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64 PHIL. 33 29 JANUARY 1937

The Anti-Usury Board of the Department of Justice presented to Judge
David a sworn affidavit that a certain Narciso Alvarez is in possession of books,
receipts, chits, lists used by him as money lender/usurer charging usurious rates
in violation of law. Affiant Almeda, chief of the task force, didnt say that the
information was based on his personal knowledge but was only received by him
from a reliable source. Subsequently, the judge issued the warrant ordering the
search of Alvarez house. On June 4, 1936, the agents raided the subject place
and seized different documents namely, banknotes, bankbooks, stubs,
cashbooks, bills of lading, credit receipts, etc. Thereafter, the articles seized
was not brought immediately to the custody of the judge who issued the SW.
Alvarez moved that the agents of the Board be declared guilty of contempt and
prays that all articles in question be returned to him because the SW issued was
illegal. On the other hand, the Anti-Usury Board pleaded that they be allowed to
retain custody of the articles seized for further investigation. When the judge
sustained the latters motion. Alvarez elevated the matter to the SC and prayed
that the search warrant as well as the order of the judge authorizing the Anti-
Usury Board to retain custody be declared null and void.

Whether or not the search warrant issued by the judge is illegal?

Section 1, paragraph 3, of Article III of the Constitution and Section 97
of General Orders 58 require that there be not only probable cause before the
issuance of a search warrant but that the search warrant must be based upon an
application supported by oath of the applicant and the witnesses he may
produce. In its broadest sense, an oath includes any form of attestation by which
a party signifies that he is bound in conscience to perform an act faithfully and
truthfully; and it is sometimes defined as an outward pledge given by the person
taking it that his attestation or promise is made under an immediate sense of his
responsibility to God. The oath required must refer to the truth of the facts
within the personal knowledge of the petitioner or his witnesses, because
the purpose thereof is to convince the committing magistrate, not the
individual making the affidavit and seeking the issuance of the warrant, of
the existence of probable cause. The true test of sufficiency of an affidavit
to warrant issuance of a search warrant is whether it has been drawn in
such a manner that perjury could be charged thereon and affiant be held
liable for damages caused. The affidavit, which served as the exclusive basis
of the search warrant, is insufficient and fatally defective by reason of the
manner in which the oath was made, and therefore, the search warrant and the
subsequent seizure of the books, documents and other papers are illegal.
Further, it is the practice in this jurisdiction to attach the affidavit of at least the
applicant or complainant to the application. It is admitted that the judge who
issued the search warrant in this case, relied exclusively upon the affidavit made
by agent Almeda and that he did not require nor take the deposition of any other
witness. The Constitution does not provide that it is of an imperative necessity to
take the depositions of the witnesses to be presented by the applicant or
complainant in addition to the affidavit of the latter. The purpose of both in
requiring the presentation of depositions is nothing more than to satisfy the
committing magistrate of the existence of probable cause. Therefore, if the
affidavit of the applicant or complainant is sufficient, the judge may dispense with
that of other witnesses. Inasmuch as the affidavit of the agent was insufficient
because his knowledge of the facts was not personal but merely hearsay, it is
the duty of the judge to require the affidavit of one or more witnesses for the
purpose of determining the existence of probable cause to warrant the issuance
of the search warrant. When the affidavit of the applicant or complainant
contains sufficient facts within his personal and direct knowledge, it is sufficient if
the judge is satisfied that there exists probable cause; when the applicants
knowledge of the facts is mere hearsay, the affidavit of one or more witnesses
having a personal knowledge of the facts is necessary. Thus the warrant issued
is likewise illegal because it was based only on the affidavit of the agent who had
no personal knowledge of the facts.

G.R. No. 140946 September 13, 2004

On July 25, 1996, Dominador Samiano, an agent of the National
Bureau of Investigation (NBI) conducted a surveillance against Maxicorp Inc. He
observed that Microsoft Software (Windows Operating Systems) were being
produced and packaged within the premises of Maxicorp. Samiano, together with
a civilian witness (John Benedict Sacriz) then bought a computer unit from
Maxicorp. The unit was pre-installed with a pirated copy of Windows. For their
purchase, they were issued a receipt, however, the receipt was in the name of a
certain Joel Diaz. Subsequently, Samiano applied for a search warrant before
the RTC. He brought with him Sacriz as witness. He also brought the computer
unit they bought as evidence as well as the receipt. He even added an additional
witness (Felixberto Pante), a computer technician, who showed the judge that
the software in the computer unit bought by Samiano from Maxicorp was pirated.
The RTC judge, convinced that there is a probable cause for a case of copyright
infringement and unfair competition committed by Maxicorp, issued the
corresponding warrant. Maxicorp assailed the legality of the warrant before the
Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Maxicorp and in its
decision it highlighted the fact that the receipt issued was not in Samianos or
Sacriz name hence the proceeding in the trial court was infirm from the onset.

ISSUE: Whether or not the there was a probable cause to issue the search

The testimonies of the two witnesses, coupled with the object and
documentary evidence they presented, are sufficient to establish the existence of
probable cause. From what they have witnessed, there is reason to believe that
Maxicorp engaged in copyright infringement and unfair competition to the
prejudice of Microsoft. Both NBI Agent Samiano and Sacriz were clear and
insistent that the counterfeit software were not only displayed and sold within
Maxicorps premises, they were also produced, packaged and in some cases,
installed there.

The fact that the receipt issued was not in Samianos name nor was it in
Sacriz name does not render the issuance of the warrant void. No law or rule
states that probable cause requires a specific kind of evidence. No formula or
fixed rule for its determination exists. Probable cause is determined in the light of
conditions obtaining in a given situation. Thus, it was improper for the Court of
Appeals to reverse the RTCs findings simply because the sales receipt
evidencing NBI Agent Samianos purchase of counterfeit goods is not in his

The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Court of Appeals and
held that for purposes of determining probable cause, the sales receipt is not the
only proof that the sale of Microsoft software occurred. The NBI was able to
present the computer unit that was purchased from Maxicorp, in which Maxicorp
had pre-installed Microsoft software. A computer technician who demonstrated
the presence of Microsoft software in the computer unit was also presented. The
Supreme Court held that the trial court complied adequately with the
requirements of the Constitution and the Rules of Court.

