CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II

REQUIREMENTS OF FAIR PROCEDURE
ARRESTS, SEARCHES AND SEIZURES, PRIVACY OF COMMUNICATION
_________________________________________________ Republic of the Philippines Supreme Court Manila investigation on March 8, 2005 to verify the allegations of the complaint. However, since the office of Atty. Morales was located at the innermost section of the Docket/Appeals Section of the OCC, DCA Dela Cruz failed to extensively make an observation of the actuations of Atty. Morales. On March 16, 2005, a spot investigation was conducted by DCA Dela Cruz together with four NBI agents, a crime photographer and a support staff. The team was able to access the personal computer of Atty. Morales and print two documents stored in its hard drive, a Petition for Relief from Judgment for the case entitled, ―Manolo N. Blanquera, et al. v. Heirs of Lamberto N. Blanquera‖ in the name of Atty. Jose P. Icaonapo, Jr. (Atty. Icaonapo) filed with the Court of Appeals, and a Pre-trial Brief for the case entitled, ―Pentacapital Investment Corp. v. Toyoharu Aoki, et al.‖ also in the name of Atty. Icaonapo, which was filed before Branch 1, Regional Trial Court (RTC), Manila. Atty. Morales's computer was seized and taken to the custody of the OCA.[2] Upon Atty. Morales's motion however, the Court ordered the release of said computer with an order to the Management Information Systems Office of the Supreme Court to first retrieve the files stored therein.[3] erly A.M. OCA IPI No. 05-2155-P) Atty. Morales filed a letter-complaint addressed to then Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr. against DCA Dela Cruz and his companions for alleged conspiracy and culpable violation of Secs. 1,[4] 2[5] & 3[6] of Art. III of the Constitution relative to the spot investigation. Said letter-complaint was indorsed by the Chief Justice to the Court Administrator on March 31, 2005 for appropriate action.[7] Atty. Morales's wife, Francisca Landicho-Morales also filed a letter-complaint dated February 15, 2005 against Judge Crispin B. Bravo, Presiding Judge of MeTC Branch 16 Manila, Lenin Bravo, former Clerk of the said branch and Judge Cristina Javalera-Sulit, Presiding Judge of MeTC Branch 18, Manila for violations of the law and ethical standards which was indorsed by Chief Justice Davide to the Court Administrator for preliminary inquiry.[8] Although diligent efforts were made to ascertain from the OCA Legal Office the current status of Atty. Morales's case against DCA Dela Cruz, the same however, could not be determined.

REQUIREMENTS OF SEARCH WARRANTS

EN BANC

Anonymous Letter-Complaint against Atty. Miguel Morales, Clerk of Court, Metropolitan Trial Court of Manila And

Anonymous Letter-Complaint against Clerk of Court Atty. Henry P. Favorito of the Office of the Clerk of Court, Clerk of Court Atty. Miguel Morales of Branch 17, Clerk of Court Amie Grace Arreolaof Branch 4, Administrative Officer III William Calda of the Office of the Clerk of Court and Stenographer Isabel Siwa of Branch 16, all of the Metropolitan Trial Court, Manila. x -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- - -- -- -- -- -- -- -- x

RESOLUTION

Parenthetically, Atty. Favorito, together with more than a hundred employees of the MeTC Manila, wrote an undated letter to Chief Justice Davide assailing the spot investigation conducted by DCA Dela Cruz.[9] Said letter was indorsed by Chief Justice Davide to DCA Dela Cruz on March 28, 2005 for his comment.[10] No comment can be found in the records of herein administrative cases.

AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ, J.: In a 1st Indorsement dated April 14, 2005, then Court Administrator Presbitero J. Velasco, Jr. (now Associate Justice of the Supreme Court) directed Atty. Morales to comment on the undated anonymous letter-complaint.[11]

Before the Court are two anonymous complaints: docketed as A.M. No. P-08-2519 charging Atty. Miguel Morales (Atty. Morales),

Branch Clerk of Court, Branch 17, Metropolitan Trial Court (MeTC) of Manila of misconduct; and A.M. No. P-08-2520 charging Atty. Morales, together with Isabel Siwa (Siwa), Court Stenographer, Branch 16; William Calda (Calda), Administrative Officer III, Office of the Clerk of Court (OCC); Amie Grace Arreola (Arreola), Branch Clerk of Court, Branch 4, and Atty. Henry P. Favorito (Atty. Favorito), Clerk of Court VI, OCC, all of the MeTC, Manila of misconduct, graft and corruption
and moonlighting.

A.M. No. P-08-2519

In his Manifestation which the OCA received on April 27, 2005, Atty. Morales alleged that: the anonymous letter-complaint should not have been given due course as there is no truth to the allegations therein; the OCA took almost a year to act on the anonymous lettercomplaint which did not have the proper indorsement from the Office of the Chief Justice; even though he brought to the OCC his personal computer, such act is not prohibited; he did not use his computer to write pleadings during office hours and neither did he use paper of the OCC; the ―raid‖ conducted by DCA Dela Cruz without search and seizure orders violated his right to privacy and the articles seized therewith should be considered inadmissible.[12]

In an unsigned and undated letter which the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) received on February 24, 2005, the writers, who claim to be employees of the OCC-MeTC of Manila, allege that Atty. Morales, then detailed at the OCC, was consuming his working hours filing and attending to personal cases, such as administrative cases against employees in his old sala, using office supplies, equipment and utilities. The writers aver that Atty. Morales‘s conduct has demoralized them and they resorted to filing an anonymous complaint in fear of retaliation from Atty. Morales.[1]

In a letter dated April 12, 2005, Atty. Morales applied for optional retirement[13] which the Court approved in its Resolution dated October 12, 2005 subject to the withholding of his benefits pending resolution of cases against him, the instant case included.[14]

A.M. No. P-08-2520 Assistant Court Administrator (ACA) now Deputy Court Administrator (DCA) Reuben P. dela Cruz, conducted a discreet

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REQUIREMENTS OF FAIR PROCEDURE
In another unsigned letter dated April 1, 2004, the writers who claim to be employees of the OCC-MeTC, Manila, charge Atty. Morales, Arreola, Atty. Favorito, Calda andSiwa of the following offenses: Atty. Morales and Arreola, who are both detailed in the OCC, leave the office after logging-in only to return in the afternoon, which acts are allowed by Atty. Favorito; Atty. Morales and Arreola were not given assignments and whenever they are at the office, they do nothing but play computer games; Siwa is also allowed by Atty. Favorito to lend money and rediscount checks during office hours using court premises; many people from different offices go to the OCC because of the business of Siwa; Atty. Favorito also allows two of Siwa's personal maids to use the OCC as their office in rediscounting checks; and Atty. Favorito and Calda charge P50.00 to P500.00 from sureties claiming said amounts to be processing fees without issuing receipts therefor.[15] Calda explains in his letter dated April 25, 2005 that: the fees of P50.00 and P500.00 were charged in connection with the filing of surety and cash bonds pursuant to Rule 141 of the Revised Rules of Court and that corresponding official receipts were issued; at nighttime, he is the one authorized to approve the filing of surety bonds since he is the highest ranking officer of a skeletal force detailed for night court duty; he has been with the MeTC for 16 years, rose in rank, was never involved in any controversy and would never tarnish his reputation.[24]

Arreola asserts that: her record of arrival and departure was always signed by her superiors without question because it reflected the correct entries; she is always in the office even when there is typhoon; and she has proven herself useful in the OCC by answering queries of litigants and verifications from other offices and attending to complaints.[25]

In the same spot investigation conducted by DCA De La Cruz on March 16, 2005, a partly hidden plastic box was discovered containing the amount of P65,390.00 and six commercial checks, which Siwa voluntarily opened to the team. These were also confiscated and turned over to the custody of the OCA.[16]

In a letter to then Chief Justice Davide dated April 12, 2005, Siwa requested that said money and personal belongings that were confiscated be returned to her immediately and that a formal investigation be conducted regarding DCA Dela Cruz's conduct during the spot investigation.[17] The seized items were later returned to Siwa[18]while her letter-complaint was indorsed by the Chief Justice to the Court Administrator on April 18, 2005 for appropriate action.[19] As with the complaint filed by Atty. Morales, however, the status of Siwa's complaint could not be ascertained despite diligent efforts at inquiring about the matter from the OCA Legal Office.

In compliance, Atty. Favorito adopted the comments of Atty. Morales, Calda and Arreola and denied that he committed the acts alluded to in the anonymous letter-complaint.[26] Atty. Favorito also incorporated in his comment a letter of the employees of the OCC-MTC Manila disowning the alleged anonymous complaint.[27]

In a Resolution dated July 27, 2005, the Court, upon recommendation of the OCA, consolidated the two complaints and referred the same to the Executive Judge of theMeTC, Manila for investigation, report and recommendation.[28]

Report of the Investigating Judge In a 1st Indorsement dated April 14, 2005, the OCA directed Atty. Morales, Atty. Favorito, Calda, Arreola and Siwa to comment on the letter-complaint.[20]

Atty. Morales submitted the same Manifestation he submitted in A.M. P-08-2519.

In her Report dated September 1, 2006, MeTC Executive Judge Ma. Theresa Dolores C. Gomez-Estoesta states that discreet observation of the daily working activities of Atty. Morales and Siwa could no longer be done as the two had already availed themselves of their optional retirement; thus, random interviews with employees who had proximate working activities with them were resorted to, as well as perusal of court records.[29]

Siwa in her Comment avers that: the anonymous lettercomplaint should not have been given due course as it contravened Sec. 46(c) of Executive Order No. 292 and the implementing rules; it was not subscribed and sworn to by the complainant and there is no obvious truth to the allegations therein; while she admits that she is involved in the business of rediscounting checks, such is a legitimate endeavor, in fact, there are other employees of the court engaged in the same business; she is also not aware of any rule prohibiting her from engaging in said endeavor; she does not use the OCC to conduct her business and she is mindful of her duties as a government employee; thus, she has a staff to do the encashment of the checks; there were rare occasions when her staff members were stationed at the corridors to lend cash to employees but while said occasions may have occurred during office hours, her staff cannot be blamed for the same since the employees go to them; she has never neglected her duty as a court stenographer -- in fact, her last performance rating was ―very satisfactory‖; it is a known fact that because of the meager pay given to government employees, most augment their income by engaging in business; she should not be singled out for being enterprising and industrious; and it is unfair to accuse her of wrongdoing at a time when she has voluntarily retired from government service due to health reasons.[21]

The following employees were interviewed: Rueben Duque, Clerk of Court, Branch 16, MeTC; Beneluz Dumlao, Records Officer I; Marilou Magbag, Clerk III; EstrellaRafael, Records Officer I; Lydia dela Cruz, Records Officer III; Raymundo Bilbao, Clerk III; Marie Joy Valle, Clerk IV, and Ma. Lizabeth Marcelino, Administrative Officer II, all of the OCC; Rosie Jose, freelance bondswoman, and Norberto D. Soriano, authorized representative of the Commonwealth Insurance Company.[30]

After conducting her investigation, Judge Estoesta found:

A month after the incident, Siwa filed for optional retirement[22] which the Court approved in its Resolution[23] dated October 12, 2005, with the proviso that the amount ofP30,000.00 shall be retained from the money value of her earned leave credits pending resolution of the present case.

Insofar as Atty. Morales, Atty. Favorito, Calda and Arreola are concerned, the investigation immediately stumbled into a dead end. No one from the OCC personnel who were interviewed would give a categorical and positive statement affirming the charges against the said personnel. While almost all confirmed that Atty. Morales maintained his own computer and printer at the OCC, nobody could state for certain that what he worked on were pleadings for private cases. Rafael, who was seated right next to Atty. Morales at the OCC merely said that what preoccupied Atty. Morales were his own administrative cases. She did not notice Atty. Morales engage in private work in his computer although she saw Atty. Icaonapo drop by the office every now and then to personally see Atty. Morales. Rafael explained however that this could be because Atty. Icaonapo was the counsel of Atty. Morales in his administrative cases. While documents referring to private cases were found in the hard drive of the computer of Atty. Morales, and while the writing style is similar to that of the Manifestation he filed in this case, still no definite conclusion could be drawn that he has composed the said pleadings at the OCC during

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II

REQUIREMENTS OF FAIR PROCEDURE
official working hours. A close examination of the Pre-Trial Brief signed by Atty. Icaonapo and filed with the RTC Branch 1, Manila also revealed that the paper and the printer used were not the same as that used in the office of Atty. Morales.[31] Instead the OCA submits the following findings.

There was also no evidence to support charges of extortion against Atty. Favorito and Calda. Two bondsmen who were randomly interviewed denied that Atty. Favoritoand Calda exacted illegal sums from them. The amounts they charged could actually refer to legal fees.[32]

As to Arreola, the charge against her also has no basis. The interviewees were unanimous in saying that Arreola was always around the office, and that while she fetched her son from a nearby school, she did so during lunch or after office hours. Random checks on Arreola also revealed that she was always at the OCC and at Branch 30 where she was reassigned.[33]

On Atty. Morales: The allegation that Atty. Morales had been using his personal computer to draft pleadings for private counsels was established in the spot inspection onMarch 16, 2005. The hard drive of Atty. Morales‘s computer yielded a pre-trial brief and a petition for relief from judgment with the name of Atty. Icaonapo. The said pretrial brief was the same pleading that was submitted to RTC Branch 1, Manila by Atty. Icaonapo on February 10, 2003. Atty. Morales in his Manifestation dated April 25, 2005 failed to refute the evidence that emanated from his computer and instead chided the OCA for confiscating the same.

As to Siwa, she candidly admitted that she was engaged in lending and discounting activities at her station, through her own staff which she had maintained for said purpose. Because of her business, a number of employees, even those from other government agencies, usually huddled at her station to hold transactions. Branch Clerk of Court RubenDuque relates that a number of people would often go to their office looking for Siwa for lending and rediscounting. Assuming that Siwa is not prohibited from engaging in said business, still it has distracted her from her duties as a stenographer. A random check on the court records of Branch 16 showed that Siwa had not yet submitted a complete transcription of 7 stenographic notes in 5 cases, 3 of which already had decisions rendered. In one case, the testimonies of two prosecution witnesses had to be re-taken to fill in the gap which not only wasted precious time of the court but also distressed the efforts of the prosecution in the presentation of its case.[34]

On Siwa: While she insisted that the anonymous letter should not have been given due course, she admitted in her April 28, 2005 Manifestation to being involved in the business of rediscounting checks, claiming that she was not the only employee engaged in the same, and that she maintained her own personnel to do the rediscounting which stretched to the premises of the MeTC-OCC where Atty. Favorito is the Clerk of Court.[37]

The OCA concluded that: Atty. Morales and Siwa should be found guilty of gross misconduct. Atty. Morales, for preparing pleadings for private counsels and litigants; andSiwa, for engaging in the business of rediscounting checks during office hours; gross misconduct carries the penalty of dismissal from the service even for the first offense, and while Atty. Morales and Siwa have already left the judiciary, the Court can still direct the forfeiture of their benefits; Atty. Favorito should also be held liable for neglect of duty because as Clerk of Court of the MeTC-OCC, he was negligent in allowing the nefarious activities of Atty. Morales and Siwa to happen right inside the confines of the MeTC-OCC.[38]

Judge Estoesta recommended as follows:

On Arreola and Calda: The OCA agrees with Judge Estoesta that the charges against them should be dismissed for lack of concrete evidence.[39]

1. In OCA IPI No. 05-2155-P [now A.M. No. P-08-2519], with no substantial evidence taken to prove the charges in the anonymous letter-complaint filed against Atty. Miguel C. Morales, it is RECOMMENDED that the same be ordered dismissed;

The OCA then recommended:

2. In OCA IPI No. 05-2156-P [now A.M. No. P-2520], likewise, with no substantial evidence taken to prove the charges in the anonymous letter-complaint filed against Atty. Miguel C. Morales, Atty. Henry P. Favorito, William Calda and Amie Grace Arreola, it is RECOMMENDED that the same be ordered dismissed insofar as said court employees are concerned; and

(a) That (resigned) Clerk of Court Miguel C. Morales, Branch 17, and (retired) Court Stenographer Isabel A. Siwa, Branch 16, both of the Metropolitan Trial Court, Manila be found GUILTY of Gross Misconduct with forfeiture of the benefits due them excluding accrued leave credits;

3. In OCA IPI No. 05-2156-P [now A.M. No. P-08-2520] insofar as it concerns Ms. Isabel Siwa, it is RECOMMENDED that she be directed to explain why she still has stenographic notes pending for transcription despite having already availed of an optional retirement pay.[35]

(b) That Clerk of Court Henry P. Favorito of the MeTC-OCC, Manila be found GUILTY of Simple Neglect of Duty and suspended without pay for a period of one (1) month and one (1) day, with a stern warning that a repetition of the same or similar acts in the future shall be dealt with more severely; and

The report was referred to the OCA for its evaluation, report and recommendation.[36]

(c) That the charges made in the April 1, 2004 anonymous letter against Clerk of Court Amie Grace A. Arreola, Branch 4 and Administrative Officer III William Calda, OCC, both of the MeTC, Manila be DISMISSED for lack of merit.[40]

OCA Report and Recommendation The Court's Ruling. The OCA, through ACA Antonio H. Dujua, in its November 7, 2007 Memorandum, states that it does not entirely concur with the findings and recommendation of JudgeEstoesta.

Morales. apart from the pleadings.[52] To constitute a valid consent or waiver of the constitutional guarantee against obtrusive searches. Morales's personal computer in the MeTC-OCC and Atty. If people are stripped naked of their rights as human beings. his staff and some NBI agents during the March 16. complainant‘s identity would hardly be material where the matter involved is of public interest. The Court has always stressed that all members of the judiciary should be free from any whiff of impropriety. Article III thereof. Such fact.[45] any violation of the aforestated constitutional right renders the evidence obtained inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding. to . While the power to search and seize may at times be necessary to the public welfare.[44] The fact that the present case is administrative in nature does not render the above principle inoperative. Such a complaint. Morales. Atty. in the presence of DCA Dela Cruz.[48] is not sufficient to make the present case fall under the category of a valid warrantless search. equipment and utilities. by clear and positive testimony. the consent must be unequivocal. for the enforcement of no statute is of sufficient importance to justify indifference to the basic principles of government. without prejudice to the outcome of the administrative case filed by Atty. which is protected by the due process clause. Morales liable for simple misconduct for it hints of impropriety on his part. Indeed. While Atty. Consent to a search is not to be lightly inferred and must be shown by clear and convincing evidence. of the existence of such right.[43] The exclusionary rule under Section 3(2). Morales against DCA Dela Cruz regarding the same incident. An anonymous complaint is always received with great caution.‖ Enshrined in our Constitution is the inviolable right of the people to be secure in their persons and properties against unreasonable searches and seizures. Morales. as stressed by a couple of noted freedom advocates. Court of Appeals. originating as it does from an unknown author. Article III of the Constitution also bars the admission of evidence obtained in violation of such right. liberty and property. specifically invoking his constitutional right against unreasonable search and seizure. Morales's personal computer admissible in the present administrative case against him? The Bill of Rights is the bedrock of constitutional government.[53] It is undisputed that pleadings for private cases were found in Atty. and the right to enjoyment of life while existing. what is missing is a showing that Atty. retrieved from the unduly confiscated personal computer of Atty. This is as it should be for. the Court cannot use the evidence obtained from his personal computer against him for it violated his constitutional right. unfortunately. Court finds however that such allegation on his part. xxxx There are exceptions to consented warrantless search.CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II REQUIREMENTS OF FAIR PROCEDURE The Court partly adopts the findings and recommendations of the OCA with some modifications. could already make Atty.[46] this rule one of which is Unreasonable searches and seizures are the menace against which the constitutional guarantees afford full protection. by itself. occupies a position of primacy in the fundamental law way above the articles on governmental power. contained as it is in Article III of the Constitution. in order that the integrity and good name of the courts of justice shall be preserved. The right against unreasonable search and seizure in turn is at the top of the hierarchy of rights. (2) that the person involved had knowledge. even with a similar allegation from one of his staff. next only to. Morales could not provide any satisfactory explanation therefor. The Court answers in the negative. The Court however finds it proper to squarely address such issue. if not on the same plane as. The two anonymous letters charge Atty. however does not justify outright dismissal for being baseless or unfounded for the allegations therein may be easily verified and may.[47] The And as there is no other evidence. which is provided for under Section 2. it must be shown that (1) the right exists. argues that since the pleadings were acquired from his personal computer which DCA Dela Cruz confiscated without any valid search and seizure order.[54] DCA Dela Cruz in his report claims that that they were able to obtain the subject pleadings with the consent of Atty.[42] In this case. Morales hinges on this very crucial question: Are the pleadings found in Atty. leaving the office after logging-in in the morning only to return in the afternoon. along with the right to privacy. democracy cannot survive and government becomes meaningless. intelligently given and uncontaminated by any duress or coercion. The finding of guilt or exoneration of Atty. This explains why the Bill of Rights. As the Court has staunchly declared: Both the Investigating Justice and the OCA failed to discuss this matter.[49] It must be voluntary in order to validate an otherwise illegal search. the right to personal security which. Morales immediately filed an administrative case against said persons questioning the validity of the investigation.[41] Liability of Atty. be substantiated and established by other competent evidence. is the foundation of the right against unreasonable search and seizure ―includes the right to exist. without much difficulty. office supplies. 2005 spot investigation. such evidence should be considered as the fruits of a poisonous tree as it violated his right to privacy. Morales may have fallen short of the exacting standards required of every court employee. the right to life. not only with respect to their duties in the judicial branch but also to their behavior outside the court as private individuals. that the necessary consent was obtained and that it was freely and voluntarily given lies with the State. that is. specific. While he may have agreed to the opening of his personal computer and the printing of files therefrom. and (3) the said person had an actual intention to relinquish the right. in defense. still it may be exercised and the law enforced without transgressing the constitutional rights of the citizens. Morales had an actual intention to relinquish his right. either actual or constructive. and playing computer games whenever he was at the office. Morales.[51] Acquiescence in the loss of fundamental rights is not to be presumed and courts indulge every reasonable presumption against waiver of fundamental constitutional rights. Morales with the following offenses: attending to personal cases while using official time. it is also of record that Atty.[50] The burden of proving. As expounded in Zulueta v.

[60] that: x x x in her April 28. Government service demands great sacrifice. she actually denied that she used the OCC to conduct said business. He is free to seek greener pastures elsewhere. that there are other employees engaged in the same business. MeTC Branch 16 Presiding Judge Crispin B. Bravo. As to Siwa's lending and rediscounting activities. she was not able to satisfactorily perform her duties as a court stenographer while engaging in private business.[56] The nature of work of court employees requires them to serve with the highest degree of efficiency and responsibility and the entire time of judiciary officials and employees must be devoted to government service to ensure efficient and speedy administration of justice. the Court finds she should be imposed the penalty of fine in the amount ofP30. The public trust character of the office proscribes him from employing the facilities or using official time for private business or purposes. in a bad light.000.[59] Clarifications. Favorito. One who cannot live with the modest salary of a public office has no business staying in the service. discovered that Siwa had not yet submitted a complete transcription of 7 stenographic notes in 5 cases (3 criminal and 2 civil cases). 52 A (20) of Rule IV of the Uniform Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service.[63] In one case. carries the penalty of suspension of 6 months and 1 day to 1 year for the first offense and dismissal for the second offense.M. No.[67] (Emphasis supplied) Siwa apologized and promised not to let it happen again. in three of which decisions were already rendered. nonetheless.[61] Siwa also admitted that she was using her house-helper in the rediscounting of checks and allowed the latter to use the court premises in the conduct of the same. be characterized by propriety and decorum. Liability of Atty. of which she is part. which placed the image of the judiciary. 12096-Ret. claiming that it was a legitimate endeavor needed to augment her meager income as a court employee.[57] Indeed.' Respondent [Siwa] even had the audacity to admit that she 'maintained my own personnel' to do the rediscounting which stretched to the premises of the MeTC-OCC. 2005 Resolution of the Court in A. vocation. instead of stating that her rediscounting activities stretched to the premises of the MeTC-OCC. retaining only the amount ofP30. 2007 stated Siwa's offense is compounded by the fact that she was previously verbally instructed by her superior. Favorito could be held liable for neglect of duty as supervisor. 2005. the Court has always stressed that court employees must strictly observe official time and devote every second moment of such time to public service.[64] Thus.00.00 from the money value of her earned leave credits pending resolution of the instant case. Cabusao.[65] The Court agrees with the OCA that Siwa should be administratively disciplined for engaging in the business of lending and rediscounting checks. and be above suspicion so as to earn and keep the respect of the public for the judiciary. contrary to Siwa's assertion. or profession even outside office hours to ensure that full-time officers of the court render full-time service so that there may be no undue delay in the administration of justice and in the disposition of cases. Officials and employees of the judiciary are prohibited from engaging directly in any private business. the Court has no choice but to dismiss the charges herein against him for insufficiency of evidence. however.[62] Her allegation that she never neglected her duty as a stenographer is also belied by the findings of the Investigating Judge. the Court has held that the image of a court of justice is mirrored in the conduct. which approved Siwa's application for optional retirement. who in her random check of records.: As pronounced by the Court in Biyaheros Mart Livelihood There is no evidence to show that Atty. it amounts to a malfeasance in office.000. Jr. Many ―moonlighting‖ activities pertain to legal acts that otherwise would be countenanced if the actors were not employed in the public sector. Morales had copies of pleadings for private cases in his personal computer for which Atty. 2005 and there. Pertinent portions of said Comment reads: 4. would show that what Siwa submitted is not a ―Manifestation‖ but a ―Comment‖ dated April 28. The OCA in its Memorandum dated November 7. 2005 Manifestation. by the very nature of the position held. official and otherwise. A review of the records. 2005 asking her to explain why she was still using the office in ―transacting/attending‖ to her lending and rediscounting business when she was already verbally instructed to desist therefrom in December 2004. thus the conduct of a person serving the judiciary must. under Sec. Siwa admitted to being involved in the business of rediscounting checks. And while moonlighting is not normally considered a serious misconduct. in her letter dated January 21. But she ignored the same. Siwa's infraction constitutes conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service which.1. Respondent admits that she is involved in the business of rediscounting checks x x x. Time and again. however.[55] Siwa conducted her business within the court's premises. the Court finds that Atty. Inc. that she is not aware of any rule prohibiting her from engaging in the business of rediscounting checks. should be made. Favorito knows or should have known that Atty. and that she employs her own staff to do the encashment of the checks as she always attends to and never neglects her duties as a stenographer. Association. Her argument that her business is a legal endeavor also cannot excuse her from liability. Favorito was remiss in addressing said matter which activity took place in the court's premises which was under his responsibility. prompting the latter to issue a written Memorandum dated January 18.[58] And while the compensation may be meager. at all times. v. Liability of Siwa. Siwa admits engaging in the business of lending and rediscounting checks.CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II REQUIREMENTS OF FAIR PROCEDURE hold him administratively liable. Since this is her first offense and considering the October 12. claiming that 'she is not the only employee engaged in the same business. that is the sacrifice judicial employees must be willing to take.[66] Siwa is clearly mistaken. . however. of the personnel who work thereat. to stop using court premises for her business. the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses had to be re-taken. where respondent Favorito is the Clerk of Court.

to hold Atty.[75] This actually hints of the fact that said anonymous lettercomplainant may not be a personnel of the Office of the Clerk of Court after all.[72] Random interviews with two (2) bondsmen denied that Atty. Favorito's duty to plan. the Court finds no cogent reason to deviate from the findings of the Investigating Judge and the OCA. having been one of the skeletal force who volunteered to stay on. Henry P. Calda. therefore. conjectures and suppositions will leave an administrative complaint with no leg to stand on. It should also be emphasized that these transactions occurred outside of the offices and within the common or public areas. it is Atty. Siwa never admitted that her business stretched to the premises of the OCC-MeTC but only claimed that her staff used ―corridors‖ which were ―common or public areas‖ for their transactions.CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II REQUIREMENTS OF FAIR PROCEDURE xxxx Such finding was affirmed by the OCA in its Memorandum dated November 7.m. The said occasions may have occurred during office hours. That is. There are other occasions when the said staff will be stationed at the corridors to lend emergency cash to employees in need. Calda exacted such amounts. The interviewees were actually unanimous in saying that Ms. Ms.[70] . As a matter of fact.[68] (Emphasis supplied) As with the extortion charges against Atty. x x x the charge against Ms. Arreola was not prone to such habit as she is always around the office. As Clerk of Court of the OCC. Arreola may have been known to fetch her son at a nearby school but she has always done so during lunch hours and after office hours. to 10:30 a.3. the allegations in the complaint. interspersed by telephone calls between 8:00 a. 2007 which recommended the dismissal of said charges against Atty. Favorito and Mr. in the absence of evidence to the contrary. However. The OCA agreed with the said finding and likewise recommended the dismissal of the charges against Arreola. Arreola by the undersigned herself revealed that she has always been around at the OCC and at Branch 30 where she was re-assigned as Branch Clerk of Court. On the claim that Atty. Respondent. Calda and Arreola liable for the aforestated charges against them. Arreola is certainly without basis.m. Favorito and Calda on the extortion charges. by substantial evidence. where Ms. Atty. At times. Favorito and Mr. however. Favorito and Mr. Favorito. Favorito and Caldo extorted money from sureties without issuing receipts therefor. as follows x x x Here. The undersigned has personally seen her around 5:30 p. Arreola was still around.[74] Reliance on mere allegations. several random checks on Ms. Still. William Calda x x x suffered from loose ends. Investigating Judge Estoesta found that: As a matter of fact. Liability of Arreola on absence during office hours. personal visits were made. the charge against Ms.m. It is well-settled that in administrative proceedings. direct. Ms. these instances were rare. x x x the charges of ―extortion‖ levelled against Atty. Since there is no proof.[69] He should therefore be reprimanded for his failure to duly supervise and prevent such activities from happening within his area of responsibility. The complainant has the burden of proving. for which. Favorito failed to address such matter and to prevent such activities from taking place. apart from the allegations of the lettercomplaint. of the same day. since such areas are still part of the court's premises. what will prevail is that respondent has regularly performed his or her duties. even if they were conducted in the corridors. supervise and coordinate the activities of all divisions/sections/units in the OCC. Arreola proved herself to be always at the office.2. at a time when the MeTC was stricken by a debilitating brown-out schedule in the afternoon sometime [in] July 2006. the Court finds no sufficient evidence to hold Arreola administratively liable. it is obvious that the anonymous letter-complainant has no understanding whatsoever of the legal fees charged by Office of the Clerk of Court. Favorito and Calda for lack of concrete proof.[71] 4.[73] The P50. Amie Grace Arreola regarding her habit of leaving the office after logging-in found no concrete corroboration. Liability of Atty. As reported by Judge Estoesta: Thus. and charges based on mere suspicion and speculation cannot be given credence.00 and P500.00 specified to as ―processing fee‖ could actually refer to the Legal Fees mandated under Section 8 (o) and Section 21 (c) of Rule 141. 4. the Court deems it proper to dismiss said charges for lack of merit. Needless to say. The extortion charge slapped against Atty. rings empty. the respondent's staff may not be blamed since it was the employees themselves who go to them. therefore. the quantum of proof necessary for a finding of guilt is substantial evidence or such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion. Favorito and Calda. denies that she uses the Office of the Clerk of Court to conduct this business x x x.

2005. Municipality of Los Ba[ñ]os. Deputy Court Administrator Reuben de la Cruz is advised to be more circumspect in the performance of his duties. No. and in a search conducted at his residence as stated above. Miguel Morales. Act No. The OCA should also report on the status of the complaint filed by Atty. GUILTY of conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service and is FINED in the amount of P30. and Amie Grace Arreola. both of the Metropolitan Trial Court of Manila. 2005 regarding this case. 6425. tooters. Mateo. Raul R. 05-2156-P) that Siwa has not submitted a complete transcription of stenographic notes in several cases assigned to her. Nuñez was formally charged with violation of Section 16. Clerk of Court of the Office of the Clerk of Court is REPRIMANDED for his failure to supervise the lending and rediscounting activites of Siwawhich took place in the court's premises. The charges against William Calda. DECISION QUISUMBING. as amended by Rep. No. Mundin called on appellant to come out. The appellate court affirmed the Decision2 dated February 11. but the case was transferred to the Court of Appeals on May 2.M. Province of Laguna and within the jurisdiction of the Honorable Court. the OCA is hereby directed to conduct an audit investigation on Siwa's transcription of stenographic notes to determine the full extent of the notes she failed to transcribe on time. and assorted carpentry tools on suspicion that they were acquired in exchange for shabu. Thereafter. No. and aluminum foil with shabu residue and a lady‘s wallet containing P4.3 On June 25. 6425. 2002. Henry P. 7659.CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II REQUIREMENTS OF FAIR PROCEDURE Other matters.A. which convicted appellant in Criminal Case No.R. The appellate court dismissed appellant‘s defense of frame-up and upheld the credibility of SPO1 Ilagan and PO2 Ortega. 05-2155P and A. 8291 of Ms. Favorito. The group also confiscated a component. with a total weight of 233. control and custody thirty[-]one (31) heat sealed transparent plastic sachets containing methamp[h]etamine hydrochloride otherwise known as "shabu". Article III of Rep. camera. beyond reasonable doubt for Violation of Republic Act 6425 as amended and is hereby sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua and all its accessory penalties under the law.M No. electric planer. . In a Decision dated February 11. the abovenamed accused. the Court of Appeals rendered its decision affirming appellant‘s conviction. Appellee. RAUL NUÑEZ y REVILLEZA. Branch 16. The Information reads: That at around 6:00 o‘clock in the morning of the 24th day of April 20014 at Brgy. electric tester. unlawfully and feloniously have in his possession. P-08-2520 (formerly A. led by Commanding Officer Arwin Pagkalinawan. OCA IPI No. CR.R. 2006 in A. Siwa.C. to be given a new docket number and assigned to a new ponente for final resolution. Manila. the Court finds Isabel Siwa. 2002 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Calamba. pursuant to our ruling in People v. vs. Act No. At 6:00 a.610 inside appellant‘s dresser. Morales which the Court received on March 31. this court finds the accused guilty. also known as the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972. SPO3 Eduardo Paz.8 Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila SECOND DIVISION G.5 The facts are as follows: Atty. Branch 17. PO2 Gerry Crisostomo. jigsaw. 2007. 2007 of the Court of Appeals in CA G. 2005. P-08-2519 and A. MeTC. Laguna. 2001. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. Commanding Officer Pagkalinawan showed Nuñez the warrant. such matter shall be treated as a separate case to be given a new docket number and assigned to another ponente for evaluation. The group. former Branch Clerk of Court.00 to be deducted from the money value of her leave credits which was set aside per Resolution dated October 12. Upon arriving at appellant‘s house. SPO1 Ilagan found thirty-one (31) packets of shabu.m. Accused is ordered to pay the fine of two million pesos. 12096-Ret. Isabel A. Court Stenographer II. Manila. Laguna Police Detectives in coordination with the Los Baños Police Station (LBPS) and IID Mobile Force conducted a search in the house of Raul R. Cruz. entitled Application for Retirement Benefits under Section 13- A of R. Branch 36. 2001. No. on April 26. SPO1 Ilagan issued a Receipt for Property Seized6 and a Certification of Orderly Search7 which appellant signed. operatives of the Sta. San Antonio. PO2 Joseph Ortega and Senior Inspector Uriquia. regarding the spot investigation conducted on March 16. 2005. included SPO1 Odelon Ilagan. a regulated drug. and did not relate to the elements of the crime. improvised burners. the RTC convicted appellant and sentenced him as follows: WHEREFORE. WHEREFORE. 8614-01-C for violation of Section 16. Article III of Republic Act No. the group summoned Barangay Captain Mario Mundin and Chief Tanod Alfredo Joaquin to assist them in serving the search warrant.M. are DISMISSED for lack of merit. SO ORDERED.9 On January 19. Court Stenographer of Branch 16.000. grinder. PO2 Alexander Camantigue. drill. formerly Branch Clerk of Court of Branch 4 now Clerk of Court of Branch 30.93 grams in violation of the aforementioned provision of law. 177148 June 30. J. 02420. SO ORDERED. Following the search. 2009 Appellant elevated the case to this Court on appeal. 2005 in A. Theresa Dolores C. the complaint of Isabel Siwa dated April 12. PO1 Ronnie Orfano. Said matter shall be treated as a separate case. SPO1 Ilagan and PO2 Crisostomo then surveyed appellant‘s room in his presence while his family. against DCA Dela Cruz.: This petition for certiorari seeks the reversal of the Decision1 dated January 19. Administrative Officer of the Office of the Clerk of Court. without any authority of law. PO2 Ortega and the two barangay officials remained in the living room. CONTRARY TO LAW. as amended. The appellate court in its decision decreed as follows: In view of the initial findings of Investigating Judge Estoesta that Siwa was remiss in her duty of transcribing stenographic notes assigned to her. The Office of the Court Administrator is DIRECTED to conduct an audit investigation on Isabel Siwa's transcription of stenographic notes in view of the finding of Judge Ma. Before proceeding to appellant‘s residence in Barangay San Antonio. Nuñez based on reports of drug possession. H. Appellant. The extortion charges against him are DISMISSED for lack of merit. GomezEstoesta in her Investigation Report dated September 1. did then and there willfully. 2006. Metropolitan Trial Court. If warranted. The charges against Atty. and the letter-complaint of Atty. It observed that the inconsistencies in their testimony were minor at best. are DISMISSED for insufficiency of evidence. lighters. OCA IPI No.M.M. Favorito together with other MeTC employees which the Court received on March 28.

Hence. The latter‘s daughter. Act No. SPO1 Ilagan testified that they picked up the barangay officials before going to appellant‘s house but PO2 Ortega claimed that Chief Tanod Joaquin was already with them when they left the police station. Sgt. however. Neither did appellant‘s daughter identify the police officer who allegedly planted evidence. It agrees with the trial court that appellant failed to overcome the presumption that the law enforcement agents regularly performed their duties. He points out variances in the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses which cast doubt on his culpability: first. sir. sir.17 It bears stressing that by no means did the barangay officials become part of the prosecution when they were asked to witness the search. what did that man do with that plastic in the bag? A: He put under the bed fronting the door. he readily signed the Receipt for Property Seized and the Certification of Orderly Search. however. premises considered.14 In this case. The records. To be liable for the crime.CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II REQUIREMENTS OF FAIR PROCEDURE WHEREFORE. In his brief. PO2 Ortega related otherwise. sir. appellant questions why the prosecution did not call the barangay officials as witnesses to shed light on the details of the search. appellant had not advanced any reason to account for the thirty-one (31) packets of shabu and drug paraphernalia collected from the dresser in his room. The matter of presentation of witnesses. Appellant insists that the shabu found in his room was planted. 16. Appellant was indicted for possession of regulated drugs under Section 16 of Rep. Calamba. It brushes aside appellant‘s protest. Instead. On direct examination. the OSG brands the testimonies of appellant. While appellant interposes the defense of frame-up. the issue is whether appellant is guilty beyond reasonable doubt of Possession of Regulated Drugs under the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972. disclose otherwise. II. and (c) the accused has knowledge that the said drug is a regulated drug. appellant timely filed a notice of appeal. testified on the alleged planting of evidence as follows: xxxx Q: While you were walking towards the direction of your bath room at that time have you notice anything which catches your attention? A: I saw a man inside the room taking a plastic from his bag. The prosecutor has the right to choose whom he would present as witness. After considering carefully the contentions of the parties and the records of this case. the presumption of regularity in the performance of official duty stands and we agree that his testimony is worthy of full faith and credit. credence is given to the narration of the incident by the prosecution witnesses especially when they are police officers who are presumed to have performed their duties in a regular manner. Appellant alleges that SPO1 Ilagan verified his presence inside the room during the search in contrast to PO2 Ortega‘s account. xxxx Q: Can you describe to this Honorable Court what was that something that the man took out from his bag and placed the same underneath your parents‘ bed? A: It is a plastic containing like a tawas. Crisostomo who are inside the room. 2002 of the Regional Trial Court. while SPO1 Ilagan confirmed the presence of the accused during the search. This Court required the parties to submit supplemental briefs if they so desire. among the group that went to the room of Raul Nuñez who went inside? A: It was Raul Nuñez. even the accused could have presented them to testify thereon. I stayed near the door along with Brgy. is neither for accused nor even for the trial court to decide. Finally.10 From the appellate court‘s decision. on the validity of the search warrant. but appellant retorts that it was planted. we view such claim with disfavor as it can easily be fabricated and is commonly used as a facile refuge in drug cases. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN FINDING ACCUSED-APPELLANT GUILTY BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT OF THE IMPUTED CRIME DESPITE THE INHERENT WEAKNESS OF THE PROSECUTION‘S EVIDENCE. we are in agreement that appellant‘s petition lacks merit.11 Simply. appellant assails the validity of the search warrant as it did not indicate his exact address but only the barangay and street of his residence. – The penalty of reclusion perpetua to death and a fine ranging from five hundred thousand pesos to ten million pesos shall be imposed upon any person who shall possess or use any regulated drug without the corresponding license or prescription. (b) the person is not authorized by law or by duly constituted authorities. He maintains that none of the occupants witnessed the search as they were all kept in the living room. second. Discretion belongs to the prosecutor as to how the State should present its case. Further. Mundin together with Raul and then the three of us went to the room of Raul Nuñez. sir. the following elements must concur: (a) the accused is found in possession of a regulated drug. Q: Did you also notice. Laguna is hereby AFFIRMED. Possession or Use of Regulated Drugs. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN ACCORDING GREATER WEIGHT TO THE EVIDENCE ADDUCED BY THE PROSECUTION AND DISREGARDING THE DEFENSE OF FRAME-UP INTERPOSED BY [THE] ACCUSEDAPPELLANT. for having been belatedly made. SO ORDERED. both the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) and the appellant manifested that they are adopting their briefs before the appellate court.13 In cases involving violations of the Dangerous Drugs Act. the OSG argues that appellant‘s guilt has been proven beyond reasonable doubt. sir. Absent any compelling proof why SPO1 Ilagan would falsely testify against appellant. appellant questions the non-presentation of the barangay officials who purportedly observed the search.] On cross-examination. PO2 Ortega recounted: FISCAL: Q: What did you do next? WITNESS: A: Capt. xxxx Q: So. More importantly.15 [Emphasis supplied. Ilagan. appellant contends that I.18 [Emphasis supplied. subject to the provisions of Section 20 hereof. Liezel Nuñez. However.16 In a further effort to impeach the credibility of the policemen. unless there is evidence to the contrary. his wife and their child as self-serving. absent ill-motives ascribed to the search team.12 All these were found present in the instant case. Branch 36. SPO1 Ilagan found shabu in appellant‘s room.] xxxx Assuming arguendo that an officer placed a sachet of shabu under appellant‘s bed. the assailed Decision dated February 11. Conversely. Q: Have you noticed Miss Witness about how many plastic bag (sic) did the man take from his bag? A: Only one. PO2 Ortega did not falter: xxxx Q: Who among you went inside the room of Raul Nuñez? . sir. Mundin and Chief Tanod who were looking at what was going on. Capt. 6425 as amended which provides: SEC.

