8epubllc of Lhe Þhlllpplnes

SUÞkLML CCUk1
Manlla
Ln 8AnC
G.k. No. L-69401 Iune 23, 1987
kI2AL ALIn, NASIM ALIn, AISAN ALIn, MIIAL ALIn, CMAk ALIn, LDkIS MUkSAN,
MULSIDI WAkADIL, 8ILL¥ ASMAD kAMSID ASALI, 8ANDING USMAN, ANGGANG
nADANI, WAkMIknAN nAÞA, GA8kAL IIkIkI, ALLAN 1AN, MUIAnIkIN MAkAIUkI,
kLNNLD¥ GCN2ALLS, UkDUIA ALIn, MLkLA ALIn, and NUkAISA ALIn VDA DL
ILkCLINC, peLlLloners,
vs.
MAICk GLNLkAL DLLIIN C. CAS1kC, IN nIS CAÞACI1¥ AS CCMMANDLk SCU1nCCM
AND kLGICNAL UNIIILD CCMMAND, kLGICN Ik, 2AM8CANGA CI1¥, CCLCNLL
LkNLS1C CALUÞIG, IN nIS CAÞACI1¥ AS CCMMANDING CIIICLk CI 1nL SÞLCIAL
ICkCLS GkCUÞ (AIk8CkNL) AND IN1LkNAL DLILNSL CCMMAND, C1nLkWISL
kNCWN AS IdC MAICk AkNCLD 8LANCC IN nIS CAÞACI1¥ AS CCMMANDING CIIICLk
CI 1nL ÞnILIÞÞINL MAkINLS AND 1S1 LILU1LNAN1 DAkWIN GULkkA IN nIS CAÞACI1¥
AS AC1S SUÞLkVISCk, IN1LkNAL DLILNSL CCMMAND, AkMLD ICkCLS CI 1nL
ÞnILIÞÞINLS, respondenLs.

CkU2, !"#
Cn november 23, 1984, a conLlngenL of more Lhan Lwo hundred Þhlllpplne marlnes and
elemenLs of Lhe home defense forces ralded Lhe compound occupled by Lhe peLlLloners
aL Cov. Alvarez sLreeL, Zamboanga ClLy, ln search of loose flrearms, ammunlLlon and
oLher exploslves. 1
1he mlllLary operaLlon was commonly known and dreaded as a "zona," whlch was noL
unllke Lhe feared pracLlce of Lhe !"#$"%&'% durlng Lhe !apanese CccupaLlon of roundlng
up Lhe people ln a locallLy, arresLlng Lhe persons flngered by a hooded lnformer, and
execuLlng Lhem ouLrlghL (alLhough Lhe lasL parL ls noL lncluded ln Lhe modern
reflnemenL).
1he lnlLlal reacLlon of Lhe people lnslde Lhe compound was Lo reslsL Lhe lnvaslon wlLh a
bursL of gunflre. no one was hurL as presumably Lhe purpose was merely Lo warn Lhe
lnLruders and deLer Lhem from enLerlng. unforLunaLely, as mlghL be expecLed ln
lncldenLs llke Lhls, Lhe slLuaLlon aggravaLed soon enough. 1he soldlers reLurned flre and
a bloody shooL-ouL ensued, resulLlng ln a number of casualLles.
2

1he besleged compound surrendered Lhe followlng mornlng, and slxLeen male
occupanLs were arresLed, laLer Lo be flnger-prlnLed, paraffln-LesLed and phoLographed
over Lhelr ob[ecLlon. 1he mlllLary also lnvenLorled and conflscaLed nlne M16 rlfles, one
M14 rlfle, nlne rlfle grenades, and several rounds of ammunlLlon found ln Lhe
premlses.
3

Cn uecember 21, 1984, Lhe peLlLloners came Lo Lhls CourL ln a peLlLlon for prohlblLlon
and #'()'#*+ wlLh prellmlnary ln[uncLlon and resLralnlng order. 1helr purpose was Lo
recover Lhe arLlcles selzed from Lhem, Lo prevenL Lhese from belng used as evldence
agalnsL Lhem, and Lo challenge Lhelr flnger-prlnLlng, phoLographlng and paraffln-LesLlng
as vlolaLlve of Lhelr rlghL agalnsL self-lncrlmlnaLlon.
4

