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People vs. Chua Ho San [GR 128222, 17 June 1999] - ANNE
In response to reports of rampant smuggling of firearms and other
contraband, Jim Lagasca Cid, as Chief of Police of the Bacnotan Police
Station, of La Union began patrolling the Bacnotan coastline with his
While monitoring the coastal area of Barangay Bulala, he intercepted a
radio call at around 12:45 p.m. from Barangay Captain Juan Almoite of
Barangay Tammocalao requesting police assistance regarding an
unfamiliar speedboat the latter had spotted, which looked different
from the boats ordinarily used by fisherfolk of the area and was poised
to dock at Tammocalao shores.
Cid and 6 of his men led by his Chief Investigator, SPO1 Reynoso
Badua, proceeded forthwith to Tammocalao beach, conferred with
Almoite, and observed that the speedboat ferried a lone male
When the speedboat landed, the male passenger alighted, and using
both hands, carried what appeared a multicolored strawbag, and
walked towards the road.
By this time, Almoite, Cid and Badua, the latter two conspicuous in
their uniform and issued side-arms, became suspicious of the man as
he suddenly changed direction and broke into a run upon seeing the
approaching officers. Badua, prevented the man from fleeing by
holding on to his right arm.
Although Cid introduced themselves as police officers, the man
appeared impassive.
Speaking in English, then in Tagalog, and later in Ilocano, Cid then
requested the man to open his bag, but he seemed not to understand.
Cid then resorted to "sign language," motioning with his hands for the
man to open the bag. The man apparently understood and acceded to
the request.

A search of the bag yielded several transparent plastic packets

containing yellowish crystalline substances. As Cid wished to proceed
to the police station, he signaled the man to follow, but the latter did
not comprehend.

Hence, Cid placed his arm around the shoulders of the man and
escorted the latter to the police headquarters. At the police station, Cid
then "recited and informed the man of his constitutional rights" to
remain silent, to have the assistance of a counsel, etc.


In the meantime, Badua opened the bag and counted 29 plastic

packets containing yellowish crystalline substances.
The interpreter, Mr. Go Ping Guan, finally arrived, through whom the
man was "apprised of his constitutional rights." When the policemen
asked the man several questions, he retreated to his obstinate
reticence and merely showed his ID with the name Chua Ho San
printed thereon. Chua's bag and its contents were sent to the PNP
Crime Laboratory at Camp Diego Silang, Carlatan, San Fernando, La
Union for laboratory examination.
In the meantime, Chua was detained at the Bacnotan Police Station.
Later, Police Chief Inspector and Forensic Chemist Theresa Ann
Bugayong Cid (wife of Cid), conducted a laboratory examination of 29
plastic packets, she stated that her qualitative examination established
the contents of the plastic packets, to be positive of
methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu, a regulated drug.
Chua was initially charged with illegal possession of methamphetamine
hydrochloride before the RTC (Criminal Case 4037).
However, pursuant to the recommendation of the Office of the
Provincial Prosecutor of San Fernando, La Union, the information was
subsequently amended to allege that Chua was in violation of
Section 15, Article III of RA 6425 as amended by RA 7659 (illegal
transport of a regulated drug).
At his arraignment on 31 July 1995, where the amended complaint
was read to him by a Fukien-speaking interpreter, Chua
entered a plea of not guilty.
Trial finally ensued, with interpreters assigned to Chua (upon the RTC's
direct request to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the
Philippines, after its failure to acquire one from the Department of
Foreign Affairs).
DEFENSE: Chua, claiming that the bags belong to his employer Cho Chu
Rong, who he accompanied in the speedboat; that they decided to dock
when they were low on fuel and telephone battery; that the police, with nary
any spoken word but only gestures and hand movements, escorted him to
the precinct where he was handcuffed and tied to a chair; that the police, led
by an officer, arrived with the motor engine of the speedboat and a bag,
which they presented to him; that the police inspected opened the bag,
weighed the contents, then proclaimed them as methamphetamine
RTC: convicted Chua


Chua prays for the reversal of the RTC decision and his acquittal before the
Supreme Court.
Whether persistent reports of rampant smuggling of firearm and other
contraband articles, Chua's watercraft differing in appearance from the usual
fishing boats that commonly cruise over the Bacnotan seas, Chuas illegal
entry into the Philippines, Chuas suspicious behavior, i.e. he attempted to
flee when he saw the police authorities, and the apparent ease by which
Chua can return to and navigate his speedboat with immediate dispatch
towards the high seas, constitute "probable cause."
No. Enshrined in the Constitution is the inviolable right to privacy of home
and person. It explicitly ordains that people have the right to be secure in
their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and
seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose. Inseparable, and not
merely corollary or incidental to said right and equally hallowed in and by the
Constitution, is the exclusionary principle which decrees that any evidence
obtained in violation of said right is inadmissible for any purpose in any
proceeding. The Constitutional proscription against unreasonable searches
and seizures does not, of course, forestall reasonable searches and seizure.
This interdiction against warrantless searches and seizures, however, is not
absolute and such warrantless searches and seizures have long been
deemed permissible by jurisprudence. The Rules of Court recognize
permissible warrantless arrests, to wit: (1) arrests in flagrante delicto, (2)
arrests effected in hot pursuit, and (3) arrests of escaped prisoners.
The prosecution and the defense painted extremely divergent versions of the
incident, but the Court is certain that Chua was arrested and his bag
searched without the benefit of a warrant. There are no facts on record
reasonably suggestive or demonstrative of Chuas participation in an
ongoing criminal enterprise that could have spurred police officers from
conducting the obtrusive search. The RTC never took the pains of pointing to
such facts, but predicated mainly its decision on the finding that "accused
was caught red-handed carrying the bagful of shabu when apprehended." In
short, there is no probable cause. Persistent reports of rampant smuggling of
firearm and other contraband articles, Chua's watercraft differing in
appearance from the usual fishing boats that commonly cruise over the
Bacnotan seas, Chuas illegal entry into the Philippines, Chuas suspicious
behavior, i.e. he attempted to flee when he saw the police authorities, and
the apparent ease by which Chua can return to and navigate his speedboat


with immediate dispatch towards the high seas, do not constitute "probable
cause." None of the telltale clues, e.g., bag or package emanating the
pungent odor of marijuana or other prohibited drug, 20 confidential report
and/or positive identification by informers of courier(s) of prohibited drug
and/or the time and place where they will transport/deliver the same,
suspicious demeanor or behavior and suspicious bulge in the waist
accepted by the Court as sufficient to justify a warrantless arrest exists in the
case. There was no classified information that a foreigner would disembark
at Tammocalao beach bearing prohibited drug on the date in question. Chua
was not identified as a drug courier by a police informer or agent. The fact
that the vessel that ferried him to shore bore no resemblance to the fishing
boats of the area did not automatically mark him as in the process of
perpetrating an offense. The search cannot therefore be denominated as
incidental to an arrest. To reiterate, the search was not incidental to an
There was no warrant of arrest and the warrantless arrest did not fall under
the exemptions allowed by the Rules of Court as already shown. From all
indications, the search was nothing but a fishing expedition. Casting aside
the regulated substance as evidence, the same being the fruit of a poisonous
tree, the remaining evidence on record are insufficient, feeble and ineffectual
to sustain Chuas conviction
[G.R. No. 142295. May 31, 2001] - Leslie

