You are on page 1of 23




Reynaldo Tia, a deep penetration agent of the SOG, reported of his undercover
activities on the suspected criminal syndicate led by Lo and Lim. Moreover, Tia informed
his superior regarding their return to the country. Upon arrival in the Philippines, Lo and
Tia rode in one taxi cab while Lim rode in another. They were pursued by the members of
the NARCOM and were stopped. With permission of Lo and Tia, a tin can of tea was taken
out of the red travel bag and, upon examination by the PC-INP Crime Laboratory,
contained metamphetamine. Petitioner contends that a warrant was needed.

FACTS: The Special Operations Group received a tip from one of its informers about an
organized group engaged in the importation of illegal drugs, smuggling of contraband
goods and gunrunning. As part of the operations, the recruitment of confidential men
and deep penetration agents was carried out to infiltrate the crime syndicate. One of
those recruited was Reynaldo Tia. Tia was introduced to Lim Cheng Huat (Antonio Lim)
where the latter expressed a desire to hire a male travel companion for his business trips
abroad. Tia offered his services and was hire. Together with Lim, Tia, in one of the
meetings in China, was introduced to Lo Ho Wing (Peter Lo) whom Tia found out to be
the person he was to accompany to China in lieu of Lim. As deep penetration agent,
Tia regularly submitted reports of his undercover activities on the suspected criminal
syndicate to Capt. Luisito Palmera, head ofO plan Sharon 887 - the group created in
order to bus the suspected syndicate. Tia informed Palmera of their return to the
Philippines after they (Lo and Tia) left for Hong Kong. Upon arrival in the Philippines, they
were met by Lim. After Lim and Lo finished their conversation, Lo hailed a taxicab. Lo and
Tia boarded the taxicab while Lim followed in another taxi cab. Meanwhile, the
operatives of the NARCOM (Narcotics Command), having been notified by Palmera,
stationed themselves in strategic places around the arrival area. Upon seeing Lo and Tia
leave the airport, the operatives followed them. Along Imelda Avenue, the car of the
operatives overtook the taxicab ridden by Lo and Tia and cut into its path which forced
the taxi driver to stop. The other tax cab carrying Lim, however, sped away but was later
caught on Retiro Street, Quezon City. Going back to Lo and Tia, the operatives
approached the taxicab and asked the driver to open the baggage compartment. Three
pieces of luggage were retrieved from the back compartment of the vehicle. The
operatives requested from Lo and Tia permission to search their luggage. A tin can of tea
was taken out of the red travel bag owned by Lo. A certain Sgt. Cayabyab, one of the
operatives, pried the lid open, pulled out a paper tea bag from the can and pressed it in
the middle to feel its contents. Some crystalline white powder resembling crushed
aluminium came out of the bag. The sergeant then opened the tea bag and examined
itscontent more closely. He had the three travel bags opened for inspection. From the red
travel bag, 6 tin cans were found, including the one previously opened and nothing else
was recovered from the other bags. The tea bag contained metamphetamine after
examination by the PC-INP Crime Laboratory. One of metamphetamines derivatives is
metamphetaminehydrochloride (shabu/poor mans cocaine). The three were charged
with violation of Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972. Lo contends that the search and seizure
was illegal. He contends that the officers concerned could very well have procured a
search warrant since they had been informed of the date and time of arrival of the
accused at the NAIA well ahead of time. Moreover, as claimed by Lo, the fact that the
search and seizure in question were made on a moving vehicle does not automatically
make the warrantless search fall within the coverage of exceptions of the necessity of a
valid warrant to effect search.

RULING: The search and seizure supported by a valid warrant is not an absolute rule. As
set forth in Manipon, Jr. v. Sandiganbayan, there are at least 3 well-recognized
exceptions, namely: (a) a search incidental to an arrest, (b) a search of a moving vehicle,
and (c) seizure of evidence in plain view. In the case at bar, there is a clear showing that
the search in question, having been made in a moving vehicle, does not need a valid
warrant to effect search. A warrantless search of a moving vehicle is justified on the
ground that it is not practicable to secure a warrant because the vehicle can be quickly
moved out of the locality or jurisdiction in which the warrant must be sought.


FACTS: About 9:15 p.m. of 28 June 1989, Sgt. Victorino Noceja and Pat. Alex de Castro,
while on a routine patrol in Barangay Sampalucan, Pagsanjan, Laguna, spotted a
passenger jeep unusually covered with "kakawati" leaves. Suspecting that the jeep was
loaded with smuggled goods, the two police officers flagged down the vehicle. The jeep
was driven by Rudy Caballes y Taio. When asked what was loaded on the jeep, he did
not answer, but he appeared pale and nervous. With Caballes' consent, the police
officers checked the cargo and they discovered bundles of 3.08 mm
aluminum/galvanized conductor wires exclusively owned by National Power Corporation
(NAOCOR). The conductor wires weighed 700 kilos and valued at P55,244.45. Noceja
asked Caballes where the wires came from and Caballes answered that they came from
Cavinti, a town approximately 8 kilometers away from Sampalucan. Thereafter, Caballes
and the vehicle with the highvoltage wires were brought to the Pagsanjan Police Station.
Danilo Cabale took pictures of Caballes and the jeep loaded with the wires which were
turned over to the Police Station Commander of Pagsanjan, Laguna. Caballes was
incarcerated for 7 days in the Municipal jail. Caballes was charged with the crime of theft
in an information dated 16 October 1989. During the arraignment, Caballes pleaded not
guilty and hence, trial on the merits ensued. On 27 April 1993, Regional Trial Court of
Santa Cruz, Laguna rendered judgment, finding Caballes, guilty beyond reasonable doubt
of the crime of theft. In a resolution dated 9 November 1998, the trial court denied
Caballes' motion for reconsideration. The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court
decision on 15 September 1998. Caballes appealed the decision by certiorari.

ISSUE: Whether Caballes passive submission to the statement of Sgt. Noceja that the
latter "will look at the contents of his vehicle and he answered in the positive" be
considered as waiver on Caballes part on warrantless search and seizure.

