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Manalili of illegal possession of prohibited drug violating RA 6425. Police operatives Espiritu, Lumabas and driver Enriquez conducted surveillance along the front of Kalookan Cemetery based on the information that drug addicts were roaming around in the area, saw a man who appeared to be high on drugs and introduced themselves as policemen. Said man avoided them and tried to resist, when they asked what the man was holding in his hand, the man held out his wallet and allowed Espiritu to examine it, who found what he suspected to be crushed mj leaves. The man was brought to the Anti-Narcotics Unit and turned out to be Manalili. The substance found on Manalili’s wallet was sent to NBI Foresic Chemistry Section and was confirmed as mj. Manalili’s version of the story was that early afternoon he was riding in a tricycle when 3 policemen stopped the tricycle and informed them of the suspected possession of mj, the policemen bodily searched both Manalili and the driver and upon finding nothing illegal on their persons, let the driver go but brought Manalili along to the police station. Manalili while on the way to the station saw a neighbor whom he signaled to follow them and when he was again searched in the station, he was asked to strip his pants where they found nothing illegal. Said neighbor then asked the policemen to let Manalili go seeing as they had not found anything illegal but Manalili was put on a cell who was brought to a fiscal later that day and was told not to say anything despite his saying that the policemen had not found mj on his person. Said tricycle driver and neighbor testified on court as to how the 2 searches yielded nothing illegal on Manalili’s person. Issues: 1. W/N evidence seized during a stop-and-frisk is admissible. 2. W/N Manalili’s actions constituted a waiver of his rights. 3. W/N the evidence is sufficient to prove Manalili’s guilt. Ruling: I. In Terry vs Ohio, a stop-and-frisk was defined as the vernacular designation of the right of a police officer to stop a citizen on the street, interrogate him and pat him for weapons: W)here a police officer observes an unusual conduct which leads him reasonably to conclude in light of his experience that criminal activity may be afoot and that the persons with whom he is dealing may be armed and presently dangerous, where in the course of investigating this behavior he identified himself as a policeman and makes reasonable inquiries, and where nothing in the initial stages of the encounter serves to dispel his reasonable fear for his own or others' safety, he is entitled for the protection of himself and others in the area to conduct a carefully limited search of the outer clothing of such persons in an attempt to discover weapons which might be used to assault him. Such a search is a reasonable search under the Fourth Amendment, and any weapon seized may properly be introduced in evidence against the person from whom they were taken. It did not, however abandon the rule that the police must, whenever practicable, obtain advance judicial approval of searches and seizures through the warrant procedure, excused only by exigent circumstances. As People vs Lacerna enumerated 5 recognized exceptions to the rule against warrantless searches and seizures: 1) search incidental to lawful arrest; 2) search of moving vehicles; 3) seizure in plain view; 4) customs search; 5) waiver of the accused of his rights against unreasonable searches and seizures. From Espiritu’s experience as a member of the Anti -Narcotics Unit of Caloocan City Police, Manalili’s suspicious behavior was characteristic of drug addicts who were high. II. SG’s contention that Manalili effectively waived the inadmissibility of the evidence illegally obtained when he failed to raise this issue or object during trial. A valid waiver of right against unreasonable searches and seizures require the concurrence of these requisites: 1) the right to be waived existed; 2) the person waiving it had knowledge; and 3) he/she had actual intention to relinquish the right. In this case however, it is deemed that Manalili has waived such right for failure to raise its violation before the trial court, at the earliest opportunity possible. Issues not raised below cannot be pleaded for the first time on appeal.
III. Manalili’s contention that the charge was trumped up to extort money and testimonies of the arresting officers were inconsistent, it held that the trial court’s assessment of the credibility of the witnesses particularly when affirmed by CA is accorded great weight and respect as it had opportunity to observe their demeanor and deportment as they testified before it. The elements of illegal possession of mj are: a) the accused is in possession of an item or object which is identified to be a prohibited drug; b) such possession is not authorized by law; and c) the accused freely and consciously possessed the said drug. The substance found on Manalili’s wallet was identified as mj which was prohibited and knowingly without authority. Considering that he was high and tried to avoid and resist, such behavior clearly shows that he knew he was holding mj and it was prohibited by law.