1he CourL, LreaLlng Lhe peLlLlon as an ln[uncLlon sulL wlLh a prayer for Lhe reLurn of Lhe
arLlcles alleged Lo have been lllegally selzed, referred lL for hearlng Lo !udge Cmar u.
Amln of Lhe reglonal Lrlal courL, Zamboanga ClLy.
S
AfLer recelvlng Lhe LesLlmonlal and
documenLary evldence of Lhe parLles, he submlLLed Lhe reporL and recommendaLlons on
whlch Lhls oplnlon ls based.
6

1he peLlLloners demand Lhe reLurn of Lhe arms and ammunlLlon on Lhe ground LhaL Lhey
were Laken wlLhouL a search warranL as requlred by Lhe 8lll of 8lghLs. 1hls ls conflrmed
by Lhe sald reporL and ln facL admlLLed by Lhe respondenLs, "buL wlLh avoldance.
7

ArLlcle lv, SecLlon 3, of Lhe 1973 ConsLlLuLlon, whlch was ln force aL Lhe Llme of Lhe
lncldenL ln quesLlon, provlded as follows:
Sec. 3. 1he rlghL of Lhe people Lo be secure ln Lhelr persons, houses,
papers, and effecLs agalnsL unreasonable searches and selzures of
whaLever naLure and for any purpose shall noL be vlolaLed, and no search
warranL or warranL of arresL shall lssue excepL upon probable cause Lo be
deLermlned by Lhe [udge, or such oLher responslble offlcer as may be
auLhorlzed by law, afLer examlnaLlon under oaLh or afflrmaLlon of Lhe
complalnanL and Lhe wlLnesses he may produce, and parLlcularly
descrlblng Lhe place Lo be searched, and Lhe persons or Lhlngs Lo be
selzed.
lL was also declared ln ArLlcle lv, SecLlon 4(2) LhaL-
Sec. 4(2) Any evldence obLalned ln vlolaLlon of Lhls or Lhe precedlng
secLlon shall be lnadmlsslble for any purpose ln any proceedlng.
1he respondenLs, whlle admlLLlng Lhe absence of Lhe requlred such warranL, soughL Lo
[usLlfy Lhelr acL on Lhe ground LhaL Lhey were acLlng under superlor orders.
8
1here was
also Lhe suggesLlon LhaL Lhe measure was necessary because of Lhe aggravaLlon of Lhe
peace and order problem generaLed by Lhe assasslnaLlon of Mayor Cesar Cllmaco.
9