HELD: Enshrined in our Constitution is the inviolable right of the people to be secure in
their persons and properties against unreasonable searches and seizures, as defined
under Section 2, Article III thereof. The exclusionary rule under Section 3(2), Article III of
the Constitution bars the admission of evidence obtained in violation of such right. The
constitutional proscription against warrantless searches and seizures is not absolute but
admits of certain exceptions, namely: (1) warrantless search incidental to a lawful arrest
recognized under Section 12, Rule 126 of the Rules of Court and by prevailing
jurisprudence; (2) seizure of evidence in plain view; (3) search of moving vehicles; (4)
consented warrantless search; (5) customs search; (6) stop and frisk situations (Terry
search); and (7) exigent and emergency circumstances. In cases where warrant is
necessary, the steps prescribed by the Constitution and reiterated in the Rules of Court
must be complied with. In the exceptional events where warrant is not necessary to
effect a valid search or seizure, or when the latter cannot be performed except without a
warrant, what constitutes a reasonable or unreasonable search or seizure is purely a
judicial question, determinable from the uniqueness of the circumstances involved,
including the purpose of the search or seizure, the presence or absence of probable
cause, the manner in which the search and seizure was made, the place or thing
searched and the character of the articles procured. It is not controverted that the search
and seizure conducted by the police officers was not authorized by a search warrant. The
mere mobility of these vehicles, however, does not give the police officers unlimited
discretion to conduct indiscriminate searches without warrants if made within the interior
of the territory and in the absence of probable cause. Herein, the police officers did not
merely conduct a visual search or visual inspection of Caballes' vehicle. They had to
reach inside the vehicle, lift the kakawati leaves and look inside the sacks before they
were able to see the cable wires. It thus cannot be considered a simple routine check.
Also, Caballes' vehicle was flagged down because the police officers who were on routine
patrol became suspicious when they saw that the back of the vehicle was covered with
kakawati leaves which, according to them, was unusual and uncommon. The fact that
the vehicle looked suspicious simply because it is not common for such to be covered
with kakawati leaves does not constitute "probable cause" as would justify the conduct of
a search without a warrant. In addition, the police authorities do not claim to have
received any confidential report or tipped information that petitioner was carrying stolen
cable wires in his vehicle which could otherwise have sustained their suspicion.
Philippine jurisprudence is replete with cases where tipped information has become a
sufficient probable cause to effect a warrantless search and seizure. Unfortunately, none
exists in the present case. Further, the evidence is lacking that Caballes intentionally
surrendered his right against unreasonable searches. The manner by which the two
police officers allegedly obtained the consent of Caballes for them to conduct the search
leaves much to be desired. When Caballes' vehicle was flagged down, Sgt. Noceja
approached Caballes and "told him I will look at the contents of his vehicle and he
answered in the positive." By uttering those words, it cannot be said the police officers
were asking or requesting for permission that they be allowed to search the vehicle of
Caballes. For all intents and purposes, they were informing, nay, imposing upon Caballes
that they will search his vehicle. The "consent" given under intimidating or coercive
circumstances is no consent within the purview of the constitutional guaranty. In
addition, in cases where the Court upheld the validity of consented search, it will be
noted that the police authorities expressly asked, in no uncertain terms, for the consent
of the accused to be searched. And the consent of the accused was established by clear
and positive proof. Neither can Caballes' passive submission be construed as an implied
acquiescence to the warrantless search. Casting aside the cable wires as evidence, the
remaining evidence on record are insufficient to sustain Caballes' conviction. His guilt
can only be established without violating the constitutional right of the accused against
unreasonable search and seizure.


FACTS: Petitioner Benjamin Obra was Regional Director of the Bureau of Mines and Geo-
Sciences (BMGS) in Baguio. On jun 26, 1985, Jeannette Grybos wrote him a letteron
behalf of the Gillies heirs complaining that private respondents (Sps. James and June
Brett) had been conducting illegal mining activities in Bgy. Palasa-an, Mankayan,
Benguet, belonging to Gillies family. On the same day, Obra wrote Brig. Gen Tomas
Dumpit1 requesting assistance in apprehending a truck2 allegedly used by Sps. Brett in
illegal mining. The next day, Obra wrote Sps Brett and Grybos informing them that BMGS
was going to conduct an ocular inspeciton and field investigation and requesting them to
be present so that all matters shall be gathered and collated in order for this Office
to take appropriate action. Elements of RUC under Maj. Densen seized the truck3 as it
was entering Mamakar mining area. It was impounded by the military and prevented
from leaving the area except on mercy missions4. Private respondents filed a complaint
for injunction and damages with the RTC as the truck was seized without due provess in
violation of their constitutional rights under Art. 32 of the Civil Code.

ISSUE: Whether or not petitioners (Obra and Dumpit) were authorized to seize the
vehicle in the absence of any finding of probably cause (PC).

HELD: NO. Although peittioners have authority to order seizure and confiscation via PD.
1281, Art IV, S3 of the 1973 Constitution merely validated the grant by law to nonjudicial
officers of the power to issue warrants but did not in any way exempt them from the duty
of determining the eixstence of probable cause. Petitioner Obras letters to private
respondents and Grybos clearly stated that an investigation was to be held on July 2-5,
1985 to determine the veracity of the allegations of Grybos complaint. His only basis
was an alleged certification from the BMGS that no mining permit had been issued to the
Sps. However, such certification was not presented in evidence. The seizure cannot be
justified under the moving vehicle doctrine as there is no existence of probable cause.
The doctrine does not give poblice officers umliminted discretion to conduct warrantless
searches of automobiles in the absence of PC. Therefore, the CA is correct in affirming
the RTCs decision that petitioners are liable for damages (P100,000) and attorneys fees
(P10,000) in violation of the Sps. Rights under Art. 32 of the Civil Code.


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
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

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.


FACTS: Respondent-accused was charged, together with her nephew, for violation of the
Dangerous Drugs Act in an information which provided that:

That on or about the 8th day of February 1989, at about 3:00 PM. in the City of Cebu,
Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the said accused,
conniving and confederating together and mutually helping each other, with deliberate
intent, did then and there sell and deliver, without authority of law, Three (3) sticks of
marijuana cigarettes, a (sic) prohibited drugs, to a person who posted himself as a buyer,
in Viol. of Sec. 4, Art. 11, of RA 6425, as amended, otherwise known as the Dangerous
Act of 1972. The accused were then convicted of the offense charged against them in the
trial court. On appeal, respondent presented her argument that the lower court erred in
admitting the evidence against her when there wasnt any search warrant. Therefore,
violating the constitutional guarantee against unreasonable searches and seizures.

