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Republic of the Philippines Accused-appellant's companions, namely Epifanio Gayon, Arturo Gayon, and

SUPREME COURT Maximo Givera, were separately prosecuted and found guilty of murder by the
Manila Regional Trial Court, Branch 104, Quezon City in a decision, dated June 6,
1994, in Crim. Case No. Q-93-44315. The three were sentenced to suffer the
SECOND DIVISION penalty of reclusion perpetua with the accessory penalties prescribed by law,
to indemnify the heirs of the deceased the sum of P100,000.00 without
G.R. No. 132159 January 18, 2001
subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency and to pay the costs of the suit.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, On appeal to this Court, the decision of the trial court was affirmed with
vs. modification. The dispositive portion of the decision reads:
CESAR GIVERA y GAROTE, accused-appellant.
WHEREFORE, the judgment appealed from is MODIFIED. We instead
MENDOZA, J.: find accused-appellants EPIFANIO GAYON, ARTURO GAYON and
MAXIMO GIVERA guilty beyond reasonable doubt of MURDER
This is an appeal from the decision 1 of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 102,
committed with grave abuse of superior strength and imposes upon
Quezon City finding accused-appellant Cesar Givera y Garote guilty of murder
each of them the penalty of reclusion perpetua with the accessory
of Eusebio Gardon y Arrivas and sentencing him to suffer the penalty of
penalties provided by law, and ordering them to indemnify the heirs of
reclusion perpetua with the accessory penalties prescribed by law, to
the deceased Eusebio Gardon in the amount of P100,000.00. Costs
indemnify the heirs of the deceased in the amount of P50,000.00 without
against accused-appellants.4
subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency, and to pay the costs of the
suit.1wphi1.nt For the prosecution, the victim's daughter Milagros Gardon and his niece
Melinda Delfin were presented as witnesses. On the other hand, only accused-
The information in this case, dated April 10, 1995, charged as follows:
appellant testified in his defense.
That on or about the 2nd day of May, 1993, in Quezon City,
The incident took place at about 4 p.m. on May 2, 1993 at Purok IV, Area 5,
Philippines, the said accused [CESAR GIVERA], conspiring together,
Laura St., Old Balara, in Diliman, Quezon City.
confederating with EPEFANIO GAYON y GERALDE2 and ARTURO
GAYON y GERALDE, and mutually helping one another who were Milagros Gardon testified on direct examination: 5
charged with the same offense at the Regional Trial Court of Quezon
Q: Particularly about 4:00 p.m., were you at your residence at that
City, Branch 104, and docketed as Criminal Case No. Q-93-44315, did,
time?
then and there, willfully, unlawfully and feloniously, with intent to kill,
taking advantage of superior strength, with evident premeditation and A: Yes, sir.
treachery, attack, assault, and employ personal violence upon the
Q: And what were you doing there at that time?
person of EUSEBIO GARDON y ARRIVAS, by then and there stabbing
him with a knife hitting him on the different parts of his body, and A: I was in the house because I was watching my father, sir.
striking him with a piece of stone on the head, thereby inflicting upon Q: What was your father doing at that time?
him serious and mortal wounds which were the direct and immediate
cause of his untimely death, to the damage and prejudice of the heirs A: I let him go to sleep because he was a little bit drunk, and I was
of EUSEBIO GARDON y ARRIVAS. watching him so that he will not go outside.

CONTRARY TO LAW.3 Q: Why do you say you were watching him so that he would not
anymore go out?
Accused-appellant pleaded not guilty during his arraignment on April 10, 1996,
whereupon he was tried. A: Because he was warned by [accused-appellant Cesar Givera]
that if he goes outside, he will kill my father.
Q: At that time and place while you were watching your father, Q: What did these 4 persons do when her father was with them if
what else happened if any? any?
.... ....
A: [O)ur house was being stoned. A: Cesar was stoning the house. Then Onying got my father from
the house. Turing [Arturo Gayon] told the other one to stab my father
Q: Who was stoning your house? Could you tell us who was
while the one who stabbed my father was waiting under the bridge.
throwing stones to your house?
....
....
Q: What happened to your father after you said he was stabbed or
COURT:
mauled?
She mentioned that because her father was not coming out of
A: After he was stabbed, the person who stabbed him ran away,
the house, the accused started stoning the house.
sir.
Q: Who was stoning your house?
On cross-examination, Milagros Gardon said:6
A: Cesar Givera, sir.
Q: Who else were with you at that time?
Q: Was he alone at that time?
A: My brother and sister, sir.
A: They were in a group, sir, but he was the only one stoning the
house. And the other one, who was already arrested, by the name of Q: They were Laura Gardon and Leonardo Gardon, correct?
Onying went inside the house. A: Yes, sir.
Q: You said a while ago that there was somebody with Cesar who Q: And your father inside the house because he was already
went to your house, could you recall that somebody? resting after having been from a drinking spree, correct?
A: Onying [Epifanio Gayon], sir. A: Yes, sir.
Q: You said he was already "nakakulong"? ....
A: Yes, sir. Q: And you were watching TV at that time, correct?
Q: Now, what happened after this person Cesar and the other one A: Yes, sir.
Onying went inside the house?
Q: And then suddenly you heard stones being thrown on the roof of
A: Onying asked my father to go out of the house while Cesar was your house, is that correct?
stoning the house. Onying led my father out of the house, and when
A: Yes, sir.
they were already outside, Cesar was waiting for them. Then Cesar
scampered away and my father followed him. Cesar caused my father ....
to run after him until they reached the place where there was another
Q: This Onying [Epifanio Gayon] suddenly entered your house,
person, and that person stabbed my father.
correct?
Q: So how many persons in all have you seen?
A: Yes, sir.
A: They were four in all, sir.
Q: He was alone when he entered your house, correct?
....
A: Yes, sir. A: No, sir.
Q: How did he effect his entrance in your house? Q: But you stayed inside the house, you and your two other
companions?
A: He went inside directly, sir.
A: No, sir.
....
Q: Now, thereafter you heard stones thrown again towards your
Q: At that time were you in a position so as to see him actually
house, is that correct?
effect his entrance through the front door?
A: Yes, sir.
A: Yes, sir.
Q: But just the same, you did not peep out through any opening of
Q: Why? Where were you at that time?
your house for safety?
A: I was in the sala, sir.
A: We were already outside when they were stoning the house. We
Q: You were in the sala right next to your father, is that correct? followed him outside.
A: Yes, sir. ....
Q: And likewise with your two other companions Laura and Q: Was Onying also hit by any of those stones?
Leonardo, they were situated right near to your father, correct?
A: No, sir. Only my father and my sister.
A: Yes, sir.
....
....
Q: What is the name of that sister of yours who was also hit?
Q: Now, when this Onying entered the house, did he call out the
A: Laura Gardon, sir.
name of your father if you can remember?
Q: And where was Laura hit?
A: Yes, sir.
A: At her left shoulder, sir.
Q: And your father, did he give any response thereto?
Q: And how many stones if you know hit Laura?
A: Yes, sir.
A: Only one, sir, because while they were stoning they were
Q: What was his response if any?
running away.
A: He asked Onying if he need anything. And Onying asked him to
Q: Who were these people running away?
go out with him.
A: Onying and Cesar, sir.
....
Q: Are you saying that Onying also stoned your father?
Q: And your father stood up and joined Onying in going out of the
house? A: No, sir.
A: Yes, sir. Q: Because he was right next by your father at that time, that is
why he was not at all stoning your father, correct?
....
A: He was boxing him.
Q: Then you together with your two other companions got back to
watching the television show is that correct? ....
Q: You saw Cesar Givera actually stoning towards the direction of Q: And who was this?
your father, is that what you mean?
A: Bingo Givera [Maximo Givera], sir.
A: Yes, sir.
Q: Did you actually see him stab your father?
....
A: Yes, sir.
Q: And your father followed Cesar Givera, is that what you mean?
On re-direct examination, Milagros said:7
A: Yes, sir.
Q: Madam witness, you said a while ago that you saw while your
Q: Likewise, with Onying, he followed Cesar Givera? father was stabbed, and the name of that person is Onying who
A: Yes, sir. stabbed your father?

Q: And they ran quite a distance, correct? A: Maximo Givera, sir.

A: Yes, sir. ....

Q: And then you lost sight of them yes or no? Q: Now, when you saw Maximo Givera stab your father, where was
Cesar at that time?
A: No, sir.
....
Q: But you stayed in the house, correct?
A: He was also at the same place, sir.
A: No, sir. I was outside the house. When the incident happened, I
was already outside the house. Q: And the other 3 accused Arturo Gayon and Efipanio Gayon,
could you tell us where they were when Maximo was stabbing your
Q: But because you did not state that you also followed your father father?
as he ran after Cesar, does that mean that you just stayed in front of
your house? A: They were also at that place, sir.

A: We stopped because we already saw the place where my father Melinda Delfin, niece of the victim, corroborated the testimony of Milagros
was stabbed, that is why we did not follow them. Gardon. She said:8

Q: How far did they get, using as reference the front door of your Q: At about 4:00 p.m. of May 4, 1993, could you tell us where you
house? How far did they get as they ran away? were at that time?

A: About fifteen meters away, sir. A: Yes, sir, I was about to reach the house of Eusebio Gardon.

Q: Did they not turn corners? Q: What was your purpose in going there?

A: It is straight, sir. They only made a turn after the stabbing A: Eusebio Gardon called me up because he has just come from
incident, sir. Bicol and he will give me rice.

Q: They turned a corner after your father was stabbed? Q: You said you were about to arrive at the residence of Eusebio
Gardon at 4:00 p.m. on May 4, 1993, what did you notice or observe
A: Yes, sir, because they ran away, sir.
when you were about to arrived at that place of his residence?
Q: Only one of the accused stabbed your father, correct?
A: I saw "Onying" [Epifanio Gayon] with his hand on the shoulder
A: Yes, sir. of Eusebio Gardon going out of their yard.
(Nakita ko si Onying akbay akbay si Eusebio Gardon palabas Q: And what happened to Eusebio Gardon, whom you said was
sa bakuran nila.) boxed, mauled and then stabbed?
.... A: He was lying down under the bridge for about thirty (30)
minutes, and then his children arrived.
Q: What else did you notice?
....
A: When I came out of the gate I saw Cesar Givera boxed Eusebio
Gardon. Q: You said earlier that you saw Cesar Givera and Epifanio Givera
threw stones towards the victim's house, is that true?
(Paglabas ko ng bakuran nakita ko si Cesar na sinalubong ng
suntok si Eusebio Gardon.) PROSECUTOR CONCHA:
.... Excuse me, Your Honor, the witness said she saw that fellow by
the name of Onying and Cesar boxing --?
Q: What else did you see aside from the fact that you saw Cesar
Givera boxing Eusebio Gardon? WITNESS:
A: Cesar boxed him and also Onying boxed him, they both helped "Suntok, bato at sipa."
each other in boxing Eusebio Gardon, and then they back to the house
ATTY. MASCALAS:
of Eusebio Gardon and my uncle followed them. Not quite far, Bingo
[Maximo Givera] and Turing [Arturo Gayon] were there. Q: Where did you see them doing these acts on Eusebio?

.... A: Outside the premises, sir.

Q: And what happened when you said this Bingo was there? Q: Whose premises?

A: Onying and Cesar gave fistic blows to Eusebio Gardon and he A: The premises of Eusebio Gardon, sir.
was also stabbed by Bingo, and they were also kicking Eusebio Q: Did you not say earlier that Onying came out with Eusebio
Gardon. Gardon from the latter's house?
Q: Eusebio Gardon was boxed by Onying and Cesar Givera? A: I saw Onying, "akbay-akbay niya.."
A: Yes, sir. Q: You even saw Onying embracing Eusebio Gardon, correct?
Q: And stabbed by? A: Yes, sir.
A: Bingo, sir. ....
Q: Actually, how many persons were there when [Eusebio] Gardon Q: Were there stones being hurled to Onying and Eusebio?
was stabbed and being boxed?
A: Yes, sir.
A: I saw four of them, sir.
Q: Did you see who were throwing those stones?
Q: Would you made these four (4)?
A: It was Cesar, sir.
A: Turing, Bingo, Cesar and Onying.
....
....
Q: Did you see if Gardon was hit by any of these stones?
A: Yes, sir.
Q: And you also saw Onying hit by stones, correct? Q: She was outside their house -- although outside their house she
was still inside the premises of their lot?
A: No, sir.
A: She was still inside, but she saw the incident.
....
Q: And that premises of the victim was about 15 meters away from
Q: Who boxed your uncle?
the bridge where the alleged incident took place?
A: Cesar, sir.
A: Yes, sir.
Q: Are you saying that Cesar while throwing stones to your uncle
Q: Were you also with Milagros Gardon at the time that stabbing
was so close to him that he was able to box him?
was done?
A: Because they were advancing towards my uncle and Onying.
A: We were not together but I was approaching their house.
They were going towards them.
....
....
Q: So you were also about 15 meters away from the bridge where
Q: And when they were able to come near, how near did Cesar get
the alleged incident took place?
to your uncle?
A: Yes, sir.
A: Maybe three to four meters, sir.
Q: And that is your distance when you were claiming that you saw
Q: That was when Cesar boxed your uncle?
this incident?
A: Not yet, sir.
A: It was just a little less.
Q: When did Cesar box your uncle?
(Makalampas lang ng konti).
A: When they come near to my uncle.
....
....
Q: It was Turing Gayon [Arturo Gayon] whom you heard shout:
Q: And then Cesar Givera ran away and your uncle gave chase? "Sige, todasin na yan!"
A: Yes, sir. A: Yes, sir.
Q: And upon reaching the bridge which is about fifteen (15), meters Q: And it was Bingo [Maximo Givera] whom you saw stabbed your
away from the victim's house, you saw Bingo stabbed your uncle? uncle?
A: Yes, sir. A: Yes, sir.
Q: There were only You said that there were only four (4) ....
persons in that place where your uncle was stabbed and those
Q: You said that it was Bingo who stabbed the victim Eusebio
persons do not include Milagros Gardon?
Gardon. You said that you saw it?
A: No, sir.
A: Yes, sir.
Q: Because Milagros Gardon was still in their house?
Q: What was Cesar Givera doing when the victim was stabbed by
A: She was already outside their house. Bingo?
A: They were kicking and boxing my uncle.
Q: Givera was doing that? I was asking you about Cesar Givera? On August 29, 1997, the trial court rendered its decision finding accused-
A: He was boxing and kicking my uncle. appellant guilty of murder. The dispositive portion of its decision reads: 18

Q: Who, Eusebio Gardon, the victim? WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered finding the accused
Cesar Givera guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of murder
A: Yes, sir. as charged.
To prove the fact and cause of death of Eusebio Gardon, the prosecution The accused is hereby sentenced to reclusion perpetua, with the
presented in evidence the testimony 9 of medico-legal officer, P/Maj. Florante accessory penalties of the law, and to indemnify the heirs of the
Baltazar, given in Criminal Case No. Q-93-44315. The testimony shows that deceased in the amount of P50,000.00 without subsidiary
the victim sustained one fatal stab wound possibly caused by a single bladed imprisonment in case of insolvency, and to pay the costs.
weapon.10 In addition, he sustained abrasions in his lower chin, possibly hitting
SO ORDERED.
a rough surface, as well as an incised wound caused by a bladed weapon, on
his posterior middle left arm. 11 The stab wound appears to be fatal because it Hence, this appeal. Accused-appellant's sole assignment of error is that-
pierced the pericardium and left ventricle of the heart, which could be the DUE TO THE PRESENCE OF REASONABLE DOUBT, THE COURT A
immediate effect of hemorrhage, shock and eventual death of the victim. 12 A QUO HAS COMMITTED AN ERROR IN CONVICTING THE
death certificate13 evidencing the death of the victim was presented by the ACCUSED-APPELLANT OF THE CRIME CHARGED
prosecution. The appeal has no merit.
Accused-appellant testified in his behalf. He was a resident of Laura St., Old First. The prosecution presented evidence which shows beyond reasonable
Balara, Quezon City at the time of the incident. He denied any involvement in doubt that accused-appellant and his companions (Epifanio Gayon, Arturo
the killing of the victim who was his relative by affinity.14 Gayon, and Maximo Givera), all of whom were convicted of murder in another
case, were responsible for the killing of Eusebio Gardon on May 2, 1993.
Accused-appellant claimed that at the time of the incident on May 2, 1993, at
Milagros Gardon's testimony, an excerpt from which is quoted at the beginning
around 4:00 p.m., he was having a drink in his cousin's house, some 30
of this opinion, is spontaneous, detailed, arid consistent. The defense tried to
meters away from the victim's house. On the other hand, Maximo Givera and
discredit it through cross examination, but, as shown earlier, the defense only
Arturo Gayon were in the victim's house also having drinks. Accused-appellant
succeeded in enabling her to give further details of her testimony in chief.
said he was fetched by his cousin, Recto Gardon, because Maximo and the
There are apparent lapses in the testimony of Milagros, as when she testified
victim Eusebio Gardon were having an altercation. He went to pacify the
that she knew at the very beginning, that it was accused-appellant who was
protagonists and then led the victim to his house. Without his knowledge,
stoning their house when in fact, as she admitted, she only knew this because
however, Eusebio went back and again engaged Maximo in a fist fight, as a
the victim said so. Moreover, it may be doubted whether the victim's other
result of which the victim Eusebio was knocked down. Accused-appellant said
daughter, Laura, was hit by the stones hurled by accused-appellant as she
he was going to help the victim get up, but he saw the victim's son, Ronilo
came out of their house, since the door of the house was so narrow that only
Gardon, coming with a bolo. He, therefore, ran away and left the victim behind.
one person at a time could pass through it. Nonetheless, a close reading of the
He added, that he did not see if his three companions did anything more than
records will show that indeed it was accused-appellant who was stoning the
box the victim.15 Accused-appellant said he learned that the victim had died
house because when the witness followed the victim outside, she saw
only two days after the incident.16 accused-appellant throwing stones at their house. She then saw accused-
Accused-appellant was arrested on May 4, 1996 at the East Avenue Medical appellant hitting the victim with stones. In the process, Laura was also hit.
Center. He stated that the children of the victim implicated him in the killing of In any event, these discrepancies are minor and insignificant and do not
Eusebio Gardon only because he was present when the incident happened. 17 detract from the substance of her testimony. This Court has time and again
said that a few discrepancies and inconsistencies in the testimonies of
witnesses referring to minor details and not in actuality touching upon the Q: What do you mean by saying that you voluntarily testified? Did
central fact of the crime do not impair the credibility of the witnesses. Instead you just come to court and asked the court to take you as witness in
of weakening their testimonies, such inconsistencies tend to strengthen their this case?
credibility because they discount the possibility of their being rehearsed
A: No, sir, because in the police station the police told me that they
testimony.19 will not take my statement. They will just "ihahabol na lang ako."
Thus, according to Milagros Gardon, accused-appellant taunted the victim and Q: Did you not inquire from them why your statement will not
challenged him to come out of the house. After succeeding in drawing the longer be taken and what do you mean by that "ihahabol na lang
victim out of his house, accused-appellant and his companions ganged up on ikaw"?
him, kicking and pummelling him and finally stabbing him.
A: I did not ask because I do not know anything about that. That
Milagros' testimony belies accused-appellant's claim that he was merely trying was the first time that incident happened to my life.
to pacify the victim and Maximo Givera and that he ran away because the
victim's son, armed with a bolo, charged at him (accused-appellant). There It is noteworthy that both Milagros Gardon and Melinda Delfin knew accused-
was no reason for the victim's son to want to attack accused-appellant, if the appellant and the other assailants, and that in fact some of them are related to
latter was merely trying to help the victim. the witnesses. Accused-appellant has not shown that these witnesses were
motivated by ill will against him. As correctly observed by the trial court: 21
Nor is it probable that accused-appellant did not see what his companions did
to the victim aside from giving him fist blows and kicks, because according to [T]he court has no reason to doubt the testimonies of the prosecution
accused-appellant, he ran away shortly after they had attacked the victim. As witnesses.
accused-appellant said he saw the assailants run way, this could only be after In the first place, accused Cesar Givera has not shown any motive on
they had been done with their victim. the part of the prosecution witnesses to testify as they did against said
The defense also tries to discredit the testimony of the other prosecution accused.
witness, Melinda Delfin. It is contended that, contrary to her claim, she was not Second, accused Cesar Givera and the other accused in this case are
really present at the incident. For this purpose, it is pointed out that she failed all residing within the vicinity where the crime was committed, and are
to give a sworn statement regarding said incident to the police. even related by affinity to the deceased. There is, therefore, no reason
The contention has no merit. As Melinda explained, she did not give a to doubt their identification by the prosecution witnesses."
statement to the police because she was told they would call on her later for All things considered, we think the trial court correctly dismissed accused-
her statement. Melinda testified:20 appellant's claim and gave credence to the testimonies of the prosecution
Q: The police did not get your statement because you did not tell witnesses. From the fact that the victim died and that accused-appellant and
them that you were an eyewitness and if it is true, correct? his companions were the last persons seen with the victim before he died, it
can be concluded that they are responsible for the victim's death.
A: No, sir.
Second. The allegations of conspiracy in the information have been
Q: You were only asked by your relatives - -You testified in this established. The victim was at home sleeping after coming from a drinking
case in the sala of Judge Asuncion after the children of the victim session, when the accused-appellant and his companions stoned his house to
asked you to? Correct? force him to come out. When they failed, one of them, Epifanio (Onying)
A: They did not tell me. I voluntarily testified, sir, because I saw the Gayon, went inside the victim's house and told him to come out. Disoriented
incident. because he was drunk, the victim went with Onying. Once the victim was
outside, accused-appellant pelted him with stones, while Onying started
raining fistic blows on him. Then Onying and accused-appellant ran away to
lure him to go toward the bridge where the other two, Arturo Gayon and Treachery is the deliberate and unexpected attack on the victim, without any
Maximo Givera, were waiting. When the victim reached the place, he was warning and without giving him an opportunity to defend himself or repel the
attacked by the gang. He was kicked and boxed by Onying and when Arturo initial assault. For treachery to be appreciated, it must be shown to be present
shouted "Sige todasin na yan!," Maximo stabbed the victim. at the inception of the attack, otherwise, even if present at a subsequent stage,
The evidence thus clearly and convincingly shows a coordinated action by the it cannot be considered.26 In the instant case, the victim cannot be said to
group in the execution of the crime. In conspiracy, it is not necessary to show have been totally oblivious of the impending attack by all the group of accused-
that all the conspirators actually hit and killed the victim. What is important is appellant. He thus had every opportunity to escape from the attack. In fact, his
that all participants performed specific acts with such closeness and daughter Milagros testified that prior to the stoning incident, the victim had
coordination as to unmistakably indicate a common purpose or design to bring been threatened with harm by accused-appellant the moment he went out of
about the death of the victim. The act of each conspirator in furtherance of the his house, which is why she stayed beside her father to make sure he did not
common purpose is in contemplation of law the act of all. Consonant with this go out of the house. Indeed, the victim had been forewarned of the danger
legal principle, accused-appellant is guilty of the crime of murder as if he posed by accused-appellant and his group.
himself dealt the deathblow that sent the victim to his grave. 22 Moreover, by coming out of his house and running after two of the assailants,
the victim showed that he was prepared for the attack by accused-appellant
Third. However, evident premeditation cannot be appreciated in this case.
and his gang and could have been hardly surprised when he was actually
Where conspiracy is directly established, with proof of the attendant
attacked. Treachery must be proven by convincing evidence. The fact that the
deliberation and selection of the method, time and means of executing the
victim may have been surprised because he had not expected that he would
crime, the existence of evident premeditation can be appreciated. 23 But in an be outnumbered when he saw two other attackers waiting for him under the
implied conspiracy, such as in this case, evident premeditation cannot be bridge is not sufficient to show that the victim was completely unaware of the
appreciated in the absence of proof as to how and when the plan to kill the
attack that might come from his assailants.27
victim was hatched or what time elapsed before it was carried out, so that it
cannot be determined if the accused had "sufficient time between its inception However, the presence of the qualifying circumstance of abuse of superiority
and its fulfillment dispassionately to consider and accept the consequences." was correctly appreciated in this case. The victim was unarmed and was
There should be a showing that the accused had the opportunity for reflection clearly outnumbered by the four assailants, with one of them armed with a
and persisted in effectuating his criminal design which the prosecution failed to knife.28
establish in the case at bar.24
Fourth. Accused-appellant claims that his arrest at the East Avenue Medical
Nor can the qualifying circumstance of treachery be taken into account. The Center on May 4, 1996 was made without a warrant. This is not true. He was
trial court held:25 arrested by virtue of a warrant issued by the court on April 27, 1995. However,
as the records show, the warrant of arrest was returned unserved by the
...[T]reachery will also be deduced from the evidence on record. The arresting officer on June 7, 1995 as accused-appellant could not be found. He
deceased was unarmed when he was stabbed by on Maximo Givera was finally found only on May 4, 1996. Now, no alias warrant of arrest is
and boxed and kicked by accused Cesar Givera and two other needed to make the arrest. Unless specifically provided in the warrant, the
accused. same remains enforceable until it is executed, recalled or quashed. The ten-
. . . From the evidence adduced, accused Givera and Epifanio Gayon day period provided in Rule 113, 4 is only a directive to the officer executing
taunted and provoked the deceased by throwing stones at him and the warrant to make a return to the court.29
then lured him to run after them towards the bridge where the other
At any rate, accused-appellant must be deemed to have waived his right to
accused were lying in wait ready to pounce on the deceased without
object thereto because he failed to move for the quashal of the information
risk to themselves as the deceased was then defenseless."
before the trial court, entered a plea of not guilty and participated in the trial. 30
As this Court has held, any objection involving a warrant of arrest or procedure
in the acquisition by the court of jurisdiction over the person of an accused
must be made before he enters his plea, otherwise the objection is deemed
waived.31
On the matter of the admissibility of the testimony of the medico-legal taken in
the first case, involving the three other accused for the death of the same
victim, offered in evidence in the case at bar, this Court must declare the same
inadmissible. As correctly contended by the defense, because they did not
have the opportunity to cross-examine Dr. Baltazar, his testimony cannot be
used in evidence against accused-appellant. Indeed, where the opposing party
failed to cross-examine a witness, this Court in several cases held: 32
Oral testimony may be taken into account only when it is complete,
that is, if the witness has been wholly cross-examined by the adverse
party or the right to cross-examine is lost wholly or in part thru the fault
of such adverse party. But when cross-examination is not and cannot
be done or completed due to causes attributable to the party offering
the witness, the uncompleted testimony is thereby rendered
incompetent.
Still and all the fact and cause of death of the victim had been sufficiently
proved by the accounts of the two eyewitnesses, corroborated by the offer in
evidence of the death certificate of the victim.
Fifth. The award of damages by the trial court, in favor of the victim should be
modified. Aside from the award of P50,000.00 as indemnity, the heirs of
Eusebio Gardon are entitled to an award of P50,000.00 as moral damages
irrespective of proof thereof.33
WHEREFORE, the decision of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 102, Quezon
City finding accused-appellant Cesar Givera y Garote, guilty of murder of
Eusebio Gardon y Arrivas and sentencing him to suffer the penalty of reclusion
perpetua with the accessory penalties prescribed by law is AFFIRMED with the
MODIFICATION that, in addition to the amount of P50,000.00 to be paid as
indemnity, accused-appellant is hereby ordered to pay to the heirs of Eusebio
Gardon amount of P50,000.00 as moral damages, plus the costs of the suit.
1wphi1.nt
SO ORDERED.
Bellosillo, Quisumbing, Buena, and De Leon, Jr., JJ., concur.
Republic of the Philippines G.R. No. 86332 July 9, 1990
SUPREME COURT
IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION FOR HABEAS CORPUS OF NARCISO
Manila
B. NAZARENO. ALFREDO NAZARENO, petitioner,
vs.
EN BANC
THE STATION COMMANDER OF THE MUNTINGLUPA POLICE STATION,
G.R. No. 81567 July 9, 1990 Muntinglupa, Metro Manila, P/SGT. JACINTO MEDINA, P/SGT. ELADIO
TAGLE, P/SGT. LEVI SOLEDAD, and P/SGT. MAURO AROJADO,
IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION FOR HABEAS CORPUS OF ROBERTO
respondents.
UMIL, ROLANDO DURAL and RENATO VILLANUEVA. MANOLITA O.
UMIL, and NICANOR P. DURAL, FELICITAS V. SESE, petitioners, Efren H. Mercado for petitioners in G.R. No. 81567.
vs.
Ricardo C. Valmonte for petitioners in G.R. Nos. 84581-82.
FIDEL V. RAMOS, MAJ. GEN. RENATO DE VILLA, BRIG. GEN. RAMON
MONTANO, BRIG. GEN. ALEXANDER AGUIRRE, respondents. Ramon S. Esguerra, Barbara Anne C. Migallos and Agripino G. Morga for
petitioners in G.R. Nos. 84583-84.
G.R. Nos. 84581-82 July 9, 1990
Efren H. Mercado for petitioner in G.R. No. 83162.
AMELIA ROQUE and WILFREDO BUENAOBRA, petitioners,
vs. Banzuela, Flores, Miralles, Raneses, Sy, Taquio & Association for petitioner in
GEN. RENATO DE VILLA and GEN. RAMON MONTANO, respondents. G.R. No. 85727.

