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Search and Seizure

20. Lim vs. Felix


FACTS: On March 17, 1989, at about 7:30 o'clock in the morning, at the vicinity of the airport road of the Masbate
Domestic Airport, located at the municipality of Masbate province of Masbate, Congressman Moises Espinosa, Sr. and his
security escorts, namely Provincial Guards Antonio Cortes, Gaspar Amaro, and Artemio Fuentes were attacked and killed
by a lone assassin. Dante Siblante another security escort of Congressman Espinosa, Sr. survived the assassination plot,
although, he himself suffered a gunshot wound. An investigation of the incident then followed. Thereafter, and for the
purpose of preliminary investigation, the designated investigator filed an amended complaint with the Municipal Trial Court
of Masbate accusing Vicente Lim, Sr. et al of the crime of multiple murder and frustrated murder in connection with the
airport incident. After conducting the preliminary investigation, the court issued an order concluding that a probable cause
has been established for the issuance of a warrant of arrest of named accused. On October 30, 1989, Fiscal Alfane filed
with the Regional Trial Court of Masbate, four (4) separate informations of murder against the twelve (12) accused with a
recommendation of no bail. On November 21, 1989, petitioners Vicente Lim, Sr. and Susana Lim filed with us a verified
petition for change of venue w/c was authorized, from the RTC of Masbate to the RTCt of Makati to avoid miscarriage of
justice. The cases were raffled to Branch 56 presided by respondent Judge Nemesio S. Felix. Petitioners Vicente Lim, Sr.
and Susana Lim filed with the respondent court several motions and manifestations, among others was an order be
issued requiring the transmittal of the initial records of the preliminary inquiry or investigation conducted by the Municipal
Judge Barsaga of Masbate for the best enlightenment of this Honorable Court in its personal determination of the
existence of a probable cause or prima facie evidence as well as its determination of the existence of guilt, pursuant to the
mandatory mandate of the constitution that no warrant shall issue unless the issuing magistrate shall have himself been
personally convinced of such probable cause. Respondent court issued an order denying for lack of merit the motions and
manifestations and issued warrants of arrest against the accused including the petitioners herein.
ISSUE: Whether or not a judge may issue a warrant of arrest without bail by simply relying on the prosecution's
certification and recommendation that a probable cause exists.
HELD: If a Judge relies solely on the certification of the Prosecutor as in this case where all the records of the
investigation are in Masbate, he or she has not personally determined probable cause. The determination is made by the
Provincial Prosecutor. The constitutional requirement has not been satisfied. The Judge commits a grave abuse of
discretion.

No. The Judge cannot ignore the clear words of the 1987 Constitution which requires x x x probable cause to
be personally determined by the Judge x x x, not by any other officer or person.
If a Judge relies solely on the certification of the Prosecutor as in this case where all the records of the investigation are in
Masbate, he or she has not personally determined probable cause. The determination is made by the Provincial
Prosecutor. The constitutional requirement has not been satisfied. The Judge commits a grave abuse of discretion.
The records of the preliminary investigation conducted by the Municipal Court of Masbate and reviewed by the respondent
Fiscal were still in Masbate when the respondent Fiscal issued the warrants of arrest against the petitioners. There was
no basis for the respondent Judge to make his own personal determination regarding the existence of a probable cause
for the issuance of a warrant of arrest as mandated by the Constitution. He could not possibly have known what
transpired in Masbate as he had nothing but a certification. Significantly, the respondent Judge denied the petitioners
motion for the transmittal of the records on the ground that the mere certification and recommendation of the respondent
Fiscal that a probable cause exists is sufficient for him to issue a warrant of arrest.
21. Manalili vs. Court of Appeals
Facts: At about 2:10 PM on April 11, 1988, Police Anti-Narcotics Unit of Kalookan City conducted surveillance along A.
Mabini Street, in front of the Kalookan City Cemetery. This was done after receiving information that drug addicts were
roaming around said area. Upon reaching the cemetery, the policemen chanced upon a male person, the petitioner, in
front of the cemetery who appeared high on drugs. The petitioner had reddish eyes and was walking in a swaying manner.
Petitioner was trying to avoid the policemen, but the officers were able to introduce themselves and asked him what he
was holding in his hands. Petitioner resisted. Policeman Espiritu asked him if he could see what the petitioner had in his
hands. The petitioner showed his wallet and allowed the officer to examine it. Policeman Espiritu found suspected crushed
marijuana residue inside. He kept the wallet and its marijuana contents and took petitioner to headquarters to be further
investigated. The suspected marijuana was sent to the NBI Forensic Chemistry Section for analysis.
Issue: Whether or not the search and seizure of the suspected marijuana is unreasonable, and hence inadmissible as
evidence.
Held: The general rule is a search and seizure must be validated by a previously secured judicial warrant; otherwise, such
a search and seizure is unconstitutional and subject to challenge. Any evidence obtained in violation of this constitutionally
guaranteed right is legally inadmissible in any proceeding. The exceptions to the rule are: (1) search incidental to a lawful
arrest, (2) search of moving vehicles, (3) seizure in plain view, (4) customs search, and (5) waiver by the accused of their
right against unreasonable search and seizure. In these cases, the search and seizure may be made only with probable