ISSUE: WON there was a violation against the constitutional guarantee of individuals
against unreasonable searches and seizures.

RULING: The second assigned error is without merit. The evidence for the prosecution
discloses that the appellant placed the packs of marijuana sticks under the rolled pair of
pants which she was then carrying at the time she hurriedly left her shanty after noticing
the arrest of Rommel. When she was asked to spread it out, which she voluntary did, the
package containing the packs of marijuana sticks were thus exposed in plain view to the
member of the team. A crime was thus committed in the presence of the policemen.
Pursuant to Section 5, Rule 113 and Section 12 Rule 126 of the Revised Rules of Court,
she could lawfully be arrested and searched for anything which may be used as proof of
the commission of an offense without the corresponding arrest and search warrants.
Even assuming ex gratia argumenti that the seach and seizure were without a warrant,
the appellant had effectively waived her constitutional right relative thereto by
voluntarily submitting to the seach and seizure. In People vs. Malasugui, 20 this Court
ruled: When one voluntarily submits to a search and consent to have it made of his
person or premises, he is precluded from later complaining thereof. The right to be
secure from unreasonable seach may, like every right, be waived and such waiver may
be made either expressly or impliedly.


Roans house was searched by virtue of a search warrant and the said search was
performed by military authorities. During their search, the authorities found a Colt
Magnum revolver and 18 live bullets which they confiscated and served as bases for the
charge of illegal possession of firearms. However, the application of said search warrant
was based on the accounts of two witnesses. The applicant did not have personal
knowledge of said firearm.

FACTS: A search warrant was issued by respondent judge (Gonzales) on May 10,
1984.Application for the said search warrant was personally filed by PC Capt. Mauro
Quillosa. Together with Quillosa were two witnesses (Esmael Morada and JesusTohilida),
who presented to respondent judge their respective affidavits. The application was not
yet subscribed and sworn to, as such respondent Judge proceeded to examine Quillosa
on the contents of the application to ascertain if he knew and understood the
same. Afterwards, Quillosa subscribed and swore the said application before respondent.
Petitioners (Josefino Roan) house was searched two days after the issuance of the search
warrant. The said search was performed by military authorities. Despite none of the
articles listed in the warrant was discovered, the officers who conducted the search
found one Colt Magnum revolver and 18 live bullets which they confiscated. The said
items served as bases for the charge of illegal possession of firearms against the

ISSUE: Whether or not a search warrant be annulled on the ground that it violates the
privacy of one persons house

RULING/DECISION: To be valid, a search warrant must be supported by probable cause

to be determined by the judge or some authorized officer after examining the
complainant and the witnesses he may produce. There must be a specific description of
the place to be searched and the things to be seized, to prevent arbitrary and
indiscriminate use of the warrant. Probable cause, as described by Judge Escolin in
Burgos v. Chief of Staff, refers to such facts and circumstances which would lead a
reasonably discreet and prudent man to believe that an offense has been committed and
that the objects sought in connection with the offense are in the place sought to be
searched. The probable cause must refer to only one specific offense. The applicant
(Capt. Quillosa) was asking for the issuance of the search warrant on the basis of mere
hearsay and not of information personally known to him as required by settled
jurisprudence. It is axiomatic that the magistrate must be probing and exhaustive,
not merely routinary or pro-forma, if the claimed probable cause is to be established. The
examining magistrate must not simply rehash the contents of the affidavit but must
make his own inquiry on the intent and justification of the application. Prohibited articles
may be seized but only as long as the search is valid. In this case, it was not because: (a)
there was no valid search warrant; and (b) absent such a warrant, the right thereto was
not validly waived by the petitioner. In short, the military officers wh oentered the
petitioners premises had no right to be there and therefore had no right to seize
the pistol and bullets.


FACTS: In preparation for the synchronized national and local elections, the COMELEC
issued Resolution No. 2323, Gun Ban, promulgating rules and regulations on bearing,
carrying and transporting of firearm or other deadly weapons on security personnel
or bodyguards, on bearing arms by members of security agencies or police
organizations, and organization or maintenance of reaction forces during the election
period. COMELEC also issued Resolution No. 2327 providing for
the summary disqualification ofcandidates engaged in gunrunning, using and
transporting of firearms, organizing special strike forces, and establishing
spot checkpoints. Pursuant to the Gun Ban, Mr. Serrapio Taccad, Sergeant at Arms of
the House of Representatives, wrote petitioner for the return of the two firearms issued
to him by the House of Representatives. Petitioner then instructed his driver, Arellano, to
pick up the firearms from petitioners house and return them to Congress. The PNP set
up a checkpoint. When the car driven by Arellano approached the checkpoint, the PNP
searched the car and found the firearms. Arellano was apprehended and detained. He
then explained the order of petitioner. Petitioner also explained that Arellano was only
complying with the firearms ban, and that he was not a security officer or a bodyguard.
Later, COMELEC issued Resolution No.92-0829 directing the filing of information against
petitioner and Arellano for violation of the Omnibus Election Code, and for petitioner to
show cause why he should not be disqualified from running for an elective position.
Petitioner then questions the constitutionality of Resolution No. 2327. He argues that
gunrunning, using or transporting firearms or similar weapons and other acts
mentioned in the resolution are not within the provisions of the Omnibus Election Code.
Thus, according to petitioner, Resolution No. 2327 is unconstitutional. The issue on
the disqualification of petitioner from running in the elections was rendered moot when
he lost his bid for a seat in Congress in the elections.

