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PEOPLE vs.

FLORENCIO DORIA and VIOLETA GADDAO


Facts:

On December 1995 in Mandaluyong City, the accused mutually helped one


another and sold 11 plastic bags of suspected marijuana fruiting tops.
Previously on November, members of the North Metropolitan District,
Philippine National Police Narcotics Command, received information that one
Jun was engaged in illegal drug activities in Mandaluyong City. The Narcom
agents decided to entrap him in a buy-bust operation.

On December 5, 1995, SPO3 Manlangit arrested Jun and the latter led them
to his associate, Neneth. They took "Neneth and "Jun," together with the
box, its contents and the marked bills and turned them over to the
investigator at headquarters. It was only then that the police learned that
"Jun" is Florencio Doria while "Neneth" is Violeta Gaddao. The one brick of
dried marijuana leaves recovered from "Jun" plus the ten bricks recovered
from "Neneth's" house were examined at the PNP Crime Laboratory and were
found to be dried marijuana fruiting tops.

They were subsequently charged with violation of Section 4, in relation to


Section 21 of the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972.

Issue: WoN the warrantless arrest was valid. (Valid, as regards Dorias arrest.)
Decision: Florencio Doria was convicted and Violeta Gaddao was aquitted.
RD:
The warrantless arrest of Doria is lawful since he was caught in the act of
committing an offense. A person may be arrested without a warrant if he "has
committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense."
The warrantless search and arrest of Gaddao is unlawful. Search and seizure may be
made without a warrant and the evidence obtained therefrom may be admissible in
the following instances: (1) search incident to a lawful arrest; (2) search of a moving
motor vehicle; (3) search in violation of customs laws; (4) seizure of evidence in
plain view; (5) when the accused himself waives his right against unreasonable
searches and seizures.
Gaddao was not caught red-handed during the buy-bust operation to give ground
for her arrest under Section 5 (a) of Rule 113. She was not committing any crime; in
fact, she was going about her daily chores when the policemen pounced on her.
Neither could her arrest be justified under "Personal knowledge" of facts because it
must be based upon "probable cause" which means an "actual belief or reasonable
grounds of suspicion." The grounds of suspicion are reasonable when, in the
absence of actual belief of the arresting officers, the suspicion that the person to be
arrested is probably guilty of committing the offense, is based on actual facts, i.e.,

supported by circumstances sufficiently strong in themselves to create the probable


cause of guilt of the person to be arrested.
Gaddao was arrested solely on the basis of the alleged identification made by her
co-accused. Doria did not point to Gaddao as his associate in the drug business,
but as the person with whom he left the marked bills. This identification does not
necessarily lead to the conclusion that Gaddao conspired with her co-accused in
pushing drugs. Narcom agents had no reasonable grounds to believe that she was
engaged in drug pushing. Since the warrantless arrest of Gaddao was illegal, it
follows that the search of her person and home and the subsequent seizure of the
marked bills and marijuana cannot be deemed legal as an incident to her arrest.