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People of the Philippines v.

Zenaida Bolasa
Facts:
An informer told the police that an illegal transaction of prohibited drugs were
being conducted at a certain house in Sta. Brigida St. Karuhatan Valenzuela Metro
Manila. PO3 Salonga and Carizon together with SPO1 Fernando Arenas immediately
proceed to the said house. Upon reaching the house, they peeped through a small
window and saw a man and woman repacking suspected marijuana. They enter the
house and introduce themselves as police officers and confiscated the tea bag and
other drug paraphernalia.Afterwhich, the police officers arrested the two,Zenaida
Bolasa and Roberto de los Reyes. Upon examination by the NBI, the tea bags were
confirmed as marijuana. Zenaida Bolasa and Roberto de los Reyes were charged
with violation of Sec.8 of Article II of Republic Act 6425 otherwise known as
Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972. The RTC convicted them of the crime charged.
Accused Bolasa asserts that the search and her arrest was illegal. She insists
that the trial court should not regard the testimony of PO3 cCarizon credible
because he does not have personal knowledge regarding the conduct of the arrest
and search making his testimony a hearsay.
Issue:
Whether or not the arrest and seizure were valid
Ruling:
No. The Supreme Court held that the arrest was invalid because the arresting
officers had no personal knowledge that at the time of their arrest, accusedapellants had just committed, were committing or about to commit a crime. The
arresting officers also have no personal knowledge that a crime was committed nor
have a reasonable ground to believe that the accused committed the crime. And
accused appellants were not prisoners who have escaped from a penal
establishment.
With respect to the seizure of the tea bags,the court held that it is also invalid
because the objects were not seized in plain view. There was no valid intrusion and
the evidence was not inadvertently discovered. The police officers intentionally
peeped through the window to ascertain the activities of appellants inside the room.
In like manner, the search cannot be categorized as a search of a moving vehicle, a
consented warrantless arrest, a customs search, or a stop and frisk situations.
The court stated that the arresting officers should have first conducted a
surveillance considering that the identities and addressed of the suspected culprits
were already ascertained. After conducting the surveillance and determining the
existence of probable cause, they should have secured a warrant prior to effecting
a valid arrest and seizure. The arrest being illegal ab initio, the accompanying

search was also illegal. Every evidence thus obtained during the illegal search
cannot be used against the accused-appellants.