sale took place in Salunguit's room, and Badua saw that the shabu was taken by Salunguit from a cabinet inside his room. The application was granted, and a search warrant was later issued by Presiding Judge Dolores L. Español. At about 10:30 p.m. of said day, a group of about 10 policemen, along with one civilian informer, went to the residence of Salunguit to serve the warrant. The police operatives knocked on Salanguit’s door, but nobody opened it. They heard people inside the house, apparently panicking. The police operatives then forced the door open and entered the house. After showing the search warrant to the occupants of the house, Lt. Cortes and his group started searching the house. They found 12 small heat-sealed transparent plastic bags containing a white crystalline substance, a paper clip box also containing a white crystalline substance, and two bricks of dried leaves which appeared to be marijuana wrapped in newsprint having a total weight of approximately 1,255 grams. A receipt of the items seized was prepared, but Salanguit refused to sign it. After the search, the police operatives took Salanguit with them to Station 10, EDSA, Kamuning, Quezon City, along with the items they had seized. PO3 Duazo requested a laboratory examination of the confiscated evidence. The white crystalline substance with a total weight of 2.77 grams and those contained in a small box with a total weight of 8.37 grams were found to be positive for methamphetamine hydrochloride. On the other hand, the two bricks of dried leaves, one weighing 425 grams and the other 850 grams, were found to be marijuana. Charges against Roberto Salanguit y Ko for violations of Republic Act (RA) 6425, i.e. for possession of shabu and marijuana, (Criminal Cases Q-95-64357 and Q95-64358, respectively) were filed on 28 December 1995. After hearing, the trial court rendered its decision, convicting Salanguit in Criminal Cases Q-95-64357 and Q-95-64358 for violation of Section 16 and 8, respectively, RA 6425, and sentencing him to suffer an indeterminate sentence with a minimum of 6 months of arresto mayor and a maximum of 4 years and 2 months of prision correccional, and reclusion perpetua and to pay a fine of P700,000.00, respectively. Salanguit appealed; contesting his conviction on the grounds that (1) the admissibility of the shabu allegedly recovered from his residence as evidence against him on the ground that the warrant used in obtaining it was invalid; (2) the admissibility in evidence of the marijuana allegedly seized from Salanguit to the "plain view" doctrine; and (3) the employment of unnecessary force by the police in the execution of the warrant. Issue: Whether the warrant was invalid for failure of providing evidence to support the seizure of “drug
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 14 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

paraphernalia”, and whether the marijuana may be included as evidence in light of the “plain view doctrine.” Held: The warrant authorized the seizure of "undetermined quantity of shabu and drug paraphernalia." Evidence was presented showing probable cause of the existence of methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu. The fact that there was no probable cause to support the application for the seizure of drug paraphernalia does not warrant the conclusion that the search warrant is void. This fact would be material only if drug paraphernalia was in fact seized by the police. The fact is that none was taken by virtue of the search warrant issued. If at all, therefore, the search warrant is void only insofar as it authorized the seizure of drug paraphernalia, but it is valid as to the seizure of methamphetamine hydrochloride as to which evidence was presented showing probable cause as to its existence. In sum, with respect to the seizure of shabu from Salanguit's residence, Search Warrant 160 was properly issued, such warrant being founded on probable cause personally determined by the judge under oath or affirmation of the deposing witness and particularly describing the place to be searched and the things to be seized. With respect to, and in light of the "plain view doctrine," the police failed to allege the time when the marijuana was found, i.e., whether prior to, or contemporaneous with, the shabu subject of the warrant, or whether it was recovered on Salanguit's person or in an area within his immediate control. Its recovery, therefore, presumably during the search conducted after the shabu had been recovered from the cabinet, as attested to by SPO1 Badua in his deposition, was invalid. Thus, the Court affirmed the decision as to Criminal Case Q-95-64357 only. 133 Amarga vs. Abbas [GR L-8666, 28 March 1956] Second Division, Paras (CJ): 6 concur Facts: Natalio P. Amarga, the Provincial Fiscal of Sulu, filed in the Court of First Instance of Sulu an information for murder (criminal case 1131, People of the Philippines vs. Madpirol, Awadi, Rajah, Sali, Insa and Maharajah Bapayani). At the foot of the information, Amarga certified under oath that "he has conducted the necessary preliminary investigation pursuant to the provisions of Republic Act 732." As the only supporting affidavit was that of Iman Hadji Rohmund Jubair, to the effect that the latter "was told that the deceased was shot and killed by three persons named: Hajirul Appang, Rajah Appang and Awadi Bagali," and Amarga had failed or refused to present other evidence sufficient to make out a prima facie case, Judge Macapanton Abbas (CFI of Sulu) issued an order, dismissing the case without prejudice to reinstatement should the provincial fiscal support his information with record of his investigation which in the opinion of the court may support a prima facie case. Amarga instituted a petition for certiorari and mandamus before the Supreme Court. Issue: Whether the preliminary investigation conducted by Amarga dispenses with the judge’s duty to determine probable cause exists before issuing the corresponding warrant of arrest. Held: Section 1, paragraph 3, of Article III of the Constitution provides that "no warrant shall issue but upon probable cause, to be determined by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce." The question whether "probable cause" exists or not must depend upon the judgment and discretion of the judge or magistrate issuing the warrant. If he is satisfied that "probable cause" exists from the facts stated in the complaint, made upon the investigation by the prosecuting attorney, then his conclusion is sufficient upon which to issue the warrant for arrest. He may, however, if he is not satisfied, call such witnesses as he may deem necessary before issuing the warrant. The issuance of the warrant of arrest is prima facie evidence that, in his judgment at least, there existed "probable cause" for believing that the person against whom the warrant is issued is guilty of the crime charged. The preliminary investigation conducted by Amarga under Republic Act 732 which formed the basis for the filing in the Court of First Instance of Sulu of criminal case 1131 does not dispense with the judge's duty to exercise his judicial power of determining, before issuing the corresponding warrant of arrest, whether or not probable cause exists therefor. The Constitution vests such power in the judge who, however, may rely on the facts stated in the information filed after preliminary investigation by the prosecuting attorney.
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 15 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

134

Sta. Rosa Mining Company vs. Assistant Provincial Fiscal Zabala [GR L-44723, 31 August 1987] En Banc, Bidin (J): 12 concur, 1 took no part Facts: On 21 March 1974, Sta. Rosa Mining Company filed a complaint for attempted theft of materials (scrap iron) forming part of the installations on its mining property at Jose Panganiban, Camarines Norte against Romeo Garrido and Gil Alapan with the Office of the Provincial Fiscal of Camarines Norte, then headed by Provincial Fiscal Joaquin Ilustre. The case was assigned to third Assistant Fiscal Esteban P. Panotes for preliminary investigation who, after conducting said investigation, issued a resolution dated 26 August 1974 recommending that an information for Attempted Theft be filed against Garrido and Alapan on a finding of prima facie case which resolution was approved by Fiscal Ilustre. Garrido and Alapan sought reconsideration of the resolution but the same was denied by Fiscal Ilustre in a resolution dated 14 October 1974. On 29 October 1974, Fiscal Ilustre filed with the Court of First Instance (CFI) of Camarines Norte an Information dated 17 October 1987 (Criminal Case 821), charging Garrido aand Alapan with the crime of Attempted Theft. In a letter dated 22 October 1974, Garrido and Alapan requested the Secretary of Justice for a review of the Resolutions of the Office of the Provincial Fiscal dated 26 August 1974 and 14 October 1974. On 6 November 1974, the Chief State Prosecutor ordered the Provincial Fiscal by telegram to "elevate entire records PFO Case 577 against Garrido et al., review in five days and defer all proceedings pending review." On 6 March 1975, the Secretary of Justice, after reviewing the records, reversed the findings of prima facie case of the Provincial Fiscal and directed said prosecuting officer to immediately move for the dismissal of the criminal case. The Company sought reconsideration of the directive of the Secretary of Justice but the latter denied the same in a letter dated 11 June 1975. A motion to dismiss dated 16 September 1975 was then filed by the Provincial Fiscal but the court denied the motion on the ground that there was a prima facie evidence against Garrido and Alapan and set the case for trial on 25 February 1976. Garrido and Alapan sought reconsideration of the court's ruling but in an Order dated 13 February 1976, the motion filed for said purpose was likewise denied. Trial of the case was reset to 23 April 1976. Thereafter, Fiscal Ilustre was appointed a judge in the CFI of Albay and Fiscal Zabala became officer-in-charge of the Provincial Fiscal's Office of Camarines Norte. On 19 April 1976, Fiscal Zabala filed a Second Motion to Dismiss the case. This second motion to dismiss was denied by the trial court in an order dated 23 April 1976. Whereupon, Fiscal Zabala manifested that he would not prosecute the case and disauthorized any private prosecutor to appear therein. Hence, the Company filed a petition for mandamus before the Supreme Court. Issue: Whether the fiscal can refuse to prosecute the case if the Secretary of Justice reversed the findings of prima facie case by the fiscal. Held: If the fiscal is not at all convinced that a prima facie case exists, he simply cannot move for the dismissal of the case and, when denied, refuse to prosecute the same. He is obliged by law to proceed and prosecute the criminal action. He cannot impose his opinion on the trial court. At least what he can do is to continue appearing for the prosecution and then turn over the presentation of evidence to another fiscal or a private prosecutor subject to his direction and control. Where there is no other prosecutor available, he should proceed to discharge his duty and present the evidence to the best of his ability and let the court decide the merits of the case on the basis of the evidence adduced by both parties. The mere fact that the Secretary of Justice had, after reviewing the records of the case, directed the prosecuting fiscal to move for the dismissal of the case and the motion to dismiss filed pursuant to said directive is denied by the trial court, is no justification for the refusal of the fiscal to prosecute the case. Once a complaint or information is filed in Court any disposition of the case as its dismissal or the conviction or acquittal of the accused rests in the sound discretion of the Court. The Court is the best and sole judge on what to do with the case before it. The determination of the case is within its exclusive jurisdiction and competence. A motion to dismiss the case filed by the fiscal should he addressed to the Court who has the option to grant or deny the same. It does not matter if this is done before or after the arraignment of the accused or that the motion was filed after a
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 16 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

reinvestigation or upon instructions of the Secretary of Justice who reviewed the records of the investigation. 135 People vs. Inting [GR 88919, 25 July 1990] En Banc, Gutierrez Jr. (J): 14 concur Facts: On 6 February 1988, Mrs. Editha Barba filed a letter-complaint against OIC-Mayor Dominador S. Regalado Jr. of Tanjay, Negros Oriental with the Commission on Elections (COMELEC), for allegedly transferring her, a permanent Nursing Attendant, Grade I, in the office of the Municipal Mayor to a very remote barangay and without obtaining prior permission or clearance from COMELEC as required by law. Acting on the complaint, COMELEC directed Atty. Gerardo Lituanas, Provincial Election Supervision of Dumaguete City: (1) to conduct the preliminary investigation of the case; (2) to prepare and file the necessary information in court; (3) to handle the prosecution if the evidence submitted shows a prima facie case and (3) to issue a resolution of prosecution or dismissal as the case may be. After a preliminary investigation of Barba's complaint, Atty. Lituanas found a prima facie case. Hence, on 26 September 1988, he filed with the Regional Trial Court (Branch 38. Dumaguete City) a criminal case for violation of section 261, Paragraph (h), Omnibus Election Code against the OIC-Mayor. In an Order dated 30 September 1988, the court issued a warrant of arrest against the OIC Mayor. It also fixed the bail at P5,000.00 as recommended by the Provincial Election Supervisor. However, in an order dated 3 October 1988 and before the accused could be arrested, the trial court set aside its 30 September 1988 order on the ground that Atty. Lituanas is not authorized to determine probable cause pursuant to Section 2, Article III of the 1987 Constitution. The court stated that it "will give due course to the information filed in this case if the same has the written approval of the Provincial Fiscal after which the prosecution of the case shall be under the supervision and control of the latter." In another order dated 22 November 1988, the court gave Atty. Lituanas 15 days from receipt to file another information charging the same offense with the written approval of the Provincial Fiscal. Atty. Lituanas failed to comply with the order. Hence, in an order dated 8 December 1988, the trial court quashed the information. A motion for reconsideration was denied. Hence, the petition. Issue: Whether the approval of the Provincial Fiscal is necessary before the information filed by the Provincial Election Supervisor may be given due course by the trial court. Held: As to the constitutional mandate that "xx no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge xx," (Article III, Section 2, Constitution) the determination of probable cause is a function of the Judge. It is not for the Provincial Fiscal or Prosecutor nor for the Election Supervisor to ascertain. Only the Judge and the Judge alone makes this determination. On the other hand, the preliminary inquiry made by a Prosecutor does not bind the Judge. It merely assists him to make the determination of probable cause. The Judge does not have to follow what the Prosecutor presents to him. By itself, the Prosecutor's certification of probable cause is ineffectual. It is the report, the affidavits, the transcripts of stenographic notes (if any), and all other supporting documents behind the Prosecutor's certification which are material in assisting the Judge to make his determination. Thus, Judges and Prosecutors alike should distinguish the preliminary inquiry which determines probable cause for the issuance of a warrant of arrest from the preliminary investigation proper which ascertains whether the offender should be held for trial or released. Even if the two inquiries are conducted in the course of one and the same proceeding, there should be no confusion about the objectives. The determination of probable cause for the warrant of arrest is made by the Judge. The preliminary investigation proper - whether or not there is reasonable ground to believe that the accused is guilty of the offense charged and, therefore, whether or not be should be subjected to the expense, rigors and embarrassment of trial — is the function of the Prosecutor. Preliminary investigation should be distinguished as to whether it is an investigation for the determination of a sufficient ground for the filing of the information or it is an investigation for the determination of a probable cause for the issuance of a warrant of arrest. The first kind of preliminary investigation is executive in nature. It is part of the prosecution's job. The second kind of preliminary investigation which is more properly called preliminary examination is judicial in nature and is lodged with the judge.
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 17 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

The 1987 Constitution (Article IX C, Section 2) mandates the COMELEC not only to investigate but also to prosecute cases of violation of election laws. This means that the COMELEC is empowered to conduct preliminary investigations in cases involving election offenses for the purpose of helping the Judge determine probable cause and for filing an information in court. This power is exclusive with COMELEC. It is only after a preliminary examination conducted by the COMELEC through its officials or its deputies that section 2, Article III of the 1987 Constitution comes in. This is so, because, when the application for a warrant of arrest is made and the information is filed with the court, the judge will then determine whether or not a probable cause exists for the issuance of a warrant of arrest. The trial court misconstrued the constitutional provision when it quashed the information filed by the Provincial Election Supervisor. The order to get the approval of the Provincial Fiscal is not only superfluous but unwarranted. 136 Paderanga vs. Drilon [GR 96080, 19 April 1991] En Banc, Regalado (J): 14 concur Facts: On 16 October 1986, an information for multiple murder was filed in the Regional Trial Court, Gingoog City, against Felipe Galarion, Manuel Sabit, Cesar Sabit, Julito Ampo, Eddie Torion, John Doe, Peter Doe and Richard Doe, for the deaths on 1 May 1984 of Renato Bucag, his wife Melchora Bucag, and their son Renato Bucag II. Venue was, however, transferred to Cagayan de Oro City per Administrative Matter 872-244. Only Felipe Galarion was tried and found guilty as charged. The rest of the accused remained at large. Felipe Galarion, however, escaped from detention and has not been apprehended since then. In an amended information filed on 6 October 1988, Felizardo Roxas, alias "Ely Roxas," "Fely Roxas" and "Lolong Roxas," was included as a co-accused. Roxas retained Atty. Miguel P. Paderanga as his counsel. As counsel for Roxas, Paderanga filed, among others, an Omnibus Motion to dismiss, to Quash the Warrant of Arrest and to Nullify the Arraignment on 14 October 1988. The trial court in an order dated 9 January 1989, denied the omnibus motion but directed the City Prosecutor "to conduct another preliminary investigation or reinvestigation in order to grant the accused all the opportunity to adduce whatever evidence he has in support of his defense." In the course of the preliminary investigation, through a signed affidavit, Felizardo Roxas implicated Atty. Paderanga in the commission of the crime charged. The City Prosecutor of Cagayan de Oro City inhibited himself from further conducting the preliminary investigation against Paderanga at the instance of the latter's counsel, per his resolution dated 7 July 1989. In his first indorsement to the Department of Justice, dated 24 July 1989, said city prosecutor requested the Department of Justice to designate a state prosecutor to continue the preliminary investigation against Paderanga. In a resolution dated 6 September 1989, the State Prosecutor Henrick F. Gingoyon, who was designated to continue with the conduct of the preliminary investigation against Paderanga, directed the amendment of the previously amended information to include and implead Paderanga as one of the accused therein. Paderanga moved for reconsideration, contending that the preliminary investigation was not yet completed when said resolution was promulgated, and that he was deprived of his right to present a corresponding counter-affidavit and additional evidence crucial to the determination of his alleged "linkage" to the crime charged. The motion was, however, denied by Gingoyon in his order dated 29 January 1990. From the aforesaid resolution and order, Paderanga filed a Petition for Review with the Department of Justice. Thereafter, he submitted a Supplemental Petition with Memorandum, and then a Supplemental Memorandum with Additional Exculpatory/Exonerating Evidence Annexed, attaching thereto an affidavit of Roxas dated 20 June 1990 and purporting to be a retraction of his affidavit of 30 March 1990 wherein he implicated Paderanga. On 10 August 1990, the Department of Justice, through Undersecretary Silvestre H. Bello III, issued Resolution 648 dismissing the said petition for review. His motion for reconsideration having been likewise denied, Paderanga then filed the petition for mandamus and prohibition before the Supreme Court. Issue: Whether there is no prima facie evidence, or probable cause, or sufficient justification to hold Paderangato a tedious and prolonged public trial.

Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 18 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

Held: A preliminary investigation is defined as an inquiry or proceeding for the purpose of determining whether there is sufficient ground to engender a well founded belief that a crime cognizable by the Regional Trial Court has been committed and that the respondent is probably guilty thereof, and should be held for trial. The quantum of evidence now required in preliminary investigation is such evidence sufficient to "engender a well founded belief" as to the fact of the commission of a crime and the respondent's probable guilt thereof. A preliminary investigation is not the occasion for the full and exhaustive display of the parties' evidence; it is for the presentation of such evidence only as may engender a well grounded belief that an offense has been committed and that the accused is probably guilty thereof. Preliminary investigation is generally inquisitorial, and it is often the only means of discovering the persons who may be reasonably charged with a crime, to enable the fiscal to prepare his complaint or information. It is not a trial of the case on the merits and has no purpose except that of determining whether a crime has been committed and whether there is probable cause to believe that the accused is guilty thereof, and it does not place the person against whom it is taken in jeopardy. The institution of a criminal action depends upon the sound discretion of the fiscal. He has the quasi-judicial discretion to determine whether or not a criminal case should be filed in court. Hence, the general rule is that an injunction will not be granted to restrain a criminal prosecution. The case of Brocka, et al. vs. Enrile, et al. cites several exceptions to the rule, to wit: (a) To afford adequate protection to the constitutional rights of the accused; (b) When necessary for the orderly administration of justice or to avoid oppression or multiplicity of actions; (c) When there is a prejudicial question which is sub-judice; (d) When the acts of the officer are without or in excess of authority; (e) Where the prosecution is under an invalid law, ordinance or regulation; (f) When double jeopardy is clearly apparent; (g) Where the court has no jurisdiction over the offense; (h) Where it is a case of persecution rather than prosecution; (i) Where the charges are manifestly false and motivated by the lust for vengeance; and (j) When there is clearly no prima facie case against the accused and a motion to quash on that ground has been denied. A careful analysis of the circumstances obtaining in the present case, however, will readily show that the same does not fall under any of the aforesaid exceptions. 137 Pita vs. Court of Appeals [GR 80806, 5 October 1989] En Banc, Sarmiento (J): 10 concur, 3 concur in result, 1 on leave Facts: On December 1 and 3, 1983, pursuing an Anti-Smut Campaign initiated by the Mayor of the City of Manila, Ramon D. Bagatsing, elements of the Special Anti-Narcotics Group, Auxiliary Services Bureau, Western Police District, INP of the Metropolitan Police Force of Manila, seized and confiscated from dealers, distributors, newsstand owners and peddlers along Manila sidewalks, magazines, publications and other reading materials believed to be obscene, pornographic and indecent and later burned the seized materials in public at the University belt along C.M. Recto Avenue, Manila, in the presence of Mayor Bagatsing and several officers and members of various student organizations. Among the publications seized, and later burned, was "Pinoy Playboy" magazines published and co-edited by Leo Pita. On 7 December 1983, Pita filed a case for injunction with prayer for issuance of the writ of preliminary injunction against Mayor Bagatsing and Narcisco Cabrera, as superintendent of Western Police District of the City of Manila, seeking to enjoin and or restrain Bagatsing, Cabrera and their agents from confiscating his magazines or from otherwise preventing the sale or circulation thereof claiming that the magazine is a decent, artistic and educational magazine which is not per se obscene, and that the publication is protected by the Constitutional guarantees of freedom of speech and of the press. On 12 December 1983, Pita filed an Urgent Motion for issuance of a temporary restraining order against indiscriminate seizure, confiscation and burning of plaintiffs "Pinoy Playboy" Magazines, pending hearing on the petition for preliminary injunction in view of Mayor Bagatsing's pronouncement to continue the Anti-Smut Campaign. The Court granted the temporary restraining order on 14 December 1983. On 5 January 1984, Pita filed his Memorandum in support of the issuance of the writ of preliminary injunction, raising the issue as to "whether or not the defendants, and or their agents can without a court order confiscate or seize plaintiff's magazine before any judicial finding is made on whether said magazine is obscene or not." The restraining order lapsed on 3 January 1984, Pita filed an urgent motion for issuance of another restraining order, which was opposed by Bagatsing on the ground that issuance of a
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 19 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

second restraining order would violate the Resolution of the Supreme Court dated 11 January 1983, providing for the Interim Rules Relative to the Implementation of Batas Pambansa 129, which provides that a temporary restraining order shall be effective only for 20 days from date of its issuance. On 11 January 1984, the trial court issued an Order setting the case for hearing on 16 January 1984 "for the parties to adduce evidence on the question of whether the publication 'Pinoy Playboy Magazine' alleged (sic) seized, confiscated and or burned by the defendants, are obscence per se or not." On 3 February 1984, the trial court promulgated the Order appealed from denying the motion for a writ of preliminary injunction, and dismissing the case for lack of merit. Likewise, the Appellate Court dismissed the appeal, holding that the freedom of the press is not without restraint, as the state has the right to protect society from pornographic literature that is offensive to public morals, as indeed we have laws punishing the author, publishers and sellers of obscene publications; and that the right against unreasonable searches and seizures recognizes certain exceptions, as when there is consent to the search or seizure, or search is an incident to an arrest, or is conducted in a vehicle or movable structure. Pita filed the petition for review with the Supreme Court. Issue: Whether the Mayor can order the seizure of “obscene” materials as a result of an anti-smut campaign. Held: The Court is not convinced that Bagatsing and Cabrera 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 Mayor's act was sanctioned by "police power" is no license to seize property in disregard of due process. Presidential Decrees 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, from the commandments of the Constitution, the right to due process of law and the right against unreasonable searches and seizures, specifically. Significantly, the Decrees themselves lay down procedures for implementation. It is basic that searches and seizures may be done only through a judicial warrant, otherwise, they become unreasonable and subject to challenge. The Court finds greater reason to reprobate the questioned raid, in the complete absence of a warrant, valid or invalid. The fact that the present case involves an obscenity rap makes it no different from Burgos vs. Chief of Staff AFP, a political case, because speech is speech, whether political or "obscene." Although the Court is not ruling out warrantless searches, the search must have been an incident to a lawful arrest, and the arrest must be on account of a crime committed. Here, no party has been charged, nor are such charges being readied against any party, under Article 201, as amended, of the Revised Penal Code. There is no "accused" here to speak of, who ought to be "punished". Further, to say that the Mayor could have validly ordered the raid (as a result of an anti-smut campaign) without a lawful search warrant because, in his opinion, "violation of penal laws" has been committed, is to make the Mayor judge, jury, and executioner rolled into one. Thus, the court mae a resume, to wit: (1) The authorities must apply for the issuance of a search warrant from a judge, if in their opinion, an obscenity rap is in order; (2) The authorities must convince the court that the materials sought to be seized are "obscene", and pose a clear and present danger of an evil substantive enough to warrant State interference and action; (3) The judge must determine whether or not the same are indeed "obscene:" the question is to be resolved on a case-to-case basis and on His Honor's sound discretion. (4) If, in the opinion of the court, probable cause exists, it may issue the search warrant prayed for; (5) The proper suit is then brought in the court under Article 201 of the Revised Penal Code; and (6) Any conviction is subject to appeal. The appellate court may assess whether or not the properties seized are indeed "obscene." The Court states, however, that "these do not foreclose, however, defenses under the Constitution or applicable statutes, or remedies against abuse of official power under the Civil Code or the Revised Penal code." 138 Abdula vs. Guiani [GR 118821, 18 February 2000] Third Division, Gonzaga-Reyes (J): 4 concur Facts: On 24 June 1994, a complaint for murder (IS 94-1361) was filed before the Criminal Investigation
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 20 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

Service Command, ARMM Regional Office XII against Mayor Bai Unggie D. Abdula and Odin Abdula and 6 other persons in connection with the death of a certain Abdul Dimalen, the former COMELEC Registrar of Kabuntalan, Maguindanao. The complaint alleged that the Abdulas paid the 6 other persons the total amount of P200,000.00 for the death of Dimalen. Acting on this complaint, the Provincial Prosecutor of Maguindanao, Salick U. Panda, in a Resolution dated 22 August 1994, dismissed the charges of murder against the Abdulas and 5 other respondents on a finding that there was no prima facie case for murder against them. Prosecutor Panda, however, recommended the filing of an information for murder against one of the respondents, a certain Kasan Mama. Pursuant to this Resolution, an information for murder was thereafter filed against Kasan Mama before the sala of Judge Japal M. Guiani. In an Order dated 13 September 1994, the Judge ordered that the case (Criminal Case 2332), be returned to the Provincial Prosecutor for further investigation. In this Order, the judge noted that although there were 8 respondents in the murder case, the information filed with the court "charged only 1 of the 8 respondents in the name of Kasan Mama without the necessary resolution required under Section 4, Rule 112 of the Revised Rules of Court to show how the investigating prosecutor arrived at such a conclusion." As such, the judge reasons, the trial court cannot issue the warrant of arrest against Kasan Mama. Upon the return of the records of the case to the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor for Maguindanao, it was assigned to 2nd Assistant Prosecutor Enok T. Dimaraw for further investigation. In addition to the evidence presented during the initial investigation of the murder charge, two new affidavits of witnesses were submitted to support the charge of murder against the Abdulas and the other respondents in the murder complaint. Thus, Prosecutor Dimaraw treated the same as a re-filing of the murder charge and pursuant to law, issued subpoena to the respondents named therein. On 6 December 1994, the Abdulas submitted and filed their joint counter-affidavits. After evaluation of the evidence, Prosecutor Dimaraw, in a Resolution dated 28 December 1994, found a prima facie case for murder against the Abdulas and 3 other respondents. He thus recommended the filing of charges against the Abdulas, as principals by inducement, and against the 3 others, as principals by direct participation. Likewise in this 28 December 1994 Resolution, Provincial Prosecutor Salick U. Panda, who conducted the earlier preliminary investigation of the murder charge, added a notation stating that he was inhibiting himself from the case and authorizing the investigating prosecutor to dispose of the case without his approval. The reasons he cited were that the case was previously handled by him and that the victim was the father-in-law of his son. On 2 January 1995, an information for murder dated 28 December 1994 was filed against the Abdulas and Kasan Mama, Cuenco Usman and Jun Mama before Branch 14 of the Regional Trial Court of Cotabato City, then the sala of Judge Guiani. This information was signed by investigating prosecutor Enok T. Dimaraw. A notation was likewise made on the information by Provincial Prosecutor Panda, which explained the reason for his inhibition. The following day, the judge issued a warrant for the arrest of the Abdulas. Upon learning of the issuance of the said warrant, the Abdulas filed on 4 January 1995 an Urgent Ex-parte Motion for the setting aside of the warrant of arrest on 4 January 1995. In this motion, the Abdulas argued that the enforcement of the warrant of arrest should be held in abeyance considering that the information was prematurely filed and that the Abdulas intended to file a petition for review with the Department of Justice. A petition for review was filed by the Abdulas with the Department of Justice on 11 January 1995. Despite said filing, the judge did not act upon the Abdulas' pending Motion to Set Aside the Warrant of Arrest. The Abdulas filed the Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition with the Supreme Court. Issue: Whether the judge may rely upon the findings of the prosecutor in determining probable cause in the issuance of search or arrest warrant. Held: The 1987 Constitution requires the judge to determine probable cause "personally," a requirement which does not appear in the corresponding provisions of our previous constitutions. This emphasis evinces the intent of the framers to place a greater degree of responsibility upon trial judges than that imposed under previous Constitutions. Herein, the Judge admits that he issued the questioned warrant as there was "no reason for (him) to doubt the validity of the certification made by the Assistant Prosecutor that a preliminary investigation was conducted and that probable cause was found to exist as against those charged in the information filed." The statement is an admission that the Judge relied solely and completely on the
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 21 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

certification made by the fiscal that probable cause exists as against those charged in the information and issued the challenged warrant of arrest on the sole basis of the prosecutor's findings and recommendations. He adopted the judgment of the prosecutor regarding the existence of probable cause as his own. Clearly, the judge, by merely stating that he had no reason to doubt the validity of the certification made by the investigating prosecutor has abdicated his duty under the Constitution to determine on his own the issue of probable cause before issuing a warrant of arrest. Consequently, the warrant of arrest should be declared null and void. 139 Pasion Vda. de Garcia vs. Locsin [GR 45950, 20 June 1938] First Division, Laurel (J): 6 concur Facts: On 10 November 1934, Mariano G. Almeda, an agent of the Anti-Usury Board, obtained from the justice of the peace of Tarlac, Tarlac, a search warrant commanding any officer of the law to search the person, house or store of Leona Pasion Vda. de Garcia at Victoria, Tarlac, for "certain books, lists, chits, receipts, documents and other papers relating to her activities as usurer." The search warrant was issued upon an affidavit given by the said Almeda "that he has and there is just and probable cause to believe and he does believe that Leona Pasion de Garcia keeps and conceals in her house and store at Victoria, Tarlac, certain books, lists, chits, receipts, documents, and other papers relating to her activities as usurer, all of which is contrary to the statute in such cases made and provided." On the same date, Almeda, accompanied by a captain of the Philippine Constabulary, went to the office of Pasion de Garcia in Victoria, Tarlac and, after showing the search warrant to the latter's bookkeeper, Alfredo Salas, and, without Pasion de Garcia's presence who was ill and confined at the time, proceeded with the execution thereof. Two packages of records and a locked filing cabinet containing several papers and documents were seized by Almeda and a receipt therefor issued by him to Salas. The papers and documents seized were kept for a considerable length of time by the Anti-Usury Board and thereafter were turned over by it to the provincial fiscal Felix Imperial, who subsequently filed, in the Court of First Instance (CFI) of Tarlac, 6 separate criminal cases against Pasion de Garcia for violation of the Anti-Usury Law. On several occasions, after seizure, Pasion de Garcia, through counsel, demanded from the Anti-Usury Board the return of the documents seized. On January 7, and, by motion, on 4 June 1937, the legality of the search warrant was challenged by Pasion de Garcia's counsel in the 6 criminal cases and the devolution of the documents demanded. By resolution of 5 October 1937, Judge Diego Locsin (CFI) denied Pasion de garcia's motion of June 4 for the reason that though the search warrant was illegal, there was a waiver on the latter's part. A motion for reconsideration was presented but was denied by order of 3 January 1938. Pasion de Garcia registered her exception. Issue: Whether the lack of personal examination of witnesses renders the warrant void. Held: Freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures is declared a popular right and for a search warrant to be valid, (1) it must be issued upon probable cause; (2) the probable cause must be determined by the judge himself and not by the applicant or any other person; (3) in the determination of probable cause, the judge must examine, under oath or affirmation, the complainant and such witnesses as the latter may produce; and (4) the warrant issued must particularly describe the place to be searched and persons or things to be seized. These requirements are complemented by the Code of Criminal Procedure, particularly with reference to the duration of the validity of the search warrant and the obligation of the officer seizing the property to deliver the same to the corresponding court. Herein, the existence of probable cause was determined not by the judge himself but by the applicant. All that the judge did was to accept as true the affidavit made by agent Almeda. He did not decide for himself. It does not appear that he examined the applicant and his witnesses, if any. Even accepting the description of the properties to be seized to be sufficient and on the assumption that the receipt issued is sufficiently detailed within the meaning of the law, the properties seized were not delivered to the court which issued the warrant, as required by law. Instead, they were turned over to the provincial fiscal and used by him in building up cases against Pasion de Garcia. Considering that at the time the warrant was issued there was no case pending against Pasion de Garcia, the averment that the warrant was issued
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 22 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

primarily for exploration purposes is not without basis. The search warrant was illegally issued by the justice of the peace of Tarlac, Tarlac. In any event, the failure on the part of Pasion de Garcia and her bookkeeper to resist or object to the execution of the warrant does not constitute an implied waiver of constitutional right. It is, as Judge Cooley observes, but a submission to the authority of the law. As the constitutional guaranty is not dependent upon any affirmative act of the citizen, the courts do not place the citizen in the position of either contesting an officer's authority by force, or waiving his constitutional rights; but instead they hold that a peaceful submission to a search or seizure is not a consent or an invitation thereto, but is merely a demonstration of regard for the supremacy of the law. Thus, 140 Yee Sue Koy vs. Almeda [GR 47021, 15 June 1940] Laurel (J): 3 concur, 1 concurs in result Facts: In response to a sworn application of Mariano G. Almeda, chief agent of the Anti-Usury Board, dated 5 May 1938, the justice of the peace of Sagay, Occidental Negros, after taking the testimony of applicant's witness, Jose Estrada, special agent of the Anti-Usury Board, issued on the same date a search warrant commanding any peace officer to search during day time the store and premises occupied by Sam Sing & Co., situated at Sagay, Occidental Negros, as well as the person of said Sam Sing & Co., and to seize the documents, notebooks, lists, receipts and promissory notes being used by said Sam Sing & Co. in connection with their activities of lending money at usurious rates of interest in violation of law, or such as may be found, and to bring them forthwith before the aforesaid justice of the peace of Sagay. On the same date, at 10:30 a. m., search was accordingly made by Mariano G. Almeda, Jose Estrada, 2 internal revenue agents and 2 members of the Philippine Army, who seized certain receipt books, vales or promissory notes, chits, notebooks, journal book, and collection list belonging to Sam Sing & Co. and enumerated in the inventory receipt issued by Mariano G. Almeda to the owner of the documents, papers and articles seized. Immediately after the search and seizure thus effected, Mariano G. Almeda filed a return with the justice of the peace of Sagay together. With a request that the office of the Anti-Usury Board be allowed to retain possession of the articles seized for examination, pursuant to section 4 of Act 4109, which request was granted. Under the date of 11 March 1939, Godofredo P. Escalona, counsel for Sam Sing & Co. filed a motion with the Court of First Instance (CFI) of Occidental Negros praying that the search warrant and the seizure effected thereunder be declared illegal and set aside and that the articles in question be ordered returned to Sam Sing & Co., which motion was denied in the order dated 24 July 1939. A similar motion was presented to the justice of the peace of Sagay on 27 October 1939 but was denied the next day. Meanwhile, an information dated 30 September 1939 had been filed in the CFI Occidental Negros, charging Yee Fock alias Yee Sue Koy, Y. Tip and A. Sing, managers of Sam Sing & Co., with a violation of Act 2655. Before the criminal case could be tried, Yee Sue Koy and Yee Tip filed the petition with the Supreme Court on 6 November 1939. The petition is grounded on the propositions (1) that the search warrant issued on 2 May 1938, by the justice of the peace of Sagay and the seizure accomplished thereunder are illegal, because the warrant was issued three days ahead of the application therefor and of the affidavit of the Jose Estrada which is insufficient in itself to justify the issuance of a search warrant, and because the issuance of said warrant manifestly contravenes the mandatory provisions both of section 1, paragraph 3, of Article III of the Constitution and of section 97 of General Orders 58, and (2) that the seizure of the aforesaid articles by means of a search warrant for the purpose of using them as evidence in the criminal case against the accused, is unconstitutional because the warrant thereby becomes unreasonable and amounts to a violation of the constitutional prohibition against compelling the accused to testify against themselves. Issue: Whether the application of the search warrant is supported by the personal knowledge of the witness, besides the applicant, for the judge to determine probable cause in issuing the warrant. Held: Strict observance of the formalities under section 1, paragraph 3, of Article III of the Constitution and of section 97 of General Orders 58 was followed. The applicant Mariano G. Almeda, in his application, swore that "he made his own personal investigation and ascertained that Sam Sing & Co. is lending money without
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 23 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

license, charging usurious rate of interest and is keeping, utilizing and concealing in the store and premises occupied by it situated at Sagay, Occidental Negros, documents, notebooks, lists, receipts, promissory notes, and book of accounts and records, all of which are being used by it in connection with its activities of lending money at usurious rate of interest in violation of the Usury Law." In turn, the witness Jose Estrada, in his testimony before the justice of the peace of Sagay, swore that he knew that Sam Sing & Co. was lending money without license and charging usurious rate of interest, because he personally investigated the victims who had secured loans from said Sam Sing & Co. and were charged usurious rate of interest; that he knew that the said Sam Sing & Co. was keeping and using books of accounts and records containing its transactions relative its activities as money lender and the entries of the interest paid by its debtors, because he saw the said Sam Sing & d make entries and records of their debts and the interest paid thereon. As both Mariano G. Almeda and Jose Estrada swore that they had personal knowledge, their affidavits were sufficient for, thereunder, they could be held liable for perjury if the facts would turn out to be not as their were stated under oath. That the existence of probable cause had been determined by the justice of the peace of Sagay before issuing the search warrant complained of, is shown by the following statement in the warrant itself, to wit: "After examination under oath of the complainant, Mariano G. Almeda, Chief Agent of the Anti-Usury Board, Department of Justice and Special Agent of the Philippine Army, Manila, and the witness he presented, . . . and this Court, finding that there is just and probable cause to believe as it does believe, that the above described articles, relating to the activities of said Sam Sing & Co. of lending money at usurious rate of interest, are being utilized and kept and concealed at its store and premises occupied by said Sam Sing & Co., all in violation of law." 141 Alvarez vs. Court of First Instance of Tayabas [GR 45358, 29 January 1937] First Division, Imperial (J): 4 concur Facts: On 3 June 1936, the chief of the secret service of the Anti-Usury Board, of the Department of Justice, presented to Judge Eduardo Gutierrez David then presiding over the Court of First Instance of Tayabas, an affidavit alleging that according to reliable information, Narciso Alvarez kept in his house in Infanta, Tayabas, books, documents, receipts, lists, chits and other papers used by him in connection with his activities as a moneylender, charging usurious rates of interest in violation of the law. In his oath at the end of the affidavit, the chief of the secret service stated that his answers to the questions were correct to the best of his knowledge and belief. He did not swear to the truth of his statements upon his own knowledge of the facts but upon the information received by him from a reliable person. Upon the affidavit the judge, on said date, issued the warrant which is the subject matter of the petition, ordering the search of the Alvarez's house at any time of the day or night, the seizure of the books and documents and the immediate delivery thereof to him to be disposed of in accordance with the law. With said warrant, several agents of the Anti-Usury Board entered Alvarez's store and residence at 7:00 p.m. of 4 June 1936, and seized and took possession of the following articles: internal revenue licenses for the years 1933 to 1936, 1 ledger, 2 journals, 2 cashbooks, 9 order books, 4 notebooks, 4 check stubs, 2 memorandums, 3 bankbooks, 2 contracts, 4 stubs, 48 stubs of purchases of copra, 2 inventories, 2 bundles of bills of lading, 1 bundle of credit receipts, 1 bundle of stubs of purchases of copra, 2 packages of correspondence, 1 receipt book belonging to Luis Fernandez, 14 bundles of invoices and other papers, many documents and loan contracts with security and promissory notes, 504 chits, promissory notes and stubs of used checks of the Hongkong & Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC). The search for and seizure of said articles were made with the opposition of Alvarez who stated his protest below the inventories on the ground that the agents seized even the originals of the documents. As the articles had not been brought immediately to the judge who issued the search warrant, Alvarez, through his attorney, filed a motion on 8 June 1936, praying that the agent Emilio L. Siongco, or any other agent, be ordered immediately to deposit all the seized articles in the office of the clerk of court and that said agent be declared guilty of contempt for having disobeyed the order of the court. On said date the court issued an order directing Siongco to deposit all the articles seized within 24 hours from the receipt of notice thereof and giving him a period of 5 days within which to show cause why he should not be punished for contempt of court. On 10 June, Attorney Arsenio Rodriguez, representing the Anti-Usury Board, filed a motion praying that the order of the
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 24 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

8th of said month be set aside and that the Anti-Usury Board be authorized to retain the articles seized for a period of 30 days for the necessary investigation. On June 25, the court issued an order requiring agent Siongco forthwith to file the search warrant and the affidavit in the court, together with the proceedings taken by him, and to present an inventory duly verified by oath of all the articles seized. On July 2, the attorney for the petitioner filed a petition alleging that the search warrant issued was illegal and that it had not yet been returned to date together with the proceedings taken in connection therewith, and praying that said warrant be cancelled, that an order be issued directing the return of all the articles seized to Alvarez, that the agent who seized them be declared guilty of contempt of court, and that charges be filed against him for abuse of authority. On September 10, the court issued an order holding: that the search warrant was obtained and issued in accordance with the law, that it had been duly complied with and, consequently, should not be cancelled, and that agent Siongco did not commit any contempt of court and must, therefore, be exonerated, and ordering the chief of the Anti-Usury Board in Manila to show cause, if any, within the unextendible period of 2 days from the date of notice of said order, why all the articles seized appearing in the inventory should not be returned to Alvarez. The assistant chief of the Anti-Usury Board of the Department of Justice filed a motion praying, for the reasons stated therein, that the articles seized be ordered retained for the purpose of conducting an investigation of the violation of the Anti-Usury Law committed by Alvarez. On October 10, said official again filed another motion alleging that he needed 60 days to examine the documents and papers seized, which are designated on pages 1 to 4 of the inventory by Nos. 5, 10, 16, 23, 25-27, 30-31 , 34, 36-43 and 45, and praying that he be granted said period of 60 days. In an order of October 16, the court granted him the period of 60 days to investigate said 19 documents. Alvarez, herein, asks that the search warrant as well as the order authorizing the agents of the Anti-Usury Board to retain the articles seized, be declared illegal and set aside, and prays that all the articles in question be returned to him. Issue: Whether the search warrant issued by the court is illegal because it has been based upon the affidavit of agent Almeda in whose oath he declared that he had no personal knowledge of the facts which were to serve as a basis for the issuance of the warrant but that he had knowledge thereof through mere information secured from a person whom he considered reliable, and that it is illegal as it was not supported by other affidavits aside from that made by the applicant. Held: Section 1, paragraph 3, of Article III of the Constitution and Section 97 of General Orders 58 require that there be not only probable cause before the issuance of a search warrant but that the search warrant must be based upon an application supported by oath of the applicant and the witnesses he may produce. In its broadest sense, an oath includes any form of attestation by which a party signifies that he is bound in conscience to perform an act faithfully and truthfully; and it is sometimes defined as an outward pledge given by the person taking it that his attestation or promise is made under an immediate sense of his responsibility to God. The oath required must refer to the truth of the facts within the personal knowledge of the petitioner or his witnesses, because the purpose thereof is to convince the committing magistrate, not the individual making the affidavit and seeking the issuance of the warrant, of the existence of probable cause. The true test of sufficiency of an affidavit to warrant issuance of a search warrant is whether it has been drawn in such a manner that perjury could be charged thereon and affiant be held liable for damages caused. The affidavit, which served as the exclusive basis of the search warrant, is insufficient and fatally defective by reason of the manner in which the oath was made, and therefore, the search warrant and the subsequent seizure of the books, documents and other papers are illegal. Further, it is the practice in this jurisdiction to attach the affidavit of at least the applicant or complainant to the application. It is admitted that the judge who issued the search warrant in this case, relied exclusively upon the affidavit made by agent Almeda and that he did not require nor take the deposition of any other witness. Neither the Constitution nor General Orders 58 provides that it is of imperative necessity to take the depositions of the witnesses to be presented by the applicant or complainant in addition to the affidavit of the latter. The purpose of both in requiring the presentation of depositions is nothing more than to satisfy the committing magistrate of the existence of probable cause. Therefore, if the affidavit of the applicant or complainant is sufficient, the judge may dispense with that of other witnesses. Inasmuch as the affidavit of the agent was insufficient because his knowledge of the facts
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 25 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

was not personal but merely hearsay, it is the duty of the judge to require the affidavit of one or more witnesses for the purpose of determining the existence of probable cause to warrant the issuance of the search warrant. When the affidavit of the applicant or complainant contains sufficient facts within his personal and direct knowledge, it is sufficient if the judge is satisfied that there exists probable cause; when the applicant's knowledge of the facts is mere hearsay, the affidavit of one or more witnesses having a personal knowledge of the facts is necessary. Thus the warrant issued is likewise illegal because it was based only on the affidavit of the agent who had no personal knowledge of the facts. 142 Mata vs. Bayona [GR 50720, 26 March 1984] Second Division, de Castro (J): 3 concur, 2 concur in result, 1 took no part Facts: Soriano Mata was accused under Presidential Decree (PD) 810, as amended by PD 1306, the information against him alleging that Soriano Mata offered, took and arranged bets on the Jai Alai game by "selling illegal tickets known as 'Masiao tickets' without any authority from the Philippine Jai Alai & Amusement Corporation or from the government authorities concerned." Mata claimed that during the hearing of the case, he discovered that nowhere from the records of the said case could be found the search warrant and other pertinent papers connected to the issuance of the same, so that he had to inquire from the City Fiscal its whereabouts, and to which inquiry Judge Josephine K. Bayona, presiding Jufe of the City Court of Ormoc replied, "it is with the court". The Judge then handed the records to the Fiscal who attached them to the records. This led Mata to file a motion to quash and annul the search warrant and for the return of the articles seized, citing and invoking, among others, Section 4 of Rule 126 of the Revised Rules of Court. The motion was denied by the Judge on 1 March 1979, stating that the court has made a thorough investigation and examination under oath of Bernardo U. Goles and Reynaldo T. Mayote, members of the Intelligence Section of 352nd PC Co./Police District II INP; that in fact the court made a certification to that effect; and that the fact that documents relating to the search warrant were not attached immediately to the record of the criminal case is of no moment, considering that the rule does not specify when these documents are to be attached to the records. Mata's motion for reconsideration of the aforesaid order having been denied, he came to the Supreme Court, with the petition for certiorari, praying, among others, that the Court declare the search warrant to be invalid for its alleged failure to comply with the requisites of the Constitution and the Rules of Court, and that all the articles confiscated under such warrant as inadmissible as evidence in the case, or in any proceedings on the matter. Issue: Whether the judge must before issuing the warrant personally examine on oath or affirmation the complainant and any witnesses he may produce and take their depositions in writing, and attach them to the record, in addition to any affidavits presented to him. Held: Under the Constitution "no search warrant shall issue but upon probable cause to be determined by the Judge or such other responsible officer as may be authorized by law after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce". More emphatic and detailed is the implementing rule of the constitutional injunction, The Rules provide that the judge must before issuing the warrant personally examine on oath or affirmation the complainant and any witnesses he may produce and take their depositions in writing, and attach them to the record, in addition to any affidavits presented to him. Mere affidavits of the complainant and his witnesses are thus not sufficient. The examining Judge has to take depositions in writing of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce and to attach them to the record. Such written deposition is necessary in order that the Judge may be able to properly determine the existence or nonexistence of the probable cause, to hold liable for perjury the person giving it if it will be found later that his declarations are false. We, therefore, hold that the search warrant is tainted with illegality by the failure of the Judge to conform with the essential requisites of taking the depositions in writing and attaching them to the record, rendering the search warrant invalid. 143 Olaez vs. People of the Philippines [GR 78347-49, 9 November 1987]
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 26 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