ISSUE: Whether or Not petitioner can be validly prosecuted for instructing his driver to
return the firearms issued to him on the basis of theevidence gathered from the warrant
less search of his car

HELD: A valid search must be authorized by a search warrant issued by an appropriate

authority. However, a warrantless search is not violative of the Constitution for as long as
the vehicle is neither searched nor its occupants subjected to a body search, and the
inspection of the vehicle is merely limited to a visual search. In the case at bar, the guns
were not tucked in Arellanos waist nor placed within his reach, as they were neatly
packed in gun cases and placed inside a bag at the back of the car. Given these
circumstances, the PNP could not have thoroughly searched the car lawfully as well as
the package without violating the constitutionalinjunction. Absent any justifying
circumstance specifically pointing to the culpability of petitioner and Arellano,
the search could not have been valid. Consequently, the firearms obtained from the
warrantless search cannot be admitted for any purpose in any proceeding. It was also
shown in the facts that the PNP had not informed the public of the purpose of setting up
the checkpoint. Petitioner was also not among those charged by the PNP with violation of
the Omnibus Election Code. He was not informed by the City Prosecutor that he was a
respondent in the preliminary investigation. Such constituted a violation of his right to
due process. Hence, it cannot be contended that petitioner was fully given the
opportunity to meet the accusation against him as he was not informed that he was
himself a respondent in the case. Thus, the warrantless search conducted by the PNP is
declared illegal and the firearms seized during the search cannot be used as evidence in
any proceeding against the petitioner. Resolution No. 92-0829 is unconstitutional, and
therefore, set aside.


FACTS: Sometime during the months of July and August 1999, the Toril Police Station,
Davao City received a report from a civilian asset named Bobong Solier about a certain
Noel Tudtud. Solier related that his neighbors have been complaining about Tudtud, who
was allegedly responsible for the proliferation of marijuana in their area. Reacting to the
report, PO1 Ronald Desierto, PO1 Ramil Floreta and their superior, SPO1 Villalonghan, all
members of the Intelligence Section of the Toril Police Station, conducted surveillance in
Soliers neighborhood in Sapa, Toril, Davao City. For 5 days, they gathered information
and learned that Tudtud was involved in illegal drugs. According to his neighbors, Tudtud
was engaged in selling marijuana. On 1 August 1999, Solier informed the police that
Tudtud had headed to Cotabato and would be back later that day with new stocks of
marijuana. Solier described Tudtud as big-bodied and short, and usually wore a hat. At
around 4:00 p.m. that same day, a team composed of PO1 Desierto, PO1 Floreta and
SPO1 Villalonghan posted themselves at the corner of Saipon and McArthur Highway to
await Tudtuds arrival. All wore civilian clothes. About 8:00 p.m., 2 men disembarked
from a bus and helped each other carry a carton marked King Flakes. Standing some 5
feet away from the men, PO1 Desierto and PO1 Floreta observed that one of the men fit
Tudtuds description. The same man also toted a plastic bag. PO1 Floreta and PO1
Desierto then approached the suspects and identified themselves as police officers. PO1
Desierto informed them that the police had received information that stocks of illegal
drugs would be arriving that night. The man who resembled Tudtuds description denied
that he was carrying any drugs. PO1 Desierto asked him if he could see the contents of
the box. Tudtud obliged, saying, it was alright. Tudtud opened the box himself as his
companion looked on. The box yielded pieces of dried fish, beneath which were two
bundles, one wrapped in a striped plastic bag and another in newspapers. PO1 Desierto
asked Tudtud to unwrap the packages. They contained what seemed to the police
officers as marijuana leaves. The police thus arrested Tudtud and his companion,
informed them of their rights and brought them to the police station. The two did not
resist. The confiscated items were turned over to the Philippine National Police (PNP)
Crime Laboratory for examination. Forensic tests on specimens taken from the
confiscated items confirmed the police officers suspicion. The plastic bag contained
3,200 grams of marijuana leaves while the newspapers contained another 890 grams.
Noel Tudtud and his companion, Dindo Bulong, were subsequently charged before the
Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Davao City with illegal possession of prohibited drugs. Upon
arraignment, both accused pleaded not guilty. The defense, however, reserved their right
to question the validity of their arrest and the seizure of the evidence against them. Trial
ensued thereafter. Tudtud, denying the charges against them, cried frame-up. Swayed by
the prosecutions evidence beyond reasonable doubt, the RTC rendered judgment
convicting both accused as charged and sentencing them to suffer the penalty of
reclusion perpetua and to pay a fine of P500,000.00. On appeal, Noel Tudtud and Dindo
Bolong assign, among other errors, the admission in evidence of the marijuana leaves,
which they claim were seized in violation of their right against unreasonable searches
and seizures.

ISSUE: Whether the Tudtuds implied acquiescence (Tudtuds statement of its all right
when the police officers requested that the box be opened) be considered a waiver.

HELD: The right against unreasonable searches and seizures is secured by Section 2,
Article III of the Constitution. The RTC justified the warrantless search of appellants
belongings under the first exception, as a search incident to a lawful arrest. A search
incidental to a lawful arrest is sanctioned by the Rules of Court. It is significant to note
that the search in question preceded the arrest. Recent jurisprudence holds that the
arrest must precede the search; the process cannot be reversed. Nevertheless, a search
substantially contemporaneous with an arrest can precede the arrest if the police have
probable cause to make the arrest at the outset of the search. The question, therefore, is
whether the police herein had probable cause to arrest Tudtud, et. al. The long-standing
rule in this jurisdiction, applied with a great degree of consistency, is that reliable
information alone is not sufficient to justify a warrantless arrest under Section 5 (a),
Rule 113. The rule requires, in addition, that the accused perform some overt act that
would indicate that he has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to
commit an offense. For the exception in Section 5 (a), Rule 113 to apply, this Court
ruled, two elements must concur: (1) the person to be arrested must execute an overt
act indicating 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. Reliable information alone is insufficient. Thus, herein, in no sense can the
knowledge of the arresting officers that Tudtud was in possession of marijuana be
described as personal, having learned the same only from their informant Solier. Solier,
for his part, testified that he obtained his information only from his neighbors and the
friends of Tudtud. Soliers information is hearsay. Confronted with such a dubious
informant, the police perhaps felt it necessary to conduct their own surveillance. This
surveillance, it turns out, did not actually consist of staking out Tudtud to catch him in
the act of plying his illegal trade, but of a mere gathering of information from the assets
there. The police officers who conducted such surveillance did not identify who these
assets were or the basis of the latters information. Clearly, such information is also
hearsay, not of personal knowledge. Finally, there is an effective waiver of rights against
unreasonable searches and seizures only if the following requisites are present: (1) It
must appear that the rights exist; (2) The person involved had knowledge, actual or
constructive, of the existence of such right; (3) Said person had an actual intention to
relinquish the right. Here, the prosecution failed to establish the second and third
requisites. Records disclose that when the police officers introduced themselves as such
and requested Tudtud that they see the contents of the carton box supposedly
containing the marijuana, Tudtud said it was alright. He did not resist and opened the
box himself. Tudtud's implied acquiescence, if at all, could not have been more than
mere passive conformity given under coercive or intimidating circumstances and is, thus,
considered no consent at all within the purview of the constitutional guarantee.
Consequently, Tudtud's lack of objection to the search and seizure is not tantamount to a
waiver of his constitutional right or a voluntary submission to the warrantless search and
seizure. As the search of Tudtud's box does not come under the recognized exceptions to
a valid warrantless search, the marijuana leaves obtained thereby are inadmissible in
evidence. And as there is no evidence other than the hearsay testimony of the arresting
officers and their informant, the conviction of Tudtud, et. al. cannot be sustained.