Nature :
Petitioner Vicente del Rosario y Nicolas appeals via certiorari from a decision
of the Court of Appeals[] affirming with modification the decision of the
Regional Trial Court, Bulacan, Branch 20, Malolos, and finding him guilty
beyond reasonable doubt of violation of P. D. No. 1866, as amended by
Republic Act No. 8294 (illegal possession of firearms)


May 1996, the police received a report that accused Vicente del
Rosario was in possession of certain firearms without the necessary

Acting upon the report, P/Sr. Insp. Jerito Adique of the PNP Criminal
Investigation Group, inquired from the PNP Firearms and Explosive
Division whether or not the report was true.

May 10, 1996, P/Sr. Insp. Edwin C. Roque of the PNP Firearms and
Explosives Division issued a certification (Exhibit L) stating that per
records in his office, the appellant is not a licensed/registered firearm
holder of any kind and caliber.
Armed with the said certification, P/Sr. Insp. Adique applied for a search
warrant to enable his team to search the house of appellant.
On June 13, 1996, a search warrant was issued by RTC of Quezon City,
Branch 217, authorizing the search of the residence of appellant at
Barangay Tigbe, Norzagaray, Bulacan.
On June 15, 1996, at about 7:00 oclock in the morning, a team led by
P/Sr. Insp. Adique went to Norzagaray to serve the warrant.
Before proceeding to the residence of the appellant, the police officers
requested Barangay Chairman Rogelio de Silva and Barangay
Councilman Aurelio Panteleon to accompany them in the
implementation of the warrant.
Upon arrival at the house of appellant, the police officers introduced
themselves to the wife of appellant. When the appellant came out,
P/Sr. Insp. Adique informed him that they had a search warrant and
that they were authorized to search his house.
After appellant gave his permission, the police officers conducted a
search of the house. The search yielded the following items.
(a) a caliber .45 pistol with Serial No. 703792 with five magazines of
caliber .45 (Exhibits B and H) found at the masters bedroom;
(b) five magazines of 5.56 M-16 rifle and two radios (Exhibits C to C-4)
found in the room of appellants daughter; and
(c) a caliber .22 revolver with Serial No. 48673 (Exhibit F) containing 8
pieces of live ammunition (Exhibit M) found in the kitchen of the house.
When asked about his license to possess the firearms, the
appellant failed to produce any. This prompted the police
officers to seize the subject firearms.

Petitioners defense:


Contends that he had a license for the caliber .45 pistol recovered in
his bedroom and that the other items seized during the search
including the caliber .22 revolver, were merely planted by the police

Likewise assails the manner in which the search was carried out,
claiming that the police officers just barged into his house without
asking permission. Furthermore, he claimed that the barangay officials
arrived only after the police already had finished the search.

RTC: rendered a judgment of conviction

CA: affirmed.. ---- > MR ( denied) Hence, this appeal.

First: whether petitioner had a license for the .45 caliber Colt
pistol and ammunition seized in his bedroom;
45 cal. Colt pistol in question was duly licensed.
Second: whether the .22 caliber revolver seized in a drawer at the
kitchen of his house, a magazine for 5.56 mm. cal. Armalite rifle and
two 2-way radios found in his daughters bedroom, were planted by
the police or were illegally seized.
22 caliber revolver with Serial No. 48673, that the police raiding
team found in a drawer at the kitchen of petitioners house, suffice
it to say that the firearm was not mentioned in the search warrant
applied for and issued for the search of petitioners house. Section
2, Article III of the Constitution lays down the general rule that a
search and seizure must be carried out through or on the strength
of a judicial warrant, absent which such search and seizure
becomes unreasonable within the meaning of said constitutional
provision.Following requisites for a search warrants validity, the
absence of even one will cause its downright nullification:
(1) It 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.

Seizure is limited to those items particularly described in a valid

search warrant.

In this case, the firearm was not found inadvertently and in plain
view. It was found as a result of a meticulous search in the kitchen
of petitioners house.
This firearm, to emphasize, was not mentioned in the search
warrant. Hence, the seizure was illegal.[50] The seizure without the
requisite search warrant was in plain violation of the law and the
True that as an exception, the police may seize without warrant
illegally possessed firearm or any contraband for that matter,
inadvertently found in plain view. However, [t]he seizure of
evidence in plain view applies only where the police officer is not
searching for evidence against the accused, but inadvertently
comes across an incriminating object. [52] Specifically, seizure of
evidence in plain view is justified when there is:
o (a) a prior valid intrusion based on the valid warrantless
arrest in which the police are legally present in the pursuit of
their official duties;
o (b) the evidence was inadvertently discovered by the police
who had the right to be where they are;
o (c) the evidence must be immediately apparent, and
o (d) plain view justified mere seizure of evidence without
further search.[53]


Hence, the petitioner rightly rejected the firearm as planted and not
belonging to him. The prosecution was not able to prove that the
firearm was in the effective possession or control of the petitioner
without a license. In illegal possession of firearms, the possessor
must know of the existence of the subject firearm in his possession
or control.
People v Musa- Deej
Plain view doctrine
On Dec. 13, 1989 Sgt. Ani, a Narcotics Command (NARCOM) officer was given
the order to conduct surveillance and test buy marijuana from Mari Musa. On
the same day, he bought 10php worth of marijuana and reported back to his
superior, T/Sgt. Belarga. The following day, they conducted a buy-bust
operation wherein Sgt. Ani will buy 20php worth of Marijuana using marked
money. They went to the house of Musa where Sgt. Ani and Musa transacted
for the sale. Upon being signalled by Sgt. Ani, T/Sgt. Belarga and two other
NARCOM officers went to apprehend Musa. They searched Musa for the
20php marked money that Ani paid, but they could not find it. Musa said that
his wife had it. They searched the house and saw a red and white striped
plastic bag in the kitchen. They asked Musa what its contents were, but Musa
did not answer. They found marijuana inside.
Issue: Whether or not the marijuana found in the plastic bag is admissible in
evidence by virtue of the plain view doctrine.
No. The plain view doctrine may not be used to launch unbridled searches
and indiscriminate seizures nor to extend general exploratory search made
solely to find evidence of the defendants guilt. It is usually applied when a
police officer is not searching for evidence against the accused, but
nonetheless inadvertently comes across an incriminating object.
Even if an object is observed in plain view, the doctrine will not justify the
seizure of the object if its incriminating nature is not apparent from the plain
In the case at bar, the NARCOM agents searched the house and found the
plastic bag in the kitchen. The marijuana inside the bag was therefore not
within their plain view when they arrested the appellant to justify the seizure.