cause. Probable cause being at best defined as a reasonable ground of suspicion, supported by circumstances sufficiently
strong in themselves to warrant a cautious man in the belief that the person accused is guilty of the offense with which he
is charged; or the existence of such facts and circumstances which could lead a reasonably discreet and prudent man to
believe that an offense has been committed and that the item(s), article(s) or object(s) sought in connection with said
offense or subject to seizure and destruction by is in the place to be searched. Additionally, stop-and-frisk has already
been adopted as another exception to the general rule against a search without a warrant. In the present case, petitioner
effectively waived the inadmissibility of the evidence illegally obtained when he failed to raise the issue or object thereto
during the trial.
The Supreme Court affirmed with modifications the assailed Decision and Resolution of the respondent court.
22. People of the Philippines vs. Edison Sucro
FACTS: Roy Fulgencio was instructed by P/Lt. Vicente Seraspi, Jr. (Station Commander of the INP) to monitor the
activities of appellant Edison Sucro, because of information gathered by Seraspi that Sucro was selling marijuana. Pat.
Fulgencio saw appellant enter the chapel, taking something which turned out later to be marijuana from the compartment
of a cart found inside the chapel, and then return to the street where he handed the same to a buyer, Aldie Borromeo.
After a while appellant went back to the chapel and again came out with marijuana which he gave to a group of persons.
Pat. Fulgencio called up Seraspi to report that a third buyer later Identified as Ronnie Macabante, was transacting
with appellant. At that point, the team of P/Lt. Seraspi proceeded to the area and while the police officers were at the
Youth Hostel at Maagma St., Pat. Fulgencio told P/Lt. Seraspi to intercept Macabante and appellant. Upon seeing the
police, Macabante threw something to the ground which turned out to be a tea bag of marijuana. When confronted,
Macabante readily admitted that he bought the same from Sucro. The police team was able to overtake and
arrest appellant and recovered 19 sticks and 4 teabags of marijuana from the cart inside the chapel and another teabag
from Macabante

ISSUES:
Whether or not the arrest without warrant of the accused is lawful and consequently.
Whether or not the evidence resulting from such arrest is admissible.
HELD: The Court ruled in the affirmative. Section 5, Rule 113 of the Rules on Criminal Procedure provides for the
instances where arrest without warrant is considered lawful. The rule states: A peace officer or private person may, without
warrant, arrest a person:
(a) When in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an
offense; (b) When an offense has in fact just been committed, and he has personal knowledge of facts indicating that the
person to be arrested has committed it;
An offense is committed in the presence or within the view of an officer, within the meaning of the rule authorizing an
arrest without a warrant, when the officer sees the offense, although at a distance, or hears the disturbances created
thereby and proceeds at once to the scene thereof. Fulgencio, within a distance of two meters saw Sucro conduct his
nefarious activity and the fact that Macabante, when intercepted by the police, was caught throwing the marijuana stick
and when confronted, readily admitted that he bought the same from accused-appellant clearly indicates that Sucro had
just sold the marijuana stick to Macabante, and therefore, had just committed an illegal act of which the police officers had
personal knowledge, being members of the team which monitored Sucro's nefarious activity. Police officers have personal
knowledge of the actual commission of the crime when it had earlier conducted surveillance activities of the accused.
That searches and seizures must be supported by a valid warrant is not an absolute rule. Among the exceptions granted
by law is a search incidental to a lawful arrest under Sec. 13, Rule 126 of the Rules on Criminal Procedure, which
provides that 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. There is nothing unlawful about the arrest considering its
compliance with the requirements of a warrantless arrest. Ergo, the fruits obtained from such lawful arrest
are admissible in evidence.

23. People of the Philippines vs. Abe Valdes


FACTS: Abe Valdez y Dela Cruz, accused-appellant, is charged for violating Section 9 of the Dangerous Drugs Act of
1972 (R.A. No. 6425), as amended by R.A. No. 7659. The accused was allegedly caught in flagrante delicto and without
authority of law, planted, cultivated and cultured seven (7) fully grown marijuana plants known as Indian Hemp from which
dangerous drugs maybe manufactured or derived. Appellant was arraigned and with assistance of counsel, pleaded not
guilty to the charge. Trial on the merits then ensued. The prosecution presented its witnesses, namely: SPO3 Marcelo
Tipay, SPO2 Noel V. Libunao, SPO2 Pedro S. Morales, SPO1 Romulo G. Tobias and PO2 Alfelmer I. Balut, all member of