FACTS: In the mid-1990s, officials in the school district in Vernonia noticed a precipitous
rise in drug use among the students in the Vernonia School District. Disciplinary
problems arose in frequency and severity. Student athletes were prevalent among
Vernonia's students. At the trial, the Vernonia High School football and wrestling coaches
noted they had witnessed injuries attributable to student drug use. In response, the
school district offered special classes, speakers, and presentations to the students
intended to deter drug use. It brought in a specially trained dog to detect drugs, but the
drug problem continued unabated. After inviting comments from the parents of the
district's students, the district adopted a drug testing plan. The protocol of the random
drug testing program the district initiated was straightforward. All student athletes would
be required to submit to the program as a condition of participating in athletics. All
athletes were tested at the beginning of the season, and 10% of the athletes were
selected randomly every week to provide a urine sample. The samples were collected in
a manner that preserved the students' modesty. If a student's sample tested positive,
the student was given the option of either undergoing counseling and submitting to six
weekly drug tests or sitting out the remainder of that season as well as the following
season. New Jersey v. T. L. O., 469 U.S. 325 (1985), is a decision by the Supreme Court of
the United States addressing the constitutionality of a search of a public high school
student for contraband after she was caught smoking. A subsequent search of her purse
revealed drug paraphernalia, marijuana, and documentation of drug sales. She was
charged as a juvenile for the drugs and paraphernalia found in the search. She fought
the search, claiming it violated her Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable
searches. The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 6-3 ruling, held that the search was reasonable
under the Fourth Amendment.

RULING: The Fourth Amendment only protects against unreasonable searches and
seizures. Although a search is presumptively reasonable if carried out pursuant to a
warrant issued upon a showing of probable cause, the Fourth Amendment does not
require a showing of probable cause in all cases. When "special needs" outside of
ordinary law enforcement needs make obtaining a warrant impractical, the Fourth
Amendment allows officials to dispense with the formality of obtaining a warrant. Such
"special needs" adhere in the public school context, because administrators need to be
able to maintain order within the school. The final vote was 6-3 in favor of the school.
The Fourth Amendment only protects against intrusions upon legitimate expectations of
privacy. Central to the Court's analysis in this case was the fact that the "subjects of the
policy are (1) children, who (2) have been committed to the temporary custody of the
State as schoolmaster." The schools act in loco parentis to the children, and have "such a
portion of the power of the parent committed to his charge... as may be necessary to
answer the purposes for which he was employed." Therefore, in the public school
context, the reasonableness inquiry "cannot disregard the schools' custodial and tutelary
responsibility for children." Public schools require students to undergo vaccinations,
vision, hearing, and dermatological screenings, and other examinations. Thus, public
school students have a lesser expectation of privacy than members of the general
public. Among public school students, athletes have even less of an expectation of
privacy. They suit up in locker rooms before practice. They take communal showers
afterward. They subject themselves to additional regulation and medical screenings in
order to participate in school sports. "Somewhat like adults who choose to participate in
a 'closely regulated industry,' students who voluntarily participate in school athletics
have reason to expect intrusions upon normal rights and privileges, including privacy."

Urinalysis intrudes upon a person's privacy in two ways. First, the subject is monitored
while providing the actual sample. In the case of the Vernonia policy, boys were visually
monitored from behind while providing the sample, while girls were monitored aurally
from outside a closed stall. The Court considered this a "negligible" intrusion on the
subject's privacy interest. Second, the test discloses personal information concerning
"the state of the subject's body and the materials he has ingested." But the school was
testing only for the use of drugs, not whether the student was diabetic or pregnant. The
results of the test were disclosed only to a small group of school officials and not to law
enforcement. And although the Vernonia policy required students to disclose prescription
drugs the student was taking in advance, the Court was unwilling to assume that the
school district would misuse the medical information disclosed to it by student athletes.
The Court thus concluded that the invasion of privacy was "not significant." By contrast,
the schools' interest in deterring drug use among students was truly important. Drug use
has a more deleterious effect on adolescents than on adults. The "effects of a drug-
infested school are visited not just upon the users, but upon the entire student body and
faculty, as the educational process is disrupted." Drug use by student athletes,
moreover, increases the risk of injury during sporting events themselves. The Vernonia
student athletes were the leaders of the drug culture at the school; it was "self-evident"
to the Court that "a drug problem largely fueled by the 'role model' effect of athletes'
drug use, and of particular danger to athletes, is effectively addressed by making sure
that athletes do not use drugs." Acton argued that a less intrusive policy would require
some individualized suspicion before testing a student for drugs, but the Court observed
that the Fourth Amendment's reasonableness requirement did not demand the use of the
least intrusive means to achieve the government's aims. Thus, the Vernonia policy was a
reasonable search under the Fourth Amendment.