Search Warrant No. vs. jigsaw. we are here constrained to point out an irregularity in the search conducted. electric tester. the penalty of reclusion perpetua with its accessory penalties. like any other right.23 In the case at bar. they being sued as such agents. Jr. 6425. the complaint failed to state a cause of action. Rule 126 of the Rules of Court is pertinent: SEC. only the personal properties described in the search warrant may be seized by the authorities. H. On June 29. and P2. the NBI agent assigned to the case.27 Accordingly. Raul Nuñez. there is no reason to suggest that the police officers were ill-motivated in apprehending appellant.CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II REQUIREMENTS OF FAIR PROCEDURE A: Sgt. Although Donato felt that the delayed hearing compromised the operation. No. with the MODIFICATION that the official custodian of the objects taken during the search which are not otherwise regulated drugs or drug paraphernalia. Act No. in Civil Case 10584. and c) the NBI agents‘ immunity from suit. the right to be secure from unreasonable searches and seizures. 7659.19 [Emphasis supplied." This is. respondents NBI agents filed a special civil action of certiorari before the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G. J. GONZAGA. is ORDERED to return them to appellant. Ilagan. 6425 as amended by Rep. Dissatisfied. speakers. CR. sir.R. 2002 for the RTC to hear the application and issue the search warrant. absolutely impermissible. we find the penalty imposed by the trial court as affirmed by the appellate court proper. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila SECOND DIVISION G. drill. appellant was found in possession of 233. 2010 ARTHUR DEL ROSARIO and ALEXANDER DEL ROSARIO. Act No. Hence. saws. cash. Act No. 2003. 2007 the latter court granted the petition and annulled the RTC‘s orders. Branch 62.] Besides. Inc. electric planer. 3. The NBI agents filed a motion for reconsideration but the RTC denied the same on June 27. 2003.to leave the officers of the law with no discretion regarding what articles they should seize.. 2003 respondents NBI agents answered the complaint with a motion to dismiss on the grounds of: a) the failure of the complaint to state a cause of action. 2007 of the Court of Appeals in CA G. After doing surveillance work in that city. HELLENOR D. which is reclusion perpetua to death and a fine ranging from P500. the objects taken which were not specified in the search warrant should be restored to appellant. b) forum shopping.21 Here. 180595 March 5.C. (Philip Morris) wrote the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). petitioners Alexander and Arthur del Rosario (the Del Rosarios) filed a complaint for P50 million in damages against respondents NBI agents Donato and Gonzaga and two others before the RTC of Angeles City. prompting them to file this petition for review. requesting assistance in curtailing the proliferation of fake Marlboro cigarettes in Angeles City.R.000 fine which the Court of Appeals meted on appellant is in order. On August 6. Section 3. Pampanga. the search was conducted in the latter‘s presence. WHEREFORE. 2007. DONATO. 2002 respondent Donato applied for a search warrant with Branch 57 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Angeles City to search the subject premises. the generic word will usually be limited to things of a similar nature with those particularly enumerated. The Facts and the Case On January 23. After all. Hence there being no modifying circumstance proven. By the principle of ejusdem generis. As a rule. A search warrant is not a sweeping authority empowering a raiding party to undertake a fishing expedition to confiscate any and all kinds of evidence or articles relating to a crime. In the case at bar. Their search yielded no fake Marlboro cigarettes. in our view. or fruits of the offense. or (c) Used or intended to be used as the means of committing an offense.22 Turning to the objects which may be confiscated during the search. Personal property to be seized. Under Section 20(3)28 of Rep. can be waived and the waiver may be made expressly or impliedly. the same is inconsequential. any objection to the legality of the search warrant and the admissibility of the evidence obtained thereby was deemed waived when no objection was raised by appellant during trial. and bolo were not encompassed by the word paraphernalia as they bear no relation to the use or manufacture of drugs. camera. The RTC denied the motion on March 25. and only those particularly described in the search warrant -. No. The Del Rosarios sought reconsideration of the decision but the CA denied it on November 19. and RAFAEL V. 4224 specifically authorized the taking of methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu) and paraphernalia(s) only. Certainly. grinder. Respondents.20 As regards the contradiction in the testimonies of SPO1 Ilagan and PO2 Ortega as to whether they picked up Chief Tanod Joaquin at the barangay hall. the witnesses‘ testimonies need only corroborate one another on material details surrounding the actual commission of the crime. Crisostomo. the police officers exercised their own discretion and determined for themselves which items in appellant‘s residence they believed were "proceeds of the crime" or "means of committing the offense. the lady‘s wallet. hammer.25 Thus. and SPO1 Ilagan found shabu in appellant‘s dresser. Records show that appellant and the police officers were strangers to each other. The Issues Presented . the Decision dated January 19. (b) Stolen or embezzled and other proceeds. the NBI agents led by respondent Rafael V.1avvphi1 Lastly. Villasol Subdivision.000 to P10.: This case is about the need for plaintiff to state the facts constituting his cause of action and the correct forum for actions for damages arising from alleged wrongful procurement and enforcement of a search warrant issued in connection with an alleged criminal violation of the intellectual property law. Petitioners. myself. Angeles City. first. 2002 Philip Morris Products. Subsequently. where a statute describes things of a particular class or kind accompanied by words of a generic character. unless there be something in the context of the statement which would repel such inference.000. Mundin. On March 5. SP 79496.R.000. DECISION ABAD. Gonzaga proceeded to implement the warrant. In seizing the said items then. Chief Tanod Alfredo and Capt. JR. we find the testimonies of SPO1 Ilagan and PO2 Ortega believable and consistent on material points: appellant was shown the search warrant. in alleging merely that the NBI agents unlawfully procured the search warrant without stating the facts that made the procurement unlawful. that belonged to petitioner Alexander del Rosario. and second. 02420 isAFFIRMED.93 grams of shabu.000. – A search warrant may be issued for the search and seizure of personal property: (a) Subject of the offense. respondent Hellenor Donato. But it took a week later or on March 12.26 The purpose of the constitutional requirement that the articles to be seized be particularly described in the warrant is to limit the things to be taken to those. the Del Rosarios were guilty of forum shopping in that they should have filed their claim for damages against the NBI agents through a motion for compensation with the court that issued the search warrant. possession of 200 grams or more of shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride) renders the accused liable to suffer the maximum penalty under Section 16 of Rep. For sure. It has been ruled that an affirmative testimony coming from credible witnesses without motive to perjure is far stronger than a negative testimony. succeeded in confirming the storage and sale of such fake cigarettes at the house at 51 New York Street. component.

rather than file a separate action for damages. Two. the Del Rosarios should have filed their claim for compensation in the same proceeding and with the same court that issued the writ of search and seizure. when the respondent or his representative is not present during the search. (2) the defendant‘s corresponding obligation to honor or respect such right.2 According to the Del Rosarios.M. Branch 57 x x x. The award of damages shall be included in the judgment in the main case. Claim for damages. Whether or not the CA correctly ruled that the Del Rosarios were guilty of forum shopping. Villasol Subdivision. such admission does not extend to conclusions of law.M. the court can render judgment granting him the judicial assistance he seeks. the NBI agents found no fake Marlboro cigarettes in petitioner Alexander del Rosario‘s premises. In turn. These safeguards exist to protect persons from possible abuses that may occur if searches were done surreptitiously or clandestinely.7 The inclusion of Plaintiff Arthur del Rosario in Search Warrant No. The damages provided for in this section shall be independent from the damages claimed by the defendant in his counterclaim. the motion shall be filed with the court which issued the writ. xxxx 3. and other related words without ultimate facts to support the same are mere conclusions of law. 5 and 6 of Rule 126 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure (not under the provisions of A. xxxx 3. the NBI instituted a police action that included applying for a search and seizure warrant under Sections 3. . and (3) the defendant‘s subsequent violation of the right. There is nothing inherently wrong with search warrants being enforced in full view of neighbors. Instead. Whether or not the CA correctly ruled that the complaint of the Del Rosarios did not state a cause of action. Philip Morris did not file a civil action for infringement of its trademark against the Del Rosarios before the RTC of Angeles City.8 Worse the enforcement of Searched [sic] Warrant No.M. the manufacturer of Marlboro cigarettes.4 On 12 March 2002. Villasol Subdivision. The CA held that the Del Rosarios‘ complaint before the RTC failed to state a cause of action against respondents NBI agents.O.3 Statements of mere conclusions of law expose the complaint to a motion to dismiss on ground of failure to state a cause of action. Should the damages exceed the amount of the bond. evidenced by the fact that. 02-09 had no factual basis considering that the premises searched is the property solely of Plaintiff Alexander del Rosario. x x x and contrary to the allegation in Search Warrant No.M. Angeles City. all that the Del Rosarios allege is that respondents NBI agents used an unlawfully obtained search warrant against them. contrary to the sworn statements used to get such warrant. malice. and the malicious service of the such warrant at the residential premises of Plaintiff Alexander del Rosario in full and plain view of members of the community. A judgment in favor of the applicant in its principal claim should not necessarily bar the alleged infringing defendant from recovering damages where he suffered losses by reason of the wrongful issuance or enforcement of the writ. 021-06-SC) against the Del Rosarios upon the belief that they were storing and selling fake Marlboro cigarettes in violation of the penal provisions of the intellectual property law. 02-09A. which governed the issuance of a writ of search and seizure in a civil action for infringement filed by an intellectual property right owner against the supposed infringer of his trademark or name. Where no complaint is filed against the expected adverse party. no ‗fake Marlboro cigarettes and their packaging‘ were found at No. xxxx 2.5 The Del Rosarios‘ broad assertion in their complaint that the search was conducted "in full and plain view of members of the community" does not likewise support their claim that such search was maliciously enforced. 51 New York Street. setting forth the facts showing the defendant‘s right to damages and the amount thereof. the motion shall be filed with the same court during the trial or before appeal is perfected or before judgment becomes executory. In fact. In such a case. 21. 51 New York Street. Donato Jr. The Court‘s Rulings One. Angeles City x x x. the CA held that.4 Further. the court. While a motion to dismiss assumes as true the facts alleged in the complaint. When a complaint is already filed in court. Invoking Section 21 of this Court‘s Administrative Matter (A. which was done with much publicity in the community and had tended to include the Plaintiffs in the same category as other persons and entities who were in fact found to be dealing with fake Marlboro cigarettes. Philip Morris sought assistance from the NBI for the apprehension and criminal prosecution of those reportedly appropriating its trademark and selling fake Marlboro cigarettes. Such complaint said that the NBI agents unlawfully procured and enforced the search warrant issued against the Del Rosarios but it failed to state the ultimate facts from which they drew such conclusion. the allegation that the search warrant in this case was served in a malicious manner is also not sufficient. shall order the applicant to compensate the defendant or expected adverse party upon the cash bond. Philip Morris. But the subject search warrant was not issued under A.) 02-1-06-SC (not A. and subjected them to much unwarranted speculation of engaging in the sale of fake merchandise. 02-1-06-SC. 02-1-06-SC. elements of the [NBI] x x x led by Defendant Rafael I. or where it is found after trial that there has been no infringement or threat of infringement of an intellectual property right. Essentially. the complaint would have failed to state a cause of action. has tainted irreversibly the good names which Plaintiffs have painstakingly built and maintained over the years. with due notice to the applicant. and 2.6 Contrary to the sworn statements given before the court by defendants Hellenor D. Gonzaga x x x entered by force the premises belonging to Plaintiff Alexander del Rosario situated at No. 2.2 The baseless sworn allegations that Plaintiffs had under their control and possession counterfeit Marlboro cigarettes and packaging to obtain a search warrant. the Rule on Search and Seizure in Civil Actions for Infringement of Intellectual Property Rights.1 And judgment would be right only if the facts he alleges constitute a cause of action that consists of three elements: (1) the plaintiff‘s legal right in the matter. Absent any of these. did not go by this route. – Where the writ [of search and seizure] is discharged on any of the grounds provided in this Rule. Their allegation that the NBI agents used an unlawfully obtained search warrant is a mere conclusion of law. upon motion of the alleged infringing defendant or expected adverse party and after due hearing. the court shall set the motion for summary hearing and immediately determine the expected adverse party‘s right to damages. provides: SEC. 02-09 was just part of the series of raids and searches that was conducted in Angeles City and Pampanga. the applicant shall be liable for the payment of the excess. A. assuming the truth of the facts that plaintiff alleges in it. the rules require that it be done in the presence of two residents of the same locality. 01-1-06-SC as cited). as part of the series of raids and operations conducted within Angeles City and Pampanga during that period. however. The test of sufficiency of a complaint is whether or not. The Del Rosarios were thus guilty of forum shopping.4 Plaintiffs were subjected to so much humiliation and embarrassment by the raid conducted on the subject residential premises. pursuant to a Search Warrant unlawfully obtained from the [RTC] of Angeles City. the following allegations in their complaint state a cause or causes of action against respondents NBI agents: 2. 2." The Del Rosarios did not allege that respondents NBI agents violated their right by fabricating testimonies to convince the RTC of Angeles City to issue the search warrant. Allegations of bad faith.CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II REQUIREMENTS OF FAIR PROCEDURE The petition presents two issues: 1. surety bond or other equivalent security for any injury or damage the latter suffered by the issuance and enforcement of the writ. 4. But a judicially ordered search that fails to yield the described illicit article does not of itself render the court‘s order "unlawful.

while SPO2 Fernandez waited at the adjacent house. 17619-R The undersigned Public Prosecutor accuses ESTELA TUAN Y BALUDDA of the crime of VIOLATION OF SEC. DECISION LEONARDO-DE CASTRO. does not provide for the filing of counterclaims for damages against those who may have improperly sought the issuance of the search warrant. Regional Officer of the 14th Regional CIDG. at around three o‘clock. otherwise known as the "Illegal Possession of Firearms. Branch IV.R. ART.." as amended. and b) One (1) plastic bag containing dried Marijuana leaves weighing approximately . Chief of the Station Drug Enforcement Unit (SDEU). which affirmed with modification the Decision2 dated April 9.00 to buy marijuana. Accused-Appellant. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila FIRST DIVISION G. a high-powered firearm. the above-named accused did then and there willfully and unlawfully have in her possession.6 SPO2 Fernandez set out to verify the report of Tudlong and Lad-ing. 176066 August 11. finding accused-appellant Estela Tuan y Baludda guilty in Criminal Case No. at Barangay Gabriela Silang. SP 79496 dated June 29. Fernandez of the CAR Criminal Investigation and Detection Group with office address at DPS Compound. and Lad-ing. During trial. No." as amended. 2010 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. after personally examining by searching questions under oath SPO2 Fernando V. being satisfied of the existence of probable cause. 2000. if the circumstances warranted. On April 5.3 Criminal Case No. 17620-R. SO ORDERED. a limited criminal one. and Forensic Chemist II Marina Carina Madrigal (Madrigal). WHEREFORE. it finds no sufficient reason to further dwell on the lesser issues that the Del Rosarios raise above. pleaded "NOT GUILTY" to both charges.5 Pretrial and trial proper then ensued. SPO2 Fernandez requested the laboratory examination of the leaves bought from accused-appellant. and other police officers. But the rules do not require respondents in search warrant proceedings to be residents of the premises to be searched. Tudlong. That on or about 24th day of January 2000. Deputy Regional Officer. CR. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. When said laboratory examination yielded positive results for marijuana. by separate civil action for the wrong inflicted on them by an improperly obtained or enforced search warrant. 2000. The Informations read: Criminal Case No. and in Criminal Case No.357 S & W revolver. Philippines. together with Tudlong and Lad-ing. vs. d) the CA‘s grant to them in 2003 of a 15-day extension to file a petition for certiorari after the lapse of 60 days when the Court did not yet come out with a ruling that barred such extension. SPO2 Fernando Fernandez (Fernandez). 2007 and its Resolution dated November 19. Tudlong and Lad-ing came out of accused-appellant‘s house and showed SPO2 Fernandez the marijuana leaves they bought.-H.1avvphi1 Petitioner Arthur del Rosario claims that respondents NBI agents wrongfully included him as respondent in their application for a search warrant since he neither owned the house at 51 New York Street nor resided in it. of illegal possession of marijuana under Article II. Chief Inspector Reynaldo Piay. Two hours later. as worded. 17620-R The undersigned Public Prosecutor accuses ESTELA TUAN Y BALUDDA of the crime of VIOLATION OF PRESIDENTIAL DECREE 1866. assisted by her counsel de parte. 00381. custody. of violating Presidential Decree No.R. at Barangay Gabriela Silang. in the City of Baguio.C. b) their resort to a special civil action of certiorari to challenge the RTC‘s denial of their motion to dismiss. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. criminals in possession of illegal articles could simply use other people‘s residence for storing such articles to avoid being raided and searched. as recounted by the prosecution. 2007 for the reasons stated in this Decision. The events. are as follows: At around nine o‘clock in the morning on January 24. . the prosecution presented four witnesses: Senior Police Officer (SPO) 1 Modesto F. Tudlong and Lad-ing entered accused-appellant‘s house. SPO2 Fernandez prepared an Application for Search Warrant for accused-appellant‘s house. and e) their being represented by private counsel rather than by the Office of the Solicitor General.: For review is the Decision1 dated September 21. with the MODIFICATION that Civil Case 10584 is DISMISSED without prejudice. Branch 6. he gave Tudlong and Lad-ing P300. Jerry Tudlong (Tudlong) and Frank Lad-ing (Lading) arrived at the office of the 14th Regional CIDG (Criminal Investigation and Detention Group) at DPS Compound. Marcoville. in the City of Baguio. After thirty minutes. Judge Cortes personally examined SPO2 Fernandez. AS AMENDED (Illegal Possession of Marijuana). Baguio City. after which. 2006 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. ESTELA TUAN y BALUDDA. the Court finds no error in the CA‘s disposition of the same. Consequently. SPO2 Fernandez. 1866.3 kg. Utility Road. The Search Warrant read: TO ANY PEACE OFFICER: GREETINGS: It appearing to the satisfaction of the undersigned of the existence of facts upon which the application for Search Warrant is based. the Del Rosarios had the right to seek damages. their complaint. two separate Informations were filed before the RTC against accused-appellant for illegal possession of marijuana and illegal possession of firearm. Baguio City. Baguio City. without any license. Philippines. Police Officer (PO) 2 Jaime Chavez (Chavez). 2002 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC). Present at that time were Police Superintendent Isagani Neres. Plaintiff-Appellee. and control one (1) Cal. Section 8 of Republic Act No. 6425. and reported to SPO2 Fernandez. the above-named accused did then and there willfully and unlawfully have in her possession.750 kgs. accused-appellant. If this were the case. to wit: a) Nine (9) bricks of dried Marijuana leaves with an approximate total weight of 18.R. otherwise known as "The Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972. AS AMENDED (Illegal Possession of Firearm). J. c) the propriety of their inclusion of a motion to dismiss in their answer. two male informants namely. committed as follows: That on or about the 24th day of January 2000. With the Court‘s rulings in the principal issues raised in this case. failed to state a proper cause of action. At around one o‘clock in the afternoon of the same day. The Del Rosarios raise a number of procedural issues: a) the supposed failure of respondents NBI agents to file their motion for reconsideration of the RTC order denying their motion to dismiss within 15 days of receipt of the order. II OF REPUBLIC ACT 6425. Baguio City. 8. No. and then accompanied the two informants to the accused-appellant‘s house. 2000. Besides. that a certain "Estela Tuan" had been selling marijuana at Barangay Gabriela Silang. filed the Application for a Search Warrant before Judge Iluminada CabatoCortes (Judge Cortes) of the Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC). After returning to the CIDG regional office. and control the following. without any authority of law to do so in violation of the above-cited provision of law. 17619-R. custody. Carrera (Carrera). permit or authority duly issued by the government to possess or keep the same in violation of the above-cited law.CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II REQUIREMENTS OF FAIR PROCEDURE The proceeding under Rule 126. the Court DENIES the petition and AFFIRMS the Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.4 Upon her arraignment on April 18. she issued a Search Warrant. 2000. committed as follows: . at about one o‘clock in the afternoon on January 25. Unfortunately.

namely. on the other hand. the Barangay Captain of Barangay Gabriela Silang. Sometime in January 2000. Baguio City.3 kilograms (Exhibit F. The officers must conduct the search and seize the above-mentioned personal items in the presence of the lawful occupant thereof or any member of her family or in the absence of the latter. F-1-A to F-1-J) are ordered confiscated and forfeited in favor of the State to be destroyed immediately in accordance with law. they got the bag from a room on the first floor of accused-appellant‘s house. Gabriela Silang. SPO2 Fernandez and Police Senior Inspector Ricarte Marquez guarded the surroundings of the house. the Court finds the accused Estela Tuan guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the offense of illegal possession of marijuana (nine [9] bricks of dried marijuana leaves with an approximate weight of 18. accused-appellant‘s father. You are hereby commanded to make an immediate search at anytime in the day the house of the accused Estela Tuan at Brgy. SPO1 Carrera. during which they allegedly found a gun under the cabinet in accused-appellant‘s room. he requested one Eliza Pascual (Pascual). Baguio City.CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II REQUIREMENTS OF FAIR PROCEDURE Baguio City and his witnesses namely: Frank Lad-ing of Happy Hallow.00 without subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency. thereafter. SPO1 Carrera and PO2 Chavez began searching the rooms on the first floor in the presence of Magno and Pascual.1avvphi1 In her testimony. According to the police officers. He was present when the search was conducted but denied that the Search Warrant was shown to him.Undetermined Quantity of Marijuana Dried Leaves and/or Marijuana Hashish x x x nothing follows x x x and bring said items to the undersigned to be dealt with as the law directs.3 kilograms) in violation of Section 8. This Search Warrant shall be valid for ten (10) days from date of issue. accused-appellant declared that she worked as a vendor at Hangar Market. . leave a receipt in the place in which the seized items were found. In the course of the police officers‘ search. accused-appellant. They saw a movable cabinet in accusedappellant‘s room.13 Accusedappellant alleged that a Search Warrant was issued for her house because of a quarrel with her neighbor named Lourdes Estillore (Estillore). The CIDG team thereafter proceeded to accused-appellant‘s house. CABATO-CORTES The nine bricks of marijuana were brought to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) for examination. but since no one was available. In Criminal Case No. below which they found a brick of marijuana and a firearm. this 25th day of January.16 He attested that the confiscated items were found from the vacant room at the first floor of accused-appellant‘s house which was previously occupied by boarders. F-1. Magno claimed that he did not personally witness the finding of the gun and was merely informed about it by the police officers. in the presence of the 2 witnesses mentioned. Accused-appellant filed a complaint for the demolition of Estillore‘s house which was constructed on the road. They continued their search on the second floor. had an entirely different version of what transpired that day. 2000 to ask about the location of accusedappellant‘s house. to come along.11 At about six o‘clock in the afternoon. 2000. The officers seizing the items must give a detailed receipt for the same to the lawful occupant of the house in whose presence the search and seizure were made. The police officers asked accused-appellant to open a built-in cabinet. after having been duly sworn to. It presented four witnesses. was the last to testify for the defense. in which they saw eight more bricks of marijuana.9 PO2 Chavez issued a receipt for the items confiscated from accused-appellant10 and a certification stating that the items were confiscated and recovered from the house and in accused-appellant‘s presence. He further remembered that the members of the CIDG went to his office on January 24. of Barangay Kitma. (SGD)ILUMINADA Executive Judge MTCC. she and her husband Beniasan reached their residence and found a green paper bag with marijuana in their sala. Beniasan Tuan (Beniasan).750 kilograms and one (1) plastic bag containing dried marijuana leaves weighing approximately . but Magno did not know the contents thereof. accusedappellant‘s father. has in her possession and control at her resident at Brgy. Said room was padlocked but was forced open by the police officers. Beniasan and accused-appellant arrived at their residence at around six o‘clock in the evening and were shown the marijuana the police officers supposedly got from the first floor of the house. Branch IV7 Upon receipt of the Search Warrant. Police Senior Inspector Ricarte Marquez and PO2 Chavez implemented the warrant. the following: .750 kilograms and the one [1] plastic bag containing the dried marijuana weighing about . it shall be void. must. Gabriela Silang. He corroborated accusedappellant‘s allegation that the latter had a quarrel with Estillore. after he was shown a copy of the Search Warrant. his team supervisor Police Senior Inspector Rodolfo Castel. The nine (9) bricks of dried marijuana leaves with an approximate weight of 18. Article II of Republic Act No.17 The police officers also searched the rooms of accused-appellant and her children at the second floor of the house. The boarders padlocked the room because they still had things inside and they had paid their rent up to the end of January 2000. that there is a probable cause to believe that a Violation of R. which accused-appellant disputed since her room was always left open and it was where her children play. 2002.000.19 The RTC. 6425 as amended by Section 13 of Republic Act 7659 as charged in the information and sentences her to the penalty of reclusion perpetua and to pay a fine ofP500.8 while SPO1 Carrera and PO2 Chavez searched inside. accusedappellant‘s husband. accused-appellant‘s neighbor. 6425 as amended by R. who executed sworn statements and deposition as witneses. in the presence of two witnesses of sufficient age and discretion residing in the same locality. or in the absence of such occupant. found accused-appellant guilty as charged and adjudged thus: WHEREFORE.A. Baguio City and Jerry Tudlong. Baguio City. Before going to the accused-appellant‘s house. Baguio City.A. Philippines.18 Maskay.14 Beniasan supported the testimony of his wife. SPO2 Fernandez. At around six o‘clock that evening.15 Magno testified that he resided at the first floor of accused-appellant‘s residence. The defense. and this could be the reason behind the filing of the present criminal cases.Undetermined Quantity of Marijuana Dried Leaves and/or Marijuana Hashish xxxx which are subject of the offense which should be seized and brought to the undersigned. Accused-appellant explained that the room where the bag of marijuana was found was previously rented by boarders. they pulled something from under the bed that was wrapped in green cellophane. the CIDG team was allowed entry into the house by Magno Baludda (Magno). accused-appellant arrived with her son. 17619-R. Baguio City. deliver the items seized to the undersigned judge together with a true inventory thereof duly verified under oath. and forthwith seize and take possession of the following: .12 The police officers also informed accused-appellant that they got a gun from under a cabinet in the latter‘s room. thereafter. Even though accused-appellant was not around. while she was selling vegetables at Hangar Market. in its Decision dated April 9. He narrated that he and accused-appellant were at their Hangar Market stall when two police officers came and asked them to go home. SPO2 Fernandez invited barangay officials to be present when the Search Warrant was to be served. The police officers then made Beniasan sign a certification of the list of items purportedly confiscated from the house. the Barangay Captain of Barangay Gabriela Silang. her son arrived with two police officers who asked her to go home because of a letter from the court. judgment is hereby rendered as follows: 1. Magno. accused-appellant herself. and Mabini Maskay (Maskay). 7659 has been committed and that there are good and sufficient reasons to believe that Estela Tuan.

2006. The search conducted by SPO1 Carrera and PO2 Chavez in accused-appellant‘s house yielded nine bricks of marijuana. misapprehended or misapplied. as amended. 8294 which amended Section 1 of PD 1866 as charged in the information and hereby sentences her. applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law. as amended.32 Accused-appellant further questions the non-presentation as witnesses of Lad-ing and Tudlong. In the end. and Pascual.e. 17620-R. the Court of Appeals decreed: WHEREFORE. 1866 on the ground of reasonable doubt in Criminal Case No. RA 6425. Accused-appellant is accordingly ACQUITTED of the latter offense. 17620-R. 17619-R and 17620-R . Such acquittal is final and unappealable on the ground of double jeopardy whether it happens at the trial court or on appeal at the Court of Appeals. and that accordingly. affirmed by the Court of Appeals. 2002. without any license. the appellate court affirmed the conviction of accused-appellant for illegal possession of marijuana. Art.22 On September 21. if they so desired. even offering the same for sale. the records were bereft of evidence that the gun supposedly confiscated from accused-appellant was unlicensed. Accused-appellant challenges the judgment of the RTC. Illegal possession of prohibited or regulated drugs is committed when the following elements concur: (1) the accused is in possession of an item or object which is identified to be a prohibited drug. In such a situation. 2007 directing the parties to file their respective supplemental briefs. accused-appellant‘s possession thereof could not have been authorized by law in any way. in compliance with the requirements of the Constitution. THE TRIAL COURT GRAVELY ERRED IN CONVICTING THE ACCUSEDAPPELLANT OF THE CRIMES CHARGED DESPITE FAILURE OF THE PROSECUTION TO PROVE HER GUILT BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT. The assailed Decision of the RTC of Baguio City. 17619-R.357 S & W revolver without serial number is ordered forfeited in favor of the State to be disposed of immediately in accordance with law. The People26 likewise manifested that it would no longer file a supplemental brief as the issues have all been addressed in its Appellee‘s Brief. which had the distinct advantage of observing the conduct or demeanor of the witnesses while they were testifying.357 S & W revolver). Marijuana is a prohibited drug. by pointing out certain inconsistencies in the testimonies of prosecution witnesses that supposedly manifested their lack of credibility. i. 2004 transferring said records to the Court of Appeals pursuant to People v. Republic Act No. 17619-R.29 The Court finds no reason to deviate from the general rule in the case at bar.000. (2) such possession is not authorized by law. within 30 days from notice. Given that accused-appellant was already acquitted of the charge of violation of Presidential Decree No. to imprisonment ranging from 4 years 9 months and 10 days of prision correccional in its maximum period as Minimum to 6 years and 8 months of prision mayor in its minimum period as Maximum and a fine of P30. the Court of Appeals promulgated its Decision. permit or authority issued by the Government to keep the same in violation of Section 1. dated April 9. and 2. the informants. such as Criminal Case No. the instant appeal is PARTLY GRANTED. 2006. Hence.. the neighbor who supposedly witnessed the implementation of the Search Warrant. Accusedappellant evidently possessed the marijuana freely and consciously. modified the appealed RTC judgment by acquitting accused-appellant of the charge for illegal possession of firearm. The firearm caliber .30 All the foregoing elements were duly proven to exist in Criminal Case No. is AFFIRMED while her conviction for Violation of PD 1866. In Criminal Case No. a high powered firearm. This Court then issued a Resolution24 dated February 28. her instant appeal relates only to her conviction for illegal possession of prohibited or regulated drugs in Criminal Case No. this Court generally relies upon the assessment by the trial court. There was no showing of procedural defects or lapses in the issuance of said Search Warrant as the records support that the issuing judge determined probable cause only after conducting the searching inquiry and personal examination of the applicant and the latter‘s witnesses. its factual findings are accorded respect – even finality – absent any showing that certain facts of weight and substance bearing on the elements of the crime have been overlooked. and (3) the accused freely and consciously possesses the said drug. That the said condition of the gun did not dispense with the need for the prosecution to establish that it was unlicensed through the testimony or certification of the appropriate officer from the Board of the Firearms and Explosives Bureau of the Philippine National Police. a case becomes a contest of credibility of witnesses and their testimonies. is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. is hereby MODIFIED such that the conviction of accused-appellant for Violation of Section 8. The Court can no longer pass upon the propriety of accused-appellant‘s acquittal in Criminal Case No. premises considered. Mateo.23 In its Resolution dated October 20. 17619-R. The absence of a firearm license was simply presumed by the police officers because the gun was a defective paltik with no serial number.31 Inconsistencies as to minor details and collateral matters do not affect the credibility of the witnesses nor the veracity or weight of their testimonies. thus. Accused-appellant25 opted not to file a supplemental brief and manifested that she was adopting her arguments in the Appellant‘s Brief since the same had already assiduously discussed her innocence of the crime charged. The Court has previously held that discrepancies and inconsistencies in the testimonies of witnesses referring to minor details. The Court of Appeals. some of the marijuana were found in accused-appellant‘s own room.CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II REQUIREMENTS OF FAIR PROCEDURE The accused Estela Tuan being a detention prisoner is entitled to be credited 4/5 of her preventive imprisonment in the service of her sentence in accordance with Article 29 of the Revised Penal Code. but the Court issued a Resolution21 dated October 13. do not impair their credibility. Hence. The bricks of marijuana were found in accused-appellant‘s residence over which she had complete control. Testimonies of witnesses need only corroborate each other on important and relevant details concerning the principal occurrence.00 without subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency. the State may not seek its review without placing the accused in double jeopardy. Accused-appellant raised the following assignment of errors in her Brief: 27 THE TRIAL COURT GRAVELY ERRED IN GIVING FULL FAITH AND CREDENCE TO THE INCREDIBLE AND CONTRADICTORY TESTIMONIES OF THE POLICE OFFICERS. the Court finds the accused Estela Tuan guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the offense of illegal possession of firearms (one [1] caliber . during the joint trial of Criminal Case Nos. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN NOT CONSIDERING AS VOID THE SEARCH WARRANT ISSUED AGAINST THE ACCUSED-APPELLANT. Branch 6. The Court of Appeals held that the contested search and consequent seizure of the marijuana bricks were done pursuant to the Search Warrant validly issued by the MTCC. The accused Estela Tuan being a detention prisoner is entitled to be credited 4/5 of her preventive imprisonment in the service of her sentence in accordance with Article 29 of the Revised Penal Code. finding her guilty of illegal possession of marijuana. however. Such minor inconsistencies may even serve to strengthen their credibility as they negate any suspicion that the testimonies have been rehearsed. According to the appellate court. These alleged inconsistencies and contradictions pertain to minor details and are so inconsequential that they do not in any way affect the credibility of the witnesses nor detract from the established fact of illegal possession of marijuana by accused-appellant at her house. 17620-R because of the rule that a judgment acquitting the accused is final and immediately executory upon its promulgation. II. and not in actuality touching upon the central fact of the crime.28 In a prosecution for violation of the Dangerous Drugs Law. the Court of Appeals gave due course to accused-appellant‘s Partial Notice of Appeal and accordingly forwarded the records of the case to this Court. In fact.20 The records of the two criminal cases were forwarded to this Court by the RTC. the date of the test buy and the manner by which the doors of the rooms of the house were opened.

personal determination of probable cause by Judge Cortes. SEC. A magistrate‘s determination of probable cause for the issuance of a search warrant is paid great deference by a reviewing court. the judge must examine. He testified before Judge Cortes: COURT: Q. Your Honor. under oath or affirmation. Substantial basis means that the questions of the examining judge brought out such facts and circumstances as would lead a reasonably discreet and prudent man to believe that an offense has been committed. 5. the non-presentation of the informer on the witness stand would not necessarily create a hiatus in the prosecutions' evidence. of SPO2 Fernandez and the two informants. This year? A. Accused-appellant specifically pointed out the following defects which made said Search Warrant void: (1) the informants. To whom did they report? A. How did they report the matter? . and particularly describing the place to be searched and the things to be seized which may be anywhere in the Philippines. In People v. Q.) Accordingly. Q. your honor. Judge Cortes found probable cause for the issuance of the Search Warrant for accused-appellant‘s residence after said judge‘s personal examination of SPO2 Fernandez. is in possession of dried marijuana leaves and marijuana hashish. the complainant and such witnesses as the latter may produce.36 the Court defined probable cause as follows: Although probable cause eludes exact and concrete definition. 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. what should be proven beyond reasonable doubt is the fact of the sale itself. therefore. Before a search warrant can be issued.e. the following pronouncement of this Court in People v. Rule 126 of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure laid down the following requisites for the issuance of a valid search warrant: SEC. – A search warrant shall not issue except upon probable cause in connection with one specific offense to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce. the informants. What is left for the Court to determine is compliance with the first and fourth factors. and (4) the warrant issued must particularly describe the place to be searched and persons or things to be seized. Sections 2 and 3(2) of Article III which provide: SEC. To me personally. it generally 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 is charged. 3.35 There is no dispute herein that the second and third factors for a validly issued search warrant were complied with. The prosecution need not present each and every witness but only such as may be needed to meet the quantum of proof necessary to establish the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt.33 Although Criminal Case No. together with the affidavits submitted.34 relating to the illegal sale of the same drug. like the non-presentation of the marked money used in buying the contraband. (Emphases ours. papers.) Lastly. made misrepresentation of facts in the Application for Search Warrant filed with the MTCC. in writing and under oath. 2. 17619-R involves illegal possession of marijuana. It ought to be emphasized that in determining probable cause. The Court has ruled that the non-presentation of corroborative witnesses does not constitute suppression of evidence and is not fatal to the prosecution‘s case.e. Yes. accused-appellant insists that the items allegedly seized from her house are inadmissible as evidence because the Search Warrant issued for her house was invalid for failing to comply with the constitutional and statutory requirements. Lad-ing and Tudlong. Your Honor.. The testimonies of the other witnesses may. personally examine in the form of searching questions and answers. Rather. i. and that the items will be found in the place to be searched. the average man weighs facts and circumstances without resorting to the calibrations of our rules of evidence of which his knowledge is technically nil.. (3) in the determination of probable cause. under oath or affirmation. (Emphasis ours. January 22. The presentation of an informant in an illegal drugs case is not essential for conviction nor is it indispensable for a successful prosecution because his testimony would be merely corroborative and cumulative. SPO2 Fernandez based his Application for Search Warrant not only on the information relayed to him by Lad-ing and Tudlong. Requisites for issuing search warrant. as long as there was substantial basis for that determination. Hence. the complainant and the witnesses he may produce on facts personally known to them and attach to the record their sworn statements. In a case involving the sale of illegal drugs. The right of a person against unreasonable searches and seizure is recognized and protected by no less than the Constitution. and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable. i. The same quantum of evidence is required in determining probable cause relative to search. Therefore. the applicant. and examination. Salazar. Aruta. and particular description of the place to be searched and things to be seized. record. the validity of the issuance of a search warrant rests upon the following factors: (1) it must be issued upon probable cause. houses. x x x (2) Any evidence obtained in violation of this or the preceding section shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding. and the objects in connection with the offense sought to be seized are in the place sought to be searched. (2) Judge Cortes of the MTCC failed to consider the informants‘ admission that they themselves were selling marijuana. Q. This Court though is unconvinced that such nonpresentation of witnesses is fatal to Criminal Case No. Your Honor. and Lad-ing and Tudlong. before issuing the warrant. 17619-R. existence of probable cause. (2) the probable cause must be determined by the judge himself and not by the applicant or any other person. The right of the people to be secure in their persons. Examination of complainant. It likewise refers to the existence of such facts and circumstances which could lead a reasonably discreet and prudent man to believe that an offense has been committed and that the item(s).37 Such substantial basis exists in this case. Sections 4 and 5. how did you come to know about this matter? A. by Judge Cortes. he relies on the calculus of common sense which all reasonable men have in abundance. He also arranged for a test buy and conducted surveillance of accusedappellant. it must be shown by substantial evidence that the items sought are in fact seizable by virtue of being connected with criminal activity. and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized. Q. SEC. and (3) the Search Warrant failed to particularly describe the place to be searched because the house was a two-storey building composed of several rooms.CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II REQUIREMENTS OF FAIR PROCEDURE before the RTC. When did these two male persons report to your office? A. – The judge must. Through the two male persons by the name of Frank Lad-ing and Jerry Tudlong. be dispensed with if they are merely corroborative in nature. Baguio City. 4. The prosecution has the exclusive prerogative to determine whom to present as witnesses. Lad-ing and Tudlong. You are applying for a Search Warrant and you alleged in your application that Estela Tuan of Brgy. particularly. still rings true: Neither is her right to confront witnesses against her affected by the prosecution's failure to present the informer who pointed to her as a drug pusher. article(s) or object(s) sought in connection with said offense or subject to seizure and destruction by law is in the place to be searched. Gabriela Silang.

is it along the road or inside the road or what? A: It is near the road but you have to walk in a little distance. they were able to purchase and when they purchased the said items or drugs. Estela Tuan went with you and later on she became your partner in that business? A: Yes. Your Honor. Q: Will you describe the place where Estela Tuan is residing? A: Well. it is a two storey house. what happened? A: After which. Q: Where was the marijuana? A: It was placed in a cellophane. What kind of work do you have there? A: I am a middleman of the vegetable dealers. Q. Q. Q: How many times did you go there? A: It was my second time to go at that time we were sent by PO Fernandez to purchase marijuana. she told us that if we wanted to earn some more. that is her residence. Lad-ing narrated: COURT: Q: Mr. Q. Your Honor. Your Honor. however. Q: And she gave you that marijuana? A: Yes. there is a certain room located at the side that is the place where she got the same. she told us that she has in her possession marijuana which could be sold. Where is that P300. Your Honor. Your Honor. Tudlong and Lad-ing. how many of you? A: A certain Jerry Tudlong. the walls are made of galvanized iron Sheets. They had a test buy and they were able to buy some commodities yesterday. Your Honor. I accompanied the said persons and kept watch over them and gave them money after which. How did you go about it? A. Q: With that size. Q: What happened next? A: We handed to her the amount of P300. Your Honor. No. Your Honor. Q: How big? A: A dimension of 10 x 4 inches. Your Honor. Your Honor. your Honor.38 Lad-ing and Tudlong affirmed before Judge Cortes that they were the ones who informed SPO2 Fernandez that accused-appellant was keeping and selling marijuana at her house. We did not bother. Your Honor. COURT: Q: Did you come to know of this person Estela Tuan? A: Yes. They reported that a certain Estela Tuan is selling dried Marijuana leaves and marijuana hashish. What did you do when you asked them regarding that matter? A.00? A. Q: Where did she go. Why did you not apply immediately for search warrant? A: Because we still have to look at the area and see to it that there are really some buyers or people who would go and leave the place. Your Honor. Q: And so. Q. they were even informed that if you wanted to sell then you could come and get. Your Honor. we then went at their residence at Gabriela Silang. there are persons who would go inside and after going inside. Your Honor. that is already sufficient proof or sufficient probable cause she is in possession of marijuana. COURT: Q. Your honor. Your Honor. Your Honor. where did she show you the box of this cellophane? A: At the place where we were sitted at the receiving room. because there was an incident wherein we were conducting our line of business when they came and joined us and we became partners. They just told you. she showed the marijuana. Q: Where is the marijuana now? A: It is in the possession of PO Fernandez. Q: In other words. Q: What did you observe? A: Well. It is with them. COURT: Q: Do you know who are staying there? A: I do not know who is living with her. You did not entrap her? A. Your Honor. Your Honor. Your Honor. she went to get it and then presented or showed it to you? Q: In other words. Q: Where is this house of Estela Tuan located. That they are also selling marijuana in large volume at their house. Q: What happened? . she is selling marijuana and selling vegetables. Q: And that was January 22. and that they took part in the test buy. Q: You said. Your Honor. What else? A. Q. they would come out bringing along with them something else. if you know? A: Because at the sala. they. Baguio City. Who bought? A. Your Honor. Your Honor. Your Honor.00. She is not only selling marijuana but also selling vegetables at the Trading Post in La Trinidad. you said that you are working at the Trading Post. Q. Your Honor. Estela Tuan and myself. Your Honor. Your Honor. Q: Where is the marijuana placed? A: In a newspaper. A: Yes. in a newspaper. A: While we then sitted ourselves at the sala. Your Honor. what else did they report? A. because it is only a test buy. Your Honor. Q: Did you not interview these people? A: No. Lad-ing. Q: And so what happened when she became a partner of your business? A: When we were about to divide our profit.CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II REQUIREMENTS OF FAIR PROCEDURE A.

The criminal liabilities of accused-appellant and the informants would be separate and distinct. guilty of violation of Article II. you still have to walk a short distance. if any? A. did you talk immediately with Frank or what did you do? A: We reported the matter to the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group. we were made to sit down at the receiving area or sala. you did not actually see what is in the newspaper? A: No. this Court did not find a categorical admission by either of the two informants that they themselves were selling marijuana. I know that that is marijuana. Your Honor. the marijuana that we purchased was worth P300. Your Honor. xxxx Q: What time? A: We went to the office at 9:00 – 9:30 o‘clock in the morning. even after carefully reviewing the testimonies of Lad-ing and Tudlong before Judge Cortes. Your Honor. to buy marijuana. Your Honor. Your Honor. Q: Did you hear what they were talking about? A: That Frank was purchasing marijuana. Moreover. COURT: Q: After that. provides: Q: Where did Estela Tuan get the newspaper placed in a transparent plastic? A: She got it from a room because were then made to wait at the sala. a plastic which was transparent. when she told you that she has some substance for sale for profit and you mentioned marijuana. . Section 8 of Republic Act No.00 was given to Frank and we were instructed to purchase. Q: Did she tell you how much she can sell marijuana? A: She told us. Your Honor.39 Tudlong recounted in more detail what happened during the test buy: COURT: Q: My question is. Your Honor. xxxx Q: So. as amended. Your Honor. A description of the place to be searched is sufficient if the officer serving the warrant can. if we would be interested to buy more. Since it is beyond any cavil of doubt that the accused-appellant is.41 In the case at bar. Well. of Republic Act No. Your Honor. your Honor. Q: What did the woman tell you? A: After we handed the money. Your Honor. Your Honor. it would not have affected the validity of the Search Warrant for accusedappellant‘s house. what did she tell you. and on inquiry unerringly leads the peace officers to it. however. Your Honor. having only bought the same from the accused-appellant for the test buy. was then handed to Frank. Your Honor. and any items seized as a result of the search conducted by virtue thereof.00[. may be presented as evidence against the accused-appellant.40 Q: And you have not gotten marijuana without Estela Tuan informing you? A: Yes. Q: Did you go? A: Yes. Tudlong expressly denied that he and Lad-ing sold the marijuana. Your Honor. satisfies the constitutional requirement of definiteness. First. we were allowed to go inside the house after which. what did you do? A: The amount of P300. with reasonable effort. the Court upholds the validity of the Search Warrant for accused-appellant‘s house issued by MTCC Judge Cortes. Your Honor. Article II. consisting of a structure with two floors and composed of several rooms. it was a plastic and there was a newspaper inside. Q: Who allowed you to enter? A: The female person. Q: When you went there. Q: When you already bought marijuana from her. Section 8. Accused-appellant‘s contention that MTCC Judge Cortes failed to consider the informants‘ admission that they themselves were selling marijuana is utterly without merit. In fact. The investigation and prosecution of one could proceed independently of the other. Q: I thought you are going to sell marijuana and so you went there? A: We were just instructed by PO Fernandez to verify what we are telling him was true. we could divide it into two small packs and we could sell it at P20. Your Honor. Upon reaching the road. Equally without merit is accused-appellant‘s assertion that the Search Warrant did not describe with particularity the place to be searched. you were allowed to enter immediately? A: Yes. Q: What? A: Well. which was accusedappellant‘s residence.00 per piece so that you can also have some gain. There was only one house located at the stated address. Frank and the female person were the ones conferring. the Court shall now consider the appropriate penalty to be imposed upon her. even if the informants were also selling marijuana. Your Honor. Q: What happened when you were asked to be sitted? A: During that time.CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II REQUIREMENTS OF FAIR PROCEDURE xxxx Q: How many rooms are there in the first floor of the house of Estela Tuan? A: Three rooms. ascertain and identify the place intended and distinguish it from other places in the community. as amended. the address and description of the place to be searched in the Search Warrant was specific enough. indeed. Your Honor. 6425. Your Honor. 6425. I still have stocks here. Q: Why? A: Because that was our purpose. Q: When you went there.] However.\ Q: Is the house beside the road or do you have to walk? A: It is near the road. A designation or description that points out the place to be searched to the exclusion of all others. In view of the foregoing. in relation to Section 20(3). the walls are made of GI sheets. Your Honor. to whom did you sell? A: We did not sell the marijuana. Q: Will you tell us what kind of materials were used in the house of Estela Tuan? A: Two storey. Your Honor. xxxx Q: Will you tell what happened when you went to the house of the woman? A: Well. it has a dining room and beside the place is the receiving room where we sitted ourselves.

