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L-63630; 6 Apr
Friday, February 06, 2009 Posted by Coffeeholic Writes
Labels: Case Digests, Political Law
Facts: Patrolmen






conductingsurveillance at the San Fernando Victory Liner Terminal. At

around 9:30pm they noticed a person, Medel Tangliben, carrying a traveling
bag who acted suspiciously. They confronted him, inspected his bag, and
there they found marijuana leaves. The accused was then taken to the Police
Headquarters for further investigations. The TC found Tangliben guilty of
violating sec.4 art. 2 of the RA 6425 or the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972.
Issue: Whether or Not there was an unlawful search due to lack of search
Held: No. Rule 113 sec. 5 provides the a peace officer or a private person
may w/o a warrant arrest a person when in his presence the person to be
arrested has committed, is committing, or is attempting to commit an
In the

Wednesday, February 04, 2009 Posted by Coffeeholic Writes

Labels: Case Digests, Political Law
Facts: Petitioners are husband and wife who owned and formerly resided at
No. 13 Isidro St., Skyline Village. Catalunan Grande, Davao City. When
petitioner Leopoldo Veroy was promoted to the position of Assistant
Administrator of the Social Security System sometime in June, 1988, he
and his family transferred to 130 K-8th St., East Kamias, Quezon City,
where they are presently residing. The care and upkeep of their residence in
Davao City was left to two (2) houseboys, Jimmy Favia and Eric Burgos,
who had their assigned quarters at a portion of the premises. The Veroys
would occasionally send money toEdna Soguilon for the salary of the said
houseboys and other expenses for the upkeep of their house. While the
Veroys had the keys to the interior of the house, only the key to the kitchen,
where the circuit breakers were located, was entrusted to Edna Soguilon to
give her access in case of an emergency. Hence, since 1988, the key to the
master's bedroom as well as the keys to the children's rooms were retained
by herein Petitioners so that neither Edna Soguilon nor the caretakers could

present case,

the accused was





committingpossession of marijuana and can be therefore searched lawfully

even without a search warrant. Another reason is that this case poses
urgency on the part of the arresting police officers. It was found out that an
informer pointed to the accused telling the policemen that theaccused was
carrying marijuana. The police officers had to act quickly and there was not
enough time to secure a search warrant.
VEROY VS. LAYAGUE [210 SCRA 97; G.R. No. 95630; 18 Jun 1992]




Police Officers had an information that the petitioners residence was being
used as a safehouse of rebel soldiers. They were able to enter the yard with
the help of the caretakers but did not enter the house since the owner was
not present and they did not have a search warrant. Petitioner Ma. Luisa
was contacted by telephone in her Quezon City residence by Capt. Obrero
to ask permission to search the house in Davao City as it was reportedly
being used as a hideout and recruitment center of rebel soldiers. Petitioner
Ma. Luisa Veroy responded that she is flying to Davao City to witness the

search but relented if the search would not be conducted in the presence of

Assistant Prosecutor Rodolfo Ponferrada who was designated Acting

Major Ernesto Macasaet, an officer of the PC/INP, Davao City and a long

Provincial Prosecutor for Davao City. In a resolution dated August 6, 1990,


Fiscal Ponferrada recommended the filing of an information against herein






petitioners for Violation of Presidential Decree No. 1866 (Illegal Possession

The following day, Capt. Obrero and Major Macasaet met at the house of

of Firearms and Ammunitions in Furtherance of Rebellion). No bail was

herein petitioners in Skyline Village to conduct the search pursuant to the


authority granted by petitioner Ma. Luisa Veroy. The caretakers facilitated

their entry into the yard, and using the key entrusted to Edna Soguilon, they
were able to gain entrance into the kitchen. However, a locksmith by the

Issue: Whether or Not Presidential Decree No. 1866, or at least the third

name of George Badiang had to be employed to open the padlock of the

paragraph of Section 1 thereof, is unconstitutional for being violative of the

door leading to the children's room. Capt. Obrero and Major Macasaet then










entered the children's room and conducted the search. Capt. Obrero
recovered a .45 cal. handgun with a magazine containing seven (7) live
bullets in a blackclutch bag inside an unlocked drawer. Three (3) half-full