Therefore, it is held that under the circumstances of the case, the plain view
doctrine does not apply and the marijuana contained in the plastic bag was
seized illegally and cannot be presented in evidence.
GR 133254-55
APRIL 19, 2001 - JAN
January 27, 1998, Salanguit was convicted by the RTC for possession of
11.14 grams of shabu (violation of RA 6425)

Dec 26, 1995, Sr. Insp. Aguilar applied for a warrant in RTC to search
the residence of Salanguit. Presented as witness SPO1 Badua, who
testified as poser-buyer and was able to purchase 2.12grams of shabu
from Salanguit which was taken from a cabinet inside his room.

Search Warrant was issued for the UNDETERMINED QUANTITY OD


That night, 10 policemen went to the residence of Salanguit but no one

opened the door. The police operatives forced the door open and enter
the house upon showing the search warrant.

They found 12 small 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 wrapped in newsprint having a total weight of
approximately 1,255 grams. A receipt of the items seized was
prepared, but the accused-appellant refused to sign it.

After the search, they brought Salanguit to the police station. In his
defense, Salanguit testified with his mother-in-law that when they were
about leave he house, around 20 civilian men with firearms climed
over the gate an entered the premises. When asked for the warrant, a
piece of paper inside a folder was waived in front of him but did not
have the chance to read it.




1 Rule 126, 4 of the Revised Rules on Criminal
Procedure provides that a search warrant shall not issue
except upon probable cause in connection with one specific
offense 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 things to be seized which may
be anywhere in the Philippines.

In issuing a search warrant, judges must comply strictly with the

requirements of the Constitution and the Rules of Criminal
Procedure. No presumption of regularity can be invoked in aid of
the process when an officer undertakes to justify its
issuance.Nothing can justify the issuance of the search warrant
unless all the legal requisites are fulfilled.
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
Although the warrant was defective in the respects noted, it does
not follow that it was invalid as a whole. Such a conclusion would
mean that the seizure of certain articles, even though proper if
viewed separately, must be condemned merely because the
warrant was defective with respect to other articles. The invalid
portions of the warrant are severable from the authorization
relating to the named books, which formed the principal basis of
the charge of obscenity. The search for and seizure of these
books, if otherwise valid, were not rendered illegal by the defects
concerning other articles. . . . In so holding we do not mean to
suggest that invalid portions of a warrant will be treated as
severable under all circumstances. We recognize the danger that
warrants might be obtained which are essentially general in
character but as to minor items meet the requirement of
particularity, and that wholesale seizures might be made under
them, in the expectation that the seizure would in any event be
upheld as to the property specified. Such an abuse of the warrant
procedure, of course, could not be tolerated.
2 The marijuana bricks were wrapped in newsprint. There was
no apparent illegality to justify their seizure. This case is
similar to People. v. Musa in which we declared inadmissible


the marijuana recovered by NARCOM agents because the said

drugs were contained in a plastic bag which gave no
indication of its contents

No presumption of regularity may be invoked by an officer in aid of the

process when he undertakes to justify an encroachment of rights
secured by the Constitution. In this case, the marijuana allegedly found
in the possession of accused-appellant was in the form of two bricks
wrapped in newsprint. Not being in a transparent container, the
contents wrapped in newsprint could not have been readily discernible
as marijuana. Nor was there mention of the time or manner these
items were discovered. Accordingly, for failure of the prosecution to
prove that the seizure of the marijuana without a warrant was
conducted in accordance with the plain view doctrine, we hold that the
accusedappellant. However, the confiscation of the drug must be upheld.




Caballes vs. Court of Appeals [GR 136292, 15 January 2002]- ANNE
About 9:15 p.m. of 28 June 1989, Sgt. VictorinoNoceja 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


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 highvoltage wires
were brought to the Pagsanjan Police Station. DaniloCabale 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.
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.
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
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, were
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
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.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. BINAD SY

CHUA, accused-appellant.
[G.R. Nos. 136066-67. February 4, 2003]- Leslie

Accused-appellant BinadSy Chua was charged with violation of Section

16, Article III of R.A. 6425, as amended by R.A. 7659, and for Illegal
Possession of Ammunitions and Illegal Possession of Drugs in two
separate Informations.
their confidentialinformant that accused-appellant was about to deliver
drugs that night at the Thunder Inn Hotel in Balibago, Angeles City. So,
the PNP Chief formed a team of operatives. The group positioned
themselves across McArthur Highway near Bali Hai Restaurant, fronting
the hotel. The other group acted as their back up.
Afterwards, their informer pointed to a car driven by accused-appellant
which just arrived and parked near the entrance of the hotel. After
accused-appellant alighted from the car carrying a sealed Zest-O juice
box, SPO2 Nulud and PO2 Nunag hurriedly accosted him and
introduced themselves as police officers. As accused-appellant pulled
out his wallet, a small transparent plastic bag with a crystalline
substance protruded from his right back pocket. Forthwith, SPO2 Nulud
subjected him to a body search which yielded twenty (20) pieces of live
.22 caliber firearm bullets from his left back pocket. When SPO2 Nunag
peeked into the contents of the Zest-O box, he saw that it contained a
crystalline substance. SPO2 Nulud instantly confiscated the small
transparent plastic bag, the Zest-O juice box, the twenty (20) pieces
of .22 caliber firearm bullets and the car used by accused-appellant.
SPO2 Nulud and the other police operatives who arrived at the scene
brought the confiscated items to the office of Col. Guttierez at the PNP
Headquarters in Camp Pepito, Angeles City.



Vehemently denied the accusation against him and narrated a

different version of the incident.
Alleged that he was driving the car of his wife to follow her and his
son to Manila. He felt sleepy, so he decided to take the old route
along McArthur Highway. He stopped in front of a small store near
Thunder Inn Hotel to buy cigarettes and candies. While at the store,
he noticed a man approaches and examines the inside of his car.
When he called the attention of the onlooker, the man immediately
pulled out a .45 caliber gun and made him face his car with raised
hands. The man later on identified himself as a policeman.
During the course of the arrest, the policeman took out his wallet
and instructed him to open his car. He refused, so the policeman
took his car keys and proceeded to search his car. At this time, the
police officers companions arrived at the scene in two cars. PO2
Nulud, who just arrived at the scene, pulled him away from his car
in a nearby bank, while the others searched his car.
Thereafter, he was brought to a police station and was held inside a
bathroom for about fifteen minutes until Col. Guttierez arrived, who
ordered his men to call the media. In the presence of reporters, Col.
Guttierez opened the box and accused-appellant was made to hold
the box while pictures were being taken.