the police force, who testified how the information was received, the commencement of their operation and its details
under the specific instruction of Inspector Parungao. Accordingly, they found appellant alone in his nipa hut. They, then,
proceeded to look around the area where appellant had his kaingin and saw seven (7) five-foot high, flowering marijuana
plants in two rows, approximately 25 meters away from his nipa hut. PO2 Balut asked appellant who owned the prohibited
plants and, according to Balut, the latter admitted that they were his. They uprooted the seven marijuana plants, took
photos of appellant standing beside the cannabis plants and arrested him. One of the said plants was sent to the
Philippine National Police Crime Laboratory for analysis which produced a positive result. The prosecution also presented
a certification from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources that the land cultivated by appellant where the
growing marijuana plants were found, was part of the public domain. Appellant was acknowledged in the certification as
the occupant of the lot, but no Certificate of Stewardship had yet been issued in his favor.The defense presented
appellant as its sole witness. He testified he was weeding his vegetable farm when he was called by a person whose
identity he does not know. He was asked to go with the latter to see something. This unknown person then brought
appellant to the place where the marijuana plants were found, approximately 100 meters away from his nipa hut. Five
armed policemen were present and they made him stand in front of the hemp plants. He was then asked if he knew
anything about the marijuana growing there. When he denied any knowledge thereof, SPO2 Libunao poked a fist at him
and told him to admit ownership of the plants. Appellant was so nervous and afraid that he admitted owning the marijuana.
The police team then brought him to the police station at Villaverde. At the police headquarters, appellant reiterated that
he knew nothing about the marijuana plants seized by the police. Appellant contends that there was unlawful search. First,
the records show that the law enforcers had more than ample time to secure a search warrant. Second, that the marijuana
plants were found in an unfenced lot does not remove appellant from the mantle of protection against unreasonable
searches and seizures. The right against unreasonable searches and seizures is the immunity of one's person, which
includes his residence, his papers, and other possessions.
ISSUE:
(1) Whether or not the search and seizure of the marijuana plants in the present case is lawful and the seized evidence
admissible.
(2) Whether or not the seized plants is admissible in evidence against the accused.
(3) Whether or not the prosecution has proved appellant's guilt beyond reasonable doubt
(4) Whether or not the sentence of death by lethal injection is correct.
HELD:
In the instant case, there was no search warrant issued by a judge after personal determination of the existence of
probable cause given the fact that police had ample time to obtain said warrant. The protection against illegal search and
seizure is constitutionally mandated and only under specific instances are searches allowed without warrants. The mantle
of protection extended by the Bill of Rights covers both innocent and guilty alike against any form of high-handedness of
law enforcers, regardless of the praiseworthiness of their intentions.
With respect to the first issue, the confiscated plants were evidently obtained during an illegal search and seizure. As to
the second issue, which involves the admissibility of the marijuana plants as evidence for the prosecution, the said plants
cannot, as products of an unlawful search and seizure, be used as evidence against appellant. They are fruits of the
proverbial poisoned tree. It was, therefore, a reversible error on the part of the court a quo to have admitted and relied
upon the seized marijuana plants as evidence to convict appellant.
In the third issue, it is fundamental in criminal prosecutions that before an accused may be convicted of a crime, the
prosecution must establish by proof beyond reasonable doubt that a crime was committed and that the accused is the
author thereof. The evidence arrayed against the accused, however, must not only stand the test of reason, it must
likewise be credible and competent. Competent evidence is "generally admissible" evidence. Admissible evidence, in
turn, is evidence "of such a character that the court or judge is bound to receive it, that is, allow it to be introduced at trial.
And as earlier discussed, it was error on the trial court's part to have admitted evidences against the accused and to have
relied upon said proofs to convict him for said evidence is doubly tainted.
In the fourth issue, the Constitution decrees that, "In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall be presumed innocent
until the contrary is proved." To justify the conviction of the accused, the prosecution must adduce that quantum of
evidence sufficient to overcome the constitutional presumption of innocence. The prosecution must stand or fall on its
evidence and cannot draw strength from the weakness of the evidence for the accused. Absent the required degree of
proof of an accused's guilt, he is entitled to an acquittal.

24. People of the Philippines vs. Chua Ho San


Facts: 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 officers. While monitoring the
coastal area of Barangay Bulala on 29 March 1995, 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 passenger. 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.
Eliciting no response from the man, Cid ordered his men to find a resident of the area who spoke Chinese to act as an
interpreter. 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, adn in her Chemistry Report D-025-95, she stated
that her qualitative examination established the contents of the plastic packets, weighing 28.7 kilos, 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). Chua provided a completely different story, 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 hydrochloride. In a decision promulgated on 10 February 1997, the RTC convicted Chua for
transporting 28.7 kilos of methamphetamine hydrochloride without legal authority to do so. Chua prays for the reversal of
the RTC decision and his acquittal before the Supreme Court.
Issue: 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."
Held: 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 arrest. 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 .

25. People of the Philippines vs. Tangliben


Facts: In the late evening of 2 March 1982, Patrolmen Silverio Quevedo and Romeo L. Punzalan of the San Fernando
Police Station, together with Barangay Tanod Macario Sacdalan, were conducting surveillance mission at the Victory Liner
Terminal compound located at Barangay San Nicolas, San Fernando, Pampanga. The surveillance mission was aimed not
only against persons who may commit misdemeanors at the said place but also on persons who may be engaging in the
traffic of dangerous drugs based on informations supplied by informers. Around 9:30 p.m., said Patrolmen noticed a
person carrying a red traveling bag who was acting suspiciously and they confronted him. The person was requested by
Patrolmen Quevedo and Punzalan to open the red traveling bag but the person refused, only to accede later on when the
patrolmen identified themselves. Found inside the bag were marijuana leaves wrapped in a plastic wrapper and weighing
one kilo, more or less. The person was asked of his name and the reason why he was at the said place and he gave his
name as Medel Tangliben and explained that he was waiting for a ride to Olongapo City to deliver the marijuana leaves.
The accused was taken to the police headquarters at San Fernando, Pampanga, for further investigation; and that Pat.
Silverio Quevedo submitted to his Station Commander his Investigator's Report. The Regional Trial Court, Branch 41,
Third Judicial Region at San Fernando, Pampanga, found Medel Tangliben y Bernardino guilty beyond reasonable doubt
of violating Section 4, Article II of Republic Act 6425 (Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972 as amended) and sentenced him to
life imprisonment, to pay a fine of P20,000 and to pay the costs. Tangliben appealed.
Issue: Whether the warrantless search incident to a lawful arrest, even in light of the Courts ruling in People vs.
Aminnudin.
Held: One of the exceptions to the general rule requiring a search warrant is a search incident to a lawful arrest. Thus,
Section 12 (Search incident to a lawful arrest) of Rule 126 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure provides that "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." Meanwhile, Rule 113, Sec. 5(a) provides that "A peace officer or a
private person may, without a warrant, arrest a person: (a) Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 50 ) Narratives (Berne Guerrero)
When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an
offense." Tangliben was caught in flagrante, since he was carrying marijuana at the time of his arrest. This case therefore
falls squarely within the exception. The warrantless search was incident to a lawful arrest and is consequently valid. The
Court is not unmindful of its decision in People v. Aminnudin (163 SCRA 402 [1988]). In that case the PC officers had
earlier received a tip from an informer that accusedappellant was on board a vessel bound for Iloilo City and was carrying
marijuana. Acting on this tip, they waited for him one evening, approached him as he descended from the gangplank,
detained him and inspected the bag he was carrying. Said bag contained marijuana leaves. The Court held that the
marijuana could not be admitted in evidence since it was seized illegally, as there was lack of urgency, and thus a search
warrant can still be procured. However, herein, the case presented urgency. Although the trial court's decision did not
mention it, the transcript of stenographic notes reveals that there was an informer who pointed to Tangliben as carrying
marijuana. Faced with such on-the-spot information, the police officers had to act quickly. There was not enough time to
secure a search warrant. The Court cannot therefore apply the ruling in Aminnudin herein. To require search warrants
during on-the-spot apprehensions of drug pushers, illegal possessors of firearms, jueteng collectors, smugglers of
contraband goods, robbers, etc. would make it extremely difficult, if not impossible to contain the crimes with which these
persons are associated.