First Division, Cruz (J): 4 concur Facts: Adolfo Olaes and Linda M. Cruz were charged for violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act. Olaes and Cruz filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition with preliminary injunction, challenging the admission by Judge Alicia L. Santos (in her capacity as Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Olongapo City, Branch 73) of evidence seized by virtue of an allegedly invalid search warrant and of an extrajudicial confession taken from them without according them the right to assistance of counsel; and thus seek to restrain further proceedings in the criminal case against them and ask that they be acquitted with the setting aside of the questioned orders (the facts do not provide the disposition of the said orders). Olaes and Cruz claim that the search warrant issued by the judge is unconstitutional because it does not indicate the specific offense they are supposed to have committed. There is, therefore, according to them, no valid finding of probable cause as a justification for the issuance of the said warrant in conformity with the Bill of Rights. Issue: Whether the lack of specific section of the Dangerous Drugs Act renders the caption vague, and negate the claim that the specific offense was committed to serve as basis for the finding of probable cause. Held: No. The search warrant issued does not come under the strictures of the Stonehill doctrine. While in the case cited, there was a bare reference to the laws in general, without any specification of the particular sections thereof that were alleged to have been violated out of the hundreds of prohibitions contained in such codifications, there is no similar ambiguity herein. While it is true that the caption of the search warrant states that it is in connection with "Violation of RA 6425, otherwise known as the Dangerous Drugs Acts of 1972," it is clearly recited in the text thereof that "There is probable cause to believe that Adolfo Olaes alias 'Debie' and alias 'Baby' of No. 628 Comia St., Filtration, Sta. Rita, Olongapo City, has in their possession and control and custody of marijuana dried stalks/leaves/seeds/cigarettes and other regulated/prohibited and exempt narcotics preparations which is the subject of the offense stated above." Although the specific section of the Dangerous Drugs Act is not pinpointed, there is no question at all of the specific offense alleged to have been committed as a basis for the finding of probable cause. The search warrant also satisfies the requirement in the Bill of Rights of the particularity of the description to be made of the "place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized." 144 Prudente vs. Dayrit [GR 82870, 14 December 1989] En Banc, Padilla (J): 14 concur Facts: On 31 October 1987, P/Major Alladin Dimagmaliw, Chief of the Intelligence Special Action Division (ISAD) of the Western Police District (WPD), filed with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila, Branch 33, presided over by Judge Abelardo Dayrit, now Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals, an application for the issuance of a search warrant (Search Warrant 87-14) for violation of Presidential Decree 1866 (Illegal Possession of Firearms, etc.) entitled "People of the Philippines vs. Nemesio E. Prudente." On the same day, the Judge issued the Search Warrant, commanding Dimagmaliw "to make an immediate search at any time in the day or night of the premises of Polytechnic University of the Philippines, more particularly (a) offices of the Department of Military Science and Tactics at the ground floor and other rooms at the ground floor; (b) office of the President, Dr. Nemesio Prudente at PUP, Second Floor and other rooms at the second floor, and forthwith seize and take possession of the following personal properties, to wit: (a) M 16 Armalites with ammunition; (b) .38 and .45 Caliber handguns and pistols; (c) explosives and hand grenades; and (d) assorted weapons with ammunitions." On 1 November 1987, a Sunday and All Saints Day, the search warrant was enforced by some 200 WPD operatives led by P/Col. Edgar Dula Torre, Deputy Superintendent, WPD, and P/Major Romeo Maganto, Precinct 8 Commander. In his affidavit, dated 2 November 1987, Ricardo Abando y Yusay, a member of the searching team, alleged that he found in the drawer of a cabinet inside the wash room of Dr. Prudente's office a bulging brown envelope with 3 live fragmentation hand grenades separately wrapped with old newspapers. On 6 November 1987, Prudente moved to quash the search warrant. He claimed that (1) the complainant's lone witness, Lt. Florenio C. Angeles, had no personal knowledge of the
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 27 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

facts which formed the basis for the issuance of the search warrant; (2) the examination of the said witness was not in the form of searching questions and answers; (3) the search warrant was a general warrant, for the reason that it did not particularly describe the place to be searched and that it failed to charge one specific offense; and (4) the search warrant was issued in violation of Circular 19 of the Supreme Court in that the complainant failed to allege under oath that the issuance of the search warrant on a Saturday was urgent. On 9 March 1988, the Judge issued an order, denying Prudente's motion and supplemental motion to quash. Prudente's motion for reconsideration was likewise denied in the order dated 20 April 1988. Prudente filed a petition for certiorari with the Supreme Court. Issue: Whether the allegations contained in the application of P/ Major Alladin Dimagmaliw and the declaration of P/Lt. Florenio C. Angeles in his deposition were sufficient basis for the issuance of a valid search warrant. Held: The "probable cause" for a valid search warrant, has been defined "as such facts and circumstances which would lead a reasonably discreet and prudent man to believe that an offense has been committed, and that objects sought in connection with the offense are in the place sought to be searched." This probable cause must be shown to be within the personal knowledge of the complainant or the witnesses he may produce and not based on mere hearsay. Thus, for a valid search warrant to issue, there must be probable cause, which is to be determined personally by the judge, after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized. The probable cause must be in connection with one specific offense,and the judge must, before issuing the warrant, personally examine in the form of searching questions and answers, in writing and under oath, the complainant and any witness he may produce, on facts personally known to them and attach to the record their sworn statements together with any affidavits submitted. Herein, in his application for search warrant, P/Major Alladin Dimagmaliw stated that "he has been informed" that Nemesio Prudente "has in his control and possession" the firearms and explosives described therein, and that he "has verified the report and found it to be a fact." On the other hand, in his supporting deposition, P/Lt. Florenio C. Angeles declared that, as a result of their continuous surveillance for several days, they "gathered informations from verified sources" that the holders of the said firearms and explosives are not licensed to possess them. In other words, the applicant and his witness had no personal knowledge of the facts and circumstances which became the basis for issuing the questioned search warrant, but acquired knowledge thereof only through information from other sources or persons. While it is true that in his application for search warrant, applicant P/Major Dimagmaliw stated that he verified the information he had earlier received that petitioner had in his possession and custody the firearms and explosives described in the application, and that he found it to be a fact, yet there is nothing in the record to show or indicate how and when said applicant verified the earlier information acquired by him as to justify his conclusion that he found such information to be a fact. He might have clarified this point if there had been searching questions and answers, but there were none. In fact, the records yield no questions and answers, whether searching or not, vis-a-vis the said applicant. Evidently, the allegations contained in the application of P/ Major Alladin Dimagmaliw and the declaration of P/Lt. Florenio C. Angeles in his deposition were insufficient basis for the issuance of a valid search warrant. 145 Chia vs. Acting Collector of Customs [GR L-43810, 26 September 1989] First Division, Grino-Aquino (J): 4 concur Facts: Acting on a verified report of a confidential informant that assorted electronic and electrical equipment and other articles illegally imported into the Philippines by a syndicate engaged in unlawful "shipside" activities (foreign goods are unloaded from foreign ships in transit through Philippine waters into motorized bancas and landed on Philippine soil without passing through the Bureau of Customs, thereby evading payment of the corresponding customs duties and taxes thereon) were found inside "Tom's Electronics" and "Sony Merchandising (Philippines)" stores located at 690 and 691 Gonzalo Puyat corner Evangelista Street, Quiapo, Manila, a letter-request dated 23 April 1976 was addressed to the Collector of Customs by the Deputy
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 28 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

Director of the Regional Anti-Smuggling Action Center, Manila Bay Area (RASAC-MBA) for the issuance of warrants of seizure and detention. After evaluation, the Collector of Customs issued Warrants of Seizure and Detention 14925 and 14925-A, directing the Anti-Smuggling Action Center to seize the goods mentioned therein, i.e. various electronic equipments like cassette tape recorders, car stereos, phonograph needles (diamond), portable TV sets, imported long playing records, spare parts of TVs and radios and other electrical appliances. A RASAC team was formed and given a mission order to enforce the warrants, which it implemented with the assistance of: (1) the National Customs Police (augmenting the team with 2 members), (2) the Detective Bureau of the Manila Western Police District Headquarters (with 3 detectives), as well as, (3) Precinct 3 of the Manila Western Police District which exercised jurisdictional control over the place to be raided. The intended raid was entered in the respective police blotters of the police detective bureaus. On the strength of the warrants of seizure and detention, the raid was conducted in the afternoon of 25 April 1976 at the 2 stores of Tomas Chia. ASAC team leader Gener Sula, together with his agents Badron Dobli, Arturo Manuel, Rodolfo Molina and Servillano Florentin of Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City, assisted by two customs policemen, Val Martinez and Renato Sorima, and Manila policemen Rogelio Vinas and John Peralta, recovered from the stores, assorted electronic equipment and other articles, the customs duties on which allegedly had not been paid. They were turned over to the Customs Auction and Cargo Disposal Unit of the Bureau of Customs. On 17 May 1976, in the afternoon, the hearing officer of Acting Collector of Customs Alfredo Francisco conducted a hearing on the confiscation of the goods taken by Gener Sula and his agents. 2 days later, Chia filed the petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus before the Supreme Court to enjoin the Collector of Customs and/or his agents from further proceeding with the forfeiture hearing and prayed that the search warrants be declared null and void, that the latter be ordered to return the confiscated articles to Chia, and to pay damages. Issue: Whether the warrants issued by the Collector of Customs partakes the nature of a general warrants, and thus are invalid. Held: Not only may goods be seized without a search and seizure warrant under Section 2536 of the Customs and Tariff Code, when they (the goods) are openly offered for sale or kept in storage in a store as herein, but the fact is that Chia's stores — "Tom's Electronics" and "Sony Merchandising (Phil.)" — were searched upon warrants of search and detention issued by the Collector of Customs, who, under the 1973 Constitution, was "a responsible officer authorized by law" to issue them. Sections 2208 and 2209 of the Tariff and Customs Code provide when a search may be made without a warrant and when a warrant is necessary. Section 2208 provides that "For the more effective discharge of his official duties, any person exercising the powers herein conferred, may at any time enter, pass through or search any land or inclosure or any warehouse, store or other building, not being a dwelling house. A warehouse, store or other building or inclosure used for the keeping or storage of articles does not become a dwelling house within the meaning hereof merely by reason of the fact that a person employed as watchman lives in the place, nor will the fact that his family stays there with him alter the case." On the other hand, Section 2209 provides that "A dwelling house may be entered and searched only upon warrant issued by a Judge of the court or such other responsible officers as may be authorized by law, upon sworn application showing probable cause and particularly describing the place to be searched and the person or thing to be seized." The warrants issued by the Collector of Customs in this case were not general warrants for they identified the stores to be searched, described the articles to be seized and specified the provision of the Tariff and Customs Code violated. Upon effecting the seizure of the goods, the Bureau of Customs acquired exclusive jurisdiction not only over the case but also over the goods seized for the purpose of enforcing the tariff and customs laws. Further, a party dissatisfied with the decision of the Collector may appeal to the Commissioner of Customs, whose decision is appealable to the Court of Tax Appeals in the manner and within the period prescribed by law and regulations. The decision of the Court of Tax Appeals may be elevated to the Supreme Court for review. Since Chia did not exhaust his administrative remedies, his recourse to this Court is premature. 146 20th Century Fox Film Corporation vs. Court of Appeals [GR L-76649-51, 19 August 1988]
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 29 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

Third Division, Gutierrez J. (J): 4 concur Facts: In a letter-complaint dated 26 August 1985, 20th Century Fox Film Corporation through counsel sought the National Bureau of Investigation's (NBI) assistance in the conduct of searches and seizures in connection with the NBI's anti-film piracy campaign. Specifically, the letter-complaint alleged that certain videotape outlets all over Metro Manila are engaged in the unauthorized sale and renting out of copyrighted films in videotape form which constitute a flagrant violation of Presidential Decree 49 (Decree on the Protection of Intellectual Property). Acting on the letter-complaint, the NBI conducted surveillance and investigation of the outlets pinpointed by the film corporation and subsequently filed 3 applications for search warrants against the video outlets owned by Eduardo M. Barreto, Raul Sagullo, and Fortune Ledesma. The applications were consolidated and heard by the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Makati, Branch 132. On 4 September 1985, the lower court issued the desired search warrants, describing the articles sought to be seized as"(c) Television sets, Video Cassettes Recorders, rewinders, tape head cleaners, accessories, equipments and other machines used or intended to be used in the unlawful reproduction, sale, rental/lease, distribution of the above-mentioned video tapes which she is keeping and concealing in the premises above-described.". Armed with the search warrants, the NBI accompanied by the film corporation's agents, raided the video outlets and seized the items described therein. An inventory of the items seized was made and left with Barreto, et. al. Acting on a motion to lift search warrants and release seized properties filed by Barreto, et. al., the lower court issued an order dated 8 October 1985, lifting the 3 search warrants issued earlier against them by the court, due to the failure of the NBI to deliver the articles to the Court, and thus ordered the return of the articles to their respective owners. The lower court denied a motion for reconsideration filed by the film corporation in its order dated 2 January 1986. The film corporation filed a petition for certiorari with the Court of Appeals to annul the orders of the lower court. The petition was dismissed. The 20th Century Fox Film Corporation filed the petition for review with the Supreme Court. Issue: Whether the inclusion of certain articles of property which are usually connected to legitimate business, and not involving piracy of intellectual property or infringement of copyright laws, renders the warrant to be unreasonable. Held: Television sets, video cassette recorders, rewinders and tape cleaners are articles which can be found in a video tape store engaged in the legitimate business of lending or renting out betamax tapes. In short, these articles and appliances are generally connected with, or related to a legitimate business not necessarily involving piracy of intellectual property or infringement of copyright laws. Hence, including these articles without specification and/or particularity that they were really instruments in violating an Anti-Piracy law makes the search warrant too general which could result in the confiscation of all items found in any video store. In fact, this actually happened in the present case. Although the applications and warrants themselves covered certain articles of property usually found in a video store, the Court believes that the search party should have confined themselves to articles that are according to them, evidence constitutive of infringement of copyright laws or the piracy of intellectual property, but not to other articles that are usually connected with, or related to, a legitimate business, not involving piracy of intellectual property, or infringement of copyright laws. So that a television set, a rewinder, and a whiteboard listing Betamax tapes, video cassette cleaners video cassette recorders as reflected in the Returns of Search Warrants, are items of legitimate business engaged in the video tape industry, and which could not be the subject of seizure. The applicant and his agents therefore exceeded their authority in seizing perfectly legitimate personal property usually found in a video cassette store or business establishment. The search and seizure is unreasonable. 147 Nolasco vs. Cruz Pano [GR L-69803, 8 October 1985] En Banc, Melencio-Herrera (J): 7 concur, 1 concurs in the result, 1 took no part, 1 reserves his vote Facts: Prior to 6 August 1984, Mila Aguilar-Roque was one of the accused of Rebellion in Criminal Case SMC-1-1 before Special Military Commission 1, and also one of the accused of Subversion in Criminal Case
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 30 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

MC-25-113 of Military Commission 25, both cases being entitled "People of the Philippines vs. Jose Ma. Sison, et al." She was then still at large. At around 9:00 a.m. on August 6, Lt. Col. Virgilio G. Saldajeno of the CSG, applied for a Search Warrant from the Hon. Ernani Cruz Paño, Executive Judge of the Regional Trial Court in Quezon City, to be served at No. 239-B Mayon Street, Quezon City, determined to be the leased residence of Aguilar-Roque, after almost a month of "round the clock surveillance" of the premises as a "suspected underground house of the CPP/NPA." Aguilar-Roque has been long wanted by the military for being a high ranking officer of the Communist Party of the Philippines, particularly connected with the MV Karagatan/Doña Andrea cases. At 11:30 a.m., Aguilar-Roque and Cynthia D. Nolasco were arrested by a Constabulary Security Group (CSG) at the intersection of Mayon Street and P. Margall Street, Quezon City. The record does not disclose that a warrant of arrest had previously been issued against Nolasco. At 12:00 noon on the same day, elements of the CSG searched the premises at 239-B Mayon Street, Quezon City. Willie C. Tolentino, a person then in charge of the premises, was arrested by the searching party presumably without a warrant of arrest. The searching party seized 428 documents and written materials, and additionally a portable typewriter, and 2 wooden boxes, making 431 items in all. On August 10, Aguilar-Roque, Nolasco and Tolentino, were charged before the Quezon City Fiscal's Office upon complaint filed by the CSG against the former for "Subversion/Rebellion and/or Conspiracy to Commit Rebellion/Subversion. On August 13, the City Fiscal filed an Information for Violation of Presidential Decree (PD) 33 (Illegal Possession of Subversive Documents) against Aguilar-Roque, et. al. before Branch 42 of the Metropolitan Trial Court of Quezon City, Judge Antonio P. Santos, presiding. On August 16, CSG filed a Motion for Reconsideration with the City Fiscal, praying that Aguilar-Roque and Nolasco be charged with Subversion. The Motion was denied on November 16. On September 10, the CSG submitted an Amended Return in the Search Warrant case praying, inter alia, that the CSG be allowed to retain the seized 431 documents and articles, "in connection with cases that are presently pending against Mila Aguilar Roque before the Quezon City Fiscal's Office and the court." On December 13, Judge Paño admitted the Amended Return and ruled that the seized documents "shall be subject to disposition of the tribunal trying the case against respondent." A day before that, Aguilar-Roque, et. al. filed a Motion to Suppress, praying that such of the 431 items belonging to them be returned to them. It was claimed that the proceedings under the Search Warrant were unlawful. Judge Santos denied the Motion on 7 January 1985 on the ground that the validity of the Search Warrant has to be litigated in the other case, apparently unaware of the Order issued by Judge Paño on December 13. Nolasco, Aguilar-Roque, and Tolentino filed the Petition for Certiorari, Prohibition and Mandamus to annul and set aside the (1) Search Warrant issued by RTC Judge Paño; (2) his Order admitting the Amended Return and granting the Motion to Retain Seized Items; and (3) Order of MTC Judge Santos denying Aguilar-Roque, et. al.'s Motion to Suppress. Issue: Whether the description of the personalities to be seized in the search warrant is too general to render the warrant void. Held: The disputed Search Warrant (80-84) describes the personalities to be seized as "Documents, papers and other records of the Communist Party of the Philippines/New Peoples Army and/or the National Democratic Front, such as Minutes of the Party Meetings, Plans of these groups, Programs, List of possible supporters, subversive books and instructions, manuals not otherwise available to the public, and support money from foreign or local sources." It is at once evident that the Search Warrant authorizes the seizure of personal properties vaguely described and not particularized. It is an all-embracing description which includes everything conceivable regarding the Communist Party of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front. It does not specify what the subversive books and instructions are; what the manuals not otherwise available to the public contain to make them subversive or to enable them to be used for the crime of rebellion. There is absent a definite guideline to the searching team as to what items might be lawfully seized thus giving the officers of the law discretion regarding what articles they should seize as, in fact, taken also were a portable typewriter and 2 wooden boxes. It is thus in the nature of a general warrant and infringes on the constitutional mandate requiring particular description of the things to be seized. Search warrants of similar description were considered null and void for being too general. Notwithstanding the irregular issuance of the Search
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 31 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

Warrant and although, ordinarily, the articles seized under an invalid search warrant should be returned, they cannot be ordered returned to Aguilar-Roque. Some searches may be made without a warrant. Section 12, Rule 126, Rules of Court, is declaratory in the sense that it is confined to the search, without a search warrant, of a person who had been arrested. It is also a general rule that, as an incident of an arrest, the place or premises where the arrest was made can also be search without a search warrant. In this latter case, "the extent and reasonableness of the search must be decided on its own facts and circumstances, and it has been stated that, in the application of general rules, there is some confusion in the decisions as to what constitutes the extent of the place or premises which may be searched". Considering that Aguilar-Roque has been charged with Rebellion, which is a crime against public order; that the warrant for her arrest has not been served for a considerable period of time; that she was arrested within the general vicinity of her dwelling; and that the search of her dwelling was made within a half hour of her arrest, the Court was of the opinion that, in her respect, the search at No. 239-B Mayon Street, Quezon City, did not need a search warrant; this, for possible effective results in the interest of public order. Such being the case, the personalities seized may be retained by CSG, for possible introduction as evidence in the Rebellion Case, leaving it to Aguilar-Roque to object to their relevance and to ask Special Military Commission 1 to return to her any all irrelevant documents and articles. 148 Paper Industries Corporation of the Philippines vs. Asuncion [GR 122092, 19 May 1999] Third Division, Panganiban (J): 3 concur, 1 took no part Facts: On 25 January 1995, Police Chief Inspector Napoleon B. Pascua applied for a search warrant before the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 104, of Quezon City, stating "(1) that the management of Paper Industries Corporation of the Philippines, located at PICOP compound, Barangay Tabon, Bislig, Surigao del Sur, represented by its Sr. Vice President Ricardo G. Santiago, is in possession or has in its control high powered firearms, ammunitions, explosives, which are the subject of the offense, or used or intended to be used in committing the offense, and which are being kept and concealed in the premises herein described; (2) that a Search Warrant should be issued to enable any agent of the law to take possession and bring to this Honorable Court the following described properties: 'Seventy (70) M16 Armalite rifles cal. 5.56, ten (10) M16 US rifles, two (2) AK-47 rifle[s], two (2) UZI submachinegun[s], two (2) M203 Grenade Launcher[s] cal 40mm., ten (10) cal. 45 pistol[s], ten (10) cal. 38 revolver[s], two (2) ammunition reloading machine[s], assorted ammunitions for said calibers of firearms and ten (10) handgrenades.'" The joint Deposition of SPO3 Cicero S. Bacolod and SPO2 Cecilio T. Morito, as well as a summary of the information and the supplementary statements of Mario Enad and Felipe Moreno were attached to the application. After propounding several questions to Bacolod, Judge Maximiano C. Asuncion issued the contested search warrant. On 4 February 1995, the police enforced the search warrant at the PICOP compound and seized various firearms and ammunition. Believing that the warrant was invalid and the search unreasonable, Paper Industries Corporation of the Philippines, Evaristo M. Narvaez Jr., Ricardo G. Santiago, Roberto A. Dormendo, Reydande D. Azucena, Niceforo V. Avila, Florentino M. Mula, Felix O. Baito, Harold B. Celestial, Elmedencio C. Calixtro, Carlito S. Legacion, Albino T. Lubang, Jeremias I. Abad and Herminio V. Villamil filed a "Motion to Quash" 16 before the trial court. Subsequently, they also filed a "Supplemental Pleading to the Motion to Quash" and a "Motion to Suppress Evidence." On 23 March 1995, the RTC issued the Order which denied PICOP, et. al.'s motions. On 3 August 1995, the trial court rendered its Order denying their Motion for Reconsideration. PICOP, et. al. filed a Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition. Issue: Whether the fact that the warrant identifies only one place, i.e. the "Paper Industries Corporation of the Philippines, located at PICOP Compound, Barangay Tabon, Bislig, Surigao del Sur," satisfies the requirements of the particularity of the place to be search, and thus render the warrant valid. Held: No. The fundamental right against unreasonable searches and seizures and the basic conditions for the issuance of a search warrant are laid down in Section 2, Article III of the 1987 Constitution. Consistent with the foregoing constitutional provision, Sections 3 and 4, Rule 126 of the Rules of Court, detail the requisites
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 32 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

for the issuance of a valid search warrant. The requisites of a valid search warrant are: (1) probable cause is present; (2) such presence is determined personally by the judge; (3) the complainant and the witnesses he or she may produce are personally examined by the judge, in writing and under oath or affirmation; (4) the applicant and the witnesses testify on facts personally known to them; and (5) the warrant specifically describes the place to be searched and the things to be seized. In view of the manifest objective of the constitutional safeguard against unreasonable search, the Constitution and the Rules limit the place to be searched only to those described in the warrant. Thus, this Court has held that "this constitutional right is the embodiment of a spiritual concept: the belief that to value the privacy of home and person and to afford it constitutional protection against the long reach of government no less than to value human dignity, and that his privacy must not be disturbed except in case of overriding social need, and then only under stringent procedural safeguards." Additionally, the requisite of particularity is related to the probable cause requirement in that, at least under some circumstances, the lack of a more specific description will make it apparent that there has not been a sufficient showing to the magistrate that the described items are to be found in a particular place. Herein, the search warrant is invalid because (1) the trial court failed to examine personally the complainant and the other deponents: (2) SPO3 Cicero Bacolod, who appeared during the hearing for the issuance of the search warrant, had no personal knowledge that PICOP, et. al. were not licensed to possess the subject firearms; and (3) the place to be searched was not described with particularity. As to the particularity of the place to be searched, the assailed search warrant failed to described the place with particularity. It simply authorizes a search of "the aforementioned premises," but it did not specify such premises. The warrant identifies only one place, and that is the "Paper Industries Corporation of the Philippines, located at PICOP Compound, Barangay Tabon, Bislig, Surigao del Sur." The PICOP compound, however, is made up of "200 offices/buildings, 15 plants, 84 staff houses, 1 airstrip, 3 piers/wharves, 23 warehouses, 6 POL depots/quick service outlets and some 800 miscellaneous structures, all of which spread out over some one hundred fifty-five hectares." Obviously, the warrant gives the police officers unbridled and thus illegal authority to search all the structures found inside the PICOP compound. Because the search warrant was procured in violation of the Constitution and the Rules of Court, all the firearms, explosives and other materials seized were "inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding." 149 Yousef Al-Ghoul vs. Court of Appeals [GR 126859, 4 September 2001] Second Division, Quisumbing (J): 4 concur Facts: On 31 March 1995, Judge Geronimo S. Mangay, presiding judge of the Regional Trial Court, National Capital Judicial Region, Branch 125, Kalookan City, issued search warrants 54-95 and 55-95 for the search and seizure of certain items in Apartment 2 at 154 Obiniana Compound, Deparo Road, Kalookan City. On 1 April 1995, the police searched Apartment 8, in the same compound and found one (1) .45 caliber pistol. Found in Apartment 2 were 2 M-16 rifles with 2 magazines and 20 live M-16 ammunitions, 1 Bar of demolition charge, 1 Caliber Pistol with no. 634 and other nos. were placed with magazine of Caliber .45 and 3 live 45 ammunitions, 1 22 Caliber handgun with 5 live ammunitions in its cylinder, 1 Box containing 40 pieces of .25 caliber ammunitions, 2 pieces of fragmentation grenade, 1 roll of detonating cord color yellow, 2 big bags of ammonium nitrate suspected to be explosives substance, 22 detonating cords with blasting caps, ½ and ¼ pound of high explosives TNT, 1 timer alarm clock, 2 bags of suspected gun powder, 2 small plastic bag of suspected explosive substance, 1 small box of plastic bag of suspected dynamites, One weighing scale, and 2 batteries 9 volts with blasting caps and detonating cord. The firearms, ammunitions, explosives and other incendiary devices seized at the apartments were acknowledged in the receipt signed by SPO2 Melanio de la Cruz. Yousef Al Ghoul, Isam Mohammad Abdulhadi, Wail Rashid Al-Khatib, Nabeel Nasser Al-Riyami, Ashraf Hassam Al-Yazori, and Mohammad Abushendi were charged before the Regional Trial Court of Kalookan City, Branch 123, in informations (Criminal Cases C-48666-67) accusing them with illegal possession of firearms, ammunitions and explosives, pursuant to Presidential Decree 1866. Thereafter, they were arrested and detained. They filed a motion for bail on 24 May 1995, the resolution of which was held in abeyance by the RTC pending the presentation of evidence from the prosecution to determine whether or not the evidence presented is strong. On 7 February 1996, at the hearing for bail, the RTC "admitted all exhibits
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 33 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

being offered for whatever purpose that they maybe worth" after the prosecution had finished adducing its evidence despite the objection by the petitioners on the admissibility of said evidence. On 19 February 1996, the RTC denied their motion for bail earlier filed. As their action before appellate court also proved futile, with the appellate court dismissing their special civil action for certiorari, they filed the petition for review before the Supreme Court. Issue: Whether the search and seizure orders are valid, and the objects seized admissible in evidence. Held: As held in PICOP v. Asuncion, the place to be searched cannot be changed, enlarged nor amplified by the police. Policemen may not be restrained from pursuing their task with vigor, but in doing so, care must be taken that constitutional and legal safeguards are not disregarded. Exclusion of unlawfully seized evidence is the only practical means of enforcing the constitutional injunction against unreasonable searches and seizures. Hence, the search made at Apartment No. 8 is illegal and the .45 caliber pistol taken thereat is inadmissible in evidence against Al-Ghoul, et. al. In contrast, the search conducted at Apartment 2 could not be similarly faulted. The search warrants specifically mentioned Apartment 2. The search was done in the presence of its occupants, in accordance with Section 7 of Rule 126, Revised Rules of Court. The articles seized during the search of Apartment 2 are of the same kind and nature as those items enumerated in the search warrant. The items seized from Apartment 2 were described with specificity in the warrants in question. The nature of the items ordered to be seized did not require a technical description. Moreover, the law does not require that the things to be seized must be described in precise and minute details as to leave no room for doubt on the part of the searching authorities, otherwise, it would be virtually impossible for the applicants to obtain a search warrant as they would not know exactly what kind of things they are looking for. Once described, however, the articles subject of the search and seizure need not be so invariant as to require absolute concordance between those seized and those described in the warrant. Substantial similarity of those articles described as a class or species would suffice. 150 People v. Omaweng [GR 99050, 2 September 1992] Third Division, Davide (J): 3 concur, 1 on leave Facts: In the morning of 12 September 1988, PC constables with the Mt. Province PC Command put up a checkpoint at the junction of the roads, one going to Sagada and the other to Bontoc. They stopped and checked all vehicles that went through the checkpoint. At 9:15 a.m., they flagged down a cream-colored Ford Fiera (ABT-634) coming from the Bontoc Poblacion and headed towards Baguio. The vehicle was driven by Conway Omaweng and had no passengers. The Constables (Layong, et.al.) asked permission to inspect the vehicle to which Omaweng acceded to. When they peered into the rear of the vehicle, they saw a travelling bag which was partially covered by the rim of a spare tire under the passenger seat on the right side of the vehicle. They asked permission to see the contents of the bag to which Omaweng consented to. When they opened the bag, they found that it contained 41 plastic packets of different sizes containing pulverized substances. The constable gave a packet to his team leader, who, after sniffing the stuff concluded that it was marijuana. The Constables thereafter boarded the vehicles and proceeded to the Bontoc poblacion to report the incident to the PC Headquarters. The prohibited drugs were surrendered to the evidence custodian. The PC Forensic Chemist at Camp Dangwa, La Trinidad, Benguet conducted 2 chemistry examinations of the substance contained in the plastic packets taken from appellant and found them to be positive for hashish or marijuana. Omaweng was indicted for the violation of Section 4, Article II of RA 6425 (Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972), as amended, in a criminal complaint filed with the MTC Bontoc, Mountain Province on 12 September 1988. Upon his failure to submit counter-affidavits despite the granting of an extension of time to do so, the court declared that he had waived his right to a preliminary investigation and, finding probable cause against Omaweng, ordered the elevation of the case to the proper court. On 14 November 1988, the Office of the Provincial Fiscal of Mountain Province filed an Information charging Omaweng with the violation of Section 47 Article II of the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972, as amended (Crim Case 713). After his motion for reinvestigation was denied by the Provincial Fiscal, Omaweng entered a plea of not guilty during
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 34 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

his arraignment on 20 June 1989. During the trial on the merits, the prosecution presented 4 witnesses. Omaweng did not present any evidence other than portions of the Joint Clarificatory Sworn Statement, dated 23 December 1988, of prosecution witnesses Joseph Layong and David Fomocod. On 21 March 1991, the trial court promulgated its Judgment convicting Omaweng of the crime of transporting prohibited drugs (Section 4, Article II of RA 6425, as amended). Omaweng appealed to the Supreme Court. Issue: Whether Omaweng was subjected to search which violates his Constitutional right against unreasonable searches and seizures. Held: Omaweng was not subjected to any search which may be stigmatized as a violation of his Constitutional right against unreasonable searches and seizures. He willingly gave prior consent to the search and voluntarily agreed to have it conducted on his vehicle and travelling bag. The testimony of the PC Constable (Layung) was not dented on cross-examination or rebutted by Omaweng for he chose not to testify on his own behalf. Omaweng waived his right against unreasonable searches and seizures when he voluntarily submitted to a search or consents to have it made in his person or premises. He is precluded from later complaining thereof right to be secure from unreasonable search may, like every right, be waived and such waiver may be made either expressly or impliedly. Since in the course of the valid search 41 packages of drugs were found, it behooved the officers to seize the same; no warrant was necessary for such seizure. 151 People vs. Correa [GR 119246, 30 January 1998] En Banc, Martinez (J): 12 concur Facts: A week before 18 June 1994, Leonardo Dulay was placed under surveillance by the Police Operatives from the Drug Enforcement Unit of the Western Police District Command (DEU-WPDC) on account of confidential and intelligence reports received in said Unit about his drug trafficking around Bambang Street, Tondo, Manila. The police surveillance brought forth positive results and confirmed Dulay's illegal drug trade. On 17 June 1994, operatives were alerted that Dulay would transport and deliver a certain quantity of drugs that night on board a owner-type jeep (FMR948). Thereafter, the operatives, together with the informer proceeded to A. Bonifacio Street on board 3 vehicles, and inconspicuously parked along the side of North Cemetery and waited for the suspect. The police informant spotted Dulay’s vehicle at 3:00 am. The operatives tailed the subject jeepney until they reached Bambang extension and Jose Abad Santos Avenue, where they accosted the passengers of said jeepney. The team inspected a cylindrical tin can of El Cielo Vegetable Cooking Lard, about two feet high, loaded in the vehicle of the appellants. The can contained 8 bundles of suspected dried marijuana flowering tops wrapped in pieces of paper and plastic tapes. The team seized the suspected contrabands and marked each bundle consecutively. The 3 suspects were brought to the police headquarters at DEU-WPDC for investigation. The packages of suspected marijuana were submitted to the NBI for laboratory analysis to determine their chemical composition. The tests confirmed that the confiscated stuff were positive for marijuana and weighed 16.1789 kilograms. The defense, however, contends that the 3 accused were arrested without warrant in Camarin D, Caloocan City, enroute to Dulay’s house to get the things of his child allegedly rushed previously to the Metropolitan Hospital, for an alleged charge of trafficking on 'shabu,' and were brought to the WPDC headquarters at U.N. Avenue, where they were detained. On 12 July 1994, an Information was filed with the RTC Manila (Branch 35) indicting Antonio Correa y Cayton @ "Boyet," Rito Gunida y Sesante @ "Dodong," and Leonardo Dulay y Santos @ "Boy Kuba" for having violated Section 4, Article II of RA 6425, as amended. When arraigned, the 3 accused pleaded not guilty. After trial and on 3 March 1995, the lower court found the appellants guilty as charged and were sentenced to death and a fine of P10 million. Issue: Whether the accused are precluded from assailing the warrantless search and seizure, due to waiver on their part. Held: Antonio Correa y Cayton @ "Boyet," Rito Gunida y Sesante @ "Dodong," and Leonardo Dulay y
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 35 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

Santos @ "Boy Kuba" are precluded from assailing the warrantless search and seizure when they voluntarily submitted to it as shown by their actuation during the search and seizure. They never protested when the police officer opened the tin can loaded in their vehicle, nor when he opened one of the bundles, nor when they, together with their cargo of drugs and their vehicle, were brought to the police station for investigation and subsequent prosecution. When one voluntarily submits to a search or consents to have it made on his person or premises, he is precluded from later complaining thereof The right to be secure from unreasonable search may, like every right, be waived and such waiver may be made either expressly or impliedly." Further, they effectively waived their constitutional right against the search and seizure by their voluntary submission to the jurisdiction of the trial court, when they entered a plea of not guilty upon arraignment and by participating in the trial. 152 People v. Ramos [GR 85401-02, 4 June 1990] Third Division, Gutierrez Jr. (J): 3 concur, 1 took no part Facts: On 29 November 1982, a civilian informer came to the Narcotics Command Office in Olongapo City and reported that a cigarette vendor by the name of "Mama Rose" (Rosalinda Ramos) was selling marijuana at the corner of 3rd Street and Rizal Avenue in Olongapo City. Tests buys were made using marked money. The Narcotics Command (NARCOM) team proceeded to the place where appellant was selling cigarettes, and arrested the latter for illegal peddling of marijuana. Ramos was requested to take out the contents of her wallet. The four marked five-peso bills used in the test buys were found among her possessions and were confiscated after the serial numbers were confirmed. Search of Ramos’ stall yielded 20 sticks of marijuana cigarettes in a trash can placed under the small table where Ramos displayed the wares she was selling. Ramos was thereafter brought to the station. At the station, Ramos executed a statement confessing to her crimes which she swore to before Assistant City Fiscal. The marijuana sticks confiscated were sent to the Philippine Constabulary Crime Laboratory (PCCL) for analysis, and thereafter were confirmed to be marijuana. The defense contends however that she assented to the invitation of the NARCOM operatives for investigation, after search of her buri bags (which she stores the fruits that she sells) were fruitless. She claimed that she was forced to affix her signature on the four 5-peso bills by one Sgt. Sudiacal, purportedly to be the same money which was used to buy marijuana from her, but which she insists was her money being saved for the rentals. She was later brought to the Fiscal’s Office after investigation, where she signed a document. She claimed she was not assisted by any counsel during the investigation, neither during the time she signed the document at the Fiscal’s Office. Two informations were filed against Ramos, one for sale (Criminal Case 5991) and the other for possession of marijuana (Criminal Case 5990). After trial, the RTC Olongapo City (Branch 73) found her guilty beyond reasonable doubt in Criminal Case 5990 for violating Section 8 of RA 6425 and sentenced her to imprisonment of 6 years and 1 day and a fine of P6,000. She was likewise found guilty beyond reasonable doubt in Criminal Case 5991 for violating Section 4 of RA 6425 and was sentenced to life imprisonment and a fine of P20,000. Ramos sought reversal of the decisions with the Supreme Court. Issue: Whether Ramos waived her right against the warrantless search of the trash can, where illegal drugs were found, under her control. Held: The trash can (where the contraband were found) was found under the table where her legitimate wares were being sold. Ramos he was the only person who had access to the trash can. The same was under her immediate physical control. She had complete charge of the contents of the trash can under the table to the exclusion of all other persons. In law, actual possession exists when the thing is in the immediate occupancy and control of the party. But this is not to say that the law requires actual possession. In criminal law, possession necessary for conviction of the offense of possession of controlled substances with intent to distribute may be constructive as well as actual. It is only necessary that the defendant must have dominion and control over the contraband. These requirements are present in the situation described, where the prohibited drugs were found inside the trash can placed under the stall owned by Ramos. In fact, the
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 36 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

NARCOM agents who conducted the search testified that they had to ask Ramps to stand so that they could look inside the trash can under Ramos' papag. The trash can was positioned in such a way that it was difficult for another person to use the trash can. The trash can was obviously not for use by her customers. Therefore, the twenty sticks of marijuana are admissible in evidence and the trial court's finding that Ramos is guilty of possession is correct. 153 People v. Barros [GR 90640, 29 March 1994] Third Division, Feliciano (J): 3 concur Facts: On 6 September 1987, M/Sgt. Francis Yag-as and S/Sgt. James Ayan, both members of the P.C. Mountain Province Command, rode the Dangwa Bus bearing Plate ABZ-242 bound for Sabangan, Mountain Province. Upon reaching Chackchakan, Bontoc, Mountain Province, the bus stopped and both M/Sgt. Yag-as and S/Sgt. Ayan, who were seated at the back, saw Bonifacio Barros carrying a carton, board the bus and seated himself on seat 18 after putting the carton under his seat. Thereafter, the bus continued and upon reaching Sabangan, M/Sgt. Yag-as and S/Sgt. Ayan before they alighted, it being their station, called C2C [Fernando] Bongyao to inspect the carton under seat 18. After C2C Bongyao inspected the carton, he found out that it contained marijuana and he asked the passengers who the owner of the carton was but nobody answered. Thereafter, C2C Bongyao alighted with the carton and S/Sgt. Ayan and C2C Bongyao invited Barros to the detachment for questioning as the latter was the suspected owner of the carton containing marijuana. Upon entering the detachment the carton was opened in the presence of Barros. When Barros denied ownership of the carton of marijuana, the P.C. officers called for the bus conductor who pinpointed to Barros as the owner of the carton of marijuana. Barros was charged with violating Section 4 of RA 6425, as amended (Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972). After trial, the trial court convicted Bonifacio Barros of violation of Section 4 of RA 6425 as amended and sentenced him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua and to pay a fine of P20,000.00. Barros appealed. Issue: Whether the failure of the carton bearer to object to the search made in the moving vehicle, resulting to his warrantless arrest, constitutes a waiver. Held: The general rule is that a search and seizure must be carried out through or with a judicial warrant; otherwise such search and seizure becomes "unreasonable" within the meaning of Section 2, Article III of the 1987 Constitution. The evidence secured thereby — i.e., the "fruits" of the search and seizure — will be inadmissible in evidence "for any purpose in any proceeding." The requirement that a judicial warrant must be obtained prior to the carrying out of a search and seizure is, however, not absolute. There are certain exceptions recognized in our law, one of which relates to the search of moving vehicles. Peace officers may lawfully conduct searches of moving vehicles — automobiles, trucks, etc. — without need of a warrant, it not being practicable to secure a judicial warrant before searching a vehicle, since such vehicle can be quickly moved out of the locality or jurisdiction in which the warrant may be sought. In carrying out warrantless searches of moving vehicles, however, peace officers are limited to routine checks, that is, the vehicles are neither really searched nor their occupants subjected to physical or body searches, the examination of the vehicles being limited to visual inspection. When, however, a vehicle is stopped and subjected to an extensive search, such a warrantless search would be constitutionally permissible only if the officers conducting the search have reasonable or probable cause to believe, before the search, that either the motorist is a lawoffender or the contents or cargo of the vehicle are or have been instruments or the subject matter or the proceeds of some criminal offense. The Court has in the past found probable cause to conduct without a judicial warrant an extensive search of moving vehicles in situations where (1) there had emanated from a package the distinctive smell of marijuana; (2) agents of the Narcotics Command ("Narcom") of the Philippine National Police ("PNP") had received a confidential report from informers that a sizeable volume of marijuana would be transported along the route where the search was conducted; (3) Narcom agents were informed or "tipped off" by an undercover "deep penetration" agent that prohibited drugs would be brought into the country on a particular airline flight on a given date; (4) Narcom agents had received information that
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 37 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

a Caucasian coming from Sagada, Mountain Province, had in his possession prohibited drugs and when the Narcom agents confronted the accused Caucasian, because of a conspicuous bulge in his waistline, he failed to present his passport and other identification papers when requested to do so; and (5) Narcom agents had received confidential information that a woman having the same physical appearance as that of the accused would be transporting marijuana. Herein, there is nothing in the record that any circumstance which constituted or could have reasonably constituted probable cause for the peace officers to search the carton box allegedly owned by Barros. The testimony of the law enforcement officers who had apprehended the accused (M/Sgt. Francis Yag-as and S/Sgt. James Ayan), and who had searched the box in his possession, (C2C Fernando Bongyao), simply did not suggest or indicate the presence of any such probable cause. Further, The accused is not to be presumed to have waived the unlawful search conducted on the occasion of his warrantless arrest "simply because he failed to object." To constitute a waiver, it must appear first that the right exists; secondly, that the person involved had knowledge, actual or constructive, of the existence of such a right; and lastly, that said person had an actual intention to relinquish the right. The fact that the accused failed to object to the entry into his house does not amount to a permission to make a search therein. As the constitutional quaranty is not dependent upon any affirmative act of the citizen, the courts do not place the citizen in the position of either contesting an officer's authority by force, or waiving his constitutional rights; but instead they hold that a peaceful submission to a search or seizure is not a consent or an invitation thereto, but is merely a demonstration of regard for the supremacy of the law. Courts indulge every reasonable presumption against waiver of fundamental constitutional rights and that we do not presume acquiescence in the loss of fundamental rights. Accordingly, the search and seizure of the carton box was equally nonpermissible and invalid. The "fruits" of the invalid search and seizure — i.e., the 4) kilos of marijuana — should therefore not have been admitted in evidence against Barros. 154 Veroy v. Layague [GR 95630, 18 June 1992] En Banc, Paras (J): 12 concur Facts: Leopoldo and Ma. Luisa Veroy are husband and wife residing in Davao City. When Veroy was promoted to the position of Assistant Administrator of the Social Security System sometime in June 1988, he and his family transferred to Quezon City. The care and upkeep of their residence in Davao City was left to 2 houseboys, Jimmy Favia and Eric Burgos, who had their assigned quarters at a portion of the premises. The Veroys would occasionally send money to Edna Soquilon for the salary of the said houseboys and other expenses for the upkeep of their house. While the Veroys had the keys to the interior of the house, only the key to the kitchen, where the circuit breakers were located, was entrusted to Edna Soquilon to give her access in case of an emergency. On 12 April 1990, Capt. Reynaldo Obrero of the Talomo Patrol Station, PC/INP raided Veroy’s house in Davao City on information that the said residence was being used as a safehouse of rebel soldiers. They were able to enter the yard with the help of the caretakers but did not enter the house since the owner was not present and they did not have a search warrant. Permission was requested by phone to Ma. Luisa Veroy who consented on the condition that the search be conducted in the presence of Major Macasaet. The following day, Capt. Obrero and Maj. Macasaet met at the Veroy’s house to conduct the search pursuant to the authority granted by Ma. Luisa. Capt. Obrero recovered a .45 cal. handgun with a magazine containing 7 live bullets in a black clutch bag inside an unlocked drawer in the children’s room. 3 half-full jute sacks containing printed materials of RAM-SFP were also found in the children's room. A search of the children's recreation and study area revealed a big travelling bag containing assorted clothing, a small black bag containing a book entitled "Islamic Revolution Future Path of the Nation", a road map of the Philippines, a telescope, a plastic bag containing assorted medicines and religious pamphlets was found in the master's bedroom. Inventory and receipt of seized articles were made. The case was referred for preliminary investigation to the Quezon City Assistant Prosecutor , who was designated Acting Provincial Prosecutor for Davao City by the DOJ through Department Order 88 (16 May 1990). In a resolution dated 6 August 1990, the Fiscal recommended the filing of an Information against the Veroys for violation of PD 1866 (Illegal Possession of Firearms and Ammunitions in Furtherance of Rebellion). Hence, on 8 August 1990, an Information for the said offense was filed by the Office of the City Prosecutor of Davao City before the RTC
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 38 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