G.R. Nos. 84583-84 July 9, 1990 Josefina G. Campbell-Castillo for petitioners in G.R. No. 86332.

IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION FOR HABEAS CORPUS OF ATTY. The Solicitor General for the respondents.
DOMINGO T. ANONUEVO and RAMON CASIPLE. DOMINGO T.
ANONUEVO and RAMON CASIPLE, petitioners,
vs. PER CURIAM:
HON. FIDEL V. RAMOS, GEN. RENATO S. DE VILLA, COL. EVARISTO The are eight (8) petitioners for habeas corpus filed before the Court, which
CARINO, LT. COL. REX D. PIAD, T/SGT. CONRADO DE TORRES, S/SGT. have been consolidated because of the similarity of issues raised, praying for
ARNOLD DURIAN, and Commanding Officer, PC-INP Detention Center, the issuance of the writ of habeas corpus, ordering the respective respondents
Camp Crame, Quezon City, respondents. to produce the bodies of the persons named therein and to explain why they
G.R. No. 83162 July 9, 1990 should not be set at liberty without further delay.

IN THE MATTER OF THE APPLICATION FOR HABEAS CORPUS OF In their respective Returns, the respondents uniformly assert that the privilege
VICKY A. OCAYA AND DANNY RIVERA. VIRGILIO A. OCAYA, petitioner, of the writ of habeas corpus is not available to the petitioners as they have
vs. been legally arrested and are detained by virtue of valid informations filed in
BRIG. GEN. ALEXANDER AGUIRRE, COL. HERCULES CATALUNA, COL. court against them.
NESTOR MARIANO, respondents. The petitioners counter that their detention is unlawful as their arrests were
G.R. No. 85727 July 9, 1990 made without warrant and, that no preliminary investigation was first
conducted, so that the informations filed against them are null and void.
IN THE MATTER OF APPLICATION FOR HABEAS CORPUS OF:
DEOGRACIAS ESPIRITU, petitioner, The Court has carefully reviewed the contentions of the parties in their
vs. respective pleadings, and it finds that the persons detained have not been
BRIG. GEN. ALFREDO S. LIM, COL. RICARDO REYES, respondents. illegally arrested nor arbitrarily deprived of their constitutional right to liberty,
and that the circumstances attending these cases do not warrant their release The record of the instant cases would show that the persons in whose behalf
on habeas corpus. these petitions for habeas corpus have been filed, had freshly committed or
were actually committing an offense, when apprehended, so that their arrests
The arrest of a person without a warrant of arrest or previous complaint is
without a warrant were clearly justified, and that they are, further, detained by
recognized in law. The occasions or instances when such an arrest may be
virtue of valid informations filed against them in court.
effected are clearly spelled out in Section 5, Rule 113 of the Rules of Court, as
amended, which provides: A brief narration of the facts and events surrounding each of the eight (8)
petitions is in order.
Sec. 5. Arrest without warrant; when lawful. A peace officer
or a private person may, without a warrant, arrest a person: I
(a) When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has In G.R. No. 81567 (Umil vs. Ramos), the record shows that, on 1 February
committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit 1988, the Regional Intelligence Operations Unit of the Capital Command
an offense; (RIOU-CAPCOM) received confidential information about a member of the
NPA Sparrow Unit (liquidation squad) being treated for a gunshot wound at the
(b) When an offense has in fact just been committed, and he
St. Agnes Hospital in Roosevelt Avenue, Quezon City. Upon verification, it was
has personal knowledge of facts indicating that the person to
found that the wounded person, who was listed in the hospital records as
be arrested has committed it; and
Ronnie Javelon, is actually Rolando Dural, a member of the NPA liquidation
(c) When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has squad, responsible for the killing of two (2) CAPCOM soldiers the day before,
escaped from a penal establishment or place where he is or on 31 January 1988, in Macanining Street, Bagong Barrio, Caloocan City. In
serving final judgment or temporarily confined while his case is view of this verification, Rolando Dural was transferred to the Regional Medical
pending, or has escaped while being transferred from one Services of the CAPCOM, for security reasons. While confined thereat, or on 4
confinement to another. February 1988, Rolando Dural was positively identified by eyewitnesses as the
In cases falling under paragraphs (a) and (b) hereof, the gunman who went on top of the hood of the CAPCOM mobile patrol car, and
person arrested without a warrant shall be forthwith delivered fired at the two (2) CAPCOM soldiers seated inside the car identified as T/Sgt.
to the nearest police station or jail, and he shall be proceeded Carlos Pabon and CIC Renato Manligot.
against in accordance with Rule 112, Section 7. As a consequence of this positive identification, Rolando Dural was referred to
An arrest without a warrant of arrest, under Section 5 paragraphs (a) and (b) of the Caloocan City Fiscal who conducted an inquest and thereafter filed with
Rule 113 of the Rules of Court, as amended, is justified when the person the Regional Trial Court of Caloocan City an information charging Rolando
arrested is caught in flagranti delicto, viz., in the act of committing an offense; Dural alias Ronnie Javelon with the crime of "Double Murder with Assault Upon
or when an offense has just been committed and the person making the arrest Agents of Persons in Authority." The case was docketed therein as Criminal
has personal knowledge of the facts indicating that the person arrested has Case No. C-30112 and no bail was recommended. On 15 February 1988, the
committed it. The rationale behind lawful arrests, without warrant, was stated information was amended to include, as defendant, Bernardo Itucal, Jr. who, at
the filing of the original information, was still unidentified.
by this Court in the case of People vs. Kagui Malasugui 1 thus:
Meanwhile, on 6 February 1988, a petition for habeas corpus was filed with
To hold that no criminal can, in any case, be arrested and
this Court on behalf of Roberto Umil, Rolando Dural, and Renato Villanueva.
searched for the evidence and tokens of his crime without a
The Court issued the writ of habeas corpus on 9 February 1988 and the
warrant, would be to leave society, to a large extent, at the
respondents filed a Return of the Writ on 12 February 1988. Thereafter, the
mercy of the shrewdest, the most expert, and the most
parties were heard on 15 February 1988.
depraved of criminals, facilitating their escape in many
instances. On 26 February 1988, however, Roberto Umil and Renato Villanueva posted
bail before the Regional Trial Court of Pasay City where charges for violation
of the Anti-Subversion Act had been filed against them, and they were the granting of bail if the offense is bailable. Obviously, the
accordingly released. The petition for habeas corpus, insofar as Umil and absence of a judicial warrant is no legal impediment to
Villanueva are concerned, is now moot and academic and is accordingly arresting or capturing persons committing overt acts of
dismissed, since the writ of habeas corpus does not lie in favor of an accused violence against government forces, or any other milder acts
in a criminal case who has been released on bail. 2 but equally in pursuance of the rebellious movement. The
arrest or capture is thus impelled by the exigencies of the
As to Rolando Dural, it clearly appears that he was not arrested while in the situation that involves the very survival of society and its
act of shooting the two (2) CAPCOM soldiers aforementioned. Nor was he government and duly constituted authorities. If killing and other
arrested just after the commission of the said offense for his arrest came a day acts of violence against the rebels find justification in the
after the said shooting incident. Seemingly, his arrest without warrant is exigencies of armed hostilities which is of the essence of
unjustified. waging a rebellion or insurrection, most assuredly so in case of
However, Rolando Dural was arrested for being a member of the New Peoples invasion, merely seizing their persons and detaining them
Army (NPA), an outlawed subversive organization. Subversion being a while any of these contingencies continues cannot be less
continuing offense, the arrest of Rolando Dural without warrant is justified as it justified. . . . 3
can be said that he was committing an offense when arrested. The crimes of
The record, moreover, shows that the criminal case filed against Rolando
rebellion, subversion, conspiracy or proposal to commit such crimes, and
Dural and Bernardo Itucal, Jr. for "Double Murder, etc." was tried in the court
crimes or offenses committed in furtherance thereof or in connection therewith
below and at the conclusion thereof, or on 17 August 1988, Rolando Dural and
constitute direct assaults against the State and are in the nature of continuing
Bernardo Itucal, Jr. were found guilty of the charge and sentenced accordingly.
crimes. As stated by the Court in an earlier case:
Rolando Dural is now serving the sentence imposed upon him by the trial
From the facts as above-narrated, the claim of the petitioners court. Thus, the writ of habeas corpus is no longer available to him. For, as
that they were initially arrested illegally is, therefore, without held in the early case of U.S. vs. Wilson: 4
basis in law and in fact. The crimes of insurrection or rebellion,
subversion, conspiracy or proposal to commit such crimes, In this case, whatever may be said about the manner of his
and other crimes and offenses committed in the furtherance, arrest, the fact remains that the defendant was actually in court
on the occasion thereof, or incident thereto, or in connection in the custody of the law on March 29, when a complaint
therewith under Presidential Proclamation No. 2045, are all in sufficient in form and substance was read to him. To this he
the nature of continuing offenses which set them apart from pleaded not guilty. The trial followed, in which, and in the
the common offenses, aside from their essentially involving a judgment of guilty pronounced by the court, we find no error.
massive conspiracy of nationwide magnitude. Clearly then, the Whether, if there were irregularities in bringing him personally
arrest of the herein detainees was well within the bounds of before the court, he could have been released on a writ of
the law and existing jurisprudence in our jurisdiction. habeas corpus or now has a civil action for damages against
the person who arrested him we need not inquire. It is enough
2. The arrest of persons involved in the rebellion whether as its to say that such irregularities are not sufficient to set aside a
fighting armed elements, or for committing non-violent acts but valid judgment rendered upon a sufficient complaint and after
in furtherance of the rebellion, is more an act of capturing them a trial free from error.
in the course of an armed conflict, to quell the rebellion, than
for the purpose of immediately prosecuting them in court for a II
statutory offense. The arrest, therefore, need not follow the In G.R. Nos. 84581-82 (Roque vs. De Villa), the arrest of Amelia Roque and
usual procedure in the prosecution of offenses which requires Wilfredo Buenaobra, without warrant, is also justified. When apprehended at
the determination by a judge of the existence of probable the house of Renato Constantino in Marikina Heights, Marikina, Metro Manila,
cause before the issuance of a judicial warrant of arrest and
Wilfredo Buenaobra admitted that he was an NPA courier and he had with him When confronted, Renato Constatino could not produce any permit or authority
letters to Renato Constantino and other members of the rebel group. Amelia to possess the firearms, ammunition, radio and other communications
Roque, upon the other hand, was a member of the National United Front equipment. Hence, he was brought to the CIS Headquarters for investigation.
Commission, in charge of finance, and admitted ownership of subversive When questioned, he refused to give a written statement, although he
documents found in the house of her sister in Caloocan City. She was also in admitted that he was a staff member of the executive committee of the NUFC
possession of ammunition and a fragmentation grenade for which she had no and a ranking member of the International Department of the Communist Party
permit or authority to possess. of the Philippines (CPP).
The record of these two (2) cases shows that on 27 June 1988, one Rogelio At about 8:00 o'clock in the evening of the same day (12 August 1988),
Ramos y Ibanes, a member of the NPA, who had surrendered to the military Wilfredo Buenaobra arrived at the house of Renato Constantino in the Villaluz
authorities, told military agents about the operations of the Communist Party of Compound. When accosted, he readily admitted to the military agents that he
the Philippines (CPP) and the New Peoples Army (NPA) in Metro Manila. He is a regular member of the CPP/NPA and that he went to the place to deliver
identified some of his former comrades as "Ka Mong", a staff member of the letters to "Ka Mong", referring to Renato Constatino, and other members of the
Communications and Transportation Bureau; "Ka Nelia", a staff member in rebel group. On further questioning, he also admitted that he is known as "Ka
charge of finance; "Ka Miller", an NPA courier from Sorsogon and Lopez, Miller" and that he was from Barangay San Pedro, Lopez, Quezon. Among the
Quezon; "Ka Ted", and "Ka Totoy". He also pointed to a certain house items taken from him were the following:
occupied by Renato Constantino located in the Villaluz Compound, Molave St.,
(1) Handwritten letter addressed to "Ka Bing & Co. from A &
Marikina Heights, Marikina, Metro Manila, which is used as a safehouse of the
Co." dated August 11, 1988;
National United Front Commission (NUFC) of the CPP-NPA.
(2) Handwritten letter addressed to "ROD from VIC (Schell
In view of these revelations, the Constantino house was placed under military
datre)" dated August 11, 1988;
surveillance and on 12 August 1988, pursuant to a search warrant issued by
Judge Eutropio Migrino of the Regional Trial Court of Pasig, a search of the (3) Handwritten letter addressed to "Suzie" from "Vic", dated
house was conducted at about 5:00 o'clock in the afternoon, by a combined August 11, 1988.
team of the Criminal Investigation Service, National Capital District (CIS-NCD) Also found Buenaobra's possession was a piece of paper containing a written
and the Constabulary Security Group (CSG). In the course of the search, the but jumbled telephone number of Florida M. Roque, sister of Amelia Roque
following articles were found and taken under proper receipt: alias "Ka Nelia", at 69 Geronimo St., Caloocan City. Acting on the lead
a) One (1) Colt M16A1 long rifle with defaced serial number; provided as to the whereabouts of Amelia Roque, the military agents went to
the given address the next day (13 August 1988). They arrived at the place at
b) One (1) Cal. .380 ACT/9mm Model PPK/8 SN: 260577 & 2605778;
about 11:00 o'clock in the morning. After identifying themselves as military
c) Two (2) fragmentation hand grenades; agents and after seeking permission to search the place, which was granted,
the military agents conducted a search in the presence of the occupants of the
d) Fifty-six (56) live ammunition for Cal. 5.56 mm;
house and the barangay captain of the place, one Jesus D. Olba.
e) Five (5) live ammunition for Cal. .380;
The military agents found the place to be another safehouse of the
f) One (1) ICOM VHF FM Radio Transciever SN: 14903 NUFC/CPP. They found ledgers, journals, vouchers, bank deposit books,
g) One (1) Regulated power supply 220V AC; folders, computer diskettes, and subversive documents as well as live
ammunition for a .38 SPL Winchester, 11 rounds of live ammunition for a cal. .
h) One (1) Antennae (adjustable); 45, 19 rounds of live ammunition for an M16 Rifle, and a fragmentation
i) One (1) Speaker with cord ALEXAR; grenade. As a result, Amelia Roque and the other occupants of the house were
brought to the PC-CIS Headquarters at Camp Crame, Quezon City, for
j) Voluminous Subversive documents. investigation. Amelia Roque admitted to the investigators that the voluminous
documents belonged to her and that the other occupants of the house had no at the house of Renato Constatino at Marikina Heights, Marikina, which was
knowledge of them. As a result, the said other occupants of the house were still under surveillance by military agents. The military agents noticed bulging
released from custody. objects on their waist lines. When frisked, the agents found them to be loaded
guns. Anonuevo and Casiple were asked to show their permit or license to
On 15 August 1988, Amelia Roque was brought to the Caloocan City Fiscal for
possess or carry firearms and ammunition, but they could not produce any.
inquest after which an information charging her with violation of PD 1866 was
Hence, they were brought to PC Headquarters for investigation. Found in their
filed with the Regional Trial Court of Caloocan City. The case is docketed
possession were the following articles:
therein as Criminal Case No. C-1196. Another information for violation of the
Anti-Subversion Act was filed against Amelia Roque before the Metropolitan a) Voluminous subversive documents
Trial Court of Caloocan City, which is docketed therein as Criminal Case No.
b) One (1) Cal. 7.65 MOD 83 2C Pistol SN: 001412 with one
C-150458.
(1) magazine for Cal. 7.65 containing ten (10) live ammunition
An information for violation of the Anti-Subversion Act was filed against of same caliber;
Wilfredo Buenaobra before the Metropolitan Trial Court of Marikina, Metro
c) One (1) Cal. 7.65 Pietro Barreta SN; A18868 last digit
Manila. The case is docketed therein as Criminal Case No. 23715. Bail was
tampered with one (1) magazine containing five (5) live
set at P4,000.00.
ammunition of same caliber.
On 24 August 1988, a petition for habeas corpus was filed before this Court on
At the PC Stockade, Domingo Anonuevo was identified as "Ka Ted", and
behalf of Amelia Roque and Wilfredo Buenaobra. At the hearing of the case,
Ramon Casiple as "Ka Totoy" of the CPP, by their comrades who had
however, Wilfredo Buenaobra manifested his desire to stay in the PC-INP
previously surrendered to the military.
Stockade at Camp Crame, Quezon City. According, the petition for habeas
corpus filed on his behalf is now moot and academic. Only the petition of On 15 August 1988, the record of the investigation and other documentary
Amelia Roque remains for resolution. evidence were forwarded to the Provincial Fiscal at Pasig, Metro Manila, who
conducted an inquest, after which Domingo Anonuevo and Ramon Casiple
The contention of respondents that petitioners Roque and Buenaobra are
were charged with violation of Presidential Decree No. 1866 before the
officers and/or members of the National United Front Commission (NUFC) of
Regional Trial Court of Pasig, Metro Manila. The cases are docketed therein
the CPP was not controverted or traversed by said petitioners. The contention
as Criminal Cases Nos. 74386 ad 74387, respectively. No bail was
must be deemed admitted. 5 As officers and/or members of the NUFC-CPP, recommended.
their arrest, without warrant, was justified for the same reasons earlier stated
vis-a-vis Rolando Dural. The arrest without warrant of Roque was additionally On 24 August 1988, a petition for habeas corpus was filed with this Court on
justified as she was, at the time of apprehension, in possession of behalf of Domingo Anonuevo and Ramon Casiple, alleging that the said
ammunitions without license to possess them. Anonuevo and Casiple were unlawfully arrested without a warrant and that the
informations filed against them are null and void for having been filed without
III prior hearing and preliminary investigation. On 30 August 1988, the Court
In G.R. Nos. 84583-84 (Anonuevo vs. Ramos), the arrest of Domingo issued the writ of habeas corpus, and after the respondents had filed a Return
Anonuevo and Ramon Casiple, without warrant, is also justified under the of the Writ, the parties were heard.
rules. Both are admittedly members of the standing committee of the NUFC The petitioners' (Anonuevo and Casiple) claim that they were unlawfully
and, when apprehended in the house of Renato Constatino, they had a bag arrested because there was no previous warrant of arrest, is without merit The
containing subversive materials, and both carried firearms and ammunition for record shows that Domingo Anonuevo and Ramon Casiple were carrying
which they had no license to possess or carry. unlicensed firearms and ammunition in their person when they were
The record of these two (2) cases shows that at about 7:30 o'clock in the apprehended.
evening of 13 August 1988, Domingo T. Anonuevo and Ramon Casiple arrived
There is also no merit in the contention that the informations filed against them reasonable ground to believe that the crime has been
are null and void for want of a preliminary investigation. The filing of an committed, and that the accused is probably guilty thereof.
information, without a preliminary investigation having been first conducted, is
Nor did petitioners ask for a preliminary investigation after the informations had
sanctioned by the Rules. Sec. 7, Rule 112 of the Rules of Court, as amended,
been filed against them in court. Petitioners cannot now claim that they have
reads:
been deprived of their constitutional right to due process.
Sec. 7. When accused lawfully arrested without a warrant.
IV
When a person is lawfully arrested without a warrant for an
offense cognizable by the Regional Trial Court the complaint or In G.R. No. 83162 (Ocaya vs. Aguirre), the arrest without warrant, of Vicky
information may be filed by the offended party, peace officer or Ocaya is justified under the Rules, since she had with her unlicensed
fiscal without a preliminary investigation having been first ammunition when she was arrested. The record of this case shows that on 12
conducted, on the basis of the affidavit of the offended party or May 1988, agents of the PC Intelligence and Investigation of the Rizal PC-INP
arresting officer or person. Command, armed with a search warrant issued by Judge Eutropio Migrino of
the Regional Trial Court of Pasig, Metro Manila, conducted a search of a
However, before the filing of such complaint or information, the
house located at Block 19, Phase II, Marikina Green Heights, Marikina, Metro
person arrested may ask for a preliminary investigation by a
Manila, believed to be occupied by Benito Tiamson, head of the CPP-NPA. In
proper officer in accordance with this Rule, but he must sign a
the course of the search, Vicky Ocaya arrived in a car driven by Danny Rivera.
waiver of the provisions of Article 125 of the Revised Penal
Subversive documents and several rounds of ammunition for a .45 cal. pistol
Code, as amended, with the assistance of a lawyer and in
were found in the car of Vicky Ocaya. As a result, Vicky Ocaya and Danny
case of non-availability of a lawyer, a responsible person of his
Rivera were brought to the PC Headquarters for investigation. When Vicky
choice. Notwithstanding such waiver, he may apply for bail as
Ocaya could not produce any permit or authorization to possess the
provided in the corresponding rule and the investigation must
ammunition, an information charging her with violation of PD 1866 was filed
be terminated within fifteen (15) days from its inception.
with the Regional Trial Court of Pasig, Metro Manila. The case is docketed
If the case has been filed in court without a preliminary therein as Criminal Case No. 73447. Danny Rivera, on the other hand, was
investigation having been first conducted, the accused may released from custody.
within five (5) days from the time he learns of the filing of the
On 17 May 1988, a petition for habeas corpus was filed, with this Court on
information, ask for a preliminary investigation with the same
behalf of Vicky Ocaya and Danny Rivera. It was alleged therein that Vicky
right to adduced evidence in his favor in the manner
Ocaya was illegally arrested and detained, and denied the right to a
prescribed in this Rule.
preliminary investigation.
The petitioners Domingo Anonuevo and Ramon Casiple, however, refused to
It would appear, however, that Vicky Ocaya was arrested in flagranti delicto so
sign a waiver of the provisions of Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code, as
that her arrest without a warrant is justified. No preliminary investigation was
amended. In the informations filed against them, the prosecutor made identical
conducted because she was arrested without a warrant and she refused to
certifications, as follows:
waive the provisions of Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code, pursuant to
This is to certify that the accused has been charged in Sec. 7, Rule 112 of the Rule of Court, as amended.
accordance with Sec. 7, Rule 112 of the 1985 Rules on
V
Criminal Procedure, that no preliminary investigation was
conducted because the accused has not made and signed a The petitioners Vicky Ocaya, Domingo Anonuevo, Ramon Casiple, and Amelia
waiver of the provisions of Art. 125 of the Revised Penal Code, Roque claim that the firearms, ammunition and subversive documents alleged
as amended; that based on the evidence presented, there is to have been found in their possession when they were arrested, did not
belong to them, but were "planted" by the military agents to justify their illegal admitted that he is a NPA courier and was there to deliver the
arrest. letters to Constantino.
The petitioners, however, have not introduced any evidence to support their Subsequently, less than twenty four hours after the arrest of
aforesaid claim. On the other hand, no evil motive or ill-will on the part of the Constantino and Buenaobra, petitioners Anonuevo and
arresting officers that would cause the said arresting officers in these cases to Casiple arrived at Constantino's place. Would it be
accuse the petitioners falsely, has been shown. Besides, the arresting officers unreasonable for the military agents to believe that petitioners
in these cases do not appear to be seekers of glory and bounty hunters for, as Anonuevo and Casiple are among those expected to visit
counsel for the petitioners Anonuevo and Casiple say, "there is absolutely Constantino's residence considering that Constatino's
nothing in the evidence submitted during the inquest that petitioners are on the information was true, in that Buenaobra did come to that
'AFP Order of Battle with a reward of P150,000.00 each on their heads.'" 6 On place? Was it unreasonable under the circumstances, on the
the other hand, as pointed out by the Solicitor General, the arrest of the part of the military agents, not to frisk and search anyone who
petitioners is not a product of a witch hunt or a fishing expedition, but the result should visit the residence of Constantino, such as petitioners
of an in-depth surveillance of NPA safehouses pointed to by no less than Anonuevo and Casiple? Must this Honorable Court yield to
former comrades of the petitioners in the rebel movement. Anonuevo and Casiple's flimsy and bare assertion that they
went to visit Constantino, who was to leave for Saudi Arabia on
The Solicitor General, in his Consolidated Memorandum, aptly observes: the day they were arrested thereat?
. . . . To reiterate, the focal point in the case of petitioners As to petitioner Roque, was it unreasonable for the military
Roque, Buenaobra, Anonuevo and Casiple, was the lawful authorities to effect her arrest without warrant considering that
search and seizure conducted by the military at the residence it was Buenaobra who provided the leads on her identity? It
of Renato Constantino at Villaluz Compound, Molave St., cannot be denied that Buenaobra had connection with Roque.
Marikina Heights, Marikina, Metro Manila. The raid at Because the former has the phone number of the latter. Why
Constantino's residence, was not a witch hunting or fishing the necessity of jumbling Roque's telephone number as written
expedition on the part of the military. It was a result of an in- on a piece of paper taken from Buenaobra's possession?
depth military surveillance coupled with the leads provided by Petitioners Roque and Buenaobra have not offered any
former members of the underground subversive organizations. plausible reason so far.
That raid produced positive results. to date, nobody has
disputed the fact that the residence of Constantino when In all the above incidents, respondents maintain that they
raided yielded communication equipment, firearms and acted reasonably, under the time, place and circumstances of
ammunitions, as well as subversive documents. the events in question, especially considering that at the time
of petitioner's arrest, incriminatory evidence, i.e, firearms,
The military agents working on the information provided by ammunitions and/or subversive documents were found in their
Constantino that other members of his group were coming to possession.
his place, reasonably conducted a "stake-out" operation
whereby some members of the raiding team were left behind Petitioners, when arrested, were neither taking their snacks
the place. True enough, barely two hours after the raid and nor innocently visiting a camp, but were arrested in such time,
Constantino's arrest, petitioner Buenaobra arrived at place and circumstances, from which one can reasonably
Constantino's residence. He acted suspiciously and when conclude tat they were up to a sinister plot, involving utmost
frisked and searched by the military authorities, found in his secrecy and comprehensive conspiracy.
person were letters. They are no ordinary letters, as even a IV
cursory reading would show. Not only that, Buenaobra
In. G.R. No. 85727 (Espiritu vs. Lim), the release on habeas corpus of the Nationwide). Further, we heard Deogracias Espiritu taking the
petitioner Deogracias Espiritu, who is detained by virtue of an Information for place of PISTON president Medardo Roda and also
Violation of Article 142 of the Revised Penal Code (Inciting to Sedition) filed announced the formation of the Alliance Drivers Association to
with the Regional Trial Court of Manila, is similarly not warranted. go on nationwide strike on November 23, 1988. 8