7 Afterwards. (b) such possession is not authorized by law and (c) the accused freely and consciously possessed said drug. yielded positive results for 0. 40 grams or more of opium. (a) the accused is in possession of an item or an object identified to be a prohibited or a regulated drug.000. 28482 which affirmed the conviction of herein accused-appellant OLIVE RUBIO MAMARIL of possession of dangerous drugs in violation of Section 11. On 21 April 2004. 171980 October 6.R. 7. With Barangay Kagawad Tabamo. In the same vein.15 On appeal.The penalty of reclusion perpetua to death and a fine ranging from five hundred thousand pesos to ten million pesos shall be imposed upon any person who. 40 grams or more of cocaine or cocaine hydrocholoride. 9165. the police officers proceeded to and searched the place and found the plastic sachet containing the shabu. No. he found on the top cover of the refrigerator one (1) plastic sachet containing white crystalline substance. namely. at 9:30 o‘clock in the evening.. No. CONTRARY TO LAW14 Upon arraignment. OLIVE RUBIO MAMARIL. unlawfully and criminally have in her possession and control Methamphetamine Hydrochloride known as Shabu. Marcene G. 144C dated 18 March 2003 issued by Judge Alipio Yumul of Branch 66.9 The factual version presented by the defense is: On 25 March 2003. 7659) Sec.A. CR. on cross-examination. accused. During his search. Accusedappellant had in her possession a total of 19. SO ORDERED. a dangerous drug. When she told them that she did not have money. Article II. the appeal is DISMISSED for lack of merit. an Information was filed against the appellant which reads: That on March 25. the Decision dated September 21. entered a plea of not guilty. 8 and 9 of Article II and Sections 14.055 gram of Methamphetamine Hydrochloride. 20. along with the members of Intel Operatives of Tarlac City Police Station and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA). the police team presented the search warrant to appellant and informed her of the purpose of the search and her constitutional rights. 15 and 16 of Article III of this Act shall be applied if the dangerous drugs involved is in any of the following quantities: 1. of R. no case would be filed against her. of R. the Court of Appeals ruled that the evidence for the prosecution fully proved beyond reasonable doubt the elements necessary to successfully prosecute a case for illegal possession of a regulated drug.-H. without being authorized by law.8 The plastic sachet was brought to the Tarlac Provincial Crime Laboratory located at Tarlac Provincial Hospital for qualitative examination.11 However. 6425. In the case of other dangerous drugs. as amended. The dispositive portion of the assailed decision reads: WHEREFORE.: For review through this appeal1 is the Decision2 dated 31 August 2005 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. Then a certain Police Officer Pangilinan asked her where she was sleeping.The penalties for offenses under Sections 3. after public consultations/hearings conducted for the purpose. affirmed by the Court of Appeals.12 Appellant claims that the police officers framed her up and planted the shabu inside her house because of her refusal to give them money. upon proof of guilt beyond reasonable doubt. Section 8 of Republic Act No. The examination conducted by Engr. assisted by the de-officio counsel.) Pursuant to Article II. the designated searcher. The challenged judgment of the court a quo is hereby AFFIRMED.16 Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila FIRST DIVISION G. WHEREFORE.000. 14-A. WHEREFORE. 7. Tarlac City.13 Eventually. Section 8 of Republic Act No. Article II3 of Republic Act No. she was brought to the sub-station at Maliwalo and was told.00 imposed upon accusedappellant by the RTC.4 The affirmed disposition reads: . Article II.050 grams of marijuana. 3. the policemen searched her house but found nothing.00. DECISION PEREZ. No costs. as the same is still within the range of fines imposable on any person who possessed prohibited drugs without any authority. Province of Tarlac.R. When she replied that she was inside the hut. is also correct. SPO4 Gotidoc. Thereafter. 4. particularly by SPO4 Gotidoc and a certain Ma‘am Dulay that in exchange of P20. Regional Trial Court. 00381. Application of Penalties. illegal possession of 750 grams or more of the prohibited drug marijuana is punishable by reclusion perpetua to death. 40 grams or more of morphine.CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II REQUIREMENTS OF FAIR PROCEDURE SEC. in the presence of the appellant and Kagawad Tabamo. 91655. Possession or Use of Prohibited Drugs.A. Capas. 40 grams or more of heroin. Thereafter he prepared a Certificate of Good Search and Confiscation Receipt which the appellant refused to sign. the police team invited Barangay Kagawad Oscar Tabamo of Barangay Maliwalo to witness the conduct of the search and seizure operation in the appellant‘s house. The facts as presented by the prosecution before the appellate court follow: On 25 March 2003.6 Prior to the search. weighing more or less 0.000.00 was not reported to the higher ranking police officers.000 for violation of Section 11. 2003 at around 9:30 o‘clock in the evening at Tarlac City and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. SPO4 Alexis Gotidoc. commonly known as shabu. (Emphasis supplied. No. the appellant admitted that the alleged extortion of P20. the quantity of which is far beyond therapeutic requirements. Accused-Appellant. at 9:30 o‘ clock in the evening the police officers arrived at appellant‘s house and showed her a search warrant. for which she was properly sentenced to reclusion perpetua by the RTC.C. started searching the appellant‘s house. as amended. Confiscation and Forfeiture of the Proceeds or Instruments of the Crime.R. as determined and promulgated by the Dangerous Drugs Board. 5. Tarlac against the appellant in her residence at Zone 1.10 Thereafter. or 8. the trial court found the accused-appellant guilty of violation of Section 11. the fine of P500. is hereby AFFIRMED in toto. premises considered. implemented Search Warrant No. Barangay Maliwalo. the Forensic Chemist who tested the white crystalline substance. the appellant. 2006 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. under Article II. Agala. (As amended by R. she was detained. affirmed by the Court of Appeals. .A. 50 grams or more of marijuana resin or marijuana resin oil. premises considered. did then and there willfully. CR. 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. vs. Plaintiff-Appellee. 6. shall possess or use any prohibited drug subject to the provisions of Section 20 hereof. 8. 2. 6425. J. 750 grams or more of Indian hemp or marijuana. 200 grams or more of shabu or methylamphetamine hydrochloride. 4. a dangerous drug. 2010 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES.055 gram. this court sentences accused Olive Rubio Mamaril to suffer an indeterminate prison term of twelve (12) years and one (1) day as minimum to twenty (20) years as maximum and a fine of P300. unless authorized by law.

we hold that the search conducted by the INTEL Operatives of Tarlac City Police Station. not burden the cause of justice. The repeated contentions of frame-up of the accused-appellant23 and that the dangerous drug of methamphetamine hydrochloride was planted by the police officers do not deserve further considerations by this Court. sir.21 The Court of Appeals found no reason to overturn the finding of the trial court.34 We opt to get out of the ordinary in this case. in writing and under oath or affirmation. Re-stating that in illegal possession of prohibited drugs. The contention of the accused-appellant. (3) the judge must examine. Tarlac City and the seizure therein of one (1) plastic pack of white crystalline substance of methamphetamine hydrochloride or "shabu" weighing 0. it is in the Rules of Court28 that. (4) the applicant and the witnesses testify on the facts personally known to them. Q: But you did not conduct any surveillance before you applied for search warrant? A: Prior to the application for search warrant. Notably.055 gram are legal.25And so is the likewise repeated referral to the primacy of the constitutional presumption of innocence over the presumption of regularity in the performance of public functions. must be given weight. The narration29of the police officer who implemented the search warrant. the presumption is not conclusive. like alibi. the Court is convinced that the questioned search warrant was based on a probable cause. technicalities must serve. the so-called frame-up was virtually pure allegation bereft of credible proof.18 and (2) the presumption of regularity in the performance of official functions by public officers cannot prevail over the presumption of innocence. this Court held that points of law. in coordination with the PDEA.36 The accused-appellant relied heavily on its argument that SPO4 Gotidoc.38 On the other hand. goes further back. That official duty has been regularly performed. 2003 at Zone 1. the evidence allegedly obtained through it may not be admitted to support the accused-appellant‘s conviction. is generally viewed with caution by the Court because it is easy to contrive and difficult to disprove. the narration of the incident by law enforcers. (2) such possession is not authorized by law. did not testify on facts personally known to him but simply relied on stories that the accused. that (1) the search warrant was not based on probable cause. is that the issued search warrant was not based on probable cause. – "The following presumptions are satisfactory if uncontradicted. there are only three (3) elements to secure conviction: (1) accused is in possession of the prohibited drugs. as asserted through the Public Attorney‘s Office. is admissible in evidence against the accused-appellant. accused-appellant. It is a prudent course of action to excuse a technical lapse and afford the parties a review of the case on appeal to attain the ends of justice. (2) such probable cause must be determined personally by the judge. we conducted surveillance already. The argument is without merit. While We are aware that in some cases. Barangay Maliwalo."17 In this appeal. A portion of the direct testimony of SPO4 Gotidoc is hereby quoted: Q: What is your basis for applying for search warrant against the accused? A: Because there were many persons who were going to her place and we‘ve been hearing news that she is selling prohibited drugs and some of them were even identified. while it is constitutional.22 We will not reverse this holding. hence. begins with the contention of non-compliance with all the requisites of illegal possession of dangerous drugs." Stated otherwise. law enforcers resort to the practice of planting evidence in order that to. harass. nevertheless the defense of frame-up in drug cases requires strong and convincing evidence because of the presumption that the police officers performed their duties regularly and that they acted within the bounds of their authority. and (3) accused consciously and freely possessed the prohibited drugs. the complainant and the witnesses he or she may produce. It is a common and standard line of defense in prosecutions of violations of the Dangerous Drugs Act.appellant was peddling illegal drugs. but may be contradicted and overcome by other evidence: "xxx "m.24 Frame-up. It held that: After a careful evaluation and analysis of the arguments presented by the prosecution and the defense.39 Based on the records.32 We now deal with the late submission about the validity of the search warrant. in this petition. We agree with the rulings of the trial court and the Court of Appeals that there was indeed full satisfaction of the requisites for the conviction of the accused. we hold that the search by the INTEL Operatives of Tarlac City Police Station. the said methamphetamine hydrochloride or "shabu" seized on the occasion thereof.37 The requisites for the issuance of a search warrant are: (1) probable cause is present. probable cause means such facts and circumstances which would lead a reasonable discreet and prudent man to believe that an offense has been committed and that the objects sought in connection with the offense are in the place sought to be searched. The trial court found that the evidence presented by the prosecution was not adequately defeated. buttressed by the presumption that they have regularly performed their duties in the absence of convincing proof to the contrary. theories. As a consequence of the legal search. on the residence of the accused-appellant on March 25. presenting new arguments. It determined that appellant failed to proffer evidence enough to discredit the prosecution and render doubtful his guilt. A party cannot change his theory on appeal nor raise in the appellate court any question of law or of fact that was not raised in the court below or which was not within the issue raised by the parties in their pleadings.CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II REQUIREMENTS OF FAIR PROCEDURE Centered on the conduct of the search of appellant‘s house that yielded the prohibited substance. through her new counsel from the Public Attorney‘s Office. issues and arguments not adequately brought to the attention of the trial court ordinarily will not be considered by a reviewing court as they cannot be raised for the first time on appeal because this would be offensive to the basic rules of fair play.20 the trial court held that all these were established beyond doubt. (Emphasis supplied) xxx" In the case at hand. justice and due process. and (5) the warrant specifically describes the place to be searched and the things to be seized. Tarlac City and the seizure therein of one (1) plastic pack of white crystalline substance of methamphetamine hydrochloride or "shabu" weighing 0. as the applicant of the search warrant. 35 We thus allow the new arguments for the final disposition of this case. is admissible in evidence against the accusedappellant. was found after trial and appellate review as the true story. Barangay Maliwalo. inter alia. Indeed it is a constitutional mandate27 that in all criminal prosecutions. the accused-appellant herself stated in her brief that31 "no proof was proffered by the accused-appellant of the police officers‘ alleged ill motive. the said methamphetamine hydrochloride or "shabu" seized on the occasion thereof.055 gram are legal. the Court of Appeals upheld the trial court on the finding that "after a careful evaluation and analysis of the arguments presented by the prosecution and the defense. After all. the accused shall be presumed innocentuntil the contrary is proved and that on the other hand. It is on firmer ground than the selfserving statement of the accused-appellant of frame-up.19 We first deal with the original position of the accused which. As a consequence of the legal search. Q: Because personally you heard that the accused was dealing prohibited drugs and that was the basis for you to apply for search warrant with Branch 66? .26 the contention being that the frame-up argument is supported by the constitutional presumption of innocence. on the residence of the accused-appellant on 25 March 2003 at Zone 1.33 In a long line of cases. in coordination with the PDEA.30 The defense cannot solely rely upon the constitutional presumption of innocence for.

premises considered. the Motion for Reconsideration filed by the respondents is GRANTED. court. 177829 in the Resolution7 dated November 12. 2007. Contrary to petitioner‘s contention. the decretal portion of which reads. petitioner cannot include the seized items as part of the evidence therein. Section 6. 2003 are REINSTATED. A magistrate‘s determination of a probable cause for the issuance of a search warrant is paid with great deference by a reviewing court. even if both cases emanated from the same incident. there is no more reason to further delve into the propriety of the quashal of the search warrants as it has no more practical legal effect. 2010. Moreover. and particularly describing the place to be searched and things to be seized which may be anywhere in the Philippines. is insufficient to overturn the finding of the trial court. No. 2003 and October 28. Verily. 2010. SP No. Sy Tiong Gue. the quashal of the subject search warrants and the determination of the issue of whether or not there was probable cause warranting the issuance by the RTC of the said search warrants for respondents‘ alleged acts of robbery has been rendered moot and academic. which granted their motion to withdraw the information. The Decision and Resolution dated December 29. 81389 are REVERSED and SET ASIDE. vs. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila SPECIAL THIRD DIVISION G. respectively. considering that the withdrawal of the Information was based on the findings of the CA. with force and intimidation. 90368 dated August 29.42 The defense‘s reliance of the quoted testimony of the police officer alone. Petitioner cannot. warranting the withdrawal of the Information. sir. 2010. even if an Information for Qualified Theft be later filed on the basis of the same incident subject matter of the dismissed case of robbery. respondents prayed that the decision be reconsidered and set aside and that the quashal of the subject search warrants be rendered moot and academic on the basis of the dismissal of the criminal case. Section 4. this Court rendered a Decision1 in G. WHEREFORE. utilize the evidence seized by virtue of the search warrants issued in connection with the case of Robbery in a separate case of Qualified Theft. 2006. as affirmed by this Court. No. the dispositive portion of which reads: WHEREFORE. which affirmed the findings of the City Prosecutor of Manila and the Secretary of Justice that the elements of Robbery. that there was no probable cause to indict respondents for the crime of Robbery absent the essential element of unlawful taking. having failed to present substantial rebuttal evidence to defeat the presumption of regularity of duty of the issuing judge. SY TIONG GUE. will not be sustained by this Court. Consequently. premises considered.R. WHEREFORE. the items seized by virtue of the subject search warrants will be used as evidence therein. of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. petitioner maintains that the motion is a mere reiteration of what respondents have previously alleged in their Comment and which have been passed upon by this Court in the subject decision.CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II REQUIREMENTS OF FAIR PROCEDURE A: Yes. Accordingly.5 In granting the motion to withdraw the Information. albeit belatedly. he cannot use the items seized as evidence in any other offense except in that in which the subject search warrants were issued. the petition is GRANTED.. the instant appeal is DENIED. 2010. CR. 174570 December 15. 2010 is RECONSIDERED and SET ASIDE. 2010 ROMER SY TAN.R.6 The RTC also considered that the said pronouncements of the CA were affirmed by no less than this Court in G. 2006. the motion to withdraw information is hereby GRANTED and the case is DISMISSED without prejudice. The Orders of the RTC dated September 1. J.1avvphi1 Thus. SY TIONG SAN.R. prosper. there was lack of probable cause. On March 22. No. 2010. As such. the RTC took into consideration the Amended Decision of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G. respondents filed their Reply. absent a showing to the contrary.R. (Emphasis supplied) There is no general formula or fixed rule for the determination of probable cause since the same must be decided in light of the conditions obtaining in given situations and its existence depends to a large degree upon the findings or opinion of the judge conducting the examination. and BRYAN SY LIM. Costs against the appellant. 174570 entitled Romer Sy Tan v. SP No. Rule 126 of the Rules on Criminal Procedure provides that: If the judge is satisfied of the existence of facts upon which the application is based or that there is probable cause to believe that they exist. The petition filed by Romer Sy Tan is DENIED for being MOOT and ACADEMIC. unlawful taking with intent to gain. therefore. On September 8. in view of the withdrawal of the Information for Robbery. all offenses which are necessarily included in the crime of Robbery can no longer be filed.R. The validity of Search Warrant Nos. SO ORDERED. Requisites for issuing search warrant. Respondents. 40(Emphasis supplied) xxx On August 6. Accordingly. this Court issued a Resolution4 wherein respondents were required to submit a certified true copy of the Order of the RTC dated November 14. FELICIDAD CHAN SY. Petitioner alleges that he also filed with the Office of the City Prosecutor of Manila a Complaint for Qualified Theft against the respondents based on the same incidents and that should the Information for Qualified Theft be filed with the proper . 28482 is hereby AFFIRMED. as follows: WHEREFORE. SY YU BUN. i. SO ORDERED. much more.41 It is presumed that a judicial function has been regularly performed. the Court resolves to Grant the motion. In his Comment3 dated July 7. SY CHIM. 2008. 2005 and August 18. 06241375. SY YU SAN. which is likewise an essential element for the crime of Qualified Theft. SO ORDERED. that the Regional Trial Court (RTC) granted their motion for the withdrawal of the Information filed in Criminal Case No. respondents complied with the Court‘s directive and submitted a certified true copy of the Order. Based on the foregoing. RESOLUTION PERALTA. The Decision of this Court dated February 17.8 Furthermore. 2010. respondents filed a Motion for Reconsideration2 wherein respondents informed this Court. Rule 126 of the Revised Rules of Court provides: Section 4. the decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. 03-3611 and 03-3612 is SUSTAINED. et al. The accused-appellant. SY YU SHIONG. a search warrant may be issued only if there is probable cause in connection with only one specific offense alleged in an application on the basis of the applicant‘s personal knowledge and his or her witnesses. were absent. Thus. which must be substantially in the form prescribed by these Rules.R. No. On October 22.: On February 17. as long as there was substantial basis for that determination. — A search warrant shall not issue except upon probable cause in connection with one specific offense to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce.e. without any other evidence to show that there was indeed lack of personal knowledge. Petitioner. the RTC granted respondents‘ motion to withdraw the information without prejudice. he shall issue the warrant..

NBI SUPERVISING AGENT MARVIN E. 33. petitioners appealed to the Office of the Secretary of Justice.23 which was replied24 to by Agent De Jemil with a corresponding rejoinder25 from petitioners. 2004. oversight or technical error. Omni is in the business of trading and refilling of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) cylinders and holds Pasig City Mayor‘s Permit No. Jason Ong. the law is clear that the stamped markings on the LPG cylinders show who are the real owners thereof and they cannot be refilled sans authority from Pilipinas Shell. Inc. on behalf of their clients Shellane Dealers Association. the RTC. 2003.. MARIE ANTONETTE TY. 2004 7 to the NBI requesting. of B. The Chief State Prosecutor is directed to cause the withdrawal of the informations for violations of Sections 2(a) and 2(c) of B. and Mindanao authorized to refill Petron Gasul LPG cylinders. i. DE JEMIL. Petron Gasul. WILLY DY.582 as evidenced by Sales Invoice No. 20063 of the Secretary of Justice.S. No. 2004. 4. both of Batas Pambansa Bilang 33. first. 2010 On the same day of the filing of the application for search warrants on April 28. the dispositive portion of which reads: WHEREFORE. 2007 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G. Inc.S. respectively. 2(c) in relation to Sec. as the phenomenon may have been caused by human error. holding that the . JASON ONG. Petitioners. 2005 Joint Resolution of the Office of the Chief State Prosecutor. 2006. 20062 and December 14. 9004013 issued by Omni on April 15. it found no sufficient basis to hold petitioners responsible for violation of Sec. refilling branded LPG cylinders without authority.32 The Office of the Secretary of Justice viewed.R. Navio of the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Industry Association (LPGIA) who inspected the eight branded LPG cylinders on April 23. The refilled LPG cylinders were without LPG valve seals and one of the cylinders was actually underfilled. 2004 resulting in the seizure of several items from Omni‘s premises duly itemized in the NBI‘s Receipt/Inventory of Property/Item Seized. Blg. and Totalgaz Dealers Association. attaching. They brought eight branded LPG cylinders of Shellane. Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation (Pilipinas Shell) issued a certification10 of the list of entities duly authorized to refill Shellane LPG cylinders. DECISION VELASCO.S. the 3rd Assistant City Prosecutor Leandro C. 2004. 2006. PETRON GASUL DEALERS ASSOCIATION. Tanodra-Armamento.28 was denied through a Resolution29 by the Office of the Chief State Prosecutor issued on May 3. Being an isolated case. among others. petitioners seek the reversal of the Decision1 dated September 28. it is hereby recommended that two (2) Informations for violations of Section 2 [a] (illegal trading in petroleum and/or petroleum products) and Section 2 [c] (underfilling of LPG cylinders). 2005. Petron Corporation (Petron) issued a certification11 of their dealers in Luzon. 2005 Joint Resolution4 of the Office of the Chief State Prosecutor. his affidavit15 and the affidavit of Edgardo C. Blg.18 The NBI served the warrants the next day or on April 29. in relation to Section 4. and ALVIN TY.26later approved by the Chief State Prosecutor Jovencito R. 2004. 2003. RET-04001256 dated February 3.D. 1865. underdelivery or underfilling of LPG cylinders. for the surveillance.: The Case In this Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45. Blg. 2004 submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II REQUIREMENTS OF FAIR PROCEDURE Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila FIRST DIVISION G. Assistant Chief State Prosecutor Leah C.. WILLY DY and ALVIN TY. SO ORDERED. Section 2(a).8 as amended by Presidential Decree No. Catalo of Manila issued a Joint Resolution. Nos. denying their motion for reconsideration. Petitioners‘ motion for reconsideration. resolving as follows: WHEREFORE. Thus.P. 2008.21 and (2) Violation of Section 2(c). 262417 and 2625. The NBI‘s test-buy yielded positive results for violations of BP 33. 2004 which were properly marked by the NBI after the test-buy. for which the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) agents paid PhP 1. During the preliminary investigation. Branch 167 in Pasig City issued Search Warrants No. on the alleged violation of refilling branded LPG cylinders sans written authority. the Office of the Secretary of Justice issued a Resolution31 reversing and setting aside the November 7. Respondents. to wit: (1) On October 3. in relation to Sections 3(c) and 4. and Superkalan Gaz to Omni for refilling. Petron Gasul Dealers Association. J. TY.Totalgaz..19 On May 25. investigation. 2004. as amended.S. since there was no proof that the branded LPG cylinders seized from Omni belong to another company or firm. it ruled that there was no showing of a clear pattern of deliberate underfilling. (PD) 1865. Petitioners assail also the CA Resolution5 dated March 14.16 an NBI confidential agent. the assailed resolution is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. 3(c) and 4. and (3) on January 5. Zuño upon the recommendation of the Head of the Task Force on Anti-Intellectual Property Piracy (TFAIPP). 2004-618 Secretary On October 9. Willy Dy and Alvin Ty and report the action taken within ten (10) days from receipt hereof.9 Earlier. Totalgaz andSuperkalan Gaz LPG cylinders.. Agent De Jemil filed his Consolidated Return of Search Warrants with Ex-Parte Motion to Retain Custody of the Seized Items20 before the RTC Pasig City.S. 33. 2004-616 and 2004-618. as amended. 2004-616 and I. Subsequently. as amended. On the underfilling of one LPG cylinder. No. 2004. 182147 December 15. Agents De Jemil and Kawada attested to conducting surveillance of Omni in the months of March and April 2004 and doing a test-buy on April 15.R. In time. the findings of LPG Inspector Navio of the LPGIA were uncontroverted by petitioners. JR. as amended by P. Kawada. (2) on December 4. be filed against respondents [herein petitioners] ARNEL TY.27 Assistant City Prosecutor Catalo found the existence of probable cause based on the evidence submitted by Agent De Jemil establishing the fact that Omni is not an authorized refiller of Shellane. as the case may be.D. that the underfilling of one of the eight LPG cylinders was an isolated incident and cannot give rise to a conclusion of underfilling. 2004-618 On November 7. as amended by P. The branded LPG cylinders were refilled. 1865. No. Mari Antonette Ty. of B. The Facts Petitioners are stockholders of Omni Gas Corporation (Omni) as per Omni‘s General Information Sheet6 (GIS) dated March 6.e. which reversed and set aside the Resolutions dated October 9. No. Agent De Jemil filed before the Department of Justice (DOJ) his Complaint-Affidavits against petitioners for: (1) Violation of ARNEL U. Inc. JASON ONG. and TOTALGAZ DEALERS ASSOCIATION..P. Petron Gasul. (BP) 33.P. Second. vs. 2 (c) of BP 33. Section 2(a) in relation to Secs. No. the JGAC Law Offices was furnished by several petroleum producers/brand owners their respective certifications on the dealers/plants authorized to refill their respective branded LPG cylinders. SP No. and Sec. 1865. 98054. The case all started when Joaquin Guevara Adarlo & Caoile Law Offices (JGAC Law Offices) sent a letter dated March 22. as found by LPG Inspector Noel N. Debunking petitioners‘ contention that the branded LPG cylinders are already owned by consumers who are free to do with them as they please. Visayas. 33. Petron or Total. on April 28. 2004. and apprehension of persons or establishments in Pasig City that are engaged in alleged illegal trading of petroleum products and underfilling of branded LPG cylinders in violation of Batas Pambansa Blg. and reinstated the November 7. finding probable cause to charge petitioners with violations of pertinent sections of BP 33. as amended by P. 2004-616 and I.22docketed as I. premises considered. i. petitioners submitted their Joint Counter-Affidavit.30 The Ruling of the DOJ in I.. Total (Philippines) Corporation (Total) issued two certifications12 of the refilling stations and plants authorized to refill their Totalgaz and Superkalan Gaz LPG cylinders. The Ruling of the Office of the Chief State Prosecutor in I. Agent De Jemil filed an Application for Search Warrant (With Request for Temporary Custody of the Seized Items)14 before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Pasig City.D.e. against respondents Arnel Ty. MARIE ANTONETTE TY.

43 Thus. in its Comment36 on Agent De Jemil‘s appeal. while it is the consistent principle in this jurisdiction that the determination of probable cause is a function that belongs to the public prosecutor48 and. the instant petition. WHETHER OR NOT UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES THERE WAS PROBABLE CAUSE TO BELIEVE THAT PETITIONERS VIOLATED SECTION 2(A) OF BATAS PAMBANSA BLG. The Ruling of the CA The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG).53 (Emphasis supplied.46 It asserted vested interest in the seizure of several Gasul LPG cylinders and the right to prosecute petitioners for unauthorized refilling of its branded LPG cylinders by Omni. and therefore its intervention in the instant case is proper. who may direct the filing of the corresponding information or move for the dismissal of the case. 2005 Joint Resolution of the Office of the Chief State Prosecutor. concluded. the appellate court did not accord proper latitude. For one. Agent De Jemil moved but was denied reconsideration33 through another Resolution34 dated December 14. Petron filed a Motion to Intervene and to Admit Attached Petition-in-Intervention37 and Petition-in-Intervention38 before the CA in CA-G. Inc. AS AMENDED. under the doctrine of qualified political agency. that Petron has substantial interest to protect in so far as its business relative to the sale and refilling of Petron Gasul LPG cylinders is concerned. 33. The Issues I. as amended. 2008 Resolution.R. citing Alcaraz v. whether probable cause exists against petitioners for violations of Sec. (NACI) also filed a similar motion. 2006 are hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. and Alvin Ty is hereby REINSTATED. 2 (a). FOR BEING MERE DIRECTORS. however. presumably that of the Chief Executive unless disapproved or reprobated by the latter.R. The fallo reads: WHEREFORE.40 Citing Sec. whether petitioners can be held liable therefor. Jason Ong. Moreover. It is clear. as amended. to the Secretary of Justice. On September 28.52 that an aggrieved party from the resolution of the Secretary of Justice may directly resort to judicial review on the ground of grave abuse of discretion. availed of and pursued the proper legal remedy of a judicial review through a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 in assailing the latter‘s finding of lack of probable cause on the ground of grave abuse of discretion. which provide for the presumption of underfilling. the Court. 3 (c) of BP 33. Therein. The Court’s Ruling We partially grant the petition. in relation to Secs. 1 (1) and (3) of BP 33. Petron’s Comment-in-Intervention On April 14. SO ORDERED. the certifications from various LPG producers that Omni is not authorized to refill their branded LPG cylinders. 2006 and December 14. Chan v. The CA relied on the affidavits of Agents De Jemil and Kawada. AS AMENDED. however. the CA held that the actual underfilling of an LPG cylinder falls under the prohibition of the law which does not require for the underfilling to be substantial and deliberate. 2007. the Nationwide Association of Consumers. 2009. the CA found strong probable violation of "refilling of another company‘s or firm‘s cylinders without such company‘s or firm‘s written authorization" under Sec. . Procedural Issue: Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65 Proper Petitioners raise the sole procedural issue of the propriety of the legal remedy availed of by public respondent Agent De Jemil. Besides. 3 (c) and 4 of BP 33. the aggrieved party in the assailed resolutions of the Office of the Secretary of Justice.49 such determination is subject to judicial review where it is established that grave abuse of discretion tainted the determination. We. We cannot agree with petitioners. the results of the test-buy operation as attested to by the NBI agents and confirmed by the examination of LPG Inspector Navio of the LPGIA. 33. WHETHER OR NOT PETITIONERS CAN BE HELD LIABLE UNDER BATAS PAMBANSA BLG. and second. as amended. On August 31. they assail the non-exhaustion of administrative remedies when Agent De Jemil immediately resorted to court action through a special civil action for certiorari under Rule 65 before the CA without first appealing the resolutions of the Office of the Secretary of Justice to the Office of the President (OP). NOT ACTUALLY IN CHARGE OF THE MANAGEMENT OF THE BUSINESS AFFAIRS OF THE CORPORATION. Willy Dy. Petron entered its appearance by filing a Motion for Leave to Intervene and to Admit Comment-in-Intervention45 and its Comment-in-Intervention [To petition for Review on Certiorari dated 13 May 2008]. there is no question that the Secretary of Justice is an alter ego of the President who may opt to exercise or not to exercise his or her power of review over the former‘s determination in criminal investigation cases. After granting the appeal of Agent De Jemil. And much earlier. As aptly noted by Agent De Jemil. will tackle at the outset the sole procedural issue raised: the propriety of the petition for certiorari under Rule 65 availed of by public respondent Agent De Jemil to assail the resolutions of the Office of the Secretary of Justice. docketed as CA-G. Gonzalez51 and Preferred Home Specialties. 98054. and Department Circular No. First Core Issue: Existence of Probable Cause Petitioners contend that there is no probable cause that Omni violated Sec. IV. after expounding on the policy of non-interference in the determination of the existence of probable cause absent any showing of arbitrariness on the part of the public prosecutor and the Secretary of Justice. For another. sought the dismissal of the latter‘s petition viewing that the determination by the Office of the Secretary of Justice of probable cause is entitled to respect owing to the exercise of his prerogative to prosecute or not. as amended. ultimately. the instant petition is GRANTED. v. Petitioners duly filed their Comment/Opposition47 to Petron‘s motion to intervene. Secretary of Justice50 delineated the proper remedy from the determination of the Secretary of Justice.44 The foregoing issues can be summarized into two core issues: first. The Joint Resolution dated November 7. the motions to intervene filed by Petron and NACI were simply noted by the appellate court. The assailed resolutions dated October 9. SP No. however. SP No. They strongly maintain that the Office of the Secretary of Justice properly assumed jurisdiction and did not gravely abuse its discretion in its determination of lack of probable cause—the exercise thereof being its sole prerogative—which. 2005 of the Office of the Chief State Prosecutor finding probable cause against private respondents Arnel Ty. WHETHER OR NOT UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES THERE WAS PROBABLE CAUSE TO BELIEVE THAT PETITIONERS VIOLATED SECTION 2(C) OF BATAS PAMBANSA BLG. 2007. the appellate court rendered the assailed Decision39 revoking the resolutions of the Office of the Secretary of Justice and reinstated the November 7. Marie Antonette Ty. the letteropinion41 of the Department of Energy (DOE) to Pilipinas Shell confirming that branded LPG cylinders are properties of the companies whose stamp markings appear thereon. WHETHER OR NOT RESPONDENTS WERE ENTITLED TO THE SPECIAL CIVIL ACTION OF CERTIORARI IN THE COURT OF APPEALS. thus: x x x [T]he findings of the Justice Secretary may be reviewed through a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 based on the allegation that he acted with grave abuse of discretion. Inc. III. 98054. however. 2006 prompting him to repair to the CA via a petition for certiorari35 under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court.) It is thus clear that Agent De Jemil. Petitioners‘ motion for reconsideration was rebuffed by the CA through the equally assailed March 14. 33.CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II REQUIREMENTS OF FAIR PROCEDURE simple fact that the LPG cylinders with markings or stamps of other petroleum producers cannot by itself prove ownership by said firms or companies as the consumers who take them to Omni fully owned them having purchased or acquired them beforehand. Court of Appeals. II. AS AMENDED. This remedy is available to the aggrieved party. they lament. the determination of probable cause by the Secretary of Justice is. 2 (a) and (c) of BP 33. 2000-05-00742 of the DOE on the required stamps or markings by the manufacturers of LPG cylinders.

Third. as amended. 3 (c) and 4 of BP 33.Petron Gasul and Shellane. They point to a series of meetings conducted by the DOE for institutionalizing the validity of swapping of all and any kind of LPG cylinders among the industry players. Nonetheless. People. who signed the same "under protest" and made the annotation at the bottom part thereon: "The above items/cylinders were taken at customers‘ trucks and the empty cylinders taken at the warehouse (swapping section) of the company. the following terms shall be construed to mean: Illegal trading in petroleum and/or petroleum products— xxxx (c) Refilling of liquefied petroleum gas cylinders without authority from said Bureau.54 petitioners maintain that said law promotes and encourages the entry of new participants in the petroleum industry such as Omni. yet the fact that these refilled LPG cylinders consisting of nine branded LPG cylinders. v. Petron and Total show that Omni has no written authority to refill LPG cylinders. v. such fact does not authorize Omni to refill these branded LPG cylinders without written authorization from the brand owners Pilipinas Shell. 155 of RA 8293.159 of RA 8293 can be gleaned that "mere unauthorized use of a container bearing a registered trademark in connection with the sale. Second. And in furtherance of this mandate is the valid practice of cylinder exchange or swapping in the LPG industry. Definition of terms.. contrary to Sec."60 The Court affirmed the presence of infringement involving the unauthorized sale of Gasul andShellane LPG cylinders and the unauthorized refilling of the same by Masagana Gas Corporation as duly attested to and witnessed by NBI agents who conducted the surveillance and test-buys. [empty] Marked 11.CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II REQUIREMENTS OF FAIR PROCEDURE prohibiting the refilling of another company‘s or firm‘s LPG cylinders without its written authorization. embossed. Similarly. Petron Gasul. 3 (c) of BP 33. 11. In Yao. And a copy thereof was duly received by Atty. Roble who served and implemented the search warrants.0 kg 5 LPG cylinders Marked as Omnigas with Totalgaz emboss.0 kg [emptly] . the seized items during the service of the search warrants tend to show that Omni illegally refilled branded LPG cylinders without authority."56 Even considering that the filled LPG cylinders were indeed already loaded on customers‘ trucks when confiscated. 11. Prohibited Acts. Third.—The following acts are prohibited and penalized: (a) Illegal trading in petroleum and/or petroleum products. This is a clear violation of Sec. Petron and Pilipinas Shell. specifically Totalgaz. 2. are not based solely on the seized items pursuant to the search warrants but also on the test-buy earlier conducted by the NBI agents. The meetings resulted in a draft Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) which unfortunately was not signed due to the withdrawal of petroleum major players Petron. the NBI agents who served the search warrants on Omni seized the following: Quantity/Unit 7 1 1 29 Description LPG cylinders Totalgaz. First. We are not persuaded by petitioners‘ strained rationalizations. as clearly shown in the complaint-affidavits of Agent De Jemil. It must be noted that the criminal complaints.e.0 kg [empty] LPG cylinders as Omnigas with Gasul emboss. As aptly noted by the Court in Yao. tends to show that Omni indeed refilled these branded LPG cylinders without authorization from Total. On April 29. still there cannot be a prima facie case of violation since there is no proof that the refilled branded LPG cylinders are owned by another company or firm. petitioners neither dispute this nor claim that Omni has authority to refill these branded LPG cylinders. Petron. the fact that Omni refilled various branded LPG cylinders even if owned by its customers but without authority from brand owners Petron. the nonsigning of the MOA does not diminish the fact of the recognized industry practice of cylinder exchange or swapping. Total and Pilipinas Shell of the duly marked or stamped LPG cylinders through swapping.0 kg [empty] The foregoing list is embodied in the NBI‘s Receipt/Inventory of Property/Item Seized55 signed by NBI Agent Edwin J. 11. Thus. People. 2 (a) of BP 33. The test-buy conducted on April 15. 2004 by the NBI agents. Such a fact is bolstered by the test-buy conducted by Agent De Jemil and NBI confidential agent Kawada: Omni‘s unauthorized refilling of branded LPG cylinders. Fourth. 3. a subsequent transfer by the customers of Petron. or refilling of another company’s or firm’s cylinders without such company’s or firm’s written authorization.0 kg [empty] LPG cylinders Shellane.58 in affirming the courts a quo‘s determination of the presence of probable cause. who is not privy to the agreement between the buying consumers and said major petroleum companies.—For the purpose of this Act. Said provisos provide: Sec. Petron and Total. 11.57 a case involving criminal infringement of property rights under Sec. Total and Pilipinas Shell still own their respective branded LPG cylinders already sold to consumers. (Emphasis supplied. Second.582. only the duly authorized dealers and refillers Gaz. (RA) 8479. Ty. will effectively transfer ownership of the LPG cylinders to the transferee. for example. Probable violation of Sec. the branded LPG cylinders seized were not traded by Omni as its representative annotated in the NBI receipt of seized items that the filled LPG cylinders came from customers‘ trucks and the empty ones were taken from the warehouse or swapping section of the refilling plant and not from the refilling section.0 kg [filled] LPG cylinder Shellane.0 kg [filled] LPG cylinders Superkalan [empty] 8 LPG cylinders as Omnigas with Shell emboss. amended First. 11. like Omni. Belying petitioners‘ contention. LPG cylinder exchange or swapping is a common industry practice that the DOE recognizes. And even granting arguendo that Omni is selling these LPG cylinders. 155. as attested to by their respective affidavits. i.0 kg 23 3 21 LPG cylindersTotalgaz.7 kg 17 LPG cylinders Petron Gasul. [empty] Marked 11. 11. The written certifications from Pilipinas Shell. In fact. Total and Pilipinas Shell. marked or stamped Shellane. Sr. granting that Petron.) As petitioners strongly argue. this Court held that from Sec. tends to show that Omni illegally refilled the eight branded LPG cylinders for PhP 1. 2 (a) in relation to Sec. xxxx Sec. Totalgaz and Superkalan Gaz. 2 (a). 2004.0 kg [filled] LPG cylinder Petron Gasul. Allan U. in relation to Secs. representative of Omni. still such fact will not bind third persons. in the instant case. as amended. even if the branded LPG cylinders were indeed owned by customers. 11. Relying on Republic Act No. mistake or deception among the buyers/consumers can be considered as trademark infringement. 2. Sr. the branded LPG cylinders are owned by end-user customers and not by the major petroleum companies. distribution or advertising of goods or services which islikely to cause confusion. Pilipinas Shell and Total. as amended. like Omni. Pilipinas Shell and Total shows palpable violation of BP 33.

— Any person who commits any act herein prohibited shall. The issue of ownership of the seized branded LPG cylinders is irrelevant and hence need no belaboring. Ineluctably. LPG Refillers Association of the Philippines. what the law manifestly prohibits is the refilling of a branded LPG cylinder by a refiller who has no written authority from the brand owner. we are not persuaded. Second Core Issue: Petitioners’ Liability for Violations Sec. no rules require and petitioners have not cited any that the inspection be conducted in the presence of DOE representatives. in the backdrop of the quantum of evidence required to support a finding of probable cause. 4 of BP 33. In cases of second and subsequent conviction under this Act. Our laws sought to deter the pernicious practices of unscrupulous businessmen. petitioners cast aspersion on the report and findings of LPG Inspector Navio of the LPGIA by assailing his independence for being a representative of the major petroleum companies and that the inspection he conducted was made without the presence of any DOE representative or any independent body having technical expertise in determining LPG cylinder underfilling beyond the authorized quantity. we also note that among those seized by the NBI are 16 LPG cylinders bearing the embossed brand names of Shellane.66 After all. Thus the issuance by the DOE Circular No. on a per cylinder basis falls within the phrase of any actas mandated under Sec. therefore. underfilling. stamped and marked LPG cylinders even if these are possessed by customers or consumers. or both. Citing DOE‘s Bureau of Energy Utilization Circular No. 2000-06-010 on the imposition of penalties on a per cylinder basis. 4 of BP 33. Moreover. tampering of LPG cylinders is a mode of perpetrating the criminal offenses under BP 33. which conducted the preliminary investigation. as amended. said consumer is practically free to do what he pleases with the branded LPG cylinder. as amended. be punished with a fine of not less than twenty thousand pesos (P20. Blg. Fifth.CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II REQUIREMENTS OF FAIR PROCEDURE ofShellane. Fourth. 85-3-348. and DOE Department Circular No. 33. 2000-05-007. is of no consequence. Besides. Perez addressed to Pilipinas Shell. 2 (c) of BP 33. they have not shown that LPG Inspector Navio is neither an expert nor qualified to determine underfilling. On the issue of manifest bias and partiality. He can simply store the cylinder once it is empty or he can even destroy it since he has paid a deposit for it which answers for the loss or cost of the empty branded LPG cylinder. 2 (a) in relation to Sec. underfilling LPG cylinders. once a consumer buys a branded LPG cylinder from the brand owner or its authorized dealer. upon conviction.68 the Court affirmed the validity of DOE Circular No. provides for the penalties and persons who are criminally liable. as amended. Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines. petitioners strongly argue that there is no probable cause for said violation based upon an underfilling of a lone cylinder of the eight branded LPG cylinders refilled during the test-buy. that there exists probable cause for the violation of Sec. in the discretion of the court. the June 6. the Court upheld the basis of said DOE Circular No. suffice it to say that aside from the allegation by petitioners.000). the offense of refilling a branded LPG cylinder without the written consent of the brand owner constitutes the offense regardless of the buyer or possessor of the branded LPG cylinder. which seeks to curb the pernicious practices of some petroleum merchants. and overpricing of petroleum products. Penalties. The law does not require that the property to be seized should be owned by the person against whom the search warrants is directed. this pernicious practice of tampering or changing the appearance of a branded LPG cylinder to look like another brand violates the brand owners‘ property rights as infringement under Sec. Again. the penalty shall be both fine and imprisonment as provided herein. Foregoing considered. under like circumstances and conditions. 2004 who attested to that fact through their affidavits. Gasul and Totalgaz but were marked as Omnigas. 3 (c) of BP 33. as amended. it must be noted that the inspection by LPG Inspector Navio was conducted in the presence of NBI agents on April 23. Under this general description of what constitutes criminal acts involving petroleum products.P. as amended. 4.67 Probable violation of Sec.. petitioners are of the view that such is due to human or equipment error and does not in any way constitute deliberate underfilling within the contemplation of the law. probable cause need not be based on clear and convincing evidence of guilt. adulteration. as amended. The Circular is not confiscatory in providing penalties on a per cylinder basis. . is of no consequence.P. tampering LPG cylinders. Those penalties do not exceed the ceiling prescribed in Section 4 of B. violation on a per cylinder basis falls within the phrase "any act" as mandated in Section 4. as amended. Moreover. regardless of the number of cylinders involved would result in an indiscriminate. BP 33. was indeed not controverted by petitioners. as amended. allegedly owned by Omni customers as petitioners adamantly profess. Besides. by extension. 2 (c) in relation to Sec. hoarding. In Perez v.) Moreover. no weighing scale. which clearly criminalizes these offenses. and clearly enunciated under DOE Circular No. unbranded LPG cylinders. the underfilling of one LPG cylinder constitutes a clear violation of BP 33. Apropos. Considering the fact that an isolated underfilling happened in so many LPG cylinders filled. they point out that there was no finding of underfilling in any of the filled LPG cylinders seized during the service of the search warrants. which penalizes "any person who commits any act [t]herein prohibited. Blg.61 the letter-opinion62 dated December 9. as amended. no authorized LPG seal. found as they were inside the Omni compound. Petron Gasul and. Reyes. 33. no embossed identifying markings on cylinder. 33. as the investigating officer acts upon reasonable belief—probable cause implies probability of guilt and requires more than bare suspicion but less than evidence which would justify a conviction.000) but not more than fifty thousand pesos (P50. that the person charged was guilty of the crime for which he was prosecuted. they maintain that some deviation is allowed from the exact filled weight. 2000-06-010 which provided penalties on a per cylinder basis for each violation. 2007-10000764 on LPG Cylinder Ownership and Obligations Related Thereto issued on October 13. acting on the facts within the knowledge of the prosecutor. Given such fact.M. both in the privileges conferred and in the liabilities imposed.1avvphi1 Besides. 4 of BP 33. no trade name. Total may refill these branded LPG cylinders. The finding of underfilling by LPG Inspector Navio of the LPGIA. 2004 of then DOE Secretary Vincent S. as amended Anent the alleged violation of Sec. as amended.65 Petitioners cannot deny that the seized LPG cylinders were in the possession of Omni. as amended by PD 1865.e. To provide the same penalty for one who violates a prohibited act in B. like underfilling. criminalizes illegal trading. The ownership of the seized branded LPG cylinders. no tare weight or incorrect tare weight markings. or imprisonment of at least two (2) years but not more than five (5) years. no serial number. Inc. thus: B. Blg. Contrary to petitioners‘ arguments.. 155. thus: Sec. Inc. and it is sufficient that the person against whom the warrant is directed has control or possession of the property sought to be seized..P. The equal protection clause demands that "all persons subject to such legislation shall be treated alike. The Court recognizes this right pursuant to our laws."70 The Court made it clear that a violation. as amended.1 of RA 8293.69 (Emphasis supplied. These specific acts and omissions are obviously within the contemplation of the law. a single underfilling constitutes an offense under BP 33. namely: no price display board." Thus. 2000-06-010 which provided penalties on a per cylinder basis for each violation. no distinguishing color. a refiller cannot and ought not to refill branded LPG cylinders if it has no written authority from the brand owner. 33. In fine. After all. Moreover. as aptly noted by Manila Assistant City Prosecutor Catalo who conducted the preliminary investigation. Blg. thus: Respondent‘s position is untenable. we agree with the appellate court and the Office of the Chief State Prosecutor. Verily. Evidently. 2007 by DOE Secretary Angelo T. oppressive and impractical operation of B. persuasive are the opinions and pronouncements by the DOE: brand owners are deemed owners of their duly embossed. Lotilla to the LPGIA. i. 2007 letter63 of then DOE Secretary Raphael P. and unauthorized decanting of LPG cylinders. Probable cause has been defined as the existence of such facts and circumstances as would excite belief in a reasonable mind. Ownership. the Circular merely lists the various modes by which the said criminal acts may be perpetrated.P. in denying the motion for reconsideration of the LPG Refillers Association of the Philippines. does not require ownership of the branded LPG cylinders as a condition sine qua non for the commission of offenses involving petroleum and petroleum products.

WHEREFORE. This stands to reason for the board of directors of a corporation is generally a policy making body. The employee‘s personal files stored in the computer were used by the government employer as evidence of misconduct. while the last in the list is self-explanatory. Since Sec. CHAIRPERSON KARINA CONSTANTINO-DAVID. (2) petitioner Mari Antonette Ty as Treasurer. DIRECTOR III ENGELBERT ANTHONY D. Jason Ong. and in addition. 2008 of the Court of Appeals (CA). as amended.75 As to the other petitioners. premises considered.R. (2) general manager. SP No. the application of the legal maxim expressio unius est exclusio alterius. DECISION VILLARAMA. J. clearly provides and enumerates who are criminally liable. as amended. can be held liable for probable violations by Omni of BP 33. in case the offender is an alien. The factual antecedents: . partnership. There can be no quibble that the enumeration of persons who may be held liable for corporate violators of BP 33. Ty who is indisputably the President of Omni. they attest to being full-time employees of various firms as shown by the Certificates of Employment71 they submitted tending to show that they are neither involved in the day-to-day business of Omni nor managing it. Petitioner. as amended. or such other officer charged with the management of the business affairs thereof. The fact that petitioner Arnel is ostensibly the operations manager of Multi-Gas Corporation. or other juridical person. It is undisputed that petitioners are members of the board of directors of Omni at the time pertinent. shortselling. and violation of Republic Act (R.: This case involves a search of office computer assigned to a government employee who was charged administratively and eventually dismissed from the service. petitioners. Evidently. the members of the board generally do not concern themselves with the day-to-day affairs of the corporation.R. the petroleum and/or petroleum products. A scrutiny of the GIS reveals that among the petitioners who are members of the board of directors are the following who are likewise elected as corporate officers of Omni: (1) Petitioner Arnel U. Depending on the powers granted to them by the Articles of Incorporation. It may be noted that Sec. In short. as amended. and if the seller who has not yet delivered has been fully paid. 2372 of the Corporation Code. everything else must necessarily and by implication be excluded from its operation and effect. as amended. adulteration.) Relying on the third paragraph of the above statutory proviso. 98224) filed by petitioner Briccio "Ricky" A. A common thread of the first four enumerated officers is the fact that they manage the business affairs of the corporation or juridical entity. or (5) the employee responsible for such violation. 2007 and Resolution2 dated February 29. if the offender is an oil company. No. 4 above enumerates the persons who may be held liable for violations of the law. like the President. marketer. 6713 and penalized him with dismissal. Section 2573 of the Corporation Code requires the president of a corporation to be also a member of the board of directors. liability attaches to a person from his personal act or omission but not from the criminal act or negligence of another. Reasoning that criminal liability is personal. 98054 are AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION that petitioners Mari Antonette Ty.. as President. as mere members of the board of directors who are not in charge of Omni‘s business affairs. JR. excludes the members of the board of directors. unless otherwise shown that they are situated under the catch-all "such other officer charged with the management of the business affairs. shall be forfeited in favor of the Government: Provided. 2011 BRICCIO "Ricky" A. with the exception of petitioner Arnel. distributor. 2007 Decision and March 14.CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II REQUIREMENTS OF FAIR PROCEDURE Furthermore. which means the mention of one thing implies the exclusion of another thing not mentioned. the offended party shall be indemnified twice the amount paid. vs. dealer. subdealer and other retail outlets. the price received shall be returned to the buyer with an additional amount equivalent to such price. the charges against other petitioners must perforce be dismissed or dropped. as amended. does not deter him from managing Omni as well. consequently. the criminal complaints filed against them based solely on their being members of the board of directors as per the GIS submitted by Omni to SEC are grossly discriminatory.74 The fourth officer in the enumerated list is the catch-all "such other officer charged with the management of the business affairs" of the corporation or juridical entity which is a factual issue which must be alleged and supported by evidence. who manages the business affairs of Omni. which do not include members of the board of directors of a corporation. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G. SP No. The CA dismissed the petition for certiorari (CA-G. DIRECTOR IV RACQUEL DE GUZMAN BUENSALIDA. maintain that they cannot be held liable for any perceived violations of BP 33. POLLO. a family owned business. had been violated by Omni they cannot be held criminally liable thereof not being in any way connected with the commission of the alleged violations. since they are mere directors of Omni who are not in charge of the management of its business affairs. hoarding. he shall be subject to deportation after serving the sentence. the general manager. for probable violations. Thus. On this point. 4 of BP 33. Accordingly. To bolster their position.R.) No. CASTILLO. as amended. it is of common knowledge and practice that the board of directors is not directly engaged or charged with the running of the recurring business affairs of the corporation. 2005 of the Office of the Chief State Prosecutor is modified accordingly." they may not be held liable under BP 33. viz: (1) the president. That if the petroleum and/or petroleum products have already been delivered and paid for. the assailed September 28. Even if the corporate powers of a corporation are reposed in the board of directors under the first paragraph of Sec. Consequently. the president. Pollo to nullify the proceedings conducted by the Civil Service Commission (CSC) which found him guilty of dishonesty. we agree with petitioners except as to petitioner Arnel U. he shall be perpetually disqualified from office. Respondents. or hauler. When the offender is a corporation. Before us is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 which seeks to reverse and set aside the Decision1dated October 11. subject matter of the illegal trading. 2008 Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. (Emphasis supplied. It is wellsettled that where the language of the law is clear and unequivocal. Sec. the cancellation of his license. SO ORDERED. it must be taken to mean exactly what it says. refiller. UNITE AND THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION. (4) such other officer charged with the management of the business affairs of the corporation or juridical entity. Willy Dy and Alvin Ty are excluded from the two Informations charging probable violations of Batas Pambansa Bilang 33. No pronouncement as to costs. Trials of cases arising from this Act shall be terminated within thirty (30) days after arraignment. If a statute enumerates the thing upon which it is to operate. The Joint Resolution dated November 7. they posit that even if BP 33. or employee responsible for the violation shall be criminally liable. petitioner Arnel.A. they are operating officers of a business concern. (3) managing partner. Ty (Arnel) as President. managing partner. we PARTIALLY GRANT the instant petition. clearly indicated firstly the president of a corporation or juridical entity to be criminally liable for violations of BP 33. conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service. overpricing or misuse. 4 of BP 33. petitioners argue that they cannot be held liable for any perceived violations of BP 33. as amended. DIRECTOR IV LYDIA A. grave misconduct. If the offender is a government official or employee. and. as amended. 181881 October 18. as amended. and (3) petitioner Jason Ong as Corporate Secretary. Consequently. except those corporate officers who are charged with running the business of the corporation and are concomitantly members of the board.

