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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 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.

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 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.

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

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 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 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.

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 law-
offender 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 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 non-permissible 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.

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 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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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) 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 accused-appellant 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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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 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.
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 red-handed. There being no violation of the constitutional right against
unreasonable search and seizure, the confiscated articles are admissible in evidence.
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 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.

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 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.

Caballes vs. Court of Appeals [GR 136292, 15 January 2002]


First Division, Puno (J): 4 concur

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 high-voltage 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, 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.

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 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.

Roldan vs. Arca [GR L-25434, 25 July 1975]


First Division, Makasiar (J): 4 concur, 1 took no part
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 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.

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. 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.

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 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 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.

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 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, SN-32919 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: (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.

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 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.

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 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.
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 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 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.

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 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 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.

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 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.

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 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.

People vs. Suzuki [GR 120670, 23 October 2003]


En Banc, Sandoval-Gutierrez (J): 13 concur

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 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.
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 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.

In RE: Umil, Umil vs. Ramos [GR 81567, 9 July 1990]; also Roque vs. de Villa [GR 84581-
82], 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.

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 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.

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 U-turn 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 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 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.

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 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.

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 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. 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.

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 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 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.

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.

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.

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 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 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.

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 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.

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. 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.

People vs. Sucro [GR 93239, 18 March 1991]


Third Division, Gutierrez Jr. (J): 4 concur
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.

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 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.”

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.

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 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.

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, 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.

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 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.