The record of the case shows that the said petitioner is the General Secretary Policemen waited for petitioner outside the National Pres Club in order to
of the Pinagkaisahang Samahan ng Tsuper at Operators Nationwide investigate him, but he gave the lawmen the slip. 9 He was next seen at about
(PISTON), an association of drivers and operators of public service vehicles in 5:00 o'clock that afternoon at a gathering of drivers and symphatizers at the
the Philippines, organized for their mutual aid and protection. corner of Magsaysay Blvd. and Valencia Street, Sta. Mesa, Manila where he
Petitioner claims that at about 5:00 o'clock in the morning of 23 November was heard to say:
1988, while he was sleeping in his home located at 363 Valencia St., Sta. Bukas tuloy ang welga natin, sumagot na ang Cebu at Bicol na
Mesa, Manila, he was awakened by his sister Maria Paz Lalic who told him kasali sila, at hindi tayo titigil hanggang hindi binibigay ng
that a group of persons wanted to hire his jeepney. When he went down to talk gobyerno ni Cory ang gusto nating pagbaba ng halaga ng
to them, he was immediately put under arrest. When he asked for the warrant spare parts, bilihin at and pagpapalaya sa ating pinuno na si
of arrest, the men, headed by Col. Ricardo Reyes, bodily lifted him and placed
Ka Roda hanggang sa magkagulo na. 10 (emphasis supplied)
him in their owner-type jeepney. He demanded that his sister, Maria Paz Lalic,
be allowed to accompany him, but the men did not accede to his request and The police finally caught up with the petitioner on 23 November 1988. He was
hurriedly sped away. invited for questioning and brought to police headquarters after which an
Information for violation of Art. 142 of the Revised Penal Code was filed
He was brought to Police Station No. 8 of the Western Police District at
against him before the Regional Trial Court of Manila. 11
Blumentritt, Manila where he was interrogated and detained. Then, at about
9:00 o'clock of the same morning, he was brought before the respondent Lim Since the arrest of the petitioner without a warrant was in accordance with the
and, there and then, the said respondent ordered his arrest and detention. He provisions of Rule 113, Sec. 5(b) of the Rules of Court and that the petitioner is
was thereafter brought to the General Assignment Section, Investigation detained by virtue of a valid information filed with the competent court, he may
Division of the Western Police District under Police Capt. Cresenciano A. not be released on habeas corpus. He may, however be released upon posting
Cabasal where he was detained, restrained and deprived of his liberty. 7
bail as recommended. However, we find the amount of the recommended bail
(P60,000.00) excessive and we reduce it to P10,000.00 only.
The respondents claim however, that the detention of the petitioner is justified
in view of the Information filed against him before the Regional Trial Court of VII
Manila, docketed therein as Criminal Case No. 88-683-85, charging him with
In G.R. No. 86332 (Nazareno vs. Station Commander), we also find no merit in
violation of Art. 142 of the Revised Penal Code (Inciting to Sedition).
the submission of Narciso Nazareno that he was illegally arrested and is
The respondents also claim that the petitioner was lawfully arrested without a unlawfully detained. The record of this case shows that at about 8:30 o'clock in
judicial warrant of arrest since petitioner when arrested had in fact just the morning of 14 December 1988, one Romulo Bunye II was killed by a group
committed an offense in that in the afternoon of 22 November 1988, during a of men near the corner of T. Molina and Mendiola Streets in Alabang,
press conference at the National Press Club. Muntinglupa, Metro Manila. One of the suspects in the killing was Ramil Regal
who was arrested by the police on 28 December 1988. Upon questioning,
Deogracias Espiritu through tri-media was heard urging all
Regal pointed to Narciso Nazareno as on of his companions in the killing of the
drivers and operators to go on nationwide strike on November
said Romulo Bunye II. In view thereof, the police officers, without warrant,
23, 1988, to force the government to give into their demands to
picked up Narciso Nazareno and brought him to the police headquarters for
lower the prices of spare parts, commodities, water and the
questioning. Obviously, the evidence of petitioner's guilt is strong because on 3
immediate release from detention of the president of the
January 1989, an information charging Narciso Nazareno, Ramil Regala, and
PISTON (Pinag-isang Samahan ng Tsuper Operators
two (2) others, with the killing of Romulo Bunye II was filed with the Regional It is to be noted that, in all the petitions here considered, criminal charges have
Trial Court of Makati, Metro Manila. The case is docketed therein as Criminal been filed in the proper courts against the petitioners. The rule is, that if a
Case No. 731. person alleged to be restrained of his liberty is in the custody of an officer
under process issued by a court judge, and that the court or judge had
On 7 January 1989, Narciso Nazareno filed a motion to post bail, but the
jurisdiction to issue the process or make the order, of if such person is charged
motion was denied by the trial court in an order dated 10 January 1989, even
before any court, the writ of habeas corpus will not be allowed. Section 4, Rule
as the motion to post bail, earlier filed by his co-accused, Manuel Laureaga,
102, Rules of Court, as amended is quite explicit in providing that:
was granted by the same trial court.
Sec. 4. When writ is allowed or discharge authorized. If it
On 13 January 1989, a petition for habeas corpus was filed with this Court on
appears that the person alleged to be restrained of his liberty
behalf of Narciso Nazareno and on 13 January 1989, the Court issued the writ
is in the custody of an officer under process issued by a court
of habeas corpus, returnable to the Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court
or judge or by virtue of a judgment or order of a court of
of Bian, Laguna, Branch 24, ordering said court to hear the case on 30
record, and that the court or judge had jurisdiction to issue the
January 1989 and thereafter resolve the petition.
process, render the judgment, or make the order, the writ shall
At the conclusion of the hearing, or on 1 February 1989, the Presiding Judge not be allowed; or if the jurisdiction appears after the writ is
of the Regional Trial Court of Bian, Laguna issued a resolution denying the allowed, the person shall not be discharged by reason of any
petition for habeas corpus, it appearing that the said Narciso Nazareno is in informality or defect in the process, judgment, or order. Nor
the custody of the respondents by reason of an information filed against him shall anything in this rule be held to authorize the discharge of
with the Regional Trial Court of Makati, Metro Manila which had taken a person charged with a convicted of an offense in the
cognizance of said case and had, in fact, denied the motion for bail filed by Philippines or of a person suffering imprisonment under lawful
said Narciso Nazareno (presumably because of the strength of the evidence judgment. (emphasis supplied)
against him).
At this point, we refer to petitioner's plea for the Court of re-examine and,
The findings of the Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Bian, thereafter, abandon its pronouncement in Ilagan vs. Enrile, 13 that a writ of
Laguna are based upon the facts and the law. Consequently, we will not habeas corpus is no longer available after an information is filed against the
disturb the same. Evidently, the arrest of Nazareno was effected by the police person detained and a warrant of arrest or an order of commitment, is issued
without warrant pursuant to Sec. 5(b), Rule 113, Rules of Court after he was
by the court where said information has been filed. 14 The petitioners claim
positively implicated by his co-accused Ramil Regala in the killing of Romulo
that the said ruling, which was handed down during the past dictatorial regime
Bunye
to enforce and strengthen said regime, has no place under the present
II; and after investigation by the police authorities. As held in People vs.
democratic dispensation and collides with the basic, fundamental, and
Ancheta: 12 constitutional rights of the people. Petitioners point out that the said doctrine
The obligation of an agent of authority to make an arrest by makes possible the arrest and detention of innocent persons despite lack of
reason of a crime, does not presuppose as a necessary evidence against them, and, most often, it is only after a petition for habeas
requisite for the fulfillment thereof, the indubitable existence of corpus is filed before the court that the military authorities file the criminal
a crime. For the detention to be perfectly legal, it is sufficient information in the courts of law to be able to hide behind the protective mantle
that the agent or person in authority making the arrest has of the said doctrine. This, petitioners assert, stands as an obstacle to the
reasonably sufficient grounds to believe the existence of an act freedom and liberty of the people and permits lawless and arbitrary State
having the characteristics of a crime and that the same action.
grounds exist to believe that the person sought to be detained We find, however, no compelling reason to abandon the said doctrine. It is
participated therein. based upon express provision of the Rules of Court and the exigencies served
VIII by the law. The fears expressed by the petitioners are not really unremediable.
As the Court sees it, re-examination or reappraisal, with a view to its
abandonment, of the Ilagan case doctrine is not the answer. The answer and
the better practice would be, not to limit the function of the habeas corpus to a
mere inquiry as to whether or not the court which issued the process, judgment
or order of commitment or before whom the detained person is charged, had
jurisdiction or not to issue the process, judgment or order or to take
cognizance of the case, but rather, as the Court itself states in Morales, Jr. vs.
Enrile, 15 "in all petitions for habeas corpus the court must inquire into every
phase and aspect of petitioner's detention-from the moment petition was taken
into custody up to the moment the court passes upon the merits of the
petition;" and "only after such a scrutiny can the court satisfy itself that the due
process clause of our Constitution has in fact been satisfied." This is exactly
what the Court has done in the petitions at bar. This is what should henceforth
be done in all future cases of habeas corpus. In Short, all cases involving
deprivation of individual liberty should be promptly brought to the courts for
their immediate scrutiny and disposition.
WHEREFORE, the petitions are hereby DISMISSED, except that in G.R. No.
85727 (Espiritu vs. Lim), the bail bond for petitioner's provisional liberty is
hereby ordered reduced from P60,000.00 to P10,000.00. No costs.
SO ORDERED.
Fernan C.J., Narvasa, C.J., Melencio-Herrera, Gutierrez, Jr., Paras,
Gancayco, Padilla, Bidin, Grio-Aquino, Medialdea and Regalado, JJ., concur.