Superlor orders" cannoL, of course, counLermand Lhe ConsLlLuLlon. 1he
facL LhaL Lhe peLlLloners were suspecLed of Lhe Cllmaco kllllng dld noL
excuse Lhe consLlLuLlonal shorL-cuLs Lhe respondenLs Look. As eloquenLly
afflrmed by Lhe u.S. Supreme CourL ln Lx parLe Mllllgan: 10
1he ConsLlLuLlon ls a law for rulers and people, equally ln war and ln
peace, and covers wlLh Lhe shleld of lLs proLecLlon all classes of men, aL
all Llmes and under all clrcumsLances. no docLrlne, lnvolvlng more
pernlclous consequences, was ever lnvenLed by Lhe wlL of man Lhan LhaL
any of lLs provlslons can be suspended durlng any of Lhe greaL exlgencles
of governmenL.
1he precarlous sLaLe of lawlessness ln Zamboanga ClLy aL Lhe Llme ln quesLlon cerLalnly
dld noL excuse Lhe non-observance of Lhe consLlLuLlonal guaranLy agalnsL unreasonable
searches and selzures. 1here was no sLaLe of hosLlllLles ln Lhe area Lo [usLlfy, assumlng lL
could, Lhe represslons commlLLed Lhereln agalnsL Lhe peLlLloners.
lL ls so easy Lo say LhaL Lhe peLlLloners were ouLlaws and deserved Lhe arblLrary
LreaLmenL Lhey recelved Lo Lake Lhem lnLo cusLody, buL LhaL ls a crlmlnal argumenL. lL ls
also fallaclous. lLs obvlous flaw lles ln Lhe concluslon LhaL Lhe peLlLloners were
unquesLlonably gullLy on Lhe sLrengLh alone of unsubsLanLlaLed reporLs LhaL Lhey were
sLockplllng weapons.
1he record does noL dlsclose LhaL Lhe peLlLloners were wanLed crlmlnals or fuglLlves
from [usLlce. AL Lhe Llme of Lhe "zona," Lhey were merely suspecLed of Lhe mayor's
slaylng and had noL ln facL even been lnvesLlgaLed for lL. As mere suspecLs, Lhey were
presumed lnnocenL and noL gullLy as summarlly pronounced by Lhe mlllLary.
lndeed, even lf were assumed for Lhe sake of argumenL LhaL Lhey were gullLy, Lhey
would noL have been any less enLlLled Lo Lhe proLecLlon of Lhe ConsLlLuLlon, whlch
covers boLh Lhe lnnocenL and Lhe gullLy. 1hls ls noL Lo say, of course, LhaL Lhe
ConsLlLuLlon coddles crlmlnals. WhaL lL does slmply slgnlfy ls LhaL, lacklng Lhe shleld of
lnnocence, Lhe gullLy need Lhe armor of Lhe ConsLlLuLlon, Lo proLecL Lhem, noL from a
deserved senLence, buL from arblLrary punlshmenL. Lvery person ls enLlLled Lo due
process. lL ls no exaggeraLlon LhaL Lhe basesL crlmlnal, ranged agalnsL Lhe resL of Lhe
people who would condemn hlm ouLrlghL, ls sLlll, under Lhe 8lll of 8lghLs, a ma[orlLy of
one.
lf Lhe respondenLs dld noL acLually dlsdaln Lhe ConsLlLuLlon when Lhey made Lhelr lllegal
rald, Lhey cerLalnly gave every appearance of dolng so. 1hls ls Lruly regreLLable for lL was
lncumbenL on Lhem, especlally durlng Lhose Lense and Llndery Llmes, Lo encourage
raLher Lhan undermlne respecL for Lhe law, whlch lL was Lhelr duLy Lo uphold.
ln acLlng as Lhey dld, Lhey also defled Lhe precepL LhaL "clvlllan auLhorlLy ls aL all Llmes
supreme over Lhe mlllLary" so clearly proclalmed ln Lhe 1973 ConsLlLuLlon. 11 ln Lhe
lnsLanL case, Lhe respondenLs slmply by-passed Lhe clvll courLs, whlch had Lhe auLhorlLy
Lo deLermlne wheLher or noL Lhere was probable cause Lo search Lhe peLlLloner's
premlses. lnsLead, Lhey proceeded Lo make Lhe rald wlLhouL a search warranL on Lhelr
own unauLhorlzed deLermlnaLlon of Lhe peLlLloner's gullL.
1he respondenLs cannoL even plead Lhe urgency of Lhe rald because lL was ln facL noL
urgenL. 1hey knew where Lhe peLlLloners were. 1hey had every opporLunlLy Lo geL a
search warranL before maklng Lhe rald. lf Lhey were worrled LhaL Lhe weapons lnslde Lhe
compound would be splrlLed away, Lhey could have surrounded Lhe premlses ln Lhe
meanLlme, as a prevenLlve measure. 1here was absoluLely no reason aL all why Lhey
should dlsregard Lhe orderly processes requlred by Lhe ConsLlLuLlon and lnsLead lnslsL
on arblLrarlly forclng Lhelr way lnLo Lhe peLlLloner's premlses wlLh all Lhe menace of a
mlllLary lnvaslon.
Concedlng LhaL Lhe search was Lruly warranLless, mlghL noL Lhe search and selzure be
noneLheless consldered valld because lL was lncldenLal Lo a legal arresL? Surely noL. lf all