FACTS: Acting on a confidential tip supplied by a police informant that Armando

Compacio y Surposa was growing and cultivating marijuana plants, SPO1 Gilbert L. Linda
and SPO2 Basilio Sarong of the 6th Narcotic Regional Field Unit of the Narcotics
Command (NARCOM) of the Bacolod City Detachment conducted a surveillance of the
residence of Compacion who was then the barangay captain of barangay Bagonbon, San
Carlos City, Negros Occidental on 9 July 1995. During the said surveillance, they saw 2
tall plants in the backyard of Compacion which they suspected to be marijuana plants.
SPO1 Linda and SPO2 Sarong reported the result of their surveillance to SPO4 Ranulfo T.
Villamor, Jr., Chief of NARCOM, Bacolod City, who immediately formed a team composed
of the members of the Intelligence Division Provincial Command, the Criminal
Investigation Command and the Special Action Force. Two members of the media, one
from DYWF Radio and another from DYRL Radio, were also included in the composite
team. On 12 July 1995, the team applied for a search warrant with the office of Executive
Judge Bernardo Ponferrada in Bacolod City. However, Judge Ponferrada informed them
that he did not have territorial jurisdiction over the matter. The team then left Bacolod
City for San Carlos City. They arrived there around 6:30 p.m., then went to the house of
Executive Judge Roberto S. Javellana to secure a search warrant. They were not able to
do so because it was nighttime and office hours were obviously over. They were told by
the judge to go back in the morning. Nonetheless, the team proceeded to barangay
Bagonbon and arrived at the residence of Compacion in the early morning of 13 July
1995. SPO4 Villamor knocked at the gate and called out for Compacion. What happened
thereafter is subject to conflicting accounts. The prosecution contends that Compacion
opened the gate and permitted them to come in. He was immediately asked by SPO4
Villamor about the suspected marijuana plants and he admitted that he planted and
cultivated the same for the use of his wife who was suffering from migraine. SPO4
Villamor then told him that he would be charged for violation of Section 9 of RA 6425 and
informed him of his constitutional rights. The operatives then uprooted the suspected
marijuana plants. SPO1 Linda conducted an initial field test of the plants by using the
Narcotics Drug Identification Kit. The test yielded a positive result. On 15 July 1995, the
plants were turned over to the Philippine National Police (PNP) Crime Laboratory, Bacolod
City Police Command, particularly to Senior Inspector Reah Abastillas Villavicencio.
Senior Inspector Villavicencio weighed and measured the plants, one was 125 inches and
weighed 700 grams while the other was 130 inches and weighed 900 grams. Three (3)
qualitative examinations were conducted, namely: the microscopic test, the chemical
test, and the thin layer chromatographic test. All yielded positive results. On his part,
Compacion maintains that around 1:30 a.m. on 13 July 1995 while he and his family were
sleeping, he heard somebody knocking outside his house. He went down bringing with
him a flashlight. After he opened the gate, 4 persons who he thought were members of
the military, entered the premises then went inside the house. It was dark so he could
not count the others who entered the house as the same was lit only by a kerosene
lamp. One of the four men told him to sit in the living room. Some of the men went
upstairs while the others went around the house. None of them asked for his permission
to search his house and the premises. After about 20 minutes of searching, the men
called him outside and brought him to the backyard. One of the military men said:
"Captain, you have a (sic) marijuana here at your backyard" to which Compacion replied:
"I do not know that they were (sic) marijuana plants but what I know is that they are
medicinal plants for my wife" who was suffering from migraine. After he was informed
that the plants in his backyard were marijuana, the men took pictures of him and
themselves. Thereafter, he was brought inside the house where he and the military men
spent the night. At around 10:00 a.m., they brought him with them to the city hall.
Compacion saw that one of the 2 service vehicles they brought was fully loaded with
plants. He was later told by the military men that said plants were marijuana. Upon
arrival at the city hall, the men met with the mayor and then unloaded the alleged
marijuana plants. A picture of him together with the arresting team was taken with the
alleged marijuana as back drop. Soon thereafter, he was taken to Hda. Socorro at the
SAF Headquarters. A criminal complaint for violation of Section 9 of RA 6425, as
amended by RA 7659 was filed against Compacion. On 2 January 1996, the trial court
convicted Compacion of the crime charged, and sentenced him to reclusion perpetua
and to pay a fine of P500,000.00.

ISSUE: Whether Compacion's right against unreasonable search and seizure was

HELD: Sections 2 and 3 [2], Article III of the 1987 Constitution are safeguards against
reckless, malicious and unreasonable invasion of privacy and liberty. A search and
seizure, therefore, must be carried out through or with a judicial warrant; otherwise, such
search and seizure becomes "unreasonable" within the meaning of the constitutional
provision. Evidence secured thereby, i.e., the "fruits" of the search and seizure, will be
inadmissible in evidence for any purpose in any proceeding." The requirement that a
warrant must be obtained from the proper judicial authority prior to the conduct of a
search and seizure is, however, not absolute. There are several instances when the law
recognizes exceptions, such as when the owner of the premises consents or voluntarily
submits to a search; when the owner of the premises waives his right against such
incursion; when the search is incidental to a lawful arrest; when it is made on vessels and
aircraft for violation of customs laws; when it is made on automobiles for the purpose of
preventing violations of smuggling or immigration laws; when it involves prohibited
articles in plain view; when it involves a "stop and frisk" situation; when the search is
under exigent and emergency circumstances; or in cases of inspection of buildings and
other premises for the enforcement of fire, sanitary and building regulations. In these
instances, a search may be validly made even without a warrant. Herein, the search and
seizure conducted by the composite team in the house of accused-appellant was not
authorized by a search warrant, It does not appear either that the situation falls under
any of the above mentioned cases. Consequently, Compacion's right against
unreasonable search and seizure was clearly violated. As a general rule, objects in the
"plain view" of an officer who has the right to be in the position to have that view are
subject to seizure without a warrant. It is usually applied where a police officer is not
searching for evidence against the accused, but nonetheless inadvertently comes across
an incriminating object. Thus, the following elements must be present before the
doctrine may be applied: (a) a prior valid intention based on the valid warrantless arrest
in which the police are legally present in the pursuit of their official duties; (b) the
evidence was inadvertently discovered by the police who have the right to be where they
are; (c) the evidence must be immediately apparent; and (d) "plain view" justified were
seizure of evidence without further search. Here, there was no valid warrantless arrest.
They forced their way into Compacion's premises without the latter's consent. It is
undisputed that the NARCOM agents conducted a surveillance of the residence of
Compacion on 9 July 1995 on the suspicion that he was growing and cultivating
marijuana when they allegedly came in "plain view" of the marijuana plants. When the
agents entered his premises on 13 July 1995, their intention was to seize the evidence
against him. In fact, they initially wanted to secure a search warrant but could not simply
wait for one to be issued. The NARCOM agents, therefore, did not come across the
marijuana plants inadvertently when they conducted a surveillance and barged into
Compacion's residence. As held in People v. Musa, the "plain view" doctrine may not be
used to launch unbridled searches and indiscriminate seizures nor to extend a general
exploratory search made solely to find evidence of defendant's guilt. The "plain view"
doctrine is usually applied where a police officer is not searching for evidence against the
accused, but nonetheless inadvertently comes across an incriminating object. Hence,
Compacion is acquitted of the crime to which he was charged.