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila
FIRST DIVISION and evidence to support their divergent versions of the events leading to the
arrest of the appellants.
A careful review of the records and the testimony of the prosecution witnesses,
G.R. No. 93828 December 11, 1992
Sgt. Eladio Romeroso and CIC Edgardo Vallarta of the Philippine
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, Constabulary, indicates that on the day in question, a contingent composed of
vs. Romeroso and Vallarta, together with a Sgt. Daniel Maligaya, also of the
SANTIAGO EVARISTO and NOLI CARILLO, accused-appellants. Philippine Constabulary, and two (2) members of the Integrated National
Police, were on routine patrol duty in Barangay III, Mendez, Cavite. At or about
5:50 in the afternoon, successive bursts of gunfire were heard in the vicinity.
PADILLA, J.: Proceeding to the approximate source of the same, they came upon one
This is an appeal from the decision of the Regional Trial Court of Trece Barequiel Rosillo who was firing a gun into the air.
Martires, Cavite, * in Criminal Case No. NC-267, entitled "People of the Seeing the patrol, Rosillo ran to the nearby house of appellant Evaristo
Philippines v. Santiago Evaristo and Noli Carillo," finding the accused guilty of prompting the lawmen to pursue him. Upon approaching the immediate
illegal possession of firearms in violation of Presidential Decree No. 1866 and perimeter of the house, specifically a cement pavement or porch leading to the
accordingly sentencing them to the penalty of life imprisonment. same, the patrol chanced upon the slightly inebriated appellants, Evaristo and
The information indicting the accused-appellants (hereinafter referred to as the Carillo. Inquiring as to the whereabouts of Rosillo, the police patrol members
appellants) reads: were told that he had already escaped through a window of the house. Sgt.
Vallarta immediately observed a noticeable bulge around the waist of Carillo
The undersigned Assistant Provincial Fiscal accuses who, upon being frisked, admitted the same to be a .38 revolver. After
SANTIAGO EVARISTO AND NOLI CARILLO of the crime of ascertaining that Carillo was neither a member of the military nor had a valid
VIOLATION of P.D. 1866, committed as follows: license to possess the said firearm, the gun was confiscated and Carillo invited
That on or about the 23rd. day of August 1988, in the for questioning.
Municipality of Mendez, Province of Cavite, Philippines and As the patrol was still in pursuit of Rosillo, Sgt. Romeroso sought Evaristo's
within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above- permission to scour through the house, which was granted. In the sala, he
named accused being private persons not authorized by law found, not Rosillo, but a number of firearms and paraphernalia supposedly
did then and there, willfully, unlawfully and feloniously used in the repair and manufacture of firearms, all of which, thereafter, became
manufacture, repair and kept (sic) in their possession, custody the basis for the present indictment against Evaristo.
and control one (1) caliber 38 revolver (paltik) with two live
ammunition and one (1) empty shell of said caliber, two (2) 12 For their part, the appellants dispute the above narration of the events in
gauge home made shot guns, one (1) caliber 22 revolver question, alleging that they were forcibly taken into custody by the police
(sumpak) and two (2) vise grips and one (1) plier use (sic) in officers and even subjected to physical and mental indignities. They denied
the manufacture and repair of said firearms without any permit ownership or knowledge of any of the firearms presented in evidence,
or license from competent (sic) authority. contending that these were purposely planted in their possession by the
prosecution witnesses and other police authorities.
CONTRATRY (sic) TO LAW.
After evaluation of all the evidence, the trial court rendered the now-assailed
Cavite City, August 30, 1988. 1 decision dated 18 April 1990, the dispositive portion of which reads:
Appellants having entered a plead of not guilty, trial thereupon commenced, Wherefore, for having possessed firearms in violation of P.D.
with the prosecution and the defense presenting their respective witnesses No. 1866, accused Santiago Evaristo and Noli Carillo are
hereby sentenced to serve the penalty provided for under Sec.
1 thereof. The full period of their preventive imprisonment shall jurisdiction from the pronouncements of the United States Supreme Court in
be deducted from the aforementioned penalty. Harris vs. U.S. 4 and Coolidge vs. New Hampshire. 5 Thus, it is recognized that
With costs de oficio. objects inadvertently falling in the plain view of an officer who has the right to
be in the position to have that view, are subject to seizure and may be
SO ORDERED. 2 introduced in evidence. 6
Hence, this petition, assigning the following as errors of the trial court: The records in this case show that Sgt. Romerosa was granted permission by
1. The lower court gravely erred in admitting Exhibits "B" to "F" the appellant Evaristo to enter his house. The officer's purpose was to
in evidence considering that those are illegally seized apprehend Rosillo whom he saw had sought refuge therein. Therefore, it is
evidence; clear that the search for firearms was not Romerosa's purpose in entering the
house, thereby rendering his discovery of the subject firearms as inadvertent
2. The lower court gravely erred in finding that said illegally and even accidental.
seized evidence are firearms as contemplated in Presidential
Decree No. 1866; and With respect to the firearms seized from the appellant Carillo, the Court
sustains the validly of the firearm's seizure and admissibility in evidence,
3. The lower court gravely erred in giving credence to the based on the rule on authorized warrantless arrests. Section 5, Rule 113 of the
arresting officer's testimonies which are patently contradictory 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure provides:
and half truths (sic) testimonies. 3
Sec. 5. Arrest without warrant; when lawful. A peace officer
First, on the issue of illegal search. The pertinent rule on the matter is Article III or a private person may, without a warrant, arrest a person:
of the Constitution, the relevant portion of which provides:
(a) When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has
Sec. 2. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit
houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches an offense;
and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be
inviolable, and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall (b) When an offense has in fact just been committed, and he
issue except upon probable cause to be determined under has personal knowledge of facts indicating that the person to
oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he be arrested has committed it; and
may produce, and particularly describing the place to be (c) When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has
searched and the persons or things to be seized. escaped from a penal establishment or place where he is
Sec. 3. (1) . . . . serving final judgment or temporarily confined while his case is
pending, or has escaped while being transferred from one
(2) Any evidence obtained in violation of this or the preceding confinement to another.
section shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any
proceeding. For purposes of the present case, the second circumstance by which a
warrantless arrest may be undertaken is applicable. For, as disclosed by the
It is to be noted that what the above constitutional provisions prohibit are records, the peace officers, while on patrol, heard bursts of gunfire and this
unreasonable searches and seizures. For a search to be reasonable under the proceeded to investigate the matter. This incident may well be within the
law, there must, as a rule, be a search warrant validly issued by an appropriate "offense" envisioned by par. 5 (b) of Rule 113, Rules of Court. As the Court
judicial officer. Yet, the rule that searches and seizures must be supported by a held in People of the Philippines v. Sucro, 7 "an offense is committed in the
valid search warrant is not an absolute and inflexible rule, for jurisprudence presence or within the view of an officer, within the meaning of the rule
has recognized several exceptions to the search warrant requirement. Among authorizing an arrest without a warrant, when the officer sees the offense,
these exceptions is the seizure of evidence in plain view, adopted by this
although at a distance, or HEARS THE DISTURBANCES CREATED accusations against the appellants. Absent the presentation of such defense
THEREBY AND PROCEEDS AT ONCE TO THE SCENE THEREOF." 8 evidence, the testimony of the peace officers should deserve full credence.

The next inquiry is addressed to the existence of personal knowledge on the WHEREFORE, the judgment of the trial court of Trece Martires, Cavite in
part of the peace officer of facts pointing to the person to be arrested as the Criminal Case No. NC-267 finding the accused Santiago Evaristo and Noel
perpetrator of the offense. Again, reference to the records resolves said query. Carillo guilty beyond reasonable doubt for Illegal Possession of Firearms as
Giving chase to Rosillo, the peace officers came upon the two (2) appellants defined in Presidential Decree No. 1866, is hereby AFFIRMED.
who were then asked concerning Rosillo's whereabouts. At that point, Sgt. The Court orders the forfeiture of the firearms and other incidental
Vallarta discerned the bulge on the waist of Carillo. This visual observation paraphernalia found in the possession of the appellants, in favor of the
along with the earlier report of gunfire, as well as the peace officer's Philippine National Police (PNP) to be disposed of in accordance with law.
professional instincts, are more than sufficient to pass the test of the Rules.
Consequently, under the facts, the firearm taken from Carillo can be said to No pronouncement as to costs.
have been seized incidental to a lawful and valid arrest. SO ORDERED.
The next area to be addressed is the allegation of the appellants that the Grio-Aquino and Bellosillo, JJ., concur.
statute's coverage does not extend to firearms that are not functional or
serviceable. The Court does not agree.
Section 1 of P.D. No. 1866 penalizes "any person who shall unlawfully
manufacture, deal in, acquire, dispose, or possess any firearms, PART OF
FIREARM, ammunition or machinery, tool or instrument used or intended to be
used in the manufacture of any firearm or ammunition." 9 It is clear that the law
makes no distinction as to serviceable or functional firearms. Indeed, the
possession of even a part of a firearm is sufficient to come within the
prohibitive ambit of the statute. Ubi lex non distinguit nec nos distinguere
debemus.
Lastly, the appellants challenge the veracity of the testimonies of the
prosecution witnesses, maintaining that these were inconsistent with each
other, thereby giving rise to the conclusion that the entire incident was a
contrivance on their part. Specifically, they point to the apparent conflict in the
statement of the prosecution witnesses that there were only three (3)
individuals in the vicinity (aside from the peace officers) as opposed to the
testimony of another peace officer, testifying as a hostile witness, that aside
from the appellants, and Rosillo, there were also other people in the vicinity,
such as Evaristo's mother, brother and other farmers.
The Court sees no such conflict. A recourse to the trial court proceedings
easily shows that the two (2) prosecution witnesses, Sgt. Romerosa and CIC
Vallarta, testified in a straightforward and candid manner, categorically
identifying the appellants as the two (2) individuals they had apprehended and
clearly narrating the circumstances of such apprehension. The defense has
given no possible reason or motivation for these peace officers to make false
Republic of the Philippines (4) In having denied his petition to dismiss for lack evidence, filed
SUPREME COURT immediately after the fiscal had finished presenting his evidence; and
Manila
(5) In having found him guilty of robbery with homicide, instead of
acquitting him.
EN BANC
When Tan Why was found on the morning in question, he was still alive and
G.R. No. L-44335 July 30, 1936
able to answer laconically "Kagui", when Moro Alamada, was among the first
THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, plaintiff-appellee, to approach him, asked who had attacked him. The appellant was known by
vs. this name in Cotabato, whereupon Lieutenant A. Jacaria of the Constabulary
KAGUI MALASUGUI, defendant-appellant. ordered his immediate arrest. The accused was arrested shortly after eight
o'clock in the morning of the same day, and after he had been brought to
Manuel Jose for appellant.
Lieutenant Jacaria, who had already been informed, that he had just redeemed
Office of the Solicitor-General Hilado for appellee.
two pairs of bracelets from some pawnshops of Cotabato and that he carried
DIAZ, J.: money, said lieutenant asked him for the bracelets and he then voluntarily and
without protest produced what now appear in the record as Exhibit A. He was
At about 5:30 o'clock in the morning of March 5, 1935, Tan Why, a Chinese
later searched, without opposition or protest on his part, and it was discovered
merchant, a resident of Cotabato, was found lying on the ground, with several
that he also had the pocketbook (Exhibit B), containing P92 in bills (Exhibit C),
wounds in the head, on a path leading to the barrio of Carcar, Cotabato, and
Tan Why's identification card and a memorandum of amounts with some
situated within the property of another Chinese named Yu Enching Sero. Tan
Chinese characters (Exhibit D). In one of the pockets of his pants was found
Why received a wound on the upper part of his forehead, which necessarily
some change, making the total amount of money found in his possession
proved fatal because it fractured his skull. He died as a result of this wound
P92.68.
shortly afterward in the Cotabato Hospital where he had been brought by an
agent of authority with the aid of some laborers who had gone to the scene of Tan Why, the deceased, carried the pocketbook, Exhibit B, as he did on former
the crime. occasions, a few hours before his body was found in the condition and under
the circumstances above stated. Before he left his home between 4.30 and 5
The death of Tan Why was imputed to the herein accused who was charged
o'clock that morning, he had it full of bills because he was, as usual, on his
with the crime of robbery with homicide. He was convicted of said crime and
way to purchase palay in Carcar as part of his work. The memorandum of
sentenced to reclusion perpetua, to return the sum of P150 to the Mindanao
amounts, Exhibit D, found in the pocketbook, Exhibit B, is in Tan Why's
Rice Industrial Company, and to indemnify the heirs of the deceased Tan Why
handwriting; and in the afternoon before his death he was given by Kaw Tin of
in the sum of P1,000, with costs. The accused appealed therefrom and
the Mindanao Rice Industrial Company the sum of P150 to be invested in the
assigns five errors as committed by the lower court, which may be briefly
purchase of palay, in addition to the P80 that remained of the amount
summarized as follows:
previously delivered to him.
(1) In not having granted him a period of twenty-four hours to prepare
The appellant had to be searched after he had voluntarily produced the
his defense;
bracelets Exhibit A and placed them on Lieutenant Jacaria's table, because,
(2) In having denied his petition for the return of the articles taken from upon being asked if he had any thing, he tremblingly answered in the negative.
him during the search of his person, without the corresponding judicial
The foregoing facts are inferred from the testimony of the government
warrant;
witnesses Alamada, Chua Sian, Kaw Tin, Yap Sea, Lieutenant Jacaria, and
(3) In having admitted Exhibits A, B, C, D, E, F, L and L-1, as evidence Police Sergeant Urangut.
in the case;
Alamada testified that the deceased, shortly before he died, Kagui as his
aggressor, and the appellant was known by this name in Cotabato. He also
testified that on the morning in question, he saw the appellant, with a club in to the rigor of an unreasonable search to dispossess him of his effects without
his hand, pass by the house where he and the deceased lived. The club, judicial warrant, and that the court should have ordered their return to him
Exhibit M, then with bloodstains, was found near the place where Tan Why when he so formally requested before the trial, is unfounded. When one
was wounded. voluntarily submits to a search or consents to have it made of his person or
premises, he is precluded from later complaining thereof. (Cooley,
Chua Sian, an employee of the deceased, identified the pocketbook Exhibit B
Constitutional Limitations, 8th ed., vol. I page 631.) The right to be secure from
saying that it was the same that the deceased used to carry whenever he went
unreasonable search may, like every right, be waived and such waiver may be
to make purchases; that it was usually kept in a box at Tan Why's store; that
made either expressly or impliedly. On the other hand, the appellant was then
the deceased in truth carried it when he left his store on the morning of March
charged with the crime, imputed to him by Tan Why before the latter's death, of
5, 1935, to purchase palay, and that it was then full of bills.
having assaulted the "deceased; that he was then also known to be carrying
Kaw Tin, cashier of the Mindanao Rice Industrial Company, in turn, testified much money; and that a few moments before he was brought to Lieutenant
that on the night before the crime, he gave the deceased, at the latter's request Jacaria, and shortly after the assault on Tan Why, he was able to redeem two
the sum of P150 to purchase palay, inasmuch as he was a buyer of said pairs of bracelets from two persons to whom he had pledge them several
commodity for the company in Cotabato. months before. These are circumstances which undoubtedly warranted his
About four meters from the place where Tan Why's body was found, there was arrest without a previous judicial warrant, only upon a verbal order from said
a coconut tree with two dangling leaves, as if they were so arranged officer to Sergeant Urangut, or of the latter's own will, inasmuch as he had
intentionally to hide anybody who might post himself near the trunk. At the very direct knowledge of the aggression committed on the person of Tan Why, his
place where the tips of the leaves touched the ground, there were footprints violent death, the revelation made by Tan Why before his death naming the
presumably of somebody who had posted who had posted himself there in appellant as the author of the of the aggression, and the other circumstances
ambush, without being seen: the fresh footprints exactly the same size as the already stated. This is so because under the law, members of Insular Police or
appellant's foot; and the said bloodstained club was found very near the place. Constabulary as well as those of the municipal police and of chartered cities
Such was the testimony of Lieutenant Jacaria and Sergeant Eusebio de los like Manila and Baguio, and even of townships (secs. 848, 2463, 2564, 2165
Santos who inspected the scene of the crime, particularly the latter who did so and 2383 of the Revised Administrative Code) may make arrests without
early in the morning and took said measurements with the aid of Exhibit E judicial warrant, not only when a crime is committed or about to be committed
which is a part of a reed-grass leaf. in their presence but also when there is reason to believe or sufficient ground
to suspect that one has been committed and that it was committed by the
The appellant testified at the trial that Lieutenant Jacaria and Sergeant person arrested by them. (U. S. vs. Fortaleza, 12 Phil., 472; U. S. vs.
Urangut had forcibly and through intimidation taken from him the bracelets Samonte, 16 Phil., 516; U. S. vs. Batallones, 23 Phil., 46; U. S. vs. Santos, 36
(Exhibit A), the pocketbook (Exhibit B) and all the money which he carried Phil., 853.) An arrest made under said circumstances is not unlawful but
(Exhibit C); and that, but for the printing thereon, the identification card found perfectly justified; and the agent of authority who makes the arrest does not
in the pocketbook then was blank and there was no memorandum of the kind violate the provisions of article 269 of the Revised Penal Code which defines
of Exhibit D, in Tan Why's handwriting, inside the pocketbook, thereby, and punishes unlawful arrest, nor infringe the constitutional precept relative to
insinuating that it was Lieutenant Jacaria who typed or caused to be the inviolability of one's right to be secure in his person, house, papers, and
typewritten on the card Tan Why's name and personal data and who placed effects against unreasonable search and seizures; as either provision of law
Exhibit D in the pocketbook. There is nothing of record to corroborate the permits, like the above cited sections of the Revised Administrative Code, the
appellant's imputation to said two officers; and it is unbelievable that they so making of arrests without judicial warrant, when there exist reasonable motives
acted because they were induced by no other motive than to comply with their therefor so that the person arrested may be brought to the corresponding
duties as agents of authority. The appellant permitted them to search his authority. In fact such was the appellant's state and circumstances when he
person and to take from him the articles in question to be used as evidence was searched and his alleged effects (Exhibits A, B, C and D with Tan Why's
against him in due time; at least, he neither made any objection nor even identification card) were taken from him and, such being the case, it was
muttered a bit of protest. Consequently, his contention that he was subjected proper, perfectly lawful, prudent and even necessary, in order to avoid any
possible "surprise or aggression from the appellant, in the search to be made Anent an identical question, the Supreme Court of Virginia, in United States
and the effects in question seized by the persons concerned, to be presented, vs. Snyder, supra, said:
as they were in truth presented to the competent authority. Section 105 of
To hold that no criminal can, in any case, be arrested and searched for
General Orders, No. 58 reads:
the evidence and tokens of his crime without a warrant, would be to
A person charged with a crime may be marched for dangerous leave society, to a large extent, at the mercy of the shrewdest, the
weapons or anything which may be used as proof of the commission most expert, and the most depraved of criminals, facilitating their
of the crime. escape in many instances.
Article III, section 1, paragraph (3), of our Constitution is identical in all The appellant contends that the lower court did not grant him even twenty-four
respects to the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States; hours to prepare his defense, thereby denying him the right afforded to every
and said constitutional precept has been interpreted as not prohibiting arrests, accused by section 30 of General Orders, No. 58. We have carefully examined
searches and seizures without judicial warrant, but only those that are the record and found nothing to convince us that said court had in truth refused
unreasonable. to grant him time for said purpose. To be entitled to said time as a matter of
right, the interested party must expressly ask for it, inasmuch as the law so
In United States vs. Snyder (278 Fed., 650), it was said:
prescribes. The truth, however, is that the appellant not only did not ask for it
The Fourth Amendment, providing that "the right of the people to be but, after his petition for the return of his effects to him had been denied, he
secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against forthwith asked, through his counsel, to be arraigned and to proceed with the
unreasonable search and seizures shall not be violated, and no trial.
warrant shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or
The appellant likewise contends that there was error in the admission of the
affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched and
evidence Exhibits A, B, C, and D, alleging that they had been taken from him
the persons or things to be seized," contains no prohibition of arrest,
through force and intimidation. The record shows that before proceeding with
search, or seizure without a warrant, but only against "unreasonable"
the trial in the lower court, the appellant asked for the return of said effects
searches and seizures.
(Exhibits A, B, C, and D) to him on the ground that they were unlawfully taken
When the search of the person detained or arrested and the seizure of the away from him. Leaving aside the foregoing considerations, his testimony
effects found in his possession are incidental to an arrest made in conformity cannot prevail against nor is it sufficient to counteract that of the government
with the law, they cannot be considered unreasonable, much less unlawful. witnesses, Lieutenant Jacaria and Sergeant Urangut, who testified that when
(Weeks vs. United States, 232 U. S., 652, citing favorably 1 Bishop, Crim. Lieutenant Jacaria asked him what other things he carried, after having
Proc., sec. 211; Wharton, Crim. Pl. & Pr., 8th ed., sec. 60; Dillon vs. O'Brien, voluntarily placed the two pairs of bracelets, Exhibit A, on the table, and
16 Cox, C. C., 245, Ir. L. R. 20 C. L., 300; Moreno vs. Ago Chi, 12 Phil., 439; Sergeant Urangut felt his body, he did not show the least opposition. It follows,
United States vs. Welsh, 247 Fed., 239; United States vs. Kraus, 270 Fed., therefore, that the lower court committed no error in accepting as evidence
578, 582, par. 7; Garske vs. United States, 1 Fed. [2d], 620; King vs. United Exhibits A, B, C and D, not only because the appellant did not object to the
States, 1 Fed. [2d], 931.) In this last case it was said: taking thereof from him when searched, but also because the effects found in
In these circumstances of search and seizure of defendant engaged in his possession of a person detained or arrested are perfectly admissible as
the commission of a felony, and of which the officers had reliable evidence against him, if they constitute the corpus delicti or are pertinent or
information and cause to believe, there is nothing unreasonable within relevant thereto. (Adams vs. New York, 192 U.S., 585; 24 Sup. Ct., 372; 48
the import of that term in the Fourth Amendment. After the Law. ed., 575; Weeks vs. United States, supra; People vs. Mayen, 205 Pac.,
amendment, as before it, the law necessarily sanctions arrest, search, 435.) It is certainly repugnant to maintain the opposite view because it would
and seizure of persons engaged in commission of a crime, or amount to authorizing the return to the accused of the means of conviction
reasonably believed to have committed a felony, without any paper seized from him, notwithstanding their being eloquent proofs of crime, for him
warrant. This case is so plain that it suffices to say so. to conceal, destroy or otherwise dispose of, in order to assure his impunity.
The appellant attempted to prove that the money found in his possession had
been given to him, on different occasions, by the witnesses who testified in his
favor, as Kagui Guialal, Kagui Patak, Kakim, Akun or Amay Indo. Kagui
Guialal, in truth, testified that he had given the accused P90, two days before
the latter's arrest; Kagui Patak, P45, on two occasions, one month, and two
weeks, respectively, also prior to his arrest; and Kakim and Akun or Amay
Indo, P22.50 and P20, seven and five days, respectively, before the day of the
crime. These four witnesses are all relatives of the appellant; and if it were true
that the latter had enough money several days prior to the aggression and
death of Tan Why, the natural thing to assume is that he would have not
redeemed the two bracelets Exhibit A, precisely on the very morning in
question. Furthermore, their testimony did not destroy the unexplained finding
in the appellant's possession, of the deceased Tan Why's pocketbook,
containing much money, and the latter's personal papers. In the absence of an
explanation of how one has come into the possession of stolen effects
belonging to a person wounded and treacherously killed, he must necessarily
be considered the author of the aggression and death of said person and of
the robbery committed on him (U.S. vs. Merin, 2 Phil., 88; U.S. vs. Divino, 18
Phil., 425).
The facts which we consider as having been fully established in view of the
foregoing considerations, constitute the crime of robbery with homicide defined
and punished with reclusion perpetua to death in article 249, subsection 1, of
the Revised Penal Code. Inasmuch as no aggravating circumstance had been
proven and the penalty imposed by the lower court is in accordance with law,
taking into consideration the rules prescribed in article 63 of said Code, the
appealed judgment is hereby affirmed, except that part thereof containing a
pronouncement in favor of the Mindanao Rice Industrial Company, a strange
party to the case, which should be entirely eliminated; and it is ordered that
Exhibits B (pocketbook), C (money), D (memorandum of amounts) and Tan
Why's identification card be delivered to the latter's heirs, with costs against
the appellant. So ordered.
Avancea, C. J., Villa-Real, Abad Santos, Imperial, Recto, and Laurel, JJ.,
concur.
Republic of the Philippines enough. The soldiers returned fire and a bloody shoot-out ensued, resulting in
SUPREME COURT a number of casualties. 2
Manila
The besieged compound surrendered the following morning, and sixteen male
occupants were arrested, later to be finger-printed, paraffin-tested and
EN BANC
photographed over their objection. The military also inventoried and
G.R. No. L-69401 June 23, 1987 confiscated nine M16 rifles, one M14 rifle, nine rifle grenades, and several
rounds of ammunition found in the premises. 3
RIZAL ALIH, NASIM ALIH, AISAN ALIH, MIJAL ALIH, OMAR ALIH, EDRIS
MUKSAN, MULSIDI WARADIL, BILLY ASMAD RAMSID ASALI, BANDING On December 21, 1984, the petitioners came to this Court in a petition for
USMAN, ANGGANG HADANI, WARMIKHAN HAPA, GABRAL JIKIRI, prohibition and mandamus with preliminary injunction and restraining order.
ALLAN TAN, MUJAHIRIN MARAJUKI, KENNEDY GONZALES, URDUJA Their purpose was to recover the articles seized from them, to prevent these
ALIH, MERLA ALIH, and NURAISA ALIH VDA DE FEROLINO, petitioners, from being used as evidence against them, and to challenge their finger-
vs. printing, photographing and paraffin-testing as violative of their right against
MAJOR GENERAL DELFIN C. CASTRO, IN HIS CAPACITY AS
self-incrimination. 4
COMMANDER SOUTHCOM AND REGIONAL UNIFIED COMMAND,
REGION IX, ZAMBOANGA CITY, COLONEL ERNESTO CALUPIG, IN HIS The Court, treating the petition as an injunction suit with a prayer for the return
CAPACITY AS COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE SPECIAL FORCES of the articles alleged to have been illegally seized, referred it for hearing to
GROUP (AIRBORNE) AND INTERNAL DEFENSE COMMAND, OTHERWISE Judge Omar U. Amin of the regional trial court, Zamboanga City. 5 After
KNOWN AS IdC MAJOR ARNOLD BLANCO IN HIS CAPACITY AS receiving the testimonial and documentary evidence of the parties, he
COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE PHILIPPINE MARINES AND 1ST submitted the report and recommendations on which this opinion is based. 6
LIEUTENANT DARWIN GUERRA IN HIS CAPACITY AS ACTS
SUPERVISOR, INTERNAL DEFENSE COMMAND, ARMED FORCES OF The petitioners demand the return of the arms and ammunition on the ground
THE PHILIPPINES, respondents. that they were taken without a search warrant as required by the Bill of Rights.
This is confirmed by the said report and in fact admitted by the respondents,
"but with avoidance. 7
CRUZ, J.:
Article IV, Section 3, of the 1973 Constitution, which was in force at the time of
On November 25, 1984, a contingent of more than two hundred Philippine the incident in question, provided as follows:
marines and elements of the home defense forces raided the compound
Sec. 3. The right of the people to be secure in their persons,
occupied by the petitioners at Gov. Alvarez street, Zamboanga City, in search
houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches
of loose firearms, ammunition and other explosives. 1
and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall not
The military operation was commonly known and dreaded as a "zona," which be violated, and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall
was not unlike the feared practice of the kempeitai during the Japanese issue except upon probable cause to be determined by the
Occupation of rounding up the people in a locality, arresting the persons judge, or such other responsible officer as may be authorized
fingered by a hooded informer, and executing them outright (although the last by law, after examination under oath or affirmation of the
part is not included in the modern refinement). complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and
particularly describing the place to be searched, and the
The initial reaction of the people inside the compound was to resist the
persons or things to be seized.
invasion with a burst of gunfire. No one was hurt as presumably the purpose
was merely to warn the intruders and deter them from entering. Unfortunately, It was also declared in Article IV, Section 4(2) that-
as might be expected in incidents like this, the situation aggravated soon
Sec. 4(2) Any evidence obtained in violation of this or the which covers both the innocent and the guilty. This is not to say, of course, that
preceding section shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any the Constitution coddles criminals. What it does simply signify is that, lacking
proceeding. the shield of innocence, the guilty need the armor of the Constitution, to protect
them, not from a deserved sentence, but from arbitrary punishment. Every
The respondents, while admitting the absence of the required such warrant,
person is entitled to due process. It is no exaggeration that the basest criminal,
sought to justify their act on the ground that they were acting under superior
ranged against the rest of the people who would condemn him outright, is still,
orders. 8 There was also the suggestion that the measure was necessary under the Bill of Rights, a majority of one.
because of the aggravation of the peace and order problem generated by the
assassination of Mayor Cesar Climaco. 9 If the respondents did not actually disdain the Constitution when they made
their illegal raid, they certainly gave every appearance of doing so. This is truly
Superior orders" cannot, of course, countermand the regrettable for it was incumbent on them, especially during those tense and
Constitution. The fact that the petitioners were suspected of tindery times, to encourage rather than undermine respect for the law, which it
the Climaco killing did not excuse the constitutional short-cuts was their duty to uphold.
the respondents took. As eloquently affirmed by the U.S.
Supreme Court in Ex parte Milligan: 10 In acting as they did, they also defied the precept that "civilian authority is at all
times supreme over the military" so clearly proclaimed in the 1973
The Constitution is a law for rulers and people, equally in war Constitution. 11 In the instant case, the respondents simply by-passed the civil
and in peace, and covers with the shield of its protection all courts, which had the authority to determine whether or not there was probable
classes of men, at all times and under all circumstances. No cause to search the petitioner's premises. Instead, they proceeded to make the
doctrine, involving more pernicious consequences, was ever raid without a search warrant on their own unauthorized determination of the
invented by the wit of man than that any of its provisions can petitioner's guilt.
be suspended during any of the great exigencies of
government. The respondents cannot even plead the urgency of the raid because it was in
fact not urgent. They knew where the petitioners were. They had every
The precarious state of lawlessness in Zamboanga City at the time in question opportunity to get a search warrant before making the raid. If they were
certainly did not excuse the non-observance of the constitutional guaranty worried that the weapons inside the compound would be spirited away, they
against unreasonable searches and seizures. There was no state of hostilities could have surrounded the premises in the meantime, as a preventive
in the area to justify, assuming it could, the repressions committed therein measure. There was absolutely no reason at all why they should disregard the
against the petitioners. orderly processes required by the Constitution and instead insist on arbitrarily
It is so easy to say that the petitioners were outlaws and deserved the arbitrary forcing their way into the petitioner's premises with all the menace of a military
treatment they received to take them into custody; but that is a criminal invasion.
argument. It is also fallacious. Its obvious flaw lies in the conclusion that the Conceding that the search was truly warrantless, might not the search and
petitioners were unquestionably guilty on the strength alone of unsubstantiated seizure be nonetheless considered valid because it was incidental to a legal
reports that they were stockpiling weapons. arrest? Surely not. If all the law enforcement authorities have to do is force
The record does not disclose that the petitioners were wanted criminals or their way into any house and then pick up anything they see there on the
fugitives from justice. At the time of the "zona," they were merely suspected of ground that the occupants are resisting arrest, then we might as well delete the
the mayor's slaying and had not in fact even been investigated for it. As mere Bill of Rights as a fussy redundancy.
suspects, they were presumed innocent and not guilty as summarily When the respondents could have easily obtained a search warrant from any
pronounced by the military. of the TEN civil courts then open and functioning in Zamboanga City, 12 they
Indeed, even if were assumed for the sake of argument that they were guilty, instead simply barged into the beleaguered premises on the verbal order of
they would not have been any less entitled to the protection of the Constitution, their superior officers. One cannot just force his way into any man's house on
the illegal orders of a superior, however lofty his rank. Indeed, even the All of us must exert efforts to make our country truly free and democratic,
humblest hovel is protected from official intrusion because of the ancient rule, where every individual is entitled to the full protection of the Constitution and
revered in all free regimes, that a man's house is his castle. the Bill of Rights can stand as a stolid sentinel for all, the innocent as well as
the guilty, including the basest of criminals.
It may be frail; its roof may shake; the wind may enter; the rain
may enter. But the King of England may not enter. All the WHEREFORE, the search of the petitioners' premises on November 25, 1984,
forces of the Crown dare not cross the threshold of the ruined is hereby declared ILLEGAL and all the articles seized as a result thereof are
tenement. 13 inadmissible in evidence against the petitioners in any proceedings. However,
the said articles shall remain in custodia legis pending the outcome of the
If the arrest was made under Rule 113, Section 5, of the Rules of Court in
criminal cases that have been or may later be filed against the petitioners.
connection with a crime about to be committed, being committed, or just
committed, what was that crime? There is no allegation in the record of such a SO ORDERED.
justification. Parenthetically, it may be observed that under the Revised Rule
Teehankee, C.J., Yap, Fernan, Narvasa, Melencio-Herrera, Gutierrez, Jr.,
113, Section 5(b), the officer making the arrest must have personal knowledge
Paras, Feliciano, Gancayco, Padilla, Bidin, Sarmiento and Cortes, JJ., concur.
of the ground therefor as stressed in the recent case of People v. Burgos. 14
If follows that as the search of the petitioners' premises was violative of the
Constitution, all the firearms and ammunition taken from the raided compound
are inadmissible in evidence in any of the proceedings against the petitioners.
These articles are "fruits of the poisonous tree. 15 As Judge Learned Hand
observed, "Only in case the prosecution which itself controls the seizing
officials, knows that it cannot profit by their wrong, will the wrong be repressed.
16 Pending determination of the legality of such articles, however, they shall
remain in custodia legis, subject to such appropriate disposition as the
corresponding courts may decide. 17
The objection to the photographing, fingerprinting and paraffin-testing of the
petitioners deserves slight comment. The prohibition against self-incrimination
applies to testimonial compulsion only. As Justice Holmes put it in Holt v.
United States, 18 "The prohibition of compelling a man in a criminal court to be
a witness against himself is a prohibition of the use of physical or moral
compulsion to extort communications from him, not an exclusion of his body as
evidence when it may be material."
The fearful days of hamleting salvaging, "zona" and other dreaded operations
should remain in the past, banished with the secret marshals and their covert
license to kill without trial. We must be done with lawlessness in the name of
law enforcement. Those who are supposed to uphold the law must not be the
first to violate it. As Chief Justice Claudio Teehankee stressed in his concurring
opinion in Lacanilao v. De Leon, 19 "It is time that the martial law regime's
legacy of the law of force be discarded and that there be a return to the force
and rule of law."
Republic of the Philippines Pending resolution of Criminal Case No. 5047, petitioner filed against private
SUPREME COURT respondents an administrative case, docketed as Administrative Case No.
Baguio City IASOB-020007 for Grave Misconduct, before the Internal Affairs Service (IAS),
Region XIII, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG); 7 and a
THIRD DIVISION criminal case, docketed as OMB-P-C-02-0109-B for Arbitrary Detention, Illegal
G.R. No. 162808 April 22, 2008 Search and Grave Threats, before the Ombudsman.8