11. People vs Veloso
48 PHIL. 169 (1925)

In May, 1923, the building located at No. 124 Calle Arzobispo, City of
Manila, was used by an organization known as the Parliamentary Club. Jose Ma.
Veloso was at that time a member of the House of Representative of the
Philippine Legislature. He was also the manager of the club. The police of Manila
had reliable information that the so-called Parliamentary Club was nothing more
than a gambling house. Indeed, on May 19, 1923, J. F. Townsend, the chief of
the gambling squad, had been to the club and verified this fact. Detective Andres
Geronimo of the secret service of the City of Manila, applied for, and obtained a
search warrant from Judge Garduo of the municipal court. Once inside the
Parliamentary Club, nearly fifty persons were apprehended by the police. One of
them was the defendant Veloso. Veloso asked Townsend what he wanted, and
the latter showed him the search warrant. Veloso read it and told Townsend that
he was Representative Veloso and not John Doe, and that the police had no
right to search the house. Townsend answered that Veloso was considered as
John Doe. As Veloso's pocket was bulging, as if it contained gambling utensils.
So policeman Rosacker took hold of Veloso only to meet with his resistance.
Veloso bit Rosacker in the right forearm, and gave him a blow in another part of
the body, which injured the policeman quite severely. Through the combined
efforts of Townsend and Rosacker, Veloso was finally laid down on the floor, and
long sheets of paper, of reglas de monte, cards, cardboards, and chips were
taken from his pockets. All of the persons arrested were searched and then
conducted to the patrol wagons. Veloso again refused to obey and shouted
offensive epithets against the police department. Veloso resisted so tenaciously
that three policemen were needed to place him in the patrol wagon. In the
municipal court of the City of Manila, the persons arrest in the raid was accused
of gambling. All of them were eventually acquitted in the Court of First Instance
for lack of proof, with the sole exception of Veloso, who was found guilty of
maintaining a gambling house.
Issue: WON the search warrant and the arrest of Veloso was valid.
Held: Yes.
It is provided, among other things, in Section 2, Article III of the
Constitution, a search warrant shall not issue except for probable cause and
upon application supported by oath particularly describing the place to be
searched and the person of thing to be seized.
The name and description of the accused should be inserted in the body of the
warrant and where the name is unknown there must be such a description of the
person accused as will enable the officer to identify him when found.
A warrant for the apprehension of a person whose true name is unknown, by the
name of "John Doe" or "Richard Roe," "whose other or true name in unknown,"
is void, without other and further descriptions of the person to be apprehended,
and such warrant will not justify the officer in acting under it. Such a warrant
must, in addition, contain the best descriptio personae possible to be obtained of
the person or persons to be apprehended, and this description must be sufficient
to indicate clearly the proper person or persons upon whom the warrant is to be
served; and should state his personal appearance and peculiarities, give his
occupation and place of residence, and any other circumstances by means of
which he can be identified.
In the first place, the affidavit for the search warrant and the search warrant
itself described the building to be searched as "the building No. 124 Calle
Arzobispo, City of Manila, Philippine Islands." This, without doubt, was a
sufficient designation of the premises to be searched.
As the search warrant stated that John Doe had gambling apparatus in his
possession in the building occupied by him at No. 124 Calle Arzobispo, City of
Manila, and as this John Doe was Jose Ma. Veloso, the manager of the club, the
police could identify John Doe as Jose Ma. Veloso without difficulty.

12. Yousef Al Ghoul vs. Court of Appeals
GR No.126859, September 4, 2001
Judge Geronimo S. Mangay, presiding judge of the Regional Trial
Court, National Capital Judicial Region, Branch 125, Kalookan City, issued
search warrants 54-953 and 55-954 for the search and seizure of certain items in
Apartment No. 2 at 154 Obiniana Compound, Deparo Road, Kalookan City.
On April 1, 1995, the police searched Apartment No. 8, in the same
compound and found one (1) .45 caliber pistol. Found in Apartment No. 2 were
firearms, ammunitions and explosives. Petitioners were charged before the
Regional Trial Court of Kalookan City accusing them with illegal possession of
firearms, ammunitions and explosives, pursuant to Presidential Decree No.
1866.6 Thereafter, petitioners were arrested and detained. Petitioners contend
that the search and seizure orders violated Sections 2 and 3 of the Bill of Rights
as well as Section 3 of Rule 126 of the Rules of Court on Criminal Procedure
because the place searched and articles seized were not described with
particularity. They argue that the two-witness requirement under Section 10 of
Rule 126 was ignored when only one witness signed the receipt for the
properties seized during the search, and said witness was not presented at the
ISSUE: WON the items described in the warrant were sufficiently described with
As held in PICOP v. Asuncion, the place to be searched cannot be
changed, enlarged nor amplified by the police. Policemen may not be restrained
from pursuing their task with vigor, but in doing so, care must be taken that
constitutional and legal safeguards are not disregarded. Exclusion of unlawfully
seized evidence is the only practical means of enforcing the constitutional
injunction against unreasonable searches and seizures. Hence, we are
constrained to declare that the search made at Apartment No. 8 is illegal and the
.45 caliber pistol taken thereat is inadmissible in evidence against petitioners.
Now, in contrast, the search conducted at Apartment No. 2 could not be similarly
faulted. The search warrants in question specifically mentioned Apartment No. 2.
The search was done in the presence of its occupants, herein petitioners, in
accordance with Section 7 of Rule 126, Revised Rules of Court. Petitioners
allege lack of particularity in the description of objects to be seized pursuant to
the warrants. That the articles seized during the search of Apartment No. 2 are
of the same kind and nature as those items enumerated in the search warrant
appears to be beyond cavil. The items seized from Apartment No. 2 were
described with specifity in the warrants in question. The nature of the items
ordered to be seized did not require a technical description. Moreover, the law
does not require that the things to be seized must be described in precise
and minute details as to leave no room for doubt on the part of the
searching authorities, otherwise, it would be virtually impossible for the
applicants to obtain a search warrant as they would not know exactly what
kind of things they are looking for. Substantial similarity of those articles
described as a class or species would suffice.

The case of Bache and Co. (Phil.), Inc. v. Ruiz , 37 SCRA 823, 835
(1971), pointed out that one of the tests to determine the particularity in the
description of objects to be seized under a search warrant is when the
things described are limited to those which bear direct relation to the
offense for which the warrant is being issued. A careful examination of the
Search Warrants shows that they were worded in such a manner that the
enumerated items to be seized could bear a direct relation to the offense of
violation of Section 1 and 3 of Presidential Decree No.1866, as amended,
penalizing illegal possession of firearms, ammunitions and explosives.


In Sept 1993, Rodrigo Abos, a former employee of Unifish Packing
Corporation (UPC) reported to the BIR that Uy Chin Ho aka Frank Uy, manager
of UPC, was selling thousands of cartons of canned cartons without issuing a
report. This is a violation of Sec 253 & 263 of the Internal Revenue Code. In Oct
1993, the BIR requested before RTC Cebu to issue a search warrant. Judge
Gozo-Dadole issued a warrant on the same day. A second warrant was issued
which contains the same substance but has only one page, the same was dated
Oct 1
2003. These warrants were issued for the alleged violation by Uy of Sec
253. A third warrant was issued on the same day for the alleged violation of Uy
of Sec 238 in relation to sec 263. On the strength of these warrants, agents of
the BIR, accompanied by members of the PNP, on 2 Oct 1993, searched the
premises of the UPC. They seized, among other things, the records and
documents of UPC. A return of said search was duly made by Labaria with the
RTC of Cebu. UPC filed a motion to quash the warrants which was denied by the
RTC. They appealed before the Court of Appeals via certiorari. The CA
dismissed the appeal for a certiorari is not the proper remedy.

ISSUE: Whether or not there was a valid search warrant issued.

The Supreme Court ruled in favor of UPC and Uy in a way for it ordered
the return of the seized items but sustained the validity of the warrant. The SC
ruled that the search warrant issued has not met some basic requisites of
validity. A search warrant must conform strictly to the requirements of the
foregoing constitutional and statutory provisions. These requirements, in outline
form, are:

(1) the warrant must be issued upon probable cause;
(2) the probable cause must be determined by the judge himself and not by
the applicant or any other person;
(3) in the determination of probable cause, the judge must examine, under
oath or affirmation, the complainant and such witnesses as the latter
may produce; and
(4) the warrant issued must particularly describe the place to be searched
and persons or things to be seized.

The SC noted that there have been inconsistencies in the description of
the place to be searched as indicated in the said warrants. Also the thing to be
seized was not clearly defined by the judge. He used generic itineraries. The
warrants were also inconsistent as to who should be searched. One warrant was
directed only against Uy and the other was against Uy and UPC. The SC
however noted that the inconsistencies were cured by the issuance of the latter
warrant as it has revoked the two others.