FACTS: At around 10:15 a.m. of 24 September 1996, SPO3 Marcelo Tipay, a member of
the police force of Villaverde, Nueva Vizcaya, received a tip from an unnamed informer
about the presence of a marijuana plantation, allegedly owned by Abe Valdez y Dela Cruz
at Sitio Bulan, Ibung, Villaverde, Nueva Vizcaya. The prohibited plants were allegedly
planted close to Valdez's hut. Police Inspector Alejandro R. Parungao, Chief of Police of
Villaverde, Nueva Vizcaya then formed a reaction team from his operatives to verify the
report. The team was composed of SPO3 Marcelo M. Tipay, SPO2 Noel V. Libunao, SPO2
Pedro S. Morales, SPO1 Romulo G. Tobias and PO2 Alfelmer I. Balut. Inspector Parungao
gave them specific instructions to "uproot said marijuana plants and arrest the cultivator
of same." At approximately 5:00 a.m. the following day, said police team, accompanied
by their informer, left for the site where the marijuana plants were allegedly being
grown. After a three-hour, uphill trek from the nearest barangay road, the police
operatives arrived at the place pinpointed by their informant. The police found Valdez
alone in his nipa hut. They, then, proceeded to look around the area where Valdez had
his kaingin and saw 7 five-foot high, flowering marijuana plants in two rows,
approximately 25 meters from Valdez's hut. PO2 Balut asked Valdez who owned the
prohibited plants and, according to Balut, the latter admitted that they were his. The
police uprooted the 7 marijuana plants, which weighed 2.194 kilograms. The police took
photos of Valdez standing beside the cannabis plants. Valdez was then arrested. One of
the plants, weighing 1.090 kilograms, was sent to the Philippine National Police Crime
Laboratory in Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya for analysis. Inspector Prevy Fabros Luwis, the
Crime Laboratory forensic analyst, testified that upon microscopic examination of said
plant, she found cystolitic hairs containing calcium carbonate, a positive indication for
marijuana. She next conducted a chemical examination, the results of which confirmed
her initial impressions. Valdez alleged otherwise. He claims that at around 10:00 a.m., 25
September 1996, he was weeding his vegetable farm in Sitio Bulan 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 Valdez to the place where the marijuana
plants were found, approximately 100 meters away from his nipa hut. 5 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. Valdez was so nervous and afraid that he admitted owning the marijuana. The
police then took a photo of him standing in front of one of the marijuana plants. He was
then made to uproot 5 of the cannabis plants, and bring them to his hut, where another
photo was taken of him standing next to a bundle of uprooted marijuana plants. The
police team then brought him to the police station at Villaverde. On the way, a certain
Kiko Pascua, a barangay peace officer of Barangay Sawmill, accompanied the police
officers. Pascua, who bore a grudge against him, because of his refusal to participate in
the former's illegal logging activities, threatened him to admit owning the marijuana,
otherwise be would "be put in a bad situation." At the police headquarters, Valdez
reiterated that he knew nothing about the marijuana plants seized by the police. Still, on
26 September 1996, Valdez was charged for the cultivation and culture of the 7 fully
grown marijuana plants. On 15 November 1996, Valdez was arraigned and, with
assistance of counsel, pleaded not guilty to the charge. Trial on the merits then ensued.
On 18 February 1997, the Regional Trial Court of Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya, Branch 27,
in Criminal Case 3105, found Valdez guilty beyond reasonable doubt for violating Section
9 of the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972 (RA 6425, as amended by RA 7659), and
sentenced him to suffer the penalty of death by lethal injection. Hence, the automatic
review by the Supreme Court.

ISSUE: Whether the seizure of the marijuana plants was made pursuant to warrantless
search and seizure, based on the plain view doctrine.

HELD: The Constitution lays down the general rule that a search and seizure must be
carried on the strength of a judicial warrant. Otherwise, the search and seizure is
deemed "unreasonable." Evidence procured on the occasion of an unreasonable search
and seizure is deemed tainted for being the proverbial fruit of a poisonous tree and
should be excluded. Such evidence shall be inadmissible in evidence for any purpose in
any proceeding. Herein, there was no search warrant issued by a judge after personal
determination of the existence of probable cause. From the declarations of the police
officers themselves, it is clear that they had at least 1 day to obtain a warrant to search
Valdez's farm. Their informant had revealed his name to them. The place where the
cannabis plants were planted was pinpointed. From the information in their possession,
they could have convinced a judge that there was probable cause to justify the issuance
of a warrant. But they did not. Instead, they uprooted the plants and apprehended the
accused on the excuse that the trip was a good six hours and inconvenient to them. We
need not underscore that 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. The Court finds no reason to
subscribe to Solicitor General's contention that it should apply the "plain view" doctrine.
For the doctrine to apply, the following elements must be present: (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; (b) the evidence was inadvertently discovered by the
police who have the right to be where they are; and (c) the evidence must be
immediately apparent; and (d) plain view justified mere seizure of evidence without
further search. Herein, the police officers first located the marijuana plants before Valdez
was arrested without a warrant. Hence, there was no valid warrantless arrest which
preceded the search of Valdez's premises. The police team was dispatched to Valdez's
kaingin precisely to search for and uproot the prohibited flora. The 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. Clearly, their
discovery of the cannabis plants was not inadvertent. Also, upon arriving at the area,
they first had to "look around the area" before they could spot the illegal plants. Patently,
the seized marijuana plants were not "immediately apparent" and a "further search" was
needed. In sum, the marijuana plants in question were not in "plain view" or "open to eye
and hand." The "plain view" doctrine, thus, cannot be made to apply.


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-90-11756,
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

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
arsenal 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.