FELICIANO GALVANTE, petitioner, In the June 21, 2001 Affidavit-Complaint he filed in both cases, petitioner
vs. narrated how, on May 14, 2001, private respondents aimed their long firearms
HON. ORLANDO C. CASIMIRO, Deputy Ombudsman for the Military and at him, arbitrarily searched his vehicle and put him in detention, thus:
Other Law Enforcement Offices, BIENVENIDO C. BLANCAFLOR, Director, 1. That sometime on May 14, 2001 I left my house at around 1:00
DENNIS L. GARCIA, Graft Investigation and Prosecution Officer, SPO4 o'clock in the afternoon after having lunch for Sitio Cahi-an, Brgy.
RAMIL AVENIDO, PO1 EDDIE DEGRAN, PO1 VALENTINO RUFANO, and Kapatungan, Trento, Agusan del Sur to meet retired police Percival
PO1 FEDERICO BALOLOT, respondents. Plaza and inquire about the retirement procedure for policemen;
DECISION 2. That upon arrival at the house of retired police Percival Plaza,
AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ, J.: together with Lorenzo Sanoria, Delfin Ramirez and Pedro Ramas who
asked for a ride from the highway in going to Sitio Cahi-an, I
Assailed herein by Petition for Certiorari and Mandamus under Rule 65 of the
immediately went down of the jeep but before I could call Mr. Plaza,
Rules of Court are the October 30, 2003 Resolution 1 of the Office of the four policemen in uniform blocked my way;
Deputy Ombudsman for the Military and Other Law Enforcement Offices -
Office of the Ombudsman (Ombudsman) which dismissed for lack of probable 3. That the four policemen were [private respondents] PO1 Romil
cause the criminal complaint, docketed as OMB-P-C-02-0109-B, filed by Avenido PNP, PO1 Valentino Rufano, PNP both member of 142nd
Company, Regional Mobile Group and PO1 Eddie Degran PNP and
Feliciano Galvante2 (petitioner) against SPO4 Benjamin Conde, PO1 Ramil
PO1 Federico Balolot PNP members of 1403 Prov'l Mobile Group, all
Avenido, PO1 Eddie Degran, PO1 Valentino Rufano, and PO1 Federico
of Bunawan Brook, Bunawan, Agusan del Sur; who all pointed their
Balolot (private respondents) for arbitrary detention, illegal search and grave
long firearms ready to fire [at] me, having heard the sound of the
threats; and the January 20, 2004 Ombudsman Order 3 which denied his release of the safety lock;
motion for reconsideration.
4. That raising my arms, I heard [private respondent] PO1 Avenido
The facts are of record. saying, "ANG IMONG PUSIL, IHATAG" which means "Give me your
In the afternoon of May 14, 2001 at Sitio Cahi-an, Kapatungan, Trento, Agusan firearm," to which I answered, "WALA MAN KO'Y PUSIL" translated as
del Sur, private respondents confiscated from petitioner one colt pistol super . "I have no firearm," showing my waistline when I raised my T-shirt;
38 automatic with serial no. 67973, one short magazine, and nine super .38 5. That my other companions on the jeep also went down and raised
live ammunitions.4 The confiscated materials were covered by an expired their arms and showed their waistline when the same policemen and a
Memorandum Receipt dated September 2, 1999.5 person in civilian attire holding an armalite also pointed their firearms
to them to which Mr. Percival Plaza who came down from his house
Consequently, the Assistant Provincial Prosecutor filed against petitioner an
told them not to harass me as I am also a former police officer but they
Information6 for Illegal Possession of Firearms and Ammunitions in Relation to did not heed Mr. Plaza's statements;
Commission on Elections (Comelec) Resolution No. 3258, docketed as
Criminal Case No. 5047, before the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Prosperidad,
Agusan del Sur.
6. That while we were raising our arms [private respondent] SPO4 as the latter, in plain view, was committing a violation of Comelec Resolutions
Benjamin Conde, Jr. went near my owner type jeep and conducted a No. 3258 and No. 3328 by carrying a firearm in his person.
search. To which I asked them if they have any search warrant;
Private respondents Avenido, Degran, Rufano and Balolot filed their Joint-
7. That after a while they saw my super .38 pistol under the floormat of Affidavit dated March 25, 2002, which contradicts the statements of private
my jeep and asked me of the MR of the firearm but due to fear that respondent Conde, viz:
their long arms were still pointed to us, I searched my wallet and gave
1. that we executed a joint counter-affidavit dated August 28, 2001
the asked [sic] document;
where we stated among other things, that "we saw Feleciano "Nani"
8. That immediately the policemen left me and my companions without Galvante armed with a handgun/pistol tucked on his waist;"
saying anything bringing with them the firearm;
2. that this statement is not accurate because the truth of the matter is
9. That at about 2:30 p.m., I left Mr. Percival's house and went to that the said handgun was taken by SPO4 BENJAMIN CONDE, JR.,
Trento Police Station where I saw a person in civilian attire with a who was acting as our team leader during the May 14, 2001 Elections,
revolver tucked on his waist, to which I asked the police officers from the jeep of Mr. Galvante after searching the same; and
including those who searched my jeep to apprehend him also;
3. that we noticed the aforementioned discrepancy in our affidavit
10. That nobody among the policemen at the station made a move to dated August 28, 2001 after we have already affixed our signatures
apprehend the armed civilian person so I went to the office of Police thereon.13
Chief Rocacorba who immediately called the armed civilian to his
office and when already inside his office, the disarming was done; Consequently, petitioner filed an Affidavit of Desistance dated March 25, 2002
with both the IAS and Ombudsman, absolving private respondents Avenido,
11. That after the disarming of the civilian I was put to jail with the said Degran, Rufano and Balolot, but maintaining that private respondent Conde
person by Police Chief Rocacorba and was released only at 4:00 alone be prosecuted in both administrative and criminal cases. 14
o'clock in the afternoon of May 16, 2001 after posting a bailbond;
On July 17, 2002, the IAS issued a Decision in Administrative Case No.
12. That I caused the execution of this document for the purpose of IASOB-020007, finding all private respondents guilty of grave misconduct but
filing cases of Illegal Search, Grave Misconduct and Abuse of Authority penalized them with suspension only. The IAS noted however that private
against SPO4 Benjamin Conde, Jr., of Trento Police Station; PO1 respondents were merely being "[enthusiastic] in the conduct of the arrest in
Ramil Avenido, PO1 Velantino Rufano, PO1 Federico Balolot and PO1
line of duty." 15
Eddie Degran.9
Meanwhile, in Criminal Case No. 5047, petitioner filed with the RTC a Motion
Petitioner also submitted the Joint Affidavit 10 of his witnesses, Lorenzo Sanoria for Preliminary Investigation and to Hold in Abeyance the Issuance of or Recall
and Percival Plaza.
the Warrant of Arrest.16 The RTC granted the same in an Order 17 dated
Private respondent Conde filed a Counter-Affidavit dated March 20, 2002, August 17, 2001. Upon reinvestigation, Prosecutor II Eliseo Diaz, Jr. filed a
where he interposed the following defenses: "Reinvestigation with Motion to Dismiss" dated November 22, 2001,
recommending the dismissal of Criminal Case No. 5047 on the ground that
First, he had nothing to do with the detention of petitioner as it was Chief of
"the action of the policemen who conducted the warrantless search in spite of
Police/Officer-in-Charge Police Inspector Dioscoro Mehos Rocacorba who
the absence of any circumstances justifying the same intruded into the privacy
ordered the detention. Petitioner himself admitted this fact in his own
of the accused and the security of his property." 18 Officer-in-Charge
Complaint-Affidavit;11 and
Prosecutor II Victoriano Pag-ong approved said recommendation. 19
Second, he denies searching petitioner's vehicle, 12
but admits that even
though he was not armed with a warrant, he searched the person of petitioner The RTC granted the prosecution's motion to dismiss in an Order 20 dated
January 16, 2003.
Apparently unaware of what transpired in Criminal Case No. 5047, respondents found that the incident upon which petitioner's criminal
Ombudsman Investigation & Prosecution Officer Dennis L. Garcia issued in complaint was based stemmed from a valid warrantless arrest and
OMB-P-C-02-0109-B, the October 30, 2003 Resolution, to wit: dismissed petitioner's complaint despite the fact that:
After a careful evaluation, the undersigned prosecutor finds no A. Petitioner has clearly shown that the search conducted by
probable cause for any of the offenses charged against above-named the private respondents was made without a valid warrant, nor
respondents. does it fall under any of the instances of valid warrantless
searches.
The allegations of the complainant failed to establish the factual basis
of the complaint, it appearing from the records that the incident B. Notwithstanding the absence of a valid warrant, petitioner
stemmed from a valid warrantless arrest. The subsequent was arrested and detained by the private respondents.
execution of an affidavit of desistance by the complainant rendered the
II. Public respondents acted without or in excess of their jurisdiction
complaint even more uncertain and subject to doubt, especially so
and/or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
since it merely exculpated some but not all of the respondents. These
jurisdiction when, in their Order dated January 20, 2004, public
circumstances, coupled with the presumption of regularity in the
respondents denied the petitioner's motion for reconsideration in a
performance of duty, negates any criminal liability on the part of the
capricious, whimsical, despotic and arbitrary manner. 26
respondents.
WHEREFORE, premises considered, it is hereby recommended that In its Memorandum,27 the Office of the Solicitor General argued that public
respondents acted within the bounds of their discretion in dismissing OMB-P-
the above-captioned case be dismissed for lack of probable cause. 21
C-02-0109-B given that private respondents committed no crime in searching
(Emphasis supplied)
petitioner and confiscating his firearm as the former were merely performing
Upon the recommendation of Director Bienvenido C. Blancaflor, Deputy their duty of enforcing the law against illegal possession of firearms and the
Ombudsman for the Military Orlando C. Casimiro (Deputy Ombudsman) Comelec ban against the carrying of firearms outside of one's residence.
approved the October 30, 2003 Resolution.22
Private respondent Conde filed a Comment28 and a Memorandum for
In his Motion for Reconsideration,23petitioner called the attention of the himself.29 Private respondents Avenido, Degran, Rufano and Balolot filed their
Ombudsman to the earlier IAS Decision, the Reinvestigation with Motion to separate Letter-Comment dated June 25, 2004.30
Dismiss of Prosecutor II Eliseo Diaz, Jr. and the RTC Order, all of which
The petition lacks merit.
declared the warrantless search conducted by private respondents illegal, 24
which are contradicted by the October 30, 2003 Ombudsman Resolution The Constitution vests in the Ombudsman the power to determine whether
declaring the warrantless search legal. there exists reasonable ground to believe that a crime has been committed
and that the accused is probably guilty thereof and, thereafter, to file the
The Ombudsman denied petitioner's motion for reconsideration on the ground
that the latter offered "no new evidence or errors of law which would warrant corresponding information with the appropriate courts. 31 The Court respects
the relative autonomy of the Ombudsman to investigate and prosecute, and
the reversal or modification"25 of its October 30, 2003 Resolution.
refrains from interfering when the latter exercises such powers either directly
Petitioner filed the present petition, attributing to Deputy Ombudsman or through the Deputy Ombudsman,32 except when the same is shown to be
Casimiro, Director Blancaflor and Prosecutor Garcia (public respondents) the tainted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
following acts of grave abuse of discretion:
jurisdiction.33
I. Public respondents acted without or in excess of their jurisdiction
Grave abuse of discretion is an evasion of a positive duty or a virtual refusal to
and/or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
perform a duty enjoined by law or to act in contemplation of law as when
jurisdiction when, in their Resolution dated October 30, 2003, public
judgment rendered is not based on law and evidence but on caprice, whim and (9) The right to be secure in one's person, house, papers, and effects
despotism.34 This does not obtain in the present case. against unreasonable searches and seizures;