This is Atty. numbering about 40 to 42 documents. Petitioner was directed to submit his answer under oath within five days from notice and indicate whether he elects a formal investigation. Belated Merry Christmas and Advance Happy New Year! As a concerned citizen of my beloved country. The backing-up of all files in the hard disk of computers at the PALD and Legal Services Division (LSD) was witnessed by several employees. In view of the illegal search. Solosa who entrusted his own files to be kept at petitioner‘s CPU . Quezon City. The next day.9 Petitioner filed his Comment. Attached to the motion were the affidavit of Atty. of the same day.m. As to the anonymous letter. The number of pleadings so prepared further demonstrates that such person is not merely engaged in an isolated practice but pursues it with seeming regularity. Since the charges fall under Section 19 of the URACC.m. an unsigned letter-complaint addressed to respondent CSC Chairperson Karina Constantino-David which was marked "Confidential" and sent through a courier service (LBC) from a certain "Alan San Pascual" of Bagong Silang. IV.CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II REQUIREMENTS OF FAIR PROCEDURE Petitioner is a former Supervising Personnel Specialist of the CSC Regional Office No. together with Directors Castillo and Unite who closely monitored said activity. Quezon City Dear Madam Chairwoman. It was found that most of the files in the 17 diskettes containing files copied from the computer assigned to and being used by the petitioner. The letter-complaint reads: The Civil Service Batasan Hills. to make use of his computer out of close association or friendship."10 On February 26." "All PCs Of PALD and LSD are being backed up per memo of the chair. 2007 at around 2:30 p. 070382 on March 1. We were not also informed about this. who were both out of the office at the time. 2007. at one time or another. He is the chief of the Mamamayan muna hindi mamaya na division. and certainly against common human experience. the team informed the officials of the CSC-ROIV. Ponciano R. He pointed out that though government property. to Dismiss and/or to Defer) assailing the formal charge as without basis having proceeded from an illegal search which is beyond the authority of the CSC Chairman. was received by the Integrated Records Management Office (IRMO) at the CSC Central Office." "Memo of the chair was referring to an anonymous complaint". This gives rise to the inference that the one who prepared them was knowingly. It is also of note that most of these draft pleadings are for and on behalves of parties. the investigating team finished their task. the CSC-Central Office or other tribunals. Director Unite sent text messages to petitioner and the head of LSD. The justice in our govt system will not be served if this will continue.m. IV and also the Officer-in-Charge of the Public Assistance and Liaison Division (PALD) under the "Mamamayan Muna Hindi Mamaya Na" program of the CSC. petitioner argued that it is not actionable as it failed to comply with the requirements of a formal complaint under the Uniform Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service (URACC). daw sa kuarto natin. 2007.O. On January 3. On the basis of this finding. Chairperson David made the following observations: Most of the foregoing files are drafts of legal pleadings or documents that are related to or connected with administrative cases that may broadly be lumped as pending either in the CSCRO No. denying that he is the person referred to in the anonymous letter-complaint which had no attachments to it. friends and some associates and that he is not authorizing their sealing. who had gone on extended leave."6 At around 10:00 p. "ill send a copy of the memo via mms"5 Petitioner replied also thru text message that he was leaving the matter to Director Unite and that he will just get a lawyer. being "fruits of a poisonous tree. respondents Director IV Lydia Castillo (Director Castillo) and Director III Engelbert Unite (Director Unite) of Chairperson David‘s directive. Grave Misconduct."4After some briefing. Upon their arrival thereat around 5:30 p. He accused CSC officials of conducting a "fishing expedition" when they unlawfully copied and printed personal files in his computer. informing them of the ongoing copying of computer files in their divisions upon orders of the CSC Chair. Caloocan City. petitioner was likewise placed under 90 days preventive suspension effective immediately upon receipt of the resolution. Petitioner received a copy of Resolution No. who are facing charges as respondents in administrative cases. the team proceeded at once to the CSC-ROIV office at Panay Avenue.m. At around 6:00 p. No. Chairperson David issued the Show-Cause Order8 dated January 11. 6713 (Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees). Petitioner filed an Omnibus Motion (For Reconsideration. one of the retrieved files (item 13 above) appears to insinuate the collection of fees. "We can‘t do anything about … it … it‘s a directive from chair. The contents of the diskettes were examined by the CSC‘s Office for Legal Affairs (OLA). relatives. Several diskettes containing the back-up files sourced from the hard disk of PALD and LSD computers were turned Chairwoman Commission over to Chairperson David. 2007 in which he informed Director Castillo that the files in his computer were his personal files and those of his sister. to submit his explanation or counter-affidavit within five days from notice. duplicating and printing as these would violate his constitutional right to privacy and protection against self-incrimination and warrantless search and seizure. Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service and Violation of R. I have known that a person have been lawyered by one of your attorny in the region 4 office. requiring the petitioner.. were draft pleadings or letters7 in connection with administrative cases in the CSC and other tribunals.. That these draft pleadings were obtained from the computer assigned to Pollo invariably raises the presumption that he was the one responsible or had a hand in their drafting or preparation since the computer of origin was within his direct control and disposition. the temporary use and ownership of the computer issued under a Memorandum of Receipt (MR) is ceded to the employee who may exercise all attributes of ownership. I would like to ask from you personally if it is just alright for an employee of your agency to be a lawyer of an accused gov‘t employee having a pending case in the csc. Petitioner reiterated that he never aided any people with pending cases at the CSC and alleged that those files found in his computer were prepared not by him but by certain persons whom he permitted.m. deliberately and willfully aiding and advancing interests adverse and inimical to the interest of the CSC as the central personnel agency of the government tasked to discipline misfeasance and malfeasance in the government service. Please investigate this anomaly because our perception of your clean and good office is being tainted. all the computers in the PALD were sealed and secured for the purpose of preserving all the files stored therein. He have been helping many who have pending cases in the Csc. I honestly think this is a violation of law and unfair to others and your office. the aforesaid letter was given directly to Chairperson David. Unite FYI: Co people are going over the PCs of PALD and LSD per instruction of the Chairman. the CSCNCR. It would also be the height of naivete or credulity. If you can make it here now it would be better. and subsequently asking him to submit his comment which violated his right against self-incrimination. 2007. and issued a memo directing them to conduct an investigation and specifically "to back up all the files in the computers found in the Mamamayan Muna (PALD) and Legal divisions. the files/documents copied from his computer without his consent is thus inadmissible as evidence. The text messages received by petitioner read: "Gud p. 070382 11 finding prima facie case against the petitioner and charging him with Dishonesty. copying. citing the letter dated January 8. He asserted that he had protested the unlawful taking of his computer done while he was on leave. Concerned Govt employee3 Chairperson David immediately formed a team of four personnel with background in information technology (IT).. to believe that the person concerned had engaged in this customary practice without any consideration. the CSC issued Resolution No. including its use for personal purposes. because he is not a lawyer and neither is he "lawyering" for people with cases in the CSC. such power pertaining solely to the court. Evaluating the subject documents obtained from petitioner‘s personal files.A. Another text message received by petitioner from PALD staff also reported the presence of the team from CSC main office: "Sir may mga taga C." "CO IT people arrived just now for this purpose. Following office practice in which documents marked "Confidential" are left unopened and instead sent to the addressee. and in fact.

at the same time. 2002.16 Petitioner moved to defer or to reset the pre-hearing conference. The CSC thus turned to relevant rulings of the United States Supreme Court. In his Memorandum24 filed in the CA. The CSC stressed that it pursued the search in its capacity as government employer and that it was undertaken in connection with an investigation involving work-related misconduct. Jimenez. 2007. Ortega22 as authority for the view that government agencies. send. Grave Misconduct. 292 WHEN IN TRUTH AND IN FACT THE CONTRARY IS EXPLICITLY PROVIDED UNDER 2nd PARAGRAPH OF SECTION 8 OF CSC RESOLUTION NO. The CSC denied his request and again scheduled the pre-hearing conference on May 18. 2007. 07180025 which denied his motion for reconsideration. 2007. 2007 AND THE TAKING OF DOCUMENTS IN THE EVENING THEREOF FROM 7:00 TO 10:00 P. 2007 with warning that the failure of petitioner and/or his counsel to appear in the said pre-hearing conference shall entitle the prosecution to proceed with the formal investigation exparte. With the matter of admissibility of the evidence having been resolved. the latter being Atty. The hearing officer was directed to proceed with the investigation proper with dispatch. 2007 Show-Cause Order and Resolution No. 2007 with similar warning on the consequences of petitioner and/or his counsel‘s non-appearance. the CSC noted the dearth of jurisprudence relevant to the factual milieu of this case where the government as employer invades the private files of an employee stored in the computer assigned to him for his official use. Estrellado. in lieu of the filing of an appeal via a Rule 43 petition. WHICH IS AN [AMENDMENT] TO THE ORIGINAL RULES PER CSC RESOLUTION NO. 6713 against the petitioner. 2007. 071420. 2007. conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service and violation of R. These grave infractions justified petitioner‘s dismissal from the service with all its accessory penalties. foregoing premises considered. Mark L. No. In view of the absence of petitioner and his counsel. Petitioner contended that the case should be deferred in view of the prejudicial question raised in the criminal complaint he filed before the Ombudsman against Director Buensalida.14 On April 17. III THE HONORABLE COURT GRAVELY ERRED AND COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION WHEN IT RULED THAT MEMO SEARCH DATED JANUARY 3. the CA dismissed the petition for certiorari after finding no grave abuse of discretion committed by respondents CSC officials. claiming that the investigation proceedings should be held in abeyance pending the resolution of his petition by the CA. erode the respondent‘s legitimate expectation of privacy in the office in which the computer was installed. forfeiture of retirement benefits. 070382 dated February 26.k. 071134 19 denying petitioner‘s motion to set aside the denial of his motion to defer the proceedings and to inhibit the designated hearing officer. He is meted the penalty of DISMISSAL FROM THE SERVICE with all its accessory penalties. On March 14. and cited the leading case of O‘Connor v.20 the dispositive part of which reads: WHEREFORE. He also prayed for the lifting of the preventive suspension imposed on him. the CSC denied the omnibus motion. Chairperson David had encroached on the authority of a judge in view of the CSC computer policy declaring the computers as government property and that employee-users thereof have no reasonable expectation of privacy in anything they create. which exempts it from the warrant requirement under the Constitution. the CSC was of the view that the search of petitioner‘s computer successfully passed the test of reasonableness for warrantless searches in the workplace as enunciated in the aforecited authorities. Simons23 which declared that the federal agency‘s computer use policy foreclosed any inference of reasonable expectation of privacy on the part of its employees. With the foregoing American jurisprudence as benchmark. IS NOT GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION LIMITING THE DEFINITION [OF] GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION TO ONE INVOLVING AND TAINTED WITH PERSONAL . By Decision dated October 11. the warrantless search of the employee‘s office was upheld as valid because a government employer is entitled to conduct a warrantless search pursuant to an investigation of work-related misconduct provided the search is reasonable in its inception and scope. cancellation of civil service eligibilities and bar from taking future civil service examinations. Atty. the CSC issued Resolution No. namely. petitioner moved to incorporate the above resolution dismissing him from the service in his main petition. a. petitioner received a notice of hearing from the CSC setting the formal investigation of the case on April 30. 07051912 dated March 19. 98224. 94-0521. and (3) there is nothing contemptuous in CSC‘s act of proceeding with the formal investigation as there was no restraining order or injunction issued by the CA. SP No. petitioner filed an Urgent Petition13 under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court.21 On the paramount issue of the legality of the search conducted on petitioner‘s computer. In a subsequent motion. however.15 Since he failed to attend the pre-hearing conference scheduled on April 30. Pollo GUILTY of Dishonesty. petitioner lodged an administrative/criminal complaint against respondents Directors Racquel D. 2007. Buensalida (Chief of Staff. TO UNREASONABLE SEARCH AND SEIZURE. the CSC reset the same to May 17. Office of the CSC Chairman) and Lydia A.G. assailing both the January 11.17 This prompted petitioner to file another motion in the CA. Solosa and not to petitioner. dishonesty. and a separate complaint for disbarment against Director Buensalida. (2) it could not be said that in ordering the back-up of files in petitioner‘s computer and later confiscating the same. in the course of initial investigation of possible misconduct committed by said employee and without the latter‘s consent or participation. he likewise prayed for the inclusion of Resolution No. A MERE INTERNAL MEMORANDUM SIGNED SOLELY AND EXCLUSIVELY BY RESPONDENT DAVID AND NOT BY THE COLLEGIAL COMMISSION CONSIDERING THAT POLICY MATTERS INVOLVING SUB[S]TANTIAL RIGHTS CANNOT BE COVERED BY AN OFFICE MEMORANDUM WHICH IS LIMITED TO PROCEDURAL AND ROUTINARY INSTRUCTION. docketed as CA-G. to cite the respondents. could validly conduct search and seizure in the governmental workplace without meeting the "probable cause" or warrant requirement for search and seizure. he filed in the CA an Urgent Motion for the issuance of TRO and preliminary injunction. Pollo. still. Bernard G. Though the Court therein recognized that such policy did not. His motion for reconsideration having been denied by the CA. and upon the motion of the prosecution. the Commission hereby finds Briccio A.a. whom petitioner believes had instigated this administrative case. 2007. Ricky A. 99-1936. or receive on the computer system. disqualification to hold public office.CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II REQUIREMENTS OF FAIR PROCEDURE and Atty. including the hearing officer. petitioner was deemed to have waived his right to the formal investigation which then proceeded ex parte. Eric N. The CSC resolved to treat the said motion as petitioner‘s answer. AGAINST SELF-INCRIMINATION. rather than law enforcers. 2007. 10 S.18 On June 12. Castillo (CSC-RO IV) before the Office of the Ombudsman.A. Even assuming that there was no such administrative policy. in their capacity as employers. II THE HONORABLE COURT GRIEVOUSLY ERRED AND COMMITTED PALPABLE ERRORS IN LAW AMOUNTING TO GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION WHEN IT RULED THAT PETITIONER CANNOT INVOKE HIS RIGHT TO PRIVACY. the CSC issued Resolution No. in indirect contempt. BY VIRTUE OF OFFICE MEMORANDUM NO. petitioner brought this appeal arguing that – I THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS GRIEVOUSLY ERRED AND COMMITTED SERIOUS IRREGULARITY AND BLATANT ERRORS IN LAW AMOUNTING TO GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION WHEN IT RULED THAT ANONYMOUS COMPLAINT IS ACTIONABLE UNDER E. 2007 as having been issued with grave abuse of discretion amounting to excess or total absence of jurisdiction.M.O. Another ruling cited by the CSC is the more recent case of United States v. 2007. On July 24. The CA held that: (1) petitioner was not charged on the basis of the anonymous letter but from the initiative of the CSC after a fact-finding investigation was conducted and the results thereof yielded a prima facie case against him.R. Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service and Violation of Republic Act 6713. the CSC then ruled that the totality of evidence adequately supports the charges of grave misconduct. In its Resolution No. store. the CSC held that petitioner has no reasonable expectation of privacy with regard to the computer he was using in the regional office in view of the CSC computer use policy which unequivocally declared that a CSC employee cannot assert any privacy right to a computer assigned to him. On April 25. Prior to this. Solosa‘s client who attested that petitioner had nothing to do with the pleadings or bill for legal fees because in truth he owed legal fees to Atty.

27 which provides: Sec. may be reduced by virtue of actual office practices and procedures. should be judged by the standard of reasonableness under all the circumstances. and second. In that case. and the persons or things to be seized. that a person has exhibited an actual (subjective) expectation of privacy. where an employee has a legitimate privacy expectation. A determination of the standard of reasonableness applicable to a particular class of searches ." x x x "[t]o hold that the Fourth Amendment applies to searches conducted by [public employers] is only to begin the inquiry into the standards governing such searches…[W]hat is reasonable depends on the context within which a search takes place. 10 s. the question of whether an employee has a reasonable expectation of privacy must be addressed on a case-by-case basis. searched his office and seized personal items from his desk and filing cabinets. 2007. IV THE HONORABLE COURT ERRED WHEN IT FAILED TO CONSIDER ALL OTHER NEW ARGUMENTS. Magno Ortega. 2007 AND CSC RESOLUTION 07-1800 DATED SEPTEMBER 10. and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized. 2. and the general public – may have frequent access to an individual‘s office. and other work-related visits. The right of the people to be secure in their persons. desks.38 Proceeding to the next inquiry as to whether the search conducted by hospital officials was reasonable.28 But to fully understand this concept and application for the purpose of resolving the issue at hand.31 the US Supreme Court held that the act of FBI agents in electronically recording a conversation made by petitioner in an enclosed public telephone booth violated his right to privacy and constituted a "search and seizure". Justice Harlan. AND GRIEVOUSLY ERRED STILL WHEN IT RULED THAT RESPONDENT DAVID BY VIRTUE OF O. 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. DeForte33 which addressed the reasonable expectations of private employees in the workplace. and there being no evidence that the hospital had established any reasonable regulation or policy discouraging employees from storing personal papers and effects in their desks or file cabinets (although the absence of such a policy does not create any expectation of privacy where it would not otherwise exist). and no warrants shall issue but upon probable cause. the Court may turn to the pronouncements of the United States Federal Supreme Court and State Appellate Courts which are considered doctrinal in this jurisdiction. x x x The employee‘s expectation of privacy must be assessed in the context of the employment relation. x x x Thus. the O‘Connor plurality decision discussed the following principles: Having determined that Dr." Given the undisputed evidence that respondent Dr. it is essential that we examine the doctrine in the light of pronouncements in another jurisdiction. to be determined by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce. like similar expectations of employees in the private sector. papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated. IT DID NOT RULE LIKEWISE ON THE FOUR URGENT MOTION TO RESOLVE ANCILLARY PRAYER FOR TRO. consensual visitors. houses. An office is seldom a private enclave free from entry by supervisors. Article III) was in turn derived almost verbatim from the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution. and business and personal invitees. The right to privacy has been accorded recognition in this jurisdiction as a facet of the right protected by the guarantee against unreasonable search and seizure under Section 2. because "some government offices may be so open to fellow employees or the public that no expectation of privacy is reasonable". or by legitimate regulation. emphasis supplied. workrelated purposes. We agree with JUSTICE SCALIA that "[c]onstitutional protection against unreasonable searches by the government does not disappear merely because the government has the right to make reasonable intrusions in its capacity as employer. and file cabinets.26 Squarely raised by the petitioner is the legality of the search conducted on his office computer and the copying of his personal files without his knowledge and consent. other employees. as well as for investigations of work-related misconduct. Article III of the 1987 Constitution. it was further noted that the existence of privacy right under prior decisions involved a two-fold requirement: first. Ortega had a reasonable expectation of privacy in his office. 10 DID NOT ENCROACH ON THE DUTIES AND FUNCTIONS OF A JUDGE PURSUANT TO ARTICLE III. x x x Given the great variety of work environments in the public sector. kept personal correspondence and other private items in his own office while those work-related files (on physicians in residency training) were stored outside his office. As such. In the concurring opinion of Mr. Ortega‘s Fourth Amendment rights are implicated only if the conduct of the hospital officials infringed "an expectation of privacy that society is prepared to consider as reasonable. even as the latter or their guests could enter the office. the Court concluded that Dr. who was employed by a state hospital. Dr. 2002. supervisors.CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II REQUIREMENTS OF FAIR PROCEDURE HOSTILITY. it is the nature of government offices that others – such as fellow employees. Marti29 : Our present constitutional provision on the guarantee against unreasonable search and seizure had its origin in the 1935 Charter which. Ortega34 where a physician. in many cases offices are continually entered by fellow employees and other visitors during the workday for conferences." That the Fourth Amendment equally applies to a government workplace was addressed in the 1987 case of O‘Connor v.M. 1[3]." (Sec. Ortega has a reasonable expectation of privacy at least in his desk and file cabinets. consultations. the Court of Appeals simply concluded without discussion that the "search…was not a reasonable search under the fourth amendment. The constitutional guarantee is not a prohibition of all searches and seizures but only of "unreasonable" searches and seizures." x x x but some government offices may be so open to fellow employees or the public that no expectation of privacy is reasonable. ADDITIONAL EVIDENCE HEREUNTO SUBMITTED AS WELL AS ITS FAILURE TO EVALUATE AND TAKE ACTION ON THE 2 MOTIONS TO ADMIT AND INCORPORATE CSC RESOLUTION NOS. an employer‘s intrusion on that expectation "for noninvestigatory."35 A plurality of four Justices concurred that the correct analysis has two steps: first. the US Supreme Court held that a union employee had Fourth Amendment rights with regard to an office at union headquarters that he shared with other union officials."36 On the matter of government employees‘ reasonable expectations of privacy in their workplace. the Court categorically declared that "[i]ndividuals do not lose Fourth Amendment rights merely because they work for the government instead of a private employer. claimed a violation of his Fourth Amendment rights when hospital officials investigating charges of mismanagement of the psychiatric residency program. As the Court declared in People v. alleged as a transgression on his constitutional right to privacy.30 In the 1967 case of Katz v. United States. that the expectation be one that society is prepared to recognize as reasonable (objective). sexual harassment of female hospital employees and other irregularities involving his private patients under the state medical aid program. houses. papers.) On the basis of the established rule in previous cases. the protection of the Fourth Amendment extends to such area. we must determine the appropriate standard of reasonableness applicable to the search. and particularly describing the place to be searched. Simply put. IT LIKEWISE ERRED IN HOLDING THAT DATA STORED IN THE GOVERNMENT COMPUTERS ARE GOVERNMENT PROPERTIES INCLUDING THE PERSONAL FILES WHEN THE CONTRARY IS PROVIDED UNDER SECTION 14 OF OM.32 In Mancusi v. Ortega did not share his desk or file cabinets with any other employees.37 (Citations omitted. worded as follows: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons. SECTION 2 OF THE 1987 PHILIPPINE CONSTITUTION. and next. O‘Connor teaches: x x x Public employees‘ expectations of privacy in their offices. 07-1420 DATED JULY 24. The Court thus "recognized that employees may have a reasonable expectation of privacy against intrusions by police. the US Supreme Court declared that Dr. Because the petitioner had a reasonable expectation of privacy in using the enclosed booth to make a personal telephone call. Instead. and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable. a court must consider "[t]he operational realities of the workplace" in order to determine whether an employee‘s Fourth Amendment rights are implicated.

the case was remanded to said court for the determination of the justification for the search and seizure. an employee of a division of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The Court thus laid down a balancing test under which government interests are weighed against the employee‘s reasonable expectation of privacy. and various documents. CIA agents instructed its contractor for the management of the agency‘s computer network. The warrantless entry into Simons‘ office was reasonable under the Fourth Amendment standard announced in O‘Connor because at the inception of the search. arguing that the searches of his office and computer violated his Fourth Amendment rights. It held that the search remains valid under the O‘Connor exception to the warrant requirement because evidence of the crime was discovered in the course of an otherwise proper administrative inspection. We hold. which are related to law enforcement. desk. x x x The search will be permissible in its scope when "the measures adopted are reasonably related to the objectives of the search and not excessively intrusive in light of …the nature of the [misconduct]. instead. Days later. Simons appealed his convictions." x x x39 (Citations omitted." x x x Public employers have an interest in ensuring that their agencies operate in an effective and efficient manner. it is difficult to give the concept of probable cause. is simply unreasonable. public employers must be given wide latitude to enter employee offices for work-related. x x x To ensure the efficient and proper operation of the agency. mismanagement. work-related purposes. emphasis supplied. in many cases. In contrast to other circumstances in which we have required warrants. Under these circumstances. we conclude that the "special needs. one must consider ‗whether the…action was justified at its inception. control. This reasonableness test implicates neither probable cause nor the warrant requirement. United States v. After a hearing. both the inception and the scope of the intrusion must be reasonable: "Determining the reasonableness of any search involves a twofold inquiry: first.should be judged by the standard of reasonableness under all the circumstances. public employees are entrusted with tremendous responsibility. and the work of these agencies inevitably suffers from the inefficiency. Indeed. Mark L. computer diskettes found in Simons‘ desk drawer. A standard of reasonableness will neither unduly burden the efforts of government employers to ensure the efficient and proper operation of the workplace. the imposition of a warrant requirement would conflict with the "common-sense realization that government offices could not function if every employment decision became a constitutional matter. beyond the normal need for law enforcement make the…probable-cause requirement impracticable. Simons41where the defendant Simons.) Since the District Court granted summary judgment without a hearing on the factual dispute as to the character of the search and neither was there any finding made as to the scope of the search that was undertaken. work-related noninvestigatory intrusions as well as investigations of workrelated misconduct. We come to a similar conclusion for searches conducted pursuant to an investigation of work-related employee misconduct. therefore. and the efficient operation of the workplace. The search team copied the contents of Simons‘ computer. the agency secured warrants and searched Simons‘ office in the evening when Simons was not around. and evaluation of the reasonableness of both the inception of the search and its scope. The retrieval of the hard drive was reasonably related to the objective of the search. public employers have a direct and overriding interest in ensuring that the work of the agency is conducted in a proper and efficient manner.‘ x x x .‘" x x x Ordinarily. or that the search is necessary for a noninvestigatory workrelated purpose such as to retrieve a needed file. the employer had "reasonable grounds for suspecting" that the hard drive would yield evidence of misconduct. xxxx In our view. and the search was not excessively intrusive. a search of an employee’s office by a supervisor will be "justified at its inception" when there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that the search will turn up evidence that the employee is guilty of work-related misconduct." x x x In the case of searches conducted by a public employer. public employers are not enforcers of the criminal law. who would otherwise have no reason to be familiar with such procedures. Under this reasonableness standard. Similarly." x x x for legitimate. Simons‘ violation of the agency‘s Internet policy happened also to be a violation of criminal law. nor authorize arbitrary intrusions upon the privacy of public employees. incompetence. Rather. Government agencies provide myriad services to the public. inspect. Indeed. that public employer intrusions on the constitutionally protected privacy interests of government employees for noninvestigatory. The delay in correcting the employee misconduct caused by the need for probable cause rather than reasonable suspicion will be translated into tangible and often irreparable damage to the agency’s work.CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II REQUIREMENTS OF FAIR PROCEDURE requires "balanc[ing] the nature and quality of the intrusion on the individual‘s Fourth Amendment interests against the importance of the governmental interests alleged to justify the intrusion. therefore. Even when employers conduct an investigation. second. as well as for investigations of work-related misconduct. was convicted of receiving and possessing materials containing child pornography. and gave the original to the agency security officer. In our view. Thus. The US Supreme Court ruled that the searches of Simons‘ computer and office did not violate his Fourth Amendment rights and the first search warrant was valid. as the employer was already aware that Simons had misused his Internet access to download over a thousand pornographic images. removed the original hard drive on Simon‘s computer. and the consequences of their misconduct or incompetence to both the agency and the public interest can be severe. noninvestigatory reasons. or file cabinets for a work-related purpose would seriously disrupt the routine conduct of business and would be unduly burdensome. they have an interest substantially different from "the normal need for law enforcement. In contrast to law enforcement officials. One of these cases involved a government employer‘s search of an office computer. After confirming that Simons had indeed downloaded pictures that were pornographic in nature. upon initial discovery of prohibited internet activity originating from Simons‘ computer. The agency had instituted a policy on computer use stating that employees were to use the Internet for official government business only and that accessing unlawful material was specifically prohibited. therefore. the concept of probable cause has little meaning for a routine inventory conducted by public employers for the purpose of securing state property. computer files stored on the zip drive or on zip drive diskettes. we must balance the invasion of the employees’ legitimate expectations of privacy against the government’s need for supervision. Simons moved to suppress these evidence. one must determine whether the search as actually conducted ‗was reasonably related in scope to the circumstances which justified the interference in the first place. rooted as it is in the criminal investigatory context.40 O‘Connor was applied in subsequent cases raising issues on employees‘ privacy rights in the workplace. all the files on the hard drive of Simon‘s computer were copied from a remote work station. or other work-related misfeasance of its employees. a probable cause requirement for searches of the type at issue here would impose intolerable burdens on public employers. the contractor‘s representative finally entered Simon‘s office. and/or monitor the user‘s Internet access as deemed appropriate. In O‘Connor the Court recognized that "special needs" authorize warrantless searches involving public employees for work-related reasons. The policy also stated that users shall understand that the agency will periodically audit. and a computer with Internet access. x x x xxxx In sum. At his trial." x x x xxxx The governmental interest justifying work-related intrusions by public employers is the efficient and proper operation of the workplace. Imposing unwieldy warrant procedures in such cases upon supervisors. therefore. to conduct a remote monitoring and examination of Simons‘ computer. requiring an employer to obtain a warrant whenever the employer wished to enter an employee‘s office. videotapes. replaced it with a copy. supervisors in offices such as at the Hospital are hardly in the business of investigating the violation of criminal laws. much meaning when the purpose of a search is to retrieve a file for work-related reasons. and the work of these agencies would suffer if employers were required to have probable cause before they entered an employee‘s desk for the purpose of finding a file or piece of office correspondence. Simons was provided with an office which he did not share with anyone. while Simons had a reasonable . work-related searches are merely incident to the primary business of the agency. this does not mean that said employer lost the capacity and interests of an employer. Thereafter. and ultimately to the public interest. including personal correspondence. the district court denied the motion and Simons was found guilty as charged.

) Applying the analysis and principles announced in O‘Connor and Simons to the case at bar. Dangerous Drugs Board43 which involved the constitutionality of a provision in R. store. he is "personally assisting incoming clients. We therefore conclude that.A. as in Simons.CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II REQUIREMENTS OF FAIR PROCEDURE expectation of privacy in his office. it can hardly be deduced that petitioner had such expectation of privacy that society would recognize as reasonable. Neither did he allege that he used passwords or adopted any means to prevent other employees from accessing his computer files. x x x Accordingly. store. reduced. the copying of the contents of the hard drive on petitioner‘s computer reasonable in its inception and scope? In this inquiry. Simons did not have a legitimate expectation of privacy with regard to the record or fruits of his Internet use in light of the FBIS Internet policy. including all file transfers. (Emphasis supplied. and (3) whether the employee took actions to maintain his privacy in the item. A computer resource is not a personal property or for the exclusive use of a User to whom a memorandum of receipt (MR) has been issued."46 Under this scenario. on this record. that petitioner had at least a subjective expectation of privacy in his computer as he claims. and (2) Was the search authorized by the CSC Chair. Public Sector Unionism.45 We answer the first in the negative.44 Thus. The policy clearly stated that FBIS would "audit. 10. Users shall be permitted access to Computer Resources to assist them in the performance of their respective jobs. such a belief was not objectively reasonable after FBIS notified him that it would be overseeing his Internet use. Examination and Placement shall select and assign Users to handle the confidential examination data and processes. On the contrary.) This Court. 5. Users expressly waive any right to privacy in anything they create. As noted above. or receive on the computer through the Internet or any other computer network. Office Memorandum No. entered into by management and the bargaining unit. Simons lacked a legitimate expectation of privacy in the files downloaded from the Internet. emphasis supplied. and all e-mail messages. In this case. 2. or that his office was always locked and not open to other employees or visitors. No. Simons must first prove that he had a legitimate expectation of privacy in the place searched or the item seized. students of secondary and tertiary schools. whom he even allowed to use his computer which to him seemed a trivial request. Therefore. No expectation of privacy. in order to prove a legitimate expectation of privacy. xxxx The burden is on Simons to prove that he had a legitimate expectation of privacy in his office. Non-exclusivity of Computer Resources. Here. officers and employees of public and private offices. He described his office as "full of people. and the inherent right of the employer to maintain discipline and efficiency in the workplace. in charge of accomplishment report. 6. It can be shared or . (2) whether the item was in the immediate control of the employee when it was seized. that in fact he stays in the office as a paying customer. and hardly had anytime for himself alone. he normally would have visitors in his office like friends. x x x Here. did not share his office with co-workers and kept the same locked. accreditation of service. 2. Mamamayan Muna Program. or receive on the computer system. 2002 "Computer Use Policy (CUP)" explicitly provides: POLICY 1. This situation may be contrasted with one in which the criminal acts of a government employee were unrelated to his employment. and we consider the two questions together. or regulations that had such an effect. and a degree of impingement upon such privacy has been upheld. "as deemed appropriate. The Computer Resources are the property of the Civil Service Commission and may be used only for legitimate business purposes. the collective bargaining agreement. have also recognized the fact that there may be such legitimate intrusion of privacy in the workplace. he had a legitimate expectation of privacy and any search of that space and items located therein must comply with the Fourth Amendment. 9165 requiring mandatory drug testing of candidates for public office. However. there is no evidence in the record of any workplace practices. regardless of whether Simons subjectively believed that the files he transferred from the Internet were private. the office or workplace serves as the backdrop for the analysis of the privacy expectation of the employees and the reasonableness of drug testing requirement. and/or monitor" employees’ use of the Internet. drafting cases on appeals. all websites visited. which effects a search within the meaning of Sec." These factors are relevant to both the subjective and objective prongs of the reasonableness inquiry. this case involves an employee‘s supervisor entering the employee‘s government office and retrieving a piece of government equipment in which the employee had absolutely no expectation of privacy – equipment that the employer knew contained evidence of crimes committed by the employee in the employee‘s office. Waiver of privacy rights. inspect. The employees‘ privacy interest in an office is to a large extent circumscribed by the company‘s work policies." x x x This policy placed employees on notice that they could not reasonably expect that their Internet activity would be private. Users understand that theCSC may use human or automated means to monitor the use of its Computer Resources. The Head of the Office for Recruitment. Correction of name. and persons charged before the prosecutor‘s office with certain offenses. We consider that FBIS‘ intrusion into Simons‘ office to retrieve the hard drive is one in which a reasonable employer might engage. even assuming arguendo. procedures. he did not have such legitimate expectation of privacy with regard to the files in his computer. send. if any. where the employee used a password on his computer. Moreover. Their privacy expectation in a regulated office environment is. in the absence of allegation or proof of the aforementioned factual circumstances. he submits that being in the public assistance office of the CSC-ROIV. 3. Petitioner did not allege that he had a separate enclosed office which he did not share with anyone. Simons must show that his subjective expectation of privacy is one that society is prepared to accept as objectively reasonable. unknown people" and that in the past 22 years he had been discharging his functions at the PALD. x x x And. we now address the following questions: (1) Did petitioner have a reasonable expectation of privacy in his office and computer files?. Users except the Members of the Commission shall not have an expectation of privacy in anything they create. the operational realities of Simons‘ workplace may have diminished his legitimate privacy expectations. S. x x x42 (Citations omitted. in Social Justice Society (SJS) v. x x x xxxx x x x We conclude that the remote searches of Simons‘ computer did not violate his Fourth Amendment rights because. in fine. the relevant surrounding circumstances to consider include "(1) the employee‘s relationship to the item seized. associates and even unknown people. Art. his friends. Additionally. Simons possessed a legitimate expectation of privacy in his office. intrudes. such is negated by the presence of policy regulating the use of office computers. Petitioner failed to prove that he had an actual (subjective) expectation of privacy either in his office or government-issued computer which contained his personal files. we conclude that Simons‘ Fourth Amendment rights were not violated by FBIS‘ retrieval of Simons‘ hard drive from his office. send. receiving documents. FBIS‘ actions in remotely searching and seizing the computer files Simons downloaded from the Internet did not violate the Fourth Amendment. xxxx In the final analysis. there was a conjunction of the conduct that violated the employer‘s policy and the conduct that violated the criminal law. xxxx No Expectation of Privacy 4. x x x To establish a violation of his rights under the Fourth Amendment. Use of the Computer Resources is a privilege that may be revoked at any given time. The first factor to consider in the matter of reasonableness is the nature of the privacy interest upon which the drug testing. III of the Constitution. in light of the Internet policy. Simons has shown that he had an office that he did not share.

In addition. stored online. In that case.48 In one case. the government employee had no legitimate expectation of privacy as to the use and contents of his office computer. there is no doubt in the mind of the Commission that the search of Pollo‘s computer has successfully passed the test of reasonableness for warrantless searches in the workplace as enunciated in the abovediscussed American authorities. or given to others. If. That the anonymous letter provided the lead and details as it pinpointed the persons and divisions involved in the alleged irregularities happening in CSCRO IV. 10. a search was forthwith conducted involving the computer resources in the concerned regional office. We quote with approval the CSC‘s discussion on the reasonableness of its actions. indeed. Concomitantly. and that the CSC may monitor the use of the computer resources using both automated or human means. 13. The Civil Service Commission has global passwords that permit access to all materials stored on its networked computer system regardless of whether those materials have been encoded with a particular User‘s password. then such a case would have shattering repercussions. and in the process. It bears emphasis that the Commission pursued the search in its capacity as a government employer and that it was undertaken in connection with an investigation involving a work-related misconduct. It would undeniably cast clouds of doubt upon the institutional integrity of the Commission as a quasi-judicial agency. render it less effective in fulfilling its mandate as an impartial and objective dispenser of administrative justice. No User may access the computer system with another User‘s password or account. Passwords do not imply privacy.51 Thus. At the inception of the search. all done during office hours and involved the use of government properties. the search conducted on petitioner‘s computer was justified at its inception and scope. Chairperson David stated in her sworn affidavit: 8. to impose the need to comply with the probable cause requirement would invariably defeat the purpose of the wok-related investigation. it was held that where a government agency‘s computer use policy prohibited electronic messages with pornographic content and in addition expressly provided that employees do not have any personal privacy rights regarding their use of the agency information systems and technology. Officials and some employees of the regional office.49 As to the second point of inquiry on the reasonableness of the search conducted on petitioner‘s computer. the respondent himself was duly notified. as well as the subsequent warrantless searches was held as valid under the O‘Connor ruling that a public employer can investigate work-related misconduct so long as any search is justified at inception and is reasonably related in scope to the circumstances that justified it in the first place. we answer in the affirmative. can be searched when the university is responding to a discovery request in the course of litigation. The search of petitioner‘s computer files was conducted in connection with investigation of work-related misconduct prompted by an anonymous letter-complaint addressed to Chairperson David regarding anomalies in the CSC-ROIV where the head of the Mamamayan Muna Hindi Mamaya Na division is supposedly "lawyering" for individuals with pending cases in the CSC.) The CSC in this case had implemented a policy that put its employees on notice that they have no expectation of privacy in anything they create. Individual passwords shall not be printed. is the fact that the Commission effected the warrantless search in an open and transparent manner. as early as 2006. including e-mail. who happened to be in the vicinity. the undersigned has received several text messages from unknown sources adverting to certain anomalies in Civil Service Commission Regional Office IV (CSCRO IV) such as. That said text messages were not investigated for lack of any verifiable leads and details sufficient to warrant an investigation. IV was "lawyering" for parties having pending cases with the said regional office or in the Commission. one of the circumstances exempted from the warrant requirement. However. store. his computer tower and floppy disks were taken and examined. Thus. Petitioner employee thus cannot claim a violation of Fourth Amendment rights when university officials conducted a warrantless search of his computer for work-related materials. they could easily be destroyed at a click of a button. x x x x47 (Emphasis supplied. necessitated drastic and immediate action. Considering the damaging nature of the accusation. When the supervisor confirmed that defendant had used his computer to access the prohibited websites. Indeed. "selling" cases and aiding parties with pending cases. Worthy to mention. consistent as it were with the guidelines established by O‘Connor: Even conceding for a moment that there is no such administrative policy. I decided to form a team of Central Office staff to back up the files in the computers of the Public Assistance and Liaison Division (PALD) and Legal Division. It is settled that a court or an administrative tribunal must not only be actually impartial but must be seen to be so. x x x x50 A search by a government employer of an employee‘s office is justified at inception when there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that it will turn up evidence that the employee is guilty of work-related misconduct. 9. the ephemeral nature of computer files. and therefore evidence found during warrantless search of the computer was admissible in prosecution for child pornography. Use of passwords to gain access to the computer system or to encode particular files or messages does not imply that Users have an expectation of privacy in the material they create or receive on the computer system. the Commission had to act fast. The initial remote search of the hard drive of petitioner‘s computer. through text messaging. a CSC employee was found to be furtively engaged in the practice of "lawyering" for parties with pending cases before the Commission would be a highly repugnant scenario. on the same date that the complaint was received. That it was the computers that were subjected to the search was justified since these furnished the easiest means for an employee to encode and store documents. xxxx Passwords 12.CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II REQUIREMENTS OF FAIR PROCEDURE operated by other users. Only members of the Commission shall authorize the application of the said global passwords. in contravention of the express policy of the agency. This implies that on-the-spot inspections may be done to ensure that the computer resources were used only for such legitimate business purposes. The user is specifically told that computer files. Pointedly.52 Under the facts obtaining. Users shall be responsible for all transactions made using their passwords. It was a reasonable exercise of the managerial prerogative of the Commission as an employer aimed at ensuring its . otherwise the general public would not have any trust and confidence in it. 11. The nature of the imputation was serious. in any way. A formal administrative investigation ensued and later search warrants were secured by the police department. in the 2004 case decided by the US Court of Appeals Eighth Circuit. a complaint was received recounting that a certain division chief in the CSCRO No. staff working in another government agency. of the search and the concomitant retrieval of files from his computer. too. if only to arrest or limit any possible adverse consequence or fall-out. All in all. he is accountable therefor and must insure its care and maintenance. Users shall be responsible for safeguarding their passwords for access to the computer system. vitiated with unconstitutionality. One of the factors stated in O‘Connor which are relevant in determining whether an employee‘s expectation of privacy in the workplace is reasonable is the existence of a workplace privacy policy. that is. the computer user is informed not to expect privacy if the university has a legitimate reason to conduct a search. That prior to this. the Commission is convinced that the warrantless search done on computer assigned to Pollo was not. were on hand to observe the process until its completion. send or receive on the office computers. the defendant employee‘s computer hard drive was first remotely examined by a computer information technician after his supervisor received complaints that he was inaccessible and had copied and distributed non-work-related e-mail messages throughout the office. That in view of the seriousness of the allegations of irregularities happening in CSCRO IV and its effect on the integrity of the Commission. the computers would be a likely starting point in ferreting out incriminating evidence. the US Court of Appeals Eighth Circuit held that a state university employee has not shown that he had a reasonable expectation of privacy in his computer files where the university‘s computer policy. as it was grievously disturbing. Responsibility for passwords.

these documents were confirmed to be similar or exactly the same content-wise with those on the case records of some cases pending either with CSCRO No. According to the CSC. Unfortunately. The team was able to access Atty. Morales should be found guilty of gross misconduct. Solosa. The OCA disagreed with the report of the Investigating Judge that there was no evidence to support the charge against Atty. His other argument invoking the privacy of communication and correspondence under Section 3(1). the Commission cannot lend credence to the posturing of the appellant that the line appearing in one of the documents. We likewise find no merit in his contention that O‘Connor and Simons are not relevant because the present case does not involve a criminal offense like child pornography.55 The CSC based its findings on evidence consisting of a substantial number of drafts of legal pleadings and documents stored in his office computer. using office supplies. that is." was a private joke between the person alluded to therein. not only once but several times gauging by the number of pleadings. acting as a principal by indispensable cooperation…Or at the very least. decisions or resolutions of these offices or directly in opposition to them such as a petition for certiorari or a motion for reconsideration of CSC Resolution. the computer from which the personal files of herein petitioner were retrieved is a government-issued computer.CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II REQUIREMENTS OF FAIR PROCEDURE operational effectiveness and efficiency by going after the work-related misfeasance of its employees. "Eric N. Morales‘ personal computer and print two documents stored in its hard drive. Reyes. Such relationship of the petitioner with the item seized (office computer) and other relevant factors and circumstances under American Fourth Amendment jurisprudence. S. she never saw Atty. and his counsel. IV. Substantial evidence is such amount of relevant evidence which a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion. The Court found no evidence to support the claim of OCA that they were able to obtain the subject pleadings with the consent of Atty. Morales. Metropolitan Trial Court of Manila54 involving a branch clerk (Atty. hence government property the use of which the CSC has absolute right to regulate and monitor. so to speak. the computer and the electricity. This indicates that the author thereof knowingly and willingly participated in the promotion or advancement of the interests of parties contrary or antagonistic to the Commission. it evinces the fact that he was unlawfully authorizing private persons to use the computer assigned to him for official purpose. Miguel Morales. to be utilized for purposes other than what they were officially intended. "Eric N. Solosa using the computer assigned to the respondent. Atty. This is because he had a control of the said computer. Solosa himself executed a sworn affidavit to this effect. Estrellado. Atty. was using the computer in question. thus: It is also striking to note that some of these documents were in the nature of pleadings responding to the orders. in effect. There were also substantially similar copies of those pleadings filed with the CA and duly furnished the Commission. unlike the former which involved a personal computer of a court employee. which Pollo submitted. the appearance in one of the retrieved documents the phrase. as in fact the latter immediately filed an administrative case against the persons who conducted the spot investigation. We hold that the CSC‘s factual finding regarding the authorship of the subject pleadings and misuse of the office computer is well-supported by the evidence on record. categorically testified seeing a written copy of one of the pleadings found in the case records lying on the table of the respondent. Morales may have fallen short of the exacting standards required of every court employee. The Court En Banc held that while Atty. At any rate. Having determined that the personal files copied from the office computer of petitioner are admissible in the administrative case against him. even if other equally reasonable minds might conceivably opine otherwise. Further. however. Atty. whom she personally knows. one filed in the CA and another in the RTC of Manila. The OCA conducted a spot investigation aided by NBI agents. he should be responsible for serious misconduct for repeatedly allowing CSC resources. to the effect that those files retrieved from his computer hard drive actually belonged to his lawyer friends Estrellado and Solosa whom he allowed the use of his computer for drafting their pleadings in the cases they handle. like the CSC. his very own employer. Estrellado. who incidentally served as his counsel of record during the formal investigation of this case. equipment and utilities. As already mentioned. Morales as no one from the OCC personnel who were interviewed would give a categorical and positive statement affirming the charges against Atty. the evidence derived from the questioned search are deemed admissible. along with other court personnel also charged in the same case. Worse. The same is too preposterous to be believed. Solosa himself was never presented during the formal investigation to confirm his sworn statement such that the same constitutes self-serving evidence unworthy of weight and credence. This situation clearly falls under the exception to the warrantless requirement in administrative searches defined in O‘Connor. The Court is not unaware of our decision in Anonymous LetterComplaint against Atty. Reyes more particularly stated that she worked in close proximity with Pollo and would have known if Atty. the CSC found the explanation given by petitioner. Epal kulang ang bayad mo. Whoever was responsible for these documents was simply doing the same for the money – a "legal mercenary" selling or purveying his expertise to the highest bidder. to hold him administratively liable. failed to establish that petitioner had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the office computer assigned to him. Margarita Reyes. The same is true with the other supporting affidavits. Clerk of Court. the fact that these documents were retrieved from the computer of Pollo raises the presumption that he was the author thereof. including one Attorney Ponciano Solosa. one of the witnesses. but with order to the MISO to first retrieve the files stored therein. unless he had something to do with it?56 Petitioner assails the CA in not ruling that the CSC should not have entertained an anonymous complaint since Section 8 of CSC Resolution No.53 Petitioner‘s claim of violation of his constitutional right to privacy must necessarily fail. In fact. are accorded not only respect but even finality if such findings are supported by substantial evidence. This was the Petition for Review in the case of Estrellado addressed to the Court of Appeals. Morales. as implausible and doubtful under the circumstances. the search of petitioner‘s computer was justified there being reasonable ground for suspecting that the files stored therein would yield incriminating evidence relevant to the investigation being conducted by CSC as government employer of such misconduct subject of the anonymous complaint. Atty. Why would such a statement appear in a legal pleading stored in the computer assigned to the respondent. Morales‘ computer was seized and taken in custody of the OCA but was later ordered released on his motion. Inevitably. Article III of the 1987 Constitution is also untenable considering the recognition accorded to certain legitimate intrusions into the privacy of employees in the government workplace under the aforecited authorities. for ends not in conformity with the interests of the Commission. More significantly. Epal kulang ang bayad mo. want the Commission to believe that the documents were the personal files of some of his friends. the Court cannot use the evidence obtained from his personal computer against him for it violated his constitutional right against unreasonable searches and seizures. Morales. this contention of the respondent was directly rebutted by the prosecution witness. Morales) who was investigated on the basis of an anonymous letter alleging that he was consuming his working hours filing and attending to personal cases. CSC-NCR or the Commission Proper." lends plausibility to an inference that the preparation or drafting of the legal pleadings was pursued with less than a laudable motivation. Eric N. Further. Estr[e]llado. apart from the pleadings. 2007 on Computer Use Policy. The said circumstances indubitably demonstrate that Pollo was secretly undermining the interest of the Commission. and not indicative of anything more sinister. 99-1936 (URACC) requires a verified complaint: Rule II – Disciplinary Cases . Consequently. even admitting for a moment the said contention of the respondent. Solosa. the Court had no choice but to dismiss the charges against him for insufficiency of evidence. He was. which turned out to be two pleadings. questioning the validity of the investigation and specifically invoking his constitutional right against unreasonable search and seizure. both in the name of another lawyer. The OCA recommended that Atty. we now proceed to the issue of whether the CSC was correct in finding the petitioner guilty of the charges and dismissing him from the service. Further. Well-settled is the rule that the findings of fact of quasi-judicial agencies. The above case is to be distinguished from the case at bar because. as well as the sworn affidavits and testimonies of the witnesses it presented during the formal investigation. To deflect any culpability. Pollo would. who testified that during her entire stay in the PALD. retrieved from the unduly confiscated personal computer of Atty. notably the existence of CSC MO 10. And as there is no other evidence.