FACTS: Board of Education v. Earls was a United States Supreme Court case in which the
Court upheld the constitutionality of mandatory drug testing by public schools of
students participating in extracurricular activities. The legal challenge to the practice
was brought by two students, Lindsay Earls and Daniel James, and their families against
the school board of Tecumseh, Oklahoma, alleging that their policy requiring students to
consent to random urinalysis testing for drug use violated the Fourth Amendment to
the United States Constitution.

The Student Activities Drug Testing Policy adopted by the Tecumseh, Oklahoma School
District (School District) requires all middle and high school students to consent to
urinalysis testing for drugs in order to participate in any extracurricular activity.
Two Tecumseh High School students and their parents brought suit, alleging that the
policy violates the Fourth Amendment. The District Court granted the School District
summary judgment. In reversing, the Court of Appeals held that the policy violated the
Fourth Amendment. The appellate court concluded that before imposing a suspicionless
drug-testing program a school should demonstrate some identifiable drug abuse problem
among a sufficient number of those tested, such that testing that group will actually
redress its drug problem, which the School District failed to demonstrate.

RULING: In a majority opinion delivered by Justice Clarence Thomas, the Court held that
students in extracurricular activities had a diminished expectation of privacy, and that
the policy furthered an important interest of the school in preventing drug use among
students. This rationale was based on the precedent Vernonia School District 47J v.
Acton, which allowed drug testing for athletes. Justice Stephen Breyer filed an opinion
concurring in the Court's judgment.



(G.R. NO. 158633) AND PIMENTEL VS COMELEC (G.R. NO. 161658)

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

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.



FACTS: On 6 November 1963, an inspector of the Division of Housing Inspection of the

San Francisco Department of Public Health entered an apartment building to make a
routine annual inspection for possible violations of the city's Housing Code. The
building's manager informed the inspector that Camara, lessee of the ground floor, was
using the rear of his leasehold as a personal residence. Claiming that the building's
occupancy permit did not allow residential use of the ground floor, the inspector
confronted Camara and demanded that he permit an inspection of the premises. Camara
refused to allow the inspection because the inspector lacked a search warrant. The
inspector returned on November 8, again without a warrant, and Camara again refused
to allow an inspection. A citation was then mailed ordering Camara to appear at the
district attorney's office. When Camara failed to appear, two inspectors returned to his
apartment on November 22. They informed Camara that he was required by law to
permit an inspection under 503 of the Housing Code. Camara nevertheless refused the
inspectors access to his apartment without a search warrant. Thereafter, a complaint
was filed charging him with refusing to permit a lawful inspection in violation of 507 of
the Code. Camara was arrested on December 2nd released on bail. When his demurrer to
the criminal complaint was denied, Camara filed the petition for a writ of prohibition in a
California Superior Court alleging that he was awaiting trial on a criminal charge of
violating the San Francisco Housing Code by refusing to permit a warrantless inspection
of his residence, and that a writ of prohibition should issue to the criminal court because
the ordinance authorizing such inspections is unconstitutional on its face. The Superior
Court denied the writ, the District Court of Appeal affirmed, and the Supreme Court of
California denied a petition for hearing.
ISSUE: Whether Camara can validly refuse the inspection of his dwelling by the Division
of Housing Inspection.

HELD: The Fourth Amendment bars prosecution of a person who has refused to permit a
warrantless codeenforcement inspection of his personal residence. The basic purpose of
the Fourth Amendment, which is enforceable against the States through the Fourteenth,
through its prohibition of "unreasonable" searches and seizures is to safeguard the
privacy and security of individuals against arbitrary invasions by governmental officials.
With certain carefully defined exceptions, an unconsented warrantless search of private
property is "unreasonable." Administrative searches of the kind at issue here are
significant intrusions upon the interests protected by the Fourth Amendment, that such
searches when authorized and conducted without a warrant procedure lack the
traditional safeguards which the Fourth Amendment guarantees to the individual, and
that the reasons put forth in Frank v. Maryland and in other cases for upholding these
warrantless searches are insufficient to justify so substantial a weakening of the Fourth
Amendment's protections. Contrary to the assumption of Frank v. Maryland, Fourth
Amendment interests are not merely "peripheral" where municipal fire, health, and
housing inspection programs are involved whose purpose is to determine the existence
of physical conditions not complying with local ordinances. Those programs, moreover,
are enforceable by criminal process, as is refusal to allow an inspection. Warrantless
administrative searches cannot be justified on the grounds that they make minimal
demands on occupants; that warrants in such cases are unfeasible; or that area
inspection programs could not function under reasonable search-warrant requirements.
Probable cause upon the basis of which warrants are to be issued for area code-
enforcement inspections is not dependent on the inspector's belief that a particular
dwelling violates the code but on the reasonableness of the enforcement agency's
appraisal of conditions in the area as a whole. The standards to guide the magistrate in
the issuance of such search warrants will necessarily vary with the municipal program
being enforced. Nothing here is intended to foreclose prompt inspections, even without a
warrant, that the law has traditionally upheld in emergency situations. On the other
hand, in the case of most routine area inspections, there is no compelling urgency to
inspect at a particular time or on a particular day. Moreover, most citizens allow
inspections of their property without a warrant. Thus, as a practical matter and in light of
the Fourth Amendment's requirement that a warrant specify the property to be searched,
it seems likely that warrants should normally be sought only after entry is refused unless
there has been a citizen complaint or there is other satisfactory reason for securing
immediate entry. Similarly, the requirement of a warrant procedure does not suggest any
change in what seems to be the prevailing local policy, in most situations, of authorizing
entry, but not entry by force, to inspect. Herein, Camara has been charged with a crime
for his refusal to permit housing inspectors to enter his leasehold without a warrant.
There was no emergency demanding immediate access; in fact, the inspectors made
three trips to the building in an attempt to obtain Camara's consent to search. Yet no
warrant was obtained and thus appellant was unable to verify either the need for or the
appropriate limits of the inspection. No doubt, the inspectors entered the public portion
of the building with the consent of the landlord, through the building's manager, but the
City/County does not contend that such consent was sufficient to authorize inspection of
Camara's premises. Assuming the facts to be as the parties have alleged, camara had a
constitutional right to insist that the inspectors obtain a warrant to search and that
appellant may not constitutionally be convicted for refusing to consent to the inspection.
It appears from the opinion of the District Court of Appeal that under these
circumstances a writ of prohibition will issue to the criminal court under California law.