It is noted that the criminal complaint which petitioner filed with the xxxx
Ombudsman charges private respondents with warrantless search, arbitrary The indemnity shall include moral damages. Exemplary damages may
detention, and grave threats. also be adjudicated.
The complaint for warrantless search charges no criminal offense. The and/or disciplinary and administrative, under Section 41 of Republic Act No.
conduct of a warrantless search is not a criminal act for it is not penalized
6975.37
under the Revised Penal Code (RPC) or any other special law. What the RPC
punishes are only two forms of searches: To avail of such remedies, petitioner may file against private respondents a
complaint for damages with the regular courts 38 or an administrative case with
Art. 129. Search warrants maliciously obtained and abuse in the
service of those legally obtained. - In addition to the liability attaching the PNP/DILG,39 as petitioner did in Administrative Case No. IASOB-020007,
to the offender for the commission of any other offense, the penalty of and not a criminal action with the Ombudsman.
arresto mayor in its maximum period to prision correccional in its Public respondents' dismissal of the criminal complaint for illegal search which
minimum period and a fine not exceeding P1,000.00 pesos shall be petitioner filed with the Ombudsman against private respondents was therefore
imposed upon any public officer or employee who shall procure a proper, although the reasons public respondents cited for dismissing the
search warrant without just cause, or, having legally procured the complaint are rather off the mark because they relied solely on the finding that
same, shall exceed his authority or use unnecessary severity in the warrantless search conducted by private respondents was valid and that
executing the same. the Affidavit of Desistance which petitioner executed cast doubt on the veracity
Art. 130. Searching domicile without witnesses. - The penalty of of his complaint.40 Public respondents completely overlooked the fact that the
arresto mayor in its medium and maximum periods shall be imposed criminal complaint was not cognizable by the Ombudsman as illegal search is
upon a public officer or employee who, in cases where a search is not a criminal offense. Nevertheless, the result achieved is the same: the
proper, shall search the domicile, papers or other belongings of any dismissal of a groundless criminal complaint for illegal search which is not an
person, in the absence of the latter, any member of his family, or in offense under the RPC. Thus, the Court need not resolve the issue of whether
their default, without the presence of two witnesses residing in the or not public respondents erred in their finding on the validity of the search for
same locality. that issue is completely hypothetical under the circumstance.

Petitioner did not allege any of the elements of the foregoing felonies in his The criminal complaint for abitrary detention was likewise properly dismissed
Affidavit-Complaint; rather, he accused private respondents of conducting a by public respondents. To sustain a criminal charge for arbitrary detention, it
search on his vehicle without being armed with a valid warrant. This situation, must be shown that (a) the offender is a public officer or employee, (b) the
while lamentable, is not covered by Articles 129 and 130 of the RPC. offender detained the complainant, and (c) the detention is without legal

The remedy of petitioner against the warrantless search conducted on his grounds.41 The second element was not alleged by petitioner in his Affidavit-

vehicle is civil,35 under Article 32, in relation to Article 221936 (6) and (10) of Complaint. As pointed out by private respondent Conde in his Comment 42 and
the Civil Code, which provides: Memorandum,43 petitioner himself identified in his Affidavit-Complaint that it
was Police Chief Rocacorba who caused his detention. Nowhere in said
Art. 32. Any public officer or employee, or any private individual, who affidavit did petitioner allege that private respondents effected his detention, or
directly or indirectly obstructs, defeats, violates or in any manner
were in any other way involved in it. 44 There was, therefore, no factual or legal
impedes or impairs any of the following rights and liberties of another
basis to sustain the criminal charge for arbitrary detention against private
person shall be liable to the latter for damages:
respondents.
xxxx
Finally, on the criminal complaint for grave threats, the Solicitor General aptly
pointed out that the same is based merely on petitioner's bare allegation that
private respondents aimed their firearms at him. 45 Such bare allegation stands
no chance against the well-entrenched rule applicable in this case, that public
officers enjoy a presumption of regularity in the performance of their official
function.46 The IAS itself observed that private respondents may have been
carried away by their "enthusiasm in the conduct of the arrest in line of duty." 47
Petitioner expressed the same view when, in his Affidavit of Desistance, he
accepted that private respondents may have been merely following orders
when they pointed their long firearms at him.
All said, public respondents did not act with grave abuse of discretion in
dismissing the criminal complaint against private respondents.
WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED.
No costs.
SO ORDERED.
Ynares-Santiago, Chairperson, Chico-Nazario, Nachura, Reyes, JJ., concur.
Republic of the Philippines deliver such person to the proper judicial authorities within the period of six
SUPREME COURT hours."
Manila
Taking into consideration the history of the provisions of the above quoted
article, the precept of our Constitution guaranteeing individual liberty, and the
EN BANC
provisions of Rules of Court regarding arrest and habeas corpus, we are of the
G.R. No. L-2128 May 12, 1948 opinion that the words "judicial authority", as used in said article, mean the
courts of justices or judges of said courts vested with judicial power to order
MELENCIO SAYO and JOAQUIN MOSTERO, petitioners,
the temporary detention or confinement of a person charged with having
vs.
committed a public offense, that is, "the Supreme Court and such inferior
THE CHIEF OF POLICE and THE OFFICER IN CHARGE OF MUNICIPAL
courts as may be established by law". (Section 1, Article VIII of the
JAIL, BOTH OF CITY OF MANILA, respondents.
Constitution.)
Enrique Q. Jabile for petitioners.
Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code was substantially taken from article 202
Acting City Fiscal A. P. Montesa, Assistant City Fiscal Arsenio Naawa and D.
of the old Penal Code formerly in force of these Islands, which penalized a
Guinto Lazaro for respondents.
public officer other than a judicial officer who, without warrant, "shall arrest a
FERIA, J.: person upon a charge of crime and shall fail to deliver such person to the
judicial authority within twenty four hours after his arrest." There was no doubt
Upon complaint of Bernardino Malinao, charging the petitioners with having
that a judicial authority therein referred to was the judge of a court of justice
committed the crime of robbery, Benjamin Dumlao, a policeman of the City of
empowered by law, after a proper investigation, to order the temporary
Manila, arrested the petitioners on April 2, 1948, and presented a complaint
commitment or detention of the person arrested; and not the city fiscals or any
against them with the fiscal's office of Manila. Until April 7, 1948, when the
other officers, who are not authorized by law to do so. Because article 204,
petition for habeas corpus filed with this Court was heard, the petitioners were
which complements said section 202, of the same Code provided that "the
still detained or under arrest, and the city fiscal had not yet released or filed
penalty of suspension in its minimum and medium degrees shall be imposed
against them an information with the proper courts justice.
upon the following persons: 1. Any judicial officer who, within the period
This case has not been decided before this time because there was not a prescribed by the provisions of the law of criminal procedure in force, shall fail
sufficient number of Justices to form a quorum in Manila, And it had to be to release any prisoner under arrest or to commit such prisoner formally by
transferred to the Supreme Court acting in division here in Baguio for written order containing a statement of the grounds upon which the same is
deliberation and decision. We have not until now an official information as to based."
the action taken by the office of the city fiscal on the complaint filed by the
Although the above quoted provision of article 204 of the old Penal Code has
Dumlao against the petitioners. But whatever night have been the action taken
not been incorporated in the Revised Penal Code the import of said words
by said office, if there was any, we have to decide this case in order to lay
judicial authority or officer can not be construed as having been modified by
down a ruling on the question involved herein for the information and guidance
the mere omission of said provision in the Revised Penal Code.
in the future of the officers concerned.
Besides, section 1 (3), Article III, of our Constitution provides that "the right of
The principal question to be determined in the present case in order to decide
the people to be secure in their persons...against unreasonable seizure shall
whether or not the petitioners are being illegally restrained of their liberty, is the
not be violated, and no warrant [of arrest, detention or confinement] shall issue
following: Is the city fiscal of manila a judicial authority within the meaning of
but upon probable cause, to be determined by the judge after the examination
the provisions of article 125 of the Revised Penal Code?
under oath or affirmation of the complaint and the witness he may produce."
Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code provides that "the penalties provided in Under this constitutional precept no person may be deprived of his liberty,
the next proceeding article shall be imposed upon the public officer or except by warrant of arrest or commitment issued upon probable cause by a
employee who shall detain any person for some legal ground and shall fail to judge after examination of the complainant and his witness. And the judicial
authority to whom the person arrested by a public officers must be surrendered investigation made by the city fiscal for the purpose of filing the corresponding
can not be any other but court or judge who alone is authorized to issue a information against the defendant with the proper municipal court or Court of
warrant of commitment or provisional detention of the person arrested pending First Instance of Manila if the result of the investigation so warrants, in order to
the trial of the case against the latter. Without such warrant of commitment, the obtain or secure from the court a warrant of arrest of the defendant. It is
detention of the person arrested for than six hours would be illegal and in provided by a law as a substitute, in a certain sense, of the preliminary
violation of our Constitution. investigation proper to avoid or prevent a hasty or malicious prosecution, since
defendant charged with offenses triable by the courts in the City of Manila are
Our conclusion is confirmed by section 17, Rule 109 of the Rules of court,
not entitled to a proper preliminary investigation.
which, referring to the duty of an officer after arrest without warrant, provides
that "a person making arrest for legal ground shall, without unnecessary delay, The only executive officers authorized by law to make a proper preliminary
and within the time prescribed in the Revised Penal Code, take the person investigation in case of temporary absence of both the justice of the peace and
arrested to the proper court or judge for such action for they may deem proper the auxiliary justice of the peace from the municipality, town or place, are the
to take;" and by section 11 of Rule 108, which reads that "after the arrest by municipal mayors who are empowered in such case to issue a warrant of
the defendant and his delivery to the Court, he shall be informed of the arrest of the caused. (Section 3, Rule 108, in connection with section 6, Rule
complaint or information filed against him. He shall also informed of the 108, and section 2 of Rule 109.) The preliminary investigation which a city
substance of the testimony and evidence presented against him, and, if he fiscal may conduct under section 2, Rule 108, is the investigation referred to in
desires to testify or to present witnesses or evidence in his favor, he may be the proceeding paragraph.
allowed to do so. The testimony of the witnesses need not be reduced to
Under the law, a complaint charging a person with the commission of an
writing but that of the defendant shall be taken in writing and subscribed by
offense cognizable by the courts of Manila is not filed with municipal court or
him.
the Court of First Instance of Manila, because as above stated, the latter do
And it is further corroborated by the provisions of section 1 and 4, Rule 102 of not make or conduct a preliminary investigation proper. The complaint must be
the Rules of Court. According to the provision of said section, "a writ of habeas made or filed with the city fiscal of Manila who, personally or through one of his
corpus shall extend any person to all cases of illegal confinement or detention assistants, makes the investigation, not for the purpose of ordering the arrest
by which any person is illegally deprived of his liberty"; and "if it appears that of the accused, but of filing with the proper court the necessary information
the person alleged to be restrained of his liberty is in the custody of an officer against the accused if the result of the investigation so warrants, and obtaining
under process issued by a court or judge, or by virtue of a judgement or order from the court a warrant of arrest or commitment of the accused.
of a court of record, and that the court or judge had jurisdiction to issue the
When a person is arrested without warrant in cases permitted bylaw, the officer
process, render judgment, or make the order, the writ shall not be allowed.
or person making the arrest should, as abovestated, without unnecessary
"Which a contrario sensu means that, otherwise, the writ shall be allowed and
delay take or surrender the person arrested, within the period of time
the person detained shall be released.
prescribed in the Revised Penal Code, to the court or judge having jurisdiction
The judicial authority mentioned in section 125 of the Revised Penal Code can to try or make a preliminary investigation of the offense (section 17, Rule 109);
not be construed to include the fiscal of the City of Manila or any other city, and the court or judge shall try and decide the case if the court has original
because they cannot issue a warrant of arrest or of commitment or temporary jurisdiction over the offense charged, or make the preliminary investigation if it
confinement of a person surrendered to legalize the detention of a person is a justice of the peace court having no original jurisdiction, and then transfer
arrested without warrant. (Section 7, Rule 108; Hashim vs. Boncan, 40 Off. the case to the proper Court of First Instance in accordance with the provisions
Gaz. 13th Supp., p.13; Lino vs. Fugoso, L-1159, promulgated on January 30, of section 13, Rule 108.
1947, 43 Off. Gaz., 1214). The investigation which the city of fiscal of Manila
In the City of Manila, where complaints are not filed directly with the municipal
makes is not the preliminary investigation proper provided for in section 11,
court or the Court of First Instance, the officer or person making the arrest
Rule 108, above quoted, to which all person charged with offenses cognizable
without warrant shall surrender or take the person arrested to the city fiscal,
by the Court of First Instance in provinces are entitled, but it is a mere
and the latter shall make the investigation above mentioned and file, if proper,
the corresponding information within the time prescribed by section 125 of the In view of all the foregoing, without making any pronouncement as to the
Revised Penal Code, so that the court may issue a warrant of commitment for responsibility of the officers who intervened in the detention of the petitioners,
the temporary detention of the accused. And the city fiscal or his assistants for the policeman Dumlao may have acted in good faith, in the absence of a
shall make the investigation forthwith, unless it is materially impossible for clear cut ruling on the matter in believing that he had complied with the
them to do so, because the testimony of the person or officer making the arrest mandate of article 125 by delivering the petitioners within six hours to the office
without warrant is in such cases ready and available, and shall, immediately of the city fiscal, and the latter might have ignored the fact that the petitioners
after the investigation, either release the person arrested or file the were being actually detained when the said policeman filed a complaint
corresponding information. If the city fiscal has any doubt as to the probability against them with the city fiscal, we hold that the petitioners are being illegally
of the defendant having committed the offense charged, or is not ready to file restrained of their liberty, and their release is hereby ordered unless they are
the information on the strength of the testimony or evidence presented, he now detained by virtue of a process issued by a competent court of justice. So
should release and not detain the person arrested for a longer period than that ordered.
prescribed in the Penal Code, without prejudice to making or continuing the
Paras, Actg. C.J., Pablo, and Bengzon, JJ., concur.
investigation and filing afterwards the proper information against him with the
court, in order to obtain or secure a warrant of his arrest. Of course, for the
purpose of determining the criminal liability of an officer detaining a person for
more than six hours prescribed by the Revised Penal Code, the means of
communication as well as the hour of arrested and other circumstances, such
as the time of surrender and the material possibility for the fiscal to make the
investigation and file in time the necessary information, must be taken into
consideration.
To consider the city fiscal as the judicial authority referred to in article 125 of
the Revised Penal Code, would be to authorize the detention of a person
arrested without warrant for a period longer than that permitted by law without
any process issued by a court of competent jurisdiction. The city fiscal, may
not, after due investigation, find sufficient ground for filing an information or
prosecuting the person arrested and release him, after the latter had been
illegally detained for days or weeks without any process issued by a court or
judge.
A peace officer has no power or authority to arrest a person without a warrant
upon complaint of the offended party or any other person, except in those
cases expressly authorized by law. What he or the complainant may do in such
case is to file a complaint with the city fiscal of Manila, or directly with the
justice of the peace courts in municipalities and other political subdivisions. If
the City Fiscal has no authority, and he has not, to order the arrest even if he
finds, after due investigation, that there is a probability that a crime has been
committed and the accused is guilty thereof, a fortiori a police officer has no
authority to arrest and detain a person charged with an offense upon complaint
of the offended party or other persons even though, after investigation, he
becomes convinced that the accused is guilty of the offense charged.
Republic of the Philippines ammunition have become favorite objects of trade. Smuggling is at an all time
SUPREME COURT high. Whether or not effective as expected, checkpoints have been regarded
Manila by the authorities as a security measure designed to entrap criminals and
insurgents and to constitute a dragnet for all types of articles in illegal trade.
EN BANC
No one can be compelled, under our libertarian system, to share with the
G.R. No. 83988 May 24, 1990 present government its ideological beliefs and practices, or commend its
political, social and economic policies or performance. But, at least, one must
RICARDO C. VALMONTE AND UNION OF LAWYERS AND ADVOCATES
concede to it the basic right to defend itself from its enemies and, while in
FOR PEOPLES'S RIGHTS (ULAP), petitioners,
power, to pursue its program of government intended for public welfare; and in
vs.
the pursuit of those objectives, the government has the equal right, under its
GEN. RENATO DE VILLA AND NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION DISTRICT
police power, to select the reasonable means and methods for best achieving
COMMAND, respondents.
them. The checkpoint is evidently one of such means it has selected.
Ricardo C. Valmonte for and in his own behalf and co-petitioners.
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
PADILLA, J.:
vehicle's occupants are required to answer a brief question or two. 1 For as
In the Court's decision dated 29 September 1989, petitioners' petition for long as the vehicle is neither searched nor its occupants subjected to a body
prohibition seeking the declaration of the checkpoints as unconstitutional and search, and the inspection of the vehicle is limited to a visual search, said
their dismantling and/or banning, was dismissed. routine checks cannot be regarded as violative of an individual's right against
Petitioners have filed the instant motion and supplemental motion for unreasonable search.
reconsideration of said decision. Before submission of the incident for These routine checks, when conducted in a fixed area, are even less intrusive.
resolution, the Solicitor General, for the respondents, filed his comment, to As held by the U.S. Supreme Court:
which petitioners filed a reply.
Routine checkpoint stops do not intrude similarly on the
It should be stated, at the outset, that nowhere in the questioned decision did motoring public. First, the potential interference with legitimate
this Court legalize all checkpoints, i.e. at all times and under all circumstances. traffic is minimal. Motorists using these highways are not taken
What the Court declared is, that checkpoints are not illegal per se. Thus, under by surprise as they know, or may obtain knowledge of, the
exceptional circumstances, as where the survival of organized government is location of the checkpoints and will not be stopped elsewhere.
on the balance, or where the lives and safety of the people are in grave peril, Second, checkpoint operations both appear to and actually
checkpoints may be allowed and installed by the government. Implicit in this involve less discretionary enforcement activity. The regularized
proposition is, that when the situation clears and such grave perils are manner in which established checkpoints are operated is
removed, checkpoints will have absolutely no reason to remain. visible evidence, reassuring to law-abiding motorists, that the
Recent and on-going events have pointed to the continuing validity and need stops are duly authorized and believed to serve the public
for checkpoints manned by either military or police forces. The sixth (6th) interest. The location of a fixed checkpoint is not chosen by
attempted coup d' etat (stronger than all previous ones) was staged only last 1 officers in the field, but by officials responsible for making
December 1989. Another attempt at a coup d' etat is taken almost for granted. overall decisions as to the most effective allocation of limited
The NPA, through its sparrow units, has not relented but instead accelerated enforcement resources. We may assume that such officials will
its liquidation of armed forces and police personnel. Murders, sex crimes, hold- be unlikely to locate a checkpoint where it bears arbitrarily or
ups and drug abuse have become daily occurrences. Unlicensed firearms and oppressively on motorists as a class, and since field officers
may stop only those cars passing the checkpoint, there is less
room for abusive or harassing stops of individuals than there Lastly, the Court's decision on checkpoints does not, in any way, validate nor
was in the case of roving-patrol stops. Moreover, a claim that a condone abuses committed by the military manning the checkpoints. The
particular exercise of discretion in locating or operating a Court's decision was concerned with power, i.e. whether the government
checkpoint is unreasonable is subject to post-stop judicial employing the military has the power to install said checkpoints. Once that
review. 2 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
The checkpoints are nonetheless attacked by the movants as a warrantless different "ball game" to be resolved in the constitutional arena.
search and seizure and, therefore, violative of the Constitution. 3
The Court, like all other concerned members of the community, has become
As already stated, vehicles are generally allowed to pass these checkpoints aware of how some checkpoints have been used as points of thievery and
after a routine inspection and a few questions. If vehicles are stopped and extortion practiced upon innocent civilians. Even the increased prices of
extensively searched, it is because of some probable cause which justifies a foodstuffs coming from the provinces, entering the Metro Manila area and
reasonable belief of the men at the checkpoints that either the motorist is a other urban centers, are largely blamed on the checkpoints, because the men
law-offender or the contents of the vehicle are or have been instruments of manning them have reportedly become "experts" in mulcting travelling traders.
some offense. Again, as held by the U.S. Supreme Court This, of course, is a national tragedy .
Automobiles, because of their mobility, may be searched But the Court could not a priori regard in its now assailed decision that the men
without a warrant upon facts not justifying a warrantless search in uniform are rascals or thieves. The Court had to assume that the men in
of a residence or office. Brinegar v. United States, 338 US 160, uniform live and act by the code of honor and they are assigned to the
93 L Ed 1879, 69 S Ct 1302 (1949); Carroll v. United States, checkpoints to protect, and not to abuse, the citizenry. 6 The checkpoint is a
267 US 132, 69 L Ed 543,45 S Ct 280, 39 ALR 790 (1925). military "concoction." It behooves the military to improve the QUALITY of their
The cases so holding have, however, always insisted that the men assigned to these checkpoints. For no system or institution will succeed
officers conducting the search have 'reasonable or probable unless the men behind it are honest, noble and dedicated.
cause to believe that they will find the instrumentality of a
crime or evidence pertaining to a crime before they begin their 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
warrantless search. ... 4
courts exist to see that the law is supreme. Soldiers, including those who man
Besides these warrantless searches and seizures at the checkpoints are quite checkpoints, who abuse their authority act beyond the scope of their authority
similar to searches and seizures accompanying warrantless arrests during the and are, therefore, liable criminally and civilly for their abusive acts; 7 This
commission of a crime, or immediately thereafter. In People vs. Kagui tenet should be ingrained in the soldiery in the clearest of terms by higher
Malasuqui it was held military authorities.
To hold that no criminal can, in any case, be arrested and ACCORDINGLY, the Motion and Supplemental Motion for Reconsideration are
searched for the evidence and tokens of his crime without a DENIED. This denial is FINAL.
warrant, would be to leave society, to a large extent, at the
mercy of the shrewdest the most expert, and the most SO ORDERED.
depraved of criminals, facilitating their escape in many Fernan C.J., Narvasa, Melencio-Herrera, Paras, Feliciano, Bidin, Cortes,
instances. 5 Grio-Aquino, Medialdea and Regalado, JJ., concur.
By the same token, a warrantless search of incoming and outgoing Gancayco, J., is on leave.
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.
Republic of the Philippines The undersigned accuses ROGELIO MENGOTE y TEJAS of a
SUPREME COURT violation of Presidential Decree No. 1866, committed as
Manila follows:
That on or about August 8, 1987, in the City of Manila,
FIRST DIVISION
Philippines, the said accused did then and there wilfully,
unlawfully and knowingly have in his possession and under his
custody and control a firearm, to wit:
G.R. No. 87059 June 22, 1992
one (1) cal. 38 "S & W" bearing
THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,
Serial No. 8720-T
vs.
ROGELIO MENGOTE y TEJAS, accused-appellant. without first having secured the necessary license or permit
therefor from the proper authorities.
Besides the police officers, one other witness presented by the prosecution
CRUZ, J.:
was Rigoberto Danganan, who identified the subject weapon as among the
Accused-appellant Rogelio Mengote was convicted of illegal possession of articles stolen from him during the robbery in his house in Malabon on June
firearms on the strength mainly of the stolen pistol found on his person at the 13, 1987. He pointed to Mengote as one of the robbers. He had duly reported
moment of his warrantless arrest. In this appeal, he pleads that the weapon the robbery to the police, indicating the articles stolen from him, including the
was not admissible as evidence against him because it had been illegally revolver. 2 For his part, Mengote made no effort to prove that he owned the
seized and was therefore the fruit of the poisonous tree. The Government firearm or that he was licensed to possess it and claimed instead that the
disagrees. It insists that the revolver was validly received in evidence by the weapon had been "Planted" on him at the time of his arrest. 3
trial judge because its seizure was incidental to an arrest that was doubtless
lawful even if admittedly without warrant. The gun, together with the live bullets and its holster, were offered as Exhibits
A, B, and C and admitted over the objection of the defense. As previously
The incident occurred shortly before noon of August 8, 1987, after the Western
stated, the weapon was the principal evidence that led to Mengote's conviction
Police District received a telephone call from an informer that there were three
for violation of P.D. 1866. He was sentenced to reclusion
suspicious-looking persons at the corner of Juan Luna and North Bay
perpetua. 4
Boulevard in Tondo, Manila. A surveillance team of plainclothesmen was
forthwith dispatched to the place. As later narrated at the trial by Patrolmen It is submitted in the Appellant's Brief that the revolver should not have been
1
Rolando Mercado and Alberto Juan, they there saw two men "looking from admitted in evidence because of its illegal seizure. no warrant therefor having
side to side," one of whom was holding his abdomen. They approached these been previously obtained. Neither could it have been seized as an incident of a
persons and identified themselves as policemen, whereupon the two tried to lawful arrest because the arrest of Mengote was itself unlawful, having been
run away but were unable to escape because the other lawmen had also effected without a warrant. The defense also contends that the testimony
surrounded them. The suspects were then searched. One of them, who turned regarding the alleged robbery in Danganan's house was irrelevant and should
out to be the accused-appellant, was found with a .38 caliber Smith and also have been disregarded by the trial court.
Wesson revolver with six live bullets in the chamber. His companion, later The following are the pertinent provision of the Bill of Rights:
identified as Nicanor Morellos, had a fan knife secreted in his front right pants
pocket. The weapons were taken from them. Mengote and Morellos were then Sec. 2. The right of the people to be secure in their persons,
turned over to police headquarters for investigation by the Intelligence Division. houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches
and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be
On August 11, 1987, the following information was filed against the accused- inviolable, and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall
appellant before the Regional Trial Court of Manila:
issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally to the nearest police station or jail, and he shall be proceeded
by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the against in accordance with Rule 112, Section 7.
complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and
We have carefully examined the wording of this Rule and cannot see how we
particularly describing the place to be searched and the
can agree with the prosecution.
persons or things to be seized.
Par. (c) of Section 5 is obviously inapplicable as Mengote was not an escapee
Sec. 3 (1). The privacy of communication and correspondence
from a penal institution when he was arrested. We therefore confine ourselves
shall be inviolable except upon lawful order of the court, or
to determining the lawfulness of his arrest under either Par. (a) or Par. (b) of
when public safety or order requires otherwise as prescribed
this section.
by law.
Par. (a) requires that the person be arrested (1) after he has committed or
(2) Any evidence obtained in violation of this or the preceding
while he is actually committing or is at least attempting to commit an offense,
section shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any
(2) in the presence of the arresting officer.
proceeding.
These requirements have not been established in the case at bar. At the time
There is no question that evidence obtained as a result of an illegal search or
of the arrest in question, the accused-appellant was merely "looking from side
seizure is inadmissible in any proceeding for any purpose. That is the absolute
to side" and "holding his abdomen," according to the arresting officers
prohibition of Article III, Section 3(2), of the Constitution. This is the celebrated
themselves. There was apparently no offense that had just been committed or
exclusionary rule based on the justification given by Judge Learned Hand that
was being actually committed or at least being attempted by Mengote in their
"only in case the prosecution, which itself controls the seizing officials, knows
presence.
that it cannot profit by their wrong will the wrong be repressed." The Solicitor
General, while conceding the rule, maintains that it is not applicable in the The Solicitor General submits that the actual existence of an offense was not
case at bar. His reason is that the arrest and search of Mengote and the necessary as long as Mengote's acts "created a reasonable suspicion on the
seizure of the revolver from him were lawful under Rule 113, Section 5, of the part of the arresting officers and induced in them the belief that an offense had
Rules of Court reading as follows: been committed and that the accused-appellant had committed it." The
question is, What offense? What offense could possibly have been suggested
Sec. 5. Arrest without warrant when lawful. A peace officer
by a person "looking from side to side" and "holding his abdomen" and in a
or private person may, without a warrant, arrest a person;
place not exactly forsaken?
(a) When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has
These are certainly not sinister acts. And the setting of the arrest made them
committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit
less so, if at all. It might have been different if Mengote bad been apprehended
an offense;
at an ungodly hour and in a place where he had no reason to be, like a
(b) When an offense has in fact just been committed, and he darkened alley at 3 o'clock in the morning. But he was arrested at 11:30 in the
has personal knowledge of facts indicating that the person to morning and in a crowded street shortly after alighting from a passenger jeep
be arrested has committed it; and with I his companion. He was not skulking in the shadows but walking in the
clear light of day. There was nothing clandestine about his being on that street
(c) When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has
at that busy hour in the blaze of the noonday sun.
escaped from a penal establishment or place where he is
serving final judgment or temporarily confined while his case is On the other hand, there could have been a number of reasons, all of them
pending, or has escaped while being transferred from one innocent, why his eyes were darting from side to side and be was holding his
confinement to another. abdomen. If they excited suspicion in the minds of the arresting officers, as the
prosecution suggests, it has nevertheless not been shown what their suspicion
In cases failing under paragraphs (a) and (b) hereof, the
was all about. In fact, the policemen themselves testified that they were
person arrested without a warrant shall be forthwith delivered
dispatched to that place only because of the telephone call from the informer firearm found on Mengote's person, the policemen discovered this only after
that there were "suspicious-looking" persons in that vicinity who were about to he had been searched and the investigation conducted later revealed that he
commit a robbery at North Bay Boulevard. The caller did not explain why he was not its owners nor was he licensed to possess it.
thought the men looked suspicious nor did he elaborate on the impending
Before these events, the Peace officers had no knowledge even of Mengote'
crime.
identity, let alone the fact (or suspicion) that he was unlawfully carrying a
In the recent case of People v. Malmstedt, 5 the Court sustained the firearm or that he was involved in the robbery of Danganan's house.
warrantless arrest of the accused because there was a bulge in his waist that
In the landmark case of People v. Burgos, 9 this Court declared:
excited the suspicion of the arresting officer and, upon inspection, turned out to
be a pouch containing hashish. In People v. Claudio, 6 the accused boarded a Under Section 6(a) of Rule 113, the officer arresting a person
bus and placed the buri bag she was carrying behind the seat of the arresting who has just committed, is committing, or is about to commit
officer while she herself sat in the seat before him. His suspicion aroused, be an offense must have personal knowledge of the fact. The
surreptitiously examined the bag, which he found to contain marijuana. He offense must also be committed in his presence or within his
then and there made the warrantless arrest and seizure that we subsequently view. (Sayo v. Chief of Police, 80 Phil. 859). (Emphasis
upheld on the ground that probable cause had been sufficiently established. supplied)