Held: The issue of constitutionality of Presidential Decree No. 1866 has

jute sacks containing printed materials of RAM-SFP were also found in the

been laid to rest in the case of Misolas v. Panga, G.R. No. 83341, January

children's room. A search of the children's recreation and study area

30, 1990 (181 SCRA 648), where this Court held that the declaration of

revealed a big travelling bag containing assorted polo shirts, men's brief,

unconstitutionality of the third paragraph of Section 1 of Presidential

two (2) pieces polo barong and short sleeve striped gray polo.sweat shirt,

Decree No. 1866 is wanting in legal basis since it is neither a bill of

two (2) pairs men's socks, a towel made in U.S.A., one blanket, a small

attainder nor does it provide a possibility of a double jeopardy.

black bag, Gandhi brand, containing a book entitled "Islamic Revolution

Future Path of the Nation", a road map of the Philippines, a telescope,

Petitioners' contention that Republic Act 6968 has repealed Presidential

a plastic bag containing assorted medicines and religious pamphlets was

Decree No. 1866 is bereft of merit. It is a cardinal rule of statutory

found in the master's bedroom. Sgt. Leo Justalero was instructed by Capt.

construction that where the words and phrases of a statute are not obscure

Obrero to make an inventory and receipt of the articles seized, in the

or ambiguous. its meaning and the intention of the legislature must be


determined from the language employed, and where there is no ambiguity

in the words, there is no room for construction. Petitioners contend that

The case was referred for preliminary investigation to Quezon City

Section 1 of Presidential Decree No. 1866 is couched in general or vague

terms. The terms "deal in", "acquire", "dispose" or "possess" are capable of






various interpretations such that there is no definiteness as to whether or not

the definition includes "constructive possession" or how the concept of

None of these exceptions pertains to the case at bar. The reason for

constructive possession should be applied. Petitioners were not found in

searching the house of herein petitioners is that it was reportedly being used

actual possession of the firearm and ammunitions. They were in Quezon

as a hideout and recruitment center for rebel soldiers. While Capt. Obrero

City while the prohibited articles were found in Davao City. Yet they were

was able to enter the compound, he did not enter the house because he did

being charged under Presidential Decree No. 1866 upon the sole

not have a search warrant and the owners were not present. This shows that

circumstance that the house wherein the items were found belongs to them.

he himself recognized the need for a search warrant, hence, he did not
persist in entering the house but rather contacted the Veroys to

Petitioners question the admissibility in evidence of the articles seized in

seek permission to enter the same.Permission was indeed granted by Ma.

violation of their constitutional right against unreasonable search and

Luisa Veroy to enter the house but only to ascertain the presence of rebel

seizure. Petitioners aver that while they concede that Capt. Obrero

soldiers. Under the circumstances it is undeniable that the police officers

had permission from Ma. Luisa Veroy to break open the door of their











residence, it was merely for the purpose of ascertaining thereat the presence
of the alleged "rebel" soldiers. The permission did not include any authority

Undeniably, the offense of illegal possession of firearms is malum

to conduct a room to room search once inside the house. The items taken

prohibitum but it does not follow that the subject thereof is necessarily



illegal per se. Motive is immaterial in mala prohibita but the subjects of this

constitutional rights As such, they are inadmissible in evidence against

kind of offense may not be summarily seized simply because they are


prohibited. A search warrant is still necessary. Hence, the rule having been

therefore, products of






violated and no exception being applicable, the articles seized were

The Constitution guarantees the right of the people to be secure in their

confiscated illegally and are therefore protected by the exclusionary

persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and

principle. They cannot be used as evidence against the petitioners in the

seizures (Article III, Section 2 of the 1987 Constitution). However, the rule

criminal action against them for illegal possession of firearms. (Roan v.

that searches and seizures must be supported by a valid warrant is not an

Gonzales, 145 SCRA 689-690 [1986]). Besides, assuming that there was

absolute one. Among the recognized exceptions thereto are: (1) a search

indeed a search warrant, still in mala prohibita, while there is no need of

incidental to an arrest; (2) a search of a moving vehicle; and (3) seizure of

criminal intent, there must be knowledge that the same existed. Without the

evidence in plain view (People v. Lo Ho Wing, G.R. No. 88017, January








November 10, 2010

PREMISES CONSIDERED, the petition as granted and the criminal case
against the petitioners for illegal possession of firearms is DISMISSED.