26. People of the Philippines vs. Leila Johnson


Facts: Leila Reyes Johnson was, at the time of the incident, 58 years old, a widow, and a resident of Ocean Side,
California, U.S.A. She is a former Filipino citizen who was naturalized as an American on 16 June 1968 and had since
been working as a registered nurse, taking care of geriatric patients and those with Alzheimer's disease, in convalescent
homes in the United States. On 16 June 1998, she arrived in the Philippines to visit her son's family in Calamba, Laguna.
She was due to fly back to the United States on July 26. On July 25, she checked in at the Philippine Village Hotel to
avoid the traffic on the way to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and checked out at 5:30 p.m. the next day, 26
June 1998. At around 7:30 p.m. of that day, Olivia Ramirez was on duty as a lady frisker at Gate 16 of the NAIA departure
area. Her duty was to frisk departing passengers, employees, and crew and check for weapons, bombs, prohibited drugs,
contraband Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 67 ) Narratives (Berne Guerrero) goods, and explosives. When she frisked
Johnson, a departing passenger bound for the United States via Continental Airlines CS-912, she felt something hard on
the latter's abdominal area. Upon inquiry, Mrs. Johnson explained she needed to wear two panty girdles as she had just
undergone an operation as a result of an ectopic pregnancy. Not satisfied with the explanation, Ramirez reported the
matter to her superior, SPO4 Reynaldo Embile, saying "Sir, hindi po ako naniniwalang panty lang po iyon." She was
directed to take Johnson to the nearest women's room for inspection. Ramirez took Johnson to the rest room,
accompanied by SPO1 Rizalina Bernal. Embile stayed outside. Inside the women's room, Johnson was asked again by
Ramirez what the hard object on her stomach was and Johnson gave the same answer she had previously given.
Ramirez then asked her "to bring out the thing under her girdle." Johnson brought out three plastic packs, which Ramirez
then turned over to Embile, outside the women's room. The confiscated packs contained a total of 580.2 grams of a
substance which was fount by NBI Chemist George de Lara to be methamphetamine hydrochloride or "shabu." Embile

took Johnson and the plastic packs to the 1st Regional Aviation and Security Office (1st RASO) at the arrival area of the
NAIA, where Johnson's passport and ticket were taken and her luggage opened. Pictures were taken and her personal
belongings were itemized. Johnson was charged for the possession of 3 plastic bages of methamphetamine
hydrochloride, a regulated drug, weighing a total of 580.2 grams; a violation of 16 of RA 6425 (Dangerous Drugs Act), as
amended by RA 7659. On 14 May 1999, the Regional Trial Court, Branch 110, Pasay City, found Johnson guilty and
sentenced her to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua and to pay a fine of P500,000.00 and the costs of the suit.
Johnson appealed.
Issue: Whether the extensive search made on Johnson at the airport violates her right against unreasonable search and
seizure.
Held: The constitutional right of the accused was not violated as she was never placed under custodial investigation but
was validly arrested without warrant pursuant to the provisions of Section 5, Rule 113 of tie 1985 Rules of Criminal
Procedure which provides that "A peace officer or a private person may, without a warrant, arrest a person: (a) when in his
presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense; (b)
when an offense has in fact just been committed and person to be arrested has committed it; and xxx." The circumstances
surrounding the arrest of the accused falls in either paragraph (a) or (b) of the Rule above cited, hence the allegation that
she has been subjected to custodial investigation is far from being accurate. The methamphetamine hydrochloride seized
from her during the routine frisk at the airport was acquired legitimately pursuant to airport security procedures. Persons
may lose the protection of the search and seizure clause by exposure of their persons or property to the public in a
manner reflecting a lack of subjective expectation of privacy, which expectation society is prepared to recognize as
reasonable. Such recognition is implicit in airport security procedures. With increased concern over airplane hijacking and
terrorism has come increased security at the nation's airports. Passengers attempting to board an aircraft routinely pass
through metal detectors; their carry-on baggage as well as checked luggage are routinely subjected to x-ray scans.
Should these procedures suggest the presence of suspicious objects, physical searches are conducted to determine what
the objects are. There is little question that such searches are reasonable, given their minimal intrusiveness, the gravity of
the safety interests involved, and the reduced privacy expectations associated with airline travel. Indeed, travelers are
often notified through airport public address systems, signs, and notices in their airline tickets that they are subject to
search and, if any prohibited materials or substances are found, such would be subject to seizure. These announcements
place passengers on notice that ordinary constitutional protections against warrantless searches and seizures do not
apply to routine airport procedures. The packs of methamphetamine hydrochloride having thus been obtained through a
valid warrantless search, they are admissible in evidence against Johnson. Corollarily, her subsequent arrest, although
likewise without warrant, was justified since it was effected upon the discovery and recovery of "shabu" in her person in
flagrante delicto.