Information was filed charging herein petitioner Rolito Go for murder
before the Regional Trial Court of Metro Manila. Petitioner voluntarily presented
himself together with his two lawyers to the police upon obtaining knowledge of
being hunted by the latter. However, he was immediately detained and denied
his right of a preliminary investigation unless he executes and sings a waiver of
the provisions of Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code. Upon omnibus motion
for immediate release on recognizance or on bail and proper preliminary
investigation on the ground that his warrantless arrest was unlawful and no
preliminary investigation was conducted before the information was filed, which
is violative of his rights, the same was granted but later on reversed by the lower
court and affirmed by the Court of Appeals. The appellate court in sustaining the
decision of the lower court held that petitioner's warrantless arrest was valid in
view of the fact that the offense was committed, the petitioner was clearly
identified and there exists valid information for murder filed against petitioner.
Hence, the petitioner filed this present petition for review on certiorari before the
Supreme Court.
Issues: WON warrantless arrest of petitioner was lawful.

The general rule on arrest provides that the same is legitimate if
effected with a valid warrant. However, there are instances specifically
enumerated under the law when a warrantless arrest may be considered lawful.
Despite that, the warrantless arrest of herein petitioner Rolito Go does not fall
within the terms of said rule. The police were not present at the time of the
commission of the offense, neither do they have personal knowledge on the
crime to be committed or has been committed not to mention the fact that
petitioner was not a prisoner who has escaped from the penal institution. In view
of the above, the allegation of the prosecution that petitioner needs to sign a
waiver of the provisions of Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code before a
preliminary investigation may be conducted is baseless. In this connection,
petitioner has all the right to ask for a preliminary investigation to determine
whether is probable cause that a crime has been committed and that petitioner is
probably guilty thereof as well as to prevent him from the hassles, anxiety and
aggravation brought by a criminal proceeding. This reason of the accused is
substantial, which he should not be deprived of.
Petitioner was not arrested at all, as when he walked in the police
station, he neither expressed surrender nor any statement that he was or was
not guilty of any crime. When a complaint was filed to the prosecutor, preliminary
investigation should have been scheduled to determine probable cause.
Prosecutor made a substantive error, petitioner is entitled to preliminary
investigation, necessarily in a criminal charge, where the same is required
appear thereat. Petition granted, prosecutor is ordered to conduct preliminary
investigation, trial for the criminal case is suspended pending result from
preliminary investigation, petitioner is ordered released upon posting a bail bond.

15. PADILLA VS. CA 269 SCRA 402

Padilla figured in a hit and run accident in Oct 26, 1992. He was later on
apprehended with the help pf a civilian witness. Upon arrest following high
powered firearms were found in his possession:1) .357 caliber revolver with 6
live ammunition, 2) M-16 Baby Armalite magazine with ammo, 3) 380 pietro
beretta with 8 ammo and 4) 6 live double action ammo of .38 caliber revolver.
Padilla claimed papers of guns were at home. His arrest for hit and run
incident modified to include grounds of Illegal Possession of firearms. He had no
papers. On Dec. 3, 1994, Padilla was found guilty of Illegal Possession of
Firearms under PD 1866 by the RTC of Angeles City. He was convicted and
sentenced to an indeterminate penalty from 17 years. 4 months, 1 day of
reclusion temporal as minimum to 21 years of reclusion perpetua as maximum.
The Court of Appeals confirmed decision and cancelled bailbond. RTC of
Angeles City was directed to issue order of arrest. Motion for reconsideration
was denied by Court of Appeals. Padilla filed lots of other petitions and all of a
sudden, the Solicitor General made a complete turnaround and filed
Manifestation in Lieu of Comment praying for acquittal.

ISSUE: WON the firearms and ammunitions taken in the course thereof are
inadmissible in evidence under the exclusionary rule

No. petitioner questions the legality of his arrest. There is no dispute
that no warrant was issued for the arrest of petitioner, but that per se did not
make his apprehension at the Abacan Bridge illegal. Warrantless arrests are
sanctioned in Sec. 5, Rule 113 of the Revised Rules on Criminal
Procedurea peace officer or a private person may, without a warrant, arrest a
person (a) when in his presence the person to be arrested has committed, is
actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense. When caught in
flagrante delicto with possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammo, petitioners
warrantless arrest was proper since he was actually committing another offence
in the presence of all those officers. There was no supervening event or a
considerable lapse of time between the hit and run and the actual apprehension.
Because arrest was legal, the pieces of evidence are admissible.
Instances when warrantless search and seizure of property is valid:
1. Seizure of evidence in plain view, elements of which are (a) prior
valid intrusion based on valid warrantless arrest in which police are
legally present in pursuit of official duties, (b) evidence inadvertedly
discovered by police who had the right to be there, (c) evidence
immediately apparent, and (d) plain view justified mere seizure of
evidence without further search.
2. Warrantless search incidental to lawful arrest recognized under
section 12, Rule 126 of Rules of Court and by prevailing jurisprudence
where the test of incidental search (not excluded by exclusionary rule)
is that item to be searched must be within arrestees custody or area of
immediate control and search contemporaneous with arrest.

Petitioner would nonetheless insist on the illegality of his arrest by arguing
that the policemen who actually arrested him were not at the scene of the hit and
run. The court begs to disagree. It is a reality that curbing lawlessness gains
more success when law enforcers function in collaboration with private citizens.
Furthermore, in accordance with settled jurisprudence, any objection, defect or
irregularity attending an arrest must be made before the accused enters his plea.

[GR 120431, 1 April 1998]

On 14 July 1991, at about 12:30 a.m., Pat. Romeo Pagilagan and
other police officers, namely, Pat. Wilfredo Aquilino, Simplicio Rivera, and
Erlindo Lumboy of the Western Police District (WPD), Narcotics Division went
to Zamora and Pandacan Streets, Manila to confirm reports of drug pushing in
the area. They saw Rodolfo Espano selling "something" to another person.
After the alleged buyer left, they approached Espano, identified themselves as
policemen, and frisked him. The search yielded two plastic cellophane tea bags
of marijuana. When asked if he had more marijuana, he replied that there was
more in his house. The policemen went to his residence where they found ten
more cellophane tea bags of marijuana. Espano was brought to the police
headquarters where he was charged with possession of prohibited drugs. On
24 July 1991, Espano posted bail and the trial court issued his order of release
on 29 July 1991. On 14 August 1992, the trial court rendered a decision,
convicting Espano of the crime charged. Espano appealed the decision to the
Court of Appeals. The appellate court, however, on 15 January 1995 affirmed
the decision of the trial court in toto. Espano filed a petition for review with the
Supreme Court.

Issue: Whether or not the search of Espanos home after his arrest does
not violate against his right against unreasonable search and seizure.
Espano's arrest falls squarely under Rule 113 Section 5(a) of the
Rules of Court. He was caught in flagranti as a result of a buy-bust operation
conducted by police officers on the basis of information received regarding the
illegal trade of drugs within the area of Zamora and Pandacan Streets, Manila.
The police officer saw Espano handing over something to an alleged buyer. After
the buyer left, they searched him and discovered two cellophanes of marijuana.
His arrest was, therefore, lawful and the two cellophane bags of marijuana
seized were admissible in evidence, being the fruits of the crime. As for the 10
cellophane bags of marijuana found at Espano's residence, however, the same
inadmissible in evidence. The articles seized from Espano during his arrest
were valid under the doctrine of search made incidental to a lawful arrest. The
warrantless search made in his house, however, which yielded ten
cellophane bags of marijuana became unlawful since the police officers
were not armed with a search warrant at the time. Moreover, it was beyond
the reach and control of Espano. The right of the people to be secure in their
persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and
seizures of whatever nature and for any purposes shall be inviolable, and
no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to
be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or
affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and
particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be
seized." An exception to the said rule is a warrantless search incidental to a
lawful arrest for dangerous weapons or anything which may be used as proof
of the commission of an offense. It may extend beyond the person of the one
arrested to include the premises or surroundings under his immediate control.
Herein, the ten cellophane bags of marijuana seized at petitioner's house after
his arrest at Pandacan and Zamora Streets do not fall under the said exceptions.