Two civilian informants informed the PNP Narcom that one Jun
was engaged in illegal drug activities and the Narcom agents decided to
entrap and arrenst Jun in a buy-bust operation.
On the day of entrapment, PO3 Manlangit handed Jun the marked
bills and Jun instructed PO3 Manlangit to wait for him while he got the
marijuana from his associate.
When they met up, Jun gave PO3 something wrapped in plastic
upon which PO3 arrested Jun. They frisked Jun but did not find the
marked bills on him. Jun revealed that he left the money at the house of
his associate named neneth
They wen to Neneths house. PO3 Manlangit noticed a carton box
under the dinin table and noticed something wrapped in plastic inside the
Suspicious, PO3 entered the house and took hold of the box and
found that it ha 10 bricks of what appeared to be dried marijuana leaves.
Simultaneously, SPO1 Badua recovered the marked bills from
Neneth. The policemen arrested Neneth and took both her and Jun, together
with the coz, its contents and the marked bill and turned them over to the
investigator at headquarters,
Jun was then learned to be Florencio Doria while Neneth is Violata
They were both convicted feloniously selling, administering and
giving away to another 11 plastic bags of suspected marijuana fruiting tops,
in violation of R.A 6425, as amended by RA 7659
Issue: WON Violeta Gaddao is liable
Entrapment is recognized as a valid defense that can be raised by an
accused & partakes the nature of a confession & avoidance.
American federal courts and state courts usually use the subjective
or origin of intent test laid down in Sorrells v. U.S. to determine whether
entrapment actually occurred. The focus of the inquiry is on the accuseds
predisposition to commit the offense is charged, his state of mind and
inclination before his initial exposure to government agents.
Another test is the objective test where the test of entrapment is
whether the conduct of the law enforcement agenst was likely to induce a
normally law-abiding person, other than one who is ready and willing, to
commit the offense.
The objective test in buy-bust operations demands that the details of
the purported transaction must be clearly & adequately shown. Courts
should look at all factors to determine the predisposition of an accused to

commit an offense in so far as they are relevant to determine the validty of

the defense of inducement.
In the case at bar, Gaddao was not caught red-handed during the
buy-bust operation to give ground for her arrest uner Sec. 5a of Rule 113.
She was not committing any crime. Contrary to the finding of the TC, there
was no occasion at all for Gaddao to flee from the policement to justify her
arrest in hot pursuit
Neither could her arrest ne justified under second instance of
personal knowledge in Rule 113 as this must be based upon probable
cause which means an actual belief or reasonable grounds for suspicion.
Gaddao was arrested solely on the basis of the alleged indentification made
by her co-accused. PO3 Manlangt, however, declared in his direct
examination that appellant Doria named his co-accused in response to his
query as to where the marked money was. Doria did not point to Gaddao as
his associate in the drug business, but as the person with whom he lfet the
marked bills. This identification does not necessarily lead to the conclusion
that Gaddao conspired with Doria in pushing drugs, If there is no showing
that the person who effected the warrantless arrest had, in his own right,
knowledge of the acts implicating the person arrested to the perpetration of
a criminal offense, the arrest is legally objectionable.
Furthermore, the fact that the box containing about 6 kilos of
marijuana was found in Gaddaos house does not justify a finding that she
herself is guilty of the crime charged.
The prosecution thus had failed to prove that Gaddao conspired with
Doria in the sale of the said drug. Thus, Gaddao is acquitted

Friday, February 06, 2009 Posted by Coffeeholic Writes

Labels: Case Digests, Political Law
Facts: A civilian informer gave the information that Mari Musa was
engaged in selling marijuana in Suterville, Zamboanga City. Sgt. Ani was
ordered by NARCOM leader T/Sgt. Belarga, to conduct asurveillance and
test buy on Musa. The civilian informer guided Ani to Musas house and
gave the description of Musa. Ani was able to buy one newspaper-wrapped
dried marijuana for


The next day, a buy-bust was planned. Ani was to raise his right hand if he
successfully buys marijuana from Musa. As Ani proceeded to the house, the
NARCOM team positioned themselves about 90 to 100 meters away. From
his position, Belarga could see what was going on. Musa came out of the

and asked Ani



wanted. Ani

said he


more marijuana and gave Musa the P20.00 marked money. Musa went into
the house and came back, giving Ani two newspaperwrappers containing
dried marijuana. Ani opened and inspected it. He raised his right hand as a
signal to the other NARCOM agents, and the latter moved in and arrested
Musa inside the house. Belarga frisked Musa in the living room but did not
find the marked money (gave it to his wife who slipped away). T/Sgt.
Belarga and Sgt. Lego went to thekitchen and found a cellophane colored
white and stripe hanging at the corner of the kitchen. They asked Musa
about its contents but failed to get a response. So they opened it and found
dried marijuanaleaves inside. Musa was then placed under arrest.

