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198694 By Irish Facts: A routine foot patrol along Balingkit St.,Malate, Manila was conducted by SPO2 Soque, PO2 Cepe and PO3 Zeta. In the process they heard Ramon Goco shouting “Putang ina mo,limang daan nab a ito?” For purportedly violating sec 844 of the revised Ordinace of the city of Manila which punishes breach of the peace, Ramon was apprehended and asked to empty his pockets and a small transparent plastic sachet containing white crystalline substance suspected to be shabu was recovered. It was confiscated and Ramon was brought to police station 9. Laboratory examination shows that it is in fact shabu and consequently, Ramon was charged with possession of dangerous drugs under sec 11,art 2 of RA 9165. Ramon’s defense was that he was on that place only to borrow welding machine from one Paez Garcia when men in civilian clothing approached and ask his identity and as he affirmed he was handcuffed and eventually brought to the police station despite his denial of carrying illegal drugs. And when his wife wasn’t able to produce 20,000 which the officers ask in exchange of his release ,he was charged of the said crime. The RTC convicted Ramon of the crime of possession of dangerous drugs and upheld the legality of his warrantless arrest, observing that he was disturbing the peace in violation of the city ordinance. The CA denied his appeal and affirmed Ramon’s conviction. And it did not give credence to Ramon’s claim of extortion as his asseveration failed to overcome the presumption of regularity in the performance of the police officers’ official duties. Issue: Whether or not the CA erred in affirming the Decision of the RTC convicting Ramon of the crime of possession of Dangerous drugs Held: The petition is meritorious. A valid warrantless arrest which justifies a subsequent search is one that is carried out under the parameters of sec.5 (a) Rule 113 of the rules of court which requires that the apprehending officer must have been spurred by probable cause to arrest a person caught in flagrante delicto. The term probable cause has been understood to mean a reasonable ground of suspicion supported by circumstances sufficiently strong to warrant a cautious man’s belief that the person accused is guilty of the offense with which he is charged. Records show that PO2 Soque arrested accused Ramon for allegedly violating sec 844 of the Manila City Ordinance regarding Breaches of the Peace. The SC held that the act of shouting in a thickly-populated place, with many people conversing with each other on the street, would not constitute any of the acts punishable under sec 844 of the manila city ordinance. Ramon was not making or assisting in any riot, affray, disorder, disturbance, or breach of the peace; he was not assaulting, beating or using personal violence upon another; and, the words he allegedly shouted-‘Putang ina mo! Limang daan nab a ito?”- are not slanderous, threatening or abusive, and thus, could not have tended to disturb the peace or excite a riot considering that at the time of the incident, Balingkit Street was still teeming with people and alive with activity. Further, it bears stressing that no one present at the place of arrest ever complained that Ramon’s shouting disturbed the public. On the contrary, a disinterested member of the community (a certain Rosemarie Escobal) even testified that Ramon was merely standing in front of the store of certain Mang Romy when the officers arrested Ramon. The SC observed that these facts and circumstance could not have engendered a well-founded belief that any breach of the peace had been committed by Ramon at the time that his warrantless arrest was affected. No probable cause existed to justify Ramon’s warrantless arrest. February 13, 2013