[GR 136292, 15 JANUARY 2002]
About 9:15 p.m. of 28 June 1989, Sgt. Victorino Noceja and Pat. Alex
de Castro, while on a routine patrol in Barangay Sampalucan, Pagsanjan,
Laguna, spotted a passenger jeep unusually covered with "kakawati" leaves.
Suspecting that the jeep was loaded with smuggled goods, the two police
officers flagged down the vehicle. The jeep was driven by Rudy Caballes y
Taio. When asked what was loaded on the jeep, he did not answer, but he
appeared pale and nervous. With Caballes' consent, the police officers checked
the cargo and they discovered bundles of 3.08 mm aluminum/galvanized
conductor wires exclusively owned by National Power Corporation (NAOCOR).
The conductor wires weighed 700 kilos and valued at P55,244.45. Noceja asked
Caballes where the wires came from and Caballes answered that they came
from Cavinti, a town approximately 8 kilometers away from Sampalucan.
Thereafter, Caballes and the vehicle with the high- voltage wires were brought to
the Pagsanjan Police Station. Danilo Cabale took pictures of Caballes and the
jeep loaded with the wires which were turned over to the Police Station
Commander of Pagsanjan, Laguna. Caballes was incarcerated for 7 days in the
Municipal jail. Caballes was charged with the crime of theft in an information
dated 16 October 1989. During the arraignment, Caballes pleaded not guilty and
hence, trial on the merits ensued. On 27 April 1993, Regional Trial Court of
Santa Cruz, Laguna rendered judgment, finding Caballes, guilty beyond
reasonable doubt of the crime of theft. In a resolution dated 9 November 1998,
the trial court denied Caballes' motion for reconsideration. The Court of Appeals
affirmed the trial court decision on 15 September 1998. Caballes appealed the
decision by certiorari.

Issue: Whether or not Caballes passive submission to the statement of Sgt.
Noceja that the latter "will look at the contents of his vehicle and he answered
in the positive" be considered as waiver on Caballes part on warrantless
search and seizure.

Held: Enshrined in our Constitution is the inviolable right of the people to be
secure in their persons and properties against unreasonable searches and
seizures, as defined under Section 2, Article III thereof. The exclusionary rule
under Section 3(2), Article III of the Constitution bars the admission of
evidence obtained in violation of such right. The constitutional proscription
against warrantless searches and seizures is not absolute but admits of
certain exceptions, namely: (1) warrantless search incidental to a lawful
arrest recognized under Section 12, Rule 126 of the Rules of Court and by
prevailing jurisprudence; (2) seizure of evidence in plain view; (3) search of
moving vehicles; (4) consented warrantless search; (5) customs search; (6) stop
and frisk situations; and (7) exigent and emergency circumstances. In cases
where warrant is necessary, the steps prescribed by the Constitution and
reiterated in the Rules of Court must be complied with. In the exceptional events
where warrant is not necessary to effect a valid search or seizure, or when the
latter cannot be performed except without a warrant, what constitutes a
reasonable or unreasonable search or seizure is purely a judicial question,
determinable from the uniqueness of the circumstances involved, including the
purpose of the search or seizure, the presence or absence of probable cause,
the manner in which the search and seizure was made, the place or thing
searched and the character of the articles procured. It is not controverted that
the search and seizure conducted by the police officers was not authorized by a
search warrant. The mere mobility of these vehicles, however, does not give the
police officers unlimited discretion to conduct indiscriminate searches without
warrants if made within the interior of the territory and in the absence of probable
cause. Herein, the police officers did not merely conduct a visual search or
visual inspection of Caballes' vehicle. They had to reach inside the vehicle, lift
the kakawati leaves and look inside the sacks before they were able to see the
cable wires. It thus cannot be considered a simple routine check. Also, Caballes'
vehicle was flagged down because the police officers who were on routine patrol
became suspicious when they saw that the back of the vehicle was covered with
kakawati leaves which, according to them, was unusual and uncommon. The
fact that the vehicle looked suspicious simply because it is not common for
such to be covered with kakawati leaves does not constitute "probable cause" as
would justify the conduct of a search without a warrant. In addition, the police
authorities do not claim to have received any confidential report or tipped
information that petitioner was carrying stolen cable wires in his vehicle which
could otherwise have sustained their suspicion. Philippine jurisprudence is
replete with cases where tipped information has become a sufficient probable
cause to effect a warrantless search and seizure.

19. Manalili v. CA
[GR 113447, 9 October 1997]

At about 2:10 p.m. of 11 April 1988, policemen from the Anti-Narcotics
Unit of the Kalookan City Police Station were conducting a surveillance along A.
Mabini street, Kalookan City, in front of the Kalookan City Cemetery. The
policemen were Pat. Romeo Espiritu and Pat. Anger Lumabas and a driver
named Arnold Enriquez was driving a Tamaraw vehicle which was the official car
of the Police Station of Kalookan City. The surveillance was being made
because of information that drug addicts were roaming the area in front of the
Kalookan City Cemetery. Upon reaching the Kalookan City Cemetery, the
policemen alighted from their vehicle. They then chanced upon a male person in
front of the cemetery who appeared high on drugs. The male person was
observed to have reddish eyes and to be walking in a swaying manner. When
this male person tried to avoid the policemen, the latter approached him and
introduced themselves as police officers. The policemen then asked the male
person what he was holding in his hands. The male person tried to resist. Pat.
Romeo Espiritu asked the male person if he could see what said male person
had in his hands. The latter showed the wallet and allowed Pat. Romeo Espiritu
to examine the same. Pat. Espiritu took the wallet and examined it. He found
suspected crushed marijuana residue inside. He kept the wallet and its
marijuana contents. The male person was then brought to the Anti-Narcotics
Unit of the Kalookan City Police Headquarters and was turned over to Cpl.
Wilfredo Tamondong for investigation. Pat. Espiritu also turned over to Cpl.
Tamondong the confiscated wallet and its suspected marijuana contents. The
man turned out to be Alain Manalili y Dizon.
On 11 April 1988, Manalili was charged by Assistant Caloocan City
Fiscal E. Juan R. Bautista with violation of Section 8, Article II of Republic Act
6425. Upon his arraignment on 21 April 1988, Manalili pleaded "not guilty" to
the charge. With the agreement of the public prosecutor, Manalili was released
after filing a P10,000.00 bail bond. After trial in due course, the Regional Trial
Court of Caloocan City, Branch 124, acting as a Special Criminal Court,
rendered on 19 May 1989 a decision convicting appellant of illegal possession
of marijuana residue. Manalili remained on provisional liberty. Atty. Benjamin
Razon, counsel for the defense, filed a Notice of Appeal dated 31 May 1989. On
19 April 1993, the Court of Appeals denied the appeal and affirmed the trial
court. The appellate court denied reconsideration via its Resolution dated 20
January 1994. Manalili filed a petition for review on certiorari before the Supreme

Issue: Whether or not the search and seizure could be effected without
necessarily being preceded by an arrest.