WHEREFORE. The Decision dated October 11.found a prima facie case against the petitioner who was then directed to file his comment. 2007 and Resolution dated February 29. in cases initiated by the proper disciplining authority. 292 and Section 8. 8. the petition for review on certiorari is DENIED. With costs against the petitioner. filed the complaint.A complaint against a civil service official or employee shall not be given due course unless it is in writing and subscribed and sworn to by the complainant.59 In fine. Court of Appeals57 -Under Sections 46 and 48 (1). the complaint need not be under oath. Subtitle A. Rule II of Uniform Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service. Hence. dishonesty. Book V of E. xxxx We need not belabor this point raised by petitioner. Chapter 6. the same deserves scant consideration.CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II REQUIREMENTS OF FAIR PROCEDURE SEC. S. 2002 Commission Meeting. 2. being an administrative rule that is merely internal in nature.R. the practice had been to issue a memorandum order. VALID INSTANCES OF WARRANTLESS SEARCHES AND SEIZURES A. The alleged infirmity due to the said memorandum order having been issued solely by the CSC Chair and not the Commission as a collegial body. 2008 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. no error or grave abuse of discretion was committed by the CA in affirming the CSC‘s ruling that petitioner is guilty of grave misconduct. even without being subscribed and sworn to. No. As this Court held in Civil Service Commission v.A. jurisdiction over Dumlao was validly acquired. a complaint may be initiated against a civil service officer or employee by the appropriate disciplining authority. pursuant to existing rules and regulations. Complaint. as the disciplining authority for Dumlao. or which regulates only the personnel of the CSC and not the public. provision by provision in the January 23. The administrative complaint is deemed to have been initiated by the CSC itself when Chairperson David. the Commission En Banc at the time saw no need to issue a Resolution for the purpose and further because the CUP being for internal use of the Commission. According to Chairperson David. Jr.58 Moreover. No anonymous complaint shall be entertained unless there is obvious truth or merit to the allegation therein or supported by documentary or direct evidence. No. in which case the person complained of may be required to comment.as part of the disciplining authority‘s own fact-finding investigation and information-gathering -. the CUP need not be published prior to its effectivity. Considering that the CSC. and Valmores. SP No. and violation of R. attended by her and former Commissioners Erestain. conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service. The gravity of these offenses justified the imposition on petitioner of the ultimate penalty of dismissal with all its accessory penalties. . SO ORDERED. was already explained by Chairperson David in her Reply to the Addendum to Commissioner Buenaflor‘s previous memo expressing his dissent to the actions and disposition of the Commission in this case. 6713. 2002 (CUP).) As to petitioner‘s challenge on the validity of CSC OM 10. However.O. said memorandum order was in fact exhaustively discussed. after a spot inspection and search of the files stored in the hard drive of computers in the two divisions adverted to in the anonymous letter -.) SEARCH OF MOVING VEHICLES . (Emphasis supplied. 98224 are AFFIRMED. upon which the dissent of Commissioner Buenaflor is partly anchored.

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.. this recourse. 8 On 13 April 1992. JR. JR. 7 and petitioner to show cause why he should not be disqualified from running for an elective position. the COMELEC denied petitioner's motion for reconsideration. 32.A. Consequently. According to him. Resolution No. petitioner moved for reconsideration and to hold in abeyance the administrative proceedings as well as the filing of the information in court. Petitioner disputes the charge that he violated Sec. III." Mr. any person who has either been declared by competent authority as insane or incompetent or has been sentenced by final judgment for subversion. the City Prosecutor ordered the release of Arellano after finding the latter's sworn explanation meritorious. organizing special strike forces. No. on 26 December 1991 COMELEC issued Resolution No. ANIAG.A. Arellano was instructed to return to Congress. and (c) where the accused has already been acquitted.. and organization or maintenance of reaction forces during the election period." thus. at about five o'clock in the afternoon of the same day. par. pursuant to the "Gun Ban. But. upon recommendation of its Law Department. 11 Petitioner further maintains that he was neither impleaded as party respondent in the preliminary investigation before the Office of the City Prosecutor nor included in the charge sheet. that he was petitioner's driver. and. On 15 January 1992. Arellano was then apprehended and detained. certiorari and prohibition) the following resolutions of the Commission on Elections: Resolution No. The factual backdrop: In preparation for the synchronized national and local elections scheduled on 11 May 1992. on bearing arms by members of security agencies or police organizations. for want of legal and factual bases. and Resolution No. Art. par. 881 otherwise known as the Omnibus Election Code. Petitioner questions the constitutionality of Resolution No.R. and Sec. in relation to Sec. 14 G. i. 2327 providing for the summary disqualification of candidates engaged in gunrunning. not a security officer nor a bodyguard. the police referred Arellano's case to the Office of the City Prosecutor for inquest.e.P. Meanwhile. 92-0829 dated 6 April 1992 and Resolution No. the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) issued on 11 December 1991 Resolution No. J. insurrection. all contrary to the requisite quantum of proof for one to be disqualified from running or holding public office under the Omnibus Election Code. Taccad. 2 and 3. the search of his car that yielded the evidence for the prosecution was clearly violative of Secs. there still remains an important question to be resolved. whether he can be validly prosecuted for instructing his driver to return to the Sergeant-at-Arms of the House of Representatives the two firearms issued to him on the basis of the evidence gathered from the warrantless search of his car. Specifically. Thereafter. that the resolution did away with the requirement of final conviction before the commission of certain offenses. it created a presumption of guilt as a candidate may be disqualified from office in situations (a) where the criminal charge is still pending.e. COMELEC issued Resolution No. He explained that he was ordered by petitioner to get the firearms from the house and return them to Sergeant-at-Arms Taccad of the House of Representatives. using and transporting of firearms. i. no law was in fact violated. 2327. the policemen manning the outpost flagged down the car driven by Arellano as it approached the checkpoint. 2327 violates the fundamental law thus rendering it fatally defective. 92-0829 directing the filing of information against petitioner and Arellano for violation of Sec. without a warrant and without informing the driver of his fundamental rights the policemen searched his car.: PETITIONER assails in this petition (for declaratory relief. No. admittedly. it is now futile to discuss the implications of the charge against him on his qualification to run for public office. on security personnel or bodyguards. Serapio P. vs. (b) where there is no pending criminal case. that the Omnibus Election Code provides for the disqualification of any person/candidate from running for or holding a public office. Thus. Sergeant-at-Arms. Blg. 33 of R. to pick up the firearms from petitioner's house at Valle Verde and return them to Congress. 32 of R. 33 and 35 of R. using or transporting firearms or similar weapons and other acts mentioned in the resolution are not within the letter or spirit of the provisions of the Code. that gunrunning. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE SPECIAL TASK FORCE. Petitioner strongly protests against the manner by which the PNP conducted the search. 7166. petitioner immediately instructed his driver. 9 On 23 April 1992. Upon being advised of the request on 13 January 1992 by his staff. the firearms in compliance with the directive of its Sergeant-atArms pursuant to the "Gun Ban. As a result. of B. The firearms were not tucked in the waist nor within the immediate reach of Arellano but were neatly packed in their gun cases and wrapped in a bag kept in the trunk of the car. 92-0999 dated 23 April 1992. House of Representatives. petitioner further argues. BELLOSILLO. Petitioner not only appeared at the preliminary investigation to confirm Arellano's statement but also wrote the City Prosecutor urging him to exonerate Arellano. of B. About thirty minutes later. 2 On 10 January 1992. recommended that the case against Arellano be dismissed and that the "unofficial" charge against petitioner be also dismissed. He argues that the rules and regulations of an administrative body must respect the limits defined by law. the Philippine National Police (PNP) headed by Senior Superintendent Danilo Cordero set up a checkpoint outside the Batasan Complex some twenty (20) meters away from its entrance. 5 On 6 March 1992. Blg. 52. pursuant to COMELEC Resolution No. 261. on 6 April 1992. 12 On 25 June 1992. (2). Consequently. The referral did not include petitioner as among those charged with an election offense." promulgating rules and regulations on bearing. wrote petitioner who was then Congressman of the 1st District of Bulacan requesting the return of the two (2) firearms 3 issued to him by the House of Representatives. proof beyond reasonable doubt. 7166. in relation to Sec. 1Subsequently. 2327 dated 26 December 1991 for being unconstitutional. which prohibits any candidate for public office during the election period from employing or availing himself or engaging the services of security personnel or bodyguards since. 6 .e.. 4 On 28 January 1992. of the Constitution. Arellano was not a security officer or bodyguard but a civilian employee assigned to him as driver by the House of Representatives. Pasamba for petitioner. However. the Office of the City Prosecutor issued a resolution which.. i. and establishing spot checkpoints. 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. petitioner. rebellion or for any offense for which he has been sentenced to a penalty of more than eighteen months or for a crime involving moral turpitude.P. 881. (c). 104961 October 7. petitioner concludes. among other matters. par. 1994 CONGRESSMAN FRANCISCO B. 10 Hence. 2323 otherwise referred to as the "Gun Ban. we required COMELEC to file its own comment on the petition 13 upon manifestation of the Solicitor General that it could not take the position of COMELEC and prayed instead to be excused from filing the required comment.. carrying and transporting of firearms or other deadly weapons. making him a respondent in the criminal information would violate his constitutional right to due process. Ronolfo S. that instead. respondents.CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II REQUIREMENTS OF FAIR PROCEDURE Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC Nevertheless. as he did. Ernesto Arellano. the City Prosecutor invited petitioner to shed light on the circumstances mentioned in Arellano's sworn explanation. (q). 7166.A. the issue on the disqualification of petitioner from running in the 11 May 1992 synchronized elections was rendered moot when he lost his bid for a seat in Congress in the elections that ensued. 2327.

The action then of the policemen unreasonably intruded into petitioner's privacy and the security of his property. 2327 since this petition may be resolved without passing upon this particular issue. and that petitioner in fact submitted a sworn letter of explanation regarding the incident. perhaps. Moreover. As conceded by COMELEC. submitting that his right to be heard was not violated as he was invited by the City Prosecutor to explain the circumstances regarding Arellano's possession of the firearms. (q).CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II REQUIREMENTS OF FAIR PROCEDURE COMELEC claims that petitioner is charged with violation of Sec. 20 Thus. This does not satisfy the requirement of due process the essence of which is the reasonable opportunity to be heard and to submit any evidence one may have in support of his defense. it is a substantive right . COMELEC did not rebut this claim. could not be more than a mere passive conformity on Arellano's part to the search. Blg. in violation of Sec. Significantly. shall be criminally liable for election offenses. transporting firearms or in organizing special strike forces. e. a valid search must be authorized by a search warrant duly issued by an appropriate authority. 15 Be that as it may. As a result. or where the accused was acting suspiciously. 19 The existence of probable cause justifying the warrantless search is determined by the facts of each case. 32 In Go v. since it has in fact been established by statute. In such scenario. 27 In the case at bench. or thirty minutes later. Consequently. where a confidential report that a sizeable volume of marijuana would be transported along the route where the search was conducted and appellants were caught in flagrante delicto transporting drugs at the time of their arrest. With the authorities in control to stop and search passing vehicles. 30 COMELEC argues that petitioner was given the change to be heard because he was invited to enlighten the City Prosecutor regarding the circumstances leading to the arrest of his driver. the intention of the offender is immaterial. The right to have a preliminary investigation conducted before being bound over to trial for a criminal offense and hence formally at risk of incarceration or some other penalty is not a mere formal or technical right. of B. COMELEC claims that violation of the "Gun Ban" is mala prohibita. Petitioner also filed a sworn written explanation about the incident. 16 As a rule. suspicious or unnatural reaction from Arellano when the car was stopped and searched. as defined in the Revised Penal Code. . as adverted to earlier. and that they were neatly packed in gun cases and placed inside a bag at the back of the car. petitioner was merely invited during the preliminary investigation of Arellano to corroborate the latter's explanation. and attempted to flee. Nor. Otherwise. be it the Constitution itself or only a statute or a rule of court.g. 22 where apart from the intelligence information. An extensive search without warrant could only be resorted to if the officers conducting the search had reasonable or probable cause to believe before the search that either the motorist was a law offender or that they would find the instrumentality or evidence pertaining to the commission of a crime in the vehicle to be searched. we find that the checkpoint was set up twenty (20) meters from the entrance to the Batasan Complex to enforce Resolution No. 263. motorists passing that place did not have any inkling whatsoever about the reason behind the instant exercise. only his driver was at the car at that time it was stopped for inspection. this is not absolute. 17 as well as the search conducted at police or military checkpoints which we declared are not illegal per se." and that "the places and manner of setting up of checkpoints shall be determined in consultation with the Committee on Firearms Ban and Security Personnel created under Sec. the motorists did not have any choice but to submit to the PNP's scrutiny. However. While Resolution No. the manner by which COMELEC proceeded against petitioner runs counter to the due process clause of the Constitution. 881 which provides that "the principals. 2323. 5. Aside from a search incident to a lawful arrest. it however stressed that "guidelines shall be made to ensure that no infringement of civil and political rights results from the implementation of this authority. of the Constitution. and stressed that the warrantless search is not violative of the Constitution Absent such justifying circumstances specifically pointing to the culpability of petitioner and Arellano. . to hardened criminals is a valuable right. was there any indication from the package or behavior of Arellano that could have triggered the suspicion of the policemen. III. a warrantless search had been upheld in cases of moving vehicles and the seizure of evidence in plain view. 21 We also recognize the stop-and-search without warrant conducted by police officers on the basis of prior confidential information which were reasonably corroborated by other attendant matters. accomplices and accessories. Art. 2327. [T]he right to an opportunity to avoid a process painful to anyone save. Court of Appeals. To deny petitioner's claim to a preliminary investigation would be to deprive him of the full measure of his right to due process. It may be argued that the seeming acquiescence of Arellano to the search constitutes an implied waiver of petitioner's right to question the reasonableness of the search of the vehicle and the seizure of the firearms. hence. Apparently. in relation to Sec. par. and the reason for the same have been announced in the media to forewarn the citizens. . 23 where the information that a Caucasian coming from Sagada bringing prohibited drugs was strengthened by the conspicuous bulge in accused's waistline. In the case of petitioner. Petitioner then was made to believe that he was not a party for as long as the vehicle is neither searched nor its occupants subjected to a body search. 261. Finally. the PNP could not thoroughly search the car lawfully as well as the package without violating the constitutional injunction. The facts show that petitioner was not among those charged by the PNP with violation of the Omnibus Election Code. It was not shown that news of impending checkpoints without necessarily giving their locations. The records do not show that the manner by which the package was bundled led the PNP to suspect that it contained firearms. . the "implied acquiescence. 2. and "consent" given under intimidating or coercive circumstances is no consent within the purview of the constitutional guaranty. we upheld the validity of the warrantless search in situations where the smell of marijuana emanated from a plastic bag owned by the accused. 25 where the accused carrying a bulging black leather bag were suspiciously quiet and nervous when queried about its contents. the firearms obtained in violation of petitioner's right against warrantless search cannot be admitted for any purpose in any proceeding. 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. Nor did the informal checkpoint that afternoon carry signs informing the public of the purpose of its operation. whatever the source of such rights.P. 18 Petitioner contends that the guns were not tucked in Arellano's waist nor placed within his reach. the search could not be valid. The non-disclosure by the City Prosecutor to the petitioner that he was a respondent in the preliminary investigation is violative of due process which requires that the procedure established by law should be obeyed.." 28 The facts show that PNP installed the checkpoint at about five o'clock in the afternoon of 13 January 1992. there were reports by an undercover "deep penetration" agent that appellants were bringing prohibited drugs into the country. Given these circumstances and relying on its visual observation. 26 or where the identity of the drug courier was already established by police authorities who received confidential information about the probable arrival of accused on board one of the vessels arriving in Dumaguete City." It points out that it was upon petitioner's instruction that Arellano brought the firearms in question outside petitioner's residence. it is a component part of due process in criminal justice. and the inspection of the vehicle is merely limited to a visual search. driver Arellano did not know the purpose of the checkpoint. 31 Due process guarantees the observance of both substantive and procedural rights. There was no mention either of any report regarding any nervous. The search was made soon thereafter. 29 driver Arellano being alone and a mere employee of petitioner could not have marshalled the strength and the courage to protest against the extensive search conducted in the vehicle. any attempt to turnabout albeit innocent would raise suspicion and provide probable cause for the police to arrest the motorist and to conduct an extensive search of his vehicle. 2327 authorized the setting up of checkpoints. we find no need to delve into the alleged constitutional infirmity of Resolution No. Resolution No. In the face of fourteen (14) armed policemen conducting the operation. Nor was he subjected by the City Prosecutor to a preliminary investigation for such offense. 33 we held that — While the right to preliminary investigation is statutory rather than constitutional in its fundament. 24 where the physical appearance of the accused fitted the description given in the confidential information about a woman transporting marijuana." if there was any. and his suspicious failure to produce his passport and other identification papers.

360. with the assistance of counsel de parte. Petitioners. The police saw five persons inside the jeepney then loaded with assorted vegetables. conspiring. 1998. 98-CR-3138. The case was raffled to the Regional Trial Court. The police immediately arrested and investigated petitioners. In a Resolution4 dated July 26. Benguet was loaded with Benguet pine lumber. Marso Insiong Dumpit. docketed as CA-G. pleaded not guilty to the charge. petitioner clearly did not waive his right to a preliminary investigation. Finally.6 The above rule. NELSONIDA T. 2007 The evidence for the prosecution shows that at around 2:30 p. Regional Trial Court. a search and seizure must be carried through with judicial warrant. Consequently. Article III of the Constitution which provides: The right of the people to be secure in their persons. it can be stopped and searched without a warrant. Petitioner's protestation started as soon as he learned of his inclusion in the charge. Atok. the PNP operatives spotted the jeepney heading toward La Trinidad. 705.R. he found some pieces of lumber under it. and Rodrigo Palasi. (3) search in violation of customs laws.: Assailed in this Petition for Review on Certiorari is the Decision1 of the Court of Appeals dated September 15. 148117 March 22. the fundamental law of the land recognizes and protects the right of a person to privacy against unreasonable intrusions by the agents of the State. otherwise. and did not ease up even after COMELEC's denial of his motion for reconsideration. the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor of Benguet Province charged Mabini Epie. Section 3(2). Province of Benguet. Branch 10. 55684. also of Article III. of Benguet Pine lumber having a total market value of TWENTY FOUR THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED SIXTY PESOS (P24. the instant petition is GRANTED. SP No. No. Against such strong stance. Respondents. (5) search MABINI EPIE. This right to undisturbed privacy is guaranteed by Section 2. and that the confiscated pieces of lumber are admissible in evidence against the accused. holding that respondent judge did not commit grave abuse of discretion tantamount to lack or excess of jurisdiction. Sarap. AYB 117 at Km. J. Hence. Municipality of Tublay. provides that any evidence obtained in violation of the above provision shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding. 1998. filed a "Motion to Suppress Evidence of the Prosecution" on the ground that the pieces of Benguet pine lumber were illegally seized. COMELEC Resolution No. In this jurisdiction. 1999. the Court of Appeals rendered its Decision dismissing the petition. Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila FIRST DIVISION G. Subsequently. ULAT-MARREDO. with violation of Section 68 of Presidential Decree No. Armando Palasi. to the damage and prejudice of the GOVERNMENT in the actual sum aforesaid.CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II REQUIREMENTS OF FAIR PROCEDURE respondent in the case. houses. vs. Branch 10. not petitioner himself. 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. (4) seizure of the evidence in plain view. thus: (1) search incident to a lawful arrest. that the search conducted without warrant by the police officers is valid. and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized. papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable. Trial then ensued. In People v. 55684 assailing the said Resolutions of the trial court. is not devoid of exceptions. SPO2 Ngina immediately relayed the information to SPO4 Rentao Quitoriano and SPO1 Domingo Pulig. docketed as Criminal Case No. such search and seizure constitutes derogation of a constitutional right. La Trinidad. both petitioners. as a general rule. of the same day. confederating. The warrantless search conducted by the Philippine National Police on 13 January 1992 is declared illegal and the firearms seized during the warrantless search cannot be used as evidence in any proceeding against petitioner. The motion itself expresses petitioner's vigorous insistence on his right. 96. THE HON. the above-named accused. JR. Jr. SP No. They flagged it down but it did not stop.2 as amended. ft. Petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration of the Decision. 92-0829 dated 6 April 1992 being violative of the Constitution is SET ASIDE.m. On September 15. and mutually aiding each other and without any authority of law or without any license or permit granted by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). 2001. however. and RODRIGO PALASI. (2) search of a moving motor vehicle.R. UlatMarredo). petitioners. unlawfully and feloniously possess and transport 870 bd. they chased the vehicle up to Shilan. La Trinidad where it finally halted. Benguet. CONTRARY TO LAW. like womboc3 and chili. Benguet and THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. WHEREFORE. 1999. it was denied in a Resolution dated September 27.R. This is understandably so since the prohibition against carrying firearms bears the penalty of imprisonment of not less than one (1) year nor more than six (6) years without probation and with disqualification from holding public office. . The facts of the case as gleaned from the records are: In an Information dated September 22. petitioners. and with intent of gain and without the knowledge and consent of the owner thereof. 2000 in CA-G. Hence. The Informtion reads: That on or about the 6th day of September 1998. through counsel. Tublay. SPO2 Alberto Ngina of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Tublay Station received an information from a confidential agent that a jeepney with Plate No. The temporary restraining order we issued on 5 May 1992 is made permanent. therefore. Only petitioners were charged with violation of Section 68 of the Revised Forestry Code. Likewise. Presiding Judge. so that his written explanation on the incident was only intended to exculpate Arellano. Petitioners then filed a motion for reconsideration. petitioners filed with the Court of Appeals a petition for certiorari and prohibition. and Ben Arinos. it was denied in a Resolution5 dated April 11. When arraigned. They then swiftly established a checkpoint in Acop. did then and there willfully. When SPO4 Quitoriano lifted a womboc. respondent judge denied the motion. it must be pointed out too that petitioner's filing of a motion for reconsideration with COMELEC cannot be considered as a waiver of his claim to a separate preliminary investigation for himself.00). the instant petition raising the sole issue of whether the police officers have a probable cause to believe that the subject vehicle was loaded with illegal cargo and that.7 we listed the exceptions where search and seizure may be conducted without warrant. of September 6. SO ORDERED. Hence. However. The driver and his companions admitted they have no permit to transport the lumber. After the prosecution presented its evidence. La Trinidad. Benguet (presided by respondent Judge Nelsonida T. 2000. along the Halsema National Highway at Acop. At around 4:00 p. Hence. Philippine Currency. and deprivation of the right to suffrage. belonging to the REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES. it cannot be seriously contended that petitioner was fully given the opportunity to meet the accusation against him as he was not apprised that he was himself a respondent when he appeared before the City Prosecutor.m. DECISION SANDOVAL-GUTIERREZ.

The Information filed against appellant alleged: The undersigned State Prosecutor accuses BERNARDO TUAZON y NICOLAS of the crime of Violation of Section 16. a confidential information that a Gemini car bearing plate number PFC 4116 would deliver an unspecified amount ofshabu in Marville Subdivision. 1999.: For Review is the Decision1 of the Court of Appeals promulgated on 31 July 2006 in CA-G. They flagged it down but it did not stop.m. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila THIRD DIVISION G. the men pointed to him a green colored Isuzu Gemini car which according to him was driven by his employer. The test conducted on the specimen turned over to the crime laboratory yielded the following: FINDINGS: Qualitative examination conducted on the above-stated specimen gave POSITIVE result to the test for Methylamphetamine Hydrochloride.41 grams. Antipolo City Chief of Police Major Rene Quintana dispatched a team of policemen to the area to conduct a surveillance.R. vs. we DENY the petition and AFFIRM the assailed Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. CR-HC No. At around 4:00 p. In People v. he reported for work at six o‘clock in the evening. In the Joint Affidavit executed by PO3 Bueno and PO1 Padlan. duly assisted by counsel de oficio. 55684. After revealing this information to the unidentified men. he was allegedly forced to admit that he was in fact the owner of the Gemini car as well as of the shabu and the gun recovered from said vehicle. When the team arrived in Marville Subdivision. Antipolo City." affirming the Decision2 dated 14 October 2002 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC). an instance where a warrantless search and seizure may be conducted by peace officers. Costs against petitioners. Aruta. La Trinidad. As soon as appellant stepped down from the vehicle. According to him. Here.8 Methylamphetamine PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. the Antipolo City Police Station received through telephone. The men allegedly asked him regarding the whereabouts of Reyes and threatened to include him in whatever trouble Reyes was in. Tublay. the latter purportedly pointed guns at him and ordered him to board an owner-type jeepney. not being lawfully authorized to possess any . did then and there willfully. 6425. 95. He learned later on that he was charged with violations of Republic Act No. committed as follows: That. After two days. 5. (6) stop and frisk. Thereupon. 1998. he used to work as a caretaker of "Curacha. Benguet to intercept the jeepney. Verily. unlawfully and feloniously have in his possession. the Court of Appeals did not err in holding that respondent judge did not commit grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when she ruled that the warrantless search is valid and that the lumber seized is admissible in evidence against petitioners.4 Upon arraignment. Vinecarao. R.R. pistol marked Parabellum bearing serial number C-9890 with one loaded magazine with eleven ammunition. Later that night. "People of the Philippines v.47 grams.3 as amended. A search of the vehicle disclosed several pieces of Benguet pine lumber.17 grams for a total weight of 250. Reyes. Appellant was thereafter immediately brought to the police station. The only requirement in these exceptions is the presence of probable cause.10 we ruled that where a vehicle sped away after noticing a checkpoint and even after having been flagged down by police officers. The driver of the car pulled to a stop and opened a window of said vehicle giving the policemen the opportunity to identify themselves as members of the Antipolo City Police Station. regulated drug.CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II REQUIREMENTS OF FAIR PROCEDURE when the accused himself waives his right against unreasonable searches and seizures. 2. probable cause must only be based on reasonable ground of suspicion or belief that a crime has been committed or is about to be committed. 6425.m. Antipolo City. 2007 Expectedly. but Reyes who was driving the Gemini car. On 6 March 1999.9 we ruled that in warrantless searches. finding accused-appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violation of Section 16. they discovered "2 big plastic bag (sic) and 5 medium size plastic (sic) and a 9 mm. No. This prompted PO3 Bueno to order appellant to get down from the car. 175783 September 3. SO ORDERED. on or about the 7th day of March. unidentified men walked up to him. accused-appellant. It was then that PO1 Manuel Padlan (PO1 Padlan) saw a gun tucked on appellant‘s waist. a regulated drug.A. custody and control seven (7) heat-sealed transparent plastic bags each containing 97. The only issue we should determine is whether there was probable cause to justify such warrantless search and seizure. appellant reiterated that he should not have been the one charged with illegal possession of shabu. which after the corresponding laboratory examination conducted gave positive result to the test for methylamphetamine hydrochloride also known as "shabu" a regulated drug. A few hours passed and he was then brought to the police headquarters where he was asked regarding his address and the name of his employer. BERNARDO TUAZON Y NICOLAS. 6425 for illegal possession of shabuand Presidential Decree No. Marville II Subdivision and owned by a certain Bong Reyes. the above-named accused. DECISION CHICO-NAZARIO. plaintiff-appellee.R. the search involved a moving vehicle. of September 6. One of these men asked him regarding the ownership of the car parked outside the bar. WHEREFORE. discreet. We recall that at around 2:30 p. A PNP roadblock was then placed in Acop. AYB 117 loaded with Benguet pine lumber was at Km. Branch 71. CONCLUSION: Specimens A-1 through A-7 contains Hydrochloride. as amended. x x x. a confidential informer disclosed to SPO2 Ngina that a passenger jeepney with Plate No. in the City of Antipolo. PO1 Padlan inquired about the gun and appellant allegedly replied it did not belong to him nor could he produce any pertinent document relating to said firearm.46 grams." a beer house/videoke bar located along Circumferential Road. The lumber was covered with assorted vegetables. At the end of his direct examination. a regulated drug. There is no hard and fast rule or fixed formula in determining probable cause for its determination varies according to the facts of each case. forcing the police to chase it until it reached Shilan. The latter case was eventually dismissed. 01799 entitled. and prudent man to believe that an offense has been committed and that the objects sought in connection with the offense are in the place to be searched. pleaded not guilty. x x x. 99-16114. 5. Article III. 40. This ruling squarely applies to the present case. appellant. in an apparent attempt to dissuade the police from proceeding with their inspection. SP No. 96.8 In People v.92 grams.95 grams and 3. J. He allegedly accompanied the men outside so he could confirm the identity of the owner of the car that the men were inquiring about. in Criminal Case No. appellant presented a vastly different account of the events that led to his indictment. Acting on said tip. 1866 for illegal possession of firearm. Atok. Quezon City for examination. the contents of which appellant allegedly admitted to be shabu. PO3 Bueno saw five plastic sachets on the driver‘s seat.74 grams of white crystalline substance."7 The white crystalline substance confiscated from appellant was then forwarded to the Philippine National Police Crime Laboratory in Camp Crame.5 The prosecution‘s version of the case relied heavily on the testimony of PO3 Glenon Bueno (PO3 Bueno) who testified that in the morning of 7 March 1999. Probable cause is the existence of such facts and circumstances which would lead a reasonable. in violation of the above-cited law. Petitioners could not produce the required DENR permit to cut and transport the same.36 grams. Bernardo Tuazon y Nicolas. Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. they saw the said Gemini car and immediately flagged it down. it was stated that when they frisked appellant. there exists probable cause to justify a reasonable belief on the part of the law enforcers that the persons on board said vehicle were officers of the law or that the vehicle contained objects which were instruments of some offense. Article III of Republic Act No. Benguet. and (7) exigent and emergency circumstances. of that same day. the police spotted the vehicle.

and was not about to commit any crime which could have justified his apprehension.10 In addition to the required brief. Antipolo City. Q: How did you come to know him? A: Because we arrested Bernardo Tuazon. and CA Ronald Naval.25 Our careful review of the records of this case reveals that the trial court did not err in relying on the testimony of PO3 Bueno. He had not committed. sir. unless attended with arbitrariness or plain disregard of pertinent facts or circumstances. which modified the pertinent provisions of the Rules of Court with respect to direct appeals from the RTCs to this Court of cases where the penalty imposed is death. Antipolo City. the October 14.24 Thus. we required the parties to file their respective supplemental briefs.21 On 19 February 2007. He goes on to argue that even if he had waived the issue regarding the validity of his arrest by his failure to raise the matter before entering his plea. Q: Do you know that person involved or who is the person supposed to deliver an undetermined amount of "shabu"? A: The asset did not say who will deliver the shabu but he only said on the telephone that the car is a Gemini bearing plate number PFC 411 who will deliver at said place. the authorities were already informed of his identity and his alleged illegal activities.CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II REQUIREMENTS OF FAIR PROCEDURE The trial court found the evidence presented by the prosecution sufficient to support a guilty verdict and imposed upon appellant the penalty of reclusion perpetua and to pay a fine of P500.17 Appellant is again before this Court pleading his innocence by making a lone assignment of error – THE TRIAL COURT GRAVELY ERRED IN CONVICTING THE ACCUSEDAPPELLANT FOR VIOLATION OF SECTION 16. ARTICLE III. reclusion perpetua. Q: Mr. sir.13 In sustaining the trial court. In insisting that the trial court should not have given credence to the testimony of PO3 Bueno. in contravention of this Court‘s edict that the decisions must distinctly and clearly express their factual and legal bases. having heard the witnesses themselves and observed their deportment and manner of testifying. sir. where were you assigned as police officer sometime in the month of March 1999? WITNESS: A: At the Antipolo Police Station. the factual findings are accorded the highest degree of respect on appeal.000. we reiterate the rule that appellate courts will generally not disturb factual findings of the trial court since the latter has the unique opportunity to weigh conflicting testimonies. the Court of Appeals found PO3 Bueno‘s testimony to be "clear and unequivocal"14and should therefore prevail over appellant‘s defense of denial.12 The Court of Appeals affirmed the findings and conclusion of the court a quo.00. REPUBLIC ACT 6425. We also required the parties to file their respective briefs. will you please point him out? A: He is that person wearing yellow T-shirt. They should have conducted a prior surveillance and then sought a search warrant from the court. He contends that at the time of his warrantless arrest. Witness. AS AMENDED. 1999? WITNESS: A: At the Antipolo Police Station. do you know accused Bernardo Tuazon? A: Yes. appellant filed a supplementary pleading in which he questioned the validity of his arrest and the admissibility of the evidence presented against him. sir. sir. LEGAL RESEARCHER ACTING AS INTERPRETER: The witness is pointing to a male person inside the courtroom when confronted give his name as Bernardo Tuazon. appellant is basically making an issue about a witness‘s credibility. he was merely driving within Marville Subdivision. sir.9 On 17 September 2003. In addition. The dispositive portion of the Court of Appeals‘ Decision states: WHEREFORE.23 The appeal must fail. Mateo. He notes that the court a quo‘s evaluation of the facts and evidence was contained in only two paragraphs and was utterly lacking in substantial discussion. 11 On 23 February 2005.15 The Court of Appeals likewise brushed aside appellant‘s contention that he was a victim of frame-up as this defense has been viewed with disfavor and has become a standard line of defense in most prosecutions arising from violations of the Dangerous Drugs Act. 2002 Decision of the Regional Trial Court. 20 Appellant likewise points out the trial court‘s supposed failure to substantiate the factual and legal bases for his conviction. Q: About what? A: About delivery of shabu of undetermined amount in the area of Marville Subdivision. Witness. LUNA: Thank you. he insists that the prosecution failed to meet the exacting test of moral certainty required for conviction and that the trial court should not have applied the presumption of regularity in the performance of duties on the part of the police officers. 99-16114. Q: If the accused in this case is present before this Court. PO3 Bueno recounted their encounter with appellant as follows: PROS. the records of the case having been forwarded to this Court by the RTC. Appellant claims that as the confidential informant had been cooperating with the police for three weeks prior to his arrest.19 He also maintains that he was an easy target of police operatives. was not committing. LUNA: Q: Do you recall where were you at about 12:10 in the morning of March 7. In this regard. In open court. Branch 71.16 It also took note of appellant‘s failure to give any credible reason why the police singled him out considering that they were strangers to one another prior to the date of the incident. your honor.18 Appellant contends that the trial court‘s reliance on the prosecution‘s evidence was erroneous considering that he.22 The Office of the Solicitor General likewise manifested that it would no longer file a supplemental brief. since he was a new employee in the videoke bar and was therefore unfamiliar with the people who frequented said establishment. appellant filed a Manifestation stating that he would no longer file a supplemental brief as all relevant matters for his defense were already discussed in his previous pleadings. Branch 71. . Q: Upon receipt of said information what did you do next? A: We informed our Chief of Police Major Rene Quintana. we resolved to accept the appeal interposed by appellant. could not have concocted his narration of the events that led to his arrest. we ordered the transfer of this case to the Court of Appeals conformably with our decision in People v. sir. as a mere grade school graduate. Q: While performing your functions. do you remember any unusual incident at that time? A: One of our confidential agents gave an information thru telephone. or life imprisonment. PROS. sir. Q: Who were your companions at that time? A: PO1 Manuel Padlan. Q: What were you doing then at that time? A: We were doing our duty as police investigator. in Criminal Case No. Absent said warrant. such waiver did not affect the unlawfulness of the search and seizure conducted by the police. On 17 April 2007. the shabu seized from him should be excluded from evidence. is hereby AFFIRMED. if they so desired. Antipolo City. Q: Mr.

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II REQUIREMENTS OF FAIR PROCEDURE Q: What was the reaction of Major Quintana? A: Our Chief of Police told us to do surveillance in the area. His testimony regarding the circumstances that occurred in the early hours of 7 March 1999 – from the moment their office received a confidential tip from their informer up to the time they accosted appellant – deserved to be given significance as it came from the mouth of a law enforcement officer who enjoys the presumption of regularity in the performance of his duty. This right is encapsulated in Article III. (3) search of a moving vehicle. LUNA: Q: What was the reaction of Bernardo Tuazon? WITNESS: A: He said that the gun is not his. and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized. however. Q: Upon seeing the car what did you do? A: We immediately conduct a check point. if you know? A: It gave positive result to the tests for methylamphetamine hydrochloride sir.31 . Q: What did he do? A: He questioned his gun and it turned out that there is no pertinent document for his gun. Q: What was the reaction of the driver of the vehicle? A: The driver opened the window and we identified ourselves as members of the Antipolo City Police Station. 2. and (7) exigent and emergency circumstances. Rule 126 of the Rules of Court and by prevailing jurisprudence. Q: If a picture of that car would be shown to you would you be able to identify it? A: Yes. Q: What do you mean "he was asked"? Who was asked? A: The driver. No less than our Constitution recognizes the right of the people to be secure in their persons. houses. Q: What happened after flagging down the car? A: When we flagged down the vehicle. what happened? WITNESS: A: I saw five (5) plastic bags on the driver‘s seat. The right of the people to be secure in their persons. (2) seizure of evidence in plain view. COURT: Q: After he got down from the car. sir. Q: What did you do with the "shabu"? A: We brought it to the PNP Crime Laboratory for examination. Bernardo Tuazon. sir. Q: What did you do next? A: We immediately recorded the dispatch and we boarded a marked vehicle and proceeded to the area in Marville Subdivision. and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable. PO1 Padlan saw a gun tucked on his waist.27 Appellant‘s bare-faced defense of denial cannot surmount the positive and affirmative testimony offered by the prosecution. that these constitutional provisions against warrantless searches and seizures admit of certain exceptions. what did you do? A: We flagged down the vehicle. as follows: (1) warrantless search incidental to a lawful arrest recognized under Section 12. Q: Upon seeing that plastic bag what did you do? A: I asked him the contents of that plastic and he replied that it contained shabu. sir. sir. Q: Upon reaching that place what happened? A: When we arrived in the subdivision we saw a Gemini car with plate number PFC 411.26 We agree with the Court of Appeals that the foregoing testimony of PO3 Bueno establishes beyond reasonable doubt appellant‘s culpability. Section 2 of the Constitution which states: SEC. It is recognized. Q: What did you do upon hearing the answer of the accused? A: We immediately brought him to the headquarters together with the evidence. sir. (6) stop and frisk. sir. (5) customs search. papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures. Q: Where is this located? A: In Barangay San Roque fronting along the highway in Antipolo City. Complementing this provision is the so-called exclusionary rule embodied in Section 3(2) of the same article – (2) Any evidence obtained in violation of this or the preceding section shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding. houses. PROS. It is well-settled that positive declarations of a prosecution witness prevail over the bare denials of an accused. papers. sir. Police officers are presumed to have acted regularly in the performance of their official functions in the absence of clear and convincing proof to the contrary or that they were moved by ill-will. sir. (4) consented warrantless search. 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. Q: Upon hearing that the gun was not owned by Bernardo Tuazon what did you do as police officer? A: I ordered him to get down from the car. COURT: Q: Did you know what Padlan did? WITNESS: A: Yes.29 Denial is an inherently weak defense which must be supported by strong evidence of nonculpability to merit credibility. straightforward and probable testimony on affirmative matters. sir.28 A defense of denial which is unsupported and unsubstantiated by clear and convincing evidence becomes negative and self-serving. sir. Q: What was the result of the examination. B-1 and B-2. Q: What did you do next? In your case what did you do? A: We identified ourselves as policem[e]n. sir. sir. Q: I am showing to you a picture already marked as Exhibit B. Q: Specifically. sir. we identified ourselves as police officers.. deserving no weight in law and cannot be given greater evidentiary value over convincing. What relation has this to the one you mentioned? A: This is the car where the accused was then on board. Q: What was the reaction of the driver? A: When he opened the window.30 We shall now resolve the issue raised by appellant regarding the admissibility of the physical evidence presented against him.

the decision is brief but to our mind. It readily informs appellant that the trial court disregarded his defense of bare denial in favor of the presumption of regularity in the performance of duties enjoyed by police officers. vs. Appellee. finding appellant Bernardo Tuazon y Nicolas guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violation of Section 16. finding appellant Belen Mariacos guilty of violating Article II. unlawfully and feloniously transport. 2005. in the Municipality of San Gabriel. 2010 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. should he believe that the decision needs to be reversed. Admittedly.] 9165. His failure amounts to a waiver of the objection on the legality of the search and the admissibility of the evidence obtained by the police." Nevertheless. 7144. is AFFIRMED. we hold that the police had probable cause to effect the warrantless search of the Gemini car driven by appellant. indeed. it sufficiently informed appellant as regards the bases for his conviction.) No. in the vehicle to be searched. This is so considering that before a warrant could be obtained. That the marijuana allegedly taken from the possession of the accused contained in two (2) bags were submitted for examination to the Crime Lab. CONTRARY TO LAW. the place. The facts of the case. or the existence of such facts and circumstances which could lead a reasonably discreet and prudent man to believe that an offense has been committed and that the items.: Before this Court is an appeal from the Decision1 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G. they found on the driver‘s seat plastic sachets containing white powdery substance. Article II of Republic Act [No. 3. Lunoy. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila SECOND DIVISION G. La Union. as summarized by the CA. That per Chemistry Report No.R. Lo Ho Wing. In any case. they saw a gun tucked in appellant‘s waist. accused-appellant pleaded not guilty. After he was told to step out of the car. 36 Appellant also faults the trial court for its failure to abide by the Constitutional requirement that "(n)o decision shall be rendered by any court without expressing therein clearly and distinctly the facts and the law on which it is based. San Gabriel. 188611 June 16. A decision that does not clearly and distinctly state the facts and the law on which it is based leaves the parties in the dark as to how it was reached and is especially prejudicial to the losing party. we disagree. During the pre-trial. the exception from securing a search warrant when it comes to moving vehicles does not give the police authorities unbridled discretion to conduct a warrantless search of an automobile. which affirmed the decision2 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC). Court of Appeals. are as follows: Accused-appellant Belen Mariacos was charged in an Information. the above-named accused. 5. or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. Article III of Republic Act No. 2. Province of La Union. in Criminal Case No. 2005. 4. The decision contained a summary of the facts of the case as presented by the prosecution and by the defense. San Fernando City. who is unable to pinpoint the possible errors of the court for review by a higher tribunal. Branch 29. allegedly committed as follows: "That on or about the 27th day of October. the Antipolo City police sent a team to Marville Subdivision to monitor said vehicle. (sic) grams of dried marijuana fruiting tops without the necessary permit or authority from the proper government agency or office.33 In Caballes v. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. Accused admits that she is the same person identified in the information as Belen Mariacos. 02718. . J.030. In recognition of the possible abuse. When a vehicle is flagged down and subjected to an extensive search. Appellant did not have any document to support his possession of said firearm which all the more strengthened the police‘s suspicion.R. Faithful adherence to the aforementioned constitutional provision is a vital component of due process and fair play. as amended.35 In this case. are sufficient to establish probable cause for the warrantless search of the Gemini car and the eventual admission into evidence of the plastic packets against appellant. did then and there willfully. Surely. It was only proper for the trial court to admit said evidence. dated November 7. we find that the assailed decision of the trial court substantially complied with the requirements of the Constitution. When they stopped the car. WHEREFORE. We might add that a warrantless search of a moving vehicle is justified on the ground that "it is not practicable to secure a warrant because the vehicle can be quickly moved out of the locality or jurisdiction in which the warrant must be sought. These circumstances. Pursuing said lead. thus: [T]he rules governing search and seizure have over the years been steadily liberalized whenever a moving vehicle is the object of the search on the basis of practicality. taken together. No costs.3. 01799 dated 31 July 2006. Section 5 of Republic Act (R. It likewise contained an explanation as to why it found appellant guilty as charged. The information provided by the informer turned out to be correct as. Philippines. articles or objects sought in connection with said offense or subject to seizure and destruction by law is in the place to be searched.CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II REQUIREMENTS OF FAIR PROCEDURE In the case of People v." When arraigned on December 13. it is required that probable cause exist in order to justify the warrantless search of a vehicle.A. the alleged drug submitted for examination gave positive result for the presence of marijuana. A confidential informer tipped them off that said car was going to deliver shabu at Marville Subdivision. That at the time of the arrest of the accused. deliver 7. such a warrantless search has been held to be valid as long as the officers conducting the search have reasonable or probable cause to believe prior to the search that they would find the instrumentality or evidence pertaining to a crime. 2005 of violating Section 5. accused had just alighted from a passenger jeepney. D-109-2005. the Gemini car was spotted in the place where it was said to be bringing shabu. La Union. the following were stipulated upon: "1. CR-HC No. To do so would render the aforementioned constitutional stipulations inutile and expose the citizenry to indiscriminate police distrust which could amount to outright harassment. the Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. 9165."37 Again. No. if permitted. jurisprudence dictates that at all times.34 the term "probable cause" was explained to mean – [A] reasonable ground of suspicion supported by circumstances sufficiently strong in themselves to warrant a cautious man‘s belief that the person accused is guilty of the offense with which he is charged. That accused is a resident of Brgy. CR-HC No.32 this Court had the occasion to elucidate on the rationale for the exemption of searches of moving vehicles from the requirement of search warrant. BELEN MARIACOS. SO ORDERED.39 In this case. appellant failed to timely object to the admissibility of the evidence against him on the ground that the same was obtained through a warrantless search.38 The rule takes an even more important significance for the losing party who is entitled to know why he lost so that he may appeal to a higher court.R. 6425. The required probable cause that will justify a warrantless search and seizure is not determined by a fixed formula but is resolved according to the facts of the case. things and persons to be searched must be described to the satisfaction of the issuing judge – a requirement which borders on the impossible in the case of smuggling effected by the use of a moving vehicle that can transport contraband from one place to another with impunity. Appellant. premises considered. the policy consideration behind the exemption of search of moving vehicles does not encompass such arbitrariness on the part of the police authorities. DECISION NACHURA.