PEOPLE VS. MUSA [217 SCRA 597; G.,R. NO. 96177; 27 JAN 1993]

Issue: Whether






the plastic

bag and

themarijuana inside it is unreasonable, hence, inadmissible as evidence.

People vs Anita Claudio

G.R. No. 72564
April 15, 1988

Held: Yes. It constituted unreasonable search and seizure thus it may not be
admitted as evidence. The warrantless search and seizure, as an incident to


a suspects lawful arrest, may extend beyond the person of the one arrested
to include the premises or surroundings under his immediate control.

On or about 21 July 1981, in the Olongapo City, Philippines, the above-

Objects in the plain view of an officerwho has the right to be in

named ACCUSED without being lawfully authorized, did then and there

the position to have that view are subject to seizure and may be presented

willfully, unlawfully and knowingly transport 1.1 kilos of Marijuana dried

as evidence. The plain view doctrine is usually applied where a police

leaves, which are prohibited drugs for the purpose of selling the same from

officer is not searching for evidence against the accused, but nonetheless

Baguio City to Olongapo City.

inadvertently comes across an incriminating object. It will not justify the

seizure of the object where the incriminating nature of the object is not








a)Whether or not the accused is also liable Sec. 4, Art. II of R.A. 6425 aside

In the case at bar, the plastic bag was not in the plain view of the police.

from Sec. 8, Art. II of the same Act?

They arrested the accused in the living room and moved into the kitchen in
search for other evidences where they found the plastic bag. Furthermore,

b)Whether warrantless search, seizure, and apprehension is unlawful under

the marijuana inside the plastic bag was not immediately apparent from the

Rule 126, Sec.12?






Therefore, the plain view does not apply. The plastic bag was seized


illegally and cannot be presented in evidence pursuant to Article III Section

3 (2) of the Constitution.

Yes. In the case at bar, alibi does not deserve much credit as it was
established only by the accused herself. Moreover, it is a well-established
rule that alibi cannot prevail over positive testimony. The judgment
appealed from is AFFIRMED.
Sec. 4, Art II of R.A. 5425

The provision provides the Sale, Administration, Delivery Distribution and

Transportation of Prohibited Drugs where the penalty of life imprisonment
to death and a fine ranging from twenty thousand to thirty thousand pesos
shall be imposed upon any person who, unless authorized by law, shall sell,
administer, deliver, give away to another, distribute, dispatch in transit or
transport any prohibited drug, or shall act as a broker in any of such
transactions. Although the accused contends that she may not be convicted
of this provision, the court held that contention is without merit. A closer
perusal of the subject provision shows that it is not only delivery which is
penalized but also the sale, administration, distribution and transportation of
prohibited drugs. Claudio was caught transporting 1.1 kilos of marijuana,
thus the lower court did not err in finding her guilty of violating Sec. 4.
As held in the case of People v. Toledo, (140 SCRA 259, 267) "the
possession of such considerable quantity as three plastic bags of marijuana
leaves and seeds coupled with the fact that he is not a user of prohibited
drugs cannot indicate anything except the intention of the accused to sell,
distribute and deliver said marijuana.
Rule 126, Sec. 12
The provision provides the Search incident to lawful arrest where a person
lawfully arrested may be searched for dangerous weapons or anything
which may be used as proof of the commission of an offense, without a
search warrant in paragraph (12a). Thus, appellant Claudio was caught
transporting prohibited drugs. Pat. Daniel Obia did not need a warrant to
arrest Claudio as the latter was caught in flagrante delicto. The warrantless
search being an incident to a lawful arrest is in itself lawful. (Nolasco v.
Pano, 147 SCRA 509). Therefore, there was no infirmity in the seizure of
the 1.1 kilos of marijuana

Caballes vs. Court of Appeals [GR 136292, 15 January 2002]

First Division, Puno (J): 4 concur

Facts: 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 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 (Terry search); 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. Unfortunately, none exists in the
present case. Further, the evidence is lacking that Caballes intentionally
surrendered his right against unreasonable searches. The manner by which
the two police officers allegedly obtained the consent of Caballes for them
to conduct the search leaves much to be desired. When Caballes vehicle
was flagged down, Sgt. Noceja approached Caballes and told him I will
look at the contents of his vehicle and he answered in the positive. By
uttering those words, it cannot be said the police officers were asking or
requesting for permission that they be allowed to search the vehicle of
Caballes. For all intents and purposes, they were informing, nay, imposing
upon Caballes that they will search his vehicle. The consent given under
intimidating or coercive circumstances is no consent within the purview of
the constitutional guaranty. In addition, in cases where the Court upheld the

validity of consented search, it will be noted that the police authorities

expressly asked, in no uncertain terms, for the consent of the accused to be
searched. And the consent of the accused was established by clear and
positive proof. Neither can Caballes passive submission be construed as an
implied acquiescence to the warrantless search. Casting aside the cable
wires as evidence, the remaining evidence on record are insufficient to
sustain Caballes conviction. His guilt can only be established without
violating the constitutional right of the accused against unreasonable search
and seizure.