In the landmark case of Terry vs. Ohio, a stop-and-frisk was defined as
the vernacular designation of the right of a police officer to stop a citizen on the
street, interrogate him, and pat him for weapon(s). In allowing such a search,
the interest of effective crime prevention and detection allows a police officer to
approach a person, in appropriate circumstances and manner, for purposes of
investigating possible criminal behavior even though there is insufficient
probable cause to make an actual arrest. In Philippine jurisprudence, the
general rule is that a search and seizure must be validated by a previously
secured judicial warrant; otherwise, such search and seizure is
unconstitutional and subject to challenge. Section 2, Article III of the 1987
Constitution, gives this guarantee. This right, however, is not absolute. The
recent case of People vs. Lacerna enumerated five recognized exceptions to
the rule against warrantless search and seizure, viz.: "(1) search incidental to a
lawful arrest, (2) search of moving vehicles, (3) seizure in plain view, (4) customs
search, and (5) waiver by the accused themselves of their right against
unreasonable search and seizure." Stop-and-frisk has already been adopted
as another exception to the general rule against a search without a
warrant. In Posadas vs. Court of Appeals, the Court held that there were many
instances where a search and seizure could be effected without necessarily
being preceded by an arrest, one of which was stop-and-frisk. To require the
police officers to search the bag only after they had obtained a search warrant
might prove to be useless, futile and much too late under the circumstances.
Herein, Patrolman Espiritu and his companions observed during their
surveillance that Manalili had red eyes and was wobbling like a drunk along the
Caloocan City Cemetery, which according to police information was a popular
hangout of drug addicts. From his experience as a member of the Anti-Narcotics
Unit of the Caloocan City Police, such suspicious behavior was characteristic
of drug addicts who were "high." The policemen therefore had sufficient
reason to stop Manalili to investigate if he was actually high on drugs. During
such investigation, they found marijuana in his possession. The search was
valid, being akin to a stop-and-frisk.

GR 123595, 12 December 1997

On 27 August 1990, at about 6:30 p.m., allegedly in response to bomb
threats reported seven days earlier, Rodolfo Yu of the Western Police District,
Metropolitan Police Force of the Integrated National Police, Police Station No.
3, Quiapo, Manila, was on foot patrol with three other police officers (all of them
in uniform) along Quezon Boulevard, Quiapo, Manila. They chanced upon two
groups of Muslim-looking men, with each group, comprised of three to four men,
posted at opposite sides of the corner of Quezon Boulevard. These men were
acting suspiciously with "their eyes moving very fast." Yu and his companions
positioned themselves at strategic points and observed both groups for about 30
minutes. The police officers then approached one group of men, who then fled in
different directions. As the policemen gave chase, Yu caught up with and
apprehended Sammy Malacat y Mandar. Upon searching Malacat, Yu found a
fragmentation grenade tucked inside the latter's "front waist line." Yu's
companion, police officer Rogelio Malibiran, apprehended Abdul Casan from
whom a .38 caliber revolver was recovered. Malacat and Casan were then
brought to Police Station 3 where Yu placed an "X" mark at the bottom of the
grenade and thereafter gave it to his commander. Yu did not issue any receipt
for the grenade he allegedly recovered from Malacat. On 30 August 1990,
Malacat was charged with violating Section 3 of Presidential Decree 1866. At
arraignment on 9 October 1990, petitioner, assisted by counsel de officio,
entered a plea of not guilty. Malacat denied the charges and explained that he
only recently arrived in Manila. However, several other police officers mauled
him, hitting him with benches and guns. Petitioner was once again searched, but
nothing was found on him. He saw the grenade only in court when it was
presented. The trial court thus found Malacat guilty of the crime of illegal
possession of explosives under Section 3 of PD 1866.
Issue: Whether the search made on Malacat is valid, pursuant to the exception
of stop and frisk.
The general rule as regards arrests, searches and seizures is that a
warrant is needed in order to validly effect the same. The Constitutional
prohibition against unreasonable arrests, searches and seizures refers to those
effected without a validly issued warrant, subject to certain exceptions. As
regards valid warrantless arrests, these are found in Section 5, Rule 113 of
the Rules of Court. Turning to valid warrantless searches, they are limited to
the following: (1) customs searches; (2) search of moving vehicles; (3) seizure of
evidence in plain view; (4) consent searches; (5) a search incidental to a lawful
arrest; and (6) a "stop and frisk." The concepts of a "stop-and-frisk" and of a
search incidental to a lawful arrest must not be confused. Here, there could have
been no valid in flagrante delicto or hot pursuit arrest preceding the search in
light of the lack of personal knowledge on the part of Yu, the arresting officer, or
an overt physical act, on the part of Malacat, indicating that a crime had just
been committed, was being committed or was going to be committed.
Plainly, the search conducted on Malacat could not have been one incidental to
a lawful arrest. On the other hand, while probable cause is not required to
conduct a "stop and frisk," it nevertheless holds that mere suspicion or a hunch
will not validate a "stop and frisk Finally, a "stop-and-frisk" serves a two-fold
interest: (1) the general interest of effective crime prevention and detection,
which underlies the recognition that a police officer may, under appropriate
circumstances and in an appropriate manner, approach a person for purposes
of investigating possible criminal behavior even without probable cause; and
(2) the more pressing interest of safety and self-preservation which permit the
police officer to take steps to assure himself that the person with whom he deals
is not armed with a deadly weapon that could unexpectedly and fatally be used
against the police officer. Here, there are at least three (3) reasons why the
"stop-and-frisk" was invalid: First, there is grave doubts as to Yu's claim that
Malacat was a member of the group which attempted to bomb Plaza Miranda 2
days earlier. Second, there was nothing in Malacat's behavior or conduct which
could have reasonably elicited even mere suspicion other than that his eyes
were "moving very fast" an observation which leaves us incredulous since Yu
and his teammates were nowhere near Malacat and it was already 6:30 p.m.,
thus presumably dusk. Third, there was at all no ground, probable or otherwise,
to believe that Malacat was armed with a deadly weapon. None was visible to
Yu, for as he admitted, the alleged grenade was "discovered" "inside the front
waistline" of Malacat, and from all indications as to the distance between Yu and
Malacat, any telltale bulge, assuming that Malacat was indeed hiding a grenade,
could not have been visible to Yu.

GR 96177, 27 January 1993

On 13 December 1989, the Narcotics Command (NARCOM) in
Zamboanga City conducted surveillance and test buy on a certain Mari Musa of
Suterville, Zamboanga City. Information received from civilian informer was that
this Mari Musa was engaged in selling marijuana in said place. The Narcom
agent (Sgt. Ani) was able to buy one newspaper-wrapped dried marijuana for
P10.00, which was turned over to the Narcom office. The next day, a buy-bust
was planned with Sgt. Ani being the poseur-buyer. NARCOM teams proceeded
to the target site in 2 civilian vehicles. Ani gave Musa the P20.00 marked money.
Musa returned to his house and gave Ani 2 newspaper wrappers containing
dried marijuana. The signal to apprehend Musa was given. The NARCOM team
rushed to the location of Ani, and a NARCOM officer (Sgt. Belarga) frisked Musa
but did not find the marked money. Later, Belarga found a plastic bag containing
dried marijuana inside it somewhere in the kitchen. Musa was placed under
arrest and was brought to the NARCOM office. One newspaper-wrapper
marijuana and the plastic bag containing more marijuana was sent to the PC
Crime Laboratory, the test of which gave positive results for the presence of
marijuana. On the other hand, Mari Musa alleged that the NARCOM agents,
dressed in civilian clothes, got inside his house without any search warrant,
neither his permission to enter the house. Musa claimed that he was subjected
to torture when he refused to sign the document containing details of the
investigation. The next day, he was taken to the fiscals office to which he was
allegedly made to answer to a single question: that if he owned the marijuana.
He allegedly was not able to tell the fiscal that he had been maltreated by the
NARCOM agents because he was afraid he might be maltreated in the fiscal's
office. Mari Musa was brought to the City Jail. After trial and on 31 August 1990,
the RTC Zamboanga City found him guilty of selling marijuana in violation of
Article II, Section 4 of RA 6425. Musa appealed to the Supreme Court.