arresting them. So.8 justified as a search of a moving vehicle. whichever was practicable. That the drugs allegedly obtained from the accused contained (sic) and submitted for examination weighed 7. accusedappellant. On the other hand. appellant claimed that the prosecution failed to prove the corpus delicti of the crime. xxxx Firstly. He told them that they were under arrest. He caught up with the women and introduced himself as a policeman. Pallayoc ("PO2 Pallayoc"). which was confirmed when he peeked into the bags and smelled the distinctive odor of marijuana. At the police station.10 The OSG brushed aside appellant‘s argument that the bricks of marijuana were not photographed and inventoried in her presence or that of her counsel immediately after confiscation. but one of the women got away. SO ORDERED. He then asked the other passengers on top of the jeepney about the owner of the bag. apparatuses. appellant contended that there was no probable cause for her arrest. averred that the prosecution failed to prove that the items allegedly confiscated were indeed prohibited drugs. Series of 1990. at around 7:00 in the morning. The CA ruled that appellant was caught in flagrante delicto of "carrying and conveying" the bag that contained the illegal drugs. The agent mentioned three (3) bags and one (1) blue plastic bag. but she was persuaded later when she was told that she would only be carrying the bags. the San Gabriel Police Station of San Gabriel. At the police station (sic) she executed a Counter-Affidavit. La Union. this Court opines that the invocation of Section 2.6 Further. The failure to comply with this directive. appellant claimed. PO2 Pallayoc was upon them. conducted a checkpoint near the police station at the poblacion to intercept a suspected transportation of marijuana from Barangay Balbalayang.5 She claimed that her right against an unreasonable search was flagrantly violated by Police Officer (PO)2 Pallayoc when the latter searched the bag. While the jeepney was still at the terminal waiting for passengers. he did not notice who took the black backpack from atop the jeepney. who shall be required to sign copies of the inventory.9 The OSG also argued that appellant was now estopped from questioning the illegality of her arrest since she voluntarily entered a plea of "not guilty" upon arraignment and participated in the trial and presented her evidence. She averred that PO2 Pallayoc‘s purpose for apprehending her was to verify if the bag she was carrying was the same one he had illegally searched earlier. the RTC promulgated a decision. through the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG). and the bags to the police station. but no one knew. and two (2) bricks of marijuana fruiting tops. and other policemen. Mercedes Tila and Magdalena Carino. including a blue plastic bag. San Gabriel. the dispositive portion of which states: WHEREFORE. The existence of the affidavits executed by the witnesses of the accused family (sic): Lyn Punasen. Lani Herbacio disappeared. It was also at the police station that accused-appellant discovered the true contents of the bags which she was asked to carry.3 On January 31. The 7. 3." marking and peeked inside its contents.4 Appellant appealed her conviction to the CA. accused-appellant refused. in Barangay Balbalayang.030. 7. contained dangerous drugs. 2007. Lao-ang handed accusedappellant and her companion. the CA dismissed appellant‘s appeal and affirmed the RTC decision in toto. the agent described a backpack bag with an "O. immediately after seizure or confiscation. Article III of the Constitution is misplaced. The Prosecutor admits the existence of a counter-affidavit executed by the accused. the investigators contacted the Mayor of San Gabriel to witness the opening of the bags. and to establish the chain of custody over the same. were already being carried away by two (2) women. A few moments later.3 grams. as amended by Board Regulation No. The laboratory examination showed that the stuff found in the bags all tested positive for marijuana. and then Laoang suddenly ran away. La Union. the Court finds the accused Belen Mariacos GUILTY as charged and sentences here (sic) to suffer the penalty of life imprisonment and to pay a fine of P500. the Chief of Police. PO2 Pallayoc brought the woman. He saw the bricks of marijuana wrapped in newspaper. 2005. the bags. when PO2 Pallayoc looked into the contents of the suspicious bags. When the Mayor arrived about fifteen (15) minutes later. she testified that: On October 27. Lani Herbacio. 2. PO2 Pallayoc found bricks of marijuana wrapped in newspapers. He only realized a few moments later that the said bag and three (3) other bags. Unfortunately. and articles. At the time. casts a serious doubt on the identity of the items allegedly confiscated from her. Moreover. inventoried and forwarded the confiscated marijuana to the crime laboratory for examination. when inspected by the police. and 8. Thereafter. The said regulation directs the apprehending team having initial custody and control of the drugs and/or paraphernalia. He asked the other passengers atop the jeepney but no one knew who owned the bags. in the evening.CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II REQUIREMENTS OF FAIR PROCEDURE 6. there was no identified owner. She argued that the trial court erred in considering the evidence of the prosecution despite its inadmissibility." During the trial. PO2 Pallayoc met with a secret agent of the Barangay Intelligence Network who informed him that a baggage of marijuana had been loaded on a passenger jeepney that was about to leave for the poblacion. . PO2 Pallayoc alighted together with the other passengers.3 grams of marijuana are ordered confiscated and turned over to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency for destruction in the presence of the Court personnel and media. When it was accused-appellant‘s turn to present evidence. the prosecution established the following evidence: On October 26. Series of 1979.7 She alleged that the apprehending police officers violated Dangerous Drugs Board Regulation No. assuming it was hers. She maintained that she was not the owner of the bags and that she did not know what were contained in the bags. a dangerous drug.000. argued that the warrantless arrest of appellant and the warrantless seizure of marijuana were valid and legal. one Bennie Lao-ang ("Lao-ang").00. together with Lani Herbacio. were recovered.12 It held that the prosecution had successfully proven that appellant carried away from the jeepney a number of bags which. which prescribes the procedure in the custody of seized prohibited and regulated drugs. When the jeepney reached the poblacion. the Chief of Police instructed PO2 Pallayoc to proceed to Barangay Balbalayang to conduct surveillance operation (sic). When they were at the police station." marking. The group at the checkpoint was composed of PO2 Lunes B. PO2 Pallayoc needed only to see for himself to whom those bags belonged. positing that physical inventory may be done at the nearest police station or at the nearest office of the apprehending team. requested her to carry a few bags which had been loaded on top of the jeepney. Thus. the bags were opened and three (3) bricks of marijuana wrapped in newspaper. When the checkpoint did not yield any suspect or marijuana. when he saw accused-appellant carrying the bags. Without explanation.K. While the vehicle was in motion. he found the black backpack with an "O. was inside a passenger jeepney bound for the poblacion. At dawn on October 27. to have the same physically inventoried and photographed in the presence of appellant or her representative. two (2) round bundles of marijuana. 2009. the People. instruments. The appellate court ratiocinated: It must be stressed that PO2 Pallayoc had earlier ascertained the contents of the bags when he was aboard the jeep. the investigators marked.030. and thus held that appellant‘s warrantless arrest was valid. At first.11 In a Decision dated January 19. without a search warrant and with no permission from her. When they reached the poblacion. 2005. She. PO2 Pallayoc then boarded the said jeepney and positioned himself on top thereof. It averred that PO2 Pallayoc had reasonable ground to believe that appellant had committed the crime of delivering dangerous drugs based on reliable information from their agent. who was later identified as herein accused-appellant Belen Mariacos.K. they were brought to the police station. Further. her neighbor. That said marijuana was on board the jeepney to be delivered to a specified destination was already unlawful. likewise. 2005. there could be no violation of the right when no one was entitled thereto at that time. all wrapped in a newspaper. PO2 Pallayoc was within his lawful duty to make a warrantless arrest of accused-appellant.

clear parameters in determining which are proper and which are not. Thus. providing. more or less. such a warrantless search has been held to be valid only as long as the officers conducting the search have reasonable or probable cause to believe before the search that they will find the instrumentality or evidence pertaining to a crime. (d) "plain view" justified mere seizure of evidence without further search. and had set up a checkpoint around the area to intercept the suspects.16 the Court said: The constitutional proscription against warrantless searches and seizures admits of certain exceptions.22 Given the discussion above. a search warrant would have been of no use because the motor vehicle had already left the locality. Thirdly.15 In People v. Bagista. in the absence of actual belief of the arresting officers. houses. A search warrant may readily be obtained when the search is made in a store.19 The grounds of suspicion are reasonable when. the place. in the vehicle to be searched. x x x the search was conducted in a moving vehicle. Over the years. the facts of the case show the urgency of the situation. Rule 126 of the Rules of Court and by prevailing jurisprudence." 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. 6. to no avail. This is so considering that before a warrant could be obtained. gives the police officers unlimited discretion to conduct warrantless searches of automobiles in the absence of probable cause. Law and jurisprudence have laid down the instances when a warrantless search is valid. Highly regulated by the government. he only had enough time to board the vehicle before the same left for its destination. Indeed. i.14 Both the trial court and the CA anchored their respective decisions on the fact that the search was conducted on a moving vehicle to justify the validity of the search. and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.13 Appellant is now before this Court. The essential requisite of probable cause must be satisfied before a warrantless search and seizure can be lawfully conducted. PO2 Pallayoc met the secret agent from the Barangay Intelligence Network. PO2 Pallayoc had to make a quick decision and act fast.21 This exception is easy to understand. The local police has been trying to intercept the transport of the illegal drugs for more than a day. Thus. Otherwise.CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II REQUIREMENTS OF FAIR PROCEDURE Secondly. Thus. It is well to remember that on October 26. and 7. 2. however. the night before appellant‘s arrest. Indeed. things and persons to be searched must be described to the satisfaction of the issuing judge – a requirement which borders on the impossible in instances where moving vehicle is used to transport contraband from one place to another with impunity. under the facts.1avvphi1 Appellant‘s main argument before the CA centered on the inadmissibility of the evidence used against her. It would be unreasonable to require him to procure a warrant before conducting the search under the circumstances. papers. it is readily apparent that the search in this case is valid. a search of a moving vehicle has been justified on the ground that the mobility of motor vehicles makes it possible for the vehicle to move out of the locality or jurisdiction in which the warrant must be sought. when PO2 Pallayoc was tipped by the secret agent of the Barangay Intelligence Network. Section 2 of the Philippine Constitution provides: Section 2. 5. appealing her conviction. we are asked to determine the limits of the powers of the State‘s agents to conduct searches and seizures. dwelling house or other immobile structure. the search of a moving vehicle is one of the doctrinally accepted exceptions to the Constitutional mandate that no search or seizure shall be made except by virtue of a warrant issued by a judge after personally determining the existence of probable cause. and the seizure of evidence in plain view. Consented warrantless search. This in no way. Once again. Warrantless search incidental to a lawful arrest recognized under Section 12 [now Section 13].e. on an aircraft. Time and again. 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. The vehicle that carried the contraband or prohibited drugs was about to leave. and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable.17 Without probable cause. and that the items. then there would have been probable cause for the warrantless arrest of appellant. Stop and Frisk. Seizure of evidence in "plain view. 2005. Customs search. 3. At dawn of October 27. the articles seized cannot be admitted in evidence against the person arrested. Exigent and Emergency Circumstances.20 Over the years. PO2 Pallayoc could not be expected to secure a search warrant in order to check the contents of the bags which were loaded on top of the moving jeepney. These are: 1.. (b) the evidence was inadvertently discovered by the police who had the right to be where they are. PO2 Pallayoc had no other recourse than to verify as promptly as possible the tip and check the contents of the bags. If it was. articles or objects sought in connection with said offense or subject to seizure and destruction by law are in the place to be searched. A reasonable suspicion therefore must be founded on probable cause. (c) the evidence must be immediately apparent[. But it is impracticable to obtain a warrant when the search is conducted on a mobile ship. who informed him that a baggage of . the police received information that marijuana was to be transported from Barangay Balbalayang. It refers to the existence of such facts and circumstances that can lead a reasonably discreet and prudent man to believe that an offense has been committed. The right of the people to be secure in their persons. The searching officer had no time to obtain a warrant. coupled with good faith on the part of the peace officers making the arrest. It is well to remember that in the instances we have recognized as exceptions to the requirement of a judicial warrant. it is necessary that the officer effecting the arrest or seizure must have been impelled to do so because of probable cause. With regard to the search of moving vehicles. the suspicion that the person to be arrested is probably guilty of committing the offense is based on actual facts. Article III. supported by circumstances sufficiently strong in themselves to create the probable cause of guilt of the person to be arrested. a warrantless search had been upheld in cases of a moving vehicle. When a vehicle is stopped and subjected to an extensive search. Time was of the essence in this case.18 Probable cause is defined as a reasonable ground of suspicion supported by circumstances sufficiently strong in themselves to induce a cautious man to believe that the person accused is guilty of the offense charged. this Court had laid down the rules on searches and seizures. this had been justified on the ground that the mobility of motor vehicles makes it possible for the vehicle to be searched to move out of the locality or jurisdiction in which the warrant must be sought. Search of a moving vehicle. 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. Aside from a search incident to a lawful arrest. or in other motor vehicles since they can quickly be moved out of the locality or jurisdiction where the warrant must be sought. the rules governing search and seizure have been steadily liberalized whenever a moving vehicle is the object of the search on the basis of practicality. She claims that her constitutional right against unreasonable searches was flagrantly violated by the apprehending officer.] and. we must determine if the search was lawful. 2005.

9165 prescribes the procedure for custody and disposition of seized dangerous drugs. The penalty of imprisonment ranging from twelve (12) years and one (1) day to twenty (20) years and a fine ranging from One hundred thousand pesos (P100. is of no consequence. instruments. appellant averred that the packages she was carrying did not belong to her but to a neighbor who had asked her to carry the same for him. to wit: Section 21. controlled precursors and essential chemicals. Plant Sources of Dangerous Drugs. unless authorized by law. Seized and/or Surrendered Dangerous Drugs. a representative from the media and the Department of Justice (DOJ). is punishable under the Dangerous Drugs Act. the ownership thereof is immaterial. without legal authority. proof of ownership of the confiscated marijuana is not necessary. is actually committing. Rule 126 of the Rules of Court provides: SEC. give away to another. or shall act as a broker in any of such transactions.A. Lao-ang ran away after they disembarked from the jeepney. seized and/or surrendered. Custody and Disposition of Confiscated. When an accused is charged with illegal possession or transportation of prohibited drugs. dispatch in transit or transport any dangerous drug. and/or Surrendered Dangerous Drugs. PO2 Pallayoc had probable cause to search the packages allegedly containing illegal drugs. like anti-gambling laws. deliver. we have held that a search substantially contemporaneous with an arrest can precede the arrest if the police has probable cause to make the arrest at the outset of the search. and not to continue on their journey without knowing where they were taking the bags.24 Be that as it may.000. appellant argues that the prosecution failed to prove the corpus delicti of the crime.29 Jurisprudence defines "transport" as "to carry or convey from one place to another. 5. Instruments/Paraphernalia and/or Laboratory Equipment. – The PDEA shall take charge and have custody of all dangerous drugs. Delivery. it is but logical to first ask what the packages contained and where these would be taken. for proper disposition in the following manner: (a) The apprehending officer/team having initial custody and control of the drugs shall. Search incident to lawful arrest.00) to Ten million pesos (P10. immediately after seizure and confiscation. physically inventory and photograph the same in the presence of the accused or the person/s from whom such items were confiscated and/or seized.34 Appellant failed to rebut this presumption. plant sources of dangerous drugs.25 Given that the search was valid.35 Thus. and any elected public official who shall be required to sign the copies of the inventory and be given a . or is attempting to commit an offense. dispatch in transit or transport any controlled precursor and essential chemical. administer. Instruments/Paraphernalia and/or Laboratory Equipment. apparatuses.000. Laws defining crimes mala prohibita condemn behavior directed not against particular individuals. or has escaped while being transferred from one confinement to another. (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. distribute. plant sources of dangerous drugs. Although.000. to wit: SEC. In cases falling under paragraphs (a) and (b) above. Distribution and Transportation of Dangerous Drugs and/or Controlled Precursors and Essential Chemicals. Appellant‘s narration of facts deserves little credence.—A peace officer or a private person may. 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 of Rule 112. but against public order. and articles. or his/her representative or counsel.000. as in this case. administer. dispense. are regulatory statutes. as appellant said.00) to Five hundred thousand pesos (P500. The Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of R.31 The fact that there is actual conveyance suffices to support a finding that the act of transporting was committed and it is immaterial whether or not the place of destination is reached. Dispensation. This contention. Custody and Disposition of Confiscated. unless authorized by law. Section 13. Plant Sources of Dangerous Drugs. In all prosecutions for violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act. Article II. The dangerous drug is the very corpus delicti of that crime. Arrest without warrant. appellant‘s arrest based on that search is also valid. Next.—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. and any elected public official who shall be required to sign the copies of the inventory and be given a copy thereof. seized and/or surrendered. a representative from the media and the Department of Justice (DOJ). 9165 further provides: SECTION 21. Thus. – The penalty of life imprisonment to death and a fine ranging from Five hundred thousand pesos (P500. Lack of criminal intent and good faith are not exempting circumstances where the crime charged is malum prohibitum. the existence of all dangerous drugs is a sine qua non for conviction. Controlled Precursors and Essential Chemicals. there should be no question as to the perpetration of the criminal act. however. trade. Consequently. Trading. If it is true that Bennie Lao-ang merely asked her and her companion to carry some baggages. the person to be arrested has committed. appellant and her companion should have ran after him to give him the bags he had left with them. including any and all species of opium poppy regardless of the quantity and purity involved. she alleged that the apprehending police officers failed to follow the procedure in the custody of seized prohibited and regulated drugs. or shall act as a broker in such transactions. This Court has also. Section 21 of R. appellant‘s possession of the packages containing illegal drugs gave rise to the disputable presumption33 that she is the owner of the packages and their contents.27 Mere possession and/or delivery of a prohibited drug.CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II REQUIREMENTS OF FAIR PROCEDURE marijuana was loaded on a passenger jeepney about to leave for the poblacion. In her defense. the Rules of Court provides the exceptions therefor. a warrant is necessary for a valid arrest. if.28 Anti-narcotics laws. Likewise. 13. When the circumstances establish the purpose of an accused to transport and the fact of transportation itself. – The PDEA shall take charge and have custody of all dangerous drugs. They are rules of convenience designed to secure a more orderly regulation of the affairs of society. immediately after seizure and confiscation. and their violation gives rise to crimes mala prohibita. without a warrant. give away to another. upheld as valid a warrantless search incident to a lawful arrest. No. Seized. arrest a person: (a) When. 5 Sale. it is imperative that there be a prior valid arrest. Section 5 of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 states: SEC. deliver. as well as instruments/paraphernalia and/or laboratory equipment so confiscated. Administration. 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. In particular.00) shall be imposed upon any person who. or his/her representative or counsel. shall sell. controlled precursors and essential chemicals.26 Appellant‘s alleged lack of knowledge does not constitute a valid defense."30 There is no definitive moment when an accused "transports" a prohibited drug.000. who. for proper disposition in the following manner: (1) The apprehending team having initial custody and control of the drugs shall. generally.32 Moreover. dispense. as well as instruments/paraphernalia and/or laboratory equipment so confiscated. physically inventory and photograph the same in the presence of the accused or the person/s from whom such items were confiscated and/or seized.A. distribute.23 For this rule to apply. Controlled Precursors and Essential Chemicals. shall sell. Her uncorroborated claim of lack of knowledge that she had prohibited drug in her possession is insufficient. time and again. Thus. No.00) shall be imposed upon any person. trade. when lawful. in his presence.

36 PO2 Pallayoc identified the bricks. PO2 Reyno Riparip (member of the buy-bust team). Sta. The other police companions of PO2 Herrera. transport. Narciso Agulay y Lopez.) Palaleo Adag dated 24 August 2002.R. dispense. He and PO3 Stanley Campit then marked the same. appellant should have raised this issue before the trial court. VELASCO. It was the Mayor who opened the packages." On 26 August 2002. that non-compliance with these requirements under justifiable grounds. and unlawfully sell. He also got the marked money from Sing. Plaintiff-appellee. However. or at the nearest police station or at the nearest office of the apprehending officer/team." his initials. revealing the illegal drugs. he opened the bag in front of appellant and the other police officers.R. and that no representative from the media and the DOJ were present. deliver. At the station. deliver. 9165. absent any convincing proof to the contrary..37 Based on the testimony of PO2 Pallayoc. in relation to the procedural rules on the chain of custody. with a group of police officers inside. Hence. The prosecution‘s version of the events are narrated as follows: On 24 August 2002. Branch 103. otherwise known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. she is deemed to have waived any objection on the matter.09 gm5 Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila THIRD DIVISION PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. No. When the Mayor arrived. 01994 entitled. at around 6:30 in the evening. Q-02-111597. after appellant‘s arrest. While it is true that the arresting officer failed to state explicitly the justifiable ground for non-compliance with Section 21. Contrary to appellant‘s claim. 181747 Present: TINGA. Sta. shall not render void and invalid such seizures of and custody over said items. During the trial.00 bill. this Court has already previously held that non-compliance with Section 21 is not fatal and will not render an accused‘s arrest illegal. the poseur-buyer. A.* Three (3) heat-sealed transparent plastic sachets each containing white crystalline substance having the following markings and recorded net weights: (A) (RH1-RG1) = 0. CR No. Thus. They stopped along J.25) gram of methylamphetamine hydrochloride a dangerous drug. Then the seized items were brought to the PNP Crime Laboratory for examination. Further. while the plastic bag yielded two bundles of marijuana and two bricks of marijuana fruiting tops.39 In sum. The black bag yielded three bricks of marijuana wrapped in newspaper. in Criminal Case No. which he marked "RH. A pre-operation report bearing control No.: For Review under Rule 45 of the Revised Rules of Court is the Decision1 dated 31 August 2007 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. transport or distribute any dangerous drug. 2002 in Quezon City.09 gm (C) (RH3-RG3) = 0. which were thereafter marked and sent to the police crime laboratory the following day. thereafter.R.00 bill. or make the items seized inadmissible.3 When arraigned on 23 September 2002. It is admitted that there were no photographs taken of the drugs seized. the actions of the police officers. The justifiable ground will remain unknown because appellant did not question the custody and disposition of the items taken from her during the trial. People of the Philippines v. SO ORDERED. J. this does not necessarily mean that appellant‘s arrest was illegal or that the items seized are inadmissible. who were deployed nearby. whichever is practicable. the police requested the Mayor to witness the opening of the bags seized from appellant. as they are presumed to be performing their duties regularly. finding accused-appellant Narciso Agulay y Lopez guilty of illegal sale and illegal possession of methamphetamine hydrochloride more popularly known as "shabu. Novaliches. scratched his head as a signal. trial ensued. She could have moved for the quashal of the information at the first instance. Quezon City. Courts accord credence and full faith to the testimonies of police authorities. the prosecution‘s evidence establishes the chain of custody from the time of appellant‘s arrest until the prohibited drugs were tested at the police crime laboratory. 24-SDEU-02 was made and signed by Police Inspector (P/Insp. a Space Wagon and a Besta van. Accused-Appellant. then and there. as long as the integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized items are properly preserved by the apprehending officer/team.07 gm (B) (RH2-RG2) = 0. SEARCH INCIDNET TO A VALID ARREST REYES and BRION.CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II REQUIREMENTS OF FAIR PROCEDURE copy thereof: Provided.38 Even assuming that the police officers failed to abide by Section 21. . that the physical inventory and photograph shall be conducted at the place where the search warrant is served. he immediately brought her to the police station. the foregoing premises considered. in case of warrantless seizures. further. accused-appellant was charged in an Information before the RTC of Quezon City with violation of Section 5. then rushed to the crime scene. distribute or act as broker in the said transaction. The following specimens were submitted to the Philippine National Police (PNP) Crime Laboratory of the Central Police District in Quezon City for chemical analysis: G.** JJ. in Novaliches. PO2 Herrera grabbed Sing and then frisked him. Sing gave a small plastic sachet to PO2 Herrera who. The Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. What is of utmost importance is the preservation of the integrity and evidentiary value of the seized items.P. did. accused-appellant pleaded not guilty. Acting Chairperson. The Information reads: That on or about the 24th day of August. PO2 Pallayoc testified that after apprehending appellant. dispense. PO2 Herrera bought shabu using the marked P100. The informant pointed the target pusher to PO2 Herrera. affirming the Decision2 rendered by the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Quezon City. WHEREFORE. the prosecution successfully established appellant‘s guilt. enjoyed the presumption of regularity in the performance of official functions. PO2 Herrera and his informant stepped down from their vehicle and walked. A police entrapment team was formed. that appellant was not accompanied by counsel. and Forensic Analyst Leonard M. They approached and after being introduced to Sing. Lucia. 02718 is AFFIRMED. Rizal St. Promulgated: September 26. her conviction must be affirmed. PO2 Herrera was assigned as poseur-buyer and was given aP100.* CHICO-NAZARIO. not being authorized by law to sell. an informant arrived at Police Station 5 and reported to the Chief of the Station Drug Enforcement Unit (SDEU) that a certain "Sing" had been selling shabu at Brgy. . PO2 Herrera recovered two (2) plastic sachets from Sing‘s pocket. Article II of Republic Act No. Lucia. Provided.4 Thereafter.versus NARCISO AGULAY y LOPEZ. But she did not. 2008 x--------------------------------------------------x DECISION CHICO-NAZARIO. The buy-bust team rode in two vehicles. willfully. the said accused. Quezon City. the prosecution presented the testimonies of Police Officer (PO) 2 Raul Herrera. Philippines. she was immediately brought to the police station where she stayed while waiting for the Mayor. CR-HC No. zero point twenty five (0. the appeal is DISMISSED. Jabonillo.

a regulated drug. The passengers of said vehicle opened its window and poked a gun at him. this Court finds no justification to deviate from the lower court‘s findings and conclusion that accused-appellant was arrested in flagrante delicto selling shabu. but the arresting team just told him to go with them. overlooked. the prosecution must be able to prove the following elements: (1) identities of the buyer and seller. if they so desire. On the other hand. the testimony of Bayani de Leon (a police asset of SPO1 Valdez of the buy-bust team) narrated that he. PO2 Herrera told him that if he would not be able to give them P50. Accused-appellant maintains that his arrest was illegal. this Court resolved to: (3) Notify the parties that they may file their respective supplemental briefs. Moreover. the RTC found accused-appellant guilty of the offense charged. The presumption of innocence of an accused in a criminal case is a basic constitutional principle. Accusedappellant asked what violation he had committed or if they had a search warrant with them. Accused-appellant requested that he be brought to the barangay hall first. Consistent with the rulings of this Court. II. THE TRIAL COURT GRAVELY ERRED IN FINDING THE ACCUSEDAPPELLANT GUILTY BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT OF THE CRIME CHARGED. After about 30 minutes. and that the subsequent seizure of shabu allegedly taken from him is inadmissible as evidence against him. D-1020-2002 dated 25 August 2002 and prepared and presented in court by Forensic Analyst Leonard M. On evaluation of the records. "I could not do anything because I do not have money.000. III. The issues raised are the following: I. but this request was left unheeded. finding no reversible error in the Decision appealed from. he was immediately brought to the police station. Thereafter. Instead. testified that at around 8:30 to 9:00 o‘clock in the evening of 24 August 2002. if considered. the poseurbuyer. PO2 Herrera handed something to PO1 Riparip. brother of accused-appellant. ACCUSED-APPELLANT CANNOT BE HELD LIABLE FOR THE CONSUMMATED CRIME OF ILLEGAL SALE OF SHABU BECAUSE OF THE FAILURE OF THE PROSECUTION TO ESTABLISH ALL OF ITS ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS.A.6 The defense. On 17 February 2006. more so when affirmed by the Court of Appeals. They then took accusedappellant to the police station. The law presumes that an accused in a criminal prosecution is innocent until the contrary is proved. misconstrued or misinterpreted cogent facts and circumstances which.12 The testimonies of the prosecution witnesses proved that all the elements of the crime have been established: that the buy-bust operation took place. a group of armed men in civilian clothes entered the place and arrested his brother. It presented three witnesses: accusedappellant Narciso Agulay. Considering that what is at stake here is the liberty of accused-appellant. CONCLUSION: Specimen A. accused-appellant opted to adopt his appellant‘s brief dated 22 September 2006 while plaintiffappellee adopted its appellee‘s brief dated 22 January 2007. Jabonillo (of the PNP Crime Laboratory of the Central Police District of Quezon City) yielded the following results– FINDINGS: Qualitative examination conducted on the above-stated specimens gave POSITIVE result to the test for Methylamphetamine Hydrochloride. To avoid a repetition of the arguments. The exception is when it is established that the trial court ignored. and that the shabu subject of the sale was brought to and identified in court. The Decision of the RTC dated February 17. PO2 Riparip. they would file a case against him. x x x. When the car they were riding reached No. Upon reaching the police station. On 31 August 2007. will change the outcome of the case. their team alighted and entered a compound. it is a fundamental and settled rule that factual findings of the trial court and its calibration of the testimonies of the witnesses and its conclusions anchored on its findings are accorded by the appellate court high respect.13 He narrated the events which took place the night accused-appellant was apprehended: FIS. to which he answered.P. Accused-appellant filed his appellant‘s brief9 with the Court of Appeals on 22 September 2006. if not conclusive effect. while he was smoking in their compound. positively identified accused-appellant as the person who sold to him the sachet containing the crystalline substance which was confirmed to be shabu. judgment is rendered finding the accused NARCISO AGULAY Y LOPEZ GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of violation of Section 5 of R. PO2 Herrera. In its Resolution dated 2 April 2008. the arresting officers placed him inside the detention cell. They saw accused-appellant and arrested him as he was allegedly involved in a hold-up incident. PO1 Herrera.10 Petitioner elevated the case to this Court via Notice of Appeal11 dated 21 September 2007. together with P/Insp. the appeal is DENIED. JURADO: . Suha. since the prosecution failed to show all the essential elements of an illegal sale of shabu. He tried asking the arresting officers what the violation of accused-appellant was but he was ignored. 9165 as charged (for drug pushing) and he is hereby sentenced to suffer a jail term of LIFE IMPRISONMENT and to pay a fine of P500. Later that night."7 Benjamin Agulay. not with drug pushing. 2006 is AFFIRMED. a regulated drug. THE TRIAL COURT GRAVELY ERRED IN NOT FINDING THAT THE ACCUSED-APPELLANT WAS ILLEGALLY ARRESTED AND AS SUCH. In order to successfully prosecute an accused for illegal sale of drugs. instead of filing their respective supplemental briefs. He also claims that the prosecution failed to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt. The dispositive portion of the RTC Decision is as follows: Accordingly.00. Accusedappellant was taken to Police Station 5. had an entirely different version of what transpired that night. approached him and put handcuffs on him. he was manning his store when a car stopped in front of it. the basic issue to be resolved hinges on whether accused-appellant was arrested in a legitimate "buy-bust" operation. the object. The methylamphetamine hydrochloride (in 3 sachets) involved in this case is ordered transmitted to the PDEA thru DDB for proper disposition. The passengers alighted from the car. who was then manning a store. and meted out to him the penalty of Life Imprisonment. PO1 Riparip and PO2 Herrera approached him. within thirty (30) days from notice. Benjamin Agulay (brother of Narciso). on the other hand. and the consideration. 51 J. and Bayani de Leon. They removed his shorts and showed him a plastic sachet. Whether the degree of proof has been met is largely left for the trial courts to determine. Rizal Street. PO2 Gulferic and an arrested individual were on board a car while conducting a follow-up operation regarding a hold-up incident.000. fleshed out by procedural rules which place on the prosecution the burden of proving that an accused is guilty of the offense charged by proof beyond reasonable doubt. as in this case.CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II REQUIREMENTS OF FAIR PROCEDURE Chemistry Report No. the Court of Appeals issued its Decision denying accused-appellant‘s appeal as follows: WHEREFORE. PO2 Herrera and PO1 Riparip approached and punched him on the chest. we have carefully reviewed and evaluated the records of the RTC and the Court of Appeals. B and C contain Methylamphetamine Hydrochloride.00. From the foregoing issues raised by accused-appellant. Accused-appellant Narciso Agulay narrated that at around 8:30 to 9:00 o‘clock in the evening of 24 August 2002. THE SACHETS OF SHABU ALLEGEDLY RECOVERED FROM HIM ARE INADMISSIBLE IN EVIDENCE. and (2) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment therefor.8 Accused-appellant filed his Notice of Appeal with Motion to Litigate as Pauper Litigant on 7 March 2006.

FIS.00 and I acted as poseur-buyer sir. JURADO: How did you prepare for that buy-bust operation? WITNESS: WITNESS: An informant arrived and we reported to our Chief of SDEU and the Chief gave us P100. what happened next? WITNESS: Our confidential informant asked me to go with him to see Sing to buy drug(s) sir. JURADO: FIS. FIS. sir. FIS JURADO: What is that operation all about? WITNESS: Buy bust operation sir. Rosario. FIS. Lucia. sir. FIS. What is the significance of this R.P. xxxx Do you have said money with you? WITNESS: Yes sir. what were your duties there? WITNESS: That mean(sic) Raul Herrera sir. Lucia sir. sir. JURADO: FIS. WITNESS: We asked our confidential informant to look for Sing. FIS. JURADO: FIS. FIS. JURADO: After you prepared the buy bust money. what else did you do? WITNESS: We proceeded to the target location. FIS. JURADO: What was your tour of duty on August 24. Sta. Lucia? WITNESS: We rode in a tinted vehicles (sic) one space wagon and Besta van. FIS. sir. Quezon City. JURADO: Yes sir along the street sir. FIS. WITNESS: Here sir. JURADO: FIS.. FIS. MJURADO: Aside from that what else? WITNESS: I put my markings sir. Nogoy. JURADO: Regarding what? WITNESS: Narcotic sir. Novaliches. FIS. As an operative sir. what happened there? WITNESS: Alias Sing at Sta. JURADO: While you are on duty at that time and place. 2002? WITNESS: Broken hour sir. JURADO: What is this all about? When you arrived in that place. JURADO: Will you please show that to this Honorable Court? But at around 6:30 in the evening. SPO1 El Valdez. will you please inform this Honorable Court if there was an operation? WITNESS: Yes.? WITNESS: . FIS. you are on duty? WITNESS: Yes.H. FIS. JURADO: What is that markings (sic)? WITNESS: R. sir. FIS. JURADO: Did the confidential informant locate the said Sing? How did you proceed to the place of Sta. Addag. JURADO: After your confidential informant found this Sing. SPO2 Rey Valdez. Riparip and the confidential informant sir.H. Rizal St. JURADO: You said "we" who were with you? WITNESS: P/Insp. sir.CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II REQUIREMENTS OF FAIR PROCEDURE You said that you are stationed at Police Station 5. sir. JURADO: Where? WITNESS: J.

JURADO: After scratching your head. sir. JURADO: What happened there? WITNESS: This one sir. FIS. I was introduced by the confidential informant to Sing as buyer sir. JURADO: Where did you get that plastic sachet? WITNESS: Right side pocket sir. FIS. FIS. sir. will you be able to identify him? WITNESS: WITNESS: I have my initial(sic) R. JURADO: You mentioned plastic sachet. FIS. xxxx COURT: After that what happened next? WITNESS: We brought him to our Police Station. JURADO: Where are these two plastic sachets that you are mentioning? WITNESS: Here sir. JURADO: FIS. JURADO: For whom you executed this pre-arranged signal? WITNESS: To my companions sir. I was able to recover from him two (2) more plastic sachets sir.CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II REQUIREMENTS OF FAIR PROCEDURE FIS. FIS. JURADO: After that what did you do next? WITNESS: I grabbed Sing and arrested him sir. JURADO: Short or pant? WITNESS: Short sir. JURADO: FIS. sir. JURADO: You mentioned Sing if this Sing is inside this courtroom.H. sir. FIS. How about the money? WITNESS: I recovered the buy bust money from Sing. if any? Aside from that. FIS. JURADO: How did you come to know that these are the two plastic sachets? WITNESS: I put my markings sir RH. FIS JURADO: After that what did you do next? WITNESS: I executed our pre-arranged signal sir. FIS. FIS. JURADO: What was the pre-arranged signal? WITNESS: I scratched my head sir. sir. JURADO: What (sic) Sing do. which of these three was taken or sold to you? WITNESS: . JURADO: How did you come to know that this is the one? What happened next? WITNESS: I bought from him worth one hundred peso (sic) of shabu. FIS. xxxx FIS. what happened next? WITNESS: Sing gave me one small plastic sachet sir. FIS. JURADO: Where are (sic) your companions at that time? WITNESS: On board at (sic) Besta and Space Wagon sir. what happened next? WITNESS: My back-up rushed to our place. JURADO: WITNESS: When I frisked Sing. FIS. FIS. JURADO: Where is (sic) the transaction took (sic) place? WITNESS: Along the street sir. I am showing to you three (3) plastic sachets. FIS.

16 If carried out with due regard for constitutional and legal safeguards. including the vehicles to be used.15 Accused-appellant contends his arrest was illegal.P. JURADO: What did you see? WITNESS: The poseur buyer executed the pre-arranged signal and we rushed to his position and arrested the target person Sing sir. The pre-operation report stated that an Anti-Narcotic Operation was to be conducted at Barangay Sta. contrary to accused-appellant's contention. Rosario. and building regulations. Arrest without warrant. JURADO: You were on duty on August 24. FIS. JURADO: Who were with you at that time? WITNESS: Valdez. making the sachets of shabu allegedly recovered from him inadmissible in evidence. and (8) "stop and frisk" operations. customs. JURADO: You said you conducted narcotic operation. needed no warrant for its validity. Herrera. the contraband seized from him. when lawful. This only bolsters the testimony of PO2 Herrera and PO1 Riparip as to the legitimacy of the buy-bust operation. sir. JURADO: What was your functions(sic) as such? WITNESS: To conduct follow up operation on drugs and other crimes sir. particularly at J. 24-SDEU-02 dated 24 August 2005. (4) searches of moving vehicles. the idea to commit a crime originates from the offender." (7) searches of buildings and premises to enforce fire. without a warrant. A buy-bust operation is a form of entrapment which in recent years has been accepted as a valid and effective mode of apprehending drug pushers. 2002 at 6:30 in the evening? WITNESS: Yes sir. Quezon City. Accused-appellant‘s claim is devoid of merit for it is a well-established rule that an arrest made after an entrapment operation does not require a warrant inasmuch as it is considered a valid "warrantless arrest. Noteworthy is the fact that prior to the dispatch of the entrapment team. the person to be arrested has committed. sanitary. arrest a person: (a) When. FIS. WITNESS: Herrera sir. having been obtained as a result of the buy-bust operation to which the defense failed to impute any irregularity. JURADO: To whom this Narcotic operation conducted? WITNESS: To certain Alias Sing. JURADO: What was your tour of duty at that time? WITNESS: Broken hour sir. FIS. in his presence. Lucia. a buy-bust operation deserves judicial sanction.17 There are eight (8) instances when a warrantless search and seizure is valid. The search. Addag and other(sic) sir. 2002? WITNESS: I was assigned at Police Station 5 for drug(sic) sir." in line with the provisions of Rule 113. (3) searches of vessels and aircraft for violation of immigration. Thus. FIS. the subsequent warrantless arrest and warrantless search and seizure. clearly being incident to a lawful arrest. Rizal St. FIS. where? WITNESS: Sta. without anybody inducing or prodding him to commit the offense.. Novaliches. JURADO: As back up. FIS. JURADO: What was your participation in the said operation? WITNESS: I acted as back up sir. sir. In a buy-bust operation. was correctly admitted in evidence. JURADO: . were permissible. where were you assigned on August 24. to wit: (1) consented searches. what did you do? WITNESS: We position ourselves to a certain distance and where we can see the poseur-buyer sir. or is attempting to commit an offense.CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II REQUIREMENTS OF FAIR PROCEDURE Yes sir that man. and indicated the police officers involved. Quezon City. FIS. JURADO: FIS."14 His testimony was corroborated on material points by PO1 Riparip. to wit: FIS. (2) as an incident to a lawful arrest. (5) searches of automobiles at borders or constructive borders. FIS. – A peace officer or a private person may. FIS. Lucia in Novaliches. Considering that the legitimacy of the buy-bust operation is beyond question. (6) where the prohibited articles are in "plain view. When we (sic) rushed to the target place what happened next? WITNESS: Herrera frisked Sing and we brought him to the police station sir. Section 5(a) of the Revised Rules of Court. INTERPRETER: Witness pointing to a man who identified himself as Narciso Agulay and his nickname is "Sing. FIS. FIS. JURADO: Did you conduct operation on that day? WITNESS: Yes sir we conducted Narcotic operation sir. JURADO: Who was the poseur-buyer? You said that you are a police officer. a pre-operation report18 was made bearing Control No. is actually committing. one of the back-up operatives in the buy-bust operation that night. and drug laws. to wit: Section 5.