LC: acquitted Sy Chua for the Illegal Possession of Ammunitions, yet

convicted him for Illegal Possession of 1,955.815 grams of shabu.
Hence,thisappeal to the Court.
(1) Whether or Not the arrest of accused-appellant was lawful; and
(2) WON the search of his person and the subsequent confiscation of shabu
allegedly found on him were conducted in a lawful and valid manner.

The lower court believed that since the police received information that
the accused will distribute illegal drugs that evening at the Thunder Inn
Hotel and its vicinities. The police officer had to act quickly and there
was no more time to secure a search warrant. The search is valid being
akin to a stop and frisk.
The trial court confused the concepts of a stop-and-frisk and of a
search incidental to a lawful arrest. These two types of warrantless
searches differ in terms of the requisite quantum of proof before they


may be validly effected and in their allowable scope.

In a search incidental to a lawful arrest, as the precedent arrest
determines the validity of the incidental search, the legality of the
arrest is questioned, e.g., whether an arrest was merely used as a
pretext for conducting a search. In this instance, the law requires that
there first be arrest before a search can be madethe process cannot
be reversed. Accordingly, for this exception to apply, two elements
must concur: (1) the person to be arrested must execute an overt act
indicating that he has just committed, is actually committing, or is
attempting to commit a crime; and (2) such overt act is done in the
presence or within the view of the arresting officer.

We find the two aforementioned elements lacking in the case

at bar.
Accused-appellant did not act in a suspicious manner.
For all intents and purposes, there was no overt manifestation that
accused-appellant has just committed, is actually committing, or is
attempting to commit a crime.
Reliable information alone, absent any overt act indicative of a
felonious enterprise in the presence and within the view of the
arresting officers, is not sufficient to constitute probable cause that
would justify an in flagrante delicto arrest.
With regard to the concept of stop-and frisk: mere suspicion or a
hunch will not validate a stop-and-frisk. A genuine reason must exist,
in light of the police officers experience and surrounding conditions, to
warrant the belief that the person detained has weapons concealed
about him.
Finally, a stop-and-frisk serves a two-fold interest: (1) the general
interest of effective crime prevention and detection for purposes of
investigating possible criminal behavior even without probable cause;
and (2) the 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.
A stop-and-frisk was defined as the act of a police officer to stop a
citizen on the street, interrogate him, and pat him for weapon(s) or
contraband. It should also be emphasized that a search and seizure
should precede the arrest for this principle to apply.
The foregoing circumstances do not obtain in the case at bar. To
reiterate, accused-appellant was first arrested before the search and
seizure of the alleged illegal items found in his possession. The
apprehending police operative failed to make any initial inquiry into
accused-appellants business in the vicinity or the contents of the ZestO juice box he was carrying. The apprehending police officers only


introduced themselves when they already had custody of accusedappellant.

In the case at bar, neither the in flagrante delicto nor the stop and
frisk principles is applicable to justify the warrantless arrest and
consequent search and seizure made by the police operatives on
Wherefore, accused-appellant BinadSy Chua is hereby Acquitted

Valmonte v de Villa- Deej
Atty. Valmonte and the Union of Lawyers and Advocates for Peoples Rights
(ULAP) assail the validity of the checkpoints in Valenzuela installed by the
National Capital Region District Command (NCRDC.) Because of the
checkpoints, the residents of Valenzuela are worried of being harassed and of
their safety being placed at the disposition of the military manning the
checkpoints considering that their cars and vehicles are being subjected to
regular searches and check-ups at night or at dawn without the benefit of a
search warrant and/or court order.
One Benjamin Parpon, a supply officer was allegedly gunned down by the
members of the NCRDC when he refused to submit himself to the
checkpoint. Moreover, he alleges that the checkpoints give blanket authority
to the NCRDC to conduct the searches in violation of the constitution.
Issue: Whether or not the checkpoints of the NCRDC are constitutional.
Held: Yes. The petitioners arguments are not sufficient grounds to declare
the checkpoints as illegal. What constitutes a reasonable or unreasonable
search and seizure in any particular case is purely a judicial question,
determinable from a consideration of the circumstances involved. Those
searches which are reasonable are not forbidden, and a reasonable search is
not to be determined by any fixed formula but is to be resolved according to
the facts of each case.
In the case at bar, the checkpoints may be considered as a security measure
to enable the NCRDC to pursue its mission of establishing effective territorial
defense and maintaining peace and order for the benefit of the public.
Between the inherent right of the state to protect its existence and promote


public welfare and an individual's right against a warrantless search which is

reasonably conducted, the former should prevail.
------Obiter: Petitioners (ULAP) had no locus standi, considering that the
constitutional right is personal and invocable only by those whose rights
have been infringed. Individual petitioners who do not allege that their rights
have been infringed are not qualified to bring the action as real parties in
GR 89139
AUGUST 2, 1990 - JAN
Two Integrated National Police (INP) spotted Posadas, a minor, carrying
a buri bag and acted suspiciously. Posadas tried to flee when the INPs
approached him but was able to stop him.
The INPs checked the buri bag and found several fire arms and
ammunitions. In the police station, Posadas failed to show necessary
licenses or authority to possess fire arms and ammunitions.
RTC found Posadas guilty of illegal possession of fire arms .
CA affirmed

it is clear that an arrest without a warrant may be effected by a peace

officer or private person, among others, when in his presence the
person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is
attempting to commit an offense; or when an offense has in fact just
been committed, and he has personal knowledge of the facts
indicating that the person arrested has committed it.
At the time the peace officers in this case identified themselves and
apprehended the petitioner as he attempted to flee they did not know
that he had committed, or was actually committing the offense of
illegal possession of firearms and ammunitions. They just suspected
that he was hiding something in the buri bag. They did now know what
its contents were. The said circumstances did not justify an arrest
without a warrant.