Issue: Whether or not the contents of the red plastic bag found in the kitchen
may be admitted as evidence as evidence acquired incidental to a lawful arrest.
Warrantless search incidental to a lawful arrest authorizes the arresting
officer to make a search upon the person of the person arrested. An officer
making an arrest may take from the person arrested and money or property
found upon his person which was used in the commission of the crime or was
the fruit of the crime or which might furnish the prisoner with the means of
committing violence or of escaping, or which may be used as evidence in the
trial of the cause. Hence, in a buy-bust operation conducted to entrap a drug-
pusher, the law enforcement agents may seize the marked money found on the
person of the pusher immediately after the arrest even without arrest and search
warrants. The warrantless search and seizure, as an incident to a suspect's
lawful arrest, may extend beyond the person of the one arrested to include
the premises or surroundings under his immediate control. Objects in the "plain
view" of an officer who has the right to be in the position to have that view are
subject to seizure and may be presented as evidence. When the discovery of the
evidence did not constitute a search, but where the officer merely saw what was
placed before him in full view, the warrantless seizure of the object was legal on
the basis of the "plain view" doctrine and upheld the admissibility of said
evidence. The "plain view" doctrine is usually applied where a police officer is
not searching for evidence against the accused, but nonetheless inadvertently
comes across an incriminating object. What the'plain view' cases have in
common is that the police officer in each of them had a prior justification for an
intrusion in the course of which he came inadvertently across a piece of
evidence incriminating the accused.
The doctrine serves to supplement the prior justification whether it be
a warrant for another object, hot pursuit, search incident to lawful arrest, or
some other legitimate reason for being present unconnected with a search
directed against the accused and permits the warrantless seizure. The "plain
view" doctrine neither justify the seizure of the object where the incriminating
nature of the object is not apparent from the "plain view" of the object. Thus, the
exclusion of the plastic bag containing marijuana does not, however, diminish, in
any way, the damaging effect of the other pieces of evidence presented by the
prosecution to prove that the appellant sold marijuana, in violation of Article II,
Section 4 of the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972. By virtue of the testimonies of
Sgt. Ani and T/Sgt. Belarga and the two wrappings of marijuana sold by Musa to
Sgt. Ani, among other pieces of evidence, the guilt of Musa of the crime charged
has been proved beyond reasonable doubt.

G.R. Nos. 133254-55. April 19, 2001


A search warrant was shown to the accused-appellant and the police
operatives started searching the house. They found heat-sealed transparent
plastic bags containing a white crystalline substance, a paper clip box also
containing a white crystalline substance, and two bricks of dried leaves which
appeared to be marijuana. A receipt of the items seized was prepared, but the
accused-appellant refused to sign it. Charges against Roberto Salanguit y Ko for
violations of Republic Act (RA) 6425, i.e. for possession of shabu and marijuana,
(Criminal Cases Q-95-64357 and Q-95-64358, respectively) were filed, and after
hearing, the trial court convicted him in Criminal Cases Q-95-64357 and Q-95-
64358 for violation of Section 16 and 8, respectively.
The accused-appellant contended that the evidence against him was
inadmissible because the warrant used in obtaining it was invalid.

Whether or not the warrant was invalid for failure of providing evidence
to support the seizure of drug paraphernalia, and whether the marijuana may
be included as evidence in light of the plain view doctrine.

The warrant authorized the seizure of "undetermined quantity of
shabu and drug paraphernalia." Evidence was presented showing probable
cause of the existence of methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu. The fact
that there was no probable cause to support the application for the seizure
of drug paraphernalia does not warrant the conclusion that the search warrant is
void. This fact would be material only if drug paraphernalia was in fact seized by
the police. The fact is that none was taken by virtue of the search warrant
issued. If at all, therefore, the search warrant is void only insofar as it authorized
the seizure of drug paraphernalia, but it is valid as to the seizure of
methamphetamine hydrochloride as to which evidence was presented showing
probable cause as to its existence. In sum, with respect to the seizure of shabu
from Salanguit's residence, Search Warrant 160 was properly issued, such
warrant being founded on probable cause personally determined by the judge
under oath or affirmation of the deposing witness and particularly describing
the place to be searched and the things to be seized. With respect to, and in light
of the "plain view doctrine," the police failed to allege the time when the
marijuana was found, i.e., whether prior to, or contemporaneous with, the
shabu subject of the warrant, or whether it was recovered on Salanguit's person
or in an area within his immediate control. Its recovery, therefore, presumably
during the search conducted after the shabu had been recovered from the
cabinet, as attested to by SPO1 Badua in his deposition, was invalid. Thus, the
Court affirmed the decision as to Criminal Case Q-95-64357 only.

GR L-74860, 6 JULY 1988

Idel Aminnudin y Ahni was arrested on 25 June 1984, shortly after
disembarking from the M/V Wilcon 9 at about 8:30 p.m., in Iloilo City. The PC
officers who were in fact waiting for him simply accosted him, inspected his bag
and finding what looked liked marijuana leaves took him to their headquarters
for investigation. The two bundles of suspect articles were confiscated from
him and later taken to the NBI laboratory for examination. When they were
verified as marijuana leaves, an information for violation of the Dangerous Drugs
Act was filed against him. Later, the information was amended to include Farida
Ali y Hassen, who had also been arrested with him that same evening and
likewise investigated. Both were arraigned and pleaded not guilty.
Subsequently, the fiscal filed a motion to dismiss the charge against Ali on the
basis of a sworn statement of the arresting officers absolving her after a
"thorough investigation." The motion was granted, and trial proceeded only
against Aminnudin, who was eventually convicted, and sentenced to life
imprisonment plus a fine of P20,000.00.
Issue: Whether or not there was ample opportunity to obtain a warrant of arrest
against Aminnudin, for alleged possession and transport of illegal drugs.
It is not disputed, and in fact it is admitted by the PC officers who
testified for the prosecution, that they had no warrant when they arrested
Aminnudin and seized the bag he was carrying. Their only justification was the
tip they had earlier received from a reliable and regular informer who reported to
them that Aminnudin was arriving in Iloilo by boat with marijuana. Their
testimony varies as to the time they received the tip, one saying it was two days
before the arrest (this was the declaration of the chief of the arresting team, Lt.
Cipriano Querol, Jr.), another two weeks and a third "weeks before June 25."
There was no warrant of arrest or search warrant issued by a judge after
personal determination by him of the existence of probable cause. Contrary to
the averments of the government, Aminnudin was not caught in flagrante nor
was a crime about to be committed or had just been committed to justify the
warrantless arrest allowed under Rule113 of the Rules of Court. Even
expediency could not be invoked to dispense with the obtention of the warrant.
The present case presented no urgency. From the conflicting declarations of the
PC witnesses, it is clear that they had at least two days within which they could
have obtained a warrant to arrest and search Aminnudin who was coming Iloilo
on the M/V Wilcon 9. His name was known. The vehicle was identified. The date
of its arrival was certain. And from the information they had received, they could
have persuaded a judge that there was probable cause, indeed, to justify the
issuance of a warrant. Yet they did nothing. No effort was made to comply with
the law. The Bill of Rights was ignored altogether because the PC lieutenant who
was the head of the arresting team, had determined on his own authority that
"search warrant was not necessary."