27. People of the Philippines vs. Malmstedt


Facts: Mikael Malmstedt, a Swedish national, entered the Philippines for the 3rd time in December 1988 as a tourist. He
had visited the country sometime in 1982 and 1985. In the evening of 7 May 1989, Malmstedt left for Baguio City. Upon
his arrival thereat in the morning of the following day, he took a bus to Sagada and stayed in that place for 2 days. On 11
May 1989, Capt. Alen Vasco of NARCOM, stationed at Camp Dangwa, ordered his men to set up a temporary checkpoint
at Kilometer 14, Acop, Tublay, Mountain Province, for the purpose of checking all vehicles coming from the Cordillera
Region. The order to establish a checkpoint in the said area was prompted by persistent reports that vehicles coming from
Sagada were transporting marijuana and other prohibited drugs. Moreover, information was received by the Commanding
Officer of NARCOM, that same morning that a Caucasian coming from Sagada had in his possession prohibited drugs. At
about 1:30 pm, the bus where Malmstedt was riding was stopped. Sgt. Fider and CIC Galutan boarded the bus and
announced that they were members of the NARCOM and that they would conduct an inspection. During the inspection,
CIC Galutan noticed a bulge on Malmstedt's waist. Suspecting the bulge on Malmstedt's waist to be a gun, the officer
asked for Malmstedt's passport and other identification papers. When Malmstedt failed to comply, the officer required him
to bring out whatever it was that was bulging on his waist, which was a pouch bag. When Malmstedt opened the same
bag, as ordered, the officer noticed 4 suspicious-looking objects wrapped in brown packing tape, which turned out to
contain hashish, a derivative of marijuana, when opened. Malmstedt stopped to get 2 travelling bags from the luggage
carrier, each containing a teddy bear, when he was invited outside the bus for questioning. It was observed that there
were also bulges inside the teddy bears which did not feel like foam stuffing. Malmstedt was then brought to the
headquarters of the NARCOM at Camp Dangwa for further investigation. At the investigation room, the Constitutional Law
II, 2005 ( 48 ) Narratives (Berne Guerrero) officers opened the teddy bears and they were found to also contain hashish.
Representative samples were taken from the hashish found among the personal effects of Malmstedt and the same were
brought to the PC Crime Laboratory for chemical analysis, which established the objects examined as hashish. Malmstedt
claimed that the hashish was planted by the NARCOM officers in his pouch bag and that the 2 travelling bags were not
owned by him, but were merely entrusted to him by an Australian couple whom he met in Sagada. He further claimed that
the Australian couple intended to take the same bus with him but because there were no more seats available in said bus,
they decided to take the next ride and asked Malmstedt to take charge of the bags, and that they would meet each other
at the Dangwa Station. An information was filed against Malmstedt for violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act. During the
arraignment, Malmstedt entered a plea of "not guilty." After trial and on 12 October 1989, the trial court found Malmstedt

guilty beyond reasonable doubt for violation of Section 4, Article II of RA 6425 and sentenced him to life imprisonment and
to pay a fine of P20,000. Malmstedt sought reversal of the decision of the trial court.
Issue: Whether the personal effects of Malmstedt may be searched without an issued warrant.
Held:The Constitution guarantees the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against
unreasonable searches and seizures. However, where the search is made pursuant to a lawful arrest, there is no need to
obtain a search warrant. A lawful arrest without a warrant may be made by a peace officer or a private person under the
following circumstances. Section 5 provides that a peace officer or a private person may, without a warrant, arrest a
person (a) When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to
commit an offense; (b) When an offense has in fact just been committed, and he has personal knowledge of facts
indicating that the person to be arrested has committed it; and (c) When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has
escaped from a penal establishment or place where he is serving final judgment or temporarily confined while his case is
pending, or has escaped while being transferred from one confinement to another. In cases falling under paragraphs (a)
and (b) hereof, the person arrested without a warrant shall be forthwith delivered to the nearest police station or jail, and
he shall be proceeded against in accordance with Rule 112, Section 7." Herein, Malmstedt was caught in flagrante delicto,
when he was transporting prohibited drugs. Thus, the search made upon his personal effects falls squarely under
paragraph (1) of the foregoing provisions of law, which allow a warrantless search incident to a lawful arrest.