Davao City). No bail was recommended by the prosecution. The fiscal’s resolution was received by the Veroys on 13 August 1990. The latter filed a motion for bail on the same day which was denied for being premature, as they have not been arrested yet. The Veroys voluntarily surrendered to Gen. Pantaleon Dumlao, but who refused to receive them o the ground that his office has not received copies of their warrants of arrest. In the meantime, on 15 August 1990, the Veroys were admitted to the St. Luke's Hospital for various ailments brought about or aggravated by the stress and anxiety caused by the filing of the criminal complaint. On 17 August 1990, Gen. Dumlao granted their request that they be allowed to be confined at the hospital and placed under guard thereat. Upon arraignment on 1 October 1990, the Veroys pleaded not guilty and filed a motion for hospital confinement, which was denied. The court ordered their commitment at the Davao City Rehabilitation Center pending trial on the merits. At the conclusion thereof, the court issued a second order denying their motion for reconsideration. The Veroys were returned to the St. Luke's Hospital where their physical condition remained erratic. Gen. Dumlao informed the Veroys that he had issued a directive for their transfer from the St. Luke's Hospital to Camp Crame on the basis of the 2 October 1990 Order. They would proceed with their transfer pursuant to the order of the trial court, unless otherwise restrained by the court. The Veroys filed the petition for certiorari, mandamus and prohibition. Issue: Whether the permission granted by ma. Luisa Veroy for ascertaining thereat the presence of alleged “rebel soldiers” include the authority to conduct a room to room search once inside the house. Held: The Constitution guarantees the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures (Article III, Section 2 of the 1987 Constitution). However, the rule that searches and seizures must be supported by a valid warrant is not an absolute one. Among the recognized exceptions thereto are: (1) a search incidental to an arrest; (2) a search of a moving vehicle; and (3) seizure of evidence in plain view (People v. Lo Ho Wing). The necessity of the permission obtained from Ma. Luisa underlines the recognition of Capt. Obrero of the need of a search warrant to enter the house. The permission granted by was for the purpose of ascertaining thereat the presence of the alleged "rebel" soldiers. The permission did not include any authority to conduct a room to room search once inside the house. The police officers had ample time to procure a search warrant but did not. Warrantless searches were declared illegal because the officials conducting the search had every opportunity to secure a search warrant. The items taken were, therefore, products of an illegal search, violative of their constitutional rights. As such, they are inadmissible in evidence in the criminal actions instituted against them. The offense of illegal possession of firearms is malum prohibitum but it does not follow that the subject thereof is necessarily illegal per se. Motive is immaterial in mala prohibita but the subjects of this kind of offense may not be summarily seized simply because they are prohibited. A search warrant is still necessary. Hence, the rule having been violated and no exception being applicable, the articles seized were confiscated illegally and are therefore protected by the exclusionary principle. They cannot be used as evidence against the Veroys in the criminal action against them for illegal possession of firearms. Besides, assuming that there was indeed a search warrant, still in mala prohibita, while there is no need of criminal intent, there must be knowledge that the same existed. Without the knowledge or voluntariness there is no crime. 155 People vs. Damaso [GR 93516, 12 August 1992] First Division, Medialdea (J): 3 concur Facts: On 18 June 1988, Lt. Candido Quijardo, a Philippine Constabulary officer connected with the 152nd PC Company at Lingayen, Pangasinan, and some companions were sent to verify the presence of CPP/NPA members in Barangay Catacdang, Arellano-Bani, Dagupan City. In said place, the group apprehended Gregorio Flameniano, Berlina Aritumba, Revelina Gamboa and Deogracias Mayaoa. When interrogated, the persons apprehended revealed that there was an underground safehouse at Gracia Village in Urdaneta, Pangasinan. After coordinating with the Station Commander of Urdaneta, the group proceeded to the house in Gracia Village. They found subversive documents, a radio, a 1 x 7 caliber .45 firearm and other items. After the raid, the group proceeded to Bonuan, Dagupan City, and put under surveillance the rented apartment of
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 39 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

Rosemarie Aritumba, sister of Berlina Aritumba whom they earlier arrested. They interviewed Luzviminda Morados, a visitor of Rosemarie Aritumba. She stated that she worked with Bernie Mendoza/Basilio Damaso. She guided the group to the house rented by Damaso(@Mendoza). When they reached the house, the group found that it had already vacated by the occupants. Since Morados was hesitant to give the new address of Damaso (@Mendoza), the group looked for the Barangay Captain of the place and requested him to point out the new house rented by Damaso (@Mendoza). The group again required Morados to go with them. When they reached the house, the group saw Luz Tanciangco outside. They told her that they already knew that she was a member of the NPA in the area. At first, she denied it, but when she saw Morados she requested the group to go inside the house. Upon entering the house, the group, as well as the Barangay Captain, saw radio sets, pamphlets entitled "Ang Bayan," xerox copiers and a computer machine. They also found persons who were companions of Luz Tanciangco (namely, Teresita Calosa, Ricardo Calosa, Marites Calosa, Eric Tanciangco and Luzviminda Morados). The group requested the persons in the house to allow them to look around. When Luz Tanciangco opened one of the rooms, they saw books used for subversive orientation, one M-14 rifle, bullets and ammunitions, Kenwood radio, artificial beard, maps of the Philippines, Zambales, Mindoro and Laguna and other items. They confiscated the articles and brought them to their headquarters for final inventory. They likewise brought the persons found in the house to the headquarters for investigation. Said persons revealed that Damaso (@Mendoza) was the lessee of the house and owned the items confiscated therefrom. Thus, Basilio Damaso, was originally charged in an information filed before the Regional Trial Court of Dagupan City with violation of Presidential Decree 1866 in furtherance of, or incident to, or in connection with the crime of subversion, together with Luzviminda Morados y Galang @ Ka Mel, Teresita Calosa y Macabangon @ Ka Tessie, Ricardo Calosa y Perez @ Ka Ric, Marites Calosa y Evangelista @ Ka Tess, Eric Tanciangco y Capira @ Ka Ric and Luz Tanciangco y Pencial @ Ka Luz. Such information was later amended to exclude all other persons except Damaso from the criminal charge. Upon arraignment, Damaso pleaded not guilty to the crime charged. Trial on the merits ensued. The prosecution rested its case and offered its exhibits for admission. The defense counsel interposed his objections to the admissibility of the prosecution's evidence on grounds of its being hearsay, immaterial or irrelevant and illegal for lack of a search warrant; and thereafter, manifested that he was not presenting any evidence for the accused. On 17 January 1990, the trial court rendered its decision, finding Damaso guilty beyond reasonable doubt, sentencing the latter to suffer the penalty of Reclusion Perpetua and to pay the costs of the proceedings. Damaso appealed. Issue: Whether there was waiver on the part of Damaso to allow the warrantless search of his house. Held: Damaso was singled out as the sole violator of PD 1866, in furtherance of, or incident to, or in connection with the crime of subversion. There is no substantial and credible evidence to establish the fact that the appellant is allegedly the same person as the lessee of the house where the M-14 rifle and other subversive items were found or the owner of the said items. Even assuming for the sake of argument that Damaso is the lessee of the house, the case against him still will not prosper, the reason being that the law enforcers failed to comply with the requirements of a valid search and seizure proceedings. The constitutional immunity from unreasonable searches and seizures, being a personal one cannot he waived by anyone except the person whose rights are invaded or one who is expressly authorized to do so in his or her . The records show that Damaso was not in his house at that time Luz Tanciangco and Luz Morados, his alleged helper, allowed the authorities to enter it. There is no evidence that would establish the fact that Luz Morados was indeed Damaso's helper or if it was true that she was his helper, that Damaso had given her authority to open his house in his absence. The prosecution likewise failed to show if Luz Tanciangco has such an authority. Without this evidence, the authorities' intrusion into Damaso's dwelling cannot be given any color of legality. While the power to search and seize is necessary to the public welfare, still it must be exercised and the law enforced without transgressing the constitutional rights of the citizens, for the enforcement of no statute is of sufficient importance to justify indifference to the basic principles of government. As a consequence, the search conducted by the authorities was illegal. It would have been different if the situation here demanded urgency which could have prompted the authorities to dispense with a search warrant. But the record is silent
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 40 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

on this point. The fact that they came to Damaso's house at nighttime, does not grant them the license to go inside his house. 156 Lopez vs. Commissioner of Customs [GR L-27968, 3 December 1975] Second Division, Fernando (J): 4 concur, 1 took no part Facts: M/V Jolo Lema had been under strict surveillance by the combined team of agents of the NBI, PC, RASAC, and City Police of Davao prior to its apprehension at a private wharf in Batjak, Sasa, Davao City. M/V [Jolo Lema] was skippered (sic) by Capt. Aquilino Pantinople and chartered by Mr. Tomas Velasco. During the period from the latter part of August to September 18, 1966, the said vessel was in Indonesian waters where it loaded copra and coffee beans from Taruna, Pitta, and Mangenito, all of Indonesia. In its trip to Indonesia it brought various merchandise from the Philippines which were exchanged and/or bartered for copra and coffee beans and subsequently taken to Davao City. Said vessel passed Marore, Indonesia on 18 September 1966 on its a way to Tahuna, Indonesia before proceeding to Davao City where it was apprehended on 19 September 1966. At about 3:00 p.m. of the said day, when the vessel was searched and after Captain Pantinople informed the team that Velasco, the charterer of the vessel, had other documents showing that vessel came from Indonesia carrying smuggled copra and coffee, a combined team of Constabulary and Regional Anti-Smuggling Center operatives headed by Earl Reynolds, Senior NBI Agent of Davao, proceeded to the Velasco's room at the Skyroom Hotel in Davao City, to ask for said document. Velasco was not inside the hotel room when they entered the room. There are conficting claims whether the manicurist Teofila Ibañez or whether Velasco's wife, who was allegedly inside the room at that time, voluntarily allowed the police officers to enter; and whether the police officers "forcibly opened luggages and boxes from which only several documents and papers were found, then seized, confiscated and took away the same," or whether Mrs. Velasco volunteered to open the suitcases and baggages of Velasco and delivered the documents and things contained therein to Reynolds. The Collector of Customs of Davao seized 1,480 sacks of copra and 86 sacks of coffee from the M/V motor vessel Jolo Lema. The seizure was declared lawful by the Court of Tax Appeals, and its decision was affirmed by the Supreme Court on 29 November 1974 in Nasiad vs. Court of Tax Appeals (GR L-29318, November 29, 1974, 61 SCRA 238). In the present special civil action for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus; the only question left then is whether the search conducted by a party headed by Reynolds without the search warrant for the hotel room of Velasco, who entered into a contract with Jose G. Lopez, the awardee of such Philippine Reparations Commission vessel, for its operation and use ostensibly for fishing, is violative of such constitutional provision. Issue: Whether there was consent on the part of the person who was the occupant of the hotel room then rented by Velasco. Held: There was an attempt on the part of Lopez and Velasco to counteract the force of the recital of the written statement of Teofila Ibañez (allegedly wife of Tomas Velasco) by an affidavit of one Corazon Y. Velasco, who stated that she is the legal wife of Velasco, and another by Velasco himself; reiterating that the person who was present at his hotel room was one Teofila Ibañez, "a manicurist by occupation." If such indeed were the case, then it is much more easily understandable why that person, Teofila Ibañez, who could be aptly described as the wrong person at the wrong place and at the wrong time, would have signified her consent readily and immediately. Under the circumstances, that was the most prudent course of action. It would save her and even Velasco himself from any gossip or innuendo. Nor could the officers of the law be blamed if they would act on the appearances. There was a person inside who from all indications was ready to accede to their request. Even common courtesy alone would have precluded them from inquiring too closely as to why she was there. Under all the circumstances, therefore, it can readily be concluded that there was consent sufficient in law to dispense with the need for a search warrant. 157 Caballes vs. Court of Appeals [GR 136292, 15 January 2002] First Division, Puno (J): 4 concur
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 41 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

Facts: About 9:15 p.m. of 28 June 1989, Sgt. Victorino Noceja and Pat. Alex de Castro, while on a routine patrol in Barangay Sampalucan, Pagsanjan, Laguna, spotted a passenger jeep unusually covered with "kakawati" leaves. Suspecting that the jeep was loaded with smuggled goods, the two police officers flagged down the vehicle. The jeep was driven by Rudy Caballes y Taiño. When asked what was loaded on the jeep, he did not answer, but he appeared pale and nervous. With Caballes' consent, the police officers checked the cargo and they discovered bundles of 3.08 mm aluminum/galvanized conductor wires exclusively owned by National Power Corporation (NAOCOR). The conductor wires weighed 700 kilos and valued at P55,244.45. Noceja asked Caballes where the wires came from and Caballes answered that they came from Cavinti, a town approximately 8 kilometers away from Sampalucan. Thereafter, Caballes and the vehicle with the highvoltage wires were brought to the Pagsanjan Police Station. Danilo Cabale took pictures of Caballes and the jeep loaded with the wires which were turned over to the Police Station Commander of Pagsanjan, Laguna. Caballes was incarcerated for 7 days in the Municipal jail. Caballes was charged with the crime of theft in an information dated 16 October 1989. During the arraignment, Caballes pleaded not guilty and hence, trial on the merits ensued. On 27 April 1993, Regional Trial Court of Santa Cruz, Laguna rendered judgment, finding Caballes, guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of theft. In a resolution dated 9 November 1998, the trial court denied Caballes' motion for reconsideration. The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court decision on 15 September 1998. Caballes appealed the decision by certiorari. Issue: Whether Caballes’ passive submission to the statement of Sgt. Noceja that the latter "will look at the contents of his vehicle and he answered in the positive" be considered as waiver on Caballes’ part on warrantless search and seizure. Held: Enshrined in our Constitution is the inviolable right of the people to be secure in their persons and properties against unreasonable searches and seizures, as defined under Section 2, Article III thereof. The exclusionary rule under Section 3(2), Article III of the Constitution bars the admission of evidence obtained in violation of such right. The constitutional proscription against warrantless searches and seizures is not absolute but admits of certain exceptions, namely: (1) warrantless search incidental to a lawful arrest recognized under Section 12, Rule 126 of the Rules of Court and by prevailing jurisprudence; (2) seizure of evidence in plain view; (3) search of moving vehicles; (4) consented warrantless search; (5) customs search; (6) stop and frisk situations (Terry search); and (7) exigent and emergency circumstances. In cases where warrant is necessary, the steps prescribed by the Constitution and reiterated in the Rules of Court must be complied with. In the exceptional events where warrant is not necessary to effect a valid search or seizure, or when the latter cannot be performed except without a warrant, what constitutes a reasonable or unreasonable search or seizure is purely a judicial question, determinable from the uniqueness of the circumstances involved, including the purpose of the search or seizure, the presence or absence of probable cause, the manner in which the search and seizure was made, the place or thing searched and the character of the articles procured. It is not controverted that the search and seizure conducted by the police officers was not authorized by a search warrant. The mere mobility of these vehicles, however, does not give the police officers unlimited discretion to conduct indiscriminate searches without warrants if made within the interior of the territory and in the absence of probable cause. Herein, the police officers did not merely conduct a visual search or visual inspection of Caballes' vehicle. They had to reach inside the vehicle, lift the kakawati leaves and look inside the sacks before they were able to see the cable wires. It thus cannot be considered a simple routine check. Also, Caballes' vehicle was flagged down because the police officers who were on routine patrol became suspicious when they saw that the back of the vehicle was covered with kakawati leaves which, according to them, was unusual and uncommon. The fact that the vehicle looked suspicious simply because it is not common for such to be covered with kakawati leaves does not constitute "probable cause" as would justify the conduct of a search without a warrant. In addition, the police authorities do not claim to have received any confidential report or tipped information that petitioner was carrying stolen cable wires in his vehicle which could otherwise have sustained their suspicion. Philippine jurisprudence is replete with cases where tipped information has become a sufficient probable cause to effect a warrantless search and seizure. Unfortunately,
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 42 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

none exists in the present case. Further, the evidence is lacking that Caballes intentionally surrendered his right against unreasonable searches. The manner by which the two police officers allegedly obtained the consent of Caballes for them to conduct the search leaves much to be desired. When Caballes' vehicle was flagged down, Sgt. Noceja approached Caballes and "told him I will look at the contents of his vehicle and he answered in the positive." By uttering those words, it cannot be said the police officers were asking or requesting for permission that they be allowed to search the vehicle of Caballes. For all intents and purposes, they were informing, nay, imposing upon Caballes that they will search his vehicle. The "consent" given under intimidating or coercive circumstances is no consent within the purview of the constitutional guaranty. In addition, in cases where the Court upheld the validity of consented search, it will be noted that the police authorities expressly asked, in no uncertain terms, for the consent of the accused to be searched. And the consent of the accused was established by clear and positive proof. Neither can Caballes' passive submission be construed as an implied acquiescence to the warrantless search. Casting aside the cable wires as evidence, the remaining evidence on record are insufficient to sustain Caballes' conviction. His guilt can only be established without violating the constitutional right of the accused against unreasonable search and seizure. 158 People vs. Asis [GR 142531, 15 October 2002] En Banc, Panganiban (J): 7 concur, 6 on official leave Facts: Danilo Asis y Fonperada and Gilbert Formento y Saricon were charged in an Information dated 18 February 1998; the information stating "That on or about February 10, 1998, in the City of Manila, Philippines, the said accused, conspiring and confederating together and mutually helping each other, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously, with intent to gain and by means of force and violence upon person, to wit: by then and there stabbing one YU HING GUAN @ ROY CHING with a bladed instrument on the different parts of the body thereafter take, rob and carry away the following, to wit: Cash money in the amount of P20,000.00; one (1) wristwatch' one (1) gold necklace; and undetermined items; or all in the total amount of P20,000.00 more or less, belonging to said YU HING GUAN @ ROY CHING against his will, to the damage and prejudice of the said owner in the aforesaid amount more or less of P20,000.00, Philippine Currency, and as a result thereof, he sustained mortal stab wounds which were the direct and immediate cause of his death." When arraigned on 9 July 1998, both accused pleaded not guilty. Found to be deaf-mutes, they were assisted, not only by a counsel de oficio, but also by an interpreter from the Calvary Baptist Church. The prosecution presented 9 witnesses. Although none of them had actually seen the crime committed, strong and substantial circumstantial evidence presented by them attempted to link both accused to the crime. After due trial, both accused were found guilty and sentenced to death. The Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila (Branch 54; Criminal Case 98-163090), on 8 March 2000, held that the "crime charged and proved is robbery with homicide under Article 294, No. 1 of the Revised Penal Code," ruled that "although no witnesses to the actual killing and robbery were presented, the circumstantial evidence including the recovery of bloodstained clothing from both accused definitely proved that the two (2) x x x committed the crime," and appreciated the aggravating circumstances of abuse of confidence, superior strength and treachery and thus sentenced both accused to the supreme penalty of death. Hence, the automatic review before the Supreme Court. Both the accused do not question the legality of their arrest, as they made no objection thereto before the arraignment, but object to the introduction of the bloodstained pair of shorts allegedly recovered from the bag of Formento; arguing that the search was illegally done, making the obtainment of the pair of shorts illegal and taints them as inadmissible. The prosecution, on the other hand, contends that it was Formento's wife who voluntarily surrendered the bag that contained the bloodstained trousers of the victim, and thus claims that her act constituted a valid consent to the search without a warrant. Issue: Whether Formento, a deaf-mute, has given consent to the recovery of the bloodstained pair of short, in his possession during the warrantless search. Held: Primarily, the constitutional right against unreasonable searches and seizures, being a personal one, cannot be waived by anyone except the person whose rights are invaded or who is expressly authorized to do
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 43 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

so on his or her behalf. In the present case, the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses show that at the time the bloodstained pair of shorts was recovered, Formento, together with his wife and mother, was present. Being the very subject of the search, necessarily, he himself should have given consent. Since he was physically present, the waiver could not have come from any other person. Lopez vs. Commissioner of Customs does not apply as the accused therein was not present when the search was made. Further, to constitute a valid waiver, it must be shown that first, the right exists; second, the person involved had knowledge, actual or constructive, of the existence of such a right; and third, the person had an actual intention to relinquish the right. Herein, Formento could not have consented to a warrantless search when, in the first place, he did not understand what was happening at that moment. There was no interpreter to assist him -- a deaf-mute -- during the arrest, search and seizure. The point in the case Pasion vda. de Garcia v. Locsin, i.e. "as the constitutional guaranty is not dependent upon any affirmative act of the citizen, the courts do not place the citizen in the position of either contesting an officer’s authority by force, or waiving his constitutional rights; but instead they hold that a peaceful submission to a search or seizure is not a consent or an invitation thereto, but is merely a demonstration of regard for the supremacy of the law," becomes even more pronounced in the present case, in which Formento is a deaf-mute, and there was no interpreter to explain to him what was happening. His seeming acquiescence to the search without a warrant may be attributed to plain and simple confusion and ignorance. The bloodstained pair of shorts was a piece of evidence seized on the occasion of an unlawful search and seizure. Thus, it is tainted and should thus be excluded for being the proverbial fruit of the poisonous tree. In the language of the fundamental law, it shall be inadmissible in evidence for any purpose in any proceeding. Lastly, as to evidence vis-a-is the case in its totality, circumstantial evidence that merely arouses suspicions or gives room for conjecture is not sufficient to convict. It must do more than just raise the possibility, or even the probability, of guilt. It must engender moral certainty. Otherwise, the constitutional presumption of innocence prevails, and the accused deserves acquittal. 159 People vs. Tudtud [GR 144037, 26 September 2003] Second Division, Tinga (J): 3 concur, 1 filed a separate dissenting opinion Facts: Sometime during the months of July and August 1999, the Toril Police Station, Davao City received a report from a “civilian asset” named Bobong Solier about a certain Noel Tudtud. Solier related that his neighbors have been complaining about Tudtud, who was allegedly responsible for the proliferation of marijuana in their area. Reacting to the report, PO1 Ronald Desierto, PO1 Ramil Floreta and their superior, SPO1 Villalonghan, all members of the Intelligence Section of the Toril Police Station, conducted surveillance in Solier’s neighborhood in Sapa, Toril, Davao City. For 5 days, they gathered information and learned that Tudtud was involved in illegal drugs. According to his neighbors, Tudtud was engaged in selling marijuana. On 1 August 1999, Solier informed the police that Tudtud had headed to Cotabato and would be back later that day with new stocks of marijuana. Solier described Tudtud as big-bodied and short, and usually wore a hat. At around 4:00 p.m. that same day, a team composed of PO1 Desierto, PO1 Floreta and SPO1 Villalonghan posted themselves at the corner of Saipon and McArthur Highway to await Tudtud’s arrival. All wore civilian clothes. About 8:00 p.m., 2 men disembarked from a bus and helped each other carry a carton marked “King Flakes.” Standing some 5 feet away from the men, PO1 Desierto and PO1 Floreta observed that one of the men fit Tudtud’s description. The same man also toted a plastic bag. PO1 Floreta and PO1 Desierto then approached the suspects and identified themselves as police officers. PO1 Desierto informed them that the police had received information that stocks of illegal drugs would be arriving that night. The man who resembled Tudtud’s description denied that he was carrying any drugs. PO1 Desierto asked him if he could see the contents of the box. Tudtud obliged, saying, “it was alright.” Tudtud opened the box himself as his companion looked on. The box yielded pieces of dried fish, beneath which were two bundles, one wrapped in a striped plastic bag and another in newspapers. PO1 Desierto asked Tudtud to unwrap the packages. They contained what seemed to the police officers as marijuana leaves. The police thus arrested Tudtud and his companion, informed them of their rights and brought them to the police station. The two did not resist. The confiscated items were turned over to the Philippine National Police (PNP) Crime Laboratory
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 44 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

for examination. Forensic tests on specimens taken from the confiscated items confirmed the police officers’ suspicion. The plastic bag contained 3,200 grams of marijuana leaves while the newspapers contained another 890 grams. Noel Tudtud and his companion, Dindo Bulong, were subsequently charged before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Davao City with illegal possession of prohibited drugs. Upon arraignment, both accused pleaded not guilty. The defense, however, reserved their right to question the validity of their arrest and the seizure of the evidence against them. Trial ensued thereafter. Tudtud, denying the charges against them, cried frame-up. Swayed by the prosecution’s evidence beyond reasonable doubt, the RTC rendered judgment convicting both accused as charged and sentencing them to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua and to pay a fine of P500,000.00. On appeal, Noel Tudtud and Dindo Bolong assign, among other errors, the admission in evidence of the marijuana leaves, which they claim were seized in violation of their right against unreasonable searches and seizures. Issue: Whether the Tudtud’s implied acquiescence (Tudtud’s statement of “it’s all right” when the police officers requested that the box be opened) be considered a waiver. Held: The right against unreasonable searches and seizures is secured by Section 2, Article III of the Constitution. The RTC justified the warrantless search of appellants’ belongings under the first exception, as a search incident to a lawful arrest. A search incidental to a lawful arrest is sanctioned by the Rules of Court. It is significant to note that the search in question preceded the arrest. Recent jurisprudence holds that the arrest must precede the search; the process cannot be reversed. Nevertheless, a search substantially contemporaneous with an arrest can precede the arrest if the police have probable cause to make the arrest at the outset of the search. The question, therefore, is whether the police herein had probable cause to arrest Tudtud, et. al. The long-standing rule in this jurisdiction, applied with a great degree of consistency, is that “reliable information” alone is not sufficient to justify a warrantless arrest under Section 5 (a), Rule 113. The rule requires, in addition, that the accused perform some overt act that would indicate that he “has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense.” For the exception in Section 5 (a), Rule 113 to apply, this Court ruled, two elements must concur: (1) the person to be arrested must execute an overt act indicating he has just committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit a crime; and (2) such overt act is done in the presence or within the view of the arresting officer. Reliable information alone is insufficient. Thus, herein, in no sense can the knowledge of the arresting officers that Tudtud was in possession of marijuana be described as “personal,” having learned the same only from their informant Solier. Solier, for his part, testified that he obtained his information only from his neighbors and the friends of Tudtud. Solier’s information is hearsay. Confronted with such a dubious informant, the police perhaps felt it necessary to conduct their own “surveillance.” This “surveillance,” it turns out, did not actually consist of staking out Tudtud to catch him in the act of plying his illegal trade, but of a mere “gathering of information from the assets there.” The police officers who conducted such “surveillance” did not identify who these “assets” were or the basis of the latter’s information. Clearly, such information is also hearsay, not of personal knowledge. Finally, there is an effective waiver of rights against unreasonable searches and seizures only if the following requisites are present: (1) It must appear that the rights exist; (2) The person involved had knowledge, actual or constructive, of the existence of such right; (3) Said person had an actual intention to relinquish the right. Here, the prosecution failed to establish the second and third requisites. Records disclose that when the police officers introduced themselves as such and requested Tudtud that they see the contents of the carton box supposedly containing the marijuana, Tudtud said “it was alright.” He did not resist and opened the box himself. Tudtud's implied acquiescence, if at all, could not have been more than mere passive conformity given under coercive or intimidating circumstances and is, thus, considered no consent at all within the purview of the constitutional guarantee. Consequently, Tudtud's lack of objection to the search and seizure is not tantamount to a waiver of his constitutional right or a voluntary submission to the warrantless search and seizure. As the search of Tudtud's box does not come under the recognized exceptions to a valid warrantless search, the marijuana leaves obtained thereby are inadmissible in evidence. And as there is no evidence other than the hearsay testimony of the arresting officers and their informant, the conviction of Tudtud, et. al. cannot be sustained.
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 45 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

160 Chimel vs. California [395 US 752, 23 June 1969] Stewart (J) Facts: Late in the afternoon of 13 September 1965, three police officers arrived at the Santa Ana, California, home of the Chimel with a warrant authorizing his arrest for the burglary of a coin shop. The officers knocked on the door, identified themselves to Chimel's wife, and asked if they might come inside. She ushered them into the house, where they waited 10 or 15 minutes until Chimel returned home from work. When Chimel entered the house, one of the officers handed him the arrest warrant and asked for permission to "look around." Chimel objected, but was advised that "on the basis of the lawful arrest," the officers would nonetheless conduct a search. No search warrant had been issued. Accompanied by Chimel's wife, the officers then looked through the entire three-bedroom house, including the attic, the garage, and a small workshop. In some rooms the search was relatively cursory. In the master bedroom and sewing room, however, the officers directed Chimel's wife to open drawers and "to physically move contents of the drawers from side to side so that they might view any items that would have come from the burglary." After completing the search, they seized numerous items - primarily coins, but also several medals, tokens, and a few other objects. The entire search took between 45 minutes and an hour. At Chimel's subsequent state trial on two charges of burglary, the items taken from his house were admitted into evidence against him, over his objection that they had been unconstitutionally seized. He was convicted, and the judgments of conviction were affirmed by both the California Court of Appeal, and the California Supreme Court. Both courts accepted Chimel's contention that the arrest warrant was invalid because the supporting affidavit was set out in conclusory terms, but held that since the arresting officers had procured the warrant "in good faith," and since in any event they had sufficient information to constitute probable cause for Chimel's arrest, that arrest had been lawful. From this conclusion the appellate courts went on to hold that the search of Chimel's home had been justified, despite the absence of a search warrant, on the ground that it had been incident to a valid arrest. Issue: Whether the “search incident to arrest” extends to the whole of the house where the accused was arrested. Held: Approval of a warrantless search incident to a lawful arrest seems first to have been articulated by the Court in 1914 as dictum in Weeks v. United States, 232 US 383. The statement therein however made no reference to any right to search the place where an arrest occurs, but was limited to a right to search the "person." 11 years later, the case of Carroll v. United States (267 U.S. 132) brought the following embellishment of the Weeks statement: "When a man is legally arrested for an offense, whatever is found upon his person or in his control which it is unlawful for him to have and which may be used to prove the offense may be seized and held as evidence in the prosecution." A similar analysis underlies the "search incident to arrest" principle, and marks its proper extent. When an arrest is made, it is reasonable for the arresting officer to search the person arrested in order to remove any weapons that the latter might seek to use in order to resist arrest or effect his escape. Otherwise, the officer's safety might well be endangered, and the arrest itself frustrated. In addition, it is entirely reasonable for the arresting officer to search for and seize any evidence on the arrestee's person in order to prevent its concealment or destruction. And the area into which an arrestee might reach in order to grab a weapon or evidentiary items must, of course, be governed by a like rule. There is ample justification, therefore, for a search of the arrestee's person and the area "within his immediate control" - construing that phrase to mean the area from within which he might gain possession of a weapon or destructible evidence. There is no comparable justification, however, for routinely searching any room other than that in which an arrest occurs - or, for that matter, for searching through all the desk drawers or other closed or concealed areas in that room itself. Such searches, in the absence of well-recognized exceptions, may be made only under the authority of a search warrant. The "adherence to judicial processes" mandated by the Fourth Amendment requires no less. Herein, the search went far beyond Chimel's person and the area from within which he might have obtained either a weapon or something that could have been
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 46 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

used as evidence against him. There was no constitutional justification, in the absence of a search warrant, for extending the search beyond that area. The scope of the search was, therefore, "unreasonable" under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments, and Chimel's conviction cannot stand. 161 People vs. dela Cruz [GR 83260, 18 April 1990] Second Division, Regalado (J): 4 concur Facts: After receiving a confidential report from Arnel, their informant, a "buy-bust" operation was conducted by the 13th Narcotics Regional Unit through a team composed of T/Sgt. Jaime Raposas as Team Leader, S/Sgt. Rodelito Oblice, Sgt. Dante Yang, Sgt. Vicente Jimenez, P/Pfc. Adolfo Arcoy as poseur-buyer and Pat. Deogracias Gorgonia at Maliclic St., Tondo, Manila at around 2:30 p.m. of 4 May 1987 to catch the pusher/s. P/Pfc. Adolfo Arcoy acted as the poseur-buyer with Arnel as his companion to buy marijuana worth P10.00 from the two accused, Juan de la Cruz and Reynaldo Beltran. At the scene, it was Juan de la Cruz whom Arcoy first negotiated with on the purchase and when Arcoy told De la Cruz that he was buying P10.00 worth of marijuana, De la Cruz instructed Reynaldo Beltran to give one aluminum foil of marijuana which Beltran got from his pants' pocket and delivered it to Arcoy. After ascertaining that the foil of suspected marijuana was really marijuana, Arcoy gave the prearranged signal to his teammates by scratching his head and his teammates who were strategically positioned in the vicinity, converged at the place, identified themselves as NARCOM agents and effected the arrest of De la Cruz and Beltran. The P10.00 marked bill used by Arcoy was found in the possession of Juan de la Cruz together with two aluminum foils and containing marijuana. Juan de la Cruz y Gonzales and Reynaldo Beltran y Aniban were charged in Criminal Case 87-54417 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila with violation of Section 4, Art. II, in relation to Section 21, Article IV of Republic Act 6425, as amended. The court, on 15 March 1988, found Dela Cruz and Beltran guilty beyond reasonable doubt and sentenced each of them to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua, with the accessory penalties provided by law; to pay a fine of P20,000.00, without subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency, and each to pay one-half of the costs. From this decision, de la Cruz and Beltran appealed. In a letter of the Warden, Manila City Jail, dated 3 March 1989, the Court was informed of the death of de la Cruz on 21 February 1989. Thus, the criminal case against de la Cruz was dismissed in the Supreme Court resolution of 25 September 1989. The present appellate proceeding is limited only to Beltran. Issue: Whether the warrantless seizure incidental to the buy-bust operation violates Beltran’s constitutional rights against unreasonable search and seizure. Held: A buy-bust operation is the method employed by peace officers to trap and catch a malefactor in flagrante delicto. It is essentially a form of entrapment since the peace officer neither instigates nor induces the accused to commit a crime. Entrapment is the employment of such ways and means for the purpose of trapping or capturing a lawbreaker from whose mind the criminal intent originated. Oftentimes, it is the only effective way of apprehending a criminal in the act of the commission of the offense. While it is conceded that in a buy-bust operation, there is seizure of evidence from one's person without a search warrant, needless to state a search warrant is not necessary, the search being incident to a lawful arrest. A peace officer may, without a warrant, arrest a person when, in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing or is attempting to commit an offense. It is a matter of judicial experience that in the arrest of violators of the Dangerous Drugs Act in a buy-bust operation, the malefactors were invariably caught redhanded. There being no violation of the constitutional right against unreasonable search and seizure, the confiscated articles are admissible in evidence. 162 People v. Kalubiran [GR 84079, 6 May 1991] First Division, Cruz (J): 4 concur Facts: Nestor Kalubiran was arrested on 12 July 1985, in Dumaguete City, by Narcotics Command (NARCOM) elements. His arrest was the result of a "buy-bust" operation in which Pat. Leon Quindo acted as
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 47 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

the buyer while the other team members lay in wait to arrest Kalubiran at the pre-arranged signal. Quindo approached the accused-appellant, who was with a group of friends in front of the Gamo Memorial Clinic, and asked if he could "score," the jargon for buying marijuana. Kalubiran immediately produced two sticks of marijuana, for which Quindo paid him a previously marked P5.00 bill. Quindo then gave the signal and Cpl. Levi Dorado approached and arrested Kalubiran. Dorado frisked the accused-appellant. He recovered the marked money and found 17 more sticks of marijuana on Kalubiran's person. The other team members, namely M/Sgt. Ranulfo Villamor and Sgt. Ruben Laddaran, came later in a jeep, where they boarded Kalubiran to take him to the police station. The 19 sticks of marijuana were marked and then taken to the PC Crime Laboratory, where they were analyzed, with positive results. Kalubiran contended however that one Quindo approached and frisk him on the same night, and found nothing on him. However, he was called back by one Villamor, who told him at gun point to board the jeep and taken to PC headquarters, then to the police station. He was released the following day with the help of a lawyer. After trial, the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Dumaguete City found Kalubiran guilty as charged and sentenced him to life imprisonment plus a P20,000 fine. Kalubiran appealed. Issue; Whether Kalubiran should be made to answer for the 19 sticks of marijuana found in his possession during his arrest. Held: Kalubiran was arrested in flagrante delicto as a result of the entrapment and so came under Section 5, Rule 113 of the Rules of Court, authorizing a warrantless arrest of any person actually committing a crime. The search was made as an incident of a lawful arrest and so was also lawful under Section 12 of Rule 116. In addition to the Rules, there is abundant jurisprudence justifying warrantless searches and seizures under the conditions established in the case. However, Kalubiran was accused only of selling the two sticks of marijuana under Section 4 of the Dangerous Drugs Act when he should also have been charged with possession of the 17 other sticks found on his person at the time of his arrest. It is unfortunate that he cannot be held to answer for the second offense because he has not been impleaded in a separate information for violation of Section 8 of the said law. 163 People v. Malmstedt [GR 91107, 19 June 1991] En Banc, Padilla (J): 8 concur, 1 on leave Facts: Mikael Malmstedt, a Swedish national, entered the Philippines for the 3rd time in December 1988 as a tourist. He had visited the country sometime in 1982 and 1985. In the evening of 7 May 1989, Malmstedt left for Baguio City. Upon his arrival thereat in the morning of the following day, he took a bus to Sagada and stayed in that place for 2 days. On 11 May 1989, Capt. Alen Vasco of NARCOM, stationed at Camp Dangwa, ordered his men to set up a temporary checkpoint at Kilometer 14, Acop, Tublay, Mountain Province, for the purpose of checking all vehicles coming from the Cordillera Region. The order to establish a checkpoint in the said area was prompted by persistent reports that vehicles coming from Sagada were transporting marijuana and other prohibited drugs. Moreover, information was received by the Commanding Officer of NARCOM, that same morning, that a Caucasian coming from Sagada had in his possession prohibited drugs. At about 1:30 pm, the bus where Malmstedt was riding was stopped. Sgt. Fider and CIC Galutan boarded the bus and announced that they were members of the NARCOM and that they would conduct an inspection. During the inspection, CIC Galutan noticed a bulge on Malmstedt's waist. Suspecting the bulge on Malmstedt's waist to be a gun, the officer asked for Malmstedt's passport and other identification papers. When Malmstedt failed to comply, the officer required him to bring out whatever it was that was bulging on his waist, which was a pouch bag. When Malmstedt opened the same bag, as ordered, the officer noticed 4 suspicious-looking objects wrapped in brown packing tape, which turned out to contain hashish, a derivative of marijuana, when opened. Malmstedt stopped to get 2 travelling bags from the luggage carrier, each containing a teddy bear, when he was invited outside the bus for questioning. It was observed that there were also bulges inside the teddy bears which did not feel like foam stuffing. Malmstedt was then brought to the headquarters of the NARCOM at Camp Dangwa for further investigation. At the investigation room, the
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 48 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

officers opened the teddy bears and they were found to also contain hashish. Representative samples were taken from the hashish found among the personal effects of Malmstedt and the same were brought to the PC Crime Laboratory for chemical analysis, which established the objects examined as hashish. Malmstedt claimed that the hashish was planted by the NARCOM officers in his pouch bag and that the 2 travelling bags were not owned by him, but were merely entrusted to him by an Australian couple whom he met in Sagada. He further claimed that the Australian couple intended to take the same bus with him but because there were no more seats available in said bus, they decided to take the next ride and asked Malmstedt to take charge of the bags, and that they would meet each other at the Dangwa Station. An information was filed against Malmstedt for violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act. During the arraignment, Malmstedt entered a plea of "not guilty." After trial and on 12 October 1989, the trial court found Malmstedt guilty beyond reasonable doubt for violation of Section 4, Article II of RA 6425 and sentenced him to life imprisonment and to pay a fine of P20,000. Malmstedt sought reversal of the decision of the trial court. Issue: Whether the personal effects of Malmstedt may be searched without an issued warrant. Held: The Constitution guarantees the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures. However, where the search is made pursuant to a lawful arrest, there is no need to obtain a search warrant. A lawful arrest without a warrant may be made by a peace officer or a private person under the following circumstances. Section 5 provides that “a peace officer or a private person may, without a warrant, arrest a person (a) When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense; (b) When an offense has in fact just been committed, and he has personal knowledge of facts indicating that the person to be arrested has committed it; and (c) When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped from a penal establishment or place where he is serving final judgment or temporarily confined while his case is pending, or has escaped while being transferred from one confinement to another. In cases falling under paragraphs (a) and (b) hereof, the person arrested without a warrant shall be forthwith delivered to the nearest police station or jail, and he shall be proceeded against in accordance with Rule 112, Section 7." Herein, Malmstedt was caught in flagrante delicto, when he was transporting prohibited drugs. Thus, the search made upon his personal effects falls squarely under paragraph (1) of the foregoing provisions of law, which allow a warrantless search incident to a lawful arrest. 164 People v. Cuenco, G.R. 126277, November 16, 1988

165 Espano vs. Court of Appeals [GR 120431, 1 April 1998] Third Division, Romero (J): 3 concur Facts: On 14 July 1991, at about 12:30 a.m., Pat. Romeo Pagilagan and other police officers, namely, Pat. Wilfredo Aquilino, Simplicio Rivera, and Erlindo Lumboy of the Western Police District (WPD), Narcotics Division went to Zamora and Pandacan Streets, Manila to confirm reports of drug pushing in the area. They saw Rodolfo Espano selling "something" to another person. After the alleged buyer left, they approached Espano, identified themselves as policemen, and frisked him. The search yielded two plastic cellophane tea bags of marijuana . When asked if he had more marijuana, he replied that there was more in his house. The policemen went to his residence where they found ten more cellophane tea bags of marijuana. Espano was brought to the police headquarters where he was charged with possession of prohibited drugs. On 24 July 1991, Espano posted bail and the trial court issued his order of release on 29 July 1991. On 14 August 1992, the trial court rendered a decision, convicting Espano of the crime charged. Espano appealed the decision to the Court of Appeals. The appellate court, however, on 15 January 1995 affirmed the decision of the trial court in toto. Espano filed a petition for review with the Supreme Court. Issue: Whether the search of Espano’s home after his arrest does not violate against his right against unreasonable search and seizure.
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 49 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

Held: Espano's arrest falls squarely under Rule 113 Section 5(a) of the Rules of Court. He was caught in flagranti as a result of a buy-bust operation conducted by police officers on the basis of information received regarding the illegal trade of drugs within the area of Zamora and Pandacan Streets, Manila. The police officer saw Espano handing over something to an alleged buyer. After the buyer left, they searched him and discovered two cellophanes of marijuana. His arrest was, therefore, lawful and the two cellophane bags of marijuana seized were admissible in evidence, being the fruits of the crime. As for the 10 cellophane bags of marijuana found at Espano's residence, however, the same inadmissible in evidence. The articles seized from Espano during his arrest were valid under the doctrine of search made incidental to a lawful arrest. The warrantless search made in his house, however, which yielded ten cellophane bags of marijuana became unlawful since the police officers were not armed with a search warrant at the time. Moreover, it was beyond the reach and control of Espano. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purposes shall be inviolable, and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized." An exception to the said rule is a warrantless search incidental to a lawful arrest for dangerous weapons or anything which may be used as proof of the commission of an offense. It may extend beyond the person of the one arrested to include the premises or surroundings under his immediate control. Herein, the ten cellophane bags of marijuana seized at petitioner's house after his arrest at Pandacan and Zamora Streets do not fall under the said exceptions. 166 People vs. Tangliben [GR L-63630, 6 April 1990] Third Division, Gutierrez Jr. (J): 4 concur Facts: In the late evening of 2 March 1982, Patrolmen Silverio Quevedo and Romeo L. Punzalan of the San Fernando Police Station, together with Barangay Tanod Macario Sacdalan, were conducting surveillance mission at the Victory Liner Terminal compound located at Barangay San Nicolas, San Fernando, Pampanga. The surveillance mission was aimed not only against persons who may commit misdemeanors at the said place but also on persons who may be engaging in the traffic of dangerous drugs based on informations supplied by informers. Around 9:30 p.m., said Patrolmen noticed a person carrying a red traveling bag who was acting suspiciously and they confronted him. The person was requested by Patrolmen Quevedo and Punzalan to open the red traveling bag but the person refused, only to accede later on when the patrolmen identified themselves. Found inside the bag were marijuana leaves wrapped in a plastic wrapper and weighing one kilo, more or less. The person was asked of his name and the reason why he was at the said place and he gave his name as Medel Tangliben and explained that he was waiting for a ride to Olongapo City to deliver the marijuana leaves. The accused was taken to the police headquarters at San Fernando, Pampanga, for further investigation; and that Pat. Silverio Quevedo submitted to his Station Commander his Investigator's Report. The Regional Trial Court, Branch 41, Third Judicial Region at San Fernando, Pampanga, found Medel Tangliben y Bernardino guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violating Section 4, Article II of Republic Act 6425 (Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972 as amended) and sentenced him to life imprisonment, to pay a fine of P20,000 and to pay the costs. Tangliben appealed. Issue: Whether the warrantless search incident to a lawful arrest, even in light of the Court’s ruling in People vs. Aminnudin. Held: One of the exceptions to the general rule requiring a search warrant is a search incident to a lawful arrest. Thus, Section 12 (Search incident to a lawful arrest) of Rule 126 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure provides that "A person lawfully arrested may be searched for dangerous weapons or anything which may be used as proof of the commission of an offense, without a search warrant." Meanwhile, Rule 113, Sec. 5(a) provides that "A peace officer or a private person may, without a warrant, arrest a person: (a)
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 50 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense." Tangliben was caught in flagrante, since he was carrying marijuana at the time of his arrest. This case therefore falls squarely within the exception. The warrantless search was incident to a lawful arrest and is consequently valid. The Court is not unmindful of its decision in People v. Aminnudin (163 SCRA 402 [1988]). In that case the PC officers had earlier received a tip from an informer that accusedappellant was on board a vessel bound for Iloilo City and was carrying marijuana. Acting on this tip, they waited for him one evening, approached him as he descended from the gangplank, detained him and inspected the bag he was carrying. Said bag contained marijuana leaves. The Court held that the marijuana could not be admitted in evidence since it was seized illegally, as there was lack of urgency, and thus a search warrant can still be procured. However, herein, the case presented urgency. Although the trial court's decision did not mention it, the transcript of stenographic notes reveals that there was an informer who pointed to Tangliben as carrying marijuana. Faced with such on-the-spot information, the police officers had to act quickly. There was not enough time to secure a search warrant. The Court cannot therefore apply the ruling in Aminnudin herein. To require search warrants during on-the-spot apprehensions of drug pushers, illegal possessors of firearms, jueteng collectors, smugglers of contraband goods, robbers, etc. would make it extremely difficult, if not impossible to contain the crimes with which these persons are associated. 167 People v. Che Chun Ting [GR 130568-69, 21 March 2000] En Banc, Bellosillo (J): 14 concur Facts: Following a series of buy-bust operations, the elements of the Special Operation Unit, Narcotics Command, apprehended a suspected drug courier, Mabel Cheung Mei Po, after she delivered a transparent plastic bag containing a white crystalline substance to an informant, in full view of NARCOM agents. When questioned, Mabel Cheung Mei Po cooperated with the government agents and revealed the name of Che Chun Ting as the source of the drugs. On 27 June 1996 NARCOM deployed a team of agents for the entrapment and arrest of Che Chun Ting. At 7:00 am they proceeded to the Roxas Seafront Garden in Pasay City where Che Chun Ting was and had the place under surveillance. When they moved to the McDonald's parking lot, Mabel called Che Chun Ting through her cellular phone and spoke to him in Chinese, ordering one (1) kilo of shabu. At 10:30 am Mabel receive a call from the accused. Mabel, along with NARCOM agents, proceeded to the Roxas Seafront Garden. Mabel honked twice upon arriving at the said place and went to Unit 122. NARCOM agents parked 2 meters away saw the door of the unit open as a man went out to hand Mabel a transparent plastic bag containing a white crystalline substance. The NARCOM agents immediately alighted and arrested the surprised man who was positively identified by Mabel as Che Chun Ting. Unit 122 was searched by the agents, where a black bag with several plastic bags containing a white crystalline substance in an open cabinet in the second floor was seized. The bag was examined in the presence of Maj. Garbo, the accused and his girlfriend. The accused and the evidence were brought to Camp Crame. The contents of the bank were tested and found positive for shabu. The Defense alleged otherwise. It alleged that it was Noli Ortiz, the brother of Che Chun Ting’s girlfriend who rang the doorbell of Unit 122. When Nimfa opened the door, 2 NARCOM officers suddenly forced their way inside and searched the premises. Noli alleged that he did not see any black bag seized but saw his sister’s video camera being carted away by the NARCOM agents. He claimed that his sister was frightened and crying during the conduct of the search while Che Chun Ting was asleep at the second floor. Defense further contends that Unit 122 is owned by Nimfa Ortiz and that Che Chun Ting lived at 1001 Domingo Poblete St., BF Homes, Parañaque. Che Chun Ting was found guilty by the trial court on 22 August 1997 of delivering, distributing and dispatching in transit 999.48 grams of shabu; and, having in his custody, possession and control 5,578.68 grams of the same regulated drug. He was meted two (2) death sentences, one for violation of Sec. 15 and the other for violation of Sec. 16, both of Art. III, of RA 6425 (The Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972, as amended). He was likewise ordered to pay a fine of P1,000,000.00 in the first case, and P12,000,000.00 in the second. He is now before the Supreme Court on automatic review. Issue: Whether the search of Unit 122 is within the purview of the warrantless search incidental to an arrest.
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 51 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