G.R. NO. 120515, APRIL 13, 1998

In the morning of 13 Dec 1988, the law enforcement officers received
information from an informant named Benjie that a certain Aling Rosa would
be leaving for Baguio City on 14 Dec 1988 and would be back in the afternoon of
the same day carrying with her a large volume of marijuana; At 6:30 in the
evening of 14 Dec 1988, Aruta alighted from a Victory Liner Bus carrying a
travelling bag even as the informant pointed her out to the law enforcement
officers; NARCOM officers approached her and introduced themselves as
NARCOM agents; When asked by Lt. Abello about the contents of her travelling
bag, she gave the same to him; When they opened the same, they found dried
marijuana leaves; Aruta was then brought to the NARCOM office for
ISSUE: Whether or not the conducted search and seizure is constitutional.
The SC ruled in favor of Aruta and has noted that some drug traffickers
are being freed due to technicalities. Aruta cannot be said to be committing a
crime. Neither was she about to commit one nor had she just committed a crime.
Aruta was merely crossing the street and was not acting in any manner that
would engender a reasonable ground for the NARCOM agents to suspect and
conclude that she was committing a crime. It was only when the informant
pointed to Aruta and identified her to the agents as the carrier of the marijuana
that she was singled out as the suspect. The NARCOM agents would not have
apprehended Aruta were it not for the furtive finger of the informant because, as
clearly illustrated by the evidence on record, there was no reason whatsoever for
them to suspect that accused-appellant was committing a crime, except for the
pointing finger of the informant. The SC could neither sanction nor tolerate as it
is a clear violation of the constitutional guarantee against unreasonable search
and seizure. Neither was there any semblance of any compliance with the rigid
requirements of probable cause and warrantless arrests. Consequently, there
was no legal basis for the NARCOM agents to effect a warrantless search of
Arutas bag, there being no probable cause and the accused-appellant not
having been lawfully arrested. Stated otherwise, the arrest being incipiently
illegal, it logically follows that the subsequent search was similarly illegal, it being
not incidental to a lawful arrest. The constitutional guarantee against
unreasonable search and seizure must perforce operate in favor of accused-
appellant. As such, the articles seized could not be used as evidence against
accused-appellant for these are fruits of a poisoned tree and, therefore, must
be rejected, pursuant to Article III, Sec. 3(2) of the Constitution.

GR 91107, 19 JUNE 1991

Mikael Malmstedt, a Swedish national, entered the Philippines for the
3rd time in December 1988 as a tourist. He had visited the country sometime in
1982 and 1985. In the evening of 7 May 1989, Malmstedt left for Baguio City.
Upon his arrival thereat in the morning of the following day, he took a bus to
Sagada and stayed in that place for 2 days. On 11 May 1989, Capt. Alen Vasco
of NARCOM, stationed at Camp Dangwa, ordered his men to set up a temporary
checkpoint at Kilometer 14, Acop, Tublay, Mountain Province, for the purpose of
checking all vehicles coming from the Cordillera Region. The order to establish a
checkpoint in the said area was prompted by persistent reports that vehicles
coming from Sagada were transporting marijuana and other prohibited drugs.
Moreover, information was received by the Commanding Officer of NARCOM,
that same morning, that a Caucasian coming from Sagada had in his possession
prohibited drugs. At about 1:30 pm, the bus where Malmstedt was riding was
stopped. Sgt. Fider and CIC Galutan boarded the bus and announced that they
were members of the NARCOM and that they would conduct an inspection.
During the inspection, CIC Galutan noticed a bulge on Malmstedt's waist.
Suspecting the bulge on Malmstedt's waist to be a gun, the officer asked for
Malmstedt's passport and other identification papers. When Malmstedt failed to
comply, the officer required him to bring out whatever it was that was bulging on
his waist, which was a pouch bag. When Malmstedt opened the same bag, as
ordered, the officer noticed 4 suspicious-looking objects wrapped in brown
packing tape, which turned out to contain hashish, a derivative of marijuana,
when opened. Malmstedt stopped to get 2 travelling bags from the luggage
carrier, each containing a teddy bear, when he was invited outside the bus for
questioning. It was observed that there were also bulges inside the teddy bears
which did not feel like foam stuffing. Malmstedt was then brought to the
headquarters of the NARCOM at Camp Dangwa for further investigation. At the
investigation room, the officers opened the teddy bears and they were found to
also contain hashish. Representative samples were taken from the hashish
found among the personal effects of Malmstedt and the same were brought to
the PC Crime Laboratory for chemical analysis, which established the objects
examined as hashish. Malmstedt claimed that the hashish was planted by the
NARCOM officers in his pouch bag and that the 2 travelling bags were not
owned by him, but were merely entrusted to him by an Australian couple whom
he met in Sagada. He further claimed that the Australian couple intended to take
the same bus with him but because there were no more seats available in said
bus, they decided to take the next ride and asked Malmstedt to take charge of
the bags, and that they would meet each other at the Dangwa Station. An
information was filed against Malmstedt for violation of the Dangerous Drugs
Act. During the arraignment, Malmstedt entered a plea of "not guilty." After trial
and on 12 October 1989, the trial court found Malmstedt guilty beyond
reasonable doubt for violation of Section 4, Article II of RA 6425 and sentenced
him to life imprisonment and to pay a fine of P20,000. Malmstedt sought reversal
of the decision of the trial court.
Issue: Whether or not the personal effects of Malmstedt may be searched
without an issued warrant.
The Constitution guarantees the right of the people to be secure in their
persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and
seizures. However, where the search is made pursuant to a lawful arrest, there
is no need to obtain a search warrant. A lawful arrest without a warrant may be
made by a peace officer or a private person under the following circumstances.
Section 5 provides that a peace officer or a private person may, without a
warrant, arrest a person (a) When, in his presence, the person to be arrested
has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense; (b)
When an offense has in fact just been committed, and he has personal
knowledge of facts indicating that the person to be arrested has committed it;
and (c) When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped from
a penal establishment or place where he is serving final judgment or temporarily
confined while his case is pending, or has escaped while being transferred from
one confinement to another. In cases falling under paragraphs (a) and (b)
hereof, the person arrested without a warrant shall be forthwith delivered to the
nearest police station or jail, and he shall be proceeded against in accordance
with Rule 112, Section 7." Herein, Malmstedt was caught in flagrante delicto,
when he was transporting prohibited drugs. Thus, the search made upon his
personal effects falls squarely under paragraph (1) of the foregoing
provisions of law, which allow a warrantless search incident to a lawful arrest.

GR L-27360, 28 FEBRUARY 1968

This is an orig. action for prohibition, & certiorari with preliminary
injunction, filed by Papa, et. al., praying for the annulment of the order issued by
resp. judge, which authorized the rlease under bond of certain goods w/c were
seized & held by petitioners in conncection w/ the enforcement of the Tarrif and
Customs Code (TCC) but w/c were claimed by resp. Mago, & to prohibit resp.
judge from further proceeding in any manner whatsoever in said case. Pending
the determination of this case, this Court issued a writ of preliminary injunction
restraining the respondent Judge from executing, enforcing and/or implementing
the questioned order.
Pet. Alagao, head of the counter-intelligence unit of the Mla. Police
Dept., acting upon a reliable info. as to the effect that a certain shipment of
personal effects, already misdeclared and undervalued, would be released the ff.
day from the customs zone of the port of Mla. & loaded on 2 trucks, & upon
orders of petitioner Papa, chief of police of Mla., & duly deputized agent of the
Bureau of Customs, conducted surveillance at gate no. 1 of the customs zone.
The load of 2 trucks, consisting of 9 bales of goods, & the 2 trucks, were seized
on instructions of the Chief of Police.
Claiming to have been prejudiced by the seizure & detention of the 2
trucks & their cargo, Mago & Lonopa filed w/ the CFI-Mla. a petition for
mandamus w/ restraining order or preliminary injunction alleging among others,
that the goods were seized by members of the Mla. Police Dept. w/o SW issued
by a competent court.