28. People of the Philippines vs. De Villa


Facts: On 20 January 1987, the National Capital Region District Command (NCRDC) was activated pursuant to Letter of
Instruction 02/87 of the Philippine General Headquarters, AFP, with the mission of conducting security operations within its
area of responsibility and peripheral areas, for the purpose of establishing an effective territorial defense, maintaining
peace and order, and providing an atmosphere conducive to the social, economic and political development of the
National Capital Region. 1 As part of its duty to maintain peace and order, the NCRDC installed checkpoints in various
parts of Valenzuela, Metro Manila. Ricardo C. Valmonte and the Union of Lawyers and Advocates for People's Right
(ULAP) filed a petition for prohibition with preliminary injunction and/or temporary restraining order witht the Supreme
Court, seeking the declaration of checkpoints in Valenzuela, Metro Manila or elsewhere, as unconstitutional and the
dismantling and banning of the same or, in the alternative, to direct the respondents to formulate guidelines in the
implementation of checkpoints, for the protection of the people. They aver that, because of the installation of said
checkpoints, the residents of Valenzuela are worried of being harassed and of their safety being placed at the arbitrary,
capricious and whimsical disposition of the military manning the checkpoints, considering that their cars and vehicles are
being subjected to regular searches and check-ups, especially at night or at dawn, without the benefit of a search warrant
and/or court order. Their alleged fear for their safety increased when, at dawn of 9 July 1988, Benjamin Parpon, a supply
officer of the Municipality of Valenzuela, Bulacan, was gunned down allegedly in cold blood by the members of the
NCRDC manning the checkpoint along McArthur Highway at Malinta, Valenzuela, for ignoring and/or refusing to submit
himself to the checkpoint and for continuing to speed off inspire of warning shots fired in the air. Valmonte also claims that,
on several occasions, he had gone thru these checkpoints where he was stopped and his car subjected to search/checkup without a court order or search warrant. They further contend that the said checkpoints give Gen. Renato de Villa and
the National Capital Region District Command a blanket authority to make searches and/or seizures without search
warrant or court order in violation of the Constitution. In the Supreme Court's decision dated 29 September 1989,
Valmontes and ULAPs petition for prohibition, seeking the declaration of the checkpoints as unconstitutional and their
dismantling and/or banning, was dismissed. Valmonte and ULAP filed the motion and supplemental motion for
reconsideration of said decision.
Issue: Whether checkpoints serve as a blanket authority for government officials for warrantless search and seizure and,
thus, are violative of the Constitution.
Held: Nowhere in the Supreme Court's decision of 24 May 1990 did the Court legalize all checkpoints, i.e. at all times and
under all circumstances. What the Court declared is, that checkpoints are not illegal per se. Thus, under exceptional
circumstances, as where the survival of organized government is on the balance, or where the lives and safety of the
people are in grave peril, checkpoints may be allowed and installed by the government. Implicit in this proposition is, that
when the situation clears and such grave perils are removed, checkpoints will have absolutely no reason to remain.
Recent and on-going events have pointed to the continuing validity and need for checkpoints manned by either military or
police forces. Although no one can be compelled, under our libertarian system, to share with the present government its
ideological beliefs and practices, or commend its political, social and economic policies or performance; one must
concede to it the basic right to defend itself from its enemies and, while in power, to pursue its program of government
intended for public welfare; and in the pursuit of those objectives, the government has the equal right, under its police
power, to select the reasonable means and methods for best achieving them. The checkpoint is evidently one of such
means it has selected. Admittedly, the routine checkpoint stop does intrude, to a certain extent, on motorist's right to "free
passage without interruption", but it cannot be denied that, as a rule, it involves only a brief detention of travellers during
which the vehicle's occupants are required to answer a brief question or two. For as long as the vehicle is neither
searched nor its occupants subjected to a body search, and the inspection of the vehicle is limited to a visual search, said
routine checks cannot be regarded as violative of an individual's right against unreasonable search. These routine checks,

when conducted in a fixed area, are even less intrusive. Further, vehicles are generally allowed to pass these checkpoints
after a routine inspection and a few questions. If vehicles are stopped and extensively searched, it is because of some
probable cause which justifies a reasonable belief of the men at the checkpoints that either the motorist is a law-offender
or the contents of the vehicle are or have been instruments of some offense. By the same token, a warrantless search of
incoming and outgoing passengers, at the arrival and departure areas of an international airport, is a practice not
constitutionally objectionable because it is founded on public interest, safety, and necessity. Lastly, the Court's decision on
checkpoints does not, in any way, validate nor condone abuses committed by the military manning the checkpoints. The
Court's decision was concerned with power, i.e. whether the government employing the military has the power to install
said checkpoints. Once that power is acknowledged, the Court's inquiry ceases. True, power implies the possibility of its
abuse. But whether there is abuse in a particular situation is a different "ball game" to be resolved in the constitutional
arena. In any situation, where abuse marks the operation of a checkpoint, the citizen is not helpless. For the military is not
above but subject to the law. And the courts exist to see that the law is supreme. Soldiers, including those who man
checkpoints, who abuse their authority act beyond the scope of their authority and are, therefore, liable criminally and
civilly for their abusive acts.