However, there are many instances where a warrant and seizure can
be effected without necessarily being preceded by an arrest, foremost
of which is the "stop and search" without a search warrant at military
or police checkpoints, the constitutionality or validity of which has
been upheld by this Court in Valmonte vs. de Villa
o Not all searches and seizures are prohibited. Those which are
reasonable are not forbidden. A reasonable search is not to be
determined by any fixed formula but is to be resolved according
to the facts of each case.
between a warrantless search and seizure conducted at military or
police checkpoints and the search thereat in the case at bar, there is
no question that, indeed, the latter is more reasonable considering that
unlike in the former, it was effected on the basis of a probable cause.
The probable cause is that when the petitioner acted suspiciously and
attempted to flee with the buri bag there was a probable cause that he
was concealing something illegal in the bag and it was the right and
duty of the police officers to inspect the same.
It is too much indeed to require the police officers to search the bag in
the possession of the petitioner only after they shall have obtained a
search warrant for the purpose. Such an exercise may prove to be
useless, futile and much too late.


On 2 November 1982, a private jeep driven by accused-appellant Restituto B.
Bocalan was topped at a police checkpoint in Cavite City for routine
inspection regarding unlicensed firearms and other prohibited items. With
Bocalan were his co-accused Jaime P. Fernandez and Rodelio C. Exala. Pfc.
Ricardo Galang, a member of the inspection team asked the occupants
if there were firearms inside. They answered in the negative. Pfc. Galang
then proceeded to inspect the vehicle by beaming a flashlight inside. He
noticed a black leather bag with its sides bulging. He asked what it contained
but nobody answered. The three accused, Restituto B. Bocalan, Jaime P.
Fernandez and Rodelio C. Exala, suddenly became fidgety. Suspicious, Pfc.
Galang ordered the bag opened and he saw marijuana inside. At this
juncture, the three remained motionless in their seats and appeared petrified
with fear. They were brought to the police station that same night for further
investigation. The bag was verified by laboratory examination to contain
more than two kilos of Indian hemp otherwise known as marijuana.
Thereafter, the three accused were accordingly charged for violation of Sec.
4, Art. II, of R.A. 6425, as amended. After trial, Bocalan was held guilty as
principal and sentenced to life imprisonment and the other two were
convicted as accomplices and received lighter penalties. Fernandez appealed


to the Court of Appeals. Exala did not. Bocalan, whose punishment is

reviewable only by this Court, contends that the trial court erred in admitting
the bag as evidence against him since it was obtained through a warrantless
Whether or not the petitioner is correct in his contention that the evidence is
inadmissible since it was obtained through a warrantless arrest?
The issue was never raised in the proceedings in the lower court. Bocalan
never objected to the admissibility of the evidence on the ground that the
same was obtained in a warrantless search. Consequently, he is deemed to
have waived his objection on the legality of the search and the admissibility
of the evidence obtained in the course thereof. In view of such waiver, the
court is bound to admit the evidence. But even assuming arguendo that
there was no waiver, still appellants contention deserves consideration.
There are indeed instances where search and seizure can be affected without
necessarily being preceded by an arrest. An illustration would be the stopand-seizure without a warrant at military or police checkpoints, the
constitutionality of which has already been upheld by this Court. Vehicles are
generally allowed to pass through these checkpoints after a routine
inspection and answering a few questions. If vehicles are stopped and
extensively searched it is because of some probable cause which justifies a
reasonable belief of those manning the checkpoints that either the motorist
is a law-offender or the contents of the vehicle are or have been instruments
in the commission of an offense. However, it should not be misunderstood,
this doctrine is not intended to do away with the general rule that no person
shall be subjected to search of this person, personal effects and belongings
or his residence except of virtue of a search warrant or on the occasion of a
lawful arrest. The case before us is an incident to or an offshoot of a lawful
stop-and-seizure at a military or police checkpoint.
Their submissive stance after the discovery of the bag of marijuana, as well
as the absence of any protest on their part when arrested, not only casts
serious doubts on their professed innocence but also confirms their
acquiescence to the search. Clearly, there was a waiver of right against the
unreasonable search and seizure. The arrest was lawful because it was made
upon the discovery of the prohibited drug I their possession. There was no
need for a warrant, the arrest was made while a crime was committed. The
accused were caught in the act of dispatching in transit or transporting


PEOPLE VS. DEL MUNDOPeople vs Lapitaje [G.R. No. 132042. February 19, 2003]
On October 31, 1993, at about 7:30 oclock in the evening, three unmasked armed
men barged inside Domingo Colonias store. Two of the men pointed firearms at
him, one at his forehead, the other at his nape. They introduced themselves as
members of the New Peoples Army (NPA) asking for aid. He recognized accused
Arnold Bacla-an Lapitaje who used to deliver edible oil to his store and was a
customer in his tailoring shop. He saw Arnold go to the kitchen and point a firearm
at his wife. The man who pointed a firearm at his nape opened the drawer of the
table, took the coins amounting to P1,000.00, and took the contents of his wallet
which amounted to around P1,000.00. When his wife shouted for help, neighbors
came rushing to their aid, prompting the men to leave hastily. After the three men
left, they heard gunfires. He learned that the fleeing robbers shot one of his
neighbors, Nelson Saavedra, who was rushed by other bystanders to the nearest
hospital. The following morning, a dead person was discovered at Sitio Bakhaw in
Barangay Catmondaan, Municipality of Catmon, Cebu. Found in the dead mans
belongings were assorted coins and bills amounting to P790.00 wrapped in a small
towel, a .38 caliber firearm with two live ammunitions and an empty shell. He
recognized the deceased as the person who poked a firearm at his forehead the
night before. When asked to identify the persons apprehended and detained in jail
in Catmon, he recognized accused Arnold Lapitaje.
Witnesses were presented and both parties gave their testimonies and alibis.
Rizalina and Fred Ares, the neighbors who rushed Nelson to the hospital were able
to identify the feeling robbers and saw a speeding Hi-Ace van then arrived. Military
men donning firearms alighted from the van and approached the taxi. The military
men held the driver of the taxi, a man seated in the first seat and another man
about to enter the taxi. The three men who were held by the military were
recognized by Fred in the courtroom as the accused Romy Baluyos, Wendel Arellano
and Arnold Lapitaje. Likewise, SPO2 Calixto Nueza testified that he saw the same
and approached the military men, identified himself and the captured robbers were
then turned over into his custody. Subsequently, firearms were seized by the police
without a search warrant. It was alleged that those were the weapons used in
the perpetration of the crime. Oarga and his men turned over to SPO2 Nueza a .22
caliber revolver magnum, five live ammunitions, one empty shell and a hand
grenade which was allegedly recovered under the front seat of the taxi much later.
On January 13, 1994, an Information was filed before the trial court against Arnold
Bacla-an Lapitaje, Mario Reyes, Wendell Arellano y Tanio and Romy Baluyos y Pingki-