Held: The 1987 Constitution ordains that no arrest, search or seizure can be made without a valid warrant issued by a competent judicial authority. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose, shall be inviolable, and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized. The right is not absolute and admits of certain well-recognized exceptions. A person lawfully arrested may be searched for dangerous weapons or anything which may be used as proof of the commission of the offense, without a search warrant. The search may extend beyond the person of the one arrested to include the permissible area or surroundings within his immediate control. The lawful arrest being the sole justification for the validity of the warrantless search under the exception, the same must be limited to and circumscribed by the subject, time and place of the arrest. As to subject, the warrantless search is sanctioned only with respect to the person of the suspect, and things that may be seized from him are limited to "dangerous weapons" or "anything which may be used as proof of the commission of the offense." With respect to the time and place of the warrantless search, it must be contemporaneous with the lawful arrest. Stated otherwise, to be valid, the search must have been conducted at about the time of the arrest or immediately thereafter and only at the place where the suspect was arrested, or the premises or surroundings under his immediate control. Herein, although the case falls within the exception, Che Chun Ting was admittedly outside unit 122, which was not his residence but a sojourner thereof, and in the act of delivering to Mabel Cheung Mei Po a bag of shabu when he was arrested by the NARCOM operatives. The inner portion of the house can hadly be said to constitute a permissible area within his reach or immediate control, to justify a warrantless search therein. The search in Unit 122 and the seizure therein of some 5,578.68 grams of shabu were illegal for being violative of one's basic constitutional right and guarantee against unreasonable searches and seizures, and thus are inadmissible in evidence under the exclusionary rule. The inadmissibility of such however does not totally exonerate the accused. The illegal search in Unit 122 was preceded by a valid arrest. The accused was caught in flagrante delicto as a result of an entrapment conducted by NARCOM operatives on the basis of the information provided by Mabel Cheung Mei Po regarding the accused's illegal trade. NARCOM agents P/Insp. Santiago and SPO3 Campanilla saw him handing over a bag of white crystalline substance to Mabel Cheung Mei Po. His arrest was lawful and the seized bag of shabu weighing 999.43 grams was admissible in evidence, being the fruit of the crime. 168 People vs. Estrella [GR 138539-40, 21 January 2003] Third Division, Panganiban (J): 4 concur Facts: Prior to 20 November 1996, Executive Judge Romulo Estrada of the Regional Trial Court of Zambales issued a warrant for the conduct of a search and seizure in the residence of Antonio C. Estella at Purok Yakal, Barangay Baloganon, Masinloc, Zambales. In the morning of 20 November 1996, Senior Police Officer 1 (SPO1) Antonio Buloron, then Intelligence and Investigation Officer, together with SPO1 Jose Arca and several other members of the Provincial Special Operation Group based in Burgos, San Marcelino, Zambales proceeded to Masinloc. They coordinated with the members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Masinloc and sought the assistance of Barangay Captain Rey Barnachea of Baloganon, Masinloc for the enforcement of the search warrant. Barangay Captain Barnachea accompanied the police officers to Purok Yakal, Barangay Baloganon, Masinloc, the place mentioned in the search warrant. On their way to Purok Yakal, SPO1 Buloron saw Estrella sitting on a rocking chair located about 2 meters away from a hut owned by Narding Estella, the latter's brother, and being rented by Estrella's live-in partner, named Eva. They approached Estrella and introduced themselves as police officers. They showed Estrella the search warrant and explained the contents to him. SPO1 Buloron asked Estrella if indeed he had in his possession prohibited drug and if so, to surrender the same so he would deserve a lesser penalty. While inside the hut, Estrella surrendered to the team 2 cans containing dried marijuana fruiting tops. One can contained 20 bricks of fruiting tops. The team searched the hut in the presence of Estrella and his live-in partner. They found a
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 52 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

plastic container under the kitchen table, which contained 4 big bricks of dried marijuana leaves and a .38 caliber revolver with four live ammunitions. The team seized the prohibited drug, the revolver and ammunitions. The team seized and signed a receipt for the seized items. Barangay Captain Barnachea and SPO1 Edgar Bermudez of the Masinloc Police Station also signed the receipt as witnesses. SPO1 Buloron and his companions arrested Estrella and brought him to San Marcelino, Zambales. The defense, however, alleged otherwise and claimed that on 20 November 1996 between 10:30 and 11:00 a.m., while Estrella was talking with his friends Rael Tapado and Victor de Leon at a vacant lot just outside the house of Camillo Torres and about 70 meters away from his house, a group of men approached them. The group introduced themselves as policemen and told them that they were looking for Antonio Estella because they have a search warrant issued against him. Estrella identified himself to them. The policemen inquired from Estrella as to where his house is located and Estrella told them that his house is located across the road. The police did not believe him and insisted that Estrella's house is that house located about 5–8 meters away from them. Estrella told the policemen to inquire from the Barangay Captain Barnachea as to where his house is and heard the latter telling the policemen that his house is located near the Abokabar junk shop. After about half an hour, the policemen went inside the house nearby and when they came out, they had with them a bulk of plastic and had it shown to Estrella. They photographed Estrella and brought him to their office at San Marcelino, Zambales. Estella was investigated at San Marcelino, Zambales where he informed the police officers of the fact that the house they searched was occupied by Spouses Vicente and Fely Bakdangan. Still, Estrella was charged for possession of prohibited drugs and unlicensed firearms. The Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Iba, Zambales (Branch 69), in Criminal Case RTC 2143-I and on 25 August 1998, found Estrella guilty of violating Section 8, Article II of RA 6425, as amended by RA 7659, and sentenced him to reclusion perpetua. The 8.320 kilograms of dried marijuana was ordered confiscated in favor of the government, and the Sheriff was directed to deliver the subject marijuana to the Dangerous Drugs Board for its proper disposition. On the other hand, Estrella was acquitted from the charge of violation of PD 1866 The .38 caliber revolver without serial number and 4 live ammunitions, subject of the offense, were however ordered delivered to any authorized representative of the Philippine National Police, Firearms and Explosives Division, Camp Crame, Quezon City. Estrella appealed said decision. Issue: Whether the search undertaken inside the hut — during which the incriminating evidence was allegedly recovered — was legal. Held: There is no convincing proof that Estrella indeed surrendered the prohibited drug, whether voluntarily or otherwise. In fact, the testimony of Prosecution Witness Barnachea clouds rather than clarifies the prosecution's story. Given this backdrop, the police authorities cannot claim that the search was incident to a lawful arrest. Such a search presupposes a lawful or valid arrest and can only be invoked through Section 5 (Arrest without warrant; when lawful), Rule 113 of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure, which provides that "A peace officer or a private person may, without a warrant, arrest a person: (a) when, in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense; (b) When an offense has just been committed and he has probable cause to believe based on personal knowledge of facts or circumstances that the person to be arrested has committed it; and (c) When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped from a penal establishment or place where he is serving final judgment or is temporarily confined while his case is pending, or has escaped while being transferred from one confinement to another. In cases falling under paragraphs (a) and (b) above, the person arrested without a warrant shall be forthwith delivered to the nearest police station or jail and shall be proceeded against in accordance with Section 7 Rule 112." Never was it proven that Estrella, who was the person to be arrested, was in possession of the subject prohibited drug during the search. It follows, therefore, that there was no way of knowing if he had committed or was actually committing an offense in the presence of the arresting officers. Without that knowledge, there could have been no search incident to a lawful arrest. Assuming arguendo that appellant was indeed committing an offense in the presence of the arresting officers, and that the arrest without a warrant was lawful, it still cannot be said that the search conducted was within the confines of the law. Searches and seizures incident to lawful arrests are governed by Section 12 (Search incident to lawful arrest), Rule 126 of
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 53 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, which provides that "A person lawfully arrested may be searched for dangerous weapons or anything which may have been used or constitute proof in the commission of an offense without a search warrant." However, the scope of the search should be limited to the area within which the person to be arrested can reach for a weapon or for evidence that he or she can destroy. The prevailing rule is that the arresting officer may take from the arrested individual any money or property found upon the latter's person — that which was used in the commission of the crime or was the fruit of the crime, or which may provide the prisoner with the means of committing violence or escaping, or which may be used in evidence in the trial of the case. The purpose of the exception in Chimel v. California is to protect the arresting officer from being harmed by the person being arrested, who might be armed with a concealed weapon, and to prevent the latter from destroying evidence within reach. The exception, therefore, should not be strained beyond what is needed to serve its purpose. Herein, searched was the entire hut, which cannot be said to have been within Estrela's immediate control. Thus, the search exceeded the bounds of that which may be considered to be incident to a lawful arrest. 169 People vs. Libnao [GR 136860, 20 January 2003] Third Division, Puno (J): 4 concur Facts: On August 1996, intelligence operatives of the Philippine National Police (PNP) stationed in Tarlac, Tarlac began conducting surveillance operation on suspected drug dealers in the area. They learned from their asset that a certain woman from Tajiri, Tarlac and a companion from Baguio City were transporting illegal drugs once a month in big bulks. On 19 October 1996, at about 10 p.m., Chief Inspector Benjamin Arceo, Tarlac Police Chief, held a briefing in connection with a tip which his office received that the two drug pushers, riding in a tricycle, would be making a delivery that night. An hour later, the Police Alert Team installed a checkpoint in Barangay Salapungan to apprehend the suspects. Witness SPO1 Marlon Gamotea, PO3 Florante Ferrer and SPO3 Roberto Aquino were assigned to man the checkpoint. At about 1:00 a.m. of the following day, SPO1 Gamotea and PO3 Ferrer flagged down a passing tricycle. It had two female passengers seated inside, who were later identified as Agpanga Libnao and Rosita Nunga. In front of them was a black bag. Suspicious of the black bag and the two’s uneasy behavior when asked about its ownership and content, the officers invited them to Kabayan Center 2 located at the same barangay. They brought with them the black bag. Upon reaching the center, PO3 Ferrer fetched Barangay Captain Roy Pascual to witness the opening of the black bag. In the meantime, the two women and the bag were turned over to the investigator on duty, SPO3 Arthur Antonio. As soon as the barangay captain arrived, the black bag was opened in the presence of Libnao, Nunga, and personnel of the center. Found inside it were 8 bricks of leaves sealed in plastic bags and covered with newspaper. The leaves were suspected to be marijuana. To determine who owns the bag and its contents, SPO3 Antonio interrogated the two. Nunga stated that it was owned by Libnao. The latter, in turn, disputed this allegation. Thereafter, they were made to sign a confiscation receipt without the assistance of any counsel, as they were not informed of their right to have one. During the course of the investigation, not even close relatives of theirs were present. The seized articles were later brought to the PNP Crime Laboratory in San Fernando, Pampanga on 23 October 1996. Forensic Chemist Daisy P. Babu conducted a laboratory examination on them. She concluded that the articles were marijuana leaves weighing eight kilos. Libnao and Nunga were charged for violation of Section 4, Article II of RA 6425, otherwise known as the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972, as amended. On 19 November 1998, the Regional Trial Court, Branch 65, Tarlac City, found Libnao and Nunga guilty. For their conviction, each was sentenced to suffer an imprisonment of reclusion perpetua and to pay a fine of two million pesos. Libnao appealed. Issue: Whether the warrantless search and seizure made upon Libnao and Nunga was reasonable. Held: The constitutional guarantee (in Article III, Section 2 of the 1987 Constitution) is not a blanket prohibition against all searches and seizures as it operates only against "unreasonable" searches and seizures. Searches and seizures are as a rule unreasonable unless authorized by a validly issued search warrant or warrant of arrest. Thus, the fundamental protection accorded by the search and seizure clause is that between
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 54 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

persons and police must stand the protective authority of a magistrate clothed with power to issue or refuse to issue search warrants and warrants of arrest. Be that as it may, the requirement that a judicial warrant must be obtained prior to the carrying out of a search and seizure is not absolute. There are certain familiar exceptions to the rule, one of which relates to search of moving vehicles. Warrantless search and seizure of moving vehicles are allowed in recognition of the impracticability of securing a warrant under said circumstances as the vehicle can be quickly moved out of the locality or jurisdiction in which the warrant may be sought. Peace officers in such cases, however, are limited to routine checks where the examination of the vehicle is limited to visual inspection. When a vehicle is stopped and subjected to an extensive search, such would be constitutionally permissible only if the officers made it upon probable cause, i.e., upon a belief, reasonably arising out of circumstances known to the seizing officer, that an automobile or other vehicle contains as item, article or object which by law is subject to seizure and destruction. The warrantless search herein is not bereft of a probable cause. The Tarlac Police Intelligence Division had been conducting surveillance operation for three months in the area. The surveillance yielded the information that once a month, Libnao and Nunga transport drugs in big bulks. At 10:00 pm of 19 October 1996, the police received a tip that the two will be transporting drugs that night riding a tricycle. Surely, the two were intercepted three hours later, riding a tricycle and carrying a suspicious-looking black bag, which possibly contained the drugs in bulk. When they were asked who owned it and what its content was, both became uneasy. Under these circumstances, the warrantless search and seizure of Libnao’s bag was not illegal. It is also clear that at the time she was apprehended, she was committing a criminal offense. She was making a delivery or transporting prohibited drugs in violation of Article II, Section 4 of R.A. No. 6425. Under the Rules of Court, one of the instances a police officer is permitted to carry out a warrantless arrest is when the person to be arrested is caught committing a crime in flagrante delicto. 170 People v. Musa [GR 96177, 27 January 1993] Third Division, Romero (J): 4 concur Facts: On 13 December 1989, the Narcotics Command (NARCOM) in Zamboanga City conducted surveillance and test buy on a certain Mari Musa of Suterville, Zamboanga City. Information received from civilian informer was that this Mari Musa was engaged in selling marijuana in said place. The Narcom agent (Sgt. Ani) was able to buy one newspaper-wrapped dried marijuana for P10.00, which was turned over to the Narcom office. The next day, a buy-bust was planned with Sgt. Ani being the poseur-buyer. NARCOM teams proceeded to the target site in 2 civilian vehicles. Ani gave Musa the P20.00 marked money. Musa returned to his house and gave Ani 2 newspaper wrappers containing dried marijuana. The signal to apprehend Musa was given. The NARCOM team rushed to the location of Ani, and a NARCOM officer (Sgt. Belarga) frisked Musa but did not find the marked money. The money was given to Musa’s wife who was able to slip away. Later, Belarga found a plastic bag containing dried marijuana inside it somewhere in the kitchen. Musa was placed under arrest and was brought to the NARCOM office. One newspaper-wrapper marijuana and the plastic bag containing more marijuana was sent to the PC Crime Laboratory, the test of which gave positive results for the presence of marijuana. On the other hand, Mari Musa alleged that the NARCOM agents, dressed in civilian clothes, got inside his house without any search warrant, neither his permission to enter the house. The NARCOM agents searched the house and allegedly found a red plastic bag whose contents, Mari Musa said, he did not know. He also did not know if the plastic bag belonged to his brother, Faisal, who was living with him, or his father, who was living in another house about ten arms-length away. Mari Musa was handcuffed and was taken to the NARCOM office where he was joined by his wife. Musa claimed that he was subjected to torture when he refused to sign the document containing details of the investigation. The next day, he was taken to the fiscal‘s office to which he was allegedly made to answer to a single question: that if he owned the marijuana. He allegedly was not able to tell the fiscal that he had been maltreated by the NARCOM agents because he was afraid he might be maltreated in the fiscal's office. Mari Musa was brought to the City Jail. Still, an information against Musa was filed on 15 December 1989. Upon his arraignment on 11 January 1990, Musa pleaded not guilty. After trial and on 31 August 1990, the RTC Zamboanga City (Branch XII) found him guilty of selling marijuana in violation of Article II, Section 4 of RA 6425. Musa
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 55 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

appealed to the Supreme Court. Issue: Whether the contents of the red plastic bag found in the kitchen may be admitted as evidence as evidence acquired incidental to a lawful arrest. Held: Warrantless search incidental to a lawful arrest authorizes the arresting officer to make a search upon the person of the person arrested. An officer making an arrest may take from the person arrested and money or property found upon his person which was used in the commission of the crime or was the fruit of the crime or which might furnish the prisoner with the means of committing violence or of escaping, or which may be used as evidence in the trial of the cause. Hence, in a buy-bust operation conducted to entrap a drug-pusher, the law enforcement agents may seize the marked money found on the person of the pusher immediately after the arrest even without arrest and search warrants. The warrantless search and seizure, as an incident to a suspect's lawful arrest, may extend beyond the person of the one arrested to include the premises or surroundings under his immediate control. Objects in the "plain view" of an officer who has the right to be in the position to have that view are subject to seizure and may be presented as evidence. When the discovery of the evidence did not constitute a search, but where the officer merely saw what was placed before him in full view, the warrantless seizure of the object was legal on the basis of the "plain view" doctrine and upheld the admissibility of said evidence. The "plain view" doctrine, however, may not be used to launch unbridled searches and indiscriminate seizures nor to extend a general exploratory search made solely to find evidence of defendant's guilt. The "plain view" doctrine is usually applied where a police officer is not searching for evidence against the accused, but nonetheless inadvertently comes across an incriminating object. What the 'plain view' cases have in common is that the police officer in each of them had a prior justification for an intrusion in the course of which he came inadvertently across a piece of evidence incriminating the accused. The doctrine serves to supplement the prior justification — whether it be a warrant for another object, hot pursuit, search incident to lawful arrest, or some other legitimate reason for being present unconnected with a search directed against the accused — and permits the warrantless seizure. Of course, the extension of the original justification is legitimate only where it is immediately apparent to the police that they have evidence before them; the 'plain view' doctrine may not be used to extend a general exploratory search from one object to another until something incriminating at last emerges. The "plain view" doctrine neither justify the seizure of the object where the incriminating nature of the object is not apparent from the "plain view" of the object. Thus, the exclusion of the plastic bag containing marijuana does not, however, diminish, in any way, the damaging effect of the other pieces of evidence presented by the prosecution to prove that the appellant sold marijuana, in violation of Article II, Section 4 of the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972. By virtue of the testimonies of Sgt. Ani and T/Sgt. Belarga and the two wrappings of marijuana sold by Musa to Sgt. Ani, among other pieces of evidence, the guilt of Musa of the crime charged has been proved beyond reasonable doubt. 171 Padilla vs. Court of Appeals [GR 121917, 12 March 1997] Third Division, Francisco (J): 4 concur Facts: At about 8:00 p.m. of 26 October 1992, Enrique Manarang and his compadre Danny Perez were inside the Manukan sa Highway Restaurant in Sto. Kristo, Angeles City where they took shelter from the heavy downpour that had interrupted their ride on motorcycles along Mac Arthur Highway. While inside the restaurant, Manarang noticed a vehicle, a Mitsubishi Pajero, running fast down the highway prompting him to remark that the vehicle might get into an accident considering the inclement weather. Immediately after the vehicle had passed the restaurant, Manarang and Perez heard a screeching sound produced by the sudden and hard braking of a vehicle running very fast, followed by a sickening sound of the vehicle hitting something. Manarang and Cruz went out to investigate and immediately saw the vehicle occupying the edge or shoulder of the highway giving it a slight tilt to its side. Manarang, being a member of both the Spectrum, a civic group and the Barangay Disaster Coordinating Council, decided to report the incident to the Philippine National Police (PNP) of Angeles City. He took out his radio and called the Viper, the radio controller of the PNP of
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 56 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

Angeles City. By the time Manarang completed the call, the vehicle had started to leave the place of the accident taking the general direction to the north. Manarang went to the location of the accident and found out that the vehicle had hit somebody. Manarang asked Cruz to look after the victim while he went back to the restaurant, rode on his motorcycle and chased the vehicle. During the chase he was able to make out the plate number of the vehicle as PMA 777. He called the Viper through the radio once again reporting that a vehicle heading north with plate number PMA 777 was involved in a hit and run accident. SPO2 Borja and SPO2 Miranda of Mobile 3 were able to intercept the vehicle by cutting into the latter's path forcing it to stop. SPO2 Miranda went to the vehicle with plate number PMA 777 and instructed its driver to alight. The driver rolled down the window and put his head out while raising both his hands. They recognized the driver as Robin C. Padilla. SPO2 Miranda told Padilla to alight to which Padilla complied. Padilla was wearing a short leather jacket such that when he alighted with both his hands raised, a gun tucked on the left side of his waist was revealed, its butt protruding. SPO2 Borja made the move to confiscate the gun but Padilla held the former's hand alleging that the gun was covered by legal papers. SPO2 Borja disarmed Padilla and told the latter about the hit and run incident. Padilla, however, arrogantly denied his misdeed and, instead, played with the crowd by holding their hands with one hand and pointing to SPO2 Borja with his right hand saying "iyan, kinuha ang baril ko." Because Padilla's jacket was short, his gesture exposed a long magazine of an armalite rifle tucked in his back right pocket. SPO Mercado saw this and so when Padilla turned around as he was talking and proceeding to his vehicle, Mercado confiscated the magazine from Padilla. Suspecting that Padilla could also be carrying a rifle inside the vehicle since he had a magazine, SPO2 Mercado prevented Padilla from going back to his vehicle by opening himself the door of Padilla's vehicle. He saw a baby armalite rifle lying horizontally at the front by the driver's seat. It had a long magazine filled with live bullets in a semi-automatic mode. He asked Padilla for the papers covering the rifle and Padilla answered angrily that they were at his home. SPO Mercado modified the arrest of Padilla by including as its ground illegal possession of firearms. SPO Mercado then read to appellant his constitutional rights. The police officers brought Padilla to the Traffic Division at Jake Gonzales Boulevard where Padilla voluntarily surrendered a third firearm, a pietro berreta pistol with a single round in its chamber and a magazine loaded with 7 other live bullets. Padilla also voluntarily surrendered a black bag containing two additional long magazines and one short magazine. Padilla was correspondingly charged on 3 December 1992, before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Angeles City with illegal possession of firearms and ammunitions ([1] One .357 Caliber revolver, Smith and Wesson, SN32919 with 6 live ammunitions; [2] one M-16 Baby Armalite rifle, SN-RP 131120 with 4 long and 1 short magazine with ammunitions; [3] one .380 Pietro Beretta, SN-A 35723 Y with clip and 8 ammunitions; and [4] Six additional live double action ammunitions of .38 caliber revolver." ) under PD 1866. The lower court then ordered the arrest of Padilla, but granted his application for bail. During the arraignment on 20 January 1993, a plea of not guilty was entered for Padilla after he refused, upon advice of counsel, to make any plea. Padilla waived in writing his right to be present in any and all stages of the case. After trial, Angeles City RTC Judge David Rosete rendered judgment dated 25 April 1994 convicting Padilla of the crime charged and sentenced him to an "indeterminate penalty from 17 years, 4 months and 1 day of reclusion temporal as minimum, to 21 years of reclusion perpetua, as maximum". Padilla filed his notice of appeal on 28 April 1994. Pending the appeal in the Court of Appeals, the Solicitor-General, convinced that the conviction shows strong evidence of guilt, filed on 2 December 1994 a motion to cancel Padilla's bail bond. The resolution of this motion was incorporated in the appellate court's decision sustaining Padilla's conviction. Padilla received a copy of this decision on 26 July 1995. On 9 August 1995 he filed a "motion for reconsideration (and to recall the warrant of arrest)" but the same was denied by the appellate court in its 20 September 1995 Resolution. On 28 September 1995, Padilla filed the petition for review on certiorari with application for bail followed by two "supplemental petitions" filed by different counsels, a "second supplemental petition" and an urgent motion for the separate resolution of his application for bail. Issue: Whether the firearms and ammunition confiscated during a warrantless search and seizure, especially the baby armalite, are admissible as evidence against Robin Padilla. Held: The 5 well-settled instances when a warrantless search and seizure of property is valid, are as follows:
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 57 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

(1) warrantless search incidental to a lawful arrest recognized under Section 12, Rule 126 of the Rules of Court and by prevailing jurisprudence; (2) Seizure of evidence in "plain view", the elements of which are: (a) a prior valid intrusion based on the valid warrantless arrest in which the police are legally present in the pursuit of their official duties; (b) the evidence was inadvertently discovered by the police who had the right to be where they are; (c) the evidence must be immediately apparent, and (d) "plain view" justified mere seizure of evidence without further search; (3) Search of a moving vehicle. 49 Highly regulated by the government, the vehicle's inherent mobility reduces expectation of privacy especially when its transit in public thoroughfares furnishes a highly reasonable suspicion amounting to probable cause that the occupant committed a criminal activity; (4) consented warrantless search; and (5) customs search. In conformity with the trial court's observation, it indeed appears that the authorities stumbled upon Padilla's firearms and ammunitions without even undertaking any active search which, as it is commonly understood, is a prying into hidden places for that which is concealed. The seizure of the Smith & Wesson revolver and an M-16 rifle magazine was justified for they came within "plain view" of the policemen who inadvertently discovered the revolver and magazine tucked in Padilla's waist and back pocket respectively, when he raised his hands after alighting from his Pajero. The same justification applies to the confiscation of the M-16 armalite rifle which was immediately apparent to the policemen as they took a casual glance at the Pajero and saw said rifle lying horizontally near the driver's seat. Thus it has been held that "When in pursuing an illegal action or in the commission of a criminal offense, the police officers should happen to discover a criminal offense being committed by any person, they are not precluded from performing their duties as police officers for the apprehension of the guilty person and the taking of the corpus delicti. Objects whose possession are prohibited by law inadvertently found in plain view are subject to seizure even without a warrant." With respect to the Berreta pistol and a black bag containing assorted magazines, Padilla voluntarily surrendered them to the police. This latter gesture of Padilla indicated a waiver of his right against the alleged search and seizure, and that his failure to quash the information estopped him from assailing any purported defect. Even assuming that the firearms and ammunitions were products of an active search done by the authorities on the person and vehicle of Padilla, their seizure without a search warrant nonetheless can still be justified under a search incidental to a lawful arrest (first instance). Once the lawful arrest was effected, the police may undertake a protective search of the passenger compartment and containers in the vehicle which are within Padilla's grabbing distance regardless of the nature of the offense. This satisfied the two-tiered test of an incidental search: (i) the item to be searched (vehicle) was within the arrestee's custody or area of immediate control and (ii) the search was contemporaneous with the arrest. The products of that search are admissible evidence not excluded by the exclusionary rule. Another justification is a search of a moving vehicle (third instance). In connection therewith, a warrantless search is constitutionally permissible when, as in this case, the officers conducting the search have reasonable or probable cause to believe, before the search, that either the motorist is a law-offender (like Padilla with respect to the hit and run) or the contents or cargo of the vehicle are or have been instruments or the subject matter or the proceeds of some criminal offense. 172 People vs. Valdez [GR 129296, 25 September 2000] En Banc, Quisumbing (J): 13 concur, 1 on leave Facts: At around 10:15 a.m. of 24 September 1996, SPO3 Marcelo Tipay, a member of the police force of Villaverde, Nueva Vizcaya, received a tip from an unnamed informer about the presence of a marijuana plantation, allegedly owned by Abe Valdez y Dela Cruz at Sitio Bulan, Ibung, Villaverde, Nueva Vizcaya. The prohibited plants were allegedly planted close to Valdez's hut. Police Inspector Alejandro R. Parungao, Chief of Police of Villaverde, Nueva Vizcaya then formed a reaction team from his operatives to verify the report. The team was composed of SPO3 Marcelo M. Tipay, SPO2 Noel V. Libunao, SPO2 Pedro S. Morales, SPO1 Romulo G. Tobias and PO2 Alfelmer I. Balut. Inspector Parungao gave them specific instructions to "uproot said marijuana plants and arrest the cultivator of same." At approximately 5:00 a.m. the following day, said police team, accompanied by their informer, left for the site where the marijuana plants were allegedly being grown. After a three-hour, uphill trek from the nearest barangay road, the police operatives arrived at the place pinpointed by their informant. The police found Valdez alone in his nipa hut. They, then, proceeded to look
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 58 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

around the area where Valdez had his kaingin and saw 7 five-foot high, flowering marijuana plants in two rows, approximately 25 meters from Valdez's hut. PO2 Balut asked Valdez who owned the prohibited plants and, according to Balut, the latter admitted that they were his. The police uprooted the 7 marijuana plants, which weighed 2.194 kilograms. The police took photos of Valdez standing beside the cannabis plants. Valdez was then arrested. One of the plants, weighing 1.090 kilograms, was sent to the Philippine National Police Crime Laboratory in Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya for analysis. Inspector Prevy Fabros Luwis, the Crime Laboratory forensic analyst, testified that upon microscopic examination of said plant, she found cystolitic hairs containing calcium carbonate, a positive indication for marijuana. She next conducted a chemical examination, the results of which confirmed her initial impressions. Valdez alleged otherwise. He claims that at around 10:00 a.m., 25 September 1996, he was weeding his vegetable farm in Sitio Bulan when he was called by a person whose identity he does not know. He was asked to go with the latter to "see something." This unknown person then brought Valdez to the place where the marijuana plants were found, approximately 100 meters away from his nipa hut. 5 armed policemen were present and they made him stand in front of the hemp plants. He was then asked if he knew anything about the marijuana growing there. When he denied any knowledge thereof, SPO2 Libunao poked a fist at him and told him to admit ownership of the plants. Valdez was so nervous and afraid that he admitted owning the marijuana. The police then took a photo of him standing in front of one of the marijuana plants. He was then made to uproot 5 of the cannabis plants, and bring them to his hut, where another photo was taken of him standing next to a bundle of uprooted marijuana plants. The police team then brought him to the police station at Villaverde. On the way, a certain Kiko Pascua, a barangay peace officer of Barangay Sawmill, accompanied the police officers. Pascua, who bore a grudge against him, because of his refusal to participate in the former's illegal logging activities, threatened him to admit owning the marijuana, otherwise be would "be put in a bad situation." At the police headquarters, Valdez reiterated that he knew nothing about the marijuana plants seized by the police. Still, on 26 September 1996, Valdez was charged for the cultivation and culture of the 7 fully grown marijuana plants. On 15 November 1996, Valdez was arraigned and, with assistance of counsel, pleaded not guilty to the charge. Trial on the merits then ensued. On 18 February 1997, the Regional Trial Court of Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya, Branch 27, in Criminal Case 3105, found Valdez guilty beyond reasonable doubt for violating Section 9 of the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972 (RA 6425, as amended by RA 7659), and sentenced him to suffer the penalty of death by lethal injection. Hence, the automatic review by the Supreme Court. Issue: Whether the seizure of the marijuana plants was made pursuant to warrantless search and seizure, based on the “plain view” doctrine. Held: The Constitution lays down the general rule that a search and seizure must be carried on the strength of a judicial warrant. Otherwise, the search and seizure is deemed "unreasonable." Evidence procured on the occasion of an unreasonable search and seizure is deemed tainted for being the proverbial fruit of a poisonous tree and should be excluded. Such evidence shall be inadmissible in evidence for any purpose in any proceeding. Herein, there was no search warrant issued by a judge after personal determination of the existence of probable cause. From the declarations of the police officers themselves, it is clear that they had at least 1 day to obtain a warrant to search Valdez's farm. Their informant had revealed his name to them. The place where the cannabis plants were planted was pinpointed. From the information in their possession, they could have convinced a judge that there was probable cause to justify the issuance of a warrant. But they did not. Instead, they uprooted the plants and apprehended the accused on the excuse that the trip was a good six hours and inconvenient to them. We need not underscore that the protection against illegal search and seizure is constitutionally mandated and only under specific instances are searches allowed without warrants. The mantle of protection extended by the Bill of Rights covers both innocent and guilty alike against any form of high-handedness of law enforcers, regardless of the praiseworthiness of their intentions. The Court finds no reason to subscribe to Solicitor General's contention that it should apply the "plain view" doctrine. For the doctrine to apply, the following elements must be present: (a) a prior valid intrusion based on the valid warrantless arrest in which the police are legally present in the pursuit of their official duties; (b) the evidence was inadvertently discovered by the police who have the right to be where they are; and (c) the evidence must
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 59 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

be immediately apparent; and (d) plain view justified mere seizure of evidence without further search. Herein, the police officers first located the marijuana plants before Valdez was arrested without a warrant. Hence, there was no valid warrantless arrest which preceded the search of Valdez's premises. The police team was dispatched to Valdez's kaingin precisely to search for and uproot the prohibited flora. The seizure of evidence in "plain view" applies only where the police officer is not searching for evidence against the accused, but inadvertently comes across an incriminating object. Clearly, their discovery of the cannabis plants was not inadvertent. Also, upon arriving at the area, they first had to "look around the area" before they could spot the illegal plants. Patently, the seized marijuana plants were not "immediately apparent" and a "further search" was needed. In sum, the marijuana plants in question were not in "plain view" or "open to eye and hand." The "plain view" doctrine, thus, cannot be made to apply. 173 Arizona v. Hicks [480 US 321, 3 March 1987] Scalia (J): 4 concur, 1 filed a separate concurring opinion, 2 filed separate dissenting opinions to which 1 concurs. Facts: On 18 April 1984, a bullet was fired through the floor of Hicks' apartment, striking and injuring a man in the apartment below. Police officers arrived and entered Hicks' apartment to search for the shooter, for other victims, and for weapons. They found and seized three weapons, including a sawed-off rifle, and in the course of their search also discovered a stocking-cap mask. One of the policemen, Officer Nelson, noticed two sets of expensive stereo components, which seemed out of place in the squalid and otherwise illappointed four-room apartment. Suspecting that they were stolen, he read and recorded their serial numbers moving some of the components, including a Bang and Olufsen turntable, in order to do so - which he then reported by phone to his headquarters. On being advised that the turntable had been taken in an armed robbery, he seized it immediately. It was later determined that some of the other serial numbers matched those on other stereo equipment taken in the same armed robbery, and a warrant was obtained and executed to seize that equipment as well. Hicks was subsequently indicted for the robbery. The state trial court granted Hicks' motion to suppress the evidence that had been seized. The Court of Appeals of Arizona affirmed. It was conceded that the initial entry and search, although warrantless, were justified by the exigent circumstance of the shooting. The Court of Appeals viewed the obtaining of the serial numbers, however, as an additional search, unrelated to that exigency. Both courts - the trial court explicitly and the Court of Appeals by necessary implication - rejected the State's contention that Officer Nelson's actions were justified under the "plain view" doctrine of Coolidge v. New Hampshire. The Arizona Supreme Court denied review, and the State filed this petition. Issue: Whether the policeman’s actions come within the purview of the Fourth Amendment. Held: The policeman's actions come within the purview of the Fourth Amendment. The mere recording of the serial numbers did not constitute a "seizure" since it did not meaningfully interfere with Hicks’ possessory interest in either the numbers or the stereo equipment. However, the moving of the equipment was a "search" separate and apart from the search that was the lawful objective of entering the apartment. The fact that the search uncovered nothing of great personal value to Hicks is irrelevant. The "plain view" doctrine does not render the search "reasonable" under the Fourth Amendment. The policeman's action directed to the stereo equipment was not ipso facto unreasonable simply because it was unrelated to the justification for enteringthe apartment. That lack of relationship always exists when the "plain view" doctrine applies. In saying that a warrantless search must be "strictly circumscribed by the exigencies which justify its initiation," Mincey was simply addressing the scope of the primary search itself, and was not overruling the "plain view" doctrine by implication. However, the search was invalid because, as the State concedes, the policeman had only a "reasonable suspicion" - i. e., less than probable cause to believe - that the stereo equipment was stolen. Probable cause is required to invoke the "plain view" doctrine as it applies to seizures. It would be illogical to hold that an object is seizable on lesser grounds, during an unrelated search and seizure, than would have been needed to obtain a warrant for it if it had been known to be on the premises. Probable cause to believe the
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 60 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

equipment was stolen was also necessary to support the search here, whether legal authority to move the equipment could be found only as the inevitable concomitant of the authority to seize it, or also as a consequence of some independent power to search objects in plain view. The policeman's action cannot be upheld on the ground that it was not a "full-blown search" but was only a "cursory inspection" that could be justified by reasonable suspicion instead of probable cause. A truly cursory inspection - one that involves merely looking at what is already exposed to view, without disturbing it - is not a "search" for Fourth Amendment purposes, and therefore does not even require reasonable suspicion. This Court is unwilling to create a subcategory of "cursory" searches under the Fourth Amendment. 174 People vs. Compacion [GR 124442, 20 July 2001] First Division, Kapunan (J): 4 concur Facts: Acting on a confidential tip supplied by a police informant that Armando Compacio y Surposa was growing and cultivating marijuana plants, SPO1 Gilbert L. Linda and SPO2 Basilio Sarong of the 6th Narcotic Regional Field Unit of the Narcotics Command (NARCOM) of the Bacolod City Detachment conducted a surveillance of the residence of Compacion who was then the barangay captain of barangay Bagonbon, San Carlos City, Negros Occidental on 9 July 1995. During the said surveillance, they saw 2 tall plants in the backyard of Compacion which they suspected to be marijuana plants. SPO1 Linda and SPO2 Sarong reported the result of their surveillance to SPO4 Ranulfo T. Villamor, Jr., Chief of NARCOM, Bacolod City, who immediately formed a team composed of the members of the Intelligence Division Provincial Command, the Criminal Investigation Command and the Special Action Force. Two members of the media, one from DYWF Radio and another from DYRL Radio, were also included in the composite team. On 12 July 1995, the team applied for a search warrant with the office of Executive Judge Bernardo Ponferrada in Bacolod City. However, Judge Ponferrada informed them that he did not have territorial jurisdiction over the matter. The team then left Bacolod City for San Carlos City. They arrived there around 6:30 p.m., then went to the house of Executive Judge Roberto S. Javellana to secure a search warrant. They were not able to do so because it was nighttime and office hours were obviously over. They were told by the judge to go back in the morning. Nonetheless, the team proceeded to barangay Bagonbon and arrived at the residence of Compacion in the early morning of 13 July 1995. SPO4 Villamor knocked at the gate and called out for Compacion. What happened thereafter is subject to conflicting accounts. The prosecution contends that Compacion opened the gate and permitted them to come in. He was immediately asked by SPO4 Villamor about the suspected marijuana plants and he admitted that he planted and cultivated the same for the use of his wife who was suffering from migraine. SPO4 Villamor then told him that he would be charged for violation of Section 9 of RA 6425 and informed him of his constitutional rights. The operatives then uprooted the suspected marijuana plants. SPO1 Linda conducted an initial field test of the plants by using the Narcotics Drug Identification Kit. The test yielded a positive result. On 15 July 1995, the plants were turned over to the Philippine National Police (PNP) Crime Laboratory, Bacolod City Police Command, particularly to Senior Inspector Reah Abastillas Villavicencio. Senior Inspector Villavicencio weighed and measured the plants, one was 125 inches and weighed 700 grams while the other was 130 inches and weighed 900 grams. Three (3) qualitative examinations were conducted, namely: the microscopic test, the chemical test, and the thin layer chromatographic test. All yielded positive results. On his part, Compacion maintains that around 1:30 a.m. on 13 July 1995 while he and his family were sleeping, he heard somebody knocking outside his house. He went down bringing with him a flashlight. After he opened the gate, 4 persons who he thought were members of the military, entered the premises then went inside the house. It was dark so he could not count the others who entered the house as the same was lit only by a kerosene lamp. One of the four men told him to sit in the living room. Some of the men went upstairs while the others went around the house. None of them asked for his permission to search his house and the premises. After about 20 minutes of searching, the men called him outside and brought him to the backyard. One of the military men said: "Captain, you have a (sic) marijuana here at your backyard" to which Compacion replied: "I do not know that they were (sic) marijuana plants but what I know is that they are medicinal plants for my wife" who was suffering from migraine. After he was informed that the plants in his backyard were marijuana, the men took pictures of him and themselves.
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 61 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

Thereafter, he was brought inside the house where he and the military men spent the night. At around 10:00 a.m., they brought him with them to the city hall. Compacion saw that one of the 2 service vehicles they brought was fully loaded with plants. He was later told by the military men that said plants were marijuana. Upon arrival at the city hall, the men met with the mayor and then unloaded the alleged marijuana plants. A picture of him together with the arresting team was taken with the alleged marijuana as back drop. Soon thereafter, he was taken to Hda. Socorro at the SAF Headquarters. A criminal complaint for violation of Section 9 of RA 6425, as amended by RA 7659 was filed against Compacion. On 2 January 1996, the trial court convicted Compacion of the crime charged, and sentenced him to reclusion perpetua and to pay a fine of P500,000.00. Issue: Whether Compacion's right against unreasonable search and seizure was violated. Held: Sections 2 and 3 [2], Article III of the 1987 Constitution are safeguards against reckless, malicious and unreasonable invasion of privacy and liberty. A search and seizure, therefore, must be carried out through or with a judicial warrant; otherwise, such search and seizure becomes "unreasonable" within the meaning of the constitutional provision. Evidence secured thereby, i.e., the "fruits" of the search and seizure, will be inadmissible in evidence for any purpose in any proceeding." The requirement that a warrant must be obtained from the proper judicial authority prior to the conduct of a search and seizure is, however, not absolute. There are several instances when the law recognizes exceptions, such as when the owner of the premises consents or voluntarily submits to a search; when the owner of the premises waives his right against such incursion; when the search is incidental to a lawful arrest; when it is made on vessels and aircraft for violation of customs laws; when it is made on automobiles for the purpose of preventing violations of smuggling or immigration laws; when it involves prohibited articles in plain view; when it involves a "stop and frisk" situation; when the search is under exigent and emergency circumstances; or in cases of inspection of buildings and other premises for the enforcement of fire, sanitary and building regulations. In these instances, a search may be validly made even without a warrant. Herein, the search and seizure conducted by the composite team in the house of accused-appellant was not authorized by a search warrant, It does not appear either that the situation falls under any of the above mentioned cases. Consequently, Compacion's right against unreasonable search and seizure was clearly violated. As a general rule, objects in the "plain view" of an officer who has the right to be in the position to have that view are subject to seizure without a warrant. It is usually applied where a police officer is not searching for evidence against the accused, but nonetheless inadvertently comes across an incriminating object. Thus, the following elements must be present before the doctrine may be applied: (a) a prior valid intention based on the valid warrantless arrest in which the police are legally present in the pursuit of their official duties; (b) the evidence was inadvertently discovered by the police who have the right to be where they are; (c) the evidence must be immediately apparent; and (d) "plain view" justified were seizure of evidence without further search. Here, there was no valid warrantless arrest. They forced their way into Compacion's premises without the latter's consent. It is undisputed that the NARCOM agents conducted a surveillance of the residence of Compacion on 9 July 1995 on the suspicion that he was growing and cultivating marijuana when they allegedly came in "plain view" of the marijuana plants. When the agents entered his premises on 13 July 1995, their intention was to seize the evidence against him. In fact, they initially wanted to secure a search warrant but could not simply wait for one to be issued. The NARCOM agents, therefore, did not come across the marijuana plants inadvertently when they conducted a surveillance and barged into Compacion's residence. As held in People v. Musa, the "plain view" doctrine may not be used to launch unbridled searches and indiscriminate seizures nor to extend a general exploratory search made solely to find evidence of defendant's guilt. The "plain view" doctrine is usually applied where a police officer is not searching for evidence against the accused, but nonetheless inadvertently comes across an incriminating object. Hence, Compacion is acquitted of the crime to which he was charged. 175 Roldan vs. Arca [GR L-25434, 25 July 1975] First Division, Makasiar (J): 4 concur, 1 took no part

Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 62 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