29. People of the Philippines vs. De Gracia


Facts: The incidents took place at the height of the coup d'etat staged in December, 1989 by ultra-rightist elements
headed by the Reform the Armed Forces Movement-Soldiers of the Filipino People (RAM-SFP) against the Government.
At that time, various government establishments and military camps in Metro Manila were being bombarded by the rightist
group with their "tora-tora" planes. At around midnight of 30 November 1989, the 4th Marine Battalion of the Philippine
Marines occupied Villamor Air Base, while the Scout Rangers took over the Headquarters of the Philippine Army, the Army
Operations Center, and Channel 4, the government television station. Also, some elements of the Philippine Army coming
from Fort Magsaysay occupied the Greenhills Shopping Center in San Juan, Metro Manila. On 1 December 1989, Maj.
Efren Soria of the Intelligence Division, National Capital Region Defense Command, was on board a brown Toyota car
conducting a surveillance of the Eurocar Sales Office located at Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA) in Quezon City,
together with his team composed of Sgt. Crispin Sagario, M/Sgt. Ramon Briones, S/Sgt. Henry Aquino, one S/Sgt. Simon
and a Sgt. Ramos. The surveillance, which actually started on the night of 30 November 1989 at around 10:00 p.m., was
conducted pursuant to an intelligence report received by the division that said establishment was being occupied by
elements of the RAM-SFP as a communication command post. Sgt. Crispin Sagario, the driver of the car, parked the
vehicle around 10 to 15 meters away from the Eurocar building near P. Tuazon Street, S/Sgt. Henry Aquino had earlier
alighted from the car to conduct his surveillance on foot. A crowd was then gathered near the Eurocar office watching the
on-going bombardment near Camp Aguinaldo. After a while a group of 5 men disengaged themselves from the crowd and
walked towards the car of the surveillance team. At that moment, Maj. Soria, who was then seated in front, saw the
approaching group and immediately ordered Sgt. Sagario to start the car and leave the area. As they passed by the
group, then only 6 meters away, the latter pointed to them, drew their guns and fired at the team, which attack resulted in
the wounding of Sgt. Sagario on the right thigh. Nobody in the surveillance team was able to retaliate because they
sought cover inside the car and they were afraid that civilians or bystanders might be caught in the cross-fire. As a
consequence, at around 6:30 a.m. of 5 December 1989, searching them composed of F/Lt. Virgilio Babao as team leader,
M/Sgt. Lacdao, Sgt. Magallion, Sgt. Patricio Pacatang, and elements of the 16th Infantry Battalion under one Col. delos
Santos raided the Eurocar Sales Office. They were able to find and confiscate 6 cartons of M-16 ammunition, five bundles
of C-4 dynamites, M-shells of different calibers, and "molotov" bombs inside one of the rooms belonging to a certain Col.
Matillano which is located at the right portion of the building. St. Oscar Obenia, the first one to enter the Eurocar building,
saw Rolando De Gracia inside the office of Col. Matillano, holding a C-4 and suspiciously peeping through a door. De
Gracia was the only person then present inside the room. A uniform with the nametag of Col. Matillano was also found. As
a result of the raid, the team arrested de Gracia, as well as Soprieso Verbo and Roberto Jimena who were janitors at the
Eurocar building. They were then made to sign an inventory, written in Tagalog, of the explosives and ammunition
confiscated by the raiding team. No search warrant was secured by the raiding team because, according to them, at that
time there was so much disorder considering that the nearby Camp Aguinaldo was being mopped up by the rebel forces
and there was simultaneous firing within the vicinity of the Eurocar office, aside from the fact that the courts were
consequently closed. The group was able to confirm later that the owner of Eurocar office is a certain Mr. Gutierrez and
that de Gracia is supposedly a "boy" therein. de Gracia was charged in two separate informations for illegal possession of
ammunition and explosives in furtherance of rebellion, and for attempted homicide (Criminal Cases Q-90-11755 and Q-9011756, respectively), which were tried jointly by the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch 103. During the
arraignment, de Gracia pleaded not guilty to both charges. However, he admitted that he is not authorized to posses any
firearms, ammunition and/or explosive. The parties likewise stipulated that there was a rebellion during the period from
November 30 up to 9 December 1989. On 22 February 1991, the trial court rendered judgment acquitting de Gracia of
attempted homicide, but found him guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the offense of illegal possession of firearms in
furtherance of rebellion and sentenced him to serve the penalty of reclusion perpetua. De Gracia appealed.
Issue: Whether the military operatives made a valid search and seizure during the height of the December 1989 coup
detat.

Held: It is admitted that the military operatives who raided the Eurocar Sales Office were not armed with a search warrant
at that time. The raid was actually precipitated by intelligence reports that said office was being used as headquarters by
the RAM. Prior to the raid, there was a surveillance conducted on the premises wherein the surveillance team was fired at
by a group of men coming from the Eurocar building. When the military operatives raided the place, the occupants thereof
refused to open the door despite the requests for them to do so, thereby compelling the former to break into the office.
The Eurocar Sales Office is obviously not a gun store and it is definitely not an armory or arsenals which are the usual
depositories for explosives and ammunition. It is primarily and solely engaged in the sale of automobiles. The presence of
an unusual quantity of high-powered firearms and explosives could not be justifiably or even colorably explained. In
addition, there was general chaos and disorder at that time because of simultaneous and intense firing within the vicinity
of the office and in the nearby Camp Aguinaldo which was under attack by rebel forces. The courts in the surrounding
areas were obviously closed and, for that matter, the building and houses therein were deserted. Under the foregoing
circumstances, the case falls under one of the exceptions to the prohibition against a warrantless search. In the first place,
the military operatives, taking into account the facts obtaining in this case, had reasonable ground to believe that a crime
was being committed. There was consequently more than sufficient probable cause to warrant their action. Furthermore,
under the situation then prevailing, the raiding team had no opportunity to apply for and secure a search warrant from the
courts. The trial judge himself manifested that on 5 December 1989 when the raid was conducted, his court was closed.
Under such urgency and exigency of the moment, a search warrant could lawfully be dispensed with.

30. Social Justice Society vs. Dangerous Drugs Board


Facts: In 2002, Republic Act No. 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 was implemented. Section 36
thereof requires mandatory drug testing of candidates for public office, students of secondary and tertiary schools, officers
and employees of public and private offices, and persons charged before the prosecutors office with certain offenses. In
December 2003, COMELEC issued Resolution No. 6486, prescribing the rules and regulations on the mandatory drug
testing of candidates for public office in connection with the May 10, 2004 synchronized national and local elections.
Aquilino Pimentel, Jr., a senator and a candidate for re-election in the May elections, filed a Petition for Certiorari and
Prohibition under Rule 65. In it, he seeks (1) to nullify Sec. 36(g) of RA 9165 and COMELEC Resolution No. 6486 dated
December 23, 2003 for being unconstitutional in that they impose a qualification for candidates for senators in addition to
those already provided for in the 1987 Constitution; and (2) to enjoin the COMELEC from implementing Resolution No.
6486. According to Pimentel, the Constitution only prescribes a maximum of five (5) qualifications for one to be a
candidate for, elected to, and be a member of the Senate. He says that both the Congress and COMELEC, by requiring,
via RA 9165 and Resolution No. 6486, a senatorial aspirant, among other candidates, to undergo a mandatory drug test,
create an additional qualification that all candidates for senator must first be certified as drug free. He adds that there is no
provision in the Constitution authorizing the Congress or COMELEC to expand the qualification requirements of
candidates for senator.
ISSUE: Whether or not Sec 36 of RA 9165 and Resolution 6486 are constitutional.
HELD: No. Pimentels contention is valid. Accordingly, Sec. 36 of RA 9165 is unconstitutional. It is basic that if a law or an
administrative rule violates any norm of the Constitution, that issuance is null and void and has no effect. The Constitution
is the basic law to which all laws must conform; no act shall be valid if it conflicts with the Constitution. In the discharge of
their defined functions, the three departments of government have no choice but to yield obedience to the commands of
the Constitution. Whatever limits it imposes must be observed.
The provision [n]o person elected to any public office shall enter upon the duties of his office until he has undergone
mandatory drug test is not tenable as it enlarges the qualifications. COMELEC cannot, in the guise of enforcing and
administering election laws or promulgating rules and regulations to implement Sec. 36, validly impose qualifications on
candidates for senator in addition to what the Constitution prescribes. If Congress cannot require a candidate for senator
to meet such additional qualification, the COMELEC, to be sure, is also without such power. The right of a citizen in the
democratic process of election should not be defeated by unwarranted impositions of requirement not otherwise specified
in the Constitution.