an for Robbery with Frustrated Homicide to which they all pleaded not
guilty. Despite timely medical attention, victim Nelson Saavedra died by reason of
which the Information was amended to Robbery with Homicide.
Accused-appellants were found guilty of Robbery with Homicide by the trial court
and were sentenced to death penalty. Thus, the automatic review.
1.Whether or not the trial court erred in in finding that appellants Wendel Arellano
and Romy Baluyos were in cahoots with the other appellant Arnold Lapitaje and
Mario Reyes in the perpetration of the crime despite the existence of exculpatory
evidence warranting the acquittal of the first duo.
2. Whether or not the trial court erred in relying on the vulnerability of the defense
evidence rather than on the strength of the prosecution evidence.
3. Whether or not the trial court erred in not finding that the arrest of all appellants
were illegal and the subsequent alleged recovery of incriminatory evidence
presented against the latter was a product of a poisonous tree, hence inadmissible
in evidence.
1. Yes. Wendel Arellano and Romy Baluyoss guilt not having been proven
beyond reasonable doubt, they are absolved from liability; and, that the
judgment convicting Arnold Lapitaje and Mario Reyes is affirmed with the
modification that the penalty of reclusion perpetua should be imposed upon
them in the absence of any aggravating circumstance in the commission of
the crime charged.
The well-settled rule is that the trial courts findings on the credibility of
witnesses and their testimonies are accorded great weight and respect, in
the absence of any clear showing that some facts or circumstances of weight
or substance which could have affected the result of the case have been
overlooked, misunderstood or misapplied
2. Yes. By the testimonies of prosecution witnesses Fred Ares and SPO2 Nueza,
it is established that Arnold was arrested by Lt. Col. Oarga. However, it must
be stated that the warrantless arrest of appellant Arnold together with
Wendel and Romy was not lawful. Oarga testified that he caused the arrest of
four men running towards the taxi since they were acting
suspiciously. However, Oarga did not elaborate why he thought said men
were acting suspiciously.


None of the aforesaid circumstances in Rul2 113 were attendant in the case
at bar. The four men were not prisoners who had just escaped from a penal
establishment. Oarga did not testify that the four men he had seen running
towards the taxi have earlier committed or were actually committing or
attempting to commit an offense in his presence.
3. Yes. The firearm and live ammunition taken from the taxi during the search,
cannot be admitted in evidence against appellants because they were seized
during a warrantless search which was not lawful.
The above notwithstanding, the trial court did not err in finding both appellants
Arnold Lapitaje and Mario Reyes to be the perpetrators of the crime of
robbery. Despite the inadmissibility of the guns and ammunitions, both appellants
were positively identified by the prosecution witnesses.
Consequently, appellants Arnold Lapitaje and Mario Reyes should have been found
guilty only of the simple crime of Robbery under paragraph 5, Article 294 of the
Revised Penal Code which prescribes a penalty of prision correccional in its
maximum period to prision mayor in its medium period ranging from four years, two
months and 1 day up to ten years.
Accused-appellants Arnold Bacla-an Lapitaje and Mario Reyes are found guilty
beyond reasonable doubt of the simple crime of Robbery, and Wendel Arellano and
Romy Baluyos are acquitted.


[G.R. No. 136860. January 20, 2003]- LESLIE
Appealfrom the Decision Regional Trial Court, Branch 65, Tarlac City,
finding appellant AgpangaLibnao and her co-accused Rosita Nunga guilty of
violating Article II, Section 4 of R.A. No. 6425, otherwise known as the
Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972.[1] For their conviction, each was sentenced to
suffer an imprisonment of reclusion perpetua and to pay a fine of two million



On August 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.

On 19 October 1996, at about 10 p.m., Chief Inspector Benjamin Arceo,

Tarlac Police Chief, held a briefing in connection with a tip which his
office received that the two drug pushers, riding in a tricycle, would be
making a delivery that night.

An hour later, the Police Alert Team installed a checkpoint in Barangay

Salapungan to apprehend the suspects.

.At about 1:00 a.m. of the following day, SPO1 Gamotea and PO3 Ferrer
flagged down a passing tricycle. It had two female passengers seated
inside, who were later identified as AgpangaLibnao and Rosita Nunga.

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 2 located at the same

They brought with them the black bag. Upon reaching the center, PO3
Ferrer fetched Barangay Captain Roy Pascual to witness the opening of
the black bag. In the meantime, the two women and the bag were
turned over to the investigator on duty, SPO3 Arthur Antonio.

As soon as the barangay captain arrived, the black bag was opened in
the presence of Libnao, Nunga, and personnel of the center.

Found inside it were 8 bricks of leaves sealed in plastic bags and

covered with newspaper. The leaves were suspected to be marijuana.

To determine who owns the bag and its contents, SPO3 Antonio
interrogated the two.


Nunga stated that it was owned by Libnao. The latter, in turn, disputed
this allegation. Thereafter, they were made to sign a confiscation
receipt without the assistance of any counsel, as they were not
informed of their right to have one.

During the course of the investigation, not even close relatives of

theirs were present. The seized articles were later brought to the PNP
Crime Laboratory in San Fernando, Pampanga on 23 October 1996.

Forensic Chemist Daisy P. Babu conducted a laboratory examination

on them. She concluded that the articles were marijuana leaves
weighing eight kilos.

Libnao and Nunga were charged for violation of Section 4, Article II of

RA 6425, otherwise known as the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972, as

RTC: Found Libnao and Nunga guilty. For their conviction, each was
sentenced to suffer an imprisonment of reclusion perpetua and to pay a fine
of two million pesos.
Libnao appealed.
ISSUE: Whether the warrantless search and seizure made upon Libnao and
Nunga was reasonable.
The constitutional guarantee (in Article III, Section 2 of the
1987 Constitution) is not a blanket prohibition against all searches
and seizures as it operates only against "unreasonable" searches
and seizures. Searches and seizures are as a rule unreasonable
unless authorized by a validly issued search warrant or warrant of
Thus, the fundamental protection accorded by the search and seizure
clause is that between persons and police must stand the protective
authority of a magistrate clothed with power to issue or refuse to issue
search warrants and warrants of arrest.
Be that as it may, the requirement that a judicial warrant must
be obtained prior to the carrying out of a search and seizure is not