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II

REQUIREMENTS OF FAIR PROCEDURE
The defense contends there is a clear doubt on whether the specimens examined by the chemist and eventually presented in court were the same specimens recovered from accused-appellant. The prosecution‘s failure to submit in evidence the required physical inventory and photograph of the evidence confiscated pursuant to Section 21,19 Article II of Republic Act No. 9165 will not discharge accusedappellant from his crime. Non-compliance with said section is not fatal and will not render an accused‘s arrest illegal or the items seized/confiscated from him inadmissible. In People v. Del Monte,20this Court held that what is of utmost importance is the preservation of the integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized items, as the same would be utilized in the determination of the guilt or innocence of the accused. In the instant case, we find the integrity of the drugs seized intact, and there is no doubt that the three sachets of drugs seized from accused-appellant were the same ones examined for chemical analysis, and that the crystalline substance contained therein was later on determined to be positive for methylamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu). The defense, in fact, admitted the existence and authenticity of the request for chemical analysis and the subsequent result thereof: FIS. JURADO: Chemist Engr. Jabonillo is present your honor. COURT: Any proposal for stipulation? FIS. JURADO: That there is letter request for examination of white crystalline substance marked as follows: A (pH1); B (pH2) and C (pH3)? ATTY. QUILAS: Admitted your honor. FIS. JURADO: As a result of the said qualitative examination chemist issued a chemistry report No. D-1020-2002? ATTY. QUILAS: Admitted your honor. FIS. JURADO: In view of the admission your honor, may we request that Letter request dated August 25, 2002 be marked as Exhibit ‗D‘ and Chemistry Report No. D-1020-2002 as Exhibit ‗E‘ your honor. COURT: Mark it. In view of the presence of the Chemist, Engr. Jabonillo, He is being called to the witness stand for cross examination of the defense counsel.21 On cross-examination by the defense, Forensic Analyst Jabonillo stated that the drugs presented in court were the same drugs examined by him and submitted to him on 25 August 2002: ATTY. QUILAS: In this particular case, you received three plastic sachets? WITNESS: Yes sir. ATTY. QUILAS: When you receive these three plastic sachets were these already segregated or in one plastic container? WITNESS: I received it as is sir. xxxx ATTY. QUILAS: How sure you were (sic) that three plastic sachet (sic) containing methylamphetamine hydrochloride were the same drug (sic) submitted to you on August 25, 2002. WITNESS: I personally place (sic) my marking sir. ATTY. QUILAS: You want to impress before this Honorable Court these were the same items that you received on August 25, 2002? WITNESS: Yes sir.22 On cross-examination by the defense, the same witness testified, to wit: ATTY. DE GUZMAN: I understand you are Chemical Engineer, am I correct? WITNESS: Yes, sir. ATTY. DE GUZMAN: And that you have been (sic) worked as a Chemist in the PNP for several years? WITNESS: Since March, 200 (sic), sir. ATTY. DE GUZMAN: What would be your practice when specimen submitted for you to examine, was it already pre-marked by the person who submit for examination? WITNESS: Normally, sir. ATTY. DE GUZMAN: What do you mean normally, you also put the marking? WITNESS: Yes, sir. ATTY. DE GUZMAN: So everything has pre-mark? WITNESS: Yes, sir. ATTY. DE GUZMAN: And then when pre-mark specimen is submitted to you, you merely analyze the same is that correct? WITNESS: Yes, sir. ATTY. DE GUZMAN: And you do not change any marking there? WITNESS:

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II

REQUIREMENTS OF FAIR PROCEDURE
Yes, sir. ATTY. DE GUZMAN: Now in the marking that we have it appearing that Exhibits A, B, and C are PH, am I correct? WITNESS: RH sir, not PH. ATTY. DE GUZMAN: Because it shows in the zerox (sic) copy that it is RH because of that slant. Now when this specimen was submitted to you was it three specimens submitted to you or only one specimen A, B, C were ranking to one? WITNESS: No sir, three (3) specimens.23 It is significant to note that accused-appellant stated in his demurrer to evidence that the specimens submitted for laboratory examination were not the three plastic sachets that were allegedly recovered by the poseur-buyer PO2 Raul Herrera, which may thus be construed to be an implied admission.24 Accused-appellant‘s allegation that he is a victim of a frame-up, which has been held as a shop-worn defense of those accused in drugrelated cases, is viewed by the Court with disfavor. Like the defense of alibi, frame-up is an allegation that can easily be concocted.25 For this claim to prosper, the defense must adduce clear and convincing evidence to overcome the presumption of regularity of official acts of government officials.26 Absent any proof of motive to falsely accuse him of such a grave offense, the presumption of regularity in the performance of official duty and the findings of the trial court with respect to the credibility of witnesses shall prevail over that of the accused-appellant.27 Apart from his defense that he is a victim of a frame-up and extortion by the police officers, accused-appellant could not present any other viable defense. Again, while the presumption of regularity in the performance of official duty by law enforcement agents should not by itself prevail over the presumption of innocence, for the claim of frame-up to prosper, the defense must be able to present clear and convincing evidence to overcome this presumption of regularity. This, it failed to do. Bayani de Leon‘s testimony that the accused was being taken as a carnapping suspect only further weakened the defense, considering it was totally out of sync with the testimony of accused-appellant vis-àvis the positive testimonies of the police officers on the events that transpired on the night of 24 August 2002 when the buy-bust operation was conducted. It is also highly suspect and unusual that accused-appellant never mentioned that he was taken as a carnapping suspect if indeed this were the case, considering it would have been his ticket to freedom. To recall, on direct examination by the defense counsel, Bayani de Leon testified as follows: ATTY. CONCEPCION: Mr. Witness, were you able to talk to Narciso Agulay that time he was arrested? WITNESS: Yes ma‘am, when Narciso Agulay was put inside a room at Station 5 and in that room, I, Riparip and Herrera entered. ATTY. CONCEPCION: What was the conversation all about? WITNESS: He was being asked if he was one of those who held up a taxi ma‘am. ATTY. CONCEPCION: What was the response of Narciso Agulay? WITNESS: Narciso Agulay was crying and at the same time denying that he was with that person. When we told him that the person we arrested with the firearm was pointing to him, he said that he does not know about that incident and he does not know also that person who pointed him ma‘am.28 Witness Bayani de Leon‘s testimony is dubious and lacks credence. From the testimony of Bayani de Leon, it is apparent that accusedappellant would necessarily have known what he was being arrested for, which was entirely inconsistent with accused-appellant‘s previous testimony. Such inconsistency further diminished the credibility of the defense witness. It would seem that Bayani de Leon‘s testimony was but a mere afterthought. Moreover, Bayani de Leon testified that he allegedly came to know of the fact that accused-appellant was being charged under Republic Act No. 9165 when he (Bayani de Leon) was also detained at the city jail for robbery with homicide, testifying as follows: FIS. ARAULA: And you only knew that Narciso Agulay was charged of Section 5, R.A. 9165 when you were detained at the City Jail? WITNESS: Yes sir. FIS. ARAULLA: In fact, you were talking with each other? WITNESS: Yes sir, and I asked what is the case filed against him. FIS. ARAULLA: And that is the time you know that Narciso Agulay was charged of (sic) Section 5? WITNESS: Yes sir.29 This Court, thus, is in agreement with the trial court in finding that: Bayani himself appears to be a shady character. By his admission he is a bata or agent of PO Vasquez. As far as the court knows, such characters are used by the police because they are underworld character (sic).30 Finally, the testimony of accused-appellant‘s brother, Benjamin Agulay, is not convincing. Benjamin, being accused-appellant‘s brother, we find him to be unreliable. Suffice it to say that, having been given by a relative of the accused-appellant, his testimony should be received with caution. On this premise, this Court has laid down the "objective" test in scrutinizing buy-bust operations. In People v. Doria,31 we said: We therefore stress that the "objective" test in buy-bust operations demands that the details of the purported transaction must be clearly and adequately shown. This must start from the initial contact between the poseur-buyer and the pusher, the offer to purchase, the promise or payment of the consideration until the consummation of the sale by the delivery of the illegal drug subject of the sale. The manner by which the initial contact was made, whether or not through an informant, the offer to purchase the drug, the payment of the "buybust" money, and the delivery of the illegal drug, whether to the informant alone or the police officer, must be the subject of strict scrutiny by courts to insure that law-abiding citizens are not unlawfully induced to commit an offense. x x x. It bears to point out that prosecutions of cases for violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act arising from buy-bust operations largely depend on the credibility of the police officers who conducted the same, and unless clear and convincing evidence is proffered showing that the members of the buy-bust team were driven by any improper motive or were not properly performing their duty, their testimonies on the operation deserve full faith and credit.32

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II

REQUIREMENTS OF FAIR PROCEDURE
The law presumes that an accused in a criminal prosecution is innocent until the contrary is proved.33This presumption of innocence of an accused in a criminal case is consistent with a most fundamental constitutional principle, fleshed out by procedural rules which place on the prosecution the burden of proving that an accused is guilty of the offense charged by proof beyond reasonable doubt. This constitutional guarantee is so essential that the framers of the constitution found it imperative to keep the provision from the old constitution to emphasize the primacy of rights that no person shall be held to answer for a criminal offense without due process of law.34 In his dissent, Justice Brion focused on the conviction that the buybust operation and the consequent seizure of the prohibited substance either did not take place or has not been proven beyond reasonable doubt because of a gap in the prosecution’s evidence. Convinced that under the proven facts of the present case, the dissent maintains that the prosecution has not proven that a crime had been committed through proof beyond reasonable doubt -- that the three plastic sachets that were admitted into evidence during the trial were in fact the same items seized from the accused-appellant when he was arrested. The guilt of accused-appellant was established beyond reasonable doubt. Contrary to the dissent‘s claim, the totality of the evidence would indicate that the sale of the prohibited drug had taken place, and that the sale was adequately established and the prosecution witnesses clearly identified accused-appellant as the offender. Moreover, the seized items, proven positive to be shabu, were properly identified and presented before the court. To reiterate, in prosecutions for illegal sale of regulated or prohibited drugs, conviction is proper if the following elements are present: (1) the identity of the buyer and the seller, the object, and the consideration; and (2) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment therefor. What is material is the proof that the transaction or sale actually took place, coupled with the presentation in court of the prohibited or regulated drug.35 The term corpus delicti means the actual commission by someone of the particular crime charged. The procedure for the custody and disposition of confiscated, seized and/or surrendered dangerous drugs, among others, is provided under Section 21 (a), paragraph 1 of Article II of Republic Act No. 9165, to wit: (a) The apprehending team having initial custody and control of the drugs shall, immediately after seizure and confiscation, physically inventory and photograph the same in the presence of the accused or the person/s from whom such items were confiscated and/or seized, or his/her representative or counsel, a representative from the media and the Department of Justice (DOJ), and any elected public official who shall be required to sign the copies of the inventory and be given a copy thereof; Section 21 (a), Article II of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act No. 9165, which implements said provision, reads: (a) The apprehending team having initial custody and control of the drugs shall, immediately after seizure and confiscation, physically inventory and photograph the same in the presence of the accused or the person/s from whom such items were confiscated and/or seized, or his/her representative or counsel, a representative from the media and the Department of Justice (DOJ), and any elected public official who shall be required to sign the copies of the inventory and be given a copy thereof; Provided, further that non-compliance with these requirements under justifiable grounds, as long as the integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized items are properly preserved by the apprehending officers/team, shall not render void and invalid such seizures of and custody over said items. The above provision further states that non-compliance with the stipulated procedure, under justifiable grounds, shall not render void and invalid such seizures of and custody over said items, for as long as the integrity and evidentiary value of the seized items are properly preserved by the apprehending officers. The evident purpose of the procedure provided for is the preservation of the integrity and evidentiary value of the seized items, as the same would be utilized in the determination of the guilt of or innocence of the accused. On the chain of custody of the seized drugs The dissent agreed with accused-appellant‘s assertion that the police operatives failed to comply with the proper procedure in the chain of custody of the seized drugs. It premised that non-compliance with the procedure in Section 21(a), Article II of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act No. 9165 creates an irregularity and overcomes the presumption of regularity accorded police authorities in the performance of their official duties. This assumption is without merit. First, it must be made clear that in several cases[36] decided by the Court, failure by the buy-bust team to comply with said section did not prevent the presumption of regularity in the performance of duty from applying. Second, even prior to the enactment of R.A. 9165, the requirements contained in Section 21(a) were already there per Dangerous Drugs Board Regulation No. 3, Series of 1979. Despite the presence of such regulation and its noncompliance by the buy-bust team, the Court still applied such presumption.37 We held: The failure of the arresting police officers to comply with said DDB Regulation No. 3, Series of 1979 is a matter strictly between the Dangerous Drugs Board and the arresting officers and is totally irrelevant to the prosecution of the criminal case for the reason that the commission of the crime of illegal sale of a prohibited drug is considered consummated once the sale or transaction is established and the prosecution thereof is not undermined by the failure of the arresting officers to comply with the regulations of the Dangerous Drugs Board. While accused-appellant contends in his appellant‘s brief that the police operatives did not submit the required inventory of the seized items pursuant to the provisions of Section 21 (a), Article II of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act No. 9165, the records belie this claim. On cross-examination by the defense, Police Officer (PO) 2 Herrera testified on making an inventory of the seized items. PO2 Herrera testified as follows: Q: When you arrested the suspect in this case, you confiscated two (2) items from him? A: Yes sir. Q: And you said that it is part of your procedure when you confiscated items from the suspect you made an inventory of the item confiscated? A: Yes sir. Q: Did you make inventory of the confiscated items? A: Yes sir it is with the police investigator.38 Moreover, non-compliance with the procedure outlined in Section 21(a), Article II of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act No. 9165, shall not render void and invalid such seizures of and custody over said items, for as long as the integrity and evidentiary value of the seized items are properly preserved by the apprehending officers. Consistent with this Court‘s pronouncements in People v. Bano39 and in People v. Miranda,40 contrary to appellant‘s claim, there is no showing of a broken chain in the custody of the seized items, later on determined to be shabu, from the moment of its seizure by the entrapment team, to the investigating officer, to the time it was brought to the forensic chemist at the PNP Crime Laboratory for laboratory examination. It was duly established by documentary, testimonial, and object evidence, including the markings on the plastic sachets containing the shabu that the substance tested by the forensic chemist, whose laboratory tests were well-documented, was the same as that taken from accused-appellant. The records of the case indicate that after his arrest, accusedappellant was taken to the police station and turned over to the police investigator. PO2 Herrera testified that he personally41 made the markings "RH" (representing his initials) on the three sachets, the inventory42 of which was delivered to the police investigator. After the arrest, the seized items which had the markings "RH" alleged to contain shabu were brought to the crime laboratory for examination.43 The request for laboratory examination and transfer of the confiscated sachets to the PNP crime laboratory was prepared by another officer, PO2 Gulferic, the designated officer-on-case.44 It was signed as well by the Chief of Office/Agency (SDEU/SIIB) Police Chief Inspector Leslie Castillo Castillo. The request indicated that the seized items were delivered by PO2 Gulferic and received by Forensic Chemist Jabonillo.45 The three heat-sealed transparent plastic sachets each

this Court. Besides. the testimony of PO2 Raul Herrera was spontaneous. frame-up is a defense that has been invariably viewed by the Court with disfavor as it can easily be concocted [and] hence commonly used as a standard line of defense in most prosecutions arising from violations of the Dangerous Drugs Act. not to mention the well being of society. otherwise. as it had the unique opportunity.53 To reiterate. normally performed by police officers in the apprehension of violators of the Dangerous Drugs Act. As long as the chain of custody of the seized substance was clearly established not to have been broken and that the prosecution did not fail to identify properly the drugs seized. that the identity of the prohibited drug in this case was certainly safeguarded. Not all people who came into contact with the seized drugs are required to testify in court. Appellant‘s defense of frame-up and self-serving assertion that he was mistakenly picked up by the police operatives for a carnapping case cannot prevail over the positive and straight-forward testimonies of the police operatives who have performed their duties regularly and in accordance with law. particularly the attestations of witnesses. the unbroken chain of custody would not be established. There is nothing in the New Drugs Law or in any rule implementing the same that imposes such a requirement. In almost every case involving a buy-bust operation.g. if the courts x x x accept in every instance this form of defense which can be so easily fabricated. PO2 Herrera positively identified in court that he put his initials "RH" on the sachets. the trial court is in a better position to decide the question. the back-up police operative of PO2 Herrera. The non-presentation of witnesses of other persons such as SPO1 Grafia. corroborated the latter‘s testimony on material points. the Court reiterated its position on the matter. Zeng Hua Dian. conduct." This means that all persons who came into contact with the seized drugs should testify in court. the evidence custodian. it must not be forgotten that entries in official records made by a public officer in the performance of his duty are prima facie evidence of the facts therein stated. the integrity of the evidence is presumed to be preserved unless there is a showing of bad faith. we find that the chain of custody of the seized substance was not broken and that the prosecution did not fail to identify properly the drugs seized in this case.47 we held: After a thorough review of the records of this case.. and attitude under direct and cross-examination. The dissenting opinion likewise faults the prosecution for failing to disclose the identity of the person who submitted the item that was examined. We disagree. and PO3 Alamia.51 Thus. as the one imputed against accused-appellant. what will now happen to those public officers (e. to wit: We are not unaware that in some instances law enforcers resort to the practice of planting evidence to extract information or even to harass civilians. According to accused-appellant. In People v. the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses are positive and convincing. not being a trier of facts itself. same will not automatically lead to the exoneration of the accused. sufficient to sustain the finding of the trial court and the Court of Appeals that accused-appellant‘s guilt had been established beyond reasonable doubt. We realize the disastrous consequences on the enforcement of law and order. denied to the appellate courts. and have not been shown to have been inspired by any improper motive or to have improperly performed their duty. the officer on duty. Unless there is proof to the contrary. and more importantly. The arrest of accused-appellant was made in the course of an entrapment. this Court will not interfere with the trial court‘s assessment of the credibility of witnesses considering there is nothing on record that shows some fact or circumstance of weight and influence which the trial court has overlooked. His conviction was based not solely on said presumption but on the documentary and real evidence. presented to it. On the credibility of the witnesses Prosecutions involving illegal drugs depend largely on the credibility of the police officers who conduct the "buy-bust" operation. which resulted in his arrest. following a surveillance operation. First. This Court. As this Court has held in a long line of cases.48 If it is now a requirement that all persons who came into contact with the seized drugs should testify in court. and more importantly.there being no quantum of proof . Uy. The dissent maintains that the chain of custody rule "would include testimony about every link in the chain. appellate courts tend to heavily rely upon the trial court in assessing the credibility of witnesses. Such claim is viewed with disfavor. the trial court relied heavily on the police officers‘ testimonies that what had actually transpired was a buy-bust operation. The prosecution has the discretion as to how to present its case and it has the right to choose whom it wishes to present as witnesses. thus. like alibi. it will not allow their testimonies to be overcome by the self-serving claim of frame-up. presented to it. considering it was totally out of sync with the testimony of accusedappellant vis-à-vis the positive testimonies of the police officers on the events that transpired on the night of 24 August 2002 when the buybust operation was conducted.46 PO2 Herrera identified the sachets in court. the identity of the drugs has been duly preserved and established by the prosecution. therefore. the accused put up the defense of frame-up. not being a trier of facts itself. having heard the witnesses themselves and observed their deportment and manner of testifying during the trial. ill will. In People v. There being no question by the accused on this matter. misappreciated. Even assuming arguendo that the presumption of regularity in the performance of official duty has been overcome because of failure to comply with Section 21(a). sees no doubt that the sachets marked "RH" submitted for laboratory examination and which were later on found to be positive for shabu. accused-appellant had the opportunity to cross-examine him on this point. is not a crucial point against the prosecution.50 This Court. The accused-appellant in this case bears the burden to make some showing that the evidence was tampered or meddled with to overcome a presumption of regularity in the handling of exhibits by public officers and a presumption that public officers properly discharged their duties. PO2 Herrera positively identified the plastic sachets containing shabu which he bought from accused-appellant in the buy-bust operation. Unless compelling reasons are shown otherwise. Bayani de Leon‘s testimony that the accused was being taken as a carnapping suspect only further weakened the defense. The matter of presentation of witneses by the prosecution is not for the court to decide. the entries in the documents areprima facie evidence of the facts therein stated and they need not testify thereon. or misinterpreted. The Court so holds that in the absence of proof of any odious intent on the part of the police operatives to falsely impute such a serious crime. It is precisely for this reason that the legal presumption that official duty has been regularly performed exists.CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II REQUIREMENTS OF FAIR PROCEDURE containing white crystalline substance were later on determined to be positive for Methylamphetamine Hydrochloride or shabu. The answer to this question can easily be seen from the stamp made in the request for drug analysis. The sachets containing shabu had the markings "RH" as testified by Forensic Chemist Jabonillo. because it can easily be feigned and fabricated. it is not indispensable that each and every person who came into possession of the drugs should take the witness stand. Accused-appellant casts suspicion on the means or methods by which the police officers conducted the operation and claims to be the victim of a frame-up. relies in good part on the assessment and evaluation by the trial court of the evidence. Thus. x x x 52 In the case at bar. PO1 Reyno Riparip. particularly the attestations of the witnesses. There is no question. In connection with this. relies in good part on the assessment and evaluation by the trial court of the evidence. from the moment the item was picked up to the time it is offered into evidence x x x. to observe the witnesses and to note their demeanor. Second. It is to noted that one witness is sufficient to prove the corpus delicti – that there was a consummated sale between the poseur buyer and the accused -. When the prosecution presented the marked sachets in court. Said presumption is not the sole basis for the conviction of the accused. on the oral evidence by prosecution witnesses whom we found to be credible. the entry thereon made by the public officer is definitely sufficient. straightforward and categorical.49 In cases involving violations of the Dangerous Drugs Law. person who issued request for examination of drugs or those who tested the drugs) who issued documents regarding the seized drugs? Shall they be obligated to testify despite the fact the entries in the documents they issued are prima facie evidence of the facts therein stated? We do not think so. or proof that the evidence has been tampered with. However. were the same ones sold by accused-appellant to the poseur-buyer PO2 Herrera during the buy-bust operation. same being an entry in official records.

Despite Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila THIRD DIVISION G. however. The dissent likewise argues that the ponencia cannot impose on the defense the burden of proving that the police had an improper motive in charging him because of the absence of the presumption of regularity. An examination of the Information reveals that accused-appellant was charged with the unauthorized sale and delivery of dangerous drugs consisting of twenty-five hundredths (0. vs. When she did. Did the defense satisfactorily impugn the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses when he said that he was a victim of hulidap and that the policemen were extorting money from him? Said declaration is definitely not sufficient to impugn the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses. find the penalty imposed by the trial court. Q-99-87055 That in or about the year of 1996. It is settled that if the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses are not impugned. she and her younger siblings. 9165. SO ORDERED. to wit: by then and there.000. inside a bedroom and undressed her and put himself on top of her and thereafter have carnal knowledge with said AAA against her will and without her consent. We. CRIMINAL CASE NO. Aling Leony. appellant." only life imprisonment and fine. We find this untenable. 01994 dated 31 August 2007 is AFFIRMED. No.R.2 convicting accused-appellant William Ching of three counts of rape committed against his minor daughter. This Court shall now determine the proper penalties to be imposed on him. 1998. minor. We are fully convinced that the accused is guilty as charged. one evening of May 1998. One impugns the testimony of witness during crossexamination. willfully. AAA felt pain but she could not move because appellant held both her hands above her head. of selling and delivering one sachet to the poseur-buyer. She was 12 years of age in the year 1996 when the alleged incidents of rape took place. in XXX.3 The factual antecedents are as follows: On 1 October 1999. He then pulled down her shorts and panty. AAA. PO3 Melba Baldeswis (PO3 Baldeswis). to forget and recover from the incident. therefore. Q-99-87053. after the latter was caught in flagrante delicto during the buy-bust operation. When AAA was already inside the room. papatayin kita. AAA and her younger siblings were sleeping on the cemented floor inside the bedroom when appellant entered and lay down beside her. in XXX. J. and again inserted his penis into her vagina.: . DDD and EEE to play outside the house. This was not done. AAA was then cooking rice when appellant instructed her to go inside the bedroom. 12 years of age. 01798 dated 3 August 2006. accused-appellant. Accused-appellant could have been charged with the possession of dangerous drugs57 on account of the second and third sachets. From the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses. Appellant told her. Q-99-87053 That in or about the month of May.R. 12 years of age. plaintiff-appellee. Sometime in the year 1996." After satisfying his lust. Accused-appellant. WILLIAM CHING. at around 5:00 in the afternoon. Philippines. minor. willfully. and Dr. CR No. unlawfully and feloniously drag said AAA. the said accused by means of force and intimidation. in XXX. unlawfully and feloniously drag said AAA.000. in Criminal Cases No. Cordero). Under Republic Act No. Pursuant. Such inaction runs counter to the normal human conduct and behavior of one who feels truly aggrieved by the act complained of. full faith and credit shall be accorded them. 2007 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. CR-HC No. the said accused by means of force and intimidation. For review is the Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. EEE and FFF. the selling of drugs by accused was established. PO2 Herrera. BBB. taken together. the Court of Appeals Decision in CA-G. Philippines. he did not do. When arraigned on 6 March 2000. CCC. trial on the merits ensued. without being properly charged therewith. DDD.CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II REQUIREMENTS OF FAIR PROCEDURE as to the number of witnesses to prove the same. 9346 entitled. present the following narrative: AAA is the third child in a brood of eight children born to appellant and BBB. We thus hold that accused-appellant‘s guilt has been established beyond reasonable doubt. If what he claims was indeed committed by the policemen. appellant placed himself on top of her and removed her shorts and panty. to wit: by then and there.25) gram of methylamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu). minor. even if proved. while BBB was at the market buying food. Their testimonies. he should have sued or charged them. and Q-99-87055 dated 4 August 2004. three separate informations4 were filed with the RTC against appellant for qualified rape allegedly committed as follows: CRIMINAL CASE NO. His mere say so that he was victimized without clear and convincing evidence to support such claim does not suffice. 1998.R. DECISION CHICO-NAZARIO. appellant stood up and left the bedroom. his own daughter. AAA‘s mother. She screamed "Tulungan po ninyo ako!" and resisted. Appellant told CCC. He removed his shorts and placed himself on top of her. these informations were consolidated for joint trial.00 – to be proper.54 From the foregoing. WHEREFORE. premises considered. Angel Cordero (Dr. unlawfully and feloniously drag said AAA. as affirmed by the Court of Appeals – life imprisonment and a fine of P500. inside a bedroom and undressed her and put himself on top of her and thereafter have carnal knowledge with said AAA against her will and without her consent. his own daughter. shall be imposed. as charged in the Information. Appellant pulled her left arm and made her lie in a straight body position. This. The prosecution presented as witnesses AAA. inside a bedroom and undressed her and put himself on top of her and thereafter have carnal knowledge with said AAA against her will and without her consent. is still guilty. In the case at bar.5Thereafter. his own daughter. were left at their house with appellant. to wit: by then and there. to the enactment of Republic Act No. 12 years of age.000. Q-99-87054 That in or about the month of May. Q-99-87054. CRIMINAL CASE NO. Branch 107. but were found by PO2 Herrera inside the right pocket of accused-appellant‘s pair of shorts upon frisking. PO3 Jesus Deduque (PO3 Deduque). instead of death. but to no avail because appellant pressed his feet against hers. willfully. The two other sachets56 were not sold or delivered. namely.1 affirming with modifications the Decision of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC). pleaded "Not Guilty" to each of the charges in the informations.000. the said accused by means of force and intimidation. only one sachet55 was sold and delivered to the poseur-buyer. Philippines.00). "An Act Prohibiting the Imposition of Death Penalty in the Philippines. with the assistance of counsel de oficio. appellant ordered her to lie down on the cemented floor. the unauthorized sale of shabu carries with it the penalty of life imprisonment to death and a fine ranging from Five Hundred Thousand Pesos (P500. She did not inform BBB of the incident because of her fear that appellant would make good his threats to kill her. 177150 November 22. AAA proceeded to the house of BBB‘s kumare.00) to Ten Million Pesos (P10. Subsequently. Appellant then removed his shorts and brief and thereafter inserted his penis into her vagina. For the second time. however. He cannot then be convicted of possession of dangerous drugs. "Wag kang maingay.

appellant was sentenced to death. To pay the private complainant AAA the amount of P75. Case No. To indemnify of P75. (7) the routing slip from the PNP Crime Laboratory16. To pay the private complainant AAA the amount of P75. b. IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING.00 by way of civil indemnity. Appellant pulled her left arm and made her face him. he is. On separating the same disclosed an elastic. Fed up. convex and slightly gaping with an area of erythematous at the middle of the left labium and the dark brown labia minora presenting in between. In the meantime. but he was detained for selling drugs in 1997.23 On 3 August 2006. the private complainant AAA the amount c. personally examined AAA. Afterwards.000. Hence. appellant lay down beside her. Belgira as the medico-legal officer of the PNP Crime Laboratory15. appellant immediately went home and found his eldest son taking care of his other children. GENITAL: There is scanty growth of pubic hair. not just the commotion caused by appellant in front of her employer‘s house when she did not give him money. To pay the costs of the suit. and charged with rape. Mateo. b. Abdomen is flat and soft.000. to wit: (1) Sinumpaang Salaysay of AAA10.00 for exemplary damages. thus: . another physician at the PNP crime laboratory. She did not shout out of fear. To pay the private complainant AAA the amount of P50. Cordero. she fully supported AAA in the instant case against appellant.000. he shall never contact the private complainant directly or indirectly either by letters.000. He must not approach the private complainant. Vaginal canal is narrow with prominent rugosities. however. (3) the baptismal certificate of AAA with her date of birth entered as 12 August 198312. To indemnify the private complainant of P50. he learned that BBB asked AAA to find a job and that BBB was subsequently detained for drugs. appellant stood up and reiterated his threat to kill her if she would tell anyone what happened. Upon her release from jail. are as follows: FINDINGS: GENERAL AND EXTRAGENITAL: Fairly developed.21 On 27 July 2004. External vaginal orifice offers moderate resistance to the introduction of the examining index finger. Labia majora are full. In Crim.00 for moral damages. and (11) manifestation of consent executed by AAA as accompanied by PO3 Baldeswis. To suffer the penalty of DEATH.00 for moral damages. His findings. when informed of the incident. and 3. e.00. He was released on 29 March 1998. d. Belgira to personally appear before the trial court.CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II REQUIREMENTS OF FAIR PROCEDURE the pain. From 1992 to 1996. but also that appellant previously raped her several times. it was Dr. To pay the costs of the suit. of the instant case to the Office of the City Prosecutor13. he had carnal knowledge of her. but he was again imprisoned for robbery and drug cases. Case No. Case No. CONCLUSION: Subject is in non-virgin state physically. the RTC elevated the records of the case directly to the Court of Appeals for review pursuant to our ruling in People v.22 In view of the penalty imposed upon appellant. Quezon City. (9) the initial laboratory report issued by the PNP Crime Laboratory18. the private complainant AAA the amount c. On several occasions. the Court of Appeals promulgated its Decision. The accused is hereby sentenced: 1. however.00 for exemplary damages.7 Dr. While he was in jail. Upon his release from jail in February 1999. appellant was arrested and detained for drug pushing. There are no external signs of application of any form of physical trauma. Q-99-87053and Q-99-87054. he worked as a driver. (8) request for laboratory examination forwarded by Police Station 4 to the PNP Crime Laboratory17. this Court finds that the prosecution established the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt and is therefore found guilty of the offenses charged. It was AAA‘s employer and BBB who coached AAA to file rape charges against appellant. d. appellant was arrested by PO3 Deduque and PO3 Baldeswis. AAA the amount c. the Court imposed on appellant the penalty of reclusion perpetua. (10) the sexual crime narrative report based on the narration of AAA19. who appeared in court for the purpose of producing and interpreting the medical records of AAA and confirming that the same was conducted in accordance with the protocol of the PNP. Q-99-87055: a. Breasts are conical with dark brown areola and nipple from which no secretions could be pressed out. Cervix is firm and closed.000. (4) letter referral of Police Station 4. b.20 Appellant singly testified in his own behalf and denied the foregoing accusations. while AAA and her younger siblings were sleeping inside the bedroom. Thereafter.00 for exemplary damages. d. the RTC rendered a Decision convicting appellant of three counts of rape.00 for moral damages. In Criminal Case No. that the accused shall be pardoned by the President. Appellant placed himself on top of her and removed her shorts and panty.8 However.000. Subsequently. BBB. In Criminal Cases No. For the third time. To pay the private complainant AAA the amount of P75. (5) joint sworn affidavit of the arresting officers14. in view of the unavailability of Dr.000.6 BBB was not able to accompany AAA in filing the instant case against appellant because she was also detained for drug pushing and was released only on 5 December 1999.00. telephone. in the evening of May 1998. affirming with modifications the Decision of the RTC. 2. (6) the medico-legal report with regard to AAA issued and signed by Dr. To indemnify of P75. AAA did not shout because appellant threatened to kill her. appellant would go to see AAA at her employer‘s house demanding money and creating a scene when AAA refused to give him any. In the event.000. appellant stood up and warned her not to tell anyone of the incident or he would kill her. To pay the private complainant AAA the amount of P75. To suffer the penalty of DEATH. and e. (2) marriage contract of BBB and appellant11. James Belgira (Dr. Novaliches. cellphone or send text messages or with the use of any electrical devices. f. To pay the private complainant AAA the amount of P50. AAA sneaked out of her employer‘s house and proceeded to the nearby barangay hall to report. as stated in the medico-legal report. Q-99-87053: a. In Crim. From June 1998 to February 1999. After his release from jail. fairly nourished and coherent female subject. a physician of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Crime Laboratory. forever barred from showing himself to the private complainant. Q-99-87054: a. Belgira). she immediately sought AAA and.000. To pay the costs of the suit. The dispositive portion of the decision reads: WHEREFORE.9 The prosecution also presented documentary evidence to bolster its version of the events. AAA was employed as a house helper. he would see AAA at her employers‘ house to ask for money. To suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua. Q-99-87055. In Crim. He admitted that AAA is his daughter and third child with his wife. fleshy-type hymen with shallow healed lacerations at 5 and 9 o‘clock position. This purportedly irked AAA and the latter‘s employer.

as amended.26 The contentions are devoid of merit. that to the best of her knowledge. In rape cases. we held in People v. 7659. Parish Priest of Sacred Heart Parish. premises considered.32 In People v. for the gravamen of the offense is carnal knowledge of a woman. the birth of AAA was not registered with the appropriate government agencies. Magbanua. 9346.37 The baptismal certificate states that AAA was born on 12 August 1983. An information can withstand the test of judicial scrutiny as long as it distinctly states the statutory designation of the offense and the acts or omissions constitutive thereof. according to BBB. the name of the offended party. was the law pertinent to the two rapes committed in May 1998. As a rule. The reason is obvious. to wit: THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN NOT CONSIDERING THE INFORMATIONS CHARGING THE ACCUSED-APPELLANT OF THE CRIME OF RAPE INSUFFICIENT TO SUPPORT A JUDGMENT OF CONVICTION FOR FAILURE OF THE PROSECUTION TO STATE WITH PARTICULARITY THE APPROXIMATE DATE OF THE COMMISSION OF THE ALLEGED RAPES. and that appellant‘s constitutional right to be informed of the nature and cause of accusation against him was violated. and that comadre told her that such papers were lost. provided it appears that the specific crime charged was in fact committed prior to the date of the filing of the complaint or information within the period of the statute of limitations and at a place within the jurisdiction of the court. herein appellant. appellant cannot complain that he was deprived of the right to be informed of the nature of the case filed against him. that she talked with comadre because the latter took all the necessary papers relevant to the birth of AAA. as amended by Republic Act No. that when AAA was about to enroll in school. This implies that AAA was about 13 years old at the time she was raped by appellant in 1996. SVD. promulgated on 04 August 2004. the best evidence to prove the age of the offended party for the purpose of appreciating the qualifying circumstance of minority is an original or certified true copy of the certificate of live birth of such party. As such. there being no other questions raised by appellant as to them. she went to the Quezon City Hall to secure a birth certificate of AAA but she was told therein that there are no records of birth of AAA. Q-99-87053. As early as 1908. Purazo31 that: We have ruled.24 Before us. time and again that the date is not an essential element of the crime of rape. As such. Further. The precise time when the rape took place has no substantial bearing on its commission.35 In the case at bar. then the subsequent trial court proceedings and the resulting judgment of conviction against appellant should likewise be affirmed. the time the first rape was committed. that the date and time of the alleged rapes are so indefinite thereby depriving appellant of the opportunity to prepare for his defense. the prosecution adduced the marriage contract of appellant and BBB showing that they were married on 29 February . of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City. otherwise known as the Anti-Rape Law of 1997. conviction may be had on proof of the commission of the crime. The date or time of the commission of rape is not a material ingredient of the said crime because the gravamen of rape is carnal knowledge of a woman through force and intimidation. and that she was barely 14 years and 9 months old when she was twice raped by appellant in May 1998. similar authentic documents. the designation of the offense given by the statute. There is no cogent reason to deviate from these precedents especially so that all the essential elements of rape were also stated in the informations. we already held that where the time or place or any other fact alleged is not an essential element of the crime charged. Q-99-87055 is AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATION that the sentence imposed on appellant is reduced to reclusion perpetua for each count of qualified rape. 8353. even if it appears that the crime was not committed at the precise time or place alleged. and that pursuant to said law. the acts or omissions complained of as constituting the offense. Q-9987054. the latter told her that a neighbor known only as comadre volunteered and suggested to register the birth of AAA together with the registration of birth ofcomadre‘s child. Kamuning. Hence.28 The purpose of the requirement for the information‘s validity and sufficiency is to enable the accused to suitably prepare for his defense since he is presumed to have no independent knowledge of the facts that constitute the offense. comadre registered the birth of AAA. Q-99-87053. Cases Nos. Further. Fr. The qualifying circumstances of minority of the victim and the latter‘s relationship with the offender must be alleged in the complaint or information and proved during the trial to warrant the imposition of the death penalty. such as a baptismal certificate. thus: Although the information did not state with particularity the dates when the sexual attacks took place. 4103. It is sufficient that the complaint or information states that the crime has been committed at any time as near as possible to the date of its actual commission. An information is an accusation in writing charging a person with an offense.25 Appellant maintains that the approximate time of the commission of the offense must be stated in the complaint or information.000. Rule 110 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure specifically provides that it is not necessary to state in the information the precise date the offense was committed except when it is a material ingredient of the offense.34 The informations in Criminal Cases No.00 for exemplary damages for each count of qualified rape. The baptismal certificate also states that appellant is the father of AAA.000.29 With respect to the date of the commission of the offense.27 To be considered as valid and sufficient. by reason of Republic Act No. which show the date of birth of the victim would suffice to prove age. and that the offense may be alleged to have been committed on a date as near as possible to the actual date of its commission. in lieu of death penalty. that the informations in the instant case do not state the approximate time of the alleged rapes. and the place where the offense was committed. We further uphold the penalty imposed on appellant by the Court of Appeals. otherwise known as the Indeterminate Sentence Law. Quezon City. we believe that the allegations therein that the acts were committed "on (sic) the year 1991 and the days thereafter" substantially apprised appellant of the crime he was charged with since all the essential elements of the crime of rape were stated in the information. the date or time need not be stated with absolute accuracy. Since the sole issue raised by appellant was resolved by this Court in favor of the validity of the informations filed against him. in the absence of a certificate of live birth. another P75. subscribed by the prosecutor and filed with the court. was the law applicable in the year1996. the prosecution was not able to present the birth certificate of AAA because.000.30 In sustaining the view that the exact date of commission of the rape is immaterial. the allegations in the informations which stated that the three incidents of rape were committed in the year 1996 and in May 1998 are sufficient to affirm the conviction of appellant in the instant case. Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code.36 Nonetheless. Castro.00 for civil indemnity.CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II REQUIREMENTS OF FAIR PROCEDURE WHEREFORE. the time or place of commission in rape cases need not be accurately stated. failure to specify the exact dates or times when the rapes occurred does not ipso facto make the information defective on its face. Romeo M. BBB testified during the trial that at the time she gave birth to AAA through the assistance of a comadrona. or if the proof fails to sustain the existence of some immaterial fact set out in the complaint. appellant assigns a single error. Q-99-87054 and Q-99-87055 specifically alleged that AAA was a minor at the time she was raped and that the offender. an information must state the name of the accused. This Court has upheld complaints and informations in prosecutions for rape which merely alleged the month and year of its commission. that the informations are fatally defective. The prosecution also proved during the trial the presence of the qualifying circumstances of minority and relationship through documentary and testimonial evidence. accusedappellant shall not be eligible for parole under Act No. is her father. Both laws state that the death penalty shall be imposed if the rape victim is a minor and the offender is a parent. Section 11. Branch 107 convicting accused-appellant William Ching of three (3) counts of qualified rape in Crim. As such. However. accused-appellant is ordered to pay the victim AAA the amounts ofP75. BBB submitted AAA‘s baptismal certificate dated 23 August 2001 issued by Rev. On the other hand. the Decision dated 27 July 2004.00 for moral damages and P25. Republic Act No. the approximate date of the commission of the offense.33 we sustained the validity of the information for rape which merely alleged the year of its commission.

The field test and laboratory examinations on the contents of the confiscated sachet yielded positive results for methamphetamine hydrochloride. However. 2008 in CA-G.R. He questions the admissibility of the confiscated sachet on the ground that it was the fruit of the poisonous tree. He likewise avers that the prosecution failed to establish the identity of the confiscated drug because of the team‘s failure to mark the specimen immediately after seizure. appellant assails. brought him to Sea Breeze Lodge. When appellant alighted from the bus.000. Article II. or whose sentences will be reduced to reclusion perpetua.12 appellant attacks the credibility of the witnesses for the prosecution. We have reviewed such factual findings when there is a showing that the trial judge overlooked. the said accused did then and there. the team approached him and invited him to the police station on suspicion of carrying shabu. 01798 dated 3 August 2006 is hereby AFFIRMED in toto. did then and there. 4103. At around 3:00 p. He maintained that the charges against him were false and that no shabu was taken from him. forced him to alight.41 WHEREFORE.38 Appellant admitted that AAA is his daughter and BBB is his wife. 9165 and sentencing him to suffer the penalty of life imprisonment and to pay a fine of P500.A. 9346 prohibiting the imposition of the death penalty. Persons convicted of offenses punished with reclusion perpetua. after due deliberation. the said accused. On May 20.CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II REQUIREMENTS OF FAIR PROCEDURE 1980.54] grams of shabu without any permit or license from the proper authorities to transport the same. a confidential agent of the police transacted through cellular phone with appellant for the purchase of shabu. the accusatory portions of which read: "That at about 3:00 o‘clock (sic) in the afternoon on May 20. one for violation of Section 5 of R. feloniously and willfully have in his possession five point zero one (5. this is not a hard and fast rule. for the first time. We also sustain the award of damages made by the Court of Appeals in favor of AAA for each of the three rapes.C.R.A.m. Aurora. As appellant was about to board a tricycle. appellant denied liability and claimed that he went to Baler.00 is the correct amount to be awarded if the crime is qualified by circumstances that warrant the imposition of the death penalty. dangerous drugs. DECISION NACHURA. and the second.4 The agent gave the police appellant‘s name. when opened. or b) the penalty of life imprisonment. but as he pulled out his hands from his pants‘ pocket. shall not be eligible for parole under Act No. C. We have repeatedly held that the trial court‘s evaluation of the credibility of witnesses and their testimonies is entitled to great respect and will not be disturbed on appeal.6 Appellant was charged in two separate Informations. No."7 "That at about 3:00 o‘clock (sic) in the afternoon on May 20. by reason of this Act. the penalty to be meted to appellant shall be reclusion perpetua in accordance with Section 2 thereof which reads: SECTION 2. 186529 August 3. 2010 Baler. or misapplied some fact or circumstance of weight and substance that would have affected the case. unlawfully. No. CONTRARY TO LAW.R. 2004. Article II.39 Given the foregoing considerations. No costs. stripped his clothes and underwear. 9165. he is not eligible for parole following Section 3 of said law which provides: SECTION 3. R. together with his physical description. Aurora."8 During the arraignment. CONTRARY TO LAW. Aurora. the CA affirmed the RTC decision. appellant stood near the highway and waited for a tricycle that would bring him to his final destination.9 On July 8.00 is fitting even though it was not pleaded or its basis established by evidence. CR-H. The appeal is meritorious. J. yielded a small sachet containing the suspected drug. As to the circumstances of his arrest. The agent later reported the transaction to the police authorities who immediately formed a team composed of member of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).11 Hence. Notwithstanding the reduction of the penalty imposed on appellant.01) [or 4. misunderstood.A.R. He also assured them that appellant would arrive in Baler. when the law violated makes use of the nomenclature of the penalties of the Revised Penal Code. a white envelope slipped therefrom which. the following shall be imposed: a) the penalty of reclusion perpetua.A. The team members then posted themselves along the national highway in Baler. the present appeal. the RTC rendered a Joint Judgment10 convicting appellant of Violation of Section 5. otherwise known as the Indeterminate Sentence Law. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila SECOND DIVISION G. of the same day. Article II of Republic Act (R. At the trial. the Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. he explained that the police officers.000.C.000. The case stemmed from the following facts: On May 19. Aurora and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. a Genesis bus arrived in Baler. Appellant. the penalty of death for each of the three counts of rape committed against AAA is proper. No. the legality of his arrest and the validity of the subsequent warrantless search. but acquitted him of the charge of Violation of Section 11. the amount of P75. In his brief. through their van.. 2003. However. vs. anytime of the day wearing a red and white striped Tshirt. In lieu of the death penalty. of Section 11 of the same law for possessing. feloniously and willfully transporting or delivering dangerous drug of 5.) No. 2003. With respect to moral damages. pursuant to prevailing jurisprudence. blocked the tricycle he was riding in. a regulated drug without any permit or license from the proper authorities to possess the same. Having alighted from the bus. R.00 is authorized due to the presence of the qualifying circumstances of minority and relationship. then brought him to the police station for investigation.-H. appellant called up the agent and informed him that he was on board a Genesis bus and would arrive in . the award of exemplary damages in the amount of P25. 9165. In his supplemental brief. the Intelligence group of the Philippine Army and the local police force to apprehend the appellant. 2003 in Baler. 2003 in Baler. 9165. 00425 affirming the Regional Trial Court2 (RTC) Joint Decision3 dated July 8.: On appeal is the Court of Appeals (CA) Decision1 dated May 22. The confiscated specimen was turned over to Police Inspector Rogelio Sarenas De Vera who marked it with his initials and with appellant‘s name.00. Appellee. 2004 finding appellant Jack Racho y Raquero guilty beyond reasonable doubt of Violation of Section 5. as amended.13 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. the confidential agent pointed to him as the person he transacted with earlier. The award of civil indemnity in the amount of P75. Aurora to visit his brother to inform him about their ailing father.5 The team then brought appellant to the police station for investigation. in view of the effectivity of Republic Act No. On appeal. SO ORDERED.40 Further.01 [or 4.000. for transporting or delivering.54] grams of Methamphetamine Hydrochloride commonly known as "Shabu". unlawfully. Appellant immediately denied the accusation. when the law violated does not make use of the nomenclature of the penalties of the Revised Penal Code. Aurora the following day. JACK RACHO y RAQUERO.m. appellant pleaded "Not Guilty" to both charges. at 11:00 a.

the team approached him and invited him to the police station as he was suspected of carrying shabu. Aurora bringing with him a sachet of shabu. Search of evidence in "plain view. Upon inspection of the plastic bag carried by the accused. the Toril Police Station. Clearly. thus curing whatever defect may have attended his arrest. and usually wearing a sando and maong pants. the police approached them. introduced themselves as police officers. admits of exceptions. even those not raised on appeal. it becomes unreasonable and any evidence obtained therefrom shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding. Appellant‘s warrantless arrest therefore cannot.22 The determination of the existence or absence of probable cause necessitates a reexamination of the established facts.30 . the team approached her and introduced themselves.17 Said proscription. Considering this lapse. Aruta. While conducting stationary surveillance and monitoring of illegal drug trafficking. that the accused perform some overt act that would indicate that he has committed. Upon inspection. of the same day. they saw the accused who fit the description. Acting on said tip. Aruta. 2003. is sufficient probable cause to effect a valid warrantless arrest. Search of a moving vehicle. Upon seeing the two male persons. later identified as Reynaldo Din and Fernando Inocencio. and when the latter was about to board a tricycle.16 The 1987 Constitution states that a search and consequent seizure must be carried out with a judicial warrant. Nuevas. when opened.1avvphi1 This Court is clothed with ample authority to review matters. and 7. The team members posted themselves along the national highway in Baler. the place or thing searched.CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II REQUIREMENTS OF FAIR PROCEDURE Appellant focuses his appeal on the validity of his arrest and the search and seizure of the sachet of shabu and. Aurora carrying shabu. received a report from a civilian asset that the neighbors of a certain Noel Tudtud (Tudtud) were complaining that the latter was responsible for the proliferation of marijuana in the area. 15 As to the admissibility of the seized drug in evidence. the bag was found to contain dried marijuana leaves. 1999.28 The facts in People v. generally. she handed it to the apprehending officers. Nuevas. with a tattoo mark on the upper right hand. was the tip given by the informant that appellant would arrive in Baler.24 We find no cogent reason to depart from this well-established doctrine. The police officers approached the suspects and asked if they could see the contents of the box which yielded marijuana leaves. At 8:00 p. namely: 1. 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. by itself. and the character of the articles procured.m. When he pulled out his hands from his pants‘ pocket. that same day. 5. This is in keeping with the constitutional mandate that every accused shall be presumed innocent unless his guilt is proven beyond reasonable doubt. a Genesis bus arrived in Baler..25 People v. the warrantless search was considered valid as it was deemed an incident to the lawful arrest. Reacting to the report. a Victory Liner Bus stopped in front of the PNB building where two females and a man got off. Aurora.23 The team then brought appellant to the police station for investigation and the confiscated specimen was marked in the presence of appellant. at 11:00 a. the accused disclosed where two other male persons would make a delivery of marijuana leaves. be the basis of his acquittal. is actually committing. the manner in which the search and seizure was made." 3. in addition. two men disembarked from a bus and helped each other carry a carton. otherwise.19 The RTC concluded that appellant was caught in flagrante delicto. a confidential agent of the police transacted through cellular phone with appellant for the purchase of shabu.29 In People v. would make a delivery of marijuana leaves. The legality of the arrest affects only the jurisdiction of the court over his person. the civilian asset informed the police that Tudtud had headed to Cotabato and would be back later that day with a new stock of marijuana. in itself. 4. having voluntarily submitted to the jurisdiction of the trial court.m.27 In People v. Nevertheless. we find that appellant can no longer question the validity of his arrest. this is the first time that he raises the issue. however. In his bid to escape charges. the arrest must precede the search. the admissibility of the sachet. 1999. yielded a small sachet containing the suspected drug. When appellant alighted from the bus. It is noteworthy that although the circumstances of his arrest were briefly discussed by the RTC. The police accosted the accused and informed him that they were police officers. The informant then pointed to the team members the woman. The instant case is similar to People v. the validity of the arrest and search and the admissibility of the evidence against appellant were not squarely raised by the latter and thus.m. When asked about the contents of her bag. including the purpose of the search or seizure. While thus positioned. it ordinarily 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 is charged. Thereafter. "Aling Rosa. the bag contained marijuana dried leaves and bricks wrapped in a blue cloth. but the sachet of shabu seized from him during the warrantless search is inadmissible in evidence against him. we must abide with jurisprudence which dictates that appellant. given the factual milieu of the case. This circumstance gives rise to another question: whether that information. 2003.. Every circumstance in favor of the accused shall be considered. the confidential agent pointed to him as the person he transacted with. consequently. coupled with his active participation in the trial of the case. a white envelope slipped therefrom which. the contents of the bag turned out to be marijuana leaves. the presence or absence of probable cause. For five days. were not ruled upon by the trial and appellate courts. they gathered information and learned that Tudtud was involved in illegal drugs. Recent jurisprudence holds that in searches incident to a lawful arrest. Although probable cause eludes exact and concrete definition. It is well-settled that an appeal in a criminal case opens the whole case for review. Davao City. Warrantless search incidental to a lawful arrest. a team of police officers posted themselves to await Tudtud‘s arrival. The agent reported the transaction to the police authorities who immediately formed a team to apprehend the appellant. The rule requires. we have to determine whether the police officers had probable cause to arrest appellant. the police assembled a team and deployed themselves near the Philippine National Bank (PNB) in Olongapo City. more or less 5‘4" in height. even without a warrant. it is necessary for us to ascertain whether or not the search which yielded the alleged contraband was lawful. 2. Tudtud. Exigent and emergency circumstances. appellant called up the agent with the information that he was on board a Genesis bus and would arrive in Baler.m. 25 to 30 years old. is deemed to have waived his right to question the validity of his arrest. or is attempting to commit an offense. Tudtud show that in July and August. if we find them necessary in arriving at a just disposition of the case. The records show that appellant never objected to the irregularity of his arrest before his arraignment.18 What constitutes a reasonable or unreasonable warrantless search or seizure is purely a judicial question.20 Consequently. then inspected the bag they were carrying. 6. Aurora anytime of the day wearing a red and white striped T-shirt. On August 1. what prompted the police to apprehend appellant.14 After a thorough review of the records of the case and for reasons that will be discussed below. the Intelligence Section conducted surveillance. The field test and laboratory examinations on the contents of the confiscated sachet yielded positive results for methamphetamine hydrochloride. and at around 3:00 p. declaring that he was caught in the act of actually committing a crime or attempting to commit a crime in the presence of the apprehending officers as he arrived in Baler." who was then carrying a traveling bag. In fact. determinable from the uniqueness of the circumstances involved. On May 20.21 Thus. On May 19. Upon inspection.26 and People v. carrying a plastic bag. The long standing rule in this jurisdiction is that "reliable information" alone is not sufficient to justify a warrantless arrest. At around 4:00 p. Stop and Frisk. the process cannot be reversed. the police officers received information that a certain male person. Consented warrantless search. a police officer was tipped off by his informant that a certain "Aling Rosa" would be arriving from Baguio City the following day with a large volume of marijuana. Customs search.