The case before us is different because there was nothing to support the xxx xxx xxx
arresting officers' suspicion other than Mengote's darting eyes and his hand on In arrests without a warrant under Section 6(b), however, it is
his abdomen. By no stretch of the imagination could it have been inferred from not enough that there is reasonable ground to believe that the
these acts that an offense had just been committed, or was actually being person to be arrested has committed a crime. A crime must in
committed, or was at least being attempted in their presence. fact or actually have been committed first. That a crime has
actually been committed is an essential precondition. It is not
This case is similar to People v. Aminnudin, 7 where the Court held that the
enough to suspect that a crime may have been committed.
warrantless arrest of the accused was unconstitutional. This was effected while
The fact of the commission of the offense must be undisputed.
be was coming down a vessel, to all appearances no less innocent than the
The test of reasonable ground applies only to the identity of
other disembarking passengers. He had not committed nor was be actually
the perpetrator. (Emphasis supplied)
committing or attempting to commit an offense in the presence of the arresting
officers. He was not even acting suspiciously. In short, there was no probable This doctrine was affirmed in Alih v. Castro, 10 thus:
cause that, as the prosecution incorrectly suggested, dispensed with the
constitutional requirement of a warrant. If the arrest was made under Rule 113, Section 5, of the Rules
of Court in connection with a crime about to be committed,
Par. (b) is no less applicable because its no less stringent requirements have being committed, or just committed, what was that crime?
also not been satisfied. The prosecution has not shown that at the time of There is no allegation in the record of such a falsification.
Mengote's arrest an offense had in fact just been committed and that the Parenthetically, it may be observed that under the Revised
arresting officers had personal knowledge of facts indicating that Mengote had Rule 113, Section 5(b), the officer making the arrest must have
committed it. All they had was hearsay information from the telephone caller, personal knowledge of the ground therefor as stressed in the
and about a crime that had yet to be committed. recent case of People v. Burgos. (Emphasis supplied)
The truth is that they did not know then what offense, if at all, had been It would be a sad day, indeed, if any person could be summarily arrested and
committed and neither were they aware of the participation therein of the searched just because he is holding his abdomen, even if it be possibly
accused-appellant. It was only later, after Danganan had appeared at the because of a stomach-ache, or if a peace officer could clamp handcuffs on any
Police headquarters, that they learned of the robbery in his house and of person with a shifty look on suspicion that he may have committed a criminal
Mengote's supposed involvement therein. 8 As for the illegal possession of the act or is actually committing or attempting it. This simply cannot be done in a
free society. This is not a police state where order is exalted over liberty or,
worse, personal malice on the part of the arresting officer may be justified in
the name of security.
There is no need to discuss the other issues raised by the accused-appellant
as the ruling we here make is sufficient to sustain his exoneration. Without the
evidence of the firearm taken from him at the time of his illegal arrest, the
prosecution has lost its most important exhibit and must therefore fail. The
testimonial evidence against Mengote (which is based on the said firearm) is
not sufficient to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt of the crime imputed
to him.
We commend Atty. Violeta Calvo-Drilon for her able and spirited defense of the
accused-appellant not only in the brief but also in the reply brief, which she did
not have to file but did so just the same to stress the constitutional rights of her
client. The fact that she was acting only as a counsel de oficio with no
expectation of material reward makes her representation even more
commendable.
The Court feels that if the peace officers had been more mindful of the
provisions of the Bill of Rights, the prosecution of the accused-appellant might
have succeeded. As it happened, they allowed their over-zealousness to get
the better of them, resulting in their disregard of the requirements of a valid
search and seizure that rendered inadmissible the vital evidence they had
invalidly seized.
This should be a lesson to other peace officers. Their impulsiveness may be
the very cause of the acquittal of persons who deserve to be convicted,
escaping the clutches of the law because, ironically enough, it has not been
observed by those who are supposed to enforce it.
WHEREFORE, the appealed decision is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The
accused-appellant is ACQUITTED and ordered released immediately unless
he is validly detained for other offenses. No costs.
SO ORDERED.
Grio-Aquino, Medialdea and Bellosillo, JJ., concur.
Republic of the Philippines policeman and father of Appellant ALVAREZ, to go to the station to shed light
SUPREME COURT on the investigation. The father was an old friend of Lt. Tiquia. After their talk,
Manila forthrightly, Lt. Tiquia created a team to apprehend the three Appellants.
At about 12:30 A.M. of 14 June 1984, the arrest was effected, without a
SECOND DIVISION
warrant, at the Alverez residence in Tangali St., Bo. Manresa, Quezon City.
G.R. No. 88451 September 5, 1991 Only ALVAREZ alias Onie and SABERON alias "Boyet" were apprehended, as
"Topper" (ARANETA) was not around. A fan knife (Exh. C) was recovered from
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee
the person of ALVAREZ, while a bamboo stick (Exh. D), identified as a
vs.
scabbard of an icepick, was discovered in front of the residence (Tsn., 25 June
RONALD ALVAREZ y CRUZ, LEOPOLDO SABERON y CALUBAQUIB,
1986, p. 7).
CHRISTOPHER ARANETA @ TOPPER, accused-appellants.
ALVAREZ and SABERON were taken to the police station for investigation that
The Solicitor General for plaintiff-appellee.
same morning. In the course thereof, ALVAREZ, assisted by Atty. Reynaldo P.
Augusta C. Montilla for Leopoldo Saberon. Garcia, executed a sworn confession, which he signed in the presence of his
father and another lawyer, Atty. Antonio Dalag. Atty. Garcia signed as "Saksi at
Jurado Law Office for Ronald Alvarez.
gabay sa panahon ng pagsisiyasat" (Exhs. 5-12), while Atty. Dalag and Alfonso
Public Attorney's Office for Christopher Araneta. Alverez, the father, separately signed as "Saksi" (Exhs. B13 and 1-D).
ALVAREZ signed his Sworn Statement twice at the end thereof, once before
the Investigating Officer and the second time, on 15 June 1984, before Fiscal
MELENCIO-HERRERA, J.:p Victoria F. Bernards, who had administered the oath (Exh. B10 ALVAREZ's
With all three accused, namely, Ronald ALVAREZ, alias "Onie," Leopoldo signature further appears twice on the left hand margin of pages 1, 2 and 3 of
SABERON, alias "Oyet," and Christopher ARANETA, alias "Topper," convicted his Statement. Others present during the investigation were SABERON, Lt.
Tiquia, and ALVAREZS brother.
of Murder 1 for the death of Ismael Magpantay, and sentenced to "life
imprisonment three (3) times each," they have filed before us their separate In said extrajudicial confession, ALVAREZ disclosed:
appeals.
16. T: Papaano ba naganap ang pangyayaring
The facts disclose that at about 6:30 A.M. on 13 June 1984, the Valenzuela pagpatay kay ISMAEL?
police station received a phone call from an unidentified caller that a dead man
S Ganito po iyon, dahilang sa ito pong si
was found inside the Palasan Cemetery, Palasan, Valenzuela, Metro Manila.
ISMAEL ay nangholdap sa Blumentritt, Manila
The police proceeded to the place immediately and found "a lifeless body of a
na kung saan ay nakuhanan niya ang
male person lying on his belly with multiple stab wounds all over his body."
biktimang babae ng alahas, at pitaka at sa
Only a brown-colored wallet was found on his person with no other
dahilang parang niloloko kami ni ISMAEL sa
identification papers. The cadaver was then photographed and taken to the
partihan ay ipinasiya ni CHRISTOPHER na
NBI, through Funeraria Popular, for autopsy.
patayin si ISMAEL. Itong si RODOLFO
According to the report of Pfc. Rolando Masanque, a Valenzuela police officer, SABERON JR., na kabarkada din namin ay
in the early morning of 13 June 1984, a "grapevine source who refused to isinama namin sa Palasan, Valenzuela, Metro
identify himself' called up P/Lt Carlos A. Tiquia by phone and disclosed that the Manila. Umalis kami sa Quezon City ng alas
victim was killed by three men, namely, "Onie" Alverez, a former resident of 9:00 ng gabi, ika-12 ng Hunyo 1984 nina
Bgy. Palasan, Valenzuela, one alias "Oyet," and another alias "Topper." ISMAEL, Ako, RODOLFO SABERON JR., at
Following the lead, Lt. Tiquia asked Alfonso Alverez, a former Valenzuela CHRISTOPHER ARANETA. Dumating kami sa
Palasan, Valenzuela, MM ng humigit kumulang S Iyon po ay g turnilyong inilalagay sa trak na
gawing alas 10:00 ng gabi, ika-12 ng Hunyo mahaba at pinatulis at iyon ay ipinapasok sa
1984. Doon sa may sementeryo ng Palasan, isang payat na ka wayan.
Valenzuela, MM ng makatalikod si ISMAEL ay
27. T Ipinakikita ko sa iyo ang isang kawayan
bigla na lang siyang sinakal mula sa likod ni
na payat, ano ang masasabi mo tungkol dito?
RODOLFO SABERON JR., Alias BOYET at
itong si CHRISTOPHER ARANETA naman ay S Iyan po ang pinakabaena ng kanyang
pinagsasaksak si ISMAEL hanggang sa (Christopher) icepick (At this juncture
mabali ang panaksak rin CHRISTOPHER at declarant identified a slim bamboo stalk
kinuha ni CHRISTOPHER ang hawak kong approximately 18 inches long). (Exh. 1-B)
patalim, at ipinagpatuloy ang pananaksak kay As to his participation, ALVAREZ claimed:
ISMAEL, si RODOLFO SABERON JR., Alias
BOYET ay pinagsasaksak din si ISMAEL. 36. T Pansamantala ay wala na akong
Nang makita ko na pinagsasaksak nina itatanong sa iyo, mayroon ka pa bang nais
CHRISTOPHER at BOYET si ISMAEL ay sabihin, Idagdag o kaya ay bawasin sa
umalis na ako, nagkita-kita na lang kaming salaysay na ito?
tatlo sa Quezon City sa bahay nina S Wala na po, kundi kaya lamang ako
CHRISTOPHER sa bahay ng kapatid ng nagbigay ng salaysay ay sa dahilang gusto ko
kanyang Nanay. Ipinauli sa akin pong patunayan na ala akong kasalanan at
CHRISTOPHER ang aking patalim, matapos malinis ang aking konsiyensa sa naganap na
na iyon ay kanyang hugasan para maalis ang pagpatay kay ISMAEL. (Exh. 1-C)
dugo. Tapos ay nag-inuman na kami.
kinabukasan, ika-13 ng Hunyo 1984 doon sa ARANETA, who turned out to be "Topper", was arrested on 14 June 1984 by
aming bahay ay dumating ang tatay ni the District Anti-Narcotics Command and turned over to the Valenzuela police.
ISMAEL at tinanong ng Tatay rin ISMAEL ang In no time at all, or on 15 June 1984, an Information charging all three
kanyang anak kina CHRISTOPHER at Appellants with Murder was filed. Having pleaded their innocence upon
BOYET, pero sinabi nina CHRISTOPHER at arraignment, trial ensued. SABERON bolted jail and was re-arrested only after
BOYET sa Tatay ni ISMAEL na hindi nila alam the defense had rested its case. He was represented throughout the
kung nasaan si ISMAEL. Noong gabi ng ika-1 proceedings, however, by counsel.
3 ng Hunyo 1984 ay hinuli na lang ako ng mga
Pulis at nahuli ko ding kasama si RODOLFO The respective fathers of the victim and of ALVAREZ, who were good friends,
SABERON JR., Alias BOYET at isinama na had their roles to play.
kami dito sa Valenzuela, Metro Manila. (Exh. Rosauro Magpantay, the victim's father, recounted that he knew ALVAREZ
1). since 1984, as well as ARANETA who used to go to his house before his son
In the same confession, ALVAREZ Identified the slim bamboo found in his was killed; that he also knew SABERON when the latter pawned his watch to
house as the "baena" of the ice-pick belonging to SABERON. their neighbor; he knew that his son and Appellants were 'barkada;" that at
around 12:00 noon of 12 June 1984, he saw his son and the three (3)
26. T: Anong uring ice-pick ba naman ang dala Appellants together; when asked where he was going, the son replied that they
nitong si CHRISTOPHER? were going to Valenzuela (Exh. J that at around 12:00 o'clock midnight of 13
June 1984, because his son had not gone home, he went to ALVAREZ's house
to inquire about his son knowing that the latter and the three (3) Appellants had tattoos;" that the father called his son at the house and asked for the possible
gone to Valenzuela around noon the previous day. In the ALVAREZ residence, identification of El Magpantay," the son answered that the latter had a "bahala
he found the three Appellants drinking Upon seeing him, ALVAREZ shouted: na tattoo" on his body; that he then suggested to Capt. Tiquia that Appellants
"Anong ginagawa ng putang-inang matandang iyan dito, tayo pa ang be charged with the victim's death, since the description of the dead person
pinagbibintangang pumatay sa anak niya" SABERON pacified ALVAREZ fitted that of the victim; to which said officer acceded with a warning that he
stating: "Pare, nadudulas ka na" (Tsn., 23 October 1987, p. 11). Then, replying might be sorry for the consequences of the request; that his intention was to
to the victim's father, SABERON stated that they were together in Valenzuela; help and to avoid the circumstance that they (apparently referring to the boys)
that they had boarded a jeep when the victim robbed a woman passenger of might be lulled or might kill somebody; that he then went home and waited for
her necklace, after which they ran away leaving the victim and hoping that the boys to fall asleep; then he went to the police station, fetched the police,
nothing untoward had happened to him. Apprehensive that some misfortune who then arrested ALVAREZ and SABERON from his residence at around
had actually befallen his son, Rosauro Magpantay went home. midnight. At the time, ARANETA had already left the house. After ALVAREZ
and SABERON were jailed, he went to the victim's father to ask him to identify
Continuing, Rosauro narrated that at around 2:00 o'clock A.M. of 14 June
the man who was found dead. That done, they returned to the precinct. He
1984, ALVAREZ's father, Alfonso, who was his good friend, fetched him and
then told the elder Magpantay that he caused the incarceration of ALVAREZ
together they proceeded to Valenzuela. Alfonso wanted him to verify if the man
and SABERON just to punish them and not because they were responsible for
that was killed was his son. When told that the body was at Funeraria Popular,
the victim's death. Thereafter, he and Capt. Tiquia talked about the preparation
they proceeded thereto and Rosauro confirmed that the dead man was, in fact,
of the statement but the former told him to return the following morning so that
his son Ismael. Rosauro and Alfonso then proceeded to the police station
two (2) lawyers' could be present. At around 9:00 A.M. of 14 June, he forced
where Alfonso told Rosauro that he had the two persons who had killed his son
his son, ALVAREZ, to give a written statement but it was he (the father) who
arrested (ibid., p. 12). The two persons referred to were his son ALVAREZ and
fabricated the story given (Tsn., 2 March 1988, pp. 1-7).
SABERON.
On the second day of his testimony, Alfonso ted that at around 8:00 P.M. of 11
ALVAREZ's father, Alfonso, who used to be a Valenzuela policeman, had his
June 1984 he saw the barkada," that is, the victim and the three (3) Appellants
own version. He stated that ARANETA and SABERON were friends of his son;
together at his house; that because there was trouble in their place, he brought
that the victim's father is his childhood friend; that on 12 June, while he was at
them to the Premier Hotel to prevent their involvement, until the next day when
home at around 8:00 P.M. the victim and the three (3) Appellants were also
they checked out after he had signed the hotel bill; that he did not know where
there; that because his son was hooked on drugs, he left the house with some
their son was going but at about 5:00 P.M. of 12 June, he saw his son alone in
members of the family and stayed at the Premier Hotel; his son ALVAREZ was
the house without his friends and that it seemed he was high on drugs again;
left behind and did not seem his usual self; that when he (the father) returned
since he would not Haten to scolding he and family left the house at around
home on 13 June at around 9:00 A.M., he saw the three (3) Appellants
9:00 P.M. to return to his house only on 13 June where he saw the three (3)
"Ronald, Christopher and Saberon" conversing; that around 10:00 A.M., the
Appellants, with other people.
victim's father arrived inquiring about his son; that he replied he did not know
and when the victim's father addressed the Appellants, the latter also denied Lastly, ALVAREZ's father admitted that he had signed his son's extrajudicial
any knowledge; the victim's father then left; that in the afternoon, noticing that statement but explained that although previously he had wanted his son in jail
the three (3) Appellants were having a heated conversation and seemed to be that was not his wish any longer. His son had been incarcerated for four (4)
high on drugs, he went to the police precinct at about 10:00 P.M. to ask for years and had promised not to take drugs any more, because of which he had
help from Capt. Tiquia, a friend of his; that he asked the latter to incarcerate forgiven his son.
the boys because they were hooked on drugs; that the Captain initially denied
The post-mortem findings of the Medico-Legal Officer of the NBI revealed that
his request for lack of basis; that while they were conversing Capt. Tiquia
the victim had been brutally attacked and killed; that he suffered two (2)
informed him that an unidentified dead person was found in the Palasan,
incised wounds in the forearm; four (4) stab wounds on the left side of the
Valenzuela cemetery and since he was a former resident thereat, perhaps he
neck; thirteen (13) wounds in the chest, four (4) of which are punctured
could help in identification; the dead individual was described as a "person with
wounds caused by an ice pick; and twenty-one (21) stab wounds in the back ... in admitting and considering the extrajudicial confession; ...
caused by a single bladed weapon and inflicted when the victim was already in holding the presence or existence of conspiracy;
helpless or dying. Said physician further declared that there was more than ... in sentencing accused to suffer life imprisonment (3 times
one assailant and that a double-bladed and a single-bladed weapon had both each).
been used in addition to an ice pick.
Per ARANETA:
On the part of the defense, ALVAREZ, 26, single, a soundman, testified that he
... in convicting (him) on the sole basis of the extrajudicial
could not remember his "Sinumpaang Salaysay;" that he had signed
confession of co-accused Ronald Alvarez; ... in not declaring
something without knowing its contents; that although he admits his
the extrajudicial confession of accused Alvarez inadmissible; ...
signatures, the contents of his statement are not true and he does not affirm
in not giving credence to (his) defense of alibi.
them; that although lawyers were present, they were given by the police; that
although he was brought before the Investigating Fiscal, he does not PER SABERON:
remember that the Fiscal had explained anything to him; that he was ... in not taking into consideration that there was no motive by
compelled to sign by the police; and that he never complained to the Fiscal accused Saberon to lull the victim, Ismael Magpantay;
because he was confused and bewildered as to why he had been taken there. ... in finding that the escape of accused Leopoldo Saberon
ARANETA, 26, laborer, a house painter, gave an alibi as his defense and from jail indicates his guilt;
declared that the charge of Murder against him is false; that he was not in the ... in convicting accused Leopoldo Saberon when in its
house of ALVAREZ when the victim's father went there because he was then decision appear facts that will lead to his acquittal.
finishing the painting job of Jesse Reyes, about six (6) houses away from Crucial to the determination of Appellants' culpability is ALVAREZ's
ALVAREZ's; that he had known the victim since school days since their extrajudicial confession.
respective schools were near each other; that he knows ALVAREZ and
SABERON as they play basketball together; that he also knows the victim's With the exception of SABERON, who admitted that the confession was
father who forbade him from going to their house as he was just teaching the "executed legally and properly" (p. 6, Brief for SABERON), ALVAREZ and
son "katarantaduhan." ARANETA assail the admission of said confession as evidence against them
for having been executed irregularly and involuntarily. For one, they maintain
ARANETA's mother corroborated her son's alibi. that ALVAREZ's constitutional right to counsel was not protected, a lawyer
As heretofore stated, SABERON escaped from jail while trial was in progress randomly picked by the police not being a sufficient safeguard thereof. For
and was re-arrested only after the defense had rested its case. He was another, they claim that ALVAREZ was in a drunken and drugged state when
accordingly unable to take the witness stand. However, he was represented by he executed it such that he was in no position to either read or comprehend
Atty. Melody Javier during the initial stages of the case and, thereafter, the same, much less provide the details contained therein. That being so, the
alternately by Attys. Augusto Montilla and Ricardo Perez. An Appellant's Brief elder Alvarez's testimony that he had invented the story and thereafter forced
has also been presented on his behalf by Atty. Augusto Montilla. his son to sign the document "in order to give him a lesson" should have been
given credence and weight by the Trial Court and the extrajudicial confession
Mainly premised on ALVAREZ's extrajudicial confession, the Trial Court found
struck down as inadmissible evidence.
a clear indication of conspiracy and convicted Appellants of Murder, attended
by treachery, evident premeditation, abuse of superior strength and nocturnity. The averments do not persuade. While it may be that a lawyer was provided
Before us now are their respective appeals, to refute which the Solicitor by the police, ALVAREZ never signified his desire to have a lawyer of his
General has also filed separate Briefs. choice. Besides, the evidence discloses that Atty. Reynaldo P. Garcia, whom
the police had called, was equal to his duties as a lawyer. He testified that he
Allegedly, the Trial Court erred
was requested by Capt. Tiquia, a friend of ALVAREZ's father, to assist his son
Per ALVAREZ: in the execution of his extrajudicial confession (Tsn., 12 December 1986). After
asking the investigator to leave them alone, he explained to ALVAREZ the People v. Farrington, 140 Cal., 656, 74 Pac. 288; cited in 5 Moran, Comments
consequences of any statement that he would make and that it could be used on the Rules of Court, 1963 Edition, p. 250), as is the case with ALVAREZ's
against him but that notwithstanding, ALVAREZ decided to give it just the confession.
same. Aside from Atty. Garcia, Atty. Antonio Dalag, whom ALVAREZ knew, was
More, the details contained in the confession relative to the knives and the
also on hand and signed as a witness to the confession. So did ALVAREZ's
icepick used by the assailants and the relative positions of the actors conform
father. Two others presented the execution of the statement, SABERON and
to the testimony (Tsn., 13 October 1986) and autopsy report (Exh. G) of the
ALVAREZ's brother. Under the circumstances, the Trial Court can not be
medicolegal officer. The weapons described in the statement were the same
faulted for holding that the confession was "freely given, without force or
ones recovered on the person of ALVAREZ and picked up in front of his
intimidation, and with aid of counsel."
residence at the time of arrest. To top it all, the confession contains
What is sought to be protected is the compulsory disclosure of incriminating exculpatory statements, which have been considered by this Court as an index
facts. The right is guaranteed merely to preclude the slightest coercion as of voluntariness (People v. Balane, G.R. Nos. 48319-20, 25 July 1983, 123
would lead the accused to admit something false (People v. Layuco G.R. No. SCRA 614).
69210, 5 July 1989,175 SCRA 47), not to provide him with the best defense. A
It should be borne in mind that a confession constitutes evidence of high order
lawyer is an officer of the Court and upon his shoulders lies the responsibility
because it is supported by the strong presumption that no person of normal
to see to it that protection has been accorded the rights of the accused and
mind would deliberately and knowingly confess to a crime unless he is
that no injustice to him has been committed. Absent any showing that the
prompted by truth and his conscience (People v. Salvador y Kiamco, G.R. No.
lawyers who assisted ALVAREZ were remiss in their duties, the Court holds
77964, 26 July 1988, 163 SCRA 574). This presumption of spontaneity and
that the proceedings during the custodial interrogation of ALVAREZ, in the
voluntariness stands unless the defense proves otherwise. Appellants'
presence of counsel, were regularly conducted.
evidence falls short of the required quantum of proof to overcome the
The father's disclosure of having masterminded his son's confession is a futile presumption.
and late attempt on the part of a parent to exonerate a child from criminal
ARANETA contends, however, that said confession is not admissible as specie
responsibility. The confession speaks for itself. It gives the motive for the
of proof against him because firstly, the same is hearsay as he never had any
killing, the manner by which it was accomplished, the kinds of weapon used,
opportunity to cross-examine the confessant; and secondly, it lacks the
the relative positions of the assailants and the victim, the exact location of the
indispensable requisite of corroboration by other evidence (Brief for ARANETA,
crime, the clothes the assailants were wearing, the weather condition that
pp. 8 & 9). He further states that the Trial Court erred in convicting him based
fateful evening all of which are particulars that could have been supplied only
solely on ALVAREZ's confession.
by someone in the know. They reflect spontaneity and coherence, leaving no
room to doubt its veracity, and particularly belying the elder Alvarez's claim that The contentions are not tenable. ARANETA was represented by counsel all
it was he who had concocted the story. throughout the trial, who could have taken all steps necessary for his
protection. As to the second ground, the established doctrine is, indeed, that
The assertion that ALVAREZ was in, a drugged and drunken state and was in
an extrajudicial confession is binding only upon the confessant and is not
no position to provide details nor read and comprehend his Statement is shorn
admissible against his co-accused. That rule, however, admits of exceptions.
of merit. A comparison of his signatures on the left-hand margin of the first
Where the confession is used as circumstantial evidence to show the
three pages of his written confession, as well as his two signatures on the last
probability of participation by the conspirator, that confession is receivable as
page thereof, once during custodial interrogation and the other before the
evidence against a co-accused (People v. Condemena, G. R. No. 22426, 29
subscribing Fiscal, shows that they are identical to the other, with no tremors
May 1968, 23 SCRA 910; People v. Vasquez, G.R. No. 54117, 27 April 1982,
or unsteadiness which would have characterized the handwriting of one under
113 SCRA 772).
the influence of either liquor or drugs. Besides, a confession made by an
accused while intoxicated is admissible, if he was physically able to re-collect The corroboration by other evidence is disclosed by the records, which show
the facts and to state them truly (White v. State, Tex. Cr. App. 625,25 SW 784; that Appellants and the victim were close friends (Tsn., 2 March 1988), or
"barkada" (Tsn., 14 March 1988, p. 5); that he usually plays basketball with records neither disclose that SABERON moved for the reopening of the case
ALVAREZ and SABERON on Sundays (Tsn., 15 February 1988, pp. 12-13); when he was re-arrested, hence, he should now be held barred from seeking
that all three Appellants and the victim were together in the Alvarez residence the same. The Trial Court, in including SABERON in its judgment, acted within
in the evening of 11 June (Tsn., 14 March 1988, p. 5), or the night immediately its competence.
before the incident on 12 June at around midnight; that the victim was last
The detailed narration contained in the ALVAREZ confession, support the Trial
seen together with Appellants about to go to Valenzuela (Exh. J the victim's
Court's finding of conspiracy characterized by treachery, abuse of superior
father knew of his own personal knowledge that the group was going to
strength and nocturnity. As aptly pointed out by the Solicitor General:
Valenzuela, so much so, that when his son failed to return home, he went to
the Alvarez residence immediately the next evening to inquire and saw thereat Evidence adduced on record clearly shows that appellant
all three Appellants drinking; upon seeing him ALVAREZ reacted with an Alverez and his co-accused were close friends (barkada) and
outburst, "anong ginagawa ng putang-inang matandang iyan dito, tayo pa ang that they were drug-addicts (tsn, p. 23, Mar. 2, 1988; Oct. 23,
pinagbibintangang pumatay sa anak niya," actually an admission against 1987, p. 8). Accused Araneta even admitted that he usually
interest, only to be cautioned by SABERON stating "Pare, nadudulas ka na." played basketball with appellants Alvarez and Saberon on
ARANETA was there (as separately testified to by the two fathers) and said Sundays (tsn, Feb. 15, 1988, pp. 12-13). In fact, appellant
nothing. Additionally, a knife was also recovered from the person of ALVAREZ, Alverez together with his two co-accused were last seen with
and a bamboo scabbard of an ice pick found in front of his house. the victim and that they reportedly boarded a jeep and
snatched a necklace from a woman passenger (tsn, Oct. 23,
All these corroborate the extrajudicial confession and prove that ARANETA
1987, pp. 11-12). The reason why appellant Alvarez and his
was, indeed, one of the malefactors. His defense of alibi can not prevail over
co-accused killed the victim was their differences in the
such convincing evidence.
partition of the criminal effects of their various robberies (see
With respect to SABERON, the confession is admissible against him for two Question No. 1 2, Exh. "B").
reasons. Firstly, he did not dispute its admissibility and even admitted its
On June 13, 1984, one day after the murder of the victim,
proper execution (Brief for SABERON, p. 13). Secondly, he acquiesced in or
appellant Alvarez and his two co-accused were again seen
adopted the confession since he did not question its truthfullness considering
drinking together by Rosauro Magpantay who heard appellant
that it was made in his presence and he did not remonstrate against his being
Alverez saying 'Anong ginagawa ng putang inang
implicated therein (People v. Amajul, G.R. Nos. 14626-27, 28 February 1961, 1
matandang ito. Tayo pa ang pinagbibintangan pumatay sa
SCRA 682), even when ALVAREZ pointed to him. There is, therefore, direct
anak niya.' To which statement, accused Saberon made the
evidence to prove his participation in the commission of the crime, and the
following reply 'Pare nadudulas ka na (tsn, Oct. 23, 1987, pp.
requirement of motive for conviction by circumstantial evidence needs no
10-11).
looking into.
Surely, Alfonso Alverez, a former policeman and father of
SABERON, however, further disputes the Trial Court's finding that his escape
appellant Alvarez, was not lying when he pointed to the three
from jail was an indication of guilt. He alleges that the lower Court should have
accused as the killers of the victim (tsn, Oct. 23, 1987, pp. 12-
given him the opportunity to present his side of the charge and explain the
14). Alfonso Alverez even fetched Rosauro Magpantay (father
reason for his escape instead of haphazardly convicting him even after he was
of the victim) to accompany him to Valenzuela, so that he
re-arrested.
(Rosauro) could Identify the body of his son (id.). Alfonso
Even assuming that his escape was not an indication of guilt, once an accused Alverez did not only point to the three accused as the culprits,
escapes from prison or confinement, he loses his standing in Court and is but he also gave the information leading to the arrest of his
deemed to have waived any right to seek relief from the Court unless he own son (appellant Ronald Alvarez), and his co-accused
surrenders or submits to the jurisdiction of the Court (People v. Mapalao and Leopoldo Saberon (tsn, July 14, 1986, pp. 3- 4). At the time of
Magumnang, G.R. No. 92415,14 May 1991; see Rule 11 5, Sec. 1 [c]). The their arrest, a life and a bamboo scabbard were recovered
from the accused (pp. 12-13, Id.). When appellant Alverez only one offense of murder, the imposition of multiple penalties is improper.
executed and signed his confession, his father (Alfonso This being so, the proper penalty, considering the attendant circumstances and
Alvarez) was present, and the latter also signed the confession in the light of the 1987 Constitution, is reclusion perpetua for each of the
as witness (see Exhs. 'BN', 'B-l' to 'B-3'). Appellants. The death indemnity of P50,000.00 should be required, for which
appellants should be held jointly and severally liable.
All of the above, together with the detailed narration in
Questions Nos. 4 to 35 of the confession of appellant Alverez WHEREFORE, the judgment appealed from is hereby AFFIRMED, with the
(quoted in pages 9 to 12 of the lower court's Decision), clearly MODIFICATION that Accused-appellants, Ronald Alvarez, Christopher
shows that conspiracy among the three accused was Araneta, and Leopoldo Saberon are hereby each sentenced to suffer a single
characterized by treachery, evident premeditation, abuse of penalty of reclusion perpetua; to indemnify, jointly and severally, the heirs of
superior strength and nocturnity as defined under Article 8 of the victim, Ismael Magpantay, in the sum of P50,000.00; and to pay the costs.
the Revised Penal Code (see p. 12, Decision).
SO ORDERED.
Even assuming that ALVAREZ, as he claims in his Sworn Statement, acted as
Paras, Padilla and Regalado, JJ., concur.
a mere "look-out," that does not excuse him from criminal liability as a
principal. There being conspiracy, the act of one is the act of all. Sarmiento, J., is on leave.