absolute. There are certain familiar exceptions to the rule, one of

which relates to search of moving vehicles.
Warrantless search and seizure of moving vehicles are allowed
in recognition of the impracticability of securing a warrant under
said circumstances as the vehicle can be quickly moved out of the
locality or jurisdiction in which the warrant may be sought. Peace
officers in such cases, however, are limited to routine checks where
the examination of the vehicle is limited to visual inspection.
When a vehicle is stopped and subjected to an extensive search, such
would be constitutionally permissible only if the officers made it upon
probable cause, i.e., upon a belief, reasonably arising out of circumstances
known to the seizing officer, that an automobile or other vehicle contains as
item, article or object which by law is subject to seizure and destruction.
The warrantless search herein is not bereft of a probable
cause. The Tarlac Police Intelligence Division had been conducting
surveillance operation for three months in the area. The
surveillance yielded the information that once a month, Libnao and
Nunga transport drugs in big bulks. At 10:00 pm of 19 October 1996, the
police received a tip that the two will be transporting drugs that night riding
a tricycle.
Surely, the two were intercepted three hours later, riding a tricycle and
carrying a suspicious-looking black bag, which possibly contained the drugs
in bulk. When they were asked who owned it and what its content was, both
became uneasy.
Under these circumstances, the warrantless search and seizure
of Libnaos bag was not illegal. It is also clear that at the time she
was apprehended, she was committing a criminal offense. She was
making a delivery or transporting prohibited drugs in violation of Article II,
Section 4 of R.A. No. 6425. Under the Rules of Court, one of the instances a
police officer is permitted to carry out a warrantless arrest is when the
person to be arrested is caught committing a crime in flagrante delicto
People v Canton- Deej
Airport Search
Facts: Susan Canton was at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, being a
passenger bound for Saigon, Vietnam. She passed through a metal detector
booth and it beeped. The frisker on duty frisked and searched Canton and


felt something bulging from her abdominal area. Canton was then brought to
a comfort room for a thorough physical examination.
In the examination, it was found out that Canton was carrying packages of
Issue: whether or not airport searches are valid.
Held: Yes.
RA 6235 "Sec. 9. Every ticket issued to a passenger by the airline or air
carrier concerned shall contain among others the following condition printed
thereon: 'holder hereof and his hand-carried luggage(s) are subject to search
for, and seizure of, prohibited materials of substances. Holder refusing to be
searched shall not be allowed to board the aircraft' which shall constitute a
part of the contract between the passenger and the air carrier." This
constitutes another exception against warrantless searches and seizures.
Issue: Whether or not the search is incidental to a lawful arrest.
Held: No.
Susan's arrest did not precede the search. When the metal detector alarmed,
the lady frisker made a pat down search on Susan and felt the bulge. The
strip search was for the purpose of ascertaining the packages in Susan's
body. If ever Susan was deprived of will and liberty, the same did not amount
to an arrest. Prior to the strip search, the airport security personnel had no
knowledge yet of what were hidden in Susan's body. Hence, there was no
knowledge whether a crime was being committed. Only after the strip was it
discovered she was carrying shabu and she was then arrested. The search
cannot be said to have been done incidental to a lawful arrest. In a search
incidental to a lawful arrest, the law requires that the arrest be made first
before the search. The process cannot be reversed.
In the afternoon of 12 June 1994, Romeo Penecilla, father of the four
year old victim Khazie Mae, was drinking liquor with Ramil Rodriguez and


Remus Gaddi in his house at Barangay Rizal, Zone 1, PuloBala, Iloilo.

ArnelAlicando y Briones joined them but every now and then would take
leave and return. Alicando was living in his uncle's house some 5 arm's
length from Penecilla's house. At about 4:30 p.m., Penecilla's group stopped
drinking and left. At about 5:30 p.m. of that day, Luisa Rebada saw the victim
at the window of Alicando's house. She offered to buy her "yemas" but
Alicando closed the window. Soon she heard the victim crying. She
approached Alicando's house and peeped through an opening between its
floor and door. She saw Alicando naked, on top of the victim, his left hand
choking her neck. She retreated to her house in fright. She gathered her
children together and informed her compadre, Ricardo Lagrana, then in her
house, about what she saw. Lagrana was also overcome with fear and hastily
left. Romeo Penecilla returned to his house at 8:00 p.m.. He did not find
Khazie Mae. He and his wife searched for her until 1:00 a.m. Their effort was
fruitless. Rebada was aware that the Penecillas were looking for their
daughter but did not tell them what she knew. Instead, Rebada called out
Alicando from her window and asked him the time Khazie Mae left his house.
Alicando replied he was drunk and did not know. As the sun started to rise,
another neighbor, Leopoldo Santiago went down from his house to answer
the call of nature. He discovered the lifeless body of Khazie Mae under his
house. Her parents were informed and so was the police. At 9:00 a.m.,
Rebada suffered a change of heart. She informed Romeo Penecilla and his
wife Julie Ann, that Alicando committed the crime. Forthwith, Alicando was
arrested and interrogated by P03 Danilo Tan. He verbally confessed his guilt
without the assistance of counsel. On the basis of his uncounseled verbal
confession and follow up interrogations, the police came to know and
recovered from Alicando's house, Khazie Mae's green slippers, a pair of gold
earrings, a buri mat, a stained pillow and a stained T-shirt. Alicando was
charged with the crime of rape with homicide. On 29 June 1994, Alicando
was arraigned with the assistance of Atty. Rogelio Antiquiera of the PAO,
Department of Justice. Alicando pleaded guilty. After Alicando's plea of guilt,
the trial court ordered the prosecution to present its evidence. It also set the
case for reception of evidence for Alicando, if he so desired. On 20 July 1994,
the trial court found Alicando guilty and sentenced him to death, and to
indemnify the heirs of the offended party, Khazie Mae D. Penecilla, the sum
of P50,000.00. Hence, the automatic review.
Whether the pillow and the T-shirt with the alleged bloodstains,
evidence derived from the uncounselled confession illegally extracted by the
police from Alicando, may be admitted as evidence?


It is now familiar learning that the Constitution has stigmatized as

inadmissible evidence uncounselled confession or admission. Section 12
paragraphs (1) and (3) of Article III of the Constitution provide that "Any
person under investigation for the commission of an offense shall have the
right to be informed of his right to remain silent and to have competent and
independent counsel preferably of his own choice. If the person cannot afford
the services of counsel, he must be provided with one. These rights cannot
be waived except in writing and in the presence of counsel"; and "Any
confession or admission obtained in violation of this or the preceding section
shall be inadmissible against him"; respectively. Herein, PO3 Tan did not even
have the simple sense to reduce the all important confession of Alicando in
writing. Neither did he present any writing showing that Alicando waived his
right to silence and to have competent and independent counsel. It is not
only the uncounselled confession that is condemned as inadmissible, but
also evidence derived therefrom. The pillow and the T-shirt with the alleged
bloodstains were evidence derived from the uncounselled confession illegally
extracted by the police from Alicando. The Court has not only
constitutionalized the Miranda warnings in Philippine jurisdiction. It has also
adopted the libertarian exclusionary rule known as the "fruit of the poisonous
tree," a phrase minted by Mr. Justice Felix Frankfurter in the celebrated case
of Nardone v. United States. According to this rule, once the primary
source (the "tree") is shown to have been unlawfully obtained, any
secondary or derivative evidence (the "fruit") derived from it is also
inadmissible. Stated otherwise, illegally seized evidence is obtained
as a direct result of the illegal act, whereas the "fruit of the
poisonous tree" is the indirect result of the same illegal act. The
"fruit of the poisonous tree" is at least once removed from the
illegally seized evidence, but it is equally inadmissible. The rule is
based on the principle that evidence illegally obtained by the State should
not be used to gain other evidence, because the originally illegally obtained
evidence taints all evidence subsequently obtained. The burden to prove that
an accused waived his right to remain silent and the right to counsel before
making a confession under custodial interrogation rests with the prosecution.
It is also the burden of the prosecution to show that the evidence derived
from confession is not tainted as "fruit of the poisonous tree." The burden
has to be discharged by clear and convincing evidence.