Facts: On 3 April 1964, Morabe, De Guzman & Company filed with the Court of First Instance (CFI) of Manila a civil case (56701) against Fisheries Commissioner Arsenio N. Roldan, Jr., for the recovery of fishing vessel Tony Lex VI which had been seized and impounded by the Fisheries Commissioner through the Philippine Navy. On 10 April 1964, the company prayed for a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction with the CFI, but said prayer was denied. On 28 April 1964, the CFI set aside its order of 10 April 1964 and granted the company's motion for reconsideration praying for preliminary mandatory injunction. Thus, the company took possession of the vessel Tony Lex VI from the Philippine Fisheries Commission adn the Philippine Navy by virtue of the said writ. On 10 December 1964, the CFI dismissed Civil Case 56701 for failure of the company to prosecute as well as for failure of the Commission and the Navy to appear on the scheduled date of hearing. The vessel, Tony Lex VI or Srta. Winnie however, remained in the possession of the company. On 20 July 1965, the Fisheries Commissioner requested the Philippine Navy to apprehend vessels Tony Lex VI and Tony Lex III, also respectively called Srta. Winnie and Srta. Agnes, for alleged violations of some provisions of the Fisheries Act and the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder. On August 5 or 6, 1965, the two fishing boats were actually seized for illegal fishing with dynamite. Fish caught with dynamite and sticks of dynamite were then found aboard the two vessels. On 18 August 1965, the Fisheries Commissioner requested the Palawan Provincial Fiscal to file criminal charges against the crew members of the fishing vessels. On 30 September 1965, there were filed in the CFI of Palawan a couple of informations, one against the crew members of Tony Lex III, and another against the crew members of Tony Lex VI — both for violations of Act 4003, as amended by Commonwealth Acts 462, 659 and 1088, i.e., for illegal fishing with the use of dynamite. On the same day, the Fiscal filed an ex parte motion to hold the boats in custody as instruments and therefore evidence of the crime, and cabled the Fisheries Commissioner to detain the vessels. On October 2 and 4, likewise, the CFI of Palawan ordered the Philippine Navy to take the boats in custody. On 2 October 1965, the company filed a complaint with application for preliminary mandatory injunction (Civil Case 62799) with the CFI of Manila against the Commission and the Navy. Among others, it was alleged that at the time of the seizure of the fishing boats in issue, the same were engaged in legitimate fishing operations off the coast of Palawan; that by virtue of the offer of compromise dated 13 September 1965 by the company to the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources, the numerous violations of the Fishery Laws, if any, by the crew members of the vessels were settled. On 18 October 1965, Judge Francisco Arca issued an order granting the issuance of the writ of preliminary mandatory injunction and issued the preliminary writ upon the filing by the company of a bond of P5,000.00 for the release of the two vessels. On 19 October 1965, the Commission and the Navy filed a motion for reconsideration of the order issuing the preliminary writ on 18 October 1965 on the ground, among others, that on 18 October 1965 the Philippine Navy received from the Palawan CFI two orders dated October 2 and 4, 1965 requiring the Philippine Navy to hold the fishing boats in custody and directing that the said vessels should not be released until further orders from the Court, and that the bond of P5,000.00 is grossly insufficient to cover the Government's losses in case the two vessels, which are worth P495,000.00, are placed beyond the reach of the Government, thus frustrating their forfeiture as instruments of the crime. On 23 November 1965, Judge Arca denied the said motion for reconsideration. The Commission and the Navy filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition with preliminary injunction to restrain Judge Arca from enforcing his order dated 18 October 1965, and the writ of preliminary mandatory injunction thereunder issued. Issue: Whether the Fisheries Commissioner and the Navy can validly direct and/or effect the seizure of the vessels of the company for illegal fishing by the use of dynamite and without the requisite licenses. Held: Section 4 of Republic Act 3512 approved on 20 March 1963 empowers the Fisheries Commissioner to carry out the provisions of the Fisheries Act, as amended, and all rules and regulations promulgated thereunder, to make searches and seizures personally or through his duly authorized representatives in accordance with the Rules of Court, of "explosives such as dynamites and the like; including fishery products, fishing equipment, tackle and other things that are subject to seizure under existing fishery laws"; and "to
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 63 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

effectively implement the enforcement of existing fishery laws on illegal fishing." Paragraph 5 of Section 4 of the same Republic Act 3512 likewise transferred to and vested in the Philippine Fisheries Commission "all the powers, functions and duties heretofore exercised by the Bureau of Customs, Philippine Navy and Philippine Constabulary over fishing vessels and fishery matters." Section 12 of the Fisheries Act, otherwise known as Republic Act 4003, as amended, prohibits fishing with dynamites or other explosives which is penalized by Section 76 thereof "by a fine of not less than P1,500.00 nor more than P5,000.00, and by imprisonment for not less than one (1) year and six (6) months nor more than five (5) years, aside from the confiscation and forfeiture of all explosives, boats, tackles, apparel, furniture, and other apparatus used in fishing in violation of said Section 12 of this Act." Section 78 of the same Fisheries Law provides that "in case of a second offense, the vessel, together with its tackle, apparel, furniture and stores shall be forfeited to the Government." The second paragraph of Section 12 also provides that "the possession and/or finding, of dynamite, blasting caps and other explosives in any fishing boat shall constitute a presumption that the said dynamite and/or blasting caps and explosives are being used for fishing purposes in violation of this Section, and that the possession or discover in any fishing boat or fish caught or killed by the use of dynamite or other explosives, under expert testimony, shall constitute a presumption that the owner, if present in the fishing boat, or the fishing crew have been fishing with dynamite or other explosives." Under Section 78 of the Fisheries Act, as amended, any person, association or corporation fishing in deep sea fishery without the corresponding license prescribed in Sections 17 to 22 Article V of the Fisheries Act or any other order or regulation deriving force from its provisions, "shall be punished for each offense by a fine of not more than P5,000.00, or imprisonment, for not more than one year, or both, in the discretion of the Court; Provided, That in case of an association or corporation, the President or manager shall be directly responsible for the acts of his employees or laborers if it is proven that the latter acted with his knowledge; otherwise the responsibility shall extend only as far as fine is concerned: Provided, further, That in the absence of a known owner of the vessel, the master, patron or person in charge of such vessel shall be responsible for any violation of this Act: and Provided, further, That in case of a second offense, the vessel together with its tackle, apparel, furniture and stores shall be forfeited to the Government." Under Section 13 of Executive Order 389 of 23 December 1950, reorganizing the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine Navy has the function, among others, "to assist the proper governmental agencies in the enforcement of laws and regulations pertaining to Fishing. Section 2210 of the Tariff and Customs Code, as amended by PD 34 of 27 October 1972, authorized any official or person exercising police authority under the provisions of the Code, to search and seize any vessel or air craft as well as any trunk, package, bag or envelope on board and to search any person on board for any breach or violation of the customs and tariff laws. Herein, when the Philippine Navy, upon request of the Fisheries Commissioner, apprehended on August 5 or 6, 1965 the fishing boats Tony Lex III and Tony Lex VI, otherwise known respectively as Srta. Agnes and Srta. Winnie, these vessels were found to be without the necessary license in violation of Section 903 of the Tariff and Customs Code and therefore subject to seizure under Section 2210 of the same Code, and illegally fishing with explosives and without fishing license required by Sections 17 and 18 of the Fisheries Law. Search and seizure without search warrant of vessels and air crafts for violations of the customs laws have been the traditional exception to the constitutional requirement of a search warrant, because the vessel can be quickly moved out of the locality or jurisdiction in which the search warrant must be sought before such warrant could be secured; hence it is not practicable to require a search warrant before such search or seizure can be constitutionally effected. The same exception should apply to seizures of fishing vessels breaching our fishery laws: They are usually equipped with powerful motors that enable them to elude pursuing ships of the Philippine Navy or Coast Guard. 176 Hizon vs. Court of Appeals [GR 119619, 13 December 1996] Second Division, Puno (J): 4 concur Facts: In September 1992, the Philippine National Police (PNP) Maritime Command of Puerto Princesa City, Palawan received reports of illegal fishing operations in the coastal waters of the city. In response to these reports, the city mayor organized Task Force Bantay Dagat to assist the police in the detection and apprehension of violators of the laws on fishing. On 30 September 1992 at about 2:00 p.m., the Task Force
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 64 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

Bantay Dagat reported to the PNP Maritime Command that a boat and several small crafts were fishing by "muro ami" within the shoreline of Barangay San Rafael of Puerto Princesa. The police, headed by SPO3 Romulo Enriquez, and members of the Task Force Bantay Dagat, headed by Benito Marcelo, Jr., immediately proceeded to the area and found several men fishing in motorized sampans and a big fishing boat identified as F/B Robinson within the seven-kilometer shoreline of the city. They boarded the F/B Robinson and inspected the boat with the acquiescence of the boat captain, Silverio Gargar. In the course of their inspection, the police saw two foreigners in the captain's deck. SPO3 Enriquez examined their passports and found them to be mere photocopies. The police also discovered a large aquarium full of live lapu-lapu and assorted fish weighing approximately one ton at the bottom of the boat. They checked the license of the boat and its fishermen and found them to be in order. Nonetheless, SPO3 Enriquez brought the boat captain, the crew and the fishermen to Puerto Princesa for further investigation. At the city harbor, members of the Maritime Command were ordered by SPO3 Enriquez to guard the F/B Robinson. The boat captain and the two foreigners were again interrogated at the PNP Maritime Command office. Thereafter, an Inspection/Apprehension Report was prepared and the boat, its crew and fishermen were charged with the following violations: (1) Conducting fishing operations within Puerto Princesa coastal waters without mayor's permit; (2) Employing excess fishermen on board (Authorized — 26; On board — 36); and (3) Two (2) Hongkong nationals on board without original passports." The following day, 1 October 1992, SPO3 Enriquez directed the boat captain to get random samples of fish from the fish cage of F/B Robinson for laboratory examination. On 7 October 1992, NBI Forensic Chemist Emilia Rosaldes conducted two tests on the fish samples and found that they contained sodium cyanide. In light of these findings, the PNP Maritime Command of Puerto Princesa City filed the complaint against the owner and operator of the F/B Robinson, the First Fishermen Fishing Industries, Inc., represented by Richard Hizon, the boat captain Silverio Gargar, the boat engineer Ernesto Andaya, two other crew members, the two Hongkong nationals and 28 fishermen of the said boat for the offense of illegal fishing with the use of obnoxious or poisonous substance penalized under Presidential Decree (PD) 704, the Fisheries Decree of 1975. In an Information dated 15 October 1992, Hizon, et. al. were charged with a violation of PD 704. Hizon, et. al. were arraigned and they pled not guilty to the charge. On 23 November 1992, however, Salud Rosales, another forensic chemist of the NBI in Manila conducted three (3) tests on the specimens and found the fish negative for the presence of sodium cyanide. On 9 July 1993, the trial court found Hizon, et. al. guilty and sentenced them to imprisonment for a minimum of 8 years and 1 day to a maximum of 9 years and 4 months. The court also ordered the confiscation and forfeiture of the F/B Robinson, the 28 sampans and the ton of assorted live fishes as instruments and proceeds of the offense. The Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the trial court. Hizon, et. al. filed a petition for review on certiorari with the Supreme Court. Issue: Whether the search and seizure conducted in Hizon’s boat is valid. Held: Our Constitution proscribes search and seizure and the arrest of persons without a judicial warrant. As a general rule, any evidence obtained without a judicial warrant is inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding. The rule is, however, subject to certain exceptions. Some of these are: (1) a search incident to a lawful arrest; (2) seizure of evidence in plain view; (3) search of a moving motor vehicle; and (4) search in violation of customs laws. Search and seizure without search warrant of vessels and aircrafts for violations of customs laws have been the traditional exception to the constitutional requirement of a search warrant. It is rooted on the recognition that a vessel and an aircraft, like motor vehicles, can be quickly moved out of the locality or jurisdiction in which the search warrant must be sought and secured. Yielding to this reality, judicial authorities have not required a search warrant of vessels and aircrafts before their search and seizure can be constitutionally effected. The same exception ought to apply to seizures of fishing vessels and boats breaching our fishery laws. These vessels are normally powered by high-speed motors that enable them to elude arresting ships of the Philippine Navy, the Coast Guard and other government authorities enforcing our fishery laws. The warrantless search on the F/B Robinson, a fishing boat suspected of having engaged in illegal fishing, thus is valid. The fish and other evidence seized in the course of the search were properly admitted by the trial court. Moreover, Hizon failed to raise the issue during trial and hence, waived their right
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 65 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

to question any irregularity that may have attended the said search and seizure. However, Hizon et. al. are not guilty of the offense of illegal fishing with the use of poisonous substances. The prosecution failed to explain the contradictory findings on the fish samples and this omission raises a reasonable doubt that the one ton of fishes in the cage were caught with the use of sodium cyanide. The absence of cyanide in the second set of fish specimens supports Hizon, et. al.'s claim that they did not use the poison in fishing. According to them, they caught the fishes by the ordinary and legal way, i.e., by hook and line on board their sampans. This claim is buttressed by the prosecution evidence itself. The authorities found nothing on the boat that would have indicated any form of illegal fishing. All the documents of the boat and the fishermen were in order. It was only after the fish specimens were tested, albeit under suspicious circumstances, that Hizon, et. al. were charged with illegal fishing with the use of poisonous substances. Hence, Hizon, et. al. are acquitted of the crime of illegal fishing with the use of poisonous substances defined under Section 33 of Republic Act 704, the Fisheries Decree of 1975. 177 People vs. Gatward [GRs 119772-73, 7 February 1997] Second Division, Regalado (J): 4 concur Facts: At about 3:30 p.m. of 30 August 1994, U Aung Win, a Passenger of TG Flight 620 of the Thai Airways which had just arrived from Bangkok, Thailand, presented his luggage, a travelling bag for examination to Customs Examiner Busran Tawano, who was assigned at the Arrival Area of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Pasay City. U Aung Win also handed to Tawano his Customs Declaration 128417 stating that he had no articles to declare. When Tawano was about to inspect his luggage, U Aung Win suddenly left, proceeding towards the direction of Carousel 1, the conveyor for the pieces of luggage of the passengers of Flight 620, as if to retrieve another baggage from it. After having inspected the luggages of the other incoming passengers, Tawano became alarmed by the failure of U Aung Win to return and suspected that the bag of U Aung Win contained illegal articles. The Customs Examiner reported the matter to his superiors. Upon their instructions, the bag was turned over to the office of the Customs Police in the NAIA for x-ray examination where it was detected that it contained some powdery substance. When opened, the bag revealed two packages containing the substance neatly hidden in between its partitions. Representative samples of the substance were examined by Elizabeth Ayonon, a chemist of the Crime Laboratory Service of the Philippine National Police (PNP) assigned at the Arrival Area of the NAIA, and by Tita Advincula, another chemist of the PNP Crime Laboratory Service at Camp Crame, and found to be positive for heroin. The two chemists concluded that the entire substance, with a total weight of 5,579.80 grams, contained in the two packages found in the bag of U Aung Win, is heroin. A manhunt was conducted to locate U Aung Win. At about 7:45 p.m. of the same date, Rey Espinosa, an employee of the Lufthansa Airlines, notified the commander of the NAIA Customs Police District Command that a certain Burmese national by the name of U Aung Win appeared at the check-in counter of the airline as a departing passenger. Immediately, a team of law enforcers proceeded to the Departure Area and apprehended the accused after he had been identified through his signatures in his Customs Declaration and in his Bureau of Immigration and Deportation Arrival Card. Customs Examiner Tawano also positively identified U Aung Win as the person who left his bag with him at the Arrival Area of the NAIA. During the investigation of U Aung Win, the agents of the Customs Police and the Narcotics Command (NARCOM) gathered the information that U Aung Win had a contact in Bangkok and that there were other drug couriers in the Philippines. Following the lead, a team of lawmen, together with U Aung Win, was dispatched to the City Garden Hotel in Mabini St., Ermita, Manila, to enable U Aung Win to communicate with his contact in Bangkok for further instructions. While the police officers were standing by, they noticed two persons, a Caucasian and an oriental, alight from a car and enter the hotel. U Aung Win whispered to Customs Police Special Agent Edgar Quiñones that he recognized the two as drug couriers whom he saw talking with his contact in Bangkok named Mau Mau. The members of the team were able to establish the identity of the two persons as Nigel Richard Gatward and one Zaw Win Naing, a Thailander, from the driver of the hotel service car used by the two when they arrived in the hotel. It was gathered by the law enforcers that Gatward and Zaw Win Naing were scheduled to leave for Bangkok on board a KLM flight. On 31 August 1994, operatives of the NAIA Customs Police mounted a surveillance
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 66 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

operation at the Departure Area for Gatward and Zaw Win Naing who might be leaving the country. At about 7:45 p.m., Special Agent Gino Minguillan of the Customs Police made a verification on the passenger manifest of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Flight 806, bound for Amsterdam via Bangkok, which was scheduled to depart at about 7:55 p.m. He found the name "GATWARD/NRMR" listed therein as a passenger for Amsterdam and accordingly informed his teammates who responded immediately Customs Police Captain Juanito Algenio requested Victorio Erece, manager of the KLM airline at the NAIA, to let passenger Gatward disembark from the aircraft and to have his checked-in luggage, if any, unloaded. The manager acceded to the request to off-load Gatward but not to the unloading of his check-in bag as the plane was about to depart and to do so would unduly delay the flight. However, Erece made an assurance that the bag would be returned immediately to the Philippines on the first available flight from Bangkok. Upon his disembarkment. Gatward was invited by the police officers for investigation. At about 3:00 p.m. of 1 September 1994, Gatward's luggage, was brought back to the NAIA from Bangkok through the Thai airways, pursuant to the request of Erece. Upon its retrieval, the law enforcers subjected the bag to x-ray examinations in the presence of Gatward and some Customs officials. It was observed to contain some powdery substance. Inside the bag were two improvised envelopes made of cardboard each containing the powdery substance, together with many clothes. The envelopes were hidden inside the bag, one at the side in between a double-wall, the other inside a partition in the middle. Upon its examination by Chemists Ayonon and Advincula pursuant to the request of Police Senior Inspector John Campos of the NARCOM, the powdery substance contained in the two cardboard envelopes, with a net weight of 5,237.70 grams, was found to be heroin. Nigel Richard Gatward was charged with violating Section 4 of Republic Act 6425, the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972 (transporting); while U Aung Win was charged for transgressing Section 3 of the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972 (importing). Gatward pleaded not guilty of the charge when arraigned, while U Aung Win pleaded guilty of the crime charged upon his arraignment. On 3 March 1995, the trial court found both guilty of the crime charged. Issue: Whether Gatward’s and U Aung Win’s suitcases may be searched without warrant. Held: While no search warrant had been obtained for that purpose, when Gatward checked in his bag as his personal luggage as a passenger of KLM Flight 806 he thereby agreed to the inspection thereof in accordance with customs rules and regulations, an international practice of strict observance, and waived any objection to a warrantless search. His subsequent arrest, although likewise without a warrant, was justified since it was effected upon the discovery and recovery of the heroin in his bag, or in flagrante delicto. The conviction of U Aung Win is likewise unassailable. His culpability was not based only upon his plea of guilty but also upon the evidence of the prosecution, the presentation of which was required by the lower court despite said plea. The evidence thus presented convincingly proved his having imported into this country the heroin found in his luggage which he presented for customs examination upon his arrival at the international airport. There was, of course, no showing that he was authorized by law to import such dangerous drug, nor did he claim or present any authority to do so. 178 People vs. Johnson [GR 138881, 18 December 2000] Second Division, Mendoza (J): 4 concur Facts: Leila Reyes Johnson was, at the time of the incident, 58 years old, a widow, and a resident of Ocean Side, California, U.S.A. She is a former Filipino citizen who was naturalized as an American on 16 June 1968 and had since been working as a registered nurse, taking care of geriatric patients and those with Alzheimer's disease, in convalescent homes in the United States. On 16 June 1998, she arrived in the Philippines to visit her son's family in Calamba, Laguna. She was due to fly back to the United States on July 26. On July 25, she checked in at the Philippine Village Hotel to avoid the traffic on the way to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and checked out at 5:30 p.m. the next day, 26 June 1998. At around 7:30 p.m. of that day, Olivia Ramirez was on duty as a lady frisker at Gate 16 of the NAIA departure area. Her duty was to frisk departing passengers, employees, and crew and check for weapons, bombs, prohibited drugs, contraband
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 67 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

goods, and explosives. When she frisked Johnson, a departing passenger bound for the United States via Continental Airlines CS-912, she felt something hard on the latter's abdominal area. Upon inquiry, Mrs. Johnson explained she needed to wear two panty girdles as she had just undergone an operation as a result of an ectopic pregnancy. Not satisfied with the explanation, Ramirez reported the matter to her superior, SPO4 Reynaldo Embile, saying "Sir, hindi po ako naniniwalang panty lang po iyon." She was directed to take Johnson to the nearest women's room for inspection. Ramirez took Johnson to the rest room, accompanied by SPO1 Rizalina Bernal. Embile stayed outside. Inside the women's room, Johnson was asked again by Ramirez what the hard object on her stomach was and Johnson gave the same answer she had previously given. Ramirez then asked her "to bring out the thing under her girdle." Johnson brought out three plastic packs, which Ramirez then turned over to Embile, outside the women's room. The confiscated packs contained a total of 580.2 grams of a substance which was fount by NBI Chemist George de Lara to be methamphetamine hydrochloride or "shabu." Embile took Johnson and the plastic packs to the 1st Regional Aviation and Security Office (1st RASO) at the arrival area of the NAIA, where Johnson's passport and ticket were taken and her luggage opened. Pictures were taken and her personal belongings were itemized. Johnson was charged for the possession of 3 plastic bages of methamphetamine hydrochloride, a regulated drug, weighing a total of 580.2 grams; a violation of §16 of RA 6425 (Dangerous Drugs Act), as amended by RA 7659. On 14 May 1999, the Regional Trial Court, Branch 110, Pasay City, found Johnson guilty and sentenced her to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua and to pay a fine of P500,000.00 and the costs of the suit. Johnson appealed. Issue: Whether the extensive search made on Johnson at the airport violates her right against unreasonable search and seizure. Held: The constitutional right of the accused was not violated as she was never placed under custodial investigation but was validly arrested without warrant pursuant to the provisions of Section 5, Rule 113 of tie 1985 Rules of Criminal Procedure which provides that "A peace officer or a private person may, without a warrant, arrest a person: (a) when in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense; (b) when an offense has in fact just been committed and person to be arrested has committed it; and xxx." The circumstances surrounding the arrest of the accused falls in either paragraph (a) or (b) of the Rule above cited, hence the allegation that she has been subjected to custodial investigation is far from being accurate. The methamphetamine hydrochloride seized from her during the routine frisk at the airport was acquired legitimately pursuant to airport security procedures. Persons may lose the protection of the search and seizure clause by exposure of their persons or property to the public in a manner reflecting a lack of subjective expectation of privacy, which expectation society is prepared to recognize as reasonable. Such recognition is implicit in airport security procedures. With increased concern over airplane hijacking and terrorism has come increased security at the nation's airports. Passengers attempting to board an aircraft routinely pass through metal detectors; their carry-on baggage as well as checked luggage are routinely subjected to x-ray scans. Should these procedures suggest the presence of suspicious objects, physical searches are conducted to determine what the objects are. There is little question that such searches are reasonable, given their minimal intrusiveness, the gravity of the safety interests involved, and the reduced privacy expectations associated with airline travel. Indeed, travelers are often notified through airport public address systems, signs, and notices in their airline tickets that they are subject to search and, if any prohibited materials or substances are found, such would be subject to seizure. These announcements place passengers on notice that ordinary constitutional protections against warrantless searches and seizures do not apply to routine airport procedures. The packs of methamphetamine hydrochloride having thus been obtained through a valid warrantless search, they are admissible in evidence against Johnson. Corollarily, her subsequent arrest, although likewise without warrant, was justified since it was effected upon the discovery and recovery of "shabu" in her person in flagrante delicto. 179 People vs. Suzuki [GR 120670, 23 October 2003] En Banc, Sandoval-Gutierrez (J): 13 concur

Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 68 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

Facts: Sometime in November 1993, the PNP Narcotics Command issued a directive to all Chiefs of Narcotics Regional Field Units to cover all domestic airport terminals within their respective areas of responsibility, following reports that drug trafficking is prevalent in domestic airports; and to coordinate with local airport authorities and the PASCOM. In the morning of 12 April 1994, Hedishi Suzuki and Takeshi Koketsu, both Japanese nationals, entered the pre-departure area of the Bacolod Airport Terminal. Suzuki was bound for Manila via flight 132 of the Philippine Airlines and was carrying a small traveling bag and a box marked “Bongbong’s piaya.” At the pre-departure area, upon the advice of Corazon Sinosa, a civilian personnel of the PASCOM, Suzuki proceeded to the “walk-through metal detector,” a machine which produces a red light and an alarm once it detects the presence of metallic substance or object. Thereupon, the red light switched on and the alarm sounded, signifying the presence of metallic substance either in his person or in the box he was carrying. This prompted PO3 Rhodelin Poyugao of the Police Aviation Security Command (PASCOM) to frisk him bodily. Finding no metallic object in his body, PO3 Poyugao picked up the box of piaya and passed it through the machine. Again, the machine was activated. PO3 Poyugao then ordered Suzuki to go to the hand-carried luggage inspection counter where several PASCOM and NARCOM personnel were present. SPO1 Arturo Casugod, Sr. requested Suzuki to open the box. He appeared tense and reluctant and started to leave, but SPO1 Casugod called him. Eventually he consented, saying in faltering English, “open, open.” SPO1 Casugod opened the box and found therein 18 small packs, 17 of which were wrapped in aluminum foil. SPO1 Casugod opened one pack. Inside were dried fruiting tops which looked like marijuana. Upon seeing this, Suzuki ran outside the pre-departure area but he was chased by PO3 Poyugao, SPO1 Gilbert Linda of the Narcotics Command (NARCOM) and Donato Barnezo of the PASCOM. They apprehended Suzuki near the entrance of the terminal and brought him to the PASCOM office. They also brought Takeshi and his wife, Lourdes Linsangan, to the office, being suspects as conspirators with Suzuki in drug trafficking. Lourdes asked permission to call Atty. Silvestre Tayson. When he arrived, the police apprised Suzuki of his constitutional rights. Meanwhile, SPO1 Casugod weighed the contents of the box and inventoried the same. The total weight of the suspected marijuana fruiting tops was 1.9 kilograms or 1,900 grams. He then drafted a “confiscation receipt” which Suzuki, upon the advice of Atty. Tayson, refused to acknowledge. SPO1 Casugod turned over Suzuki to SPO1 Linda for investigation. Subsequently, Suzuki and his companions were brought to the prosecutor’s office for inquest and placed under the custody of C/Inspector Ernesto Alcantara at the NARCOM office. The box with its contents was brought to the PNP Crime Laboratory. P/Inspector Rea Abastillas Villavicencio, the forensic chemist of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Crime Laboratory, conducted three tests on the specimen samples which proved positive for marijuana. Suzuki was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, a prohibited drug, in violation of the Dangerous Drug Act. Suzuki entered a plea of not guilty, and trial followed thereafter. The Regional Trial Court, Branch 45, Bacolod City in Criminal Case 94-16100 convicted Hedishi Suzuki of illegal possession of marijuana, defined and penalized under Section 8, Article II of RA 6525, as amended, and sentenced him to suffer the penalty of death and to pay a fine of P10,000,000.00. Hence, the automatic review. Issue: Whether the PASCOM has the authority to inspect luggages or hand-carried bags. Held: The Police Aviation Security Command (PASCOM) is the implementing arm of the National Action Committee on Anti-Hijacking (NACAH), which is a creation of Presidential Letter of Instruction (LOI) 399, dated 28 April 1976. On 18 February 1978, a Memorandum of Understanding among the Secretary of National Defense, the Secretary of Public Works, Transportation and Communication, the Secretary of Justice, the Director General, National Intelligence and Security Authority and the Secretary of Finance was signed. Under the said Memorandum of Understanding the then AVSECOM (now PASCOM) shall have the following functions and responsibilities: (1) Secure all airports against offensive and terroristic acts that threaten civil aviation; (2) Undertake aircraft anti-hijacking operations; (3) Exercise operational control and supervision over all agencies involved in airport security operations; (4) Take all necessary preventive measures to maintain peace and order, and provide other pertinent public safety services within the airports; xxx. Based upon the Memorandum of Understanding, pursuant to President LOI 399, in relation to RA 6235, the PASCOM had the legal authority to be at the Bacolod Airport, Bacolod City and to inspect luggages or
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 69 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

hand-carried bags. This is not the first time that the Court recognize a search conducted pursuant to routine airport security procedure as an exception to the proscription against warrantless searches. In People vs. Canton, and People vs. Johnson, the Court validated the search conducted on the departing passengers and the consequent seizure of the shabu found in their persons. Clearly, the PASCOM agents have the right under the law to conduct search of prohibited materials or substances. To simply refuse passengers carrying suspected illegal items to enter the pre-departure area is to deprive the authorities of their duty to conduct search, thus sanctioning impotence and ineffectivity of the law enforcers, to the detriment of society. It should be stressed, however, that whenever the right against unreasonable search and seizure is challenged, an individual may choose between invoking the constitutional protection or waiving his right by giving consent to the search or seizure. Here, Suzuki voluntarily gave his consent to the search conducted by the PASCOM agents. 180 Bureau of Customs vs. Ogario [GR 138081, 30 March 2000] Second Division, Mendoza (J): 4 concur Facts: On 9 December 1998, Felipe A. Bartolome, District Collector of Customs of Cebu, issued a Warrant of Seizure and Detention of 25,000 bags of rice, bearing the name of "SNOWMAN, Milled in Palawan" shipped on board the M/V "Alberto," which was then docked at Pier 6 in Cebu City. The warrant was issued on the basis of the report of the Economic Intelligence and Investigation Bureau (EIIB), Region VII that the rice had been illegally imported. The report stated that the rice was landed in Palawan by a foreign vessel and then placed in sacks marked "SNOWMAN, Milled in Palawan." It was then shipped to Cebu City on board the vessel M/V "Alberto." Forfeiture proceedings were started in the customs office in Cebu (Cebu Seizure Identification Case 17-98). On 10 December 1998, Mark Montelibano, the consignee of the sacks of rice, and his buyer, Nelson Ogario, filed a complaint for injunction (Civil Case CEB-23077) in the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Cebu City. In separate motions, the Bureau of Customs (BOC), Port of Cebu and the EIIB, as well as the Philippine Navy and Coast Guard, sought the dismissal of the complaint on the ground that the RTC had no jurisdiction, but their motions were denied in a resolution dated 11 January 1999. BOC and EIIB moved for a reconsideration, but their motion was denied by the RTC in its order dated 25 January 1999. In the same order, the RTC also increased the amount of Ogario and Montelibano’s bond to P22,500,000.00. On certiorari to the Court of Appeals, the resolution and order of the RTC were sustained on 15 April 1999. Accordingly, on 26 April 1999, upon motion of Ogario, et. al., the RTC ordered the sheriff to place in their possession the 25,000 bags of rice. Meanwhile, in the forfeiture proceedings before the Collector of Customs of Cebu, a decision was rendered forfeiting the vessel M/V "Alberto"; the 25,000 bags of rice brand "Snowman"; and the two (2) trucks bearing Plates GCC 844 and GHZ 388 in favor of the government to be disposed of in the manner prescribed by law while releasing the 7 trucks bearing Plates GFX 557; GFX 247; TPV 726; GBY 874; GVE 989; and GDF 548 in favor of their respective owners upon proper identification and compliance with pertinent laws, rules and regulations. Montelibano did not take part in the proceedings before the District Collector of Customs despite due notice sent to his counsel because he refused to recognize the validity of the forfeiture proceedings On 30 April 1999, Ogario and Montelibano filed the petition for review on certiorari of the decision of the Court of Appeals. Issue: Whether the Regional Trial Courts are competent to pass upon the validity or regularity of the seizure and forfeiture proceedings conducted by the Bureau of Customs. Held: Regional Trial Courts are devoid of any competence to pass upon the validity or regularity of seizure and forfeiture proceedings conducted by the Bureau of Customs and to enjoin or otherwise interfere with these proceedings. The Collector of Customs sitting in seizure and forfeiture proceedings has exclusive jurisdiction to hear and determine all questions touching on the seizure and forfeiture of dutiable goods. The Regional Trial Courts are precluded from assuming cognizance over such matters even through petitions of certiorari, prohibition or mandamus. Under the law, the question of whether probable cause exists for the seizure of the subject sacks of rice is not for the Regional Trial Court to determine. The customs authorities do not have to prove to the satisfaction of the court that the articles on board a vessel were imported from abroad
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 70 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

or are intended to be shipped abroad before they may exercise the power to effect customs’ searches, seizures, or arrests provided by law and continue with the administrative hearings. 181 Terry vs. Ohio [392 US 1, 10 June 1968] Warren (J) Facts: Martin McFadden, a Cleveland police detective, on a downtown beat which he had been patrolling for many years, observed two strangers (Terry and Richard Chilton) on a street corner. He saw them proceed alternately back and forth along an identical route, strolling down Huron Road, pausing to stare in the same store window, which they did for a total of about 24 times. Each completion of the route was followed by a conference between the two on a corner, at one of which they were joined by a third man (Katz) who left swiftly. Suspecting the two men of "casing a job, a stick-up," the officer followed them and saw them rejoin the third man a couple of blocks away in front of a store. The officer approached the three, identified himself as a policeman, and asked their names. The men "mumbled something," whereupon McFadden spun Terry around, patted down his outside clothing, and found in his overcoat pocket, but was unable to remove, a pistol. The officer ordered the three into the store. He removed Terry's overcoat, took out a revolver, and ordered the three to face the wall with their hands raised. He patted down the outer clothing of Chilton and Katz and seized a revolver from Chilton's outside overcoat pocket. He did not put his hands under the outer garments of Katz (since he discovered nothing in his pat-down which might have been a weapon), or under Terry's or Chilton's outer garments until he felt the guns. The three were taken to the police station. Terry and Chilton were charged with carrying concealed weapons. The defense moved to suppress the weapons. Though the trial court rejected the prosecution theory that the guns had been seized during a search incident to a lawful arrest, the court denied the motion to suppress and admitted the weapons into evidence on the ground that the officer had cause to believe that Terry and Chilton were acting suspiciously, that their interrogation was warranted, and that the officer for his own protection had the right to pat down their outer clothing having reasonable cause to believe that they might be armed. The court distinguished between an investigatory "stop" and an arrest, and between a "frisk" of the outer clothing for weapons and a full-blown search for evidence of crime. Terry and Chilton were found guilty, an intermediate appellate court affirmed, and the State Supreme Court dismissed the appeal on the ground that "no substantial constitutional question" was involved. Issue: Whether it is always unreasonable for a policeman to seize a person and subject him to a limited search for weapons unless there is probable cause for an arrest. Held: The Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches and seizures, made applicable to the States by the Fourteenth Amendment, "protects people, not places," and therefore applies as much to the citizen on the streets as well as at home or elsewhere. The issue in this case is not the abstract propriety of the police conduct but the admissibility against petitioner of the evidence uncovered by the search and seizure. The exclusionary rule cannot properly be invoked to exclude the products of legitimate and restrained police investigative techniques; and this Court's approval of such techniques should not discourage remedies other than the exclusionary rule to curtail police abuses for which that is not an effective sanction. The Fourth Amendment applies to "stop and frisk" procedures such as those followed here. Whenever a police officer accosts an individual and restrains his freedom to walk away, he has "seized" that person within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment. A careful exploration of the outer surfaces of a person's clothing in an attempt to find weapons is a "search" under that Amendment. Where a reasonably prudent officer is warranted in the circumstances of a given case in believing that his safety or that of others is endangered, he may make a reasonable search for weapons of the person believed by him to be armed and dangerous regardless of whether he has probable cause to arrest that individual for crime or the absolute certainty that the individual is armed. Though the police must whenever practicable secure a warrant to make a search and seizure, that procedure cannot be followed where swift action based upon on-the-spot observations of the officer on the beat is required. The reasonableness of any particular search and seizure must be assessed in light of the particular circumstances against the standard of whether a man of reasonable caution is warranted in believing
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 71 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

that the action taken was appropriate. The officer here was performing a legitimate function of investigating suspicious conduct when he decided to approach Terry and his companions. An officer justified in believing that an individual whose suspicious behavior he is investigating at close range is armed may, to neutralize the threat of physical harm, take necessary measures to determine whether that person is carrying a weapon. A search for weapons in the absence of probable cause to arrest must be strictly circumscribed by the exigencies of the situation. An officer may make an intrusion short of arrest where he has reasonable apprehension of danger before being possessed of information justifying arrest. The officer's protective seizure of Terry and his companions and the limited search which he made were reasonable, both at their inception and as conducted. The actions of Terry and his companions were consistent with the officer's hypothesis that they were contemplating a daylight robbery and were armed. The officer's search was confined to what was minimally necessary to determine whether the men were armed, and the intrusion, which was made for the sole purpose of protecting himself and others nearby, was confined to ascertaining the presence of weapons. Herein, Officer McFadden patted down the outer clothing of Terry and his two companions. He did not place his hands in their pockets or under the outer surface of their garments until he had felt weapons, and then he merely reached for and removed the guns. He did not conduct a general exploratory search for whatever evidence of criminal activity he might find. Thus, the revolver seized from Terry was properly admitted in evidence against him. At the time McFadden seized Terry and searched him for weapons, Officer McFadden had reasonable grounds to believe that Terry was armed and dangerous, and it was necessary for the protection of himself and others to take swift measures to discover the true facts and neutralize the threat of harm if it materialized. The policeman carefully restricted his search to what was appropriate to the discovery of the particular items which he sought. Each case of this sort will, of course, have to be decided on its own facts. Where a police officer observes unusual conduct which leads him reasonably to conclude in light of his experience that criminal activity may be afoot and that the persons with whom he is dealing may be armed and presently dangerous, where in the course of investigating this behavior he identifies himself as a policeman and makes reasonable inquiries, and where nothing in the initial stages of the encounter serves to dispel his reasonable fear for his own or others' safety, he is entitled for the protection of himself and others in the area to conduct a carefully limited search of the outer clothing of such persons in an attempt to discover weapons which might be used to assault him. Such a search is a reasonable search under the Fourth Amendment, and any weapons seized may properly be introduced in evidence against the person from whom they were taken. 182 People v. Solayao [GR 119220, 20 September 1996] Second Division, Romero (J): 4 concur Facts: On 9 June 1992, CAFGU members, headed by SPO3 Nino, were conducting an intelligence patrol to verify reports on the presence of armed persons roaming around the barangays of Caibiran. In Baragay Onion, they met the 5-man group of accused Nilo Solayao, who was also wearing a camouflage uniform. His companions, upon seeing the government agents, fled. SPO3 Niño told Salayao not to run away and introduced himself as "PC," after which he seized the dried coconut leaves which the latter was carrying and found wrapped in it a 49-inch long homemade firearm locally known as "latong." When he asked Salayao who issued him a license to carry said firearm or whether he was connected with the military or any intelligence group, the latter answered that he had no permission to possess the same. Thereupon, SPO3 Niño confiscated the firearm and turned him over to the custody of the policemen of Caibiran who subsequently investigated him and charged him with illegal possession of firearm. Salayao did not contest the confiscation of the shotgun but averred that this was only given to him by one of his companions, Hermogenes Cenining, when it was still wrapped in coconut leaves, which they were using the coconut leaves as a torch. Salayao’s claim was corroborated by one Pedro Balano. On 15 August 1994, the RTC of Naval Biliran (Branch 16) found Salayao guilty of illegal possession of firearm under Section 1 of PD 1866 and imposed upon him the penalty of imprisonment ranging from reclusion temporal maximum to reclusion perpetua. The trial court, having found no mitigating but one aggravating circumstance of nighttime, sentenced accused-appellant to suffer the prison term of reclusion perpetua with the accessory penalties provided by law. Salayao appealed to
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 72 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

the Supreme Court. Issue: Whether the search upon Solayao, yielding the firearm wrapped in coconut leaves, is valid. Held: Nilo Solayao and his companions' drunken actuations aroused the suspicion of SPO3 Niño's group, as well as the fact that he himself was attired in a camouflage uniform or a jungle suit and that upon espying the peace officers, his companions fled. It should be noted that the peace officers were precisely on an intelligence mission to verify reports that armed persons were roaming around the barangays of Caibiran. The circumstances are similar to those obtaining in Posadas v. Court of Appeals where this Court held that "at the time the peace officers identified themselves and apprehended the petitioner as he attempted to flee, they did not know that he had committed, or was actually committing the offense of illegal possession of firearm and ammunitions. They just suspected that he was hiding something in the buri bag. They did not know what its contents were. The said circumstances did not justify an arrest without a warrant." As with Posadas, the case herein constitutes an instance where a search and seizure may be effected without first making an arrest. There was justifiable cause to "stop and frisk" Solayao when his companions fled upon seeing the government agents. Under the circumstances, the government agents could not possibly have procured a search warrant first. Thus, there was no violation of the constitutional guarantee against unreasonable searches and seizures. Nor was there error on the part of the trial court when it admitted the homemade firearm as evidence. 183 Manalili v. CA [GR 113447, 9 October 1997] Third Division, Panganiban (J): 4 concur Facts: At about 2:10 p.m. of 11 April 1988, policemen from the Anti-Narcotics Unit of the Kalookan City Police Station were conducting a surveillance along A. Mabini street, Kalookan City, in front of the Kalookan City Cemetery. The policemen were Pat. Romeo Espiritu and Pat. Anger Lumabas and a driver named Arnold Enriquez was driving a Tamaraw vehicle which was the official car of the Police Station of Kalookan City. The surveillance was being made because of information that drug addicts were roaming the area in front of the Kalookan City Cemetery. Upon reaching the Kalookan City Cemetery, the policemen alighted from their vehicle. They then chanced upon a male person in front of the cemetery who appeared high on drugs. The male person was observed to have reddish eyes and to be walking in a swaying manner. When this male person tried to avoid the policemen, the latter approached him and introduced themselves as police officers. The policemen then asked the male person what he was holding in his hands. The male person tried to resist. Pat. Romeo Espiritu asked the male person if he could see what said male person had in his hands. The latter showed the wallet and allowed Pat. Romeo Espiritu to examine the same. Pat. Espiritu took the wallet and examined it. He found suspected crushed marijuana residue inside. He kept the wallet and its marijuana contents. The male person was then brought to the Anti-Narcotics Unit of the Kalookan City Police Headquarters and was turned over to Cpl. Wilfredo Tamondong for investigation. Pat. Espiritu also turned over to Cpl. Tamondong the confiscated wallet and its suspected marijuana contents. The man turned out to be Alain Manalili y Dizon. On 11 April 1988, Manalili was charged by Assistant Caloocan City Fiscal E. Juan R. Bautista with violation of Section 8, Article II of Republic Act 6425. Upon his arraignment on 21 April 1988, Manalili pleaded "not guilty" to the charge. With the agreement of the public prosecutor, Manalili was released after filing a P10,000.00 bail bond. After trial in due course, the Regional Trial Court of Caloocan City, Branch 124, acting as a Special Criminal Court, rendered on 19 May 1989 a decision convicting appellant of illegal possession of marijuana residue. Manalili remained on provisional liberty. Atty. Benjamin Razon, counsel for the defense, filed a Notice of Appeal dated 31 May 1989. On 19 April 1993, the Court of Appeals denied the appeal and affirmed the trial court. The appellate court denied reconsideration via its Resolution dated 20 January 1994. Manalili filed a petition for review on certiorari before the Supreme Court. Issue: Whether a search and seizure could be effected without necessarily being preceded by an arrest. Held: In the landmark case of Terry vs. Ohio, a stop-and-frisk was defined as the vernacular designation of
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 73 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

the right of a police officer to stop a citizen on the street, interrogate him, and pat him for weapon(s). In allowing such a search, the interest of effective crime prevention and detection allows a police officer to approach a person, in appropriate circumstances and manner, for purposes of investigating possible criminal behavior even though there is insufficient probable cause to make an actual arrest. What justified the limited search was the more immediate interest of the police officer in taking steps to assure himself that the person with whom he was dealing was not armed with a weapon that could unexpectedly and fatally be used against him. It did not, however, abandon the rule that the police must, whenever practicable, obtain advance judicial approval of searches and seizures through the warrant procedure, excused only by exigent circumstances. In Philippine jurisprudence, the general rule is that a search and seizure must be validated by a previously secured judicial warrant; otherwise, such search and seizure is unconstitutional and subject to challenge. Section 2, Article III of the 1987 Constitution, gives this guarantee. This right, however, is not absolute. The recent case of People vs. Lacerna enumerated five recognized exceptions to the rule against warrantless search and seizure, viz.: "(1) search incidental to a lawful arrest, (2) search of moving vehicles, (3) seizure in plain view, (4) customs search, and (5) waiver by the accused themselves of their right against unreasonable search and seizure." In People vs. Encinada, the Court further explained that in these cases, the search and seizure may be made only with probable cause as the essential requirement. Stop-and-frisk has already been adopted as another exception to the general rule against a search without a warrant. In Posadas vs. Court of Appeals, the Court held that there were many instances where a search and seizure could be effected without necessarily being preceded by an arrest, one of which was stop-and-frisk. To require the police officers to search the bag only after they had obtained a search warrant might prove to be useless, futile and much too late under the circumstances. In such a situation, it was reasonable for a police officer to stop a suspicious individual briefly in order to determine his identity or to maintain the status quo while obtaining more information, rather than to simply shrug his shoulders and allow a crime to occur. Herein, Patrolman Espiritu and his companions observed during their surveillance that Manalili had red eyes and was wobbling like a drunk along the Caloocan City Cemetery, which according to police information was a popular hangout of drug addicts. From his experience as a member of the Anti-Narcotics Unit of the Caloocan City Police, such suspicious behavior was characteristic of drug addicts who were "high." The policemen therefore had sufficient reason to stop Manalili to investigate if he was actually high on drugs. During such investigation, they found marijuana in his possession. The search was valid, being akin to a stop-and-frisk. 184 Malacat vs. Court of Appeals [GR 123595, 12 December 1997] En Banc, Davide Jr. (J): 11 concur Facts: On 27 August 1990, at about 6:30 p.m., allegedly in response to bomb threats reported seven days earlier, Rodolfo Yu of the Western Police District, Metropolitan Police Force of the Integrated National Police, Police Station No. 3, Quiapo, Manila, was on foot patrol with three other police officers (all of them in uniform) along Quezon Boulevard, Quiapo, Manila, near the Mercury Drug store at Plaza Miranda. They chanced upon two groups of Muslim-looking men, with each group, comprised of three to four men, posted at opposite sides of the corner of Quezon Boulevard near the Mercury Drug Store. These men were acting suspiciously with "their eyes moving very fast." Yu and his companions positioned themselves at strategic points and observed both groups for about 30 minutes. The police officers then approached one group of men, who then fled in different directions. As the policemen gave chase, Yu caught up with and apprehended Sammy Malacat y Mandar (who Yu recognized, inasmuch as allegedly the previous Saturday, 25 August 1990, likewise at Plaza Miranda, Yu saw Malacat and 2 others attempt to detonate a grenade). Upon searching Malacat, Yu found a fragmentation grenade tucked inside the latter's "front waist line." Yu's companion, police officer Rogelio Malibiran, apprehended Abdul Casan from whom a .38 caliber revolver was recovered. Malacat and Casan were then brought to Police Station 3 where Yu placed an "X" mark at the bottom of the grenade and thereafter gave it to his commander. Yu did not issue any receipt for the grenade he allegedly recovered from Malacat. On 30 August 1990, Malacat was charged with violating Section 3 of Presidential Decree 1866. At arraignment on 9 October 1990, petitioner, assisted by counsel de officio, entered a plea of not guilty. Malacat denied the charges and explained that he only recently arrived in Manila. However, several
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 74 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

other police officers mauled him, hitting him with benches and guns. Petitioner was once again searched, but nothing was found on him. He saw the grenade only in court when it was presented. In its decision dated 10 February 1994 but promulgated on 15 February 1994, the trial court ruled that the warrantless search and seizure of Malacat was akin to a "stop and frisk," where a "warrant and seizure can be effected without necessarily being preceded by an arrest" and "whose object is either to maintain the status quo momentarily while the police officer seeks to obtain more information"; and that the seizure of the grenade from Malacat was incidental to a lawful arrest. The trial court thus found Malacat guilty of the crime of illegal possession of explosives under Section 3 of PD 1866, and sentenced him to suffer the penalty of not less than 17 years, 4 months and 1 day of Reclusion Temporal, as minimum, and not more than 30 years of Reclusion Perpetua, as maximum. On 18 February 1994, Malacat filed a notice of appeal indicating that he was appealing to the Supreme Court. However, the record of the case was forwarded to the Court of Appeals (CA-GR CR 15988). In its decision of 24 January 1996, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court. Manalili filed a petition for review with the Supreme Court. Issue: Whether the search made on Malacat is valid, pursuant to the exception of “stop and frisk.” Held: The general rule as regards arrests, searches and seizures is that a warrant is needed in order to validly effect the same. The Constitutional prohibition against unreasonable arrests, searches and seizures refers to those effected without a validly issued warrant, subject to certain exceptions. As regards valid warrantless arrests, these are found in Section 5, Rule 113 of the Rules of Court. A warrantless arrest under the circumstances contemplated under Section 5(a) has been denominated as one "in flagrante delicto," while that under Section 5(b) has been described as a "hot pursuit" arrest. Turning to valid warrantless searches, they are limited to the following: (1) customs searches; (2) search of moving vehicles; (3) seizure of evidence in plain view; (4) consent searches; (5) a search incidental to a lawful arrest; and (6) a "stop and frisk." The concepts of a "stop-and-frisk" and of a search incidental to a lawful arrest must not be confused. These two types of warrantless searches differ in terms of the requisite quantum of proof before they may be validly effected and in their allowable scope. In a search incidental to a lawful arrest, as the precedent arrest determines the validity of the incidental search. Here, there could have been no valid in flagrante delicto or hot pursuit arrest preceding the search in light of the lack of personal knowledge on the part of Yu, the arresting officer, or an overt physical act, on the part of Malacat, indicating that a crime had just been committed, was being committed or was going to be committed. Plainly, the search conducted on Malacat could not have been one incidental to a lawful arrest. On the other hand, while probable cause is not required to conduct a "stop and frisk," it nevertheless holds that mere suspicion or a hunch will not validate a "stop and frisk." A genuine reason must exist, in light of the police officer's experience and surrounding conditions, to warrant the belief that the person detained has weapons concealed about him. Finally, a "stop-and-frisk" serves a two-fold interest: (1) the general interest of effective crime prevention and detection, which underlies the recognition that a police officer may, under appropriate circumstances and in an appropriate manner, approach a person for purposes of investigating possible criminal behavior even without probable cause; and (2) the more pressing interest of safety and self-preservation which permit the police officer to take steps to assure himself that the person with whom he deals is not armed with a deadly weapon that could unexpectedly and fatally be used against the police officer. Here, there are at least three (3) reasons why the "stop-and-frisk" was invalid: First, there is grave doubts as to Yu's claim that Malacat was a member of the group which attempted to bomb Plaza Miranda 2 days earlier. This claim is neither supported by any police report or record nor corroborated by any other police officer who allegedly chased that group. Second, there was nothing in Malacat's behavior or conduct which could have reasonably elicited even mere suspicion other than that his eyes were "moving very fast" — an observation which leaves us incredulous since Yu and his teammates were nowhere near Malacat and it was already 6:30 p.m., thus presumably dusk. Malacat and his companions were merely standing at the corner and were not creating any commotion or trouble. Third, there was at all no ground, probable or otherwise, to believe that Malacat was armed with a deadly weapon. None was visible to Yu, for as he admitted, the alleged grenade was "discovered" "inside the front waistline" of Malacat, and from all indications as to the distance between Yu and Malacat, any telltale bulge, assuming that Malacat was indeed
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 75 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

hiding a grenade, could not have been visible to Yu. What is unequivocal then are blatant violations of Malacat's rights solemnly guaranteed in Sections 2 and 12(1) of Article III of the Constitution. 185 Florida vs. J.L. [000 US 98-1993, 28 March 2000] Ginsburg (J) Facts: On 13 October 1995, an anonymous caller reported to the Miami-Dade Police that a young black male standing at a particular bus stop and wearing a plaid shirt was carrying a gun. There is no audio recording of the tip, and nothing is known about the informant. Sometime after the police received the tip, two officers were instructed to respond. They arrived at the bus stop about 6 minutes later and saw 3 black males "just hanging out [there]." One of the three, J. L., was wearing a plaid shirt. Apart from the tip, the officers had no reason to suspect any of the three of illegal conduct. The officers did not see a firearm, and J. L. made no threatening or otherwise unusual movements. One of the officers approached J. L., told him to put his hands up on the bus stop, frisked him, and seized a gun from J. L.'s pocket. The second officer frisked the other two individuals, against whom no allegations had been made, and found nothing. J. L., who was at the time of the frisk "10 days shy of his 16th birth[day]," was charged under state law with carrying a concealed firearm without a license and possessing a firearm while under the age of 18. He moved to suppress the gun as the fruit of an unlawful search, and the trial court granted his motion. The intermediate appellate court reversed, but the Supreme Court of Florida quashed that decision and held the search invalid under the Fourth Amendment. Issue: Whether the anonymous tip is sufficient basis to conduct “stop adn frisk” upon the person of J.L. Held: In Terry v. Ohio (392 US 1 [1968]), it was held that "where a police officer observes unusual conduct which leads him reasonably to conclude in light of his experience that criminal activity may be afoot and that the persons with whom he is dealing may be armed and presently dangerous, where in the course of investigating this behavior he identifies himself as a policeman and makes reasonable inquiries, and where nothing in the initial stages of the encounter serves to dispel his reasonable fear for his own or others' safety, he is entitled for the protection of himself and others in the area to conduct a carefully limited search of the outer clothing of such persons in an attempt to discover weapons which might be used to assault him." Herein, the officers' suspicion that J. L. was carrying a weapon arose not from any observations of their own but solely from a call made from an unknown location by an unknown caller. Unlike a tip from a known informant whose reputation can be assessed and who can be held responsible if her allegations turn out to be fabricated, "an anonymous tip alone seldom demonstrates the informant's basis of knowledge or veracity." The tip herein lacked the moderate indicia of reliability. The anonymous call concerning J. L. provided no predictive information and therefore left the police without means to test the informant's knowledge or credibility. That the allegation about the gun turned out to be correct does not suggest that the officers, prior to the frisks, had a reasonable basis for suspecting J. L. of engaging in unlawful conduct: The reasonableness of official suspicion must be measured by what the officers knew before they conducted their search. All the police had to go on in this case was the bare report of an unknown, unaccountable informant who neither explained how he knew about the gun nor supplied any basis for believing he had inside information about J. L. The requirement that an anonymous tip bear standard indicia of reliability in order to justify a stop in no way diminishes a police officer's prerogative, in accord with Terry, to conduct a protective search of a person who has already been legitimately stopped. On the other hand, an anonymous tip lacking indicia of reliability of the kind contemplated in Adams (Adams v. Williams, 407 US 143 [1972]) and White (Alabama v. White, 496 US 325) does not justify a stop and frisk whenever and however it alleges the illegal possession of a firearm. 186 People vs. Balingan [GR 105834, 13 February 1995] Second Division, Puno (J): 4 concur

Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 76 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

Facts: On 31 August 1988, the Narcotics Intelligence Division of the Baguio City Police Station received a telephone call from an unnamed male informant. He passed the information that Jean Balingan y Bobbonan was going to Manila with a bag filled with marijuana. Acting on the information, then P/Lt. Manuel Obrera formed a surveillance team to monitor Balingan's movements. The team as deployed at different places in Baguio City, including Balingan's house on Brookside and bus stations. Cpl. Garcia soon reported seeing Balingan move out from her residence at Brookside and board a taxicab which proceeded to the direction of Bonifacio Street. Balingan was wearing a pink dress and carrying a gray luggage with orange or yellow belts. She also reported the make and plate number of the taxicab which Balingan boarded. Upon receiving the report, Lt. Obrera ordered Cpl. Garcia to proceed to the Philippine Rabbit Terminal in case Balingan would go there. Pat. Kimay, who must have intercepted Cpl. Garcia's message, also reported that the taxicab described by the latter passed along Bonifacio Rotunda. Lt. Obrera instructed him to move out and proceed to the Police Checkpoint at Kennon Road going to the Philippine Military Academy. From his post at the Dangwa Bus Station, Pat. Bueno informed Lt. Obrera that Balingan boarded a Dangwa Bus with plate number NTU-153 bound for Manila. Lt. Obrera promptly proceeded to the bus station to verify the report. There, he went up the bus described by Pat. Bueno, and he saw Balingan on the third or fourth seat behind the driver's seat. In the luggage carrier above her head was the gray luggage earlier described by Cpl. Garcia. He then left and positioned himself with Ong at the Lakandula burned area to wait for the bus to depart. At about 11:00 a.m., the bus moved out (on its way) to Manila via Kennon Road. Lt. Obrera instructed Pat. Kimay, who was at the Kennon Road Checkpoint, to stop the bus when it reaches the place. Meanwhile, Lt. Obrera and Lt. Ong tailed the bus at about 15 to 20 meters behind. As instructed, Pat. Kimay stopped the bus at the Kennon Road Checkpoint. That was already at 11:30 a.m. Lt. Obrera and Pat. Ong arrived at the Checkpoint less than a minute after the bus did and immediately boarded it. Lt. Obrera announced a routinary check-up. Pat. Ong identified himself as a policeman to Balingan and asked her permission to check her luggage, she did not respond and just looked outside the window. He opened the luggage in the luggage carrier overhead and above Balingan and found suspected marijuana in it. He pulled out the luggage and turned it over to Lt. Obrera. Thereupon, Lt. Obrera tried to arrest Balingan but the latter resisted and tried to bite his hand and furthermore held tightly onto the window pane. Lt. Obrera asked Pat. Ong to fetch Cpl. Garcia from the Philippine Rabbit Terminal in the City proper, so that she would be the one to bring out Balingan from the bus. In the meantime, he remained inside the bus holding the confiscated luggage while the other passengers alighted from the bus. After some 30 minutes, Garcia arrived and pulled Balingan out of the bus and brought her to the Baguio City Police Station and there locked her up in jail. On 24 October 1988, Balingan was charged with Violation of Sec. 4, Art. II of Republic Act 6425, otherwise known as "The Dangerous Drugs Act. On 4 April 1989, Balingan was arraigned and pleaded not guilty. After trial, Balingan was convicted by the Regional Trial Court of Baguio City, Branch 4, and was sentenced to suffer the penalty of life imprisonment; to pay a fine of P20,000.00 without subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency; and to pay the costs. Balingan appealed. Issue: Whether the search conducted in the Dangwa bus, subsequent to police surveillance pursuant to an informant’s tip, is valid. Held: The search and seizure herein happened in a moving, public vehicle. The rules governing search and seizure have over the years been steadily liberalized whenever a moving vehicle is the object of the search on the basis of practicality. This is so considering that before a warrant could be obtained, the place, things and persons to be searched must be described to the satisfaction of the issuing judge — a requirement which borders on the impossible in the case of smuggling effected by the use of a moving vehicle that can transport contraband from one place to another with impunity. A warrantless search of a moving vehicle is justified on the ground that "it is not practicable to secure a warrant because the vehicle can be quickly moved out of the locality or jurisdiction in which the warrant must be sought." Unquestionably, the warrantless search herein is not bereft of a probable cause. The Baguio INP Narcotics Intelligence Division received an information that Balingan was going to transport marijuana in a bag to Manila. Their surveillance operations revealed that Balingan, whose movements had been previously monitored by the Narcotics Division, boarded a Dangwa
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 77 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

bus bound for Manila carrying a suspicious-looking gray luggage bag. When the moving, public bus was stopped, her bag, upon inspection, yielded marijuana. Under those circumstances, the warrantless search of Balingan's bag was not illegal. 187 Asuncion vs. Court of Appeals [GR 125959, 1 February 1999] Resolution of First Division, Martinez (J): 4 concur Facts: On 6 December 1993, in compliance with the order of the Malabon Municipal Mayor to intensify campaign against illegal drugs particularly at Barangay Tañong, the Chief of the Malabon Police AntiNarcotics Unit ordered his men to conduct patrol on the area with specific instruction to look for a certain vehicle with a certain plate number and watch out for a certain drug pusher named Vic Vargas. Pursuant thereto, SPO1 Advincula, PO3 Parcon, PO3 Pilapil and a police aide were dispatched at around 11:45 p.m.. The team proceeded to Barangay Tañong where they were joined by their confidential informant and the latter informed them that a gray Nissan car is always parked therein for the purpose of selling shabu. While patrolling along Leoño Street, the confidential informant pointed the gray Nissan car to the policemen and told them that the occupant thereof has shabu in his possession. The policemen immediately flagged down the said car along First Street and approached the driver, who turned out to be Jose Maria Asuncion y Marfori, a movie actor using the screen name Vic Vargas and who is also known as Binggoy. Advincula then asked Asuncion if they can inspect the vehicle. As Asuncion acceded thereto, Advincula conducted a search on the vehicle and he found a plastic packet containing white substance suspected to be methamphetamine hydrochloride beneath the driver's seat. Asuncion told the policemen that he just borrowed the said car and he is not the owner thereof. Asuncion was thereafter taken at the police headquarters for the purpose of taking his identification. However, when he was frisked by Advincula at the headquarters, the latter groped something protruding from his underwear, which when voluntarily taken out by the accused turned out to be a plastic packet containing white substance suspected to be methamphetamine hydrochloride. A press conference was conducted the following day presided by Northern Police District Director Pureza during which Asuncion admitted that the methamphetamine hydrochloride were for his personal use in his shooting. On the other hand, Asuncion denied the charges against him. He claimed that on that day, "between 8:00 and 9:00 p.m., he was abducted at gun point in front of the house where his son lives by men who turned out to be members of the Malabon Police Anti-Narcotics Unit; that he was told to board at the back seat by the policemen who took over the wheels; that he acceded to be brought at the Pagamutang Bayan ng Malabon for drug test but only his blood pressure was checked in the said hospital; that he was thereafter brought at the Office of the Malabon Police Anti-Narcotics Unit; and that he is not aware of what happened at 11:45 p.m. as he was then sleeping at the said office." On 14 June 1994, a decision was rendered by the trial court finding Asuncion guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the offense charged, adn sentenced him to suffer an indeterminate penalty of 1 year 8 months and 20 days as minimum, to 3 years 6 months and 20 days, as maximum, and to pay a fine of P3,000.00. On 29 June 1994, a Notice of Appeal was filed and the records of the case were transmitted by the trial court to the Court of Appeals. On 30 April 1996 a decision was rendered by the appellate court, modifying the penalty imposed (reducing the sentence to 6 months of arresto mayor in its maximum period as minimum to 4 years and 2 months of prision correccional in its medium period as maximum and deleting the fine of P3,000.00 imposed on Asuncion). On 6 August 1996, the Court of Appeals denied the motion for reconsideration filed by Asuncion. Asuncion filed a petition for review on certiorari Supreme Court. Issue: Whether the search upon Asuncion’s vehicle is valid. Held: Well-entrenched in this country is the rule that no arrest, search and seizure can be made without a valid warrant issued by competent judicial authority. So sacred is this right that no less than the fundamental law of the land ordains it. However, the rule that search and seizure must be supported by a valid warrant is not absolute. The search of a moving vehicle is one of the doctrinally accepted exceptions to the Constitutional mandate that no search or seizure shall be made except by virtue of a warrant issued by a judge after personally determining the existence of probable cause. The prevalent circumstances of the case
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 78 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

undoubtedly bear out the fact that the search in question was made as regards a moving vehicle — Asuncion's vehicle was "flagged down" by the apprehending officers upon identification. Therefore, the police authorities were justified in searching Asuncion's automobile without a warrant since the situation demanded immediate action. The apprehending officers even sought the permission of petitioner to search the car, to which the latter agreed. As such, since the shabu was discovered by virtue of a valid warrantless search and Asuncion himself freely gave his consent to said search, the prohibited drugs found as a result were admissible in evidence. 188 Papa vs. Mago [GR L-27360, 28 February 1968] En Banc, Zaldivar (J): 9 concur Facts: Martin Alagao, head of the counter-intelligence unit of the Manila Police Department, acting upon a reliable information received on 3 November 1966 to the effect that a certain shipment of personal effects, allegedly misdeclared and undervalued, would be released the following day from the customs zone of the port of Manila and loaded on two trucks, and upon orders of Ricardo Papa, Chief of Police of Manila and a duly deputized agent of the Bureau of Customs, conducted surveillance at gate 1 of the customs zone. When the trucks left gate 1 at about 4:30 p.m. of 4 November 1966, elements of the counter-intelligence unit went after the trucks and intercepted them at the Agrifina Circle, Ermita, Manila. The load of the two trucks, consisting of nine bales of goods, and the two trucks, were seized on instructions of the Chief of Police. Upon investigation, a person claimed ownership of the goods and showed to the policemen a "Statement and Receipts of Duties Collected on Informal Entry No. 147-5501", issued by the Bureau of Customs in the name of a certain Bienvenido Naguit. Claiming to have been prejudiced by the seizure and detention of the two trucks and their cargo, Remedios Mago and Valentin B. Lanopa filed with the Court of First Instance (CFI) of Manila a petition "for mandamus with restraining order or preliminary injunction (Civil Case 67496), praying for the issuance of a restraining order, ex parte, enjoining the police and customs authorities, or their agents, from opening the bales and examining the goods, and a writ of mandamus for the return of the goods and the trucks, as well as a judgment for actual, moral and exemplary damages in their favor. On 10 November 1966, Judge Hilarion Jarencio issued an order ex parte restraining Ricardo Papa (as Chief of Police of Manila) and Juan Ponce Enrile (as Commissioner of Customs) in Civil Case 67496. However, when the restraining order was received by Papa. et. al., some bales had already been opened by the examiners of the Bureau of Customs in the presence of officials of the Manila Police Department, an assistant city fiscal and a representative of Remedios Mago. Under date of 15 November 1966, Mago filed an amended petition, including as party defendants Collector of Customs Pedro Pacis of the Port of Manila and Lt. Martin Alagao of the Manila Police Department. At the hearing on 9 December 1966, the lower court, with the conformity of the parties, ordered that an inventory of the goods be made by its clerk of court in the presence of the representatives of the claimant of the goods, the Bureau of Customs, and the Anti- Smuggling Center of the Manila Police Department. On 23 December 1966, Mago filed an ex parte motion to release the goods, alleging that since the inventory of the goods seized did not show any article of prohibited importation, the same should be released as per agreement of the parties upon her posting of the appropriate bond that may be determined by the court. On 7 March 1967, the Judge issued an order releasing the goods to Mago upon her filing of a bond in the amount of P40,000.00. On 13 March 1967, Papa, on his own behalf, filed a motion for reconsideration of the order of the court releasing the goods under bond, upon the ground that the Manila Police Department had been directed by the Collector of Customs of the Port of Manila to hold the goods pending termination of the seizure proceedings. Without waiting for the court's action on the motion for reconsideration, and alleging that they had no plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law, Papa, et. al. filed the action for prohibition and certiorari with preliminary injunction before the Supreme Court. Held: The Chief of the Manila Police Department, Ricardo G. Papa, having been deputized in writing by the Commissioner of Customs, could, for the purposes of the enforcement of the customs and tariff laws, effect searches, seizures, and arrests, and it was his duty to make seizure, among others, of any cargo, articles or other movable property when the same may be subject to forfeiture or liable for any fine imposed under
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 79 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

customs and tariff laws. He could lawfully open and examine any box, trunk, envelope or other container wherever found when he had reasonable cause to suspect the presence therein of dutiable articles introduced into the Philippines contrary to law; and likewise to stop, search and examine any vehicle, beast or person reasonably suspected of holding or conveying such article as aforesaid. It cannot be doubted, therefore, that Papa, Chief of Police of Manila, could lawfully effect the search and seizure of the goods in question. The Tariff and Customs Code authorizes him to demand assistance of any police officer to effect said search and seizure, and the latter has the legal duty to render said assistance. This was what happened precisely in the case of Lt. Martin Alagao who, with his unit, made the search and seizure of the two trucks loaded with the nine bales of goods in question at the Agrifina Circle. He was given authority by the Chief of Police to make the interception of the cargo. Martin Alagao and his companion policemen had authority to effect the seizure without any search warrant issued by a competent court. The Tariff and Customs Code does not require said warrant herein. The Code authorizes persons having police authority under Section 2203 of the Tariff and Customs Code to enter, pass through or search any land, inclosure, warehouse, store or building, not being a dwelling house; and also to inspect, search and examine any vessel or aircraft and any trunk, package, box or envelope or any person on board, or stop and search and examine any vehicle, beast or person suspected of holding or conveying any dutiable or prohibited article introduced into the Philippines contrary to law, without mentioning the need of a search warrant in said cases. But in the search of a dwelling house, the Code provides that said "dwelling house may be entered and searched only upon warrant issued by a judge or justice of the peace." Except in the case of the search of a dwelling house, persons exercising police authority under the customs law may effect search and seizure without a search warrant in the enforcement of customs laws. Herein, Martin Alagao and his companion policemen did not have to make any search before they seized the two trucks and their cargo. But even if there was a search, there is still authority to the effect that no search warrant would be needed under the circumstances obtaining herein. The guaranty of freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures is construed as recognizing a necessary difference between a search of a dwelling house or other structure in respect of which a search warrant may readily be obtained and a search of a ship, motorboat, wagon, or automobile for contraband goods, where it is not practicable to secure a warrant, because the vehicle can be quickly moved out of the locality or jurisdiction in which the warrant must be sought. Having declared that the seizure by the members of the Manila Police Department of the goods in question was in accordance with law and by that seizure the Bureau of Customs had acquired jurisdiction over the goods for the purposes of the enforcement of the customs and tariff laws, to the exclusion of the Court of First Instance of Manila. 189 People vs. CFI Rizal, Branch IX, Quezon City [GR L-41686, 17 November 1980] First Division, Guerrero (J): 4 concur Facts: One week before 9 February 1974, the Regional Anti-Smuggling Action Center (RASAC) was informed by an undisclosed Informer that a shipment of highly dutiable goods would be transported to Manila from Angeles City on a blue Dodge car. Spurred by such lead, RASAC Agents Arthur Manuel and Macario Sabado, on said date and upon order of the Chief of Intelligence and Operations Branch, RASAC-MBA, Col. Antonio Abad, Jr., stationed themselves in the vicinity of the toll gate of the North Diversion Road at Balintawak, Quezon City. At about 6:45 a.m. of the same day, a light blue Dodge car with Plate 21-87-73, driven by Sgt. Jessie Hope who was accompanied by Monina Medina approached the exit gate and after giving the toll receipt sped away towards Manila. The RASAC agents gave a chase and overtook Sgt. Hope's car. Agent Sabado blew his whistle and signaled Sgt. Hope to stop but the latter instead of heeding, made a Uturn back to the North Diversion Road, but he could not go through because of the buses in front of his car. At this point, the agents succeeded in blocking Sgt. Hope's car and the latter stopped. Manuel and Sabado who were in civilian clothes showed their identification cards to Hope and Medina and introduced themselves as RASAC agents. The Agents saw 4 boxes on the back seat of the Dodge and upon inquiry as to what those boxes were, Sgt. Hope answered "I do not know." Further, Hope and Medina were asked where they were bringing the boxes, to which Medina replied that they were bringing them (boxes) to the Tropical Hut at Epifanio de los Santos. Agent Sabado boarded the Dodge car with Hope and Medina while Agent Manuel
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 80 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

took their own car and both cars drove towards Tropical Hut making a brief stop at the Bonanza where Agent Manuel called up Col. Abad by telephone. Arriving at the Tropical Hut, the party, together with Col. Abad who had joined them waited for the man who according to Monina Medina was supposed to receive the boxes. As the man did not appear, Col. Abad "called off the mission" and brought respondents and their car to Camp Aguinaldo arriving there at about 9:00 a.m. An inspection of Sgt. Hope's car at Camp Aguinaldo yielded 11 sealed boxes, 4 on the rear seat and 7 more in the baggage compartment which was opened on orders of Col. Abad. On the same order of the intelligence officer, the boxes were opened before the presence of Hope and Medina, representatives of the Bureau of Internal Revenue, Bureau of Customs, P.C., COSAC and photographers of the Department of National Defense. The contents of the bozes revealed some "4,441 more or less wrist watches of assorted brands; 1,075 more or less watch bracelets of assorted brands," supposedly untaxed. As consequence, thereof, ASAC Chairman General Pelagio Cruz requested the Bureau of Customs to issue a Warrant of Seizure and Detention against the articles including the Dodge car. The Collector of Customs did issue the same on 12 February 1974. It was admitted, however, that when the apprehending agents arrested respondents and brought them together with the seized articles to the ASAC Office in Camp Aguinaldo, the former were not armed with a warrant of arrest and seizure. In conjunction with the Warrant of Seizure and Detention issued by the Collector of Customs, seizure proceedings were instituted and docketed as Seizure Identification 14281 against the wrist watches and watch bracelets pursuant to Section 2530 (m) — 1 of the Tariff and Customs Code, and Seizure Identification No. 14281-A against the Dodge car pursuant to Section 2530(k) of the same Code. On the other hand, Hope and Medina disclaimed ownership of the seized articles. Ownership was instead claimed by one Antonio del Rosario who intervened in the proceedings. Hope claimed that at the time of apprehension, he had no knowledge of the contents of the boxes, and granting that he had such knowledge, he never knew that these are untaxed commodities; that he consented to transport said boxes from Angeles City to Manila in his car upon request of his girl friend Monina as a personal favor; that he was not present when the boxes were loaded in his car nor was he ever told of their contents on the way. On the part of Monina Medina, she testified that what she did was only in compliance with the agreement with Mr. Del Rosario to transport the boxes and deliver them to a certain Mr. Peter at the Tropical Hut who will in turn give her the contracted price; that Mr. Del Rosario did not reveal the contents of the boxes which she came to know of only when the boxes were opened at Camp Aguinaldo. As there was not enough evidence to controvert the testimonies of respondents and the narration of claimant Antonio del Rosario, the Collector of Customs issued his decision in the seizure cases on 1 April 1975 declaring that the seized articles including the car are not subject of forfeiture. Meanwhile, on 14 March 1974, after the requisite preliminary investigation, the City Fiscal of Quezon City, finding the existence of a prima facie case against Hope and Medina, filed Criminal Case Q-3781 in the Court of First Instance of Rizal (Quezon City). Upon arraignment on 23 April 1974, respondents pleaded not guilty. Trial commenced on 28 January 1975 and while the prosecution through its first witness, Agent Macario Sabado, was adducing as evidence the pictures of the 11 boxes containing the assorted watches and watch bracelets, the defense counsel objected to the presentation of the pictures and the subject articles on the ground that they were seized without the benefit of warrant, and therefore inadmissible in evidence under Section 4(2), Article IV of the New Constitution. After the parties have argued their grounds in their respective memoranda, the trial court issued the order of 20 August 1975 declaring that the alleged smuggled articles and the pictures taken of said items as inadmissible in evidence. The prosecution's motion for reconsideration was denied on 30 September 1975. The prosecution filed a petition for certiorari which was treated as a special civil action in the Supreme Court's Resolution of 5 May 1976. Issue: Whether the search and seizure made on the boxes in the blue Dodge car was valid, even after the Collector of Customs declared the seized articles not subject to forfeiture. Held: It is not accurate to say that the Collector of Customs made no findings that the articles were smuggled. In fact, what the Collector stated was that the prosecution failed to present the quantum of evidence sufficient to warrant the forfeiture of the subject articles. In a general sense, this does not necessarily exclude the possibility of smuggling. The decision of the Collector of Customs, as in other seizure proceedings, concerns
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 81 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

the res rather than the persona. The proceeding is a probe on contraband or illegally imported goods. The importer or possessor is treated differently. The fact that the administrative penalty befalls on him is an inconsequential incidence to criminal liability. By the same token, the probable guilt cannot be negated simply because he was not held administratively liable. The Collector's final declaration that the articles are not subject to forfeiture does not detract his findings that untaxed goods were transported in Hope and Medina's car and seized from their possession by agents of the law. Whether criminal liability lurks on the strength of the provision of the Tariff and Customs Code adduced in the information can only be determined in a separate criminal action. Hope and Medina's exoneration in the administrative cases cannot deprive the State of its right to prosecute. But under our penal laws, criminal responsibility, if any, must be proven not by preponderance of evidence but by proof beyond reasonable doubt. As enunciated in the leading case of Papa vs. Mago, in the exercise of the specific functions, the Code does not mention the need of a search warrant unlike Section 2209 which explicitly provides that a "dwelling house may be entered and searched only upon warrant issued by a judge (or justice of the peace), upon sworn application showing probable cause and particularly describing the place to be searched and person or thing to be seized." Aware of this delineation, the Court in that case expressed the considered view that "except in the case of the search of a dwelling house, persons exercising police authority under the customs law may effect search and seizure without a search warrant in the enforcement of customs laws." The rationale of the Mago ruling was nurtured by the traditional doctrine in Carroll v. United States 6 wherein an imprimatur against, constitutional infirmity was stamped in favor of a warrantless search and seizure of such nature as herein. On this stable foundation, the warrantless seizure did not violate Article IV, Section 3 of the 1973 Constitution, which finds origin in the Fourth Amendment of the American Constitution. 190 Whren v. United States [ 517 US 806 (No. 95-5841), 10 June 1996] Scalia (J) Facts: On the evening of 10 June 1993, plainclothes vice-squad officers of the District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department were patrolling a "high drug area" of the city in an unmarked car. Their suspicions were aroused when they passed a dark Pathfinder truck with temporary license plates and youthful occupants waiting at a stop sign, the driver looking down into the lap of the passenger at his right. The truck remained stopped at the intersection for what seemed an unusually long time--more than 20 seconds. When the police car executed a U-turn in order to head back toward the truck, the Pathfinder turned suddenly to its right, without signalling, and sped off at an "unreasonable" speed. The policemen followed, and in a short while overtook the Pathfinder when it stopped behind other traffic at a red light. They pulled up alongside, and Officer Ephraim Soto stepped out and approached the driver's door, identifying himself as a police officer and directing the driver, James L. Brown, to put the vehicle in park. When Soto drew up to the driver's window, he immediately observed two large plastic bags of what appeared to be crack cocaine in Michael A. Whren's hands. Whren and Brown were arrested, and quantities of several types of illegal drugs were retrieved from the vehicle. They were charged in a four-count indictment with violating various federal drug laws, including 21 U. S. C. Section(s) 844(a) and 860(a). At a pretrial suppression hearing, they challenged the legality of the stop and the resulting seizure of the drugs. They argued that the stop had not been justified by probable cause to believe, or even reasonable suspicion, that they were engaged in illegal drug-dealing activity; and that Officer Soto's asserted ground for approaching the vehicle--to give the driver a warning concerning traffic violations--was pretextual. The District Court denied the suppression motion, concluding that "the facts of the stop were not controverted," and "[t]here was nothing to really demonstrate that the actions of the officers were contrary to a normal traffic stop." Whren and Brown were convicted of the counts at issue here. The Court of Appeals affirmed the convictions, holding with respect to the suppression issue that, "regardless of whether a police officer subjectively believes that the occupants of an automobile may be engaging in some other illegal behavior, a traffic stop is permissible as long as a reasonable officer in the same circumstances could have stopped the car for the suspected traffic violation." Issue: Whether the seizure involving possession of drugs valid, when the vehicle was stopped due to a
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 82 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

violation of the traffic code. Held: The Fourth Amendment guarantees "[t]he right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures." Temporary detention of individuals during the stop of an automobile by the police, even if only for a brief period and for a limited purpose, constitutes a "seizure" of "persons" within the meaning of this provision. An automobile stop is thus subject to the constitutional imperative that it not be "unreasonable" under the circumstances. As a general matter, the decision to stop an automobile is reasonable where the police have probable cause to believe that a traffic violation has occurred. It is of course true that in principle every Fourth Amendment case, since it turns upon a "reasonableness" determination, involves a balancing of all relevant factors. With rare exceptions not applicable here, however, the result of that balancing is not in doubt where the search or seizure is based upon probable cause. analysis involved searches or seizures conducted in an extraordinary manner, unusually harmful to an individual's privacy or even physical interests--such as, for example, seizure by means of deadly force, unannounced entry into a home, entry into a home without a warrant, or physical penetration of the body. The making of a traffic stop out-of-uniform does not remotely qualify as such an extreme practice, and so is governed by the usual rule that probable cause to believe the law has been broken "outbalances" private interest in avoiding police contact. Herein, the officers had probable cause to believe that Whren and Brown had violated the traffic code. That rendered the stop reasonable under the Fourth Amendment, the evidence thereby discovered admissible. 191 Arkansas vs. Sullivan [000 US 00-262, 29 May 2001] Per Curiam. Facts: In November 1998, Officer Joe Taylor of the Conway, Arkansas, Police Department stopped Kenneth Andrew Sullivan for speeding and for having an improperly tinted windshield. Taylor approached Sullivan’s vehicle, explained the reason for the stop, and requested Sullivan’s license, registration, and insurance documentation. Upon seeing Sullivan’s license, Taylor realized that he was aware of “intelligence on Sullivan regarding narcotics.” When Sullivan opened his car door in an unsuccessful attempt to locate his registration and insurance papers, Taylor noticed a rusted roofing hatchet on the car’s floorboard. Taylor then arrested Sullivan for speeding, driving without his registration and insurance documentation, carrying a weapon (the roofing hatchet), and improper window tinting. After another officer arrived and placed Sullivan in his squad car, Officer Taylor conducted an inventory search of Sullivan’s vehicle pursuant to the Conway Police Department’s Vehicle Inventory Policy. Under the vehicle’s armrest, Taylor discovered a bag containing a substance that appeared to him to be methamphetamine as well as numerous items of suspected drug paraphernalia. As a result of the detention and search, Sullivan was charged with various state-law drug offenses, unlawful possession of a weapon, and speeding. Sullivan moved to suppress the evidence seized from his vehicle on the basis that his arrest was merely a “pretext and sham to search” him and, therefore, violated the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. The trial court granted the suppression motion and, on the State’s interlocutory appeal, the Arkansas Supreme Court affirmed. The State petitioned for rehearing, contending that the court had erred by taking into account Officer Taylor’s subjective motivation, in disregard of the US Supreme Court’s opinion in Whren v. United States (517 US 806 [1996]). Over the dissent of three justices, the court rejected the State’s argument that Whren makes “the ulterior motives of police officers irrelevant so long as there is probable cause for the traffic stop” and denied the State’s rehearing petition. The Arkansas Supreme Court declined to follow Whren on the ground that “much of it is dicta.” The court reiterated the trial judge’s conclusion that “the arrest was pretextual and made for the purpose of searching Sullivan’s vehicle for evidence of a crime,” and observed that “we do not believe that Whren disallows” suppression on such a basis. Finally, the court asserted that, even if it were to conclude that Whren precludes inquiry into an arresting officer’s subjective motivation, “there is nothing that prevents this court from interpreting the U. S. Constitution more broadly than the United States Supreme Court, which has the effect of providing more rights.” Hence, the State’s petition for a writ of certiorari and reverse.

Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 83 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

Issue: Whether subjective intentions play a role in ordinary, probable-cause Fourth Amendment analysis. Held: The Arkansas Supreme Court never questioned Officer Taylor's authority to arrest Sullivan for a fineonly traffic violation (speeding). Rather, the court affirmed the trial judge's suppression of the drug-related evidence on the theory that Officer Taylor's arrest of Sullivan, although supported by probable cause, nonetheless violated the Fourth Amendment because Taylor had an improper subjective motivation for making the stop. The Arkansas Supreme Court's holding to that effect cannot be squared with the US Supreme Court decision in Whren, in which the Court noted its "unwillingness to entertain Fourth Amendment challenges based on the actual motivations of individual officers," and held unanimously that "subjective intentions play no role in ordinary, probable-cause Fourth Amendment analysis." That Whren involved a traffic stop, rather than a custodial arrest, is of no particular moment; indeed, Whren itself relied on United States v. Robinson (414 US 218 [1973]), for the proposition that "a traffic-violation arrest will not be rendered invalid by the fact that it was 'a mere pretext for a narcotics search.'" The Arkansas Supreme Court's alternative holding, that it may interpret the United States Constitution to provide greater protection than this Court's own federal constitutional precedents provide, is foreclosed by Oregon v. Hass (420 US 714 [1975]). While "a State is free as a matter of its own law to impose greater restrictions on police activity than those this Court holds to be necessary upon federal constitutional standards," it "may not impose such greater restrictions as a matter of federal constitutional law when this Court specifically refrains from imposing them." Thus, the judgment of the Arkansas Supreme Court is reversed, and the case is remanded for further proceedings not inconsistent with the US Supreme Court's opinion. 192 People vs. de Gracia [GR 102009-10, 6 July 1994] Second Division, Regalado (J): 5 concur Facts: The incidents took place at the height of the coup d'etat staged in December, 1989 by ultra-rightist elements headed by the Reform the Armed Forces Movement-Soldiers of the Filipino People (RAM-SFP) against the Government. At that time, various government establishments and military camps in Metro Manila were being bombarded by the rightist group with their "tora-tora" planes. At around midnight of 30 November 1989, the 4th Marine Battalion of the Philippine Marines occupied Villamor Air Base, while the Scout Rangers took over the Headquarters of the Philippine Army, the Army Operations Center, and Channel 4, the government television station. Also, some elements of the Philippine Army coming from Fort Magsaysay occupied the Greenhills Shopping Center in San Juan, Metro Manila. On 1 December 1989, Maj. Efren Soria of the Intelligence Division, National Capital Region Defense Command, was on board a brown Toyota car conducting a surveillance of the Eurocar Sales Office located at Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA) in Quezon City, together with his team composed of Sgt. Crispin Sagario, M/Sgt. Ramon Briones, S/Sgt. Henry Aquino, one S/Sgt. Simon and a Sgt. Ramos. The surveillance, which actually started on the night of 30 November 1989 at around 10:00 p.m., was conducted pursuant to an intelligence report received by the division that said establishment was being occupied by elements of the RAM-SFP as a communication command post. Sgt. Crispin Sagario, the driver of the car, parked the vehicle around 10 to 15 meters away from the Eurocar building near P. Tuazon Street, S/Sgt. Henry Aquino had earlier alighted from the car to conduct his surveillance on foot. A crowd was then gathered near the Eurocar office watching the on-going bombardment near Camp Aguinaldo. After a while a group of 5 men disengaged themselves from the crowd and walked towards the car of the surveillance team. At that moment, Maj. Soria, who was then seated in front, saw the approaching group and immediately ordered Sgt. Sagario to start the car and leave the area. As they passed by the group, then only 6 meters away, the latter pointed to them, drew their guns and fired at the team, which attack resulted in the wounding of Sgt. Sagario on the right thigh. Nobody in the surveillance team was able to retaliate because they sought cover inside the car and they were afraid that civilians or bystanders might be caught in the cross-fire. As a consequence, at around 6:30 a.m. of 5 December 1989, searching them composed of F/Lt. Virgilio Babao as team leader, M/Sgt. Lacdao, Sgt. Magallion, Sgt. Patricio Pacatang, and elements of the 16th Infantry Battalion under one Col. delos Santos raided the Eurocar Sales Office. They were able to find and confiscate 6 cartons of M-16 ammunition, five bundles of C-4 dynamites,
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 84 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

M-shells of different calibers, and "molotov" bombs inside one of the rooms belonging to a certain Col. Matillano which is located at the right portion of the building. St. Oscar Obenia, the first one to enter the Eurocar building, saw Rolando De Gracia inside the office of Col. Matillano, holding a C-4 and suspiciously peeping through a door. De Gracia was the only person then present inside the room. A uniform with the nametag of Col. Matillano was also found. As a result of the raid, the team arrested de Gracia, as well as Soprieso Verbo and Roberto Jimena who were janitors at the Eurocar building. They were then made to sign an inventory, written in Tagalog, of the explosives and ammunition confiscated by the raiding team. No search warrant was secured by the raiding team because, according to them, at that time there was so much disorder considering that the nearby Camp Aguinaldo was being mopped up by the rebel forces and there was simultaneous firing within the vicinity of the Eurocar office, aside from the fact that the courts were consequently closed. The group was able to confirm later that the owner of Eurocar office is a certain Mr. Gutierrez and that de Gracia is supposedly a "boy" therein. de Gracia was charged in two separate informations for illegal possession of ammunition and explosives in furtherance of rebellion, and for attempted homicide (Criminal Cases Q-90-11755 and Q-90-11756, respectively), which were tried jointly by the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch 103. During the arraignment, de Gracia pleaded not guilty to both charges. However, he admitted that he is not authorized to posses any firearms, ammunition and/or explosive. The parties likewise stipulated that there was a rebellion during the period from November 30 up to 9 December 1989. On 22 February 1991, the trial court rendered judgment acquitting de Gracia of attempted homicide, but found him guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the offense of illegal possession of firearms in furtherance of rebellion and sentenced him to serve the penalty of reclusion perpetua. De Gracia appealed. Issue: Whether the military operatives made a valid search and seizure during the height of the December 1989 coup d’etat. Held: It is admitted that the military operatives who raided the Eurocar Sales Office were not armed with a search warrant at that time. The raid was actually precipitated by intelligence reports that said office was being used as headquarters by the RAM. Prior to the raid, there was a surveillance conducted on the premises wherein the surveillance team was fired at by a group of men coming from the Eurocar building. When the military operatives raided the place, the occupants thereof refused to open the door despite the requests for them to do so, thereby compelling the former to break into the office. The Eurocar Sales Office is obviously not a gun store and it is definitely not an armory or arsenal which are the usual depositories for explosives and ammunition. It is primarily and solely engaged in the sale of automobiles. The presence of an unusual quantity of high-powered firearms and explosives could not be justifiably or even colorably explained. In addition, there was general chaos and disorder at that time because of simultaneous and intense firing within the vicinity of the office and in the nearby Camp Aguinaldo which was under attack by rebel forces. The courts in the surrounding areas were obviously closed and, for that matter, the building and houses therein were deserted. Under the foregoing circumstances, the case falls under one of the exceptions to the prohibition against a warrantless search. In the first place, the military operatives, taking into account the facts obtaining in this case, had reasonable ground to believe that a crime was being committed. There was consequently more than sufficient probable cause to warrant their action. Furthermore, under the situation then prevailing, the raiding team had no opportunity to apply for and secure a search warrant from the courts. The trial judge himself manifested that on 5 December 1989 when the raid was conducted, his court was closed. Under such urgency and exigency of the moment, a search warrant could lawfully be dispensed with. 193 Valmonte vs. de Villa [GR 83988, 24 May 1990] En Banc, Padilla (J): 10 concur, 1 on leave Facts: On 20 January 1987, the National Capital Region District Command (NCRDC) was activated pursuant to Letter of Instruction 02/87 of the Philippine General Headquarters, AFP, with the mission of conducting security operations within its area of responsibility and peripheral areas, for the purpose of establishing an effective territorial defense, maintaining peace and order, and providing an atmosphere conducive to the
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 85 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

social, economic and political development of the National Capital Region. 1 As part of its duty to maintain peace and order, the NCRDC installed checkpoints in various parts of Valenzuela, Metro Manila. Ricardo C. Valmonte and the Union of Lawyers and Advocates for People's Right (ULAP) filed a petition for prohibition with preliminary injunction and/or temporary restraining order witht the Supreme Court, seeking the declaration of checkpoints in Valenzuela, Metro Manila or elsewhere, as unconstitutional and the dismantling and banning of the same or, in the alternative, to direct the respondents to formulate guidelines in the implementation of checkpoints, for the protection of the people. They aver that, because of the installation of said checkpoints, the residents of Valenzuela are worried of being harassed and of their safety being placed at the arbitrary, capricious and whimsical disposition of the military manning the checkpoints, considering that their cars and vehicles are being subjected to regular searches and check-ups, especially at night or at dawn, without the benefit of a search warrant and/or court order. Their alleged fear for their safety increased when, at dawn of 9 July 1988, Benjamin Parpon, a supply officer of the Municipality of Valenzuela, Bulacan, was gunned down allegedly in cold blood by the members of the NCRDC manning the checkpoint along McArthur Highway at Malinta, Valenzuela, for ignoring and/or refusing to submit himself to the checkpoint and for continuing to speed off inspire of warning shots fired in the air. Valmonte also claims that, on several occasions, he had gone thru these checkpoints where he was stopped and his car subjected to search/check-up without a court order or search warrant. They further contend that the said checkpoints give Gen. Renato de Villa and the National Capital Region District Command a blanket authority to make searches and/or seizures without search warrant or court order in violation of the Constitution. In the Supreme Court's decision dated 29 September 1989, Valmonte’s and ULAP’s petition for prohibition, seeking the declaration of the checkpoints as unconstitutional and their dismantling and/or banning, was dismissed. Valmonte and ULAP filed the motion and supplemental motion for reconsideration of said decision. Issue: Whether checkpoints serve as a blanket authority for government officials for warrantless search and seizure and, thus, are violative of the Constitution. Held: Nowhere in the Supreme Court's decision of 24 May 1990 did the Court legalize all checkpoints, i.e. at all times and under all circumstances. What the Court declared is, that checkpoints are not illegal per se. Thus, under exceptional circumstances, as where the survival of organized government is on the balance, or where the lives and safety of the people are in grave peril, checkpoints may be allowed and installed by the government. Implicit in this proposition is, that when the situation clears and such grave perils are removed, checkpoints will have absolutely no reason to remain. Recent and on-going events have pointed to the continuing validity and need for checkpoints manned by either military or police forces. Although no one can be compelled, under our libertarian system, to share with the present government its ideological beliefs and practices, or commend its political, social and economic policies or performance; one must concede to it the basic right to defend itself from its enemies and, while in power, to pursue its program of government intended for public welfare; and in the pursuit of those objectives, the government has the equal right, under its police power, to select the reasonable means and methods for best achieving them. The checkpoint is evidently one of such means it has selected. Admittedly, the routine checkpoint stop does intrude, to a certain extent, on motorist's right to "free passage without interruption", but it cannot be denied that, as a rule, it involves only a brief detention of travellers during which the vehicle's occupants are required to answer a brief question or two. For as long as the vehicle is neither searched nor its occupants subjected to a body search, and the inspection of the vehicle is limited to a visual search, said routine checks cannot be regarded as violative of an individual's right against unreasonable search. These routine checks, when conducted in a fixed area, are even less intrusive. Further, vehicles are generally allowed to pass these checkpoints after a routine inspection and a few questions. If vehicles are stopped and extensively searched, it is because of some probable cause which justifies a reasonable belief of the men at the checkpoints that either the motorist is a law-offender or the contents of the vehicle are or have been instruments of some offense. By the same token, a warrantless search of incoming and outgoing passengers, at the arrival and departure areas of an international airport, is a practice not constitutionally objectionable because it is founded on public interest, safety, and necessity. Lastly, the Court's decision on checkpoints does not, in any way, validate nor condone
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 86 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

abuses committed by the military manning the checkpoints. The Court's decision was concerned with power, i.e. whether the government employing the military has the power to install said checkpoints. Once that power is acknowledged, the Court's inquiry ceases. True, power implies the possibility of its abuse. But whether there is abuse in a particular situation is a different "ball game" to be resolved in the constitutional arena. In any situation, where abuse marks the operation of a checkpoint, the citizen is not helpless. For the military is not above but subject to the law. And the courts exist to see that the law is supreme. Soldiers, including those who man checkpoints, who abuse their authority act beyond the scope of their authority and are, therefore, liable criminally and civilly for their abusive acts. 194 Aniag vs. Commission on Elections [GR 104961, 7 October 1994] En Banc, Bellosillo (J): 6 concur, 3 on leave Facts: In preparation for the synchronized national and local elections scheduled on 11 May 1992, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) issued on 11 December 1991 Resolution 2323 ("Gun Ban"), promulgating rules and regulations on bearing, carrying and transporting of firearms or other deadly weapons, on security personnel or bodyguards, on bearing arms by members of security agencies or police organizations, and organization or maintenance of reaction forces during the election period. Subsequently, on 26 December 1991 COMELEC issued Resolution 2327 providing for the summary disqualification of candidates engaged in gunrunning, using and transporting of firearms, organizing special strike forces, and establishing spot checkpoints. On 10 January 1992, pursuant to the "Gun Ban," Mr. Serapio P. Taccad, Sergeant-at-Arms, House of Representatives, wrote Congressman Francisc B. Aniag Jr., who was then Congressman of the 1st District of Bulacan requesting the return of the 2 firearms issued to him by the House of Representatives. Upon being advised of the request on 13 January 1992 by his staff, Aniag immediately instructed his driver, Ernesto Arellano, to pick up the firearms from his house at Valle Verde and return them to Congress. Meanwhile, at about 5:00 p,.m. of the same day, the Philippine National Police (PNP) headed by Senior Superintendent Danilo Cordero set up a checkpoint outside the Batasan Complex some 20 meters away from its entrance. About 30 minutes later, the policemen manning the outpost flagged down the car driven by Arellano as it approached the checkpoint. They searched the car and found the firearms neatly packed in their gun cases and placed in a bag in the trunk of the car. Arellano was then apprehended and detained. He explained that he was ordered by Aniag to get the firearms from the house and return them to Sergeant-at Arms Taccad of the House of Representatives. Thereafter, the police referred Arellano's case to the Office of the City Prosecutor for inquest. The referral did not include Aniag as among those charged with an election offense. On 15 January 1992, the City Prosecutor ordered the release of Arellano after finding the latter's sworn explanation meritorious. On 28 January 1992, the City Prosecutor invited Aniag to shed light on the circumstances mentioned in Arellano's sworn explanation. Aniag not only appeared at the preliminary investigation to confirm Arellano's statement but also wrote the City Prosecutor urging him to exonerate Arellano. He explained that Arellano did not violate the firearms ban as he in fact was complying with it when apprehended by returning the firearms to Congress; and, that he was Aniag's driver, not a security officer nor a bodyguard. On 6 March 1992, the Office of the City Prosecutor issued a resolution which, among other matters, recommended that the case against Arellano be dismissed and that the "unofficial" charge against Aniag be also dismissed. Nevertheless, on 6 April 1992, upon recommendation of its Law Department, COMELEC issued Resolution 92-0829 directing the filing of information against Aniag and Arellano for violation of Sec. 261, par. (q), of BP 881 otherwise known as the Omnibus Election Code, in relation to Sec. 32 of RA 7166; and Aniag to show cause why he should not be disqualified from running for an elective position, pursuant to COMELEC Resolution 2327, in relation to Secs. 32, 33 and 35 of RA 7166, and Sec. 52, par. (c), of BP 881. On 13 April 1992, Aniag moved for reconsideration and to hold in abeyance the administrative proceedings as well as the filing of the information in court. On 23 April 1992, the COMELEC denied Aniag's motion for reconsideration. Aniag filed a petition for declaratory relief, certiorari and prohibition against the COMELEC. Issue: Whether the search of Aniag’s car that yielded the firarms which were to be returned to the House of
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 87 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