VALENCIA, accused.
[G.R. No. 136860. January 20, 2003] PUNO, J.:

Appellant Agpanga Libnao and her co-accused Rosita Nunga were charged
of violating Article II, Section 4 of R.A. No. 6425, otherwise known as the
Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972. It appears from the evidence adduced by the
prosecution that in August of 1996, intelligence operatives of the Philippine
National Police (PNP) stationed in Tarlac, Tarlac began conducting
surveillance operation on suspected drug dealers in the area. They learned
from their asset that a certain woman from Tajiri, Tarlac and a companion
from Baguio City were transporting illegal drugs once a month in big bulks.
SPO1 Gamotea and PO3 Ferrer flagged down a passing tricycle. It had two
female passengers seated inside, who were later identified as the appellant
Agpanga Libnao and her co-accused Rosita Nunga.[3] In front of them was
a black bag. Suspicious of the black bag and the twos uneasy behavior
when asked about its ownership and content, the officers invited them to
Kabayan Center No.2 located at the same barangay. They brought with
them the black bag.






The seized articles were later brought to the PNP Crime Laboratory in San
Fernando, Pampanga on October 23, 1996. Forensic Chemist Daisy P. Babu
conducted a laboratory examination on them. She concluded that the
articles were marijuana leaves weighing eight kilos

The Court ruled that the appeal be dismissed.

During their arraignment, both entered a plea of Not Guilty. Trial on the
merits ensued.

Appellant then faults the trial court for appreciating and taking into account
the object and documentary evidence of the prosecution despite the latters
failure to formally offer them. Absent any formal offer, she argues that they
again must be deemed inadmissible.

After trial, the court convicted appellant and her co-accused Rosita Nunga,

WHEREFORE, finding both accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of

the offense of violation of Article II, Section 4 of RA 6425 in relation to RA
7659, they are hereby sentenced to suffer an imprisonment of reclusion
perpetua and to pay a fine of two million pesos. SO ORDERED.

The contention is untenable. Evidence not formally offered can be

considered by the court as long as they have been properly identified by
testimony duly recorded and they have themselves been incorporated in the
records of the case. All the documentary and object evidence in this case
were properly identified, presented and marked as exhibits in court,
including the bricks of marijuana. Even without their formal offer,
therefore, the prosecution can still establish the case because witnesses

properly identified those exhibits, and their testimonies are recorded.

Furthermore, appellants counsel had cross-examined the prosecution
witnesses who testified on the exhibits.

Appellant also assails the credibility of the testimonies of the prosecution

witnesses. She first cites the inconsistency between the testimony of SPO1
Marlon Gamotea, who said that it was SPO2 Antonio who opened the black
bag containing the marijuana; and that of SPO2 Antonio, who declared that
the bag was already open when he arrived at the Kabayan Center. She then
focuses on the police officers failure to remember the family name of the
driver of the tricycle where she allegedly rode, claiming that this is
improbable and contrary to human experience.

Again, appellants arguments lack merit. The alleged inconsistencies she

mentions refer only to minor details and not to material points regarding the
basic elements of the crime. They are inconsequential that they do not
affect the credibility of the witnesses nor detract from the established fact
that appellant and her co-accused were transporting marijuana. Testimonies
of witnesses need only corroborate each other on important and relevant
details concerning the principal occurrence. The identity of the person who
opened the bag is clearly immaterial to the guilt of the appellant. Besides,
it is to be expected that the testimony of witnesses regarding the same
incident may be inconsistent in some aspects because different persons may
have different recollections of the same incident.

To be sure, credence was properly accorded to the testimonies of

prosecution witnesses, who are law enforcers. When police officers have
no motive to testify falsely against the accused, courts are inclined to
uphold this presumption. In this case, no evidence has been presented to
suggest any improper motive on the part of the police enforcers in arresting
the appellant.