Almeda vs. Villaluz [GR L-31665, 6 August 1975]- ANNE

Leonardo Almeda (alias NardongPaa) was charged, together with five others,
with the crime of qualified theft of a motor vehicle (criminal case 285-Pasay)
in the Circuit Criminal Court of Pasig, Rizal, presided by Judge OnofreVillaluz.
The amount of the bond recommended for the provisional release of Almeda
was P15,000, and this was approved by the judge with a direction that it be
posted entirely in cash. At the hearing of 18 February 1970, Almeda asked
the trial court to allow him to post a surety bond in lieu of the cash bond
required of him. This request was denied, and so was an oral motion for
reconsideration, on the ground that the amended information imputed
habitual delinquency and recidivism on the part of Almeda. At the same
hearing, the city fiscal of Pasay City (Fiscal Gregorio Pineda), thru his
assistant, reiterated his oral motion made at a previous hearing for
amendment of the information so as to include allegations of recidivism and
habitual delinquency in the particular case of Almeda. The latter vigorously
objected, arguing that :
(a) such an amendment was premature since no copies of prior conviction
could yet be presented in court, (b) the motion to amend should have been
made in writing in order to enable him to object formally, and (c) the
proposed amendment would place him in double jeopardy considering that
he had already pleaded not guilty to the information.
The trial court nevertheless granted the fiscal's motion in open court. An oral
motion for reconsideration was denied. Immediately thereafter, the assistant
fiscal took hold of the original information and, then and there, entered his
amendment by annotating the same on the back of the document.
Almeda forthwith moved for the dismissal of the charge on the ground of
double jeopardy, but this motion and a motion for reconsideration were
denied in open court. Almeda filed the present special civil action for
certiorari with preliminary injunction with the Supreme Court.
Whether the insistence of a cash bond, over any other surety, renders the
recommended bail excessive.
Bail is "the security required and given for the release of a person who is in
the custody of the law, that he will appear before any court in which his
appearance may be required as stipulated in the bail bond or recognizance."
The purpose of requiring bail is to relieve an accused from imprisonment
until his conviction and yet secure his appearance at the trial. The accused,
as of right, is entitled to bail prior to conviction except when he is charged


with a capital offense and the evidence of guilt is strong. This right is
guaranteed by the Constitution, and may not be denied even where the
accused has previously escaped detention, or by reason of his prior
absconding. In order to safeguard the right of an accused to bail, the
Constitution further provides that "excessive bail shall not be required."
This is logical because the imposition of an unreasonable bail may negate
the very right itself. "Where conditions imposed upon a defendant seeking
bail would amount to a refusal thereof and render nugatory the constitutional
right to bail, we will not hesitate to exercise our supervisory powers to
provide the required remedy." Herein, the amount fixed for bail, while
reasonable if considered in terms of surety or property bonds, may be
excessive if demanded in the form of cash. A surety or property bond does
not require an actual financial outlay on the part of the bondsman or the
property owner, and in the case of the bondsman the bond may be obtained
by the accused upon the payment of a relatively small premium. Only the
reputation or credit standing of the bondsman or the expectancy of the price
at which the property can be sold, is placed in the hands of the court to
guarantee the production of the body of the accused at the various
proceedings leading to his conviction or acquittal. Upon the other hand, the
posting of a cash bond would entail a transfer of assets into the possession
of the court, and its procurement could work untold hardship on the part of
the accused as to have the effect of altogether denying him his constitutional
right to bail. Aside from the foregoing, the condition that the accused may
have provisional liberty only upon his posting of a cash bond is abhorrent to
the nature of bail and transgresses our law on the matter. The sole purpose
of bail is to insure the attendance of the accused when required by the court,
and there should be no suggestion of penalty on the part of the accused nor
revenue on the part of the government.
The allowance of a cash bond in lieu of sureties is authorized in this
jurisdiction only because our rules expressly provide for it. Were this not the
case, the posting of bail by depositing cash with the court cannot be
countenanced because, strictly speaking, the very nature of bail presupposes
the attendance of sureties to whom the body of the prisoner can be
delivered. And even where cash bail is allowed, the option to deposit cash in
lieu of a surety bond primarily belongs to the accused. Thus, the trial court
may not reject otherwise acceptable sureties and insists that the accused
obtain his provisional liberty only thru a cash bond. The court is not without
devices with which to meet the situation, considering that Almeda's past
record that is the range of his career in crime weighs heavily against letting
him off easily on a middling amount of bail.


First, it could increase the amount of the bail bond to an appropriate level.
Second, as part of the power of the court over the person of the accused and
for the purpose of discouraging likely commission of other crimes by a
notorious defendant while on provisional liberty, the latter could be required,
as one of the conditions of his bail bond, to report in person periodically to
the court and make an accounting of his movements. And third, the accused
might be warned, though this warning is not essential to the requirements of
due process, that under the 1973 Constitution "Trial may proceed
notwithstanding his absence provided that he has been duly notified and his
failure to appear is unjustified."
With respect to the amount of the bail bond, the trial court is well advised to
consider, inter alia, the following factors, where applicable:
1 the ability of the accused to give bail: (2) the nature of the offense; (3)
the penalty for the offense charged; (4) the character and reputation of
the accused; (5) the health of the accused; (6) the character and
strength of the evidence; (7) the probability of the accused's
appearance or non-appearance at the trial; (8) forfeiture of previous
bonds; (9) whether the accused was a fugitive from justice when
arrested; and (10) whether the accused is under bond for appearance
at trial in other cases.
It is not amiss, at this point, to remind all courts to exercise extreme care and
caution in the screening of bondsmen and sureties in regard to their
reputation, solvency and promptitude. Aside from the other precautions
hitherto considered useful, courts should see to it that all surety bonds are
accompanied by corresponding clearances from the Office of the Insurance
Commissioner. Bondsmen who cannot make good their undertakings render
inutile all efforts at making the bail system work in this jurisdiction.
*** Mangalindan vs CA (cant find the case )