Appellants, however, also call attention to their warrantless arrest effected at


around midnight of 13 June 1984, contending that it was in violation of their
constitutional rights sufficient to nullify subsequent proceedings.
Under Rule 113, Section 6 of the old Criminal Procedure (1964), a warrantless
arrest can be effected by a peace officer or private person when an offense
has, in fact, been committed and said peace officer or private person has
reasonable ground to believe that the person to be arrested has committed it.
In the instant case, it was the elder Alverez who initiated the arrest a day after
the crime was committed. Having been once a policeman, he may be said to
have been equipped with knowledge of crime detection. And having had the
opportunity to observe the conduct of the three Appellants, who were at his
house the whole day following the commission (Tsn., 2 March 1988, p. 3), it is
logical to infer that his act of going to the police, informing them that Appellants
were the perpetrators of the crime and even fetching them to make the arrest
sprang from a went grounded belief that a crime had been committed and that
Appellants had committed it. In this regard, the arrests without a warrant were
validly effected.
Error is, however attributable to the Trial Court in imposing the sentence of "life
imprisonment, three times each." In the first place, it is always desirabale to
employ the proper legal terminology in the imposition of imprisonment
penalties as provided in the Revised Penal Code because each penalty has its
distinct accessory penalties and effects (Aquino, the Revised Penal Code, Vol.
I, 1976 Edition, p. 540). Thus, the proper penalty is not "life imprisonment" but
"reclusion perpetua." In the second place, since there is only one victim and