Representatives within the purview of the exception as to the search of moving vehicles. Held: As a rule, a valid search must be authorized by a search warrant duly issued by an appropriate authority. However, this is not absolute. Aside from a search incident to a lawful arrest, a warrantless search had been upheld in cases of moving vehicles and the seizure of evidence in plain view, as well as the search conducted at police or military checkpoints which we declared are not illegal per se, and stressed that the warrantless search is not violative of the Constitution for as long as the vehicle is neither searched nor its occupants subjected to a body search, and the inspection of the vehicle is merely limited to a visual search. As there was no evidence to show that the policemen were impelled to do so because of a confidential report leading them to reasonably believe that certain motorists matching the description furnished by their informant were engaged in gunrunning, transporting firearms or in organizing special strike forces. Nor was there any indication from the package or behavior of Arellano that could have triggered the suspicion of the policemen. Absent such justifying circumstances specifically pointing to the culpability of Aniag and Arellano, the search could not be valid. The action then of the policemen unreasonably intruded into Aniag's privacy and the security of his property, in violation of Sec. 2, Art. III, of the Constitution. Consequently, the firearms obtained in violation of Aniag's right against warrantless search cannot be admitted for any purpose in any proceeding. 195 People vs. Escano, Usana and Lopez [GR 129756-58, 28 January 2000] First Division, Davide Jr. (CJ): 4 concur Facts: On 5 April 1995 and during a COMELEC gun ban, some law enforcers of the Makati Police, namely, PO3 Eduardo P. Suba, PO3 Bernabe Nonato, SPO4 Juan de los Santos, and Inspector Ernesto Guico, were manning a checkpoint at the corner of Senator Gil Puyat Ave. and the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX). They were checking the cars going to Pasay City, stopping those they found suspicious, and imposing merely a running stop on the others. At about past midnight, they stopped a Kia Pride car with Plate TBH 493. P03 Suba saw a long firearm on the lap of the person seated at the passenger seat, who was later identified as Virgilio Usana. They asked the driver, identified as Julian D. Escaño, to open the door. P03 Suba seized the long firearm, an M-1 US Carbine, from Usana. When Escaño, upon order of the police, parked along Sen. Gil Puyat Ave., the other passengers were searched for more weapons. Their search yielded a .45 caliber firearm which they seized from Escaño. The three passengers were thereafter brought to the police station Block 5 in the Kia Pride driven by PO3 Nonato. Upon reaching the precinct, Nonato turned over the key to the desk officer. Since SPO4 de los Santos was suspicious of the vehicle, he requested Escaño to open the trunk. Escaño readily agreed and opened the trunk himself using his key. They noticed a blue bag inside it, which they asked Escaño to open. The bag contained a parcel wrapped in tape, which, upon examination by National Bureau of Investigation Forensic Chemist Emilia A. Rosaldos, was found positive for hashish weighing 3.3143 kilograms. Virgilio T. Usana and Jerry C. Lopez, together with Julian D. Escaño, were charged before the Regional Trial Court of Makati City, Branch 64, in Criminal Case 95-936 with violation of Section 4, Article II of Republic Act 6425, as amended. Escaño and Usana were also charged in Criminal Cases 95-937 and 95-938 with illegal possession of firearms and ammunition in violation of Presidential Decree 1866. The cases were consolidated and jointly tried. In its Decision of 30 May 1997, which was promulgated on 17 June 1997, the trial court convicted Escaño, Lopez and Usana in Criminal Case 95-936, Escaño in Criminal Case 95-937, and Usana in Criminal Case 95-938. Escaño filed on 19 June 1997 a Notice of Appeal, but on 16 July 1997, he filed a Manifestation and Withdrawal of Appeal, which was granted by the trial court in its Order of 17 July 1997. Usana and Lopez filed a Notice of Appeal on 30 June 1997, manifesting therein that they were appealing to the Supreme Court and to the Court of Appeals. Considering the penalties imposed, the decision in Criminal Case 95-936 was appealed to the Supreme Court, while the Court of Appeals took cognizance of the appeal from Criminal Case 95-938. In its Order of 30 June 1997, the trial court gave due course to the appeal and ordered the transmittal of the record in Criminal Case 95-936 to the Supreme Court and the record of Criminal Case 95-938 to the Court of Appeals. Accordingly, it is only the appeal from the judgment in Criminal Case 95-936 that is before the Supreme Court.
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 88 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

Issue: Whether the search conducted on Escano’s car is illegal, and whether the evidence acquired therein would be sufficient to convict Lopez and Usana for possession of illegal drugs. Held: The Court has ruled that not all checkpoints are illegal. Those which are warranted by the exigencies of public order and are conducted in a way least intrusive to motorists are allowed. For, admittedly, routine checkpoints do intrude, to a certain extent, on motorists' right to "free passage without interruption," but it cannot be denied that, as a rule, it involves only a brief detention of travelers during which the vehicle's occupants are required to answer a brief question or two. For as long as the vehicle is neither searched nor its occupants subjected to a body search, and the inspection of the vehicle is limited to a visual search, said routine checks cannot be regarded as violative of an individual's right against unreasonable search. In fact, these routine checks, when conducted in a fixed area, are even less intrusive. The checkpoint herein conducted was in pursuance of the gun ban enforced by the COMELEC. The COMELEC would be hard put to implement the ban if its deputized agents were limited to a visual search of pedestrians. It would also defeat the purpose for which such ban was instituted. Those who intend to bring a gun during said period would know that they only need a car to be able to easily perpetrate their malicious designs. The facts adduced do not constitute a ground for a violation of the constitutional rights of the accused against illegal search and seizure. PO3 Suba admitted that they were merely stopping cars they deemed suspicious, such as those whose windows are heavily tinted just to see if the passengers thereof were carrying guns. At best they would merely direct their flashlights inside the cars they would stop, without opening the car's doors or subjecting its passengers to a body search. There is nothing discriminatory in this as this is what the situation demands. Despite the validity of the search, the Court cannot affirm the conviction of Usana and Lopez for violation of RA 6425, as amended. The following facts militate against a finding of conviction: (1) the car belonged to Escaño; (2) the trunk of the car was not opened soon after it was stopped and after the accused were searched for firearms; (3) the car was driven by a policeman from the place where it was stopped until the police station; (4) the car's trunk was opened, with the permission of Escaño, without the presence of Usana and Lopez; and (5) after arrival at the police station and until the opening of the car's trunk, the car was in the possession and control of the police authorities. No fact was adduced to link Usana and Lopez to the hashish found in the trunk of the car. Their having been with Escaño in the latter's car before the "finding" of the hashish sometime after the lapse of an appreciable time and without their presence left much to be desired to implicate them to the offense of selling, distributing, or transporting the prohibited drug. In fact, there was no showing that Usana and Lopez knew of the presence of hashish in the trunk of the car or that they saw the same before it was seized. 196 Camara vs. Municipal Court of the City and Country of San Francisco [387 US 523, 5 June 1967] White (J) Facts: On 6 November 1963, an inspector of the Division of Housing Inspection of the San Francisco Department of Public Health entered an apartment building to make a routine annual inspection for possible violations of the city's Housing Code. The building's manager informed the inspector that Camara, lessee of the ground floor, was using the rear of his leasehold as a personal residence. Claiming that the building's occupancy permit did not allow residential use of the ground floor, the inspector confronted Camara and demanded that he permit an inspection of the premises. Camara refused to allow the inspection because the inspector lacked a search warrant. The inspector returned on November 8, again without a warrant, and Camara again refused to allow an inspection. A citation was then mailed ordering Camara to appear at the district attorney's office. When Camara failed to appear, two inspectors returned to his apartment on November 22. They informed Camara that he was required by law to permit an inspection under 503 of the Housing Code. Camara nevertheless refused the inspectors access to his apartment without a search warrant. Thereafter, a complaint was filed charging him with refusing to permit a lawful inspection in violation of 507 of the Code. Camara was arrested on December 2nd released on bail. When his demurrer to the criminal
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 89 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

complaint was denied, Camara filed the petition for a writ of prohibition in a California Superior Court alleging that he was awaiting trial on a criminal charge of violating the San Francisco Housing Code by refusing to permit a warrantless inspection of his residence, and that a writ of prohibition should issue to the criminal court because the ordinance authorizing such inspections is unconstitutional on its face. The Superior Court denied the writ, the District Court of Appeal affirmed, and the Supreme Court of California denied a petition for hearing. Issue: Whether Camara can validly refuse the inspection of his dwelling by the Division of Housing Inspection. Held: The Fourth Amendment bars prosecution of a person who has refused to permit a warrantless codeenforcement inspection of his personal residence. The basic purpose of the Fourth Amendment, which is enforceable against the States through the Fourteenth, through its prohibition of "unreasonable" searches and seizures is to safeguard the privacy and security of individuals against arbitrary invasions by governmental officials. With certain carefully defined exceptions, an unconsented warrantless search of private property is "unreasonable." Administrative searches of the kind at issue here are significant intrusions upon the interests protected by the Fourth Amendment, that such searches when authorized and conducted without a warrant procedure lack the traditional safeguards which the Fourth Amendment guarantees to the individual, and that the reasons put forth in Frank v. Maryland and in other cases for upholding these warrantless searches are insufficient to justify so substantial a weakening of the Fourth Amendment's protections. Contrary to the assumption of Frank v. Maryland, Fourth Amendment interests are not merely "peripheral" where municipal fire, health, and housing inspection programs are involved whose purpose is to determine the existence of physical conditions not complying with local ordinances. Those programs, moreover, are enforceable by criminal process, as is refusal to allow an inspection. Warrantless administrative searches cannot be justified on the grounds that they make minimal demands on occupants; that warrants in such cases are unfeasible; or that area inspection programs could not function under reasonable search-warrant requirements. Probable cause upon the basis of which warrants are to be issued for area code-enforcement inspections is not dependent on the inspector's belief that a particular dwelling violates the code but on the reasonableness of the enforcement agency's appraisal of conditions in the area as a whole. The standards to guide the magistrate in the issuance of such search warrants will necessarily vary with the municipal program being enforced. Nothing here is intended to foreclose prompt inspections, even without a warrant, that the law has traditionally upheld in emergency situations. On the other hand, in the case of most routine area inspections, there is no compelling urgency to inspect at a particular time or on a particular day. Moreover, most citizens allow inspections of their property without a warrant. Thus, as a practical matter and in light of the Fourth Amendment's requirement that a warrant specify the property to be searched, it seems likely that warrants should normally be sought only after entry is refused unless there has been a citizen complaint or there is other satisfactory reason for securing immediate entry. Similarly, the requirement of a warrant procedure does not suggest any change in what seems to be the prevailing local policy, in most situations, of authorizing entry, but not entry by force, to inspect. Herein, Camara has been charged with a crime for his refusal to permit housing inspectors to enter his leasehold without a warrant. There was no emergency demanding immediate access; in fact, the inspectors made three trips to the building in an attempt to obtain Camara's consent to search. Yet no warrant was obtained and thus appellant was unable to verify either the need for or the appropriate limits of the inspection. No doubt, the inspectors entered the public portion of the building with the consent of the landlord, through the building's manager, but the City/County does not contend that such consent was sufficient to authorize inspection of Camara's premises. Assuming the facts to be as the parties have alleged, camara had a constitutional right to insist that the inspectors obtain a warrant to search and that appellant may not constitutionally be convicted for refusing to consent to the inspection. It appears from the opinion of the District Court of Appeal that under these circumstances a writ of prohibition will issue to the criminal court under California law. 197 In RE: Umil, Umil vs. Ramos [GR 81567, 9 July 1990]; also Roque vs. de Villa [GR 84581-82],
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 90 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

In RE: Anonuevo. Anonuevo vs. Ramos [GR 84583-84], In RE: Ocaya. Ocaya vs. Aguirre [GR 83162], In RE: Espiritu. Espiritu vs. Lim [GR 85727], and In RE: Nazareno. Nazareno vs. Station Commander of Muntinlupa Police Station [GR 86332] En Banc, Per Curiam: 11 concur Facts: [GR 81567] On 1 February 1988, the Regional Intelligence Operations Unit of the Capital Command (RIOU-CAPCOM) received confidential information about a member of the NPA Sparrow Unit (liquidation squad) being treated for a gunshot wound at the St. Agnes Hospital in Roosevelt Avenue, Quezon City. Upon verification, it was found that the wounded person, who was listed in the hospital records as Ronnie Javelon, is actually Rolando Dural, a member of the NPA liquidation squad, responsible for the killing of 2 CAPCOM soldiers the day before, or on 31 January 1988, in Macanining Street, Bagong Barrio, Caloocan City. In view of this verification, Dural was transferred to the Regional Medical Services of the CAPCOM, for security reasons. While confined thereat, or on 4 February 1988, Dural was positively identified by eyewitnesses as the gunman who went on top of the hood of the CAPCOM mobile patrol car, and fired at the 2 CAPCOM soldiers seated inside the car identified as T/Sgt. Carlos Pabon and CIC Renato Manligot. As a consequence of this positive identification, Dural was referred to the Caloocan City Fiscal who conducted an inquest and thereafter filed with the Regional Trial Court of Caloocan City an information charging Rolando Dural alias Ronnie Javelon with the crime of "Double Murder with Assault Upon Agents of Persons in Authority." (Criminal Case C-30112; no bail recommended). On 15 February 1988, the information was amended to include, as defendant, Bernardo Itucal, Jr. who, at the filing of the original information, was still unidentified. Meanwhile, on 6 February 1988, a petition for habeas corpus was filed with the Supreme Court on behalf of Roberto Umil, Rolando Dural, and Renato Villanueva. The Court issued the writ of habeas corpus on 9 February 1988 and Fidel V. Ramos, Maj. Gen. Renato de Villa, Brig. Gen. Ramon Montano, and Brig. Gen. Alexander Aguirre filed a Return of the Writ on 12 February 1988. Thereafter, the parties were heard on 15 February 1988. On 26 February 1988, however, Umil and Villanueva posted bail before the Regional Trial Court of Pasay City where charges for violation of the Anti-Subversion Act had been filed against them, and they were accordingly released. Issue: Whether Dural can be validly arrested without any warrant of arrest for the crime of rebellion. Held: Dural, it clearly appears that he was not arrested while in the act of shooting the 2 CAPCOM soldiers nor was he arrested just after the commission of the said offense for his arrest came a day after the said shooting incident. Seemingly, his arrest without warrant is unjustified. However, Dural was arrested for being a member of the New Peoples Army (NPA), an outlawed subversive organization. Subversion being a continuing offense, the arrest of Rolando Dural without warrant is justified as it can be said that he was committing an offense when arrested. The crimes of rebellion, subversion, conspiracy or proposal to commit such crimes, and crimes or offenses committed in furtherance thereof or in connection therewith constitute direct assaults against the State and are in the nature of continuing crimes. The arrest of persons involved in the rebellion whether as its fighting armed elements, or for committing non-violent acts but in furtherance of the rebellion, is more an act of capturing them in the course of an armed conflict, to quell the rebellion, than for the purpose of immediately prosecuting them in court for a statutory offense. The arrest, therefore, need not follow the usual procedure in the prosecution of offenses which requires the determination by a judge of the existence of probable cause before the issuance of a judicial warrant of arrest and the granting of bail if the offense is bailable. Obviously, the absence of a judicial warrant is no legal impediment to arresting or capturing persons committing overt acts of violence against government forces, or any other milder acts but equally in pursuance of the rebellious movement. The arrest or capture is thus impelled by the exigencies of the situation that involves the very survival of society and its government and duly constituted authorities. 198 People vs. Sucro [GR 93239, 18 March 1991] Third Division, Gutierrez Jr. (J): 4 concur

Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 91 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

Facts: On 21 March 1989, Pat. Roy Fulgencio, a member of the INP, Kalibo, Aklan, was instructed by P/Lt. Vicente Seraspi, Jr. (Station Commander of the INP Kalibo, Aklan) to monitor the activities of Edison Sucro, because of information gathered by Seraspi that Sucro was selling marijuana. As planned, at about 5:00 P.M. on said date, Pat. Fulgencio positioned himself under the house of a certain Arlie Regalado at C. Quimpo Street. Adjacent to the house of Regalado, about 2 meters away, was a chapel. Thereafter, Pat. Fulgencio saw Sucro enter the chapel, taking something which turned out later to be marijuana from the compartment of a cart found inside the chapel, and then return to the street where he handed the same to a buyer, Aldie Borromeo. After a while Sucro went back to the chapel and again came out with marijuana which he gave to a group of persons. It was at this instance that Pat. Fulgencio radioed P/Lt. Seraspi and reported the activity going on P/Lt. Seraspi instructed Pat. Fulgencio to continue monitoring developments. At about 6:30 P.M., Pat. Fulgencio again called up Seraspi to report that a third buyer later identified as Ronnie Macabante, was transacting with Sucro. At that point, the team of P/Lt Seraspi proceeded to the area and while the police officers were at the Youth Hostel at Maagma St., Pat. Fulgencio told P/Lt. Seraspi to intercept Macabante and Sucro. P/ Lt. Seraspi and his team caught up with Macabante at the crossing of Mabini and Maagma Sts. in front of the Aklan Medical Center. Upon seeing the police, Macabante threw something to the ground which turned out to be a tea bag of marijuana. When confronted, Macabante readily admitted that he bought the same from Sucro in front of the chapel. The police team was able to overtake and arrest Sucro at the corner of C. Quimpo and Veterans Sts. The police recovered 19 sticks and 4 teabags of marijuana from the cart inside the chapel and another teabag from Macabante. The teabags of marijuana were sent to the PC-INP Crime Laboratory Service, at Camp Delgado, Iloilo City for analysis. The specimens were all found positive of marijuana. Sucro was charged with violation of Section 4, Article II of the Dangerous Drugs Act. Upon arraignment, Sucro, assisted by counsel, entered a plea of "not guilty" to the offense charged. Trial ensued and a judgment of conviction was rendered, finding Sucro guilty of the sale of prohibited drug and sentencing him to suffer the penalty of life imprisonment, and pay a fine of P20,000, and costs. Sucro appealed. Issue: Whether the arrest without warrant of the accused is lawful and consequently, whether the evidence resulting from such arrest is admissible. Held: Section 5, Rule 113 of the Rules on Criminal Procedure provides for the instances where arrest without warrant is considered lawful. The rule states that "A peace officer or private person may, without warrant, arrest a person: (a) When in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense; (b) When an offense has in fact just been committed, and he has personal knowledge of facts indicating that the person to be arrested has committed it;" An offense is committed in the presence or within the view of an officer, within the meaning of the rule authorizing an arrest without a warrant, when the officer sees the offense, although at a distance, or hears the disturbances created thereby and proceeds at once to the scene thereof. The failure of the police officers to secure a warrant stems from the fact that their knowledge acquired from the surveillance was insufficient to fulfill the requirements for the issuance of a search warrant. What is paramount is that probable cause existed. Still, that searches and seizures must be supported by a valid warrant is not an absolute rule. Among the exceptions granted by law is a search incidental to a lawful arrest under Sec. 12, Rule 126 of the Rules on Criminal Procedure, which provides that a person lawfully arrested may be searched for dangerous weapons or anything which may be used as proof of the commission of an offense, without a search warrant. Herein, police officers have personal knowledge of the actual commission of the crime when it had earlier conducted surveillance activities of the accused. Under the circumstances (monitoring of transactions) there existed probable cause for the arresting officers, to arrest Sucro who was in fact selling marijuana and to seize the contraband. Thus, as there is nothing unlawful about the arrest considering its compliance with the requirements of a warrantless arrest; ergo, the fruits obtained from such lawful arrest are admissible in evidence. 199 People vs. Doria [GR 125299, 22 January 1999] En Banc, Puno (J): 13 concur

Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 92 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

Facts: In November 1995, members of the North Metropolitan District, Philippine National Police (PNP) Narcotics Command (Narcom), received information from 2 civilian informants (CI) that one "Jun" was engaged in illegal drug activities in Mandaluyong City. The Narcom agents decided to entrap and arrest "Jun" in a buy-bust operation. As arranged by one of the CI's, a meeting between the Narcom agents and "Jun" was scheduled on 5 December 1995 at E. Jacinto Street in Mandaluyong City. On 5 December 1995, at 6:00 a.m., the CI went to the PNP Headquarters at EDSA, Kamuning, Quezon City to prepare for the buy-bust operation. The Narcom agents formed Team Alpha composed of P/Insp. Nolasco Cortes as team leader and PO3 Celso Manlangit, SPO1 Edmund Badua and four (4) other policemen as members. P/Insp. Cortes designated PO3 Manlangit as the poseur-buyer and SPO1 Badua as his back-up, and the rest of the team as perimeter security. Superintendent Pedro Alcantara, Chief of the North Metropolitan District PNP Narcom, gave the team P2,000.00 to cover operational expenses. From this sum, PO3 Manlangit set aside P1,600.00 — a one thousand peso bill and six (6) one hundred peso bills — as money for the buy-bust operation. The market price of one kilo of marijuana was then P1,600.00. PO3 Manlangit marked the bills with his initials and listed their serial numbers in the police blotter. The team rode in two cars and headed for the target area. At 7:20 a.m., "Jun" appeared and the CI introduced PO3 Manlangit as interested in buying one (1) kilo of marijuana. PO3 Manlangit handed "Jun" the marked bills worth P1,600.00. "Jun" instructed PO3 Manlangit to wait for him at the corner of Shaw Boulevard and Jacinto Street while he got the marijuana from his associate. An hour later, "Jun" appeared at the agreed place where PO3 Manlangit, the CI and the rest of the team were waiting. "Jun" took out from his bag an object wrapped in plastic and gave it to PO3 Manlangit. PO3 Manlangit forthwith arrested "Jun" as SPO1 Badua rushed to help in the arrest. They frisked "Jun" but did not find the marked bills on him. Upon inquiry, "Jun" revealed that he left the money at the house of his associate named "Neneth." "Jun" led the police team to "Neneth's" house nearby at Daang Bakal. The team found the door of "Neneth's" house open and at woman inside. "Jun" identified the woman as his associate. SPO1 Badua asked "Neneth" about the P1,600.00 as PO3 Manlangit looked over "Neneth's" house. Standing by the door, PO3 Manlangit noticed a carton box under the dining table. He saw that one of the box's flaps was open and inside the box was something wrapped in plastic. The plastic wrapper and its contents appeared similar to the marijuana earlier "sold" to him by "Jun." His suspicion aroused, PO3 Manlangit entered "Neneth's" house and took hold of the box. He peeked inside the box and found that it contained 10 bricks of what appeared to be dried marijuana leaves. Simultaneous with the box's discovery, SPO1 Badua recovered the marked bills from "Neneth." The policemen arrested "Neneth." They took "Neneth" and "Jun," together with the box, its contents and the marked bills and turned them over to the investigator at headquarters. It was only then that the police learned that "Jun" is Florencio Doria y Bolado while "Neneth" is Violeta Gaddao y Catama. The 1 brick of dried marijuana leaves recovered from "Jun" plus the 10 bricks recovered from "Neneth's" house were examined at the PNP Crime Laboratory. The bricks were found to be dried marijuana fruiting tops of various weights totalling 7,641.08 grams. On 7 December 1995, Doria and Gadda were charged with violation of Section 4, in relation to Section 21 of the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972. After trial, the Regional Trial Court, Branch 156, Pasig City convicted Dorria and Gaddao. The trial court found the existence of an "organized/syndicated crime group" and sentenced both to death and pay a fine of P500,000.00 each. Hence, the automatic review. Issue: Whether the warrantless arrests of Doria and Gaddao are legally permissible. Held: It is recognized that in every arrest, there is a certain amount of entrapment used to outwit the persons violating or about to violate the law. Not every deception is forbidden. The type of entrapment the law forbids is the inducing of another to violate the law, the "seduction" of an otherwise innocent person into a criminal career. Where the criminal intent originates in the mind of the entrapping person and the accused is lured into the commission of the offense charged in order to prosecute him, there is entrapment and no conviction may be had. Where, however, the criminal intent originates in the mind of the accused and the criminal offense is completed, the fact that a person acting as a decoy for the state, or public officials furnished the accused an opportunity for commission of the offense, or that the accused is aided in the commission of the crime in order to secure the evidence necessary to prosecute him, there is no entrapment and the accused must be
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 93 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

convicted. The law tolerates the use of decoys and other artifices to catch a criminal. The warrantless arrest of Doria is not unlawful. Warrantless arrests are allowed in three instances as provided by Section 5 of Rule 113 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure, to wit: "A peace officer or a private person may, without a warrant, arrest a person: (a) When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense; (b) When an offense has in fact just been committed, and he has personal knowledge of facts indicating that the person to be arrested has committed it; and (c) When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who escaped from a penal establishment or place where he is serving final judgment or temporarily confined while his case is pending, or has escaped while being transferred from one confinement to another. xxx" Under Section 5 (a), as above-quoted, a person may be arrested without a warrant if he "has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense." Herein, Doria was caught in the act of committing an offense. When an accused is apprehended in flagrante delicto as a result of a buy-bust operation, the police are not only authorized but duty-bound to arrest him even without a warrant. The warrantless arrest of Gaddao, the search of her person and residence, and the seizure of the box of marijuana and marked bills, however, are different matters. Our Constitution proscribes search and seizure without a judicial warrant and any evidence obtained without such warrant is inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding. The rule is, however, not absolute. Search and seizure may be made without a warrant and the evidence obtained therefrom may be admissible in the following instances: (1) search incident to a lawful arrest; (2) search of a moving motor vehicle; (3) search in violation of customs laws; (4) seizure of evidence in plain view; (5) when the accused himself waives his right against unreasonable searches and seizures. To be lawful, the warrantless arrest of appellant Gaddao must fall under any of the three (3) instances enumerated in Section 5 of Rule 113 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure. Gaddao was not caught red-handed during the buy-bust operation to give ground for her arrest under Section 5 (a) of Rule 113. She was not committing any crime. Contrary to the finding of the trial court, there was no occasion at all for Gaddao to flee from the policemen to justify her arrest in "hot pursuit." In fact, she was going about her daily chores when the policemen pounced on her. Neither could the arrest of Gaddao be justified under the second instance of Rule 113. "Personal knowledge" of facts in arrests without warrant under Section 5 (b) of Rule 113 must be based upon "probable cause" which means an "actual belief or reasonable grounds of suspicion." Gaddao was arrested solely on the basis of the alleged identification made by her co-accused, Doria. Save for Doria's word, the Narcom agents had no reasonable grounds to believe that she was engaged in drug pushing. If there is no showing that the person who effected the warrantless arrest had, in his own right, knowledge of facts implicating the person arrested to the perpetration of a criminal offense, the arrest is legally objectionable. Since the warrantless arrest of Gaddao was illegal, it follows that the search of her person and home and the subsequent seizure of the marked bills and marijuana cannot be deemed legal as an incident to her arrest. 200 People vs. Go [GR 116001, 14 March 2001]; also Go vs. Court of Appeals [GR 123943] First Division, Ynares-Santiago (J): 4 concur Facts: On 22 October 1992, at around 10:00 p.m., SPO1 Mauro Piamonte and SPO3 Candido Liquido, members of the Intelligence and Follow-up Unit of the Calamba Police, went to the police outpost at Crossing, Calamba, Laguna, to follow up an intelligence report that methamphetamine hydrochloride, or shabu, a regulated drug, was being supplied there. Police civilian agent Ronnie Panuringan arrived and reported to them that he saw Luisito Go, also known as "King Louie", enter the Flamingo Disco House with two women. Panuringan said that he spotted a gun tucked in Go's waist. Together, the three policemen proceeded to the Flamingo, which was located about a hundred meters away from the outpost. When they arrived at the Flamingo, the police officers informed the owner that they were conducting an "Operation Bakal," whereby they search for illegally possessed firearms. The owner allowed them in and told a waiter to accompany them. They went up to the second floor of the disco. The waiter turned on the lights, and the police officers saw Go and his lady companions seated at a table. They identified themselves and asked Go to stand up. When the later did so, the policemen saw the gun tucked in his waist. SPO1 Piamonte asked for the license of the gun, but Go was unable to produce any. Instead, Go brought out the driver's license of a certain Tan Antonio Lerios. SPO1 Piamonte confiscated the gun, which was later identified as a 9mm Walther P88,
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 94 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

Serial Number 006784, with a magazine containing 10 rounds of live ammunition. Go was invited to the police precinct for questioning. On the way out of the disco, Go asked permission to bring his car, which was parked outside. The police officers accompanied Go to his car, a Honda Civic with license plate number TCM-789. Through the windshield, SPO3 Liquido noticed a Philippine National Police identification card hanging from the rearview mirror. He asked Go if he was a member of the PNP, and he said no. The police officers asked Go for his driver's license and the registration papers of the vehicle, but he was unable to produce them. When Go opened the door, SPO3 Liquido took the ID card and found that the same belonged to SPO4 Zenaida Bagadiong. The police officers saw pieces of glass tooters and tin foils on the backseat and floor of the car. They asked Go why he had these items, but he did not say anything. Instead, Go suggested that they talk the matter over, and intimated that he had money. SPO3 Liquido replied that they should talk at the police headquarters. Go took out an attaché case from the car and opened it. There were two black clutch bags inside. Go opened the first bag, which contained shiny white substance wrapped in cellophane. The second bag contained P120,000.00 in cash. The police officers brought Go to the police station. When they arrived at the precinct, they turned over the attaché case together with the two black clutch bags to the investigator. The investigator found eight cellophane bags containing granules suspected to be shabu in one of the clutch bags. When the attaché case was opened, the police officers found that it also contained three glass tooters, tin foils, an improvised burner, magazines and newspapers. Consequently, two Informations were filed against Go before the Regional Trial Court of Calamba, Laguna, Branch 34 (Criminal Case 3308-92-C, for violation of Article III of RA 6452 or the Dangerous Drugs Act; and Criminal Case 3309-92-C, for violation of PD 1866) After a joint trial, the lower court rendered judgment convicting Go in the two criminal cases, and sentencing him in Criminal Case 3308-92-C to a penalty of imprisonment of 6 years and 1 day to 12 years and a fine of P12,000.00; and in Criminal Case 3309-92-C to suffer an imprisonment of reclusion perpetua. Go appealed his conviction in Criminal Case 3309-92-C directly to the Supreme Court (GR 116001). On the other hand, Go brought his appeal of the judgment in Criminal Case 3308-92-C before the Court of Appeals. In an Amended Decision dated 21 February 1996, the Court of Appeals affirmed Go's conviction but modified the penalty imposed by the trial court by sentencing him, in addition to imprisonment of 6 years and 1 day to 12 years, to pay a fine of P6,000.00, citing Section 8 of RA 6425, with subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency. Go filed the petition for review (GR 123943). The two cases were subsequently consolidated. Issue: Whether Go was legally arrested without warrant for illegal possession of firearms and illegal drugs. Held: The constitutional proscription, that no person shall be arrested without any warrant of arrest having been issued prior thereto, is not a hard-and-fast rule. The Rules of Court and jurisprudence recognize exceptional cases where an arrest may be effected without a warrant. Among these are when, in the presence of a peace officer, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense; or when an offense has in fact just been committed, and the arresting officer has personal knowledge of facts indicating that the person to be arrested has committed it. Herein, the police saw the gun tucked in Go's waist when he stood up. The gun was plainly visible. No search was conducted as none was necessary. Go could not show any license for the firearm, whether at the time of his arrest or thereafter. Thus, he was in effect committing a crime in the presence of the police officers. No warrant of arrest was necessary in such a situation, it being one of the recognized exceptions under the Rules. As a consequence of Go's valid warrantless arrest, he may be lawfully searched for dangerous weapons or anything which may be used as proof of the commission of an offense, without a search warrant, as provided in Rule 126, Section 12. This is a valid search incidental to the lawful arrest. The subsequent discovery in his car of drug paraphernalia and the crystalline substance, which was later identified as shabu, though in a distant place from where the illegal possession of firearm was committed, cannot be said to have been made during an illegal search. As such, the seized items do not fall within the exclusionary clause, which states that any evidence obtained in violation of the right against warrantless arrest cannot be used for any purposes in any proceeding. Hence, not being fruits of the poisonous tree, so to speak, the objects found at the scene of the crime, such as the firearm, the shabu and the drug paraphernalia, can be used as evidence against appellant. Besides, it has been held that drugs
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 95 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

discovered as a result of a consented search is admissible in evidence. 201 People vs. de Guzman [GR 117952-53, 14 February 2001] First Division, Ynares-Santiago (J): 4 concur Facts: Prior to the arrest of Danilo de Guzman, the Police Chief Inspector of the Cavite Philippine National Police Command issued an Order of Battle listing the names of the suspected drug pushers in Cavite City. Included therein was the name of de Guzman. In response to the said directive, the Noveleta Police Station assigned SPO1 Arnel Cuevas to conduct surveillance at the Villamar Beach Resort. On 18 October 1992, SPO1 Arnel Cuevas spotted Danilo de Guzman at the Villamar Beach Resort, but the latter stayed for only 30 minutes. Subsequently, he learned that De Guzman was engaged in a drug sale that day and reported the same to headquarters. Pursuant to his report, the Chief of Intelligence of their station, SPO2 Rowell Tendero, instructed him to continue his surveillance of said beach resort with the hope of catching de Guzman. On 26 October 1992, at around 9:00 p.m., de Guzman returned to Villamar Beach Resort with companion Edsel Martin. They rented one of the resort cottages. 15 minutes later, SPO1 Cuevas climbed the ladder which he perched on the concrete wall of the cottage. He, then, peeped through the window of the cottage and saw Danilo and Edsel seated face to face while using shabu. He also saw on top of the table 3 plastic bags of shabu, a weighing scale and other drug related paraphernalia. SPO1 Cuevas hurriedly descended the ladder and hailed a tricycle and instructed the driver to inform SPO2 Tendero to proceed to Villamar Beach Resort immediately. Shortly, SPO2 Tendero, along with other police officers, arrived at the beach resort. However, instead of rushing to the cottage of De Guzman and Martin, the police officers decided to wait for them to come out of the cottage. SPO1 Cuevas explained that they did this so as not to forewarn the two of their presence. Otherwise, the two might simply flush the shabu down the toilet bowl and destroy the evidence. The police officers waited the whole night for De Guzman and Martin to come out of the cottage. Finally, De Guzman came out at around 7:40 a.m. the next day. SPO2 Tendero nabbed him upon seeing that his waist was bulging with a gun. While Police Officer Vedar held De Guzman, SPO2 Tendero went up the cottage to check on Martin. SPO2 Alfaro and SPO3 Benavise, accompanied by a chambermaid and a boy from the resort, also went up with him. Inside the cottage, the same paraphernalia which the witness saw the night before were found, namely, 3 plastic bags of shabu, a plastic scoop, a burner, a lighter, several empty rolled aluminum foils, 3 pieces of tooter, rubber band, several pieces of paper, a black clutch bag containing a disposable lighter, 2 forceps, a pair of scissors, a knife and a key holder with a knife, filter, sandpaper, electric plug, pocket electronic weighing scale. De Guzman was brought to the police station for questioning and detention. The police officers were without warrants of arrest or search warrants at the time of the arrests and seizure of evidence. As the operation was conducted largely during nighttime, the police officers were unable to secure the necessary warrants for fear of leaving the place of surveillance. Subsequent forensic examination by Felicisima Francisco of the National Bureau of Investigation showed that the substance seized was indeed methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu weighing 299.5 grams. In Criminal Case 39-94, De Guzman and Martin, the latter is still at large, were charged with violation of Section 16, Article III of Republic Act 6425 (Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972). In Criminal Case 40-94, de Guzman was charged with violation of Section 1, PD 1866 (Unlawful Possession of Firearms and Ammunition). De Guzman was arraigned on 22 February 1993 with the assistance of his counsel de officio. He pleaded "not guilty" to both charges. On 22 August 1994, the Regional Trial Court of Cavite City, Branch 17, found de Guzman guilty of violation of Section 16, Article III, Republic Act 6425 and sentenced him to suffer the penalty of life imprisonment and to pay a fine of P50,000.00 without subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency. Furthermore, the trial court found him guilty of violation of Section 1, Presidential Decree 1866 and sentenced him to suffer imprisonment of 12 years and 1 day of reclusion temporal, as minimum, to 20 years of reclusion temporal, as maximum, and to pay the costs in both instances. De Guzman appealed. Issue: Whether de Guzman’s arrest and the subsequent seizure of drug paraphernalia inside de Guzman’s cottage were legal even without issued warrants for those purposes.

Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 96 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

Held: The police officers' manner of conducting de Guzman's arrest was not tainted with any constitutional infirmity. Despite word from their fellow officer, SPO1 Cuevas, that he saw De Guzman sniff "shabu", they resisted the first impulse to storm the rented cottage which could have caused them to seriously disregard constitutional safeguards. Instead, the police officers waited for the needed opening to validly arrest de Guzman. To their minds, it would be the arrival of drug buyers. As the situation would have it, the arrest was necessitated by the presence of de Guzman with a gun obviously tucked in his pants. Rule 113, Section 5 (a) of the Rules of Court provides that "A peace officer or a private person may, without a warrant, arrest a person: (a) When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense." In this jurisdiction, the mere possession of a firearm, ammunition or machinery, tool or instrument used or intended to be used in the manufacture of any firearm or ammunition is a criminal offense under PD 1866. De Guzman was caught by the police officers in flagrante delicto while carrying a firearm without the necessary permit or license. Clearly, it was in violation of PD 1866, Section 1, at the time of the arrest. Necessarily, the search conducted immediately after De Guzman's arrest was valid. Rule 126, Section 12 of the Rules of Court provides that "a person lawfully arrested may be searched for dangerous weapons or anything which may be used as proof of the commission of an offense, without a search warrant. The legal parameters of this rule limit its application to instances when the search is made contemporaneous to the arrest and within a permissible area of search." In this case, it was impossible for the police officers to obtain a search warrant as they were merely on surveillance, and to do so might abort any possible illegal activity that was taking place. Any attempt at leaving the place may cause them to lose sight of the accused-appellant altogether. Second, their presence in the area was not planned as they acted purely on a tip given by a fellow officer. Further, there was not enough opportunity to obtain a warrant of arrest or a search warrant as the surveillance was conducted from 10:00 p.m. up to 7:00 a.m. The search conducted immediately after de Guzman was apprehended was made more necessary by the presence of his companion inside the cottage which was just a few steps away from where he stood. The presence of de Guzman's companion posed a danger to the police officers' life and limb, hence, it became necessary for them to locate him. Upon entry at the rented cottage, the police officers saw the shabu and drug- related paraphernalia scattered on top of the table. Jurisprudence allows the seizure of personality despite absence of warrant under the "plain view doctrine," so long as the area of search is within the immediate control of the arrested person and that the object of the search was open to the eye, as in the present case. 202 People vs. Gerente [GR 95847-48, 10 March 1993] First Division, Grino-Aquino (J): 3 concur Facts: At about 7:00 a.m. of 30 April 1990, Gabriel Gerente, together with Fredo Echigoren and Totoy Echigoren, allegedly started drinking liquor and smoking marijuana in Gerente's house which is about 6 meters away from the house of Edna Edwina Reyes who was in her house on that day. She overheard the three men talking about their intention to kill Clarito Blace. She testified that she heard Fredo Echigoren saying, "Gabriel, papatayin natin si Clarito Blace." Fredo and Totoy Echigoren and Gerente carried out their plan to kill Clarito Blace at about 2:00 p.m. of the same day. Reyes allegedly witnessed the killing. Fredo Echigoren struck the first blow against Clarito Blace, followed by Totoy Echigoren and Gabriel Gerente who hit him twice with a piece of wood in the head and when he fell, Totoy Echigoren dropped a hollow block on the victim's head. Thereafter, the three men dragged Blace to a place behind the house of Gerente. At about 4:00 p.m. of the same day, Patrolman Jaime Urrutia of the Valenzuela Police Station received a report from the Palo Police Detachment about a mauling incident. He went to the Valenzuela District Hospital where the victim was brought. He was informed by the hospital officials that the victim died on arrival. The cause of death was massive fracture of the skull caused by a hard and heavy object. Right away, Patrolman Urrutia, together with Police Corporal Romeo Lima and Patrolman Alex Umali, proceeded to Paseo de Blas where the mauling incident took place. There they found a piece of wood with blood stains, a hollow block and two roaches of marijuana. They were informed by Reyes that she saw the killing and she pointed to Gabriel Gerente as one of the three men who killed Clarito. The policemen proceeded to the house of Gerente, who was then sleeping. They told him to come out of the house and they introduced themselves as policemen.
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 97 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