Against the credible positive testimonies of the prosecution witnesses,

appellants defense of denial and alibi cannot stand. The defense of denial
and alibi has been invariably viewed by the courts with disfavor for it can
just as easily be concocted and is a common and standard defense ploy in
most cases involving violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act. It has to be
substantiated by clear and convincing evidence. The sole proof presented in
the lower court by the appellant to support her claim of denial and alibi was
a sworn statement, which was not even affirmed on the witness stand by the
affiant. Hence, we reject her defense.

IN VIEW WHEREOF, the instant appeal is DENIED. The decision of the

trial court finding appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the offense
of violation of Article II, Section 4 of R.A. No. 6425 in relation to R.A. No.
7659, and sentencing her to an imprisonment of reclusion perpetua and to
pay a fine of two million pesos is hereby AFFIRMED.

Likewise, we find nothing improbable in the failure of the police officers to
note and remember the name of the tricycle driver for the reason that it was
unnecessary for them to do so. It was not shown that the driver was in
complicity with the appellant and her co-accused in the commission of the

Mustang Lumber vs. CA

A consolidated petition
First Case:
On 1 April 1990, acting on an information that a huge stockpile of narra
flitches, shorts, and slabs were seen inside the lumberyard of the petitioner in

Valenzuela, Metro Manila, the SAID organized a team of foresters and policemen
and sent it to conduct surveillance at the said lumberyard. In the course thereof, the
team members saw coming out from the lumberyard the petitioner's truck, with Plate
No. CCK-322, loaded with lauan and almaciga lumber of assorted sizes and
dimensions. Since the driver could not produce the required invoices and transport
documents, the team seized the truck together with its cargo and impounded them
at the DENR compound at Visayas Avenue, Quezon City. The team was not able to
gain entry into the premises because of the refusal of the owner. 2
The special Action and nvestigation Division of DENr also procured a
search warrant from Jusge Adriano Osorio of RTC Valenzuela, by virtue of the
warrant, the team seized for truckloads of narra woods including almaciaga and
supa. Moreover, the lumberyard of the petitioner was also placed under
administrative seizure. For failure to produce certificates of lumber origins, auxiliary
invoices, tally sheets and delivery receipts.
Subsequently, the Sec of DENR Factoran issued an order confiscating the
woods seized in the truck of the petitioner as well as those found in their
Thus, the petitioner filed a petitioner for certiorari and prohibition
contending that the search and seizure operation by the respondents is a violation
under Sec 2 Art III of the Constitution for not having a valid search warrant.
Second case:
People vs. Capulong et al
This case deals with whether the Forestry Code where the petitioner
allegedly violated refers to either timber or lumber
Was the warrantless search and seizure invalid?
No. It is a valid warrantless search being one of the statutory instances that
Search of a moving vehicle is one of the five doctrinally accepted
exceptions to the constitutional mandate that no search and seizure shall be made
except by a virtue of a warrant. Thus a search could be lawfully conducted on a
moving vehicle without a search warrant.
In the case at bar, the conducted search and seizure is indeed without a
valid warrant, however, it was conducted to search the materials that can be found
in a moving vehicle, which is the truck of the first case.
People vs. Figueroa
The accused was charged with Illegal Possession of Firearms and
Ammunitions and and of RA 645 and subsequently convicted by the RTC Br. 23 of
Trece Martires in Cavite.
While serving the warrant of arrest, the officers noticed, strewn around,
aluminum foil packages of different sizes in the sala. Suspecting thus the presence
of "shabu" in the premises, the arresting officers requested appellant, as well as his
brother and sister, to acquiesce to a search of the house. The search yielded a .45

caliber pistol, a magazine, seven live ammunitions, and a match box containing an
aluminum foil package with "shabu." Confronted, Figueroa denied ownership of the
items. An inventory was conducted by the PC team, attested to by Barangay
Captain Bigornia, of the seized items.
The accused questions the admissibility in evidence of the firearm and
confiscated ammunition for it was discovered during a warrantless search.
Was their an unlawful warrantless search and seizure.
No. the search and seizure of the articles sought is a valid being a search
incidental to an arrest.
The .45 caliber pistol, magazine and rounds of ammunition were not
unlawfully obtained. While the SC might concede difficulty in readily accepting the
statement of the prosecution that the search was conducted with consent freely
given by appellant and members of his household, it should be pointed out, in any
case, that the search and seizure was done admittedly on the occasion of a lawful
A significant exception from the necessity for a search warrant is when the
search and seizure is effected as an incident to a lawful arrest.
As a doctrine in jurisprudence, 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 surrounding 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."