Pet. Martin Alagao & his companion policemen had authority to effect
the seizure without any search warrant issued by a competent court. The Tarrif
and Custom Code do not require said search warrant in the instant case. The
Code authorizes persons having police authority under Sec. 2703 "to enter, pass
through or search any land, inclosure, wharehouse, store or building, not being a
dwelling house; and also to inspect, search and examine any vessel or aircraft
and any trunk, package, box or envelope, or any person on board, or stop and
search and examine any vehicle, beast or person suspected of holding or
conveying any dutiable or prohibited article introduec into the Phils. contrary to
law, without mentioning the need of a SW. xxx" Except in the case of a search
of a dwelling house, persons exercising police authority under the Customs law
may effect search and seizure without a SW in the enforcement of customs law.
In the instant case, we note that petitioner Alagao, & his companion policemen
did not have to make any search before tuthey seized the 2 trucks and their
But even if there was a search, there is still authority to the effect that no
SW would be needed under the circumstances obtaining in the instant case.
"The guaranty of freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures is
construed as recognizing a necessary difference before a search of a dwelling
house or other structure in respect of w/c a SW may readily be obtained and a
search of a ship, motorboat, wagon or automobile for contraband goods, where it
is not practicable to secure the warrant bec. the vehicle can be quickly moved
out of the locality or jurisdiction in w/c the warrant must be sought."
"xxx Whether search of and seizure from an automobile upon a highway
or other public place, w/o a SW is unreasonable is in its final anaylysis to be
determined as a judicial question in view of all the circumstances under w/c it is
27. PEOPLE V. LO HO WING, 193 SCRA 122


Peter Lo , together with co-accused Lim Cheng Huat alias Antonio
Lim and Reynaldo Tia, were charged with a violation of the Dangerous Drugs
Act, for the transport of metamphetamine hydrochloride, otherwise known as
"shabu". The drug was contained in tea bags inside tin cans which were
placed inside their luggages. Upon arrival from Hongkong, they boarded the
taxis at the airport which were apprehended by CIS operatives. Their luggages
were subsequently searched where the tea bags were opened and found to
contain shabu. Only Lo and Lim were convicted. Tia was discharged as a
state witness, who turned out to be a " deep penetration agent" of the CIS in its
mission to bust the drug syndicate .

Issue: W/N the search and seizure was legal.

That search and seizure must be supported by a valid warrant is not an
absolute rule. One of the exceptions thereto is a search of a moving vehicle.
The circumstance of the case clearly show that the serach in question was
made as regards a moving vehicle. Therefore, a valid warrant was not
necessary to effect the search on appellant and his co-accused.
It was firmly established from the factual findings of the court that the
authorities had reasonable ground to believe that appellant would attempt to
bring in contraband and transport within the country. The belief was based on
intelligence reports gathered from surveillance activities on the suspected
syndicate, of which appellant was touted to be amember. Aside from this, they
were also certain as to the expected date and time of arrival of the accused
from China via Hongkong. But such knowledge was insufficient to enable
them to fulfill the requiremnents for the issuance of a search warrant. Still and
all, the important thing is that there was probable cause to conduct the
warrantless search, which must still be present in the case.

On August 14, 1987, the appellant and his common-law wife, Shirley
Reyes went to Manila Packaging and Export Forwarders to send packages to
Zurich, Switzerland. It was received by Anita Reyes and ask if she could
inspect the packages. Shirley refused and eventually convinced Anita to seal
the package making it ready for shipment. Before being sent out for delivery,
Job Reyes, husband of Anita and proprietor of the courier company, conducted
an inspection of the package as part of standard operating procedures. Upon
opening the package, he noticed a suspicious odor which made him took
sample of the substance he found inside. He reported this to the NBI and
invited agents to his office to inspect the package. In the presence of the NBI
agents, Job Reyes opened the suspicious package and found dried-marijuana
leaves inside. A case was filed against Andre Marti in violation of R.A. 6425
and was found guilty by the court a quo. Andre filed an appeal in the Supreme
Court claiming that his constitutional right of privacy was violated and that the
evidence acquired from his package was inadmissible as evidence against
Whether or not the evidence had been obtained in violation of his
constitutional rights against unreasonable seach and siezure and privacy of
Evidence sought to be excluded was primarily discovered and
obtained by a private person, acting in a private capacity and without the
intervention and participation of State authorities. In the absence of
governmental interference, the libertied guaranteed by the Constitution cannot
be invoked against the State. Mere presence of NBI agents does not convert it
to warrantless search and siezure. Merely to look at that which is plain sight is
not search. Having observed that which is open, where no trespass has been
committed is not search.
The constitutional proscription against unlawful searches and
seizures therefore applies as a restraint directed only against the government
and its agencies tasked with the enforcement of the law. It is not meant to be
invoked against acts of private individuals. It will be recalled that Mr Job Reyes
was the one who opened the box in the presence of the NBI agents in his
place of business. The mere presence of the NBI agents did not convert the
reasonable search effected by Mr. Reyes into a warrantless search and
siezure proscribed by the constitution. Merely to observe and look at that which
is in plain sight is not a search.
The judgement of conviction finding appeallant guilty beyond reasonable doubt
of the crime charged was AFFIRMED.

G.R. No. 143944, July 11, 2002
The accused was convicted of violation of Section 16, Article III of Republic Act
No. 6425 (Dangerous Drugs Act). On March 11, 1999, an interisland
passenger ship, M/V Super Ferry 5, sailed from Manila to Iligan City. At about
3:00 a.m. on March 13, 1999, the vessel was about to dock at the port of Iligan
City when its security officer, Diesmo, received a complaint from passenger
Canoy about her missing jewelry. Canoy suspected one of her co-passengers
at cabin no. 106 as the culprit. Diesmo and four (4) other members of the
vessel security force accompanied Canoy to search for the suspect whom they
later found at the economy section. The suspect was identified as the accused,
Basher Bongcarawan. The accused was informed of the complaint and was
invited to go back to cabin no. 106. With his consent, he was bodily searched,
but no jewelry was found. He was then escorted by 2 security agents back to
the economy section to get his baggage. The accused took a Samsonite
suitcase and brought this back to the cabin. When requested by the security,
the accused opened the suitcase, revealing a brown bag and small plastic
packs containing white crystalline substance. Suspecting the substance to be
shabu, the security personnel immediately reported the matter to the ship
captain and took pictures of the accused beside the suitcase and its contents.
They also called the Philippine Coast Guard for assistance. But the accused
countered this by saying that the Samsonite suitcase containing the
methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu was forcibly opened and searched
without his consent, and hence, in violation of his constitutional right against
unreasonable search and seizure. Any evidence acquired pursuant to such
unlawful search and seizure, he claims, is inadmissible in evidence against

ISSUE: WON the search and seizure was valid.
The right against unreasonable search and seizure is a fundamental
right protected by the Constitution. Evidence acquired in violation of this right
shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding. Whenever this right is
challenged, an individual may choose between invoking the constitutional
protection or waiving his right by giving consent to the search and seizure. It
should be stressed, however, that protection is against transgression
committed by the government or its agent. The constitutional proscription
against unlawful searches and seizures applies as a restraint directed only
against the government and its agencies tasked with the enforcement of the
law. Thus, it could only be invoked against the State to whom the restraint
against arbitrary and unreasonable exercise of power is imposed.
In the case before us, the baggage of the accused-appellant was
searched by the vessel security personnel. It was only after they found shabu
inside the suitcase that they called the Philippine Coast Guard for assistance.
The search and seizure of the suitcase and the contraband items was
therefore carried out without government intervention, and hence, the
constitutional protection against unreasonable search and seizure does not
There is no merit in the contention of the accused-appellant that the
search and seizure performed by the vessel security personnel should be
considered as one conducted by the police authorities for like the latter, the
former are armed and tasked to maintain peace and order. The vessel security
officer in the case at bar is a private employee and does not discharge any
governmental function.