Art. or about to commit an offense. Ironically. conspiring and confederating together and both of them mutually helping and aiding one another. Accused-Appellants.08 gram). No.A. was actually committing. in Pasig City. . Pasig City (RTC). 2002. unlawfully and feloniously sell. II. "Malou" for Violation of Section 15. a police poseur buyer. 2004 Decision2 of the Regional Trial Court. prosecutors and judges may still tend to gloss over an illegal search and seizure as long as the law enforcers show the alleged evidence of the crime regardless of the methods by which they were obtained. it only fosters the more rapid breakdown of our system of justice. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. this is an instance of seizure of the "fruit of the poisonous tree. these include People v. As cited in People v. a dangerous drug. Some lawmen. At the time of the arrest. Plaintiff-Appellee. No. 9165 (Comprehensive Drugs Act of 2002). the original informations were amended accordingly. 11. R.38 Neither were the arresting officers impelled by any urgency that would allow them to do away with the requisite warrant. Gonzales. the Court of Appeals Decision dated May 22. 2010 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES." Criminal informations were filed in the RTC against Rolando Araneta y Abella a.R.33 People v. Appellant Jack Raquero Racho is ACQUITTED for insufficiency of evidence. 2003. Neither did the arresting officers have personal knowledge of facts indicating that the person to be arrested had committed.07 gram. Maspil. the police had ample opportunity to apply for a warrant. Damasco. did then and there willfully. an acquittal is warranted. there was an assurance that he would be there the following day (May 20). dispense. which affirmed the March 12. unlawfully and feloniously have in his possession and under his custody and control one (1) heat-sealed transparent plastic sachet containing 1. in violation of said law. appellant herein was not committing a crime in the presence of the police officers.k. We are not unaware of another set of jurisprudence that deems "reliable information" sufficient to justify a search incident to a lawful warrantless arrest. Nuevas. despite the waiver of appellant of his right to question the illegality of his arrest by entering a plea and his active participation in the trial of the case. As clearly stated in People v. transport or distribute any dangerous drug. not being lawfully authorized to use or possess any dangerous drug. DECISION MENDOZA. 26. Contrary to Law. 191064 October 20.a. No. (For Violation of Sec.C.37 In these cases. Valdez. 6425. otherwise known as the "Comprehensive Drugs Act of 2002. 02308. the sachet of shabu would not have been confiscated. 00425 is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. to wit: 1) Exh. ROLANDO ARANETA y ABELLA @ BOTONG and MARILOU SANTOS y TANTAY @ MALOU. appellant had just alighted from the Gemini bus and was waiting for a tricycle. deliver and give away to PO2 Danilo S. 9165) 11492-D Araneta On or about July 5. unless the latter is being lawfully held for another cause. within ten (10) days from notice.39 Obviously.10 gram. In view of the enactment of R.C. II. A waiver of an illegal. the accused.. 11491-D People vs. No. premises considered. 9165. they were covered by the other exceptions to the rule against warrantless searches. warrantless arrest does not carry with it a waiver of the inadmissibility of evidence seized during an illegal warrantless arrest. As earlier mentioned. the end never justifies the means. B1 RAA/070502 – 0. 2002 in Pasig City. Balingan. as amended. While this Court appreciates and encourages the efforts of law enforcers to uphold the law and to preserve the peace and security of society. their office received the "tipped information" on May 19. They likewise learned from the informant not only the appellant‘s physical description but also his name." Without the confiscated shabu. a member of the arresting team. and to inform the Court of the date of his release. Bagista. and consequently. The said Informations read: Criminal Case No. 2008 Decision1 of the Court of Appeals (CA). People vs. we in the administration of justice would have no right to expect ordinary people to be law-abiding if we do not insist on the full protection of their rights. 4) Exh. the Court sustained the validity of the warrantless searches notwithstanding the absence of overt acts or suspicious circumstances that would indicate that the accused had committed. B4 RAA/070502 – 0. This kind of attitude condones law-breaking in the name of law enforcement. in CA-G. appellant‘s conviction cannot be sustained based on the remaining evidence. Although it was not certain that appellant would arrive on the same day (May 19).41 x x x In the final analysis.a. Criminal Case No. 6425 (Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972). did then and there willfully. Article III in relation to Section 21.k. Montilla. B2 RAA/070502 – 0. or the reasons for his confinement. Jr. Clearly. was committing. B3 RAA/070502 – 0. R. No. J. Appellant was not acting in any suspicious manner that would engender a reasonable ground for the police officers to suspect and conclude that he was committing or intending to commit a crime. which was found positive to the test for metamphetamine hydrochloride. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court.42 WHEREFORE. or attempting to commit a crime. No costs. Were it not for the information given by the informant. we refused to validate the warrantless search precisely because there was no adequate probable cause.34 People v.07 gram. We required the showing of some overt act indicative of the criminal design. Lising. As in the above cases.22 grams of dried marijuana fruiting tops.: This is an appeal from the August 29.A. Art. 2008 in CA-G. Section 3(2) of the 1987 Constitution. one (1) heat-sealed transparent plastic sachet containing white crystalline substance weighing of (sic) eight (8) centigrams (0. except in Valdez and Gonzales.08 gram. 2) Exh. CR-H.CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II REQUIREMENTS OF FAIR PROCEDURE In all of these cases. in addition to the Information filed against him and co-accused Marilou Santos y Tantay a. the confiscated item is inadmissible in evidence consonant with Article III. we nevertheless admonish them to act with deliberate care and within the parameters set by the Constitution and the law. "Botong" for Violation of Section 8 and Section 16 of R.36 and People v. "any evidence obtained in violation of this or the preceding section shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding.35 People v. But as aptly observed by the Court.31 People v. Truly. Article IV of R. and the eventual denigration of society. Araneta & Santos (For Violation of Sec. Thus. SO ORDERED.finding the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt for violating Section 5 and Section 11 of Article II of Republic Act No. a dangerous drug.A.R.A. which was found positive to the test for marijuana. the legality of an arrest affects only the jurisdiction of the court over the person of the accused.32 People v. the above accused. Branch 151. The Director of the Bureau of Corrections is directed to cause the immediate release of appellant.A. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila SECOND DIVISION G. and eight (8) heat-sealed transparent plastic sachets containing white crystalline substance with the following recorded net weight. CR-H. not being lawfully authorized to sell. vs. 3) Exh. as amended.R. 9165) On or about July 5. Tudtud." hence. As testified to by Police Officer 1 Aurelio Iniwan.40 One final note. 5 in relation to Sec. appellant would not have been apprehended and no search would have been made.

the police officer found in Botong‘s pocket one plastic sachet of what looked like marijuana and eight plastic sachets containing white crystalline substance. the RTC found the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt and sentenced them accordingly. the team proceeded to the said location. Marilou denied that the said articles belong to them since the policemen did not recover anything from them during the search. PO2 Damasco asked them several questions. PO2 Danilo Damasco. 2002. 2-8) In the early morning of July 5. B5 RAA/070502 – 0. Before dispatching the team. he heard the said policeman utter. He also asked Rolando the whereabouts of Teng but the former answered that nobody by the name of Teng lived there. Five (5) policemen then entered and conducted a search. 2003. 6) Exh. the police operatives filed the instant cases against them. the policemen brought them to the police station. Together with the request. B7 RAA/070502 – 0. Rosario.00 each. 11491-D. She hesitated to follow the group. Baka meron ka dyan. Marilou refused to give said amount. the plastic sachets were brought by PO1 Orig to the crime laboratory. II of R. PO2 Damasco immediately gave the pre-arranged signal to the other members of the team who thereafter rushed to the scene. Despite her denial. "Stay there. (TSN. the police operatives informed them that they are being charged for their involvement in illegal drug activities. September 10. Putol. the Court renders judgment. II of R. "I-score ka na ba.CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II REQUIREMENTS OF FAIR PROCEDURE 5) Exh. B6 RAA/070502 – 0. 2002.00. One of the policemen went inside the comfort room and looked for somebody. a dangerous drug. Rolando and Marilou must pay P20. The police operatives searched his house. The team arrived at the target place around 4:10 in the morning. "Nobody is here. . as follows: 1) In Criminal Case No. After examining the plastic sachet. Pasig City. The team proceeded to the target area on board two vehicles. They however found nothing illegal inside his house. which were found positive to the test for methamphetamine hydrochloride. After several minutes.09 gram or having a total weight of 0. Rolando tried to go upstairs to find out what happened.59 gram. and imposes upon him the penalty of imprisonment of from Twelve (12) years and One (1) day to Twenty (20) years and to pay a fine of P300. and 2) In Criminal Case No. later identified as appellants Rolando Araneta y Abella and Marilou Santos y Tantay. The informant introduced PO2 Damasco to Malou by saying. June 23. 2002 on the plastic sachet he brought from Malou and the plastic sachets confiscated by SPO2 Zigapan from Botong. July 23. between 3:00 and 3:30 o‘clock in the morning. PO2 Damasco demanded P20. the policeman got something from the drawer and told them that those articles belong to them. PO2 Damasco arrested Malou while SPO2 Zigapan arrested Botong. accused-appellant Marilou Santos and her live-in partner Rolando were sleeping when they were awakened by a noise coming from the second floor of their house. After a short conversation. Montefalcon and the informant were in one vehicle while PO2 Damasco and PO1 Orig were together in the other vehicle. After a while. Bgy. The laboratory tests gave a positive result of the presence of methampethamine hydrochloride or what is locally known as shabu on the contents of nine (9) sachets and marijuana on one (1) sachet. 9165. Thereat. SPO4 de Lara briefed them as to the alleged illegal activities of the couple and gave their description.04 gram. when they were suddenly awakened by a loud noise coming from the upstairs. While still poking the gun on them. He was then instructed to sit down." Malou then asked PO2 Damasco. Rosario.00 from them in exchange for their release. the man went near the door of his house and opened the same. the Court finds accused Rolando Araneta y Abella @Botong GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of violation of Sec. Malou handed to him the marked money. In its March 12. the police operatives invited Rolando and Marilou to come with them to the precinct to answer some questions. which they vehemently denied. 2004 Decision. and PO1 Bede Montefalcon. 9165. otherwise known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.00 each. PO2 Damasco immediately placed "RAA" and the date July 5. "I-score itong kaibigan ko. B8 RAA/070502 – 0. Considering that the accused is a detention prisoner. They positioned themselves some 20-30 meters from the alley where appellants were allegedly staying. 11. 3-4). 26. the policeman opened the door of their house.A. accused Rolando Araneta together with his live-in partner and co-accused Marilou Santos were sleeping on the ground floor of their rented apartment. pp. 000. he shall be credited with the period of his detention during his preventive imprisonment. Art." After Malou asked PO2 Damasco. The accused and the five (5) men passed in front of Marian. SPO2 Zigapan gave instructions to the informant to locate the appellants. 3) In the early morning of July 5. Suddenly. but he met a man who instantly poked a gun at him. 16 and 8 of Republic Act 9165. 5 in relation to Sec. "Magkano. As they were innocent. Since then Marian never saw the accused again. The prosecution‘s evidence was summarized in the CA decision as follows: On July 5. The informant and appellants exchanged greetings. 2003. 2003. don‘t move. to confirm the veracity of the informant‘s report and conduct a buy-bust operation. p. and imposes upon them the penalty of LIFE IMPRISONMENT and to pay a fine P500. Art. Botong then gave Malou a plastic sachet which she handed to PO2 Damasco. Malou called Botong and when the latter came out. Contrary to Law. prompting the police operatives to formally charge them. pp. At the police station. a confidential informant arrived at the Station Drug Enforcement Unit (SDEU) of the Pasig City Police Station to report to Officer-In-Charge SP04 Numeriano de Lara the alleged peddling of illegal drugs of live-in couple Botong and Malou. 11492-D (which absorbed Criminal Case No. After the search. Marian Rodriguez was outside the alley in ROTC. Rolando immediately stood up and tried to go up the stairs.000. SPO4 de Lara immediately formed a team composed of SPO2 Dante Zigapan who acted as the team leader.000. After the search. xxx xxx xxx SO ORDERED. the informant came back and confirmed the presence of appellants at ROTC Street. When Rolando declined to give said amount. otherwise known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. however. to which he acceded. in violation of the said law. (TSN. Pasig City. at Barangay Putol. PO1 Orig.A. That was when he met a man who introduced himself as a policeman. as follows: WHEREFORE.08 gram. told them that if they wanted to be released. Marilou tried to stand up but the policeman told her. 8) Exh. the Court finds accused Rolando Araneta y Abella @ Botong and accused Marilou Santos y Tantay A Malou GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of violation of Sec. 2003. SPO2 Zigapan designated PO2 Damasco as the poseur-buyer giving him a marked P100 bill to be used in the entrapment. Rosario. Botong went inside their house. 7) Exh. Later." One of the policemen then approached Rolando and asked him the whereabouts of a certain Teng. four (4) other policemen went inside. PO2 Damasco. The evidence for the accused was summarized by the CA as follows: Between 3:30 to 4:30 o‘clock in the morning of July 5. SPO2 Zigapan." the latter immediately gave her the marked P100 bill.06 gram. The man likewise pointed a gun to him and told him not to move. Thereafter. PO2 Damasco and the informant went near the appellants who were standing just outside their house. Rolando answered that he did not know Teng and that there was no other person inside the house except for him and his wife Marilou. PO2 Damasco prepared the written request for a laboratory examination of the confiscated plastic sachets. Pasig City when she saw both accused going out of the alley accompanied by five (5) men. Thereat. (TSN. SPO2 Zigapan recovered from Botong the marked P100 bill and after frisking him. 11490-D). Moments later. 000. they were still charged with Violations of Sections 15. Thereafter." Thereafter the police shoved them near the chair. 2006.

frame-up. the CA stated that the inconsistencies in the testimonies of the police officers were minor or inconsequential. 2009. the payment of the "buy-bust" money. More importantly. 2) the identity of the object of the sale and the consideration. failed to make an inventory and to photograph the same in their presence. In due time. out of eight (8) criminal cases filed against him. 2008. He related on the witness stand that upon receiving information from a confidential informant about the illegal sale of dangerous drugs by the accused. the offer to purchase. 9165. the CA issued a resolution4 denying their motion for reconsideration. It noted that accused Rolando Araneta was not candid enough to inform the court that no less than eight (8) criminal cases were previously filed against him in different courts for violation of the Dangerous Drugs Law. the RTC held that the defense of denial. as such. At the same time. their defense of denial and frame-up for extortion purposes was selfserving. After a brief introduction and short conversation. We therefore stress that the "objective" test in buy-bust operations demands that the details of the purported transaction must be clearly and adequately shown. Finally. his testimony passed the "objective test" in buy-bust operations. The manner by which the initial contact was made. On August 29. The plastic sachet was then handed over to PO2 Damasco who examined it and immediately gave the pre-arranged signal to arrest the accused. The CA ruled. Contrary to the posture of the accused. and 3) the delivery of the thing sold and payment therefor. and 2) the delivery of the thing sold and payment therefor. the object and consideration. The accused argue that the evidence adduced by the prosecution was not able to establish without a doubt. They insist that the police officers failed to strictly abide by the requirements of the law as regards the proper custody of dangerous drugs seized in the course of the alleged buy-bust operation. the offer to purchase the drug. The other cases were then still pending trial. will alter the outcome of the case. consistent and convincing. who had initial custody over the confiscated drug items. he admitted that one resulted in a conviction and two other cases were dismissed. the accused were brought to the police station and the seized items were later brought to the Police Crime Laboratory Office for examination. namely: 1) the identity of the buyer and seller. the accused filed a motion for reconsideration stressing the inadmissibility of evidence due to their illegal arrest. The prosecution stands firm by its position that the arrest of the accused and seizure of the shabu and marijuana were lawful and that the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses were truthful. Furthermore. Criminals must be caught but not at all cost. and the delivery of the illegal drug. accused Botong went inside their house while accused Malou received the marked money from the poseur-buyer. whether or not through an informant. Upon reaching the area in the early morning of July 5. 698-699.3 The CA ruled that the prosecution evidence met the standard for the "objective test" through the testimony of its witness. must be the subject of strict scrutiny by courts to insure that law-abiding citizens are not unlawfully induced to commit an offense. These were: 1) the identity of the buyer and the seller. gave Malou a plastic sachet containing a white crystalline substance. They also pointed out that the apprehending officers failed to establish that the corpus delicti (sachets of shabu or marijuana) were the very same ones sold by and seized from them. the entrapment team organizer. and 3) the delivery of the thing sold upon payment. In the absence of any credible evidence to the contrary. they immediately formed an entrapment team to conduct a buy-bust operation. forcible entry. It is morally convinced that the accused are guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the offense charged against them. the prosecution was able to establish all the necessary elements required in the prosecution for illegal sale of dangerous drugs. 301 SCRA 668. Malou gave the marked money to Botong who. to wit: 1) the identity of the buyer and the seller. The CA noted that the accused were arrested in flagrante delicto and that other contraband materials were recovered from them during the ensuing search. Doubtless. During the arrest. the promise or payment of the consideration until the consummation of the sale by the delivery of the illegal drug subject of the sale. 2) the object of the sale and the consideration. they claimed that the apprehending team. In arriving at said determination. It concluded that the corpus delicti was duly established. THE COURT’S RULING: After due consideration. misconstrued. No. and the inconsistency in the testimonies of prosecution witnesses. the marked money was recovered from Rolando and so were several other plastic sachets containing white crystalline substances together with a plastic sachet containing marijuana. misunderstood or misinterpreted cogent facts and circumstances of substance. he and the confidential informant approached the accused. whether to the informant alone or the police officer. the prosecution believes that it has shown that the chain of custody of the seized items was not broken. how the transaction was consummated through the exchange of marked money and the sachet of shabu. the sachets of shabu allegedly recovered from them were inadmissible in evidence. 2002. the testimony of PO2 Damasco was clear. the entrapment team leader. negative evidence that was not entitled to be given greater weight than the declaration of credible witnesses who testified on affirmative matters. the CA applied the "objective test" in buy-bust operations laid down in the case ofPeople v. who acted as poseur-buyer and who related how the informant introduced him to the accused. The accused likewise failed to show proof that the police officers did not properly perform their jobs or had ill motives against them. The testimony of PO2 Damasco was corroborated by SPO2 Zipagan. which. PO2 Danilo Damasco. the CA found no such inculpatory facts and circumstances and this Court has not stumbled upon any either. Malou then called Botong who thereafter came out of the house. all the elements necessary for the prosecution of the illegal sale of drugs are present. PO2 Danilo Damasco. The prosecution asserts that the accused cannot raise for the first time on appeal the issue on the alleged failure of the law enforcers to comply strictly with Section 21 of Republic Act No. examining the conduct of the police should not disable courts into ignoring the . Nevertheless. that the dangerous drugs presented in court were the very same ones allegedly sold by them. Doria. if considered. and extortion could not prevail over the positive identification by the prosecution witnesses. At any rate. Moreover. its calibration of the testimonies of the witnesses and its assessment of their probative weight are given high respect if not conclusive effect. and how the accused was arrested by the entrapment team. Aggrieved. the CA rendered the subject decision affirming the decision of the RTC. As correctly assessed by the CA. In their recourse to this Court. (PO2 Damasco) the poseur-buyer. Additionally. OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE "COMPREHENSIVE DRUGS ACT OF 2002. the Court finds the evidence on record sufficient enough to sustain the verdict of conviction. the accused appealed to the CA arguing that: 1) the RTC erred in not finding that they were illegally arrested and. Subsequently. On August 24.CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II REQUIREMENTS OF FAIR PROCEDURE The RTC ruled that all the elements for the prosecution of the illegal sale of dangerous drugs were present during the buy-bust operation conducted by the police officers. This must start from the initial contact between the poseur-buyer and the pusher. 9165.5 In this case. clearly and convincingly narrated in detail the entrapment operation they had conducted that led to the arrest of the accused and the seizure of the dangerous drugs.A. The accused failed to adduce evidence to overthrow the presumption of regularity in the performance of duty in favor of the police officers. however. and SPO4 Numeriano De Lara. unless the trial court ignored. the accused presented only one ISSUE WHETHER OR NOT THE ACCUSED-APPELLANTS ARE GUILTY BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT FOR VIOLATING SECTIONS 5 AND 11 OF ARTICLE II OF R. in turn. that the issues on the corpus delicti and the alleged failure of the apprehending team to make an inventory and to photograph the shabu and marijuana in the presence of the accused were new issues not raised in their appeal brief. among others. and 2) the RTC erred in finding them guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime charged because the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses were replete with inconsistencies and contradictions. The rule is that factual findings of the trial court. the police officers are presumed to have regularly performed their official duty.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. they reiterated said grounds.4 the RTC convicted petitioner of illegal possession of dangerous drugs5committed on 10 March 2003. Sec. It was definitely legal for the buy-bust team to arrest. he noticed a cartoon cover and something beneath it.9 WHEREFORE. the seized shabu was duly marked. assisted by counsel. it follows that the search was also valid. Pretrial was terminated on 24 September 2003. the two (2) of which were empty while the other two (2) contained suspected shabu. the operation is legal and has been proven to be an effective method of apprehending drug peddlers. Naga City.1 Respondent. that after the accused opened the container. Hence. and 2) credibility of the prosecution witnesses. CR No. made the subject of examination and cross-examination. that the accused obliged and slowly put out the contents of the pocket of his jacket which was a nickel-like tin or metal container about two (2) to three (3) inches in size. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila SECOND DIVISION G. No.81avvphi1 It should also be noted that after the RTC rendered a guilty verdict. 32516 dated 18 February 20112 and Resolution dated 8 July 2011. Aside from their bare allegations.C. Since the buy-bust operation was established as legitimate. No. which pertinently provides: 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.6 [Emphasis supplied] The Court looked into the accused‘s defense of denial and accusations of frame-up. then this must also be considered. DECISION SERENO. Thus: We point out the defense‘s failure to contest the admissibility of the seized items as evidence during trial as this was the initial point in objecting to illegally seized evidence. the accused filed a motion for reconsideration based on two (2) grounds. Alteza. the Court cannot act. In its 19 February 2009 Decision. substantially testified that on March 10. 2008 Decision of the Court of Appeals. The Court totally agrees with the ruling of the CA that the issues on the corpus delicti and the compliance with Section 21 of RA No. he asked the accused to open it. Statement of the Facts and of the Case The facts. as found by the Regional Trial Court (RTC). involving an accused arrested after he sold drugs during a buy-bust operation. Hence. It was certainly a job well done. are as follows: PO2 Emmanuel L. CR-H. the accused added two (2) new arguments in their motion for reconsideration. which sustained the version of the prosecution. he told the accused to take out the contents of the pocket of his jacket as the latter may have a weapon inside it. The same ruling applies to the instant case. Sec. the presumption is that the members of the buy-bust team performed their duties in a regular manner. them on the spot because a buy-bust operation is a justifiable mode of apprehending drug pushers. vs. that he was alerted and so. Courts should look at all factors to determine the predisposition of an accused to commit an offense in so far as they are relevant to determine the validity of the defense of inducement. When carried out with due regard for constitutional and legal safeguards. and 2) the apprehending team who had initial custody over the confiscated drug items failed to make an inventory and to photograph the same in their presence. that while he and SPO1 Rayford Brillante were issuing a citation ticket for violation of municipal ordinance. who was then assigned at the Sub-Station 1 of the Naga City Police Station as a traffic enforcer. one (1) pair of scissors and one (1) Swiss knife. In People v. Without such objection. yet at no instance did the appellant manifest or even hint that there were lapses in the safekeeping of seized items that affected their admissibility. integrity and evidentiary value. much less. who was coming from the direction of Panganiban Drive and going to Diversion Road.R. The seizure made by the buy-bust team falls under a search incidental to a lawful arrest under Rule 126. the August 29. forcible entry and extortion by the police officers but found them inherently weak. On the other hand. including two (2) cellphones. The RTC also found his defense of . 2003 at around 3:00 o‘clock in the morning. J. To do so would violate basic rules on fair play and due process.3 Arraigned on 2 July 2003. the accused had nothing more to show that the apprehending police officers did not properly perform their duties or that they had ill motives against them. he noticed that the accused was uneasy and kept on getting something from his jacket. provided due regard to constitutional and legal safeguards is undertaken. From the very nature of a buy-bust operation. Villamin. In this jurisdiction.7 In People v. the Court ruled that it was a circumstance where a warrantless arrest is justified under Rule 113. Absent any convincing countervailing evidence. recidivism or plain criminal proclivity. when a party desires the court to reject the evidence offered. If there is overwhelming evidence of habitual delinquency. The Court also holds that the seized items were admissible. 13 of the Rules of Court.CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II REQUIREMENTS OF FAIR PROCEDURE accused‘s predisposition to commit the crime. The illegal drugs seized were not the "fruit of the poisonous tree" as the defense would like this Court to believe. that upon seeing the said container. Police Officer 3 (PO3) Emmanuel Alteza and a forensic chemist testified for the prosecution. 197788 February 29. to wit: 1) the apprehending officers failed to establish that the corpus delicti (sachets of shabu or marijuana) were the very same ones sold by and seized from them. he saw the accused. trial ensued. 9165 were issues that were not raised by the accused in their appellants‘ brief. that he invited the accused to come inside their sub-station since the place where he flagged down the accused is almost in front of the said sub-station. 2012 RODEL LUZ y ONG. Petitioner. it is a judicially sanctioned method of apprehending those involved in illegal drug activities. the accused spilled out the contents of the container on the table which turned out to be four (4) plastic sachets. 5(a) of the Rules of Court. after which. we held that objection to the admissibility of evidence cannot be raised for the first time on appeal. as the idea to commit a crime comes not from the police officers but from the accused himself.: This is a Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 seeking to set aside the Court of Appeals (CA) Decision in CA-G. entered a plea of "Not guilty" to the charge of illegal possession of dangerous drugs. he cannot raise the question for the first time on appeal. They failed to substantiate their argument that they were framed-up for extortion purposes.R. the absence of a warrant does not make the arrest illegal. During trial. After an unfavorable decision and ruling. SO ORDERED. Hernandez. driving a motorcycle without a helmet. In the CA. to wit: 1) inadmissibility of the seized items. dangerous drugs to the poseur-buyer. petitioner. and search. that this prompted him to flag down the accused for violating a municipal ordinance which requires all motorcycle drivers to wear helmet (sic) while driving said motor vehicle. the Court gives full faith and credit to the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses.R. rule on said new points. petitioner testified for himself and raised the defense of planting of evidence and extortion. in CA-G. A search warrant or warrant of arrest was not needed because it was a buybust operation and the accused were caught in flagrante delicto in possession of. and were only presented in their motion for reconsideration from the decision of the CA. The accused is caught in the act and must be apprehended on the spot. A buy-bust operation is a form of entrapment whereby ways and means are resorted to for the purpose of trapping and capturing the lawbreakers in the execution of their criminal plan. and a warrant was likewise not needed to conduct it. It found the prosecution evidence sufficient to show that he had been lawfully arrested for a traffic violation and then subjected to a valid search. 02308. and selling. At the trial. which led to the discovery on his person of two plastic sachets later found to contain shabu. planting of evidence. It is a valid form of entrapment. isAFFIRMED. he must so state in the form of objection. and that upon his instruction. and eventually offered as evidence.

This rule is a general concept and will not apply in hot pursuit operations. in apprehending a driver for any violation of this Act or any regulations issued pursuant thereto. that he may then be given a citation. at 467. and to pay a fine of Three Hundred Thousand Pesos (P 300. 384 U. to drive away without permission. that is. an ordinance requiring the use of crash helmet by motorcycle drivers and riders thereon in the City of Naga and prescribing penalties for violation thereof. an appeal throws the entire case wide open for review and the reviewing tribunal can correct errors.13 the United States (U. but that in the end he most likely will be allowed to continue on his way. nor a formal declaration of arrest. of the detained vehicle. The Court held that. detention of a motorist pursuant to a traffic stop is presumptively temporary and brief. or physical restraint.. the latter filed its Comment dated 3 January 2012. — Law enforcement and peace officers of other agencies duly deputized by the Director shall. On 4 January 2012." Miranda v. In a Resolution dated 12 October 2011. Under the law of most States. McCarty. judgment is hereby rendered. finding that petitioner had been lawfully arrested.8 We find the Petition to be impressed with merit. it is a crime either to ignore a policeman‘s signal to stop one‘s car or. but the confiscation of the driver‘s license of the latter: SECTION 29. In other words. Arrest is the taking of a person into custody in order that he or she may be bound to answer for the commission of an offense. arrested. there was no valid arrest of petitioner. The accused himself admitted that he was not wearing a helmet at the time when he was flagged down by the said police officers. nor can it be considered a formal arrest.000. there is legal basis on the part of the apprehending officers to flag down and arrest the accused because the latter was actually committing a crime in their presence.6 Upon review. In this respect. x x x However.A. Prior to the issuance of the ticket. The vast majority of roadside detentions last only a few minutes. a violation of City Ordinance No.11 Under R. immediately issue a Traffic Citation Ticket (TCT) or Traffic Violation Report (TVR). or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code. A motorist‘s expectations. (iv) THE GUILT OF THE ACCUSED-PETITIONER WAS NOT PROVEN BEYOND THE REASONABLE DOUBT (sic). 98-012. Obviously. The subject shabu is hereby confiscated for turn over to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency for its proper disposition and destruction in accordance with law. It ruled as follows: It must be acknowledged at the outset that a traffic stop significantly curtails the "freedom of action" of the driver and the passengers. S. Two features of an ordinary traffic stop mitigate the danger that a person questioned will be induced "to speak where he would not otherwise do so freely. Petitioner raised the following grounds in support of his Petition: (i) THE SEARCH AND SEIZURE OF THE ALLEGED SUBJECT SHABU IS INVALID. x x x. deprive him of his liberty. it was only for the sake of convenience that they were waiting there. It is enough that there be an intention on the part of one of the parties to arrest the other. Similarly. the Philippine National Police (PNP) Operations Manual12 provides the following procedure for flagging down vehicles during the conduct of checkpoints: SECTION 7. he could therefore be lawfully stopped or arrested by the apprehending officers. finding accused RODEL LUZ y ONG GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt for the crime of violation of Section 11. In Berkemer v. Even assuming there was a valid arrest. this Court required respondent to file a comment on the Petition.9 First. On the other hand. we decline to accord talismanic power to the phrase in the Miranda opinion emphasized by respondent. and that there be an intent on the part of the other to submit. but only in those types of situations in which the concerns that powered the decision are implicated. the expectations of the motorist and the officer. or take him into custody. Hence.CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II REQUIREMENTS OF FAIR PROCEDURE frame-up and extortion to be weak. PO3 Alteza himself testified that the only reason they went to the police sub-station was that petitioner had been flagged down "almost in front" of that place.00). because there was no lawful arrest. petitioner filed under Rule 45 the instant Petition for Review on Certiorari dated 1 September 2011. Never indulge in prolonged. when he sees a policeman‘s light flashing behind him. 9165 and sentencing him to suffer the indeterminate penalty of imprisonment ranging from twelve (12) years and (1) day. unnecessary conversation or argument with the driver or any of the vehicle‘s occupants. but not for the particular reasons alleged. we must decide whether a traffic stop exerts upon a detained person pressures that sufficiently impair his free exercise of his privilege against self-incrimination to require that he be warned of his constitutional rights. Thus. though unassigned in the appealed judgment. Procedure in Flagging Down or Accosting Vehicles While in Mobile Car.10 It is effected by an actual restraint of the person to be arrested or by that person‘s voluntary submission to the custody of the one making the arrest. or even reverse the trial court‘s decision based on grounds other than those that the parties raised as errors. Arizona. confiscate the license of the driver concerned and issue a receipt prescribed and issued by the Bureau therefor which shall authorize the driver to operate a motor vehicle for a period not exceeding seventy-two hours from the time and date of issue of said receipt. (iii) THE INTEGRITY AND EVIDENTIARY VALUE OF THE ALLEGED SUBJECT SPECIMEN HAS BEEN COMPROMISED. is required.7 Petitioner claims that there was no lawful search and seizure. petitioner could not be said to have been "under arrest. self-serving and unsubstantiated. (ii) THE PRESUMPTION OF REGULARITY IN THE PERFORMANCE OF DUTY OF THE POLICE OFFICER CANNOT BE RELIED UPON IN THIS CASE. are that he will be obliged to spend a short period of time answering questions and waiting while the officer checks his license and registration. such questioning does not fall under custodial interrogation. 4136. There was no intention to take petitioner into custody. questioning incident to an ordinary traffic . and shall become invalid thereafter. to thirteen (13) years. Neither the application of actual force. or of local traffic rules and regulations not contrary to any provisions of this Act. he claims that he had never consented to the search conducted upon him. Article II of Republic Act No.S. he was not. being caught inflagrante delicto violating the said Ordinance. the general procedure for dealing with a traffic violation is not the arrest of the offender. once having stopped. manual touching of the body. when applicable: x x x m. as found by the trial court. He claims that the finding that there was a lawful arrest was erroneous. First. if any. The period so fixed in the receipt shall not be extended. In criminal cases. since he was not even issued a citation ticket or charged with violation of the city ordinance. Fidelity to the doctrine announced in Miranda requires that it be enforced strictly. SO ORDERED." There was no intention on the part of PO3 Alteza to arrest him. The mobile car crew shall undertake the following. under the belief and impression that submission is necessary. albeit he had a helmet in his possession. the RTC held thus: It is beyond dispute that the accused was flagged down and apprehended in this case by Police Officers Alteza and Brillante for violation of City Ordinance No. by virtue of the nature of the questioning. In fact. When he was flagged down for committing a traffic violation.) Supreme Court discussed at length whether the roadside questioning of a motorist detained pursuant to a routine traffic stop should be considered custodial interrogation. ipso facto and solely for this reason. 98-012. the CA affirmed the RTC‘s Decision. The dispositive portion of its Decision held: WHEREFORE. If it concerns traffic violations. Failure of the driver to settle his case within fifteen days from the date of apprehension will be a ground for the suspension and/or revocation of his license. the period during which petitioner was at the police station may be characterized merely as waiting time. as maximum. At the time that he was waiting for PO3 Alteza to write his citation ticket. On 12 September 2011. as minimum. and the length of time the procedure is conducted. Confiscation of Driver's License. the accused.

S. supra. the stop and frisk is merely a limited protective search of outer clothing for weapons. Mathiason. It may be stated as a corollary that neither can a warrantless arrest be made for such an offense. it shall be the duty of the arresting officer to inform the latter of the reason for the arrest and must show that person the warrant of arrest. x x x But neither of these underlying rationales for the search incident to arrest exception is sufficient to justify the search in the present case. 98-012. (vi) a "stop and frisk" search. he was not at that moment placed under custody (such that he should have been apprised of his Miranda rights). however. which was violated by petitioner.S. and (vii) exigent and emergency circumstances. by clear and positive testimony. then there would have been no need for him to be arrested for a second time—after the police officers allegedly discovered the drugs—as he was already in their custody. in combination. 492. and (2) the need to preserve evidence for later use at trial. S.‘" x x x The threat to officer safety from issuing a traffic citation. It is settled that the safeguards prescribed by Miranda become applicable as soon as a suspect‘s freedom of action is curtailed to a "degree associated with formal arrest. (v) customs search. It is the State that has the burden of proving. these constitutional requirements were complied with by the police officers only after petitioner had been arrested for illegal possession of dangerous drugs. police officers may only conduct minimal intrusions.14 It may also be noted that in this case. If it were true that petitioner was already deemed "arrested" when he was flagged down for a traffic violation and while he waiting for his ticket. neither can petitioner here be considered "under arrest" at the time that his traffic citation was being made. (iv) consented warrantless search. then the requirements for a valid arrest were not complied with. Those purposes are implicated as much by in-custody questioning of persons suspected of misdemeanors as they are by questioning of persons suspected of felonies. Ohio. x x x In both of these respects. (8) the environment in which the questioning took place. x x x The comparatively nonthreatening character of detentions of this sort explains the absence of any suggestion in our opinions that Terry stops are subject to the dictates of Miranda. While the rule normally applies when a police officer observes suspicious or unusual conduct. We have recognized that the first rationale—officer safety—is "‗both legitimate and weighty.CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II REQUIREMENTS OF FAIR PROCEDURE stop is quite different from stationhouse interrogation. It also appears that. whether particular confessions were voluntary. or to take the latter into custody. Second." It was actually concealed inside a metal container inside petitioner‘s pocket." and as much as possible to free courts from the task of scrutinizing individual cases to try to determine. Under the Rules of Court. the officer‘s issuance (or intent to issue) a traffic citation ticket negates the possibility of an arrest for the same violation. than to a formal arrest. (6) the defendant‘s belief that no incriminating evidence would be found. since the motorist therein was only subjected to modest questions while still at the scene of the traffic stop. Similarly. that the necessary consent was obtained. the former may be deemed to have arrested the motorist. such as ordering the motorist to alight from the car or doing a patdown: In Robinson. the evidence was not immediately apparent. that is. Instead. is a good deal less than in the case of a We are confident that the state of affairs projected by respondent will not come to pass." see Terry v. Even if one were to work under the assumption that petitioner was deemed "arrested" upon being flagged down for a traffic violation and while awaiting the issuance of his ticket. specific. was not in "plain view. Clearly. Certainly. Neither does the search qualify under the "stop and frisk" rule. See Oregon v. we noted the two historical rationales for the "search incident to arrest" exception: (1) the need to disarm the suspect in order to take him into custody. The following are the instances when a warrantless search is allowed: (i) a warrantless search incidental to a lawful arrest. the RTC found that petitioner was merely "told" to take out the contents of his pocket. this procedure does not authorize the officer to conduct a full search of the car. a warrant of arrest need not be issued if the information or charge was filed for an offense penalized by a fine only. when there is an intent on the part of the police officer to deprive the motorist of liberty. 392 U. all that was alleged was that petitioner was alone at the police station at three in the morning. In this case. (5) the presence of coercive police procedures. Court in Berkemer thus ruled that. he will be entitled to the full panoply of protections prescribed by Miranda. the aura of authority surrounding an armed. although alleged to be inadvertently discovered. and that any statement they might make could be used against them. It must be noted that the evidence seized. the U. and (9) the possibly vulnerable subjective state of the person consenting. Beheler. (3) whether the defendant objected to the search or passively looked on. and neither can treatment of this sort be fairly characterized as the functional equivalent of a formal arrest. (4) the education and intelligence of the defendant. and was freely and voluntarily given. intelligently given and uncontaminated by any duress or coercion. the failure to wear a crash helmet while riding a motorcycle is penalized by a fine only. 1 (1968). the usual traffic stop is more analogous to a so-called "Terry stop. at 451. the consent must be unequivocal. Supreme Court held that when a police officer stops a person for speeding and correspondingly issues a citation instead of arresting the latter. which may lead him to believe that a criminal act may be afoot. are applicable to this case. 1125 (1983) (per curiam).17 It must be voluntary in order to validate an otherwise illegal search. To be sure. (Emphasis supplied. after the fact. But other aspects of the situation substantially offset these forces. but shown by clear and convincing evidence. which frequently is prolonged. Iowa.) The U. The similarly noncoercive aspect of ordinary traffic stops prompts us to hold that persons temporarily detained pursuant to such stops are not "in custody" for the purposes of Miranda. there being no valid arrest. the warrantless search that resulted from it was likewise illegal. 429 U. S. Second. accompanied by several police officers. While the prosecution claims that petitioner acceded to the instruction of PO3 Alteza. These circumstances weigh heavily against a finding of valid consent to a warrantless search." California v. xxx xxx xxx to resist.S. 1121.19 In this case. especially a search incident to a lawful arrest. Persons shall be informed of their constitutional rights to remain silent and to counsel. the typical traffic stop is public. Court also noted that the Miranda warnings must also be given to a person apprehended due to a traffic violation: The purposes of the safeguards prescribed by Miranda are to ensure that the police do not coerce or trick captive suspects into confessing. at least to some degree. Perhaps most importantly. S.16 Neither was there a consented warrantless search. (ii) search of evidence in "plain view. Relevant to this determination are the following characteristics of the person giving consent and the environment in which consent is given: (1) the age of the defendant. circumstances associated with the typical traffic stop are not such that the motorist feels completely at the mercy of the police. 495 (1977) (per curiam)." "which work to undermine the individual‘s will . If a motorist who has been detained pursuant to a traffic stop thereafter is subjected to treatment that renders him "in custody" for practical purposes. This ruling does not imply that there can be no arrest for a traffic violation.18 Whether consent to the search was in fact voluntary is a question of fact to be determined from the totality of all the circumstances.21 the U. (7) the nature of the police questioning.. this alleged accession does not suffice to prove valid and intelligent consent. In fact.15 None of the above-mentioned instances. and in which the detainee often is aware that questioning will continue until he provides his interrogators the answers they seek. In Berkemer. This Court has held that at the time a person is arrested.20 In Knowles v. if any. to relieve the "inherently compelling pressures" "generated by the custodial setting itself. according to City Ordinance No. (2) whether the defendant was in a public or a secluded location. uniformed officer and the knowledge that the officer has some discretion in deciding whether to issue a citation. Consent to a search is not to be lightly inferred. however." (iii) search of a moving vehicle. The Court therein held that there was no justification for a full-blown search when the officer does not arrest the motorist. 463 U. exert some pressure on the detainee to respond to questions. See id.

453 U. . at 111. Long.1âwphi1 It plainly is not. S. stress. Mimms. . 5th Judicial Region. . 454. however. pursuant to a custodial arrest. at 234. Wilson. SO ORDERED. Belton. unless his continued confinement is warranted by some other cause or ground. S." 414 U. 392 U. 5. than to a formal arrest. they may order out of a vehicle both the driver. in Criminal Case No. we stated that a custodial arrest involves "danger to an officer" because of "the extended exposure which follows the taking of a suspect into custody and transporting him to the police station. houses. Michigan v.R. supra. 460 (1981). it does not by itself justify the often considerably greater intrusion attending a full fieldtype search. Nor has Iowa shown the second justification for the authority to search incident to arrest—the need to discover and preserve evidence. and uncertainty.. 420. We recognized that "[t]he danger to the police officer flows from the fact of the arrest. CR No. Terry v. But while the concern for officer safety in this context may justify the "minimal" additional intrusion of ordering a driver and passengers out of the car. at 234-235. and even conduct a full search of the passenger compartment. at 110. still it must be exercised and the law implemented without contravening the constitutional rights of citizens. conduct a "Terry patdown" of the passenger compartment of a vehicle upon reasonable suspicion that an occupant is dangerous and may gain immediate control of a weapon. 296 (1973) ("Where there is no formal arrest . See Mimms. n. and not from the grounds for arrest. Branch 21. RTC 2003-0087. a person might well be less hostile to the police and less likely to take conspicuous." Id. including any containers therein. No further evidence of excessive speed was going to be found either on the person of the offender or in the passenger compartment of the car.." Berkemer v.25 The drugs are the very corpus delicti of the crime of illegal possession of dangerous drugs. New York v. 291. at 413-414. Thus. is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. the Petition is GRANTED. a waiver of an illegal warrantless arrest does not. perform a "patdown" of a driver and any passengers upon reasonable suspicion that they may be armed and dangerous. supra. A routine traffic stop.26 WHEREFORE. Even without the search authority Iowa urges. Murphy. immediate steps to destroy incriminating evidence"). While he may have failed to object to the illegality of his arrest at the earliest opportunity. 32516 affirming the judgment of conviction dated 19 February 2009 of the Regional Trial Court. is a relatively brief encounter and "is more analogous to a so-called ‗Terry stop‘ . (Emphasis supplied. all the evidence necessary to prosecute that offense had been obtained. and any passengers. papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures.) The foregoing considered. for the enforcement of no statute is of sufficient importance to justify indifference to the basic principles of government. This is not to say that the concern for officer safety is absent in the case of a routine traffic stop. 1049 (1983). mean a waiver of the inadmissibility of evidence seized during the illegal warrantless arrest. For example. and its attendant proximity. at 414.22 The Constitution guarantees the right of the people to be secure in their persons. Wilson.24 The subject items seized during the illegal arrest are inadmissible. The 18 February 2011 Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. S. In Robinson. their inadmissibility precludes conviction and calls for the acquittal of the accused. Once Knowles was stopped for speeding and issued a citation. McCarty. 463 U.CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II REQUIREMENTS OF FAIR PROCEDURE custodial arrest. petitioner must be acquitted.23 Any evidence obtained in violation of said right shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding. officers have other. supra. independent bases to search for weapons and protect themselves from danger. 412 U. supra. S. Naga City. on the other hand. While the power to search and seize may at times be necessary to the public welfare. 468 U. Ohio. 1032. Petitioner Rodel Luz y Ong is hereby ACQUITTED and ordered immediately released from detention. . See also Cupp v. 1 (1968). . 439 (1984). S. S.