31. Pollo vs. Constantino-David et. al


Facts: Respondent CSC Chair Constantino-David received an anonymous letter complaint alleging of an anomaly taking
place in the Regional Office of the CSC. The respondent then formed a team and issued a memo directing the team to
back up all the files in the computers found in the Mamamayan Muna (PALD) and Legal divisions.
Several diskettes containing the back-up files sourced from the hard disk of PALD and LSD computers were turned over
to Chairperson David. The contents of the diskettes were examined by the CSCs Office for Legal Affairs (OLA). It was
found that most of the files in the 17 diskettes containing files copied from the computer assigned to and being used by

the petitioner, numbering about 40 to 42 documents, were draft pleadings or lettersin connection with administrative cases
in the CSC and other tribunals. On the basis of this finding, Chairperson David issued the Show-Cause Order, requiring
the petitioner, who had gone on extended leave, to submit his explanation or counter-affidavit within five days from notice.

In his Comment, petitioner denied the accusations against him and accused the CSC Officials of fishing expedition when
they unlawfully copied and printed personal files in his computer.
He was charged of violating R.A. No. 6713 (Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees).
He assailed the formal charge and filed an Omnibus Motion ((For Reconsideration, to Dismiss and/or to Defer) assailing
the formal charge as without basis having proceeded from an illegal search which is beyond the authority of the CSC
Chairman, such power pertaining solely to the court.

The CSC denied the omnibus motion and treated the motion as the petitioners answer to the charge. In view of the
absence of petitioner and his counsel, and upon the motion of the prosecution, petitioner was deemed to have waived his
right to the formal investigation which then proceeded ex parte.
The petitioner was dismissed from service. He filed a petition to the CA which was dismissed by the latter on the ground
that it found no grave abuse of discretion on the part of the respondents. He filed a motion for reconsideration which was
further denied by the appellate court. Hence, this petition.
Issue: WON the search conducted by the CSC on the computer of the petitioner constituted an illegal search and was a
violation of his constitutional right to privacy

Held: The search conducted on his office computer and the copying of his personal files was lawful and did not violate his
constitutional right.
Ratio Decidendi: In this case, the Court had the chance to present the cases illustrative of the issue raised by the
petitioner. Katz v. United States 389 U.S. 437 (1967), the US Supreme Court held that the act of FBI agents in
electronically recording a conversation made by petitioner in an enclosed public telephone booth violated his right to
privacy and constituted a search and seizure. Because the petitioner had a reasonable expectation of privacy in using
the enclosed booth to make a personal telephone call, the protection of the Fourth Amendment extends to such area.
Moreso, the concurring opinion of Mr. Justice Harlan noted that the existence of privacy right under prior decisions
involved a two-fold requirement: first, that a person has exhibited an actual (subjective) expectation of privacy; and
second, that the expectation be one that society is prepared to recognize as reasonable (objective).

Mancusi v. DeForte 392 U.S. 364, 88 S.Ct. 2120, 20 L.Ed2d 1154 (1968),thus recognized that employees may have a
reasonable expectation of privacy against intrusions by police.

OConnor v. Ortega 480 U.S. 709 (1987), the Court categorically declared that [i]ndividuals do not lose Fourth
Amendment rights merely because they work for the government instead of a private employer. In OConnor the Court
recognized that special needs authorize warrantless searches involving public employees for work-related reasons. The
Court thus laid down a balancing test under which government interests are weighed against the employees reasonable
expectation of privacy. This reasonableness test implicates neither probable cause nor the warrant requirement, which are
related to law enforcement.

Social Justice Society (SJS) v. Dangerous Drugs Board G.R. Nos. 157870, 158633 and 161658, November 3, 2008, 570
SCRA 410, 427, (citing Ople v. Torres, G.R. No. 127685, July 23, 1998, 293 SCRA 141, 169), recognized the fact that
there may be such legitimate intrusion of privacy in the workplace.
The Court ruled that the petitioner did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in his office and computer files.

As to the second point of inquiry, the Court answered in the affirmative. The search authorized by the CSC Chair, the
copying of the contents of the hard drive on petitioners computer reasonable in its inception and scope.
The Court noted that unlike in the case of Anonymous Letter-Complaint against Atty. Miguel Morales, Clerk of Court,
Metropolitan Trial Court of Manila A.M. Nos. P-08-2519 and P-08-2520, November 19, 2008, 571 SCRA 361, the case at
bar involves the computer from which the personal files of the petitioner were retrieved is a government-issued computer,
hence government property the use of which the CSC has absolute right to regulate and monitor.