Lhe law enforcemenL auLhorlLles have Lo do ls force Lhelr way lnLo any house and Lhen
plck up anyLhlng Lhey see Lhere on Lhe ground LhaL Lhe occupanLs are reslsLlng arresL,
Lhen we mlghL as well deleLe Lhe 8lll of 8lghLs as a fussy redundancy.
When Lhe respondenLs could have easlly obLalned a search warranL from any of Lhe 1Ln
clvll courLs Lhen open and funcLlonlng ln Zamboanga ClLy, 12 Lhey lnsLead slmply barged
lnLo Lhe beleaguered premlses on Lhe verbal order of Lhelr superlor offlcers. Cne cannoL
[usL force hls way lnLo any man's house on Lhe lllegal orders of a superlor, however lofLy
hls rank. lndeed, even Lhe humblesL hovel ls proLecLed from offlclal lnLruslon because of
Lhe anclenL rule, revered ln all free reglmes, LhaL a man's house ls hls casLle.
lL may be frall, lLs roof may shake, Lhe wlnd may enLer, Lhe raln may
enLer. 8uL Lhe klng of Lngland may noL enLer. All Lhe forces of Lhe Crown
dare noL cross Lhe Lhreshold of Lhe rulned LenemenL. 13
lf Lhe arresL was made under 8ule 113, SecLlon 3, of Lhe 8ules of CourL ln connecLlon
wlLh a crlme abouL Lo be commlLLed, belng commlLLed, or [usL commlLLed, whaL was
LhaL crlme? 1here ls no allegaLlon ln Lhe record of such a [usLlflcaLlon. ÞarenLheLlcally, lL
may be observed LhaL under Lhe 8evlsed 8ule 113, SecLlon 3(b), Lhe offlcer maklng Lhe
arresL musL have $",+-('. knowledge of Lhe ground Lherefor as sLressed ln Lhe recenL
case of /"-$." 12 3*,4-+2 14
lf follows LhaL as Lhe search of Lhe peLlLloners' premlses was vlolaLlve of Lhe
ConsLlLuLlon, all Lhe flrearms and ammunlLlon Laken from Lhe ralded compound are
lnadmlsslble ln evldence ln any of Lhe proceedlngs agalnsL Lhe peLlLloners. 1hese arLlcles
are "frulLs of Lhe polsonous Lree. 1S As !udge Learned Pand observed, "Cnly ln case Lhe
prosecuLlon whlch lLself conLrols Lhe selzlng offlclals, knows LhaL lL 5'((-& proflL by Lhelr
wrong, wlll Lhe wrong be repressed. 16 Þendlng deLermlnaLlon of Lhe legallLy of such
arLlcles, however, Lhey shall remaln ln 5*+&-)%' ."4%+, sub[ecL Lo such approprlaLe
dlsposlLlon as Lhe correspondlng courLs may declde. 17
1he ob[ecLlon Lo Lhe phoLographlng, flngerprlnLlng and paraffln-LesLlng of Lhe
peLlLloners deserves sllghL commenL. 1he prohlblLlon agalnsL self-lncrlmlnaLlon applles
Lo LesLlmonlal compulslon only. As !usLlce Polmes puL lL ln PolL v. unlLed SLaLes, 18 "1he
prohlblLlon of compelllng a man ln a crlmlnal courL Lo be a wlLness agalnsL hlmself ls a
prohlblLlon of Lhe use of physlcal or moral compulslon Lo exLorL communlcaLlons from
hlm, noL an excluslon of hls body as evldence when lL may be maLerlal."
1he fearful days of hamleLlng salvaglng, "zona" and oLher dreaded operaLlons should
remaln ln Lhe pasL, banlshed wlLh Lhe secreL marshals and Lhelr coverL llcense Lo klll
wlLhouL Lrlal. We musL be done wlLh lawlessness ln Lhe name of law enforcemenL. 1hose
who are supposed Lo uphold Lhe law musL noL be Lhe flrsL Lo vlolaLe lL. As Chlef !usLlce
Claudlo 1eehankee sLressed ln hls concurrlng oplnlon ln 6'5'(%.'- 12 7" 6"-(, 19 "lL ls
Llme LhaL Lhe marLlal law reglme's legacy of Lhe law of force be dlscarded and LhaL Lhere
be a reLurn Lo Lhe force and rule of law."
All of us musL exerL efforLs Lo make our counLry Lruly free and democraLlc, where every
lndlvldual ls enLlLled Lo Lhe full proLecLlon of Lhe ConsLlLuLlon and Lhe 8lll of 8lghLs can
sLand as a sLolld senLlnel for all, Lhe lnnocenL as well as Lhe gullLy, lncludlng Lhe basesL of
crlmlnals.
WnLkLICkL, the search of the pet|t|oners' prem|ses on November 2S, 1984, |s hereby
dec|ared ILLLGAL and a|| the art|c|es se|zed as a resu|t thereof are |nadm|ss|b|e |n
ev|dence aga|nst the pet|t|oners |n any proceed|ngs. nowever, the sa|d art|c|es sha||
rema|n |n $%&'()*+ -./*& pend|ng the outcome of the cr|m|na| cases that have been or
may |ater be f||ed aga|nst the pet|t|oners.
SC CkDLkLD.

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