Patrolman Urrutia frisked Gerente and found a coin purse in his pocket which contained dried leaves wrapped in cigarette foil. The dried leaves were sent to the National Bureau of Investigation for examination. The Forensic Chemist found them to be marijuana. Only Gerente was apprehended by the police. The other suspects, Fredo and Totoy Echigoren, are still at large. On 2 May 1990, two separate informations were filed by Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Benjamin Caraig against him for Violation of Section 8, Art. II, of RA 6425, and for Murder. When arraigned on 16 May 1990, Gerente pleaded not guilty to both charges. A joint trial of the two cases was held. On 24 September 1990, the Regional Trial Court of Valenzuela, Metro Manila, Branch 172, found Gerente guilty of Violation of Section 8 of Republic Act 6425 and sentenced him to suffer the penalty of imprisonment for a term of 12 years and 1 day, as minimum, to 20 years, as maximum; and also found him guilty of Murder for which crime he was sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua. . Gerente appealed. Issue: Whether the police officers have the personal knowledge of the killing of Blace to allow them to arrest, and the subsequent searchly Gerente’s person, without the necessary warrant. Held: The search of Gerente's person and the seizure of the marijuana leaves in his possession were valid because they were incident to a lawful warrantless arrest. Paragraphs (a) and (b), Section 5, Rule 113 of the Revised Rules of Court provide that "A peace officer or a private person may, without a warrant, arrest a person: (a) When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense; (b) When an offense has in fact just been committed, and he has personal knowledge of facts indicating that the person to be arrested has committed it;" The policemen arrested Gerente only some 3 hours after Gerente and his companions had killed Blace. They saw Blace dead in the hospital and when they inspected the scene of the crime, they found the instruments of death: a piece of wood and a concrete hollow block which the killers had used to bludgeon him to death. The eye-witness, Edna Edwina Reyes, reported the happening to the policemen and pinpointed her neighbor, Gerente, as one of the killers. Under those circumstances, since the policemen had personal knowledge of the violent death of Blace and of facts indicating that Gerente and two others had killed him, they could lawfully arrest Gerente without a warrant. If they had postponed his arrest until they could obtain a warrant, he would have fled the law as his two companions did. The search conducted on Gerente's person was likewise lawful because it was made as an incident to a valid arrest. This is in accordance with Section 12, Rule 126 of the Revised Rules of Court which provides that "A person lawfully arrested may be searched for dangerous weapons or anything which may be used as proof of the commission of an offense, without a search warrant." The frisk and search of Gerente's person upon his arrest was a permissible precautionary measure of arresting officers to protect themselves, for the person who is about to be arrested may be armed and might attack them unless he is first disarmed. 203 People vs. Sinoc [GR 113511-12, 1 July 1997] Third Division, Narvasa (CJ): 4 concur Facts: On 20 September 1991, at about 6:00 a.m., Isidoro Viacrusis, manager of Taganito Mining Corporation, was motoring from the company compound (at Taganito, Claver, Surigao del Norte) to Surigao City. He was riding on a company vehicle, a Mitsubishi Pajero (DFX-397), driven by Tarcisio Guijapon. As Viacrusis and Guijapon were approaching the public cemetery of Claver, they were stopped by several armed men. The latter, identifying themselves as members of the New People's Army (NPA), boarded the Pajero and ordered Guijapon to proceed. When they reached Barobo, Surigao del Norte, the armed men ordered Viacrusis and Guijapon to alight, led them, their hands bound behind their back to a coconut grove some 6 meters from the road, and after making them lie face down on the ground, shot them several times. Viacrusis miraculously survived. The driver, Guijapon, was not as lucky; he died on the spot. At about 7 a.m. the following day, a secret informant (known as a "civilian asset") named Boyet reported to the police Station at Monkayo, Davao del Norte that the stolen ("carnapped") "Pajero" was parked behind the apartment of a certain Paulino Overa at the Bliss Housing Project at Poblacion, Monkayo. On instructions of the Station Commander, a police team
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 98 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

went to the place. They saw the "Pajero" and, their initial inquiries having yielded the information that the man who had brought it there would return that morning, posted themselves in such a manner as to keep it in view. Some 3 hours later, at about 10:30 a.m., they saw a man approach the "Pajero" who, on seeing them, tried to run away. They stopped him. They found out that the man, identified as Danilo Sinoc of Surigao del Norte, had the key of the "Pajero," and was acting under instructions of certain companions who were waiting for him at the Star Lodge at Tagum, Davao del Norte. Riding on the recovered "Pajero," the police officers brought Sinoc to the Star Lodge only to discover that his companions were no longer there. They later turned over Sinoc to the 459th Mobile Force, together with the "Pajero." Sinoc, Vicente Salon @ "Dodong," Benjamin Espinosa @ "Benji," Jaime Jornales @ "James," Victorino Delegencia @ Jun-Gren," and one Roger Doe @ "Ram" (at large) were charged on 23 January 1992. Only Sinoc and Vicente Salon were arraigned, on 14 July 1992, the other accused being then at large. Assisted by their respective counsel, both Sinoc and Salon entered pleas of not guilty and were thereafter jointly tried. On 7 October 1993, the Regional Trial Court of Surigao City, Branch 30, found Sinoc guilty beyond reasonable doubt in two cases jointly tried: one, of the special complex crime of kidnapping with murder (under Article 267 in relation to Articles 248 2 and 48 3 of the Revised Penal Code) — in Criminal Case 3564; and the other, of the complex crime of kidnapping with frustrated murder (under Articles 267, 248, 6 4 and 48 of the same Code) — in Criminal Case 3565. In each case, the penalty of reclusion perpetua was imposed on him. Salon, on the other hand was acquitted inasmuch as conspiracy was not proven. Sinoc appealed. Issue: Whether the police officer had personal knowledge of the crime Sinoc committed to allow them to arrest the latter without a warrant of arrest. Held: The law provides that an arrest without warrant may be licitly effected by a peace officer, inter alia. "When an offense has in fact just been committed, and he has personal knowledge of facts indicating that the person to be arrested has committed it." There is no question that the police officers in this case were aware that an offense had just been committed; i.e., that some 12 hours earlier, a "Pajero" belonging to a private company had been stolen ("carnapped") and its driver and passenger shot, the former having died and the latter being on the verge of death. Nor is there any doubt that an informer ("asset") had reported that the stolen "Pajero" was at the Bliss Housing Project at Monkayo. It was precisely to recover the "Pajero" that a team composed of SPO1 Michael Aringo and "joint elements of 459 PNP MFC and Moncayo Police Station led by Insptr Eden T. Ugale," went to that place and, on taking custody of the "Pajero," forthwith dispatched a radio message to "Higher Headquarters" advising of that fact. There is no question either that when SPO1 Aringo and his companions reached the place where the "Pajero" was parked, they were told by Paulino Overa, owner of the apartment behind which the vehicle was parked, that the man who had brought the "Pajero" would be back by 12:00 noon; that the person thus described did in fact show up at about 10:00 A.M., and was immediately identified by Overa as "the one who rode on that car 'Pajero;'" just as there is no question that when the police officers accosted him, Sinoc had the key to the stolen "Pajero" and was in the act of moving toward it admittedly to take possession of it (after having arrived by bus from Tagum together with another suspect, "Ram"). Sinoc's link to the stolen vehicle (and hence to the kidnapping and killing accompanying its asportation) was thus palpable. The foregoing circumstances left the police officers no alternative save to arrest Sinoc and take possession of the "Pajero." His arrest without warrant was justified; indeed, it was in the premises the officers' clear duty to apprehend him; their omission to do so would have been inexcusable. 204 People vs. Baula [GR 132671, 15 November 2000] Third Division, Vitug (J): 3 concur Facts: On 13 December 1995, at around 8:00 p.m., Jupiter Caburao, allegedly decided to follow his mother, Patrocinia Caburao, who had earlier left their house at Barangay Siwasiw West, Sual, Pangasinan, to settle her due obligations at a store, about 1 1/2 kilometers away, owned by a certain Brigida Tumamang. While traversing the road towards the store, Jupiter allegedly noticed a commotion near the creek about 10 meters away from him. He allegedly focused his flashlight towards the direction where he heard the commotion and
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 99 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

saw Crisanto Baula and Danilo Dacucos in the act of hacking a person who was lying on the ground, while Robert Baula and Ruben Baula stood as lookouts. The assault allegedly lasted for about 4minutes. The Baulas and Dacucos allegedly fled but not before they had threatened Jupiter with death if he were to divulge the incident to anyone. Jupiter went near the lifeless body of the victim who turned out to be his own mother. Her head and face sustained four hacking wounds, two of which damaged her brain tissues. Jupiter rushed home and brought his niece and nephew to the house of a neighbor for their safety. For fear of reprisal from the Baulas, et. al. and believing that the police would be able to solve the gory killing on their own, Jupiter did not reveal the damage to either his relatives or the police. About 2:00 a.m. of 14 December 1995, the police authorities, led by SPO4 Fermin Mirande, went to the locus criminis, and took pictures of the body of the victim. The investigation revealed that before the victim was killed, she had been to Brigida Tumamang's store; that the Baulas, et. al. were also at the store having a drinking spree; that the victim left the store between 7:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., and that, 15 minutes later, the Baulas, et. al. also left. SPO4 Mirande, with several policemen, repaired to the respective houses of accused-appellants. The policemen asked Ruben Baula and Crisanto Baula for the clothing they wore on the night of the murder. Ruben Baula gave his bloodstained pair of short pants, and Crisanto Baula turned over his bloodstained polo shirt. The policemen next went to the hut of Danilo Dacucos. Inside the hut, the group found hanging on the wall a bloodstained bolo. The bloodstained pair of short pants, polo shirt and bolo, together with the victim's dried blood samples, were sent on the same day to the National Bureau of Investigation, Dagupan City Branch Office, for forensic examination. The results of the examination disclosed that the bloodstains found in the bolo, the bloodstains on the polo shirt and the bloodstains on the pair of short pants had the same type "O" blood as that of the victim. On 7 August 1996, Crisanto Baula, Ruben Baula, Robert Baula and Danilo Dacucos were charged with murder before the Regional Trial Court, Branch 38, of Lingayen, Pangasinan. When arraigned, the accused all entered a plea of not guilty to the offense charged. Trial shortly thereafter ensued. The Baulas, et. al. denied their involvement in Patrocinia’s killing. The trial court rendered its judgment on 17 November 1997, convicting Baula, et. al. of the crime charged, and sentenced them to suffer the penalty of Reclusion Perpetua and to pay, jointly and severally, the heirs of Patrocinia Caburao (a) 50,000.00 for the death of Patrocinia Caburao; (b) P15,000.00 for funeral expenses; (c) moral damages of P75,000.00; and (d) to pay proportionally the costs. Baula, et. al. appealed. Issue: Whether the Baulas can be arrested without warrant for the killing of Petrocinia Caburao, and whether seizures can be effected pursuant to such arrests. Held: The proscription against unreasonable searches and seizures is not absolute, and the Court has had occasions to rule that a warrantless search and seizure of property is valid under certain circumstances. There can, for instance, be a lawful warrantless search incidental to a lawful arrest recognized under Section 12, Rules 126 of the Rules of Court and by prevailing jurisprudence; or seizure of evidence in "plain view," its elements being extant; or search of a moving vehicle; or consented search; or customs search. The situation here in question, however, can hardly come within the purview of any of the established exceptions. In a warrantless search incidental to a lawful arrest, the arrest itself must have to be effected under the circumstances enumerated by law. One such case is when an offense has in fact just been committed, and the peace officer has personal knowledge of facts indicating that the person to be arrested has committed it. Danilo Dacucos, Crisanto Baula and Ruben Baula were not being arrested at the time that the bloodstained bolo, polo shirt and short pants were allegedly taken from them but were just being questioned by the police officers conducting the investigation about the death of Patrocinia Caburao. The investigating officers had no personal knowledge of facts indicating that the accused had committed the crime. Being in no position to effect a warrantless arrest, the police officers were thus likewise barred from effecting a warrantless search and seizure. The police officers acted on a mere suspicion that Baula, et. al. could be responsible for the commission of the crime and only because of their being at the store where the victim was last seen. Mere suspicion cannot satisfy the requirement of probable cause which signifies a reasonable ground of suspicion supported by circumstances sufficiently strong in themselves to warrant a cautious man to believe that the person accused is guilty of the offense with which he can be charged. An illegal search cannot be undertaken
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 100 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

and then an arrest effected on the strength of the evidence yielded by that search. The Court finds it less than credible the stance of the prosecution that the polo shirt and short pants have been voluntarily given. An alleged consent to a warrantless search and seizure cannot be based merely on the presumption of regularity in the performance of duty. This presumption by itself, cannot prevail against the constitutionally protected rights of an individual, and zeal in the pursuit of criminals cannot ennoble the use of arbitrary methods that the Constitution itself abhors. 205 People vs. Cubcubin [GR 136267, 10 July 2001] En Banc, Mendoza (J): 12 concur, 1 on official business, 1 on leave Facts: At about 3:30 a.m. of 26 August 1997, Sgt. Rogel, desk officer of the Cavite City police station, received a telephone call that a person had been shot near the cemetery along Julian Felipe Boulevard in San Antonio, Cavite City. For this reason, a police team, composed of SPO1 Malinao, Jr., PO3 Rosal, PO3 Estoy, Jr., PO3 Manicio, and SPO3 Manalo, responded to the call and found Henry P. Piamonte slumped dead on his tricycle which was then parked on the road. Police photographer Fred Agana took pictures of the crime scene showing the victim slumped on the handle of the tricycle. PO3 Rosal testified that a tricycle driver, who refused to divulge his name, told him that Fidel Abrenica Cubcubin Jr. and the victim were last seen together coming out of the Sting Cafe, located in San Antonio near the gate of Sangley Point, Cavite City, about a kilometer and a half away from the crime scene. Forthwith, PO3 Rosal and SPO1 Malinao, Jr. went to the cafe and talked to Danet Garcellano, a food server/waitress in Sting Cafe. Garcellano described Cubcubin as a lean, dark-complexioned, and mustachioed man who had on a white t-shirt and brown short pants. Armando Plata, another tricycle driver, told PO3 Rosal and SPO1 Malinao, Jr. that Garcellano's description fitted a person known as alias "Jun Dulce." Armando Plata, who knew where Cubcubin lived, led PO3 Rosal, SPO1 Malinao, Jr., and Prosecutor Lu to Cubucubin's house in Garcia Extension, Cavite City. The policemen knocked on the door for about 3 minutes before it was opened by a man who answered the description given by Danet Garcellano and who turned out to be Cubcubin. The police operatives identified themselves and informed him that he was being sought in connection with the shooting near the cemetery. Cubcubin denied involvement in the incident. PO3 Rosal and SPO1 Malinao, Jr. then asked permission to enter and look around the house. SPO1 Malinao, Jr. said that upon entering the house, he noticed a white t-shirt, bearing the brand name "Hanes" and the name "Dhenvher" written in the inner portion of the shirt's hemline, placed over a divider near the kitchen. Upon close examination, he said that he found it to be "bloodied." When he picked up the t-shirt, two spent .38 caliber shells fell from it. PO3 Rosal stayed with Cubcubin while he conducted a search. They then took the t-shirt and the two bullet shells. SPO1 Malinao, Jr. then asked Cubcubin to go with them to Sting Cafe for purposes of identification. There, Cubcubin was positively identified by Danet Garcellano as the victim's companion. The police investigators asked Cubcubin where the fatal gun was. SPO1 Malinao, Jr. said Cubcubin refused to tell him where he hid the gun so he sought the latter's permission to go back to his house to conduct a further search. Thereupon, SPO1 Malinao, Jr., accompanied by Prosecutor Lu, PO3 Estoy, Jr., PO3 Manicio, SPO3 Manalo, and PO3 Rosal, proceeded thereto. Inside the house, they saw Cubcubin's 11-year old son Jhumar. PO3 Estoy, Jr. found on top of a plastic water container (drum) outside the bathroom a homemade Smith and Wesson caliber .38 revolver (six shooter), without a serial number. He found the gun loaded with five live bullets. PO3 Estoy, Jr. said that he inscribed his initials "RDE" (for Raymundo D. Estoy) on the cylinder of the gun with the use of a sharp object. While PO3 Estoy, Jr. was conducting the search, SPO1 Malinao, Jr. and PO3 Rosal stayed with Cubcubin in the sala. The .38 caliber gun, the white "Hanes" t-shirt, and the two spent .38 caliber shells were all photographed. Cubcubin was then taken to the police station, where he was photographed along with the things seized from him. Cubcubin was charged for the crime of murder. On 5 October 1998, the Regional Trial Court, Branch 88, Cavite City, found Cubcubin guilty of murder and sentenced him to suffer the penalty of death. Hence, the automatic review. Issue: Whether there was "probable cause" for PO3 Rosal and SPO1 Malinao, Jr., the arresting officers, to believe that Cubcubin committed the crime, to allow them to conduct the latter's warrantless arrest.
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 101 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

Held: Rule 113, §5 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure, as amended, provides that "A peace officer or a private person may, without a warrant, arrest a person: (a) When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense; (b) When an offense has in fact just been committed, and he has personal knowledge of facts indicating that the person to be arrested has committed it; (c) When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped from a penal establishment or place where he is serving final judgment or temporarily confined while his case is pending, or has escaped while being transferred from one confinement to another." Under §5(b), two conditions must concur for a warrantless arrest to be valid: first, the offender has just committed an offense and, second, the arresting peace officer or private person has personal knowledge of facts indicating that the person to be arrested has committed it. It has been held that "personal knowledge of facts' in arrests without a warrant must be based upon probable cause, which means an actual belief or reasonable grounds of suspicion." Herein, the arrest of Cubcubin was effected shortly after the victim was killed. There was no "probable cause, however, for PO3 Rosal and SPO1 Malinao, Jr., the arresting officers, to believe that Cubcubin committed the crime. The two did not have "personal knowledge of facts" indicating that Cubcubin had committed the crime. Their knowledge of the circumstances from which they allegedly inferred that Cubcubin was probably guilty was based entirely on what they had been told by others, to wit: by someone who called the PNP station in San Antonio, Cavite City at about 3:30 a.m. of 26 August 1997 and reported that a man had been killed along Julian Felipe Boulevard of the said city; by an alleged witness who saw Cubcubin and the victim coming out of the Sting Cafe; by Danet Garcellano, waitress at the Sting Cafe, who said that the man last seen with the victim was lean, mustachioed, dark-complexioned and was wearing a white t-shirt and a pair of brown short pants; by a tricycle driver named Armando Plata who told them that the physical description given by Garcellano fitted Cubcubin, alias "Jun Dulce" and who said he knew where Cubcubin lived and accompanied them to Cubcubin's house. Thus, PO3 Rosal and SPO1 Malinao, Jr. merely relied on information given to them by others. Be that as it may, Cubcubin cannot now question the validity of his arrest without a warrant. The records show that he pleaded not guilty to the charge when arraigned on 11 November 1997. Cubcubin did not object to the arraignment, and thus has waived the right to object to the legality of his arrest. On the other hand, the search of Cubcubin's house was illegal and, consequently, the things obtained as a result of the illegal search, i.e., the white "Hanes" t-shirt, two spent shells, and the .38 caliber gun, are inadmissible in evidence against him. It cannot be said that the .38 caliber gun was discovered through inadvertence. After bringing Cubcubin to the Sting Cafe where he was positively identified by a waitress named Danet Garcellano as the victim's companion, the arresting officers allegedly asked Cubcubin where he hid the gun used in killing the victim. According to SPO1 Malinao, Jr., when Cubcubin refused to answer, he sought Cubcubin's permission to go back to his house and there found the .38 caliber revolver on top of a plastic water container outside the bathroom. Thus, the gun was purposely sought by the police officers and they did not merely stumble upon it. Nor were the police officers justified in seizing the white "Hanes" t-shirt placed on top of the divider "in plain view" as such is not contraband nor is it incriminating in nature which would lead SPO1 Malinao, Jr. to conclude that it would constitute evidence of a crime. Contrary to what SPO1 Malinao, Jr. said, the t-shirt was not "bloodied" which could have directed his attention to take a closer look at it. From the photograph of the t-shirt, it is not visible that there were bloodstains. The actual t-shirt merely had some small specks of blood at its lower portion. Furthermore, there is no evidence to link Cubcubin directly to the crime. 206 People vs. Rodrigueza [GR 95902, 4 February 1992] Second Division, Regalado (J): 4 concur Facts: [Prosecution] At around 5:00 p.m. of 1 July 1987, CIC Ciriaco Taduran was in their headquarters at the Office of the Narcotics Regional Unit at Camp Bagong Ibalon, Legaspi City, together with S/Sgt. Elpidio Molinawe, CIC Leonardo B. Galutan and their commanding officer, Major Crisostomo M. Zeidem, when a confidential informer arrived and told them that there was an ongoing illegal traffic of prohibited drugs in Tagas, Daraga, Albay. Major Zeidem formed a team to conduct a buybust operation, which team was given P200.00 in different denominations to buy marijuana. These bills were treated with ultraviolet powder at the
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 102 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

Philippine Constabulary Crime Laboratory (PCCL). Sgt. Molinawe gave the money to Taduran who acted as the poseur buyer. He was told to look for a certain Don, the alleged seller of prohibited drugs. Taduran went to Tagas alone and, while along the road, he met Samuel Segovia. He asked Segovia where he could find Don and where he could buy marijuana. Segovia left for a while and when he returned, he was accompanied by a man who was later on introduced to him as Don Rodrigueza. After agreeing on the price of P200.00 for 100 grams of marijuana, Don halted a passing tricycle driven by Antonio Lonceras. He boarded it and left Taduran and Segovia. When he came back, Don gave Taduran "a certain object wrapped in a plastic" which was later identified as marijuana, and received payment therefor. Thereafter, Taduran returned to the headquarters and made a report regarding his said purchase of marijuana. Based on that information, Major Zeidem ordered a team to conduct an operation to apprehend the suspects. In the evening of the same date, CIC Galutan and S/Sgt. Molinawe proceeded to Regidor Street, Daraga, Albay and arrested Rodrigueza, Antonio Lonceras and Samuel Segovia. The constables were not, however, armed with a warrant of arrest when they apprehended the three accused. The arrests were brought to the headquarters for investigation. Thereafter, agents of the Narcotics Command (NARCOM) conducted a raid in the house of Jovencio Rodrigueza, Don's father. Taduran did not go with them. During the raid, they were able to confiscate dried marijuana leaves and a plastic syringe, among others. The search, however, was not authorized by any search warrant. The next day, Jovencio Rodrigueza was released from detention but Don Rodrigueza was detained. [Defense] Don Rodrigueza, on the other hand, claimed that on said date he was in the house of his aunt in San Roque, Legaspi City. He stayed there overnight and did not leave the place until the next day when his brother arrived and told him that their father was taken by some military men the preceding night. Rodrigueza went to Camp Bagong Ibalon and arrived there at around 8:00 a.m. of 2 July 1987. When he arrived, he was asked if he knew anything about the marijuana incident, to which question he answered in the negative. Like Segovia, he was made to hold a P10.00 bill and was brought to the crime laboratory for examination. From that time on, he was not allowed to go home and was detained inside the camp. He was also tortured in order to make him admit his complicity in the alleged sale of marijuana. On 10 July 1987, Don Rodrigueza, Samuel Segovia and Antonio Lonceras, for possession of 100 grams of marijuana leaves and for selling, in a buy-bust operation, said 100 grams of dried marijuana leaves for a consideration of P200.00. During the arraignment, all the accused pleaded not guilty to the charge against them. The Regional Trial Court of Legaspi City, Branch 10, found Don Rodrigueza guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violating Section 4, Article II of the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972 (Republic Act 6425, as amended) and sentenced him to suffer the penalty of life imprisonment and to pay a fine of P20,000.00 and costs. The court, however, acquitted Segovia and Lonceres. Rodrigueza appealed. Issue: Whether the time of Don Rodrigueza’s arrest is material in determining his culpability in the crime charged. Held: As provided in the present Constitution, a search, to be valid, must generally be authorized by a search warrant duly issued by the proper government authority. True, in some instances, the Court has allowed government authorities to conduct searches and seizures even without a search warrant. Thus, when the owner of the premises waives his right against such incursion; when the search is incidental to a lawful arrest; when it is made on vessels and aircraft for violation of customs laws; when it is made on automobiles for the purpose of preventing violations of smuggling or immigration laws; when it involves prohibited articles in plain view; or in cases of inspection of buildings and other premises for the enforcement of fire, sanitary and building regulations, a search may be validly made even without a search warrant. Herein, however, the raid conducted by the NARCOM agents in the house of Jovencio Rodrigueza was not authorized by any search warrant. It does not appear, either, that the situation falls under any of the aforementioned cases. Hence, Rodrigueza's right against unreasonable search and seizure was clearly violated. The NARCOM agents could not have justified their act by invoking the urgency and necessity of the situation because the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses reveal that the place had already been put under surveillance for quite some time. Had it been their intention to conduct the raid, then they should, because they easily could, have first secured
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 103 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

a search warrant during that time. Further, the inconsistencies made by prosecution witnesses give more credibility to the testimony of Don Rodrigueza. While it is true that Rodrigueza's defense amounts to an alibi, and as such is the weakest defense in a criminal prosecution, there are, nonetheless, some evidentiary aspects pointing to the truth in his testimony. Firstly, the Joint Affidavit of Arrest corroborates his testimony that he was not among those who were arrested on the night of 1 July 1987. His co-accused Segovia also testified that Rodrigueza was not with them when they were apprehended by the NARCOM agents. Hence, Rodrigueza is acquitted of the crime charged, due to the failure of the prosecution to establish its cause. 207 Go vs. Court of Appeals [GR 101837, 11 February 1992] En Banc, Feliciano (J): 5 concur Facts: On 2 July 1991, Eldon Maguan was driving his car along Wilson St., San Juan, Metro Manila, heading towards P. Guevarra St. Rolito Go y Tambunting entered Wilson St., where it is a one-way street and started traveling in the opposite or "wrong" direction. At the corner of Wilson and J. Abad Santos Sts., Go's and Maguan's cars nearly bumped each other. Go alighted from his car, walked over and shot Maguan inside his car. Go then boarded his car and left the scene. A security guard at a nearby restaurant was able to take down Go's car plate number. The police arrived shortly thereafter at the scene of the shooting and there retrieved an empty shell and one round of live ammunition for a 9mm caliber pistol. Verification at the Land Transportation Office showed that the car was registered to one Elsa Ang Go. The following day, the police returned to the scene of the shooting to find out where the suspect had come from; they were informed that Go had dined at Cravings Bake Shop shortly before the shooting. The police obtained a facsimile or impression of the credit card used by Go from the cashier of the bake shop. The security guard of the bake shop was shown a picture of Go and he positively identified him as the same person who had shot Maguan. Having established that the assailant was probably Go, the police launched a manhunt for Go. On 8 July 1991, Go presented himself before the San Juan Police Station to verify news reports that he was being hunted by the police; he was accompanied by two (2) lawyers. The police forthwith detained him. An eyewitness to the shooting, who was at the police station at that time, positively identified Go as the gunman. That same day, the police promptly filed a complaint for frustrated homicide against Go with the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor of Rizal. First Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Dennis Villa Ignacio ("Prosecutor") informed Go, in the Presence of his lawyers. that he could avail himself of his right to preliminary investigation but that he must first sign a waiver of the provisions of Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code. Go refused to execute any such waiver. On 9 July 1991, while the complaint was still with the Prosecutor, and before an information could be filed in court, the victim, Eldon Maguan, died of his gunshot wound(s). Accordingly, on 11 July 1991, the Prosecutor, instead of filing an information for frustrated homicide, filed an information for murder before the Regional Trial Court. No bail was recommended. At the bottom of the information, the Prosecutor certified that no preliminary investigation had been conducted because the accused did not execute and sign a waiver of the provisions of Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code. In the afternoon of 11 July 1991, Go's counsel filed with the prosecutor an omnibus motion for immediate release and proper preliminary investigation, alleging that the warrantless arrest of Go was unlawful and that no preliminary investigation had been conducted before the information was filed. On 12 July 1991, Go filed an urgent ex-parte motion for special raffle in order to expedite action on the Prosecutor's bail recommendation. The case was raffled to the sala of Judge Benjamin V. Pelayo (Branch 168, RTC of Pasig City), who, on the same date, approved the cash bond posted by Go and ordered his release. Go was in fact released that same day. On 16 July 1991, the Prosecutor filed with the Regional Trial Court a motion for leave to conduct preliminary investigation and prayed that in the meantime all proceedings in the court be suspended. On the said date, the trial court issued an Order 9 granting leave to conduct preliminary investigation and cancelling the arraignment set for 15 August 1991 until after the prosecution shall have concluded its preliminary investigation. On 17 July 1991, however, the Judge motu proprio issued an Order, (1) recalling the 12 July 1991 Order which granted bail: petitioner was given 48 hours from receipt of the Order to surrender himself: (2) recalling and cancelling the 16 July 1991 Order which granted leave to the Prosecutor to conduct preliminary investigation: (3) treating Go's omnibus motion for immediate release and preliminary investigation dated 11 July 1991 as a petition for
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 104 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

bail and set for hearing on 23 July 1991. On 19 July 1991, Go filed a petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus before the Supreme Court assailing the 17 July 1991 Order. Go also moved for suspension of all proceedings in the case pending resolution by the Supreme Court of his petition: this motion was, however, denied by Judge Pelayo. On 23 July 1991, Go surrendered to the police. By a Resolution dated 24 July 1991, the Supreme Court remanded the petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus to the Court of Appeals. On 16 August 1991, Judge Pelayo issued an order in open court setting Go's arraignment on 23 August 1991. On 19 August 1991, Go filed with the Court of Appeals a motion to restrain his arraignment. On 23 August 1991, Judge Pelayo issued a Commitment Order directing the Provincial Warden of Rizal to admit Go into his custody at the Rizal Provincial Jail. On the same date, Go was arraigned. In view, however, of his refusal to enter a plea, the trial court entered for him a plea of not guilty. The trial court then set the criminal case for continuous hearings on 19, 24 and 26 September; on 2, 3, 11 and 17 October; and on 7, 8, 14, 15, 21 and 22 November 1991. On 27 August 1991. Go filed a petition for habeas corpus in the Court of Appeals. On 30 August 1991, the Court of Appeals issued the writ of habeas corpus. The petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus, on the one hand, and the petition for habeas corpus, upon the other, were subsequently consolidated in the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals, on 2 September 1991, issued a resolution denying Go's motion to restrain his arraignment on the ground that motion had become moot and academic. On 19 September 1991, trial of the criminal case commenced. On 23 September 1991, the Court of Appeals rendered a consolidated decision dismissing the 2 petitions on the grounds that Go's warrantless arrest was valid and Go's act of posting bail constituted waiver of any irregularity attending his arrest, among others. On 3 October 1991, the prosecution presented three (3) more witnesses at the trial. Go's Counsel also filed a "Withdrawal of Appearance" with the trial court, with Go's conformity. On 4 October 1991, Go filed the present petition for Review on Certiorari. On 14 October 1991, the Court issued a Resolution directing Judge Pelayo to held in abeyance the hearing of the criminal case below until further orders from the Supreme Court. Issue: Whether Go was arrested legally without warrant for the killing of Maguan, and is thus not entitled to be released pending the conduct of a preliminary investigation. Held: Go's warrantless "arrest" or detention does not fall within the terms of Section 5 of Rule 113 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure which provides that "A peace officer or a private person may, without a warrant, arrest a person: (a) When, in his presence, the person to be created has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense; (b) When an offense has in fact just been committed, and he has personal knowledge of facts indicating that the person to be arrested has committed it; and (c) When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped from a penal establishment or place where he is serving final judgment or temporarily confined while his case is pending or has escaped while being transferred from one confinement to another. In cases falling under paragraphs (a) and (b) hereof, the person arrested without a warrant shall be forthwith delivered to the nearest police station or jail, and he shall be proceeded against in accordance with Rule 112, Section 7." Go's "arrest" took place 6 days after the shooting of Maguan. The "arresting" officers obviously were not present, within the meaning of Section 5(a), at the time Go had allegedly shot Maguan. Neither could the "arrest" effected 6 days after the shooting be reasonably regarded as effected "when [the shooting had] in fact just been committed" within the meaning of Section 5 (b). Moreover, none of the "arresting" officers had any "personal knowledge" of facts indicating that Go was the gunman who had shot Maguan. The information upon which the police acted had been derived from statements made by alleged eyewitnesses to the shooting -- one stated that Go was the gunman another was able to take down the alleged gunman's car's plate number which turned out to be registered in Go's wife's name. That information did not, however, constitute "personal knowledge." It is thus clear to the Court that there was no lawful warrantless arrest of Go within the meaning of Section 5 of Rule 113. It is clear too that Section 7 of Rule 112 is also not applicable. Indeed, Go was not arrested at all. When he walked into the San Juan Police Station, accompanied by two (2) lawyers, he in fact placed himself at the disposal of the police authorities. He did not state that he was "surrendering" himself, in all probability to avoid the implication he was admitting that he had slain Eldon Maguan or that he was otherwise guilty of a crime.
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 105 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

When the police filed a complaint for frustrated homicide with the Prosecutor, the latter should have immediately scheduled a preliminary investigation to determine whether there was probable cause for charging Go in court for the killing of Eldon Maguan. Instead, as noted earlier, the Prosecutor proceeded under the erroneous supposition that Section 7 of Rule 112 was applicable and required Go to waive the provisions of Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code as a condition for carrying out a preliminary investigation. This was substantive error, for Go was entitled to a preliminary investigation and that right should have been accorded him without any conditions. Moreover, since Go had not been arrested; with or without a warrant, he was also entitled to be released forthwith subject only to his appearing at the preliminary investigation. 208 People vs. Calimlim [GR 123980, 30 August 2001] En Banc, Quisumbing (J): 14 concur Facts: Lanie S. Limin was 14 years old and had been living with the family of Kagawad Manny Ferrer and Cresencia Ferrer for the past 3 years. On the night of 2 April 1995, she was left alone in one of the two houses of the Ferrers since her usual companions, the sons of Manny and Cresencia, were out for the night (disco). The Ferrers were in the other house about 15 meters away. At around 11:30 P.M., she was awakened when she heard somebody, later identified as Manuel Calimlim y Muyano, enter her room. Calimlim immediately poked a knife at the left side of her neck and said "Accompany me because I killed my wife." She was then dragged to the pig pen, about 8-9 meters away from the place where she slept. Afterwards, she was again forcibly taken back to her room, then to her cousin's room and to the kitchen. In each of these places, Calimlim forcibly had sexual intercourse with her while he poked a knife against her neck. According to Limin, she first recognized Calimlim while they were in the kitchen when she was able to remove the cloth covering his face. She stated that she knew Calimlim because she had seen him always following her whenever she went to school. Limin claimed that she did not struggle nor shout nor resist because she was afraid that appellant might kill her. After the fourth intercourse, Calimlim threatened that he would kill her if she reported the incidents. Despite the threat, she told her cousin, Manicris Ferrer, who then reported the matter to Dr. Nancy Quinto who lived nearby. The rapes were reported to the station of SPO1 Mario Suratos by Kagawad Ferrer. Dr. Ricardo Ferrer conducted the physical examination on Lanie, and found that there was minimal vaginal bleeding and there were lacerations in the hymen, the positions of which were at 9:00 o'clock, 6:00 o'clock and 3:00 o'clock, all fresh, indicating that there were insertions within the past 24 hours. There was also a whitish vaginal discharge which was found positive for spermatozoa. Manuel Calimlim denied the accusations. Calimlim was charged in 4 informations for rape in Criminal Cases U-8525, 8638 to 8640. On 17 November 1995, the Regional Trial Court, First Judicial Region, Branch 46, Urdaneta, Pangasinan found Calimlim guilty of 4 counts of rape and sentenced him to suffer the penalty of death, to pay the offended party the amount of P50,000.00 as damages, and to pay the costs, in each of the cases. Hence, the automatic review. Issue: Whether Calimlim may raise the illegality of the warrantless arrest conducted against him, especially as the arrest was made a day after the crime was committed. Held: Calimlim avers that his arrest violated Section 5 of Rule 113, 40 since his arrest was made one day after the crime was committed, but without any judicial warrant, although the police had ample time to get one. This he claims is also in violation of Article III, Sec. 2 of the Constitution. But here it will be noted that Calimlim entered a plea of not guilty to each of the informations charging him of rape. Thus, he had effectively waived his right to question any irregularity which might have accompanied his arrest and the unlawful restraint of his liberty. This is clear from a reading of Section 9 of Rule 117 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, which provides that "the failure of the accused to assert any ground of a motion to quash before he pleads to the complaint or information, either because he did not file a motion to quash or failed to allege the same in said motion, shall be deemed a waiver of any objections except those based on the grounds provided for in paragraphs (a), (b), (g) and (i) of section 3 of this Rule." Given the circumstances of his case,
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 106 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

the exceptions do not apply here and the Court is constrained to rule that Calimlim is estopped from raising the issue of the legality of his arrest. Moreover, the illegal arrest of an accused is not sufficient cause for setting aside a valid judgment rendered upon a sufficient complaint after a trial free from error. The defense's claim of warrantless arrest which is illegal cannot render void all other proceedings including those leading to the conviction of Calimlim, nor can the state be deprived of its right to convict the guilty when all the facts on record point to his culpability. 209 People vs. Enrile [GR 74189, 26 May 1993] First Division, Cruz (J): 3 concur Facts: At about 6:30 p.m. of 25 October 1985, a buy-bust team composed of Pat. Jaime Flores and Pat. Wilson Rances of the Quezon City Police Anti-Narcotics Unit was dispatched to entrap Rogelio Abugatal at Roosevelt Avenue in San Francisco del Monte, Quezon City. The plan was made on the strength of a tip given by Renato Polines, a police informer, who was himself to pose as the buyer. On that occasion the policemen saw Polines hand over to Abugatal the marked money representing payment for the mock transaction. Abugatal left with the money and returned 10 minutes later with a wrapped object which he gave Polines. The two policemen then approached Abugatal and placed him under arrest, at the same time confiscating the wrapped object. Subsequent laboratory examination revealed this to be marijuana with flowering tops weighing 22 grams. Upon prodding, Abugatal led the policemen to a house at 20 De Vera Street, also in San Francisco del Monte, Quezon City, where he called out for Antonio Enrile. Enrile came out and met them at the gate. Abugatal pointed to Enrile as the source of the marijuana, whereupon the policemen immediately arrested and frisked him. They found in the right front pocket of his trousers the marked money earlier delivered to Abugatal. At the police headquarters, Abugatal signed a sworn confession. Enrile refused to make any statement pending consultation with a lawyer. Antonio Enrile y Villaroman and Rogelio Abugatal y Marquez were charged for violation of the Dangerous Drug Act by the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City. The RTC, after trial and on 14 February 1986, found Enrile and Abugatal guilty beyond reasonable doubt and sentenced them to life imprisonment and a fine of P30,000.00. Both appealed. Abugatal, however, was killed in an attempted jailbreak and thus the appeal is dismissed as to him. Issue: Whether the mark money found in Enrile’s possession, pursuant to a warrantless arrest, search and seizure, provide for his criminal culpability. Held: It was Abugatal who was allegedly caught red-handed by the policemen as he sold the marijuana to Polines. Enrile was not even at the scene of the entrapment at that time. Abugatal said he did lead the policemen to Enrile's house where he pointed to Enrile as the source of the marijuana. Even assuming this to be true, that circumstance alone did not justify Enrile's warrantless arrest and search. Under Rule 113, Section 5, of the Rules of Court, a peace officer or a private person may make a warrantless arrest only under any of the following circumstances: (a) When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense; (b) When an offense has in fact just been committed, and he has personal knowledge of facts indicating that the person to be arrested has committed it; and (c) When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped from a penal establishment or place where he is serving final judgment or temporarily confined while his case is pending, or has escaped while being transferred from one confinement to another. Paragraphs (a) and (b) are clearly inapplicable. Paragraph (b) is also not in point because the policemen who later arrested Enrile at his house had no personal knowledge that he was the source of the marijuana. According to the policemen themselves, what happened was that they asked Abugatal who gave him the marijuana and were told it was Enrile. It was for this reason that they proceeded to Enrile's house and immediately arrested him. What the policemen should have done was secure a search warrant on the basis of the information supplied by Abugatal and then, with such authority, proceeded to search and, if the search was fruitful, arrest Enrile. They had no right to simply force themselves into his house on the bare (and subsequently disallowed) allegations of Abugatal and bundle Enrile off to the police station as if he had been caught in flagrante delicto. The discovery of the marked money on him did
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 107 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

not mean he was caught in the act of selling marijuana. The marked money was not prohibited per se. Even if it were, that fact alone would not retroactively validate the warrantless search and seizure. 210 People vs. Pasudag [GR 128822, 4 May 2001] First Division, Pardo (J): 4 concur Facts: On 26 September 1995, at around 1:30 p.m., SPO2 Pepito Calip of the PNP Sison, Pangasinan, went to Brgy. Artacho to conduct anti-jueteng operations. He urinated at a bushy bamboo fence behind the public school. About 5 meters away, he saw a garden of about 70 square meters. There were marijuana plants in between corn plants and camote tops. He inquired from a storekeeper nearby as to who owned the house with the garden. The storeowner told him that Alberto Pasudag y Bokang owned it. SPO2 Calip went to the Police Station and reported to Chief of Police Romeo C. Astrero. The latter dispatched a team (composed of SPO2 Calip, SPO3 Fajarito, SPO3 Alcantara and PO3 Rasca) to conduct an investigation. At around 2:30 p.m., the team arrived at Brgy. Artacho and went straight to the house of Pasudag. SPO3 Fajarito looked for Pasudag and asked him to bring the team to his backyard garden which was about 5 meters away. Upon seeing the marijuana plants, the policemen called for a photographer, who took pictures of Pasudag standing beside one of the marijuana plants. They uprooted 7 marijuana plants. The team brought Pasudag and the marijuana plants to the police station. On 17 December 1996, 4th Assistant Provincial Prosecutor of Pangasinan Emiliano M. Matro filed with the Regional Trial Court, Pangasinan, Urdaneta an Information charging Pasudag with violation of RA 6425, Sec. 9. On 10 February 1997, the trial court arraigned the accused. He pleaded not guilty. Trial ensued. The Regional Trial Court, Pangasinan, Branch 46, Urdaneta found Pasudag guilty beyond reasonable doubt of illegal cultivation of marijuana and sentenced him to reclusion perpetua and to pay a fine of P500,000.00, without subsidiary penalty and other accessories of the law. Pasudag appealed. Issue: Whether time was of the essence to uproot and confiscate the marijuana plants. Held: As a general rule, the procurement of a search warrant is required before a law enforcer may validly search or seize the person, house, papers or effects of any individual. The Constitution provides that "the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable." Any evidence obtained in violation of this provision is inadmissible. Herein, the police authorities had ample opportunity to secure from the court a search warrant. SPO2 Pepito Calip inquired as to who owned the house. He was acquainted with marijuana plants and immediately recognized that some plants in the backyard of the house were marijuana plants. Time was not of the essence to uproot and confiscate the plants. They were three months old and there was no sufficient reason to believe that they would be uprooted on that same day. With the illegal seizure of the marijuana plants, the seized plants are inadmissible in evidence against Pasudag. 211 People vs. Aminnudin [GR L-74860, 6 July 1988] First Division, Cruz (J): 3 concur Facts: Idel Aminnudin y Ahni was arrested on 25 June 1984, shortly after disembarking from the M/V Wilcon 9 at about 8:30 p.m., in Iloilo City. The PC officers who were in fact waiting for him simply accosted him, inspected his bag and finding what looked liked marijuana leaves took him to their headquarters for investigation. The two bundles of suspect articles were confiscated from him and later taken to the NBI laboratory for examination. When they were verified as marijuana leaves, an information for violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act was filed against him. Later, the information was amended to include Farida Ali y Hassen, who had also been arrested with him that same evening and likewise investigated. Both were arraigned and pleaded not guilty. Subsequently, the fiscal filed a motion to dismiss the charge against Ali on the basis of a sworn statement of the arresting officers absolving her after a "thorough investigation." The motion was granted, and trial proceeded only against Aminnudin, who was eventually convicted, and
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 108 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

sentenced to life imprisonment plus a fine of P20,000.00. Issue: Whether there was ample opportunity to obtain a warrant of arrest against Aminnudin, for alleged possession and transport of illegal drugs. Held: It is not disputed, and in fact it is admitted by the PC officers who testified for the prosecution, that they had no warrant when they arrested Aminnudin and seized the bag he was carrying. Their only justification was the tip they had earlier received from a reliable and regular informer who reported to them that Aminnudin was arriving in Iloilo by boat with marijuana. Their testimony varies as to the time they received the tip, one saying it was two days before the arrest (this was the declaration of the chief of the arresting team, Lt. Cipriano Querol, Jr.), another two weeks and a third "weeks before June 25." There was no warrant of arrest or search warrant issued by a judge after personal determination by him of the existence of probable cause. Contrary to the averments of the government, Aminnudin was not caught in flagrante nor was a crime about to be committed or had just been committed to justify the warrantless arrest allowed under Rule 113 of the Rules of Court. Even expediency could not be invoked to dispense with the obtention of the warrant. The present case presented no urgency. From the conflicting declarations of the PC witnesses, it is clear that they had at least two days within which they could have obtained a warrant to arrest and search Aminnudin who was coming Iloilo on the M/V Wilcon 9. His name was known. The vehicle was identified. The date of its arrival was certain. And from the information they had received, they could have persuaded a judge that there was probable cause, indeed, to justify the issuance of a warrant. Yet they did nothing. No effort was made to comply with the law. The Bill of Rights was ignored altogether because the PC lieutenant who was the head of the arresting team, had determined on his own authority that "search warrant was not necessary." 212 People vs. Plana [GR 128285, 27 November 2001] En Banc, Per Curiam. 15 concur. Facts: On 23 September 1994, at around 10:30 a.m., Felix Lagud was walking at the feeder road in Barangay Cobe, Dumarao, Capiz. He just came from his farm in Alipasyawan, Dumarao and was on his way home to Poblacion Ilawod. A movement at about 50 meters to his left side caught his attention. He saw 3 persons who seemed to be wrestling. He came nearer so he would be able to see them more clearly. From about a distance of 20 meters, he saw the 3 men holding a girl while another man was on top of her. The girl was being raped and she was later stabbed. Frightened that the assailants would see him, Lagud ran away. He intended to go straight home but when he passed by the house of Porferio Haguisan, the latter invited him for a "milagrosa." Lagud obliged and stayed at the house of his "kumpare" until 2:00 a.m. On 26 September 1994, the victim, Helen Perote, was found dead by her brother and the police in Brgy. Cobe, Dumarao, Capiz. The body was in prone position and was already in an advance state of decomposition. Lagud identified Antonio Plana (@ "Catong"), Edgardo Perayra and Rene Saldevea as the three men who were holding the girl while their fourth companion was raping her. At the time of the incident, he did not yet recognize the fourth man who was on top of the girl. However, when he saw Plana, et. al. at the municipal hall where they were brought when they were arrested on 26 September 1994, he identified the fourth man to be Richard Banday. On the other hand, per the post mortem examination conducted by Dr. Ricardo Betita, Rural Health Officer of Cuartero, Capiz, the victim sustained the following injuries: (1) Clean edges stab wound 2x5 cm left anterior chest; (2) Avulsion with irregular edges wound 8x12 cm middle chest area; (3) Avulsion of the nose and upper lip portion/area; (4) Clean edges wound or stab wound 2x5 cm epigastric area; (5) Clean edges stab wound 2x5 cm left hypogastric area; (6) Clean edges stab wound 2x5 cm hypogastric area; (7) Clean edges stab wound 2x5 cm left posterior upper back; (8) Clean edges stab wound 2x5 cm mid upper portion of the back; (9) Clean edges stab wound 2x5 cm left posterior back level of 8th ribs; (10) Clean edges stab wound 2x5 cm left back level of left lumbar area; (11) Clean edges wound 2x5 cm middle low back area; (12) Clean edges wound 2x5 cm right low back area at level of lumbar area; (13) Clean edges wound 2x5 cm left gluteal area near the anus; (14) Vagina: Introitus can easily insert 2 fingers/Hymen with laceration 3 and 9 o'clock (old
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 109 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

laceration) and on the state of decomposition; and that the most probable cause of death was massive hemorrhage or blood loss secondary to multiple stab wounds. According to Dr. Betita, the victim died more than 72 hours already before the police authorities found her body. An information was filed against Plana, et. al. for the crime of rape with homicide before the Regional Trial Court, Branch 15 of Roxas City (Criminal Case 4659). At their arraignment, Plana, et. al. pleaded not guilty. On 23 November 1996, after due trial, a judgment was rendered by the trial court finding Plana, et. al. guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of rape with homicide. The trial court imposed upon them the supreme penalty of death, and ordered them to pay jointly and severally the heirs of the victim, Helen Perote, P25,000.00 as actual damages and P50,000.00 as civil liability. Hence, the automatic review. Issue: Whether the trial court erred in not censuring the actuation of the police authorities in detaining Plana, et. al. without benefit of Court filed information nor judicial order of detention as well as violation of their constitutional rights during their so-called custodial invitation and interrogation. Held: Plana, et. al. already waived their right to question the irregularity, if any, in their arrest. They respectively entered a plea of "not guilty" at their arraignment. By so pleading, they submitted to the jurisdiction of the trial court, thereby curing any defect in their arrest, for the legality of an arrest affects only the jurisdiction of the court over their persons. 213 People vs. Conde [GR 113269, 10 April 2001] Second Division, Quisumbing (J): 4 concur Facts: On 25 May 1992 at about 8:00 A.M., Apollo Romero was home sitting by the window and drinking coffee when he saw 4 men in Santolan Street block the path of 2 Indian nationals (bombay) on a motorcycle. Oscar Conde y Lutoc poked a gun at the two Indians while his three companions (Alejandro Perez Jr. y Carsillar, Allan Atis y Abet, and another unidentified man) approached and stabbed the Indians. Atis took the goods which were being sold by the two Indians on installment. After the stabbing, the four men fled from the crime scene towards Mabolo Street. PO3 Rodencio Sevillano of the Intelligence and Investigation Division (IID) of the PNP, Kalookan City investigated the incident. On 30 May 1992, the police arrested Conde, Perez and Atis. Police recovered the weapons used in the robbery, when Felicidad Macabare, Conde's wife, went to the police station to talk to Conde. These weapons were discovered inside her bag after a routine inspection. Sevillano admitted, however, that they did not have a warrant of arrest when they apprehended the accused. Nor did they have a search warrant when they inspected Felicidad's bag and when they searched the house of a certain Jimmy where they found the stolen items. Conde, Perez and Atis were charged with the crime of robbery with homicide. The accused entered pleas of not guilty. On 15 December 1993 the Regional Trial Court, Branch 129, Kalookan City found Conde, Atis and Perez guilty of the special complex crime of robbery with homicide and sentenced each of them to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua with the accessory penalties under the law, and to jointly and severally indemnify the heirs of each of the victims, Sukhdev Singh and Biant Singh, in the amount of P50,000.00. Conde, et. al. appealed. However, the counsel de parte for Perez, Atty. Jose M. Marquez, failed to file brief for Perez, prompting this Court to dismiss his appeal. The decision of the trial court became final and executory with respect to Perez. Hence the present appeal concerns only Atis and Conde, who filed their separate briefs. Issue: Whether the illegal warrantless arrest, which was waived, is sufficient cause for setting aside a valid judgment rendered upon a sufficient complaint after trial free of error. Held: The arrests of Conde, et. al. came after the lapse of 5 days from the time they were seen committing the crime. At the time they were arrested, the police were not armed with any warrants for their arrests. Section 5 of Rule 113, of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure 27 enumerates the instances when an arrest can be made without warrant, namely: (a) When, in his presence the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense; (b) When an offense has in fact just been committed, and
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 110 )

Narratives (Berne Guerrero)

he has probable cause to believe based on personal knowledge of facts or circumstances that the person to be arrested has committed it; and (c) When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped from a penal establishment or place where he is serving final judgment or temporarily confined while his case is pending, or has escaped while being transferred from one confinement to another. None of the above circumstances is present herein. Conde, et. al. were merely walking along Tandang Sora Avenue and were not committing any crime. Neither can it be said that the crime had just been committed as 5 days had already passed from the time of the robbery with homicide. It cannot also be said that the arresting officers had probable cause based on personal knowledge, as PO3 Sevillano admitted that they learned about the suspects from Apollo Romero and certain unnamed informants. Further, the lapse of 5 days gave the police more than enough time to conduct surveillance of the appellants and apply for a warrant of arrest. Clearly, the rights of Conde, et. al., provided in Sec. 2, Art. III of the Constitution 28 were violated. Unfortunately, they did not assert their constitutional rights prior to their arraignment. This is fatal to their case. An accused is estopped from assailing the legality of his arrest if he failed to move for the quashing of the Information against him before his arraignment. When they entered their pleas on arraignment without invoking their rights to question any irregularity, which might have accompanied their arrests, they voluntarily submitted themselves to the jurisdiction of the court and the judicial process. Any objection, defect, or irregularity attending their arrests should had been made before they entered their pleas. It is much too late for them to raise the question of their warrantless arrests. Their pleas to the information upon arraignment constitute clear waivers of their rights against unlawful restraint of liberty. Furthermore, the illegal arrest of an accused is not sufficient cause for setting aside a valid judgment rendered upon a sufficient complaint after trial free from error. The warrantless arrest, even if illegal, cannot render void all other proceedings including those leading to the conviction of the appellants and his co-accused, nor can the state be deprived of its right to convict the guilty when all the facts on record point to their culpability.

Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 111 )

Sponsor Documents

Or use your account on DocShare.tips

Hide

Forgot your password?

Or register your new account on DocShare.tips

Hide

Lost your password? Please enter your email address. You will receive a link to create a new password.

Back to log-in

Close